Battlefield Tactics

Battlefield Tactics
Vol: 165 Issue: 22 Monday, June 22, 2015

The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics explains why paper, trees, coal, gas and all things like them burn, why sand and dry ice even in pure oxygen can’t ever burn, why the sun will eventually cool down, why iron rusts, why there are hurricanes or any weather at all on earth, what makes things break, why houses get torn apart in tornadoes or explosions, and why everything living tends to die.

Science demands empirical evidence; that is to say, before something can be a scientific fact, it must first be able to be demonstrated in a lab experiment. The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics can be demonstrated by closing up your house for five years and letting it ‘go to seed’.

When you come home again, you will have your proof that things, left to themselves, deteriorate.

The theory of evolution requires reversing the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, cannot be demonstrated in a laboratory and is so scientifically suspect that it remains, after 150 years or so, a scientific ‘theory’. The only thing about evolution that is demonstrable is that somehow, a ‘theory’ evolved into a ‘fact’ — all by itself.

But all these concepts are being constantly hammered into people, from turning into angels to denying God even exists, and if we know anything about how the human brain works at all, we know that the best way to teach something is by constant repetition.

Consequently, there are probably as many opinions being offered about how to get to heaven as there are people who have them. At one time or another, all of us have run into somebody who is planning to trust that his good works will counter-balance his bad ones.

Or people who think that whoever believes in God will go to heaven. Others think going to church is their ticket. Some think that anybody who has led a ‘good life’ will be granted admission.

Others believe that keeping the Ten Commandments will get them into heaven.

Assessment:

It is the mission of every Christian to be “ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear,” according to 1 Peter 3:15.

That is why your Omega Letter exists — to supply you with the ammunition and a tactical plan of battle — before you step out onto the battlefield.

The battle is of eternal importance. Every person we meet over the course of a day has an eternal destiny. They will spend eternity in unspeakable joy in the Presence of Christ, or they will spend a Christless eternity in unspeakable torment.

Those who think that living a ‘good life’ — or that the scales will balance out somehow in their favor before the Throne — start out with a misunderstanding of their relationship with God.

“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. ” (Romans 3:20)

Being ‘good enough’ is a belief structure that measures a person against OTHER people.

That isn’t ‘good enough’ for God — and neither is it fair.

‘Good enough’, compared to whom? Mother Teresa? Your cousin Phil? The Pope? Saddam Hussein?

The only fair standard against which God could measure ‘good enough’ would be His own. Since God is sinless, He can not stand sin, or people with sin. To be good enough for God means to be sinless — an obvious impossibility.

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” says Romans 3:23

Think of it this way. If three of us throw darts at a dart board and one gets two inches away from the bullseye, another four inches away, and another misses the board completely, which one of us hit the bullseye?

The reason for the ‘hope that is in you’ is the knowledge of the fact that missing the bullseye means exactly that. Nobody hit it except Jesus.

But in a dart game, it only takes one guy on the team to hit it for that team to win. The Bible says that team membership is ‘good enough’ — if you are on the team that hit the bullseye.

It is incumbent upon each of us, who have been granted the unspeakable gift of salvation, to teach other people how to join the team. Repent (change your mind) about your sin nature and your ability to clean up on your own. Trust Jesus.

“To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the Justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. 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.” (Romans 3:26-28)

“Seeing then that we have a great high Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.” (Hebrews 4:14)

Until He comes. Marantha!

Originally Published: October 8, 2004

Featured Commentary: Sifting Wheat ~ Pete Garcia

God’s Word On It . . .

God’s Word On It . . .
Vol: 165 Issue: 20 Saturday, June 20, 2015

I am always amused at the skeptics’ claim that there is no proof that God exists.  What they really mean is there is no proof they are willing to accept, not that is there no proof.

The Bible is more than simply proof of God’s existence — it is the written contract between God and man that bears His signature.  Bible prophecy is that signature.

Science can now duplicate or explain many of the miracles of Scripture. No doubt that if the Lord tarries, we will learn to duplicate many more.  But there is one miracle of Scripture that no conceivable scientific breakthrough could ever duplicate.

Because the future belongs to God, only God can know what it will be before it happens.  No other deity or sacred writing has that distinction  — and that, I believe, is by Divine design.

God challenges the pretenders, saying;

“Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together.” (Isaiah 41:23)

Consider the difficulties in describing, 2500 years in advance, the geopolitical alliances of the 21st century. It was only 70 years ago that the world was at war. The alliances described by Ezekiel didn’t even exist until this generation.

It was from the ashes of the Holocaust that the nation of Israel was reborn, setting events in motion for the Final Confrontation to come.   Seventy years . . . seven hundred years. . . seventeen hundred years. . . double that — it makes no difference.

Every single event in every single generation from the day God revealed the future HAD to be exactly in order.  What if Hitler’s maternal great-great-grandmother had died at birth? Would the Holocaust have occurred?

Would Israel now exist on that narrow strip along the Meditterranean?

Or would the Jews of Europe still be content in their homes and businesses, as they had been before Hitler’s madness?  Without that single life what would the world look like today?

The Scriptures say that the ‘hairs on your head are numbered’ — multiply that times every single person who ever lived. Every single one of them had free will choices and the choices made by our ancestors, no matter how far back we go, shaped the world we live in today.

Imagine picking out the winning team in the 2234 World Series? Who knows if we’ll even still play baseball?

But the Hebrew prophets named alliances between nations that didn’t exist in their world, and in some cases, didn’t exist until this generation.

Let’s examine just ten of the prophecies of ancient times that are in the process of fulfillment in this generation.

1. ‘Take heed that no man deceive you’ “And as He sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.” (Matthew 24:3-4)

It’s often been said that the ‘devil’s greatest trick is convincing people that he doesn’t exist’. Deception has been raised in this generation to an art form. We expect to be deceived by our politicians, our entertainment, advertisers and the media.

Right now, the President of the United States is in Copenhagen stumping for a global ‘cap and trade’ system which,  when you get right down to it, is nothing less than a tax on air!

Deception?  Not us.  This is the 21st century! We’re too smart to be easily deceived.

