Do The Skulls Of Monkeys And Neanderthals Look More Human Than Our Human Ones Do?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BBC)

“It looks like a monkey,” exclaims an excitable young boy, looking at a replica of a skull.

We are standing in a busy gallery at the Natural History Museum in London, UK. Here, a selection of skulls that once belonged to our prehistoric ancestors have been cast in metal and put on display. Children run their hands over the skulls’ heavy brows and protruding jaws.

These reconstructed faces look impassive, but a range of emotions are painted onto the visitors’ faces. One small girl looks shy as she peeks around the legs of an adult. Joy covers the faces of three boys running wildly past, anger flickers onto the face of the teacher who scolds them, and tears flood from another child who was pushed over in their haste.

The children are all living, breathing examples of how extraordinarily expressive our faces are. Human faces convey a huge range of emotion and information through subtle shifts in the muscles around our eyes and mouth. No other animal has such an expressive face.

What’s more, each of us can instantly recognise another member of our species with a glance at their face. No other species shares our flat face, high forehead, small jaw and jutting chin – not even the many human-like species that went before us.

The question is, when did humans start to look like we do today? New scientific techniques and discoveries are starting to provide answers. But they are also revealing that our distinctive facial features may be far older than many anthropologists originally believed.

Our hominin relatives all lived within the last 10 million years (Credit: Richard Gray)

Our hominin relatives all lived within the last 10 million years (Credit: Richard Gray)

“As the last surviving species of humans on the planet, it is tempting to assume our modern faces sit at the tip of our evolutionary branch,” says Chris Stringer, an anthropologist at the Natural History Museum in London, as he joins me in the gallery.

The Neanderthal face was huge, with an enormous nose

“And for a long time, that has been what the fossils seemed to indicate,” he continues. “Around 500,000 years ago, there was a fairly widespread form of Homo heidelbergensis that has a face somewhat intermediate between that of a modern human and Neanderthals. For a long time, I argued this was our common ancestor with Neanderthals.”

Stringer shows me the cast of a real H. heidelbergensis cranium that was found at Broken Hill in Zambia in the 1920s, and which is now kept safely in the museum’s fossil collection. It is the same skull that the little boy stood in front of earlier.

With a bit of guidance, it is easy to see why this species could be the common ancestor of modern humans and our extinct cousins the Neanderthals, who died out around 40,000 years ago.

The skull of a Homo heidelbergensis (Credit: Javier Trueba/MSF/Science Photo Library)

The skull of a Homo heidelbergensis (Credit: Javier Trueba/MSF/Science Photo Library)

Modern humans have small noses and our jaws sit beneath the rest of our skull. Our cheek bones are angled and each cheek has a distinctive hollow beneath the eye socket, known as the canine fossa.

In a sinkhole in the mountains, fragments of a small, flat-faced skull were unearthed

By comparison the Neanderthal face was huge, with an enormous nose and the front of the face pulled forward. Around the cheeks the skull curved outwards, rather than being hollowed out. To our eyes, this would have given them a puffy appearance. They also had a far flatter forehead than we do, while above their eyes was a pronounced double arch of the brow-ridge that hung over the rest of their face.

H. heidelbergensis had a slightly flatter face than the Neanderthal and a smaller nose, but no canine fossa. They also had an even more pronounced brow-ridge than that seen in Neanderthals.

For decades, most anthropologists agreed that Neanderthals had retained many of these features from H. heidelbergensis as they evolved and developed a more protruding jaw, while our own species went in a different direction. That was until the 1990s, when a puzzling discovery was unearthed in the Sierra de Atapuerca region of northern Spain.

Excavations at the Atapuerca site (Credit: Javier Trueba/MSF/Science Photo Library)

Excavations at the Atapuerca site (Credit: Javier Trueba/MSF/Science Photo Library)

In a sinkhole in the mountains, fragments of a small, flat-faced skull were unearthed, alongside several other bones. The remains were identified as belonging to a previously unknown species of hominin. It was called Homo antecessor.

It was assumed that it would fill out and grow into something resembling heidelbergensis

The face of this new species of human ancestor appeared to be far more like our own, and even had the distinctive hollowing of the canine fossa. Yet it lived 850,000 years ago, well before H. heidelbergensis.

At first, this apparent contradiction was hand-waved away. The Atapuerca skull belonged to a child, aged around 10 to 12 years old. It is difficult to predict what this youngster’s face would have looked like in adulthood, because as humans age their skulls grow and change shape. “It was assumed that it would fill out and grow into something resembling heidelbergensis,” says Stringer.

However, later discoveries suggest this is not the case. “We now have four fragments from antecessor adult and sub-adult skulls,” says Stringer. “It looks like they maintain the morphology we see in the child’s skull.”

Homo antecessor remains from Atapuerca (Credit: Javier Trueba/MSF/Science Photo Library)

Homo antecessor remains from Atapuerca (Credit: Javier Trueba/MSF/Science Photo Library)

It is still difficult to make direct comparisons between hominin skulls. For one thing, many are incomplete. But even setting that aside, a phenomenon known as allometry means that changes in size also lead to changes in shape, because different body parts grow at different rates.

It seems the Neanderthals are more evolved in their own direction than modern humans

To get around this problem, Jean-Jacques Hublin of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and his colleagues have created computer models that let them “grow” skulls virtually.

“When we do this, we can explain the variation in shape between Neanderthals,” says Hublin. “But if we grow a modern human skull to the size of a Neanderthal, we don’t have something that looks like a Neanderthal. You get something different.”

Hublin thinks that modern humans have retained a lot of primitive features from our distant ancestors. “It seems the Neanderthals are more evolved in their own direction than modern humans,” he says. “They would have looked very peculiar to our eyes.”

In other words, the faces of modern humans may not be all that modern at all.

Many hominin species came before us (Credit: Richard Gray)

Many hominin species came before us (Credit: Richard Gray)

“The term ‘modern’ is somewhat misleading,” says Hublin. “When you say ‘modern’, people assume you mean ‘more evolved’, but in fact in our case it may mean ‘more primitive’.”

Our bones are continually renewed and remodelled

Hublin and his team can also use their software to mature the skulls of children, giving an idea of what they would have looked like when they became adults

When they applied it to the skull fragments of H. antecessor, they got something that looked both primitive and modern at the same time.

“The face has more prominence than modern humans,” says Hublin. “But it doesn’t have the derived features we see in the Neanderthal.”

Something even more surprising emerged when the fossilised skulls of H. antecessor were placed under a microscope.

A reconstruction of a Homo antecessor child (Credit: Richard Gray)

A reconstruction of a Homo antecessor child (Credit: Richard Gray)

Throughout life, our bones are continually renewed and remodelled. This leaves distinct patterns on the bone, which can reveal how it grew and formed. In particular, cells that deposit bone, known as osteoblasts, create a smooth surface – whereas those that absorb bone, called osteoclasts, leave it pitted with microscopic craters.

In modern humans, the area beneath the nose and around the upper jaw – known as the maxilla – is rich in cells that absorb bone. But in Neanderthals, H. heidelbergensisand other early hominins like Australopithecus, this area had lots of cells that deposit bone, causing the face to protrude forwards.

