How To Save The Economy

How To Save The Economy
Vol: 120 Issue: 19 Monday, September 19, 2011

President Obama said at a fundraiser at a private residence last week that his “American Jobs Act” that he wants Congress to pass without reading, “right away” will create 1.9 million American jobs.

“It’s estimated that the American Jobs Act would add two percentage points to the GDP, and add as many as 1.9 million jobs, and bring the unemployment rate down by a full percentage point,” Obama said, according to the official White House transcript of his remarks.

Wow. Is that a lot of jobs, or what?  Actually, it must be ‘what’, cause it isn’t a lot of jobs.  Not for the money they are costing. 

The White House wants to spend $447 billion to ‘create’ these jobs.  So how much is $447 billion divided by 1.9 million?  That will tell us how much it costs to create one job under the plan. 

I’m getting out my calculator . . . ok, ummm, no, wait!  That can’t be right. . .   Let me do it again.  Just a second, and. . . WOW!  I guess that is right.  You can put 1.9 million into $447 billion 235,263 times. 

So, that’s the Obama Plan.  Spend $235,263 (almost a quarter million dollars) per job

Let’s say you get one of these jobs.  And let’s say that each of those new jobs pays what amounts to the average income for the bottom 90% of all workers, excluding the rich and super-rich, since most of us are not part of that top ten percent.

So what is the average annual salary for a typical American worker?  According to a study by UC Berkeley, the average American job, (excluding the richest ten percent), pays $31,244.00 per year. 

So under the Obama plan, the government will spend $235,263.00 to create a job that will pay you six hundred bucks a week.  That’s the plan. 

At that rate, it would take seven and a half years before your earnings equaled what it cost to create that job. The government hopes to tax those jobs, so just for fun, let’s say the government planned to tax those jobs at the highest existing tax rate of 38%. 

For every six hundred bucks you earn, the government will claw back $228 in taxes.  So, at $228 per week, how long will it take for you to pay back the initial outlay of $235,263.00 in taxpayer money that created your job? 

Say, if you started “right now” — before anybody reads the bill?  The $235,263.00 the government invested in your job will break even in just under twenty years.  

Assuming all goes well and you don’t get a job at a place like, say, Solyndra where $535 million created 1100 jobs that only lasted for three years. (That averages out to $486,363.00 per job). 

The rule of thumb for hiring is that the worker you hire generates more income for your company than it costs to hire him.  Otherwise, you wouldn’t hire him.  It only sounds cruel if you are the guy not getting hired.  If you are the guy writing the paycheck, it only makes sense.

I am trying to imagine a private sector business scenario in which somebody like Warren Buffet, Bill Gates or some other multi-billionaire invested nearly a half million dollars for each job created.  

Give an entrepreneur a half million dollars and he’ll start a company and hire five workers.

But give Barack Obama $38.6 billion in loan guarantees earmarked for green jobs subsidies, and he’ll hire 3,485 new permanent jobs at a cost of $4,850,000.00 per job.

Not to worry, however.  Obama plans to pay for it by adding $1.5 trillion in new taxes.

Assessment:

“And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” (Revelation 6:6)

Obama has other plans for raising enough money to throw away on his various economic central planning schemes.  One idea being floated is to cut the benefits of federal retirees. 

Not unionized federal retirees – that would bring down the wrath of the unions on Obama.  Instead, Obama wants to go after military retirees.  What are they gonna do?  Quit?  

Here’s how the New York Times explains it. 

Under the current rules, service members who retire after 20 years are eligible for pensions that pay half their salaries for life, indexed for inflation, even if they leave at age 38.

They are also eligible for lifetime health insurance through the military’s system, Tricare, at a small fraction of the cost of private insurance, prompting many working veterans to shun employer health plans in favor of military insurance.

Advocates of revamping the systems argue that they are not just fiscally untenable but also unfair.

So the military has it too good — if one is committed enough to one’s country to serve the full twenty years.  If one simply joins the military to learn a trade and develop skills they can use in civilian life,  well, what about their retirement benefits?  They don’t get anything – the retirees are hogging it all!

Those critics also argue that under the current rules, 83 percent of former service members receive no pension payments at all — because only veterans with 20 years of service are eligible. Those with 5 or even 15 years are not, even if they did multiple combat tours. Such a structure would be illegal in the private sector, and a company that tried it could be penalized, experts say.

“It cries out for some rationalization,” said Sylvester J. Schieber, a former chairman of the Social Security Advisory Board. “Why should we ask somebody to sustain a system that’s unfair by any other measure in our society?”

Indeed!  We should remedy this imbalance right away!  So . . . let’s cut benefits for retirees.  It will save money now, by breaking faith with those who have already dedicated their lives to military service, and it will save money later, by discouraging anyone from staying in long enough to collect pension benefits.

A wild-card factor in the debate is the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, which some experts say could avoid the stigma of cutting benefits while troops are at war.

Absolutely!  We wouldn’t want to stigmatize the politicians that favor rewarding a lifetime of honorable military service by reducing their retirement benefits!  So this is the PERFECT time to, ahem, screw those military veterans who didn’t have the decency to die in combat.

“The fact that you are getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan does make it easier,” said Lawrence J. Korb, a senior Pentagon official in the Reagan administration who was a co-author of a recent proposal for reducing the cost of military health care. “When the war in Iraq was in terrible shape, it was hard to get people to join the military, and no one wanted to touch any military benefits.”

“By far the most contentious proposal circulating in Washington is from a Pentagon advisory panel, the Defense Business Board. It would make the military pension system, a defined benefit plan, more like a 401(k) plan under which the Pentagon would make contributions to a service member’s individual account; contributions by the troops themselves would be optional.”

Defenders of the plan to cut retiree benefits argue that the rising cost of retirees will affect the ability of active-duty personnel to do their duty. 

“If the trend continues, it will call into question the military’s ability to do other things, like buy equipment, do maintenance, train troops and equip them,” said Nora Bensahel, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, a nonprofit organization with ties to the Obama administration.

“At some point, the cost pressures by the retirement benefits will really start to impede military capabilities.”

I think I can nail down exactly where that point might be.  It might come at the point hardly anybody will join the military unless they get drafted.  I remember those days. 

In 1969 I was a private making $118.10 per month when one of my drill instructors, (who was nineteen years old and had been in the Marine Corps less than two years), was promoted to Staff Sergeant — because most of the older, more experienced guys got out as soon as their military obligation was completed.

So, as near as I can tell, here is how Obama plans to save the economy between now and November 2012.

First, we surrender to al-Qaeda and the Taliban and turn over Iraq and Afghanistan to them.  Then, we rip off military retirees.  

Finally, we take the money we’ve saved by surrendering to al-Qaeda, gutting the military and ripping off retirees and we give it to the Democrats so they can create a bunch of million-dollar jobs that pay thirty grand a year.

What?  You don’t think it will work?  

What is WRONG With These People?

What is WRONG With These People?
Vol: 120 Issue: 17 Saturday, September 17, 2011

“Now, I know that over the last couple of months, there have been Democrats who voiced concerns and nervousness about, well, in this kind of economy, isn’t this just – aren’t these just huge headwinds in terms of your reelection? Here’s one thing I know for certain: The odds of me being reelected are much higher than the odds of me being elected in the first place.” — Barack Hussein Obama, September 15, 2011

Something about that statement chills me to the bone.  Sure, Obama was speaking at a political fundraiser – he has to convince potential donors he can win in order to separate them from their money. 

But big political donors are, in the main, successful business people, the kinds of people Obama regularly trashes as “fat-cats” and paints as avaricious, evil, conniving cheats living large off the backs of the “little man” that need to pay their “fair share.” 

So why would they even show up?  What is wrong with them?

Here is the question I keep asking myself:  Obama’s latest approval rating according to Gallup is at 38% and his disapproval rating is at 54%. 

These numbers are based on the question, “Do you approve or disapprove of the way Obama is handling his job as president?”  

Thirty-eight percent of those queried approved of the way he is handling his job.  What is wrong with them?  Because if there is nothing wrong with them, then the process of elimination says there is something wrong with me.

Finally, there is Obama himself.  He believes the odds of his re-election as a known quantity are “far better” than the odds of his being elected the first time?  What is wrong with him

How could they be so out-of-touch? 

Is there anything that this man’s administration has done right since taking office in January, 2009?  One might argue that he did the right thing in ordering the hit on Osama bin Laden, except that in so doing, he violated US law forbidding political assassination. 

I am personally thrilled that Osama was dispatched to his reward, but I would much preferred it occur at the end of a scaffold at Guantanamo Bay after he had been thoroughly interrogated, tried and convicted by a military tribunal.

Instead he was evidently executed on the spot, and his body whisked away to a private Islamic funeral service and burial at sea before the country could even absorb the news that he had been located.

