The Harold Camping Effect

The Harold Camping Effect
Vol: 116 Issue: 23 Monday, May 23, 2011

I would estimate that I heard approximately forty thousand “end of the world” jokes (give or take) since Harold Camping’s deadline for the Rapture passed without incident.

It is all anybody was talking about, pretty much everywhere I turned. My neighbor across the street was triumphant; “See! We’re still here!”

Every late night comedian and Hollywood celeb made some kind of joke about Christians that believe in the Rapture.

Every secular TV news outlet had some kind of sneering “background” report about Christians that believe in the Rapture as if they were some kind of cult within mainstream Christianity of whom Harold Camping was exemplar.

Most of them located a prominent ‘Christian’ – usually a priest, sometimes a prominent Protestant theologian, to explain the prevalence of “rapture cults” claiming the rapture was “unknown to the Church until it was invented by “Darby in the early 19th century.  .  . blah, blah, blather, blah, blah.”

The general sense of the news coverage is that in terms of Christian doctrine, the Rapture is something held only by those on the lunatic fringes of Christianity, as is interest in Bible prophecy in general. 

And not only is such interest bordering on the lunatic fringe, it is extremely damaging. 

If one is a secular news editor, a militant skeptic or even a casual Christian reader/viewer, this isn’t a hard premise to swallow.  Look at all the damaged lives! 

Every news story found a fresh example of  ‘believers’ that quit their jobs, gave away their life savings, split their families — or worse.  There was actually a debate between two lawyers on Fox News on Sunday morning about whether or not the disenchanted had a right to sue Harold Camping for damages!

Clearly, there is no legal or Constitutional protection against being gullible.

But it seems like there ought to be a law against guys like Harold Camping.  Or so the general consensus seems to be in what passes for secular thought on issues of Bible doctrine.   

Take this front-page example from the seriously biased Detroit Free Press reporter Niraj Warikoo:

But from the Christian militia Hutaree to a preacher with a TV show out of Rochester Hills, the belief that Christ will return in the end of times is held by many in Michigan. For some of them, it’s a way to convince people to turn to God and live righteously.

For some of them . . . (insert dramatic pause here) . . . but here’s Warikoo’s view of the ‘typical’ doomsday believer.

In 1999, the FBI issued report called Project Megiddo that looked at various apocalyptic groups, some of them Christian, in advance of 2000. And in recent years, the Left Behind series of books by Tim LaHaye that depict the end of times as a bloody apocalypse have become best sellers. Today, some believe in a supposed Mayan prophecy that the world will end in 2012.

Picking days and years of Christ’s return has often gotten headlines, but to this date none of the prognostications have come true,” Rev. Bob Cornwall, pastor of Central Woodward Christian Church in Troy, said Saturday. He notes that current Rapture theology, as popularized today by LaHaye, “dates only back to the 19th century.”

You see? Only the lunatic fringe of Christians believe all that Rapture stuff — mostly because they read “Left Behind” – but they are dangerous enough to warrant the FBI’s attention.  

In Wichita Kansas, a group of militant atheists gathered at Wichita State University “to say that “end of the world predictions” are “dangerous” to society.

They are not just dangerous. They’re none too bright, either:

About 19% of Americans with college degrees believe that Christ will return by the year 2050. That increases to 35% for those with some college education and to 59% for those with a high school degree or less, according to a 2010 survey by the Pew Research Center.

Most churches don’t teach much about the Rapture now — and I would be willing to bet the farm that it will be taught even less in the days to come. 

Assessment:

“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

According to Camping, the Rapture would have occurred on Saturday and the destruction of the universe would take place five months later.

I am gratified to report that I didn’t receive a single email from any of our OL members asking me if Camping’s calculations had any validity.  You were able to see through it. 

That is because the only similarity between Camping’s interpretation and what the Bible actually predicts is that the Bible says there will be a Rapture.  

Other than that, Camping made up the rest of it out of an over-eager imagination. But what about all those people that tossed their Bibles and instead chose to believe Camping?  What were they thinking?  

Now that he has been proved a fraud, what happens to their faith? Camping’s followers had great faith – many showed more faith in Camping’s predictions than he did.

Many of his followers quit their jobs, sold their homes, gave away their possessions and money and picked up their cross to follow him.   

Harold Camping, whose Family Radio Network was worth $180 million the day before the world was supposed to end, was still worth $180 million after his prediction failed. Camping hung on to his possessions — just in case.

That should have been a clue. When the guy selling the product doesn’t use it — you shouldn’t either.

Harold Camping’s followers had great faith and no doubt many of them lost it on Saturday. That is because they had misplaced it to begin with. 

Some of them put their faith in Harold Camping. Others put their faith in the Rapture.  Still more, believing they had some special Biblical insight, put their faith in their own abilities.

In the end, they had their faith in everything except Jesus, Who said that no man could know the day or hour.  By their standard, Jesus let them down.  In truth, it was the other way around. 

Jesus was right — it was Camping that was wrong.

The Bible says, ‘by their fruits ye shall know them’. Camping made two other failed predictions. That should have been a clue, as well. Clearly, it wasn’t.

Bible prophecy is real – and it has been proved accurate in every circumstance where it is possible to test. 

Those that followed Harold Camping weren’t following Bible prophecy. They were following Harold Camping — so they got what they should have expected.

It’s heartbreaking to see faith as great as that wasted on something so transparently obvious.

We cannot know when Christ will return.  Apart from the drop-dead statement to that effect –  “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My Father only” – there is logic and reason to consider.

Let’s take the reasons why logic and common sense agree (unsurprisingly) with Scripture.  First, if God wanted men to know when Christ would return, He would have said so clearly.  

Instead, He said precisely the opposite. So speculating about the timing of the Rapture is not merely pointless, it is disobedient.  Because it is disobedient it is also divisive and diversionary. 

Christians that believe they’ve calculated the date of the Rapture end up breaking fellowship with those that tell them they are following the wrong path.

Instead of spreading the Gospel of Love, they are diverted into spreading the gospel of wrath.  Rather than salvation by grace through faith, they embrace salvation by Rapture through fear.  To Camping’s followers, if you didn’t embrace his May 21 doctrine you’re not saved and would be left behind.

