The Book of Life…

Luke 10:20
But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.”

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Revelation 20:12
I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books…

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Romans 8:1
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

(gospel tract by the late Peter J. Peters, Church of Christ pastor)

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HOW TO BECOME A CHRISTIAN

By Peter J. Peters

There are a lot of people who understand the Identity issue, and are not Christians. People are not being told how to become a Christian. Many ministries are addressing the identity issue, but those ministries, for the most part, are not telling people how to become a Christian. In Churches today, most people are not Christians—they have not been born of the water and the spirit. They must do what the Bible tells them to do and not what their preachers tell them to do. And, if you listen to the preachers of the land today, be it a Billy Graham Crusade, or the promise keepers that are now becoming so prominent, or the average Podunk Hollar Judeo-Christian that gives an invitation at the end of the service—they are all being told to accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior and let him come into their heart. But, the Bible does not tell us that. No one in the Bible was ever told to let Jesus Christ come into their heart.

There are a lot of people who will be offended by this message. But, I am going to tell the truth on how to become a Christian. There are a lot of concealed truths in the Bible—therefore, we have to search them out. If you search out the references that you will find in
this message, you will find that the truth is there in clear print on how to become a Christian.

The scriptures contain many truths that are better understood by relating them to the physical world. For example:

1Peter 2-1 “therefore, putting aside all malice and all guile and hypocrisy and envy and slander, like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the Word, that by it, they may grow in respect to salvation…”

How many people have read this passage, but do not practice it? It tells us that we are to be like newborn babes that long for the pure milk of the Word. I remember one time when I was talking to my son on the phone and I could hear my grandson in the background; he was not happy. When I ask my son what was wrong with him, he said,  “He is longing for milk and his mother is not here.” A baby like that longs for the milk. And the scripture teaches that we are longing for the milk of the Word. These pages absolutely contain the milk of the Word.

1Chorinthians 3-1. “And, brother, I could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men in flesh, as to babes in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food, for you were not able to receive it. Indeed, even now, you are not yet able; for you are still fleshly.” This teaches that many people are just fleshly (non-spiritual men and women) who want the meat, when they really need is the milk. What they need is to be born and to become babes in Christ.

Hebrews5-12. “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again to have someone teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the Word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice, has his senses trained to discern good and evil.”

Verse 12 says that we need to go back to the milk of the Word. And that is what I am telling you now. You need to become Christians. In life, we often ask each other questions:

What are you going to do when you get out of school?

What are you going to do when you get out of college?

What are you going to do when you get out of the service?

What are you going to do when the kids are grown?

What are you going to do when you retire?

There is another question that you need to be asking—what are you going to do when you die? Particularly, if you haven’t properly addressed this question of how to become a Christian. I am finding out that this thing called life goes by rather quickly and you will be asking yourself that question before you know it, if you are not already doing so. What are you going to do when you die? You need to know how to become a Christian.

There is a passage in Matthew 7 that people should read. Especially, people that have believed the lie “Accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior.” I know that you have heard people say, “I became a Christian on such and such a day, I remember it well; I began to pray and I was born again.” Or, “I was sitting on the front porch and I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior and I became a Christian.” Well, no, they did not and neither will you in that way. NO ONE, NO ONE becomes a Christian except by God’s way.

Now, if that does not make you feel good, go find a church that makes you feel good. My job is not to make you feel good. My job is to tell you the truth, and the truth is, no one becomes a Christian by accepting Christ as their personal savior. If you accepted Christ as your personal savior, good for you! But, now, why don’t you do what the Bible says?

The Bible tells us that there would be a people that would be totally deluded on this point. In Matthew 7, Christ had just finished talking about the false prophets.

Matthew 7-15. “Beware of the false prophet, who comes to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly, are ravenous wolves.

Matthew 15-20. “So, then, you will know them by their fruits. Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of my Father, who is in heaven.”

Let’s do the fruit test—to see if these creatures are a bunch of fruitcakes. First, you have to recognize that they could be a false prophet. I could be a false prophet—many people believe that I am. I would appreciate the fact that you would be suspicious. You ought to be because the Lord said, “Beware of the false prophet.”

So, what are you supposed to do? You are to do a fruit test. Some people are very convincing, but it is not what they say that is important, but rather do they do the Will of the Father? How are you to know? Take the Bible to see if what they say and what I am saying
is the Will of the Father.

Matthew 7-22. “not everyone that says to Me on that day (the day of judgment), Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name; and, in Your name cast out demons? And in Your name perform many miracles? And then I will declare to them, I never knew you. Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.”

Let’s analyze that. First of all, in Verse 22, many people on that day believed in Jesus. It is most obvious that they believed because they call him Lord. Did these people in Verse 22 do many works in His name? Did they prophesize in His name? Did they cast out demons? Did they perform many miracles? The answer is yes. Yes. Now, in Verse 23—read it for yourself—“Depart from me you who practice lawlessness.” Were they saved? No, because they did not follow the Will or the law of God. They did not become a Christian God’s way. They obviously thought they were Christians; they pointed out their works—and, they did works. They did perform miracles. They did cast out demons. How? There were tapping into a law of God that says, “Faith moves mountains.” But, they were not saved.

It is clear that these people believed. But, faith is not enough. Why were they surprised? Because they had been listening to false prophets. They were not Christians because they believed the lie that all they had to do was to accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior.
It goes something like this:

“Come forward, if you will. Let us pray together. Come to the altar. Sign this little card. Pray with us. Actually, there is a variety of means, but it all comes back to the doctrine that says faith only. Faith is enough. The previously mentioned people had faith; they had great faith. They had enough faith to do great things—but, they were not saved! They had listened to false prophets. Go to Acts17. Underline Verse 11, and then do it yourself.

