THE ELEPHANT ROARED AND BROUGHT FORTH A TURD...A Case Against Democratizing The Middle East
(An Eschatological Perspective)
By Doug Krieger
The original vulgarity was bylined: …The Constipation of America’s Mid-East Peace Policy!
It is with some trepidation that I embark upon this discourse; for one, out of respect for elephants, but more so because within the American framework of democracy I have so greatly benefited. Thus, to liken the extension of America’s efforts to democratize the civil administrations of Moslem states—even with the caveat "considering cultural sensitivities"—to the intestinal hardships of our beloved pacaderm is in itself cause for internal consternation, reflection, and a longing for interior relief.
"STUNT OMNES UNUM"
The current administration’s mascot bears some responsibility for the chosen political metaphor; however, it must be duly noted, that this article could just as well be entitled: Asinus asinorum in saecula saeculorum! (Latin for: "The Jackass of Jackasses in the Centuries of Centuries", or "The Greatest Jackass in Eternity"—this, and other Latin expressions in honor of Pax Americana will be duly sprinkled throughout this missive)—giving equal honors to both dominate American political parties for their extended efforts at peace in the Middle East, for: Stunt omnes unum . . . they are all one!
Indeed, by giving credit to where credit is due, we must keep in mind that the commonality of purpose to secure America’s interests in the Middle East and, ipso facto, the West’s energy spicket, via propping up its Islamic dictatorships, or hastening the democratization of the region, is the continuous policy of both Democratic and Republican State Departments—make no mistake about it.
The Democrats differ only in the design of a better mouse trap and have no right to cast their stones of dispersion from their glass palace at the failed policies of the GOP—policies now garbed in democratic hyperbole.
WELCOME TO THE THEOLOGICAL CALDRON
Peace in the Middle East! Better yet: What is the current administration’s Mid-East Peace Policy? Road Map to Peace? Peace Process? It is prudent, though policy makers would dearly extract this fixation from the debate, the theological implications—Moslem, Jewish, and Christian—from this conundrum of conundrums, and why, specifically, "Jerusalem (has become) a cup of trembling (i.e., "reeling" or "drunkenness") to all the surrounding peoples . . . a very heavy stone for all peoples . . . though all nations of the earth are gathered against it" (Zechariah 12:2-3)?
The Biblical metaphor of "reeling" and "drunkenness" is actually the physical reaction of a person who trembles after imbibing a poisonous potion. You drink of this venom; you immediately go into radical convulsions, with one destination in view: death!
Initially, so it appeared our President’s so-called lack of a coherent Mid-East peace plan at the commencement of his administration both mystified and concerned—sooner or later he too would be compelled to deal with this Middle East "tar" baby. Could you blame him—grasping this "cup of trembling" portends incessant disappointment and, worse yet, staggering political liability with prurient involvement leading to—as we now bemoan—intractable conflict.
Yet, the greatest "Consuming Nation" ever to countenance the planet—fueled by the mercurial petroleum molecule—would inevitably be sucked into this black hole whose exit strategies escape all nations.
EXTOLING OUR VIRTUES—PLAIN VANILLA
Nothing like pontificating—i.e., extolling our efforts at peace in the region. This was masterfully accomplished by the Council on Foreign Relations’ Aaron D. Miller at the CFR’s "Transition 2005: Israel, Palestine, and the Middle East Peace Process" forum in February. Dr. Miller—a former U.S. State Department official, having served six previous Secretaries of State by helping to formulate U.S. policy on the Middle East and the Arab-Israeli "peace process"—confirmed my original thesis regarding the bi-partisan nature of our endeavors at formulating peace in the Middle East; to wit:
"The three Americans that have made the most compelling contribution in the history of American diplomacy, and there are only three—two Republican secretaries of state, Henry Kissinger, James Baker, and one Democratic president, so it transcends party lines, Jimmy Carter—all combined those qualities, with an acute sense of knowing when to intercede. That is how to do effective American diplomacy. And if in fact we were to succeed again, that is an approach that we have to come back to. (Note: Apparently, Miller dismisses President Clinton’s endeavors.)
