Like Noah’s Days, Sorta

Like Noah’s Days, Sorta
Vol: 134 Issue: 30 Friday, November 30, 2012

The ten most dangerous cities in the United States, according to Forbes Magazine, (who compiled the list), are ten cities with a population of over 200,000 and ranked according to their violent crime rate as reported by the FBI’s annual crime report databases.

Forbes explained their methodology for compiling their list.  In reading through the article, one of the things that caught my attention early on was the warnings from the FBI about how to analyze the data.

“These preliminary 2011 statistics come with more caveats than the black-box warning on a dangerous chemotherapy agent, and the FBI says they shouldn’t be used to compare one city with another. Differences in police reporting standards, urban borders and economics can make it tricky to compare densely populated Detroit, say, with sprawling Houston. We used cities instead of larger metropolitan statistical areas, which gave the disadvantage to older cities with tighter boundaries.”

It struck me as odd that the FBI should have a stake in what Forbes Magazine concludes from the raw data. In any event, the piece explained in its introduction:

“But consistency also means something, and the Top 10 cities on this list all display a lot of consistency both in their stubborn crime rates and their ranking on individual crimes like murder and rape. No. 2 St. Louis, for example, ranks fourth nationwide in murders, fifth in robberies and third in violent assaults. Detroit has lost more than 200,000 residents since 2001, yet it racked up 344 murders last year, compared with 395 a decade ago. The Motor City’s murder rate is second only to New Orleans among cities over 200,000 population (Flint, Mich. narrowly beats Detroit among all cities, with a murder rate of 52 per 100,000). Higher rates of other violent crimes put it at the top of the list.”

So Forbes dutifully noted the FBI’s advice on how best to analyze the data and concluded that these are the ten most dangerous cities in the United States, in descending order:

  1. Detroit, Michigan
  2. St. Louis, Missouri
  3. Oakland, California
  4. Memphis, Tennessee
  5. Birmingham, Alabama
  6. Atlanta, Georgia
  7. Baltimore, Maryland
  8. Stockton, California
  9. Cleveland, Ohio
  10. Buffalo, New York

Now for a pop quiz.  Everybody get out their thinking caps.  Here goes. 

  1. Which of those cities has a Republican mayor or majority Republican city council?
  2. Which of those cities has had a Republican administration in the last twenty years?
  3. Which of those cities did not cast majority votes for the Democrat across-the-board?
  4. Which of those cities is not a crumbling, financial basket case with above national average unemployment and welfare participation?

You know, I think I made the quiz too easy.  The ten most dangerous cities in America are among the ten most blue cities in America.  Forbes also ranked the ten most miserable cities in which to live, overall.  Some of them might surprise you.

Again, in descending order:

  1. Miami, Florida
  2. Detroit,  Michigan
  3. Flint, Michigan
  4. West Palm Beach Florida
  5. Sacramento, California
  6. Chicago, Illinois
  7. Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  8. Toledo, Ohio
  9. Rockford, Illinois
  10. Warren, Michigan

Wanna do the quiz again?  No?  Don’t blame you.  If you live in any of the ten most miserable places in America to live, chances are you voted Democrat.  If you didn’t a majority of your fellow citizens certainly did.

You voted for the same party for President, Congress, Governor, Mayor, City Council and dog catcher.  If you didn’t, most of your neighbors did.

For the most part, nobody had to even campaign in the ten most dangerous or the ten most miserable places in America to live.  They are dedicated blue cities in primarily blue states.  Their cities are blighted and prospects are few. 

They are enslaved in a system under which they cheerfully re-elect their masters, election after election, out of fear that anybody else would curtail their government benefits. 

So they keep on electing the same folks over and over, hoping that this time, it will turn out better.

Forbes also released a list of the eleven states where investing money could be dangerous — Forbes calls them the financial Death Spiral States.  They are, in order from west to east, as follows:

  1. Hawaii
  2. California
  3. New Mexico
  4. Illinois
  5. Mississippi
  6. Kentucky
  7. Alabama
  8. Ohio
  9. South Carolina
  10. New York
  11. Maine

In each of these states, there are more takers than there are makers, ie; there are more people dependent on the government than there are those dependent on the private sector. 

Those dependent on the government include state workers and those on pensions, but that doesn’t change the cold economics of the situation.  In California for example, the software company that employs 100 people supports 139 other people through the state.  

Billionaire Warren Buffet (who owes back taxes going back to 2002) went on NBC’s Today Show to argue in favor of raising taxes on the rich in America:

“No, and I think it would have a great effect in terms of the morale of the middle class, who have seen themselves paying high payroll taxes, income taxes. And then they watch guys like me end up paying a rate that’s below that, you know, paid by the people in my office.”    

The people in Buffet’s office probably aren’t fighting the IRS to keep from having to pay their own back taxes. They are, however, busy fighting to protect Buffet’s money.

It is axiomatic that Buffet doesn’t believe what he is saying or else he wouldn’t be fighting the IRS to avoid paying taxes he already owes.  But he can say whatever he wants — he isn’t accountable to anyone for his opinion.

In Great Britain in 2009, the Labour Government campaigned on a similar class envy strategy, promising the working class that they would increase spending on benefits and shift the tax burden over onto British millionaires.  

That year, more than 16,000 Britons had declared incomes in excess of one million pounds.  Then they raised the top tax rate to fifty percent.  By the following year, there were only 6,000 millionaires left in Britain — the other two-thirds had left the country (and took their money with them).

Assessment:

It was Margaret Thatcher that first said “the only problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”  Look at California.  Look at Great Britain.  Look at France, where millionaires are fleeing the country in droves.

It is obvious to anybody that gives it five seconds’ thought that those threatened by confiscatory tax rates will find some way to hide, bury or misdirect income into tax shelters or tax losses rather than simply hand it over to the government.

