Kim Jong il’s Laptop is Broken

Kim Jong il’s Laptop is Broken
Vol: 123 Issue: 20 Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Kim Jong Il, when he was alive, was one of the most dangerous men on the planet.  A complete lunatic in possession of nuclear weapons, nobody was sure what the erratic little dictator might do next, but whatever it was, somebody always died when he did it.

As dangerous and as high-profile as the crazy little dictator was, you’d think that US intelligence would know his every move, what he ate for breakfast, what he read for entertainment, where he was at any given moment, and if not his state of mind, certainly one would expect that we knew his state of health.

Kim Jong il died on a train on Saturday morning at about 8:30.  US intelligence learned of his death on Monday, when everybody else did, and the same way that everybody else did.  They saw it on TV.

Nowhere was the power of propaganda more on display than in North Korea following the news that the “Dear Leader” Kim Jong Il was dead. 

The Dear Leader was responsible for the starvation deaths of millions of his countrymen.  The country he presided over for seventeen years is a horror story of misery, repression, torture, starvation and deprivation. 

But when his people heard the news, instead of cheering and dancing in the streets, there was an outpouring of genuine grief and sorrow.

Women gathered at the memorial to Kim’s father, Kim Il Sung, the “Great Leader” who, although no less repressive than his son, is revered by North Koreans as a god.

“It is the second dynastic succession in the history of communist North Korea, after founding leader Kim Il-Sung died in 1994 — sparking similar scenes of organized hysteria.”

“They are not even trying to wipe away tears and are convulsing with pain and despair caused by the loss,” KCNA said Monday of the country’s impoverished citizens, adding the population of 24 million was in “indescribable sorrow”.

The state TV showed ruling party members in one North Korean county crying out loud, banging tables and sobbing. “I can’t believe it. How can he go like this? What are we supposed to do?” said one distraught cadre, Kang Tae-Ho.

World reaction to the news was no less interesting.   The Speaker of Iran’s parliament, Ali Larijani, offered actual condolences to the North Koreans, saying:

“I was much saddened when I was informed of the passing of Mr. Kim Jong Il, the great leader of the friendly nation of North Korea.  On behalf of myself and my colleagues in parliament, I would like to express my sympathy.”

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was far less sympathetic in his official comments:

“Kim Jong Il will be remembered as the leader of a totalitarian regime who violated the basic rights of the North Korean people for nearly two decades. We hope his passing brings positive change allowing the people of North Korea to emerge from six decades of isolation, oppression and misery.”

North Korea’s patron and protector, the People’s Republic of China, was “distressed” by the news:

“We were distressed to learn of the unfortunate passing of the senior-most North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, and we express our deep grief about this and extend our condolences to the people of North Korea.  Kim Jong Il is a great leader of the North Korean people.”

But it was Republican ‘maverick’ Senator John McCain who best summed up the true global reaction to the death of the tiny terror of the East, saying,

“I can only express satisfaction that the Dear Leader is joining the likes of Gadhafi, bin Laden, Hitler and Stalin in a warm corner of hell.”

To which we would like to add our own hearty “amen”!

Assessment:

As a Christian, I have absolutely no fear of being dead.  (I am here referring to physical death).  But getting that way gives cause for pause.

I can think of very few ways to shuffle off this mortal coil that don’t involve some measure of discomfort, not to mention fear.

We’re born into this world in much the same way — it is a God-given blessing that we are incapable of remembering the experience. 

At the moment of death, as our physical eyes close, our spiritual eyes open.  The best illustration I’ve ever seen of how this works is this diagram drawn by Clarence Larkin, explaining the threefold nature of man.Man in three part harmony

Note the outer ring of the diagram, labeled the carnal body, or soma.  This is the physical part — the part that dies. The body is an input device, similar in function to the keyboard and mouse on a computer. 

It receives sensory input through the ability to see, hear, smell, taste and touch.

This is what physical life is.  It is the ability to see, hear, smell, taste and touch, and through those sensory inputs, we find the enjoyment of life.

Everything a natural man knows, feels or experiences comes to him through one of these sensory gates.

The next ring of the diagram is the one Larkin labels the soul, or the psyche.  

Larkin also labels it ‘natural’ — for the ‘natural man.’  All human beings have souls, which consist of the mind, will and emotions. 

Taken together, they make up that part that distinguishes you from all other human beings.  Your soul is what makes you you — my soul is what makes me me.  

It is the part that owns all the rest of your existence.  You have a body, but that body is not you — it is your possession.  Your soul is you.

When you die, your soul leaves your body, which is then discarded as an empty shell.  Your soul no longer receives input from the five sensory gates, but it continues to exist.   

One way to illustrate this is by looking at “cloud” computing — the next wave of data processing.  In cloud computing, one’s data is located online instead of on one’s computer.  This protects it from crashes, infections, etc., and makes it possible to access your data from any computer. 

In pure cloud computing, even the operating system is located online.  So everything about your computer that makes your computer yours is not on your computer at all.  

Your physical computer still sits on your desk and you still use it to input your data, but the data is stored in the ‘cloud’.  So if your computer dies tomorrow, your data doesn’t die with it. 

Your data was never actually part of your computer — and so it exists independently of it in the cloud.

Suppose your desktop were to burn out tomorrow.  Your computer is dead, beyond repair, and fit for the junk pile.  So you go buy a laptop to access your data in the cloud and “Bingo!” — your new laptop is suddenly your old desktop, but with a brand-new “body.”

Staying with the analogy for a few more lines, let’s pretend that the old desktop is the diagram’s outer ring, or soma, and that the new laptop is the inner ring, or spirit (pnuema). 

Larkin labels the spirit as the source of inner insights, common sense, our faculties, faith, hope, reverence, prayer, worship, etc.  The Bible tells us that all men have an eternal spirit, but that the natural man’s spirit is ‘dead’ until quickened, like a laptop before you turn it on.

In the very center of the center of the inner ring is the “throne room” of your life.  The natural man seats himself there.  When he dies, his carnal inputs cease to function and his soul turns inward to the spirit for input.

Since the spirit of the natural man has not been ‘quickened’ or made alive by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, he looks inward to discover the devil is at the keyboard supplying the input.

When a born-again, Blood-bought, regenerated Christian dies, his soul also begins to receive input through his spirit instead of his five physical sensory gates.  

Note again that the body is in the outer ring and it is the sensory gate that feeds the soul. The spirit is in the center and it is the sensory gate through which the Holy Spirit communicates with us.

“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:” (Romans 8:16)

When we die, the soul and spirit separate from the body and the body’s sensory input. The Bible tells us that our soul doesn’t sleep, but remains conscious; Paul tells us that;

“Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (for we walk by faith and not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” (2nd Corinthians 5:6-8)

I want you to see all that this teaches.

The first is the most obvious since it is most often-quoted; ‘absent from the body, present with the Lord’ — but I want you to see the Bigger Picture as well.

While present in the body, we are absent from the Lord.  For the most part, our sensory inputs are limited to the five gates of the carnal body.

Most of us are spiritually blind.  We hear the phrase often enough.  Think of what it means.  It refers to the sensory input we get from the center of our being, from the center of Larkin’s inner circle, where our spirit is.

At the center of the natural man, his spirit is dark.  It is totally blind to the things of God.  The natural man can be spiritual; the world is filled with spiritual people who are in communication with the spirit world.  But they are not in communication with the Spirit of God.

“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.” (1st Corinthians 2:14)

The natural man can thrash about trying to make a spiritual connection, but he is just thrashing about blindly hoping to latch on to any spiritual passers-by.

Understand the function of your spirit.  It is your sensory input to the things of the spirit.  The quickened, or regenerated spirit is in contact and communion with the Spirit of God.

Absent the body, the spirit becomes the eyes and ears of the soul.

When we die, the body’s sensory gates close, but the spirit’s sensory gates swing wide-open.  We (that is, the soul, the part that makes you ‘you’) remain aware of what is going on.  So when you die, the spirit functions much as the body did, as the primary sensory gateway into the soul.

We are half blind in this world.  Our souls only know what they can learn from the sensory input of our carnal, physical bodies.  Our spirits are capable of just enough faith to invite the Holy Spirit in, which then quickens us and opens up our spiritual ‘eyes’.

When we get our resurrection bodies, we will receive sensory input from both sides.  Both the physical and the spiritual.  The reason that at the Rapture, the dead in Christ rise first, is that they’ve been waiting, half-blind, for theirs.

Right now, Paul says, “we see through a glass darkly. . but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1st Corinthians 13:12)

Imagine at the Rapture, when we who are alive and remain suddenly start getting unrestricted sensory input from both our resurrection bodies and our eyes-wide open quickened spirits!  It is a spectacular thought.

Back to the less-spectacular thought of the soul who dies without the quickening of the Spirit.  His soul has lost its physical sensory input.  His spirit is dark, dead, and incapable of getting any spiritual input.  But at the Great White Throne, that soul will also receive a resurrection body.

Remember the function of the body and spirit.  They are the gateways to the soul.

That lost soul will have his physical sensory input restored to him just before being cast alive into the Lake of Fire.  There, he will be deprived of spiritual comfort, since his spirit is dead, but his resurrection body will be eternally alive.

With that in mind, everybody you meet today, the folks at work, the people at the gym, the clerk at the store, the kid that delivers your paper . . . everybody has an eternal destiny.  

They will either spend it in unimaginable joy and peace in the Presence of the Lord and Savior, or they will spend it in unimaginable horror, with Satan at the keyboard controlling their input for eternity.

And his soul, the part that makes him who he is, will spend eternity thinking about how he blew his chance to escape his fate while his spirit aches to see the God he rejected. 

For those of us that know the truth, that is an awesome thing to contemplate.  It rekindles a sense of urgency for the lost.  We are the watchmen on the wall.

It is incumbent upon each of us to be prepared, “and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” (1 Peter 3:15)

The Omega Letter exists — not necessarily to preach to the lost — but rather to equip the saved with the knowledge they need to “stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11)

The information in your Omega Letter is not for entertainment. We don’t sensationalize events to sell subscriptions.  Our goal is to equip the one-on-one evangelist to meet the challenges facing each of us as the clock runs down. 

Because for all you know, you might be his only chance to escape that fate.   

