Delusional!

Delusional!
Vol: 129 Issue: 30 Saturday, June 30, 2012

On Thursday while everybody else was trying to figure out how the Supreme Court could have given the government the power to force people to buy something or pay a tax without violating the Constitution, the House of Representative voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.

The House voted in favor of the criminal contempt measure by a vote of 255-67,  which included seventeen Democrats.   The House also passed a civil contempt measure by a margin of 258-95. 

Those Democrats without the courage to go on the record made a big show of “walking out in protest” which has become a new “thing” among Democrats.  If you don’t like a law, you simply ignore it.  If you think you are going to lose a vote, run away and hide.

One tires of seeing Nancy Pelosi leading yet another walkout of Congress, but only because one knows that she will eventually find her way back in.

President Obama attempted to shield Holder by asserting “executive privilege” protection. Executive privilege has been around since the earliest days of the country, and gives the executive branch the ability to withhold certain internal discussions and documents from scrutiny.

Executive privilege allows the president to obtain advice and counsel from advisors and shields those advisors from worrying about their private counsel being made public.  In all cases of executive privilege, it involves the president.  

If the president is not involved, then executive privilege does not apply, which makes the assertion that much more baffling, since the president steadfastly denied knowing anything about the DoJ’s gunrunning operation. 

In 1927, it ruled that the executive branch was not protected from “legitimate” outside investigations. In 1948, presidential prerogatives were preserved in relation to private lawsuits where national security or military matters are involved.

During the Nixon Watergate investigation, the Supreme Court recognized the constitutional basis for executive privilege.

“Nowhere in the Constitution … is there any explicit reference to a privilege of confidentiality,” that ruling said, “yet to the extent this interest relates to the effective discharge of a president’s powers, it is constitutionally based.”

 The court recognized that “those who expect public dissemination of their remarks may well temper candor with a concern for appearances and for their interest, to the detriment of the decision-making process.”

In other words, the Supreme Court laid out a balancing test of sorts: a basic need for executive confidentiality and candor, weighed against the public interests of congressional oversight, a criminal inquiry or prosecution.

The administration is doing everything it can to shield Holder from prosecution while Holder continues to stonewall the investigation.  The Democrats, (with the exception of those 17 that put country ahead of party), are arguing that the investigation is nothing more than a political witch hunt designed to embarrass the president.   

The facts not in question are these.  The federal government conspired with American criminals to sell guns to Mexican drug lords. 

Those guns eventually were shown to be responsible for the deaths of more than two hundred Mexican citizens and at least two federal law enforcement officers, one of whom was Border Patrolman Brian Terry.

Once the federal government’s involvement in the gunrunning operation became known, the various federal agencies involved closed ranks and clammed up.  Eventually, the investigation led to the office of the Attorney General of the United States, who refused to obey the Congress in open violation of the law.

Those are the facts of the case, none of which are in dispute.  The United States Department of Justice is directly responsible for the deaths of more than two hundred foreign nationals, and the Congress wants to know why.  

So they voted to hold Eric Holder in criminal contempt for stonewalling their investigation.  

Assessment:

The criminal contempt vote by Congress obligates the US Attorney for the District of Columbia to convene a grand jury.  You see, that is how the law operates in the United States of America. The law imposes obligations upon those who have voluntarily sworn to uphold it.

I cannot stress that point strongly enough.  It ISN’T an option.  Sworn law enforcement officers have some discretion — they can decide not to write you a speeding ticket based on circumstances, for example.  

But they are obligated to use that discretionary power in the pursuit of justice.  The same law enforcement  officer cannot refuse to enforce speeding laws because he doesn’t think they are fair.  That is not up to him, that is up to the legislators that passed the law. 

A law, once passed by a competent legal authority, is neither fair nor unfair.  It is the law.  Law enforcement officers swear an oath to the law, not to any person.  

The Attorney General of the United States is the nation’s chief law enforcement officer.  As such, he should be more accountable to the law than any other person in America.  

Deputy Attorney General James Cole, also a sworn federal law enforcement officer, notified House Speaker John Boehner in a letter saying that his office would NOT pursue prosecution of Eric Holder.

The attorney general’s withholding of documents pertaining to Operation Fast and Furious, he wrote, “does not constitute a crime.”

“Therefore the department will not bring the congressional contempt citation before a grand jury or take any other action to prosecute the attorney general,” the letter said.

U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen is one of the two attorneys selected by Eric Holder to lead an investigation into the White House security leaks.  He and Holder are close friends and have spoken fondly of one another in public. 

Machen is the US Attorney for the District of Columbia.

With all of this, there remains a significant portion of the American public that see no problem with the Attorney General refusing to obey the law or with his subordinates refusing to uphold it. Evidently, they are equally comfortable with the idea of federal agents selling guns to Mexican drug gangs.  

“And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:” (2 Thessalonians 2:12)

For this significant portion of America, the fact that the White House is occupied by a serial lawbreaker and proven liar is irrelevant because “all politicians lie” and so what’s the big deal?   They have no problem with Democrats walking out of a vote rather than taking a stand.

They are already delusional. So when THE Lie does come around, it will have no difficulty finding believers. Because people that stand for nothing will fall for anything.  Or anyone.

“Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10)

The Obamanable Ruling

The Obamanable Ruling
Vol: 129 Issue: 29 Friday, June 29, 2012

Chief Justice John Roberts, a conservative appointee nominated for the job by George W Bush, astounded courtwatchers and the nation by joining with the Far Left wing of the Supreme Court and affirming the Constitutionality of Obamacare, now known as the Obamatax.

Constitutional law seminars and unlicensed political psychologists will spend years speculating about Roberts’ motivations in joining the liberal bloc in probably the most important Supreme Court decision since Bush v. Gore in 2000.

While we may wait decades to know for certain, some courtwatchers speculate that Roberts may have voted with the liberals in an effort to prevent the court from being seen as overtly political.

In so doing, he made the decision look overtly political.   

The fact that it was Justice Roberts that cast the swing vote upholding Obamacare is dripping with irony. 

