Mystery Babylon

Mystery Babylon
Vol: 28 Issue: 18 Friday, November 18, 2016

A question was posed in one of our forums asking if it could be that America is actually Babylon the Great of Revelation.  It’s an excellent question and well worth looking into.

“And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.” (Revelation 18:21)

As one reads through all of Revelation 18 it certainly sounds like a word picture describing America; with her multi-billion dollar drug habit, multi-billion dollar porn industry, addiction to oil, and so forth.

Revelation Chapter 17 describes the great scarlet whore, a word picture of the decadence debauchery and prostitution of religious Christianity upon the earth. 

“So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”

“And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.” (Revelation 17:3-6)

Daniel spoke of four world empires, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome.  John speaks of seven — and then speaks of an eighth.   

“And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come, and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eight, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.” (Revelation 17:11)

History records six great empires; two before Daniel (Egypt, Assyria) and four afterwards (Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome).

Confused yet?  Wait. I’m not done.  Five have fallen, John says, and one is.   The one in existence in John’s day was the Roman Empire.  

John says the next empire, the seventh, which is not yet come, will be short-lived. John appears to say that the seventh is also the sixth, and simultaneously the eighth.  It’s not as confusing as it sounds. Not really. 

Revelation 17:2 interprets the ten horns on the beast as, “ten kings which have yet received no kingdom” these are future kings, not kings of John’s day.

The future beast is a government of ten kings who yield their power and strength over to the center, to an arch-regent, as described by the Prophet Daniel.

“And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.”

John pictures the beast as an empire. Daniel’s horn had eyes and mouth speaking great things.  Which is right? Actually, both are right. 

The beast is a system, personified by a man, but actually administered by two men, separated according to specialty.

Revelation 13:1 introduces the political beast, who rises up out of the sea (of nations).  Revelation 13:11 introduces the religious beast, “coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.”

Both the first beast and the second beast derive their power from “the dragon” or Satan.   In John’s day, the seat of secular authority was Imperial Rome. 

By the 3rd century AD, Rome had become the seat of religious authority when Emperor Constantine declared Christianity the state church of Rome and the Emperor as Pontifex Maximus of the Christian Church.

“Pontifex Maximus” literally means “the greatest bridge builder” and was the title conferred on the high priest of the College of Pontiffs in ancient pagan Rome. 

The College was ancient Rome’s most sacred priesthood of advisors to the Roman Emperor-god.

The Pontifex Maximus has been applied to the Roman popes since at least the 3rd century.  When political Rome collapsed in the early 5th century, it transferred much of the political power from the state to the Pontifex Maximus. 

The Roman Empire which in John’s day was present tense (beast that is) became the beast that was and is not and yet is. 

The papacy openly ruled Western European Christendom from early 4th century until well after the French Revolution and continues to be the single most politically powerful religious figure on earth.

Is the False Prophet the Roman Catholic pope?  I don’t know.  That often gets me accused of Catholic bashing, but that’s not a fair assessment. I believe the Rapture takes place before either the political antichrist or the False Prophet show up.  

What is a Church after all the Christians are gone?

Assessment:

Whether one wants to take issue with me over the Vatican being the seat of Satan’s power after all the Christians have been Raptured or not is secondary to the question I originally set out to answer. 

Could the Babylon of Revelation be America?  Revelation’s Babylon is presented in two parts; religious Babylon, as described in great detail in Revelation 17, and economic Babylon as described in Chapter 18.

The fall of economic Babylon could easily be interpreted as a description of America in decline:

“And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee;

“And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.”

It sounds like America, home of Nashville, Hollywood and Wall Street, breadbasket to the world and home to the great merchants of the earth.   Certainly, one could line America up with the deception of ‘sorceries’ (Greek, pharmakea, or use of drugs), but that’s as far as one can take America before the Bible shuts it down.

“And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.” (Revelation 18:22-24)

America is not soaked in the blood of prophets and saints – that honor belongs to Rome.

It is just as difficult to find a major role for America during the Tribulation Period as it is to find a role for the Church.   The Bible makes it clear that during the last days, all eyes are on the battlefield.

God’s attention will be turned to Israel and Satan’s attention will be focused on Europe.  America isn’t the Babylon of Revelation. 

Laodicea, maybe.  But not Babylon.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on November 19, 2010

Featured Commentary: A Cosmic Battle for Jerusalem ~Alf Cengia

The Enemy

The Enemy
Vol: 28 Issue: 17 Thursday, November 17, 2016

According to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, the Hebrew word “satan” means “adversary” from the primitive root word satan meaning, “to lie in wait (as an adversary).”

Its first use as a proper name in Scripture is found, appropriately enough, in the sixth verse of the first chapter of the (chronologically) oldest Book in Scripture. 

“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.” Job 1:6 

Because of its age, authorship of the Book of Job is probably the least certain of any book in the Bible. Rabbinic tradition says that Job the son of Uz, who was the son of Nahor brother of Abraham, who lived within living memory of the Flood, sometime around 2000 B. C.

“And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot. And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.” (Genesis 11:26-28)

The author may be Job himself, or possibly Elihu, a contemporary of Job, but Hebrew rabbinic tradition is as unanimous as Hebrew rabbinic tradition can get in its view that the book of Job predates Moses by centuries.

The longevity and lifestyles, the tone of the book, foreign from traditional ancient Hebrew, and the offering of a sacrifice by the head of the family all place Job at a point in history well before the Exodus during the time of the Patriarchs.

The name of Job’s friend, Bildad was short for Yabil Dadum, a name found in cuneiformsources of the second millennium B.C.  

Job is the titular character in a cuneiform composition entitled “Babylonian Job” and the name, “Job” is contained in the Egyptian Execration Texts c.(2000 B.C.)

Additional clues included mention of roving bands of Sabeans and Chaldeans, consistent with the 2nd millennium B.C. and geographic clues suggesting Job was himself a pre-Babylonian Chaldean.

Elihu was a Buzite from northeast Arabia and Eliphaz was from Teman, a city in Edom.

It is safe to conclude that the Book of Job was written by a Chaldean relative of Abram at some point after Abram departed from Ur of the Chaldees at least seven centuries before Moses wrote what are commonly known as the first five books of the Bible.

In previous volumes of the Omega Letter we’ve discussed Dispensationalism, which is the systematic study of Scripture as progressive revelation, and the four classes of created spiritual beings; angels, Gentiles, Jews and Christians.

Job was a Gentile who lived before there were Jews and before God had begun the systematic revelation of His plan for mankind to the Jews in what we know as the Bible.

The Book of Job therefore, stands both outside it and before it. 

Assessment:

“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His Majesty.”( 2nd Peter 1:16)

Why am I going on and on about Job’s dates and location?  To demonstrate that Satan is NOT a mythical being who was invented by the Jews over the course of centuries. 

Satan was not invented by Moses; Satan was well-known to the ancients. So was the one True God.

Much of what Moses wrote down eight hundred years later was already known in the Gentile world when Abraham packed up his family and left the Land of Ur in what is today Iraq and headed for the Promised Land.

Job’s friends, Eilhu, Eliphaz and Bildad were from regions surrounding Ur from northern Arabia in the east to Edom in the West.   

Each of them was well-conversant with the One True God long before Charlton Heston thundered to Yul Brynner, “Let my people go!” and went off to write Genesis.

Job knew about the hydrological cycle, polar ice caps, that wind moves in circular paths, rather than in a straight line, that light was in motion . . .  and about Satan.

