The World’s Most Christian Country

The World’s Most Christian Country
Vol: 162 Issue: 23 Monday, March 23, 2015

There is an old joke about the Christian who dies and then finds himself standing at the Pearly Gates before St. Peter.  Peter welcomes him in and ushers him along a high fence line marked periodically by a series of locked gates.

The Christian stops by one of those gates and says to St. Peter, “What’s behind that gate?”

“That’s the Baptist section,” Peter says.

“So why the high fences and the gate?” the guy asks.

Peter grins and says, “Oh, that’s because the Baptists think they are the only ones here.”

That joke will work using pretty much any Christian denomination.  When speaking at a church, I often use it to ‘break the ice’, as it were.  Feel free to use it at your next church gathering.  It always works.

Ever give any thought to what makes a joke funny? First off, it mocks a characteristic or trait so universally true that it falls into the ‘everybody knows’ category.

If you don’t recognize the trait, then you don’t “get” the joke.  Even if the truism itself isn’t always true.

A senior citizen is on the freeway heading downtown to renew his driver’s license when his wife calls him on his cellphone to warn him of a traffic hazard up ahead of him being reported on the news.  “There’s some guy driving the wrong way down the freeway,” she says.

“One guy?” her husband snorts.  “There’s dozens of ’em!”

Assessment:

I often cite the CIA World Factbook statistics on religion in the United States that say America is a predominately Christian country. The statistic I usually cite — 87% — was based on the 2000 Census.

Almost every time I use it, I get bombarded with emails like this one:  “I just cannot believe that 87% of America is saved!”

Almost all of them include their own estimates of how many Americans are really Christians.  These estimates range from a low of 2% to a high of 30%. So let me first clear up the misunderstanding.

According to new CIA 2007 estimates, it isn’t 87% anymore. 

The CIA Factbook breaks down America’s religious identity as follows:

Protestant 51.3%, Catholic 23.9%, Mormon 1.7%, other Christian 1.6%, Jewish 1.7%, Buddhist 0.7%, Muslim 0.6%, unspecified, 2.5%, unaffiliated 12.1%, none 4%.

Catholics, Protestants, Mormons and other Christians now total only  78.5% — and not 87% — as they did using the 2000 Census estimates.

But the  CIA statistic is not compiled according to Bible doctrinal purity.  The statistic is based on estimates compiled according to how folks identified themselves when they filled out their census forms.

There is no way to estimate how many of that 78.5% are Christians at least, not according to my understanding of Christianity.  There isn’t even anyway to guess without that bringing that Pearly Gates joke to mind.

It is difficult to get Christians of different stripes to agree on anything; the Rapture, the Tribulation, baptism, the proper way to worship,  etc., etc.

About the only thing we’re in agreement about is that when we get to Heaven, WE will be the only ones there.

I teach what I believe the Bible says concerning salvation. Having compared the Bible to the doctrinal positions of many (most) mainstream Christian denominations is the reason I am non-denominational.

But what doctrinal purity has to do with the identification of America as the ‘world’s most Christian country’ continues to elude me.

Bible prophecy wasn’t written to inform God — it was written to inform us.

The identification of America as the world’s most Christian country isn’t from God’s perspective — that would inform us of nothing.

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

Bible prophecy can only be informative if unbelievers are capable of understanding it from their perspective.

This is where Occam’s Razor is applicable.  Do you have any way of knowing how many of the individuals within each of these denominations named by the CIA have trusted Christ for their salvation?  I don’t.

So clearly the perspective being presented here isn’t that of believers. It is the unbelievers that see America as the world’s most Christian country.

The reason is because 78% of Americans claim to be adherents to some form of Christianity.  Unbelievers don’t have a doctrinal test — they see American Christianity as a monolith.

Because the world does not discern the things of the Spirit, what makes Americans predominately Christian in the eyes of the world is that they say they are.

Which is part of why America’s reputation is so bad.  We’re also the biggest consumers of drugs, producers of porn and dealers in advanced armaments in the world — and therefore, the biggest hypocrites.

Without some sense of context, 2nd Timothy 3:1-7 can refer to anything — and thereby signify  nothing.

That is not logical.  2nd Timothy 3:1-7 clearly refers to a Church Age Christian society in decline in the last days.  Paul begins saying, “This know also, in the last days perilous times shall come.”

It is just as obvious that, for it to be prophecy, it would have to refer to a recognizable society in existence in the last days.  If not, how would anyone be able to discern its fulfillment?

In that case, it wouldn’t be prophecy, but just a general state of affairs on a worldwide basis — which again, signifies nothing.

Paul’s description is of the deterioration of the Church in the last days, which cross references neatly with the Lord’s description of the Church of Laodicea.

“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.” Jesus is not referring to the underground Church in China where Christians routinely give up their lives for the faith.  Or in North Korea, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Sudan, Algeria . . .

“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:” (Revelation 3:15-17)

Is there another Christian nation you can think of that is currently on the verge of civil war over issues like public prayer, public display of the Bible, abortion, gay rights and Intelligent Design that you can think of?

America is divided right down the middle between those two sides. So, too, is the professing Church.

On one side are those who attended the Tea Party rallies carrying signs with Bible references, families, children, old people, all with grievances against the liberal government over all these issues.

In hundreds of rallies involving millions of people there was not a single arrest, injury or report of disorderly conduct.

Contrast that with the liberal protests and abortion rallies, the tactics, politics and the consequences of that political agenda unchecked.

Without that contrast, Paul’s description of the last days of the Church Age are without context.

“For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” (2nd Timothy 3:2-5)

Is there another prominent, universally recognizable society divided along those lines that springs to your mind first?

Prophecy is given as a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that disbelieve, so that when it happens, they will believe.

If the fulfillment isn’t recognizable, then it is not prophecy.  Yet Paul clearly identifies it as a prophecy of the last days.

Much of our discussion over the past few days has concerned America’s position in Bible prophecy, and in particular, why America isn’t named specifically.

