Heresy Hunters And Why I Ain’t One

Heresy Hunters And Why I Ain’t One
Vol: 26 Issue: 31 Tuesday, July 31, 2018

From time to time, somebody will send me a column, or someone will post one in the member’s section, ‘exposing’ the latest false teacher. From Rick Warren to Benny Hinn to Paul Crouch, plus a dozen or so others, Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, Robert W. Tilton — and I’m just getting started.

Depending on what standard is applied, pretty much every Gospel preacher or teacher is a false teacher to those who don’t agree with him.

If one leans towards preterism, then I am a false teacher. If one leans towards Dispensationalism, then Marv Rosenthal is a false teacher. If one trends towards Southern Baptist, then Dr. Pat Robertson is a false teacher.

To some others, Dr. Jerry Falwell is a false teacher; to others, it is Franklin Graham. And we haven’t even touched on the view non-Catholics have of the Pope.

Declaring any of them to be ‘false teachers’ immediately shifts the debate away from what is true into establishing what is false. It is really difficult to imagine what is of less value than a discussion of what is false, but that’s about all these discussions entail.

I had a lady once take exception to my comments regarding Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. She called him a “wonderful man of God” and challenged me to show what was wrong with his doctrine.

Therein lies the problem. It always begins with the obligation to prove the other guy’s doctrine is false. It isn’t until that obstacle has been overcome that there can be any forward movement.

The most common reaction for exposing some false teaching isn’t gratitude. It is more commonly anger; “How dare you say such things about such a good man!”

After anger comes denial: “That isn’t what he teaches — you need to do your homework.”

And it’s all downhill from there.

Assessment:

There is a world of difference between a discussion of false teachERS and false teachING. A false teaching is a doctrine not taught or confirmed by Scripture.

A false teacher knows his teaching is false, but for motives of his own, (profit, institutional loyalty, power, prestige, pride) he teaches it anyway.

A false teachING is error. That is both a distinction and a difference. It is possible for a sincere believer to unknowingly propagate a false teaching — but that doesn’t make him a false teacher.

If it did, then the term ‘false teacher’ loses any pejorative, since nobody, however sincere, is exempt from error. Each of us, at some point along the way in our Christian walk, embraced and shared doctrinal views that, as we matured, came to realize were false.

Calling someone a ‘false teacher’ implies insincerity. Someone can hold to a false doctrine and still be a sincere believer. There are those who hold to a different view of the Rapture, but that doesn’t make them false teachers.

At worst, it makes them believers in a doctrinal view that I believe is false. I have opinions as to who are deliberately false teachers, but I am not God. I cannot judge their sincerity, only their teaching.

Engaging in heresy hunting demands a few necessary prerequisites, including, 1)an infallible understanding of Bible doctrine; and, 2)an ego big enough to believe item #1.

I teach what I teach because I have examined as many other possible views as are credible against the Scriptures and proved to my intellectual and spiritual satisfaction which view has the strongest support in the Scripture.

We are called to search the Scriptures, “to prove all things, and hold fast to that which is good,” (1st Thessalonians 5:21).

In the Book of Acts, the citizens of Berea are called “more noble” because, “they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:11)

It is a tough walk, this being a Christian. Sometimes it is all I can do to keep from going after those teachers out there that I believe are heretics in every sense of the word.

But all it would accomplish would be to drive away sincere, believing Christians who are still searching the Scriptures, like the Bereans did, still seeking to prove ‘if these things are so’.

Paul teaches us:

“Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. . . . Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.” (Romans 14:1,4)

“Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.” (1st Timothy 6:5)

“O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called.” (2nd Timothy 6:20)

“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on March 13, 2007

Featured Commentary: Lessons From My Cats ~Steve Schmutzer

Speaking Plainly

Speaking Plainly
Vol: 26 Issue: 30 Monday, July 30, 2018

“These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father.” (John 16:26)

If there is a single word that permeates every discussion on virtually every topic of interest, particularly in the United States, that word would be fear.

Fear so palpable that politicians can mold it like putty, reshape it and use it to sell a fearful public pretty much anything. 

Obama uses fear like a tool – in his world, the reason the Democrats lost the mid-terms in 2008 was because the voters were too fearful or too intellectually challenged to understand his agenda.

But there are plenty of legitimate reasons for fear, not the least of which is President Obama himself. His policies, both foreign and economic, are terrifying to anyone not too fearful of being called a racist or too intellectually challenged not to understand his agenda.

There is the Federal Reserve’s ongoing theft of genuine wealth to be afraid of.  Pat Buchanan ‘translated’ the Fed’s QE2 this way:

Translation: The Fed is committed to buy $600 billion in bonds from banks and pay for them by printing money that will then be deposited in those banks. The more dollars that flood into the economy, the less every one of them is worth.

Bernanke is not just risking inflation. He is inducing inflation.

He is reducing the value of the dollar to make U.S. exports more competitive and imports more expensive, so that we will consume fewer imports. He is trying to eliminate the U.S. trade deficit by treating the once universally respected dollar like the peso of a banana republic.

Sarah Palin noted Germany’s past experience with runaway inflation (think Weimar Republic) and said that when Germany called the Fed’s policy “clueless” and warns us to think again, maybe we should.

“We shouldn’t be playing around with inflation. It’s not for nothing Reagan called it ‘as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hit man.’ The Fed’s pump-priming addiction has got our small businesses running scared and our allies worried.”   

