Thursday, March 23, 2006

Terrible Times: Apocalypse Now for Believers

Terrible Times: Apocalypse Now for Believers
(Wilfred Hahn)
What’s the major life force of society today? Without a doubt, it’s attaining “the good life.” If given the choice and the means, most people would likely not knowingly choose to pursue anything else. And why not? The “good life”
seems so within grasp in our society today. Yet, our entire commercial culture is tilting at a feverished pace to create imagined “cares of this life” and to pitch their solution to every potential consumer, whether they can afford it or not. And, if not, all the better — it’s good for the financial services business, which today, by the way, is the largest profit earner of any major industry.

We are witnessing a hyped, last-days stage of what was already a
glimmer in New Testament times: “To what, then, can I compare
the people of this generation? What are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other: ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not cry” (Matthew 11:6-17). So the whole world increasingly accepts a materialistic perspective of life. To our culture, at least, you only have lived if you “had your chance at greatness” (at least as the world would see it), consumed luxury items, are living in ease, popular and have excess wealth. Anything less means that one has not met the standard of“success” … and worst of all, may even be a failure as a “blessed” Christian. Of course, this represents blindness to eternal realities at its most complete.
Yet, today it stands as a major success of the humanist view of the world … one which the majority of Christians today endorse. The Humanist Manifesto actually even states that, “the quest for the good life is still the central task for mankind. […] And that he alone is responsible for the realization of the world of his dreams.”
It’s all a sign of an over-commercialized culture, which is a major facet of the endtime money trap that is being set for the world. But there is an additional endtime strategy evident in this rush towards popular indulgence and “blessed wealth.” It has to do with the attempt to weaken and annihilate the true Church of the last days.

A False Message
Many movements identifying themselves as Christian are peddling the same visions and techniques as the marketing wizards of Madison Avenue. They are “like children sitting in the marketplace calling out to each other” with the latest marketing sciences that have been adopted to deliver attendance and revenue results. While we don’t intend to review the sophistication of these latest techniques, our only intent is to point out the common message that underpins many of today’s church “marketing” programs — ease, comfort, the “good life” and how “you, too, can have all your trials solved.”
All of the trends evident in the secular world of commerce and pop psychology are evident in the “church business.” Just as a Wal-Mart and other large “bigbox” retailers squeeze out the smaller stores with their massive buying power and become ever bigger, so the large megachurches are draining attendance at the “drab and boring” churches wherever they are. After all, it requires “bigness” and “success” to afford jumbo Videotrons and to attract Hollywood entertainment stars to perform during services. Churchgrowth consulting services are even operated as “profit centers” in at least one ministry. The net result of it all is that “big-box” church-goers are being taught that to be Christian is to be materially blessed, to be culturally relevant, to have all of one’s problems solved and perhaps even to get invited to an interview on CNN’s “Larry King Live.”
There is only one problem. While it is possible that some Christians may have fewer trials than others, nowhere is the “good life” presented in the New Testament as the identifying mark of the Christian. Actually, if anything, the exact inverse is true. “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also,” said the Savior (John 15:20). In hindsight, these are both statements of fact. There are far, far more warnings about persecutions in the New Testament than there are possible indications of attaining the worldly “good life.” Rather, persecution and trials are held up as being good and commendable.“Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:12). “For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God” (1 Peter 2. 19).
But even more so, the Bible says that in the last days there will be terrible times for Christians, so awful in fact, that the “love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12) Therefore, the unfortunate timing of the tragedy that we see is unfolding in Western Christendom today. At the most inopportune and dangerous of times, a coddled Christianity is looking for the reward of the “good life” in the here and now. As such, these people are made captives of the “deceitfulness of wealth” and “worries of life” and “desires for other things” and are no match for the type of brutal environment that the Bible prophesies will (and does) typify the last days before Christ’s return. As we will briefly examine together, there are many indications that those terrible times are already here and are presently intensifying. Sadly, many Christians in North America and other rich countries are falling away for other gospels. Their shepherds have led them astray.

What Kind of Good Life?
Just what should those who have the real “Good” in their life expect? As Christ said, “There is only One who is good” (Matthew 19:16). Just what should life be like for the people who have the Good One living
within them during the “last days”?
Remarking on this time, the Apostle Paul provided a key warning to the Church about the conditions that it would face in the last days, saying, “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days” (2 Timothy 3:1). A scriptural case can be made that Paul is speaking to the Church — believers, in other words — and not just the world overall.
Just why will the “love of many grow cold” at that time? (Matthew 24:12). Then, the Bible says, “Because of the increase of wickedness” (Matthew 24:12). The original Greek word used for “love” in the above text is agape, which refers to the type of perfect love that is “godly and selfless.” We see here that the faith of many Christians will wither and die.
Apparently, the prophesied boom in wickedness will test Christians like never before. Of course, persecution of some form or time has characterized the life of the faithful from the beginning. But as the parable of the sower anticipates, not only physical persecution can make one’s faith grow cold: “When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful” (Mark 4: 17-19).
Everyone who takes a literal interpretation of Bible prophecy will agree that horrible events will certainly occur in the endtimes. The types of things depicted for the Great Tribulation are apocalyptic, to say the least. A third of the earth’s population will die, and various other difficulties have been described throughout Scripture in graphic terms and by numerous prophets. These are all events taking place in that general period that can be called the “last days” that certainly will be terrible. But technically, that sevenyear time period is also called the
“time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7), a time during which people for the most part have not yet recognized the Messiah.
The “terrible times in the last days” mentioned by the Apostle Paul specifically speaks to those who have already recognized and “bowed their knees” to the Messiah — the Church. In at least one sense, this period being addressed can be seen to be even more terrible than the Great Tribulation. Just how terrible?

Terminally Terrible
Let’s take a moment to confirm what the Apostle Paul exactly meant by the word “terrible.” Actually, this word is not an ideal interpretation of what has been originally expressed in the Greek. Of all the main Bible translations, the King James probably uses the best-fitting word — “perilous.” The original Greek word is chalepos, which means, “troublesome, dangerous, harsh, fierce and savage.” Not once is this word found in the book of Revelation.
The only other time that chalepos is used in the New Testament is
in Matthew 8:28, where we find Jesus encountering two demonpossessed men, living in caves who were “exceeding fierce, so
that no man might pass by that way” (KJV). Here we can postulate
demonic connection to these “perilous times.”
We do know that the period just before the Great Tribulation will be a complacent time when “people will be eating and drinking as in the times of Noah” (Matthew 24:37-40). It is a perilous time, spiritually treacherous. Much of the Church will have been neutralized and deceived. We can already see all of the characteristics of that time
with great intensity today.
It will be different during the Great Tribulation. Yes, the world will see the height of Christian purging — genocide — during that period. They will be slaughtered left, right and center. But will that time actually be dangerous for Christians living then? No, not likely. After all, Scripture
says, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill
the soul” (Matthew 10:28). In the spiritual sense the answer is
“no.” In the end, their souls will be safe … for an eternity, no less.
They may be slaughtered, but there will be little jeopardy with
respect to them winning the race, and rejecting the grace that
was theirs through Jesus Christ. We see them as “a great multitude
that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the ”(Revelation
These Christians will be forced to make a clear-cut decision when it comes to the point of accepting the “sign of the beast.” Any person who is or who becomes a believer during that time and refuses to take the sign of the beast is certain to die physically (Revelation 14:11). True believers will know that their decision will lead to at least one type of death — certain spiritual death should they take the “sign of the beast” (with physical death still possible over the remaining Tribulation Period), or alternately, certain physical death. With such facts and evidence, what sane, non-deceived person who recognizes Christ as eternal Savior would take the sign?
The “perilous times” that the Apostle Paul mentioned already begin to occur well before the Great Tribulation. Paul is saying that conditions for Christians who are living in the last days — before the Great Tribulation and before Christ’s return — will become fiercely and harshly dangerous wherever they may live. As mentioned, these will be perilous times during which the faith of many will turn cold. They may still be saved, but certainly they will be out of circulation spiritually — ineffective, ignoring truth, not running the race, totally dormant or worse. On the other hand, it takes much, much more courage to remain the “salt of the earth” during a time where wickedness is increasing.
Given that these are the very last of the last days, then shouldn’t Christians already be experiencing (or at least observing) fierce, harsh conditions? Would we be overstating the case to say that we should be observing a firestorm of activity, a veritable flood of terrible and demonic things today?
The Bible contains some signs to answer these questions.

Signs of the Terrible Times
Scripture tells us exactly what to anticipate and what its results
will be during the “perilous” times. Above all, it is a time of great deception. We are even given the specific signs of its occurrence.
Eighteen of them alone are mentioned in 2 Timothy 3:2- 5.
People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful,
proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,
without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal,
not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God — having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
These 18 behavioral characteristics take place under the license
of institutionalized religion. As such, this number could represent
the final or highest form of mankind’s rebelliousness that the world will see against God — a figure that is three times six, the numbers of completeness and of man, respectively. Is that day here today?
We have no trouble finding statistics and evidence documenting
the emergence of each of these characteristics as accepted norms in today’s societies — many of which are still called “Christian” countries — and that are “white washed” by theologians and religious organizations. For example, starting at the beginning of the list, here are some brief observations:

1. “People will be lovers of themselves.” Myriad surveys document the increase of narcissism, selfishness, etc. The best indirect evidence of this trend is the high incidence of depression. The World Health Organization has produced studies on this trend in recent years, calling it an epidemic. While this phenomenon will have different causes, it is also promoted by the empty values that society incessantly promotes. Self-love is deceitful. It tricks people into believing that they can imagine something better for themselves, treatment other than what God has in mind for them.

