The Riddle of Noah and Lot

The Riddle of Noah and Lot
Vol: 140 Issue: 31 Friday, May 31, 2013

Matthew 24:37: ”But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” To get a look at that distant, future, generation who would witness the return of Christ, Jesus tells us to look to that distant, past generation who witnessed the Great Flood.

The story of the days of ‘Noe’ or, Noah, begins with Genesis Chapter Six in which the ‘sons of God’ took wives from the ‘daughters of men’ (6:2).

First, the ‘sons of God’ – those are us, right? Wrong.

When the 70 Jewish scholars that worked on the Septuagint (a translation of the Old Testament Hebrew scriptures into Greek 300 years before Christ) translated the term ‘sons of God’ in Gen 6:2, they used ‘Angels of God’.

Some like to quote Matt 22:30 to prove that angels cannot marry or procreate, but Jesus was addressing the ‘angels in heaven’. Genesis 6 speaks not of the obedient angels in Heaven, but of FALLEN angels.

Furthermore, anytime angels are seen by humans they are seen as male (Gen 18:1-19:22, Mark 16:5-7, Luke 24:4-7, Acts 1:10-11) and in the Genesis 18:1-19:22 passage we even see (unfortunately) that the ungodly men of Sodom ‘desired’ the angels for themselves!

John 1:12 says that;

“as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.”

While we, (the Church) have BECOME the ‘sons of God’ by the Power of Christ, Jesus said to look to the ‘times of Noah’.

Genesis 6:2, 6:4, Job 2:6, 2:1, and Job 38:7 are the only Old Testament (pre-Jesus and pre-Church) references to the ‘sons of God’ and in every case, it refers to ‘angels’ — without exception.

There are references to the ‘sons of God’ in Romans, Philippians and 1st John as consisting of the Church, the power to BECOME the ‘sons of God’ is unique to the Church Age, and was unknown in Noah’s day.

The ‘daughters of men’ means exactly that — the daughters of men. Making ‘wives’ of them is not figurative, either, as Genesis 6:4 says ‘they bare children to them’ that the Bible says later became the ‘mighty men which were of old’.

In Genesis chapter 2, God promises a Redeemer who would be the ‘seed of a woman’. Clearly, if Satan could pollute the human bloodline, he could break God’s prophecy. Note that 6:8-9 say that Noah ‘found grace in the eyes of the Lord’ and that he was a ‘just man and perfect in his GENERATIONS’.

God chose Noah out of His grace, Noah was not necessarily good or deserving, rather merely ‘a just man’ BUT he was ‘PERFECT in his generations’ — untainted by the polluted bloodline of the angelic intermarriage.

Since Scripture doesn’t say such angelic intermarriage takes place in the last days, most folks see Jesus’ comment about Noah as prefiguring the Rapture.

That’s true, but there’s lots more there than that. Genesis Chapter 6 describes the most direct and unfettered contact between human beings in general and the spirit world recorded in the entire Bible — apart from those recorded in the Revelation during the Tribulation Period.

Jesus said, “As it was in the days of Noah . .”

“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (6:5)

It can be argued that television is imagination in a box. There, we vicariously live out all our dreams and fantasies. Somewhere on the cable dial, there is something for the imagination of everybody’s heart. . .

So take a look at what is the imagination of the thoughts of THIS generation’s heart. Porno, ‘slasher’ movies, Madonna, Brittany Spears, demon movies, movies about Satan — THAT’S the ‘imagination of our hearts’ continually.

Popular culture today is full of the use of spirit guides, alien encounters, and open satanic worship. It will continue and it will increase.

If you have read anything of those who are allegedly in contact with the ‘aliens’ and ‘spirit guides’ you will notice the same claims coming through that these beings are going to show themselves physically to those on earth soon.

A similar, but seldom noted parallel is the unholy offspring of Genesis 6 and DNA and cloning research.

The corruption of the human race was the main reason for the Flood and we are in the process of corrupting it again.

In Luke 17:28, Jesus says of the last days; “Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot.”

The inhabitants of Sodom wanted Lot to turn the angels over to them (Genesis 18:-19:22). The thought behind this is that the men of Sodom thought that sexual union was possible. 2 Pet 2:4-5 and Jude 6-7 also throw some light onto this passage.

Jude tells us that the angels abandoned their proper abode and then contrasts their actions with that of Sodom and Gomorrah, who ‘in the same manner’ went after strange flesh.

The term ‘strange flesh’ means to go after an unnatural sexual union. For the men of Sodom it was homosexuality, but for these fallen angels it was inter-marrying with human women.

In any case, the parallel between Sodom and this generation’s moral code is self-evident. You don’t need me to prove that.

Jesus also said that in the last days the signs and wonders performed would be so great that ‘even the elect would be deceived if it were possible.’

The Bible warns,

“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?” (2 Peter 3:3-4)

Peter also uses the example of the Flood and the times of Noah to illustrate the importance of understanding the times in which we live.

It is not a stretch to argue that the strong delusion of 2 Thessalonians could be tied to the emergence of an alien spaceship or direct visible contact with aliens (which in reality are demonic encounters).

Maybe it sounds nutty, but it does tie in with the days of Noah, and Hollywood has certainly been getting people used to the idea in the last decade or two.

The Hale-Bopp cult was convinced enough to die for it.

