Higher and Higher. . .

Higher and Higher. . .
Vol: 118 Issue: 30 Saturday, July 30, 2011

The government of Israel announced this week that the ministry of health will launch a domestic pot-growing operation to grow and manage Israel’s exploding medical marijuana industry.

The Jpost is reporting that Israel’s decision to grow domestic pot will last two years, after which the government will take another look at it.  The reason the government wants to grow pot is to bring the price down – imported marijuana costs ten times as much.

It gives one pause to wonder: where would they import pot from?  Mexico?  California?  Canada?  Why would it cost more to import a pot plant than it would a tomato plant? 

Actually, a tomato plant should cost MORE.  Pot is a WEED.  I looked it up.  It is a fairly aggressive week that will grow wild without too much attention. 

And from what I’ve been able to read and what I know of Israel’s multi-tiered agricultural environment, if it can be grown anywhere, it would grow in Israel better.

Until now, authorization for the use of medical marijuana to relieve pain and provide other relief for patients – adults and children – with severe illness has been supervised and authorized for specific patients by Dr. Yehuda Baruch, a psychiatrist at the government’s Abarbanel State Mental Health Center in Bat Yam.

Currently, medical marijuana is supplied exclusively by local growers to some 6,000 patients authorized by Baruch, but there are predictions that doctor and patient satisfaction is so high that the number could reach 40,000 in 2016.

Members of the Israel Pharmacists Association have been pressing for permission to distribute medical marijuana to authorized patients through their pharmacies. Although the Israel Police has urged that supplies be imported rather than locally grown because customs agents could minimize their reaching illicit users, the ministry decided that in the near future, no imports would be allowed.

This is where it gets a little bit confusing.  Indeed, this is where it becomes a lot confusing – SO confusing that many countries are either rewriting their marijuana laws or scrapping them altogether.  

Once marijuana is recognized to have a legitimate, recognized medical use, it becomes much harder to justify cracking down on “illicit” users.  

Marijuana is unique among illegal drugs in that it is less harmful physically than any chemical pharmaceutical, is virtually impossible to overdose on, is not known to have ever killed anyone and may actually provide certain health benefits.

In Canada, superior and appellate courts in Ontario have repeatedly declared Canada’s federal marijuana laws to be of no force and effect.  Currently, one can be arrested for possessing marijuana in Ontario, but is unlikely to be prosecuted.

Now Israel is considering importing marijuana.  Israel!  The Apple of God’s Eye.  The place where He located His Temple. 

Marijuana for His Chosen People? 

Assessment:

I was once challenged to prove from the Bible that pot-smoking is inherently sinful.  It was a surprisingly difficult challenge.  As Christians we are required to obey the law.  So it is a sin to smoke pot.  But the sin is evidently law-breaking.  Not smoking pot.

The Bible also seems to contain injunctions against drinking – but the injunctions are actually against drunkenness – not drinking.

“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” (Proverbs 20:1)

“Deceived”, and thereby, “not wise”.   But that is not the same as ‘sin’.

Deuteronomy 14:26 commands the Israelites, as part of the celebration of their first fruits:

“And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household.”

It would seem that there are times, therefore, in which God evidently approves of wine or strong drink, under certain circumstances.  So it isn’t the drink that is sin. Or even the consumption of strong drink that is sin. 

That only leaves time and circumstance.  Clearly, it is better not to drink, and one can extrapolate from that obvious fact until it becomes sin. 

“It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:” (Proverbs 31:4)

Are we not, as Christians, princes, priests or kings before the Lord?  But then in the very next verse, we read:

“Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.” (Proverbs 31:5)

And,

“Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.” (1st Timothy 5:23)

What does THAT mean?  Clearly, there are times when strong drink and wine are appropriate, according to the Scriptures.  And just as clearly, there are times when it is not.  And for some people, there is never a time when it is appropriate.   

Alcohol addiction has ruined uncountable millions of lives.  What about marijuana addiction?   I can’t say.  I don’t know.

The Book of Revelation is the only place in the entire Bible where there is any reference to the use of drugs. But in the Book detailing the final hours of the last days, drugs are mentioned twice.

Revelation 9:21 outlines in a nutshell the reasons for the judgments coming on the earth during the Tribulation.

 “Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.”

The word translated in the Book of the Revelation as ‘sorceries’ has a unique and interesting etymology. The word usage is intriguing, when one considers the fact the Book of the Revelation, although put to paper in the latter part of the first century, is an account of events that are still future.

And it grows increasingly obvious that it is near future. . . The word translated as ‘sorceries’ in Revelation 9:21 and again in Revelation 18:23 is a different root word than used elsewhere in Scripture.

Elsewhere, as in Isaiah 47:12 or Acts 8:11 the word ‘sorceries‘ comes from the root words ‘keseph‘ [Hebrew] and ‘magea‘ [Greek] — both of which mean ‘magic arts’.

But uniquely, in the Book composed for the generation that would experience its contents, the word translated ‘sorceries‘ comes from the Greek word ‘pharmakea‘ from which we get our English word ‘pharmacy’. ‘Pharmakea’ means, ‘the use or administration of drugs’.

One would assume rampant drug abuse was not on the minds of the English translators poring over the old Greek manuscripts in 1611.  Neither is there historical evidence of rampant drug problems in AD 87 when John was receiving the Revelation on the Isle of Patmos.

Pretty incredible, when you really think about it.  Particularly when one consider the word occurs only in the Book detailing the judgments of God on a Christ-rejecting world in the last days. 

The Prophet Daniel was given similar visions regarding the last days, visions that troubled him greatly, since he could not really understand what all the symbols, heads, horns, beasts, etc., were all about.   

Daniel asked the revealing angel what the things he had written down meant, but the angel told him that the vision was not for his time, or any future time except the last time.  And just to make sure he understood it, the angel told him twice.

“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” (Daniel 12:4)

“And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.” (Daniel 12:8-9)

Here Daniel was given five separate prophecies:

  1. The words will be “shut up” or unintelligible;
  2. The Book itself will be ‘sealed’;
  3. It will not be unsealed until ‘ the time of the end’;
  4. The unsealing will occur as international travel increases
  5. Overall knowledge will suddenly increase exponentially.

The Apostle John continues the theme, predicting that all this will take place at the same time that the entire world is laboring under a drug-induced deception.

And it is in this context – think about it! – in THIS context that ISRAEL has decided that NOW would be a good time for the Chosen People to start growing pot.

Tick. . .tick. . .tick . . . 

NASA’s Revenge

NASA’s Revenge
Vol: 118 Issue: 29 Friday, July 29, 2011

There are two problems with government-funded research.  The first is that government-funded researchers that don’t find what the government funds them to find stop getting funded.  That should be obvious to anyone paying attention.  But inexplicably, it isn’t.

