The Watchers

The Watchers
Vol: 119 Issue: 19 Friday, August 19, 2011

There are certain, undeniable realities in this world that exist, no matter how hard we try to explain them away, and as soon as we think we’ve got it figured out, something comes along that causes you to start all over again.

The Great Pyramid is one of those undeniable realities. It displays a level of scientific sophistication that defies conventional explanation.

In 1978, a “Great Pyramid Feasibility Study” related to the quarrying and transportation of stone was conducted by Merel Booker of the Indiana Limestone Institute of America.

Made up of 33 quarries state-wide, the Institute is considered by many architects to be one of the world’s leading authorities on limestone. Using modern equipment, the study concludes:

“Utilizing the entire Indiana Limestone industry’s facilities as they now stand [for 33 quarries], and figuring on tripling present average production, it would take approximately 27 years to quarry, fabricate and ship the total requirements.”

Booker also points out “the time study assumes sufficient quantities of railroad cars would be available without delay or downtime during this 27 year period and does not factor in the increasing costs of completing the work.”

Five thousand years ago, while the Great Pyramid, with all its advanced astronomical, geographic and mathematical complexities was being constructed, secular history says the Sumerians were just beginning to invent the first written language.

The bow and arrow was a relatively recent invention.

Hebrew slaves wouldn’t learn the art of manufacturing mud bricks by stomping mud together with straw for another nine hundred years.

Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon was yet millennia in the future.

Who told the Pharaoh’s builders that Giza was in the exact center of the earth, that the north and south poles were slightly flattened, and the earth tilts 23.5 degrees on its axis?

Assessment:

First, we need to differentiate between the Book of Enoch (or Enoch i) and the “Secrets of Enoch” (Enoch ii).

What makes up the Book of Enoch (i) are divided as “The Apocalypse of Weeks,” fragments of the “Book of Noah”; “The Dream Visions”; the Book of Heavenly Luminaries”; and the “Simultudes”.

The first two books are believed to be the oldest, dating to the pre-Maccabean Period (prior to 300 BC); the latest, “the Simultudes” to somewhere in the first century before Christ.

The author of the first two ‘books’ of Enoch, based on references within the text, was likely a Jew who lived in the land of Dan in northern Israel.

Whether he actually authored the book, or simply transcribed what had been oral tradition passed down from father to son from the time of Noah, has not been established.

Nothing is known of the authors of the three later texts.

What is known IS that at least part of the Book of Enoch was in wide circulation throughout the Jewish community of pre-Christian Palestine for at least three centuries before the birth of Christ.

Anything about its pedigree beyond that is at best, an educated guess. So let’s look to some of Enoch’s contents as they relate to the topic at hand.

Enoch Chapter Six begins with the Genesis narrative:

“And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto them beautiful and comely daughters. And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: ‘Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men and beget us children.'”

Enoch then names the leading angels in the conspiracy.

“And these are the names of their leaders: Samlazaz, their leader, Araklba, Rameel, Kokablel, Tamlel, Ramlel, Danel, Ezeqeel, Baraqijal, Asael, Armaros, Batarel, Ananel, Zaq1el, Samsapeel, Satarel, Turel, Jomjael, Sariel. These are their chiefs of tens.”

Enoch’s narrative continues;

“And all the others together with them took unto themselves wives, and each chose for himself one, and they began to go in unto them and to defile themselves with them, and they taught them charms and enchantments, and the cutting of roots, and made them acquainted with plants. And they became pregnant, and they bare great giants, whose height was three thousand ells: Who consumed all the acquisitions of men.”

“And when men could no longer sustain them, the giants turned against them and devoured mankind. And they began to sin against birds, and beasts, and reptiles, and fish, and to devour one another’s flesh, and drink the blood. Then the earth laid accusation against the lawless ones.”

Enoch goes on to say that these fallen angels taught pre-diluvian man forbidden secrets; Azazel taught metallurgy and weaponry; invented cosmetics, “and there arose much godlessness and they committed fornication and they were led astray and became corrupt in all their ways.”

Semjaza taught enchantments and root-cuttings (magic arts, drugs); Baraqijal taught astrology; Kokabel, the constellations; Ezeqeel, the knowledge of the clouds; Araqiel, the signs of the earth; Shamsiel the signs of the sun; and Sariel, the course of the moon.

Enoch calls these angels, (the ones Jude described as having “Left their first estate”) the “Watchers.”

Later in the book, Enoch says these angels were bound by God and cast then into the bowels of the earth for ‘seventy generations’ until the Judgment. (Revelation 9:2-11)

(Interestingly, if one pegs a generation at seventy years, as does Psalms 90:10, seventy generations (4900 years) from the Flood 2000-2350 BC) works out to between 6900 and 7200 years — or approximately this generation.)

Enoch’s narrative reads as does the Genesis story. And while it adds considerable detail not contained in Genesis, it offers no contradictions. Wherever the two stories touch, the details are the same.

Angels intermarried with the daughters of men, they practiced only evil continually, and their offspring were ‘men of renown,’ according to Scripture and according to Enoch. The Bible says they were giants; so does Enoch.

Enoch says these angels taught the forbidden knowledge to their ‘wives’ and offspring. History is replete with the record of giants.

(The surviving drawings of the Egyptian kings of the era of the Great Pyramids universally depict the pharaohs as being at least twice the height of their subjects.)

Joshua, who was already bedeviled by the memories ‘of the gods before the Flood’ got into hot water with God for disobeying His command to wipe out the inhabitants of Canaan, (whom the spies informed him were all giants).

It appears that history and theology and logic and common sense all come together on the 30th Parallel, where the 12 foot-tall Pharoh Narmer proclaimed himself the ‘son of Ra’ and ordered the construction of the Great Pyramid as his monument.

Narmer knew the distance from the earth to the sun in miles and constructed one of the most mathematically precise structures ever built by man in all his history.

Two thousand years later, his people were living in mud huts that they built all by themselves.

Tomorrow, we’ll take up the issue of the ancient gods and goddesses of Mount Olympus and see where that leads us.

Enoch, Enoch. . . Who’s There?

Enoch, Enoch. . . Who’s There?
Vol: 119 Issue: 18 Thursday, August 18, 2011

What is startling about the Book of Enoch is the amount of Messianic prophecy it contains.

We know from the Dead Sea Scrolls, from contemporary documentary evidence, and from the Epistle of Jude that the Book of Enoch was widely known and accepted by Jewish authorities long before the birth of Christ.

The Book of Enoch is classified as “Jewish pseudo-biographical literature” meaning, ancient biographical literature that is attributed to someone else, but whose actual author is unknown.

By itself, that doesn’t make it a forgery. Jeremiah didn’t write the book that bears his name. It was written by a scribe named Baruch.

Nobody is certain who the actual author of the Book of Hebrews is, whether it was Paul, someone writing at his direction, or another, unnamed Apostle.

It is highly unlikely that the Book of Enoch was actually penned by the literal Enoch, seventh from Adam, great-grandfather of Noah. But not impossible.

The Church fathers, including Justin Martyr, Athenagoras, Irenaeus, Clemens Alexandrinus, Lactantius, and others borrowed an opinion out of the book of Enoch in discussions regarding Genesis 6:2.

Tertullian, in several places, speaks of the Book of Enoch with great reverence, arguing his belief that it actually WAS written by Enoch, 7th from Adam, and preserved by Noah during the Flood.

The problem with the Book of Enoch, more than anything else, is its guilt by association. Enoch has been adopted into Islamic tradition as an Islamic prophet.

Interestingly, Enoch’s Islamic name means ‘instructor’ or, ‘initiate’ and Islamic tradition credits Enoch with the invention of astrology, astronomy, the written word and arithmetic.

(We’ll discuss this association between Enoch and ‘knowledge’ as we progress in our study, but it is worth keeping that fact in mind as we go along.)

Enoch was also recently adopted by the Mormons as a prophet, the ‘founder of Zion’ worker of miracles, etc., etc., until the mere mention of ‘Enoch’ makes some Christians running screaming from the room shouting ‘heresy’.

Enoch also plays a major role in Freemasonry and other occultic secret societies, especially those heavily involved in astrology or the zodiac.

But behind all the cults and occults and secret societies and New Age groups that have claimed Enoch as their inspiration, there is also the historical fact that the Book of Enoch was quoted directly in Jude 14-15:

“And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”

Compare Jude 14-15 to the Book of Enoch 1:9:

Behold, He comes with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon them, and destroy the wicked, and reprove all the carnal for everything which the sinful and ungodly have done, and committed against Him.”