It seems unnecessary, since no other nation on earth at this particular point in history fits the description better than does the ‘world’s most Christian nation’.

At least, not on this side of the Rapture.

Originally Published January 29, 2010

Featured Commentary: The Fullness of Time ~ Pete Garcia

The War on Terror is Over? I Wonder Who Won?

The War on Terror is Over? I Wonder Who Won?
Vol: 162 Issue: 21 Saturday, March 21, 2015

According to a senior State Department official writing in the National Journal, the war on terror is over and now it is safe for President Obama to embrace the Islamists that are about to take over the government in Egypt.

“Now that we have killed most of al Qaeda, now that people have come to see legitimate means of expression, people who once might have gone into al Qaeda see an opportunity for a legitimate Islamism.”

This new outlook has, in the words of the National Journal, come from a belief among administration officials that “It is no longer the case, in other words, that every Islamist is seen as a potential accessory to terrorists.”

 The National Journal’s Michael Hirsh explains:

The new approach is made possible by the double impact of the Arab Spring, which supplies a new means of empowerment to young Arabs other than violent jihad, and Obama’s savagely successful military drone campaign against the worst of the violent jihadists, al Qaeda.

For the president himself, this new thinking comes from a “realiz[ation that] he has no choice but to cultivate the Muslim Brotherhood and other relatively ‘moderate’ Islamist groups emerging as lead political players out of the Arab Spring in Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere.”

What, exactly, does “relatively moderate” mean, in the context of Islamists taking over one of the world’s leading Arab states?  Relatively moderate?  Compared to whom?  Muhammed?  Osama bin Laden?  Louis Farrakkan?

Evidently, “relatively moderate” has become the new standard, which gives one pause to wonder:  If moderate means non-violent Islam, and extreme Islamists are the ones that want to kill us, does “relatively moderate” mean they only want to wound us?  

It is as absurd a notion as the notion that the war on terror is over.  If the war on terror is over, then does that mean we can wear our shoes in airports?  Does it mean that we can relax, breathe a sigh of relief and go back to our pre-9/11 existence?

If the war on terror is over, does that mean we can eliminate the Department of Homeland Security?  What about the TSA?  Or any of the rest of the alphabet soup of agencies that were created to fight the war on terror?

The Hirsh article quotes Reuel Marc Gerecht, senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a nonpartisan institution focusing on national security and foreign policy, whom Hirsh calls “one of the smarter hardliners on the Right” — a claim demolished by Gerecht himself in Hirsch’s next line:

“Hirsh says Gerecht is among an emerging group of policymakers and analysts coming to realize that “the Arab world may find another route to democracy — through Islamism.”

Democracy through Islamism?  Wouldn’t that be a little like achieving democracy via Soviet Communism? 

Soviet Communism did not survive its very first democratic vote.  Why?  Because one system is the direct opposite of the other.  If one exists, the other cannot.  So it is with democracy and Islamism.  In a democracy, the people rule.  

In an Islamic republic, Sharia law rules.  Sharia law is to democracy what Kryptonite is to Superman.  And if you will allow me to answer my own question posed by today’s title. . .

If the war on terror is over, we lost. 

Assessment:

To claim the war on terror is “over” while we have forces fighting terrorists all over the world is delusional, but not as delusional as accepting the claim at face value.

More than that, it displays both a fundamental ignorance of Islam that has plagued successive US administrations since Bill Clinton brought Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin together as part of the official extortion scheme called “Land for Peace.”

If the “land for peace” concept was applied somewhere in, say, New York City, it would begin something like this: “Hey!  Nice place you got here.  Be a real shame to see it get all busted up . . . “

“Land For Peace” is simply a revision of the Mob’s ‘protection’ rackets writ large across the world stage.   Arafat demanded payment or he’d continue to ‘bust the place up’ until he got it.  Rabin paid off Arafat, and then Arafat began demanding more and more, literally bleeding Rabin to death and then starting over.

Each demand for a payoff was backed by Washington, who convinced itself against all logic that eventually, Arafat’s side would be satisfied and would settle down to live in peace with Israel, despite the clear and repeated assurances from the Arab side that peaceful co-existence was impossible.

Islam cannot accept the existence of a Jewish state on territory once under Islamic rule.  It is a basic article of faith that the worldwide Muslim umma  (or community) is obligated first and foremost to the recovery of Jerusalem as an Islamic city.  

Land for peace is just one example among many of how little the West understands about the enemy.  To this day, it remains in denial, convinced that all that is necessary for there to be peace is to force Israel to give up just a little bit more. . .

The claim that the war on terror is over moves that state of denial to the next level.  What it really means is that those making it have decided that we can live with Islamism in some form of modified dhimmitude.

The war on terror isn’t over until the terrorists stop making war.  That hasn’t happened and it won’t happen until the flag of Islam flies over the cities of Jerusalem and Washington. 

It is a grim assessment, but it is the only logical one.  The only possible way for the West to win the war with Islam is for Islam to acknowledge that Allah has given up on trying to fulfill Islam’s most basic demand, which is that the whole world submit to Islam.

Alternatively, for the war terror to end, Israel would have to acknowledge that the Bible is wrong.  For the war on terror to end, America would have to acknowledge that the Koran is right.  And both would have to submit to Islam or accept the lot of a dhimmi living under Sharia Law.

While there are those within the government who actually think that the US would be better off under Sharia law, the vast majority are simply clueless about who the enemy is or what the enemy wants.  Syndicated columnist Cal Thomas explains:

But the war is much broader than al Qaeda. Terrorism flows from a belief system and worldview that will not be crushed just because a few al Qaeda leaders are gone.

The secular Left refuses to understand this. Terrorism is not the only tool in the arsenal of radical Islamists. Infiltration, Islamic schools, the building of mosques in the midst of the “Great Satan,” the running of Muslim candidates for public office, the demands for more “rights” and civil liberties, while Islamists deny such things to the nations they dominate — all of this and more prove that the war, by whatever name one wishes to call it, is not over. In fact, it is just beginning.