Acts 17-11. “ For these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the Word with great eagerness, examining the scriptures daily, to see if these things were so.”

There we see that it is a noble thing in the eyes of God to examine the scriptures in seeking the truth.

If I were to tell you, in answer to the question “How to Become a Christian”, to accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior, then you should examine the scriptures to see if this is right. You should examine the scriptures to see if there was one solitary soul in the entire New Testament that was ever told to accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior. Now, this fact alone should impress you. Here is the biggest lie in Christendom today, besides Jews and God’s chosen people, that’s not in the Bible.

John 3-16. If there is ever a scripture that has been memorized, it is this one.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son so that whomsoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

This is the verse that is most normally used to promote the “faith only” doctrine. So, all you have to do is believe. NO! You just read a scripture where people believed that Jesus was Lord and yet they were not saved.

There is another passage in this area of belief that is also used to promote this faith only doctrine.

Romans 10-8. “The Word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart. If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth, he confesses, resulting in salvation.”

This verse is so clear. If you believe that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. If you just take John 3-16 and Romans 10-8, then I can understand why you might think all you have to do to become a Christian is to believe in Jesus. But, there are many other scriptures that pertain to this thing called salvation. Belief is not enough. The reason it is not enough is because all people have a problem. This problem is—regardless of your net worth or your lineage or your age or where you come from—we are all sinners.

Romans 3-23. “For all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God.”

We have all sinned. John 3-4 says that sin is a transgression against God’s law. One time, when I was in a motel lobby, I saw Dr. Kevorikian on TV (he is the doctor that assists people in committing suicide). He was saying, “What I do might be against what you believe. You might believe what I do is a sin. But, it is not a crime. Man, for a doctor this man was not very smart!! It might be a sin, but not a crime? Sin is a crime. The definition of a crime is, “a violation of the law.” The definition of sin is, “a violation of the law.” Therefore, a crime is a sin and a sin is a crime. Every one of us is a criminal in the eyes of God. So much so that Romans 6-23 says that we are worthy of death as sinners or criminals.

Romans 6-23. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

You might not consider yourself a criminal. You might say, as most criminals that go to jail, “I am innocent.” But, you must understand that it makes no difference how you perceive yourself when you stand before the judge; what makes a difference is whether or not the judge perceives you as guilty. And, there will be a day of reckoning—a day when you will have judgment. It will make no difference then how much you believe or how you have professed Christ as your savior; if you stand before the judge full of sin, you will hear the gavel come down and you will hear the pronouncement of “guilty”. For, “the wages of sin is death.” Period. So, if we stand before the judge as believers; as people who have professed Christ; as people who have done great works, but we still have sin to account for, then we will be pronounced guilty. Just like the people in Matthew 7.

What I am trying to encourage you to believe is that you are a sinner. Even if you have convinced yourself that you are no longer the criminal worthy of the judgment of death because you have believed or accepted, then you should read in Hebrews 9 about sin. It is important that you understand that just believing in Christ only makes you a believing sinner. Or professing Christ just makes you a professing sinner. There is only one thing that will take care of sin.

Hebrews 9-14. “How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit, offers himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works, to serve the Living God.”

Notice, it is the blood of Christ that cleanses.

Hebrews 9-22. “According to the law, one may almost say that all things are cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.”

What you must realize is that you cannot have the forgiveness of sins without the blood of Christ. The shed blood of Christ causes cleansing and forgiveness. If you are a believer —good! I do not want to minimize that because you must believe that Jesus Christ is
the Son of God; that he came in the flesh and died for your sins.

John 8-24: “I said therefore to you that you shall die in your sins for unless you believe that I Am, you shall die in your sins.”

Jesus was saying that unless you believe that He is God manifest in the flesh that you will die in your sins. There once was a preacher, an Identity preacher, even, who preached that Jesus was not God in the flesh. And some people fell for his lies. The reason that I angered so many people years ago when I pointed out his error was that he was a friend to so many. But I don’t care if I made him mad. If your friend is teaching that Jesus is just another God then that person is a false teacher. Christ said that unless you believe that I Am you will die in your sins.

John 1-1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,”

John 1 then goes on to say that the Word became flesh, and, unless you believe that, you will never become a Christian. It is absolutely essential that you believe this. But, believing is not enough. That is what this message is all about.

As a believer, you still have your sin and the only thing that will wash away your sin is the blood of Christ.

Mathew 26-28, “For this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

There is not a preacher in the land that cannot under-stand this passage. But, we cannot see how that blood is applied to our lives. I can hold up a bar of soap and tell you if you want your hands clean, you will have to believe on the soap. How absurd!! You have to apply the soap in order to get your hands clean. And so it is with the blood. You have to apply the blood to your own lives. How? How the Bible tells you to.

In Acts, Chapter 2, after the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, Christ has told the apostles to go to Jerusalem and wait there until what has been promised to them has come and the baptism of the Holy Spirit has occurred. Peter is preaching on the day of Pentecost—that is, 50 days after the crucifixion.

ACTS 2-36, “Therefore, let all of the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ–this Jesus that you have crucified.”

Acts 2-37, “Now, when they heard this they were pierced to the heart and they said to Peter, ‘Brethren, what shall we do?’”

Peter had filled them with conviction and they were asking him what they needed to do to become a Christian. Now, don’t you think it would be better for you to listen to what the Apostle Peter had to say on the subject of becoming a Christian than to listen to some
preacher telling you to accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior?