Which gives rise to the second problem, which is that for reasons that defy logic, government-funded research results are widely accepted as the gold standard against which all other evidence must be weighed.

The federally-funded National Aeronautic Space Administration has been the gold standard for global warming, er, excuse me, climate change research ever since Al Gore decided to base his political career on the findings of the UK-funded research groups tasked with finding a link between global warming and fossil fuels.

The British researchers discovered the link after the Thatcher government awarded a cash prize to the researchers who could find the link the government was looking for.  

Amazingly enough, the link was discovered between fossil fuels and global warming, the prize awarded, and as the research grants began to spread, so did the myth that the planet was entering a man-made, potentially irreversible catastrophic climate change.

NASA’s website continues to show a graph of C02 levels even though the link between C02 and global warming is a complete fabrication. The purported link between them is that elevated C02 causes global warming, based on ice core samplings. 

The truth is that the core samples showed warming occurred first, followed by the elevated C02 levels.  In other words, global warming causes elevated C02 levels.  Not the other way around.

But the government wants to regulate and tax C02 emissions, so government research found what the government was looking for, right where the government told them to look.  Hence the pointless NASA graph on the government sponsored NASA website.

Every presidential administration since Bill Clinton has discovered ways to exploit the alleged link between fossil fuel and man-made global warming – Al Gore almost rode the issue right into the White House.  

But every president since Bill Clinton knows what Al Gore had to have figured out when he was researching his book, “Earth in the Balance” in 1989. 

Remember that abominable ‘public service ad’ of a few years back that had polar bears dropping from the sky in a scene reminiscent of the World Trade Center?  All of a sudden, the fate of cute and cuddly polar bears drowning as they fell off a steadily declining polar ice cap became a cause célèbre.

People were convinced to junk their cars, buy expensive new hybrids, triple their energy costs while freezing in the winters while sweating through the summers to save the polar bears.  The US Department of the interior even put the polar bear on the endangered species list.

But it was a lie.  The ‘scientist’ behind the polar bear myth has been put on administrative leave while under investigation for scientific misconduct.  It appears that Charles Monnett, umm, how you say it?  LIED!

So has everybody else involved in the global warming debate except the Useful Idiots that always buy in if it makes them look smarter than their friends.  The more counter-intuitive the position, the smarter they think it makes them look.

If they can look at a sunny day and be able to discern drowning polar bears, rising sea levels, global crop losses, food shortages and other assorted disasters while all their friends see is a good day for the beach, well, just look at how much better-informed they are.

Anyway, the more money the government threw at NASA’s climate research division, the more climate change evidence NASA was able to find.   Until the money started to run out.  NASA’s space program is kaput and suddenly a whole lot of NASA programs (and scientists) are getting dumped.

Suddenly, new NASA data has emerged that “Blows a Gaping Hole into Global Warming Alarmism.” It seems that hell hath no fury like a scientist scorned.

NASA satellite data from the years 2000 through 2011 show the Earth’s atmosphere is allowing far more heat to be released into space than alarmist computer models have predicted, reports a new study in the peer-reviewed science journal Remote Sensing. The study indicates far less future global warming will occur than United Nations computer models have predicted, and supports prior studies indicating increases in atmospheric carbon dioxidetrap far less heat than alarmists have claimed.

Study co-author Dr. Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite, reports that real-world data from NASA’s Terra satellite contradict multiple assumptions fed into alarmist computer models.

“The satellite observations suggest there is much more energy lost to space during and after warming than the climate models show,” Spencer said in a July 26 University of Alabama press release. “There is a huge discrepancy between the data and the forecasts that is especially big over the oceans.”

The Forbes story continues to explain how and why the new NASA data proves what we’ve been saying here for the last ten years and I’ve been saying for the last twenty.

The global warming/climate change panic that has involved pretty much every nation in the world, earned billions of dollars for the alarmists, extracted primarily from the poorest among us, resulting in global energy shortages, global food shortages and is responsible for one of the greatest international security crises in the history of the world is a deliberate, calculated fraud.

Assessment:

Man-made global warming/climate change is NOT a political issue.  It is NOT a matter of existential importance to future generations.   It has never been a threat and will never be a threat.

It does not exist because it cannot exist.  Of that, I am certain. But I am not a scientist.  How do I know?  Well, first off, the Bible told me so. 

“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, will never cease…never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.” (Genesis 8:22, 9:11).

I don’t know how one can find a way around that covenant promise between God and mankind that doesn’t make the Bible untrue or God a liar. 

There is no Biblical or historical record of the activities of man disrupting the earth’s climate.  The Bible says that God sometimes uses the climate to make a point, deliver a judgment or make a display of His Majesty.   

But that isn’t man-caused climate change or global warming or whatever it is currently called.  The entire man-caused global warming argument works only because of mankind’s built-in hubris.

One cannot believe that God is in control of all things and simultaneously believe includes everything — except the climate upon which all life on earth depends!  One must either believe that God is supreme.  Or God is supreme — except where man overrules Him.

If the Bible gives any hint of what the global warming and climate change alarmism that has terrified, impoverished and confused massive segments of the human race in the name of human supremacy, it is only of the effect, not the cause.

Among the most stunningly obvious signs given by Jesus to this generation as evidence of His soon return are the signs relative to our environment.

“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;”

When has that happened before?  Signs in the sun, moon and stars causing international distress and confusion?  Keep in mind that for something to be considered a “sign” means that everybody can see it.

The “sea and the waves roaring.” What’s up with that?  Most nations don’t live on the sea, and neither do most men.   As anybody who has ever lived near the seashore can attest, the roaring of the sea and the waves is a pretty common sound.  

But if there is one central issue that unites the global warming alarmists, it is rising seas brought on by global warming.  Jesus predicted;

“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 21:26-27)

It isn’t merely global warming that has men’s hearts failing them for fear.  We’re also scanning the skies for killer asteroids like the one that NASA says hit the planet about 85 million years ago.  Evidently, we’re due for another one now.

There is a whole cult of folks expecting the Planet Nibiru, or Planet X, or some variation of that theme, which is hurtling on a collision course with earth sometime in 2012.   Like the global warming alarmists, no evidence to the contrary will convince them otherwise.

The Lord said that these same folks will be the ones to witness His Second coming:

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

Look with me at this again. You will note that Jesus is speaking of two different groups.  So far, He is addressing an entity called “they”. 

They will see the signs, they will be distressed and confused, their hearts will fail them with fear, and – watch this one closely! – THEY will SEE the Son of Man COMING with power and great glory.

Then He switches to address the second entity – “you.”

“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)

Let’s identify the groups, first.  Who will witness the Second Coming of Christ with power and great glory?

“Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen. (Revelation 1:7)

“And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints,” (Jude 1:14)

The eye that SEES Him shall “wail” because of Him.  We Christians await the Blessed Hope –  it is those left behind that will wail at His Coming.  The Bible says He comes with His Saints, not for them.

