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Speculation and Certainty Concerning the USA. - Comments (0)

Printer Friendly Category: Articles
Author: John Malone
Date: 24th April, 2014 @ 01:53:53 PM

A couple of weeks ago, I began a ramble on FaceBook about what I see happening as a Christian who believes and pays attention to the Bible.

The Bible does much more than convict of sin . It sure does do that, and regularly, but it also instructs the believing reader, and yields understanding beyond ones teachers’.

That being said, my teachers in economics back in the day included some pretty good ones. It seems I got a reasonable education despite myself, in that I was lectured well when I was interested, and was given some excellent books to read. I would say that I had a good foundation for reading the Bible, and understanding what my teachers did not, and that is that God sets forth immutable principles, and governs over the nations.

So, when I look at the state of our state here in the United States, I see nothing but darkness, and by that I mean economically speaking.

The brightness that I saw a few months ago, when I realized that there is sufficient energy and food wealth in this country to actually pay off the incredible debt that is present, I overlooked the simple fact that the debtor is servant to his creditors, and when the creditors happen to be other nations, they are far more hopeful of foreclosing on the assets beneath the debt, than to see the debt repaid at low interest rates.

When I look, for instance, at the goings on in the Nevada desert concerning the Bundy ranch, and the Chinese franchising up our solar resources on Federal land, I see behind such actions a demanding creditor, in this case China, insisting on the maintenance of a security that underwrites their loans. And that is America itself. The land God has shed his grace upon.

Of course, no banker wants to fight the neighbors and their weapons when it comes time to seizing the farm. That is for the government to do for them. And I have this dreadful feeling that our government is now subordinate to this creditors, and when it comes to the creditor, or the debtor – us! – the government is going to be on the side of the creditor. All governments always are. The Scripture teaches us that the debtor is servant to the lender , and therefore why someone who wishes to remain free should keep himself away from all unsecured debt.

Perhaps the price of freedom is not only far higher than we think it is today, but has already been paid, but by our nation’s creditors. There have been some news accounts about the nearness of a complete credit meltdown by the USA. It seemed to not have happened.

But if anyone thinks our debts will simply be paid by increasingly cheaper and cheaper money don’t understand very well how much emphasis creditors place on the assets securing that debt. People talk about “the full faith and credit” of the US Government, but from the outside looking in, that faith and credit isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on, but may very well be worth the asset base in control of the US government: the vast amount of land it owns, and the vast amount of territorial waters it controls.

Why don’t “we” develop the resources of the Gulf of Mexico? It may well be that these opportunities are  reserved to our creditors as part of the cost of their loans. Why aren’t we seeing a Keystone XL Pipeline, said now to be dead in the water as far as Congressional approval, let alone White House support? It could be that such a pipeline is not in the best interest of our creditors.

What is uncertain in these speculations remains uncertain.

But what is certain, that the borrower is servant to the lender, remains certain.

After Easter … - Comments (0)

Printer Friendly Category: Articles,Doctrine
Author: John Malone
Date: 22nd April, 2014 @ 12:49:21 PM

It’s sundown, so Easter is over. I feel like I can come out from hiding now.

Some asked me “What about Good Friday?” So Easter Sunday at Millard Community Church I taught a Wednesday crucifixion, and explained the Lord’s body was in the tomb all of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and not all or part of three days , as the majority hold.

Besides, Wednesday 14th Nisan fits exactly (AD 30), and fulfills Matt 12:39-41 , the type being Jonah the prophet: the only sign given to the nation of Israel. All the essential elements of the crucifixion and subsequent resurrection of the Lord are fulfilled only if it took place on a Wednesday. As with most holidays, much of what we know is wrong.

At least it is right that Jesus arose on the first day of the week.

In that Jesus Christ arose during the Passover week, however, perhaps a more complete treatment of the Feast of the Lord that He did fulfill at the time – Passover – is in order. After all, after the big Easter celebration by Christians nominal and sincere is completed this year, Jews around the world are celebrating the remainder of the seven (or eight, outside Israel) days of passover until Tuesday April 22nd, at sundown.