It would also be a ‘powerful delusion’ strong enough to shake people’s belief to the core. Except that Jesus reminds us that all these things have been prophesied before they happen so that your hope will be firmly rooted in the truth of God’s word.

While other Christians scoff, argue that the Church has replaced Israel in God’s Plan, that they’ve been hearing ‘for ages’ that the Lord is coming back, or that prophecy was all fulfilled back in AD 70, keep this thought in mind.

God has chosen a few out of this generation to be the watchmen on the wall.

Peter tells us, “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)

Keep the faith. The King IS coming.

“Behold, I have told you before.” (Matthew 24:25)

Today’s Featured Commentary: Mad Uncles, Rats & Denial

Fantasyworld

Fantasyworld
Vol: 140 Issue: 30 Thursday, May 30, 2013

It gets more difficult to understand with each passing day.  It is as if half the world decided that it didn’t like reality all that much and decided instead to indulge itself in fantasy — and it has no patience for anyone who prefers reality.

In the real world, Iran is a rogue state run by lunatics who want a nuclear weapon so they can destroy Israel.  In Fantasyworld, Iran is less of a threat to world peace than is Israel.

In the real world, when a country leaks military secrets about an ally to an enemy it is an act of betrayal.

According to a Foreign Policy report based on “four senior diplomats and military intelligence officers” Azerbaijan has given Israel permission to land planes on Azeri airfields after an attack on Iranian nuclear sites.

The Obama Administration leaked this information putting the alliance in jeopardy and endangering the Israeli nation.

According to Foreign Policy and former UN Ambassador John Bolton, the administration leaked the information to prevent Israel from attacking Iran before the US general election in order to preserve his re-election chances.

In the real world, betraying an ally in order to secure one’s own political future is no different than taking a payoff to betray an ally in order to secure one’s own financial future. Betrayal is betrayal.

In Fantasyworld, betraying an ally signals an open-minded leadership and a willingness to negotiate.  (That’s how the White House characterized its betrayal of the UK’s nuclear secrets to the Russians, too.)

In the real world, Obamacare was the product of a one-sided partisan vote for a law opposed by two-thirds of the electorate.  Not so in Fantasyworld.  In Fantasyworld, Obamacare is a “law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.”

That’s what President Obama said yesterday in a not-too-thinly veiled threat aimed at the Supreme Court.

“Ultimately, I am confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.”

To be fair, the Congress was elected by democratic process.  In 2009, the Democrats held a “strong majority” of both Houses of Congress.  The strong majority of Democrats passed Obamacare without a single Republican vote.

So it was sort of true — if one lives in Fantasyworld.  If one lives in reality, the only thing that is unprecedented is the evident total lack of understanding by the White House about how a Constitutional Republic actually works.

After all, most of the White House staff are lawyers.  President Obama is a lawyer.  So is Mrs. Obama.  President Obama even claims  (without any supporting documentation) to have been a Constitutional Law Professor at the University of Chicago.

So for the President to believe that Constitutional judicial review might overturn Congressional legislation on Constitutional grounds is ‘unprecedented’ can only be explained from the perspective of Fantasyworld.

In the real world, it happens every time the Supreme Court convenes for a new session.  It is WHY we have a Supreme Court — to ensure the Constitution isn’t politicized.  For the president to call such a review “unprecedented” can only mean one of three things — in the real world. 

  1. He was the world’s most incompetent Constitutional Law Professor, or;
  2. He lied about his educational history, or;
  3. He is lying when he says it is both “unprecedented” and “extraordinary” — because it is neither.

In Fantasyworld, a Supreme Court judicial review of a sweeping piece of legislation that nationalizes one-sixth of the US economy is evidence of “judicial activism.”

“And I’d just remind conservative commentators that, for years, what we have heard is, the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism, or a lack of judicial restraint, that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law. . . Well, this is a good example, and I’m pretty confident that this court will recognize that and not take that step.”

In Fantasyworld, the president is ‘confident’.  If you watched him speak, he didn’t look confident.  He looked scared.

In the real world, if the president was “confident” that the legislation was sound, he wouldn’t be out there trying to pressure the Supreme Court justices by accusing them of “judicial activism” before they’ve even rendered an opinion.

The idea that a “group of unelected people” would “somehow” overturn a duly constituted and passed law” is only strange in Fantasyworld.  In the real world, the Supreme Court is unelected because they are required to be above politics.

In the real world, the Supreme Court’s principle responsibility is to decide which laws are “duly constituted” and which laws are not “duly constituted”, forcing the Court to declare them “unconstitutional”.

If the president understood anything about Constitutional Law, he would understand that NO law is “duly constituted” until it survives a Supreme Court challenge.  Until that point, it is simply an “unchallenged” law.

The president wasn’t reminding conservative commentators — he was attempting to influence the Supreme Court.  In the real world, that is illegal.  In Fantasyworld, “illegal” means “a sick bird”.

Unless the perpetrator is a Republican.

Assessment:

Obama, Obama, Obama.  I am starting to feel like a one-trick pony.  There are so many things going on in the world that we could be looking at, but in the end, they all trace back to the same place — Obama.

It is as if Obama’s election unlocked some kind of special place in the minds of his supporters where Fantasyworld and the real world become indistinguishable.

Fantasyworld is the place where Obama has proved his eligibility to hold his office.  Fantasyworld is the place where asking to see the president’s educational transcripts is evidence of racism.