In any event, bi-partisan consensus was summed up by political think tank Seeds of Peace president Miller as follows:
(1) President Bush must make the Middle East Peace Process a 24/7 top priority—working with a diverse team of "competent" advisors.
(2) Policy must not neglect what’s happening on the "ground" (i.e., realities on the ground integrate with immediate policy).
(3) The U.S. must remain in control of its own policy (i.e., don’t let either side, Israeli or Palestinian/Arab, dictate).
(4) Beware of interim deals, but also beware of high-risk efforts to solve this problem quickly.
(5) Combine empathy and trust, with toughness, to both Israelis and Arabs.
Furthermore, avoidance of the black hole is useless—Miller concludes:
"If we want to supplement our war against terror, further the cause of democratization, there is no other issue that would do more to enhance our credibility than the pursuit of this one" (i.e., full engagement in the so-called "Middle East Peace Process" involving Arabs and Israelis).
Safe, reasonable, intelligent, thoughtful—yep, just plain vanilla. But the status quo of Dr. Miller’s world was about to be shaken with the departure of one Collin Powell, and the subsequent installation of National Security Advisor, now Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice.
"LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!"
"In this time of great decision, I have come to Cairo not to talk about the past, but to look to the future — a future that Egyptians can lead and define.
"Ladies and Gentlemen: In our world today, a growing number of men and women are securing their liberty . . .
"After all, America was founded by individuals who knew that all human beings -- and the governments they create -- are inherently imperfect. And the United States was born half free and half slave. And it was only in my lifetime that my government guaranteed the right to vote for all of its people.
"Nevertheless, the principles enshrined in our Constitution enable citizens of conviction to move America closer every day to the ideal of democracy. Here in the Middle East, that same long hopeful process of democratic change is now beginning to unfold. Millions of people are demanding freedom for themselves and democracy for their countries" (Excerpts from Sec. of State Rice’s speech at the American University in Cairo, Egypt on June 20, 2005).
Naturally, Dr. Rice’s (later references) to democratic aspirations for the region—addressing her audience as "ladies and gentlemen" to highlight Islamic suppression of women in general—blew the Kaffiyeh off her Arab audience.
Notwithstanding all the cultural sensitivities to the contrary . . . it is nigh impossible and absurdly ridiculous to fathom how Judeo-Christian Americana ideals and cultural backgrounds relate to Middle Eastern realities on the ground (as we speak). Never mind—the President must opine:
"America will not impose our style of government on the unwilling. Our goal instead is to help others find their own voice, to attain their own freedom, make their own way" (Rice, in her same speech, quoting from President Bush’s second inaugural address, while prefacing his words with: "We are supporting the democratic aspirations of all people.").
Thus, in one-fell swoop, we witness cultural wiggle room at its height as Arab states commence their march toward freedom and Islamic-style democracy!
EGYPT MUST LEAD, AS SHE LED OF OLD
"The people of Egypt should be at the forefront of this great journey, just as you have led this region through the great journeys of the past" (Again, excerpt from the Rice speech.).
At this point, one must ponder: What Egyptian journey of the past do we contemplate? How about the slave-driven, pyramid-building, totalitarian civilizations of the Pharaohs?
Of course we Americans intuitively know what the President and Dr. Rice mean (at least we once did) . . . but driving this democratic square peg into the black, moon-shaped hole of Islamic civilization may ultimately necessitate Alexander the Great’s resolution of untying the Gordian Knot he encountered at the ancient city of Gordium (100 miles west of Ankara, Turkey).
An oracle of Zeus alleged that if anyone could untie this knot, that person would be the conqueror of all Asia. Of course everyone knows, Alexander (champion of the Ancient West) cheated on the oracle by cutting the knot with his sword instead of untying it—notwithstanding, the avaricious behavior of the god Zeus still gave Alexander Asia!