It isn’t just the rich that take advantage of tax exemptions or deductions.  Nobody pays more than they absolutely have to.  And even if somebody is too dumb to figure it out on their own, they have Great Britain and France for examples. 

And for those who would dismiss those examples as European, we have California and the other ten spiralling states to look to for examples.  Or the ten most miserable cities in America.  Or the ten most dangerous cities in America.

So what does it all mean?  As Christians, we aren’t looking for the antichrist or for signs of the Tribulation, other than as a measure of how close we might be to the coming of the Lord. 

The first four judgements of the Tribulation are nicknamed, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

The rider on the white horse is the antichrist.  The rider on the red horse is War.  The rider on the black horse represents economic collapse and famine while the rider on the pale horse is Death.

We don’t know who the antichrist is, but for the first time in the life of my ministry, we have credible candidates in positions of power. 

We are embroiled in what is often called a “generational war” that has already raged for more than twenty years since Operation Desert Storm, and in many ways, is just now getting started.  

As today’s column has outlined, we appear to be racing toward a fiscal cliff so rapidly that mainstream news reporters are all suddenly and breathlessly reporting that “we’re racing toward a fiscal cliff” as if learning about it for the first time. 

When the mainstream news reports it, you know they had run out of ways to either hide it until after the election or blame it on George Bush.  

Meanwhile, everyone else seems blissfully unaware, or at least unconcerned, about the proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction among the enemies of Israel and the United States.

Or the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood.  Or the scope of the looming economic catastrophe at home.  

Or the blatant hypocrisy of guys like Warren Buffet.  Or the blindness of the partisans at the wheel as the fiscal cliff approaches.

Or the abject lawlessness of this administration and its minions. 

It is almost delusional in its scope.  We go about our day to day business, hoping al Qaeda won’t strike, war won’t break out in the Middle East, the economy won’t crater and we’ll still have jobs tomorrow.  

“But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. ” (Matthew 24:39)

That’s why the Lord gave us signs.  So we’d know what to look for.                                                                                   

Repealing Godwin’s Law

Repealing Godwin’s Law
Vol: 134 Issue: 29 Thursday, November 29, 2012

One of the historical ‘what-ifs’ about Adolf Hitler is the one that asks, ‘what if Hitler hadn’t started the Second World War?’  Suppose he died in office before that?

Most historians are in agreement that in that case, Hitler would probably have gone down in history as one of Europe’s greatest statesman.

Britain’s Lloyd George led the British to victory over Kaiser Wilhelm II’s forces during the First World War.   The man that led the nation’s fight against Germany just nineteen years earlier had this to say about Hitler in 1936:

“I have now seen the famous German leader and also something of the great change he has effected. Whatever one may think of his methods – and they are certainly not those of a parliamentary country, there can be no doubt that he has achieved a marvelous transformation in the spirit of the people, in their attitude towards each other, and in their social and economic outlook.”

Lloyd George wasn’t the only British leader to put his grudging admiration for the former German Army corporal in writing.  In 1935, Winston Churchill wrote:

“In fifteen years that have followed this resolve, he has succeeded in restoring Germany to the most powerful position in Europe, and not only has he restored the position of his country, but he has even, to a very great extent, reversed the results of the Great War…. the vanquished are in the process of becoming the victors and the victors the vanquished…. whatever else might be thought about these exploits they are certainly among the most remarkable in the whole history of the world.” –  Winston Churchill, 1935.

Hitler’s evil knew no bounds, but it was systematic, organized and carefully regulated evil.  It was SO carefully organized and regulated that in many cases, many of those participating in what we now know to be atrocities were unaware of the Big Picture in which they were participating at the time. 

None of this is intended to excuse WWII Germany for its crimes.  Instead, we are looking at the situation in context . . . very few people knew in 1936 what Hitler had in mind for the near future.  Those that did know were marginalized or ignored, in much the same way Obama’s critics are. 

But for the great majority of the world’s people living in 1936, Adolf Hitler was one of the world’s greatest living statesmen. 

The popular, modern view of Hitler was that he was completely mad.  That has a tendency to absolve him of his crimes to some degree.  But Hitler wasn’t mad in the natural sense.  He was evil, which is a form of spiritual madness, but one that offers no shelter from responsibility or blame.

His most amazing achievement was his uniting the great mass of the German (and Austrian) people behind him.  Throughout his career his popularity was larger and deeper than the popularity of the National Socialist Party.

A great majority of Germans believed in him until the very end.  In this respect he stands out among almost all of the dictators of the 19th and 20th centuries, which is especially impressive when we consider that the Germans were among the best-educated peoples in the 20th century.

There is no question that the overwhelming majority of the German people supported Hitler, though often only passively.  Their trust in him was greater than their trust in the Nazi hierarchy.

This despite the fact that by the mid-1930’s he had systematically dismantled all of Germany’s democratic institutions and had consolidated all power unto himself.

The Nazis were strongly socialist and anti-capitalist, believing that international finance and big business were damaging to the nation, believing that capitalism takes a nation hostage to the benefit of the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.

Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels wrote in his diary that if he had to pick between Bolshevism and capitalism, “it would be better for us to go down with Bolshevism than live in eternal slavery under capitalism.”

As already noted, the Nazi Party exerted control through the issuance of wave upon wave of regulations aimed at capitalist bankers, big industry and the Jews that Hitler claimed were in control of it all.  Most of his regulations were aimed at bringing major parts of the German economy under his direct control.

According to a report by CNS News, over the past ninety days, the Obama administration has posted some 6,125 new regulations and rules covering almost every aspect of American economic activity — on average, some 68 new regulations per day.

At that rate, by the time Obama’s second term is up, he will have buried American capitalism under the weight of about 120,000 new regulations.  

According to the American Action Forum, the cost of added regulations under Obama are already estimated to be in excess of $488 billion — nearly a half trillion dollars.

