”Judas Hanged Himself — Thou Do Likewise”

”Judas Hanged Himself — Thou Do Likewise”
Vol: 97 Issue: 23 Friday, October 23, 2009

“God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent: Hat He said, and shall He not do it? or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19)

“If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.” (Jeremiah 18:8)

So, which is it?

God says of Himself that He isn’t a man, that He should “repent” which means to ‘change His mind.’  But then He says he will repent of a decision in response to the actions of man.  Is God indecisive? 

It seems rather a difficult character defect to ascribe to an all-powerful and all-knowing God without having to demote Him to really powerful and really knowledgeable.  (Instead, they are actually attributes of the Enemy)

The word translated ‘repent’ is much richer in its understanding in Hebrew or Greek than it is by the time it makes it to English.  It implies a complete change of mind from one thing to another in which the two positions are mutually exclusive, rather than simply meaning any old change of thinking.

When a person repents of his sin and surrenders to Christ, what takes place is that person’s core worldview undergoes a fundamental reversal.   A repentent believer understands that he deserves to go to hell. 

A repentent believer knows that his salvation cannot be attained or secured based on one’s own good works or righteous behavior, but is the product of the grace of God obtained by faith and secured by the righteousness of Christ.

By nature and definition, God is all-knowing. For God to repent suggests that God either made a mistake, which is impossible, or didn’t foresee events that subsequently caused Him to change His mind.  

The Bible lists thirty-one different times in which it says God does repent.  It would take too long to list them all, but a few examples in which it appears God did change His mind include:

“And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.” (Genesis 6:7)

“And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.” (Exodus 32:14)

“If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent Me of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings.”(Jeremiah 26:3)

God says He doesn’t repent.  He also says He doesn’t lie.  

It is a conundrum.

Assessment:

“For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” (Malachi 3:6)

Is the Bible true?  How can it be with this seemingly impossible contradiction?  God says He doesn’t lie and doesn’t repent and then He goes ahead and repents thirty-one times.   How can both be simultaneously true?  

God’s holiness is unchanging.  Consequently, it requires Him to treat the wicked differently from the righteous. When the righteous become wicked, His treatment of them must change.  

For example, America was once among the most righteous of the nations, and simultaneously, the most blessed among the nations.

Most of our blessings have soured as America moved further and further from acknowledging God as the Creator and Guarantor of our rights and freedoms.   God didn’t change.  We did.

By way of analogy, the sun doesn’t ‘change its mind’ when it hardens clary while softening wax.   The sun is the same and so is the effect — the sun will always harden clay and it will always soften wax.  

It is the wax and the clay that differ, not the effect of the sun.   God is unchanging in His eternal plan — the changes are from the perspective of the changed:

“Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him:” (Ephesians 1:9-10)

“In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.” (Titus 1:2)

“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 13:8)

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2nd Peter 3:9)

God is immutable, but that is not the same as being immobile. The plan remains unchanged.  God’s ‘repentance’ involves the execution — while working within the confines of space and time — of purposes eternally existing in the mind of God.  

The execution of that plan necessarily involves human beings, which necessarily involve free will, which requires God to make adjustments.  Are these adjustments unforeseen?  Was God taken by surprise?  

That totally misses the point.   God is perfect.  We are not. He must allow for our imperfections. 

Read in context, Numbers 23:19 is part of a wider discourse concerning Israel, not God.  Speaking through Balaam, what God is saying when He says, “God is not a man, that He should lie or repent”  He is speaking in relation to His plan for Israel. 

In context, it isn’t saying that God will never repent of anything — here the Scripture is promising that He will not repent concerning His promise to Israel.    There actually is no contradiction — the contradiction is created by making the mistake of using one passage of Scripture to interpret another.  

That will almost always produce error because every passage of Scripture must be understood in context. 

Once you pull Scripture out of context, one can accurately argue that the Bible says that Judas went out and hanged himself (Matthew 27:5) and “thou do likewise” (Judges 7:17) therefore supports the conclusion that the Bible encourages suicide by hanging.  

Rather than presenting an insurmountable Bible contradiction, the fact that God repents Himself teaches a series of wonderful truths.  It teaches that God is not impersonal.  He responds to man’s actions.  He is not an unfeeling Spirit.  He knows what ails us.

“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)

The entire debate teaches us the importance of rightly dividing the Word of truth.   Many approach the Scripture seeking confirmation of what they already believe to be true, rather than seeking the truth itself.  

As we’ve already seen, if one is seeking confirmation that the Bible is flawed, or that Scriptures contradict themselves, then that is exactly what they will find.  One can find proof texts for all four positions on the doctrine on the Rapture.

One can find proof texts that seem to confirm that one can lose one’s salvation, that the Bible teaches soul sleep, that there is no hell, that God is indecisive, that the Rapture is pre, mid, pre-Wrath, post trib and that there is no Rapture at all.

If one approaches the Scripture looking for contradictions, one can find them.  Even when they aren’t there.

“Is the Bible Divinely inspired?   Well, the Bible says God doesn’t change His mind, then it says He does.  Here, let me show you — it says so right here and here. ”    

When somebody does that, it can be pretty convincing.  But on deeper investigation, it always turns out to be a case of the melting wax complaining that the sun is indecisive because the clay hardened. 

It isn’t God that changes — His holiness is unchanging.  

“If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. . .   If it do evil in My sight, that it obey not My voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.” (Jeremiah 18:8,10)

If America is no longer under God’s Hand of blessing, it isn’t because God changed His mind about America.  It is because America changed its mind about God.

God is simply responding in kind.

Way Past the Beginning

Way Past the Beginning
Vol: 97 Issue: 22 Thursday, October 22, 2009

The administration announced yesterday that it had made a diplomatic breakthrough in its diplomatic offensive against Iran when Iran accepted a draft agreement to send 80% of its reported stock of uranium to Russia for enrichment.