Fantasyworld is the place where the oceans stopped rising and the planet began to heal.  It is the place where increasing America’s available supply of oil will have no effect on the price of gasoline, but where increasing Saudi output will.

“When huge quantities of oil are floated in international market, other oil producing nations would be compelled to reduce oil prices so as not to lose their traditional markets.”

Except in Fantasyworld, of course.  In Fantasyworld, the Obama administration has taken a principled stand against the use of fossil fuel and Obama is risking his political future by standing against Big Oil.

“President Obama didn’t accept a dime from corporate PACs or federal lobbyists during his presidential campaign,” spokesman Ben LaBolt said.

“He raised $750 million from nearly four million Americans. And since he became president, he rolled back tax breaks and giveaways for the oil and gas industry, spearheaded a G20 agreement to phase out fossil fuel subsidies, and made the largest investment in American history in clean energy incentives.”

In the real world, Obama was the biggest recipient of campaign donations from British Petroleum.

“During his time in the Senate and while running for president, Obama received a total of $77,051 from the oil giant and is the top recipient of BP PAC and individual money over the past 20 years, according to financial disclosure records.”

In Fantasyworld, denying inconvenient truths about one’s political supporters is called “spin.”  In the real world, it is called “lying”.

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

In Fantasyworld, there is no penalty attached to “spinning the truth.”  And after three years of Barack Hussein Obama, in the real world, there doesn’t seem to be, either.

Note: This brief was originally published April 3, 2012.

Today’s Featured Commentary: The War Scroll

The Angel of Light

The Angel of Light
Vol: 140 Issue: 29 Wednesday, May 29, 2013

”But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”

“For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” (2nd Corinthians 11:3-4)

Paul knew the churches that he planted, particularly the one in Corinth. He knew of their trials and tribulations, their weaknesses and their strengths — this was Paul’s second epistle (letter) to them.

A fractious bunch, Paul feared that they would fall victim to the first smooth talking religion salesmen to come along. And there was no shortage of them at the time.

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”

As Paul noted here, if Satan can transform himself into an angel of light, then nobody should be surprised if his ministers are similarly deceptive.

“Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” (2nd Corinthians 11:13-15)

Paul was right in that there IS another Jesus and another gospel. The other Jesus is named ‘Isa’ and the other gospel is called injil. Within Islam, the injil is one of five holy books, the others being Suhuf Ibrahim, Zabur, Tawrat and Qur-an (the Koran).

The word Injil is derived from Greek word “evangelion”, from which we derive the English word, “evangelist”.

Muslims generally believe the Gospel or the New Testament to have been corrupted over time. Some also hold the view that the Injil is a lost book, different from the New Testament which was either written by the apostles or people connected to them.

Islam teaches another gospel than the one preached by Paul, and they reverence a different Jesus, (Isa) whom they see, not as the Son of God, but as a wise man, a teacher and a prophet.

Of course, since Jesus went to the Cross rather than deny He was the Son of God, he could not be as He is seen within Islam.

A wise man doesn’t allow himself to be executed for making a false claim. If a man is wise, he doesn’t make false claims. A teacher that doesn’t teach the truth isn’t a teacher at all, but is rather a purveyor of mythology.

And a prophet would know who he was before God, if indeed he was a prophet.

So the Isa of the Koran cannot be Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Whose life and times are recorded in the New Testament.

That would seem a no-brainer. The Isa of the Koran has a different history than the Jesus of the New Testament. If it is different, than it cannot simultaneously be the same.

But Islam isn’t bound by the rules of either logic or history. History traces Islam to its birth in 622 AD in the Arabian city of Medina.

Islam traces itself back to Abraham. Consequently, it regards itself as the primordial religion from which sprang both Judaism and Christianity.

“O followers of the Book! why do you dispute about Ibrahim, [Abraham] when the Taurat [Torah] and the Injeel [Gospel] were not revealed till after him; do you not then understand? Behold! you are they who disputed about that of which you had knowledge; why then do you dispute about that of which you have no knowledge? And Allah knows while you do not know. Ibrahim was not a Jew nor a Christian but he was (an) upright (man), a Muslim, and he was not one of the polytheists.’ – (The Koran, Sura 3.65-67)

The Koran teaches that the first Muslim was Abraham. As a consequence, it is Muslims, and not Christians or Jews, who are the true representatives of the faith of Abraham to the world today.

There are two main sources for Isa, the Muslim Jesus. The Koran gives a history of his life, whilst the Hadith contains recollections of Muhammadâs words and deeds and establish his place in the Muslim understanding of the future.

His message was pure Islam, surrender to Allah. (Sura 3:83-84)

Like all the Muslim prophets before him, and like Muhammad after him,

“Isa was a lawgiver, and Christians should submit to his law. (Sura 3:50; 5:48)

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

So, the Koran”s Jesus was really a Muslim. According to the Koran, “Isa was the Messiah. He was supported by the “˜Holy Spirit”. (Sura 2:87; 5:110) He is also referred to as the “˜Word of Allah”. (Sura 4:171).

“Isa’s mother Mariam was the daughter of “Imran, (Sura 3:34,35) “the Amram of Exodus 6:20 “and the sister of Aaron (and Moses). (Sura 19:28) She was fostered by Zachariah (father of John the Baptist). (3:36)

While still a virgin (Sura 6:12; 19:19-21) Mariam gave birth to Isa alone in a desolate place under a date palm tree. (Sura 19:22ff) (Not in Bethlehem).

