My Favorite Holiday

My Favorite Holiday
Vol: 134 Issue: 22 Thursday, November 22, 2012

Of all of the various holidays, Christmas is the most fun.  To my mind, it always has been.  I loved it as a kid, but I’ve loved it even more since becoming an adult.

It is the one time of the year when I get to express my love and appreciation to my family and friends without anybody feeling awkward about it. 

But Christmas isn’t my favorite holiday.  Thanksgiving Day is. 

I love its historical purpose.  It is the one time of the year when America expresses its collective love and appreciation to our Creator God for the many blessings showered upon us as a nation. 

Thanks to the foresight and faithfulness of America’s Founding Fathers, even in the rabidly secular post-Christian America of the 21st century, there remain a significant number of Americans who still heed 2nd Chronicles 7:14:

“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.” 

The fact that despite America’s many sins, America remains the most Divinely favored nation on the face of the earth is evidence that God heeds His promise in 2nd Chronicles 7:14 as well. 

That is what I love most about Thanksgiving Day.  The opportunity to witness God’s continued involvement in the affairs of men. 

During the American Revolutionary War the Continental Congress appointed one or more days of thanksgiving each year.  And each one carried a recommendation to the executives of the various states for the observance of these days in their states.

George Washington, leader of the Revolutionary forces in the American Revolutionary War, proclaimed a day of Thanksgiving in December 1777 as a victory celebration honoring the defeat of the British at Saratoga.  The Continental Congress proclaimed annual December Thanksgivings from 1777 to 1783 (except in 1782).

The concept of setting aside a day of thanksgiving is as old and as universal as mankind. 

Many countries, such as for example, Asia, Japan, India, Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka have celebrated in gratitude for their rich rice harvest for many, many centuries. 

In Africa, many tribal expressions of gratitude are similar as this ancient prayer: “The Year Has Come Around Again, Great Lord Of Our Land – Never Can We Thank You For Your Good Deeds And All Your Blessings.”

In South America you find many of the native Indian cultures have expressions of gratitude and thanksgiving. Modern Brazil has a special public day of thanksgiving and prayers and has been celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November since 1949.

In Chaldea. ancient Egypt and Greece, harvest festival has been celebrated with great rejoicing.

The Hindus and the Chinese marked their harvest with a holiday.  The Romans celebrated their Thanksgiving early October.  They dedicated it to the Goddess Of The Harvest, Ceres, and the holiday was named “Cerelia.”

Egypt, Syria and Mesopotamia, offered the first or last sheaf of wheat to the “Great Mother” or the “Mother Of The Wheat”, believing that earth’s power was a feminine force. 

The annual “Declaration of World Thanksgiving”, is signed by 12 world leaders — religious leaders, scholars, scientists, philosophers, artists — representing various religions and cultures from around the world. 

Assessment:

If everybody celebrates thanksgiving in some form or another, and if the tradition goes back to the ancient Chaldeans, then what is so American (or Christian) about Thanksgiving? 

The answer should be obvious. “By their fruits ye shall know them,” Scripture tells us. 

America is, hands-down, the most abundantly blessed nation on the face of the earth.  Sharing in that blessing are Canada, Australia, New Zealand and some of the nations of Western Europe. 

Those nations also share the tradition of offering thanks to the Almighty God of the Bible for their blessings. 

Israel also has a tradition of thanksgiving, called Sukkot.  Sukkot has three names: Hag HaAsif – The Festival of Ingathering, Hag HaSukkot – The Festival of Booths, HaHag – The Festival), which comes on the fifth day after Yom Kippur and lasts for seven days. 

During that time the Israelis remember the protection God gave them during the forty years they spent traveling in the desert.  The Jews also celebrate the ingathering of crops during the Feast of Tabernacles. 

Like the Christians, the Jews offer their thanks to the True Author of blessing, and like the Christian nations, are among the biggest recipients of God’s provision and protection. 

Places like India, Sri Lanka, Africa, Indonesia, Thailand, etc., have traditional celebrations in which they give thanks to pagan gods. 

What the pagan gods are able to deliver in return is self-evident. 

“Yet ye have forsaken Me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more.” (Judges 10:13)

The reason that I love Thanksgiving Day above all other holiday seasons isn’t the turkey (but I love that) and it isn’t the feasting (but I love that) or the parades, or the football games or any of the secular trappings that go along with it. 

It is because I get to watch God keep His promises.  When God told Abraham of the coming destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham pleaded with God until the Lord agreed that if there remained yet ten righteous men in the city, He would stay His execution on the city. 

Even though not ten righteous men could be found, for the sake of Lot and his family, the Lord arranged first for their evacuation, before bringing judgement on the city. 

Each Thanksgiving Day, Americans acknowledge the Creator and offer Him thanks for His blessings.  And a walk through American history shows that every year was more abundantly blessed than the year before, with one notable exception. 

The longest period of economic stagnation in US history was the period between the War of 1812 and the Civil War.  Economic growth was all but non-existent and banking panics were commonplace. 

The Banking Panic of 1837 almost tanked America — in 1861, Abe Lincoln had to issue ‘greenbacks’ — in essence government IOU’s — to finance the Civil War. 

It is especially interesting in light of the fact that, from 1816 to 1861, there were no presidential Thanksgiving proclamations issued. 

America was therefore ‘blessed’ accordingly. 

We live in a post-Christian era, but there remain a few righteous men left, in a handful of nations, that still heed the national call for thanksgiving and prayer. 

Thanksgiving Day renews my hope that, as in Lot’s case, the Church will be evacuated before God executes judgement on a lost and sin-sick world. 

“And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small.” (Jeremiah 30:19

Offer up thanks to Our Creator, the Almighty God of Israel, Isaac and Jacob.  Let Him hear the ‘voice of them that make merry’ — wherever you may be. 

I pray each of you have a happy Thanksgiving Day.  God bless you all.

The Mythical ‘Cycle of Violence’

The Mythical ‘Cycle of Violence’
Vol: 134 Issue: 21 Wednesday, November 21, 2012

According to the newspaper Al Hayat, Israel offered Hamas and the Islamic Jihad leadership a 90 day cease-fire during which time Israel would gauge Hamas’ ability to stop the shelling of Israeli cities and towns prior to discussing Hamas’ demands.

The offer was simple enough.  “If you stop trying to kill Jews, we’ll stop retaliating.” 

Hamas rejected the offer only hours after Hillary Clinton promised that she would work out a deal that would benefit both sides, promising from Jerusalem that;

“in the days ahead the United States will work with our partners here in Israel and across the region toward an outcome that bolsters security for the people of Israel, improves conditions for the people of Gaza and moves toward a comprehensive peace for all people of the region.”

