Archive for March, 2009

Rich Prepare for Apocalypse

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

“Orthodox” 16th Century Representation of the “Apocalypse”


The following news item was of interest:

The rich prepare for the apocalypse
Baltimore Sun – March 24, 2009
By Dan Rodricks, award-winning columnist for the Baltimore Sun since 1979…
There’s something else going on. I call it: hoarding up for the apocalypse.

I have been watching the concentration of wealth in this country accelerate during the past 10 years in particular. The gap between middle class and rich has become wider and wider, and the gap between rich and poor has become so vast as to be immeasurable…

Knowing that it wasn’t always so, I’ve tried to figure out why so many millionaires of the corporate class do everything within their power to become multimillionaires and even billionaires, piling on layer after layer of wealth, beyond anything most people can imagine as necessary in a lifetime…

Hoarding for the apocalypse calls for belief that the end is coming and that wealth will insulate the wealthy from the misery that will befall the rest of us. (The rest of us might harbor apocalyptic fears, from time to time, but we haven’t figured out what to do about them. We’re wage-earners, for the most part, or the owners of small businesses. We haven’t all that much to hoard – not enough to make a difference, anyway – so we keep working to keep the bills paid and the kids fed.)

The apocalyptic rich have hoarded cash and assets – and they continue to accumulate as much as possible – and they’ve built retreats to allay a deep fear that, when the world starts to fall apart, they will be at the top of a mountain, in a secure compound with its own source of energy and potable water (and a decade’s supply of cabernet), isolated from the screaming, rioting masses.

As the world’s population grows, as the recession expands and unemployment worsens, as the globe continues to warm and the oceans rise, as questions about the future of energy and natural resources become graver, as civil unrest becomes a greater concern, the masters of the universe grab all they can. It’s an Idaho panhandle mentality on Wall Street – hoard money and assets, and enough golf balls to ride out the coming cataclysm. There’s social Darwinism at play in this, to be sure – survival of the richest – but it’s the most cynical and self-centered kind, based not on enterprise or capitalism, but on a dark view of the future. Their concept of the greater good is gone, and they certainly display nothing you might call civic-mindedness or patriotism.

Of course, the cynics always existed among us, but they’ve grown in number in recent years, and they have more power and influence than ever. Those who work in financial markets and deal in commodities, those who watch global trends in energy and food production and population growth – those who have seen the numbers – I believe they have become gravely pessimistic about what life on Earth in the next quarter-century will become, and that’s what drives them.

Certainly they would not say these things publicly, and they will dismiss my two-bit theory as two-bit pop psychology. But I think there’s something to this. Why else would they keep buying and upgrading their private jets? The day will come when they need to make a quick escape to their mountain retreats, leaving the rest of us suckers on the ground.,0,6859525.column

While some are making preparations, the rich (and everyone else) may wish to notice what the Bible warns:

24 Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! (Mark 10:24)

1 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! 2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days (James 5:1-3).

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:19-21).

19′They will throw their silver into the streets, And their gold will be like refuse; Their silver and their gold will not be able to deliver them

In the day of the wrath of the LORD; They will not satisfy their souls, Nor fill their stomachs, Because it became their stumbling block of iniquity  (Ezekiel 7:19).

24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works (Matthew 16:24-27).

Even though everyone should consider some physical preparations (see Physical Preparation Scriptures for Christians), the idea that many wealthy may have about survival is not the answer.

Notice the only group that God promises physical protection for the entire 3 1/2 years:

7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write,…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 (Revelation 3:10).

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. 15 So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. 16 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. 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 (Revelation 12:14-17).

The above shows that even among Christians, only some (the Philadelphians) will be protected and the others will not be.

So, while some physical steps are wise, it is necessary to be truly a Philadelphian Christian for protection during the time of the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord.  Wealth is not physical salvation.

Some articles of related interest may include:

What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know? Does God actually have a plan for YOU personally?
Are You Saved? Do You Love Jesus? What is a True Christian? What is the Gospel? Evangelist Richard Ames answers those important questions.
Physical Preparation Scriptures for Christians. We all know the Bible prophecies famines. Should we do something?
Is Third Tithe Still Valid Today? Some in the COGs no longer teach payment of third tithe, is this biblically correct?
What is a True Philadelphian? Many claim to be part of the Philadelphia era of the Church, but is claiming enough? This article has biblical and historical evidence about who really are the Philadelphians.
The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now essentially the Living Church of God.
There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra This article discusses a biblical ‘place of safety’ and includes quotes from the Bible and Herbert W. Armstrong on this subject–thus, there is a biblically supported alternative to the rapture theory.
Is There A Secret Rapture for the Church? When and Where is the Church Protected? What does the Bible really teach? Does the Church flee or is it taken up just prior to the great tribulation? Who really is left behind?
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? When does the six thousand years of human rule end?
Can the Great Tribulation Begin in 2009, 2010, or 2011? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord?