Salvation does not come by faith in a doctrine, or by faith in a teacher, or by faith in the Rapture.  Believing in the Rapture for salvation is like believing that seat belts prevent traffic accidents.   

There are things we know, things we think we know, and things we cannot know.

We can know that if we place our faith in Jesus, we will “in no wise be cast out.” We think we know the chronology of the last days, but in reality, we “see through a glass darkly”  we know only in part, but have confidence that we will eventually know, “face to face.”

We cannot know the things that God has specifically told us we cannot know – like the date of the Rapture.  We know that the Bible is infallible. We should know that Bible teachers are not.

We know that Christ will return.  We know that all the earth will be judged.  We know that all that has not been redeemed (including unregenerate, unrepentant sinners) will be purged. 

We know that it is not too late for sinners because we are still here and we know what the Great Commission requires of us.  We cannot know the date and time of the end, but we can know that it is near, even at the doors.   

Wisdom is found in knowing the difference.

Harold Camping’s followers were world-wide and therefore, Saturday amounted to a world-wide disappointment.  As I said earlier, there aren’t many churches that teach the Rapture, and no doubt there will be a lot fewer in the days to come.

It will be a lot harder for us to discuss the last days and the Rapture with the lost – and even with the saved.  A lot of Christians that believed the Rapture was near will rethink their positions – I even expect to see the rise of ‘anti-rapture’ sermonizing in the Churches.

There is a verse about the coming of the Lord that always sort of clanged off-key to me.  After all, we live in a world that so resembles the one the Bible forecast would exist in the last days that a guy like Camping could make world-wide front page headline news.

“Be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh.” (Matthew 24:44)

Post-Harold Camping, that verse makes a lot more sense to me than it did before.

Judgment Day, 2011 — The End is Here?

Judgment Day, 2011 — The End is Here?
Vol: 116 Issue: 21 Saturday, May 21, 2011

Today is the end of the world and this is my last column.  Unless today isn’t the end of the world, in which case, we’ll see you Monday, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.

Family Radio President Harold Camping predicted that the end of the world will begin on May 21st at precisely six pm in each time zone.

“A great earthquake will occur the Bible describes it as ‘such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.’ This earthquake will be so powerful it will throw open all graves. The remains of the all the believers who have ever lived will be instantly transformed into glorified spiritual bodies to be forever with God.”

That was Camping’s prediction.  But if he is right, it means that the world has already ended on the other side of the world where May 21 has come and gone without any ill effects for our friends Down Under.

I have in my library a rare copy of one of Harold Camping’s early books, entitled “1994.”  One of the reasons that it is rare is because, as the title suggests, the book was all about how the Rapture would occur in 1994. (Talk about a book with a limited shelf-life!)

So how does a guy who was so spectacularly wrong last time gain so much credibility this time? It isn’t as if he is just another nut out there.  

Camping’s supporters have shelled out millions of dollars to advertise the Rapture, including financing some twenty-two HUNDRED billboards proclaiming the Rapture on May 21st.

The New York Times ran a heart-breaking story about the Hadad family, followers of Harold Camping who are at this moment making their last preparations for the Rapture at six pm this evening.

Abby Hadad quit her job two years ago to spread the word about the May 21 Judgment Day, going out on mission trips and handing out “The End of the World Is Near” tracts to anyone that would take them.  The Hadads also stopped renovating their house and saving for college.

Last week they pulled their kids out of school and took them to New York City where they could spend their last days passing out tracts.  The three teenaged Hadad kids, not surprisingly, think their parents are nuts.

“My mom has told me directly that I’m not going to get into heaven,” Grace Haddad, 16, said. “At first it was really upsetting, but it’s what she honestly believes. . . .

People look at my family and think I’m like that,” said Joseph, their 14-year-old, as his parents walked through the street fair on Ninth Avenue, giving out Bibles. “I keep my friends as far away from them as possible.”

“I don’t really have any motivation to try to figure out what I want to do anymore,” he said, “because my main support line, my parents, don’t care.”

His mother said she accepted that believers “lose friends and you lose family members in the process.”

“I have mixed feelings,” Ms. Haddad Carson said. “I’m very excited about the Lord’s return, but I’m fearful that my children might get left behind. But you have to accept God’s will.”

Camping’s followers around the world spent the past few days saying goodbye to friends and relatives.

Thousands of other American families are in the same situation as the Haddads with Harold Camping’s prophecy splitting families into opposing camps of believers and unbelievers in his Judgment Day prophecy. Thousands of believers in the Camping prophecy have taken to streets of  New York with many “sounding the trumpet” in Time Square in the last few days, dressed in doomsday T-shirts, with placards and leaflets, some taking the last few days off to say bye-bye to friends and relatives before they are caught up into the heaven in Rapture.

What are they going to do tomorrow?

Assessment:

“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” (Matthew 24:36, Mark 13:32)

When the Lord repeats Himself, it is because He wants us to get it right. Jesus said that even He didn’t know the day and hour of the Rapture.  

Jesus isn’t referring to the 2nd Coming – the date of His second coming is easily calculable.

The Bible tells us that there will be exactly two thousand, five hundred and twenty days between the revelation of the Antichrist and the 2nd coming of Christ.  The revelation of antichrist takes place when he confirms the covenant for seven years.  

But if that isn’t a precise enough marker,  Daniel also says that the antichrist will at first permit Temple worship and later, he will “cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease.”

That event begins what the Bible calls the “Great Tribulation” in that it is at this point that God turns His attention toward the national redemption of Israel.  Since the resumption of Temple worship will be a big deal, its subsequent interruption will be a big enough deal to merit global attention.  

The Jews will mark the date that their Temple was taken from them a third time, as they did the first and second time.  

“And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.” (Daniel 12:11)

Calculating the date of Christ’s 2nd coming will be no more complicated an exercise than simply marking the date the antichrist closes the Temple and counting forward 1,290 days.

What is impossible to calculate, the Lord says, is the day and hour of the Rapture.  Why? The Bible gives us a pretty clear and concise chronology to work with.

It is incalculable because there are no signs preceding the Rapture and so there is no set point to count from. The Rapture signals the end of the Church Age, but not necessarily the start of the Tribulation.