Assessment:

I don’t want to be misunderstood as attempting to rehabilitate the Book of Enoch or legitimizing the Book of Enoch beyond what it deserves.

It is worthy of discussion as a book of history, at the very least. It is at least twenty-three hundred years old, and it could possibly be much older.

Let’s look at it a different way. . .

I have a book in my library called “The Bible as History.” What its author attempted to do was take the Bible as it is and present it into an historical narrative. The end result was a sweeping historical overview of the history of mankind, but devoid of any theological or spiritual truths.

The book is accurate, as history, and would be useful to historians seeking historical information about the period and location, but it wouldn’t be much use in leading someone down Roman’s Road.

It isn’t something a theologian would study as part of an effort to learn what God wants us to know — but that doesn’t mean that it is worthless or unreliable.

But if somebody were to take “The Bible As History” as Divinely inspired and then use it as their religious text, it WOULD be worthless, unreliable, and downright dangerous. So it is important to view the Book of Enoch in a similar fashion.

The Book of Enoch is not part of the Bible, is not without error, and is not the final authority on matters of theology — but that doesn’t automatically make it worthless.

Flavius Josephus’ “War of the Jews” is not without error, neither is it Divinely-inspired, but there is still much it can teach us.

The Book of Enoch claims to have been written by Enoch, the son of Jared, of the seventh generation from Adam. Here’s what we know — and what we don’t know.

We know that the Book of Enoch was highly regarded among the Jews at the time of Christ. We know that Jude quoted from it; and we know the Essenes thought enough of it to hide it along with the rest of the treasures of the Temple in the caves at Qumron.

We know that in Joshua’s time, there was still a collective memory of life before the Flood. And we know that Tertullian, who lived a lot closer in terms of time to the events it describes that we do, believed the Enoch was preserved by Noah and was passed down through the generations since.

We know that it has been used as a launch point for innumerable cults who claim to have found in it a ‘hidden knowledge’.

We don’t know who wrote it, or how much of it was added along the way, or if it were an oral tradition at some point committed to paper.

We don’t know anything about the copy process, if it were held to the same standard of copying as were the Books of the Torah, and because we don’t know, we can’t trust it as Scripture.

And because we don’t trust it as Scripture, it is no more or less reliable than some of the historical accounts of Josephus or Pliny or Tacitus or Herodotus.

With that in mind, let me finish my disclaimer thusly:

By definition, some of the Book of Enoch must be true, or it wouldn’t have occupied the place of honor that it did among the religious Jews of the time.

But we don’t know what is absolute truth and what contains elements of truth. So we shall approach the study from that perspective, and rely on the Bible to illuminate the difference.

It is important to keep all this in mind. In our study, we are not seeking hidden knowledge, or the secrets of Enoch, or any such balderdash as that.

Where Enoch conflicts with Scripture, Scripture is the final authority, not the other way around. Where Enoch adds information not revealed by Scripture, we’ll apply logic and common sense against what the Scriptures DO reveal.

Our purpose is more historical than spiritual, but our approach is that the spiritual is as real as the secular, and is part of our overall history.

There are many questions left unanswered about the time before the Flood, and over the course of our study, we’ll examine some of them, including, but not limited to, the following:

1) Why do all ancient civilizations have similar memories?

2) What does ‘perfect in his generations’ mean?

3) Who were the giants before the Flood — and ‘also after that’?

4) Where did the ancients get their knowledge?

5) Who built the pyramids?

One question we will NOT tackle is whether or not the Book of Enoch should be part of the canon of Scripture. That question was settled centuries ago, and I claim neither the knowledge nor the desire to reopen it.

So, having said all that, we’ll begin our study tomorrow with a discussion about “The Watchers.”

The Mighty Men of Renown

The Mighty Men of Renown
Vol: 119 Issue: 17 Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The base of the Great Pyramid of Cheops in Egypt was, according to most estimates, built sometime between 2589 and 2566 BC.

According to the great Bible chronologists of history, like H. H. Halley (Halley’s Bible Handbook) Archbishop Ussher (Ussher’s Chronology) and Clarence Larkin, that means that the Great Pyramid was built about two hundred years BEFORE the Flood.

(The Flood occurred somewhere between 2348 and 2004 BC. BC time counts backwards towards zero).

According to Clarence Larkin, the Great Pyramid covers roughly thirteen acres, but that is the only ‘rough’ measurement one can apply to it.

Other than that, it was constructed with a level of precision that is beyond the capabilities of even modern construction technology.

Using the standard Hebrew cubit of measurement, (25.025 inches) the length of each side is 365.2422 cubits. That is the exact number of days in a year, (including the fraction that results in one leap year in four)

The slope of the sides is angled in such a way as to meet at the apex at exactly 232.52 cubits. Clarence Larkin calculated that twice the length of any side at the base, divided by the height, equals pii (3.14159) which multiplied by the diameter of a circle gives its circumference.

The angle of the slope is 10 to 9 (it rises 9 feet in altitude for every 10 feet of linear distance). The altitude of the Great Pyramid, multiplied by ten to the power of nine, equals 91,840,000 miles — the exact distance to the sun.

(Note these are all measured in modern inches, feet, yards and miles, yet they work out perfectly).

In addition, the builders recognized the fact that there are some fifty seconds difference between the sidereal and equinotictial sides of a ‘star year’ — and those calculations are included in the Pyramid’s design.

The base is horizontal and flat to within 15 mm. The sides of the square are closely aligned to the four cardinal compass points to within 3 minutes of arc and is based — not on magnetic north — but true north.

It contains enough stone to build a stone wall, six feet high, that would stretch from New York to Los Angeles.

Finally, the Great Pyramid stands at the exact center of the world’s land mass. It stands exactly where longitude 30 degrees and latitude 30 degrees intersect.

It is halfway between the west coast of Mexico and the east coast of China, and halfway between the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa and the north cape of Norway.

So, who built the Great Pyramid?

Assessment:

Secular history says the ancient Egyptians built the Great Pyramid. (Ask any Egyptian standing in front of his ancestral mud hut and he’ll tell you his ancestors did.)

But who told the builders the world was round? The Great Pyramid reveals that its builders not only knew the world was round, but that it is slightly flattened at the poles, causing a degree of latitude to lengthen at the top and bottom of the planet.

It reveals that its builders knew the earth rotated on an axis, that it tilts 23.5 degrees to the eclyptic, and that this tilt causes the seasons.

Moreover, on two faces of pyramid are ‘star shafts’ each facing specific stars; to ‘the sides of the north’, Beta Ursa Minor and Alpha Draconis. To the south, Sirius and Zita Orionis.

It is not speculation to say that Post-Diluvian society remembered its pre-Flood past.

Joshua alluded to the gods from ‘the other side of the flood’ on several occasions.

“Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood,and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. “

“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:14,15)

The Bible doesn’t tell us a lot about the time before the flood, but it does make allusions to demi-god-like figures who lived at that time.

Genesis 6:2 tells us of the ‘sons of God’ who intermarried with ‘the daughters of men’. That these ‘sons of God’ were angels is obvious to anyone who examines the phrase honestly.

Job 1:6, 2:1, and 38:7 all make reference to the ‘sons of God’ and in context in each instance, Job was referring to angels. Job 1:6 and 2:1 include Satan among the angelic ‘sons of God’; Job 38:7 refers to the angelic hosts.

Genesis 6:2 is referring to an actual event; Genesis 6:4 is referring to literal offspring:

“There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.”

These offspring were called ‘giants’ and ‘mighty men’ — and note also that this angelic interbreeding was not limited to the time before the Flood. Moses said there were giants in the earth then, “and also after that.”

The Book of Enoch was not included among the canon of Scripture, and because of that, it is often derided as a counterfeit, or conversely, incorrectly elevated to the status of a ‘Lost Gospel’.

It is neither. The Books of the Scripture were included because they were adjudged to be both Divinely inspired and the infallible Word of God.

That does not not necessarily mean that Enoch was a false prophet, or that the Book of Enoch was a counterfeit. The Apostle Jude was the half-brother of Jesus. In his epistle, Jude quotes the Book of Enoch directly and calls it ‘prophecy’.

That does not prove the entire Book of Enoch was inspired. But a book that contains the Word of God doesn’t necessarily have to BE the word of God.

