The Third Pillar of Antichrist

The Third Pillar of Antichrist
Vol: 27 Issue: 22 Saturday, October 22, 2016

I have always been leery of those Bible teachers who have a new ‘revelation’ — seeing something in Bible prophecy that they had never seen before.

I am also keenly aware of the dangers inherent in interpreting Bible prophecy in light of current events. It is a good attitude to have, I think, but it does tend to close one’s mind to alternative explanations.

In that regard, what should rightly be accepted as interpretational can subtly shift over from interpretation to doctrine. And interpretation and doctrine are two entirely different animals.

‘Doctrine’ is defined as “a principle or position or the body of principles in a branch of knowledge or system of belief.”

‘Interpretation’ is defined as “a particular adaptation or version of a work, method, or style.”

Doctrine is iron-clad; a ballet teacher teaches the identical doctrine of classical ballet to two students in the same class, but how they INTERPRET that doctrine is what separates a Mikhail Barishnikov from a Rudolf Nureyev.

Doctrine is constant but interpretation changes with understanding.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10)

According to Bible prophecy, the reign of the antichrist rests on the existence of three central pillars; a global government, a global religion and a global economy.

The prophet Daniel identifies the antichrist as being of “the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.” (Daniel 9:26)

History tells us the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple took place in AD 70 under the command of Titus, later Emperor Titus of Rome.

Hence the interpretation that the antichrist comes to power through some form of a revived Roman Empire that serves as a de facto global government.

In this generation, the countries of the old Roman Empire united under the banner of the European Union, uniting Europe as a single empire for the first time since the fall of Rome.

The second pillar, that of a global economy, is necessary to fulfill John’s prophecy that he will have the ability to restrict persons from normal buying and selling at the individual level.

Such economic control was never possible prior to this generation. If you doubt it exists now, imagine if your Social Security number were deleted. You couldn’t work, open a bank account, get a loan, or make a major purchase.

Elimination of cash (a work already in progress) would completely exclude a person from any economic participation.

Of the third pillar, the global religious system, the Bible reveals the following:

1) It will claim authority over Christianity. “And I beheld another beast coming up out of theearth; and he had two horns like a lamb. . .”

The references to ‘the lamb’ are pretty much self-explanatory. It is a reference to something ‘like’ Christianity, but a counterfeit. . . . “he spake as a dragon.” (Revelation 13:11)

2) It will share political power with the first beast. “And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him.”

3) Participation will be mandatory. “cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” (Revelation 13:15)

4) The method employed by the false prophet’s religious system as the penalty for refusing conversion is decapitation.

“and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast.” (Revelation 20:4)

For more than a thousand years, most interpreters saw the Church of Rome and the papacy as the third pillar of the antichrist’s platform.

The Vatican claims authority of Christianity and has always been as much political as religious. But that is where the similarities stop.

600 years ago, the papacy tried to enforce conversion and sometimes executed those who refused. The papacy also believed the world was flat 600 years ago.

It is safe to say when the Pope believes in a flat earth, the papacy will launch another Grand Inquisition.

There is in existence another religion that fits John’s description like a glove. Islam claims to be the third revelation from God.

It claims its existence from Abraham, acknowledges the Divine inspiration of the Bible, but claims that Abraham, Moses, and Jesus were all Muslim prophets.

It is Islam’s claim to be the third and final revelation from God from which Islam derives its claim of authority over Christians and Jews.

Islam is not just a religion but is equally a political system carefully defined by Sharia law and fulfilling points 1 and 2 much more perfectly than does the modern Vatican.

Islam is the religion of the sword. The word itself means ‘submission’ and Islamic law authorizes the death penalty for unbelievers, fulfilling point 3 as a matter of existing religious doctrine — not a new doctrine forced upon an existing system by a mad pope.

And the penalty of choice for refusing to submit to Allah is decapitation, fulfilling point 4.

None of this has to be developed and imposed upon Western religionists as new religious doctrine by a new pope as previous interpretations required — it already exists. And it is already practiced by one-fifth of the human race.

As noted, Islam claims to be the well-spring of Judeo-Christianity, claiming Islam predates both. Islam claims Allah is the same God worshipped by Christians and Jews and that the Old and New Testaments were corrupted by scribes.

Christians and Jews scoff at this claim, since the Koran’s Allah bears no resemblance to the God revealed in Scripture.

God is love. Salvation is a gift of grace through faith. As a matter of accepted doctrine, it cannot be imposed by force.

Salvation through Allah comes through martyrdom in the jihad, after conversion to Islam either voluntarily — or by force.

Daniel provides another glimpse into the religion of antichrist. He says that he will be an atheist, but that he will pretend to be religious in public.

“Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.”

Then Daniel gives a letter-perfect description of Islam — as Islam describes ITSELF.

“But IN HIS ESTATE shall he honour the GOD OF FORCES: and a god WHOM HIS FATHERS KNEW NOT . . .” ‘A god of forces, and a god his fathers knew not’ cannot be applied to the Roman Catholic Church or the Papacy without the RCC formally renouncing Scripture, God and Jesus.

For 1600 years, interpreters looked to the Vatican and for 1600 years, the argument seemed valid. Until the arrival of the generation to whom the prophecy was written.

“And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are CLOSED UP AND SEAL TILL THE TIME OF THE END. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; BUT THE WISE SHALL UNDERSTAND.” (Daniel 12:9-10)

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on February 26, 2006

Where Life is Beautiful All The Time. . .