Nominated to the court as chief justice by George W. Bush, his appointment was opposed by Illinois Senator Barack Hussein Obama who said of the man who would one day save Obama’s own legislative legacy;

“I ultimately have to give more weight to his deeds and overarching political philosophy … than to the assuring words he provided me in our meeting.”

Adding to the irony is the fact that it was W’s father, George H. W. Bush, that appointed David Souter, who quickly earned a reputation as one of the most liberal justices on the Court. Now Judge Roberts has joined Souter in betraying the ideology that won him his seat.

There is a theory being floated by two academics, a law professor at the University of Boulder and an economics professor from Berkeley who is also a former Treasury Department official.  Paul Campos and Brad DeLong noted some peculiar language in the ruling after it was handed down.

“Campos wrote Thursday in Salon that the dissent had a triumphant tone, as if it were written as a majority opinion, and that the four conservative justices incorrectly refer to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s concurring opinion as a “dissent.”

“No less than 15 times in the space of the next few pages, the dissent refers to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s concurring opinion as ‘Justice Ginsburg’s dissent,'” Campos wrote.

 DeLong pointed out on his popular blog that in Justice Clarence Thomas two-page note on the dissent, he refers to the conservatives’ dissent as the “joint opinion” instead of the “joint dissent.”

Campos hypothesized that the conservative justices may have intentionally left these typos as a way of signaling to the outside world that Chief Justice Roberts abandoned them at the last moment.

Did somebody “get” to Justice Roberts at the last minute?

Assessment:

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

Lyle Denniston, the long-term courtwatcher who writes for SCOTUSblog, tells Yahoo News that he “can’t account for the wording of the Thomas opinion.”

“My own sense, from reading the Roberts opinion, is that it was written as a majority opinion in all of its drafts, and that various Justices joined or dropped off,” Denniston told Yahoo News. “I think he was determined to try to uphold some key parts of the law, if he could find a way, partly because…he has grown concerned about the public perception that his Court is a partisan-driven Court.”

That explanation raises more questions than it answers.  If Roberts wanted to dispel the perception of partisanship on the Court, why would he choose the most important ruling of the century so far in which to make such a statement?

This is a decision that affects one-sixth of the US economy, the health of every single American, turns the IRS into an American Gestapo and imposes the largest single tax increase in history, at exactly the worst possible time imaginable.

THIS is where he chose to abandon the Constitution in favor of making a statement?   It isn’t as if the two sides were close — they were miles apart in their opinons.

In their dissent, the four conservative justices, Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Kennedy said that they would throw out the entire Obamacare bill as unconstitutional and not just the mandate.

But even though Obamacare, with its army of IRS ‘compliance’ agents survived, the decision  restricted the limits of the Commerce Clause, which does NOT give the government the power to create activity for the purpose of regulating it.

The Commerce Clause is the basis for almost all federal economic regulatory authority. 

The decision also crippled the government’s planned method of paying for it all. Obamacare required all states to participate in Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion or lose all federal funding.

The Court ruled that states have the right to opt out without suffering an economic penalty.  It was a big win for States’ rights.  It was also a big win for the Right politically.  The Democrats hid most of the cost of Obamacare behind Medicaid.  Now they can’t.

So the ruling is a mixed bag, with the worst part being that Obama will be alternatively taking victory laps over the ruling and the killing of Osama bin Laden from now until Election Day. 

But will it help him?  It seems doubtful.  I found an interesting piece at the Weekly Standard that examined the results over 27 months of all 98 Rassmussen polls of likely voters regarding Obamacare.

  • Number of times that a plurality has favored repeal: 98.
  • Number of times that an outright majority has favored repeal: 96.
  • Number of times that repeal has been favored by a double-digit margin: 95.
  • Consecutive number of times that repeal has been favored by a double-digit margin: 36 (May 2011-present).
  • Average margin in favor of repeal: 17 percentage points.
  • Number of times that opposition to repeal has reached even 45 percent: 0.

“In addition to Rasmussen’s polling, Real Clear Politics lists 20 other polls on repeal from across the past 27 months.  In 19 of those 20, support for repeal has outpaced opposition to repeal — giving Obamacare an overall record of 1-117.”

What that tells us is that there are more people who want to see Obamacare repealed than there are people that want to see it upheld. The math says that since the Supreme Court failed to act, it is now up to the voters to take matters into their own hands.

I don’t know whether somebody “got” to Justice Roberts or not, but if they did, they may not have done Obama any favors. 

This is the same dynamic that existed in mid-2010 after Obamacare was rammed through Congressional supermajorities to become law on a 100% one-party vote. The backlash from Obamacare handed the lower House of Congress back to the Republicans.

The only reason the Senate managed to hang on to its Democrat majority is because not every Senator was up for re-election in 2010.  This decision yesterday will likely anger voters and galvanize the opposition like nothing else could have.

At the same time, it is unlikely to stir up much fire among the Democrats.  After all, they won. What’s to get excited about?   

So, assuming that Obama isn’t able to find a way to suspend elections, winning on Obamacare yesterday may end up costing him the presidency in November.

There is enough irony in the overall ruling to build a warship. But what makes it important to Bible prophecy? 

First, as Mark Levin noted yesterday on his radio program, the decision is “absolutely lawless.” 

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

“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)

Secondarily, the Court ruled the mandate was rightfully a tax, and therefore rightfully handed over to the IRS for enforcement.  Well before he knew he’d need them, Obama hired an additional 16,000 IRS agents.

“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” (Revelation 13:16-17)

Obamacare is not the antichrist’s system and Obama isn’t the antichrist.  But Obamacare is a legally imposed economic “mark” enforced by the government’s application of financial pressure in a manner that four of nine Supreme Court justices ruled “appallingly lawless.”

Where this applies to Bible prophecy is two-fold.  In the first part, it is an object lesson in how simple it will be, when he does show up on the scene, for the antichrist to impose his system and how he will use a centralized economy as a tool of enforcement.

