Skeptic Now Says Global Warming is Real

Skeptic Now Says Global Warming is Real
Vol: 127 Issue: 30 Monday, April 30, 2012

Until two years ago, Richard Muller was a skeptic when it came to global warming.  Indeed, the well-known physicist was best known for his stunning refutation of the whole global warming theory.

Muller’s research has been backed by the Koch brothers, among others, who put up about one-fourth of his research money.  The Koch brothers, Charles and David, run a large privately held company involved in oil and other industries. 

Since their enterprises produce significant quantities of greenhouse gases that keeps the EPA breathing down their necks, the fact the Koch brothers financed Muller’s research adds considerable gravitas to his conclusions.

Muller decided to conduct his own investigation into the claims about global warming following “Climategate” when email accounts from leading global warming proponents were hacked and released to the public.

The emails revealed what many skeptics (including this one) had long suspected.  If you offer research grants to scientists if their investigations lead to a desired conclusion, the more money you grant them, the more evidence they will find in order to keep the grant money flowing.

That’s what makes Muller’s conclusions so earth-shattering in the minds of the global warming proponents.  Here we have a guy that they figure was offered grant money to disprove global warming and his conclusions are that temperatures really are on the rise.

Muller found that temperatures are some 1.6 degrees warmer than they were in the 1950’s. Muller’s numbers, according to published reports, match those by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA.

Muller’s ultimate findings, released last October, are almost the same as those being offered by climate scientists and global warming True Believers since Al Gore first published “Earth in the Balance” back in 1989.

Most of the data for Gore’s book back in 1989 came from research commissioned by then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of the UK.  Thatcher was fighting a pitched battle with environmentalists of a planned UK expansion of nuclear power generating plants.

This was shortly after Three Mile Island and the environmentalists were winning the debate.  Thatcher then offered research grants to scientists seeking a link between fossil fuel emissions and global warming.

Of course, they were able to find links, and the more evidence they came up with, the more research money they ended up with until East Anglia University scored a permanent gig as the government’s go-to science guys whenever they needed to justify some unpopular government initiative.

All anybody had to do is link it to the fight against global warming and label dissenters “flat-earthers” or “heretics”.  

That is what bothered Muller and made him a skeptic.

Assessment:

The headlines are all about Muller’s miraculous conclusions that Al Gore was right.  Every news report is playing as if all the global warming science has been vindicated and all the objections have been handled. 

“Muller’s research team carefully examined two chief criticisms by skeptics. One is that weather stations are unreliable; the other is that cities, which create heat islands, were skewing the temperature analysis.

“The skeptics raised valid points and everybody should have been a skeptic two years ago,” Muller said in a telephone interview. “And now we have confidence that the temperature rise that had previously been reported had been done without bias.”

Muller said that he came into the study “with a proper skepticism,” something scientists “should always have. I was somewhat bothered by the fact that there was not enough skepticism” before.

There is no reason now to be a skeptic about steadily increasing temperatures, Muller wrote recently in The Wall Street Journal’s editorial pages, a place friendly to skeptics.

Is it true?  Have all the objections been handled?  I have read and read and read everything I can find about Muller’s investigation and the way it is being presented by the mainstream media, which has staked its credibility on the dangers posed by man-made global warming.

Most of the mainstream media headlines read just about the same; “Richard Muller, Global Warming Skeptic, Now Agrees Climate Change is Real.”   Typical of the spin are op-eds like this one:

“Richard Muller, a UC-Berkeley physicist, and until now a climate change skeptic, has announced that global warming is real. His review showed the average land temperature has increased 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit since the 1950s, a finding consistent with that of the International Panel on Climate Change.”

“This paper has reported on the head-in-the-sand crowd at the Heartland Institute in Chicago. Heartland is pushing a climate-denying curriculum for our children. Their books were cooked by Dr. David Wojick, whom Heartland describes as an environmental science researcher for the Department of Energy. But Wojick has never conducted a lick of research for the DOE, the agency said. Leaked documents show Heartland to be nothing more than a shill for the oil industry.”

Gee, doesn’t that sound even-handed?  Having cited Richard Muller and accusing the “head in the sand crowd” of “cooking the books” the op-ed goes on to cite an even higher Authority:

“We ignore Christ’s admonition about environmental stewardship at our peril. In so doing we may contemplate our children, when they get old, recollecting to their grandchildren how it used to snow here.”

I grew up in the Sixties — I recall winters that started in October and ended in May.  I already tell my grandchildren stories about walking to school knee-deep in snow.  (And in my case, it really was uphill — both ways.)

I live on the shores of Lake Erie where the headwaters of the Niagara River flow down to the Falls.  Every year, a joint US-Canadian energy consortium installs an “ice boom” that stretches across the mouth of the river from Fort Erie to Buffalo.

Its purpose is to prevent large ice floes from breaking off in the lake and interfering with the giant hydroelectric power production facilities near the Falls.   This year was the first year I can recall in my lifetime where Lake Erie never froze over.  

This is all very rich stuff and seems to utterly destroy climate change skepticism.  Here we have this famous physicist saying that global warming is real.   Wow! 

Except I agree with Muller.  Global warming IS real.  I never doubted that it was real.  How could I?  I pretty much agree with all of Muller’s conclusions, as Muller presents them.

Shocked?  Don’t be. 

The headlines say that Muller is no longer a “climate change skeptic” because he believes global warming is real.  But if one reads carefully, the spin slows down and guess what! 

“Muller did not address in his research the cause of global warming. The overwhelming majority of climate scientists say it’s man-made from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil. Nor did his study look at ocean warming, future warming and how much of a threat to mankind climate change might be.”

