The Kharg

The Kharg
Vol: 113 Issue: 19 Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Kharg.  It sounds a little bit like something one might hear on ‘Star Trek’.  Like the Borg . . . “resistance is futile . . .” In a case of life imitating art, the Kharg and  Star Trek’s Borg may have a few things in common. 

The Borg is a collective of mindless drones with only one mission.  When the Borg are coming, conflict is inevitable.   Resistance is futile.

Israel has learned that the Iranian cruiser Kharg is carrying long-range missiles for Hezbollah which it plans to unload at a Syrian port or Beirut harbor.

US State Department spokesman P.J Crowley said he was “highly skeptical” of the Syrian claim that the two ships’ visit was for training.

 “If the ships move through the canal, we will evaluate what they actually do. It’s not really about the ships. It’s about what the ships are carrying, what’s their destination, what’s the cargo on board, where’s it going, to whom and for what benefit,” Crowley told a news conference.

The Kharg is but one of two Iranian warships enroute to the Mediterranean – a passage that Egyptian authorities would never have even considered while Mubarak was in charge.  And Tehran wouldn’t have tried.

The warships are still delayed while Cairo and Tehran spar back and forth over Egyptian navy inspection regulations.

In Israel, government and military officials were urgently casting about for a way to prevent those missiles reaching the Lebanese terrorists.  Heavy US and Israeli pressure failed to dissuade Egypt’s military rulers from letting the Iranian flotilla through Suez.

So now the waterway has been opened wide for Iran to consign heavy weapons deliveries to Syria and Lebanon – in the first instance, and eventually to try and break Israel’s naval blockade on the Gaza Strip and bring Hamas the heavy munitions that were impossible to transport through smuggling tunnels.

Here is where I remind everyone that Obama waited twelve days to comment on the Iranian demonstrations that almost brought down  Ahmadinejad’s government. 

And when Obama did comment, it was to congratulate Ahmadinejad on his electoral ‘victory’, sucking all the wind out of the demonstrator’s sails.

I have to bring that up for context.  Obama abandoned America’s thirty-two year alliance with Mubarak with such speed that other Mideast allies, including Israel and Saudi Arabia, characterized it as a ‘betrayal of an ally.’  

Were it not for Obama’s eagerness to dump Mubarak like a hot rock, Israel would not be preparing for a potential naval collision at sea with an Iranian warship loaded with long-range missiles

Tehran wouldn’t have even asked for passage.

Up until now, Saudi Arabia, in close conjunction with Egypt and its President Hosni Mubarak, led the Sunni Arab thrust to contain Iranian expansion – especially in the Persian Gulf.

However, the opening of a Saudi port to war ships of the Islamic Republic of Iran for the first time in the history of their relations points to a fundamental shift in Middle East trends in consequence of the Egyptian uprising. 

Obama saved Ahmadinejad’s regime in 2009 and lost Mubarak’s Egypt in 2011.  Obama was right. Elections have consequences.

Unfortunately, Israel didn’t get to vote.

Assessment:

According to the latest breaking reports from the region, the Iranian warships have not yet entered the Suez Canal, and Egypt could still grant them passage, but neither has yet occurred.

The source said that the two ships neither reached the southern entrance of the canal, nor the waiting area. The source added that the approval could be received at any moment.

Iran’s goal is to start a regional war that it hopes will spread into an all-out conflict between the forces of Islam and the West that will ultimately result in the return of the Mahdi.

Conflict is inevitable. 

With Mubarak out of the way, there isn’t any one person in charge to stand up to Tehran’s demand for passage through the Suez.   

Resistance is futile.

Tehran has no intention of involving itself directly – that is why it is sending warships loaded with weapons for Syria and Hezbollah where it has positioned its mindlessly anti-Israel drone forces within Syria like Hezbollah and Hamas.

Thanks to Stuxnet, Iran can’t afford to fight Israel directly.   Not now.  They don’t know what has been compromised and what has not.

Targeted acts of sabotage disrupt, but the real pay-off comes from identifying the human and technical links in the chain of command. Observing who responds – and when – to worm-driven destruction helps illuminate who really runs Iran’s nuclear infrastructures. Real-world Iranian responses offer critical clues as to which scientists, administrators and engineers are trusted and who is suspect. . .

Iran’s nuclear elite and Ministry of Intelligence know this. It is no secret now to the mullahs that their responses to the Stuxnet breach were closely monitored by external intelligence agencies. Their internal security is furiously trying to assess what information might have inadvertently been revealed.

The Iranians can’t even be sure how deeply they’ve been penetrated or what unknown mayhem Stuxnet may have programmed into their other weapons systems.  

