Is There Really A Money Trust?

Is There Really A Money Trust?
Vol: 27 Issue: 20 Monday, August 20, 2018

One of our OL members posted a question regarding the existence of a money trust conspiracy. In essence, the question was if the money trust conspiracy theory was true. The short answer is yes.

The longer answer is still yes, but the actual money trust ‘conspiracy’ (that’s not exactly the right word for it, but it is close) is less malevolent in fact than it is in theory.

Less look first at what it is, and then we’ll examine what it isn’t.

The rallying cry of the American Revolution was “No Taxation Without Representation.” There was more to it than that. Great Britain didn’t go to war over a tea tax. Included in Great Britain’s financial demands on the colony was control of America’s currency of issue.

That was the real prize, and to the colonists, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back, one issue among many issues popularized as a ‘tea tax revolt’ by history.

The Revolutionary War concluded with a treaty between Great Britain and the new United States of America that included the establishment of the 1st Bank of the United States, but owned by the British Crown.

Working behind the scenes, as an advisor to the British Crown was German financier Mayer Amschel Rothschild. Rothschild reputedly once remarked,

“Give me control of a nation’s currency and I care not who makes its laws.”

Rothschild financed the British Crown’s rental of the Hessian army from Germany, which propelled him to favor in the British Court. Rothschild sought to be the King’s banker. Good fortune and planning soon made him the King’s bank.

Rothschild, with the help of his five sons who controlled the main banking establishments in Europe, developed most effective and well-known private intelligence networks the world had ever seen.

At that time British bonds were called ‘consuls’ and they were traded on the floor of the stock exchange. Eldest son Nathan Mayer Rothschild instructed all his workers on the floor to start selling consuls. The made all the other traders believe that the British had lost the war so they started selling frantically.

When the stock bottomed, Nathan Mayer Rothschild discreetly instructed his proxies to buy them all back. When news finally reached London that the British had actually won the war, Nathan Mayer Rothschild owned most of England.

It put the Rothschild family in complete control of the British economy, now the financial center of the world following Napolean’s defeat, and forced England to set up a new Bank of England, which Nathan Mayer Rothschild controlled.

Rothschild’s sons established banks throughout Europe. Jacob set up de Rothschild Freres (Rothschild Bros) in Paris, other brothers set up banks in Vienna, Hamburg and Nales.

The 19th century is sometimes called the “Rothschild century” and its litany of wars and insurrections were nicknamed the “Rothschild wars” by those who lived through them.

For example, during the war between Britain and France in 1812-16, Mayer financed the British Crown, while Jacob financed Napoleon. Rothschild banking interests, for a time, financed both the Union and the Confederacy during the Civil War.

The Rothschilds found war extremely profitable; before her death, Gutle Schnapper, Mayer Amschel Rothschild’s wife reputedly said, “If my sons did not want wars, there would be none.”

By the end of this century, a period of time that was known as the, “Age of the Rothschilds,” it was estimated that the Rothschild family controlled half the wealth of the world.

The War of 1812 between the US and Great Britain began when the US refused to renew the charter for the First Bank of the United States. It concluded with the establishment of the Second Bank of the United States. The US won the war, but Rothschild won control of the bank.

In 1832, Andrew Jackson campaigned under the slogan, “Jackson and No Bank.” In 1833, Jackson removed US deposits from the Second Bank of the United States and puts them in non-Rothschild controlled banks.

The Rothschild Group responded by contracting the money supply, creating a financial depression, prompting Jackson to swear, “You are a den of thieves, vipers, and I intend to rout you out, and by the Eternal God, I will rout you out.”

In 1836, Jackson finally succeeded in blocking renewal of the Second Bank of the United States’ Charter. Before his death in 1845, Jackson was asked what he believed was his greatest presidential accomplishment. “I killed the bank,” he replied.

In 1863, Lincoln broke with the Rothschild bankers and, with the support of the Czar of Russia, began issuing ‘greenbacks’ to finance the Civil War, infuriating Rothschild, whose banks held most of the pre-war US national debt.

In an 1865 address to the Congress, Lincoln said, “I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me, and the financial institutions in the rear. Of the two, the one in my rear is my greatest foe.”

Two months later, he lay dead from an assassin’s bullet.

The rest of the American 19th century is a litany of banking panics, financial scandals, money supply shortages and recessions that prompted Jacob Schiff, head of Kuhn, Loeb, and Co, (of the Hamburg Rothschild Banking House) to proclaim;

“Unless we have a Central Bank with adequate control of credit resources, this country is going to undergo the most severe and far reaching money panic in its history.”

On December 23, 1913, (when the majority of both Houses were at home for Christmas break) the Federal Reserve Act was put before a vote at a skeleton Congress. Its passage provoked Congressman Charles Lindbergh to thunder;

“The Act establishes the most gigantic trust on earth. When the President signs this Bill, the invisible government of the monetary power will be legalized…….The greatest crime of the ages is perpetrated by this banking and currency bill.”

The first governor of the Federal Reserve was a recent German immigrant named Paul Warburg. Warburg was a member of the Hamburg branch of the Rothschild Banking House before joining the Hamburg-affiliated American investment group of Kuhn and Loeb.

Warburg took his seat as Governor of the Fed just as World War I broke out in Europe.

The German House of Rothschild loaned money to the Kaiser to finance it. In gratitude, KaiserWilhem named Paul’s brother, Max Warburg head of German intelligence. Since Warburg was part of the House of Rothschild, he had access to the Rothschild intelligence network.

The British House of Rothschild loaned money to finance the war to the British Crown. The Crown appointed Sir William Wiseman as head of British Intelligence in Washington in World War I. (Sir William Wiseman was a full partner in Warburg, Kuhn and Loeb until his death in 1963).

After the war, Paul Warburg was among the US delegates to the Treaty of Versailles. Present for the German side was brother Max Warburg.

The crippling war reparations levied against Germany were designated to be paid through the Swiss-based Bank of International Settlements, controlled at the time by a third Warburg brother, Felix.

Cozy. Paul Warburg at the helm of the Federal Reserve, his business partner in charge of British intelligence, his brother in charge of the enemy’s intelligence services, Rothschild money financing all sides, and another brother in charge of collecting reparations when it was all over.

Who said, in war, nobody wins?

Assessment:

These are some of the historical facts supporting the existence of a Money Trust ‘conspiracy’. Now, as to what the Money Trust isn’t.

It isn’t a Jewish conspiracy. There are a number of Jewish names among the Rothschild financial empire, but that doesn’t make it a Jewish conspiracy.

One doesn’t have to be a Jew to be part of the Rothschild group. Its aims aren’t Jewish aims. Its purpose isn’t to benefit world-wide Jewry — its purpose is to benefit the House of Rothschild.

The Rothschild family bonds are not Jewish family bonds, they are Rothschild family bonds. If the Rothschild family history was Irish, nobody would call their banking conspiracy an “Irish conspiracy”.

The Mafia is an organized crime organization made up primarily of Italians, but it isn’t an “Italian crime conspiracy”. It isn’t affiliated with Italy. Its aims have nothing to do with Italy, either malevolent or benign. The Italians don’t get a ‘cut’ from New York’s organized crime families.

The ‘ethnic’ part of the conspiracy is the easiest part to explain. One enlists conspirators from among one’s closest acquaintances. Historically, ethnic groups had been “ghettoized” according to ethnicity, so the guys from the neighborhood are most likely the same ethnicity.

If you were a European Jew, you mostly knew other European Jews. And if you were a European Jew of the 18th or 19th centuries, you had little chance to know, and even less chance, to meet a Gentile.

It was social, not ethnic or religious differences that dictated the ethnicity of the early House of Rothschild. And it was greed and lust for power that drove it, not some ethnic or religious ethic.

The Money Trust conspiracy is a banking conspiracy. It is no more a “Jewish conspiracy” than the Hollywood film industry is “Jewish”.

There are a lot of Jewish names among the top Hollywood film industry, but the goal of the Hollywood film industry is to benefit the Hollywood film industry, not world-wide Jewry. The aim of the Money Trust is to benefit the Money Trust.

The Money Trust benefits when the economy does well, since it owns the economy. Sometimes, it benefits from the economy stalling, so it can lend itself money and collect interest.

When an economy can no longer produce profit, it is allowed to collapse, which brings domestic and political upheaval, which ultimately results in war.

Wars have to be financed, and if both sides are being financed from the same source, that source can selectively control the resources of one side, and then the next, allowing one side to surge, then allow the other, back and forth, until the maximum amount of profit has been squeezed out to finance war materiel whose only purpose is to blow up, forcing the financing of more.

That is how the Money Trust works. Despite its ugliness, the Money Trust ultimately benefits you and therefore, it is allowed to exist.

The big question you are probably asking is, “who is behind the money trust today?” You won’t like the short answer.