Obama and Islam

Monday, March 30th, 2009


In a move that I long anticipated, notice the following:

White House Muslim recruiting: By book
Chicago Tribune, Washington Bureau – March 29, 2009

In a bid to get more Muslim Americans working in the Obama administration, a book with resumes of 45 of the nation’s most qualified — Ivy League grads, Fortune 500 executives and public servants, all carefully vetted — has been submitted to the White House…

Now, Muslim Americans — who according to a recent study overwhelmingly backed Obama in the November election — have been carefully watching the administration’s every step.

Most expressed disappointment with Obama’s initial silence during Israel’s offensive in Gaza. They’ve been encouraged by the video message the president issued recently to the Iranian people on the eve of the Persian holiday of Nowruz and want more diplomacy with nations such as Syria and Iran. They’ve been troubled by FBI admissions of sending what activists call “agent provocateurs” into mosques and the bureau’s break in ties with Muslim-American organizations such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR.

Community leaders hope the White House will consider Muslim Americans for posts in the administration…

A White House aide confirmed the Obama administration had received the resumes, noting that it is “not unusual” for the administration to consider lists of job candidates suggested by constituent groups.

“We’re still very much in the middle of the (hiring) process, even when it comes to very senior government employees. These things take time and they’re all based on finding the right fit,” said the aide, who declined to be identified because he is not authorized to speak publicly for the administration…

Eboo Patel, founder and executive director of the Chicago-based Interfaith Youth Core, said Muslims need to ask themselves what they can do for their country.

“While that question would have made many feel squeamish in the Bush administration, asking that question in the Obama administration should elevate us,” said Patel, who was recently appointed to the president’s advisory council on faith-based and neighborhood partnerships. “During the era of Obama, it feels right to ask and answer that question.”

I have long been writing that I felt that President Obama would likely be more sympathetic to Islamic interests than previous US presidents.  This may be a chance for him to prove it.

Regular readers may be aware of something that Forbes published last October:

Is Barack Obama the “promised warrior” coming to help the Hidden Imam of Shiite Muslims conquer the world?

…a pro-government Web site published a Hadith (or tradition) from a Shiite text of the 17th century. The tradition comes from Bahar al-Anvar (meaning Oceans of Light) by Mullah Majlisi, a magnum opus in 132 volumes and the basis of modern Shiite Islam.

According to the tradition, Imam Ali Ibn Abi-Talib (the prophet’s cousin and son-in-law) prophesied that at the End of Times and just before the return of the Mahdi, the Ultimate Saviour, a “tall black man will assume the reins of government in the West.” Commanding “the strongest army on earth,” the new ruler in the West will carry “a clear sign” from the third imam, whose name was Hussein Ibn Ali. The tradition concludes: “Shiites should have no doubt that he is with us.

(Taheri, A. Obama and Ahmadinejad. 10.26.08, for more details, please see Barack Obama in Islamic Prophecy?).

And while I DO NOT feel that Barack Obama is a secret Muslim, I do believe that his presence and his actions will help lead to the rise of an Islamic leader consistent with the following that was published by the old Worldwide Church of God nearly 30 years ago:

But who is the “king of the south”?…in verse 40 we skip to “the time of the end”…The verse undoubtedly found partial fulfillment in the offensive of 1896…But Mussolini did not finish the prophecy…Just as there is yet to be a final “king of the north”…there may very well emerge in the same manner a final “king of the south”–an overall leader of an Arab-Moslem confederation, possibly bearing the very title Mahdi……a prophetic psalm (Psalm 83) provides additional insight into the Mideast picture. Germany (Assyria in Bible prophecy) and perhaps the rest of Europe will be in league in the future with a union of Arab nations…But in the end, this European-Arab alliance will prove short-lived…And the king of the north shall come against him [the king of the south]…The Arab-Moslem Confederation will, of course, be thrown into chaotic disarray in the fact of invasion. (Arab World in Prophecy, Plain Truth magazine, December 1979)

The situation seems to be becoming set for an Islamic leader to rise up, and if many believe the Shi’ite prophecy, many Muslims would tend to expect this military leader to rise up possibly during the time that Barack Obama is US President.

Some articles of related interest may include:

Is There A Future King of the South? Some no longer believe there needs to be. Might Egypt, Islam, Iran, Arabs, or Ethiopia be involved? What does the Bible say?
The Arab World In the Bible, History, and Prophecy The Bible discusses the origins of the Arab world and discusses the Middle East in prophecy. What is ahead for the Middle East and those who follow Islam?
Prophecy Obama: Prophecies of Barack Obama? Eight reasons why Barack Obama is apocalyptic and eight reasons why Barack Obama is not the Antichrist. Here are biblical and non-biblical prophecies, from around the world, that seem to discuss Barack Obama. Did Nostradamus predict Barack Obama dealing with the Antichrist?  Might Barack Obama set the stage for the kings of the North and South as at least one Shiite prophecy suggests?  This is the longest and most complete article on this page on Barack Obama prophecies.
Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States Some claim that Barack Obama is the prophesied “son of Kenya”, based up an early 20th century writing.
Barack Obama in Islamic Prophecy? There is actually a 17th century Shiite prophecy that some believe that Barack Obama will fulfill that will lead to a rising up of Islam.