2. An increase in the frequency and intensity of wars. “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. ” (24:6)

World War I and World War II were cataclysmic events that shaped the 20th century, but they were domestic disputes in comparison with what World War Three with the Soviet Union would have looked like. For fifty years, the two sides were locked in ideological combat in what history calls the Cold War.

Every morning for fifty years, each side woke up wondering if the Cold War would turn hot — the ultimate rumor of war — that ended only a decade ago. But, as Jesus noted, see that ye not be troubled, for the end is not yet. And it wasn’t.

3. The great “Falling Away“. “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition” (2 Thessalonians 2:3)

The Alabama Courthouse tragedy in which the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court lost his job for refusing to uproot a monument to the 10 Commandments from the courthouse is just the most recent example. I needn’t waste column inches on other examples. You know them as well as I.

4. Daniel Unsealed  “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” (Daniel 12:4).

Until the beginning of the 20th century, very few commentaries existed on either Daniel or the Revelation. Both were considered to be filled with metaphors and symbolism. Even Calvin and Luther passed up the challenge. The words were ‘sealed UNTIL THE TIME OF THE END’.

For this generation, the mysteries of Daniel and Revelation are largely unlocked.

Columbus sailed to the New World 1500 years after the Apostle Paul made his Meditterranean journey. Both sailed on wooden ships equipped with sails, as did ships until the end of the 19th century.

One hundred years later, the same trip takes a few hours by air. It took 1900 years of technology to bring us from from Paul’s sailing ship to the ocean liner.

But it took only sixty-six years for technology to make the leap from the Wright brother’s first flight at Kitty Hawk to Neil Armstrong’s stroll on the surface of the moon.

Moore’s Law says that computer capacity doubles every 18 months. Knowledge is increasing at an exponential rate. There is technology being developed to make computers out of strands of DNA.

5. The Death of Love  “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” (Matthew 24:12) — Anybody else notice how many parents are murdering their children lately? Each of you can make  a case for the increasing tolerance of sin and the collapsing moral structure of society as eloquently as I can.

6. The emergence of the antichrist. Daniel says that the antichrist’s seminal act of power will be to make peace between Israel and her neighbors. Until this generation, there was no Israel to be at war.  The world is crying for a leader who can solve global problems like climate change,  nuclear proliferation, the Middle East, terrorism and outlaw nations.

7. Earthquakes, Famines, Wars and PestilencesMatthew 24:7 speaks to all of these as being like labor pains — growing in intensity and frequency as the time approaches. Earthquake activity is demonstrably on the increase, while ethnic wars rage across Africa and entire populations face starvation at a time when rich countries are throwing leftovers in the garbage.

The entire sub-Saharan continent of Africa is facing extinction by the pestilence of AIDS — while the technology exists to arrest it.  We can make computers out of DNA strands, but the earthquakes, famines, wars and pestilences just keep getting more intense.

8. The Days of Noah and Lot (Matthew 24:37, Luke 17:28-30)

“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” (Genesis 6:5)

That wickedness is the hallmark of this age can be proved by picking up a newspaper.  What could be more wicked than deliberately blowing up a bus filled with children to make a political statement?

Television could be described as ‘imagination in a box’. We are entertained by vicariously participating in the story line. What entertains us the most? Based on the most popular TV series, NCIS, the CSI franchises, etc, the answer is undoubtedly murder, mayhem, war, destruction, occultic fantasy and sex.

Lot lived in Sodom, a place where homosexuality was rampant and widely accepted as an acceptable alternative lifestyle.  Today, there is actually a debate about the legitimacy of same-sex ‘marriage’ so profound it provoked the passage of the Defense of Marriage Act.

9. World-wide instantaneous communication  “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached  in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” (Matthew 24:14)

The Omega Letter membership spans the planet. We have subscribers in almost every developed country in the world.  I was looking at our website stats yesterday that ranks countries based on how many hits we receive from each.  The number one country for our visitors is the United States.  Number two is China.

There are literally thousands of Christian websites with the same global reach. Soon, there will be no corner of the earth that the Gospel has not penetrated. Jesus said that once that happens, THEN shall the end come.

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

I could make a list of such deceivers. But so could you.

Bible prophecy is the Signature of God, the proof of His existence and the assurance we have of our salvation.

“So shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)

The King is coming!  We have God’s Word on it.

Originally Published: December 18, 2009

All The Gold in the World . . .

All The Gold in the World . . .
Vol: 165 Issue: 19 Friday, June 19, 2015

The OPEC Crisis that created the gas lines and recessions of the 1970s forced the US to sever the link between the dollar and gold.  But in order to keep the dollar (and the global economy) from collapsing, the US had to find some economic replacement for the gold standard.

In 1973, Washington cut an iron-clad deal with the Saudis. The US would prop up the Saudi regime in exchange for a Saudi pledge to accept only US dollars in payment for oil sales. With Saudi support, the rest of OPEC followed suit resulting in a global financial architecture known as Bretton Woods 2.

Bretton Woods created, among other things, the IMF.  The IMF is little more than a subsidiary of the Federal Reserve which regulates the global money supply by redistributing it to Third World countries in the forms of ‘international loans’. 

Bretton Woods 2 was designed to hide the fact that, under the 1945 Bretton Woods Agreement, the US had spent all the gold in the world already.

Total US gold reserves equal 8965.65 tons.  That is the official total – how much is actually there is questionable. Representative Ron Paul is demanding an audit.

But assuming that we actually do have nearly 9000 tons of gold what does that mean? Officially, all that gold is worth about $358 billion.

We overspent more than three times that amount in just the past year.  Today any number that doesn’t end in ‘trillion’ is mere pocket change.

How can that be? Here’s how it’s worked so far. The world had to buy oil. And since they could only buy oil with US dollars, they had to hold US dollars in reserve. 

For example, as long as China has to keep $750 billion US in reserve, that is $750 billon is out of circulation. And so on for all the rest of the oil-consuming nations of the world.  

Since these nations had to keep a lot of dollars in reserve, the Federal Reserve felt safe in printing an equal number of dollars to keep in circulation. 