“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?” (Job 1:8-9)

Remember, this was centuries before Moses wrote about the Garden of Eden. Because that is the point.

C.S. Lewis once wrote that “Satan’s greatest trick was in convincing man that he does not exist.” If Satan can convince you that he doesn’t really exist, then you are unprepared to withstand him when he attacks. 

“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11)

We know from the Bible that Satan is the most brilliant of all created beings.  He is smarter than the smartest human, more crafty than the craftiest among us, more evil than the most evilamong us, but then we have to confront the fact that he can’t figure out the Bible.

The Bible says in no uncertain terms that he loses at the end.  Secondarily, there is the question of why. What does Satan have to gain by keeping a lost person in the dark or by preventing you from effectively spreading the Gospel? 

According to the Bible, in the last days, Satan will be cast into the Lake of Fire, where the beast and the false prophet are, just like every other sinner.  

So what does he have to gain by keeping you down?  And why bother, since he knows he can’t win? 

What he has to gain is time.  Satan is evidently aware of, and bound by time, just as we are.

“Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” (Revelation 12:12)

Satan has known his time was limited from the beginning.  Job knew of his own redemption and Satan’s defeat eight hundred years before Moses first penned the words, “in the beginning.”

“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)

Satan doesn’t know when the Lord will return at the Rapture, but he knows numbers.  He knows from Romans 8:29 that there is a finite number of people predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son by becoming believers.

“Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified.” (Romans 8:30)

Satan has no more idea how many believers are so predestinated than we do.  He only knows that the Lord won’t start to close down the books on his operation until the very last one comes to Christ.  

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2nd Peter 3:9)

One of the last classes our military warriors attend after going through the staging process and before going into battle is a class called, “Know Your Enemy.”    

For Satan, it’s a numbers game.  He doesn’t care about you, particularly, but he does care about him.  If he can keep you down and keep you from sharing the Gospel, that keeps the numbers down. 

If he can convince his prospects that he doesn’t exist, that keeps the numbers down.

He knows that he doesn’t have to start racing against the clock until his number comes up.  And for all he knows, you are the one holding that spiritual bullet with his name on it. 

And he knows that his odds are getting worse with every passing day. 

“. . .  for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because heknoweth that he hath but a short time.” (Revelation 12:12)

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on May 31, 2011

Featured Commentary: Giving God the Credit ~J.L. Robb

What’s in a Name?

What’s in a Name?
Vol: 28 Issue: 16 Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The world’s leaders take great pains to point out that true Islam is a religion of peace and love and that those who learn from Islam that it is a perfectly acceptable form of worship to murder innocent men, women and children are practicing some ‘perversion’ of the religion of peace and love.

Right off the bat, there is a clue here. Religion is never about ‘peace and love’. Judaism is filled with examples of religious wars that were neither peaceful nor particularly loving. God is love.

Religion is not God. As noted previously, religion is an expression of man’s effort to make himself acceptable to God by practicing certain rituals and adhering to certain rules.

It has been accurately stated that more wars have been fought over religious disputes and in the name of religion than any other cause. But God isn’t religion.

God is, for want of a better term, an excuse for religion, but one doesn’t even require a living God to have a religion. Any old god will do.

Heck, when it comes to religion, if you can’t find a suitable god to worship, you can just make up your own.

Even Jesus scoffed at the notion of religion being the same as God, telling the woman at thewell:

“Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe Me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. . . But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:21.23-24)

Rather than seeing religion as an expression of peace and love, Jesus’ mission was to abolish the religious traditions that had perverted the worship of God into something to be worshippedinstead of God. What He pictured didn’t sound like ‘peace and love’ at all . . .

“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” (Matthew 10:34-36)

Jesus never taught anything EXCEPT peace, telling His followers that loving God above all things and loving one’s neighbor as himself was the distilled sum of the Ten Commandments.

Following the Ten Commandments as a religious practice, Jesus said, was keeping the letter of the Law while ignoring its spirit.

He accused religion of dispossessing the old, the widows, the infirm, and called the religious leaders of His day a generation of ‘vipers’.

Christianity, as taught by Scripture, is anything BUT a religion. It is a personal relationship with Christ based on the understanding that all men are sinners. (That is hardly a religious observation. If it were not true, we would have no use for a legal system.)

All men are accountable for their sin. Every religion, no matter which deity they follow, is rooted in the notion of accountability to someone or some thing for sin.

But religion has a system for satisfying the accountability for sin by balancing the scales with good works or works of penance that THEY deem acceptable to God. In some Christian versions of religion, Jesus plays some role, but only within a religious context.

So, by the very pronouncement by world leaders that Islam is, at its root, a ‘religion of peace and love’ is proof positive that they don’t have even the faintest idea of what they are talking about.

Compounding their ignorance, they proclaim Allah to be one and the same with the God of the Bible, making Islam one of the world’s three ‘great monotheistic religions’.

Assessment:

It never ceased to amaze me when the President of the United States ignores the so-called ‘separation clause’ and declares the Koran ‘holy’, legitimizes Allah as a deity, makes declarative doctrinal statements advancing Islam as a ‘great religion’ rooted in ‘peace and love’ — there isn’t a peep from the ACLU.

Where is the ‘Reverend’ Barry Whatshisname from ‘People from the American Way’ or ‘Christians United Against Christianity’ or whatever his outfit is named?

‘Reverend’ Barry shows up as often as the fat guy in the Di Tech commercials whenever somebody starts defending a Christmas scene or a Ten Commandments monument.

Why isn’t he all over the airwaves condemning the United States government for promoting Islam as a legitimate religion of peace and love when he objects to school kids acknowledging America as one nation under God?

Well, the simplest answer is also the most obvious. The name ‘Allah’ doesn’t invoke the same visceral sense of revulsion as does the Name, Jesus.

Interesting, when you think about it. Under the banner of Allah, thousands of their countrymen have been murdered.

Allah’s forces are conspiring, even now, to murder thousands, maybe tens of thousands, more. Maybe even some of them.

But the president’s promotion of Islam as a religion of ‘peace and love’, one ‘honored and respected’ by the government of the United States, one declared ‘holy’ from the Oval Office and one of the world’s ‘great religions’ went utterly unnoticed.

But the posting of a monument to the Ten Commandments as an endorsement of Christianity not only sends them ballistic, it has the Supreme Court making religious doctrine a matter of law.

You see, that is only possible with a ‘religion’ — which is why religions are never about ‘peace and love’.

(How do YOU feel about court-imposed religious doctrine? Peaceful? Loving? Or furious?)

Let me explain. The Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Ten Commandments as a prohibited Christian symbol is a religious doctrinal declaration.

The Ten Commandments are not a symbol of Christianity. They are the evidence of the NEED for Christianity.

The Bible says that nobody ever kept the Ten Commandments. Therefore, judicially, all men fell under the hopeless condemnation of sin. The Ten Commandments are the expression of man’s hopeless condition before God APART from Christianity.

The Ten Commandments, doctrinally speaking, are not Christian in any sense of Christian theology.

They are the basis for Jewish Law, given by God to Moses who then passed them down to theJews, before they were fulfilled (and therefore nullified) by Jesus Christ, Who replaced the Law with Grace.

But because one can attach ‘Jesus’ to the Ten Commandments in a sentence, by Supreme Declaration, the Ten Commandments become a legal part of Christian doctrine and therefore an illegal endorsement of Christianity.