You are. And I am. And so is everybody who benefits when the economy surges.

And so we all work together, doing our part to keep the economic surge going. As long as the economy is good, there are jobs, our families are fed, our homes are safe, our lives secure.

We invest in the stock market via our 401(k) plans, we try to protect the environment, preserve our resources, and keep the good times rolling.

So does the local bank manager, and his boss, and his boss, ad infinitum, but NOT to benefit the money trust. Nobody is working for the handful of business executives in the handful of boardrooms at the top of the pyramid. We are working for ourselves.

It just so happens to benefit that handful of unknowns insulated by dozens of figureheads who are known, world leaders, top banking officials, etc. That’s how the world system works.

It should come as no surprise to those who read and believe Bible prophecy for the last days.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

We discussed the principle of hiding in plain sight. The best way to hide a conspiracy is among a number of competing conspiracies.

By floating the idea that it is a Jewish conspiracy, the banking conspiracy is effectively cloaked.

The “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” was the text used to justify the murder of uncounted tens of thousands of Jews in countless pogroms across Russia in the early 20th century.

It was widely circulated as documentary fact throughout Nazi Germany. It is still taken as Gospel by anti-Semites where ever they may gather.

The “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” borrowed its plot line from the existing Money Trust, and added the “Jewish conspiracy to dominate the world” twist to it.

Because there is an historical banking family that actually was behind all the events I outlined earlier, there is just enough truth to be plausible.

Making it a Jewish conspiracy makes it dangerous.

Whenever the subject of the money trust comes up, so do the “Protocols”. Only the extremists on both sides would care to discuss it further.

And being extremists, they are dismissed as extremists out of hand by the center who wouldn’t want to talk about it for fear of being labeled an extremist or an anti-Semite.

So nobody talks much about the Rothschilds, the money trust, the Federal Reserve, etc., for fear of being labeled an extremist or an anti-Semite. The money trust remains hidden in plain sight.

The Money Trust conspiracy exists, but it is hidden among so many different versions that the exact truth is known to only a few. We know what it was. Nobody is exactly sure what it is at the moment.

The Bible tells us what it will be.

According to Bible prophecy, the antichrist seizes control of an existing global economy. Itmust already exist — he has only seven years in which to govern.

It must be global — Revelation 13:17 says he exercises economy power over the whole earth — and it MUST be already centralized in order for him to seize it.

The Money Trust isn’t even a conspiracy, any more. It has gone way beyond that. It is a completed system — constructed over a period of hundreds of years — upon which we now depend for our continued existence as we know it.

We rely on it to feed our families. We depend on it to keep them healthy. We feed the world system by our labor, and then plow whatever we can save back into it to feed it some more.

We are enslaved by it on every level, and its power over each of us is both merciless and absolute. We can rail against it, shake our fist, but we can’t change it and hope to survive the process.

We can deny it exists. But we still go to work for it, pay taxes to it, and exist within its framework.

You can call it the money trust. Or you can call it, as the Bible does, the world system. Or you can pretend it doesn’t exist.

But it is what it is.

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

Featured Commentary: Given Over ~Pete Garcia

When the Future Was Yesterday . . .

When the Future Was Yesterday . . .
Vol: 27 Issue: 18 Saturday, August 18, 2018

”Future Shock” is the name of a book written by sociologist and futurist Alvin Toffler in 1970, at just about the same time that Hal Lindsey’s ”Late Great Planet Earth” was hitting the New York Times bestseller list.

Toffler’s book was made into a movie narrated by Orson Welles in 1972.  Coincidentally, Hal Lindsey’s “The Late Great Planet Earth” was also made into a movie, also narrated by Orson Welles, in 1979.

Toffler’s book addressed the speed with which technology was changing, back in the age of microwave ovens and beta VCRs.  

He defined the social response to the shattering speed of 1970’s technological and social advancement this way:

“Future shock is the shattering stress and disorientation that we induce in individuals by subjecting them to too much change in too short a time.”

Toffler explains, “Man has a limited biological capacity for change.  When this capacity is overwhelmed, the capacity is in future shock.”

As already noted, Toffler’s book was published the same year as Hal Lindsey’s “Late, Great Planet Earth“.  Toffler’s book explained future shock as a social symptom.  Hal’s book explained what future shock was a symptom OF.

The prevailing feeling of impending doom that existed in the early 1970s was real enough that both books were instant runaway best-sellers.  In those days, that sense of ‘something’ was vague and undefined, but it was there.

Toffler tried to define it, Lindsey tried to explain it, movie franchises like ‘The Omen’ and ‘Mad Max’ tried to capitalize on it, but one thing is certain:

Whatever ‘it’ is, ‘it’ made it’s presence known with enough impact to make “The Late, Great Planet Earth” the best-selling Christian-themed book in history (excluding the Bible), it embraced Toffler’s term, ‘future shock’ so completely it is now part of our vocabulary, and made ‘The Omen’ and ‘Mad Max’ franchises among the most successful of their time.

There was a sudden awakening to the fact the Bible gave certain signs for the last days; discernible, chartable, undeniable and precise signs.

The 1967 Six Days War awakened the world to Israel’s existence and thrust her onto the world’s stage. Jerusalem, a city which most people thought of more in mystical than bricks-and-mortar terms, was suddenly the most important city on earth.

Although Bible prophecy was seldom discussed among Christians, suddenly, people started to connect some of the dots. Some ran to guys like Toffler for answers.  Others ‘whistled past the graveyard’, by turning their fears into entertainment.

When Hal Lindsey connected the dots for the secular world through Scripture, millions turned to the Bible for the answers, instead.

Assessment:

Future Shock was published forty-four years ago.  If the pace of change was shocking back then, consider what it means today.  An entire generation has grown up in a world where everything they learned yesterday is obsolete information tomorrow.

If you were born in 1970 and went to college and majored in geography, for example, when you graduated at 22 in 1992, everything you spent the last four years learning was wrong.

There was no Soviet Union, and there were about forty extra countries that didn’t used to be there.

Technology changes so fast last year’s TV is as obsolete as last year’s computer.  Last year’s car gave GPS-guided verbal directions to any destination on the globe – this year’s car can parallel park itself. 

As all this takes place, that sense of an impending ‘something’ continues to build, as we look for ways to explain it.  It sits somewhere at the back of the consciousness; — like wondering whether or not you turned off the iron before leaving for church.

Consequently, there has been an explosion in interest in things spiritual, extra-terrestrial, occultic, and scientific as people look for an explanation for what amounts to a global ‘nagging’ feeling.

Daniel said all this would take place in the midst of an explosion of knowledge and a sense of disorientation (future shock?), writing;

“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” (Daniel 12:4)

At about the same time that Alvin Toffler wrote of the ‘to and fro’ nature of exploding knowledge and gave us the term, ‘future shock’, Christians like Hal Lindsey, Dwight Pentecost and others were taking note of the fact that the words of Daniel were no longer “sealed”.

As Israel took her place among the nations, the Arab-Israeli conflict took global center stage, and Daniel’s ten toes began to wiggle as old Europe began to pull itself together, Daniel and Revelation became less about symbols and more about specific details. 

Until this generation, symbols were satisfactory because there was no literal framework in which to put them. Until the restoration of Israel, everything about Bible prophecy for the last days was symbolic. 

With Israel’s restoration, symbols revealed themselves as facts, the heads, horns and beasts became identifiable nations, leaders and systems and the words of the Prophets morphed from ancient prose to future history to future shock as the world slowly recognizes that the clock is winding down.

“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: (Romans 1:28-31)

The symbols are no longer symbolic, they are literal.  Bible prophecy is only as futuristic as tomorrow’s newspapers.  The Second Coming of Christ is much less a joke and much more a cause for sober reflection than at any time since the first century. 

“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:38)

Wars, rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, pestilences, false Christs, solar anomalies, signs in the cosmos, global fear and confusion at what appears to be coming upon the earth . . . it’s ALL part of our present existence.  

“Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till ALL be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:32)

This generation.  That’s us.  Tell your friends.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on June 24, 2011

The Judgments and the Crowns

The Judgments and the Crowns
Vol: 27 Issue: 17 Friday, August 17, 2018

Judgment is a central theme throughout Scripture; the Old Testament is filled with accounts of judgment.

The judgment on Adam and Eve, the Flood judgment, the judgment against the Unfaithful Generation during the Exodus, Sodom and Gomorrah, the various judgments against Israel, the Ultimate Judgment at Calvary, just to name a few.

Some in this generation will face the 21 judgments outlined in the Book of Revelation during the Tribulation Period. 

The writer of Hebrews tells us, “. . .it is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27)

There are five individual judgments identified in Scripture, that differ in five general aspects; the subjects, the time, the place, the basis and the result. 

There are two judgments for believers.  The subjects of the first judgment are sinners.  The time of this judgment was roughly AD 33.  The place was Calvary.