“Isa spoke whilst still a baby in his cradle. (Sura 3:46; 5:110; 19:30) He performed various other miracles, including breathing life into clay birds, healing the blind and lepers, and raising the dead. (Sura 3:49; Sura 5:111)

And of course Isa also foretold the coming of Muhammad. (Sura 61:6)

The Koran also declares the Bible to be a true revelation of God and demands faith in the Bible.

“O children of Israel! call to mind My favor which I bestowed on you and be faithful to (your) covenant with Me, I will fulfill (My) covenant with you; and of Me, Me alone, should you be afraid. And believe in what I have revealed, verifying that which is with you, and be not the first to deny it, neither take a mean price in exchange for My communications; and Me, Me alone should you fear.” Sura 2:40,41

So, how does the Koran reconcile the inherent contradiction? The New Testament predates the Koran by some 600 years. The Old Testament predates the Koran by 2000 years or more.

Yet the Koran claims the mother of Jesus was the sister of Moses, and the foster child of John the Baptist’s father Zachariah. For this to be possible, not only would the Bible have to be wrong, but Mary would have to have been more than a thousand years old at Jesus birth.

In 1064, Ibn-Khazem discovered these inherent contradictions. (It took more than 400 years before anybody caught it) Believing, by faith that the Koran was true, the only remaining conclusion is that the Bible must be false.

How can one be true, the other false, and still be obedient to Allah? Easy.

Ibn-Khazem reasoned,

“Since the Koran must be true it must be the conflicting Gospel texts that are false. But Muhammad tells us to respect the Gospel. Therefore, the present text must have been falsified by the Christians after the time of Muhammad.”

His argument was not based on any evidence or historical facts but only on his personal faith, reasoning and desire to safeguard the Koran. This led him to teach that,

“The Christians lost the revealed Gospel except for a few traces which God has left intact as argument against them.”

The Koran draws the same conclusion about the Old Testament. The Jews tampered with their own Scriptures to conceal the fact it was Ishmael that Allah gave the Promise to, and not Isaac, as the forged Scriptures now say.

Although Christians believe Isa died on a cross, and Jews claim they killed him, in reality he was not killed or crucified, and those who said he was crucified lied”. (Sura 4:157).

“Isa did not die, but ascended to Allah.” (Sura 4:158) “On the day of Resurrection Isa himself will be a witness against Jews and Christians for believing in his death.” (Sura 4:159)

Muhammad came bringing the Koran to correct the ignorance of the Christians and Jews. (Sura 98:1). Muhammad was Allah’s gift to Christians. They should accept Muhammad as Allah’s Messenger, and the Koran as his final revelation. (Sura 5:15; 57:28; 4:47) True Christians will not love Muhammad’s enemies. (Sura 58:22)

In other words, anyone who opposes Muhammad is not a true Christian.

Muslims should not take Christians or Jews for friends. (Sura 5:51) They must fight against Christians and Jews who refuse Islam until they surrender, pay the poll-tax and are humiliated. (Sura 9:29)

To this may be added hundreds of Koranic verses on the subject of jihad in the path of Allah, as well as the “Book of Jihad” found in all Hadith collections.

Isa does come back at the end of the world to destroy Christianity. The prophet Isa will have an important role in the end times, establishing Islam and making war until he destroys all religions save Islam.

‘He will break the cross, kill pigs, and abolish the poll-tax. Allah will destroy all religions except Islam. He (Isa) will destroy the Evil One and will live on the earth for forty years and then he will die’. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 37: 4310)

Jesus will “break the cross”, “kill the pigs” (only Christians eat pork) and “abolish the poll tax” — a reference to jihad.

The Koran claims the Psalms are a single book given by Allah to reveal Islam, not a collection of Jewish songs of worship written by several different writers.

In the Bible Haman is the minister of Ahasuerus in Media and Persia (Esther 3:1-2). Yet the Koran places him over a thousand years earlier, as a minister of Pharoah in Egypt.

The Koran claims that Christians believe in three Gods — Father, son Jesus and mother Mary. The Koran is equally inaccurate in its claim that Jews say Ezra was a son of God. (Sura 9:30)

The Koran has a Samaritan making the golden calf, which was worshipped by the Israelites in the wilderness (Sura 20:85) during the Exodus. The Samaritans did not exist until several centuries later. They were descendants of the northern Israelites from centuries after the Exodus.

The story of Jesus being born under a palm tree is also based on a late fable, as is the story of Jesus making clay birds come alive. Everything the Koran says about the life of Jesus which is not found in the Bible can be traced to fables composed more than a hundred years after Jesus’ death.

Islam is NOT a ‘religion of peace’ nor is it simply another way to come to God. But Islam IS found in the Bible. It is ‘another’ gospel.

So, too, is Isa found in the Bible. Isa is ‘another Jesus’. Islam reverences Isa, but Isa is not the Jesus of the Gospel. Allah can also be found in the New Testament.

Paul refers to him as “an angel of light.”

This brief was originally published September 1, 2009.

Today’s Featured Commentary: Rumors of War: Part 1 – Pete Garcia 

”Your Government Will Feed You Now”

”Your Government Will Feed You Now”
Vol: 140 Issue: 28 Tuesday, May 28, 2013

While the nation’s attention has been focused on Julian Assange, the Wikileak archives, and the potential for nuclear war on the Korean peninsula, the Senate quietly passed Senate Bill S.510, or “The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.”

