Wednesday, April 30, 2014

THINKING OUT LOUD -- The Malaysian Airliner And Benghazi

As of late, I have been thinking of the “missing” Malaysian airliner. Here is what we have been told ... a jumbo jetliner somehow went off course, flew several hours then crashed into the Indian Ocean without word from the cockpit, without a trace.

As the time passes, I am having trouble buying this garbage!

And I am not the only one either. The Israelis don’t. They went on high-alert after the plane’s disappearance. What they’re looking for is that jet, appearing to be a normal civilian flight, being the vehicle for a nuclear attack.

Consider this -- Malaysia is a Muslim dominant country. The pilots were Muslim, along with two Iranians who used stolen passports to board the plane. To say that a commercial jet can go missing without a trace is implausible. This was not a military stealth aircraft. We’re told that the pilots altered the flight path and turned off the radio and transponder. To what end? Where were they going? To plan and execute such a maneuver just to fly aimlessly for five plus hours and then crash doesn’t make sense.

And here is another thought --Various nations have sophisticated satellite, aerial, ground and sea-based surveillance systems. They monitor all air traffic everywhere in the world. A missile can’t be launched without being spotted. Yet we’re told that this large aircraft simply went missing.

I believe this ro be a lie. I believe somebody, maybe several some bodies, including the US and China know where that plane went. It had a predetermined destination where to land, and it wasn’t in China.

Reading an article in which Retired Air Force Lt. General Thomas G. McInerney was quoted, "he believes that the plane flew to Pakistan or possibly Iran. It could’ve shadowed behind another flight headed to one of these nations, appearing on civilian radar as a single incoming plane. Such a plan, obviously would entail meticulous planning and execution. Wherever it landed, those in that nation and on the ground knew it was coming. It was the plane that was wanted.

The sad part is that we are left to surmise that the passengers were extraneous and likely eliminated. I believe that this plane had and has a purpose, something huge to justify the risk and publicity that such an operation entails.

General McInerney has contacts and resources, not to mention vast knowledge gleaned from a distinguished military career. His is not groundless theory.

There were reports that the missing plane had landed at Diego Garcia, an important British/U.S. military base in the Indian Ocean, implying direct US involvement. This is likely disinformation, but who knows. One would guess that if the U.S. were involved, they’d use surrogates away from U.S. bases to land it.

There was another possibility that was circulating and does have credence to consider; it is a remote possibility, but one to ponder. The Malaysian flight could’ve been carrying some type of weapon, tactical nuke, EMP, etc. on behalf of a state actor like China. If it were headed to Diego Garcia, under any guise, the question would be, would it be allowed to approach or would U.S. forces shoot down a civilian jumbo jet?

Now this would be purely speculation on anyone's part. Neither the US or China would want such an event to be made public, but again, just something to think about.

We still don't know what happened in Benghazi. And with a president who is pro-islamic, we may never know for sure; on either of these matters.

I don't believe that we can trust our government to be truthful with the American people -- so far we haven't had any indication that they have, and just not this present administration. This goes back many years, folks, and that's why it is hard to be truthful..

Through all of this, we can say for a certainty that we are "are living in the 'mid night' hour."

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Who Is The Restrainer Mentioned In 2 Thessalonians 2?

Out of all the varying eschatological views, the Pre-Tribulation view is the strongest and most scripturally consistent advocate of God’s dealings with man in the entire Bible. You can see it in typology, symbolism, and in both the OT and NT passages. It is found in the Prophets, the Psalms, the Gospels, the Epistles, and in Revelation. The Pre-Tribulation view remains the most scripturally consistent view within God’s purpose and plan for man’s redemption.

The Pre-Tribulation view argues that there is a future fulfillment to the prophetic text, the full Preterist view states it all happened in the first century. Every other view has to rely on extra-biblical sources, allegorizing, spiritualization, or other ways to get around the literal understanding of the passages. In regards to the Tribulation, the Futurist’s bottom line is, although man will endure trials and tribulation in this life, God does not pour out His wrath upon His own.
  • Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 2 Thessalonians 2:5-8 (NKJV)
Below are different ideas of those thoughts as to who this restrainer is.
  • The restrainer is the apostasy and revelation of the lawless one. 
  • The restrainer was the Roman government. 
  • The restrainer is the system of human government. 
  • The restrainer is Michael the Archangel. 
  • The Restrainer is the Holy Spirit working through the Church. 
  • The restrainer is Satan. 
Many within the Amillennial / Preterist viewpoint have taught that Rome was the restrainer. The Apostle Paul was writing to a first century church who at that time, were under the persecution of Caesar Nero. Preterist and Amillennialists devotees want very much for Nero to be the ‘man of lawlessness’ because it fits into their historical narrative that all (or most) prophecy was finished prior to AD 70.

Their argument was/is that the Roman system and Nero’s suicide prevented Nero from fully wiping out the early church. The major problem with this is that Nero wasn’t destroyed in keeping with the passage in 2 Thessalonians 2:8, but committed suicide. Preterist and others have to rely on extra-biblical accounts to try and paint Nero as the Antichrist (Pliny the Elder, Suetonius) to get this. But this view is still perpetuated by the Roman Catholic Church, which allows that blame to be laid at the feet of dead, pagan Caesars and not on them.

