Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Latest Reading

The Life of John Birch, by Robert H. W. Welch, Jr. A great read about a great American, Christian, and soldier who was murdered by the Communist Chinese.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Proverbs, Chapters Seven and Eight commentary

Chapter 7
1 ¶ My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee. 2 Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. 3 Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart. 4 Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman: 5 That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.
Again, these instructions are repeated and wisdom’s importance is emphasized as well as understanding’s. The purpose here is to keep the son from the foreign woman with her foreign gods who flatters with her words. The biggest threat to the practice of the Christian religion is from inside where pagan elements have polluted everything including modern Bible versions. Big churches and large enrollments that await the pastor who compromises the word, with huge grounds, bond issues, gymnasiums, libraries, massive bus ministries, and even fame and celebrity, are enticing. For the Christian layperson the many different “focus” groups these big churches offer, with Sunday Schools for every age and need, and wishy washy sermons that are about as deep as a mud puddle are a draw.
But, in every day life there are movies, even Christian movies, that alter the Bible’s message, change the word, emphasize the wrong things, and TV shows where people don’t swear and there’s no sexual content but doctrine is watered down, and truth is distorted. There’s Christian music with the wrong beat, the wrong attitude, and lyrics that twist the Bible and deceive the hearer.
All around us are falsehood and distortions, with celebrity pastors locked arm in arm with their favorite politicians smiling broadly and proclaiming family values and the faith of the “silent majority”. It’s all designed to lead you from the clear truths of God’s word and to entice you away from God’s path.
6 ¶ For at the window of my house I looked through my casement, 7 And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding, 8 Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house, 9 In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night: 10 And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart. 11 (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: 12 Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.) 13 So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, 14 I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows. 15 Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee. 16 I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. 17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. 18 Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves. 19 For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey: 20 He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed. 21 With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. 22 He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks; 23 Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life.
I think the direct and practical application here is obvious and doesn’t need much elaboration. The whorish woman will try to entice the young man, that is clear. This is a young man devoid of understanding, as it says. But, the spiritual implications are incredible.
One thing of note would be that this woman is loud and stubborn. Her feet don’t stay in her house. In both testaments we have the phrase “keeper at home” which some people mistakenly think to mean that a woman’s only proper employment is to be a housewife. Actually keeping at home is applied to a man in Habbakuk 2:5 Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people:
We had a saying down South “gadabout” which was a person of either sex who was always out looking to start trouble either at a bar or going house to house gossiping and destroying reputations. This person more fits the context of “keepeth at home” in Habbakuk 2:5 and “keepers at home” in Titus 2:5. To say that the only employment fit for a woman is a housewife is to accuse Lydia, the benefactor of Paul in Philippi, of sin. And yet, there is no condemnation of her in the word of God.
Now back to the spiritual implication of these verses in Proverbs. This woman, dressed as a harlot is found on every corner. She is false religion and pseudo-religion, being whatever your heart loves apart from God. She entices, flatters, and flirts. The lure of the worldly faith includes the argument that Christ is gone and He’ll return when He returns with the world adding, IF He returns. They say, “He isn’t here, so come on enjoy yourself in sin. What’s the hurt? No one will see.”
There was an anti-God movie called “The Cider House Rules” that was made as a pro-abortion movie but what it came down to was that the migrant workers who lived in the Cider House shouldn’t have to go by the owner’s rules because he or she wasn’t there. So since he or she wasn’t there he had no right to make the rules for them. It was an indirect attack on Christ’s authority and a denial of His earthly ministry.
Now, you might say, I’m not in any danger of turning my back on Christ. No one can accomplish that. But, I say, a preacher who you believe to be a “man of God” whom you see at a meeting and hear a great sermon by, can change doctrines just slightly, convincing you that he is close to God and therefore if you want to be close to God you’ll draw close to him. His false religion draws you away from the Bible by changing the clear meaning of the Bible and adding more rules or taking rules away, in order to “please God”.
In the more “fundamentalist” congregations he’ll be pharisaical and very strict, usually heaping burden upon burden on the congregation, particularly the women. In the more liberal congregations he’ll focus on love and acceptance of everyone including perverts and Bible corrupters as being “all God’s chilluns”.
The world’s enticements are found on every corner. False religion is found on every corner. You don’t have to be afraid and paranoid. You just need to know your Bible and be “all prayed up” as we say. You need to know what is right in order to know that what they are saying is wrong. You don’t crouch in your house in fear. You walk out on the street knowing that she (or he) will be there, selling her wickedness like a carnival barker tries to sell an amusement at the fireman’s fair. To follow her is death. Don’t even listen to her.
24 ¶ Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth. 25 Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. 26 For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. 27 Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.
While this is a clear warning to the Hebrew about the dangers of an adulterous woman, it’s clear that more is implied here than that. It is also a warning that many millions have been destroyed by false doctrines and phony religion. Many of the major wars in history, at least on the surface, had a religious origin. Conquest and murder, extortion and outright theft, have been the main doctrines of the counterfeit religion of Satan throughout history. Whether it be Nebuchadnezzar worshipping the “queen of heaven” or the “mother of god”, Ishtar, down to a recent President declaring that God had told him to invade a country and occupy it.
On a more personal note the false religious beliefs of this age, such as those coming from Darwin, Freud, and Marx have killed more people than we can even imagine in the Twentieth Century alone. I am taking the tack that the strange woman represents false and counterfeit religious belief that misleads and lies to people seeking to be spiritual, save mankind, building a better world, and some even desiring to do God’s will. Darwin’s belief that we are nothing more than animals and random accidents of nature, Freud’s focus on our sexual impulses, and Marx’s collectivism have led to graveyards, ruined lives, and mental illness. Many wounded and many slain are the results. Modern Christians have been deceived by false doctrines such as baptism actually saving you, the belief that you must follow the Law given to Moses to be saved, or that you can lose and gain your salvation repeatedly, or that it is government’s job to bring in the kingdom of heaven on earth (one president in 1993 even told a church congregation in Baltimore County while he was trying to win support for a law enforce-ment initiative that “my ministry is to bring in the kingdom of God on earth”). Little has really changed in 4,000 years. All that separates civilization from barbarity is still some spiffy buildings and pious talk.
Paul laments to the Galatians;
Galatians 1:6 ¶ I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
And warns Timothy about doctrines of devils;
1 Timothy 4:1 ¶ Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

