Editor’s note: Hal Lindsey is the host of “The Hal Lindsey Report,” a weekly half-hour news and commentary series, and the author of “The Late Great Planet Earth,” the best-selling book of the 1970s that popularized Bible prophecy for tens of millions around the world. You can learn more about Hal Lindsey and his TV show on his website.
The Apostle Paul warned Timothy, “In the last days … men will be … malicious gossips … treacherous. …” (2 Timothy 3:1-4 NASB)
Later in the same chapter he declares that in those days, “Evil men and seducers will wax worse and worse.” (2 Timothy 3:13 KJV)
And Paul didn’t even know about social media, fake news, or the New York Times!
“Mainstream Media” wasn’t even in his vocabulary!
When it comes to discussing how these conditions are present today, I think the combat fighter pilot’s term fits perfectly: It’s a target-rich environment.
Setting aside the mind-numbing insanity of the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation ambush (that’s not “target-rich,” that’s “target-overload”), on this week’s program I will discuss two recent incidents that perfectly fit Paul’s warning. And they both involve literal threats to our nation’s well-being and, perhaps, survival.
A few weeks ago, the New York Times editorial page ran a piece by someone it called, “a senior administration official.” The op-ed was written by an “anonymous” author (or authors), but the paper’s editors assured us they knew who wrote it.
The identifying phrase, “a senior administration official,” is intentionally vague.
Barack Obama’s former chief strategist, David Axelrod says that description includes all who carry “the title of assistant to the president and all cabinet officials.” That means it can only refer to the very top leadership in an administration.
The supposedly “senior” official (remember, it’s the New York Times) wrote: “The dilemma – which [President Trump] does not fully grasp – is that many senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations. I would know. I am one of them.”
He, she, or they said that the administration’s successes “have come despite – not because of – the president’s leadership style, which is impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective.”
Friends, I believe with great confidence that the author(s) of that op-ed is lying.
If high-ranking members of the administration really believed the president might go “off the rails,” they would certainly not write about their undercover activities in the nation’s “newspaper of record.” Making it public would undermine their efforts. Calling attention to themselves would only warn their superiors to be on-guard and watchful.
If you are genuinely worried that someone is unstable and might harm themselves or others, why would you push them toward paranoia?
Unless that is your goal.
No one who truly loves this country and its institutions and freedoms would intentionally try to weaken or break the trust between the president and his highest officials. And that is clearly what this editorial intends.
It is an extreme example of the prophesied increase in “malicious gossip” and treachery in the last days.
Not to be outdone by its editorial cousin, the New York Times news division raced to get in on the action. It published a story in which it claimed that U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had “proposed wearing a wire” to his meetings with President Trump. The article stated that Rosenstein wanted to expose the president’s chaotic style of leadership.
(I’m not sure, but I don’t think an unorthodox “style of leadership” necessarily constitutes a crime, or even a threat! But then I’m only a normal American. I don’t understand such complicated concepts!)
The Times insists that Rosenstein was serious. However, sources for other news organizations say that Rosenstein did say it, but he was only being sarcastic.
The New York Times also claims that Mr. Rosenstein considered lobbying members of the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove President Trump from office.
Now, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein (remember, he is the de facto chief law enforcement officer in the nation since his boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions seems to be in some sort of perpetual, limboesque “recusal” from everything but immigration and gang-related issues) explicitly denies believing Trump should be removed from office.
But his denials are vague, at best.
The Times story itself raises other questions. It says, “Several people described the episodes in interviews over the past several months, insisting on anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. The people were briefed either on the events themselves or on memos written by FBI officials.”
Note the word, “briefed.” That simply means the New York Times used sources that had only heard secondhand about the events and memos. Of course, it goes without saying that FBI communications of any sort should now be viewed with great suspicion.
Judge Judy would call that “hearsay” and “inadmissible.”
You and I might call it “gossip.”
The Apostle Paul would probably double down and call it “malicious gossip!”
Even so, portions of the Times story have been confirmed by other sources. Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein apparently did discuss wearing a wire to record his conversations with the president.
Even if he were just joking, it is disturbing. It’s difficult enough to be president of the United States in such a polarized, antagonistic political atmosphere. But President Trump is having to govern in times when “malicious gossip” and “treacherous” men (and women) are running wild.
Just as the Bible predicted.
Last week, Jews around the world celebrated Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. It is the holiest day on the Jewish calendar.
On Yom Kippur 45 years ago (Oct. 6, 1973), the Arab world launched a sneak attack on the nation of Israel. The blitz caught Israel off-guard on both fronts.
In addition to Egypt and Syria, Israel faced forces from Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and even Cuba. All supported and supplied by the Soviet Union.
The “Yom Kippur War,” as it is known today, was not like any of Israel’s previous wars. This time, Arab armies scored major, dramatic victories. Israeli casualties were the highest yet. It appeared that the Arabs would finally fulfill their dream of pushing the Jews into the sea.
But Israel held on and was slowly able to fully mobilize its forces. At a heavy cost in personnel and equipment, they began to repel the Arabs.
After the Soviet Union reacted quickly and began to resupply the Arab armies, U.S. President Richard Nixon hesitantly decided to begin a full-scale resupply effort for Israel. Once that massive resupply began, the tide fully turned. Soon, the IDF was advancing on Cairo and shelling suburbs of Damascus.
A United Nations-brokered cease-fire saved Egypt and Syria from almost unimaginable defeat.
There are myriad stories of inexplicable incidents that occurred during the fighting that prevented Israel from being overrun. For Israelis who lived through the Yom Kippur War, one word comes up again and again: Miracle!
Israel triumphed because God intervened.
It wasn’t the first time and it won’t be the last.