Digging Out

Digging Out
Vol: 133 Issue: 31 Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The most powerful storm to ever strike the East Coast combined with the absolute worst-case scenario to create the Perfect Storm. It struck at the worst possible place, just south of New York City, at the worst possible time, high tide.

Everybody in its path is still reeling.  The death toll from the storm is astonishingly low, under the circumstances. So far, Sandy has claimed just 48 victims — Katrina claimed more than 1,600 lives.  Sandy came ashore in New York City along with a storm surge of more than fourteen feet, smashing all previous records.   

When it was over, some 8.2 million households were without power in 17 states as far west as Michigan. Nearly 2 million of those were in New York, where large swaths of lower Manhattan lost electricity and entire streets ended up under water – as did seven subway tunnels between Manhattan and Brooklyn at one point.

The city’s subway system, the lifeblood of more than 5 million residents, was damaged like never before and closed indefinitely, and Consolidated Edison said electricity in and around New York could take a week to restore.

As a testimony to Sandy’s reach, almost 1000 miles from the coast, the storm created 20 foot waves on Lake Michigan setting a new record.  In Cleveland, the storm uprooted trees and flooded major roads along the shore of Lake Erie.

We wondered in our last briefing whether or not the Obama administration might be able to use the disaster to postpone the elections. The media is already speculating as much, but could he do it?  

In theory, the answer is no.  It isn’t up to the White House. Congress sets the date for the presidential elections.  Congress could act within the next week to change the date, but the Congress is in recess.  And changing the date would change it for the whole country, and not just for those affected by Sandy.

States are in charge of their own elections, so some of the individual states could postpone their own elections.  Each state has its own laws dealing with what to do if an emergency jeopardizes voting and who can make the call.

Federal law says that if a state fails to conduct an election for federal races on the day Congress chooses, the state legislature can pick a later date. So Obamanites in the blue states could postpone their own vote, but they can’t stop the election from moving forward.

Obama gave himself extraordinary powers via executive order that could, in theory, be used to order the election postponed, or even cancelled, but using it would open him up to charges of an attempted coup d’etat. 

America is divided.  But not that divided.   Sandy is a good excuse. But not quite good enough. 

Assessment:

I had my generators ready, bought extra gas, battened down every hatch, laid in lots of extra supplies, and waited for the storm’s fury.

We must have had a lot of people praying for us, because the little corner of the world that we occupy was right in Sandy’s path, before Sandy got to Cleveland or to Chicago. We had already begun to feel the feeder bands when Sandy made landfall. 

The wind blew all night, but in the morning, we sustained no damage.  In our yard, we didn’t lose a single tree limb. Our power never flickered. In fact, while Sandy was still pounding communities all around us, the sun actually came out briefly in my yard. 

Thank you for the prayers for provision and protection.  Praise the Lord for His mercies.  While the storm beat up everybody all around us,  we were spared. 

Even if the OL didn’t make out quite so well.

The OL website has been down since yesterday. Our web servers are located in New Jersey.  The servers are up, but the infrastructure all around them is down.  We can’t get to them, and probably, neither can you. 

We are working on creating a redundant server located elsewhere for next time – I have no explanation or excuse for why I didn’t already have such redundancies in place.  

I had generators and gasoline and extra supplies and tarps and so forth for our home. But nothing to protect our website. I feel like such an idiot. 

The website could remain down for several days to a week – or it could just come back up suddenly five minutes from now.  We have no way of knowing or affecting the outcome. What is broken is somewhere in the middle between the two ends.

In the meantime, Mike has figured a workaround whereby we are able to send the OL out manually so your OL Daily Briefing will go out on schedule, although sending it manually may mean it will come later than usual for some of you.

I beg your forgiveness for not being better prepared.  I promise not to let it happen again.

Abraham Lincoln, Race Politics, Hurricane Sandy and Election 2012

Abraham Lincoln, Race Politics, Hurricane Sandy and Election 2012
Vol: 133 Issue: 29 Monday, October 29, 2012

Steven Spielberg’s new movie about Abraham Lincoln is being withheld until after the November 6 elections.  It seems that Spielberg doesn’t want to influence the elections by reminding people of the historical realities.

The Democrat Party has largely stolen Lincoln’s legacy, claiming to have inherited that legacy by having elected America’s first black president.  And that’s why Spielberg wants to make sure the movie isn’t released before the election.

Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.  In 1860, the Republican Party was the party of the abolitionists.  The Democrat Party championed slavery. 

In a very real sense, the War Between the States was really the War Between The Democrats and The Republicans.  The issue was slavery, but the war was political. 

The Election of 1860 brought those political differences to a head.

First, let’s look at how the vote shaped up.  Lincoln and the Republicans captured the White House on a plurality vote of just 39.8%, winning just 18 states and 180 Electoral College votes.  Stephen A. Douglas, also of Illinois, carried one state and 12 electoral votes.

The Election of 1860 was between four political parties.  The Democrat Party split.  Northern Democrats were represented by Douglas.

In the South, Democrats formed their own party.  The Southern Democrats won eleven states and 72 electoral votes.  Tennessean John Bell represented the Constitutional Union, winning three states and 39 electoral votes.

So nobody was particularly happy with the way the election turned out, including the Republicans.  Without a convincing majority win, Lincoln was widely seen outside his party as illegitimate, much the same way the DNC attempted to paint George W. Bush following Election 2000.

