The ‘Fear’ Part is Intentional . . .

The ‘Fear’ Part is Intentional . . .
Vol: 132 Issue: 29 Saturday, September 29, 2012

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu urged  the UN General Assembly on Friday to impose limits on various forms of Western freedoms — freedoms that he says are simply a disguise for Islamophobia. 

“Unfortunately, Islamophobia has also become a new form of racism like anti-Semitism. It can no longer be tolerated under the guise of freedom of expression. Freedom does not mean anarchy,” he told the GA.

One wonders if he was being intentionally ironic in his choice of words. The religion of peace, love and tolerance cannot tolerate freedom of expression?  And if words mean what the dictionary says they do, then “Islamophobia” means an unreasonable or irrational fear of Islam.

The operative words here would be “unreasonable” and “irrational” — the “fear” part is intended.

Dozens are dead, hundreds injured and millions of dollars in property went up in flames as a consequence of Muslim rage over a movie nobody saw and a film trailer posted on Youtube that hardly anybody saw. 

The movie was made by an Egyptian who lived in America because he was afraid he’d be killed by Islamists who now demand his handover so they can kill him for making a movie expressing his opinion of a religion to which he owes no allegiance.

The movie, which was in no way connected to America or the US government, prompted such fear that no less than the President of the United States and the Secretary of State both humbled themselves before Islamic rage,  denouncing the film and the filmmaker while repeating the fact the US had no part in making the film.

The US Embassy in Cairo issued a statement about the movie saying that it, and by extension, America;

“. . . condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims [and] firmly reject[s] the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”

At the UN, the President of the United States mentioned the movie no fewer than seven times and devoted almost 1000 words of his speech to denouncing it, the filmmaker, the uploader and telling the Islamic world how sorry  he was that America guarantees the right to free speech, (clearly implying that his hands were tied in the matter.)

Speaking after Obama, President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan, where more than a dozen people were killed in protests against the film, demanded that disrespect for Islam be criminalized. Or, looked at another way, demanding that respect for Islam be mandated by international law.

“The international community must not become silent observers and should criminalize such acts that destroy the peace of the world and endanger world security by misusing freedom of expression,” he said.

For clarity, Zardari wasn’t referring to the destructive mob of chanting, flag-burning, mindless violence tearing up his own country along with the rest of the Islamic world.

No, no.  What will “destroy the peace of the world and endanger world security” is the failure of the West to submit to Islamic authority by making blasphemy against Mohammed an international crime.

In essence, it is a demand that the world submit to the demand that Mohammed be honored as a Prophet whether one is a Muslim or not — the very definition of dhimmitude.

The fifty-seven foreign ministers that are part of the Organization of the Islamic Conference also met on Friday following the Turkish Foreign Minister’s speech. (Did I mention Turkey is a full member of NATO?)

“This incident demonstrates the serious consequences of abusing the principle of freedom of expression on one side and the freedom of demonstration on the other side,” OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu told reporters.

The 47-member UN Human Rights Council, dominated by developing states, has passed non-binding resolutions against defamation of religion for over a decade. Similar ones were endorsed in the UN General Assembly.  

If the Islamic Conference, the UN General Assembly and the UN Human Rights Council had their way, all the peoples of the world would be forced to accept Mohammed as an actual prophet and would be required by law to submit to Islamic rules concerning Mohammed, the Koran and whatever rules Islam decides to impose.

Remember, “Islamophobia” means the “unreasonable” fear of Islam.

Assessment:

The Organization of the Islamic Conference is attempting to draw a moral equivalence between “Islamophobia” and anti-Semitism. Pakistan’s ambassador Zamir Akram took the argument to the UN Human Rights Council.

“Incidents like this clearly demonstrate the urgent need on the part of states to introduce adequate protection against acts of hate crimes, hate speech, discrimination, intimidation and coercion resulting from defamation and negative stereotyping of religions, and incitement to religious hatred, as well as denigration of venerated personalities.”  

States have an “urgent need” to “protect” Mohammed from “hate crimes”  and to prevent incitement.

But in the very next breath, he said that the video, as well as the burning of the Koran and the publication of defamatory cartoons, amount to “deliberate attempts to discriminate, defame, denigrate and vilify Muslims and their beliefs”.

Such acts constitute “flagrant incitement to violence” and are not protected by freedom of expression, Akram said. Rather, he said, Islamophobia must be acknowledged as a contemporary form of racism and be dealt with as such.

“Not to do so would be a clear example of double standards. Islamophobia has to be treated in law and practice equal to the treatment given to anti-Semitism, especially in legislations.”

The irony here is breath-taking.  This is nothing less than the imposition of fear of an Islamic backlash as the justification for requiring laws against “Islamophobia” or, the unreasonable fear of Islam.

Anti-Semitism is defined as “belief or behavior that is hostile towards Jews because they are Jews.”

Islamophobia, as Pakistan defines it here, is the failure to revere Mohammed, the Koran, Islam, (or whatever,) in a manner acceptable to Muslims.

The two are as similar as chocolate milk and a bag of hammers.

To treat the fear of an Islamic backlash as being equal to the hatred of Jews is the logical next step in the redefinition of logic and common sense to make it fit with the dictates of political correctness.

It is politically correct to pretend to oppose anti-Semitism  — while simultaneously lamenting the Jewish “occupation” that put up an “apatheid wall” — while ignoring the reason why Israel would need a wall — to protect its citizens from suicide bombers convinced by the religion of peace, love and tolerance that by killing Jews, they are assuring themselves a place in Paradise.

It is forbidden by political correctness to note the religion of peace teaches its adherents to kill unbelievers or those that defame the religion of peace.  Or that the religion of love permits the killing  of one’s female family members to recover the family honor. Or that the religion of tolerance demands the death penalty for blasphemers. 

All of these facts are forbidden to mention in public. Bringing them up results in immediate accusations of racism or “Islamophobia” or worse.  And those that would shout “Islamophobe” the loudest would leap to the defense of anyone accused of defaming Christianity.

Why is that?  What is there about Islam that makes the politically-correct look the other way, while holding Christianity to an impossible standard?