(This briefing contains the Word of God — Joshua and Genesis are both quoted here — but the Omega Letter makes no claim to being the Divinely-Inspired Word of God.)

According to both the Book of Enoch and the Epistle of Jude, the angels who ‘left their first estate’ (Jude 1:6) and are now confined to Tartarus until being released (Revelation 9:1) are the same angels of Genesis 6:2.

Their offspring were the Nephilim, half-human, half-angelic hybrid creatures that both Enoch and Genesis identify as being special — mighty men, Moses says, who, according to Enoch, possessed a hidden knowledge of the stars.

Over the course of the next few days, we’re going to take a side trip through the Book of Enoch and see more we can learn about the Nephilim.

Don’t panic — we’re not going to join a cult, become astrologers, or rewrite the canon of Scripture to include the Book of Enoch.

But we are going to look at what Enoch has to say, weigh it against both Bible doctrine and secular history, and see what conclusions we end up with at the end.

Proverbs 25:2 teaches:

“It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.”

Somebody built the Pyramid at Cheops. And also, what did Moses mean by ‘after that’?

It should be an interesting study.

Poisoning the Well

Poisoning the Well
Vol: 119 Issue: 16 Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Recently, I watched a segment on a Fox News program that featured guests discussing Bible prophecy and the end of the world.  One of the featured guests was a Roman Catholic priest and the other the head of a midwestern Baptist seminary.

It was an interesting, albeit short, discussion that opened with the priest noting that people have ‘been predicting the end of the world for centuries,’ a position that was immediately echoed by the Baptist guest.

The conversation immediately called to mind 2nd Peter 3:3-4:

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

But the fact is, they are right.  History is replete with folks who have made various predictions about when the Lord is coming back.  And obviously, they were wrong, since here we are.

In the mid-2nd century, a new convert named Montanus claimed to have received special revelations from God that Christ had returned and set up the New Jerusalem in the town of Pepuza in Phrygia.

Montanus set up his own religion, called ‘Montanism’ that gave credence to ecstactic prophesy and speaking in tongues as both evidence of salvation and proof of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Montanus taught that Christians who fell from grace could not be redeemed, which was in contrast with the orthodox Christian teachings of that period. The prophets of Montanism did not speak as messengers of God: “Thus saith the Lord,” but rather described themselves as possessed by God, and spoke as God.

“I am the Father, the Word, and the Paraclete,” said Montanus, as recorded by Didymus in his work, ‘De Trinitate’. The early Church Father Iraenius denounced Montanism in his work, ‘Against Heresies’ in the third century.

The heretical work, “the Secret Gospel of Thomas” (upon which the ‘Davinci Codes’ are loosely based) emerged from Montanism, and, 19 centuries later, it is still with us, as are literal volumes of historical false prophecies of Christ’s return.

The ‘scoffers’ seem to have a point.  Catholic scholar, Arnald of Villanova predicted that the Antichrist would appear in 1378.  In the 15th century, a group called the Taborites predicted the return of Christ and the destruction of all the world’s cities by fire.

A hundred years later, Melchior Hoffman predicted Jesus would return in 1533 and set up his kingdom in Strasbourg.

A Lutheran clergyman named Adam Nachenmoser predicted the Lord would return in 1635.  Another movement sprang up about this time that taught the date of the Lord’s return would be 1666.

Among the most famous false prophets of the return of Christ is William Miller, who, basing his conclusions on his study of the Book of Daniel, predicted the Lord would return sometime between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844.

Miller called his prophecy the beginning of “The Great Awakening.” He later revised his prediction to October 22, 1844.  Miller and his followers put on their ‘Rapture suits’ and went to the top of a mountain, prayed, fasted and waited.

When Jesus did not appear, Miller’s followers experienced what came to be called “the Great Disappointment”.  Most of the thousands of followers left the movement.

A few, however, went back to their Bibles to find out why they had been disappointed.  A group of the remaining followers concluded that the prophecy predicted not that Jesus would return to earth in 1844, but that investigative judgement in heaven would begin in that year.

Miller recorded his personal disappointment in his memoirs:

“Were I to live my life over again, with the same evidence that I then had, to be honest with God and man, I should have to do as I have done. I confess my error, and acknowledge my disappointment.”

Despite Miller’s failed prophecies, his followers eventually formed their own religious movement, originally called ‘Millerites’ and known today as Seventh Day Adventists.

Miller’s failed prophecies inspired new prophets to come forward with their own, revised and update calculations.  The most prolific among them was Charles Taze Russell. Picking up where Miller left off, Russell’s followers, at first known as ‘Russellites’ (catchy names, eh?) believed that they had discovered ‘significant errors’ in orthodox Christian teachings.

Russell taught that the Rapture would occur in April, 1878. In 1877, Russell published his teachings under the title, “The Object and Manner of our Lord’s Return.”

When the Lord failed to return on Russell’s timetable, he founded a journal entitled, “Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence” in 1879. In the pages of his journal, Russell continued to set dates for the Lord’s return, in 1889, 1891, 1897, 1899 and 1904 and, finally, 1914.

Russell’s movement was renamed “the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society” or “Jehovah’s Witnesses.” It was taken over after Russell’s death by Joseph Rutherford, who added 1918 and 1920 to the list of dates for Christ’s return and declared the Millennium began in 1925.

In 1974, David Berg set up his own cult, called “The Family” or “Children of God”, predicting the end of the world would coincide with the appearance of the comet Kohoutek, later revising it to place the Tribulation at the beginning of 1989 and the return of Christ for 1993.

Edgar Whisenant predicted Christ’s return between September 11 and September 13, 1988, in his aptly titled, “88 Reasons Why the Rapture is in 1988”.  Whisnant based his predictions on the timing of the Jewish Feast of the Trumpets. (Rosh Hashana)

In 1989, Benny Hinn predicted that a ‘short man’ would appear within ‘a few’ years and assume the mantle of the antichrist. (Hinn also predicted Castro’s death by 1999, the election of a female US president who would ‘destroy America’ and the destruction of the East Coast by earthquakes in 1999.)

Harold Camping published his book, “1994?” in which he predicted the return of Christ on September 6, 1994. Camping also calculated the return of Christ based on the date of the Jewish Feast of the Trumpets.

Assessment:

Is it any wonder that the world is inundated with ‘scoffers?’  Most of these predictions, together with their prognosticators, were made by sincere and dedicated scholars who believed that they had ‘cracked’ some Biblical secret code that had been there all along, but that nobody else except them had discovered.

Their followers were equally sincere and dedicated believers in their prophecies, but they misplaced their faith. Our faith is not to be, as the Scripture says, rooted in WHEN He comes, but rather, in Who is coming.

This is why the Lord says, in clear and unambiguous terms;

“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)

It means exactly what it says.  No man can calculate the day or the hour because of the damage such false prophecies do to believers when they fail.

Look at the damage already caused by those sincere, well-meaning believers among the false prophets listed above.  While some of them were undoubtedly well-meaning, the result has been the loss of uncounted souls for Christ.

Do you doubt me?  Have you ever attempted to present evidence of Christ’s return in the hope that the evidence will cause somebody to accept the conclusion that God MUST be real and therefore the Bible MUST be true?  And, having reached that conclusion, your prospect will recognize his lost condition and trust Jesus?

How MANY times have you then heard someone echo the sentiments expressed in 2nd Peter 3:3? “People have been predicting the end of the world for centuries, but we’re still here.” It is a fulfillment of prophecy, but it is also evidence of the incalculable damage centuries of false prophecy has been responsible for.

It’s been said before, and it didn’t happen.  What makes this any different?

While no generation in the history of the Church Age has at its disposal more conclusive evidence of the fulfillment of end times prophecy, including the restoration of nations, the alignment of nations in precisely the configuration described by the prophets, the explosion of knowledge, the shifting weather patterns, the restoration of Israel, etc., this evidence is useless as a tool of evangelism if nobody can get past the ‘been there, done that’ part in order to present it.

Every failed prediction of the Rapture or the return of Christ takes its toll.  If just one person is turned off to the promise of salvation as a result of the litany of failed prognosticators of the past — all of whom were in violation of the clear teachings of the Scriptures — the loss of that person’s soul is an incalculable tragedy, from Heaven’s perspective.

The joy Jesus spoke of in heaven when a sinner turns to Christ goes uncelebrated, replaced by the mourning of the angels.