Acts 2-38, “And Peter said to them, repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Peter did not say, come forward and accept Jesus as your personal savior. Nor did he say to believe. Why didn’t Peter say anything about believing? The answer is simple—it would have been redundant. They were already in the believing state.

Many people that I minister to are in the believing state. They believe in Christ—that he is the great I Am that came in the flesh. But, now, according to Verse 38, what is the first thing that a believer is supposed to do? Repent.

Let’s discuss for a minute what repentance is. Repentance is probably the hardest part in becoming a Christian because you have to acknowledge that you are a sinner—that you are lost. It is sorrow for your sins–a humility–that causes you to repent. But, repentance is more that feeling sorry and humbly acknowledging that you are a sinner. It is a change of heart that leads to a change of action. It is a surrender where you say, “Lord, I am no longer king or queen of my life, but Thy will be done. Whatever you want me to stop doing, I am going to try to stop doing. And, Lord, whatever you want me to do, I will try to do.” Repentance is enthroning Jesus Christ in your life as your master, your Lord, your King. The theme song of sinners might be the famous song sang by Frank Sinatra, “I Did It My Way.” The theme song of Christians would be, “I Did It Thy Way.”

You might notice how little repentance is emphasized in the modern Judeo-Christian faith. They want you to feel good about yourself—to come forward and accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior. I remember one couple telling me that they allowed their young daughter to go to an Assembly of God youth group meeting— one time. It was a party. The music was playing; the drums emitting a jungle beat; the longhaired leader was singing and teaching. When she came home she told her parents that she had learned that God is
cool! God is not cool!! And, he doesn’t want us to be cool, either. He wants us to be either hot or cold, but not cool, not lukewarm. He will puke us out of his mouth if we are cool. Because that is what is being proclaimed from many pulpits—puke! We might call them pukeky pulpits!! They are telling people that God is cool and you, too, can be cool. I’m ok and you’re ok. YOU ARE NOT OK!! And, you never will be ok until you become a Christian the way the Bible instructs. To be a Christian, you must, number one, believe. And, be willing to believe that He is the Great I Am and to confess him as Lord of your life. And, number two, repent or surrender. It is called in the Bible dying to your old way of life. The old man, the sinful man must die.

What else did Peter tell them to do? He said, “Repent and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 4-6. “There is one body and one Spirit just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.”

How many hopes are there? ONE.
How many Lords are there? ONE
How many faiths are there? ONE
How many Gods are there? ONE
How many baptisms are there? ONE

There is only one Bible baptism that works in becoming a Christian. It is the one that Peter talked about in Acts 2-38. But, you know, in the world today there are many types of baptism. And two things stand out—the mode and the purpose. For example, the mode might be sprinkling, pouring, emersion, and what I often call dry cleaning (they use no water at all). What is the one mode that God recognizes as baptism? If you look up the meaning of the word in the Concordance you find out that it is baptismal in the Greek and the definition is immerse. In fact, the word was never properly translated from the Greek; rather, it was transliterated. At the time the King James Version was being translated and they came to that word it should have been translated “immerse.” But, they transliterated it
instead, because the church of the day was sprinkling. So they took the Greek letter beta and substituted the English letter B and took the Greek letter alpha and substituted the English letter A and they went from the Greek baptismal to baptize. In the Greek the word baptize means immerse. The word is an onomatopoeia; that is a word that sounds exactly like what it is. For example, when we say the dog barks, that is exactly what a dog sounds like—bark, bark. When the dipper would hit the water, when it would immerse into the water, it made a noise “bap”—that is where baptismal came from. So, immersion is what that Greek word means. We can also prove this from the Word of God.

Romans 6-3,4. “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore, we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in the newness of life.” Chapter 4 talks about baptism as being buried with Christ in baptism. When you take a dead body, what do you do with it? You bury it. You do not sprinkle a little bit of dirt on it—you bury it! You put it completely under.

Now we have the mode, immersion, what about the purpose? In the church world today, we find all of these different reasons for baptism. When my son was a little boy, I took him to a Methodist Church to be baptized. I just thought that we were supposed to do that. They took this little baby—something you never read about in the Bible, a baby being baptized—and they sprinkled some water on him and they said that they were baptizing him or dedicating him as a dedication to the community. I didn’t know any better—I had never read the Bible. In retrospect, I think “what a communist concept.”

The Baptist Church says baptism is “an outward sign of an inward grace.” They baptize so that you can become a member of their church. You go forward and accept Jesus, and that is when they say you are saved–a Christian. Later, you get baptized. So, there are a lot of different reasons that different churches use for baptism. But, look again at Acts 38 and see that Peter said, “Let each one of you repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins.” What was the purpose of this baptism? The forgiveness of sins. Some preachers might say, “Are you telling me that you have to be baptized for the remission of sins?” No, that is what the Bible says. Why is it that they can see in Matthew 38 that “blood is poured out for the remission of sins”, but cannot see that baptism is for the remission of sins? I will tell you why—because it does not line up
with what they already believe—their actions follow their beliefs. They do not have their heart right with God so that they can see that the Word means just what it says. Baptism is for the remission of sins.