Why, that’s just wonderful!  What a great concept!  Make everybody happy!  The only thing preventing her from accomplishing this diplomatic miracle is that Hamas won’t stop attacking Israel until Israel stops attacking Gaza despite the fact that Israel isn’t attacking Gaza, it is retaliating.

That is a very important word to understand if one hopes to understand the actual state of affairs between the two parties. “Retaliation” means, “to return like for like, especially evil for evil, or, to pay back an injury in kind.”

The key element involved in retaliation is that it requires the other side to hit you first.  It is NOT a “cycle of violence” as Western commentators are fond of describing it.

The violence begins with Hamas, an organization whose charter calls for the destruction of Israel as its reason for existing.

Let’s take a second and try to get a handle on that reality.  If Israel is destroyed, Hamas has no reason to continue to exist.  Hamas exists only for the purpose of killing Jews.  

I realize I’m repeating myself but it seems necessary to me since the whole “cycle of violence” thing has been so completely accepted by the West.  

If Hamas stopped trying to destroy Israel there would be no conflict.  Israel has no reason to attack Gaza.  It has no reason not to want peace with Gaza.  Israel has no need for war with the Palestinians — there is no advantage they can gain. 

Israel doesn’t want the territory — Israel voluntarily evacuated all things Israeli from the Gaza Strip in 2005.  Israelis don’t want to rule Gaza — they don’t want to own it, they don’t want to occupy it and they don’t want to exploit it.  They just want Gaza to stop attacking Israel.

The violence is NOT a ‘cycle’.  It is entirely one-sided and could be stopped immediately.  But that would violate the Hamas charter and eliminate Hamas’ reason to live. 

THINK about that! 

It is as if there were a guy next door who beat you up every time you walked out your front door and the cops respond by telling you not to go out your front door because that action starts a cycle of violence. 

Even after the guy TELLS the cops that the only reason he moved next door in the first place was to beat you up!

That is essentially the situation Israel faces with Gaza.  Israel withdrew from Gaza and the Palestinians elected Hamas to press the attack because Israel pulled out. 

What is it that Gaza wants from Israel?  They want Israel to open the borders.  Why did Israel close the borders? 

Israel closed the border between Israel and Gaza to prevent Hamas terrorists from infiltrating Israel and attacking Israeli civilians.  They closed the border with Egypt to prevent Hamas terrorists from smuggling weapons into Gaza to attack Israeli soldiers.

The only “benefit” the Israelis realize by closing the borders is that it makes it harder for Hamas to attack them.  So the demand that Israel open the borders is nothing less than a demand that Israel facilitate Hamas’ efforts to destroy them.  Where is the logic in that?

Any demand made by the West for negotiations must, by definition, ignore the very reason that Hamas exists, while pretending that both sides are equally culpable.

Assessment:

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

The verse is generally quoted in relation to the antichrist and his rise to power.  And according to Scripture, the antichrist’s rise to power is inextricably linked to the Israeli peace ‘process’.  

It is via his confirmation of a peace covenant between Israel and the descendants of Esau that kicks off the Tribulation Period.  And it is pretty clear that any peace negotiations between Israel and Hamas are delusional, given the circumstances. 

In order for negotiations to be successful, Hamas would have to either disband or amend its Charter to remove its reason for being — in short, commit suicide — in order to have a peace with Israel that they don’t want. 

But it is Israel that is under pressure to negotiate.  It is Israel that is under pressure to cease fire. 

To America’s credit, the United States blocked the UN Security Council from issuing a statement condemning ISRAEL, saying the statement failed to address the root cause of the violence, which is Hamas missiles landing in Israel.

Reuters reported that Erin Pelton, spokeswoman for the US mission to the UN said the statement would not assist the “de-escalation of violence and a durable outcome that ends the rocket attacks on Israeli cities.” 

She expressed US concern that “by failing to call for the immediate and permanent halt to rocket launches from Gaza into Israel, this press statement failed to contribute constructively to those goals,” and that  “as such, we could not agree to this statement.”

Ok, so as a statement of support for Israel, it is pretty weak.  But it is better than nothing.

I’ve explained it before, but it bears repeating.  For two thousand years, the Jews have been the target of mass expulsions, pogroms and persecution simply because they were Jews.  Finally, after two millennia, the reestablishment of the state of Israel gave them a Jewish homeland. 

Now, as an independent nation, they expected to be accepted into the world community as equals.  Instead, Israel is still the Jew among the nations.

There is no logical reason why Israel is the pariah nation that it is.  It is the only pro-American, Western-style democracy in the region, surrounded as it is by a sea of anti-American, anti-Western, pro-Islamic dictatorships.

It is even less logical when one considers how many Israelis are actually American-born.  When a bus gets blown up in Tel Aviv, or when rockets rain down on Israeli cities, there are ALWAYS Americans among the victims.  But because they are also Jews, there is no outcry from the US. 

There is nothing about the Jews that makes them more dangerous to world peace than their Arab neighbors.  The threat posed to world peace by Israel would be Israel’s continued existence, since that is what is responsible for Middle East violence.

There is nothing about Israel that would explain her global unpopularity and even less that would explain her unpopularity among Americans — especially among mainstream Protestant churches that fully support Palestinian efforts aimed at Israel’s extinction.

Israel is a fully-functional, capitalist democracy with Western-style respect for human rights and freedoms.  Indeed, she would have to make very few adjustments, if any, in order to qualify for admission as a US state. 

Israel, by her very existence and circumstances, is absolute and unassailable PROOF that the Bible is true, that these are the last days, and that the Lord is coming back soon.

Her restoration was prophesied 2500 years ago, and against all the odds, she was restored to the same piece of real estate as was prophesied, under exactly the circumstances foretold.

Her international isolation is mandated by Bible prophecy, which says that God Himself will come to Israel’s aid, but only after all the rest of the world had turned its collective back on the Jews, so that God’s provision would be undeniable.

Remove Bible prophecy and one finds no explanation for Israel’s existence or circumstances.  Include Bible prophecy and every single question is clearly and specifically addressed.

Israel stands as a visible reminder that God remains on the Throne and is still involved in human affairs.  The god of this world hates that because it reminds him that Bible prophecy also forecasts his eventual and permanent defeat.

There are lots of signs that suggest we are living in the last days, but none more powerful than the existence of a pariah Jewish state called “Israel.” 

“Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” (Matthew 24:32-34)

US Calls for ISRAELI Restraint???