The simple facts are these.  No other generation has been blessed with such a preponderance of evidence. No generation in history has ever had so many reasons to accept the predictive nature of Scripture — and thus, evidence of the Divinity of its Author, than does the generation that witnessed the rebirth of Israel and the unfolding scenario predicted thousands of years ago by the Hebrew prophets.

But if the evidence doesn’t get a hearing, it is of no value.

“For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God,” writes the Apostle Paul. (1st Corinthians 2:11)

Attempting to divine by human means that which God has deliberately drawn a curtain around is an act of defiance that bears eternal and far-reaching consequences that no man will ever understand this side of heaven.  But if we trust Jesus, then we must trust EVERYTHING He taught us.

Discussing His return, Jesus used an analogy that clearly explains the purpose of a secret, incalculable Rapture.

“And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour WHEN YE THINK NOT.” (Luke 12:39-40)

As events unfold that fill out the prophetic puzzle for this generation, it is abundantly obvious that the Lord must soon return for His Church.

But as to ‘when’ — ‘no man knoweth the day or the hour.’  The litany of failed attempts has provided much-needed ammunition to the enemy and done the Kingdom a grave disservice.  And given the scoffers all the reasons they need to walk away, comfortable in their unbelief.

It is a spiritual tragedy.

Drowning the Seed

Drowning the Seed
Vol: 119 Issue: 15 Monday, August 15, 2011

I believe that the Bible calls us to be witnesses of Christ, and that there is no more perfect expression of God’s will in the life of a Christian than when he works to lead others to Christ.

That said, what does one do, as one of our readers related recently in one of our forums, when somebody is clearly not interested in hearing the Gospel?

The forum comment describes an experience we’ve all shared in some variation. You strike up a conversation, and somehow, Jesus comes up in the discussion.

Your conversation suddenly stalls, and when you try to revive it, you meet a wall of stony silence.

Eventually, you come to recognize the signals and past experience tells you its time to say something cheery and take your leave.

But then it bothers you all the way home. . . “why didn’t I press the issue? Am I a coward for Christ? Jesus endured the collective hatred of the human race. Am I so weak I can’t bear a little rejection?”

You are convinced you failed Him. You had a chance to share the Gospel, and you blew it.

Maybe if you had tried a little harder, they might have listened. But no, you were too chicken!

It isn’t like you don’t know what is at stake — especially if you have been an OL member for any length of time at all.

You know that every person you meet is destined to spend eternity somewhere. You already know that they will either spend eternity in the joyful presence of Christ.

Or they will spend a Christ less eternity alone, tormented by the punishments of hell and their memory of rejecting their chance to escape it.

You know it because I remind you of it every chance that I get to do so. The redemption of a single sinner is worth the whole world, the Scriptures say. When one sinner repents, the angels rejoice.

Nothing in our walk though this world is of greater eternal value than leading a lost sinner to Christ.

But instead of pressing the issue, you walked away.

Knowing all that you know, you gave up without a fight. What kind of soldier are you?

Assessment:

If that is your story, or you have one like it, then the answer is, a smart one. A smart soldier would not press a battle against the odds — just so he could say he was in the fight.

Once you’ve used up all your resources in an unwise and ill-prepared assault, then those resources are no longer available to be deployed elsewhere where they can be of greater tactical value.

You offered Jesus, the offer was rejected. But in making the offer, you planted a seed. What you do next will affect the probability that your seed will take root.

You can continue to pour water on it until it drowns. Or you can plant it, give it as much water as conditions demand, give it a chance to germinate, and let nature take its course.

Planting the Gospel is sometimes like that. You plant it by sharing the Gospel, but sometimes, like planting in saturated ground, you can overwater and drown the seed.

Sometimes, just planting the seed is all that is necessary, and then its time to let the Holy Spirit take care of the nurturing.

Instead of drowning the seed in your eagerness to get it to take root, sometimes its better to let it germinate, even if it means somebody else will get to reap the harvest.

If your concern is for the health of the seed rather than your profit from the harvest, then it is not such a big deal if somebody else gets to harvest it.

Should you have pressed that person who clearly didn’t want to be pressed?

Ask yourself how you react when a salesman keeps pestering you after you tell him you’ll think about it.

Not only won’t you buy from that salesman, odds are that you won’t buy that brand, either, even though the salesman had nothing to do with the quality of the product.

Jesus knows whether or not you’ve done the job He sent you to do. How does He tell us to handle rejection? Does He tell us to press the issue until it comes to blows?

No. He says:

“And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.” (Matthew 10:14)

“And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.” (Luke 9:5)

“He that heareth you heareth Me; and he that despiseth you despiseth Me; and he that despiseth Me despiseth Him that sent Me.” (Luke 10:16)

When Paul and Barnabas attempted to preach the Gospel, “the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts.”

Paul and Barnabas did their best. They preached the Word, the offered the salvation of Christ, and the Word was rejected. What did they do next?

“[T]hey shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium.” (Acts 13:50-51)

“And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the Spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ.” (Acts 18:5)

Notice that Paul and Timothy were moved by the Holy Spirit to witness to the Macedonians. Notice also what happened when the Macedonians didn’t want to hear it.

“And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean; from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.” (Acts 18:6)

This was the Apostle Paul, and the Bible says it was the Holy Spirit moved him to preach. But the Macedonians were free to choose.

Paul and Timothy didn’t browbeat them, but rather, Paul said, “I’ve done what the Lord sent me to do. From here on out, it is up to you.”

Paul was not a bad Christian. He wasn’t weak, he wasn’t wishy-washy, he wasn’t uncaring. Paul was God’s chosen evangelist to the Gentiles.

But Paul understood that the seeds he planted would grow unto the Lord, or they would NOT grow unto the Lord.

There is an old saying to the effect that “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.”

And if you try, you’ll probably drown the horse.

It wasn’t up to Paul to do more than the task that God put before him. Neither is it up to you.

It is our duty and our solemn responsibility to make sure everyone we meet has a chance to choose whom they will serve in this life and where they will spend eternity.

But it is not up to us to make the choice for them. Or to feel responsible when they choose badly. It’s not we that we failed Him.

The seed we plant may not germinate for decades, but that’s up to God, not us. That’s where the ‘trust’ part takes over.

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:13)

Don’t beat yourself up. Your job is to take the stand as a witness. It’s up to the Holy Spirit to obtain a conviction.

“Faithful is He that calleth you, Who also will do it.” (1st Thessalonians 5:24)

There are times when its our job to plant the seeds, then get out of the way and let Him take it from there.

The Ricin Bomb

The Ricin Bomb
Vol: 119 Issue: 13 Saturday, August 13, 2011

According to classified intelligence reports obtained by the New York Times (which immediately disseminated it) al-Qaeda’s Yemeni organization has been making efforts to acquire large quantities of castor beans.

The castor plant is indigenous to the southwest Mediterranean Basin, East Africa and India.  It is also used extensively in parks and public areas as a decorative plant.  It will grow virtually anywhere is found growing wild throughout the world.

The castor plant’s chief use is in the manufacture of castor oil. The castor plant is nicknamed, “The Palm of Christ” for its oil’s reputed ability to heal wounds and cure ailments.  But it also has another use, which is why al-Qaeda is seeking to obtain large quantities of castor beans, which are actually the plant’s seeds.

The seed of the castor plant is the source of ricin, the most toxic natural substance on earth.  If inhaled or injected, a dose the size of the head of a pin can kill an adult.  To illustrate, a lethal dose of ricin is about 1/228 of an aspirin.

Ricin is easily purified from castor-oil manufacturing waste.  The slurry left over from the oil extraction process contains about 5 to 10% pure ricin by volume.  According to the New York Times;

“Intelligence officials say they have collected evidence that Qaeda operatives are trying to move castor beans and processing agents to a hideaway in Shabwa Province, in one of Yemen’s rugged tribal areas controlled by insurgents. The officials say the evidence points to efforts to secretly concoct batches of the poison, pack them around small explosives, and then try to explode them in contained spaces, like a shopping mall, an airport or a subway station.”

“President Obama and his top national security aides were first briefed on the threat last year and have received periodic updates since then, top aides said. Senior American officials say there is no indication that a ricin attack is imminent, and some experts say the Qaeda affiliate is still struggling with how to deploy ricin as an effective weapon.”

Well, no wonder this was classified information.

“The potential threat of weapons of mass destruction, likely in a simpler form than what people might imagine but still a form that would have a significant psychological impact, from Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen, is very, very real,” Michael E. Leiter, who retired recently as director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said at a security conference last month. “It’s not hard to develop ricin.”