If you want to become a Christian, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God—the great I Am that came to us in the flesh and died for our sins. You must believe to the point that you are willing to confess with your mouth that He is Lord. And, then do what Peter tells us to do in Acts 2-38, “repent.” That is the surrendering of your life when you say, “Lord, not my will by Thy will be done.” Not what I believe, or what I want to believe, or what they told me to believe, but what Your Word says. Surrender your life. Repentance is analogous to dying to the old way of life—getting rid of the old man. What do you do with dead people? You bury them. Jesus, in the plan of salvation, had to die for our sins. He had to die a bloody death because blood cleanses sin. He was buried in the tomb and on the third day, he resurrected. If you want to become a Christian, this is what you do. As a believer who is repentant, you must die to your old way of life. And then you are buried, as Romans 6-4 says, “we are buried with Christ through baptism.” You are buried in the watery grave of baptism and you are raised up, as the Bible says, to walk in the newness of life. It is so clear when you study it. It is these false teachers that have muddied the waters. Why is it a new life? It is a new life because your sins have been washed away.

So, the Bible teaches that baptism washed away sins. How? Because that is where you come in contact with the blood of Christ. It is just like washing your hands when they are dirty; blood was shed for the remission of sins; baptism is for the remission of sins—that is where the soap is applied to the dirty hands, so to speak. Baptism is where the blood comes into contact with your life. Check for your self.

Acts 22-16, “And, now why do you delay? Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on His name.”

Some might question, “So, you are trying to tell me that baptism saves us?” No, I am not trying to tell you that, the Bible tells you that.

1Peter 3- 21, “and corresponding to that, baptism now saves you.”

That is very plain. Baptism saves you.

Remember Acts 2-38? “Repent and let each one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” This is a very important point. God give us, when we repent, and are baptized, the gift of the Holy Spirit. Repentance is saying, “Lord I will try to stop doing what you don’t want me to do and I will try to do what it is that you want me to do.” Notice the word, try. We try because Christian people do not lead perfect lives. We still have battles. But, the difference is that when we are willing to do it His way, He gives us help. The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit is our helper and that He guides us in all truths. I will share a personal illustration. When I was studying the Bible—I believed and I thought that I was a Christian. I had a particular sin problem. I chewed tobacco—it got so that one can of Skol a day was not enough. One time, about 7 at night, I took the can of Skol and threw it in the trash. About 11 that night, I was digging in that same trash can to retrieve that Skol. And, I said, “God, if chewing this tobacco means that I will go to Hell, then I will just have to go to Hell, because I can’t give it up.” But, when I was baptized for the remission of my sins, I took that Skol can out of my pocket and placed it on a shelf. God gave me the strength, the help that I needed to overcome this habit.

John 16-13. “But, when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth, for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears He will speak and He will disclose to you what is to come.”

One of the reasons that it is so hard to get truth into the churches today is because they are not Christians. If they were Christians, if they had repented and been baptized for the remission of their sins, then the Holy Spirit would guide them into all truths. I have observed, as I minister across the land, that those people that have not been baptized for the remission of their sins cannot not wholly grasp the spiritual truths as well as those who have been—they don’t have the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide them in the truth.

Ephesians teaches us also that baptism seals us in the holy spirit. A king had a seal that no one else had and when he put his seal on something that seal meant that it was his. Much the same is a brand. How do I know which cows in the pasture are mine? Why, the ones with my brand on them. Now, if we have that seal of the Holy Spirit and people start messing with us, then they have Him to contend with because we are His herd.

Some of the questions you might have are, “what about a child.” First of all, does a child have sin? Well, if you are a Catholic, yes, a baby is born of original sin. But, Christ took a child and placed it on his lap and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Can a baby repent of its sins? No. Is there any place in the Bible where a baby is baptized? No.

What about the thief on the cross? That is a different story. He died before Christ and while He was alive, salvation was His to give. Christ gave the thief salvation before He died because it was His to give. But, after His death, while you are living on this side of the cross, you must follow his Last Will and Testament if you want the inheritance. That Will is that you be baptized for the remission of your sins.

What about being rebaptized? Well, yes, according to Acts 19—  “people were rebaptized for the proper reasons. For example, if you were baptized to join a church or to obtain the outward sign of an inward grace, what you need to do is have the one baptism of Ephesians 4-5 and Acts 2-38—baptism for the remission of sins.

1John 4,4 says, “that he who is born of God overcomes the world (that world meaning “world order”). Now, if you were part of the world order and you knew that people born of God would overcome you or conquer you, then what you would do is to try to keep them from being born again—born of God. If you want to be born of God, then believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God, be willing to confess Him as Lord, humbly repent of your sins, and be baptized (immersed) for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. That is the way to become a Christian. The only way. Reread this message—examine the scriptures yourself—find out if what I tell you is truth. If you have questions, write to me, or call me. I will gladly answer all of your questions. But, then I will have two questions for you.

“Are you a Christian and what are you going to do when you
die?”

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All of this happened by chance???

(alexander tsiaras… egg to baby)

www.youtube.com

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Psalm 139:14
I will give thanks to you because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made. Your works are miraculous, and my soul is fully aware of this…

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Jeremiah 1:5 (life begins before conception)
“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart for my holy purpose. I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.”

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Related posts…

Federal government forced funding of murder

Samuel Alexander Armas grabbing his doctor’s finger…

The light is not good for everyone…

(fracking chemicals hidden from public)

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Ephesians 5:8-14
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible…

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For Pennsylvania’s Doctors, a Gag Order on Fracking Chemicals

www.theatlantic.com

By Climate Desk    Mar 27 2012, 9:05 AM ET 121

A new provision could forbid the state’s doctors from sharing information with patients exposed to toxic—and proprietary—fracking solutions.

Under a new law, doctors in Pennsylvania can access information about chemicals used in natural gas extraction — but they won’t be able to share it with their patients. A provision buried in a law passed last month is drawing scrutiny from the public health and environmental community, who argue that it will “gag” doctors who want to raise concerns related to oil and gas extraction with the people they treat and the general public.