Religion Booming in China

Sunday, March 29th, 2009


China probably is getting more religious adherents than other countries in recent years:

One billion souls to save
Christianity in China is booming. With 100 million believers, far more than the 74 million-member communist party, Jesus is a force to be reckoned with in the People’s Republic. We talk to the new faithful who love China – but love God more
The Times, London – March 28, 2009…

This is Friday night Bible class in Beijing. And it is a weekend venue of choice for growing numbers of well-off middle-class city sophisticates.

The fact that this class is technically illegal, run by pastors lacking approval from the state-sanctioned Protestant church, is not the attraction. These are not young people seeking a frisson of excitement from some underground activity. They are at the forefront of a movement sweeping China – the search for spiritual satisfaction now that Marx is démodé.

No attempt is made to conceal what is, in effect, an underground religious gathering. A sign in Chinese outside the conference room reads: “Hill of Golgotha Church meeting”. A board outside the hotel lift directs visitors to Hall 5. There is not a nod towards secrecy or even discretion. There is no sense of anxiety, let alone fear, that officials could burst in to break up this illegal assembly even though police do still frequently raid house churches run by underground Protestant pastors.

A spectacular success

In fact, across China religion is undergoing a defiant and extraordinary revival. Millions of Chinese are turning to familiar traditional faiths such as Buddhism and Taoism – a mystical belief with about 400 million adherents that is China’s only indigenous creed. Taoist believers, like Buddhists, visit temples across the country to burn incense, present offerings and request readings from fortune tellers. Others are finding comfort in Confucius, but it is Christianity that is leading the battle for China’s 1.3 billion souls…

Today, two Christian faiths are allowed to operate within carefully prescribed limits: the Catholics, who must worship in churches run by the State’s Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association and number about six million, and the Protestants, who operate under the aegis of their government-sanctioned religious body, the Three-Self Patriotic Movement – standing for self-governing, self-teaching and self-supporting. Their numbers are estimated at 21 million – about the population of Australia. All other Christian associations are illegal.

Those who participate in non-sanctioned churches run the risk of police raids, a beating or even jail. The situation is more fraught for the underground Catholic churches than it is for the Protestant get-togethers. An unknown number of Catholic priests, and even bishops, languish in jail, serving lengthy prison terms for their temerity in preaching allegiance to Rome. Beijing’s Communist Party rulers are wary of an organisation that is so well organised and also headed by a leader – the Pope – who can command the loyalty of millions.

But that doesn’t seem to put off the growing congregations. Indeed, official numbers fall far short of the actual total. Recent surveys calculate the number of Christians worshipping independently of the State churches in China to be as high as 100 million. That means that almost one in every ten Chinese may now be a Christian, making Christianity bigger than the 74 million-member Communist Party…

Why Christianity has such a hold remains something of an enigma. Many Chinese are looking to fill the chasm left by the collapse in Marxist ideology’s credibility in the wake of the disastrous ultra-leftist 1966-76 Cultural Revolution and the Tiananmen Square crackdown. It’s also possible that a religion from the West holds a particular attraction for Chinese looking for a more modern faith to complement the stunning success of capitalist-style economic reforms. But the sense of belonging may be the best way to explain why Christianity has been such a spectacular success story in China in the past few years…

“The future of Christianity in China is very different from in the West,” believes Pastor Jin. “In the West, Christianity is in retreat, especially in Europe, but in China it is growing by leaps and bounds.” He cites the stability the church offers to a population buffeted by decades of wrenching political change as one of most appealing aspects of the faith…

“China is a land that has been chosen by God. If the government did not interfere then many more Chinese would become followers. Our hearts are thirsty.” Disturbed to learn that my Chinese colleague remains firmly atheist, Zhang leans forward across the table and tries to persuade her. “You should find faith as soon as possible so that we can all be brothers and sisters in God. God will save you. He makes so many miracles. He will protect you.” A day later, he was picked up by the Beijing police and shipped back to Henan province.

True Christianity has been in China, but how much of the truth those in China know is hard to determine.

Chinese characters suggest that the ancient Chinese had knowledge of certain events in the Bible such as the tower of Babel:

tga tsan toe dzjen ie kou
Tower = Grass + Clay + Mankind + 1 + Mouth

The tower of Babel was built with bricks (grass and clay) and humans originally had one language (or mouth). It is possible that this symbol is showing that the ancient Chinese recognized a connection to the biblical tower of Babel.

Interestingly, notice what a Chinese character meaning righteous is made of:

ie jang so kur
Righteous(ness) = Sheep + Hand + Lance

The New Testament account of Abel refers to:

…the blood of righteous Abel (Matthew 23:35).