Iran has enough low-enriched uranium, in theory, to produce one nuclear weapon. If it agrees to the deal, it would be nine to 12 months before the country would have enough uranium to restart a clandestine enrichment program.  So it would stall Iran for one year.

It is being hailed as a ‘breakthrough’ primarily by the United States to try and hand some credibility to the Obama administration’s foreign policy initiative to “extend an open hand if Iran will unclench its fist.”  

So far, it’s been a case of extending an open chin to Iran’s closed fist.   This morning, Iran’s deputy Speaker of Parliament (Iran’s version of Nancy Pelosi) threw a sucker punch at the extended chin. 

Mohammed Reza Bahonar was quoted by Iran’s IRNA state-owned news agency as saying Iran “doesn’t accept the deal” after all. While the administration was quick to point out that Bahonar doesn’t speak officially for the government, the fact remains that nothing is published in IRNA that the government doesn’t want published. 

Iran is simply buying time.   This morning, the Jerusalem Post published a hopeful (and naïve) assessment that Obama recognizes the uranium-transfer deal as a delaying tactic, but speculated that Obama is working a strategy of his own:

Washington is interested in taking confidence-building steps and in engaging diplomatically with Iran until this option is exhausted. The administration of US President Barack Obama is taking this path to ensure that eventually it will be able to demand extreme measures and supervision of Iran to prevent Teheran from achieving nuclear military capabilities, Jerusalem officials reportedly said.”

It is a matter of almost absolute certainty that the Israeli War Cabinet knows better.   Nobody believes that Obama has the stomach for another war, least of all the Iranians.

The premium intelligence website, Stratfor, is fo
http://www.omegaletter.com/admin/tinymce/themes/advanced/langs/en.js
recasting what it calls an ‘increasingly likely’ scenario for war in the fourth quarter of this year.  Stratfor bases that assessment in large part on Iran and Russia’s view of Obama:

There is little but diplomacy preventing this conflict from happening. Between the Iraq and Afghan conflicts, the United States has the naval and air assets in the region that would be required for extensive and sustained air strikes against Iran. But both Iran and Russia feel they have the upper hand and both doubt Obama’s nerve. Any of the sides could back down — Obama or Iran could flinch, Russia and the United States could strike a deal on sanctions, Israel could decide that Iran is not so far along in its nuclear program — to avert a war. 

Assessment:

It is hard to imagine President Barack Hussein Obama standing up to the Russians or the Iranians in solidarity with Israel.  Obama’s worldview was shaped by his self-described mentor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright

(“Them Jews won’t let him talk to me,” Wright complained after the election).  

And there isn’t another nation on earth that will, if America doesn’t.  The Europeans won’t.  I am racking my brain to think of a country whose own national self-interest is sufficient to bring it to Israel’s defense.

There are a few that have limited alliances or treaty agreements, but when it comes to standing with Israel, most would stand a little further back and look the other way.  They’d speak great, swelling words of support, but talk is cheap.

The UN just released a 574-page report on Israel’s incursion into Gaza last year to destroy the Hamas rocket factories and put an end to the rocket barrage raining down on Israeli towns from within the Gaza Strip.

The report was authored by Richard Goldstone, a South African jurist selected by the UN to conduct the investigation. 

Based on the report, the UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution that singled Israel out for censure — without making any mention of Hamas’ tactics of hiding near civilian shelters, using human shields, firing on tanks from hospitals, etc.

The US, the Ukraine and four EU members opposed the report.   That’s six countries — out of one hundred and ninety-two.  And there was essentially no price to be paid for its opposition — the UN Human Rights Council is essentially powerless.  

Imagine if standing with Israel carried an attending financial or military risk? 

What is noteworthy how perfectly things continue to follow the Bible’s general scenario. The Bible predicted that in the last days, Israel would be a pariah state.  Zechariah predicted she would stand alone against the whole world.   He predicted that the stumbling block to peace would be Jerusalem, the ‘burdensome stone’.

Ezekiel predicted the development of an alliance between Russia and Iran, together with the Islamic Middle East, (including NATO ally Turkey) that would move against Israel in the last days.   Ezekiel 39:12-13 predicts that the rest of the world will do little more than launch a weak diplomatic protest.

The Bible says that all this will come in conjunction with the rise of revived Rome as the preeminent superpower of the last days.  The EU described itself as ‘revived Rome’ in much of its own founding literature.

In any event, what was the Roman Empire 2000 years ago is the rough geographic equivalent to the modern European Union.   The EU is continuing its ascent, while existing superpower America appears to be in the throes of decline.

Bible prophecy for this generation is rich with detail and clarity, starting with the fact that all Bible prophecy for the last days revolves around Israel.  Keep in mind that, at the time the prophets penned those prophecies, Israel did not exist, had not existed for centuries, and would not exist again for millennia!

So, before ANY of it could move forward, the world’s Jews had to first return to the same piece of geography from which they’d been scattered.  Think about that!  Until the Jews returned to their ancestral home, the prophecies for the last days were frozen in place.

They remained frozen in place for century after century after century until the middle of the past century, when for the first time in more than 2500 years, Israel was reborn out of the ashes of the Holocaust.

Really think about this.  All those centuries that came to pass – but the Bible says that once Israel was reborn, everything else to follow would take place within the space of one generation.

One generation!   This generation.  The generation to whom Jesus was speaking when He said, “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)

Maranatha! 

”Then They Came For Me. . .”

”Then They Came For Me. . .”
Vol: 97 Issue: 21 Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Lutheran pastor Martin Niemoller was initially a strong supporter of both Adolf Hitler and of national socialism.   Neimoller served as an officer of the Imperial German Navy during WWI . His daring exploit as as submariner in action against the Allies earned him the Iron Cross First Class. 