Where Life is Beautiful All The Time. . .
Vol: 27 Issue: 21 Friday, October 21, 2016

A report released in 2011 by the CDC found that the use of antidepressants by Americans is up by more than four hundred percent since 1988.

The CDC reports that one person in ten is on some form of antidepressant medication.  The CDC conducted the study between 2005 and 2008 and polled more than 12,000 subjects 12 years and older.

The report found that women are two and a half times more likely to be taking antidepressant drugs than men and that women between the ages of 40 and 59 are the most likely to be in search of better living through chemistry.

One child in every twenty-five between the ages of 12 and 17, according to the CDC, regularly takes prescription antidepressant drugs, but the bulk of those depressed enough to require medication are between the ages of 18 and 40.

More white people are depressed than other racial groups; 14% of all whites are on antidepressant drugs, whereas only four percent of blacks and three percent of Hispanics are too depressed to function without drugs.

Of those taking antidepressant drugs, the CDC found that 6.4% weren’t clinically depressed and that seventy-five percent of all prescriptions written for antidepressant drugs were written by health care practitioners other that mental health professionals.

And then there is the most amazing finding of all, at least, from my perspective.  Among those who really need antidepressant drugs, sixty-six percent — fully two-thirds – don’t take them.

It is the ones that can see clearly enough to know they aren’t crazy that are gobbling them up like candy.

Assessment:

“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” (Luke 21:25-26)

This verse isn’t just about extra-terrestrial signs in the sun, moon and stars.  It’s about fear.  The “distress of nations, with perplexity.”  Jesus said that men’s hearts would fail them “for fear” — because that is the real sign of the last days. 

Why would men’s hearts fail them for fear?  Are YOU so afraid of the signs of the Lord’s coming that you need to take drugs to mask that fear?

Or are you watching the signs of the times with eager anticipation of the Lord’s soon return?

I admit that sometimes I get a little afraid, but that fear is quickly dissipated when I step back and take a look at what I am afraid of.  I am “afraid” of the signs pointing to the day Christians have waited for since Paul wrote the Thessalonians to tell them that they hadn’t missed it.  

I am “afraid” the Lord will keep His Word.  But I’d be a lot more afraid if I didn’t know He was coming.

I am willing to bet that the Apostles were also a little afraid when they were facing martyrdom.  It is one thing to BE dead.  How you get that way is of considerable concern, even if you knowwhat happens next.

But that is not the same thing as the kind of all-consuming fear that results in one person in ten on Prozac.

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

Imagine that you are an atheist.  You don’t believe that there is a God.  You scoff at the concept of a Divine Plan. 

According to your worldview, humanity is the supreme being and you rely on the wisdom of the masses to bring order out of chaos.  As an atheist, you believe that man is basically good, and it is that basic goodness that is responsible for law and order and social morality.

Now, looking out from that perspective, what do you see?  High unemployment continuing on for years, maybe decades.  The great unwashed demanding the government tax employers out of business.  Runaway crime as the economic situation worsens.

The eventual collapse of the ecology; global warming, (or global cooling), the potential for solar flares wiping out the electrical grid, the possibility of world war, even the use of nuclear weapons. 

And most of all, the sense that not only is the world moving in the wrong direction, it is careening out of control.  If only Obama had been what everybody expected him to be.  But instead of hope, he offers nothing but hopelessness; more unemployment, more civil unrest, more class warfare.

No wonder one American in ten is on anti-depressants!  (Including many Christians.)

The fear is palpable — and it is spreading.

They have good reason to be afraid.  The only place they can look to for hope is the government.   If not this government, some other government.  And if not this leader, then some new leader, as long as he isn’t a ‘capitalist’ (meaning “Christian” or “Jew”).

Fear breeds loathing.  Loathing breeds persecution.  Persecution breeds terror.  Terror looks for a savior.

According to the Bible, the savior the world is awaiting is the antichrist.  The conditioning process preparing the world for his appearance has only accelerated since the turn of the 21st century. 

What seemed possible ten years ago appears unavoidable today.

He is out there right now, waiting for his cue.  But the world isn’t quite fearful enough to buy what he is selling.  Not yet.  The Church is still here.   And the world still has an ample supply of Prozac.

But other than that, the world is ready.  More than ready. 

Eager, even.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsela on October 20, 2011

Featured Commentary: A Rattling Church ~Alf Cengia

Confronting the Debate

Confronting the Debate
Vol: 27 Issue: 20 Thursday, October 20, 2016

Whenever I publish a column dealing with the subject of the Rapture, I can count on my email box being filled up with messages from flamers who believe it is their mission in life to convert me to their particular theological interpretation.

I must admit that, while I used to find it annoying, sometimes even hurtful, I now eagerly anticipate the flamers’ email.

Part of the Omega Letter’s mission is to provide you with answers to the skeptic’s objections — where better to locate specific objections than from the skeptics themselves?

I always thought to myself that putting me in this job was another example of God’s sense of humor — there are few people on this earth who hate confrontation more than I.

I never liked confrontation, even as a kid. Evidently, that is why the Lord moved me directly from the Marine Corps into civilian police work. To get me used to it.

Law enforcement is a never-ending series of confrontations. The easiest for me was the initial confrontation with the bad guy. It was the easiest because, in a confrontation with a bad guy, you were always comfortable that you were in the right and doing everything for the right reasons.

The mere fact of the confrontation itself provided all the self-justification necessary. The bad guy’s motive was to break the law; my motive was to enforce it. Black and white. Cut and dried.

