What the Bible says about light and seed

The True Light "In him, (the Lord Jesus) was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world,…the world didn’t recognize him." John 1:4,9.

The Good Seed and the Weeds “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seeds in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. Matthew 13:24,25.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

2016 09 25 John Haller's Prophecy Update "Geopolitical Delusions"

Stairway To Heaven - Pete Garcia

Republished from omegaletter.com
Witnessing Tools
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Pete Garcia 

''I find no fault in Him.''...You can find fault in anyone else, but you can find no fault in Jesus.  Holy, harmless, undefiled, sinless: there He is!  Christ is God's way to man; Christ is man's way to God.  Christ is the true Jacob's ladder.  By Him the penitent sinner, the believing soul, the redeemed child of God may come unto the Father and enter into the house of many mansions."~George W. Truett

Since the beginning of time, mankind has been promised everything under the sun, to include god-hood, if they could only meet God halfway in the salvation process.  Cain sought it in his vegetable offering.  The Israelites sought it in adhering to the law, while the pagan world sought it in worshiping everything from pieces of wood, to the constellations in the heavens.

Everything has been tried and found lacking outside of the Bible's prescribed method of saving mans immortal soul.  There is only one bridge which gaps heaven and earth, and that man is Jesus Christ.
Since the Garden of Eden, those who worshipped Jehovah looked forward to the day a Messiah would come:  Eve was promised this, Abel understood it, Enoch preached it, Noah experienced a type of it, Job knew it, and here, Jacob dreamed of it.
"At sundown he arrived at a good place to set up camp and stopped there for the night. Jacob found a stone to rest his head against and lay down to sleep.  As he slept, he dreamed of a stairway that reached from the earth up to heaven. And he saw the angels of God going up and down the stairway.  At the top of the stairway stood the LORD, and he said, “I am the LORD, the God of your grandfather Abraham, and the God of your father, Isaac. The ground you are lying on belongs to you. I am giving it to you and your descendants."  Genesis 28:11-13 (NLT)
They looked forward to the day a Messiah would come, today we look back.  The fulcrum of history pivots entirely on what Christ did on the cross.  He, the only perfect man, died a brutal death He did not deserve as a sacrifice for the rest of humanity.  His death was payment in full, once for all time, on behalf of mankind who had no way of achieving it for ourselves.

Religion and Philosophy
And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” Genesis 11:4
The best man could do was at the Tower of Babel.  Babel not only put on display the arrogance and pridefulness of mankind, but laid the foundation for mans future attempt at saving himself.

The world is full of religions and philosophies that promise paradise, for only a little obedience.  They say, if you do this or that, you may gain entrance.  Join our group they say, for only we are enlightened and know the 'real' truth.  If you join, you soon find yourselves busy, trying to follow their rules and  regulations.  You might feel good about yourself at first, thinking your doing your part for the higher good, but when all your best efforts fail to remove that emptiness, it will consume you.  Their enlightenment, does nothing to lift the burden of sin that you must still carry around.  You will find as much meaning in a works-based salvation as does a hamster find freedom on an exercise wheel. 

This world, outside of Jesus Christ, at best can only offer what creature-comforts fortune and fame in this life.  It has no authority or power in the next, so through the use of rather effective propaganda, it has made the central slogan in humanity to date, 'get what you can, while you can'.

This propaganda comes wrapped in many different packages: patriotism, wealth, piety, fame, and renown to name a few.  If for nothing else, you want to feel as if you've led a life of accomplishment, with a tombstone that bears: 'here lies ____, a man/woman of vision'.  You may want to be remembered as having died a hero, or having left behind something that benefits mankind.  Maybe your name was made in academia, having achieved a level of elevation that your thoughts and opinions somehow carry greater weight than the average man.  Whatever pursuit you have sought out for yourself in this life, without Jesus Christ as your foundation, what good does it do you?
"For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?" Mark 8:36
Jesus Christ
Christianity on the other hand, is God reaching down to mankind and bridging the gap between Heaven and Earth through Jesus Christ
Christianity says that mankind could never be good enough to do it for themselves, because it is impossible.  We miss a vital ingredient in meeting God's perfect standard of righteousness.  The law was given so that mankind could realize the extent of his/her sinfulness.  A good example of the purpose of God's law would be the bathroom mirror, soap, and water.  The bathroom mirror, like the law, was meant to show man how sinful and decrepit he really was.  If you had no mirror, you would have no way of knowing how dirty you really were.  Yet, the mirror has no ability in and of itself to clean you, it can only expose the filthiness.  The blood of Jesus Christ then is like the soap and water, applied once, forever makes you acceptable in the sight of God.

The law, good works, personal righteousness, and morality are good things, but they can't bridge the gap between God and man, because a man by nature is sinful, and God perfect.  There needed to be something (or someone) who could close the space, being both.  Jesus was fully human, and also fully God.  He could not be an acceptable sacrifice on behalf of mankind if He were any less, or any more than He was.  That is why belief in the Virgin birth, sinless life, and resurrection are vital to believing in who Jesus was.
If you take any of those away from who you believe He was, than He would not be sufficient.  He would be 'another' Jesus incapable of saving your soul.

The Mormon's, Jehovah Witnesses, Muslims, and any other group who replaces the Jesus of the Bible with another Jesus, might be morally holy, pious, and admirable people, but still fall short of God's standard of perfection, therefore, doomed like the most heinous of the wicked to spend an eternity separated from God.

It might seem completely unfair to man, who has been taught so long that he must earn his keep, that he has no real ability to affect his or her own salvation.  It is unfair.  God did all the work.  All we can do, is what Christ said we could do to be saved...that is to believe in who He is and accept that sacrifice in our stead.

