Thursday, November 21, 2013

Can We Be In the Tribulation Already?

There are many people who believe that we are living in the tribulation period already.

According to Bible prophecy, the antichrist builds his government on three main pillars of power; a global government, a global economy and a global religious system. All three must exist and be functioning prior to his arrival on the scene, since his time frame is limited to just 2,520 days.

The prophet Daniel says that the antichrist will be a prince of the people who destroyed the city and sanctuary; ". . . and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. . ." (Daniel 9:26)

That was accomplished by the Roman legions under the command of Titus in AD 70.

Daniel says this coming Roman 'prince' will confirm a seven-year covenant between Israel and 'many' that results an a period of peace and safety for the Jews of Israel.

Two things to note about this covenant. First, note the context. This is about Israel's future. Not about the antichrist. In this context, he is a supporting player, not the object of the prophecy.

The fact the antichrist confirms a covenant 'with many' would be irrelevant if Israel were not the other principal to this covenant. An agreement in which Israel plays any lesser role cannot be Daniel's covenant.

The second thing to note is that this covenant must already exist in some form. One cannot 'confirm' that which does not exist. This is not a newly-negotiated covenant cooked up by the antichrist to include Israel among the many.

It is a confirmation of a previously existing agreement. There is but one failed seven-year agreement involving Israel, the revived Roman empire and 'many'.

That is the Oslo agreement, initially negotiated to run exactly seven years, negotiated between the State of Israel and Yasser Arafat on behalf of the Palestinian 'people' under the supervision of the Europeans.

The Oslo formula of 'land for peace' remains the foundation upon which any future agreement will be built. Every effort since has built on the efforts of Oslo.

Once Daniel's covenant is confirmed, Temple worship will be restored, which requires Israel to somehow recover possession of Temple Mount. We know that it must be restored because mid-way through the Tribulation Period, the antichrist suspends Temple worship.

"And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate." (Daniel 9:27)

Any covenant negotiated with Israel that does not leave Israel in possession of Temple Mount and provides for the restoration of Temple worship is NOT the covenant of Daniel 9:27.

How can I say so with such confidence? Because the covenant of Daniel 9:27 is the one that starts the clock ticking.

From the signing of that confirmation of the covenant until the return of Christ at Armageddon is 2,520 literal days. If that covenant were already in place, then the antichrist would already be in power.

Except that at some point before he could BE the antichrist, he must first recover from a deadly head wound.

"And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast." (Revelation 13:3)

It is AFTER his deadly wound is healed, that John says; "And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?"

So, the antichrist, having been healed from a deadly wound, is acclaimed by the whole world for this apparent miracle. John says that, AFTER this takes place;

"And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months."

Let's stop there and summarize. First, the covenant, confirmed by a prince of Rome. Then the head wound. Then he is acclaimed as worthy of worship as a god.

Then he is given power to mesmerize the population with a supernaturally gifted 'mouth speaking great things and blasphemies' -- and this power lasts for forty-two months (1,260 days or 3 1/2 years).

This is the first half of the Tribulation Period. If the antichrist were active and if we were now in the Tribulation, all this would already be in motion. None of it is as yet.

But let's pretend that we're in the Tribulation now. That means that within the next 1,260 days, a functioning global government capable of ordering mass executions for political purposes must be fully in power.

"And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations." Notice this power isn't given him over just Europeans. Or just over the nations around the Mediterranean.

It is over ALL 'kindreds' (families) tongues (languages) and nations (ethnicities)

Anybody care to guess what the word translated into English as 'all' means in the original Greek? (Give up? Ok. It means, 'all').

That power is, after forty-two months, fully developed and operational. Then, the second beast takes his place onstage.

"And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon." (Revelation 13:11) This second beast is a counterfeit prophet, one who has the appearance of Christianity, but who openly teaches the worship of the first beast (the antichrist).

"And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed."

This second beast will be Satanically energized with supernatural powers. "And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, "(Revelation 13:12-13)

Now, I want to stop here again. We are just now at the mid-point of the Tribulation -- it started 3 1/2 years ago with the confirmation of the covenant with Israel and the healing of the first beast's deadly wound.

What must also exist by this point?

Obviously, a global religious system, since there is a global religious leader with the power to condemn apostates to death. So if the Tribulation were to begin tomorrow, say, then within the next 42 months, a new system would have to replace both Christianity and Judaism.

