A History Rhyme About The Second Coming. . .

A History Rhyme About The Second Coming. . .
Vol: 20 Issue: 23 Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Why all the attention on politics at a website devoted to the discussion of Bible prophecy?  It’s a fair question.  The basic political difference between a Democrat and a Republican is rooted in where each side believes their source of the authority to govern originates.

Democrats believe in majority rule, whereas Republicans believe the will of the people is limited by ‘natural’ or ‘Divine’ law.

Sir William Blackstone was an 18th century British jurist whose commentaries set forth two main categories of common law; the law of nature and the law of revelation.

James Wilson, one of the signers of the Constitution and one of the first five Supreme Court justices, looked to Blackstone’s ‘Commentaries’ to form his decisions both in Congress and on the bench.  Blackstone’s “Commentaries on the Laws of England” has served as a kind of Common Law ‘Bible’ for the United States since the times of the Founding Fathers.

Sir William argued that the law of nature establishes a rule of moral conduct based on God’s law, which recognizes man as created in the image of God.  This rule of moral conduct imposes a rule of action upon man that includes duties to God, self, and neighbor.

“And it is that rule of action, which is prescribed by some superior, and which the inferior is bound to obey.”

According to Blackstone, the authority of a Republican government is limited to passing laws setting forth rules of civil conduct only with such laws conforming to the “law of nature.”  Under this principle, certain conduct would always be “malum in se” meaning,  “bad in and of itself.”

Blackstone argues that the role of government is not to enumerate rights, but to protect those rights already imparted to every individual by God.

His common law model establishes that the duty of government is to commend what is right and prohibit what is wrong.

Blackstone states, “The principal aim of society is to protect individuals in the enjoyment of those absolute rights which were vested in them by the immutable laws of nature.”

Blackstone defined the word ‘law’ as it applies to government in his Commentaries, calling it, “A rule of civil conduct prescribed by the Supreme power in a state, commanding what is right, and prohibiting what is wrong.”

Are you with me so far?  Blackstone’s Commentaries outlined the duties and responsibilities of government in a Constitutional Republic.

The difference, Blackstone explains, is that the US Constitution creates the powers that exist according to Divine Revelation, whereas in other countries, the existing powers determine the nature of the constitution.

In the American republic, then, there were “principles which did not change” and which were “certain and universal in their operation upon all the members of the community”, which were the principles of Biblical natural law.

For example, Blackstone’s Commentaries explained:

“To instance in the case of murder: this is expressly forbidden by the Divine. . . . If any human law should allow or enjoin us to commit it we are bound to transgress that human law. . . . But, with regard to matters that are . . . not commanded or forbidden by those superior laws such, for instance, as exporting of wool into foreign countries; here the . . . legislature has scope and opportunity to interpose.”

In other words, the laws of nature (or Divine Law) are beyond the power of the majority to overturn.

The Democrats prefer a ‘pure’ American democracy, similar to that of France, where secular humanism is the state religion and a simple majority makes the laws without Divine oversight.  Rights are extended or withdrawn by the majority. 

That is why, in the pure democracy of the Democratic Party, abortion is about a ‘woman’s right to choose’ and homosexual marriage is a human rights issue.  But in that worldview, religious‘rights’ exist only to the extent that they are shared by the majority government. 

Of pure democracy, President James Madison observed;

“Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have, in general, been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”

John Adams warned the Founders,

“Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”

Noah Webster uttered this unintended prophecy regarding pure democracy;

“Therefore a pure democracy is generally a very bad government. It is often the most tyrannical government on earth.”

Assessment:

If ever America had an historical equal, it would had to have been when the Roman Empire wasat its peak which history says occurred at just about the same place in history as did the birth of Christianity.

“The exact transition of when the Roman Republic became the Roman Empire is a subject of disagreement among historians and others. Some believe the change took place in 44 B.C. when Julius Caesar was made perpetual dictator. Other views are that Rome went from Republic to Empire when Mark Antony was defeated at the Battle of Actium in 31 B.C. or when in 27 B.C. the Roman Senate granted extraordinary powers to Octavian (Augustus).”

“The first true Roman Emperor is believed to have been Augustus Caesar, who ruled the empire from 27 B.C. to 14 A.D. His rule was followed by that of Emperor Tiberius (14 to 37 A.D.), Caligula (37 to 41 A.D.), Claudius (41 A.D. to 54 A.D.) and Nero (54 to 68 A.D.).”

“After Nero’s death began a short period known as the ‘Year of 4 Emperors’ when Galba, then Otho, then Vitellius, reigned. Galba and Vitellius were murdered while in office while Otho committed suicide after losing a battle. Vespasian, the fourth of the four emperors, began his rule in the middle of 69 A.D. After Vespasian died of natural causes in 79 A.D. he was followed by Titus, who ruled the fast growing empire until 81 A.D. Domitian, the son of Vespasian and the person known for exiling the apostle John to the island of Patmos in 95 A.D., is dictator of Rome’s world empire until 96 A.D. This brings us to the period when Rome was at its peak of power and wealth.”

In the first three chapters of the Book of the Revelation, Jesus outlines a letter to each of the seven churches then existing in Asia Minor.

Looking back over time, it is apparent that each of the Churches correspond to ‘epochs’ in the life of the Church over the past two thousand years.  These seven periods of time traversed in chronological order, beginning with Ephesus and ending, in our times, with Laodicea.

The Church Epoch that preceded Laodicea was the Church of Philadelphia, or Church of Brotherly Love.  It shared a distinction with the Church of Smyrna, in that it received no words of condemnation from the Lord.

The Church of Sardis corresponded with the Reformation Period from 1500-1750, during which time, the Word of God was redistributed to the common man, ending the Roman Church’s monopoly on the Bible.

“Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white: for they are worthy.” (Revelation 3:4)

The Church of Philadelphia was the ‘missionary church’ (1750-1900) during which time, the Word of God was carried by missionaries into the far corners of the world.

“Because thou hast kept the Word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” (Revelation 3:10)

Then we come to the final Epoch of the Church Age before the Return of Christ.  What does the world look like from that perspective?  Recall that when the Lord was speaking to John, Domitian is on the throne and Rome is at the peak of its power.