“Based on data from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and regulations published in the Federal Register, the Administration has published more than $488 billion in regulatory costs since January 20, 2009 – $70 billion in 2012 alone,” reads the analysis from AAF. . .

These paperwork burdens are real, often ignored, and continue to grow,” reads the analysis. “According to White House data, there were 8.8 billion hours of federal paperwork in FY 2010.  The implementation of Dodd-Frank and the Affordable Care Act has driven this figure to 10.38 billion, an increase of 1.5 billion hours.  To put this increase in perspective, assuming a 2,000-hour work year it, would take 771,999 full-time equivalent employees simply to fill out red tape.  Or, during the same amount of time, workers could construct 220 Empire State Buildings.”

Assessment:

There is nothing that sets the Left off like comparing the direction Obama is taking America with the direction Hitler took Nazi Germany.  “No comparison!” they shriek.  “Hitler was a singular evil, never to be repeated!”

Indeed, there is an Internet social convention known as “Godwin’s Law.”  In many newsgroups and forums, violating Godwin’s Law means a particular thread is finished and whoever first made the comparison is deemed to have automatically lost whatever debate was in progress.

So shut up?  Really?  What, exactly, would prevent a repeat of Hitler’s madness if not maintaining a constant vigil to ensure another Hitler doesn’t appear on the scene?   

Nazi Germany was a totalitarian Big Brother police state that carefully watched its citizens.

Judge Andrew Napolitano, a Fox News commentator, raised the question on Neil Cavuto’s “Your World” show Wednesday. And while it seems fanciful in light of the safeguards built into our democracy and its institutions, it recognizes the threat posed by the president’s policies and actions if left unchecked.

“I think the president is dangerously close to totalitarianism,” Napolitano opined. “A few months ago he was saying, ‘The Congress doesn’t count, the Congress doesn’t mean anything, I am going to rule by decree and by administrative regulation.’

“Now he’s basically saying the Supreme Court doesn’t count. It doesn’t matter what they think. They can’t review our legislation. That would leave just him as the only branch of government standing.”

The Nazis were famous for dehumanizing their subjects.  The way that the TSA dehumanizes air travellers.  Or the way that schools dehumanize students, forcing them into a one-size-fits-all worldview.

The Nazis could detain anyone at will unless “their papers were in order.”  In America recently,  a 21-year-old college student named Samantha Zucker was arrested and put in a New York City jail for 36 hours just because she could not produce any identification for police.

(In America, the only persons not required to carry their identification with them at all times are illegal aliens, the President, and Democrat voters on Election Day.)

Hitler was a Big Government sort of guy — he realized the value of being in control of government handouts.  As one eyewitness described it:

“In Nazi Germany, newlyweds immediately received a $1,000 loan from the government to establish a household. We had big programs for families. All day care and education were free. High schools were taken over by the government and college tuition was subsidized. Everyone was entitled to free handouts, such as food stamps, clothing, and housing.”

The subtitles from Kitty Werthmann’s eyewitness account have a familiar ring to them. . .  they don’t sound German at all.  Indeed, they sound distinctly American.  I encourage you to read the whole article.

  • Equal Rights Hits Home
  • Hitler Restructured the Family Through Daycare
  • Health Care and Small Business Suffer under Government Controls
  • Mercy Killing (Euthanasia) Redefined
  • Final Steps – Gun Laws

“Next came gun registration. People were getting injured by guns. Hitler said that the real way to catch criminals (we still had a few) was by matching serial numbers on guns. Most citizens were law abiding and dutifully marched to the police station to register their firearms. Not long after-wards, the police said that it was best for everyone to turn in their guns. The authorities already knew who had them, so it was futile not to comply voluntarily. No more freedom of speech. Anyone who said something against the government was taken away. We knew many people who were arrested, not only Jews, but also priests and ministers who spoke up. Totalitarianism didn’t come quickly, it took 5 years from 1938 until 1943, to realize full dictatorship in Austria. Had it happened overnight, my countrymen would have fought to the last breath. Instead, we had creeping gradualism. Now, our only weapons were broom handles. The whole idea sounds almost unbelievable that the state, little by little eroded our freedom.”

The whole idea sounded almost unbelievable in America, too.  Until about four years ago when, little by little, our freedoms began to erode.   

By 1936 Hitler had earned the praises of guys like Winston Churchill, Lloyd George, Joseph P Kennedy and Charles Lindbergh, among others.  Three short years later, Nazi forces were marching into Poland.   

America just handed Obama ANOTHER four year term.  

Hitler came to power in 1933.  Eight years later, it was 1941.  Godwin’s Law notwithstanding, a lot can happen in eight years.

Baraq O Bawmaw

Baraq O Bawmaw
Vol: 134 Issue: 28 Wednesday, November 28, 2012

As much as I didn’t want to look at it, I could not ignore the Drudge Report picture of actor Jamie Foxx at the Soul Train Awards asking the audience to ‘give honor to God and our Lord and Savior, Barack Obama.’ (Groan! I know, I know. Bear with me.)

One might chalk the proclamation up to racism.  The Soul Train Awards is exclusively black and Foxx referred to the event as being “like church”.

And according to the same Drudge Report, Obama received 98% of the female black vote and 93% of the black vote overall.  So race might have played a role.  Ya think?

“I think the president heard us loud and clear.  The collective message was, ‘Let’s build on where we already are,'” the Rev. Al Sharpton told reporters after a White House meeting last week with a collection of advocates representing largely Democratic constituencies.

Specifically, Sharpton said, that means keeping the brunt of the looming “fiscal cliff” of tax increases and spending cuts off the backs of the middle and working class.

Al Sharpton has never exhibited any concern for the middle or working classes, except where there was some racial element he could exploit. 

To borrow a tactic from the Obama camp, these are racist code words.  The NAACP didn’t even try to speak in code.  Why would they?  For the next four years, they are invulnerable to criticism.

