Secular Humanism Revisited

Secular Humanism Revisited
Vol: 25 Issue: 31 Monday, July 31, 2017

The spiritual warfare of the last days is intense and deadly. No general commits his troops to battle without first gathering as much intelligence about the enemy as possible in advance.

The Omega Letter Christian Intelligence Digest is dedicated to ferreting out intelligence information useful to Christians and disseminating it to those who will use it in the service of our General, until He returns to Personally lead the final Battle.

Please, let us know if you can think of a way we can better accomplish that mission. We want to do the best job we can in the time remaining.

Discovery Revives ‘Life On Mars’ Debate

The discovery of vast amounts of ice has revived the debate about whether or not life ever existed on Mars. The ice fields suggest Mars has — or had — sufficient water to make it possible for the planet to have harbored life. The data was obtained from the new Odessy spacecraft that took up orbit around the Red Planet this week. NASA claims that since ‘water is vital to life’ NASA takes the extraordinary leap of concluding the existence of the ice fields means there was once life on Mars. 

Assessment:

NASA is desperate to find evidence of extra-terrestrial life, so that science can put to rest forever the myth of a Creator-God who created Planet Earth alone to sustain life. Science is a religion unto itself and scientists are the clergy of secular humanism.

Secular humanism is a worldview, but it is also a religion. A ‘worldview’ is a set of beliefs through which one interprets all reality.

The Humanist Manifesto defines secular humanism as a faith. “These affirmations [in the Manifestos] are not a final credo or dogma but an expression of a living growing faith”. [The Humanist Manifesto, Paul Kurtz Prometheus Books, 1993]

The Supreme Court ruled secular humanism was a religion [Torcaso vs. Maryland, 1960] Secular humanism qualifies as a religion for IRS 501c(3) religious organization tax exemptions.

To the humanist, man created God in man’s image. Secular humanism has its own clergy, as noted, its own explanation for creation [evolution] its own moral teachings [ethical relativism] and its own god – man.

Secular humanism can be defined as a religious worldview based on atheism, naturalism, evolution and ethical relativism. It has its own devil — the belief in God. Secular humanism’s battle with God is as old as humanity itself. In the Garden, Satan tempted Eve with the promise that her eyes would be opened and ‘ye shall be as gods’. – [Gen 3:5]

Paul describes the worldview of secular humanism this way: “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. . .Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. [Romans 1:21,25]

In outlining the ‘perilous times’ coming on the earth in the last days, Paul describes the prevailing worldview in the last days as ‘having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof’ [2 Timothy 3:4]

Does finding water prove there was life on Mars? No. Science is ordinarily quite careful about making pronouncements they can’t prove.

Except when it comes to evolution, extra-terrestrial life, or any of the other tenets of humanism. They can’t prove any of it, but they argue that Christians can’t prove God, either.

That makes each worldview an issue of faith. I prefer to put my faith in God. Humans lie.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on March 2, 2002

Featured Commentary: The Theory of Crisis and Quantum Entanglement ~Pete Garica

”How Fast Was I Going?”

”How Fast Was I Going?”
Vol: 25 Issue: 29 Saturday, July 29, 2017

From time to time, somebody will email to complain about my use of the King James Version of the Bible.   It almost always begins confrontationally, complete with accusations of “King James Onlyism” or “Biblolatry.”

I personally study the KJV. And I believe there are flaws in the other translations. But I don’t insist that all other versions are either worthless or Satanic.

You see, the reason that I believe there are flaws in the other translations is because guys who CAN read Greek, Latin and Coptic Egyptian compared all three and THEY said there were differences.

Things that are different are not the same, so, if there are differences, it is clear that there are flaws somewhere.

But since I can’t read Greek, Latin and Coptic, never translated the TR or the CV/CS, in the end, I am choosing the KJV as the superior text primarily on faith, am I not?

Where have I placed my faith? In God? Or is my faith in what one set of translators say, rather than that of another set of translators? Or faith in what one group of writers and thinkers say, rather than that of another group of writers and thinkers? And so on.

After all, if I am to charge out there and defend the King James Version of the Bible, I should be sure I am defending God’s Word, and not that I am defending what a group of 15th century translators said was God’s Word.

I have my reasons for being suspicious of the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus manuscripts, but when you get right down to it, I don’t know without first looking it up which modern translations are from CV/CS and which are not.

The inherent flaw in “King James Onlyism” is that it leads to “Bibliolatry” which is a form of idolatry in which one worships a Book more than its Author.   

The problem with dogmatically declaring the King James Version of the Bible as the superior translation is that my faith is placed in translators, intellectuals and scholars whom I’ve never met, instead of an all-powerful God that is as capable of ensuring the Bible I have is the Bible He wanted me to have as He was of inspiring those He used to write it.

I agree with the sentiment that “God only wrote one Bible” but it is equally true that He didn’t write it in English.   The debate soon shifts from faith in the translators to faith in the copyists that transcribed the Textus Receptus from which the KJV was translated.

The oldest complete existing copy of the Textus Receptus dates to about the 10th century AD.

In 1845 an emissary of Fredrick, King of Saxony was visiting the Convent of St. Catharine in the Egyptian Sinai when he noticed some old looking documents stacked up as kindling for lighting the stove.

The emissary, Friedrich Tischendorff, examined one of the pages and recognized it as an ancient piece of the Bible written in Greek.

Tischendorf stunned the world when he unveiled his ‘Codex Sinaiticanus’ written in Greek and penned in the 4th century AD, making it the oldest known complete ‘autograph’ [hand-copied manuscript] of the Bible in existence.

Shortly thereafter, the Vatican discovered a similarly old manuscript that was dubbed the “Codex Vaticanus” written in Latin.   It was from these newly-discovered manuscripts that the NIV and a host of new Bible versions have been produced.

The immediate problem with the new translation is that the original Sinaticus/Vaticanus manuscripts are themselves translations of  translations.   It is fair to argue that things are often lost in translation, and that is where most of the debate is centered.

The battle between King James Onlyists and those who champion some other version of Scripture has always centered on which version is the most accurate.  

Let me say it up front.  I don’t know which version is the most accurate.  Some guys with lots of credentials say the King James is the most accurate.   Some guys with similarly long lists of credentials say it is a different version.

I have neither the credentials nor the knowledge necessary to refute either side’s conclusions as to which is the most accurate.

But that doesn’t mean the issue is irrelevant.

Assessment:

In their 1992 acceptance speeches for the Democratic nomination, Bill Clinton and Al Gore both tossed in a little Scripture to assure the voters that God was on the Democrat side.

“Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man the things that we can build” was God’s message to Bill Clinton.

Al Gore told his audience, “Scripture says, Do not lose heart.  This nation will be renewed.”   Clinton misquoted 1st Corinthians 2:9 replacing God’s promise with a promise from Bill Clinton.

When I was researching the story for a segment on “This Week In Bible Prophecy” I went through every Bible version I could find to figure out where Gore got his.

Al Gore just made his up entirely.  Nobody seemed to notice.  If anybody did notice, they probably assumed what I initially assumed.  That I didn’t recognize it because it was from another Bible version.