Even so, the conclusion of the matter (i.e., incorporating nigh 1,500 years of Islamic civilization into Western thinking and democratic idealism first proclaimed by the Greeks) may ultimately necessitate a rather crude Greco-Roman application; simply put: CUT TO THE CHASE!
And, why might this be the case? Consider the utter futility of the West approaching the "Islamic Knot" of Asia—let’s just consider the "lead" of Egypt toward democratic liberalization:
Nina Shea’s piece on Egyptian democratic ideals tells it bluntly—the Muslim Brotherhood would be swept to power if open elections were held in Egypt:
"Mubarak’s policies have created a situation in which pro-Western democrats like Ramy Lakah are silenced or driven abroad, leaving the Muslim Brotherhood as the only organized opposition within Egypt. If an open election were held this year, few doubt that the Muslim Brotherhood would win. An Islamist group, the Brotherhood has won hearts and minds through charitable work and exploited religion to thrive despite ruthless repression against it. It purportedly renounced violence in the 1970s, but its motto continues to be: ‘Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.’"
And, what of Islamic Brotherhood?
"A social and political movement which started in Egypt in 1928 by Hasan al-Banna for the purpose of establishing a pan-Islamic state, transcending all current political and geographic divisions. Like those before him, al-Banna also regarded the West as posing a fundamental threat to the future of Islam. He felt that even worse than military campaigns were the attempts to import Western culture and political ideals. The root of Muslim problems was that the Shari’a (Islamic law) had not been implemented - once this was accomplished, everything would be better." (Taken from: Islamic Extremism)
This is the same Muslim Brotherhood that assassinated Anwar Sadat—in spite of Sadat’s attempts to assure them of his Islamic fidelity. Is it any wonder that the Brotherhood continues to call for "a more open and democratic political system in Egypt."
Tracing the so-called hydra-headed monster of Islamic terrorist organizations is not the intent of this discussion. One can deliberate for countless hours on this serpentine figure (Please see http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/rpt/fto/2001/5258.htm). But, what is of peculiar note is where Secretary Rice delivered this sea-change in American foreign policy: In the heart of Egypt, where the Brotherhood and scores of Islamicists recruit insurgents against America’s War on Terror!
IRANIAN DEMOCRACY AT WORK
While the U.S. attempts to light the fires of Iraqi liberty and democracy—against the backdrop of rabid Islamic insurgency, London bombings, and ominous threats upon homeland US targets (Including "soft targets in the U.S. like movie theaters, restaurants and schools" etc.) (Please see: http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/005364.php), the Iranian people by the millions decide it’s time to elect an even more radical regime to pilot their nation through the incursions from the West!
Of course, with the election of hardliner and American hostage taker, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (though vehemently denied by Iranian authorities), at summer’s commencement (2005), how heartening are his initial exploits heard in the West:
"Today, we can say that nuclear technology is our right!"
How comforting too, to know that a "Greater Persia"—which encompasses Southern Iraq’s Shiite majority—also awaits the full development of the democratic Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. Some, like Michael Rubin in Forward Magazine, conjecture that the Bush Administration has no coherent policy on Iran regarding the spread of "democracy." Dear Michael—let me disabuse you of such folly! The West, led by the Bush Administration, knows precisely how to "democratize" and, ipso facto, diffuse the Islamic Bomb! If, on the other hand, you consider this contrary to "democratic ideals" – live with it.
There is this Western fascination, perpetrated by certain strata of its intelligentsia and fomented by both the progressive and entrenched liberal media, that the vast majority of clear-thinking Moslem leadership, when push comes to shove, is tolerant and merciful; yes, caring souls who long to live in peace with all mankind, especially with folks in the West.
Frankly, let’s quit pussy-footing around with discovering a Salman Rushdie here, a Dr. Khalid Duran there, or even a Tashbih Sayyed, President of the Council for Democracy and Tolerance—these rare exceptions dwell in the ethereal world of the West’s civilization. What’s happening on Dr. Miller’s ground bespeaks the antithesis of the so-called moderate Moslem.