America’s huge and expanding debt is supported largely on the reserve requirements of oil consuming nations and our currency pegged to the price of oil.

The Obama administration has been waging war against Big Oil since coming to Washington, effectively hacking away at the economic foundation upon which the US dollar is propped. 

America has a ton of economic problems, all of which are directly related to global confidence in the dollar.   

Keep in mind that America’s official gold reserves don’t even cover the interest payments on an impossible debt propped up by the price of a commodity the administration is trying to run out of business.

Assessment:

For the very first time since the Islamic Revolution that spawned the 1979 Iran Hostage Crisis, OPEC has elected Iran to the rotating presidency of the twelve-nation oil cartel. 

OPEC ministers announced in Vienna that Iran’s oil minister, Masoud Mirkazemi, will chair the 12-nation organization during 2011.  

OPEC was founded in Baghdad in 1960 by five countries. Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.   They were later joined by Qatar, Indonesia, the UAE, Algeria, Nigeria, Equador, Gabon and Angola. 

From December 1992 until October 2007, Ecuador suspended its membership. Gabon terminated its membership in 1995. Indonesia withdrew its membership effective January 2009.  OPEC currently has twelve member-states.

Iran is OPEC’s second-largest oil producer and boasts its second-largest proven reserves, after Saudi Arabia. In 2009, Iran’s crude production was approximately 3.8 million barrels per day, according to the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Agency.

Many OPEC nations – and in particular, Saudi Arabia are hostile to Iran.  Saudi hostility to the Shi’ite Islamic republic is so overt that nobody was surprised when rumors began circulating saying the House of Saud had given Israeli warplanes the green light to overfly their territory to attack Iran’s nuclear sites.

It is therefore particularly significant that Iran won unanimously!   Why?  At the OPEC summit in 2007, Iran championed a plan to de-link the US dollar from the international price of oil.   Iran has championed linking the price of oil to a different currency, like the Euro, or perhaps a basket of currencies.

The plan was backed by Venezuela and Ecuador but failed to win over the Saudis and the OPEC majority – in 2007.  But that was then. This is now. 

And now, OPEC has unanimously elected Iran to its rotating presidency.   

So where does this put us on the Bible’s timeline? 

According to the Book of the Revelation the order of events are these.  With the breaking of the first seal comes the rider on the white horse, symbolizing the ascension of the antichrist to a position of global power.

It is significant to note that the rider on the white horse carries a bow – but no arrows.  He conquers in a bloodless, ie, political conquest. He’s not a warlord.  He’s a politician.

The second seal is then broken, releasing the rider on the red horse, War.   This rider is given power to take peace from the earth and “there was given to him a great sword” symbolic of what today might be called a weapon of mass destruction.

The third seal releases the rider on the black horse, Famine.  He symbolizes world-wide economic depression.  References to a measure of wheat or three measures of barley for a penny is symbolic of a day’s food for a day’s pay, whereas oil and wine are symbolic of great wealth.

In the Bible’s Great Depression, the poor will suffer catastrophic poverty, but the rich will appear to weather the storm quite comfortably. It almost sounds like we’re there now.

Almost.  We’ve been almost there since the dawn of the 21st century.  It felt like at any moment, the trumpet might sound.  We are so close that many argue we are already somewhere between the breaking of the first and the third seals. 

We’re not.  We can’t be.  The Tribulation Period is but seven years long.  We’re almost three years into the economic collapse and ten years into the war. Israel has yet to achieve any measure of peace and safety.  No covenant has been confirmed.

The world is ready for the rider on the white horse, but nobody of sufficient stature has showed up yet to fill the void.   We are on the brink of global war, but we’ve been on the brink of global war since September 11th 2001.

The global economic situation is unsustainable; we’ve spend all the money in the world several times over and we’re trying to find a way to spend it one more time.  But it’s been unsustainable since the first Bretton Woods Agreement gave way to Bretton Woods 2 forty years ago.

It began to crumble after the Dot Com Bubble burst at the close of the 20th century and passed the point of no return seven years later.  But it hasn’t collapsed.  Not yet. 

All four horses are saddled and ready, but as yet, none of the riders have swung themselves aboard. But they could have at almost any point since the turn of the century. 

All the conditions necessary are in place. But still, something is restraining the collapse, holding back the floodgates of evil. 

Something is keeping the dollar afloat, the economy chugging, al-Qaeda at bay, Iran in its box, America from collapsing and Europe from eclipsing the US as the premiere global power.

We can almost see the events of Revelation 6:1-6 unfolding before us in the immediate future.  But we’re still somewhere just before Revelation 4:1.  And so, that’s where we stand, according to the timeline of Bible prophecy.  

Directly in the way.

Originally Published: October 15, 2010

Classical, But Wrong

Classical, But Wrong
Vol: 165 Issue: 18 Thursday, June 18, 2015

For most of the history of the Church, the classic interpretation of Bible prophecy was the historicist, or preterist view that virtually all Bible prophecy was fulfilled with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.

Historicism is the view of Bible prophecy espoused by Roman Catholicism since its foundation in 323 AD by Constantine of Rome. It was the view of virtually all of the Reformers and the Reformed Confessions.

It has survived as the classical, Protestant interpretation of prophecy for nearly 500 years.

Most historicists take a preterist view of the Olivet Discourse, but disassociate it from the tribulation as found in Revelation and some New Testament Epistles.

During the last 150 years, within evangelicalism, futurism has grown to dominate and overcome historicism.

In a nutshell, the preterist/historicist view of Bible prophecy is that everything Dispensationalists expect to happen during the Tribulation has already occurred.

Preterists/historicists believe that the Great Tribulation already occurred, culminating with the Destruction of the Temple in AD 70, and thus is not a future event.

The Great Apostasy spoken of by Paul, they believe,  happened in the first century. In this view, instead of expecting increasing apostasy as history progresses, preterists expect the increasing Christianization of the world.”

Most historicists would argue that the phrase, “the last days” is really just a Biblical expression for the period between Christ’s Advent and the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 — the “last days” of Israel.”