Thanks to Stuxnet , the Iranians have no way of knowing if their weapons will work until they try to use them.  So they are hoping to provoke a fight with their proxy forces instead.

Iran’s destiny is as Persia,  part of a Russian-led alliance, called the Gog-Magog Alliance by Ezekiel.   

I have no crystal ball.  But the Bible says that Iran does not participate in a regional war with Israel.  Edom’s war with Israel is ethnic and political at its heart, not religious.  Persians share the religion of the Edomites, but not their Arab ethnicity.

According to the Bible, this conflict is between the descendents of Jacob and Esau, or Edom.  Scholars are split on whether this war between Jacob and Edom occurs just before or just after the Rapture.  

In either case, it would mean the trumpet is very near, indeed. 

Betrayed!

Betrayed!
Vol: 113 Issue: 18 Friday, February 18, 2011

Who expected that the first US state to emulate Greece would be Wisconsin?  Wisconsin?  Are you kidding?  How does one headline a story like that?  “Cheeseheads are Revolting”?  Are you kidding me?

Literally tens of thousands of people descended on the Wisconsin State House to protest Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s proposal that would restrict state employee unions and change certain collective bargaining rules.

One of those changes would require state employees to contribute a percentage of their pay to their health care premiums.

One example: Teachers in Madison, Wisconsin get free health care at a cost of $22,000.00 per year to the city.  Their pensions are completely funded – they don’t have to contribute anything.

Under the new bill, unions would have to make modest contributions to their own health care and retirement funds.  Michelle Malkin explains some of the finer points of contention:

The lowdown: State government workers in the Badger State pay piddling amounts for generous taxpayer-subsidized health benefits. Faced with a $3.6 billion budget hole and a state constitutional ban on running a deficit, new GOP Gov. Scott Walker wants public unions to pony up a little more. He has proposed raising the public employee share of health insurance premiums from less than 5 percent to 12.4 percent. He is also pushing for state workers to cover half of their pension contributions. To spare taxpayers the soaring costs of Byzantine union-negotiated work rules, he would rein in Big Labor’s collective bargaining power to cover only wages unless approved at the ballot box.

As the free-market MacIver Institute in Wisconsin points out, the benefits concessions Walker is asking public union workers to make would still maintain their health insurance contribution rates at the second-lowest among Midwest states for family coverage. Moreover, a new analysis by benefits think tank HCTrends shows that the new rate “would also be less than the employee contributions required at 85 percent of large Milwaukee-area employers.”

But the point here isn’t really the details of the bill so much as it is the Democrat reaction to it.  

When Democrats Are Civil . . .

Remember all that talk from the Left about the hateful rhetoric allegedly emanating from the Tea Party and how it was somehow responsible for the shooting of Gabby Giffords and 18 other people in Arizona? 

It’s different when it is emanating from the Left.  Protestors carried signs likening the Wisconsin governor to Adolf Hitler and Hosni Mubarak.  

The protest was not without its irony.  One demonstrator carried a sign asking “Why do Republicans Hate People?” while another carried a picture of the Republican governor in crosshairs over a caption reading, “Reload”.

A mob actually marched on the governor’s home while Randy Hopper, a Republican, told National Review that he and his colleagues have been receiving threats of a physically violent nature, and that law enforcement had to step in to protect the homes and businesses of Republican lawmakers.

The hero of the Progressive Left, Michael Moore, Tweeted that “Madison is the new Cairo!”  But what he said next really jumped out at me. 

“Wisconsin teachers, nurses, firefighters, shut the state down.”

Teachers, nurses, firefighters  — the very people we trust the most.  

Assessment:

Betrayal: to be unfaithful in guarding, maintaining, or fulfilling: to betray a trust.Dictionary.com

I’m assuming that everybody has played the word association game at some time in their lives.  It goes like this:  I say a word and then you say the FIRST word that pops into your mind.  

For example, I say “baseball” and you might say “hot dogs” since some people associate hot dogs and baseball.  If I said “hot dogs” you might say “apple pie” because, as the saying goes, “nothing is more American than baseball, hot dogs and apple pie.”

So, are you ready?  If I say “betrayal” – what pops into your mind?  I’ll tell you what popped into mine – a big, fat picture of Barack Hussein Obama.   

When he was asked to weigh in on the Wisconsin debacle, he sided with the unions against the government. 

“Some of what I’ve heard coming out of Wisconsin, where you’re just making it harder for public employees to collectively bargain, generally seems like more of an assault on unions. I think it’s very important for us to understand that public employees, they’re our neighbors, they’re our friends.”

Yes. And the government of Wisconsin (that Obama just chucked under the bus) is the democratically elected representative government of the people of Wisconsin.  The unions are the representatives of a small minority of privileged civil servants.

