The Enemy

The Enemy
Vol: 28 Issue: 29 Saturday, September 29, 2018

According to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, the Hebrew word “satan” means “adversary” from the primitive root word satan meaning, “to lie in wait (as an adversary).”

Its first use as a proper name in Scripture is found, appropriately enough, in the sixth verse of the first chapter of the (chronologically) oldest Book in Scripture. 

“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.” Job 1:6 

Because of its age, authorship of the Book of Job is probably the least certain of any book in the Bible. Rabbinic tradition says that Job the son of Uz, who was the son of Nahor brother of Abraham, who lived within living memory of the Flood, sometime around 2000 B. C.

“And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot. And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.” (Genesis 11:26-28)

The author may be Job himself, or possibly Elihu, a contemporary of Job, but Hebrew rabbinic tradition is as unanimous as Hebrew rabbinic tradition can get in its view that the book of Job predates Moses by centuries.

The longevity and lifestyles, the tone of the book, foreign from traditional ancient Hebrew, and the offering of a sacrifice by the head of the family all place Job at a point in history well before the Exodus during the time of the Patriarchs.

The name of Job’s friend, Bildad was short for Yabil Dadum, a name found in cuneiform sources of the second millennium B.C.  

Job is the titular character in a cuneiform composition entitled “Babylonian Job” and the name, “Job” is contained in the Egyptian Execration Texts c.(2000 B.C.)

Additional clues included mention of roving bands of Sabeans and Chaldeans, consistent with the 2nd millennium B.C. and geographic clues suggesting Job was himself a pre-Babylonian Chaldean.

Elihu was a Buzite from northeast Arabia and Eliphaz was from Teman, a city in Edom.

It is safe to conclude that the Book of Job was written by a Chaldean relative of Abram at some point after Abram departed from Ur of the Chaldees at least seven centuries before Moses wrote what are commonly known as the first five books of the Bible.

In previous volumes of the Omega Letter we’ve discussed Dispensationalism, which is the systematic study of Scripture as progressive revelation, and the four classes of created spiritual beings; angels, Gentiles, Jews and Christians.

Job was a Gentile who lived before there were Jews and before God had begun the systematic revelation of His plan for mankind to the Jews in what we know as the Bible.

The Book of Job therefore, stands both outside it and before it. 

Assessment:

“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.”( 2nd Peter 1:16)

Why am I going on and on about Job’s dates and location?  To demonstrate that Satan is NOT a mythical being who was invented by the Jews over the course of centuries. 

Satan was not invented by Moses; Satan was well-known to the ancients. So was the one True God.

Much of what Moses wrote down eight hundred years later was already known in the Gentile world when Abraham packed up his family and left the Land of Ur in what is today Iraq and headed for the Promised Land.

Job’s friends, Eilhu, Eliphaz and Bildad were from regions surrounding Ur from northern Arabia in the east to Edom in the West.   

Each of them was well-conversant with the One True God long before Charlton Heston thundered to Yul Brynner, “Let my people go!” and went off to write Genesis.

Job knew about the hydrological cycle, polar ice caps, that wind moves in circular paths, rather than in a straight line, that light was in motion . . .  and about Satan.

“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?” (Job 1:8-9)

Remember, this was centuries before Moses wrote about the Garden of Eden. Because that is the point.

C.S. Lewis once wrote that “Satan’s greatest trick was in convincing man that he does not exist.” If Satan can convince you that he doesn’t really exist, then you are unprepared to withstand him when he attacks. 

“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11)

We know from the Bible that Satan is the most brilliant of all created beings.  He is smarter than the smartest human, more crafty than the craftiest among us, more evil than the most evil among us, but then we have to confront the fact that he can’t figure out the Bible.

The Bible says in no uncertain terms that he loses at the end.  Secondarily, there is the question of why. What does Satan have to gain by keeping a lost person in the dark or by preventing you from effectively spreading the Gospel? 

According to the Bible, in the last days, Satan will be cast into the Lake of Fire, where the beast and the false prophet are, just like every other sinner.  

So what does he have to gain by keeping you down?  And why bother, since he knows he can’t win? 

What he has to gain is time.  Satan is evidently aware of, and bound by time, just as we are.

“Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” (Revelation 12:12)

Satan has known his time was limited from the beginning.  Job knew of his own redemption and Satan’s defeat eight hundred years before Moses first penned the words, “in the beginning.”

“For I know that 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: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.” (Job 19:25-27)

Satan doesn’t know when the Lord will return at the Rapture, but he knows numbers.  He knows from Romans 8:29 that there is a finite number of people predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son by becoming believers.

“Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified.” (Romans 8:30)

Satan has no more idea how many believers are so predestinated than we do.  He only knows that the Lord won’t start to close down the books on his operation until the very last one comes to Christ.  

“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)

One of the last classes our military warriors attend after going through the staging process and before going into battle is a class called, “Know Your Enemy.”    

For Satan, it’s a numbers game.  He doesn’t care about you, particularly, but he does care about him.  If he can keep you down and keep you from sharing the Gospel, that keeps the numbers down. 

If he can convince his prospects that he doesn’t exist, that keeps the numbers down.

He knows that he doesn’t have to start racing against the clock until his number comes up.  And for all he knows, you are the one holding that spiritual bullet with his name on it. 

And he knows that his odds are getting worse with every passing day. 

“. . .  for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” (Revelation 12:12)

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on May 31, 2011

The Indictment

The Indictment
Vol: 28 Issue: 28 Friday, September 28, 2018

According to the Bible, one day as Jacob was cooking a red stew, Esau came in from the wilderness ‘and he was faint’. Genesis 25:29 tells us of the episode that gave Esau his nickname, “Edom.’

“And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.” Which means red).

The Bible doesn’t go into detail about Esau’s condition beyond that, but it is worth considering the context. 

Esau was out ‘in the wilderness’ at a time when the ‘wilderness’ was a huge, dangerous and inhospitable place populated by wild animals and roving bandits. 

When Jacob demanded Esau’s birthright as first-born in exchange for a bowl of red stew, “Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?”

Clearly, Esau was ‘faint’ with hunger and exhaustion, but given context, Esau could have been in very bad shape. 

It was a dirty trick on Jacob’s part, and it set the stage for conflict that continues to this day. 

The Prophet Obadiah picks up the story of the Edomites and their abuse of God’s people, God’s land, and God’s Holy Hill, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. 

Obadiah accuses Edom of “violence against your brother Jacob.” (v.10) Not just an ACT of violence, but constant, systematic and unrelenting violence.

Some Bible prophecy is near term, some long term, and, in come cases, like Obadiah’s, it is a single glance that encompasses a a broad period of time. Obadiah’s vision spans the entire scope of history from the first destruction of the Temple to the end of time. 

That Obadiah’s prophecies extend into the present day is evidenced by his references in verse 15-17 to the Day of the Lord, the recovery of the Temple Mount and references to land not yet recovered by Israel. Obadiah’s prophecy begins with the ancient Edomites and tracks their physical and spiritual descendants to the last days. 

So, can we determine their modern identity with any degree of confidence based on the Scriptures? 

Assessment:

The most compelling Scriptural evidence to identify the Edomites is found in Ezekiel 36:5

The first fifteen verses of that chapter give God’s viewpoint regarding the ownership and eventual disposition of what the world calls the “West Bank.” 

Ezekiel describes a conspiracy between the nations of the world and “Edom” to misappropriate that land that God had granted to Jacob. 

The book of Obadiah is also closely related to the prophecy of Ezekiel 35, which is a prophecy against the same group of people.

“All the men of thy confederacy have brought thee even to the border: the men that were at peace with thee have deceived thee, and prevailed against thee; that they eat thy bread have laid a wound under thee: there is none understanding in him.” (1:7)

The ‘Palestinians’ are a ‘confederacy’ rather than a people. They have conspired with Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Iran and the Saudis to lay claim to the West Bank as their ‘ancestral homeland’. Jeremiah 48-49 includes prophecies against these modern Islamic states, and provides additional support for the identification of the Palestinians as the Edomites. 

Further nailing down the identification of modern Edom is Obadiah 1:8:

“Shall I not in that day, saith the LORD, even destroy the wise men out of Edom, and understanding out of the mount of Esau?”

