Seeking God

Seeking God
Vol: 25 Issue: 30 Saturday, June 30, 2018

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

The word “seek” appears in KJV some 233 times.  It is translated from the Greek word ekzeteowhich means “to search out, investigate, worshipfully crave, seek after carefully.”    

This is the manner in which we come to the Lord  – we seek Him out. 

I’ve never met anyone who came to salvation accidentally, or someone who came to know the Lord that wasn’t seeking the truth when they found Him.  If a person doesn’t want to find the truth, he won’t.  

There are those of us who may have found Him by trying to disprove He is, but the only way to accomplish that is to first investigate Him, search Him out, seek Him, and see if He is there.  

If one is diligent in his search and honest in his investigation, God promises that search will be rewarded by God.

There is no greater reward in return for effort expended that to find that which one is seeking, whether is a a lost set of car keys, a buried treasure — or the truth of God’s existence.  

And that knowledge is the reward that is offered here. 

A lot of time that I could be putting to better use is wasted trying to convince people by sharing the results of my own diligent investigation which convinced me that there is an eternal God to Whom we are all accountable for our sins.

I forget oftentimes that I am unable to be diligent on the behalf of the disinterested. I cannot seek God on behalf of someone else, no matter how hard I try.  

I cannot make someone else seek God either, no matter how much I hover over them with my Bible. 

There is an old saying that “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.”  If you tried to make him drink you’d drown him.  

Either that, or that horse would never trust you around water again. 

I’ve done that with my Bible.  Someone will seem (to me) to show an interest in spiritual things, and I’ll immediately charge in with the Sword of the Lord.  

And I will stay in there, thrusting and parrying, long after my opponent has asked to withdraw without yielding the field. 

I led them to the Water of Life — whereupon I tried to drown them in it.  

They’ll not get too close to the edge again with me around. 

Assessment:

“Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” (Matthew 7:6)

One of the most discouraging aspects of one-on-one evangelism is feeling that you’ve let God down by not seizing every opportunity to witness to someone.  

I’ve personally never led anyone to Christ who wasn’t already looking for Him. 

Not once have I ever emerged from one of those adversarial debates over Scripture and God feeling victorious in the sense my opponent suddenly fell to his knees and prayed for salvation.  

That is not to say that it doesn’t happen — I’ve just never seen it.  I’ve seen people come to salvation, but I’ve never witnessed anyone unwillingly dragged to the altar that experienced genuine regeneration.  

To please God, one must believe that He is.  But to discover that He is, one must first be seeking Him.  

We can plant the seeds — but generally what we harvest was what was planted by others.  There are a couple of ways to plant a seed.  

One can plant it in fertile ground that has been prepared to receive it.  Or one can throw it against the same fertile ground and hope it will germinate and take root.  

In either case, whether or not it will grow is, in the final analysis, up to the Lord of the Harvest and not to the planter.  

Farmers plant crops that fail all the time.  And squirrels plant trees all the time.  It’s obvious that a seed planted in fertile ground that has been prepared to receive it has a much better chance of germinating. 

The point is that it is up to us to try to plant the seed in fertile ground prepared to receive it and in the right season.  Planting in the wrong season just kills the seed and needlessly exhausts the sower.  

(Toss some seed corn into the snow in your backyard and let me know what you harvest.)

The Great Commission commands us to go and make disciples of all nations, and the only way to accomplish that is to share the Good News.  

But trying to beat the Good News into them doesn’t make disciples.  It makes more determined adversaries. 

“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)

Note: If we are as far on the prophetic timeline as we believe we are, let us plant the seeds of salvation with wisdom which only comes from the Lord. “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and BE READY ALWAYS to give an answer to every man THAT ASKETH YOU a reason of the hope that is in you WITH MEEKNESS AND FEAR:” (1 Peter 3:15)

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on January 13, 2010

”How Fast Was I Going?”

”How Fast Was I Going?”
Vol: 25 Issue: 29 Friday, June 29, 2018

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

Featured Commentary: Training for The Tribulation ~Alf Cengia

An Evil Under the Sun

An Evil Under the Sun
Vol: 25 Issue: 28 Thursday, June 28, 2018

It is pretty obvious that the Omega Letter qualifies as a ‘right-leaning publication’ in the current political vernacular. It might be useful to examine what that means, and why.

To begin with we unashamedly admit we tend to view things from a conservative perspective, which is the political equivalent of the ‘Right’, whereas those who view things from a liberal perspective constitute the ‘Left’.

The degrees to which each side are willing to compromise their views are ‘moderates’ and the extremes to which each side put ideology ahead of common sense make up the ‘far right’ and ‘far left’.

The terms ‘left’ and ‘right’ were coined after the pattern of the post-revolution French parliament to seat liberals to the left and conservatives to the right in the debates. Got it so far?

Liberals derive their authority to govern from the will of the people as expressed by majority vote. Liberals believe that the majority is the ultimate moral force.

