Humanity Must Be Saved From Self-Destruction: The Pope

 

The Pope used his Christmas message to declare that saving humanity of homosexual conduct is as important as saving the tropical forests from destruction.  He emphasised the importance of marriage between men and women and condemned homosexual acts as being against the will of God.

 

“The Church must defend not only the earth, water and air as gifts of creation as belonging to everyone, but also humanity against self-destruction”, he said. In this context, the Pope showed that saving humanity of homosexuality is on the same line with saving the forests. Tropical forests deserve our protection, but man, as created, deserves nothing less.”

 

In a clear reference to homosexuality, Pope Benedict XVI, showed that disrespect for the union between man and woman has been raised to the level of self-destruction of humanity.  Moreover, he continued, any deviation from the principle of man/woman marriage is a “destruction of God’s creation”.  

The Catholic Church appreciated that homosexual acts are a sin. It is against marriage between people of the same sex, and in October the Vatican called homosexuality as being “a deviation, an irregularity”.

This way, the Vatican opposes a United Nations declaration that wants to outlaw discrimination against homosexuals.  Moreover, in some states such as Iran and Saudi Arabia, homosexuality draws the death penalty.

The Vatican spokesman, Federico Lombardi, felt the need to clarify that the Vatican condemns the death penalty for any infraction, including homosexuality. (Romania Libera, 23 December, 2008)

 

 No one can say that we never publish anything good about the Pope.  We are more than happy to do so when he speaks according to the Scriptures.  And this is what the Scriptures say.

 

Rom 1:1  Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God

Rom 1:2  which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures,

Rom 1:3  concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the

Rom 1:4  flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. 

Rom 1:13  Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles.

Rom 1:14  I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise.

Rom 1:15  So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also.

Rom 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

Rom 1:17  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH."  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness

Rom 1:18  and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

Rom 1:19  because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.

Rom 1:20  For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,

Rom 1:21  because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 

Rom 1:22  Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into

Rom 1:23 an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

Rom 1:24  Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among

Rom 1:25  themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

Rom 1:26  For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for

Rom 1:27 what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error

Rom 1:28  which was due.   And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;

Rom 1:29  being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers,

Rom 1:30  backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to

Rom 1:31  parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;

Rom 1:32  who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

 

Amen!

 

 

 

Like lemmings to the slaughter   

 

The Irish people rose in jubilation at the news that the majority of them voted in favour of “gay marriage.” No one pays attention to what God thinks about such things anymore. During the campaign, no one mentioned what God does to those who disobey Him so blatantly, who engage in, or support this king of “love”.

Notice how the Irish Catholic Archbishop and the Irish Prime Minister received the news.

 

“Gay marriage referendum: Ireland votes in the name of love”

“Ireland celebrated as a landmark referendum overwhelmingly approved gay marriage yesterday and the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin admitted “the church needs a reality check” after opposing the move. Supporters of the “yes” campaign filled the grounds of Dublin Castle as results revealed they had achieved the world’s first win for gay marriage by popular vote.

“The count showed 62 per cent of voters were in favour of the shift in a country where being gay was a crime until 1993. About 1.9 million people voted in the poll — a turnout of about 60 per cent. Gay marriage was backed in 42 of the 43 counties. Only Roscommon-South Leitrim voted against the move.

“Today, Ireland has made history — the first country in the world to vote for equal marriage,” Prime Minister Enda Kenny said. “With today’s vote we have disclosed who we are: a generous, compassionate, bold and joyful people. Yes to inclusion, yes to generosity, yes to love, yes to equal marriage. (The Telegraph, June 1, 2015)

 

They call “love” what God calls an “abomination”.  It is not for the Catholic Archbishop to worry about what God thinks about that vote; he worries that his Church has lost touch with the community and it “needs a reality check.”

This Church has always been more concerned with being popular than with obeying God.  Now that it has a Pope who regards homosexuals as his “brothers and sisters”, expect radical changes in that Church.   

The Irish Archbishop could not have spoken with his Pope before he made that statement, for in most likelihood he would have found a man giggling and beaming with happiness.

This is where the Catholic and Orthodox Churches differ.  Because the Orthodox Church allows its priests to marry, it has not had the problem of predatory priests who have damaged the lives of so many children in the Catholic Church.

Families, wives, children, are not there merely for convenience, but to act as a safeguard against priests’ errant predatory behaviour. 

The Irish Prime Minister took pride in his nation being the first in the world to vote for “equal marriage”.  

“With today’s vote” he said, “we have disclosed who we are: a generous, compassionate, bold and joyful people. Yes to inclusion, yes to generosity, yes to love, yes to equal marriage.And yes to annihilation, we may add.

There is a lesson in the Bible which shows us how God can predict people’s destiny from the inclination of their heart.  

Have a look at this passage and see if you can notice anything unusual. 

 

Rev 7:2  Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying,

Rev 7:3  "Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads."

Rev 7:4  And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed:

Rev 7:5  of the tribe of Judah twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand were sealed;

Rev 7:6  of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand were sealed;

Rev 7:7  of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand were sealed;

Rev 7:8  of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand were sealed.

Rev 7:9  After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying,

Rev 7:10  "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"

Rev 7:11  All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,

Rev 7:12  saying: "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen."

 

Now did you notice anything unusual?  Of course you didn’t, unless you are an astute biblical scholar.  

God’s angel said, “the number of those who were sealed: One hundred and forty-four thousands of all the tribes.”  

Yet if you count the tribes of Israel, which we emphasised in bold letters, you will notice that one of them is missing: the tribe of Dan.  Its place is given to the tribe of Manasseh, the brother of Ephraim, the two sons of Joseph. 

There are books on the market by authoritative biblical scholars who have traced the lineage of the so-called “lost Ten Tribes of Israel”.  Ireland is said to be part of the tribe of Dan. That tribe will not be among the tribes of Israel from which the Priests and Kings for the Kingdom of God are being selected. Dan is not even considered to be a tribe of Israel.   

Warning: God can change the destiny of any nation that might think of following the path of Ireland.

 

Contrary to the general belief, homosexuality is not a recent development in the Catholic Church. It has been there from the very beginning of this Church. 

 

Rom 1:18  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

Rom 1:19  because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.

Rom 1:20  For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,

Rom 1:21  because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

Rom 1:22  Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into

Rom 1:23  an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

Rom 1:24  Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their

Rom 1:25  bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

Rom 1:26  For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.

Rom 1:27  Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error

Rom 1:28  which was due.  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;

Rom 1:29  being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers,

Rom 1:30  backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to

Rom 1:31  parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;

Rom 1:32  who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

 

Pope John Paul II unleashed the gates of Hell upon his Church when he declared that evolution is a fact and the Bible cannot be trusted.  He turned his back on God, and God turned His back on that Church and its daughters.  Suddenly, that Church was exposed not as a Godly Institution, but as a cloistered harlot that ruined the lives of children around the world.    

This is not to say that other Churches are white like crimson flowers, for like their Mother Church, or Mother of Harlots as the Bible calls them, they have the blood of martyrs on their hands too, no better an example than the Orthodox Church which has murdered the servants of Jesus Christ to our time, not merely in the Middle Ages as other Churches.

Romanian Securitate, aka Romanian Orthodox Church, murdered an innocent woman after the very first edition of this magazine, in order to send us a warning about what we write in it. At that time hardly anyone knew about this magazine; now millions of people from one hundred and eighty eight nations read about it.  And they still would not bring the culprits to justice. I suppose they couldn’t, because that insidious institution protects its “brotherhood.” 

But like the Catholic Church, its time has come too.  Unfortunately, the nation also suffers, and will suffer, for it keeps them in power by not using their God given brains to see the light of day through the fog of left wing demagoguery. 

So powerful a grip those mercenaries of death hold over that country’s institutions, that no Government has had the courage to bring those criminals to justice. In so doing, they have set themselves and the nation on the road to annihilation.  

 

The problem of homosexuality remained dormant in the Catholic Church as long as it ruled the world, but when its reign was loosened by the Protestant Reformation and the age of “enlightenment”, its edifice began to shudder.   

It used to be that when the Pope addressed the world in his Ubi et Orbi speeches, everyone listened. They had no one else to listen to; no one was allowed to speak to the world like that.  He was the one and only King of the World, taking the title of Jesus Christ Himself. After all, if he was the Vicar of Christ on earth, why not King of the World too. And if he was Christ the King, then he was also God, or ‘Holy Father’, as the Catholic people venerate him.

That is how much they respect the Scriptures and our heavenly Father, who alone is Holy Father. 

    

Mat 23:9  Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.

 

Joh 17:11  Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through

Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.

 

In order to prove that they too are “wise” men, the Popes have adopted the views of academia, which has filled the world with the notion of evolution, which the Catholic Church has wholeheartedly embraced and now preaching with gusto. This is what equates as wisdom these days. But then, what does our heavenly Father say about that? 

 

1Co 1:18  For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

1Co 1:19  For it is written: "I Will Destroy The Wisdom Of The Wise, And Bring To Nothing The Understanding Of The Prudent."

1Co 1:20  Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

1Co 1:21  For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

 

Yes, God destroys the wisdom of the wise and it pleased Him to save those who believe.  If you don’t believe the Scriptures, don’t expect to be saved.  

The world is groaning under the stress of the transition to a new world order in which no evil will ever enter, and yet the “wise” still deny that there is a God who is in control of the affairs of this world. 

 

Rev 22:10  And he said to me, "Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand.

Rev 22:11  He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still."

Rev 22:12  "And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.

Rev 22:13  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last."

Rev 22:14  Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.

Rev 22:15  But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.

Rev 22:16  "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star."

Rev 22:17  And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

Rev 22:18  For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book;

Rev 22:19  and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Rev 22:20  He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming quickly." Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Rev 22:21  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.  

 

In declaring the Bible not to be the authentic Word of God, the Popes have cut the branch from underneath their own feet, bringing into question the very existence of their Church. For if evolution is a fact then the God of Genesis does not exist, and if He does not exist the Catholic Church has no God. A Church without God is no Church, but merely a club. This may be a more appropriate designation for it, but how many clubs would be happy to be associated with it.

From its beginning, this Church has had to defend itself not only against the scourge of homosexuality, but against grave doctrinal errors, which showed it to be more a Church of the Devil than a Church of God. For millennia it forbade people from reading the Bible, burning at stake those who disobeyed it, desperately trying to keep secret what the Bible says about it. Have a look at this.  

 

Rev 17:1  Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, "Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters,

Rev 17:2  with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication."

Rev 17:3  So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

Rev 17:4  The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication.

Rev 17:5  And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

Rev 17:6  I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marvelled with great amazement.

 

 In the Bible, the term ‘woman’ usually means a Church, a congregation, and sometimes a nation. 

Now this cannot refer to us, for we are such a small Church we never felt the need to move outside our living room, even though some people have tried to pin this tag on us. As far as we know, we have never given rise to other churches, other than those that have plagiarised us. The Catholic Church on the other hand, has been an extremely prolific “Mother of Harlots”.  

What is remarkable about its “daughters” is that none of them returned to the Bible for guidance after they split, but continued to propagate Catholic doctrines, only without a Pope.  Their revolt was not against erroneous Catholic teachings (worship on the day of the Sun, immortality of the soul, going to heaven after death, dietary laws, etc.), as against the Popes’ hypocrisy and stifling Catholic hierarchy.

Since most of the Churches in the world trace their roots to the Catholic Church, it is not surprising that virtually all of them have embraced the new Catholic doctrine of “human rights”, as opposed to God’s rights; human rights meaning among other things, homosexual rights.    

Man, not God, has become the measure of all things.  Therefore man’s foibles and impulses must be accommodated and explained “scientifically”, while the notion of sin, which according to the “wise” of this world causes serious emotional and psychological damage, must be dispensed with.

 It is rare to find people speaking about sin these days. Even preachers avoid it, except perhaps in their own little parochial corner, not in the hearing of the world, as God commands His people to do.  

 

Isa 58:1  "Cry aloud, spare not; Lift up your voice like a trumpet; Tell My people their transgression, And the house of Jacob their sins.

 

Apostle Paul once said:

 

1Co 4:11  To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless.

1Co 4:12  And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; being defamed, we entreat.

1Co 4:13  We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now.

 

No preacher can make such a claim these days, let alone a Pope. We can however, because we, who cry aloud the sins of this world, are no less an offscouring of our world than the Apostles were of theirs.  

God has made it clear that people’s sins affect not only their own fate, but the fate of their community, ancient Israel being only one such example. And what were their sins? Too many to be listed here, but one sin stood out above the others: it tolerated homosexuals and hesheits.  

For the sake of those who do not know what these terms mean, such as the ancients who will wonder about them when they are brought up in the resurrection of the just, we explain them here.

‘Homosexual’ is the same as those described by Apostle Paul in this passage.

 

Rom 1:26  For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.

Rom 1:27  Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

Rom 1:28  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;  

 

So, men with men and women with women of a debased mind, who exchange the natural use for something that is shameful and against nature, is what the term ‘homosexual’ means. 

‘Hesheits’ however, are a different kettle of fish. It is a term peculiar to the English language.  You will not find it in any dictionary, not yet, because we invented it to denominate creatures that hitherto did not exist, or were not known – persons that are neither men nor women, neither ‘he’ nor ‘she’, nor ‘it’, but something that contains a bit of each, he-she-it. 

Transgenders, Drag Queens, hermaphrodites, etc., who have difficulty determining their own sex, who admit to being neither men nor women, are hesheits; a typical example being Conchita.

Of course you know who Conchita is; it’s the winner of the 2014 Eurovision Song Context. You couldn’t miss it; it’s been on our television screens forever.  Or so it feels after that juvenile kitsch show. Thank God we can watch some decent programs for a while, until Conchita is sure to appear on our screens again next year. 

Conchita has long eye lashes, contoured eye brows, long hair, make-up, high heels, women’s clothes, but is not a female. It has beard, moustache, no breasts, yet it’s not a male. She, or he, or it, is not ashamed to appear like that before the whole world, and sing about it. Like the proverb which says, if it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, it’s a duck; in this case, it quacks like a man, walks like a woman, it’s a . . . hesheit.

This is their time, and they make the best of it in the short period that they, and their homosexual cousins, have been allowed in this world. Yes God allowed them to raise their heads now at the end of time, to serve as an example of God’s eternal judgment to those who might think of rebelling against Him again in the future.    

Throughout history, God has relentlessly warned humanity against allowing homosexuals and hesheits to ply their wares in their midst, under the penalty of death, but to no effect.    

 

Jud 1:1  Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ:

Jud 1:2  Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.

Jud 1:3  Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.

Jud 1:4  For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jud 1:5  But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.

Jud 1:6  And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;

Jud 1:7  as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

 

Those who indulge in this kind of sexual immorality will suffer “the vengeance of eternal fire”, Sodom and Gomorrah being a good example for this world. Let’s have a look at it and learn some new lessons from it.      

 

Gen 18:17 And the LORD said, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing, since Abraham shall surely

Gen 18:18  become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?

Gen 18:19  For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has

Gen 18:20  spoken to him."  And the LORD said, "Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and

Gen 18:21  because their sin is very grave, I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know."

Gen 18:22  Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the LORD.  And Abraham came near and said,

Gen 18:23  "Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked?

Gen 18:24  Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it?

Gen 18:25  Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" So the LORD said, 

Gen 18:26  "If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes." 

Gen 18:27  Then Abraham answered and said, "Indeed now, I who am but dust and ashes have taken it upon myself

Gen 18:28  to speak to the Lord: Suppose there were five less than the fifty righteous; would You destroy all of the city for lack of five?" So He said, "If I find there forty-five, I will not destroy it."

Gen 18:29  And he spoke to Him yet again and said, "Suppose there should be forty found there?" So He said, "I will not do it for the sake of forty."

Gen 18:30  Then he said, "Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Suppose thirty should be found there?" So He said, "I will not do it if I find thirty there."

Gen 18:31  And he said, "Indeed now, I have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord: Suppose twenty should be found there?" So He said, "I will not destroy it for the sake of twenty."

Gen 18:32  Then he said, "Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak but once more: Suppose ten should be found there?" And He said, "I will not destroy it for the sake of ten."   So the LORD went His way

Gen 18:33  as soon as He had finished speaking with Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place. 

 

Not only were those who practiced this “very grave sin” wiped out from the face of the earth, but everyone else in their communities perished with them.  It is hard to imagine that they all engaged in this sin, certainly not the children and the old people, yet they all perished because God could not find ten righteous people in their midst. Acquiescence and tolerance of this sin made them all guilty of it.  Other sins are mostly personal, but this one is communal.

As for children, they pay for the sins of their fathers up to the fourth generation.    

 

 Num 14:18  'The LORD is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.'

 

It takes that long to pull this sin out by its roots from the community’s consciousness. This could be accelerated by repentance, prayer, and atonement; one of God’s Holy Days being appropriately named “Day of Atonement”.  Most Churches have not so much as heard of the Day of Atonement, let alone observe it in the Spirit of the New Testament.

God has never allowed a substitution for His Holy Days, and by not keeping it, people’s sins cannot be forgiven.

This is what He says about the Day of Atonement.

 

Lev 23:26  And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying:

Lev 23:27  "Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. [In the New Testament it is an “offering” made by prayer, fasting and appropriate worship].  

Lev 23:28  And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the LORD your God.

Lev 23:29  For any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people.

Lev 23:30  And any person who does any work on that same day, that person I will destroy from among his people.

 

In the course of history, many people and nations have disappeared from the face of the earth (by war, genocide, pestilences, etc.), and nobody told them that it was because of sins that were not atoned for.  Here are some more reasons.    

 

Lev 18:22  You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.

Lev 18:23  Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is perversion.

Lev 18:24  'Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled,

Lev 18:25  which I am casting out before you.  For the land is defiled; therefore I visit the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants.

Lev 18:26  You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations, either any of your own nation or any stranger who dwells among you  (for all these

Lev 18:27 abominations the men of the land have done, who were before you, and thus the land is defiled),

Lev 18:28  lest the land vomit you out also when you defile it, as it vomited out the nations that were

Lev 18:29  before you.  For whoever commits any of these abominations, the persons who commit them shall be cut off from among their people.

Lev 18:30  'Therefore you shall keep My ordinance, so that you do not commit any of these abominable customs which were committed before you, and that you do not defile yourselves by them: I am the LORD your God.' "

 

God left a record for all nations, but the sins for which these nations were cast out needed no record; they simply violated common sense: sins against nature which needed no other record.

The prophets of God left a record for both Israel and the Gentiles, but Israel’s leaders and priests decided to keep the Gentiles out of God’s fold, an attitude they maintain to this day.

 

Deu 32:29  Oh, that they were wise, that they understood this, That they would consider their latter end!

Deu 32:30  How could one chase a thousand, And two put ten thousand to flight, Unless their Rock had sold them, And the LORD had surrendered them?

Deu 32:31  For their rock is not like our Rock, Even our enemies themselves being judges.

Deu 32:32  For their vine is of the vine of Sodom and of the fields of Gomorrah; Their grapes are grapes of gall,

Deu 32:33  Their clusters are bitter.  Their wine is the poison of serpents, And the cruel venom of cobras.

Deu 32:34  'Is this not laid up in store with Me, Sealed up among My treasures?

Deu 32:35  Vengeance is Mine, and recompense; Their foot shall slip in due time; For the day of their calamity is at hand, And the things to come hasten upon them.'

Deu 32:36  "For the LORD will judge His people And have compassion on His servants, When He sees that their power is gone, And there is no one remaining, bond or free.

Deu 32:37  He will say: 'Where are their gods, The rock in which they sought refuge?

Deu 32:38  Who ate the fat of their sacrifices, And drank the wine of their drink offering? Let them rise and help you,

Deu 32:39  And be your refuge.  'Now see that I, even I, am He, And there is no God besides Me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; Nor is there any who can deliver from My hand.

Deu 32:40  For I raise My hand to heaven, And say, "As I live forever,

Deu 32:41  If I whet My glittering sword, And My hand takes hold on judgment, I will render vengeance to My enemies, And repay those who hate Me.

Deu 32:42  I will make My arrows drunk with blood, And My sword shall devour flesh, With the blood of the slain and the captives, From the heads of the leaders of the enemy." '

Deu 32:43  "Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people; For He will avenge the blood of His servants, And render vengeance to His adversaries; He will provide atonement for His land and His people."

 

From the time of Moses, the Israelites were told that the Gentiles are God’s people too, fellow travellers on the road to salvation as it were, yet the word Gentile continues to send them wild.

 

Act 22:17  "Now it happened, when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I was in a

Act 22:18  trance and saw Him saying to me, 'Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, for they will not receive your testimony concerning Me.'  So I said,

Act 22:19  'Lord, they know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and beat those who believe on You.

Act 22:20  And when the blood of Your martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by consenting to his death, and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.'

Act 22:21  Then He said to me, 'Depart, for I will send you far from here to the Gentiles.' "

Act 22:22  And they listened to him until this word, and then they raised their voices and said, "Away with such a fellow from the earth, for he is not fit to live!"

 

Can you see now why old Israel lost the status of “chosen people” and God made a new Covenant with the Gentile people who were not ashamed or afraid to bring other nations into the fold of God? As Jesus Christ said:

 

Mat 28:19  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Mat 28:20  teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.

 

To our Jewish friends we say, it is not too late to abandon long held wrong attitudes that brought calamities to your nation, and embrace the teachings of your Son Jesus Christ that your forefathers ignorantly crucified.    

God had spoken once; He could not speak to every human being. He had given humanity examples that it should follow.  Everyone has a duty to search out for the truth of God and find out the purpose of life. At no time has that truth been more elusive and sorely needed, yet at no time has it been more easily available.

 

God could not find ten righteous people in Sodom and Gomorrah to save those communities from annihilation.  Only Lot, his wife and two daughters were found worthy of being saved, until Lot’s wife looked back, most likely yearningly for what she left behind, and she lost her life too. 

How many righteous people are there in the world at present so that God would not have to strike this world with “utter destruction” as He says He will unless people mend their ways? 

After four decades of searching the world, we have not found a single one. The Christian Herald No 25 explains why.     

Can anyone imagine the United Nations, the European Union and the Governments that have legislated for “gay marriage”, turning around and telling people to obey God and erase “abominable” sins from their midst, so that they would not perish like Sodom and Gomorrah? Yet this is exactly where this world is heading at present. 

The story of the tribe of Benjamin is another instructive example for this world.  It’s a fairly long story - three chapters, Judges 19-21 - but we will only look at a few passages that are particularly relevant for our time.

 

Jdg 20:11  So all the men of Israel were gathered against the city, united together as one man.

Jdg 20:12  Then the tribes of Israel sent men through all the tribe of Benjamin, saying, "What is this wickedness that has occurred among you?

Jdg 20:13  Now therefore, deliver up the men, the perverted men who are in Gibeah, that we may put them to death and remove the evil from Israel!" But the children of Benjamin would not listen to the voice of their brethren, the children of Israel.

Jdg 20:14  Instead, the children of Benjamin gathered together from their cities to Gibeah, to go to battle against the children of Israel.

 

Jdg 20:41  And when the men of Israel turned back, the men of Benjamin panicked, for they saw that disaster had come upon them.

 

So powerful a grip this evil practice had over their community that they would all rather die than deliver “the perverted men” over to be punished.  

Now does anyone think that God will be more tolerant of this world that has transformed this sin into a virtue, and calls “love” what God calls an “abomination”, the Anglo-Saxon nations, who are supposed to be the upholders of God’s laws, being at the forefront of this farce? 

God does not change therefore this world should not expect anything less than the examples He gave us.

 

Mal 3:6  "For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.

 

The world cannot claim ignorance of the consequences of its sins for we have taken God’s Word and the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the whole world. As we said before, people from one hundred and eighty eight nations are now availing themselves of our services and the trend is continuously upwards.

Between twenty and thirty editions of The Christin Herald are being downloaded from our site every day.

Every three years or so a million people visit our site, yet in two and a half decades not a single one has joined us or contributed to this work.  Have a look at this prophecy.

 

Eze 22:23  And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, "Son of man, say to her:

Eze 22:24  'You are a land that is not cleansed or rained on in the day of indignation.'  

Eze 22:25  The conspiracy of her prophets in her midst is like a roaring lion tearing the prey; they have devoured people; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in her midst.

Eze 22:26  Her priests have violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them.

Eze 22:27  Her princes in her midst are like wolves tearing the prey, to shed blood, to destroy people, and to get

Eze 22:28  dishonest gain.  Her prophets plastered them with untempered mortar, seeing false visions, and divining lies for them, saying, 'Thus says the Lord GOD,' when the LORD had not spoken.

Eze 22:29  The people of the land have used oppressions, committed robbery, and mistreated the poor and needy; and they wrongfully oppress the stranger.

Eze 22:30  So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.

Eze 22:31  Therefore I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; and I have recompensed their deeds on their own heads," says the Lord GOD.

 

  This prophecy is more than two and a half millennia old, yet its fulfilment is happening now, before our eyes. Fulfilled prophecy is the greatest proof of God, yet this world is so deep into Satan’s ideologies that it has become innured to such proofs. Nevertheless, everyone should know that God is watching from heaven and will call to account every human being.

 

Psa 14:2  The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God.

Psa 14:3  They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one.

Psa 14:4  Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge, Who eat up my people as they eat bread, And do not call on the LORD?

 

So where are the righteous that could save humanity from “utter destruction”? 

 

Mal 4:1  "For behold, the day is coming, Burning like an oven, And all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up," Says the LORD of hosts, "That will leave them neither root nor branch.

Mal 4:2  But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings; And you shall go out And grow fat like stall-fed calves.

Mal 4:3  You shall trample the wicked, For they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet On the day that I do this,"

Mal 4:4  Says the LORD of hosts.  "Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, Which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, With the statutes and judgments. Behold,

Mal 4:5  I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.

Mal 4:6  And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse [utter dewtruction].

 

When we began this work two and half decades ago we could never have imagined that this is where we would end up. We had plans to receive people in our circle and worship together, but God had other plans. We could never have imagined that He would send us to preach the Gospel not to just a few people, but to the whole world, and that we would be doing it all on our own.

Maybe if we put a price on our faith as do other people we would not be alone, but had we done that we would have lost the Holy Spirit too, for one cannot sell the Bible and still retain God’s good grace.

We applied Jesus injunction: freely you have received, freely give (Mat. 10:8). However, this is not entirely true for us, for while we paid heavily for the little that we received at first from the Worldwide Church of God, and that of dubious values, we received nothing for what we have been giving away ever since.

It is an extraordinary fact that after the first edition, which went out in 1990, we received about a hundred dollars in donations, even though we did not ask for it, and yet not a single cent since. What happened after that?  Were all the rest of our editions so hopeless that no one thought they were worth anything? 

They pay tithes and offerings to those who preach falsehoods, then come to us for spiritual enlightenment.

And they think they go to heaven when they die or to the Kingdom of Jesus Christ after resurrection.     