After the war, Niemoller resigned his commission to protest post-war Germany’s new democratic government following Kaiser Wilhelm’s abdication.  The son of a Lutheran pastor, Niemoller eventually attended seminary and was ordained in 1924.  

Niemoller openly supported opponents of the new Weimar Republic and welcomed Adolf Hitler’s election in 1933 as Chancellor of Germany.  

Although no less anti-semitic than most Germans of the time, Niemoller nevertheless founded the Pfarremotbund, a group of clergy dedicated to “combat rising discrimination against Christians of Jewish background.” 

In 1934, Niemoller joined fellow pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer in founding the Confessing Church which was a movement to oppose the Nazification of German Protestantism.  

Unlike Bonhoeffer, Niemoller had no particular quarrel with Hitler’s politics concerning the Jews — it wasn’t until the Nazis threatened the churches that he began to openly oppose the regime. 

In 1938, Hitler had Niemoller arrested and interned in Sachsenhausen and later Dachau.  Somehow, he survived the camps and later authored the famous poem, First They Came . . .

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a communist. 
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a socialist. 
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a trade unionist,
Then they came for the Jews; and I did not speak out — because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me.  And there was no one left to speak for me.

Assessment:

Yesterday, I posted a poll question about the administration’s war against Fox News.  More than half agreed with the statement, “Because the first step in imposing a totalitarian regime is to take control of the opposition media.” 

The rest were more or less evenly split between “Because the administration can’t control the message” and “Because the administration hopes to marginalize it with its viewers.” 

But the choice, “Because the administration can’t provide answers to its charges”  received not a single vote at the time of this writing.  I was very surprised.   I half-expected this to be the number one answer.

Noted a recent issue of Politico Magazine:

With a series of private meetings and public taunts, the White House has targeted the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the biggest-spending pro-business lobbying group in the country; Rush Limbaugh, the country’s most-listened-to conservative commentator; and now, with a new volley of combative rhetoric in recent days, the insurance industry, Wall Street executives and Fox News.

 Obama aides are using their powerful White House platform, combined with techniques honed in the 2008 campaign, to cast some of the most powerful adversaries as out of the mainstream and their criticism as unworthy of serious discussion. 

Press secretary Robert Gibbs has mocked Limbaugh from the White House press room podium. White House aides limited access to the Chamber and made top adviserValerie Jarrett available to reporters to disparage the group. Everyone from White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel to White House Communications Director Anita Dunn has piled on Fox News by contending it’s not a legitimate news operation. 

All of the techniques are harnessed to a larger purpose: to marginalize not only the individual person or organization but also some of the most important policy and publicity allies of the national Republican Party.

 Dunn said that in August, as the president’s aides planned for the fall, they made “a fundamental decision that we needed to be more aggressive in both protecting our position and in delineating our differences with those who were attacking us.”

Look at some of the allegations made by Glenn Beck, to take the most extreme example.  Glenn Beck has alleged the Obama administration includes Marxists, Communists, Maoists, pedophiles, convicted felons, terrorists, and other folks with views so extreme that their government involvement should be limited to their inclusion on an FBI watch list. 

If only half of what Beck says is true, then the United States government has been taken over by ideological fanatics no less dedicated to imposing their ideology on the country than were the Nazis in 1934.

And no less dangerous — there are those within the administration who believe that the only way for mankind to survive is by culling the existing population down to a more manageable level. 

President Obama’s top science and technology advisor John P. Holdren co-authored a 1977 book in which he advocated the formation of a “planetary regime” that would use a “global police force” to enforce totalitarian measures of population control, including forced abortions, mass sterilization programs conducted via the food and water supply, as well as mandatory bodily implants that would prevent couples from having children.

Cass Sunsteen advocates extending civil rights to animals, including the right to sue human beings.  Sunsteen is Obama’s pick to run the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.  

Sunsteen advocates a policy under which the government would “presume” someone has consented to having his or her organs removed for transplantation into someone else when they die unless that person has explicitly indicated that his or her organs should not be taken.

You see, that’s the problem, says Sunsteen. “The major obstacle to increasing [organ] donations is the need to get the consent of surviving family members.”   

Under Sunsteen’s policy proposal, hospitals would harvest organs from people who never gave permission for this to be done.  Instead of consenting to the procedure, one must somehow let the doctors know you oppose it.  

The next logical step is to harvest the organs so that they are as fresh as possible by deciding whether or not somebody is dead — based on the condition of his donor-suitable organs. 

Let it all sink in for a few seconds — this guy is Obama’s chosen Propaganda and Regulations Czar.  

So along comes Glenn Beck and lays it all out before us.  Then the White House accuses him of distorting the truth.   Beck installs a red telephone on the set, gives the White House the phone number, and offers to correct any errors — on air.  

The phone never rings.   

Why? Because the White House can’t dispute the charges.  Everything Beck has alleged is documented.  Van Jones is a Communist.  Anita Dunn is a Maoist.  Cass Sunsteen is a moonbat.   John Holdren is an elitist whose views faintly echo the ones that Martin Niemoller found so objectionable. 

It’s all true — and there isn’t a thing the White House can say to address the charges directly without having to confirm its all true.  It is a conundrum.  

The White House has indirectly admitted that it has banned top administration officials from appearing on Fox News.  The spin they are putting on it is that they are punishing Fox News for being so negative.  

But what is behind the spin is the fact that they can’t.  It’s all true.  So instead, the plan is to systematically marginalize any journalist or news organization who either picks up or repeats it. 

I was amazed to listing to David Axelrod obliquely warning the mainstream media via an appearance on “State of the Union” that they should “not follow Fox News” — in other words, not pick up on stories broken by Fox. 

What is equally amazing to me is the reaction from the rest of the mainstream media — or perhaps, the lack of reaction.  Here we see the Executive Branch directly targeting the 1st Amendment-protected free press, and the rest of the so-called ‘free press’ looks the other way  — and says nothing. 