Spielberg’s “Lincoln” is based on a book by presidential historian Doris Kerns Goodwin, and it paints a portrait of Lincoln that is so historically accurate that Spielberg, a Democrat, felt its early release might hurt Obama. 

So why, if Spielberg knows the truth, is he still supporting the Democrats? 

In Spielberg’s eyes, the Democrat Party of 1860 is the Republican Party of 2012 — and the Republicans of 1860 are 2012’s Democrats. 

In explaining why he didn’t want actual history to become a political football, Spielberg used actual history as a political football:

“Because it’s kind of confusing.  The parties traded political places over the last 150 years.  That in itself is a great story, how the Republican Party went from a progressive party in 1865, and how the Democrats were represented in the picture, to the way it’s just the opposite today. But that’s a whole other story.”

Why didn’t Spielberg tell that story? 

Obviously, because the movie was based on actual facts.  Actual facts that, when compared with today’s Democrats, show they are still just as racist now.  Every criticism of Obama policies is labeled ‘racist’, even when the criticism is offered by black conservatives. 

Obama wasn’t elected based on his extensive legislative background.  He had none.

He wasn’t elected on his extensive administrative or economic experience.  He had none. 

He wasn’t elected on his agenda — nobody was ever sure what it really was.  Obama promised to fight, fight, fight, but never told us it would be American against American. 

He wasn’t elected on his legislative accomplishments.  He has none.  During his brief 3 years in the US Senate, he voted ‘present’ more than half the time. 

Obama was elected president in 2008 because of his race. 

Assessment:

To Obama’s supporters, it is still all about race.  They are simply projecting it on others, but in their eyes, race is the single most important element. 

“White people in these former slave states still find it hard to vote for a black man.In 2008, Obama attracted 43 per cent of the white vote nationally, but in six states of the Deep South (South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana, and Georgia) he won a measly 18 per cent, which means, to adopt the 19th century colloquialism, he “couldn’t get elected dog catcher”.
To be re-elected, Obama needs what he had last time – which was 80 per cent of the minority vote (African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians) and 40 per cent of the white vote. Conversely, his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, needs 60 per cent of the white vote and what best he can get from the minorities.
The zealots in Romney’s party are alarmed that so many minorities are voting these days. Not that they don’t believe in democracy, you understand, but they are convinced that a commonplace in Democratic victories in every part of the United States is voter fraud by voting on behalf of the dead, phony registrations, illegal absentee ballots, vote-buying, or old-fashioned ballot box stuffing.”

Why would Republicans think that?  Could it be on account of all the voter fraud, phony registrations, illegal absentee ballots, vote-buying and old fashioned ballot-box stuffing that marked the 2008 elections?

There were hundreds of convictions for voter fraud in the 2008 elections.  To my knowledge, not a single Republican was among them.  It is an absolute certainty that the vast majority were Democrat.  Perhaps that might explain the worried “zealots.”

Perhaps the GOP “zealots” are taking at face value all the threats of rioting if Obama loses.  There are no threats of rioting if Romney is defeated.

“Immediately following the recent presidential debate, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews said “racist right-wingers hate Obama more than al-Qaeda.”

Romney has received thousands of threats of assassination from Obama supporters via Twitter and other social media sites, but the Secret Service is evidently unconcerned as long as Romney is the one being threatened.

The government’s lack of public outrage over the threats shows how it selectively sanctions what people say. It’s also a potential way to use racial violence to justify martial law. 
“I am afraid of division in this country and mindless racism being used by the Democratic Party to control people,” journalist and radio host Alex Jones said in a video report. “And the way they’ve been hyping that you’re racist if you don’t vote for Obama; trying to give people a political blank check to feel like they can go out and do this.”

For all these reasons and more, many conservatives have expressed concern that Team Obama may have planned a false flag scenario that Obama could use to suspend or delay the elections on November 6.

But he may not need to.  If Hurricane Sandy lives up to its forecast, come Election Day millions of people will be without power.   The storm is billed as potentially being the worst storm to hit the East Coast of the United States in a lifetime.  

Sandy threatens the whole Eastern Seaboard, including mega-cities like New York and Philadelphia with Katrina-like flooding.  If Obama needed an excuse, Sandy may well provide it.

The storm is hours from making landfall in New York City.  Projections are for hurricane-like conditions to exist all the way from New York City to Buffalo.  It will wreak havoc as far west as Chicago, with 25-foot waves forecast for Lake Michigan.

It seems clear that America is under judgment.

It is estimated that some fifty million people will be without power for at least a week, and as many as ten million still without power by Election Day.

We are safe here, I believe, from life-threatening conditions, although we will likely be among those that will lose power.  We will be able to keep you posted, we hope, via the miracle of laptops and cellphones.

Please pray for all those affected by the storm.  Those in its path need prayer for provision and protection.

“If My people, which are called by My Name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”  (2 Chronicles 7:14)

The rest of the country needs prayer that the storm won’t result in a stolen election.  Or rioting.  Or worse. 

Christ is NOT Dead In Vain

Christ is NOT Dead In Vain
Vol: 133 Issue: 27 Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Omega Letter is aimed at those who have already grasped the simplicity of salvation. A lot of what we focus on is what Paul calls the ‘strong meat’ of Bible doctrine. 