 

We have quoted the Bible extensively in our magazines, for two reasons. One, to prove that we speak for God and not for ourselves; and Two, to show the world that the Bible is a vastly different Book than what the apostate Churches of this world have let it believe. 

But there is a limit with God too. He has reached that limit, and the world faces the consequences.

Elijah has done his work, but the hearts of the fathers and of the children have not turned to each other.  Wickedness has well and truly taken over this world.   

God has no option but to unleash the angel of “utter destruction” upon the world.

The astounding fact is that although the signs are overwhelmingly pointing to the fact that the world is in the process of transition to a new world order, no one wants to believe that this will be done only after a Great Tribulation cleanses the world of its sin and sinners. 

We have quoted the following prophecy a number of times, and will continue to quote it until it enters people’s minds that it is true and that its time has come.

 

Mat 24:1  Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple.

Mat 24:2  And Jesus said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down."

Mat 24:3  Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?"

Mat 24:4  And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you.

Mat 24:5  For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many.

Mat 24:6  And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

Mat 24:7  For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.

Mat 24:8  All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Mat 24:9  "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake.

Mat 24:10  And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.

Mat 24:11  Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.

Mat 24:12  And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.

Mat 24:13  But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

Mat 24:14  And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

Mat 24:15  "Therefore when you see the 'ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place"  (whoever reads, let him understand),

Mat 24:16  "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

Mat 24:17  Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house.

Mat 24:18  And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes.

Mat 24:19  But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!

Mat 24:20  And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.

Mat 24:21  For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.

Mat 24:22  And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened.

Mat 24:23  "Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There!' do not believe it.

Mat 24:24  For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

Mat 24:25  See, I have told you beforehand.

Mat 24:26  "Therefore if they say to you, 'Look, He is in the desert!' do not go out; or 'Look, He is in the inner rooms!' do not believe it.

Mat 24:27  For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

Mat 24:28  For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.

Mat 24:29  "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Mat 24:30  Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Mat 24:31  And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Mat 24:32  "Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near.

Mat 24:33  So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors!

Mat 24:34  Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.

Mat 24:35  Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

Mat 24:36  "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.

Mat 24:37  But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

Mat 24:38  For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,

Mat 24:39  and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

Mat 24:40  Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left.

Mat 24:41  Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left.

Mat 24:42  Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.

Mat 24:43  But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.

Mat 24:44  Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

Mat 24:45  "Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season?

Mat 24:46  Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.

Mat 24:47  Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods.

Mat 24:48  But if that evil servant says in his heart, 'My master is delaying his coming,'

Mat 24:49  and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards,

Mat 24:50  the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that

Mat 24:51  he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

 

Amen!

 

 

 

 

 

    We don’t twit; we sing long symphonies

 

I few years ago, when Facebook became fashionable, and people started boasting how many “friends” they acquired that way, I also found myself unexpectedly with hundreds of friends from all over the world.

I’ve never met them, never heard of them, yet they all wanted to count me as their friend.

Thinking that there might be a purpose in it, I happily accept them as friends, but then the plot thickened.  With every new friend countless more joined the queue, because that’s how Facebook is set up. When you get one friend, his/her friends want to become your friends too, then their friends, and so the chain never ends.  

I remember how a top American basketball star once boasted at that he had ten thousand friends.  The way I was going I would have reached that figure before long too.  

My hope was that requests for friendship came from people who knew something about us, who may have read some of our articles and wanted to deepen their friendship. However, I soon discovered that this was not the case, for although they got my name from the internet, hardly anyone bothered to look at our web site. I then realized that Facebook, Twitter and the like, are not designed to create great readers and thinkers, but rather to reinforce shallowness and frivolity. It’s a pity, because they would be wonderful venues for mass information and communication, but as with everything good in this world, when it comes to the attention of evil forces, they turn it into tools of destruction, particularly with young people whose minds are not fully matured.

I know people who are glued to their screens every spare minute of their life. They seem to think that exchanging snippets of information with strangers elevates them to great intellectual heights.

I then began to wonder whether there is any benefit in staying connected with the social media crowd, but no matter how much I looked at it I could not find any good reason for it in its present form. On the contrary, I found some very good reasons against it.    

One, they were taking more and more of my time, which was needed on far more important tasks.

Two, I found them puerile and without substance. No serious discussion can be held in twits.  

Three, they have become venues for serious problems such as bullying and theft of identity.

Criminals who want to take a new identity no longer need to scurry through cemeteries and registries; they have that information at their fingertips: name, birthday, pictures, education, habits, relatives, friends, etc., willingly placed at their disposal by unsuspecting victims.  With that information it is not difficult to get bank records, credit card numbers and, incredibly, even theft of property.

As one might have expected, hard core common criminals have been joined by cyber criminals. Even teenagers, who are taught computers early in education, have joined the crowd of evil doers.   

 

Web Lures teenagers in to fraud

The number of children and teenagers being arrested for fraud in NSW is on the rise, while the number of adult fraudsters has dropped in the past two years. Fraud offences committed by people under 18 jumped by 26 per cent in the past two years and 84 per cent in the past three years. The figures, from the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, showed fraud offences committed by adults dropped by 8 per cent in the past two years and increased slightly, by 4 per cent, in the past three years.    

Acting Fraud & Cybercrime Squad commander Detective Superintendent Matt Craft said fraud was on the rise. He attributed the increase in part to internet crimes including a rise in identity theft.

“Fraud is a growing crime category thanks in part to the proliferation of internet-based fraud and other cybercrime,” Inspector Craft said.  “That is why police has a squad dedicated to investigating these offences. “The decision by NSW Police to prosecute for a fraud related offence is based on the available admissible evidence – not a person’s age.  (Lia Harris, The Sunday Telegraph, April 12, 2015)  

 

In the end, it was not difficult for me to conclude that I had little to gain from the social media circuit, and a lot to lose, however, getting out of it proved to be far more difficult than getting in. Once they grab your name and personal details, they won’t let go. They want to keep your name on their books even if you die.

To me that looked like a form of entrapment, and like all entrapments it cannot be good for you. 

The more people they have on their books, the more they charge advertisers. It does not matter whether they are all alive or dead; who is going to check on that, or even able to do so if they wanted it.   

With great difficulty I managed to remove my name from their listing, but not before they reminded me that next time I want to rejoin them it will be a lot easier as they keep my details readily available for that purpose.

No use fighting them in Courts over that; my experience with this world’s justice systems taught me to be wary of getting involved with them again.  Money still talks loud with many people in that field, and I don’t need to remind anyone where I stand in that area, and Courts have had a great deal to do with it. Anyone who has seen hard copies of our magazines, or the problems we’ve had with our web site recently, would have understood that we are not reeking with money.  But then, this has been the fate of God’s people from the very beginning – “clothed in sackcloth", as the Bible puts it – unlike Satan’s servants who love to project an image of wealth and happiness.  This is what counts in a world gone mad after false values, which thinks that material possessions bring happiness. 

As a result of many complaints, apparently there have been some changes recently on how the social media operates, but even so when I looked at the Facebook site I found that information on how to dissociate from them is still obscure and way down the page. 

As far as I am concerned, they can keep my details on their books as long as their want, I am just not going to have my name listed publically again on any social media as long as they operate on a principle that resembles more the law of the jungle than a civilized venue for communication and information. 

The fact is that I have never felt better and never felt the need to get back to the social media crowd.    Important news about the world does not come in twits, but from the traditional media – newspapers and TV.  

A competent media commentator described Twitter recently as ‘the sewer of discourse” (Miranda Devine, The Sunday Telegraph, March 1, 2015).  We could not agree more.  From our point of view, even advertising on the social media would not serve our purpose, and diminish rather than enhance our work. Who would be interested in multipage articles when they are weaned on ‘twits’ of less than 140 characters?

We cannot twit; our articles are like long symphonies by comparison.  We are not always happy that we have to write long articles, and have had some complaints about it, but the topics discussed require it. Otherwise we’d end up with the same kind of shallow theology that today’s Christianity is known for.

Our purpose is to restore the original Gospel of Jesus Christ, not to reinforce the grave theological errors that have crept into Christianity over time, and to show the world that the Bible is a vastly different Book than what it was led to believe. We are pleased to see that after a slow start, the world has taken to our work like the proverbial ducks to water.  Every three years or so, we get more than a million visitors to our web site.  Every day, between twenty and thirty editions of The Christian Heralds is being downloaded from our web site. People from 188 countries have availed themselves of our services. 

The work of witnessing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world could not have gone any better. Anecdotal evidence tells us that quite a lot of our readers are of a high educational caliber.  Unfortunately, with education often come arrogance and cockiness, and not a spirit of generosity.  From their ivory towers, they love to delve into deep theological topics, not for the love of God, but for personal aggrandizement. 

What should be an excellent source of enhancing their salvation, will turn out to be their downfall.  Because as Jesus Christ said, "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God" (Luke 9:62).  Or as the Apostles said:

 

1Th 5:19  Do not quench the Spirit.

1Th 5:20  Do not despise prophecies.

1Th 5:21  Test all things; hold fast what is good.

1Th 5:22  Abstain from every form of evil.

1Th 5:23  Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1Th 5:24  He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.

 

Yes, there is a call from God, and one only, in the life of every human being, for there is no partiality with Him (Rom. 2:11).  Unfortunately, most people fail to recognise it, and after a brief period of enthusiasm for God’s way they abandon the struggle and fade away to the deceitful pleasures of this world. 

Jesus Christ once said, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.  Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest" (Mat 9:37-38).  This has never been truer than it is now, but where are the workers? It is an unfortunate and sad story that this ‘me’ generation does not like to get involved,  likes to get and never give, and does not give a damn of consequences, to use their words, consequences which are catastrophic for the world.

 

Mal 4:1  "For behold, the day is coming, Burning like an oven, And all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up," Says the LORD of hosts, "That will leave them neither

Mal 4:2  root nor branch.  But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings; And you shall go out And grow fat like stall-fed calves.

Mal 4:3  You shall trample the wicked, For they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet On the day that I do this," Says the LORD of hosts.   Remember the Law of Moses, My servant,

Mal 4:4  " Which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, With the statutes and judgments.  Behold,

Mal 4:5  I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.

Mal 4:6  And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with utter destruction. 

 

No one believes that the work of Elijah has been done, but true nevertheless.  There is only a short interregnum period before the world is struck with utter destruction, as it should have been translated.  

We have no evidence that the hearts of the Fathers have been turned to the children, let alone the hearts of the children to the Fathers [‘Fathers’ being both human and heavenly Fathers].

This is why the work of Elijah turns into the work of the Two Witnesses of Revelation (Ch. 11).  Having failed to respond to Elijah’s preaching, the world will certainly take note of their work.

The departure from God’s standards is nowhere more evident than with young people.  I often look at them, with their shallow values, or no values at all, and think that this is a lost generation.

The information technology has done nothing but reinforce a lazy and egotistical attitude.  Bereft of any spiritual values, they are easily taken over by esoteric preachers who encourage them to look inside and discover who they are, as if they were born with an encyclopedia of good knowledge inside which cries out to be discovered.  Compared that with what the true God says about human beings.  

 

Jer 17:9  "The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?

Jer 17:10  I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.

 

Joh 2:23  Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did.

Joh 2:24  But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men,

Joh 2:25  and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.

 

1Pe 4:1  Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time

1Pe 4:2 in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.

1Pe 4:3  For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these,

1Pe 4:4  they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you.

1Pe 4:5  They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

1Pe 4:6  For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

1Pe 4:7  But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.

1Pe 4:8 Above all things have fervent love for one another, for "Love Will Cover A Multitude Of Sins."

1Pe 4:9  Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.   As each one has received a gift,

1Pe 4:10  minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

1Pe 4:11  If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

1Pe 4:12  Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you;  but rejoice to the extent that you partake

1Pe 4:13  of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

1Pe 4:14  If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.  But let none of you

1Pe 4:15  suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people's matters.

1Pe 4:16  Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.

1Pe 4:17  For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?

1Pe 4:18  Now "IF THE RIGHTEOUS ONE IS SCARCELY SAVED, WHERE WILL THE UNGODLY AND THE SINNER APPEAR?"

1Pe 4:19  Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.

 

The information technology is looking more and more like a bane rather than a boon for this world. While it has brought many benefits to humanity, it has been catastrophic in the social areas, bringing the world to its darkest spiritual age.  Without spiritual guidance and obedience to the laws of God, technology will destroy this world. In truth, the world is already well on the way towards that end.

Keeping their eyes on one screen or another, without the ability to discern good from bad and right from wrong, the young generation no longer listens to, or has time for, the advice of parents and spiritual leaders.

We cannot see how the problems of the social media can be remedied in this world.  Only in a world in which neither evil nor idle chatter will have a place can technology be used properly and to its potential.

Not surprisingly, the Scriptures have something to say on this matter too.

 

2Th 3:11  For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all,

2Th 3:12  but are busybodies. Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread.

2Th 3:13  But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. And if anyone does not obey our word

2Th 3:14  in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed.

2Th 3:15  Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

 

1Ti 5:9  Do not let a widow under sixty years old be taken into the number, and not unless she has been the wife of

1Ti 5:10  one man, well reported for good works: if she has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the saints' feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed every good work.

1Ti 5:11  But refuse the younger widows; for when they have begun to grow wanton against Christ, they desire

1Ti 5:12  to marry, having condemnation because they have cast off their first faith.

1Ti 5:13  And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not. Therefore I desire that the younger widows marry,

1Ti 5:14  bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully.

1Ti 5:15  For some have already turned aside after Satan.

 

As Jesus Christ said:

 

Mat 6:24  "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

 

No one can serve God and mammon, Christ and Satan.  Most people have no idea whom they serve. 

God however knows the people who serve Him. 

 

1Co 8:3 But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him.

 

A popular proverb says that Satan finds work for idle hands.  Western leaders thought that if society provided sustenance for everyone, regardless of whether they contribute to it or not, they will live happily ever after.  Islamic fundamentalists know better.  They know that kids without an ideal are easy prey to their toxic ideology.  We call it ‘ideology’ because it does not deserve to be called religion. Young people whose brains are not fully developed, and not cognizant of all the facts about life, fall easy prey to their deadly preaching.  

 

2Pe 2:19  While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.

 

They have been very successful in inculcating young people with the doctrines of the god of death that by committing murder, and mass murder at that, they become “martyrs”. 

Contrast that with what our God, the God of the living, says.

 

Mat 22:32  'I Am The God Of Abraham, The God Of Isaac, And The God Of Jacob' ? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living."

 

Psa 145:3  Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; And His greatness is unsearchable.

Psa 145:4  One generation shall praise Your works to another, And shall declare Your mighty acts.

Psa 145:5  I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, And on Your wondrous works.

Psa 145:6  Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts, And I will declare Your greatness.

Psa 145:7  They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness, And shall sing of Your righteousness.

Psa 145:8  The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy.

Psa 145:9  The LORD is good to all, And His tender mercies are over all His works.

Psa 145:10  All Your works shall praise You, O LORD, And Your saints shall bless You.

Psa 145:11  They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom, And talk of Your power,

Psa 145:12  To make known to the sons of men His mighty acts, And the glorious majesty of His kingdom.

Psa 145:13  Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And Your dominion endures throughout all generations.

Psa 145:14  The LORD upholds all who fall, And raises up all who are bowed down.

Psa 145:15  The eyes of all look expectantly to You, And You give them their food in due season.

Psa 145:16  You open Your hand And satisfy the desire of every living thing.

Psa 145:17  The LORD is righteous in all His ways, Gracious in all His works.

Psa 145:18  The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.

Psa 145:19  He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them.

Psa 145:20  The LORD preserves all who love Him, But all the wicked He will destroy.

Psa 145:21  My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD, And all flesh shall bless His holy name Forever and ever.

 

The ‘God of the living’ does not condone the notion that by committing suicidal murder people can become “martyrs” for His eternal Kingdom. The social media has a big responsibility in this sinister twisting of values.

 

    Facebook youth suicide require solution

 “With more than 23,000 members, the "Coming Together to Prevent Youth Suicide" Facebook group is Australia's largest entirely social-media based suicide support service for young people.

“Established in June by two Melbourne teenagers after a spate of suicides - in which young people can chat openly and seek support on issues including bullying, depression, homelessness and self-harm - has been moderated by the In2Life organisation since August.  Up to 20 trained volunteers monitor and respond to posts, but do not provide counselling. Instead, they refer members to organisations such as Lifeline, Kids' Helpline and Headspace when necessary.  Usage statistics for October to December last year showed moderators are making more than 300 referrals to counselling services each month, and reporting serious incidents to police for immediate intervention at an average rate of once a week. 

“Young people want to use social media as a way of getting support, and no one yet has really embraced social media as a way to assist young people in suicide prevention. 

"Facebook has this amazing capacity for young people to help their friends when they couldn't do that in any other environment.  They can say `go and see Kids' Helpline' but they won't go. They can say `go and ring Lifeline' and they won't. But they can add them to a Facebook group and through that process of engagement then they start to talk about their issues."  (Petra Starke, The Australian, January 18, 2013)

 

They praised Facebook for its “amazing capacity for young people to help friends” when Facebook is the source of their problems in the first place.  Since the publication of this article, things have gotten much worse. 

 

 One child a week lost to suicide

“A Child dies of suicide in Australia each week while between 50 and 60 more are hospitalised for trying to kill themselves, damning new data shows.  Boys are twice as likely as girls to take their own lives, National Children’s Commissioner Megan Mitchell told federal parliament in a report tabled yesterday.

“Ms Mitchell’s report calls for age restrictions on the sale of headache tablets, warning that hanging and pharmaceutical or poison overdoses are the main causes of death.  She called for more research into the impact of social media on children’s psychological wellbeing.  (Natasha Bita, The Australian, November 28, 2014)

 

How extraordinary!  Headache tablets, hanging and poison overdoses are the main causes of death?  

They confuse causes with means, and think they can solve this problem by restricting the sale of headache tablets.  And they wonder that the rate of youth suicide is getting worse rather than better. 

If they want to solve this problem they must go to the root of it - the uncontrolled social media phenomenon.  Parents of victimized children are perplexed that there isn’t much anyone can do about it.  Police, teachers, friends, social workers, do their best to help and console the victims, but how do you deal with anonymous innuendoes, insults, lies and harassment that never end and continually diminish their victims in the eyes of their peers?  This should have been the responsibility of social media providers from the very beginning, for one cannot imagine they never thought of what would happen if they let it operate on a free for all bases.

 

 Twitter’s Broken Windows

HAMBURG, Germany — In 2012, Julia Probst, a young deaf German, announced plans to run in the national parliamentary elections. But after a few TV appearances, she received so many hateful comments on Twitter about her deafness that she decided to pull out of the campaign — and politics.  She could bear a lot, she explained, “But I won’t let myself be criticized or insulted for something over which I have no responsibility, namely the control over my voice.”

Anonymous users who make such insults might just be cowardly bigmouths. But they create an atmosphere of impunity that eventually causes online abuse to stray into the offline world.

Call it the “Broken Windows Theory” of the Internet, a tweak on an approach to policing embraced by Rudolph W. Giuliani when he was mayor of New York in the 1990s.

Introduced by the social scientists James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling, Broken Windows posits that, once a building has a broken window, the entire neighborhood is prone to vandalism and crime. Why? Because a broken window is more than shattered glass: It is a symbol of indifference toward other people’s property and of lack of care and control. The signal the broken window sends is: You can do damage without being held responsible.

A generation later, there’s some evidence online that Broken Windows applies to people, too. What starts with one mean tweet or Facebook post can quickly turn into a bullying campaign, and even go offline. Time and again teenagers commit suicide because they can’t stand the pain and shame of being pilloried online. The consequences are just as dangerous for civil society, political culture and the credibility of the media as the broken windows were in Professors Wilson and Kelling’s theory of city infrastructure.

Petra Pau, a politician from Germany’s left-wing Die Linke party and the deputy president of the Bundestag, recently called for more solidarity with refugees and called anti-refugee activists in Berlin “brown Pied Pipers,” a reference to the brown shirts worn by Nazi thugs.  The reaction on the Internet: more than 40 threats of death or violence against Ms. Pau, with one person suggesting that “scum” like her should either be shot or hanged from a tree in the Tiergarten, Berlin’s central park.  It happened again a few days ago in a German soccer stadium. Marcel Reif, a prominent sports reporter for more than 30 years, had been subject to humiliation and harassment online for quite some time. But the violence he encountered in the commentator’s box in Dresden made him fear for his life, he said.

“Beer bottles were flying at me from people above me behind the glass wall,” he told the German newspaper Die Welt. “Their faces were grimaces of hatred, spitting and slobbering.”

Mr. Reif believes that the borderlessness of the Internet is the root cause for these rage attacks. “Social networks know no rules,” he said. “If you meet people face to face they wake up from their frenzy. On the Internet that’s not possible. People become fiends because there’s no regulative force.”

The managers of Twitter know about this phenomenon and their responsibility for it. But they decline to discuss it openly. Last month The Verge, an American website, published an internal email from Dick Costolo, Twitter’s chief executive, in which he told employees that he was embarrassed by the company’s failure to stop harassment and abuse.  “There’s no excuse for it. I take full responsibility for not being more aggressive on this front,” he wrote.

To his credit, Mr. Costolo promised action. “We’re going to start kicking these people off right and left and making sure that when they issue their ridiculous attacks, nobody hears them. Everybody on the leadership team knows this is vital.”   Twitter has introduced a button for reporting abuse, and if you use it, the offender is supposed to receive a warning or, in cases of repeated abuse, even have his account blocked.  Yet when I asked Twitter’s spokesman in Germany how many of these warnings the company had issued through the last year, what these warnings say precisely and how many accounts have been blocked because of abuse, he refused to answer. After having discussed the issue with his American colleagues, the spokesman said, all he could give me was the Twitter rules, their guidelines for law enforcement and their yearly transparency report. None of these provided an answer to my questions. When I asked for the reasons Twitter wouldn’t provide the requested information, he didn’t respond.  

If Twitter is going to continue with such arrogance toward its users, maybe it’s up to lawmakers to take action. As long as Twitter refuses to reveal how effective its anti-abuse efforts have been, we have to assume that it passively condones such abuse.  In response, a zero-tolerance strategy, of the sort Mr. Giuliani pursued in New York, should be considered. Offensive users need to feel rebuke before they can incite others, turning individuals into a mob. Laws should require social-media companies to crack down on abusive behavior, or face penalties.

Facebook and Twitter are fantastic tools for spreading information [and misinformation]. But exactly because these platforms have become indispensable [O, yes they are dispensable, though they would like you to think that they are not], we can’t allow digital technology to induce medieval customs. Nor can we allow social media to facilitate the spread of hatred, demanding transparency of users while being opaque in its approach to the verbal violence that the medium channels.  The building called modernity is too precious for this sort of decay. So please, Mr. Costolo, fix your windows quickly.  J. Bittner is a political editor for the weekly Die Zeit).

 

Modernity and innovation have been good up to a point, but now a backlash against it has surfaced in a most unexpected place.

 

  Switching back from smartphones to dumb phones

"It's great to be connected but we don't have to be connected all the time." 

Abandoning your smartphone for an older-style mobile phone frees you to pay more attention to the world around you.   "Drop my phone," he says, and so I do, smashing its innards over the footpath. Jon Duhig calmly puts his mobile back together, flips open the lid and turns it on. "Still working," he says, smiling.  He's head of digital at a design and innovation consultancy in Sydney but recently swapped his iPhone 5 smartphone for a "dumb phone". There's no fragile touchscreen or multitude of apps. No autocorrect or Siri or front-facing camera for selfies.

His $68 Samsung C3520 "flip phone" is the way mobile phones used to be, when they were made for calls and texts and little else. Duhig, 41, calls it a "phone phone". "People say to me 'Why haven't you got an iPhone' - they are almost outraged," he says. "But there's something nice about simplicity."  We talk at a café for an hour and he doesn't check his phone once. "I was really fidgety with my iPhone. I would always be checking my emails. Waiting for coffee, I would check Facebook. It felt like an addiction," he says. "Now I feel clearer, I have more concentration. I am not so easily distracted anymore."   Now his phone stays in his pocket in coffee queues. "I really like watching people and I was watching my phone instead. The real world is more interesting," he says, looking around. What do you see now, I ask. People on their phones, he says.

More people are switching from smartphones to dumb phones, which are cheaper, sturdier and have longer-lasting batteries. Vintage-looking mobiles, such as flip or clamshell phones, are particularly popular. The brick-like Motorola DynaTAC, used by actor Michael Douglas in Wall Street, sells for almost $1500 online.  There's a growing cachet in sporting a dumb phone, along with such practical accessories as single-speed bicycles and super-skinny jeans. Other mobile phone users are simply seeking relief from the compulsion to constantly check emails and social media. University student and cross-fit trainer Nick Fuentes, 22, traded in his iPhone 5 for a basic Nokia 208 last October, after repeatedly smashing his smartphone screen during gym sessions. "I was finding myself trapped by endless scrolling on my phone," he says. "When you've got a simpler phone you become more liberated by the fact you don't have something consuming you all the time. You kind of forget about your phone sometimes."

Studies show smartphones can disrupt sleep and focus, damage relationships and make users more selfish, stressed and depressed. A 2013 study found smartphone users check their device on average 110 times a day – at work, over dinner, in the bathroom or during sex. Duhig reckons he checks his mobile phone about two or three times a day. He uses an iPad mini for remote emailing and online browsing. He doesn't take either device to the toilet.

Opting to go online is now "much more deliberate" than the convenience of a smartphone in his pocket, he says. But there are downsides to dumb phones. His 2G network is patchy and his texting speed has slowed. I challenge him with my iPhone 5 in a race to write "Welcome to the new world" and win easily.

In Australia, an estimated 74 per cent of adults used smartphones by May 2014, up from 64 per cent in 2013, as more people upgraded their old mobiles. Australian children spend on average almost a day a week on their smartphones, according to research released by Telstra in March. But Duhig is pleased he stopped using a smartphone. "I think we overrate technology," he says. "It's great to be connected but we don't have to be connected all the time."  Are you happier, I ask. "Oh, I don't know," he says. "It's not the thing that brings me happiness but I certainly feel better."  (Peter Munro, SMH, March 27, 2015)

 

Almost every advice I have seen on the problems caused by social media, seemed inadequate, ineffective, or simply ill-advised.  Yet the solution is quite simple. It is the one that I and more and more people have taken – get out of the social media circuit.  Until this becomes a safe ‘modernity’, it is not worth bothering with. 

Some young people may recoil at such a thought and find it hard to accept, until they try it and see the peace of mind and care free attitude that come with it. Like Jon Duhig they might say, "It's not the thing that brings me happiness but I certainly feel better."

Be different; let everyone know that you are no longer on the social media circuit and no longer read Facebook, Twitter, and all that. At first, your enemies and detractors may test you with more bullying, but seeing that you do not respond and are not even aware of it, they will realise that their efforts are a waste of time and give up. They may even admire you for it. It takes will power and strength and character to respond to a potentially catastrophic situation in such a simple yet forceful manner.