One gets this image of President Bush standing amidst a sea of moderate Moslem clerics gathered—all the while this miniscule segment of Islam is utterly overshadowed by the vast majority of mainstream believers in Allah to whom "moderate Moslem" is regarded in the Qur’an as an Infidel and should be treated as any Christian, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, etc.
REDUCTIO AD ABSURDUM—"Reduction to Absurdity"
Let us not be so naïve as to think that the face the U.S. Government projects regarding this majority of Moslem moderates exists—accept in the political world of electioneering. How foolish are they who assume that the neocons who currently implement American foreign, and increasingly, domestic policy, do not have a plan which incorporates her national interests (i.e., oil) and the "pacification" of true Islam (i.e., "radical" Islam).
The longer the War on Terror lasts, the clearer this Administration’s profile of its enemy becomes. To conjure the notion that this Administration is void of religious impulse in its decision-making policies towards Islam is ludicrous to the extreme—nonsense, they are acutely aware that given freedom from dictatorship, Islamic fundamentalists and their legions will carry the day . . . and that may be precisely what the West wants!
Absurd? To the contrary—Islam is a total way of living, not just a religion! Church and state are not separate entities as in the West. Such separation is anathema to Islam. Islamic fundamentalists in virtually every nation in the Middle East are aggressively attempting to overthrow "secular" governments like those in Algeria and Egypt.
"Civil rights" are obscene in Islam:
"Because there was no concept of personal freedom or civil rights in the tribal life of seventh-century Arabias, Islamic law does not recognize freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, or freedom of the press. This is why non-Muslims, such as Christians or Bahais, are routinely denied even the most basic civil rights.
"The despots of the Ottoman Empire and the present dictators of Libya, Jordan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Yemen, etc. are merely examples of seventh-century Arabian tyranny transplanted into modern times . . .
"Incarceration without due process; the use of torture; political assassination; the cutting off of hands, feet, ears, tongues, and heads; and the gouging out of eyes—all of these things are part of Islamic law today because they were part of seventh-century Arabian culture.
"To Westerners, such things are barbaric and should not have any place in the modern world. Islam is a distinctively Arabian cultural religion. Unless this is firmly grasped, no real understanding of Islam is possible." (Robert Morey, The Islamic Invasion, 1992, p. 26)
So, to extrapolate a final resolution to "the problem" facing American foreign policy makers—whatever the administration—unfortunately revolves to reductio ad absurdum: There will be a final conflict! And, with such "conflict resolution" comes collateral damage—the kind no one wants to talk about! That leads us to a most disgusting conclusion . . .
PONS ASINORUM—Literally: "Bridge of Asses"
Pons asinorum was originally used by Euclid’s fifth proposition in geometry. The Latin phrase connotes "any obstacle that stupid people find hard to cross." In sum: How do we get these donkeys to cross the bridge—after all, it’s for their own good!
Repeatedly heard on the air waves is the great division within the American public regarding the "real and present danger" posed by the War on Terror. The spectrum of Viet Nam’s humiliation, and how that war was waged through constrictive "rules of engagement" haunts us. Viet Nam’s retraction caused the American Empire to militarily (but not economically) acquiesce—somehow they just couldn’t get us to cross the bridge!
Ah, but lessons learned from past history, cannot but secure our glorious future. Yet, all-out war circa America’s declaration leveled at Fascism at the close of 1941 would be unprecedented—it would take a vile act of extreme consequence to drive the nation across that bridge!
How quickly we regressed to our original liberality after 9/11’s calamitous day. Yet, Islamic tidbits along the way—Bali, Spain, now London . . . how much of this can we take, before we cross that bridge? It will not take a great deal to excite the American giant to acts of all-out war. Alas, is this not what Osama ben-Laden has declared upon the West and her leadership? Hear OBL quote his sacred writings:
"Surah III (42): ‘Slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them, and confine them, and lie in wait for them at every place! Ambush.’ Again in Surah 1X (45): ‘when you meet the unbelievers, smite their necks, then, when you have made wide slaughter among them tie fast the bonds. Then again,The Dinner Table [5.51]: ‘O you who believe do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever, amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah (the name of their God) does not guide the unjust people.’"