2. “Lovers of money.” The love of money is today worshipped as a central pillar of economic growth, the chief measure of national and personal achievement. In recent decades, policymakers of many countries have advanced the deceitfulness of wealth by even tantalizing its citizens with effigies of effortless (but false) wealth.
3. “Boastful.” Once upon a time, people were encouraged to be discreet and understated. The Bible counsels us to give God all of the glory, and whatever we do, to do it unto Him. One telling statistic, aptly documenting today’s acceptance of “boastfulness” is the incidence of lies and overstatements on résumés submitted for job positions. For example, a recent survey found that more than 95 percent of US college students were willing to make at least one false statement
on a résumé to get a job. And of course, today, we have “bragging

We could provide statistics that document the widespread emergence of the other 15 characteristics found in 2 Timothy 3:2-5, however, space doesn’t allow. All of them occur under the guise and structure of godliness and apparent piety, but deny the power of godliness. We are instructed to, “Have nothing to do with them.”

For example, a recent survey found that more than 95 percent of US college students were willing to make at least one false statement on a résumé to get a job. And of course, today, we have “bragging rights.”

True believers, those who will be faithful to the end and whose love hasn’t turned cold, will not have succumbed to these conditions and can expect to face persecution of many types. When outlining the signs of the last days in Matthew 24, Christ told the disciples:
“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who
stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24:12-14).
These are among the last conditions Christ mentions before He returns (only one other condition follows: the preaching of the Gospel in all the earth). But just where is the persecution today? We hear of Christians who live in Muslim countries, China, and other Third World countries,
who are being slain for their faith, but not so in North America or Europe. Christ mentions two hardships — persecution and being put to death. Persecution can take many forms. In North America, it can be argued that Christians are being persecuted in a much more dangerous and cunning fashion.
As “wickedness increases” and more and more of society and the Church takes on the characteristics that we already examined (under the structural appearance of godliness, no less!) it takes much courage to go against the flow.
Consider these examples: If you have a retail business, it is now virtually impossible to close one day a week and stay profitable. What to do? Sell the business, go bankrupt or stay open on the Sabbath?
Society today is given over to massive speculation and indebtedness.
Why not “plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation” (1 Peter 4.4)? Doing so, it’s even possible to rub shoulders with other successful
Christian business people who seem perfectly suited to the corrupt business morality of the day. After all, it is not uncommon to see among the wiliest business people honored at the gatherings of Christian business associations.
You forthrightly uphold God’s Word, literally interpreting the Bible. But now people think you are a nut, and avoid you as a pariah. Even your Christian friends exclude you from their circle.
You work in a large multi-national corporation that enforces a highly incentivized performance structure and discover that honesty and attempts at maintaining a balanced family life renders you unfit. Do you quit and give up the “good life”?
Your children may be subject to deep insecurity and depression. They don’t possess the latest designer jeans and can’t see themselves matching up to the ideal image that our culture today demands. Counteracting the thousands of media messages that your children face every day is a thankless, never-ending task.
A “man-on-the-street” TV interviewer asks you whether you think homosexuality is a sin. You evade the question because your comment
could be considered a “hate crime.” Besides, your employer or business may face repercussions.
An apparent Christian inexplicably takes you to court. He was a trusted business partner at one time … maybe a member of your “Christian” investment club. Undeservedly, you lose your house as a result. Your life is in ruins.
You find yourself out of a job. Sending out résumés with inflated qualifications would be doing what is simply the norm. Why not? The cares of this life are pressing. You need to get your daughter into the right school to ensure her chances for an elite job. And everybody in
your circle of friends is buying second houses.
Legions of other examples of pressures and persecutions could be cited, not even to mention specific demonic activity that can be directed against “frontline” Christians. As we can see from the conditions observed, the time of persecution is already here. The bottom line is that being a Christian today has a price and it involves a sacrifice. But
how could that be? Haven’t we been taught for years that being a
good Christian brings rich blessings?
Therefore, many will choose to let their love run cold due to the disappointments brought about by persecution and wickedness. Instead of seeing it as a privilege to share in the sufferings of Christ, they have been conditioned by apostate teachers to expect the “good life” in the here and now. They therefore repudiate their faith as a result of hardship and forced sacrifice. Better to go through the motions
of godliness while yet endorsing the tactics and mindsets that will
not forfeit the chance for having the “good life.” After all, country
club Christianity for its own sake is a rarified religion that has the
ultimate appeal.

Up, Up and Away?
A major point of difference between prophecy students in the premillennial camp is the topic of the Rapture. Some interpret Scripture to reveal that there will be a “snatching away” of the faithful at some point before Christ’s feet again physically alight on the Mount of Olives.
Others are equally adamant that there is only one event. This writer doesn’t feel a duty to enter this debate, other than to make this broad observation: Whatever of the two views comes to be, if Christians were to face the Great Tribulation, it can be seen as the less “perilous” outcome.
Understandably, some consider the “Rapture crowd” as escapists
who wish to avoid the tough times during the Great Tribulation period. Like the lyrics of the well-known Fifth Dimension song, they count on
the “Up, up and away in my beautiful, my beautiful balloon.” While this is of course not an argument disproving the Rapture, it nevertheless represents a correct and embarrassing view of the state of most Christians. Some are so idolatrous about the “good life” that they are or yet want to enjoy, they are relieved to believe that their comforts will not be take away from them before they go to heaven. A comment
we once heard from a high-profile Christian expressed relief at the thought that his investment portfolio would be secure until the time of the devastations that are likely to occur during the Great Tribulation.
He was comforted that he wouldn’t suffer any major losses
before the Rapture.
As we have reviewed, the really “terrible times” for Christians are today. Today is the dangerous period where the “love of many” becomes cold. In contrast, that likely will not happen during the Great Tribulation. Those who have eyes to see and ears to hear during that time will clearly recognize the times. How could they not? In that
sense, experiencing the Great Tribulation would be the easy way out. As a Christian during that time, the chances are better that one’s faith will be proven true, tested and secure.

Thoughts to Ponder
Today is the dangerous time of deception, apostasy and complacency.
If that is the case, then dedicated Christians who truly strive to serve God and walk with Jesus Christ should be facing perilous times right now, or at least expect it. All the resources of the world and the
“prince of the air” will be engaged in the “rise of wickedness” with the express objective of annihilating the Church and true believers.
On a personal level, just how terrible are things for you today? Just what forms of persecution is the enemy directing at you? And just
what price will you be willing to pay in order to follow Christ?
Many can’t bear to pay the price of forsaking the “good life” and retreat, shutting down their witness.
Of course, the most effective way of competing to attain the “good life” as the world and some churches would define it is to have the 18 characteristics foreseen by the Apostle Paul. Given the present “hyper-competitive” and deceitful economic environment, it is these characteristics that are most likely to be rewarded now. It is no coincidence that the Apostle Peter presents nearly the same list as the
description of the false prophets in 2 Peter 2.
Given the “feel good” pop psychology being preached by many
teachers and “smiling” preachers these days, Christ’s statements that
we should expect to share in His sufferings will surely seem ncongruous and surprising to most Christians on the wayside and
main path. It shouldn’t be. The Apostle Peter warned exactly the
opposite: “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you
are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.
But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed” (1 Peter 4:12- 13).
Christians may now have this opportunity of these last days to
prove that their faith is genuine: Grief is being suffered in “all kinds
of trials […] so that your faith […] may be proved genuine” (1 Peter
1:6). With Christ it is possible to stand firm to the end (Matthew
24:13). Paul provides hope, writing: “For I am convinced that neither
death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
For Christians, the terrible times are worsening now … before any prospect of the “up, up and away.”

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Who will save Abdul Rahman?

Who will save Abdul Rahman?

Posted: March 22, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Michelle Malkin
© 2006 Creators Syndicate Inc.
Abdul Rahman is a man of faith. "I believe in the Holy Spirit. I believe in Christ. And I am a Christian," he declared this week.

Unfortunately for Rahman, he was originally born a Muslim in Afghanistan – and he has been forced to defend his religious conversion in his home country's court, where he now faces the death penalty for turning to Jesus. Despite the defeat of the totalitarian Taliban and the existence of a U.S.-backed "moderate" democratic government, it is a capital crime for Afghans to openly embrace any religion other than Islam. Shariah law, embedded in the Afghan constitution, overrides its human rights provisions.

Rahman's family has denounced him as mentally ill. Afghan officials are thirsting for his blood. "We will cut him into little pieces," jail employee Hosnia Wafayosofi told the Chicago Tribune, as she "made a cutting motion with her hands."