So ricin is not hard to make.  It isn’t hard to transport.  It is practically impossible to detect and inhaling a single speck is enough to kill you.  How difficult would it be for a suicide terrorist to smuggle ricin aboard a domestic aircraft?

Months after the initial ricin intelligence reports surfaced last year, Saudi intelligence officials revealed a twist to the ricin plot: Qaeda operatives were trying to place the toxin in bottles of perfume, especially a popular local fragrance made of the resin of agarwood, and send those bottles as gifts to assassinate government officials and law enforcement and military officers.

Can YOU tell the difference between a gelatin capsule containing prescription medicine from one filled with ricin?  Or whether or not a bottle of perfume was toxic?  

Barring chemical tests, neither can the TSA. 

Assessment:

Liberals are fond of opening every discussion about al-Qaeda with the mindless disclaimer that “the vast majority of Muslims world-wide are peace-loving moderates who adhere to a religion of peace and love and tolerance” as if that were somehow relevant to those who aren’t.

Most liberals will concede that, at best, only about ten percent of world-wide Islam is of the jihadi variety – a statistic that would be more comforting if it weren’t for the math.  Ten percent of 1.4 billion is 140 MILLION

Liberals will quickly leap up to say that figure is exaggerated; at best, there are only about 1.2 billion Muslims worldwide.  (I’m feeling lots better knowing that only 120 million strangers would kill me if the opportunity presented itself.)  

When Anders Breivik identified himself as a “Christian” following his murderous spree that killed seventy-seven innocents, the worldwide Christian community arose en masse to condemn Breivik’s actions and disavow any link to actual Christianity.

Miles and miles of column inches were devoted to separating Breivik from anything resembling Christian doctrine.  As we’ve discussed many times, Christianity is defined by its doctrine.  That is no different than in any other religious tradition.

If one adheres to the doctrines of Buddhism, one is a Buddhist.  If one adheres to the doctrine of Zoroaster, one is not a Buddhist. 

If one claims to be a Muslim, and does not follow the tenets of Islam, but instead practices some other religious tradition, one is not a Muslim.  Regardless of their claimed affiliation. 

A religious tradition or belief is defined by the doctrine of that tradition or belief.  No doctrine, no religious identification.  It is just that simple.  The converse is equally true.  

Breivik’s actions were so far removed from any actual Christian doctrine that within a matter of days, even the most liberal of journalists were prepared to concede that Breivik was not a Christian.  

Even Wikipedia stopped referring to Breivik as a “right wing Christian.”

Not a single Islamic organization of any consequence has argued that Osama bin Laden, Anwar al Awlaki or the al-Qaeda network is NOT Muslim.  I’ve yet to read a convincing argument postulating that al-Qaeda does NOT adhere to basis Islamic doctrine.

When al-Qaeda commits some new serial atrocity against innocents, there are no universal outcries from within the Islamic umma (world-wide Islamic community) separating al-Qaeda from doctrinal Islam. 

When reports like this one link al-Qaeda to the production of poisons like ricin for use against innocents, there is no outcry about al-Qaeda’s deviation from traditional Islamic doctrine.  Why?  The answer is obvious. 

Even if we’re not allowed to say it out loud. 

The Coming Prince

The Coming Prince
Vol: 119 Issue: 12 Friday, August 12, 2011

Ever since Sir Robert Anderson published his seminal work, The Coming Prince at the turn of the 20th century, prophecy watchers have been trying to figure out who he is.  Sir Robert took his title from Daniel 9:26’s identification of the antichrist as a prince of the Roman Empire:

“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.”

Of all the prophetic clues to the identification of the antichrist, this seems to me to be the most unassailable. There have been only two ‘peoples’ whom history records destroying both the city of Jerusalem and the sanctuary of the Temple.

The first was Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, who sacked Jerusalem, destroyed the Temple, carried off its treasures and took the Judean intelligentsia captive to serve the Babylonian Empire.  Daniel’s prophecy was recorded from Babylon, many years after the event. 

The second time was in AD 70 when Titus of Rome, together with elements of the V Macedonia, XII Fulminata and XV Fretnensis, lay siege to Jerusalem and the Temple. 

On the Jewish feast day of Tisha B’av (the Ninth of Av) and exactly four hundred and ninety years to the day from the date of Nebuchadnezzar’s destruction of the First Temple, the Romans fired and destroyed the Second Temple.

The Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus, was an eyewitness to the events that he described:

“Now as soon as the army had no more people to slay or to plunder, because there remained none to be the objects of their fury (for they would not have spared any, had there remained any other work to be done), [Titus] Caesar gave orders that they should now demolish the entire city and Temple . . . but for all the rest of the wall [surrounding Jerusalem], it was so thoroughly laid even with the ground by those that dug it up to the foundation, that there was left nothing to make those that came thither believe it [Jerusalem] had ever been inhabited.”

According to Josephus, as many as one million, one hundred thousand Jews were killed during the siege, with less than a hundred thousand surviving to be captured and enslaved.

“The slaughter within was even more dreadful than the spectacle from without. Men and women, old and young, insurgents and priests, those who fought and those who entreated mercy, were hewn down in indiscriminate carnage. The number of the slain exceeded that of the slayers. The legionaries had to clamber over heaps of dead to carry on the work of extermination.”

Most amazingly, Titus reportedly refused to accept a victory wreath from Ceasar, on the grounds that, “there is no merit in vanquishing a people forsaken by their own God.”

Assessment:

Scripture paints a detailed portrait of the man Daniel said would be a prince of the people who would destroy the city [Jerusalem] and the sanctuary [the Temple].

Daniel 7:8, 24 says that the antichrist will rise from obscurity, but with a ‘mouth speaking great things’. He will blaspheme God [Daniel 7:25; 11:36; Revelation 13:5] slandering His Name, dwelling place, and departed Christians and Old Testament saints [Revelation 13:6]

He will confirm a covenant between Israel and the ‘many’. [Daniel 9:27] This covenant will likely involve the establishment of a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. [see Dan 9:27; Matt 24:15]

He will put an end to Jewish sacrifice and offerings after 3 ½ years and will set up an abomination to God in the Temple [Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:15]. His power will be as absolute as any ‘king’ of the ancient Babylonians, Persians, and Greeks. [Revelation 13:2] He will not answer to a higher earthly authority; “He will do as he pleases.” [Daniel 11:36]

Daniel 11:37 says he will pay lip service to the religion of his ancestors, but will give honor to the ‘god of [military] forces. His whole focus and attention will be on his military. He will conquer lands and distribute them [Daniel 11:39-44]

He will claim that Jesus did not come in the flesh, or that Jesus did not rise bodily from the grave. [2 John 7]. He will deny that Jesus is the Messiah [I John 2:22]

He will be worshipped by many people [Rev. 13:8] He will hate a nation that initially will have some control over his kingdom, but he will destroy this nation [Rev 17:16-18] In some fashion, his name will be related to the number six hundred and sixty six— but not necessarily in an obvious fashion. [Rev 13:17-18]

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, he will be indwelt and empowered by Satan himself. [Revelation 13:2

I believe that he is alive today and is probably already a well-known politician.  But I don’t believe that it is the responsibility of the Church to identify him or even to be on the lookout for him.  The Scriptures tell us to be watching for the coming of Christ.

Signs pointing to the antichrist are important only in that the revelation of the antichrist means the return of Jesus Christ is only seven years away from that moment.  The Tribulation Period lasts for 2,520 days, which works out to seven Hebrew calendar years.

Over the years, I’ve heard dozens of novel interpretations by folks who find a seven year Tribulation Period inconvenient to their own theories but the big hurdle to get over is that Daniel says the antichrist’s covenant is for one “week” (Hebrew: shabua). 

(“Shabua” is used here in the same sense that the Greeks used “decade” to measure multiples of ten years, except the Hebrews worked in multiples of seven.)

The arguments are interesting and novel and some of them show evidence of years of effort at making the numbers match the theory being offered, but you can’t make Daniel’s Seventieth Week into anything but a week of years without trashing the incredible accuracy of Daniel’s prediction regarding the Messiah.  

Josh McDowell wrote his thesis at Dallas Theological Seminary on the Book of Daniel, and his thesis was subsequently published as a book entitled, “Evidence that Demands a Verdict.”

McDowell calculated the date of Xerxes commandment to restore the Temple on March 5, 444 BC and counted forward 483 lunar years, which equals 173,855 days. 