The basis for the judgment was the finished Work of Christ.  And the result was justification for the believer. 

This first judgment is in three parts; as a sinner, as a son, and as a servant. 

The ‘sin’ question is settled at the Cross.  The ‘son’ question is an ongoing series of personal judgments that the Bible calls ‘chastisement’. 

When a believer steps outside God’s permissive will, it brings about judgments designed to bring that believer back into line.

“If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” (Hebrews 12:7-8)

Then there is our judgment as servants, which leads us to the Judgment Seat of Christ, or the Bema Seat.

The subjects are believers.  The time is after the Rapture.  The place is the Bema Seat.  The basis for judgment is works.  The result is reward — or loss of reward.

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

Those who stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ are not there to be judged worthy of entry into heaven. That question was settled at the Cross. 

This judgment will be for our works as servants. At the Bema Seat;

“Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.” (1st Corinthians 3:13)

Think about that for a moment!  Everything you ever did will be analyzed and scrutinized openly by the Lord Jesus Christ.  Every good thing. . . and every bad thing.  We’ll be called on to give account of every word, every deed, every thought. 

For most believers, the Judgment Seat of Christ will be an excruciating experience. “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men . . .” Paul wrote. 

But, the result of the Bema Seat judgment isn’t to determine if you will enter heaven — that isalready assured.  The result is reward.  That is where a believer’s works come into play.  Rewards.  Or loss of them.

“If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” (1st Corinthians 3:14-15)

There are five possible rewards, or “crowns” that believers can earn for their works at the Bema Seat. 

The Crown of Life.  This is the Martyr’s Crown.  You get this one the hard way; “be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” (Revelation 2:10)

The Crown of Glory.  This the the ‘Pastor’s Crown’ given by the Chief Shepherd when He shall appear to those who serve;

“Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.” (1st Peter 5:2-3)

I readily admit that I am working to earn this crown.  Salvation is a gift of grace through faith, and that not of yourselves — crowns you have to work for.

“And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” (1st Peter 5:4)

The Crown of Rejoicing.  This is the Soul-winners crown.  Those brought to Jesus by us will be our “crown of rejoicing” at His Coming.

“For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?” (1st Thessalonians 2:19)

The Crown of Righteousness.  This is the crown earned by the Watchmen on the Wall who give the warning of His soon appearing.

“Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing.” (2nd Timothy 4:8)

The Incorruptible Crown.  This is a tough one to earn.  This is the “Victor’s” Crown, which is set aside for those who master temperance in this lifetime. 

Those who don’t yield to the lusts of the flesh, saturate themselves with alcohol and drugs, and keep themselves separate from the world can expect to be rewarded with the Incorruptible Crown. 

The Judgment Seat of Christ takes place concurrently with the Third Judgment identified by Scripture taking place on earth.

In this third judgment, the primary subjects are the Jews.  The place is Jerusalem.  The time is called the ‘Time of Jacob’s Trouble’ or, the Tribulation Period. 

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

The basis for this judgment is Israel’s continued rejection of the Messiah, and the end result is the national redemption of Israel. 

The fourth judgment identified in Scripture also takes place during the Tribulation.  The subjects are the Gentile nations.  The place is the Valley of Jehoshaphat.  The basis for this judgment will be their treatment of the Jews.

“And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth His sheep from the goats.” (Matthew 25:32)

The nations will be divided into the “Sheep nations” and the “Goat nations”.  The result is the Sheep nations will be permitted to enter into the Millennial Kingdom.  The “Goat nations” will be destroyed. 

This judgment takes place at the conclusion of the Tribulation Period. 

The fifth and final judgment identified in Scripture is the Great White Throne Judgment.  It will take place at the close of the Millennium a 1000 years after the judgment of the Nations, and before the “Great White Throne.” 

All the righteous (saved) dead arose at the First Resurrection, or the Rapture. 

Those who are saved and die between the First Resurrection and the Second Resurrection, (like the Tribulation and Millennial Kingdom saints), must rise with the wicked at the Second Resurrection. 

The words; “Whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life” imply there will be some saved who will be present at the Great White Throne.  So possibly there will be some whose names will be found in the Book of Life, but they are post-Church Age believers. 

I want you to notice something.  This entire outline only works if the Rapture takes place beforethe Tribulation.  If the Church is on the earth during the Tribulation Period, the entire outline falls apart.

BUT — and this is the important part — this is the only outline there is!  There is only one Bible from which to work, and it doesn’t give an alternative scenario.  

It is the key to understanding the outline of Bible prophecy as it unfolds before this generation. 

The Bible identifies five judgments and five crowns.  The judgments are as I’ve outlined them, by those who are subject to them, when, where, why, and how. 

I’ve supplied chapter and verse.  Go back and review it all.  It’s the only outline there is.  And for it to work, the Church must be Raptured before the Tribulation begins. 

If not, we have the Church on the earth during the judgment of Israel, and not in the air for the Believer’s Judgment, and, in some views, on the earth during the division of the Sheep and Goat nations. 

Jesus sets up His Millennial Kingdom at the close of the Tribulation Period.  Before that comes four of the five judgments, all of which He presides over as the Righteous Judge. 

When the judgments of the Tribulation are over, all that remain are the sheep nations and the Jews.  Who is there left to Rapture?

The Rapture is the First Resurrection that predicates the Judgment Seat of Christ.  As the Church is judged at the Bema Seat, the twenty-one Tribulation judgments are executed on the world.

They are different judgments, as to subject, basis, place and result, but within the same general frame of time called the Day of the Lord or the Day of Christ.

It is all interconnected — and indivisible from the Big Picture.

The outline of Bible prophecy is deep and complex, and each part is interdependent on all the others in order to complete the Big Picture. 

It isn’t about being right. It’s about understanding the times in which we live, so that we can fulfill the commission given us.

“. . .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.” (1st Peter 3:15)

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on July 8, 2010

Featured Commentary: Our Will Be Done ~Alf Ceniga

The Debate Trap

The Debate Trap
Vol: 27 Issue: 16 Thursday, August 16, 2018

Have you ever noticed that every Christian/atheist debate begins with the Christian on the defense?  Such a debate consists entirely of challenges to the Christian to ‘prove’ this part of Scripture, or to ‘prove’ that God exists. 

I’ve yet to hear of a debate in which the Christian demands that the atheist to ‘prove’ his point because it is an impossibly unfair demand.  How does one ‘prove’ an argument that rests on nothing? 

The atheist’s argument is that nothing created everything that exists.  It isn’t too hard to ‘prove’ everything that exists. The fact of existence proves existence.  

But we live in a material universe.  Everything can exist here.  But nothing can’t.  No matter what an atheist trots out as proof, it is only ‘proof’ in that it casts doubt on your position. It doesn’t prove his. 

His argument rests on the existence of nothing, which is an oxymoron of cosmic proportions.  Nothing is the absence of existence.

Nothing cannot exist, because if it existed, it wouldn’t be nothing.   Nothing cannot exist asnothing, since by definition it is the absence of existence.   That isn’t just fun with words — it is the reason why the atheist must argue against God. 

Because God exists.  Nothing doesn’t.  It can’t.  So their entire argument rests on proving your argument wrong.  

Accepting such a challenge is a case of walking into a trap of one’s own making.  While the atheist’s arsenal is as vast as the universe, yours is not. 

Your opponent can draw from science, astronomy, math, geography, history, supposition and hearsay to bolster his argument. 

There is no framework or system around which to attack or defend the creative power of nothing. While your opponent’s arsenal is limitless, your defense is confined within the boundaries of Scripture.

Your opponent is free to use Scripture to attack Scripture — “What kind of loving God would order someone’s death for something as trivial as not keeping the Sabbath?” (Exodus 35:2)

But you are limited to explaining why the New Testament system is different than the Old Testament system.

In short, you can’t just pull something out of left field and dare them to prove it isn’t in the Bible and call it an honest debate. 

But they can.  Because they don’t have to prove anything.  

They just have to disprove you.

Assessment:

I see from our forums that I’ve still left some questions unanswered from our discussion on Dispensationalism.  Dispensationalism is a systematic understanding of Scripture that requires a systematic framework in which to function. 

Within that system, everything flows in an orderly fashion, each element dependent upon the rest.  Whether an event takes place during the Dispensation of Grace or during the Dispensation of Judgment is critical to its understanding. 

I’ve used the example in Revelation 13:7:

“And it was given unto him [the False Prophet] to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.”

This is not possible during the Dispensation of Grace.  During the Dispensation of Grace,

“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.”  (1st John 4:4

Who is He that is in me?  That would be the Holy Spirit, no?   Who is he that is in the world? That would the Satan, the enemy.

During the Tribulation, somebody gives the False Prophet the power to ‘overcome’ the saints.  And not just overcome them, but have POWER over them. What changed?  Did the Holy Spirit become subordinate to Satan? 