But it is pretty difficult to attach the Name ‘Jesus’ to anything resembling a religion that teaches salvation by murdering innocents.

So the ACLU, Barry Whosis and the League to Destroy all Mention of the One True God are all busy buying gum, or getting haircuts, or practicing for their next Supreme Court argument that a county courthouse is the equivalent under the 1st Amendment to ‘Congress’.

So we can promote Islam all day long without fear of lawsuits. Indeed, there exist in the American school system, MANDATORY curriculums that amount to immersion course in Islam, complete with the taking of an Islamic name, studying the Koran, and practicing Islamic rituals.

And since the only ones objecting are Christian legal groups like the Rutherford Institute, they seldom make their way past the first appeals court, if they are heard at all.

One common ‘virtue’ shared by guys like the ACLU, Barry Whosisname, ‘People for the Abolition of Spiritual Joy’ the American Atheists Union (” Can I believe in my cause and still be an atheist?”), the ‘Muslim Council for the Peaceful Extermination of Christians and Jews’ (“Death To America! Like my car? It’s new!”) is that they exhibit a visceral, almost pathological hatred for Jesus Christ and those who claim Him.

They don’t care who they ally themselves with, and it isn’t even that they are aware that they are doing it. To them, all the different gods are more or less the same, so who cares?

Except for Jesus. There is something about Jesus.

All the rest of the gods promise there are many ways to salvation, or no salvation to be had, or no need for salvation, or endless reincarnation, or they make ridiculous promises like 72 virgins with transparent legs and all the dope you can smoke.

They are unworthy of attention. They represent no threat to the god of this world. They are all on the same side.

When it comes to Allah, Vishnu, Buddha, Mohammed, Homer Simpson, it is pretty much the same. The world can take them or leave them. But Jesus claims that there is only one way to salvation, and that is through faith in Him. NOBODY can ‘take or leave’ Jesus.

There are those who wail, “if only there were some evidence that Jesus is real.” Nobody gets that worked up over the Tooth Fairy. Or Santa Claus.

The mere fact that the Name of Jesus can evoke the fury that it does among His enemies proves His reality.

The mere fact that someone supposedly dead for two thousand years can HAVE enemies is pretty powerful evidence. Especially when one takes a close look at who His enemies are.

Even though we are at war with Islam, nobody freaks out at the mention of Mohammed. No emergency ACLU filings follow the president’s promotion of Islam as a ‘great religion’ or of the Koran as ‘holy’ — even though the Koran is the inspiration for the war we are now fighting!

Because instinctively, the world knows that Allah isn’t real. That the Koran isn’t Divinely inspired. But they recoil at the Name of Jesus because, just as instinctively, they know that He IS real. Whether they admit it to themselves or not, they betray themselves by their reaction.

What is in a Name? Everything. Conviction of sin. A reminder of eternal accountability. A call to repentance. And another unwanted choice. Another hated spiritual confrontation. All that in the utterance of a single Name.

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other Name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

At some level, all of us know instinctively, deep in our consciousness, somewhere, that Jesus is real, He is alive and He is God. Even the lost. Just listen to how much they hate Him.

What else is in a Name? Life eternal.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on  July 19, 2005

Featured Commentary: England Swings ~Wendy Wippel

Discerning the Times

Discerning the Times
Vol: 28 Issue: 15 Tuesday, November 15, 2016

We live in an age of miracles unlike any the world has ever known. In this generation, man has unlocked the secret of the genome, can ‘create’ life in a test tube, can duplicate that which is already created [cloning], develop medicines and compounds that can prolong life, and it seems as if there is almost nothing that we cannot do.

Science expects to one day be able to control the elements, bring rain where drought is, anticipate natural disasters like earthquakes, and perhaps, even prevent them.

We can travel outside our atmosphere, and one day expect to reach distant stars. In the natural, it would seem that there is nothing we will not eventually be able to do.

Science has pretty much been able to naturalize, internalize and explain away what were, in previous generations, miracles, reducing them to probabilities, equations, charts and graphs.

With one exception. We can do everything except tell the future. The future contains too many variables to accurately predict. Take the restoration of Israel, for example. Israel was destroyed in 702 BC by the Assyrian king, Sargon II, who conquered the kingdom of Israel.

It was common practice for a conqueror to uproot and displace the conquered people to another part of the empire, repopulating that place with a conquered people from somewhere else.

The reason for that was to separate a people from their land, which effectively prevented uprisings. The northern Kingdom of Israel was scattered throughout the Assyrian Empire, and was effectively lost to history, leaving only the tiny southern kingdom of Judah.

A century later, the Kingdom of Judah was similarly conquered by the Kingdom of Babylon, who also displaced its population, deporting them into captivity in Babylon.

To a Jew living in Babylon during the Captivity, it seemed certain that Judah would go the way of Israel and would similarly be lost to history.

Yet the prophets of the Captivity, like Daniel and Ezekiel, wrote confidently that in the last days, there would again be a nation called ‘Israel’ and that its citizens would once again inhabit the same piece of real estate from which they had been displaced, seemingly forever.

Yet Ezekiel wrote,

“And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.” (Ezekiel 34:13)

The Jews would be gathered from the countries, and brought into THEIR OWN LAND, upon the mountains of ISRAEL, and not some other place.

Writing of the Gog Magog invasion, God inspired Ezekiel to prophesy;

“After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.” (Ezekiel 38:8)

In this passage, we find the time frame in which Ezekiel’s prophecy would come to pass — ‘after many days, in the latter years’. And again, we find that it is not Judah, but ISRAEL, of whom the prophet prophesied. That they would be ‘brought forth from the nations’ to a land that had ‘always been waste’ — until they returned.

For more than 2,500 years, this prophecy remained dormant, until, on May 14, 1948, the survivors of the Holocaust were ‘brought forth’ under the banner of ‘never again’ to the ‘mountains of Israel’ — which ‘had always been waste’ as the nation of ‘Israel’.

In his book, ‘Personal Witness’ Abba Eban, one of the founders of Israel, noted that when David Ben-Gurion cabled President Truman to ask the United States to recognize the Jewish state, the Jews still hadn’t decided what to call it.

Eban noted, ‘Some wanted to call it Zion, others Judah . . .what about ‘Israel’?’ The name was chosen only hours before the state came into existence.

In 1897, the 1st Zionist Congress petitioned the government of Great Britain for a Jewish state in what is today the African country of Uganda. The British told the Jews to petition the Ottoman Empire, who at that time controlled Palestine.

The Jews would have settled for Uganda as a Jewish homeland, but the prophets said that the Jewish homeland of the last days would be ‘on the mountains of Israel’. And that is exactly what happened.

The prophet Daniel, also writing from captivity in Babylon, penned the future history of Israel, [a nation that had not existed for a century] dividing its future into 70 weeks of years. During the 70th and final week, Daniel prophesied the revival of an empire [Rome] that, in Daniel’s day, would not see its FIRST incarnation for another 500 years.

Today, the nation of Israel exists, composed of a people ‘brought forth from the nations’ while, for the first time in 2000 years, a European superstate made up of what had once been the territory of the Roman Empire, seeks involvement in a peace process that Daniel said would be confirmed by a leader of a revived Rome.

Israel was reborn in 1948, as the embryonic European Community of nations was being born out of the 1948 Benelux Treaty.