Those are pretty fearful images.  So is the image of our president in action overseas, as painted by Lt. Col Oliver North, USMC:

[H]is [Obama’s] appearances this week in India, Indonesia and South Korea have made it vividly clear to all that Obama is incapable of shaping events.

Though he still panders to every audience, his obsequious bows to foreign potentates and apologies for America’s misdeeds no longer hold the allure and cachet they carried just months ago. In New Delhi, he reiterated his Utopian plea for a world without nuclear weapons and spoke of supporting India’s bid for a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council — without mentioning that both India and Pakistan hide their atomic arsenals from U.N. arms inspectors.

He paid homage to Gandhi, danced with schoolchildren in Indonesia and went to the G-20 summit in Seoul, where he continued to whine about trade imbalances and currency manipulation while defending further devaluation of the American dollar. Along the way, he missed yet another opportunity to define our enemy as radical Islam and ignored American troops in harm’s way by treating Iraq and Afghanistan like flyover country.

The president’s rhetorical flourishes and quests for applause lines on this trip provide striking examples of his chaotic, uncertain leadership at home and abroad.

When one takes into consideration the overall Big Picture; enemies on all sides, a rapidly failing economy, a disintegration of the social order unlike anything in living memory, the rise of radical Islam, radical national socialism, and the proliferation of nuclear weapons, it’s a pretty scary world out there

A mother emailed me recently to ask if I had ever written anything to encourage young people that maybe she could share with her kids. 

Boy, that’s a tough one. My kids grew up hoping the Lord would tarry at least long enough for them to learn to drive.

Now their kids are wondering the same thing.  

Assessment:

Back during the comparative Good Times of the late 20th Century, Bible prophecy for the last days was scary stuff. First off, it forecast the economic, social, moral and political collapse of the Christian West

Nobody wanted to hear that in the mid-1990’s.  Life was good, inflation was low, the economy was booming, we won the Cold War, the Gulf War, the Culture War and the future looked bright. 

(Sigh. It seems so long ago, now.)

My kids were in their teens and they wanted to have a future.  Especially the future that they expected in the 1990’s.  That future included peace in our time, a balanced budget and full employment.  But Bible prophecy forecast doom and gloom and scariness.

And as the century turned, so did the fortunes of the West.  Peace and prosperity faded into doom and gloom and scariness.  Fourteen years into the 21st century, have you noticed that nobody is talking about ten years from now?

Everybody was talking 
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about 2012 in some context, running the gamut from the general election, to the war on terror to the Mayan Indian calendar’s Doomsday myth, but interest in what comes beyond that sort of fades away.

Not even secularists are very interested in speculating where we will be a few years from now for the same reason that most churches avoided Bible prophecy in the 1990’s.   Too much gloom and doom.

Today’s kids look forward to a debt-laden future for as far as they can possibly foresee.  If the economy doesn’t collapse Western civilization, there are about a hundred million jihadists hoping to topple it by force.  

With the proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and the technology to deploy them, the future isn’t looking all that bright.

As Jesus was preparing the Apostles for what was to befall them, He told them that, until that point, He taught them in proverbs. But just before He was to be arrested, He told them plainly Who He was and what was to follow.

“I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father. 

His disciples said unto Him, Lo, now speakest Thou plainly, and speakest no proverb.” (John 16:28-29)

Bible prophecy sounded pretty gloomy a few years back.  But as you can see, God didn’t cause the mess we are in – He let us do it.  The further we moved away from Him, the more He allowed us to. 

Now that we are pretty much exactly where the Bible said we would find ourselves, Bible prophecy takes on a new relevance.  The Book of Revelation doesn’t engender a lot more fear than does the New York Times, (and has proved itself infinitely more credible.)

Bible Prophecy, even ten years ago, seemed proverbial and symbolic.  Today, it speaks so plainly that some Christians have come to the conclusion we are in the Tribulation already.  (We are not.)

But I notice there is less dread about the Rapture than there used to be.  And a lot less resistance to the concept, or so it seems to me.

What used to sound scary – being jerked out of this world before we had a chance to get a driver’s license, or get married, or have kids, or have grandkids . . . seems a lot less scary than being left behind in it.

“Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe? Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave Me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.” (John 16:31-32)

Bible prophecy is like that.  It forecast the coming catastrophe, the scattering, an-every-man-for-himself scenario, but yet we are not alone, because the Holy Spirit is with us and indwells us. 

So as we see all these things begin to come to pass, it’s still scary, but less scary than if we were alone.

We were warned of what is here and we’ve been told of what is coming.   But what is coming for the world is not what the Lord promised us.

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

The tribulation that is coming is coming upon the world.  For His Church, the message is, “be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.”

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on November 12, 2010

Featured Commentary: The War on Truth: Conclusion ~Pete Garcia

Withered on the Vine

Withered on the Vine
Vol: 26 Issue: 28 Saturday, July 28, 2018

When we were in Israel, we toured Israel’s border with Syria near the Golan Heights.  Going up from the floor of the Galilee one can actually note the changes in elevation by the different crops planted at the various levels.

Thanks to Israel’s various elevations, one can experience almost every climate variation in the world, with everything from desert to tropical to temperate climates being within an hour’s drive of Jerusalem.

Everything grows in Israel, from tropical date palms to northern apples.  But Israel is especially well-suited for olives, grapes and figs.  The Festival of the First Fruits (Shavuot) is a celebration of the harvest.

Although everything grows there, the offerings of the first fruits (bikkurim) brought to the Temple in Jerusalem on Shavuot were brought only from seven “species” of agricultural bounty.