Following the confrontation with the bad guy, came the confrontation with the county prosecutor. The prosecutor would generally begin by ‘defending’ the suspect against my charges to see if they would hold water.

Although I knew what was going on, sometimes, those sessions grew pretty heated. They were never pleasant.

After that, came the confrontation with the grand jury. This was generally a written confrontation — I would put together all known facts of the case for the prosecutor to present to the grand jury.

For it to be effective, I had to anticipate the questions the grand jury might have and answer them in advance in my grand jury summary. Otherwise, I would be summoned for a personal confrontation in the grand jury room to fill in the blanks.

(Such was my discomfort with confrontation that I seldom got that summons.)

Then came the confrontation with the defense, which was the most unpleasant, since it seemed to me that they were not bound to the same rules of legal interpretation and the application of common logic that the rest of us were.

They could challenge anything – and did — sometimes for the express purpose of provoking some emotion, usually anger. I hated that part the most of all.

As I said, law enforcement is, by definition, a never-ending series of confrontations provoked by those who either break the law, try to find ways around the law, or out of zeal to ensure that law is interpreted and applied appropriately.

I hated it. But it taught me to choose my confrontations wisely and have all my ducks in a row before I did.

Assessment:

Our goal is to make sure you are prepared for the day-to-day confrontations we all have as soldiers in the battle of the last days.

They aren’t too much different than those encountered by a law enforcement officer pleading a case.

It is easiest to get into the confrontation with the ‘bad guy’ — in this case, the skeptic hoping to skewer your argument during its first pleading. And you enter enthusiastically, confident you are in the right and doing it for the right reasons.

You have nothing to gain if you win the confrontation, and your opponent has EVERYTHING to lose if he does. Black and white. Cut and dried. You lay out your basic case for salvation, hoping that the way you lay it out will ‘hold water’.

From there, you move on to your presentation in which you try to anticipate the questions in advance and plug them before you get led down the rabbit trail of ‘what if’ questions.

Finally, you get to the most frustrating part; the part where the defense heats up and you realize they are not working with the same rules of legal interpretation and the application of common logic that you are.

You open with Scripture, he responds by quoting Nostradamus, that kind of thing.

It appears that for every person like me who detests confrontation, there are a dozen who apparently eat it like candy. Consequently, I tend to choose my confrontations carefully. And have all my ducks in a row in advance.

The issue of the Rapture is always confrontational. It is irrelevant to salvation, but utterly indispensable to rightly dividing the Word of Truth, as the Scriptures command.

One is saved whether one agrees with a particular view of the Rapture or its timing or not. Salvation is a gift of grace through faith, not a subsequent product of grace through the ‘correct’ doctrinal understanding of peripheral issues.

Salvation comes by,

“Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” (Philippians 1:6).

We are saved by that confidence, by trusting that Jesus paid the price for all sin at the Cross and that He will keep His Word that,

“All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37)

From the perspective of salvation, it is totally irrelevant when the Rapture occurs, or even if there IS a Rapture TO occur.

Are you with me, so far?

Understanding the Rapture is relevant when it comes to rightly dividing the Word. Without a clear division between the Church Age and the coming 70th Week of Daniel, the revealed Word of God becomes contradictory.

The Apostle John wrote,

“And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” (1 John 4:3)

Note carefully that John is writing of the spirit of antichrist, in the context of the beginning of the Church Age. Next, he tells the believers of the Church Age:

“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (4:4)

The explicit promise is that the spirit of antichrist will not overcome believers indwelt by the Holy Spirit, Whose indwelling Presence was promised by Jesus Christ:

“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 14:26)

Compare that to the Promise;

“I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” (John 14:18)

But Paul says that the antichrist (“that Wicked”) will not be revealed (and the Tribulation will not start) until HE who ‘lets’ [restrains evil] be “taken out of the way.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:7-8)

Note the Restrainer is a ‘He’ not an ‘it’. The Restrainer isn’t THE Church, the Restrainer is the Person that Indwells the Church until Jesus returns to claim it.

And John writes that, during the tribulation,

“And it was given unto him [antichrist] to make war with the saints, and TO OVERCOME THEM: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” (Revelation 13:7)

Are you still with me? Jesus promised Church Age believers that they would be indwelt by the Holy Spirit until He came, and that He would not leave Church Age believers ‘comfortless’.

John taught that Church Age believers could NOT be overcome by the spirit of antichrist because the indwelling Holy Spirit is ‘greater than he who is in the world’.

BUT, that the antichrist WOULD be able to ‘make war with the [Tribulation] Saints and OVERCOME them. (Revelation 13:7) Do you see the point?

The Tribulation Period is the ‘time of Jacob’s Trouble’- not the Age of Grace. It will operate under the rules of Jewish Mosaic Law, including a new Temple on Temple Mount, the resumption of Temple worship and Temple sacrifice.

The Church Age of Grace cannot coexist with the 70th Week of Daniel, since the Tribulation is, by definition, the final Week of the Age of the Law.

Because it operates under different rules, the Tribulation Saints CAN be overcome by the spirit of antichrist, because the Holy Spirit’s indwelling ministry has been withdrawn.

The Holy Spirit is the Comforter that Jesus promised would remain until He came, promising He would not leave us ‘Comfortless’ — making no provision for breaking that promise to one generation of believers somewhere down the line.