Liberals believe in ‘progressive thinking’ — out of which comes support for abortion, gay rights, intrusive government, mandatory state education, removal of religion from public discourse and education, etc.

To obtain the authority to govern, they advocate a kind of modified Marxist philosophy of class warfare, pitting the wider voter pool of poor voters against the somewhat smaller voter pool of affluent voters.

‘Tax cuts for the rich’ is a slogan that only thinly disguises the Marxist philosophy that private property should be reapportioned by the state — what we used to call ‘communism’.

Liberals tend to view the Constitution as a ‘living document’ — presumably so it can be tortured into saying whatever they want it to say. Hence the ‘discovery’ by a Massachusetts court of a Constitutional ‘right’ to gay marriage.

Following Bush’s re-election, thousands of what might qualify as ‘extreme’ liberals promised to pack up all their stuff and move to Canada.

Although ‘promising’ isn’t the same as actually ‘doing’, liberal newspapers like the New York Times made it appear as though a mass exodus to Canada was in the works.

Assessment:

There is no place for God in the American political left. Oh, they claim that there is, but that is another example of how liberals operate. God is invited, but only if He will tone down His opposition to the left’s political platform.

For the American right, the authority to govern isn’t derived from the will of the people, it is granted by the Creator. While the majority can rule on points of policy, the power to legislate is limited.

While the Congress can legislate tarrifs, levy taxes, and provide for the common good, they cannot overturn principles of common law such as ‘Thou shalt not kill’ in order to permit abortion, ‘Thou shalt not bear false witness’ in order to excuse perjury, or overturn ‘Honor thy father and thy mother’ by encouraging kids to turn their parents in for punishing them for breaking household rules.

Conservatives don’t see America as a democracy, they see it as a Constitutional Republic. The Constitution isn’t a living document to be tortured until it says what they want it to, it is the supreme law of the land just the way it is.

To a conservative, the 1st Amendment’s guarantee that ‘Congress shall pass no law respecting the establishment of religion’ doesn’t mean kids can’t say the Lord’s Prayer in school, it means that Congress can’t pass a law respecting the establishment of a religion.

Similarly, where the 1st Amendment says, ‘nor prohibit the free exercise thereof,’ it means that Congress can’t tell kids they CAN’T say the Lord’s Prayer in school.

To a conservative, a local school board ISN’T the Congress, the CONGRESS is the Congress. The mayor of Boise, Idaho isn’t the Congress. One judge isn’t the Congress. The Ten Commandments are NOT a ‘religion’ and there is no difference between kids studying Islam in school and kids studying Christianity in school.

Conservatives find no conflict between the Ten Commandments and the rule of law represented by the Constitution.

Because the Bill of Rights extends to all citizens, no special ‘rights’ need be ‘discovered’ to permit women to practice birth control by murdering their babies in the womb, or a right to gay ‘marriage’ or the right of the state to impose an education system in place of the right of parents to educate their own children, or the right of the government to regulate what they are allowed to learn.

Conservatives believe that ‘progressive thinking’ doesn’t mean seeking ways to impose Marxist collectivism and confiscatory redistribution of wealth, but rather means finding ways to make capitalism work for all its citizens.

A quick read through Ecclesiates is illuminative;

“A wise man’s heart is at his right hand; but a fool’s heart at his left,” writes the Preacher. (Ecclesiastes 10:2)

One need only listen to the rantings of the left to see the truth of his next statement,

“Yea also, when he that is a fool walketh by the way, his wisdom faileth him, and he saith to every one that he is a fool.” (10:3)

One thinks of the New York Times celebration of the decision of some liberals to move to Canada to protest the reelection of the president for Solomon’s next verse to fall into context:

“If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offences.” (10:4)

“There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler,” the Preacher writes, before lighting into the class warfare tactics so dear to the hearts of the left. “Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in low place.” (10:6)

That is not to say that the rich are better than the poor. But it is folly to believe that the poor employ the rich — it is the other way around. The ‘no tax cuts for the rich’ slogan is folly incarnate, yet it is a battle cry of the liberal left.

The liberal worldview offers its adherents dependency. It promises that its leadership will take care of them and provides for their needs by confiscating resources from those who work hard and redistributing it to their dependents, calling that ‘leveling the playing field’.

They oppose putting power in the hands of the people. Consider the opposition to allowing younger workers to invest part of their Social Security taxes in high-yield private accounts, which would also make them less dependent on the government in their old age.

They oppose home-schooling, which gives parents the power to raise and educate their children as they see fit. The goal, as they ‘level the playing field’ is to bring everyone to the same level on dependency on government, making government the supreme being. 

Dr. Howard Dean, former head of the DNC, exemplifies the moral bankruptcy of the Left. In a press conference after his acceptance speech in 2005, Dean promised to ‘reach out’ to the ‘evangelical community’, telling the Washington Times that “We have to remind Catholic Americans that the social mission of the Democratic Party is almost exactly the same as the social mission of the Catholic Church.”