Obama didn’t just take sides against the Wisconsin government, he sent in his storm troops to support the demonstrators.

(Does the fact that Obama has storm troopers creep you out like it does me?)  

And in some cases, his storm troops WERE the demonstrators.

The Democratic National Committee’s Organizing for America arm — the remnant of the 2008 Obama campaign — is playing an active role in organizing protests against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s attempt to strip most public employees of collective bargaining rights.

OfA Wisconsin’s field efforts include filling buses and building turnout for the rallies this week in Madison, organizing 15 rapid response phone banks urging supporters to call their state legislators, and working on planning and producing rallies, a Democratic Party official in Washington said. 

The protests have essentially shut the state down. All the Democrat lawmakers fled the state rather than take responsibility for voting on the measure – they are currently holed up in a motel over the border in Illinois.

Again, the Wisconsin government is a democratically elected one.  There is no legal provision whereby Democrats get to ignore the will of the people, which is why they fled to Illinois where they are out of Wisconsin state police jurisdiction.

The contrast between the union demonstrators and the Tea Party should be the big story, but it won’t be.   In all the Tea Party protests, numbering in the thousands across the country, not one advocated civil disobedience.  There wasn’t one arrest.

Most of the union protestors at Madison called in sick or otherwise walked off their civil service jobs in violation of their contracts.  And there were nine arrests in Wisconsin yesterday for disorderly conduct.

Images of Americans storming government buildings and lawmakers fleeing their offices to avoid participating in the Democratic process . .  . .

“. . . lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, union organizers, politicians, liberals, presidents,  false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. “

(I misquoted the passage above slightly, but you have to read through it twice because it flows so naturally. Like they belong there.) 

Perilous times,  indeed. 

Relentless

Relentless
Vol: 113 Issue: 17 Thursday, February 17, 2011

Did you ever have a dream where you are walking in a hallway that just keeps stretching on to nowhere?  Or a dream in which the faster you ran away, the closer your pursuers would get? 

Sometimes they make movies like that; zombie movies like “Night of the Living Dead” have that same sense of relentlessness – I can’t watch them. 

That’s what makes scary movies scary to me – the relentlessness.  The pressure never lets up – there is no time to catch one’s breath in between scenes.

I sometimes feel that way during my first read of the day’s headlines – like I’m in a scary movie.

The headlines are relentless; “Iran Warships To Transit Suez Enroute to Syria” “GAO: Feds Have Operational Control of 44% of Border” “Kill Switch Internet Bill Alarms Privacy Advocates.”

All these are in addition to the seven linked stories at the very top of the page dealing with the political unrest in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, and elsewhere.  

And on it goes, relentlessly; “Man Mugs 96-year old for $5”; “Dallas County Commissioner Tells Citizens, ‘All Of You Are White! Go To Hell!‘”; and then there’s this: “Feds Shut Down 84,000 Websites Over Wrongful Child Porn Accusations”.

Any one of those headlines is provocative enough to rate its own individual analysis in light of its prophetic implications.  But they all pale beside Drudge’s top headline: “USA To Rebuke Israel At UN”.

Wham! Bam!  POW! – the hits keep on coming.  President Obama is about to make history by betraying two of our closest allies in the same month. 

First, he sold out the British to Russia in exchange for cooperation on what is essentially a meaningless treaty. Now he is preparing to sell out the Israelis to the Organization of the Islamic Conference at the UN.  

This is my first read of the day – I got all this on the first page that I opened while I was drinking my first cup of coffee.  I feel like I just sat through “Night of the Living Dead” all over again. 

It takes one’s breath away.

Assessment:

“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)

Jesus describes a series of unrelenting signs in the sun, moon and stars, signs that are beyond human intervention or control and even beyond human discernment at the time in which He gave them.  

Astronomy, circa 30 AD, had its limitations.  

Another major headline of the day is the NASA warning that the earth is about to be struck by the biggest solar flare in years.   According to National Geographic:

“The magnetic instability that caused the flare also unleashed a blast of charged particles that should hit Earth’s atmosphere tonight, possibly sparking auroras farther south than usual, experts say. The most powerful explosions in the solar system, solar flares occur when magnetic field lines on the sun cross, cancel each other out, then reconnect.

These “explosive reconnections” release huge amounts energy as heat—in this case, a short blast measuring roughly 35 million degrees Fahrenheit (19 million degrees Celsius), according to physicist Dean Pesnell, project scientist for NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO.

The Nat Geo piece recalled the unusually powerful solar activity at the turn of the 21st century, when the sun erupted three times in 24 hours following a period of solar activity unmatched since record-keeping began in 1755.

