Brains, Washed, Spun-Dry and Folded . . .

Brains, Washed, Spun-Dry and Folded . . .
Vol: 20 Issue: 28 Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The phrase ‘mind control’ refers to the successful control of the thoughts and actions of others without his or her expressed consent.

In the most general sense, the term implies that the victim has given up some basic political, social, or religious beliefs and attitudes, and has been made to accept contrasting ideas.

Mind control, when exercised as a government policy, turned Germany from the most cultured nation in Europe into a nation of cold-blooded murderers in a single generation.

Government manipulation of facts for the purpose of controlling the population is called ‘propaganda’ and its naked power remains on display as a living example in North Korea.

North Korea’s ‘Great Leader’ [Kim il Sung] and his mad progeny, ‘Beloved Leader’ Kim Jong il, kept North Korean society closed to outside influence, and have, since Kim Jong il took power in 1948, effectively brainwashed the entire country.

Despite famines, mass starvation, concentration [or ‘reeducation’] camps, an almost complete lack of basic necessities like electricity and clean water, the average North Korean believes his country to be one of the most advanced and desirable places to live on earth.

Kim Jong il is worshipped as a god, and his son worshipped as a living god. Two million North Korean soldiers stand ready to march into the teeth of battle at his whim.

Such is the power of systematic, unrestrained mind control.

Assessment:

There are all kinds of ways of looking at ‘mind control’. Some might argue that parental control over their children is a form of mind control, and the argument has logical merit.

Mind control is a bit like a knife. A knife, used to take a life in a bar fight, is a bad thing. The same knife, used to perform an emergency appendectomy to save a life, is a good thing. The knife itself is neither good nor evil. It is simply a knife.

Parental mind control over their children is a necessary part of maintaining the social and cultural fabric of society. Children need to be taught how to be good — being bad comes naturally.

Children want to please those in authority over them, and the first thing they learn is that socially acceptable behavior earns rewards, while anti-social behavior reaps consequences. With that lesson in hand, children put it into practice by seeking to learn what is socially acceptable.

But because mind control is a necessary part of learning social restrictions, we remain susceptible to it for the rest of our lives.

The values we learn as children seeking to put into practice life lesson #1; [good=rewards and bad=consequences] remain with us.

And nobody understands that better than the educators we trust with the power of mind control over our children.

Two teachers with the Port Washington-Saukville School Board put together a questionnaire which was distributed to hundreds of Port Washington high school students, with instructions to submit written answers and then to discuss the survey.

The questionnaire’s release was carefully timed; the survey was given to about 400 of the school’s 930 students on April 25, the day before the national Day of Silence, an annual event co-sponsored by the New York City-based Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network.

According to the ‘Day of Silence’ web site, the event is a “student-led day of action” that attempts to eliminate harassment of non-heterosexual students.

Among the questions the students were required to submit written answers for later discussion included [and I wish I were making this up]:

“If you have never slept with someone of your same gender, then how do you know you wouldn’t prefer it?”

How does a high school student cope with a question like that? What possible educational value does such a question advance?

Sexual orientation aside, this is nothing less than a school system’s exhortation to students to engage in premarital sex for the sake of experimentation.

Now add the sexual orientation, the coincidence of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance sponsorship, and bingo!

Our knife just got used in a bar fight.

Now, one can characterize it according to its intended use as either good or evil.

The compulsory submission of young minds for the control of their thoughts and actions aimed at changing basic political, social, or religious beliefs and attitudes until they conform with conflicting or contrasting ideas.

Other questions on the survey included: “What do you think caused your heterosexuality?” and “When did you decide you were heterosexual?”

Both were clearly designed to imply that heterosexuality is a conscious decision based on some cause — while at the same time, gay rights supporters argue that sexual orientation is neither the result of a conscious decision or caused by some external event.

If it sounds confusing to you, imagine how confusing it must sound to a fifteen-year old?

When angry parents confronted the school’s principal, his response was to describe the survey as an, “exercise in compassion and understanding that did not work out real well.”

What it WAS was an exercise in brainwashing. How well it worked out remains to be seen. The kids are still only in high school.

The Bible says that among the most powerful weapons in the antichrist’s arsenal during the Tribulation is power to delude and deceive the masses who will worship him as the messiah.

Jesus warned that his powers of deception will be such that, if it were possible, he would even be able to deceive the very elect. (Matthew 24:4)

Paul says his powers of delusion will reach their peak after the removal of the Restrainer [and the Church] at the Rapture.

“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only He who now letteth will let, until He be taken out of the way.”

Paul then speaks of those who rejected Christ and salvation during the Church Age, those with the “deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”

Since they rejected Christ and His offer of salvation by grace through faith, “for THIS cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:10-11)

The groundwork for that strong delusion is already being laid by predators disguised as educators, brainwashing the young impressionable minds until evil and good are mere social conventions to be done away with as necessary.

Just in time for the advent of the master manipulator.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on June 22, 2006

”A Poem Lovely As a Tree”

”A Poem Lovely As a Tree”
Vol: 20 Issue: 27 Monday, February 27, 2017

I receive emails often from skeptics challenging me to one of those ridiculous verbal duels over whether or not God exists.  Such arguments are pointless.

In the first place, the skeptic doesn’t want me to convince him that God exists, he wants to convince me that He doesn’t.  I’ve never fully understood why anyone would want to advance a philosophy that offers nothing and takes everything.

Christianity offers eternal life — the skeptic offers the cold grave.  (“I think I’ll take “What is a stupid trade?” for five hundred, Alex!”)

In the second place, neither side can prove their argument empirically.  The skeptic cannot prove God does not exist.  He can only argue the reasons why he believes God does not exist.

But it is impossible to prove a negative.  Just because I can’t see God doesn’t mean He doesn’t exist.

(I can’t see my mother in law at the moment, either.  But believe me, she exists.)

I turned down the offer although I had the advantage over my would-be opponent.  While it is impossible to prove a negative, the contention that God does exist is a positive statement.