You will feel like a new person too. You will have more time for your family, for study, for sport and for the good friends who will see that you are not the weakling person some of them may have thought you were.    

Keep your internet connection, for that is like having the world’s libraries and data bases at your fingertips. Let your teachers, relatives and friends know your e-mail for communication purposes, and if your enemies get hold of it and still harass you, remember you are the only one who reads their spam not the entire world as is the case with Facebook, Twitter and others.  Put a block on them, or just delete them as if thy never existed and show no sign that you care or knew about them. 

Don’t be surprised if others join you. You might even end up with a network of social media rebels. 

In your regained time, make a practice of watching documentaries and reading or listening to audio books. They are good educational sources even if they appear not to be particular relevant for your studies.  In time they will prove their worth in gold. They engender a wider horizon and strength of character – useful attributes in the demands of modern life.     

Young people who bully others have already condemned themselves to a meaningless life of failure and misery, yet no one is telling them this fact because it is not politically correct. Educators are constrained by the conventions of today’s world which favour the loud and the wicked over the shy, the decent and the righteous.

What the world does not know is that there is a law that operates in this Universe which guarantees that what one puts into the world is what he gets out of it.

As one who has gone through life, I can tell you that it works and never fails. So prepare yourself for a life of success, and don’t envy those with a cloistered mind whose future is misery and perdition.   

You may not think much of religion, yet this is still the source of what is good in the world, and gives meaning to life. Never forget what Jesus Christ went through and what He said in the end. 

 

Joh 15:17  These things I command you, that you love one another.

Joh 15:18  "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.

 

Joh 16:33  These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

 

Joh 14:16  And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you

Joh 14:17  forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

Joh 14:18  I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

 

Psa 37:1  Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.

Psa 37:2  For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, And wither as the green herb.

Psa 37:3  Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.

 

Ecc 8:12  Though a sinner does evil a hundred times, and his days are prolonged, yet I surely know that it will be well with those who fear God, who fear before Him.

Ecc 8:13  But it will not be well with the wicked; nor will he prolong his days, which are as a shadow, because he does not fear before God.

 

Amen!

 

 

 

Where does the Old Testament end and the New begins?

 

A major problem we had to face in the course of this work has been ignorance about the Bible; ignorance not on the part of the average people, from whom we did not expect such knowledge, but from those who claim to be ministers of Jesus Christ. What became obvious in our discussion with them is that they do not know the difference between the Old and the New Testaments, when the Old one ended and the New began. 

This has had extremely damaging consequences on the teachings of these branches of Christianity, who understand the faith of Jesus Christ in very different terms.

This is a huge topic, and we have no illusion that what they could not resolve over centuries of debates we will resolve in one article now.  Nevertheless, the revelations we have received since the beginning of this work have given us new understanding of the reasons for the splits that Christianity has undergone in the two millennia of its existence.  

The Bible tells us that within a few years after the first Churches of God were established, inimical forces began to introduce deceptive ideas in order to undermine Christianity and take control of it.

The Apostles saw this coming and warned their followers about it. 

 

2Th 2:1  Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him,

2Th 2:2  we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.  Let no one deceive you by any means;

2Th 2:3  for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son

2Th 2:4  of perdition,  who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

2Th 2:5  Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?

2Th 2:6  And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.

2Th 2:7  For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is

2Th 2:8  taken out of the way.  And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.

2Th 2:9  The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs,

2Th 2:10  and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

2Th 2:11  And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,

2Th 2:12  that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

 

The mystery of lawlessness was already at work under the eye of the Apostles. Few people seem to have noticed that those who were undermining the faith were men doing the work of Satan, the biggest deceiver of all being one who stood in the temple of God claiming to be God, obviously by taking God’s title of Holy Father.

Now if we extend our detective work a little further, we notice that Apostle Pail linked this epistle to the Thessalonians with his epistle to the Romans in which he also used the term “lie”.

 

Rom 1:24  Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies

Rom 1:25  among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

Rom 1:26  For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.

 

Now here is something you will never hear from the preachers of today, mostly because they have lost the sense of timing, or the dates of the biblical writings.  Yet these give us important insights into the thinking of the writers.  For example, when Apostle Paul wrote the second epistle to the Thessalonians in the year 54 AD., he was hesitant to say too much about the man who deceived the brethren by claiming to be God.  Paul merely pointed out that he was doing the work of Satan without naming him.  He linked this epistle with the one he sent to the Romans six years later, in 60 AD., by the term “the lie”.  However, by the time he wrote his epistle to Timothy five years later, in 65 AD, he had enough of those deceivers and no longer bit around the bush about their identity.  He gave them to Satan in no uncertain terms. 

 

1Ti 1:18  This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, having faith and a good conscience,

1Ti 1:19  which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, of whom

1Ti 1:20  are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.

 

Anyone who rejects the true faith and preaches contrary to the New Testament commits blasphemy against the Holy Spirit; therefore they must be delivered to Satan “that they may learn not to blaspheme.”  With this in mind we will take a look first at fundamentalist Christianity, and then we’ll look at mainstream Christianity.

 

 

       Problems with Fundamentalist Christianity

 

Shortly after we sent out the first edition of The Christian Herald, we received the following letter. 

 

“Dear Grigore,

Thank you for the letter and the materials you enclosed.  I am looking forward to reading your paper on the holy place.  The reason I observe God's Holy Days and festivals is because I believe these are instituted forever (Lev. 23:41; Ex. 31:13; Matt. 26, etc.). I further see 2nd tithe as inseparably connected to the keeping of the feasts of God (Deut. 12:17; 14:22,23, etc.).

The first tithe belongs to God (Lev. 23:30). The fact that He gave it to the Levites, temple, etc., and the fact that the Levitical system became defunct or disbanded did not nullify the tithing laws.  Christ confirmed (Luke 11:42): "These ought you to have done." [Apostle] Paul agrees (I Cor. 9). He further states in the same manner should the New Testament be supported as was the old temple (v.13).

The Old Testament temple received support by means of tithes and offerings. [Apostle] Paul called it his "right" the support which the Corinthians were giving to others.  This caused [Apostle] Paul to work for himself, but did not do away with God's tithing laws.  Any case this is just to explain my reasons for sticking to God's laws in total.  At present, I am using my tithes to advertise and send truth (literature) to others in South Africa.  I've just printed my first booklet (I am Africaner speaking).

How about a family photo?  Please!  It would make it more personal.  Greetings and Christian closeness!  M.H.A.

 

This was our reply:

 

Dear Friend,

Your decision to adhere to "God's laws in total" may be fine, but what do you want to achieve by that, salvation by law?  Don't you know what the Apostles have said?

 

Gal 3:10  For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, "Cursed Is Everyone Who Does Not Continue In All Things Which Are Written In The Book Of The Law, To Do Them."

Gal 3:11  But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for "The Just Shall Live

Gal 3:12  By Faith."  Yet the law is not of faith, but "The Man Who Does Them Shall Live By Them."

Gal 3:13  Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed Is Everyone Who Hangs On A Tree"),

Gal 3:14  that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

 

Gal 3:5  Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Gal 3:6  Just as Abraham "Believed God, And It Was Accounted To Him For Righteousness."

Gal 3:7  Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.

 

We are not against people observing God's Holy Days; indeed we encourage them to do so.  But in the New Testament there is no connection between the Holy Days and the tithing principle.  There is no need for anyone to go to a temple or to any special feast site.  People can observe the Holy Days wherever they are. 

Jesus Christ said:  "For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there in the midst of them" (Matt. 18:20).  In Luke 11:42 He was addressing the Pharisees who were still under the Old Testament.  But when the New Testament was instituted, the Apostles felt no need to "tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs," and did not require these things of their followers either.

If tithing is a law under the New Testament, then the Apostles were the first to break it.  Except in the book of Hebrews, which discusses the situation of the Jews, none of the other epistles even mention tithe or tithing.

Apostle Paul would be most unhappy to hear you say that he supported the tithing doctrine.  He went out of his way not to put any burdens upon the Churches which he established, so much so that he became unpopular with some of them because of it.  You are twisting his words and changing the meaning of the Scriptures, and I don't need to tell you what the consequences are for that.  You make the same errors the leaders of the Churches of God are making.  They do not understand the difference between the Old and the New Testaments, or how to keep the Holy Days in the Spirit of the New Testament.  They tell their followers to observe the Holy Days in the manner of the Jews.  To whom do you think Jesus Christ referred to when He said that there are people who claim to be spiritual Jews [Christians], but who are in fact a synagogue of Satan?

Why do you want my photograph?  I will gladly give you my writings, but not my picture.  You know that those from the Churches of God, and other churches, are in love with themselves - they keep publishing their glossy photos in their publications.  I am afraid we are not in the same class.  I would rather take the chance of ending up like Jesus Christ.  He must be amusing Himself in heaven at the pictures they have made of Him.   Or perhaps He is furious.  We shall know that soon.”  (The Christian Herald No 3, p. 50)

 

We never heard from our South African friend again, but now, two and a half decades later, I relented and published my photo in The Christian Herald No 30.  We did that because we are fast approaching the end of this age, and we thought that this may be a good time to show our readers that I am not a ghost writer but a flesh and blood human being.  Everything else we said in that answer was as valid then as it is now, and always shall be.

We could have said a lot more about his references, as most of them are misquotations, but we did not want to embarrass him too much. A couple more examples will suffice. He said, “The first tithe belongs to God (Lev. 23:30).   This is what Leviticus 23:30 actually says:

 

Lev 23:30  And any person who does any work on that same day, that person I will destroy from among his people.

   

Do you see anything in this verse that might be construed as a “first tithe”? 

This is what Herbert W Armstrong, the spiritual father of those who preach salvation by law and a three tithes system, taught his disciples.  The evangelists of the Worldwide Church of God, and those who became preachers in local Churches, or aspired to become, after the collapse of the WCG, embraced Armstrong’s system wholeheartedly.  They would, wouldn’t they, for it gave them a cushy life style [and a guaranteed life in hell for twisting the New Testament teaching so grotesquely]. Clearly, our friend was an Armstrong disciple. 

Now let us look at his two other references which he uses as reason for supporting a multiple tithe system in the New Testament: Luke 11:42 and 1 Cor. 9.  He says:

 

The first tithe belongs to God (Lev. 23:30). The fact that He gave it to the Levites, temple, etc., and the fact that the Levitical system became defunct or disbanded did not nullify the tithing laws.  Christ confirmed (Luke 11:42): "These ought you to have done." [Apostle] Paul agrees (I Cor. 9). He further states in the same manner should the New Testament be supported as was the old temple (v.13).

 

Here is his Luke’s reference.

 

Luk 11:42  "But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass by justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.

 

There are two problems with our friend’s understanding of this quote. One, he assumed that because Jesus Christ told the Pharisees they should have observed the law of tithing, that this was now part of the New Testament.  He failed to understand that the Pharisees were still under the Old Testament, and that the New Testament had not yet started.  He and his fundamentalist fellows, as in fact the whole of the Christin world, do not know that Jesus carried out His ministry under the jurisdiction of the Old Testament.  That was necessary in order to prove that a human being could keep the tenets of the OT without sinning.  He did so because He had the Holy Spirit, whom He would make available to all who believe in Him after His death and resurrection.  

During His ministry, Jesus and His disciples never requested donations from anyone, but accepted donations from those who were willing to do so voluntarily. 

 

Joh 12:3  Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.

Joh 12:4  But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, who would betray Him, said,

Joh 12:5  "Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?"

Joh 12:6  This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it.

 

Jesus’ disciples carried a money box in which people could make donations voluntarily, a principle applied by His Apostles when they instituted the Churches of God.

 

2Co 9:5  Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren to go to you ahead of time, and prepare your generous gift beforehand, which you had previously promised, that it may be ready as a matter of generosity and not as a grudging obligation.

2Co 9:6  But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

2Co 9:7  So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a

2Co 9:8  cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.

 

When one donates in order to conform to the law of tithing, God’s grace and blessings do not apply anymore, for then salvation would be a matter of reward or obligation, and not of grace.   

Those who preach tithing in the New Testament do not understand that tithing was the taxation system of ancient Israel, and even that was voluntary, unlike the tithing applied by HW Armstrong, who punished those whom he or his servants discovered to have held back some of their tithes. 

In ancient Israel, the tribe of Levy had the duty to take care of the temple service and live of the tithes of their brethren, as they had no land allocation. In the New Testament, Christians do not have a class of people to support for taking care of the temple service.  Their command is to:

 

Mat 28:19  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Mat 28:20  teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.

 

 Now when you make disciples of all the nations, you do not impose on them tithing on top of the taxes they have to pay to their respective governments. You yourself must pay taxes from the voluntary donations that you receive.  This is how the Apostles of Jesus Christ operated in their time, and this is how the true ministers of Jesus Christ operate in our time.  Those who accept tithing, circumcision and the sacrificial law that belong to the Old Testament, must keep the whole law as Apostle Paul said. 

 

Gal 5:3  And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.

Gal 5:4  You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

Gal 5:5  For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

Gal 5:6  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.

Gal 5:7  You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?

Gal 5:8  This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you.

 

Indeed, such preaching does not come from Jesus Christ, but from Satan. In so doing they crucify Jesus Christ again, the One who abolished those laws [though not the Ten Commandments]. 

 

Heb 6:4  For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit,

Heb 6:5  and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them

Heb 6:6  again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.

 

Let us now look at 1 Cor 9, which he said also supports the tithing principle.  He quoted the entire chapter, so we have no choice but to look at it in its entirety too. 

 

1Co 9:1  Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are you not my work in the

1Co 9:2  Lord?  If I am not an apostle to others, yet doubtless I am to you. For you are the seal of my apostleship

1Co 9:3  in the Lord.  My defense to those who examine me is this:

1Co 9:4  Do we have no right to eat and drink?  Do we have no right to take along a believing wife,

1Co 9:5  as do also the other apostles, the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?

1Co 9:6  Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working?

1Co 9:7  Who ever goes to war at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk of the flock?

1Co 9:8  Do I say these things as a mere man? Or does not the law say the same also? For it is written in the law of

1Co 9:9 Moses, "You Shall Not Muzzle An Ox While It Treads Out The Grain." Is it oxen God is concerned about?

 

Here would have been an excellent place to mention tithing, but wisely Apostle Paul chose entirely different Scriptures to emphasize voluntary contributions and not obligatory tithing.

 

1Co 9:10  Or does He say it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written, that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope.

1Co 9:11  If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things?

1Co 9:12  If others are partakers of this right over you, are we not even more? Nevertheless we have not used this right, but endure all things lest we hinder the gospel of Christ.

1Co 9:13  Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat of the things of the temple, and those who serve at the altar partake of the offerings of the altar?

1Co 9:14  Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.

 

Yes, they should live from voluntary donations, which Apostle Paul emphasised in his second epistle to the Corinthians which we quoted above, not out of tithes which he never mentioned in his epistles.

 

1Co 9:15  But I have used none of these things, nor have I written these things that it should be done so to me; for it would be better for me to die than that anyone should make my boasting void.

 

Can anyone imagine the impostors of today saying that they would rather die than enforce the law of tithing on anyone? Most likely they would say they would rather die than not receive the tithes, for I don’t think they are good at anything else. Obviously they are not good at preaching the New Testament Gospel either.

 

1Co 9:16  For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel! For if I do this willingly,

1Co 9:17  I have a reward; but if against my will, I have been entrusted with a stewardship.

1Co 9:18  What is my reward then? That when I preach the gospel, I may present the gospel of Christ without charge, that I may not abuse my authority in the gospel.

1Co 9:19  For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more;

1Co 9:20  and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law;

1Co 9:21  to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak,

1Co 9:22  that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

1Co 9:23  Now this I do for the gospel's sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.

1Co 9:24  Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way

1Co 9:25  that you may obtain it.  And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.

1Co 9:26  Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.

1Co 9:27  But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

 

Do you see any tithing in this chapter?  Can you see the length to which some preachers go in order to justify ripping off their followers with Scriptures that do not support such ideas?  He went on to say:

 

“I further see 2nd tithe as inseparably connected to the keeping of the feasts of God (Deut. 12:17; 14:22,23, etc.).” 

 

He is not quoting the New Testament anymore, but the Old Testament now.  Let us go to Deuteronomy to show you that even this Scriptures is a misquotation. 

 

Deu 12:17  You may not eat within your gates the tithe of your grain or your new wine or your oil, of the firstborn of your herd or your flock, of any of your offerings which you vow, of your freewill offerings, or of the heave offering of your hand.

Deu 14:22  "You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year.

Deu 14:23  And you shall eat before the LORD your God, in the place where He chooses to make His name abide, the tithe of your grain and your new wine and your oil, of the firstborn of your herds and your flocks, that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always.

 

Do you see a second tithe in this passage?  It’s a wonder he did not speak of three tithes, as the word ‘tithe’ is found three times in these verses. His master, H.W. Armstrong, however, had no such hesitation.  He strictly enforced a three tithe system on his unfortunate followers.  Who knows where he would have stopped if God had used this word more than three times. 

The Jews must be terribly embarrassed and annoyed for missing such an opportunity for thousands of years.    

If God Almighty gives us the time, we’d like to show you from “the second most important book of all time”, after the Bible, “Misery Of The Ages”, written by HWA, how he turned the Gospel of Jesus Christ up-side-down, making the whole of the New Testament nothing less than a mere appendix to the Old Testament.  

 

We go now to the second example, a letter written by no less than an evangelist of the former Worldwide Church of God, now leader of a “Church of God” in his own right. This letter was sent to us more than two decades after the first.  We wrote about it in The Christian Herald No 28, but we need to look at it again.

 

The Trinity Under Renewed Attack

 

It seems that we cannot send out a Newsletter without adding something to it afterwards. 

We had some quick replies to Newsletter 26.  Here is a typical one, from “Restoration Fellowship”, the people who claim to have restored the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

Anthony Buzzard, Restoration Fellowship, Thursday, April 18, 2013

 

Thanks. Could you direct me please to your explanation of the creed of Jesus in Mark 12:29 = John 17:3.  It appears you hear this creed as confession of a Triune God?  Have I understood you rightly on that point.  Where have you written on Mark 12;29?  Thanks,   Anthony.

 

First, here are the Scriptures you are talking about. You should quote them in their entirety and not just reference them so that your interlocutors would not have to shuffle through the Bible for them. This is a short quotation, not an academic treatise with countless references where the authors could not quote them verbatim.      

 

Mar 12:29  Jesus answered him, "The first of all the commandments is: 'Hear, O Israel, The Lord Our God, The Lord Is One. 

Joh 17:3  And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

 

This was our reply. 

 

God is One.  This is confirmed by both the Old and the New Testaments.

 

Mark 12:29 is a direct quotation of Deu 6:4, "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!”

And in the NT we have Gal 3:20, “Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one.”

 

God, however, has a Son and a Daughter, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Both Mark 12;29 and John 17:3 were spoken before Mat. 28:19.  "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." 

 In Mark 12:29 and John 17:3 Jesus Christ could not speak of the Holy Spirit as a separate entity. He could only do so after His death and resurrection when the Holy Spirit became available to human beings and the Church became His bride and thus the third member of the heavenly Trinity.  

The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ changed the nature of God forever. 

Previous to that, the Godhead was a Duality, being composed of two personalities. 

 

Gen 1:1  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Gen 1:26  Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth

Gen 1:27  and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."  So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

 

Joh 1:1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Joh 1:2  He was in the beginning with God.

Joh 1:3  All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

 

These Scriptures tell us that two persons were responsible for the act of creation.  So whenever the word “God” is used in the Old Testament it could mean One or Two Persons.  It is clear that at an indeterminate time in the past, God undertook another process of creation and metamorphosed Himself into Two Persons.  The New Testament, however, adds a Third Person to the Godhead family. 

 

Mat 28:18  And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven

Mat 28:19  and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have

Mat 28:20  commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.

 

The third member is none other than the Holy Spirit, the Church of God and bride of Christ.

Now, Satan, the god of this world, does not like Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit, because Jesus Christ overcame him and gave his place in the heavenly Trinity to the Holy Spirit. 

Here again is the Scripture we quoted in Newsletter 26, in a larger context this time.

 

Rev 12:7  And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon

Rev 12:8  and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. 

Rev 12:9  So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Rev 12:10  Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood

Rev 12:11  of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore

Rev 12:12  rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time."  Now when the

Rev 12:13  dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child.

[In other words, he persecuted the Church of God, who formed the New Israel].

Rev 12:14  But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.

Rev 12:15  So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause

Rev 12:16  her to be carried away by the flood.  But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.

Rev 12:17  And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

 

Rev 20:1  Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a

Rev 20:2  great chain in his hand.  He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and

Rev 20:3  Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;  and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while. 

Rev 20:4  And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Rev 20:5  But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first

Rev 20:6  resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. 

Rev 20:7  Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison

Rev 20:8  and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.

Rev 20:9  They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.

Rev 20:10  The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

Rev 20:11  Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.

Rev 20:12  And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were

Rev 20:13  written in the books.  The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.

Rev 20:14  Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

Rev 20:15  And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

  

In the next chapter, Satan does not appear anymore. His place is taken by the Holy Spirit - the bride of Christ.   

 

Rev 21:1  Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.  Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem,

Rev 21:2  coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Rev 21:3  And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.

Rev 21:4  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."

Rev 21:5  Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these

Rev 21:6  words are true and faithful." And He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.

Rev 21:7  He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.

Rev 21:8  But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."

Rev 21:9  Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, "Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife."

Rev 21:10  And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God.

Rev 21:11  Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.

 

Rev 21:22  But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city had no need

Rev 21:23  of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. 

Rev 21:24  And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth

Rev 21:25  bring their glory and honor into it.  Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there).

Rev 21:26  And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it.

Rev 21:27  But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life. 

 

In these Scriptures, God does not differentiate between Himself and Jesus Christ – “the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple”.  Everything that belongs to God the Father belongs to Jesus Christ also, just as He said when He was in the world. 

 

Joh 16:12  "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.

Joh 16:13  However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 

Joh 16:14  He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that

Joh 16:15  the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.

 

These Scriptures prove another important point about the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ spoke of Him as a person:  “He will guide you into all truth”, “He will glorify Me”, “whatever he hears He will speak”, etc.   Now in order to deny the Trinity, those who deny the divinity of Christ must also deny the personality of the Holy Spirit.  But as we saw in Rev 21:9, in the fullness of the New Testament, the Holy Spirit becomes the Church of God, the bride of Christ and the third member of the Trinity.  Here are more Scriptures which prove this fact.    

 

Rev 21:2  Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

 

2Co 11:1  Oh, that you would bear with me in a little folly—and indeed you do bear with me.

2Co 11:2  For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

2Co 11:3  But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus, whom we have not preached,

2Co 11:4  or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!

 

Eph 5:22  Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife,

Eph 5:23  as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.  Therefore,

Eph 5:24  just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

Eph 5:25  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,

Eph 5:26  that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,

Eph 5:27  that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

Eph 5:28  So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves

Eph 5:29  himself.  For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the

Eph 5:30  Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.

Eph 5:31  "For This Reason A Man Shall Leave His Father And Mother And Be Joined To His Wife, And The Two Shall Become One Flesh."

Eph 5:32  This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each

Eph 5:33  one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

 

Now in spite of these undeniable Scriptures, the divinity of Jesus Christ and the personality of the Holy Spirit have come under renewed attack recently. Our preliminary research indicates that this began with false Jewish converts, who were determined to erase the stigma of deicide from their nation.  But instead of doing this through repentance, they did it by turning a bad deed into a worse one. 

The divinity of Christ could never be denied except by those who have eyes to see but won’t see, and ears to hear but won’t hear. True believers know that Jesus Christ was both the God of the Old and of the New Testaments. 

 

Exo 20:2  "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

 

1Co 10:1  Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud,

1Co 10:2  all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,

1Co 10:3  all ate the same spiritual food,  and all drank the same spiritual drink.

1Co 10:4  For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.  But with

1Co 10:5  most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

1Co 10:6  Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things

1Co 10:7  as they also lusted.  And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, "The People Sat Down To Eat And Drink, And Rose Up To Play."

1Co 10:8  Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand

1Co 10:9  fell; nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents;

1Co 10:10  nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer.

1Co 10:11  Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our

1Co 10:12  admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 

 

Joh 20:26  And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, "Peace to you!"

Joh 20:27  Then He said to Thomas, "Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing."

Joh 20:28  And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!"

Joh 20:29  Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

 

And what did Thomas believe, and Jesus Christ did not contradict?  “My Lord and my God”! 

The Apostles had no doubt who their Lord and God was; only modern day ‘apostles’, such as H.W. Armstrong and his disciples have different ideas. 

In the Old Testament, we find the following statements, which tell us why God had to die in order to create a New Covenant, or as we more commonly call it, a New Testament.  

 

Jer 3:12  Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say: 'Return, backsliding Israel,' says the LORD; 'I will not cause My anger to fall on you. For I am merciful,' says the LORD; 'I will not remain angry forever.

Jer 3:13  Only acknowledge your iniquity, That you have transgressed against the LORD your God, And have scattered your charms to alien deities under every green tree, and you have not obeyed My voice,'

Jer 3:14  says the LORD.   "Return, O backsliding children," says the LORD; "for I am married to you. I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.

Jer 3:15  And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and

Jer 3:16  understanding.  "Then it shall come to pass, when you are multiplied and increased in the land in those days," says the LORD, "that they will say no more, 'The ark of the covenant of the LORD.' It shall not come to mind, nor shall they remember it, nor shall they visit it, nor shall it be made anymore.

Jer 3:17  "At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the LORD, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem. No more shall they follow the dictates of their evil hearts.

Jer 3:18  "In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given as an inheritance to your fathers.

Jer 3:19  "But I said: 'How can I put you among the children And give you a pleasant land, A beautiful heritage of the hosts of nations?' "And I said: 'You shall call Me, "My Father," And not turn away

Jer 3:20  from Me.'  Surely, as a wife treacherously departs from her husband, So have you dealt treacherously with Me, O house of Israel," says the LORD.

            

Because backsliding Israel had transgressed against the LORD its God [Jesus Christ was “the LORD its God”], and committed idolatry with alien deities under every green tree [like they do at Christmas these days], God had no choice but to divorce them, dissolve the Old Covenant and create a New Covenant with a new, spiritual, and faithful Israel; one who became His spotless bride, whom He would take to heaven in due course.

Now here is how the epistle to the Hebrews explains this process.   

 

Heb 9:6  Now when these things had been thus prepared, the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services.

Heb 9:7  But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people's sins committed in ignorance; the Holy Spirit indicating this,

Heb 9:8  that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing.

Heb 9:9  It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience—

Heb 9:10  concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation. [This shows that it was the law of sacrifices that was nailed to the cross, and not the Ten Commandments, as mainstream Christianity would have you believe]. 

Heb 9:11  But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation.

Heb 9:12  Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.  For if the blood of bulls and goats

Heb 9:13  and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh,

Heb 9:14  how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason

Heb 9:15  He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

Heb 9:16  For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.