And the Bible refers to Christ as the lamb of God who was slain by the hand of a man who forced a sword of some type into Him. Hence, even some Chinese symbolism has some ties to the Bible (please see the article China, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 1: Genesis and Chinese Characters ).

Hopefully, many in China will pray, study their Bibles, and study the History of Early Christianity so that they will be able to practice what the Bible calls “the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3) and not be subject to the religious deception that will come further upon the world, which is expected once the now religiously lax Europeans begin to embrace an ecumenical religion that is destined to affect the whole world.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

China, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 1: Genesis and Chinese Characters This article provides information showing that the Chinese peoples must have known about various accounts in the Book of Genesis up until their dispersion after the Tower of Babel.
China, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 2: The Sabbath and Some of God’s Witness in China When did Christianity first come to China? And is there early evidence that they observed the seventh day sabbath?
Asia in Prophecy What is Ahead for China? Is it a “King of the East”? What will happen to nearly all the Chinese, Russians, and others of Asia? China in prophecy, where? Who has the 200,000,000 man army related to Armageddon?
Europa, the Beast, and Revelation Where did Europe get its name? What might Europe have to do with the Book of Revelation? What about “the Beast”? What is ahead for Europe?

Ronald Weinland Anniversary Reminder

Sunday, March 29th, 2009



In his sermon a year ago this date, Ronald Weinland made the following claims:

If by Pentecost I’m just going to make this real clear to everyone. If by Pentecost it is not powerfully and abundantly clear that there has been a great deal of destruction that will clearly encompass a third of all plant life in the US and at least the clear results of this mingled with blood the death of very much animal life and the beginning of large numbers of human life then I will stop preaching. Just so all the critics and everyone out there will understand. I am true to my word in these things. OK? And for all the critics if by the end of July and for most likely around Pentecost if nothing has clearly caused great destruction and death I will make it very clear that I was a false prophet. I will do exactly what I said I would do on all of those interviews that I have held; to do less, aah well, would be quite insane. (Weinland R. Three More Weeks–quote from near the 1 hour 28 minute point from the CGPFK website version. Sermon given March 29, 2008).

Since Pentecost in 2008 was June 8th, by mid-June of last year Ronald Weinland was to stop preaching according to his own words.

And by mid-July 2008 apologize and publicly admit his error.

Instead on April 19th, he pronounced curses on his critics and by April 26th, he changed one date. And by late June 2008, he changed other dates. And in August 2008, he declared his ideas about critics to be the “50th truth” he restored to the church.

There were many times that Ronald Weinland claimed that he would tell the truth and admit he was false if events he predicted did not come to pass. Yet, when they did not, he instead changed his dates and failed to keep his word.

That makes him a liar and a false prophet.

Has Ronald Weinland not read the 15th Psalm?

Notice that God shows that the man He approves keeps his word even if it hurts to do so:

1 LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill?
2 He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart 3 and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman, 4 who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the LORD,who keeps his oath even when it hurts, 5 who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken. NIV

Ronald Weinland has not done so and does not have the approval of God.

Ronald Weinland has also falsely declared that he was one of the two witnesses and that the Great Tribulation began (on two different dates) in 2008.

Those who support him need to realize that he is a false prophet.  And they need to notice something else that the Bible says:

21 “And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?’– 22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him (Deuteronomy 18:21-22).

Many things that Ronald Weinland has spoken have not come to pass.  He has spoken presumptuously.

People need to believe the Bible over the claims of Ronald Weinland.

Some articles of related interest may include:

Who Are The Two Witnesses? What is their job? What does the Bible reveal? What has the Church of God taught on this subject? Might even Roman Catholic prophecies give some clues here?
Concerns About Ronald Weinland’s Church of God-Preparing for the Kingdom of God Ronald Weinland falsely claims to be one of the two witnesses God is raising up and that the end will come in 2008. Is he a false prophet? He has at least one other view that suggests that he is not part of the COG.
Can the Great Tribulation Begin in 2009, 2010, or 2011? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord?

Married a Minority in Britain

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

Hindu Marriage Ceremony


In yesterday’s annoucements, LCG reported:

The Married Minority. “Married couples are in a minority for the first time since records began” in Britain in 1862 (The Times, February 13, 2009). “Only one of 50 single women now marries each year, and only one in 43 single men.” The average age at first marriage for men is now almost 32 and for women it is nearly 30. In 1970, the average age of first marriage for men and women respectively was 24 and 20. Jill Kirby of the Center for Policy Studies observed, “The decline of marriage is worrying because of the very clear evidence of the importance to children of growing up in a married family.” Research “has shown that Britain stands out in Europe and the Western world…” with its marriage statistics (ibid). God stated in Genesis 2 that it “is not good that man should be alone” (v. 18), so He made a mate for Adam. God intended marriage from the very beginning, because it is the building block of society! Strong societies have low divorce rates and higher rates of intact families. Low marriage rates are one more “symptom” of the social and moral decline of societies around the world. Israelite-descended nations, instead of being the “model nations” for good that God intended (Exodus 19:5-6), have become an example of what is wrong in this Satan-inspired world. However, changes are coming when Jesus Christ returns and restores all things (Acts 3:19-21). When that happens, all nations will be taught the right way to have happy marriages and happy families—just as God intended from the beginning.