The argument against the existence of God rests on the absence of evidence acceptable to the skeptic — not the absence of evidence itself.  The evidence is overwhelming.  There is certainly more evidence arguing in favor of God than there is against, since, by definition, there is no evidence for a negative.

The Bible says that such an argument is the epitome of foolishness:

“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.” (Psalms 14:1)

The rules of philosophy and science concur.  One can only deny the existence of God based on the fatally-flawed assumption that because they cannot see Him, He does not exist.  That’s a pretty foolish foundation upon which to build one’s conclusions.

The furthest either science or philosophy can legitimately take it is the assumption that because they can’t see Him, He is not there.  Theoretically, He could be somewhere else.

The evidence for God is everywhere. The Apostle Paul writes:

“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)

The Psalmist declared:

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” (Psalms 19:1)

Look at the sublime precision of chemistry, for example.  All the elements combine in very precise mathematical ways to produce their various compounds.  Each of the elements are recorded on a valance chart — the precise number and weight of each atom can be counted and measured.

Every plant has a precise number of leaves or petals, arranged in a precise order.  Every living thing has a certain number of chromosomes in its cellular structure according to its design.  Man has twenty-three paired chromosomes.  A dog has thirty-nine.  An ape has twenty-four.

Poet Joyce Kilmer offered this eloquent argument in his poem, “Trees“:  “Poems are made by fools like me.  But only God can make a tree.”

Assessment:

If there is a more powerful argument for the existence of God than the Bible, I don’t know what it might be.  No skeptic can offer an adequate explanation for desert-dwelling Job’s description of the Arctic permafrost.

Who told him?  He didn’t look it up in a book and he sure didn’t go see it for himself. Who told Job that wind moves in circles and not in a straight line? Who told Isaiah the earth was round and suspended by nothing?

The Bible speaks to us in the two existing languages of sentience: the spoken word and the universal language of mathematics. (And this is the point where I usually lose patience with the skeptic.  The best rebuttal he can offer is “oh yeah?”)

Because words can be used to tell a lie.  That’s why God also wrote it out numerically.  Because numbers CAN’T lie.  And neither can God.

“Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is One God.” (Deuteronomy 6:4)

For God, the number one signifies Divine completion.  For human beings, it takes two to make man complete;

“Two are better than one because they have a good reward for the labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)

The number Three is the simplest compound unity — it is the first and simplest compound unit of mathematical science.  God is one God in Three Persons; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Three is the number of the Godhead.

Four signifies the number of this created world.  There are four seasons, winter, summer, spring and fall.  There are four points on a compass, north, south, east and west.

The living creatures (cherubim) of Ezekiel chapter 1 are four in number.  They each have four faces, four sides, four wings and move on four wheels, representative of God’s creation and providence.

Man has five fingers on each hand and five toes on each foot.  We have five senses.  Added together we have ten fingers and ten toes.  The decimal system is based on this system of tens.

We think in tenths.  A tithe is ten percent.  No man could be consecrated as a priest under Jewish law unless he had all ten fingers and toes.  Five, doubled to ten, stands for human completion.

The number six is the number of man.  As we’ll see in a moment, the number seven is the sacred number of spiritual perfection, so six falls just short of it.  Man was created on the sixth day.  The Divinely-appointed work week is six days, with the seventh set aside for God.

Hebrew slaves were appointed to serve for six years before manumission.  Goliath had six fingers and six toes.  His spear weighed six hundred shekels of iron.  Goliath’s height is recorded as six cubits and a span.

Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image was sixty cubits high and six cubits wide.  Jesus Christ was crucified on the sixth hour of the sixth day of the week.

And of course, there is the most famous six of all as recorded in Revelation 13:18:

“Here is wisdom. Let him that understandeth count the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred three score and six.” (666)

Six units six tens, six hundreds.  Three sixes, each successively higher on the decimal scale.  The number 666 represents the antichrist — the number of imperfect, spiritually incomplete man, multiplied 100 times over.

Then we come to the number seven.  The number seven is representative in Scripture of spiritual perfection.

Four is representative of the physical world.  Three, the representative of the Trinity.  Together, they equal seven.

Seven days make up one of the four quarters of the moon.  There are seven basic notes in music.  There are seven colors in the rainbow.  On the seventh day, God rested.

The number seven is the fourth prime number is also a Mersenne prime, the first Woodall prime, the fourth factorial prime, the second lucky and the second safe prime number.

A ladybug has seven spots.  Most mammalian necks have seven bones.  There are seven rows in the periodic table.  The neutral pH value between acidity and alkalinity is seven.  There are seven stars in the Big Dipper.  There are seven continents and seven seas.

The Book of the Revelation is addressed to the seven Churches of Asia Minor.  There are seven star representing the seven angels who represent the seven churches.  In Revelation 3:1, Jesus is identified as having the ‘Seven Spirits of God’ — or the whole and completed Spirit of God.

In Revelation 5:6, the Lamb is pictured as having seven eyes (representing omniscience) and seven horns(representing omnipotence).

There are seven seals, seven thunders, seven vials; the dragon has seven heads and seven crowns upon his heads.  There are seven mountains, seven kings, etc.

The Bible specifically says there were fourteen generations from Abraham to David; fourteen generations from David to the Babylonian captivity, and fourteen generations from the Babylonian exile to Christ. (Matthew 1:17)

Fourteen is seven doubled.  The Passover is on the fourteenth of Nisan, and fourteen lambs are offered on each of the seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles.

Pentecost is on the fiftieth day, after the passage of the full 49 (7×7) days from Passover.  The Jubilee Year is the fiftieth year after the passage of seven ‘weeks’ of seven years each.

Under OT Law, an animal must be at least seven days old before it can be sacrificed.  The Feast of Unleavened Bread lasts seven days.  A male child could not be circumcised until after seven full days had passed.

The rules of cleansing (as in cleansing a leper) involved seven sprinklings of water.

The Day of Atonement demands seven sprinklings of blood.

The menorah has seven branches and seven lights.  Noah entered the ark on the seventh day.  (Genesis 7:4,10) Noah’s ark came to rest on Mt Ararat on the seventh month.  (Genesis 8:4) Jacob worked for seven years for Rachel.