Returning to the principle of choosing one’s confrontations wisely, there is a difference between TEACHING a pre-trib Rapture and CONFRONTING someone with it. One does NOT need to understand the Rapture’s role in unfolding prophecy to participate in it.

If a person is saved, there is no eternal benefit to be had by making them pre Tribulation Dispensationalists.

Neither is there any benefit to be had [apart from pride] in endlessly debating the topic. One cannot ‘rightly divide the Word’ if one’s interpretation contradicts Scripture, and without a decisive conclusion to the Church Age, the Apostle John’s letters to the Church Age contradict his vision of the Tribulation.

It makes no difference when the Rapture takes place if the Church Age includes the Tribulation Period. But without a conclusion to the Church Age, there can be no resumption of Daniel’s 70th week, either.

It cannot simultaneously be the Age of the Grace and the Time of Jacob’s Trouble (Jeremiah 30:7) without making each a distinction without a difference, which in turn, creates the ‘defense attorney’ confrontation scenario.

That is the scenario where you are bound by certain rules of interpretation and logic, whereas your debating opponent is free to make up convincing-sounding arguments as he goes along.

The end result is a fruitless confrontation over what is, in the grand scheme of things, an issue of only limited relevance.

There is no way to understand the unfolding of Bible prophecy without understanding the difference between the Age of Grace and the Time of Jacob’s Trouble.

But there is no obligation to understand Bible prophecy in order to be saved. Apart from that, Paul tells us,

“But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.” (1st Corinthians 14:38)

We are in a conflict of eternal importance for the souls of men in the last days. To accomplish our mission, we need to learn to choose our confrontations wisely.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on March 2, 2005

Featured Commentary: God Deposes Kings and Raises Up Others ~J.L. Robb

Dhimmis United Against America

Dhimmis United Against America
Vol: 27 Issue: 19 Wednesday, October 19, 2016

‘Dhimmitude’ is the status mandated for non-Muslims, primarily Christians and Jews who live under Islamic rule.

The word ‘dhimmi’ means ‘protected people’ who, under Islamic law, are free to practice their religion in an Islamic regime. 

However, dhimmis are also subject to rules and regulations designed to ensure ‘they feel themselves subdued’ as mandated for dhimmis under the Koran. 

For the West, it is a good news, bad news scenario. The bad news is that the jihadist goal is to make dhimmis of us all. The good news is that we are getting good at it. 

Dhimmi communities have survived for centuries under Islamic rule, as Islamic apologists are fond of pointing out, with barely a peep of protest in all those years. 

Of course they lived quietly — it was better than not living at all. For a dhimmi under Islamic rule to protest would be suicidal. 

“If you upset us, we will hurt you. We will terrorize you and cause do you harm.”  That is the message being delivered from the Islamic world and the West is receiving it loud and clear.

Congress has not enacted it and no court has yet declared it, but it appears that there now exists a defacto blasphemy law in America.   The law is clearly defined — any criticism of Islam or any disrespect to its tenets, doctrines, personages or documents deserves severe punishment by Islam. 

Don’t come looking to the government to defend you. Just because you had the right doesn’t mean you should have exercised it. 

It doesn’t matter whether the blasphemy is committed against the Koran, or whether it is against Mohammed by depicting him in an image, or whether it is against the planned Cordoba Mosque, a blasphemy against Islam is not like a blasphemy against Christianity or Judaism. 

(If blasphemy against Christianity or Judaism were like blasphemy against Islam, the Comedy Network wouldn’t have enough material to fill a comedy program.   They are so heavily dependent on Jesus and God for material that if they had to pay Them royalties due it would bankrupt them.)

Nobody dies when some screwball threatens to burn a Bible.  Not a single Christian group went on a murderous rampage when Muslim terrorists used the Church of the Nativity for a slit trench and pages from the Bible for toilet paper.

I heard one argument from some White House official who said that burning a Koran was like shouting “Fire” in a crowded theater —  using the classic example of the kind of speech not protected by the 1st Amendment.  

There’s enough baloney in that argument to start a deli. If it was true, then cheering for the New England Patriots at a Buffalo Bills home game would be unprotected speech for the identical reason — because the other side doesn’t like it.  

(But at a football game, we aren’t afraid the players will suddenly rush the stands and blow themselves up.)

Assessment:

Terror is not an enemy, in and of itself. It is a tactic. Nazi terror was deployed to advance Nazi ideology. Japanese terror was deployed to advance Imperial Japanese ambitions. 

American terror was deployed as ruthlessly as was necessary, but in the cause of the greater good. The postwar history of both Germany and Japan stands as testimony to the ‘greater good’ accomplished by America’s ruthless acts of wartime terrorism.

The ‘enemy’ is one who is guilty of planning, aiding or commiting an act of terror. 

Until they take that leap, they are not the enemy. And after they take that leap, it is too late for more than retaliation, which is no consolation to the victims.

To prove it, we’re fighting terrorists. In a war in which an interrogation might save a city, the rules of engagement are those of law enforcement, not the rules of war. We are blinded by the fight. 

Regardless of how it is described, this is a defensive war declared and prosecuted against the crime of terror and those who would commit it — ipso facto, criminals. As such, it is impossible to win. We are fighting the jihadists, but not the jihad. 

During World War Two, the SS Einsatzgruppen murdered more than a million people as state-approved acts of terror in Eastern Europe. The war wasn’t against the Einsatzgruppen, it was against the Nazi ideology that approved it. It wasn’t won when the SS was defeated militarily, it was won when the ideology died in a Berlin bunker with its founder. 