The Tribune reported that prosecutor Abdul Wasi demanded Rahman's repentance and called him a traitor: "He is known as a microbe in society, and he should be cut off and removed from the rest of Muslim society and should be killed." The country's attorney general says Rahman should be hung. The judge handling the case, who has been photographed wielding Rahman's Bible as evidence against him, threatens: "If he doesn't regret his conversion, the punishment will be enforced on him. And the punishment is death."

This is a watershed moment in the post-September 11 world. The Taliban are out of power. And yet today, an innocent man sits in the jail of a "moderate" Muslim nation praying for his life because he owned a Bible and refuses to renounce his Christian faith. Rahman, who converted many years ago while working for a Christian aid agency in Germany, "is standing by his words," fellow jail inmate Sayad Miakel told Canada's Globe and Mail. Another cellmate, Khalylullah Safi, reported: "He keeps looking up to the sky, to God."

As of yesterday afternoon, left-wing Amnesty International had nothing to say about the case. But neither did President Bush, a man of faith and a Christian brother. During his extensive White House press conference on the War on Terror and the defense of freedom overseas, Bush spent plenty of time describing what life was like for Afghans before Operation Enduring Freedom:

"There was no such thing as religious freedom. There was no such thing as being able to express yourself in the public square. There was no such thing as press conferences like this. They were totalitarian in their view. And that would be – I'm referring to the Taliban, of course. And that's how they would like to run government. They rule by intimidation and fear, by death and destruction. And the United States of America must take this threat seriously and must not – must never forget the natural rights that formed our country."

President Bush, who will defend Abdul Rahman's natural rights from being usurped and terminated by Afghanistan's Islamic executioners?

Tony Perkins at the Family Research Council raises the unpleasant question Bush evaded and no one in the White House press corps bothered to ask: "How can we congratulate ourselves for liberating Afghanistan from the rule of jihadists only to be ruled by Islamists who kill Christians? ... President Bush should immediately send Vice President Cheney or Secretary Rice to Kabul to read [Afghan President] Hamid Karzai's government the riot act. Americans will not give their blood and treasure to prop up new Islamic fundamentalist regimes. Democracy is more than purple thumbs."

Embarrassingly, the governments of Italy and Germany have already stepped forward to make direct appeals to Karzai to save Rahman's life. Karzai has ducked the issue so far. Our feckless State Department is "monitoring" the situation.

If we sit on the sidelines and watch this man "cut into little pieces" for his love of Christ, we do not deserve the legacy of liberty our Founding Fathers left us. How about offering Rahman asylum in the United States? Perhaps Yale University, proud sponsor of former Taliban official Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, can offer Rahman a scholarship. Where's the Catholic Church, so quick to offer sanctuary to every last illegal alien streaming across the borders? And how about Hollywood, so quick to take up the cause of every last Death Row inmate?

Hello, anyone, hello?

What are we fighting for?

What are we fighting for?

Posted: March 22, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2006

While I have been a strong supporter of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, I'm beginning to wonder whether our mission is moral.

There's no question in my mind that it makes sense to fight Islamic terrorists in their strongholds rather than on our own shores.

But, even assuming eventual military success in these foreign wars, what kind of life will we leave behind for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan? That is a question keeping me awake at nights.

Sometimes you have to personalize these big issues – put a face on them. And, for me, the face I'm seeing belongs to Abdul Rahman, a 40-something Afghani convert from Islam to Christianity who is facing a death penalty for refusing to renounce his new faith.

This is taking place in "liberated" Afghanistan – in U.S.-occupied Afghanistan.

What are American military personnel sacrificing their lives for if not to change the very conditions that breed Osama bin Laden-style extremism and Taliban-style oppression?

After freeing Afghanis from the clutches of the Taliban, the new government there is based on Shariah law, which holds that any Muslim who rejects his or her religion should be sentenced to death.

"We are not against any particular religion in the world," explained Supreme Court Judge Ansarullah Mawlavizada. "But in Afghanistan, this sort of thing is against the law. It is an attack on Islam. … The prosecutor is asking for the death penalty."

This is not the way it is supposed to be during or after an occupation of liberation.

Americans may think they are being "compassionate" and "diverse" and "tolerant" and "multicultural" and "conciliatory" by allowing governments of Iraq and Afghanistan to impose Shariah law on their people.

It was not this way in occupied Germany. It was not this way in occupied Japan.

Americans told the people of Germany and Japan how they were to live after World War II. Can anyone suggest today that those countries are not better off for having embraced the values of freedom and justice?

I was one of those crazy Americans of Arabic heritage who supported these wars for two reasons – I knew they were necessary for the security of the U.S., and I believed they could help ignite a freedom revolution in the Muslim world.

We may have prevented another September 11 with these conflicts. We may have knocked al-Qaida off its game. We may have put the enemy on the defensive. But we have not freed the people from their yoke of oppression under Shariah law.

The problem is not just Afghanistan. In Iraq, Christians, probably the people who most welcomed the invasion by the U.S., have found themselves in more dire straits than under the rule of Saddam Hussein. They are leaving Iraq by the thousands because of increasing persecution that is at least tolerated by the government in Baghdad.

Some will suggest, on the basis of this column, that I am proposing a religious crusade against Islam. I am not. I do not believe in forcible conversions, whereas Islam does. But I do not believe it is moral to overthrow a government in a foreign land and leave its citizens at the mercy of such tyrants and tyrannical systems.

Had we left the emperor in charge in Japan, we understood that the empire might rise again to attack us. We understood that if we left Nazis in charge in Germany, Jews and others would face horrendous persecution.

If we were smart enough to know those things in 1945, why are we so blind today?


by J. R. Nyquist

In the prologue of his book, Countdown to Crisis, Kenneth R. Timmerman asks, “What if the Ayatollah got the bomb?” Well, in an ideal world Iran shouldn’t have the bomb. Though it is worth remembering that Stalin had the bomb. Mao had the bomb. That is to say, history’s greatest mass murderers had the bomb – and now their diminutive hatchlings have hundreds (even thousands) of nuclear weapons. These are mounted on intercontinental missiles aimed at the United States. We should not expect these weapons to be aimed at Brazil or Iceland or New Guinea. And so, when Iran gets the bomb (thanks to Russia), and when Iran gets ICMBs (thanks to Russia again), these weapons will be aimed at America. It is only obvious what big weapons in the hands of bad people are for. They are reserved for the destruction of two or three countries: Israel, the United States and Britain.

And one day the weapons will be used. But in whose hands should we fear them the most?

Let us differentiate big from small. Even a poisonous insect is easily squashed. There are little threats and big threats: poisonous little spiders and great dragons. And in the world of AD 2006, the great powers include Russia and China. The communist bureaucrats that threatened America during the Cold War are still in control. Vladimir Putin is one such bureaucrat. His faithful colleagues still hate America and work against America while they smile and hold out their hands for money and “partnership.” The Ayatollah is allied with Moscow, assisted by Moscow, supported by Moscow. This is a known fact, easily checked. If Iran is a threat to America, then Russia has built this threat. To paint Iran as America’s most dangerous enemy, ignoring Russia and China, is a bad landscape. Perhaps it tends toward moonscape. The mullahs may be religiously inspired to attack “the Great Satan,” but any such attack would only hasten their own inevitable downfall. Properly understood, Iran is merely a pawn in a larger game.

Iraq was also a pawn. The Russians built Saddam’s army because instability in the Middle East drives up oil prices. And Russia is the main beneficiary of high oil prices. Iran’s nuclear ambitions further Russia’s oil strategy. Therefore, Russia has worked to build Iran’s nuclear potential. A preemptive U.S. attack on Iran would accomplish nothing except to enrich Russia through a further rise in oil prices. In the Iranian parliament they chant “Death to America.” In Russia the leadership quietly builds new weapons, and is far more dangerous. In fact, Iran’s bomb is a Russian thing from first to last. And so is Iran’s missile program.

As Timmerman points out in his book, Russian companies have been building Iran’s long-range missile forces. When the CIA learned of Russian involvement in Iran’s strategic missile program the Kremlin sought to neutralize the CIA’s sources of information. When America protested Russian assistance to Iran’s nuclear program, the Russians insisted the program was “peaceful.” America’s diplomatic response has been weak. Unlike Truman, Bush will not publicly say the Russian leaders are liars. For many years the news seems to beg the same questions: (1) How do we account for the “see no evil” policy of the U.S. government as it regards Russia and China? (2) Why is the United States focusing its attention on small countries like Iraq and Iran, changing its strategic posture in a way that makes it vulnerable on so many fronts simultaneously? (3) Why is the United States ignoring the steady advance of communism in Latin America?

These are fair questions; and these questions will puzzle scholars when scholarship returns from the politically correct doldrums of today. All too often the United States sees no evil where evil abounds. In attacking Iraq, the American president chose to see evil in one country instead of a dozen countries. In naming the “Axis of Evil” the president forgot the “Dirty Dozen.” In chess terms, he took a pawn and exposed his queen. One has to be suspicious as the evidence trickles in about Iraqi and Iranian involvement in 9/11. What would America do if Russia, too, were implicated in the scheme? What if FSB (KGB) defector Alexander Litvinenko is right when he charges that bin Laden’s chief lieutenant, Ayman al-Zawahiri, is a longstanding KGB agent? Anyone who has learned the deeper meaning of American politics during the last two decades knows that such a discovery is psychologically impossible under America’s shopping mall regime. Some truths are out of bounds, and this truth – if true– is in that category. It doesn’t matter if you are the most respected analyst in the CIA. It wouldn’t matter if Zawahiri were captured and confessed. Solid testimony can always be debunked. Confessions can be declared malicious. Documents can be conveniently lost or buried.