Passover for Jews is a remembrance. Christians also have a Passover remembrance , although they remember different events. For Jews, the passover remembrance has to do with the Lord “passing over” them as they huddled in their homes in Egypt, protected by the blood of the slain lamb on their door posts and lintels.

Today, Jews all around the world remember that event as one marking freedom. Freedom from the tyranny that came upon them after they were received well and prospered in Egypt. Since that time, perhaps it is the only the United States of America that has received the Jews as the ancient Egyptians once did, prior to the Assyrian usurper coming in, the Pharaoh that “knew not Joseph.” When that fellow came, he feared the robust growth of Israel, and placed them in bondage.

And so, when it came time for the Abrahamic promise to be fulfilled, and the wickedness of the Amorite in the land became full , God freed His people from Egyptian bondage, and formed His nation through the blood of the lamb, and then incorporated them under Moses at the Red Sea, chartering them at Sinai.

So, rightfully, Jews find their Passover remembrance as a symbol of freedom.

It is what they overlook that is sad.

And I say sad advisedly, because, while I delight after the historical Scriptures concerning Israel and Moses , I also realize that this freed nation readily found its way into captivity under Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon, then Persia, then Greece, and then Rome, when they had a chance to be free – truly free – with times of refreshing on the way from heaven , that they once again and then finally rejected the Lord Jesus Christ, Messiah from the House of David. They declared they had no king but Caesar , confirmed their rejection with the stoning of Stephen , and finally dispatched the word of God to the Gentiles  by rejecting the apostle Paul.

Every time Christians break a loaf and drink a cup together, this viewpoint, in one way or another, is remembered. While Jews look back inscrutably at a Passover festival, not realizing the true Lamb of God was slain, it being, as the Jewish High Priest Caiaphas said at the time, for one man to die for a nation.

Easter ended, and even now Passover. Those are annual events. Happy me. Happy you. Gone. But in a few days, I will gather with my fellow Christians in the same place, and we will remember how it is that Christ died for our sins, suffering an ignominious death in our place, that we may enjoy as we do the life of thoroughly forgiven people who have a sure hope in the future return of our Savior, this time as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.

That is after Easter for me. Oh that it would would be the same after this Passover for my Jewish friends, that they would stop making the same mistake in rejecting the Messiah from generation to generation!

And that it would be the same for all those who I have met, who have not yet received Jesus Christ as their Savior!

God Is Not Dead - Comments (1)

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Author: John Malone
Date: 21st April, 2014 @ 07:30:24 AM

I went to see the movie God Is Not Dead tonight.

(Karen and I flew with Michael Tate and his Australian logistics assistant to Dallas in 2009. We met him shortly after it was announced that Tait would be lead singer for both DC Talk and Newsboys.

Of course, Karen and I knew nothing about contemporary Christian rock, so we made perfect travel companions.

We were all in the back of the plane because Tait didn’t want to be disturbed in 1st class.)

I took some of my grandsons and their friends to the movie, 12 yrs and up. Before I submit all my criticisms, let me just say this movie was fun, the boys and I liked it, and I think Karen would have liked seeing Michael Tait in the movie because she and he hit it off pretty well on the plane ride.

This is a feel-good movie with some realism in it about the Christian life, but not much about the true conflict of content from the truth of Scripture and a hostile world.

However, the movies DOES depict the hostility against Christian thought – and the Christians who hold those thoughts – that has been running rampant on our campuses since the haters of God that now run our government first ruined our universities. Such people are my former mates in college, and I ran with them and the professors back in the early to mid 1970’s.

That being said, the way that hostility is portrayed is  little sappy and a lot unrealistic, principally because all the heavy lifting of that portrayal is all done by actor Kevin Sorbo, who’s character, Professor Radisson, is an avowed atheist who uses his Introduction to Philosophy class to browbeat freshmen into atheistic compliance. While college campuses are filled with people hostile to Jesus Christ and the Scriptures, it’s a big stretch the way Radisson goes about this, but once one suspends their belief enough, and gives this movie its required aesthetic distance, its entertaining enough, and makes it point.