In other words, Muller simply acknowledged facts already in evidence and NOT in dispute.  Nothing about Muller’s conclusions suggests that global warming is in fact man-made, and so nothing about Muller’s conclusions are any different than the majority of climate change skeptics.

Even skeptics can tell that it was colder in Sixties, warmer in the Nineties and somewhat cooler since the turn of the century.  Even without looking up records. 

I need only look at my winter wardrobe — a mixture of parkas and spring jackets.

What is at issue is STILL at issue — what causes it — and is it permanent?  Nothing about Muller’s research changes the debate. 

All the most recent data shows that the Sun is heating up after a period of minimal activity that has lasted most of the 21st century.  And now that the Sun is heating up again (and we’re worrying about sunspots and electrical grids) it appears to be getting warmer again.

Not everywhere.  The glaciers that were shrinking a couple of decades ago are getting bigger again.  The ice caps that were shrinking are now increasing in size.  But it takes a few years of warmth to make them shrink and a few years of cooling to make them enlarge.

I often refer to it as “weather patterns”.  (And who knows? It might even catch on). 

As for the cause of global warming, this experiment can be recreated at will and it works every time.  Go outside at noon on a sunny day.  Record the temperature.  Go back out twelve hours later and take another reading at exactly the same place. 

What did you find?  My guess is that it was cooler at midnight.  Why?

Correct.  The cause of global warming is the sun.  Something Grok the caveman figured out all on his own, back before the advent of research grants.

If the cause of global warming is the sun, then all the money being thrown at “green” companies and “green” energy plans (that don’t work) is a waste.  So the debate ignores the sun as if it were irrelevant and instead, blames Western use of fossil fuels. 

Not China, or India or the former Soviet Union, none of whom are gullible enough to believe the nonsense, primarily because they don’t need climate change to scare their populations into going along — they have other, more convincing methods.

No, it is only the West that needs climate change in order to convince their populations to go along with the program, which, if one is paying attention, is to force the West to submit to some form of global authority empowered with the ability to pass laws, impose taxes and even make war in the name of saving the planet.

Note that it is the West in the crosshairs.  The Kings of the East, Gog-Magog and the Kings of the South aren’t in a panic about their own emissions, although they don’t mind sharing in our panic about ours.

Note also that it isn’t climate change that is the debate.  The debate is about whether or not it is man-made or part of existing weather patterns and cycles that go back as far as we can trace them in the fossil record.

The debate has been raging for almost a quarter-century.  Should we fear what appears to be coming upon the earth?  Or is it a case of confusion about the cause?  What is the cause? 

Well, signs in the sun seem to suggest solar flares, but if the sun is the cause, then there is nothing we can do about it.  A perplexing situation, is it not?  We have people practically keeling over with heart attacks out of fear of rising seas washing away places like Manhattan.

To listen to the climate change alarmists, one would almost assume that the powers of heaven are about to sweep us all away.

Heeeyyyy,  that’s a kinda familiar-sounding assessment.  Like maybe I’d heard it before . . . let’s see. . .

“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.”

The Lord pretty much covers the whole global warming debate in a single, fifty-seven word prophecy.  

According to the Bible, it is a lie that isn’t going away anytime soon.  The Lord says it will be an issue all the way through the Tribulation, suggesting that it may be an important plank in the AC’s platform as he rises to power.

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

And the very next verse after that brings us back to where we are at this moment on the Bible’s timeline.

“And when these things BEGIN to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:25-28)

Israel’s Feasts: Foreshadows of Redemption

Israel’s Feasts: Foreshadows of Redemption
Vol: 127 Issue: 28 Saturday, April 28, 2012

It is easy to see why secularists — and even many Christians — have a hard time getting their heads around the idea of what is called the Rapture of the Church.  When you take a step back and look at it, it does sound a little, er, weird.

Describe it without using Bible terms and see how it sounds:  People will suddenly disappear without warning, and will be transported — alive — into the air, and from there, it’s off to heaven.  

What people?  Only the ones that believe. . .  if you aren’t a believer, you will be left behind.  If you aren’t a believer, how does that sound to you?  A little nuts, right?  

Some years ago, I appeared on a National Geographic program called, “Doomsday: The Book of Revelation” that pitted “believers” against “experts” over how literally one should take doctrines like the Rapture, the Tribulation and Bible prophecy in general.

“Fundamentalists who believe in the apocalypse call it the Rapture,” the narrator intoned.  Nat Geo played the whole thing strictly for laughs, I thought, taking the Rapture about as seriously as it does Nostradamus.

Is the Rapture doctrine something made up by believers?  Or is it a legitimate part of the whole endtimes’ scenario?  How far back can we trace it?  Is there evidence that God had it planned from the start? 

Or is it, as the skeptics say, a recently-invented doctrine from the early 19th century?  

Assessment:

In the Book of Leviticus, God issued instructions to His chosen people, the children of Israel, concerning how they were to worship Him.  Leviticus gives instructions regarding the priesthood, the Law and the system of sacrifices.  God also issued instructions for seven designated feasts that Israel was to celebrate each year.

Each of the feasts is significant both to Israel and to the Church in that both highlight God’s provision for His people.  Both His provision for the needs of His Chosen People and His provision for mankind by the coming of the Messiah and His redemptive Work on the Cross.

The seven Levitical feasts played significant roles in the Lord’s earthly ministry and are symbolic of the whole redemptive story, from His death as the Passover Lamb to His Second coming when He will “tabernacle” (or dwell) with His people forever.