NAACP President Benjamin Jealous aimed that same message at Congress, especially on where tax relief is extended.

“We need Republicans to think hard and to pull back from the cliff 98 percent of our families, who make up the bulk of this nation, from seeing our taxes being raised,” Jealous said.

Before moving on, let’s fix some of these numbers. Actually, the percentage of Americans represented by the NAACP works out to just under 13% of the total electorate. While the overall unemployment rate is 7.9%, among the black population it is somewhere north of 14%. 

Jealous’ presentation of the 98% figure is interesting.  The only logical place I can infer that he pulled that number from is from the fact that the top two percent of the population pay more than a third of all federal taxes, while the top ten percent pay more than 43% of all federal taxes.

The unemployed pay zero federal taxes.  In fact, almost half of all Americans pay zero federal taxes.  The “fiscal cliff” everybody is panicking about would require the top income earners to pay more but it would also force the moocher class to get jobs since the extra tax money would service the debt instead of being redistributed.

Now we’ve adjusted the rhetoric to meet the facts, let’s return to the Jamie Foxx’s Lord and Savior, Barack Obama.

During the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, delegates voted to cut any mention of God from their platform, even as they constructed a giant, stained glass background for their messiah’s address.

One poster on display at the convention shows a picture of Obama (looking messianic) along with the followingObama Poster explanation:

“Barak is of Hebrew origin and its meaning is ‘flash of lightning. . .  Hussein is a Biblical word meaning good and handsome.  So you see, Barak was destined to be a good and handsome man that would rise like a flash of lightning to win victory in a battle against overwhelming odds.”

I guess that is one way of interpreting it.

Assessment:

The Bible says that  in the last days, a politician will arise who will captivate the world the way that Obama has captivated America.  He will seemingly have all the answers to what ails us, and will be embraced as the world’s messiah.  The Bible identifies him as the antichrist.

The Apostle Paul says that he will go so far as to sit on the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant and proclaim himself to be the messiah.

Here is a little of what we know about the coming antichrist from the Bible;

  1. He will rise from obscurity (a “little horn” (Daniel 7:8);
  2. He will speak boastfully (Daniel 7:8, Revelation 13:5);
  3. He will blaspheme God; (Daniel 7:25, 11:26, Revelation 13:5, 2nd Thessalonians 2:7);
  4. He will oppress Jews and Christians (Revelation 13:7)
  5. He will try to change the calendar, perhaps to define a new era, related to himself (Daniel 7:25);
  6. He will try to change the laws; (Daniel 7:25)
  7. He will show no regard for the religion of his ancestors (Daniel 11:37).

I never thought Obama qualified on the grounds that Obama is just about the most incompetent president to sit in the Oval Office in my lifetime,  not even excluding Jimmy Carter.

Obama_MessiahBut while he may be an incompetent governor, he is a master deceiver whose primary political tools are division, deception and covetousness.  His re-election was much like his first term in office –he is  almost supernatural in his ability to charm and deceive and manipulate his base.

Let’s compare what we know of Obama to what we know of the coming antichrist:

  1. After four years in office, we still don’t know where the guy was actually born.  He went from total obscurity as an unknown Chicago politician to the DNC’s keynote speaker and next presidential candidate, almost overnight.
  2. Obama is the most boastful Chief Executive I’ve ever seen.  His every speech is peppered with “I” and “me” — recall his comment during the debate about how ambassadors represent him personally?
  3. We’ve already mentioned the DNC debacle when they removed any mention of God from their platform.
  4. Whether one thinks Obama oppresses Jews or Christians depends, I suppose, on whether one is a Jew or a Christian.
  5. There are rumors that Obama has plans to have the Constitution amended so he can seek a third term.
  6. His is the most openly lawless administration in living memory.
  7. His ancestral religion is Islam, his claimed religion is Christianity, but his demeanor doesn’t reflect either religion.

Nobody has ever seen his actual birth certificate and he STILL pays a team of lawyers to keep his background secret, with the full support of the mainstream media and a significant portion of the American public. 

Why?  Because they are afraid of being tainted by the “birther” label.  But there are lots of other records he is STILL hiding even as he prepares for a second term.   

Like his records from Occidental College so that the allegation that Obama attended that school on a scholarship reserved for foreign students can be resolved.  Or records showing how a self-admittedly “poor student” made it from Occidental to Columbia and Harvard.

Obama, by his own admission was a very heavy marijuana user in his youth.  He has also admitted to using cocaine.  He also admitted to being a serious drinker.  How is it that these records don’t hurt him enough to try to conceal them? 

But anybody that dares to ask to see background records on his birth, his citizenship, his education or his transcripts is a racist?  

Do I really believe that Obama is the antichrist?  Probably not.  Do I believe that he COULD be?  There is actually only two disqualifying factors.  The first is that he was born in the United States.  If he were born in Kenya, he would have been born a British citizen.

The second disqualifying factor is that Obama is not a prince of the revived Roman Empire.  Unless he is successful in his efforts to fundamentally transform America into something more like Europe, which is certainly the direction America is now taking.  

In the event the EU and US were to merge into a single economy under Obama, he would certainly qualify as one of its princes.

Let us return to the DNC poster again and the DNC’s interpretation of Barak as Hebrew for “lightning.”  First off, the interpretation is correct, as far is it goes.  But it doesn’t go far enough.    

“And He said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” (Luke 10:18)

The speaker in this passage is the REAL Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Although this verse was written in Greek, Jesus spoke Aramaic, the most ancient form of Hebrew.

The Hebrew word for ‘heaven’ in the verse means the same thing as ‘heights’.  Indeed, Isaiah 14:14 says of Satan’s first sin ,

“I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”

The word translated as ‘lightning’ in Aramaic is “baraq”.  The word translated in Isaiah 14:14 as “heights” is “bawmaw”.