There is also no room in the historicist/preterist understanding of Scripture for a last days’ Antichrist. They conclude that John was symbolically referencing widespread apostasy of the Christian Church prior to the Fall of Jerusalem.

From this perspective, any apostate teacher or system can be called ‘antichrist’; but the word does not refer to some future Fuhrer.  As to the Rapture, the historicist view is either that the Rapture is an invented doctrine, or it is part of the Second Coming of Christ.

It takes a lot of Scriptural gymnastics to make it all work.

For example, The Thousand Years of Revelation 20:2-7:

“is a large, rounded-off number. . . . the number ten contains the idea of a fullness of quantity; in other words, it stands for “many-ness”. A thousand multiplies and intensifies this (10 X 10 X 10), in order to express great vastness. . . . represent a vast, undefined period of time . . . It may require a million years.”

(Or maybe it means a thousand years?)

To many Jews, the symbol of the Cross is the symbol of ultimate anti-Semitism. To them, all Christians are secret anti-Semites and (accurately) argue that Christianity is the well-spring from which sprang two thousand years of pogroms and persecution, up to and including the Holocaust.

The preterist/historicist view of Bible prophecy, held by both Catholicism and mainstream Protestantism, teaches the following about Israel and the Jews.

“Ethnic Israel was excommunicated for its apostasy and will never again be God’s Kingdom.” Thus, “the Bible does not tell of any future plan for Israel as a special nation.”

The Church is now that new nation (Matt. 21:43) which is why Christ destroyed the Jewish state. “In destroying Israel, Christ transferred the blessings of the kingdom from Israel to a new people, the church.”

One of the basic tenets of preterism is that the Great Harlot of Revelation was

“Jerusalem which had always been . . . falling into apostasy and persecuting the prophets . . . which had ceased to be the City of God.”

The Beast “of Revelation was a symbol of both Nero in particular and the Roman Empire in general.”

Finally — and allow the implications of this one to fully sink in . . .

“The False Prophet “of Revelation was the leadership of apostate Israel, who rejected Christ and worshipped the Beast.”

Think about this. If the preterist/historicist view is correct [it is not] then the false prophet of Revelation are the Jews and their descendants.

Warring against the Jews could easily be seen as working against the antichrist and false prophet. In that view, killing them off would be doing God a favor! 

“They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.” (John 16:2)

If the Lord can break His covenant with the Jews, then we are no more secure than they.

“For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” (Romans 11:29)

And so, among historicism’s chief difficulties is the fact that if the preterist view is true, then the Bible cannot be.   

Assessment:

It is a fact of history that the ‘Dark Ages’  (the fifth to sixteeen centuries) were so-called because, during that time, Bibles were denied to the common man by papal decree.

The Vatican had developed the preterist/historicist interpretation of Bible prophecy — and offering any other interpretation would get you burned at the stake. (So would possessing a Bible)

THAT is why historicism is often called the ‘classical’ interpretation. Because it dates back to the 5th century.  The Dark Ages lasted until the Protestant Reformation. But Protestantism sprang OUT of Catholicism, bringing many of the Vatican’s doctrines along when it did. 

The split was over salvation by grace [Protestant] vs. salvation by works [Catholic] but, other than that, Protestantism embraced and continued to accept much Catholic doctrine and dogma.

Wrongly dividing the Word of God has resulted in the fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy to the Jews (John 16:2) being the standard operating practice of mainstream Christianity until the middle of the 20th century.

Preterists generally see Israel as the modern-day antichrist, believing that embracing Israel as God’s Chosen People is spiritual adultery. That is why debates between preterists and pretribulationalists get so nasty.

Type ‘Hal Lindsey’ into Google and look around. You’ll find his critics don’t just disagree with him, they HATE him with a passion. He’s been accused of every known heresy and then some.

Hal wrote a book entitled “The Road to Holocaust” in 1989 that directly challenged the preterist worldview as espoused by Dominionism and its champions. He’s been the target of every slander imaginable since.

The reason is because Hal demonstrated preterism was the root and branch of Christian anti-Semitism — and his critics despise him for exposing them.

The Omega Letter’s mission is to provide you with the evidences you need to answer challenges from skeptics and to provide you with the evidence you need to prove that these are the last days, that Bible prophecy is unfolding in this generation, and that the time is short.

The Scriptures admonish us to,

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. . . Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.” (2nd Timothy 2:15-16,18)

You can be confident that we are NOT following some newly invented doctrine, despite the charges of historicist/preterism.

“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:” (2nd Peter 1:19)

Don’t allow yourself to be bamboozled into buying into what I believe Paul was referring to when he wrote:

 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils . . .” (1st Timothy 4:1)

God’s Word, rightly divided, says:

“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” (Romans 13:11)

Don’t let your faith be shaken by cleverly-wording arguments that almost seem to make sense. Remember Jesus’ warning to Israel.

“They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.” (John 16:2)

The gaping holes in the preterist/historicist interpretation of Bible prophecy confirms the truth of Dispensationalism. The Lord IS coming back. And He is coming back soon.  

Maranatha!

Originally Published: November 28, 2011

Featured Commentary: Prologue: The End The Book Part 5: Southport, North Carolina ~ J.L. Robb

Them That Dwell Upon the Earth

Them That Dwell Upon the Earth
Vol: 165 Issue: 17 Wednesday, June 17, 2015

According to Webster’s dictionary, “tribulation” means “a state of great trouble or suffering.” The Tribulation is a period of time set aside for two purposes; the judgment of a Christ-rejecting world and the national redemption of Israel.

I’ve searched the Scriptures on this particular topic and nowhere can I find a third purpose that could involve the Church.

The twenty-one judgments of Revelation are the culmination of the Edenic curse; there are environmental judgments against the earth and sea, judgments against animals and fish, and judgments against those whom the Apostle John says “dwell upon the earth.”

Uniquely, Revelation uses this curious phrase “dwell upon the earth”. John is carefully distinguishing those that “dwell upon the earth” from those that are ‘dwelling’ elsewhere.

The word “dwell” means ‘to inhabit’ in the sense of a physical home and came to Old English from the Middle Dutch word “dwellen” which means “to stun or perplex” according to the on-board dictionary that comes standard on a Mac.