The answer is obvious. These guys are bullies and bullies are careful to choose targets that won’t retaliate.  The politically-correct types aren’t afraid of Christianity. 

But they are terrified of Islam. One might even call them “Islamophobic.”   

“And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:” (2 Thessalonians 2:10-11)

Or at a minimum, strongly deluded.

Then There Was No One Left To Speak Up For ME. . .

Then There Was No One Left To Speak Up For ME. . .
Vol: 132 Issue: 28 Friday, September 28, 2012

Many years ago, I was a police officer in Mount Pleasant, Texas.  The chief of police at that time was a legendary figure named B. C. Sustaire.  He was a giant of a man who had come to work for MPPD the year that I was born.

I never knew what  B.C. stood for  — we joked that it was probably the prefix to the year of his birth.  We called him “Chief.”  I never knew his wife’s name, either.  We called her “Mrs. Chief.”  

Anyway, one day we all gathered at a downtown coffee shop, as was our routine back then.  I can’t speak for today’s cops, but in Texas in the 1970’s, we spent a lot of time meeting in coffee shops.  When I worked the day shift, I spent as much time with Chief in coffee shops as I did on patrol.

These morning coffee meetings weren’t with our own guys — we were a small department in those days.  Usually, the day shift consisted of Chief, one sergeant and one or two patrolmen.  So when Chief was headed to the coffee shop, he would put out an APB to that effect.

Usually, we’d be met by a couple of DPS (Highway Patrol) officers, a TABC officer named Harold Rester, a couple of guys from the Fish and Game Department and occasionally, our local Texas Ranger, Brantley Foster.

I used to wear a mustache in those days and the first thing Chief did when he hired me was tell me to shave it off.   At one of these coffee meetings, Harold Rester started to tease me about my former mustache, telling me (in front of Chief): “Chief can’t fire you for growing a mustache.  It would violate your rights.”

I don’t know if that was true or not, but I jumped at the bait: “Yeah, Chief.  What about that?”

Chief just smiled and rubbed one of those great, big hands across his mouth and looked at me.

“Well, ol’ Harold’s probably right,” Chief said. “I probably can’t fire you for growing a mustache.  I’d have to find something else to fire you for.”

He didn’t need to elaborate.  And neither did I think he was kidding.  .  .

That story came to mind as I was reading of the arrest of that poor schmuck that really believed that in America, one cannot be arrested for expressing one’s opinion in a lawful manner.

Of course Nakoula Basseley Nakoula,would never have made The Movie That Nobody Saw if he was still living in Egypt.  In Egypt, one can be arrested for expressing one’s opinion on film.  

But in America, one’s opinion is a sacred thing, protected by what are known as America’s “First Five Freedoms” enshrined in the 1st Amendment to the Constitution as part of America’s Bill of Rights.

Back when Obama was trying to have the 9/11 masterminds tried in a US federal court in New York for the September 11 attacks, the position taken by the Obama Justice Department was that the Constitutional protections afforded US citizens are extended to all persons inside United State’s jurisdiction, regardless of citizenship. 

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula is an Egyptian citizen, according to Obama and not an American.  Suddenly, that makes a difference to Obama.  The people that murdered three thousand innocent citizens should be covered by the Constitutional protections. 

But the guy that insulted Mohammed?  Maybe we should turn him over to the Egyptians.

“We have important interests in the emerging democracies in the Middle East,” the president told Scott Pelley during the interview.  “This individual, Mr. Nakoula, is Egyptian – is not a U.S. citizen – and may be in violation of his parole making him subject to deportation.” 

The president said that he could deport Mr. Nakoula using an executive order if he so chooses.

Pelley questioned the president whether Nakoula fits the criteria currently being applied by Homeland Security for deportation since his crime, if any, does not involve violence but a parole violation. 

“We could make an exception in Mr. Nakoula’s case since that repugnant, amateurish film offended many people and led to much bloodshed,” said President Obama.

An exception?  Because he made a lousy movie?  Because it was offensive to another culture?  Those are grounds for deportation?   

(On those grounds alone, Obama should be seeking Bill Maher’s arrest, or at the very least, his removal from the public airwaves.)

Make no mistake — this Nakoula guy is no Pollyanna – he pleaded no contest to bank fraud and did time for it.  He was on supervised probation at the time he produced The Movie Nobody Saw. 

Still, it isn’t illegal to make a lousy movie and it isn’t illegal to defame Mohammed or Islam anymore than it is illegal to defame Jesus or Christianity.  

(If it was, Martin Scorcese would be sharing a cell with Willem Dafoe, Tom Hanks would be sitting in jail beside Dan Brown, and Robert Mapplethorpe would be on death row.)

Which is what carried me back all those years to that coffee shop in downtown Mt Pleasant, Texas where B.C. Sustaire first articulated the principle under which Obama views the Constitutional limits on his power.

“If we can’t arrest the guy for insulting Mohammed, we can always find something else to arrest him for.”

See?  Free speech is still protected.  No problem.

Assessment:

Citing Nakoula’s “lengthy pattern of deception,” a federal magistrate ordered him held without bond for alleged probation violations, including making false statements to his probation officer and using aliases.

The judge rejected a plea from Nakoula’s lawyer, who argued that Nakoula’s life would be in danger at an L.A. lockup due to the facility’s large population of Muslim inmates.  So instead, if he survives, Nakoula will remain in custody in advance of a probation revocation hearing, the date for which has yet to be scheduled.

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula is going to prison for insulting Mohammed — IF he is very, very lucky.  Even if the California jail is filled with Muslim inmates, there is at least a chance that his jailers will put him in protective custody.

If Obama has his way, then Basseley Nakoula is a dead man.  If he is deported to Egypt, he will be tortured, tried, convicted, tortured some more and eventually executed for committing a ‘crime’ that is not a crime in America or in any English-speaking Western democracy on earth.

As we’ve already seen, politically, Americans owe Islam no more dignity or respect than Americans owe Christianity.  Doctrinally, Muslims owe no dignity nor respect to Christianity and Christianity has no duty to respect Islam. 

Indeed, each faith is mutually exclusive of the other.