The administration’s effort to marginalize its critics instead of engaging them directly is classic.  That is what Niemoller’s
http://www.omegaletter.com/admin/tinymce/themes/advanced/langs/en.js
poem is all about:

First they came after Limbaugh, and I was silent, because I was not Limbaugh;
Then they came after Fox, and I was silent, because I was not Fox

You’d think the rest of them could see where it is going from here. 

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2nd Timothy 4:3-4)

Turkey Turns To the East

Turkey Turns To the East
Vol: 97 Issue: 20 Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Another part of the Gog-Magog puzzle slipped into place recently when Turkey’s state-run broadcasting network (TRT)  produced a television series entitled Ayrilik, or ‘Separation’ portraying the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the eyes of the Palestinians.

The series, prepared by a private company for TRT, portrayed Israeli soldiers murdering children and committing other atrocities against Palestinian innocents. 

One show shows a smiling Israeli soldier shooting a little girl and another shows a bullet fired by an Israeli soldier as it travels in slow motion toward another Palestinian child. 

The Israelis angrily summoned the Turkish envoy to explain the state-sponsored anti-Israeli broadcasts.  Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman issued an official statement protesting the series:

“Such a series, which does not have the slightest connection with reality, which presents IDF (Israeli army) soldiers as murderers of innocent children, is not worthy of being broadcast even in an enemy state and, least of all, in a state that has full diplomatic ties with Israel,” the statement said.

Because that is the issue. Turkey and Israel have more that just ‘full diplomatic ties’ — although that is somewhat miraculous in and of itself.   Turkey and Israel signed a mutual defense pact in 1996 and are military allies.

It has provided billions of dollars worth of Israeli arms to Turkey, granted Israel’s air force overflight privileges, and, most significantly, given Israel a badly needed friend in a neighborhood of enemies. Because Turkey’s million-man army has kept Israel’s enemies at bay,  it has been a win-win situation since its inception.

But all that may be changing.  The television series is just the latest in a series of diplomatic moves by the Turks signalling a re-examinatio of the alliance itself.   The Turks scrapped a joint military exerecise with the US, Israel,  Italy and NATO. 

Though Ankara did not officially state the reason for pulling out of the exercises, the underlying message came through loud and clear. Touting itself as the defender of the Islamic world, Turkey must publically downplay any association with Israel.

Turkey announced Oct. 9 that it will be pulling out of “Anatolian Eagle,” an annual joint air force exercise with Israel, the United States, Italy and NATO slated for Oct. 12-24.

Instead of participating in this multilateral exercise, the Turkish general staff said in a statement that Turkey’s air force would conduct exercises on its own at Konya air force base without any international partners.

Ankara is sending a clear message with its decision. Turkey has broken out of its post-World War isolation and is making steady progress in growing its stature in the former Ottoman space. Under the rule of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in particular, Turkey has used its Islamic identity as an outlet for expansion.

This strategy works especially well in the Middle East, where Turkey’s bold criticism of long-time military ally Israel plays extremely well both Muslim and Arab worlds

At the Davos summit in January of this year, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan publicly criticized Israel’s Operation Cast Lead against Hamas in Gaza. His speech coupled with this month’s decision to pull out of the military games were designed to show the Muslim and Arab worlds that Turkey is with them, without going so far as to formally dissolve the Turkish-Israeli alliance.

For the moment.

By publicly announcing that Turkey will not participate in military exercises with Israel this year, Turkey is  is responding to public opposition to Israel at home while also signaling to Tehran that it can be a trusted negotiator.

Yes, that Tehran. The Turks are cozying up to both the Iranians — and the Russians.  Since the Turkish Islamist Party first won control of the Constitutionally-secular government in 2002,  the country has been steadly moving away from its former pro-Western stance and closer to the radical Islamist sphere in sympathy with Iran, al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria, etc.

Since Obama took office, noted Caroline Glick in a Townhall column, “it has abandoned US support for democracy activists throughout the world, in favor of a policy of pure appeasement of US adversaries at the expense of US allies.”

“In keeping with this policy, President Barack Obama paid a preening visit to Ankara where he effectively endorsed the Islamization of Turkish foreign policy that has moved the NATO member into the arms of Teheran’s mullahs.”

She concludes with this shocking one-line analysis: “Turkey is lost and we’d better make our peace with this devastating fact.”

Assessment:

According to the prophet Ezekiel, there will arise in the last days, a massive military and political alliance more-or-less formally known as the ‘Gog-Magog Alliance.’

Ezekiel identifies ‘Gog’ as coming from the north of Israel. Following the compass due north from Jerusalem will take you through the center of Moscow.

The army of Gog and Magog primarily includes people from the nations of Gog, Gomer, Tubal, Meshech, and the house of Togarmah from the “north parts.” They will be joined by Persians from the East, Put from the West, Cushites from the South, and others.

“Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee. . . ” (Ezekiel 38:5-6)

“Gomer” is mentioned in Genesis as well as Ezekiel. The Jewish-turned-Roman historian Flavius Josephus identified Gomer with the Galatians.

“For Gomer founded those whom the Greeks now call Galatians, [Galls,] but were then called Gomerites.” (Antiquities of the Jews, I:6.)

Ancient Galatia was an area in the highlands of central Anatolia (now Turkey). Galatia was bounded on the north by Bithynia and Paphlagonia, on the east by Pontus, on the south by Lycaonia and Cappadocia, and on the west by the remainder of Phrygia, the eastern part of which the Gauls had invaded.

The modern capital of Turkey, Ankara, is part of ancient Galatia.  Persia is modern Iran. 

Persia is the ‘hook’ in Gog’s jaw. Iran’s nuclear program was built by, overseen, guarded and maintained by Russian scientists, technicians and military forces. Iran’s leader has made it something of a habit to mention the destruction of Israel in every speech.