The first three feasts take place almost back-to-back, just as do the events that they symbolize.  Passover recalls the day the Lord visited judgment on all those that rejected Him, passing over those whose homes were sprinkled with the blood of a lamb.

Jesus was God’s Passover Lamb offered as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Jesus died on the Cross and His Body was placed in the grave.  

The Feast of Passover is followed the very next day by the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The Feast of Unleavened Bread lasts one week, and it recalls Israel’s hasty escape from Egypt, (symbolic of the world) during which time there was no time to let bread rise. They ate it without yeast.

The Feast of the Unleavened bread symbolizes when Christ descended into Paradise (with the thief), where He led the righteous dead out of their captivity in Abraham’s bosom and into the presence of God.

The second day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is the Feast of Firstfruits.  Jesus is the first-fruits of the Redemption Who conquered death and Hell and rose from the grave on the third Day after Passover.

Fifty days after the Feast of Firstfruits is the Feast of Pentecost.  The Feast of Pentecost celebrated the end of the grain harvest.  Pentecost was also the day that Jesus ascended into Heaven, ending His earthly ministry, but not before promising to send another Helper, the Holy Spirit.

The arrival of the Holy Spirit is a reminder that the promise of salvation and future resurrection is as sure as the harvest and His indwelling empowers believers for ministry to bring in the harvest until He returns.

The Book of Acts records Jesus’ ascension into heaven at Pentecost, saying He rose into the air and was received into the clouds.

“And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11)

Pentecost concludes the spring-time feasts for Israel just as it concluded the Lord’s earthly ministry for the Church.  After Pentecost, there is a period of time before the Fall Feasts begin.   This is symbolic of the Church Age — the Lord has fulfilled the first four feasts of Leviticus to the letter.

To recap, the first three Feasts symbolized His death, His time in the grave and His Resurrection. His sacrifice and Resurrection are past, we have received His Holy Spirit and now we await His Return.  

The first three symbolized the major redemptive events of His First Advent — the remaining four tell the story of His Second Coming.

The Feast of the Trumpets is next on the calendar and it celebrates the waning of the agricultural year.  The growing season is over and the harvest is in the barns.   The Feast of the Trumpets, or Rosh Hashanah, marks the start of ten days of repentance, or “Ten Days of Awe.”

There are many that believe Rosh Hashanah symbolizes the “Fullness of the Gentiles” and that the Rapture will occur at some time during this ten-day period. How important is that? 

If there is no pre-Trib Rapture,  then the Feast of the Trumpets has no symbolic counterpart and the whole dual fulfillment interpretation falls apart. 

Recall Jesus’ admonition was that “no man would know the day or the hour,” but we COULD know when it was “near, even at the doors.”

A ten-day window out of one generation, somewhere in time, does no violence to the traditional understanding of either of these relevant Scriptures.  

And it fits perfectly with Paul’s description of the event in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.

“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.”

The Day of Atonement was the day the High Priest would make an offering for the sins of all Israel.  It symbolizes when God will turn His attention away from the Gentiles and back to Israel.

“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.” (Romans 11:25)

Finally, Sukkot, the seventh feast day on God’s calendar takes place five days after the Day of Atonement.  It is the Feast of Booths, or Tabernacles and lasts for seven days. It recalls the time the Israelites lived in huts made from palm branches prior to entering the Land of Canaan.

It also foreshadows entry into the Millennial Kingdom where Christ will rule from Jerusalem and people from every kindred, tongue and nation will be able to “tabernacle” or dwell in His presence.

Israel is back in the Land of Promise.  The fullness of the Gentiles is almost complete.  The Lord is coming back to reap His Harvest and we can almost hear the trumpet.

What a time to be alive!  Maranatha!

CISPA (Gezundheit!)

CISPA (Gezundheit!)
Vol: 127 Issue: 27 Friday, April 27, 2012

Yesterday the House of Representatives agreed in a largely partisan vote (248-168) to pass the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, known by its acronym, CISPA.

The vote was originally scheduled for today and was widely expected (by the tech industry) to fail, but after a whack of last minute amendments, it was deemed ready to go early and put to a vote.  

Obama hates it and has threatened a veto if it makes it through the Senate.

In a statement issued Wednesday afternoon, the Executive Office of the President expressed concern over the lack of privacy safeguards in the CISPA bill and said it “strongly opposes” H.R. 3523 as written.

“H.R. 3523 effectively treats domestic cybersecurity as an intelligence activity and thus, significantly departs from longstanding efforts to treat the Internet and cyberspace as civilian spheres,” the statement read. If the bill was presented to the President, “his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.”

Critics of CISPA (and there are many on both sides of the aisle) charge that CISPA is just a repackaging of the failed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) which was primarily a Hollywood-backed effort to force ISPs to become copyright enforcement agents.  

SOPA would have criminalized most online activity.  Everything from downloading a song to cutting and pasting an interesting article into a forum post to uploading a video of yourself singing karaoke would be a crime.

Critics said that an earlier version of CISPA was a stalking horse for the copyright industry — they worried that companies would dress up anti-piracy initiatives as security complaints.  New language makes this unlikely and emphasizes that the bill is about cyber-security.

The amendments include one that would narrow the definition of the information that can be collected and shared with the government.  Another prohibits the bill to be used for monitoring copyright and intellectual property violations.  A third would require an annual review of how shared information is used by the NSA and other agencies.

Government agencies and a number of major US companies have suffered hacking attacks in which intruders have stolen classified information, military and trade secrets, credit card data and so forth –much of which ended up on the web.