They” are the ones cowering with fear at what they say is coming upon the earth as the powers of heaven (the climate) are shaken.   The other entity – “You” – the believer – are to see these signs beginning to come to pass with great joy and anticipation.

“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)

“They”— are those that put their trust in the UN, Al Gore, Barack Obama, etc., to save them from man-made climate change. They will see the Second Coming at the end of the Tribulation.  

“You” – or collectively, “we” believers that put their faith in the promises of Scripture — will not.  When you see these things BEGIN to pass, you are to look UP.   Why?

Because you are different.  What terrifies the world is a source of confidence and comfort to the Christian who simply recognizes reality unfolding before him.   This is what Jesus said would happen, this is what is happening. 

Jesus said once this STARTS to happen, start looking up.  What are we looking UP for?

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

Marantha!

Cartoon Reality

Cartoon Reality
Vol: 118 Issue: 28 Thursday, July 28, 2011

It would appear that the United States, non-fighting alongside NATO, Britain and France, are having their clocks cleaned by Libyan forces loyal to Muammar Khadafy in its unauthorized, non-war ‘kinetic operation’ that has already cost almost $1,000,000,000.00 scarce US dollars.

In March, the White House told the website, Politico that the United States was most emphatically NOT at war with Libya.  Instead it said, the United States has been participating in a ‘kinetic military operation’ in which the White House was in total compliance with the War Powers Act.

The War Powers Resolution was passed in 1973 with the intention to check presidential authority in committing US forces to armed combat without the consent of Congress.  It passed with a veto-proof two-thirds Congressional majority during the height of Democratic Congressional control.

Since the last formal declaration of war in 1941, the United States had been involved in a more or less constant combat in various places around the world without a Congressional declaration of war.  The Korean War and its aftermath, created this new idea of superpowers fighting a ‘limited war’ in a third country.

The Korean War, Vietnam War and Soviet Afghan War, both Iraq Wars, the current war in Afghanistan and the non war in Libya are all examples of ‘limited wars.’  The singular, glaring difference between World War II and the new and improved limited war concept is time.

The United States’ involvement in World War I lasted just under two years and ended in an armistice with Germany.  Twenty years, later America had to fight Germany again.  Learning the lesson from the first time around, America fought its way to total victory in less than four years. 

In 1948, the Cold War introduced the concept of proxy war with the Berlin Airlift and by 1951, “limited” war under the supervision of the United Nations.

Korea?  The Korean War never ended.  Fifty-nine years after it began, US forces remain permanently stationed along the DMZ along the most heavily defended borders in the world.  

They are part of the still-functioning UN Command, which remains in command of all US, UN and South Korean armed forces in the region.  A special service decoration, known as the Korea Defense Service Medal, is authorized for U.S. service members who today serve a tour of duty in Korea. 

The Vietnam War?  It lasted for more than ten years.  No matter how rosily one paints the true picture, the truth is that the US military won every single major battle, but lost the war.  America was forced out in a panic, and the North took over the country.  

The first Gulf War, also a United Nations operation, started in 1991 and lasted for more than twelve years.  After the US declared ‘victory’ the US was forced to participate in a twelve year air war until the second Gulf War, which ended the war with Saddam Hussein in 2003. 

Eight years later, we are still there, still fighting, and unable to extricate ourselves.  Babies born in 1991 during the first Iraq war now serve in combat units in Iraq, still cleaning up what their fathers left behind.

In 2002 the United States launched a “limited” war in Afghanistan against the ruling Taliban who provided training and assistance to Osama bin-Laden and al-Qaeda.  Afraid of widening the war, Washington entered into an alliance with the Taliban’s closest allies in Pakistan.  

On 7 October, America will celebrate nine years of warfare against a collection of sixth century warlords, drug dealers and RPG-carrying  goat-herders responsible for thousands of American deaths and legions of limbless wheelchair-bound casualties.

One of the most powerful political tools available to a US president is the ability to distract the nation away from domestic issues by waging a ‘successful’ war. 

The definition of a ‘successful’ war going all the way back to JFK’s Bay of Pigs and later introduction of US troops into Vietnam was one in which the White House can invoke national security or the fog of war as necessary to provide political cover at home.

Bill Clinton used it like political steroids – whenever he got into hot water at home, he’d try something spectacular overseas.  Somalia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Haiti, and of course, good old Iraq. 

Under Bill Clinton, the practice became so predictable that it even got a policy nickname; “Wag the Dog.”

Assessment:

Obama’s people must have consulted with focus groups and decided that Khadafy was so loathsome to the American people that joining a NATO effort to depose him would play well across-the-board. 

First, they simply assumed that Republicans are so bloodthirsty that they would support any US-led military action under what is [to them] the mysterious concept of ‘patriotism’.

(It is the Obama administration’s own fault for playing with something they don’t understand.)

Secondly, since the action was authorized by the UN, it would play well among Obama’s Marxist base.  And since the Arab League was also supporting it, it would also give him cover with his Muslim base.  

But that wouldn’t get him past the Republican majority in Congress.  Lying about it would buy him some time, though.  

By calling it a ‘kinetic military action’ Obama says he is in total compliance with the War Powers Act, which summarizes as follows:

“The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.

Simply stated, what Americans are now doing in Libya is illegal under American law.  Every military action taken by the United States that results in the death of a Libyan foreign national is technically a war crime.

America has absolutely no critical national interest in Libya’s civil war or its outcome.  Indeed, the outcome is the least clear part of the entire debacle.  To this day, we don’t know who we are supporting against Khadafy. 

Unlike Britain and France, we haven’t even recognized the rebels yet, because we don’t know who they are!  At best, we know who they are not.

Obama’s plan for a splendid little war ending in a splendid little victory that would give him cause for a victory lap around the Republican opposition seemed foolproof back in January.  

Go in under the cover of the UN and NATO, crush Libya’s tiny military under the weight of secret American air power, kill Khadafy and be home in time for supper.  It was such a sure thing that Obama launched the war while on vacation in South America.

But Libya wasn’t a sure thing.  The “Libyan Rebels” named their government “the National Transition Council.” It has 31 members.  We know who thirteen of them are – the rest are pseudonyms – we have no idea who.

What we do know is that Libya’s ‘rebel leader’ freely admits that some of his fighters came to Libya’s front lines from Iraq where they had been fighting US troops.

And after spending a billion dollars indiscriminately killing Libyans and others without any real knowledge of whose side they are on (or whose side that we are)  the ‘coalition’ has decided that the only actual, identifiable war aim, which is to bring Khadafy to account for his crimes, is being abandoned.

The Obama administration admitted that it is negotiating, along with Britain, France and NATO, hoping to make a deal where Khadafy will surrender as long as he doesn’t have to leave Libya and face the International Criminal court. 