THAT is the real problem with having two dozen different Bibles.  Not that you or I have any way of knowing which one is the most accurate. 

The problem is not being able to tell if somebody is quoting Scripture or just making it up.  

I recently traded in my car for a newer one.  The newer one has a regular clockface speedometer and a digital speed readout displayed directly beside it where it is easier to read.  So it has two different speedometers. 

I also have one of those stick-to-your-windshield navigators.  One of the features on it is that it also displays your speed digitally, which gives me yet a third speedometer.  

The problem is, they don’t match.   When my navigator says I’m going sixty mph, my speedometer says I’m going sixty-five.   

So I’ve got three speedometers and I don’t know how fast I’m going.

The same problem exists with multiple versions of the Bible.  There are a dozen Bible versions and I have no way of knowing if the guy quoting Scripture is quoting it accurately.

I do not believe that the existence of so many different versions of the Bible is the result of a deliberate conspiracy by Satanists.  I believe that the majority, if not all the Bible translators must have been believers as well as serious scholars of Scripture. 

I believe that they believed that they were improving on the original product and that they had God’s blessing on their efforts.

However, I also believe in the Law of Unintended Consequences.  

The introduction of the Sinaticus and Vaticanus manuscripts and the so-called “Age of Enlightenment” followed parallel tracks.   The Age of Enlightenment is often referred to as the beginning of the “Age of Reason” or the “Age or Rationalism.” 

The Age of Enlightenment is credited by Church historians with the demise of the Philadelphian Church Era and the rise of the Church of Laodicea.  

History proves that to be a fair assessment.

While the translators and scholars may have intended only good things to come from their efforts, the effect is the same as having three different speedometers. 

My speedometers all agree that my car is in motion.  But the details about how fast are, at best, a little fuzzy.  Whether or not I get a ticket would depend on which speed the cop says I was going.  If I only had one speedometer reading, I might argue.  But with two, how can I be sure?  

I don’t worship the King James Version of the Bible.  But I study from it.  I teach from it. It is the only source I trust for doctrine.  I will from time to time use other versions to help clarify certain points, the same way I might use a Bible commentary.  

But when it comes to doctrinal truth, there can be only one standard authority.  For me, that is the King James Version.  How do I know that the Bible I am using is the most accurate? 

I don’t. 

I have a certain amount of faith in the scholars and theologians and translators that tell me it is the most accurate, but I have no way of knowing if they are right.

But I trust that the God that inspired the Bible is capable of preserving it the way He wants me to have it.   That’s why I use it. That’s why I teach from it. 

For the same reason I’m taking my car in to get the speedometer fixed.  Close is good enough, sometimes.   Sixty-five mph isn’t the same as sixty. And when you need to know the difference,  you need to know.

Just ask a cop.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on June 18, 2010

Four Resurrections — One Judgment

Four Resurrections — One Judgment
Vol: 25 Issue: 28 Friday, July 28, 2017

During the thousand year Millennial Reign, the earth will be populated by ordinary, living, breathing humans, some of whom survived the Tribulation Period, together with those who will be born (in the usual manner) during the Kingdom Period. 

The human lifespan will return to what it was in the days of Adam, but they will be mortal humans in the sense that, even with Satan bound, men will still die, and sin will still exist;

“There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.”

Further proving that the inhabitants of the Kingdom Period are ordinary humans; they will need food, and shelter, and to get it, they will have to work for a living, even as they enjoy an extended lifespan:

“And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.” (Isaiah 65:21-22)

Coinhabiting the earth with mortal humans, Scripture tells us, are the immortal resurrected dead.

“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.” (Revelation 20:4-5)

Notice two key points John makes in this passage. 

First, those being addressed are undeniably those who came out of the Tribulation. And second, John says that, AFTER the Tribulation, (in which they were beheaded) they both live AND reign with Christ for the full thousand years. 

This passage is often used as a proof text to argue in favor of a post-Tribulation Rapture. After all, they are clearly those who endured the Tribulation. And if it is the ‘first’ resurrection, then it must take place concurrent with the Rapture. 

That seems to make sense, until you look at the passage again. Those referenced there are ONLY those who came out of the Great Tribulation. 

Church Age believers and the Old Testament saints are not mentioned, since they have already received their resurrection bodies. (Matthew 19:28Daniel 12Job 19:25)

“Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:6)

Revelation 20:4-6 mentions a “first resurrection” and identifies those involved as “blessed and holy.” The second death (the lake of fire, Revelation 20:14) has no power over these individuals. 

But how does one have two ‘first’ resurrections; the first at a pre-Trib Rapture, and the second at the end of the Tribulation Period? 

Actually, the Bible identifies the ‘first resurrection’ as occurring in four stages, not two. 

The first resurrection, in general, is the raising of all believers from all ages. 

It corresponds with Jesus’ teaching of the “resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:14) and the “resurrection of life” (John 5:29). 

And it clearly takes place in various stages; the first was Jesus Christ Himself two thousand years ago. 

He was the ‘Firstfruits’ (1 Corinthians 15:20) Who prepared the way of salvation for those who Trust Him during the Church Age. 

The second stage involved the resurrection of the saints of Jerusalem;

“And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” (Matthew 27:52-53).

Stage three is the resurrection of the “dead in Christ” followed by the Rapture of “we which are alive and remain” at the Lord’s return for His Church at the conclusion of the Church Age. (1st Thessalonians 4:17

And finally, the resurrection of the martyrs at the conclusion of the final seven years of the Age of the Law. (Revelation 20:4Daniel 9:24

All these groups are part of the ‘first resurrection’ upon whom the ‘second death’ (in the lake of fire) will have ‘no power’. 

There is no inconsistency between resurrection of the saints at the conclusion of the Church Age, followed by a separate resurrection of the martyrs at the conclusion of the Tribulation, anymore than there is an inconsistency between the Resurrection of Christ followed by the separate resurrection of the O. T. saints in Jerusalem. 

From the Resurrection of Jesus to the resurrection of the Tribulation martyrs and O.T. saints (Daniel 12:13); it is all part of the general ‘first’ resurrection of the dead in four stages, each of which is clearly separated according to Scripture to a specific purpose in the overall Plan of God. 

The second resurrection, then, is the raising of all unbelievers; the second resurrection is connected to the second death. It corresponds with Jesus’ teaching of the “resurrection of damnation” (John 5:29).

The event which divides the first and second resurrections is the millennial kingdom. 

The last of the righteous are raised to reign “with Christ a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4), but the “rest of the dead [that is, the wicked] lived not again until the thousand years were finished.” (Revelation 20:5).

As part of understanding Scripture’s outline of the overall Plan of God, consider the various epochs of human history from the perspective of the angels who did NOT join the rebellion, and who, by nature, have no understanding of what sin really is or how it really works.

“Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; WHICH THINGS THE ANGELS DESIRE TO LOOK INTO.” (1st Peter 1:12)

We are a mystery to the angels. The Bible says they are charged with ministering to us, but that one day, they will be judged BY us. (1st Corinthians 6:3)

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with SO GREAT A CLOUD OF WITNESSES, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,” (Hebrews 12:1)

Isaiah 14 introduces us to the first outbreak of sin in the universe.