Although we don't fully comprehend God's plan for mankind, we know He desires to spend eternity with those, who by freewill, choose to know and love Him.  God knows who will come to Him, and yet, has left the door open to all which to my tiny, feeble mind, still seems incomprehensible.

Why would God, who spoke the universe into existence, be mindful of me?  I know, that someday, this will make sense.  For now, I am just grateful that I do know Him as Lord and Savior.  But I'll leave you with this excellent example from Dr. Harry Ironside,  that maybe puts this into a little bit of perspective.
“This illustration is of the sinner coming to the door of salvation (John 10:9). Above the door was a sign which says, "Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely" (Revelation 22:17). The sinner responds to this gracious invitation, trusts Christ and he is gloriously saved. He now turns around and looks at the door through which he had just entered. He sees above the door another sign which says, "Chosen...in Him before the foundation of the world" (Ephesian 1:4). Both are true. Both are taught in the Bible. Both must be believed.”

Sunday, September 18, 2016

2016 09 18 John Haller's Prophecy Update - "While You Were Sleeping"

Twilight of American Jewry

Republished from jpost.com

This week marked the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks on America. Most of us didn’t realize it at the time, but those attacks also marked the beginning of the end of the golden age of American Jewry – on both sides of the ideological divide.

Most American Jews make their home on the political Left, and together with black Americans they comprise the most loyal Democratic voting bloc. American Jews have clung to the Democratic Party despite the fact that over the past decade and a half, their position in the party has become increasingly precarious.

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After the September 11 attacks, the American anti-war movement rose as a force in the party. The movement was quick to conflate its anti-Americanism with hostility for Israel. Jewish anti-war activists were forced to choose between Zionism and pacifism.

And the situation has only grown worse over time.

As Gary Gambill of the Middle East Forum wrote this week in The National Interest, since the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel was founded in 2005, its members have gone from one leftist group to another and demanded that their members embrace the cause of Israel’s destruction.

Group after group – from the feminists, to the gay rights activists, to Occupy Wall Street, to Black Lives Matter – bowed to the BDS demand. Members who refused to condemn Israel and join the call for its destruction have been booted out.

As Prof. Alan Dershowitz wrote last month, this state of affairs has brought about a situation where progressive American Jews who support Israel – that is, the majority of American Jews – are increasingly finding themselves isolated, rejected by their fellow leftists.

In his words, “Over the past several years, progressive Jews and supporters of Israel have had to come to terms with the reality that those who do not reject Israel and accept the... BDS movement’s unique brand of bigotry are no longer welcome in some progressive circles. And while both the Democratic and Republican parties have embraced the importance of the US alliance with Israel, that dynamic is under threat more so than at any point in my lifetime.”

The radicalization of the American Left has caused a radicalization of the Democratic Party. This was made clear throughout this year’s Democratic primary season and during the party’s national convention. Today, the anti-Israel Left makes up not just the Democratic grassroots but also the major donors to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

The significance of this development for American Jews cannot be overstated. Even if Clinton herself doesn’t share the positions of the Bernie Sanders wing of her party, she cannot govern in defiance of its will.

And if she is elected in November, she won’t.

On the Republican side of the aisle, the situation is very different.

But it is also bad.

It isn’t that anti-Semites have taken over the party of Lincoln. To be sure, white supremacists like David Duke have made clear that they are happy to support Donald Trump. But unlike Clinton and the progressives, Trump never sought nor accepted their support. Moreover, in sharp contrast to the situation on the Democrat side of the aisle, Republican support for Israel is all but unanimous.

All of the Republican primary candidates were pro-Israel to varying degrees. The GOP platform passed at the convention is the most pro-Israel document in its history.

The problem on the Republican side of the aisle then is not that the party has turned against the Jews. The problem is that a large contingent of prominent Jewish Republicans has decided to commit political suicide.

Back in the mid-1970s, disgusted by the radicalization of the Democratic Party, particularly in connection with its prosecution of the Cold War, a significant group of predominantly Jewish intellectuals led by the likes of Irving Kristol and Norman Podhoretz came to the conclusion that they could no longer maintain their loyalty to the Democratic Party – which had been their political home for decades. With the rise of Ronald Reagan on the Republican side of the aisle, these prominent Jews broke with the Democrats, called themselves neoconservatives, and cast their lot with the GOP.

Some members of this group received influential appointments in the Reagan administration. Others used their intellectual skills and their media outlets to set out the intellectual basis for much of Reagan’s foreign and economic policies.

These Jewish Republicans enjoyed a far less congenial relationship with Reagan’s successor George H.W. Bush. But all the same, by and large they remained loyal Republicans. For their efforts they were appointed to significant positions in the George W. Bush administration.

After the September 11 attacks, prominent Jewish Republicans like Bush’s deputy defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz rose to national fame as they were widely credited – and often credited themselves – with shaping Bush’s counter-terrorism policies, including his decision to overthrow the Iraqi government and to make democratizing the Islamic world the goal of his counter-terrorism strategies worldwide.

Their star rose as quickly as it fell. As the public soured on Bush’s war policies, the first to be blamed for his failures were the Jewish Republicans who had been so outspoken about their roles in shaping his policies.

Some of the criticism was substantive and deserved. Much of it was bigoted.

The Republican establishment, for its part, remained staunchly loyal to Bush’s policies. Both John McCain and Mitt Romney supported them to varying degrees during their presidential bids.

That support was not shared by Republican voters, however. Over Obama’s eight years in office, the Republican base and as well as lawmakers became increasing hostile to the democratic interventionism championed by the Bush administration and disaffected with the war in Iraq.

Seemingly unaware of the shift, the same Jewish Republican policy-makers and writers most identified in the public mind with Bush’s failures went into the 2016 race assuming that as was the case in 2008 and 2012, the party would choose a candidate that largely supported their views.