The bill is better known by its shorter “short name” of Food Safety Act, or by its supershort name, the FSA.

First off, the bill was introduced by Dick Durbin, [D-Illinois] (the same Durbin who called US troops ‘Nazis’ from the well of the Senate in 2006.)  So right off the bat, there is cause for alarm.

The bill would grant the FDA additional regulatory authority over the nation’s food supply, which sounds like a good thing.  And it DOES seem to me like there have been a lot of tainted food recalls over the past year or so.

Maybe we do need tighter FDA oversight of our food supply.  Still, one wonders how American food processors got so sloppy in recent months as to necessitate wider regulatory powers for the FDA in the first place.

Is this an idea whose time has come?  It seems a bit odd.  One of the provisions of the bill would enable the FDA to order a food recall.  Under current law, a recall of tainted food is voluntary.

The FDA can suggest it, but enforcement is left up to the marketplace.  Here’s how that works: If they don’t recall it, they soon go out of business.  Who is going to buy food from a source they don’t trust?

It’s worked effectively since the dawn of time.  Evidently, it doesn’t work anymore?

What it really does is give the FDA a huge hammer it can bring down on small, independent, non-union operations.  One false recall could put a small farmer or food distributor out of business.

Senator Tom Harkin said in defense of the FSA that;

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that food born diseases cause approximately 76 million illnesses each year including approximately 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,000 deaths in the United States.  These numbers are staggering… “

Staggering?   Time for a little fun with numbers.  According to the US Population Clock there are at the time of this writing, 310,832,207 Americans.  Everybody eats and most people eat three meals per day plus who knows how many snacks.

So that’s almost a billion meals per day, plus snacks that make their way through the food supply times 365 days per year.  Of those 365,000,000,000 meals per year, 76,000,000 people are made ‘ill,’ 325,000 go to the hospital and 5,000 die.

Among those 5000 are babies, the sick, the elderly, the homeless, the mentally ill and the otherwise infirm.

Expressed as a percentage, it is too small to calculate.

Twenty-one percent of Americans over 18 smoke cigarettes, according to the CDC.  Assuming that 200 million of the 310 million Americans are adults (I just pulled that number from a hat – I am studying to be a government statistician) that means roughly 40 million Americans are smokers.

According to the CDC, of those 40 million who smoke, 400,000 will die this year.  Yet you’d be surprised how few FDA regulations there are for cigarette safety and quality.

I’ve been on this planet for almost sixty years and I’ve never once heard of a cigarette recall.  Cigarettes, when used as directed, are guaranteed to kill the user.

Comparatively speaking, there’s no comparison.

To recap Senate Bill s-510 is sponsored by Dick Durbin and supported by Tom Harkin.  The rationale behind the bill is to prevent one in ten Americans from getting the runs, one in ten thousand from going to the hospital, and an infinitesimally tiny percentage of food poisoning deaths.

Per year.

Even the way that the bill was written was suspicious.  The Senate wrote the bill and sent it to the House, usurping the Constitutional mandate given to the House of Representatives.  It seems all out of proportion to the risk.

Something is sooo not right here.

Assessment:

It isn’t likely that the bill will make it past the lame-duck session of Congress, but the effort expended so far suggests that we’ve not heard the last of it.   Especially when you look closely at what it means.

Taken to its extreme interpretation, the FSA would make it illegal to eat anything that wasn’t FDA approved.  Including vegetables from your backyard garden, chickens you raised on a hobby farm and so on.

The FSA would put all US food and US farming operations under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense, in the event of a declared emergency.

It requires US compliance with WTO regulations, ending US sovereignty over our own food supply by making us subject to the UN’s Codex Alimentarius.  The WTO then gains control over the US food supply as part of the global inventory.

It allows the United Nations (UN), World Health Organization (WHO), UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the WTO to take control of every food on earth.

It would make it illegal to own and store your own seed supply, effectively handing it over multinational giants like Monsanto and Archer-Daniels Midland.

It includes NAIS, an animal traceability program that threatens all small farmers and ranchers raising animals.  It contains provisions whereby the government can order the mass slaughter of livestock or poultry without proof of disease.

It allows the government to mandate the use of antibiotics, hormones and pesticides.  The bill was designed by Monsanto’s Michael Taylor, the expected appointee as Food Czar to the FDA to administer the agency the bill would create.

It is hard to do justice with words to just what a terrifying monstrosity the FSA is, as written.  Were it not for Harry Reid’s desperate effort to sneak it past the Constitution during the lame duck session,  it would have become law.

That doesn’t mean that it is dead, but it appears it is at least temporarily off the table.  But it provides a terrifying glimpse into what they have planned for America’s immediate future.  They aren’t going to give up until they win.

And as America goes on this, so goes the Western world.  It’s a global plan.  A global plan means it includes everybody.

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

Note: This past weekend there was a global protest against Monsanto and the genetically modified food it produces.  This topic is one that most people can agree on.  We all need food and we all want it to be healthy for us.  This brief gives us an outline of how we got to the point of a global protest.  Although it looks like no amount of protesting is going to make a difference in the use of chemicals on food and the regulations that will come with it.  As Bible believers we knew something like this was going to happen. (Rev. 6:6) It is important to know and understand the facts when talking to others who are equally concerned and it may give an opportunity to share the message of Salvation because as the Bible says,

“. . . fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)

Today’s Featured Commentary: Gog, Reloaded.