Shortly before the 9/11 Commission sent their final report to the printers in 2004, the Commission’s staff director called a meeting. According to Timmerman, “Commission staff members had discovered a document from a U.S. intelligence agency that described in detail Iran’s ties to al-Qaeda…. It had been buried at the bottom of a huge stack of highly classified documents on other subjects that had been delivered to a special high-security reading room in an undisclosed location in Washington, D.C.”

The 9/11 Commission was amazed at this last-minute discovery. The CIA had lied to the Commission when it claimed no connection between al Qaeda and Iran. The 9/11 Commission demanded to see more documentation. “What the [Commission] team leader found,” wrote Timmerman, “was nothing less than a complete documented record of operational ties between Iran and al-Qaeda for the critical months just prior to September 11.”

According to Timmerman, a senior Iranian operative had “coordinated the travel of eight to ten of the ‘muscle hijackers’ between Saudi Arabia, Beirut, and Iran in October and November 2000.” All of this is important, relevant information. The U.S. government finds it inconvenient because the U.S. military is overextended in Iraq. We cannot afford a war in Iran, if we want to keep our shopping mall culture. And that is why we ignore the enmity of Russia and China as well. Our policy is a simple one. It is based on hope. We hope that China will become an amiable and trustworthy trading partner. We hope that Russia will become a democracy. And as President Bush indicated in his State of the Union message, he hopes that the Iranian people will spontaneously rise up and free themselves from the mullahs. It’s as if the fall of the Soviet Union spoiled us, leaving us to expect the spontaneous collapse of every enemy.

America is a country where economic optimism dictates self-deception.

One should recall the fierce words of President Bush in the wake of 9/11: “I’ve directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.” Such words from the president sounded good at the time, but America’s resolve has melted through time and distraction. We have gradually returned to 10 September 2001. That is where we want to live, the rabbit hole into which we would escape. And so we have. The CIA covered up the Iran connection to al Qaeda. According to Timmerman, the CIA covered up the pre-9/11 warnings from Iranian sources. “The 9/11 hijackers and al-Qaeda planners had been in constant contact with senior Iranian officials and intelligence officers before September 11,” wrote Timmerman. “It was not a casual relationship or a chance encounter here and there, but a steady stream of contacts.”

Those who think of America as a vast imperialist conspiracy have it all wrong. Those who think President Bush has an itchy trigger finger are mistaken. Those who think it’s about oil need to do the numbers – Russian style. The blindness of the CIA is merely the blindness of the American people institutionalized and formalized. The errors of George W. Bush are the errors of a country that no longer thinks strategically. Though America struck back at its enemies after 9/11, it refused to enumerate its enemies, or admit the coordination of these enemies or consider their strategy.

It would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.

© 2006 Jeffrey R. Nyquist


Weekly Column - 03.10.2006

by J. R. Nyquist

Russian generals and anti-American propagandists would like you to believe that George W. Bush was behind 9/11, or else it was “the Jews.” Anti-Semitism is alive and well today, from the “historical revisionists” who say the holocaust never happened to the obnoxious conspiracy nuts who believe that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are authentic. Anti-American and anti-Jewish propaganda are of a piece. The one set of lies is related to the other, as the fate of the Jewish people in World War II foreshadows the fate of the American people in World War III. Extermination of the hated and reviled race is an ongoing theme. It has appeared in the past and it will reappear in the future. Those who want to destroy America are kin to Hitler and his followers. Allied with Moscow, they form a new United Front that links al Jazeera and Hugo Chavez’s Telesur channel with a global revolutionary movement. These people dream of America’s fall, without regard for the impact on humanity as a whole. The fall of America signifies the collapse of a global system. Such an event would bring an unprecedented planet-wide death toll. Even if America’s leaders have stumbled into this mess through stupidity, the wickedness of the malcontents is still wicked, and nothing will wipe the blood from those who revel in America’s downfall. The enemies of reason will blame the United States and the Jews and President George W. Bush. They will accept grotesque lies as truth while truth disappears for decades or centuries. We should not be surprised that the former chief of staff of the Russian military blames capitalism for 9/11.

Having built up Iran’s nuclear program, having emboldened the world’s leading terrorist state, the Russians bait the Americans. If America preemptively strikes Iran’s nuclear program then a crushing oil embargo will follow. The price of oil will skyrocket further. It is a clear case of “damned if you do, damned if you don’t.” The Russians are making lots of money off rising energy prices. They will make a lot more. Tensions between Iran and the United States, unrest in Nigeria and an emerging communist dictator in Venezuela threaten an oil crisis that will bring America to its knees. “Taking into account the good relations between Russia and Iran,” says an Iranian official, “we can prevail in this crisis.” And who will stop them? “We are counting on the continuation of close contacts with our Chinese colleagues [in this matter],” says the Russian foreign minister.

On February 28 Russian President Vladimir Putin wrote an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal titled “Energy Egotism Is a Road to Nowhere.” The central question about this commentary should be, “Who is the energy egotist Putin refers to?” Reverting to the classic rich versus poor dialectic of communism, Mr. Putin denied that “energy security has mainly to do with the interests of industrially developed countries.” Think of the two billion paupers who “do not enjoy modern-day energy services, while many lack access even to electricity.” According to Putin, “Their access to many benefits and advances of civilization has been virtually blocked.” That’s right, the rich nations are “blocking” the poor. And irony of delicious ironies, Russia has now assumed the presidency of the G-8. “Today,” noted Putin, “energy is an engine of social and economic progress.” (Here the word “progress” signifies the forward movement of the Revolution.)

Responding to Putin in a Wall Street Journal letter to the editors on March 9, former Estonian Prime Minister Mart Laar wrote that Mr. Putin’s article reminded him “of speeches of former Soviet leaders, when peace was praised but in reality preparations for war were made.” According to Laar, “Russia’s recent actions against Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia have made absolutely clear that Moscow has decided to use energy deliveries as a political weapon.” This has occurred because the KGB is at the helm. Through criminal networks, energy blackmail, economic subversion and political infiltration the “former” Soviet Union dominates Russia and Europe from behind the scenes. America has lost its former position and dares not call the Kremlin to account.

Writing in the Washington Times on March 8, Edward Lozansky warned that the American government is provoking Russia into “a new and probably more dangerous Cold War.” Of course, the Cold War never ended. The Russian promises of the 1990s came to naught by design, not by happenstance. Through a bloody and cynical provocation stemming from Chechnya, the head of Russia’s secret police was appointed to the presidency. His subsequent electoral victories were manufactured. This opened the way to a planned strategic reversal. Russia’s policy, even before Putin’s rise to power, consisted of several suggestive elements: 1) Building a new alliance with China, 2) granting nuclear assistance to Iran, 3) subverting German democracy, 4) manipulating the mineral wealth of South Africa, 5) slipping nuclear technology to North Korea (under the table), and 6) using energy as a political weapon. It is no accident that Iraq is on the brink of civil war, that Iran insists on developing nuclear weapons, that Venezuela and Bolivia have gone communist.

Moscow favors all of these developments.

In the midst of America’s woes, Russia is doing well. According to Lozansky, the Russian economy “has been growing at the robust rate of 6 percent to 7 percent for the last five years.” Russia’s government operates with a surplus. Russia’s stock market, Lozansky noted, is “the best in the world.” Foreign investment in Russia is rapidly rising as Russia pays off old Soviet debts. “Most importantly … the majority of Russians are feeling proud of their country…. Waking from his slumbers, President Bush sees that Russia has played a trick. In 1991 the United States was ideologically disarmed while the “former” communist bloc put together a new and more powerful formation. Washington is now caught in a trap.

© 2006 Jeffrey R. Nyquist


Weekly Column - 03.17.2006

by J. R. Nyquist

People are fragile, countries are fragile and the peace of the world is fragile. And so are financial systems based on paper. Prosperity itself is fragile. All you need is a trigger mechanism, like a widening war, and the world itself can fall to pieces. Or maybe it’s falling into pieces now and further disintegration is inevitable. Like a contagion, anger and hatred travel around the world. All totalitarian regimes are based on anger and hatred, and hatred begets violence. The vicious cycle takes hold and war follows. What chance does civilization have as weapons of mass destruction come into the hands of political madmen?

North Korea has nuclear weapons and Iran may have them soon. The Muslim world is growing impatient. It feels its new strength, its growing possibilities. God is great, they say. And nuclear technology cannot be contained in one or several countries. So much anger mixed with ambition. Mix wounded pride and vanity with religion. Think how exasperating the Americans can be. Should America’s democratic values reign supreme throughout the world? Should American popular culture be permitted to annihilate all traditional values, in country after country, year after year, until nothing is left on planet earth but one grand democratic shopping mall (i.e., the “global village”)? What is a true-believing Muslim to think?