Radical Islamists are attempting to unify the Muslim world under Shariah law and other dictates of the extremist wing of the religion. If they succeed, they will most assuredly redouble their efforts to eliminate Israel and come after America.

Thomas is one of the very few voices saying out loud what most of us instinctively know — but few of us dare say in public.  There is no possible accommodation to be reached with the Islamist enemy.  When death in combat is the only certain way to achieve salvation, what can we offer as an alternative?

What would a man take in exchange for his own soul?  That is what is at stake here, as viewed from the side of radical Islam.  

Giving up the fight is nothing less than the selling of one’s soul to Satan.  And THAT is how the West defines an “Islamic moderate” — a Muslim who is willing to make that deal.

This isn’t really about the war on terror being over.  What it is really about is whether or not the Obama administration can safely ’embrace’ Islamists.

It also provides another disturbing possible answer to the question, “Where is the United States in Bible Prophecy?”

Origianlly Published: April 26, 2012

Even the Numbers Bear Witness. . .

Even the Numbers Bear Witness. . .
Vol: 162 Issue: 20 Friday, March 20, 2015

We observed in a recent Omega Letter that the Bible speaks to us in the two languages of sentience.  The first is the most commonly understood language of the spoken word.

The spoken word is broken down into regional languages; only a trained linguist could find similarities between English and, say Arabic.

The second is the universal language of mathematics.  It is the universal language since it is the language in which all laws of the physical universe were written.  Assuming, for a second, that there could be another inhabited planet out there somewhere, in some other galaxy, the same laws of mathematics would apply there as they do here.

The speed of light is 186,000 miles per second no matter where in the universe you live or how you measure distance.  Mathematics is a pure language in that it is a language in which it is impossible to tell a lie.

It is possible to use a lot of numbers to confuse the conversation – Bernie Madoff made a career out of it, but in the end, the numbers told the truth.  Madoff was convicted by the numbers.  Numbers cannot lie.

For that reason, much of the Bible is written out in numbers.  The number one signifies primacy and independent existence.  In most languages, it is signified by a single stroke.  The number one stands alone.

“Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord.” (Deuteronomy 6:4)

The number one represents God’s eternal nature.

The number two represents an addition, or an increase.

“Two are better than one, because they have good reward for the labor.” (Ecclesiates 4:9)

Three is the simplest compound unity.  It is the first compound unit of mathematical science.  The number three is the number of the Trinity – three is the number of the Godhead, and as such, three is the number of God.

Four is the number of this world.  There are four seasons, four compass points, north, south, east, west; four great elements, earth, air, fire and water; four divisions of the day, morning, noon, evening, night; and four phases of the moon.

The river of Paradise is divided into four headwaters in Genesis 2:10-11.  The earth is overseen by four cherubim having four faces, four wings, four sides and moving on four wheels.  In prophecy, the world is divided into four spheres of global power in the last days.

The number four represents this world within God’s creation.

Four is the first number that can be divided.  The number four (the world) multiplied by the number three (the Trinity) equals twelve.

The numbers five and ten signify completeness.  There are five fingers on each hand, five toes on each foot.  The number ten is the first type of a whole – it is the root of the decimal system of mathematics.  Noah was the tenth generation from Adam.  There are Ten Commandments.  The Lord’s Prayer as ten clauses.

Six is the number of man.  John uses Bible numerology in Revelation 13:18 to tell us that, while there is an antichrist system and an antichrist religion, there is also a personal, individual human antichrist.

“Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.”

Seven is always used in Scripture as the number of perfection.  The seventh day is the Sabbath.  The seventh year is a sabbatical year.  After 49 years (7×7) the next is a Jubilee Year.  There are seven golden candlesticks, seven stars, and seven churches and seven Dispensations.

The number seven represents fullness, or completion of God’s creation.

The number eight in Hebrew is Sh’moneh meaning, “to make fat” or to “super-abound” so the number eight is the number of superabundance.  As the number 7 means completion and rest, the number 8 represents the beginning of a new cycle.

At the conclusion of the seventh Dispensation, the Millennial Kingdom, Peter speaks of the destruction of this present order and the introduction of “a new heaven and a new earth.”  Eight is 7 plus 1, significant of both resurrection and regeneration.  Eight signifies the Redeemed of the Church Age.

“And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; (2nd Peter 2:5)

New-born males were to be circumcised on the eighth day.

The number nine is the last of the digits, signifying the conclusion of a matter.  It is the multiple of the number of the Trinity (3×3) and the sum of the number of the Trinity plus the number of man (6+3=9).

The number 999 in Hebrew is tee orgee mou the equivalent to ‘my wrath”.  The number 99 in Hebrew is ameen (amen).  The sum of the Hebrew alphabet is 4995 (5×999).  The sum of the Greek is 3999 — the number of the Trinity plus the number of final judgment.

The number ten signifies the perfection of the Divine order of creation.  The number eleven is an addition, signifying the subversion of that order.

Finally, we come to the number twelve.  Twelve is a perfect number, signifying perfection of government, or of perfect completion.

That there are twelve Elders from the Church Age signifies that the Church Age, and its influence in government, is now perfectly complete.

Twelve is found as a multiple in all that has to do with rule.  The sun which “rules” the day, and the moon and stars which “govern” the night, do so by their passage through the twelve signs of the Zodiac which completes the great circle of the heavens of 360 (12 x 30) degrees or divisions, and thus govern the year.

The elements of the numbers seven and twelve are the same.  In one, the elements are added, four plus three equals seven.  In the other, they are multiplied; four times three equals twelve.

In context, the number twelve refers to the Chosen of God as well as to the perfection of government.

There were twelve patriarchs from Seth to Noah, twelve from Shem to Jacob.  There were twelve tribes of Israel.  There were twelve Judges over Israel.  There were twelve Apostles.  There are twelve foundations in heaven’s Jerusalem.  There are twelve gates.  There are twelve pearls.  There are twelve angels.