Syria’s Evil Moron

Syria’s Evil Moron
Vol: 140 Issue: 27 Monday, May 27, 2013

By all accounts, Syrian President Bashar Assad never particularly wanted to be president of Syria. His brother Basill was going to be president of Syria. Bashar studied opthamology in London and became an eye-doctor.

In 1994, his older brother Basil was killed in an auto accident, and Dr. Assad reluctantly laid down his stethoscope and entered into the Assad Family School of Dictatorship.

He returned to Damascus, joined the army, rose quickly to the rank of colonel, and reportedly had a short, but distinguished military career, earning the nickname, “The Guardian Hunter.”

When the elder Assad died in 2000, the Syrian parliament convened to amend the minimum qualifying age for the presidency from age 40 to Assad’s age of 34.

Because of Assad’s Western background and by virtue of his choice of medicine as a career, many expected the younger Assad to be a new and improved kind of dictator.

While Bashar Assad may have had the intellect necessary for a career in medicine, it didn’t transfer over well to politics. Assad’s dictatorship is as brutal as his father’s, but has the political instincts of a brick.

Less than a year after coming to power, he declared that Israelis “try to kill the principles of all religions with the same mentality with which they betrayed Jesus Christ and in the same way they tried to kill the prophet Muhammad.”

He also said the election of Ariel Sharon proved that Israel was “a racist society, even more racist than the Nazis.”

Assad’s record lends Western analysts to doubt Assad’s sanity, with the only question being whether he is an evil megalomaniacal genius or an evil, megalomaniacal moron who just thinks he’s a genius.

All the available evidence lends weight to the ‘evil moron who thinks he’s a genuis’ option.

Assad allied his regime with Saddam Hussein just before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and has been modeling itself after it ever since.

Last summer, an accident at a Syrian military base established Syria was mounting missiles with VX, sarin and mustard gas warheads.

The mere suspicion that Saddam had WMD justified the invasion of Iraq.

Another argument favoring the removal of Saddam was Iraq’s support for terrorism. Saddam’s government paid a bounty to the family of each Palestinian suicide bomber, for example.

Syria, on the other hand, openly supports, supplies, trains and funds Hezbollah. The offices of both Hamas and Islamic Jihad are listed in the Damascus phone book.

Another justification for the removal of Saddam Hussein was the brutality of his domestic security services. Assad’s domestic intelligence services are equally brutal.

Both Assad and Saddam were members of the ruling ethnic minority. (Saddam was a Sunni who ruled over a largely Shiite country, and Assad is an Alawite who rules over a Sunni majority.)

And Syria even has a Baath Party and a Republican Guard.

Saddam was an evil political genius who made one miscalculation too many. Assad is an evil political moron who made all the same miscalculations all at once. Saddam was an existential threat to Israel’s survival as a Jewish state.

Assad may well represent a threat to the existence of the entire Jewish race.

Assessment:

In early September 2007, Israeli warplanes made a daring raid into Syrian airspace to destroy what was widely reported to be a “Syrian nuclear program” being supplied by the North Koreans.

It is extremely unlikely that Syria could have started a full-blown nuclear “program” under the watchful eyes of the Israelis next-door. If not a nuclear ‘program’ — then a ‘nuclear’ what?

The options are limited. Whatever ‘nuclear’ thing it was, it was threatening enough for Israel to risk penetrating Syrian air defenses with eight F-15 warplanes (and their pilots) to destroy it.

North Korea has nuclear reactors and enough nuclear material to construct at least six bombs. Syria has neither the technology nor the facilities to turn it into bombs themselves.

North Korea has both, needs the money, and has already sold the Syrians nuclear weapons-capable missiles capable of reaching all of Israel.

Whatever Israel destroyed, it was delivered by a North Korea cement freighter three days before. If it were simply fissionable material, its seems unlikely Israel would have chosen the military option first.

Were it anything less than a workable nuclear bomb, Israel would have had time to make a diplomatic case. And if Israel could prove North Korea was supplying nuclear material to Syria, Israel would still have time (and the justification) to act unilaterally if the world body sat on its collective hands.

The military commentator for Israel’s state-owned television network, Yoav Limor, reported only that the operation was time-sensitive and took place around the industrial city of Dir E-Zour, along the Euphrates River and near the Iraqi border.

“Apparently, Israel had such an important reason to attack there, even given the risk of war,” Limor said.

Adding to the anomalies, Damascus threatened an immediate military response to the attack. It’s been almost a month, and not a peep from Damascus.

Assad’s government should be demanding that the UN Security Council take action against Israel’s unprovoked attack. But it isn’t.

One gets the distinct impression that Assad has realized he’s gone one step too far over the line and is trying to scramble back over to the other side.

The world doesn’t know what Assad had smuggled in on that North Korean freighter. But Israel knows. And Assad knows that Israel knows.

That’s not as cryptic as it sounds. Its one thing for Israel to suspect Assad has weapons of mass destruction, even nuclear ones. At worst, it means a conventional first strike to destroy them in the event of war.

It is another for Israel to know there is a nuclear weapon an hour’s drive from its border. In the event of war, Israel can’t be certain there isn’t another one. Or leave anyone alive in Damascus to give the order to fire it.