Joshua sent seven priests who marched around Jericho for seven days blowing seven trumpets.  On the seventh day, the circled the city seven times before the ‘walls came tumbling down.’

Samson’s marriage feast lasted seven days.  Samson had seven locks of hair (Judges 16:19)  It took Solomon seven years to build the Temple.  Job had seven sons.  His friends grieved in silence with him for seven days and seven nights.  Job offered seven bullocks and seven rams for a burnt offering.

Jesus told the Pharisees to forgive trespasses seventy times seven.  He imposed seven ‘woes’ on the Pharisees.  Romans 8:35 lists seven afflictions; 12:6-8 enumerates the seven gifts.  James 3:17 lists the seven qualities of heavenly wisdom.  2nd Peter 1:5-8 outlines the seven virtues imparted by faith.

The seventieth week of Daniel lasts for seven years.  The disciples took up seven baskets of fragments after the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes.

The skeptic’s counter-argument is ‘coincidence’.  Or that some human or group of humans actually wrote the Bible using the two universal languages of sentience.  Either takes more faith in nothing than I am capable of mustering.

“I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are Thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” (Psalms 139:14)

The skeptic knows that in his soul, too.  So there isn’t much point in debating it.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on July 22, 2009

Featured Commentary: World War IV: Conclusion ~Pete Garcia

The Rise of the Global ‘Superchurch’

The Rise of the Global ‘Superchurch’
Vol: 20 Issue: 25 Saturday, February 25, 2017

According to the Book of the Revelation, during the Tribulation Period, the government of antichrist rests on three main pillars of power.

In Revelation 13:1, we are introduced to the political beast:

“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy”

That this is a political entity is established by cross-referencing John’s description with that of the Prophet Daniel.

Daniel was given a vision of four successive world empires, each symbolized by different ‘beasts’.

Daniel saw four ‘beasts’ which Daniel saw rising up from ‘the sea’. Daniel was written in Aramaic.

According to Strong’s reference (3220) the Aramaic word “yawm” translated as “sea” in general means, “to roar” in the sense of noisy surf, but in context, it means the western side of the Mediterranean, or simply, “the West.”

(And before I go on, let me first say this. I am neither a Hebrew nor Greek scholar. I am relying on Strong’s references entirely for my understanding of these verses. “Sea” in Greek is “thelasses”. But Strong’s says the word translated “sea” is from the Greek root “ophelos”. The same explanation applies to the Daniel references.Some scholars may disagree — but if so, their beef is with Strong’s — not me. I make no claim as a Greek/Hebrow scholar. Just as a researcher.)

When we refer to “the West” in our own English lexicon, what are we referring to? Exactly the same thing that Daniel was, almost 2600 years ago.

We divide the northern hemisphere by West and East, separated by the “Middle East” – or the Mediterranean and its vicinity. The word translated “sea” in Revelation 13:1 is from the Greek “ophelos” which literally means, “to heap up, or accumulate profit.”

Strong’s identification of the sea as referring to the wealthy west is at the very least, interesting. The antichrist’s government is, in context, pictured by both Daniel and John as the wealthy accumulation of Gentile nations located west of the Mediterranean Sea.

“And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.”

Daniel says the first was “like a lion, and had eagle’s wings;” the second was, “like to a bear;” the third, “like a leopard” and finally, the fourth, “dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.”(Daniel 7:2-7)

Daniel said that out of the beast with ten horns would come arise “another little horn” which would take take authority over all.

Daniel’s “beasts” historically, corresponded with the empires of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Alexander the Great’s Greek Empire, and finally, the Roman Empire.

John describes this ‘little horn’ as “like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.”

His power comes from the “dragon” who gives him “his seat” and “great authority.” The “dragon” is a symbol of Satan.

The second pillar of the antichrist’s government is his control of a global religious system.

“And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.” (Revelation 13:11)

Strong’s reference 3786 for the word translated ‘the earth’ (“ophelimos”) is another form of the word ‘ophelos’ which means “serviceable” or “profitable”.

In Revelation 2, Jesus composes Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia Minor. He assigns characteristics to each that, with historical hindsight as a guide, corresponds with seven unique periods, or ‘epochs’ within the Church Age.

“And to the angel of the church in Pergamos. . . I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is.”

Jesus then ticks off this epoch’s primary characteristics;

  1. The doctrine of Balaam. In the Old Testament, Balaam advised King Balak to seduce the men of Israel by using beautiful women to draw the men of Israel into unclean and idolatrous practices.
  2. The doctrine of the Nicolaitanes. This is a reference to centralizing the Church according to a hierarchy of bishops, priests, cardinals, etc., under a supreme pontiff, or Pope.
  3. Where Satan’s seat is. Revelation 17 identifies the Great Whore of Babylon — the “beast” that “was, and is not, and yet is” (17:8)

“And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.” (17:9)

No less an authority than the Catholic Encyclopedia confirms the identification of this city:

“It is within the city of Rome, called the city of seven hills, that the entire area of Vatican State proper is now confined.”

Don’t take my word for it. Google “city on seven hills” and see what YOU come up with.

Pulling it altogether, we find that the ‘Beast’ of Revelation 13:1 symbolizes both the leader of a prosperous Western alliance of nations and a religious leader who preaches a Dragon-inspired form of Christianity (two horns like a Lamb) from his headquarters in Rome, and specifically, the Vatican.

The third and final pillar of power is a global economy so tightly centralized that it would be possible to restrict economic activity to the degree only those who have government approval could buy or sell.

There exists today a revived form of the old Roman Empire, born out of the ten signatory nations of the Treaty of Rome, under whose authority is developing an entity known as the “Euro-Med region” and a global economy so centralized that it can be used as a weapon of war to cut off funding to organized terror groups.

The only thing not already fully developed is a centralized, apostate form of Christianity under the authority of the Vatican.

Assessment:

According to the London Sunday Times, a 42-page statement prepared by the leaders of the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church is proposing a reunification of the Anglican Church with Rome under the authority of the Pope.