According to Jesus, the generation that would see His return would be one in which there would 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)

It would be a period of ‘wars and rumors of wars,’ when,

“nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.” (Matthew 24:6-7)

Jesus noted that;

“All these are the beginning of sorrows” (v.8)

Bible prophecy was given the Church so that,

“ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it [His return] is nigh, even at the doors.” (Mark 13:29)

We are indeed living in the ‘age of miracles’ but they are miracles of God, against which the miracles of science cannot possibly compete.

We in this generation have been given the unspeakable gift of certainty that the Lord is about to return, a warning that time is running out, and a renewed commission to go out into all the earth and make disciples of all nations, before time has run out.

No man can know the future, but the God of Creation foretold it –in detail — so that there could be no misunderstanding. The Lord is about to return.

“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)

“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.”

“Wherefore, comfort one another with these words.” (1st Thessalonians 4:16-18)

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on February 15, 2005

Heaven and a Billion Dollars

Heaven and a Billion Dollars
Vol: 28 Issue: 14 Monday, November 14, 2016

The Bible has almost as much to say about heaven as it does about hell. What is heaven really like? Can we know on this side of eternity, or do we have to wait until we get our wings, cloud assignment and tub of cream cheese, first?

First, how many ‘heavens’ are there? The word ‘heaven’ has three meanings in Scripture.Genesis 1:6-8 calls the atmosphere surrounding the earth ‘heaven’.

Genesis 1:14-19 and Psalms 19:1 makes reference to outer space, the abode of the sun, moon and stars, as ‘heaven’.

And finally, heaven is the place where God has His Throne. It is from this ‘heaven’ that Jesus came to the earth.

“And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” (John 3:13)

It is the place to which Jesus ascended after His resurrection.

The Scriptures tell us that heaven is the home of the Living God and of angels too numerous to count.

“But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels.” (Hebrews 12:22)

It is also the abode of the spirits of redeemed men.

“To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect.” (Hebrews 12:23)

This heaven the Apostle Paul called the ‘third heaven’ (2nd Corinthians 12:2). The Bible tells us much about the characteristics of heaven, without ever once mentioning Philly Cream Cheese.

The part most people have the most trouble with is the holy nature of heaven. It is a place without sin or evil. While we like to imagine what that must be like, existence without sin or evil is so unimaginable to our carnal minds that it sounds boring.

Kraft Foods is running a series of commercials in which the boring existence of heaven is livened up a little bit with some Philly cream cheese for years now.

The commercial series is still running because it resonates in our thinking . . . what else IS there to do in heaven except sit on a cloud, play a harp, and pray for a little cream cheese to add some ‘sinful’ excitement to the place?

In truth, it is as impossible for the human mind to grasp existence without sin as it is for us to imagine a new prime color.

It is one reason that even some saved Christians are afraid to die, even if they only admit that fear to themselves. Sin and conflict is all we know, and existence without it, despite our abhorrence of it, doesn’t seem very interesting.

Heaven is a place of worship. The Book of the Revelation depicts heaven as a place of non-stop worship of God, and of the Lamb; by the twenty-four elders, by the four ‘beasts’ that surround God’s Throne, by the innumerable company of angels, and by the spirits of the redeemed.

If I dare to say so, even to the regenerated mind of this redeemed Christian, that sounds a little boring, too.

Heaven is also a place of unimaginable beauty. “Unimaginable” is a word that gets used a lot by we mortals to describe heaven. There’s a reason for that.

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” (1st Corinthians 2:9)

Whether saved or lost, it is beyond the scope of human limitations to imagine what heaven is like.

But we know some concrete facts about heaven. We know, for example, that there are mansions there, prepared for us by Jesus Christ Himself;

“In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2)

We know that there are rivers (Revelation 22:1); trees (22:2); horses (Revelation 19:14); heavenly odors and constant music (Psalms 45:8).

Heaven is a place devoid of unpleasantness; Revelation 21:4 tells us that in heaven, there is no sorrow, no pain, and no death.

Heaven, the Scriptures say, is a place where everybody attains their earthly goal of being just like Jesus.

“For both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren.” (Hebrews 2:11)

In Heaven, we will recognize our loved ones and each other. Luke 10:20 tells us that our names are recorded in heaven and we will be known by our names.

Moses and Elijah were recognized by Peter even though he had never seen them before. (Matthew 17:3-4)

The rich man in hell that Jesus described in Luke 16:23 recognized and knew — by name — both Lazarus and Abraham. In heaven, we will have perfect recognition.

It is unreasonable to assume that I can recognize my friends and family now, here on earth, but once having reached heaven, I will know less than I do now.

The Scriptures promise I will know MORE, not less.

To my mind, heaven makes the same kind of picture that a billion dollars does. I know it exists, it know its a enormous number, but a billion dollars is not something that makes a picture in my mind.

It would take thirty-two years, working 24/7, just to COUNT a billion one dollar bills.

A billion dollars, even to a billionaire, gets lumped into the generic mental folder of ‘a lot’. We know what a billion dollars IS, in the abstract. But in practical terms, it’s more than you can imagine.

About the closest I can come to getting a practical mental image of heaven is by starting in reverse.

Many times in my mind’s eye, I return to the sand dunes along the beach, looking out at the Atlantic, listening the crashing of the surf, smelling the salt in the air, feeling the warm ocean breezes against my skin . . . it was to THIS place that God cast the devil and his angels as punishment for their rebellion.

The angels hate it here. The heavenly angels avoid it unless sent by God. The Scriptures say they are mystified by man’s love for the things of the world.

The fallen angels hate it — and us even more — because they were banished to the ‘cosmosdiabolicus’ — at the center of which is that beautiful ocean beach I love so much.

To the angels that have seen heaven, that beautiful white-sand beach, crashing surf, warm ocean breezes and the smell of the sea-salt in the air is the worst place God could have banished them to.

We cannot imagine heaven, but we can imagine the most heavenly place on earth. And we have the testimony of the angels that the most heavenly place on earth is a horrific wasteland by comparison with heaven.

And heaven is filled with the Presence of the Lord. That indescribable feeling that we have with our Savior during those fleeting moments when He makes his Presence known to us in prayer is a permanent condition in heaven.

That little ‘witness’ we sometimes feel (I think of it as a spiritual ‘hug’) will be replaced with a perfect sense of fellowship with the Lord that will go on for eternity.

We can’t picture heaven. But we can know it is there. And we can know that we will one day see it, with our own eyes.

The Book of Job is, chronologically, one of the oldest books of the Bible, and dates to the time of Abraham. Job lived before Moses received the Law, before Judaism had developed as a religious structure, before there were rabbis, interpreters or teachers.

Job lived before Judaism introduced the religious concept of the resurrection of the dead or the existence of either heaven or hell.

What Job knew was revealed to him by God Himself;

“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)

“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:” (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Heaven is real. Hell is real. Salvation is real.

And so is judgment.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on October 10, 2008

Featured Commentary: This Was Your Life ~Pete Garcia

Tribulation Saints and ‘The Mark’

Tribulation Saints and ‘The Mark’
Vol: 28 Issue: 12 Saturday, November 12, 2016

I received an email from a member asking, “Upon what grounds will a believer be saved during the Tribulation Period?” It was an intriguing question, one that we’ve not touched upon in any great detail in previous discussions.