Heb 9:17  For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while

Heb 9:18  the testator lives.  Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood.

Heb 9:19  For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people,

Heb 9:20  saying, "This Is The Blood Of The Covenant Which God Has Commanded You."

Heb 9:21  Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry.

Heb 9:22  And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding

Heb 9:23  of blood there is no remission.  Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

Heb 9:24  For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that He should offer Himself often,

Heb 9:25  as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another—

Heb 9:26  He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

Heb 9:27  And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,

Heb 9:28  so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. 

 

Yes, “where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.”

Jesus Christ died in order to annul the Old Testament and create a New Testament.

If He was not God, then we have no Savior and are still under the Old Testament.  But Jesus Christ was God, and “will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation”, that is, salvation for those who honor Him and the Father and the Holy Spirit, not for those who deny His divinity or the personality of the Holy Spirit.

 

Now even after we offered a lengthy explanation on this topic, we received another email from our old acquaintance, Antony Buzzard, who seems to have become the spokesman for the anti-Trinitarians.   

 

Thanks for kindly dealing with my point. You are now on record as saying that God is two or three "personalities."  Father is God, Son is God and HS is God.  That makes three GODS!

 Jesus believed otherwise in Jn 17:3 and Mark 12:29 agreeing with a non-Trinitarian Jew.

 

Reply: I am not on record as saying any such thing. You may twist my words as you wish, but God knows the truth.  I thought I would do you a favour in engaging with you again by trying to convince you to change your salvation-destroying preaching, but you proved once again, if such proof was needed, that those who sink into the depths of Satan could never be restored to the truth of God again.  

 

Heb 6:4  For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God

Heb 6:5  and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance,

Heb 6:6  since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.

 

The Scriptures explain the Trinity as One God composed of Three Members, Three Personalities, of the same mind – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – not as being three separate Gods.

Is that so difficult to understand? Or does this destroy your deception that Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are not of divine nature, and not members of the Godhead family?  What do these Scriptures mean? 

 

Php 2:5  Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,

Php 2:6  who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made

Php 2:7  Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.

Php 2:8  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.  Therefore God also has highly exalted Him

Php 2:9  and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus

Php 2:10  every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,

Php 2:11  and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

Now before you put me “on record” as saying something new about the Holy Spirit, this is what Jesus Christ said about Him. (Yes it is a “Him” not an “it” as you anti-Trinitarians make it).

 

Mat 12:31  "Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.

Mat 12:32  Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.

 

Jesus Christ placed the Holy Spirit on a par with the Father, from whom He proceeds.  One cannot blaspheme against an object, and only blasphemy against God is unforgivable, therefore the Holy Spirit is part of the Godhead family.  I will quote just one more Scripture and bring this winded discussion to an end.   

 

Rev 22:18  For I [Jesus] testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book;

Rev 22:19  and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Rev 22:20  He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming quickly." Amen.

Rev 22:21  Even so, come, Lord Jesus!  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

 

Amen indeed!

 

This then is the conversation we had with Anthony Buzzard of Restoration Fellowship. What astonished us is that even after we explained at length why it is wrong to use of Mk.12:29 and John 17:3 to deny the Trinity, because at the time Jesus Christ had that discussion with the Pharisees the Holy Spirit had not yet been made available to the faithful, he not only went back to his deceptive reasoning, but tried to pin a falsehood on me too.  

 

“Thanks for kindly dealing with my point. You are now on record as saying that God is two or three "personalities."  Father is God, Son is God and HS is God.  That makes three GODS!

 Jesus believed otherwise in Jn 17:3 and Mark 12:29 agreeing with a non-Trinitarian Jew.”

 

They preach falsehood because they do not know where the Old Testament ends and the New Testament begins.   And they do not know this because the Holy Spirit, against whom they commit grievous blasphemy, is missing from their heart and preaching, and from their Churches.    

The New Testament does not begin with the first verse of the Gospel of Mathew, but with the last verse of that Gospel. Not with these words:

 

Mat 1:1  The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:

 

But with these:

 

Mat 28:18  And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

Mat 28:19  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son

Mat 28:20  and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.

 

After establishing Jesus’ genealogy, and proving that He was the son of Abraham, son of David, and so on, the rest of this Gospel – the life of Jesus Christ, His confrontation with Jewish leaders, His trial and condemnation to death – are part of the Old Testament.  

It was only after He was crucified, resurrected from the dead, and raised to heaven from where He sent us the Holy Spirit that He became the Messiah and author of the New Testament. 

 

Rom 1:1  Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God

Rom 1:2  which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son

Rom 1:3  Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and

Rom 1:4  declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.

Rom 1:5  Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among

Rom 1:6  all nations for His name, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;

 

The Old Testament was for the faith of Israel; the New Testament is for the faith of all mankind.

If His death had been no different from that of any other human being, He would have been an ordinary man, like the ‘saviours’ of other religions.  His resurrection from the dead however, revealed Him to be not merely a son of God in the physical sense like all of us, but the Son of God in the spiritual sense, unlike any other human being.     

The life and ministry of Jesus Christ are included in the Gospel writings in order to provide the background to the New Testament. His conflict with the Pharisees was on the basis of the Old Testament, which the Pharisees did not respect, not on the basis of the New Testament, which neither the Pharisees nor anyone else seemed to have known anything about, though they should have known for it is amply spoken of in their Scriptures.  To give you one example:  Do you remember the reason for which they condemned Jesus Christ to death?  Because He made Himself the Son of God, they said. But notice Jesus’ reply:  

 

Mat 26:59  Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but found none.

Mat 26:60  Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none. But at last two false witnesses came

Mat 26:61 forward and said, "This fellow said, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.' "

Mat 26:62  And the high priest arose and said to Him, "Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against

Mat 26:63  You?"  But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, "I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!"

Mat 26:64  Jesus said to him, "It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven."

Mat 26:65  Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, "He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy!

Mat 26:66  What do you think?" They answered and said, "He is deserving of death."

Mat 26:67  Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands,

Mat 26:68  saying, "Prophesy to us, Christ! Who is the one who struck You?"

 

Joh 10:31  Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them,

Joh 10:32  "Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?"

Joh 10:33  The Jews answered Him, saying, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God."

Joh 10:34  Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your law, 'I Said, "You Are Gods" '?

Joh 10:35  If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken),

Joh 10:36  do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God'?

Joh 10:37  If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me,

Joh 10:38  believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him."

 

They did not believe either the words or the works, the miracles that He performed in their midst: turning water into wine, giving sight to the blind, voice to the mute, hearing to the deaf, raising the dead, feeding thousands, etc., but clung on to the “sin” that He made Himself the Son of God (which was not a sin), even after He told them that they too were sons of God.

When people give way to blind hatred, reason abandons them. And why did they hate Jesus Christ? Not for breaking any law of God, but for threatening their cushy arrangements with the Romans.   

 

Joh 11:43  Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth!"

Joh 11:44  And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Loose him, and let him go."

Joh 11:45  Then many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things Jesus did, believed in Him.

Joh 11:46  But some of them went away to the Pharisees and told them the things Jesus did.

Joh 11:47  Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, "What shall we do? For this Man

Joh 11:48  works many signs. If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation."

Joh 11:49  And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing at all,

Joh 11:50  nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish."

Joh 11:51  Now this he did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would

Joh 11:52  die for the nation, and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of

Joh 11:53  God who were scattered abroad. Then, from that day on, they plotted to put Him to death. 

 

The Pharisees thought they found a reason for killing Jesus Christ, even though He tried to convince them that they too were sons of God, an explanation which they rejected.  Now if they did not want to accept that they were sons of God, whose sons did they make themselves out to be? 

 

Joh 8:41  You do the deeds of your father." Then they said to Him, "We were not born of fornication; we have one

Joh 8:42  Father—God."  Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.

Joh 8:43  Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word.

Joh 8:44  You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.

Joh 8:45  But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.

Joh 8:46  Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me?

Joh 8:47  He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God."

 

This brings us to the Pharisees of our time.  Yes, we have Pharisees in our time too, who are no less dishonest and hypocritical than their ancient counterparts. First of all let us get out the definition of a Pharisee.

This is what Merriam-Webster dictionary says. 

 

“A member of a Jewish sect of the intertestamental period noted for strict observance of rites and ceremonies of the written law and for insistence on the validity of their own oral traditions concerning the law.”

 

A Pharisee is one who is “noted for strict observance of rites and ceremonies of the written law”.  This written law is not the Ten Commandments, for there are no rites and ceremonies in regard to keeping these.

The Old Testament laws that required rites and ceremonies were the dietary laws and the sacrificial laws.   

The Apostles said that the advent of the New Testament made those laws redundant. Observing them in the New Testament shows disrespect for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, therefore they had become “doctrines of demons.” 

On the other hand, the Ten Commandments had become even more important.  

 

Rev 14:12  Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

 

The “saints” in this case are living people who “keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus”, not the dead of mainstream Christianity, who know nothing anymore, yet whom they call saints. But that’s another topic.    

What we are concerned with now are the Pharisees of our time who insist on keeping the dietary laws of the Old Testament?  If you think of the Jews you are only partly right. What the Jews do and think these days is not of our concern, except when they venture into Christian topics. Our concern is with the Pharisee of the “Christian” type, people who claim to be Christians but whom Jesus called a “synagogue of Satan”.

 

Rev 3:7  "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, 'These things says He who is holy, He who is true, " He Who Has The Key Of David, He Who Opens And No One Shuts, And Shuts And No One

Rev 3:8  Opens ":  "I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.

Rev 3:9  Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.

Rev 3:10  Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

 

Jesus Christ called His disciples “Jews” not “Christians”, so when He says that there are people who say they are Jews and are not, but lie”, He means they claim to be Christians and are not, but lie.  

And who is this Philadelphia Church that harbours a “synagogue of Satan” in its midst these days?  A congregation called the Worldwide Church of God! It called itself that way, but it no longer does because it no longer exists. God could not allow it to keep destroying people’s lives and salvation any longer, so He let it collapse out of existence. 

Unfortunately, a multitude of “Churches of God” arose from its ashes; carbon copies of their mother Church, competing with each other over which one is more prolific in preaching the “doctrines of demons.”  

Almost everyone who has contended with us in the course of this work over such topics as the Trinity, Holy Spirit personality, the divinity of Christ, dietary laws, sacrificial laws, and others, came from those “Churches of God”. 

If you want to know what else these “Churches of God” are preaching these days, keep reading. 

 

 

 

 

 New Temple In Jerusalem, Again?

 

Every few years, there is a fever about building a new Temple in Jerusalem. That fever is on again now.   

 

“The Rebbe's Birthday and the Third Temple”

“Arutz Sheva [Israel National News] witnesses spiritual celebrations at the Chabad World Headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway in New York for the birthday held of Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.  “Binyamin Gruenberg, who learns at the headquarters, spoke about the joyful atmosphere permeating the event.  "The third Mikdash (Holy Temple - ed.) is going to come down from here, from here (it will) come to Jerusalem," he said of the spiritual celebration.” (Eliran Aharon, Ari Yashar, israelnationalnews.com, April 3, 2015

 

They’ve been dreaming of this Temple ever since the modern State of Israel was established, some seven decades ago. In fact, it has been a Jewish dream for millennia, ever since God scattered them among the nations of the earth.  I know they don’t like to hear that God scattered them and not the Romans, but we look at the One who takes responsibility for it, and not the instruments He used to carry out His wishes.  

 

Amo 3:6  If a trumpet is blown in a city, will not the people be afraid? If there is calamity in a city, will not the LORD

Amo 3:7  have done it? Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.

     

Obviously, Jewish prophets [as opposed to God’s true prophets] do not believe the Scriptures, for then they would ask why God did those things to them, instead of blaming humans who are merely God’s instruments.

Like their Catholic counterparts, they say that good people do not ascribe evil to God. Neither do we; God does no evil – He merely repays people according to their deeds after warning them that there are consequences for their sins.   

Jews and Christians alike should read the Bible.  If they do, they will find that at least a third of it is nothing but warnings of calamities from God, unless people mend their ways and return to Him. 

Here is an example of a warning to the prophets of Israel who spoke lies in His name. 

 

Eze 13:1  And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 

Eze 13:2  "Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who prophesy, and say to those who prophesy out of their own heart, 'Hear the word of the LORD!' "

Eze 13:3  Thus says the Lord GOD: "Woe to the foolish prophets, who follow their own spirit and have

Eze 13:4  seen nothing!  O Israel, your prophets are like foxes in the deserts. You have not gone up

Eze 13:5  into the gaps to build a wall for the house of Israel to stand in battle on the day of the LORD.

Eze 13:6  They have envisioned futility and false divination, saying, 'Thus says the LORD!' But the LORD has not sent them; yet they hope that the word may be confirmed. Have you not seen a futile vision,

Eze 13:7  and have you not spoken false divination? You say, 'The LORD says,' but I have not spoken." 

Eze 13:8  Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: "Because you have spoken nonsense and envisioned lies, therefore I am indeed against you," says the Lord GOD.

Eze 13:9  "My hand will be against the prophets who envision futility and who divine lies; they shall not be in the assembly of My people, nor be written in the record of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord GOD.

Eze 13:10  "Because, indeed, because they have seduced My people, saying, 'Peace!' when there is no peace—and one builds a wall, and they plaster it with untempered mortar

Eze 13:11  say to those who plaster it with untempered mortar, that it will fall. There will be flooding rain, and you, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall tear it down.  Surely, when the wall has

Eze 13:12  fallen, will it not be said to you, 'Where is the mortar with which you plastered it?' "

Eze 13:13  Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: "I will cause a stormy wind to break forth in My fury; and there shall be a flooding rain in My anger, and great hailstones in fury to consume it.

Eze 13:14  So I will break down the wall you have plastered with untempered mortar, and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation will be uncovered; it will fall, and you shall be consumed in the midst of it. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.

Eze 13:15  "Thus will I accomplish My wrath on the wall and on those who have plastered it with untempered mortar; and I will say to you, 'The wall is no more, nor those who plastered it,

Eze 13:16  that is, the prophets of Israel who prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and who see visions of peace for her when there is no peace,' " says the Lord GOD.

Eze 13:17  "Likewise, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people, who prophesy out of their own heart; prophesy against them, and say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD:

Eze 13:18  "Woe to the women who sew magic charms on their sleeves and make veils for the heads of people of every height to hunt souls! Will you hunt the souls of My people, and keep yourselves alive?

Eze 13:19  And will you profane Me among My people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, killing people who should not die, and keeping people alive who should not live, by your lying to My people who listen to lies?"  'Therefore thus says the Lord GOD:

Eze 13:20  "Behold, I am against your magic charms by which you hunt souls there like birds. I will tear them from your arms, and let the souls go, the souls you hunt like birds.

Eze 13:21  I will also tear off your veils and deliver My people out of your hand, and they shall no longer be as prey in your hand. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.

Eze 13:22  "Because with lies you have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and you have strengthened the hands of the wicked, so that he does not turn from his wicked way to save

Eze 13:23  his life.  Therefore you shall no longer envision futility nor practice divination; for I will deliver My people out of your hand, and you shall know that I am the LORD." ' "

 

The warning against Israel’s female prophets is, of course, valid for Christian female prophets too. Why do you think Apostle Paul said this?

 

1Ti 2:11  Let a woman learn in silence with all submission.

1Ti 2:12  And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.

1Ti 2:13  For Adam was formed first, then Eve.

1Ti 2:14  And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.

1Ti 2:15  Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.

 

 A woman’s role is not in prophesying but in childrearing. But you would not know that from today’s world in which they want equality with men even in the jobs for which they are manifestly unsuited for. 

In early 2015, in a series of documentaries on the human bodies, scientists finally discovered that men and women are not created equal, that their brains, instincts, feelings and other body functions are preprogrammed from birth to act in different manners.  They did not believe the results, and so they experimented with monkeys which have not been tainted by cultural norms and expectations from childhood. The results were the same; very unpopular with the feminists of today. 

Now before we get back to the topic of a new Temple in Jerusalem, let us look at verse 9 and see something that Israel’s prophets never seem to have noticed, even though it affected both them personally and their nation.       

 

Eze 13:9  "My hand will be against the prophets who envision futility and who divine lies; they shall not be in the assembly of My people, nor be written in the record of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord GOD.

 

Where is the “assembly of God’s people”, the “record of the house of Israel”, and the “land of Israel” which the false prophets shall not be part of?  They were already in the midst of Israel, yet God says that they shall never be in the assembly of His people, nor be written in record of the house of Israel, and never enter the land of Israel.

Where are these things if not in the land in which those prophets were plying their wares?

Ezekiel received this prophecy in captivity in Babylon, but Israel had false prophets throughout its history.  Every time a prophet of God passed on a message, a warning, to Israel, a host of other “prophets” countered that message and stirred people against them.  Here is an example from the land of Samaria.      

 

Amo 7:10  Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, "Amos has conspired against you in the midst of the house of Israel. The land is not able to bear all his words. 

Amo 7:11  For thus Amos has said: 'Jeroboam shall die by the sword, And Israel shall surely be led away captive From their own land.' "  Then Amaziah said to Amos:

Amo 7:12  "Go, you seer! Flee to the land of Judah. There eat bread, And there prophesy.

Amo 7:13  But never again prophesy at Bethel, For it is the king's sanctuary, And it is the royal residence."

Amo 7:14  Then Amos answered, and said to Amaziah: "I was no prophet, Nor was I a son of a prophet, But I was a sheepbreeder And a tender of sycamore fruit. Then the LORD took me as I followed the

Amo 7:15  flock, And the LORD said to me, 'Go, prophesy to My people Israel.'

Amo 7:16  Now therefore, hear the word of the LORD: You say, 'Do not prophesy against Israel, And do not spout against the house of Isaac.'

Amo 7:17  "Therefore thus says the LORD: 'Your wife shall be a harlot in the city; Your sons and daughters shall fall by the sword; Your land shall be divided by survey line; You shall die in a defiled land; And Israel shall surely be led away captive From his own land.' "

 

And here is an example from the land of Judah.

 

Jer 19:14  Then Jeremiah came from Tophet, where the LORD had sent him to prophesy; and he stood in the court of the Lord's house and said to all the people, "Thus says the LORD of hosts,

Jer 19:15  the God of Israel: 'Behold, I will bring on this city and on all her towns all the doom that I have pronounced against it, because they have stiffened their necks that they might not hear My words.' "

Jer 20:1  Now Pashhur the son of Immer, the priest who was also chief governor in the house of the LORD, heard that Jeremiah prophesied these things.

Jer 20:2  Then Pashhur struck Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks that were in the high gate of Benjamin, which was by the house of the LORD.

Jer 20:3  And it happened on the next day that Pashhur brought Jeremiah out of the stocks. Then Jeremiah said to him, "The LORD has not called your name Pashhur, but Magor-Missabib (Fear on Every Side).

Jer 20:4  For thus says the LORD: 'Behold, I will make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends; and they shall fall by the sword of their enemies, and your eyes shall see it. I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall carry them captive to Babylon and slay them with the sword.

Jer 20:5  Moreover I will deliver all the wealth of this city, all its produce, and all its precious things; all the treasures of the kings of Judah I will give into the hand of their enemies, who will plunder them, seize

Jer 20:6  them, and carry them to Babylon. And you, Pashhur, and all who dwell in your house, shall go into captivity. You shall go to Babylon, and there you shall die, and be buried there, you and all your friends, to whom you have prophesied lies.' "

 

Jer 26:8  Now it happened, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak to all the people, that the priests and the prophets and all the people seized him, saying,

Jer 26:9  "You will surely die! Why have you prophesied in the name of the LORD, saying, 'This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate, without an inhabitant'?" And all the people were gathered against Jeremiah in the house of the LORD.

Jer 26:10  When the princes of Judah heard these things, they came up from the king's house to the house of the LORD and sat down in the entry of the New Gate of the LORD's house.

Jer 26:11  And the priests and the prophets spoke to the princes and all the people, saying, "This man deserves to die! For he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your ears."

Jer 26:12  Then Jeremiah spoke to all the princes and all the people, saying: "The LORD sent me to prophesy against this house and against this city with all the words that you have heard.

Jer 26:13  Now therefore, amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the LORD your God; then the LORD will relent concerning the doom that He has pronounced against you.

Jer 26:14  As for me, here I am, in your hand; do with me as seems good and proper to you.

Jer 26:15  But know for certain that if you put me to death, you will surely bring innocent blood on yourselves, on this city, and on its inhabitants; for truly the LORD has sent me to you to speak all these

Jer 26:16  words in your hearing."  So the princes and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, "This man does not deserve to die. For he has spoken to us in the name of the LORD our God."

 

Jer 28:1  And it happened in the same year, at the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fourth year and in the fifth month, that Hananiah the son of Azur the prophet, who was from Gibeon, spoke to me in the house of the LORD in the presence of the priests and of all the people, saying,

Jer 28:2  "Thus speaks the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying: 'I have broken the yoke of the king of

Jer 28:3  Babylon. Within two full years I will bring back to this place all the vessels of the LORD's house, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place and carried to Babylon.

Jer 28:4  And I will bring back to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, with all the captives of Judah who went to Babylon,' says the LORD, 'for I will break the yoke of the king of

Jer 28:5  Babylon.' " Then the prophet Jeremiah spoke to the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests and in the presence of all the people who stood in the house of the LORD, and the prophet Jeremiah

Jer 28:6  said, "Amen! The LORD do so; the LORD perform your words which you have prophesied, to bring back the vessels of the LORD's house and all who were carried away captive, from Babylon to

Jer 28:7  this place.  Nevertheless hear now this word that I speak in your hearing and in the hearing of all

Jer 28:8  the people: The prophets who have been before me and before you of old prophesied against many countries and great kingdoms—of war and disaster and pestilence.

Jer 28:9  As for the prophet who prophesies of peace, when the word of the prophet comes to pass, the prophet will be known as one whom the LORD has truly sent."

Jer 28:10  Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke off the prophet Jeremiah's neck and broke it.

Jer 28:11  And Hananiah spoke in the presence of all the people, saying, "Thus says the LORD: 'Even so I will break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years.' " And the prophet Jeremiah went his way.

Jer 28:12  Now the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, after Hananiah the prophet had broken the yoke from the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, saying, "Go and tell Hananiah, saying, 'Thus says the LORD:

Jer 28:13  "You have broken the yokes of wood, but you have made in their place yokes of iron."

Jer 28:14  For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: "I have put a yoke of iron on the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him. I have given him the beasts of the field also." ' "

Jer 28:15  Then the prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, "Hear now, Hananiah, the LORD has not sent you,

Jer 28:16  but you make this people trust in a lie.  Therefore thus says the LORD: 'Behold, I will cast you from the face of the earth. This year you shall die, because you have taught rebellion against the LORD.' "

Jer 28:17  So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.

 

The story of Israel’s false prophets is as old as Israel itself.  They led their people astray, until God had no more patience and send the whole nation into captivity. Actually, it is not quite right to say that the whole nation was sent into captivity, because unlike the ten tribes of Samaria which were removed almost in their entirety to Assyria, Judah was not; only the leaders and some important peoples in the cities were taken to Babylon – less than ten thousand of them; the rest, especially the people of the countryside, were left behind to take care of the land. Then after seventy years of captivity even those who were in Babylon were sent back to their home.

The question is, if the false prophets who spoke against the true prophets and thus against God lived among the people of Israel and Judah, why did God say that they shall never be part of the assembly of His people, nor be written in the record of the house of Israel, and never shall enter the land of Israel?

Where were the land that they could never enter, the record in which they shall never be written, and the assembly of God that they shall never be part of? No one has answered this question; no one could have answered this question, until Jesus Christ came and gave us the answer.  

 

Luk 10:17  Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in

Luk 10:18  Your name."  And He said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.

Luk 10:19  Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Luk 10:20  Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven."

 

The record of God’s people is written in heaven.  What about the land of Israel?

 

Act 1:4  And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, "which," He said, "you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water,

Act 1:5  but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."

Act 1:6  Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" And He said to them,

Act 1:7  "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.

Act 1:8  But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

 

Even after Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead His disciples did not understand that the Kingdom He was preparing for them was not of this world.  They had forgotten what Jesus had told Pilate.   

 

Joh 18:33  Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, "Are You the King

Joh 18:34  of the Jews?"  Jesus answered him, "Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?"

Joh 18:35  Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?"  [Pilate could not believe that a Man could be condemned to death for holding different religious beliefs]

Joh 18:36  Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here." 

Joh 18:37  Pilate therefore said to Him, "Are You a king then?" Jesus answered, "You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."

 

The land of Israel is not of this world either.  And where might the Assembly of God’s people be?

 

Rev 7:1  After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree.

Rev 7:2  Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea,

Rev 7:3  saying, "Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their

Rev 7:4  foreheads."  And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed:

Rev 7:5  of the tribe of Judah twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand were sealed;

Rev 7:6  of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand were sealed;

Rev 7:7  of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand were sealed;

Rev 7:8  of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand were sealed.

Rev 7:9  After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying,

Rev 7:10  "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"

 

So, the Assembly of God’s people, who come from all nations of the earth, is also in heaven.  This begs the question: if everyone and everything is in heaven, what do we have here on earth?  “Copies of the true”!

 

Heb 9:23  Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

Heb 9:24  For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;

Heb 9:25  not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with

Heb 9:26  blood of another—He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

Heb 9:27  And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,

Heb 9:28  so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

 

What we have here on this earth are copies of the things in heaven.  Even the Two Covenants (or Testaments) are a reflection of this divide: the Old Testament being for this world; the New Testament for heaven. 

This is why the priests of Israel had to perform daily sacrifices in order to atone for people’s sins, because nothing in this world can prevent people from sinning again and again, and not needing blood to atone for them.

Human beings, by their very nature, are prone to sin, and sin means death.  God however has allowed a substitution: the blood of animals for the blood of humans.  This kind of atonement however is only of a temporary nature, and could never lead to permanent forgiveness and cessation of sin.

The sacrifice of Jesus Christ however, changed all that. As long as we diligently strive to overcome sin, Jesus Christ forgives our failings, until we are strong enough to say no to sin forever.  We can do that through the power of the Holy Spirit, whom He grants to those who repent and are baptised in a watery grave, in a symbolic act of death and resurrection. 

As “born again”, people begin a new life of righteousness and holiness.  So don’t let the apostate preachers of today’s “Churches of God” tell you that you can’t be born again in this world and only in heaven.  You will not make it to heaven unless you are “born again” in this world and then bring under control the impulses of your human nature with the help of the Holy Spirit whom you receive at the moment of being “born again”, at the moment of your baptism.      

Why is the blood of Jesus Christ so valuable as to atone forever for the sin of all mankind? 

One, because He made us, He was the God of creation together with the Father, and,

Two, because He never sinned and never had the need to atone for anything!  Yet He willingly offered Himself for us, His created beings, in order to give us the chance of salvation, the chance of eternal life.        