The Hebrew letter “waw” is transliterated into English as either an “o” or a “u”.  It is used as a conjunction to join two thoughts.  

Make of it what you will.  But Jesus, speaking in Aramaic, would have said, “I saw Satan as Baraq O Bawmaw”. 

DNA, Predestination and The Book of Life

DNA, Predestination and The Book of Life
Vol: 134 Issue: 27 Tuesday, November 27, 2012

According to Scripture, the names of everybody that ever lived are recorded in the Book of Life.  The Book of Life is but one of the record books kept in heaven that records our time on this earth.  The Bible also identifies the Books of Tears, Remembrance, and the Book of Births.

God foreordained my birth and my name was therefore recorded in the Book of Births before the foundation of the world.  The Book of Tears contains the record of my trials and tribulations and disappointments.  

My name was recorded in the Book of Life as well, even before I came to Christ.  And my plea for salvation was recorded in  the Book of Remembrance.  Revelation 3:5 says that he that overcomes will be clothed in white rainment and that Jesus will not blot his name out of the Book of Life.  

How’s that again?  Does that mean that a saved person’s name can be blotted out if they fail to ‘overcome’?  How does a saved person “overcome” the world?   

Answer: He can’t.  He couldn’t if he wanted to.  If a person could overcome the world, then why would we need a Savior?  We are overcomers through faith in He that overcame the world on our behalf.  

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Babies who die as babies go to heaven, so their names must already be recorded in the Book of Life.  Paul writes to the Romans:

“I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.” (Romans 7:9)

So your name remains in the Book of Life as long as you are alive.  If your sin isn’t covered by the Blood of Christ by the time you leave this earth, then your name is blotted out of the Book of Life.

But it is still recorded in the Book of Births, the Book of Tears and especially in the Book of Remembrances.

So the records of your birth, your trials and tribulations and those things God remembers but you forgot will all be opened —  and you will give an account for what is recorded against you. 

But if your name is blotted out of the Book of Life, it means you were convicted in absentia — the Great White Throne Judgment is, in reality a sentencing hearing. 

Nobody that appears before the Great White Throne will have their names recorded in the Book of Life.

The Bible calls the Great White Throne judgment the ‘second death’.  

So in summary, the Bible outlines four different books in which our names are recorded and against which we are judged, either at the Bema Seat or the Great White Throne.

The books record our births and our trials in this life.  We are judged according to what is written in those books, and we are saved according to what is written in the other two.

Assessment:

Science also has a “Book of Life.”  DNA is nicknamed ‘the Book of Life’ by geneticists because encoded in our DNA is all the necessary information that makes life possible.

DNA encodes our red blood cells, and the heart that pumps them.  DNA encodes our hair follicles, and the color of the hair in them.  DNA encodes our bones, and the muscles attached to them.

And DNA thoroughly destroys any argument of random creation, since it proves all the details of your life were encoded in advance, right down to one’s individual disposition.

It is the DNA structure that ‘creates’ life in the same sense that inputting certain information into a computer ‘creates’ the results intended by its programmer.

Comparing the Scriptures to DNA research, one can make a powerful argument for predestination, without impugning our free will.

Although they haven’t completely unlocked that part of the human genome, geneticists believe that when you will die and what you will die of is already encoded in your DNA.

Barring some accident, you are already predestined, by your genetic code, to live a finite period of time before your DNA activates the disease already encoded in your DNA that will ultimately kill you.  That doesn’t mean you don’t have free will.

You could still kill yourself.  Or battle the disease medically.  But depending on your DNA code, the treatment will either work or it will not.

You have nothing to say about how you were programmed, yet your free will remains unfettered.

It is no accident that scientists have dubbed DNA ‘the Book of Life.”  They took their imagery directly from Scripture, because Scripture has already outlined how it works.

“O Lord, Thou has searched me and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, Thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassed my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue but, lo, O Lord, Thou knowest it altogether.” (Psalms 139:1-4)

Scripture teaches that we are individuals by sovereign Design, rather than by a combination of random chance and our own choices. Scripture says,

“For Thou hast possessed my reins: Thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.” (Psalms 139:13)

Science also now says that our genetic code is imprinted on each of us from the womb.  The Scriptures say,

 “I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are Thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”

Science agrees that we are unique individuals whose differences are predetermined.  While the Scriptures assign that marvel to our creation by a sovereign God, science assigns the same marvel to the uniqueness of our DNA encoding, while denying the existence of an Encoder.

“Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in THY BOOK ALL MY MEMBERS WERE WRITTEN, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalms 139:16)

According to the Bible, God knew who and what I would be while I was ‘under construction’ in the womb, according to the genetic Book of Life that contained all my relevant information.

Geneticists say they can determine these same details, one’s sex, hair color, physical strengths and weaknesses, susceptibility to disease, and even one’s susceptibility for sin, based on the information encoded in the DNA before one is born.

Geneticists have discovered genetic markers that predispose some people to criminal behavior, violence, drug abuse or alcoholism, for example.  These discoveries have resulted in the development of a scientific sub-discipline called ‘behavioral genetics’.

DNA can determine the probability of mental illnesses, physical deformities, things like Down’s Syndrome, and a host of other genetic factors that will determine everything from how I process information to predicting the way I will react to that information.

In light of advances in DNA research, arguing against the existence of a Creator God to initially program our DNA is like arguing that once a computer builds itself, it writes its own programming, turns itself on and decides for itself what it wants to work on and for how long before automatically self-destructing.

Which makes no sense at all.

What DOES make sense is a Creator God Who built me a certain way, left me with free will choices to make the most of it, and, since I am predisposed to make the wrong choices in certain areas of my life, also made a way for me to live in His sight for eternity, despite my built-in shortcomings.

And a way for my name to remain in the Lamb’s Book of Life long after my DNA has turned to dust.

“For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.” (Job 19:25-27)

 Maranatha!

What Rhymes with Rome?