My correspondent framed his question around the acceptance of the Mark of the Beast and a ‘paradox’ he sees facing those who might accept it under coercion.
Specifically, he asked,

“During the Tribulation, if a “believer” is threatened with the choice between either taking the Mark upon himself, or becoming “responsible” for a horrendous evil act otherwise aimed upon their child, doesn’t a feasible scenario present itself whereby a believer may choose to take the Mark. How can these two apparent “truths” occur coincidentally, and form a contradiction?”

Another excellent question. Researching the answers was most illuminative, and I thank my correspondent for posing them. At the same time, the answers themselves are among those ‘hard sayings’ of Scripture. 

Let’s go with the Mark first. 

The Mark of the Beast is not merely an economic medium of exchange, like a debit or credit card, although it will incorporate that function. If that were all there was to it, my correspondent’s paradox would be valid. 

The Mark of the Beast is first and foremost a worship system. So now, we have crossed over from the material to the spiritual. 

“And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not WORSHIP the image of the beast should be killed.” (Revelation 13:15)

The Mark is a symbol of membership in the ‘church’ of antichrist, and among the privileges of membership under his rule is the right to life, a form of liberty and the right to pursue a form of economic happiness. 

But the Bible makes plain that no man can serve two masters. 

To the question of whether or not accepting the Mark to save a life is paradoxical, James answers that question with a question of his own:

“For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” (James 4:14

There are two distinct and separate understandings of ‘life’ at work here. There is our understanding of life, under which one might be tempted to take the Mark of the Beast, say, to save one’s child. 

Then there is God’s understanding of life. Physical life is granted to us so that we can choose where we will spend eternity. 

Since the main purpose in the spiritual sense for our physical existence is to exercise that choice, the choice we make is of far greater importance than the physical existence that provides the opportunity to choose. 

Is the Bible specific concerning the choice to accept the Mark of the Beast and worship his image? 

“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” (Revelation 14:9-11)

There is no paradox here. The choice is the same as it has always been. It was the same choice that Joshua offered the children of Israel more than three thousand years ago. 

“And if it seem evil  
http://www.omegaletter.com/admin/tinymce/themes/advanced/langs/en.js
unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15)

During the early persecution of the Church, many martyrs were given the choice between worshipping Caesar or seeing their entire families thrown to the lions. 

Those who accept a martyr’s death are promised a crown, but nowhere does the Bible grant an exemption for those who reject Jesus, coercion notwithstanding. Not in the Church Age, and not during the Tribulation. 

“Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.” (Luke 17:33)

The second question asks, “Upon what grounds will a believer be saved during the Tribulation?” The short answer would appear to be, “the same grounds upon which believers are saved during the Church Age” — salvation by grace through faith. But that isn’t exactly accurate. 

During the Tribulation, God’s grace, as we understand it in this Dispensation, is withdrawn. The Age of Grace concludes with the Rapture. The Tribulation Period is the final, unfulfilled week of the Age of the Law. 

Revelation Chapter 7 describes an event so unique that Jesus devotes an entire chapter to its discussion. It describes a special ‘sealing’ of “the servants of our God in their foreheads.” (Revelation 7:3) These ‘servants of God’ are twelve thousand Jewish male virgins chosen from each of the twelve tribes of Israel — 144,000 in all. 

They are sealed in a miraculous manner, by the direct intervention of God, in exactly the same way Church Age believers are, through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. 

Jesus was sealed by the Holy Spirit.

“And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16-17)

 Church Age believers are sealed. “. . . in Whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.” (Ephesians 1:13

The sealing work of the Holy Spirit is the basis for our eternal security during the Church Age. Among the spiritual benefits of being sealed by the Holy Spirit are: 

1) Men receive courage to rebuke sin: Matt. 3:8 

2) Men are enabled to speak with confidence: Acts 4:31-33 

3) Gives spiritual and moral strength: 2 Samuel 22:40Isaiah 28:26Isaiah 40:31;41:10Daniel 11:32Ephesians 3:16 

4) Provides strength in weakness: 1 Corinthians 1:272 Corinthians 12:913:4 

5) Provides spiritual gifts: Romans 12:6Ephesians 4:11

Returning to the question at hand, the 144,000 evangelists are sealed by the Holy Spirit to empower them as evangelists during the Tribulation Period, because it is only through the conviction of the Holy Spirit that men can be saved.

The doctrine of eternal security is due to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in all believers during the Age of Grace. 

During the final Week of the Age of the Law, the universal ministry of the Holy Spirit is withdrawn. (2nd Thessalonians 2:7)

He then indwells believers only selectively, as He did during David’s time, when David cried out, “Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.” (Psalms 51:11

There will be believers in the Tribulation who will succumb to the antichrist’s coercion and accept his mark to save their families. And Scripture is clear that those who do are forever lost. 

Tribulation believers will be saved by faith in Christ and enduring until the end, as in the Church Age, but without the guarantee of eternal security or the automatic indwelling of the Holy Spirit. 

Jesus described the tribulation as, “such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” 

He warned that, “except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” (Matthew 24:21-22

It is our job on this side of the Tribulation to give the warning of what is to come. It is coming. And it is coming soon. 

Our blessed hope is found in the Scripture’s promise that Jesus comes for His Church first. 

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

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on  November 5, 2005

If You Are Reading This in English, Thank a Vet

If You Are Reading This in English, Thank a Vet
Vol: 28 Issue: 11 Friday, November 11, 2016

Tiny Melton was a truck driver from Missouri. Tiny got his nickname in boot camp after his drill instructor took one look at his 6’4″ 220lb frame and said, ”From now on, son, your name is Tiny.”

The name stuck. Tiny looked like a body-builder, but it was just the way he looked, he didn’t work at it. And as big as he was, he was as gentle as a lamb. 

Tiny always put me in mind of Clint Walker’s character, “Posey” in the 60’s war movie, “The Dirty Dozen.” 

Lynwood Richardson was from Alabama. Lynn was black, his skin a deep, rich ebony color. He was rechristened by his drill instructor as ‘Snowball’. 

Richardson was a great runner, but a lousy athlete. It was a dirty little secret then, but I suppose it’s safe to admit it now. 

In those days, it was fairly common for the drill instructor to cheat a little in order to squeeze somebody by some parts of the physical fitness test. 

The tester was a drill instructor from another platoon. Snowball couldn’t do the requisite number of pull ups — my DI had me wear his sweatshirt and do them for him. (Snowball did the 3 mile run wearing my sweatshirt while I wore Pvt. Brunson’s and did his situps.) 

Sherman Latchaw was a little bitty guy from Pennsylvania — he didn’t weigh 95 pounds dripping wet. He wore great big, oversized glasses that made him look like the little kid ‘Sherman’ from the Mr. Peabody cartoons. 

But, since his name was ALREADY Sherman, we called him ‘Poindexter.’ Poindexter looked like a stiff wind would knock him over. But he whipped every guy he was matched up with in hand-to-hand combat training. Poindexter, the little guy with the big glasses, graduated at the top of his boot camp class. 

Terry Severance was from Pennsylvania, as well. For some reason, he and I didn’t hit it off that well at first. One of the duties shared by each recruit in boot camp was ‘firewatch’ duty. Each recruit in turn pulled a one-hour patrol of the barracks at night, before waking up the next man. 

Terry fell asleep and when he woke me, it was halfway through my turn. Somehow, we ended up having a fight in the shower room — me barefoot in my skivvies, he in full dungaree uniform and combat boots. 

I don’t remember who won, but I remember we were friends from them on. 

