Retirement: The Government Option

Retirement: The Government Option
Vol: 108 Issue: 30 Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, in conjunction with the Department of the Treasury, has published a Request for Information asking for ideas on how to help reduce the chances that workers will run out of funds during their retirement years.

That’s the preamble to the Fact Sheet put out by the Department of Labor under the title, “Lifetime Income Options for Retirement Plans.”   The government can no longer pretend that Social Security is anything less than the unsupported and unsustainable Ponzi scheme it has always been.

So it has put together what it calls an RFI to address the looming financial catastrophe for millions of future retirees.  What is an RFI?

The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, in conjunction with the Department of the Treasury, has published a Request for Information asking for ideas on how to help reduce the chances that workers will run out of funds during their retirement years.

The RFI is merely a vehicle to engage interested persons in exploring ways that the Agencies and the private sector can work together to ensure that workers have the tools they need to help ensure their retirement savings last a lifetime.

Actually, it is much more than merely a “vehicle to engage interested persons.” It is an effort to recapitalize the nation by using your retirement savings.  

It is estimated that Americans have roughly $3.6 trillion in IRA’s and another $2.35 trillion in 401ks.  America’s budget deficit last year was $1.42 trillion.  

That’s more than enough to bail Uncle Sam out of the hole.  According to one report, the administration hopes to seize those accounts and put them into US Treasury bills paying out at 3%.

Upon retirement, the value of an individual retirement account would be placed into annuities that would guarantee income for life.   After the retiree dies, the annuities would become property of the federal government.  

It would be the largest theft in the history of man.  But don’t kid yourself into believing that they wouldn’t do it.  Or that they couldn’t get away with it.

Once we wouldn’t have believed that the government could get away with using taxpayer money to bail out bankers, either.

Assessment:

This is just one of the plans being floated by the federal government to try and keep itself afloat.  At least, that’s one way of looking at it.  

Frankly, I think it is one of the plans being floated by the Obama administration to sink the existing system.

The scheme is currently being floated as an ‘option.’ For retirees who have recently seen their retirement savings collapse overnight, it looks very attractive.   But when the government is involved, ‘optional’ doesn’t mean the same thing it does when used in normal conversation.

For example, putting your Social Security number on a government form is ‘optional’.  You don’t have to, but if you don’t, the form you’re filling out will get tossed in the trash. 

Your ‘option’ is to fill in the number — or sit down and shut up.

This will be the same kind of ‘option’.  You won’t have to participate, but if you don’t, then the government will find a way to offer you an unacceptable alternative choice, like it did when it broke its pledge never to use Social Security numbers for identification purposes.

I got my first Social Security card in 1965.  It said right on it, “Not to be used for identification purposes.” Since then, it is the only thing I’ve ever used it for. 

I needed it to join the Marines, even though at the time they also issued me a military service number.  (Which I remember as clearly today as I did forty years ago.)

Indeed, during my second tour in the Marines they dropped the use of military service numbers altogether and replaced them with Social Security numbers.  Despite that, the government still maintained that using one’s SSN was ‘optional’.

There is little doubt that the RFI plan will work much along the same lines.  It will be offered as an option you can’t afford to refuse.

There is a massive economic crisis still brewing.  According to a report at CNBC the United States is “practically owned” by China.   Rahm Emmanuel may be leaving the White House, but his admonition to “never waste a good crisis” will remain.  

The US debt is clearly unsustainable.  Unemployment continues to rise as the housing market continues to collapse.   Banks are failing at a higher rate than video rental stores.  One in six Americans is now on some form of government assistance. 

In 1933, the federal government ordered the confiscation of all privately-held gold, after it set a fixed price of $35 oz which it paid for using paper Federal Reserve notes.   The action became necessary because the federal government could not meet its obligations to its creditors.  

That’s what happens when the government borrows money.  They borrow in your name and if they can’t pay the bill, then you have to.   Currently, your share is $43,583.00, if it is broken down per citizen.  Per taxpayer, your share is $121,602.  

America’s debt to GDP ratio is now at 93% and rising. 

I don’t know what the answer is – the government will HAVE to seize America’s IRAs and 401ks eventually, anyway, to satisfy our creditors, as it did in 1933.   The problem is that even if the government confiscated all the gold left in America, it wouldn’t be enough. 

Nationalizing retirement savings accounts would stave off collapse — temporarily. 

“And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.  And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” (Revelation 6:5-6)

The third of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is famine.  Notice the voice in the midst – a measure of wheat or three measures of barley are representative of a day’s worth of food for one person.  

A penny is representative of a day’s pay. Oil and wine is representative of great wealth.   So the image presented is of income disparity so severe that it will take a day’s pay to earn a day’s worth of food, but the rich will still live in luxury for a time.

That is almost where we are at this moment – but Famine is the second horseman.  The first horseman is the rider on the white horse, the conqueror who conquers without weapons. The rider on the white horse is almost universally recognized by prophecy scholars as the antichrist.

 “And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only He who now letteth will let, until He be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming:” (2nd Thessalonians 2:6-8)

First the removal of the Restrainer together with the vessels He indwells at the Rapture.  Then the revelation of “that Wicked” (the rider on the white horse of Revelation 6:2) 

Then comes the rider on the red horse (War) and then comes the rider on the black horse (Famine).

The Bible says the first horseman to be seen is the antichrist, but we can practically hear the hooves of the second and third horsemen already.  