This is a sad commentary on British society.  But of course, this is not strictly a problem in Britain as much (though not all) of Western society is becoming more this way.

While there are marriage problems in places like India, the fact is that they are more likely to be and remain married than many of the supposedly “Christian” nations of the West.

I would suggest that if people in Britain and elsewhere actually observed the Ten Commandments, the situation would reverse fairly quickly.

Some articles on the Ten Commandments are:

Were the Ten Commandments in Effect Before Mount Sinai? Some have said not. This article provides biblical quotes to answer this important question.
Job and the Ten Commandments Was Job written prior to Mount Sinai? Did Job know about the ten commandments? This article provides biblical answers to those questions.
What Did Jesus Teach About the Ten Commandments? This article quotes what Jesus actually said about them (His words are in red).
Were the Ten Commandments Nailed to the Cross? Some have said so. This article provides some biblical quotes to answer this important question.
What Did Paul Actually Teach About the Ten Commandments? Many say Paul taught against the ten commandments. Is this true? This article quotes Paul with his words in green.
Are the Ten Commandment Still in Effect? This article quotes the ten commandments and combines some of the previous articles into one article about the ten commandments. The commandments are shown at Mount Sinai, before Mount Sinai, in the teachings of Jesus, after the crucifixion, and in the teachings of Paul. It addresses the most common “traditions of men” regarding them as well.
Were the Pharisees Condemned for Keeping the Law or Reasoning Around it? Many believe that the Pharisees were condemned for keeping the law, but what does your Bible say? If they were not condemned for that, what were they condemned for?
The Ten Commandments Reflect Love, Breaking them is Evil Some feel that the ten commandments are a burden. Is that what Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and John taught?
Was the Commandment to Love the Only Command? Some have stated that John’s writings teach this, but is that what the Bible really says?
The Ten Commandments and the Early Church Did Jesus and the Early Church keep the ten commandments? What order were they in? Here are quotes from the Bible and early writings.

Obama, Afghanistan, and Nostradamus

Saturday, March 28th, 2009



Notice the following news item from Time:

Obama Afghanistan Plan Breaks Old Ground

Did George Bush leave one of his old speeches in the Resolute Desk? As President Obama unveiled his Afghanistan-Pakistan policy Friday, it was hard to miss the echoes of his predecessor’s “surge” strategy in Iraq. Indeed, says James Dobbins, the State Department veteran who served as President Bush’s first envoy to Afghanistan, Obama’s plan is “largely an extension of where the Bush Administration, in its last years, was heading,with some refinements and additions.”

Like Bush, Obama plans to send more U.S. troops to fight the insurgency in Afghanistan…

The parallels don’t end there. Bush’s “surge” strategy was twinned with an effort to capitalize on disputes between al-Qaeda and its Iraqi allies; eventually, the majority of Sunni insurgents were induced, with promises of money or political power, to stop attacking U.S. forces and turn their guns on the jihadists. Obama, likewise, hopes to drive a wedge between what he describes as “uncompromising” Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders on the one hand, and less implacable insurgents who may be more inclined, for the right price, to make a deal with Western forces or the Afghan government…

In any event, many of Obama’s innovations will take years to produce results, and, in the meantime, there’s still a war to fight. Anyone looking to the President for a bold new military strategy would have been disappointed. “I don’t think there’s anything [in the speech] that we’re going to look back in some years and say, ‘This was a turning point in the way we fight a counterinsurgency,'” says Jason Campbell, an Afghanistan expert at the Brookings Institute. In the main, that’s because Obama doesn’t have the resources for a dramatic military push — although that may come later.,8599,1888257,00.html

There is a reason that I reported this–and it was not to point out Bush-Obama parallels.

On January 1, 2009, I anticipated this action based upon earlier statements that Barack Obama had made (see Nostradamus’ Predictions of Obama: A Hoax?).

My point in reporting it now has to do with prophecy.

The following is from Catholic seer called Nostradamus, and followed with the Comment from a Catholic writer named Yves Dupont:

Quatrain 50:

Under the sign of Libra, America shall reign, Shall hold power in the sky and on land, Shall never perish under Asian forces, Until seven Pontificates have passed. (Yves Dupont, p.94)

Comment: As a great world power, the U.S.A. began its “reign” during the first World War–but it was not the greatest world power; in 1918 … In 1945, however, the U.S.A. was, by and large, the greatest world power. I think it is from the reign of Pius XII that the seven Pontificates must be counted, and this brings us to the last Pope according to St. Malachy’s list–when the world will end. (comment is from the Catholic writer Yves Dupont personally in 1973, Catholic Prophecy: The Coming Chastisement, p.94)

Five “pontificates” have past, one exists, and one is left per the Malachy writings.