We last shared a common ancestor with Neanderthals around 700,000 years ago

“Modern humans show widespread areas of resorption all over the maxilla,” says Rodrigo Lacruz of the New York University College of Dentistry, who has led much of this work with his colleague Timothy Bromage.

“It is this resorption that helps maintain the human face where it is under the cranium, rather than protruding far forward.”

Similar patterns of bone resorption can be seen around the canine fossa in modern humans, whereas Neanderthal skulls show widespread bone deposition.

So when Lacruz, Bromage and their colleagues popped the skull fragments from H. antecessor under the microscope, they were staggered to find that the maxilla and canine fossa were heavily pitted. Not only that, but the pattern of bone reabsorption they noticed was similar to that seen in modern humans.

These similarities suggest that one of the key developmental changes responsible for the characteristic face of modern humans can be traced back to H. antecessor,” says Lacruz. “This is important, because antecessor not only showed this human-like growth pattern, but also shows some human-like morphology around 800,000 years ago.”

The skull of a Homo antecessor (Credit: Richard Gray)

The skull of a Homo antecessor (Credit: Richard Gray)

That date is significant, because the most recent studies of the human family tree suggest that we last shared a common ancestor with Neanderthals around 700,000 years ago – not long after H. antecessor‘s time.

Faced with all these findings, Stringer and many of his colleagues are now reassessing their ideas about the evolution of the human face.

Speaking at a conference in Madrid in September 2016, Stringer and several other leading experts argued that H. antecessor, or a close relative yet to be discovered, may be a better fit as the common ancestor of our species and Neanderthals than H. heidelbergensis.

The skull of a Homo heidelbergensis (Credit: Richard Gray)

The skull of a Homo heidelbergensis (Credit: Richard Gray)

H. antecessor is thought to have appeared at around the time of the first exodus of hominins from Africa, between 1.8 and 0.8 million years ago.

This would mean that our face is actually quite primitive compared to H. heidelbergensis and Neanderthals

Some of the oldest footprints to be found in Europe – discovered at Happisburgh in the UK in 2013 – are thought to have been left by H. antecessor.

Some Spanish remains also initially attributed to H. antecessor – a molar and part of a mandible – have been dated to 1.2 million years ago, although the team that discovered them has since become more cautious about their identity.

Under the new evolutionary tree that is being proposed, our species evolved from H. antecessor. Meanwhile, H, heidelbergensis diverged around 500,000 years ago and evolved independently, leading to Neanderthals.

“This would mean that our face is actually quite primitive compared to H. heidelbergensis and Neanderthals,” says Stringer.

If that is true, it would help to explain many of the differences we see between us and our evolutionary cousins.

The skull of a Neanderthal (Credit: E. R. Degginger/Science Photo Library)

The skull of a Neanderthal (Credit: E. R. Degginger/Science Photo Library)

While modern humans and Neanderthals both evolved big brains, made tools, hunted, used fire, created jewellery and developed culture, our bodies evolved in different ways. Even our brains were different shapes.

Something in those archaic hominins required them to have a large nose

Paul O’Higgins of the University of York, with Ricardo Godinho and Penny Spikins, has tried to unravel why these differences appeared. Using engineering principles, they have analysed the fossilised remains of prehistoric hominins, and modern humans, using 3D computer models.

The team was surprised to find that, despite their big jaws, H. heidelbergensis were much less efficient at biting than modern humans with our smaller, flatter faces. The shape of the H. heidelbergensis skull and the position of its muscles means they cannot physically generate intense bite forces, even though their bones are capable of withstanding them. Similar work has shown the same pattern in Neanderthals.

“The bone in modern humans fractures much earlier,” says O’Higgins. “It suggests efficient biting we get from our flat faces was not the result of natural selection, but something else.”

It now seems that our powerful bites are related to the size of our noses.

Neanderthal (left) and human (right) (Credit: Pascal Goetgheluck/Science Photo Library)

The skulls of a Neanderthal (left) and modern human (right) (Credit: Pascal Goetgheluck/Science Photo Library)

“Something in those archaic hominins required them to have a large nose, which requires a large face,” says O’Higgins. “Whether that was energetic demands or climate we are not entirely sure. But when you lose the need for a large nose, we found the face begins to tuck under the brain, and bite force increases incidentally.”

H. heidelbergensis and Neanderthals had gigantic brow ridges

The popular explanation for Neanderthals’ big noses is that they were an adaptation for the cold climates of the Pleistocene ice ages. The large nasal cavity would have warmed the cold air before it reached their lungs.

However, in a 2010 paper Stringer showed that Neanderthal sinuses did not lie outside the size range found in modern European humans. Instead, it appears the large noses seen in H. heidelbergensis and later Neanderthals may have appeared “by accident” through genetic drift, after they split from their common ancestor with modern humans.

Another prominent difference between modern humans and our ancestors may have vanished from our lineage for a different reason.

A reconstruction of a Neanderthal face, with a large brow ridge (Credit: Richard Gray)

A reconstruction of a Neanderthal face, with a large brow ridge (Credit: Richard Gray)

H. heidelbergensis and Neanderthals had gigantic brow ridges,” says O’Higgins. “It was like having a peaked cap on the top of the forehead.”

With big brow ridges, the movement of the eyebrows is limited

In research presented at the Madrid conference, he and his colleagues used their computer models to shave away the brow ridges, then looked at how this affected the structure of the face and skull. They found that the brow ridges did not provide any structural advantage. Instead, they believe these prominent arches of bone above the eyes may have served to signal dominance to other members of the species, much like the huge antlers of modern male moose.

Stringer has also suggested this, comparing ancestral hominins to olive baboons. These monkeys raise their eyebrows as part of their dominance displays. Similarly, mandrills also use bright colours on their eyebrows and snouts to indicate their rank in their group.

At the 2016 meeting, O’Higgins and his colleagues presented preliminary findings suggesting that, when our ancestors lost these aggressive-looking brow ridges, they gained a subtler form of communication.

Olive baboons (Papio anubis) (Credit: Frans Lanting, Mint Images/Science Photo Library)

Olive baboons (Papio anubis) also have large brow ridges (Credit: Frans Lanting, Mint Images/Science Photo Library)

“With big brow ridges, the movement of the eyebrows is limited,” says O’Higgins. But that changes when the ridges disappear. “When you have a flat face, you have a vertical forehead and suddenly you can move your eyebrows up and down. This means you introduce much more nuanced social communication. You can tell if someone is cross, happy or angry.”

Our faces are among our most valuable tools

If that is true, it implies that it was our status as a social, cooperative species that led us to keep our primitive faces.

Our facial expressions form a key part of our social interactions, helping us instinctively work out what someone is feeling or thinking. O’Higgins’s research suggests that we would not be able to do that if we had evolved faces like those of the Neanderthals.

Ultimately, research like this could tell us which of our hominin ancestors were able to smile, frown or show disgust with their faces as we do.

It is also a reminder that our faces are among our most valuable tools. If they were different, we could not communicate with each other as effortlessly as we do.