So its all bad news.  Unless you are a believer.  Then it’s good news. It means we’re even closer to hearing the trumpet

Maranatha!

Confessions of a Flat-Earther

Confessions of a Flat-Earther
Vol: 108 Issue: 29 Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The 58th meeting of the Bilderberg Group was held this year in Sitges, Spain during the first week in June.   The meeting was attended by roughly 130 members of the global elite.  

According to the Bilderberg website, Bilderberg was named for the hotel where the first meeting took place in 1954.

“That pioneering meeting grew out of the concern expressed by leading citizens on both sides of the Atlantic that Western Europe and North America were not working together as closely as they should on common problems of critical importance.”

But the part that got my attention was the the group’s discussion agenda for this year. Again, from the official website:

“The Conference will deal mainly with Financial Reform, Security, Cyber Technology, Energy, Pakistan, Afghanistan, World Food Problem, Global Cooling, Social Networking, Medical Science, EU-US relations . . .”

You caught it, didn’t you?  Global cooling? Is that a typo?   As the piece of string once said, “I’m a frayed knot.”

One might be tempted to credit Al Gore and the global warming crazies who so scared the population that we overcorrected and now the planet has entered into a cooling trend.   But that assumes that climate change is man-made (antropogenic) in the first place.

The concept is so easily disproved that it is utterly astonishing that it ever gained traction in the first place.  Ninety-six percent of all greenhouse gases and other so-called global warming emissions occur naturally as a consequence of the oceans that cover 5/6s of the world’s land mass.  

That leaves only 4 percent to divide up between human activity, volcanoes, rotting vegetation, cow flatulence, etc., etc.   Human activity accounts for about 14% of that 4%. 

 Let’s simplify it.  How much money is 14% of four cents? ($0.056 —  or roughly one-tenth of a half penny.)

Evidently, you have to be a rocket scientist in order to believe that the human contribution of 0.056% in greenhouse gases is enough to destroy the planet.  Turns out that it isn’t.  Never was.  

By now you probably know it too,  but that isn’t stopping either Senate Democrats or the Far Left crazies from continuing to stump for a cap and trade scheme that would tax the air that we breathe to combat global warming.

The fact that global warming has been renamed twice in order to acccomodate the fact the planet isn’t warming anymore has had little effect on the True Believers.

(It was Al Gore who compared global warming skeptics to members of the “Flat Earth Society” and coined the phrase “global warming heretics” to describe climate scientists that questioned his ‘evidence’.)

When global warming turned out not to be either ‘global’ or ‘warming’ Al Gore’s True Believers decided a better name for it might be ‘climate change’.  

But that wasn’t a scary-enough name.  Especially since ‘climate change’ was already in use — as another name for ‘weather.’   A scarier name had to be found, but one that didn’t openly admit that the global warming scare was massive con job, so at first, global cooling was out.  

John Holdren, one of the administration’s dozens of unaccountable ‘czars’ thinks a much better hame might be ‘global climate disruption’.   That is a lot harder to argue against, since it is hard to nail down exactly what that might describe.  

Does it mean that somebody has temporarily turned off the climate?  “This just in!  Due to global climate disruption there will be no weather today. . .

Or it could mean we’re as dumb as he thinks we are, so it really doesn’t matter what it really means..

As long as it sounds scary enough.

Assessment:

December 2009 was the second snowiest year on record for the entire Northern Hemisphere.    Beijing had its heaviest snowfall in sixty years.  Korea had the largest snowfall since record keeping began. 

The Old Farmer’s Almanac is predicting the current global cooling trend will continue.

“The 2011 issue of the almanac, which claims to be the nation’s oldest continuously published periodical, was released Tuesday. It predicts that in the coming months, the Earth will continue to see a “gradual cooling of the atmosphere … offset by any warming caused by increased greenhouse gases.”

A leading scientist and member of the IPCC (UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Dr. Mojib Global warming revisitedLatif says an analysis of natural cycles proves human activity has zero effect on global climate change, which if true, eliminates any need for cap and trade legislation, greenhouse gas taxes, or alternative fuel sources.

In a stunning revelation, he told the Daily Mail that:

“a significant share of the warming we saw from 1980 to 2000 and at earlier periods in the 20th Century was due to these cycles – perhaps as much as 50 percent.”

Thanks to Al Gore, instead of using oil from the ground that has no other purpose, we are instead taking food grains and converting them to fuel.   The amount of grain necessary to fill an SUV’s 25 gallon tank is enough to feed one person for a year. 

So guess what is replacing global warming as the Next Big Thing?  Food shortages.  (Thanks, Al.)

Meanwhile, fuel bills continue to rise as governments continue to use global warming fears to justify everything from tax increases on fuel to rationing electricity in the name of saving the planet.   

Individual freedoms curtailed in the name of saving the planet run from what kind of light bulbs are allowed to the number of bags of trash allowed per household.

Where I live, it is illegal to use ordinary incandescent light bulbs (no longer manufactured).  We are permitted one bag of trash per week, provided it has been properly sorted for recycling. 

The government is subsidizing the installation of ‘smart meters’ that will automatically brown out a home using more electricity than the government thinks is allowable.

Global warming was a terrific boon to power-hungry politicians and governments that are now trying to respin the argument in order to keep their gravy train on the tracks, hence the repositioning of it to accomodate the lack of global warming by renaming it whenever scientific evidence forces them to.

How stupid do they think the public is?  Answer:  Stupid enough.