(I was notified that my own credit card turned up on the web after Anonymous hacked Stratfor and posted subscriber’s credit card information online.  Somebody had used it to make a $1 donation to the Red Cross to make sure the card was valid, which alerted the credit card company.)

CISPA was written to address these kinds of attacks, the bill’s supporters say, by sharing information between companies and the government.  (This is where I start to get a little paranoid.)

In theory, it will be easier for the government to warn companies about security threats.  In turn, the companies will have more ability to alert the government about suspicious activities or attacks.

In theory.  But it has been my experience that even the best theories fail to take into account the Law of Unintended Consequences. CISPA undertakes to update existing laws, like the National Security Act of 1947, the Wiretap Act and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.  

The Electronic Communications Privacy Act limits what private companies can do with your information.  In practice, what CISPA does is shield companies from getting sued for passing your information around.  That’s why companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook and Netflix (all of whom are fighting privacy lawsuits now) all love CISPA.

Critics say that H.R. 3523 will allow websites to share users’ personal information with the federal government in the name of cyber security, with no judicial oversight.

It would authorize internet providers, social networking sites, and other websites that store personal information to monitor users’ personal emails for the vague purpose of “protecting the rights and property” of the provider.

Under CISPA, the government can even scoop your library card records to find out what kind of subversive literature you might be reading to determine if you are one of those “end of the world” nuts.

The American Library Association warns, “This bill would trump all current privacy laws including the forty-eight state library record confidentiality laws as well as the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the Wiretap Act, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and the Privacy Act. “

CISPA would let Internet companies monitor and collect any user information they think poses a threat to their networks or systems. The bill would also let these companies share the collected information with the NSA and other federal agencies. Companies that share such information would enjoy a high degree of legal immunity for their actions.

Back around the time that former NSA Director Sandy Berger was stealing documents from the National Archives, there was a graphic circulating the net depicting the NSA logo and the slogan, “The NSA. We read your email, so you don’t have to.”

It was a joke then.  Now it isn’t so funny.

Assessment:

“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”  (Proverbs 14:12, 16:25)

The Bible reveals that the antichrist’s system of government rests on three separate pillars; his control of a combined system of government, economy and religion.

I often refer to these systems as “global” systems, but that isn’t entirely accurate.  The Bible just as clearly reveals that the world is, at that time, divided into four spheres of influence, much as it exists today. 

The Bible links the antichrist with Europe and the West.  According to Daniel 9:26 the antichrist is a prince of the people that destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in AD 70.  That was accomplished under Titus of Rome on behalf of the Roman (Western) Empire.

The Bible says that the antichrist assumes responsibility for Israel’s defense from the three other spheres of global power in existence during the Tribulation (and already in existence today.) 

One is the Gog-Magog alliance between Russia, Iran and the various non-Arab Muslim countries of the East prophesied by the Prophet Ezekiel.   The second is the two hundred million strong army of the  Kings of the East.  The third sphere of power is represented by the king of the South.

But the antichrist will control the fourth and most powerful government, located in the West.  And that is the government that Bible prophecy puts the greatest focus on, since it is representative of world-wide Christendom. 

Under the antichrist, the economy is apparently entirely digital, since the Bible says that he will be able to restrict who can buy and who can sell from a central location. 

Those that are not members of his system and do not display his “mark” will be declared “socially dead” and unable to engage in normal social intercourse.

What I want you to see this morning is how these systems are ALL coming together before our very eyes.  The details are fuzzy — the Bible’s script is filled with symbols and generalities — but the trends are clear and unmistakable.

First comes the restoration of Israel (1948).  Then the revival of the Roman Empire, (Benelux Treaty 1948), the creation of a global economic system (GATT Treaty 1948) and finally, a global religious system masquerading as Christianity (World Council of Churches 1948).

But their final forms are somewhat unclear, since Scripture was so written as to make sense to every generation.  Not to mention the difficulties involved for the writers of Scripture trying to describe 21st century images using 1st century vocabularies.

But the Bible does say that all these things will come together in a single generation, somewhere in time, and from that point forward, all would develop until the Big Picture would reveal itself.

CISPA isn’t the final form of anything.  But it is trending exactly as one would expect if the end result was to be a centrally controlled system capable of monitoring and identifying every single person and controlling their ability to buy or sell, based on their politics.

Because that is what the Lord told us to look for.  Not the final form.  That won’t come until after the Rapture.  The Lord said to look for the trends.

The Lord never told the Church to be on the look-out for the antichrist.  He never provided us with any clues to his identity. I quote this verse a lot, but read it again with new eyes. . .

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

What direction does CISPA take us?  Can you think of ANYTHING that is trending the other way? 

Amazing, ain’t it?

The War on Terror is Over? I Wonder Who Won?

The War on Terror is Over? I Wonder Who Won?
Vol: 127 Issue: 26 Thursday, April 26, 2012

According to a senior State Department official writing in the National Journal, the war on terror is over and now it is safe for President Obama to embrace the Islamists that are about to take over the government in Egypt.

“Now that we have killed most of al Qaeda, now that people have come to see legitimate means of expression, people who once might have gone into al Qaeda see an opportunity for a legitimate Islamism.”

This new outlook has, in the words of the National Journal, come from a belief among administration officials that “It is no longer the case, in other words, that every Islamist is seen as a potential accessory to terrorists.”

 The National Journal’s Michael Hirsh explains:

The new approach is made possible by the double impact of the Arab Spring, which supplies a new means of empowerment to young Arabs other than violent jihad, and Obama’s savagely successful military drone campaign against the worst of the violent jihadists, al Qaeda.