The following is a direct quote from the Times story, headlined, “Churches Back Plan to Unite Under Pope.” (I kid you not.)

“The statement, leaked to The Times, is being considered by the Vatican, where Catholic bishops are preparing a formal response. It comes as the archbishops who lead the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion meet in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in an attempt to avoid schism over gay ordination and other liberal doctrines that have taken hold in parts of the Western Church.”

“The 36 primates at the gathering will be aware that the Pope, while still a cardinal, sent a message of support to the orthodox wing of the Episcopal Church of the US as it struggled to cope with the fallout after the ordination of the gay bishop Gene Robinson.”

“Rome has already shown itself willing to be flexible on the subject of celibacywhen it received dozens of married priests from the Church of England into the Catholic priesthood after they left over the issue of women’s ordination.”

“There are about 78 million Anglicans, compared with a billion Roman Catholics, worldwide.”

“In one significant passage the report notes: “The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the ministry of the Bishop of Rome [the Pope] as universal primate is in accordance with Christ’s will for the Church and an essential element of maintaining it in unity and truth.” Anglicans rejected the Bishop of Rome as universal primate in the 16th century. Today, however, some Anglicans are beginning to see the potential value of a ministry of universal primacy, which would be exercised by the Bishop of Rome, as a sign and focus of unity within a reunited Church.”

Now the kicker:

“Other recommendations include inviting LAY AND ORDAINED members (Nicolaitanes, remember) of both denominations to attend each other’s synodical and collegial gatherings and conferences. . . The report adds that special “protocols” should also be drawn up to handle the movement of clergy (Nicolaitanes again) from one Church to the other.” [comments in parentheses are mine]

Now, let’s return to the basic reason such a reunification is being considered. The Anglican Church is falling apart over one major issue — the ordination of gays.

Noted the Times;

“Dr Rowan Williams, who as Primate of the Church of England is its “focus for unity”, has in the past supported a liberal interpretation of Scripture on the gay issue.”

The Times’ goes on to say,

“A logical extension of that, once this crisis is overcome either by agreement or schism, would be to seek reunion with the Church of England’s own mother Church.”

According to the website, “About Christianity” the largest Christian denomination in the world is the Roman Catholic Church. The second largest Christian denomination in the world is the 78 million-strong Church of England.

A union of the RCC and the Anglican/Episcopalians would leave the rest of Protestant Christianity on the outside looking in.

The Apostle Paul, describing the last days of the Church Age, outlined the characteristics of the Church under the heading, “This know also, in the last days, perilous times shall come. . . men shall be lovers of their own selves . . . having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.” (2nd Timothy 3)

And, if the Times’ story got it right, its about 1 billion, 78 million members strong.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on February 19, 2007

And After This, The Judgment

And After This, The Judgment
Vol: 20 Issue: 24 Friday, February 24, 2017

If there is a central theme of Scripture, a single pinpoint of truth from which all other doctrine flows, it would have to be that of judgment.

This universe was born as a place of judgment; its very creation was a matter of judgment, and nothing within this physical universe shall escape judgment.

Judgment was born out of light. Genesis 1:4 records the very first instance of Divine judgment; “And God saw the light, that it was good . . .”

Throughout Scripture, God uses light and darkness as metaphors for good and evil. So it is fitting that He began this universe with His judgment of light and darkness.

Having judged light to be “good” Genesis says God exercised a different kind of judgment when He divided the light from the darkness. Without a clear division between light and darkness, everything would be shades of gray.

We often attempt to color our own moral judgments using similar metaphors; “it isn’t that black and white” or, “this is a gray area” to explain and justify our compromises.

Hebrews 9:27 is a Scripture often quoted in terms of judgment; “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” First, note that each man has an appointment with death.

We all die, eventually. But it is not a random event, any more than was our birth. The time, manner and hour are already predetermined.

Jesus used another metaphor, “born again” to describe our salvation process. We are born from the womb, but not voluntarily. When the time comes, we are expelled into the light. And it is hardly a pleasant transition.

One second, we are in our place of warm and peaceful tranquility, oblivious to anything except our own comfortable existence. In the next, our world is violently shaken. Our environment collapses around us and begins to expel us from itself.

As we get near the light, we’re gripped by forceps, yanked out of the warmth into a cold metal tray. The transition is our introduction to pain, beginning with a jarring slap on the behind.

The blinding light burns our eyes only slightly less than the silver nitrate. It is a moment of incomparable terror, since nothing in our experience has prepared us for what follows.

Of course, that is all from the perspective of the baby we all once were. But having tasted this life, the warm, dark comfort of the womb would be an unbearable prison. So being ‘born again’ is the perfect metaphor to describe the transition from this life to eternal life.

We dread the process even though we know, intellectually, that eternal life is as incomparable to this life as this life is to the womb.

Death comes also to those who don’t know Christ — for them the prospect of death must be doubly disturbing — its an unpleasant transition to nowhere. That kind of hopelessness was best expressed on a tombstone I once saw.

“Here lies an atheist. All dressed up with no place to go.”

Assessment:

The Scriptures say that judgment, like death, comes to ALL men by appointment. For Christians, judgment comes in two parts. Hebrews 9:27 says “AS it is appointed . . . ” the next verse completes the thought.

Look at it in context: “And as it is appointed unto men ONCE to die, but after this the judgement, 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.”

Without sin unto salvation . . . that doesn’t sound like the Second Coming, in judgment with a two-edged sword, encompassed by ten thousands of His saints, to judge the earth and destroy the antichrist and his army. Does it?

Logically, it can only refer to the Rapture — that is the only ‘second coming unto salvation’ alluded to by Scripture. The dead in Christ are resurrected, then we are changed into our resurrection bodies, and we all meet the Lord in the air.

And then what?

Paul outlines the exact sequence. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” (2nd Corinthians 5:10)

THIS is where our works are relevant. “Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” (1st Corinthians 3:13-15)

This the the Bema Seat of Christ, so-called because the judgment is not whether or not one is saved or damned. That judgment takes place here. That judgment is in this earth and this life. That judgment is in your heart and soul. You are already judged NOW.