Under the tenets of Islam, Christianity is a false, polytheistic religion that worships a man as a god.  Islam views Jesus as a prophet, but inferior to Mohammed and certainly NOT the Son of God. 

Islam claims that Jesus was NOT executed, did not die for the sins of mankind, was not resurrected and faith in Him alone cuts no ice with Allah when it comes to the next world.  Under the tenets of Islam, nobody that is a Christian can be saved.

Any Muslim that converts to Christianity has committed an offense for which the death penalty is prescribed.  The conversion is not considered valid and the convert is still regarded as a Muslim, albeit an apostate one.

Under the tenets of Christianity, salvation comes through Christ and Christ alone.  No non-Christian can be saved, since salvation is a function of grace through faith and not of works, lest any man should boast.

No Christian owes allegiance to Islam and for a Christian to accept the shahada, whereby one acknowledges Mohammed as a prophet of Allah, is an act of blasphemy.  There is no room for one religion to reach out to the other in a spirit of ecumenical brotherhood without each side violating is own most basic doctrines.

There is nothing wrong with that.  It is simply an acknowledgement of the painfully obvious. Things that are different are not the same.  Beliefs that are different are not the same.  Religions that are different are not the same.

That is the reason that the first freedom guaranteed by the 1st Amendment restricts the government from elevating one religion above the other:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof or abridging the freedom of speech. . . “

Nakoula Bassely Nakoula is apparently an Egyptian citizen legally residing in the United States.  Moreover, Nakoula is not a Muslim but is a Coptic Christian.  So under the First Amendment, he has a right to express his faith, as well has having the right to speak freely without fear of arrest.

It doesn’t matter if his speech is offensive.  It doesn’t matter if he is not a nice guy.  It doesn’t matter that he wasn’t born in America or that he isn’t a citizen.  Under Obama’s immigration policy, it doesn’t even matter if he is here legally.  

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula isn’t in jail right now because he violated his probation by using aliases — were it not for the President blaming the movie for the September 11 terror attacks in Benghazi, nobody would be talking about deporting him to Egypt.

If the movie had been about anything or anyone other than Mohammed, the Hollywood community would be SCREAMING about repression and artistic license and civil rights and the 1st Amendment.

Here we have a filmmaker going to jail for making an offensive movie!  Where are all the Hollywood stars?  Where are all the free speech champions?  Where is Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Sean Penn and Harry Belafonte? 

Where are all the Democrats?  Where are all the AMERICANS? 

In 1937 a German clergyman named Martin Niemoller was arrested by the Nazis for speaking out against Hitler’s excesses.  He spent time in both Dachau and Saschenhausen, but managed to survive to the war’s end.

On his release, Niemoller issued a statement that soon became a poem and is frequently quoted as the model for the dangers of political apathy:

First they came for the socialists,  
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.   
Then they came for me,   
and there was no one left to speak for me.

But this isn’t Nazi Germany.  This. . .  is America!

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 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: from such turn away.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

God help us all. 

The Father of Lies

The Father of Lies
Vol: 132 Issue: 27 Thursday, September 27, 2012

There was once a time in America where honesty was prized above all other characteristics.  Liberals will deny that it is so, but the fact is that for much of America and for much of its history, a handshake was as reliable as a written contract.

The old saying about “a man being as good as his word” is a uniquely American saying.  And as we’ve noted many times, old sayings only become old sayings if they are true.

To label a man a liar was to destroy his reputation in a single stroke.  It was such a stinging insult of such devastating power that it often resulted in a duel to the death.  It was especially deadly to a politician.

In May, 1777, Lachlan McIntosh called Button Gwinnet, a “scoundrel and a lying rascal.”  Gwinnet challenged McIntosh to a duel in which McIntosh was wounded and Gwinnet was killed.  In 1804 Vice President Aaron Burr shot and killed former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton after a similar, defining insult.

When Charles Dickinson called Andrew Jackson a “coward and an equivocator ” (liar) in 1805, Jackson became the only US President to ever kill a man in a duel. 

Dickinson was known as one of the best shots in Kentucky.  Jackson was known as “Old Hickory” for his toughness.

Jackson absorbed the first round, which broke two of his ribs and lodged two inches from his heart.  Then, clutching his chest, he raised his weapon, took careful aim, and shot Dickinson to death.

The Free Dictionary Online uses the phrase “nobody calls me a liar” to illustrate what it means to be “called out.”  

For a politician, being caught in a lie was the kiss of death as recently as 1974 when Richard Nixon was forced to resign from the Presidency.  The Iran-Contra Affair almost brought down what is now universally recognized as one of the greatest presidencies in American history.

President Reagan refused to lie to the public about it, taking to the public airwaves on March 4, 1987 where he took full responsibility for any actions that he was unaware of, and admitting that “what began as a strategic opening to Iran deteriorated, in its implementation, into trading arms for hostages”.

Something happened to America during the Monica Lewinsky Scandal; a page was turned in America’s moral code with the introduction of the mantra, “everybody lies about sex.”  It is probably true — that is probably why he wasn’t removed from office at his impeachment. 

We are all sinners, and it seems logical to me that if a person’s moral compass was already far enough off center for him to do something that would require lying about sex, then it is axiomatic that it’s far enough off center to go the extra mile, so to speak.

A person that finds no moral conflict with cheating would be equally comfortable lying about it, and so, somehow, “everybody lies about sex” resonated.  Clinton was convicted of lying to an Arkansas judge, and by the time he left the White House, what would have been a certain transition from Clinton to Al Gore turned into Election 2000.

During the recount, desperation gave way to overt dissembling; who can forget the image of Al Gore intoning, “Every vote should count” as his lawyers argued in court to suppress the military vote because it broke for his opponent?

Gore initially conceded, then took it back, then denied he’d conceded, and for 78 days, reality was suspended while Team Gore openly sought to steal the election, regardless of what damage it did to the country. 

The Left immediately projected its values onto George W Bush, accusing him of lying in every public pronouncement.  And for the life of me, from then until now, and with the benefit of hindsight, I’ve yet to find a single clear example of when he did.  

