The Apple Of God's Eye

May 4, 2010

Men, Do You Rule Your Household Well?

antiochfamilychurch.com/vision.htm

How do you, as a man, fit into your family structure. Do you lead, as God commands, or do you participate in a committee family government? Worse, does your wife lead you?

These are important questions to ask the true Christian, because they lead to him, his wife and children enjoying the blessings of God’s benevolent government. The only way to do that is for God to lead through the head – the man and his faith in his Creator. He must ask for the love, patience, wisdom and judgment to govern properly with the strength and assurance required of him.

The Bible demands that a man “rule his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity.” Although this mainly refers to being fit to lead in the Church, the principle can easily be applied to family leadership.

“Ruling well” can be a daunting task for a man. He must exhibit Jesus Christ’s  husbandly qualities towards his wife and God’s fatherly love towards children. Such a subject can be extremely volatile in today’s liberal climate.  We suffer from a world being openly hostile to strong, masculine leadership. Society dictates that such leadership hurts women or children, and in large part, the family. But this hard headed stance doesn’t diminish what God says about family government. But unless men turn to God, instead of displaying open weakness, they choke off God’s ability to lead them.

Many men today fear failure being held over their head. They reason that if the wife is involved in decisions, the burden of mistakes can be distributed. But such a stance shows spiritual immaturity and an inability to be led through God with confidence and authority. (more…)

August 9, 2009

Jesus Christ: A Biblical Vision Of True Masculinity

What is a true man? A cowboy? A bodybuilder? Real masculinity is…  Source: ArtToday, Inc.

What is a true man? A cowboy? A bodybuilder? Real masculinity is… Source: ArtToday, Inc.

WHAT kind of God was it that died for you? Was He a ninety-seven-pound weakling? Is He the Little Lord Jesus away in the manger? Was He short and squat — a bare five feet, three?

What about the paintings of Christ — the sickly effeminate ones — are they representative of the real Jesus Christ? How about Mary’s little lamb? Does this nursery rhyme have any connection with Jesus Christ?

A Wrong Concept Image

For many of us a wrong concept of Christ began way back in kindergarten. The false concept, the wrong picture is partially the result of an “innocent” nursery rhyme, “Mary had a little lamb, his fleece was white as snow and everywhere that Mary went, that lamb was sure to go …” Why Mary’s little lamb — why not Betty’s or Johnny’s little lamb?

That “harmless” nursery rhyme was inspired by “the god of this world” (II Cor. 4:4). It subconsciously conditioned our young, pliable minds to think in terms of a little weak lamb (Christ).

In the rhyme the lamb caricature depends on, looks to, leans on its protector “Mary.” It’s just another way of presenting an image picture of the Madonna and child. Mary’s motherly, domineering image penetrates our subconscious mind without our realizing. A sissified mama’s boy, weak Christ is the result!

As children, many of us were taught to kneel and pray a memorized prayer to a make-believe, imaginative, nursery-rhyme god! “Now I lay me down to sleep … my soul to keep …” The deception, the perversion does not stop in kindergarten. As adults, we are given a ninety-seven-pound weakling god. One that is so sickly and effeminate as to be stripped of all power! Jesus Christ may be a Negro, Oriental, Latin, or if you are an Anglo-Saxon, He’s probably a blond, blue-eyed, white-skinned Christ. Whatever the nationality, He is always the tired, washed-out one — a disgrace to humanity!

What Is Jesus Christ Really Like?

What are the facts? Surely this is not the picture of the true God we are to worship! What is Jesus Christ really like? What kind of a man was this God when He walked this earth as flesh almost two thousand years ago?

We don’t have to guess about the answers — they are sure, they are plain! They are found in the Bible! The true Jesus Christ is all powerful, He lives! He is the Almighty, ever-powerful, omnipotent God who speaks with a voice so strong that mountains literally quake in His presence. His voice is as a sound of many waters, thunderous waters of a GIANT, ROARING WATERFALL (Rev. 1:15).