It is not a future judgment. If you are Christ’s, you are as securely saved as if you were ALREADY in heaven. If you are lost, it is not a case that you WILL BE lost. You are lost NOW.

It has nothing to do with being good or bad. It has to do with trusting in one’s own righteousness or trusting in the righteousness of Christ.

(Let me make it simple. If you are trusting in being good to get to heaven, you aren’t going there.)

That is what the second coming unto salvation refers to . . . the gathering of the saints to the Bema Seat for judgment.

This is another reason why the Bible supports a pre-tribulation Rapture. The Bema Seat judgment MUST take place AFTER the Rapture. We cannot be judged for our lives when they end. The influence of a man’s life lives on after him.

How could the Apostle John be adequately judged for his rewards in the first century, when his life ended? Or John the Baptist? The influence of their lives is still affecting the Church. Their rewards are still being calculated.

That is also why the Great White Throne Judgment is reserved until the final hours of human history before the new heavens and new earth. It will take that long to calculate the measure of evil perpetrated by guys like Hitler or Stalin. (Think of it as compound interest.)

Paul writes to Timothy; “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom. . . ” (4:1)

Do you see the two separate judgments here? One is for the ‘quick’ — the other is for the ‘dead’. One takes place at His ‘appearing’ and the other takes place at ‘His Kingdom.’

The ‘quick’ are the saved. The ‘dead’ are the lost. The quick are judged at the Bema Seat. The lost are judged at the Great White Throne.

(“But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.”)

The saved are judged for rewards, including a special crown of righteousness reserved “on that day” for those who love His appearing (2nd Timothy 4:8)

Here’s what I want you to see. As in the case of the twenty-four elders, the second that we remove the doctrine eternal security or a pre-Tribulation Rapture from the narrative, it all gets too complicated to follow.

Absent the doctrine of eternal security, what does 1st Corinthians 3:15; (“yet he himself shall be saved yet so as by fire”) mean? Absent the pre-Trib Rapture, the judgment of the “quick at His appearing” (2nd Timothy 4:8) doesn’t make much sense either.

Which then means we have to come up with a whole new timeline. Or else allegorize away the one that exists, giving rise to the question, “why give one?” since the Scripture most certainly does.

The whole body of Scripture, as it pertains to judgment, separates the light from the darkness, the wheat from the chaff, the saved from the lost and the Church from the judgment due those that dwell upon the earth.

First comes the Rapture, then the Bema Seat, then the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. That is the type set forth since Genesis 1:4 — God creates the light, judges the light, separates the light from darkness.

On the earth comes the judgment on the darkness; the Tribulation, the antichrist, the Mark, scary monsters, pestilences, persecution, death and the war of Armageddon.

Then comes the 2nd Coming of Christ.

Then comes the Millennium.

If the timeline is otherwise, we need to allegorize and spiritualize the true meaning of 1st Thessalonians 4:18, since its apparent meaning must obviously be some unfortunate translation:

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

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on January 26, 2009

Featured Commentary: Where Are You Heading, Friend? ~Alf Cengia

The Law of Miracles

The Law of Miracles
Vol: 20 Issue: 23 Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Bible is filled with stories of miraculous events, from the story of creation itself to Moses parting the Red Sea to Elijah calling down fire from heaven to the Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ.

All four Gospel accounts attest to the miracles performed by Jesus Christ.  Jesus multiplied a few fish and biscuits into a feast for five thousand that resulted in more leftovers than He started with.

He changed water into wine.  He raised the dead, healed the sick, gave sight to the blind and sound to the deaf, walked on water and was Resurrected after being publicly executed.

Even sources like the Talmud and some Islamic writings make allusions to Jesus as a miracle worker.  Jesus was even acknowledged to have worked miracles by the first century Jewish authorities.

Nicodemus, John tells us, was a Pharisee.

“The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that Thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that Thou doest, except God be with him.” (John 3:2)

Finally, the earliest editions of the Book of Mark were circulating about Jerusalem by about AD 45.  Jerusalem was the seat of Judaism, populated largely by inter-connected Jewish families, many of whom who could trace their genealogy all the way back to Adam.

Everybody in Jerusalem in the first half of the 1st century knew everybody else.  And since they were all bound by the same religion and worshipped at the same Temple, any event of a religious nature, either pro or con, became the buzz of the town.

It is safe to say that, by AD 45, twelve years after His crucifixion and Resurrection, there was nobody in Jerusalem who hadn’t heard of the controversial Carpenter from Nazareth.  Then, as now, people either loved Jesus or hated Him, but nobody was ambivalent in their feelings about Him.

Considering Jerusalem in AD 45, with a probable population of about forty thousand, there would still be many living witnesses to the events of twelve years before.  Jesus once had the roof ripped open at a synagogue to have a paralytic lowered into the crowded room.

Everybody in that room knew the paralytic, and everybody in that room saw him arise, take up his bed, and walk out.  So, when Mark’s account was published in Jerusalem a dozen years later, if there were no truth to it, it wouldn’t have been accepted as fact.

But indeed, it was, since there are no contradictory treatises from living Jews of the time that deny those events took place, at least, none that were deemed credible by those who were there.

Look at it this way.  If somebody wrote a book in 1975 that denied the existence, life and manner of death of John F Kennedy, nobody would have bought it, even if the writer could find a publisher.  It would have no historical credibility because most of the population who witnessed the Kennedy assassination in 1963 were still alive in 1975.

There is every historical indication that the Gospel of Mark was accepted as a factual record of the life and times of Jesus of Nazareth.  Including the miracles.

There have been many attempts by the generations to follow to present the case that the miracles ascribed to Jesus were not miracles, but simply part of the ignorance of the times.  In other words, Jesus tricked the eyewitnesses who didn’t know any better.

The laws of nature were well understood by the Jews of the 1st century.  They knew that a man couldn’t walk on water.  So when Jesus did, they knew it was outside the natural order, ie., a miracle.  They weren’t ignorant of such things.