Secondly, when he does show up, he will have a properly conditioned population with which to work. All the advance groundwork has already been taken care of. The population will be used to the IRS enforcing government policy.

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

“Under my health care plan, your taxes won’t go up one single dime.” – Barack Hussein Obama, February 2, 2009

Perilous Times

Perilous Times
Vol: 129 Issue: 28 Thursday, June 28, 2012

When I was a young man, a guy with a decent job could expect to be able to afford to buy a decent house, own at least one car and support a family.  He could also expect to be able to take at least one vacation every year and afford a few other luxuries.

I was born into what was arguably America’s actual “Golden Age” of peace and prosperity.  At that time, America had the largest and most prosperous middle class in human history. 

A second income was a luxury, not a necessity.  Most families were single-income earners, and a typical American family unit had Dad holding down a job, a stay-at-home Mom holding down the home front, and a couple of kids.  

In the mid-1950’s, Leave it to Beaver was a more-or-less accurate reflection of Americana as it actually was at that time.  Ward and June Cleaver may have been a bit too perfect, and Wally and Beaver a bit too innocent, but they were a reflection of the world as I knew it as a kid.

When I entered the workforce after completing my military service, it was not unrealistic of me to expect to be able to retire in forty-odd years on a Social Security pension that would be enough to maintain a comfortable, but scaled-back lifestyle for the rest of my life.

It sounds almost dreamy compared to reality as America passed from the Golden Age and entered into the “Decade of Greed” (and even before Bill Clinton taught us that lying about sex was honorable and that “all the best people do it.”)

By the mid 1980’s, a single income earner made just about enough money for a single person.  It took two incomes to afford a decent home, a car and to cover all the bills.

I am not quite sixty, and I’ve come to terms with the fact that I cannot afford to retire.  I cannot foresee how I ever will be.  Most of my friends have either postponed retirement or gone back into the workforce.

Today, if somebody can find a job, odds are that it won’t pay much more than ten dollars an hour or it will be part-time.

The cost of living continues to rise, and despite government efforts to disguise it by cooking the books, they can’t hide the fact that half of all Americans need food stamps or other government programs to make ends meet.

The middle class has been shredded.  For millions, the American Dream is becoming an American nightmare.  Consider the following ten statistics and what they reveal.

  1. As the economy has declined, the number of Americans living month to month has soared.  At this point, millions upon millions of Americans are living without any financial cushion.  Not only do they not have enough for a rainy day, they keep running out  of money before they run out of month.  One recent survey found that 28 percent of all Americans do not have a single penny saved for emergencies. Another survey found that 42 percent of all American workers are currently living paycheck to paycheck. Meanwhile, the wealthiest 1 percent of all Americans own more wealth than the bottom 95 percent combined.
  2. According to the Christian Science Monitor, more than half of all small business owners in America cannot even afford to put food on the table from their small business earnings. Some 23 percent of all small business owners have gone an entire year without pay.
  3. According to the Federal Reserve, the median net worth of families in the United States declined “from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010“.
  4. The United States was once ranked #1 in the world in GDP per capita. Today we have slipped to #12.
  5. According to one study, between 1969 and 2009 the median wages earned by American men between the ages of 30 and 50 declined by 27 percent after accounting for inflation.
  6. In 1983, the bottom 95% had 62 cents of debt for every dollar they earned, according to research by two International Monetary Fund economists. But by 2007, the ratio had soared to $1.48 of debt for every $1 in earnings.
  7. Approximately 53 percent of all U.S. college graduates under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed last year.
  8. The federal government spent about 80 billion dollars on the food stamp program last year, but they can’t even tell us how that money is being spent.
  9. While Barack Obama has been president, the number of Americans on food stamps has increased from 32 million to 46 million. But the Obama administration is spending taxpayer money on ads to encourage even more Americans to go on food stamps!
  10. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, 49.1 percent of all Americans live in a home where at least one person receives financial benefits from the government as 48 percent of all Americans are either considered to be “low income” or are living in poverty.

Those are some pretty dismal statistics.

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

When I first did a study on that verse many years ago, I had difficulty envisioning what it prophesied.  A measure of wheat or three measures of barley is the Biblical equivalent to a day’s food for one man.  A penny is symbolic of a day’s wages. 

So what is being prophesied here is a time when a day’s wages will be barely enough to support one person for one day. It is not so hard to envision anymore.  As evidenced in point #1 above, it is now a hard statistic.

The oil and the wine are symbolic of great wealth.  So the entire prophecy says that while the average worker will barely be able to feed himself in the economy of the last days, the super rich barely even take notice of it.  

Again, point #1 above turns that prophecy into a statistic. 

Back when I first did a study on Revelation 6:6, I interpreted the oil and the wine as representative of America, and those working to just to eat as representative of the Third World.  It didn’t occur to me that it could be describing the economic conditions inside the wealthiest nation the world has ever known.

(That is the thing about prophecy — it is always much clearer after it becomes history.)

Assessment:

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” (2 Timothy 3:1)

The first time I did a study on Second Timothy 3:1-5 I assumed, again wrongly, that it was referring to the rest of the world, since I could not imagine the kinds of perils forecast by the Apostle Paul in an American context.

That was then. This is now.

  1. Remember the cannibal/zombie that ate a guy’s face down in Miami a couple weeks back?  When the cop shot him after he refused to stop eating, he turned and growled at the cop, who then rightly emptied his weapon into the guy to make him stop.
    Judge: “So why DID you shoot him six times?”
    Officer: “Well, Judge, that was all the bullets I had.”
    Cops speculated he was on some exotic zombie drug called “bath salts.” Nope. Turns out he just felt like taking off all his clothes and eating someone’s face.
  2. A group of six in Utah were arrested after they became suspicious of their new roommate. They tortured him with a Dremel power tool and a staple gun for hours before releasing him. They suspected him of anonymously threatening one of the roommates.
  3. According to WGN, a total of 25 people were shot in a single night in Chicago recently, making Chicago a more dangerous place than Kabul, Afghanistan.
  4. In Seattle, police tasered a pregnant woman three times after she refused to sign a ticket for a traffic violation.
  5. In Georgia, a police officer recently kicked a woman who was nine months pregnant directly in the stomach. His superiors in the local police department defended his actions.
  6. One recent study found that 5.3 percent of all inmates in state prisons have had a sexual encounter with prison staff.
  7. Flash mobs continue to rob convenience stores all over the country.
  8. Americans take 80 percent of all the pain pills that are sold world-wide each year.
  9. A 33-year-old art teacher in Arizona was recently charged with having sex with four of her male students.
  10. In 2008, a majority of American voters chose to send a radical Marxist con man and youthful cocaine and pothead gang leader to the White House. 