First it was global warming.  Then global climate change.  Then, global climate disruption.   Finally, with the Bilderbergs, we have the first official reference to global cooling.   

Whether it is global warming, climate change, climate disruption or global cooling, one thing is certain.  They are lying about the cause.  Deliberately.  

I’m not a scientist, so that is probably the reason why the actual cause of global climate change is a no-brainer to me.   I did this experiment in order to confirm the answer and, lo and behold, the experiment worked EVERY SINGLE TIME. 

Try it for yourself:

Go outside at noon on a sunny day.   It won’t matter if it is summer or winter – the experiment works no matter what the season.    Note the temperature.    Now go back inside until midnight.    Come back outside.  Note the temperature.  

Without anybody starting a car, burning a pile of leaves, turning up a thermostat or throwing out too much garbage, you will note that the temperature at midnight is lower than the temperature at noon.  

That experiment demonstrates beyond a shadow of a doubt the cause of global warming, global cooling and climate change in general.

It’s the sun.

But you can’t tax the sun.  You can’t change its’ behavior.  If the cause of global climate change is the sun, then there is nothing human beings can do to prevent it.  For that reason, the sun is the last place True Believers would blame for global warming. Or cooling.  Or in between.

One last thing I’d like to highlight in this story.  The planet isn’t warming.  Nor is it cooling.  That is obvious to anyone that doesn’t have a global climate change agenda up their sleeve.   

What they are selling is fear.  Of what is irrelevant, as long as it scares you into submission.  

It can be fear of global climate change. Fear of the sun itself.   Fear of impending destruction from killer asteroids.  Fear of melting ice causing catastropic flooding. 

(Here’s another experiment.  Put an ice cube in a glass of water. Mark the water level.  Wait till the ice melts.  Note the water level. )

In His description of the signs that will precede His Second Coming, Jesus said:

“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;  Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” (Luke 21:25-26)

Then the Lord shifts gears a little.  After all these signs appear, the Lord He will return visibly, where every eye can see Him:

“And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” (Luke 21:27)

But in what is obviously a reference to what happens before the visible coming of the Son of Man in power and great glory at His Second coming, the Lord said this to His disciples.  

“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)

It is coming to pass, is it not?  Then the remainder of the Promise remains equally valid.  He’s coming soon. 

But He’s comng for us first.

When Ignorance Is Not Bliss

When Ignorance Is Not Bliss
Vol: 108 Issue: 28 Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hindus are asking for the introduction of a new subject, “comparative religion” to be included in American high schools to teach the basics of major world religions, including that of atheism.

Hindus evidently recognize, as do Muslims and Christians, what atheists vehemently deny – that atheism is a religion of faith, just like all the others.

Indeed, I am often humbled by the blind faith of atheism – I wish more Christians had that kind of faith.  I mean, just look at the faith obstacles atheism has overcome. 

Atheism acknowledges no doubt, no ambiguity of perspective, no divergent doctrines. Atheism is the certainty that man is the supreme being in the universe and that there is no God, no higher power, no afterlife and no future accountability.   

By definition, an atheist who does not have absolute faith in his position is automatically moved over one column into the “agnostic” category.

If you know, then you have a religious knowledge — whether that knowledge acknowledges or denies God is irrelevant.  If you do not know, then you are an agnostic.  An atheist knows his stuff and wants to convince you that he is right. 

An agnostic is best described as ignorant and apathetic – he doesn’t know and he doesn’t care.  An agnostic doesn’t want to convince you . . . if anything, he wants you to convince him.

A recent Pew poll found that most American Christians are ill equipped to either refute the atheist or educate the agnostic.  More than that, the poll found that on average, the atheist and agnostic know more about Christianity than many who claim Christianity do.

A majority of Protestants in the poll, for instance, couldn’t identify Martin Luther as the driving force behind the Protestant Reformation, according to the survey, released Tuesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

Four in 10 Catholics misunderstood the meaning of their church’s central ritual of communion, incorrectly saying that the bread and wine used in Holy Communion are intended to merely symbolize the body and blood of Christ, not actually become them.

(Catholicism teaches the doctrine of transubstantiation, which teaches that during the Mass, the wafer is literally ‘transubstantiated’ into the actual Body of Christ and the wine in His literal Blood – it only still looks like bread and wine.)

So why would an atheist know more about religion than a Christian?  American atheists and agnostics tend to be people who grew up in a religious tradition and consciously gave it up, often after a great deal of reflection and study, said Alan Cooperman, associate director for research at the Pew Forum.

“These are people who thought a lot about religion,” he said. “They’re not indifferent. They care about it.”

Atheists and agnostics also tend to be relatively well educated, and the survey found, not surprisingly, that the most knowledgeable people were also the best educated. However, it said that atheists and agnostics also outperformed believers who had a similar level of education.

The groups at the top of the U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey were followed, in order, by white evangelical Protestants, white Catholics, white mainline Protestants, people who were unaffiliated with any faith (but not atheist or agnostic), black Protestants and Latino Catholics.

Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists were included in the survey, but their numbers were too small to be broken out as statistically significant groups.

Stephen Prothero, a professor of religion at Boston University and author of “Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know — And Doesn’t,” served as an advisor on the survey.

“I think in general the survey confirms what I argued in the book, which is that we know almost nothing about our own religions and even less about the religions of other people,” he said.