That brings us to the third protagonist in Ezekiel’s scenario — Israel.

According to Ezekiel, the entire invasion force is assembled to one purpose. The destruction of Israel. Israel has but two choices facing it.

Israel can gamble that the rest of the world will restrain Iran’s mad mullahs from pulling the nuclear trigger against them. Or Israel can act militarily to remove the threat itself.  Without Turkey’s overflight permission, Israel’s attack options are suddenly severely limited.

In the event that Israel is forced to move with unilateral military force against Iran’s nuclear facilities, it will be the most-telegraphed ‘sneak’ attack since George Bush invaded Iraq from Kuwait. It also presents a number of problems from the perspective of Ezekiel’s scenario.

If the Israelis are forced to attack, it will set in motion a series of attacks and counter-attacks that could conceivably leave both countries in ruins.  But an Israeli attack is what the world is anticipating, what it is expecting. . . Ezekiel’s scenario turns it around the other way.

But Ezekiel’s scenario was also hampered by the Turkish-Israeli alliance — Ezekiel has the Gog-Magog invading force moving in from the north of Israel, through Turkey.  The Israeli-Turkish alliance was therefore an obstacle to the forward movement of Ezekiel’s scenario.

There is a danger in trying to interpret prophecy according to current events rather than allowing current events to conform with Bible prophecy.   Turkey’s shift toward the greater Islamic caliphate and its Russian patron puts Turkey squarely into Ezekiel’s roster when God said Turkey would be at the time appointed.

So I am not saying this IS the time appointed.   I don’t know.  But here is what I do know.  The Bible IS true, and it meets every challenge to its outline of future history in ways nobody can predict, but in the end, it is the Bible’s scenario that moves forward, leaving its challengers in the dust.

The Turkish shift towards the Islamic camp is something the West should have seen coming, but somehow they missed the signs — and now Turkey is lost.

Ezekiel saw it coming 2500 years ago.

When ‘Patriot’ Is An Epithet

When ‘Patriot’ Is An Epithet
Vol: 97 Issue: 19 Monday, October 19, 2009

On April 19, 1993 the world watched in horror and disbelief as the so-called ‘Branch Davidian Compound’ burned to the ground, incinerating the seventy-six men, women and children holed up inside. 

The “Branch Davidian” sect was born out of a 1955 schism that erupted within the Davidian Seventh Day Adventists, which was itself a 1930’s breakaway sect of the original 1860’s-era Seventh Day Adventists, born out of the “Great Disappointment” of 1844.  

The “Great Disappointment” is so-called after the followers of William Miller.  William Miller predicted that the Rapture would occur before the end of 1843, based on the inte
http://www.omegaletter.com/admin/tinymce/themes/advanced/langs/en.js
http://www.omegaletter.com/admin/tinymce/themes/advanced/langs/en.js
rpretative principle he called the “day-year principle.”  

When 1844 dawned and the Millerites were still there, Miller revised his calculations and predicted the Rapture would occur on April 18.   When that day came and went, Miller endorsed the calculations of one of his followers, Samuel S. Snow, who presented what became known to the Millerites as “seventh-month message” or the “true midnight cry”.

The actual date of the Rapture would be October 22, 1844, explaining why that marks the date of the “Great Disappointment.” The disappointed Millerites developed a doctrine, known as the “Pre-Advent Divine Investigative Judgment” that teaches that the judgment of God’s professed people began on October 22, 1844 when Christ entered the Holy of Holies in the heavenly sanctuary.

The post-1844 Millerites’ doctrine eventually formed the basis for the Seventh Day Adventists.  So the 1993 Branch Davidians were a cult that emerged from a 1930’s cult that emerged from a 1860’s cult that emerged from a 1840’s cult known as the Millerites. 

Even compared to William Miller or Samuel Snow,  David Koresh was a nut.  And, according to the law enforcement authorities involved — whose word on this issue, I believe,  is about as unbiased as an MSNBC analysis of a Barack Obama promise,  Koresh’s group engaged in some pretty terrible practices.  

I say all this because I don’t want to be accused of having some sense of Christian solidarity with David Koresh.   I don’t.  But by all accounts, until the standoff, the Branch Davidians were relatively harmless.  

The shoot-out that began the standoff was over a misdemeanor warrant that could have been served on Koresh on any day he was in town.   The ATF elected to serve the warrant at the compound because they wanted to get a look inside to confirm rumors they heard about the cult’s practices. 

Among the facts that unfolded was the fact that the religious rights afforded the Branch Davidians under the 1st Amendment were shredded by the ATF assault that predicated the siege that resulted in the fire that claimed 77 lives — in the service of a Class C misdemeanor warrant.   

(The maximum penalty for a Class C misdemeanor conviction in Texas is a fine not to exceed $500.00)   

The subsequent Justice Department investigation was a whitewash — the government justified the initial ATF assault based on the Davidian’s cult practices, which were, for good or ill, protected by the 1st Amendment.  

The Waco Siege came only a year after the violent confrontation between the Weaver family and federal agents that left Weaver’s wife and fourteen year old son dead.  

( Fourteen year old Sam Weaver was shot in the back by a US marshal as he fled their assault.  Weaver’s wife was shot in the face by an FBI sniper while she stood in the doorway nursing their 18 month old daughter.) 

Law enforcement officials justified sending six armed US marshals to assault and arrest Weaver based on a misdemeanor failure to appear warrant.  The surviving Weavers later sued for wrongful death. The government settled rather than risk going before a jury. 

Assessment:

It was shortly after the Waco Siege that something called “the Patriot Movement” started appearing in the headlines.  The name was coined to link together various state ‘militias’ — a catch-all name carefully linked to white supremacist groups with ‘Christian’ sounding names. 

Gradually, the media and the Clinton administration started using the term ‘ patriot’ to describe the most outrageous fringe racial groups or religious cults they could find links to.