The lesson from this is that without the Holy Spirit no one understands the plan of God for mankind, and the purpose of human life. After they received the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ disciples no longer asked, "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?"  They finally understood the purpose of Jesus’ sacrifice and, like the people of God in ancient times, were then willing to die for a Kingdom that is not of this world; to die for their faith; and many did.

 

Heb 11:1  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Heb 11:2  For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.

Heb 11:3  By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

 

Heb 11:23  By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king's command.

Heb 11:24  By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter,

Heb 11:25  choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of

Heb 11:26  sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to

Heb 11:27  the reward.  By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as

Heb 11:28  seeing Him who is invisible.  By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them. 

Heb 11:29  By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians,

Heb 11:30  attempting to do so, were drowned.  By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were

Heb 11:31  encircled for seven days.  By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.

Heb 11:32  And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms,

Heb 11:33  worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,

Heb 11:34  quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again.

Heb 11:35  Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.

Heb 11:36  Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment.

Heb 11:37  They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— of whom the world was not worthy.

Heb 11:38  They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. 

Heb 11:39  And all these,having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise,

Heb 11:40  God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.  

 

The land that God promised Abraham and the Patriarchs, a land of milk and honey in which innumerable people would live, is not that patch of land that Israel settled on when it came out of Egypt, over which it had fought with its neighbours for millennia.  Israel’s “wise” men and women would not know this, because they have rejected the New Testament, including the epistle to the Hebrews which was specifically written for them.  With such ignorant stubbornness, is there any wonder that their nation has been going from one catastrophe to another! 

 

This brings us back to the question of a new temple in Jerusalem. That the Jews would want to build a Temple there comes as no surprise.  Their nation has been set up around the idea of a Temple in its midst, with one tribe dedicated entirely to its service. They were to perform animal sacrifices for the sins of the nation in order to keep them from succumbing to the attacks of enemies that were surrounding them.       

The nation enjoyed only about three hundred years of peace, prosperity and protection from God, but when they demanded that a human king rule over tham, and not God, they lost all that.

The tragedy of our time is that people who claim to be ministers of Jesus Christ are now preaching the need for a new Temple in Jerusalem and a return to animal sacrifices too.   

 

“The soon-to-happen events will be awesome to witness.  The “king of the north,” a future European Napoleon or Hitler type of powerful, dynamic leader, will react mightily with a blitzkrieg retaliation.  His dramatic military response against the king of the South will set off a chain of other events. 

“And they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation” (Daniel 11:31). As this dual prophecy shows, there will, at the end of this age, either be a temple or a special altar in Jerusalem. The priests of the family of Aaron will again offer animal sacrifices prescribed in the Old Testament until a great military power comes in and places there what is called the abomination of desolation.”  Roderick C. Meredith, Fourteen Signs Announcing Christ’s Return, Living Church of God, 2008.      

 

Leaving aside his questionable interpretation of prophecies, Roderick C. Meredith, a former disciple of Herbert W Armstrong, who rose to become evangelist in the Worldwide Church of God, and after the collapse of that Church formed his own “Living Church of God”, is now ardently preaching what Herbert W Armstrong used to preach in his days: Old Testament dietary laws, a new Temple in Jerusalem, animal sacrifices, no need to be born again, no Trinity, etc. 

It is as if Jesus Christ never died for the sins of this world, and never put an end to animal sacrifices. 

H.W. Armstrong used to preach that the Worldwide Church of God was the Philadelphia Church of God of the book of Revelation.  Here is the passage that describes that Church.

 

Rev 3:7  "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, 'These things says He who is holy, He who is true, "He Who Has The Key Of David, He Who Opens And No One Shuts, And Shuts And No One Opens": 

Rev 3:8 "I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.

Rev 3:9  Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved

Rev 3:10  you.  Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

Rev 3:11  Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.

Rev 3:12  He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.

Rev 3:13  "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." '

 

We emphasised verse 9 to draw attention to a little understood fact about the Worldwide Church of God.  During the three years or so that I was a member of that Church in the 1970s, I never heared anyone explain who those of the “synagogue of Satan” were, who claimed to be Jews (Christians) and were not, but lied, and who were the ones who persevered in preaching the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The assumption was that those who criticised that Church were the “synagogue of Satan”, while those who persevered in paying hefty tithes and offerings, and supported sending out tonnes of literature all over the world were the genuine members of the Church.  I believed that too, until I began to see that things were not quite what the hierarchy of that Church made them out to be.     

I left that Church but continued to study the Bible. A few years later, after careful analysis, I came to the conclusion that virtually all the teachings and doctrines of the Worldwide Church of God, and its daughter Churches, were enveloped in a veil of deception like no other in the history of Christianity.

To give you three examples that are relevant to our topic. The three main doctrines of WCG were: Old Testament dietary laws (which in the New Testament are called “doctrines of demons”), a new Temple in Jerusalem, (in the New Testament the followers of Jesus Christ become Temples of God), and animal sacrifices (which were nailed to the cross by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ).

Roderick C. Meredith shows no awareness of the changes that occurred in the New Testament, yet he calls himself not merely a ministsr, but an evangelist of Jesus Christ.  He cannot see that in preaching those things, his congregation, and others that preach the same things, are not Churches of God, but “synagogues of Satan” – a sure end time sign. 

 

1Ti 4:1  Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving

1Ti 4:2 spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot

1Ti 4:3 iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by

1Ti 4:4  those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received

1Ti 4:5  with thanksgiving;  for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

1Ti 4:6  If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed.

      

   Now do you remember what Jesus Christ told the Jews that quarrelled with Him about their genealogy? 

 

Joh 8:37  "I know that you are Abraham's descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you.

Joh 8:38  I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father."

Joh 8:39  They answered and said to Him, "Abraham is our father." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham. But now you seek to kill Me,

Joh 8:40  a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this.

Joh 8:41  You do the deeds of your father." Then they said to Him, "We were not born of fornication;

Joh 8:42  we have one Father—God."  Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.

Joh 8:43  Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word.

Joh 8:44  You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.

Joh 8:45  But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.

 

What we have in the world at present is the unconscionable telling us the unbelievable. Those of the “synagogue of Satan” telling the world that the “children of the Devil” will build a new Temple in Jerusalem in which animal sacrifices are to be performed again in preparation for the return of Jesus Christ.  And they call themselves “Christians.”

As for the Jews, if they had read the New Testament, they would know that the Temple of God does not come down from New York, but from heaven; and not on this world, but on a completely new one – on an earth that is unstained by the moral, ethical and spiritual filth that has accumulated in this world.

 

Rev 21:1  Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.

Rev 21:2  Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Rev 21:3  And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.

Rev 21:4  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."

Rev 21:5  Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these

Rev 21:6  words are true and faithful."  And He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.

Rev 21:7  He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.

Rev 21:8  But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."

Rev 21:9  Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, "Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife."

Rev 21:10  And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God.

Rev 21:11  Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.

 

Rev 21:22  But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.

Rev 21:23  The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it.

Rev 21:24  The Lamb is its light. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it.

Rev 21:25  Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there).

Rev 21:26  And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it.

Rev 21:27  But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life.

 

 These then are the “wise” of this world that we have to contend with, and the kind of wisdom they pass on to their followers.  Can anyone say that God’s prophecies are not being fulfilled in our time?  

 

1Ti 4:1  Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and

1Ti 4:2  doctrines of demons,  speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron. . . 

 

2Th 1:9  These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the

2Th 1:10  glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.

2Th 1:11  Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power,

2Th 1:12  that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

   Jesus Christ will not return to any temples built by human hands, but to God’s elect who are Temples of the living God. 

 

Co 6:19  Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

1Co 6:20  For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

 

Jesus Christ will stand on the Mount of Olives, resurrect 144 000 people, then take them to heaven and present them before the throne of God, where they will be trained to become Kings, Priests, and Judges in the Kingdom of God.     

 

Zec 14:4  And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south.

Zec 14:9  And the LORD shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be "The LORD is one," And His name one.

 

Rev 14:1  Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father's name written on their foreheads.

 

Rev 20:4  And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

 

Rev 5:9  And they sang a new song, saying: "You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,

Rev 5:10  And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth."

 

1Co 6:2  Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

1Co 6:3  Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?

 

Rev 20:5  But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

 

Rev 7:9  After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice,

Rev 7:10  saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"

Rev 7:11  All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom,

Rev 7:12  Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen."

Rev 7:13  Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they

Rev 7:14  come from?" And I said to him, "Sir, you know." So he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Rev 7:15  Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them.

Rev 7:16  They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat;

Rev 7:17  for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

 

Rev 21:1  Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem,

Rev 21:2  coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Rev 21:3  And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.

Rev 21:22  But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.

 

What purpose then would a new Temple serve in Jerusalem at this time, on the eve of the Great Tribulation?  So that the Jews could sacrifice animals again in preparation for the return of the Man they hate? 

This would be funny if it weren’t so tragic. 

There is no Temple of brick and stone in God’s plan for Jerusalem at this time. If such a Temple were needed now would He have left this massive enterprise for the last days, especially since the Great Tribulation will level out everything and change the geography of Jerusalem and the Middle East completely?

It is a grievous insult to Jesus Christ and unforgivable blasphemy to the Holy Spirit to say that true believers must turn the clock back to the practices of the Old Testament on the eve of the return of their Saviour, who gave His life so that we would never have to do such sacrifices again. 

 

 

 

 

Peace In Our Time?

 

International developments are moving so fast these days that what is highly relevant one day is outdated a few days later, or at best a few weeks later.  Because the purpose of this work is to convey the relationship between biblical prophecies and world developments, we often have a hard time finding events that remain relevant from one edition to the other. 

At no time has this been more serious a problem than in the last few months as international relations have been taking a speedy turn to the worse.  What has happened in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, South East Asia, South China Sea, and elsewhere, and the massive movement of refugees and displaced peoples around the world, has baffled even the most adroit media commentators.

No one could have foreseen that the life of this planet would be threatened from so many quarters almost all of a sudden.  Yet this came as no surprise to us, for we have warned the world that this is where it was heading.

How did we know it?  We knew it from biblical prophecies. Let us consider what is happening in the world at present in light of the prophecies for our time. Let us look briefly at Jesus’ famous prophecy of Mathew 24

 

Mat 24:1  Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of

Mat 24:2  the temple.  And Jesus said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down."

Mat 24:3  Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?"

Mat 24:4  And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you.

Mat 24:5  For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many.

Mat 24:6  And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

Mat 24:7  For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences,

Mat 24:8  and earthquakes in various places.  All these are the beginning of sorrows.

 

Jesus Christ spoke of a lot more signs and developments leading to end of this age and His return to this world, but for now we will look at just those that we underlined.  

 

·         Religious deception.

The world wallows not merely in religious deception, but in a worldwide assault on the notion of a Creator. According to today’s ‘wise’ people, this world is blindly speeding through a dark, cold and inhospitable universe without any discernible purpose. One can only feel sorry for them, for once they allow evolutionary theories to enter their mind they could never see a higher purpose to life. 

  

·         Wars and rumors of wars.

There have always been wars and rumors of wars in this world, but what we have at present far surpasses anything this world has seen before. What makes this a particularly dangerous time is that the wars they talk about these days could wipe out the very life of this planet.

 

·         Famines. 

It seems as if the whole of humanity is on the move because of famine. Entire nations are leaving behind ancestral lands, seeking refuge in the nations that inherited Abraham’s blessings.

Here is a reminder of what God promised Abraham.

 

Gen 12:2  I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a

Gen 12:3  blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."

 

People fought the colonisers in a rush for freedom. Now they come to their lands begging for food, leaving behind lands scattered with ruined prestigious vestiges of colonialism.

Can one deny that God’s prophecies are not coming true?  But one has to believe in God’s prophecies otherwise what is happening in this world can make no sense. If an alien were to come to this world at present he would most likely conclude that what he sees are the spasms of a dying civilisation.

 

What people do not understand is that when God placed Abraham’s descendants on top of the world, He did not intend to humiliate anyone, but as a measure of an orderly world. He gave different gifts to different people, expecting them all to fit well and be happy in their lot. Human beings however had a different idea. They all want to be on top, especially those of an atheist revolutionary mind who can see no rewards other than in the context of the law of the jungle.  

 

·         Pestilences.

Too many to be mentioned here, but a few stand out. Something is killing the insects, and bees among them.  Agriculture cannot be sustained without bee pollination, and nothing can replace them for that job.

In human terms, words like AIDS, Ebola and MERS, were unheard of until three or four decades ago. Old epidemics like tuberculosis, malaria, polio and others have not only made a strong come back, but are becoming resistant to antibiotics, and close to being untreatable.  

 

·         Earthquakes.

The world calls these “natural disasters.”  There is nothing ‘natural’ about them, or about volcanoes, tornadoes, floods, fires, etc., that have wreaked havoc around the world in recent years. People wonder whether something has unhinged this planet. Of course it has, it’s called global warming.

 

Rev 16:8  Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire.

Rev 16:9  And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory.

Rev 16:21  And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great.

 

It’s a bit much to equate these prophecies with global warming and with God’s punishment upon this world, some people might say. Well, we do because we know that it is true.

 

All these are the beginning of sorrows, said Jesus Christ. We mention just a few more ‘sorrows’ that are ravaging this world at present. 

 

·         Genetic manipulation.    

When this was first launched upon the world a few years ago, many believed that it meant the end of famine in the world.  Few people paid attention to the toxic effect it had on the environment, and especially on insects. It did not take long to see an utter catastrophe looming upon the world.

 

The green revolution of a few decades ago had a beneficial effect on agricultural output too, pulling many nations out of famine. But then it lost its potency and now those benefits are petering out.

 

·         The death of the Oceans. 

Pollution, acidification, warming, and overfishing have led to a sharp decline in fishing stocks around the world on which depend at least a quarter of the world’s population.  

 

All these, and more, have not passed unnoticed by national leaders.  Not surprisingly, some have taken unprecedented measures to safeguard the future of their nations: Russia planting its national flag in the middle of the Arctic Ocean, claiming all that area as its territorial waters, and China extending its claims over the entirety of the South China Sea, with no regard for the rights of nations on that periphery. 

World commentators speak of them as separate events, few realising that they work in tandem by virtue of a treaty that links them strategically. What follows here are a few articles that reflect these developments.  

 

 Why we must keep a wary eye on Putin’s Russia

 Our policymakers must not ignore the Kremlin’s capacity to start a war in Europe 

Russia now poses a security threat to world peace. The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has the potential to draw the US into another European war.

This seems like an exaggeration to Australian policymakers, given their preoccupation with China and the Middle East. Russia is a faraway weak country that cannot possibly challenge the centrality of European security in the same way that China could with regard to Asia’s security – or so the argument goes. But it would be a great error of judgment to presume that Russia is irrelevant to Australia’s defence and national security interests.

Ukraine crisis is a symptom of larger geopolitical trends challenging the Western-established system of international order. It has shattered the comfortable belief that the use of force among leading European powers had been banished.

The West has failed to anticipate Russia’s moves, which at every step exceeded Western expectations of what Russia was willing to do and the risk it was prepared to take to advance its crucial interests. If military conflict occurred between Russia and NATO it would be difficult for Australia to stand by and see a fundamental shift to the European political-military order that has lasted for the past quarter of a century. But make no mistake about it, Moscow no longer recognises the existing European security order. The Kremlin is not in a mood to accept the further expansion of NATO’s borders to include Ukraine in addition to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, which too have borders with Russia. From Moscow’s perspective, Ukraine guards Russia’s vulnerable western frontier.

There is deep-seated resentment in Vladimir Putin’s Russia over the way in which – as seen from Moscow – the West took advantage of a greatly weakened Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union.  A timely book by Rajan Menon and Eugene Rumer called Conflict in Ukraine: The Unwinding of the Post-Cold War Order (The MIT Press, 2015) argues that although an all-out war involving Russia and the US remains unthinkable, neither party to this conflict should ignore the danger that military incidents inadvertently could set in motion a spiral that in turn would culminate in a war that no one intended. 

The authors argue further that Western policy towards the defeated Russia was unlike that after World War II towards the defeated Germany. NATO membership for Russia was never seriously considered.  Although NATO’s enlargement to the east was not intended to threaten Moscow’s power, it was a hedge against the revival of a bellicose Russia.  Many Europeans believe Russia is not a European country and should not be allowed into core European institutions.  While this approach was understandable, and was a hedge against Russian resurgence as an adversary, the outcome is a hostile Russia that has no interest in integrating with the West.

Putin’s rant about “attempts to set up a unipolar world order” – for which read the US – and his assertion of Russia’s special status in the world as being different from Western decadence does not augur well for a peaceful Europe.  He believes that Russia represents a civilisation that does not belong to Europe and that Russia is at a turning point that marks the beginning of a protracted break with the West.

Putin is committed to defending Russians who live in foreign countries in the near abroad and whom he considers to be part of the Russian world. And some of his advisers talk in terms of being at the first stage of re-creating a Russian state that eventually would take in everything that had once belonged to pre-revolutionary imperial Russia.

The Baltic countries in particular are seriously worried that Putin will use the excuse of their sizeable Russian populations to challenge their territory with military force. As NATO members, they then would demand NATO military assistance to defend them.  The spectre here is that Russia’s new military doctrine envisages an early recourse to the use of tactical nuclear weapons (of which it has a very large number) if it is seriously threatened by superior conventional military forces. The problem is that NATO has very few tactical nuclear weapons these days to respond with – leaving the options of escalating to the strategic level of nuclear war or facing defeat.

None of this is to argue that such a war in imminent. But in world history major powers that were dissatisfied with the international order and had ambitions relating to the territories of their neighbours generally resorted to war. 

So what does all this mean for Australia? No one is suggesting that Australia should prepare itself for a major war in Europe, but serious consideration needs to be given to what our reaction would be if there were a conflict between Russia and the US over one of the Baltic countries. We are ever ready these days to involve ourselves in each and every conflict in the Middle East, so where do we stand on defending European democracies? In addition, our broader defence policy needs to consider the following.

First, Moscow is testing US extended deterrence and its ability to counter coercion.  How things work out in Europe will affect US ability to reassure allies and partners everywhere, including those in our region who must contend with coercion by China.  

Second, a Russia that is willing to use military force around its periphery will occupy US time and attention. This, combined with Middle Eastern security, will further distract the US from its balance to the Asia-Pacific. China will take advantage of this and US allies and partners in the region – including Australia – would be subject to further uncertainty about American military commitment to Asia.

Third, Russia’s aggressive military behaviour makes China’s creeping and insidious incrementalism in places such as the South China Sea harder to counter.

Fourth, as a result of Western sanctions Moscow will be more determined to sell advanced military equipment and technology to China, including submarines, fighter aircraft and air defence systems. 

This will add to China’s own efforts to challenge US military superiority in the region. 

This should be a matter of direct national security concern to Australia.

Fifth, the West will no longer be able to count on Russian support on policies on the proliferation of nuclear weapons, transfer of sensitive conventional weapons and technologies, and regional conflicts involving Russia’s friends such as North Korea, Iran and Syria. And Moscow will not be interested in any nuclear arms control agreements that limit its nuclear war-fighting capabilities.

For Australia, all this points to us taking the Russian threat more seriously.  (Paul Dibb, The Weekend Australian, May 30, 2015)  (Paul Dibb is emeritus professor of strategic studies at the Australian National University. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union was his intelligence target for more than 20 years).

 

Add to these developments those in the Middle East and you might understand the malaise that has gripped the Western world. Here is a speech by President Obama of the USA.

 

 “Today, the United States, together with our allies and partners, reached a historic understanding with Iran.  [Note: It’s not an agreement, but a “historic understanding”].

“If fully implemented, this framework will prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, making our nation, our allies, and our world safer.  For decades, Iran has been advancing its nuclear program. When I took office, Iran was operating thousands of centrifuges – which can produce the materials for a nuclear bomb – and was concealing a secret nuclear facility. I made it clear that the United States was prepared to find a diplomatic resolution, if Iran came to the table in a serious way.  But that didn't happen.  So we rallied the world to impose the toughest sanctions in history, profoundly impacting Iran's economy. Sanctions couldn't stop Iran's nuclear program on their own, but they helped bring Iran to the negotiating table.  And after many months of tough and principled diplomacy, the United States – joined by the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, China, and the European Union – achieved the framework for a deal that will cut off every pathway Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon.  I want you to understand exactly what this deal entails: 

First, it stops Iran from pursuing a bomb using plutonium, because Iran will not develop weapons-grade plutonium. The core of its reactor at Arak will be dismantled and replaced. The spent fuel from that facility will be shipped out of Iran for the life of the reactor. Iran will not build a new heavy-water reactor. And Iran will never reprocess fuel from its existing reactors.

Second, it shuts down Iran's path to a bomb using enriched uranium. Iran has agreed to reduce its installed centrifuges by two-thirds. It will no longer enrich uranium at its Fordow facility, and it will not enrich uranium with its advanced centrifuges for at least the next 10 years. And the vast majority of its stockpile of enriched uranium will be neutralized.

Third, it provides the best possible defense against Iran's ability to pursue a nuclear weapon in secret. Iran has agreed to the most robust and intrusive inspections and transparency regime ever negotiated for any nuclear program in history. International inspectors will have unprecedented access not only to Iranian nuclear facilities, but to the entire supply chain that supports Iran's nuclear program – from uranium mills that provide the raw materials, to the centrifuge production and storage facilities that support the program.   If Iran cheats, the world will know. 

In return for Iran's actions, the international community has agreed to provide Iran with relief from certain sanctions – our own sanctions, and international sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council. This relief will be tied to the steps Iran takes to adhere to the deal. And if Iran violates the deal, sanctions can be snapped back into place. Meanwhile, other American sanctions on Iran – for its support of terrorism, its human rights abuses, and its ballistic missile program – will be fully enforced. Now, our work is not yet done. Negotiators will continue to work through the details of how this framework will be fully implemented, and those details matter. And let me be clear: If Iran backslides, and the verification and inspection mechanisms don't meet the specifications of our nuclear and security experts, there will be no deal.  But if we can get this done, and Iran follows through on the framework that our negotiators agreed to, we will be able to peacefully resolve one of the gravest threats to the security of our nation, our allies, and the world.

Learn more about today's historic deal and how it will make the United States, our allies, and our world safer:

 

Thank you,

 

President Barack Obama   (April 3, 2015)

 

President Obama seems to be the only one who believes this statement.  Even the Iranians disagree with him. 

 

 Iran Says the US is Lying About the Nuclear Deal

Mere hours after the US triumphantly announced a framework deal with Iran over its nuclear program and subsequently released a fact sheet, the Islamic regime charged that America was lying about details of the agreement.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who has led negotiations for the Iranians, said all nuclear sanctions would be lifted immediately when the deal is signed, contradicting statements by the American administration, reports the Washington Free Beacon.  Speaking on Thursday after the agreement, Zarif claimed that upon the signing of a final agreement by the end of June, "all US nuclear related secondary sanctions will be terminated. This, I think, would be a major step forward."  He added that Iran will be allowed to sell "enriched uranium" on the international market, "hopefully making some money" from the sales.  But after US Secretary of State John Kerry and his State Department said the lifting of sanctions would be phased and in accordance to Iran meeting its agreements, Zarif launched a tirade on Twitter accusing the US of lying.

Zarif said the US had promised to remove all sanctions immediately, writing "Iran/5+1 Statement: ‘US will cease the application of ALL nuclear-related secondary economic and financial sanctions.’ Is this gradual?" Suggesting an alteration, he added "Iran/P5+1 Statement: ‘The EU will TERMINATE the implementation of ALL nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions’. How about this?"  Responding to the State Department fact sheet, he wrote "the solutions are good for all, as they stand. There is no need to spin using ‘fact sheets’ so early on."   Limiting facilities or not?

Zarif said on Thursday that "none of those measures" to limit Iran's nuclear program "include closing any of our facilities. We will continue enriching; we will continue research and development."

Speaking about the Arak heavy water nuclear reactor, he said "our heavy water reactor will be modernized."  The statement is somewhat ambiguous, given that the US fact sheet says the Arak reactor core, "which would have enabled the production of significant quantities of weapons-grade plutonium, will be destroyed or removed from the country," and the spent nuclear fuel will be shipped out of Iran for the reactor's lifetime.  Zarif also said "we will continue the Fordow facility. We will have centrifuges installed in Fordow, but not enriching."

In the US fact sheet is written: "Iran has agreed to not conduct research and development associated with uranium enrichment at Fordow for 15 years."  Many have warned that keeping centrifuges at covert nuclear sites like Fordow poses a serious threat, both because Iran may secretly restart enrichment and race to the bomb despite inspections as North Korea did, or else wait for 15 years and then be ready to produce nuclear weapons unimpeded.

Iran's accusations of America lying bring back memories of the interim deal signed in November 2013, after which the Islamic regime likewise accused the US of lying about the details.  Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu slammed the deal Thursday night, saying that the agreement threatens Israel's very existence and gives legitimacy to Iran's nuclear program while restoring its economy and allowing it to continue enriching uranium.  He called to tighten sanctions and make Iran buckle under the pressure until it submits to a better deal that would remove its ability to create a nuclear weapon altogether.  (Ari Yashar,israelnationalnews.com, April 3, 2015).

 

It’s a wonderful agreement when each side can make what it wants of it.  Clearly, President Obama is not so much concerned with the truth of his “historic understanding”, as with the legacy of peace maker after he received the Nobel Peace Prize in the early days of his presidency, not for what he might have accomplished as for what he said he will accomplish.  This is what world commentators have said about this agreement.   

 

“Obama’s Iranian nuke deal a dismal outcome for the world”

“US President Barack Obama has now effectively guaranteed that Iran will eventually acquire ­nuclear weapons, in what will be a black day for the hopes of peace and stability for anyone in the world.

The Iranian government has out-negotiated Obama completely. They showed more ­resolve, more cunning and greater strategic patience.  Obama took a strong hand and played it very badly.

The Iranians played a weak hand to perfection. They were forced into negotiations by the overall weakness of their position but have emerged with all the main elements of their nuclear program intact. In time, they will acquire nuclear weapons. Obama will go down in history as the president who made this possible.  The framework that was announced in Lausanne is a most peculiar document. It is unsigned and interpreted differently in Iran, from in the US. It contains very few details. A great deal of the­ ­substance of any agreement remains to be negotiated by June 30. However, as Obama, his Secretary of State, John Kerry, and other senior officials constantly claim that the only alternative to this deal is war, they have effectively given away the last shreds of American leverage.

The Iranians know the Obama administration is absolutely desperate to conclude a deal.

All the leverage now rests with the Iranians.  Even the broad terms of the framework as announced contain all manner of key concessions the Americans not so long ago said they would never make.

Among these, Iran gets to keep nuclear facilities, such as its underground Fordow plant, which it developed illegally, in secret, in defiance of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Similarly, it gets to keep its heavy water reactor at Arak, although it will convert it to a facility that for the moment cannot produce plutonium.  It gets to keep 6000 centr­i­fuges to enrich uranium of which 5000 will remain operational. There is no purpose in having these centrifuges other than to eventually produce material for nuclear weapons. It will also be ­allowed to undertake intensive ­research on building more ­advanced centrifuges that can enrich more uranium more quickly. It will not have to export its enriched uranium but merely convert it into a more benign form in a process that can be reversed. And almost all the notional restrictions on Iran run out in 10 years.