US Calls for ISRAELI Restraint???
Vol: 134 Issue: 20 Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The rocket attacks against Israel have been ongoing all year, beginning on January 1 when Palestinian terrorists fired two mortar shells containing white phosphorus in the Eshkol Regional Council.  White phosphorus rounds are particularly nasty.

The phosphorus breaks up into tiny burning pieces that continue to burn as long as there is contact with air. For example, a piece hitting the back of one’s hand would continue to burn until it burned through the other side.  

For that reason, firing white phosphorus rounds into Israel is a direct violation of the Geneva Conventions and, consequently, a war crime. 

When the Palestinians launch rockets against Israel they are in direct violation of international laws that prohibit the indiscriminate shelling of civilian cities and towns that are no military value. 

But when it is Arabs attacking Israel, there are no legal standards.  Evidently, it is only Israel that is required to observe international law. 

Qassam rockets have no guidance system — they are ballistic missiles, meaning they go up in an arc and then fall back to earth, like lobbing a rock into the air, knowing it will land ‘somewhere over there’.  In that sense, the rocket can be “aimed” to fall within a wide radius in a city or town. Would you be willing to live like this?

But the rocketeers have as much chance of hitting a hospital, school, or crowded market as they do a target of any strategic value.  So it is like firing a gun into a crowd, not caring whether the victim is a man or woman, adult or child, or even an infant.

The Palestinians claim that the Israelis do the same thing, and the world takes that claim at face value, despite the fact that Israel uses precision guided munitions, aims only at Hamas targets, and drops leaflets into civilian neighborhoods before launching airstrikes, warning them to distance themselves from Hamas weapons stockpiles and rocket launchers. 

The Palestinians locate their rocket launchers near hospitals, schools, mosques and in civilian neighborhoods deliberately, knowing that Israel will probably not hit them there — and if it does, Hamas scores a propaganda victory.

Israel has endured almost daily rocket attacks all year, but the Palestinians ratcheted things up a notch following the re-election of Barack Hussein Obama.

On November 6, Palestinian terrorists fired a Qassam rocket into Israel.  They fired two more on November 9.  On November 10, terrorists fired at an IDF jeep on the Israeli side of the border.  Israel retaliated with tank fire.

The Palestinians then fired 25 rockets indiscriminately into various Israeli communities, putting schools, markets and other civilian gathering places at risk.  Israel retaliated with airstrikes.  

On November 11 Palestinian terrorists from Gaza fired over 100 rockets and mortars at Israeli cities and towns.  Between November 14 and November 17 the Palestinians in Gaza fired something over 740 rockets into Israel, including firing rockets at both Tel Aviv and, for the first time ever, Jerusalem.

Israeli military sources said Hamas and Islamic Jihad launched a number of the Iranian-originated Fajr-5 rockets towards Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

The first Fajr-5 landed in the Israeli city of Rishon Lezion, about 15 kilometers south of Tel Aviv on November 15. Hours later, another rocket landed in Holon, some five kilometers south of Tel Aviv.

Over the last year, Hamas and Jihad are believed to have received more than 100 Fajr-5s, the largest weapons in the missile arsenal in the Gaza Strip.  The sources said Hamas and Jihad were trained by Iran to use Fajr-5 to overcome Israel’s new Iron Dome missile defense system.

“The Israel Air Force has deployed four Iron Dome batteries and was awaiting a fifth battery, the latter designed to intercept missiles with a range of up to 150 kilometers. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Iron Dome has intercepted 100 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip. Hamas and its militia allies have fired more than 250 missiles and rockets into Israel during a period of 28 hours. On Nov. 15, three people were killed when an extended-range BM-21 Grad rocket designed by China slammed into an apartment building in the southern Israeli city of Kiryat Malachi. At least 15 people have been killed in Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip.”

Assessment:

Yesterday, Hamas launched a five-rocket salvo at the southern city of Ashkelon as other rockets rained down along the Israeli-Gaza border.

Of the five rockets fired on Monday at the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, four were intercepted but one smashed through the concrete roof at the entrance to an empty school.

Later a second salvo struck Ashkelon.  Several rockets were intercepted, but one crashed down onto a house, causing damage but no casualties. Israeli officials said 135 rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel on Monday, of which 42 were intercepted by Iron Dome.

Today, Israeli Defense officials reported a reduction in the number of rockets fired from Gaza, but say it is because the Palestinians are running out of ammunition and are seeking to preserve what they have until they get new shipments from Iran — via Libya.

Meanwhile Obama is working with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood to broker a cease-fire, which is like enlisting the Nazis to help build a Holocaust memorial.  Hamas is a creation of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Egypt is pretending to be an impartial third-party, and Obama is pretending right along with them, despite Egypt’s having openly sided with Hamas against Israel.

President Mohamed Morsi, a former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood who has been an outspoken supporter of Hamas, invited foreign correspondents in Cairo to a background briefing at which a senior Egyptian official sought to blame Israel for the conflict while at the same time maintaining Egypt’s role as an intermediary pressing both sides for peace. “We are against any bloodshed,” the official said repeatedly, arguing that Egypt sought stability and individual freedom for all in the region.

Speaking on condition of anonymity to avoid upsetting the talks with the Israelis, the Egyptian official argued that the West, which supports Israel’s right to defend itself against rocket attacks from Gaza, was essentially blaming the victim.

“It is so strange people are talking about the rights of self-defense,” he said. “The self-defense of whom?  Of the occupied people?  Of the besieged people?  Of the hurt people?  No, the self-defense of the most powerful state in the region and the self-defense of the occupying force of Gaza and Palestine.  This is what some of the international community are talking about.”

Maybe so, but others in the international community are talking about the fact that Hamas is the party on the attack and Israel is on the defense.  Hamas is the one shooting rockets — Israeli is shooting rocket launchers! 

Canada’s Prime Minister was apparently shocked at Obama’s lack of support for Israel. 

“When Israel, the only country in the world whose very existence is under attack, is consistently and conspicuously singled out for condemnation, I believe we are morally obligated to take a stand.”

While Obama was calling for the Israelis to show restraint, Prime Minister Stephen Harper reaffirmed Israel’s right to defend itself and offered Canadian support for the Israelis.  

Yesterday, while Obama was paying lip service to Israel’s right to self-defense while siding with the Muslim Brotherhood, America was hit by another super storm with winds exceeding 114 mph and rainfall totals as high as six inches in Oregon and Washington State.  

“And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3)

Coincidence?  If you say so.   