(I’m not doing an ad for Mac here — I want to be clear that my source here is an ordinary dictionary which has no point to make)

The phrase “they that dwell upon the earth” is used in Scripture exclusively within the framework of the Tribulation Period.

Revelation 3:10 draws a distinction between those who dwell upon the earth and those the Lord will keep from the trial specifically designed for them:

“Because thou hast kept the word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.”

I’ve heard every possible refutation of that verse as it pertains to the Church and the Rapture. However, one cannot explain away the fact the Lord is drawing a distinction — those that dwell upon the earth will undergo a period of ‘trial’ whereas, somebody else will be kept from it.

In Revelation 6:10, the martyrs slain for the Word of God “. . . cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?”

Again, we have a distinction between the martyrs for Christ and those that dwell upon the earth. The phrase “them that dwell on the earth” is used to describe those responsible for shedding the blood of the martyrs.

They “that dwell upon the earth” are identified in Revelation 11:10 as rejoicing over the deaths of the two witnesses;

“And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.”

In Revelation 13:8 they are identified as the unsaved who will worship the antichrist:

“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”

The Scripture says specifically that ‘they that dwell upon the earth’ during the Tribulation are those against whom the Two Witnesses prophesied, which is why they that dwell upon the earth during the Tribulation will rejoice.

It also links “all that dwell upon the earth” to the antichrist and says that their names are NOT in the Book of Life.

In Revelation 13:14 John says the False Prophet:

“. . .deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.”

Those that dwell upon the earth will be universally deceived by the means of miracles and will worship the beast as a god.

Meanwhile, Revelation 14:6 further identifies they that dwell upon the earth as those in need of salvation . . .

“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.”

Note also that while ‘them that dwell upon the earth’ are in need of the Gospel, there appears to be nobody around to preach it to them. That job has been assigned to an angel.

Revelation 17:8 provides further insight into both the Beast and who they that dwell upon the earth might be.

“The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.”

I believe John is identifying the Beast in all its forms, political, religious and systematic; Political Rome was, but then collapsed, went ‘underground’ so to speak, transferring power to the papacy temporarily — until the political Beast reemerges as leader of the revived Roman Empire.

John identifies “they that dwell upon the earth” once again as being those whose names are not in the Book of Life and who will join the Beast ‘in perdition’.

Assessment:

It is fairly obvious from these Scriptures that they that dwell upon the earth during the Tribulation Period are not Christians. Those who are Christians are pictured in heaven.

Those who get saved during the Tribulation, whether through the 144,000 evangelists of Revelation 7 or the angel of Revelation 14 cannot be included among those “that dwell upon the earth” because they will be executed.

“. . . cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. ” Revelation 13:15 says. That is another way of saying “all” — although John gets more specific on that point in the next two verses.

“And he causeth ALL, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

And that NO man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” (Revelation 13:16-17)

That seems pretty inclusive. One can find within this structure those whose names are not written in the Book of Life, those who by taking the mark will have their names blotted out and those who are killed for refusing the mark.

But those who are killed are NOT those that ‘dwell upon the earth’ — they are the ones dwelling with John in heaven.

In 2009, a crowd estimated at 1.7 million marched on Washington to protest the government plan to impose health care. Can you imagine the protest that would come if the millions of Christians in America were given the ultimatum of denying Christ and worshipping Obama?

However, if those millions suddenly vanished into thin air and Obama claimed credit for it, them ‘that dwell upon the earth’ would line up to get their mark as quickly as they lined up for Cash for Clunkers.

If one begins from the perspective that the Church is not uniquely exempt from judgment by virtue of being saved, then it isn’t really too hard to find verses in Tribulation that might be interpreted as the Church. Tribulation saints easily become born-again Christians in this view.

But if one begins from the perspective that judgment for sin means sins both forgiven and unforgiven, then again, it might be possible to argue that the Church qualifies for the twenty-one judgments of the Tribulation.

But if one simply tries to figure out who John is referring to when he speaks of “them that dwell upon the earth” it is abundantly clear that the one thing they ALL have in common is that their names are not found in the Book of Life.

And according to the Scripture, they are the only ones dwelling here. The Church is present with John from the moment that John hears a voice from heaven saying “Come up hither” in Revelation 4:1.

It would be a simple matter to delve into Revelation and interpret a few verses a bit differently and build an argument for a pre-wrath or post trib Rapture — I am anticipating getting a few in response to this column.

What is not so simple, however, is coming up with verses that suggest the indwelt Church is numbered among “they that dwell upon the earth” during this period.

And if the Church isn’t among those dwelling upon the earth, then where is it dwelling? There is only one answer that fits both the Scriptures and the chronological and logical narrative presented by Revelation.

“For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, 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. . . .” (1st Thessalonians 4:16-17)

“. . . .And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:8)

The Tribulation is specifically set aside for “them that dwell upon the earth”. “Them that dwell upon the earth” are specifically identified as the unsaved whose names are not in the Book of Life.

The Church is not there. The Church left, along with John in Revelation 4:1.

“Wherefore, comfort one another with these words.”

Originally Published: September 17, 2009

The God of Tolerance

The God of Tolerance
Vol: 165 Issue: 16 Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Since there are so many forms of ‘god’, there is a popular myth that dictates there are as many ways to God as there are forms of ‘god.’

It sounds logical enough, if one prefers a ‘god of their own understanding’ over an omnipotent God Who understands all.

A ‘god of one’s own understanding’ could just as easily be described as the ‘God I Made Up To Suit Me’.

The ‘god of one’s own understanding’ is a god whose attitudes reflect his inventor. Since this god has no rules, he is the easiest one to follow, which explains why he is so popular.

We’ve all joked that the quickest way to clear a room is to bring up Jesus as a topic of conversation. At Branson, Frank joked that if we wanted to get the pavilion center early, we could just start passing out tracts. It was funny, because it is true.