Dean’s cynical effort to pander to the right is exposed by his inability to distinguish between ‘evangelicals’ and Catholics, and his reliance on the ignorance of his audience being equal to his own.

Can Dean possibly believe that American Catholics share the social mission of abortion on demand, the abolition of school prayer, mandatory state education and gay marriage? Or that they share the social mission of ‘evangelicals’, if he could figure out what THEY were?

Paul called this ‘having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.”

I am often accused of being a Republican, [I am not] because I have nothing good to say about Democrats [which is, unfortunately, true].

I opened by acknowledging that the Omega Letter qualifies as a ‘right-leaning’ publication, and promised to explain what that means and why we lean that way.

Ecclesiates was written by King Solomon, whom the Bible says was Israel’s wisest king ever. He calls their platform an ‘evil under the sun.’ He offers the choice between wisdom and folly and outlines how to distinguish between the two.

“A wise man’s heart is at his right hand; but a fool’s heart at his left.”

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on February 22, 2005

Featured Commentary: Two Christianities ~J.L. Robb

The Land Nobody Wanted

The Land Nobody Wanted
Vol: 25 Issue: 27 Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The land claimed by Israel is smaller than the state of Rhode Island. In comparison to the Arab Middle East, Israel is like a single piece of sod on a football field.

Carrying the analogy further, imagine that one team has to defend that single piece of sod from an opposing team that outnumbers them 650 to 1.

The other team, claiming unfair advantage, is demanding the single piece of sod be divided and half of it be awarded to them.

The referees agree, and penalize the defending team for refusing to concede half of its 1/6th of one percent of the field to the opposition [that outnumbers them 650 to one]. The crowd loudly boos the defenders.

That is roughly analogous to the rules of engagement under which the Middle East conflict is being played out.

The Arab side makes two concurrent claims; 1) Israel has no historical right to the land; and 2) Israel, by its existence, has dispossessed the indigenous Palestinian people, leaving them with nowhere to go.

Except for a few decades of Christian control during the Crusades era, the land claimed by Israel was under Islamic control for 1300 years. This is one of the principle arguments advanced in favor of the Palestinian claim that Israel has no historical right to the Land of Promise.

That argument is bolstered by the existence of an Arab mosque atop what the Jews claim as Temple Mount, a mosque that has graced Mount Moriah for some 1,350 years.

According to modern Islam, the mosque atop Mount Moriah is the third-holiest site in Islam. Recenty Islamic tradition says the al Aqsa Mosque marks the place where Mohammed ascended into heaven aboard a winged horse.

For that reason, it now ranks third in line behind Mecca and Medina as Islam’s holiest cities.

In ancient times, Israel sat atop the most strategic crossroads of the known world. One couldn’t get from Babylon to Egypt by chariot without passing through it.

Israel and Jerusalem have been fought over and conquered by the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Egyptians, Romans, Arabs, Turks, and finally, the British in 1917.

In each of its conquests, Jerusalem was strategic because of its strategic value as Israel’s God-given capital. From Nebuchadnezzar to Titus, each successive conqueror acknowledged Jerusalem as the capital of the Jews.

When the region was conquered by Islam, taking Jerusalem was a strategic, rather than religious necessity. Whoever controlled the Jewish holy city controlled the remaining indigenous Jews.

The reconquest of Jerusalem became a holy religious duty only after the Crusaders claimed the city for Christianity. Since the city was holy to Judaism and holy to Christianity, it became holy to Islam, as well.

But ‘holy’ doesn’t mean the same thing to Islam as it does to Christians and Jews. To Christians or Jews, ‘holy’ means worthy of reverence, whereas to Islam, ‘holy’ means worthy of possession.

Under Islamic possession, Jerusalem was just another dusty city of the province of Southern Syria. In the four hundred years Jerusalem was under Ottoman rule until 1917, the city was never even a regional or provincial capital.

After the Ottoman Empire fell to the Allies in the First World War, British foreign secretary Lord Balfour put into writing Britain’s support for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”

When the League of Nations made Palestine a British mandate after the war, Lord Balfour’s declaration was assumed as part of the deal and the allied powers of the Great War all agreed. By 1935, there were more than 300,000 Jews in Palestine. Tel Aviv, founded in 1909, had 100,000 people.

In 1947 Britain, which had been handed the Palestine problem by the now-defunct League of Nations passed it on, with relief, to the newly born United Nations. The UN agreed to partition Palestine into a Jewish state, an Arab state, and a neutral UN zone containing Jerusalem, a city sacred to three religions.

The Jews were thrilled, the Arabs adamantly opposed.

In late 1947 the plan was ratified by the UN, and the State of Israel proclaimed on May 14, 1948. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled the country.