What Rhymes with Rome?
Vol: 134 Issue: 26 Monday, November 26, 2012

”History doesn’t repeat itself.  But it rhymes.” – Mark Twain

Ancient Rome doesn’t enjoy a very popular reputation among modern scholars or in popular culture.  I don’t recall ever seeing a movie that portrayed Rome in a positive light. 

In general, modern history regards the ancient Romans as bad people who crucified Jesus, persecuted the Apostles, threw Christians to the lions, killed uncountable thousands of Jews, sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple.  

When Rome wasn’t outside the Empire seeking to enslave its neighbors, it was crucifying dissidents and runaway slaves inside the Empire.

In many ways, this is an accurate picture of the Roman Empire at the peak of its decadence, which is generally the only Roman Empire that Hollywood or history ever pays any attention to.  We think of Rome as it was in Jesus’ time and beyond, almost as if prior Roman history were inconsequential.  

The Roman Republic was born almost five hundred years before following the overthrow of the Roman King Lucius Tarquinius Superbus.  The new Roman Republic abolished the hereditary monarchy and set up a new government that would survive for the next five hundred years.

The Roman Senate had an enormous degree of power over the civil government in Rome.  Only the Senate could authorize the disbursal of public funds from the Roman treasury.

The Roman Republic was ruled by two consuls, each elected for a one year term and advised by the Roman Senate.  Each consul had veto authority over the other to prevent a misuse of power.  Later checks and balances included the institution of an elected assembly and judiciary. 

Rome’s supreme leaders were called dictators, but their authority was limited to the military under six month term limits.  Roman dictators were also elected officials.  

Rome, by the first century was no longer a Republic, but a dictatorship ruled by an Imperator, from which we get the English word, emperor.

But the word imperator meant something more along the lines of a strongman dictator, a fact well-understood by Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini, who fancied himself Imperator of a new Italian empire modeled after that of ancient Rome.

It wasn’t until after the fall of the Roman Republic and its replacement by the Imperial Roman Empire that the balance of power shifted from the Senate to the Imperator.  But once the Emperor controlled the Senate, the Senate was the vehicle through which Roman Emperors exercised their powers.

Rome lasted for one thousand years, as a kingdom, then a republic, then as an imperial dictatorship, and before finally succumbing to what the Roman poet Juvenal called “panem et cirenses” or “bread and circuses.” 

Imperial Rome literally spent itself out of existence trying to distract the public from its misery while the Empire collapsed around them. 

It was probably Imperial Rome that Alexis de Tocqueville had in mind when he wrote:

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.”

But it was the Roman Republic that the Founders had in mind when they replaced the British monarchy with the Republic of the United States of America.

Assessment:

If one takes a look around Washington DC, one can see evidence of a conscious effort on the part of the Founders to emulate Rome.  The city was constructed like a Roman city, with Roman architecture bearing construction dates using Roman numerals. 

Although a dead language for centuries, most educated men of the period were conversant in Latin and many of America’s mottos and slogans are in Latin, as in the 1782 motto on the Great Seal of the United States,  “novus ordo seclorum” meaning, “New Order of the Ages.”

The Founders named their principle lawmaking body the “Senate” after the Romans and even chose Rome’s national symbol, the eagle.  They chose to model their new nation after the Roman republic rather than an English commonwealth or a Greek democracy.

The Founders hoped that America would adopt the virtues of the ancient Roman Republic, but expected that it would grow into an empire — they spoke regularly about the “rising American empire.”

They hoped the Roman Republic would endure as the American model but they feared it would become the Rome of the Ceasars.  Imperial Rome was the first absolute superpower to exist in history.  The United States is the second.  

America’s post WWII strategic and military dominance combined with affluence inspired comparisons toBread & Circuses ancient Rome at its most powerful. 

Twenty-first century America, having just handed Barack Obama an unrestricted second term, inspires comparisons to the Roman Empire in decline. 

It is hard to miss the history rhymes.  Rome got bogged down in a quagmire in the Middle East between the Jews of Judea and the surrounding Idumean (Arab) population. 

The Romans tried to solve the problem by creating a Jewish state side by side with an Idumean one and appointing an Idumean puppet-King (Herod) to oversee it.  That didn’t really work out all that well.  

And there were problems in Egypt to deal with . . . 

Persian forces swept into the frontiers of the Roman Empire, which were too thinly stretched in terms of its military and other commitments to respond effectively. 

The Romans poured Roman blood and treasure into the region until Rome’s ability to project its power was stretched to the limits. 

Imperial Rome recovered, and beat back the Persian threat, but it emerged a different kind of empire.  The government got so bloated the Empire was forced to split into two legs, an Eastern and Western Empire. 

Where Rome had formerly relied on a strong and loyal middle class, Roman society became rigid, formal and politically correct. 

Without new conquests to fund everything, Rome imposed heavier taxes on landowners and farmers, further alienating the middle class, who were fed up paying for bread and circuses for the poor. 

The Germanic tribes formed new federations and coalitions with other barbarian tribes and swept into the Roman Empire in the West, including Gaul and Britain. 

I don’t need to list the rhymes with Roman history.  The headlines do it for me.

Substitute “entitlements” for bread and circuses and al-Qaeda barbarians for the Germanic barbarians and Obama for the Imperator and you pretty much have the same scenario playing out all over again, only in fast-forward speed.  

It doesn’t take much of a stretch to foresee a struggling US, especially after eight years of socialist Obamanomics, considering a merger with socialist Europe as a way to forestall the collapse of both empires. 

“And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.” (Daniel 2:44)

The Haters

The Haters
Vol: 134 Issue: 24 Saturday, November 24, 2012

When I was a young man, the idea of Christian persecution seemed (to me)  more historical than actual — why would anybody want to persecute Christians?  That baffled me.