This movie is not much about character development, apart from Radisson. Characters are one-dimensional, and lack depth. Dean Cain plays a money grubber. The central character, Josh Wheaton, plays a likable freshman who holds his faith against the ploys of Radisson. Wheaton’s girl friend, portrayed by Trisha LaFache, also lacks depth. The boys seemed to think Benjamin Onyango’s character as an African Missionary was their favorite. Onyango seemed to be a typical Luo Kenyan Christian leader to me.

The central drama of the movie is Wheaton’s debate in Radisson’s classroom over the existence of God. The debate itself is made up of vestiges of truth. If you want to see a debate on the merits – and who would, really, it’s the stuff of pseudo-science and phony intellectualism – this movie is not going to satisfy you. Frankly, faculty hatred against Jesus Christ is way underplayed in the movie.

And as a Christian, I’m a bit offended at the idea that “God is not dead,” is much of a message. That’s not the Christian message at all. Nonetheless, in important cameos, real people playing themselves like Tait and Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame do make public proclamations of their faith through the drama.

If this movie is more informative to you and/or motivating to you in the faith than what you hear on Sunday morning, you should switch churches. On the other hand, it’s good entertainment with good music by the Newsboys, and when you’re done with it, you don’t feel as if you need to confess it as sin, or demand your money back.

Josh Brown, my favorite Husker kicker of all time endorses this movie. So does Andy Petitte, former Yankee pitcher – my favorite baseball team. Petitte is the only guy in major league history who pitched 18 seasons and never had a losing one, so I suppose he has street cred. Plus, he’s a lefty.

I’m not going to pay to watch it again, especially because it cost $9.50 on a late Sunday night for my twelve-year-old grandson, but I wouldn’t watch “Heaven’s For Real” or “Son of God” if you paid me to.

Help With Genesis 1:1-2. - Comments (0)

Printer Friendly Category: Articles,Doctrine
Author: John Malone
Date: 3rd April, 2014 @ 04:49:48 AM

2Peter 3 3-ff

The Bear Eats the Crimea. - Comments (1)

Printer Friendly Category: Applied,Articles
Author: John Malone
Date: 28th March, 2014 @ 10:49:13 AM

“Think Globally.” It’s the world’s mantra. As if you actually CAN. We talk glibly about the world becoming smaller, and I suppose  because modern arrangements allow for convenient distant travel (keep your hands off me, TSA!), we can realize what a “smaller world” means. I personally have been able to travel to many places in the world, so we can see the statement has an element of truth to it.

However, the world is actually still a very large place with very many peoples and nations, and it is impossible to grasp it in one’s mind, especially because to behold it, one requires a useful historical view, and a focus.

Into this difficulty enter the Holy Scriptures. The Bible teaches me that, because I have received Jesus Christ as Abraham did in Mamre, thereby doing the works that Abraham did as Jesus said to His opponents. , I am “seated in the heavenly places in Christ” , which means I have a global perspective. I have eternal life as a present possession going forward, I was chosen in Christ before the six days of creation, and God has set eternity in my heart (and everyones). So, we have need of a sweeping view of history and the future.

It is that context that I look at Russia’s recent and sudden annexation of the Crimea. The Crimea has a long history with Russia, especially the Crimean War just prior to our own civil war. In that incident, Russia lost a battle against strangely united European Christian forces and the Islamic interests of the flagging Ottoman Empire.

Since Russia’s loss in that war, despite the inclusion of the Crimea in the former Soviet Union, Russia has lusted toward the Black Sea, the closest thing it has to a warm water port.

In Daniel’s strange prophecy in Chapter seven of his writings, Daniel sees the future emerge at the time of the end, he sees four beasts arising from among the Gentiles – they having held world power since Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.