It is this worldview that gives rise to the myth that a ‘real ‘ God would be tolerant of other religions, and that genuine Christianity is a ‘tolerant’ spiritual worldview; whereas the kind of Christianity practiced by Christian ‘fundamentalists’ is intolerant and therefore an aberration of ‘real’ Christianity.

It is educational to spend a bit of time browsing websites that offer studies in comparative religions. You will find ‘true’ Christianity defined a religion of peace and tolerance, and ‘fundamentalist’ Christianity defined as a religion of hate and intolerance.

The self-styled ‘Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance’ defines ‘real’ Christianity this way at its website: “An individual or group is Christian if they sincerely, thoughtfully and devoutly believe that they are Christian.”

Where does the ‘intolerance’ come from? It comes from the ‘fundamentalist’ view that one must be ‘born-again’ to be saved.

That excludes the vast majority of professing Christians who put their faith in their self-identification as Christians, or those who put their faith in their membership in a particular church system.

Those are what I call ‘cultural’ Christians, because I used to be one myself.

I was born and raised in an Irish-Catholic family. I went to a Catholic school. I attended Mass regularly. I went through all the rites of passage; First Confession, First Communion, Confirmation, etc.

As a Catholic, I considered myself a Christian. Not because I had entered into a voluntary relationship with Christ, but because I had been baptized by the Church as a infant.

If you asked me if I was a Christian, I would have certainly answered yes. But I wasn’t saved.

The fundamental doctrine, ‘ye must be born again,’ left me, and millions of other ‘Christians’ like me, living in a spiritual ‘fool’s paradise’, endlessly swimming upriver to nowhere.

When I was a kid, I remember wanting to beat up the kid who first told me that I wasn’t really a Christian, and that I had to be born again. He was the first person to share Christ with me.

That kid made an impact on me that was so profound that I remember every detail:

I was in the 4th Grade in Miss Duggan’s class at Our Lady of Victory School in Fort Erie, Ontario. It was in early June and class had let out early as the school year was winding down.

I was watching a group of kids playing baseball in the school yard when a kid walked up beside me and we started talking. At one point, he asked me if I was a Christian.

I snorted in disbelief, and said, “Of course. ” I waved my arm back toward Our Lady of Victory School. “That’s my school. I am a Catholic.” To me, that settled it.

He persisted, “But are you a Christian? Have you been born again?”

“I don’t need to be ‘born-again.’ I told you, I’m a Catholic.”

“Then you aren’t a Christian,” my new acquaintance informed me.

Being a fourth-grader with limited debating skills, I shouted, “Am so!”, before threatening to beat the tar out of him if he said that one more time.

(I guess I showed HIM which one of us had the love of Christ in him.) But he gave me a look before turning away that stuck in my mind.

And I note with some surprise as I turn it over in my mind that I recall every detail of that long-ago spring day when I first heard I wasn’t born again except that other little boy’s name.

It was the message that I remember. Not the messenger.

All I can recall about the messenger was that I hated him for telling me. How dare he exclude me from heaven? I was an altar boy, for crying out loud! What did he know?

As I dwell on the memory, I am surprised at just how angry I was at the time. I preferred the God of my understanding. He and I had a comfortable arrangement. I had done the 12 Stations of the Cross on All Saint’s Day the year before and had earned a Scapular Medal.

Wearing that Scapular Medal was an iron-clad guarantee from Mary herself that I would not die without a priest at hand to grant me Extreme Unction (last rites) to ensure my entrance into heaven.

That was what I had been taught, and that was what I was trusting my eternity to. Along comes this kid and tells me all that time and effort and study was meaningless if I wasn’t born-again!

It filled me with hate, which I immediately transferred to that other kid. Excluding me from heaven was hateful.

Not to mention intolerant.

Assessment:

The Bible says that the system of the antichrist, as it will exist during the Tribulation Period, will rest on three pillars of power. He will control a global system of government, a global economic system, and a global religious system.

That there is a global government-in-waiting is beyond doubt.

Every nation in the world has its share of committed globalists who send representatives to the United Nations to advance their vision of world peace through global government.

The existence of a global economy is much further advanced than is the global government. The global economy is so concentrated that 98% of all international transactions pass through a single financial clearinghouse in Belgium called the ‘Swift Network’ — as the NYTimes so helpfully revealed to the enemy in 2008.

But there is not yet a functioning global religious system. Throughout history, there have been plenty of candidates — most particularly the Vatican.

But, as the revealing Angel told Daniel, the prophecies for the last days were sealed ‘until the time of the end’ when ‘knowledge shall be increased.’ (Daniel 12:4)

As the end approaches the picture gets a bit clearer:

The world is currently engaged in what is alternatively styled as the ‘global war against terror’ or, ‘the global war against Islamic fundamentalism’ — but the latter is the closest to being accurate.

The war is being fought in Islamic countries against Islamic fundamentalists who use terror as a weapon. But the war isn’t against terrorism. It is against Islamic terrorism.

As we’ve heard innumerable times, the enemy is the Muslim who practices the fundamentals of the Koran, including jihad, rather than the peaceful majority who are more ‘moderate’ and only practice those parts of the Koran that talk about peace, love, and, especially, (since it is included in every speech about Islam) Islamic ‘tolerance.’

It isn’t true, but it is the operational understanding around which Western foreign policy is constructed. The bad guys are the fundamentalists who take the Koran a bit too literally.

The good guys are the Jews and the Crusader Christians, as embodied by Israel and the United States. Within each country there exists two versions of religious thought. The ‘moderates’ and the ‘right wing’.

The ‘moderates’ share the religious characteristics of their enemy counterparts. They espouse the principles of peace, love and, especially tolerance.

Then there is the fundamentalist view of the ‘right wing.’ You know who the ‘right wing’ is without my telling you. They are the bug-eyed, spittle-spewing warmongering minority within the larger body of Judaism and Crusader Christianity.

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

They accept the testimony of the Bible as legal title for Israeli possession of the Land of Promise and support Israel’s right to exist as a matter of religious doctrine.

It is the ‘fundamentalists’ that blow up abortion clinics, shoot up crowded mosques, and, worst of all, promote religious disharmony by their insistence on exclusivity. The fundamentalists are the ones who take the Bible too literally.