Two prominent Republican candidates, Sen. Marco Rubio and Gov. Jeb Bush, met that expectation.

But contrary to their expectations, Rubio and Bush were flops. The voters rejected them. The two candidates that secured significant support – Sen. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, were outspoken opponents of Bush’s policies.

Rather than repeat their practice from 1992 and accept the will of their fellow Republicans, this year the most prominent members of the Jewish Republican elite have opted to attack Trump and his voters.

That is, they have decided to commit political suicide.

Wolfowitz, along with Bush’s second term Treasury secretary Hank Paulson and several prominent lower level Jewish Republican policy-makers, announced they are voting for Clinton. Most members of the Jewish Republican elite have sufficed with refusing to endorse Trump. Some have become his most outspoken and vituperative critics.

Objectively, their behavior is irrational. With the radical takeover of the Democratic Party, these Republican rebels cannot hope to receive influential roles in a Clinton administration even if she throws some table scraps in their direction. And by attacking Trump and his voters, they are dooming themselves to political homelessness for at least a generation.

The prominence of Jewish Republicans in the Never Trump camp is liable to impact more than their personal career prospects. It is liable to adversely affect Republican attitudes toward Jews as Jews. And to their disgrace, the Jewish Republicans at the heart of the Never Trump camp are playing right into this unhealthy dynamic.

This week the Intelligence Squared debating society held a public debate in New York. The debate was posted on Real Clear Politics website.

Two sides debated the proposition that the American elites are to blame for Trump’s rise. Arguing in favor of the proposition were two Christian journalists – Tim Carney and Ben Domenech.

Arguing against it were two Jewish journalists – Bret Stephens (a former Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief) and Jennifer Rubin.

Both Rubin and Stephens voiced their support for Clinton’s controversial assertion that half of Trump’s supporters are deplorable, unworthy of attention, un-American and irredeemable.

For their part, Domenech and Carney argued that Stephens and Rubin were ignoring the social and economic dislocation of the lower middle class. They argued that the suffering of members of this group has caused millions of Americans to feel betrayed by their political elites and turn to Trump to put a stop to a political game they believe is rigged against them.

Two-thirds of the way through the event, Carney brought up religion.

Carney allowed that many of Trump’s supporters are indeed bigoted. However, he said that “as a Christian,” he couldn’t accept that they are irredeemable because Christianity teaches that all men can be saved.

Rather than grant his point or simply ignore it, Rubin chose to respond in the name of Judaism. In so doing, she turned the debate into a contest between Christianity and Judaism.

Incorrectly arguing that Judaism does not believe in repentance as a road to redemption, Rubin pointed to herself and Stephens and said sardonically, “We Jews just believe in good and evil. We don’t believe that everyone is redeemable.”

The Christians won the debate in a knockout.

Perhaps the most striking thing about the Jewish Republicans’ behavior is that while attacking the anti-Semites at the margins of the Republican Party, they ignore the anti-Semites at the heart of the Democratic Party.

While Trump has disavowed the support of the GOP’s Jew-hating wing, some of Clinton’s closest advisers harbor virulent anti-Semitic beliefs.

Take Sidney Blumenthal for instance. Blumenthal has been a close adviser to the Clintons for decades. We learned from Clinton’s emails made public earlier this year by Judicial Watch that Blumenthal was one of Clinton’s most intimate advisers throughout her tenure as secretary of state.

Blumenthal’s son Max is a raving anti-Semite. He calls for the destruction of Israel. He compares Israel to Nazi Germany and IDF soldiers to the Nazi SS.

Blumenthal Sr. is a proud father. He regularly shared his son’s ravings with Clinton, and she shared his delight. In eight separate emails over the course of her tenure in office, Clinton enthusiastically praised his Jew-hating propaganda.

In one message email, Clinton wrote, “Your Max is a mitzva.”

On the one hand then, we have the Jewish Democrats who are faced with a party that is increasingly controlled by anti-Semitic forces. And on the other hand we are in the midst of the collective political suicide of the Jewish Republican establishment.

It is hard to know how Israel will be affected by the dramatic enfeeblement of the American Jewish community that we are now witnessing. The fact remains that the vast majority of American support for Israel comes from the evangelical Christian community.

What is clear enough though is that the political waning of the Jewish community across the political spectrum means that the golden era of American Jewry is not only over. It is gone.


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Apologetics at the Speed of Light

Republished from omegaletter.com
In Defense of the Faith
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Wendy Wippel 

You know in comic strips when the little light bulb appears on top of a character’s head?  Meaning they just had a Eureka moment?  I had mine this morning. And as someone for whom apologetics is like crack, all I can say is that I should have caught this earlier. Because it changes everything.

We all know that God made the world (and everything and everybody in it) in six days and called it good.
No problem there. 
And we all sat through the laws of thermodynamics in grade school:
First law of thermodynamics – Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only change forms.
Second law of thermodynamics – Entropy (meaning disorder) increases over time.
Third law of thermodynamics – As temperature approaches absolute zero, the entropy of a system approaches a constant minimum.

The God  who created energy in the beginning is outside this closed system we live in, so rule #1 stands. We’re stuck with the total energy the universe has now, but it can be changed into another form.

Rule #3 is a hypothetical situation, as we cannot achieve absolute zero even in laboratory conditions, so lets ignore that.  

Which leaves the Rule behind door #2. Entropy (disorder, chaos) always increases.  The universe we live in is slowly but steadily wearing out.

Homer Simson once observed that “In this house, we obey the second law of thermodynamics”.  Yep, in my house too.  Left alone, things wear out. Decay. Because in this universe we obey the second law of thermodynamics. 
No choice.