God speaks to us today in great power! His voice is in the lightning, the thunder and tornadoes (Ps. 29:1-11). He shakes this earth in giant earthquakes, just as a child would shake a rag doll. That God — the real Jesus Christ, came to this earth A man’s man!! The Jesus Christ of your Bible was no weakling, no mama’s boy.

Jesus Christ was born of His Father, the one who said, “Let us make man in our image …” (Gen. 1:26). A vibrant, Holy, merciful, compassionate, kind and loving Father gave His son the power of the universe, the power to tell the future before it happens (Isa. 41:22). The Father is an all-powerful, pulsating, omnipotent force of energy that is the absolute of masculinity; He bequeathed those same masculine characteristics to His Son.

Jesus Christ was perfect, the very image of His Father in Heaven. He grew up to be as strong as the land He created. As a child, He traveled by foot all the way from Egypt to Palestine, camping out under the stars — stars that He created in the beginning with His Father (John 1:1-3).

At night, on the trip from Egypt to Palestine, the boy, Jesus, scurried around hunting firewood to cook the evening meal. When Dad said, “Son, it is time for bed” — Jesus Christ rolled up in a sheepskin beside the campfire and slept the sleep of peace, the sleep of a youthful, energetic boy who was to grow to be the greatest man ever to walk this earth!

The Carpenter’s Son

The carpenter in Christ’s time was no ordinary person. There were no power saws, no precut timber. All work was accomplished by muscle and brawn, by men who were REAL MEN! Joseph taught his son the trade of carpentry. In this trade, Jesus Christ developed a physique that would have made most athletes a little jealous. He grew tall, evenly muscled, tanned by the sun and wind!

Joseph and his son arose very early in the morning while it was still dark. They prayed and studied. Then at the crack of dawn, they were off to the forest to fell the trees needed for building. Jesus Christ swung an axe day after day. His muscles rippled under His tunic as He labored in the great out-of-doors.

The timber, once felled, was worked by an adz until it became a beam. At evening, Christ hoisted the work of His hands to His shoulders and trudged the long walk home, often arriving after dark. Foundations were dug in the rocky hillside of Palestine. They picked and shoveled out the earth, removing great boulders from their obstructive position.

There were no trucks carrying premixed concrete to roll up and pour the foundation. That was the work of a stonemason, the carpenter Joseph and his son. Boards too had to be sawed from the rough beams. From forest to foundation, from rock quarry to roof, the house became a reality.

The Great Storm

One evening, after a long, hard, tiresome day, Jesus turned to Peter and the other disciples and said, “Let’s go over to the other side of the sea where we can find a little peace and quiet away from the crowd.” The idea was as a command. It appealed to the rugged adventurous men at his side.

Immediately they boarded a good-sized boat anchored nearby intending to leave the crowd behind. The pressing crowd had other ideas. They had no intentions of losing sight of this outstanding, dynamic leader, who told them of the good news of a future Kingdom under God. Quite a number rushed to board other small boats intending to follow Him to the other side.

Casting off, they went only a short distance before the sky began to darken. Thunder and lightning flashed and roared through the sky. The crowds became fearful. The small boats turned back. The wind lifted. Peter, James, John and the other men, glanced nervously overhead at the ominous, threatening sky as they hurriedly battened down the boat.
The storm continued to build. Great waves churned, threatening to capsize them. The storm had all the power of a typhoon. Waves soon spilled over, filling the boat with water until it was ready to sink.

Frightened half out of their wits, the experienced fishermen, Peter, James and John labored furiously with the other disciples to keep the boat afloat. It was hopeless! They were sinking! Where was Jesus Christ? James answered, “He’s asleep, He found a few boat cushions and curled up to sleep in the back of the boat.”

Disturbed, angered, and frightened, Peter rushed back followed by the other disciples to find Christ. Sure enough, there He lay, protected from the storm, sound asleep! Peter shouted to be heard above the thunderous roar of the wind and waves. “Master, don’t you care if we all drown, this ship is about to sink and you aren’t even concerned enough to help save the boat.”