It would have been hard to picture just how anybody could bungle taking out Osama bin Laden. But Obama managed it.

Instead of a sense of closure, we were left with more questions. 

Assessment:

Even as Obama was pronouncing himself more re-electable than ever before, Representative Darrel Issa’s investigation of Operation Fast and Furious revealed that the White House knew about the operation, despite earlier denials.

Operation Fast and Furious (Gunwalker) was the administration’s first major scandal (if one discounts the birth certificate forgery, the Connecticut Social Security number, voter intimidation, ACORN, etc. Why not? The media did.)

Operation Fast and Furious came to the attention of the Congress following the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry using a weapon supplied by the Mexican drug cartel by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. 

Since then, at least three more murders have been linked to the Gunwalker program. Now, even CBS News is alleging a cover up that reaches all the way into the Oval Office.  

Coming on the heels of Fast and Furious is Solyndra. This one might be the big one – it is hard to say.  While Obama might possibly be able to duck responsibility for Fast and Furious, Solyndra has his name all over it.

Solyndra made solar panels and was the centerpiece of Obama’s Green Jobs Initiative.  Solyndra was the recipient of more than $500 million in government grants and loan guarantees despite the Bush administration’s assessment that Solyndra was too risky.

One of Solyndra’s major investors was also a major Obama fundraiser. After he made a flurry of visits to the White House, last year, Solyndra got the money.  Obama made a big production of it. Cameras in tow, he toured the facility.

Obama hailed Solyndra as one of the major successes of the stimulus, counting Solyndra’s 1,100 workers among the millions of jobs he “saved or created.”

In one Aug. 19, 2009, email obtained by the House panel, it was clear to some administration officials that the solar company had shaky finances.

“While debt coverage is robust under stress conditions, the project cash balance goes to $62,000.00 in September 2011,” said the email, which was prescient since the company did in fact go bankrupt in that very time frame.

But just days after that August 19, 2009, email, Obama officials approved the loan to Solyndra, with Vice President Joe Biden attending the company’s ground-breaking via satellite.

On September 6, 2011 (and right on schedule) Solyndra ran out of money, laid off all 1,100 of its employees and declared bankruptcy.  Nobody knows, at this point, what happened to the $500 million in taxpayer money.  

Operation Fast and Furious is still under investigation. The Solyndra Scandal is just beginning to heat up.

And now there is a new scandal in the making.

Like Solyndra, Lightsquared links directly to Obama. Air Force General William Shelton told Congress behind closed doors that the White House had pressured him to change his testimony to make it more favorable to a firm with close ties to the Obama administration.

Lightsquared is a wireless telecommunications company trying to set up a nationwide 4G telephone network.  The problem, from General Shelton’s perspective, is that the network would interfere with the national GPS system. 

That is a pretty big problem.

What the White House wanted General Shelton to say is that the GPS problem would be fixed within about ninety days of granting the contract. 

General Shelton refused to lie to the Congress, which probably means the end of his Air Force career.

A source familiar with the technology told Fox News that the LightSquared spectrum would be 5 billion times stronger than the military’s GPS system, rendering the military’s system almost useless.

“Imagine trying to have a telephone conversation while your neighbors are hosting a rock concert,” the source told Fox News. “That’s the situation the military is facing.”

Shelton, in testimony Thursday before a House Armed Services subcommittee, refused to suggest that interference problems could be mitigated, as he allegedly was being pressured to say.

He did testify that testing done by various agencies responsible for military GPS positioning “demonstrated empirically that the LightSquared signals interfere with all of the types of receivers in the test.”

Any one of these scandals would have been enough to bring down the Bush administration, even during the economic boom period.

All three of them had already hit the headlines before Obama confidently predicted he was more electable now than he was before.

Scandals, backroom deals, class warfare, dirty politics, unthinkable deficits, 44 million unemployed, zero job growth, collapsing foreign policy, and yet forty-four percent of Americans polled still say they approve of the job he is doing as president!  

What’s wrong with these people?

“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 2:11-12)

That’s what’s wrong with these people. 

The Rapture

The Rapture
Vol: 120 Issue: 16 Friday, September 16, 2011

I believe that the Bible clearly teaches a pre-trib Rapture, not because it holds out the promise of a ‘great escape’, or because somebody convinced me in a high-pressure sales job, or because it is my opinion and I am sticking to it.

I believe the Bible teaches a pre-trib Rapture because a pre-Trib Rapture puts the last days and the Tribulation into a context consistent with the overall flow of Bible prophecy. 

That is the only reason that I teach a pre-trib Rapture.  It makes no difference to me if other, sincere born-again believers embrace a different view; the timing of the Rapture plays no role in our salvation. 

Saving faith is faith in Who is coming, that He is coming again, as promised, and that He will keep all His other promises, including standing as our Advocate before the Righteous Judge. 

Our faith is that “God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” 

But the timing of the Rapture is CENTRAL to the understanding of the overall Big Picture in the last days.

The ‘last days’ is a different era than the Tribulation Period.  The ‘last days’ is used throughout Scripture in the context of the Church Age. 

At Pentecost, the Apostles, newly-indwelt by the Holy Spirit, rushed from the Upper Room to the street, giddy from the experience. So giddy, in fact, that some bystanders thought they were drunk.

 “Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But THIS IS THAT WHICH was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass IN THE LAST DAYS saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:” (Acts 2:13-17)

The ‘last days’ is the Church Age, whereas the Tribulation is the ‘Time of Jacob’s Trouble’. They are two different Dispensations of God. That is central to understanding the times in which we now live.

We are currently in the “dispensation of the grace of God” (Ephesians 3:2). Paul calls the conclusion of this present dispensation the ‘dispensation of the fullness of times.’ (Ephesians 1:10)

During this dispensation, believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit.

“And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”

But John reminds us:

“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1John 4:3-4)

Note the context.  John is speaking of the ‘spirit of antichrist’ which he says is ‘already in the world.’ He says that the spirit of antichrist cannot overcome the Church saints; because He Who indwells us (the Holy Spirit) is greater than the spirit of antichrist. 

But this SAME PROPHET, writing of the SAME antichrist, (once antichrist comes in the flesh), says;

“And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to OVERCOME them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” (Revelation 13:7)

Since John penned both passages, and they cannot both be simultaneously true, the flow of Bible prophecy is interrupted, if the Church Age runs concurrent with the Tribulation.

During the Tribulation, the antichrist is ‘given’ power to overcome the saints. Is he ‘given’ power over the Holy Spirit? Jesus said, in the context of devils driving out devils, ‘a house divided cannot stand’. (Matthew 12:25)

Clearly, God isn’t giving power over Himself to the antichrist.  That leaves two possibilities, apart from a pre-trib Rapture.

The first is that the Holy Spirit indwells the Church until the onset of the Tribulation, at which point He is withdrawn from the vessels he indwells, leaving believers on their own.

The Apostle Paul says He is ‘withdrawn’ BEFORE ‘that Wicked’ is revealed. (2nd Thessalonians 2:7-8

For a pre-Trib Rapture to be a false doctrine means our generation was chosen out of all others in Church history to face the greatest spiritual trial the world has ever known —  without the Comforter that Jesus promised would indwell us until He comes.

The second possibility is that John was either lying or mistaken when he said the spirit of antichrist cannot overcome indwelt believers.

In either case, the promises of Scripture are broken.

Assessment:

Over the last thirty years, I’ve listened to explanation after explanation of why the pre-trib Rapture is a ‘false doctrine’.  It usually revolves around the concept of a ‘great escape’ or some other misunderstanding of the flow of Bible prophecy.

Its opponents will spare no effort to ‘prove’ that it is a false doctrine, as if the timing of the Rapture were somehow of eternal significance.  It is not.

The eternal significance of the Rapture is this:

“The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout . . . 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. . .” (1st Thessalonians 4:16-17)

 Now let’s try and pull it all together. 

“And as He sat upon the Mount of Olives, His disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” 

Note the first thing Jesus says in reply to that question.

“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My Name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” (Matthew 24:3-4

Jesus said the one who comes in His Name would deceive ‘many’ – not all.  Initially, most of Israel will be fooled. 

“I am come in My Father’s name, and ye receive Me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” (John 5:43)

Paul identifies the one who Israel eventually (and temporarily) receives as their messiah as the antichrist.

And so, if the one claiming to be Jesus is standing on the ground, instead of meeting me in the air, then I will know that he is an imposter, no matter what tricks he is able to perform. 

The doctrine of a pre-Trib Rapture isn’t a ‘great escape’ for the Church; it is a necessary evacuation of the Holy Spirit’s restraining influence as part of the overall Big Picture for the last days.

Remove it, and the chronology of Bible prophecy is thrown into chaos.

The pre-trib Rapture doctrine has no saving value.  It is of no eternal consequence to anyone that they believe in a pre-Trib Rapture.  I feel no particular need to convert someone to my understanding of the last days.