The seven species of agricultural produce that symbolize the fertility of Israel celebrated at Shavuot are wheat, barley, grapevines, figs, pomegranates, olives and honey (from dates).

Israel is often represented metaphorically in one of the seven species, most often as God’s ‘fig tree’ or with God as the husbandman and Israel as a vine or a vineyard.

“For a nation is come up upon My land, strong, and without number, whose teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek teeth of a great lion.  He hath laidMy vine waste, and barked My fig tree: he hath made it clean bare, and cast it away; the branches thereof are made white.  Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the Husband of her youth.”  (Joel 1:6-8)

“Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it.” (Psalms 80:8)

The vine is a perfect metaphor in the sense that a vineyard requires constant care or the fruit will quickly degenerate.  After the rains, the round must be plowed and cleared of weeds.

In the early spring the plants must be pruned by cutting off dead and fruitless branches.  The fruit itself must be protected from the foxes and the birds.  After the harvest, the gleanings are left for the poor to gather.

In the New Testament, the metaphor of the vine and the branches is extended to include the Church, symbolizing its relationship both to Christ and to Israel.

“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

Assessment:

One of the passages offered recently as an objection to the doctrine of eternal security concerns what Jesus taught His disciples in the Upper Room shortly before His Crucifixion.

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the husbandman.”  (John 15:1)

Jesus was born a Jew, lived a Jew and was crucified as King of the Jews. He is the True Vine.  The Church is the fruit of that Vine, dependent on God the way a vineyard requires constant care if it is to continue to bear fruit.

How does a Christian bear ‘fruit’? The purpose for a Christian’s life is summed up by the Great Commission.

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (Matthew 28:19)

Other than that, the Bible says that all our good works are as filthy rags before the Lord.  We tend to think we know the Mind of God but He says that we are totally clueless apart from that revealed to us.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD.” (Isaiah 55:8)

According to the Bible, we are so limited in our understanding that we don’t even really know how to pray.

“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (Romans 8:26)

But here’s what we do know how to do in order to bear fruit acceptable unto God.  Live the Great Commission.

“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)

Continuing the theme of the vineyard and its need for constant tending, Jesus told His Disciples;

“Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” (John 15:2)

This is where the doctrine of eternal security comes into question.  Jesus says a branch in Him that does not bear fruit “will be taken away” by the husbandman.  Does this mean that a saved Christian that does not bear fruit will lose his salvation?

That doesn’t line up with the Scriptures that say salvation is by grace through faith and not of works — ‘lest any man should boast’.

So what does it mean when a Christian ‘withers on the vine?’  John does write in his first epistle of a ‘sin unto death’.

“If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.” (1 John 5:16)

“Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.” (15:3-5)

Does this mean that once we are saved by grace, we maintain our salvation by our works?

The statement that ‘without Him we can do nothing’ is merely a restatement of the obvious. It means that the closer you are to Jesus, the more productive a branch you will be and the more fruit you will bear.

It is the Vine that bears the grapes, not the other way around.  One is not saved by bearing fruit.  One bears fruit because one is saved.

“If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” (John 15:6)

This is the verse that seems to raise the most difficulty.  At first blush, it seems to suggest that if a man abides not in Christ, he loses his salvation and is cast into hell.  But that’s not what it says.

Remember that Jesus is speaking metaphorically about vineyards and branches in the physical sense.  A branch withers and dies, men gather them together and dispose of them.

Physically, a person withers and dies, his body is gathered and disposed of by burial. When a Christian is fruitless in life, oftentimes the Lord uses his physical death to plant new seeds.

When Anaias and Sapphira lied to Peter (and by extension, to the Holy Ghost), they fell down dead at Peter’s feet.  They sold their land to help finance the Great Commission — to bear fruit for the Kingdom.  Then they tainted themselves and their offering.

They didn’t lose their salvation, but they had rendered themselves useless as branches on the vine.

Since the only point to a Christian’s earthly life is to bear fruit, Anaias and Sapphira had more to offer the Church in terms of edification by falling over dead than they did in terms of helping to spread the Gospel.

“And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.” (Acts 5:14)

Everything we know about the Church, its purpose and its goal brings us to the same ultimate point.  Bearing fruit unto God.  The Church bears fruit unto God by saving the lost from hell by sharing the Gospel.

The individual doesn’t bring glory to God by his own good works.  A person’s good works bring glory unto the person doing the good works.

People didn’t go to a Billy Graham Crusade to hear the Word of God.  They went there because Billy Graham was preaching it.

When a Billy Graham Crusade resulted in a thousand professions for Christ, people didn’t say, “Wow! Look at God go!”

They said, “Wow!  Can Billy Graham ever preach!”

The Lord used Billy Graham in an amazing, powerful way.  But in this life at least,  most of the glory is reserved for Billy Graham.

It is no big deal for a professional baseball player to hit a home run off a 12 year-old kid.   But it is a very big deal for a 12 year-old kid to hit a home run pitched by a professional baseball player.

The Apostle Paul recounted the time he went to the Lord Jesus to ask Him to remove what he called a thorn in his flesh, a “messenger of Satan, sent to buffet me.”  Whatever that thorn was, Paul felt it interfered with his ability to minister effectively.

“And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

“If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.” (John 15:11)

Is this an admonition to keep the Ten Commandments in order to maintain one’s salvation?  Read it all — in context.

“That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)

“These things I command you, that ye love one another.” (John 15:17)

A person is saved, first and foremost, by grace.  That is to say that God in His grace made a way for sinners to be reconciled to Him despite the fact that they are sinners by nature.