The first of these beasts is likened to a Lion with eagle’s wings. The Lion is stood on his feet as a man, and his wings are plucked, and a man’s heart is given to it.  Often consider that this is the British-American alliance which has one the last two world wars, and which is substantially responsible for the order of the world at this time. It seems to have the appearance that it lost its ferocity.

The second of these beasts that arise is a bear which arises on one side, and has three ribs in its mouth, “and they said to it, ‘Arise, devour much flesh.'” There are many conflicting descriptions of symbols in the Scripture as they become applied, but there can be little doubt who the bear is. It’s Russia. The three ribs in its mouth have long been a discussion. What or whom does the bear eat? The context is about rising world powers, and so, historically, the ribs in the bear’s mouth have been thought to be nations.

So, the question might be: is the Crimea, or perhaps the Ukraine itself, one of the ribs in the mouth of the Russian bear? The Crimea certainly has the historical and geopolitical significance to qualify. And the area and direction of Russia’s movement is significant. The movement is toward the Black Sea and the bread basket of central Europe.

If the Crimea or Ukraine is the first rib in the Bear’s mouth, two more are to come,

After that another power will arise, lastly giving place to a “beast” or power that corresponds to the ten-fold government of that man of sin, the son of perdition, promised by Jesus to be the one whom Israel will receive.

Now Faith (Chart) - Comments (0)

Printer Friendly Category: Articles,Doctrine
Author: John Malone
Date: 26th March, 2014 @ 04:06:27 AM

I have prepared this chart to help describe the perspective of the believer today. It is far, far from complete, but does show that today, as believers, we have faith looking both ways. We see that our faith becomes our hope, and that we can NOW look forward as well as backward.

We first looked backward effectively when we received Jesus Christ as Savior, and we look back again each time we remember the Lord Jesus in His appointed way, at His supper.

Now Faith

Purim: Hidden Things Jews Should Know, But Don’t. - Comments (0)

Printer Friendly Category: Articles,Doctrine
Author: John Malone
Date: 15th March, 2014 @ 06:06:13 PM

This year the Jewish celebration of Purim lands on my birthday. Purim is a time when the “Megillat Esther” – the scroll of Esther – is read aloud in the hearing of children, and others. It is a celebratory time among the Jewish people. Whenever the name of the villain Haman is named, children make “raspberry” sounds.

People who know me well know that I am instinctively iconoclastic. Many holidays celebrated in our society are merely iconic. Their basis is spurious at best, and intentionally misleading at their worst.

I’ll not delve into those holidays here, but this feast of Purim celebrated by the Jews is not only history-based, but, because it features the reading of a large portion of God’s Word, I’m actually glad to know that perhaps millions of Jewish children hear the entire book of Esther on that day. There’s enough in the “Megillat Esther” for Jews to receive Jesus Christ as their Savior (“Messiah”), if, by His grace, He opens the eyes of their hearts.

That’s the happy news.

Of course, the sad news for Israel is that God’s Word was taken away, and given to any individual – Jew or Gentile – who receives Jesus Christ, just as Abraham did when He visited him near the terebinth of Mamre. The sad news for Israel, being nationally set aside by God, has rather worked to my advantage, as His word came to such as me.

It is ironic how well the book of Esther cast a very long foreshadow across this greatest of tragedies that has befallen Israel – the loss of God’s word – said by the apostle Paul in Romans 9 to be the chief blessing Israel ever enjoyed. The resulting (partial, temporary) blindness is particularly evident in the teaching around Purim, which permeates Jewish culture everywhere.

Can’t find the missing clues.

It’s relatively common knowledge in Jewry today that the Book of Esther does not contain God’s name. For this reason, some have questioned whether or not it belongs in the Hebrew Canon. And yet, it is in the Massorah, the definitive Hebrew text. What is missing in Esther – or what they judge to be missing, rather – is that Sacred Name given to Moses when he asked God for to identify Himself for the nation of Israel.

It is known as “the Tetragrammaton,” the four letters YHVH (“yod hay vav hay”). While there is much that could be said about its language permutations (Adonai, Yahweh, Jehovah, Lord), it’s Hebrew pronunciation (or lack of one), and its prevalence in the Hebrew text is unquestionable. So, its absence in Esther is remarkable, indeed.