The 144,000 of Revelation chapter 7 are twelve thousand from each of the twelve tribes of Israel.

Assessment:

It is with the 144,000 of Revelation 7 that I’d like to switch from Bible numerology to Bible prophecy.  But I wanted you to see that God uses mathematics as well as words to communicate His truths before digging into the topic at hand.

Who are the 144,000?  The Jehovah’s Witnesses think they are the “Great Overcomers” who will be saved at the end of the world.  Each of them strives to achieve that status (which is why they keep showing up at your door).

The Seventh Day Adventists believe they are those of their number who are found keeping the Saturday Sabbath when the Lord comes again and will be Raptured.

The Vatican and mainstream Protestantism teach that they represent the One True Church.  The phrase “children of Israel” means the redeemed by grace throughout the Church Age.

In their view, the Church has replaced Israel in the eyes of God and all references to Israel in the last days means the Church.  So the 144,000 are, in this view, really 144,000 Christians being sealed by God.

But since Christians are already sealed by God at the point of salvation – “Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts” (2nd Corinthians 1:22) – sealing them again during the Tribulation seems pointless.

Paul wrote to the Ephesians,

“And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” (4:30)

When is the “day of redemption?”  The day we are given our resurrection bodies is the only day that fits the context of the verse.  Paul is writing to those who are saved, but not yet redeemed, since they were in Ephesus, Turkey, and not already in heaven.

Notice that the 144,000 are 12,000 of each of the 12 tribes of Israel.  They cannot be the Church – the Church is not divided into tribes.  There is no tribe of James, or Andrew Tribe, or Bartholomew Tribe of Christianity.

One might argue that the Vatican is the theological tribe of Peter, or that non-denominational Christianity is the theological tribe of Paul, but that still leaves you ten tribes short.  There are no lost tribes of Christianity.

But what of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel?  The Kingdom of Israel consisting of Ten of the Twelve Tribes split from the Kingdom of Judah.  They were overrun, relocated and assimilated into the Assyrian Empire and were lost to history.

But they are NOT lost to God.  In Psalm 135, they are called God’s “peculiar treasure.”  The Ten Tribes are buried and hid in the world in the ‘graves’ of the nations – until their time.

The 144,000 appear twice – once in the seventh and again in the fourteenth chapters of Revelation.  Revelation 14:4 describes them as the ‘firstfruits’ of God and to the Lamb.

These cannot be the Church.  The firstfruits of the Church were the Twelve Apostles, but the text is speaking of 144,000 Jewish male virgins who will live during the final seven years of human government.

They are the first fruits of a new spiritual order on the earth.  The first-fruits of the Church Age have been raptured.  The Church was sealed unto the day of Redemption – the 144,000 are sealed after that Day has come and gone.

The Bible says that apart from the Holy Spirit, nobody can be saved.

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

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

But the 144,000 are saved, empowered to preach and are the source of the Tribulation Saints of Revelation 13. In Revelation 14, we are told that the 144,000 have a unique ‘song’ which they sing before the Throne.

They cannot be of the Church Age, because only these 144,000 Jewish male virgins can sing the song.

“And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.” (Revelation 14:3)

They have already been sealed by this time, have fulfilled their mission and are now martyrs before the Throne.  In Revelation 14:6, we see the next shift come on duty.

“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.” (Revelation 14:6)

The Book of Revelation opens with an expository on the Seven Churches and how each did, in the Lord’s eyes, with the assignments before them.  The sixth Church, Philadelphia, was the evangelical missionary church of whom the Lord uniquely had NO words of condemnation.

The seventh and final, the Church of Laodicea, was the lukewarm Church for which the Lord had NO words of commendation.  In Revelation 4:1, John is whisked from among the churches of the earth and finds himself witnessing the remainder of the vision from the perspective of heaven.

There is no mention of the Gospel again until the 144,000 are sealed with the Holy Spirit.  This is a unique event; nobody else on earth is sealed with the Holy Spirit at this time.

Thus empowered, they preach until Chapter 14 — when they are all in heaven.  Now the Great Commission has been passed from the 144,000 Spirit-sealed evangelists to the angel of Revelation 14:6, who carries it from that point forward.

No matter how I try, I can’t find anything resembling the indwelt Church beyond Revelation 3:22.  The indwelt Church is gone, its replacement is 12 x 12 x 1000 Jews, and they are all gone by Chapter 14 and replaced by an angel.

That is the simple narrative.  First, the Church Age.  Then the Rapture.  Then the revealing of the antichrist.  Then the Ride of the Four Horsemen.  Then the sealing of the 144,000.  Then the Mark of the Beast and the persecution and martyrdom of the Tribulation Saints.

After that, the Great Tribulation that culminates with the Second Coming of Christ.

Why do I continue to harp on the pre-Trib Rapture of the Church?  Because it is the Blessed Hope.  Because it is the fulfillment of the Promise that I will never be spiritually abandoned, but will remain indwelt by the Holy Spirit until Jesus returns for me.

Because the events coming upon this world are designed to scare the world, not to scare us.  The Bible calls it a Blessed Hope, not a Holy Terror.  We are to be looking for the coming of Christ.

The purpose of the signs of the end are not to prepare us for God’s wrath, but to spur us on to give the warning of what is to come before it is too late to choose.

Because the day is fast approaching when “the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout,”(“Come up hither!” – Revelation 4:1)

“with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first; Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1st Thessalonians 4:16-17)

Our job is to stand and give the warning, not flee to the hills to hide ourselves from the Lord. WE have nothing to fear from the coming signs of Tribulation — it signals the Blessed Hope of the Promise.

“Wherefore, comfort one another with these words.” (1st Thessalonians 4:18)

Origianlly Published: October 10, 2009

Featured Commentary: This Steadily Growing Darkness ~ Alf Cengia

Brains, Washed, Spun-Dry and Folded . . .