A person is saved by faith in God’s acceptance of the sacrificial Blood shed at the Cross and only that sacrifice is all sufficient.  That faith is ‘made perfect’ when it is realized at the Bema Seat.

Salvation cannot be a combination of grace and works because they are mutually exclusive.  If it is one, it cannot be the other.  And since I know my works as well as God does, my only hope lies with grace alone.

“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” (Galatians 2:21)

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on June 15, 2010

Battlefield Tactics

Battlefield Tactics
Vol: 26 Issue: 27 Friday, July 27, 2018

The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics explains why paper, trees, coal, gas and all things like them burn, why sand and dry ice even in pure oxygen can’t ever burn, why the sun will eventually cool down, why iron rusts, why there are hurricanes or any weather at all on earth, what makes things break, why houses get torn apart in tornadoes or explosions, and why everything living tends to die.

Science demands empirical evidence; that is to say, before something can be a scientific fact, it must first be able to be demonstrated in a lab experiment. The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics can be demonstrated by closing up your house for five years and letting it ‘go to seed’.

When you come home again, you will have your proof that things, left to themselves, deteriorate.

The theory of evolution requires reversing the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, cannot be demonstrated in a laboratory and is so scientifically suspect that it remains, after 150 years or so, a scientific ‘theory’. The only thing about evolution that is demonstrable is that somehow, a ‘theory’ evolved into a ‘fact’ — all by itself.

But all these concepts are being constantly hammered into people, from turning into angels to denying God even exists, and if we know anything about how the human brain works at all, we know that the best way to teach something is by constant repetition.

Consequently, there are probably as many opinions being offered about how to get to heaven as there are people who have them. At one time or another, all of us have run into somebody who is planning to trust that his good works will counter-balance his bad ones.

Or people who think that whoever believes in God will go to heaven. Others think going to church is their ticket. Some think that anybody who has led a ‘good life’ will be granted admission.

Others believe that keeping the Ten Commandments will get them into heaven.

Assessment:

It is the mission of every Christian to 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,” according to 1 Peter 3:15.

That is why your Omega Letter exists — to supply you with the ammunition and a tactical plan of battle — before you step out onto the battlefield.

The battle is of eternal importance. Every person we meet over the course of a day has an eternal destiny. They will spend eternity in unspeakable joy in the Presence of Christ, or they will spend a Christless eternity in unspeakable torment.

Those who think that living a ‘good life’ — or that the scales will balance out somehow in their favor before the Throne — start out with a misunderstanding of their relationship with God.

“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. ” (Romans 3:20)

Being ‘good enough’ is a belief structure that measures a person against OTHER people.

That isn’t ‘good enough’ for God — and neither is it fair.

‘Good enough’, compared to whom? Mother Teresa? Your cousin Phil? The Pope? Saddam Hussein?

The only fair standard against which God could measure ‘good enough’ would be His own. Since God is sinless, He can not stand sin, or people with sin. To be good enough for God means to be sinless — an obvious impossibility.

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” says Romans 3:23

Think of it this way. If three of us throw darts at a dart board and one gets two inches away from the bullseye, another four inches away, and another misses the board completely, which one of us hit the bullseye?

The reason for the ‘hope that is in you’ is the knowledge of the fact that missing the bullseye means exactly that. Nobody hit it except Jesus.

But in a dart game, it only takes one guy on the team to hit it for that team to win. The Bible says that team membership is ‘good enough’ — if you are on the team that hit the bullseye.

It is incumbent upon each of us, who have been granted the unspeakable gift of salvation, to teach other people how to join the team. Repent (change your mind) about your sin nature and your ability to clean up on your own. Trust Jesus.

“To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the Justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” (Romans 3:26-28)

“Seeing then that we have a great high Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.” (Hebrews 4:14)

Until He comes. Marantha!

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on October 8, 2004

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on October 8, 2004

Featured Commentary: A Growing Lawlessness ~Alf Cengia

Spiritual Schizophrenia

Spiritual Schizophrenia
Vol: 26 Issue: 26 Thursday, July 26, 2018

Most people, when they think of schizophrenia, associate it with a mental condition called Multiple Personality Disorder.  In reality, schizophrenia has nothing to do with multiple personalities.

The dictionary provides two definitions for schizophrenia.  The first is that of a severe mental disorder technically known as dementia praecox.  Dementia praecox is the severest condition, where the victim becomes delusional; hallucinations, voices, that kind of thing.

The second definition is a mental state characterized by the coexistence of contradictory or incompatible elements.   That’s the working definition I had in mind when I titled today’s briefing “Spiritual Schizophrenia.” 

Every Christian understands what I mean by ‘spiritual schizophrenia’ by experience. 

There is a TV commercial running currently for an allergy medicine in which the main character, an allergy sufferer trying to decide which allergy medicine to take, talks with two tiny representations of himself, one on his left hand, the other on his right.  

The one on the left side of the screen is the competitor, the one on the right is the Their Brand.  When Their Brand’s little guy announces that they last twelve hours and the competitor only six, the little guy on the left stamps his foot angrily and disappears in a puff of smoke.

That is Madison Avenue playing off the instinctive and experiential acknowledgement of the twin natures of man.   They don’t need to explain any of it — the symbolism is instantly recognizable to any culture.

In the old cartoons, it was a little winged angel with a halo on the right hand and a little red devil on the left, each whispering contradictory messages into the main character’s head. 

It is so universally-recognized as a symbol of the spiritual schizophrenia that afflicts us all that little kids watching cartoons grasp the concept instantly.   They’ve experienced the two natures long before anybody told them about it.