He said he found it significant that Mormons, who are not considered Christians by many fundamentalists, showed greater knowledge of the Bible than evangelical Christians.

The Rev. Adam Hamilton, a Methodist minister from Leawood, Kan., and the author of “When Christians Get it Wrong,” said the survey’s results may reflect a reluctance by many people to dig deeply into their own beliefs and especially into those of others.

“I think that what happens for many Christians is, they accept their particular faith, they accept it to be true and they stop examining it. Consequently, because it’s already accepted to be true, they don’t examine other people’s faiths. … That, I think, is not healthy for a person of any faith,” he said.

Among Christians, the survey was delighted to report that eight in 10 people surveyed knew that Mother Teresa was Catholic. Seven in 10 knew that, according to the Bible, Moses led the exodus from Egypt and that Jesus was born in Bethlehem.

Wow.

Assessment:

Why do Mormons and atheists know more about the New Testament than Christians?  To some degree, I think Reverend Hamilton got the right answer, although I question his conclusions.

Mormons, agnostics and atheists know the answers to the questions better than many self-proclaimed Christians because they have to defend their positions more often than Christians do.

And the only defense for an indefensible position like atheism is a strong offense.

Which is why so few Christians come out on the winning side of debates with atheists. Atheists don’t have to defend unbelief – the burden of proof is on the believer.  Atheists need only present a scenario that the believer can’t defend.

Can you defend stoning a disobedient child to death outside the gates of the city?   Or explain why God sent two she-bears to kill forty-two children for mocking Isaiah’s bald head?

So it’s not too big a surprise that unbelievers know more about such passages than do most Christians.  Nail a Christian with one seemingly impossible passage – and the debate is over.

Christianity is the Alpha Dog – atheists seldom bother to attack Mormons, JWs, Hindus, Muslims, etc. Why should they? There’s no challenge there.  

Moreover, from the enemy’s perspective, there’s no threat.  His objective is to prevent the lost from coming to Christ, not from becoming religious.  As the poll proves, the more religious one is, the less one knows. 

Which is exactly where the enemy would prefer to keep his prey – in the dark.   

What the poll confirms is the existence of what I call ‘cultural Christianity’ – more than three quarters of Americans, when polled, list their religion as ‘Christian’  – but it is doubtful that one in ten of that number are born-again, Blood-bought, saved believers.

The rest are the ones reflected by this poll – which is why we started the Omega Letter in the first place, some nine years ago next month.   Every day, we meet people in our daily lives who think they are Christians because they were raised in a Christian culture, but who have no idea what the Bible teaches about salvation.

Or we find ourselves in discussions with those who have studied the Bible in search of the hard questions they can use to debate believers.  We try and find the answers to those hard questions so that you are prepared with a ready answer when the questions come up.

The Omega Letter is somewhat unique among Christian websites on the net in that we focus our efforts on the saved, rather than the lost.  Our mandate is to equip the saints for the mission, rather than trying to carry the message all alone. 

We can only reach out to those who come to our website – lost people seldom seek out Christian websites – most visitors to Christian websites are already Christians.    So most of our visitors are Christians.  Why preach to the choir?

Instead, we endeavor to obey the mandate given in 2nd Timothy 4:1-4:

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 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 4:1-4)

The time has come when they will not endure sound doctrine.  They have heaped to themselves teachers, having itching ears. They have abandoned the truth in favor of fables. 

 “For thus hath the LORD said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth.” (Isaiah 21:6)

Poll after poll demonstrate the truth of this prophecy.  This poll is no exception.   We are living in the time of which Paul was warning.   This is our time.

“Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” (Revelation 1:3)

Maranatha! The Lord is coming! 

Stuxnet

Stuxnet
Vol: 108 Issue: 27 Monday, September 27, 2010

In July, Microsoft released a Threat Research report on a new virus threat called “Stuxnet.” The virus, Microsoft says, uses a new method of propagation.

It transfers itself from a USB drive like a thumbdrive or an external hard drive automatically as soon as the drive is browsed by the operating system.

According to Microsoft, the Stuxnet began targeting machines specifically in Iran and Indonesia and had begun spreading slowly across the globe.

“In terms of numbers of attacks, the most reports are coming from the US, Indonesia, India, and Iran.  When you factor in the number of MMPC monitored machines along with the number that are reporting attacks, the US falls further down the list, giving way to Iran and Indonesia with attack attempts far higher than the global average.”

Stuxnet doesn’t target ordinary computer users.  It targets the types of industrial control systems built specifically by the German manufacturer Siemans.

Siemens was involved in the original design of the Bushehr reactor in the 1970s, when West Germany and France agreed to build the nuclear power station for the former Shah of Iran before he was overthrown by the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Stuxnet isn’t actually a virus, a distinction without a difference to most people, but actually two entirely different mechanisms.  Siemans says said the malware is a Trojan worm with tremendous destructive capabilities.  According to Symantec, the antivirus giant behind Norton Antivirus,

“By writing code to the PLC, Stuxnet can potentially control or alter how the system operates. A previous historic example includes a reported case of stolen code that impacted a pipeline.

Code was secretly “Trojanized” to function properly and only some time after installation instruct the host system to increase the pipeline’s pressure beyond its capacity. This resulted in a three kiloton explosion, about 1/5 the size of the Hiroshima bomb.”

Noted the Toronto Globe and Mail:

“Vice Admiral Bernard McCollough the head of the U.S. Navy’s Fleet Cyber Command, told Reuters on Thursday after testifying about cyber operations before a House of Representatives Armed Services subcommittee, that the worm “has some capabilities we haven’t seen before.”