Brains, Washed, Spun-Dry and Folded . . .
Vol: 162 Issue: 19 Thursday, March 19, 2015

The phrase ‘mind control’ refers to the successful control of the thoughts and actions of others without his or her expressed consent.

In the most general sense, the term implies that the victim has given up some basic political, social, or religious beliefs and attitudes, and has been made to accept contrasting ideas.

Mind control, when exercised as a government policy, turned Germany from the most cultured nation in Europe into a nation of cold-blooded murderers in a single generation.

Government manipulation of facts for the purpose of controlling the population is called ‘propaganda’ and its naked power remains on display as a living example in North Korea.

North Korea’s ‘Great Leader’ [Kim il Sung] and his mad progeny, ‘Beloved Leader’ Kim Jong il, kept North Korean society closed to outside influence, and have, since Kim Jong il took power in 1948, effectively brainwashed the entire country.

Despite famines, mass starvation, concentration [or ‘reeducation’] camps, an almost complete lack of basic necessities like electricity and clean water, the average North Korean believes his country to be one of the most advanced and desirable places to live on earth.

Kim Jong il is worshipped as a god, and his son worshipped as a living god. Two million North Korean soldiers stand ready to march into the teeth of battle at his whim.

Such is the power of systematic, unrestrained mind control.

Assessment:

There are all kinds of ways of looking at ‘mind control’. Some might argue that parental control over their children is a form of mind control, and the argument has logical merit.

Mind control is a bit like a knife. A knife, used to take a life in a bar fight, is a bad thing. The same knife, used to perform an emergency appendectomy to save a life, is a good thing. The knife itself is neither good nor evil. It is simply a knife.

Parental mind control over their children is a necessary part of maintaining the social and cultural fabric of society. Children need to be taught how to be good — being bad comes naturally.

Children want to please those in authority over them, and the first thing they learn is that socially acceptable behavior earns rewards, while anti-social behavior reaps consequences. With that lesson in hand, children put it into practice by seeking to learn what is socially acceptable.

But because mind control is a necessary part of learning social restrictions, we remain susceptible to it for the rest of our lives.

The values we learn as children seeking to put into practice life lesson #1; [good=rewards and bad=consequences] remain with us.

And nobody understands that better than the educators we trust with the power of mind control over our children.

Two teachers with the Port Washington-Saukville School Board put together a questionnaire which was distributed to hundreds of Port Washington high school students, with instructions to submit written answers and then to discuss the survey.

The questionnaire’s release was carefully timed; the survey was given to about 400 of the school’s 930 students on April 25, the day before the national Day of Silence, an annual event co-sponsored by the New York City-based Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network.

According to the ‘Day of Silence’ web site, the event is a “student-led day of action” that attempts to eliminate harassment of non-heterosexual students.

Among the questions the students were required to submit written answers for later discussion included [and I wish I were making this up]:

“If you have never slept with someone of your same gender, then how do you know you wouldn’t prefer it?”

How does a high school student cope with a question like that? What possible educational value does such a question advance?

Sexual orientation aside, this is nothing less than a school system’s exhortation to students to engage in premarital sex for the sake of experimentation.

Now add the sexual orientation, the coincidence of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance sponsorship, and bingo!

Our knife just got used in a bar fight.

Now, one can characterize it according to its intended use as either good or evil.

The compulsory submission of young minds for the control of their thoughts and actions aimed at changing basic political, social, or religious beliefs and attitudes until they conform with conflicting or contrasting ideas.

Other questions on the survey included: “What do you think caused your heterosexuality?” and “When did you decide you were heterosexual?”

Both were clearly designed to imply that heterosexuality is a conscious decision based on some cause — while at the same time, gay rights supporters argue that sexual orientation is neither the result of a conscious decision or caused by some external event.

If it sounds confusing to you, imagine how confusing it must sound to a fifteen-year old?

When angry parents confronted the school’s principal, his response was to describe the survey as an, “exercise in compassion and understanding that did not work out real well.”

What it WAS was an exercise in brainwashing. How well it worked out remains to be seen. The kids are still only in high school.

The Bible says that among the most powerful weapons in the antichrist’s arsenal during the Tribulation is power to delude and deceive the masses who will worship him as the messiah.

Jesus warned that his powers of deception will be such that, if it were possible, he would even be able to deceive the very elect. (Matthew 24:4)

Paul says his powers of delusion will reach their peak after the removal of the Restrainer [and the Church] at the Rapture.

“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only He who now letteth will let, until He be taken out of the way.”

Paul then speaks of those who rejected Christ and salvation during the Church Age, those with the “deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”

Since they rejected Christ and His offer of salvation by grace through faith, “for THIS cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:10-11)

The groundwork for that strong delusion is already being laid by predators disguised as educators, brainwashing the young impressionable minds until evil and good are mere social conventions to be done away with as necessary.

Just in time for the advent of the master manipulator.

Originally Published: June 22, 2006

Featured Commentary: If It Feels Good, Do It ~ J.L. Robb

Deliver Us From Evil

Deliver Us From Evil
Vol: 162 Issue: 18 Wednesday, March 18, 2015

When His disciples asked Him, ”Teach us to pray?”, the Lord Jesus outlined the perfect prayer;

“And He said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.” (Luke 11:2-4)

This is a prayer of adoration, thanksgiving, protection, provision and hope, fully expressed in a mere fifty-eight words.

Of interest to this morning’s OL is the phrase, ‘deliver us from evil.’

What is “evil” exactly? Where did it come from? Who created it and why does it exist?

Briefly stated, ‘evil’ is the absence of ‘good’. It was born out of sin, but evil is not a creation, exactly. It is the other half of ‘good’. Without evil, ‘good’ would be impossible for us to distinguish.

God created the universe in a balance. In order for there to be darkness, there must first be light. Darkness is a measure of the absence of light. Without the prior existence of light, darkness could not exist.