According to the Bible, the persecution of Christians and Jews would be global, bloody and with the enthusiastic cooperation of the global population.

Like most of you, I can see all that coming. But it isn't here.

The third pillar in the antichrist's government is a global economy that is tied to both the global religious system and the global government. All three are administered by the same overall authority.

All three must not only exist, but they must be fully operational within three and one half years of the covenant that restores Temple worship to Israel.

Because three and one half years after Israel's Temple worship is restored, it must then be taken away, signaling the onset of the "Great Tribulation" in which three quarters of mankind die from the plagues and judgments that fall upon an unrepentant human race.

There are some Christians who believe we are already in the early part of the Tribulation Period now and that the current head of the EU/WEU, Javier Solana, is the antichrist.

For that to be true, then, Israel must be in a period of peace and safety right now.

The covenant must be in full force, the Jews of Israel must be in possession of the Temple Mount and the Jewish priests must now be offering legitimate sacrifices to God in a ritually cleansed Temple.

That means the ashes of a pure red heifer must already have been found and sprinkled to cleanse the Holy of Holies after two millennia of desecration.

Within the next forty-two months, the false prophet must convince everybody on earth except the Jews to worship the beast.

By the mid-point of the Tribulation, the global economy will be tied to a mark in the right hand or forehead without which no man could buy or sell.

So within 1260 days, all cash transactions must cease to exist.

Within forty-two months, all Christians and Jews the world over will be hunted down and ultimately executed if they refuse to take the Mark of the Beast.

Problem: Even with Satan's enthusiastic cooperation, there isn't enough time. You can't get there from here.

The covenant has not been confirmed and Israel is not living in peace and safety. Temple worship has not been restored and al-Aqsa remains standing atop the Holy of Holies.

There is no functioning global religion. There is no functioning global religious authority. As long as there are Christians and Jews, there can NEVER be a universally acceptable global religious authority.

The global economy is outside of any one nation's control, let alone the control of one man. Cash makes global control impossible. And a universal currency would take a lot longer than 42 months from now to implement.

That is not to say that the Rapture couldn't take place tomorrow. The Rapture of the Church is an event INDEPENDENT of the Tribulation Period. They are not 'bookends'.

The Rapture is the conclusion of the Age of Grace. It is when Jesus comes to retrieve His Bride from the earth. The Tribulation is the resumption of the Final Week of the Law. They are as separate as distinct as Pentecost is from the Destruction of the Temple forty years later.

Since the Holy Spirit indwells the Church, when the Bride is retrieved, His earthly ministry concludes, just as Jesus' earthly ministry concluded at the Ascension.

Temple worship didn't cease on the day the Church Age began -- it continued another forty years before Titus.

The Rapture of the Church could take place tomorrow and the Tribulation Period could still be a decade or more into the future. Maybe two decades. However long it takes. The two are independent events.

That is why we, as Christians, are not charged with watching for the antichrist. We are given details concerning the coming of antichrist because, if we can hear his approaching footsteps, we can know that the time of our deliverance is even closer.

The signs of the times were given for the lost -- the saved don't need them -- except as witnessing tools.

The Tribulation period is close. No doubt about it. What does it mean to the Church? It means the Rapture is closer. "And when these things BEGIN to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh," Jesus said. (Luke 21:28)

At the beginning. Not at the end.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Is The Great And Terrible Judgement Day Close At Hand?

I read a lot of articles about understanding the sequence of events of the Great Tribulation, of which much study has gone into them. But I see very little as to examining the reasons for it.

So I want to try and help your understanding of that great and terrible judgement.

As a whole, Man has rejected every opportunity that God has given him to demonstrate his trust in Him by obedience to Him. The rejection of God and His guidance is the “catalyst” of every other form of evil.

Thus we see the rejection of God and His Guidance. Man’s rejection of God and His guidance began when our first parents rejected the one command that God had given them. It continued with Cain’s rejection of God’s admonition to offer up the proper sacrifice for sin, and on through Cain’s murder of Abel until the wickedness on earth was so great that God destroyed mankind with a flood except for Noah, his wife, their three sons and their three wives.

We are seeing today the continuous mass murder of millions created in God’s Image and Likeness. Having begun afresh with a new and righteous patriarch, God commanded, “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man” (Genesis 9:6), thereby putting the fear of capital punishment into mankind for murder. Yet, man has never ceased to murder and kill by means of abortions, because of personal vendettas, and on mass scales with the most modern weaponry.