If He that is in me is greater, then He can’t be overcome and overpowered by Satan.   And since Jesus promised to come for me before He would leave me Comfortless, it stands to reason that if He isn’t there, neither am I.

If there is no systematic understanding of how the various prophecies interlock, it is like trying to construct a building without a blueprint.  You might have all the necessary materials, but the finished product will be all over the place. 

More often than not the debates seem to follow the same pattern that I outlined in the beginning of this briefing.  The Pre-Wrath and Post-Trib arguments consist more of attacks on elements of Pretribulationism than mounting a case for their own view.  

So I try to avoid the debates — people that want to debate generally don’t want answers to questions. They want to win the debate.   And if I didn’t already believe what I teach was the truth, I wouldn’t teach it.  So debating it seems pointless.  

There was a good question in the forums about the chronology of Mark 13:27 that seems to suggest the gathering of the elect that takes place at the end of the Tribulation is the Rapture.

But it cannot be the Rapture.  It takes place at the end, after Jesus comes with power and great glory.   And these elect are gathered by the angels.

At the Rapture, “the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout and with the voice of the archangel, and the dead in Christ shall rise first. . . .  

He doesn’t send His angels to gather the Church — He comes for His Bride Himself.

But there is a gathering of the elect at the 2nd Coming.   He sends His angels to gather the nations from the four corners of the earth which will be divided into the ‘sheep’ on His right hand and the ‘goat’ nations on His left.

“Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”  (Matthew 25:34)

Another question has to do with the Church of Smyrna suffering persecution for ten days signifies the Church must undergo judgment.  Not so, The Church of Smyrna was a real period of Church history (100-325).

There were ten early periods of persecution of Christianity under the ten Persecutors – the Emperors Nero, Domitian, Trajan, Marcus Aurelius, Septimus Severus, Maximus, Decius, Valerian, Diocletian and Galerius.

Another question dealt with the Church at Philadelphia being kept from the hour of temptation that is going to come upon those that dwell upon the earth.

Please explain what is meant by the hour of testing that the other churches are destined to go through.” 

Jesus referenced the “hour of temptation” that was going to come upon those that dwell upon the earth.  That doesn’t include the Church.  The word ‘temptation’ (pierasmos) means ‘discipline’.  The Church is not under discipline — it is under Grace.

Those to face the discipline of the Tribulation are not the Philadelphians of the 1800’s or the Smyrnans of AD 325 or any other part of the Church — they are those that dwell upon the earth after the Rapture. 

The reference to the Church at Philadelphia does not exclude the rest of the Churches.

The phrase, “that dwell upon the earth” is used to describe the people that rejoice over the death of the Two Witnesses. (Revelation 11:10)

It is used to describe those that worship the beast, whose names are not found in the Book of Life. (Revelation 13:8)

It is NEVER used of the Church.

There is but one Rapture of the Church.  The dead in Christ are raised first.  These are not the O.T saints — they are not the ‘dead in Christ’.   Then those living saints are caught up together with them. 

The Rapture is not the same as ‘resurrection’.  There are several resurrections, Jesus, the dead at the Crucifixion, the Two Witnesses, the OT saints, the Tribulation Martyrs . . . but they are notRaptured.

The Bible is specific in the order of resurrection. 

”For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming. “

The O.T. saints receive their resurrected bodies at the end of the Tribulation. Daniel was told that his people would be resurrected, some to everlasting life, others to everlasting shame and contempt.  

Those resurrected to everlasting life appear in Revelation 20.  The rest don’t make an appearance until the Great White Throne Judgment at the end of the Millennium.

Job confidently proclaimed:

“I know my Redeemer liveth and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth, and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.” (Job 19:25-26)

“Thy dead men shall live, together with My dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.” (Isaiah 26:19)

The last resurrection is the Great White Throne. That is the second death and it occurs after the Millennium. 

There is a rhyme and reason and pattern to Bible prophecy that follows the same systematic theology from Genesis 1:1 to the conclusion of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

It is of no private interpretation, it is there for all to see.  The New Testament mentions the dispensations four times as in Ephesians 3:2:

“If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward.” 

But without specific mention, it is clear that the Bible is a progressive revelation from God sub-divided by dispensation according to each new revelation.  While new revelation does not cancel previous revelation, it sometimes fulfills it.

Jesus did not cancel the Law, He fulfilled it. And therefore in this Dispensation, we needn’t worry about being killed for not keeping the Sabbath.

The Dispensation of Grace is a parenthetical period in the history of God’s people that opened with Jesus ascending into heaven as His Apostles gazed upward into heaven.  It concludes just as definitely and in exactly the same way, as the angels standing by prophesied.

“For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

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

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

What’s So Great About Heaven?

What’s So Great About Heaven?
Vol: 27 Issue: 15 Wednesday, August 15, 2018

It think it fair to say that most unbelievers are motivated to come to Christ more by the fear of going to hell than they are by the promise of heaven.  It was certainly true in my case.

I’d heard about heaven all my life.  An eternity of praise and worship and singing . . . ummm, an eternity?  (My enthusiasm starts to wane a bit.) 

But given the alternative. . . heaven sounds just great!

It is that comparison that motivated me to seek salvation.  By itself, Heaven sounded a lot like an eternal church service.  But truth to tell, I’m good for about an hour in church before I start squirming in my seat.

It was fear of the alternative that drove me to my knees.  Perhaps that might be why the Bible has more to say about hell than it does about heaven. 

Here’s what we know about hell, and the Lake of Fire to come after that. 

Luke 16:19-31 reveals that in hell, one has no name.  Abraham is mentioned by name. So is Lazarus.  But the rich man is not named.  What good is a name when nobody will ever call it again?  In hell, while you have no identity, you know who you were.

The rich man remembered his father and five brothers.  His memories are intact.  In hell, one is tormented by flame.  The rich man begged for a drop of water to cool his burning tongue.

We addressed the three-fold nature of man in detail in Volume 123, Issue: 20 during our discussion of the death of Kim Jong il.

In life, the body is the sensory input station for the soul.  The soul also receives input from the spirit, after it has been regenerated at salvation, but the soul’s primary source of input is still physical; sight, smell, sound, taste and touch.

Absent the body, the spirit becomes the eyes and ears, so to speak of the soul.  The body’s sensory gates close, but the spirit’s sensory gates swing wide-open.  We (that is, the soul, the part that makes you ‘you’) remains aware of what is going on. 

So when you die, the spirit functions much as the body did, as the primary sensory gateway into the soul.   The soul of a person that dies unregenerate, like the rich man of Luke 16, has lost its physical sensory input.  His spirit is dark, dead, and incapable of getting any spiritual input.

He is conscious and aware, like the rich man, but he is buried in hell where the only input he gets is burning pain.  

That lost soul will have his physical sensory input restored to him just before being cast alive into the Lake of Fire.  There, he will be deprived of spiritual comfort, since his spirit is dead, but his resurrection body will be eternally alive.

Brrrr!  Considering the alternative, suddenly the idea of eternal church sounds, well, heavenly.  

Isn’t it interesting that heaven is practically impossible to imagine, while the image of hell is not only easy to grasp, it is almost impossible to erase from one’s mind?

Assessment:

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

Heaven sounds boring because we can only imagine it through our own eyes and from our own, earthly perspective.  What can we learn about heaven that we can sink our teeth into, the way that the concept of hell tends to seek its teeth into us?

First, the Bible tells us that heaven is the spiritual realm in which God’s Presence is manifest.  It is the dwelling place of the angels of God and of all believers that have gone on before. (Hebrews 10:22-24)

Because it is the place where God dwells, heaven must consist of many more dimensions than just the three we can comprehend.  The Apostle Paul reports an out-of-body experience in which he describes heaven.

“How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. (2 Corinthians 12:4)

Since Paul said it occurred “fourteen years ago” he is referring to his own conversion experience on the road to Damascus, (as he admits in  v. 7). 

Whatever Paul saw, it made him long for more. 

Here and elsewhere, the Bible confirms the truth that there is no cessation of consciousness at death, no “soul sleep.”

We have the testimony of the Lord Himself, when He said to the thief on the Cross, Today shalt thou be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43)

When our physical inputs shut down and our souls leave our bodies, they are immediately present with the Lord: 

“We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:8)

In his letter to the Philippians, Paul re-confirms, from his own experience, that when we depart, we go to be with the Lord.

“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. . .  For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better.” (Philippians 1:21,23)

The Bible reveals that when we get to heaven, our spiritual nature changes.  The dual nature of man exists only until the carnal part dies.  What we have now is ‘imputed’ righteousness, whereas in heaven our hope of righteousness is realized.

The Apostle John says that when we see Jesus, we shall be like Him as we are transformed.  When we do, we will be purified from sin and eternally bonded to Him. 

We cannot imagine heaven, we can only compare it to earth and all its beauty and wonderment, remembering that the earth is the universe’s garbage dump.