But is the Tetragrammaton really absent? No, it’s hidden, just as so many deep truths – even those found in Esther – are now hidden from the nation of Israel. The Sacred name is hidden in four acrostics in this book, as remarkably evinced in the Companion Bible, E.W. Bullinger’s remarkable life work. You will not find a better summary than that.

Astyages Gets A Bad Rap; Iran Hates God.

Esther is written at the time both Israel and Judah are in Syrian and subsequently respective Babylonian captivity. A time when God has hidden his face from Israel, turning them over to their own desires. It is the inauguration of the “times of the Gentiles,” which continue to this very day, and will continue until God once again takes up Israel nationally.

The Gentiles themselves had done nothing before God to inherit world dominion. Israel had merely failed and forfeited it. Gentiles became such with Israel’s election in Abraham. Before that Jews and Gentiles were together in a union of sinners in the days of Noah, failing miserably, thereby predicating the Deluge. So, to discipline His firstborn national son, He brought on the captivity first of Israel, and then Judah-Benjamin.

Esther (“Haddasseh”) is herself a captive in Persia. She is of the tribe of Benjamin. Her elderly cousin, Mordecai, finds himself in the Court of Astyages – the Ahasueris or King of Persia – at the time. Jewish tradition has Astyages all wrong here. Astyages is seen as a buffoon, and the antagonist of Israel. He is neither of these. He’s a Gentile king, who for some time (seven years) actually took Nebuchadnezzar’s place (as a brother-law regent) as world ruler, while God disciplined Nebuchadnezzar for his arrogance. Of course, Nebuchadnezzar did not have the law of Moses.

Astyages only has the Jews in his Court – and Daniel in the Court of his brother-in-law – to guide him. Astyages is also subject to the law of the Persians and Medes. He cannot reverse his own orders. That is the law of the Medes and Persians. He’s subject to being fooled. He’s subject to bad advice. The fact is, he’s just like any world ruler who is ignorant of God’s Word, i.e. every world ruler.

This is why Christians, who today have the Word of God in Israel’s place while Israel suffers partial, temporarily blindness, are considered “the salt of the earth,” the world’s preservative. It was the failure of the Jews to take God’s word to the rest of the world that brought about their setting aside by God. And they were set aside well after the captivity evidenced in Esther.

But the Jews misunderstanding and lack of appreciation of Astyages – also known as the Darius (Maintainer) of the Medes – the Ahasueris of the Persians, leads them to further miss the full picture of the hidden Esther. Because not only is the name of God hidden in this book, but the amazing role of Esther herself is overlooked. Esther is known for preserving the lives of her people by the Jews, but she is not known as she should be for her childbearing.

God has promised throughout human history to bring the Savior of the world, the Messiah, through the agency of a woman. While it remains a controversy within Jewry “who is a Jew,” it is without controversy that anyone born of a Jewish mother is a Jew. Esther replaced Vashti as the wife of Astyages. As such, she becomes the mother of Cyrus: the future Artaxerxes (great king) of the Persians, and inheritor (and conqueror) of the Babylonian empire. Cyrus, called a Messiah in Isaiah’s prophecy made perhaps as long as 150 years before his birth.

So, despite the fact that Astyages gets duped by Haman, he also discovers a way to afford Israel self-defense, and therefore is truly an earthly preserver of God’s chosen people. For these reasons, largely historically unknown to the Jews, He deserves historical honor from them. He gets little.

However, today, I think the Jews may have greater respect for this Persian king that Iran does! Iranians today are rewriting their own history to despise the Jews despite the fact their greatest king of all time IS a Jew! The judgment coming on Iran at the hand of God Himself looms. This nation, once beloved enough by the God of Israel to make it the head nation in all the world, has since been an undercurrent of enmity against Him. It will take another article to trace the secret, seething enmity that Persia has launched against God and His people over the many years since Cyrus.