The ‘wise men out of Edom’ are the imams and Islamic preachers who preach the destruction of Israel from the “Mount of Esau” (the stolen Temple Mount v.16). 

Let’s examine some of Obadiah’s indictments against Edom and compare them to Israeli-Arab conflict:

1) Violence against Jacob: “For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever.” (v. 10)

2) Celebrating Israel’s calamities: “But thou shouldest not have looked on the day of thy brother in the day that he became a stranger;” (v.12a)

3) Handing over the Jews to their enemies: “neither shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of distress.” (v. 12)

4) Taking possession of the Jewish holy places: “Thou shouldest not have entered into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; yea, thou shouldest not have looked on their affliction in the day of their calamity, nor have laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity.” (v.13)

5) Mocking the God of Israel and His People from His Holy Hill: “For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been.” (v. 16)

6) And finally, the destruction of something Obadiah calls “Mount Esau” — a symbolic reference to Esau’s deity, Allah, on ‘Mount Zion.”

“And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD’s.” (v.21)

In case that doesn’t make the case for you, Obadiah’s chief indictment against Edom is its systematic, constant and unrelenting violence against Jacob. 

Let’s revisit that verse, substituting the word ‘violence’ with its Hebrew equivalent and look at the indictment one more time in context:

“For thy HAMAS (violence) against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever.” (Obadiah 1:10)

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

Featured Commentary: A Tale of Twp Social Justice Statements ~Alf Cengia

The Logic of Anti-Semitism

The Logic of Anti-Semitism
Vol: 28 Issue: 27 Thursday, September 27, 2018

One of the most enduring mysteries of the ages is, to my mind, the phenomenon of anti-Semitism.

It doesn’t follow any logical pattern that could explain it — indeed, taken as a purely social phenomenon, it makes no sense whatever.

Anti-Semitism appears to be universal; it has existed in every generation, among every people, on every continent upon which the Jew has put his foot.

European anti-Semitism dates back to the days of the Roman Empire, but Jews have been the targets of discrimination and pogroms on every continent and virtually every nation on the earth.

There is no nation that can claim to be free of anti-Semitism, and at the same time, there is no nation that can credibly claim it was harmed by its indigenous Jewish population.

Although an infinitesimal fraction of the global population, Jews have been awarded a quarter of all the Nobel Prizes given in the 20th century for chemistry, economics, literature, peace, physics and medicine.

Even the nations of the Arab world could have peace with Israel for the asking. Yet there is no nation on earth more universally despised.

Some anti-Semites (those who admit to themselves that they are) will argue that the Jews are “Christ-killers” invariably citing Matthew 27:25 as their ‘proof text’.

“Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.”

That doesn’t explain anti-Semitism among non-Christians — in fact, it doesn’t even explain anti-Semitism among Christians.

The Jews who happened to be in the crowd self-pronounced the curse, but the entire nation wasn’t there — just the rabble.

In any case, it was Jesus Himself Who lifted that curse as soon as it was pronounced, saying,

“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)

And, finally, it wasn’t Jews that drove the nails through His hands and feet, or thrust a spear through his side. Crucifixion was a Roman punishment, imposed by Roman decree, carried out by Roman executioners, not for crimes against Judaism, but for crimes against the Roman Empire.

If the charge of ‘Christ-killer’ applies to the Jews, logic would dictate it would apply equally to the Italians.

Finally, Christians understand that Jesus was not executed for crimes against the Jews, or for crimes against Rome: those were simply the legal justifications under prevailing law at the time.

There is no nation, tribe or individual human being on this earth that did not play an equal role in His Death — He came to atone for the sins of all mankind.

And for three raging, horrific hours, the cumulative sin of the entire human race was heaped upon Him. Every person who ever sinned shares equal guilt with the Roman soldier who actually drove the spikes in His Body.

No, the “Christ-killer” label is an excuse to explain the existence of anti-Semitism.

It is not a reason for its existence in the first place.

Assessment:

Neither is the current conflict between Israel and the Arabs sufficient reason to explain anti-Semitism. In the first place, it predates modern Israel by 25 centuries.

But leaving that aside, this is the Modern Age of Enlightenment and Israel was born out the ashes of, if not the first, certainly the most successful effort at destroying the Jewish race in history.

