September 15, 2001

The WTC

Revelation 2:18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; 19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. 20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. 21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. 22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. 23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. 24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.

Let me say at the onset: Our first loyalty is not to the United States, nor to any other literal nation upon this earth. Our loyalty is to the kingdom of God:

Luke 10:9 And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. 10:11 Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. 11:20 But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.

That kingdom has been under attack by the kingdoms of this world, including the United States, for many years. There have been some devastating blows to that kingdom, especially the government education system and ?abortion rights.? Yet very few of even Christians have been upset about those attacks by the wicked. If anything, the Christian flag should be flying half staff.

Certainly, I love America. Certainly, I was saddened to see the jet liners fly into the World Trade Center, and I would certainly like to see the perpetrators caught and dealt with, but why am I not equally saddened to see the wicked destroying the faith that this nation was founded in, the Biblical Christian Faith of our Lord Jesus Christ?

Zechariah 2:8 For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.

The apple of his eye is not a small nation over in the Middle East. The apple of his eye is the blood bought Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. The nation of both the Lord?s and our loyalty has the city of the living God as its center; it is the heavenly Jerusalem spoken of in Hebrews 12:22-24. It has Jesus as the mediator of the new covenant, and is cleansed by the sprinkling of His blood.

May God see fit to give to us right priorities, and that priority is first of all the well being of the Kingdom of God. (Matt. 6:33.)

A pastor friend sent out an e mail asking where is the spirit of repentance over the horrible sins of America? Why has there not been a day of fasting and mourning over sin been declared? Seeing as how this tragedy has brought no desire to repent and turn from sin, will there not be more attacks in the future? I am sure it was not done intentionally, but it seems that despite everything, the nation thumbed its nose at the Lord God ? in order to be Politically Correct, a Muslim cleric led in the ?national? prayer Friday. And he prayed to the ?Lord? ; however, the ?Lord? he prayed to was not the Lord who alone can defend us from those who seek to destroy us.

Revelation 2:18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; 19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. 20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. 21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. 22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. 23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. 24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. (See also 9:20, 16:9, 11.)

Was the Lord referring specifically to the people to whom He sent the Revelation?that is, the generation that saw the destruction of Jerusalem? We do see that people can become so hardened in their sins that the Lord abandons them to their own destruction. Did not the Lord harden Pharaoh?s heart to where he was willing to face destruction rather than repent? But his hardness was to the salvation of God?s people. (Ex. 7:13, &c.) Romans one does speak of God giving the sinners over to a reprobate heart, and Romans two speaks of the hardness and impenitent heart storing up wrath for the day of judgment. (Rom. 1:28, 2:5.)

The below is an e mail from Doug Phillips. I believe you will find it interesting. He gives 8 good points that I want to discuss as my outline today:

Dear Friends:

This morning, enemies of the United States of America launched the largest successful coordinated attack within our national boundaries since Pearl Harbor. September 11, 2001, will prove to be America's second day that will go down in infamy. The day we had hoped would never come has finally arrived.

It is one thing to fight a war on foreign soil; it is another to die in your backyard or place of business. For more than a century, Americans have been essentially shielded from such warfare. The events of today indicate that we would be presumptuous to assume our children will enjoy such a shield during their lifetime.

At this point, it seems clear that the individuals or groups behind this attack were highly organized, well funded and systematic in their efforts. The most recent reports indicate that the diabolical schemes of the enemies of this nation have caused the horrific loss of four passenger planes, the destruction of at least three great buildings, which collectively house more than 30,000 workers and visitors, and the loss of life or injury of an untold multitude.

We do not yet know the numbers of the dead and wounded, but it seems reasonable to believe it will be in the thousands. Certainly hundreds of thousands of Americans will feel the pangs of anguish associated with the loss of a loved one or friend. Perhaps it will be you. Perhaps it will be me. I am confident that every true American, regardless of creed or station, mourns and grieves and suffers. For we are all Americans, and our family has been attacked.

Only the Lord knows the hundreds of tales, both of horror and of heroism, which were surely played out today. I want to say for the record that I do not believe for one moment that any of these commercial pilots would fly a plane into a building, even with a gun to their heads. I am confident they would have lost their lives rather than be willing tools in such a vicious act.

We dare not even speculate at this time about the final moments aboard those planes for the many children, teenagers and adults. Nor can we imagine the unspeakably terrible choices facing those individuals caught high above the ground, trapped by the flames, and forced to jump from the heights of the World Trade Towers. We can only turn humbly to God, in prayer and in supplication, and beg for mercy for the many families who lost loved ones.

