This page contains all Commentary entries for 2015. Use the text links provided at the beginning of each month to navigate throughout the page. The menu below will take you to similar pages for previous years.
*Entries normally include a link to an external article. It's always
possible that any such article may have been moved or deleted.
1/5/2015 — From the "Nice Try" Department...
Anyone who follows Middle Eastern affairs to any extent knows that the Muslim countries in the region would like very much to wipe Israel off the map. They can't and they won't (because the God of Israel has stated so in His Word), but they sure would like to.
Publishing giant HarperCollins has a subsidiary called Collins Bartholomew that specializes in maps, and they recently published an atlas for use in classrooms in several Muslim countries in the Middle East, specifically one entitled Collins Middle East Atlas. And according to an article in Arutz Sheva, the map of the Middle East in this atlas has one interesting feature:
It has no Israel.
The map in question shows Syria and Jordan extending westward all the way to the Mediterranean Sea, the area where Israel used to be...er, still is. They quite literally wiped Israel off the map. Gone.
According to Collins Bartholomew, including Israel on the maps in their atlases would be "unacceptable" to some of their customers in the Gulf region, and that they sought to incorporate "local preferences" in their materials.
Local preferences?! Excuse me? I guess they must mean the local preference that Israel cease to exist.
It ought to shock people that such blatant anti-Semitism would be on display in the books of one of the world's largest and most respected publishing companies.
So...are you shocked?
Not if you read the Bible.
1/12/2015 — From the "Calling a Spade a Spade" Department...
When you are sufficiently forthright to simply call something exactly what it is in clear, unequivocal terms, we say you "call a spade a spade." But world leaders, led by intrepid U.S. president Barack Obama, insist on calling a spade anything but a spade.
On January 7, several armed commandos stormed into the Paris offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and murdered 10 members of its staff along with a couple of policemen in the process.
• The stated reason for the attack was the publishing of several cartoons depicting Muhammed, the so-called "prophet" of Islam.
• The men shouted "Allahu akbar" (Allah is greater) during their methodical and well-choreographed killing spree.
• They announced that they were "avenging the Prophet Muhammed" as they riddled their victims' bodies with bullets.
It is patently obvious to any person of normal intelligence that it is yet another attack perpetrated by Islamic terrorists.
That's Islamic terrorists, as in, you know...Islamic.
Yet according to an article at Fox News, Obama and other world leaders are calling it plain vanilla terrorism. Violent extremism. Nothing to do with Islam. No sir, not the religion of peace. Perish the thought.
Now, if you think calling the attack on Charlie Hebdo "Islamic terrorism" is calling a spade a spade, try this on for size:
Islam is nothing more than a vehicle created and being used by Satan in an ultimately doomed attempt to destroy the Jews in order to prevent them from recognizing and calling upon their Messiah Jesus Christ...which, if successful, would permanently solidify Satan's grip on this fallen world and thwart God's plan of redemption.
Now that's what you call a spade.
1/19/2015 — From the "Best News of All" Department...
In an incredible display of obtuse, anti-Semitic bias, the International Criminal Court is preparing to launch an investigation into alleged "war crimes" committed by Israel.
No, not Hamas...Israel.
It seems that when the Jewish nation defended itself with admirable restraint during last summer's conflict in Gaza, they were committing some species of "war crimes."
According to an article in the Jerusalem Post, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denounced the decision as "scandalous," and said the announcement "renders [the ICC] part of the problem, and not part of the solution."
Of course, he's absolutely right. This is yet another clear indication that the world is increasingly seeking to bully and gang up on the Jewish state for having the audacity to defend itself from those who seek its annihilation.
And it's going to get worse, which is a sort of bad news, good news, worse news, better news kind of deal:
The bad news is that the Muslim nations surrounding Israel will launch a major attack in an effort to wipe it off the map. God's Word says so.
The good news is that God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob fights for Israel and will deliver His people from their enemies, and this will lead to a Middle East peace deal. God's Word says so.
The worse news is that it will be a false peace brokered by Satan's man, the Antichrist, and will lead to persecution of the Jews that will dwarf what occurred during the Holocaust. God's Word says so.
The better news is that a believing remnant of Jews will ultimately call upon their Messiah to save them, and He will. God's Word says so.
That would be the Second Coming. But I omitted the best news of all for born-again believers: the Rapture will occur before that "worse news" thing ever gets off the ground.
God's Word says so.
1/26/2015 — From the "How Do You Spell Truth" Department...
I almost hate to keep coming back to this phenomenon, but it's such a sign of the times I can't avoid it: the West's blind acceptance of what is politely referred to as "moderate Islam" and attempting to divorce the sharp rise of Islamic terrorism from it to the point of complete denial.
They're at it again.
In an article at the Times of Israel, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is again chanting the "moderate Muslim" mantra:
"Don't blame Muslims for violent extremism."
Translation: Don't blame the wet streets on the rain. Note the use of the carefully sanitized phrase "violent extremism," not "Islamic extremism" or "Muslim extremism," or anything else that would give the slightest hint that 100 percent of the individuals carrying our these barbaric acts are Muslims shouting "Allahu Akbar" (Allah is greater) and claiming they are defending the Prophet Muhammed or following the dictates of the Qur'an (which they are, as a point of fact).
Never mind all that, because Islam is actually a religion of peace, don't you know.
Islam is a religion of peace.
Islam is a religion of peace.
Islam is a religion of peace.
Even Muslim leaders are eagerly taking a cue from the Obama administration. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where Kerry made his remarks, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi of Egypt talked about "removing misconceptions" (apparently referring to the "misconception" that Muslim terrorism is being carried out by true Muslims who are taking the Qur'an literally) and at one point remarked:
"No one should believe that they have the truth with a capital T."
Truth with a capital T. The elephant in the room, however, is that, contrary to the opinion of the world, there actually is such a thing as truth with a capital T:
It's found in the Bible with a capital B.
2/2/2015 — From the "Lower Than Low" Department...
I honestly didn't think my opinion of Barack Obama could get any lower. I thought it had bottomed out long ago.
But I was wrong. This is lower than low.
Recently, Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress in March. The only problem is that he neglected to clear it with President Obama. Oops.
OK, here are the in-depth political nuances of this:
John Boehner is a member of the Republican party, better known in and around Washington, D.C. as The Winners. Barack Obama is a member of the Democratic party, better known as The Losers.
And that really is just about as nuanced as it gets.
The Republicans are just getting warmed up for their upcoming two years of kicking sand in the face of the Obama administration, so this is just a taste of what life will be like for the current occupant of the Oval Office until the calendar accomplishes in 2016 what the American people failed to do in 2012.
Of course, President Obama was absolutely livid when he heard about Netanyahu's invite, and went into attack mode. The official White House response was that it is was a "violation of protocol" to invite a foreign leader to speak to Congress less than two weeks before that individual was involved in an election. You see, America doesn't want to be seen as meddling in the politics of other countries.
And heaven knows America doesn't want to be seen as meddling in the politics of other countries. Nope, not us. That would be, you know, against protocol.
And then there's this:
According to an article on the Fox News website, Obama has sent a crack team of his 2012 campaign operatives to Israel to run a semi-covert effort to defeat Benjamin Netanyahu in Israeli elections scheduled for March 17.
Mind you, these are some of the same characters who somehow managed to get Obama re-elected in 2012, so you know they play hardball and will stoop to anything, no matter how far below the belt.
This, apparently, is Obama's idea of not meddling in the politics of other countries.
Lower than low.
These next couple of years are shaping up to have immense prophetic significance, and you can rest assured that America's Prevaricator-in-Chief is unwittingly doing all he can to facilitate it.
2/9/2015 — From the "Once More for the Slow Class" Department...
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has restated exactly what he meant when he told the Obama administration that he would do whatever is necessary to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons:
He meant he would do whatever is necessary.
According to an article at Ynetnews, Prime Minister Netanyahu has reiterated his position for the benefit of the Obama administration—specifically U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who is a leading figure in the merry band of gullible nitwits who are plunging pell-mell toward a disastrously soft, toothless deal with Iran that will leave their nuclear weapons program intact and in the clear. Apparently the prime minister is concerned that perhaps his words were misunderstood in some way, so once more for the slow class:
"We will do everything and will take any action to foil this bad and dangerous agreement that will place a heavy cloud over the future of the State of Israel and its security."
When a man like Benjamin Netanyahu says things like that, I tend to believe him.
But as the only world leader with the courage and clarity of vision to see through the Iranian shell game that has the likes of Barack Obama and John Kerry mesmerized, Netanyahu simply has to go. At least that's the position of the White House, as evidenced by the gang of political hitmen Obama sent to Israel recently in a subversive...no, downright despicable effort to defeat the prime minister in the upcoming March elections.
So, the story to keep an eye on is what happens in those upcoming March elections in Israel. If Netanyahu survives, will he be forced into unilateral action against Iran? Or will Obama's hired guns be able to swing the election against him? If Netanyahu is defeated, would any other incoming prime minister have the guts to do what needs to be done?
Or will President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry snap out of their stupor and suddenly begin to walk and talk like responsible leaders of the free world?
Call me a cynic, but I'm thinking no.
Personally, I don't see anything in the biblical end-time scenario that jumps out at me as corresponding to an Israeli strike on Iran. Sure, I could be wrong.
But I just can't see it.
On the other hand, a new (weaker) Israeli prime minister who is less willing to confront Israel's mortal enemies could coax the surrounding Muslim nations into coming against Israel à la Psalm 83.
That I can see.
This is one to watch. Stay tuned.
2/16/2015 — From the "Green With Envy" Department...
For nearly two millennia, the land of Israel was essentially a barren, desert wasteland. But Israel was reborn as a nation on May 14, 1948, and within a few decades the Jewish people transformed it into one of the most agriculturally and technologically productive countries in the world—a country which, according to an article in Ynetnews, boasts a GDP (Gross Domestic Product) per capita of US$40,620 as of 2014. That ranks the tiny Middle Eastern nation right up there with countries such as England, France, and Germany.
Surprised? You shouldn't be:
6In days to come, Jacob will take root. Israel will blossom and bud. They will fill the surface of the world with fruit.
Oh, and don't forget that Israel recently discovered that it is sitting on one of the largest deposits of natural gas on the planet.
Israel has become the economic jewel of the Middle East. And the response?
So let's destroy Israel and take it all!
That's what Israel's Muslim neighbors are chanting with increasing bloodlust.
Surprised? You shouldn't be:
10Thus says the Lord Yahweh: It shall happen in that day, that things shall come into your mind, and you shall devise an evil device: 11and you shall say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to those who are at rest, who dwell securely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates; 12to take the spoil and to take the prey; to turn your hand against the waste places that are now inhabited, and against the people who are gathered out of the nations, who have gotten livestock and goods, who dwell in the middle of the earth. 13Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions of it, shall tell you, Have you come to take the spoil? have you assembled your company to take the prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great spoil?
(Ezekiel 38:10–13 / emphasis added)
By the way, "the merchants of Tarshish, and the young lions of it" who are standing idly by and offering up weak protests but doing nothing to stop it? That would include the United States.
Surprised? After seeing the way the Obama administration has arrogantly slapped Israel around like a misbehaving child, you shouldn't be.
2/23/2015 — From the "Going for the Jugular" Department...
In a recent speech on the subject of countering Islamic extremism, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani went straight for the jugular, slamming President Obama as being weak and unpatriotic, particularly in regard to his handling of the ongoing negotiations with Iran over a nuclear deal that is widely seen as being one huge concession by the Obama administration to the ayatollahs in Tehran.
One line that made me laugh out loud was when Rudy Giuliani was describing how on two previous occasions Iran had secretly continued enriching uranium while they had a stand-still agreement with the United States, and then bragged about it.
"This is like playing poker with a guy who cheated you twice before...you know who does that? A MORON!"
One thing that occurred to me as I watched the video of the speech, however, is that although Rudy Giuliani is right and I agree with him 100 percent, at this stage of the game it's not enough. We've reached the point where it's an exercise in futility to rake Obama and his cowardly, amateurish administration over the coals...soul-satisfying as it may be.
Obama may be weak. He may be immoral. He may be a coward. He may be an arrogant poser. He may be evil. He may be deluded. But there is one thing he is not:
I mean intellectually. I mean it's not like he can't tie his shoes or something.
My point is that for several years now it has been obvious—painfully so—that Obama has every intention of allowing Iran to develop a nuclear arsenal. To anyone with any intelligence, it's clear that these years of so-called negotiations have been a charade. That's not even the question anymore.
The question now—and the question we need to start focusing on—is why.
Why does Obama want Iran to have a nuclear arsenal?
According to some leaked reports, the story is that Obama has promised Iran it can have its nuclear arsenal if it promises to cooperate with the United States to help maintain stability in the Middle East.
Uhm...wait a second. On second thought, maybe Obama really does struggle with those pesky shoelaces.
3/2/2015 — From the "You Can Say That Again" Department...
This Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will deliver an address to a joint session of Congress in Washington on the subject of the imminent brokering of a nuclear deal with Iran, an address that an article in the Washington Post is calling "the most important speech of his career."
You can say that again.