Do you follow? 

In this case, while we battle the jihadis, we reverence the ideology that spawns them. 

Military bases are opening centers of Islamic studies where US guards take ‘sensitivity training’ to learn how to handle Korans so that they don’t ‘desecrate’ them by unworthily touching them. 

When it comes to Islam, the Commander in Chief takes on the role of Theologian in Chief and pronounces Islam to be a religion of peace and love hijacked by a ‘few’ (the official estimate is 10% of 1.2 billion or about 120,000,000) ‘radicals’. 

The White House regularly hosts a Ramadan Feast, but has recently begun sending out Christmas cards wishing recipients a ‘happy holiday’ so as not to offend Islam. 

It is instructional to note that Islam accounts for about 1% of the US population, according to the CIA World Factbook. (It is estimated that about 2% of the US population believe they have been abducted by aliens) 

The same authority estimates that 87% of Americans are Christian, at least in culture, if not in doctrine. 

But ‘Christmas’ does not appear on the White House Christmas card out of sensitivity to the 1%. And I note with interest that the White House has never sponsored a get-together for representatives of the the alien abductee lobby, either. Why? 

Because US Islam is the tip of the iceberg — it’s their 1.2 billion co-religionists world-wide that the administration is trying to appease. 

It is the jihad that sends out jihadis. The Islamic jihad. Until there is a recognition that the war is with Islamic jihadi ideology, we cannot win. Declaring war against Islamic jihadi ideology means declaring war with the Islamic world.

Dhimmitude has a curious effect on dhimmis, something similar that of the Stockhold Effect on hostages. 

The phrase, ‘Stockholm Effect’ was coined following a bank hostage situation in Sweden. Researchers discovered the hostages had come to identify, even sympathize, with their captors. It was a kind of traumatic stress reaction. 

Dhimmitude imposes a similar reaction. 

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on February 28, 2006

The Ultimate Trip

The Ultimate Trip
Vol: 27 Issue: 18 Tuesday, October 18, 2016

What is ‘death’? What happens to us when we draw our last breath and leave this earth? Is it the end? The beginning? Do we immediately go from this life to the next?

Do we ‘sleep’ until the Rapture or the Great White Throne Judgment? Or is it all a comforting myth?

The Old Testament prophets shared a belief in a final resurrection and judgment. But that is about as much as God gave them to understand:

“If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Thou shalt call, and I will answer Thee: Thou wilt have a desire to the work of Thine Hands.” (Job 14:14-15)

“For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.” (Job 19:25-27)

“And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” (Daniel 12:2)

But does that mean that our consciousness ceases at physical death until the resurrection? There are some Christians who argue that to be the case, drawing on the New Testament for Scriptural support.

“If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven…” (John 3:12-13)

“…for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” (John 5:28-29)

“Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.” (Acts 2:29)

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” (Hebrews 9:27)

Taking those verses, particularly when taking them out of the full context of Scripture, it would seem to suggest that when we die, we go into some kind of ‘soul sleep’ until the Resurrection. But is that true?

Throughout both the Old and New Testaments, physical death, particularly as it applies to the saints, is characterized as ‘sleep’.

“Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death.” (Psalms 13:3)

“For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption:” (Acts 13:36)

“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.” (1st Thessalonians 4:13)

So, it would seem, at least by a cursory examination of the Scriptures, that when we die, we stay dead until the resurrection.

But that is not entirely accurate.

Assessment:

The Bible is a series of progressive revelations. That is to say, eternal truths were revealed, slowly, over time, according to God’s plan.

As Paul explained, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1st Corinthians 13:12)

As early as Job’s time, God had revealed the existence of the Redeemer Christ, and the PHYSICAL resurrection of the dead. Job not only expected to see Christ with his PHYSICAL eyes, (Job 19:25-27) but he expected his physical body to be changed.

“. . . all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. . . ” Job awaited the call of the trumpet at the Rapture, thousands of years before it was generally known as doctrine. “Thou shalt call . . .” (Job 14:14-15)

But in all these Scriptures, the reference is to the PHYSICAL body which is ‘asleep’ — and NOT the spirit.

Solomon addressed the eventual end of both body AND spirit. “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” (Ecclesiastes 12:7)

Physical death is NOT the end of consciousness. The Apostle Paul spoke of physical death as the time when the spirit is “absent from the body” but “present with the Lord.”

Jesus Himself explained what happens to us spiritually when we experience physical death.

“And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried. . .” (Luke 16:22)

Lazarus the beggar died PHYSICALLY, but his spirit was carried by the angels into Paradise. The rich man died PHYSICALLY and was buried, but his spirit was very much conscious in hell.

“And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.” (16:23)

Note the following facts from this passage of Scripture. Lazarus, Abraham and the rich man were all there, and they were all conscious of their surroundings.

“And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” (16:24)

The rich man was conscious of his torment, was capable of addressing Abraham, and was aware of Lazarus.

Abraham was equally conscious of HIS surroundings, as well as those of the rich man, and was capable of giving reply.

“But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.” (16:25-26)

Not only that, the rich man, (who was NOT in the Lake of Fire, but hell, which establishes this story as being in real-time and before Christ’s resurrection — and not some point after the Great White Throne Judgment), was not only conscious and aware of his surroundings, but his earthly memories remained intact:

“Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.” (16:27-28)

The rich man remembered (and still cared for) his father and his five brothers as living individuals that he knew from his earthly life.