“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My Mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:” (Revelation 3:14-18)

The word ‘Laodicea’ is a compound Greek word meaning, ‘justice of the people’ or, literally, the ‘Church of the People’s Rights’ — a letter-perfect historical rhyme for the modern Church.

And so we find yet another set of history “rhymes”.  Modern America “rhymes” with Imperial Rome.  It remains at the zenith of its power, although it appears poised to slide either into dictatorship or economic and political irrelevance.

The modern Church “rhymes” with ancient Laodicea.  Christians that view the Bible as the unchangeable Word of God which opposes such liberal causes as abortion, same sex marriage, euthanasia, etc. and believe that Bible prophecy is coming to pass in this generation are viewed by mainstream Christianity as “extremists” — and maybe even a little bit dangerous.

“And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:10-11)

Christianity opens on Rome and closes on America.  And the Second Advent “rhymes” with the First.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on April 16, 2012.

Jesus of Nazareth

Jesus of Nazareth
Vol: 20 Issue: 22 Tuesday, March 22, 2016

No person in the history of mankind has had a more profound effect on human history than an unskilled laborer named Jesus from the Galilean town of Nazareth Who lived and died in the first half of the first century.

Jesus Christ was but a youth of thirty-three at His Crucifixion, barely enough time in the natural for anyone to make much of an impact on the world in which one lives.  Especially given the fact that He lived in more-or-less total obscurity until He reached age thirty.  

His public ministry lasted but three years – less time than a single US presidential term.  But no US president that ever lived came even close to approximating His impact on history. 

There are entire countries that never heard of Abraham Lincoln or George Washington.  There is little doubt that there are places where nobody has heard of Barack Obama. 

But it is hard to imagine a place so remote that nobody has heard of Jesus of Nazareth.  

Yet there are entire organizations dedicated to disproving that He ever existed.  Almost as much is written in this, the 21st century, that is dedicated to denying His existence as there is celebrating it.

There are so many views concerning Jesus Christ that the view Jesus didn’t exist almost serves as a primary source of evidence that He does.  It seems counterintuitive that so much time, effort and scholarship would be devoted to disproving Him if there were any serious doubt of His historicity.

A quote from Shakespeare is illustrative; “Methinks he doth protest too much.”  The Book of Proverbs expressed a similar sentiment thusly: “The wicked flee where no man pursueth.”   

Christians believe Jesus was both God and man and that as such, He was uniquely qualified to pay the penalty due for the sins of the world.  Look at the perfect symmetry of that belief in light of the existing evidence.

The case for Jesus as Savior begins with the covenant between God and Abraham.   God had led Abraham out of Iraq to a land God promised would belong to Abraham and his descendants forever as part of a covenant relationship between God and Abraham and his seed.

Abraham demanded a guarantee from God. 

“And he said, LORD God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?  And He said unto him, Take Me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon. And he took unto Him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not. (Genesis 15:7-10)

Abraham knew precisely what this was – it was a blood covenant of the type that was common among the Chaldeans of Abraham’s day.   The Abrahamic covenant foreshadowed the Ten Commandments and the Mosiac Law. 

The animals were butchered and arranged in piles to form an aisle through which each party to the agreement would walk, hands joined, while reciting its terms.

The implication of such a covenant was that if one party the covenant were unfaithful to its terms, then he would end up like one of those piles of animal parts.  While Abraham waited, he fell asleep and witnessed what transpired as a vision.

“And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces.”  (Genesis 15:12)

Abraham and God were both parties to the covenant, but God signed it on both sides, bindingGod to the penalty instead of Abraham or his descendants.

This is where the story of Jesus of Nazareth really begins.  Because Abraham’s seed broke the covenant, somebody had to pay the penalty demanded by its terms.  God’s justice is perfect and perfect justice demands perfect adherence.

Even God doesn’t stand above His own standard of justice.   That is what makes Him God.

Assessment:

The story of Jesus of Nazareth is too complex to be a myth.  Much of the Old Testament is dedicated to prophecies concerning the Messiah – prophecies that were fulfilled by Jesus of Nazareth.

The story plays out in a nutshell summary like this.  Within three centuries of the Flood, God pledges Himself in a blood covenant with Abraham and his seed. 

Two thousand years later, God steps out of space and time, fulfills the Abrahamic/Mosaic covenant by uniquely living a life perfect adherence,  paying the penalty demanded by its violation on behalf its violators at the Cross.

The terms of the Old Covenant having been fulfilled makes possible the introduction of the New Covenant, purchased by His own Blood, of salvation by grace through faith.  It IS the greatest story ever told.  

Just think of it!  The Bible says that before the world began, God already identified you as one of His own and made provision for your salvation.   

That all sounds good in theory but it also sounds like predestination. And predestination is one of those things that Christians like to analyze and argue about until they miss the significance of what it teaches.  

What it teaches that nothing occurs by chance, that God has everything under control, that the hairs on your head are numbered and whatever personal terror looms before us, God has alreadymade provision for. 

It teaches that you can trust His Promises, including the one that says, “I will never leave or forsake you.”  And the one that says, “I will come again to receive you unto Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”

Let’s put aside the argument about free will and predestination and ‘what about the non-predestined?’ for now by simply allowing for the fact that God already knew because He is God — and we argue about it because we are not.

The existence of Jesus of Nazareth as a man that lived and died during the first half of the first century (which, not coincidentally, is why we call that the FIRST century, AD) is attested to by a wealth of contemporary and extra-Biblical accounts.

Josephus was not a Christian but he confirmed that Jesus of Nazareth was executed on a Roman cross outside Jerusalem.  Roman Senator Tacitus wrote of the crucifixion Jesus, mentioning that it took place during the administration of Pontius Pilate  — and of the subsequent rise of Christianity in his ‘Annals’.

Pliny the Younger wrote a letter to Emperor Trajan mocking Christians and their willingness to die for Christ  only seventy years after Jesus’ death and resurrection. And Suetonius referred to Jesus in his work, “Twelve Ceasars” – all within the first century.

According to the chronology of the standard Masoretic Text of the Hebrew Bible, Abraham was born in the year 1948 Anno Mundi, meaning “the Year of the World” [from Creation].

It was to Abraham that God gave the land grant that gave Israel the nickname, “the Promised Land.” 