Follow This With The Rejection of Capital Punishment for Murder. Despite God’s command to execute murderers, by the end of 2012, eighty-six of the world’s two hundred countries had departed from the Noahic mandate and abandoned the death penalty for all crimes. [1]

From There, We See The Beginning of Institutional Occultism and False Religions. The Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:9) was built to seek guidance from the stars instead of the Creator; and Romans 1:21-23 in conjunction with 1 Corinthians 10:19-20 tells us that it is only a step from the turning to creation for guidance to idolatry and the worship of Satan and demons. The Tower of Babel was the institutional fountainhead of all the false and demonic religions and philosophies in the world.

The Call and the Failure of Israel. With the Tower of Babel, God divided mankind into nations by means of multiplying their languages, and out of those nations He called out the nation of Israel to be His fountainhead of holiness and salvation to the rest of the world. Though Israel brought forth the Scriptures and the Messiah, they fell into idolatry for protracted periods of time and rejected their Messiah.

Rejection of the Necessity to Bless Israel. Though Israel rejected their Messiah, God has not rejected them (Romans 11:29) and He will yet use them mightily. Because of His special call on Israel, He announced to Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse” (Genesis 12:3). Scripture records that God did bless and curse individuals and nations according to the manner in which they treated Israel and individual Jews (e.g., Genesis 39:1-5, 41:55-57; Obadiah 1:10; Zechariah 12:9), and Jesus prophesied that He will judge the sheep and goat Gentiles on the basis of how they will treat “these brothers of mine” (Matthew 25:31-46).

How have the nations treated Israel? Egypt tossed Israeli male newborns into the Nile, and Israel was invaded by Assyria, Babylon, Greece and Rome and was dispersed by Rome to the four corners of the earth where it has, in turn, suffered great and continuous. Since Israel’s reestablishment as a nation in 1948 they have fought four major defensive wars, are continually defending themselves against attacks of lesser scope, and are continually being pressured by the world to give up more and more land to surrounding nations and militant groups that are sworn to their destruction. Surely the overall level of anti-Semitism through the ages will be a factor in God’s judgment of the world.

Zechariah 2.8: “For thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘After glory He has sent me against the nations which plunder you, for he who touches you, touches the apple [pupil] of His eye.’”

Joel 3.2: “I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. Then I will enter into judgment with them there on behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; and they have divided up My land.”

Note the last phrase in light of today's political efforts to further divide the Land of Israel.

Call and Failure of the Church. Though God has not rejected Israel and will yet use them mightily, on the Day of Pentecost He began to call out a “new man” (Ephesians 2:15), the church, composed of all believers, “whether Jews or Greeks” (1 Corinthians 12:13), to be His ministers to the world. He commanded, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19-20).

Corollary to this command to the church is this command to the hearers of the gospel: “God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent” (Acts 17:30); but despite the fact that the gospel has already penetrated most of the world, only a small percent of the world's population has received it.

Indeed, major world religions and numerous national governments oppose it. As for the visible church, its history is rife with self-aggrandizement and has engaged in such horrors as military conquests, forced conversions, and mass persecutions of Jews and true believers. Much of it has embraced the imperial power structure of the world with its pretension, pomp, ostentation and gaudiness, and has turned apostate, denying the very basics of the gospel.

2 Timothy 3.1-5: “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power.”

Than we Have The Rejection of the Dominion Mandate. God commanded Noah and his descendants, “be fruitful and multiply; populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it” (Genesis 9:7), repeating what He had commanded Adam and Eve before the Fall (Genesis 1:28). This "dominion mandate" was a commission to Man to take stewardship of the resources that God had provided for the blessing of mankind and the glory of God.

Man has not carried out the dominion mandate; in fact, at Babel, he rebelled directly against it: “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth” (Genesis 11:4).

Though vast areas of the earth have been populated and much of its resources have been brought into the service of mankind, vast areas remain unpopulated while in hundreds of thousands of cities and towns people are stacked in layers in apartment buildings, condominiums and office buildings; nor has as much of earth’s resources been brought under control for the elimination of disease, hunger and homelessness as could have been. Counterproductively, much of the earth has been decimated and polluted.