With Israeli elections coming up in about two weeks, it also may be his last. With Team Obama gunning for him with one kidney punch after another and sanctimoniously denouncing the speech as partisan grandstanding (pot...kettle...black), Prime Minister Netanyahu is facing a whirlwind of opposition.
And he doesn't care. Why? One simple reason:
Benjamin Netanyahu recognizes that his primary responsibility is the safety and security of the Jewish nation—and ultimately the Jewish people. And it's an open secret that the deal that is currently brewing behind the cavalier smugness of the Obama administration will almost certainly leave Iran in a position to continue toward its stated goal of possessing a nuclear arsenal without missing a beat, which is obviously an existential threat to Israel.
Mr. Netanyahu, may God bless and protect you and give you wisdom and strength as you face this critical challenge on behalf of the nation of Israel.
Oh, and by the way, a note to my fellow Americans: I know it's been a long time, so you may have forgotten...but this is what a strong leader who loves his country looks like, acts like, and sounds like. I'm just saying.
But at least Prime Minister Netanyahu has one group on his side: the GAIJ.
The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
3/9/2015 — From the "Breaking Bad" Department...
In the midst of all the hype and hoopla—not to mention heated controversy—surrounding Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent speech to the U.S. Congress on the Iranian nuclear threat, there was one news story that slipped under the radar.
And something tells me that was by design.
According to an article on American Thinker, while the mainstream media was all abuzz over The Speech, Iran was rapidly making ominous moves in Syria.
I'm sorry, did I say Syria? Perhaps I should have said West Iran.
Israeli intelligence has reported that Iranian generals have taken direct control of the Syrian front and have positioned approximately 10,000 troops in a mountainous region about six miles from the northeastern border of Israel, a move that confirms earlier reports that the Iranian regime was planning a blitzkrieg attack on the Golan Heights.
Naturally, an attack on the Golan Heights would prompt a strong Israeli response, and Iran could reportedly call into play about 100,000 Basiji (reservists) in addition to the IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps), and things could quickly escalate into a broader regional conflict faster than you can say "CNN Breaking News."
So, it doesn't take a military genius to figure out that this move by Iran is bad.
Iran seems ready to capitalize on a period of unparalleled American weakness in the region, as it schmoozes concessions seemingly at will from an impotent, gullible West.
Speaking of the Obama administration, last month Grand Ayatollah Khamenei proudly announced that Iran had enriched uranium to 20 percent—in spite of its promises to said administration that it would not.
And what did the IRGC have to say in response?
"Allahu Akbar (Allah is greater).
Khamenei is the leader.
Death to the enemies of the leadership.
Death to America.
Death to England.
Death to hypocrites.
Death to Israel."
Of course, the IRGC has chanted this every day for the last 36 years.
I have a feeling, however, that they may have chanted it with a bit more gusto this time.
3/16/2015 — From the "Fast Track" Department...
In an interesting twist to the Obama administration's mad rush to sign a bad deal with Iran over its nuclear weapons program, the United States Congress deftly tossed a spanner in the works.
According to an article in Arutz Sheva, 47 Republican senators have signed and delivered an open letter to the leadership of Iran in which they school the Iranians on the inner workings of the U.S. government.
Th-a-a-t's right, it's Civics 101 for Islamic extremists.
The letter, which was drafted by freshman Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), explains to the Iranian leadership that any treaty that a president signs that is not approved by Congress constitutes a mere executive agreement—and an executive agreement signed by one president can be revoked with the stroke of a pen by a future president, or altered by Congress in any manner they see fit after the current president is no longer in office.
We don't know what you guys use for toilet paper over there in Iran, but if you and our gullible, conniving president think you can slip a "deal" through behind our backs, guess what we'll be using for toilet paper 10 minutes after Obama moves out of the Oval Office.
As this playground tit-for-tat between the president and Congress continues (to the further humiliation of the Obama administration), one thing occurs to me that nobody seems to be talking about.
First of all, I think Congress is right...but it doesn't matter what I think. It doesn't even matter what Congress thinks.
It only matters what Iran thinks.
My point is that if the leadership of Iran is taking this letter seriously, and I think they must to some extent, then Iran is going to be highly motivated to see the final 22 months of Obama's presidency as a window of opportunity that will close in January 2017, when a new president takes office. If anything, this will only serve to spur Iran to make haste toward their stated goal of developing a nuclear arsenal, rather than scale back their efforts or freeze any parts of their program according to the terms of whatever agreement they may sign with Obama.
Instead of freezing anything, it'll be full speed ahead.
Of course, Iran has made it manifestly clear by its actions and its rhetoric that it will continue enriching uranium and developing other aspects of its nuclear weapons program no matter what the West does and no matter what promises Iran makes or treaties it signs to the contrary. That's a given, and only supreme naiveté allows one to view things differently.
But if Iran actually fears that this toothless, sweetheart of a deal will be scrapped in 22 months by a new president who may well impose even more crippling measures to stop their program including the use of military force, it will give the Iranian regime an added impetus to achieve their goal sooner rather than later—and the sooner the better.
So, congratulations are in order for the United States Congress.
They just put Ezekiel 38–39 on the fast track.
3/23/2015 — From the "Get Over It" Department...
President Obama is apparently still pouting over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's stunning come-from-behind victory last week, and is making not-so-subtle threats to stop shielding the Jewish nation from anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nations, something the U.S. has always been committed to doing.
In an article from Fox News, Republican Senator John McCain lambasted Obama, urging him to:
"Get over your temper tantrum, Mr. President. [...] The least of your problems is what Bibi Netanyahu said during an election campaign."
The president is still throwing a tantrum over the fact that his subterfuge in attempting to sway the election against Netanyahu in recent weeks failed, and the fact that the day before the election it was reported that Netanyahu had stated that there would never be a Palestinian state while he was prime minister.
As a point of fact, that's not what Netanyahu said and it's not what he meant. He was merely pointing out the obvious fact that it would be impossible for anyone to form a Palestinian state today, under the current conditions—that something had to change for that to happen.
His remarks, however, were misquoted, taken out of context, and misinterpreted by left-wing Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz in the form of a sensational headline, but that seems to matter little now. According to the mainstream media, it's official:
What?! You mean Benjamin Netanyahu opposes the two-state solution now?! Quick, you get the tar, I'll get the feathers!"
The misquoting and twisting of Netanyahu's words from an interview given in Hebrew (making it impossible for Western journalists to quickly and easily verify the accuracy of the report) is rapidly gaining traction as an opportunity to paint Israel as reneging on the peace process, thus inviting a crescendo of condemnation from around the world. Not only that, but it is being used to push the Palestinians to run to the UN to get their state with President Obama cheering them on.
It's also giving Obama an excuse to further cut the legs out from under Israel at the UN (at a time when they really need support from the United States).
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes."
— Mark Twain
At least it can travel from Tel Aviv to Washington, D.C.
As this post-election dust-up continues to spiral out of control, students of Bible prophecy should be inching closer to the edges of their collective seats right about now. Stay tuned.
3/30/2015 — From the "Whose Side Are You On?" Department...
There has been an interesting twist in the Big Push by the United States to reach a nuclear deal with Iran. To be honest, if it wasn't so damning to President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, it would be almost be comical.
According to an article in the Weekly Standard, an Iranian journalist who has been in Switzerland covering the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 (America, England, Russia, China, France, and Germany) has defected, and asked for political asylum in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Amir Hossein Motaghi had been a media aide to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, and had managed public relations for him during his 2013 presidential campaign. But apparently his conscience finally got the better of him:
"There are a number of people attending on the Iranian side at the negotiations who are said to be journalists reporting on the negotiations, but they are not journalists and their main job is to make sure that all the news fed back to Iran goes through their channels."
But the real fireworks are what he had to say about John Kerry and the U.S. negotiating team.
You know, it's almost funny the way Barack Obama and John Kerry talk up this big deal with Iran, as if it would reign in Iran's nuclear ambitions and ensure the peace and security of the region forever. They are willingly ignorant of the fact that Iran continues to export terror throughout the Middle East and the world, continues to threaten to destroy both the United States and Israel, has repeatedly been caught cheating and lying in regard to previous nuclear-related agreements, and gives no substantial indications that they will abide by any new agreements.
Yet Barack Obama and John Kerry act as though if we can all just join hands and get this Big Shiny New Deal signed, the sun will shine a little brighter and the birds will sing a little more sweetly, and the world will enjoy a new era of unparalleled peace and security.
And Barack Obama will have a big, shiny gold star on his presidential résumé...his first and only.
So, even though what Mr. Motaghi had to say was a major news story, it's not exactly a big shock to anyone who has half an idea what is going on:
"The U.S. negotiating team are mainly there to speak on Iran’s behalf with other members of the 5+1 countries and convince them of a deal."
So, as Barack Obama and John Kerry paint themselves as wrangling out a tough, no-nonsense deal with Iran that will restrict their nuclear ambitions, the truth is, uh, slightly different. Surprise, surprise.
The Obama administration has become Iran's cheerleading squad.
The only things missing are the pom-poms.
4/6/2015 — From the "Trust Me—Why Would I Lie?" Department...
Well, gosh, I guess a lot of people got all worked up over nothing about this Iran nuclear deal, because the Jerusalem Post printed some reassuring words that President Obama had to say the other day:
"Today, the United States, together with our allies and partners, has reached an historic understanding with Iran, which if fully implemented, will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon."
According to reports, Obama got Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to pinky swear that his regime would fully abide by all the terms of the agreement.
Whew, that's a load off. For a while there, I thought this deal would lift all the sanctions that were crippling Iran's economy and forcing them to the negotiating table in return for a toothless mishmash of smoke and mirrors that would leave Iran free to continue racing unabated and unobstructed toward their patently obvious goal of developing a nuclear arsenal.
(I'm kidding about the pinky-swear thing, but just barely.)
If fully implemented. Obama no doubt slipped in that little disclaimer to ensure that if Iran doesn't follow the terms of the agreement (and it's a no-brainer that they won't if their past and current behavior is anything to go by), at least he'll have the old "Liar, liar, pants on fire!" standby to fall back on.
In other news, Iranians are dancing in the streets over the announcement of the deal, which, depending on who you talk to, is a either a "deal," an "understanding," an "agreement," a "framework deal," or a "framework agreement," and is kinda sorta "done" but kinda sorta not signed yet but should be signed in the kinda sorta near future.
By the way, that popping sound you hear is champagne bottles being opened in Tehran and Washington. For what it's worth, however, the Iranians are the only ones who have anything to celebrate.
Bottom line: Obama and Kerry got hustled like a couple of hayseeds who wandered into a pool hall on payday, and their ineptitude and naiveté have ensured the world will soon become a much more dangerous place.
Especially for Israel.
(And by the way, I'm not kidding about the dancing-in-the-streets thing.)
4/13/2015 — From the "What's in a Day" Department...
When President Obama announced the so-called "framework" deal in regard to Iran's nuclear program on April 2, many around the world immediately decried the fact that it was a complete sellout. The Americans have caved on every one of their original substantive demands, and are in the process of letting Iran walk away the clear winners with relief from crippling sanctions and their nuclear weapons program in full swing. Nobody with a lick of sense missed that part.
But there is one thing that most did miss:
The significance of the date.
April 2 of this year has a special biblical significance that only a few picked up on, and one such individual was Mark Biltz, pastor of El-Shaddai Ministries in Bonney Lake, Washington. Noted primarily as the man who discovered the series of so-called Blood Moons that fall on Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles in 2014–2015, Pastor Biltz noted that on the Jewish calendar, April 2 of this year corresponds to Nissan 13.
(Wait for it...) "S-o-o w-h-a-a-t?"
It just so happens that Nissan 13 has an eerily appropriate significance in relationship to Obama's announcement of a nuclear deal with Iran that clearly represents an existential threat to Israel—a deal that cements Obama's growing image as an enemy of the State of Israel and of the Jewish people. To see why, we need to take a stroll through the pages of the Old Testament.
The book of Esther tells the story of a beautiful Jewish woman who ends up becoming the beloved wife of King Ahasuerus of Persia (Iran). When her uncle Mordecai fails to show honor to one of the King's advisors named Haman, it intensifies Haman's deep-seated hatred for the Jews and he begins to hatch an evil plot to destroy them.
Haman approaches the King with a vaguely worded proposition:
8Haman said to King Ahasuerus, "There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom, and their laws are different than other people's. They don't keep the king's laws. Therefore it is not for the king's profit to allow them to remain. 9If it pleases the king, let it be written that they be destroyed; and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver into the hands of those who are in charge of the king's business, to bring it into the king's treasuries."
(Esther 3:8–9 / emphasis added)
A certain people... Notice he neglects to mention the fact that they are Jews (Queen Esther is Jewish, but she has been keeping it a secret from the king).
After slyly obtaining permission from the king to basically kill all the Jews, Haman puts his plan into motion. He chooses a specific day for the Jews to be attacked, destroyed, and plundered and sends letters in the name of the king to all the provinces of Persia with instructions to carry out the slaughter on the appointed day:
The 13th of Nissan.
Haman is so eager to see Mordecai dead that he builds a gallows expressly for the purpose of hanging him. However, Mordecai learns of Haman's deception and his plan to wipe out the Jews, and urges Esther to speak with the king about the matter. Esther has no choice but to go before the king and plead for the lives of her people, and in the process reveals to him her Jewish ethnicity. Upon learning of Haman's treachery against the Jews—his beloved wife's own people, the enraged king immediately proceeds to put a stop to Haman's murderous skullduggery.