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India, Mob Attacks Police With Bows And Arrows

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES)

Mob attacks cops with bow and arrow, block road in Burdwan

INDIA Updated: Jan 28, 2017 01:00 IST

PTI

Highlight Story

TMC activists show black flag and try to attack the car of Union Minister of State Babul Supriyo in Asansol in Burdwan district of West Bengal on Monday. (PTI Photo)

A mob on Friday attacked the police with bow and arrow and blocked the arterial Ausgram-Guskara Road in protest against detention of three school teachers and alleged manhandling of them at Guskara in Burdwan district.A police officer said some of the policemen were injured when a mob, accompanying some teachers of a local high school and it’s managing committee members, suddenly attacked the cops during altercation at the Guskara police station.

As police dispersed the mob and detained three of the teachers on charge of instigating the mob and preventing a public servant from discharging duty, it moved to nearby Guskara-Ausgram Road and blocked the road.

A section of the crowd also attacked the policemen with bows and arrows as a force tried to lift the blockade, the officer said.

The blockade, which went on for several hours, was lifted after police released the three teachers and promised to look into charges of high-handednes against the IC of Guskara police station.

Locals alleged 15 teacherz and 20 students were injured in police lathicharge during the agitation but the police denied there was any lathicharge.

Superintendent of Police Kunal Agarwal said police were looking into the allegations of highhandedness and action would be taken if anyone was found guilty.

The teachers and locals alleged police did not take action to stop unathorised construction near the school gate.

Why the Supreme Court special education case about a boy with autism is so sickening

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF  THE WASHINGTON POST)

Why the Supreme Court special education case about a boy with autism is so sickening

January 12 at 3:42 PM

There is something sickening about a case the Supreme Court just heard about a boy with autism and what level of public education he — and other students with disabilities — deserve.

Here’s some background: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is a federal law requiring public schools to provide children with disabilities a “free appropriate public education.” Students in special education get “individualized education programs, or IEPs, or blueprints that spell out supports and goals for each child. The Supreme Court ruled decades ago that IEPs must lay out plans that provide some educational benefit, but it didn’t set a benefit standard, and lower courts have been divided over what it should be. Some have required a substantial — or “meaningful” educational benefit — while others require only a de minimis — or anywhere above trivial — educational benefit.

Now the Supreme Court — which held a hearing in the case Wednesday — is being asked to decide on a standard, which is essentially the same as deciding whether the United States really cares about providing all students a free and appropriate public education, and whether it is wholly committed to helping families that have children with disabilities.

These are the facts of the court case, which could affect millions of children with disabilities and the public schools they attend:

A boy named Drew was diagnosed with autism at age 2, affecting his cognitive functioning, language and reading skills, and his social and adaptive abilities. From preschool through fourth grade, he received special education services in schools in Colorado’s Douglas County district.

By fourth grade, his parents saw his behavior get increasingly worse. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, which got involved in this case, said fourth grade was “especially rocky.”

Drew exhibited multiple behaviors that inhibited his ability to access learning in the classroom. In the past, he has climbed over furniture and other students, hit things, screamed, ran away from school, and twice removed his clothing and gone to the bathroom on the floor of the classroom.

Drew’s parents said that although they saw some progress in Drew, it was minimal, so they pulled him from the public school system and placed him in a private school that used interventions that experts consider effective for many children with autism. Reports about his progress under an intervention called ABA were very positive, with “great” behavioral gains that led to an ability to pay more attention in class, complete math and verbal skills work  and interact with peers and teachers.

Under the federal law called the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), parents can seek tuition reimbursement from the school district and can win if several conditions are met. One of them is that their son wasn’t getting enough “educational benefit” from the public schools. Drew’s parents applied for reimbursement — arguing that the public district had not provided him with a free and appropriate public education. They were denied by the school system. That started a trek through the courts, leading to the Supreme Court, which is reviewing a 2015 decision by the 10th Circuit, which upheld the school system’s decision, using a very low standard for educational progress.

What is enough educational benefit? That’s what the Supreme Court is being asked to consider, and that, when you think about it, is where this case gets ugly.

Remember that we are talking about young people with disabilities — some of them so severe that a child might, for example, have the intellectual capacity of a 6-month-old, or have frequent disruptive seizures  — and their families, some of whom have daily burdens that others can’t begin to imagine.

So is minimal educational benefit enough? You may not know exactly what “minimal” is, buy by definition, you wouldn’t want that to be the standard for your child. Is “some” benefit — which courts have said means progress that is barely above trivial — enough for your child — or somebody else’s? Or do students with disabilities deserve a standard requiring “meaningful” benefit and if so, what does “meaningful” mean? Should the standard be “appropriate”? During the Wednesday hearing, nine different standards were mentioned in the proceedings within a half-hour period.

Should children with any disability be at the mercy of a standard that depends on the federal appellate jurisdiction in which his school district is located?

The Supreme Court justices on Wednesday seemed to be dissatisfied with the 10th Circuit’s ruling that public schools can meet IDEA requirements by providing an education to students with disabilities that is more than trivial, but there was no seeming direction indicated about what standard they do think makes sense.

It is understandable that school districts have a difficult time trying to appropriately implement IDEA, not only because of the nebulous standards but also because it has never been fully funded. According to the New America Foundation’s EdCentral (footnotes removed):

In the IDEA legislation, Congress set a maximum target for the federal contribution to special education spending equal to 40 percent of the estimated excess cost of educating children with disabilities. Thus, if the program were “fully funded,” the states would receive their maximum grants, calculated at 40 percent of the national average per pupil expenditure (APPE) times the number of children with disabilities served in the school year 2004-2005, adjusted for population changes. Under the act, the count of children with disabilities cannot exceed 12 percent of the state’s total school population.

For FY 2014, IDEA federal funding covered 16 percent of the estimated excess cost of educating children with disabilities, less than in FY 2008 when federal funding covered 17 percent of the cost and well below FY 2009 when additional funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act covered 33 percent of the cost. IDEA Part B “full funding” for FY 2014 would have amounted to approximately $28.65 billion, or roughly $17.17 billion more than was actually appropriated. The shortfall in IDEA funding has been assumed by the states and local school districts.

Yet there is something chilling about some of the debate about this issue. The debate is being played out in legalese — there’s  lots of talk about “procedure” — in the world of words rather than people. As Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. said in Wednesday’s hearing: “What is frustrating about this case and this statute is we have a blizzard of words.”

A blizzard of words that seem to fly right over the actual people being affected. As Gary Mayerson, a civil rights lawyer and board member of Autism Speaks, an advocacy organization, said in this article by my colleague Emma Brown: “I can’t even believe that this is really a question for the court to wrestle with.”

Mellow drivers? Study says states with medical-marijuana laws have lower traffic fatality rates.

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘TRIPPING’ AND THE WASHINGTON POST)

Mellow drivers? Study says states with medical-marijuana laws have lower traffic fatality rates.

December 20

 

States with medical-marijuana laws have fewer traffic fatalities than those without, especially among younger drivers, a new study has found.

You would think crash rates might be higher, supposing that more drivers are, too — especially around midnight, when a run to a 7-Eleven becomes necessary.