Imagine the progress that could have been made if the trillions of dollars that nations and individuals have invested in warfare, defense and security been invested in housing, agriculture, industry and medical research. Eskimos have learned to live in the Arctic; Arabs have learned live in the desert; and as for turning such forbidding places into productive food-bearing areas, and the seas into fish and vegetable farms, look what Israel has done with its malarial swamps and much of its deserts since the latter half of the nineteenth century, even while defending itself against annihilation.

If Man had allowed God to take the lead he could easily have fulfilled the dominion mandate by now without ravaging and poisoning much of the earth as he has.

We Are Also Seeing The Rejection of God’s Order for the Family. A healthy family unit is necessary for the optimum well-being and spiritual influence of its members, and is most conducive for the bearing and nurturing of future generations who can, by number and spiritual health and maturity, best fulfill the dominion mandate and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). The family unit begins with one man and one woman committed to be sexually and emotionally faithful to one another and to bless one another for life.

While monogamous marriage is not explicitly mandated in Scripture, it is that form of marriage that God established in Eden, honored when He selected four monogamous couples to board the ark, upheld as the picture of marital happiness in Psalm 128:1-6 and Proverbs 31, honored by the births of John the Baptist and Jesus, upheld as the picture of Christ and His church in Ephesians 5:22-31, and is, without exception, that form that is upheld as ideal by Jesus and the New Testament writers (Matthew 19:8-9; Ephesians 5:22-27; 1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6).

In contrast, Deuteronomy 17:17 says that a king “shall not multiply wives for himself,” and Scripture graphically reveals the strife that is so easily engendered in polygamous or polygamy-like relationships in the story of Abraham, Hagar and Sarah (Genesis 16-18, 21), and in the childbearing olympiad between Rachel and Leah (Genesis 29:31-30:24).

Has Man adhered to the ideal model of marriage and of wholesome childrearing? Of course he hasn’t.

The world is filled with fornication, homosexuality, adultery, polygamy, divorce, abortion and infanticide, all of which are destructive of the family unit and the carrying out of the dominion mandate and Great Commission, and all of which are denounced by Scripture or, in the case of polygamy, shown in a negative light. It should be noted that God destroyed Sodom, Gomorrah and the cities of the Dead Sea valley because of widespread homosexual practice (Genesis 18:16 - 19:29), and that by May 14, 2013, fourteen nations of the world had legalized same sex marriage.

God’s Judgment for Man’s Evil Is Coming. God delayed Israel’s exodus from Egypt, return to Canaan and conquest of its inhabitants because “the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete” (Genesis 15:16). The day will come when the iniquity of our present world will be “complete” and Man will have demonstrated that he is hopelessly wicked and incapable of establishing anything approaching an edenic earth without God yet—he will not repent.

Then will come the Great Tribulation:

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18).

It will be a judgment so severe as to destroy every ungodly manmade institution and humble mankind to the point where multitudes will to turn to God, including every Jew alive at the end of it (Jeremiah 31:34; Zechariah 13:1; Romans 11:26) and clear the way for the establishment of Messiah’s one-thousand-year Kingdom, in which “the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:3).

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

So, Whose Side Are You Really On?

Last night, November 4, 2013, I was proud and honored to be a small part of the Grand Chapter of CUFI (Christians United For Israel) night to remember Israel.

I was disappointed about the lack or even the non-existence of any local news coverage about something as important as this was. I feel assured that had it been something about Obamacare and/or Muslin related, they would have been all over it.

And it is very important for two main reasons.
  • One is that all the nations around Israel are trying their hardest to exterminate Israel.
  • Number two is how close Iran is to having a nuclear bomb.

Anti-Israel activism in U.S. church circles has increased in recent years especially among some evangelical elites. Mainline Protestant elites have been anti-Israel for decades. Last fall officials of several Mainline denominations urged Congress to reconsider U.S. military aid to Israel, prompting Jewish groups to cancel interfaith dialogue. More politically significant have been exertions to shift evangelicals away from their historically strong affinity for Israel.

For the last several years anti-Israel evangelicals have hosted a “Christ at the Checkpoint” conference in Bethlehem featuring some prominent U.S. evangelicals. Last year’s included evangelist Tony Campolo, a spiritual counselor to President Bill Clinton, and Florida mega church pastor Joel Hunter, a spiritual counselor to President Barack Obama. The next “Christ at the Checkpoint” is February 2014 and will feature Geoff Tunnicliffe, head of the World Evangelical Alliance. There will also be a Dallas Southern Baptist pastor, despite his denomination’s strong support for Israel.