For example, we’ve examined the nuts-and-bolts answers to hard questions like, “Why did Jesus have to die?” and “would a loving God send people to hell?” etc.  But it is good from time to time to revisit the basic gift of salvation.

I have friends who can’t seem to ‘get’ how simple God made salvation.  The miss the forest for the trees.  Maybe you have friends like that too.  They can’t grasp the basic fact that salvation is for sinners. They think they have to earn their way by doing good.

When Jesus was asked which was the most important commandment of God, He replied: 

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22: 37-40)

Love God above yourself and love your neighbor as yourself.  Simple. 

A person cannot have a personal relationship with God apart from Jesus. There is a gap that exists between God the Father and sinful humanity.

God is completely holy and cannot tolerate the presence of any sin. But we are all selfish sinners. To redeem us, He had to become ONE of us.

To do THAT, He had to physically enter sin’s ‘quarantine zone’ (the earth’s atmosphere), conquer sin in THIS world, thereby defeating sin’s universal stranglehold on humanity. And then, having qualified as an acceptable Sacrifice, He paid the eternal penalty for sin on our behalf.

When Adam sinned, God cursed him, saying;

“In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” (Genesis 3:19)

God covered the first sin of Adam by clothing his nakedness with dead animal skins. Sin, by definition, introduced death into the world. “. . . without shedding of blood is no remission.” (Hebrews 9:22)

Jesus paid the penalty prescribed by Adam’s sin, just as every human being since Adam, but Jesus was WITHOUT sin.  Having been born of the Father into this sin-sick world, He lived the life that God expected of each of us and then paid the penalty for sin that we deserve.

He was not under that penalty for Himself, which is why He could pay the price demanded on our behalf. Having defeated the cause of death (sin), He then defeated the penalty of sin (death) by His Resurrection.

Nobody who ever sinned, even once, has defeated sin personally, and all remain under sin’s penalty of death.

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” (Hebrews 9:27)

But death is in two parts. The physical death, and what the Bible calls the ‘second death’ eternal separation from God in the Lake of Fire.

And so is the judgement. The believer’s sins were judged at the Cross, and the penalty for them has already been paid.

For those who trust to their own good works, there is a second judgement before the Great White Throne, where they will be judged according to ALL their works, good and bad.

There is no balancing scale. One sin earns eternal separation.

Our personal sin still earns the wages of physical death. We are spiritually and eternally saved, but the world in which we live remains under the curse. Sin has its consequences on the things which are in it.

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

Jesus sinless Sacrifice paid our eternal debt — there is nothing left to judge but our rewards. Nothing we could ever do could earn it, because it is a gift, freely offered to all men.

By accepting Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf and committing to follow Him we are declared righteous by God on the basis of our faith.

Therefore as new creatures, recreated by the Blood of Christ, wearing His righteousness instead of our own, we are able to come before the throne of God blameless and cleansed, reestablishing our relationship with God.

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

It has NOTHING to do with religion. Paul was preaching to the Church at Galatia, where a heresy had crept in that said Christians had to be circumcised like Jews in order to prove they belonged to God.

Paul makes it clear that Christians are neither Jews nor Gentiles, but something entirely new.

“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” (Galatians 6:15)

The difficulty in trusting Jesus is rooted in the failure to understand the ‘new creature’ for what it is. We’ve discussed this many times in the past, but for the benefit of new members and as review for the rest of us, the Bible teaches that there are four sentient spiritual creations of God.

First, God created the angels. Then, He created Adam in His Image and in His Likeness. At Adam’s fall, his spiritual state was changed, he became separated from God, and Adam was the father of the spiriitually unregenerate Gentiles.

Abraham, through faith, fathered the first of another new spiritual creation. Isaac was the first spiritual Jew, the father of Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel.

Since then, every person is born either a Jew or a Gentile, from the perspective of their spiritual state of existence. The first three sentient, spiritual creations of God, then, are angels, Jews and Gentile, descended from Adam, but in God’s Image, with an eternal spirit.

A descendant of Isaac can never become a Gentile. He can denounce Judaism, become a Buddhist, an atheist, or whatever, but in God’s eyes (as well as man’s) he is still a Jew.

A Gentile can become a practicing Jew, but he remains a spiritual Gentile, since his eternal spirit remains estranged from God apart from Christ. 

Jesus introduced a new spiritual creation with His Resurrection. Those who trust Jesus are transformed into a totally new spiritual creation, personally indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God, and restored to the fellowship lost by Adam.

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12)

“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” (Romans 5:19)

Having been MADE righteous and restored to fellowship, Christians are neither Gentile nor Jew. Nor are they angels, either literally or figuratively. The Bible calls them ‘saints’ — something entirely unique in the history of the universe.

Jews and Gentiles are born what they are. Christians are REBORN into a ‘new birth’ — a new spiritual creation of God.

Salvation is a permanent transformation from one kind of spiritual creation to a different kind of spiritual creation.  It is the misunderstanding of the new creature that is a stumbling-block to grasping the simple assurances of the Gospel. 

At the point of salvation, according to Scripture, the old creature (Jew or Gentile) is “passed away.” (2nd Corinthians 5:17)

The Bible says the old creature is dead. Only God can raise the dead, not an act of man. God would be forced to raise the dead spiritual Gentile,  and undo His new spiritual creation based, not just on an act of man, but on a sinful act.

If sin can force God to undo His own creation, then where is the victory?