What caught my attention at the time wasn’t the fringe groups the government was highlighting so much as it was the way it demonized the concept of Constitutional patriotism.    

In April 1995 I was producing a three-part series for “This Week In Bible Prophecy” under the title, “If You’re Not Paranoid, It’s Because You’re Not Paying Attention.” 

The main argument we were advancing was that the so-called patriot movement had a point that the government failed to address — the Clinton administration trumped-up charges to justify military style assaults on two different occasions because it didn’t agree with either group’s religious beliefs.  

As I was interviewing Gary Kah for the third part of the series, the news flash came in that the Alfred P Murrah building in Oklahoma City was just blown up. The only two conspirators convicted of the crime both had ties to one of the various ‘patriot militias’ — and from that day forward, being labeled a ‘patriot’ is the equivalent to being a right wing extremist at best, and an incipient bomber at worst. 

(In any case, if the government ever labels you a ‘patriot’ it isn’t because you’re being considered for Grand Master of the 4th of July parade.  In fact, you won’t even have to read your mail — DHS will read it for you.)

A similar movement is beginning to come to the attention of the Obama administration.  Called the”Oath Keepers” they describe themselves as a “non-partisan” group of current and retired law enforcement and military personnel who vow to fulfill their oaths to the Constitution.

T
http://www.omegaletter.com/admin/tinymce/themes/advanced/langs/en.js
he group was founded by lawyer and former paratrooper Stewart Rhodes, who organized the group to prevent the government from using law enforcement and the military to impose a dictatorship in America. 

They promise to disobey orders they deem unlawful, including directives to disarm the American people and to blockade American cities to prevent them from being turned into ‘giant concentration camps.’ 

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a sort of ACLU for the NAACP, immediately began linking the Oath Keepers with Timothy McVeigh: 

In a July report titled “Return of the Militias,” the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center singled out Oath Keepers as “a particularly worrisome example of the Patriot revival.”

“The Patriot movement, so named because its adherents believe the federal government has stepped on the constitutional ideals of the American Revolution, gained traction in the 1990s and has been closely linked to anti-government militia and white supremacist movements.”

“The movement is blamed for spawning Timothy McVeigh, who bombed a federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995, killing 168 people.” (Las Vegas Review Journal)

The founder of the group says he was motivated by the military using a small town in Iowa to train for dropping in by parachute and conducting door-to-door searches in Afghanistan and Iraq.  But it could also be used to declare martial law. 

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the militias are re-emerging partly because of racial animosity toward Obama.  Oath Keepers are now on the Law Center’s “Hate Watch” page. 

The Oath Keepers promise to keep their pledge, not by taking up arms against the government, but by refusing to turn them on their fellow citizens.   In the event they are ordered to violate their oath to defend the Constitution, they pledge to lay down their arms, not take them up. 

The government’s reaction to the Oath Keepers is to demonize them as racists, anti-government activists, and, worst of all,  patriots!  It’s the government that is paranoid — you can tell by how closely they are paying attention.  

What they are watching the closest is the thing that scares them the most.  

It isn’t al-Qaeda — they’ve practically surrendered there. It’s not Iran — we’re having tea with the Iranians this afternoon.   It isn’t the Russians or the Chinese or Venezuela and it certainly isn’t the Taliban.    

What scares the Department of Homeland Security the most. . .  are the dreaded American patriots.   That speaks volumes.  

“The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.” – Proverbs 28:1

Member’s Note:

I hope that you’ve had a chance to look over the new website redesign.   There are a number of new features, including the ability to turn off both the flash and column width settings.  They are located at the top of each page and are labeled +Width -Flash, etc. 

Our plan was to make the Omega Letter a one-stop center — to give you a reason to make us your home page. 

One of the new changes to come in the days ahead  will be the elimination of “Jack’s Commentary” box at the top of the page, integrating the ‘What’s This World Coming To?’ daily blog into that space instead.    

We  tried the blog over on a Word Press site but maintaining content for two different websites is just too much — we ended up doing both badly. 

But there is far too much happening in the world relative to Bible prophecy for it to be adequately addressed by a single daily briefing.  The blog is designed to catch the overflow.  We’ll give it a try and see what you think. 

Maranatha! 

One Generation, Somewhere In Time. . .

One Generation, Somewhere In Time. . .
Vol: 97 Issue: 17 Saturday, October 17, 2009

Depending upon whom one asks the question, mankind has been on this planet for somewhere between six thousand and six million years. The six million year figure is the extreme end of the evolutionist’s estimates, where the six thousand year period is the time frame generally accepted by creationists.

Allow yourself to dwell, for a minute, on just how long six thousand years really is. Not in abstract, cosmic terms, but rather, in terms of human society. It was only six hundred years ago that conventional wisdom said the earth was flat. Mankind had been on the earth for more than five thousand five hundred years before we learned otherwise.

America, the greatest nation the world has ever known, is only two-hundred and thirty-three years old. It was just one hundred and fifty years ago that Americans were willing to kill each other over the right to own other human beings as property.

Only sixty-five years ago, human beings were being shovel ed into ovens in their millions or shot down into mass graves at the hands of citizens of one of the oldest and most cultured civilizations in Europe. 

Even at six thousand years, man has been here a long, long time, when you think about it.

Bible prophecy indicates that mankind’s time on this earth is limited and predetermined. Scripture tells us that God created the earth in six days, and on the seventh, He rested.

According to Psalms 90:4, “For a thousand years in Thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.”

2nd Peter 3:8 tells “that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”

The prophet Hosea, speaking to the Jews who survived the Babylonian exile, prophesied,

“After two days will He revive us: in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight.” And approximately two thousand years later (after two ‘days’) the Jews of Israel resumed their place among the nations of the world after a two thousand, five hundred year absence.