Two thousand years later, Jesus stepped into the world to redeem the Covenant under which that land grant was made, but was instead rejected and crucified, precisely as prophesied by the Prophet Daniel.

The Temple was torn down, as Jesus prophesied, the Jews were scattered into the Diaspora. Two thousand years after that, God began to regather the Jews to their homeland and Israel was reborn — in the year 1948 Anno Domini.  

Full circle. . . from the birth of Israel’s eponymous patriarch in 1948 AM to the restoration of Israel as a nation after two thousand years in exile in 1948 AD. 

Everything about everything that makes it possible for us to have fellowship with God was born in Ur in 1948 AM.  

And the starting date for the restoration of ALL things, according to the testimony of Jesus, is the budding fig tree, symbolic of the nation of Israel, reborn after two millennia in the Diaspora, in 1948 AD.

How perfect is that?  Maranatha!  The Lord is coming!

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on January 15, 2011.

Featured Commentary: Love in the Time of Cholera ~ Wendy Wippel

Groaning in Travail

Groaning in Travail
Vol: 20 Issue: 21 Monday, March 21, 2016

”For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” (1 Thessalonians 5:2-3)

Before moving along, examine the passage above carefully.  There are two references I want you to see.  The first is that Paul is speaking of “the Day of the Lord.”

The second is that Paul says the Day of the Lord will come as a “thief in the night”.  The Second Coming at the end of the Tribulation Period is clearly described by the Lord Himself.

“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” (Matthew 24:30)

This is often confused with the Rapture of the Church because of the next verse:

“And He shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

Once again, examine the verse carefully.  Compare it to Paul’s description of the Rapture in 1stThessalonians 4:16.

The “dead in Christ” rise first, then those who are alive and remain are “caught up” (Latin:rapios; Greek harpazo – both mean “to snatch up” – neither could be translated as ‘gather’).

The Lord’s elect are gathered from the four winds – from one end of heaven to the other – but significantly, NOT snatched from the earth.

So, the Day of the Lord comes as a ‘thief in the night.”  What does that mean?  It should be obvious. It means the Day of the Lord comes in secret, unexpectedly and without warning.  It was the Lord Himself that interpreted the ‘thief in the night’ reference:

“And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.” (Luke 12:39)

There is a commercial I saw recently on TV that illustrated the same point, so it is neither a religious point, nor is it obscure.  You needn’t be a theologian to ‘get’ it.

It depicts criminals calling potential victims and telling them precisely when they intend to rob his home.  The illustration was used to show why you needed protection – because thieves don’t offer their victims any warning.

But they DO leave signs, if you know what to look for.  Thieves always ‘case’ the neighborhood or the house or business they intend to rob.  Just like terrorists tend to ‘case’ the targets they intend to attack.

The Department of Homeland Security tells citizens to watch for such signs and to report them.  Local police are always on the lookout for signs of criminal activity.

None of the signs mean that the act itself has necessarily occurred – they just indicate that it is possible.

That is why the Bible consistently makes two points concerning the Rapture – points often ignored by those seeking to impose their own understanding instead.

The Rapture will be in secret. And it will come at a time when it is least expected.

Assessment:

Obviously, there are those that expect the Rapture any day.  I am among them.  So where does the “unexpected” fit in?

Jesus said that nobody could calculate the day or the hour, but that we could know when it is near, “even at the doors.”  We would know that it was near by the signs – but as we’ve seen, signs are not the same as certainty.

You can’t arrest a guy for looking like a burglar or acting like a burglar.  Until he burgles, it is possible that you could be wrong.  But knowing the signs means that you can be prepared, just in case you’re right.

The Japan earthquake has renewed the argument about whether or not earthquakes are increasing, as the Lord said they would as a sign of His Second Coming.

(The Olivet Discourse is in reply to the question, “what shall be the sign of Thy coming and of the end of the world?”  The reference is to the end of world government and the start of the Millennial Reign, not the end of the world’s existence.)

Every time there is a major earthquake, it rekindles the debate anew.  Are earthquakes actually increasing?  According to seismologists, if there wasn’t a discernible increase before, there is now.

“A seismology research fellow at the University of Melbourne, Gary Gibson, said the world averages one magnitude 8 quake a year, but the rate was inconsistent. The 1980s and 1990s had far fewer large quakes than average, for example.

”There is more variation than you would expect from a random occurrence of earthquakes, and we really don’t have a mechanism to describe why that is the case,” Dr Gibson said. ”But there is no question that the last two years have been very active and well above average.”

I beg to differ with Dr. Gibson, but only by about four years – the record-breaking began in earnest in 2005, but it takes time for skeptics to become believers.

In April of last year, we published a report entitled “2010 – The Year of Living Dangerously” that noted the following:

“On Monday, a 7.1 earthquake rocked southern Qinghai, China, killing more than six hundred and injuring more than 10,000.   Another 300 remain missing.

This is the 24th earthquake measuring at least 6.5 since January 1st.  So far, earthquake activity in the first four months of this year have claimed as many as 300,000 people. Over the same period last year, there were just twelve.”

Earthquakes are always followed by aftershocks, including a main aftershock that is generally one order of magnitude lower than the initial quake.  In the case of a M9.0, the aftershock could be as strong as an M8.0 – more than enough to trigger another tsunami.

Jesus warned that there would come wars, rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, pestilences and so on. He warned that, “All these are the beginning of sorrows.” (Matthew 24:8)

The signs of the times are all around us and they are scary.  They are scary even to saved Christians who know the signs mean the Day of the Lord is at hand.

They are even scary to Christians who believe the Rapture will occur before the Tribulation begins.

There is nothing in Scripture to suggest that the Church Age will escape bad things in the last days — just that it will be removed before the beginning of the Time of Jacob’s Trouble.

“Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.” (Proverbs 3:25-26)

Notice there are two fears being addressed here. “Being afraid” and “sudden fear.” It is one thing to respect the risks attached as ‘sudden fear’ — it is another to allow it to rule your life.

“Sudden fear” is what comes to us all. It is this concept of ‘sudden fear’ that keeps us from being reckless. It is what keeps you from trying to beat oncoming traffic.