“For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”

For his sin of arrogance, God pronounced judgement on Lucifer, the most honored of His angels, and those rebellious angels who followed him;

“Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” (Isaiah 14:12-15)

The existence of humanity is often described by theologians as the ‘trial of Satan’. 

The courtroom is Planet Earth, with Jesus as the Righteous Judge, the angels as witnesses, and with sinful mankind serving as evidence. It is more than just the trial of Satan. Sin itself is on trial. 

Lucifer, called in Scripture, “the anointed cherub that covereth” was highly favored of God; “and I have set thee so” (Ezekiel 28:14) Isaiah 14:14 defines that first sin as, “I will” — the sin of pride.

The trial is to prove what ‘one little sin’ can do — the classic ‘slippery slope’ scenario. 

The trial opens with Exhibit 1 — Adam and Eve. They are placed in a perfect environment and given only one command — to avoid the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. They fail — and man inherits a sin nature. 

Exhibit 2 –Man is allowed free reign until the Flood — the so-called “Age of Conscience”. Without Divine interaction or instruction, society becomes so sinful and corrupt that God saves Noah and his family alive and destroys the rest in the Flood.  

Exhibit 3 – During the Age of the Patriarchs, God spoke directly to chosen individuals; Abraham, Noah, Lot, etc. Each, even having spoken directly with God, commit some heinous sin.

Having gone from one commandment (the Age of Innocence) to no commandments at all (the Age of Conscience) to direct confrontation,(the Age of the Patriarchs) God progresses to giving mankind the Ten Commandments (the Age of the Law).

Not one person ever kept all ten of them throughout his lifetime, no matter what the circumstances. (David, for example, broke all ten of them.)

Exhibit 4 — The Age of the Law, during which time the Commandments of God became so corrupted and perverted that it became necessary to scrap the whole system and replace it with the Age of Grace.

To accomplish that God Himself stepped out of space and time, took on the form of sinful man, kept the Law on our behalf, and paid the price for our sin. (Death) 

In so doing, He made a way for all mankind to be saved by faith through grace. 

But most of mankind rejects even the free offer of grace, preferring a life of unregenerate sin. 

That constitutes Exhibit 5 — and it must make the angelic witnesses gasp in disbelief. 

From the perspective of the angelic witness, then, ‘one little sin’ has thus far brought mankind to the point it is today. So far, God has given sin every opportunity to prove itself worthy of its wages.

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23)

Exhibit 6 — The Age of Grace concludes at the Rapture. The Rapture removes the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit, giving Satan (and sin) free reign for seven years. And the end result is the near-destruction of all human life. 

Jesus then returns at the 2nd Coming, binds Satan for a thousand years, and reigns Personally from Jerusalem. 

Mortal humanity has no excuse, He is right there, in Person, for all to see. 

Satan’s influence is restrained, lifespans are extended, there are no more wars, famine or poverty, and humankind is returned to the Eden-like state from which it began. 

With God Himself on the Throne of human government, ruling with a rod of iron for a thousand years, Satan is loosed for ‘a little season’.

“And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.”

The mortal humans who have lived in a state of God-given idyllic bliss for a thousand years, under the influence of Satan, raise an army to bring against the King of Kings and Lord of Lords Himself. Exhibit 7. 

Sin is judged according to its works.

“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.”

This is the SECOND resurrection. Unlike the first resurrection, it has only one phase.

“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” 

“And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:10-12,14)

In the overall Plan of God, as outlined in Scripture, everything has a purpose. There are no omissions, no errors, and no inconsistencies. 

From Genesis to Revelation, a central theme of Scripture is that sin is the cause of death, and will ultimately be eradicated from existence, together with all those who “received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:12)

Praise the Lord for that OTHER central theme of Scripture.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on May 17, 2011

Featured Commentary: Ongoing Temple Mount War ~Alf Cengia

On the Lunatic Fringe

On the Lunatic Fringe
Vol: 25 Issue: 27 Thursday, July 27, 2017

The other day, I caught another rerun of the National Geographic special, “Doomsday – the Book of Revelation” produced by Morningstar Productions and broadcast on the National Geographic Channel.

I was hesitant to participate in the program when invited, but decided to go ahead after many assurances that the purpose of the program was to take a serious look at the prophecies of the apocalypse and not to present believers as members of the lunatic fringe of Christianity.

Instead, the program was divided between ‘serious scholars’ and ‘believers’ who, of course, were portrayed as being on the lunatic fringe of Christianity. 

The ‘scholars’ chosen to exegete the last Book of the Christian New Testament included a Jewish rabbi and a Jesuit, whose role was to explain where the lunatic fringe believers (like me) had gone wrong in their understanding of Scripture. 

Debunking the Gospels has been elevated to an art form in this generation — particularly when it comes to those parts of the Gospel that deal with eschatology (the study of the last days.) 

The “Jesus Seminar” came into being in 1985 for the express purpose of “demythologizing” the Scriptures, especially the wave of apocalyptic preachers who had begun building on the work of my friend Hal Lindsey’s “Late Great Planet Earth.” 

Hal was among the first to popularize the fact that the prophecies of Scripture for the last days had started to fall into place, beginning with the restoration of Israel to her ancestral homeland in 1948 as predicted by the Hebrew prophets of antiquity. 

Hal was by no means the first to recognize the significance of the existence of a Jewish state called “Israel” as a harbinger of the last days. Matthew Henry’s “Exposition of the Old and New Testaments” (published in 1710) addressed Israel’s restoration as the key to unlocking the prophecies of the last days. 

The purpose of the ‘Jesus Seminar’ (according to the seminar’s founder, Robert Funk) is to use ‘historical methods’ to determine what Jesus, as an historical figure, may or may not have said or done. 

The group retranslated (actually, they rewrote) the New Testament and then used their own translation as their primary source of reference. The Jesus that emerged from their reconstruction of the Gospels was nothing more than an itinerant rabble rouser. Their Jesus was just a “wise man and a good teacher”. The Resurrection, they concluded, was a myth. 

The seminar treats the Gospels as filled with fabrications — especially the Gospel of John. They concluded that the Gospel of Thomas (upon which the “Davinci Codes” was based) was more authentic than the Book of John and that the Gospel of Thomas rightly belongs among the Canon of Scripture. 

That single conclusion encapsulates the Jesus Seminar’s incredible arrogance. Irenaeus, (130 – 202) dismissed the Gospel of Thomas as a Gnostic heresy as did virtually all the early Church Fathers — many of whom lived within living memory of the events described in the Gospels. 

The Jesus Seminar’s Gospels are not prophetic — and neither is their “Jesus.” According to these alleged scholars, Jesus preached what they call ‘sapiential eschatology’ (repairing the world) rather than the traditionally understood ‘apocalyptic eschatology’ (the end of the world). 

Therefore, they dismiss the Olivet Discourse (What will be the sign of Thy coming and of the end of the world? -Matthew 24, Mark 13 Luke 21) as a pack of lies. 

Indeed, according to the Jesus Seminar, of all the sayings of Jesus, only fifteen quotes attributed to Jesus were”authentic” and other fifteen were “probably authentic.” They conclude that the remaining 82% of the Gospels were complete fabrications. 