The Church Age could end tomorrow (or anytime except today at six pm) and the Tribulation could still be years into the future.  The Tribulation begins with the revealing of the antichrist, the rider on the white horse – NOT the Rapture of the Church.

The Church Age has a discernible beginning at Pentecost — and a discernible conclusion with the Rapture.

The Tribulation doesn’t start with the disappearance of Christians. And the Church Age doesn’t end with the revelation of the antichrist.

The Church Age ends at the Rapture. The Tribulation begins with the appearance of the antichrist. There is no knowing whether there is an intervening period or how long it might be — the Bible does not say.

The judgment against a Christ-rejecting world begins with the revelation of antichrist as the rider on the white horse.  The antichrist comes first as ruler of the Gentile world and offers as his credentials a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.  

At some point thereafter he reestablishes Temple worship. Three and a half years later, the Time of Jacob’s Trouble begins with the revocation of Temple worship and concludes with the Second Coming.

Harold Camping, (a civil engineer and self-taught Biblical authority), cannot therefore have calculated the date of the Rapture because, on the authority of the Word of God, nobody can. 

Not now, not later, not even when it is ‘near, even at the doors’ – because there is no point from which to begin. 

That is deliberate.  It is by design.  God did not intend for the Church to know and He said so in no uncertain terms.  There are those who want to parse words with God . . . (eg He said we wouldn’t know the day and hour – it doesn’t mean the date) – but parsing words with God is false prophecy by any name.

Harold Camping is wrong this time, like he was wrong the last two times.  He is wrong like Edgar Whisenant was when he wrote “88 Reasons Why Christ Will Return in 1988” and he is wrong like William Miller was in 1841 and 1844.   

Jesus went to a lot of trouble to make the point that nobody could know when the Rapture will take place.

 “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. . . Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” (Matthew 24:42,44)

“Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.  .  . Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:” (Mark 13:33,35)

“Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.” (Luke 12:40)

This is not difficult to understand.  The Lord has drawn a curtain around the Rapture for a reason – and He warns the Church in no uncertain terms not to try and peek behind it. Why?

According to the website, “What’s the Harm?” apocalyptic expectations and the subsequent disappointment when it fails to materialize on schedule has, throughout history, killed 368,379 people and injured another 306,096 more and caused nearly three billion dollars in economic damage.

I don’t know if ALL those numbers are accurate, but it does list 1,810 verifiable people who were either killed or committed suicide as a consequence of apocalyptic fear.  

There is plenty of harm to be found in stepping outside of the Bible for doctrine, which is what date-setting is.  The Bible says it can’t be calculated so guys like Harold Camping look elsewhere for data.

Then people like the Hadad’s stop living normal lives, stop saving, stop working, stop raising their kids and stop caring about their future.  THAT is why the Lord drew a curtain around the date of His return. He even explained His logic so that we’d “get” it.

“But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.” (Matthew 24:43)

If I knew the Lord was coming back on a date-certain schedule, then I wouldn’t feel any pressing need to prepare until the last minute.  If you knew the Lord was coming back tomorrow, would you still go to work today?  Mow your lawn?  Make this week’s RRSP deposit?

How hard is this to figure out?   

We cannot know the hour.  But we also cannot know the day.  We can know when it is near, even at the doors, but that is about it.  And for obvious reasons.

The Rapture is very, very close.  But very, very close doesn’t mean tomorrow.  Or today.  Or October 7, 2011.  It means, “near, even at the doors.” 

If somebody tells you, here is Christ (coming) or there he is, he is lying, or he is deceived, but in either case, he doesn’t know.  

The damage caused by Harold Camping is incalculable, but it is easily seen.  Just read through the news reports about the nutbars that believe that Jesus will one day return for His Church and leave everybody else behind. 

Thanks to Harold Camping and guys like him, you are painted with that same nutbar brush. Every person that you will witness to going forward is going to hear “Harold Camping” the second you mention the Rapture. 

Many of those that put their faith in Harold Camping instead of Jesus Christ will turn away, embittered by the experience, believing that it was Christ, not Harold Camping, that let them down.  

Naming a date certain for the Rapture is not an interesting pastime – it is a deadly serious violation of Christian doctrine. 

The damage done to one’s own walk, faith and reputation is nothing compared to the damage done to the lives of those that misplaced their faith and are too badly hurt to take that risk again.

We cannot know the date of the Rapture. The reason why is obvious enough, but it doesn’t stop guys like Harold Camping from trying to outsmart God.

“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” (Matthew 24:36)

It just doesn’t get any clearer than that.

”And the End Shall Be With a Flood. . . ”

”And the End Shall Be With a Flood. . . ”
Vol: 116 Issue: 20 Friday, May 20, 2011

President Barack Hussein Obama formally embraced the Palestinian position regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict in a speech in which he declared that any final solution will have to be based on the 1967 borders.

The speech, delivered on the eve of a scheduled visit by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was intended to signal to Netanyahu that Obama is expecting major concessions from the Israelis.

Israeli officials were especially surprised at Obama’s “blunt” language, especially Obama’s criticism of so-called “settlements” and what he called Israel’s continued “occupation” of “Arab lands.”

According to Obama, “The dream of a Jewish and democratic state cannot be fulfilled with permanent occupation.”  Great, swelling words – but ultimately meaningless. 

First off, Israel does not dream of a Jewish and democratic state.  Israel IS a Jewish and democratic state – and has been such for more than sixty years.  And second, what “permanent occupation?”  

The only territory that qualifies as “occupied” would be the Golan Heights captured from Syria and annexed to prevent Syrian gunners from lobbing shells down into the Galilee region. 

Giving the Golan back to Syria would be suicidal – but one suspects Obama knows that. 

Maybe that is why Obama has steadfastly refused to take any meaningful action against Syria’s Bashar al Assad, despite reports that he has ordered his troops to shoot indiscriminately into crowds of protestors.

According to published news reports, Assad’s forces have arrested more than eight THOUSAND people, many of whom have been tortured.

“In Banias, a strategic oil refining port on Syria’s Mediterranean coast, prisoners were being held in the power station and a sports stadium because all the city’s jail cells were full. . . In interviews with 19 Syrian detainees last month, including two women and three teenagers, Human Rights Watch found that all but two had been tortured, including being whipped with cable and stunned with electric-shock devices while drenched in cold water.”