Now, that eliminates most progressive wiggle room, doesn’t it? And, just in case the legions of Islamic terrorist organizations don’t convince you of their "War Against the West" – let this recent London photo convince you otherwise:
Indeed, as the man hiding in the West vainly attempts to convey the reality of the matter:
"‘If this isn't about Islam,’ added Rushdie, ‘why the worldwide Muslim demonstrations in support of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda? Why are the war’s first British casualties three Muslim men who died fighting on the Taliban side? If terrorism is to be defeated, the world of Islam must take on board the secularist-humanist principles on which the modern [world] is based, and without which Muslim countries’ freedom will remain a distant dream.’"
"The Independent reported that Rushdie's claims were rejected by prominent British Muslims."
Thus, the case against "democracy" as we know it—or even as Islam could ever know it—is irreconcilably at odds with the faith of Mohammed. For the Americans and her representatives in high places to proclaim the virtues of "liberty, fraternity, and equality" to the Moslem world is nigh a declaration of all-out war. In the ears of Islam was it not this very "secular" philosophy which heralded the rise of agnostic socialism and atheistic communism? Why should Moslems succumb to two, yea three, of the devil’s trident spears: Secularism, Christianity, and Zionism?
GOG-MAGOG—THE ULTIMATE "ON THE GROUND" REALITY – ENDING THE (THEOLOGICAL) STALEMATE
The "Little Satan" – in the eyes of Islam is Israel . . . and the "Great Satan" is the USA. This implacable hatred is irreversible and is repeatedly substantiated in the Qur’an itself!
All the ignorant, superficial, and absurd discussion regarding peace in the Middle East will not come at the circumference of a negotiating table—be it Camp David, Madrid, Oslo, or the incessant shuttles that forestall the inevitability of conflict; to wit:
"No matter how many peace accords are signed, this fundamental disagreement between Jews and Arabs on the basic facts remains, a disagreement which has caused (57) years of bloodshed. Echoing Islamic doctrine, the PLO denies that the Jews ever had possession of the Promised Land even under Joshua and David and claims that it always belonged to the Arabs . . . even that the Jews ever existed as a nation is denied! They are not acknowledged to be a national, ethnic group of people at all, but merely followers of a religion" ("Cup of Trembling" – 1995, Dave Hunt, pp. 287-88).
Once again, the brilliance of Dave Hunt shines in his above statements . . . and he continues, like so many American evangelical Christians who await the Second Coming of Christ:
"We are moving in the direction which the Bible says will be taken. It is the road to disaster, to Armageddon, but on the way it detours through temporary peace. ‘When they say ‘Peace and safety,’ then cometh sudden destruction,’ wrote Paul. That statement tells us that the world must reach a point where it believes that peace has been achieved—and, of course, that must involve the Middle East. Centuries earlier, Daniel, inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote that it would be through peace that the Antichrist would destroy many (Daniel 8:25: "By peace shall he (Antichrist) destroy many"). Obviously it would not be genuine peace, but a pseudo peace that would weaken Israel’s defenses and strategic protection, making her vulnerable to destruction and encouraging her enemies to attack." (Ibid., pp. 297-98).
The necessary catalyst that will trigger the "peace" of Antichrist—i.e., Pax Antichristus—the singular and seminal event that will precipitate the march to Armageddon—is NOT the conflagration between the West and Islam (i.e., the Gog-Magog War), but the spurious ejection or secret rapture of the very Church called to give TESTIMONY (mar-too-ree-on; Strong’s #3142; cf. "martyr" and "martyrology") in the very midst of the "street of the Great City" (i.e., Babylon, Revelation 11:3-8).