The pitiful survivors of Europe’s madness dragged themselves back to their ancient homeland, where in a single generation, they turned a desert wasteland back into a land flowing with milk and honey.

Of all the nations carved from the empires of history, there is no greater rags-to-riches story than that of Israel.

A truly representative democracy surrounded by a sea of brutal dictatorships, it should shine as a beacon of hope to oppressed peoples everywhere.

Israel should, by all existing standards, be as much a beneficiary of ‘historical guilt’ as are Native Americans or African Americans, or Australian aborigines or any other historically oppressed peoples.

No matter what identifiable, historically oppressed ethnic group one compares to the Jews, there is no common denominator.

In the first place, a Jew is a person of a particular faith but of no particular ethnic background, as well as being a person of a particular background with no particular religious faith.

Moreover, those who explain their anti-Semitism on religious grounds generally don’t believe in the Jewish God anyway.

Jewish anti-Semitism is a fundamental tenet of Islam, and is cited as the principle reason for both the global jihad against the West and for the Islamic world’s refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist.

Despite this undeniable truth, the United Nations accepts every charge laid against Israel by the Islamic world, no matter how spurious.

At the same time, it routinely ignores open acts of war committed against the Jewish state by finding some moral equivalence between Israel’s refusal to commit suicide on demand and Islam’s refusal to recognize its right to exist.

Compare Israel’s ‘human rights violations’ — even the most transparently fictitious ones — to actual human rights violations ongoing in Islamic nations like the Sudan, or Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, or Syria’s Assad regime.

There are no mass graves in Israel. Yet more UN resolutions have been passed condemning Israel over the past sixty years than those passed against all the rest of nations of the world combined.

It defies logical explanation.

America has no more faithful or trusted an ally among all the nations of the world than it has in Israel. It is hard to imagine criticism emanating from Israel on a par with the kind of criticism routinely heaped on the US by its other close allies like Britain, France or even Canada.

And America has few enemies more virulent than the Palestinian terrorist groups like Hamas.

But the US is basing its entire peace process on creating a terrorist state on Israel’s borders. Never in international history has a nation been created while its people were engaged openly in a war of annihilation with the nation sponsoring its creation.

No other nation on the face the earth would even countenance being put in such a situation, let alone being forced into such a suicidal situation by its closest ally.

This, too, defies logical explanation.

Anti-Semitism cannot be explained by the secular history of the world. It really can’t even be explained by the religious history of the world. If there is an historical instance of Jewish oppression of Christianity to justify it, I can’t find it.

I can’t even find much of a case for the oppression of the Arabs by Jews — not even by modern Israel.

I visited Israel in 1992 just before the Oslo Agreement, including Bethlehem, Hebron, Jericho, Masada and the Dead Sea, now all part of the Palestinian Authority.

Not once did I hear a murmur of discontent. The Palestinians were thriving, tourist dollars were pouring in, roads were being built . . . if I were to visit today, I’d likely not come back alive.

Who or what turned it a war zone?

In 1993, Israel was prepared to turn the Palestinian Authority into the jewel of the Middle East. It would have stood as a testament to Israeli tolerance.

But the Palestinians couldn’t get beyond their blind hatred of the Jews, and as soon as the opportunity presented itself, they attacked. Why?

The rest of the world, particularly in the West, is neither blind nor stupid.

The Western diplomats who scold Israel for retaliating against unprovoked rocket attacks against civilian targets KNOW that they would react with far less restraint were they the ones on the receiving end of the rocket fire.

They KNOW that the war would end the second the Palestinians stopped attacking.

Yet they support the Palestinian right to launch unprovoked random attacks against Israeli targets and condemn Israel for pin-point retaliatory strikes aimed exclusively against the attackers as ‘disproportionate.’ Why?

Why does the world hate the Jews? What have the Jews ever done to the world?

They survived — not as Israelis, but as Jews. The world would have no problem with a secular Israel. Or with a Muslim Israel. What it cannot countenance is a JEWISH Israel. It cannot even explain why.

Both the world’s dominant religions, Christianity and Islam, are rooted in Judaism. Islam claims it descended from the Jewish patriarch, Abraham, and Christianity was founded in Jerusalem by a 1st century Jewish itinerant preacher.