Jesus Christ opened His eyes, looked up at the wet, distraught, disheveled fishermen. What a sight they were. He couldn’t help but smile. Shedding the oilskin covering, He stood up and commanded the sea, “Be quiet you wind, waves be still.”

Instantly the sea was transformed from a raging, turbulent, fierce storm into a mill pond. The moon and the stars broke through the fast dissipating dark clouds and He said, “Why are you so fearful? Why is it that you have no confidence, no faith in me?” (Mark 4:35-40 — Phillips, RSV, Moffatt).

A Masculine Man

The Jesus Christ of your Bible enjoyed being around good friends like Peter, James and John. He and His disciples were hard-driving, dedicated men with a purpose, a goal in life. There were both serious moments and times of laughter around the campfire at night. A real man’s fellowship existed between these robust men of great strength.

Jesus Christ was a man of character, of stamina, of great determination. He fasted as few men are capable of fasting. Forty days and forty nights without food or water. That’s more than a full month! There was a reason. Deep within burned a singleness of purpose — your salvation and mine BY DEATH!!

A Thundering, Dynamic Personality

Near Passover time, Jesus walked over to Jerusalem. He passed by the Temple. What He saw stopped Him short in His tracks. He couldn’t believe His eyes! There in His Father’s Temple were merchants selling cattle, sheep and doves for sacrifices. The place was in an uproar, confusion, shouting men dickering for a better price in the very Temple of God!
Angered, He carefully fashioned a scourge of small cords. The next day He strode into the temple brushing aside those who were milling around. Grasping the first table He came to, He flipped it into the air. Money flew everywhere! The money changers were stunned.

Taking the scourge, He whipped it through the air, it snapped with a crack of a pistol. Animals scattered! Men fell over one another as they retreated to the nearest exit. A thundering voice called out after them, “Get these things out of here! You who make my Father’s House a house of merchandise.” Every last one meekly obeyed!

Imagine the headlines in the Jerusalem news the next day — that is if there had been a newspaper. Bold-faced headlines would have read, “Man from Nazareth turns temple upside down! — throws out money changers — drives out beasts — men shrink in fear!!”

There were no streetcars, no trains, no horses or carriages in 30 A.D. Jesus Christ walked from village to village. The highways were dirt and gravel. They were treacherous. Thieves abounded. Only a real man dared travel the dusty roads between Jerusalem and Jericho.

Remember the man who fell among thieves on the road to Jericho? They stripped him of his clothing, beat him senseless and left him for dead (Luke 10:30).

What Did it Take to Die?

Jesus Christ died on a stake for you! What did it take to die? What kind of day was it that Christ spent — His last day before His crucifixion? It began Tuesday morning, April 24, 31 A.D., very early in the morning. It ended in the most brutal murder ever suffered by a human being — agonizing hours of suffering climaxed by a slow, torturous death on a bloodied stake!
Source: The Good News, March 1968

June 18, 2009

Why Was Barnabas Called The Son Of Encouragement?

www.oneyearbibleblog.com

The apostle Barnabas bent over the bloodied body, perplexed and distressed. At the first moan and stir of what had appeared to be a corpse, the little coterie of Christians gasped in disbelief. Then the short, stocky torso turned. Paul slowly sat up among the blood stained stones.

An ecstatic Barnabas helped Paul to his feet. Paul had survived a stoning. Astonished, the group heard Paul announce he was alright, and watched him turn back toward the city again (Acts 14:19-20).

Such was the character of the man God chose to get the Gospel to the uttermost parts of the known gentile world. But what of the character of his relieved and grateful partner? What was the role of Barnabas in the Work at that time? What value does his example hold for us today?

Some may be surprised to learn that Barnabas was the major human instrument God used to employ Paul in the ministry, and to get the gentile Work off the ground.