Suffice it say here, that although God love Persia above all the nations at one time, since the secret infiltration by them inside the courts of Alexander the Great, their conqueror, has infiltrated and infected the nations ever since, through their mystical secret society especially, and is traceable to the modern era through Adolf Hitler. Anyone who wants to know historical and future geopolitics must study the Scriptures.

Haman Not Really Comical.

The Jews have some fun with Purim as the holiday is a lot geared toward children with games and activities surrounding it. As the Scroll of Esther is read, and the name of the Jews’ enemy Haman pronounced, all the hearers blow raspberries at that time. It’s good fun.

However, portraying Haman as a comical figure, rather than the precursor of that Man of Sin that he is, does no lasting favor to those children, or for anyone of age, Haman is an especially grim figure. Haman was Hitler’s Hitler. He was Satan’s man, rising up to destroy the Jews. The fact that he is taken in his own devices, and works to the glory of his dreaded enemy Mordecai rather than his intended aim is instructional to the maximum, as this is EXACTLY what happened at Calvary, nearly 500 years after Haman, 2,000 years ago.

Acts 4 25 Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? 26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. 27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, 28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

Now many people have a problem with the entire notion that God’s plan is so overarching that it encompasses evil. They fear they may attribute folly to God. Others, more high-minded on the subject, who acknowledge the fact of verse 28 above, choke on Romans 8:28 , which carefully does not attribute evil to God, as those high-minded ones sometimes do. I say high-minded because they pretend to be able to think and see as God does, when, in fact God can see more and differently.

God does not call evil good, but is able to make all things – good and evil – work together for the good of those who love Him, and are called to His purpose. While it was the case that the evil design of Haman was to destroy the Jews (especially the seed of Judah, of course, from whom Messiah came), it was God’s design to take Haman in his own design. Just as the cross of Christ was designed by His enemies to consign Jesus Christ to an ignominious and forgettable death, God used their evil designs to bring glory to Himself by showing Jesus to be the Son of God with power by His resurrection out from the dead, and Who since has become the most revered and famous Man in the history of the world.

When Jesus was here, He was rejected by His own. In the words of the same prophet that predicted Cyrus (a Jew, remember), called a Messiah because of his preserving of the Jewish nation in captivity, the fulfillment of Messiah was predicted to be rejected this way. The Jewish birth of Cyrus is not well-known, or even declared in Jewry. At least I have not heard it touted. In the same way, the miraculous birth of the True Messiah is also not historically acknowledged among Jews, despite the Jewish roots of the Christian faith. Before we were first called Christians at Antioch, the entire Christian church was Jewish.

The great prophecy concerning Jesus the Messiah in Isaiah’s 53rd chapter is yet a thorn in the side of Jews. Allegedly, that chapter of Scripture is rabbinically forbidden to Jewish men under 40, and, of course, Christians are willing to deliver this chapter for consideration, as well as the great prophecy of Daniel Chapter 9, just as we offer the Megillat Esther for consideration. The Scriptures arrest the minds of men.

So, just as Jesus the Messiah was despised and rejected by His own (and the rest of world, do not forget), so will the Coming Haman be joyfully accepted and received. “I am come in my Father’s name,” Jesus said, “And ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” It’s hard to take the fact God’s people, scattered throughout the world as they are, set aside by God as they are, will accept as their Messiah on like Haman, instead of the One Who laid down His life at Calvary, that died for the whole world to purchase His chosen nation, but that is exactly will happen.

So, Purim comes today with a bitter-sweet ambivalence for me, and for all of Jewry. While it is a time to rejoice in remembrance God’s preserving power and mercy, way back in the day when he commissioned the Persian Empire to preserve his people in the days of Haman, it is also an ominous reminder that there is yet a day coming, when Israel will accept the greatest enemy of mankind, the Man of Sin. There’s plenty of Haman wannabee’s in every generation, and it seems in every place. But there is one coming who the nation will receive.

Today is the day, for the Jew first and also the Gentile, to seek the Lord when he may be found.

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