“The recent explosion, he added, has nothing on the giant blasts of the early 2000s. That most recent active period spawned the biggest solar flare on ever directly measured in November 2003—a blast more than ten times as powerful as Monday’s.”

The first of three solar eruptions is already believed to have disrupted China’s communications systems. China’s Meteorological Administration is warning that disruptions could continue for the next three days.

The BBC is reporting that the majority of the geomagnetic activity will reach earth later today.  According to the BBC’s experts, there is a possibility of damage to satellites and other communications equipment.

“The X-flare that was observed the other day was lower in magnitude than similar flares that have been associated with technological damage such as the loss of the Quebec power grid… and even the large magnetic storm in 2003, which caused some damage to satellites in orbit.”

It’s like a scary movie.

According to many forecasts, this solar season is expected to be among the most destructive in history, with the potential for an EMP blast that could fry the US electrical grid and plunge much of the nation into the technological equivalent of 1896.

“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)

Praise the Lord, it has a happy ending.  If you belong to Him.  If not, it ends badly.  

“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:31)

Too Much Information

Too Much Information
Vol: 113 Issue: 16 Wednesday, February 16, 2011

As I was casting about for inspiration this morning, the words ‘be still’ kept bouncing around in my brain.  Generally speaking, that would be bad advice for a writer with a deadline.  

There is a lot going on in the world right now.  Much of it is relevant to Bible prophecy, but not all.  Some of it is white noise.  I’m still working on sorting out which is which.  

I feel a bit like the two kids in the Denny’s commercial trying to sort all the options ten dollars would give them.  At the end, one kid makes a gesture like his head was exploding from too much information.

“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalms 46:10)

The Middle East continues to unravel – every day is a new surprise.  The Bible outlines only so many possible options – I’ve explored each from as many angles as possible and in the end, I will probably still be wrong.

Back in the 1980’s, I knew that the Bible forecast the rise of a revived form of the Roman Empire and that it would take supremacy in the last days. For Europe to surpass the world’s two existing superpowers the US and USSR would have to decrease.   

That was only logical.

And from the perspective of the early 1980’s, the most logical way for that to come about would be a limited nuclear war between the two countries.  It fit both the times and the capabilities and there were plenty of Scriptures that seemed to point toward nuclear war.

Jack Van Impe’s television programs focused almost exclusively on the theme, linking it to Ezekiel 3839. (I know. I bought all his tapes.)  

I could argue half a dozen different scenarios that ended in with the Soviets and Americans each knocking themselves out of commission, necessitating a revived Roman Empire to pick up the pieces.

There was only one scenario that I hadn’t thought of. 

The one that happened.

It never occurred to me that the Soviet Union would simply crumble. That the Berlin Wall would just come down.  Looking back, with hindsight, it should have. 

Instead, I was babbling away, happily sharing my pet theories with anybody that couldn’t escape me.

Every one of them was wrong. 

It wasn’t the Bible that steered me in the wrong direction.  My opinion in the mid 1980’s was shared, with minor variations, by almost all the important teachers of the time. They weren’t steered wrong by the Bible, either.

The Bible’s scenario continues to play out exactly as outlined.  But interpreting the signs of the times is exactly that – an interpretation. 

Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.” (Psalms 4:4)

There are times when one should interpret. .  . and there are times when one should be still and contemplate. Like when there is too much information.

Selah.

Assessment:

And with that, we suddenly shift gears:  I was cruising the member’s forums today (boy, do I love that place!) and I came across this question: “Are Preterists Saved?”

“The only reason I ask, is that if we are all given the Holy Spirit who indwells us, and that Holy Spirit guides us into all truth, then how can these folks be SO wrong about SO much of scripture?”

(It’s a fair question – mainly about interpretation, so the shift wasn’t really that drastic)

Preterism is an interpretation of Scripture (elevated to the point of doctrine by its adherents) that argues that all Bible prophecy was fulfilled by AD 70. 

The antichrist was Nero, the destruction of the Temple fulfilled the prophecies of Revelation and that event signaled the transfer of the Covenant Promises from Israel over to the Church.  

Most adherents to preterism would agree with the following tongue-in-cheek one-liner from this particular forum thread.  (In this, they would be in harmony with most pre-tribulationists.)

“I have discovered through the years that only the people who agree with MY interpretation of scripture have a correct understanding, and everybody else is going to hell.”

Back to the original question, then.  How can we all be led by the Holy Spirit and they be so wrong?

A preterist that trusts Christ for his salvation instead of his works is saved.  So is a Catholic. 