Barnabas’s unique qualities

Barnabas was genuinely humble. He was able to see the good in others. Because of this, he became a prime factor in the growth of the early Church. Cultivation of his qualities in our lives can enhance our impact as Christians today.
Scripture makes some unusual statements about Barnabas. One concerns the special name he was given by Church leaders — a name that seems to have characterized his ministry.

In the early weeks of the fledgling Church, the wealthier converts sold real estate and other possessions to share with the more needy brethren. Curiously, the only person named as an example of this generosity was a certain Joses. We are told that he “was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement)” (Acts 4:36).

The use of this name Encouragement is significant. The Greek word has also been translated “consolation” or “comfort.” John 14:26 uses a slightly different form of the Greek:

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things” (Authorized Version).

The name Barnabas, then, has essentially the same meaning as the word Jesus used to describe the presence of the Holy Spirit.

The personification of encouragement as the “father” of Barnabas is also significant. He must have manifested this trait in an outstanding way. This unique individual was a warm and encouraging person. He was positive and uplifting. He was able to see the best in people — to overlook the differences that could produce personal prejudice. This very virtue was used to open the possibility of membership in the early Church to converts of all nations.

Reaching the gentiles

Jesus Christ had shown His intent, just before His ascension to heaven, to ultimately reach all nations with the Gospel of the coming Kingdom of God (Matthew 28:19-20). After He provided His Church with sufficient human and material resources to evangelize foreign lands, Christ had a major hurdle to overcome. Many Jews were prejudiced against non-Israelites. Many felt superior, being the chosen of God, and harbored bias that would have weakened their willingness to reach out to gentiles.

God revealed first through the leading apostle, Peter, His will for the gentiles, through the incident of the Roman centurion Cornelius (Acts 10). Yet the Jews were still hesitant to admit that God must be dealing with gentiles (verse 28). There was some plain foot-dragging going on.

Whom would God use to get things going in the Work to the gentiles?

Enter Saul

Saul of Tarsus had been public enemy No. 1 to the Christians. He led a gestapo-like group of Jewish zealots on a crusade to completely eradicate the Christians (Acts 8:1). While on his way to Damascus, Saul was struck blind and brought to repentance by Christ Himself (Acts 9:1-22). Jesus made it clear He had chosen Saul to “bear My name before Gentiles” (verse 15).

After a narrow escape from would-be assassins at Damascus, Saul went to Jerusalem to join himself to the Christians there. But his reputation as their chief tormentor kept him on the outside looking in (verse 26). God began to use a certain man to champion the cause of suspect Saul.

Barnabas had perhaps believed Saul’s story, perceiving in him the Holy Spirit. Or he had heard of his conversion and powerful preaching in Damascus. He was able to put aside fear and bias to see the good in Saul. Barnabas stuck his neck out to help Saul win acceptance from the apostles (verse 27).

But Saul’s time had not yet come. After more threats on his life, Saul was sent home to Tarsus. God let a number of years go by while He further prepared His Church for the entrance of the gentiles. Growth continued, but no real effort was made to take the Gospel to gentile lands. Something did finally happen far up the eastern coast of the Mediterranean, in a gentile city called Antioch.

When the Church was scattered after the initial severe persecution, some of the believers journeyed as far as Antioch and took up residence in various gentile cities. These brethren witnessed to Jews only, until certain ones of them preached to some Greeks. God backed up their effort, and “a great number believed” (Acts 11:19-21).

When the Church leaders at headquarters in Jerusalem heard this news, they decided to investigate, and selected Barnabas for the trip (verse 22).  He arrived at Antioch and found that the Work of God among the Greeks was genuine. Being the positive, warm fellow he was, Barnabas was delighted. He “encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord” (verse 23). Unhampered by pride and preconceived notions, he could see the potential for good in gentiles. Barnabas lived up to his name, welcoming the new converts.