The rest of 2 Timothy seemed just as unlikely back when I first began to study it.  At the time, I thought it was describing society as it will be at some point during the Tribulation.  

It never occurred to me until much later that it was describing the kind of government that would rule America during the final days of the Church Age.

“For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof. . .” (2 Timothy 3:2-5)

Here are a few headlines from this morning’s Drudge Report while we wait for the Supremes to rule on Obamacare: 

Dems Raise Money of Pending Defeat?; Obama: “I Hope You Still Believe in Me”; Leahy: “Nobody Questions Our Authority”; Conyers: “It’s In the Good and Welfare Clause”Contempt Vote on Holder Will Proceed; and, last but not least, “Black Lawmakers Plan Walkout Strategy During Vote.”

As I said earlier, prophecy gets a lot easier to interpret once it has become history.  

Tick . . . tick . . . tick.  . .

Unrepentant Christianity?

Unrepentant Christianity?
Vol: 129 Issue: 27 Wednesday, June 27, 2012

There was a post in our member’s forums under the heading, Unrepentant (Christian) Sinners asking the question I am sure every Christian struggles with throughout their walk with the Lord.

“What about someone who professes to be a Christian and accepts they are a sinner, and admits Jesus died for their sins — yet they continue to live an unrepentant sinful life?”

We all know someone that went to church, accepted Jesus, then fell away and right back into the life they were living before they got saved.   They still talk about Jesus and use Christian buzzwords when around other Christians, but that is about the visible extent of their conversion.

They don’t go to church but they still go to bars. They seldom pray but they swear like sailors. They claim to believe, but they don’t seem to obey.   Are they really saved?  

Taking the perspective of the forum questioner,  the transformation of an angry, worldly person over a long, painful period didn’t just happen.  It took a lot of willing sacrifice.  It isn’t a question of salvation by works — the question is, if there are no works after salvation, then is the salvation itself real, or imagined?

Can someone believe themselves to be saved and heaven-bound without demonstrating any kind of relationship with Christ?  Quoting the forum post directly, can a person  “just claim knowledge of the saving grace of God, but never put it into practice?”

“I fully understand works don’t save — but works are a product (fruit) of our being saved.  I’m just fully confused by this particular dynamic of a so-called Christian who lives a completely non-Christian life.”

I sympathize with the questioner and the question.  Living the Christian life isn’t easy, and the transformation process from one extreme to the other is so painful that a lot of Christians prefer not to make the trip.  

But is the transformation a requirement of salvation?  For that, in the final analysis, is the actual question.    

One of the most familiar parables of the New Testament is the one about the prodigal son. First, a little background.  Jesus was responding to criticism that He associated with tax collectors and sinners.  

“Tax collectors” were those Jews who collected taxes (often brutally) from other Jews on behalf of Caesar and were universally despised as traitors.  To a Jew living in Jerusalem at that time, a Roman tax collector was a sinner so egregious as to warrant his own category.

By way of reply, Jesus told the parable of the man with two sons. The younger requested his inheritance early, which he then took and squandered on riotous and sinful living.  Ultimately, the younger son found himself competing with pigs (the most foul and unclean destiny an observant Jew could imagine) for husks of corn in a pigsty.

Meanwhile, the elder, more serious son stayed at home and put his love for his father into practice, working the fields,  obeying his father’s commands, serving him faithfully.  

The contrast here is stark and deliberate.  And if it sounds like the questions posed in the member’s forum,  I don’t believe the similarity is accidental.  

On one hand, we have an unrepentant, lustful, disobedient son squandering his inheritance on sinful living, shaming his father everywhere he goes. He cares about nothing but himself and wastes all that his father gave him.

On the other, we find the obedient, hardworking and honorable son, working at his father’s business, because he loves his father.  He isn’t working at his father’s business to earn his inheritance.  He already has that by virtue of his sonship.  He is working  that  hard out of love.

So when the disobedient, lustful son shows up and is received as an equal to the obedient son, the obedient son says, “How can this be?” 

“And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.” (Luke 15:30)

The elder son had a legitimate point — when viewed from the perspective of the elder son.   Still, the lesson seems to be that, even as the elder son wasn’t being obedient to earn his inheritance since it was his by sonship, the younger son didn’t lose his sonship because he squandered his inheritance either.

So the answer to at least one of the questions, which is, “Can a person be a son of God without putting their faith into practice?” would appear to be, yes. 

One is a son of God or one is not.  It is an issue of relationship, not behavior.  One does not behave oneself into a family relationship.  One need not even be in fellowship to be in a family relationship. 

I know of many a father and son who have no fellowship to speak of, but that doesn’t make them unrelated.  They are still father and son.   

Which brings us to the next, and most obvious question.  How does one enter into a family relationship with God? 

“And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?  ” And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” (Acts 16:30-31)

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”  (Romans 10:8)

“I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins.” (John 8:24)

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.: (1 John 1:9)

“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (Romans 8:15)

“And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” (Galatians 4:6)

(“Abba” is the Hebrew equivalent to “Daddy” — and that is how the Lord pictures the relationship between the Father and a Christian.)

Then there is this: No matter how one slices or dices or restates it, there is a moment of salvation.  For each of us, there was a moment before we were saved, then there was that moment when we were saved, and then came the moments afterwards.