The entire ecumenical movement is stalled in its tracks by religious fundamentalism. And the worst offender is Christian fundamentalism. The kind of fundamentalism I first encountered in a school yard one warm spring day in June four decades ago (that made me want to punch that kid’s face off.)

The war against terror IS a war against fundamentalism — but primarily against Islamic fundamentalism — for now.

Ultimately, religious fundamentalism of all kinds will be cited as being responsible for the wars that have plagued mankind and will be outlawed, as it was by Imperial Rome during its slide, as a ‘hate crime’.

Especially Christian and Jewish fundamentalism. The ‘tolerant’ god of Islam will demand it as a condition of peace (and dhimmitude) with the West.

“And when these things BEGIN TO COME TO PASS, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:28)

The Handwriting is on the wall.

Originally Published: June 26, 2006

Featured Commentary: Ecclesiatical Emetics ~ Wendy Wippel

I Know The Bible Is True

I Know The Bible Is True
Vol: 165 Issue: 15 Monday, June 15, 2015

Rene Descartes was a mathematician, scientist and philosopher who has been called the father of modern philosophy. It was Descartes who formulated the ‘system of thought’ by asking what could be known if all else were doubted – suggesting the famous “I think therefore I am”. Which gives rise to one of my favorite groaners.

Descartes walks into a pizza parlor and orders a large pepperoni pizza.

“You want anchovies on that?” asked the order-taker. “I think not,” Descarte says . . . wait for it. . . . just before he disappears.

Descartes is another famous thinker often cited to support the concept of atheism. However, Descartes’ conclusions actually establish the near-certainty of the existence of God.

For only if God both exists and would not want us to be deceived by our experiences – can we trust our senses and logical thought processes. God is, therefore, central to Descartes’ entire philosophy.

Sir Isaac Newton was an historical figure of undisputed genius and innovation. In all his science (including chemistry) he saw mathematics and numbers as central. What is less well known is that he was devoutly religious and saw numbers as involved in understanding God’s plan for history from the Bible. In his system of physics, God is essential to the nature and absoluteness of space.

Far from finding atheism in science, Newton found the evidence of God’s existence in the perfect harmony of predicted and fulfilled Bible prophecy. In fact, he indulged in a little prophecy himself:

“About the time of the end, a body of men will be raised up who will turn their attention to the prophecies, and insist upon their literal interpretation, in the midst of much clamour and opposition.”

Albert Einstein is another scientist often quoted by atheists as having proved the validity of atheism as a logical philosophy. There is no evidence that Einstein was a Christian, but there are his own words to disprove any argument that he believed in atheism.

The Encyclopedia Britannica says of him:

“Firmly denying atheism, Einstein expressed a belief in “Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the harmony of what exists.”

This actually motivated his interest in science, as he once remarked to a young physicist:

“I want to know how God created this world, I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details.”

Einstein’s famous epithet on the “uncertainty principle” was “God does not play dice” – and to him this was a real statement about a God Whose existence Einstein tacitly acknowledged. A famous saying of his was “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”

Many atheists actually cite Sir Francis Bacon as having advanced atheism as a logical philosophy. Bacon established his goals as being the discovery of truth, service to his country, and service to the church.

Although his work was based upon experimentation and reasoning, he rejected atheism as being the result of insufficient depth of philosophy, stating;

“It is true, that a little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion; for while the mind of man looketh upon second causes scattered, it may sometimes rest in them, and go no further; but when it beholdeth the chain of them confederate, and linked together, it must needs fly to Providence and Deity.”

“…for as God uses the help of our reason to illuminate us, so should we likewise turn it every way, that we may be more capable of understanding His mysteries; provided only that the mind be enlarged, according to its capacity, to the grandeur of the mysteries, and not the mysteries contracted to the narrowness of the mind.”

Putting one’s faith in Christ is not in harmony with the concept one has to ‘check his brains at the door’ of a church. The greatest scientific minds in all history found no contradictions between science and the Bible. If anything, the more they discovered about science, the more they saw the harmony that exists between science and Scripture.

Every generation in history has had its share of great thinkers, philosophers, scientists and debaters. Since the Bible claims 100% accuracy, 100% of the time, the Bible has always been the most tempting target to attack.

If one single fact in Scripture were conclusively disprovable; historical, scientific, geographic, or even biological, then the Bible’s central claim of authority — that is, its Authorship — would crumble, together with the foundations upon which both Judaism and Christianity are built.

The philosopher, debater or scientist who accomplished such a feat would be the most famous who ever lived. Keeping in mind all the generations, in all the countries in all the centuries since the Bible was assembled, who was that single, brilliant individual?

Nobody has ever claimed the title.

Assessment:

The Book of Job is generally the first place Christians turn when they want to see how best to stand up to the trials and tribulations of life.

I once knew a pastor who counseled his congregation about patience. He told them, “Before you pray for patience, read the Book of Job and find out how you get it, first.”

Good advice. Patience is learning to trust God to see you safely through the rapids of life. Being sinful, fallen creatures, it takes a couple of trips through the rapids to convince us, first. (In that sense, praying for patience is like praying for a slicker and a paddle.)

But the Book of Job is much more than a narrative about patience and reward. The Book of Job is rich with evidences of God’s Truth. In Job, God reveals much about science, nature, physics, astronomy and geography.

Details that no single person living in the ancient times of Job could possibly know. Especially not someone living in the Middle Eastern desert.

For centuries, man believed that the earth was flat. Christopher Columbus was criticized for setting sail to the other side of the earth, they expected Columbus to sail off the edge of the earth.

But Job noted that “He walks above the circle of heaven”. (Job 22:14) The original Hebrew, using Roman characters, is, “Choq- chag `al- pney- mayim `ad-takliyt ‘owr `im- choshek.”

The word translated as circle comes from the Hebrew word “chuwg” which transliterates into English as ‘circuit’ or ‘sphere’ in addition to ‘circle’.

Early man thought Atlas, a huge turtle or elephants held up the earth. In the North sky within the millions of stars is a vast expanse of blackness.