For the president himself, this new thinking comes from a “realiz[ation that] he has no choice but to cultivate the Muslim Brotherhood and other relatively ‘moderate’ Islamist groups emerging as lead political players out of the Arab Spring in Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere.”

What, exactly, does “relatively moderate” mean, in the context of Islamists taking over one of the world’s leading Arab states?  Relatively moderate?  Compared to whom?  Muhammed?  Osama bin Laden?  Louis Farrakkan?

Evidently, “relatively moderate” has become the new standard, which gives one pause to wonder:  If moderate means non-violent Islam, and extreme Islamists are the ones that want to kill us, does “relatively moderate” mean they only want to wound us?  

It is as absurd a notion as the notion that the war on terror is over.  If the war on terror is over, then does that mean we can wear our shoes in airports?  Does it mean that we can relax, breathe a sigh of relief and go back to our pre-9/11 existence?

If the war on terror is over, does that mean we can eliminate the Department of Homeland Security?  What about the TSA?  Or any of the rest of the alphabet soup of agencies that were created to fight the war on terror?

The Hirsh article quotes Reuel Marc Gerecht, senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a nonpartisan institution focusing on national security and foreign policy, whom Hirsh calls “one of the smarter hardliners on the Right” — a claim demolished by Gerecht himself in Hirsch’s next line:

“Hirsh says Gerecht is among an emerging group of policymakers and analysts coming to realize that “the Arab world may find another route to democracy — through Islamism.”

Democracy through Islamism?  Wouldn’t that be a little like achieving democracy via Soviet Communism? 

Soviet Communism did not survive its very first democratic vote.  Why?  Because one system is the direct opposite of the other.  If one exists, the other cannot.  So it is with democracy and Islamism.  In a democracy, the people rule.  

In an Islamic republic, Sharia law rules.  Sharia law is to democracy what Kryptonite is to Superman.  And if you will allow me to answer my own question posed by today’s title. . .

If the war on terror is over, we lost. 

Assessment:

To claim the war on terror is “over” while we have forces fighting terrorists all over the world is delusional, but not as delusional as accepting the claim at face value.

More than that, it displays both a fundamental ignorance of Islam that has plagued successive US administrations since Bill Clinton brought Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin together as part of the official extortion scheme called “Land for Peace.”

If the “land for peace” concept was applied somewhere in, say, New York City, it would begin something like this: “Hey!  Nice place you got here.  Be a real shame to see it get all busted up . . . “

“Land For Peace” is simply a revision of the Mob’s ‘protection’ rackets writ large across the world stage.   Arafat demanded payment or he’d continue to ‘bust the place up’ until he got it.  Rabin paid off Arafat, and then Arafat began demanding more and more, literally bleeding Rabin to death and then starting over.

Each demand for a payoff was backed by Washington, who convinced itself against all logic that eventually, Arafat’s side would be satisfied and would settle down to live in peace with Israel, despite the clear and repeated assurances from the Arab side that peaceful co-existence was impossible.

Islam cannot accept the existence of a Jewish state on territory once under Islamic rule.  It is a basic article of faith that the worldwide Muslim umma  (or community) is obligated first and foremost to the recovery of Jerusalem as an Islamic city.  

Land for peace is just one example among many of how little the West understands about the enemy.  To this day, it remains in denial, convinced that all that is necessary for there to be peace is to force Israel to give up just a little bit more. . .

The claim that the war on terror is over moves that state of denial to the next level.  What it really means is that those making it have decided that we can live with Islamism in some form of modified dhimmitude.

The war on terror isn’t over until the terrorists stop making war.  That hasn’t happened and it won’t happen until the flag of Islam flies over the cities of Jerusalem and Washington. 

It is a grim assessment, but it is the only logical one.  The only possible way for the West to win the war with Islam is for Islam to acknowledge that Allah has given up on trying to fulfill Islam’s most basic demand, which is that the whole world submit to Islam.

Alternatively, for the war terror to end, Israel would have to acknowledge that the Bible is wrong.  For the war on terror to end, America would have to acknowledge that the Koran is right.  And both would have to submit to Islam or accept the lot of a dhimmi living under Sharia Law.

While there are those within the government who actually think that the US would be better off under Sharia law, the vast majority are simply clueless about who the enemy is or what the enemy wants.  Syndicated columnist Cal Thomas explains:

But the war is much broader than al Qaeda. Terrorism flows from a belief system and worldview that will not be crushed just because a few al Qaeda leaders are gone.

The secular Left refuses to understand this. Terrorism is not the only tool in the arsenal of radical Islamists. Infiltration, Islamic schools, the building of mosques in the midst of the “Great Satan,” the running of Muslim candidates for public office, the demands for more “rights” and civil liberties, while Islamists deny such things to the nations they dominate — all of this and more prove that the war, by whatever name one wishes to call it, is not over. In fact, it is just beginning.

Radical Islamists are attempting to unify the Muslim world under Shariah law and other dictates of the extremist wing of the religion. If they succeed, they will most assuredly redouble their efforts to eliminate Israel and come after America.

Thomas is one of the very few voices saying out loud what most of us instinctively know — but few of us dare say in public.  There is no possible accommodation to be reached with the Islamist enemy.  When death in combat is the only certain way to achieve salvation, what can we offer as an alternative?

What would a man take in exchange for his own soul?  That is what is at stake here, as viewed from the side of radical Islam.  

Giving up the fight is nothing less than the selling of one’s soul to Satan.  And THAT is how the West defines an “Islamic moderate” — a Muslim who is willing to make that deal.