Hosea’s reference to the third day, in which ‘He will raise them up and they shall live in His sight,’ takes place a day AFTER their ‘revival’. This correlates to Ezekiel’s vision of ‘valley of dry bones’ that come together, revived as “an exceedingly great army” but, “when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.” (Ezekiel 37:8)

Israel is revived, but not yet ‘alive’ in His sight until their national redemption at the conclusion of the time of ‘Jacob’s Trouble’ that ushers in the Millennial Kingdom.

So, it is safe to infer from Scripture that time, from our perspective, is predetermined, and is running down like a stopwatch that was started ticking at the fall of Adam and Eve. There is a day already determined, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” (Matthew 24:36)

Scripture deals with time in a way that is difficult for us to grasp; from the perspective of the One knowing “the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done” (Isaiah 46:10) time is a constant state of ‘now’.

It makes following the Scripture’s timeline difficult, which is why God promised there would be signs — or ‘mile markers’ — to let us know when time, as we understand it, is running out.

Assessment:

This is a good place to revisit the term, “last days” since my email often reflects a sense of confusion about what the term means. After all, many argue, the Apostle Paul thought he was living in the last days, and here we are two thousand years later. . .

This line of reasoning adds credibility, at least on the surface, the scoffer’s argument; “People have been forecasting the return of Christ in every generation, etc.”

“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of His coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” (2nd Peter 3:2-3)

Again, there is that reference to the ‘last days’ again. The term ‘last days’ has two meanings. In the first and broadest sense, it refers to the entire period of the Church Age, since it is the final Dispensation of human government before it is reclaimed by Jesus Christ at the beginning of the Kingdom Age to come.

In the second and more specific sense, it refers to the period of time between the restoration of national Israel and the onset of the 70th Week of Daniel — the generation of whom Jesus said, “This generation shall not pass away until all these things be fulfilled.” (Matthew 24:34)

The meaning is derived from the context. The Prophet Joel prophesied, “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.” (Joel 2:28)

The Church Age began with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in all believers, starting with the Apostles at Pentecost. Of Pentecost, Peter explained;

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.”

The context makes it clear that in this instance, the reference is to the Church Age as the “last days.” On the other hand, the Apostle Paul warned of ‘perilous times’ (2nd Timothy 3:1-5) in the ‘last days’.

But the context indicates he is referring to the ‘last days’ in the sense of the last generation of the Church Age — since Paul’s prophecy of social conditions echoes the description of the Laodicean Church Age of Revelation 3:14.

The same can be said of Paul’s warning to Timothy (1st Timothy 4:1-3);

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.”

It is one of the unique oddities of this generation that the phrase ‘Christian fundamentalist’ means the same thing as ‘radical extremist.’

Paul warned of a ‘departure from the faith’ — what is ‘fundamentalism’ if it isn’t following the fundamentals — unchanging doctrinal truths?   Paul said that the doctrines of demons and seducing spirits would supplant the doctrines of Christianity.

Christian ‘fundamentalists’ believe that only those who put their trust in Christ will be saved. The world calls that “too exclusionary” and envisions a form of religion that embraces all faiths as equal in the eyes of God.

That non-exclusionary version of Christianity is championed by the foundational documents of the World Council of Churches, founded in Amsterdam in 1948. And is central to the principles of the UN’s Global Religious Forum.

It also fits precisely with John’s description of the global religion of antichrist, which he described as having ‘two horns like a lamb (a counterfeit form of Christianity) but spake as a dragon (Satan)” (Revelation 13:11)

In this generation, the so-called ‘true’ Christians are the ‘tolerant’ ones who recognize all faiths as equally valid. But if all are equally valid, then are they not all are equally invalid?  If Rastafarianism is equal to Christianity, then Christianity is equal to Rastafarianism. No?

In any case, those who hold to a literal understanding of John 14:16; (Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me”) are deemed intolerant at best, fundamentalist or extremist at worst.

“And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” (1st John 4:3)

The spirit of antichrist as John describes it, is to this generation, a matter of national US domestic policy.  Two teachers recently faced jail time for offering mealtime prayers at a Jan. 28 lunch for school employees and booster-club members who had helped with a school field-house project.

Ezekiel places the Gog Magog War in the “latter times” but in context, it is clear it is referring to the last generation, rather than the broader sense of the Church Age.

For Ezekiel’s prophecy of a Russian-led, Islamic invasion of Israel to take place, Israel must first exist. “Israel” was conquered, assimilated and thereby lost to history before Ezekiel was born.

From that day until May 14, 1948, no sovereign nation called “Israel” existed anywhere on the planet. The context puts Ezekiel’s war in the last days of the last generation, at a time when Israel is a ‘land of unwalled villages, dwelling ‘safely’ during a temporary period of false peace.

Israel has existed under a series of periods of false peace, but it has yet to dwell ‘safely’ during any of them. And, at this point, Israel is building the wall Ezekiel says has to come down. It is the number one sticking point in Arab-Israeli negotiations. Any successful outcome will have to include the dismantling of the hated ‘Apartheid Wall’, as the Palestinians dubbed it.

The scoffers will argue that the “last days” is a generic term with no specific meaning as part of a general argument that there is nothing unique about this generation that points to the soon return of Christ. “Since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue. . .” etc.

That is why there is such a division within the professing Church about the timing of the Rapture, the relevance of Bible prophecy, the Tribulation, Millennial Kingdom and so on.

One can take a Scripture and use it to validate almost any theological argument, unless it is taken in context. Then the Bible interprets itself. It is up to us to study the Word, rather than accepting logical-sounding arguments out of context at face value.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth. . . But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.” (2nd Timothy 2:15,23)

The Word, rightly divided, says that we are the last generation before the Return of Christ. That means that many of those reading these lines will be among those who will never, ever, die! It is to us — this generation — that the Apostle Paul was speaking when he promised;

“For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1st Thessalonians 4:16-17)

The Overcharge Button

The Overcharge Button
Vol: 97 Issue: 16 Friday, October 16, 2009

Russian Presidential Security Council Chief Nikolai Patrushev said in an interview published Wednesday by Moscow daily Izvestia that his country is expanding the scope of its nuclear doctrine to include the pre-emptive use of nuclear weapons.