The Jesus Seminar concluded that the only part of the Lord’s Prayer that was actually uttered by Jesus were the words, “Our Father.” (I kid you not)

Among their other conclusions were: 

Jesus was born during the reign of Herod the Great, but He had a human father whose name may or may not have been Joseph.

Jesus was not born in Bethlehem, but in Nazareth. 

Jesus was an itinerant “sage” Who shared meals with social outcasts. 

Those who were healed by Jesus were suffering from psychosomatic illnesses. 

He neither walked on water, fed the multitudes with five loaves and seven fishes, changed water into wine at Cana nor raised Lazurus from the dead. 

Jesus was executed for being a public nuisance, not for claiming to be the Son of God. 

Jesus was not raised from the dead, and the empty tomb was a fiction perpetrated by Paul, Peter and Mary, all of whom were suffering from delusional hysteria. 

Of the 74 ‘scholars’ listed in their publication, “The Five Gospels” only 14 could be considered leading figures in New Testament studies. 

Almost half got their degrees from the same three liberal universities, Harvard, Claremont or Vanderbilt. The majority teach at such bastions of higher education as local community colleges. 

Among the “scholars” are Catholics, Jews, mainstream Protestants, admitted atheists, various professors at universities and seminaries, one pastor, three members of the Westar Institute in California which sponsored the project, one filmmaker, and three others whose current occupations are entirely unidentified. 

Noted William Lane Craig in his paper, “Rediscovering the Historical Jesus: Presuppositions and Pretensions of the Jesus Seminar:

“The real, historical Jesus turns out to have been a sort of itinerant, social critic, the Jewish equivalent of a Greek cynic philosopher. He never claimed to be the Son of God or to forgive sins or to inaugurate a new covenant between God and man. His crucifixion was an accident of history; his corpse was probably thrown into a shallow dirt grave where it rotted away or was eaten by wild dogs.

Now if these conclusions are correct, we who are Christians today are the victims of a massive delusion. To continue to worship Jesus today in light of these conclusions would be either idolatry or mythology––idolatry if you worship the merely human figure who actually lived, mythology if you worship the figment of the Church’s imagination.” 

Ya think? 

Assessment:

It is no accident of history that the Jesus Seminar came into being in this generation. When Jesus was asked to outline the signs of His soon return, the first thing He said was, “Take heed that no man deceive you.” (Matthew 24:4)

He warned; “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” (Matthew 24:11)

The Apostle Peter warned; “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” (2nd Peter 3:3-4) 

Peter called such ‘willfully ignorant’ — which is a pretty good description of the so-called ‘scholars’ of the Jesus Seminar. 

I have always found it fascinating that so many have invested so much effort in ‘proving’ the Gospels are fiction and that Jesus was just a wise man and a good teacher. 

As we’ve discussed on many occasions, Jesus claimed to be the Son of God sent to redeem the world from its sins and to restore fellowship between God and man. 

If it were not true, He could not have been a “good teacher.” Good teachers do not teach lies. Neither could He have been very wise. Wise men don’t go to their deaths for a lie. 

If Jesus was not the former, He could not logically have been the latter, either. 

We have people who claim to be the Son of God in our world today. You can usually find them in nice, clean rooms, dressed all in white and playing Scrabble with the guys who claim they are Napoleon, not universally acclaimed by their critics as wise men and good teachers. 

All of the Apostles (except John) were put to death for refusing to recant their testimony of Jesus Christ, His Deity, His Resurrection and His miracles. 

(The Apostle John was boiled in oil but was miraculously delivered from death. Unable to kill him, the Emperor Domitian ordered his banishment to the Isle of Patmos.) 

Matthew was run through by a sword in Ethiopia. Mark was dragged to death by horses in Egypt. Luke was hanged in Greece. 

Peter was crucified upside-down. James, the brother of Jesus, was thrown from the pinnacle of the Temple. (James survived the 100 foot plunge and was finished off by beaten to death with a fuller’s club)

James, son of Zebedee was beheaded in Jerusalem. Bartholomew was whipped to death in Armenia. Thomas was speared to death in India. Jude was killed by archers. 

Mathias, chosen by lot to replace Judas Iscariot, was both stoned and beheaded. Paul was beheaded in Rome on orders from Nero. 

Every single one of the Apostles were ostracized by their families and friends for their witness of Jesus Christ. They lived as homeless beggars, were beaten and imprisoned on a regular basis, and each could chosen to recant their witness to save their own lives. 

What else would motivate them to live the lives that they did and willingly embrace the deaths that they suffered? (Every single one of them — without exception?)

The Jesus Seminar has yet to offer an alternative explanation apart from mass hysteria. Instead, they simply argue that it never happened. 

It is easy for me to understand why Christians want to preach the Gospel to the lost. The Gospels offer hope. They extend the promise of eternal life and reconciliation with God. The Gospel message answers the age-old question, “What is the meaning of life?” 

What I cannot understand, in the natural, is the zeal with which atheists, agnostics and “scholars” like the Jesus Seminar preach their empty message. 

The message they carry is utterly empty. The meaning of life remains an unanswered and unanswerable question. It offers no hope of redemption, holds out no promise of eternal life, and provides no incentive for doing good. 

All that life offers is a cold grave at the end of a miserable and painful existence. If they are right, why should they care if others believe in an eternal existence in either heaven or hell? It isn’t any more real than believing in the Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus. 

Why expend so much effort to proclaim a gospel of misery? It makes no sense whatever. 

There is only one context in which such devotion to emptiness makes sense. If God exists, so does Satan. As God is the embodiment of love, so too, is Satan is the embodiment of hatred. 

The Bible says that Satan’s hatred of mankind is so intense that he will expend any effort to ensure that man eventually joins him in hell. 

C.S. Lewis once remarked that Satan’s most effective tool is the belief that he doesn’t exist. 

The most effective way to ensure he will have plenty of company in his eternal place of torment is to convince man that there is nothing beyond the grave to either aspire towards or fear. Which is precisely the ‘gospel’ advanced by the Jesus Seminar. 

Logically speaking, there can be only one answer that explains such dedication to debunking the Gospels as myths and portraying Jesus as just another historical nut case. 

Because Jesus was EXACTLY Whom the Gospels portray Him to be; the Son of God, sent to make atonement for the sins of the world. 

No other answer passes the logic test.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on February 14, 2007

A Parable

A Parable
Vol: 25 Issue: 26 Wednesday, July 26, 2017

You wake up one morning and find a guy camping out in your back yard. You go out and ask him what the heck he thinks he’s doing there and he says he used to live in your house before he lost it to back taxes.

You bought the house from a realtor at fair market value and didn’t know about the tax foreclosure, but now this is your house and he’ll have to go find somewhere else to set up camp.

The next morning, you get up to find the guy has moved his whole family into your backyard and refuses to leave. But you’re a compassionate sort — you’ve gone through hard times yourself, and you find yourself in empathy with the guy.

You don’t need the whole backyard, but you don’t want to get locked into anything, either. So you just go about your daily business and let the people in your backyard go about theirs.