Pennsylvania is at the forefront in the debate over “fracking,” the process by which a high-pressure mixture of chemicals, sand, and water are blasted into rock to tap into the gas. Recent discoveries of great reserves in the Marcellus Shale region of the state prompted a rush to development, as have advancements in fracking technologies. But with those changes have come a number of concerns from citizens about potential environmental and health impacts from natural gas drilling.

“People are claiming that animals are dying and people are getting sick in clusters around [drilling wells], but we can’t really study it because we can’t see what’s actually in the product.”

There is good reason to be curious about exactly what’s in those fluids. A 2010 congressional investigation revealed that Halliburton and other fracking companies had used 32 million gallons of diesel products, which include toxic chemicals like benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene, in the fluids they inject into the ground. Low levels of exposure to those chemicals can trigger acute effects like headaches, dizziness, and drowsiness, while higher levels of exposure can cause cancer.

Pennsylvania law states that companies must disclose the identity and amount of any chemicals used in fracking fluids to any health professional that requests that information in order to diagnosis or treat a patient that may have been exposed to a hazardous chemical. But the provision in the new bill requires those health professionals to sign a confidentiality agreement stating that they will not disclose that information to anyone else — not even the person they’re trying to treat.

“The whole goal of medical community is to protect public health,” said David Masur, director of PennEnvironment. He worries that the threat of a lawsuit from a big industry player like Halliburton or ExxonMobil for violating a confidentiality agreement could scare doctors away from research on potential impacts in the state. “If anything, we need more concrete information. This just stifles another way the public could have access to information from experts.”

The provision was not in the initial versions of the law debated in the state Senate or House in February; it was added in during conference between the two chambers, said State Senator Daylin Leach (D), which meant that many lawmakers did not even notice that this “broad, very troubling provision” had been added. “The importance of keeping it as a proprietary secret seems minimal when compared to letting the public know what chemicals they and their children are being exposed to,” Leach told Mother Jones.

The limits on what doctors can say about those chemicals makes it impossible to either assuage or affirm the public’s concerns about health impacts. “People are claiming that animals are dying and people are getting sick in clusters around [drilling wells], but we can’t really study it because we can’t see what’s actually in the product,” said Leach.

At the federal level, natural gas developers have long been allowed to keep the mixture of chemicals they use in fracking fluid a secret from the general public, protecting it as “proprietary information.” The industry is exempt from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxics Release Inventory — the program that ensures that communities are given information about what companies are releasing. In 2005 the industry successfully lobbied for an exemption from EPA regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act as well, in what is often referred to as the “Halliburton Loophole.” The Obama EPA has pressed drillers to voluntarily provide more information about fracking fluids, but the industry has largely rebuffed those appeals.

The latest move in Pennsylvania has raised suspicions among the industry’s critics once again. As Walter Tsou, president of the Philadelphia chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility, put it, “What is the big secret here that they’re unwilling to tell people, unless they know that if people found out what’s really in these chemicals, they would be outraged?”

Psalm 37:13
… but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming.

The Biblical dog… four legged variety in this case…

(ancient breed of “pariah dog” the canaan…)

+++
Matthew 15:26
Jesus responded, “It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.”
+++

In Israel, a battle to save the ancient Canaan dog

seattletimes.nwsource.com

By Nicolas Brulliard    Originally published Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Special to The Washington Post

After surviving the birth of three religions, the Crusades and countless wars, the Canaan dog — one of the oldest known breeds of pariah dogs — is in trouble…

SHA’AR HAGAI, Israel — Pricked, pointy ears and almond-shaped brown eyes. A tan or black-and-white coat and a tail that curls upward. For many in Israel, this is the description of a pesky stray that feeds on garbage. For a passionate few, however, it is a cultural treasure that should be preserved.

Meet the biblical dog.

“When they talk about dogs in the Bible, it was these,” says Myrna Shiboleth, who has done more than anyone to rescue the breed formally known as Canaan dog. “It was the same dog.”

The archaeological evidence bears it out, from 1st-century rock carvings in Sinai to the skeletons of more than 700 dogs from the 5th century B.C. discovered south of Tel Aviv. When Jesus and Moses turned their heads to the sound of a barking dog, it was the Canaan that they saw.

But after surviving the birth of three religions, the Crusades and countless wars, the Canaan dog — one of the oldest known breeds of pariah dogs — is the focus of a battle that pitches people who believe in the value of preserving the primitive breed for scientific and sentimental reasons against modern bureaucracy. As often is the case in Israel, land use is at the heart of the battle.

Rare specimens

In recent decades, scores of Canaan dogs were destroyed in rabies-eradication programs, and only a few hundred subsist in the Negev desert, often living at the edges of Bedouin camps. But as Bedouins increasingly settle in cities, the Canaan dogs either are left to fend for themselves or lose their breed’s traits by mating with urban dogs.

The Israeli government is threatening to close the operation that has been helping preserve the breed by collecting rare specimens in the desert, breeding them and shipping their offspring to kennels around the globe, where they are recognized by major organizations, from the American Kennel Club to the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, the international canine federation.

In an eviction notice sent late last year, the Israel Land Authority argues that Sha’ar Hagai Kennels is illegally occupying government land.

Sha’ar Hagai’s Shiboleth says she moved more than 40 years ago to what was then an abandoned water station and paid rent to the water company only to find out that it didn’t own the land.

She says she asked the land authority about regularizing her situation and heard nothing — until she received the eviction notice. Moving, she says, would be prohibitively expensive, and few neighborhoods would welcome noisy kennels.