Neither faith would exist without Judaism, and neither faith COULD exist without the continued existence of the Jews. Since both faiths were born out of Judaism, both would crumble without it.

You can’t pull a foundation from under a building and expect the ediface to continue to stand. That is simply logical. If Judaism is rooted in a false theology, so is Islam and Christianity.

Why would Christians or Muslims knowingly fight against their own God?

So global anti-Semitism doesn’t make logical sense politically, economically, socially or religiously. Yet it continues to thrive, despite its self-destructive nature.

There is but one logical explanation for anti-Semitism, and that explanation is spiritual. The Bible says that Satan is the god of this world, and that it is his goal to be worshiped as such.

The existence of Israel is a constant reminder to the god of this world that his days are numbered. His goal is to eradicate all traces of God from the face of the earth.

And standing in his way is the Jewish state of Israel. The Bible also says that the Jews are the Chosen People of God and that they will not only endure as a people to serve as God’s ‘ensign to the nations’ that He exists, but that their existence is evidence of His ability to keep His word.

“Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is His Name: If those ordinances depart from before Me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before Me for ever.” (Jeremiah 31:35-36)

For Satan to win, God’s Word must return to Him void. Israel’s destruction would accomplish that goal. That’s why the world hates Israel, even though it cannot explain why. Because by Israel’s very existence it is an offense to the god of this world.

Therefore, the big question, since Israel DOES exist, revolves around its RIGHT to exist.

No other explanation makes logical sense.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on March 28, 2008

Featured Commentary: The Fear of Dying ~J.L. Robb

Israel’s Feasts: Foreshadows of Redemption

Israel’s Feasts: Foreshadows of Redemption
Vol: 28 Issue: 26 Wednesday, September 26, 2018

It is easy to see why secularists — and even many Christians — have a hard time getting their heads around the idea of what is called the Rapture of the Church.  When you take a step back and look at it, it does sound a little, er, weird.

Describe it without using Bible terms and see how it sounds:  People will suddenly disappear without warning, and will be transported — alive — into the air, and from there, it’s off to heaven.

What people?  Only the ones that believe. . .  if you aren’t a believer, you will be left behind.  If you aren’t a believer, how does that sound to you?  A little nuts, right?

Some years ago, I appeared on a National Geographic program called, “Doomsday: The Book of Revelation” that pitted “believers” against “experts” over how literally one should take doctrines like the Rapture, the Tribulation and Bible prophecy in general.

“Fundamentalists who believe in the apocalypse call it the Rapture,” the narrator intoned.  Nat Geo played the whole thing strictly for laughs, I thought, taking the Rapture about as seriously as it does Nostradamus.

Is the Rapture doctrine something made up by believers?  Or is it a legitimate part of the whole endtimes’ scenario?  How far back can we trace it?  Is there evidence that God had it planned from the start?

Or is it, as the skeptics say, a recently-invented doctrine from the early 19th century?

Assessment:

In the Book of Leviticus, God issued instructions to His chosen people, the children of Israel, concerning how they were to worship Him.  Leviticus gives instructions regarding the priesthood, the Law and the system of sacrifices.  God also issued instructions for seven designated feasts that Israel was to celebrate each year.

Each of the feasts is significant both to Israel and to the Church in that both highlight God’s provision for His people.  Both His provision for the needs of His Chosen People and His provision for mankind by the coming of the Messiah and His redemptive Work on the Cross.

The seven Levitical feasts played significant roles in the Lord’s earthly ministry and are symbolic of the whole redemptive story, from His death as the Passover Lamb to His Second coming when He will “tabernacle” (or dwell) with His people forever.

The first three feasts take place almost back-to-back, just as do the events that they symbolize.  Passover recalls the day the Lord visited judgment on all those that rejected Him, passing over those whose homes were sprinkled with the blood of a lamb.

Jesus was God’s Passover Lamb offered as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Jesus died on the Cross and His Body was placed in the grave.  

The Feast of Passover is followed the very next day by the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The Feast of Unleavened Bread lasts one week, and it recalls Israel’s hasty escape from Egypt, (symbolic of the world) during which time there was no time to let bread rise. They ate it without yeast.