There is more, but it is just too sickening to repeat.  But that isn’t what is important to President Obama. What is important to President Obama is keeping up the pressure on Israel.

Like everyone else, I’ve been wondering why Obama dumped Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak so abruptly, siding forcefully with the protestors against Mubarak, while staying relatively silent when other, less friendly dictatorships were on the ropes.  

Why did Obama plunge into the fray in Egypt but refrain from any interference with Iran?   Iran is already sworn to Israel’s destruction.  Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt had a peace treaty with Israel. 

Iran is an Islamic republic led by Muslims according to the tenets of the Koran and Sharia Law. Hosni Mubarak was a secular leader of secular state ruled apart from the Koran.

Obama sided with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, a group dedicated to replacing Egypt’s secular government with an Islamic republic.  

In Iran, Obama sided with the government, congratulating Ahmadinejad’s fraudulent ‘re-election’ and respectfully referring to Ayahtollah Khameini as the ‘Supreme Leader.”

But when it came to Syria, Obama’s criticism was muted.  He didn’t call Assad’s regime ‘illegitimate’ — as he did with Mubarak – much less call for Assad to step down.   It seems the only Arab dictatorships not supported by Obama are those few with friendly relations with Israel.

Memo to Arab Dictatorships:  If you want to survive the Arab Spring, avoid any appearance of friendship with Israel.

Assessment:

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

“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” (Daniel 9:26-27)

This linked map shows what the President of the United States called “the Israeli occupation.”

Note the little blue dots – those are Israeli settlements. Places where Jews live.  The Palestinians want all Jews expelled and the West Bank to be a “no Jews allowed” zone.  

Can you imagine the outcry if Israel agreed on the condition that all Arabs be expelled from Israel?  Not even the Israelis would agree to something that reprehensible. 

Look now at all the little red dots.  Those are the Palestinian ‘refugee’ camps – camps for homeless displaced Palestinians from the 1948 War of Independence.  How many little red dots do you see in Israeli-controlled territory? 

There are none inside Israel because Israel didn’t put them into camps.  Israel absorbed its Arab population, granting them full Israeli citizenship. It was the Arab states that put them into camps.  

Sixty-three years later they are still kept in these concentration camps as ‘refugees’.  These Arab ‘refugees’ are the ones actually under occupation – but their occupiers aren’t the Jews – they are their Arab brothers.

How do the ordinary Arabs really feel about the Israeli occupation? You would suspect that somebody would ask them. But when somebody did, the answer was so shocking that they quit asking the question.

Given the choice, vast majorities of Palestinians now living under Israeli rule say that they would fight against being turned over the Palestinian Authority.   As one of them explained to Daniel Pipes:  “The hell of Israel is better than the paradise of Arafat.”

While Obama is throwing Israel under the bus and offering American support for the division of Jerusalem, how are things going back home?

From May to September, 1993 the Clinton administration was secretly engaged in feverish talks with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.  On the table was the Oslo Agreement  — a seven year contract between the two sides — based on the formula of land for peace.

The Oslo Agreement called for Israel to take land captured from Jordan, Syria, and Egypt during the 1967 War and give it to the indigenous Arab peoples who claimed national status as a ‘Palestinian people’.  

Despite the fact that there never was such a people, or a Palestinian culture or Palestinian language or Palestinian history, the Oslo Agreement required Israel to pretend there was a Palestinian people and to carve out part of its own territory to give them for a Palestinian state.

The Oslo Agreement was brokered by the Clinton administration and held an emotional signing ceremony in the Rose Garden overseen by US President Bill Clinton.  

As Clinton nudged a reluctant Rabin to take the blood-stained hand of Yasser Arafat on September 13, 1993 the Mississippi River overflowed its banks in what was called “a five-hundred year flood.”

 “And I will bless them that bless thee and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3)

According to NOAA:

“The magnitude and severity of this flood event was simply over-whelming, and it ranks as one of the greatest natural disasters ever to hit the United States. Approximately 600 river forecast points in the Midwestern United States were above flood stage at the same time.

Nearly 150 major rivers and tributaries were affected. It was certainly the largest and most significant flood event ever to occur in the United States.”

Here we are almost twenty-years later, with an American president calling for the division of Jerusalem and supporting the creation of a Jew-free Palestinian state in Biblical Samaria and Judea.

And that’s exactly the interval between five-hundred year floods in the American Midwest, too.  

I don’t believe in coincidences.

The Entitlement Trap

The Entitlement Trap
Vol: 116 Issue: 19 Thursday, May 19, 2011

I was watching the news yesterday about the new wave of health care waivers and listening to the pundits analyze how they were distributed, etc. But they danced all around the real (and most obvious) issue.

But to get to it, we must first address a couple of questions.  Why has the administration granted some 1,300 health care waivers?  While we’re on the subject, what is a heath care waiver?  Maybe we should tackle that one first.

A ‘waiver’ is an exemption from some part (or all) of the provisions of Obamacare on the grounds that implementing it would be so prohibitively expensive or difficult that complying would run them out of business

(That also takes care of the ‘why’ question).

What brought the whole health care waiver issue to the forefront of national attention was the discovery that 20% of the waivers granted in April were granted to businesses in former Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home district. 

By itself, that might raise eyebrows, but a closer examination of the businesses involved ought to be raising voices.  Waivers that ordinarily would go to small mom and pop restaurants to prevent them from going out of business went instead to restaurants with $60 steaks on the menu.

Pelosi famously told Americans that the Congress had to first pass the bill in order to find out what was in it.  Apparently, one of the things in the bill we didn’t know about until after it was too late was how easy it would make it for politicians to buy cooperation from the public.

Waivers have been granted to the United Federation of Teachers, McDonalds, the entire State of Maine, the Cement Mason’s Union Local 60, Teamsters Local Nos. 175 & 505 Health and Welfare Fund, 24 Hour Fitness (with more than 1,758 enrollees) – check out the HHS list here.

Altogether, the latest round of health care waivers granted by the HHS for April included twenty-seven waivers for health care and drug companies(!) and thirty-one waivers for unions.

There is a reason why the Democrats have been pushing for the nationalization of the health care industry – which is what the health care bill accomplishes – and it was never about affordable health care for the poor. 