I knew about historical persecution in the days of the Roman Empire and I could kind of understand it, when I looked at it in historical context.  Christianity threatened to upset the balance of power within the Roman Empire.

It wasn’t because Christianity introduced a new god to the Roman pantheon. 

The Romans had tons of gods, most of whom they borrowed from the Greeks, who had plenty of gods to spare.  The Romans looked for common ground between their major gods and those of the Greeks, adapting Greek myths and iconography for Latin literature and Roman art.

So to the Romans, another god more or less didn’t make much difference either way.  As the Romans extended their dominance throughout the Mediterranean world, their policy in general was to absorb the deities and cults of other peoples rather than try to eradicate them.

By the height of the Empire, numerous international deities were cultivated at Rome and had been carried to even the most remote provinces, among them Cybele, Isis, Epona, and gods of solar monism such as Mithras and Sol Invictus, found as far north as Roman Britain.

Because Romans had never been obligated to cultivate one god or one cult only, religious tolerance was not an issue in the sense that it is for competing monotheistic systems.

Ancient Rome considered itself highly religious and credited their rise to power to their relationship with their gods and goddesses.  Roman religion was based primarily on knowledge, prayer, ritual and sacrifice, rather than on faith or doctrine.

But the Christian religion wasn’t like the rest of the religions of Rome.  The Christian religion had no defined rituals.  Prayer was modeled after the “Lord’s Prayer” which eschewed ritual formality in favor of a simple acknowledgement of dependence upon the One True God for all things.

And THAT is where all the problems arose.  The whole, “One True God” thing.  If there was only One True God, then that meant that all the rest of them were false gods.

Jesus claimed He was the only God, and that “No man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.”

It logically follows then, that the Roman polytheist was doomed, according to Christian theology.  The population in those days found that sort of doctrine threatening, even hateful.  In fact, that was the charge under which they were persecuted — they called it a hate crime.

How could this be?  The fact is, the claims of Christianity make it the enemy of every single other religious belief structure on earth.

Why?  Because, according to Jesus, any worship that denies Him is worship of the devil.

Assessment:

“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” (Matthew 10:34-36)

The United States Constitution’s First enumerated freedom under the Bill of Rights is freedom of religion.  That was another reason why as a young man, the idea of Christian persecution seemed so foreign to me. 

Christianity is not so named because in colonial America, it wasn’t necessary.  The default position was Christian –instituting protections for Christianity would be as unnecessary as setting forth the criteria for marriage as being between a male and female.

(Some things are just so obvious that they don’t need explaining.  Or so they thought 236 years ago.)

It wasn’t Christians whose worship needed protecting.  The Founders were more concerned with ensuring that all religions would be tolerated. 

And in so doing, they ensured that all religions in America would be tolerated.  All of them, except the one they never anticipated would ever need safeguarding.

Consequently, as we count down the last days to the return of Christ, the most dangerous label one could affix to a Christian would be that of “Christian fundamentalist.” 

First, let’s define a fundamentalist as one who stands firm on the fundamental doctrines of his faith.

By the turn of the 20th century, American theological conservatives had identified five basic Christian fundamentals which most of you will recognize from the OL’s basic statement of faith:

  1. The Divine Authorship, inspiration and authority of Scripture.
  2. The Virgin Birth of Christ.
  3. The Atoning Work of the Cross.
  4. The historical reality of Jesus Christ and His earthly ministry.
  5. The historical reality of Jesus’ bodily resurrection and ascension.

If one holds to those five basic Christian truths, then one is a Christian fundamentalist and therefore, a “intolerant hater” that the Department of Homeland Security considers a threat to national security.  But only Christian fundamentalism is viewed by the federal government as a threat. 

To the world, Christian fundamentalists are the ones who advocate the rebuilding of Israel’s Temple in Jerusalem, oppose the creation of a terrorist state beside Israel, oppose the division of Jerusalem, and the destruction of our shared enemy.

They accept the testimony of the Bible as legal title for Israel’s possession of the Land of Promise and support Israel’s right to exist as an issue of doctrine as well as politics.  The world hates them for that.

The world views Christian fundamentalism as being responsible for all manner of hate crimes, not the least of which is its exclusivity.  The entire ecumenical movement is stalled in its tracks by Christian fundamentalism. 

On the other hand, if one adheres to the Five Pillars of Islam, one is a Muslim fundamentalist and, in America, automatically deserving of such respect that even non-Muslims revere Mohammed as “a Prophet” even if offering such recognition violates their own Five Fundamentals of Faith.

For example, Tim Tebow sparked a HUGE backlash during last year’s Super Bowl when he starred in a pro-family ad sponsored by Focus on the Family.  The ad was about Tebow himself, and how his mother decided not to abort him when she was pregnant.

The ad set off howls of protests and demands for boycotts against the network amid demands that the ad be cancelled on the grounds there was no place for such controversial ads on public television.

Later that same year, Lowe’s decided to pull its ads from a reality show on TLC about Muslim-Americans due to complaints from Christian groups that the show was promoting Islam as a faith.  Once again, there was a reaction.  But not against the network for producing the program.

Against Lowe’s . . . for pulling its support.

Calling the retail giant’s decision “un-American” and “naked … bigotry,” Senator Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, told the Associated Press he was even considering legislative action if Lowe’s didn’t apologize to Muslims and reinstate the ads. 

In post-Christian, Laodicean America, when compared to the “threat” posed by Christian fundamentalism, even a form of fundamentalism that mandates the murder of innocents in the thousands, pales by comparison.

I began with the statement that when I was a young man, I could not imagine the circumstances under which Christians living in the world’s most Christian country could ever find themselves persecuted for their faith.

Of course, I could also never have imagined that a faith that offers salvation as a free gift extended to all mankind would be considered hateful whereas a religion that demanded murder-suicide as a condition of salvation would be celebrated.  Especially by those whose murder would satisfy those conditions.