This isn’t really about the war on terror being over.  What it is really about is whether or not the Obama administration can safely ’embrace’ Islamists.

It also provides another disturbing possible answer to the question, “Where is the United States in Bible Prophecy?”

Be Careful for Nothing

Be Careful for Nothing
Vol: 127 Issue: 25 Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Has anybody else besides me noticed just how many posts there are in our forums praising God for answered prayer?  I mean, REALLY noticed?

We have had members that have posted testimonies of healings, remissions of disease, a new job, family members being saved, relationships restored, and deliveries from addiction.

New prayer requests are being posted almost daily, and invariably are followed up with a testimony of how they have been answered.  It fills me with awe to be a vicarious eyewitness to the power of God as He works among His people.

The prayer fellowship in our forums transcend national borders and span continents, so that when a member posts his request, the sweet savour of offered prayer rises to heaven from places all around the globe.

I love to watch as relationships develop within the forum; read the questions, the replies, and absorb the shared wisdom.

Teachers have emerged, some of them rising to a calling they didn’t know they heard, and discovering for the first time a spiritual gift from God they didn’t know they had.

The forum has become a place where apologists sharpen their arguments and prepare for battle. Our members sharpen the arguments in the forums — but take the ‘battle’ part to the enemy, something unique among Christian discussion forums.

But more than that, I love to witness Christians relying on prayer. It is through prayer that power of God is made manifest.  God gives good things to His children whether they know enough to ask for them or not.  But He takes special delight in granting specific requests.

Jesus promised, “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:13)  Note the unconditional promise is followed by the reason for its extension. ‘That the Father may be glorified in the Son’.

God answers prayer because He loves us.  But also to reveal Himself through His Son.  We pray in the Name of Jesus, our prayers are answered, and both Father and Son are revealed as One.

Do you follow?  We testify of our answered prayer, more Christians are emboldened to seek His Face, relationships are strengthened, stronger Christians emerge out the other end, renewed and encouraged by the power of God and ready to take the battle to the enemy.

Prayer baffles science, because more than 190 scientific studies have shown prayer works.

One such study was conducted at the Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Mo. Doctors did not tell patients they were being prayed for — or even that they were part of any kind of experiment.

For an entire year, about 1,000 heart patients admitted to the institute’s critical care unit were secretly divided into two groups.  Half were prayed for by a group of volunteers and the hospital’s chaplain; the other half were not.

All the patients were followed for a year, and then their health was scored according to pre-set rules by a third party who did not know which patients had been prayed for and which had not.

The results: The patients who were prayed for had 11 percent fewer heart attacks, strokes and life-threatening complications.

Dr. Elizabeth Targ, a psychiatrist at the Pacific College of Medicine in San Francisco, has also tested out prayer on critically ill AIDS patients.

All 20 patients in the study got pretty much the same medical treatment, but only half of them were prayed for by spiritual ‘healers’.  Ultimately, 10 of the prayed-for patients lived, while four who had not been prayed for died.

In a larger follow-up study, Targ found that the people who received prayer and remote healing had six times fewer hospitilizations and those hospitalizations were significantly shorter than the people who received no prayer and distant healing.

“I was sort of shocked,” says Targ. “In a way it’s like witnessing a miracle. There was no way to understand this from my experience and from my basic understanding of science.”

Assessment:

The results of these studies, although statistically significant, are not universally accepted.  After all, if 11 percent of the heart patients prayed for got better, argue the skeptics, it means that 89% of those prayed for did not. That argument is canceled by it’s rebuttal that, sometimes God says, “No!”.

What is more to the point is that the power of prayer is demonstrable enough to merit scientific study in the first place.

One cannot study a myth and chart its progress or lack thereof. At best, the resulting chart would reflect the law of probabilities. The prayer studies do not. Prayer is not myth.
The Scriptures tell us:

“Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” (1st Thessalonians 5:17:21)

It is God’s Will for us to ‘pray without ceasing’ — I pray all the time.  Sometimes formally, oftentimes, a muttered prayer at a specific moment to the One Who is always ready to listen.

Paul’s admonition to ‘pray without ceasing’ is a reminder that none of us walk through this life alone.  There are several reasons to pray without ceasing.  The first is because there IS a devil.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

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

Next follows a description of the different parts of the Christian’s armor, which we are to put on if we are to stand against the devil.  Then Paul brings all to a climax in the 18th verse, telling us that to all else we must add prayer.

The Apostle James writes; “Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.” (James 4:2) James tells us in 5:16 that, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

“Why is it,” ask many Christians, “that I am making so little progress in my Christian life?”  God answers, “You have not, because you ask not.”

Your Omega Letter is an example of answered prayer.  Those of you who have been with us from the start will recall the Omega Letter came to being as a result of answered prayer.  It operates month-to-month on answered prayer.  Our operating budget each month is an example of a new answered prayer.

We pray that God meets our needs, and, through His people, He always does.  Sometimes, it is just in the nick of time, so we don’t forget on Whom we depend. Prayer is a powerful tool, and our God is an awesome God.

For every supporting member, there are at least ten of you who receive this free as part of somebody’s mailing list.  We reach ten times as many as reflected on our own mailing list, and God provides the ten percent that support our work by faith – ours, and theirs.

He also has a terrific sense of humor.  I remember, as a much younger man, when I first dedicated my life to the Lord’s service.  I chose two verses from Proverbs as my guiding ministry principles.

“Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.” (Proverbs 30:8-9)

I prayed for the Lord to honor them, and He has. (Sigh)

(In retrospect, I am glad I didn’t ask for ‘patience’ or ‘humility’.  Be careful what you pray for.  LOL)

Pray for us as we pray for you.  Pray for the success of our shared mission as watchmen on the wall.