Of course, there's a bit more to the story than that, but that's the gist of it. Haman went down in history as one of the greatest archenemies of the Jewish people in history, and his name is reviled by Jews to this day.
But now you know why there are Jewish people today who consider Barack Obama a modern day Haman in light of his framework agreement that virtually ensures that Iran will reach their goal of a nuclear arsenal in record time.
Now, if I'm Barack Obama, I'm hoping that all of this is nothing more than a bizarre coincidence, because it turned out badly for the real Haman.
Speaking of whom, I neglected to mention what the king did:
He ordered Haman and his ten sons to be hanged on the very same gallows that Haman had built to hang Mordecai.
4/20/2015 — From the "Echoes of Kristallnacht" Department...
On the night of November 9, 1938, a slew of violent demonstrations began to break out in cities throughout Nazi Germany and Austria that targeted thousands of Jewish businesses, synagogues, homes, and individuals. Nazi authorities stood by and allowed the horrifyingly vicious attacks to continue unabated for several days, seeking only to ensure that non-Jewish establishments and individuals were unharmed.
The murderous rampage became known as Kristallnacht (lit. "Crystal Night"), or the Night of Broken Glass, for the shards of glass from broken shop windows that littered the streets of cities throughout the country. Up until that time, the persecution of Jews, although intense and worsening, had largely been confined to economic, social, and political spheres.
But that night, everything changed.
Literally overnight the persecution became physical and unspeakably brutal, and most historians consider Kristallnacht to be the turning point that marked the beginning of the Holocaust.
Fast forward 70-odd years. As we speak, anti-Semitism is roaring to life in ways we haven't seen since the period leading up to Kristallnacht, and it is intensifying. But there is a difference this time around. In 1938, many Western countries were outraged by the brutal attacks of Kristallnacht and harshly denounced them. Even some Nazi leaders disagreed with it, feeling that it was excessive and would accomplish nothing but turn the international community against Germany, which it did.
Today? Not so much. Today, some of the same countries that expressed outrage at the senseless violence against Jews in Germany in 1938 are piling onto the BDS bandwagon (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions), as evidenced by the latest move from the European Union.
According to an article in Israel Hayom, the foreign ministers of 16 of the 28 EU nations have sent a letter to High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini in which they urge her to push forward with plans to require all products made in parts of Israel that lie behind the Green Line (i.e., the pre-1967 borders) to be labeled as such. In other words, the EU is making it clear they do not consider the West Bank as part of Israel, and are effectively stating in black and white their full intention to see it handed over to the Palestinians.
Here's a quote from the letter:
"The continued expansion of Israeli illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, and other territories occupied by Israel since 1967, threatens the prospect of a just and final peace agreement."
Simply breathtaking. In one sentence, it summarizes (and gives further credibility to) the Palestinian narrative and frames the world's case against Israel:
• All of Israel's land that they recaptured in 1967 is somehow "Palestinian territory" (you know, because they want it for their "state").
• That makes Israel illegal occupiers of said territory (in spite of Israel's well-documented historical claims to the land and the utter non-existence of such claims by the ragtag gaggle of Syrian and Jordanian refugees euphemistically known as the "Palestinians").
• Oh, but not to worry, there will be a "just and final peace agreement," and Israel needs to be ganged up on and punished for threatening the prospects of this grand, momentous agreement (the implementation of which will kick off the Tribulation).
Israel has responded vigorously, denouncing the call to label products in this manner as blatant anti-Semitism. Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid characterized it as "essentially a de facto call to boycott Israel."
Which, of course, is exactly what it is.
So the BDS drum beat continues growing in intensity. What's next? Forcing Jews to wear Magen David badges on their clothing in public?
The sad truth according to God's Word is that there are more Kristallnachts in Israel's future, and a coming Holocaust that will make what happened in World War II pale in comparison. The first Holocaust killed one out of three Jews. The next one will kill two out of three:
8And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, said the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. 9And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.
(Zechariah 13:8–9 AKJV / emphasis added)
Of course, there's a big difference between labeling products and slaughtering two out of every three Jews. I mean, we're not quite there yet.
But as the world's pace down the road of anti-Semitism accelerates, the scenery is beginning to look more and more familiar.
4/27/2015 — From the "Romans Chapter 1" Department...
If an article at CNN.com is to be believed, apparently 2015 is the Year of the Transgender. This year, it seems, America is having a transgender moment.
The subject of transgender individuals, or people who identify so strongly with the opposite gender that they may choose to dress, live, and present themselves in society as members of that gender and in many cases undergo surgery to complete the transition, is suddenly on the front burner in America. One high-profile story after another seems to be making the news, and chief among them is a story involving a former Olympic athlete.
Bruce Jenner became an American sports legend after winning the gold medal in the decathlon in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. After shattering the world record in the event, he earned the title "World's Greatest Athlete" and virtually overnight this wholesome, all-American man became a cultural icon.
And now this wholesome, all-American man wants to become a wholesome, all-American woman.
Now, in addition to the tawdry, self-absorbed antics of the Kardashians to whom he is related by marriage, the story of his "transition" is grabbing media headlines these days. Yes, I said "his."
No offense, Bruce, but Homey don't play dat game.
Of course, the transgender issue has been brewing for a number of years, but CNN is right: it has suddenly exploded into the public consciousness in a big way. It does seem as though America is having a transgender moment.
But it's not.
It's having a Romans chapter 1 moment.
24Therefore God also gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves, 25who exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
26For this reason, God gave them up to vile passions. For their women changed the natural function into that which is against nature. 27Likewise also the men, leaving the natural function of the woman, burned in their lust toward one another, men doing what is inappropriate with men, and receiving in themselves the due penalty of their error.
28Even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting.
There's really not much else for me to add. So, I will leave you to ponder these and other rhetorical questions:
What's next for America, anyway? Incest? Bestiality? Cohabitation with demonic beings? How many more signs do we need that we are plunging headlong into God's judgment? How many more times does the United States need to spurn God's grace and mercy and spit in His face in an effort to stamp out every last vestige of His presence in American society before she reaps the whirlwind?
Actually, I do have one more thing to add.
Fasten your seatbelt.
5/4/2015 — From the "Tell Us How You Really Feel" Department...
I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when I read an article posted at the Washington Free Beacon website this week. More behind-the-scenes details are emerging from the ongoing nuclear talks with Iran, and according to this article U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had an interesting comment about Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.
According to Ayatollah Alam al-Hoda, John Kerry admitted to Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif that he "wished the U.S. had a leader like Iran's Supreme Leader."
Of course, this is according to the Iranians. But still...I would have given a month's pay to have been there, just to quip:
You mean we don't?
Ayatollah Obama...it's got a ring to it, you know? And he's working on it, one arrogantly misguided executive order at a time. Oh, but the best is yet to come.
According to comments made by an Iranian dissident at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies named Saeed Ghasseminejad, the Iranians feel about the U.S. exactly the way I've been telling you they feel all along:
"President Obama thinks that by making more concessions he can gain the trust and respect of Iranian leaders. However, Iranian leaders neither trust him nor respect him.
"Seeing unprecedented weakness in the U.S. president, Iranian leaders do not fear the United States anymore. Partnership, trust, and alliance between the radical Islamist regime of Tehran and United States cannot and should not exist."
Don't hold back, Saeed. Tell us how you really feel.
So, the Iranians openly gloat over the fact that they are playing the West for a bunch of chumps, while Kerry and Obama proudly show off the handful of magic beans they purchased on the way to town with the milk-and-egg money.
Ayatollah Alam al-Hoda also had an intriguing comment that revealed something significant about mindset of the Iranian leadership:
"The U.S. and Israel have not been so weak anytime before. All these events are being managed by the hidden Imam." (emphasis mine)
The hidden Imam. The Mahdi. The Muslim savior that Shia Muslims believe is coming soon (amid a regional conflagration) to defeat the Zionists and convert the world to Islam.
Of course, the Bible has another name for him: the Antichrist.
So, by their own admission, here's the deal:
The Iranians believe it is their sacred duty to initiate the requisite regional conflagration to usher in the Mahdi so he can defeat the U.S and Israel and (with Iran at the helm, presumably) usher in the global Islamic caliphate the Muslim world dreams of.
And the West's (read Obama and Kerry's) job is to make sure they have the nuclear weapons to pull it off.
5/11/2015 — From the "It's Called Sin" Department...
Although the article in question was originally published back in September of 2014, it only came to my attention this week and it is so egregious that I felt compelled to comment on it.
According to an article posted on the Christian Today website, a "devout Christian couple" (the article's description, not mine) is promoting an unusual method of evangelism:
No, not as in playgrounds. As in attending parties hosted for the express purpose of allowing married men and women to have sex with as many strangers as they please during the course of the evening, with the full knowledge and consent of their respective spouses.
And in the case of Dean and Christy Parave of Florida, to tell those strangers they are having sex with about Jesus.
If only I were making this up.
Dean offered this insightful comment about their motivation to use casual sex with strangers as a way of introducing those people to Jesus:
"If all the swinger are sinners what's the best way to talk to the sinners? To join them, right?"
Well, let's see how Jesus talked to a certain sinner, shall we?
3And the scribes and Pharisees brought to him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the middle, 4They say to him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what say you? 6This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. 7So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said to them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the oldest, even to the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the middle. 10When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said to her, Woman, where are those your accusers? has no man condemned you? 11She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said to her, Neither do I condemn you: go, and sin no more.
(John 8:3–11 AKJV / emphasis added)
The Pharisees brought a woman caught in the act of adultery to Jesus to test His response, hoping to manufacture some excuse to discredit Him. They reasoned as follows:
If Jesus tells us to go ahead and stone her according to the Law of Moses, then we can accuse Him of failing to show mercy. On the other hand, if He doesn't, then we can get Him for failing to respect the Law of Moses.
So, it's a no-win situation for Jesus—or so it seems.
But Jesus knew their hearts, and silently wrote in the dirt while they were accusing the woman...and I think I know what He was writing. I believe He was writing down specific sins the accusers themselves were guilty of, and it pierced their consciences. That's why they dropped their stones and shuffled away one by one, convicted in their hearts of their own sin.
Then Jesus forgives the woman and tells her to "go, and sin no more." In other words, what you're doing is sin, so stop doing it. Leave that old lifestyle behind you.
Go, and sin no more. My question for the Paraves is this:
What part of "Go, and sin no more" sounds like "Go right ahead and keep sinning"?
You know, I get the fact that there are lots of people today who name the name of Christ and then proceed to drag it through the filthiest mud hole they can find.
I understand that there are people who casually claim to be Christians who no more know the Jesus of the Bible than the man on the moon.
I am fully aware that there are people who smile and chat about God and the Bible who have about as much of the Holy Spirit dwelling in them as the Ebola virus.
I get all that. But here's the thing:
These strangers the Paraves are having casual sex with...just exactly what Jesus are the Paraves introducing them to?
Hint: It's apparently not the same Jesus who told that woman to "go, and sin no more."
Oh, and by the way. Lest you think I'm out to "cast the first stone" at the Paraves—I'm simply calling their behavior what it is: sin. I sin, too. But at least I know when I sin because the Holy Spirit convicts me, and I am under no delusions that what I've done is not sin.
It seems, however, that the Paraves have consciences that are seared to the point where the Holy Spirit is apparently no longer able to convict them of it. There's a lot of that going around these days. My prayer is simply that the Holy Spirit would bring something in their paths that would open their eyes to the sinful nature of what they are doing.
My real concern, however, is the article itself, which has no doubt been read by thousands of people.
The article was written by a journalist named Carey Lodge, and I couldn't help but notice that at no point in the article did she raise any questions about the Paraves' lifestyle. No mention was made of the fact that these people are proudly and openly engaging in blatant sin and are bringing dishonor and contempt to the name of Christ. On the contrary. Their behavior was presented in a fairly casual, neutral manner, as if she were writing about an alternative lifestyle choice.
No, Carey. It's not a lifestyle choice. It's not an unusual method of evangelism. It's called "sin," a word that doesn't appear anywhere in your article.
5/18/2015 — From the "The Big Push" Department...
According to an article in the Jerusalem Post, Pope Francis had a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the Vatican this week, and he presented Abbas with a medallion depicting an angel which destroyed the evil spirit of war. In his remarks, the pope stated:
"I thought of you because you are an angel of peace."
Right. An angel of peace...that seeks the annihilation of Israel.
The Vatican also recently expressed their intention of signing a treaty with "Palestine" as part of its formal recognition of a Palestinian state, aiding the Palestinians in their effort to skirt genuine negotiations with Israel in their unilateral quest for a state—a quest that involves playing the victim card and inducing other world powers to twist Israel's arm on their behalf.
Of course, all this does is drive the Palestinians further away from the negotiating table with Israel, and I genuinely believe that it falls right in line with the spirit that is driving events in the region. There is growing momentum for world powers to get behind the Palestinian bandwagon and push, while simultaneously punishing and condemning Israel. And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see where this is going.