Earlier today I received a report from my good friend, Pastor Steve Schlissel, whose congregation is in Brooklyn, just miles from the epicenter of today's violence. His co?elder in the church was in the second tower when the first was destroyed. He made it to safety. Many of those he left behind did not. Steve shared that this dear brother had to look away as dozens of people fell or jumped from the 70th story of the building. (Thankfully, all but one member of Steve's congregation has been accounted for; that brother, Mr. Valery, worked in the building next to the Trade Center. Let us remember him in prayer.)

Tomorrow, the world will wake up, and it will be looking for answers. It is our responsibility to offer words of truth. What then should be the response of the Christian Community? What is our course of action? What should we say to our children at this grave moment? Please permit me to humbly offer the following thoughts for your consideration:

1. We must never forget that God is in control of all things, even devastation caused by a terrorist attack. The events of this day came as no surprise to Him. It may be difficult for finite man to understand His infinite counsel and decrees, but we can be assured of the goodness and wisdom of His plan. Furthermore, we can be confident that even this disaster will ultimately bring glory to Him. He is the sovereign God.

COMMENT

Isaiah 26:9 With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. 10 Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the LORD. 11 LORD, when thy hand is lifted up, they will not see: but they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy at the people; yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them.

For who and in what time frame was the above promise meant? The only way the world will learn righteousness is through judgments, but what kind of judgments will it take to make the wicked learn righteousness?

Proverbs 22:8 He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail.

Isaiah 10:1 ? Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed; 2 To turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless! 3 And what will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation which shall come from far? to whom will ye flee for help? and where will ye leave your glory? 4 Without me they shall bow down under the prisoners, and they shall fall under the slain. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still. 5 ? O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. 6 I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. 7 Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few. 8 For he saith, Are not my princes altogether kings? 9 Is not Calno as Carchemish? is not Hamath as Arpad? is not Samaria as Damascus? 10 As my hand hath found the kingdoms of the idols, and whose graven images did excel them of Jerusalem and of Samaria; 11 Shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols? 12 Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks.

Assyria?s capital was Nineveh, the city Jonah did not want to preach in. Through the prophet Isaiah, the Lord said that He will send the pagan nation, Assyria, as judgment against His sinful people, vv. 1-3. V. 4, yet even in the midst of judgment, the Lord still has a stretched out hand, calling on His people to repent.

Vv. 5, 6, Assyria is the rod of His anger to execute judgment. So God promises to send the heathen nation of Assyria against His people because of sin in His people. And God paid the Assyrians well ? with all the spoil and prey?captives?the army could carry away.

V. 7, the king of Assyria had no idea he was doing God?s will; he was in it for the power and spoil he could get from God?s people. Those who hijacked those planes may have thought they were doing God?s will; however, the Muslim god is not the God of the Bible.

V. 12, the Lord says that when He is done with Assyria, He will judge Assyria for his pride, high looks. Assyria was confident that what he did was by his own power. But it was at God?s direction, and by God?s power. The king of Assyria, Shalmanezer IV, overran the land of Judah, and took the city of Jerusalem, BC. 705. About BC. 586, Assyria was overthrown, to be replaced by Babylon.

Isaiah 14:24 ? The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand: 25 That I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders. 26 This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. 27 For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back? 28 In the year that king Ahaz died was this burden. 29 Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent?s root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent. 30 And the firstborn of the poor shall feed, and the needy shall lie down in safety: and I will kill thy root with famine, and he shall slay thy remnant. 31 Howl, O gate; cry, O city; thou, whole Palestina, art dissolved: for there shall come from the north a smoke, and none shall be alone in his appointed times. 32 What shall one then answer the messengers of the nation? That the LORD hath founded Zion, and the poor of his people shall trust in it.

Isaiah 45:1 ? Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; 2 I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: 3 And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel. 4 For Jacob my servant?s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me. 5 ? I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: 6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. 7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. 8 Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it. 9 Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands? 10 Woe unto him that saith unto his father, What begettest thou? or to the woman, What hast thou brought forth?

Here the Lord warns His people of the judgment to come against their sins. He calls the man by name who will execute that judgment, yet His people refuse to repent. He warns them against trying ?second guess? Him and what He does.