In order for there to be cold, there must first be heat. Cold is a measure of the absence of heat. Without heat, cold could not exist. Evil is a measure of the absence of good. Without good, evil could not exist.

Evil is not a creation of God, since it cannot exist outside of the creation of good. But it does exist, because good exists.

Think of it like a battery. It takes both the positive and negative poles to create power. Good would have no power to effect change without evil, just as evil has no existence without good.

How could one choose good if there were no evil against which to measure it?

In His creation, God never pronounced the universe ‘perfect’ — He found some of His creation to be ‘good’ some of it to be ‘very good’ and even some of it that He pronounced, ‘not good’.

“The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18)

Both the Bible and science tell us this present universe was designed to be temporary.

Science looks to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics which proves there is not enough matter in the universe to cause it to contract. That means the universe will continue to expand indefinitely and all the stars will eventually burn out.

Once that happens, life cannot be possible for the entire rest of the history of the universe. Science proves the universe was designed to wear out.

The Bible also says the universe was designed to be temporary, and it will eventually be replaced by a perfect universe that will be permanent.

Why would God create a temporary universe instead of creating a perfect, permanent one in the first place?

God created the universe as it exists for the express purpose of allowing free will spiritual beings the opportunity to choose to have fellowship with Him, or to reject Him.

Those who choose to have fellowship with Him will do so in some future, perfect creation.

And if His purpose is to have free-will fellowship in some future creation, then there must also exist some means by which these spiritual beings can make a choice whether or not to enter into this relationship with Him.

God not only understands the nature of evil, He understands our propensity for it.

“. . . I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” (Genesis 8:21)

The Apostle Paul offers God’s assessment of mankind thusly:

“There is none righteous; none that understand; none that seek after God; none that doeth good; we are deceitful, bitter, swift to shed blood, are the source of destruction and misery, and have no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3:10-18)

Paul goes on to point out that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God,” (3:23) but that there is an offer extended to us to be “justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” (3:24)

“Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” (3:27-28)

Assessment:

According to the Bible’s outline, then, God permits evil to exist in order for free will to exist.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

The Scriptures tell us that God is the Creator and the source of all good, and it reveals that, during this present dispensation, Satan is the god of this world and the source of all evil:

“In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” (2nd Corinthians 4:4)

Much of the suffering that exists in this world is a direct result of evil choices made by free-will human beings that impact others.

Natural disasters — tornadoes, volcanoes, etc., are part of the power cycle required by this imperfect universe in order for it to exist in balance.

In the new creation, there will be some limits on our free will, since the new creation will not contain evil. We exist in this life to give us a chance to agree to give up some of that free will in the next.

That is what it means to turn one’s life and will over to Jesus Christ. It is a choice to surrender our will to God.

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Peter 1:6-7)

Those who refuse the opportunity in this life will not be forced to in the next life, but will instead exist separately from the new creation, and apart from God.

The place set aside for those who reject God is the place originally prepared for the devil and his angels. (Matthew 25:41)

Bad things happen in this universe, because that is how it is designed. No human being has in himself ever been righteous. Even Adam was not righteous: he was innocent–not knowing good and evil.

Ultimately, there is not an answer to these questions that we can fully comprehend. We, as finite human beings, can never fully understand an infinite God (Romans 11:33-34).

Sometimes we think we understand why God is doing something, only to find out later that it was for a different purpose than we originally thought. We look at things from an earthly perspective.

God looks at things from an eternal perspective;

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9).

Second, we must realize that God is not responsible for the wicked acts of evil men.

God had to allow the possibility of evil for us to have a true choice of whether to worship God or not. If we never had to suffer and experience evil, would we know how wonderful heaven is?

Bad things happen because they HAVE to happen in order for there to be a way of measuring what is good. It is through bad things that God reveals Himself to man.

Sinners don’t come to Christ because they are satisfied with themselves — they come to Christ because they recognize the absence of God in their lives.

Winning the lottery seldom brings sinners to their knees — losing everything does. If you want to find God, you’ll find Him in prisons and hospitals, much more so than in mansions and fitness clubs.

Bad things happen to good people because God knows what He is doing, even when we don’t. When we pray for what we believe is a good thing and don’t get it, we wonder where God is or if He is listening.

Unfortunately, we don’t know good from evil — we only know right from wrong.

‘Good and evil’, as we understand the terms, are not actions, they are outcomes. Only God can measure the outcome of what we believe is an evil thing.

Bad things happen to good people for reasons beyond our comprehension because God is in charge of outcomes.

Bad things prove the existence of God, because they only happen where men are involved.

Remove mankind from the equation, and the moon continues to orbit the earth, the earth continues to orbit the sun, and the universe remains in perfect harmony.

Evil exists so that man can seek good, and, in so doing, find its Author.

Because ALL things work together for good where God’s people are concerned.

That is why the Psalmist exhorts us to;

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thy own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)

Because, in the final analysis, we understand evil all too well. It’s the concept of ‘good’ that gives us trouble.

originally published February 2, 2008

Featured Commentary: Obedience and Sacrifice ~ Lea Sylvester 

The Gift

The Gift
Vol: 162 Issue: 17 Tuesday, March 17, 2015

One Christmas, my son gave me a book on the history of the Irish race. I was stunned to learn that the history of the Irish kings dates back to the time of Solomon, and that the Roman historians of antiquity considered Ireland to be an ancient kingdom when Rome was young.

The Irish nation has maintained its history with an attention to detail surpassed only by the nation of Israel. The book, “The Story of the Irish Race” by Seumas MacManus, was published in 1921 and contains more than seven hundred pages of history.

Today, I want share my Christmas gift with you. A little bit of that history –specifically, the story of King Conor MacNessa. Stay with me, it will be worth the effort. I promise.

King Conor was the Ard-Righ, or High King of Ireland in the first part of the first century.