There is clearly a limit to the role doctrine plays in salvation.   Consider the question asked of the Apostles by their jailer in Acts 16:30-31. (hint: only one reply is correct)

“Sirs, what must I do to be saved?  And they said, embrace the doctrine of dispensational pretribulationalism and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

“Sirs, what must I do to be saved?  And they said, do good and live a sinless life and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

“Sirs, what must I do to be saved?  And they said, join a Spirit-led church and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

“Sirs, what must I do to be saved?  And they said, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” (Acts 16:30-31)

In the eleventh chapter of Genesis, the whole world has united under a single king, Nimrod, who conspires to defeat God by building a tower in case God decided to send another flood.  

God, in His wisdom, confounds their speech and language, breaking them up into nations to prevent them from being united as a single voice. That is too much power to invest in one person.

The same applies with the Church.  The Church has from the earliest been separated into factions according to disparate doctrines.  

Emperor Constantine united the Church the way Nimrod united the world.  The results?  The Crusades. The Inquisitions. The pogroms against the Jews. 

The Holy Spirit broke up that unity with the Reformation and has led the various denominations in the directions they have taken according to the same wisdom that is so evident to us in the Babel story.

There won’t be doctrinal unity again until after He is taken out of the way.  “And then shall that Wicked be revealed. . .”

“Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” (1 Corinthians 1:25)

God knows what He is doing.  Tony’s one-liner hits on a profound truth.  We aren’t saved by our interpretation of Scripture. One can be five miles off the mark and still be a saved believer.

If it was up to me, then “only the people that agree with my interpretation of Scripture have a correct understanding and everybody else is going to hell”—which is good reason to thank God it isn’t up to me.

Otherwise, Heaven might be a lonely, boring place to spend eternity.

And All the Trees. . .

And All the Trees. . .
Vol: 113 Issue: 15 Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The wave of popular protests across the Middle East already responsible for the ouster of two entrenched dictatorships continued over the weekend, spreading into Bahrain, home to the US Fifth Fleet and Yemen, home to terrorists that don’t like us very much. 

In Bahrain, thousands of demonstrators marched against their hereditary monarchy, who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets and shotguns loaded with birdshot.  One person was killed when police fired into the crowd.

In the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, hundreds of anti-government demonstrators and government loyalists fought with rocks and batons on Tuesday in a fifth straight day of political unrest.

Four of the anti-government protesters were wounded, two of them in the head, according to a report from Reuters.

In Syria, there were signs that the government was cracking down on the opposition. A court there on Monday sentenced a 19-year-old blogger, under arrest since 2009, to five years in jail, after ruling that she had illegally revealed information to a foreign country.

Everyone was hoping that the Egyptian popular miracle that saw the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak after thirty-two years in office meant that Iran’s mullocracy would be next.

But Iran is not Egypt. 

The best hope that Iranians had for overthrowing their government came and went in June, 2009 when several factors combined to create a perfect storm. 

  • They were filled with righteous anger over the rigged re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
  • That anger nullified their fear of the regime.
  • The Iranian government was caught by surprise and was unprepared to respond and;
  • The demonstrators anticipated Western support, particularly from the United States.

None of those factors are in play now.  The white-hot anger has dulled to a sullen sense of resignation.  Without that sense of righteous anger, there is bravery, but not fearlessness.  Ahmadinejad has had time to prepare and refine the government’s response. 

And finally, nobody trusts the Obama administration. (Except Ahmadinejad)

So when the protests came, Iranian police were ready with tear gas and cattle prods when the demonstrators showed up by the tens of thousands (for contrast, in 2009 they were measured in hundreds of thousands and even millions) in cities across the country.

The rallies demanded that the Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Khameini, step down the way the leaders of Tunisia and Egypt did.  

“Mubarak! Ben Ali! It’s now the turn for Seyed Ali!” people chanted, according to witnesses and videos. ‘Seyed Ali’ is an apparent reference to the Ayatollah in Farsi. 

Other videos showed a crowd of young demonstrators stomping on a giant picture of Khameini – a sign of deep disrespect in the Muslim world, while the crowd roared its approval.  

Iran’s best-known protest leaders, including former prime minister Mir-hossein Mousavi and fellow opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi, were placed under house arrest and their homes blockaded by police vehicles.

Last week, the Iranian government rounded up activists after Karrubi and Moussavi called for supporters to gather at Azadi Square — the site of mass protests by Iran’s opposition movement after the disputed 2009 presidential elections.

Today, Iranian hard-liners in the parliament called for their execution.

Assessment:

Will Iran go the way of Egypt?  Possibly.  But I don’t think so.  As noted earlier, Iran is no Egypt. In Egypt, when the army moved in, it moved in with tanks and guns but refused orders to shoot.

Instead, what we saw on TV news was images of soldiers shaking hands with protesters, and even joining with them.