No, the believing Corpus Christi (Body of Christ) is literally ejected from this tumultuous scene for the revelation of Pax Antichristus. In point of fact—both Jews and Moslems are left with Antichrist himself who somehow orchestrates through subterfuge, cunning, and satanic perspicacity: Pax Antichristus!
"Very soon, millions upon millions of those living on this earth will be mysteriously snatched away from the planet and taken to heaven! Only then can the Antichrist be revealed. In fact, this event will be the catalyst that will catapult him into power at the very beginning of Daniel’s seventieth week. Nothing else could possibly do so" (Hunt, "Cup of Trembling" – pp. 365-66).
And, I hasten to add: Nothing could be further from the truth of Scripture!
To substantiate the distortion of the Blessed Hope (which alone is the actual Second Coming of Christ and the coming of the Jewish Messiah in bodily form for all to see) Hunt surmises:
"Such an event, involving the sudden mysterious disappearance of perhaps 200 million people, is beyond our ability to imagine. It is not difficult, however, to realize what the world’s reaction will be. This world will be absolutely terrorized! The Joint Chiefs of Staff, the President’s Cabinet, the Congress, the United Nations, and every responsible government and business and educational body will be meeting in emergency session—stunned, devastated, trying to understand what happened to the missing million. ‘Where did they go? Who took them? Who will be next?’ will be the queries on trembling lips around the world . . . after the rapture, the ‘survival’ of this event will unite those remaining as nothing else could. Islamic ambitions to take over the world, the mutual hatred of Serbian Orthodox and Croatian Catholics, the animosity and suspicion between North and South Koreans—these and all other enmities will be forgotten in the mutual terror and necessity of cooperating together . . . with all the Christians removed, Satan’s great opportunity to take over the world has arrived. Terrified and confused, those that remain will worship anyone who can bring order and meaning out of this chaos" (Ibid., p. 366).
THE PATRIOTIC CHURCH DOESN’T NEED GOG-MAGOG, TESTIMONY, OR PERSECUTION!
In a previous tome I excoriated brother Hunt’s faulty exegesis of Ezekiel 38 and 39 and his wishy-washy denial of nations aligned against Israel (i.e., Gog-Magog) bearing any real significance; and the horrific implications it has for both Christian and Jew, and for that matter, all peoples of the earth: http://www.the-tribulation-network.com/dougkrieger/gog_magog_or_armageddon.htm.
Furthermore, the "War Against the Evil Doers" of Islam, and the secularization of American society, has given rise to the Patriotic Church hell-bent on spreading "democratic values," "Judeo-Christian ethics," while every opportunity to evangelize the heathen (especially during the process of democratizing Islamic states) is trumpeted.
The presupposition to entertain Pax Antichristus as a result of the Church’s rapture ("coming for His saints") denies the Church her greatest witness at history’s epiphany—leaving the Seventieth Week of Daniel (or what may be left of it) to the "apostate Jews" who are once again isolated and left to face the horrors of Jacob’s Trouble alone.
No, this is NOT the Messianic Scenario—this is not the witness and testimony left for either the Church or Israel in the "last days" (i.e., the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11: The Two Olive Trees (Israel) and the Two Lampstands (The Church). The ultra-dispensationalist, Christian Reconstructionist, Dominionist/Theocrat, et al., Evangelical Protestants and/or Catholic/Orthodox alike, have devised religious themes which circumvent Antichrist’s final collision with true Christianity and covenantal Israel.
The onrush of deception and rank apostasy awaiting the faithful as the campaign to democratize the Islamic world accelerates, will, at the close of Gog’s defeat, and the immediate "peace" which follows this cataclysmic confrontation, assuredly be a rapture, yea, a euphoria of exultation, as a Triumphant Christianity and a surviving Israel will herald the era of Pax Antichristus! (Note: More akin to Nazi Germany’s euphoric sensations after the conquest of Poland!)
Carefully, very carefully read the sequential nature of these promises—to those of you who believe—and to those who observe our folly, remember, do you really affirm that the roadmap to peace in the Middle East leads through Washington; do you?