Additionally speaking is Gary Burge of Wheaton College, himself a prominent author critical of Israel who teaches at America’s most prestigious evangelical college. Anti-Israel sentiment among evangelical elites is strongest in academia and in international relief and missions groups.

In November the Alliance for Baptists, a liberal Baptist denomination, will host Waging Peace and Justice in Palestine in Washington, D.C. at a prominent Calvary Baptist Church, which President Obama has attended. The featured speaker will be a Lutheran Palestinian pastor who in 2009 backed the anti-Israel Christian manifesto Kairos Palestine: A Moment of Truth, which Western church groups often cite.

And in December, Evangelicals for Social Action (ESA) will host a similar but much larger advocacy event in Philadelphia called Impact Holy Land, featuring prominent Palestinian clergy and U.S. evangelicals. ESA is now co-headed by Pentecostal academic Paul Alexander, who helped push the Society for Pentecostal Studies in a more Palestinian direction at a 2012 meeting at Pat Robertson’s Regents University.

Anti-Israel activism by Mainline Protestants is often motivated by residual Liberation Theology, and / or Replacement Theology, which teaches that Israel is no longer God's chosen people and that the church has replaced Israel today.

The critique of pro-Israel evangelicals particularly has been that their motivation rests on end-times theology/prophecy, which is very controversial even among conservative Christians.

The Christian Zionism movement that we hear much about today, and is most commonly criticized and caricatured, actually originated in 19th century premillenialist dispensationalism founded by English pastor John Nelson Darby and popularized by Bible commentator C I Scofield. The teaching asserted that the Jews would rightfully return to their homeland before Christ’s return.

Some of the modern adherents to Darby's teachings have included Jerry Falwell, Tim LaHaye, Hal Lindsey and John Hagee.

The critics of Darby complain this sort of Zionism is prone to “ignore the legitimate needs of Palestinians, to support Israel right or wrong and even think Israel can do no wrong, to see the Middle East conflict solely in religious terms, and to ignore indigenous Christians in the region — both Jewish and Arab.”

Anyone who studies Church History, understands that Christian interest in a Jewish return to Zion actually goes back earlier than Darby, especially to the Puritans of Britain and New England in the 17th century. Eighteenth century philosopher-theologian Jonathan Edwards, espoused that perspective. Early American Calvinist philo-Semitism in fact inoculated America against Europe’s more virulent forms of anti-Semitism.

This has been propelled by Christians who were noticing that the Old Testament refers to “the land” 2,500 times, that at the heart of God’s covenant with Israel is the promise of that land, and that the return of Jews to the land in the last two centuries is a partial fulfillment of biblical prophecies.

In the 19th century Protestant philo-Semitism in Britain fueled the Christian Zionism leading to Britain’s Balfour Declaration in 1917 affirming support for a Jewish state. Some English Zionists theorized that God judges nations by their treatment of Jews, contrasting Spain’s 1492 expulsion of Jews and Spain’s subsequent ultimate decline with Britain’s rising glory after Puritan Commonwealth under Oliver Cromwell invited Jews to return after four centuries.

Then, you have the divine promise to Abraham in Genesis 12:3: “I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Many American Christian Zionists today, commonly quote that passage.

Twentieth century evangelicals were gratified by Israel’s creation in 1947 while liberal Protestants were often more ambivalent. Catholic and liberal Protestant affirmations of God’s continuing spiritual covenant with Jews typically omit any connection to the land of Israel, which many Jewish interfaith partners “believe is an indispensable manifestation of the covenant.”

It is difficult to understand how the “charge of illegal occupation" against israel can be made, when “Israel has made repeated efforts to comply with UN stipulations for the territories, while its Arab neighbors have not.”

Israel’s willingness in the 1993 Oslo Accord to cede 92 percent of the West Bank, which Palestinians rejected, is a very good example.

How can one claim this when the Jews have inhabited ancient Samaria (the West Bank) for over 3,000 years, and make this a requisite for peace. “What other country has been required to give up land that it won in a defensive war?” he asked. “Do Germans displaced from K√∂nigsberg clamor and agitate for that German city to be returned to them by the victorious Russians?”

It seems that those who are opposed to Israel, just want them to roll over and play dead when they are attacked.

How would we feel, and how would we respond if we experienced a succession of 9/11-like attacks, regularly over several years, in a country the size of New Jersey or one-seventeenth the size of Germany, where nearly everyone knows someone who has been killed or maimed.