My drill instructor was a guy named S/Sgt. J. R. James. When he found out I was Canadian, he nicknamed me ‘Wacky Jack’ — whenever another DI stopped by, Sgt. James would invite him to inspect ‘his pet Canadian’ whereupon I would race to the center of the squadbay to be ‘inspected.’ 

They’d look me over and say things like, “No wonder the Canadians sent him down here.” and, “they don’t grow ’em too sturdy up there, do they?” and other kind words of encouragement. (I kept part of the nickname — I dropped the ‘Wacky’ part and only had to put up with it when I ran into somebody from my old platoon) 

Mike Tuscan was a decent guy, quiet, steady, and somebody you knew you could count on when the chips were down. He was a fairly nondescript looking guy, you’d pass him on the street without a second glance. 

The last time I saw him, he had made it to S/Sgt in less than three years — quite an accomplishment for a Marine so bland that HIS nickname was ‘Mike’.

Assessment:

The Lord Jesus said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

I spent the Veteran’s Day weekend watching old war movies with my buddies. It sounds boring to some, but there is a real education there, if one takes the time to study the lessons offered. 

The WWII movies I like the best were the ones Hollywood was churning out in the early years of the war when its outcome was still in doubt. Hollywood didn’t understand the enemy, and it didn’t try to. 

Instead, they stuck to what they DID understand; we were good, the enemy was bad, they started it, and it was up to us to finish it. Our soldiers were heroic, brutal yet honorable, a force for good in an epic struggle with evil incarnate. 

The war turned out the way Hollywood scripted it. We utterly destroyed our enemies and marched home in triumph. 

We watched a couple of movies set during the Korean War, and one could see a subtle shift. Our forces were still brave, but so were the enemy’s. The main characters were not quite so fierce, not quite so honorable; the enemy was not quite so evil, our cause not quite so just. 

The Korea War ended in stalemate. Nobody won, nobody lost, and the Korean War has yet to formally draw to a conclusion. 

Then Hollywood moved on to Vietnam. We watched “Platoon” and “Full Metal Jacket” and “Hamburger Hill”. In those films, it was hard to figure out exactly who the enemy really was or which side to root for. 

Vietnam ended in a loss. Or as observed by a character in the Clint Eastwood film, “Heartbreak Ridge” the score was 1, 0 and 0 for our side. 

In post-Vietnam war movies, no matter which conflict they chronicled, there were no ‘good’ guys’ — just some guys were worse than others. 

In the most recent war movies, our forces are depicted as dangerous psychopathic Nazi wannabes — unless they are gay, disloyal or cowards, like the hero in the slanderous 2004 movie, “Jarhead.”

It was like watching our society implode in fast forward. 

But the men who fought those wars didn’t change. There is no difference between a Japanese bullet and a Taliban bullet — when it is fired at you. 

Marines from all these wars didn’t fight for governments or to advance some kind of unpopular foreign policy. They fought for their buddies, for their flag, for their families — and for the ungrateful morons who can’t tell the difference.

I spent the rest of the day remembering.

I remembered Tiny Melton, Lynn Richardson, Terry Severence, Sherman Latchaw and all the rest.  To the many veterans among our membership, I apologize on behalf of the ignorant among us.  And to all the millions before and since, I add my heartfelt thanks. 

There is a bumper sticker out there that sums it all up nicely; 

“If You Are Reading This in English, Thank a Vet.”

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on May 25, 2009

Featured Commentary: The Global Glorification of Islam ~Alf Cengia

Beginning of Wisdom

Beginning of Wisdom
Vol: 28 Issue: 10 Thursday, November 10, 2016

For most of the 20th century, the best-known, and arguably most influential atheist in the English-speaking world was English philosophy professor Antony Flew.

The Oxford-educated Flew was the son of a Methodist minister who regularly attended lectures by famed Christian apologist C. S. Lewis.

Although his field was the philosophy of religion, Flew’s reputation as a prominent atheist thinker and apologist with the 1966 publication of “God and Philosophy” and his 1984 work, “The Presumption of Atheism.”

In 2004, at age eighty-one, Professor Flew renounced his belief in atheism with the publication of a new book entitled, “There is a God.”

Flew’s ‘conversion’ was primarily intellectual, rather than spiritual — he didn’t convert to Christianity, but rather, he came to the intellectual conclusion that atheism was unsupportable and that the evidence supported the existence of a Deity.

To a Christian, that doesn’t seem like much of a leap, but the atheist community was scandalized.

In 2006, when Flew joined eleven other British academics in petitioning the British government to teach Intelligent Design, the secular community lashed out.

The New York Times Mark Oppenheimer reported that Flew’s book had been ghost-written by Roy Abraham Varghese and that the book reflected Varghese’s religious perspective — and not Professor Flew’s.

In his article, Oppenheimer characterizes Flew as a senile old man being manipulated and exploited by evangelical Christians for their own ends.

Varghese denied it, but the New York Times seldom allows the truth to interfere with a good story, and the Flew story was no exception.

Finally, Flew himself issued a statement through his publisher, Harper Collins, in which he set the record straight:

“My name is on the book and it represents exactly my opinions. I would not have a book issued in my name that I do not 100 percent agree with. I needed someone to do the actual writing because I’m 84 and that was Roy Varghese’s role. The idea that someone manipulated me because I’m old is exactly wrong. I may be old but it is hard to manipulate me. This is my book and it represents my thinking.”

Flew’s conversion was, as I noted earlier, intellectual, rather than spiritual. Professor Flew changed his mind as a result of what he considered to be hard evidence, not faith.

In an interview following his book’s publication, Flew explained;

“What I think the DNA material has done is that it has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce (life), that intelligence must have been involved in getting these extraordinary diverse elements to work together.”

Assessment:

The antipathy of the secular humanist community for their former champion is understandable. Flew’s transformation, in the eyes of his followers, from ‘enlightened thinker’ to ‘demented old man’ was a necessity.

Had Flew simply become a Christian, his ‘conversion’ would have been much easier to dismiss. Atheists don’t view Christians as demented, but rather as delusional, which is both a distinction and a difference.

Christians might be irrationally optimistic, but no intellectually honest thinker would care to argue that C. S. Lewis was mentally defective.

Christians come to faith as the result of being convicted of their sinful state, which to the secular mind is the same as being motivated by guilt.

A secular thinker understands what ‘guilt’ means, even if he finds the concept of an Eternal Judge irrational. But Flew’s conversion wasn’t motivated by an understandable, if “irrational” sense of guilt.

Flew’s conversion was the consequence of reasoned analysis, based on the otherwise inexplicable scientific evidence of Intelligent Design revealed by DNA research.

That is why his book, “There Is A God” had to be dismissed as either the confused ravings of a demented old man, or as a fraud perpetrated by a manipulative ghost writer.

A Deist is really a rational atheist stripped of both his intellectual comfort level, and of most of his best arguments.

An atheist is convinced there is no God, no heaven, (and especially!) no hell, no eternal accountability and, most importantly of all, in the supremacy of man.

At the end of this life, there is only the certain darkness of the grave. Nothing to worry about. Just a cessation of consciousness.

Deists, on the other hand, have neither the confidence of the atheist, nor the assurance of salvation that motivates the Christian. They arrive at their conclusion that there is an Intelligent Designer behind our existence based on reason, logic and evidence, but refuse to accept the notion of a personal God by faith.

Deists leave the questions of heaven, hell, eternity, etc., to theologians, but in so doing, leave themselves with fewer answers than either atheists or Christians do.