The implication there; my "Eureka!" moment this morning. If God made everything and said it was good, what happened? Why is entropy increasing?

The Fall. And since the laws of thermodynamics were deduced by scientists Clasius and Kelvin about 1850 (which was obviously after the fall), their rules describe the fallen world, not the one God originally gave us.
Dunno why that took so long for that synapse to fire.

Romans 8:20 kind of says that:
For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption. Romans 8:20-21

Decay is the product of the fall, not part of God’s original design, and that explains all the changes in creation since the God said it was good.    
Which include, apparently includes the speed of light.
We were all taught in grade school that the speed of light is 186,000 miles per second. To put it mildly, is pretty dang fast.

For perspective, 186,000 miles per second means that light moves at about a foot per nanosecond.  And a nanosecond, for those of you who might not sit around reading astrophysics journals for fun, is a billionth of a second. 

We have trouble wrapping our minds around these kind of numbers. Computer Scientist and Rear Admiral of the Navy Grace Hopper thought up this way to explain to her bosses why even at the speed of light, messages to space took a while. She  acquired, as a visual aid, a piece of wire that represented how far light could travel in a nanosecond. (Just under one foot.)

Then she acquired a length of wire that represented how far light could travel in a microsecond. 984 feet. So how far could light travel in a second? 
She didn’t have to do that experiment, we all learned it. 186,000 miles. But that would be one giant piece of wire. It would wrap around the earth about nine times.
That’s how fast light is.

Early Greek experiments seemed to show, in fact, that the speed of light was infinite.  A Danish Astronomist, Olaf Roemer, reported his findings to the Paris Academe Des Sciences in 1676, reporting that the unexpected eclipse cycles of a moon of Jupiter named, Io, would make sense if the speed of light was infinite, apparently confirming the conclusions of the Greek experiments. The first first official scientific paper (shortly after scientific papers were invented) was published in 1729 by James Bradley, whose work also seemed to confirm that the speed of light was infinite.

Scientists, primarily in England, however, continued to try to measure the speed of light, and a funny thing happened. When someone looked at all the results over the centuries, the speeds measured went steadily down. Just fractions of seconds at a time, but consistently slower.  All told, the speed of light had been measured about 300 times. And, over time, the measured speeds consistently dropped.

The skeptics say that over that many centuries, with multiple investigators and multiple methods, those results don’t really hold much weight.  But sometimes one person, using the same instruments, measured the speed of light more than once. And still saw a consistent drop in speed at later time points.

Tiny, tiny, drops. But consistent enough that by the 1920's some scientists started to think about how to really prove whether or not the speed of light was constant. An idea that was pondered by mainstream physicists for several decades with results that led Ramond Bilge, Chairman of the Berkley physics Department, to recommend several small decreases in the official speed of light through the 20s and 30s. 

Bilge, however, had a strange change of mind in 1940, when he published a curious scientific paper Entitled The General physical Constants as of August 1940 with Details on the Velocity of Light Only. 
This is what he said:
"This paper is being written on request… at this time, on request,……A belief in any significant variability in the constants of nature is fatal to the spirit of science, as science is now understood."

Somebody, somebody unknown, apparently feared that questioning the constants would throw physics into intellectual turmoil.  So…essentially, a referendum was issued.
The constancy of constants must  not be questioned.

And as every research scientist knows (hey, I was one of them) if you want to fund your research, you tow the party line. Bottom line? Research on the speed of light stopped.
Which is why we were all taught that the speed of light was a constant-- that light was that speed at the beginning. And we were taught that it is still that speed, and that it will always be that speed. In fact, the speed of light, notated for short as “ C “ is considered the King of constants, one that a lot of other constants are based on.  

Which is why all of us, many years after grade school, can confidently tell anyone who may ask that the speed of light is 186,000 miles per second. Still.

The speed of light has always been the one thing we could count on never changing.
Brace yourself. It would seem that we’ve been just a little misled.
It all started with a guy named Barry Setterfield, an Australian astronomer who was given a book of anomalies in astronomy. And in that book it mentioned the ambiguity that still existed regarding the speed of light.
Barry was stupefied that there was any uncertainty (Australian schools apparently being just like ours), and intrigued, and spent some thereafter reading up on everything that had been put in print about scientific efforts to nail the speed of light down.  And then he started writing up what he had learned.

His fellow scientists weren’t impressed. Mostly because Barry was a Christian, and much of his work up till then was carried by Creationist ministries.
Then he recruited Trevor Norman, also an Australian physicist, and wrote up a scientific paper relating his evidence that it did seem, to show, in fact, that the speed of light was slowing.

And the article was published. That is, until was rescinded by the two Universities who had promoted it after being informed that both authors were (Horrors !!), creationists.
(And that meant, of course, despite their IQs and his education and accomplishments up to the minute they got interested in this didn’t matter.  They were a creationists, meaning idiots by definition.
Of course. 

A second paper providing more detailed evidence was just unanimously rejected.
And that was the end of that. Setterfield and Norman to this day speak at conferences and answer questions put to them from scientists and the general population about their evidence, but they’ve been ridiculed in the scientific community.
And maybe worse, ignored. But the evidence that the speed of light may, in fact, not have been constant since the first photon was formed has continued to accumulate, and other scientists are now theorizing what Setterfield had proposed way before. That the speed of light may not, actually be eternally constant.

Particularly Joao Magueijo, a Portugese Theoretical physicist, at imperial London College. He has become a superstar off of his theory, Variable speed of light theory, with multiple books on the market and a papers published regarding the inconstancy of the speed of light.
The work of Magueijo, and his colleague, Dr. Andereas Albrecht at Cal-Davis, seems to provide answers for issues heretofore unresolved, for example, why the still expanding universe is essentially all the same temperature. (Answer: because the universe, kind of led by the speed of light, expanded so fast at the beginning that all of the universe that we can measure essentially came into existence at the same time. So it has all cooled to the same temperature.)