King Conor was described by a contemporary historian of his day as,

“A tall graceful champion of the noble, polished and proud men stood at the head of the party. This most beautiful of the kings of the world stood among his trops with all the signs of obedience, superiority and command.He wore a mass of curling drooping, yellow hair. He had a pleasing, ruddy countenance. He had a deep blue, sparkling, piercing eyein his head and two branching beard, yellow, and curling upon his chin. He wore a crimson, deep-bordered, five-folding tunic; a gold pin in the tunic over his bosom; and a brilliant white shirt, interwoven with thread of red gold, next to his white skin.” – the herald MacRoth to Queen Medb of Connaught.”

In King Conor’s day, Rome had not yet constructed the Colliseum and had just conquered what would become Britain. While King Conor’s life was fascinating, it was the circumstances of his death that are of interest here.

Conor died from a brainball that sunk into his skull, fired in battle by Cet MacMagach, a Connaught champion, whom Conor had pursued following a Connaught cattle raid.

It didn’t kill him directly — the brainball lodged in his skull, and his physician, Faith Liag, would not remove it because it would have instantly killed Conor.

With care, Conor might live long, provided he live quietly, avoiding passion and violent emotion and live a life of peace such as few kings of antiquity knew.

Under Liag’s care, Conor lived seven more years.  One day, writes the historian, the pagan-King Conor MacNessa’s court was, quoting MacManus directly,

“thrown into consternation by finding broad day suddenly turned to blackest night, the heavens rent by lightening, and the world rocked by thunder, portending some dread cataclysm.”

Conor asked his Druids and wise men for explanation of the fearful happening.

The Druid Bachrach, a noted seer, told him that there had been in the East, in one of the many countries under the dominion of Rome, a singular man, more noble of character, more lofty of mind and more beautiful of soul, than the world had ever known, or ever again would know — a divine man, a God-man, who spent his life lifing up the lowly and leading the ignorant to the light, and giving new hope to a hopeless world — one too, who loved all mankind with a love that surpassed understanding — one, the touch of whose gentle hand gave speech to the dumb, sight to the blind, life to the dead. He was the noblest, greatest, most beautiful, most loving of men.

And now the heavens and the earth were thrown into agony because on this day the tryant Roman, jealous of his power over the people, had nailed him high upon a cross, and between two crucified thieves, had left the divine man to die a fearful death.

Fired to rage by the thought of the terrible injustice meted out to such a noble one, Conor MacNessa, snatching down the sword that had not been unsheathed for seven years, and crying, “Show me the accursed wretches who did this base deed!” burst through the restraining ring of courtiers, leapt into the storm, fiercely hewing down their bending branches and shouting, “Thus would I treat the slayers of that Noble man, if I could but reach them.”

Under the strain of the fierce passion that held him the brainball burst from King Conor’s head — and he fell dead. (The Story of the Irish Race by Seumas MacManus, pp. 26-27)

King Conor lived three hundred years before St Patrick introduced Christianity to the Emerald Isle. The story of Conor MacNessa and the circumstances of his death, were known and recorded in Irish history before Patrick arrived to tell The Greatest Story Ever Told and was surprised to find it was already part of the history of the Irish kings.

Macmanus says in a footnote on the page, “Some say that it was a Roman consul (who informed Conor of death of Christ).

Still others say it was the Royal Branch champion, Conal Cearnach, who had been a prisoner of the Romans and who had been taken to the limits of their Empire.

In the course of which expedition, he was in Jerusalem on the day of days, and witnessed the Crucifixion. “A representative of every race of mankind was on the Hill of Calvary at the dreadful hour.”

Conal Cearnach represented the Gael (Irish). The beautiful story of Conal Cearnach at the Crucifixion is related by Ethna Carberry in her book, ‘From the Celtic past’.”

This is not just a beautiful story, but is part of Irish history attested to by the pagan generations who recorded the events long before Christianity came to the Emerald Isle.

“And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.” (Luke 23:45-47)

When Jesus was crucified, the Bible says the darkness was all over the earth for three hours. Not just in Jerusalem, or in Israel, but the whole earth — a FACT of history attested to by Scripture, and also attested to by the history of the pagan High-Kings of pagan Ireland.

Causing even the pagan-King of pagan Ireland, Conor MacNessa, to echo the Roman centurion who stood at the foot of the Cross.

“Truly, this Man was the Son of God.” (Mark 15:39)

Originally Published: January 5, 2003

The Rise of the Global ‘Superchurch’

The Rise of the Global ‘Superchurch’
Vol: 162 Issue: 16 Monday, March 16, 2015

According to the Book of the Revelation, during the Tribulation Period, the government of antichrist rests on three main pillars of power.

In Revelation 13:1, we are introduced to the political beast:

“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy”

That this is a political entity is established by cross-referencing John’s description with that of the Prophet Daniel.

Daniel was given a vision of four successive world empires, each symbolized by different ‘beasts’.

Daniel saw four ‘beasts’ which Daniel saw rising up from ‘the sea’. Daniel was written in Aramaic.

According to Strong’s reference (3220) the Aramaic word “yawm” translated as “sea” in general means, “to roar” in the sense of noisy surf, but in context, it means the western side of the Mediterranean, or simply, “the West.”

(And before I go on, let me first say this. I am neither a Hebrew nor Greek scholar. I am relying on Strong’s references entirely for my understanding of these verses. “Sea” in Greek is “thelasses”. But Strong’s says the word translated “sea” is from the Greek root “ophelos”. The same explanation applies to the Daniel references.Some scholars may disagree — but if so, their beef is with Strong’s — not me. I make no claim as a Greek/Hebrow scholar. Just as a researcher.)

When we refer to “the West” in our own English lexicon, what are we referring to? Exactly the same thing that Daniel was, almost 2600 years ago.

We divide the northern hemisphere by West and East, separated by the “Middle East” – or the Mediterranean and its vicinity. The word translated “sea” in Revelation 13:1 is from the Greek “ophelos” which literally means, “to heap up, or accumulate profit.”