It's going here:
We (the United States, the European Union, the United Nations, etc.) are hereby placing a gun to the head of Israel, and telling them they have x number of months to give the Palestinians their state or else we will step in and do it ourselves by force.
And now you can officially add the Roman Catholic Church to the list, along with cheerleaders like apostate evanjellyfish Christianity.
It is important, however, to understand what is actually happening here. Unbeknownst to the world powers that are preparing to strong-arm Israel into dividing their land, they are doing precisely what the Old Testament prophets said will trigger the final seven-year period of judgment known as the Tribulation: forcing the implementation of a treaty that will divide Israel (Dan. 9:24–27; Joel 3:2).
Wanna see Bible prophecy fulfilled? Turn on CNN.
5/25/2015 — From the "Winning the Battle, But Losing the War" Department...
According to an article in the Houston Chronicle, the Texas House of Representatives has overwhelmingly passed what is being called the "pastor protection" bill, or a piece of legislation that protects clergy from being sued if they refuse to perform same-sex marriages.
This leaves the bill one step from the desk of Governor Greg Abbot and being signed into law in the State of Texas. The bill would allow clergy of any denomination to decline to perform same-sex weddings, or to "provide services, accommodations, facilities, goods or privileges" for any type of marriage ceremony that would force them to "violate a sincerely held religious belief."
This bit of news brightened my day, but there is something looming on the horizon that has the potential to make any kind of pastor protection bill, as good and right as it may be, seem like winning the battle but losing the war.
Every church in America enjoys tax-exempt status under the United States Internal Revenue Code. Various types of charitable, religious, and non-profit organizations qualify as 501(c) organizations, and are exempt from federal income taxes. Of course, such organizations still have to comply with various state and federal laws, but they are allowed to operate under a federal tax exemption.
And just to be clear, that is a federal tax exemption without which extremely few churches would be able to continue to operate.
There is currently a big push to make same-sex marriage legal under federal law. It has been legalized in a number of states, but the LGBT nazis will not be satisfied until they succeed in making it the law of the land. And they are gaining momentum.
If same-sex marriage becomes federal law, then churches all over the United States would be forced to comply with that federal law to qualify for that federal tax exemption they have enjoyed since...forever. In other words, for almost every church in the country, the choice would be clear:
Compromise God's Word or close down.
Don't get me wrong...this pastor protection bill is a good thing. Way to go, Texas. But this type of bill may not be enough if same-sex marriage becomes federal law—and that looks more probable with each passing day. What we need is a church protection bill, because that is what is really under attack.
Pastors may win the right to refuse to perform same-sex marriages, and lose the churches in which they refuse to perform them.
I am still convinced that we will see a significant separation of the true Church from the world before the Rapture. In fact, I can see the true Church essentially being forced underground in the United States in the not-too-distant future.
I say bring it on, because it confirms that we are getting closer to home every day.
The Rapture—the real separation of Church and state.
6/1/2015 — From the "Fear and Trembling" Department...
There is a new game that is going viral these days, thanks largely to YouTube and various social media. Yeah, I know...Ooh, that's exciting. According to an article posted at Christian Today, the simple little game that has millions of young people around the world abuzz requires nothing but a piece of paper and two pens or pencils and is known as "Charlie, Charlie."
All you do to play is take a sheet of paper and draw a large "+" on it that divides the paper roughly into four quadrants, and write the words "yes" and "no" in alternating quadrants. Then take one of the pencils and lay it along either the vertical or horizontal line, and balance the second at a right angle on top of the first, so it is free to rotate. Thus, if the top pencil rotates a bit one way, both ends will point to "yes" and it if rotates a bit in the other direction, both ends will point to "no."
Then all you have to do is summon Charlie.
According to the background story, Charlie is believed to be a Mexican spirit (not sure about the idea of demons having specific ethnic backgrounds, but I'll play along), and the players ask Charlie questions and wait for him to answer by causing the top pencil to rotate towards "yes" or "no." So, it basically functions like a crude, simple version of the classic Ouija board.
Unfortunately, there's nothing crude or simple about the danger.
Interest in the occult is exploding these days, particularly among young people, which begs the question:
Why are young people so eager to dabble in the spiritual realm and seek contact with and counsel from demons, while dismissively ignoring the one who fills those same demons with terror?
33In the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, 34saying, "Ah! what have we to do with you, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know you who you are: the Holy One of God!" 35Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be silent, and come out of him!" When the demon had thrown him down in their midst, he came out of him, having done him no harm. 36Amazement came on all, and they spoke together, one with another, saying, "What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!"
(Luke 4:33–36 / emphasis added)
Could it be because many churches today have reduced Jesus to a politically correct frontman for an insipid social gospel that is light years from the life-changing power of God?
Could it have anything to do with the fact that they have grown up in a world that is trying as hard as it can to eradicate every trace of God from society?
It's no wonder so many young people are attracted to Satan's cheap counterfeits—they've never been exposed to the real thing. They have no idea that those spiritual beings they think are so cool and sexy and terrifyingly powerful tremble in fear at the name of Jesus, the name that is above every name.
Why do demons tremble at His name? Simple: they know who He is and what He can do.
6/8/2015 — From the "No Comment Necessary" Department...
As the world's efforts to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel grow at an alarming rate, one Israeli website has compiled a list of tips for those who wish to jump on the BDS bandwagon in an article entitled So You Want to Boycott Israel?
I know this is supposed to be commentary and all that, but I just had to share this wonderful little piece even though I have no comments to add to it—nor are any needed.
Just take a couple of minutes to read it. Please.
Then, if you still insist on joining in the BDS chorus, rather than stop using all the products and services mentioned in the article that either come from Israel or incorporate technology developed in Israel or by Israelis, do it the simple, convenient, and honest way: dust off your German and walk around singing "Blut muss fließen" ("Blood Must Flow"), a song popular in Nazi Germany during WWII that begins with the following lines:
Wetzt die langen Messer auf dem Bürgersteig,
laßt die Messer flutschen in den Judenleib.
Blut muss fließen knüppelhageldick
und wir scheißen auf die Freiheit dieser Judenrepublik.
Sharpen the long knives on the pavement,
let the knives slip into the Jew's body.
Blood must flow, a whole lot of it,
and we (defecate) on the freedom of this Jew Republic.
And just carry a sign (in English, preferably) that says "I HATE JEWS!"
6/15/2015 — From the "Riding the Storm Out" Department...
Vivos, a company that specializes in underground bunkers and survival gear, is announcing its latest and greatest in end-of-the-world accommodations: Europa One, which is being hailed as the world's first Billionaire Bunker. After reading the description of this luxurious behemoth in an article posted on the Forbes website, I thought it should have been featured in the movie 2012. (I'd like to think there will never be a remake; but if there is, it probably will be.)
I scarcely know where to begin in describing this facility...all I can say is welcome to the Hotel Armageddon. For one thing, it's huge. Located in Germany, it was originally built during the Cold War by the Soviets for weapons and munitions storage. The Germans inherited it after the Cold War, and intended to use it for the same purpose. They were ultimately unable to do so, however, due to laws restricting the storage of munitions near a major highway. So, they sold it, and Vivo bought it.
And now Vivo is transforming it into the Hilton for the End of Days, where the well-heeled can ride out the end of world as we know it in style. And if the pictures in the article are anything to go by, it's to die for (not literally, if their promotional material is to be believed).
I couldn't help but notice that the company plays on generalized apocalyptic fears in their advertising. Here's a sample from the Vivos website:
We have all heard the prophecies of the "End Times." The Bible warns of it. Nostradamus foresaw it. Edgar Cayce predicted it. The Hopi Indians, the Third Secret of Fatima, Saint Malachy and prophets throughout the ages all warn of the same epic global catastrophes that will befall upon the Earth. We have been warned of Armageddon, Nibiru/Planet X, a sudden pole shift, future plagues, an EMP blast, a solar kill shot, a super volcanic eruption, major earth changes, killer asteroids and comets, mega tsunami’s [sic], an economic meltdown and even the anarchy that will certainly follow any one of these events. The truth is, we don’t know what, when or where it will happen; but whether we want to believe it, or not, they likely will. It is only a matter of time.
I couldn't help but smile when I read "the Bible warns of it."
Oh, but Nostradamus foresaw it! And that Edgar Cayce guy predicted it! Wow, in that case we'd better pay attention, huh?
Well, at least God's Word got an honorable mention.
While ogling the images of this luxurious underground Shangri-La, however, it occurred to me how sad it is for people who do not know the Lord, and who have no assurance of what eternity will bring. They fortify themselves with a pastiche of man-made philosophy and wishful thinking, hoping against hope that there is no God, or if there is, that He's a loving cosmic Santa Claus that welcomes everyone into paradise...when He's not busy pummeling the earth with asteroids, that is.
People are so focused on the cares and comforts of this life that eternal perspectives get washed away by vain, fleshly imaginings, and all the while God and His Word get swept aside as being only marginally relevant.
Speaking of God and His Word, there was also this little blurb:
Be ready for the predicted planetary alignment, doomsday, the Rapture, the end times, or Armageddon.
And they have no idea how sad and pathetic (and clueless) that sounds.
Be ready for the Rapture...by spending a huge amount of money for a fancy underground bunker that we guarantee will keep you safe from all that scary apocalyptic stuff!
Listen, I've got a better idea. Save your money and try this: yield to the convicting power of the Holy Spirit that tugs at your heart and admit that you are a sinner separated from God, ask Him to forgive you, and believe in simple faith that Jesus' death and resurrection paid the penalty for your sin.
That's the only way to prepare for the Rapture...by preparing to be included in it!
6/22/2015 — From the "Fire and Brimstone" Department...
I actually laughed when I saw this article posted on Yahoo News. Scientists have recently discovered that the earth's core is lighter than previously believed, and that rather than being a solid mass of nickel and other heavy metals, it apparently contains a surprisingly large percentage of the earth's sulfur.
(Wait for it...) S-o w-h-a-t?
The biblical name for sulfur is "burning stone," or "brimstone." The Bible is full of references to brimstone, either raining from the sky in various instances of judgment, or nasty characters being cast into a lake burning with it. For example:
20And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that worked miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
(Revelation 19:20 AKJV / emphasis added)
Although they may not mention brimstone per se, there are actually numerous passages of Scripture that refer to the souls of the dead descending into "the pit," or Sheol, the abode of the dead. This was a sort of holding tank deep within the earth where all the souls of the dead went in Old Testament days. It was divided into two sections: one side for the righteous, one for the unrighteous. The side designed for the righteous was called Paradise or Abraham's bosom, and the side for the unrighteous was called Hades. (For a vivid description, see Luke 16:19–31.)
In Old Testament days, those who believed God's promise to send a Redeemer and who followed the Law of Moses in offering the appropriate sacrifices to cover their sin temporarily were considered righteous in God's eyes. When they died, they went to Paradise to await the Redeemer who would one day come to set them free. Needless to say, failure to do so bought you a ticket to Hades. So, Sheol continued to fill up with both the righteous and unrighteous dead until about two thousand years ago.
That's when the Redeemer came.
After Jesus was crucified, He was dead for three days before being resurrected. One of the things He did during that time was descend into Sheol to release all the righteous dead and take them with Him to heaven. Now that the Redeemer had paid the penalty for their sins in full with His own blood, they were sinless in God's eyes and qualified to enter heaven.
This had no effect on those in Hades, however, which is still filling with souls as we speak. Paradise, on the other hand, has been empty for the last two thousand years. After the Redeemer came, once we change our mind about our sinfulness and our need for a Savior, ask for forgiveness in faith, and believe that the Redeemer's death and resurrection paid our sin's penalty, God casts our sin as far as the east is from the west, and in His eyes we are as righteous as His Son—the Redeemer.
What that means, though, is that when we die, we don't have to go to Paradise to wait until the Redeemer comes to free us. Those who have been born of His Spirit have already been set free:
36If therefore the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.
Of course, for centuries most people have assumed all this "fire and brimstone" jazz was just a bunch of myths. Scary tales to frighten children into behaving. Allegory. Poetry. Whatever. That's why this news story made me chuckle, and brought to mind something I read many years ago:
The surest way to damage your career as a scientist is to resolutely set out to disprove something in the Bible.
6/29/2015 — From the "Love Wins" Department...
Even though I was fully expecting the final outcome at some point in the foreseeable future, I have to admit this happened so quickly it took me by surprise. On June 26, the Supreme Court of the United States voted 5-4 to make same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states.
Just like that. Done.
While it seems that every company and organization in America is falling all over themselves to jump on the LGBT bandwagon and celebrate their "victory," not everyone is in such a celebratory mood. Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham and president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, wasted no time in soberly pointing out the obvious in an interview with Todd Starnes of Fox News:
"You better be ready and you better be prepared because it's coming. There will be persecution of Christians for our stand."
The tag phrase that seems to be buzzing around amid all the gaiety (no pun intended) is "love wins." And I'm sure they all truly believe that.
But they're not talking about this kind of love:
8But God commends his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
That's love—and yes, love does win. But those who persist in refusing to acknowledge their sinful condition and ask for the forgiveness God made available through the perfect sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ don't.
Such people are the ultimate losers in a game you don't want to lose.
Except it's not a game.
7/6/2015 — From the "Interesting Times" Department...