Another unusual statement is found in the following verse. Luke was so impressed with Barnabas that when he compiled the book of Acts, he stated, under inspiration, “For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith” (verse 24). Barnabas was filled with the Holy Spirit, known also as the Comforter, which his name meant. He literally stands out for his special ability to see the good in others and encourage them.

Acts 11:24 ends with, “And a great many people were added to the Lord.” The growth was so rapid that Barnabas realized he was overextended. Assistance was needed to properly pastor the new brethren and allow additional growth. Barnabas was about to make a second major move that would ensure the great impact of Saul of Tarsus on the future of gentile Christians.

Remembering what had been prophecied about Saul, Barnabas realized that now was the time, and that Antioch was the place, to activate Saul’s ministry. So, “Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul” (verse 25). Together they returned to Antioch, staying there for a year. Saul probably acted as a kind of associate pastor, subject to the leadership of Barnabas. When the two are mentioned together, Barnabas is named first (verse 30).

Meanwhile, “The word of God grew and multiplied” (Acts 12:24). By the time chapter 13 opens, we find five ministers operating out of Antioch. God’s time had come to expand the Work into other parts of the world.

While the ministry there was fasting and praying about this matter, the inspiration of the Holy Spirit made it plain that God had set apart Barnabas and Saul for a special mission (Acts 13:2-3). A new phase of the preaching of the Gospel was about to unfold.

The pair took along young John Mark and set sail for Cyprus, Barnabas’ home country. It is ironic that a major change in the roles of Barnabas and Saul occurred on this very island. They preached the Word at Salamis on the eastern end, then crossed the entire island to the city of Paphos (verses 4-6). Here, the party encountered Elymas the sorcerer. It was through a confrontation with this false prophet that assistant Saul became leader Paul.

Paul emerges as leader

Elymas withstood the efforts of the missionaries to preach the word to an interested deputy of the country. “Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, ‘O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord?’ ” (verses 9-10).

Paul, perhaps remembering the impact of his own bout with blindness on the road to Damascus, used God’s power to smite Elymas with blindness. On this occasion he stood out as a dynamic spokesman. But consider Barnabas’ position. He had been in charge over Paul. He had championed the cause of Saul and helped him into the fellowship of the Church. He was the one who dug Saul out of the woodwork at Tarsus and reactivated him. He was the pastor at Antioch. He was the leader of this evangelical tour.

What if Barnabas had dwelt on all these things?

Barnabas had to decide there at Paphos whether to humble himself and submit to God’s greater purpose. All we know is that verse 13 simply records, “Now when Paul and his party set sail from Paphos, they came to Perga.” Previously it had always been “Barnabas and Saul.” Now it was “Paul and his party.” Paul was the leader. The entire focus of the rest of the book of Acts is on Paul. But let’s focus on the example of Barnabas.

Perhaps he was willing to admit that Paul had certain characteristics that were better suited for the job at hand. Barnabas was a warm and encouraging sort, which is a necessary quality of leadership. But he may have been of such a temperament that he tried to avoid confrontations. On the other hand, Paul was like a seething volcano, always ready to erupt with powerful, convicting preaching or debate, and never backing down from a battle.

Perhaps Barnabas realized this once and for all at Lystra, the city on that first missionary tour where Paul was stoned. Watching beleaguered Paul struggle to his feet and head right back into the city may have convinced Barnabas of the unique qualities Paul possessed.

At least it is safe to say that he had a similar attitude to that of John the Baptist. Submitting to the new leadership of Jesus Christ, John said, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). Barnabas practiced what Paul later preached: “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself” (Philippians 2:3).

Are you like Barnabas?

Barnabas’ humility is also seen in his freedom from feelings of prejudice. Had he been biased, perhaps Paul would not have gotten anywhere with those at Jerusalem. Barnabas was willing to welcome into the Church brethren of other nationalities and cultures. He didn’t let petty differences keep him from serving God’s people.