The Bible says to repent (literally, change your mind), realize your sin will take you to hell, and that there is nothing you can do about it except to trust Jesus’ promise that by trusting Him for your salvation as the Lord of your life, you are now a new creation of God.

It’s so simple. So simple, in fact, that there are millions upon millions who just can’t get it. Paul spoke of being “wise in your own conceits” (Romans 12:16) not the least of which is the belief that our works contribute to our salvation.

“But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.” (1st Corinthians 1:27)

 If Jesus didn’t do it all, then He didn’t have to do it at all and He died in vain. 

“I do not frustrate the grace of God, for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” Galatians 2:21)

The Perfect Storm: Please pray for the millions who are in the path of Hurricane Sandy and the Nor’easter that is forecast to develop over the weekend. The storm threatens everyone on the East Coast from Washington DC to Maine and from New York City to Detroit.  

Forecasts for the Buffalo area include gale force winds, five inches of rain and serious power outages — and the forecast is the same all the way west to Detroit.  

If you are in the path of the storm, make sure you have enough fresh food and water to last at least three days. If you are not in the storm’s path, please pray for those that are. 

May God preserve and protect us all and we’ll see you on the other side. . . 

Maranatha!

Speaking Christianese

Speaking Christianese
Vol: 133 Issue: 26 Friday, October 26, 2012

When a Jew or a Gentile becomes a Christian – or what the Bible calls a new creature – the Holy Spirit takes up permanent residence in their soul.  That is the point at which the transformation takes place and the new creature is born.  It is at that point we know that we are born again.

To those of us who are saved, all that goes without saying.  It is how we know that we are saved – the Bible tells us so:

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

I get letters all the time from people complaining about how we’ve already covered something in a previous OL. 

But not everybody is on the same page, so to speak, either in their doctrinal maturity or their time in the OL.  So sometimes it is important to go back and make sure everybody else is up to speed. 

And it never hurts to have heard a doctrine explained so many times that you can repeat it in your sleep.  My challenge is to find enough different ways to explain the same thing that you stay interested until that happens. 

But the primary objective is to translate Christianese back into an understandable form for the uninitiated.   

The first paragraph of today’s briefing serves as an example of the kind of unintelligible Christianese that we blithely rattle off and are then surprised to have it met by an uncomprehending stare.  It is intended as a summary of what it means to become a born-again Christian. 

Is there anything about it you don’t understand?  I’m guessing not.  Is there anything in it that sounds complicated?  Again, probably not. 

Do you explain it much differently when you are explaining to a lost person what it means to be born again?  Have you ever given much thought to how much information that summary presupposes is already common knowledge?

These questions are so basic that we don’t give them a second thought. Sometimes we skip right over them without explaining them.  Sometimes, I’ll get an email that reminds me that I’ve presupposed too much. 

What is a Gentile?  What do you mean by ‘soul’?  I have a soul – is that the same as my spirit? What new creature?  What do you mean, ‘born again’?

Yesterday I got an email from a lady who wanted to know, “Who or what is the Holy Spirit? “ 

Without knowing that, how complicated are concepts like “indwelling” and “born again?”

Assessment:

The simple answer is; “The Holy Spirit is the third Person in the Trinity.”  But that raises the next obvious question . . . “Trinity??”  Oh, boy – we’ve still not even covered the differences between soul and spirit.

Your soul consists of your mind, will and emotions – that intangible part that makes you ‘you’.   It is your self-awareness.  Your spirit is a fourth element which is dormant, or stillborn.  

At the point where a person cries out to the Lord for forgiveness, his spirit is ‘quickened’ or made alive, by the Holy Spirit of God.  That is the first time that His Spirit bears witness with our spirit.  It is at that point that one is said to have been born again. 

“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5)

Ok, what about the “water” part?  Just before a baby is born, the mother’s ‘water breaks’ signalling the start of the birth process.  The birth process continues into natural birth, but the spirit is stillborn.  The process is only fully completed when the spirit is ‘quickened’ and one is reborn spiritually.

By default, every human being is born either a Jew or a Gentile.  The Bible identifies a Christian as a “new creature” reborn from that basic stock. 

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

“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” (Galatians 6:15)

Think of a caterpillar being ‘reborn’ as a butterfly.  All butterflies were once caterpillars.   No butterfly has ever reversed the process. 

When a Jew or a Gentile becomes a Christian, it is a transformation that begins with changing one’s mind (repenting) about one’s sin, and is completed when one is forgiven by grace through faith and indwelt by the Holy Spirit.

Now we’re back to ‘indwelling’ by the Holy Spirit.  Who or what is the Holy Spirit?  Oh, and what about the Trinity?  

The Bible presents each Member of the Trinity as having a distinct ministry insofar as man is concerned.  God the Father sits on the Throne of Heaven as the One Who holds the universe together.

In this light, it is interesting that, although science can split the atom, it cannot explain what holds it together in the first place.  Whatever holds it together also contains its energy.  It is the splitting of a single atom that releases the explosive power of the atom bomb.

In His capacity as God the Father, He is the Force that binds the atom.  If God forgot me for one second, I would be a radioactive crater the size of Manhattan.

The Bible tells us that the Second Person in the Godhead, Jesus Christ, is the Creator of the universe and everything in it. John 1:1-3 reveals of Jesus that,

“All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:1)

Jesus is also the Savior of the world.  He created it, He justified it by His blood, and He will judge the world according to His Word.