Men cannot avoid offending one another. Today, for example, Arab financial leaders are taking steps to punish America for blocking a Dubai company from buying five U.S. ports. Central banks in some Arab countries are switching cash reserves from dollars into euros. The United Arab Emirates is talking about moving one tenth of its dollar reserves into euros. The United States clearly discriminates against Arab investors, though the discrimination is perfectly understandable. Many Arabs, however, do not understand. Why should Americans fear Arab involvement in U.S. ports? Why should Americans fear Muslim immigrants? Perhaps Americans are too busy shopping and having fun to fear anything, but they are nevertheless annoyed at the idea that strategic nodes and portals may be nominally “owned” by foreign Muslims who may or may not secretly sympathize with Osama bin Laden. President Bush, of course, tried to hold the line against America’s economic “bigotry.” But he only damaged himself in the process, since a collision of peoples and nations is now unavoidable. The democratic amelioration strategy of the United States is a fantastical project. It is an attempt to spread democracy to the undemocratic. In this process Humpty Dumpty loses his balance. As the children’s nursery Rhyme says:

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the King’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

The world order is fragile. The fact that something has continued so long – that the dollar has reigned supreme for so many decades – is no guarantee to the future. The old order is crumbling before our eyes. The political games of the moment facilitate a process of disintegration instead of integration. Today the Arab central banks threaten the dollar. Tomorrow the Iranians close the Straits of Hormuz. The day after tomorrow the Chinese pull the plug and all the “value” drains out of the U.S. economy. Globalization is a dream that ends as the battle lines of the next world war take shape. The global bourgeoisie has accomplished many things, but it cannot bring about “the end of history.” The unprecedented wealth and prosperity of the last few centuries is not a permanent state, guaranteed by the god of progress. Every action engenders a reaction, and what goes up must come down.

The Iranian bourgeoisie is unhappy with its extremist president. The religious extremists who dominate the Iranian government are bankrupting the country while preparing for a disastrous confrontation with the United States. The Iranian middle class doesn’t want this. But the Iranian middle class has little power. Even the moderate clergy cannot stop the regime from doing its will. Iran’s extremists have the power. They control the army and the police. The money of Iran’s middle class cannot shoot down the radical clerics or raise armies to defeat them. The bourgeoisie has no arms, no munitions and no intelligence apparatus. The bourgeoisie has been disarmed. It is a process known to Russian and Chinese history. It is a process underway in Venezuela and South Africa. The poverty of Cuba and North Korea derives from this process.

Ira is a terror-sponsoring, terror-supporting state that has waged clandestine war against its declared enemies (the Great Satan and the Little Satan, America and Israel). The Iranian government has committed acts of war against the United States. But these acts have been tolerated because waging war is so very inconvenient and would prove so very costly. As it happens, Iranian-supported terrorists can kill and terrorize Americans without an American retaliatory attack because Iran has positioned missiles, boats and aircraft around the world’s most critical waterway. Close to 90 percent of the oil supplied by the Persian Gulf is loaded on tankers that move through the Straits of Hormuz. If you shut off this strategic waterway the developed world loses power. Think of the financial consequences that would follow. The technical military question remains, of course, whether Iran can close the straits – and for how many days. (This is not an easy question to answer.)

In the present crisis, therefore, we shouldn’t be surprised to see Iran threatening to close the Straits of Hormuz if the U.N. Security Council dares to impose sanctions over its nuclear program. “We are rich in energy resources,” said Iranian Interior Minister Mustafa Pourmohammadi. “We have control over the biggest and most sensitive energy route in the world.” The Iranian strategy is clear. If you don’t let Iran develop a nuclear capability, then Iran will choke off your oil and leave you crippled and helpless. “We will not disregard any means,” added Pourmohammadi. “If they want to try other options, they have to be sure that our potential is not less than theirs.”

Given the Russian (and Chinese) veto in the U.N. Security Council, effective sanctions will never be passed against Iran. If the Americans, British and French want to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons then a military strike will have to occur. Some believe (and expect) that the United States will launch a preemptive attack against Iran’s emerging nuclear industries. If only we had a crystal ball with which to observe the future. Is the Iranian leadership “crazy” enough to give nuclear weapons to terrorists? Would Iran use nuclear weapons against Israel in a future conflict? Is nuclear deterrence effective against people who believe that Allah will reward them in the next world? (Imagine Mohammed Atta with a nuclear device.)

Recent statements from the American president indicate his usual readiness to crush the ever-sneaking, obstinate and contemptuous enemy. On March 13 President Bush stated that Iran was helping to kill American soldiers in Iraq. “Tehran has been responsible for at least some of the increasing lethality of anti-coalition attacks by Shi’a militia,” said the president. That is undoubtedly true. So how does one stop the violence in Iraq without bringing the war to Iran? The logic of the president’s position is limited by the small size of the U.S. Army, and the eroded morale of the American people. This month’s CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll indicates that 60 percent of Americans think the war in Iraq is going badly. What would they think if the fighting extended to Iran? Is America’s mission in the Middle East to bring democracy, or to stop nuclear proliferation? According to President Bush, weapons of mass destruction are secondary. Bringing democracy comes first and foremost, because democratic nations do not threaten one another at all.

The declared National Security Strategy of the United States is to “seek and support democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.” Thus the United States has declared war on every autocratic regime in the world. “Achieving this goal is the work of generations,” says President Bush. This grand plan, however, is beyond the means of the U.S. government and alien to the will of the American people. It cannot succeed in a thousand generations. This fantastic attempt to end tyranny “in our world” merely enshrines as policy the illusion that a consumer society can seriously wage war against nuclear-armed terror-supporting states whose people are hungry. A grave illusion of this kind presages the end of freedom, not the end of tyranny.

As Friedrich Nietzsche pointed out over 115 years ago, democracy is the declining form of authority. As such, it cannot win an open-ended war against the human condition. Besides, Americans don’t really care if Arabs enjoy freedom through democratic institutions. If America is bankrupted and demoralized in a vain attempt to build Arab democracy, then what’s the point? Americans don’t want to keep paying billions of dollars building the infrastructure of countries that curse American generosity and accuse the U.S. of stealing Muslim oil. The public is growing tired, and the president’s arguments no longer carry any weight. If he leveled whole towns and pacified Iraq the way Germany and Japan were pacified in 1945, he might have a chance. But he doesn’t have a chance because he isn’t as ruthless and bloody as Harry S. Truman. He won’t incinerate people in large numbers, and so he cannot discipline their rebellion or reverse their refusal to accept the gift of democracy. Initially, the United States invaded Iraq to prevent the spread of WMDs. Now the United States must invade Iran for the same reason. By extension the U.S. must invade North Korea and so on. The same logic applies to the president’s democratic crusade. Even China must eventually fall to democracy. But where will the United States find the manpower to fight such an ever-expanding war? Where will it find the money and allies to carry on in such a fashion?

The basis of the invasion of Iraq should have been more narrowly conceived. It should have been more seriously, more intelligently, more consistently self-interested. If only America’s enemies and critics were right and Bush had invaded for the oil. What is wrong with protecting the developed world’s oil supply? Must Western Civilization roll over and breathe its last because it is suddenly forbidden to impose its will on an ancient rival? At least a selfish motive would make sense. But sadly, the American invasion of Iraq has devolved into an altruistic adventure, and no good deed (especially in the Middle East) goes unpunished. If the invasion was meant to secure better military bases for protecting the flow of oil then we could at least understand Washington’s motive.

Iraq is fragile and Iraqi democracy is even more fragile.

© 2006 Jeffrey R. Nyquist

What kind of freedom have we sacrificed for?

Shummer60 - So this means it is okay for us to execute all the Moslems in the US who try to convert others;-o? NOT!

Democratic Apostasy
The Martyrdom of Abdul Rahman

Since October 2001, approximately three hundred Americans have been killed and another eight hundred have been wounded in Afghanistan. The overthrow of the Taliban was about more than denying a base of operations to al Qaeda-it was also about liberating the people of Afghanistan from a brutal theocracy.

All of this makes recent news from Kabul all the more ironic-and outrageous.

Abdul Rahman is on trial for his life in a Kabul court. His crime? Converting to Christianity.

According to reports, Rahman converted to Christianity sixteen years ago while working for a Christian group that helped Afghan refugees in Peshawar, Pakistan. When he returned to Afghanistan in 2002, he tried to regain custody of his daughters from his parents. They referred the matter to the police, and his conversion came to the attention of Afghani authorities.

While the Taliban no longer rules the country, conversion from Islam to another religion, called apostasy, is still punishable by death. The prosecutor offered to drop the charges if Rahman converted back to Islam, but Rahman refused. According to the prosecutor, Rahman "said he was a Christian and would always remain one." That fidelity could cost Rahman his life if the judge decides that his "attack on Islam" meets the requirements of apostasy.

The irony is inescapable: This is the country that we rid of the Taliban because of its religious oppression. This is the country in which we have spent at least $70 billion to establish a free democratic government. This is the country whose freedom cost us three hundred American lives and eight hundred casualties. And this is the country that is preparing to execute a man for becoming a Christian after he witnessed other Christians caring for his countrymen.