It is the only place where sin can exist without throwing the entire universe out of balance, thanks to the fact it has an environment that contains it. 

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” (Isaiah 14:12)

Think of our beautiful planet.  Try to imagine what it must have been like when it was still pristine and pure, back when Adam walked with God in the Garden in the cool of the evening.  

When Satan and his crew were cast from heaven, they were cast to the earth, what the theologians call the ‘cosmos diabolicus’ or literally, a world of evil.

To Satan and the rebellious angels that actually have seen heaven, it was the worst place they could imagine — a place of involuntary and horrific exile.  The elect angels share that opinion: 

“Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” (Luke 15:10)

The angels know what that sinner has just escaped from. Jesus also describes what we become in eternity in Luke 20:36,

“Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.”

Paul tells us that we will receive new, immortal bodies at the Rapture:  

“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” (1 Corinthians 15:51-53)

But first, our loved ones who have gone on before get theirs.  Then we who are alive and remain get ours.  

“For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)

Despite being changed, we will recognize one another. (1 Corinthians 15:49) Together with those we love, we will meet with the Lord in the air, and “so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 

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

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on December 30, 2011

Everything in Context

Everything in Context
Vol: 27 Issue: 14 Tuesday, August 14, 2018

I believe it to be a self-evident truth that the key to having a basic working knowledge of the Bible is the understanding of Scripture as a series of progressive revelations from God about the things of the Spirit.

This understanding of progressive revelation is confirmed by the Scriptures.  The various dispensations are not difficult to identify.  Adam walked with God in the cool of the evening, Genesis tells us.  He spoke to Noah with an audible voice and prepared Noah and his family to be saved from the Flood.

God appeared to Abraham in the form of a man when warning Abraham of the coming judgment upon Sodom and Gomorrah.  God dealt with Abraham as an individual, whereas He chose Moses to reveal God’s Law to the children of Israel.

For a time after that, God communicated with the children of Israel through a series of judges, until Israel demanded a king.  After that, He communicated through the Hebrew prophets.  At different times, in different ways, God progressively revealed more of His plan for the Ages, including the promise of a Messiah-Redeemer.

There is a difference between Israel and the Church, which is why the Scriptures are divided between the Old Testament (the Covenant between God and the descendants of Abraham through Isaac) and the New Testament (the Covenant between Jesus Christ and the Church).

There is also a distinct difference between Jewish legalism and salvation by grace through faith.  Understanding WHY the Bible is divided according to Covenant Promise helps us to rightly divide the word, reconciling apparent contradictions like, ‘an eye for an eye’ (Exodus 21:24) vs. ‘turn the other cheek’ (Matthew 5:38-39).

The first three chapters of Genesis reveal that God’s intention in the creation of man was to live in fellowship with Him in the Garden of Eden. Eve was deceived by Satan into sampling the fruit of the forbidden tree. Adam was not deceived, but willfully disobeyed God and followed Eve.

This sin represented the fall of mankind from grace.  They were removed from Paradise and through their fall, death entered the world.  God shed the blood of animals to cover their nakedness (physical and spiritual) but not until they tried unsuccessfully to cover themselves on their own with fig leaves.

This was the first example of God’s principle of ‘blood atonement’.

“For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” (Leviticus 17:11)

“And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” (Hebrews 9:22)

After being expelled, Adam’s descendents continued to rebel against God, bringing about the Flood and later, the confusion of speech at the Tower of Babel.  As human history progressed, so did God’s revelation to man.  Genesis 12 established the Abrahamic Covenant, in which God revealed His intention to set aside a peculiar people unto Himself, through the seed of Isaac.

Paul summarized the history of the Old Covenant in Acts 13:16-22 before giving the details of the New Covenant between Christ and the Church.  Paul stressed that the New Covenant grew out of the Old, that Jesus was of the seed of David, and that, rather than replacing Israel in God’s plan, he likened the Church to Israel as a graft on the original tree.

The Bible reveals that Jesus came first to the children of Israel, but they rejected Him, after which He offered salvation to the Gentiles — not instead of Israel, but in addition TO Israel.

In this present age, salvation is open to all men, Jew and Gentile, through faith in the completed work of Jesus Christ at the Cross.  God has NOT abandoned His promises to Abraham’s descendants.  Neither have the promises to Israel been transferred to the Church.

 “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” (Romans 11:29) Instead, God reveals that “by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” (Galatians 2:16)

The Gospel of John details the life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Through John, God reveals the Mystery of the Church, that Jesus was both fully God and fully man, tempted in all manner as we are, as a fulfillment of God’s promise of a Savior.

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Matthew 5:17)

His earthly ministry was “only to the lost sheep of Israel.”  However, about the non-Jewish Gentiles, Jesus said “I have other sheep, not of this pen. I must bring them also.”

BEFORE His blood was shed for forgiveness of our sins, Jesus commanded His disciples to “not go among the Gentiles.”

However, Jesus then explained “But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.”  AFTER He completed His work on the cross, in His resurrected body, the Lord Jesus appeared to the eleven disciples and told them to “go and make disciples of all nations.”

He fulfilled Jewish prophecy and was crucified by both the Jews and Gentiles.  Remember, God said it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.  He was buried and was resurrected on the third day, in accordance with the scriptures.

The Book of Romans summarizes the revelation of salvation by grace for all men, based on the equation of faith plus nothing equals salvation.

Paul explains the sin nature, our inability to overcome it by our own works, the principle that if a person lives by the law, he will be judged according to the law.  And that such a person is automatically condemned, since no man has ever kept the whole law as required by the Old Covenant.

Indeed, Paul reveals the purpose of the law was to establish our need for a Savior in the first place.

“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, Thou shalt not covet.” (Romans 7:7)

The equation of faith plus nothing equals salvation is an expression of the terms of the New Covenant, which, recognizing man’s inability to keep the law, releases him from its harsh terms.

“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. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.”

“Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.” (Romans 7:2-4)

Understanding that the Old Covenant demanded complete obedience to the Law and demanded blood atonement for its violation reveals how completely hopeless our condition really is.  No man can keep all its terms, and breaking the law on even one point calls for the spiritual death penalty.

Having established, through a series of progressive revelations, God’s purpose for man, the consequences of his fall, the futility of the law and the penalty for sin, the Gospel reveals that penalty of blood atonement was satisfied by Jesus Christ.

The final revelation of the New Covenant concerning the Church is the ‘mystery’ of our own resurrection at the Rapture of the Church.

“For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.” (1st Corinthians 15:16-18)

When the Bible speaks of something as a ‘mystery’ it refers to something not previously revealed by God.

Paul likens physical death to the planting of a seed. “Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die.” (1st Corinthians 15:36) Paul goes on to note that what springs forth from the seed as it dies is a new creature.

“So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.” Notes Paul in stark, unmistakable terms, “There IS a natural body, and there IS a spiritual body.” (1st Corinthians 15:42,44)

Through Paul, God reveals a new truth;

“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” (1st Corinthians 15:51-53)

That resurrection, ‘in the twinkling of an eye’ is not limited to those already dead.

“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.” (1st Thessalonians 4:14-15)

Once again, Paul reveals the requirements for salvation. Faith.

If we believe, then we who are alive and remain will ALSO be changed, ‘in a twinkling of an eye’.

“For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1st Thessalonians 4:16-17)

I know that a lot of this, if not all of it, is review for most of you, but it is important material, nevertheless.  The Bible is laid out in a logical progression, line upon line, precept upon precept, with each successive revelation adding purpose and clarity to those which came before.

Misunderstanding the principle of progressive revelation, or ‘dispensationalism,’ removes context from the Scripture, giving rise to all kinds of heresies.  Like, for example, replacement theology that says God rejected the Jews after they rejected Jesus.

Not understanding the differences between the Covenant Dispensations leaves room for the Church in the Tribulation Period, since there is no recognition of the differences between them.

The Tribulation is the final ‘week’ during which the terms of Abrahamic covenant is fulfilled when Israel enters into its inheritance of the Messianic Kingdom.

The Church plays no role.

God reveals to the Church that,

 “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1st John 4:4)

However, during the Tribulation, Scripture says of he that is in the world, (the antichrist) “it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to OVERCOME them . . .” (Revelation 13:7)

Which is it, then?  Are we overcomers during the Church Age, because of He that indwells us now, only to be abandoned by Him and subsequently overcome later by the antichrist during the Tribulation?

How does THAT work?  Obviously, it doesn’t.

Instead, the progressive revelation of God says that the purpose of the Tribulation is to fulfill the promise of Daniel 9:24 “upon THY (Daniel’s) people and upon THY holy city, (Jerusalem) 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.”

All those things were accomplished for the Church at the Cross.