The Feast of the Unleavened bread symbolizes when Christ descended into Paradise (with the thief), where He led the righteous dead out of their captivity in Abraham’s bosom and into the presence of God.

The second day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is the Feast of Firstfruits.  Jesus is the first-fruits of the Redemption Who conquered death and Hell and rose from the grave on the third Day after Passover.

Fifty days after the Feast of Firstfruits is the Feast of Pentecost.  The Feast of Pentecost celebrated the end of the grain harvest.  Pentecost was also the day that Jesus ascended into Heaven, ending His earthly ministry, but not before promising to send another Helper, the Holy Spirit.

The arrival of the Holy Spirit is a reminder that the promise of salvation and future resurrection is as sure as the harvest and His indwelling empowers believers for ministry to bring in the harvest until He returns.

The Book of Acts records Jesus’ ascension into heaven at Pentecost, saying He rose into the air and was received into the clouds.

“And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11)

Pentecost concludes the spring-time feasts for Israel just as it concluded the Lord’s earthly ministry for the Church.  After Pentecost, there is a period of time before the Fall Feasts begin.   This is symbolic of the Church Age — the Lord has fulfilled the first four feasts of Leviticus to the letter.

To recap, the first three Feasts symbolized His death, His time in the grave and His Resurrection. His sacrifice and Resurrection are past, we have received His Holy Spirit and now we await His Return.  

The first three symbolized the major redemptive events of His First Advent — the remaining four tell the story of His Second Coming.

The Feast of the Trumpets is next on the calendar and it celebrates the waning of the agricultural year.  The growing season is over and the harvest is in the barns.   The Feast of the Trumpets, or Rosh Hashanah, marks the start of ten days of repentance, or “Ten Days of Awe.”

There are many that believe Rosh Hashanah symbolizes the “Fullness of the Gentiles” and that the Rapture will occur at some time during this ten-day period. How important is that? 

If there is no pre-Trib Rapture,  then the Feast of the Trumpets has no symbolic counterpart and the whole dual fulfillment interpretation falls apart. 

Recall Jesus’ admonition was that “no man would know the day or the hour,” but we COULD know when it was “near, even at the doors.”

A ten-day window out of one generation, somewhere in time, does no violence to the traditional understanding of either of these relevant Scriptures.  

And it fits perfectly with Paul’s description of the event in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.

“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.”

The Day of Atonement was the day the High Priest would make an offering for the sins of all Israel.  It symbolizes when God will turn His attention away from the Gentiles and back to Israel.

“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.” (Romans 11:25)

Finally, Sukkot, the seventh feast day on God’s calendar takes place five days after the Day of Atonement.  It is the Feast of Booths, or Tabernacles and lasts for seven days. It recalls the time the Israelites lived in huts made from palm branches prior to entering the Land of Canaan.

It also foreshadows entry into the Millennial Kingdom where Christ will rule from Jerusalem and people from every kindred, tongue and nation will be able to “tabernacle” or dwell in His presence.

Israel is back in the Land of Promise.  The fullness of the Gentiles is almost complete.  The Lord is coming back to reap His Harvest and we can almost hear the trumpet.

What a time to be alive!  Maranatha!

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on April 28, 2012

Featured Commentary: Bogus Burials ~Wendy Wippel

OL Sit-Rep 2018

OL Sit-Rep 2018
Vol: 28 Issue: 25 Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Dear Omega Letter Family: On the 18th of September we announced that we will be closing this Omega Letter site.  We will keep the site up until October 13th closing on October 14th, our 17th anniversary.  We know that Jack would want us to thank you all and tell you just how blessed and inspired he was by the OL family.

We have received an outpouring of love by those who have wrote in to express their sadness at the news and words of encouragement for “a job well done”. We have not taken any of it lightly. You have certainly surprised all of us by keeping Jack’s mission alive these past five years.

Our heartfelt thanks cannot adequately express how we really feel. We could not have done this without your prayers, support and generosity over these 17 wonderful years.

We are truly grateful for the contributing authors who have gone far and above the call of duty to share their insight and talent with us, that has continued the mission to equip the saints. Many of them have websites they are either working on, or already have up and ready for you. Please continue in your prayers and visit them there.  We will share a list with you to their websites so you can still get your daily inspiration from them.