If it was affordable there would have been no need to create a health care waiver system to prevent the plan from crushing small business.

It was always about control.

Assessment:

The health care plan could just as well have been designed by 19th century philosopher Georges Hegel – there is little doubt in my mind that he was the inspiration for the plan. It is a perfect example of the Hegelian Dialectic in operation.

A government “entitlement” describes a government benefit to which citizens are entitled by virtue of their citizenship.  An “entitlement” is much like a birthright.  As such, an “entitlement” is unconstitutional. 

Under the American system, rights can only be granted by God. The government’s role isn’t to grant rights, it is to guarantee them.   The Founding Fathers didn’t give the government the authority to ‘grant’ rights – they were fighting for freedom from that very system.

When a monarch needed popular support, he granted this group or that group special favors, rights or privileges in exchange for their support.  Many of the officers and men fighting against the American revolutionaries did so in exchange for the promise of land grants, titles or special privileges from King George III.

The United Empire Loyalists remained loyal to the Crown because the Crown promised them free land, allowed them to keep their slaves under a 1790 law and even granted them a special hereditary title.

In the 1930’s FDR re-introduced Americans to the royal system of granting entitlements, or hereditary privileges, not so much as a reward for current service as an investment for services yet to be rendered.  

The passage of the Social Security Act, for example, guaranteed the government a permanent lock on the senior citizen vote. No matter how outrageous a government plan might seem, all it takes is a threat to Social Security to get every government-dependent senior onboard.  

When you want to pass something that will damage workers, take it to the seniors. Conversely, if you need to convince workers to get onboard, then you threaten future Social Security benefits. 

It’s a pretty effective system since everybody gets old.  But it isn’t foolproof.   The degree of influence a threat to SSI has is directly proportionate to the age of the demographic involved.

Threats to SSI didn’t used to scare teenagers and twenty-somethings – now it doesn’t even scare people in their forties.  They know the jig is up, the con has been exposed and they won’t ever get their retirement money anyway.  

The threat has lost much of its power.

But everybody gets sick.  Little kids, teenagers, twenty-somethings alike.  And the MOST exposed demographic is the group that was least exposed by SSI – parents in their thirties and forties. 

They have no illusions about SSI.  They are less poor than their younger or older demographic counterparts, so they are less dependent on the government for survival.  But they have kids – and kids get sick.

Control the health care system and you control the population.  Indeed, you enslave the population.  The health care systems in the UK and Canada are terrible in comparison with the US free-market system – but they are the only game in town.  

Threaten their free health care and they will stand for almost anything. 

Obamacare takes it to the next level. Instead of threatening to withhold health care, the Obamacare threat is that it will be imposed, unless one gets a waiver.  Control the corporations and businesses first – worry about how to control individuals later.

Like the stimulus money before it, health care waivers are being passed out as ‘thank yous’ for political support, as incentives for future support, or as plain old bribes.

The proof is in the pudding.  Obamacare is a system so terrible that those with clout are willing to do whatever is necessary, give up whatever is necessary or go along with whatever is necessary. 

And yet there are millions of Americans prepared to defend both Obamacare and Nancy Pelosi. 

It is a manifestation of what Michelle Malkin (or was it Ann Coulter?) describes as LDS, or “Liberal Derangement Syndrome.”    

Here we have a system so destructive that even McDonald’s and Walmart can’t afford it, one so bad that the government can’t deny it, one so dishonest that even the Democrats can’t hide it . . . and yet still it has millions of blind, knee-jerk defenders of a system that is aimed at their enslavement.

“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.”  (Romans 1:28)

To me, this is one of the most astonishing prophecies in Scripture.  First, it is my opinion that being a good Christian and being a good Democrat are mutually exclusive positions. 

I do not see how a saved person can support Democrat priorities like abortion, the abolition of public prayer, restrictions on parental rights and so on.  (Evidently some can, but it is the how of it that escapes me.)

So I am of the opinion that the majority of Democrats, particularly those on the Left, do not like to retain God in their knowledge.  Now we move on to the part about a ‘reprobate’ mind doing things that are not convenient”.

(Reprobate – Greek: adokimos  means “morally worthless”)  (Convenient: kathehko  means “fitting, as in one’s best interests,” etc.)

The idea of defending a policy like Obamacare, particularly in light of the fact it is so destructive that the government has to grant waivers to keep it from collapsing the economy, is certainly not in any American’s best interests as a citizen.  

Yet there are millions that do. 

I used to wonder how it could ever come about that the antichrist could get America to go along with some of the policies the Bible says he will introduce, like the Mark of the Beast, for example. 

I don’t wonder about that anymore. 

Why Jesus Can t Be A Myth

Why Jesus Can t Be A Myth
Vol: 116 Issue: 18 Wednesday, May 18, 2011

One of the most important differences between Biblical Christianity and most other belief structures, (including atheism) is that, by its very nature, Christianity discourages becoming mythologized.

That is one reason that twenty centuries after the fact, Jesus is still God, but ‘Jupiter’ is a planet in the solar system.

Mythological religious figures are larger-than-life, have supernatural power, are somewhat mischievous, and their deeds tend to grow with time.

One could say that about Zeus, one could say that about about Mohammed, or one could say that about Charles Darwin.

Jesus Christ was larger-than-life in His humility. No other mythological god ever washed the feet of his servants. Jesus did not exercise His Personal power, but always accredited it to God the Father.

Jesus was kind and friendly, but deadly serious — no one could accuse Him of being mischievous. And Jesus Christ was the same yesterday as today.

There are no eyewitnesses to the life and times of Zeus or Jupiter. The Koran contains no eyewitness accounts — it was compiled after the death of Mohammed from oral tradition.

Charles Darwin was not the committed atheist his followers claim, but rather, he was the son of a preacher who attended Divinity School.

And, according to an eyewitness to his death, at Lady Hope, he underwent a ‘deathbed conversion’ in which he renounced atheism.

Darwin’s followers call that a ‘myth’. That’s my point. There are more written eyewitness accounts to the life and times of Jesus Christ than of any major historical figure of antiquity.

(And more eyewitnesses to His last words, (“It is finished”) than there were to Charles Darwin’s.)