God is no respecter of persons (Romans 2:11). Barnabas manifested this same attitude by seeing the good in people. He dwelt on positives. He saw potential for the future. Exactly how much he had to do with Paul’s development, and therefore with the growth of the gentile Work, we don’t know at this time. We do know enough that we can benefit from his sterling example. What else, after all, would you expect from a man called the Son of Encouragement?

Source: The Good News, 1986

April 12, 2009

The Obama Bow: Fealty To A Foreign Potentate!

 sharprightturn.wordpress.com/  

sharprightturn.wordpress.com/

President Barack Obama’s bow in front of King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz during their recent meeting at the sidelines of the G20 conference in London has astounded many people.  OK, so what you might say, it’s no big deal, right? Well, yes it is!

First of all, media from media networks to newspapers, neither have aired the video of the incident nor reported on it. In fact, so blase are they that Washington Post reporter Michael A. Fletcher’s gave this breezy dismissal of the event: “I’m not sure what the etiquette is for such greetings, but I’m sure the president was only trying to convey respect … Remember some years ago when President Bush touched cheeks with and held the hand of a Saudi monarch during a visit to his Texas ranch? Another sign of respect. I would not make too much of it.”

But there is a difference. Though George W. Bush holding hands with and kissing Abdullah on the cheeks, while begging down the price of oil was over the top, it did not hold the same consequences as President Barack Obama’s obeisance to the Saudi king.

Let’s examine what I mean.

The White House denies that the president bowed. 

“It wasn’t a bow. He grasped his hand with two hands, and he’s taller than King Abdullah.” 

I don’t know if they were watching a different video clip than the one that shows Obama’s head below the King’s shoulder level, a significant stoop by any measure. Or did they miss one of the President’s hands dangling at the knees?

Michael Goldfarb summed up the problem for Mr. Obama succinctly in the Weekly Standard: “So who you going to believe — Barack Obama or your lying eyes?” The evidence simply does not support the official position of the Obama administration.

Interestingly, a columnist in the Saudi-backed Arabic paper Asharq Alawsat also took the gesture as a bow and appreciated the move.

It’s deeper than a matter of etiquette

Is it really a matter of etiquette for an American President to bow to royalty? Was this merely a generic breach of protocol; a rookie mistake for a young President? Protocol experts told FOX News that no rule exists on presidents bowing.

“To my knowledge, there is no rule at all,” said Lloyd Hand who was chief of protocol for President Lyndon Johnson. “Protocol is 95 percent common sense judgment and 5 percent specific rules and that has nothing to do with bowing.”

OK, so it’s not a matter of protocol, but rather of judgment and common sense. In that vein, the US has some of the best intelligence in the world and Mr. Obama should be well vested in whom he is dealing with. King Abdullah is a Sharia dictator who fosters religious repression, de facto slavery, subjugation of women, and, not least, the international export of jihad and Sharia through “charities,” mosques, madrassas, textbooks, university endowments, Sharia finance and, of course, terrorists, some 15 of whom attacked the United States in 2001 (Townhall.com, April 9, 2009).

By showing deference to this person, Mr. Obama besmirches the memories and lives of Americans dead and maimed in action aginst their foes. And as the Washingtom Times said in their editorial, “By bending over to show greater respect to Islam, the U.S. president belittled the power and independence of the United States. Such an act is a traditional obeisance befitting a king’s subjects, not his peer.”

It’s certainly more deference than Queen Elizabeth received, who was the recipient of a handshake and an I-Pod equipped with Mr. Obama’s  speeches. Oh, I almost forgot: A sweater-clad first lady did show some (over) familiarity with the queen by putting her arm around the monarch.

This diplomatic disrespect was also evident in buying cheesy DVD box sets and toy Marine 1 helicopters for the British Prime Minister and family. And as for that Churchill bust, we no longer need it because we’re all about change! 