In fact, according to the calculations of Andreas and Magueijo, at the beginning of the expansion of the universe light was traveling at no less than 1860000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 miles per second.

Which would mean that when Solomon reigned over Israel, light was twice as fast as it is now. And that it was four times as fast when Abraham was in the wilderness.
An interesting piece of Bible trivia, but not something the physicists would really care about. But they do have a reason to care about whether or not these theories about light being much faster at the beginning of creation are actually true. A big one. And’s it’s called  Atomic time. There are two ways that time has been officially measured in our liftetimes: the the current (since 1967) is Atomic time, which uses as the basic unit the speed at which a cesium electron completes one orbit of the atomic nucleus. It is based on electromagnet data.

The former method, used before 1967, was called dynamic time, and was based on  units obtained by dividing the period of time that it takes the earth to make one complete orbit around the sun. This method uses gravitational data.

The atomic clock is more accurate, but only by like a billionth of a second.
The funny thing is that scientists now know that these two types of measurements give very different values for the age of the universe.
Why would that be?
The Atomic method’s calculations are tied to the speed of light. The higher the speed of light used in the calculations, the longer the time frame determined. 
The smaller the speed of light used, the shorter the time span.

Remember that estimated speed at the beginning? 186,000 with 70 zeros/second?  If the new theories are correct, the speed of light has dropped tremendously since the beginning.
And new calculations need to be made. And when they make them, the scientists will be horrified.

Not enough time for evolution.  In fact, the data seems to say that the universe is less than 10,000 years old.

Anyone here surprised? 
I'm going to have to paraphrase Sir Francis  Bacon one more time, “a lot of science always brings you back" to God.

I just can’t help myself. Every time.
About Wendy Wippel

Two Roads, Two Gates, One Goal

Two Roads, Two Gates, One Goal

A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matt. 7:13-14)

This passage is often quoted in reference to the different roads traveled by unbelievers as opposed to believers.  Unbelievers are said to be on a broad road with many fellow travelers, all on the way to their destruction.  Believers on the other hand are a small segment of humanity and are on a narrow road to salvation.  This difference is further defined by some as pertaining to our behavior.  The unbeliever’s gate is wide and his road is broad, supposedly indicating that there’s room for all kinds of sinful behavior, while for the believer it’s a small gate and a narrow road suggesting that there’s very little latitude for misbehaving.  A careless step or two and you may find yourself being rerouted onto the broad road.

In Context

If you look at these 2 verses alone it’s easy to understand why so many see them this way.  But in the context of the chapter a different picture emerges.
In Matthew 7 the people in focus all claim to be believers, and the emphasis is on their fruit.  The Lord began by admonishing us against judging others,
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Matt. 7:1-2)
Verses 3-5 have to do with judgment within the community of believers.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

Like the Pharisees of Old

We’re all sinners and hypocrites who have a tendency to pounce all over even the “minor” sins of others while ignoring our own massive list of transgressions.  Why is it that those who test the Lord’s patience to the max are often the most acrimonious in their accusations of others?
You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? (Romans 2:1-3)

Intolerant, judgmental believers are convinced they’re defending the faith and that they’ll receive the commendation due them from the Lord. But these verses indicate quite the opposite.
As much as we ignore the warnings in verses 3-5,  our disregard for verse 6 is even more glaring.  It has to do with our attitude toward unbelievers.
“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.”

Expecting the unbelieving world to conform to our moral standards is ridiculous. And yet to the world the church is known primarily for its holier-than-thou hypocrisy in doing just that.  Like the Pharisees of old we demand that others live up to behavioral standards we ourselves don’t keep.  For example studies show that our divorce and abortion rates are no different from theirs.  And it’s a known fact that we indulge in more than our share of adultery, theft, gluttony, avarice, greed, and so on, as well.

The World Will Know Us By Our Love

It’s like we have forgotten all about the Lord’s advice that the best way to convert the world is for the Church to become what it was meant to be, an agent of His love (John 13:34-35).  Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance? (Romans 2:4) It’s God’s kindness and mercy that bring people to Him, not threats of condemnation.

Some think it’s persecution when unbelievers pass laws that contradict our beliefs and restrict our freedoms while promoting the freedom of others.  But maybe it’s just them turning on us for the way we’ve pushed our beliefs on them, like the Lord said they would.

Message of Hope, Not Judgement & Condemnation

In Matt. 7:7-12 the way to salvation is explained to us. It’s summarized in verse 8.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done.  If you ask for it, you’ll receive it. It’s this message of hope that’s needed for our time, not judgment and condemnation.
I don’t think it’s an accident that in verse 10 the Lord asked, “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?” The comparison of bread with a stone takes us back to the Wilderness Temptation when Satan challenged Him to turn stones into bread.  He replied, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matt. 4:4) God’s Word is life, and Jesus is the bread of life (John 6:35).  Stones are dead. If we ask for life will the Lord give us death instead?

But the comparison of a fish to a serpent symbolizes the central thought of the entire chapter.   The fish  stands for Jesus and became the symbol of His followers.  The serpent stands for Satan.  Jesus called the leaders of His day’s organized religion children of the devil (John 8:44),  who with their insistence on a mindless obedience to their laws (Isaiah 29:13) rather than faith in a coming Redeemer, made their converts twice the sons of hell as they were (Matt. 23:15). They had turned God’s love into a tool of the devil, and sadly there are many in the church still doing the same thing today.