The English Bible translates repent from the Greek word metanoeo,  which means, “to change one’s mind” — in this case, about one’s sin.  So an “unrepentant Christian” is an oxymoron.  If one is a Christian, one has already changed one’s mind about one’s sin.

The moments that come afterwards cannot undo the moment that has already occurred.

Assessment:

There are some other important lessons to be gleaned from the story of the prodigal son that apply here. First, note the status of the prodigal son. He is welcomed with a party and the father has killed the fatted calf.  

He is still his father’s son. 

But as the father tells the obedient son,  ” Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.”  The obedient son’s reward is that his full inheritance is intact.  The prodigal son gets nothing but a warm greeting and a place to call home.

The obedient son lived a sheltered life, protected by the father and never suffered the indignities, pain, hunger, shame and guilt that racked the prodigal’s life.  The obedient son will always be in charge. The prodigal is grateful to have a bed.

We get another picture of the difference between the obedient son and the prodigal son in Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians describing the Bema Seat.

“Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.” (1 Corinthians 3:13-14)

This is the obedient son standing before the Judgement Seat of Christ.  

He is the one that is confused by the Christian who seems to live a completely non-Christian life.  When he stands before the Bema Seat, he will receive the rewards due him for his struggles and for his obedience. 

Then comes the prodigal son. 

Notice that he is also standing before the Judgement Seat of Christ.  Not because of his obedience, but because of his status as a son.  That status was extended to him at the moment of salvation. 

At the moment of salvation, he changed his mind about his sin and accepted the Pardon extended to him.  He asked to be washed clean of his sins and to be forgiven and adopted into the forever family of God and he was saved. 

Now he stands before the Bema Seat of Christ to be judged for his rewards, or “inheritance.” Like the prodigal son, he has status as a son, but he squandered his inheritance on riotous living. He didn’t work alongside his brother out of love for their father.  But he is still family.

“If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” (1 Corinthians 3:15)

Those Christians that are like the prodigal son aren’t “getting by.”  We have no idea what Heaven will be like.  We only know what we’re told.  Like the fact that some Christians will be made rulers over ten cities, others only five, and still others will have what little they have taken from them.

“Once saved always saved” does NOT mean one has a license to sin. Your sin WILL find you out. If it is a habitual sin, it will kill your body.  It will kill your witness.  It will kill your effectiveness for Christ. 

Sin has consequences in this life. It also has consequences in the next.

There will be kings and princes among us.  That means there will also be subjects and servants.   There will be mansions, some greater than others, which suggests that there will also be shacks. 

If one looks at the Bema Seat in terms we can understand, the reward for the one that is saved as by fire is that he is allowed to live.

That is what “being saved” means.  You are saved from the second death.  You are allowed to live.  The rest is determined by your rewards, which is what you earn by obedience.

Maybe as a servant. Maybe as a citizen in one of those cities.  Maybe as a city official.  Maybe not. Maybe in a mansion.   Maybe in an apartment.  

Obedient Christians aren’t wasting their time being good when they could be out partying.  They are laying up for themselves treasures in heaven, like contributions to a heavenly 401k.  

You don’t have to have a 401k to retire, but if you don’t, you will regret it when the time comes, and for the rest of your life afterewards.

You don’t have to be an obedient Christian to make to heaven, either. But you’ll regret it when the time comes. 

For an eternity.

Above the Law

Above the Law
Vol: 129 Issue: 26 Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Nobody saw this one coming.  At least, nobody saw it coming the way that it did.  Of all the provisions of Arizona’s SB1070, the one provision everybody thought would be struck down by the Supreme Court was unanimously upheld.

The Obama administration argued before the Supremes that racial profiling would follow if police were allowed to stop and demand to know the legal status of those they suspected to be in the country illegally.

“Profiling” is the word used to describe when police combine their powers of observation with their powers of logic to narrow the field of suspects.  For example, if a witness describes a suspect as a black man and so police exclude brown, yellow or white men from screening,  well . . . that’s “profiling” and it’s not allowed.

At airports, Swedish grannies and toddlers are routinely pulled from line for “special screening” to make sure they aren’t terrorists. 

Since every act of terror ever committed at an American airport was committed by a Muslim male between the ages of 17 and 35, government officials are NOT allowed to focus their attention on Muslim males between the ages of 17 and 35.

THAT would be racial profiling and therefore, logical and forbidden.  That is the argument the government tried to use against SB1070 — that if police were allowed to use their powers of observation that it would result in racial profiling.

But that’s the one part of the law the Supreme Court upheld unanimously, saying it will give police a chance to see if they can implement the law properly without violating civil rights.

“There is a basic uncertainty about what the law means and how it will be enforced. At this stage, without the benefit of a definitive interpretation from the state courts, it would be inappropriate to assume [that section] will be construed in a way that creates a conflict with federal law,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority.

In opposing the Arizona law the federal government’s entire argument is based on and revolves around the idea that all Arizona cops are corrupt, dishonest racists who will use the law to discriminate against minorities and therefore, cannot be trusted.  

That’s the position taken by Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez, an Illinois Democrat and staunch opponent of immigration enforcement.

“This threatens the safety of all Americans and undermines the fundamental relationship between police and the communities they serve.”

That’s just standard Democratic scaremongering.  How would enforcing immigration laws “threaten the safety of all Americans”?  Nobody is advocating shooting illegal aliens.  No, Gutierrez’ real objection is typical of Democrats — they assume every official is as corrupt as they are.

“Experience has shown us that police are highly unlikely to stop an individual with the last name of Kennedy or Roberts on suspicion of not being a legal U.S. citizen, but if you are a Gutierrez or Martinez, watch out,” he said.

The law had four chief components.  Three sections that set up state criminal penalties for immigration violations were struck down in the 5-3 ruling. Justice Elena Kagan recused herself from the case.

But all eight justices upheld the provision allowing police to check the status of those they had “reasonable suspicion” were in the country illegally, and then report their identity to federal authorities.