One is saved by God’s grace through faith in the finished Work of His Son on the Cross as payment in full as our pardon for sin.

But without the pre-Trib Rapture doctrine, Bible prophecy has no context. That is why I teach it as doctrine. It is my obligation as a minister of Christ. 

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2nd Timothy 2:15)

And our insurance against end-times deception.

Thereafter What??

Thereafter What??
Vol: 120 Issue: 15 Thursday, September 15, 2011

The formal name for the last book of the New Testament is “The Revelation of Jesus Christ to St John” and not “The Book of Revelations,” or “Revelations” or “The Apocalypse of John.”

John himself never titled the Book he penned while in exile on the Isle of Patmos.  The Book was titled by Jesus Christ Himself:

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to shew unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by his angel unto His servant John.” (Revelation 1:1)

The word “revelation” is the English equivalent to apokalupsis meaning, “unveiling” or “lifting of the veil” which is why it is also sometimes called the Book of the Apocalypse

The Lord divided the Book into two parts; “the things which are and the things which shall be thereafter.” (Revelation 1:19)  

The first part of the Book is written to the seven churches; identifying them as the “things which are.”

At the time of John’s exile, there were seven major churches in Asia Minor; Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamon, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. (Interestingly, all seven were located in modern-day Turkey, which is 99.8% Muslim, according to the CIA Worldfactbook.) 

If the “things which are” referred to those seven specific cities, then we would now have to be centuries into the period Jesus identified as the “things which shall be thereafter.”

Jesus concludes His revelation about the “things which are” with a cryptic message, intended not for the natural man, but understandable only to those already indwelt by the Holy Spirit:

“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” (Revelation 3:22)

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)

At that point, there is a jump from the “things which are” to John’s hearing a trumpet, and a voice telling John that what comes next are “the things which shall be thereafter.”

“After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” (Revelation 4:1)

John says in the next verse that “immediately I was in the Spirit” and the next thing he saw was “a throne set in heaven.”

Let’s stop here for a second and summarize. The Book of Revelation is the Revelation of Jesus Christ.  It is not addressed to John, it is sent to John.  It is addressed to the ‘servants of Jesus Christ’ – look at it again.

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to shew unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by his angel unto His servant John.” (Revelation 1:1)

Who are the “servants of Jesus Christ?” Ummm, lessee. Angels?  Nope? Individuals? Maybe, but Jesus said of individual believers,

“Henceforth, I call you not servants, but I have called you friends.” (John 15:15)

The servants of Jesus Christ are the individual Churches that exist within the Body of Christ.  

The Book is distinctly divided into two parts; not three, not five, not fifteen or eighteen, but just two.  The first division is identified as the things which are.

The second division is what “shall be thereafter.”  Which leaves the obvious question remaining.

Thereafter what?

Assessment:

Jesus assigns specific characteristics to each of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor which correspond historically with seven distinct epochs within the Church Age. 

For example, the first of the Churches mentioned, Ephesus; bold in resolute endurance, discerning, intolerant of departures from the faith, this is the Apostolic epoch. 

There was Smyrna, battling nobly with trials and danger, in the midst of poverty and suffering but rich in faith and good works. The Age of the Martyrs.

Then comes Pergamos, married to the world. This church epoch began with the Emperor Constantine declaring Christianity to be the State Church of Rome.

The Church at Thyatira was condemned for its continual sacrifice and the introduction of new doctrines, corresponding historically with Dark Ages. (Purgatory, indulgences, and the Inquisition).

Sardis was the ‘dead’ Church, as it had become by the time of the Reformation.  Sardis gave way to the period of revival following the publication and distribution of the Word of God to the common man.

The period from the Reformation in the 15th century to the end of the 19th century, was the epoch of the Church of Philadelphia. This was the ‘missionary church’ that took the Bible to the New World, to darkest Africa, to China and the far corners of the earth.

The end of the Philadelphia Church Age coincided with the ‘Enlightenment’ in Europe, brought about by ‘modernist’ thinking near the end of the 19th century which ushered in the Laodicean Epoch, the era of Church history that unmistakably corresponds with the time in which we now live.

From Philadelphia to Laodicea, distinguished for its worldly riches, its high-toned profession and spiritual pride; yet lowest in the scale and standard of all, neither cold nor hot — a religion of boasting words, but devoid of moral strength — “poor, blind, and naked.”

The center of the Church of Laodicea isn’t Jesus, but rather, it is what its name implies; Laos, (people) and dike meaning, “decision” — or the “Church of the People’s Decision”.

The name wasn’t chosen by accident. If ever there was a generation of Christians to whom that description fits, it is this one. 

At the Church of Laodicea, Jesus isn’t inside, but stands on the outside and knocks, waiting to be invited in. 

Given our perspective of 20/20 hindsight, there are but two possible conclusions concerning the period of time Jesus said would be identifiable as the “things which are.”

It either refers to the historical period in which these seven specific churches existed in Turkey, in which case we have been living in the period “which shall be thereafter” for about 1200 years now, or it refers to the period from the Apostolic era to the conclusion of the Church Age at the Rapture.

If it means the former, then it became irrelevant the moment that the churches in those cities ceased to exist. Doesn’t it?  Can it mean anything else?  What is left?

If the Revelation of Jesus Christ to His servants is to have any meaning to His servants, then it logically follows that His message to the Churches was a continuing message relevant to the entire Church Age, and not just to seven long-lost church communities in Asia Minor.

The Church Age is the period that encompasses the “things which are”.  That which “shall be thereafter”is the Tribulation Period, which begins when John hears a trumpet, and the voice of an angel, and the scene instantly shifts from the physical to the spiritual and relocates in heaven. 

That event is specifically identified as the commencement of the “things which shall be thereafter.”

We’ve gone the long way to get where I wanted to go, but that was because I wanted to ensure as air-tight a case as possible.  There are many well-meaning and sincere Christians that believe that this generation of Christians will be present for all or part of the Tribulation Period. 

But the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ specifically divides itself into the physical here and now and the spiritual thereafter.  The “here and now” ends with translation, alive, into the spiritual hereafter. 

This occurs before the opening of the first seal, (antichrist) before the ride of the next three horsemen, (War, Famine and Death) before the moon turns into blood and before the seventh seal pours out the Wrath of God.

FIRST comes the Trumpet (the Rapture).  Then, two chapters later (suggesting some element of time has passed) comes the onset of the Tribulation Period.  

No matter what kind of Scriptural gymnastics one resorts to, there is no way for the “things which are” to also be the “things which shall be thereafter.”

The “things which are” include the Church at Laodicea all the way up to when the addressees of the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ find themselves in the Spirit before a Throne set in Heaven.  AFTER that comes the “things which shall be thereafter”.

The dividing line imposed by Jesus can only be in one place – the place where JESUS divided it.  At the Rapture – and it doesn’t fit anywhere else. 

If it fit at the sixth seal, then that is where Jesus would have divided His Revelation.  If it fit at the first seal, (the revealing of the antichrist) then that is where Jesus would have divided His Revelation. 

But Jesus divided it at the conclusion of the Laodicean Church epoch. The Apostle Paul described the conclusion of the Church Age from the perspective of Planet Earth.

“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)

The Apostle John described it from the perspective of Heaven:

“After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” (Revelation 4:1)

Both Apostles are describing the same event from different perspectives!

Note also that John is in Heaven for some time before the first seal is broken – and therefore, so is the Church, or the symbolism is meaningless. John witnesses the events that precede the breaking of the first seal – and so does the Church.

So the indwelt Church cannot be both present on earth when the first seal is broken AND present in heaven to witness the breaking of the first seal.  

Here is what that means.  From where we sit, we are so close we almost think we can identify the antichrist – there is a whole new sect of Christians emerging that believe they already have.

But the Bible clearly tells us the Rapture comes first.  So if we are so close we can almost identify the antichrist, the Rapture of the Church is that much closer. 

And with all the chaos and war and upheaval and financial and natural disasters coming upon us, the Apostle Paul says of the Rapture;

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

Words of comfort.  Not words of terror.  There is a difference.  It would be far less comforting to me if I believed it was addressed only to the survivors of the first six judgments. 

And it would make far less sense.  

Wars and Rumors

Wars and Rumors
Vol: 120 Issue: 14 Wednesday, September 14, 2011

“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.” (Matthew 24:6-7)

It is starting to appear as if the Palestinian Authority might back off on its threat to unilaterally request UN recognition of a Palestinian State based on the 1949 armistice lines (or pre-1967, if you prefer) as the new borders.

The Jerusalem Post is reporting that:

“the Palestinian Authority will agree to return to peace negotiations with Israel if only one of two criteria they had previously set as pre-conditions for talks are reached: an immediate halt to all settlement construction or an Israeli declaration that the borders of the Palestinian state will be based on the pre-1967 lines with mutually agreed upon land swaps, a senior aide to PA President Mahmoud Abbas told Army Radio on Wednesday.”