It appears that these Catholic writings suggest that the end of the USA will thus be in the 21st century as that is when the last pope would need to appear.  As far as Asian forces go, this could be interpreted to include terrorists from places like Afghanistan and others parts of Asia (Barack Obama has clearly decided to increase the US military presence  in Afghanistan)–but it could mean nothing at all.

For those who are not familiar with the Catholic Saint Malachy, it needs to be mentioned that he allegedly came up with a list of 112 popes from the 12th century to present (although the descriptions are probably little more specific than those ascribed to Nostradamus, and many “antipopes” are in the list).  There is only one pope left on the Malachy list (Pope Benedict is number 111).  Some current (as well as older) Catholic writings suggest that this could be an antipope (for specific Catholic private prophecies which could be about him and the current pope, please see One More Pope?).  Some also suspect that this is one who could be the Antichrist.

Whether increasing US troops in Afghanistan will lead to the fulfillment of any thing that Nostradamus wrote is not clear.

What is clear, however, is that the US continues to spread its military thinly and is borrowing so much that at some point it will not be able to try to be the world’s “policeman”.

The USA simply does not have resources to continue fighting on some many fronts.  The USA needs real repentance, as total disaster is its only other option in this age.

Some items related to the topics raised in this article would include:

Prophecies of Barack Obama? Eight reasons why Barack Obama is apocalyptic and eight reasons why Barack Obama is not the Antichrist. Here are there biblical and non-biblical prophecies, from around the world, that seem to discuss Barack Obama. Did Nostradamus predict Barack Obama dealing with the Antichrist? Might Barack Obama set the stage for the kings of the North and South as at least one Shiite prophecy suggests? This is the longest and most complete article on this page on Barack Obama prophecies.
Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States Some claim that Barack Obama is the prophesied “son of Kenya”, based up an early 20th century writing.
Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare? Here are current and historical perspectives on a matter which show the beliefs of the true church on military participation. Is war proper for Christians?
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, British, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first?
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin? When does the Bible show that economic collapse will affect the United States?

WCG Losing More Knowledge of Salvation

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

Worldwide Church of God Transformed from Truth to Fairy Tales


In its weekly announcement last night, WCG’s J. Tkach wrote the following:


Some people argue that repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ are really not necessary for salvation…

What a person believes, what a person does, or how a person lives, makes no difference – salvation for everyone is already determined and certain. Such a belief is called universalism.

Certainly, the grace of God is very wide. We’re told in 1 John 2:2, speaking of Jesus: “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (NIV)

And Colossian 1:19-20 says, “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” (NIV)

That tells us that everyone, without exception, is included in Christ’s atoning work and is reconciled to God through Christ’s blood.

And yet, Paul also wrote in Romans 1:16: “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes:…”

…Contrary to universalism, the Bible teaches that there is salvation only in Jesus Christ…all who remain hostile to God remain unsaved by their own choice.

… Those who refuse God’s love and fellowship are refusing salvation. And he will not allow hostile, destructive people, to whom his love means nothing, spoil his kingdom for everyone else.

Although there is a line above that I will comment about (and I edited out several statements that were in biblical error), WCG generally speaking (based upon previous writings), has not completely abandoned the notion that God will ultimately offer salvation to all, though the above does not state that.  It appears that J. Tkach put that letter out to distance WCG from the accusation that it teaches “universalism”.

Now while he is correct that all need to accept Christ, he neglected to mention that many are blinded now and will not have their real opportunity for salvation until after the resurrection.

When he stated, “all who remain hostile to God remain unsaved by their own choice”, he neglected to state that there have been untold numbers of people throughout history in islands, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, South America, Australia, and even Europe and North America, who have never even heard of Jesus Christ, and billions more who did not learn enough about Christ to truly accept salvation.

At this point, I wish to clearly remind everyone that God does have a plan of salvation, that His plan of salvation is all emcompassing, that God will offer salvation to all that ever lived, and that nearly everyone who ever lived will apparently accept His offer.

WCG used to teach that this opportunity for salvation came on the last of the biblical holy days called the Last Great Day.  But since it no longer endorses the biblical holy days, but instead now endorses those with non-Christian traditions like Easter, it has trouble understanding God’s universal offer of salvation.

Basically, those of us in the Living Church of God believe that God has revealed His plan of salvation in the Bible, and that when we observe the biblical holy days, that they lay out God’s plan of salvation in a clear way.  A way that those who prefer non-biblical substitutes (like Christmas and Easter) generally do not understand.

The first of the annual holy days is Passover.  It pictures that Jesus was sacrificed for the sins of humanity.  It is followed by the Days of Unleavened Bread which picture that forgiven Christians still should be diligent about trying to keep sin out of their lives.  It is later followed by Pentecost which pictures that God is only calling a relative few in this age, months later it is followed by the Feast of Trumpets which shows that Jesus will return, which is followed by The Day of Atonement which shows that Satan will be bound, which is followed by the The Feast of Tabernacles which pictures Christ’s 1000 year reign on the earth, and that is followed by the Last Great Day which pictures that God will then plead with all humanity and offer salvation to all that were not called in this age.