After all, you’re saved. You’re a Christian. Nothing can happen to you without God’s permission.  So why don’t you just jump out in front of that oncoming car?

(The ‘sudden fear’ is that God may have granted that permission without telling you.)

It is ok to be afraid in the ‘sudden’ sense — but not to be afraid OF the fear. We live in the world, but we are not OF it. Sudden fear is an understanding of the situation and a respect for its gravity.

Being afraid of sudden fear is what happens when one forgets to place one’s confidence in the Lord.

This is more than just a pretty platitude. It is a bedrock principle of doctrine. It is the Source of that “peace that surpasseth all understanding.”

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)

If we are where I suspect we are on the timeline, we will need that peace in the days ahead.  Unless the Lord comes first.

Because given the preponderance of signs, THAT is an entirely plausible scenario.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on March 14, 2011

Featured Commentary: The Rapture’s in the Air: Part 1 ~ Pete Garcia

Battle Tactics

Battle Tactics
Vol: 20 Issue: 19 Saturday, March 19, 2016

”And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My Hand.”  (John 10:28)

One of the questions that most regularly finds it way into my email box is this one:  Can a believer that was saved and falls away lose his salvation?  In other words, can you sin your wayout of Jesus’ Hand?

Is there an unforgiveable sin for which a believer can be condemned? Those who would argue yes are just as sincere in their doctrinal view as those who take the other side.

And both sides have Scripture to support their view.  But because things that are different are NOT the same, only one side can be right. 

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.”  (2 Thessalonians 2:3)

Is this referring to the falling away of part of the True Church?

Eleven of the Lord’s disciples ‘fell away’ at the time of His arrest. The disciples deserted Jesus as was predicted and Peter denied Jesus three times.

For the true believer falling away may involve a temporary period of ‘backsliding’  — an OT term not found in the New — or a time of being out of fellowship with God.

There ARE times when for one reason or another, the believer is having difficulty in his Christian walk.

But a true believer would not, however, deny what they believe in their heart, even though their walk at that moment might not reflect what they believe.

Note that even though Jesus said they would ‘fall away’, in the very same context, He also said to Peter that He had prayed that his faith would not fail and when he returned, to strengthen his brethren. (Luke 22:32)

In other words, true believers may fall at times but their faith does not fail because Jesus intercedes for them. Concerning this intercession we are told,

“Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (Romans 11:2)

We need that intercession most when we are struggling, yet some believers will argue that it is when we need the Lord most that He abandons us to our sin.

See also John 17:6-12 concerning this intercession by Jesus for His believers. In this ‘High Priestly’ prayer, Jesus makes it clear that the ones that God has given Him, He keeps safe.

And Romans 8:32-34 cites Jesus’ intercession as proof we cannot be separated from the love of Christ.

The ‘great apostasy’ of the last days is not referring to saved believers, but is instead referencing the kind of doctrinal dumbing down that would allow an openly homosexual Episcopalian priest to be elevated to the bishopric, or the attack on the Boy Scouts for not admitting homosexuals.

Jesus said this time would be like the days of Noah and Lot – “every imagination of the thoughts of [men’s] heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5) with rampant homosexuality (Genesis 19:8).

Hebrews 6:4-6 is often used to ‘prove’ a believer can lose salvation. It says,

“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”

It appears on the surface to say that a believer can lose his salvation, but if you read it closely, it teaches the exact opposite.

It teaches that the believer cannot be renewed to repentance (born again – again!) because it would require crucifying the Lord again, and ‘putting Him to an open shame’.  

What could POSSIBLY shame the King of King and Lord of Lords? 

Failure, perhaps?  An inability to keep His Promise?  If the Lord promises that He will keep and preserve all those that trust Him and then loses one to the Enemy, would that not mean a promise broken? 

Is He God? Or is He not? If this passage teaches that a believer could lose his salvation, then it also teaches that believer is forever damned and beyond repentance.

You cannot interpret ‘impossible’ in this passage to mean anything except ‘impossible’. Then there is the passage in Hebrews 10:26-27 which says,

“For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.”

First, the book of Hebrews was written TO the Hebrews (1st century Jewish believers). That doesn’t mean it is irrelevant to the Church, but there is a context here.

The ‘wilful sin” mentioned in verse 26 is linked to the verse before it because it starts with ‘Forif..’.

The verse before it is speaking of leaving the assembly of believers. The ‘wilful sin’ that this passage talks about is leaving Christ and going back to Judaism.

For a Jew to become a Christian in the first century was a death sentence as far as their relationship with their family was concerned. They lost any right to an inheritance and came under extreme pressure (including physical persecution) to leave Christ and go back to Judaism.

And that is what many did, even though for a while they looked like true believers.

Under the Judaism they were going back to, there no longer remained a sacrifice for sin (v.26) (God didn’t accept animal sacrifices anymore because Jesus had died for all sin, for all time.)

Another commonly misinterpreted Scripture refers to ‘a branch that doesn’t bear fruit will be cast into the fire.’

1 Corinthians 3:15 clearly states that for a true believer, even if their work is burned up (ie no fruit) they are still saved, but as one who escapes ‘as by fire’. They are in Heaven, but they have no rewards.

Scripture never contradicts Scripture.  Another proof text used to prove salvation is dependent on doing good works is James 2:26;

“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”

This is another verse that is purported to prove one thing, but in fact, proves the opposite. By definition, one who is saved cannot have ‘dead’ faith, since it is their faith that has saved them in the first place.

Someone may have a belief, or head knowledge that certain facts are true without giving themselves over to that belief.

James 2:19 says, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”

Believing in God is not the same has having faith in Christ. Dead faith is simply a head knowledge that cannot save.

Consider this; I know all about President Obama, but he doesn’t know me — that is to say, I have no personal relationship with Obama, but I believe he is the president.  

That is not the same as saying, “I have faith in the president.”

There are many who know all about Jesus, and might even profess to believe He is God, but have no personal relationship with Him.  They have no faith that He can save, or that they even need saving. 

Works arising from that kind of relationship are by definition, dead, since they can bear no eternal fruit.

The Scriptures clearly establish that a genuine conversion will stand no matter how great the adversity.

“Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down” (Psalms 37:24)

The Apostle Paul told believers to put on the whole armor of God.

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:13-17).