Until one day you come home and find them sitting in your living room watching TV. Well, it’s raining out, and they are watching your favorite TV show, so you don’t throw them out, but you don’t necessarily welcome them, either. Maybe they’ll get the idea on their own.

Next morning, you get up and find yourself standing in a line to get to your bathroom. “Enough is enough,” you bellow. “Everybody out!”

Later, the head of the family in the back yard comes to you and says, “As far as we are concerned, this is our house. Our family lived here for generations before you bought it, and we want it back. We’ll let you have the master bedroom and part of the living room, but the kitchen is ours.”

Well, until they came, you lived alone, and you find you kind of like the company. But you draw the line at giving up the kitchen — as a professional chef, (it’s a parable, I can make up anything I want) the kitchen is the center of your home.

So you strike a bargain in which you have access to the kitchen, under supervision, for certain agreed-upon periods during the day.

However, they insist, you must pay all the bills for maintaining the house and pay for all the food. You finally hammer out an equitable agreement in which they agree to keep up the property in exchange for your footing the bills.

It isn’t a perfect agreement, but you can afford it, they are dirt-poor, and you don’t have time to do all the work yourself anyway.

So you pay the bills, the squatters take over your house, but they trash every room they take over. While you agreed to share the living room, its such a pig-sty that you just give it over to them and start spending most of your time in your bedroom.

The last straw comes when you go to the kitchen as per your agreed-upon hours and are forbidden entry. This is the very last of the last straws. You toss everybody out of the house and lock all the doors.

In response, they go on a rampage in your back yard, burning your toolshed, digging up all your flowers, and chanting threats that your house is next. Exasperated, you call in the law.

Turns out the policeman is the squatter’s brother-in-law so he refuses to evict them from your yard. So you take it to court.

The judge, (who turns out to be the squatter’s cousin) rules that since you let them squat in your yard, they have a proprietary interest so, they can stay in your backyard, but not in your house.

You don’t think the verdict is fair, but you are a law-abiding sort, so you surrender your backyard and try to negotiate an agreement whereby you can cross ‘their’ territory to get to your lawn mower and garden tools.

You finally work out a deal where you can go get your lawn tools, but in exchange, you have to cut their grass, too. The first time you try to go get it, they won’t let you through unless you give them bathroom privileges.

It seems reasonable; you aren’t in the bathroom all the time anyway, and they have to go somewhere, so you agree and they let you pass. You finish cutting the grass and there they are back in the living room watching TV.

You throw them back out and they start throwing rocks through your window. You call the police and the same brother-in-law shows up and begins making excuses for them. Exasperated again, you take them to court.

The (judge who is a cousin) rules that since you agreed to the bathroom deal, what’s so bad about them watching a little TV once in awhile?

He refuses to evict them from your yard, and includes the bathroom sharing arrangement as part of the formal deal.

When you ask for damages for the broken windows, they are refused on the grounds it wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t locked them out.

Now, you can’t get to your lawn tools without making a new concession every time you go there, so you decide to just close off the back yard and let them wade through the field of their own making.

You put up a privacy fence to separate ‘their’ part of the yard from yours, leaving a little gate they can come through to use the shared bathroom. Next thing you know, they start lobbing paint filled balloons over the fence at your house. From the bathroom, they toss paint balloons down the hall and into your living room.

You call the police, get the same brother-in-law who again sides with the squatters in the back yard. So you go to court, where the judge orders you to take down the fence. Convinced you are getting a raw deal, you refuse. The judge says, “Then don’t come complaining to me if they retaliate because of your fence.”

“But,” you protest, “the only reason for putting up the fence is to prevent them from attacking my house.”

“Not my problem,” says the judge. “You should have thought of that when you threw them out of their own house that they’ve lived in for generations.”

“But I bought it from a realtor. I have a deed,” you protest.

“It’s because of that deed that I let you live in the house instead of the backyard,” the judge says.

“But this court can’t totally ignore the fact they lived there for generations before you took possession,” noting, “when you moved in, you agreed to let them stay. Now it is up to the two sides to work out an equitable sharing arrangement.”

The judge bangs his gavel, then says to you, “Oh, and cut the grass. Your yard is an eyesore.”

You leave the courtroom, understandably stunned. You bought the house fair and square — and nobody is disputing it. You’ve got the documents to prove it. But despite that, neither the squatters, the police nor the judge recognize your right to sole occupation. And every effort to explain the sharing arrangement puts them in a stronger legal position.

You should have just tossed the guy out on his ear the day he set up camp in your yard.

Now, you’re stuck with the situation as it has evolved; outnumbered in your own house; the police and courts are openly hostile to your claims.

And no matter what the terms of the original agreement was, you know they are only going to uphold one side’s obligations under any agreement — and it isn’t your side.

So one day, having had enough, you pick up a club (because you are outnumbered) and charge over there to have it out with them. This time, the police blame you for an unprovoked attack.

The court awards them damages in the form of full legal title to your back yard.

The war goes on, back and forth, between you and the squatters who now own your backyard up to the fence, with the squatters claiming the entire back yard and still complaining that the gate makes it too hard for them to exercise their right to the shared bathroom.

You finally lock them out of the bathroom. Your neighbors, sick of the commotion (and all former neighbors of the squatters in the back yard) band together into a neighborhood association aimed at driving you out of the neighborhood.

They sign petitions demanding you move away. They complain your privacy fence is an eyesore. Your house is ugly and paint-spattered, your back yard is a mess and there are people living in tents when they should be living inside a house and they blame YOU for their pitiful situation.

A few pretend to be your friends, but at the same time, you know that they are sneaking paint and balloons into your back yard for the squatters to throw at you.

But at least they are not at the moment openly attacking the front of your house from their side of the street, so you pretend back and try not to antagonize them.

Assessment:

It has all the makings of a plot line for a Stephen King novel or a nightmare of the sort brought on by a late night snack of double anchovy pizza washed down by a cold glass of milk.

Instead it is a thinly disguised parable about Israel and the Palestinians. The Arab ‘Palestinians’ had lived in the region for four hundred years as subjects of the Muslim Ottoman Empire. Title passed from the Ottoman Empire to the British when the British captured Jerusalem during the First World War.

Britain was granted legal title under the British Mandate, and Israel came into legal possession of that title to its’ ‘house’ in 1948 when it was recognized as an independent state by the United Nations in 1948.

The new title holder, Israel, did not take the title away from the Arab occupants. The British did that. Israel took possession of the land from the British. Israel’s Arab neighbors attacked openly five times, were defeated five times, and now quietly arm the Palestinians for war while claiming to be negotiators for peace.

The UN has ruled in favor of the Palestinians in every dispute that has come before it, including many as ridiculously one-sided as those in my parable.

The Arab-controlled UN General Assembly has never passed a resolution condemning a single Arab action, but has passed more resolutions condemning Israel than all the rest of the world’s serial human rights abusers combined.

The Palestinian claim to Israel is as thin as the squatter’s claim in the parable, and the behavior of the squatters in the back yard is instantly recognizable as mirroring the various Palestinian intifadas over issues like sharing Jerusalem and refusing Jewish access to the Temple Mount.