Chapter 8
Now, again, breaking down Chapter 8 into separate sections to focus my comments as my large print Cambridge Bible has Chapter 8 as one paragraph.
1 ¶ Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice? 2 She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths. 3 She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors. 4 Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man. 5 O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart. 6 Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things. 7 For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips. 8 All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them. 9 They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge. 10 Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. 11 For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.
Again, this is a thought that is repeated throughout. Wisdom speaks nothing perverse. To the person that has understanding what wisdom says is clear. Wisdom is more important than treasure. Nothing can compare to it for long life. Remember, Christ is our wisdom. But, Christ is God and is not a created being or merely an attribute of God so be careful how far you take typology as this confused dingbats like the famous Origen, who modernists love to quote even though he was nutty as a fruitcake. Christ is our wisdom but He is not wisdom as personified here in the feminine. I should think that would be clear to a sane man but scholars like Origen often are in love with their minds and not with God so things may not be so clear to them.
Wisdom always speaks truth. Remember the Persians of the Book of Esther. One of the cultural traits they had, according to Herodotus, that was good, and believe me, they were not usually a group of people you’d want to emulate, but one of their positive traits was their insistence upon raising their children to always speak the truth no matter what it cost them. In fact, the only things they taught their sons were warfare and speaking the truth in all things, or so Herodotus insists.
Here, the writer implores the simple and the fools to understand wisdom and to have an understanding heart.
12 I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions. 13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. 14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength. 15 By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. 16 By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth. 17 I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. 18 Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness. 19 My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver. 20 I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment: 21 That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.
The prudent man is mentioned several times in Proverbs. He is one that regards correction, is circumspect in his dealings, and careful, not believing everything he hears. He also has knowledge and wisdom. God has been prudent with the Christian Paul says in Ephesians 1:8. In fact, God has abounded toward us in wisdom and prudence.
Here is a definition also of what the phrase, “the fear of the Lord”, means. Read verse 13 again.
Again, the importance of wisdom in a person’s life and in mankind’s life in general is emphasized and repeated. If the Jew wanted a successful life on earth he better get wisdom and understanding.
22 The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. 23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. 24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. 25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: 26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. 27 When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: 28 When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: 29 When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: 30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; 31 Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.
Here it is made clear that wisdom is an attribute of God, one that often is missing in a list of God’s character. God is wise, ultimately wise. Here again, certain analogies can be made to Christ but the Son of God was not “set up” as the attribute wisdom was. He was not “brought forth”. But, taking the other statements made about wisdom, as this is the way the Bible is written we see some truths about God the Son. Remember how the Holy Spirit begins talking about earthly kings and moves into a description of Satan in Isaiah and Ezekiel? See how we can ascertain truths about Christ here while we are reading about wisdom?
This is a great way in the Bible to glean much information on the main subjects of the Bible. Just don’t go too far or you’ll have a cult. Remember, God makes it hard for you to mess up here as he has put wisdom in the feminine.
32 Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. 33 Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. 34 Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. 35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD. 36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.
Here, again, in figurative speech, as if wisdom was a wise woman whose pronouncements we love to hear. Blessed is the man that waits on wisdom. Whoever finds wisdom finds life and gets the Lords favor. But, when you sin against wisdom your wrong your own soul and if you hate wisdom you must have a strong desire to die. A comedian once said that, “you know you’re a redneck if you’ve had a male relative die after saying ‘hey guys, watch this’”. There are a lot of unwise people in the world, doing unwise things. The lack of internal discipline, of Biblical discipline in America means the government needs to be more and more oppressive just to hold back chaos. As I said earlier in my study on Proverbs, an early American leader said that if Americans won’t be ruled by the Bible, they will have to be ruled by the bayonet. A people who hate wisdom can’t be trusted to make the right choices for themselves. That is the failing of a democracy without the God of the Bible as its rudder, steering the ship of state. Again, another saying I have referred to, “if you won’t be ruled by the rudder, you will be ruled by the rocks”. Get wisdom. And remember, Jesus Christ is the beginning of wisdom and is our wisdom.
1Corinthians 1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
1Corinthians 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
Colossians2:2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; 3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

My World History Textbook

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Proverbs, Chapter Six commentary

1 ¶ My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger, 2 Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth. 3 Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend. 4 Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids. 5 Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.
In Genesis 43:9 and 44:32, one definition of surety is a guarantee provided by one party to ensure something for another. When you go to the dictionary it is listed as a promise on the part of one to ensure the debts of another, sort of like co-signing on a loan. This starts out telling the young man not to be surety for his friend by indebting himself to a foreigner. I would say that our mishandling of money is one of the ways we become enslaved to the world. Money is a tool and should never be your master.
A simple rule here would be to never co-sign for anyone. The more complicated principle is to make sure you know the person and the situation very well before you enter into such a relationship. Truthfully, if you can’t afford to loan the money to your friend then you certainly aren’t prudent for putting yourself in the hands of a stranger, unknown to you, such as a bank, on his behalf. A friend will feel far less concern about letting you help pay part of his loan than he would skip on a bank payment.
I would ask, is my friend a believer? Does he have a good record of being responsible with money? Why does he need me as surety? What are his prospects of paying the loan back? John Gill, who pastor- ed C.H. Spurgeon’s church before him, implies that it means, when it says, “make sure they friend”, that you would be better off to be a reference for your friend than to take his debt load on your own back. He also says not to rest until that loan that you have made yourself responsible for is paid back.
However, for the Christian, Paul makes this statement about debt;
Romans 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
Debt is a trap. Putting yourself on the line and in debt for someone else is a bigger trap. Anyone over thirty, though, knows that. You have either been hammered for someone else’s sake by a loan someone tried to collect from you or you have been the person who had a loan guaranteed by a friend or family member and found yourself unable to pay it back. If your child needs you to co-sign a loan for him or her to get a car, you should ask yourself how much money has that child saved before he had the chance to drive a car? Is he or she responsible enough to take this commitment seriously? Honestly, though, folks, Christians don’t take the promise to pay back a loan very seriously at all these days. With mortgage help, bankruptcy, and other things available to us by law we tend to more easily walk away from a promise made by our mouths and signed by our hands. This harms our testimony greatly.
6 ¶ Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: 7 Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, 8 Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. 9 How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? 10 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: 11 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.
It is very clear that God wants people to be hard working and industrious. The so called Protestant work ethic that was one of the things that made this country prosper is certainly based in Biblical admonitions. What is surprising today is that so many fundamentalist preachers do not respect the concept of work. I have actually heard one say that if a person’s work prevented them from attending any regular meeting of the church that person should quit their job and just “trust God”. This is an absurd, unBiblical way of a shallow attempt to control the congregation.
Pastors should support work, encourage having a good testimony before employers and coworkers, and tell their congregation to take every opportunity to be an example to others at work; next to the family, our greatest and possibly the most potentially successful mission field.
The Holy Spirit, speaking through Paul, says;
1 Thessalonians 4:11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; 12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.
2 Thessalonians 3:11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. 12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.
2Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
Ephesians 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
Poverty will come on the lazy person like a robber with a weapon, the verses say.
12 ¶ A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth. 13 He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers; 14 Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord. 15 Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy. 16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
Naughty in the Bible has a greater meaning than our current definition. Naughty is rotten and nasty, as can be seen by this verse;
Jeremiah 24:2 One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad.
A naughty man is a wicked man. If you’ve lived long enough you’ve seen him. He has that wink that makes you think only you and he are in on the joke. Where he goes says more about what he is that what he says. His fingers are always teaching his ways to others. Young ladies, beware of the man who, when he addresses you, must put his hand on your shoulder or place it on your arm, or as you walk through the door with him puts his hand on your back. He has no legitimate place or purpose to touch you at all. This person thinks he’s clever. He’s always got a scheme, a plan, and is always planning mischief because that’s what’s in his heart.
In business he thinks himself clever if he has conned someone out of something and in his private life he promises everything and delivers nothing but is shocked if you hold him to account. He’ll be brought down fast, to the ground. There are even preachers who try to manipulate people emotionally, try to control them, browbeat them into submission, shame them into that preacher’s will, and are always politickin’ as we say down South rather than presenting the gospel and trusting in Christ. They manipulate the scriptures, changing the meaning of words, using the Bible to justify their own prejudices and agenda. Beware of them.
God here says he hates seven things and more than that, that they are an abomination to Him. We’ve all seen a proud and haughty look, heard a lying tongue, read about hands that shed innocent blood, known hearts that devised wicked things, feet that hungered to run to mischief, a person who bears false witness against others, and that one that just loves to sow discord in the church or in the family.
20 ¶ My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: 21 Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck. 22 When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. 23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: 24 To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman. 25 Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids. 26 For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life. 27 Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? 28 Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned? 29 So he that goeth in to his neighbour’s wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent. 30 Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry; 31 But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house. 32 But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. 33 A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away. 34 For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance. 35 He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts.
Does the word talk to you? I don’t mean in an audible voice but does it affect your decisions, calm you, and urge you on to do things? Do you even listen?
God’s word is a lamp, like a flashlight to help you see in the dark, or like a light turned on in a dark room. The evil woman here can be typed into false religion and false religious beliefs, heresy and ungodly religion. This woman is a good type of all sin that entices and flatters. A man will do almost anything for a woman who appeals to his carnal nature. I believe the that same goes for a woman only perhaps more on the “flattering words” side. A man can be bought for a piece of bread and note here, the the whorish woman is merely the vehicle by which the enemy attacks.
Again, a man will be much more forgiving, and so will a woman, if something material is stolen from them than if their spouse is enticed away by an immoral person. Think of God in type here. There is a high religious content to sex. There is supposed to be something sacred, holy, and joyful about it, but the adulterer makes it dirty and vile. Idolatry is said to be like adultery. God was Israel’s husband as Christ is the bridegroom and the church is the bride. Our worship of other things than Christ is like adultery.
God was very serious about marital faithfulness;
Exodus 20:14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Leviticus 20:10 And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.
Deuteronomy 5:18 Neither shalt thou commit adultery.
Israel’s idolatry was adultery to God;
Jeremiah 3:8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also. 9 And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks.
There is more said about this in Ezekiel 16. Wherever adultery is mentioned in the Bible there is a double prophetic meaning, having to do with idolatry and God. Anything or anyone you put in place of God or between yourself and God (I didn’t say church attendance, how you dress, or how you vote, I said God, as in Christ), anything you put in between you and God including church or your own personal view of what it means to be spiritual is idolatry and adultery in type. Just be glad that Christ will not reject us, that we are saved and cannot be unsaved. The idolatrous Hebrews had no such assurance.
From a practical application, young men and women, put other people out of your mind if they or you are married to another. Don’t even regard them that way. Don’t let yourself be taken in by someone with an evil intentioned heart. You might be surprised, in your inexperience, how sneaky and crafty someone can be when they want something they are not supposed to have. Beware of the person with clever words and the innocent looking smile, the batting eyelids, or the soft touch. It is often considered to be something to wink at if a person is crafty in his attempt or her attempt to win someone’s heart but all such trickiness is proof that that person cannot be trusted. Don’t allow yourself to be taken in. And always remember, there are some things you can do to people that they simply will not forgive.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