On Wednesday, Army General Keith Alexander, head of the Pentagon’s new Cyber Command, said his forces regarded the virus as “very sophisticated.” 

The Israeli website Debkafile describes Stuxnet as “the most destructive virus ever devised” and says that among its functions was to periodically transfer classified information from the infected computer to computers abroad.   

“This was the first time an Iranian official has explained how the United States and Israel intelligence agencies have been able to keep pace step by step of progress made in Iran’s nuclear program. Until now, Tehran attributed the leaks to Western spies using Iranian double agents.”

A report  from Computerworld confirms the Debkafile’s assessment of the worm’s destructive capability under the ominous headline, “Iran nuke SCADAs saturated with Stuxnet infection.”

Stuxnet, “the most sophisticated malware ever,” has been found infesting Iran’s nuclear installations. Speculation continues that this was indeed the intended target of what the mainstream continues to call a “virus”.  

Stuxnet has been attacking SCADA systems in Iran and Russia since at least January 2010.

“According to the Tehran-based Mehr News Agency, Mahmoud Alyaie, an IT official with Iran’s industries and mines ministry, said that 30,000 IP addresses in the country had been infected with Stuxnet. Multiple computers can access the Internet via a single IP address, so the total number of infected Windows PCs may be considerably larger.”

No doubt.  And since the worm was no doubt introduced in Iran via an infected flash drive but has spread primarily across Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, one wonders what we may be about to discover there.

Assessment:

Nobody is certain how Stuxnet was introduced into Iran’s system, but most probably it was introduced by a Russian technician using an infected flash drive.  

About the only thing upon which there is unanimity is that Stuxnet’s complexity “points to a state actor” – a code just as universally interpreted as meaning, “Israel.”   It included a timer that limited infection to three additional machines, suggesting Stuxnet was not intended to spread far beyond its intended target.

In one official report, Iran is confirming the infection claiming it has done little or no damage and that its “experts are systematically eliminating the virus.”   

According to the AFP/AP, Tehran is denying any infection of any of its critical computer systems at all, saying at worst some of the personal computers belonging  to members of the staff may have been infected. But other reports suggest that the worm has done more damage than Tehran wants to admit.

In other words, it is probably just as bad as the Western reports are suggesting – maybe worse.  Which may be great news for Israel and the West.   If true, it also helps supply another piece of the puzzle insofar as Iran’s role in Bible prophecy is concerned.

Current events make it almost a sure bet that any war between Israel and Lebanon, Syria or Hezbollah will also involve Iran.  Iran is backing Syria, supplying Hezbollah and controlling Lebanon.  But that scenario conflicts with Bible prophecy for the last days.

As we reported in February, the Bible outlines two major conflicts involving Israel in the last days. The first is the one outlined in Psalms 83 and Obadiah.   

Ishmael was the eponymous father of the Arabs, his brother Isaac being the father of the Jews.  The Ishmaelites most probably refers to the Saudis, but that identification is admittedly speculative.

 The Tents of Edom refers to the Palestinians of the West Bank and southern Jordan.  The Moabites refer to the Palestinians and central Jordanians.

 The Hagarites corresponds with Egypt, Gebal with Hezbollah and the Lebanese.  Ammon includes the Palestinians and northern Jordanians, Phillistia corresponds with Hamas and the Gaza Strip.

Last but not least are Assyria (Syria and Kurdish Iraq) and Tyre, (Hezbollah and South Lebanon).   

 Persia — modern Iran — doesn’t make the list.  Iran’s fingerprints are all over the battle plan, but the combatants are all Arabs.  Iranians are Persians, not Arabs.     The Gog-Magog Alliance does not include Syria or the rest of the Psalms 83 nations, and the Psalms 83 nations does not include any of the protagonists from Gog-Magog Alliance”

I confessed then that it was a puzzlement to me.  While the Psalms 83 War is depicted as being forced on Israel by repeated attacks, the Gog-Magog War takes place at a time when Israel is dwelling safely and at rest.  

They cannot be the same war.  It is for that reason that I questioned the probability of an Israeli military attack directly on Iran, since it would prompt an immediate response from both Iran and Russia. 

Something has to prevent Iran from going nuclear and keep Iran and Russia out of the current conflict — if the Iranians and Israelis are to survive to make their appointment to meet on the mountains of Israel  as outlined by Ezekiel. 

And something else has to happen first to eliminate the existential threat posed by Hamas and Hezbollah, by Damascus and Beirut . . .  before Israel can meet Ezekiel’s description of a land of unwalled villages dwelling in peace and safety.   

If Stuxnet meets its full potential, it won’t end the Iranian threat.  But it would contain it — without a shot being fired — by forcing Tehran back to the drawing board.   Exactly in keeping with the Bible’s outline for the last days. 

“Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in your days which ye will not believe, though it be told you.” (Habakkuk 1:5)

Exactly.

The Christophany

The Christophany
Vol: 108 Issue: 25 Saturday, September 25, 2010

It is a verse so well-known that even Nancy Pelosi cited it as a kind of ‘code’ during a speech so that nobody could dredge up video of Pelosi saying the Name “Jesus” to use against her in future campaigns.