Thus, while J. Tkach is correct that the Bible does not teach “universalism” (salvation for all no matter what), he failed to teach that God will offer salvation to all.  And I found his letter misleading as it implies (perhaps unintentionally) that everyone can be saved now, and that simply is not the case.  But all who do not have their real opportunity now, will be granted a clear opportunity for salvation later.

And if this is a new concept to you, you really need to prove this from your Bible.  Please study it along with the article Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis).  While many claim to understand salvation, many simply do not realize what the Bible really teaches.

Some articles of related interest could include:

Hope of Salvation: How the Living Church of God differ from most Protestants How the Living Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background.
Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis Do you believe what the Bible actually teaches on this? Will all good things be restored? Does God’s plan of salvation take rebellion and spiritual blindness into account?
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days.
Passover and the Early Church Did the early Christians observe Passover? What did Jesus and Paul teach? Why did Jesus die for our sins?

Italian Government Might Shake Up EU

Friday, March 27th, 2009

European Union Tower of Babel Poster


There are concerns that the new government situation in Italy may shake up the EU:

Italian right-wing merger to shake up EU parliament politics
EUobserver – March 27, 2009
BRUSSELS – The populist right-wing party of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Friday officially merges with the post-fascist Alleanza Nazionale at the founding congress of Il Popolo della Liberta, the powerful new rightist bloc that is not only set to dominate Italian politics for the foreseeable future, but will also wield considerable power in the European Parliament after the June elections.

A three-day, €3 million extravaganza, with jumbotron screens and menus is to celebrate the fusing of the two parties, a long-expected move that brings Mr Berlusconi one step closer to his dream of a unified Italian right.

The Italian leader will become the head of Il Popolo della Liberta (People of Freedom), although his ambitious rival and chief of the now disbanded Alleanza, Gianfranco Fini has indicated he has his sights on the leadership should Mr Berlusconi exit the stage.

“Berlusconi knows that his strong and recognised leadership can in no way become a personality cult,” Mr Fini, also the speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, the Italian parliament’s lower house, told the final conference of his own party.

“We must guarantee that the People of Freedom is not the party of one person, but of one country.”

The move cements the coalition between two of the three major forces on the Italian right. Forza Italia and the Alleanza Nazionale have partnered since the 1990s and in last year’s general election ran together under the Il Popolo della Liberta banner, prefiguring today’s fusion.

The Alleanza Nazionale was formed by Mr Fini out of the Italian Social Movement (MSI), the former neo-fascist party, together with a handful of conservative ex-Christian Democrats and Liberals.

Despite once having called Italy’s fascist leader, Benito Mussolini, the greatest statesman of the 20th century, Mr Fini has since tried to distance himself from his far right past, making numerous trips to Israel and even criticising elements of the recent hardline security package that targets immigrants and minorities.

Mr Berlusconi’s dream is not fully realised, however, as the xenophobic Northern League remains steadfastly outside the bloc.

Italian president of the European Parliament?

The Italian leader has already set the cat amongst the pigeons in the European Parliament’s centre-right grouping, the European People’s Party-European Democrats (EPP-ED), in which Il Popolo della Liberta is set to be the largest party after June.

The largest national delegation in the grouping, Germany’s Christian Democrats and their Bavarian cousins, the Christian Social Union, are expected to shrink following the EP elections and the UK Conservatives have announced they are to exit the group. Meanwhile, the entry of the Alleanza Nazionale into the EPP under umbrella of Il Popolo della Liberta significantly beefs up the Italian delegation in the centre-right grouping.

Mr Berlusconi’s bloc is testing its predicted new bulk, having this week sent a letter to other EPP national delegations announcing that he will be supporting MEP Mario Mauro for the presidency of the chamber.

The move threatens to scuttle the gentleman’s agreement between the EPP and the Party of European Socialists (PES), the second largest political family in the house, that Polish centre-right MEP Jerzy Buzek would be president for the first two and a half years of the five-year presidential term, and Martin Schulz, the German Social Democrat leader of the PES would be president for the remaining half term.

The Mussolini connection has raised several eyebrows.

However, the fact is that a variety of governments will come and go, but ultimately the EU will prosper according to the Bible.  And will be something other than a democracy (which even now it is not).

Two articles of possibly related interest may include:

Europa, the Beast, and Revelation Where did Europe get its name? What might Europe have to do with the Book of Revelation? What about “the Beast”? What is ahead for Europe?
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin? When does the Bible show that economic collapse will affect the United States?

RCM: On Prayer and Fasting

Friday, March 27th, 2009

Roderick C. Meredith


In a commentary this morning, LCG’s R.C. Meredith wrote the following:

Scripture tells us what our Savior did to acquire spiritual strength, in connection with the devil’s attack on Him: “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted [or tried] by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry” (Matthew 4:1–2). Notice—He fasted!