The federal government could then decide whether it wanted to pick up and deport the illegal immigrants, or let them go, the Court determined.

While Obama claimed victory on three of the four points, the fourth point is the one he hated the most.  And so he told DHS to ignore it.

Assessment:

“Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”(Revelation 12:12)

The Obama administration responded to the Supreme Court ruling by saying that the federal government would NOT work with Arizona on immigration issues.  To underscore that point, they rescinded agreements already in place. 

To punish Arizona for daring to stand up to Obama, the administration said it is rescinding the so-called 287(g) agreements with the state of Arizona that allowed some local police departments to enforce federal immigration laws.

Under the 287(g) program, state and local law enforcement agencies entered into a partnership with DHS’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement and were delegated authority for immigration enforcement within their jurisdictions. 

Arizona is the only state singled out by DHS for the federal snub — other states with similar arrangements are not affected.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer responded to the end of the 287(g) agreements with an angry statement Monday.

“As though we needed any more evidence, President Obama has demonstrated anew his utter disregard for the safety and security of the Arizona people. Within the last two hours, I have been notified the Obama administration has revoked the 287(g) agreement under the authority of which Arizona law enforcement officers have partnered with the federal government in the enforcement of immigration law,” the statement said.

“Since 2006, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security credits the 287(g) program with identifying nearly 300,000 potentially-removable aliens nationwide. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has trained and certified more than 1,500 state and local officers to assist in the enforcement of immigration law, including many in Arizona,” the statement added. “In fact, even as the President was wiping out Arizona’s 287(g) agreements, the ICE website itself continued to herald the collaborative approach of the 287(g) program, noting, ‘Terrorism and criminal activity are most effectively combated through a multi-agency/multi-authority approach that encompasses federal, state and local resources, skills and expertise.'”

Most incredible of all, the federal government announced it will set up a hotline so that people can call in to complain about how Arizona cops have violated their civil rights.  The federal government is facilitating complaints. . .  no, they are soliciting complaints against the state.

It is nothing short of deliberate, federal intimidation of a state to prevent that state from enforcing laws on the grounds that the President doesn’t think the law is fair.  The Congress passed it.  The Supreme Court affirmed it.

But Obama doesn’t like it.  So he is going to ignore it.  Can he do that?  Not legally.  But what difference does that make to Obama?  If an existing federal law doesn’t meet with his approval, he refuses to acknowledge or enforce it.

“Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.” (Proverbs 21:2)

“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.” (Proverbs 12:15)

The Greek word for lawless is anomos, meaning “without law.” In the New Testament (King James Version) this word is translated in different ways (“lawless,” “unlawful,” “wicked,” “transgressor”) but it always conveys the basic meaning of lawless.

The noun (anomia) is also translated in various ways (“unrighteousness,” “iniquity,” “transgression of the law”) but each time it carries the basic meaning of lawlessness.

“Because iniquity  [lawlessness] shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” (Matthew 24:12)

“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)

“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)

Drawing nigher every day . . .

Wars and Rumors of Wars

Wars and Rumors of Wars
Vol: 129 Issue: 25 Monday, June 25, 2012

President Obama sent congratulations to Mohamed Morsy after the Mother of the Arab World elected the Muslim Brotherhood to lead them.  The Muslim Brotherhood is the foundational organization from which sprang such moderate mainstream groups as Hamas and al-Qaeda.

The Muslim Brotherhood claims to be a moderate, non-violent movement, despite its history.  In an ironic twist of fate, it was the Muslim Brotherhood that brought Hosni Murbarak to power 34 years ago, and it was the Muslim Brotherhood that will take his place.

On October 7, 1981 as he was reviewing his forces, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was shot and killed by five members of the Egyptian military.  The men, two officers and three enlisted men, were members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The attacks were planned and carried out by an Islamic nationalist daughter organization called Islamic Jihad.  That group was associated with al Gamaa al Islamiyya, which was associated with al-Qaeda. 

al-Gamaa al-Islamiyya accused Sadat of apostasy and condemned him for the peace treaty he’d signed with Israel.  Sadat’s attackers killed him the one day he celebrated what he and Egypt perceived as a victory over Israel.   

Among the group’s leaders: Ayman al-Zawahiri, subsequently al-Qaeda’s Number 2.  Zawahiri was tried and imprisoned for three years for his role in the plot, then expelled from Egypt. 

President-elect Morsy pledged to Gamaa al-Islamiyya to work for the release of one of their members, blind Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, architect of the first World Trade Center bombing.

Morsy later spoke of European Union-style integration for the Arab world and an Arab common market.  “Jerusalem is in our hearts and vision,” he said. “But Cairo is Egypt’s capital.”

The Muslim Brotherhood’s charter describes its goal as the re-establishment of the Islamic Caliphate – an empire stretching from Spain to Indonesia. Although it claims to be non-violent, its charter describes “dying in the way of Allah” as the group’s highest hope. Its most infamous alumnus is undoubtedly Ayman Al-Zawahiri, the number two leader of Al Qaeda. This does not mean that the Brotherhood is synonymous with Usama Bin Laden, for Zawahiri views himself as a Al Qaeda member. The Brotherhood and Al Qaeda are both Sunni groups, although they are distinct, with Al Qaeda considered far more militant. – The Muslim Brotherhood for Beginners (php)

So, that is the Muslim Brotherhood.  They claim to reject violence, but they rally under the official motto:

Allah is our objective.
The prophet is our leader.
Koran  is our law.
Jihad is our way.
Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope

Maybe I have a clouded view of what they mean by that, since “jihad is our way’ and ‘dying in the way of Allah’ sounds kind of violent, to me.   And as a candidate, Mohamed Morsy didn’t sound like the moderate that the Western media makes him out to be.

He repeatedly promised to implement Islamic law in speeches peppered with references to God, the Prophet Mohammad and the Koran.

“It was for the sake of the Islamic sharia that men were … thrown into prison. Their blood and existence rests on our shoulders now,” Morsy said in one of his early campaign rallies.