But experiencing it without being able to account for it is much like suffering undiagnosed schizophrenia.  It brings much sorrow and discouragement until you know what it is and how to treat it. 

Christians who fail to understand how spiritual schizophrenia afflicts them suffer the most discouragement. 

Here you are, rejoicing in your newfound relationship with Christ.  You have turned your back on the world, the flesh and the enemy.  You are walking on air.

Jesus has taken possession of your life and opened the door to a fresh, new existence.  You are cleaner than you’ve ever felt.  The old man is crucified with Christ, the old way of sin is gone forever.  The pathway to God seems a perfect pathway to peace.

Your desire for that ‘besetting’ sin, that one habit you never seemed to be able to kick, seemingly falls away by itself.

Then, BANG! The old forces of sin come back as strong, if not stronger than before.  That besetting sin, once merely a habit, becomes almost a necessity of existence.

Your spiritual tendencies are suddenly paralyzed. You want to move in the direction of the Spirit, but you are overwhelmed by the needs of the flesh. 

You are at first amazed at the power of the flesh, then distressed by your spiritual weakness, and finally discouraged and wondering if you were ever really saved in the first place.

This is where, for many Christians, there is a departure into that half-and-half existence, concluding that having been tempted and fallen, they are back in bondage to sin. 

They no longer have any confidence in themselves or hope of winning anyone else to Christ.

Some conclude that they must not have been saved in the first place, wondering if there really even is such a thing as conversion. 

Their “brethren” reach the same conclusion, teaching that salvation without growth and change is faux salvation — they couldn’t have been saved in the first place.   

The Bible teaches that salvation is by grace through faith.  But faith in what?  Faith that Jesus existed?  Faith that Jesus died?  Faith that Jesus rose again? 

How does faith that Jesus did all that translate into saving faith?  The answer might surprise you.  It can’t. Knowing the Gospel story doesn’t impart salvation.  The Apostle James writes:

“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” (James 2:19)

Believing that Jesus died and rose again — by itself — is simply an acknowledgment of fact.  Satan knows that Jesus died and he certainly knows that Jesus rose again.  And he just as certainly isn’t saved by that knowledge.

Neither is anybody else.

Assessment:

I knew ALL that when I was a kid growing up in Catholic school. I had Catholic cathechism class every single school day.   I knew a ton about Jesus and the Cross and the Apostles and the Gospels.   

But I wasn’t saved.  And I already had lots of experience with spiritual schizophrenia — long before I came to Christ. 

Once I knew the difference between right and wrong and discovered that no matter how hard I tried, I still couldn’t keep myself out of trouble, that cartoon devil kept kicking the angel right off my other shoulder.

Saving faith isn’t faith that Jesus rose again, saving faith is found in knowing why

Jesus was the only One qualified to pay the penalty for my sin.  He paid my penalty at the Cross.  His resurrection is proof that the payment was all-sufficient and my faith, and my salvation, rests in that truth.

Spiritual schizophrenia is not just part of the human condition; it is a bedrock doctrine of Christianity.  The Book of Romans has long been recognized as the blueprint for salvation; most missionary tracts contain all or some of “Romans Road.”

The message of the Book of Romans is salvation, what it means, and how it works in the Christian experience.  In Chapter Seven, Paul outlines the doctrine that both diagnoses and treats spiritual schizophrenia.

Paul begins by explaining the Law of Moses as understood by the Jewish authorities of the time.

“Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?”  

An observant Jew had to keep the Ten Commandments — plus some 615 other rabbinical commandments derived from the Torah by the sages and religious authorities.

“For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.”

“Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law by the Body of Christ; that you should be married to another, even to Him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.”

We are dead to the Law by the Body of Christ.   That explains how.  I want you to see why. “That we should bring forth fruit unto God.”  

Recall those unfortunates discussed above who, having been tempted and fallen, have no confidence in their own salvation.  They question whether they were ever really saved themselves — and they certainly have no testimony to share with others.  No fruit unto God.

That is why we are dead to the Law.  Because of our dual nature.  Otherwise, salvation would be impossible, as Paul testifies:

“For when we were in the flesh, the passions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.”

 “But now we are delivered from the law, being dead to that in which we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.”

‘The work of The Law was to bring fruit unto death.’ Is that right? 

“What shall we say then? is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, you shall not covet.”

Nobody ever kept the whole Law.  The purpose of the Law was to demonstrate the need for a Savior and only He that was without sin could deliver them from that bondage.

What caused the Fall of Adam was the Law.  Adam had but one law to obey. It was too much for him.  Sin operates on the Principle of the Forbidden Fruit.

“For I was alive apart from the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.”

Something isn’t sin until it is forbidden. But once it is forbidden, the flesh can’t keep away from it.  That is the essence of the sin nature.  

Babies can’t grasp sin, so they are “alive” spiritually.  They don’t need to be ‘born again’.   Babies who die don’t go to hell, they are innocent of personal sin.

 “And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.  For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.”  

But when the “commandment comes” (they understand right from wrong) the Principle of the Forbidden Fruit kicks in, sin revives and they die spiritually.

There is no doubt that the Apostle Paul was both saved and Personally indwelt by the Holy Spirit.   But Paul also suffers from spiritual schizophrenia. 

“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.”

“For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.”

Sounds a lot like the guy who, having once been enlightened and had tasted the gifts of the Spirit, was tempted, fell, got up, fell again, and finally concluded that he couldn’t perform as a Christian.  

“I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.”