And exactly 173,855 days after Xerxes issued that commandment, Jesus Christ rode into Jerusalem on the foal of an ass, was received as King and was ‘cut off’ (killed) “but not for Himself”.

“Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one Man should die for the people.” (John 18:14)

So to argue that Daniel’s Seventieth Week is anything but seven years trashes Daniel’s most spectacular prophetic fulfillment.  If the first sixty-nine weeks weren’t multiples of seven, then McDowell’s calculations are meaningless.

And so is Daniel’s prophecy – so why bother to either cite or study it?

Furthermore, the Prophet Jeremiah identifies the Tribulation Period as the “time of Jacob’s trouble” which comports to Daniel’s vision of the seventy weeks being determined for Israel and not the Church.

Remember, it is to make ‘reconciliation for sin’ and to ‘bring in everlasting righteousness’.

For the Church during the Church Age, those goals were already accomplished at the Cross.

But the Tribulation Period is the final week of the Age of the Law.  The Temple will be in full operation and the Mosaic Law in full force.  The Church Age is concluded with the antichrist’s treaty.

We don’t know who the antichrist is — but we do know that the covenant the antichrist confirms is based on the formula of “land for peace” the formula upon which the Oslo Agreement (September 13, 1993 –September 13, 2000) was based.  

So the treaty exists, but collapsed before it was fully implemented.  The principle of land for peace remains at the heart of every peace proposal.  The antichrist is said to ‘confirm’ the covenant, not write it, or negotiate it or sign it.  He ‘confirms’ it.

One cannot confirm anything unless it first exists

If the symbols, heads, horns and beasts of Daniel and Revelation make sense that is because this is the generation to whom they were addressed. Daniel didn’t understand all that he was seeing in his vision, and he asked for an explanation. Instead, the revealing angel told Daniel,

“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]

The Book is unsealed in this generation, a generation in which a person can circumnavigate the planet in a day. A generation that has unlocked the secrets of the human genome, one in which knowledge doubles every eighteen months.

Daniel’s treaty already exists.  All that remains is for it to be confirmed and guaranteed by Sir Robert’s coming prince

At some point before that treaty is finally confirmed, Jesus Christ will descend from heaven with a shout, and the voice of an archangel, and all those living who placed their faith in Christ will be snatched away, to be forever with Christ.

“Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:18)

Well Past ”Beginning”

Well Past ”Beginning”
Vol: 119 Issue: 11 Thursday, August 11, 2011

Nearly 1,000 cab drivers in eastern China blocked traffic and protested on Aug. 1 over rising fuel costs. It was the latest sign of discontent about the country’s surging inflation.

Inflation is hitting China hard, with food prices recently increasing 12 percent. Many Chinese officials are reported concerned that inflation, along with rising property prices, could lead to even more unrest.

This past June, thousands of workers battled for three days with police in the capital city of the southern Chinese province of Guangdong. They were ostensibly protesting declining living standards. According to the Chinese socialist website, Xintang, last year saw 180,000 mass “incidents” (or protests) across China.

In the Philippines, thousands took to the streets to demand better wages and job guarantees.

In Europe, there have been massive protests in Spain, Portugal, Greece, Ireland, Romania and Serbia. A visit to websites like “Socialist World” contains glowing accounts of socialism-inspired protests and/or riots in South Africa, Denmark, Kazhakstan, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Libya, Tunisia and Egypt.

London has been burning now for almost a week as rioting engulfed the British capital, forcing London to import police from nearby cities and prompting British Prime Minister David Cameron to call for the distribution of water cannon throughout the city.

London is the most heavily surveilled city in the world, with something like 4,285,000 cameras, or one closed circuit TV camera for every fourteen citizens.  Altogether, the average Londoner is photographed hundreds of times per day.

But all that surveillance didn’t stop the city from exploding into an orgy of violence and looting as the city went up in flames.

In Philadelphia, Mayor Michael Nutter announced a weekend curfew for minors following a series of ‘flash-mob’ riots in which black teen-agers were pulling white people out of their cars and beating them indiscriminately.

“You damaged your own race,” Nutter said before his home congregation at Mount Carmel Baptist Church, knowing the people in the pews are not the problem. The mayor invited coverage because his message – greeted by rousing applause – was aimed over the Baptist heads in West Philly to a larger audience.

Liberals are blaming the flash-mobs and rioting on high unemployment, economic austerity measures, Wall Street bankers and “big corporations ripping off the little guy”.  Indeed, according to the Washington Post, Mayor Nutter’s comment was “nuttier” (clever play on words, no?) when he said this:

“If you walk into somebody’s office with your hair uncombed and a pick in the back, and your shoes untied and your pants half down, tattoos up and down your arms and on your neck, and you wonder why somebody won’t hire you?” Nutter lectured. “They don’t hire you because you look like you’re crazy.”

According to the Post, Nutter is wrong.  The reason they can’t get hired is because ‘politicians’ (meaning Republicans) are “reneging on promises to come up with policies and strategies for creating jobs and job-training programs.”  

The rioting as a result of not enough government assistance, according to Post writer Courtland Malloy, is understandable.

According to a 2009 report by the District’s Healthy Families, Thriving Communities Collaborative Council, more than 100 gangs and neighborhood “crews” operate in the city — the heart of a flash mob — and the use of semiautomatic weapons is on the rise. . .  The Washington Post noted Tuesday that former London mayor Ken Livingstone believed the unrest in that city was the result of pent-up resentment “over the weak economy, high unemployment rates and historically deep budget cuts that are decreasing government funding for poor communities and grass-roots charities.”

I was literally astounded as I read through the piece, which managed to exonerate rioting, racially motivated assaults, looting, theft, vandalism and destruction of private property by blaming the Tea Party!

“Feeling disrespected and often outright ignored, many of them are threatening to destroy what they can’t have. And why not? The strategy worked so well for tea party anarchists that even President Obama started paying attention.”

Tea Party anarchists? This guy needs a new dictionary. Can you name a single incident of Tea Party inspired civil unrest, rioting, beatings, violence of any kind or a single instance of property destruction?  

Neither can the Washington Post.   Or Google.  It’s a lie.  But who cares?

As long as it fits the socialist-left’s agenda.

Assessment:

Any honest seeker of the truth about the reasons for the riots and unrest would be able to figure it out on their own by googling the word “lawlessness” in Google’s news aggregator.

Every single hit that comes up on the first page is a story about the rioting and unrest in the UK and elsewhere.  It isn’t economic hard times – there have been economic hard times before without the whole world erupting into violence and lawlessness.

What does Wall Street have to do with black kids beating up white people in Philadelphia?  What do austerity measures have to do with making people strip naked on the streets of London?

The rioting in Britain is also being blamed on the police shooting death of a crack cocaine dealer who was in possession of an illegal firearm at the time of his death – although that isn’t the way the story is being framed by the mainstream media.

In the liberal, “let’s-blame-the-Tea-Party” narrative, Mark Duggan wasn’t an armed crack cocaine dealer, but rather, “a black father of four gunned down by London Police” as if armed London police were running amok shooting innocent people. (Most London police aren’t even allowed to carry firearms.)

What is really behind the rioting is the spirit of lawlessness that is visibly on the rise everywhere one looks.

It was just a couple of months ago that we were discussing the theme of lawlessness in relation to the Obama administration, which, whenever it comes up with a law it doesn’t like, simply (and unconstitutionally) refuses to enforce it.

The White House has already officially refused to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act. It has refused to enforce existing immigration law. It sued the State of Arizona to prevent it from enforcing existing immigration law.

The White House dropped the case of voter intimidation by the Black Panthers because the DoJ “doesn’t enforce the law on the basis of race” unless the victims are black and the perpetrators are white.

“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” (Matthew 24:12)

The word “iniquity” in English means: gross injustice, a wicked act or sin. But that is what it means in English.  The Gospel of Matthew was first published in Greek and then later translated into Latin and much later, in 1611 — into English.  

The Greek word translated iniquity is anomia which means simply, lawlessness.  Everywhere in  Scripture where one finds the word “iniquity” it is in reference to transgressing the law – either the Mosaic Law or just lawbreaking in general.