The Laodicean PotBus

The Laodicean PotBus
Vol: 134 Issue: 19 Monday, November 19, 2012

On January 1st there were three things I was certain would be the case when we closed the books on the Year 2012.  The first was that the world will not have ended on December 21st.  The jury is still out on that one, but I’m feeling pretty cocky.

The second was that the US economy would not be measurably better when we close the books on 2012 than it was when we opened them in January.  I was pretty confident that would be the case, too. 

The third thing of which I was absolutely, positively utterly, confident was that Barack Hussein Obama would be moving back to Chicago on January 20th.

Now, the only thing I am really sure of is Point Number Two.  Even Point Number One seems a bit more likely.

When they called Ohio for Barack Obama, it was like one of those movie scenes where time seems to slow down and background noises fade away . . . . things took on a sense of the surreal for a second, before snapping back abruptly to a seemingly impossible reality.

How could the most dishonest, most divisive, most economically incompetent and — put into the broadest possible terms — the absolute worst all around presidency in the history of the Republic possibly manage to get re-elected? 

Of all the possible scenarios I had considered, simply winning the election was never even on the list.  And I didn’t really think it was possible to actually steal an election.  Not for something as big as the presidency.  

But I was wrong.

All he had to do was steal a few key precincts in a few key battleground states.  Out of fifty-nine voting divisions in Philadelphia, Obama got 100% of the vote.   There were more than fifty precincts in Cuyohoga County, (Cleveland) Ohio in which Obama got 99% of the vote.

In Wood County, Ohio there were 98,213 people old enough to vote and 106,258 of ’em showed up to vote for Obama.  Ten counties in the swing state of Colorado had a voter registration rate of more than 100%.

In St. Lucie County, Fla., about 175,500 residents were registered to vote on Election Day.  But when results came in that night, officials counted more than 247,383 votes.  Officials scrambled to explain how some cards got counted twice.  Or something. 

As it turns out, the official tally still shows an unprecedented 70% turnout, itself highly suspicious.  But not as suspicious as the 109% turnout enjoyed in some Ohio counties.  Dozens of voters showed up in Cincinnati to learn they already voted.

None of the anecdotal stories about voting machine irregularities like the Nevada machine that registered every vote for Romney to Obama ever reported the opposite.  The Nevada voting machines were, incidentally, supervised by the SIEU. 

Altogether there were more than 70,000 registered complaints of voting machine irregularities nationwide by the time of first poll closings on election day.  Battleground states had particularly serious problems.

The lists are as long as are the lists of quislings prepared to defend selling out their country.  I am a little embarrassed about my comments about having UN observers watch American elections — we NEEDED observers, after all.

Obama Polling

In Pennsylvania, there were murals of Obama standing guard over polling places, putting one in mind of Soviet elections where the only guy you saw was the guy you better be voting for.

And just in case, there were plenty of uniformed Black Panthers standing by to make sure you voted early and often and always the right way.

And THAT helps to explain how Romney won 55 out of 67 counties in Pennsylvania and still lost the state to Obama.

It is worth noting that Obama never won a single state that required voters to show photo ID.

Pennsylvania didn’t require voter ID this election — the Democrats say that would disenfranchise those voters that are too incompetent to obtain ID on their own — the Democrats claim such incompetence is practically universal among black voters.

Surprisingly, that didn’t offend black voters, nine out of ten of whom voted for a guy that thinks they need to be coddled like children.  Of course, the REAL reason for opposing voter ID laws is to facilitate the illegal alien vote — it was just easier to blame it on black incompetence.

American racists have been getting away with that lie for years. 

Assessment:

There is no doubt in any thinking person’s mind that Team Obama stole the election, but they only had to steal a handful out of the total votes cast in order to win. 

He already had almost half the voting public sewed up — he is the President of the Blue States of America, or POTBUS — a fitting acronym for the former leader of the Choom Gang.  But what does the fact Obama could be RE-elected in America tell us about America in these last days?

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve quoted 2 Timothy 3:1-6 as part of a report about Obama’s America, I would probably have enough dollars to survive the next four years of Obamanomics.  

Why would an American political election be relevant to Paul’s admonition to Timothy about the morality of last days’ society?  

If some guy from, say, Saudi Arabia were tasked with naming the world’s most Jewish country, which country do you suppose he would choose?  Ok.  Now what about a guy from Norway?  Or somebody from South Africa?   

Which is the world’s most Jewish country, anyway?  The answer is obviously Israel.  Not because it has the most Jews — it is said there are more Jews in New York than Tel Aviv.  Israel is the world’s most Jewish country because that’s the way the rest of the world views it.

Now, ask the same guys to identify the world’s most Christian country.  The answer would be the United States. Without question.  Not because it has the greatest percentage of Christians among its population — America is 79.5% Christian.  Ecuador is 99% Christian, Brazil 91.4%, Mexico 97.5%.

Of the top ten Christian countries by percentages, America doesn’t even place.  But with 249 million Christians, America has the world’s largest Christian population by far.

America is also the world’s most influential Christian country.  

That is not to say that America has more genuine Christians than any other country, but if you were seeking the world’s most representative Christian country, America is the only nation in the running. 

Why is that so important?  Because Paul prefaces his remarks to Timothy by identifying the time frame; “this know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.”

Since Paul is addressing cultural Christianity in the last days, it stands to reason that he is speaking of American culture when he warns of a social takeover by the “covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers. . . trucebreakers, false accusers. . .  despisers of those that are good . . . traitors . .” and so on.  

Prophetically speaking, the RE-election of Barack Obama represents a doubling down of Paul’s description of society in general and America in particular.  It isn’t just the illegal aliens, the racists and the God-haters that gave Obama a second term. 

Paul was writing to Timothy about the overall social conditions of the last days — and not necessarily the Church.  These social conditions have been in place for a generation or more already.

The Apostle draws a clear contrast between the social decay of the last days and believers, describing them as, “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 3:7)

That is not a description of believers, who by definition, know the truth — that is what MAKES them “believers.”

According to the Pew Forum on Religion, 20% of self-described born again Christians voted for the anti-Israeli, pro-abortion candidate whom Newsweek crowned “America’s First Gay President“. 

Ninety-five percent of black Christians voted for Obama.

Fifty percent of Catholics voted against their own church teachings, including seventy-five percent of all Hispanic Catholics.  Obama also captured 75% of self-described atheists and 42% of non-evangelical Protestants.

So, what does it all mean?  The Book of the Revelation begins with Jesus standing among the seven golden candlesticks, each representing one of the seven Churches of Asia Minor. 

Each church is representative of a particular epoch in Church history, as identified by the major characteristics singled out by the Lord for either commendation or condemnation.   