“But this Man, after He had offered ONE sacrifice for sins FOREVER, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool.” (Hebrews 10:12-13)

As a hodgepodge of seemingly conflicting revelations (eg. ‘eye for an eye’) the Bible can be confusing, even misleading, giving rise to all manner of misunderstanding.

Seen as the record of the progressive revelation from God, the Bible presents a harmonious and cohesive outline of human history, past, present and future, devoid of contradictions.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.” (2nd Timothy 2:15-16)

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on June 19, 2012

Featured Commentary: Who is Daniel Chapter 8 Talking About? Part 2 ~Steve Schmutzer

Real Christianity

Real Christianity
Vol: 27 Issue: 13 Monday, August 13, 2018

For most Christians, there are two kinds of Christianity.  There is the kind of Christianity everybody else should embody — and there is the kind of Christian that they are.

Generally speaking, one bears little or no resemblance to the other.

The kind of Christianity we expect from other Christians is one of sinless perfection; a person who explodes into profanity when he hits his finger with a hammer is not a ‘real Christian’ or he would have been able to check his language.

A Christian who drinks or goes out for a drink in a restaurant or bar isn’t a real Christian.  Christians don’t drink.  A Christian who is going through a divorce isn’t a real Christian.  A real Christian would tough it out, remembering Christ’s admonition about divorce.

A Christian who still smokes isn’t a real Christian.  A real Christian would have been delivered from that nasty habit by the saving power of Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

There are Christians who think other Christians shouldn’t have a weight problem — ‘gluttony’ is one of the few besetting sins actually named in Scripture, together with drunkeness and adultery.

(In general, other fat Christians don’t see obesity as a sin — it is a ‘disease’ or it ‘runs in the family’ or it just isn’t as bad as smoking or drinking.)

Still, a fat Christian going through a divorce, who turns to the bottle to drown his sorrows isn’t a real Christian.

Real Christians are never out of fellowship with the Father.  If they are, then they are ‘lost’.  That begs the question, were they ever ‘found’ in the first place?

There are two sides the question of eternal security.  One school of thought is that one can lose one’s salvation through sin and must be reborn again.

The other school of thought says ‘once saved, always saved’.  The latter view says that if someone continues to sin after salvation, then they probably weren’t really saved in the first place.

A quick look at the former view and how that stacks up to Scripture: “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.” (Hebrews 10:26-27)

Those who believe one can lose one’s salvation through wilfull sin point to this verse, focusing on the “if they sin wilfully” part as evidence that it IS possible to ‘fall away’ and be condemned to ‘certain’ ‘judgment and fiery indignation’ in hell.

But Hebrews 6:4-6 says, “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame.” (Hebrews 6:4-6)

The other side points out that it is ‘impossible for those who were once enlightened’ TO fall away.  Both miss the message.

What this Scripture teaches is that it is impossible, if one DID ‘fall away’ to ‘renew them again to repentance’ , since that would mean crucifying’ to themselves the Son of God afresh,’ putting Him ‘to an open shame’.

Renewing AGAIN to repentance would mean that the first Sacrifice was insufficient, and His Power to save is subordinate to our power to sin.

As Hebrews 10:10-11 tells us, “But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right Hand of God; From henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool.”

Jesus Christ, the Creator of the universe, assumed the form of sinful man so that He could pay the penalty for sin forever.  On the Cross, He was reviled, beaten, crucified naked, and bore in His Body the sins of all mankind on their behalf.

If His one sacrifice for sins was ‘forever’ but was insufficient to keep those Whom He had saved, then His shame at the Cross is not over.  He must continually be ‘sacrificed’ for sin.

Moreover, if it is impossible, having once been saved, to be renewed unto repentance, then the lost Christian is in much worse condition than the lost sinner.  The lost sinner still has a chance to be saved.

The lost Christian is, on the authority of Scripture, lost forever.

He had his chance, he blew it, and now there remains ‘no more sacrifice for sins’.

He might as well continue in sin for all he is worth. He has no hope of further redemption.  Or Hebrews 6:4-6 is meaningless.

Something cannot be simultaneously possible and impossible — things that are different are NOT the same.

Assessment:

Often, I am accused of preaching a ‘license to sin’ — usually by the ‘temporary security’ crowd, but also sometimes by those who believe their eternal security is eternal and cannot be lost.

Nothing could be further from the truth.  There is no ‘license’ to sin, and all sin will be judged by God.  But that doesn’t mean Christians DON’T sin.

Now the questions grow more confusing.  If a Christian can sin his way out of being saved, which sin is the one that constitutes ‘falling away’?  Is it murder?  Rape?  Lustful thoughts?  Drinking?  Smoking?  Drug abuse?

I know of Christians who became addicted to prescription drugs.  Are they lost?  At what point did they slide across the line?  When they doubled up their Valium prescription, or when they started buying them on the street?  Should Christians even TAKE Valium?

Is taking a prescription tranquilizer the start of the slide — or evidence the slide has already occurred?  Is your doctor contributing to your sin by practicing medicine?  Should you avoid doctors?  Or just ignore their advice?  Why even go SEE a doctor?

What IS sin?  James 4:17 says, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”

If a Christian ‘knoweth to do good’ but doesn’t do it, Scripture says that to him, that is sin.  Christians, therefore, either ALWAYS do good, or they sin.

Do you know anybody who ALWAYS does good?  Do you?

If not, then are you lost, condemned forever to hell, since you blew your only chance? (Hebrews 6:4-6)

There are two kinds of Christianity, as I noted at the outset.  The kind of Christian you expect your pastor to be, and the kind of Christian that YOU know you are — while despairing your shortcomings.

But only one of them is real.

Your pastor will NEVER live up to the standard of Christianity you expect of him.  You just don’t know his secret sins.  But you can bet they exist..

Just like yours do.

How many sins does it take to get out of fellowship with God?  The answer is one.

“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous.” (Romans 5:19)

How much obedience does it take to get right with God?  The obedience of One is sufficient to make us righteous, if we trust Him for our salvation.

Of the two kinds of Christianity, there is only one that is real.

Yours.

Not your pastor’s — or your perception of your pastor, or his perception of you.  Or your Christian friends who continually point out your need to ‘put away your besetting sins’.  They have their own.

(How many of them are walking advertisements for the sin of gluttony?  Do they have a ‘license’ for that sin that you don’t have for yours?  Is John Hagee forever lost?  Sure, he can lose weight.  And YOU can quit smoking, drinking, or whatever.  But he is still fat, and you still smoke)

There is no ‘license’ to sin.  There is only sin.  Our natural state is that of a sinner.  Evil is the absence of good.  Note that the default position in this world is that there is first evil.  Evil is dispelled by good — not the other way around.

Consider a totally dark room.  Darkness is the absence of light.  The default is darkness, not light.  It takes energy to make light to dispell the darkness.

Absent the energy given off by light, it remains dark, and not the other way around.

You cannot shine a beam of darkness into a lighted room.

Jesus said that we are ‘children of the light’ that is, we are energized by the inherent goodness of His indwelling Holy Spirit.  His Presence in the life of a believer dispells the darkness by shining through the clear Light of truth.

It is that Light that exposes the darkness of sin — a lost person sees sin as his natural and inevitable state — how many times has somebody told you that they actually would RATHER go to hell where he will feel comfortable around his friends?

On the other hand, a saved person, indwelt by the Light, wants nothing more than to be in the Presence of Christ for eternity.  Even as he struggles with his sin nature.

The worst thing about hell to a Christian isn’t the torment so much as the eternal separation from Christ — “Having once tasted the heavenly gift” — the writer of Hebrews puts it.

Sin has consequences — their is no ‘license to sin’ in Scripture.  Smokers get lung cancer.  Alcoholics get liver disease.  Drug abusers overdose.  Divorce brings its own misery.  Getting saved eternally doesn’t mean you are exempt from the earthly consequences of your sinful actions.

There is only one REAL Christianity.  And it isn’t your pastor’s, or that person who seems to have conquered sin in their life, or Bill Graham’s kind of Christianity, or Hal Lindsey’s or mine.

There is only one kind of REAL Christianity.

Yours.

You know whether or not you sincerely try to do good, whether you always make it or not.  So does the One Who went to the Cross for you because He KNEW you wouldn’t always make it.  That’s why He did it.

Your relationship with Jesus is unique; it isn’t like anybody else’s. Jesus saves us individually.  He loves us individually.  He answers our individual prayers.

He walks with us as individuals, He talks with us as individuals.  His Spirit indwells us individually, and guides us through our individual trials and tribulations.

Paul wrote to the Phillipians; “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (2:12)

“Work out your OWN salvation” with the Individual with Whom you have a personal relationship.  Through His Spirit, Jesus will guide you into all truth, but it takes time.

For some, it takes more time than others. Like the fat guy who criticizes you for smoking — he clearly hasn’t gotten it yet.

He misses the fact that when he points a finger at you, there are three pointing back at him.