His PHYSICAL body was dead (or ‘asleep’) but his soul was very much ‘alive’ in the sense of his consciousness.

So, what happens when we die? We become absent from the body, but there is no cessation of consciousness until the resurrection.

When John writes: “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection,” (Revelation 20:5) he is addressing the PHYSICAL resurrection of the dead whose consciousness remains awake in hell with the rich man until final judgment.

Once the resurrected body and spirit are reunited at the Great White Throne, they are cast, both body and soul, into the lake of fire. John says, “this is the second death,” since it refers to both the physical and spiritual separation from God for eternity.

As to the ‘dead in Christ’ — they are also conscious, but in Heaven in the presence of the Lord from the moment of physical death until the Rapture.

Furthering Job’s theme of ‘the change’ Paul writes, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1st Corinthians 15:51-52)

At the Rapture, some believers will not yet have experienced death. They shall be instantly changed into their incorruptible bodies. Those who have experienced physical death will be reunited with their bodies, which will be raised and changed.

But their spirits and consciousness are already awake and alive and in the presence of the Lord.

Those who are ‘asleep’ in Christ are those who have experienced PHYSICAL, but not conscious death.

At the Rapture, 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 (physically incorruptible) first: Then we which are (physically) alive and remain (in our natural bodies) shall be caught up together with them (changed and incorruptible) in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1st Thessalonians 4:16-17)

Our loved ones who have gone home to the Lord are ALREADY in His Presence, enjoying Heaven and its unimaginable joy and riches. They are NOT mouldering the grave, unconsciously awaiting the call of the Trumpet.

They are alive and aware and eagerly anticipating the opportunity to meet with us in the air and embrace us once more.

“Wherefore, comfort one another with these words.” (1st Thessalonians 4:18)

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on August 2, 2008

A Preponderance of Evidence

A Preponderance of Evidence
Vol: 27 Issue: 17 Monday, October 17, 2016

One of the most difficult things about preparing a daily briefing like the Omega Letter is trying not to sound like a broken record.  The Bible’s scenario on this side of the Tribulation only goes so far.

And there are so many examples of Bible prophecy coming to pass that the sheer volume of evidence creates a brand-new problem.

When I was first called to the ministry of proclaiming the soon coming of the Lord, it was as a writer for the hit television program, “This Week in Bible Prophecy”, a weekly news and information program that compared the headlines of the day with the prophecies for the last days.

(For the record, This Week in Bible Prophecy was a ‘hit’ before I got there and it remained a top-rated program after I left — lest any man (especially me) should boast.)

That said, “This Week in Bible Prophecy” was pretty much a gamble on faith; faith that we were far enough along the Bible prophecy timeline that there would be enough examples to fill a thirty-minute time spot one day a week.

When I worked with the ministry, it took a whole week (and four writers) to compile enough material to fill the timeslot.  

But between us (Peter, Patti and Paul Lalonde) and with the benefit of a lot of research that Patti developed over the course of editing their monthly newsletter (called, not coincidentally, The Omega Letter – great name)  we were always somehow able to make our deadline.

Almost twenty years later, the problem isn’t finding enough material.  The problem is that there is so much evidence it sometimes all starts to sound the same.  Every day something in the news provides a better illustration of a point made in an earlier brief.   

When it comes to making the case for unfolding Bible prophecy, the standard of proof is different than that necessary for doctrinal issues of eternal importance like salvation.   It’s like the different standards of proof required for a criminal court vs. a civil court.

In a criminal court, one is placed in jeopardy of life and limb; the standard of proof demands evidence ‘beyond a reasonable doubt.’   The same applies to one’s eternal destiny.  Salvation is a gift of grace through faith and saving faith is, by definition, beyond a reasonable doubt.

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”  (Hebrews 11:6)

But when it comes to the question of whether or not we are living in the last days as foretold by the Scriptures, there is more room for reasonable doubt.  The interpretation of Bible prophecy does not rise to the standard of Bible doctrine.

Nobody’s eternal security is at risk – nobody is saved by believing we are living in the last days. 

While the standard necessary for salvation is faith beyond a reasonable doubt, the standard of proof when it comes to whether or not something is unfolding Bible prophecy is similar to the standard required by a civil court — a preponderance of evidence.

One can be pre-Trib, pre-Wrath, mid-Trib, post-Trib, no Trib, or pan Trib (“it will all pan out in the end” – meaning no position at all) and still be saved by grace through faith in the all-sufficiency of the Cross as full propitiation (Gk hiasmos – atonement) for sin. 

“And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our’s only, but also for the sins of the whole world. “(1st John 2:2)

The terms of salvation are not something that must be gleaned by interpreting Scripture – the Bible lays them out in clear, unmistakable detail. 

“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”(Romans 10:10)

But when it comes to Bible prophecy, the Apostle Peter warns us as follows: 

“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.” (2nd Peter 1:20)

The Bible is infallible.  Men are not.

Assessment:

When the interpretation of unfolding Bible prophecy is elevated to the standard of doctrine, one has stepped into a dangerous place.  The enemy is a dangerous adversary and he knows what buttons to push.

When one confuses interpretation with bedrock doctrine, the enemy has all the ammunition necessary to shatter one’s faith and, consequently, one’s effectiveness as a witness to the coming of the Lord. 

The Rapture itself is not interpretative, it is doctrinal.  It is the timing of the Rapture that is interpretative, not the event itself.

The Bible says that when He comes at His triumphal Second Coming, it is to judge the world for sin. The Church, however, is instructed to look for His return ‘unto salvation’.  