The first ‘pre-condition’ is the first step in creating a Judenrein (“Jew-free”) state for the Palestinian Arabs.  Meanwhile, Israeli Arabs and Palestinian Arabs living under Israeli control will not be ethnically cleansed.

The world is not sympathetic to ethnic cleansing – except when it comes to Jews.

The Palestinian Authority’s second precondition would roll the clock back sixty-five years and hand the Palestinians the same state they rejected under the UN Partition Plan.  The Arabs rejected their half of the partition in 1947 because they wanted all of it. 

After sixty-five years of unsuccessfully trying to take it all, now they want Israel, the UN and the rest of the world to forget sixty-five years of murder and bloodshed as if it never happened and pretend that granted Palestinian statehood would automatically bring peace.

Sixty-five years ago, Israel offered the Arab Palestinians a choice: bet on Israel and be granted full Israeli citizenship when they win, or bet on the Arab Legions, in which case they would only win if the Arabs did.

Those that bet on Israel are citizens of Israel today, with Israeli passports, Israeli documents and full representation by Israeli-Arab politicians at the Knesset.  

Those that bet against Israel ended up subject to the tender mercies of their Arab brethren, who promptly interned them in refugee camps where they remain to this day.

The closest analogy I can think of would be walking into a casino, losing everything on one gargantuan bet, demanding your money back so you can keep betting until you win, and then assaulting the pit boss and tearing the casino up until they agree to your “just and equitable” demand for continual “do-overs” until you win. 

But that is what the global body politic thinks is reasonable. That Israel should both agree to provide the land necessary for the creation of an enemy state on its borders and then trust that enemy state won’t use that formerly Israeli territory as a staging ground for new attacks against what is left, even though that is exactly what the enemy has promised to do, and in no uncertain terms.

“They have taken crafty counsel against Thy people, and consulted against Thy hidden ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.” (Psalms 83:3-4)

In October 1973 the Arab states launched a surprise attack against Israel on Yom Kippur, Israel’s highest holy day, while the entire nation was observing the rules of a High Sabbath.  The Yom Kippur War was launched as a war of annihilation against the Jews – “Death to the Jews” was their battle cry.

Don’t let the familiarity of that refrain marginalize what is being said. “Death to the Jews” doesn’t sound like a slogan if one is a Jew. And had the Arabs won, that’s exactly how it would have turned out, while the UN looked the other way.

There was no legitimate, legal or justifiable reason for the Yom Kippur War.

The Arab claim to the territory lost to Israel in the 1967 War was no more valid than Mexico’s claim to Texas. 

Americans settled into Coahuila y Tejas, which had been part of Spain’s “New Spain Territory” until 1821 when Mexico won its independence.

Animosity between the Mexican government and the American settlers in Texas, as well as many Texas residents of Mexican ancestry, broke out into armed conflict.  Nineteen years after Mexico’s creation, Santa Ana lost the war, and with it, Mexico lost Coahuila y Tejas.

In 1967 the Arab states launched their first war of annihilation against Israel, which ended six days later with Israel in possession of all of Jerusalem, Biblical Judea and Samaria, (the West Bank) the Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip.

Egypt, Jordan and Syria lost the war, and with it, Jordan lost the West Bank, Syria lost the Golan Heights and Egypt lost the Gaza Strip.  In any other conflict on any other continent at any other time, that would be the end of it.

That is how nations have been created and expanded for the last four thousand years.  Had the Arabs been successful in 1967, nobody would be demanding that they give the land to the displaced Israel Jews so they could have a state. 

First, had they been successful, there wouldn’t have been any displaced Israeli Jews left to protest. Secondly, the world would have simply noted another conquest and erased Israel’s name from the existing list of nations. 

(It was painfully obvious that was the UN’s hoped-for resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.)

The 1973 Yom Kippur War was illegal by every possible reading of any relevant UN treaty.  Israel was initially overwhelmed, but managed to regroup and beat back the invading Arab armies, in the process capturing even more Arab territory, including the Sinai all the way to the Suez Canal.

The war convinced the Arabs that they would not be able to destroy Israel militarily within its post-1967 boundaries. Thus they embarked upon a new three-stage strategy for Israel’s destruction, embodied in the PLO’s 1974 decision commonly known as the Phased Plan (the text of which is below).

The plan in brief goes like this:

  1. Through the “armed struggle” (i.e., terrorism), to establish an “independent combatant national authority” over any territory that is “liberated” from Israeli rule. (Article 2)
  2. To continue the struggle against Israel, using the territory of the national authority as a base of operations. (Article 4)
  3. To provoke an all-out war in which Israel’s Arab neighbors destroy it entirely (“liberate all Palestinian territory”). (Article 8)

Stage One was the Palestinian armed struggle (First Intifada) that led to the signing of the Oslo Agreement. 

Stage Two was the creation of an “independent combatant national authority” which Arafat named “The Palestinian National Authority, or Palestinian Authority (PA) for short.  The central effort of the Palestinian Authority from its inception to this day is to force Israel back inside the pre-1967 (post 1948) borders.

Stage Three is an ongoing process that could come to fruition at some time in the next few weeks, depending on what happens at the United Nations on September 20.   

Assessment:

“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)

There is a report in today’s Debkafile that says the PA is considering watering down its application for recognition at the General Assembly. 

According to Debka, Abbas met with Saudi, EU and US officials who ‘sternly warned him of the grave consequences awaiting the Palestinians’ should the statehood issue come up for a vote at the Security Council.

“US sources report that the US President has refused to talk to Abbas for the past eight months owing to his refusal to join Israel for direct peace talks. He was advised by the Europeans, the Saudis and Egyptians this week that the US presidential boycott would almost certainly extend to fellow Palestinian leaders and US financial aid. The Palestinian Authority would thus be placed under American sanctions. However, if he withdrew his statehood bid from the Security Council and accepted the new position paper, Obama would consider restoring communications.”

I don’t know if the Debka report is true – I certainly hope that it is true, for Israel’s sake.  But September 20 is only a week away – if Abbas doesn’t submit his application before the deadline, everything gets pushed forward until October.

Debka is also reporting that the US and EU slapped down Turkey’s increasingly belligerent Recep Erdogan following his threat to send armed Turkish warships to run Israel’s blockade of Gaza.  

Turkey is quietly fighting a hot war with Kurdish separatist rebels.  And it seems that Turkey’s fleet of Israeli-made Heron drones suddenly developed “technical problems.”

Those problems have crippled the Turkish fleet — and the US turned down Turkey’s request for deployment of US Predator drones at Turkish bases until Turkey stops threatening Israel.

NATO Secretary General Rasmussen has reportedly warned Erdogan that a clash between Israel’s navy and a NATO member would jeopardize Turkey’s future with NATO and its military ties with the United States.

“Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters!” (Isaiah 17:12)

Today, the Turks are trying to soften Erdogan’s threat, saying that his words were mistranslated in a way that distorted his original intention.

“Turkish warships, in the first place, are authorized to protect our ships that carry humanitarian aid to Gaza,” Erdogan was quoted as saying this week. “From now on, we will not let these ships to be attacked by Israel, as what happened with the Freedom Flotilla.

According to official sources in Turkey, reporters artificially combined two different remarks made by the Turkish prime minister, creating one sentence perceived as a threat of a military clash in high seas.

Turkey softened the threat, but not by very much. 

“We stressed the principle that we will ensure the safe movement of Gaza’s aid vessel,” said a senior Turkish government source. “The eastern Mediterranean Sea is not Israel’s private playground. As long as it avoids intervening in the freedom of movement in the region, we won’t send any warships to escort the vessels.”

The source dismissed the published quotes as a bad translation which failed to understand Erdogan’s intention. “It appeared as if we were offering to have warships escort every aid vessel. This is not true. Turkey will defend the rights of its citizens only when Israel chooses to intervene and prevent free movement in international waters.”

In terms of Bible prophecy, there are two separate conflicts involving Israel that will occur in the last days.  In one conflict, Israel will be attacked in much the same manner and by much the same enemies as in 1967 and 1973; the Arab states, like Egypt, Jordan, Syria and possibly Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

What is remarkable about this war is that it is primarily ethnic; Jacob vs. Esau, Israel against the ethnic Arab states.  It is primarily referenced by Psalm 83, Obadiah, Hosea and concludes with Isaiah’s burden of Damascus. 

The second conflict of the last days is motivated primarily by economic or religious issues. Led by Gog-Magog,  (Russia and the Muslim ‘stans) it includes Persia (Iran) and Togarmah (Turkey) and Islamic North Africa, the conflict begins with a sneak invasion of Israel and ends on the mountains of Israel when God Himself destroys the invading army.  