It was the famous “word speech” in which Pelosi claimed an obligation to pursue public policies “in keeping with the values of the Word” which “was made flesh” – an event that the Speaker pronounced “good” saying that “the Word” was her “favorite word” and so on.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

We all know the verses, but let’s look more closely at what this passage is actually revealing.

“The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.  In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” (John 1:1-4)

All things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made . . .

“In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

In Him was life and the life was the light of men . . .

“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light and God saw the light, that it was good. . .  (Genesis 1:3) And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness . . . (Genesis 1:26) . . And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7)

The subject of the preincarnate Christ is one of the most essential doctrines of Christianity but almost totally neglected by most Bible teachers.   But if Christ wasn’t present at creation, then He could not be God. 

It is this doctrine of preincarnation that cults like the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the LDS have trouble with.  The JW’s New World Bible had to change John 1:1 slightly, to read, “and the Word was a god” in order to make Jesus a created being. 

The LDS can’t go there at all, since it teaches Jesus was the brother of Lucifer and Lucifer is an angel without any of the attributes of Deity. 

Jesus could not be God and also be created by God.  God is eternal – He has no beginning.  So the preincarnation of Christ is an absolute doctrinal necessity to proving His Deity.     

The OT prophet Micah prophesied that Messiah would come from Bethlehem describes Him as He “whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” (Micah 5:2)

Isaiah 9:6 describes Israel’s Messiah as “the everlasting Father” which could also be understood as the “Father of Eternity.” 

Assessment:

Jesus Christ wasn’t merely present at creation.    John 1:3 says Jesus was the Creator – without Him was not anything made that was made.

The angels were present at creation. Genesis refers to angels as ‘the sons of God twice.  The Book of Job uses the term “sons of God” three times to describe angels. The New Testament understanding of the ‘sons of God’ is that of born-again, Blood-bought believers.

But the reference to Jesus as the “Son of God” is in the sense of His physical Personhood.  

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

Jesus is the ‘begotten Son of the Father’ in that He did not have a human father, not in the sense that Jesus did not exist until the Father made Him. When the Word was made flesh, the flesh was begotten of the Father. 

Jesus was also the first begotten of the dead — but that is a title born out of His physical death, the way the Son of God is a title born out of his physical birth.  

The Angel of the LORD in the OT is often identified as Jehovah.  He is so identified in Genesis 16:7-13 when He spoke with Hagar.  In Genesis 22:11-18 when He confirmed the covenant with Abraham.  He is identified as Jehovah in Judges 6:11-24.  

It was the Angel of the Lord that appeared to Moses in the burning bush who identified Himself as “I Am.”

The Angel of the Lord accepts worship.  Only Jehovah God is to be worshipped.   

The Angel of the Lord is identified AS Jehovah and also distinguished FROM Jehovah.  In Genesis 24:7 Jehovah sends His Angel. In Zechariah 1:12-13 the Angel of the Lord is speaking with Jehovah.

God the Father has been heard, but never seen.  God the Spirit has been seen only as a dove hovering over Christ.  But the Second Person of the Trinity walked among visibly among men.  He could be seen and touched. 

The Laminin Protein MoleculeThe Angel of the Lord also appeared visibly. He ate with Abraham.  Abraham offered Him prayers.  Genesis 18:13  identifies one of the three angels that visited him as the Lord Himself.

The Angel of the Lord cannot be the Father, Whom no man hath ever seen at any time (John 1:18) and He couldn’t be the Holy Spirit because the Spirit is, by definition, Spirit and immaterial.

Jesus is the Creator.   Jesus is the force that holds the created universe together. Indeed, the very protein that holds cells together is laminin, is shaped like a Roman Cross.

Jesus is the Revelator.  He is the Author of Prophecy as well as its literal fulfillment.  And He is the Deliverer.   In his Christophanies (preincarnate appearances) it was Jesus that stopped Abraham from offering Isaac. 

It was Jesus in the burning bush. It was Jesus that parted the Red Sea.   It was Jesus that supplied the manna from heaven and water from the rocks in the wilderness.  

It was Jesus that guided Moses and the Israelites in the form of a cloud by day and pillar of fire by night.

It was God the Father that made the visible from the invisible, God the Son, the visible Image of the invisible God, and by Whom all things were created and God the Holy Spirit that illuminates the spiritual.

One God.  Three Persons.   But still just one God.

”The Most Correct of Any Book On Earth”

”The Most Correct of Any Book On Earth”
Vol: 108 Issue: 24 Friday, September 24, 2010

If one looks at the historical charts, one sees a correlation between rising gold prices and economy downturns, leading one to conclude that the price of gold goes up when confidence in the dollar goes down.  

That’s almost correct.  On taking a closer look, the data shows the price of gold goes up as confidence in the government goes down.  

NY Congressman Anthony Weiner went ballistic on the executive vice-president of Goldline International yesterday, accusing Goldline of profiteering off the Obama administration’s ham-fisted handling of the economy.  Here’s how Politico framed it:

“Weiner released a report in May accusing the company of profiting off the fears of conservatives who worry that President Barack Obama’s administration will destroy the American economy. He and Beck have traded shots over the company’s practices, with Weiner saying Beck should be “ashamed of himself,” while Beck, on the O’Reilly Factor, challenged Weiner to call him to testify before Congress.”

First off, one has to wonder why Weiner, a dyed-in-the-wool bright-blue New York liberal Democrat, would be so worried about conservative investors?   Secondly, isn’t ‘profit’ the motive for selling a product?   And third, how can Goldline possibly be responsible for Obama’s handling of the economy?