World History, Chapter Twenty Six revised

World History – Class Twenty Six
World War II – part I
Axis Ascending

In the process of talking about World War II we’ll review some of the things that we’ve already discussed by necessity. Beginning with some things we didn’t go over in the last section, Austria began to develop private political armies in 1927 with the Christian Socialists organizing the Heimwehr and the Social Democrats creating the Schutzbund. In 1930 Austria had made a treaty of friendship with Italy. There was unrest after the Nazi’s took over in Germany in 1933. Nazi agitators staged demonstrations until the party was dissolved but protests and even acts of terrorism continued.

Then, in July of 1934, Prime Minister Engelbert Dollfuss was assassinated after a Nazi Putsch (attempted coup or government overthrow). Austrian and German official animosity was at its peak but the Italian and Yugoslavian troops which massed on Austria’s border prevented Germany from intervening with its own troops. Hitler pretended to disavow any knowledge of the murder and he distanced himself from Austrian Nazis.

In October of 1936, Prime Minister Kurt Schuschnigg assumed dictatorial powers dissolving the Heimwehr and established the Fatherland Front militia. With Nazi activity working up to a fever pitch he then sought pledges from France and others to protect his country. However, in March of 1938, Germany invaded and took formal possession of this German speaking nation, annexing Austria to Germany. This was followed by a reign of terror.

From 1933 to 1938 there had been a great deal of Nazi agitation in the predominantly German parts of Czechoslovakia, called the Sudetenland, home of 3 million German speakers. Beginning in September of 1936, there had been a German propaganda campaign in Czechoslovakia, a year after the latter had signed a mutual support pact with the Soviet Union, with the Soviets promising to protect that country from attack if the French did so first. From March to September of 1938, Czechoslovakia, which had a first rate army, recognized the danger to it of the German annexation of Austria and undertook a partial mobilization plus diplomatic actions with the Sudetenland Germans.

In September of 1938 the Soviet Union offered to help Czechoslovakia fight a war, if need be, against Hitler’s Germany. This was the war that the world needed, if it needed one at all, to pit the two greatest villains against each other. However, Britain and France tried to intervene with diplomacy, mainly with appeasement, a term which means you give your enemy what he wants and hope he still doesn’t pound you. As a result of the following Munich Conference the Franco-Soviet agreement to help Czechoslovakia was broken, and the Soviet Union was isolated as a player. Britain and France didn’t want the USSR’s help against Germany and Germany was the Soviet’s natural enemy but its opportunity to fight Hitler via Czechoslovakia was eliminated.


During this general period of time, Stalin had been convinced by forged Nazi documents deliberately used to trick him that he had a great many enemies in his government and army. This resulted in the paranoid Stalin’s Great Purge whereby many thousands of people were executed, particularly officers in the Red Army. The repression reverberated all through Soviet society and was known also as the Soviet Holocaust and the Great Terror. An estimated 30,000 members of the Red Army were arrested and murdered. Millions of Soviet citizens were arrested and executed or sent to Gulags, the concentration camps.

On September 15, 1938 Hitler demanded the cession of the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia and threatened war otherwise. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain of Great Britain flew to Hitler’s retreat of Berchtesgaden in an attempt to mediate a peaceful settlement. Within two weeks the Munich conference and agreement was finalized. Chamberlain gave up practically all of Hitler’s demands and Czechoslovakia was dismembered by Hitler, his minister Ribbentrop, Italian dictator Mussolini, his minister Ciano, Chamberlain, and the French Daladier. France and Britain realized that they were not prepared to fight a war or to support any country against Germany. They were willing to surrender Central and Eastern Europe to Hitler. Only the Soviet Union stood in his way.