But that is where we find ourselves — not over the course of centuries, but over the course of less than two decades.  When Bill Clinton and Al Gore addressed the DNC in 1992, they both quoted what they claimed was the Bible. 

The DNC rocked the US political establishment when it voted to remove any mention of God or Jerusalem from their platform.  When the DNC sought to quell the backlash by holding a voice vote to put God back in, He lost three times before the Democrats did what they do best.

They stole the election for Him.  Nobody quoted the Bible.

America was born out of the principles of Christianity that made her the greatest nation the world had ever seen.   America kept to the basic fundamental doctrines of Christianity for most of her existence and prospered like no nation in the history of the world.

Until, like the Romans before them, they came to worship the  creation more than the Creator, precisely as the Bible predicted would happen in the last days. 

”For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2nd Timothy 4:3-4)

Like the fable that says that Christian fundamentalism is dangerous and hateful, but Islamic fundamentalism is to be respected as a “religion of peace and love” in spite of the mountains of bodies that testify to the contrary. 

Ever notice that hardly anybody ever asks where America is in prophecy anymore?

Has The Time ALREADY Come?

Has The Time ALREADY Come?
Vol: 134 Issue: 23 Friday, November 23, 2012

The Lord’s reply to the question posed in Matthew 24:3  is known to Bible scholars as the ‘Olivet Discourse’ because, 1) Jesus was standing ‘upon the Mount of Olives’ at the time, and; 2) His answer, which is contained in the three Synoptic Gospels, fills the entire chapter.

The question was, of course, “What will be the sign of Thy coming and of the end of the world?”  The Lord’s reply, as delivered from the Mount of Olives overlooking the Old City is one of the most lengthy teaching discourses in the New Testament.

The Olivet Discourse focuses its attention on events that take place DURING THE TRIBULATION, but begins by describing the events that conspire together to bring it about.

‘And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.’ (Matthew 24:5-6)

The period of wars and rumors of wars has been ongoing now since 1914 with the first truly global war in human history. It was followed by a second global war in 1939, whose conclusion brought about the ultimate ‘rumor of war’ between the West and the Soviet Empire.

There are two different entities under discussion, ‘nations’ and ‘kingdoms’. The word ‘nation’ is translated from the Greek word ‘ethnos‘ and describes an ethnic state, like Israel or one of the ethnic states of the Arab world. Or North Korea.

The world translated ‘kingdom’ ‘basileia‘ means “royal power, kingship, dominion, rule” and it describes a national entity bound together by economic/social interests, rather than ethnic relationships.

America would fit the Biblical understanding of a ‘kingdom’ in the sense Americans are not bound together by blood or ethnicity, but rather by common social and economic benefits.

The same could be applied to the member/states of the EU. Individually, some European countries might be ethnic in origin, but the Common Market exists for economic reasons.

The collapse of the Soviet Union and the rise of radical Islamic jihadism uncorked a new round of ethnic unrest and international conflict, but, as Jesus was careful to note, “the end is not yet.”

Assessment:

Ethnic or economic strife have been responsible for all the wars of modern times. Skeptics could effectively argue that wars, ethnic unrest, even famines, earthquakes and pestilences, all have been part of the human condition since the Fall of Man at the Garden of Eden.

(Or since the first amoeba turned into a person . . . for the skeptic who can’t bring himself to believe in God, but finds no conflict of faith in turning a frog into a prince).

Note that Jesus said “all these are the beginning of sorrows.” The word ‘sorrow’ first appears in Scripture in Genesis 3:16 when God tells Eve,

“I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children.”

“Sorrow” is translated from the Hebrew “itstsabown” and refers to labor pains.The Greek word ‘odin‘ translated as ‘sorrows’ in Matthew 24:8 also refers to labor pains.

Every parent who has ever lived could instantly grasp the meaning of this metaphor — that is why Jesus chose it. As the birth of a child approaches, the mother begins to experience labor pains, which, having once begun, continue to increase in both frequency and intensity as the moment of birth approaches.

Prospective parents in Jesus’ day did exactly what I did with each of my kids — timed the interval between the contractions. It was a carefully chosen metaphor designed to resonate with all people, of all cultures, in all generations. But, to the generation to whom those signs were addressed, the meaning would be unmistakable.

When one compares the accuracy of the Bible’s account of the unknowable future to the ever-changing scientific ‘explanations’ for the distant past, doubts melt away.

The skeptic has multiple explanations for static events that have already happened. The Bible gives a single explanation for a fluid, changeable series of events predicted to happen thousands of years in the future — the events that define our present day.

Which is more convincing?

Bible prophecy proves Jesus was the Son of God, regardless of the latest scientific, archeological or historical discovery. No matter what else might be offered as ‘evidence’ to the contrary, there is no other explanation for Bible prophecy. It is our generation’s unique miracle.

It proves that He remains in charge of the affairs of men. Scripture records His Promise in all three Gospel accounts,

“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” (Matthew 24:35. Mark 13:31, Luke 21:33)

“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:” (2 Peter 1:19)

Bible prophecy is proof positive that God remains on the Throne, that His Word will NOT return to Him void, and that all the chaos and terror of the world notwithstanding, all continues to go according to His plan.

Given the unbeliever’s explanation of uncontrolled chaos, Bible prophecy isn’t all that depressing, after all. 

What would  really be depressing would be to be among the lost, not knowing what this world is coming to, and believing the world is in a state of uncontrolled chaos.

For the believer, Bible prophecy can be pretty encouraging, which is what the Lord intended for the last days’ Church all along:

“But these things have I told you, that WHEN THE TIME SHALL COME, ye may remember that I told you of them.” (John 16:4)

Now that the time has come, don’t let the Enemy steal your joy.  The “time” at hand is the time awaited by believers for millennia.  We are eyewitnesses to the unfolding Plan of God — a Plan that one day will result in the shout, “Come up hither”  and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  

“Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)