“So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” (Hebrews 9:28)

I am convinced that we are living in the last days based on the preponderance of evidence that lines up with the signs of the times as outlined in the Scriptures.  But since it is interpretative, rather than doctrinal, the only way to fact-check the interpretation is by continually sifting for evidence to the contrary. 

I don’t want to be a false teacher.  I have an obligation before the Lord to be as certain as is possible that I am not leading anybody down a primrose path.  That necessarily requires going over some of the same old ground because that is where the evidence is.

There are many key indicators that we are living in the last days.  The existence of a global pariah state called “Israel.”  The moral collapse of Western Christendom.  The rise of a global economy, a global government and a global religion.

Earthquakes, famines, wars, pestilences, strange signs in the sun moon and stars, the global warming debate, the decline of Church influence in world affairs; the absence of any entity resembling America during the Tribulation.

The unification of Europe, Russia, Iran, the developing anti-Israel alliances, the ascendant Kings of the East, the disgruntled Kings of the South, the total indifference to the world-wide media’s pro-Marxist propaganda machine, the delusional status of significant portions of the population – all these are key indicators of the approach of what Jeremiah called, “The time of Jacob’s Trouble” and Christians call the Tribulation.

The preponderance of evidence pointing to this being the time of the end is overwhelming, and to my mind, beyond a reasonable doubt.   The objective of the OL’s ministry is two-fold.  

First and foremost, to obey the Great Commission to spread the Gospel into all the world.  

To share the Good News of the hope of “an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.”   

To remind you that you “are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

To encourage and exhort you to “greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:” (1st Peter 1:4-6)

And to show, by a preponderance of evidence, that the time is short, our mission remains unfulfilled and our obligation undiminished.   I believe with all my soul that we are living in the last days. 

I believe, from the preponderance of evidence, both interpretative and objective, that the world stands on the brink of the Tribulation Period.

The preponderance of evidence supports the view that the only thing restraining unrestricted evil in the world today is the presence of the Church.   The Apostle Paul’s statement that the antichrist won’t be revealed until after the Restrainer is ‘taken out of the way’ is powerful evidence supporting a pre-Trib Rapture.

But doctrine is infallible – interpretation is not.  The purpose for Bible prophecy in the last days is to provide a preponderance of evidence that the Lord is preparing for His return. 

That is not to say I have any doubt whatever about what I believe to be the truth or I would keep my view to myself until I was sure.

But my being certain is not the same as “Thus sayeth the Lord.”   On issues not touching salvation, reasonable people can agree to disagree agreeably.  

The mission isn’t to proclaim when He is coming.  It is to proclaim that He is coming.  And He is coming soon. 

Even if it does sometimes sound like a broken record.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on July 16, 2010

Featured Commentary: The Lesser of Two Evils ~Pete Garcia

Finding the Lost Tribes

Finding the Lost Tribes
Vol: 27 Issue: 15 Saturday, October 15, 2016

Most people have heard of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel.  For those that have not, the phrase refers to the ancient Northern Kingdom of Israel which was defeated and overrun by Sargon II of Assyria in the eight century BC.

After the death of Solomon in the 10th century BC, the ten northern tribes rejected Solomon’s successor, Rehoboam, preferring instead Jeroboan, who was not of the Davidic line.  

The Ten Lost Tribes are believed to be the tribes of Reuben, Simeon, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Ephraim, and Manasseh.  The Tribe of Ephraim and all Israel raised the old cry, “Every man to his tents, O Israel”.

Rehoboam fled to Jerusalem, and around 930 BC, Jeroboam was proclaimed king over all Israel at Shechem.  After the revolt at Shechem at first only the tribe of Judah remained loyal to the house of David.  But very soon after the tribe of Benjamin joined Judah.

Shechem was the first capital of the Kingdom of Israel.  Shechem is today located in the West Bank, in what was formerly Biblical Samaria.

The northern kingdom continued to be called the Kingdom of Israel or Israel, while the southern kingdom was called the Kingdom of Judah.  2 Chronicles 15:9 also says that some members of the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh and Simeon fled to Judah during the reign of Asa of Judah.

During the three-year siege of Samaria by the Assyrians, Shalmaneser V died and was succeeded by Sargon II of Assyria, who personally recorded the capture of that city: “Samaria I looked at, I captured; 27,280 men who dwelt in it I carried away” into Assyria.

Thus, around 720 BC, after two centuries, the kingdom of the ten tribes came to an end.  The Bible relates that the population of Israel was exiled, becoming known as The Ten Lost Tribes.

That left only the Tribe of Judah, the Tribe of Simeon (that was “absorbed” into Judah), the Tribe of Benjamin and the people of the Tribe of Levi who lived among them of the original Israelites nation in the southern Kingdom of Judah.

The Kingdom of Judah continued to exist as an independent state until it was conquered in 586 BC by Nebuchanezzar of Babylon.  The Kingdom of Judah (also known as Judea) lost its independence under the Babylonians and subsequently became a province of a succession of empires.

It was transferred as a possession of empires; from Babylon to Persia to Greece to Rome.  In AD 70 the Romans destroyed what was left of Judea, Jerusalem and the Temple and exiled the Jews from their homeland, which the Romans renamed “Palestina” after the Phillistines.

They settled in Asia Minor until they were driven out by the Byzantine Christians, and later, by the Seljuk and Ottoman Turks, who ruled from 1077 to 1922.   