But, no. Researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health found an 11 percent reduction in traffic fatalities on average when examining places that have enacted medical-marijuana laws — 23 states and the District of Columbia. The presence of medical-marijuana dispensaries also correlated with fewer traffic fatalities, the study found.

Silvia Martins, a physician and associate professor who was the study’s senior author, theorized that lower traffic fatality rates in states with marijuana laws might be related to lower levels of alcohol-impaired driving as people, especially younger people, substitute weed for booze.

There was little evidence of a reduction in the traffic fatality rate for people 45 or older, who are disproportionately represented in larger numbers among enrollees in state medical-marijuana programs. The largest drop in traffic fatality rates in states with medical-marijuana laws occurred among drivers ages 15 to 44.

“We found evidence that states with the marijuana laws in place compared with those which did not, reported, on average, lower rates of drivers endorsing driving after having too many drinks,” Martins said in a written statement. She said other factors that might help explain the correlation could be the “strength of public health laws related to driving, infrastructure characteristics, or the quality of health care systems.”

The researchers cautioned, however, that not all states with medical-marijuana laws experienced declines in traffic fatality rates. California and New Mexico had initial reductions of 16 percent and 17.5 percent, respectively, after the passage of medical-marijuana laws but then saw gradual increases in their traffic fatality rates.

The study, which was published online in the American Journal of Public Health, analyzed National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data on traffic fatalities from 1985 to 2014. The researchers took into account factors such as whether the states had graduated driver licensing laws, as well as median household income, unemployment rates, laws increasing the speed limit to 70 mph or more, laws on enforcing the use of seat belts, and bans on using cellphones and texting while driving.

The researchers undertook the study as more states passed medical-marijuana laws — nine between 2010 and 2014 — and concerns were raised about the possible effect on public safety. Previous research, for example, found that marijuana use caused drivers to weave in traffic more often and have slower reaction times; studies also found that drivers who were high tended to reduce speed and increase headways — suggesting that the users were aware of their marijuana-related impairment and were trying to compensate.

Read more of Tripping:

The Book Of Revelation: Chapter #3

 

Revelation Chapter #3

Today in this article I would like to discuss the third chapter of the Book of Revelation, to discuss the words written so that we can understand their meanings. Chapter #3 is a lot like chapter #2 was in that it is directed at three particular Churches back at the end of the first century A.D.. In the last chapter of this Book, #22 in verse #10 the Lord told the Apostle John “Do not seal the sayings of the Prophecy’s of this book: for the time is at hand.” There are those who teach in today’s Churches that this Book is not meant to be understood, that it is just a bunch of signs and symbols. I grew up in a Church which taught this, yet such a belief is contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ who dictated the contents of this Book to the Apostle John. Some of the teachings within this Book do go contrary to the teachings of the Church I grew up in, I wondered even back then if this is the reason they wanted to keep this a ‘closed’ book. This Book is like all books in the sense that you must slowly read it if you are to have any hope of understanding it. Yet, at least in my own personal opinion, I believe that a person needs to read all of the other 65 Books of the Bible first before you can grasp the understanding of some of the issues written here in the Bibles last Book. The Book of Revelation has 404 verses in it, of those 404 verses 278 contain references to the Old Testament. True understanding of the Scriptures of God are given to people through the eyes and heart of the Holy Spirit. If a person reads God’s Scriptures through ‘the eyes of the flesh’ there is very little chance that the person will understand what the Holy Spirit is actually saying.

After this third chapter ‘the Church’ will not be mentioned anymore here in this Book, the reason is that after this time ‘The Church” will no longer be here on the Earth, it will be in Heaven. Now I would like to get into these last three Churches of the seven the Lord was addressing in chapter number two, then we will be done talking about these seven Churches. These three Churches that this chapter are revolved around were located in Asia-Minor, they were located in Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. Sardis is located in modern-day Greece, the other two are in modern-day Turkey. First let’s look at what The Lord had to say to the Church in Sardis. The Lord told John “To the Angel of the Church in Sardis write; these things saith He that has the Seven Spirits of God and the Seven Stars. I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are really dead.” “Be watchful and strengthen the things you still have that are about to die. For I have not found your works complete before God.” “Remember therefore how that you received and heard, hold fast to that, and repent. For if you do not pay attention, I will come unto you as a thief, and you shall not know what hour I come unto you.” “There are a few among you even there in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in White: for they are worthy.” “He that overcomes this world shall be clothed in White Raiment; and I will not blot out their name out of the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before My Father and before His Angels.” “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches.”

Friends there is no great mystery what The Lord is saying to the people at the Church in Sardis, nor in what He is telling us. The Lord in this letter is pointing out these folks good and their bad points. On the things that they are doing that are good and pleasing to Him, He tells them to continue in these ways. Yet on the things they are doing which are displeasing to Him, He tells them to stop doing those things, to correct their ways. Now here is the ‘kicker’ to those who believe in the fallacy of “once saved always saved.” Chapter three verse number five where The Lord said “and I will not blot out their name out of the Book of Life.” After we die and go before God at our judgement our names must be in ‘The Book of Life”, or we will be cast into Hell at that time. This verse makes it rather plain that one’s name can be removed from this Book. Please do not fall for the Demonic teaching of once saved always saved, it simply is not true, that teaching is not the teaching of God.

Let’s move onto the second Church, the one in Philadelphia that is in modern-day Turkey. The Lord said “To the Angel of the Church in Philadelphia write; these things says He that is Holy, He that is True, He that has the Key of David. He that opens and no man can shut, He that shuts and no man can open.” “I know your works: behold, I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it. For you have a little power and have obeyed My Word and you have not denied My Name.” “Behold, I will make them of the Synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews and are not, for they do lie. Behold I will make them come and worship before your feet, then they will realize that I have loved you.” “Because you have kept the word of my patients, I will also keep you from the hour of temptation, which shall which shall come upon the whole world. To try them which dwell upon the Earth.” “Behold, I shall come quickly. Hold fast to that which you have so that no man can take your Crown.” “To he that overcomes I will make him a Pillar in the Temple of God. He shall no more go out, and I shall write upon him the name of God, and the name of the City of God which is the New Jerusalem which shall come down out of Heaven from God and I will write upon him My new name for him.” “He that has an ear let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches.”

Philadelphia did not receive the rebuke that almost all of the other Churches received because God was pleased with the work that they were doing. Philadelphia was a Church that wasn’t just attending  a once a week service then sitting on their hands the rest of the week doing nothing to help save those that were living their lives around them, they were getting God’s Word out, outside of the Church walls. Yet if you will notice The Lord did warn them about becoming lazy, complacent in their work for Him. Just as with the other Churches we are shown the fact that we can ‘lose’ our Crown if we are not careful. Remember God’s teachings, there is no such thing as once saved always saved!