In an online petition, about 2,000 people from dozens of countries and nearly every U.S. state have taken up Shiboleth’s case, voicing outrage at what they see as Israel’s lack of attention to the fate of the “holy dog.”

National breed

The matter is to be decided in court. If she is not successful there, Shiboleth and her dogs face an exodus that will most likely put an end to her breeding program.

What surprises many people is that the dog is getting so little support compared with other beasts of the Good Book.

Starting in the 1960s, Israel launched a program to bring back “the animals of the Bible to the land of the Bible,” says David Saltz, an ecology professor at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev.

Targeted species included the Asiatic wild ass (a big success) and the ostrich (a complete failure). The reintroduction efforts went to extreme lengths: In one spectacular instance, four Persian fallow deer were smuggled out of Iran.

The Canaan dog has been recognized as Israel’s national breed, but today’s conservationists don’t put the hound on a par with the Arabian white oryx, which receives full support from Israeli authorities after four of the antelopes, purchased from the Phoenix Zoo, were reintroduced in 1978.

The Canaan dog is “what they call a mutt,” Saltz says.

A mutt is what the Canaan dog was to most observers until an Austrian biologist arrived in the 1930s and started looking for dogs that could serve the nascent Jewish defense forces.

Rudolphina Menzel identified them as a native breed that tolerated the climate well and named them after the biblical Land of Canaan.

The pooches were used in patrols and land-mine detection units and performed as messenger dogs.

Jewish settlers also prized the Canaan’s alertness and counted on them to bark at Arab intruders.

In 1965, the first Canaan dogs arrived in the United States, and it didn’t take long for Shiboleth — then an animal trainer in New York — to get hooked.

She moved to Israel in 1969 with an American-born female Canaan in tow.

In 1970, she and a handful of others founded Sha’ar Hagai in the Judean Hills, using Menzel’s breeding stock and dogs collected in the wild.

Gene pool

The Canaan dog was originally popular with the Jewish Diaspora, but soon others were attracted by its natural look. Its profile was raised when John F. Kennedy Jr. purchased a Canaan in the 1990s.

Today, the dog can be found in households across much of Europe and North America as well as in Russia and South Africa.

There are 2,000 to 3,000 Canaan dogs across the world, but most are closely related. If the gene pool is not continually strengthened with new blood lines from the wild, experts say, the breed could develop degenerative diseases.

Cynthia Dodson and David Golden, of Falls Church, Va., said they were “quite analytical” when they decided to get a dog 14 years ago.

They liked the look of the pariah dogs they saw during trips overseas and wanted a dog that would be free of the genetic ailments that affect many breeds. They settled on the Canaan and bought two.

Golden says he likes to imagine the relatives of his two dogs frolicking in the wilderness and jokes that he and Dodson tell stories to their couch-loving dogs about their wilder cousins.

“The story is important to us and to a lot of people,” he says. “To lose this linkage to thousands of years would be a real tragedy.”

Matthew 7:6 (Give not that which is holy to the dogs…)
“Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you…
+++
Matthew 15:24
Then Jesus said to the woman, “I was sent only to help God’s lost sheep–the people of Israel.”

Clintonville, Wisconsin is a divers place…

(noises and earthquakes in the badger state…)

+++

Luke 21:11
And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven…

+++

Milkshakes: unusual earthquakes strike Wisconsin

arstechnica.com

By Scott K. Johnson    Published Thursday 29 March 2012

Some of the Wisconsin locals might have experienced a little shaking lately.

It was a genuine small-town mystery that briefly put Clintonville, Wisconsin in the national spotlight. Late on March 18, folks in the city of 4,700 just west of Green Bay (and a couple hours north of my current base of operations) suddenly flooded 911 with reports of unsettling booms and shaking. Callers described the noises as being similar to jackhammers, rattling pipes, rumbling thunder, or slamming doors. Authorities scrambled to identify the source. Gas lines were checked for signs of leaks or other anomalies, the same for sewers and water mains. Planes surveyed the county for plumes of smoke. The landfill was checked for signs of a methane explosion. The dam was inspected for structural damage. The military was asked about exercises. Everything checked out, and there were no reports of industrial accidents, either.

Thoughts naturally turned to earthquakes, even though Wisconsin is about as seismically active as a sloth is fast. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) wasn’t reporting any events in the region, so that route of inquiry didn’t go far. The reports stopped coming around in 10:00 am, but the booms returned with nightfall like the mysterious assailants in The 13th Warrior.

Some in the town grew uneasy as officials stood baffled. Others had some fun with it. Theories poured in, including sinkholes (unlikely given the sandstone bedrock), fracking (unlikely given Wisconsin’s total lack of fracking operations), meth lab explosions, secret underground bunkers, worms from the movie Tremors, and aliens.

On the third night, the city put out some cameras and microphones, hoping to capture some clues. Only a few booms were reported and none were caught on the recordings. Early that evening, though, booms and shaking were reported in another town—Montello, about 65 miles southwest of Clintonville. Reports slowed after the first couple evenings, though a number of calls came in again late on the 27th.

On March 22, news that the USGS had identified a magnitude 1.5 earthquake in the seismic records from March 20th began circulating. Such small earthquakes are difficult to tease apart from noise in seismographs, and are only detected through focused effort. This was only possible because of the EarthScope project, which deployed a dense network of transportable seismometers slowly stepping their way across the country, providing high resolution records as they go. Wisconsin is currently within the coverage of the transportable array, so a number of seismometers were able to detect the earthquake in Clintonville.