Peace with Honor

Peace with Honor
Vol: 123 Issue: 19 Monday, December 19, 2011

At one time or another between the outbreak of war and its conclusion in May, 1945, almost all the top Nazis; Himmler, Bormann, Goering, Goebbels and Speer tried to engage the Allies in peace talks aimed at some kind of negotiated settlement.

When Hitler’s armies overran France in 1940, Field Marshall Petain created a collaborationist government, (the Vichy) to negotiate a settlement with Hitler. 

Hitler knew his successes in France came as a result of his blitzkrieg, or “lightning war” but that tactic would not work against England.   Any invasion of England would have to come by sea, which gave the advantage to the defenders.

So he sent Nazi #2 Rudolf Hess, who parachuted into Scotland hoping to negotiate a separate peace with Great Britain. 

Hitler was completely blindsided by the Tehran Declaration calling for nothing less than unconditional surrender.

From the outset, Hitler knew that he could not defeat the combined armies of the world. His plan was to take what he could by force and then use the strength of those consolidated holdings to force the Allies into a negotiated settlement.

Hitler and the top Nazis expected the war to end with an armistice, as it had two decades earlier, only this time, Hitler expected to negotiate from a position of strength.  

Historically, it is always the side that is losing that seeks to negotiate a settlement on terms more favorable than those offered by unconditional surrender.

Indeed, there would otherwise be no reason to negotiate. The only reason for the other side to accept a negotiated settlement is because not settling would mean prolonging the conflict without hope of gain. 

The Allies refused to settle for less than unconditional surrender because they knew they could get it. 

Similarly, the allies knew that they could not force the North Koreans into an unconditional surrender because of the North’s alliance with Red China.  The best that they could hope for was a negotiated armistice.

In Vietnam, we weren’t even able to negotiate a settlement.  We left without achieving our military objective, which was to defeat the North and reunify the country, later dumbed down to simply securing the South against defeat by the Communists.

There are all kinds of historical revisions to choose from when deciding how the Vietnam War ended; American foreign policy shapers finally settled on “peace with honor” to describe America’s exit from Vietnam. 

Here’s how Wikipedia describes the same event:

“Chaos, unrest, and panic broke out as hysterical South Vietnamese officials and civilians scrambled to leave Saigon. Martial law was declared. American helicopters began evacuating South Vietnamese, U.S., and foreign nationals from various parts of the city and from the U.S. embassy compound. Operation Frequent Wind had been delayed until the last possible moment, because of U.S. Ambassador Graham Martin’s belief that Saigon could be held and that a political settlement could be reached.”

“Schlesinger announced early in the morning of 29 April 1975 the evacuation from Saigon by helicopter of the last U.S. diplomatic, military, and civilian personnel. Frequent Wind was arguably the largest helicopter evacuation in history. It began on 29 April, in an atmosphere of desperation, as hysterical crowds of Vietnamese vied for limited space.”

Wikipedia’s description mirrors my own memory — it was a rout, without dignity, without honor, as our helicopters lifted off, leaving behind tens of thousands of South Vietnamese we had promised to protect in return for working with us to face the tender mercies of the North.

After almost ten years, the Iraq War officially ended yesterday. It wasn’t quite a rout, but it wasn’t victory, either.  In the end, the most one could say is that America replaced Iran’s most bitter enemy, Saddam Hussein, with an Iran-friendly Shiite government only slightly less hostile to the United States than Saddam’s was.

With Saddam in power, Iran’s power was held in check.  Had the US “won” the Iraq War, then America would have established a permanent presence with what should have been the most US-friendly government in the Middle East.

Instead, when we left Iraq, it was on Iran’s terms.  The negotiated settlement left Iraq wide open to Iranian intervention.  Indeed, as our forces were pulling out through Kuwait, Iranian forces were conducting military operations inside Iraq against Iraqi Kurds.

(It was the Iraqi Kurds, you will remember, that worked with US forces in Iraq the way the Montagnards worked with US forces in Vietnam.  And like the Montagnards, we abandoned them to their enemies without a backward look.)

We left behind everything we couldn’t carry,  abandoning billions of dollars worth of military and civilian equipment, vehicles and other assets.

“The scale of the waste is biblical in proportion. The United States spent over $2.4 billion on building posts in Iraq, reports the Congressional Research Service, and nearly $2 billion of that came from contracts with the US Army Corps of Engineer between 2004 and 2010 — most of the deals were inked in 2005 and 2006.”

“In addition to the bases being handed over, Maj. Gen. Thomas Richardson told reporters last month that the US had already given away equipment valued at a total of around $247 million in only the last year. Another $157 million in materials were also handed over in the time before President Obama’s withdrawal of troops officially began.”

Most of the media reports about the war’s end featured quotes from privates and junior enlisted men elated to be headed for home, or quotes from senior administration officials seeking to reassure the families of more than 4400 dead American service personnel that their sacrifice had been “worth it.”

But the withdrawal from Iraq more resembled Vietnam than it did Germany.

“The last convoy of heavily armored personnel carriers, known as MRAPS, left the staging base at Camp Adder in southern Iraq in Sunday’s early hours. They slipped out under cover of darkness and strict secrecy to prevent any final attacks. The 500 soldiers didn’t even tell their Iraqi comrades on the base they were leaving.

The attack never materialized. The fear, though, spoke volumes about the country they left behind — shattered, still dangerous and containing a good number of people who still see Americans not as the ally who helped them end Saddam’s dictatorship, but as an enemy.”

That’s the way the North Koreans saw things in 1953. It’s the way the Vietnamese saw things in 1975.  In 1953 we walked, in 1975 we ran, but in 2011, we sneaked away so we wouldn’t be attacked on our way out.

Attacked. . . by the people we came to liberate.

Assessment:

Now that we’ve sneaked out of Iraq, leaving it for the Iranians, the White House can turn its attention to ending the war in Afghanistan — by seeking a negotiated settlement with the Taliban.  Evidently, according to the Jerusalem Post, the US has been engaged in a “secret dialogue” with the Taliban.

According to the report, the Obama administration has been seeking some “honorable” way to lose the war with Afghanistan the way he lost the war in Iraq.  Indeed, that has been his plan all along.

The problem is that honorable men don’t do honorable things in secret.

“The officials acknowledged that the Afghanistan diplomacy, which has reached a delicate stage in recent weeks, remains a long shot. Among the complications: US troops are drawing down and will be mostly gone by the end of 2014, potentially reducing the incentive for the Taliban to negotiate.”

“Still, the senior officials, all of whom insisted on anonymity to share new details of the mostly secret effort, suggested it has been a much larger piece of President Barack Obama’s Afghanistan policy than is publicly known.”

Of course, that is a lot harder to pull off since the Obama administration has guaranteed the Taliban that they will win in 2014 anyway when NATO pulls out.  So the administration had to sweeten the offer a bit. 

Problem is, America doesn’t have much that the Taliban wants.  They would be happy to be just left alone to murder women, hang children, and enforce the sixth-century Sharia code of justice. 

What could the administration possibly have to offer the Taliban?

How about a prisoner exchange?  The Taliban is suspected of holding one American soldier hostage.  Why not trade him for the dirtbags in Guantanamo Bay?  

So that’s how the United States plans to “win” the war with the Taliban forces that aided al-Qaeda in planning and carrying out the attacks on September 11, 2001.   

Not a rout like in Vietnam, or a ‘secret’ escape as in Iraq.

This time, it will be civilized.  A gentleman’s agreement.  Provided the Taliban wants to cooperate.

If not, maybe President Obama will give them one of his steely-eyed glares usually reserved for Republicans and Fox News reporters. That oughta bring them around. 

If not, well, we’ve still got the Fed’s famous printing press.

Maybe we can buy peace with honor.

Hitchens and God — Debate Settled

Hitchens and God — Debate Settled
Vol: 123 Issue: 17 Saturday, December 17, 2011

It appears that the biggest story of the week, surpassing the Keystone Pipeline vote, the ending of the Iraq War, the continuing buildup of Russian forces around Syria, and even Iran’s evidently successful cracking of the command and control codes for UAV’s, is the death of Christopher Hitchens.

The Toronto Globe and Mail’s paper edition devoted four pages to Hitchen’s obituary.  The Washington Post’s obituary headline read; “Christopher Hitchens dies at 62: Sharp-tongued writer fearlessly challenged moral, religious hypocrisy“.

The Vancouver Sun headlined its obituary: “Christopher Hitchens: He was his own man”.  Canada’s national magazine, Maclean’s opined in its pages; “Hitchens deserves to be remembered with Orwell”.

The Los Angeles Times feted Hitchen’s life in its headline, noting, “Christopher Hitchens Dies at 62; Engaging, Enraging Author and Essayist“.  Even the Times of India made note of “The Death of a Devout Atheist.”

I am trying to recall the last time that the death of an essayist elicited such an outpouring of international grief.  I am also trying to figure out exactly what Christopher Hitchens accomplished with his life that would merit such devotion.

A clue can be found in the “related keywords” section at Google for his name.  Google lists six; three of them are related to what is arguably his greatest legacy, which is the advancement of atheism, which is the belief that nothing created everything out of nothing for no particular reason.

That’s what Hitchens was really famous for.  Oh, he was known in certain circles as a “brilliant polemicist” and a “curmudgeon” and so on, but the average Joe wouldn’t have had a clue who Christopher Hitchens was if he hadn’t made a career out of fighting God.

Hitchens wasn’t simply an atheist — he was a militant atheist who dedicated much of his professional life to proselytizing his faith.  That isn’t the way that Hitchens might have expressed it, but there is no more accurate way to phrase it.

Hitchens had an amazing propensity for faith.  His faith in his own intellect was such that he could be comfortable arguing that DNA is the product of random chance. Random chance map

By way of illustration, the other day, somebody emailed me this picture of a cow.  Notice the cow’s markings — it is a perfect world map, down to the tiniest detail.  I showed it to my unbelieving friends, all of whom gave me the same response; “It must have been Photoshopped.”

I even played devil’s advocate, defending the picture as real, arguing that the cow just so happened to be born that way and isn’t it amazing?  But I couldn’t convince anybody that the markings on the cow were the product of random chance — they were all equally convinced somebody changed the photo to produce the map.