Isaiah 46:5 To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like? 6 They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance, and hire a goldsmith; and he maketh it a god: they fall down, yea, they worship. 7 They bear him upon the shoulder, they carry him, and set him in his place, and he standeth; from his place shall he not remove: yea, one shall cry unto him, yet can he not answer, nor save him out of his trouble. 8 Remember this, and shew yourselves men: bring it again to mind, O ye transgressors. 9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: 11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it. 12 Hearken unto me, ye stouthearted, that are far from righteousness: 13 I bring near my righteousness; it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not tarry: and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory.

The Lord called for Cyrus to come from Persia and conquer Babylon. Babylon fell to Persia in 538 BC, on the night of Belshazzaar?s feast (Dan 5:30). Note that the World Trade Center was the center for world trade; the Babylonian system is built upon gold and silver, money. We should say, ?It is built upon debt.?

It is assumed that those who did the deed were from the East. Note also that judgment came in as a revenous bird at full throttle. And the message is clear ? Harken unto me, ye stouthearted (that is, stubborn in resisting God), that are far from righteousness. And this of America nation has, officially, rejected God?s righteousness as the government?s statist education system has and is training God-hating young people.

Isaiah 43:13 Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?

Notice here that when the Lord has determined to judge evil, nothing can deliver the ones being judged out of His hand. He will work, and no one can stop Him.

Proverbs 21:31 The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.

Notice here that the ?feel good, fluff and stuff, crowd drawing? services and messages will not bring about repentance, and thus spare God?s continuing judgment. It is going to take some very ?offensive? messages to call Christians back to their profession of Christ as Lord of all.

Galatians 4:16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

Romans 3:19ff., (Gal. 3:24, 25) tell us that it is by the preaching and teaching of the law of God that the sinner becomes guilty before God, and only then sees his need for the Saviour. This guilt is not brought about by a good ?feel good worship? service.

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2. We must also remember that even wickedness will "work together for good for them that love God, to them who are called," (Romans 8:28). If you are a child of the King, then all things work together for your ultimate good. Note, however, that all things do not work together for good for everyone. If you are not a Christian, you can find no ultimate hope or solace in a tragedy like the one we have just experienced.

COMMENT

Only a Christian who believes in a Sovereign God who controls everything can find any hope in the midst of turmoil, and even in the midst of civil unrest.

As I was looking at the Arminian vs Calvin question, I was struck by the clear teaching of Scripture of the doctrine of Divine Sovereignty. The question that came to mind is this ? have those who refuse to hear and believe the clearly taught doctrine of Divine Sovereignty formed a new god after their own imagination?

Jeremiah 13:10 This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing.

Those who do not believe in Divine Sovereignty are in a fix when turmoil comes about. Because if God is not in control, then man and satan are, and there is no limit to what they can do. But we who believe Scripture know better:

Psalms 76:10 Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.

The remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain. Is this why the third plane only hit the Pentagon and the fourth plane crashed in the mountains of PA?

Without the faith of Christ, there is no hope nor comfort in the tragedies that take place around us.

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3. Yet to be revealed are the many mercies of God which He extended today. The media has given multiple reports of individuals who found themselves in the World Trade Towers at the time of the crashes, but who inexplicably made it to safety. Thanks to a stray camera flash in the midst of the dust and ashes, one man was able to find an exit door and escape to safety. My own family has friends who work at the Pentagon in the precise region of the plane crash, but who, mercifully, were not there today.

COMMENT

Isaiah 5:25 Therefore is the anger of the LORD kindled against his people, and he hath stretched forth his hand against them, and hath smitten them: and the hills did tremble, and their carcases were torn in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still. (Isa. 9:12, 17, 21, 10:4.)

There is individual mercy in Christ, and there is national mercy in repentance.

4. Many Christians will be wondering whether they should shield their young children from the events of the day. I want to firmly advocate that we do not hide them from our children. Wisdom may dictate great discretion in how we discuss today's tragedy with our children, but it is imperative that we do discuss it. Our children must see us praying for our country. They must see us lifting up the families of the dead. They must hear us crying out that the Lord would be merciful to us and future generations. They must know that there are many people around the world who hate God, and that all those who hate God love death.

It is our role to stand against the hatred of God and to preach and live a message of life. This is an opportunity for every father to exercise his spiritual leadership in the home by demonstrating the right way for Christians to respond to tragedy and national judgment. It is an opportunity to begin to prepare our children for the awesome leadership and wisdom they must demonstrate as future leaders of the 21st century.

COMMENT

Proverbs 8:36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.

Though our leaders will not admit the fact, it is a religious war that caused the men to do what they did last Tuesday. They were probably Muslims (Islamic), and being Muslims, they hate the Christian God of the Bible; therefore, they love death. When and if the organizers of the attack are caught and removed, there will be many more to take their place. And they will calculate how they also can give their lives to war against the Christian God.