To a Deist “Intelligent Design” can mean anything from a Creator God to space aliens.

The atheist’s insurance is that he is accountable only to himself. The Christian’s assurance is that Christ has made Himself accountable on his behalf.

The Deist has neither insurance nor assurance, just a vague sense of ultimate accountability to some kind of Deity.

It takes little faith to acknowledge what can’t be explained away, but for Dr. Flew, it’s a beginning.

The Bible teaches that the “fool hath said in his heart, there is no God” but that, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on February 26, 2008

Featured Commentary: Karma or God’s Discipline ~J.L. Robb

The Day God Saved America

The Day God Saved America
Vol: 28 Issue: 9 Wednesday, November 9, 2016

On August 19, 1814 British warships sailed into Chesapeake Bay and up the Patuxent River headed toward Washington. The British mission was to capture Washington DC and take revenge for the burning of the British capital of Upper Canada at Newark, (now Niagara-on-the-Lake.)

Forty-five hundred British soldiers landed at Benedict, Maryland and headed towards Washington, where a force of 7,000 colonial troops waited nervously. The two armies met on August 24 along the banks of the Potomac during 100 degree heat.

The British Army quickly routed the less disciplined American volunteers, mostly due to a series of American blunders and a new British rocket that did little damage, but unnerved the raw American troops with a very loud, shrill noise.

President Madison and Secretary of State Monroe, who had led a group of officials to watch the battle, were almost captured in the confusion. After the battle, the British Army marched quickly into Washington while American soldiers, United States government officials, and residents fled the city.

The only reason the war didn’t end right then and there in favor of the British was because there were no officials left in Washington from whom the British could seek terms of surrender. The British admiral ate dinner in the White House and then gave the order to set fire to Washington.

George Gleig was part of the British force that invaded Washington in the summer of 1814 and later penned this eyewitness account:

“In this general devastation were included the Senate House, the President’s palace, an extensive dockyard and arsenal, barracks for two or three thousand men, several large storehouses filled with naval and military stores, some hundreds of cannon of different descriptions, and nearly twenty thousand stand of small arms. There were also two or three public rope works which shared the same fate, a fine frigate pierced for sixty guns and just ready to be launched, several gun brigs and armed schooners, with a variety of gunboats and small craft. The powder magazines were, of course, set on fire, and exploded with a tremendous crash, throwing down many houses in their vicinity, partly by pieces of the wall striking them, and partly by the concussion of the air whilst quantities of shot, shell, and hand grenades, which could not otherwise be rendered useless, were thrown into the river. . . “

“. . . When the detachment sent out to destroy Mr. Madison’s house entered his dining parlor, they found a dinner table spread and covers laid for forty guests. Several kinds of wine, in handsome cut glass decanters, were cooling on the sideboard; plate holders stood by the fireplace, filled with dishes and plates; knives, forks, and spoons were arranged for immediate use; in short, everything was ready for the entertainment of a ceremonious party. Such were the arrangements in the dining room, whilst in the kitchen were others answerable to them in every respect. . .”

“. . . having satisfied their appetites with fewer complaints than would have probably escaped their rival gourmands, and partaken pretty freely of the wines, they finished by setting fire to the house which had so liberally entertained them.”

Within hours, the White House, the Capitol, and many other public buildings and residences were burning. On the morning of August 25, Washington was still burning.

Throughout the morning and early afternoon, the British soldiers continued to set fires and destroy ammunition supplies and defenses around the city.

As the soldiers spread fire and destruction throughout the city, the early afternoon sky began to darken and lightning and thunder signaled the approach of a thunderstorm. As the storm entered the city, a funnel dropped out of the clouds and right into the center of the British occupation.

Buildings were lifted off of their foundations and dashed to bits. Other buildings were blown down or lost their roofs. Feather beds were sucked out of homes and scattered about.

Trees were uprooted, fences were blown down, and the heavy chain bridge across the Potomac River was buckled and rendered useless.

A few British cannons were picked up by the winds and thrown through the air. The collapsing buildings and flying debris killed several British soldiers.

Many of the soldiers did not have time to take cover from the winds and they laid face down in the streets. One account describes how a British officer on horseback did not dismount and the winds slammed both horse and rider violently to the ground.

It was followed by a soaking rain that lasted more than two hours. The heavy rains quenched most of the fires in the city, preventing the British from burning the city completely to the ground.

As the British were preparing to leave the city, the following conversation was noted between one of Washington’s fine ladies and a British admiral:

“Great God, Madam! Is this the kind of storm to which you are accustomed in this infernal country?” The lady answered, “No, Sir, this is a special interposition of Providence to drive our enemies from our city.”

Whether the admiral believed that Providence was against him or not, the British were soon forced into a difficult withdrawal. Many of the roads out of town were blocked by fallen trees and other debris.

Many of the waiting British warships were damaged; two had broken free of their moorings and run aground.

The tornado saved the city of Washington from certain and deliberate destruction. It prevented the fall of the American capital. The British were forced to withdraw by the storm, not by an American counter-attack.

President Madison and his Cabinet returned to Washington several days later to begin the city’s reconstruction. Never again would Washington be occupied by foreign troops and to this day, tornados are an extreme rarity in Washington DC.

Since 1814, only eight tornadoes have hit the DC metro area, the most recent being in 2001. Damage in that storm was limited to a few uprooted trees.

Assessment:

That Washington DC was saved by an act of Divine intervention is questioned only by contemporary historians – nobody alive at the time had any doubts.

It astonishes me that there is anybody alive today that has doubts, but even more astonishing is the number of Americans who have been convinced by secular writers that the Founding Fathers were not Christians, but Deists.

Deism is defined by Mirriam-Webster as:

“a movement or system of thought advocating natural religion, emphasizing morality, and in the 18th century, denying the interference of the Creator with the laws of the Universe.”

Of the fifty-six men that signed the Declaration of Independence, twenty-four were ordained Christian ministers or held seminary degrees.

George Washington is cited as an example of a Deist, based on selected comments taken out of context and repeated over and over. If Washington was a Deist, then he was also a liar:

“While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.” –The Writings of Washington, pp. 342-343.

John Adams was both a signer of the Declaration of Independence and America’s second President. His Christian worldview was expressed as follows:

“Suppose a nation in some distant Region should take the Bible for their only law Book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged in conscience, to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love, and reverence toward Almighty God … What a Eutopia, what a Paradise would this region be.” – John Adams

Of all the supposed Deists among the Founders, the two most often cited are Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson didn’t think he was a Deist. Jefferson thought he was a Christian. Or else Thomas Jefferson was also a liar.

“I am a real Christian – that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ.” –The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, p. 385.

James Madison, whose administration witnessed the firing of the Capitol and its subsequent salvation, had this to say:

“Cursed be all that learning that is contrary to the cross of Christ.” –America’s Providential History, p. 93.

Finally, we have Patrick Henry, ratifier of the Constitution whose stirring words, “Give me liberty or give me death” still reverberate across the ages. Patrick Henry is often accused of Deism, if not outright atheism.

“It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.”

“The Bible … is a book worth more than all the other books that were ever printed.”

Every year the attacks on the Christian nature of America’s founding grow louder and more boisterous, but somebody is lying. It is either those that deny the Christianity of the Founders or it is the Founders themselves.

Personally, I think the truth here is self-evident. That is why America is called the “Great Satan” and Israel only the “Little Satan.”

The Enemy has no idea when the Rapture will happen or when the end will come, anymore than we do.