The Temple Mount is the heart of Israel’s religious existence. Without it, it would be like the home of a professional chef without a kitchen.

And Jerusalem is Israel’s ancient, God-given and Divinely restored capital. For the Jews, demanding a share of Jerusalem would be like demanding a share of one’s living room.

(Neat how I worked those in, no?)

In 2007, The Palestinians announced a tentative date for their meeting with Ehud Olmert in Annapolis, Maryland. PA President Mahmoud Abbas made the announcement, adding a warning that, “unless ALL the issues at the root of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are solved, violence will break out anew,” reported the Jerusalem Post.

As in our parable, the police and judge in this case are all related, so there was no outcry from them when the squatters threatened to attack, even though they had no claim to the shared living room (Jerusalem) and reneged on the deal to share the kitchen (Temple Mount).

And like the bewildered homeowner, Israel reacted to the threats with a statement from Ehud Olmert promising to try harder, only to be met with a demand for even more from the other side.

According to the Jerusalem Post there was the promise. . .

“Israel Radio later quoted Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as saying that he would make a “great effort” to ensure that the conference becomes a first step towards peace. Olmert said it was imperative to avoid making excuses and to venture forward in negotiations despite the risks involved. . .

. . . followed by the new demand:

Meanwhile, the chief Palestinian peace negotiator, former PA prime minister Ahmed Qurei, said Tuesday there would be no talks with Israel unless a deadline was set for establishing a Palestinian state.

Our parable has a nightmarish-like relentless quality to it — like running down a long hallway and the faster you run, the longer it gets. You go to the cops, its the enemy’s brother-in-law. The only judge is a first cousin. All the rules seem to work in reverse, and always against you, even when it is patently obvious — like in a bad dream.

What used to be your back yard, bought and paid for (in Israel’s case, in blood during the Six-Days War) is now behind a fence erected to protect what is left of Israel’s homeland. The judge [the UN] sides with the Palestinian demands that the fence come down ‘as a condition of peace’ when the only reason FOR the fence is to KEEP the peace — by keeping out Palestinian terrorists.

In the real world, you just couldn’t make something like this up from scratch. If you did, it would have that same surreal, dreamlike quality to it that our parable does.

It is hard to imagine an institution as corrupt as the one represented by the police and judge of the parable, and even harder to imagine rulings that one-sided being handed down by any legal authority.

Yet the UN and General Assembly’s record is so one-sided and biased against Israel that you probably suspected the parable was about Israel and the UN long before I told you.

The point is, you couldn’t make this up — in any other context, it is too unbelievable to make sense. I hope that I am telegraphing my next point — it means you’re seeing the Big Picture — if you can’t make stuff like this up, how hard is it to accurately predict it, in detail, thousands of years in advance?

Look how many predictions we’re talking about, all coming together at the same time, to paint an otherwise impossible Big Picture:

First, the Bible predicted the restoration of Israel — the exact same piece of geography to the same ethnic group, to be called by the prophesied name of “Israel.” This is an event unparalleled in the history of human civilization.

At the time in which the prophets spoke of a restored nation of Israel, that nation had already been destroyed by the Assyrians a generation before. It would not exist again for 2500 years.

But when it was restored, the Bible said, it would be restored geographically, ethnically and religiously, and its scattered citizens would return with their ancient customs, traditions, language and religion intact.

By itself, that is an amazing prophecy, made even more amazing by its fulfillment in our generation.

Second, the Bible predicted Jerusalem would return to Israeli possession. That was even considered an impossible prophecy during the modern era.

The UN Partition Plan called for making Jerusalem an ‘international city.’

From 1948 to 1967, Jerusalem and the Temple Mount part of Jordan. But in 1967, both fell under Israeli sovereignty for the first time in twenty-five hundred years, precisely as prophesied.

Third, the Bible predicted that Israeli possession of the Temple Mount and Jerusalem would become the central flashpoint of global politics, with the Prophet Zechariah predicting the whole world would become obsessed, as if drunken, over the question of who owns Jerusalem.

Fourth, all the prophets predict that Israel will, in the end, stand alone and friendless against the entire world in their claim for both the city and the Temple Mount.

Israel is the only genuine representative Western-style democracy amid a sea of radical Islamic dictatorships in the midst of what amounts to a war between radical Islam and Western society. Israel’s enemies are equally the enemies of the Western world.

But the Western world consistently (and, given the whole ‘war’ thingy, inexplicably) sidesagainst Israel and with its shared radical Islamic enemy.

When asked, most can’t quite explain why. It just seems like the right thing to do.

Western government spokesmen mumble something about ‘Palestinian victimization’ by the Israeli ‘occupation’ == but when pressed, can’t identify the actual victimizer nor explain what Palestinian territory Israel is actually ‘occupying’.

And they know that any Palestinian state created out of the current population will be a terrorist state and whatever weapons they send them to ‘defeat’ the Zionist occupiers will later be turned on them.

But they don’t seem able to help themselves. It doesn’t make any sense, even when you try to explain it logically.

But the Bible PREDICTED it. Look at the layers of predictions that all depended upon one another in order to project the Big Picture we see before us. The picture we see is the one the Bible prophets foresaw and foretold.

Had the Arabs accepted the 1947 Partition plan, the Bible’s predictions would have failed. Had the Israelis not recaptured the Old City and Temple in ’67, the Bible’s predictions would have failed.

If the Western world sided with Israel as its natural, Western democratic natural ally, (which is also the most logical scenario) the Big Picture would be unrecognizably altered and Bible prophecy would fail.

These are all predictions recorded thousands of years in advance, and puzzled over by every generation to study them in the centuries since. Had any of them failed, the Big Picture we see would not be the one that they, or we, expected.

But here it is, in all its splendiforus gloriousness — undeniable evidence of both the accuracy of Bible prophecy and reality of a Creator God Whose foretold Plan of the Ages is coming together before our very eyes!

But the top-rated television program on cable last Sunday night wasn’t, “The King Is Coming,” or, “Prepare to Meet Thy God.”

The top-rated show on cable last Lord’s Day was the History Channel’s, “The Lost Book of Nostradamus.” Which is the fulfillment of yet another Bible prophecy:

“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2nd Timothy 3:7)

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on November 3, 2007

Featured Commentary: Hope and Change in the Time of Job ~Wendy Wippel

Handicapping the A/C

Handicapping the A/C
Vol: 25 Issue: 25 Tuesday, July 25, 2017

One of the more interesting trends pointing to this generation as the one that will see the fulfillment of Bible prophecy and the return of Christ is the tremendous amount of interest in His counterfeit.

Back in the 1990’s,  I was involved with a lot of prophecy conferences.  We hosted a couple a year when I was with “This Week in Bible Prophecy”.   And at every one of them,  somebody would come up to me to share their personal research concerning the identity of the antichrist.

Later, when I went to work with Hal Lindsey, we put on a couple of conferences down in LA and one in Seattle. It didn’t much matter whose conference or which coast — I’d still end up with reams of personal research naming the antichrist.