Now let’s go onto the seventh of the Seven Churches on the Lord’s list here at the beginning of the Book of Revelation, this last Church is the one that was at Laodicea. “To the Angel of the Church in Laodicea write; these things saith the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the beginning of the Creation of God. “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I wish that you were one or the other.” “So then because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.” “Because you say you are rich, and increased in goods, and have need of nothing, you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.” “I advise you to buy from Me gold that is tried in the fire so that you may be rich and clothed in White Raiment so that you may be clothed so that the shame of your nakedness does not appear, and anoint your eyes with eye salve so that you might see.” “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefor and repent.” “Behold I stand at the door and knock, if any man hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will eat with him and he with Me.” “To him that overcomes this world I will grant him to sit with Me in My Throne, even as I also overcame and have sat down with My Father in His Throne.” “He that has an ear let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches.”

My friends, is there really anything that is written in this letter that is too difficult to understand? The Church at Laodicea had become large and filled with people who were wealthy and they felt safe in their size and their wealth. You know, if there was no such thing as a ‘God’, if all that humans did was live and die and then, there was nothing, this loving the dollar thing might actually be of some value. But, there is a God, and that God is not a person’s bank account. Even if we are a person who goes to Church every week and call ourselves a Christian, if we do not do ‘the works’ of Jesus, we are nothing but lukewarm water. ‘Christians’ who live their lives like this are really nothing but dead men/women walking and they are to blind and self-absorbed to know that they are walking on a plank above an active volcano. These Churches are teaching what I call “feel good religion.” To many Churches here in America have become businesses first, if Preachers teaches things that are uncomfortable to the people sitting in the pews many of those people will quit going to that Church and when this happens the money they were putting in the ‘offering plate’ leaves with them. To many Churches ‘Leaders’ are afraid to teach messages that are uncomfortable to ‘the flock’ for this reason. I have a question for every one of us, which do we fear more, a reduction in our income, or the wrath of God? The Lord’s Church (His Bride) must be a House of Worship and a House of Prayer first for it to be a God-fearing and God-loving Church/Bride.

I am going to close this article tonight with the words that are inscribed on the wall of a Church in Lübeck Germany. It is only 13 sentences but I think it is an excellent way to close this article tonight. My question to you is, what do you think of them?

Thus Speaks Christ our Lord to us:

You call Me Master, but you do not obey Me.

You call Me Light, but you do not see Me.

You call Me The Way, but you do not walk with Me.

You call Me Life, but you do not choose Me.

You call Me Wise, but you do not follow Me.

You call Me Fair, but you do not love Me.

You call Me Rich, but you do not ask of Me.

You call Me Eternal, but you do not seek Me.

You call Me Noble, but you do not serve Me.

You call Me Gracious, but you do not trust Me.

You call Me Mighty, but you do not honor Me.

You call Me Just, but you do not fear Me.

If I condemn you, do not blame Me!

Lukewarm Christians turn away would be Christians by how they live their lives. When we say we are Christians but we walk after the ways of the Devil these would be Christians see this and they turn away from Christianity. These lukewarm actions cost more than just your own Soul to be condemned, it costs the Souls of those around us who see our ‘works’ and flee from the teachings of God because of our evil ways.

Bible: Revelation Chapter #2

 

Revelation Chapter #2

Chapter #2 is all about the message the Lord Jesus gave to his Apostle John about seven of the Churches that were in Asia-Minor at that time. There were many Churches at that time but God chose these seven in which to give direct messages to. This chapter touches on all seven of the Church’s but it concentrates mostly on just four of them, the other three will be covered more in chapter #3. One thing that all people need to understand is that ‘The Church’ is the ‘Bride of Christ’ that He will be coming back to get. Like any ‘Bride’ the Groom wants His Bride to be as pure and faithful as possible, the ‘Church’ for Jesus is no different. In the first three chapters of the Book of Revelation the Church is mentioned 19 times yet in chapters 4 through 20 the Church is not mentioned at all. The reason for this is that after chapter #3 the Church leaves this physical Earth. Chapters 4-20 covers issues of what is yet to be. Jesus in His messages to these seven Churches were direct in their meanings and in their messages to these late first century Churches. O, by the way, if you are able to afford the trip, the ruins of these seven Churches still exist today if you wish to go check them out.

With how the Lord addressed each of these Churches it gives us a snapshot of the condition of each of their congregations at the time. All Churches are made up of human beings and just like human beings each Church then and today, have their own personalities, their own little quirks about them. This is one huge reason why it is so important for a Church to have Holy Spirit led Leaders within the Church family. If the head is a snake it will poison the body and consume all that was good about it. This is true of a family, a business, a Country, or of a Church. First I would like to discuss the Church that was at Philadelphia. The Lord was addressing this one Church yet it is obvious that He was addressing not just the Church at Philadelphia, He was addressing these other six Churches as well. What was also obvious is that He was addressing every Church Congregation every where, then and now. Remember, every Congregation just like any other family is made up of individuals, so the Lord was also talking directly to me, and to you. You see, all Churches must be in lockstep with each other in that there is only one Lord, one God, one Church (Bride), and one Head of The Church (one Groom) and that is Jesus The Christ who bought us with His own blood. If you will notice, there are seven addresses given to these seven Churches and within them is given the seven periods of the Church’s history. For those who are unaware of it ‘The Church’ began on the Day of Pentecost after the Lord had risen and ascended back to His Throne in Heaven. This day is when ‘The Kingdom, The Comforter’ which was the Holy Spirit was given to the twelve Apostles of Christ.

The Lord starts off His address to each of the Churches with the saying “I know your works”. With most of the Churches He congratulates the Congregation and then gives a condemnation to them. Yet, for two of the Congregations He did not give a condemnation, these two Churches were the ones at Philadelphia and Smyrna. The reasons for this are rather simple, Philadelphia was a missionary Church and Smyrna was a martyr Church as both of these Churches were effectively getting out the Word of God in their areas. Another thing to notice is the fact that He gave no congratulation to the Congregation at Laodicea, He only gave them a condemnation. The reason for this is that this Church, this Congregation had fallen away from the teachings of God that it had been founded upon. Each of the seven messages to the seven Churches all ended with the same warning “He that has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says.”

Within chapter #2 you will find the Lord’s messages to the first four Churches. In verses (1-7) you find the Lord’s message to the Church that was at Ephesus, in verses (8-11) this message is to the Church at Smyrna, in verses (12-17) the message is to the Church at Pergamos. The last of this chapter is to the Church at Thyatira, verses (18-29). The Lord’s messages to the other three Churches, Philadelphia, Sardis, and Laodicea, you will find in Chapter #3. If you would, please consider the Lord’s four messages to these first four Churches. Now remember, these messages are to the Apostle John at the direction of The Lord Jesus. “Unto the Angel of the Church of Ephesus write these things that the Lord has to say to them.” ” I know your works and your labor and your patience. I know how you can not tolerate them which are evil, and how you have tested them which say they are Apostles and are not, and you have found them to be liars. also how you have borne burdens and have been persistent, and for my Name sake you have labored and have not become weak. Never the less I have something against you, because you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen and repent and practice your first works, or else I will come unto you quickly and will remove your candlestick out of its place, unless you repent. But there is one thing which you hate, that is the deeds of make-believe Christians, which I also hate. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches. To him that overcomes this world I will give to eat of the Tree of Life which is in the midst of the presence of God.” You see my friends, there is such a thing as falling away from the truth of God, and there is no such thing as ‘once saved always saved.”