But none of them had any problem believing that random chance produced the cow.

Assessment:

The world’s fascination with the death of Christopher Hitchens doesn’t stem from his Marxist youth or his sudden conversion from far left liberalism to a sort of confused conservatism post 9/11. 

Christopher Hitchens hated Jesus even more than he hated organized religion.  As we discussed yesterday, “organized religion” means Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, secular humanism, environmentalism, etc., etc.

Hitchens eulogized Mother Teresa as “a fanatic, a fundamentalist and a fraud.” Hitchens hosted a documentary about Mother Teresa that was entitled “Hell’s Angel”.

When Jerry Falwell died of a heart attack in 2007, Christopher Hitchens was positively gleeful. Asked at the time by CNN if he believed Jerry Falwell was in heaven,  Hitchens replied:

“No. And I think it’s a pity there isn’t a hell for him to go to. The empty life of this ugly little charlatan proves only one thing, that you can get away with the most extraordinary offenses to morality and to truth in this country if you will just get yourself called reverend.”

Jerry Falwell was a great man of faith who stood for something.  His legacy includes founding America’s “Moral Majority” which took a stand against abortion, same-sex marriage, the dilution of morality in society, pornography and violence in entertainment.

On Falwell’s passing, the Associated Press offered this touching tribute:

“The Rev. Jerry Falwell’s habit of sounding off on everything from liberals and terrorism to the “Teletubbies” regularly embarrassed his fellow conservatives. . . His foes? Liberals, “abortionists,” the American Civil Liberties Union, feminists, gay rights activists and the faithless.”

The Guardian (UK) noted in its obituary that:

“Largely because of the sex scandals involving Bakker and fellow evangelist Jimmy Swaggart, donations to Falwell’s ministry dropped from $135 million in 1986 to less than $100 million the following year. Hundreds of workers were laid off and viewers of his television show dwindled.”

We noted some of the blog comments about Falwell at the time of his death in an OL entitled, “Precious in the Eyes of the Lord are the Death of His Saints;”

Reader comments in Canada’s Globe and Mail led off with one signed by Trish Fenner from Perth, Australia, who wrote, “Where’s your Messiah now?”

“Don Adams from Canada” had this to say: “Good riddance!

The lone reader comment in the Washington Post story, who signed him/herself “tbd505” kept his/her comments pithy: “Thank God that sow has gone to the butcher.”

The New York Times’ readers were every bit as kind:

  • “Mr. Falwell’s death was God’s way of saying, ‘Jerry, shut up.'” – Martin Delaney
  • “I’m glad he is gone.” – Joe Oliveira
  • “Long may he burn.” – Allison (no last name)
  • “Falwell’s vile mind can no longer churn out lies. He has fallen back into that abyss of silence out of which to our lasting harm he emerged.” – Eye of Horus
  • “Do you think Jerry will go to heaven? I don’t think so!” – Rob
  • “He is nothing more than a traitor hiding bigotry, hate & ignorance behind the shielding mask of religion. . . . Please, pardon my glee.” — George
  • “I cannot remember Falwell for anything other than bigotry, racism, and hatemongering and it is people like Falwell that are the number one reason why I am no longer a Christian. I’ve seen what religious dogma can do.” – Sam
  • “One less rabble rousing fanatic in the world. We are well pleased.” — Joe Johnson
  • “Jerry Falwell is dead, but his political legacy of hate and discrimination lives on among fundamentalists. . . Anti-gay, anti-woman and anti-science, Falwell — along with his friends in the Republican party — spread anger, bigotry and intolerance all the while hiding behind God and a twisted interpretation of “family values.”

Not to be outdone by amateur haters, the Huffington Post’s Kirk Snyder wrote under the headline; “Falwell’s Gay Legacy: Hate and Discrimination

Militant atheism is a source of never-ending mystery to me.  It offers nothing and takes everything.  If they are right, there is no accountability beyond this life.  One is answerable only to himself and to the law – but only if he gets caught. 

In his book, Hitchens argued that atheism is reason and that religion is responsible for war.  

Atheist Mao Tse Tung murdered 20 million Chinese; Pol Pot murdered 2 million Cambodians, Josef Stalin 50 million Russians, Adolf Hitler 12 million Jews, Gypsies, Slavs and other ‘untermenchen’.   

What does that prove?  It proves that men are responsible for war.  Not religion.  If not religion, it would be something else. 

Atheism posits that men are basically good, but cannot explain what ‘good’ means.  “Good” is a subjective term – it all depends on one’s perspective.

It takes a willful ignorance to hold to the position that man is basically good when one cannot define the basics of ‘good’ apart from the Word of God. 

For “good” to exist, there must also be a corresponding evil against which to measure it.  Good and evil are not atheist terms, they are religious terms. 

In an atheist society, they are defined on a sliding scale, so what would be considered ‘good’ to an American atheist, such as freedom of speech would be exceeding evil to a dedicated atheist Communist.

When there is no benchmark definition for ‘good’ an atheist can argue that it is ‘good’ that a woman can choose to kill her baby rather than raise it because that way the baby won’t grow up in poverty.

That  is what the world is celebrating with its outpouring of grief and loss at the death of Christopher Hitchens.  Willful ignorance.  Hitchens wasn’t a seeker of truth.  He wasn’t skeptical about God. 

Hitchens was a scoffer. The word ‘scoffers’ empaiktes can also be translated, ‘mockers’ — and that is the part I find most intriguing about the whole atheist worldview.

Hitchens (and his co-religionists) claim to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that which is a logical impossibility to know, and from that position, mock those who hold the only remaining logical position, which is that it is impossible to KNOW, except by faith.

Most of the obits about Hitchens include a quote or two from one of his polemics against God or religion.   One of his most-often quoted is the following:

“That which can be asserted without evidence can be denied without evidence.”

His position was that there is no more evidence pointing to the existence of God than there is evidence pointing to the existence of nothing.  It is also demonstrably wrong. 

Atheism claims to be the belief in nothing, but it defines itself by denying the existence of something.

To be an atheist, one has to first believe that something is nothing and nothing is something.  Having made that impossible mental connection, one then has to articulate it in a convincing way.  (Maybe that’s why Christopher Hitchens’ obituary was so fawning.)  

Hitchens openly defied God to the very end.  That’s why the world loved Christopher Hitchens.

“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (John 15:18-19)

Hitchens main premise was that God is dead.  He wrote it in books. He said it in debates.  He repeated that assertion at every possible opportunity.  Then on Thursday, God said that Hitchens was dead.  But God only had to say it once

You tell me who won the debate. 

All Dressed Up With No Place To Go

All Dressed Up With No Place To Go
Vol: 123 Issue: 16 Friday, December 16, 2011

This morning I read the somber news about celebrated militant atheist Christopher Hitchens.  He died last night of esophageal cancer at the tender age of sixty-two.

Hitchens was a prolific essayist and author whose life’s work was defined by his worldview.

His last book, God is Not Great was a bitter polemic against organized religion, which Hitchens accused of being the “main source of hatred in the world.”  

He referred to religion as “violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism, tribalism, and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children.”

When one gets right down to it, it is hard to argue against Hitchens’ assessment of organized religion — it is all those things and more.  But Hitchens’ was unable to distinguish the difference between religion and faith.

He saw them as two sides of the same coin.  And nothing could be further from the truth. 

The truth is that religion serves as a substitute for faith.  Religion is man-made whereas faith is God-breathed.  Religion, according to the entry at dictionary.com, is defined as;

“a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.”

So “religion” describes every kind of human belief system from militant atheism and Borneo head-hunters to mainstream Christian denominationalism.  But it has very little to do with God.

Religion, where it involves the worship of a deity, is a formalized system developed by human beings that postulates adherence to its rules and regulations will make one more acceptable to the deity it claims to worship.

One can be a religious Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, scientist, Constitutionalist, environmentalist, ecologist, nationalist, humanist or atheist.  A religious person is a worshipper — where they differ has to do with the object of worship.  

Religion itself is nothing more than a codified system of rituals used in the worship of that deity.  All religions share the same characteristics; structure, dependency, intimacy, hierarchy, symbolism, a moral code, philosophy, devotion, culture and tradition.

And so, while the late Christopher Hitchens described himself as a “free thinker” who regularly challenged all comers to debate the existence of God, Hitchens was himself a deeply religious man.  

Hitchens served on the advisory board of the Secular Coalition for America, a lobbying group for atheists and humanists in Washington, DC.  Last year Hitchens debated Tony Blair in Toronto after Blair publicly converted to Catholicism.

Blair argued religion is a force for good, while Hitchens argued the opposite.  Not surprisingly, Hitchens won the debate by a two to one margin, according to the audience. 

I say ‘not surprisingly’ because Hitchens had both logic and history working for him, whereas Blair was stuck defending the Vatican’s religious history.

Hitchens was free to bring up the medieval papal excesses, the Borgia popes, the Inquisition, the expulsions and pogroms against Jews, the papal wars, the Crusades, etc., and Tony Blair’s task was to defend them as a force for good.

Hitchens was right about religion.  Where he went wrong was when he blamed God for its existence.

Assessment:

God has no more use for religion than did the late Christopher Hitchens.  He gave Moses Ten Commandments.  The rabbis discovered 613 more, around which they built their religion. 

The Bible says that religion was the reason that Jesus took on the form of sinful man and that it was religion that hanged Him on a tree. 

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” (Matthew 5:17)

“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23-24)

“But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.” (Matthew 23:13)

“Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” (Matthew 23:28)

Religion, as noted earlier, is man’s way of making himself acceptable to God.  Roman Catholicism teaches that obedience to Church ordinances and traditions are essential to salvation.

Missing Mass on Sunday or a “holy day of obligation”, failing to take Communion during Easter, failing to confess one’s sins to a priest, getting divorced or remarrying, or even questioning Church dogma where it conflicts with Scripture can result in the loss of one’s salvation and excommunication from the religion.

According to the Catholic encyclopedia, excommunication (or being kicked out) from the Church means excommunication from God’s grace.  The Church claims that it holds the keys to heaven and hell and that no man can come to the Father outside the Catholic religion.

Hitchens’ supremely fatal error is that he failed to see the difference between religion and God. The fact is that the more religious one is, the further one gets from God. Let me repeat it one more time.