Is this the fruit of democracy? Is this why we have shed American blood and invested American treasure to set a people free? What have we accomplished for overthrowing the Taliban? This is the kind of thing we would expect from the Taliban, not from President Karzai and his freely elected democratic government.

I have supported the Bush administration's foreign policy because I came to believe that the best way to stop Islamo-fascism was by promoting democracy. But if we can't guarantee fundamental religious freedoms in the countries where we establish democratic reforms, then the whole credibility of our foreign policy is thrown into serious question. I hope the president and the administration can recognize what a devastating setback Rahman's execution would be to the cause of democracy and freedom.

But just in case they don't, we had better tell them. While Abdul Rahman is prepared to be a martyr, it is our solemn obligation before God to protest as loudly and strenuously as we can. You need to both call and e-mail your elected representatives and the White House. You need to tell them that Abdul Rahman's execution must not take place. You need to let them know that "democracy" worth the name must include protection of the most basic human right: freedom of conscience and belief.

Otherwise, places like Afghanistan, whoever is in charge, are nothing more than brutal theocracies and will always remain so.

Take action:

Contact your representative and senators (Capitol switchboard: 202-224-3121) and President Bush (e-mail or call 202-456-1111), and urge them to take action to prevent the execution of Afghan Christian Abdul Rahman.



By Pastor Chuck Baldwin

March 21, 2006

Ever since emerging from their four year hibernation in 2004 (just in time to reelect President George W. Bush), the Religious Right has returned to its extended state of unconsciousness. Oh, that's right, they did roll out of bed long enough to lobby for Supreme Court Justices Roberts and Alito. (No doubt, they were given a wake up call by the White House along with an invitation to dinner.) When it comes to numerous volatile issues, however, the Religious Right is once again proving its utter worthlessness!

Of course, the main reason the Religious Right is snoozing through the Bush administration is because the president is the point man for a variety of dangerous and unconstitutional policies. And the one thing the Religious Right will never do is criticize G. W. Bush.

For example, America's illegal immigration problem is a time bomb with a lit fuse! And the fuse is getting short!

Did you know that of the more than 12 million (This is a very conservative estimate. The actual number is well over 20 million.) illegal aliens that currently reside in this country, almost half of them arrived here since G.W. Bush became president in 2000? The reported figure is 40%. (Source: The Washington Times)

Does anyone think that the dramatic increase of illegal aliens to America during the Bush administration is a coincidence? Only an imbecile could believe that! The reason that there are nearly 50% more illegal aliens in America (most of them crossing our southern border since Bush became president) is directly because of the policies and speeches President Bush has made that have created a climate extremely favorable to illegal aliens. Most of the millions of illegal aliens that have poured across our southern border during the last 5 years have done so with the expectation (clearly created by Bush) of receiving legal amnesty in this country.

How can any rational person take Bush seriously about his "war on terrorism," when he treats the problem of illegal immigration with such a cavalier attitude? Beyond that, how can they accept his continued encroachments upon the liberties of the American citizenry with such indifference? Do they not realize that President Bush is punishing law-abiding Americans while opening the door of potential terrorism even wider? Have the American people (and especially the Religious Right) lost their minds?

Another example of how the Religious Right is sleeping through the Bush administration is their reaction (or lack of reaction) to the news that President Bush has placed our troops in Afghanistan under foreign commanders. (Source: AP newswire) When President Bill Clinton did this, the Religious Right screamed and hollered their indignation. When President Bush does it, they barely raise an eyebrow. What hypocrisy!

Do you need more examples? Consider the fact that President Bush has increased major government social programs to greater levels than any president since Lyndon B. Johnson! (Source: USA Today) Does the Religious Right realize that Bush has pushed domestic spending to amounts accounting for more than half of all federal spending? Of course, they know; they just don't care!

The next time I hear someone say, "It would be worse if John Kerry had been elected," I think I will scream! No, it would not be worse! With Republicans in charge of the entire federal government, spending has skyrocketed to levels that Democrats could not even dream about.

Do you really believe the Religious Right would sit silently by while a Democratic president tried to explode federal spending the way Bush has done? Do you really believe they would sit back sheepishly while a Democratic president placed American troops under foreign commanders? Do you really believe, that during a time of terrorist activity, the Religious Right would drift off into unconsciousness while a Democratic administration facilitated the biggest growth of illegal immigration ever seen in this country? You know the answer.

However, because President Bush is a Republican and claims to be a Christian, the Religious Right is willing to give him a pass. They should be ashamed of themselves!

Christians, especially preachers, should be watchmen. They should quit trying to be politicians. Instead, they should "lift up their voices like a trumpet" and call America back to its senses!

Sadly, however, foolish loyalty to partisan politics, the desire to ingratiate themselves before the powers that be, and the love of invitations to sit at the king's table have made the Religious Right impotent, and even worse, complicit to America's demise.

As important as it is, there is more to a presidential administration than anti-abortion rhetoric! At the end of Bush's second term (and it can't come too soon), abortion will still be lawful, but the havoc wreaked upon the U.S. Constitution and personal liberties will haunt us for decades!

Think about the potential bloodshed and tumult associated with Bush's Draconian foreign policy. Consider the economic catastrophe resulting from Bush's penchant for spending federal dollars like a drunken sailor. Meditate for a moment on the gargantuan problems created by Bush's endorsement of massive illegal immigration. Frightening contemplations, indeed!

To repeat a statement I made in an earlier column, America's greatest problem is a preacher problem! For the most part, the Religious Right has spent the last 5 years in hiding. I suppose we can expect the next "great awakening" during the 2008 presidential election season, when the prospect of a Democratic victory brings the Religious Right back from the dead.

If all the Religious Right can do is campaign for Republican presidential candidates with no regard as to how elected Republican presidents govern, it cannot honestly be regarded as either "Religious" or "Right." Therefore, it might actually be better if the Religious Right stayed in hiding!

© 2006 Chuck Baldwin - All Rights Reserved

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Chuck Baldwin is Founder-Pastor of Crossroads Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. In 1985 the church was recognized by President Ronald Reagan for its unusual growth and influence.

Dr. Baldwin is the host of a lively, hard-hitting syndicated radio talk show on the Genesis Communications Network called, "Chuck Baldwin Live" This is a daily, one hour long call-in show in which Dr. Baldwin addresses current event topics from a conservative Christian point of view. Pastor Baldwin writes weekly articles on the internet and newspapers.

To learn more about his radio talk show please visit his web site at: When responding, please include your name, city and state.


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Pentagon 'hedge' strategy targets China

The Washington Times
Pentagon 'hedge' strategy targets China
By Bill Gertz
Published March 17, 2006

The Pentagon is moving strategic bombers to Guam and aircraft carriers and submarines to the Pacific as part of a new "hedge" strategy aimed at preparing for conflict with China, Pentagon officials said yesterday.
Peter Rodman, assistant defense secretary for international security affairs, told a congressional commission that the response to the emerging military threat from China is part of the White House national security strategy made public yesterday.
Although U.S. relations with China are good, "both sides understand very well that there is a potential for a conflict, particularly in the Taiwan Strait," Mr. Rodman said during a hearing of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.
China's arms buildup in recent years altered the U.S. "strategic calculus" for defending Taiwan from a mainland attack and shows that "a prudent hedging policy is essential," Mr. Rodman said.
The placement of about 700 Chinese missiles opposite Taiwan has changed the status quo between the non-communist island and the communist mainland, he said.
The Pentagon policy calls for watching China's military and "being ready to deal with it, if the worst case should happen," Mr. Rodman said.
James Thomas, deputy assistant defense secretary for plans, said key elements of the "hedging" policy are aimed at nations with uncertain futures, including China and Russia.
Cooperation is preferred, but the Pentagon must prepare "for the possibility that others could choose a more hostile path," Mr. Thomas said.
"In [the China] part of the hedging strategy, we're looking at the deployments of bomber elements to Guam on a more routine basis," he said. "We're also looking at making adjustments in our naval posture globally, shifting to six carrier battle groups in the Pacific region, given the shift in global transport and trade, as well as over the next several years shifting approximately 60 percent of our attack submarine fleet to the Pacific."
The public term for the strategy is "hedge," but in internal Pentagon discussions the term is "effective preparations to swiftly defeat Chinese aggression," one defense official said.
The comments about a conflict contrast with statements by Pentagon officials that have sought to minimize the emerging threat from China.
The plan calls for frequent rotations of B-2 strategic bombers to Guam, part of what the Air Force calls its global strike mission to reach crisis areas quickly. Special hangars and other deployment and maintenance facilities are being built on Guam, a U.S. territory about 1,800 miles from the Chinese coast.
Three attack submarines are based in Guam, and arms storage there includes long-range air-launched cruise missiles and Joint Direct Attack Munitions.
Adm. William J. Fallon, commander of the Pacific Command, has visited Guam and told reporters that the island will become a pivot point for U.S. forces in the Pacific because of the relatively short distances to the Taiwan Strait, South Korea and Southeast Asia.
Yesterday, Mr. Thomas said the Pentagon is strengthening alliances in Asia as part of the strategy.