But he has seldom spelled out what precisely his call to implement sharia, or Islamic law, would mean for Egypt, where piety runs deep and the constitution already defines the principles of the sharia as the main source of legislation.

Morsy has said Brotherhood rule would not mean that Egypt will be a theocracy, adding that there is little difference between the phrase “the principles of the sharia” – the term found in the current constitution – and the sharia itself.

As mentioned at the outset, the Obama administration is quietly thrilled with the results of the election.  Obama gave his first international speech from Cairo, and pointedly invited the Muslim Brotherhood to attend. 

Since Obama came to office, Democrat propaganda sheets like the Washington Post have been hard at work rehabilitating the Muslim Brotherhood’s image to conform to the image the administration wants to paint of the MB as the key to Middle East peace.

Hamas was as thrilled as Obama was at the news of Morsy’s victory.  Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar told a rally in downtown Gaza that “the heart of Jerusalem has started to beat again”.  The Israeli reaction is universally described by the international media as “jittery.” 

Ya think?

Assessment:

“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” (Matthew 24:6)

While Israel watches as its most intractable enemy takes over the reins of government along its southern border, the conflict raging to its north threatens to spill over into Turkey.

Syria admitted to shooting down a Turkish warplane that Ankara has since determined was attacked while it was in international airspace.  The Turkish government has demanded an emergency meeting of NATO under the terms of Article 4 of the Charter.

The article says member countries “will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the parties is threatened.”

The last time article 4 was invoked was nine years ago — also by Turkey — after tensions with neighboring Iraq escalated.  That case did not lead to the invocation of article 5, which declares that an attack against any single NATO country shall be considered as an attack against them all.

It is the terms of Article 5 that put NATO in overall command of the Afghanistan War following the attack on the US on 9/11. 

Up until a couple of years ago, Turkey was one of Israel’s closest allies.  Egypt was the other.  When the Gaza Flotilla (concocted by the Egyptian MB) incident soured Israeli-Turkish relations, Turkey embraced Syria as it began thawing relations with Iran. 

When Assad began cracking down on Syrian rebels, Turkey found itself dealing with a Syrian refugee problem.  Turkey set up a buffer zone inside Syria to deal with them.  That set Turkey at odds with Syria, bringing Turkey, at least temporarily, back in harmony with NATO.

Which puts Turkey at exactly the opposite place from where it wants to go.  Turkey has been working closely on repairing relations with Russia as well as with Iran.  The Syrian attack puts Turkey’s membership in NATO back on the front burner.

Where do we go from here?  The Bible tells us where we end up, but not necessarily HOW we get there.  If we are as far along the Bible’s timeline as I suspect we are, then the following is a likely scenario. 

However it goes, Turkey’s meeting with NATO will further strain Turkey’s relationship with the West.  The Bible does not put Turkey in the Arab war against Israel — Turks are not descendents of Esau. 

Turkey’s destiny is tied to that of Russia and Iran in the Gog-Magog War that Ezekiel says will not take place until Israel is living in perceived peace and safety as a land of unwalled villages. 

So, however Turkey moves in response to the attack by Syria, it won’t be part of the war with Edom prophesied by Scripture.  Here is what that means. 

The Bible prophesies two specific conflicts to take place in the last days, with one setting the stage for the other. 

In the first conflict, Israel’s victory over Edom is so conclusive that Israel will be able to, for the first time in her modern existence, live in relative peace and safety.  The second conflict, Gog-Magog, occurs at some time after that.

But that does NOT mean that the next war IS the Edom War.  It could just be another regional conflict.

While Egypt has just moved more firmly into the place Scripture predicted, Turkey’s next move could move it in the opposite direction, suggesting we’re not as far along as we thought.

Or it could push Turkey further out of NATO and closer to Gog-Magog, which is what the Bible’s timeline would demand.

Current events are moving very quickly — so quickly that it is tempting to shout, “This is it!”  Until it isn’t.

One must be careful not to interpret current events so they conform to Bible prophecy — it is the other way around.  Bible prophecy precedes current events — it was written FIRST.  So ‘almost’ isn’t good enough.

We are the watchmen on the wall.  Our first responsibility is spelled out pretty clearly by Scripture:

“But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.” (Ezekiel 33:6)

But by definition, it imposes a requirement upon the watchmen to be credible — and not to be giving the warning without cause until nobody listens anymore.  A watchman without credibility is an annoyance.

We don’t know enough to say this is it  — because the Bible only promises us that we will see beginnings.  We witness the labor pains of the coming Tribulation, but we won’t be here for the birth.  The Lord told us that we should start looking up as these things BEGIN to come to pass.

And that we should keep one ear cocked for the Trumpet.  So we’ll keep watching Turkey.  And listening for the Trumpet. 

Until He comes.

Breaking News From 701 BC

Breaking News From 701 BC
Vol: 129 Issue: 23 Saturday, June 23, 2012

The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap. – Isaiah 17:1 c. 701 BC

US Concerned About Israeli Strike on Damascus”  – The Drudge Report, June 23, 2012

According to the report by Bill Gertz, US intelligence agencies are expecting Israel to attack Syria’s stockpiles of chemical weapons in order to keep them out of the hands of Hezbollah or al-Qaeda.

Gertz quotes an unnamed official who said Syria’s arsenal is vulnerable to capture by Syrian rebel forces.  Is that a bad thing?

Here in the West, we tend to pick sides with one side being the bad guys and the other side being the good guys.

Bashar al Assad is responsible for the deaths of more than ten thousand of his countrymen, women and children, most of whom were murdered in cold-blooded massacres.  Bashar al Assad is a very, very bad man heading a very, very bad regime of corrupt murderers.

But because Assad is a very bad man, it does not necessarily follow that Syrian rebel forces are the good guys. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” only works until the mutual enemy is defeated.

The rebel forces fighting Assad include what we’d think of “good guys” side-by-side with a veritable Who’s Who of Islamic Terror Groups from across the region. 

So a victory for the Syrian rebels does not necessarily mean good news for either Israel OR Syria.  It all depends on who ends up in charge. 