Because Congress wasn’t even consulted, the splendid little war and credit for the splendid little victory would have been all Obama’s – but evidently the combined might of Great Britain, France, NATO and the United States wasn’t quite a match for Khadafy’s determined army.

I always pictured the Tribulation Period in my head as a kind of cartoon movie, since I had nothing in my real-life experience to which I can compare the Bible’s images of the world gone insane under antichrist.  But that was before Obama. 

It’s a lot easier to picture now.

Godly King David?

Godly King David?
Vol: 118 Issue: 27 Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Israel’s King David is the only man in the history of man to wear the title, “a man after God’s own heart.”  The title isn’t one bestowed on him by the rabbis or the sages as a result of his being Israel’s greatest King.

“Israel’s greatest king” is a secular, political title given him by Jewish historians.  He didn’t get that title until after Israel’s Kingdom Period came to an end and there were no more kings to evaluate. 

Of all the kings of Israel from its first king, Saul, to its last king, Hoshea, David was the greatest political leader. 

Under David, Jerusalem was established as Israel’s capital.  David purchased the threshing-floor from Araunah the Jebusite, even though Araunah offered it to David for free as tribute.  Note that the Bible refers to Araunah as “a king.”  

 “All these things did Araunah, as a king, give unto the king. And Araunah said unto the king, The LORD thy God accept thee.” (2 Samuel 24:23)

 Instead, the Bible says that David paid for it in cash. 

“And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver” (2 Samuel 24:24)

Araunah was a Jebusite, meaning he spoke the language of the Hittites.  In the language of the Hittites, Araunah means “the lord” or “the king” in the sense of a personal title.   

King David conquered Jebusite Jerusalem.  While David took the city after the manner of conquerors, he bought the threshing-floor.   He paid cash for it, to the owner, who just so happened to also be the king of the newly conquered city.

Why is this important?  Jerusalem is a political entity whose conquest was typical of the times.  Once conquered, it became the capital city of the Kingdom of David, which also expanded as the result of conquest.

There is nothing particularly unusual about that – that is the way that all existing political divisions became political divisions – through conquest.

America was born out of a failed British attempt at conquest and expanded to the West Coast through the political doctrine of ‘Manifest Destiny’ – which justified the conquest of the people who owned it.

But Araunah’s threshing floor was the site selected by God as the home of the Ark of the Covenant and the site of the eventual construction of the Temple.  It wasn’t conquered or taken as a prize of conquest, although it was freely offered.

There was to be no question as to legal ownership of God’s Holy Hill.  Jerusalem has been conquered and lost and reconquered hundreds of times over the course of its three thousand year history. 

But the Temple Mount was legally purchased only once.

Araunah was the king that legally owned the threshing-floor.  David was the king that legally bought it – for cash, before witnesses, and the sale was recorded for posterity in the pages of Scripture.  

David’s actions ensured that, even after three thousand years, the only possessor of clear title to the Temple Mount is the heirs to David’s kingdom.  That action, more than any other, is what made David Israel’s greatest king.

But what made David “a man after God’s own heart?”

Assessment:

David was no shrinking violet but was instead a bloody man of war.  King Saul made David a commander over his armies after David handed Saul more than 200 Philistine, er, ahem . . . foreskins.  I mean, this guy was brutal.

His last request of his son and heir, Solomon, was that Solomon kill David’s oldest enemies on his behalf.

King David’s record is nothing one would think of as ‘godly’ – he was at various times deceitful and corrupt, a traitor to King Saul, a tyrant who lacked for justice and a murderer.  David slaughtered Saul’s seven sons, seduced a married woman, Bathsheba, and had her husband, Uriah killed.

I could go on listing David’s offenses, which are many, all of which are carefully noted in Scripture. David was such a bloody man that God would not permit him to build the Temple. (1 Chronicles 22:8)

God punished David for his bloodthirstiness by delivering his kingdom to Absalom (2 Samuel 16:8).  God cursed David for ordering the murder of Uriah the Hittite (2 Samuel 12:9-10)

By any standard interpretation of what would make a guy a good person, David was a very bad man indeed.  His conduct was deplorable in almost every single aspect of his reign.  So what made David a man after God’s own heart?

The Bible also tells us that David loved God’s Law. (Psalms 119:97)  He loved to pray (Psalms 116:1-2). He loved to praise God (Psalms 119:164).  David hated falsehood (Psalms 119:104).  When confronted with his sin, David didn’t attempt to justify it.   Nor did he pretend to be more than he was.

After Nathan convicted David of his sin against Uriah with Bathsheba, David took it directly to the Lord.

In his prayer of contrition in Psalm 51, David reveals much of what it was that caused God to pronounce him a ‘man after His own heart.’

“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.” (Psalms 51:1)

David understood that his relationship with God was ‘according to His lovingkindness’ and not according to David’s definition of what God should do.  He also understood that his sin, as horrendous as it was, could be blotted out, not by some act of David’s, but solely due to the ‘multitude of God’s tender mercies’.

“Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.  For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.” (v.2.3)

David knew that God knew what his sins were, but the important point was that DAVID knew what his sins were, and the importance of honest confession before God.

David understood also that his sin was against God, that it was deliberate, and that the reason his sin haunted him was because of its offense before God.  David understood that, since it was a sin against God, only an act of God could blot it out.  Nothing David could do to make restitution would ever be sufficient.

“Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight: that Thou mightest be justified when Thou speakest, and be clear when Thou judgest.” (v.4)

David understood that there was no ‘wiggle room’ before the Lord and that God’s justice is as absolute as His mercy.  But David was also a realist;

“Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” (Psalms 51:5)

David understood the dual nature of fallen humanity, that which caused the Apostle Paul to cry out;

 “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24)

“For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.” (Romans 7:14-15)

Having expressed his frustration with his own struggle with his dual nature, Paul summarized that which David understood, saying,

“So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” (Romans 7:25)

David prayed,

“Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.” (Psalms 51:6)

God’s truth is that nothing we can do by our own effort will ever make restitution for our past sins.  Each of us shares the same conflict between the carnal nature and the spirit.

David trusted God to lead him, even when he was out of fellowship, having faith that ‘in the hidden part’ — in his spirit, God would ‘make him to know wisdom’.

David’s understanding of the grace of God as expressed in his prayer in large part, fits with God’s description of him as being a man after His own Heart.

It was this understanding of unmerited grace that formed the centerpiece of the ministry of Jesus.  One of the Lord’s earthly titles is the “Son of David.”

David expresses his understanding of how the process of forgiveness operates in God’s economy.

“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” (v. 7-10)

Note the role David plays in his redemption.  Admit, confess, repent and trust.  To ‘repent’ means to change one’s mind about sin.  David saw himself as King of Israel, and therefore, whatever he did was above reproach.

David sat on his throne, and passed judgment on the wicked rich man of whom Nathan spoke.  Until he realized Nathan was speaking about HIM, at which point he changed his mind about his sin and laid himself bare before the Lord.