And Assad knows that, too.

Note:  This morning Syria was all over the OL newsfeedThis brief, originally published September 27, 2007 gives us quick glimpse of Assad’s ascension to power and the mindset he has for ruling.  What has Assad proven in the last six years?  Is he, as Jack states, “an evil megalomaniacal genius or an evil, megalomaniacal moron who just thinks he’s a genius.”?  Today is Memorial Day and more than ever our military needs our prayers for protection from those at home and abroad.

Today’s Featured Commentary: Waiting at the Speed of Fright

In Memorial

In Memorial
Vol: 140 Issue: 25 Saturday, May 25, 2013

This is the beginning of the Memorial Day weekend. Memorial Day is a celebration of freedom and those that defend it.  We celebrate with heavy overdoses of all things American, fireworks, hot dogs, BBQs, picnics, baseball games and so on.

The fireworks are to remind us that freedom doesn’t come without a fight and the overindulgence in Americana is to honor those that missed the party because they had to pay for it.

Memorial Day isn’t a just the official kick-off of the summer season or an excuse for a long weekend.  It is a day set aside by an Act of Congress in 1971 to honor the veterans of American wars.

Before that, it was called ‘Decoration Day’ since it was first proclaimed by the national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic.

In 1868, General John Logan ordered that the graves of the Civil War dead interred at Arlington national cemetery be decorated with flowers to commemorate their sacrifice.

His order included both Union and Confederate war dead.  No matter which side they fought on, they were all American.

In recent years, the purposes of Memorial Day have taken second place to the party aspect — it is more a celebration of summer and less a celebration of freedom and hardly at all about honoring our war dead.

Many of the graves of the fallen are ignored.   In those places in America where flying Old Glory isn’t either illegal or forbidden,  proper flag etiquette protocols call for flying the flag at half-mast until noon to symbolize a nation in mourning.

In one of the last acts and few shining moments of his presidency, Bill Clinton issued Official White House Memorandum asking all Americans to pause for one minute at 3 PM on Memorial Day to reflect on the price paid by our fellow citizens for our continued freedom.

In part, the Memorandum states:

“Memorial Day represents one day of national awareness and reverence, honoring those Americans who died while defending our Nation and its values. While we should honor these heroes every day for the profound contribution they have made to securing our Nation’s freedom, we should honor them especially on Memorial Day.”

Evidently, one day of national reverence is too much for the current White House. On Memorial Day, Vice President Joe Biden will lay the wreath at Arlington National Cemetery on the President’s behalf.

The president has a scheduling confict — he’s on vacation in Chicago. (2010)

Assessment:

The dictionary defines ‘honor’ as: “the reputation, self-perception or moral identity of an individual or of a group.”

This weekend is not just the beginning of summer. It is set aside to honor those who make the supreme sacrifice on your behalf. It is a time set aside to pray for those who protect us from harm. It is a time for us to love those who loved us with a love beyond human comprehension.

This weekend, as in past Memorial Day weekends, the networks will be re-running all those great old WWII propaganda movies.

The ones where the Nazis and Imperial Japanese were evil personified and the American GI is depicted as a salt-of-the-earth guy forced to put down his plowshare to reluctantly pick up a gun and defend his country.

They were called ‘propaganda’ movies and they might have been, but the propaganda message was that America was worth dying for.

They are stories from a bygone era about a nation united, strong and free.  We don’t see those kinds of stories anymore.

Duty. Honor. Country.  These are things worth memorializing.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

Note:  We would like to thank those who served and are still serving for the cause of freedom.  This brief was originally published February 28, 2010. 

”Remember That I Told You”

”Remember That I Told You”
Vol: 140 Issue: 24 Friday, May 24, 2013

”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.” (2nd Peter 3:3-4)

Peter begins his outline of the last days saying, “Knowing this first” – giving notice that what we are about to read is a principle point the Lord wants us to get.

“There shall come in the last days scoffers. . .” 

Literally, it reads, “in the last of days.”  The times referred to are those immediately preceding the Return of Christ, which also serves to introduce the fact that there is an age to come.

“Scoffers” (Gk.empaiktes) can also mean a false teacher or a mocker “walking after their own lusts.”   The reference to the scoffers ‘walking after their own lusts’ is more than simply a phrase.

All sinners walk after their own lusts. So the lustful life and the scoffing voice are not associated here without purpose.

These scoffers and false teachers openly stand in direct opposition to God’s Word, but not as wolves in sheep’s clothing, but walking openly as wolves.   The masks are dropped – they don’t even pretend anymore.

“Where is the promise of His coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of Creation.”  

First off, note the question, “Where is?” – by implication the answer is “nowhere” – the Promise has, they imply, passed away and disappeared.  The second thing to notice is the question itself.  It shows how familiar the early Church was with the Promise of His return.

There are those that argue that the Rapture is of recent origin – something that was invented by J.N. Darby or Margaret MacDonald or C.I. Scofield.  But as a doctrine, it was actually invented by Jesus Christ and propagated by the Apostles Peter and Paul.

The scoffers here are referring to the promise given to “the fathers” before they ‘fell asleep’ or died.  They were expecting the fulfillment of the promise given in the Gospels and especially that given by two angels to the Apostles and recorded in Acts 1:11:

“Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.”