And seeing how the critics of Israel hypocritically condemn Israel for alleged human rights abuses but typically ignore what Iran, Syria, China, North Korea, and Saudi Arabia, are doing to their people.

That is the "pot calling the kettle black," if you ask me.

I stand with Israel, because God stands with Israel, and I have read the Book, and in the Last chapter, Israel is still here. Some of the others, ain't. So which side are you on?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Are We Sacrificing Our Heritage As Christians?

Are we seeing a "lowering" of our standards that have sustained us over the past generations as Christians?

This past week, the president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention's children's services agency has recommended that the organization amend its hiring practices to ban discrimination against homosexuals, according to a PowerPoint presentation posted on the agency's website.

It appears that the homosexual rights movement, which was born out of a desire to be tolerated, now seems to have morphed into a crusade bent on forcing all of society, even conservative churches, to accept and celebrate homosexuality as natural, normal and healthy.

Now, this week, news has it that several Evangelicals are visiting Brigham Young University; it seems to be trying to find a commonality betweens us and them.

This is in fact very curious, considering that many speculated that it was the evangelicals staying home that kept Romney from winning the Presidential election. Could this all be leading up to Romney re running or another Mormon candidate running in the next presidential election? I can't say I know the answer on that one, yet.

But, we as Christians.do not need to be duped into a false sense of security.

Mormonism is not a Christian religion. Mormonism, also known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, claims to be the restoration of the true gospel and a revelation of the true God. Here is just a glimpse of what they believe;

God
  • God used to be a man on another planet, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 321; Joseph Smith, Times and Seasons, vol. 5, p. 613-614; Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 345; Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 333).
  • "The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s..." (D&C 130:22).
  • God is in the form of a man, (Joseph Smith, Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p. 3).
  • "God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!!! . . . We have imagined that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea and take away the veil, so that you may see," (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345).
  • God the Father had a Father, (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, vol. 6, p. 476; Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses, vol. 5, p. 19; Milton Hunter, First Council of the Seventy, Gospel through the Ages, p. 104-105).
  • God resides near a star called Kolob, (Pearl of Great Price, p. 34-35; Mormon Doctrine, p. 428).
  • God had sexual relations with Mary to make the body of Jesus, (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 4, 1857, p. 218; vol. 8, p. 115). - This one is disputed among many Mormons and not always 'officially' taught and believed. Nevertheless, Young, the 2nd prophet of the Mormon church taught it.
  • "Therefore we know that both the Father and the Son are in form and stature perfect men; each of them possesses a tangible body . . . of flesh and bones." (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 38).
God, becoming a god
  • After you become a good Mormon, you have the potential of becoming a god, (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345-347, 354.)
  • "Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them," (D&C 132:20).
God, many gods
  • There are many gods, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 163).
  • "And they (the Gods) said: Let there be light: and there was light," (Book of Abraham 4:3).
God, mother goddess
  • There is a mother god, (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 443).
  • God is married to his goddess wife and has spirit children, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 516).
If this juncture is for finding commonality ground on combating the gay right's movement, that is one thing. But to go in and fellowship with them is really absurd.

The Muslims do not believe in homosexuality either, will you be meeting with them? You do not have to meet with these religions to study them. Their own religious beliefs will be all the support for traditional values that is needed.

I didn't mean to get off of my subject of this article, but I felt a leading that way.

Last month, after being sure to get his caffeine fix at Starbucks, Southern Baptist leader Richard Land went where few evangelicals had dared to go before: the campus of Brigham Young University, the intellectual heart of Mormonism.

After lecturing on “family, faith, freedom and America,” Land attended a BYU football game with Mormon leaders and joined them to hear James Taylor sing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Days later, George O. Wood, the general superintendent of the Assemblies of God, also visited BYU, followed by the Rev. R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptists’ flagship seminary.

Is there a new detente — perhaps more practical than theological — between evangelicals and Mormons?

For more than a decade, Mormon and evangelical scholars have discussed their differences and similarities, and even written books together. But leaders of the two faiths appear to have reached a new juncture, with some on both sides seeing benefits in more public engagement.

“At the very least, the two communities, evangelicals and Mormons, have been … each other’s worst enemies,” said Richard Mouw, the former president of Fuller Theological Seminary and a longtime proponent of evangelical-Mormon dialogue.