God is not the author of religion.  God is the author of salvation.  Man can never be. 

It is completely irrational to believe that God is what the Bible says about God, and then argue that God ceded over to mankind the ability to redeem himself through a series of codes and rules and regulations.

Religion and faith are not two sides of the same coin, they are opposite sides.  One can have religion without faith.  One can have faith without religion. 

But the more religious one is, the less faith one needs.  Religion substitutes works and calls it faith.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

A very religious person trusts in his ability to maintain his religiosity, attending church, obeying church rules, living a moral life, not smoking or drinking or cussing, etc.  He may pay lip service to God and Jesus and the Cross and salvation, but his faith is in his ability to perform, not in God’s ability to maintain.

Christopher Hitchens looked at all that is wrong with religion and blamed it on God because his atheist worldview prevented him from seeing the obvious.  What religion teaches is that man is not great.

What the Bible teaches is that God is so great that He found a way to overcome religion and save man in spite of himself.

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” (Titus 3:5)

Religion cannot save anyone.  The author of religion is Satan, not God.  The first religion was not Judaism.  It was idol worship. Abraham’s father, Terah, was an idol-maker.  When Joshua led the children of Israel into the Promised Land, it was populated by Caananite worshippers of Molech.  

The entire story of the Bible is about religion and religious wars and the total inability of religion to save.

Indeed, the Bible says the purpose for religion is to demonstrate our inability to save ourselves and to underscore our desperate need for a Savior.

“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” (Romans 3:20)

Religion is the systematic application of religious law.  Satan knows that, which is why organized religion was already a well-developed concept before Abram left Ur,  before Joshua entered the promised land, and even before Noah entered the ark.

Christopher Hitchens life and death is a tragedy of immeasurable proportions.  Had he gotten it right, Hitchens could have made almost all the same arguments and still been one of the greatest evangelists of his time.

“Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 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 2:13-14)

Religion is not great.  But religion is not God, either. Christopher Hitchens never bothered to drill down enough to see what all the fuss was really all about.  He couldn’t see the forest for the trees.  

And now he can see, but it is too late.

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

In Christopher Hitchens, we have a perfect object lesson relative to this Scripture.  For which cause? 

“That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:12)

Hitchens took great pleasure in being a bon vivant.  Hitchens was well aware that many Christians were praying he would undergo a deathbed conversion and surrender to Christ, something he steadfastly refused to do, right up to the end.  

Writing only three weeks before his death, Hitchens said this in the December issue of Vanity Fair:

“My own opinion is enough for me, and I claim the right to have it defended against any consensus, any majority, anywhere, any place, any time. And anyone who disagrees with this can pick a number, get in line and kiss my a**.”

There is an old joke about the atheist at his funeral being ‘all dressed up with no place to go’.   It is the saddest joke imaginable. 

It wasn’t as if he didn’t know — Hitchens could probably deliver the Gospel message better than many Christians.  Hitchens had a choice about where he would spend eternity.  

God honors the choices we make.  Even the bad ones.

Why Class Warfare Won’t Work Here (Yet)

Why Class Warfare Won’t Work Here (Yet)
Vol: 123 Issue: 15 Thursday, December 15, 2011

In his seminal work, The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx postulated that a social “class” is formed when its members achieve class consciousness and solidarity.

“Class consciousness” Marx argued, comes into being when a members of a class recognize they are been exploited by another class.

Once one class feels exploited by another, the exploited class will recognize their shared common interest and will begin to take action against the exploiters.  According to Marx, capitalism causes social stratification, which ultimately results in class conflict.

America divides itself by class into three main groups; the rich, the middle class, and the poor.  The problem with having three main social classes is that there is one too many — Marxism only needs two. 

Marx divides capitalist society into the working class (proletariat) and the rich (bourgeoisie). American Marxism divides society into the “one percent” vs. the “99 percent” but the definitions are the same.

The thing about Marxism is that it is pretty resilient;  it can be molded and shaped to fit almost any social situation or worldview.

In the Barack Hussein Obama form of Marxism, the bourgeoisie are “the rich” (one percenters) which is defined as anyone whose gross income exceeds $250,000 annually, conservatives, especially conservative Christians, non-union members, etc.

Obama Marxism defines the proletariat  (99 percenters) as liberals, atheists, all union members, aspiring union members, people making less than $100,000 per year, and in particular, the working poor, blacks, Hispanics and any other group that could typically be lumped together as ‘have-nots.’

Class conflict, or class warfare, is primarily a tool used by socialists, communists and anarchists, who define a class by its relationship to the means of production, like factories, land and equipment.

From this point of view, the social control of production and labour becomes a contest between classes, and the division of these resources necessarily involves conflict between the two.  Notes Wikipedia;

“The typical example of class conflict described is class conflict within capitalism. This class conflict is seen to occur primarily between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, and takes the form of conflict over hours of work, value of wages, cost of consumer goods, the culture at work, control over parliament or bureaucracy, and economic inequality. The particular implementation of government programs which may seem purely humanitarian, such as disaster relief, can actually be a form of class conflict.”

Karl Marx was an astute observer of human nature, and class warfare exploits a character defect inherent to humanity that we all share to some degree.  The medieval poet Dante Alighieri is generally credited with listing the “Seven Deadly Sins” ie; lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride.

Conservative columnist George Will noted that, of Dante’s Seven Deadly Sins, the only one that is never any fun is Deadly Sin Number Six on the list, envy.

“Envy” is slightly different than “greed” in that greed is simply an insatiable desire for more whereas “envy” is more focused.  Envy doesn’t simply want more, it wants more of yours

The Greek philosopher Aesop illustrated the principle, using a dog, a bone and a reflection.

A dog carrying a bone saw his reflection in a stream.  The bone in the reflection’s mouth looked bigger and more succulent to the dog, so he opened his mouth to try and take the “other” dog’s bone, dropping his in the stream in the process.

It wasn’t greed — the dog didn’t want both bones — he wanted the “other” dog’s bone — he threw his own away without hesitation in order to get it.

That is how class warfare works.  Ultimately, it appeals to greed, but the way that it gets there is through envy.  There is no Commandment saying “Thou shalt not be greedy” because greed, in its purest form, is simply the desire to acquire.

Without the desire to acquire, there would be no motivation for anyone to work.  This is what the Bible says on that score:

“For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12)

Without the desire to acquire, there could be no wealth.  Without wealth, there could be no government, since government exists to protect wealth and private property.

What is prohibited by the Commandments is not greed, but covetousness, or envy.  One can be “greedy” for the acquisition of wealth or power without necessarily coveting someone else’s. 

And nowhere does the Bible equate the acquisition of wealth with sin.  Greed becomes a sin when the desire to acquire replaces the desire to please God.

It isn’t money that the Bible says is the “root of all evil.”  It is the love of money that is the root of all evil.

American capitalism would not work were it not for the existence of greed.  But Marxism, communism, socialism and pretty much all the other ‘isms’ operate by pitting one deadly sin against another. 

In Marxist thinking, “greed” is an evil, but “envy” is a virtue.

Assessment:

Conservative blogger and Townhall.com editor Katie Pavlich published a commentary profiling the findings of a Yale social study that divided liberals and conservatives according to their measure of happiness.

Actually, she profiled a PBS report that not only discussed the Yale study’s conclusions, but challenged them by replicating the study on a tiny scale.  PBS News Hour correspondent Paul Solman asked the question, “On a scale of one to four, with four being the happiest, how happy are you?”

Solman took his question first to members of the conservative think-tank, The American Enterprise Institute.  All of the conservatives with whom he spoke rated their happiness level at three and a half or four. 

Then he took the same question to an Occupy DC encampment, where he found a guy drinking a five dollar cup of Starbuck’s coffee and asked him to rate his happiness level. 

The protestor with the five-dollar cup of coffee rated his happiness level at one, since it was the lowest choice he was offered.

Why?  Solman prompted him; “Are you unhappy, do you think, because of the inequality, economic inequality in this country?”  Says man drinking five-dollar cup of coffee, “Yes.”

Solman sought out other protestors, including a woman who was “angry” at “the system” because the system is “not fair.”

“Everybody here at this Occupy movement is here because they have had enough. So, they’re angry. And chances are, you know, people here are very unhappy with the way that our society works. I believe that things should be equal, or people should have more of an opportunity to become closer to the 1 percent, because, right now, it’s like the 1 percent is the 1 percent, the 99 is the 99, and we kind of don’t stand a chance.”

Conservatives, according to the Yale study, believe exactly the opposite.  They believe in America as a “meritocracy” — which the study’s author defined as “a belief that anybody who works hard can make it.”

Moreover, found the study, the belief in meritocracy was the biggest predictor of happiness, whereas believers in “social justice” were reliably the most unhappy.

Conservatives were happier for a number of reasons, according to the Yale study.  Conservatives are more likely to be married, which boosts happiness.  Conservatives are more likely to be Christians, which the study also says boosts happiness.

“Conservatives think that fairness is one in which outcomes are based on merit and people start with more or less equal opportunities, or at least we’re working for equal opportunities. If you believe those things, and you see that some person makes more than others or the top 1 percent is breaking away than the bottom 99 percent, that’s not going to affect your happiness very much at all,” noted conservative Arthur Brooks at the AEI.

But if you are a liberal, then you are more likely to be envious, the study finds, and that DOES throw a big damper on happiness.  It didn’t always, according to the study’s author, Jaime Napier.  She told Solman in the interview that her study found ideology was now a reliable predictor of happiness.

Napier: “in 1974, the difference between liberals and conservatives on happiness wasn’t statistically significant. It was, basically, ideology didn’t predict happiness in 1974.”
Solman: “And today, it does?”
Napier: “And today, it definitely does.”

The PBS report was surprisingly balanced, given the topic.  Solman asked another Occupy protestor why he thought conservatives were happier.

“It’s pretty obvious that conservatives represent the interests of the rich, I mean, for the most part. So, people with money generally are happier and generally like to say, well, I got to where I am because I worked hard or parents, whatever, and anybody else, well, they must not have worked hard enough.”

Except that it isn’t true.  In the main, liberals are generally wealthier than conservatives.  What makes conservatives seem richer is their level of contentment with their lot in life.  When a conservative sees someone else becoming successful, they are energized and motivated to work harder towards their own success.