“And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man’s sword shall be against his brother. And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.” (Ezekiel 38:21)

None of the combatants in the Gog Magog conflict are ethnic Arabs; this conflict is not between the ethnic descendents of Jacob and Esau – it is between the spiritual descendents of Isaac and Ishmael.

And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” (Genesis 16:12)

Iranians are Muslims, but they are Persians.  Turks are Muslims, but Turks are Eurasians, not Arabs.  The Russians are Gentiles, but not Arabs.  

What is translated as “Libya” (Phut) actually means “the mingled peoples” – primarily Coptic Egyptians, also not Arabs.  Ethiopia (Cush) is ethnically black African, also not Arab.

We see both conflicts in development — before our eyes. Time Magazine ran a story detailing the developing security situation in the Middle East. It summarized the situation in the final paragraph.”

“Israel’s ambassador to Ankara was formally expelled to Jerusalem. He was joined the following week by Israel’s ambassador to Egypt, who merely fled. And on Monday, Erdogan arrived with great fanfare in Cairo. The days are growing shorter.”

Indeed.

Pleased to Meet You, Won t You Guess My Name?

Pleased to Meet You, Won t You Guess My Name?
Vol: 120 Issue: 13 Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Nobody has yet figured out exactly what President Obama hoped to accomplish by calling for a joint session of Congress to deliver his latest jobs plan.

A “joint session of Congress” is a gathering of both Houses of Congress – the House of Representatives and the Senate.  Presidential addresses before joint sessions of Congress are rare – they are generally confined to either delivering the State of the Union or states of emergency situations.

Calling for a joint session of Congress calls for concurrent resolutions from both House and Senate to meet.  They require unanimous consent to recess and meet. They are usually only convened to hear foreign dignitaries or for the annual State of the Union address.

From 1994 to 2008, the only time the White House has requested a joint session before the Congress (except to deliver the annual State of the Union address) was on September 20, 2001 following the attacks on New York and Washington. 

So calling for a joint session of Congress to attend a presidential speech used to be a really big deal.  Obama has been in office for less than three years but — this is already his fifth appearance before both Houses. 

The last time Obama called for both Houses to convene for a special session was in May, 2010 to demand that Congress pass his health care bill.  (Right away! Quick, before anybody reads it!

Then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi explained to a confused electorate; “we have to pass the bill so we can find out what’s in it.” (video 5 secs)  It worked in 2010 because Obama still had bullet-proof majorities in both Houses and Nancy Pelosi in the Speaker’s seat.  

They were able to pass Obamacare without a single Republican voting for it (and they did!) and without a single Democrat having read it.  As Democrat John Conyers explained then, expecting him to read a bill before passing it was unreasonable, if not downright ridiculous. (video, 37 secs)

It didn’t make much sense for Obama to call for a joint session in 2010 – he didn’t need to. Obamacare was a done deal.  It was as if he had summoned the Congress in order to show the country who was Boss.

Calling for this joint session seemed to make even less sense.  It was heavily promoted as “Obama’s new jobs plan.”  Incredibly, it was a lie.  I say ‘incredibly’ not because I am shocked that Obama would lie, but because it was so brazen.  It was a classic bait-and-switch. 

Obama had nothing.  He used the joint session of Congress to make a campaign speech filled with transparently empty promises about a non-existent bill. But it was a classic example, if poorly executed, of the Principal of the Big Lie.

The Principal of the Big Lie as articulated by Adolf Hitler in his political manifesto, Mein Kampf (“My Struggle”) goes like this: (emphasis mine)

“All this was inspired by the principle–which is quite true within itself–that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.”

The US Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during WWII was the forerunner of today’s CIA.  They evaluated Hitler’s psychological profile and came to this conclusion:

“His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.”

Here is a thirty-two second video montage of Obama from his speech before the joint session of Congress and the American people, talking about a non-existent bill.

Which of Hitler’s “primary rules” does Obama lack?  Let me list them in bullet form so we can check them off:

  • never allow the public to cool off;  (check)
  • never admit a fault or wrong; (an Obama trademark)
  • never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; (double-check)
  • never leave room for alternatives; (raise taxes, more stimulus or no deal)
  • never accept blame; (I inherited this economy, blah, blah)
  • concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong;  (the Tea Party – ‘nuff said)
  • people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; (there is no bill, no plan, no new idea)
  • and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it (17 times in one speech ought to cover it)

Assessment:

“We’ve got to decide what our priorities are. Do we keep tax loopholes for oil companies, or do we put teachers back to work? Should we keep tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, or should we invest in education and technology and infrastructure?” –Obama’s speech

Obama still doesn’t have an actual bill, but he has taken to carrying around a sheaf of papers bound by a paper clip with a cover sheet that says “American Jobs Act” on it. 

A paper clip? Really?One begins to wonder if maybe the strain of high office might be too much for him.

Or maybe it’s me.  But somebody appears to be losing touch with reality.  Remember last year when Obama surrounded himself with guys dressed up like doctors to create the impression that Obamacare was popular with doctors?

This time, he surrounded himself with people with jobs.  Policemen, firemen, nurses and teachers.

fake doctors for fake support

Obama’s speech was a masterful stroke in its own way. It’s exceedingly effective.  It is like having a conversation with a known liar.  After awhile, everything starts to sound like the truth because there isn’t anything else to compare it to.  

Pretty soon you begin to ask yourself, “Is it me?” 

People as Props

That is how propaganda is supposed to work.  It keeps wearing you down and wearing you down until you no longer expect to hear the truth.  Instead, you expect to hear your truth.

If you are wondering how a pathologically racist Marxist candidate whose racism and socialist worldview were clearly demonstrated even before he got the nomination managed to make it all the way to the White House, now you know.

We’ve been lied to so much and so often that the media is now divided according to worldview into a ‘liberal media’ and a ‘conservative media’ without our ever realizing that somewhere along the line we subconsciously agreed to it, subconsciously choosing which perspective we prefer the lies to be presented from.

When Jesus was asked to outline the signs of His return, the FIRST thing He said was, “Take heed that no man deceive you.”   The Apostle Paul describes the antichrist as a master of deception who uses that deception to both gain and consolidate his power. (2nd Thessalonians 2:9-10)

The Apostle John says the False Prophet will use the power of deception to advance the worship of the antichrist.  But before all that must first come the conditioning process.  We had to get used to the fact that, like mushrooms, the public is fed manure and kept in the dark – and then we had to learn to prefer it that way. 

The Apostle Paul, after outlining the condition of the last days Church during perilous times, concluded his warning with the words;

“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (2nd Timothy 3:13)

Now, to return to the issue of Bible prophecy, Christianity, politics and the last days and whether or not political discussion and opinion is appropriate to the mission of the Omega Letter, the answer is also found in Paul’s second letter charging Timothy with his responsibilities before God.

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.  But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. (2nd Timothy 4:3)

That time has come and gone and all that remains is to “watch in all things, endure afflictions and do the work of an evangelist” until He comes. 

That includes sorting out truth from fables so that we can witness the awesome power of God in action together.  As bad as things look, as scary as they actually are, the fact that God told us this would happen means that everything is going according to His Plan.

Note from Jack: Last week, I was privileged to participate in a radio roundtable discussion with Jan Markell, ex-Mormon Ed Decker and Heidi Swander on such topics as truth, politics and religion.  I learned a lot I didn’t know during the two hour program, Hour One and Hour Two

I’d be very interested in reading your thoughts in the forums. 

Maranatha!

Why We Can’t Ignore Politics

Why We Can’t Ignore Politics
Vol: 120 Issue: 12 Monday, September 12, 2011

The antichrist only has seven years in which to accomplish all that the Bible outlines.  That doesn’t leave enough time for him to construct all the necessary religious, economic and political infrastructure the Bible says will be necessary.

So for the antichrist to be able to assume the reins of global government, somebody must have already hitched the horses to the wagon.

The UN is trying to insinuate itself into position as a functional global government.  As it stands today, the UN is too feckless to be trusted with that kind of power, but the world is well-aware of the need for some kind of global system of governance. 

The UN has already created the essential infrastructure, such as the World Bank, World Trade Organization, UNICEF, UNESCO, UNFOR, etc., all of which are now too well-entrenched to abandon.

The UN itself is destined to join the League of Nations on the trash heap of history.  But the existing infrastructure must survive.

The EU recognizes that fact, and is well on the way to constructing a parallel organization capable of assuming control of existing programs when the UN’s bloated and corrupt administration implodes.

Daniel clearly identifies a revived form of the Roman Empire as the seat of the antichrist’s political government.  So it is no coincidence that the EU is already constructed as a global government-in-waiting.

What has yet to be fully developed is a centralized global religious system that meets John’s specifications.  But even that eventuality is under construction.