The the British pulled out completely, and most of the Arab world- Egypt, Transjordan (now Jordan), Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon, as well as Palestinians- immediately attacked in an attempt to destroy Israel.

By the time of armistice in 1949 Israel held three quarters of Palestine- twice as much land as the UN had proposed- Jordan had taken the land on the West Bank of the Jordan River, and Egypt had taken the Gaza Strip.

It is at this point in the story of the Middle East that history ends and the modern myth of the Middle East is born.

Assessment:

The modern myth is that at the end of the Israeli War of Independence, the indigenous ‘Palestinian’ people were dispossessed by Israel and left with nothing.

The historical fact is that, until the mid 1930’s, the term ‘Palestinian’ was a label applied to the Jews.

Until 1950, the name of the Jerusalem Post was THE PALESTINE POST; the journal of the Zionist Organization of America was NEW PALESTINE; Bank Leumi was the ANGLO-PALESTINE BANK; the Israel Electric Company was the PALESTINE ELECTRIC COMPANY; there was the PALESTINE FOUNDATION FUND and the PALESTINE PHILHARMONIC.

All these were Jewish organizations. In America, Zionist youngsters sang “PALESTINE, MY PALESTINE”, “PALESTINE SCOUT SONG” and “PALESTINE SPRING SONG”

In general, the terms ‘Palestine’ and ‘Palestinian’ referred to the region of Palestine as it was prior to 1948.

Thus “Palestinian Jew” and “Palestinian Arab” are straightforward expressions. “Palestine Post” and “Palestine Philharmonic” refer to these bodies as they existed in a place then known as Palestine.

The adoption of a Palestinian identity by the Arabs of Palestine is a recent phenomenon. Until the establishment of the State of Israel, and for another decade or so, the term ‘Palestinian’ applied exclusively to the Jews.

The claims of the Arab ‘Palestinians’ to be a separate people is an utter fiction. There is no language known as Palestinian. There is no distinct Palestinian culture. There has never been a land known as Palestine governed by Arab Palestinians.

Arab Palestinians are indistinguishable from Jordanians (recent British inventions all), Syrians, Lebanese, Iraqis, etc.

Syria was created by the British and subsequently given to France as the French Mandate. The Syrians declared independence after the British left in 1946, two years before Israel did the same thing. Jordan was created by the British in 1921.

The same British government that created the modern Arab world in 1920 at the San Remo Conference in Italy — by decree — also created a Jewish homeland the same way at the same conference.

And the Jewish Palestine of the Balfour Declaration as confirmed at San Remo encompassed a much bigger chunk of ground than Israel claims today.

Until the Jews renewed their claim to the land of Palestine, nobody else wanted it. The Jews petitioned for statehood on the principle that Palestine was “a land without a people” and that the Jews were “a people without a land.”

Arab revisionist historians say that claim was ‘a myth.’ History and mathematics tell a different story — if anybody were interested in the facts, that is.

In 1948, there were about 735,000 Muslim and Christian Arabs in Palestine. There were about 716,000 Jews. Since the same land now supports a population of more than 12 million combined Arabs and Jews, the argument that the Arabs were ‘crowded out’ by the Jews makes no sense.

The ‘Palestinian refugees’ languishing in ‘refugee camps’ in Jordan, Lebanon and elsewhere, were not interned by Israel. They were interned by their own governments after those governments lost the war with Israel.

Those Jordanian citizens that lived in Jordan’s West Bank and the citizens of Egypt’s Gaza Strip (who, on May 30, 1967 were still Egyptians), became instant ‘Palestinians’ on June 7, 1967.

From the moment of its declaration of statehood, the Jews of Israel have lived under the constant threat of annihilation by the surrounding Arab states.

As Golda Meir observed during the Yom Kippur War, “the Arabs can fight, and lose, and come back to fight another day. Israel can only lose once.”

What makes this significant is that NONE of this is a secret. Knowing this, the entire world prefers the fictional account advanced by the Islamic world; that the Palestinians pre-existed the Jews, that the Jews stole ‘Palestinian land’ dispossessed its inhabitants and locked them away in refugee camps.

Remember the football field and the single square of sod analogy. To the world, dividing that single square of sod defended by a team outnumbered 650 to one that holds the rest of the football field is an example of ‘leveling the playing field’.

It is nothing short of madness. But it is a madness that seems to have infected the world at large. The Islamic version of the Arab-Israeli conflict is a monstrous lie being advanced in favor of a claim to land that nobody wanted until the Jews did.

In the midst of a global war on terror, the world is prepared to countenance an openly terrorist government ruling over a ‘people’ that do not exist, (a people whose only goal is the ANNIHILATION of another people whose history is THE most documented record of ancient times) based on the argument that the Jewish claim to Jerusalem is historically invalid.

That lie is so delusional that it boggles the mind. Yet it is the basic reason for a global war on terror that now threatens to spill over into an all-out war of civilizations.