Now the message from Jesus to the Church at Smyrna. “To the Angel of the Church in Smyrna write; these things the Lord has to say to you, He which is the first and the last, which was dead and is alive.” “I know your works and your tribulation (time of great affliction) and your poverty (but you are rich). I know the blasphemy of those which say they are Jews and are not. But are of the Synagogue of Satan. Fear none of those things which you shall suffer. Behold, the Devil will cast some of you into prison that you may be tested and you shall have tribulation. But if you are faithful until death I will give you a Crown of Life. “He that has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says unto the Churches, he that overcomes shall not be hurt of the second death.” Again my friends, the Lord says plainly that we must remain faithful unto death. These ‘Churches’ of today who are not teaching this, are not teaching the message that God Himself has given to all of us, they are not, teaching God’s word!

Now let’s study the message that God gave to the Church that was at Pergamos. “To the Angel of the Church in Pergamos write, these things says He which has the sharp sword with two edges. I know your works and where you live, I even know where Satan’s seat is. I know that you hold fast to My name, and that you have not abandoned My faith, even in those days when Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwells. But I have a few things against you. Because among you there are those that hold to the doctrine of Balaam who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel. To eat things which had been sacrificed to idols and to commit fornication. You also have among you those that follow the teachings of make-believe Christians which is something I hate. Repent, or else I will come unto you quickly and will fight against you with the sword of My mouth. He that has an ear let him hear what the Spirit has to say to the Churches. To him that overcomes this world I will give them to eat of the hidden manna, and will give them a White Stone. And in the Stone a new Name written. Which no man will recognize except for he that receives it.” My friends, again and again, we must remain faithful through our deaths. Also, in these verses we are being told very plainly that it does matter what the Churches, the Preachers, are teaching the Congregation. It is very important for the people to know exactly what “The Truth” is and the best way to do this is to separate out a little bit of our day each day to study the Bible and for prayer. It is also the absolute duty of the Congregation to insist that the Church Leadership is teaching the true messages of God to the Congregation, it does matter what is being taught from the pulpit.

I am going to finish off this article tonight with the message that the Lord gave to the Church at Thyatira. “Unto the Angel of the Church at Thyatira write. These things says the Son of God who has His eyes like unto a flame of fire and His feet are like fine brass. I know your works and charity and service and faith and your patience. But I still have a few things against you because you allow that woman Jezebel, which calls herself a Prophetess, to teach and to mislead my Servants to commit fornication and to eat things which have been sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent of her fornication but she did not repent. Behold, I will cast her into a bed and those that promote pagan religious ideas with her into great troubles, unless they repent of their deeds. I will kill her offspring with death and all the Churches will realize that I am He which judges the wills and the hearts. And I will give unto everyone according to your works (deeds). But unto you I say and unto the rest in Thyatira and for those who do not practice pagan doctrine and have not experienced the depths of Satan as they speak; I will put upon you no other burden. But the faith and doctrine which you already have, hold firmly until I come. He that overcomes and maintains my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the Nations. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches.”

As you can easily see The Lord has many things to say to the Churches then and to the Churches now. Just as The Lord had a lot to say to the individuals then, He said a lot to each of us now. The Lord has made it so very plain that we must all remain faithful unto our own death, a Church or a person that teaches otherwise is not teaching the Word nor the Will of God. Anyone who teaches something so ridiculous as you can sprinkle a little water on an infant and that this baby, this person is now saved is just that, ridiculous. Think about this for a moment please, Hitler’s Mom was a Catholic, so there is a real good chance that Hitler was “saved” as an infant. So, then he grew up to be the monster that he was, but that was okay for him, he was still saved. Really folks? We are not saved by our works, our deeds, it is the Grace of God we are saved by. But God has laid down His “to do list” for all of us. We must walk after the heart and the face of The Lord everyday of our lives. He knows we will all have days that we will stumble but God knows each of our hearts, He will judge us by that, the condition of our hearts and our efforts. Okay, that is all for this evening, I hope this breakdown was of some help to you. Hopefully I will be able to get to chapter #3 tomorrow. For now, good night and God bless.

A black teacher asked her students to defend the Ku Klux Klan—and was promptly suspended — Quartz

The assignment was simple—to write a persuasive essay defending the actions of the Ku Klux Klan—yet the reactions to it were anything but. Parents of the 12- t0 14-year-old students who were given the essay prompt at the Business and Economics Academy of Milwaukee (BEAM), a charter school in Wisconsin, were startled enough by the…

via A black teacher asked her students to defend the Ku Klux Klan—and was promptly suspended — Quartz

Understanding The Biblical Book Of Revelation

 

The Book Of Revelation

Just as the first Book of the Bible (Genesis) is the book of the beginning of all things, the Book of Revelation (the last Book of the Bible) is a book about the end of all things. A term I have personally used quite a bit when explaining Biblical things about this “End” of all things here in Revelation is that what is being described is “the end of this current system” that we all live in. What we are shown in the Book of Revelation is the ‘fulfillment’ of God’s plan for you and I, us humans. Throughout the Bible, Old Testament and the New, there are many Books with Prophecies written within them. For me personally my favorite books of Prophecies that I really  like are the Books of the Prophets Isaiah, Daniel and Samuel in the Old Testament and the Gospel of John and the Book of Revelation in the New Testament. In case you have wondered about it, the title Revelation means “the unveiling or disclosure.” This Book was written by the Apostle John, the last of Christ’s Apostles and the only one that was not murdered for his teachings about Jesus. When this Book was written John was on the eastern Mediterranean island of Patmos, a rocky little island that the Romans sent nonviolent prisoners to, basically exiling these people there. The reason that this old man had been exiled there was because he would not quit preaching about Jesus. The New Testament was written in the Greek language and in the Greek the title of this Book is Apokalypis, the English translation is Apocalypse.

Revelation centers around many visions and symbols of God’s resurrected ‘Christ.’ Among the issues that are being explained to us is that only Christ has the authority to judge those who have lived upon the Earth and no one else. We are also shown that only He, through His righteousness  has the authority to remake the Earth and to Rule it for ever more. In chapter number one it is made plain to both the Apostle John and to us that it is the Lord that is giving these signs and wonders and information to John for all of us. In Chapter one verse number one it is stated that this Book is the Revelation of Jesus Christ and this is fitting being this Book came from Him and centers on Him. The Book begins with a vision of His Wisdom, His Glory, and of His Power. In chapters 2 and 3 this Book, this Letter, to us shows us that He and He alone has authority over all of the Church. For those of you whom do not know this, “The Church” is “The Bride” of Christ that He will be coming back from Heaven to Claim. In chapter one Jesus “calls out”  the names of seven of the larger Churches in Asia minor which is in current day Turkey. They are listed in a clockwise order as it was customary for important letters to be sent from one Congregation to the next, to the next in such a clockwise pattern. In Chapters number 2 and 3 The Lord spells out His issues with each one of these Congregations, He points out things that they are doing wrong and that they need to correct or they will be destroyed. This circular message is to the Congregations of God then, and to all of us now. The Lord is spelling out flaws in the Congregations that must be stopped.