The United Nations has established a World Council of Religious Leaders. Under the umbrella of the “Millennium Peace Summit’s” slogan of “Building an Integrated Framework for Peace” it claims:

“The objective of this Council is to serve as a resource to the United Nations and its agencies around the world, nation states and other international organizations, offering the collective wisdom and resources of the faith traditions toward the resolution of critical global problems.”

The Council has identified “religious fundamentalism” as the principle obstacle to peace and is actively working towards a kinder, gentler, more inclusive global religious system that can accommodate all the world’s religions under one banner.

The world is currently embroiled in a conflict that pits fundamentalist Islam against fundamentalist Judaism and fundamentalist Christianity.  The operative word here is “fundamentalist.” 

One of Islam’s fundamental doctrines holds that any part of “Dar al Islam” (the Zone of Islam) is a permanent condition.  Once an area has been conquered by Islam, any loss is only temporary and it becomes the religious duty of the world-wide Muslim umma (community) to restore that which was lost.

And at the core of the global fundamentalist religious war is the issue of ownership of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.

Jewish fundamentalism holds that Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, (once part of Dar al Islam) is Israel’s eternal capital by Divine Decree.  And fundamentalist Christian theology supports Israel’s claim to Jerusalem as Divine.

Fundamentalist Islam cannot recognize Israel’s existence without admitting the Koran is false.  Fundamentalist Judaism cannot countenance the surrender Jerusalem or the Temple without conceding the Bible is not true.

(Neither can fundamentalist Christianity).

Mainstream Christianity, Judaism and Islam combined, represent about half of the world’s population.  But of that number, only a fraction are genuine fundamentalists.

The outbreak of a nuclear conflict over such religious fundamentals would result in an immediate and global call for the abolition of religious fundamentalism — a call that would be loudly echoed by the ‘mainstream’ from all three faiths.

To accomplish that, all religions would have to be brought under a central authority — some kind of global council that could serve as both watchdog and moral authority.  As we’ve seen, such a council already exists — what remains unfulfilled is the global will to cede authority over to it.

For the time being.

Assessment:

As I’ve noted on plenty of previous occasions, the Church Age draws to a close with the Rapture at some point before the onset of the Tribulation Period.

It is not the role of Christians to be looking for the antichrist.  It is our job to be looking for the return of Jesus Christ, and using that information to lead others to Christ while there is still time.

Admittedly, the Omega Letter spends at least as much time examining current events, in particular, political events, as it does on Bible doctrine.  I get a lot of grief over that.

“Why don’t you stick to the Bible and leave politics alone?” is a common refrain, especially from non-Christians, not to mention from liberals of all religious persuasions.

The Bible’s outline of the Tribulation is all about politics.  The antichrist is a political leader. The signs pointing to the nearness of the Tribulation Period are far more political than they are doctrinal.

The politics of government.  The politics of economics.  The politics of religion.  It takes injecting all three into the Big Picture in order to see it coming together.

The Bible examines the political, religious and religious worldviews as they will exist during a single generation, somewhere in time, to the exclusion of all previous generations.  Those ARE the signs of the times.

I am not looking for the coming of the antichrist.  When it comes to his identity, I am both ignorant and apathetic — I don’t know and I don’t care.  I don’t expect to be here when he comes on the scene.

Instead, I am looking for the signs of the return of Christ for His Church.  It is much like looking at a calendar.  If the calendar says tomorrow is Thanksgiving, then one knows that Christmas is just around the corner.

Jesus said; “when these things BEGIN to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:28)

I get as tired of politics as anybody else does.  I often get as discouraged and depressed by all the bad news as you do.  But Jesus outlined these signs for a different reason.

The fact that He said this is how things would be, and that today, this is how things are, proves that He is indeed God, He is still in control, and all things continue according to His Plan.  If we trust Jesus, we have nothing to fear.

In a nutshell, what it means is this.  At some point before the last puzzle piece falls into place;

“[T]he 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.” (1st Thessalonians 4:16-17)

The signs of the times are indeed disturbing. To an unbeliever, they are undoubtedly terrifying.

But the message all this chaos and confusion sends to the Church is not one of fear.  It is intended as a source of comfort.  As Paul wrote in conclusion to the “Rapture Chapter”;

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

Voting For God

Voting For God
Vol: 120 Issue: 10 Saturday, September 10, 2011

What makes a person a Christian?  We’ve been all around that question several times over the past few weeks – so many times that I’m getting a bit dizzy.

There are lots of doctrinal differences between the various denominations and Christian sects.  And the more I dig, the more confusing it all seems to get.

I had to stop and sort things out before they got too entangled, so I am guessing some of you are feeling much the same way.

How can they all be different and still be Christian?  Does that not violate the unspoken Law of the Obvious; “things that are different are not the same”? 

While there are vast differences between them, what remains the same is the Savior.  

That is how their doctrine can be different but their salvation the same.  Same Jesus, different doctrine.

That is how and why the Roman Catholic Church is Christian, whereas LDS cannot be.  While the RCC doctrines are in many cases, antithetical to the Bible’s teaching on issues like salvation and eternal security, in the end, they look to the same Savior. 

What is different is their approach to God, not His identity.  

The same is true of Dominionism, “Kingdom Now” Assemblies of God, the New Apostolic Reformation, etc. and so on.  A Christian is a person who professes salvation by faith in Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God. 

What makes one a Christian is faith in the Jesus Christ as revealed by the Apostle John:

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

The Apostle John clearly identifies Jesus (the Word) as being with God. John identifies the Word as God, “from the beginning”.  John identifies Jesus as the Creator God saying “all things were made by Him.”

John identifies Jesus as the source of life.  He is not subordinate to God, or a different God.  He is God.  He stepped out of eternity into space and time, lived a sinless life and died a sinner’s death to atone for my sins and was resurrected three days later, defeating death and ensuring my eternal life.

By contrast, LDS professes salvation by works by faith in Jesus Christ, the brother of Lucifer, one of many spirit beings begotten by God, the former man from the star system Kolob.  

The LDS Gospel is different than the Bible’s Gospel.  So followers of the Mormon Jesus are no more Christian than are Islamic followers of the Koran’s Isa.  They teach a different Jesus that cannot save.

That needed to be said before going on, for my own sense of clarification, if no other.  I don’t want to sound like I think that only those in doctrinal agreement with me are Christians.  One can be a Christian and hold widely diverging doctrinal beliefs.

What makes one a Christian is more than joining a religion that has somebody named “Jesus” in it.

Christianity begins with faith in the Person that is Christ, as revealed by the Gospels. 

Assessment:  

Whew!  I hope I am not digging myself into a deeper hole.  This is what happens with politics meets religion.  As somebody succinctly noted on my Facebook page the other day, “religion is what happens after the Holy Spirit has left the building.”

Politics is what happens when He takes Truth with Him. 

Jan Markell emailed me to tell me that she has known Michelle Bachmann for thirty years and that she does not believe that Rep. Bachmann is a member of the New Apostolic Reformation and that Rep. Bachmann strongly supports Israel.

I don’t know Rep. Bachmann, but I do know Jan Markell, and I trust her.  If she doesn’t believe it, then I should tread very carefully.  Bachmann is in a political race, and politics does make strange bedfellows. 

Following that same line of reasoning, I want to qualify my statements regarding Rick Perry from yesterday’s brief.

In it, I said Perry was a member of the NAR – that was taking it too far.  I don’t know if he is a member – I don’t know how one defines ‘membership’.  Perry’s recent prayer rally was closely linked with the New Apostolic Reformation, but that doesn’t necessarily make him a member.  

The same can be said for Sarah Palin.  I don’t know, but they have certainly allowed themselves to be linked with them in the media. 

This is difficult stuff — I don’t want to be unclear, but I don’t want to be unfair, either. 

I don’t know how I missed the significance (or the size) of the New Apostolic Reformation, but I suspect it is because I didn’t want to look, and, I suspect, for the same reasons as a lot of other people.

I am as sick of the corruption in government as anybody else is, and as a Christian, I am dog-tired of being slapped around by the ACLU.  I am sick of seeing everybody else’s religious rights being protected by stepping on my religious rights.  

I am sick of Christianity being portrayed as some kind of predatory monolithic religion of hate, while predatory, monolithic religions of hate are granted special protected status. 

I am tired of going to the back of the bus because I am a Christian.  I am tired of hearing Christianity abused and mocked.  I am sick of US tax dollars funding anti-Christian art. 

I am aghast at the reality that being a Christian has become a social liability while being gay is a social asset.

So at first glance, the rise of the politically militant Christian Right is good stuff.  I’d like to see Christianity stand up for itself and say, “Oh, yeah?” 

The whole Christian Right thing appeals to me, because it makes me feel a little less alone out here.  But the truth is what the truth is, and the Church has no business in politics.  The Founders were the first to recognize that truth.

Religion and politics don’t mix.  At the same time, that is the big dichotomy of the last days.