I encourage you to continue to post prayer requests in the forums, and to share your testimonies of answered prayer with us.

It is a source of great encouragement to me personally, a reminder to us all, and testimony to the world of the awesome Power of the God we serve.

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” (Phillipians 4:6

The World Won’t Love You Back

The World Won’t Love You Back
Vol: 127 Issue: 24 Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Everybody loves the things of this world, when you get right down to it.  Love your dog?  Your kids?  Your wife?  Love being in your own personal comfort zone at home?

“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:2-3)

You can run down the whole list of things you love in your own mind.  You don’t feel ‘dead’ to the people or things that you love – what does that mean to your salvation?

Is this a conditional statement?  Does it mean that unless your affection is set on things above, unless you are dead to the things of this earth, your life isn’t hid with Christ in God?

One of the central themes of Bible Christianity is that the world is this one:

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1st John 2:15)

This triggers one of those ‘cognitive dissonance’ moments.

You know how Christians are supposed to feel about the world and all that is in it – but you still love the things you love. You even throw around quotes like, “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” – but you still love the things you love.

You love the Lord and you love your fellow man.  You love your church family.  You love your OL family.  You love your country.

You know you aren’t supposed to love your life, but you do everything in your power to make it as comfortable as possible.  You know that you love your life.  If you didn’t, you’d be a prime candidate for suicide counseling.

Christians try to parse this until they read it to mean, “love not sinful things” or “don’t love the world too much” but Jesus confronts us with an either-or ultimatum: “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

Which presents us with an enormous conundrum.  There are those who scrupulously practice religious asceticism, which is the practice of austere self-discipline in order to achieve a higher spiritual ideal – (think monks in hair shirts).

But the rest of us aspire to live in warm houses with comfortable beds with a loving family and a loyal dog named Droopy.  Sometimes, we even criticize our brethren for loving the things of this world – while worrying about our own 401k.

What is it that I am trying to say here?  That we’re all sinners?  Well, . . . yeah.  But you already knew that.  I can find a dozen verses that clearly command us not to love the world or the things that are in it.

But you do anyway — and you know it. Then you criticize other Christians for loving some things of this world, usually the things that you don’t.

“If they love that, they can’t really be saved.” Or, “if they were really saved, they wouldn’t love that.

Assessment:

What does“really saved” mean, in context?  Bible salvation refers to the redemption from sin through the Lord Jesus Christ.  The Gospel (Good News) is that salvation has been secured on our behalf.  The Book of Romans contains what is often called “Roman’s Road” to salvation.

Salvation requires a recognition of one’s personal sinful state (Romans 3:23).  It demands an understanding of the consequences of sin (Romans 6:23) and that “the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Romans 5:8 explains that our salvation is a product of the unfathomable love of God, “in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 10:9 tells us that “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Romans 10:13 summarizes salvation thusly: “whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Jesus described salvation as being “born again”.

 “ . . Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:5-6)

This isn’t a figure of speech.  It is an actual rebirth of one’s spirit, which dies at the moment we commit our first sin.  The soul of an unregenerate man only receives input through his five physical senses.

When he is saved, his spirit is “quickened” opening up a new source of input to his soul.

“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)

That sense of spiritual discernment comes from the awakening of the spiritual senses.  Now the soul gets input through both the physical and spiritual gateways.  It is this transformation that the Bible refers to as a “new creature”.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2nd Corinthians 5:17)

The purpose of the first part of today’s OL was to illustrate the Bible’s principle that “But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.” (Matthew 19:30)

I believe that principle illustrates what happens to those that define salvation as something somebody else doesn’t have because they aren’t living according to their understanding of the Bible.

Which is to say, “love not the things I don’t love. The things I love aren’t sinful,” — while ignoring the fact that loving them is.

Salvation creates a new creature with a direct spiritual connection with the Holy Spirit.

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

If it is possible for a person to lose one’s salvation, Hebrews 6:6 teaches that it is impossible for such a one to be born again, again.

“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost . . if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame.”(Hebrews 6:4-6)

Why would “renewing them again unto repentance put Christ to an open shame?”  During His Agony in the Garden, Jesus prayed,

“While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Thy Name: those that Thou gavest Me I have kept, and none of them is lost. . . Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me: for thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17:12,24)

The open shame is found in the fact that He was unable to keep such a one by His sacrifice, despite the testimony of Scripture:

“But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool. For by one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” (Hebrews 10:12-14)

The regenerate man whose spiritual eyes have been opened cannot commit spiritual suicide because his spirit is directly indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God.

“Falling away” is defined in the eyes of the beholder, NOT in the eyes of God.  God says you already fell away when you decided to buy a comfortable shirt instead of one made of sackcloth.

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in it.”

Doesn’t say a word about loving the things of this world in a righteous way.  Remember the rich man who went away sorrowful because he had many possessions?

Aren’t you glad you weren’t offered that same choice?  Oh, wait.  You were.  And unless you live under a bridge in a cardboard box, you probably made the same choice the rich young man did.

Except that you are saved by grace through faith, not works, lest any man should boast.  Your life is hid with Christ in God.  Your life is ‘hid’ in Christ — when God looks at you, He sees Christ and judges you accordingly.