“There’s a significant part of the evangelical movement that is now having healthy and friendly conversations, and it’s gone from a group of two dozen scholars talking to each other to church leaders meeting each other, going to see each other.”

John Taylor, director of interfaith relations for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said there is a growing sense that Mormons and non-Mormons can agree in some areas — from humanitarian aid, where Mormons have also joined with Catholics — to the desire to retain their younger members.

“There’s a realization among faith groups generally that despite doctrinal differences — and we have doctrinal differences, there’s no question about that — we do have areas of commonality,” said Taylor.

The recent Utah meetings, which came at the invitation of Mormon church leaders in Salt Lake City, have centered on faith, family and religious freedom. Mohler — who was careful not to paper over doctrinal distinctions in his BYU speech — addressed joint concerns about the intersection of those issues.

“That is why I and my evangelical brothers and sisters are so glad to have Mormon neighbors,” Mohler said in his talk on Oct 21. “We stand together for the natural family, for natural marriage, for the integrity of sexuality within marriage alone.”

In a statement, the Assemblies of God said “no restrictions were placed on Dr. Wood’s lecture” when he addressed some 400 BYU students on Sept. 16. He “shared freely” about his Pentecostal faith and being brought up in a missionary family.

Land, who considers Mormonism to be a “fourth Abrahamic faith” — and thus distinct from Christianity — said there has been “gradual increased understanding on both sides.”

He accepted the invitation to BYU because Mormons and evangelicals, with shared opposition to the growing national acceptance of same-sex marriage, need to face together what they both view as increasing religious hostility.

“Those who oppose us are not going to make any distinctions,” said Land, the new president of Southern Evangelical Seminary in North Carolina. “They’re hostile to people of faith, period.”

The outreach has gone both ways. In September, Taylor joined two members of the LDS church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles at the Washington installation of Russell Moore, who succeeded Land as head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

“It’s clear where we disagree, but we’re standing together in the public square for religious liberty,” said Moore, who has recently spoken with Mormon officials about military chaplains’ religious rights.

Bob Millet, a BYU religion professor who suggested the evangelical visitors to LDS officials, said the rapprochement helps Mormons, “a sample of the population that’s not well-understood and highly misunderstood.”

As Mormons continue to work toward greater acceptance and visibility — from Mitt Romney’s White House bid to a category of questions on “Jeopardy” — they are more likely to have tangible benefits from this engagement, said Stephen Webb, author of the new book “Mormon Christianity: What Other Christians Can Learn from the Latter-day Saints.”

“It’s not just the fact that evangelicals are being more curious about Mormons and being more willing to listen to them and learn from them, but it’s also a matter of the Mormon leadership itself wanting to be part of the American Christian mainstream,” he said.

Gregory Johnson, co-founder of Standing Together, a Utah group of evangelical pastors, has given dozens of presentations with BYU’s Millet called “A Mormon and an Evangelical in Conversation.” He dubbed the recent get-togethers “the year of the evangelical at BYU.”

Some scholars credit colleagues such as Johnson, Millet and Mouw with the thaw in relations, which still remain tense in some circles. Mouw, for instance, gets hate mail — “a lot of angry stuff” — from pastors and groups that don’t agree with his friendships with Mormons.

The recent evangelical appearances in Utah have sparked online debates, with some welcoming them and others warning they hurt traditional Christianity. A moderator for the unofficial LDS.net who calls himself “prisonchaplain” concluded the meetings were more civil than groundbreaking.

“As far as ‘fruit’ goes, these events sure beat the cold theological wars of the past,’’ he said.

And there’s more to come: Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias, who spoke at the Mormon Tabernacle in 2004, will be at BYU in January, followed by a second appearance by Mohler the following month.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Is God About Ready To Call A Halt To This Fiasco.

Obama lies in both domestic and foreign policy

If anyone is paying attention, it seems that President Barack Obama views lies as legitimate political tools. He uses lies strategically to accomplish through mendacity what he could never achieve through honest means.

Obama lies in both domestic and foreign policy. On the domestic front, despite Obama's repeated promises that ObamaCare would not threaten anyone's existing health insurance policies, over the past two weeks, millions of Americans have received notices from their health insurance companies that their policies have been cancelled because they don't abide by ObamaCare's requirements.

Last night on the Fox News Channel, several left wing contributors were saying that the couple of million who were losing their insurance, was only a drop in the bucket, compared to the "ten's of millions who would be better off with Obamacare. To that I say, "hog wash."