Any attempt to mythologize Jesus Christ runs into that brick wall of eyewitness testimony. Jesus Christ has been mythologized by cults, but that is why they are called cults.

Because they introduce an element of unprovable myth to a life already marked by proven miracles well attested to by multiple, unrelated eyewitnesses.

In Jesus’ day, Jerusalem was a relatively small, close-knit city, many of whose residents could trace their genealogy back to Adam. Everybody knew everybody, or they knew somebody who knew somebody — like in many small towns today.

There is a story in which Jesus was preaching in a crowded synagogue. A paralytic, desiring to be healed, couldn’t be maneuvered through the crowd, so instead, they tore a hole in the roof and lowered the guy down.
(Like THAT wouldn’t be the talk of the town, in and of itself – the text says he was a paralytic from birth, and well known to his neighbors.)

Having lowered the guy down from the roof (picture it from the perspective of the audience) to Jesus, Jesus says to the guy, “Arise, take up thy bed, and walk.”

And he does! In front of a synagogue full of eyewitnesses, the guy picks up his bed, and walks out through the crowd.

The Gospel of Mark, which related the story, was already in circulation sometime around 45 AD — fifteen years after the fact. (There is little reason to doubt the healed paralytic was still alive and telling his own story, as well).

It is fair to assume that Jesus had at least as many enemies as He had friends. But there are no contemporary records denying that event took place.

Why? Too many eyewitnesses were there to see what really happened.

One cannot mythologize Jesus for several reasons; 1) the incredible detail of the written eyewitness record; 2) the contemporary acceptance of the Gospels as fact; and, 3) when it comes to the life and times of Jesus Christ, no myth is necessary.

The truth is staggering enough.

Assessment:

Those are the reasons why Jesus can’t be mythologized. There is also a reason why few, outside of the cults, have tried. There is no motive. To be saved, one must accept Jesus Christ as He is.

A Christian’s motivation is a sincere belief in heaven and hell and an equally sincere desire to keep his fellow man from ending up in hell.

A mythologized Jesus cannot save anyone.

On the other hand, atheism has no eternal power, demands no eternal accountability, and therefore, has no absolute truth.

Consequently, it is built entirely on a foundation of mythology.

Let’s examine just a few examples of atheist mythology (with acknowledgment to Vox Day’s brilliant book, “The Irrational Atheist.”)

Day takes on the most specious arguments offered by the three best-selling atheist authors of our time, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins.

  • Myth: Atheists make up a smaller percentage of prison inmates than their religious counterparts.
  • Fact: Surveys show that those who profess no religion are four times as likely to be incarcerated than Christians.
  • Myth: Cities in Blue States are safer than Red cities.
  • Fact: The safest cities in “Blue” states are in “Red” counties. The most dangerous cities in “Red” States are in “Blue” counties. (It all depends on how you frame the facts)
  • Myth: Richard Dawkins claimed in his book, “The God Delusion” that religions are responsible for the destruction of religious art and literature.
  • Fact: Vox Day counters by pointing out the 41,000 churches destroyed the Soviet atheists, and thousands of Buddhist temples destroyed in Tibet, North Korea, and Vietnam, as they attempted to persecute religious belief out of existence.
  • Myth: Hitler was a Christian.
  • Fact: Hitler was a baptized Catholic who was heavily involved in the occult, Theosophy, Arianism etc. who hated Christians and planned to replace Christianity with Aryanism, an atheistic religion based in racial eugenics.
  • Myth: Atheists are rational, and therefore would never commit atrocities.
  • Fact: Most of the dictators of the 20th century were atheists. The Soviet Union was an officially atheist state.
  • Myth: Morality is a function of democracy in which the majority, rather than God, establish fundamental morality.
  • Fact: Both Hitler and Hamas were elected in free and fair democratic elections. Moral democracy is no guarantee of a ‘moral majority’.

Christopher Hitchens wrote, in his book, “God is not Great” that “what can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence,” as his ‘evidence’ that proves God is a myth.

Day identifies fifty-one statements made by Hitchens for which Hitchens offers no evidence. (Therefore, by Hitchens’ own logic, his book can be dismissed much more easily that the Bible.)

My favorite chapter title is Day’s “Occam’s Chainsaw” in which he applies the logical principle of “Occam’s Razor” to the logical contradictions offered by Hitchens, Dawkins and Harris, et al.

In it, Day tackles the various logical problems inherent in the atheist arguments, including those rooted in lack of evidence, hallucination, temporal advantage, fiction, unfairness of hell, God’s character, moral evolution, etc.

Bottom line? It takes far more faith in the face of the contradictions, inconsistencies, historical inaccuracies, and outright mythology of atheism than it does to accept the premise of a loving God who is intimately concerned with the spiritual well-being of His creation.

“For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” (2nd Timothy 1:12)

Marantha! (Come, Lord Jesus)

Four Resurrections — One Judgment

Four Resurrections — One Judgment
Vol: 116 Issue: 17 Tuesday, May 17, 2011

During the thousand year Millennial Reign, the earth will be populated by ordinary, living, breathing humans, some of whom survived the Tribulation Period, together with those who will be born (in the usual manner) during the Kingdom Period.

The human lifespan will return to what it was in the days of Adam, but they will be mortal humans in the sense that, even with Satan bound, men will still die, and sin will still exist;

“There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.”

Further proving that the inhabitants of the Kingdom Period are ordinary humans; they will need food, and shelter, and to get it, they will have to work for a living, even as they enjoy an extended lifespan:

“And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.” (Isaiah 65:21-22)

Coinhabiting the earth with mortal humans, Scripture tells us, are the immortal resurrected dead.

“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.” (Revelation 20:4-5)

Notice two key points John makes in this passage.

First, those being addressed are undeniably those who came out of the Tribulation. And second, John says that, AFTER the Tribulation, (in which they were beheaded) they both live AND reign with Christ for the full thousand years.

This passage is often used as a proof text to argue in favor of a post-Tribulation Rapture. After all, they are clearly those who endured the Tribulation. And if it is the ‘first’ resurrection, then it must take place concurrent with the Rapture.

That seems to make sense, until you look at the passage again. Those referenced there are ONLY those who came out of the Great Tribulation.