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught His disciples to give generously from the heart, and to pray to God continually. Notice that He said, “Moreover, when you fast…” (Matthew 6:16). He did not say “if” you fast; He took it for granted that His disciples would fast. Christ said, “when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward” (ibid.). In other words, the hypocrites’ reward is whatever praise they receive from other people for showing off their fasting.

We Christians are not to punish ourselves, thinking that this will force God to hear our prayers. God is not interested in penance. That is just as if you or I would take whips and beat each other’s backs, saying, “Look at our suffering, God, so hear us.” The idea behind our fasting is quite different from that. We seek the invisible God. We fast to humble ourselves—to make ourselves realize how weak we are, and that we are little children, saying, in effect: “Father, we are up against a great army, and there are great forces around us. We don’t always know what we should do, and we need your help. We need guidance. And we need deliverance. Please help us draw near to You.”

Prayer and fasting go together. There was a time when the prophet Daniel really, desperately wanted to know what would happen in the future: “Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes” (Daniel 9:3). Prayer always goes along with fasting.

Daniel went on: “And I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confession, and said, ‘O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments, we have sinned…’” (vv. 4–5). Notice he did not say, “Oh, we’ve been good, and we’ve done no wrong, and You don’t have any right to punish us.”

Rather, he told God he was sorry, and that “we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments…. Lord, righteousness belongs to You, but to us shame of face” (vv. 5, 7).

Notice the result of Daniel’s prayerful fast. An archangel came to him and told him: “At the beginning of your supplications the command went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved” (v. 23). Why was Daniel so greatly loved? Because he humbled himself sincerely before God.

Prayer and fasting are at the center of a true Christian’s life! To learn more about that life, read our article, What Is True Christianity?, or our free booklet, Your Ultimate Destiny! As you draw closer to God through prayer and fasting, you will come to know Him far more than you ever imagined possible!

You can click here for the complete commentary.

Dr. Meredith called a fast for LCG members beginning tonight at sunset (for more details, please go to the News of the Living Church of God page).

Obama the Great?

Thursday, March 26th, 2009


The following news story shows that some of the Orthodox politically seem to forget the Bible:

Associated Press – March 25, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) — Obama the Great?

President Barack Obama was compared favorably to Alexander the Great on Wednesday during a White House reception honoring Greek Independence Day, with the leader of the Greek Orthodox Church in America saying the president should follow the example of the ancient military conqueror to help solve some of Greece’s problems.

“I will tell Michelle that I’ve been compared to Alexander the Great,” the president told 200 guests, many of them Greek-Americans from Obama’s hometown of Chicago. “I will see whether that gets me a little more respect at home. At home she knows she’s still the boss.”

Obama said many of the Founding Fathers were students of Greek history and turned to ancient texts for guidance. He said it was a cruel irony that the Greeks tested democracy but then faced a struggle to achieve their own independence 188 years ago.

Archbishop Demetrios, primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, dressed in his black traditional headdress and robe, also noted the strong ties of freedom and democracy the two countries share. He said he prays every day for the president, and hopes that Obama will follow the “brilliant example of Alexander the Great” in helping Greece “cut the Gordian knot” of unresolved issues — a reference to a legend involving Alexander and a difficult problem solved by bold action.

Alexander the Great was an ego-driven warrior who conquered lands and peoples in southern Europe, the Middle East, northern Africa, and all the way to northwestern India.  Alexander cut the “Gordian knot” to motivate troops to follow him.

In all due respect to the Archbishop, if he would look a bit more into the history of early Christianity, he would realize that his church has changed its position from being opposed to its members in military conflict to one of encouraging them to do so.

I would comment, however, that President Obama, in a sense like Alexander, has been fairly bold in his new job.

So bold that President Obama apparently will hasten the day when the creditors will rise up against the USA.   But, accumulating debt and engaging in policies that encourage abortions, in my opinion, should not be categorized as brilliant.  The Archbishop may also wish to read those passages in the Bible that warn against those type of actions.

Some items related to the topics raised in this article would include:

Prophecies of Barack Obama? Eight reasons why Barack Obama is apocalyptic and eight reasons why Barack Obama is not the Antichrist. Here are there biblical and non-biblical prophecies, from around the world, that seem to discuss Barack Obama. Did Nostradamus predict Barack Obama dealing with the Antichrist? Might Barack Obama set the stage for the kings of the North and South as at least one Shiite prophecy suggests? This is the longest and most complete article on this page on Barack Obama prophecies.
Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States Some claim that Barack Obama is the prophesied “son of Kenya”, based up an early 20th century writing.
Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare? Here are current and historical perspectives on a matter which show the beliefs of the true church on military participation. Is war proper for Christians?
Abortion, the Bible, and a Woman’s Right to Choose Do you know what the Bible teaches on this? Has the Roman Catholic Church allowed abortions? What about the Living Church of God?
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Orthodox Church and the Living Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?