When we get to chapter #5 Jesus is shown as the Lamb of God that was slain and is now alive and is worthy to open the ‘Book of Judgement.’ In chapters 6-18 we are shown how The Lord will pour out His Wrath upon the whole Earth for the sins that have filled the Earth. Chapters 19-20 explains to us that Jesus The Christ will return to the Earth in His Power and His Glory to judge His enemies and that He will destroy and condemn them. In the last two chapters #21 & 22, The Lord spells it out that He will come down from Heaven and Reign forever from the “New Jerusalem” which will come down to Earth from Heaven. This “New Jerusalem” will be located where the current day Jerusalem sits. In case you are wondering, when this is done there will be no current day Jerusalem, as Jesus told His Apostles in the 22nd chapter of Matthew, “there will not be one stone here left upon another.” Remember the surface of the Earth is going to be cleansed “melted” with a fervent heat, all the works of man, will be no more.

In this Book it is very obvious that it was written with a flavor of the conflict between the first century Church and the Roman government power of the time. It is also obvious that in the bulk of the Book/Letter, in chapters 4 through 22, that it is a Holy Spirit Inspired look into the events that will come before the Second Advent of Christ. This “Tribulation Period” spoken of is two sets of 42 months, or 84 months total which equals to 7 years. I plan on writing an article on all 22 chapters individually, this is why I have not gotten into more details about the different information contained within each chapter. This article today is meant as an overview if you will of the things I intend to spell out in the upcoming letters to you. For now I am going to close with a quote from Chapter 21 verses 3 & 4. “And I heard a great voice out of Heaven saying, Behold the Tabernacle of God is with men, and He shall dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them, and be their God”.—“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be anymore pain: for the former things are passed away.”

Iran’s Supreme Ruler: Iman Khamenei “Islamic Unity Only Solution To Extricate Muslims From U.S., Zionist Evil

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF: ENGLISH.ALMAMAR.COM.LB T.V. NETWORK)

Imam Khamanei: Islamic Unity Only Solution to extricate Muslims from US, Zionist Evil
Imam Khamenei
Leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei

“Should we unite and proceed toward Islamic goals in a united manner, then the US and the malignant, nefarious Zionist nexus can no longer hold nations in their clutches,” he said on Saturday on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

The Leader was addressing a number of state officials and diplomatic representatives of Muslim countries as well as participants at an international unity conference in Tehran.

“Today, the Muslim world is facing great tribulations, the way out of which is Islamic unity,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.

“Today, Muslim killings are taking place  from Myanmar to Africa; some are being killed at the hands of Boko Haram, others by Buddhists.”

“Today, there are two volitions at contrast with each other in the region: The will for unity and the will for schism. Should unity transpire, the situation will not be as it is today and Muslims will earn esteem.”

Imam Khamenei said the British version of Shia Islam and the American version of Sunni Islam, which pit Muslims against one another, are “two blades of the same pair of scissors.”

The British policy of “divide and rule” is seriously being pursued by the enemies of Islam, the Leader said.

Imam Khamenei said worldwide Muslim unity, the most important type of readiness needed by the Muslim world, would abort the conspiracy to consign the issue of Palestine to oblivion.

 

Source: Press TV

Common Myths Concerning Islam

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘CREEPING SHARIA’S’ WEBSITE)

Common Myths Concerning Islam

A Muslim professor discusses “moderate Muslims.”

His definition of this term should be read very carefully. Also notice that he includes the head of the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe, Tariq Ramadan, as one of this group.

China has its problems with jihad. And then there were the bus bombings.

A Muslim doctor on how to take over an American hospital and make it a Muslim one.

Dhimmitude at the Washington Post.

Debating About Islam

Once you know something about Islam and try to talk to others, you may find yourself in a debate. Here are some of the “standards”.

CAN YOU READ ARABIC?
Everyone from Muslims to atheists uses this. The implication is that Arabic is a unique language that can’t be translated and therefore, how could you know what you are talking about? First, the Koran claims to be a universal message for all humanity for all times. If the message is universal, then it must be able to be understood by all. If the message cannot be understood by everybody, then by definition it is not universal. So, which is it?

Another thing to consider is that over half of the Koran is about Kafirs and politics. Do you really think that a political message about a Kafir cannot be understood by the Kafir? If so, what is that message that cannot be understood?

It must be made clear which Arabic is being spoken about. The Arabic of the Koran is classical Arabic which is about as similar to modern Arabic as the English of Chaucer and Beowulf is similar to modern English. Said in another way, not even a modern Arab can read classical Arabic. It is estimated that fewer than a thousand scholars who read classical Arabic can compose a paragraph on a random topic.

And what about the nearly billion Muslims who don’t even understand modern Arabic? If it is necessary to understand classical Arabic to understand what the Koran is about, then how can those billion non-Arabic-speaking Muslims understand the Koran? And if they cannot understand the Koran how can they be Muslims?

Ask the person who presents the argument if they have any opinions about the doctrine of Christianity. Then ask them if they read Hebrew, Aramaic or Biblical Greek? If they do not read those languages how can they form an opinion about something they have to read in translation? Of course they can read it and form an opinion, the same way we can read and understand the Koran.

A secondary question is why would anyone want to believe that the Koran couldn’t be understood? What is the purpose of believing that out of all the books in the world, why would there be one that cannot be translated?

The Koran is only 18% of the total doctrine. Would the questioner believe that the other 82% of the doctrine not be understood as well?

WELL, THE CHRISTIANS DID...
This response usually comes after some grim facts are given about Islam. This is probably the most common response from non-Christians. The best response is to ask if they have a reason that they don’t want to talk about Islam, since they want to change the subject. The average person knows next to nothing about Islam and sometimes this gambit is merely a way to steer the conversation into a familiar ground.

They are just trying to prove that Islam is not any worse than Christianity. At this point, welcome the chance to compare the two. Choose the ground of comparison. The best place to start is the founders. Compare Mohammed to Christ. The other good comparison is in ethics. Compare Islam’s dualistic ethics to unitary Golden Rule ethics.

Another version of this is that the person will compare some failed Christian to a “good” Muslim they know at work. It is fairly useless to do personal comparisons. How do you choose which Muslim out of 1.5 billion Muslims and which Christian do you choose out of a couple billion Christians?

A variation on the “Well, the Christians did …” is “What about the Crusades”? This is the time to say you welcome a comparison of the Crusades to jihad. Start with the question of why the Crusades were needed. Islāmic jihad caused the invasion of the Middle East. The Crusades were a response to a cry for help by the tortured and oppressed Christians in their native land. Did the Christians do some very wrong things? Yes, but notice that the Crusades have been over nearly a thousand years. Jihad is active today. And while we are at it, why do academic libraries have many books on the Crusades, which lasted only 200 years, and so few on jihad, which has lasted 1400 years? The West has analyzed the Crusades forever and has never analyzed jihad.

I KNOW THIS MUSLIM AND HE SAYS…
Why is the Muslim your friend knows the only Muslim out of 1.5 billion that makes him the expert on Islam? Remember, the average Muslim knows very little about the doctrine of Islam. Why? Because, historically the imams have acted as the high priests of Islam and they have never made the doctrine simple to understand. That is one way they keep their prestige and power.