When a liberal sees someone else becoming more successful than they, they become resentful and angry and are more inclined to demand a share of someone else’s success than they are seek their own.  That’s what the study found.

The Obama administration has openly and unashamedly adopted Marxist class warfare as their battle strategy for the upcoming election.  But this Yale study shows why it will not work — at least for now.

According to most polls, conservatives outnumber liberals in America by a factor of almost two to one.  Conservatives outnumber moderates as well, although not by quite as high a margin

The majority of conservatives are conservative Christians, whereas the majority of liberals place little or no importance on religion.  So that is why Obama and the American Marxists are finding their class warfare tactics less effective than they had expected.

It also serves to illustrate a point of doctrine.  In his Second Letter to the Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul is debunking a heresy that had crept into the Church at Thessolonika that the Lord had returned for His Church and that they had been left behind.

“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-2)

The Apostle goes on to list some of reasons by which they could know that they had not been left behind, not the least of which is that the Holy Spirit was still at work within the Church, restraining evil.

“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only He who now letteth will let, until He be taken out of the way.” (2 Thessalonians 2:7)

“Iniquity” or lawlessness is one of the trademarks of this administration, so it is clearly already at work, but it can only go so far before, like its effort to promote Marxism, it runs into the brick wall that is the Church.

Class warfare cannot work without class consciousness, which only works when one class is so envious of another that envy replaces logic. 

That is the phenomenon in which employees run their own employers out of business or out of the country and then blame the “system” when they lose their jobs.

Since there are more conservatives than there are liberals, class warfare is of only limited use.  But when the Holy Spirit is taken out of the way, so too, are the vessels that He indwells.

What will be left behind will be a majority of unhappy liberal class warriors.

Until then, however, there are just too many Christians and they are just too darned contented with what they have to buy into the Lie.  And so Karl Marx and Barack Obama — and their spiritual mentor — are all kept at bay. 

Until we be taken out of the way, together with our Spiritual Mentor.

 “And THEN shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming. . . ” (2nd Thessalonians 2:8)

Maranatha! (“The Lord is coming.)

Does Jesus Beat His Wife?

Does Jesus Beat His Wife?
Vol: 123 Issue: 14 Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Throughout the New Testament, the word translated as ‘mystery’ comes from the Greek ‘musterion‘ which literally means ‘secret’ or ‘hidden thing’.

“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” (1st Corinthians 15:53)

In our modern English, however, ‘mystery’ is understood in the Agatha Christie or Sherlock Holmesian sense of the word. 

The Apostle Paul cannot therefore be referring to the Second Coming of Christ in this passage.  The truth of the Second Coming was revealed by Christ previously and therefore does not qualify.

The Second Coming was prophesied even before His first advent. Daniel 12:1-3; Zechariah 12:10; 14:4 all mention the 2nd Coming, and Jude quotes Enoch, the “seventh from Adam” who “prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints.” (Jude 1:14)

The Rapture, therefore, is the previously unrevealed secret, a ‘hidden thing’ of God previously unknown to men and not His triumphant return at the end of the Tribulation Period. 

As the end of this present Age approaches, there are many Christians who are beginning to wonder if we might already be in the Tribulation now.

We aren’t.  Here is how you can be sure.  You are reading this page instead of partying at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. 

There are lots and lots of folks who think I am way out there for adhering to a pre-Tribulationist doctrine.  (I know this to be true, also, because I get emails from them every time I comment on the Rapture, saying, “Kinsella, you’re way out there!”)

They’ll go on smugly (and endlessly), playing word games like ‘the word ‘Rapture’ isn’t even in the Bible’ as if that meant something.

(Try and find the word ‘Bible’ in the Bible.  Does its absence mean there’s no Bible?) 

Or babble mindlessly about Margarent MacDonald and C.I. Schofield, before pronouncing Dispensationalism and a pre-Trib Rapture a modern-day ‘invented’ doctrine.

I say ‘mindlessly’ because they don’t know what they are talking about — they are just quoting somebody else’s research as if it were the Gospel itself. 

Instead of building the argument based on what the Bible doesn’t say about the Rapture, it is helpful to take a good close look at what it DOES tell us about the Rapture. 

First, notice that the Rapture involves the movement of believers from the earth to Heaven: 

“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 4:17

The ‘dead in Christ’ rise first, those believers who are ‘alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds.  The operative word here is ‘rise’. 

At the Second Coming, the Lord returns WITH His saints.  That’s what Jude said.  That’s what Paul said. 

“To the end He may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.” (1st Thessalonians 3:13)

At the Rapture, the Lord comes for His saints.  So the Rapture is not the same event as the Second Coming.  In one instance, believers rise and in the other, they descend. 

Things that are different are NOT the same, and the Rapture and the Second Coming are clearly different. 

What would be the point of Rapturing the Church after the Tribulation, anyway?  The Lord returns to establish His kingdom on earth, so why pull out all the Christians before He can do so?  If they are all changed at the end of the Tribulation, then who, exactly, is left for Him to rule over?

“And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And He shall set the sheep on His right Hand, but the goats on the left.” (Matthew 25:32-33)

If all the believers are raptured at the Second Coming, that would also include the Tribulation saints.  Where would the believers in mortal bodies come from if they are raptured at the Second Coming?

Who would be able to enter into Christ’s Kingdom?

Then there is Daniel’s 70 weeks.  The Church was absent for the first sixty-nine weeks — the countdown was suspended at the Cross so the Church could be born.  Daniel makes it clear that all 70 weeks are determined ‘upon Israel’. 

Revelation 19:7-8 says,

“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.”

If the Bride is made ready to accompany Christ to the earth at the Second Coming, (while part of the bride is still on earth during the Tribulation) then how does the Bride (the church) also come with Christ at His Return? 

When we were at the pre-Trib conference in Dallas, one of our OL members, Barb Hvasta, said something that I had never considered.  One can spend so much time out in the weeds on this subject that the screamingly obvious can slip right by, unnoticed.  

Of all the arguments offered at the conference for how we can know that the Lord comes back for His Bride before the first seal judgment (the revelation of the antichrist), Barb nailed it the best — and in a single sentence!

“Arguing that the Lord would put the Bride of Christ through the Tribulation is like getting engaged and then beating your bride senseless in order to prepare her for the wedding.”

Indeed!  What kind of loving Bridegroom would subject His Bride to the worst beating imaginable (as Jesus Himself described it).

The Rapture is actually among the oldest doctrines in the Bible, along with the fall of mankind and the promise of a Savior.  

“And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” (Genesis 5:24)

Not only does Enoch prefigure the Rapture, note that Enoch’s Rapture was pre-Flood, not mid-Flood, or post-Flood. 

The Scriptures are plain, clear and concise on the topic of a pre-Tribulation Rapture — provided one interprets the Bible literally, instead of figuratively or symbolically. 

While no man knows the day or the hour of the Rapture, the Second Coming can be accurately predicted, since Daniel tells us He returns exactly 1,290 days after the antichrist sits in the Mercy Seat in the Temple and announces that He is God; 

“opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:4

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

The pre-Tribulation Rapture is often called the “Blessed Hope” by those who look for His return before the Tribulation begins.  Those who believe the Church will go through the Tribulation sneeringly call it the ‘Great Escape’. 

Don’t let anybody steal away your Blessed Hope:

“For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” (1st Corinthians 15:16-19)

The Rapture happens before the Tribulation, which means that He is coming for us soon! It isn’t a Great Escape — it is instead the original hope and change. 

The pre-Trib reading offers us hope that the Lord will change us and so shall we ever be with the Lord, which is why Paul closed with 1 Thessalonians 4:18:

“Wherfore comfort one another with these words.” 

Any other reading makes the Lord out to be a wife-beater and our hope is then that He will change after the Tribulation is over.  I find precious little comfort in that scenario.

Even if I do deserve the beating. 

A House Divided

A House Divided
Vol: 123 Issue: 13 Tuesday, December 13, 2011

As the 1980 Silly Season began to unfold, President Jimmy Carter’s poll numbers were so low that some joked that Carter couldn’t win re-election if his opponent was Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini.

Instead of being the DNC’s automatic candidate for re-election, Carter found himself in a bitter primary fight to recapture the nomination.

Several Democrat challengers threw their hats into the ring; Senator William Proxmire, Lyndon LaRouche, California governor (“Moonbeam”) Jerry Brown and Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts.

The primary fight eventually narrowed down to Carter and Kennedy, who spent the rest of the primary season trashing each other right up to the convention floor in August. 

When Kennedy finally withdrew, it was only after a last-ditch attempt to steal Carter’s previously-committed delegates failed spectacularly.

Kennedy boycotted Carter’s acceptance speech and pointedly refused to offer the traditional gesture of party unity by raising Carter’s hand like a boxing referee proclaiming a winner.

In the end, the two politicians so damaged one another that Carter lost the White House to Ronald Reagan and Kennedy lost the Senate majority to the Republicans.

The vicious nomination fight so split the Democrats that they lost the majority they had held since the 1930’s and didn’t get it back for another three decades.

While the analogy isn’t perfect, I can’t help but recall it as I watch the history rhyme unfold, this time by the Republicans. 

The Republican Party, which inherited majority control of both Houses and White House from Teddy Kennedy, is well on the way to convincing itself it would rather have Barack Obama than any of its own candidates.

Watching the GOP hopefuls ‘debate’ is painful — I am so sick of listening to them explain what is wrong with each other instead of what is right about them that at the moment, I hope none of them gets the nod.

Of course, one of them will.  It is too late for anyone else to jump in, the filing deadlines for the GOP primaries have all passed. 

So the GOP candidate will be either Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Michelle Bachmann, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, ad nauseum by which time, we will probably all hate him as much as his opponents seem to hate him now.  (Or her, but the odds favor it being a him.)

As it stands at the moment, then, it will be a contest between two deeply flawed candidates, about one of whom we will know too much, versus one of whom we still know too little.

Obama’s known history, his secret past, his economic performance, his seventeen vacations, his foreign policy . . . his record of underachievement is unmatched in contemporary presidential history.