The Third Person in the Godhead is the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit’s ministry is to bear witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.  He is our source of spiritual power and authority and it is through His indwelling presence that He guides and leads us into all truth as we journey through this life.

“And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.”

Let’s look at the context.  Jesus has just revealed that He is in the Father, and the Father is in Him. (John 14:10)

Then He promises another Comforter He says will “abide with you forever.” 

“Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” (John 14:17)

Who is this Comforter, this Spirit of truth, He that ‘dwelleth with you, and shall be in you’?

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:26)

All this information is lost to the lost when we lapse into Christianese. 

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

So it helps when one doesn’t need a translator. 

The ”Prophet” Jesus

The ”Prophet” Jesus
Vol: 133 Issue: 25 Thursday, October 25, 2012

One of titles given to Mohammed, the father of Islam, is simply that of the ‘Prophet’.  And there can be little argument that Mohammed claimed to be a prophet of God.  The Bible commands us to test the prophets of God.

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1)

The Koran claims Mohammed is a prophet.  It also says the Koran confirms the teaching of the Jewish and Christian scriptures. 

“O ye unto whom the Scripture hath been given! Believe in what We have revealed, confirming that which ye possess. (Sura 4:47)

The New Testament preaches the fulfillment of what the Old Testament prophesied.  That God would take upon Himself the sins of the world through His Messiah, who would be born in Bethlehem, raised in Nazareth and would die as a sin offering for the world outside Jerusalem. 

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is built around the salient facts that He died for our sins and rose again and is now alive forever.  If Jesus didn’t go to the Cross, our hope is in vain, and we remain dead in our sins, the Scriptures say. 

“And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.” (1 Corinthians 15:17)

According to the ‘prophet’ Mohammed, Islam is a continuation of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, God’s final revelation to mankind. 

But of Jesus, the Koran says;

“The Jews say, ‘we slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, the Messenger of God’ – yet they did not slay him, neither crucified him” (Sura 4:156-157)

“The Jews say, Ezra is the “Son of God”; the Christians say, “The Messiah is the Son of God.” That is the utterance of there mouths, conforming with the unbelievers before them. God assail them! How they are perverted.” (Sura 9:30)

“They say: “God has begotten a son” God forbid!” (Sura 10:68)

Assessment:

Mohammed may be a ‘prophet’ but his doctrine identifies him as the prophet of a different god.

“And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” (1 John 4:3)

Islam makes many other claims about someone in the Koran named Isa, whom they claim is Jesus.

“His message was pure Islam, surrender to Allah.” (Âl ‘Imran 3:84)

Like all the Muslim ‘prophets’ before him, and like Muhammad after him, (says the Koran):

“Isa was a lawgiver, and Christians should submit to his law.” (Âl ‘Imran 3:50; Al-Ma’idah 5:48) 

“Isa’s original disciples were also true Muslims, for they said ‘We believe.  Bear witness that we have surrendered. We are Muslims.” (Al-Ma’idah 5:111)

The Muslim Jesus, Isa, received his revelation of Islam in the form of a book. (Al-An’am 6:90) 

“Isa’s book is called the Injil or ‘gospel'”. (Al-Ma’idah 5:46) “The Torah was Moses’ book, and the Zabur (Psalms) were David’s book. So Jews and Christians are ‘people of the Book’. The one religion revealed in these books was Islam.” (Âl ‘Imran 3:18)

“Isa was simply a created human being, and a slave of Allah.” (An-Nisa’ 4:172; Âl ‘Imran 3:59

Islam claims that the Bible predicted the coming of Mohammed and the rise of Islam, and also claims Mohammed is the ‘Comforter’ spoken of by Jesus in John 16:7.

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.”

But Jesus also said the Comforter would remain with us until His return.  That can’t be Mohammed. Mohammed has been dead for 1400 years. 

In fact, I believe the Bible DID predict Islam, and the coming of Mohammed, but in different verses than the Islamists are claiming.  Of Ishmael, father of Islam, God said this:

“And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” 

Of Mohammed, Jesus said,

“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (Matthew 24:24)

Mohammed also prophesied the return of the Muslim Jesus on the last day.  But the Muslim Jesus comes back to DESTROY the believing Christian Church — not to redeem it. 

Mohammed’s end times’ prophecy of the returning Muslim Jesus pictures him returning this way:

“a man of medium height, or reddish complexion, wearing two light garments, looking as if drops were falling down from his head although it will not be wet. He will fight for the cause of Islam. He will break the cross, kill pigs, and abolish the poll-tax. Allah will destroy all religions except Islam.”

“He (‘Isa) will destroy the Evil One and will live on the earth for forty years and then he will die’.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, 37:4310) 

The Sahih Muslim has a variant of this tradition:

“The son of Mary … will soon descend among you as a just judge. He will … abolish the poll-tax, and the wealth will pour forth to such an extent that no one will accept charitable gifts.” (Sahih Muslim 287)

The cross is a symbol of Christianity.  Breaking crosses means abolishing Christianity.  Pigs are associated with Christians.  Killing them is another way of speaking of the destruction of Christianity. 

Both of these verses refer to the abolition of the ‘poll-tax’ as well.  At first glance, that sounds somehow positive.  But the poll-tax refers to a tax paid by dhimmis (non-Muslims) in Muslim lands, in exchange for being allowed to live in peace. 