The obsession with identifying the antichrist seemed to take off near the end of the 1980’s with some ministries devoting more of their attention to the coming of the antichrist than they do to the return of Christ Himself.Prince Charles Coat of Arms

One such theory was presented by Tim Cohen back in the early 90’s entitled, “The Antichrist and A Cup of Tea.”  Cohen names Charles, Prince of Wales, as the antichrist.  Charles was born in 1948.  His name calculates to 666 in both English and Hebrew. 

Cohen notes the symbols in his official coat-of-arms resemble the first beast of Revelation 13.   He claims descent from David, Jesus, and Mohammed, Cohen says, and hopes to be the King of Europe.  

Of course, that was back in the early 90’s.  Charles no longer even hopes to be King of England. 

The late Charles Taylor pegged King Juan Carlos of Spain, noting that Juan Carlos’ name adds up to 666 in ten different languages. King Juan Carlos is hereditary heir to the title, “King of Jerusalem”. King Juan Carlos has a sailboat named “The Dragon.”

But while Juan Carlos is Spain’s titular head-of-state, the real power is invested in the country’s prime minister, not the King.  It seems unlikely that a King not entrusted with political power over his own country would be handed authority over all of Europe.

Javier Solana is another famous Spaniard widely promoted as the antichrist.  Solana was the de-facto head of state for both the European Union and the Western European Union.

Solana’s supporters point to WEU Agreement 666 which combined the two posts into one under Solana’s authority.  Both the EU and WEU arose out of the old Roman Empire as a consequence of the 1957 Treaty of Rome.

But Solana retired in 2009 after serving out a ten year term and was replaced by Catharine Ashton and Herman Van Rompuy, at least temporarily taking the EU presidency off the list of potential antichrists. 

Some of Solana’s cheerleaders have shifted their allegiances over to Von Rompuy since Catharine Ashton is disqualified by her gender. They point to a speech he gave shortly after being named to his office:

2009 is the first year of global governance, with the establishment of the G-20 in the middle of the financial crisis.  The climate conference in Copenhagen is another step toward the global management of our planet.

If making that observation qualifies one for the job of antichrist, Von Rompuy’s bid has to stand behind George Herbert Walker Bush, who was the first to address the move towards a New World Order during his “Thousand Points of Light” speech.  

But President Bush wasn’t the antichrist and now he’s too old.  His son can’t be the antichrist, either. Scripture paints a detailed portrait of the man Daniel said would be a prince of the people who would destroy the city [Jerusalem] and the sanctuary [the Temple]. Both were accomplished at the hand of future Emperor Titus of Rome in AD 70. 

We know he comes from among ten ‘kings’ in a restored Roman Empire. (Daniel 7:7 7:24, Revelation 13:2) The Western European Union, interestingly enough, restricts its FULL member roster to ten nations. All other member-states are either ‘associate members’, ‘affiliates’ or ‘permanent observers.

That would seem to disqualify Barack Hussein Obama as well, although of all the possible pretenders to the throne,  Obama’s credentials are the most impressive.   On the day he was elected president, the winning Pick 3 numbers in his home state lottery were 666. 

Daniel 7:8, 24 says the antichrist  will rise from obscurity, but with a ‘mouth speaking great things’.  That’s our Obama. His beginnings are so obscure, we aren’t even sure if he began in Hawaii or Kenya. 

We know nothing of his background; his educational records are sealed, and he has a phalanx of lawyers on retainer to keep the details a secret.

He will blaspheme against God. (Daniel 7:25; 11:36; Revelation 13:5) 

In his first major speech on foreign soil, Obama denied America is a Christian country and said it was one of the largest Muslim countries in the world.

For the record, the CIA World Factbook disagrees — or it did when it was last updated in 2007. 

Religion: Protestant 51.3%, Roman Catholic 23.9%, Mormon 1.7%, other Christian 1.6%, Jewish 1.7%, Buddhist 0.7%, Muslim 0.6%, other or unspecified 2.5%, unaffiliated 12.1%, none 4% (2007 est.)

While 51.3% Protestant and 23.9% Catholic (75.2%) may not make America a Christian country, (although I don’t see how)  America’s 0.6% Muslim hardly qualifies it as a Muslim country,  even to Muslims.

The antichrist will confirm a covenant between Israel and her enemies.  The covenant will establish a Jewish presence on Temple Mount and will restore Temple worship.

He will put an end to Jewish sacrifice and offerings after 3 ½ years and will set up an abomination to God in the Temple [Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:15].

His power will be as absolute as any ‘king’ of the ancient Babylonians, Persians, and Greeks. [Revelation 13:2] He will not answer to a higher earthly authority; “He will do as he pleases.” [Daniel 11:36]

The antichrist will pay lip service to the religion of his ancestors.  Obama’s religious ancestry is Muslim.  He will deny Jesus as the Messiah and deny His resurrection and His Deity.  But Obama claims to be a Christian — a God his fathers knew not. 

But Obama, like Solana, Bonnie Prince Charlie and King Juan Carlos of Spain, is not the antichrist.  Like all the rest of them, he is missing several critical qualifications.   

First off, the antichrist is an organizational genius who essentially rules the world single-handedly.  Obama has a mouth speaking great things, but that’s about as far as one can reasonably take it.  

Obama’s administration is proving itself to be as inexperienced and inept as his most vociferous critics had feared.  He’s been unable to pass a single piece of major legislation despite having veto-proof control of both Houses of Congress.

He’s not accomplished a single one of his campaign goals.  He’s practically lost the war in Afghanistan.  Any hope he had of convincing America he could set up an efficient government-run health care system evaporated when his administration dropped the ball over H1N1.

Far from the picture of the antichrist as controller of a global economic system, Obama’s economy is the worst in sixty years, no matter who he tries to blame it on. 

Obama’s charisma is undeniable, but his popularity is plummeting faster than any American president in living memory, including that of  George W. Bush.  

The difference between Obama and the antichrist is obvious.  The Bible says people will like the antichrist. 

Assessment:

I don’t believe it is the job of the Church to be watching for the antichrist.  I believe the Scriptures teach it is the duty of the Church to be watching for the coming of Christ for His Church, not the coming of His enemy. 

I don’t believe the Church will still be here when the antichrist comes to power, so his identity is largely irrelevant. ‘Largely’ irrelevant. Not completely.

The Bible goes into great detail concerning the antichrist, listing at least twenty-seven separate prophecies regarding the man of sin — of which we’ve touched on just a handful. 

No Scripture is without relevance to the Church, including those concerning the antichrist. What is important is viewing those Scriptures from the right perspective. 

In addition to the prophecies regarding the antichrist, the Bible gives dozens of other prophecies to the Church, most of which will not be fulfilled until after the Church has been Raptured. 

That begs the question; “if we aren’t going to be here when it happens, why devote so much time to the details?”   It’s an excellent question. 

In His Olivet Discourse, Jesus outlined events from the perspective of Israel at the time of the end. He described the Tribulation Period from two entirely different perspectives.

Matthew 24:4-14 describe the events now ongoing as the Church Age comes to a conclusion. Jesus speaks of global wars, rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, etc., saying “all these are the BEGINNINGS of sorrows.”