Once that happened, Mubarak’s resignation was a foregone conclusion.  When people take to the streets in such numbers, the only way a dictatorship can hope to survive is if the police and military are willing to kill their fellow citizens in order to prop it up.

The Egyptian military refused.  On the other hand, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have already established their willingness to kill, torture, imprison and execute protesters by the hundreds.  

The Iranian regime still has plenty of support within the military, and no shortage of plainclothes thugs willing to beat protestors to death, if necessary.

Revolutions are emotional affairs.  Before you can get one started, you need to kick everybody’s emotional levels up a notch.  For a population to lose its fear of the regime, it needs to be sufficiently outraged.  

Iranians were outraged in 2009 following the rigged elections.  In 2011, the motive is more about perceived opportunity and less about moral outrage.  In Egypt, there was a deep sense of popular humiliation not necessarily in evidence in Iran.

In Egypt, there was a sense of exhilaration, especially after the army refused to move against the people, together with a deep sense of pride and shared accomplishment.

In Iran, both of those factors were in evidence in 2009, but dwindled after Obama failed to support them and offered his congratulations to Ahmadinejad on his ‘electoral victory’ instead.

Finally, there is the Bible’s alignment of nations in the last days.   According to Scripture, Egypt and Jordan are on the wrong side of the alliance the Bible says will exist in the last days.   The Bible includes Jordan and Egypt in the Obadiah/Psalms83/Isaiah17 anti-Israel alliance. 

Egypt and Jordan are currently the only two Arab states to conclude peace treaties with Israel.  They are currently on the wrong side of prophecy – what we are witnessing is Divine realignment according to His Word.

Iran (Persia) is already precisely in line with Bible prophecy.  The Bible aligns Iran with Russia and the Muslim-majority republics of the former Soviet Union, together with Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“And He spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.” (Luke 21:29-30)

If the fig tree is Israel, then “all the trees” can only refer to other nations as they relate to Israel. Like Egypt, Iran, Jordan, etc.  

“So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till ALL be fulfilled.”  (Luke 21:31-32)  

 Maranatha! 

And For THIS Cause . . .

And For THIS Cause . . .
Vol: 113 Issue: 14 Monday, February 14, 2011

At the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington over the weekend, former Clinton CIA Director James Woolsey condemned American political correctness in the same stark terms as are now being thrown around by Europe’s socialist elite.

Woolsey told the packed conference that America’s political correctness is blinding us to the fact that we are at war with those who advocate the overspreading of Sharia Law. 

As a statement of fact, this one sounds like it should be relegated to the ‘water is wet’ category, but evidently not, since it is being talked about like it was some new revolutionary new idea.

“We have to understand that we are in a war here – certainly with the terrorists; certainly with Al Qaida; certainly with Hamas and Hezbollah,” Woolsey said. “We’re also at war, with no choice of our own, with those who want to, over the long run, impose Shariah [Islamic law] upon us.

“And it is one of the toughest fights we have ever had or will have,” he continued, “because Americans are used to religious liberty and not criticizing one another’s religions.”

Woolsey said a number of other things that, had he uttered them in multicultural Canada, would have put him at risk of trial by a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.  Things like:

“The establishing of a world-wide caliphate-theocratic dictatorship of the world; entirely imposed to democracy … terribly oppressive to women in every possible way, from sanctioning their being beaten by their husbands to girls being killed by their fathers if they walk on the street with a neighbor boy who is not a member of the family; death to homosexuals and apostates and on and on and on. And ultimately, that is the goal of Shariah. And it is the goal for the Muslim Brotherhood, which is doing its best to implement that over the long run.”

“The Brotherhood practices takia, or lying to infidels with grace and ease.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron recently made similar headlines with his announcement that ‘multiculturalism is a failure’. Cameron concluded that under the “doctrine of state multiculturalism,” different cultures had been encouraged to live separate lives.

“We have failed to provide a vision of society to which they feel they want to belong. We have even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run counter to our values.”

More wet water.  The first European leader to openly admit the failure of Europe’s multicultural experience wasn’t Britain’s Cameron, it was Germany’s Angela Merkel.

Last October, at a convention of her Christian Democratic Party’s youth wing, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said “multikulti” had “failed, utterly.” Germans, she insisted, “feel bound to the Christian image of humanity, that is what defines us. Those who do not accept this are in the wrong place here.”

Breaking all existing political rules of etiquette, saying that immigrants who choose to live in Germany should learn German and adapt to German culture.

And this past week, French President Nicolas Sarkozy also declared multiculturalism “clearly … a failure.” He also threw PC to the winds, saying that “if you come to France, you accept to melt into a single community, which is the national community, and if you do not want to accept that, you cannot be welcome in France.”