The abolition of the poll-tax means jihad is restarted against Christians (and Jews) living under Islam, who should convert to Islam, or else be killed or enslaved.  The abundance of wealth refers to booty flowing to the Muslims from this conquest. 

The prophet Mohammed’s revelations about Isa are, according to Islam, the real truth and continuation of Christianity and Judaism.  The Koran claims Christians and Jews perverted the original text, and God sent Mohammed to ‘get it right’. 

Remember, we are testing a prophet, here.  How much did Mohammed ‘get right’, anyway? 

Mohammed’s ‘prophecy’, the Koran, says of the mother of the Muslim Jesus:

“Mariam the mother of Isa is called a sister of Aaron, and also the daughter of Aaron’s father Imran (Hebr. Amram)”.

(Aaron’s sister lived 2000 years before Mary, mother of Jesus.) 

The Koran also says that Haman was a minister of Pharoh during the time of the Exodus.  (Sura 28:38) But the Bible says that Haman was the minister of King Ahasuerus of Medo-Persia, a thousand years later.  (See the Book of Esther)

The Koran has a Samaritan making the golden calf, which was worshipped by the Israelites in the wilderness (Sura 20:85) during the Exodus.

In fact, THAT was Aaron (Exodus 34:1-6). 

(The Samaritans did not even exist until several centuries later.) 

The test of a prophet is to see if his prophecies are true.  Mohammed didn’t make the cut. 

The Jesus of the Gospels is the base upon which Christianity developed.  By Islamicizing Him, and making of Him a Muslim prophet who preached the Koran, Islam destroys Christianity and takes over all its history.  It does the same to Judaism.

In the end times as described by the Koran, Isa becomes a warrior who will return with his sword and lance.  He will destroy the Christian religion and make Islam the only religion in all the world. 

Finally at the last judgment he will condemn Christians to hell for believing in the Crucifixion and the Incarnation. 

This final act of the Muslim ‘Isa’ reflects Islam’s apologetic strategy in relation to Christianity, which is to deny the Yeshua of history, and replace Him with a facsimile of Muhammad, so that nothing remains but Islam.

“For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. . . .For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.’ (2nd Corinthians 11:4,13-15)

Nobody Died Over Watergate

Nobody Died Over Watergate
Vol: 133 Issue: 24 Wednesday, October 24, 2012

If you were to ask someone to name what they thought qualified as the worst political scandal in American history, eight out of ten would name Watergate.  It’s a safe bet; the Watergate Scandal led to the first and only resignation of a US president in history.

In June of 1972, there was a break-in at Democratic National Headquarters, located at that time in the Watergate office complex in Washington DC.  The FBI linked cash found on the burglars to a White House slush fund.

The Watergate burglars were dispatched by the Committee to Re Elect the President (appropriately known by its acronym, CREEP) to break in to DNC headquarters and wiretap the phones.

While there was no evidence to suggest that President Nixon was involved in the break-in, he actively involved himself in the cover up that followed.

Nixon’s “crime” — that is to say, what drove him from office, was not that he was involved in the burglary itself.  Nor was it that he committed some other crime afterwards. 

What drove Nixon from office was that he lied directly to the American public to save his own political future.

While the Watergate Affair eventually resulted in the indictment of 43 people and the resignation of an American president, the crime was white collar burglary.

Nobody was injured.  Nobody died.

I guessed that eight out of ten would name Watergate.  The nineth guy would probably name the Monica Lewinsky Scandal.  More appropriately known as the “Monica Lewinsky Affair”, it involved President Bill Clinton and a 22 year-old intern named Monica Lewinsky.

Clinton went before the nation, wagging his finger in denial of the charges, which of course, was a lie.  He also denied it while under oath during a deposition wherein he was denying inappropriate conduct with Paula Jones.

The Monica Lewinsky Affair led to the first impeachment effort mounted against a US president since Andrew Johnson in 1866. 

Clinton was acquitted after ten Republicans sided with the unanimous Democrats, saving the nation from the pain of removing a sitting President (and the pain of replacing him with Al Gore).

The same mainstream media that went after Richard Nixon with all guns blazing soft-pedaled the Clinton Affair by repeating the mantra, “Everybody lies about sex” and by reminding America that “nobody died.”

Richard Nixon’s crime was lying to save his political career.  It cost him his place in history.  Bill Clinton’s crime was lying to save his political legacy.  Instead, it defined his political legacy.  

They didn’t lie to protect the country or to protect the national interests.  They lied to protect their political careers.  It exposed them for the shabby, small, self-serving opportunists that they were (are). 

The tenth guy would probably name the Benghazi Scandal as the worst scandal in American history.  And when compared to Watergate or Monica Lewinsky, the tenth guy would be right.  Nobody died as a result of Nixon’s or Clinton’s actions or inactions.  

For Obama and Benghazi, it just keeps getting worse. 

Assessment:

When the Benghazi consulate came under attack, the White House was informed within two hours that the attack was a planned terrorist attack — and was even informed of who did it. 

The White House knew because the group, Ansar al Sharia had claimed credit for the attack already.  How did the State Department’s Operations Center learn that piece of news?

It was on Facebook!  And Twitter.  Reuters obtained copies of emails between Benghazi and the State Department sent while the attack was still underway. 