On the battlefield, the most effective way to dispatch an opponent is to go for a head shot.  Paul refers to the ‘helmet of salvation’ — if you know you are saved, eternally, the enemy can never take you out of the game.

He can’t use guilt to stop you from witnessing. He can’t convince you that you aren’t really saved. He can’t convince you that you are unworthy to carry the Gospel to the lost. In short, he can’t take that ‘head shot’ that would render a believer useless to the cause of Christ.

In these last days, the Scripture says that Satan will pull out all the stops, ‘because he knows he hath but a short time’.

Those of us who are properly equipped with the truth, the knowledge that we are covered by the righteousness of Christ, are prepared with a knowledge of the Gospel, which we are prepared to share in peace, secure in our faith and certain of our standing before Him are formidable opponents in the battle for the souls of men.

“And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:27)

The battle has been joined. And our victory is assured.  Don’t let anyone rob you of your weapons.

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on April 9, 2011.

Another Angel, Another Gospel, Another Prophet . . .

Another Angel, Another Gospel, Another Prophet . . .
Vol: 20 Issue: 18 Friday, March 18, 2016

In the year 610 AD, an itinerant merchant named Mohammed ibn Abdullah was in a cave on Mount Hira, as had become his practice, when the angel Gabriel appeared to him and commanded him to memorize (Mohammed could not write) what Gabriel dictated to him.

According to traditional Muslim history the verses of the Koran were written on palm trees and fiber and memorized during the life of Mohammad and collected shortly after his death. At Medina, about forty companions are believed to have acted as scribes for the Koran. 

One thousand, two hundred and ten years later, a young farmer and treasure hunter named Joseph Smith was praying for forgiveness for the “gratification of many appetites” when the Angel Moroni appeared to him and directed him to a buried book of golden plates and a set of silver spectacles with lenses composed of seer stones.

The golden plates contained the religious record of when Jesus appeared to the native American Indians. Smith said he used the seer stones, called Urim and Thummin, for some of the earliest translations.  

Later, Smith said he was able to translate the golden plates by reading the reflections in a seer stone at the bottom of a silk top hat. The translation, now known as the Book of Mormon, was published in Palmyra, New York on March 26, 1830.

The Book of Mormon was not well received in Palmyra.  Smith and his followers established small churches, known then as the “Church of Christ” but Smith and his followers were soon run out of town ahead of a gathering mob. 

During that flight, Smith said he heard the voices of Peter, James and John, who gave Smith and his scribe, Oliver Cowdery, Apostolic authority.

When Mohammed first began to preach his new religion in Mecca, he didn’t win many new converts.  But as time went on and Mohammed grew stronger, he and his followers were considered a threat by the local merchants, particularly those of the Quriyash tribe. He was eventually forced to flee from Mecca to Medina.

They fled at first to Kirtland, Ohio, which Smith announced was “the eastern boundary of New Jerusalem” and that the Saints must gather there while Oliver Cowdery headed to Missouri to find New Jerusalem’s true location. 

While in Medina, Mohammed’s followers swelled in numbers and soon controlled the city.  From there, they began to raid Meccan merchant caravans.  The Koranic verses from this period are those that call for religious tolerance and practical issues (like how to divide the spoils of war.)

Smith also dictated a lost “Book of Enoch,” telling how the biblical Enoch had established a city of Zion of such civic goodness that God had taken it to heaven.  Smith taught that the Book of Mormon was a corrected version of the Old and New Testaments, which Smith claimed had been corrupted by apostate Christians and Jews.

 Mohammed’s new religion claimed to be a corrected version of the Old and New Testaments, which Mohammed claimed had been corrupted by apostate Christians and Jews. 

While in Kirtland, Smith converted Disciples of Christ Pastor Sidney Rigdon and took over Rigdon’s 100-member-strong congregation.  

At Rigdon’s suggestion, Smith began revising the Bible as new converts started pouring into Kirtland. By the summer of 1835, there were fifteen hundred to two thousand Mormons in the vicinity of Kirtland, virtually taking over the town.

About this time, Oliver Cowdery announced he found New Jerusalem was really in Independence, Missouri.  There were some disputes, principally surrounding Smith and underageservant girl, Fanny Alger.  

Mohammed’s new religion permitted polygamy, deception in the furtherance of Islamic ideals, and forced conversion. Mohammed had thirteen wives, his youngest wife, Aisha, was reputed to be just nine years old.

To reduce the whiff of scandal, Smith declared Fanny Alger was one of his plural wives, introducing the doctrine of polygamy into the Church.  

Oliver Cowdery called it a “filthy affair” and threatened to leave the Church.  Instead, Smith charged him with slander and excommunicated him.

Later, Smith and Rigdon established a wildcat bank called the Kirtland Safety Society.  It failed within a month, wiping out its depositors and investors. They fled in the middle of the night, just ahead of the sheriff bearing an arrest warrant, and headed for Jackson County, Missouri and the New Jerusalem.

There, he renamed his church “the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.” He also organized a Mormon ‘militia’ called the Danites, to intimidate Mormon dissenters and defend against “anti-Mormon militias.” 

The Danites soon expelled all ex-Mormon dissenters from Jackson County, including Oliver Cowdery and his group.

Mohammed eventually made a ten year truce with the Quriyash of Mecca, known as the Treaty of Hudabbiyah. Two years into the truce, Mohammed attacked and destroyed the Quriyash, seized Mecca and imposed the Zakat – a tax imposed on non-Muslims which allowed them to live there without converting to Islam.

In a fiery speech given that fourth of July, Rigdon issued similar threats to non-Mormons in thecounty, promising them a war of extermination if they attacked the LDS.  In 1838, after promising to “establish our religion with the sword” his followers attacked the Missouri State Militia at the Battle of Crooked River.

Governor Boggs ordered all Mormons be “exterminated or driven from the state.” On November 1, 1838, the Saints surrendered to 2,500 state troops, and agreed to forfeit their property and leave the state.  Smith was imprisoned, along with Rigdon, in Liberty, Missouri on charges of treason. 

Smith and Rigdon escaped after bribing the sheriff, and fled to Nauvoo, Illinois, where Brigham Young had set up a new LDS headquarters.