One cannot really study or understand Bible prophecy apart from politics – the antichrist is a politician.  The Beast is a political/religious system.  The Tribulation Period is mankind’s final effort at self-government.

So politics and prophecy are two sides of the same coin.

When the antichrist does show up, he isn’t going to be wearing a red union suit and carrying a pitchfork.  He is going to promise more hopenchange, certainly while claiming to have “God on his side” and the answers for whatever the problem might be. 

He won’t emerge in a vacuum – he will seem to be precisely the right guy at the right time in history. 

I used to wonder how anybody could be fooled.  But we’re being sucked in right now — again. 

You don’t think so?  Look at the candidates again.  Was Obama the messiah?  That’s what America hoped in 2008.  It turned out he wasn’t.  

Look at the issues.  Religious war.  Religious reconciliation.  Religious ecumenism.  Religious reformation. 

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My Name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. . . “ (Matthew 24:4-5)

The other day, the head of the US labor movement, James Hoffa, gave a national speech in which he offered the unions to Barack Obama as his personal army against the Tea Party to “take the S.O.B.’s out.” 

Describing the Tea Party as an “angry mob” of “racist tea-baggers” barely raises an eyebrow – despite a total lack of supporting evidence.  

The Left has blamed the opposition for everything from the Arizona shooting of Gabrielle Giffords to global warming and the economy.  The country is totally divided and seething with hatred.

I am sure I have offended more than a few people over the last few days — I ‘ve certainly gored a few sacred cows of my own. 

“And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” (Matthew 24:10-11)

Again, look at the issues.

“Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”

 “Behold, I have told you before.” (Matthew 24:23-25)

He told us before for a reason.  So that when it happened, then we would believe. 

When We All Speak As One. . ..

When We All Speak As One. . ..
Vol: 120 Issue: 9 Friday, September 9, 2011

“And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” (Genesis 11:6-7)

The story of the Tower of Babel isn’t in the Bible just to explain the existence of different races and different languages. It serves that purpose, but that isn’t the only reason that the Lord prompted Moses to include it in the Torah.

Step back with me and take a look at the Big Picture, as it existed at the time. The place, Genesis tells us, is the plains of Shinar in what today is modern-day Iraq. The time is shortly after the Flood. 

The Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus, wrote in his “Antiquities of the Jews”;

“When all men were of one language, some of them built a tower, as if they would thereby ascend up to heaven, but the gods sent storms of wind and overthrew the tower, and gave every one his peculiar language; and for this reason it was that the city was called Babylon” (Antiquities of the Jews, 1.4.3 [emphasis mine]).

“Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.” (Genesis 11:9)

The men of Shinar, in defiance of God’s command through Noah that men should disperse and populate the earth, instead built and congregated in the city where they fell under the sway of a self-appointed king. 

This king, seeking to establish himself above the ordinances of God, organized the construction of a tower to which they could take refuge in the event God sent another Flood.  

The reference to the people as “one” under a single authority, apart from God, resulted in the king’s authority superseding God’s.

To prevent this, and to protect man from himself, God separated the people by confusing their languages which scattered them abroad as intended.  They separated into smaller groups, according to race and language, and never again did one man attain universal power.

When the Lord chose from among them His own peculiar people, He counseled them against concentrating all power under a king, but allowed them to learn the lesson at hand the hard way, beginning with King Saul. 

By the time the kings were done with Israel, Israel was all done with kings. Their next king will be King Messiah. 

The story of the tower of Babel explains how the world became divided up into nations, but it also explains why. To prevent any one person or any one system from dominating the whole world.

By the end of the first century, the Church had already separated over minor points of doctrine into seven distinct churches. As the church grew, it grew like a tree, with many branches emerging from the same trunk. 

The true Church was thus protected through the ages from any one man ever dominating and ruling the whole Body of Christ. There were, always and at all times, believers as sufficiently divided over minor points of doctrine as were the nations divided by God at Babel.   

When the Body of Christ is removed at the conclusion of the Church Age at the Rapture, what will remain will be the infrastructure of many churches, but bereft of the Holy Spirit. 

In the Book of Revelation, we read of Mystery Babylon, the harlot Church that committed adultery with the kings of the earth.

The ‘mystery’ part of Mystery Babylon is that it is a retelling of the story of the tower of Babel, but from the religious, rather than from the political perspective.  

The Babel Effect is, in effect, how the Holy Spirit uses the Church to restrain the antichrist. 

“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed. . . (2nd Thessalonians 2:7-8)

Assessment:

“Mystery Babylon” is a church system governed by the principles of Babel with somebody else standing in for God but with similar authority over the Churches.  

Over the centuries, it has been identified with the Catholic Church because of the Vatican’s dominance and its political record during the Dark Ages. 

But that was then. This is now.

And our “now” is the last days, where everything doesn’t look quite so obvious.

The harlot of Babylon is not a recognizable Church Age church, but a post-Christian religious system that takes power after the Rapture and during the Tribulation.

The only thing we can be sure of is that it is so constructed as to enable one man to take control of all of it.

We think that we’ll be able to see it coming.  And that it will probably look evil.  We won’t — and it won’t. It will probably look grand and beneficent.

Like a guy coming to restore America at a time when the Constitution is hanging by a thread. 

Or maybe to save America from the ravages created by having a devout Marxist with Islamic sympathies get a second term in the Oval Office by restoring America’s Christian principles? 

After all, if it will be so easy to spot the bad guy, then how come the Bible says that even the elect would be fooled? 

As we move forward, I am afraid I am going to gore more sacred cows. I don’t want to. But I was asked in the forums to look into the New Apostolic Reformation and what it is all about.

Oh boy. 

I have said many times that I would rather have an agnostic in the White House than I would a devout Christian.  I’ve taken a lot of heat for it over the years, but to me, the reason should be obvious. 

What if he is a different brand of Christian than I am?  

I feel like some kind of traitor.  The last thing I thought I wanted to be known as was as the guy who helped the liberals bring down Glenn Beck.  But I was wrong. 

The last thing I want to be known as is the guy that helped the liberals bring down Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, Michelle Bachman or the Tea Party.

Right now, Republicans are trying to decide whether they want to run Mitt Romney, a Mormon, or Rick Perry, a member of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR).  

Isn’t there another choice?  Michelle Bachman?  NAR.  Sarah Palin?  NAR. 

But I like Rick Perry.  I like Michelle Bachman. I like Sarah Palin. 

But heck, except for his being a Mormon, I like Mitt Romney.   The reason Romney’s Mormonism is an issue is because of the dangers inherent in governing according to one’s religious beliefs.

That doesn’t mean I don’t believe that Michelle Bachman is a Christian. I do.  The same for Sarah Palin and Rick Perry.  I believe that each of them is saved by grace through faith, according to their profession of faith and testified to by their lives.

But that doesn’t mean I believe that they are necessarily gifted with the gift of discernment. 

They are all three associated with the the New Apostolic Reformation. What are some of NAR’s core beliefs?  And would you want America governed according to those beliefs?

First off, the NAR is a Dominionist movement.  Dominion theology is a grouping of Christian theological systems with a common belief that the law of God, as expressed by Scripture should govern society.  

Here’s the problem: Personally, I don’t want the country governed according to anybody else’s version of Christianity except mine. That’s why it matters what church I go to. I just don’t put myself under the authority of just anybody’s doctrine. 

That is the brilliance of the United States Constitution.  It recognizes that God grants the authority to govern, and then sets about to governing, leaving religion to the churches. 

I don’t believe the Ten Commandments are part of Christian theology – they form the basis for Jewish Law. As a Christian, I am not under the Law, but under grace. 

As a citizen, I believe the Ten Commandments provide a useful template for public common law, but I wouldn’t want to be required by law to keep the Sabbath (according to whose definition?), or to destroy all graven images, etc.

I am not saying that Perry or Bachman or Palin would even think of doing anything so drastic. But once one starts the slide down that slippery slope into theocratic nationalism, it tends to pick up momentum with the next guy, who just might.  

Dominionists adhere to the doctrine of replacement theology. To a Dominionist, the Jew no longer has any place in the Plan of God and, theologically speaking, Israel is just another country in the Middle East.

So the last thing I would want to see would be a Dominionist president formulating Middle East foreign policy according to his understanding of the Bible.  The NAR has started a campaign called “Israel, You are Not Alone” but that is a political message. 

(Beck said the same thing, but Beck thinks that Mormons are the real Jews and that the real Promised Land is in North America.)

According to the defacto father of the NAR, C Peter Wagner, the second Apostlic Age began in the Year 2001, at which time the lost offices of Prophet and Apostle were restored. 

C. Peter Wagner is President of Global Harvest Ministries and Chancellor of the Wagner Leadership Institute, and former dean of Fuller Theological Seminary.  

They have developed a whole list of verbal and physical prayer techniques such as chanting, walks, and marches that are employed in this effort.  Believers are told their prayer power creates spiritual “canopies” over regions, preparing the way for revival. 