America’s FDR informed Ambassador to Britain, Joseph Kennedy, father of future president John F. Kennedy, to put some backbone in Chamberlain and to promise that, if he got tougher, America would stand with him. America, however, was not only not ready for war, yet, but the people were generally against getting involved in another European conflict. The American aviator hero, Charles Lindbergh would campaign vigorously against the United States participating in the war.

On March 10, 1939 Hitler simply annexed the remainder of Czechoslovakia, much as he had done Austria. Britain and France were shocked by this breach of the Munich Agreement but did nothing. Hitler had won a small war with little bloodshed. Germany and Poland had signed a nonagression treaty in 1934. During the German-Czech crisis Poland took advantage of Czechoslovakia’s weakness to occupy Teschen thus settling an old territorial dispute with that country. In March of 1939, Germany, still “settling issues” on the future of German speakers whose territories were occupied by foreign powers as a result of the Versailles Treaty demanded that the German city of Danzig be returned to Germany and that a corridor through Polish territory for free travel and trade be created. In return, German promised to guarantee Polish independence.

FDR’s demands that Britain and France get tough on Germany and his promise that America would somehow get in the fight, if necessary, resulted in French and British promises to help Poland. Poland, as a result tried to stand firm against Germany based on the worthless pledges of Britain and France which were based on the even more
worthless pledges of America. None of the latter three had an army that was in fighting shape that could deal with the revived Germany’s military strength. But, it gets worse.


The Soviet Union, with whom Hitler really wanted a war with as he didn’t want to fight either America or the British Empire, had been isolated by all the playing around at diplomacy at the Munich agreement. A change in Soviet foreign minister from the pro-western Litvinov to the anti-western Molotov resulted in the Soviets rejecting offer after offer to join Britain and France to defend against German aggression. Britain had negotiated with Soviet Russia to agree to defend Poland and Rumania but the Russians wanted a guarantee of a complete alliance against Germany and guarantees for the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania from attack by Germany (It had its eyes on them, as well, for conquest).

So, now, Molotov does an about face and signs an unbelievable and amazing non-aggression pact with HITLER!!! This was done on August 27, 1939. Now, everyone is confused, except Hitler. Remember, he wanted and still wants a war with Russia. He does not want a war with Great Britain and France and certainly does not want a war with America. However, this new event is almost too good to be true for him.

The Soviet Union now stands silent while Germany, on September 1, 1939, attacks Poland. On September 17, the Soviet Union attacked. The country is partitioned by a secret treaty clause. Hitler had staged some fake incidents and claimed that Poland had attacked him first. This, of course, was ridiculous and no one believes it. 1,250,000 German Wehrmacht (Army) soldiers, in 60 divisions, with 9 of them armored struck from the north, west, and south. The Polish were spread out in a cordon type defense with 6 armies of their own. 1600 Luftwaffe airplanes engaged in terror bombings of all principal cities, destruction of airfields, railways, and swept the main roads to disrupt traffic. The several million Polish Germans also offered support of the German invasion with sabotage and terrorism. The Polish armies, commanded by Edward Smigly-Rydz were no match for German General Von Brauschitsch’s commanders, von Bock and von Rundstedt.

The Germans went through the Polish defenses like a “hot knife through butter” say historians. By the third day the Polish Air Force ceased to exist. All communications were ended between headquarters and the army in the field. In the Gulf of Danzig, the small Polish Navy was eliminated. Poland’s army was either captured or killed in spite of heroic actions like suicidal cavalry charges against tanks. Germany and Soviet Russia divided the destroyed country between them.

Utilizing superior technology and tactics Germany crushed Poland. Many military men in the west still thought it was due to Polish incompetence but military historians know that isn’t true. Poland fought a brave and intelligent fight but was simply outclassed and outgunned and outmanned. Many in the west were terrified of Germany now and Hitler began to mistakenly think of himself as a military genius. This would be his downfall
along with the fact that with his mistreatment of the Jews, God was certainly NOT on his side, in spite of the fact that the German soldiers wore belt buckles that said He was.


On a side note, Polish scientists had managed to copy the German code machine, and copies of it were eventually smuggled to Great Britain and greatly helped in breaking German codes especially with regard to submarine warfare.

On September 3, Great Britain and France declared war on Germany. Other than that they didn’t do much else. Along Germany’s western border the two winners of World War One slowly mobilized behind the partial shelter of the great concrete, steel turreted Maginot Line, an outmoded assortment of unconnected fortresses which were nothing more than relics of the past. Belgium and Holland foolishly maintained their neutrality. Britain sent its 400,000 strong expeditionary force across the channel. On the German side of the Maginot Line there was silence as mobile troops had been stripped of equipment to support the Polish invasion. At that moment, if Britain and France had invaded, Hitler’s vision of conquest would have ended. Instead, they foolishly did nothing of importance which inaction was called the “Sitzkrieg” and “phony war” after Germany’s successes.

The Germans sunk a British passenger liner traveling from Liverpool to Montreal on the day Britain declared war. A U-Boat, German submarine, U-30, accomplished the deaths of 112 civilians in this attack. On the 17th, the carrier HMS Courageous, was sunk by U-29, in spite of the fact that it was escorted by 4 destroyers and on anti-submarine duty.

The German pocket battleship, Graf Spree, cruised the South Atlantic capturing and sinking 9 British merchantmen, from September to December 1939. In a memorable naval battle the Graf Spree was damaged and then denied entry into neutral Uruguay’s port of Montevideo as a large number of British ships converged on her. The captain of the damaged ship scuttled it rather than surrender. Three days later he committed suicide.

The German U-47 sunk the HMS Royal Oak in a daring attack through submarine defenses. The mighty battleship went down in 2 minutes. Other German ships carried destruction deep into the Atlantic. In one episode the HMS Rawalpindi sacrificed itself to slow down German ships so they could be engaged by stronger British Ships resulting in its destruction and the return of the German ships to their own port.

Then, following the division of Poland, Russia wanted to prepare itself in case its powerful new found “friend” of Germany decided to turn on it, Russia, under the ruse of offering to protect the Baltic States, invaded them, for their own good but, of course, with the permission of some terrified foreign ministers of those countries. Finland refused such help and the Finnish-Soviet War ensued until Finland’s surrender in March of 1940. The great book about this war, A Frozen Hell, tells the story of the heroic Finnish stand
against Soviet Russia. It cost Russia 250,000 killed, ten times that of Finland, to conquer the country. The term, Molotov Cocktail, was a derisive term for a Finnish weapon consisting of a bottle filled with gas and stuffed with soaked rags that were lit on fire. These were thrown against Soviet tanks. When Russian foreign minister Molotov said


that the planes bombing the Finnish cities were actually delivering food to starving people, the Finns called the bombs, Molotov’s breadbaskets. The Alko Corporation produced almost a half million Molotov Cocktails complete with packs of matches for the Finns to use against Soviet tanks.