If we were stop right here, what we would have is Paul confessing that he is discouraged by his sinfulness and looked forward to a pretty fruitless Christian testimony, if he were really saved at all.  

Here we have the diagnosis of spiritual schizophrenia laid out in plain and simple terms.

“For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.”

Paul’s diagnosis is followed up with the lament of the defeated and discouraged Christian still struggling to come to grips with his disorder:

“O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”

But then Dr. Paul outlines the treatment.  It isn’t a cure — spiritual schizophrenia is a life-long incurable condition.  But there is good news. 

Properly understood, it can be treated and its sufferers can enjoy a full and fruitful life in Christ.  

“I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”

Is Paul saying that from now on, he can sin all he wants to and just serve the law of God in his mind?  No.

And neither am I.  Recognition of a condition is not justification for not treating it.  It is merely recognition that it exists.   

But since it exists, and since it is an incurable condition in this life, saved, Blood-bought believing Christians do sin after salvation.  

Some sinners seem to sin more than others, but if there is a line drawn in the sand somewhere that Christians cannot cross, the Bible doesn’t reveal where it is.  

The Bible says only that all sin is equal in God’s eyes and that all of our best efforts at good works are as ‘filthy rags’ before the Lord.

Our spiritual schizophrenia is well-known to God.   That is why our justification had to be complete — we are as incapable of maintaining it as we were of obtaining it in the first place.

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”  (Jeremiah 17:9)

Because all our good works are as filthy rags before the Lord, there is only one way we can bear fruit unto the Spirit.  A full understanding of our condition demands a total reliance on faith that by His blood we are justified forever.

Our condition is not Life-threatening and we needn’t be ashamed of being in treatment. It  is a lifelong condition we were ALL born with.  

You aren’t unique.  And you aren’t hopeless.  But you are desperately needed on the battlefield.  You don’t need to go find it.  Just get up and stop nursing your wounds. The battle will find you.

“And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2nd Corinthians 12:9)

That is — by itself — a testimony worth sharing.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on May 22, 2010

Featured Commentary: Has God Called You to Write? ~J.L. Robb

The Most Popular Brand Name in History

The Most Popular Brand Name in History
Vol: 26 Issue: 25 Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Depending upon who you ask, Christianity accounts for just under one third of the world’s population, or about 2.2 billion people. That is a pretty impressive number, given that it represents the followers of a Jewish laborer that lived 2000 years ago in Judea, a sleepy backwater of the Roman Empire.

No person in all history made an impact even approaching that of Jesus Christ. His impact is felt far beyond Christianity.  For an alleged fraud, the impact this one Man had upon the history of mankind is incalculable.

One could easily make the argument that if Jesus had not lived and died and was resurrected in what is today modern Israel, there wouldn’t be a modern Israel.

The Balfour Declaration issued in 1917 that set aside a homeland for the Jewish people was prompted by the fact that Lord Balfour was a Christian.

In 1906 a meeting took place in Manchester between Chaim Weizmann and Lord Balfour, who was impressed by Weizman’s personality. He asked Weizmann why Palestine – and Palestine alone – could be the basis for Zionism.

“Anything else would be idolatry”, Weizmann protested, adding: “Mr. Balfour, supposing I were to offer you Paris instead of London, would you take it?”

“But Dr. Weizmann”, Balfour retorted, “we have London”, to which Weizman replied; “That is true, but we had Jerusalem when London was a marsh.”      

The reasons for Balfour’s support of the Jewish cause have been widely debated.  In his book about the Balfour Declaration, Leonard Stein referred to Balfour’s sharp condemnation of Antisemitism. “It is a shame for Christianity how this people was treated.”

However, if one were to believe the mainstream media or the US educational system or pretty much anything emanating from the halls of US government, Jesus Christ is at best, a divisive historical figure and at worst, a myth.  

For a myth, He sure is popular.  Not just among the world’s 2.2 billion Christians, but pretty much across-the-board. 

Islam ‘adopted’ Jesus (Isa), not as the Son of God and Savior of mankind, but as a ‘Prophet’ of almost-equal rank with Mohammed.  By this device, Islam can therefore claim that Jesus Christ of the New Testament was really a Muslim. 

But the Koran claims that Isa was born in the normal way, had a normal marriage, normal kids, lived a normal life and died a normal death. ‘Isa’ is another Jesus.  “Isa” holds neither the keys to Heaven nor Hell and can save no one. 

Buddhists, who deny the existence of a personal Creator God, make room in their theology for Jesus Christ. Buddhism offers no form of redemption, forgiveness, no heavenly hope, or a final judgment to those practicing its system.

But Buddhists claim that Jesus was Himself a Buddhist. “Jesus Lived in India” and “The Original Jesus: The Buddhist Sources of Christianity” by Holger Kersten are both popular books among Western Buddhists. 

Nicholas Notovitch allegedly discovered scrolls in a monastery in Hemis claiming Jesus traveled to the east while a young man and studied the scriptures of several faiths, including Buddhism.  But the Buddhist Jesus is not the Jesus of the Gospel, Who taught in the Temple in Jerusalem at age 12.

This is another Jesus, and another gospel. 

Jehovah’s Witnesses lay claim to Jesus Christ, but also deny His Deity, teaching that Jesus was a created being who was ‘a god’ but not God Himself. 

The zeal of the Jehovah’s Witnesses to win new converts puts most Christian efforts to shame.  But the JW’s ‘Jesus’ is not God, and salvation comes by a selective works-based process in which only 144,000 Witnesses will share. 