All the rest of the redemptive process David placed in the Hands of God.  ‘Purge me, wash me, forgive me, bless me and renew me.’

Even his sense of conviction came through a direct message from God through Nathan, just as we are directly convicted by God through His indwelling Holy Spirit.  David’s only role in his redemption was to trust in God to make the changes that David knew he could not effect himself.

David accepted the earthly consequences of his sin, such as the death of his infant son, but with the clear understanding that the spiritual consequences of his sin were forgiven.

“While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I SHALL GO TO HIM, but he shall not return to me.” (2nd Samuel 12:22-23)

What made David a man after God’s own heart was his understanding of the consequences of being out of fellowship with God, and how to get back into right fellowship with God. 

David simply asked Him.

“Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free spirit.”

Note that David didn’t ask for his salvation to be restored, but rather, the joy of it.  It is the joy of knowing one is saved and in fellowship with the Lord that shines through and attracts the lost. 

“THEN will I teach transgressors Thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto Thee.”(v. 12-13)

Note also the progression: GOD restores our joy, GOD then subsequently upholds us with His Spirit.  THEN we find ourselves effective witnesses, teaching people His ways, and leading the lost to Christ.

David makes it clear that the redemptive process is in God’s Hands, understanding grace so well that he could see past the Temple rituals of the Mosaic Law and peer into God’s Heart, saying,

“For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” (v. 51:16-17)

One of the most debilitating emotions to one’s Christian witness is the weight of the guilt we heap on ourselves because of what we KNOW that we are in our own ‘inward parts’.

David understood, in his spirit, that God’s forgiveness is total and absolute, and leaves no spiritual residue of guilt.  At the Cross, the Son of David cried out in a loud voice, ‘Tetelestai!’ which means, ‘paid in full’.

David trusted God instead of relying on his own righteousness.  God called David “a man after My own heart.”  It is deceptively simple.  Trust God.  Be joyful.

Allow Him to lead you and not the other way around.

“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)

Maranatha!

The Audacity of Mendacity

The Audacity of Mendacity
Vol: 118 Issue: 26 Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dissemble: v.1. To disguise or conceal behind a false appearance; 2. To make a false show of, feign. 3. To disguise or conceal one’s real nature, motives, or feelings behind a false appearance. 4. Barack Hussein Obama.

It was like watching a Saturday Night Live parody of what would happen if the President of the United States was not bound by the limits of reality.    

If you don’t raise the debt ceiling, Social Security checks will stop . . .  And . . .and teachers!  Catastrophe!! Ummm. . .corporate jets. . .   Teachers will lose their jobs. . . and . . . fireman. . .  police . . . no Medicare . . . did I say, catastrophe? . . .  Bush . . . oil companies. . .  Bah! . . . Republicans. . .  danger!. . . millionaires and billionaires. . .  kindergarten. . .  and puppies. . . disaster! . . . and no more ice cream . . . did I mention how much I am like Ronald Reagan?“

That’s pretty much what I got out of the President’s speech last night.  What about you?  I listened to the entire speech . . . I was able to identify only one incontrovertibly true statement:

“This is no way to run the greatest country on Earth.”

Indeed Obama’s rhetoric is now so far removed from the truth that the Washington Times published an op-ed piece by Joseph Curl asking the question, “Is Obama a Pathological Liar?” 

Wow.  Pathological?  Let’s look that one up: Pathological: (psychiatry) compulsively motivated.

Is the President of the United States mentally ill?  Curl was analyzing a previous Obama speech on the same subject from Friday:

His late-evening news conference Friday was a tour de force of flat-out, unadulterated mendacity — and we’ve gotten a first-hand insider’s view of the president’s long list of lies.

“I wanted to give you an update on the current situation around the debt ceiling,” Mr. Obama said at 6:06 p.m. OK, that wasn’t a lie — but just about everything he said after it was, and he knows it.

“I just got a call about a half-hour ago from Speaker [John A.] Boehner, who indicated that he was going to be walking away from the negotiations,” he said.

Not so: “The White House made offers during the negotiations,” said our insider, a person intimately involved in the negotiations, “and then backtracked on those offers after they got heat from Democrats on Capitol Hill. The White House, and its steadfast refusal to follow through on its rhetoric in terms of cutting spending and addressing entitlements, is the real reason that debt talks broke down.”

Boehner and Obama are both politicians.  How can anyone tell which one is telling the truth?  In this case, it isn’t as hard as it might seem.  Only one side in the debate actually reflects reality.

But back to the lying liar and the lies he told Friday. “You had a bipartisan group of senators, including Republicans who are in leadership in the Senate, calling for what effectively was about $2 trillion above the Republican baseline that they’ve been working off of. What we said was give us $1.2 trillion in additional revenues,” Mr. Obama said.

That, too, was a lie. “The White House had already agreed to a lower revenue number — to be generated through economic growth and a more efficient tax code — and then it tried to change the terms of the deal after taking heat from Democrats on Capitol Hill,” our insider said.

In 1992 America elected what I believed at the time to be the most dishonest Chief Executive in living memory.  After eight years, an impeachment trial, and a criminal conviction for perjury that cost him his license, America elected George Bush.

Bush was immediately labeled a liar by the leftists in the mainstream media.  Nobody could actually point to a deliberate lie, but eight years of Bill Clinton convinced the world that “all politicians lie, especially American politicians” so Bush was automatically guilty by virtue of his profession.

The entire eight years of his presidency was essentially an eight-year search by the Democrats to find a provable lie they could hang around his neck.   I found a piece in the deplorable Huffington Post called “George Bush is a Liar.”  A typical example?

“George Bush let New Orleans flood, and he knew he was doing it, and he lied about it, and it’s all on tape. What more do they need?”

This required elevating Bush to the level of omnipotence in order to manufacture a scenario in which the Left could make the case that he was an incompetent liar.  Which they did on a regular basis. 

Bush lied about Saddam’s arsenal.  (How could Bush know what nobody else did?  Simple.  Bush is not just omnipotent, he is also omniscient.)

Obama continues to make the case that George Bush was responsible for the economy’s collapse in 2008.  If George Bush could single-handedly topple the economy, then shouldn’t Barack Obama be able to single-handedly fix it? 

If one were true, then the other should be also.  But it is not. The economy didn’t stumble until after the Democrats won supermajorities in both Houses of Congress. 

As John Boehner pointed out the other day, it is Congress that controls the purse strings. 

It was the Democratic supermajority in Congress that appropriated the TARP money, passed the stimulus bill, passed the health care bill, passed the Cash for Clunkers bill and ran up the nation’s credit cards.  The president’s role — any president’s — is limited to signing a bill or sending it back with a veto.  

But none of this is new – why bring it up again?  