Israel, by its very existence, is a stench in the nostrils of the secular world. It is a constant reminder of the existence and reality of God, and therefore, man’s accountability before Him. Paul explains it this way:

“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind. . .” (Romans 1:28)

The secular world’s war, blind anti-semitism so ingrained in its psyche it is blissfully unaware it even exists.

Any critically-thinking person can see the truth, yet the UN consistently finds the ‘anti-truth’ when it involves Israel. It is almost supernatural in its scope and breadth. In fact, scratch ‘almost’ from that last sentence.

It IS supernatural.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on April 11, 2006

Featured Commentary: Critical Cutlery ~Wendy Wippel

Faithfully Scared Witless

Faithfully Scared Witless
Vol: 25 Issue: 26 Tuesday, June 26, 2018

You know, it’s a funny thing.  It is all the horrific events and uncertain finances and wars and tragedies that sap our excitement and fill us with dread when all the while, they are the very reason we got excited in the first place.

I mean, it was seeing these things begin to come to pass that grabbed our attention in the first place.

And as they grew closer and more intense, our excitement built up . . . but now, it has been sign after sign after sign . . . but no trumpet.

And suddenly, all these things, as exciting as they were, begin to take second place to worry; the mortgage market, our retirement accounts, whether war in the Middle East will drive gasoline prices through the roof – and what IF the Democrats win the White House again next year?

Counting on the Second Coming of Christ sounds so . . . well, you have to admit it . . . to most people, it is a bit like counting on a lottery ticket to fund one’s retirement.  And I suspect that the ones to whom it doesn’t probably still support Harold Camping.

We all say we’re counting on Jesus, but are still funding our IRA’s just in case.  We trust in the Lord, but we’re also making sure we’ve got some food reserves and other emergency supplies.  

We claim excitement at the return of the Lord as we see the signs of His coming, but we huddle in fear when it gets too close, just as unbelievers do.

We numb ourselves to the massive death tolls from catastrophic events by focusing in on the significance of the event from the perspective of Bible prophecy, compartmentalizing the horror of the actual event.  

It is only later we are suddenly staggered by the realization of what it really meant to the victims of horrific earthquakes, catastrophic tsunamis, murderous tornado clusters, etc..  

Are we faithless when we cower in fear when calamity comes too close?  Ghoulish when we rejoice from far away?  

These are strange days; one hardly knows what to think, given all that we know.  Who doesn’t flee to shelter at the approach of a coming storm? 

Trusting in the Lord doesn’t mean laying down on a freeway or standing in the path of a tornado.  Expecting His soon return doesn’t mean not preparing for one’s retirement.   

It doesn’t mean you don’t have to finish school.  It doesn’t mean you can quit your job, climb up to a hilltop and wait.  If that is what the Lord expected, He’d have been more specific about the timing.

Instead, our instructions are to behave as if the Lord was coming back tomorrow, but to plan as if He won’t come back in our lifetime.  Before He departed, He left us with two specific orders:

Preach the Word, and in the meanwhile, “occupy until I come”.

Assessment:

In a very real sense, the difference between a believer’s death and the Rapture is primarily one of process and timing.  Barring unforeseen calamity or early-onset disease, one can expect to die of disease or old age, usually in stages.

We don’t know when and we don’t know how, and most everybody has a different way of shuffling off this mortal coil, but we can all expect it.  For some, it will be a peaceful, natural process.

For others . . . well, we all have our own private horrors, ways that we pray won’t mark our transition.  

Nothing is more certain, as they say, than death (and taxes).

At the moment of death, our souls stop receiving input via the five physical senses (carnal) and we begin receiving our input via our spirit.

The Rapture is an entirely different process, which is why the Scriptures call it “the blessed hope.”  Like death, the Rapture could happen at any time, but unlike death, the process is both certain and beautiful.

The Lord Himself descends from Heaven with a shout and then we who are living are suddenly “caught up” (Gk: parousia Latin: rapios) to meet Him in the air.  On the way up, our bodies are transformed and instead of awakening eternally alive, we never have to go through the dying process in the first place.

The certainty is this: if you aren’t Raptured, you will die.  There isn’t a third option. 

Now to the central question; do you know when you will die?

There are those among our fellowship who are terminally ill – some who have even been given a time frame of how long they have left.

Even they have no more idea of the day and the hour of their deaths than they do of the day and hour of the Rapture.  My mother-in-law is approaching ninety, in fine physical health, still has all her marbles and reads five newspapers every day.

She knows her time could come any day, but she doesn’t try to divine the day or the hour.  She understands the futility of it.  She correctly believes she has about an equal chance of death or the Rapture.  

Now suppose that you knew exactly on what day you would die and at what time.  This year, Yom Kippur falls across September 13-14, so let’s say you knew you would die at 11:43 pm this September 13. 