Joe Trippi, a long-time American Democratic campaign worker and consultant, along with Juan Williams a Panamanian-born American journalist and political analyst for Fox News Channel, both said it was a "mis-understanding of the American people; Obama didn't really lie, he was just mis-informed about the facts. And to this, I also say "hog wash".

I kinda felt sorry for Juan when he was let go from PBS, but the more I hear from him, the more stupid he sounds, and the darker "brown" his nose is becoming.

In several Wall Street Journal's articles I have read, the
editorial board explained that Obama's repetition of this lie was not an oversight. It was a deliberate means of lulling into complacency these Americans, who opted to buy their insurance themselves on the open market in order to stick them with the burden of underwriting ObamaCare.

In the editorialist's words, "The healthcare exchanges need these customers[whose private policies are being cancelled to pay for ObamaCare's balance sheet and stabilize its risk pools. On the exchanges, individuals earning more than $46,000 or a family of four above $94,000 don't qualify for subsidies and must buy overpriced insurance. If these middle-class ObamaCare losers can be forced into the exchanges, they become financiers of the new pay-as-you-go entitlement."

So, where is the "freedom to choose" your health care insurance.

Sure there is an outcry now about Obama's dishonesty and the way he has used lying to take away from an unwilling public a right they would never have knowingly surrendered, but it is too late at the present moment.

There is no chance of revoking the law until at 2017, when Obama leaves office. And by then, everyone will have been forced to accept what they consider unacceptable or be fined and lose all health coverage.

But, Obama's untruthfulness is not limited to domestic policy. He operates the same way in foreign affairs as well.
Several news agencies this week recalled Democratic Senator Robert Menendez's angry response to the Obama administration's attempt to block Senate passage of sanctions against Iran in December 2011. Expressing disgust at the administration's bad faith to the Senate, Menendez noted that before the White House tried to defeat the legislation it first forced senators to water it down, making them believe that the White House would support a weaker bill. In the end, despite the White House's opposition, the Senate and House passed the watered down sanctions bills with veto proof majorities. Obama reluctantly signed the bill into law and then bragged about having passed "crippling sanctions," on Iran.

As was the case with ObamaCare, the White House knows that most Americans won't support its policy of doing nothing to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. So the White House never says that this is its policy. Obama and his advisors insist that preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power is a central goal of the administration. But their actions move US policy in the opposite direction. And if they get caught on the lies after Iran gets the bomb, well, Obama won't be facing reelection so he will pay no price for his duplicity.

The mendacity at the heart of Obama's political playbook is something that Israel needs to understand if it to survive his presidency without major damage to its strategic viability.

This past week should make it clear that the stakes in understanding and exposing Obama's game couldn't be higher.

For example, this past Sunday, Israel Today reported that PLO officials leaked to the media a position paper that Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat presented to Justice Minister Tzipi Livni outlining the PLO's position on a final peace settlement. In a nutshell, the paper requires Israel to destroy itself demographically, democratically, militarily, legally and politically and that it relinquish its water supply.

If Israel agrees to all these things, then six months down the road, the Palestinians will agree to sign a peace treaty with it.

The Palestinian document claims not only all of Judea and Samaria, (except for 1.9 percent of the territory that Israel can keep in exchange for money and more land within sovereign Israel), and eastern, northern and southern Jerusalem. It demands the northern Negev, the Huleh Valley, Latrun and the Elah Valley. And it demands them all free of all Jewish presence.

They demand that Israel relinquish its rights under international law to Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem by agreeing that they are "occupied."

They demand full control over the airspace over Judea, Samaria, Gaza, and Jerusalem, and the waters off the Gaza coastline. They demand an end of Air Force over flights of those areas.

They demand control over all the underground aquifers, and the electromagnetic spectrum.

Moreover, the Palestinians are demanding that Israel allow five million foreign born Arabs the right to freely immigrate to its remaining territory. They refuse to accept Israel's right to exist and claim they have sovereign rights over all of Israel.

This, my friend, is what Obama is agreeing to in "his" foreign policy.

We, as Americans, may not be able to stop him, Obama, and all his domestic and foreign policy rhetoric, but my Heavenly Father is going to intervene for Israel, and I believe that it may be very soon. God warns in His Word, "woo be unto those who try to divide My Land".

I personally would not want to be on that side of the fence, would you?