Assessment:

Of course multiculturalism is a failure. The very idea can be (and has been) deconstructed with a single observation.  “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” said Abraham Lincoln, who was quoting Jesus Christ. 

“And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:” (Matthew 12:25)

“A house divided” is the very definition of multiculturalism. Australia abandoned it as official policy in the 1990’s.

It is transparently ridiculous, which is why it took until this generation before anything that delusional would even be considered, let alone implemented as official government policy.

Anybody who ever raised a family knows multiculturalism doesn’t work.  It cannot.  It never, ever could.

I have absolutely no doubt that those that planned and implemented that suicidal policy into their own countries knew it could not work.  They expected it to break down the nation/state and prepare it for entry into a global government. 

Multiculturalism was initially sold as an antidote to nationalism in the aftermath of WWII.   WWII was the result of the nationalism going too far – multiculturalism was supposed to swing the pendulum the other way. 

But physics requires the pendulum to swing just as far on the way back.  Instead of balancing ultra-nationalism, by discouraging integration it encouraged radicalism by telling ethnic communities that their host country should adapt to them, rather than the other way around.

In Europe, the result is a host of countries whose national identities have been all but destroyed.   

Across the Atlantic, America is staggered, its domestic tranquility an illusion, its borders in tatters, its national identity in doubt and its citizens polarized to the degree that politicians are considering ways to legislate civility.

Why?  That is the central question.  Multiculturalism is national suicide. Why defend it?  Political correctness is Marxist thought control.  Why advance it?  

How could anyone believe that shouting “fire” when there really is a fire, as Admiral Woolsey was doing at CPAC, is Islamophobic, or any other kind of phobic? “Phobia” means an ‘irrational’ fear.

What is irrational about fearing those who are sworn to your destruction?  That is the very essence  of ‘rational’ – what is irrational is the desire to aid in the effort.  

And how in the world is it even possible that this generation – to the exclusion of all others – could buy into the delusion that the best way to make a nation strong is to divide its people?  Or that the right not to be offended supersedes the right to free speech?

The Bible explains both how and why.  The Apostle Paul was explaining to the Thessalonians who, fearing Nero was the antichrist, had come to believe they had missed the Rapture and were in the Tribulation Period.

Paul explained that before “that Wicked” could be revealed, the Restrainer had to be taken ‘out of the way’.    Paul said ‘that Wicked’ would be with “all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish” meaning the unsaved (who will be left behind). 

Paul gives the reason – because “they received not the LOVE of the truth, that they might be saved.”

Let’s stop and look at that again.   First comes the LOVE of the truth – that is what prompts one to seek salvation.  It is the LOVE of the truth that Paul says is the issue here.  

The angry backlash that comes from stating the obvious —  “multiculturalism is a failure” – is a MONUMENT to those who have no love of the truth. 

“And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:” (2nd Thessalonians 2:11)

Case Closed

Case Closed
Vol: 113 Issue: 12 Saturday, February 12, 2011

Mankind is a mystery to the angels. The Bible says that God has charged them with ministering to men on this earth in this life with the understanding that men will judge them in the world to come.

One of the purposes for the creation of man, according to Scripture, was the instruction of angels.

“Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; WHICH THINGS THE ANGELS DESIRE TO LOOK INTO.” (1st Peter 1:12)

The Prophet Isaiah introduces us to the first outbreak of sin in the universe when Lucifer, the most anointed of the angels, uttered the first of his five famous “I will’s”:

“For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”

For his sin of arrogance, God pronounced judgment on Lucifer, the most honored of His angels, and those rebellious angels who followed him;

“Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” (Isaiah 14:12-15)

I often wonder about the angels who joined Satan in his rebellion. Why? It isn’t like they didn’t know Who it was they were standing up to.

What made them so crazy?  Perhaps they felt God was being unjust in His dealing with Lucifer and in so doing, were also guilty of sin and cast out.   

Or maybe they joined with Lucifer at the moment that God unveiled His plan to create the human race and make the angels subject to their judgment.   Maybe they were jealous.   

The Bible doesn’t say why specifically, but it is clear that a third of them broke away and joined him.

It is worth considering that, while mankind is still a mystery to the righteous angels, the fallen angels understand mankind only too well.   That’s because we have something in common with the fallen angels.  

Sin is the great equalizer. From the context of the Five ‘I Wills’ the bone of contention between Lucifer and God was over who was going to be in charge. Given what is revealed, mankind is likely cause of the rebellion – Satan certainly hates us enough.  

In my mind’s eye, I picture it like a cosmic boardroom where God has just announced His plan to create a race of inferior beings that Lucifer would first serve and then submit to in judgment later.