The sixth Church epoch is represented by the Church of Philadelphia — the evangelical Church that sent missionaries around the world, carrying the Gospel to the lost — it is the only Church to receive only commendation from the Lord. 

When we come to the seventh Church, the Church of Laodicea . . .  THIS is the Church that will be dominant at the time of the Rapture. 

Jesus is not describing last days’ society — that was Paul.  Jesus is addressing a Church.  The word “Church” (ekklesia) cannot be applied to unbelievers. The word “ekklesia” is found in one hundred and fifteen places in the New Testament.  It is translated in English one hundred and thirteen times as “church” and the remaining times it is translated as “assembly.”

In classical Greek the word “ekklesia” meant “an assembly of citizens summoned by the crier, the legislative assembly”.  The word as used in the New Testament is taken from the root of this word, which simply means to “call out”.

In New Testament times the word was exclusively used to represent a group of people assembled together for a particular cause or purpose.  In the case of the Church at Laodicea,  it refers to the Christians — the “called out ones” who lived among the pagans in the city of Laodicea.  

The Lord describes the Laodicean Church thusly:

“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth.” (Revelation 3:15-16)

This doesn’t mean that the Laodicean believers will lose their salvation.  It means their churches will reflect their lukewarm nature; powerless, dead and ineffective. 

The kind of church that could RE-elect Barack Obama, not because they believe in him or his cause, but because he promises to give them stuff as part of his social gospel.

“Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked . . .” (3:17)

The Lord offers counsel to this Church, but doesn’t hold out any hope that they will take it.  Instead, He promises rebuke and chastening.  Notice that, while Jesus stood among the other churches, He stands outside Laodicea, asking to be admitted.   

John was recording Jesus’ explanation of where those social conditions will ultimately lead. Listen carefully to what the Spirit saith unto the Churches.

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.”

Paul was writing to Timothy about social conditions in the last days.  America’s choice on November 6 has moved it firmly over from 2 Timothy 3:1-6 to Revelation 3:14-21.  The “perilous times” have shifted to the Church itself. 

Paul admonished the Church to “continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them.” (2 Timothy 3:14)

What comes next?  Persecutions and afflictions at the hands of evil men and seducers. (2 Timothy 3:12-13)

Jesus’ message comes from the other end of the spectrum, admonishing the Church to repent from having become what Paul had warned of.  Jesus ends His outline of the seven epochs of the Church Age by saying, “Listen up.”

“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”

Why the Lord’s admonition to listen carefully?  Note the difference in what comes next for Laodicea.  Not more persecutions and afflictions — that was Philadelphia.  The Church of Philadelphia is no more. 

We are Laodicea.  What comes next? 

“After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, COME UP HITHER, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” (Revelation 4:1)

It’s not all bad news.  Laodicea is just one verse away from the Rapture

Why Christianity Cannot Be Mythologized

Why Christianity Cannot Be Mythologized
Vol: 134 Issue: 17 Saturday, November 17, 2012

One of the most important differences between Biblical Christianity and most other belief structures, (including atheism) is that, by its very nature, Christianity discourages becoming mythologized.

That is one reason that twenty centuries after the fact, Jesus is still God, but ‘Jupiter’ is a planet in the solar system. 

Mythological religious figures are larger-than-life, have supernatural power, are somewhat mischievous, and their deeds tend to grow with time. 

One could say that about Zeus, one could say that about about Mohammed, or one could say that about Charles Darwin. 

Jesus Christ was larger-than-life in His humility.  No other mythological god ever washed the feet of his servants.  Jesus did not exercise His Personal power, but always accredited it to God the Father. 

Jesus was kind and friendly, but deadly serious — no one could accuse Him of being mischievous.  And Jesus Christ was the same yesterday as today. 

There are no eyewitnesses to the life and times of Zeus or Jupiter.  The Koran contains no eyewitness accounts — it was compiled after the death of Mohammed from oral tradition. 

Charles Darwin was not the committed atheist his followers claim, but rather, he was the son of a preacher who attended Divinity School. 

And, according to an eyewitness to his death, a Lady Hope, he underwent a ‘deathbed conversion’ in which he renounced atheism. 

Darwin’s followers call that a ‘myth’.  That’s my point.  There are more written eyewitness accounts to the life and times of Jesus Christ than of any major historical figure of antiquity. 

(And more eyewitnesses to His last words, (“tetelestai!” meaning, “paid in full”) than there were to Charles Darwin’s.) 

Any attempt to mythologize Jesus Christ runs into a brick wall of eyewitness testimony.  Jesus Christ has been mythologized by cults, but that is why they are called cults.

Because they introduce an element of unprovable myth to a life already marked by proven miracles well attested to by multiple, unrelated eyewitnesses. 

In Jesus’ day, Jerusalem was a relatively small, close-knit city, many of whose residents could trace their genealogy back to Adam.  Everybody knew everybody, or they knew somebody who knew somebody — like in many small towns today. 

There is a story in which Jesus was preaching in a crowded synagogue.  A paralytic, desiring to be healed, couldn’t be maneuvered through the crowd, so instead, they tore a hole in the roof and lowered the guy down. 

(Like THAT wouldn’t be the talk of the town, in and of itself – the text says he was a paralytic from birth, and well known to his neighbors.) 

Having lowered the guy down from the roof (picture it from the perspective of the audience) to Jesus, Jesus says to the guy, “Arise, take up thy bed, and walk.” 

And he does!  He picks up his bed, and walks out through the crowd. 

The Gospel of Mark, which related the story, was already in circulation sometime around 45 AD — fifteen years after the fact.  (There is little reason to doubt the healed paralytic was still alive and telling his own story, as well). 

It is fair to assume that Jesus had at least as many enemies as He had friends.  But there are no contemporary records denying that event took place. 

Why?  Too many eyewitnesses were there to see what really happened. 

One cannot mythologize Jesus for several reasons:

1) the incredible detail of the written eyewitness record;
2) the contemporary acceptance of the Gospels as fact; and,
3) when it comes to the life and times of Jesus Christ, no myth is necessary. 

No myth could possibly add to the truth. 

Assessment:

Those are the reasons why Jesus can’t be mythologized.  There is also a reason why few, outside of the cults, have tried.  There is no motive.  To be saved, one must accept Jesus Christ as He is. 

A Christian’s motivation is a sincere belief in heaven and hell and an equally sincere desire to keep his fellow man from ending up in hell.  A mythologized Jesus cannot save anyone. 

On the other hand, atheism has no eternal power, demands no eternal accountability, and therefore, has no absolute truth. 