The first generation of Christians believed the Lord could, and probably would, return for them in their lifetime – that’s what 2nd Thessalonians 2:1-12 is all about.  The scoffers were mocking those believers that were still looking up.

The implication here is that the scoffers knew Christ had not come because they expected to know when He did.

Peter notes in his rebuttal that the scoffers were willingly ignorant  (that is to say, they knew the truth but preferred the lie), of the fact that the world that once was had perished in the flood.  Therefore the statement that all things continued as they did from creation is not true.

Moreover, Peter says, the same Word of God that caused the world to overflow with water and perish is the Word that promises His return.  Peter goes on to explain to the scoffers why the Lord has not yet returned.  He is holding out until the very last convert.

“But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”

I’ve heard uncounted interpretations of the ‘day equals a thousand years’ reference.  Peter is restating a fact from Psalms 90:4.

“For a thousand years in Thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.”

It could be interpreted as a reference to the eternal nature of God, Who exists outside of time and space in a state of ever-present ‘now’- and to Whom the passage of a thousand years is nothing.

Or it could be interpreted as a reference to the six days of Creation and the six thousand year reign of man. On the seventh day of Creation, God rested.

In this view, the Thousand Year Millennial Kingdom that follows the Tribulation begins with the dawn of the seven thousandth year since Creation.   This view finds some support from the prophecy of Hosea 6:2;

“After two days will He revive us: in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight.”

Israel was scattered into the Diaspora almost two thousand years ago (two ‘days’).   It was restored physically in 1948 but has yet to be fully redeemed.

Zechariah predicts the national redemption of Israel at the Second Coming, Revelation promises a thousand-year reign of Israel’s Messiah.

Assessment:

The scoffers of whom Peter speaks are primarily believers.  Peter speaks of their being “willingly ignorant.”  They prefer the lie because they fear the truth.

The willing ignorance of the last days is amply demonstrated in those churches where Bible prophecy is categorized somewhere between exorcism and faith-healing in terms of doctrinal importance.

Part of the reason is because they don’t understand it. But the main reason, I believe, is because it scares them.

It’s depressing.  For many Christians, Bible prophecy is darkness and gloom and fear and catastrophe.  Well, maybe.   But so is our human existence.

Life isn’t all darkness and gloom, of course, but neither is Bible prophecy.  Rationally, there is no more reason to fear what will happen to the world at the end than there is to fear what will happen to me at my end.

After all, when I die, I will be as dead as I can get. I won’t be any deader whether I go alone or if I go in a blinding nuclear flash.  But according to the Scriptures, the moment that I die I will be present with the Lord.

If the Rapture happens before I die, then I will get to skip the dying process and go straight into the Lord’s presence, body and soul.

The Bible offers but two possible alternative fates for a Christian in the last days. Either I die and go to heaven. Or I just go straight to heaven.

There is no third option, so what is there about Bible prophecy that should be scary?

Unfolding Bible prophecy provides a glimpse into the mindset of the Apostle Paul as he awaited his execution in Rome.

“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.” (2 Timothy 2:1:12)

Paul knew what was coming after Nero’s axe fell, so Paul had no fear of the axe itself.

Bible prophecy is like that.  Watching Bible prophecy unfold with such precision and attention to detail reassures us that it isn’t the axe that is important, but what comes afterwards.

Bible prophecy is instead hard evidence that the One ‘Whom I have believed’ remains as firmly in control of world events as He has proved to be in my personal life, “which I have committed unto Him against that day” and that, in Paul’s words, “He is able to keep it . . .against that day.”

Understanding the Big Picture opens the door to an entirely new outlook on unfolding Bible prophecy. Scoffers fear it because they don’t understand it. Put into proper perspective, Bible prophecy is proof positive that the Lord remains just as firmly in control of world events as He is of whether or not you get a raise or a new job.

Bible prophecy is an antidote to depression and fear.  It is an affirmation of faith from the One in Whom we have believed, are reminder of the Promise.  It is why Jesus gave us prophecy.   It isn’t a parlor trick to use to amaze our friends.

It is a retainer on the Promise.  In this generation, we live in an age of miracles. There appears that there is nothing that science won’t be able to accomplish eventually, thanks to the advent of computers.

It is incontrovertible evidence that cannot be shaken by modern scientific ‘miracles’.  When the skeptic argues for evolution and random selection, trotting out fossils, skeletons and diagrams, it seems pretty convincing.  Especially since modern science can replicate almost any miracle.

Except one.

Mankind cannot predict the future. It simply can’t be done. No computer could calculate every detail of every life in advance, which is what would be necessary. Should one person do something unexpected then the whole course of future history would change.

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.

The skeptic has multiple explanations for static events that have already happened.  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.

Bible prophecy was given to the Church in the last days for the same reason that the Apostles were given miracles, signs and wonders following Pentecost.

To demonstrate the power of God. To establish the authority to forgive sins. To herald when the time of His soon return is near. To remind us of the Promise.

“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)

We remember, Lord.

Note:  This is a fairly recent brief written in December 2010.  The part that really hit home this morning was, “Peter goes on to explain to the scoffers why the Lord has not yet returned.  He is holding out until the very last convert.”  There have been a few ‘conversion’ reports in the forums lately and that just brings hope for those we love. God is not finished answering our prayers for those who need Christ.  So let’s remember in these troubling times that we serve an amazing, merciful God. 

Today’s Featured Commentary: Iran, Russian & Birds of a Feather