The antichrist is first and foremost, a politician.  When he comes to power, it will be on the back of a grand deception – a strong delusion, Paul says, that the people will choose to believe because that is the ‘truth’ they prefer.

I want you to consider all that this means carefully.  You are a smart person.  Do you believe there can be more than one truth?  On any topic?  Can you convince yourself that a lie is true?   

Do you have a preference for where you get your news?  Why?  If there isn’t a difference, then why CNN over Fox?  Why Fox over CNN?  And if there is a difference, how do you know which one is actually true? 

Unless you are an eyewitness, you can’t.  You have to pick your way through a minefield of half-truths, innuendo and omission with such regularity that it becomes second nature.  You don’t even realize that you’re doing it. 

Truth is what is true.  That is (seemingly) the biggest obstacle the antichrist will have to overcome.

Truth is an absolute.  It is not subjective.  Believing something that is not true will never make it true no matter how hard you believe it. 

But sometimes it will make it easier to live with.  

Assessment:

Paul wrote his second letter to the Thessalonians to clarify an evident misunderstanding they had concerning what he had written in the first.   In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 Paul explains the Rapture.

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

After Paul’s first letter, a heresy began to circulate to the effect that the Lord had come and that the Thessalonians had somehow missed it.  (2nd Thessalonians 2:1-2)

Paul reminds them that there must first come a great apostasia, or departure from the truth, before the man of sin (antichrist) can be revealed, reminding them,

“Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?” (2 Thessalonians 2:5)

And then Paul delivers the punch line.  It astonishes me that anyone would have trouble following along.  Paul couldn’t have laid it out more simply.

“And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.”

Something is withholding the antichrist, the great deceiver, from accomplishing his deception.  Stop there and let’s go back to Obama.

Obama is a great deceiver.  He came to power via a grand deception of almost supernatural proportions.  In his first year, he often joked that he “wasn’t born in a manger, but instead on Planet Krypton.”

He advanced an incredibly ambitious platform aimed at bringing down the current economic system and replacing it with his vision of a more equitable, socialist system.

But something stopped him cold.  What was it?  There were people that he couldn’t bamboozle.  And as time went on and they spread the word, fewer and fewer people believed all his promises.  His approval rating fell as public awareness of his true agenda grew.

Obama did everything he could to prevent the word from getting out. . . witness his “war” with Fox News, his war with Glenn Beck,  his effort to paint both as unreliable while endorsing the Huffington Post and MSNBC as the standard-bearers of truth.

But this isn’t the Tribulation Period and Obama isn’t the antichrist.   And so Obama can’t pull it off.  Now to the central issue. 

What if all Obama’s political opponents simply disappeared?   And now YOU  know what withholdeth, that the antichrist might be revealed in his time.

For the mystery of anomia doth already work, (insert Obama here) only He who now restrains will continue to restrain until He be taken out of the way [at the Rapture – see Paul’s comments in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 – read it like a letter ]

And THEN shall the antichrist be revealed.   Not before.  If he made his move today, he would suffer the same fate as Obama is currently suffering.  Too many people are on the lookout for him – he couldn’t pull off the deception. 

Why?  Because the environment isn’t yet right for him.  There are too many Christians, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, that would recognize and expose him before he could get far enough.   But what if all his opponents simply disappeared? 

“Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:17)

Do you see it? 

Obama isn’t the antichrist.  Obama is the object lesson. 

Grasping At Shadows

Grasping At Shadows
Vol: 118 Issue: 25 Monday, July 25, 2011

China’s military is developing electromagnetic pulse weapons that Beijing plans to use against US aircraft carriers in the event of a conflict with the United States.

Portions of a declassified National Ground Intelligence Center study on the lethal effects of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and high-powered microwave (HPM) weapons were recently made public.

The report said that the new systems are part of China’s so-called “assassin’s mace” arsenal – weapons that allow a technologically inferior China to defeat U.S. military forces.

EMP weapons mimic the gamma-ray pulse set off by a nuclear blast or a powerful solar storm.  A sufficiently powerful EMP blast fries all electronics, including computers, automobiles, and, (China hopes) military aircraft.

Previous Pentagon reports on China’s military made only passing references to the weapons system.  The declassified intelligence report provides details on China’s EMP weapons and plans for their use:

“For use against Taiwan, China could detonate at a much lower altitude (30 to 40 kilometers) … to confine the EMP effects to Taiwan and its immediate vicinity and minimize damage to electronics on the mainland,” the report said.

The report, produced in 2005 and once labeled “secret,” stated that Chinese military writings have discussed building low-yield EMP warheads, but “it is not known whether [the Chinese] have actually done so.”

The report said that in addition to EMP weapons, “any low-yield strategic nuclear warhead (or tactical nuclear warheads) could be used with similar effects.  The DF-21 medium-range ballistic missile has been mentioned as a platform for the EMP attack against Taiwan.”

The Chinese government also reportedly conducted EMP tests on mice, rats, rabbits, dogs and monkeys that caused organic injuries, leading to the report’s conclusion that;

“it is clear the real purpose of the Chinese medical experiments is to learn the potential human effects of exposure to powerful EMP and [high-powered microwave] radiation.”

Alternatively, according to the NGIC report, the Chinese tests may have been research “intended primarily for torturing prisoners,” or the tests may have been conducted to determine safety or shielding standards for military personnel or weapons. 

But all that may be unnecessary.  China’s goal is to end US hegemony around the world so that it can assume its place.

Obama may beat them to it.

Assessment:

I reached the conclusion back in the 1980’s that for Bible prophecy to move forward in this generation,  three major political shifts must needs occur first. 

The Prophet Daniel, as interpreted, says that during the Tribulation, the leading Western power will be centered in Western Europe.   

From the perspective of the mid 1980’s, that meant that the Soviet Union and the United States must decrease, whereas the European Union must increase.  I thought it would probably come as the result of a war between the US and USSR that would decimate both nations.

Instead, God Himself stepped in to prevent a nuclear holocaust.  The one thing I never expected was that the Berlin Wall would come down on its own.  

And as the first Gulf War demonstrated, Russia was already massively outgunned.  US forces cut through the cream of Saddam’s Soviet-built army like a hot knife through butter.  

When the Soviet Union collapsed later that year, that left the United States as King of the Hill while Europe struggled with reunification.  

In 1911, the British Empire was at its zenith.  It was the largest empire in history and the most powerful on earth, and had been for over a century.  It controlled almost a quarter of the Earth’s land mass and more than a quarter of the earth’s population.

The decline of the British Empire was directly related to its relationship with Israel.  In 1917, Great Britain’s Balfour Declaration echoed ancient Bible prophecy, announcing to the world that:

“His Majesty’s Government views with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people. . .”

By 1922, the British Empire was at its absolute peak.  Then it discovered that the Arabs had all the oil and started modifying the Balfour Declaration.  Soon it began restricting Jewish emigration to the Holy Land.  The policy meant that thousands of Jews would be sent back to their deaths in Occupied Europe. 