Consequently, it is built entirely on a foundation of mythology. 

Let’s examine just a few examples of atheist mythology (with acknowledgment to Vox Day’s brilliant book, “The Irrational Atheist.”)

Day takes on the most specious arguments offered by the three best-selling atheist authors of our time, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins.

Myth: Atheists make up a smaller percentage of prison inmates than their religious counterparts.

Fact: Surveys show that those who profess no religion are four times as likely to be incarcerated than Christians. 

Myth: Cities in Blue States are safer than Red-State cities.

Fact: The safest cities in “Blue” states are in “Red” counties. The most dangerous cities in “Red” States are in “Blue” counties. (It all depends on how you frame the facts)

Myth: Richard Dawkins claimed in his book, “The God Delusion” that religions are responsible for the destruction of religious art and literature.

Fact: Vox Day counters by pointing out the 41,000 churches destroyed the Soviet atheists, and thousands of Buddhist temples destroyed in Tibet, North Korea, and Vietnam, as they attempted to persecute religious belief out of existence.

Myth: Hitler was a Christian.

Fact: Hitler was a baptized Catholic who was heavily involved in the occult, Theosophy, Arianism etc. who hated Christians and planned to replace Christianity with Aryanism, an atheistic religion based in racial eugenics. 

Myth: Atheists are rational, and therefore would never commit atrocities.

Fact: Most of the dictators of the 20th century were atheists.  The Soviet Union was an officially atheist state. 

According to Day,

“…the average atheist crime against humanity is 18.3 million percent worse than the very worst depredation committed by Christians, even though atheists have had less than one-twentieth the number of opportunities with which to commit them.”

Myth: Morality is a function of democracy in which the majority, rather than God, establish fundamental morality.

Fact: Both Hitler and Hamas were elected in free and fair democratic elections.  Moral democracy is no guarantee of a ‘moral majority’.

The late Christopher Hitchens wrote, in his book, “God is not Great” that “what can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence,” as his ‘evidence’ that he believed proved God is a myth. (Now he knows better)

Day identifies fifty-one statements made by Hitchens for which his book offers no supporting evidence.

(Therefore, by Hitchens’ own logic, his book can be dismissed much more easily that the Bible.) 

My favorite chapter title is Day’s “Occam’s Chainsaw” in which he applies the logical principle of “Occam’s Razor” to the logical contradictions offered by Hitchens, Dawkins and Harris, et al. 

In it, Day tackles the various logical problems inherent in the atheist arguments, including those rooted in lack of evidence, hallucination, temporal advantage, fiction, unfairness of hell, God’s character, moral evolution, etc. 

Bottom line?  It takes far more faith in the face of the contradictions, inconsistencies, historical inaccuracies, and outright mythology of atheism than it does to accept the premise of a loving God who is intimately concerned with the spiritual well-being of His creation. 

“For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” (2nd Timothy 1:12)

Marantha! (Come, Lord Jesus)

Faith and Tolerance — Goes Together Like Frogs and Bicycles

Faith and Tolerance — Goes Together Like Frogs and Bicycles
Vol: 134 Issue: 16 Friday, November 16, 2012

”Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” (John 14:6)  This verse has gotten Christianity into hot water with the world throughout the history of the Christian Church Age.

This verse was what gave the Romans their excuse for throwing Christians to the lions.  It has served as the main reason for Christian persecution wherever it might be found.

This verse is the one that is behind the UN’s hatred of Christianity, and is the main reason that in Canada, the Bible has been determined, under certain circumstances, to be ‘hate literature’.

Jesus’ claim that He is the only way is what upsets the world.  To the world, Christianity is ‘intolerant’ because it teaches the only one way to salvation is through Jesus.

To a Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, etc., that means that they are excluded, since they don’t worship Jesus as God.  Therefore, Christianity is an ‘exclusive’ religion, and people don’t like to be excluded, even when they CHOOSE to be excluded.

It is absurd, really.  Consider the premise for a moment.  The ‘hate speech’ argument is based on Jesus not letting Muslims, Hindus, etc., et al, into His heaven just because they don’t believe in Him.

So, from the secular perspective, if the ‘mythical’ Jesus won’t let unbelievers into His ‘mythical’ Heaven, that is ‘intolerance’ and ‘hateful’.

Leaving aside why Jesus would exclude unbelievers for a second, one has to wonder why somebody who doesn’t believe in Jesus would want to go to His heaven in the first place?

Whether or not Christianity is intolerant depends on what the word ‘tolerant’ means.  And in an age of propaganda, words are not very precise.  Remember, in the name of ‘pro-choice’, it is a crime to offer a different choice that abortion within 100 feet of an abortion clinic.

‘Militant’ means any terrorist who isn’t for the moment, targeting YOU.  Or it means ‘radical’, as in ‘militant feminist’.

So, ‘militant’ — depending on political worldview — can mean either a crazed terrorist murdering as many innocents as possible or, a group of angry women carrying signs.

“Tolerant” — and its derivatives — is a word like that.

From the perspective of Biblical Christianity, there is no more tolerant worldview than that of Christ.  Christianity teaches the obvious truth that all men have sinned and come short of the Glory of God.

Even atheists recognize ‘sin’ — even if they rename it.  Were it not for sin, societies wouldn’t need police protection.  Nations wouldn’t need armies.  Religions would have no reason to exist and no ‘hammer’ with which to keep the faithful in line.

Sin exists.  All religions offer a remedy.  Some require you to go out and knock on doors and proselytize new members as a means of salvation from sin.  Others, like Islam, might require you to go out and blow up a school bus as a means of salvation from sin.

Some require you to keep certain church laws and regulations in order to be saved from sin, while others require an outward act of penitence.

Even secular society has a remedy for sin.  When a convicted criminal serves out his sentence for a crime, he is said to have ‘paid his debt to society’.  He can never be punished for that crime again under the law.  There is nothing intolerant about the recognition for sin, or the existence of a sin debt.

Jesus offers all men the free gift of salvation for the asking.  They need only accept the gift of Pardon offered and trust in His Shed Blood as full payment of their sin debt.

If they accept the gift, they are imputed with the Righteousness of Christ and have therefore paid their sin debt and are eligible for Heaven.  Their ‘debt to Heaven’s society’ is paid, and like the convict whose sentence is served, they can never be punished for that crime again.

If they reject the offer of Pardon, then they stand before the Righteous Judge with that debt unpaid.  Nothing intolerant about that.

Not too long back, Bernie Ebbers, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for his role in the Worldcom embezzlement scandal.  Ebbers’ lawyers tried to mitigate his sentence by pointing out the millions of dollars Ebbers contributed to philanthropic efforts.