Messianic fever is on the rise again in Israel, this time fueled by Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, a leading Ultra-Orthodox rabbi who is openly and urgently stating that the arrival of the Messiah is imminent. In an article posted on Breaking Israel News, the rabbi is strongly urging Jewish people the world over to make aliyah, or to return to Israel, before the big event.
I'm sorry, but haven't we covered this ground before?
I distinctly remember what happened back in January of 2014. When former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon passed away after being in a coma for eight years, many in Israel were buzzing that the Messiah would soon appear.
Well, that was a year and a half ago. No sign of a Messiah.
OK, so why did this news item catch my attention? Messianic rumblings are about as unusual as the weekly Sabbath in Israel. What caught my attention is the fact that Rabbi Kanievsky is getting specific with dates. That is unusual. According to the rabbi, the Messiah will arrive on the scene sometime this year by the 29th day of the Hebrew month of Elul, or September 12. Now, as a rule, leading rabbis don't set dates in regard to the arrival of the Messiah. I guess it's not considered kosher.
But it was more than that. What really caught my attention was the date of September 12, 2015, because it drove home the point that we are indeed living in interesting times.
I won't burden you with the details here, but for the last couple of years, Bible prophecy teachers (I mean Christians, not Jewish rabbis) have been focusing on several prophetically significant events that will occur and trends that will converge in September 2015, and that heightened sense of anticipation is reaching fever pitch.
There are students of Bible prophecy who are pinpointing September 2015 as a possible time frame for the Rapture, while some see it as a possible starting point for the Tribulation. Some see it as both. Still others see it as a possible time frame for the battle described in Psalm 83 to break out, or a significant event related to the revealing of the Antichrist, and so on and so forth. Personally, I'm perfectly content to wait and see. But the point is that for a variety of reasons, all prophetic eyes seem to be glued to September 2015.
A few isolated nutjobs notwithstanding (Harold Camping, et al.), I can honestly say that this is the first time I have seen the bulk of the Bible prophecy world so intently focused on a specific month in a specific year since...never.
And now this.
What makes this interesting to born-again believers, of course, is that we know the Messiah came two thousand years ago, and that whoever the Jews end up embracing as such will turn out to be the Antichrist (at least according to most current thinking on the subject in Bible prophecy circles).
So, needless to say, the next couple of months are shaping up to be extraordinarily interesting times.
Then again, maybe nothing will happen and this rabbi will suffer the ignoble fate of being known as the Jewish Harold Camping.
7/13/2015 — From the "Thus It Begins" Department...
I won't say it...I will not say it...oh, it's no use.
I told ya so.
Well, I'll be darned. A Christian pastor has been sentenced to a year in prison for refusing to marry a gay couple.
According to an article posted on the NBC website, Rev. Paul Horner, pastor of the Christian Proctor Church in Proctor, Vermont, has been sentenced to a year in federal prison for refusing to perform a wedding ceremony for a homosexual couple in his church.
Part of the problem in this case stems from some legal complications, apparently of the church's own making. The church is registered with the State of Vermont as a religious corporation, a status which only obligates it to perform traditional marriages. The rub, however, is that the church is also registered with the State of Vermont as a for-profit business, which means it is subject to state and federal regulations.
And as of June 26, 2015, one of those federal regulations says homosexuals have the right to marry.
President of the Vermont Family Research Committee Steve Shand put it succinctly (and accurately) when he remarked:
"It is open season on Americans who refuse to bow to the government's redefinition of marriage."
He may as well have said "Bible-believing, born-again Christians," because that is exactly who they're aiming for—only now they have a much bigger hammer: federal law.
Thus it begins.
The gay mafia that has been viciously snarling and snapping at the heels of the Church for a number of years has a shiny new weapon, and it is the most powerful weapon they have ever possessed. And as you can see, armed with the sledgehammer of federal law, anyone who opposes the gay agenda in any way is in danger of violating that federal law and being crushed by the sledgehammer of federal prosecution.
We have been warned by numerous watchmen on the wall that this was coming, and now it's here. So...
6Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7Casting all your care on him; for he cares for you. 8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour.
(1 Peter 5:6–8 AKJV)
The bad news is that Satan is looking to drop the hammer on anyone who fails to totally capitulate to his homosexual agenda, and the body of Christ is the primary target.
And the good news? The Sledgehammer of Satan is no match for the Sword of the Spirit.
...and the Spirit said, "Bring it."
7/20/2015 — From the "Some Things Never Change" Department...
Apparently the Iranian nuclear deal that has been in the works seemingly forever and has been "almost done" for months is actually done, and will now go to Congress in the United States for approval. That is, unless President Obama's blitzkrieg efforts somehow find a way to circumvent that as well.
In Tehran, however, the champagne is flowing almost as freely as the rhetoric. According to an article at the Times of Israel, Supreme Leader and Anti-Zionist Cheerleader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is praising his people for their very vocal demands that America and Israel be destroyed.
Some things never change...as evidenced by the fact that Ayatollah Khamenei made his remarks at a huge rally in Tehran on July 18, remarks that were punctuated by chants from the crowd of "Death to America!" and "Death to Israel!" The Supreme Leader remarked:
"You heard 'Death to Israel', 'Death to the U.S.' You could hear it. The whole nation was shaken by these slogans. It wasn't only confined to Tehran. The whole of the nation, you could hear, that was covered by this great movement. So we ask Almighty Allah to accept these prayers by the people of Iran."
So, the Supreme Leader of Iran is praying that Allah will answer the prayers of the Iranian people and destroy America and Israel. Well, the nuclear deal the Ayatollah is praising his negotiators for wrangling from the West will ensure that Iran has smooth sailing to its goal of a full-fledged nuclear arsenal in record time, along with billions of much-needed dollars flowing into Iranian coffers that will amply fund their global terrorist network.
Looks like Allah is all over it.
In reality, however, Allah (a demonic being if anything at all, or Satan in disguise) is dancing to the tune whistled by the God of the Bible, who is stirring events specifically for the purpose of fulfilling His Word. And what does His Word say? It says He will bring the nations of the world against Israel in order to purge His people before saving a believing remnant, and in the process He will destroy the nations who have persecuted Israel.
Judging from the way things are going, I'd say the God of the Bible is all over it.
7/27/2015 — From the "Shut Up and Go Home" Department...
U.S. President Barack Obama is in Kenya this week for an economic summit, his first visit to the African nation since being elected president. Kenya is welcoming him as a native son (which he is), but with a warning from 700 Kenyan pastors, representing 38,000 churches in a nation of 10 million Christians (82 percent of the country):
"Don't bring the 'gay talk' here."
According to an article at CBN.com, Obama was sent an open letter signed by the pastors telling him in no uncertain terms to keep his mouth shut about gay rights, same-sex marriage, etc. And if he didn't, he would be told to "shut up and go home."
I love these guys.
Bishop Mark Kariuki, who drafted the letter, hit the proverbial nail on the proverbial head:
"It is an abomination to God...I believe that with all my heart with that agenda he is ruining America because America has been known as a Christian nation. It has been known as a nation that has sent missionaries out. Now it is a different nation all together because it is an agenda against God!"
Preach it, brother!
OK, so what does our intrepid president do? Of course, he goes to Kenya and proceeds to give the Kenyan president a lecture on gay rights in a speech.
What did you expect?
I never cease to be amazed at the breathtakingly high-handed hubris of Barack Obama. And I applaud the biblical integrity of the spiritual leadership of Kenya for standing up for God's Word. May the Lord bless and protect these godly men and the congregations they shepherd.
And just in case they are too polite to say it, I'd be pleased and proud to say it for them:
Mr. Obama, shut up and go home.
8/3/2015 — From the "The Bitter Truth" Department...
According to an article in Israel Hayom, a 32-page document found in Pakistan by the American Media Institute and reviewed by USA Today reveals the plans of the Islamic State Caliphate: to attack India and draw them into a fight with the United States. Not sure how all that's supposed to work, but the stated goal is pretty straightforward: kick off Armageddon.
Let's get this party started... You know, they may be satanically inspired, demonically oppressed butchers, but I will say one thing for those wacky ISIS characters.
They dream big.
Here's an excerpt:
"Accept the fact that this caliphate will survive and prosper until it takes over the entire world and beheads every last person that rebels against Allah. This is the bitter truth, swallow it."
Oh, we're rebelling against Allah. So that's what we're doing that makes us deserve to have our heads hacked off with a knife. I figured it had to be something pretty bad, but "rebelling against Allah"...yikes, that is pretty serious.
What are you laughing at, Infidel? You're rebelling against Allah, too. That is, unless you happen to be a member of ISIS who is so fanatically devoted to a literal interpretation of a book authored by Satan and to a religion devoted to the slavish worship of Satan that you are prepared to enthusiastically cut off the head of anyone who does not follow suit.
ISIS has to dream big, because dreams (i.e., lies) are all they have. And that would be because they follow the father of lies.
This is the bitter truth, swallow it.
8/10/2015 — From the "Pot...Kettle...Black" Department...
According to an article in the Jerusalem Post, President Barack Obama has singled out Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as being the only world leader that he could recall who has "forcibly interfered" with an American foreign policy debate. In an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria concerning the pending Iran nuclear deal, Obama arrogantly and very publicly spanked Netanyahu for his common sense refusal to go along with a charade fraught with outright deception that will ensure Iran has smooth sailing toward its goal of a nuclear arsenal.
Obama effectively threw Benjamin Netanyahu under the bus, and then told the bus to back up and run over him again.
Yeah, Netanyahu...you know, the leader of the only democracy in the Middle East, and the closest thing to a friend America has in the region?
Remember? You know, Benjamin Netanyahu...the guy Barack Obama sent the political equivalent of a black ops team to Israel to try to prevent from getting re-elected back in March of this year?
That would be "black" as in "pot...kettle...black."
I mean, it wouldn't be so bad if Obama were merely a two-faced liar. We could deal with that. Every politician lies—it's in their job description.
But this...this is a character low that leaves me struggling for words. After all, what's lower than the previous standard of "unspeakably despicable"? Email me your suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org—I'm all ears.
On the plus side, of course, Barack Hussein Obama gives us a window through which to view the gears of prophetic machinery inexorably grinding forward. We see Israel being increasingly isolated and being turned into a pariah that is mucking up the works—a key stumbling block on the road toward a better future for the Middle East and the world. A key stumbling block that has to be stifled. Boycotted. Sanctioned. Divested from. Carved up.
And ultimately, wiped off the map.
And that's precisely the outcome people like Barack Obama have in mind, along with most of the rest of the world. But the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has a somewhat different outcome in mind:
1God, don't keep silent. Don't keep silent, and don't be still, God. 2For, behold, your enemies are stirred up. Those who hate you have lifted up their heads. 3They conspire with cunning against your people. They plot against your cherished ones. 4"Come," they say, "and let's destroy them as a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more." 5For they have conspired together with one mind. They form an alliance against you.
13My God, make them like tumbleweed; like chaff before the wind. 14As the fire that burns the forest, as the flame that sets the mountains on fire, 15so pursue them with your tempest, and terrify them with your storm. 16Fill their faces with confusion, that they may seek your name, Yahweh. 17Let them be disappointed and dismayed forever. Yes, let them be confounded and perish; 18that they may know that you alone, whose name is Yahweh, are the Most High over all the earth.
(Psalm 83:1–5; 13–18)
Here's the Reader's Digest version:
Mess with the blessed, die like the rest.
8/17/2015 — From the "They're Coming After Your Kids" Department...
If you are shopping for children's items in the United States and expect to find them generally separated by gender, don't waste your time shopping at Target. In a move that is being viewed by many as capitulation to the LGBT agenda, the retail giant recently made the decision to go gender-neutral in regard to children's toys, bedding, etc.
In the minds of some, "capitulation" may be too weak a word. There are those who view this as nothing less than a step toward the indoctrination of America's children to a society of blurred gender roles and identities, a move that is perfectly in line with the demands of the homosexual community. Of course, that may be overstating it a bit, but the move by Target has definitely ruffled a few feathers and rubbed a few people the wrong way.
According to an article at the Christian Post website, Reverend Franklin Graham is one such individual.
Rev. Graham took the retailer to task, reminding them who made Target the second-largest retail chain in America (second only to Walmart):
"I think Target may be forgetting who has made their stores strong. It's not gender-neutral people out there—it's working American families, fathers and mothers with boys and girls they love."
He accused Target of ignoring the traditional American values that made them (and the country in which they have prospered) strong, and called for a de facto boycott by urging people to let Target know that they would shop where "the genders God created are appreciated."
Rev. Graham has been an outspoken critic of the LGBT agenda and the associated gender-neutral movement in the United States, and added:
"I have news for them and for everyone else—God created two different genders. Jesus said, 'Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female' (Matt. 19:4)...you can't get any clearer than that."
And he's exactly right to be speaking out, too. Now that the LGBT has been empowered by the Supreme Court's recent decision to legalize same-sex marriage throughout the country, the sky is indeed the limit for the homosexual community. You can mark it down—the Supreme Court's decision merely whet their appetite. They won't stop there. They won't be content with so-called "equal rights." They want it all, and they're coming after it.
Including your kids.
8/24/2015 — From the "Your Sin Will Find You Out" Department...