(Indeed, I offer this challenge.  If anyone can come up with a single, provable example of when George Bush knowingly lied to the public, please email me and I will publicly acknowledge I was wrong.)

After years of accusing Bush of lies nobody could pin down, America came within inches of electing John Kerry, phony Vietnam War “hero” and serial cheater and liar John Edwards, to the White House. 

The only thing that saved us in 2004 was that slim majority of Americans who were still sensitive to the truth.

In 2008, America threw caution to the wind, falling in love with a new self-image of itself — that of having finally breached the racial dividing wall.

The electorate willingly closed its eyes to what it could not deny about Candidate Obama’s casual relationship with the truth or his troubling relationships and went instead with “hope” without asking anything about “change”.

Nobody really believed that Obama attended Jeremiah Wright’s church for twenty years without knowing Wright’s views on racial politics.  Nobody vetted the candidate’s background because they were afraid of what they might find.  

Now, to quote Reverend Wright, America’s chickens really are coming home to roost.  

Assessment:

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (John 8:44)

By 2007, the majority seemingly shifted, giving Nancy Pelosi control of the House of Representatives and Harry Reid control of the Senate.  The number of times that Reid and Pelosi have been caught openly lying to the public needs no further elaboration. 

“All this was inspired by the principle–which is quite true within itself–that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods.  It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.  Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation.” (Adolph Hitler on “The Big Lie”)

Last weekend, when asked directly by “60 Minutes” about the lies his campaign has been making up against his opposition, Obama casually looked into the camera and admitted it.  I set off the salient code phrases in italics, (translation to follow):

“Do we see sometimes us going overboard in our campaign– mistakes that are made, or areas where there’s no doubt that somebody could dispute how we are presenting things?  That happens in politics.  The truth of the matter is that most of the time we’re having a vigorous debate about a vision for the country, and there’s a lot at stake in this election.  So is it going to be sharp sometimes?  Absolutely.”

And now, for the translation:

“Do we sometimes lie?  Is it sometimes so obvious as to be indisputable?  Yes.  Politicians lie and I’m no different.  The truth is that when we aren’t lying, we’re telling the truth, but we have to lie and cheat because there’s a lot a stake in this election.  So will I continue to lie about my opponent if I think it will advantage me?  Absolutely.”

There was a fascinating piece in the Los Angeles Times attempting to draw a moral equivalency between the lies told by the Obama campaign and those alleged against the Romney campaign.  I say “alleged” because the media has two definitions for lying.   

The LA Times even unwittingly contrasted two ads that prove it.  

A Democrat lies when it is impossible to interpret it any other way, such as when Team Obama ran an ad saying  that the death of a steel worker’s wife was the direct result of Mitt Romney’s involvement with Bain Capital.

An example of a Republican lying is when he makes a public policy statement that the liberals disagree with, such as when Mitt Romney said an Obama decision to violate the Work for Welfare law would “gut welfare as we know it”.

Then the Times goes on to congratulate the Democrats for being as willing to lie as the Republicans!

Both ads were labeled as untrue by fact-checking groups.  At week’s end, both campaigns appeared unabashed.  Many Democrats, in fact, have reveled in the evidence that their side could be as “tough” as the Republicans, who in past campaigns were perceived by Democrats as being more willing to stretch the truth to make a political point.
“We’re in a new phase: Fact-checking alone is not enough.  The campaigns seem able to override it,” said New York University journalism professor Jay Rosen, who has studied how journalists attempt to referee campaigns.
Indeed, with the ad about the cancer death, the Democratic super PAC, Priorities USA Action, appeared to have gone the fact-checkers one better — exploiting attention to the ad’s veracity to get free air time for a spot that has not appeared anywhere as a paid commercial.  The ad has been replayed extensively on television news segments that have debated it and has been viewed more than half a million times on YouTube.  The largest number of views have come from five states — California and four election battlegrounds, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia, according to Priorities.

Then, comes the kicker.  The LATimes explains the secret behind the tactic:

”The Democratic super PAC has raised considerably less money than its Republican counterpart, making the free publicity particularly valuable.”

If you tell a lie so egregious, so incredible, so unbelievable, the lie itself will generate free publicity that will help to spread the lie!  Get ready for the next quote:

“Asked whether the prospect of controversy leading to free publicity was part of the calculation, Paul Begala, senior advisor to Priorities, did not hesitate. “Absolutely,” he said. “We’re provocateurs.”

The lies are not only deliberate, they are calculated.  Worst of all, what will it mean for America if it works?  

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.” (1 Timothy 4:1-2)

Suddenly, I have the overwhelming urge to go and have a shower.  And perhaps to weep a little for what once was.  

If Only It Was Only A Movie

If Only It Was Only A Movie
Vol: 132 Issue: 26 Wednesday, September 26, 2012

It is fair to say at this point in the history of mankind that the most famous and well-known movie ever made is now The Movie That Nobody Saw.  I notice that nobody bothers to use The Movie’s actual name anymore.  It’s just called ”The Movie”.

It is probable almost to the point of certainty that the percentage of people among the rioters that actually saw The Movie’s trailer would be in the single digits.  But if they didn’t hear about it from their local branch of al-Qaeda, they certainly heard about it from the US government.

President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton produced a publicity trailer of their own that castigated The Movie as so “disgusting” and “reprehensible” that Secretary Clinton found it necessary to “categorically reject” the film’s message and contents.

(Does that mean that President Obama and Secretary Clinton actually sat down and watched The Movie before issuing their reviews?) 

For ten days, the White House, the Cabinet and Obama’s media operatives repeated the mantra that the anti-American riots across the Middle East were all the fault of “The Movie.”  Including the assault in Benghazi.

Especially the assault on Benghazi.

I caught the NBC exclusive interview with Libyan President Mohamed Magarief when Ann Curry asked him if he believed that.  Magarief said that The Movie had nothing to do with it. 

“Reaction should have been, if it was genuine, should have been six months earlier. So it was postponed until the 11th of September,” he said. “They chose this date, 11th of September to carry a certain message.”