The concessions that Iran made, such as reducing the number of centrifuges it now has and allowing IAEA inspections in the future, are useful but modest. Iran was under pressure because of three distinct factors.  One, it was subject to crippling sanctions, which gave it a rotten standard of living. Two, the price of oil is low, exacerbating the effect of sanctions. Three, the US, and to a lesser extent Israel, had explicitly said that the military option, of potentially attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities, remained on the table.

Now Obama has done everything he can to remove all the pressure on Iran. Once the deal is under way, the UN will remove all the nuclear-based sanctions on Iran. The UN Security Council will rescind all its relevant resolutions. Obama says these sanctions will “snap back” automatically if Iran ever breaches the deal. That is a joke. Effective sanctions are extraordinarily difficult to assemble and impose. And Obama has put this all in the hands of the UN, the very byword of procrastination and inaction.

Further, incremental breaches of deals like this are never enforced. Who defines a breach of the deal?

How widely would such a breach notice be accepted? There is no detail on the supposed inspections regime and Iran has a long history of frustrating and denying inspectors.  Also, Obama has taken the military option off the table — never very likely to be exercised by anyone. But the possibility that it might be exercised provided some real leverage.  He has also to some extent tied the hands of his successors. Obama says he will commit the US to all sorts of UN resolutions, which will be extremely difficult for his successors to undo.  The strategic triumph for Iran is enormous. It has to modify no part of its international outlook or behaviour, from sponsoring terrorism to declaring the annihilation of Israel non-negotiable.  It gets, for the first time ever, and this is crucial, international legitimacy for its nuclear program, which covers every part of the cycle. It gets sanctions lifted, which should help its economy dramatically. And from very early on, it will start cheating on the deal.

Obama is dishonest to claim the only alternative was war. The chief alternative was continued sanctions. That would have been the least worst policy.  When Iran eventually acquires nuclear weapons, it will almost certainly induce a raft of other players in the Middle East to acquire nuclear weapons as well.  But Obama will have done everything he wanted to do. He will have avoided difficult action and produced another moment he can claim as a triumph for his unique approach to leading the US. This is a dismal outcome for everyone.  (Greg Sheridan, The Australian, April 06, 2015)

 

If you think these comments were premature, and the authors should have given time for the ink to dry before they spoke, this is what Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said weeks later.

 

Khamenei says Iran won’t negotiate nuclear deal under ‘threat’

Iran will not negotiate with world powers over its nuclea­r program if under military threat, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said, reflecting his wariness over long-running nuclear talks amid tensions in Middle Eastern seas.

In a speech to a group of teachers in Tehran, Mr Khamenei, who has final say over most matters of state in Iran, said that he did not approve of any negotiations “under the ghost of a threat”, his website said yesterday.  Mr Khamenei said two US offic­ials had threatened a military attack against Iran recently, but he did not elaborate. The White House could not say which offic­ials he was singling out.

“I’ll just say that it continues to be the view of the President that by far the best way for us to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuc­lear weapon is engaging in diplomacy, with the rest of the international community,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest.  He added that a nuclear deal was unlikely to “address the long list of concerns we have about Iranian behaviour” across the Middle East.

“But it’s precisely because of that concern about Iranian behaviour in a wide variety of other areas that we have made the prevention of Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon a top priority,” Mr Earnest said.

The remarks come as tensions have risen recently around the Strait of Hormuz, the 33km-wide Persian Gulf outlet through which 30 per cent of the world’s seaborne oil shipments pass. 

In his speech yesterday, Mr Khamenei urged Iran’s nuclear negotiators to “go and negotiate ... but don’t accept imposition, humil­iation and threat”.

Mr Khamenei has expressed doubts about the talks before. His position is being carefully watched because his word could scuttle a final deal between Iran and a group of six world powers — the US, China, Russia, France, Germany and Britain.  (Aresu Eqbali, Asa Fitch, The Wall Street Journal, May 08, 2015)

 

So, is this “Peace in our time”? We don’t think so.  Rather, a step closer to Armageddon!   

The British Prime Minister, Nevil Chamberlain, thought so too when he waved a piece of paper signed by Hitler just before the Second World War, and said “Peace in our time”.     

How credible are the words of President Obama when the Iranians themselves accuse him of lying, and not only downplay the prospect of a successful accord, but maintain the position that wiping Israel off the map is non-negotiable?  

Does anyone pay attention to what the Scriptures say about the prospect of peace at this time in world history?

 

1Th 5:1  But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you.

1Th 5:2  For you yourselves know perfectly that the Day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.

1Th 5:3  For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.

 

Very important is what Israeli people think about that accord.

 

“Israel Should 'Seriously Consider' Striking Iran”

Israel should "seriously consider" a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities in the aftermath of the "framework deal" announced between Tehran and western powers Thursday, a leader defense and security expert said.  Speaking to Arutz Sheva Friday, Professor Efraim Inbar, who heads the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, said the deal had realized Israel's worst fears by leaving Iran's nuclear program essentially intact.  The Islamic Republic's nuclear program has been granted "legitimacy" by the agreement, which still allowed it to continue enriching uranium and to maintain a reactor capable of producing enriched plutonium, he said. "And that's what worries Israel, that they (Iran) will be able within a short time frame to reach a nuclear bomb."

"I hold the view that the only way to stop Iran in its journey to a nuclear bomb is through military means," Inbar maintained, suggesting that "Israel needs to seriously consider striking a number of important nuclear facilities" to head off the threat.  Inbar went further, stating that Israel had made a serious mistake in not taking out Iran's nuclear facilities until now. Now that the deal - however bad - was struck, a military strike would be far more difficult, he posited.  Nevertheless, practically-speaking Israel was left with little choice short of accepting a nuclear-armed Iran.

"As long as there was no deal it was easier for Israel to strike. They should have carried out a strike two years ago," he said. "This is not an easy decision but it's what needed to be done."  Despite that fact, many countries - most notably Israel's immediate neighbors - would be supportive of such a strike, and were waiting for Israel to neutralize the threat posed to them by a nuclear-capable Iranian regime. 

"In practice no one wants to see a nuclear Iran; all of them are playing the game so that Israel can pulls the chestnuts out of the fire. The deal, announced yesterday at a joint conference in Switzerland and widely celebrated as a "victory" in Iran, was quickly lauded by US President Barack Obama as an "historic" agreement.  "I am convinced that if this framework leads to a final comprehensive deal it will make our country, our allies and our world safer," Obama asserted, insisting that despite criticisms the agreement would effectively cut off any options for Iran to build a nuclear bomb.  But despite Obama's claim that there was "no daylight" between the US's commitment to Israel's security and the framework deal, Israeli officials heavily criticized it as an "historic mistake". 

"If an agreement is reached on the basis of this framework, it is an historic mistake which will make the world far more dangerous," said the officials, briefing journalists on condition of anonymity.

"It is a bad framework which will lead to a bad and dangerous agreement. The framework gives international legitimacy to Iran's nuclear program, the only aim of which is to produce a nuclear bomb," they added.  In Congress as well - where legislators on both sides of the aisle have expressed serious concerns over the pending deal - House Speaker John Boehner branded the agreement "an alarming departure" from the president's own declared goals. Nevertheless, legislators have given the White House a three-month reprieve on a bill to level harsher sanctions against Iran.   (Benny Toker and Ari Soffer, israelnationalnews.com, April 3, 2015)

 

The question is will there be more “peace agreements” like this or will this be the one that will usher in the Day of the Lord? Only God knows, though the world is full of signs that His Day is at hand. 

Israel should be wary of striking Iran not only because this agreement makes it that much harder, but because there is another, and far more significant player involved in this power politics.

Vladimir Putin of Russia was heavily involved in those negotiations supporting Iran, being most likely the very architect of it; ‘most likely’ because whenever he is involved in agreements for peace, he not only gets what he wants, but hardly ever respects them afterwards. Iranians have learned a lesson or two from him.  

Putin put the fear of God in the heart of Europeans with his warnings of nuclear consequences as a result of their involvement in his conflict with Ukraine. 

When we said that Russia will never allow Ukraine to become part of NATO, certain European leaders said that as an independent state, Ukraine can take whatever decisions it wants. 

Well, they don’t say that anymore.  When they realised what a catastrophic mistake they made when they encouraged Ukraine to look westwards and seek membership of the European Union and NATO, they hurriedly convened another Minsk conference in which Ukraine learned that it stands alone in the face of Russia determined opposition, and that its best interests remain in the embrace of its Slavic “brothers”.

The following pictures tell the story of the two leaders.    

 

“Grim truths behind Putin’s smile”

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to the media after the peace talks in Minsk, Belarus. Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: AP   

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko looks on during a press conference after a summit aimed at ending 10 months of fighting in Ukraine.  Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Photo: AFP

 

“The body language says it all. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, grim and exhausted, leaned forward imploringly; Vladimir Putin, benevolent and relaxed, smiled a cryptic smile.

“The marathon talks between the leaders of Ukraine and Russia demonstrated which of the two enemies has most cause for confidence about the deal that emerged in Minsk.  Advertisement

In fairness, Mr Poroshenko did not go like a defenceless lamb into the conference chamber. The last Minsk agreement was negotiated directly between Russia and Ukraine, causing Mr Poroshenko's youthful and stridently nationalistic prime minister to observe: "They will outplay us: that's what they expect."  This time, Mr Poroshenko avoided the cardinal error of dealing bilaterally with Russia by ensuring that Angela Merkel of Germany and Francois Hollande of France were present to even the scales. None the less the outcome was woefully unbalanced.

“Under the agreement which diplomats now call "Minsk Two", all of Ukraine's obligations are detailed and timetabled. Mr Poroshenko has 30 days to begin granting legal autonomy to the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, most of which are now in the hands of pro-Russian insurgents. He must rewrite Ukraine's constitution to formalise the "special status" of this area by the end of this year.  And Russia? What obligations has Mr Putin agreed to shoulder? By Ukraine's estimate, no less than 9000 Russian troops have been deployed inside its territory: five infantry battalions along with tanks and heavy artillery. While not endorsing those numbers, NATO has confirmed the presence of a sizeable Russian force in Ukraine.  One clause of the deal states that "foreign armed formations" and "military equipment" must leave Ukraine - but there is no timetable, no deadline and no means of verification, save for a vague line that withdrawal should happen under the "supervision" of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

“Only last month, Mr Poroshenko, flushed with righteous indignation, told an audience in Davos that the path to peace must start with removing "all the foreign troops from my territory". He posed the rhetorical question: "If this is not aggression, what is aggression?"   Yet Mr Poroshenko has walked away from Minsk without a deadline for the departure of the Russian troops. On the contrary, Mr Putin clings to the shameless pretence that his forces are not even present.

“In an episode of Fawlty Towers, Basil confronts a dodgy Irish builder who has failed to construct a wall. “When will you do the job, O'Reilly?" he asks "When, when, when?"

“Mr Poroshenko will have demanded to know when exactly Russia will withdraw those troops that do not exist. After Minsk, he still has no answer.  But the Minsk agreement says that Mr Poroshenko will get his border back only after he has delivered full legal autonomy to Donetsk and Luhansk. Ukraine must fulfil every pledge down to the last comma - only then will Russia concede control of the frontier and, perhaps, withdraw its troops. And that is to make the optimistic assumption that Mr Putin has any intention of keeping this agreement at all.  The only reason, after all, for the existence of "Minsk Two" is that Mr Putin ignored "Minsk One". Yesterday's agreement amounts to Mr Putin promising once again to keep the pledges that he has already made and broken.  Perhaps it will be different this time. One plausible argument suggests that Mr Putin has wrung all he wanted from Ukraine. His friendly rebels, stiffened by Russian troops, now control a swathe of the east, including Ukraine's industrial heartland and the lion's share of its coal reserves.  The question is whether this particular success will satisfy him.   All that we have to go on is Mr Putin's cryptic smile.” (David Blair, Telegraph, London, February 14, 2015)

 

Doesn’t this sound very much like the “historic agreement” between the USA and Iran? One side gets everything, the other gets illusions.  Being hardly a working state anymore, Ukraine had little choice but to accept whatever was put on the table, not that anyone would make that public. Ukrainian people would not take kindly to any leader that signed such an agreement, even if they froze to death, as they would if they do not make peace with Russia on Putin’s terms.

The Ukrainians blame the Russians for the famine engineered by Stalin in the early 1930 that killed millions of them.  They forget two very important points:

One

Stalin was not a Russian, but a Georgian, who still regard him as their hero and venerate his statues.  The Europeans have been encouraging the Georgians, the Moldovans, and the Ukrainians to seek membership of EU and NATO, without thinking much of the consequences.  How would the Georgian mentality fit into the EU thinking? Besides, Russia would never allow Georgia and Moldova to become members of NATO, any more than it allowed Ukraine.  Georgia, because that would become a base for NATO fleet in the Black Sea, putting America’s fleet virtually side by side with the Russian fleet;  and Moldova because it holds the former Soviet Union’s underground headquarters that was to be used in a nuclear war.

This is why Putin will never allow Moldova back to into the fold of its mother country of Romania either, and why he keeps a sizeable army in Transnistria, a province of Moldova.    

Nobody knew about that underground labyrinth until the Soviet Union collapsed and Moldova gained its independence.  Well, sort of independence, because Russia quickly turned Moldova’s eastern region of Transnistria into a military fortress from which it could easily march on Kishinev, 90 km away, and take over those headquarters again.

At least, Moldova knows that it will never be the target of Russia’s nuclear missiles, whereas Romania has been told in no uncertain terms that it will be a target for harbouring NATO bases.    

Wisely, the Moldovans turned those underground caverns into a vast wine cellar no less than 110 km long.   Unwisely, they invited Putin to place a select wine stash into that cellar. They invited him, or were told to facilitate his wishes.

Putin is turning his neighbours’ leaders like puppets in whatever direction he wants.  

Two

The Russians were as much a victim of Stalin’s murderous policies as were the Ukrainians and other nations that had the misfortune of falling under the flag of the Soviet Union.  

After the Minsk II agreement, Putin became unusually friendly towards Ukraine, promising uninterrupted gas supplies at vastly reduced prices, without insisting that it first pays arears of several billion dollars. 

No one understood why, until Angela Merkel of Germany explained it in an interview with the German TV station Deutche Welle, which is probably broadcast in Russia as it is in Australia and many other countries.

 

“We see the possibility of an ample zone of free exchange, including Russia” she said. “Step by step, we come close to a common economic space with Russia, which will extend from Vladivostok to Lisbon.”  (April 18, 2015).

 

 “A common economic space from Vladivostok to Lisbon?”  Unthinkable as far as America is concerned. 

However, making such a statement is one thing; putting it into practice is quite another.

When Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU, the far right parties of Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and others, gained much track on anti-immigration policies. They blasted the free movement of people within the Union because the new migrants had swamped their social services and welfare departments.

Can anyone imagine what would happen if EU opened its borders to the millions of Russia, Ukraine, Georgia and other eastern states that would want to join the EU, states that are much poorer than Romania and Bulgaria, whose people would be far more eager to take advantage of the European Union’s gravy train? 

They cannot have “an ample zone of free exchange in a common economic space” without the free movement of people too.  Putin would not accept anything less, and what Putin wants he gets, because he’s got a big nuclear stick.

Keeping those hordes at bay from the whole of the “common economic space” would be all but impossible.  

Few people seem to have noticed that the European Union is no longer the panacea for economic success that it was in its early years. The explanation is not hard to find. The countries that formed what was then called the Common Market were highly industrialised with an educated, hardworking and disciplined work force.

However, the work force of the former communist block operated on a different principle: “the communists pretended to pay us, and we pretended to work.”  The problem is that after so many decades, that mentality became ingrained in their genes, and it may take just as long to replace it with an honest work ethic.    

Europe embraced the highly educated professionals from the new members who were far more needed in their own countries, but which preferred the better pay in the West. Unfortunately, with the educated also came the “great unwashed”, to use a term favoured by the British Monarchy.  Most found jobs and integrated well in western societies, but a minority did not do so well, especially the Gypsies, or the Roma as they prefer to be called these days; people who have never been too keen on the work ethic, but who are very apt in getting their sustenance some other ways.     

It used to be said that countries in which Jews and Gypsies congregated were good countries.  Romania had plenty of both. Ceausescu sold most of the Jews to the West, but nobody wanted the Roma people.  However, with the opening of the borders under EU, the opportunity came for Romania to share some of its Roma people with other countries, and they did not like it. Unfortunately not many people know the difference between a Roma and a Romanian. I have been getting taunts about that even here in Australia. 

 

Getting back to friendly smiling Putin, this is how he celebrated Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany. 

 

Putin takes swipe at West in Moscow WWII victory parade

The parade through Red Square was watched by Vladimir Putin, right, and Xi Jinping.Vladimir Putin, right, and Xi Jinping of China. Source: AFP

The Victory Parade marking the 70th anniversary of the defeat of the Nazis in World War IThe Victory Parade marking the 70th anniversary of the defeat of the Nazis in World War II, is held in Red Square. Source: AP

 

“Thousands of Russian troops have marched across Red Square under the eye of President Vladimir Putin to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s World War II victory over Nazi Germany.

“The largest Victory Day parade since the fall of the Soviet Union showed off Russia’s biggest nuclear missiles and some of Mr Putin’s best new military hardware, including the much touted Armata T-14 tank.

“In comments subtly directed at NATO, Mr Putin said yesterday that military alliances were gaining strength and warned against a unipolar world — shorthand in Moscow for the global influence of the US. In another apparent jab at Washington, he said the principles of international co-operation were being ignored.

“We have seen attempts to create a unipolar world. We see how military-bloc thinking is gaining force. All this undermines the sustainability of global development,” Mr Putin said in front of war veterans, their chests heavy with medals, wiping away tears. “Our common goal should be the development of a system of equal security for all governments, a system adequate (to deal with) modern threats, built on regional and global non-aligned bases. Only then can we ensure peace and tranquility in the world.” 

“Unlike the parade 10 years ago, when US president George W. Bush sat next to Mr Putin to watch the soldier’s march, this year’s celebrations, boycotted by most Western leaders, highlighted the divisions wrought by the crisis in Ukraine.  This year, Mr Putin was flanked by Chinese President Xi Jinping, underscoring Russia’s turn to the East in the face of Western sanctions. On the eve of the parade, Messrs. Xi and Putin signed a raft of deals to cement closer ties, including a promise from China to offer up to $US25 billion ($31.5bn) to Russian companies that are facing an economic crisis at home.  In a conciliatory note, Mr Putin thanked Great Britain and the US for their efforts in defeating Nazi Germany. He also held for the first time a moment of silence for fallen soldiers and veterans who had passed away.

“One of the parade’s most carefully choreographed events was the entrance of Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu on to Red Square to inspect troops. Driven in an ­elegant black ZIL convertible and dressed in uniform, Mr Shoigu crossed himself before entering the square.  The parade featured more than 140 warplanes and helicopters and almost 200 tanks, vehicles and missiles. Chinese troops marched alongside Russian troops and other soldiers from former Soviet republics who traditionally participate in the event.

“Moscow invited nearly 70 heads of state to the parade, including US President Barack Obama and European leaders, almost all of whom boycotted it.  Some European leaders, however, who have closer trade, energy and diplomatic ties to Russia, have been forced to perform an awkward dance of paying tribute to Moscow and the legacy of the Soviet Union’s role in the war while dealing with the West’s attempts to isolate the Kremlin over the Ukraine crisis.  German Chancellor Angela Merkel declined an invitation to the parade but plans to hold a separate ceremony in Moscow overnight. Other leaders, including Czech President Milos Zeman and Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, were in Moscow for the holiday but did not attend the parade. The two planned to meet with one another during the parade.  Cuban leader Raul Castro was in Moscow for the festivities, and state television said the parade was being broadcast live in his country.  The heads of most former Soviet countries have also promised to attend the parade. However, Belarusian President Alexander Luka­shenko, a longtime Putin ally who has increasingly warmed up to the West in the face of the Ukraine crisis, will hold his own Victory Day parade in Minsk that will include US troops.   (Thomas Grove, The Wall Street Journal, May 11, 2015)

 

“Putin says Russia will never yield”

“President Vladimir Putin says he will not allow anyone to get a military advantage over Russia and pledges that the country will never yield to foreign pressure. In a tough statement that comes amid tensions with the West over Ukraine, Mr Putin warned on Friday that "no one should have any illusions that it's possible to achieve military superiority over Russia or apply any kind of pressure on it."  He added that the nation's military would always have an "adequate response".

“The Russian leader vowed that an ambitious military modernisation program envisaging the deployment of hundreds of new combat jets, missiles and other weapons would be carried out. Despite an economic downturn caused by low oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine, Russia's military budget has risen by one-third this year. (AP, February 21, 2015)

 

Since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, Russia has conducted almost uninterrupted military exercises.

 

“In show of muscle, Russia conducts military exercise in country's northwest”

“You flex your muscles and I'll flex mine. Or so it seems to go in international relations these days.

“Russia has deployed 12,000 troops along with numerous aircraft and weapons in a surprise military exercise in the country's northwest – a show of strength that may be a response to a long-planned European military exercise led by Norway.  The Russian news agency Tass, quoting the country's defense ministry, reported Monday that the exercise involves as many as 250 combat planes and helicopters and 689 units of "various weapons and military equipment."

Cruise missiles will be aimed at an "imaginary enemy," the report said.

Competing spheres of influence

The seemingly competing military exercises come as tension is increasing along a range of former Soviet states –from Moldova in the south to Latvia, 900 miles to the north – over whether they will fall under the influence of Russia or the West.  The EU and NATO eye these states as potential members, and indeed Latvia, for example, is already a member of both organizations. But Russia views that as a threat.  Part of that struggle has involved the Russian annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in 2014 and its encouragement of separatists in eastern Ukraine.

NATO: Transparency needed

The Arctic Challenge Exercise is not a NATO-led drill, but several of NATO's 28 countries are participating. And NATO is not happy about Russia's surprise maneuvers.  "We are concerned by the size, scale and frequency of Russia's snap exercises," a NATO official said. "Three of them have included over 80,000 troops. Some of them have been used to deploy troops to annex Crimea, mass forces on Ukraine's border and support the separatists."

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

The official declined to be named because of NATO policy.

She said that NATO announces its military exercises in advance – including a large exercise this coming autumn that was announced a year ago, and to which international observers, including from Russia, have been invited.

"NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg discussed the importance of transparency and predictability in military activities with Russia Foreign Minister Lavrov last week," the official said, referring to Sergey Lavrov, who has been Russia's Foreign Minister since 2004.

Tass called the Russian exercise a "surprise combat readiness check," and said it was being conducted "to assess capabilities of the Air Force and air defense forces of the Central Military District to fulfill tasks to destroy an enemy."

[One wonders what enemy the Russians might have in mind that they would need such a powerful force to “destroy”!] 

A check of the Norwegian Armed Forces website showed that the European military exercise was made public some time ago and members of the press were invited to apply for accreditation to cover the event.

Tass reported that Russia's surprise exercise was launched on the orders of the Russian Supreme Commander-in-Chief, otherwise known as President Vladimir Putin.  (Don Melvin, CNN, May 26, 2015)

 

Ukraine was once a mighty nuclear power itself, and do you know why it no longer is? 

 

“Hang on to your nukes if Putin’s on the prowl”

“THE poet Robert Frost wondered whether the world would end in fire or in ice. Nuclear arms, scientists tell us, can bring about either outcome: a missile exchange would trigger a deadly cooling of the globe. 

Atomic weapons have lost none of their apocalyptic force, their terrifying finality, and it is right - yes, right - that we should try to harness them. The Russian humiliation of Ukraine, though, suggests it is also right to hang on to the bomb if you have it. 

Twenty years ago Ukraine had the third-largest strategic nuclear weapons stock in the world after the US and Russia, having inherited its share of the Soviet arsenal. It gave up those stocks in return for Western cash and a piece of paper, the 1994 Budapest memorandum that was meant to guarantee its territorial integrity.

Today, it seems that Kiev made a bad deal. The agreement, signed by the US, Britain and Russia, has done nothing to shield Ukrainians. Had Ukraine stayed nuclear Russia would have thought twice about snatching Crimea.  The invasion is thus not just about the regional manipulation of power and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s effective threat to foment a European civil war unless Ukraine stays in his orbit. It is about the new international order and about nuclear security’s role in it. How safe do non-nuclear Japan and Taiwan feel at the moment? How much are their security agreements with the US worth if Washington is powerless to deter a Russian land-grab in a country that borders four NATO members? How credible as world policemen are the five leading nuclear powers - the US, Russia, China, Britain and France - as the permanent members of the UN Security Council?  In the 1990s it was briefly possible to believe in the merits of unilateral disarmament and the dream of global non-proliferation. South Africa admitted to having had secret nuclear plans and promptly dropped them. The threat of Soviet encroachment had evaporated. So, too, had the Soviet Union. Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus had more pressing economic problems than keeping their nukes in working order.”  (Roger Boyes, The Times, March 06, 2014)

 

This is how much peace agreements mean these days, and how nations value their signatures on those papers.   

Much more recent, America betrayed a long standing ally, Israel, when it signed that “peace agreement” with Iran.

Israel however, even without allies, can land a devastating punch to an enemy.  Israel is the only country that stood up to Russia and gave Putin a bloody nose a few years ago when he sent S-300 rockets to Syria that could have reached Israeli cities.  Israel warned Putin that they will take them out, but he did not believe it. So Israel did just that, destroying the rockets as soon as they reached Syria, before they could become operational.

Putin could do little but grin and bear it, however, as one who was educated in the Soviet system he neither forgives nor forgets.  He is now arming Iran, a far more formidable adversary to Israel. 

America’s agreement with Iran, if one can call it that way, is giving Israel no option but to act alone.   A strike against Iran however, is tantamount to a strike against Russia. Israel should think twice before doing that. On the other hand, Iran will have no qualms in striking Israel if, or rather when, Russia gives it the go ahead.

We know that this will happen before long, because that is what biblical prophecies tell us.

World developments have followed the exact pattern we have outlined years and decades in advance in The Christian Heralds. This may well be the reason why our readership has skyrocketed in the last few years. People have finally woken up to what is happening around them and where they can find reliable information about where this world is heading.

Iran may not be a match for Israel, but Israel is no match for Russia. Yet the Scriptures tell us clearly that Israel will face the might of Russia and its allies one day.

 

Eze 38:1  Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying, "Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog,

Eze 38:2  the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, 'Thus says the Lord God:

Eze 38:3  "Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal.

Eze 38:4  I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling

Eze 38:5 swords.  Persia [IRAN],Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet;

Eze 38:6  Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops—many people are with you. "Prepare yourself and be ready,

Eze 38:7  you and all your companies that are gathered about you; and be a guard for them. 