One would think that the GOP could nominate anybody — Bozo the Clown, Thurston Howell III, Howdy Doody, Flipper or Rin Tin Tin and still beat Barak Hussein Obama. 

But evidently not Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Michelle Bachmann, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, ad nauseum.

Assessment:

According to the Right Scoop, if Newt Gingrich is nominated and Ron Paul runs as a third party candidate Glenn Beck says that he will vote for Ron Paul — or at least, he says he would consider it.  

Once again, Glenn Beck is showing a side of himself I would have much preferred not to see.

There are two main front-runners in the GOP race — Gingrich and Beck’s coreligionist, Mitt Romney.

Glenn Beck has made a second career out of his dedication to the State of Israel.  His “Restoring Courage Jerusalem” Tour was billed as a political event in which Americans from all persuasions banded together to travel to Israel to show their support for the Jewish State.

Newt Gingrich pledged that as one of his first official acts, he would move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.  Gingrich is the only serious politician in the country to admit that the “Palestinian people” is an historical fiction.

Ron Paul believes that America should abandon Israel as an unnecessary foreign entanglement.  He opposes giving Israel any foreign or military aid and denies America has any moral responsibility for Israel’s continued existence.

Of the candidates in the field, Gingrich is the only one to offer Israel his unqualified support.  But Beck says he would vote for Ron Paul as a third party candidate?  It would appear to call into question his ‘unqualified’ stand with Israel.

In the event Ron Paul were to launch a third party candidacy, it would split the Republican vote the way that Teddy Roosevelt split the vote in 1912, taking enough votes from William Howard Taft to hand the White House to Woodrow Wilson.

It would do for Barack Obama what Ross Perot did for Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996.  It is worth remembering that Clinton won the White House twice without ever getting a majority vote.  Ross Perot was far too right wing to attract any Democrats.

In both races, had Perot not run, Clinton would have lost.  Ron Paul has a strong base of support among conservative Republicans, but to the general public, Ron Paul represents the lunatic fringe.  

In a general election, Ron Paul might get Glenn Beck’s vote and maybe most of Glenn Beck’s audience’s vote.

Let’s be generous and say that Ron Paul could get most, or even all, of the conservative vote. None of those votes will come from Obama’s base or the centrist independent vote. 

Assuming that Ron Paul could get the votes of every single conservative in the whole country, that would not be enough to win in the general election.  But it would take enough votes from the GOP candidate to hand the election to Barack Hussein Obama.

Ann Coulter published a column in which she trashed Newt Gingrich on almost every level imaginable. 

As I read it, I couldn’t help but think about how that will influence GOP voters, should Gingrich become the nominee.  Based on what Coulter wrote,  I would stay home before I’d vote for Gingrich.  

It is a conundrum for a Christian that wants to vote his values.  In elections past, some simply threw away their votes, as was advocated by Joseph Farah in his book, None of the Above.  

”I am urging Americans this year not to vote for either major-party candidate – because neither Barack Obama nor John McCain understand, appreciate and revere the charter that serves as the very basis for our unique form of government,” says the book promo.

Farah’s target was John McCain the way that Beck’s and Coulter’s is Newt Gingrich.  Nobody can argue that strategy didn’t benefit Barack Hussein Obama the first time around.

John McCain was a proven war hero, but by the time his own party was finished trashing him, he couldn’t beat an unknown political acolyte whose campaign promised skyrocketing energy prices, failed military outcomes and higher taxes.

Obama is now a known quantity, with an abysmal track record and nowhere to hide from it.  It is impossible to imagine that he could win another term.  Especially since an incumbent Obama would have no political restraints. 

But based on the silly season so far, it is just possible that the GOP will defeat their own candidate before he even gets the nomination. 

A Good Start

A Good Start
Vol: 123 Issue: 12 Monday, December 12, 2011

I am not sure how most Americans would characterize Newt Gingrich’s statement last week that the Palestinians are an “invented people” but my own opinion is also the punch line to the joke, “what do you call a busload of lawyers at the bottom of the sea?”

The punch line is, of course, “A good start.”

It is a good start because it is a true statement and there hasn’t been a true statement emanating from the White House concerning the Arab-Israel peace process since Bill Clinton forced Yitzhak Rabin to grasp the blood-soaked hand of Yasser Arafat during the 1993 Rose Garden signing ceremony that the White House called a prelude to ‘peace in our time’.

Of course, Oslo brought nothing of the kind.  What Oslo did was take the initiative away from Israel and hand it over the Palestinians, who used it to create the illusion of peace being stifled by some nebulous Israeli ‘occupation.’

Gingrich also called the Palestinians “terrorists” — a comment that the Arab League was quick to condemn as ‘racist’. 

“If an Arab or Palestinian official said a racist comment that was one-millionth of what this U.S. candidate said, the world would have been in continuous uproar,” said Mohammed Sobeih, the Arab League official who handles Palestinian affairs. Gingrich’s comments were “irresponsible and dangerous,” he added.

The former Speaker did not say anything about race.  He was referring to the fact that the first chance they got, they elected a terrorist organization to represent them.

So it is hard to see how stating the obvious can be construed as ‘racist’ — except from the perspective of the Arab position that Jews have no right to exist because they are Jews. 

But it has been my experience that the first one to shout “racist” is generally the racist in the room.   

There is a lot of truth to the child’s retort, “It takes one to know one.”  What race are the “Palestinian” people? Answer: Arab. 

What ‘race’ are the Jews?  Answer: Black, white, brown, yellow, Indian, Eurasian, Oriental, African, Arab, American, Russian, Spanish, English, French, Italian, and pretty much every other race.   

Do Arabs live inside Israel?  Yes, as Arab-Israeli citizens with the right to vote, full representation at the Knesset, freedom of speech and all the rest of the rights of citizenship enjoyed by Israeli Jews.

Do Jews live inside what the Palestinians are claiming as their state’s territory, formerly known as Judea and Samaria?  Yes, under guard, surrounded by enemies, under constant attack and under international condemnation.  

One of the conditions demanded by the Palestinians is that their new state be Judenrein, a Nazi word meaning “Jew-free.”  The UN has never passed a resolution condemning the Arabs for racism or discrimination against Jews. 

Racism is a epithet reserved for the Jews or their supporters, which at the UN generally means the US, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands. 

What is the historical justification for hating the Jews?  The Jews never tried to conquer the world.  That was the Germans.  The Jews have no theological mandate to force Judaism on unwilling Gentiles — that is Islam’s mandate.

Jews have no history of conquest and oppression — it was Europeans shoveling Jews into ovens, not the other way around. 

The Jews didn’t force half the world into slavery and try to enslave the other half by force – that was the Russians.

The Jews didn’t conduct periodic pogroms in which they slaughtered Russians by the thousands with impunity – it was the other way around.

The world denies that the Jewish Question is a spiritual conflict, but apart from the spiritual dimension, there is no other explanation that makes sense.  If Israel was a person, it would not yet be old enough to apply for Social Security benefits.  It hasn’t had time to earn such unpopularity.

The Organization of the Islamic Conference includes fifty-seven openly Islamic states.  The Arab League consists of twenty ethnic Arab countries.  What is wrong with one Jewish state? 

The answer is found within the question.  To the world, what is wrong is that it is a JEWISH State.  There is nothing about the Jewish state that runs contrary to the aims and purposes of Western democratic ideals or the stated aims and purposes of the United Nations.

Except that it is Jewish.

Assessment:

The exact state of affairs Israel finds itself in today was described in detail by King David three thousand years before the fact;

“They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away. O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee.” [Psalms 69:4-5]

To his everlasting credit, Gingrich did not back down from his historically accurate assertion once the firestorm started:

“Is what I said factually correct? Yes. Is it historically true? Yes,” said Gingrich, a former college history professor, drawing applause as he said it was time someone spoke the truth about the nature of Israel’s struggle with the Palestinians.

“Somebody ought to have the courage to tell the truth. These people are terrorists,” he said. “It’s fundamentally time for somebody to have the guts to stand up and say, ‘Enough lying about the Middle East’.”

It is a matter of historical FACT that prior to the midpoint of the 20th century, the term ‘Palestinian’ was a pejorative term for a Jew. Indeed, according to an official British historical analysis conducted in 1920, ‘Palestine’ was populated, not by Arabs, but by a “heterogeneous” community with no “Palestinian” identity, according to the website, “Palestinian Facts.”

The people west of the Jordan are not Arabs, but only Arabic-speaking.  The bulk of the population are fellahin…. In the Gaza district they are mostly of Egyptian origin; elsewhere they are of the most mixed race.

The 1911 edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica finds the “population” of Palestine composed of so “widely differing” a group of “inhabitants” — whose “ethnological affinities” create “early in the 20th century a list of no less than fifty languages” that “it is therefore no easy task to write concisely … on the ethnology of Palestine.” In addition to the “Assyrian, Persian and Roman” elements of ancient times, “the short-lived Egyptian government introduced into the population an element from that country which still persists in the villages.” There are very large contingents from the Mediterranean countries, especially Armenia, Greece and Italy . . . Turkoman settlements … a number of Persians and a fairly large Afghan colony . . . Motawila … long settled immigrants from Persia … tribes of Kurds … German “Templar” colonies … a Bosnian colony … and the Circassian settlements placed in certain centres … by the Turkish government in order to keep a restraint on the Bedouin … a large Algerian element in the population … still maintain(s) [while] the Sudanese have been reduced in numbers since the beginning of the 20th century.

This is not revised history — it is history before the revisionists got their hands on it.

Most of the founders of Zionism knew that Palestine (the Land of Israel) had a small Arab population, though some spoke naively of “a land without a people for a people without a land”. Still, only few regarded the Arab presence as a real obstacle to the fulfillment of Zionism. At that time in the late 19th century, Arab nationalism did not yet exist in any form, and the Arab population of Palestine was sparse and apolitical.

What I found fascinating was not so much the anger of the Arab League as it was the angry response from the American Left.  Gingrich pricked them right on their sore spot, causing their cognitive dissonance to start throbbing.

“Cognitive dissonance” is defined as that uncomfortable feeling that comes from trying to balance two disparate positions on the same subject.  For example, there are the things that you know, deep in your heart, based on what your intellect and observations tell you is true.