How would your behavior change?  Would you become more spiritual?  Would you pray more?  Would you be more generous?  More thoughtful?  Kinder?  Friendlier?  More honest? 

Your behavior changes are sincere enough, but they are as genuine as the guy who never locks his doors suddenly locking them because of a rash of burglaries in his neighborhood. 

The change isn’t brought about by a sincere change of heart, but rather out of fear.  If the burglars were caught, he’d go back to his old habits.

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

So we don’t know exactly when we will die.  And we don’t know exactly when the Rapture will occur.  And we don’t know these things for exactly the same reasons. 

We can know approximately when we will die – we can certainly know when it is close, and even at the doors.  And the Lord says that we can know approximately when the Rapture will happen – when it is close, even at the doors.  

I know approximately when I will die, assuming I take care of myself and live into old age.  That knowledge inspires me to take better care of myself.  And the older I get, the more inspired I become.

I know the Rapture is near, and that inspires me to preach the Word, give the warning, tell my friends, but not to empty my bank account, sell my house or quit my job.  

We are to occupy until He comes, planning our individual futures as if we could count on our full three score and ten, or even four score (or more) but to live out our lives the way we would if we knew He was coming tomorrow.

It is ok to be just as afraid of an approaching tornado as the unbeliever in the house next door. Or to be just as careful in traffic.  Or to stock up on emergency supplies, just in case.

(Being dead shouldn’t scare a believer, but I can think of few methods of getting that way that don’t scare the pants off me.)

Trusting in the Lord” is not a synonym for being stupid. 

“But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all Thy works.” (Psalms 73:28)

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

Featured Commentary: Who are the “Sons of God” in Genesis Chapter 6? Part 3 ~Steve Schmutzer

Descent Into Madness

Descent Into Madness
Vol: 25 Issue: 25 Monday, June 25, 2018

The Book of the Revelation, in describing the events of the Tribulation, paints a word picture of a world that has lost its collective sanity. Speaking of the political beast, John writes;

“And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?” (Revelation 13:4)

It paints the mental image we see in World War Two newsreel footage of Nazi Germany. Huge, thronging masses, eyes shining, arms upraised in the Nazi salute, as Adolf Hitler propagated his ‘master race’ theory and made his case for the mass extermination of inferior races. 

“And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” (Revelation 13:7) 

Newsreel footage of columns of young Nazis, goose-stepping in perfect harmony, marching off on their mission to subjugate the world and introduce their new world order, is superimposed in my mind with images of the concentration camps that they were willing to give their lives to protect. 

It was a form of demonically-induced collective madness that seized the citizens of one of the most cultured nations in Europe. There can be no other explanation that makes sense. It is no surprise that many people at the time feared Hitler was the antichrist himself. 

Hitler appeared to fulfill many of the prophecies of Revelation. He allied himself with il Duce, the Italian dictator who saw himself as a reincarnate Caesar. The goal of Mussolini and his fascists was to recreate the Roman Empire with Mussolini as Caesar. 

Hitler’s goal was the destruction of the Jews. To accomplish it, he set up death camps for the Jews and concentration camps for those who opposed him. Any who refused to go along with the Nazi program found themselves interned. As the Axis madness progressed, many of them were transferred to death camps as well, including evangelical Christians. 

It seemed to fit Revelation’s outline like a glove; a European leader whose goal was the destruction of Jews and Christians. Hitler’s chief ally was Rome. Those Germans who were not members of the Nazi Party had trouble getting jobs, and, in some cases, were shut out of normal commerce. 

World War Two Europe was like a dry run for the coming government of antichrist. 

Assessment

The nation of Israel was born under the slogan of “Never Again.” Never again would the Jews allow themselves to be marched helplessly to their deaths. Israel’s foundational principle was that of collective security. 

The Bible says that in the last days, there would again be a nation called ‘Israel’ and that it would exist on the ancestral homeland of the Jews. The Bible said that in the last days, Jerusalem would again be in Jewish hands. 

Satan attempted to bring about the Tribulation through Adolf Hitler, but he miscalculated. Instead of destroying the Jews, he became indirectly responsible for the restoration of the Jewish state. It was not the first time that Satan’s miscalculation fulfilled God’s ultimate plan. 

“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” (1st Corinthians 2:7-8)

Without the existence of a literal Israel on its ancestral ground, in possession of Jerusalem, God’s plan for the ages could not move forward, since the purpose of the Tribulation Period is Israel’s national redemption. 

“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” (Daniel 9:24) 

Note the angel is speaking to Daniel, and by extension, the Jews. “Thy people” and “thy holy city”. 

The purpose is six-fold; to finish the transgression, make an end to sins, make reconciliation for iniquity, bring in everlasting righteousness, seal up the vision and the prophecy, and anoint the most Holy.” 

The Church plays no role. Christians have no holy city of their own — we share Jerusalem with the Jews, but it is not ours. Jesus finished the transgression and put an end to sins at the Cross, offering Himself as a reconciliation for iniquity. 