Church Age believers and the Old Testament saints are not mentioned, since they have already received their resurrection bodies. (Matthew 19:28, Daniel 12, Job 19:25)

“Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:6)

Revelation 20:4-6 mentions a “first resurrection” and identifies those involved as “blessed and holy.” The second death (the lake of fire, Revelation 20:14) has no power over these individuals.

But how does one have two ‘first’ resurrections; the first at a pre-Trib Rapture, and the second at the end of the Tribulation Period?

Actually, the Bible identifies the ‘first resurrection’ as occurring in four stages, not two.

The first resurrection, in general, is the raising of all believers from all ages.

It corresponds with Jesus’ teaching of the “resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:14) and the “resurrection of life” (John 5:29).

And it clearly takes place in various stages; the first was Jesus Christ Himself two thousand years ago.

He was the ‘Firstfruits’ (1 Corinthians 15:20) Who prepared the way of salvation for those who Trust Him during the Church Age.

The second stage involved the resurrection of the saints of Jerusalem;

“And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” (Matthew 27:52-53).

Stage three is the resurrection of the “dead in Christ” followed by the Rapture of “we which are alive and remain” at the Lord’s return for His Church at the conclusion of the Church Age. (1st Thessalonians 4:17)

And finally, the resurrection of the martyrs at the conclusion of the final seven years of the Age of the Law. (Revelation 20:4, Daniel 9:24)

All these groups are part of the ‘first resurrection’ upon whom the ‘second death’ (in the lake of fire) will have ‘no power’.

There is no inconsistency between resurrection of the saints at the conclusion of the Church Age, followed by a separate resurrection of the martyrs at the conclusion of the Tribulation, anymore than there is an inconsistency between the Resurrection of Christ followed by the separate resurrection of the O. T. saints in Jerusalem.

From the Resurrection of Jesus to the resurrection of the Tribulation martyrs and O.T. saints (Daniel 12:13); it is all part of the general ‘first’ resurrection of the dead in four stages, each of which is clearly separated according to Scripture to a specific purpose in the overall Plan of God.

The second resurrection, then, is the raising of all unbelievers; the second resurrection is connected to the second death. It corresponds with Jesus’ teaching of the “resurrection of damnation” (John 5:29).

The event which divides the first and second resurrections is the millennial kingdom.

The last of the righteous are raised to reign “with Christ a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4), but the “rest of the dead [that is, the wicked] lived not again until the thousand years were finished.” (Revelation 20:5).

As part of understanding Scripture’s outline of the overall Plan of God, consider the various 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.

“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)

We are a mystery to the angels. The Bible says they are charged with ministering to us, but that one day, they will be judged BY us. (1st Corinthians 6:3)

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with SO GREAT A CLOUD OF WITNESSES, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,” (Hebrews 12:1)

Isaiah 14 introduces us to the first outbreak of sin in the universe.

“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 judgement 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)

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

The courtroom is Planet Earth, with Jesus as the Righteous Judge, the angels as witnesses, and with sinful mankind serving as evidence. It is more than just the trial of Satan. Sin itself is on trial.

Lucifer, called in Scripture, “the anointed cherub that covereth” was highly favored of God; “and I have set thee so” (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 opens with 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.

To accomplish that God Himself stepped out of space and time, took on the form of sinful man, kept the Law on our behalf, and 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 constitutes Exhibit 5 — and it 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 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.

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.”

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. Exhibit 7.

Sin is judged according to its works.

“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, and will ultimately be eradicated from existence, together with all those who “received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:12)

Praise the Lord for that OTHER central theme of Scripture.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

The Big Picture 2011

The Big Picture 2011
Vol: 116 Issue: 16 Monday, May 16, 2011

According to the Book of the Revelation, the system of antichrist consists primarily of three separate components. The political Beast’s system will link economic and political activity to the religious system, overseen by the religious Beast, known to Scripture as the False Prophet.

The object of worship will be the “Dragon” – the spiritual component of the antichrist’s system.  

“And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?”  (Revelation 13:4)

The Beast that we call the “antichrist” is but one element within a system, but for clarity’s sake, we call the political beast “the antichrist,” and the religious beast “the False Prophet.”  

“And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.” (Revelation 13:2)

The dragon that gives “the Beast” his power, his seat and great authority is Satan.  All three collectively are “the Beast” or “the antichrist” because they are the system.

So the system of antichrist must rest on three ‘pillars’ – a global government, global economy and a global religious system.   Before going further, we need also define ‘global’. 

Clearly, not all the world’s people are subordinate to the antichrist’s system.  The Bible divides the world into four spheres of influence in the last days that correspond to the compass points.  

The antichrist’s government is the most powerful and sets the standard for all the rest, but it is not truly global, which is why it is marked by so much conflict.  Over the course of his reign he is challenged by the kings of the East and South and by Gog-Magog.

Before any of this can unfold, however, there must first be a system already in place. While there is a global government system, there is no genuine centralized global government.

The United Nations has proven itself under pressure to be a paper tiger. The idea is sound, the resources are there, as is the infrastructure, but there’s no leadership.  It has limited authority and even more limited power. 

The global religion is continuing to develop. It is unclear what its final form will be, other than to say with confidence it won’t welcome fundamentalism of any stripe. The Bible says it will have two horns like a Lamb (symbolic of Christianity) but will speak like a dragon (Satan). – (Rev 13:11)

I’m admittedly speculating, but I suspect that it will incorporate the prevailing worldview that Christianity, Judaism and Islam are all equally valid paths to salvation, but no more or less valid than earth worship, or pantheism.

Pantheism is the ideal replacement for the extremist fundamentalism within each system (except pantheism) that demands exclusivity. 

The basic doctrine of Judaism is summed up in one sentence from Deuteronomy: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.”

The basic doctrine of Christianity is summed up in one sentence from the Book of Acts:

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other Name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”  (Acts 4:12)

The basic doctrine of Islam is summed up in the Islamic statement of faith: “There is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet.”

Pantheism is a pagan heresy that postulates that God is in all things and therefore, all things are God.  To a pantheist, God is in a tree so a tree can be a god.  

So could anything (or anyone) else.

Assessment:

Politically, the global government as it exists in its current form is clearly inadequate to the tasks at hand. The UN has proved itself utterly ineffective in preventing rogue states from attaining weapons of mass destruction and the systems to deliver them.