That sounds logical.  But somehow, it seemed to escape the Obama administration for ten days and somehow still eludes Obama.  In his speech to the UN, Obama doubled down again and again on the completely discredited theme that the uprising was a consequence of The Movie.

In all, Obama devoted more than 1,000 words of his speech to the entire world to a discussion of The Movie.  When he got around to explaining to the world body why America didn’t arrest the “blasphemer” who made The Movie, Obama almost sounded tolerant.

“The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. Yet to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see when the image of Jesus Christ is desecrated, churches are destroyed, or the Holocaust is denied. Let us condemn incitement against Sufi Muslims, and Shiite pilgrims . . .”

It sounded tolerant to Western listeners, but take note that the first sentence emphasizes that it is only Islamic forces that should win the future.

“Anti-Christian sentiments, anti-Semitism and hostility towards Muslim minorities exist, but it is the anti-Islamic forces that we must be most concerned about. President Obama stood against Islamic blasphemy laws but justified the rationale used by Islamists around the world in implementing them. And this contradicted his statements on behalf of free speech. . .
. . . This perception is not driven by an honest misreading of Western intentions. The root is Islamist doctrine, which Obama did not point out. Islamists will inevitably believe that Western governments and societies are anti-Muslim because there is no true “justice” or “peace” until the world is brought under Sharia Law.”

The headlines in the Obama media were baffling;  The Guardian saw the speech as a condemnation of extremism.  One wonders if the Guardian heard the same speech:

“At times, the conflicts arise along the fault lines of faith, race or tribe; and often they arise from the difficulties of reconciling tradition and faith with the diversity and interdependence of the modern world. In every country, there are those who find different religious beliefs threatening; in every culture, those who love freedom for themselves must ask how much they are willing to tolerate freedom for others. . . That is what we saw play out the last two weeks, as a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world.”

See?  It wasn’t terrorism.  And it wasn’t the terrorists that perpetrated it.  It wasn’t the demonstrators that breached our embassies. It wasn’t retaliation for all the bragging about the killing of Osama bin Laden.  It wasn’t al-Qaeda and it had nothing to do with September 11th.

It was The Movie That Nobody Saw’s fault.  And there was nothing that Obama could do to prevent it because of America’s pesky free speech laws.

So don’t blame me for dropping the ball and getting all those people killed. 

Blame the Founders.  And The Movie. 

Oh, and George W. Bush.

Assessment:

This morning, I went over to RealClearPolitics and InTrade to check out how Obama is doing.  According to RCP Obama is up across-the-board.  Over at InTrade, bettors are giving Obama a three to one advantage.

It is nothing short of astonishing.  I want to believe that the polls are all skewed in Obama’s favor, and maybe they are.  But the mere suggestion that Obama might win re-election is unsettling.  Scary, even.

Then I went to my email, where I read the following letter from a reader in Massachusetts:

“All of my Christian friends and I are worried about these times. I know the bible tells us to be comforted, but frankly we are scared.  We pray to be comforted but things seem to get worse on a daily basis.”

If you weren’t scared, I’d be questioning your sanity.  Praying for comfort will bring comfort, but it won’t make that which scares us go away. 

The Bible outlines a specific path that the world will take as we move closer and closer to the Time of Jacob’s Trouble and praying for it to go away isn’t part of that scenario.

I still get scared sometimes reading breaking news and intelligence reports, even though they serve to confirm to me all that I believe to be true about Bible prophecy and the generation in which we live.

Fear is a natural, God-given emotion, and is one of mankind’s most basic survival tools.  Pain hurts, so that we fear it, and therefore, we are careful not to damage ourselves.

It is the fear of pain that makes us run from danger, preserving our lives.  Without fear, few of us would survive to adulthood.

The Bible doesn’t tell us not to fear so much as it teaches us how to redirect our fear.  Jesus said to fear not those who can destroy the body, but rather to fear Him Who can destroy the soul. The Psalmist wrote;

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.” (Psalms 23:4)

“Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea . . .” (Psalms 46:2)

“In God I will praise His word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.” (Psalms 56:4)

So, if scary news scares us, does that mean that we are faithless Christians?  No.  Being scared doesn’t mean not having faith in the Lord. 

There is a tourist attraction in Toronto called “Ten Toes Over Toronto.”  Participants strap themselves to a safety harness and walk out onto the observation deck out to the very edge where they stand with their feet over the edge and look down — 1,815.4 feet down. 

I’m getting scared just thinking about it!  If you can stand it, here is a video of the experience.  I tried to watch it, but when the first guy walked to the edge and looked down, I had to turn it off.  

Now, I have faith in God.  I believe the Bible is true.  I know that He has everything under control.  And as you can see from the video clip, a person doing the Ten Toes walk is securely harnessed. 

But I still wouldn’t do it — there is no amount of money, no physical reward, no incentive you could offer me that would convince me to step to the edge of the CN Tower.  If God told me to, I’d seek advice from a competent mental health official.

It is all but impossible to see the signs of the times and not get scared once in awhile.  It doesn’t mean you’ve lost your faith in God.  “Sudden fear” comes upon us all, saved and unsaved alike.

“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)

I can’t think of much that is scarier that another four years of Obama.  But at the same time, if Obama is re-elected, the odds of the Rapture being just around the corner go up considerably. 

“The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.” (Proverbs 29:25)

Oh Yeah? Well What About THIS?

Oh Yeah? Well What About THIS?
Vol: 132 Issue: 25 Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The other day, somebody sent me a list of Bible ‘difficulties’ packaged together with the usual sneering challenge and daring me to confront their evidence that the Bible is filled with contradictions.  It isn’t unusual — I get challenges like this all the time, and you probably do, too.

One thing most of the challenges have in common is that most of the so-called “contradictions” are only contradictions to unbelievers.

For example, the Bible says there is only one God, then God refers to Himself as “us” and then it refers to other gods, like Molech (Leviticus 18:21),  Dagon (1 Samuel 5:2) and Baal (Judges 3:7).  

To an unbeliever, it is an obvious contradiction demanding an explanation whereas to a believer, the contradiction does not exist.  God is one God, (Deuteronomy 6:4) in Three Persons,  (1 John 5:7) and the other “gods” mentioned are probably fallen angels or simply imaginary. 