For example, your intellect and observations tell you that people that use little kids as human bombs are terrorists.  People that fire unguided ballistic rockets into civilian areas with no military targets are terrorists.

People that hide weapons caches in civilian neighborhoods and use hospitals and schools as sniper stations or rocket launching facilities, hoping to invite counter attacks that kill innocents are terrorists.

People that choose, in their first truly democratic elections, a known terrorist group sworn to the destruction of another people as their reason for existing, (Hamas) are terrorists, not democrats.

This is what you know to be the truth, as a consequence of combining your observations with your intellect.  

This must be balanced with the politically correct notion that the perpetrators of terror are really the victims and the victims of terror are really the terrorists.  When Hamas fires rockets indiscriminately into Israeli civilian areas and through dumb luck, avoid striking a hospital or school, they are freedom fighters.

When they DO hit a hospital or school, the politically correct explanation is that they “missed” their “intended target” by accident. 

When Israel retaliates against a launch point hidden in a civilian apartment complex, hospital or school, the politically correct response is to accuse them of deliberately targeting civilians.

Everything that logic, experience, common sense and your own observations tell you say that if the Palestinians didn’t attack, Israel would not retaliate.  But the politically correct observation is that Israel refuses to break the ‘cycle of violence.’

Nobody likes to feel stupid.  So when it is pointed out to them, they get angry.  The more obviously stupid their position, the angrier they get, which is why we so often hear of the “angry Left.”

Walking around all day trying to balance two conflicting ‘truths’ HAS to be painful. 

Can you imagine how difficult it must be to be a member of the “tolerant Left”?  How does one ‘tolerate’ such ‘intolerant’ views as those expressed by Gingrich?   

That is what puts the “dissonance” in ‘cognitive dissonance’.  “Cognitive” means “thought” or “thinking” whereas “dissonance” means “inconsistency” or “instability.”

How does one claim the mantle of “tolerance” while refusing to tolerate a statement one knows from one’s observations, logic and history to be 100% verifiably historically accurate without sounding intolerant?

It isn’t easy.  Indeed, trying to hold two opposite opinions at the same time used to be considered a psychiatric condition.  

It still should be.

Render Unto Ceasar. . .

Render Unto Ceasar. . .
Vol: 123 Issue: 10 Saturday, December 10, 2011

To be “sovereign” means to have supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory or country.  In centuries past, the concept of sovereignty was linked to the ability to act in the best interests of sovereign citizens.

From time immemorial, the definition of a sovereign was two-fold.  Only a sovereign had the power to levy taxes or to put a man to death.

The Treaty of Wesphalia signed in 1648 set forth the basic principles of sovereignty, but all spring from those two basic powers.  The power to impose taxes, or tribute, is the bedrock definition of sovereignty.

The Jews of Israel at the time of Jesus were NOT sovereign citizens, but rather, citizens under foreign occupation. 

That they were not sovereign is clearly established in Matthew 22:15-21 where the Pharisees attempt to trip Jesus up by tricking Him into making either a blasphemous or a politically insurgent statement.

The Pharisees asked Jesus if it was lawful for Jews to pay tribute (taxes) to Rome.  The Pharisees hoped to trick Him into a yes or no answer.  If He answered “Yes” then He was open to charges that He accepted Ceasar’s sovereign rule instead of God’s.

If He answered “No” then he was open to charges of subverting Ceasar’s sovereign authority — the charge for which He was eventually brought before Pilate anyway.  

The Jews had to bring Him before Pilate because lacking sovereign authority, the Jewish courts had no authority to sentence someone to death on their own.  Jesus’ reply settled the issue of legal sovereignty under God this way:

“But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye Me, ye hypocrites? Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto Him a penny. And He saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto Him, Caesar’s. Then saith He unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” (Matthew 22:18-21)

What does this verse teach us?  Among other things, it defines political sovereignty as the authority to levy taxes. Since Ceasar was the political sovereign of the time, Jesus said it was lawful to pay tribute, or taxes, as a recognition of his sovereignty.

It was Ceasar’s system and Ceasar’s government and therefore Ceasar’s money to begin with.

“When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left Him, and went their way.” (Matthew 22:22)

This passage, taken together with Romans 13, is interpreted to mean that Christians are required to pay taxes to the sovereign authority that has the power to levy them.  

But it also defines “sovereign authority” as the authority to levy taxes, or as this Scripture puts it, to demand “tribute” as a recognition of his sovereign authority.

The Jews had their own money, but they used Ceasar’s when it benefitted them and they used Ceasar’s government when it benefitted them.  In return, Ceasar let them pretend they were sovereign, except in matters of importance to Ceasar.

Assessment:

This week, the UN’s Climate Summit in Durban called for the creation of an “International Court of Climate Justice” under the authority of a UN bureaucracy that would force the West to pay a “climate debt” in the form of a tax that would make “reparations” to Third World nations for messing up their part of the world with our nasty old technology.

The UN has decided that the West (meaning primarily, America) has an historical burden of responsibility to fix the “problem” of global warming.  

Global warming has begun to reverse itself naturally, as we discussed yesterday. But global warming has taken on the status of a religious faith — to a True Believer, questioning man-made global warming is a form of heresy.

If the UN is going to make its push for sovereign recognition, this is the ONE issue that will make it happen.  The UN once tried to unite the world under its authority to protect us from UFOs and extra terrestrials, but that didn’t really work out. 

It has tried to unite the world under its authority on religious grounds, suggesting that the world’s religions would be less dangerous if they were governed by a central, supra-national authority.  But the only religion suited to such a system is the eco-religion of earth worship.

The UN has tried to unite the world under its authority by stressing eco-religion and internationalism since its inception, beginning by indoctrinating educators. Assistant US Secretary of State William Benton addressed a UNESCO meeting in 1946, outlining UN planners’ long-term outlook for the newly created body:

“As long as the child breathes the poisoned air of nationalism, education in world-mindedness can produce only precarious results. As we have pointed out, it is frequently the family that infects the child with extreme nationalism. The school should therefore use the means described earlier to combat family attitudes that favor jingoism . . . . We shall presently recognize in nationalism the major obstacle to development of world-mindedness. We are at the beginning of a long process of breaking down the walls of national sovereignty. UNESCO must be the pioneer.”

The first “Earth Day” held on Vladimir Lenin’s birthday in 1970, was viewed primarily as a “flower power” festival for hippies, but the hippies of 1970 became the legislators of the 80’s, 90’s and today.

As a consequence, the 1970s witnessed an unprecedented explosion in the number of environmental organizations and in the number of people who joined and supported these organizations.

The Trilateral Commission published a book entitled Beyond Interdependence: The Meshing of the World’s Economy and the Earth’s Ecology, by Jim MacNeil.

David Rockefeller wrote the foreword; Maurice Strong wrote the introduction. Strong said:

“This interlocking . . . is the new reality of the century, with profound implications for the shape of our institutions of governance, national and international. By the year 2012, these changes must be fully integrated into our economic and political life.”

And now, here we are, on the cusp of 2012 and the New York Times has come out in support of the Durban Summit’s proposal for a “modest global tax” that the NYTimes calls, the “Robin Hood Tax.”

The piece is headed by a picture of a group of French Useful Idiots wearing Robin Hood hats. 

“They call it the Robin Hood tax — a tiny levy on trades in the financial markets that would take money from the banks and give it to the world’s poor. And like the mythical hero of Sherwood Forest, it is beginning to capture the public’s imagination.”

By “the public” the New York Times means, Occupy Wall Streeters, college kids with no life experience, Marxist theologians, socialist leaders and the self-loathing rich . . .

“Driven by populist anger at bankers as well as government needs for more revenue, the idea of a tax on trades of stocks, bonds and other financial instruments has attracted an array of influential champions, including the leaders of France and Germany, the billionaire philanthropists Bill Gates and George Soros, former Vice President Al Gore, the consumer activist Ralph Nader, Pope Benedict XVI and the archbishop of Canterbury.”

The Europeans evidently love the idea of granting sovereign powers to the United Nations, primarily because to Europeans, sovereignty is cheap.  They’ve given it away, had it taken away, had others win it back for them, only to give it away again, for most of their long existence.

“There is some momentum behind this,” said Simon Tilford, chief economist of the Center for European Reform in London. “If they keep the show on the road, they probably will attempt to run with this.”

Joining them from this side of the pond are the usual collections of looters and moochers. . . .

“The Robin Hood tax has also become a rallying point for labor unions, nongovernmental organizations and the Occupy Wall Street movement, which view it as a way to claw back money from the top 1 percent to help the other 99 percent.”

The Obama administration has expressed sympathy — in principle — with surrendering the sovereign authority to exact tribute (or taxes) over to the United Nations.

“The Obama administration has also been lukewarm, expressing sympathy but saying it would be hard to execute, could drive trading overseas and would hurt pension funds and individual investors in addition to banks.”

“Administration officials say they would prefer a tax on the assets of the largest banks as a way to discourage them from risky activities.”

It reads like a chapter from Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” with the looters and the moochers clamoring to take what is not theirs, with one union leader equating their demands to Old West bank robber Jesse James.

“Labor groups like the nurses’ union and the A.F.L.-C.I.O. see the tax as a way to finance job creation programs to fight high unemployment in the United States and Europe.”

I found this following quote particularly revealing.  To looters and moochers, rich people are not like real people, but rather, they are some kind of “other” worthy of hatred, (like Jews).  To moochers and looters, a tax on financial transactions would only hurt the rich, and not “ordinary people.”

“British actor Bill Nighy, who has made online videos promoting the tax, calls it a beautiful idea. “It would raise enough money to solve problems at home and overseas, and it could do it without hurting ordinary people,” he said.”

In 1934, Hitler and the Nazis personified ‘the rich’ as ‘the Jews’ allowing him to blame the Jews for all Germany’s economic woes without alienating his rich allies. 

To the modern global fascist, “the rich” and “the Jews” are still synonymous, excepting those billionaires like George Soros and Bill Gates whose fortunes are so huge they can afford to be fascists.

The Bible says that by the time the antichrist arrives on the scene, there will be some form of global government in waiting, headquartered out of Rome, whose power and authority is not military, but financial.