Germany, in February of 1940, then conquered Denmark and Norway. By early May, Britain and France having missed their historic opportunity to prevent World War Two from happening, Hitler had massed 2 ½ million Germans along Germany’s western borders. Wilhelm Keitel was Hitler’s chief of staff. The opposing Allied forces, mostly French, consisted of 2 million men. The neutral low countries of Belgium and Holland had theoretically another million, but remember, they claimed neutrality. On May 10, 1940 the Blitzkrieg, or Lightning War, began with a predawn bombardment of all major Dutch and Belgian airfields.

However, before we talk about that let’s speak of something which happened in Poland. In May of 1940, under Stalin’s orders, the NKVD, the secret police, murdered 4,000 Polish prisoners of war and buried them in the Katyn Forest. Even the German Nazi’s, who were guilty of incredible atrocities, were appalled when it came to light.

But, let’s go back to the Western Front. Two German army groups crossed the Belgian and Dutch frontiers. Remember, these two countries, which had significant armies, had declared themselves neutral. German paratroopers dropped into the center of the Netherlands, aka Holland and paralyzed the country. In Belgium, glider and paratroop forces neutralized the powerful Fort Eban Emael. The Albert Canal, which it defended, was easily crossed.

The early successes of Hitler terrified the capitals of Paris and London. Prime Minister Chamberlain, who had declared, “Peace in our time”, after giving Hitler everything he had wanted, resigned to permit Winston Churchill to lead a coalition government against the German juggernaut. Churchill was the darling of the moneyed power brokers. He had been a visitor to the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on the fateful day in October of 1929 that the stock market crashed, and was known to have spent time with the great power broker, Bernard Baruch, according to FDR’s son in law, Curtis Dall.

Holland fell within a few days and the German Army ran head on into the French 7th Army and drove them back to Antwerp, Belgium. The Dutch (People in live in the Netherlands, which is also Holland, are called Dutch) Queen and her government escaped to England. While waiting for the Dutch surrender the Luftwaffe destroyed the business section of Rotterdam. The remaining Dutch caretaker government submitted to the
complete surrender demands of Hitler’s mighty army. Belgium fell in spite of the Belgian Army being supported by elements of the French Army and the British Expeditionary Force. The German Army was threatening their left flank and the center of the French Army behind them was being destroyed, however.


At the same time that German Army units were chewing up Belgium and Holland, other units were moving through the difficult terrain of the Ardennes Forest. The French, not thinking that the Germans would dare attempt that route, had left their weakest elements in the Stenay Gap area near the Meuse River where the great forest was watched only by cavalry. Cavalry being brushed aside, German units forged on. Very accurate French artillery was eliminated as a threat by dive bombing attacks. Despite desperate efforts by the gallant French forces Guderian’s tank corps smashed everything in their path. Tanks accompanied by Stuka dive bombers, exploded along a 50 mile front smashing everything in a drive toward the English Channel, having performed an end run around the worthless Maginot Line.

The only French commander to have any success was General Charles De Gaulle’s tank division that forced the Germans to retreat three times. Dive bombers and counter attacks finally drove him back. German armor had now completely split the Allied Forces, severing communications with the BEF’s base port of Cherbourg. While the French to the south tried to hold the line, the rest were being pinned against the sea.

The German Army wheeled northward and efforts to stop the attack were smashed by Erwin Rommel’s Panzer tanks. Belgium officially surrendered and Churchill ordered the British Navy to evacuate the British Expeditionary Force at the port of Dunkirk. Incredibly, Hitler ordered a stop to the advance, which gave the British the chance to evacuate. He had made the statement that it was not his intention to destroy Britain and I have read quotes where he said he admired the British Empire. Perhaps, this was the reason for this amazing stop order. The Luftwaffe pounded the Dunkirk perimeter, however, and Hitler rescinded his stop order. 850 vessels of every shape and size, manned mostly by civilian volunteers aided in an amazing exodus. Within 8 days more than 338,000 British, French, and Belgian soldiers were evacuated. The Luftwaffe was challenged by the powerful and daring Royal Air Force who stopped most of their efforts at strafing the orderly evacuation. General Harold Alexander, commander of Britain’s rear guard, on the last night, personally walked the beaches to make sure that the last living British soldier had embarked before he got into a boat. The heroic French soldiers who were defending the evacuation were overwhelmed the next morning by the Germans. This was called the Battle of Flanders.

The German operation is called ruthless and efficient by historians. Some of them claim that Hitler’s stop order was not an act of mercy but was the result of a plea from his Luftwaffe commander, Goering, to allow his air force to administer the final kill. The French High Command was indecisive and the British and French rarely agreed on any move. The French forces were focused on supporting the Maginot Line, which was
idiotic. But, no one can say that the French were not incredibly brave for the French First Army, defending the evacuation at Dunkirk, fought with no hope while their comrades in arms were being evacuated and fought to the end.


So, the events of May were concluded with German Victory. The Germans now regrouped for the conquest of France. In June, Panzers smashed through the French Tenth Army and forced the surrender of one of the few British units that had been left in France. The French Fourth Army put up a huge fight but was no match for the Germans. The French government abandoned Paris and moved to Bordeaux. The Germans took Paris in the middle of June. On June 10, just before that, the hesitant Mussolini, realizing that France could not win, declared war and ordered an invasion of Southern France, so now Italy was in the war.

The French armies disintegrated in June of 1940 and after, rejecting an offer by Churchill’s government to unite France and Britain as one country to continue the fight “forever, if necessary”. France surrendered three fifths of its territory to German control and all French troops within that territory were disarmed with the armistice being signed by Hitler in the railway car in Compiegne Forest where the Germans had surrendered in 1917. Marshal Petain became the Prime Minister of what was to be called Vichy France, cooperating, collaborating with the German government. In the south of France, however, 6 French divisions made a stand against 32 Italian divisions and threw back the 3 pronged invasion attempt.

In June 1940, Britain stood alone against Hitler. The British Empire was now facing the Rome-Berlin Axis powers. The Atlantic sea lanes which had practically been Britain’s private property on which she permitted others to sail for over a century and a half were now menaced by German submarines, and the Mediterranean lifeline by the Italian navy, and with Soviet Russia as the enemies’ silent partner. There was also danger that Hitler would seize the French fleet, tipping the balance clearly into the German side on sea power. Germany needed France’s navy intact as their top Admiral had even stated that the German Navy would not be ready for such a war for several more years. Britain was so battered and so unready for war that many thought that Churchill would have to sue for peace. According to the historians I read, this terrified FDR. The idea that the German Navy could one day include the mighty British Navy as its auxiliary was unthinkable. Hitler assumed that Churchill would want peace and he made openings for a negotiated settlement with Great Britain. Churchill wasn’t interested, however.

Almost immediately, De Gaulle, the tank commander, who had fled to England after a short stint in the brief government that preceded Petain’s collaborationist administration, called on “true Frenchmen everywhere to rally and fight for a free France. Underesti-mating the charisma and leadership of De Gaulle, the governments of Britain and the US did not take him too seriously at first. But, as a flood of French officers and soldiers from around the world signed on it became clear he was a force to be reckoned with. He organized the best men he had into the French colonial territories and even into a Free French Navy.