Nauvoo grew rapidly, and so did LDS doctrine.  In Nauvoo, Smith established polygamy as a Mormon doctrine.  He established secret ceremonies whereby righteous people could become gods in the afterlife.

Smith also introduced his “First Vision” which later became regarded by the LDS as “the most important event in human history since the resurrection of Jesus.”

In 1844 Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were murdered by a mob in Carthage, Illinois while being held on charges of treason. Their deaths caused a succession crisis with Brigham Young assuming command of the LDS and excommunicating the splinter groups that disputed his leadership.

Mohammed died of a fever when he was 63 years old. After his death, a succession dispute caused Islam to split into the Sunni and Shi’ite factions. Islam became the dominant religion everywhere that it went.  And everywhere it went, it established itself by war.

As the LDS began taking over Nauvoo, tensions rose with the local Illinois residents. After Smith’s death, Brigham Young and sixty thousand Mormons headed to Utah territory.  Brigham Young was appointed Utah’s first territorial governor.  

And everywhere that the LDS went, from Palmyra to Kirtland to Nauvoo to Utah, they established their religion by war; the Missouri Mormon War, the “Illinois Mormon War” the “Utah War” the “Morrisite War” and the “Black Hawk War”.

Does anybody else see a pattern of similarity here?  Anybody want to hazard a guess as to why? 

Assessment:

It is a matter of provable fact that Muslims are allowed to lie to infidels (non-Muslims) if it advances the cause of Islam.   Mormons are also allowed to lie to “gentiles” (or non-Mormons) if it advances the cause of LDS. (Milk before meat.)

Islam doesn’t integrate itself with infidel communities, it establishes itself as a separate entity, and then through proselytizing and intimidation, seeks to dominate and impose its own laws.  

LDS pretends to integrate within gentile communities, but immediately establishes itself as a separate entity and then through proselytizing and intimidation, seeks to dominate and impose its own laws. 

Both claim a kind of Jesus and a kind  of Gospel.  Islam claims Isa (Jesus) and the ‘injil´ or ‘gospel’.  But Isa is not God, but rather, an exalted prophet, second only to Mohammed.  The Islamic “injil”is the “true” gospel of Jesus, before it was corrupted by Christians and Jews.

The LDS claims a kind of Jesus and a kind of Gospel.  The LDS Jesus is “a” god, (one ofuncounted millions) but the Mormon Jesus is just a man who became a god.  And the Mormon Gospel is the Book of Mormon, which the LDS claims is superior in accuracy and doctrinal truth to the Bible. 

The Apostle Paul wrote to the members of the Church at Galatia:

“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.” (Galatians 1:6-7)

Paul is quick to say that while it is ‘another’ gospel, in the sense that it is different, there IS no other Gospel, in the sense that it can be legitimate.  The Gospel is the “good news” because it points the way to salvation.  There is but one way to salvation, according to John 3:16 and Acts 4:12.

Which is why Paul follows up with this carefully parsed statement;

“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:8)

We’ve been discussing two claimants to the gospel, both of whom received their new gospel directly from an angel; in one case Gabriel, and in the other, Moroni.  Each of those conflicting gospels, delivered by angels, claim to the be true Gospel before it was corrupted by Christians and Jews.

Both deny that Jesus Christ has the power to save on His own, unless one also obeys an impossibly complex series of laws and ordinances that by their very existence, make salvation impossible, according to the Scriptures:

“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”(Galatians 2:21)

If keeping the law was the path to righteousness, then Jesus didn’t have to die.  His death and His resurrection advantage us not at all, if our salvation is dependent on keeping the law. That is as it has been since the time of Moses – why add Jesus? 

He wasn’t necessary under the Mosaic Law. Why is He necessary to Mormon or to Muslim salvation? Answer: He isn’t. Neither faith requires a Messiah, since in either faith, salvation comes by keeping the Law. 

There is another similarity worth exploring Islam had a founder.  His name was Mohammed. He died on June 8, 632 and was buried where he died.  His tomb is still there, housed within the House of the Prophet in Medina.

The LDS had a founder. His name was Joseph Smith. Smith was shot several times inside his jail cell by an angry mob he had bilked out of a fortune. He died where he fell, and was buried in Nauvoo, Illinois.  His tomb is still there.

Christianity had a Founder.  His name was Jesus Christ.  He was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities.  The chastisement we deserved fell upon Him. And by His stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)

He died on a Cross at Golgotha, crucified between two thieves.  He was buried in the tomb set aside for Joseph of Aramathea.  But His tomb is empty.  He is not there.  

He rose on the third day, was seen of over five hundred witnesses and ascended into Heaven in broad daylight in front of witnesses. If Jesus is not risen, we remain dead in our sins and our faith is in vain

Why do I risk the wrath of the LDS, not to mention Islam, every liberal on earth, the various self-appointed anti-hate groups, a lot of well-meaning but deceived Christians, and the probability that most ISP’s will bounce today’s OL?

“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:3)

That is the only Gospel.  Any other gospel leads people away from the truth and away from salvation. As such, it is accursed, according to the Scripture.  Even one revealed by an angel.   

The best way to determine the identity of the revealing angel is to compare his ‘truth’ to the simplicity of Christ.  The TRUE Gospel is simple.  It can be boiled down to just two words:

“Jesus saves.”

This letter was written by Jack Kinsella on September 6, 2011.

Featured Commentary: The Gathering of Israel ~ Alf Cengia

The Gift

The Gift
Vol: 20 Issue: 17 Thursday, March 17, 2016

One Christmas, my son gave me a book on the history of the Irish race. I was stunned to learn that the history of the Irish kings dates back to the time of Solomon, and that the Roman historians of antiquity considered Ireland to be an ancient kingdom when Rome was young.

The Irish nation has maintained its history with an attention to detail surpassed only by the nation of Israel. The book, “The Story of the Irish Race” by Seumas MacManus, was published in 1921 and contains more than seven hundred pages of history.

Today, I want share my Christmas gift with you. A little bit of that history –specifically, the story of King Conor MacNessa. Stay with me, it will be worth the effort. I promise.

King Conor was the Ard-Righ, or High King of Ireland in the first part of the first century.