The answer to all three questions is not gold or Goldline or even Obama.   It’s Glenn Beck.   Weiner’s assault on Goldline is aimed at Glenn Beck.  There is no other reason for attacking a broker for doing what brokers do.   

Gold prices spike when investors lose confidence in the government  — not, as most believe, when investors lose confidence in the currency.   Weiner’s attack on Goldline is as close as he dare go to confronting Beck directly.

Weiner lambasted Goldline for promoting fear of the federal government because Goldline accurately cited the 1933 Executive Order confiscating privately held gold in its advertising.   

“The fundamental question is this: Should you be doing this? Should you be exploiting people this way? Should you be implying to people that a confiscation order is in place that hasn’t been in place since my father was born? That’s just wrong,” Weiner pontificated.

Actually, the confiscation order wasn’t lifted until 1974. Weiner was ten years old in 1974.

(But Weiner is a Congressman.  He doesn’t need to be accurate to be right. And he is a Democrat, so things needn’t be factual in order to be true. )

Beck has made some pretty amazing statements concerning the government and the economy and the administration.  Statements which should have Congressman Weiner investigating whether or not they are true. 

But instead, he is investigating Goldline.    

Assessment:

The Assault on Glenn Beck continues from all sides, including, as we’ve discussed a number of times, from the Christian community because Glenn Beck is a Mormon.    I promised we’d examine what that means in detail and why it should or shouldn’t matter.

Beck gets visibly angry when anyone suggests that Mormons aren’t Christians.   So let’s start there.  Are Mormons “Christians?”    For the purposes of our discussion we’ll need a working definition for “Christian”.

Let’s define a “Christian” as a follower of Jesus Christ who believes his salvation is a gift of grace through faith and not of works.   By that definition, Mormons are not Christians.    Joseph Smith wrote in the introduction to the Book of Mormon that it was ”the most correct of any book on earth”.

However, the Book of Mormon has been proved wrong so many times that even LDS leaders can’t pretend otherwise.  But the entire Mormon religion stands on the divine authority of the Book of Mormon, the Pearl of Great Price and the Doctrines and Covenants.

I triple-checked my sources on this because I want to be sure to get it right.  

The Mormon God was once an ordinary man who attained godhood by living a perfect and righteous life on his home planet in the Kolob star system.  It is mentioned in the Mormon Book of Abraham, but rarely mentioned by Mormons.   I can’t imagine why.

Mormons believe that humans existed before they got here as ‘spirit beings’.   I once heard Beck reference this doctrine peripherally on his program, saying “you were given an assignment by God before you got here”.

Mormons believe the physical world is a probation period.  Those spirit beings chosen to have bodies are on their way to godhood.   If they do well, including fulfillment of all Mormon Temple obligations and die in good standing with the LDS, they will be promoted to gods in the next life.

A Mormon can also produce spirit children to populate a world of his own (like God did here) which is the doctrinal justification for Mormon polygamy.  The Mormon focus on the family is also rooted in this belief.

Mormons believe Jesus and Lucifer were spirit brothers and equal sons of God.   

“God put forth His plan of salvation for the world, and Satan proposed his own plan. Jesus accepted the Father’s plan and offered to implement it as the Savior. The Father chose Jesus, and the spirit of Jesus was given a body through the virgin Mary. He was crucified on a Roman cross, and rose from the dead three days later to establish His deity. The character and life of Jesus is attainable by anyone who performs at such a righteous level.”

Brigham Young taught that Adam was actually God and the father of Jesus Christ.

By those beliefs alone, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints cannot be considered Christian.  

I don’t want to ridicule Mormonism, but some of their most foundational beliefs are, well, ridiculous. 

Mormons believe that salvation comes by works, and forgiveness through faith, repentance and baptism by an approved Mormon priest.  Mormons believe in baptism for the dead in which a person is baptized a Mormon after death by having someone (who is still alive) “stand in” for them during the ceremony.

Mormons believe that two groups of Jews emigrated to what is now the US.  (I also heard Beck reference ‘ancient Israelites’ in America in passing on one of his programs.)

The first group, allegedly led by a Hebrew named Lehi, settled around 600 BC. These descendents of Lehi were “white, beautiful and delightsome.”  They were followed hundreds of years later by Laman and his band.  The Lamanites rebelled against God and were cursed with dark skin.

By the 5th century AD, the Lamanites had finally killed all Lehi’s white descendants.  According to the Book of Mormon,  Lamanites are therefore the ancestors of the native American Indians.  However, blacks were not permitted to join the LDS until recently.

Mormons are forbidden to use tobacco, drugs, or hot drinks like coffee or tea.   Mormons believe Jesus visited American and taught the Gospel to the Nephites (descendants of Lehi) before the Lamanites wiped them out.

And on it goes.  This is Glenn Beck’s “faith” and he certainly has referenced both his faith in Mormonism and some of its doctrines on his program.   So is it relevant?  Should Christians avoid Glenn Beck?  

It seems highly unlikely that Glenn Beck’s beliefs will infect the Church or that Christians will be led into apostasy by a guy that thinks God used to live on Kolob and that Jesus and Lucifer were spirit brothers. 

On the other hand, Beck scares the absolute daylights out of the American Left, especially the Marxists, socialists and Communists that have managed to infiltrate and take over most of the American levers of power. 