The webmaster is retiring, our website is out dated, security would be compromised and with the short notice our choices are limited and some unattainable in this time frame. So these factors have lead us to the conclusion that to rebuild the website and keep it up and running as is, is not doable. We will continue to pray that Jack’s legacy, the contributing author’s work, and the wealth of info within the OL site will find a way to continue to be accessible to all who seek it but as this time we can’t make promises. We can only wait and pray.

This decision has been reached with many tears and prayers, seeking God’s direction in this situation. We can’t thank you all enough for the wonderful years that you have supported us with your prayers and generous support financially. Writing the OL was a mission of love that Jack got up every morning to do, he looked forward to sitting down to write the daily brief and fulfilling the mission that God set before him to do.  He accepted the assignment like a good soldier and took the battle on with enthusiasm.

All subscription membership recurring plans have been cancelled and refunds will be made on request.

If we haven’t addressed your concerns please email us.  It’s been a whirlwind of a week but we know that our Redeemer lives.  The battle is not ours, we look to God above and He will guide us safely through and guard us with his love.

Now a word from Jack’s Letter from 2005:

Humans know right from wrong because right and wrong are relative to actions. One can do right, or one can do wrong. Saving a person from being hit by a streetcar is a right thing. Pushing him in front of one is wrong — one might even say, ‘evil’. 

But good and evil are outcomes — and the outcome of our actions is known only to God. Allow me to illustrate. 

You are in Vienna, Austria, and the year is 1905. A man is painting a landscape portrait of downtown Vienna and doesn’t realize he has stepped back into the path of a street car. You see him, and push him to safety.

You did the right thing, right? It was a ‘good’ thing that you did, and not ‘evil’, right?

If you knew what the outcome of your good deed in 1905 would be — that is, if you knew at the time that you had just saved the life of Adolph Hitler and knew what he would become — did doing ‘the right thing’ result in a ‘good’, or ‘evil’ outcome? 

The first lie of the Garden of Evil was that man should trust in himself and on his own understanding. The Scriptures teach the precise opposite.

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)

The doctrine of eternal security flies in the face of that first lie by removing man from the equation altogether. Eternal security says that human righteousness is as ‘filthy rags’ before the Lord, therefore, Jesus paid the FULL penalty for sin. 

It teaches that man plays no greater role in his salvation than that of accepting the gift of Pardon offered him by repenting (which means to change one’s mind) about his sin and trusting in the shed Blood of Christ as a completed work. 

The Scriptures teach us we can be;

“confident of this very thing, that He which hath BEGUN a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phillipians 1:6)

One doctrine, that of salvation plus works, teaches that once He hath begun a good work in me, it is up to ME to perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. 

The other, that of eternal security, teaches that, once He hath begun a good work in me, HE will continue to perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. 

Which doctrine lines up best with the main theme of the revealed Word of God? 

We return to the message of salvation, but presented WITHOUT the implicit promise of eternal security for the believer.

“You are lost and deserve to go to hell. But Jesus has made a way for you to be saved. All you have to do is believe in Him and not sin again. Go to church, learn the Bible, quit smoking, drinking, swearing, having lustful thoughts, avoid all your old sinful friends, do good and don’t sin, and you shall be saved. But if you continue in sin after trusting Jesus, you will go to hell anyway.”

If one discounts the doctrine of eternal security as some kind of Satanic lie, then giving the Gospel in any manner differently that the one above is deceptive advertising. 

But the Scriptures teach;

“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” (Galatians 6:15

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2nd Corinthians 5:17)

If one is turned into a ‘new creature’ through God’s extension of Sovereign grace accepted through faith, how then does one turn ONESELF back to the old creature by an act of human will (sin)? 

Finally, there is the logic argument, as further advanced the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Galatians.

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

“Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” (Romans 3:28)

Featured Commentary: WILL ISRAEL GO EXTINCT? ~Steve Schmutzer

Thorns in the Flesh

Thorns in the Flesh
Vol: 28 Issue: 24 Monday, September 24, 2018

The word ‘holy’ comes from a Greek word that means ‘separated’ — in this context, it means ‘separated’ from the world of sin. In context, Peter and Paul were therefore two of the twelve holiest men who ever lived.