The judge was unmoved by Ebbers’ good works, and imposed what was tantamount to a life sentence for the 63 year-old executive.  (Ebbers won’t be eligible for release until he is 85 years old.)

Was the judge intolerant because he refused to consider that Ebbers gave some of the money that he stole to charity?  One would have a difficult time making that case, and Ebbers’ subsequent sentence proves it.  Besides, Ebbers wasn’t being judged for what he did with the money.  He was being judged for stealing it in the first place.

Ebbers tried to buy his pardon using stolen money that he gave to charity.  The judge saw right through him.  Standing before the Righteous Judge arguing our good works without paying for our bad works is equally transparent.

Jesus is Divinely fair in His judgement.  His Pardon is based on the fact He has already paid for the crimes, and offers His payment on our behalf.

Nothing intolerant about that.

The Bible gives us a genuine basis to recognize hypocrisy and confront it for what it is.  Because the Bible upholds the dignity of all persons as image-bearers of God, we have a basis for a genuinely diverse culture.

When faithful to the Scriptures, Christianity is tolerant in the appropriate sense of the term.

Assessment:

As noted, it all depends on the meaning one assigns to the word ‘tolerant’.  When tolerance means that we are to accept all beliefs as equally true and valid, Christians must respectfully object.

The notion that truth is a social construct is what gives the world a reason to hate Christianity as ‘intolerant’ and ‘hateful’.  To a Christian, truth matters.  To the world, the truth is whatever they want to believe is true.

In the sense of ‘Christian intolerance’ the word ‘tolerant’ really means ‘pluralist’.  ‘Pluralism’ is a curious philosophy, in that it holds that a number of simultaneous and conflicting truths can exist at the same time with each separate truth remaining equally true.

Pluralism holds that distinct cultural beliefs are true for that culture–but not for cultures that operate out of a different “paradigm” (like Christianity.)

Pluralists say that truth is a “social construction”. It is created through social consensus and tradition, not discovered in reality that exists independently of our beliefs.  Truth is, therefore, subjective interpretation, rather than facts based in reality.

To the pluralist, all religions are equally valid and all religions lead to God.  All gods are equally ‘god’, which is the logical equivalent to saying there is no God at all — and then making a religious worldview out of it.

Therefore, defining ‘tolerant’ as the semantic equivalent to ‘pluralist’ means that Christianity is intolerant because it stands or falls on that central truth that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life, and that no man comes to the Father but by Him.

Under the Romans, Christianity was outlawed because it was ‘hateful’ and ‘intolerant’.

Under revived Rome, the Apostle John says the Tribulation saints will be persecuted and put to death for refusing to accept his universal symbol of religious pluralism, what we call ‘the Mark of the Beast.’

The Mark of the Beast isn’t merely an economic system, although John says that without it, no man would be able to buy or sell.

John also says that it will become a universal, pluralistic religious system saying that, he will “cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” (Revelation 13:15)

Those who don’t accept voluntary inclusion into the pluralistic religion of the false prophet because of their faith in Christ will be executed for their intolerance.

(As a side note, the ‘Tribulation Saints’ are those who are converted by the 144,000 Jewish evangelists sealed by the Holy Spirit (Revelation Chapter 7) and not the Church Age saints.  During the Tribulation, power is given to the antichrist (and Satan) “to make war with the saints, and TO OVERCOME THEM,” — something not possible with Church Age believers Personally indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God.)

“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome THEM: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

This is part of the continuously unfolding tapestry of Bible prophecy for the last days.  Religious pluralism, in some form, is the universal religion of the antichrist.

Christianity is not the only faith that makes claims of exclusivity.  So does Islam.  So does Judaism.  Exclusivity is a fundamental of each faith.

All three are currently engaged in a global war aimed at wiping each other out.  Whether or not they succeed, there is little doubt that ‘fundamentalism’ is rapidly becoming a dirty word in these last days.

The false prophet is depicted by John as having, “two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.”  The Lamb is symbolic of Christianity, whereas the dragon is another name for Satan.

Logically, the pluralist religion of the antichrist will be some counterfeit form of Christianity that includes all other faiths under a single religious umbrella.  We are getting closer, but we aren’t there yet.

The problem is, one cannot reconcile ‘tolerance’ with ‘faith’.  ‘Tolerance’ (religious pluralism) dictates that there are many truths.  The indwelt Church stands as an obstacle on the path to religious pluralism during the Church Age, until it is recalled at the Rapture.

The reason, in part, is because faith recognizes only one truth.  One cannot have ‘faith’ in conflicting truths — the Bible says, “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)

Each of us goes to work each Monday because we have faith that our paychecks will be there Friday.  Not just that we will be paid, but how much we will be paid.  If that paycheck was only there sometimes, and the amount reflected the whim of a different paymaster each week, who would keep showing up for work on Monday?

Our work is the ‘substance’ of things hoped for (our paycheck) and the fact we show up each Monday is the unseen evidence of our faith in payday.  Do you follow?

One cannot be ‘tolerant’ of conflicting ‘truths’, any more than it would intolerant to refuse to go to work without faith in payday being the same ‘truth’ every week.

“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)

Faith and tolerance are polar opposites.  That doesn’t make Christianity intolerant of the world.

It makes the world intolerant of Christianity.

From Abba With Love

From Abba With Love
Vol: 134 Issue: 15 Thursday, November 15, 2012

”But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” (Daniel 12:4) The vision and prophecy given to Daniel is to be fulfilled at the ‘time of the end’.

The angel says at that time that people will be traveling back and forth on the earth (‘to and fro’) at a time of exponentially increasing knowledge.

We live in a time when information is coming at us so fast that we even have a phrase to describe it — information overload.

Throughout history, new discoveries have come slowly – Noah, Paul and Columbus all sailed in ships.  From Noah’s time to that of Columbus, the most notable technological improvement was the addition of sails.

The personal computer was introduced to the public twenty-seven years ago.  It is the world’s youngest antique.

Today, if you go in to a computer store to buy a new computer, adding the four year extended warranty is a waste of money.  A four-year-old computer isn’t worth as much as the price of the warranty.

Today’s brand-new computer probably won’t run a lot of four-year-old software anyway.  According to Moore’s Law of Computing, computer processor capacity will double every eighteen months.  So today’s 3 gigabyte CPU will be competing four years from now with a 30 gigabyte CPU or larger.

Computers will be ten times smarter in just four years.  As a consequence, so will we.  Ten years from now, who can imagine what computers will be able to figure out?