“When the disciples saw Christ walking on the water, they were frightened: they would not have been frightened unless they had known the laws of nature, and known that this was an exception,” noted C.S Lewis.

Others argue that miracles are illogical so therefore only illogical people can believe in them.  Logic is a word that defines the basic parameters and patterns of human thinking.  But miracles don’t defy logic, they defy the basic laws of nature.  God can suspend the laws of nature, but if He suspend the laws of logic, then nobody would be able to discern a miracle from the ordinary.

If a dead man buried three days in the tomb can revive and walk out on his own power, as did Lazarus, the eyewitnesses would logically conclude that the law governing death had been suspended.

It is entirely logical to believe that the eyewitnesses to the event believed it was miraculous.  And if they believed it, it is equally logical to accept the fact they believed it because it happened.

Modern science denies the existence of miracles because they cannot be reproduced in laboratory.  (With the exception of the theory of evolution.)  But since miracles are, by definition, unrepeatable, miracles have more scientific support than does evolution.

There are eyewitness accounts of miracles, whereas nobody has ever seen a creature evolve into another creature.

Assessment:

The miracles of God are always given to a specific purpose.  The clearest statement on the purpose of miracles is given in Hebrews 2:1-4.

Speaking of the revealing of His word “spoken through the Lord,” this word was,

“confirmed to us by those who heard, God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.”

The pattern was that God revealed His word, then testified to the truth of it by Divine miracles, signs and wonders.

In other words, miracles confirmed that the word spoken by God’s prophets or apostles was of Divine origin.  This is why Paul could speak of the “signs of a true apostle” in order to distinguish himself from those who made false claims (2 Corinthians 12:12).

Once the purpose of miracles in confirming the Word was completed, that purpose was no longer necessary.  The Scripture says of itself that it is the complete revelation of God, perfect and inerrant, concluding with the promise that,

“. . . If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book.” (Revelation 22:18)

In addressing miracles, signs and wonders, such as speaking in tongues, prophesying, and receiving a ‘direct Word from the Lord’ the Apostle Paul wrote,

“Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. ” (1st Corinthians 13:8-10)

When the Apostles claimed to be under the inspiration of God when the preached and taught, they had plenty of competition.  Lots and lots of people of that day made similar claims.  What gave the Apostles credibility over the competition was their ability to perform the miraculous.

The power to perform miracles was their ‘badge of office’ so to speak.  Miracles were to authenticate both the Message and the messengers in the minds of men.

When the essential purpose for which the Biblical miracles were performed (faith-building) were no longer required, miracles like healing the sick, raising the dead, speaking in tongues and Divine inspiration was done away with, as Paul said they would be.

Scripture says that, once that which is perfect (the Bible) was come, that which is in part (miracles, signs and wonders) would cease.  Scripture says that to subsequent generations of believes, faith would come by hearing and studying God’s Word.

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)

That is not to say that God does not interact with people in a personal way, right up to this day.  God does give us direction through His Word, and chastises us when we stray from it.  He does, after a fashion, still give us a direct ‘word of knowledge’ but not in the way that some modern Christians understand it.

When I am studying, I occasionally get a flash of insight from the Lord about His Word, but He doesn’t give me unknown knowledge not contained in Scripture.

The Scriptures contain prophecy, and so therefore, I can deduce certain things about the future, but only as they pertain to revealed prophecy.

The test of a Divinely-inspired prophecy, however, is 100% accuracy, 100% of the time.  I cannot claim to come close to meeting that test.

Neither can the TV preachers who ‘prophesy’ in the Name of the Lord.

The purpose for speaking in tongues is given in Acts 2:6-11 when the Apostles were first indwelt by the Holy Spirit and preached for the first time following Pentecost.

“And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.”

The result of this miraculous gift of tongues, according to Acts 2:41 was that,

“the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”

Babbling some unintelligible gibberish does little to convince an unbeliever, since he has no idea what he is hearing.

Miracles, then, are signs and wonders given by God to authenticate that those who performed them were speaking His Word and could therefore be trusted to teach true doctrine, since there was not yet an established, written doctrine of Christianity against which false teachers could be measured.

Now that we have the Bible, there IS an existing standard against which to measure false doctrine, and so miracles, signs and wonders are no longer necessary.

The guys who claim a special word of knowledge from God that amounts to Divine prophecy are writing checks with their mouths that their souls can’t cash.  Merely making that claim of Divine inspiration violates the established doctrine of Scripture.

The guys who claim that they speak in unknown tongues cannot point to a logical purpose for such a manifestation that lines up with Scripture.  In Scripture, the Apostles spoke in tongues unknown to them, but they were known languages, not some intelligible language of angels.

The guys who claim to be able to work miracles, signs and wonders denigrate the greatest miracle and the most wonderful sign of God already given us.

That which is the Perfect Word of God contained in the Holy Scriptures.

Those TV preachers who claim to keep the Holy Spirit in a box that they can open at will and heal the sick, make Divine prophecy or perform on-stage miracles on demand violate the doctrines of Scripture that constitute the Law of Miracles.

That law states that miracles are the ‘sign of a true Apostle’ — and the standard for claiming the title of ‘Apostle’ was that they were individually and personally taught by Jesus Christ Himself.  The last person who qualified for that title was the Apostle John, who died well into his eighties at the end of the first century.

Arguably, the greatest miracle of God IS the Bible.  It has withstood the test of time and a hundred generations of criticism and attacks, and to this day, not one single word of Scripture has ever been conclusively disproved by anyone.

However, the seeking of miracles, signs and wonders in this generation is a multi-billion dollar per year industry.

“Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from Thee. But He answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 12:38-40)

When a guy claims that he raised the dead, or that he can perform miracles on demand, or that God tells him stuff that contradicts Scripture, mark him well.  He is, himself, evidence of what is truly miraculous by himself fulfilling a two thousand year-old prophecy of God.

“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you.” (2nd Peter 2:1-3)

Don’t be concerned with the idea that you need miracles, signs and wonders to confirm the fact you are saved.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

It isn’t a trick, and it doesn’t impart the ability to do tricks.