Amillennial and Post-Millennial believe that all governments are emplaced by God (Romans 13:1-7), and that it is only under God’s sovereignty do they still wield control (albeit limited) over the earth, therefore God only allows them to do so much, and then He restrains them, or uses them to restrain evil.

But since the days of Nimrod and Babel, human government has almost always been at odds against God and His plan of redemption for mankind. We know that the Tribulation is a time unlike any other, as the entire world will fall under the sway of the ultimate, one-world government, which will be under the control of the Antichrist. (Rev. 13:7) Seeing human government as the restrainer of evil, (Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, Ottomans, Nazi Germany, Communist Russia, Communist China, etc.) when they are one of the primary instigators of evil, is laughable. In fact, God does laugh at this. (Psalm 2)

To come to this erroneous conclusion, one would have to do some serious reworking of most of the major terms and structure as found in 2 Thessalonians 2. For those who hold this view, the phrase ‘taken out of the way’ does not mean taken out of the way, but means ‘to come into being’. The Rapture is in conjunction with or right before the Second Coming, which in reality is very confusing.

The only problem with the above three views, is that none of them could be the ‘he’ used in 2 Thessalonians 2: 7. The ‘He’ is used as a masculine personal pronoun, and is used in direct relation to the Restrainer. Neither the Roman or human government, nor the revelation of the lawless one, could be referred to in that manner. The ‘He’ denotes a person, or sentient being and not a thing or system. 

That leaves us with only three legitimate contenders:
  • Michael the Archangel 
  • Satan 
  • The Holy Spirit 
Both Michael and Satan are angels, and they are neither omnipresent nor omnipotent. In other words, they are confined physically by both space and time.

The case for Michael being the Restrainer, stems primarily from three sections of Scripture:Daniel 10:3, 20-21, 12:1; Jude 1:9; & Revelation 12:7-9. In each instance, Michael is seen as the one who contends against Satan and his demonic forces at specific times. The problem is, is that these instances are too specific, meaning, that this is not Michael’s role in general, but as a special assignment solely to the nation of Israel or as directed by God. There is no Scripture citing Michael the Archangel as the restrainer of lawlessness (keeping in context with 2 Thess. 2). The best case that can be made is in Revelation 12:7-9, as Michael and the angels war with Satan and his, and cast them out of heaven. Even then, that is not restraining, but active warfare.

One of the more bizarre candidates that are offered for “the” restrainer is Satan himself. Why would he restrain himself? But still, the text would have to read something like this for Satan to be the ‘restrainer’: 
  • Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he [Antichrist] may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He [Satan]who now restrains will do so until He [Satan] is taken out of the way [Insert Rev 12:7-8 here]. And then the lawless one [Antichrist] will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 2 Thessalonians 2:5-8 [my notes in brackets]
Satan would have to restrain himself, until Satan is taken out of the way, only to come back and indwell a person known as the Antichrist. So at the mid-point of the Tribulation, Satan is kicked out of heaven and he indwells the man who is Antichrist. In theory that seems plausible, except that Jesus unleashes this rider on the white horse back in the 1st Seal and he was the Antichrist then, long before Satan ever indwells him.

And the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” Genesis 6:3

It appears at least according to the Scriptures, that the Holy Spirit had an active role here on planet earth prior to the Flood. In the absence of written Scriptures or historical references, the Holy Spirit would have convicted men of sin and guided their conscience unto doing what was right. This certainly makes the case for Enoch as a type of the Church who is ‘caught up’ prior to the Flood.

The Apostle John tells us in 1 John 2:18-23 that ‘many antichrist’s have come’ and that the spirit of antichrist denies Christ is God in the flesh. The spirit of antichrist is a spiritual battle that requires the Restrainer to also be spiritual. And since many religions, philosophies, and peoples deny Christ all around the world, the only Person who is omnipresent and omnipotent, is God the Holy Spirit.

Born again believers are sealed until the day of Redemption (2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Eph 1:11-14), which means when the Holy Spirit is withdrawn, those He indwells are as well. Now, the Holy Spirit is God, and is omnipresent by His very nature, so it’s not like He is removed physically, because that is not possible. His role of restraint is removed (see Genesis 6:3 again) which is done through removing the body of Christ that has remained on this earth for these last 2,000 years.

The age of the Church had a beginning, and it’s only logical to conclude that it will also have an ending. The birth of the Church had a dramatic and powerful beginning as the Holy Spirit descended down as ‘cloven tongues like as of fire’ upon those believers in Acts 2.

Likewise will the removal of the Holy Spirit be a dramatic departure from this earth as believers (dead and alive) are resurrected and translated from mortal, to immortal, from perishable to imperishable. Prior to the Holy Spirit descending down in Acts 2, no orthodox Christian denies that the Holy Spirit existed, because we can see the Holy Spirit’s role in Creation as early back as Genesis 1:2. Yet, when it comes to the Rapture and the Holy Spirit's role as the Restrainer, many reject that out of hand as unbiblical.