But he knows numbers and he knows from the Bible that there are a finite number of believers that will come to Christ before the Rapture takes place. After that, Scripture says, he knows he has but a short time.

His goal is to forestall that full company of believers from being completed and thereby end his dominion over the earth.

Eventually, he knows, as we do, that the Lord will return for His Church and from there, his days are numbered.

The only thing he can do to stall his fate is to separate America as much as possible from its Christian roots and convince America that Christianity is a myth. It is a losing tactic, but it is the only one left to him.

“For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.

“That day” is fast approaching. You can tell by how desperate he is getting. . . “America wasn’t founded as a Christian nation” — are you kidding?

Desperate times call for desperate lies.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on July 5, 2011

Featured Commentary: Alas, Babylon ~Wendy Wippel

Flasback: America’s Relevance To Bible Prophecy

Flasback: America’s Relevance To Bible Prophecy
Vol: 28 Issue: 8 Tuesday, November 8, 2016

King Nebuchadnezzar lived and reigned over Babylon when the city was home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was Nebuchadnezzar that constructed the famed Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

Nebuchadnezzar was a real guy who really lived. In 597 BC he captured Jerusalem and deposed King Jehoiakim. The Jews rebelled and in 587 Nebuchadnezzar destroyed both the city and the Temple and deported Judah’s most prominent citizens to Babylon.

Uncounted thousands of Jews died in the siege, with the defenders eventually even resorting to cannibalism in their efforts to survive. The Temple of God was defiled. The Holy of Holies was desecrated and the Temple treasures looted.

Where was God when all this was happening? The Jews were His Chosen People; the Temple was His place on the Earth. Why didn’t He interfere?

When the Ark was being transported aboard an oxcart, one of the oxen stumbled and an Israelite named Uzzah put out his hand to steady it.  According to 2 Samuel 6:7, the moment Uzzah’s hand touched the Ark he fell over dead.  

So how could a Gentile king and his hordes manage to sack the Temple without having to worry about Divine retribution?

“Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are His: And He changeth the times and the seasons: He removeth kings, and setteth up kings: He giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:” (Daniel 2:20-21)

“Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.”(Daniel 2:37-38)

Do you see it? Nebuchadnezzar was able to sack the Temple, touch the Temple treasures, defile the Holy of Holies and even steal from God, so to speak, because God appointed him

God sets up kings. God removes kings. God made Nebuchadnezzar ruler over them, according to His purpose.  The Prophet Daniel, a victim of Nebuchadnezzar’s conquest, understood this principle well.  

Nebuchadnezzar was king because God wanted him to be king and he would only stay king as long as God wanted him to.

God also appointed Cyrus the Persian, Alexander the Great, Caligula, Pilate, Kaiser Wilhelm, King Leopold II, Czar Nicholas, Emperor Hirohito, Kim il Sung, Mao Tze Tung, Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Pol Pot and every other murderous dictator in history.

Bible prophecy is the telling – in advance – of how these tyrants who had absolute power on earth, were mere pawns in the overall Big Picture of history. 

God sets up kings and He brings down kings according to His will.

No tyrant, no matter how terrible, achieved his rank through his own effort.   And while Satan is certainly capable of corrupting them, he is powerless to appoint them.

This is one of the harder sayings of Scripture, but it is nonetheless true.  Every tyrant in history was either appointed by God or the Bible is not true.

When the Apostle Paul wrote his Epistle to the Romans, Nero was emperor of Rome.  Ultimately, Paul was beheaded on Nero’s orders.   It is especially important to keep Nero in mind when reading Paul’s admonition to the Romans as recorded in Romans 13:1-6.

Note the parts I’ve set off italics for emphasis:

“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.  For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same.  For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

Let me repeat myself here: when Paul was speaking of the higher powers being ordained by God according to His purposes, Paul was speaking of Emperor Nero!

Assessment:

Nebuchadnezzar could lay siege to Jerusalem because God permitted it.  Indeed, the Siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar was part of the overall plan of God for the ages. 

It was from Babylon that Daniel was given the outline of future history from the order to rebuild the Temple to the reign of the antichrist in the last days. 

No detail was left to chance – if we learn anything from Bible prophecy, we learn that every event is interconnected with the events that came before and those to come afterwards. Remove some of it and all of it collapses.

Now we come to the point of today’s briefing.  What does Barack Obama, Donald Trump, American politics and the Election of 2012 have to do with Bible prophecy? 

Let’s look first at what we know as opposed to what we think. Barack Obama would not be president of the United States if God didn’t want him there.  We know that as a certainty. 

So by observing Obama’s agenda, if we are as far along the timeline as I believe we are, Obama’s agenda should provide insights into God’s agenda for the last days as articulated by Scripture.

As we’ve discussed previously, right or wrong, America is perceived by the world as the world’s most Christian nation.  It is that perception that is relevant. 

If I wanted to convey a message, I would use symbols that would make sense to those I was trying to reach.  So if I wanted to convey a message to the Church about the collapse of Biblical Christianity at about the same time as the end of the Church Age, I would probably start this way:

“This know also, that in the last days, perilous times shall come” – and then I would describe the prevailing moral state of the world’s most Christian nation.

I wouldn’t describe the moral state of the whole world, since the moral state of the whole world, apart from Christ, has remained unchanged since Adam.

I’d describe a primarily Christian people in what is recognized as a primarily Christian nation — one whose moral state was in obvious and discernible deterioration from a less immoral state.

The president sets the moral agenda for the nation – that’s just the way it is.  America under Reagan was more moral than under Clinton.  It was more moral under Bush than under Obama. 

That isn’t to say the presidents were, but rather their agendas – since their agenda reflects that of the people that elected them.

America elected Barack Obama in 2008.  The moral agenda of the nation has since reflected Obama’s morals.  What are they? 

Obama marks every Muslim holiday with a speech. When Obama mentioned Passover, he likened it to the uprisings in the Arab world. 

It is hard to imagine showing more disrespect for Judaism than to link the Passover celebration with the political rise of the Muslim Brotherhood. 

And Obama remained absolutely silent during the most solemn feast day on the Christian calendar, (apart from hosting an Easter Egg hunt).

Obama’s agenda has accelerated America’s decline exponentially.  When Obama took office, the IMF was warning that if America didn’t get its financial house in order, it would lose its status as the world’s most powerful economy by 2030. 

Monday, the IMF issued a revised forecast saying that at the present rate, the Age of America will come to an end in 2016 – the final year of an Obama second term.

Obama is president because God wanted Obama in the Oval Office at this exact moment in history.

Comparing Obama’s agenda with the agenda of the antichrist –a global government, centralized global economy and a global religious system and a global religious system hostile to Christians and Jews – American presidential politics takes on extreme relevance to Bible prophecy.

The antichrist is a politician who presides over a political system that has a form of godliness but denies the power thereof; gives lip service to the god of forces but who ultimately views himself as being above any god.  

America is the country the rest of the world looks at as the world’s most Christian country.  So when the world’s most Christian country elects a guy who claims to be Christian, gives lip service to Islam, despises the Jews and whose agenda guarantees America’s fall within two terms, whether or not he gets a second term is useful to the interpretation of unfolding Bible prophecy.

Obama is the president of the United States right now because God put him there.  If he gets a second term, is that relevant to Bible prophecy? 

When it comes to interpreting unfolding Bible prophecy, it will even be relevant if he doesn’t.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on April 27, 2011