“And he said, If now I have found grace in Thy sight, O LORD, let my LORD, I pray thee, go among us; for it is a stiffnecked people; and pardon our iniquity AND our sin, and take us for Thine inheritance.” (Exodus 34:9)

“Pardon our iniquity (lawlessness) AND our sin,” Moses prayed.  The Apostle Paul, writing to assure them they hadn’t missed the Rapture, wrote to the Church at Thessonika, saying,

“Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he (antichrist) might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only He who now letteth will let, until He be taken out of the way.” (2 Thessalonians 2:5-7)

As I put today’s Omega Letter together, I am beginning to feel a bit like a broken record – earthquakes, famines, wars, pestilence, lawlessness . . . how many times have I outlined examples of these same things – is the OL becoming irrelevant?

I pondered this for awhile — before it hit me that it is itself a sign of the times.  Everything forecast for the last days is increasing in both frequency and intensity — exactly as Jesus prophesied.

The Apostle Paul called the lawlessness of the last days a “mystery” — it is certainly a mystery to the godless liberals who blame the Tea Party or the government for black teenagers attacking whites in Philadelphia or who sympathize with those who wish to “destroy what they cannot have.”

If I’m starting to sound like a broken record it is because the signs keep repeating themselves. Here’s what I think that means. 

 “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) 

Soon, I think. 

Emperor Jack The First

Emperor Jack The First
Vol: 119 Issue: 10 Wednesday, August 10, 2011

First it was the definition of marriage that was up for debate.  Then, the definition of conservative. Now, the redefinition of what it means to be a ‘Christian’.

Before going on, let me make the following observation.

The ones most loudly questioning the definition of marriage are not married.  The ones most loudly questioning the definition of conservativism are not conservatives.

And those questioning the definition of Christianity the most loudly are not Christians.

A married conservative Christian has no struggle with any of these definitions.

According to most mainstream media outlets, particularly early on, the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik was a “right wing Christian fundamentalist.”  “Right-wing” is disparaging code for ‘conservative’ just as “left-wing” is code for ‘liberal’.

So the NYTimes was delighted to call Breivik a ‘conservative’.   Adolf Hitler was also an example of a European ‘right-wing conservative.’  Hitler was a Catholic, so one might label him a right-wing Christian conservative. 

It all depends on what one is trying to conserve — and how.  Hitler wanted to conserve white German nationalism he claimed was being undermined by the Jews.  Breivik wanted to conserve white European supremacy from the Islamic invasion.

To this end, both Hitler and Breivik spoke of their desired conservation of “European Christendom.”  Breivik’s identification as a ‘right wing Christian fundamentalist’ emerged from this concept of conserving European Christendom.

One can also refer to ‘Christendom’ as ‘cultural’ Christianity.  In that sense, as Breivik wrote in his manifesto, there is room for both ‘atheist’ Christians and ‘agnostic’ Christians. 

On that basis, Breivik the mass murderer was declared a ‘fundamental Christian’.  Based on that principle, I am declaring myself Emperor of Europe. 

Any questions?

Assessment:

Mitt Romney and Glenn Beck are both Mormons, but they bristle, as do most Mormons, at the suggestion that Mormons aren’t Christians. 

Let me say up front that I like Mitt Romney for president.  His religious views are irrelevant – I’m talking about Romney for President of the United States, not for pastor of my church. 

(And, frankly, John McCain wasn’t exactly my definition of a devout evangelical Christian, either.)

And I like Glenn Beck’s politics.  I agree with his assessment of the current state of the world.  I concur with his understanding of the founding principles of American government.  I am proud of his willingness to stand with Israel.

That doesn’t mean I think Mormons are Christians.  I am not anti-Mormon. (I don’t think Jews are Christians, either.  That doesn’t make me an anti-Semite.)  

The Washington Post published an op-ed piece entitled “Five Myths About Mormonism” that listed “Mormons Aren’t Christians” as Myth #2.  The op-ed was prompted by a comment by Fox News host Ainsley Earhart who said that as a Mormon, Mitt Romney was “obviously not a Christian”.

Not so, says the op-ed’s writer, Joanna Brooks:

“We Mormons view ourselves as Christians. Many Christian pastors and scholars, however, point to theological technicalities that disqualify us from the mainline tradition. Some evangelicals do not see us as Christians for reasons rooted in antiquated anti-Mormon prejudice.”

Let me respond in kind.  I view myself as Emperor of Europe.  There are a few technicalities, however, that disqualify me from claiming my throne.

First, I don’t live there and I’m not European.  Secondly, Europe doesn’t have an emperor.  Third, none of the actual Europeans believe I am the Emperor.  And besides, those who don’t are simply giving in to anti-colonial prejudices.

But that in no way means I’m not Emperor.  Didn’t you hear me call myself “Emperor?”

(You mean it takes more than merely saying so?) 

According to Ms. Brooks, because she celebrates Christmas and reads the New Testament, she is a Christian.

(I know border Canadians who celebrate the 4th of July and watch Fox News.  Does that make them Americans?) 

The worldwide LDS Church chain of command — including all positions of clerical, institutional and fiscal authority — is entirely male. Women cannot hold the lay priesthood shared in by men age 12 and older. The church’s Proclamation on the Family declares that men “preside” over the household. Unequal gender language is also a part of Mormon temple worship and marriage ceremonies.

But Mormonism also has more progressive elements. Our concept of God is not exclusively male: We believe in a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother.

An LDS apologetics website, entitled “The Christian Century” explained Mormonism using quotes from LDS officials from the past.

LDS apostle Orson F. Whitney continued that line of reasoning in a later speech, in which he said many figures outside Mormonism — including “Confucius, the Chinese philosopher; Zoroaster, the Persian sage; Gautama or Buddha of the Hindus; Socrates and Plato of the Greeks” — were “sent by the Almighty into many nations to give them not the fullness of the Gospel, but that portion of truth that they were able to receive and wisely use.”

Whitney’s views were ratified by then-LDS Church President Heber J. Grant and Apostle George Q. Cannon, who added, “Other nations and races have not been forgotten by the Lord. They have had great truths taught to them; and, in many instances, they have profited by them. There have been millions of pagans whose lives have been as acceptable to the true God as the lives of the same number of so-called Christians.”

“So-called” Christians do not live lives acceptable to the True God.  If they could, then there would be no need of a Redeemer.  “So-called” Christians cannot accept that Confucious, Zoroaster, Gautama or Buddha were Divinely inspired or that they were sent by the Almighty to share only a portion of the truth.

I am not slamming Mormonism.  Every Mormon I’ve ever met was a wonderful individual.  The Mormon family ethic is enviable.  Their devotion to their faith is admirable.

It isn’t anti-Mormonism to say that Mormons aren’t Christians.  If Christianity is defined by its doctrine, then that is simply an observation of fact.  

Christianity is simple.  It is so simple that even a little child can grasp it.  It is that simplicity of doctrine that makes it so powerful.  And so unique. 

Salvation cannot come from church membership.  Salvation does not come through good behavior.  Salvation does not come through the observance of rites and rituals.  Salvation comes by faith.  Faith in what? 

Faith that God, Who is eternal, stepped out of eternity and into space and time in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son.  Jesus Christ, knowing our inability to save ourselves, lived a life acceptable to God in our place. 

Having no sin debt of His own, He then suffered the penalty due for sin on MY behalf.  Having paid my sin debt for me, He declared, “it is finished” and sat down at the Father’s right Hand.  

That is the basic doctrine of Christianity.  If you believe that, then you are a Christian. 

On the other hand, if you believe that God was once a man who worked his way up to becoming God of this universe and that one day, you will also work your way up to godhood of your own universe, you are a Mormon.  

And things that are different are not the same.

Meltdown!

Meltdown!
Vol: 119 Issue: 9 Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Great Global Warming Hoax is over — but Al Gore never got the memo. The man who used to be the next president of the United States came completely unhinged last week during an Aspen Institute communications seminar.  And boy, did Al Gore communicate:

“Some of the exact same people — by name I can go down a list of their names — are involved in this,” Gore said. “And so what do they do? They pay pseudo-scientists to pretend to be scientists to put out the message: ‘This climate thing, it’s nonsense. Man-made CO2 doesn’t trap heat. It may be volcanoes.’ Bullsh—! ‘It may be sun spots.’ Bullsh—! ‘It’s not getting warmer.’ Bullsh—!”

“There about 10 names out there,” Gore added. “When you go and talk to any audience about climate, you hear them washing back at you the same crap over and over and over again. They have polluted the sh—. There’s no longer a shared reality on an issue like climate even though the very existence of our civilization is threatened. People have no idea!”

Climate skeptics, Gore added, have made it nearly impossible to talk about the issue anymore.