The Third Pillar of Antichrist

The Third Pillar of Antichrist
Prophecy - Signs
Monday, March 13, 2006
Jack Kinsella - Omega Letter Editor

I have always been leery of those Bible teachers who have a new 'revelation' -- seeing something in Bible prophecy that they had never seen before.

I am also keenly aware of the dangers inherent in interpreting Bible prophecy in light of current events. It is a good attitude to have, I think, but it does tend to close one's mind to alternative explanations.

In that regard, what should rightly be accepted as interpretational can subtly shift over from interpretation to doctrine. And interpretation and doctrine are two entirely different animals.

'Doctrine' is defined as "a principle or position or the body of principles in a branch of knowledge or system of belief."

'Interpretation' is defined as "a particular adaptation or version of a work, method, or style."

Doctrine is iron-clad; a ballet teacher teaches the identical doctrine of classical ballet to two students in the same class, but how they INTERPRET that doctrine is what separates a Mikhail Barishnikov from a Rudolf Nureyev.

Doctrine is constant but interpretation changes with understanding.

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding." (Proverbs 9:10)

According to Bible prophecy, the reign of the antichrist rests on the existence of three central pillars; a global government, a global religion and a global economy.

The prophet Daniel identifies the antichrist as being of "the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary." (Daniel 9:26)

History tells us the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple took place in AD 70 under the command of Titus, later Emperor Titus of Rome.

Hence the interpretation that the antichrist comes to power through some form of a revived Roman Empire that serves as a de facto global government.

In this generation, the countries of the old Roman Empire united under the banner of the European Union, uniting Europe as a single empire for the first time since the fall of Rome.

The second pillar, that of a global economy, is necessary to fulfill John's prophecy that he will have the ability to restrict persons from normal buying and selling at the individual level.

Such economic control was never possible prior to this generation. If you doubt it exists now, imagine if your Social Security number were deleted. You couldn't work, open a bank account, get a loan, or make a major purchase.

Elimination of cash (a work already in progress) would completely exclude a person from any economic participation.

Of the third pillar, the global religious system, the Bible reveals the following:

1) It will claim authority over Christianity. "And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb. . ."

The references to 'the lamb' are pretty much self-explanatory. It is a reference to something 'like' Christianity, but a counterfeit. . . . "he spake as a dragon." (Revelation 13:11)

2) It will share political power with the first beast. "And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him."

3) Participation will be mandatory. "cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed." (Revelation 13:15)

4) The method employed by the false prophet's religious system as the penalty for refusing conversion is decapitation.

"and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast." (Revelation 20:4)

For more than a thousand years, most interpreters saw the Church of Rome and the papacy as the third pillar of the antichrist's platform.

The Vatican claims authority of Christianity and has always been as much political as religious. But that is where the similarities stop.

600 years ago, the papacy tried to enforce conversion and sometimes executed those who refused. The papacy also believed the world was flat 600 years ago.

It is safe to say when the Pope believes in a flat earth, the papacy will launch another Grand Inquisition.

There is in existence another religion that fits John's description like a glove. Islam claims to be the third revelation from God.

It claims its existence from Abraham, acknowledges the Divine inspiration of the Bible, but claims that Abraham, Moses, and Jesus were all Muslim prophets.

It is Islam's claim to be the third and final revelation from God from which Islam derives its claim of authority over Christians and Jews.

Islam is not just a religion but is equally a political system carefully defined by Sharia law and fulfilling points 1 and 2 much more perfectly than does the modern Vatican.

Islam is the religion of the sword. The word itself means 'submission' and Islamic law authorizes the death penalty for unbelievers, fulfilling point 3 as a matter of existing religious doctrine -- not a new doctrine forced upon an existing system by a mad pope.

And the penalty of choice for refusing to submit to Allah is decapitation, fulfilling point 4.

None of this has to be developed and imposed upon Western religionists as new religious doctrine by a new pope as previous interpretations required -- it already exists. And it is already practiced by one-fifth of the human race.

As noted, Islam claims to be the well-spring of Judeo-Christianity, claiming Islam predates both. Islam claims Allah is the same God worshipped by Christians and Jews and that the Old and New Testaments were corrupted by scribes.

Christians and Jews scoff at this claim, since the Koran's Allah bears no resemblance to the God revealed in Scripture.

God is love. Salvation is a gift of grace through faith. As a matter of accepted doctrine, it cannot be imposed by force.

Salvation through Allah comes through martyrdom in the jihad, after conversion to Islam either voluntarily -- or by force.

Daniel provides another glimpse into the religion of antichrist. He says that he will be an atheist, but that he will pretend to be religious in public.

"Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all."

Then Daniel gives a letter-perfect description of Islam -- as Islam describes ITSELF.

"But IN HIS ESTATE shall he honour the GOD OF FORCES: and a god WHOM HIS FATHERS KNEW NOT . . ." 'A god of forces, and a god his fathers knew not' cannot be applied to the Roman Catholic Church or the Papacy without the RCC formally renouncing Scripture, God and Jesus.

For 1600 years, interpreters looked to the Vatican and for 1600 years, the argument seemed valid. Until the arrival of the generation to whom the prophecy was written.

"And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are CLOSED UP AND SEAL TILL THE TIME OF THE END. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; BUT THE WISE SHALL UNDERSTAND." (Daniel 12:9-10)


Moscow Telegraphs New Cold War

Moscow Telegraphs New Cold War

Prophecy - Signs
Friday, March 10, 2006
Jack Kinsella - Omega Letter Editor

The head of the Russian Defense Ministry's Research Institute, General Vladimir Vasilenko rattled the West with statements he made to the Russian daily newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta last week.

First some background. The Intermediate-Range and Short-Range Nuclear Forces Nuclear Forces Treaty was negotiated between President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987.

The treaty banned the mobile, multi-independently targeted vehicle, or MIRV-ed warhead RS-20s, known by NATO as the SS-18 Satan missiles that were deployed against the cities of Western Europe in the late 1970s and the first half of the 1980s.

For its part, the US scrapped its own arsenal of medium-range Pershing II nuclear missiles that were aimed at Soviet Europe. It was the INF Treaty that ultimately led to the complete collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the end of the Cold War.

So, Western military analysts were dumbfounded by General Vasilenko's suggestion in Nezavisimaya Gazeta that Russia is considering scrapping the INF and redeploying its SS-18's.

The SS-18 Satans have enjoyed life beyond war, serving as vehicles to deploy satellites into outer space. They have proved exceptionally reliable, so the possibility of seeing them redeployed with nuclear warheads is making both the United States and the Europeans (especially the Europeans) extremely nervous.

Russia has also been very busy conducting a highly successful series of tests of its upgraded ground-launched and land-mobile Topol-M intercontinental ballistic missile and its sister Bulava submarine-launched ICBM, both with MIRV warheads. Both missiles are being fitted with ramjets and other maneuvering and evasive equipment to render them immune to the U.S. ballistic missile defense systems now being developed and deployed by the Missile Defense Agency.

But renouncing the INF Treaty and redeploying shorter-range missiles that could threaten the major cities of the European Union would not appreciably add to Russia's direct strategic deterrent threat to the United States at all. All it would do, U.S. military analysts speaking on condition of anonymity told United Press International, would be to infuriate the Europeans, who remain Russia's most crucial trade partners.

U.S. military analysts suggested the possibility that Vasilenko represented some group of ultra-nationalist hard-liners in the Russian military leadership. But if that was the case, they said, the group must already enjoy a very strong political umbrella of support to protect any senior serving officer like Vasilenko who made such potentially embarrassing statements.

Last year, Defense Minister Ivanov startled U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld by suggesting to him at one of their meetings that the INF Treaty should be scrapped.

The suggestion took Rumsfeld by surprise and he reportedly exclaimed that he could see no reason in Russia's own national interest why they should want to do it.

Ariel Cohen, senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington think tank, thinks one possible reason could be that Russia's leaders are contemplating taking a longer-term global position increasingly different from those of both the United States and the European Union.

"Russia is staking a geo-strategic position separate from the United States and Western Europe and reverting to the Soviet era military thinking," he said.

Think about that statement in light of the Bible's outline for the last days. Ezekiel foretells a grand Islamic alliance led by a reluctant Russia into a conflict with Israel.

Russia is telegraphing its intentions to redeploy its Satan missile arsenal putting Europe back under the Doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction, effectively hamstringing Europe from taking any meaningful action regarding Russian activities.

At the same time, President Bush is in India cementing a new era of cooperation between the US and the world's largest and least Islamo-friendly nation. Scoring a nuclear nation with a billion natural enemies of Islam as an ally is a major US coup.

India was a former Soviet, and then close Russian ally. While spiriting India away from the Russians serves US interests, it also fits into Russia's long-term strategic plans.

Russo-Indian relations were something of a stumblingblock to Russia's increasingly evident plans to throw its lot in with the oil-rich Islamic world.

India's new relationship with the United States gives Moscow some distance from its former nuclear patron state, eliminating a thorn in developing Russian-Islamic relations.