Those who trust Him for their salvation are already assured of everlasting righteousness. The ‘vision and the prophecy’ of a Redeemer is sealed by the Holy Spirit with His indwelling of believers. Believers are anointed BY the Most Holy. 

“To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” (2nd Corinthians 5:19)

The Jews, in contrast, continue to wait for their Messiah, blinded to the fact He has already come. When He comes again at the conclusion of the Tribulation Period, God says; 

“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)

Satan’s ‘Hitler’ experiment failed for several reasons. First, Israel had not yet been restored. Secondly, although Hitler was able to infect his own population and to some degree, the population of Nazi-subjugated countries, his reach exceeded his grasp. The technology of the day limited his fascist message to only those countries he could control. 

Finally, Jerusalem was not under Jewish control. 

The very existence of Israel provided the missing links. The whole world is united against Israel, over the question of who should possess Jerusalem. The Islamofascists who are the most dedicated to its destruction are not limited by technology, and they get ample assistance in spreading their message from the liberal American media. 

And one can track the global descent into madness like it was scripted in advance. Let’s take the most recent example of the descent into madness, piece by piece. 

Newsweek publishes a false report of US ‘desecration’ of the Koran. Global Islam reacts like a rabid dog, attacking and killing each other and burning down their own buildings. 

The Koran is the inspiration for the enemy’s declaration of global war against Israel and the Christian West. When Islam begins snapping at itself in fury, the administration starts referring to the book of war as the ‘holy’ Koran and apologizing for an offense that it didn’t even commit.

The US liberal media, having recognized the damage it caused, launches a spirited defense of Newsweek by hinting the story is true, even if the ‘evidence’ is not, keeping Islamic fury at a fever pitch, so that the liberal US media can continue to discredit its OWN GOVERNMENT in the eyes of the enemy in order to win domestic political points. 

And the uproar isn’t over the insanity of handing a mortal enemy a propaganda victory, but rather, a collective disappointment that the story itself isn’t true. 

Although Newsweek extended its ‘sympathy’ to the victims and its ‘regret’ to US forces it put in harm’s way, its editors promise to keep looking and, if they can find proof, they’ll run the story again. Knowing what it caused the last time. 

I’ve been watching Newsweek’s defenders, the administration’s critics, and the apologists for Islam making the case that Muslim reaction to the story was justified, given US treatment of Muslims. 

They all had that same shining look in their eyes that I saw in the old German newsreels.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on May 18, 2005

Featured Commentary: Misery Loves Compnay ~Pete Garcia

Greasy Grace

Greasy Grace
Vol: 25 Issue: 23 Saturday, June 23, 2018

I heard a new term the other day that I’d never heard before.  I don’t know why, since when I looked it up, I must be the only one that hasn’t.

The term is “greasy grace” and I’m told it is a stock phrase in fire-and-brimstone preaching in the Deep South.

I love fire-and-brimstone preaching, and I’ve spent a goodly part of my life in the Deep South, but it is a phrase I’d never come across, nonetheless, so I had to look it up. 

The phrase, “greasy grace” is used to describe people who “abuse the liberty” that comes with saving grace by living like the devil. 

We’ll return to grace in a moment, but right now, I want to shift focus over to the “greasy” part — the part about the “abuse” of grace. 

Specifically, I’m going to enumerate a few  ‘grace abusers’, and then we’ll return to the doctrine of grace itself.

Would one qualify an enormously fat Christian as an abuser of grace?  One of the “seven deadly sins” is the sin of gluttony.  Do you know any enormously fat preachers?  I can think of several famous ones, and one in particular.

He stands out in my mind, as I recall him bending over to point one of his sausage-like fingers at his congregation and hiss, “If you smoke, you’re defiling the Temple of the Holy Spirit.”

I can think of a dozen ‘fat preacher’ jokes,  most of which I heard from the pulpit of a fat preacher.

All the fat is the Lord’s” – a parody on (Leviticus 3:16). “He that trusts the Lord shall be made fat” (Proverbs 28:25); “They are waxen fat, they shine” (Jeremiah 5:28), and so on.

Are they grace abusers?  Indeed, they put the “grease” in greasy grace.  Are they still saved?  If not, can anybody be saved?

I know many, many enormously fat Christians.  They aren’t all preachers, but many of them are Christians and many of them would agree that the salvation of a smoker or a drinker is questionable on the premise that if God’s grace is powerful enough to save you, it is powerful enough to release you from the sin of addiction.

Is smoking a sin?  Does it defile the Temple?  I’d say the answer to the second question defines the answer to the first.  Of course smoking defiles the body, and will eventually kill it, so it is inherently sinful.

It is also an addiction, which seems to be what the Apostle Paul was referring to when he was explaining what grace means.

“All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” (1 Corinthians 6:12).