Strong’s identification of the sea as referring to the wealthy west is at the very least, interesting. The antichrist’s government is, in context, pictured by both Daniel and John as the wealthy accumulation of Gentile nations located west of the Mediterranean Sea.

“And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.”

Daniel says the first was “like a lion, and had eagle’s wings;” the second was, “like to a bear;” the third, “like a leopard” and finally, the fourth, “dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.”(Daniel 7:2-7)

Daniel said that out of the beast with ten horns would come arise “another little horn” which would take take authority over all.

Daniel’s “beasts” historically, corresponded with the empires of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Alexander the Great’s Greek Empire, and finally, the Roman Empire.

John describes this ‘little horn’ as “like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.”

His power comes from the “dragon” who gives him “his seat” and “great authority.” The “dragon” is a symbol of Satan.

The second pillar of the antichrist’s government is his control of a global religious system.

“And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.” (Revelation 13:11)

Strong’s reference 3786 for the word translated ‘the earth’ (“ophelimos”) is another form of the word ‘ophelos’ which means “serviceable” or “profitable”.

In Revelation 2, Jesus composes Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia Minor. He assigns characteristics to each that, with historical hindsight as a guide, corresponds with seven unique periods, or ‘epochs’ within the Church Age.

“And to the angel of the church in Pergamos. . . I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is.”

Jesus then ticks off this epoch’s primary characteristics;

  1. The doctrine of Balaam. In the Old Testament, Balaam advised King Balak to seduce the men of Israel by using beautiful women to draw the men of Israel into unclean and idolatrous practices.
  2. The doctrine of the Nicolaitanes. This is a reference to centralizing the Church according to a hierarchy of bishops, priests, cardinals, etc., under a supreme pontiff, or Pope.
  3. Where Satan’s seat is. Revelation 17 identifies the Great Whore of Babylon — the “beast” that “was, and is not, and yet is” (17:8)

“And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.” (17:9)

No less an authority than the Catholic Encyclopedia confirms the identification of this city:

“It is within the city of Rome, called the city of seven hills, that the entire area of Vatican State proper is now confined.”

Don’t take my word for it. Google “city on seven hills” and see what YOU come up with.

Pulling it altogether, we find that the ‘Beast’ of Revelation 13:1 symbolizes both the leader of a prosperous Western alliance of nations and a religious leader who preaches a Dragon-inspired form of Christianity (two horns like a Lamb) from his headquarters in Rome, and specifically, the Vatican.

The third and final pillar of power is a global economy so tightly centralized that it would be possible to restrict economic activity to the degree only those who have government approval could buy or sell.

There exists today a revived form of the old Roman Empire, born out of the ten signatory nations of the Treaty of Rome, under whose authority is developing an entity known as the “Euro-Med region” and a global economy so centralized that it can be used as a weapon of war to cut off funding to organized terror groups.

The only thing not already fully developed is a centralized, apostate form of Christianity under the authority of the Vatican.

Assessment:

According to the London Sunday Times, a 42-page statement prepared by the leaders of the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church is proposing a reunification of the Anglican Church with Rome under the authority of the Pope.

The following is a direct quote from the Times story, headlined, “Churches Back Plan to Unite Under Pope.” (I kid you not.)

“The statement, leaked to The Times, is being considered by the Vatican, where Catholic bishops are preparing a formal response. It comes as the archbishops who lead the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion meet in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in an attempt to avoid schism over gay ordination and other liberal doctrines that have taken hold in parts of the Western Church.”

“The 36 primates at the gathering will be aware that the Pope, while still a cardinal, sent a message of support to the orthodox wing of the Episcopal Church of the US as it struggled to cope with the fallout after the ordination of the gay bishop Gene Robinson.”

“Rome has already shown itself willing to be flexible on the subject of celibacywhen it received dozens of married priests from the Church of England into the Catholic priesthood after they left over the issue of women’s ordination.”

“There are about 78 million Anglicans, compared with a billion Roman Catholics, worldwide.”

“In one significant passage the report notes: “The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the ministry of the Bishop of Rome [the Pope] as universal primate is in accordance with Christ’s will for the Church and an essential element of maintaining it in unity and truth.” Anglicans rejected the Bishop of Rome as universal primate in the 16th century. Today, however, some Anglicans are beginning to see the potential value of a ministry of universal primacy, which would be exercised by the Bishop of Rome, as a sign and focus of unity within a reunited Church.”

Now the kicker:

“Other recommendations include inviting LAY AND ORDAINED members (Nicolaitanes, remember) of both denominations to attend each other’s synodical and collegial gatherings and conferences. . . The report adds that special “protocols” should also be drawn up to handle the movement of clergy (Nicolaitanes again) from one Church to the other.” [comments in parentheses are mine]

Now, let’s return to the basic reason such a reunification is being considered. The Anglican Church is falling apart over one major issue — the ordination of gays.

Noted the Times;

“Dr Rowan Williams, who as Primate of the Church of England is its “focus for unity”, has in the past supported a liberal interpretation of Scripture on the gay issue.”

The Times’ goes on to say,

“A logical extension of that, once this crisis is overcome either by agreement or schism, would be to seek reunion with the Church of England’s own mother Church.”

According to the website, “About Christianity” the largest Christian denomination in the world is the Roman Catholic Church. The second largest Christian denomination in the world is the 78 million-strong Church of England.

A union of the RCC and the Anglican/Episcopalians would leave the rest of Protestant Christianity on the outside looking in.

The Apostle Paul, describing the last days of the Church Age, outlined the characteristics of the Church under the heading, “This know also, in the last days, perilous times shall come. . . men shall be lovers of their own selves . . . having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.” (2nd Timothy 3)

And, if the Times’ story got it right, its about 1 billion, 78 million members strong.

Originally Published: February 19, 2007

Featured Commentary: The Chronicles of Life and Death ~ Pete Garcia