King Conor was described by a contemporary historian of his day as,

“A tall graceful champion of the noble, polished and proud men stood at the head of the party. This most beautiful of the kings of the world stood among his trops with all the signs of obedience, superiority and command.He wore a mass of curling drooping, yellow hair. He had a pleasing, ruddy countenance. He had a deep blue, sparkling, piercing eyein his head and two branching beard, yellow, and curling upon his chin. He wore a crimson, deep-bordered, five-folding tunic; a gold pin in the tunic over his bosom; and a brilliant white shirt, interwoven with thread of red gold, next to his white skin.” – the herald MacRoth to Queen Medb of Connaught.”

In King Conor’s day, Rome had not yet constructed the Colliseum and had just conquered what would become Britain. While King Conor’s life was fascinating, it was the circumstances of his death that are of interest here.

Conor died from a brainball that sunk into his skull, fired in battle by Cet MacMagach, a Connaught champion, whom Conor had pursued following a Connaught cattle raid.

It didn’t kill him directly — the brainball lodged in his skull, and his physician, Faith Liag, would not remove it because it would have instantly killed Conor.

With care, Conor might live long, provided he live quietly, avoiding passion and violent emotion and live a life of peace such as few kings of antiquity knew.

Under Liag’s care, Conor lived seven more years.  One day, writes the historian, the pagan-King Conor MacNessa’s court was, quoting MacManus directly,

“thrown into consternation by finding broad day suddenly turned to blackest night, the heavens rent by lightening, and the world rocked by thunder, portending some dread cataclysm.”

Conor asked his Druids and wise men for explanation of the fearful happening.

The Druid Bachrach, a noted seer, told him that there had been in the East, in one of the many countries under the dominion of Rome, a singular man, more noble of character, more lofty of mind and more beautiful of soul, than the world had ever known, or ever again would know — a divine man, a God-man, who spent his life lifing up the lowly and leading the ignorant to the light, and giving new hope to a hopeless world — one too, who loved all mankind with a love that surpassed understanding — one, the touch of whose gentle hand gave speech to the dumb, sight to the blind, life to the dead. He was the noblest, greatest, most beautiful, most loving of men.

And now the heavens and the earth were thrown into agony because on this day the tryant Roman, jealous of his power over the people, had nailed him high upon a cross, and between two crucified thieves, had left the divine man to die a fearful death.

Fired to rage by the thought of the terrible injustice meted out to such a noble one, Conor MacNessa, snatching down the sword that had not been unsheathed for seven years, and crying, “Show me the accursed wretches who did this base deed!” burst through the restraining ring of courtiers, leapt into the storm, fiercely hewing down their bending branches and shouting, “Thus would I treat the slayers of that Noble man, if I could but reach them.”

Under the strain of the fierce passion that held him the brainball burst from King Conor’s head — and he fell dead. (The Story of the Irish Race by Seumas MacManus, pp. 26-27)

King Conor lived three hundred years before St Patrick introduced Christianity to the Emerald Isle. The story of Conor MacNessa and the circumstances of his death, were known and recorded in Irish history before Patrick arrived to tell The Greatest Story Ever Told and was surprised to find it was already part of the history of the Irish kings.

Macmanus says in a footnote on the page, “Some say that it was a Roman consul (who informed Conor of death of Christ).

Still others say it was the Royal Branch champion, Conal Cearnach, who had been a prisoner of the Romans and who had been taken to the limits of their Empire.

In the course of which expedition, he was in Jerusalem on the day of days, and witnessed the Crucifixion. “A representative of every race of mankind was on the Hill of Calvary at the dreadful hour.”

Conal Cearnach represented the Gael (Irish). The beautiful story of Conal Cearnach at the Crucifixion is related by Ethna Carberry in her book, ‘From the Celtic past’.”

This is not just a beautiful story, but is part of Irish history attested to by the pagan generations who recorded the events long before Christianity came to the Emerald Isle.

“And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.” (Luke 23:45-47)

When Jesus was crucified, the Bible says the darkness was all over the earth for three hours. Not just in Jerusalem, or in Israel, but the whole earth — a FACT of history attested to by Scripture, and also attested to by the history of the pagan High-Kings of pagan Ireland.

Causing even the pagan-King of pagan Ireland, Conor MacNessa, to echo the Roman centurion who stood at the foot of the Cross.

“Truly, this Man was the Son of God.” (Mark 15:39)

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on January 5, 2003,

Featured Commenary: Genocide is Genocide ~ J.L. Robb

Why We NEED To Know What We Don t WANT To Know

Why We NEED To Know What We Don t WANT To Know
Vol: 20 Issue: 16 Wednesday, March 16, 2016

From time to time it becomes necessary to revisit the central purpose of Bible prophecy for the last days insofar as it impacts the Church.  It is to give the warning that time is running out.  Not for the Church.   But for those who will be left behind.

The destiny of the Church is to participate in the Blessed Hope articulated by the Apostle Paul in his first letter to the Thessalonians:

“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. . .  For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

The Rapture of the Church signals the conclusion of the Age of Grace in the same manner in which it began.  The Lord explained the equation to the Apostles before His crucifixion.

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.” (John 16:7)

It isn’t too difficult to follow – it doesn’t need much interpretation.  If the Lord does not “go away” then the Comforter (the Holy Spirit) will not come (indwell) them.  Still, the Apostles didn’t get it.  Right up to the moment of His Ascension, they were still expecting Him to usher in the Millennial Kingdom. (Acts 1:6)

They wouldn’t get it — until the Holy Spirit clued them in.  But to this point, the Lord was stillamong them, and so the indwelling Holy Spirit was not.  So there they stood, clueless and afraid, while the Lord explained the Holy Ghost would soon empower them for the Great Commission.

“And when He had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight.” (Acts 1:9)

If they were clueless and afraid while the risen Lord Jesus was standing there talking to them, one can only imagine how clueless and afraid they were as they stood there, staring into the clouds hoping for one last glimpse of the Master.

“And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel. Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.”

There it is.  Do you see the chronological order?  The Holy Spirit will not indwell men until after Jesus is “taken away” at the Ascension.  How is He taken away?  That is extremely important to this study.  Look again.

He is raised up from the earth alive, in His Resurrected and transformed Body, and taken up until He vanishes in the clouds.   That is how He is taken away – and the Promise given is that is how He will return.