“It’s no longer acceptable in mixed company, meaning bipartisan company, to use the g_____n word climate,” he said. “It is not acceptable. They have polluted it to the point where we cannot possibly come to an agreement on it.”

Wow, Al! If this wasn’t so funny it would be sad.  Or maybe ‘pathetic’ might be a better word.  Only ten years ago, this guy came within a cat’s whisker of becoming the President of the United States. 

Global warming has only existed since Maggie Thatcher invented it in the mid-1980’s.

“In the 1980’s then-British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was doing battle with the environmentalists over expanding Britain’s nuclear power generation grid to include more reactors.

“Her government began to offer grants to scientists who could draw a link between fossil fuel and global climate change. Of course, to get the grant, one had to produce results. If the results favored the government’s position, more grants would follow.

Other Western governments followed suit, and the myth of global warming was born. As far as scientific research is concerned, global warming is a cash cow. All through the 1990’s new climate models and new projections, each more terrifying than the one before, resulted in an avalanche of grant money.

Governments used their findings as fuel to run various pet energy projects, justify spending, (or the lack thereof) and provide governments with a ‘boogey-man’ to scare their constituencies with.

This isn’t conspiracy theory — it’s conspiracy fact. The scientists getting all the grant money are in ‘consensus’ — those outside the gravy train say it is all baloney.”

As we noted back in 2008,

“The scientific ‘consensus’ behind global warming can be expressed thusly: “Government grants that purchase the desired result generate more grants.”

If you are a worker-bee scientist for some large scientific agency, are you going to submit a proposal saying global warming is exaggerated and that no further grant money is necessary?

(And therefore, neither are you?)

Al Gore is not a climatologist – he just plays one on TV.  Al Gore is a businessman who has made multiple millions of dollars pushing the Great Global Warming Hoax. Genuine climatologists like Accuweather’s Joe Bastardi call anthropogenic global warming “an obvious hoax.”

A new study in the peer-reviewed journal, Remote Sensing (pdf) says the UN’s computer models overstated the amount of heat trapped in the atmosphere by so called ‘greenhouse gases’ like carbon dioxide, which is released into the atmosphere every time you breathe out.

The global warming True Believers want to tax C02 emissions, effectively imposing a tax on the air you breathe.  But according to the study, it is all based on cooked research.  Or what non-scientists would call ‘bald-faced lies.”

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.”

But what about the Great Heat Wave now baking most of these United States?  Heat records are being shattered everywhere and especially in Texas. Dallas is on track to break the existing record of 45 consecutive days of triple-digit temperatures set back in 1980. 

Isn’t that evidence of global warming? I lived in Texas back in 1980 and I can recall going to work on the midnight shift when the temperature outside was 102 degrees. 

According to Al Gore and the True Believers, in 1980, the world was starting to come out of a cooling spell. So during the last record-setting heat wave, global warming hadn’t yet begun – the climate was in transition. 

Now, legitimate science says we’re leaving what had been a global warming spell in favor of global cooling. Together with another record-setting summer heat-wave.

There is a principle of philosophy known as “Occam’s Razor” that postulates the most probable explanation is also the most likely.  So what is the most probable explanation for three decades of global warming?  

Man-made global warming due to too much cow flatulence and too many people breathing out C02? 

Or solar flares being ejected by that giant glowing orb in the sky that burns at a temperature of 27 million degrees Fahrenheit?

Occam’s Razor is still sharp. 

Assessment:

On Friday, two blasts of energy from the sun hit the Earth’s magnetic field in the form of a fast-blowing solar wind.  The resulting solar storm hit the earth with the force of a Category 3 solar storm, with Category 1 being mild and Category 5 classified as extreme.

The storm prompted NASA to issue warnings to users of satellites and telecommunications devices to prepare for possible disruptions.

Today, the Drudge Report carried a headline story from the International Business Times that read; “Severe Solar Storms Could Disrupt Earth This Decade: NOAA”.

According to a report by the National Research Council in 2008, a solar storm similar to the ones in the past could cause up to $2 trillion dollars in damage across the globe today.

The NOAA predicted four “extreme” solar emissions which could threaten the planet this decade. Similarly, NASA warned that a peak in the sun’s magnetic energy cycle and the number of sun spots or flares around 2013 could enable extremely high radiation levels.

One of the scariest parts of the IBT report is the part that contains real science, as compiled by genuine scientists and astrophysicists that are not part of the Al Gore network of True Believers.

“The NOAA predicted four “extreme” solar emissions which could threaten the planet this decade. Similarly, NASA warned that a peak in the sun’s magnetic energy cycle and the number of sun spots or flares around 2013 could enable extremely high radiation levels.

This is a special problem in the United States and especially a severe threat in the eastern United States as Federal Government studies revealed that this extreme solar activity and emissions may result in complete blackouts for years in several areas of the nation. Moreover, there may also be disruption of power supply for years, or even decades, as geomagnetic currents attracted by the storm could debilitate the transformers.”

Did you get that? Complete blackouts for years!  Power disruptions for decades!  THIS is the real deal, not some crazy scheme that argues that manmade global warming will melt the polar icecaps and cause sea levels to rise.

(You know, the way melting ice cubes always make a glass of water overflow? What? You’ve never seen that happen either?)

Man-made global warming cannot be true – we have God’s Word on it.  But solar storms? 

Let’s look at the chronology of events as recorded by the Apostle Luke.

“But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.”

Many people believe this passage refers to the Tribulation Period but it actually refers to the Destruction of the Temple amd Jerusalem, which was compassed with armies in AD 70.  Those that lived in Judea (like the Essenes) fled, some to the Dead Sea, others into Jordan.

According to the ancient historian Josephus’ eyewitness account, Titus and his legions slaughtered the Jews wherever they found them.  The shores of the Sea of Galilee were littered with Jewish corpses. 

The blood of the Jews in Jerusalem flowed in some places “to the horse’s bridles” and Jerusalem was taken from the Jews and given to the Gentiles — who controlled the city for another 1900 years until the Old City was recaptured by Israel in 1967.

“And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”

The times of the Gentiles are in the process of fulfillment in this generation.  Jerusalem, although united as far as Israel is concerned, is still a Gentile city as far as the Arabs and the UN see things.

But it is no longer “trodden down” of the Gentiles.

Look now, in the very next verse, at what Jesus linked to the restoration of Jerusalem to Jewish control. First, He said, the Romans would take the city. Then, He said, as the time of the Gentiles came to an end, the Jews would recapture Jerusalem, which they did in 1967.

In 1989, Al Gore wrote “Earth in the Balance” and began his crusade to convince the world that the roaring of sea and the waves meant we were overheating the planet and melting the polar icecaps.

“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.”

In 1993, the Israelis began trading land for peace. At first, Jersualem was off the table. As time went on, it became the centerpiece of Palestinian demands and global controversy.

At the same time Vice President Al Gore was using his bully pulpit to advance his man-made global warming theory, going so far as to sign the Kyoto Protocol in 1997.

“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.”

By 2000, most of the world was convinced that Al Gore was right. Fearful and perplexed, the world’s scientific community began looking for ways to undo that which they believed was coming upon the earth.   

But in 2003, the wheels starting coming off Al Gore’s wagon when the sun began behaving strangely. Suddenly NASA noticed the sun had begun getting hotter.  Seven years later, the big fear is no longer that the polar icecaps will drown our seacoasts unless we build Battlestar Galactica before we are forced to eat each other.  

Now the big fear is that sunspots will fry the electrical grid and blackout significant segments of the whole world.

The federal government estimates a major solar flare would knock out power to the eastern US for years, or even decades. The electrical grids of the EU, China and Russia are similarly vulnerable.  So what happens next?

At some point after the powers of heaven are shaken, Jesus says;

“And then shall THEY see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”

“THEY”? Who is “they”?  THEY shall see the Son of Man coming in a cloud.  WHO sees that?  Those who are present at the Second Coming of Christ.  But what about YOU?  For you, Jesus prophesies a different destiny.

He said for you to observe the signs in the cosmos and to note the reaction on earth; fear, confusion, panic and collapse. To my way of thinking, Al Gore’s meltdown is a perfect example of difference between “they” and “you.”

When “they” begin to melt down out of fear and confusion, Jesus says that “you” should prepare yourself for something that involves looking up.

“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”

Why would we be instructed to being looking ‘up’?  Because that is where our Redeemer will be waiting for us.

“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1 Cornithians 15:52)

“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)

Maranatha!