We have one OL member presently living in Damascus who keeps me updated on events from his perspective.  

In summary, it is this: Assad is a brutal monster.  Our brother has had to move around to avoid the massacres, since he is from Hom.  So he has no love for the Assad regime, but Assad kept the peace.

For him — and for his family — life was better before the uprising than since.  What comes after is unknown, but it is almost sure to be worse, especially for Christians.

That said, Israel is looking across the Golan at Syria’s immense stockpile of chemical and biological weapons in Damascus, a mere 135 miles away.

“Recent statements by senior Israeli military officials prompted U.S. concerns over an Israeli strike on Syria. Senior officials in Israel told the newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth that if Syria’s army gave chemical weapons to Hezbollah or other terrorists an Israeli attack would be needed.

The newspaper reported May 31 that Israel failed to prevent Syria’s transfer of M-600 rockets to Hezbollah and the weapons can now threaten central Israel. One military source was quoted as saying that mistake would not be repeated.”

But Israel is not the only country putting a bulls-eye around Damascus, following the Syrian shoot-down of a Turkish warplane.  Syria confirmed that the plane was taken down by Syrian antiaircraft gunners after the Turkish plane entered Syrian airspace.

Published reports suggest the US-made F4 Super Phantom was brought down by a Russian SA-11, a Russian made  self-propelled medium range missile Damascus recently acquired from Moscow. 

A report in Debkafile suggests that the Turkish plane may well have been shot down by a Russian gunner:

“Since the sophisticated weapons were delivered to the Assad regime in recent weeks, it must be assumed that local missile crews had not finished training in their use and would have had to rely on help from their Russian instructors to fire one.”

“This would be the first instance in the 15-month Syrian uprising of an advanced Russian-supplied weapon hitting the military target of a NATO member. Hence the comment from Washington by US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland who said: “We’ve seen the reports… We have obviously been in contact with our Turkish ally…. To my knowledge, they haven’t raised this at NATO at this point.”

Turkey is a full member of NATO.  Under NATO’s Article Five, an attack on any NATO member state is deemed by treaty to be an attack on all member states. 

When the United States was attacked in 2001, it invoked Article Five, which obligated NATO to take part in the War in Afghanistan and against al-Qaeda.

Should Turkey invoke Article Five, it would bring NATO into the conflict with Syria.  And bring the United States face-to-face with Russia.

Assessment:

 “Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters! The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.” (Isaiah 17:12-13)

The UN sent in Kofi Annan with instructions to implement a ceasefire between the rebels and the Syrian government.  It sent in 300 UN monitors to prevent the wanton massacre of civilians. 

Last week, Major-General Robert Mood suspended their work and withdrew the monitors before they became victims.

The Russians are supplying Damascus with weapons and material support and full of bluster.  Iran is supplying Hezbollah in support of Assad.  

But in the end, Moscow isn’t going to go to war with the United States over Syria.  Neither is Tehran.

How do I know?  The Bible tells me so.

The Bible forecasts two distinct and separate conflicts involving Israel in the last days.  From our perspective, they are conflicts.  From the Bible’s perspective, they are judgments against the participants.

The first conflict we’ll call the Psalms 83 or, Edomite War.  The second is the Gog Magog War.  The first settles the conflict between the descendents of Jacob (Israel) and the descendants of his brother, Esau (Edom).  

The Bible says that God will use this conflict to judge Edom for his treatment of Jacob.  War is messy and tends to escalate far beyond its original boundaries.  But God’s judgments are controlled and precise and specific to those under judgment for a specific reason.

Note the combatants in the Edomite War:

“Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot” (Psalms 83:6-8)

We outlined a Who’s Who of the Psalms 83 conflict in this OL report from 2010.  But in quick summary, every single combatant against Israel in this conflict is an Edomite facing God’s judgement.  The Prophet Isaiah said that when it comes, it will come swiftly.

After the UN has been routed and all the nations flee the scene, “like a rolling wind before the whirlwind”,  Isaiah says of Damascus’s destruction;

“And behold at eveningtide trouble; and before the morning he is not. This is the portion of them that spoil us, and the lot of them that rob us.” (Isaiah 17:14)

The Bible forecasts a second conflict involving Israel in the last days — this time, a judgment against an entity that Ezekiel calls Gog, “and all his hordes.”  This is an entirely different conflict than the one forecast by Isaiah or in Psalms 83.  

In this conflict, one finds Gog (Russia) allied with Persia (Iran) and Togarmah and Gomer (Turkey) and the various Muslim ‘Stans of the old Soviet Union.  There are three things I want to highlight at this point.

Note first that ALL the combatants in both wars are predominately Islamic — except Russia, which is officially godless.  There are no culturally Christian nations listed among them.  

Secondarily, notice that there are no Arab (Edomite) states numbered among the Gog-Mago allies.

Third, the Edomite War comes as a culmination of years of sustained conflict and constant attacks leveled at the children of Israel, primarily over possession of the Temple Mount.  There is no sense of a sneak attack under the guise of peace.   

The Gog Magog war is a sneak attack upon Israel at a time when Israel is a land of unwalled villages, living in peace and safety.  The only Edomite nations mentioned as still standing, Sheba and Dedan, decide to sit this war out.

The whole purpose of today’s column is to highlight the incredible accuracy of Bible prophecy together with the comfort that understanding its message is intended to bring.  The thing we humans fear the most is the unknown. 

Will Russia and America go to war over Syria? (No)  Will humanity survive? (Yes)  Will Israel win? (Yes) We have the answers to these questions right at our fingertips. 

We know that BECAUSE Bible prophecy is unfolding precisely as outlined, it means that we are eyewitness/participants in the unfolding Plan of God for the Ages.  So none of this is random chance.

God is still on His Throne, and He is still in total control.  Bible prophecy assures us that no matter how crazy things seem, we have THIS certain knowledge:

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

The “called according to His purpose.”  That would be us.

“Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.” (Proverbs 3:25-26)

Maranatha!