But once you know something about the doctrine, you can say that you know also know a Muslim, and his name is Mohammed, and what you say comes from the Sunna. In short, your Muslim, Mohammed, can beat your friend’s Muslim on any issue of doctrine. If the Muslim your friend knows says something about Islam that agrees with Mohammed, then it is right. If what he says contradicts Mohammed, then he is wrong. So this Muslim your friend knows is either wrong or redundant, but never more right than Mohammed.

I KNOW THIS MUSLIM AND HE IS A NICE MAN
Probably so. What does that prove about Islam? He may follow the Golden Rule and not Islam. That is, he may be a poor Muslim and a good person.

Now is the time to explain about the Islam of Mecca and the Islam of Medina and which one is the more powerful. It is also time to explain about dualism and how Islam always has two faces.

Stay with doctrine and history of Islam, never get personal and talk about an individual Muslim. Actually, there is one way to talk about any Muslim, show how what they do and say follows the doctrine.

Besides, you know this Muslim and his name is Mohammed. Don’t talk about “Muslims,” talk about Mohammed.

THAT IS NOT THE REAL ISLAM
If you are quoting the Koran or the Sunna, then it is the real Islam, by definition. The Koran and the Sunna are Islam, the real Islam. All other Islam, such as is found in the media, is the false Islam. There is only one real Islam, the doctrine of Islam.

THEY DON’T REALLY BELIEVE THAT
This comes after you have revealed some horrific part of the doctrine. What do Muslims call themselves? The believers. What do they believe? The Koran and the Sunna. They say that is what they believe. Really believe.

I KNOW THIS MUSLIM AND HE IS NOT VIOLENT
This is a restating of, “I know this Muslim and he is good man.” He may be a poor Muslim and a good man who follows the Golden Rule.

But, the statement shows that there is no understanding of the duality of Islam. The Koran has both violence and tolerance against the Kafirs. Today in America the power of Islam is just getting started, so Islam is still weak. When Mohammed was weak in Mecca, he did not kill anybody. Islam is still in the first phase of jihad here.

But the Koran says that one Muslim can beat two Kafirs. It also says that Islam must be the dominant political system. So when Muslims reach a third of the population (that makes it 2 to 1), they will be in the full stage of Medina and violence becomes a standard operation. But even then, we know from the Sira, that many Muslims just don’t have the stomach for the violence. The Sira shows that Muslims can support jihad many ways, besides personal violence. The “peaceful” Muslim you know is commanded to give money to Islāmic charities and the charities give the money to the actual fighters.

WHAT ABOUT THE VIOLENCE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT?
Look at the violence in the Old Testament. It has two qualities—local and temporary. None of the violence is commanded to be global and eternal. In each case the violence is directed in a political struggle and when it was over it was over.

The violence in the Trilogy is for all Muslims, in all places and for all time. Jihad is to stop only when every kaffir submits. Look at Mohammed, the perfect example. He was involved with violence until the day he died. And on his deathbed he directed eternal violence against the Kafirs when he said in his last breath: “Let there be neither Christian or Jew left in Arabia.”

IF ISLAM IS SO VIOLENT, HOW CAN IT BE SO SUCCESSFUL?
The Sira records that when Islam committed violence, it attracted new followers. As Osama bin Laden says: “People like a winning horse.” After 9/11 in the US, new followers joined Islam. Communism was a political system that preached, promised and delivered violence and it attracted many people. Many people love violence. Have you never paid any attention to Hollywood? Violence is piled upon violence and people line up to see it.

Islam is growing rapidly. but most of the growth can be attributed to high birth rates, not conversion. Islam’s growth in Kafir countries is due to immigration, not conversion.

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oldpoet56

truthtroubles.wordpress.com/ Just an average man who tries to do his best at being the kind of person the Bible tells us we are all suppose to be. Not perfect, never have been, don't expect anyone else to be perfect either. Always try to be very easy going type of a person if allowed to be.

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The Clarity Compass

Armed with a new compass and an old map, ready to remap and see the world from a perspective I didn't know exists.

mylocalweb

my writing junkyard

thinkinkadia

Challenging ideas are explored to see new actionable perspectives on relevant social issues, in this traveler space.

Spoken Voiceless!

ReflectTheLight

STOP ANIMAL ABUSE

Sharing News, Views & Petitions Regards Animal Abuse. Plus Various Animal Stories From Around The World

Kamus Istilah

Yang Pernah Mbuat Aku Bingung

The Belgian Reviewer

The place to discover fine new books to read

Captain's Quarters

Exploring sci-fi, fantasy, and young adult novels.

Lex and Neek

Journeys into Fun

UNLIMBITED TREE SERVICE, INC.

Unlimbited Tree Service was started with one goal in mind: To enhance the beauty and value of residential and commercial properties while ensuring the safety of their occupants. With Unlimbited, you know that you're getting the very best.

মুক্তি মুন্না

4 out of 5 dentists recommend this WordPress.com site

Love is a name

Love starts right now

Universul astral

"Dubito, ergo cogito, cogito ergo sum."_ René Descartes

Jurnalul Canapelei Rosii

rateuri literare

fictionandpoetry2016

Be where your heart belongs...

Amras888

One voice amongst many. Observing and participating in the great transformation of humanity from a positive perspective.

Cadmus38

looking for the adventure in life

headintheclouds746

Beauty is all around you

prieteni virtuali

Pastreaza in sufletul tau , doar momentele frumoase si langa tine doar oamenii, care te pretuiesc cu adevarat!

doar, o viaţă

eu trăiesc, când să fiu supărat

Following Him Beside Still Waters

He restores my soul: He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.

PoemasemFotoswordpress.com

Just another WordPress.com site

Shezza Speak!

because life in NYC is too noteworthy to be silent!

MERMAID IN A MUDSLIDE

Musings on this crazy, wonderful life...

Piggie's Place

Random Oinks in the Dark

Cryptosmith

Cybersecurity education and service

Smatters

Matters of the Smith-Atwood family

Neurodivergent Rebel

Rebelling against a culture that values assimilation over individuality.

The Platinum Dragon

Political Commentary, Short Stories, & Poetry

Try to get it!

A blog about Qoran and Islam

Cathedral made of people

What is the Church?

Daily Inspiration

Follow your dreams

Energy Management

Trending Technology Renewables

LA PAGINA DI NONNATUTTUA

La strada giusta è quel sentiero che parte dal Cuore e arriva ovunque

Poems, Melodies, and Me

A Sentimental Journey

UrbanaRoman

ASOCIATIA PENTRU ANTROPOLOGIE URBANA DIN ROMAN

territori del '900

identità luoghi scritture del '900 toscano

brushes and papers

my learning journey

American Saga

My family of original and early settlers from the Old World to the New World to Oklahoma

nerd on the bridge

A Literary Paradox

:: Jarcy Tania ::

Projetos artísticos, pessoais, idéias, opiniões e reflexões sobre arte, cultura, educação, filosofia, livros e ciência.

beetleypete

The musings of a Londoner, now living in Norfolk

Parental Alienation

Meeting reality

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