So, since the signs given to Daniel are taking place before our very eyes, we know that the end time prophecies found in the scriptures are for today.  Furthermore, we can now understand the end time prophecies as never before, since the end time prophecies were sealed up until the time of the end; that is, the understanding of these prophecies was kept a secret until now.

Amos 3:7-8 says,

“Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. . .The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?”

God intended for us to know what He has planned to do before He does it.  It is His Signature, sealing His Word for eternity.

Prophecy is given so that when it does happen we will know that God was in control all the time, so we can have confidence when all the rest of the world sees is chaos.

“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” (2 Peter 3:3-4)

No generation in history needs the Bible more, and no generation in history has eye witnessed more man-made miracles, signs and wonders than this one.

In this generation, calling down ‘fire from heaven’ is a more a technological miracle than a supernatural one.  It is to this specific generation that the prophecies are addressed.  Consequently, it is this generation whose attention is most closely focused on the books of Daniel and the Revelation.  And not just by the professing church — that’s where most of the scoffers are.

Look at all the movies about the end times.  They are not being produced by believers for believers, but by Hollywood for unbelievers.  Hollywood believes in prophecy, it just doesn’t believe in God.  The same can be said for many unbelievers.

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

Prophecy is the ONE miracle no human being can recreate with technology.  Conseqently, prophecy is given to that one generation who needs it the most.

Matthew 24:36-39 tells us,

“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 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.”

No one knows the exact day and hour, but we can know when His return is near.  The unbelievers of Noah’s day were taken unawares, but Noah was not surprised.  Noah knew one hundred and twenty years beforehand that the flood was coming.

Noah did not know the exact day of the flood; but when Noah finished building the ark, he knew the flood was near.

We also see the construction process for the last days’ ark coming to an end.

Prophecy is not given to remain a secret forever, but at the proper time God gives understanding to those who will take notice and believe.

You are an example of fulfilled prophecy for the last days.  You are one of the ‘watchmen on the wall’ that Scripture anticipated and Bible scholars have awaited for centuries.

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

Sir Isaac Newton, in addition to being one of the world’s greatest scientific minds, was also a devout believer who was a careful student of Bible prophecy.

He wrote four hundred years ago, that, “About the time of the end, a body of men will be raised up, who will turn their attention to the prophecies, in the midst of much clamor and opposition.”

The Omega Letter exists because I don’t want to stand before the Bema Seat and explain to Jesus why I kept silent when I saw the sword coming.  You subscribe to the Omega Letter for much the same reason.

The Bible says the last days’ Church will have watchmen appointed, and scoffers (both saved and unsaved) that will require warning.

Only a tiny fraction of the overall Church sees the sword coming. The rest continue to scoff. And they will, until the Rapture. But they will still be there to hear the trumpet when it sounds.

1 Thessalonians 4:15 tells us,

“For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.”

Not every Christian knows the signs of the times.  Just as not every Christian has a burden for the lost.  It is a unique spiritual gifting.  By definition, since this is a subscriber-based and member-supported ministry, you also share that gift, that burden for the lost, and that sense of urgency.

That is why we come together in the forums.  To counsel and encourage each other as we struggle with the weight of that burden.  And find ways to make it lighter by sharing the load.  And to get a deeper understanding so we are prepared ‘to give reason of the hope that is in us.’

It is important to understand that end time prophecies are written from the perspective of Israel and Jerusalem, but given to the Church as an early warning system.

The Tribulation is the Time of Jacob’s Trouble and has no relationship with the Church.  But we can see from this side of the Rapture, the Tribulation looming on the other side.

One can tell a storm is coming by watching the gathering clouds.  You needn’t wait for the rain, if you can read the signs.

The blossoming of the fig tree has to do with the Jews, and the generation of the end that Jesus mentioned is a generation of Jews.  He was speaking to Jews.  The Church wasn’t born until Pentecost.  There were no Christians before the Crucifixion and Resurrection.  Even Peter denied the Lord before the Church Age.

So, the countdown began with the restoration of Israel on May 14, 1948.

Jesus said that, “this generation will not pass away until all these things take place”.  This can only mean that some of the people of that generation will still be alive when Jesus returns at the end of the tribulation.

We know the length of a generation from Scripture.  Somewhere between the extremes of 20 and 120 years.

Psalms 90:10 gave the median age of a generation,

“The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.”

Genesis 5 limits a lifespan to 120 years, which is about the age of the oldest human being recorded by Guiness.

But the normal ‘strong’ man can expect to live only 80 years, according to the word of God.  That also corresponds to latest life expectancy figures for anyone born in this generation.

Taken together, the Scriptures suggest that every Jew who was twenty years old and older and was in the land of Israel on May 14, 1948, is part of the end time generation.  And some of them will still be living when the Lord returns at the end of the Tribulation Period as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

The generation begins with adulthood, at age twenty.  The youngest of the adult males who was twenty years old on May 14, 1948 will be eighty years old in the spring of 2009; therefore, the strongest members of the end time generation may not live beyond the year 2009.

But, since Jesus said no man could count the day or the hour, it is possible that members of the end-time generation could live forty years past that.  The Lord said only that we would know the general time.

No matter how long the last generation lives, one thing is certain, we are now living in the last generation. That means there are people alive today who can be certain they will never die, in the conventional sense.

“He came unto His own, and His own received him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:11-13)

Jesus came to the Jews at His first Advent, and they rejected him, opening the door to the Gentiles for salvation. Consequently, Gentiles receive the Spirit of Adoption, whereby we cry, “Abba” (Romans 8:15)

That is a very important word picture for us to understand. Under Jewish law, a natural parent can disown a child.  But an adopted child cannot be disowned or disinherited, since the adoptive parent made a deliberate choice.

And the term, “Abba” is a term of endearment roughly equivalent to “Daddy”.  ‘Abba’ is what Israeli children call their Dads to this day.

All those who believe in Him are born again, they are made a new creation, they are no longer a child of Adam but they are now a adopted child of God. A child who cannot be ‘unadopted’ since, in God’s economy, He has chosen us, rather than the other way around.

“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you . . ” (John 15:16)

“. . .but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (John 15:19)

“According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love:” (Ephesians 1:4)

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)

Our salvation is a gift of grace, not of works, lest any man should boast.  It is faith that saves us, and that faith is itself a gift of God.  The Scriptures promise that when Jesus Christ returns at the Rapture, He will take us to be with Himself and we will be with Him forever.

“In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:2-3)

The construction project is almost completed.  A couple more coats of paint . . . and soon the Master Builder will Personally welcome us Home!

How cool is that?