“Not me,” says Lucifer.  “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will sit upon the mount of the congregation, I will ascend above the clouds, I will be like the most High.”

“Wrong,” says God. “Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”

Lucifer was the anointed angel. He was the most blessed, the most beautiful, the most entertaining, it is not much of a stretch to assume he was also the most popular.

From there, one needn’t stretch much further to assume that even the angels that didn’t join the rebellion had questions about the severity of the punishment.  

The existence of humanity is often described by theologians as the ‘trial of Satan’. Why a trial?

Because God is just.

Assessment:

Allow me to set the scene.   The trial of Satan begins with the introduction of one little sin.  It is more than just the trial of Satan. Sin itself is also on trial. 

Lucifer, “the anointed cherub that covereth” was highly favored of God; “and I have set thee so,” it says in Ezekiel 28:14.  

Isaiah 14:14 defines that first sin as, “I will” — the sin of pride. The trial is to prove what ‘one little sin’ can do — the classic ‘slippery slope’ scenario.

The trial is really an examination of the epochs of human history from the perspective of the angels who did NOT join the rebellion, and who, by nature, have no understanding of what sin really is or how it really works.

Exhibit 1: Adam and Eve. They are placed in a perfect environment and given only one command — to avoid the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. They fail — and man inherits a sin nature.

Exhibit 2: Man is allowed free reign until the Flood — the so-called “Age of Conscience”. Without Divine interaction or instruction, society becomes so sinful and corrupt that God saves Noah and his family alive and destroys the rest in the Flood. 

Exhibit 3: During the Age of the Patriarchs, God spoke directly to chosen individuals; Abraham, Noah, Lot, etc. Each, even having spoken directly with God, commit some heinous sin. 

Having gone from one commandment (the Age of Innocence) to no commandments at all (the Age of Conscience) to direct confrontation,(the Age of the Patriarchs) God progresses to giving mankind the Ten Commandments (the Age of the Law).

Not one person ever kept all ten of them throughout his lifetime, no matter what the circumstances. (David, for example, broke all ten of them.)

Exhibit 4: The Age of the Law, during which time the Commandments of God became so corrupted and perverted that it became necessary to scrap the whole system and replace it with the Age of Grace.

Exhibit 5: To introduce the Age of Grace, God Himself stepped out of space and time, took on the form of sinful man, kept the Law on our behalf, and then paid the price for our sin. (Death)

In so doing, He made a way for all mankind to be saved by faith through grace.

But most of mankind rejects even the free offer of grace, preferring a life of unregenerate sin. That act of rejection, given the Price paid, must make the angelic witnesses gasp in disbelief.

From the perspective of the angelic witness, then, ‘one little sin’ has thus far brought mankind to the point it is today. So far, God has given sin every opportunity to prove itself worthy of its wages

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

Exhibit 6: The Tribulation Period. The Age of Grace concludes at the Rapture. The Rapture removes the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit, giving Satan (and sin) free reign for seven years. And the end result is the near-destruction of all human life.

Jesus then returns at the 2nd Coming, binds Satan for a thousand years, and reigns Personally from Jerusalem.

Mortal humanity has no excuse, He is right there, in Person, for all to see.

Satan’s influence is restrained, lifespans are extended, there are no more wars, famine or poverty, and humankind is returned to the Eden-like state from which it began.

Exhibit 7: With God Himself on the Throne of human government, ruling with a rod of iron for a thousand years, Satan is loosed for ‘a little season’.

“And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.” (Revelation 20:7-8)

The mortal humans who have lived in a state of God-given idyllic bliss for a thousand years, under the influence of Satan, raise an army to bring against the King of Kings and Lord of Lords Himself. 

“For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law.” (Romans 2:12)

The trial is over. Sin is judged according to its works. All appeals have been exhausted. Sentence is pronounced and carried out immediately. 

“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.”

This is the SECOND resurrection. Unlike the first resurrection, it has only one phase.

“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”

“And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:10-12,14)

In the overall Plan of God, as outlined in Scripture, everything has a purpose. There are no omissions, no errors, and no inconsistencies.

From Genesis to Revelation, a central theme of Scripture is that sin is the cause of death. Sin will ultimately be eradicated from existence. And so will all those who “received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:12

The lake of fire was created and prepared for Satan and his angels. But since man’s spirit is created in God’s image, it is also eternal and immortal, in that it cannot be destroyed. 

So those that reject Christ and choose to follow Satan have to go somewhere

They will not cease to be, but they will cease to matter. They will spend eternity nameless and alone, tortured by the flames — and the memory of the day they rejected the opportunity to avoid their fate. 

But nobody will be able to accuse God of being unfair.  Case closed.