Jesus was crucified, arms outstretched and palms up.

The biggest besetting sin of all is the one that keeps you from doing ‘good’.  In this life, the Scripture says that the only time we do good is when we obey God’s will.

“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)

Our purpose in this life is to lead others to Christ — according to God’s will that none should perish.

Be grateful that He accounted you worthy of salvation.  Put your life and your sin nature in His nail-scarred Hands.

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

You will never be ‘good enough’ — but He is.

Trust Him to make the changes in your life that He sees fit.  Know that you are a work in progress and that your life is ordered according to a Divine Plan — one God has for YOU.

“Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath BEGUN a good work in you WILL PERFORM IT until the day of Jesus Christ:” (Philippians 1:6)

The only REAL Christianity is the kind that brings victory, not defeat.  Leave defeat in the world it was designed for.

Pray instead that God will, “Make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in His Sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:21)

That is NOT a license to sin.  It is a license to persevere, getting back up when you fall, doing God’s Will — despite the trials of this world — none of which are news to Jesus.

Don’t let the enemy steal your victory.

It came at too high a Price.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on November 14, 2004

Featured Commentary: Battlefield Earth ~Pete Garcia

A Man after God’s Own Heart

A Man after God’s Own Heart
Vol: 27 Issue: 11 Saturday, August 11, 2018

In Paul’s sermon at Antioch, in which he briefly recounts the history of Israel, he refers to the statement made by God concerning David:

“I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own Heart, who will do all My will.” – (Acts 13:22 [cf. 1 Samuel 13:13-14])

It is especially interesting, given the fact that David is among the patriarchs with the most checkered past.

The portrait of King David painted by Scripture is hardly the picture of what one might consider ‘a man after God’s own heart’.

At various times during his lifetime, he was deceitful and corrupt, a widely despised tyrant who lacked for justice, and a murderer. From the slaughter of seven sons of Saul to the murder of one of his most loyal lieutenants, whose wife he seduced, David was no paragon of virtue.

What was there about David that caused God to extend such a sweeping compliment as to pronounce him a man after His own Heart? David understood his relationship with God like few others in Biblical history.

After committing adultery with Bathsheba and then having her husband, Uriah killed, the prophet Nathan stood before King David and accused him before God.

“And the LORD sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor.

The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds: But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter.

And there came a traveler unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man’s lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him.

And David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.

“And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man.” (2nd Samuel 12:1-7)

Note that Samuel carefully records that “the Lord sent Nathan unto David” to convict him of his sin. In his prayer of contrition in Psalm 51, David reveals much of what it was that caused God to pronounce him a ‘man after His own heart.’

“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.” (Psalms 51:1)

David understood that his relationship with God was ‘according to His lovingkindness’ and not according to David’s definition of what God should do. He also understood that his sin, as horrendous as it was, could be blotted out, not by some act of David’s, but solely due to the ‘multitude of God’s tender mercies’.

David appeals;

“Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.” (v.2.3)

David knew that God knew what his sins were, but the important point was that DAVID knew what his sins were, and the importance of honest confession before God.

David understood also that his sin was against God, that it was deliberate, and that the reason his sin haunted him was because of its offense before God. David understood that, since it was a sin against God, only an act of God could blot it out. Nothing David could do to make restitution would ever be sufficient.

“Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight: that Thou mightest be justified when Thou speakest, and be clear when Thou judgest.” (v.4)

David understood that there was no ‘wiggle room’ before the Lord and that God’s justice is as absolute as His mercy.

But David was also a realist;

“Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.”

David understood the dual nature of fallen humanity, that which caused the Apostle Paul to cry out,

“O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24)

Paul explained,

“For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.” (Romans 7:14-15)

Having expressed his frustration with his own struggle with his dual nature, Paul summarized that which David understood, saying,

“So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” (Romans 7:25)

David prayed,

“Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.” (Psalm 51:6)

Assessment:

God’s truth is that nothing we can do by our own effort will ever make restitution for our past sins. Each of us shares the same conflict between the carnal nature and the spirit.

Paul’s equation of the sin nature to ‘the body of this death’ refers to a particularly brutal form of execution sometimes practice under the Romans. The condemned would be chained to a corpse, and food and water withheld until the condemned either died or resorted to cannibalism.

That is how Paul viewed the cohabitation of the spirit with the sin nature of the flesh.

David trusted God to lead him, even when he was out of fellowship, having faith that ‘in the hidden part’ — in his spirit, God would ‘make him to know wisdom’.

David’s understanding of the grace of God as expressed in his prayer in large part, fits with God’s description of him as being a man after His own Heart.

It was this understanding of unmerited grace that formed the centerpiece of the ministry of Jesus. One of the Lord’s earthly titles is the “Son of David.”

David expresses his understanding of how the process of forgiveness operates in God’s economy.

“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” (v. 7-10)

Note the role David plays in his redemption. Admit, confess, repent and trust. To ‘repent’ means to change one’s mind about sin. David saw himself as King of Israel, and therefore, whatever he did was above reproach.

David sat on his throne, and passed judgment on the wicked rich man of whom Nathan spoke. Until he realized Nathan was speaking about HIM, at which point he changed his mind about his sin and laid himself bare before the Lord.

All the rest of the redemptive process David placed in the Hands of God. ‘Purge me, wash me, forgive me, bless me and renew me.’

Even his sense of conviction came through a direct message from God through Nathan, just as we are directly convicted by God through His indwelling Holy Spirit.

David’s only role in his redemption was to trust in God to make the changes that David knew he could not effect himself.

David accepted the earthly consequences of his sin, such as the death of his son, but with the clear understanding that the spiritual consequences of his sin were forgiven.

“While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?

But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I SHALL GO TO HIM, but he shall not return to me.” (2nd Samuel 12:22-23)

What made David a man after God’s own heart was his understanding of the consequences of being out of fellowship with God, and how to get back into right fellowship with God.

Ask Him.

“Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free spirit.” It is the joy of knowing one is saved and in fellowship with the Lord that shines through and attracts the lost.

Having been spiritually restored, notes David;

“THEN will I teach transgressors Thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto Thee.”(v. 11-12)

Often, I read in the forums of members lamenting their ineffectiveness for Christ and wondering what it is they are doing wrong. Spend a few minutes meditating on these two verses with me.

GOD restores our joy, GOD then subsequently upholds us with His Spirit. THEN we find ourselves effective witnesses, teaching people His ways, and leading the lost to Christ.

It is deceptively simple. Trust God. Be joyful. Allow Him to lead you and not the other way around.

David makes it clear that the redemptive process is in God’s Hands, understanding grace so well that he could see past the Temple rituals of the Mosaic Law and peer into God’s Heart, saying,

“For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” (v. 51:16-17)

One of the most debilitating emotions to one’s Christian witness is the weight of the guilt we heap on ourselves for being what we KNOW we are in our own ‘inward parts’.

David understood, in his spirit, that God’s forgiveness is total and absolute, and leaves no spiritual residue of guilt. At the Cross, the Son of David cried out in a loud voice, ‘Tetelestai!’ which means, ‘paid in full’.

Jesus promised,

“Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on August 27, 2005

Know Your Enemy

Know Your Enemy
Vol: 27 Issue: 9 Thursday, August 9, 2018

One of the first and most important rules of warfare is to know your enemy.  All military intelligence is geared to that singular purpose.  The more you know about your enemy, the better equipped you are to fight him.

The surest way to lose a battle is to underestimate your enemy’s capabilities and strengths, and the surest way to win is to exploit his weaknesses.

Before a boxer goes into the ring, he spends hours and hours watching footage of his opponent in action, analyzing his every move for clues; does he drop his shoulder before throwing a jab?

Does he plant his feet first?  Does he lean into a right cross?  Hunch before throwing an uppercut?

In a military conflict, knowing where an enemy is strongest is just as important as knowing where he is weakest.

How he thinks, what his objectives are, how he uses the resources at his command, his ultimate goals; all these are of vital importance if one hopes to achieve victory.

To protect your own resources, you need to know who your threat is and how they are going to attack.  The strategic challenge is to use that knowledge to force him to fight on your terms.  This is Basic Warfare 101.

As Christians living in this world, we are warriors in a battle in which we are both the objective and the prize. Our enemy is the most powerful created being in the Universe.

While a created being, Satan’s power is secondary only to God’s.

“Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.”
“Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.” 
“Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.” (Ezekiel 28:12b-15)

Why God, in His infinite foreknowledge, created His own adversary, is one of those things we will have to wait until we see Him and ask Him directly.  But the nature of universe in which we live gives us some clues.

God created the universe according to certain immutable, measurable laws.  For everything that exists, there is a corresponding opposite against which it can be measured.

God created light, the Bible says. (Genesis 1:3)  Light is a created thing.  Darkness is dependent on that created thing. Darkness cannot be measured independent of light.