Eze 38:8  After many days you will be visited.  In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely.  You will ascend, coming like a storm,

Eze 38:9 covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and many peoples with you." 'Thus says the Lord GOD:

Eze 38:10  "On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will make an evil plan:

Eze 38:11  You will say, 'I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates'— to take plunder and to take booty,

Eze 38:12 to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land.

Eze 38:13  Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions will say to you, 'Have you come to take plunder? Have you gathered your army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and

Eze 38:14  goods, to take great plunder?' " '  "Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "On that day when My people Israel dwell safely, will you not know it?

Eze 38:15  Then you will come from your place out of the far north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses [rather aeroplanes, rockets, and other military hardware] , a great company and a mighty army. You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land.

Eze 38:16  It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes."  

Eze 38:17  Thus says the Lord GOD: "Are you he of whom I have spoken in former days by My servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied for years in those days that I would bring you against them?

Eze 38:18  "And it will come to pass at the same time, when Gog comes against the land of Israel," says the Lord GOD, "that My fury will show in My face.  For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath I have

Eze 38:19   spoken: 'Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel, so that the fish

Eze 38:20  of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that creep on the earth, and all men who are on the face of the earth shall shake at My presence. The mountains shall be thrown down, the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.' 

Eze 38:21  I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains," says the Lord GOD. "Every man's sword will be against his brother .

Eze 38:22  And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.

Eze 38:23  Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the LORD." '

 

Israel’s might is nothing in the face of Russia’s overwhelming power. Its only hope is God’s intervention. This is exactly what will happen, but not before much of the wold’s population will be reduced to a trickle in a Great Tribulation the likes of which this world has never seen, nor ever shall see again.

God says that He will bring the aggressors to their knees in order to magnify Himself in the eyes of the world, just as He did with the Pharaoh and his army at the time of the Exodus.  The difference being that whereas the events of the Exodus were for Israel alone, the events of the Great Tribulation will be for the entire world. 

Not that Obama and European leaders believe in God and His prophecies, otherwise they would not have saddled their nations with the sin that God hates the most, and for which nations have paid with their existence. 

Putin may have been educated in the atheist Soviet system, but these days he goes to Church and kisses Orthodox icons with aplomb.  He may not believe in them, but that does not matter; He puts on a good show for the 84 per cent of the people who adore him. This however, is as good as it gets with him.  His S-300 rockets have resurfaced in Iran.  

 

“Russian Plans to Supply S-300s to Iran - What Does it Portend?”

“What is really behind Putin's idea to transfer missiles that are not even the most advanced to Iran.”

“Don’t know about Israel, but I’m scared to death.”

“Putin has decided to supply S-300s to Iran, thereby expecting gratitude from the ayatollahs and indignation from… well, just about everyone else.  Both his expectations have been fulfilled, but the ayatollahs have reasons to be upset too.   First, because he has responded to world outcries by saying that it "won't be anytime soon." 

And second? Fair enough, the S-300, the world’s first fully automated AA missile system, is a fine weapon. But it was developed in 1979, when the Soviet Union was still alive and kicking.  At that time the S-300 was the best such system in the world. But it no longer is. For in 2004 the Russians developed a significant upgrade, the S-400.

And just as the S-300 supplies to Iran were horrifying the Israelis, Egyptians, Saudis, Americans and Europeans, the Russians agreed to arm China with the S-400. Both transactions will make Putin and his gang a few billion richer. But no one, not even Putin and his gang, exports strategic armaments just for the money. Strategic exports always pursue strategic objectives. In China’s hands, the S-400 will nullify Taiwan’s capability of striking back at China’s targets should the communists decide to act on their threat to reclaim the island. That would practically guarantee America’s entry into the fray, with unpredictable consequences, of which nuclear war could be one. Even barring cataclysms, Russia stands to gain immensely from China and the US becoming bitter enemies. China is busily colonizing Russia’s Far East, de facto if not yet de jure. Russia’s vital natural resources, both current and future, are under threat.  Yet China’s army is so powerful that there’s precious little Russia can do about this, short of a preventive nuclear strike. China, however, is eminently capable of responding in kind, so the nuclear option isn’t really an option.  At the same time, Putin desperately needs, and is working towards, a global confrontation with the US. The need isn’t so much strategic as political and existential.  During the Cold War both countries were recognised as global powers. America still enjoys that status, but Russia doesn’t, and the burr under Putin’s blanket is getting sharper and sharper.

The little KGB monster needs to be the big man on the block, and he knows that unless he plays that role convincingly he won’t stay in power (and possibly alive).  Vlad isn’t Peter Hitchens – he knows how little his notorious 84 per cent support means in a country like Russia.  His personality was formed in the organisation that specialised in making the masses wildly enthusiastic – or else. Nor does he forget that Ceausescu’s support stood at 95 per cent two days before he was shot and all of Romania jubilantly danced in the streets.  Vlad’s political and physical life depends on the image of power he projects. The Russians love power – and pounce on those perceived as lacking it. Hence the numerous photos of his muscular torso. Hence his judo. Hence his shows of strength in Chechnya, Georgia and the Ukraine.  And hence also his strategic vision of having China and America bang heads over Taiwan. Vlad doesn’t want Taiwan to have her own deterrent. He wants America to get into the act.

When it comes to Iran, Putin’s benefit is even more immediate. Russia doesn’t just want the Middle East to be destabilised – thanks to the US aggression in which we so lamentably participated, it’s destabilised already. What Putin desperately needs in the Middle East is a full-blown war. It’s in this context that the S-300 transfer must be viewed. Thanks to NATO’s criminal acquiescence, the ayatollahs, whose sanity isn’t indisputable, are but a few months away from acquiring nuclear weapons. What with the delivery systems already in place, they’ll be able to hit most of Western Europe and all of the Middle East – including the country they wish to “puke out of the region”, in their poetic phrase.

Granted, they’ve just signed a treaty with America promising not to make the bomb for 10 years, in exchange for sanctions being lifted. Yet it takes credulity that’s nothing short of touching to believe that they’ll comply. After all, Iran has broken every previous agreement related to weaponising uranium enrichment. That’s why the country is now several months away from having enough radioactive matter to build nuclear warheads. Obama was perfectly nonchalant about all that. If Iran doesn’t comply, he explained, America will consider every response, including the military one.  The military response he clearly had in mind was that America would let Israel off the leash, encouraging her to hit Iran’s nuclear facilities in the same manner in which she once took out Iraq’s.

Now Israel can’t afford the luxury of thinking on a long-term scale. A nuclear bomb in the ayatollah’s hands would endanger the country’s very survival. Moreover, considering the rather, how shall I put it kindly, tense situation between the Shiite and Sunni brands of Islam, the Israelis aren’t the only Middle Easterners scared to death. The Arabs, especially the Egyptians and Saudis, are quaking in their sandals too.

Consequently, when America made her overtures to the ayatollahs, the current president of Egypt, who clearly doesn’t share Obama’s trust in their good nature, begged Netanyahu to bomb Iran’s nuclear plant at Bushehr straight away. “Please, Bibi,” he pleaded. “We’ll make it worth your while. You need more fuel? We’ll give it to you. But for Allah’s sake, do something. Those Allah-awful S-300s will be operational in three months!” There’s the rub. The S-300s will greatly reduce Israel’s ability to do what Bibi’s friend Abdel asked, possibly nullify it. Israel would need Stealth bombers to do that, but Obama won’t sell them to her. That’s why Bibi rang Putin, explaining the situation and asking Vlad to keep the S-300 in his pocket. “Don’t be such an alarmist, Bibi,” replied the KGB colonel. “The S-300 is a purely defensive weapon.”

So it is. That’s why Iran will use it to defend its Bushehr plant and other facilities as nuclear warheads roll off the assembly line. The S-300 is defensive. The nuclear warheads aren’t. This is something Israel simply can’t afford. Obama or no Obama, she has to fight or die. And she has a window of about three months to do so.

A full-scale war in the Middle East would be a godsend to Putin. Economically, the price of oil would probably quadruple, enriching Vlad and his gang way beyond the lousy couple of billion they’ll get for their S-300s and S-400s.

Strategically, Russia will again act as both peacemaker and king maker in the Middle East. More important, just as the 1956 Suez crisis made the West forget what Russia was doing to Hungary, a massive war in the Middle East will give Vlad a green light in the Ukraine, the Baltics and anywhere else he fancies.

What price appeasement, Mr Obama? On the credit side, there may be another Nobel in it for you. On the debit side, the world may go up in flames. How do you like what Americans call the bottom line?” (Alexander Boot, israelnationalnews.com, April 27, 2015)

 

Things could get even worse for Israel.

 

“Iran Tells Syria to Attack Israel on the Golan Heights”

“Syrian Defense Minister General Fahd al-Freij arrived in Iran on Tuesday for a rare two-day visit, the first since civil war broke out in Syria in 2011, and was reportedly told by his Iranian backers to attack Israel.

As the Syrian regime continues to suffer key losses that have sharpened in the last month, Iran continues to exert ever-growing influence in the country which it is financially and militarily propping up.

Al-Freij was told by senior Iranian sources that Syria and Iran's terror proxy in Lebanon, Hezbollah, need to open a war front against Israel on the Golan Heights, according to the Hebrew-language Channel 10.

Iran told the Syrian defense minister to stir up conflict against Israel on the Golan, with the Islamic republic apparently unperturbed by the significant damage the move will cause to the Syrian regime, given that its goal is to expand its regional hegemony at all costs.

The Golan has been heating up with four terrorists eliminated on Sunday while placing an explosive on the Israeli border, and a day later stray mortar shells struck from Syria, as Al-Qaeda affiliate Nusra Front and Islamic State (ISIS) fight on the Syrian side, right on Israel's doorstep.

In a press conference between al-Freij and his Iranian counterpart, the two said in a joint statement, "Syria, Iran and the axis of resistance will not allow enemies to achieve their goals in the region, and harm Syria and its firm position. Iran unreservedly supports Syria, and continues its strategic relations with it."

Regarding its strategic interests, experts have revealed Iran is spending $35 billion a year propping up President Bashar al-Assad's regime, and is likewise deploying thousands of its troops in the country.

The reason for this is that Iran needs to maintain a route of access through Syria to the Mediterranean by which it can supply weapons to Hezbollah and strengthen its growing regional influence.

Iran's call for Syria to attack Israel comes after three reports in Arab media since late last week claiming Israel conducted airstrikes on weapons depots and convoys in Syria heading for Hezbollah. Israeli security sources appraised that the strikes were not conducted by Israel, but rather by Syrian rebel forces as part of the ongoing civil war that has already left over 220,000 dead.  (Ari Yashar, israelnationalnews.com, April 29, 2015)

 

In getting busy with Iran, American lost sight of what its European allies have been up to.    

 

Step by step, Germany solidifies its partnership with Russia”

Relations between NATO members are deteriorating systematcally, creating more and more reasons for concern for the security of Europe, already threatened by the Ukrainian conflict. At the end of last week, a major diplomatic crisis arose between Germany and Turkey, amplifying the feeling of distrust bwteen the two countries. 

For the first time in history, the President of Germany, Joachim Gauck, recognised the Armenian genocide. He admited that soldiers of the Otoman Empire had systemantically exterminated about 1.5 mllion Armenians during the First World War.  Gauck used this term in a sppeech on the 24 April, the date that Erevan commemorated 100 years from 1915, in which hundreds of Armenian intellectuals were arrested and murdered without any court judgment, that date being considered the beginning of the Armenian genocide. "We must never fear the truth and we do not accuse anyone who is still alive for those deeds”, said the German President, pulverising relations with Ankara. 

As was to be expected, centenary commemorations generated many tensions between Turkey and Germany.  In the day of the Erevan ceremonies, on Gallipoly peninsula, Ankara organised ample manifestations dedicated to the Dardanelle Campaign, when the troops of the Antante coalition tried to secure the Strait of Dardanelle, very important stragetically. The attempt failed, both sides suffering many human and material losses. The campaign is considered a decisive moment in the history of the Turkish people.

The Armenians have accused the Turks of trying to overshadow the commemorations of the Armenian genocide.  In this heightened context, the German strike is particulary painful, especially since the Germans and the Turks were allies in the first World War. Even if Joachim Gauck made that point that his country bears some responsibility, the Turkish External Minister warned that „the Turkish people will not forget and not forgive the declarations of the German President”.        

Until now, Germany had tried to avoid raising tensionsn between Turkey and Armenia, unlike France, its main ally in the European Union, who from the beginning had supported Armenia’s claim of genocide. 

Paris has very close relations with Erevan, not the least because many Armenians had emigrated to France to escape the persecution, forming a considerable Armenian ethnic community.  Germany on the other hand, has week links with Armenia, and is much coser to Turkey.  Or it was.  An important Turkish ethnic community lives in Germany, the two countries being members of NATO, to mention just some of the reasons.  

Which then could be the reason for this change of paradigmn in Berlin’s diplomacy, a change with many regionl ramifications?  By the declaration of President Gauck, Germany takes another step towards the consolidation of its parteneriat with Russia. Armenia, a former member of the Soviet Union, is a very inportant buffer zone in Russia’s border with the Caucaz republics.  The reciprock is valid too:  Moscow was an important security guaranty  for Turkey.  Russia however, has clear geostrategic interests as far as

Armenia is concerned,  interests which Germany has been cultivating recently.

Gauck’s gesture to recognise the Armenian genocide and thus speak the same language as Putin, has important ramifications if we consider what is happening in the region. For the Russian Federation, Armenia is as much a border bastion as is eastern Ukraine, now invaded by separatists maneuvered by Moscow. Subtly, by rebound, Germany adopts a relaxed position towards Russia’s actions on the Ukrainean territory. Berlin shoots another rabbit, striking once again in the American interests. Turkey is one of the most important American allies in NATO, much more importamt than France or Germany, which, of many years, have shown much reticense towards America’s politico-military initiatives in the region, such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Turkey’s geostrategic importance grew on the background of the escalation of Middle Eastern tensions provoked by the Islamic State.  For these reasons, the Americans do not want to weaken their diplomatic relations with Ankara.  Especially since Turkey offers an essentail counterweight for Iran, thus keeping a balance of power in the region.   

The Bucharest officials have manifested much precaution on this theme.  President Klaus Iohannis has issued a communicate in which he avoided the use of the term „genocide”, preferig another strong term, „horrible crime”.  The Prime Minister Victor Ponta participated at Gallipoli ceremonies, the Peace Summit of Istambul.  At his return to Romania he made no public communication.

It is good that Romania is cautios. It makes no sense to feed other people’s historical sensibilities. And yet, as the fault between the USA on the one hand and Germany - Russia on the other is getting bigger, our country will need to make a choice. Murky times are coming . . . (Silviu Sergiu, Evenimentul Zilei, Bucharest, April 27, 2015)

 

Yes, murky times are coming, which is what we have been saying for decades, except that now they are unravelling before our eyes.   

Putin told western leaders that Russia will never be intimidated by their economic sanctions, reminding them that Russia is a mighty nuclear power with which they should never mess, a threat the Soviet leaders never made even at the height of the Cold War.

Western media find it hard to tell their people that Armageddon is stalking this planet, particularly the Australian and the American media with which we are more familiar.  Russia and China are far away for them to lose much sleep over it.  Russia however, is not too far away from the European capitals. European leaders know that a few dozen of Russia’s more than ten thousand nuclear missiles would bring the continent to its knees, and all but lay it under a nuclear winter forever; hence the cracks in relations between Europe and America on how to deal with Russia.

This is exactly what Putin wanted to achieve from the very beginning.  With someone like Barak Obama in the White House, who has shown so much interest on Europe one gets the impression he might need a private tutor to help him find it on the map,  that split is all but guaranteed. 

Yet, somewhat surprisingly, with their backs to the wall, unimpressed by Germany and France courting Russia at the expense of Ukraine, the Americans decided to act.   

 

       Obama considers lethal military aid to Ukraine after Russian refusal”

“NEARLY a year after Russia began its military campaign in Ukraine, the US and its European allies find themselves in a familiar predicament: struggling to devise a strategy to get Moscow to back off. 

“While Western economic sanctions, combined with a steep drop in the price of oil, have inflicted heavy damage on the Russian economy, they’ve done nothing to temper the Kremlin’s support for eastern Ukraine’s separatist insurgency, US officials acknowledge.  “It’s fair to say that costs haven’t risen high enough for the Russian leadership to rethink their course of action,” a senior Obama administration official said. As US Secretary of State John Kerry travels to Ukraine to meet President Petro Poroshenko and other Ukrainian leaders this week, policymakers in Washington are re-examining their decision not to supply weapons to Ukraine.  State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki declined yesterday to specify whether Kerry would offer new US aid.  “He’s going because it’s important in his view to … discuss progress that’s been made, progress they can still continue to make on everything from economic reforms to the effort to de-escalate the situation on the ground,” she said. (Philip Shishkin, The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 05, 2015)

 

“U.S. Army Trainers Arrive in Ukraine”

“MOSCOW — The Kremlin on Friday warned that the arrival of several hundred American military trainers in Ukraine could “destabilize the situation” in the country’s southeast, where a cease-fire between government troops and Russian-backed separatists is barely holding.  On Friday, the United States Army announced that about 300 troops from the 173rd Airborne Brigade, based in Italy, had arrived in western Ukraine this week for Operation Fearless Guardian, a six-month training rotation for three battalions of Ukraine’s National Guard engaged in combat duty. It is the first training mission by American troops in Ukraine since the war in the southeast began.  The training program is modest assistance to Ukraine’s war effort, falling short of the lethal aid, like sophisticated antitank weapons, that Ukrainian politicians and soldiers on the front lines have requested from the United States. Last month, the Obama administration announced that it would give an additional $75 million in aid to Ukraine’s military, but that did not include the weapons that many administration officials and Democratic and Republican members of Congress have urged President Obama to provide.

In remarks on Thursday, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia said that any Ukrainian offensive would be unsuccessful. On Friday, Dmitry S. Peskov, Mr. Putin’s press secretary, delivered a sharp warning in response to the arrival of the military trainers.

“The participation of instructors or specialists from third countries on Ukrainian territory, where the domestic Ukrainian conflict is unresolved, could destabilize the situation,” Mr. Peskov told reporters.  The Kremlin’s warning came despite a large body of evidence, including the unexplained deaths of more than a dozen Russian servicemen in eastern Ukraine that Russian soldiers and advanced weaponry were already there. Asked on Thursday to comment on the extent of Russian support for the separatists, Mr. Putin said there were no Russian soldiers in eastern Ukraine and moved on to other topics.

The White House rebuffed a request for weapons from President Petro O. Poroshenko of Ukraine in September, announcing an additional $53 million nonlethal aid program instead. Mr. Obama has signaled privately that he is reluctant to arm Ukraine despite increasing pressure from both parties in Congress.  Russian officials regularly blame the West for provoking the conflict in Ukraine, and in February, Mr. Putin said he had proof that the West was already providing weapons to Kiev. State and pro-Kremlin news networks have broadcast many lurid and dubious accounts of Western interference, including breathless stories of dark-skinned and English-speaking paramilitaries terrorizing local residents in eastern Ukraine.  In a statement, Maj. Jose Mendez, an operations officer for the 173rd Airborne, said the training would focus on “war fighting functions, as well as training to sustain and increase the professionalism and proficiency of military staffs.” Seven dozen British soldiers conducting military training last month and Canada and Poland have pledged to send military trainers this year. (Andrew Roth, NY Times, April 17, 2015)

 

A few hundred military trainers from the USA, Britain, Canada and Poland to do what?

I think the Ukrainian soldiers could teach a thing or two to their friendly foreign ‘trainers’.

Soviet armies were not trained to win skirmishes here and there; they were trained to win wars or die.

I speak from experience, for I was once a conscript in communist Romania’s army.

Has everyone forgotten what Stalin did to the Soviet soldiers that were taken prisoners by Hitler’s army when they returned home after years in labor camps?  He just killed them all for not fighting to their death.  

Compare that with how the Iraqi army behaved in Mosul when they were attacked by a smaller Islamic State army.  They left everything behind - equipment, tanks, armored vehicles, worth millions of dollars - and run.  They were trained by American instructors. Now they want to impart some of that expertise to Ukrainian soldiers too.

The Americans have some experience in that from Vietnam. They left behind not only equipment, but allies, people who trusted them and worked for them, knowing full well what their fate would be under the tyranical communist regime.  

They did not do that because they did not have proper equipment, but not men of courage or vision to use them. 

President Nixon and his Secretary of State Henry Kissinger then had the temerity to call that “peace with honor.” 

What happened to the brave soldiers that saved humanity from Nazism and Fascism in the Second World War?

Russia keeps boasting that it won that War, forgetting that it started winning only after convoys of ships full of weapons arrived from America and Britain.     

How many wars has America won since the Second World War? It has started quite a lot, but has won very few.

It loses wars not because it does not have proper military hardware, but because it does not have the right leaders – people with the courage and determination of its Second World War generals who never contemplated not wining the war.

President Obama had his share of “peaces with honor” during his terms in office.  He may be right in not wanting to provoke Russia, but not in encouraging Ukraine to fight a war that it cannot win, like the West Europeans did before him. 

Ukrainian soldiers are not losing their war because they are not well trained, but because they are outnumbered, and because they need better weapons, which President Obama in his wisdom decided to hold back even after both houses of Congress agreed to do so, and sent them trainers instead.  That is a sure way to get America, and all those other countries involved in that war, for the claim that the trainers are there to teach Ukrainian soldiers to use weapons is a flimsy one.  What weapons does Poland have that it could teach the Ukrainians how to use?  And if they have American or British weapons, why not let those nations do their own teaching? Rather, this is an incremental step towards a full scale war.    

People forget that virtually every war in which America has been involved since the Second World War began with military trainers.

America cannot afford to have another “peace with honor” in the next war. It will win or perish. And if America perishes, so will the civilized world. God however, tells us that “Jacob” will come out of its “troubles”, but not untarnished. 

 

Do not listen to your prophets America, who tell you that Germany and Europe are your deadly enemies. They are not.

Europens try to mollify Russia only because they have lost their confidence in you. So stand up to be counted and be ready to give us one last hurray.

We cannot conclude without giving you a few more articles that reflect the direction of this world. 

 

Putin boosts nuclear arsenal as US warns of return to Cold War

Putin boosts nuclear arsenalRussian President Vladimir Putin at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence, outside Moscow. Source: AFP

 

Vladimir Putin said Russia must defend itself if threatened after Moscow announced plans to boost its nuclear arsenal and the US warned against a ­return to a “Cold War status”.

The declaration from the President came as Russia reacted with fury to reports the US is planning to bulk up military deployments in eastern Europe, adding to tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine.

Mr Putin said yesterday that NATO — which has accused Russia of backing rebels in eastern Ukraine with weapons and its own troops, a claim Moscow denies — was “coming to our borders”.

“If someone puts some of our territories under threat, that means we will have to direct our armed forces and modern strike power at those territories, from where the threat emanates,” he said at a meeting with his Finnish counterpart, Sauli Niinisto. “As soon as some threat comes from an adjoining state, Russia must react appropriately and carry out its defence policy in such a way as to neutralise a threat against it.”

Relations between Moscow and the West have plunged to their lowest point since the Cold War over conflict in Ukraine, and Mr Putin once again raised the spectre of the conflict by announcing plans to boost Russia’s nuclear arsenal by the end of the year.

“This year, the size of our ­nuclear forces will increase by over 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles that will be able to overcome any, even the most technologically advanced, missile defence systems,” he said at the opening of an exhibition of military hardware outside Moscow.  The US slammed the announcement as a retrograde move reminiscent of the Cold War.

“We’ve had enormous co-operation from the 1990s forward with respect to the destruction of nuclear weapons that were in former territories of the Soviet Union. And nobody wants to see us step backwards,” said US Secretary of State John Kerry.

“Nobody should hear that kind of announcement from the leader of a powerful country and not be concerned about what the implications are.” He added that “nobody wants to — I think — go back to a kind of Cold War status”.

Russia has an estimated 7500 nuclear warheads, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, of which about 1780 are deployed on miss­iles or at military bases. The US has 7300 warheads, of which 2080 are deployed.

NATO head Jens Stoltenberg said Mr Putin’s remarks were part of a pattern of aggressive behaviour by Moscow. “This nuclear sabre-rattling by Russia is unjustified, destabilising and it is dangerous,” Mr Stoltenberg said.

But Mr Putin said observers should not “blow anything out of proportion” with regard to Russia’s perception of the threat from NATO, saying it was “more political signals aimed toward Russia or its allies”.

Poland and other countries in eastern Europe have been rattled by Russia’s actions in Ukraine, where it annexed the Crimea peninsula in 2014 before pro-Moscow separatists began fighting Kiev’s forces in the country’s east.

NATO has moved to reassure Russia’s nervous eastern Europ­ean neighbours, launching US-led drills in the Baltic States and ­Poland this month. TheNew York Times reported over the weekend that the Pentagon was poised to station heavy weapons for up to 5000 US troops in eastern European and Baltic countries to deter Russian aggression.

This would be the first time since the end of the Cold War that the US has had heavy military equipment — including battle tanks — in newer NATO members that were under Moscow’s influence in the Soviet era.  US Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said F-22 fighter jets could be deployed to Europe, The Wall Street Journal reported.  (AFP, June 18, 2015)

 

 NATO must act over Ukraine”

“President Barack Obama needs to show he meant what he said at the G7 summit in the Bavarian Alps. Mr. Obama’s strength of language when he condemned Soviet President Vladimir Putin’s aggression in eastern Ukraine was unprecedented. Mr. Obama accused the Kremlin leader of seeking to recreate the old Soviet empire. Backed by all the leaders of the G7, which was the G8 before Russia was expelled following its invasion of Crimea last year, Mr. Obama warned that Mr. Putin will face major new sanctions if he does not back off.

But, like his failure to make good on the so-far-and-no-further “red lines” he proclaimed over the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons in Syria in August 2012, Mr. Obama’s tough talk at Schloss Elmau will be meaningless unless he and other leaders give real effect to it. A repeat of the same lack of resolution shown over Syria would further play into Mr. Putin’s hands as he pursues his hegemonistic designs.

With the sounds of battle again echoing across eastern Ukraine, and Russian forces and Russian T72 battle tanks at the centre of it, there can be no doubt about the urgency of heading Mr. Putin off the belligerent course he has embarked upon. Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko has warned his countrymen to prepare for “a full-scale invasion” by Russia. NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander, General Philip Breedlove, has also said Russia is preparing a new offensive. Russian-backed forces have already attacked Marinka, close to Donetsk, the Russian separatists’ capital. Russian supply columns have been detected by monitors from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe. And Russian tanks and Grad rocket launchers have been arriving from across the Russian border. Moscow has abruptly cancelled a meeting of the trilateral contact group which brings together Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE. The Minsk II ceasefire agreement concluded in February is being ignored.