Ezekiel makes a point of saying that Russia is drawn into the Middle East conflict, as if it had 'a hook in its jaw' (Ezekiel 38:4) as a consequence of its alliances with Persia (Iran) Ethiopia and Libya (Islamic North Africa) and Gomer, 'all his bands' and the 'house of Togarmah of the north quarters' -- essentially the old Eastern European Soviet Empire.

Ezekiel is also careful to point out that when this invasion takes place, the West will do little more than launch a weak diplomatic protest:

"Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?" (Ezekiel 38:13)

With Western Europe within range of Soviet-era Satan SS-18's and the upgraded Topol-M intercontinental ballistic missile and its sister Bulava submarine-launched ICBM threatening the United States, a not-too-forceful diplomatic protest is the only option that doesn't include global nuclear annihilation.

In light of all this, Cohen's assessment that; "Russia is staking a geo-strategic position separate from the United States and Western Europe and reverting to the Soviet era military thinking" is of extreme significance to students of Bible prophecy.

The evidence continues to pile up in favor of this generation being the generation to whom Jesus was addressing His warning, "And when these things BEGIN to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh." (Luke 21:28)

No other generation in history qualifies, and no subsequent generation in history COULD qualify. The alignment of nations, the revival of the old Roman Empire, the restoration of Israel, the Arab-Israel conflict and the confirmation of a seven-year peace treaty between the two sides are events that can only happen once.

The same applies to the developing geo-strategic shifts involving Russia and the Islamic world within the context of a developing global civilizational war between the West and the Islamic world.

Since they are all happening now, as this generation approaches its conclusion, Occam's Razor dictates that this IS the generation that will see the fulfillment of all Bible prophecy and the Return of Christ. Any other conclusion demands accepting all these events as unrelated coincidences.

Logic says that is impossible.


Iran Vs. America … Round Two

Oracle Commentaries 2/14/2006
Iran Vs. America … Round Two

"Woe to those who plan iniquity, to those who plot evil on their beds! At morning's light they carry it out because it is in their power to do it. They covet fields and seize them, and houses, and take them. They defraud a man of his home, a fellowman of his inheritance. Therefore, the LORD says: "I am planning disaster against this people, from which you cannot save yourselves. You will no longer walk proudly, for it will be a time of calamity." (Micah 2:1-3)

"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" (Hebrews 13:5-6)

With all the talk about Iran's suspected nuclear capability and what the world should be doing to stop its development, a darker and even more sinister Iranian plot against the US is receiving little public attention. It concerns how the world currently purchases oil, and how Iran, the world's number two producer, is working to change that.

Today there are two oil exchanges in the world, in New York and London, and both require payment in American dollars. This means that any oil purchasing country has to keep large reserves of US currency on hand to fund their ongoing needs. Most Americans assume that the value of their money is pretty constant, but like just about everything else in the world the dollar's value in international markets is determined by the demand for it.

As countries purchase and pay for oil, their dollar reserves are depleted and they have to buy more of them to make sure they'll always have enough for future purchases. As the price of oil keeps going up an artificial demand for the US dollar has been created that according to some analysts has inflated its value on world markets by as much as 25 to 40%. But since both of the world's oil exchanges are owned by American interests, there's not much anyone can do about it. The US benefits greatly by this as it keeps the prices of foreign goods Americans buy lower than they would otherwise be, and also makes the purchase of foreign oil much less expensive.

How In The World Did That Happen?

How does a country get that kind of clout in the world market place? Good question, and here's the briefest of summaries in answer. I developed this summary in part from an excellent article entitled The Proposed Iranian Oil Burse by Krassimir Petrov. Petrov is an Austrian Macro Economist/Investment Strategist with a Ph. D. in economics from Ohio State University. He teaches Macroeconomics, International Finance, and Econometrics at the American University in Bulgaria. You can read the entire article, and I hope you do, at

Historically, American dollars were backed by gold, and by the early 20th century the US economy had become the world's strongest. But recovering from the Stock Market crash and Great Depression required such a level of spending that Franklin Roosevelt had to detach the dollar from its gold backing in 1932. The US simply didn't have enough gold to cover all the money he needed to print.

Thirteen years later the US, having required gold as payment for weapons and war materiel it sold to other countries during WW2, owned most of the world's gold. This allowed the US to restore the gold standard (but only for dealing with other nations) in 1945, making the now strong again dollar the reserve currency of the world.

In the mid 1960's Lyndon Johnson's simultaneous goals of fighting the Viet Nam war and eliminating poverty at home required detaching the dollar from gold again to permit the printing of enough currency to meet the expense of these two costly goals. (Both were failures.) When nations demanded gold for their dollars as they had been promised since 1945, the US refused and formally defaulted on its commitment on August 15, 1971. It was tantamount to declaring bankruptcy, but the US was powerful enough otherwise to get away with paying the nations of the world for the goods and services they had provided in dollars backed only by the "full faith and credit" of the USA.

The following year, to restore confidence in the dollar, the US signed an iron clad agreement with Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, where in return for US support and protection, the Saudis agreed to only accept US dollars for their oil and convinced the rest of OPEC to do the same. Now, even though other countries can't get gold for their dollars, they can get oil. (Some speculate that the real reason for the US war in Iraq is that Saddam Hussein tried to break this agreement and sell his oil for Euros and Yen. According to this view, the US deposed him as an example to keep other OPEC countries from following suit and causing the dollar to plummet.)

And Now For Round Two

Iran now proposes to challenge the US by opening its own oil exchange called the Iranian Oil Burse, or IOB, and permitting customers to pay in Euros, the currency of Iran's largest trading partner. They plan to begin offering their oil on the IOB beginning in March 2006. If successful, it means that countries will soon have the choice of paying OPEC for their oil with inflated US dollars or effectively receiving a 25% discount by purchasing it from Iran in Euros. Just about every country in the world will benefit greatly by this, especially the EU, whose currency would immediately become much stronger and more stable in world financial markets.

Everyone except the US that is, where foreign oil costs would skyrocket as the dollar declined in value, as would the cost of all other foreign goods. Within a few years, the US economy would decline to near third world status, and its national debt, which has again risen to record levels, would be impossible to repay. In short, the most powerful nation on earth would again be bankrupt as countries around the world dump large portions of their dollar reserves to buy Euros, driving its value even lower.

Some experts have calculated that this would be more devastating to the US than if Iran exploded a nuclear warhead in one of our major cities or wiped out our electronics with an EMP detonation. Even though America's military power would still be intact, at least for the time being, Iran would have done nothing that could justify retaliation. Iran could rightly say that they've only employed a lesson from free market capitalism, providing the world a much needed commodity at a better price.

"The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast." (Rev. 17:12)

This would also hasten the shift of global power from the US to Europe as Bible Prophecy suggests. The Euro, which floundered following France's defeat of the proposed EU constitution, would become the world's financial reserve currency like the dollar is now and the British pound sterling once was. EU countries like Italy that went off the Euro in favor of their former currency, would come flocking back, and the EU economy, already larger than that of the US, would get a huge shot in the arm.

You Gonna Let 'Em Get Away With That?

Obviously, the US can't just stand by and let that happen, so how does Iran expect to pull this off? After all, look at what happened to Saddam. It turns out that there are two things working in Iran's favor that Saddam didn't have going for him. First of all the US, thanks in no small part to Iran and its partner Syria, is deeply entangled in a very expensive ($100,000 US per minute!) war in Iraq with no quick end in sight.

Almost no one in the world believes that the US could afford to engineer a "regime change" in Iran at the same time, with all that would entail, although that's eventually what it will take to permanently stop Iran. But with Israel's help the US could use Iran's nuclear ambitions as a pretext to mount a massive pre-emptive strike, temporarily putting a stop to both the nuclear program and the IOB.

And that brings us to the second thing. Iran doesn't have to succeed to win this battle. In fact, in some ways, the bigger the mess they create, the better. Iran has leaders who believe that by plunging the world into utter chaos they can hasten the return of the Islamic Messiah, or Mahdi, the hidden 12th Imam, and they believe the time is right.

"In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a stern faced king, a master of intrigue will arise. He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy the mighty men and the holy people. He will cause deceit to prosper and will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, (by means of peace, KJV) he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of Princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power." (Daniel 8:23-25)

To that end it appears from current news reports that Iran has two potentially war inducing events planned for March of 2006. The first is their initial underground test of a nuclear weapon. (That ought to put to rest the debate about just how close Iran is to going nuclear!) And the second is the opening of the IOB.

Either one should be enough to prompt a US (or Israeli, or both) attack, and that's just what Iran's President wants. By getting a foreign, preferably western nation to mount a pre-emptive attack on his country, the President of Iran believes he can force the world into a war devastating enough to bring the Mahdi back to Earth to judge Islam's enemies and inaugurate the promised universal peace under Islamic rule. Our last article gave you all the details on this.

Of course, you and I know that this plan will only work if the King of the Universe is ready to fire the starting pistol to begin Earth's race to the End Times. But it sure will make the month of March one of the most exciting yet. Better stay alert. If you listen carefully, you can almost hear the Footsteps of the Messiah. 02-11-06

By: Jack Kelley