Job 26:7 says the earth is suspended on nothing. The Bible was before the telescope so only God could describe it. Today we know it is gravity that holds the planets and stars in their orbits making them appears to be hung on nothing.

Job 28:25 says air has weight. Science confirms air is about 50 miles thick, exactly the right composition to support life. It’s perfect for our lungs. The air filters deadly rays. If the earth was 10% larger or smaller all would die. We are in a fragile balance before the sun between frying and freezing.

Job 26:10 says; “He hath compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end.” (KJV) The RSV translates it; “He has described a circle upon the face of the waters at the boundary between light and darkness.”

In any case, it is clear Job knew the earth was round millennia before Columbus. Who told him?

Job 36:27:28 explains the hydrological cycle, the condensation and hydrology maintain life, provide evaporation, transportation, precipitation and run-off .

He describes the repeated cycle of precipitation, its evaporation, and condensation in the clouds.

In addition, Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 1:6; “The wind blows to the south and goes round to the north; round and round goes the wind, and on its circuits with wind returns.”

It took modern science to document the direction of wind currents and wind paths. Who told Job and Solomon?

About 4,000 years ago, Job says; “Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place;” adding, “It is TURNED as clay to the seal.” (Job 38:12)

Job paints a word picture here using a clay pot on a potter’s wheel as an analogy.

Job 38:16 tells us there are springs in the sea (this was not known until 1913 when they found underground rivers).

So, who told Job?

Job 38:22 mentions the treasures of the snow. Each flake is of perfect dimensions and all are different. The snow is beneficial for nitrogen for fertilizer. How often do you think it snowed in southern Iraq where Job most likely lived?

Water is heavier than air, and is transported in clouds.

“Dost thou know the balancing of the clouds, the wondrous works of Him who is perfect in knowledge?” (Job 37:16)

Job lived in the Middle East some four thousand years ago. The Book of Job, chronologically speaking, is the oldest Book of the Bible.

“Out of whose womb came the ice? and the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it? The waters are hid as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen.” (Job 38:29-30)

Who told Job about ice and snow? How did a guy living 4000 years ago in the Middle East know about the permanent polar ice caps, ‘hid as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen’? An Eskimo with wanderlust? What would a desert-bound nomad know about ‘the deep’ in the first place?

Job 38:31 explains the solar system. The Hebrew speaks of a pivot or hinge. In the South-Southwest is the Pleiades, 7 stars making up the center of the solar system.

Amos 5:8 says the Pleiades consists of 7 stars. The seventh star was only discovered in the last century because with the naked eye one can see only 6.

Some time back, a series of 14 human footprints with at least 134 dinosaur tracks were discovered in the bed of the Paluxy River, near Glen Rose, Texas. Bible-haters have come up with thousands of explanations, but one explanation is no more reasonable than another.

According to Job, there lived in his day, a beast he termed ‘behemoth’. It is described in Job 40:15-24 as “eating grass like an ox” that “moves his tail like a cedar” — the Hebrew literally says; “he lets hang his tail like a cedar.” “Its “bones are like beams of bronze . . . His ribs like bars of iron. . . “He is the first of the ways of God. . .” “He lies under the lotus trees,In a covert of reeds and marsh. . . ”

Some translations translate ‘behemoth’ as ‘elephant’ or ‘hippopotamus’. A key phrase is, “He is the first of the ways of God.” This phrase in the original Hebrew implied that behemoth was the biggest animal created.

Then there is leviathan. The Bible describes ‘leviathan’ in Job 41 this way:

“Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down?” (41:1)

“Shall the companions make a banquet of him? shall they part him among the merchants? Canst thou fill his skin with barbed irons? or his head with fish spears?) (v6-7)

“None is so fierce that dare stir him up: who then is able to stand before Me?” (v10)

Who can open the doors of his face? his teeth are terrible round about” (v14).

Ever seen an elephant with scales? Or a fire-breathing hippopotamus? Job describes the physical appearance of ‘leviathan:’

“His scales are his pride, shut up together as with a close seal. One is so near to another, that no air can come between them. They are joined one to another, they stick together, that they cannot be sundered.” (v15-16)

“Out of his mouth go burning lamps, and sparks of fire leap out. Out of his nostrils goeth smoke, as out of a seething pot or caldron His breath kindleth coals, and a flame goeth out of his mouth.” (v19-21)

“When he raiseth up himself, the mighty are afraid: by reason of breakings they purify themselves.” (v25)

THIS is a pretty convincing description. The ‘mighty’ ‘purify’ themselves by reasons of ‘breakings’ at the sight of leviathan. (We have a phrase for that in English, too)

Every culture is filled with stories of fire-breathing dragons. The first dinosaur bones were discovered in 1822 by Mary Ann Mantell. (The word ‘dinosaur’ was coined in 1841)

If the ancients had never seen a dinosaur, where did the fire-breathing dragons of old come from? And if Job had never seen one, who told him about them 4000 years before the first bones were discovered?

(Even if dinosaur bones were common in Job’s day, paleontologists were not.)

The Book of Job teaches a lot more than merely how to be patient and trust in the Lord. It teaches that an itinerant nomad in the middle of the Arabian desert knew more about science four thousand years ago than science knew at the dawn of the 20th century.

Although Job told us that light was in motion, (Job 38:19) it took Einstein before anybody believed it.

“For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the LATTER DAY UPON THE EARTH: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet IN MY FLESH shall I see God: Whom I shall see FOR MYSELF, and mine eyes shall behold, and NOT ANOTHER; though my reins be consumed within me.” (Job 19:25-27)

As noted, Job is the oldest Book in the Bible, penned before Moses wrote Genesis and set historically almost a thousand years earlier than the Exodus from Egypt.

Job didn’t have access to large collections of books about natural science, geography, climatology or physics.

Neither did he have access to the writings of the prophets or the promises of the New Testament. Job had never been taught of the Rapture, the Resurrection or of a coming Redeemer in the last days.

But Job knew. Who told Job all these things? The same One who told you. That’s how you can know it’s all true.

Maranatha!

Originally Published: December 20, 2008

Featured Commentary: Global Trends 2020 ~ Pete Garcia