After the war, the British continued to let the European victims of Hitler’s madness emigrate to Israel and by 1948, the British Empire was in shambles. 

Guardianship of the Jewish State passed from Great Britain to the United States, as did Great Britain’s former superpower status. 

Pax Americana ruled for the next forty-odd years – until Oslo.  From 1993 onward, the United States began to move away from its previous relationship with Israel and began courting the Arab world. 

In 2001, nineteen Saudi jihadis boarded four US domestic aircraft, beginning America’s long, slow inexorable slide downhill from a balanced budget and relative peace to the current state of economic chaos in the midst of four wars, all of which America appears to be losing.

That attack set off precisely the chain of events that Osama bin Laden was counting on.  A decade later, America is bruised and battered, dazed and bleeding its economic lifeblood all over the Middle East and Asia — and rethinking its policy of supporting a Jewish state.

For the first time, Washington really began to see Israel as a liability it could do without and began backing away from its commitment to support the Jewish State.  As America began pushing Israel back behind its Green Line, America’s fortunes continued to plummet.

The harder America pushed Israel, the worse it got for America.  As times got tougher, America started selling itself off to the Chinese, one piece at a time.  

Ten years later, relations with Israel have never been worse. 

All three major credit rating firms have threatened to lower their top triple-A rating on U.S. debt if the White House and Congress don’t come to an agreement to raise the debt ceiling.

And Standard & Poor’s is now warning of a possible rating downgrade if the government doesn’t develop a credible plan to reduce its long-term budget deficit, even if it does work out a compromise before August second.

A lower rating could push up borrowing costs for the government, households and businesses at the worst possible time for the economy.  

And President Obama appears poised to allow the country to go into default unless Congress extends the debt ceiling past 2012 — so it won’t be a factor in his re-election campaign.

China has repeatedly expressed concern in official diplomatic communications over the possibility the U.S. would default on its debt, a senior State Department official said. 

What is happening? 

The Bible promises blessings on those that bless Israel and curses on those that curse Israel, but it also predicts the time will come when Israel will stand alone against the whole world. 

During that time, the Bible says the world will be divided into four spheres of power; the kings of the east, the kings of the south, the Gog-Magog alliance and a revival of the old Roman Empire under antichrist.

If America is present at all during that time, it is as an unimportant subordinate of revived Rome.  While it is obvious that we aren’t there yet, look at the direction to which we are trending and ask yourself, “What are the odds?”

We’re not imagining it.  We’re not bending current events to make them fit Bible prophecy.  Think of all the hundreds of generations since the Bible was completed, all of whom looked for;

  1. a restored Israel,
  2. a revival of the Roman Empire,
  3. a global economic system,
  4. a global political system,
  5. instant communications,
  6. an exponential increase in knowledge,
  7. the ability to control individual commerce,
  8. signs in the sun, moon and stars,
  9. universal apostasy
  10. earthquakes, famines and wars

All of these things, the Bible says, would take place at the same time, in the lifetime of a single generation, somewhere in time.  Jesus said of this generation,

“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, till ALL be fulfilled.  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.” (Luke 21:31-33)

As the years tick by and the issues of the day ebb and flow, it is easy to fall into the trap of believing that what we are seeing is really just the product of wishful thinking.  After all, there have been lots of false starts whereby some Christians shouted “This is it!” — only to be disappointed later.

There will undoubtedly be more – there are a LOT of signs to be fulfilled in specific detail.  This only looks like chaos – but it is really God’s Plan — from the very beginning.   

For now, we see only shadows of what is to come.  Trying to nail down specifics is like trying to capture a shadow.  

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

The ‘Christian Fundamentalist’ Massacre

The ‘Christian Fundamentalist’ Massacre
Vol: 118 Issue: 23 Saturday, July 23, 2011

On July 28, 2006,  Naveed Afzal Haq forced his way into the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.  Once inside, Haq announced, “I’m a Muslim American; I’m angry at Israel,” and then began shooting, killing one woman and injuring five more.  FBI assistant special agent David Gomez stated:

“We believe … it’s a lone individual acting out his antagonism. There’s nothing to indicate that it’s terrorism-related. But we’re monitoring the entire situation.”

In March 2006, a 22-year-old Iranian student named Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar drove an SUV onto the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, deliberately trying to kill people and succeeding in injuring nine.

During his arraignment, he explained that he was “thankful for the opportunity to spread the will of Allah.”

Officials dismissed the possibility of terrorism, even after Taheri-azar wrote a series of letters to the UNC campus newspaper detailing the Islamic justification for warfare against unbelievers and explaining why he believed his attacks were justified from an Islamic perspective.

In 2007, Ismail Yassin Mohamed, 22, stole a car in Minneapolis.  He went on a rampage, ramming the stolen car into other cars and then stealing a van and continuing to ram other cars, injuring one person.

During his rampage, Mohamed repeatedly yelled, “Die, die, die, kill, kill, kill,” and when asked why he did all this, he replied, “Allah made me do it.”

Police said at the time that his motive was still ‘under investigation’.

On June 1, 2009 Abdluhakim Muhammed, a Muslim convert from Memphis, Tennessee, was charged with shooting two US soldiers outside a military recruiting center.  One was killed and the other wounded. 

Memphis police initially say they were ‘baffled’ by the attack and refuse to speculate on motive. 

In a January 2010 letter to the judge hearing his case, Muhammed asked to change his plea from not guilty to guilty, claimed ties to al-Qaeda, and called the shooting a jihadi attack “to fight those who wage war on Islam and Muslims.”

On May 1, a car bomb was discovered in Times Square, New York City after smoke is seen coming from a vehicle.  The bomb was ignited, but failed to detonate and was disarmed before it could cause any harm. Times Square was evacuated as a safety precaution.

When the suspect was identified as a naturalized US citizen from Pakistan, police warned against a “rush to judgment” simply because the suspect was a Muslim.  Ultimately, the suspect, Faisal Shahzad pleads guilty to placing the bomb as well as 10 terrorism and weapons charges.

On November 5, 2009, US Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan suddenly opened fire on fellow soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas.  Hasan, a naturalized US citizen of Palestinian descent, killed twelve US soldiers, (one of them pregnant) a civilian Army employee, and wounded twenty-nine others before being shot and wounded by police.

According to eyewitnesses, Hasan took a seat at an empty table, bowed his head for several seconds, and reportedly jumped up, shouted “Allahu Akbar” and opened fire.  According to testimony from witnesses, Hasan passed up several opportunities to shoot civilians, and instead focused on soldiers in uniform.

Once, while presenting what was supposed to be a medical lecture to other psychiatrists, Hasan instead talked about Islam, and stated that non-believers would be sent to hell, decapitated, set on fire, and have burning oil poured down their throats.