Half the countries in the world are at war with al-Qaeda, whereas the other half of the world seems to be supporting and financing them. Both sides are using the UN to push competing agendas.

The Arab-Israeli conflict rages on, thanks in no small part to the UN’s decision to take sides against Israel. Israel is a member state of the United Nations. The UN was created to settle disputes between nations.

It is expressly forbidden by its charter from interfering in the domestic affairs of member states without invitation.

“Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter. . .  (UN Charter, Article 2, para 7)

Israel’s war is with an ethnic minority within its own borders.  There is not, nor has there ever been an Arab nation of Palestine or an Arab peoples known as “Palestinians.”  

On that basis, the UN has no jurisdiction over the Israeli-Arab conflict — it is an internal Israeli domestic matter.

Lack of jurisdiction notwithstanding, the UN passed resolutions aimed at ordering Israel to surrender part of its territory to the rebelling domestic minority. It is largely on the strength of those resolutions that the Arabs are able to justify their war in the first place.

The UN’s core position as it relates to the Arab-Israeli peace process is nothing less than a redefinition of Hitler’s doctrine of Judenrein, meaning, “Jew-free” — since the UN supports the ethnic cleansing of Jews from Israeli land now claimed by the Arabs as a condition of peace.

The great religious systems of this generation are undergoing a similar redefinition. 

Islamic fundamentalism has been effectively transformed into something called “militant religious fundamentalism” so that Islam can be exonerated as a “religion of peace that was hijacked by a few fundamentalists.” 

Following that line of thinking, if fundamentalists can take a ‘great religion of peace’ like Islam and use it to kill tens of thousands of innocents, just imagine how fundamentalism can transform other, older and even more warlike religions like Christianity and Judaism.

Most of the great religious wars of history were fought long before Islam was invented by an itinerant trader named Mohammed in the sixth century after Christ.

Ergo, the threat is not from Islam, but rather from religious fundamentalism of all kinds.  Christian fundamentalists, if you follow the news, beat their children to within an inch of their lives, blow up abortion clinics, murder abortionists and are just generally not very nice people.

Christians are the preferred targets of terrorist groups world-wide, but targeting Christians based on their religion isn’t seen as persecution so much as it is seen as an expression of legitimate grievances against Western culture.

The third pillar of the antichrist’s government is his absolute control of the global economy. According to Revelation 13:16-17, his control is so complete that no man will be able to ‘buy or sell’ unless they are part of his tripartite religious/political/economic system.

Before a new economic system can be introduced, the old economic order needs to be destroyed.  That process is well underway as we speak. Consequently, arguing for a strong global economic central banking scheme simply makes good economic sense.

Now, just look at the situation as it exists today — halfway through the month of May, 2011.

The global economy is on the ropes as the world’s largest economies search for new global currency to replace the rapidly collapsing economy.  The UN called for the replacement of the dollar almost two years ago.

The IMF added its voice last year arguing in favor of Special Drawing Rights (or SDRs) to central banks’ dependence on U.S. Treasuries. The IMF plan would dictate that certain assets, such as oil and gold, which are traded in U.S. dollars, be priced using SDRs.

The elimination of cash and its replacement with verifiable, traceable electronic transactions would go a long way toward ending the black market in arms and material with terror groups like al-Qaeda and would grind the international drug trade to a halt.

The technology is there, but the political will is not.  The unfolding global economic collapse — coupled with the ongoing wars against terror and the drug cartel — is slowly building the political will necessary. What is missing is a leader who can exploit it.

There is already a growing recognition of the dangers posed to global security by religious fundamentalism, but the UN recognizes that people need religion.  While religion cannot effectively be abolished, it can be modified.

A global religion under a strong single religious authority sounded like science fiction a few years ago. Under current world circumstances, it sounds like the only viable option.

Now let’s return to Revelation Chapter 13 again for a moment.  What are the odds?

In a single chapter, John outlined conditions precisely as they would exist 20 centuries in the future — and on a global basis — from a cave on the Greek island of Patmos.

The Bible shows them coming together simultaneously, a global government, a global economy and a global religion, in the same generation as a revived Roman Empire and the reestablishment of an existing Jewish state called ‘Israel’ — during a period of unprecedented global upheaval.

Again, I ask you. What are the odds?

In all the generations of all the governments of the entire world for two thousand years, nothing even approaching this scenario has ever presented itself.

  • There hasn’t been a united Europe since the days of the Roman Empire. (Until this generation when the 1948 Benelux Treaty set the unification of Europe in motion.)
  • There hasn’t been a Jewish state called Israel since 702 BC when the Northern Kingdom of Israel was conquered and destroyed by Sargon II. (Until this generation when the 1948 Declaration of Independence reestablished the Land of Israel as a Jewish State.)
  • A global government system has never existed. (Until this generation when the UN Declaration of Human Rights was signed at the United Nations in 1948.
  •  A truly global economy was never possible before this generation. (Until the General Agreement on Tarifs and Trade was signed in 1948, setting forth the rules for international trade.)  
  • Centralized control of both was not technically possible. (Until the introduction of the transistor in 1948 by Bell Labs.)

The world looks like it is about to have a nervous breakdown, but for the Christian, it should serve as a major affirmation of our faith.

“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts. (2 Peter 1:19).

Bible Prophecy wasn’t given the Church just so we could dazzle our friends with scary predictions and things that make you go ‘hmmm.’

It was given us as a “light that shineth in a dark place” to illuminate the gloom and doom and reveal to us what is hidden to the world.  

Bible prophecy for the last days has a starting point.  And, it has a discernible ending point.

It begins with the generation that will see ‘all these things begin to come to pass’ (Luke 21:28), and ends with the close of the seven year Tribulation Period and the 2nd Coming of Christ.

We have seen the beginning — and the exquisite attention paid to detail thus far. It tells us that the Plan is in action, and that it will continue to unfold precisely as prophesied.

It tells us God remains on the Throne, His Promises remain valid. It gives us hope in a dying, sin-sick world.

We hear the question, “What is this world coming to?” and we know the answer.  We know what this world is coming to because of Who is coming.   We don’t know when, but we know it will be very soon.

Perhaps even sooner than we think.