Josh Duggar was a star on the hit reality TV show 19 Kids and Counting, a show that centered around the lives of one really big family that espoused and promoted Christian moral values. Unfortunately, that squeaky-clean veneer of Christian respectability was shattered several months ago when Josh was forced to apologize when it was learned he had sexually abused girls as a teen, including a couple of his sisters. That was pretty bad.
Well, things just went from bad to worse for the 27-year-old boyish-looking ex-star of the hit show that has since been canceled.
Recently, Ashley Madison, a website designed to help people cheat on their spouses—presumably in complete secrecy, was hacked and the website's promise of confidentiality for its clients crashed and burned. Over 32 million names of Ashley Madison users were released by the hackers, causing untold humiliation and heartache for those millions of people and their families, one of whom, according to an article at CNN.com, was Josh Duggar.
My reason for bringing this up is not to heap scorn on Josh. He's got plenty, thanks. Nor is it to wag a bony finger of condemnation at people in general, including born-again Christians, who fall victim to lust, pornography, adultery, and other types of sexual sin.
Why should I? According to Romans 3:23, we're all sinners who fall pitifully short of God's standard of holiness. The only salient distinction is whether or not we've been forgiven by trusting in Christ for our salvation.
I sincerely hope Josh has. Beyond that, I have no special interest in his personal life. Case closed.
I bring it up to remind you that there is no such thing as "secrecy" when it comes to sin. The light of the gospel shines in all the dark recesses of people's hearts and exposes their evil deeds. That's the point. And that's precisely why people run from God and resist the Holy Spirit so strenuously.
I'm sure you're familiar with the following verse:
16For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
But let's keep reading:
17For God didn't send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him. 18He who believes in him is not judged. He who doesn't believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God. 19This is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their works were evil. 20For everyone who does evil hates the light, and doesn't come to the light, lest his works would be exposed. 21But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his works may be revealed, that they have been done in God.
(John 3:17–21 / emphasis added)
All around us, we see sin and corruption being exposed to a degree we have never witnessed before. It's becoming an epidemic, and I believe it is a sign that we indeed in the end times.
2But there is nothing covered up, that will not be revealed, nor hidden, that will not be known. 3Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness will be heard in the light. What you have spoken in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.
Ashley Madison's slogan is...
Life is short. Have an affair.
How about this:
Eternity is long. Don't.
8/31/2015 — From the "Can I Buy You a Drink?" Department...
President Obama spoke Friday to a conference of prominent American Jewish leaders, trying to shore up support from American Jews for the Iran nuclear deal. According to an article in U.S. News and World Report, the president stressed that the nuclear deal with Iran would not harm the "unbreakable bond" between America and Israel (don't look now, but it's already broken). He spoke passionately of the two nations' shared values and beliefs, and repeatedly referred to the Jewish people as "family."
I'm surprised the president didn't break out in song:
"We are family,
Please support the Iran deal for me."
Nearly all the Jewish members of Congress are Democrats, and Obama is sparing no effort to ensure they are on board to support his Iran nuclear deal—which the majority do at the moment.
According to some reports coming out of Washington, it is beginning to appear unlikely that Congress will be able to kill the Iran deal anyway, and so this overt wooing of Jewish Democrats strikes me as a wee bit over the top. Is it possible that President Obama has an ulterior motive for this schmoozefest aimed at American Jews? Well, let's put on our thinking caps...
Could it possibly have anything to do with a resolution to establish a Palestinian state that is slated to be introduced to the UN Security Council later this month? You know, the resolution that Obama has made not-so-thinly veiled threats to not veto—a move that would constitute the single greatest betrayal of Israel by the United States since the Jewish nation's establishment in 1948?
Well, I'm certainly no political pundit, but I do know one thing—and it's no use trying to put it in a more genteel manner:
I can only think of one reason why a guy buys a girl a drink...
9/7/2015 — From the "Let's Fix the World" Department...
The most stunning thing about this item is how shockingly few people are even aware of it. While most Americans are distracted by who said what in the current political posturing for the 2016 presidential election, the United Nations is preparing to launch the Sustainable Development Agenda later this month at the 70th session of the UN General Assembly. Yeah, I know:
"Sustainable development"? Yeah yeah yeah, whatever.
It doesn't sound like much, does it? It doesn't sound sexy. It doesn't sound cool. It doesn't even sound mildly interesting, to be honest. Just a bunch of diplomats blowing smoke, right?
And it certainly doesn't sound scary...until you begin to understand what it is.
OK, so what is it? I'm sure you've heard conspiracy theories about a so-called "New World Order" and a corresponding global government that will one day attempt to unite the entire world under the control of a global dictator (the Antichrist, to biblically knowledgeable Christians).
Well, this is the blueprint.
In late September, the UN will adopt the Sustainable Development Agenda and the vast majority of the world's countries are set to get on board. It includes a list of 17 ambitious, high-sounding goals that include such items as ending hunger and poverty worldwide and promoting sustainable, eco-friendly development, and the target date is 2030.
As you read over the list of 17 of the grandest, loftiest goals imaginable, one thing should be abundantly clear to you: this will require nothing less than a global government to accomplish. In other words, the entire world is about to embark on a 15-year plan to fix itself—environmentally, economically, and socially.
Oh, and Pope Francis is slated to speak at the UN in September to throw his weight behind it, so perhaps we can add "religiously" to the list.
No, forget "perhaps." In fact, I can state on the authority of God's Word that this will ultimately include an attempt to consolidate the world's religions into one global religion that will be forced upon all people, and refusal to swear allegiance to it and worship the global leader as God will be a capital offense (Rev. 13).
The Bible makes it completely clear that what some people are calling Agenda 2030 will bring about the worst period of turmoil the world has ever or will ever experience, and only the return of Christ at its climax will stop the world from destroying itself.
So, take Agenda 2030 for exactly what it is: man's futile attempt to do what only God can and will do—fix the world, because to fix the world you have to fix the human heart. Luckily, another program was put in place two thousand years ago with that specific goal in mind—Agenda 316:
16For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Are you on board?
9/14/2015 — From the "Who's Who in Bible Prophecy" Department...
Pope Francis was named Time magazine's Person of the Year 2013, and that was just the beginning. An article at the CNN website caught my attention the other day, and it brings into focus a global phenomenon that just keeps growing:
The Francis Effect.
Everybody in the world loves Pope Francis, or so it seems. The article includes a number of quotes/tweets from celebrities in regard to the pope, and it's clear that non-Catholics—even atheists—are gushing with papal praise:
"I'm not religious Pope Francis but I like the cut of your jib!"
— Jim Carrey, actor
"OK, that's it—I'm converting. I love this guy."
— Jon Stewart, host of "The Daily Show"
"I'm not Catholic and I've never felt any connection with any previous Pope, but I like this guy. ... He's changing the tone of the way you regard the Pope and I think it is a magnificent thing."
— Russel Crowe, actor
"I might be crazy but I got this weird feeling that the new Pope might be the greatest man alive."
— Chris Rock, comedian
The greatest man alive. These are the kinds of sentiments being voiced across the board throughout the secular world. People fear Vladimir Putin. They get frustrated with Benjamin Netanyahu. They make fun of Barack Obama. They roll their eyes at Kim Jong-un.
But it seems as if everybody in the world loves and looks up to Pope Francis.
What makes this noteworthy for students of the Bible is that we know two world leaders will emerge in the end times: the first will be primarily a political leader who will ultimately fulfill the role of the Antichrist and lead a one-world government (Rev. 13:1–10). The second will be primarily a religious leader who will fulfill the role of the False Prophet and lead a one-world religion and compel people to worship the Antichrist as God (Rev. 13:11–15). After the abomination of desolation at the midpoint of the Tribulation, people will be forced to take the mark of the beast in order to show their allegiance to him and be part of the global economic system (Rev. 13:15–18).
The traditional view of many Bible prophecy teachers has been that the pope of Rome, whoever he may be at the time, will fulfill the role of the False Prophet, while some powerful world leader will arise who will become the Antichrist. There are a number of prophecy experts, however, who hold a slightly different view, and see the pope as becoming the Antichrist. But since the pope has always been seen as strictly a religious leader, the first view has long been the predominant one.
And that's what makes the rapid rise of the pope's power, influence, and stature throughout the non-Catholic world so intriguing.
With Pope Francis increasingly looking and sounding more like a bona fide world leader all the time and not just a religious figurehead, students of Bible prophecy are focusing greater attention than ever on current events. Many see Obama as a potential candidate for the Antichrist, while others dismiss him out of hand (often quipping that it can't be Obama because the Antichrist will be competent). Others are taking a fresh look at the possibility of the pope becoming the Antichrist; but they muse that if that's the case, then who might the False Prophet be? A popular joke among prophecy buffs today is that maybe President Obama and Pope Francis can get together and flip for it.
But whoever plays whatever role, the prophetic scenario continues to crystallize rapidly. As born-again believers, we don't know how much of this we will be here to witness; but it's certainly worth paying attention to until we get the call.
The trumpet call, that is.
9/21/2015 — From the "Just Kidding" Department...
As you know, the Obama administration has signed and apparently shoved through Congress a nuclear deal that will lift sanctions against the terrorist regime in Iran and virtually guarantee them a clear path to a nuclear arsenal.
To their credit, many in Washington and around the country strongly oppose the deal, and one seemingly obvious reason is that Iran remains recalcitrant in their hatred and open contempt for the United States and Israel, evidenced by the fact that huge crowds of people gather regularly and chant "Death to America!" and "Death to Israel!"
Oh, but there's good news according to an article at the Times of Israel. In an interview aired on 60 Minutes in the United States, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reassured all those nervous Nellies in the West that when huge crowds of people chant "Death to America," they don't mean it personally.
Imagine my relief.
Apparently Iranians have great respect for the American people, who are perhaps a bit too thin-skinned and just take things like that the wrong way. According to Rouhani, in reality it's just an expression of protest about past American policies that were against Iran. For example, we supported the Shah of Iran until the Islamic Revolution came along in 1979. (Remember the 52 American hostages that were held for over a year?) Oh, and in the Iran-Iraq war from 1980 to 1988, the United States tended to support Iraq.
Shame on us.
So, when huge crowds of people in Tehran chant "Death to America," what they really mean is:
We still respectfully disagree with your some of your government's policies of a generation ago.
Whew, that's a load off. And to think I actually thought they wanted to destroy us. Is my face red.
Funny, but President Rouhani didn't comment on what Iranians really mean when they chant "Death to Israel."
9/28/2015 — From the "Follow the Money" Department...
As anticipated, the United Nations General Assembly passed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) this weekend, with Pope Francis throwing his weight behind the project that aims to do nothing less than fix the world in 15 years. According to an article at Reuters.com, the question now is where the money is going to come from.
It is estimated that implementation of the SDGs will require roughly US$3 trillion a year, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that over US$25 billion had been pledged over the next five years from over 40 countries and over 100 international organizations. That may sound encouraging, but according to UN officials, in order for the SDGs to succeed it will certainly take involvement from the business world.
The UN understands that for businesses to get involved and form the types of partnerships necessary to make the SDGs of Agenda 2030 a success, there needs to be stability and good governance in regions throughout the world. Clearly, this includes such things as resolving political and military conflicts, maintaining the rule of law in various societies, etc.
OK, go ahead and say it: Where is this going?
The point is that this includes more than getting countries to stop fighting. Discussions of funding have centered around ways to help countries improve the utilization of their domestic resources by developing improved means of collecting tax revenue, cracking down on tax evasion, and stemming the tide of illegal cash flows. To that end, there has been talk of creating something along the lines of "tax inspectors without borders" to build confidence in countries' financial systems in order to boost investment. According to the article, the money is out there—we just have to get better control of it.
It was at this point in reading the article that a little light went off in my head, and I had one of those forehead-smacking "It's all clear to me now!" moments. It also reminded me of the old adage about how to get to the bottom of something shady:
Follow the money.
To pay for this grand plan to fix the world, all we have to do is get control of the money in regions all over the world on a local level.
And it's a shockingly short step from "local" to "personal."
That's where this is going:
16He causes all, the small and the great, the rich and the poor, and the free and the slave, to be given marks on their right hands, or on their foreheads; 17and that no one would be able to buy or to sell, unless he has that mark, the name of the beast or the number of his name.
A mark. A chip. In the right hand or forehead.
That's personal. And without it, you will be unable to engage in any type of commercial activity. The point is that it's clear that the implementation of the SDGs of Agenda 2030 will ultimately motivate the creation of exactly the type of personal economic controls described in the book of Revelation. It would fit the bill perfectly, and obviously there will be strong pressure to go along with it since, after all, we're doing it to fix the world.
You do want to fix the world, don't you?
10/5/2015 — From the "All Hail King Vlad" Department...
He hesitated. He pontificated. He vacillated. He drew and erased one red line after another. And now President Barack Obama has been unceremoniously upended, one-upped, and edged out of the situation in Syria by President Vladimir Putin of Russia. The music stopped, and Obama was the one who found himself without a chair.
Russia started launching airstrikes against Syrian rebel positions (oops, I mean ISIS strongholds) several days ago, while effectively telling Obama to go to the back of the classroom and stand in the corner. And as Putin and Iranian President Rouhani sign each other's yearbooks, these BFFs are forging ahead with wave upon wave of cooperation in keeping their favorite puppet Bashar al-Assad in power.