Palestine had no independent status during the Ottoman Empire.  As European powers expanded their foothold in the region and as Zionism brought Jewish immigrants to their ancestral homeland, no one could define Palestine’s contours.

A picture emerged only in the early 1920s under the British Mandate, which extended from the Jordan River to the sea, from the upper Galilee to the Gulf of Aqaba.

The 1948 war created a de facto partition, but no Palestinian state.  Jordan took the West Bank, and Egypt grabbed the Gaza Strip, filled with refugees from Israeli areas that now included 78 percent of the British Mandate territory. 

When Israel captured the Egyptian Gaza and Jordanian West Bank in 1967, the ‘Palestinian people’ were created out of the displaced Arabs.

When Sargon destroyed the northern kingdom of Israel, he did what conquerors did in those days; he transplanted the population of Israel to elsewhere in the Assyrian Empire, and then relocated elements of other subjugated people in their place.

From the time that Sargon II captured Samaria and the Northern Kingdom of Israel until May 14, 1948, there was nowhere on earth known as “Israel” and no such nationality as “Israelite.”  Citizens of the Southern Kingdom of Judah became known as “Jews”.

Still, the Prophet Ezekiel’s writings are filled with references to a future place called ‘Israel’, one that he describes as “the people that are gathered out of the nations” (38:12) and then further describes as “my people of Israel” (38:18)

Ezekiel wrote of Israel’s regathering in the last days. In Ezekiel 37, the prophet is shown a valley of dry bones. Those dry bones, the Lord explains, are the “whole house of Israel”(37:11) that the Lord says would be restored in the last days.

Six hundred years BEFORE the remaining Jews of Israel were scattered by the Romans, the Lord told Ezekiel of their regathering in the last days.

“Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land; And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all.” (Ezekiel 37:21-22)

The fulfillment of this amazing prophecy could not be more obvious. The Jews of the Diaspora have indeed ‘come from among the heathen’ from ‘every side’ and returned to the Promised Land.  Including those that were once believed lost to history.

Precisely as predicted in Scripture for the last days.

Assessment:

When I was in Arizona a couple of years back, Jonathan Bernis had just returned from Zimbabwe.  Jonathan told me that he had been home for only four days this year.  JVM has dedicated itself to ministering to the Lost Tribes of Israel, both body and soul.

Here is how Jonathan Gannon, JVM’s Director of Outreach, described the trip.

On Tuesday the adventure went to the next level. We boarded a seven-passenger Cessna twin propeller airplane and flew deep into a remote bush area of Zimbabwe. Once we arrived, we checked into a small lodge and headed even deeper into the remote southern regions of Zimbabwe. We drove for nearly three hours over unpaved roads. My body is still bruised from the bumpiness of the drive.

We drove directly to the home of Chief Mbosi, the regional leader of the Lemba community. Honorable Member of Parliament Hamandesche, also a member of the Lemba tribe, accompanied us. We quickly affirmed that these remarkable people were Jewish. Their customs and practices bore all the markings of authentic and ancient Judaism. In fact, the “head men,” or elders of the community, are called Tzadikim, a Hebrew word for “righteous ones.”

Like something out of a movie, Jonathan Bernis formally greeted the chief and presented our team and objectives for coming. It was instantly evident that they were thrilled to see us. We got excited that we would be able to offer them a clear presentation of the Gospel. Some members of the Lemba are Believers, but most are not. The Lord has yet again led Jewish Voice directly into a harvest field of Jewish souls ripe for the Good News of Yeshua!

While I was visiting their Phoenix headquarters, I witnessed what the Apostle James (2:17) was talking about when he wrote, “faith without works is dead.”   

I watched as they packed up some five truckloads of medicines and other medical supplies and shipped them to Zimbabwe for the next step in JVM’s ministry to the Lembas. 

The mission of JVM is to save souls, and to lead God’s Chosen People into a saving knowledge of Christ, which is itself a formidable undertaking.  

But here is what the Apostle James meant by “dead” faith.

“If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” (James 2:15-17)

Jonathan told me that the nearest dentist to the Lembas is more than 200 miles away.   There are no hospitals or clinics for the Lembas.  So Jewish Voice Ministries is shipping a hospital clinic, complete with doctors, dentists, medicine and medical equipment, from Phoenix, Arizona to the outback of Zimbabwe.

It is just one of JVM’s medical outreaches aimed at presenting the Love of Christ to lost Jewish communities of the African interior.  It is one thing to say “Jesus loves you. Be saved!”  But it is another thing altogether to say, “Jesus loves you. Be fed, clothed, healed and saved.”

How far would you go to spread the Gospel?  How much time would you spend away from your home and family?  How many people have you been involved in leading to Christ?  

Consider the following statistics.   In just the past year, JVM has led medical teams and outreach workers to minister to the lost Jews of Ethiopia and India.  JVM provided medical treatment to 7200 people in Woliso, Ethiopia in February, 2011.  They also led 832 people to Christ!

In May, in Addis Ababa, JVM treated 9,043 bodies, and while they were at it, they saved 1,463 souls.  In October in Gondar, they treated 7,224 bodies and added 1,696 souls to the Kingdom.  In Manipur, India, they treated 6430 bodies and 316 souls.

Thanks to the efforts of Jewish Voice Ministries, some three thousand, four hundred and seventy-five backwoods African tribesman will never stand in judgement before the Great White Throne, but instead will be rewarded at the Bema Seat of Christ.

“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.” (Matthew 25:40)

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on  February 13, 2012