I sat down with Alex Teel, a graduate student in Seismology at the University of Wisconsin- Madison, to get a look at some of the seismic data. A little data processing to filter out low frequency noise made the magnitude 1.5 quake stand out pretty clearly, but going hunting for more events was another story. By the time the seismic energy reaches the nearest seismometer, the amplitude of shaking is about the same as background noise (like industry and road traffic). In fact, one of the most obvious events in the record was the March 20 magnitude 7.4 earthquake in Oaxaca, Mexico. At least one seismograph contained signals of microearthquakes at the time that shaking was reported in Montello, however.

Teel said, for a number of reasons, it was difficult to confidently pin down a depth for the Clintonville earthquake. Additional analysis may make that possible. There are no known faults in the rock there, as the deep bedrock is largely mysterious. Such rocks are often complicated (a lot can happen in 1.5 billion years), and it’s difficult to study something you can’t see. The recent seismic activity had never been detected before in that area (you have to go back to 1947 to find the last report of an earthquake anywhere in Wisconsin). But it could force the rock to yield some of its secrets.
Why would a shake make a boom?

There are a couple reasons why such small earthquakes could have such an effect. While Clintonville sits atop glacial sediment and sandstone, you don’t have to go too deep to hit 1.5-billion-year-old granite. As we explained after Virginia’s magnitude 5.8 earthquake last August, seismic energy is better transmitted by old, dense rocks. Secondly, the earthquake epicenter just happened to be directly beneath the town.

But what about the loud booms reportedly accompanying the shaking? This curious phenomenon is not unheard of, particularly with small earthquakes. Moodus, Connecticut has apparently been experiencing them for centuries. In fact, the name of the town comes from a Native American word meaning “place of bad noises.” Residents there have heard booms associated with earthquakes smaller than magnitude 1, which were only detectable when a network of seismometers was set up in the area for that purpose.

And there are other examples, such as New York’s Lake Seneca, where the booms are known as “Seneca Guns.” Earthquake booms appear to be caused by seismic P-waves, which are compression waves (like sound), passing out of the ground and into the air. In an article published in Seismological Research Letters, USGS geologist David P. Hill wrote that in some cases “it seems that the free surface acts as a giant woofer in response to the incident P-wave”.
Quakes far from plate boundaries

These events made for an auspicious time to be reading a paper on earthquakes that occur far from tectonic plate boundaries, published recently in Geophysical Research Letters. The paper reviews the little we know about these rare quakes and lays out the reasons why they’re so difficult to study.

The paper focuses on the recent Virginia earthquake, but there have been many other sizeable earthquakes in areas of North America that do not lie near a tectonic boundary. In 1929, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake off the coast of Newfoundland caused a submarine landslide that severed telegraph cables and created a tsunami, killing 28 people. Of course, the legendary earthquakes near New Madrid, Missouri in 1811 and 1812 (which included several around magnitude 7.5) serve as a potent reminder that intraplate earthquakes can mean business. Earthquakes around magnitude 7 also occurred near Charleston, South Carolina in 1886 and in Baffin Bay in 1933.

If these areas are so far removed from tectonic plate boundaries, why the earthquakes? First of all, the stress caused by the movement and collision of plates is not limited to the boundaries—some of it is distributed throughout the plate. That stress can be released at weak spots, such as old faults. The eastern US, for example, has many such faults associated with the creation of the Appalachian Mountains in the distant geologic past.

Another source of stress is the vertical motion of the crust caused by the growth and retreat of ice sheets. Massive ice sheets, like the one that covered large portions of North America during glacial periods, actually depress the crust. Just like placing a weight on a floating sponge will cause it to sit lower in the water, an ice sheet makes continental crust sit a little lower in the mantle. When you melt away an ice sheet, the crust slowly rebounds upward. This warping of the crust creates stress that can also trigger movement on faults. The authors say today this is much more significant farther north where the rate of vertical motion is greater. South of the Great Lakes, the contribution is minor.

Intraplate earthquakes are tough nuts to crack. While plate boundary earthquakes are related to large-scale structures that are intensely studied, intraplate quakes often occur in areas where the geology is poorly understood (as is the case in Clintonville). Events large enough to be detected are also incredibly infrequent, making it difficult to connect multiple earthquakes in the same area.

In addition, when one section of a fault relieves stress during an earthquake, it usually causes stress to shift down the fault line. In terms of determining areas of seismic hazard, the area where you know an earthquake has occurred may, paradoxically, be the least likely to experience one in the near (or distant) future. When you know very little about the faults and stresses involved, effectively preparing for future events can be a formidable task.

About earthquakes along the east coast of the US, the authors write, “A natural question to ask is whether, given these challenges, passive margin earthquakes are a minor curiosity about which research is unlikely to yield results commensurate with the effort involved. Our sense is that the problem is worthy of study precisely because we do not understand how large earthquakes occur where idealized plate tectonics predicts they should not. The eastern US’s population density and the need to expand the nation’s energy portfolio, perhaps via offshore drilling and further development of nuclear power, make understanding continental margin earthquakes even more significant.”

As for Clintonville, Wisconsin, the booms continue but nerves are settling. City officials even have t-shirts for sale that read “I Survived the 1.5”.

Those who worship anti-Christs by necessity worship liars…

(jewish almanac article “identity crisis”)

“Strictly speaking, it is incorrect to call an ancient Israelite a ‘Jew’ or to call a contemporary Jew an ‘Israelite’ or a ‘Hebrew'”…

+++
I John 2:22-23
Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist–he denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also…
+++

Waiting for the Messiah: Netanyahu addresses Evangelical Christian gathering in Jerusalem

Head of Christians United for Israel, largest pro-Israel lobby in U.S., compares PM to Moses and King David…

www.haaretz.com

By Nir Hasson    Published 19 March 2012

American Evangelical pastor John Hagee – who heads the largest pro-Israel lobby group in the United States – half jokingly compared Benjamin Netanyahu to the Messiah on Sunday night, as he waited for the delayed prime minister to arrive at a Jerusalem hotel to address the crowd.