“Now remember that Obama said he was going to improve America’s image throughout the world….and showing respect and adhering to protocol is unarguably the first way to achieve that if you believe that is your purpose…..so then ask yourself:

Why did Michelle Obama not curtsy to the Queen?
Why did Obama know to tip his head to the Queen, but mastered a full waist bow to the Saudi King?
Why did Obama use two hands in his gesture to the Queen when one hand is protocol?
Why did he give the queen a cheap Ipod made in China by cheap labour? 

Why was there no more thought put into PM Brown’s gift?

These gestures may SEEM small, but this lack of respect, uninformed gaffes, or outright purposeful messages being sent by the Obamas are fully in line with their subtle anti-Americanism and disdain for British history and culture.  – (Sharprightturn)

Will past associations show in future actions?

Mr. Obama had a close association with the  “hate America” pastor  Jeremiah Wright who states that the foundation of his beliefs are in systemized black liberation theology. Here is what Glenn Beck said on his CNN broadcast, March 19, 2009:

“Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill gods who do not belong to the black community. Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in black power which is the power of black people to destroy their opinion pressers here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love.”

This is one of the most anti-God, anti-Bible statements one can utter! Christ died for the sins of all humanity. And all humanity is going to be a part of God’s Family, in God’s time frame.

Rolling Stone featured “The Radical Roots of Barack Obama” in its Feb. 22, 2007, issue stating: “This is as openly radical a background as any significant American political figure has ever emerged from ….” The magazine insisted that Jeremiah Wright was not “an incidental figure in Obama’s life, or his politics.” The article also quoted another pastor, who said, “If you want to understand where Barack gets his feeling and rhetoric from, just look at Jeremiah Wright.” (The Trumpet.com, July 25, 2008).

And much has been made about Barack Obama’s association with William Ayers, a man who hasn’t expressed one ounce of remorse for his terrorist attacks on federal targets during the 1960s and 1970s. In fact, he wishes his organization could have committed more murderous acts of domestic terrorism.

What does all this portend? 

If history is our guide, we know that the success of a nation under crisis is tied to two essential words that Lincoln knit to a new birth of freedom – “under God.”  These were the two most important words in Lincoln’s entire presidency.

“This nation under God, shall have a new birth of freedom” — A. Lincoln, Nov. 19, 1863.

When Barack Obama (who ironically strives to mimick Lincoln) took the oath of office as America’s first African-American president, these words were conspicuous for their absence. This is a man who relies on himself, not on God. He sees his enthusiasm for dialogue and negotiation as one of his chief selling points.

“Obama is the only major candidate who supports tough, direct presidential diplomacy with Iran without preconditions,” his website proudly asserts. In a January interview, he said he wanted to hold a Muslim summit in hopes of bridging the gap between Islam and the West. He told the Daily Telegraph he would “do so with the credibility of someone who has lived in a Muslim country.”

Obama is also proud of his opposition to the September 2007 Kyl-Lieberman amendment, which branded Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization and authorized the U.S. to use “all instruments … of national power in Iraq” to combat the destabilizing influence of Iran. (The Trumpet.com, July 25, 2008).

If you want to know what a person really believes – observe his actions and aquaintances, rather than his words. Since being elected he has bent over backwards (and now forwards) to show deference to the Muslim world. All this while famously hanging out for years with people who hate America. Is there a connection?

Leaders – and world events – are of God

God’s Word informs us that there can be no power in this present world, except as God allows, so I don’t take sides, nor get into emotional debates. I can say though—with certainty—that this president of the United States is the one God put into that office. The movement behind Barack Obama’s improbable rise to power, as well as his celebrity-like status internationally—says a lot about where we are in Bible prophecy.

The movement to elect Mr. Obama’s reveals just how naive many of our people are when it comes to the greatest threat to peace in the Middle East and, to a certain degree, the whole world—Iranian-backed Islamic extremism. The Bible reveals that neither America nor Israel has the will to confront this prophesied “king of the south” (Daniel 11:40). That task will be left to a Vatican-led European Union. And it will result in a spectacular clash that will then lead to a worldwide war!

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