Now fast forward from the event that kicked off the Church Age to the event that signals its conclusion. 

The Apostle Paul described it in detail to the Thessalonians in his first letter.  He returns in reverse order to His departure.  The Lord Himself will descend from Heaven, where He will resurrect the dead in Christ and then those living will be ‘caught up’ into heaven at the Rapture.

But the Apostle Paul evidently left out a few details that caused the Thessalonians some confusion.  Apparently, it left them confused enough that he felt it necessary to write them again to straighten things out.  

There was a heresy in circulation that said that Nero was really the antichrist, and the Thessalonians were afraid they had been left behind. 

“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.”

No, no, Paul says. “Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?” he asks, before filling in the missing blank spot in the equation

Remember, the issue under discussion here was a rebuttal of the false doctrine claiming that Nero was the antichrist.  Nero can’t be the antichrist, Paul says, and here’s why.

“And now ye know what withholdeth that he [the real antichrist] might be revealed in his time.”

Let’s go back and quickly review what we’ve covered about the beginning of the Church Age.

  1. Jesus is bodily taken out of the way by rising from the earth and ascending into heaven
  2. The two witnesses in white reveal that Jesus will return in the same manner in which they watched Him go.
  3. The Holy Spirit comes upon and indwells the Church.

Here is what the Apostle Paul says will signal the end of the Church Age.  It ends in reverse order to the way it began.

  1. The Lord Himself will descend from heaven into the air in like manner as He left,
  2. The restraining Holy Spirit will be taken out of the way, together with the vessels He indwells.
  3. The antichrist is revealed and the Tribulation Period begins.

 First the Holy Spirit must go away, then Jesus will come.  In like manner as we saw Him go.

Assessment:

There is but one purpose for the indwelt Church of Jesus Christ to be on the lookout for signs of the antichrist.  For the same reason that meteorologists look for signs of bad weather – to give the warning.

But in order to obtain an accurate forecast, it is necessary to look at all the signs in their totality – we can’t just pay attention to the ones that make us feel good about ourselves. 

It is a good news-bad news situation, which makes it a difficult balance.  The Bible is the epitome of good news – the very word “Gospel” means good news.  Bible prophecy is also a message of good news – but from a somewhat more limited perspective.

The good news is that the Bible predicted all the bad things that we are seeing unfold upon the earth, because it means that God still has everything under control.  The bad news is that all the bad things the Bible predicted would unfold upon the earth is, well, unfolding upon the earth.     

There are no signs to signal the Rapture.  There is nothing to look out for.  There isn’t even a perspective that anyone can hang their hat on.  The Rapture is ‘the vanishing’ – but we only vanish from the perspective of those left behind. 

We can’t look at signs like earthquakes, famines and wars and conclude anything about the Rapture.  Those signs aren’t of the Rapture.  They are signs of impending Tribulation.  They are only important because the Rapture comes first.  

So as much as we really WANT to be looking for the approaching Christ, the only tangible thing we can nail our hopes to, weirdly enough, is the signs of the coming antichrist.  If we can discern the approach of the antichrist, then it means that the Rapture is just that much closer.

There are many well-meaning Christians that believe that pre-tribbers do the Church a great disservice because the pre-trib doctrine doesn’t prepare Christians for what to do about the Mark of the Beast.  To my way of thinking, this is one of the more baffling arguments, but it must gain traction somewhere because I hear it so often.  

Here is my rebuttal to that argument.

In the event that a world leader demands to be worshipped as a god as a condition of economic participation and requires you to accept a mark in your right hand or forehead as a token of worship, don’t do it.

There. 

Now, to justify the title of today’s OL – why we need to know what we don’t necessarily wantto know.

Since there are no signs preceding the Rapture, the only benchmark measurements available to us are the signs that precede the antichrist, of which there are many.  

The antichrist is a politician.  He carries a bow, but no arrows, because his principle weapon ispolitics.

By all accounts, the antichrist does not seize power, he achieves it by universal acclamation – “Who is like unto the beast?  And who is able to make war with him?”

The antichrist of whom the Bible speaks does not arrive in secret – he explodes onto the world stage at a time when the world is looking for answers from anyone but Jesus.   He is not one of many choices – he is the ONLY choice available.

He is a liar whose rise to power is accompanied by many lying signs and wonders – but he is thrust into power by the people ­– if we are right on the timing, by people that are alive right now.

So it is extremely illuminative of the lateness of the hour when a charismatic politician rides into power on the back of lies and disinformation, shows total disregard for Congress, or any law, buys off the money trust, starts wars in the name of peace and reverses sixty years of friendship with Israel as part of his commitment to globalism.

It isn’t that Obama is the antichrist – I expect the antichrist will be far more competent.  But before Obama, it was a lot harder to imagine how the antichrist would be able to accomplish all that the Bible sets before him in just seven years.

Until you look at what Obama has accomplished in less than five.

I am as sick of the Obamanation as you are.  And there are a lot of things I am learning that I really, really would rather not know.

But it isn’t possible to understand unfolding Bible prophecy without an understanding of the political machinations that bring the antichrist to power or enable him to accomplish his mission.

It isn’t possible to explain how he will use the economy to enforce his edicts without understanding how it works.  I don’t believe that the Lord provided us with such a clear and unambiguous model if we weren’t to learn from it.

The three main pillars of government during the Tribulation Period are the antichrist’s control of a global economy, religion and government.

If we are to be watchmen on the wall prepared to give the warning, we need to know what we are warning of.  The antichrist isn’t a cartoon character wearing a red union suit and carrying a pitchfork.

Neither is he an amateur buffoon with no concept of how to lead or any clue of the Law of Unintended Consequences.  (That’s how we know it isn’t Obama.)

In any case, he won’t be wearing a name-tag.   

Since there are no signs preceding the Rapture, the only signs we have are those that warn of the Tribulation.  But they are not there to prepare the Church to endure it.  

“Hey, bad things are coming.  Nothing you can do about it, though. If you manage to avoid the Mark of the Beast, you’ll die a horrible death.  If not, you’ll spend eternity in the Lake of Fire.  Being saved has nothing to do with it.  So suck it up, buttercup!”

What kind of warning is that?

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on April 1, 2011.