It would be easy for me to slam smokers (now that I’ve quit) or to slam drunks or druggies, but according to the government’s Body Mass Index charts, I’m still fat.  (And a preacher).  Am I saved?

What if after an injury, I became addicted to pain killers?  Or some other drug?  What if I was gay?  Am I lost?  Unredeemable?  Is grace one-size-fits-all? 

A study conducted by scientists at the  University of Cambridge (UK) compared the brains of addicts to the brains of volunteers without addictions. The results of the study determined that the brains of addicts are inherently abnormal.

It wasn’t that the addiction caused the brain to become abnormal.  It was abnormal from birth.

The study including siblings of addicts (who were not addicts themselves) and discovered they shared the same brain abnormality, although somehow, either due to environmental factors or other differences in brain structure, were able to resist addiction.

In all, they tested fifty biological sibling pairs, one of whom was an addict and the other was not, and compared them with a control group of fifty non-addicts.  The tests measured how well they could control their impulse behavior.

The researchers found that the sibling pairs — even the non-addicts — fared significantly worse on the test than the healthy volunteers.

The study examined addiction; drugs, pathological gambling, obesity and obsessive-compulsive disorders. 

Brain scans showed that the siblings shared some of the same weaknesses in the frontal lobe and its connections to the basal ganglia, which mediates motor, cognition and behavior.  

How does that fit in with the notion of greasy grace?  When a fat guy gets saved, is his brain abnormality cured?  I dunno.  Sometimes, fat people get saved and are convicted of the sin of gluttony and bring their weight under control.

Sometimes, they go to Bible college and become fat preachers and give sermons about the eternal consequences of misunderstanding grace.

Assessment:

The problem with grace is that, for it to be grace, it HAS to be “greasy.”  That isn’t a problem for lost people, but it seems to be a major problem with those of us that are saved (and not fat, or smokers, or addicts, or drinkers, or  fill in the blanks here).

Most Christians will agree that Christians are not under law, but under grace, until they run into somebody who takes more grace than they think they should and consequentially, “loses” his salvation.  

A good illustration is the preacher that “falls from grace” into some sexual sin, leaves his wife and runs off with his secretary.  Has he lost his salvation?  Was he saved by grace,  or by a temporary suspension of moral law that, in his case, has just expired?

We tend to confuse moral law with Christian grace.  It is moral law that reveals to us what abject and wretched sinners we are — it is moral law that demonstrates our need for a Savior.  The very purpose FOR moral law is to demonstrate we can’t keep moral law. 

Moral law points us toward grace, but it can never save us.   Moral law never brought anybody to Jesus.  Grace does that.

I am going to shamefully rip off somebody else’s illustration because it is better than anything I can think up here.

Grace is like the fire department.  Now the building inspector (moral law) may cite you twenty times for breaking the fire code. But when your house goes up in flames, the fire department still responds every time, whether you’ve been warned or not.

A fireman never walks up to a burning house and begins to read the violations to the owner.  Reminding, educating, cajoling, shaming, and guilting doesn’t stop the flames.  The bystanders watching the burning house could easily see the rescue as permission for the owner’s unwillingness to “follow the rules.”

And the homeowner could certainly take the rescue as permission to violate the fire code again.  The only person who doesn’t see it that way is the fireman that put out the flames.

And that’s how God is.  People may take permission but the rescuer never gives it.  That doesn’t stop them from abusing grace…but neither does it stop God from giving it.

The risk is inherent to the gift.  Though law and grace can work together, grace is always the bigger of the two.  Not because we’re worth the effort — but because of the matchless generosity of the Father.

To summarize, let’s briefly return to the conclusions of the Cambridge study.  It proves that grace MUST be, as they say, greasy, in order for it to exist at all.  The study concludes that certain people’s brains are wired from birth with a predisposition for addiction.

There is a school of thought that says that the brains of homosexuals are also wired differently, causing certain people to be predisposed toward homosexuality. 

Does that mean that God wired their brains that way?  What else could it mean?  Satan has no creative powers.  Neither do you. 

That doesn’t excuse the sin, whether it is the lust for drugs or for sex, whether gay or straight.  Neither does it excuse the sinner — IF using drugs or being gay was the unforgivable sin. 

But the only sin for which the Bible says there is no forgiveness is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, ie; the rejection of grace.  

“And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.” (Romans 11:6)

We have a whole raft of sins for which we’re prepared to pronounce somebody else to be lost or saved, based on the fact some particular sin isn’t part of our own personal repertoire.  But for sin to be sin, it must mean all sin, and for grace to be grace, it must be beyond the reach of all sin. 

If you are still struggling with your sin, you can achieve victory.  But don’t let somebody else who doesn’t struggle with your sin tell you that you’re lost. He has his own sin to deal with.  Not the least of which is his own pride at being less sinful than you are.

In terms of deadly sins, “Pride” ranks #1.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on February 3, 2012