And it isn’t for sale at any price.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on November 14, 2006

Featured Commentary: God’s Chosen Language ~J.L. Robb

The Fatherhood of God

The Fatherhood of God
Vol: 20 Issue: 22 Wednesday, February 22, 2017

For all the sacred texts, for all the opinions and views and expectations and religious assumptions, and despite the best efforts of our imagination, it is not given to the human mind to fully comprehend the infinite God.

We can know some of His greatness and glory through observation and we can know something of Him through His Word and through the revelation of His Son, and such the retention of that knowledge is both a privilege and a duty.

God is revealed through nature as its Designer and Creator and through the Scriptures, which directly testify of Him.  He is revealed in the Person of Jesus Christ, Who came to introduce men to Him.

Our human minds seem more readily able to grasp the concept of God as Creator than it does as Father, but the Scriptures reveal Him more as in His capacity as Father than as Creator.  Still, any investigation of God is more likely to consider the creative abilities of God than His Fatherhood.

God the Creator is simply a generic title.  In this sense, any that is called “God” and afforded the title of “Creator” speaks to the real Creator God, no matter who the intended addressee might be.  There is one God and He is the Creator and He will be the God and Creator that He is regardless of what name He is called by.

That is not to say that all ways lead to salvation.  While all roads lead to God in the end, there is only one road leads to salvation.

There is only one God by whatever name you approach Him, but that doesn’t mean He will answer to whatever name you choose.  God is not a stray puppy.

If one is praying to a heathen god, it is still the Omniscient God that hears, since there is no other.  But God is Creator of all things, but Father only to His children. 

God is presented as ‘Father’ in the Scriptures in four distinct respects.

1. Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ

“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort .” (2nd Corinthians 1:3)

“The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.” (2nd Corinthians 11:31)

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:” (Ephesians 1:3)

“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 3:14)

“We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you.” (Colossians 1:3)

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” ( 1st Peter 1:3)

God the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Not, God the Creator of the Lord Jesus Christ.  God the Father.  Note also that God is presented as both “The God of” and “Father of” our Lord.

On the human side, the First Person of the Godhead is referred to as His God, whereas as the Second Person of the Godhead, He is referred to as His Father.

The connection in which the First Person is mentioned as His Father has continued throughout eternity.  The connection in which the First Person is His God is in Jesus’ humanity which had a beginning with His virgin Birth but has no end.

There is no hint of inferiority or succession between God the Father and God the Son – it is more a case of manifestation.  Instead, there appears to be a unique, eternal affiliation between the first Two Persons of the Godhead that is best conveyed to our minds in the pattern of father and son.

The Arian and Gnostic traditions argue that Christ, while unique, was inferior to the Father.  From this heresy springs all kinds of other heresies, like Jesus and Lucifer were brothers (JWs, LDS) or Unitarianism (popular among the Founding Fathers) and so on.

That requires rejecting the clear teaching of Scriptures such as Luke 1:35, which identifies Jesus as the physical Son of God through the Holy Ghost.

It requires rejecting the doctrine that became One with the Father at His Resurrection.

It demands the assumption He is only the Son by virtue of His office.  But Scriptures teach that He was One with the Father before the world began.

2. God is also the Father of all who believe

“But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” (John 1:12)

Jesus is the only-begotten Son of God. When you received Jesus, you became a legitimate offspring of God through adoption.  As adopted sons, we are co-equal heirs with Jesus Christ.  

“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.”  (Romans 8:15

The symbolism of adoption in Judaism is deliberately chosen. A Jew may disown his sons, disinheriting them and going so far as to declare them judicially ‘dead’ to the family.

That is not permitted in the case of an adopted son.  Jewish law prohibits disinheriting an adopted son – no matter what.  An adopted son is a son forever.

(When we were last in Israel, I heard a little Jewish kid call his father “Abba.”  It means, “Daddy.”)

The promise of Romans 8:17 is that we will eventually be conformed to the image of His Son and transforming us into actual sons of God, otherwise we could never be considered joint-heirs with Christ.

“And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.”  (Romans 8:17)

We are conformed to the image of His Son when we receive our glorified bodies at the Rapture.  At the present time, God’s attention is focused on bringing many sons unto glory.

3. God is the Father of Israel.

Several times in the Old Testament God addresses the nation of Israel as His sons.  This relationship isn’t one in which individual Israelites were regenerated unto salvation by God, but rather connotes the national solicitude or fatherhood by reason of parental care for all.  God has also declared Himself husband to Israel, completing the familial symbolism between Himself and His Chosen People.

4. God is the father of all mankind.

The first four books of the New Testament each trace the genealogy of Jesus Christ backwards to King David and all the way back to Adam:  

“Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God. (Luke 3:38)

Adam’s right of sonship came by way of direct creation – the only concept of Divine fatherhood within reach of an unregenerate Gentile.

Addressing the unregenerate Greeks at Mars Hill who worshipped THE UNKNOWN GOD, Paul identified them as the offspring of God. 

“For in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also His offspring.  Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.” (Acts 17:28-29)

All men, saved or lost, are the sons of God inasmuch as they owe their existence to Him.  But this kind of sonship is based on mere existence without relationship.  It is a relationship in which Father and son have never met and that’s the way the son wants to keep it.

Any study of the Fatherhood of God brings with it the tragic sense of loss that comes when that lost sinner enters eternity with all hope of fellowship eternally lost.

One that God loves so much that He sent His much beloved and only –begotten Son to seek and to save.  One that Jesus loved so much that He willingly laid down His life to save is lost forever.

The tragedy in heaven when such a one is lost must be unbearable.

That is where we come in.  We are sons of God, eternally saved, and secure in the knowledge that we are saved by grace through faith.   As actual, literal sons of God, we have an obligation to reflect the Father’s love.

So the next time you are led to share the Gospel with someone and you’re hesitating over it, think about it from both perspectives.

How much would you have to love God to want to spare Him the agony of having to condemn one of His errant sons?

And secondly, how much would you have to hate that person to know the way to eternal life and not tell them about it?   