In response to Churchill’s urgent request and FDR’s concern about Britain capitulating to Germany, the US sold a large shipment of small arms, machine guns, light artillery,


and ammunition to England. Many in America opposed any interference into the European conflict, including selling arms we might need in some future threat. Many did not believe that Hitler proposed any great threat to the Western Hemisphere. The British Navy, in July of 1940, defeated French Navy forces at Oran, Algeria, sinking several ships and capturing others there and in other ports. This action embittered many Frenchmen and Petain’s Vichy government severed diplomatic relations with Britain.
On September 27, 1940, the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis pact was signed pledging each other total aid for ten years. Japan was not required, however, to attack Britain or Britain’s allies.

Hitler decided, since Britain would not surrender, that he must invade The Isles. Against the recommendation of his army and navy chiefs but with Goering’s Luftwaffe’s enthusiastic support, he devised Operation Sea Lion, for the purpose of invading England. According to the books, The JG 26 War Diaries, by Donald Caldwell, Goering’s campaign of neutralizing the RAF by attacking its bases and shooting down its planes was working and slowly the defense of Britain was being made impossible. However, the decision to bomb cities galvanized the resolve of the British people and made their defensive attitude stronger. Germany and the occupied countries were being scoured for landing craft.

When Goering’s Luftwaffe came close to breaking England’s back, it had destroyed 450 British planes and killed or injured 231 pilots. The Battle of Britain was affected also by the Brits use of the new radar and their concentration of forces in the right areas to repel Luftwaffe attacks. When the Luftwaffe bombed London, the RAF staged a night raid on Berlin, Germany. Although, damage was small, the psychological effect was enormous. Germany was not invincible. The raid was repeated and other German cities were struck. Hitler and Goering, it is said, in a blind rage, at the point where the British air defense was about to be eliminated and victory obtained, ordered the Luftwaffe to bomb London with Germany’s own version of “shock and awe”. Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory would become a common thing for Hitler’s forces in the coming years due to arrogance and uncontrolled anger.

British Fighter Command was able to focus its remaining forces due to the German singlemindedness of the aerial bombardment of London which reached a crescendo on September 15, 1940 when 1,000 bombers and 700 fighters swept the city in wave after wave. By nightfall the British Air Force had shot down twice as many German planes as it had lost. The Germans had to stop daytime raids as a result of their heavy losses. The
British Bomber Command retaliated and destroyed 1/10th of the barges collected in France and the low countries of Belgium and Holland for the invasion of England. Hitler cancelled Operation Sea Lion which had been scheduled for September 27. The determination of a basically defeated nation had saved it from conquest. The aerial assaults tapered off and the last daylight raid took place on September 30. The Battle of Britain had been won by the RAF and Churchill said, “Never, in the field of human


conflict, was so much owed by so many to so few.” 1,733 German airplanes had been shot down compared to 915 British. Then, in November, 1940, the Luftwaffe attacked London and Coventry until May of 1941. This event was called “The Blitz” and 43,000 civilians were killed and 51,000 British citizens were wounded.

As for the Battle of the Atlantic, in spite of the convoy system, and the adding to the British merchant fleet a great many Scandinavian ships that had escaped the German invasion of Denmark and Norway, the toll wrought by German submarines on British shipping mounted. 2.5 million tons of shipping had been destroyed by August of 1940. There were not enough warships to provide adequate protection for her merchant ships and shipyards could not build replacements fast enough. So, in September of 1940, FDR agreed to a momentous and controversial exchange in what would be called the Lend-Lease Program. The US would give Great Britain 50 old US destroyers in exchange for Britain leasing naval and air bases to the US in Newfoundland, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Antigua, St. Lucia, Trinidad, and Britsh Guiana. Again, there was some uproar in the US as it was becoming clearer to many people that FDR was putting the USA in a position of being at war with Germany without actually sending troops. Many people of note in America were not isolationists as much as they were non-interventionists. They felt that the oceans provided us with enough security without helping the morally bankrupt and corrupt European powers carry on their latest round of never ending war. The facts were much more complicated than this. America, at least since 1898 when it had acquired Spain’s colonial possessions after the Spanish American War, was a global power, an empire and could not simply ignore world shaking events without risking its material welfare and place among the nations. Some, more cynical historians, have provided evidence that Roosevelt was actually hoping the war would last long enough for America to actually get into it. The question is what would prompt Americans to accept getting involved with troops? Roosevelt himself, in a speech, had announced that he would never send American boys to fight in Europe.

Back in the Atlantic, the captain of the British cruiser, Jervis Bay, sacrificed his ship to hold off the German pocket battleship, Admiral Scheer, and permit 32 ships of its convoy to escape. As control of the Mediterranean was vital to Britain, Mussolini planned to seize the Suez Canal. He also planned an invasion of Greece. Churchill rushed Britain’s sole remaining armored division to Egypt. The Italians had five times as many troops as the British had available to fight in North Africa and Palestine. Mussolini attacked the strategic island of Malta with bombers in literally thousands of raids. In September of 1940, Italy invaded Egypt, but the valiant British force repulsed them and threw the Italians out of Egypt. Italy then invaded Greece but was thrown back by the Greek defenders. The Greeks counter attacked and drove the Italians almost out of the country.

As Malta was being strengthened and resupplied and British troops occupied Crete, naval action saw Italy defeated by Britain off Calabria and at the Italian Naval Base of Taranto. In the Atlantic, German Admiral Karl Doenitz’s U-Boats, organized in groups of submarines called Wolf Packs, continued to wreak havoc with British shipping in its


effort to obtain supplies from America. Long range German bombers united with the Wolf Packs to destroy shipping. Britain’s answer to the U-boat/bomber menace was called the escort carrier, which, in the first instance of the HMS Audacity was a merchant ship with a flight deck attached. German surface raiders continued their work into 1941.

The giant German battleship, The Bismarck, was the largest and most powerful warship in the world at that time. The entire British Navy in the Atlantic, practically, was sent to attack it. At the Battle of Denmark Strait the Bismarck blew up the battle cruiser, HMS Hood, and severely damaged the new battleship, the Prince of Wales. Finally, the HMS carrier, Ark Royal, slowed the Bismarck down and the battleships, Rodney, and, George V, engaged it in a terrific gun battle. The cruiser, Dorsetshire, finally sank the Bismarck with torpedoes, drowning 2300 German sailors.

The Lend Lease Act of 1941 had given the American president the right to provide goods and services to Great Britain. In April of that year, to prevent the possibility of German invasion, FDR placed Greenland “under US protection.” American troops were garrisoned in Iceland. At the Atlantic conference in August Roosevelt and Churchill met on warships docked at Newfoundland, pledging their countries to preserve world freedom and to improve conditions after the war was over. At the same time Roosevelt announced that American warships would escort all North Atlantic convoys west of Iceland. This is interesting, as some scholars put it, that one nation that had conquered much of the world and had been responsible for much injustice and oppression and another nation which was notorious for its own maltreatment of black and native Americans plus its brutal suppression of revolts and uprisings in the Caribbean and the Philippines would announce themselves to preserve a “world freedom” that didn’t exist. The improvement of conditions after the war was perhaps a reference to improving conditions for their commerce and their influence to grow. And yet, clearly, these are the “good guys”.