“And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.” (Revelation 6:2)

The rider on the white horse is the antichrist.  He sets out on a campaign of conquest, and successfully conquers, but note his weapons.  A bow without arrows.  It depicts a bloodless conquest.

Revelation 13 reveals the mechanism of conquest and control as a centralized economy that is overseen by a religious authority.  In Revelation 13:11 we are introduced to the False Prophet. Read down through Revelation 13:11-18.

The antichrist is the one worshipped.  It is the False Prophet that demands worship in exchange for the Mark, not the antichrist.

So let’s summarize.  The UN is seeking sovereign authority via the religion of global warming, which enjoys the support of the Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the champions of the Far Left Marxist concept of “social justice’.

The UN hopes to gain that sovereign authority by imposing a centralized global financial tax that enjoys the complete political support of European socialism and is primarily aimed at the West; not the Kings of the East, the Russian Gog, or the Third World kings of the south.

The Bible says that the government of antichrist will be headquartered in Europe, and will NOT include Russia, China or any part of what is today the Third World, but ONLY the industrialized West (Europe, USA, Canada, etc.)

And so it goes.  The signs continue to pile up. . .  almost to the point where we can’t see them anymore because they are so ubiquitous.  Like being unable to see the forest for the trees.  

Twenty years ago, a story like this one would take one’s breath away with its specific and detailed relevance to the prophecies of the coming antichrist.  Today, it barely rates a mention.

We’ve become so used to seeing the prophecies of the Bible come alive on our TV screens and newspaper headlines that we’ve become numb to what they actually signify.

The Bible is true.  These are the last days.  We can practically hear the footsteps of the antichrist coming down the hall. 

And it is THIS generation that will not pass until ALL these things are fulfilled.  

Maranatha!

”The IPCC Says It, I Believe It, That Settles It!”

”The IPCC Says It, I Believe It, That Settles It!”
Vol: 123 Issue: 9 Friday, December 9, 2011

According to a report issued by the Appalachian State University, global carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels have surged to record levels in the past two years, after having fallen slightly when the economic crash caused a temporary reduction in emissions.

In their annual analysis published in the journal Nature Climate Change, scientists working on the Global Carbon Project (GCP) say emerging economies continue to dominate growth in the world’s carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels, which rose 5.9 percent in 2010 and that have increased by 49 percent since 1990, the year the Kyoto Protocol established as the baseline for targets to limit emissions.

“Many saw the global financial crisis as an opportunity to move the global economy away from persistent and high emissions growth, but the return to emissions growth in 2010 suggests the opportunity was not exploited,” said the report’s lead author, Dr. Glen Peters of the Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research in Norway.

As a result of rising fossil fuel emissions, cement production, and deforestation, the atmospheric concentration of CO2, rose to 389.6 parts per million at the end of 2010, the highest level recorded in at least the last 800,000 years.

“It is clear that addressing the atmospheric increase in carbon dioxide is a global problem that needs global cooperation and a global solution,” said Dr. Gregg Marland, a co-author of the report and a research professor with Appalachian State University’s Research Institute for Environment, Energy and Economics.

Global emissions have risen an average of 3.1 percent a year from 2000 to 2010, a trend that is expected to continue in 2011.

“Global CO2 emissions since 2000 are tracking the high end of the projections used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which far exceed two degrees warming by 2100,” said co-author Dr. Corinne Le Quéré, director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, U.K.

“Yet governments have pledged to keep warming below two degrees, a level which would avoid the most dangerous aspects of climate change,” she said.

Really?  Can it really be true that global CO2 emissions are at the highest level recorded in 800,000 years?

How can we be sure that they weren’t maybe a teensy-weensy bit higher, oh, say, 362,116 years ago when Grok, the head of Environmental Sciences at Bedrock University, was reading CO2 levels at the environmental observation station near Mr. Slate’s Quarry?

If one goes to the Wikipedia entry on carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere, it says that,

“The present level is higher than at any time during the last 800 thousand years, and likely higher than in the past 20 million years.”

Twenty million years!  WOW!  Izzat ever high!  I didn’t even know that they could take readings twenty million years ago!  But just for grins, let’s pretend that maybe they can. 

Al Gore says the proper method is to take core readings by drilling down, and taking vegetation samples to see what the CO2 concentrations were at any given strata level.  I have a copy of his book, “Earth in the Balance” (I bought it for a dollar at a garage sale) open in front of me.

His C02 concentration figures as recorded in the 2000 reissue of his book says that C02 concentrations were the highest in 420,000 years, but in the newest version, copyrighted 2006, he says the levels are at their highest in 650,000 years.

Twenty million years, 800,000 years, 650,000 years, 420,000 years .  .  . which is it?  You see, that’s the trick.  Pick a number.  Any number, as long as it is impossibly long.  Let’s take Al Gore’s earliest figure of 420,000 years. 

So what Al Gore is arguing is that 418,000 years before Jesus was born, C02 levels were as high as they were in 1992 but now they are higher than they’ve been since 19,007,988 years before Jesus was born.

That means that in the past 20 years, using the numbers being proffered, CO2 levels have increased as much as they had in the previous 18,587,978 years.

We’d better do something . .  and fast.

Assessment:

The InterAcademy Panel, or, The Global Network of Science Academies (IAP) is a global network consisting of over 115 national science academies. Founded in 1993, its stated goal is to help member academies advise the public on the scientific aspects of critical global issues.

The IAP conducted a review of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and concluded that the panel made “substantive findings” that it could not prove.

“The review by the InterAcademy Council (IAC) was launched after the IPCC’s hugely embarrassing 2007 benchmark climate change report, which contained exaggerated and false claims that Himalayan glaciers could melt by 2035.”

“The panel was forced to admit its key claim in support of global warming was lifted from a 1999 magazine article. The report was based on an interview with a little-known Indian scientist who has since said his views were “speculation” and not backed by research.”

I don’t know. .  .  maybe the report was issued before CO2 levels reached their highest levels in 20,000,000 years?  (Was the earth warmer twenty million years ago?)

The chairman of the IPCC, Dr. Rajendra Pachuari issued a statement last year defending the IPCC report, saying,

“We have the highest confidence in the science behind our assessments. The scientific community agrees that climate change is real. Greenhouse gases have increased as a result of human activities and now far exceed pre-industrial values.”

“Pre-industrial values”?  How many million years ago is that?  I looked it up and Wikipedia calls it the period “between the 18th and 19th century.”

Just so we are all on the same page with the scientific community that recommends raising the cost of energy to such stratospheric levels (“under my plan, electricity rates will necessarily skyrocket“) we must reduce levels of C02 from the levels of 200 years ago, I mean, 420,000 years ago, I mean, 800,000 years ago, I mean, 20,000,000 years ago, or the whole planet is gonna melt.

After all, the levels of C02 were so high in 1992 that they were causing the planet to warm at alarming, unsustainable and destructive levels.  And now, they are higher than 20 MILLION years ago.

How much has all that C02 caused the temperature to rise?  Well, you just won’t believe it!  Now that the C02 concentrations are the highest since Grok the Weatherman took readings at Bedrock University, the global temperature has, well, fallen every year for the past decade.

If greenhouse gases are the cause of global warming, and greenhouse gases are caused by human consumption of energy, then how come the more energy we use and the more greenhouse gases accumulate in the atmosphere, the colder it gets?

Did anybody think to just count tree rings?  You don’t need expensive core-drilling techniques, or spend millions of dollars analyzing the result to determine if the planet is getting warmer or colder.  All you need is a chain saw and an abacus.

“A blockbuster Chinese study of Tibetan tree rings by Liu et al 2011 shows, with detail, that the modern era is a dog-standard normal climate when compared to the last 2,500 years. The temperature, the rate of change — it’s all been seen before. Nothing about the current period is “abnormal”, indeed the current warming period in Tibet can be produced through calculation of cycles. Liu et al do a Fourier analysis on the underlying cycles and do brave predictions as well.”

Where does C02 come from?  It comes from lots of places that the governments of the world would like to regulate and tax.  Take a deep breath.  Hol-l-l-l-d it in . . . now let it out!  Congratulations!  You have just increased the world’s CO2 emissions.

(“That’ll be $2.18 — please remit to the UN so it can undo the damage you’ve just done to the environment.  Thank you for doing what Jesus would do.“)

The rise in global C02 levels to the levels cited by Al Gore in 1992 should have raised the global temperatures a little bit, since levels have allegedly increased to levels not seen in twenty million years, but oddly, they are not.

I say “oddly” because to listen to the True Believers that advocate impoverishing their countrymen to reduce Co2 levels, the fact that global temperatures are cooling is meaningless. 

CO2 causes global warming and when C02 levels have peaked to impossible levels, then the earth is still warming, no matter what the temperature records say.

“The IPCC says it, and I believe it, so that settles it.”

That is a statement of faith, not a scientific conclusion.  Which is the entire point of today’s briefing.  Faith in global warming has gone well beyond the conclusions of science and plunged headfirst into the realm of religious faith.

It is a matter of religious duty for environmentalists to pay extra for energy consumption which is imported from Third World countries instead of mined domestically, because Third World emissions are not as harmful as the West’s emissions are, or something.

So Third World countries needn’t curb their emissions to prevent global warming — they’ve been victimized by the greedy West long enough . . . why should they have to suffer for Western excesses?  Or something. 

After all, “What would Jesus do?”

“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.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” (Luke 21:25-26)

Isn’t it interesting?  Because that is where the signs are.  In the sun.  And in the moon.  And in the stars.  But where is the secular focus?  On the sea and the waves roaring.

What is the response?  The distress of nations.  With perplexity.  Men’s hearts failing them for fear.  

Climate change is real enough, but it has another, far less terrifying, but more accurate name . . . weather.  The Lord Jesus never, ever said that there would actually be any changes in the sun, moon or stars, or that there was any malevolence involved with the sea or the roaring of the waves.

Indeed, the Bible promises exactly the opposite.

“While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:22)

Once these signs begin, the Lord offers this counsel:

Jesus said the sign wasn’t the sun, or the moon or the stars.  They cycle the way they have since He hung them there.  Jesus said that the sign was the fear and confusion that normal astronomical and meteorological cycles would engender — for just one generation, somewhere in time.

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

Did I mention that it was freezing the whole time we were in Dallas?