I don’t know if Beck actually believes Mormon doctrine or if he just likes its alcohol-free family-oriented lifestyle.  But I suspect that he does.

Still, whether or not Beck is a Mormon, or even if he believes in Mormon doctrine is still no more relevant to his politics than if Beck were a Catholic, a Jew or a Presbyterian.     

What is relevant is that he scares the daylights out of guys like Anthony Weiner.

Another History Rhyme: The President Vs. The Talk Show Host

Another History Rhyme: The President Vs. The Talk Show Host
Vol: 108 Issue: 23 Thursday, September 23, 2010

There doesn’t seem to be any way of avoiding the Glenn Beck phenomenon.  There are as many opinions about the guy as there are people to express them.   (I have about three different opinions about the guy myself.)

According to the Far Left both in and out of government, Beck is a rabble-rousing lunatic comparable to the ultra-right anti-Semitic 1930’s radio personality and Catholic priest, Father Charles Edward Coughlin.

According to the Far Right and much of the middle) Glenn Beck is a political messiah whose only flaw is that he just happens to be a Mormon. 

But what is important to today’s discussion isn’t Glenn Beck or his religion.  Not exactly, anyway.  Stay with me.

Father Coughlin was a staunchly liberal anti-Communist whose 1930’s radio broadcast made him so popular that by 1934 he was literally the second most important political figures in the United States.

He once argued that the communist government had made divorce too easy and that communist anti-family ideas were spreading to the United States. Coughlin called this process the “Bolshevism of America”.

He pointed out that more than two million men and women had obtained divorces in the preceding ten years and people had therefore “scorned the basic family and national doctrine of Jesus Christ.”

His audience was more than 30 million listeners.  In 1933, his radio discourses were bound and published, with the first edition selling more than one million copies.  

But Father Coughlin was Glenn Beck’s ideological mirror image.  Coughlin was a rabid anti-Semite and initially a strong supporter of the Roosevelt New Deal. 

Coughlin’s weekly journal, with a circulation of over one million, was called “The Social Justice Weekly.”  

Coughlin didn’t think that Roosevelt was progressive enough, and announced the formation of the “National Union of Social Justice” which supported Huey Long until Long was assassinated in 1935.

Huey Long’s platform was ‘Share the Wealth’ and he even wrote and performed his own campaign song, “Every Man a King” based on a 1934 speech by that name.

After Long’s assassination, Coughlin’s “National Union of Social Justice Party collapsed and was replaced by “the Christian Front.” 

Coughlin admired the strong measures taken against Communism by Mussolini and Hitler and shared the Nazi worldview that Marxism was really a Jewish plot.  In 1942, the Post Office banned his Social Justice newsletter.  Coughlin’s program was banned by the National Association of Broadcasters as ‘enemy propaganda’.

Assessment:

Long-time Omega Letter members will recognize two familiar themes here. 

We’ve noted literally dozens of times over the past nine years the political similarities between the first decade of the 21st century and the politics and circumstances of the 1930’s.  

In so doing, we’ve also noted the accuracy of Mark Twain’s observation that history doesn’t repeat itself, but that it rhymes. 

And while there is no comparison between the agendas or politics of Father Coughlin and Glenn Beck, there does seem to be a history rhyme kicking around in here somewhere.

Father Coughlin rose to prominence during the Depression as a critic of the Roosevelt government to become the second most powerful political voice in the nation.   

So powerful was he that via his radio broadcast, he virtually spoke a grass-roots political opposition party into existence.   He tapped into a wellspring of national discontent and focused it like a laser in support of his own agenda for the country.

Father Coughlin set up 16 Rights and Principles for his National Union of Social Justice, beginning with this one:

“I believe in the right of liberty of conscience and liberty of education, not permitting the state to dictate either my worship to my God or my chosen avocation in life.”

The rest of them sound equally fair and just when viewed from the perspective of the 1930’s.

It is important to keep in mind here that Father Coughlin’s rise to prominence was a direct result of dissatisfaction with Roosevelt’s handling of economic issues during the Depression. 

Glenn Beck is not Father Coughlin, whom I believe revealed himself in later life to be a deeply evil man.  But viewed from the perspective of 1935, Coughlin appeared almost an angel of light shining on what was then a very dark America.

The historical rhyming of the discontent of the 1930s with that of today is unmistakable.  

Glenn Beck’s 912 Project outlining “9 values and 12 principles that embody America” led to the formation of the Tea Party. Coughlin’s list of 16 Rights and 12 Principles led to the formation of the National Union of Social Justice.

The parallels between the Roosevelt administration and the Obama administration are as uncanny as the historical parallels between Coughlin and Beck.

Beck espouses a return to God and traditional values as did Father Coughlin in the 1930’s – and, as in the 1930’s Americans responded en masse.   It would be no stretch to argue that Glenn Beck is the second most important figure in the United States — more so than Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich or anyone other than the president himself.

For now, let’s set aside the whole Glenn Beck is a Mormon thing – I plan to deal with Mormonism in detail in an upcoming OL.  It’s an issue still to be addressed.  Just not in this brief.

In today’s brief, what I want you to see is how much the first decade of the 21st century continues to rhyme with the 1930’s as it winds down to a close.

Right down to the dynamic of the President vs. the Talk Show Host.  Keeping with the whole theme of history rhymes, what followed the 1930’s were the 1940’s and World War Two. 

Because if WWII rhymes with anything, it rhymes with ‘Tribulation.’