The Golden Rule

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.(Matt 7:12)  The phrase Law and Prophets was a Jewish idiom for their Scriptures, the Old Testament. While we think of the Golden Rule as a New Testament idea, Jesus said it summarized the Old Testament as well.  If you don’t want to be judged, don’t judge.  If you don’t want to be condemned, don’t condemn. If you want mercy, be merciful. If you want to be forgiven, forgive.  If you want to receive, give. (Luke 6:36-38)

There’s a reason why verses 13-14 are in the middle of the chapter and not the beginning or the end.  Up till now we’ve been looking at misdirected believers who think they’re defending the faith but instead will find themselves defending fruitless lives at judgment time.  Now we’ll see examples of those who claim to be in the Church, but will actually be left behind when the Rapture comes.

Those Who Claim to be the Church, But Are Not

Matt. 7:15-23 warns us against following false prophets, saying, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matt. 7:22-23)
Appearing to perform miracles in the Lord’s name does not make someone His follower, so we shouldn’t blindly accept them as such, but should inspect their doctrine.  Remember Satan will appear to perform miracles and will deceive many.  (2 Thes. 2:9-10)  Only those who do His Father’s will can claim the Son, regardless of what else they say or do.  And what is the Father’s will? Here’s the Lord’s answer.   “My Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:40)

Nowhere is the Father’s will as it regards our salvation stated more clearly.   Anyone who adds any requirement or qualification to this declaration (or takes anything from it) is a false prophet even if they perform miracles in the Lord’s name.

The Rock of Our Salvation

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matt. 7:24-27)

Here is the Lord’s summary statement complete with one final comparison, this one aimed at the liberals.  In Matt. 16: 16-18 Jesus called Peter’s confession that He was the Christ (Messiah), the Son of the Living God, the rock on which He would build the Church. 

Paul wrote that the rock Moses struck to provide water for the Israelites represented Christ. For they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. (1 Cor. 10:4)  

From ancient times, the priest would call God’s people to worship saying, “Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.” (Psalm 95:1)  And today we sing, “On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.”

He Alone Is The Foundation of Our Faith

A doctrine of salvation that’s built upon anything other than the personal relationship with Jesus that comes from being born again rests precariously on sinking sand. (John 3:3)  He alone is the foundation of our faith, and unless our salvation is built exclusively upon this Rock, it will be of no avail to us when we stand before Him on that Day.

From the context of the chapter, we can see that the Lord’s topic was salvation.  We don’t deserve ours so we shouldn’t judge others when it looks to us like they don’t deserve theirs.  We have no right to think of ourselves as being better than unbelievers, so we shouldn’t try to impose our values on them.    We received our salvation simply because we asked for it in faith.  There was no merit or worthiness involved, nothing to commend us.  But we should be very wary of those who would propose alternatives to salvation by grace through faith alone, whether by adding to or subtracting from it, even if they perform miracles.

The Road to Destruction

Now let’s go back to verses 13-14.   Each of the two roads is thought by its travelers to be the way to salvation.  But the name engraved above the wide gate is Works and multitudes who call themselves Christians are striving to get there. They run the gamut from extreme legalism to extreme liberalism, but have in common a belief that it’s their behavior that saves them.

The legalist proudly proclaims, “Jesus may have begun my salvation, but I finished it.  I have kept the commandments and no longer sin. I have earned the right to call others to account for their behavior.  How else will they learn?”
The false prophet says, “I’m a miracle worker, just like the Lord was. Who can doubt that I’m His.”

The artificially modest liberal says “I’m a good person and I’ve tried to live a good life. There are many roads to salvation and as long as we’re sincere in what we believe, the Lord will understand and accept us.”

None of them realizes the road he’s on leads to destruction.

The Road to Life

But at the end of the narrow road stands a small gate on which the word Faith is inscribed.  As we come alongside the few travelers on this road we can hear them softly singing,
“Just as I am, without one plea,
but that thy blood was shed for me,
and that thou bidst me come to thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.”

This is the road to Life.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)  Selah.  07-18-09

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Column One: Mahmoud Abbas and other Soviet ghosts

Channel 1’s report Wednesday that in 1983, current Palestinian Authority Chairman and PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas served as a KGB agent is hardly the story of the year, but it does remind us of certain half-forgotten facts about the Cold War that are becoming ever more relevant today.

The PLO’s close and servile relationship with the KGB was first exposed in a systematic way in 1987, with the publication of Red Horizons: Chronicles of a Communist Spy Chief, the exposé of Soviet and Romanian Cold War operations written by former Romanian intelligence chief Lt.-Gen. Ion Pacepa. Pacepa, who defected to the US in 1978 after serving as the head of the DIE – Romania’s KGB – was the highest ranking intelligence officer from the Soviet bloc to ever defect.

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In his book, Pacepa revealed that “the PLO was dreamt up by the KGB.”

Pacepa explained how Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, at the direction of Moscow, convinced Yasser Arafat to employ political warfare, centered on phony protestations that he had abandoned terrorism, to weaken the West’s resolve to defend itself and to cause Israel to doubt its own legitimacy.

Wednesday’s Channel 1 report on Abbas was based on new revelations from the Mitrokhin Archive. Vasili Mitrokhin was a senior archivist in the KGB who surreptitiously copied KGB documents for many years and hid his copies in his home. In 1991 Mitrokhin defected to Britain and took his archive of 25,000 copies of documents with him.

In 2004, the second volume of his edited archive was published. The volume, titled, The World Was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for the Third World, focused on the KGB’s efforts to use the Third World as a strategic weapon in its battle against the West. The volume devotes two chapters to the KGB’s campaign against Israel.

Mitrokhin revealed that for the KGB, Israel was a target of subversion second only in importance to the US. The KGB fielded multiple political agents on the Israeli Left and multiple Palestinian agents in the PLO’s terrorist nexus.

According to the Channel 1 report, Abbas began his official service for the KGB in 1983.