“There’s a saying in Judaism about the Messiah – I know that even if he tarries, he’ll come,” Hagee told hundreds of members of Christians United for Israel. “I know that the prime minister will come, and even if he tarries, he’ll come.”

The crowd laughed, and so did Hagee. But as Hagee introduced Netanyahu when he finally arrived half an hour later, the comparison with the Messiah no longer seemed so far-fetched.

“He was a fighter in an elite unit and helped free the hostages on the Sabena, and fought in the Yom Kippur War,” Hagee began. “As finance minister, he brought Israel from welfare to work [applause]. He strengthened the private sector and cut down the public sector. He’s married to Sara, and his son Jonathan [sic] is a national Bible champion [applause]. He gets up every morning at six to study the Bible with his son [wild applause]…

“He also changed the path of Christianity in America, when he asked me in 2006 if he thought American Christians could unite for Israel,” Hagee continued. “Ancient Israel had Moses who led them in the desert; during the golden era they had King David, who conquered Jerusalem, and today, when there are existential threats, Israel has a champion who can confront the challenge; please welcome the prime minister…[more wild applause, whistles, and the sound of a shofar from somewhere].”

Netanyahu immediately corrected two of Hagee’s errors; his son the Bible champion’s name is Avner, and he reads the Bible on Shabbat, after lunch. He then segued into the story of the sin of King David, when he sent Uriah the Hittite off to war so he could have his wife, Batsheva. The allegory of the poor man and his lamb, delivered as a reprimand to David, is cited by Netanyahu as an example of how all people are equal before the law, including Israel’s Arab population.

“I’m proud that in Israel Muslims are free to practice their religion,” said Netanyahu, to more wild applause. “At a time when Christians are under siege in so many places and so many lands, Christians are free to practice their faith,” in Israel. More rousing applause.

And of course, there was Iran.

“When Iran is funding terror and violence all over the world and is calling for our annihilation, I don’t have to explain to you why that regime can’t have nuclear weapons,” he said. “Our enemies don’t hate us because of what we do, but because of who we are.”

Netanyahu’s speech was the high point of the conference of Christians United for Israel, which recently reached one million members. The conference in Jerusalem drew hundreds of people, primarily Americans, mostly on the older side, with some of the men wearing cowboy hats.

Before Netanyahu’s arrival, as singer Dudu Fischer got on stage to sing “Am Yisrael Hai” to a techno beat, the crowd joined in with religious fervor. One woman fell emotionally to her knees, as if in prayer, while two others closed their eyes tightly and at the second verse began to cry, as did others in the hotel ballroom.

“The bad news is that numbers count, and we are a small people,” Netanyahu told the crowd. “The good news is that Israel is not alone – it has your support. It’s true, numbers count, but so do you!”

“He’s amazing,” an enthusiastic participant told a reporter. “And he’s right in everything he says.”

Acts 4:12
And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved…
+++
John 14:6
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me…

Anyone who is an enemy of truth is an enemy of God…

(tsa cannot stand open debate)

+++

Ephesians 5:11
Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them

+++

TSA bars security guru from perv scanner testimony

www.theregister.co.uk

By Iain Thomson in San Francisco    26th March 2012 21:03 GMT

Security expert Bruce Schneier was been banned at the last minute from testifying in front of congress on the efficacy – or otherwise – of the US Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) much-maligned perv scanners.

Schneier is a long-time critic of the TSA’s policies for screening travelers, and was formally invited to appear before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure hearings. However, the TSA objected to his presence because he is currently involved in a legal case over the use of said scanners in US airports.

“I was looking forward to sitting next to a TSA person and challenging some of their statements. That would have been interesting,” Schneier told The Register. “The request to appear came from the committee itself, because they’d been reading my stuff on this and thought it would be interesting.”

Schneier, who is currently involved in an Economist debate on just this issue, has criticized the TSA’s procedures as “security theater”, designed to give the appearance of security without actually being effective. He has pointed out that the scanners are easily defeated, and that since people who do have items are merely forced to give them up and sent on their way, terrorists simply need to send enough people through the systems until one of them succeeds.

This isn’t the first time the TSA has been less than willing to have itself subject to anything like the same scrutiny that aircraft passengers are routinely put through. Last year they ducked out of similar hearings at the last minute, apparently because they didn’t want to sit next to representatives from the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC).

The use of the perv scanners is highly controversial. The TSA has spent millions of dollars to buy them, and the industry hired ex–Homeland Security supremo Michael Chertoff as a lobbyist to push the technology. However, there have been numerous examples of people claiming to be able to beat the scanners, concerns about the health implications of scanning, and the so-called “homosexual” pat-downs introduced to encourage people to use them caused a national day of protest.

There are currently several ongoing legal cases against the scanners, including one recent case in which, it is claimed, attractive female subjects were being repeatedly ordered to use the devices. Personal airport searches have to be performed by a member of the same sex as the target, but no such rules are in place for operators of the scanners.

“I think the TSA has really painted themselves into a corner over this,” Schneier told us. “They’ve said the scanners were absolutely necessary for security, and made the pat downs you can have as an alternatives so unpleasant. It’s going to be really hard for them to back down, if indeed they can.”

The TSA has not returned a request for comment at this time.