Police initially said that they had no idea what motivated the attack; the Army later concurred, sending no less a figure than the commanding general before the cameras to warn Americans against a “rush to judgment.”

President Obama urged people not to jump to conclusions while law enforcement officials gather facts about the shootings. 

“We don’t know all the answers yet. And I would caution against jumping to conclusions until we have all the facts,” Obama said in a Rose Garden statement otherwise devoted to the economy.”

Newsweek managed to fill an entire column with speculation about Hasan’s motivations without ever once suggesting a connection to Islamic terrorism.  Incredibly, instead of even investigating a link between Hasan and Islamic terror, Newsweek blamed the Army!

Newsweek’s pet theory (is it any wonder Newsweek eventually sold for one dollar?) was that Hasan was the first is a long line of deranged combat vets to come.

“Of course, the vast majority of those under that stress, no matter how brutal, will not pick up a gun and shoot indiscriminately, like Hasan did. But the situation is bad, and getting much worse. From there, it isn’t much of a leap to argue that to further tax our military would do as much as anything to guarantee that the homegrown terror on display today could well repeat itself in the future.”

ABC News reported that investigators suspected Hasan’s motives may have even been kind of honorable, triggered by the Army’s refusal to prosecute one of his patients for war crimes.  Another Newsweek theory suggest Hasan was himself a victim of the war:

“As a psychiatrist, Hasan may have been particularly vulnerable: there have been numerous accounts of chaplains suffering from depression and PTSD after counseling returning soldiers. Hearing their horror stories, sharing their pain, and being unable to help often pushed these men over the edge.”

Poor Major Hasan! 

Senator Joe Lieberman told a press conference after the shooting was reported:

“It’s premature to reach conclusions about what motivated Hasan … I think it’s very important to let the Army and the FBI go forward with this investigation before we reach any conclusions.”

Indeed. We don’t want to jump to any unfair conclusions. 

Assessment:

Yesterday, a 32-year-old Norwegian named Anders Behring Breivik apparently went berserk, setting off a bomb in Oslo and massacring at least eighty young people at a summer camp.  In all, police suspect Breivik may have killed as many as ninety-one people yesterday.

Within hours, the mainstream media was gleefully reporting that Breivik, “a blonde-haired, blue-eyed Norwegian was a “Christian fundamentalist” and a “far-right nationalist with anti-Muslim views.”

Here are a few more headline samples from today’s international press: “Norway Terror Suspect Believed to Be Christian Fundamentalist” (Germany) “Police Begin Questioning of Christian Fundamentalist” (Australia) “Oslo Suspects Christian Fundamentalist” (South Africa) and “Norway Attacks Suspect Is ‘Christian Fundamentalist” (Asia).

In the terror attacks by Hasan, Muhammed, Haq, Taheri, Shazhad, etc., the only reason to suspect a connection between their religion and their motive is the fact that in every case, they said it was!  

Most of them cited various verses from the Koran, shouted an Islamic religious slogan (“Allahu Akbar!”) or otherwise indicated the link between their religious views and the motive for their attacks. 

In each and every case, the mainstream media studiously avoided any mention of the religious connection until there was absolutely no other possibility.   

(Recall the Newsweek piece that profiled Nidal Hasan’s motives for an entire column without once mentioning a link to Islam.)

So far, not one single shred of evidence or hint from the police or interpretation from any of the killer’s actions suggests any link between Breivik’s motives and ‘fundamentalist Christianity’.  

(It sort of reminds you of the way the media attempted to portray Arizona psychotic Jared Loughner as a “conservative Christian fundamentalist pushed over the brink by right-wing hate speech,” doesn’t it?)

There is no branch of actual Christianity – that is to say, any recognized Christian denomination or Bible-based Christian group that can be legitimately be termed a Christian terrorist group by their doctrine. 

There is no Christian doctrine supported by any New Testament teaching that justifies terror under any circumstances. 

Christians are strictly enjoined from resisting the authority of government on the doctrinal premise that God sets up governments according to His own purposes, and therefore resisting the authority of government is tantamount to resisting God Himself.

“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.” (Romans 13:1-2)

When Jesus was questioned about the authority of government and whether it was religiously acceptable to financial support the government of Rome through taxes, Jesus said:

“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marveled at Him.” (Mark 12:17)

What is the point here?  By any logical standard, Breivik’s claimed status as a “right-wing Christian fundamentalist” is no more relevant to his motive than the fact he had blond hair and blue eyes. 

People are not inspired to commits acts of terror because they have blond hair and blue eyes. And people are not inspired to commit acts of terror because they adhere to the fundamentals of Christianity.  

Let’s quickly examine two things:

First, the definition of “fundamentalism”:  “a religious or political movement based on a literal interpretation of and strict adherence to doctrine.” – Encarta North America;

And second, the fundamentals of Christian doctrine:

  1. 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
  2. Salvation is a gift of grace through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. –Ephesians 2:8
  3. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. –Galatians 5:22-25

The fact that a person claims to be a Christian and then goes out and commits some heinous crime does not link Christianity to the crime. There are NO exemptions that permit a person to unilaterally do violence on behalf of the cause of Christ.

Peter drew his sword and prepared to do battle against the government agents sent to arrest Jesus.

“Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.”

Peter was defending the life and limb of Jesus Christ – the only truly innocent Man to ever live!  If ever there were a justified use of force in defense of Christianity, that ought to be it, no?

Jesus’ reply encapsulates Christian doctrine on that topic in a single sentence:

“Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which My Father hath given me, shall I not drink it? (John 18:10-11)

Not only does Jesus rebuke Peter for violating the most basic of Christian doctrines, (that of trusting the Lord), but Jesus heals the wounded servant of His enemy.

Many years ago when I began the study of the Scriptures relating to the last days, one of the most difficult to grasp was the concept of Christianity being outlawed. 

When I was a kid, it was automatically assumed that one was a Christian unless one said otherwise. 

In my world of forty years ago, there were but four choices; Catholic, Protestant, Jew or atheist.  I didn’t really know any Jews and only one atheist, whom I suspected was really just a big jerk looking for attention.

It wasn’t that anybody was particularly religious – it was more a case of if you aren’t one, you were the other by default. 

When I was in the military, one’s religious affiliation was stamped on your dog tags. The question was generally put to you this way; “Catholic or Protestant?” 

It was hard to imagine how we would ever get from there to where Bible prophecy said we had to go in only one lifetime.  Those of you as old as me probably recall the time when being a Christian actually helped you get a job, rent an apartment, or secure a promotion.

But Bible prophecy said that within one generation, “the love of many would wax cold.”  That the Great Apostasy would overtake the same people who once believed that adherence to Bible principles was the foundation stone of a peaceful society.

That people would one day so hate Jesus Christ and Christianity that they would prefer to believe that fundamental Christianity could be relevant to the motivation of a murderous rampage.

“And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. and for THIS cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12)