The former director of the Federal Security Service (the successor agency to the KGB) emphasized that nuclear weapons might be used in ‘a preventive manner’ to repel conventional aggression in regional and even local wars.

What he is referring to is not just the first use of tactical nuclear weapons, but the use of tactical nukes to prevent an attack.  What that means, of course, is that Moscow reserves the right to use tactical nukes if it even expects to be attacked.

And the speed of a modern nuclear exchange means there is little time for deliberation: To whatever extent possible, national command authorities seek to explore, understand and balance ahead of time the complexities and options of any given scenario.

These scenarios are among the most closely guarded state secrets in the world.  But there is only one country on earth that Russia considers a significant enough threat to justify such a pre-emptive move.  The United States of America.

Patrushev’s interview was not an announcement to the Russian military that it is going to fight differently; such an announcement would come through different channels.

Rather, Patrushev was telling the world that the Russian military is going to fight differently — whether that
http://tinymce/themes/advanced/langs/en.js
is the case or not. What is significant is not the public shift in nuclear doctrine, but the political decision to publicize it, and the timing of that decision.

It was no accident that the interview was published while U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was visiting Moscow. Patrushev was speaking to the West, and to the United States. He was attempting to shape Western thinking with three implicit points:

Russia is prepared to think in terms of the Cold War — with all the unpleasantness that could entail for the United States.

Russia has tactical nuclear weapons and a doctrine for using them — pre-emptively, if necessary. And nuclear weapons are now on the table in the event of any confrontation with the US.

The Russians have decided to reset the reset of US-Russian relations. 

Assessment:

Perhaps that explains the administration’s breathtaking series of capitulations to Russian demands since taking office in January.  It all seemed to start with the idiotic Clinton/Obama “reset button” gimmick in March. Hillary and Lavrov with the mistranslated 'reset' button

Clinton, presenting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with a gift-wrapped “reset” button, called the “little gift” symbolic of what President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have been saying about the U.S. and Russia. 

“We want to reset our relationship,” she said, following the Left’s instinctive assumption that everybody hated George W Bush as much as they did.   Typifying the incompetence of administration’s Russia policy so far, instead of saying “reset” the button read, in Russian, “overcharge.”

The Russians didn’t hate George Bush.  Putin and Bush cultivated a warm friendship during the Bush years.  That friendship was the object of much ridicule by the Left, but it was rooted in a mutual respect.  

Bush was regularly lampooned for ‘looking into Putin’s soul’ but if he did, one of the things he saw the
http://tinymce/themes/advanced/langs/en.js
re was that Putin respected strength. 

Putin’s popular image as a black-belt in judo, and volumes of photo galleries of the bare-chested Russian president fishing, riding horseback or defeating a fire-breathing dragon with a pocket knife since all confirm that whatever Bush read there, he read it correctly.

History is what history was, and Russian belligerence didn’t begin to escalate until the waning months of a lame-duck Bush administration.   

Even then, when Bush and Putin conducted their stare-down over the missile defense shield in Poland and Czechoslovakia, the Kremlin threatened Poland – but not Washington. 

Bush drew a line in the sand when it came to Georgia and Medvedev, Putin’s alter-ego, was careful not to cross it.

The Left complained there wasn’t any ‘give’ in the Russian position because there wasn’t any ‘give’ in the Bush administration’s position.  That misperception is what drove Hillary Clinton’s embarrassingly childish ‘reset button’ that told the Russians that the next four years were theirs. 

The Washington Post reported that “Russia is Not Budging on Iran Sanctions” because “Clinton Unable to Sway Counterpart” the subtitle says.  Clinton met with the Russians to persuade them to join the US-led sanctions effort against Iran. 

Emerging from four hours of talks with Clinton, Lavrov told reporters that “threats, sanctions and threats of pressure” against Iran would be “counterproductive.”

Unable to persuade the Russians and unwilling to concede failure, she moved to accommodate the Russian position.  Instead of standing firm and admitting the Russians were doing the same, Clinton softened the US position.

In July, the administration gave Iran until September.   In September, he warned them of new sanctions to come. Following her meeting with the Russians, Clinton announced the new US policy regarding imposing sanctions on Iran:

“”We are not at that point yet,” she averred. “That is not a conclusion we have reached . . . it is our preference that Iran work with the international community.”

The Russians waited for about three months before Hillary showed up with her “overcharge” button.  They couldn’t believe their luck, so they tested it with the missile shield demand.

When Obama mysteriously capitulated to Russian demands to remove the missile shields from Poland and Czechoslovakia, even the liberal media was puzzled.  They eventually figured out that Obama cleverly negotiated a backroom deal where the Kremlin would support them on Iran.

And that’s what they ran with:  “Obama isn’t an amateur, he’s a genius!  You wait and see!”  

The Russians waited and saw.  They watched Obama cave on the missile question.  They’ve watched him equivocate as each of his deadlines came and went.  They watched as he fumbled Afghanistan to the point of losing it to a rag-tag bunch of 6th century warlord armies.

Israel has also waited for the US to take the lead in stopping Iran’s race to obtain nuclear weapons and develop the missile systems capable of delivering them.  Now the Israelis have started talking about a deadline of their own.

Suddenly, the Russians are revamping their military doctrine to allow the first use of nuclear weapons in a pre-emptive strike.  They seem pretty confident that when push comes to shove,  the US administration’s first retaliatory strike will be an offer to talk them to death.

“Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?”  (Ezekiel 38:13)