And to hear the Russian media tell it, Jesus Christ just came back, and surprise! He's Russian. And He goes by "King Vlad."
And I thought Obama had the liberal media in the U.S. in his back pocket.
According to an article at Bloomberg.com, the Russian media is pulling out all the stops to frame Putin as the savior of the world for his bold military move that is being hailed as "halting World War III," according to Vladimir Zhirinovsky of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia. He went on to stick it to Obama by adding:
"Someone, after all, has to clean up the mess the U.S. created in the Middle East, which threatens the fabric of civilization."
Don't look now, but this is clearly major stage setting for the battle of Ezekiel 38–39, and is a key story to keep an eye on.
And a note to the Russian media:
No, Jesus didn't just come back. And He's not Russian.
But He did just get a little closer.
As did Ezekiel 38–39.
10/12/2015 — From the "Ears to Hear" Department...
As tensions on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem escalate, it is becoming apparent that the hearts of the Jewish people are being stirred. And God is doing the stirring.
If Jews ascend the Temple Mount (which the rabbis tell them not to do for fear of inadvertently desecrating a holy site), they are closely monitored. It is illegal for them to pray at the holiest site in all of Judaism, although some are occasionally caught praying silently, and are stopped by Temple guards for even moving their lips.
A few days ago, a Jewish man was arrested on the Temple Mount for praying, but this time was different. This guy wasn't trying to be discreet or secretive about it. He wasn't trying to hide it. He wasn't just silently moving his lips or whispering under his breath in order to avoid detection.
He was p-r-a-y-i-n-g. Out loud, so everone could hear him.
This young Israeli man asked the Israeli police on the Temple Mount to tell the Muslim Waqf (Temple Mount guards) not to follow them. So, with video camera rolling, he and several other Israelis were there with several Israeli policemen, and the following is a rough translation of some of what the young man says in the two-minute video:
"The answer to this terror which has spread throughout all Jerusalem is to be here on the Temple Mount. But while we vacillate and hesitate over whether the Temple Mount is even ours, and we passively accept our status here as 'visitors,' then this is where the terror begins. We are giving them (Muslims) hope that they can continue and escalate their violence. It begins here.
(At this point policemen are trying to stop him and get him to shut up, but to no avail.)
"The status quo on the Temple Mount is a murderous status quo. As long as Jews are forbidden from praying on the Temple Mount, it creates a situation in which terror spreads throughout all the land. Therefore I call upon all Israeli citizens to come to the Temple Mount and change the status quo, and to come here and say out loud: 'If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember you, let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.'
The Scripture he quotes is Psalm 137:5–6. Then he places his right hand over his eyes in the traditional manner and proceeds to belt out the Shema from Deuteronomy 6:4, one of the most fundamental prayers in Judaism:
"Shema Yisrael, Adonai eloheinu Adonai echad."
(Hear O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one.)
As I watched the police drag him off at the end of the video, the thought occurred to me that God is calling His people Israel to return to Him. It's starting. God is stirring the hearts of His people—may many more have ears to hear.
10/19/2015 — From the "Shout It From the Rooftops" Department...
I mentioned in a Commentary entry not long ago that Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, one of the top spiritual leaders in Israel, was stating that the Messiah was going to come by the end of the recent Shemitah year, or in September 2015. Apparently the article I was quoting was slightly misleading, because according to an article posted on the Breaking Israel News website, it turns out that what he meant was that the Messiah would come in the year following the Shemitah, or between September 13, 2015 and October 2, 2016. This period is also a jubilee year, or the end of a seven-Shemitah cycle of 49 years.
Rabbi Chizkiyahu Mishkovsky, the spiritual adviser for several of the top Jewish seminaries in Israel, has more or less become Kanievky's spokesman, and the elderly rabbi has given Mishkovsky the mission of announcing the imminent arrival of the Messiah.
According to Mishkovsky, Rabbi Kanievsky even told him how to do it:
"I asked the rabbi, 'How will I let it be known? Yell it into a loudspeaker?' And the rabbi said, 'Yes, take a loudspeaker and go around the whole country to tell this to the people. Yell it out loud.'"
Shout it from the rooftops, and the message being shouted is this:
"We are in one of the most critical hours for the nation of Israel. We are on the threshold of the Messiah, and the Messiah is standing just outside the door, and the only way to be saved is through learning Torah, and through works of loving kindness."
The Torah. Good works. In other words, nothing has changed in the minds of Jews for several millennia:
The only way to be saved—to be considered righteous in God's eyes—is by keeping the Law of Moses.
And it's the same mindset that the Pharisees were immersed in when Jesus stood in their midst and proclaimed:
7You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying,
8"These people draw near to me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
9And in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrine rules made by men."
The overarching message of the entire New Testament is that righteousness is achieved through faith in Christ's righteousness, not slavery to the law. The law only pointed to Christ, who fulfilled it perfectly on our behalf because we couldn't. Two thousand years later, the Jews still refuse to accept that.
Only God Himself will ever convince them otherwise...and He will. It will take the purging of the Great Tribulation to do it, but He will. God will open their eyes to the fact that salvation is only through repentance and faith in His Son's atonement for sin, something the law could never do.
Shout it from the rooftops.
10/26/2015 — From the "Another One Bites the Dust" Department...
People often talk about the "unbreakable bond" between America and Israel, and many seem to have the idea that the United States is more or less Israel's only friend in the world. At least officially.
That's not entirely true, however. Several other (mostly Western) countries have maintained favorable, supportive relationships with the Jewish nation over the years, some of which have been even more supportive than the United States has been, especially over the last decade or so.
Especially under the current Sunni Muslim occupant of the Oval Office named Barack Hussein Obama.
Chief among these has been Canada. Stephen Harper was elected Prime Minister of Canada in 2006, and one thing that characterized his administration was his staunch, unwavering support for Israel. As America slapped Israel around like a naughty stepchild, Canada became Israel's strongest, most loyal ally under Harper's leadership, and his track record at the UN backed it up again and again.
Stephen Harper unflinchingly supported Israel, even though it was unpopular, made enemies, and came with a cost.
For example, in 2010 Canada failed to win a two-year seat on the United Nations Security Council. This was unprecedented, and it was attributed directly to Harper's vocal support of Israel and his outspoken criticism of the UN's harshly biased treatment of the Jewish nation.
But Harper stood his ground, and supported Israel all the more.
In Canada this week, however, Harper's tenure as Prime Minister came to an end. He was defeated at the polls by Justin Trudeau of the Liberal Party. Justin Trudeau, son of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, leans in the popular direction of those who wish to browbeat Israel into submission as illegal occupiers of Palestinian land.
And only a month ago, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot, also a strong supporter of Israel, was voted out of office.
So, another one bites the dust.
Why is this happening?!
I'm glad you asked:
2Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling to all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. 3And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.
(Zechariah 12:2–3 AKJV / emphasis added)
These men were holding up the fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
As I remove my tongue from my cheek, let me end with this:
Mr. Harper and Mr. Abbot, I thank and praise God there are still men like you in the world today—men of faith and moral courage who are unafraid to stand up for what is right and just, and to bless and support God's people in accordance with His Word, no matter the cost. I pray that God would continue to bless and protect you and your families in the days to come.
11/2/2015 — From the "Political Theater" Department...
In last week's Commentary entry, I mentioned that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper had been defeated in national elections by Justin Trudeau, son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. I wrote about what a strong supporter of Israel Stephen Harper had been, and how Israel had lost their last major friend in the world. I mentioned how Justin Trudeau "leans in the popular direction of those who wish to browbeat Israel into submission as illegal occupiers of Palestinian land." At the time of that writing, I was hoping I wasn't overstating the case. I now know that I wasn't.
According to an article posted at FrontPageMag.com, it's worse than I thought:
Justin Trudeau is Canada's Obama.
Just like Obama, Trudeau has consistently and obtusely downplayed the connections between Islamic terrorism and Islam. Just like Obama, Trudeau has been swayed by the winds of liberal political correctness to view Islam and those who commit heinous acts of terrorism in its name through rose-colored glasses for the political capital to be gained. Just like Obama, Trudeau has teased the public with hints that he may actually be Muslim.
In Obama's case, it isn't teasing. He is Muslim. He just lies about it the way he lies about everything else.
In Trudeau's case, it's the political equivalent of cosplay. He isn't Muslim, and everyone knows it.
In 2013 Trudeau participated in Canada's largest Islamic conference called "Reviving the Islamic Spirit," an event sponsored by IRFAN (International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy), a group with known ties to Islamic terrorist organization Hamas. Oh, and when I say he "participated," I mean he participated.
At the event, Trudeau dressed up in Islamic clothing, danced Islamic dances, and sang Islamic songs. Oh, and he also recited the Islamic profession of faith, or the shahada:
There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger.
The sole requirement in Islamic law to become a Muslim is to recite the shahada in the presence of two or more Muslim men. And just so you know, this is what thousands of Christians in the Middle East have been murdered in unspeakably gruesome ways for refusing to say, while Justin Trudeau says it to win a few votes.
Of course, few in Canada are buying the notion that Trudeau actually converted to Islam, including Canadian Muslims—they know enough to know he's not one of them. They see through the skin-deep affectations of a man seeking to curry favor with the Muslim community (and any other group he can persuade to vote for him).
In other words, most in Canada see this for what it is: political theater.
But back to the real world. After his election win, newly elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau received a telephone call from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, congratulating him on his victory. In that phone call, Trudeau reportedly told Netanyahu that Canada would still be a "friend" to Israel, but there would be a "shift in tone."
A shift in tone? The only "shift in tone" I see coming from a man like Justin Trudeau is a shift away from genuinely supporting Israel to pressuring Israel to give in to demands to give away portions of her land and half of Jerusalem to terrorists hell-bent on her destruction in exchange for an illusory peace.
All Benjamin Netanyahu can do is vainly hope that Trudeau's "shift in tone" is as phony as his recitation of the shahada.
I fear, however, that this "shift in tone" in regard to Israel is one of the few aspects of Mr. Trudeau's politics that isn't theater.
11/9/2015 — From the "Winds of Change" Department...
This news item isn't exactly news, but a recent article in the Washington Post is interesting simply because it substantiates what nearly every Christian in America already knows:
Christians in America don't have home-field advantage anymore.
Quoting the most recent information from the Pew Research Center, the article makes the point that America, quite simply, is becoming less of a Christian nation and more of a secular nation.
(Told ya it wasn't exactly news.)
The article describes how America has always had a "cultural cushion" for devoted Christians, or a society in which even non-religious people had a tacit acceptance of basic Christian belief. In other words, Christians in America have long enjoyed a cultural backdrop that they could easily blend in with, or at least not stand out against. However, it seems this so-called "home-field advantage" the Church has enjoyed in America since the beginning is fading fast, and it has reached the point where it can no longer be assumed.
That cultural cushion consisted of millions of nominal Christians or "Christians in name only" and people who, even if they didn't practice or follow biblical Christianity to any degree, were at least tolerant of those who did and helped maintain a sense we were all on the same team, religiously speaking.
According to the Pew research, though, that is distinctly less true now than at any point in our history. The bottom line is that born-again, Bible-believing Christians that hold firmly to a biblical world view are beginning to stand out in America—and not in a good way.
Nor in a surprising way:
11Blessed are you when people reproach you, persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
I am fully convinced this separation of the true Church from the world (particularly in America) is something that will continue and intensify prior to the Rapture, and that's because I believe God is going to want the world to know exactly who it is that has been removed. Not only that, but I believe the knowledge of who is missing will convince many of the truth of the gospel and of the Bible and thus will spark the revival that will bring millions of Tribulation saints to faith.
Winds of change? Let 'em blow.
11/16/2015 — From the "Calling a Spade a Spade" Department...
President Obama responded to the recent Paris terrorist attacks carried out by Islamic extremists, and he's sticking to the party line: Muslim terrorists aren't Muslim, and Islamic extremism isn't Islamic. You can call a spade anything but a spade. That's the current policy.
In yet another display of willful blindness, Obama's remarks are completely devoid of the m-word and the i-word: "Muslim" and "Islamic."
He seemed to go a step beyond his usual cluelessness-by-design approach this time, however, as he oh so cautiously remarked:
"I don't want to speculate at this point in terms of who was responsible for this."
I don't want to speculate? Excuse me? Uh, Mr. President, ISIS, the world's leading Islamic terrorist organization (remember them?), has already publicly claimed responsibility. So, lucky you. We don't need you to speculate, thank you very much.
Everybody already knows...well, everybody except you, evidently. We all knew the moment we heard the news.
And to the surprise of no one, it has now been confirmed that at least one of the Islamic radicals involved in the attacks was a faux "refugee" who slipped into the country along with thousands of legitimate refugees who are suffering terribly from the violence perpetrated by those same Islamic extremists.
So don't worry, Mr. Obama. Your insipid, politically correct drivel is being drowned out by thundering choruses of "TOLD YA SO!"
Vice President Joe Biden continued the "leadership by sound bite" approach that is de rigeur in the Obama administration by asserting:
"We will respond. We will overcome. We will endure."