Heat is something that must be created.  Cold is the absence of heat.  It cannot be measured independently.

Good is a creation of God.  Evil is the absence of good.  Like darkness and cold, it cannot be be measured independently.

There would be no benchmark against which to measure good without the existence of evil.  And there would therefore be no choice.

God created the physical universe for reasons of His own, and set in motion the laws that govern it.

One of those laws is that without rebellion, there can be no order.  Chaos is the absence of order.  For the universe to operate, God had to also allow chaos.

His name was Lucifer.  We know him as Satan.

Assessment:

Satan’s sin came in the form of five “I wills.” In those five I wills, we can identify the enemy’s goals and objectives.

“For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” (Isaiah 14:13-14)

Satan’s objective and ultimate goal is to be worshipped as God.  As those created to worship God, we are therefore both the objective and the prize.  We are territory and the battlefield is Planet Earth.

Now, to his relative strengths and weaknesses.  God is omnipotent.  Satan, while the most powerful created being in the universe, is still secondary to God.

God is infinite.  Satan, as a created being, is finite.  God is omnipresent; Satan can be in but one place at any given time.  People often claim to be under Satanic attack.  That is only partially true.  Satan doesn’t have the time or capability to attack every believer.

The Bible only gives a handful of instances in which Satan himself gets directly involved in warfare; the Garden of Eden, the attack against Job, the indwelling of Judas Iscariot, and the indwelling of the antichrist.

In the main, he is but the general of a vast army of fallen angels who actually conduct the warfare at his direction.  When the revealing angel was delayed in his mission to meet with Daniel, he was delayed by the “Prince of Persia” — not Satan himself. (Daniel 10:20)

God is omniscient. Satan, while brilliant, is of finite intelligence.

“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 2:8)

God created man to have fellowship with Him.  “Fellowship” is another word for “friendship”.  Friendship involves choice.  There is an old saying to the effect that we are born into a family, but we choose our friends.

Satan’s goal is to be worshipped as God; (“I will be like the Most High,”) but his weakness is pride.

Ezekiel tells us that Satan, in effect, fell in love with himself:

“Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor… (Ezekiel 28:17a)

Paul warns Timothy of the dangers of pride, warning that in selecting bishops, he should ensure that the candidate is “not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride, he fall into the condemnation of the devil.” (1st Timothy 3:6)

Satan uses that pride against us to reduce our effectiveness as witnesses.  We look down on the sins of others, while ignoring our own — particularly if ours are different.  The New Testament speaks of the Pharisee who prayed loudly in the street:

“The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. ” (Luke 18:11)

(It reminds me of the fat preacher who condemned those in his congregation who smoked for ‘defiling the Temple of the Holy Spirit’.)

It is our will that others believe as we believe, even when it isn’t germane to salvation.  That is human pride, and Satan’s best weapon.  We debate endlessly over minor points of doctrine, with the end goal not being the salvation of another, but rather to score a win in our column over the subject of the debate.

I’ve witnessed debates between believers over peripheral issues like the timing of the Rapture, or whether or not this sin or that would keep someone from heaven, but all either side was interested in was winning the debate.  Satan sits on the sidelines and laughs.

Satan’s sin was “I will.”  Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane was “not My will, by Thy will be done.”

What is God’s will?

“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)

“Repentance” means to change one’s mind about sin.

The lost person instinctively recognizes that sin is part of his makeup.  The enemy convinces him that his sin isn’t as bad as somebody else’s.  Ask a lost person if they are going to heaven, and they will invariably say, “I think so.  I try to be a good person.”

In their mind, they have a picture of someone else whose sins are worse.  (Or a picture of a fat preacher condemning somebody else for smoking)

Changing one’s mind about sin involves the recognition that ALL sin comes short of the glory of God, and that ALL men are sinners.  Recognizing that fact demonstrates God’s love for us, in that, “while we were YET sinners, He died for us.”

Our salvation depends on trusting that God made a way for ALL sinners to be reconciled to Him through Him — and not our own inherent goodness.

“Being confident of this very thing, that He WHICH HATH BEGUN A GOOD WORK IN YOU WILL PERFORM IT until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)

Jesus says, “Trust Me,” and I will see you through this life and bring you into life eternal.

Satan says, “You aren’t worthy.”

Know your enemy.  He surely knows you.

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

Featured Commentary: Jesus as Judge ~J.L. Robb

Who Wrote the Bible?

Who Wrote the Bible?
Vol: 27 Issue: 8 Wednesday, August 8, 2018

There are two answers to that question. The short answer, and the easiest to defend, is also the most obvious. God did. The Bible says so.

“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2nd Peter 1:21)

I say that is the easiest to defend because Christians don’t need much more evidence than that. The Bible is a living Book to those who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit.

To a Christian, the mere fact that there are people who devote their lives to arguing its Authorship is evidence of its Divine inspiration. It makes perfect sense to a Christian — it makes no sense at all to an unbeliever.

While it is a totally unsatisfactory answer to the skeptic, 1st Corinthians 1:18 proves itself to the believer every time he picks up the Book and ponders its truths:

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”

Frankly, I don’t think it is possible to convince a skeptic by debating the truth of the Scriptures vs. their chosen ‘truths’ — it would be like debating whether something was red or mauve with a person blind from birth.

It takes a spiritual ‘operation’ to remove that blindness, but we can only point a person in the direction of the Surgeon. After that, they have to request the ‘operation’ for themselves.

But the Bible’s Authorship is proved by its very existence. There is the testimony of the forty different individuals chosen by God to record His Word. There are the acts of the Apostles;

2nd Peter 1:16 explains;

“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His Majesty.”

The Apostle Luke begins his testimony to Theodophilus;

“Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the Word.” (Luke 1:1-2)

To deny the historical truth of the eyewitness testimony of the Apostles is tantamount to denying the historical accuracy of the eyewitness testimony of the witnesses to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

Each of the Apostles was an apostate Jew in the eyes of their friends and families. They were ostracized, insulted, beaten, run out of town, arrested, imprisoned, and generally hounded everywhere they went. Each of them was given an opportunity to save his own life by renouncing his testimony of Jesus.

And with the exception of the Apostle John, every single one of them chose a brutal, torturous death, instead. (The Apostle John was tortured by being boiled alive, but somehow survived and was exiled to the Island of Patmos. He was later freed and returned to serve as Bishop of Edessa in modern Turkey. He died as an old man, the only apostle to die peacefully.)

The skeptic denies their eyewitness testimony, but fails to give any reasonable explanation for why. Why would they all accept a life of misery and deprivation, culminating in a torturous death, just to spread a myth?

Does it seem reasonable that twelve guys would sit around a campfire and make up a story that ruined their lives (in the natural) just so they could be known by their first names 2000 years later?

Assessment:

Nobody denies the accuracy of Plato’s writings. Or Tacitus. Or Homer. Or Suetonius. Or Flavius Josephus (except the part where he refers to Jesus as an actual historical figure).

Before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls our earliest Hebrew copy of the Old Testament was the Masoretic text dating around 800 A.D. The Dead Sea Scrolls date around the time of Jesus copied by the Qumran community, a Jewish sect living around the Dead Sea.

We also have the Septuagint which is a Greek translation of the Old Testament dating in the second century B.C. The oldest existing original manuscript of a New Testament book dates to 125 A.D. and was found in Egypt, some distance from where the New Testament was originally composed Asia Minor). In all, there are more than 24,000 ancient manuscripts against which to compare our modern Bible.

The number of manuscripts is astonishing, when compared to other universally-accepted ancient historical writings, such as Caesar’s “Gallic Wars” (10 Greek manuscripts, the earliest 950 years after the original), the “Annals” of Tacitus (2 manuscripts, the earliest 950 years after the original), Livy (20 manuscripts, the earliest 350 years after the original), and Plato (7 manuscripts).

New Testament manuscripts agree in 99.5% of the text (compared to only 95% for the Iliad). Most of the discrepancies are in spelling and word order.

A few words have been changed or added. There are two passages that are disputed but no discrepancy is of any doctrinal significance. Most Bibles include the options as footnotes when there are discrepancies. How could there be such accuracy over 1,400 years of copying?

Two reasons: The scribes that did the copying had meticulous methods for checking their copies for errors. 2) The Holy Spirit made sure we would have an accurate copy of God’s word so we would not be deceived.

Skeptics, liberals, and cults and false religions such as Islam that claim the Bible has been tampered with are completely proven false by the extensive, historical manuscript evidence.

But it doesn’t matter. The skeptics continue to assault the Bible on any and all fronts, applying the most unreasonable standards for accuracy imaginable.

They hate it, and they can’t even explain why. That is also, to the Christian, evidence of its Divine Origin.

That hatred is so blind, so unreasoning, and so irrational that it cannot be explained in any other way.

“Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake.” (Luke 6:22)

“Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.” (1 John 3:13)

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

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on August 29, 2004