“But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?”  (1st John 3:17)

How, indeed?

The Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on October 28, 2010

Featured Commentary: Isaiah in High Places ~Wendy Wippel

Evil Under the Sun

Evil Under the Sun
Vol: 20 Issue: 21 Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Wisdom is something all of us seek, but few of us find when we’re looking for it.  According to the Bible, King Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived.  But King Solomon is also the author of the Book of Ecclesiastes, in which Solomon strives to explain the nature of life, only to conclude that he cannot.

“I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.” (Ecclesiastes 1:14)

Although Solomon was gifted with God-given insight and discernment, or wisdom all through his life, he was still in search of understanding as his days on earth dwindled down to a perilous few.  The Book of Ecclesiastes can be divided in four main parts:

  • The Futility of all Human Endeavor
  • The Futility of all Human Achievement
  • The Limitations of Human Wisdom and;
  • The Conclusion: Live Joyously in the fear of God

Solomon, at first blinded by the seeming futility of life despite his wisdom (“all is vanity”) reached his final conclusion only after he attained a measure of understanding:

“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)

The Scriptures tell us that wisdom plus instruction equal understanding and that ‘understanding’ is the senior of the three attributes.

Psalms 111:10 says “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do His commandments: His praise endureth for ever.”

Proverbs 1:7: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Proverbs 3:13: “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.”

Proverbs 8:5: “O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.”

Do you see the progression?  When one seeks wisdom through instruction, the Bible promises the result will be understanding.  But what is the difference between wisdom, which Solomon always had, and understanding, which came to Solomon only later in life?

Solomon outlines the progression of spiritual learning.  It begins by seeking the source of wisdom.  Having identified the source of wisdom, one must prepare to receive instruction; in other words, have a teachable spirit.

Wisdom plus instruction, when properly applied, will then yield understanding.

Assessment:

Let’s break this down a bit further.  Many people learn to drive by seeking instruction from a skilled driver.  The instructor, if he is worth his salt, will impart certain wisdoms; keep your wheels straight when waiting to make a left turn until you are ready to move, for example.

But if you don’t know why that is a wise move, it is probable that you will forget it as soon as you’ve passed your driver’s test.  If your instructor is any good, he will impart his wisdom together with instruction, which will lead to understanding.  

If your car is rear-ended while you are waiting to turn, if your wheels are already turned, you will be pushed into an oncoming lane of traffic and probably get hit again. 

Once you know why, you are far less likely to forget what.  Because wisdom plus instruction yields understanding.

As we progress in our walk with the Lord, we learn that the source of all wisdom is Scripture.  The Bible says that the ‘fear’ [respect] for the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom.  

That is to say, without respect for God’s Word AS God’s Word and therefore infinitely wise, instruction will be useless and understanding will never come.

Like the guy who gets mad when he gets a ticket for rolling through a stop sign.  To his mind, the cop is ‘picking on him’.  He never makes it to the point of understanding — and he probably gets a lot of tickets.

“And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have shewed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity.” (Ecclesiastes 2:9)

We miss much of what God has planned for our lives.  Instead of applying Scripture to our lives, we apply the wisdom of the world, best expressed as ‘live and learn.’

That will eventually yield some measure of worldly wisdom, but by itself, it won’t bring us to the next level, that of understanding.

Many Christians start out eager for instruction and seeking wisdom.  But then they reach a point where they feel they’ve learned all they need to know.

Paul refers to them as ‘milk’ Christians — baby Christians not yet able to digest ‘the strong meat’ of the Word of God.

Think back to the guy who got mad because he saw his ticket as evidence the cop is picking on him.  Now think about the last time you had a discussion with somebody over some element relative to Bible prophecy for the last days.

Take the Tribulation, for example.  The Scriptures teach that there will be saved Christians on the earth during the reign of Antichrist.

From there, it is easy to conclude those Christians are part of the Church.  Having reached that conclusion, any instruction to the contrary becomes a point of contention over the timing of the Rapture.

Putting the Church into the Tribulation Period means spiritualizing and allegorizing the rest of Scripture instead of seeking understanding.  Scripture teaches that the Christian in the Church Age cannot be overcome by the enemy. (1st John 2:14,4:4)

But the same Scriptures teach that during the Tribulation, the antichrist is not only empowered to make war with the saints, but ALSO to overcome them. (Revelation 13:7)

How does one seek to understand what appears to be such a glaring contradiction?

“Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.” (Proverbs 8:33)

The purpose of the Tribulation Period is two-fold; in the first, it is the ‘Time of Jacob’s Trouble’.

“Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.” (Jeremiah 30:7)

Note that Jeremiah says that “Jacob” [the children of Israel] will “be saved out of it.”  They will be saved OUT of the Tribulation, by the Promise of God — as Jews.

During the Church Age, individual Jews are saved by grace through faith and become Christians.  At the end of the Tribulation, Scripture says that ALL Israel will be saved, but by sight, rather than faith alone.

“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me Whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” (Zechariah 12:10)

The Church plays no role in Israel’s national redemption during the Tribulation.  The Church is in heaven and the 144,000 Spirit-filled Jews of Revelation 7 carry the Gospel, primarily to the Jews.

The second purpose of the Tribulation is to bring judgment on a Christ-rejecting, unrepentant world.

“Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.” (Revelation 9:21)

By definition, Church-Age Christians have already repented — they have no role to play in the Tribulation.

The Tribulation Saints are saved through the Spirit-dwelt 144,000 Jews empowered as evangelists by the seal of God (Revelation 7).  They are overcome by the antichrist, and are either killed or accept his mark.

During the Church Age, salvation is open to all men.  They need only to accept Christ and they are forgiven, their crimes erased, and they are washed in the Blood of the Lamb and spend eternity with Christ.

The Church Age and the 70th Week of Daniel are in different dispensations.  During the Church Age, salvation is unconditional.  During the Tribulation, there is no redemption for those who take the Mark of the Beast, according to the Word of God.

The Scriptures provide both wisdom and instruction. But one must be teachable to combine the two and come up with understanding.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on February 2, 2012