In North Africa, in 1941, Britain was having great success against Italian possessions in Ethiopia, restoring Emperor Haile Selassie to the throne. Then, Hitler sent his Luftwaffe to help Italy in Libya. In March, Rommel arrived with his Panzer Afrika Korps and he struck at the British at Tobruk and fighting raged across North Africa. In Iraq and Syria, Arab outbreaks instigated by Nazi’s attacked British garrisons, threatening oil wells in Iraq. Britain reestablished control of Iraq and invaded Syria along with Free French Forces, taking Damascus.

Hitler was planning to invade his good buddy, Joe Stalin, and in February of 1941, he moved to secure his southern flank by controlling Yugoslavia, as Hungary and Romania were already German satellites. Yugoslavia’s leaders were forced to join the Axis. Under the Nazi’s, Bosnian Muslim and Croatian Roman Catholics butchered and murdered nearly a million Orthodox Serbians. The Roman Catholic paramilitary Ustashi under such killers as Ante Pavelic tortured and brutally killed the Serbian victims. More information


concerning this episode of European history can be found at the website; and in a variety of books. The Serbian atrocities of the 1990’s can be directly attributed to revenge for this barbarous time.

Britain sent troops to Greece in anticipation of a German invasion under the successful General Wavell. Then, patriotic Yugoslavians, encouraged by British in Greece overthrew their government and rejected the Axis Alliance. Then, in March of 1941, Hitler invaded Yugoslavia successfully and in April, he took Greece. The British forces in Greece were overwhelmed and nearly 300,000 Greek and British soldiers were captured with nearly 20,000 killed. In May, German paratroopers, including Boxer Max Schmeling, famous for his fights with American hero, Joe Louis, landed in Crete and took it from the British. Max Schmeling was a true hero in every sense of the word and had even saved Jews from being killed by the Nazi’s.

Hitler took over for Mussolini in the Mediterranean and continued to bomb Malta and the air superiority of the Luftwaffe forced the British to ship goods the long way around Africa. Several British naval disasters capped the setbacks that nation was having. Italian human torpedo teams made a hit and run attack on the battleships Queen Elizabeth and Valiant, putting them out of action for months. The brave Italians escaped. Mine fields and U-boats added to the British misfortunes. Rommel’s supply lines were unimpeded and if the Italian navy had made the effort they would have swept the Brits from the Mediterranean. Admiral Cunningham managed to keep his remaining ships constantly and aggressively at sea and news of the disasters was kept from the public. Things did not look good. But, then Hitler made his biggest strategic mistake of all.

Hitler was now intent on the real war he wanted. He considered the dismemberment of the Soviet Union to be the final step in his drive to the east creating living room for the German people he planned on leading for 1,000 years. He began to plan the attack on the USSR as soon as France was conquered. He believed that Stalin had westward plans by his invasion of Finland and activities in Turkey. The invasion of Greece and events in Yugoslavia put Operation Babarossa, the invasion of Russia, fatefully off until July of 1941.

At 3am along a 2,000 mile front, on June 22, 1941 the Germans attack their ally, the Soviet Union. Napoleon had made this mistake but Hitler assumed that he was a far
greater commander than Napoleon. By December Germans had reached Moscow, which put up a bitter defense. On December 6, 1941, the Soviets counterattacked and the great offensive strike over so many miles and killing so many of the enemy had faltered. Hitler needed to take the Soviet Union before winter set in and he failed. He had not even prepared his men with winter uniforms, his arrogance demanded so much from them. Still, the Soviet Union would lose 20 million people in its war with Hitler’s Germany.

In Asia, after the fall of Nanking, Japan continued its aggressive policy toward China. During the 1930’s, Japan had tried unsuccessfully to forge an alliance with the USA.


Japan protested that it was a bulwark for Anglo-American Capitalism against the communists in Russia and China. It had also claimed a sort of Monroe Doctrine over East Asia. FDR’s stance, however, was that China was where America’s future lay and even though trade with Japan far exceeded trade with China and China was in turmoil with a large Soviet controlled communist movement, he rejected Japan’s overtures of friendship and mutual interest repeatedly.

Japan had also been carrying on undeclared hostilities with the USSR since at least July of 1938 and had at least two dismal failures in fighting them. In 1939, Japan renounced its Anti-Comintern pact with Germany because of the Nazi-Soviet Treaty. Then, in April, 1941 Japan itself signed a treaty with the USSR. This assured that, if Germany attacked Russia, Russia would not, in turn, attack Japan. Stalin is then guaranteed he won’t have to fight a two front war, which would have greatly helped Hitler.

Japan attempts to invade deep into China but finds that the consequences of that strategy were too costly. The next thing Japan does in its efforts to conquer China was to try to cut off China’s access to the outside world. It needed to cut off French Indochina from sending supplies to China and to shut down the Burma Road, the only two supply lines open to China. In July of 1940 Japan had managed to force Great Britain to shut down the Burma Road but Chiang Kai-Shek, like Churchill would not submit to his enemy. Japan went to move against French Indochina, now that France had surrendered to Hitler and the American Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, warned Japan that the US would be aroused by such a move.

Japan moved into Northern Indochina in September of 1940. Once America would get into the war, the precursor to the Central Intelligence Agency, the CIA, the OSS or Office of Stategic Services, would recruit many Vietnamese and train them to resist the Japanese occupiers, working closely with many communist factions and their leaders. Among these would be, at the very end of the war, Ho Chi Minh, whose efforts to get America to help his people be free from French domination at the peace meetings at the end of World War One were rebuffed.

Then, America placed an embargo on steel for Japan which Japan declared to be an “unfriendly” act. The next day Japan signed the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis agreement. Churchill, with the encouragement of FDR who wanted to ship Lend Lease equipment to
China, opened the Burma Road in October of 1940. Then, in July of 1941, the US and Britain froze Japanese assets in their countries. America warned Japan again about its attempts to dominate Asia. FDR said that America would take appropriate steps to safeguard its interests and rights in Asia. Negotiators from Japan were in Washington trying to work out the two countries’ problems as America cut off all oil exports to Japan. As Japan depended upon oil exports from America to conduct its war machine, many saw this as a provocation to war. Historians like Beard and Tansill insist that FDR looked


forward to the opportunity to be attacked by Japan in order to motivate America to be willing to fight. FDR had moved the Pacific Fleet to Hawaii.

In September, with the approval of the US government, retired US Army Air Force Captain, Claire L. Chennault, then a Colonel in the Chinese Air Force, created a mercenary organization called the American Voluntary Group for Service in China against Japan. They were later nicknamed, “The Flying Tigers”. The AVG was composed of about 100 trained pilots and trained at an abandoned RAF base in Burma.