Jesus promises that, “he that shall endure to the end shall be saved.” (24:13) That He is referring to those Christians that are alive at His coming at the end of the Church Age is confirmed by the next verse: 

“And this Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and THEN SHALL THE END COME.” (Matthew 24:14)

Immediately after THAT ‘end has come’, there is a shift in focus from global events to localized events from Israel’s perspective, all of which are framed within the context of Jewish Law. 

Jesus alludes to the ‘abomination of desolation’ (of the as-yet non-existent Temple.) (24:15) He addresses those specifically living in Judea (the modern West Bank). He makes reference to the Jewish Sabbath travel restrictions (not imposed on the Church). 

For the Church, it is a warning that our time is drawing to an end, that the fields are white with the harvest, and that the harvest season is quickly drawing to a close.

For the Jews, it is evidence that this same Jesus Who forecast the Tribulation will also return at its conclusion. 

When He returns visibly at the conclusion of the Tribulation, Zechariah says that “they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him,” [Zechariah 12:10] ultimately resulting in Israel’s national conversion and salvation in accordance with God’s purpose for the ‘Time of Jacob’s Trouble.’ 

The details about the coming antichrist are useful to the Church only in that they impart a sense of urgency to fulfill the mission of preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom into the whole world BEFORE the end comes.

As the saying goes, “if the calendar says Thanksgiving, then you know Christmas is right around the corner.”

If the symbols, heads, horns and beasts of Daniel and Revelation are beginning to make sense, then you can know that this is the generation to whom they were addressed. Daniel didn’t understand all that he was seeing in his vision, and he asked for an explanation. 

Instead, the revealing angel told Daniel, “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” [Daniel 12:4]

The Book of Daniel is no longer ‘sealed’ — because this is the time of the end.  The search for the antichrist has become an obsession for many — even within the professing Church.

But the purpose for Bible prophecy is not to entertain, titilate or scare people with stories about the coming of Satan’s boogeyman.  Its purpose is to validate the truth of Scripture to a lost and sin-sick world. 

It is to give the warning that time is running out on this world, and that the time is coming when the world has to make a choice. The Christ?  Or the antichrist?  

Pontius Pilate offered the Jews a similar choice before he pronounced sentence on Jesus.  Will it be Jesus?  Or Barabbas? 

The true Church has already chosen Jesus. There is no need to put the question before it again.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on November 30, 2009

Lukewarm Christianity

Lukewarm Christianity
Vol: 25 Issue: 24 Monday, July 24, 2017

According to a survey carried out by the British theological think-tank, “Theos” one person in three between the ages of 18 and 24 did NOT know where Jesus Christ was born.

One in ten respondents to the survey thought that Jesus was born in Nazareth.

One in four didn’t know that an angel told Mary she would give birth to the Son of God. (Those respondents thought she had been informed by the shepherds)

In all, “Theos” asked a total of four questions of a representative group of 1015 people across Britain in a telephone survey.

Here are the questions, as asked of respondents in the survey:

  1. According to the story in the Christian Bible, where was Jesus born? (One in four didn’t know)
  2. Who told Mary she would give birth to a Son? (One in three didn’t know)
  3. Who was Jesus cousin? (Half did not know)
  4. Where did Joseph, Mary and Jesus go to escape from King Herod when Jesus was a young child? (77% didn’t know)

For the record . . . Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Mary was informed by an angel, John the Baptist was first cousin to Jesus and the family fled into Egypt to escape Herod.

Only SEVEN PERCENT of Britons between the ages of 18-24 aced the questionnaire. The most knowledgeable demographic was the group aged between 55-64.

And among the most knowledgeable Britons, a mere EIGHTEEN PERCENT — less than one in five — answered all four questions correctly.

Or, put another way, EIGHTY-TWO percent of British adults between the ages of 55 and 64 COULDN’T answer all four questions correctly.

Commenting on the results of the survey, Paul Wooley, director of Theos, was unsurprised.

“No-one seriously thinks that being a Christian or a member of the established Church is the same thing as being British today. But, at the same time, if we are serious about social cohesion we can’t afford to ignore the stories that have bound us together as a culture for a thousand years.”

Assessment:

It is difficult to reconcile the survey results with the nation that gave the English-speaking world the King James Bible.

America was founded by British Christians in pursuit of religious freedom.

Until the dawn of the 20th century, Britain led the world in bringing Christ to the nations.

Indeed, until early days of the 20th century, the word ‘missionary’ without the word ‘British’ preceding it was only half a word.

The London Missionary Society was an extensive Anglican and Nonconformist missionary society formed in England in 1795 with missions in the islands of the South Pacific and Africa.

The Anglican Missionary Society spread throughout the 18th and 19th century, establishing the world-wide Anglican communion, once second only to the Catholic Church in its universality.

English Christian culture reached its peak during the Victorian Era, during which time, blasphemy against God, Christ, Christianity or the Bible was a punishable crime.

(It is worth noting that, at the same time, the British Empire reached its zenith, giving rise to the saying, “the sun never sets on the British flag.”)

A century later, the sitting Archbishop of Canterbury made headlines when he questioned the Divinity of Christ and the veracity of the Resurrection story.

(And today, the sun sets on the British flag every day at the same time it sets over London. Make of that what you will, but facts are facts.)

Many Bible scholars over the centuries have noted a correlation between the descriptions contained in the Seven Letters to the Seven Churches and seven identifiable periods (or epochs) within the Church.

  1. Ephesus corresponded to the Apostolic Church of the 1st century (33-100).
  2. The Church at Smyrna was the Persecuted Church under the Caesars (100-312)
  3. The Church at Pergamos corresponds with the early Roman Church founded by Constantine (312-590)
  4. The Church at Thyatira (The “Dark Ages”) corresponded with the period when the Vatican kept the Bible under lock and key and persecuted non-Catholic Christians as ‘heretics’ (590-1517)
  5. The Church at Sardis corresponds to the Reformation Era (1517-1750)
  6. The Church at Philadelphia (the ‘missionary Church) corresponds to the Great Revival period during which the Gospel was introduced around the world (1750-1925)
  7. The Church of Laodicea (the apostate Church) corresponds to the rise of the Christian ‘ecumenical movement’ the first ‘Ecumenical Council’ the Federal Council of Churches, the World Council of Churches, etc. (1925-the Rapture)

The spirit of the Church at Philadelphia is embodied by the historical phrase, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” reportedly utter by Charles Stanley, when, at long last, he ended his search for missing British missionary David Livingstone.

(It is indicative of the British Christian missionary zeal of the 19th century that Dr. Livingstone had no desire to be ‘rescued’, and subsequently died in Africa.)

A hundred or so years later, one in four of his countrymen can’t name the birthplace of Christ.

Of the final epoch of the Church Age, Jesus says,

“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth.” (Revelation 3:15-16)

But take heart, Christian! Although Christ had zero words of commendation for the overall Church of the Last Days, He did not abandon us.

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:19-20)

There can be little doubt that we are deep into the Laodicean era. How deep is a matter of conjecture, but the Times of the Signs suggest we are in its waning hours.

“For when these things BEGIN to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:28)

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on March 20, 2008

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