There will be plenty of money to finance them?the Arab nations funnel the Western money received for oil, manufactured goods and foreign aid into the Islamic cause of destroying the West. And China continues to sell the Western technology it gained from Clinton to those determined to destroy America.

Note that it is God who had turned the hearts of the wicked against the US, and He has given them boldness to give their lives as the ones did Tuesday.

Revelation 17:17, For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

God put it into the hearts of the wicked to fulfill His will in Revelation, and His will was not pleasant to those against whom the wicked moved.

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5. The Bible teaches that there is a clear connection between national judgment and national sin. Count on the fact that when a nation experiences calamities of this magnitude, the events are meant to get its attention. We should be examining ourselves as a people to see if we have been faithful to the God of our spiritual fathers who forged this nation. If we hope to enjoy the protection of God against our enemies, we must seek His favor by turning from our materialistic idolatries, our perversions and our child sacrifice.

Today thousands may have died, but every day thousands of innocent children die grizzly and horrible deaths in the State?blessed abortuaries of our nation. Surely this grieves God. Surely he hates this. Let us remember the words of the King of Ninevah: "Let man and beast be covered with sackcloth and cry mightily to God: Yea let them turn every one from His evil way and from the violence which is in their hands. Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from His fierce anger, that we perish not?" (Jonah 3:8?9) The book of Jonah offers us hope: "And God saw their works that they turned from their evil way and God repented of the evil that He had said He would do unto them; and He did it not." (Jonah 3:10)

COMMENT

Scripture is clear, ?When a man?s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.? (Pro. 16:7.)

In other words, America has thumbed its nose at the Lord with things such as compromising preachers (dumb dogs, Isa. 56:10; see final note below), murder of the innocent, an anti-Christ fiat money system, public supported sodomy, an anti-Christian education system, government sponsored murders such as at Waco and Ruby Ridge, and multitudes of other examples. And now the Lord has turned the hearts of individuals with religious motivation to destroy, with the assurance that their sacrifice will mean paradise for them in the next life.

Notice the promise:

Exodus 34:24 For I will cast out the nations before thee, and enlarge thy borders: neither shall any man desire thy land, when thou shalt go up to appear before the LORD thy God thrice in the year.
2 Chronicles 17:10 And the fear of the LORD fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were round about Judah, so that they made no war against Jehoshaphat.
Job 1:10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.

No matter how much military preparation or how much civil security measures are taken, safety can only come from the Lord.

Proverbs 21:31 The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.

How can the Lord be expected to protect a nation that chose sodomites over babies ? it will not protect the unborn, yet will protect the sodomites?

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6. We exist at the mercy of God and only by His mercy. Peace is a blessing, not a right. We must gather as families, as friends and as congregations to seek the Lord for this blessing.

COMMENT

Lamentations 3:22 It is of the LORD?S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

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7. Success breeds a spirit of invincibility. Americans live in a dream world of false security. But all earthly security is illusory. The amazing thing is not that this tragedy happened today, but that it has not happened before. America has long been vulnerable, not only from terrorist bombings, but also from technological and biological attack. It only takes one terrorist and a couple of vials of Anthrax to kill an entire community. We can and must prepare for such terrorism, and we must be thorough in our approach to such defenses. But we must proclaim with every fiber in our bodies, that absent the blessing of God, our defenses are useless. There are no unsinkable ships, and there are no invulnerable nations. The only absolute security is eternal security in Jesus Christ. We must flee to Him and beg Him to be our strong defense, our shield and buckler.

COMMENT

Psalms 91:4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. (Buckler - A shield surrounding a person; a large shield protecting the whole body.)

We see from point #5, that He is the literal shield and buckler. As a nation enforces godly laws, then the Lord protects that nation. One means of protection is keeping from the heart of the wicked the desire to attack such a nation. He places a fear of that nation into the heart of the wicked.

Anthrax ? certainly, this is a threat, but His people must depend upon Him for their safety; and they depend upon Him by waking in the ways of the Lord. (Pro. 16:7.)

2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

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8. We must recognize the fact that we do have enemies and that objective evil does exist in this world. We must give up the "we are the world" philosophy that all nations, groups and individuals act with the best intentions toward us. There are groups and individuals who hate God and who hate America and who perceive themselves to be in a state of war against us. Terrorism tends to breed terrorism. We should not be surprised if other groups will be encouraged in their efforts by the events of the day. We must cry out to God and seek His protection and mercy against the agents of Satan.