Promoting these prayer warfare activities are hyper-charismatics from the signs and wonders movement, which include self-anointed, self-appointed apostles and prophets who are preparing to govern through their “New Apostolic Reformation.”

The NAR is a direct offshoot of the Latter Rain cult (also known as Joel’s Army or Manifest Sons of God). They are the Charismatic Branch of Dominionism known as Kingdom Now.

Among Fuller’s alumni is Wagner protégé Rick Warren.  Warren’s “Purpose Driven Life” is a primer in Dominionist theology aimed at advancing the goals of the NAR.

The doctrines of the New Apostolic Reformation are being advanced by C. Peter Wagner, Cindy Jacobs, Chuck Pierce, Bill Hamon, a group known as the “Kansas City Prophets,” the Vineyard Fellowship, and many others.

Finally, the New Apostolic Movement is ‘apostolic’. The NAR has its own Apostles, that it believes can receive and speak ‘words of knowledge’ directly from God that are on a par with Scripture.  

One of the most dangerous of all governments is a theocracy.  It’s as close as one can get to reversing the Babel Effect.  

According to the chatter on Fox News yesterday following the debate, the nomination seems to be between Rick Perry and Mitt Romney with all the other candidates running a distant third. 

For whom do we vote for in 2012?  A Mormon?  An Apostle? A guy who takes directions from an Apostle?  

The guy who said that the prettiest sound on earth was the Muslim call to evening prayer? 

Personally, it isn’t my job to step in and try and influence anything.  I was asked to look this up.  I am not an advocate – I am an observer.  It is my job to tell you what is going on as it relates to Bible prophecy. 

Even when it hurts. 

September 20

September 20
Vol: 120 Issue: 8 Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Palestinian Authority officially launched its effort to unilaterally declare statehood and seek recognition from the United Nations General Assembly when it opens its session on September 20 — twelve days from now.

The plans were announced in a letter that was submitted to UN chief Ban Ki-moon at a ceremony in Ramallah’s UN offices involving about 100 Palestinian activists. 

They capped more than sixty years of professional victimhood by having the letter presented by an elderly Palestinian woman that had reportedly lost a son and had seven other sons serving jail time in Israeli prisons because of terrorist activities.

The PA chose her because they said her story is representative of the “plight of the Palestinian people.” 

Indeed. Seven sons serving time for terrorism! If anything is representative of the reason for the “plight of the Palestinian people” this old lady’s story is.

The Palestinians could have had peaceful co-existence in a state of their own side-by-side with Israel sixty-three years ago by accepting the 1947 UN Partition Plan. Instead, they rejected it, demanding a state instead of Israel.

Instead of peace, they joined the Arab Legions in a war of annihilation against the fledgling state (which they lost) in 1948.

After losing, instead of negotiating a peace deal, the Arab states rounded up the Palestinian Arabs who abandoned their homes to join the fight against Israel and put them all into concentration camps.

(It gets confusing. In 1948, “Palestinian” was primarily used to describe the Jews.)

The Palestinian Arabs simply refused to acknowledge that Israel existed or that they had lost a war. They promised to push the Jews into the sea, if it took generations to do so.  It was the equivalent to walking into a casino, betting it all, losing, demanding your money back, and then threatening to burn the place down.

The choice of a member of that generation who subsequently raised eight terrorists to stand as “representative of the plight of the Palestinian people” was as close to an honest self-assessment as anything the PA has done in its history.

It is nothing short of staggering that the Palestinians should enjoy the degree of support that they do around the world, and particularly, in the United States.  The Palestinian record has been one of murder and mayhem and terrorism, not as part of some “cycle of violence” but as the instigator of violence.

A “cycle of violence” implies that each side takes turns attacking the other.  That is not the same as an unprovoked attack that provokes a retaliatory response.  If there was no attack on Israel, there would be no retaliatory response.  The alleged ‘cycle’ would be broken.

Logically then, the ‘plight of the Palestinians’ is self-inflicted.  There is no question that there are broader issues at play here, but those broader issues tend to cloud the obvious.  If the Palestinians would stop attacking, Israel would stop retaliating.

If Palestinian mothers stopped teaching their children that their highest calling is to “strike a blow against the Zionist enemy” the archetypical Palestinian mother wouldn’t have one dead son and seven sons in Israeli jails serving time for terrorism.

The Palestinian leadership is so consumed with hatred for Israel that it bleeds into and contaminates every effort at seeking genuine peace.  The effort at unilateral statehood isn’t designed to give the Palestinians a state – they could have had a state at any time in the last decade, if they really wanted it.

But they don’t want peace.  Peace was never the goal.  At least not peace with Israel.  Maybe peace without Israel, but not peace with it.

The PA wants to force Israel back behind its 1948 Armistice Lines, using the euphemism of “pre-1967 borders” to blur their actual agenda.  Pre-1967 was post-1948. 

The Palestinians believe that if they can wedge their state in between the Old City and the coast, Israel will again be vulnerable to annihilation as it will be just nine miles wide at its narrowest point.

An Arab spearhead thrust would cut the country in two, with the enemy on three sides and its back to the sea.  Israel’s nukes would be useless to them, except as a last, great act of defiance, as outlined by the Samson option.

Assessment:

Samson was one of Israel’s judges to whom God had granted superhuman strength, provided he kept his vows as a Nazarene, which included sobriety, chastity and not cutting his hair.

The story of Samson and Delilah is among the most well-known in the Bible. Samson violated his vow, Delilah tricked him into cutting his hair, and Samson was captured by the Philistines.

Samson was blinded and he was chained between two massive pillars. He prayed for the strength to bring down the pillars, killing himself along with his enemies.

“And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein.” (Judges 16:30)

Hence, the ‘Samson Option’ is not just a codename for Israel’s nuclear response strategy. It is a warning.

It is intended to convey Israel’s determination to take its enemies with it, should Israel face imminent destruction at the hands of its surrounding enemies.

In essence, the Samson Option is a code word for a policy that calls for national suicide rather than accepting the possibility of defeat.  

That is what is at stake, should the PA be successful in its bid to have the United Nations recognize the borders proposed by the PA.

One wonders how the Palestinians are able to convincingly argue that they are being forced to the UN by “Israeli intransigence” when what Israel is intransigent about is the PA’s demand for ethnic cleansing of Jews. 

It defies all established UN precedents — and yet it continues to enjoy support from virtually all sides – except Israel’s.

That Israel can find itself so totally abandoned by the international community, international law, by ordinarily intelligent and compassionate people, by mainstream Christian churches and by the United States government is a testimony to the truth of Bible prophecy.

The Prophet Zechariah began his prophetic career in the second year of Darius the Persian, or about 520 BC. 

In Zechariah’s day, “Israel” had not existed for two hundred years. The Kingdom of Judah had been smashed more than a hundred years before by Nebuchadnezzar. 

Despite the geopolitical reality of his world, Zechariah prophesied that in the last days, the issue of Jerusalem and its ownership would occupy the attention of the whole world.  

Zechariah prophesies that it would become a burdensome stone and a cup of drunkenness and that all that burden themselves with the issue would be ‘cut in pieces.’

The US burdened itself with Jerusalem when it involved itself in the Oslo negotiations.  America has been suffering the death of a thousand cuts ever since.

Zechariah, Ezekiel and Isaiah all prophesy that in the last days, a reborn Israel will find itself alone, friendless, with its back to the sea and surrounded by enemies, with no one and nowhere to turn. 

It is then, the prophets say, that the Lord Himself will come to Israel’s defense, destroying the armies of the enemy and defending Jerusalem and her inhabitants. 

Then, the Scriptures say, Israel will know that, “I am the Lord, Who has done this.”

“In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them.”(Zechariah 12:8)

It is at that time that Zechariah prophesies (from a time frame of 520 years before Christ) of Israel’s national redemption when the Messiah makes His return.  Incredibly, Zechariah’s prophecy also reveals the Messiah’s identity:

“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.”

“And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me My price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for My price thirty pieces of silver. And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.” (Zechariah 11:12-13)

“And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver Him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.” (Matthew 26:15)

I don’t have a lot of confidence that the United States will veto PA statehood at the Security Council, as it has indicated that it will.  Even if it does, once this snowball starts rolling downhill, it will ultimately gather all the support necessary for Obama to credibly argue that he was obeying the will of the international community.

But the hows and the whys of it are speculative.  The fact is that prophecies put to paper thousands of years ago are unfolding before our eyes in a single generation. 

“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.” (2 Peter 1:16)

From the days of the Apostles until now, nobody could claim to be eyewitnesses to His majesty. But we can.  We are witnessing the actual, literal Hand of God manipulating world events to bring them into line with His revealed Word.  

The last time that happened was almost two thousand years ago.  And in exactly the same place. 

What a time to be alive!