The emails prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the White House knew its consulate was under attack by terrorists — and it knew in plenty of time to dispatch a Ready Response Team to save the ambassador and his colleagues.  

“The first email, timed at 4:05 p.m. Washington time – or 10:05 p.m. Benghazi time, 20-30 minutes after the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission allegedly began – carried the subject line “U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi Under Attack” and the notation “SBU”, meaning “Sensitive But Unclassified.”

The text said the State Department’s regional security office had reported that the diplomatic mission in Benghazi was “under attack. Embassy in Tripoli reports approximately 20 armed people fired shots; explosions have been heard as well.”

The message continued: “Ambassador Stevens, who is currently in Benghazi, and four … personnel are in the compound safe haven. The 17th of February militia is providing security support.”

A second email, headed “Update 1: U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi” and timed 4:54 p.m. Washington time, said that the Embassy in Tripoli had reported that “the firing at the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi had stopped and the compound had been cleared.” It said a “response team” was at the site attempting to locate missing personnel.

A third email, also marked SBU and sent at 6:07 p.m. Washington time, carried the subject line: “Update 2: Ansar al-Sharia Claims Responsibility for Benghazi Attack.”

The message reported: “Embassy Tripoli reports the group claimed responsibility on Facebook and Twitter and has called for an attack on Embassy Tripoli.”

So why didn’t the Commander-in-Chief order a response?  I have my suspicions.

Ordering in troops meant admitting there has been a successful terrorist attack against a US target — WITH US casualties — on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11.

That would not fit the narrative of a president that kept us safe from terror attacks.

It is under that narrative that Nidal Hasan could shout “Allahu Akkbar” and open fire on US soldiers and have it described as a case of ‘workplace violence’.  The same for when Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad gunned down Army Pvt William in Little Rock, Arkansas.  It was classified as a domestic murder. 

When the Christmas Day bomber tried to blow up an airliner over Detroit, the administration classified it as a lone “extremist” attack.  Ditto for the July 4 terrorist attack against the El Al terminal at LAX. 

Ignoring the transparent fiction that Obama was talking about Benghazi in his Rose Garden remarks commemorating September 11, 2001, the administration attempted to cover up the Benghazi terrorist attack in order to protect Obama’s political fortunes.  

They blamed the Mohammed video which led to the President citing the video at every opportunity, calling it disgusting and awful and all manner of invectives.

Knowing that the attacks were pre-planned and conducted by Ansar al-Sharia, the White House and State Department continued to publicize the video as an “insult to Islam” and as an “insult to “the Prophet” Mohammed” which then led to the video riots expanding from Cairo to Pakistan and ultimately to rioint in another twenty Muslim countries. 

The White House blamed the video for three weeks, KNOWING that it was fanning the flames of riot, but evidently willing to let the Middle East burn to protect Obama’s national security image right before an election. 

They KNEW it was a lie.  The poor schmuck that made the video is in jail.  Forget free speech and the Constitution — this guy insulted Islam.  Today he STILL sits in an American jail.

The President and Secretary of State went on to make a special movie of their own to condemn the guy and paid to have it distributed across the region WHEN THEY KNEW IT WAS ALL A LIE.

The emails CONFIRM that they knew it was a lie before the attack was even over.  Yet they propagated the lie, day after day, for three weeks, fanning the flames of riot while the Middle East burned as a direct consequence of blaming the video.

Four Americans were killed in a successful terrorist attack on a US consulate in Benghazi, including the first Ambassador to die in the line of duty since 1979.  The White House had an American filmmaker arrested — he sits in jail while the diplomat’s killers are still at large.

The White House, the Director of National Intelligence, the State Department, the CIA and Democrat leaders in Congress ALL closed ranks to blame the video for Benghazi.  But the emails show that they KNEW it wasn’t the video while the attack was still ongoing.  

Joe Biden lied directly in his debate with Paul Ryan when he said he didn’t know.  Obama lied repeatedly when he said it was the movie, or when he said it was unclear, or when he blamed the fog of war.  Jay Carney lied to the press corps.  UN Ambassador Susan Rice lied when she went on five Sunday talk shows to blame the movie.

When George Bush said that he believed Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, he had no way of knowing for certain.  Nobody knew — for certain.  And when Bush was wrong, he was universally condemned as a liar. 

Remember “Bush lied, people died”?   Except it was impossible for Bush to have lied unless he knew what nobody else knew.  At worst, he was mistaken, since he could not know for sure. 

In this case, they DID know for sure.  And they lied anyway.  Repeatedly.  As the consulate was burning.  While the rioting spread.  After the smoke had cleared.  For six weeks they lied, dissembled, obfuscated and misdirected — all to protect the president’s re-election chances.

Look at how many people had to be involved in the cover-up.  How is it even remotely possible that none of them knew they were lying at the time?  That is why no elected officials have gone on the record, except through statements by intermediaries.

But all of this pales by comparison to the reaction from the American public.  Apart from a few partisan Republicans, nobody really seems to care.  Even Mitt Romney let the Benghazi cover-up go by during what was the most important debate of his life.  Even after Bob Schieffer set him up with the question.

Why?  That is what is the important issue here.  That is what connects this story to Bible prophecy.  The Bible doesn’t prophesy trouble in Benghazi or rioting over movies or self-serving political manipulation of the truth.