(There are modern revisions of this JW doctrine in order to maintain membership, but founder Charles Taze Russell was dogmatic about salvation being limited to 144,000 believers.)

In any case, the ‘Jesus’ of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is another Jesus. 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints sounds way more ‘Christian’ than its shorter appellation, ‘Mormon’.  Mormon missionaries are as dedicated to preaching their gospel and winning new converts as are the Jehovah’s Witnesses. 

But their Jesus is another Jesus.  The Mormon Jesus isn’t the Son of God, but a Son of a god, a god who was once a man living on the planet Kolob. 

Following the recipe for godhood (he later transmitted to Joseph Smith in Palmyra, New York on mysterious golden tablets sometime around 1830,) the man from Kolob became the same god as God the Father of Jesus.  Observant Mormons will eventually get their own universes to be gods in. 

The Mormon Jesus reestablished his Kingdom in Independence, Missouri, before changing his mind and relocating his headquarters to Salt Lake City, Utah.  His spirit-brother’s name is Lucifer. 

Like the others, neither their gospel nor their Jesus offers hope of salvation.  But making room for Jesus is good marketing if one wants to convince others to join up.

It boils down to this simple equation: If you want to have a credible religion, well then, since you don’t already have a Jesus, you will need to borrow mine. 

Assessment:

As noted, attaching the Name of Jesus to your religion is great advertising.  Like having a TV star advertising a particular medicine to lower your cholesterol.

First off, you didn’t know you needed something that lowers your cholesterol.

Before you know it, you are off to ask your doctor if a product that cures something you don’t know you have that incidentally causes flatulence, insomnia, flaking skin, heart palpitations, rashes, male pattern baldness, uneven tire wear and leaky plumbing is right for YOU! 

All the while, you’re fully aware that the actor knows no more about pharmacology than you do, and probably doesn’t have a cholesterol problem either. 

But he seems like such a believable guy! 

So does Jesus, except that the REAL Jesus’ endorsement is too expensive.  Embracing the REAL Jesus means becoming a REAL Christian. 

Islam would have to give up the sword.  Buddha would have to give up pantheism and all that meditation stuff.  The Watchtower Bible Society would have to give up its publishing company.  The Mormons would have to give up both polygamy here and godhood in the hereafter. 

It’s cheaper and easier to just invent a fake Jesus and hope nobody looks at the details too closely. 

The Bible make reference to another gospel and another Jesus, not obliquely, but head-on.  The Apostle Paul, under the inspiration of God, warned bluntly; 

“For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” (2nd Corinthians 11:4,13-15)

To the Galatians, he wrote,

“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” 

To underscore his point, Paul repeated himself:

“As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:6-9)

The various claimants to the Name of Christ deny His Deity, His Virgin Birth, His Resurrection, His purchase of Redemption and His offer of salvation by grace through faith. 

But they covet His Name like no other. 

Mohammed is claimed by Islam alone.  No other religion claims Buddha as their own except Buddhists.  Charles Taze Russell and Joseph Smith are revered only within the sects they founded. 

Their Jesus cannot save.  He has no power.  They follow another Jesus, and different gospel. 

Two thousand years ago, six hundred years before Mohammed, 1800 years before Joseph Smith and Charles Taze Russell, and before the modern Western Buddhists discovered Jesus, the Apostle Peter said of the Name of Jesus; 

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above; Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other Name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

This is something one wouldn’t ordinarily consider fulfilled Bible prophecy.  It is as normal as air to a Christian.  Of course the Name of Jesus is above every other Name — if one is a Christian living in 21st Western culture. 

But when Peter and Paul trod the earth, Christianity was a tiny breakaway Jewish cult.  Today, the Name of Jesus is known throughout all the world, above all other names, above all other religious figures, above all other religions. 

His is a Name claimed by all, as a necessary, if not critical element, to any claim to religious authenticity. 

Significantly, the only major religion that refuses any claim to Christ is Judaism — another fulfillment of Bible prophecy often overlooked. 

Paul was himself a Jew, and a Pharisee, and had a great love for his people. Indeed, he offered to exchange his own salvation for that of the Jews. (Romans 9:3)

But 2000 years ago, this Pharisaic Jew turned Apostle prophesied that Israel would reject Jesus until His Return. As they have, to this point in history, Name recognition notwithstanding. 

“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” (Romans 11:25)

The Gospel of Jesus is under assault from all directions by smooth-talking apologists preaching another gospel and another Jesus because they need the Power of Jesus’ Name to endorse their product. 

The reason is because Jesus is real.  He is alive, He is God, and the world instinctively knows it.  It doesn’t matter what they teach, or what they believe, or how incredible it is. 

What does this all mean?  It is powerful evidence, when you take the time to consider it as evidence, and it is impossible for a skeptic to refute. 

Need proof?

Attach the Name Jesus to a religion that practices polygamy in Utah as a means to attaining godhood in another galaxy and “bingo!”  The next thing you know, there are two nice young fellas from Salt Lake City wearing white shirts and black ties knocking at your door to ask if you know the ‘rest’ of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

The first thing you’ll find is that you hear lots and lots about Jesus, but not so much about Kolob.  Why?  Because the Name Jesus means instant religious credibility, just as His eyewitnesses predicted. 

Because they saw the REAL Jesus.

“For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” (2nd Timothy 1:12)

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on January 9, 2012

”Judas Hanged Himself — Thou Do Likewise”

”Judas Hanged Himself — Thou Do Likewise”
Vol: 26 Issue: 24 Tuesday, July 24, 2018

”God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent: Hat He said, and shall He not do it? or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19)

“If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.” (Jeremiah 18:8)

So, which is it? 