October of 1941 saw a new more militaristic government come into power in Japan under General Tojo, who was not as desirous of reconciliation with FDR after many years of frustration. In November a secret plan for simultaneous attacks on the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor and British Malaya, the American Philippines, and the Dutch East Indies was devised and only to be implemented if negotiations in Washington failed to reconcile the two countries to each other.

On November, 15, Special Ambassador Kurusu arrived in Washington as the Honolulu newspaper warned of an imminent attack. FDR and his advisors knew that an attack by Japan was probable. And yet, they withheld the information from Admiral Kimmel and General Short, the commanders at Pearl Harbor. Robert Stinnett, author of Day of Deceit, The Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor, has said that FDR and elements in the government knew about the impending attack on Pearl Harbor and that the president long had plans to provoke the Japanese to attack America for the purpose of overcoming the 80% of Americans, led by Charles Lindbergh, who did not want to get involved in the war.

On November 26, 1941, the Japanese First Air Fleet left the Kurile Islands and was informed by secret code that all negotiations had failed and war must follow. Japan’s preparations were known by the US but many believed that the blow would be in Malaya or the Philippines. The US had already broken the Japanese codes and knew the location of almost every major Japanese unit except, we are told, of the First Air Fleet.

In complete surprise, at least to the soldiers and sailors at Pearl Harbor, the Japanese attacked on the morning of Sunday, December 7, 1941. More than 3,000 Navy and Marine officers and men were killed and 876 were wounded. Army losses were 226 killed and 396 wounded. Three of the eight battleships present were sunk, including the USS Arizona, one was capsized, and the remainder seriously damaged. Three light
cruisers, three destroyers, and others ships were either sunk or seriously damaged. Historians agree that both the US Army Chief of Staff, General Marshall, and the US Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Stark, had enough information to realize that an attack on Pearl Harbor was imminent. And yet, no word was given to the commanders on the scene. The greatest crime concerning this event was that, according to Admiral Kimmel, the Japanese had strict orders NOT to attack if the fleet at Pearl Harbor had been warned. The fact that neither the President, Admiral Stark, or General Marshall


attempted to warn Admiral Kimmel is one of the greatest crimes in American and world history.

The next day through the 23rd of December, the Japanese took Wake Island and Guam from US Marines, who fought heroically and against great odds until overwhelmed. Japan then took Hong Kong from the British as well as Malaya. Also in December, the Japanese began their invasion of the Philippines. General MacArthur’s troops had to abandon the Northern Island of Luzon but by year’s end had retreated to the Bataan side of the unfordable Pampanga River. The Japanese juggernaut rolled on and conquest after conquest mounted up with the British loss of Singapore and, by June of 1942, Burma.

In January, 1942, MacArthur’s and General Wainwright’s troops repulsed attack after attack and FDR ordered MacArthur to leave to assume command of all Allied Forces in the South Pacific. He is reported to say, “I shall return”. Without resupply, and low on rations, the Americans were pushed back and the fort of Corregidor fell. The American generals surrendered but groups of Americans and Filipinos continued to fight.

The naval Battle of the Coral Sea in May was the first great carrier battle as no surface ship sighted the enemy but planes launched from carriers carried the war to the opposition. Both sides made huge errors but a Japanese invasion force for the Solomon Islands was stopped. The Battle of Midway was a victory for the US. In June of 1942, an outnumbered US Naval force cost Japan 4 aircraft carriers, 1 heavy cruiser, 275 planes, and 3500 men killed. Midway was one of the most decisive battles of history. From that point on Japan was on the defensive and had lost the initiative.

Hitler was going to be bogged down in the frozen depths and vastness of Soviet Russia. Japan had been stopped in the vast Pacific. But, it would take three more years of horrible fighting in history’s bloodiest conflict to sort things out. When it was over 60 million people would have died in this war that would shape the world we know today.

Proverbs, Chapter Five commentary

1 ¶ My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding: 2 That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge. 3 For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: 4 But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword. 5 Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell. 6 Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them. 7 Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth. 8 Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house: 9 Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel: 10 Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger; 11 And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed, 12 And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; 13 And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me! 14 I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly.

The strange woman, the foreign woman, can not only be said to be a reference to the alien women who lived among the Hebrews corrupted by their pagan gods and corrupting the Hebrews with sensuality and satanic religion, but also, on a practical note to the modern young Christian man or woman who the person who with flattery and the right words bring the Christian to die as a useful member of Christ’s body.

Christian young person, listen carefully, a boy or girl whose heart is not right with the Lord or who isn’t even saved will seem pretty or handsome on the outside and just pour out flattering words, the right words to get your attention, but the end of following what they make you feel is poverty, shame, and even sickness and death.

On a spiritual note when we as Christians are led astray by practices not based in the Bible’s clear teachings, even though we do those things for God and Christ, then our faith becomes weak and powerless. American evangelicals looked to the government to enforce the Bible’s admonitions with anti-slavery crusades, prohibition, anti-abortion, and anti-homosexuality crusades and what was the result? Nominal or no faith, the loss of generations of potential believers, vain, political religions, the income tax, feminism, wars, and the violation of our constitution. We were seduced by a strange religion and a foreign woman. We adopted the Roman Catholic and high church Protestant view of the state as enforcer of God’s laws and we made our influence on a growingly, secular society to be nothing.

There is an old American saying, “when you sup with the devil you better use a long spoon.”

15 ¶ Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well. 16 Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets. 17 Let them be only thine own, and not strangers’ with thee. 18 Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. 19 Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love. 20 And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger? 21 For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings. 22 His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins. 23 He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.

Here is a practical admonition for the Hebrew or any man in any age to remain faithful to his marriage. This also applies to women. This is God’s way, not man’s. Look around you in our culture. Advertising, movies, television, and music all glorify pagan sensuality. There is a huge gap between a man and a woman married before God loving each other and gratifying each other’s sexual needs and desires without restriction (Hebrews 13:4) and the world’s attitude in handling such matters where nothing is sacred and no one has any particular value and the only important thing is what do I want right now.
An important point is made in verse 22. Let’s read it again. Jonathan Edwards makes a point of this also in his sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God”. Your sin, even without God’s judgment, will destroy you. Eventually, if you choose the world’s ways you will be consumed by them.
Back to verse 21. God sees everything you do. You have this little dot of time and He has all eternity. There is no hurry for Him and His Book judges you.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Now, take this for a deeper meaning. Why does the Christian church, the Bible believers, why do they follow practices devised by a harlot church and continue in heresy based on thousand years old error from Rome. We would do well to study the New Testament church in the Bible and compare the practices to our own, not suggesting that we adopt things inconsistent with the post-Apostolic age but suggesting that we eliminate practices that were never part of God’s church. Many churches have been deceived by a type of carnality that counterfeits spiritual behavior. Is what the Christian church does of God or is it mere humanism that glorifies our own assumed self importance?

Friday, July 2, 2010

Latest Reading

Last Call, The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, by Daniel Okrent, Scribner Publishing, New York, 2010. A very interesting study of Prohibition. Definitely worth the read if you want to know one of the main reasons we have an income tax. ...More