In truth his KGB ties were already longstanding by 1983.

In 1982 Abbas received a doctorate from the Patrice Lumumba University – or KGB U – in Moscow. According to KGB defectors, 90 percent of the university’s faculty and staff received their paychecks from the KGB. Its purpose was to train KGB agents from the developing world, including terrorists. Abbas’s fellow alumni included master terrorist Carlos the Jackal and future Iranian dictator Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Abbas received a doctorate for a thesis denying the Holocaust. That is, he used the cover of academia to vilify the Jewish state and deny Jewish history and suffering – a practice that has been his stock in trade in trade ever since.

Rather than devote his energies to murdering Israelis, along the lines of the subversive program Ceausescu presented to Arafat, Abbas’s main focus was the subversion of the European and the Israeli Left.

Until the mid-1970s, Arab terrorists were unable to make inroads in Israel because there were no significant political forces in Israeli society that questioned the justice and morality of the state or saw the PLO as anything other than a terrorist organization bent on the annihilation of Israel and the massacre of its citizens.

The situation changed with the rise of the Likud and the Right to power in 1977. As the Likud supplanted Labor as the largest party in Israel, the far Left became more susceptible to subversion.

Abbas focused his efforts on developing ties to the Israeli far Left. His efforts culminated in the 1993 Oslo peace deal which Abbas negotiated with Israeli leftist activists affiliated with then-foreign minister Shimon Peres through his deputy Yossi Beilin.

The PLO’s success in convincing the Rabin- Peres government that it had abandoned its goal of annihilating Israel came two years after the demise of the Soviet Union. In other words, the KGB’s campaign of anti-Western subversion outlived the Soviet Union.

Indeed it carries on with ever greater force and consequence. Today, the subversive campaigns that first bore fruits in the Vietnam War have brought about a situation where increasingly, Western elites cannot accept the basic morality of their societies.

Consider the case of NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Last month Kaepernick caused a public outcry when he refused to stand up for the US national anthem at the beginning of a football game. Kaepernick defended himself by arguing that the US is immoral. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” he said.

Rather than defend the US against his assault and insist that its symbols required respect, President Barack Obama said only that Kaepernick had a right to his opinion.

Then there is Germany. This week Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU party came in third place in regional elections on Merkel’s home turf behind the far-right, anti-immigration AfD party.

Merkel’s political collapse owes entirely to her refusal to budge on her open border policies.

That policy enabled more than a million, predominantly Muslim, immigrants to stream into Germany last year. An additional 300,000 are expected this year.

Merkel’s associates claim that she operates under the conviction that Germany’s Nazi past precludes any attempt to protect German society from Muslim immigrants. For Merkel, Germany is inherently immoral and therefore has no right to defend its identity or culture.

The sense among Western elites that Western culture and history as a whole are morally impaired has dampened their concern about their future. This diminished commitment to securing their societies into the future is most apparent in the West’s fertility rates, which have been below replacement rate for more than a decade. Last year for the first time, deaths in Europe outnumbered births.

The situation is similarly fraught on the other side of the former Iron Curtain. Russian society was economically and culturally broken by the Soviet defeat in the Cold War and by its post- Cold War leadership’s inability to present a life-affirming vision for a new Russia.

In some ways, post-Cold War Russia is the mirror image of the subverted West. While Western leftists insist on adopting the socialist economics of swelled welfare states, which given demographic realities are unsustainable in the long-term, to expiate their guilt for capitalism and colonialism, Russia’s leaders have largely abandoned their people to their fate.

Russia spends a bit more than a third of what OECD countries spend on public health. And the low investment shows.

According to the World Health Organization, a third of all deaths in Russia in 2012 were caused by alcohol. Russian male life expectancy is 64 – lower than it was a hundred years ago.

Drug addiction rates are soaring, as are HIV infection rates.

Like the Europeans, Russians have lost interest in the future, which increasingly will not include a Russia. With fertility rates below replacement levels, the UN estimates that by 2060, Russia’s working age population will have shrunk by 15 percent.

Due to the scarcity of workers, like Europe, Russia is experiencing massive, predominantly Muslim immigration. Russian immigration levels are second only to the US. In response, xenophobia is a large and growing social force in Russia.

According to David Satter, author of the recently released, The Less You Know, the Better You Sleep: Russia’s Road to Terror and Dictatorship under Yeltsin and Putin, Russia’s gloomy prospects, reinforced by the long-term outlook for reduced oil and gas prices, have brought about a situation where President Vladimir Putin and his associates do not think about the long-term future of their country. Their international considerations, specifically, are based on their assessments of immediate potential payoffs.

Since the Russian leadership doesn’t suffer from the civilizational neurosis the Soviets inflicted on the West, like the Soviet leaders before him, Putin’s short-term game empowers him to adopt policies with potentially high short-term payoffs regardless of the long-term dangers they create. Russia’s policies in Syria and toward Iran are case in point.

On the other side of the divide in Europe, the elites devote their remaining days in power to absolving themselves of imperialist and capitalist guilt. To this end, they have adopted the causes of those they falsely believe were most victimized by their predecessors.

The same is true, albeit to a lesser degree, in the US.

This then brings us back to KGB agent Abbas and his target, Israel.

Against great odds, and at a steep price, over the past 10 years Israeli society stopped listening to the voices on the Left parroting Abbas’s lies that Israel was born in sin, as a Western colonialist implant. Given the stakes, most Israelis today also have come to realize that our national self-confidence is a vital component of our long-term survival.

This understanding, along with a clear-eyed assessment of what drives our interlocutors in Moscow, Paris, New York and Brussels, must inform our foreign policy in the coming years.

When faced with foreign governments whose societies lack long-term prospects, Israel needs to put aside its yearning for long-term peace and stability and focus on short-term cooperative ties. It must also recognize that our partners’ interests are subject to change at a moment’s notice.