You aren’t hid in Christ because you are righteous – nobody is.  You aren’t even hid in Christ because you try to be righteous. You are hid in Christ because all your works are as filthy rags before the Lord. (Isaiah 64:6)

The sinning Christian loses irreplaceable opportunities to lead others to Christ. (Ephesians 5:14-17) The sinning Christian will suffer loss at the Bema Seat. (1st Corinthians 3:11-13) The sinning Christian will be chastened by the Father. (Hebrews 12)

And the sinning Christian can render himself so useless to the Lord that the Lord will take him home prematurely.

“. . . There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.” (1st John 5:16)

But what the sinning Christian cannot do is “crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame.” Because “by ONE offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.”

Once is enough.

Special Report: Poking the Bear

Special Report: Poking the Bear
Vol: 127 Issue: 23 Monday, April 23, 2012

A new book by Robert Spencer may well turn out to be so controversial that merely mentioning it by name could be dangerous, if not deadly.  The book takes on one of the most important but least-often asked questions of our time.

It is a question regularly asked about Jesus, King David or Moses, but this is the first time to my knowledge anybody has written a book asking, “Did Muhammed Exist“?

Indeed, it triggered the stunning self-realization that it was a question that had never even entered my mind.  Of course, Muhammed existed.  Didn’t he?  Is it possible that the world’s most feared religious icon is a myth?

The earliest source of information telling of the life of Muhammed is the Koran, which gives very little information about him.  The most important biography concerning the life of Muhammed dates to about 120 years after Muhammed’s supposed death in 632 AD.

The hadith collections, the traditional accounts of the verbal and physical traditions of Muhammed, date to at least two hundred and perhaps as much as three hundred years after his death.  

Early Muslim scholars were concerned that some hadiths may have been fabricated, and thus developed a whole science of hadith criticism to distinguish between genuine sayings and those that were forged, recorded using different words, or were wrongly ascribed to Muhammad.

In general, the majority of western academics view the hadith collections with caution. Bernard Lewis states that “the collection and scrutiny of Hadiths didn’t take place until “several generations” after Muhammad’s death and that “during that period the opportunities and motives for falsification were almost unlimited.”

Patricia Crone and Michael Cook challenge the traditional account of how the Koran was compiled, and the historicity of Muhammad himself, writing that “there is no hard evidence for the existence of the Koran (or Muhammad) in any form before the last decade of the seventh century.”

German scholar and Koranic authority Gerd R. Puin’s initial study of ancient Qur’an manuscripts found in Yemen led him to conclude that the Koran  is a “cocktail of texts”, some of which may have been existent a hundred years before Muhammad.

Another German academic, Professor of Religious Studies and the History of Christianity at the University of Saarland, came to the conclusion that the person of Muhammed was not central to early Islam at all, and that at this very early stage Islam was in fact an Arabic Christian sect.

According to the traditional Islamic view of the Koran, Muhammed began to receive revelations from the angel Gabriel when he was about forty years old. 

However, Muhammed was illiterate, (a detail that Allah and Gabriel were apparently unaware of when they chose him to record Allah’s “third testament”.)

Assessment:

So the Koran was compiled by Muhammed’s confidants, from memory and many years after his death, but Islam accepts that the words of the Koran are exactly those of Muhammed.

Notes Front Page Magazine regarding Spencer’s book:

“Non-literary sources from the late 7th century are equally vague. Dedicatory inscriptions on dams and bridges make no mention of Islam, the Koran, or Mohammad. Coins bear the words “in the name of Allah,” the generic word for God used by Christians and Jews, but say nothing about Muhammad as Allah’s prophet or anything about Islam. Particularly noteworthy is the absence of Islam’s foundational statement “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”

Later coins referring specifically to Muhammad depict him with a cross, contradicting the Koranic rejection of Christ’s crucifixion and later prohibitions against displaying crucifixes. Given that other evidence suggests that the word “muhammad” is an honorific meaning “praised one,” it is possible that these coins do not refer to the historical Muhammad at all. . .”

Yet Spencer’s analysis of the inscriptions inside the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, with their mixture of Koranic and non-Koranic verses along with variants of canonical Koranic scripture, suggests rather that the Koran came into being later than 691 when the mosque was completed. Indeed, the inscriptions could be referring not to Muhammad but to a version of Jesus believed in by a heretical sect that denied his divinity.

At any rate, the first historical inscription that offers evidence of Islamic theology dates to 696 when the caliph Abd al-Malik minted coins without a representation of the sovereign and with the shahada, the Islamic profession of faith, inscribed on them. At this same time we begin to see references by non-Muslims to Muslims. Before then, the conquerors were called Ishmaelites, Saracens, or Hagarians.

This evidence, Spencer suggests, raises the provocative possibility that al-Malik “greatly expanded on the nascent Muhammad myth for his own political purposes.” Likewise the Hadith, the collections of Muhammad’s sayings and deeds that form “the basis for Islamic law and practice regarding both individual religious observance and the governance of the Islamic state.”

They also elucidate obscure Koranic verses, providing “the prism through which the vast majority of Muslims understand the Koran.” Yet there is no evidence for the existence of these biographical details of the Hadith before their compilation. This suggests that those details were invented as political tools for use in the factional political conflicts of the Islamic world.

Robert Spencer is often called the “Internet’s leading Islamophobe” and is the founder and publisher of Jihadwatch.org  and so there are as many articles criticizing him as there are praising his new book.  

They aren’t criticizing the claims made in the book — just it’s author.  Questioning the historical existence of Jesus Christ is something of a global cottage industry.  Even some Christian leaders, (like former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams) openly question the historicity of Jesus Christ.

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. . . .Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matthew 7:1518,20)

All the Islamic apologetics in the world don’t express the true nature of Islam the way that Islam’s actions do.

I hope Spencer can afford bodyguards.