God says of Himself that He isn’t a man, that He should “repent” which means to ‘change His mind.’  But then He says he will repent of a decision in response to the actions of man.  Is God indecisive? 

It seems rather a difficult character defect to ascribe to an all-powerful and all-knowing God without having to demote Him to really powerful and really knowledgeable.  (Instead, they are actually attributes of the Enemy)

The word translated ‘repent’ is much richer in its understanding in Hebrew or Greek than it is by the time it makes it to English.  It implies a complete change of mind from one thing to another in which the two positions are mutually exclusive, rather than simply meaning any old change of thinking. 

When a person repents of his sin and surrenders to Christ, what takes place is that person’s core worldview undergoes a fundamental reversal.   A repentent believer understands that he deserves to go to hell.  

A repentent believer knows that his salvation cannot be attained or secured based on one’s own good works or righteous behavior, but is the product of the grace of God obtained by faith and secured by the righteousness of Christ. 

By nature and definition, God is all-knowing.  For God to repent suggests that God either made a mistake, which is impossible, or didn’t foresee events that subsequently caused Him to change His mind.  

The Bible lists thirty-one different times in which it says God does repent.  It would take too long to list them all, but a few examples in which it appears God did change His mind include:

“And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.” (Genesis 6:7)

“And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.” (Exodus 32:14

“If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent Me of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings.”(Jeremiah 26:3)

God says He doesn’t repent.  He also says He doesn’t lie.  

It is a conundrum.

Assessment:

“For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” (Malachi 3:6)

Is the Bible true?  How can it be with this seemingly impossible contradiction?  God says He doesn’t lie and doesn’t repent and then He goes ahead and repents thirty-one times.  How can both be simultaneously true?  

God’s holiness is unchanging.  Consequently, it requires Him to treat the wicked differently from the righteous.  When the righteous become wicked, His treatment of them must change.  

For example, America was once among the most righteous of the nations, and simultaneously, the most blessed among the nations.

Most of our blessings have soured as America moved further and further from acknowledging God as the Creator and Guarantor of our rights and freedoms.  God didn’t change.  We did.

By way of analogy, the sun doesn’t ‘change its mind’ when it hardens clary while softening wax.  The sun is the same and so is the effect — the sun will always harden clay and it will always soften wax.  

It is the wax and the clay that differ, not the effect of the sun.  God is unchanging in His eternal plan — the changes are from the perspective of the changed:

“Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him:” (Ephesians 1:9-10)

“In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.” (Titus 1:2)

“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Revelation 13:8)

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

God is immutable, but that is not the same as being immobile.  The plan remains unchanged.  God’s ‘repentance’ involves the execution — while working within the confines of space and time — of purposes eternally existing in the mind of God.  

The execution of that plan necessarily involves human beings, which necessarily involve free will, which requires God to make adjustments.  Are these adjustments unforeseen?  Was God taken by surprise?  

That totally misses the point.  God is perfect.  We are not.  He must allow for our imperfections. 

Read in context, Numbers 23:19 is part of a wider discourse concerning Israel, not God.  Speaking through Balaam, what God is saying when He says, “God is not a man, that He should lie or repent”  He is speaking in relation to His plan for Israel. 

In context, it isn’t saying that God will never repent of anything — here the Scripture is promising that He will not repent concerning His promise to Israel.  There actually is no contradiction — the contradiction is created by making the mistake of using one passage of Scripture to interpret another.  

That will almost always produce error because every passage of Scripture must be understood in context. 

Once you pull Scripture out of context, one can accurately argue that the Bible says that Judas went out and hanged himself (Matthew 27:5) and “thou do likewise” (Judges 7:17) therefore supports the conclusion that the Bible encourages suicide by hanging.  

Rather than presenting an insurmountable Bible contradiction, the fact that God repents Himself teaches a series of wonderful truths.  It teaches that God is not impersonal.  He responds to man’s actions.  He is not an unfeeling Spirit.  He knows what ails us.

“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)

The entire debate teaches us the importance of rightly dividing the Word of truth.  Many approach the Scripture seeking confirmation of what they already believe to be true, rather than seeking the truth itself.  

As we’ve already seen, if one is seeking confirmation that the Bible is flawed, or that Scriptures contradict themselves, then that is exactly what they will find.  One can find proof texts for all four positions on the doctrine on the Rapture.

One can find proof texts that seem to confirm that one can lose one’s salvation, that the Bible teaches soul sleep, that there is no hell, that God is indecisive, that the Rapture is pre, mid, pre-Wrath, post trib and that there is no Rapture at all.

If one approaches the Scripture looking for contradictions, one can find them.  Even when they aren’t there.

“Is the Bible Divinely inspired?  Well, the Bible says God doesn’t change His mind, then it says He does.  Here, let me show you — it says so right here and here. ”    

When somebody does that, it can be pretty convincing.  But on deeper investigation, it always turns out to be a case of the melting wax complaining that the sun is indecisive because the clay hardened. 

It isn’t God that changes — His holiness is unchanging.  

“If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. . .   If it do evil in My sight, that it obey not My voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.” (Jeremiah 18:8,10)

If America is no longer under God’s Hand of blessing, it isn’t because God changed His mind about America.  It is because America changed its mind about God.

God is simply responding in kind.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on  October 23, 2009

Featured Commentary: Who are the “Sons of God” in Genesis Chapter 6? Part 7 ~Steve Schmutzer