Translation: "We will spout nuanced rhetoric. We will waffle and equivocate. We will sink into irrelevance."
Relevance to Bible prophecy? Due to America's apparent absence from it, many believe our nation will be judged and cast down from its position of global dominance to make way for more prophetically significant players to have at it.
The bad news? As far as that assessment goes, ISIS is all in.
The worse news? That judgment was already well underway before ISIS ever came along—and it seems as though it's about to get ramped up.
11/23/2015 — From the "You Don't Say" Department...
Well, at least they're honest.
Police authorities in Greece are admitting what most of us already knew—it's impossible to effectively monitor and screen the flood of refugees flowing out of Syria and into other countries for terrorists.
Not difficult. Impossible.
Authorities in Greece are openly admitting that, in the face of a crushing torrent of refugees, they simply don't know who is coming through their country.
You don't say.
To their credit, Greek authorities are making superhuman efforts to do detailed security checks, register immigrants, create a database of fingerprints, etc. This is not their fault. They are doing everything that can possibly be done, but jihadists have already proven that they can in fact defeat the system and pass back and forth through Greece and other European countries virtually at will. Syrians can receive official new papers in Syria bearing whatever name they give the authorities, especially if they have a few bucks. As a result, many of these "refugees" have totally legal, 100 percent official documents that must be accepted—not fake ones that might be detected and rejected.
At best, it can only be determined well after the fact that a certain individual passed (past tense) through the country. Case in point: 28-year-old Abdelhamid Abaaoud, architect of the Paris terrorist attacks.
Immigration systems and the authorities who run them are being overwhelmed, both fake and "genuine" documents are readily available at a price, and the best efforts and intentions of any government are simply no match.
And Obama mocks those who have enough sense to say "no more" as being afraid of widows and orphans.
They're not just coming—they're already here.
11/30/2015 — From the "Why Didn't I Think of That" Department...
The way in which things have been shaping up in the Middle East over the last few years has fueled much speculation on the part of Bible prophecy teachers about Ezekiel 38–39, or the battle of Gog Magog. This prophecy (which has never been fulfilled in history), appears to describe a Russian-led coalition that includes Iran and several other Middle Eastern nations that will descend upon Israel with the intent of destroying the Jewish nation and taking a "great spoil."
Well, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to sort out what the "great spoil" might be: natural gas and oil deposits that have been found in Israel recently that dwarf anything else on the planet.
That's a no-brainer.
What isn't so obvious, however, is what species of pretense might be used to justify the invasion. I mean, it's not as if President Vladimir Putin of Russia could just make a speech and say:
"Hey, we're coming to take your oil...heh heh."
Enter the Grand Mufti.
In any country (Muslim or non-Muslim) with a significant population of Sunni Muslims (Russia has about 16 million Muslims, virtually all Sunni), the Grand Mufti is more or less the equivalent of a Supreme Court Judge in the United States. In Russia, the current Grand Mufti is a man named Talgat Tadzhuddin.
And the Grand Mufti has a simply grand idea that must have Vladimir Putin slapping his forehead and saying:
"Why didn't I think of that?"
According to an article in Yahoo News, the Grand Mufti met with Putin a few days ago and gave the president a swell suggestion about how to achieve peace in the Middle East. You ready? OK, here it is:
Just annex it...you know, like Russia did with Crimea last year. The whole world squalled and bawled, but nobody lifted a finger to stop Rootin' Tootin' Putin from having his way. Done deal.
Oh, but hey—you can relax. Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Tajuddin was just "making a joke."
And I'm sure he's right—in the photo accompanying the article, Mr. Putin does seem to be smiling.
12/7/2015 — From the "Bedrock Principles" Department...
Thursday marked the White House's annual National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony, and President Obama was on hand to officially launch the Christmas season. And to no one's surprise, his remarks amply display a complete ignorance of what the central figure of Christmas came to do and teach.
In his speech, the president urged Americans to focus on...
"...the spirit of giving and compassion that can help all of us find new meaning in the world around us. That's the message of the child whose birth families like mine celebrate on Christmas—a prince born in a stable who taught us that we should love our neighbors as ourselves; and that we are our brothers' keeper and our sisters' keepers; that we should feed the hungry, visit the sick, welcome the stranger. These are the lessons of Jesus Christ. But they're also the bedrock values of all faiths..."
It would take many pages to completely unpack the layers of error contained in the president's (mis)understanding of the Bible and what it teaches, so let's just hit the highlights:
The message of Jesus Christ is not that we should have a "spirit of giving and compassion" within us in order to find "new meaning" in the world around us.
The message of Jesus Christ is that we must have God's Spirit dwelling within us through faith in order to find eternal life because otherwise we will perish like the world around us.
Just a wee bit different, wouldn't you agree?
The message of Jesus Christ is that we are all sinners who are spiritually separated from a holy God who loves us, but who had no choice but to judge sin to satisfy His own perfect justice. But due to God's great love for us, He sent His Son into the world to be born as a man who would live a sinless life and die in our place to pay sin's penalty on our behalf—but it is up to each one of us to repent, believe, and ask in faith for the forgiveness He purchased for us. His resurrection proves that we, too, will gain eternal life if we place our faith in what He accomplished for us.
Although hidden from the president's darkened mind, this is the central message not only of Jesus Christ, but of the entire Bible. This is commonly referred to as the gospel.
Needless to say, this not the bedrock principle of any religion. Not one. Religion by definition is man's attempts to make himself more acceptable to God through his own efforts. That's the only bedrock principle common to all religions: salvation by works. Strictly speaking, Christianity is not a religion—it is a relationship with God established by (and only by) belief in faith in the atonement for sin accomplished by His Son Jesus Christ—a relationship we do not deserve, cannot earn, and will never lose. The only thing we have to do—the only thing we can do—is change our minds about our sin and ask in faith for the forgiveness that Jesus purchased for us with His blood.
Real Christianity and religion are hopelessly incompatible, and always will be.
And as for loving others, feeding the hungry, visiting the sick (the Bible says pray for the sick, but considering the source, I'll let it slide), and so on and so forth, Jesus told us to do such things in order to be salt and light: salt to preserve and light to illuminate. We are to do such things because we are the embodiment of the love of God and bearers of the light of the gospel in a dark and fallen world.
Oh, and one other thing: Jesus Christ is not a prince. He is a King.
And not just any King—the King of kings.
12/14/2015 — From the "Have Yourself a PC Little Christmas" Department...
'Tis the season to be jolly...unless you happen to attend the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, that is.
According to an article by Todd Starnes at the Fox News website, the University of Tennessee has published some, uh, guidelines for those wishing to celebrate the holiday season on campus this year.
Long story short: lose the baby Jesus.
An online document at the university's website warns in vaguely ominous terms:
"Ensure your holiday party is not a Christmas party in disguise."
And that would be a direct quote, my carol-singing, tree-decorating friends. I'm sorry, a "Christmas party in disguise"? Excuse me?
So any symbols or activities that could possibly be construed as suggesting that Christmas is even remotely connected with Jesus Christ are strictly verboten.
Beyond that, I guess anything goes...as long as it's sensitive, inclusive, and tolerant, of course.
Here's the thing. Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. Straight up. That's why they call it Christmas. Otherwise, it's just another cold day in December, as far as Christians are concerned. Now, Jews are free to celebrate Hanukkah as they see fit, and other religions and groups can celebrate anything they jolly well please. If someone wants to take the opportunity to chant the five mantras of Shiva the Destroyer, fine by me. But it's still Christmas and that still means something to Christians.
So, as a born-again believer in the gospel of this forbidden Jesus Christ, I'm picking up on some insensitivity here. I'm feeling kind of (gasp) excluded. I'm sensing a wee bit of intolerance.
Perhaps I should file a complaint with the University of Tennessee's Office for Diversity and Inclusion, the all-wise propagators of these guidelines. I'm sure they'd be happy to look into it. (I'm kidding, of course, because I understand that the world's definition of "inclusion" was carefully crafted by Satan for the purpose of excluding Jesus and the gospel.)
As Christians, we need to be reminded that this is exactly what we can and should expect in these last days.
So, is the gospel exclusive? Yep, it sure is. But it's also inclusive. (Huh?) In reality, the gospel is just as inclusive or as exclusive as one cares to make it:
18He who believes in him is not judged. He who doesn't believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God.
(John 3:18 / emphasis added)
It includes "he who believes." It excludes "he who doesn't believe."
So, when you meet people like the PC minions at the University of Tennessee who are behind these politically correct (read "Christ-hating") holiday guidelines, and who spout PC drivel about how Christmas and everything it stands for is offensive because it's so "exclusive," you don't have to waste your time trying to figure out why they feel that way.
Now you know.
12/21/2015 — From the "Religion of Peace" Department...
A school district in Virginia is being besieged by outraged parents for an assignment given in a world geography class. The students were given a sheet of paper with a sample of Arabic calligraphy on it, and were instructed to attempt to recreate the words in the space provided. The point of the assignment, according to teachers, was simply to give the students an opportunity to understand and appreciate the complex beauty and intricacy of Arabic calligraphy. Just that and nothing more.
But according to an article by Todd Starnes posted on the Fox News website, this was no ordinary calligraphy.
Complex? Yes. Beautiful? Stunning. Intricate? You bet. The students, however, were given no clue as to the meaning of the Arabic words they were copying. Their task was simply to see how accurately they could copy them.
As it turns out, however, the words the students were being asked to unwittingly copy just happened to be the shahada, or the Islamic statement of faith:
There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger.
Schools throughout the district were reportedly closed until the whole mess could be sorted out, as enraged parents understandably wanted answers.
OK, so they don't like the shahada. Well, in an effort to be helpful, I took the liberty of putting together a short list of other interesting passages from the Qur'an that I think would make excellent samples of Arabic calligraphy, and at the same time give the students a chance to learn a bit more about the religion of peace.
First, here are a couple of passages about Allah. Those who believe that the god of the Qur'an is really the same as the God of the Bible may find them troubling, but hey...this is what it says:
Allah begets not, nor is He begotten.
Allah sending His Son into the world to save sinners? Uh, nope. I guess not.
But Allah lets you fight, in order to test you. But those who are killed in the Way of Allah, He will never let their deeds be lost.
Does Allah want you to let your light shine before men? No, silly! He wants to test you to see if you're willing to behead men.
Oh, and here are a couple about Jesus:
The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah.
But not quite as important a messenger as Muhammad, of course.
But they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts.
Resurrected?! I guess the joke's on us...apparently He was never even crucified!
Finally, one last gem that really drives home the point that Islam is truly a religion of peace:
I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.
I think these sentences would make swell samples of Arabic calligraphy for students to practice, as well as teach them about the true face of Islam—the religion of peace.
If you follow the above link to the article you will see the Arabic calligraphy in question. You probably won't realize it, but I can just about promise you that you've seen that Arabic sentence before. If the calligraphy doesn't ring any bells, here's a simplified version of it.
12/28/2015 — From the "Bring It On" Department...
It's been a while since we've heard from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of Islamic terrorist group ISIS. He released a statement the other day, and it contains the usual assortment of apocalyptic bluster, attaboys for his troops, Qur'an-based gung-hoisms, and so forth. He did, however, say one thing I thought was interesting because it reveals something about Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi I wasn't aware of.
He knows something about Bible prophecy. Imagine that.
In his statement, al-Baghdadi made the following observation:
"God caused the Jews of the world to gather in Israel..."
Yep, He sure did, and He did it because He said He would do it:
14And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.
15And I will plant them on their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, said the LORD your God.
(Amos 9:14–15 AKJV)
I could quote any one of a number of other passages of Scripture, but I chose this one because this is the one Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quoted in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on October 1, 2013. So, al-Baghdadi is absolutely right: God did cause the Jews of the world to gather in Israel.
Sadly, however, al-Baghdadi veered off course after that statement:
"God caused the Jews of the world to gather in Israel, and the war against them has become easy. It is the obligation of every Muslim to carry out Jihad. Jews, you will not enjoy in [sic] Palestine. God has gathered you in Palestine so that the Mujahadeen can reach you soon and you will hide by the rock and the tree. Palestine will be your graveyard."
So Allah brought the Jews back to Palestine (Israel) so Muslim jihadists could find and kill them all more quickly and easily.
I'm afraid this is where I have to respectfully disagree.
As a matter of fact, God (that would be the true, living God of the Bible, not the phony little "g" god Allah) brought the Jews back to Israel because it's their land—it's the land God gave them forever. And as a matter of fact, rather than making it easier for a horde of bloodthirsty animals to kill all the Jews, it will make it that much easier for the King of kings and the Lord of lords to destroy the nations that will gather to attempt to do what al-Baghdadi merely fantasizes about doing.
Not that Jesus needs anything to make it easier, mind you, because it sounds like it's going to be pretty light work for Him:
4But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
Of course, the al-Baghdadis of the world have no clue that they are playing right into God's hands, and merely playing their role in carrying out God's will for His people Israel. God will ultimately use them as a tool to purge His people and bring forth a remnant who will call upon their Messiah to save them from their enemies, which He will (Hos. 5:15).
So, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, let's get the show on the road, because born-again believers who read the Bible know how it ends—for them and for you.
Bring it on.