The Bible does predict that in the last days, politicians will lie.  But THAT’S not much of a prediction — politicians have lied throughout history.

At the time Paul made that prediction, Nero was Emperor of Rome.  Nero lied about the Great Roman Fire.  Four years later, he chose suicide over assassination.

Here is what is unique.  The generation of the last days won’t mind being lied to by their leaders.  Indeed, the Bible predicts they will clamor for more lies.

“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)

“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. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)

“And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?”  (Revelation 13:4)

Forty years ago, lying to the public forced the first presidential resignation in history.  Fifteen years ago, it was cause for impeachment. 

Today, it barely rates public mention. 

“A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue.” (Proverbs 17:4)

Where are we on the Bible’s timeline?  We’ll have a much clearer view come November 7. 

How We Got Here . . .

How We Got Here . . .
Vol: 133 Issue: 23 Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I bet you are as sick to death of election politics as I am.  But since yesterday was the final debate in what is arguably the most important election in living memory, we can’t let it pass without comment.

Bill O’Reilly called the debate the “most boring he’d ever seen” on today’s Fox morning program, and challenged the three co-hosts to name one thing that they learned from the debate that they didn’t already know. 

It was a tough challenge.  There was a point where Obama confirmed what we’ve pointed out in the past when he referred to the country as “This Nation. Me.”

In context, Obama was talking about how he encouraged the fall of Mubarak and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. 

But we already knew Obama saw himself as the embodiment of the state — Obama merely confirmed the diagnosis

I would have to say Obama won the first half of the debate because Romney inexplicably allowed him to slide on Libya, “Fast and Furious”, and a host of other foreign policy failures. 

But I also would agree with those that thought that Romney looked more presidential; Obama came off as an overly-aggressive challenger.  

And on that point alone, I’d have to give Romney the edge.  Barring some kind of false flag event to create an October surprise, I’m almost hopeful of fundamental change.

Assessment:

“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)

When I was in grade school, I vaguely recall the nuns telling us about persecution in China in our catechism classes.  But what I recall best is the way my ten year old mind processed it.

It was like slavery or the Civil War — something from the past unlikely to be repeated in the future. 

Persecuting someone for their beliefs was, to my young mind, how things used to be, back before we got civilized.  I knew that it still happened in places like Russia, but I chalked that up to propaganda and ignorance. 

I wasn’t saved, but I went to a Catholic school.  Even before I got saved, I assumed that the only reason anybody would persecute Christianity was out of ignorance.  If they knew anything about it, then they’d probably want to join up.  

It was a good thing to be a Christian.  The networks used to run public service announcements exhorting the public to “attend their local church or synagogue” this week. 

A letter of recommendation from one’s pastor carried a lot of weight in a job interview.  If one had a reputation as a good Christian, it meant one was respected in the community.

Christianity was all about honesty and love and peace and freedom.  Now, it is something offensive, dangerous, or even shameful. 

A group of Christian football fans at Louisiana State University called the “Painted Posse” attends every home game with their bare chests painted in school colors and a small cross painted above their hearts.

But LSU airbrushed the crosses out of a photo of the “Painted Posse” in an email about the game.  When the school was asked why, they said they airbrushed out the crosses because they didn’t want to offend anybody

“We don’t want to imply we are making any religious or political statements, so we air-brushed it out,’ LSU said in a statement.

Offend anybody!  By allowing four guys to make a personal statement about their own faith?  What about offending freedom of speech?  Is that still an American right?  Or is it only reserved for the ‘right’ speech?

Yesterday, Tufts University ordered a Christian group called “the Tufts Christian Fellowship” banned from campus.

The decision to ban the group was made by officials from the university’s student government, specifically the Tufts Community Union Judiciary.  (So this is how the university’s students view the concept of ‘tolerance’) 

The ban means the group “will lose the right to use the Tufts name in its title or at any activities, schedule events or reserve university space through the Office for Campus Life,” according to the Tufts Daily.

Additionally, Tufts Christian Fellowship will be unable to receive money from a pool that students are required to pay into and that is specifically set aside for student groups. 

The reason for the ban?  Tufts Christian Fellowship requires its leadership to adhere to the “basic Biblical truths of Christianity.” 

And suddenly, in a dizzying rush, it all comes together and sort of makes sense.  

How did we end up with a megalomaniacal Marxist with fascist tendencies in the first place?  And, having revealed himself for all the country to see for four long, painful years, how is it possible that this race is as close as it is today?

Because guys like Obama and the mainstream media are products of the kind of thinking that got a Christian fellowship banned from campus for expecting its leaders to believe the Bible.

That is what defines them as a “Christian” fellowship in the first place.  

Can you magine an Islamic student group being excluded from campus for believing the Koran?  No doubt neither could the same group that excluded the Christians.

Every year, America’s universities turn out a new crop of Marxists to whom the Bible is a book of fairy tales.  There is no progress without struggle and the great masses don’t understand that they are being exploited.

Religion is an “opiate for the masses” that keeps them from rising up against their “oppressors”, ie; middle aged-white guys, corporate fat cats, and “the Jews”.

God is a myth, and therefore, the First Amendment is only important in that it guarantees freedom from religion.

The Founders weren’t Christians, but deists.  The Constitution is a living document and therefore subject to interpretation.  Truth is subjective and absolute truth non-existent. 

To those thus deluded, Obama won the debate hands down. 

And anybody that says differently is a racist.