Even the reason why an unbeliever finds a glaring contradiction where no actual contradiction exists is explained by Scripture. 

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

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthiahs 1:18)

“But ye have an unction (anointing) from the Holy One, and ye know all things.” (1 John 2:20)

“And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.” (1 John 2:28)

My correspondent feigned offense at the claim that all men are sinners, claiming that the Bible says that Job was not a sinner (Job 1:1)  that Noah and his family were not sinners (Genesis 7:1) and that John the Baptist’s parents, Zacharaias and Elizabeth were sinless.

This is another example of contradiction that only exists in the absence of the Holy Spirit’s “unction” or anointing.  Of course all men have a sin debt, including those who walk righteous before the Lord.  There is a difference between righteousness and perfect righteousness, something every believer knows in his own spirit.

Does God tempt people?  Genesis 22:1 says that He does:

“And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.”

But James 1:13 says that God never, ever tempts anyone.

“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:”

The solution here is ridiculously simple.  First, James links temptation with evil.  Secondarily the word translated into English as ‘tempted’ is nacha, which means, “to test” and was translated as “tempt” in 1611.  Putting Abraham through a test is not the same thing as tempting Abraham to do evil.

“The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.” (Matthew 13:32)

“AHA! The mustard seed ISN’T the smallest seed and it DOESN’T grow to be the largest among herbivorous plants.  If Jesus was God, then He should have known that.”

There are a number of different kinds of mustard trees indigenous to Israel, and the mustard seed was the smallest seed known and used by the people to whom He was offering the illustration. 

Jesus would have known that it wasn’t the largest of all herbivorous plants by simple observation, even if He wasn’t God.  But the mustard plant dominated the typical herb garden, so the illustration was easily understood by the hearers.  

Jesus also used the mustard seed as an illustration of how faith as small as a mustard seed could accomplish great things.  One has to stretch pretty far to conclude Jesus was making a statement of science instead of using it to illustrate a point.

Assessment:

There were a lot more so-called “contradictions” but my correspondent’s real objection was to God Himself.  If God loves all people, then how does one explain a loving God inflicting such suffering on the children He claims to love so much?

My correspondent has made it clear that he doesn’t believe that God exists, and so his question isn’t so much an attempt to understand as it is intended to cause me to question my own faith.  

The unbeliever instinctively knows that there is a God, despite his best efforts to convince himself otherwise.

“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” (Romans 1:20)

I’ve heard it described as a “God-shaped hole in the soul” that nothing else quite fills except God.  He wants to be comfortable in his unbelief and if he can’t, then he’ll seek comfort in trying to shatter yours.

On the other hand, if God DOES exist, what is the answer?  The Bible is filled with examples of the just suffering while the unjust seemingly get all the breaks.

“Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.” (Psalms 73:17)

The fact is, that we are made in God’s image.  The unbeliever wants to recast Him in ours — which is where the problem lies.  God created us in His image because we are eternal, even as He is eternal.

We were created for eternal life — or for eternal death; but in any case, the key word here is ‘eternal’.

The answer to the question is that God is God, whether one believes in Him or not.  For example, someone may not believe that I exist, but that doesn’t mean I don’t.

Or they may conclude, from my writing, that I think a certain way, even when I don’t.  Their belief or unbelief has no bearing on what I think or how I express myself.   I am who I am, no matter what people think I am.

And God is Who He is.

God is our Judge, we are not His.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

The Lord doesn’t work in ‘mysterious’ ways; He works according to His will.  He has a purpose for everything that He does.  Whether we understand that purpose is irrelevant — it is enough to know that HE does.

“So shall My Word be that goeth forth out of My Mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)

To the unbeliever, this life is all there is — so when God takes it, it seems exceedingly cruel. But this is no more ‘all there is’ than the blackness of the womb is to the unborn child. The blackness of the womb is simply all it knows until it is born.

Oftentimes, a similar question pops up to the effect that ‘a loving God would never condemn people to hell’.

God sent His own Son to die on the Cross for our sins so that we wouldn’t end up in hell. If we choose to reject Him, it isn’t God that is making that choice.  It is the individual that chooses — it is God that made the choice possible.

Death isn’t the end, it is the beginning.  It is either the beginning of something unspeakably wonderful, or it is the beginning of an eternal horror beyond our ability to contemplate, but it is, nonetheless, the beginning of eternity for each of us.

God put each of us here for two reasons.  The first is so that we can choose to one day enjoy fellowship with Him in eternity.  The second is to spread the Good News to the lost in the time we have remaining.

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

Maranatha!

Obama To Israel . . . Good Luck To You!

Obama To Israel . . . Good Luck To You!
Vol: 132 Issue: 24 Monday, September 24, 2012

The United Nations General Assembly is set to meet at UN headquarters along the East River in Lower Manhattan.  The name, ”United Nations” was invented by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in January, 1942 as an alternative name for the Allied Powers fighting the Axis (Germany, Italy, Japan).

In 1945, representatives of fifty countries met in San Francisco to draw up the Charter of the United Nations on the basis of proposals worked out by the representatives of China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States.

It was decided that the five major Allied Powers; the US, UK, France, Russia and China would be allocated permanent seats at the UN Security Council and an individual veto, effectively requiring unanimous agreement on every major Security Council resolution. 

The United Nations owes its pricey address to John D. Rockefeller.  The hope was that it would become the headquarters for a global government.

Instead, he provided a place where pouting and jealous bureaucrats and self-inflated international diplomats can pretend to matter, while they consider ways in which to obstruct and frustrate their hosts.

The UN’s most vocal membership stands in opposition of the American values of controlled representative government, justice, free enterprise, privacy of individuals and private property rights.

Does that sound harsh?  The UN was created by America.  It was chartered in America.  It is housed in America.  America pays a quarter of its overall budget.  And the United Nations is just about the most anti-American international organization in existence, after al-Qaeda and the Taliban.  

The only country that fares worse at the hands of the United Nations is Israel, which is usually the focus of most UN condemnatory resolutions.  