Mr Obama said Mr Putin has to make a decision: “Does he wreck his country’s economy and continue Russia’s isolation in pursuit of a wrong-headed desire to recreate the glories of the Soviet empire, or does he recognise that Russia’s greatness does not depend on violating the territorial integrity and sovereignty of other countries?” His comments were pertinent. But having allowed Mr Putin to effectively get away with his illegal annexation of Crimea last year, Mr Obama and his G7 colleagues will have a difficult task persuading the Russian president to deviate from his aggressive course.

Mr Putin, a close ally of Syrian president Assad, was in the forefront of mocking Mr Obama over the “red lines” debacle. It is imperative, however, that the world does not give up on stopping Mr Putin. Too much is at stake to allow him to get away with his attempt to re-create the Soviet Union. Sanctions are working. With weak oil prices, they have led to Russia’s first, deep recession since 2009. They should be bolstered.

And as US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter has said, NATO needs to demonstrate its military will in relation to Ukraine and the Baltic States. With their Russian-speaking minorities, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania are in Mr Putin’s sights. Mr Carter has proposed allied military exercises. The Obama administration should also reconsider Ukraine’s request for lethal weapons.”  (Editorial, The Australian, June 11, 2015)

 

One wonders if these people really know what they are asking for. This is the difference between them and us, for when we speak we always have in mind what our heavenly Father thinks and what His prophecies tell us.

Few people seem to know that Russia and China are linked by a strategic treaty, or to have noticed that they have acted in concert in their expansive behavior in the last few years. 

As a result, America and Europe now have to contend with two hot zones.  

 

US showdown with Beijing looms over Chinese military build-up

Momentum is building strongly in Washington for the US to confront China over its construction of military capable runways on ­artificial islands as part of massive land reclamation projects in disputed territories in the South China Sea, according to senior Washington sources.

The Abbott government would be almost certain to provide diplomatic support to such an American move, which would inevitably provoke new tensions in Can­berra’s relations with Beijing.

The Americans are planning a freedom of navigation exercise that would involve one or more US ships sailing within 12 nautical miles of territory in the South China Sea which Beijing claims. It could also involve US aircraft flying over the artificial islands.  The US would do this to establish freedom of navigation and freedom of the air and to demonstrate that it rejects the militarization of the South China Sea implied by Beijing’s construction of the airstrips, including one of 3000m length, in disputed territory.

In response to an inquiry by The Australian, a spokesman for the Defence Department reiter­ated Canberra’s opposition to Beijing’s island-building activities in the South China Sea.

“We are concerned that land reclamation activity by China and other claimants raises tensions in the region and ... we urge claimants to halt such activities,” he said.  Some of the Southeast Asian nations that claim the disputed ­islands, which are much closer to their territory than to China, have also engaged in land reclamation activities, but these are on a min­uscule scale compared with China’s activities.

The new US policy assertiveness is being led by new Defence Secretary Ashton Carter and newly appointed Pacific Commander Harry Harris, who takes up his post shortly.

Kurt Campbell, the assistant secretary of state for Asia in the first four years of the Obama ­administration, told The Australian: “The combination of new ­Defence Secretary Ashton Carter, and Admiral Harry Harris has brought a much needed strategic focus to what the US needs to do in the South China Sea to underscore its commitment to firmly held international principles, such as freedom of navigation and the legal resolution of territorial disputes. If you’re looking for consistency and continuity of US policy over decades, between Democrats and Republicans, it is around the issue of preserving the sea lines of communication . . .

When Beijing declared an air defence identification zone [ADIZ] over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, which it disputes with Japan, the US and Japan flew aircraft through the ADIZ to demonstrate that they did not accept, recognise or abide by the Chinese claim.  Australia and South Korea formally protested against the Chinese declaration of an ADIZ. This led to a furious denunciation of Australia by the Chinese Foreign Minister at a joint news conference in Beijing with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

Southeast Asian officials are extremely worried that once the Chinese have established military facilities in the South China Sea they will declare an ADIZ in one or more locations and have the military grunt to monitor, if not enforce, such a claim.  Peter Jennings of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute told The Australian it would be “wise for the Americans to do this (a freedom of navigation operation) now”.

“For all of the countries that say they prize freedom of navigation, sooner or later they will have to physically demonstrate that if they want to keep it,” he said. “It’s a case of use it or lose it”. . .

“Bonnie Glaser, a senior adviser to the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, former consultant to the Pentagon and the State Department and nonresident fellow of the Lowy Institute, said, “China’s reclamation activities would soon give it the capacity to deploy there large warships plus capable law-enforcement vessels, as well as military aircraft, into the South China Sea. It will acquire a greater capacity to conduct the kind of disruptive activity in which it has already been engaged for years, interfering with foreign shipping and energy exploitation, especially in Vietnamese and Philippines waters.

“Tony Abbott [the Australian Prime Minister] recently reaffirmed that freedom of the sea and freedom of the air was “absolute”. While Canberra is not believed to be urging the US to undertake a freedom of navigation operation, there is a regular dialogue between the two nations over the South China Sea.  The White House has not yet made a final decision on such an operation. Any Pentagon plans supported by Mr Carter would need the President’s direct approval.  One former senior US national security official told The Australian that the recent visit to Beijing by Secretary of State John Kerry had not made any difference to the calculations involved.  “No one listens to anything he says and he says it interminably,” the official said.  (Greg Sheridan, Rowan Callick, The Australian, May 21, 2015)

 

US-China war 'inevitable' unless Washington drops demands over South China Sea

China’s armed forces are to extend their operations and its air force will become an offensive as well as defensive force for the first time, in a major shift in policy that will strengthen fears of accidental conflict.

A policy document by the state council, or cabinet, said China faced a “grave and complex array of security threats”, justifying the change.   The People’s Liberation Army, including its navy and air force, will be allowed to “project power” further beyond its borders at sea and more assertively in the air in order to safeguard its maritime possessions, the white paper stated.

The navy will add “open seas protection” to a traditional remit of “offshore waters defence”, it said.

The posture risks escalating the tension over disputed islands in the South China Sea and elsewhere in the Pacific, where the United States is determined to protect the interests of allies like Taiwan and the Philippines. Only last week, a US aircraft ignored repeated warnings from the Chinese military to fly a reconnaissance mission over the islands.

 

 

http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/03318/china3_3318035b.jpg

The on-going reclamation by China at Subi reef seen from Pagasa island

Global Times, a tabloid newspaper run by the Communist Party, said that China might have to “accept” there would be conflict with the United States. 

“If the United States’ bottom line is that China has to halt its activities, then a US-China war is inevitable in the South China Sea, said the paper, which is often seen as a mouth-piece of hardline nationalists in the government in Beijing.  State media reported on Tuesday that Beijing had begun building two lighthouses on reefs in the Spratly Islands, a smattering of outcrops that are claimed by an array of countries including not only China but also Vietnam and the Philippines. Last month, satellite imagery revealed the Chinese had almost completed an air strip on another reef - Fiery Cross - while they are turning another rock, Mischief Reef, into a full island through land reclamation.

The Global Times article described the construction of runways, harbour facilities and buildings on the disputed Spratly Islands as the nation’s “most important bottom line”.

Speaking at a press conference in Beijing, Yang Yujun, a spokesman for the Defence Ministry, dismissed international criticism of China’s policies in the South China Sea, claiming the work was the same as building roads and homes on mainland China and that it would benefit “the whole of international society”.

“From the perspective of sovereignty, there is absolutely no difference”, he said, adding that “some external countries are also busy meddling in South China Sea affairs”.

Analysts say neither Washington nor Beijing appear to be in the mood to back down and that there is a serious risk of a minor incident in airspace around the islands escalating rapidly.

“I think the concern has to be that China misjudges the situation”, said Robert Dujarric, director of the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies at the Japan campus of Temple University.

“Neither party wants a war if it can be avoided, but there are red lines for both sides”, he said. “I worry whether Beijing considers the US to be a declining power and assumes that Washington will back down if it shoots down a US observation aircraft”.  (Julian Ryall, Tokyo, The Australian, May 26, 2015)

 

There you have it, the world in a nutshell.  If you can sleep well knowing all these facts, happy are you.  

However, if the prospect of becoming nuclear ash terrifies you and is too much of a burden for you, remember, there is One who is able and wiling not ony to take over your burden, but to guaranty you eternal life as well.  All you need to do is ask for it, keep the Commandments, and let the Holy Spirt be the inspiration of your life. 

 

Mat 11:28  Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Mat 11:29  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Mat 11:30  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."  

 

Amen!

 

 

 

 

 

    THE CHRISTIAN HOLY DAYS FOR THE YEARS  2015 - 2012

 

 

         2015

        2016  

        2017     

     The Passover          (Pesah – Nissan 14)

 Unlike the Jews, who used to kill the Passover lamb “at the twilight”  

 of Nissan 14 (meaning in the evening towards Nissan 15), we, 

 Christians, observe the Passover when our “Lamb” – Jesus Christ –

 was sacrificed.  That happened on the afternoon of Nissan 14, before

 the twilight of Nissan 14, meaning that we keep it a little earlier than

 the Jews.  We commemorate His death, not His supper, which

 occurred the previous evening, as some churches do. The time when

 His body was broken, not when He broke the symbolic bread.

 

       

       4 April

        

       22 April

         

       10 April

    Days of Unleavened Bread (Nissan 15 – 21)

   The first and seventh days are Holy Days.  

   No customary work shall be done on these days.

 

 

5 April – 11 April

 

22 April – 29 April  

 

11 April – 17 April

    Pentecost    (Shavuot – Sivan  6)

 

          24 May

          12 June

      31 May

    Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah – Tishri 1) 

 

          14 Sept.

          3 Oct..

      21 Sept.

    Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur – Tishri 10)     

 

         23 Sept.

          12 Oct.

      30 Sept.

    Feast of Tabernacles (Succoth – Tishri 15 – 22) 

   The first and the eighth days are Holy Days.  

    No customary work shall be done on these days.

 

   28 Sept. – 5 Oct.  

  17 Oct. – 24 Oct. 

   5 Oct. – 12  Oct.

 

(Our online version contains an additional lengthy section entitled, “State Of The World”) 

 

 

 

State Of The World

 

Society and Culture

Gay marriage referendum: Ireland votes in the name of love

Ireland celebrated as a landmark referendum overwhelmingly approved gay marriage yesterday and the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin admitted “the church needs a reality check”after opposing the move. Supporters of the “yes” campaign filled the grounds of Dublin Castle as results revealed they had achieved the world’s first win for gay marriage by popular vote.

The count showed 62 per cent of voters were in favour of the shift in a country where being gay was a crime until 1993.

About 1.9 million people voted in the poll — a turnout of about 60 per cent. Gay marriage was backed in 42 of the 43 counties. Only Roscommon-South Leitrim voted against the move.

“Today, Ireland has made history — the first country in the world to vote for equal marriage,” Prime Minister Enda Kenny said. “With today’s vote we have disclosed who we are: a generous, compassionate, bold and joyful people. Yes to inclusion, yes to generosity, yes to love, yes to equal marriage.”

The once all-powerful Irish church had campaigned against the move. Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin told RTE Television: “The church needs a reality check right across the board. “Have we drifted completely away from young people? Most of those people who voted ‘yes’ are products of our Catholic schools for 12 years.”  “It’s a social revolution that didn’t begin today,” added Archbishop Martin, who voted “no” and had argued that the rights of gay people should be respected “without changing the definition of marriage”.

“The church has a huge task in front of it to get its message across to young people,” he said.  David Quinn, leader of the Catholic think tank Iona Institute, said he was troubled when no political party and only a half-dozen politicians backed the “no” cause.

“The fact that no political party supported them must be a concern from a democratic point of view,” he said.

Fianna Fail leader Michael Martin, whose opposition party is traditionally closest to the Catholic Church, said he could not in good conscience back the anti-gay marriage side. “It’s simply wrong in the 21st century to oppress people because of their sexuality,” he said.

Minister for Equalities Aodhan O’Riordain was increasingly excited as results came in. “Ireland hasn’t just said yes, Ireland has said ‘F ..k Yeaahhhh,’’ he tweeted.  Irish Times columnist Fintan O’Toole said the gay community “has given all of Irish democracy one of its greatest days”.  “It has given our battered republic a new sense of engagement, a new confidence, an expanded sense of possibility,” he wrote.  Niall O’Connor, of the Irish Independent, highlighted the role of young people in driving a colourful campaign in which social media played a key role. “The Celtic Tiger generation has let out an emphatic roar,” he said. “The once unshakable influence of the Catholic Church over Middle Ireland has been confronted.”

When the “no” campaigners conceded defeat, rainbow flags ­appeared at Dublin Castle amid raucous cheers, tears and hugging.

Fittingly, a huge rainbow graced the Irish sky in the afternoon after some rain. A woman got down on bended knee to propose to her girlfriend. She said yes.  Prominent Irish drag queen Panti Bliss said the decision to put the question to the people was a “terrifying one’’, but the result had confirmed the early predictions. Ms Bliss was ecstatic.  “No government can tamper with that now, without going back to the people,’’ she said. “This is such a great result for all of Ireland, not just gay people.’’

Rock band U2 posted a photo on Instagram with the words “In the name of love ...” — one of their most famous songs.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, who legalised gay marriage, said the result made it clear “You are equal if you are straight or gay”. US Vice-President Joe Biden, who is of Irish descent, wrote: “We welcome Ireland’s support for equality. #LoveWins”.

Tony Abbott ruled out following Ireland’s lead, adding that decisions on the issue would be made by parliament.

“It really is a matter for the parliament,” the Prime Minister said. “Referendums are held in this country where there’s a proposal to change the Constitution. I don’t think anyone’s suggesting that the Constitution needs to be changed in this respect. Under the Constitution, questions of marriage are the ­preserve of the commonwealth parliament.”  Rob Paton said the result was encouraging for gay rights in Australia: “I just hope that this makes Australia wake up and adopt same sex marriage rights — I would like to get married one day’’.  The national convener of Australian Marriage Equality, Rodney Croome, said the Irish result would boost the debate in this country. “If there was ever any doubt that marriage equality was inevitable in Australia, the Irish vote has removed it,” he said. “The questions is not if but when.’’  Lyle Shelton, managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby, said the Irish result was a “wake-up call” to intensify their anti-gay marriage campaign: “We’re not giving up on this.”  (Jacquelin Magnay, The Australian, May 25, 2015)

 

Sydney Writers' Festival author Xinran laments China's lonely children

 

China-born non-fiction writer Xinran, author of <i>Buy Me the Sky</i>. China-born non-fiction writer Xinran, author of Buy Me the Sky. Photo: Peter Rae

Panpan is the “single sprout” child of Britain-based Chinese writer Xinran

The visiting Sydney Writers' Festival author had wanted a crowd of sons and daughters and dreamed of their "games, squabbles and noisy jokes" but instead she piled all her hopes on her only child's shoulders.

Panpan is now 27, a private teacher of mathematics and chemistry in London. He has a long-time girlfriend who speaks Chinese more fluently that he does, smiles Xinran, despite his frequent visits to China. Advertisement

But he assures her of one thing: "Don't worry mother, I definitely want four to five children, you will have lots of grandchildren."  His desire to have a big family sets Xinran's son apart from China's generations of only children. Having been the sole object of their affection by doting parents and grandparents, some don't want more children themselves.  But on one level her son is a true lone sprout. "He tells me, 'Mother, everything I made was my study, my talent, my choices." He struggles, Xinran says, with his "single-child self".

Xinran came to prominence as the writer of The Good Women of China (2003), recounting the stories of women like herself who were born amidst the turmoil of the Cultural Revolution. At age seven she was separated from her parents.  In 2010 she addressed the question of abandoned babies in Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother, parts of which she wrote in Sydney.  Her latest book, Buy Me the Sky, is about China's one-child generations, the young adult pioneers of the internet and geniuses of business, full of their own self-importance and drilled at school but lonely, helpless in the kitchen, naive about sex and more prone to divorce. 

Xinran began collecting stories of "lone sprout" children in 2000 shortly after bringing her son to Britain at the age of 11. Together these one-and-onlies constitute 100 million people inside China, she says, and are an influential force shaping the country's future.  "It's said they hold the weight of six on their shoulders, their parents, that's two, and their two sets of grandparents," Xinran says. "It's a heavy burden in life."  ​China's one-child policy became the firm duty of Community Party members and patriotic citizens in 1981, turning upside down ideas of family, ageing and inheritance.

The policy has checked China's exponential population growth but has had unintended social consequences.

By 2020, says Xinran, there will be 30 million more men than women in China. Pressure from China's bachelor class has helped bring about some dilution of birth restrictions so that some only-child couples can consider raising a second child. Yet the second generation of only children aren't proving great marriage material. Marriages are notoriously shortlived, says Xinran.  To soften her son's loneliness, Xinran says she constantly surrounded Panpan with children of his age but many lack the practice in making friends, and so find it difficult to form relationships. The greed for attention is so great they don't wish to share the limelight with either siblings or children of their own.  The former Chinese radio broadcaster recounts extreme cases of teens who have thrown themselves off buildings when their mothers have expressed a desire to conceive again.  Yet others brought up with no siblings are so painfully aware of their parents' scrutiny of their lives, they can't wait to leave, and break all ties.  The overindulgence and a conveyer belt-style education explains why so many make a poor transition as foreign students and appear to classmates as closed off and hard to know, says Xinran. Much more can be done at universities to encourage them out of the shadows. (Linda Morris, SMH, May 2, 2015)

 

Get over historical indigenous wrongs: Noel Pearson

Aboriginal leader Noel Pearson has challenged indigenous Australians to get over their traumatic history in the same way that Jews survived the Holocaust. Mr Pearson yesterday declared that alcohol was damaging indigenous communities far more than the past wrongs inflicted on Aborigines.  “I honestly believe people can rise above historic trauma, otherwise we’ll lose agency and we’re defeated by history,” he told the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists annual congress in Brisbane.

“I have to push back against too much attribution to past, to people’s present troubles. Whatever the scars and the burdens that people coming out of the Holocaust suffered, they nevertheless endured, and they laid foundations for their families.’’

Mr Pearson said it was a “policy and leadership convenience’’ to blame the wrongs of the past — such as removing Aboriginal children from their parents — for the poverty, violence and disadvantage now rife in indigenous communities.

“I just see too much acquiescence and submission to history and the loss of agency in the present,’’ he said. “It is the ­trauma of the present … that most engages me. The challenge we now face is 20 years of brutal trauma caused by an untrammelled ­alcohol binge.’’

Mr Pearson, a lawyer and academic who founded the Cape York Institute for Policy and Leadership, said alcohol and drugs had left a generation of “very damaged’’ parents who threatened the “beautiful green shoots’’ of indigenous children.

“The parents of the children at school now are very damaged,’’ he said. “We have cycles of offending and abuse of children and it’s hard to see how we are going to break the cycles.’’  Mr Pearson condemned the decision 30 years ago by Queensland’s Bjelke-Petersen government to open an alcohol canteen in the remote Cape York community of Aurukun, against the protests of the community’s women and elders.  “The community received millions of dollars worth of unemployment benefits and the canteen was the means to convert those benefits into local government (revenue),’’ he said. “Literally the kidneys and livers and bodies of the Wik people ­became a means of laundering commonwealth funds into operational funds for local government.’’

Mr Pearson said indigenous people needed jobs and ambition to lift themselves out of poverty and disadvantage. However, he added, “ the minute a black person shows a sign of accumulating wealth, there’ll be more controversy over that than anyone else owning a Mercedes”.  “It makes it very hard for people to progress and we end up in a situation where our young people are equivocal about whether they should be materialistic and whether they should work and be paid for it, or be consultants, or pursue professions,’’ he said.

Mr Pearson said “lower-class people’’ were told it was somehow selfish to act in self-interest. “Yet the rest of us wake up every morning with self-interest right under our noses,’’ he said.  “It is the liberal idea of self-interest … and the jealous pursuit of something better for themselves and their children that is the engine of development. We want something better for ourselves and our children, but when it comes to the disadvantaged we think the right policy is charity and that we have to save them.’’

Mr Pearson said welfare dependence had created an industry of white workers to service indigenous people trapped on the dole. “We now have multinational corporations that deliver work-for-the-dole programs in remote communities, painting rocks,’’ he said. “We’ve constructed a major industry out of indigenous disadvantage. Australia spent $33 billion last year in the name of indigenous people … yet the results are the poorest you can imagine.’’ 

Mr Pearson said white Australia believed indigenous people had a “right to welfare’’.  “All of the middle-class people on good salaries with good homes and their children in good schools are telling my mob we have a right to live at the bottom,’’ he said.

“Don’t tell me we have a right to $15,000 a year down at the bottom. What kind of a right is that? We have a right to a job. “But too many white Australians think the door opens to opportunity from the outside, when you’ve got to be let into the door from the inside.’’ 

Mr Pearson said constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as Australia’s first inhabitants would be “psychologically liberating’’.  “You know, this is our country too,’’ he said.   (Natasha Bita, The Australian, May 07, 2015)

 

Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson a sitting target for elitist Guardianistas

IT’S probably easier to get into Fort Knox than it is to break into Britain’s chattering classes.

Unless you have a subscription to The Guardian, love the EU, hate supermarkets, dream endlessly of having a bonfire of the tabloids, and think poor people are too fat and must be nudged and nannied towards fitness, then you haven’t a hope in hell of joining this most aloof of clubs.  Forget the secret handshake of the Freemasons; to become a British chatterer you must learn a vast, complex system of nods, winks, shared opinions, and raised eyebrows — usually at Them, the vulgar little people who, shudder, read the Daily Mail.  There is, however, a shortcut to this top table of right-thinking folk.  There’s one thing that acts as a passport into their world, allowing one to become at least a hanger-on, if not a full member.

What is it? Hatred for Jeremy Clarkson.  Clarkson-bashing is the glue of Britain’s liberal elite. Fearing and fuming about the Top Gear presenter, wringing one’s manicured hands over the impact of this engine-revving bloke-in-a-blazer on gullible TV viewers, has become the great unifier of the snootier sections of Britain’s media classes.

You want in to their starched, censorious moral universe? Then practise shaking your head and making vomiting noises in response to every utterance of the words “Jeremy” and “Clarkson”.  The chattering classes’ Clarksonphobia was on full display this week, following Clarkson’s suspension by the BBC after he allegedly hit, or in the Beeb’s words “had a fracas with”, a Top Gear producer.  Apparently, after a long day’s filming, Clarkson was expecting a steak dinner but was given a plate of cold cuts, and he flipped.  Now, being giving cold meat instead of hot steak does sound fantastically annoying, but it doesn’t justify alleged fisticuffs.  Don’t hit your bosses, folks! But the wild glee that has greeted the suspension of Clarkson, the media demands that this “ogre” (The Guardian’s actual word) be forever banished from the Kingdom of TV, has very little to do with his alleged use of force.

No, the Clarksonphobics want him out because of what he represents: car-loving, free-speaking, un-PC folk, those eco-unfriendly, somewhat rough sections of society that the chattering classes would rather didn’t exist. Literally. The New Statesman, house magazine of Britain’s zombie Left, this week even fantasised about Clarkson fanboys being boiled to become biofuel. No sooner had the Beeb announced that JC had been suspended than the Clarksonphobics were hollering: “Make it permanent!”  “Why does the BBC put up with Clarkson?” demanded a Guardian hack who clearly doesn’t have access to Google. For a quick web search would have revealed to her the reason the Beeb “puts up” with him: Top Gear is phenomenally popular, with the kind of people whose shoulders will never rub with Guardian writers’ shoulders. Five million Brits watch it on BBC2, 300 million people around the world tune in, and it has made the BBC £50 million ($95.6m).  This is what most terrifies Clarksonphobics: the fact that people, the little people, like him.

The Guardian writer said Clarkson has become a blot on the Beeb, through “pushing the boundaries of … political correctness”. Apparently the BBC should only be for PC people, people like Us.  Meanwhile, a Guardian editorial insisted in its best schoolmarm voice that Clarkson doesn’t “belong in public service broadcasting”. This “bellowing and belching” creature, “drunk on his own testosterone”, should be sent packing from respectable TV. “Ogres are fine, but only in fairytales”, it said, which is unwittingly fitting, given Clarkson-bashing is itself drenched in the simplistic moralism of the fairytale, turning JC into an unspeakable beast corrupting the kingdom and his column-writing critics into whiter-than-white defenders of decency.  The way Clarkson has become a chattering-class measuring stick for working out who’s good and who ain’t was clear in comments made by Steve Coogan, one-time funnyman turned campaigner for state regulation of the press. He wrote in The Observer that Top Gear fans remind him “of the National Rifle Association … who I’m sure we can all agree are a bunch of nutters”.  The key word here is “we”. Who’s this “we”? It’s Us, broadsheet readers, supermarket-avoiders, who just know what is right and wrong. That little “we” speaks volumes about how Clarkson-bashing has become the nod-and-wink du jour of the right-on set.  Elsewhere in the media Clarkson has been denounced as a dangerous “petrolhead”, an otherworldly creature who “regards political correctness as a curse”, and “the nation’s biggest oaf” who should not be allowed to “get away with offending all of the people all of the time”.  First of all, why not? Free speech includes the right to offend. Secondly, Clarkson doesn’t actually offend all of the people all of the time.

What about those hundreds of millions who watch Top Gear? They love him. Media luvvies who are lucky if they have a couple of thousand readers never sound so spectacularly out of touch as when they slam as unacceptable, as Offensive To All, a man who is watched by throngs of humanity.  And it is really these people, the Clarkson fans, that the pseudo-liberals loathe. Clarkson is seen as a corrupting force, turning mushy-brained viewers into car-desiring, rude-joke-telling Bad People. This is why The New Statesman, on hearing that 500,000 people this week signed a petition for Clarkson to be reinstated, basically wished these people were dead.  Clarkson fans live in a “world of stupid”, it said, and “if every signatory to this petition were boiled down for biofuel, the world would be a cleaner, smarter place”. In short, these folk are dirty and dumb and we’d be better off without them.  Such Victorian-style loathing for a lower breed of people cuts to the heart of Clarksonphobia. This is really a culture war that dare not speak its name.  What is packaged up as a spat over a TV presenter is really a coded clash over morals, speech, decency and the masses. 

The Clarksonphobics hate Top Gear petrolheads because they sin against chattering-class commandments. They break eco-commandments by loving fuel-guzzling cars. They break the PC commandment “Thou shalt never offend”. Their desire for stuff — bigger cars, nice gadgets, flatscreen TVs on which to watch JC — flips a finger at the commandment that it’s better to be thrifty than blinged-up. Behind the PC assaults on Clarkson there lurks intolerance of anyone who dares to think or behave differently to the small but influential sections of society that imagine everything they do and say is right.

Clarkson allegedly hit a producer, and that’s bad, yes. But how much worse it is to harbour such deep, boiling contempt for Them — for those who dare to differ from you.  (Brendan O’Neill, The Australian, March 14, 2015)