The revelation of Abbas’s KGB service requires us to recognize that the Soviets’ long game of subversion continues on today. Whether or not Western societies persevere and reject the Soviets’ central contention that they are unworthy of survival is not for Israel to decide. So, too, Israel will not convince the Russians to embrace a future based on freedom and the sanctity of life.

All we can do is wish them the best and play the short-term game with them – while keeping our long-term interests front and center in our minds.


Follow up to the previous video - Ron Paul´s interview: Warning! The Economy is Collapsing

Posted by Jean-Louis: 
A friend of mine posted a video on FB showing the former presidents millionaires who keep on benefiting from old laws protecting their retirement  assets, perks and financial gains through their books contracts running into the millions of dollars. He was complaining about the injustice, hypocrisy and inequality of these practices approved and sanctioned by the laws making a travesty of the Constitution. My reply  to him:
As believers in Christ and His true, pure, eternal, unchanging, never failing Word, we can declare with assurance: But God... The day of reckoning is coming soon when " 'They will fling their silver into the streets and their gold will become an abhorrent thing; their silver and their gold will not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD. They cannot satisfy their appetite nor can they fill their stomachs, for their iniquity has become an occasion of stumbling. Ezekiel 7:19. 

 James declares in James 5:3: Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure!

This  doesn´t apply only to the high and mighty only but to those who trust in riches, chariots and horses, and their scheming instead of the Lord God our Father and the Lord Jesus who alone can save us from destruction and has given us the peace we need in these days of great turmoil, perplexity and confusion. 

How well do I know the presence of my Lord Jesus in the middle of the storms of life?
  • He brought them knowing full well how we would react in advance and in being confident that we would choose to be with Him wherever He leads...He told us that because 
  • we are His friends wherever He is we would be also....because
  • He is and has the only Word of life, our ark of Salvation, we are in His boat, He is in command, He told us the end from the beginning.....that
  •  He is the One will sustain us with His vision in our hearts slowly unfolding while we serve Him in waiting patiently for the great day of His coming.
  •  He is the mirror though which we see ourselves....we will one day see Him fully as He sees us and know Him as we are known and for ever be with Him,
  • He is the desire of all nations and the hope of glory, 
  • the lifter of our head,
  •  the lover of our souls,
  •  our hiding place, our shield and our great reward, 
  • our daily bread, our water of life... 
  • the inexhaustible fount of wisdom and understanding... 
  • a sure foundation for our time... 
  • Jesus who gives us even the theme of the Praise that transports us into His heart of love, through the veil that was torn so that 
  • we could access with bold confidence the throne of grace in which 
  • we stand by faith in the power of His might... 
  • our eyes open, 
  • our ears unstopped,
  • our hearts beating on a heavenly rhythm, 
  • our empty hands in prayers waiting to be 
  • filled with blessings, shared with others....
  • our lips filled with praise and songs to 
  • His majesty, His glory the beauty His holiness, bowing down while beholding
the radiance of the Light that surrounds His throne for ever and ever Amen. https://thelightseed.blogspot.com.br/.../peace-be-still.html

 Peace, Be Still
Written and posted by Jean-Louis  
To read a study on Paul´s shipwreck on Malta, 
" A ship named Relations" click, Here

 For he spoke and stirred up a tempest
that lifted high the waves.   

They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths;
in their peril their courage melted away. They reeled and staggered like drunkards; 

they were at their wits’ end.     
Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,
and he brought them out of their distress.  

He stilled the storm to a whisper;
the waves of the sea were hushed. 
They were glad when it grew calm,
and he guided them to their desired haven.
Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind.  

Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people
and praise him in the council of the elders.
Psalm 107: 25-32.

Land, land, a chorus of sea-gulls heralded
Childlike, dolphins merrily pirouetted
Celebrating with the rhythm of whimsical waves
This propitious journey with delighted voyagers.

Suddenly, a venomous storm
Escaping from an Aeolian windbag,
Stinking and green with envy
Unfurled its fury on the peaceful seascape.

The cloudy canvass thickens,
The undulating liquid walls
Rise, with threats of wrath.
Are we in this deadly dance moving
Toward an unavoidable shipwreck?

The increasing tempest suspends
The harmony of the Mediterranean abyss
Feeding the human fear
At the thought that their last hour
Had chimed without any recourse. 

The heart in this reflex instant
When the compass swings wildly
Remembers that God exists
And humbly kneels
Asking for pardon and mercy.

The time for good deeds is gone
No more “Our Fathers”, “Hail Marys”
On beads to recite, nor “Om Shantis”
The re-winded video unfolds as lightning
On the screen  of the impotent memory.

The refuge of conscience is no use.
No more hypocrisy, no more subterfuge
Everything is in the scales
No more karma, no more bribes
Here come the angel executioner
Executing the sentence 
Or eternal life and its recompense.

As I was quietly contemplating my lot
A soft voice, above the furious wind
Asked me the following:
“Tell me, “can you with one word, calm the waves?
Perhaps, are you the captain of your own ship?
Can your eyes pierce the dark clouds
And predict your own future?”

Recognizing the divine presence and the voice
That saved my life many times before,
From war, from human violence,
From unchained elements,
I left my appeased heart
In the hands of my Savior
Who invites all to come and rest
In the secure love that emanates 
from the mercy seat  surrounded
by the wings of the worshiping cherubim.

At last, my struggle calmed by his Word
The ship arrived safe at port
Where, from the beginning
It was following its intended course.

Grace and Peace to you all. Remember the cross of Jesus who gives us the victory by the shed blood of the Lamb and the testimony of our lips confessing that He is the Lord and the Savior of our souls. 

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