America and Israel used to be close allies.  Obama has apparently decided to seek less troublesome alliances elsewhere. 

The United Nations General Assembly is dominated by the 57-state Organization of the Islamic Conference, which always votes as a bloc and therefore sets the GA’s working agenda. 

That is one of the main reasons that Israel is the only member state to be made a permanent part of the UN’s “Human Rights” agenda as an alleged “serial human rights abuser.”

(The other reason is because Israel is a Jewish State and anti-semitism is the only form of racism celebrated by annual UN Conferences).

In 1975 the UN General Assembly formally adopted Resolution 3379 by a vote of 72 to 35 that Zionism is a form of racism.  The resolution was only revoked after Israel made it a condition of participating in the 1991 Madrid Conference. 

But to this day, the United Nations has not only been unable to come up with a definition for “terrorism” it has never acknowledged any link between terrorism and Islam.

In that regard, President Obama and the UN are singing in two-part harmony. 

Assessment:

The UN has a number of issues to debate, most of which are direct consequences of US foreign policy.  The Middle East and much of the Arab world has erupted in flames over the administration’s constant hyping of a movie seen by ten people and a trailer for the movie that was posted on Youtube.

The administration continues to blame the movie for the terrorist attacks on September 11 because otherwise it would be forced to admit it was unprepared.  Moreover, the White House has been spiking the ball on an almost daily basis about killing the leader of al-Qaeda. 

“GM is Alive and bin Laden is Dead!” shouted Vice President Joe Biden during his speech at the DNC.  The problem for the Obama administration was that, while bin Laden might be dead, al-Qaeda isn’t, and that is who attacked the consulate in Benghazi and killed its unprotected diplomats.

The UN won’t be discussing terrorism, but they will be hosting a number of terrorist leaders and terrorist states, including Syria and Iran.  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was asked specifically by Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to please try to avoid calling for genocide against the Jews from the UN podium. 

The Secretary General would like Ahmadinejad to please think about the “potentially harmful consequences of inflammatory rhetoric, counter-rhetoric and threats from various countries in the Middle East.”

(Evidently, some folks think it sounds a bit unseemly and that he should save it for one of the UN’s conferences on racism. )

“Iran’s Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh told Iran’s Arabic-language television network, “In circumstances in which they (the Israelis) have prepared everything for an attack, it is possible that we will make a pre-emptive attack. But we do not see this at the moment.”
Ahmadinejad will deliver his annual speech at the opening fall session of the United General Assembly on Wednesday, which coincides with the Yom Kippur holiday. 
In the past, he has used the podium of the United Nations to launch a tirade against Israel, which Iran calls the “Zionist regime,” and the United States.
Ban met with Ahmadinejad to try to convince him to tone down his remarks this year. The secretary “general’s press office said in a statement that Ban “drew attention” to the consequences of incitement. He also spoke with the Iranian president about the war in Syria, where Iran is directly aiding Syrian President Bashar Assad, and Tehran’s nuclear program, which Ahmadinejad insists is for peaceful purposes.”

President Obama is not meeting with any world leaders while they are in New York, including Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, who specifically requested a meeting.  President Obama has no time on his calendar for the Israeli Prime Minister – (it would conflict with his appearance on ABC’s “The View.”)

As former press secretary Robert Gibbs sarcastically told Chris Wallace on Sunday, “they have phones in the White House.”

Instead, Obama delivered his message to Prime Minister Netanyahu and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad via an interview with CBS 60 Minutes. 

“When it comes to our national security decisions – any pressure that I feel is simply to do what’s right for the American people. And I am going to block out – any noise that’s out there.”

The “noise” to which he refers are the pleas from the Israelis for help. 

“Now I feel an obligation – not pressure but obligation – to make sure that we’re in close consultation with the Israelis on these issues because it affects them deeply.”

(It is good to know he feels an “obligation” for “close consultation” with the Israelis.  Maybe the ladies on “The View” can help him look up Netanyahu’s phone number. )

While Obama is telling Israel that he is blocking out their pleas for help, he is also pleading with Ahmadinejad, telling him that America won’t support an Israeli airstrike.  Why pick today to relay that message? 

Perhaps because of the message delivered yesterday Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Revolutionary Guards missile section:

“In circumstances in which the Israelis have prepared everything for an attack, it is possible that we will make a pre-emptive attack.  Any Israeli strike would be presumed to be authorized by the US.  Therefore, we will definitely attack US bases in Bahrain, Qatar and Afghanistan.”

America’s response? 

“Sorry, Israel.  Best of luck to you.”

“And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” (Zechariah 12:3)

Tick . . .tick . . .tick

The First Day of Fall — And There’s a Chill In the Air!

The First Day of Fall — And There’s a Chill In the Air!
Vol: 132 Issue: 22 Saturday, September 22, 2012

One of the few places where science and religion have no disagreement is in the understanding that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. 

Everything has its own negative doppelganger; matter has antimatter, light has its darkness, heat has cold, normal space has its black holes, etc.

The universe consists of opposites and like opposite poles on a magnet, the reaction between opposites generates power.  Plants require sunlight plus darkness for photosynthesis to occur. 

Friction is the basic source of power in the universe.  Heat is the result of friction between molecules. 

Spiritually speaking, one finds the same principles at work.  For good to exist in this universe, there must be a countervailing evil.  If there were no evil, then there would be no way to define “good”.  

To my mind, this is one of the stronger evidences supporting the supernatural origin of the Bible. The godless founder of Soviet Communism, Vladimir Lenin, was something of an armchair philosopher who made the following observation.

“It is impossible for the human mind to imagine something that does not exist.  For example, one can imagine pink elephants because pink exists and elephants exist. But one cannot imagine a new prime color for the rainbow.”

Applied to the existence of God, one must consider the following, all of which is as far outside of any human frame of reference as imagining a new prime color for the rainbow.  

  • God is eternal, without beginning or end. 
  • God exists outside of space and time. 
  • God is a Trinity, one God in Three distinct Persons.
  • God is omnipotent, which means He is all-powerful and the Source of all power every single second of every single day.
  • God is omniscient, meaning He knows everything at once. 
  • God is omnipresent, which means He is everywhere at once.
  • Heaven is a place of good without evil.
  • Heaven is a place of light without darkness.