COMMENT

Sad to say, we have made many enemies:

Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

The American people have not protested as our politicians bullied the world. President Bush has authorized
continued bombing of innocent people in Iraq. President Clinton bombed innocent people in the Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Serbia. President Bush Senior invaded Iraq and Panama. President Reagan bombed innocent people in Libya and invaded Grenada. And on and on it goes. Do we think the people who lost their families and friends and property in all that destruction will love America for what happened? When will we learn that violence always begets violence?

As a note: I see that Sherman?s march to the Sea in which he killed multitudes of civilians and destroyed the country side is being heralded as a great act of bravery in books even now being published. Why is he held to a different standard?

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If you were alive when Pearl Harbor was bombed, you remember. If you were alive when President Kennedy was shot, you remember. We owe it to our children and their posterity that this day be remembered. Our children will only remember this day if we allow them to experience it with us. There is a time for weeping, and this is such a time. Future generations may conclude that this was the most horrible day in our history. But God has allowed you and I to live through it for an important reason.

Let us give thanks to Jehovah for His mercies and the opportunity for a bold Gospel witness facilitated by the darkness of the deed done today. Perhaps the Lord is offering America a wake?up call. Perhaps there is a window of time in which we can seek His mercy.

Your Friend,
Doug Phillips
President, The Vision Forum, Inc.

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God is judging this nation, and people are caught up in prophetic speculation concerning the things forbidden, i.e.., the secret things, and using God?s money to do it, e.g., Tim LaHaye and Jerry Fallwell. God seems to be raising up the Muslims to bring about that judgment. Notice that the militant individual Muslims are like the small things of the plagues against Egypt. God used small frogs, lice and flies to bring that mighty nation to its knees, and Egypt could do nothing about the plagues. The world sinks into the blackness of the Muslim faith while Christians seek to know the secret things of God. We will get what we deserve?destruction. And the armed might of the mightiest nation to exist on the earth will be able to do nothing about it. (See article by this pastor, "The Money Trail.")

Concluding thoughts (September 16, 2001):

Will the US do anything? I should say, "Is there enough moral courage on Capital Hill to do anything?" There has not been that courage in the past as the American military barracks and embassies have been bombed, and nothing was done, other than a lot of dust thrown in the air and a lot of threats made. Moral courage comes from personal morality:

Proverbs 28:1 The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion. (Deut. 28:25.)

Is there enough personal integrity and morality on Capital Hill to take a strong stand and do something? That will remain to be seen, though I hope so. But we face a serious problem when pastors fail to have the moral courage to confront the state over ungodly laws. Being in distress because we could not find a pastor in Virginia who would preform the marriage for Bettie and me in June, 2001, I wrote the following note to a friend, Peter Kershaw <hushmoney.org>, lamenting that we had to go outside the state to find a pastor who would preform the ceremony. (We felt and feel that the state has no biblical authority over the Christian marriage ? it is between the man, woman, preacher and God.)

Bro Peter:

I could not find a pastor in Northern Va who would marry Bettie and me without a State license. They all claimed the state had legitimate authority to license marriages. So I found a pastor from Pa who would do it, and we went to Gettysburg.

And all the pastors we checked with in VA claimed to hold the bible as the final authority. One started to "argue" with me when I asked him to do it, and I sent him back my exposition on Daniel. He then said he did not have time to study it out, yet he still would not do it. It is a sad day when so called bible believing pastors are that terrified of the state.
God help us, Bro. Ovid.

(Peter?s answer)

God does help us, brother. But God cannot help a people whose clergy sit on their dead butts and do nothing to challenge tyranny. Clearly the Bible is no authority to them at all, only the Virginia code 20?28: Penalty for celebrating marriage without license. If any person knowingly perform the ceremony of marriage without lawful license, or officiate in celebrating the rites of marriage without being authorized by law to do so, he shall be confined in jail not exceeding one year, and fined not exceeding $500.

The only reason these stinking laws exist is because no preachers challenged them when they were ratified. Until they are challenged and/or violated by those who have the legal status to do so, they will remain de facto. Obviously the pastor of an incorporated church has no authority, apart from that granted him by the State, to perform marriage ceremonies. But your situation is especially ironic, in light of the fact that Virginia and West Virginia are the only states in the union that prohibit the incorporation of churches.

One would think that it should be especially simple to make a jurisdictional argument over the marriage license issue there. However, where is the pastor who has the moral integrity to do so?

Peter

Pastor Ovid Need

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