"Now brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away (i.e., the "apostasia" (Grk.) or apostasy) comes first, and the man of sin (i.e., Antichrist) is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God" (II Thessalonians 2:1-4).
The secret rapture does not come first—the Great Falling Away from the Faith and the revelation of the Antichrist himself occurs first! To distort the straightforward presentation of these sequential Scriptures for the sake of an elite core of Christians to escape earth’s most troublesome hour—and her greatest ingathering of souls into the Kingdom of His dear Son—is anathema to everything for which the Cross of Christ stands! Furthermore, it is an affront to "The Cry of the Martyrs" who immediately in the Fifth Seal of the Apocalypse precede the celestial disturbances of the Sixth Seal of that same Revelation Chapter 6 and which Jesus spoke of so clearly in Luke 21:25-28—i.e., the sequence is abundantly clear:
(1) The "Tribulation Saints" cry out for relief from persecution under the "wrath of the Antichrist/Beast" in the Fifth Seal of Revelation 6:9-11: "When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony (i.e., "martyr") which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?’ Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed."
(Note: To theologically convolute the text and say that these "Tribulation Saints" are somehow NOT the Church (i.e., "outside of being in Christ") or to identify them solely as "Israel" (i.e., persecuted Jews) is utterly outrageous and flies in the face of all that "testimony" implies and its absolute connectivity to Christ Himself and those who willingly "give up their soul lives unto the death" (cf. Rev. 1:2, 9; 6:9; 11:7; 12:11, 17; 19:10)—thus, the Church is most assuredly here on the earth during the 70th Week of Daniel, not sequestered off into the heavens somewhere in a secret rapture!)
(2) The "celestial disturbances" recorded in Revelation 6:12-17 issue in the ultimate "wrath of the Lamb" (Revelation 6:16) and the "great day of His wrath." Likewise, Luke 21:25-26 speaks of these same heavenly disturbances PRIOR to the coming of the Son of Man. (Note: The Fifth Seal bespeaks of the "wrath of the Antichrist/Beast" (Revelation 12:12) – whereas the Sixth Seal introduces the "wrath of the Lamb" wherein those who have suffered under the Fifth Seal are NOT "subjected/appointed . . . to ‘wrath’" (i.e., the "wrath of the Lamb," cf. I Thessalonians 5:9)).
(3) The Second Coming of Christ – the "Coming of the Son of Man" – Luke 21:27-18 and Revelation 6:16-17 (Note: The "Wrath of the Lamb" is the miraculous and final bodily intervention of the Son of Man—i.e., His Second Coming for the Church, and Messiah’s coming for Israel (Zechariah 14:1-9)).
The failed policies of "peace and safety"—exacerbated by an implacable and determined world religion bent on world dominion, and resisted, yea, inspired to enlist in the military defeat of this awful foe, by modern Christian crusaders—bespeaks of the most massive falling away from the faith ever during the Church’s 2,000-year history.
Indeed, this apostasy can only be aided and abetted by the sincere, but distorted, exegesis of Scripture exemplified by well-meaning American evangelicals—evangelicals who today ride the crest of patriotism in the War on Terror; anticipating the triumph of good over evil; entrenchment of the American New World Order System; curtailment of rampant secularism-relativism; and, the pacification-evangelization of Islam.
Notwithstanding the deceits and apostasies embedded in the spread of "Democratic Globalism" and its false promises of "peace, peace" – regrettably championed by conservative Christendom and sincere Jews – it is our fervent prayer, as Daniel foresaw in the midst of Jacob’s Trouble:
"At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book . . . those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever" (Daniel 12:1 & 3).
For a full graphic presentation in the above article with all working links, please go to http://www.the-tribulation-network.com
About the Author: Doug is a member of the "Last Days Network" . . . a group of evangelical pundits providing news and analysis on Religion in Politics. "Applied Biblical prophecy," apostasy and deception, the impact of the New American World Order System, and the influence of the Religious Right and Left upon American culture--are topics discussed by the group. He is an educator in the public schools (California) and an administrator.