The human mind is incapable of conceiving that which does not exist or that for which there is no frame of reference.

Even in Star Trek, which imposed no limits on the imagination, the strangest alien lifeforms encountered all fit within a conceptual frame of reference. If they weren’t humanoid, they were reptilian, or were clouds or gases or even an intelligence, but none were beyond imagination. 

An eternal, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent triune GOD is not only beyond imagination, He is beyond comprehension.  Even what is revealed is too much to get one’s mind completely around. I’ve never met anyone who claimed to completely understand the Trinity.  Or what God might look like.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

This is another evidence of the positive and negative in action.  We humans are limited to worshipping, rather than actually knowing Him, because of His unimaginable goodness and power.  

That is the musterion, or the mystery of God.

Assessment:

The musterion also refers to the progressive revelation of God to mankind, as in 1 Corinthians 15:51 when Paul introduces the Rapture for the first time, saying, “Behold, I shew you a mystery (musterion).”

In context, it means a Divine truth not previously revealed. 

The Old Testament contains a number of references to the antichrist, but because they were revealed before the actual revelation of the real Christ, there was no framework in which to understand him.  

After the Messiah was revealed in the Person of Jesus Christ, the musterion of the antichrist was also revealed.

The early Church Fathers, like Polycarp, Irenaeus, Tertullian, etc., developed the doctrine  concerning antichrist long before the advent of Constantine and the papacy introduced the doctrines of replacement theology, post millennialism, purgatory and dropped or watered-down doctrines like the Rapture and Tribulation Period.

Irenaeus (2nd century AD – c. 202) wrote Against Heresies to refute the teachings of the Gnostics. In Book V of Against Heresies he addresses the figure of the Antichrist referring to him as the “recapitulation of apostasy and rebellion.”

In his exegesis of Daniel 7:21, he concluded that the ten horns of the beast will be the Roman empire divided into ten kingdoms before the Antichrist’s arrival.  

Tertullian (ca.160 – ca.220 AD) held that the Roman Empire was the restraining force written about by Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8. The fall of Rome and the disintegration of the ten provinces of the Roman Empire into ten kingdoms were to make way for the Antichrist.

‘For that day shall not come, unless indeed there first come a falling away,’ he [Paul] means indeed of this present empire, ‘and that man of sin be revealed,’ that is to say, Antichrist, ‘the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God or religion; so that he sitteth in the temple of God, affirming that he is God. Remember ye not, that when I was with you, I used to tell you these things? And now ye know what detaineth, that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work; only he who now hinders must hinder, until he be taken out of the way.’ What obstacles is there but the Roman state, the falling away of which, by being scattered into the ten kingdoms, shall introduce Antichrist upon (its own ruins)? And then shall be revealed the wicked one, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming: 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.”

Hippolytus of Rome (c. 170-c. 236) believed that the Antichrist would be of the tribe of Dan and would rebuild the Jewish temple in order to reign from it. Hippolytus linked the antichrist to the second Beast that rises up out of the Earth from the book of Revelation 13:11.

“By the beast, then, coming up out of the earth, he means the kingdom of Antichrist; and by the two horns he means him and the false prophet after him. And in speaking of “the horns being like a lamb,” he means that he will make himself like the Son of God, and set himself forward as king. And the terms, “he spake like a dragon,” mean that he is a deceiver, and not truthful.”

Origen (185–254 said of the antichrist, relying on Daniel, Paul, and the Gospels:

“Where is the absurdity, then, in holding that there exist among men, so to speak, two extremes– the one of virtue, and the other of its opposite; so that the perfection of virtue dwells in the man who realizes the ideal given in Jesus, from whom there flowed to the human race so great a conversion, and healing, and amelioration, while the opposite extreme is in the man who embodies the notion of him that is named Antichrist.”

So we are not following some relatively new doctrine anymore than our understanding of the unfolding of Bible prophecy is the invention of some Scottish girl named Margaret MacDonald or a 19th century preacher named Schofield or Darby.

The Rapture is a secret, signless event which could have happened at any time from the day Paul was writing to the Thessalonians to tell them they had NOT been left behind (2 Thessalonians 2:1-2) until this very moment.

It wouldn’t have been early in AD 65 and it wouldn’t be late if it happened tomorrow. That’s what the doctrine of immanency means, that the Rapture is always imminent, for there are no signs to precede it.

But the Bible does give us signs that would reveal the onset of the Tribulation and the identity of the antichrist. 

According to the Prophet Daniel, the antichrist is the prince of the revived Roman Empire that confirms a peace deal between Israel and ‘the many’ that permits them to rebuild the Temple on Temple Mount and resume the animal sacrifice system.  

The Apostle Paul says that the Jews will recognize him for who he is when he sits down on the Mercy Seat in the Temple.

As Christians, we are supposed to be looking for the Lord Jesus to come for His Church.  Our job isn’t to look for the antichrist, but rather to occupy and give the warning until He comes. 

We will never know who the antichrist is, and playing guessing games about who he might be is a futile and not particularly edifying waste of time.

But still, he is one of the focal points of the signs of the times.  We don’t know when the Lord will come, but we can know when the antichrist is about to make his appearance.  So we watch for signs that suggest he is waiting in the wings, but that isn’t the same as waiting for him.

Even if one is a meteorologist or a weather junkie, there is no sign on the first day of fall that will pinpoint the first snowfall of the season.

But the signs all point towards the first snowfall being just around the corner; leaves start to change color or fall to the ground, the days start to get shorter and the nights longer and colder . . .

While none of that tells you what day it will snow, now is the time that folks up north start getting out their winter clothes, gloves, hats and snow boots.  They don’t need them yet, and we know that Indian Summer comes first, but all the signs suggest snow is on the way.

So it is time to get ready. 

The antichrist is certainly waiting in the wings. All the signs say that he is.  Indeed, global conditions are such that if the Bible didn’t promise an antichrist, we would be forced to invent one we could trust to fix all our problems.

The signs of the times are pointing toward an early snow.  .  .

“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)