The Church in and of itself cannot restrain evil, because we are but flawed humans. But through the working and power of the Holy Spirit (John 15:26-27, 16:5-15), we can do all things through Christ.

Christ called Him the Helper or Comforter, because for us, He is. But to the world, He is the Restrainer who judges the world of sin and keeps Satan’s plans from manifesting and completely enveloping the world in evil. It is not until the Church is removed, that the world will be thrown into a literal hell on earth. [See Revelation 6-19] But until that Day, Christ promised...
  • ...I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:18-19
Even so,  come Lord Jesus, Amen.

Monday, April 14, 2014

What Does Passover Mean To You?

This week is Passover Week in the life of the Jewish Nation. Here is an interesting take on the idea of Passover.

Passover's centrality in the American culture, state of mind and ethos has been evident from the 17th century Pilgrims and the 18th century Founding Fathers, until today.

1. The Passover legacy constitutes the foundation of Judaism, and is therefore included in most Jewish blessings (“in memory of the Exodus”). Passover symbolizes the rejuvenation of nature and mankind, spiritually and physically, individually and collectively/nationally. Passover stipulates that human rejuvenation – just like the rejuvenation of nature – must be driven by memory/history/roots. Therefore, parents are instructed to educate their children about the lessons of Passover. Passover was an early – and much more successful – edition of the (19th century) Spring of Nations. It is celebrated in the spring, the bud of nature. The biblical scroll of Song of Songs, which highlights spring, is read during Passover. Spring, Aviv in Hebrew (אביב) consists of two Hebrew words: Father – אב - of 12 – יב – months/tribes. Spring is mentioned 3 times in the Torah, all in reference to the Exodus. Passover – which commemorates the creation of the Jewish nation – lasts seven days, just like the creation of the universe.

2. Passover is the oldest Jewish national liberation holiday, highlighting the comprehensive nature of Judaism: religion, nationality, culture/morality, language and history. Passover underlines the centrality of spiritual, physical, individual and national liberty and optimism, playing a critical role in preserving Judaism, Jews and the yearning to reconstruct the Jewish Homeland during the super-challenging 40 years in the desert and the 2,500 years of exiles, destruction, pogroms, the Holocaust, wars and terrorism.

Passover – the role model of faith, education, morality, responsibility and governance driven liberty – interacts with Shavou’ot/Pentecost – the role model of morality. Liberty and morality are mutually-inclusive. The interdependence of liberty and morality distinguishes Western democracies from rogue regimes – a clash of civilizations.

The Hebrew word for “responsibility” – אחריות – encompasses the word “liberty” – חירות. It begins with the leading letter in the Hebrew alphabet, א, and ends with the last letter of the alphabet, ת – encompassing the total responsibility of leadership.

The Exodus is mentioned 50 times in the Torah, equal to the 50 years of the Jubilee, a time of liberation. 50 days following the Exodus, Moses received the Torah (the Pentecost Holiday), which includes – according to Jewish tradition – 50 gates of Wisdom. What does that mean for the 50 States in the USA, whose Hebrew name is ארצות הברית – the States of the Covenant?!

According to Heinrich Heine, the 19th century German poet, “Since the Exodus, freedom has always spoken with a Hebrew accent.”

3. Passover, and especially the Exodus/Liberty, were the pillars of fire guiding the twelve tribes of Israel, and the thirteen American colonies, from subjugation to sovereignty. The Passover legacy comprises a critical part of the American story. Moses, the US Founding Fathers and Israel’s Founding Father, Ben Gurion, were challenged by the “loyalists,” who were intimidated by the price/sacrifice of liberty, preferring subjugation to Egypt, the British King and the British Mandate. They featured in prior editions of the clash of civilizations against Pharaoh, the British monarchy and church and the Arab/Muslim world. The latter still rejects non-Muslim (“infidel”) sovereignty in any area considered – by Muslims – to be the abode of Islam (e.g., Spain and Portugal, southern France, Israel, etc.).

4. Passover’s centrality in the American culture, state of mind and ethos has been evident from the 17th century Pilgrims and the 18th century Founding Fathers, until today. The Pilgrims considered Britain “the modern day Egypt,” the British king was “the modern day Pharaoh,” the sail through the Atlantic Ocean was “the modern day parting of the sea” and America was “the modern day Promised Land/New Canaan.” In 1775, the president of Harvard University, Samuel Langdon, said that “the Jewish government [that God handed down to Moses] was a perfect republic.” Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” (the cement of the 1776 Revolution) referred to King George as “the hardened, sullen tempered Pharaoh of England.” The root of the term Federalism is “Foedus,” the Latin word for “The Covenant.” The Founding Fathers studied the political structure of the semi-independent 12 Tribes (the colonies), which were governed by tribal presidents (the governors) and by Moses (the Executive), Aaron (the Judiciary) and the 70 Elders (the Legislature). John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin proposed the “Parting of the Sea” as the official US seal. George Washington and John Adams, the first and second presidents, were compared to Moses and Joshua. Washington was eulogized as Moses and Virginia was compared to Goshen.