They were Personally ‘separated’ from the world by Jesus Christ!  But neither went on to live a sinless life. Peter fell back into some legalistic Judaic practices and had to be publicly upbraided by Paul. (see Galatians 2: 11-21)

Paul approached the Lord three times, requesting the Lord remove a “thorn in his flesh,” a “messenger of Satan sent to buffet me” — complaining that this infirmity hindered his ability to minister effectively.

Paul wasn’t lying when he said he was chief among sinners back then.  And I am not lying when I say that I am chief among sinners today.  I don’t know every sinner.  But I’m the worst sinner that know.

Thus it is with each of us, if we are honest.  I may know of a Christian who commits more obvioussins than I do — but I cannot honestly name somebody who sins MORE than I do.

The only sins that I know others commit are the sins I actually see them commit.  I am with ME all the time.

I am with me when I get cut off in traffic.  I am with me when I think bad thoughts.  I am with me when I do things I wouldn’t do if I was with my pastor.

I am with me when I am uncaring for strangers, unkind to loved ones, unreasonable, unthankful, unholy, disobedient . . . the list goes on.

To be brutally honest, I don’t know ANYBODY who sins more than me.  (And if you are honest, I suspect you can probably say the same thing about you.)

Peter was called out and separated by Jesus Christ to serve the Gospel.  But Jesus did not drop him like a hot rock after Peter said, “I don’t know Him.”

Jesus called out Paul on the road to Damascus and separated by Jesus Christ to serve the Gospel.  He told Paul to stop worrying about his problems with the messenger of Satan.

“And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. . .” (2nd Corinthians 12:9)

I was called out and separated by Jesus Christ one winter night in 1975 to serve the Gospel.  That is what salvation is all about — being separated for the Great Commission.

But it isn’t YOU that does the separating.  It is Jesus Christ.  If it is you that is the one doing the separating, then how would you go about it?

The answer would seem to be obvious.  You avoid places where sin is going on.  You stay away from people that might lead you into sin.

You surround yourself with other like-minded Christians and you separate yourself from the world.  That’s what Paul said to do.  Didn’t he?

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” (2nd Corinthians 6:14-15)

But clearly, that seems contradictory. When Jesus was criticized for mingling with sinners, He replied, “It isn’t the healthy that need a Physician.”

Assessment:

So what is Paul talking about?  Paul’s letter was addressed to the body of believers at Corinth who had fallen into all kinds of pagan practices.

He was speaking to the Corinthian church’s practice of mingling idol worship and depraved parties masquerading as the Lord’s Supper with some sins “such are are not even named among the Gentiles.”

Individual believers are, by virtue of their salvation, already called out and made separate (holy) and righteous (by imputation).  It is accomplished;

“Not by works of righteousness that we have done, but by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” (Titus 3:5)

The New Covenant with the Church Age is not a corporate agreement between God and a specific people, but rather is individual relationship between Jesus Christ and just ONE person — you.

That is why God does NOT punish believers.  He chastises them.  And God does NOT visit the sins of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.  The children have their own accounts to settle. Individually.

“My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him: For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.” (Hebrews 12:5-6)

This is a good place to stop and examine the difference between chastisement (chastening) and punishment.

Chastisement is correction — parents correct their children by chastising them until they fall back into line.  The chastisement stops when the behavior is corrected.

Punishment is different.  It is retribution — punishment continues whether the offender changes his ways or not.  If you are serving a life sentence, changing your ways is nice, but it has no effect on the sentence.

I don’t know about you, but while I loved them all equally, all my children were different.  Although the rules were the same, it was necessary to set different boundaries with each one of them.

I had a different way of dealing with the kid who tried a puff off a cigarette (and didn’t like it) than I did with the kid who had a pack of butts hidden in his bedroom.

Same rules, same offense.  But it was a greater threat to one of them than it was the other and so one of them needed a firmer form of correction than the other.

Is God not as good a parent as you or I?

The Lord doesn’t have one set of rules for one Christian and a different set of rules for another. The rules are the same for us all.

“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang ALL the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:27)

Don’t let the enemy steal your victory.  Nobody is perfect except God and He made you the way you are for His glory and according to His purpose.

His strength is made perfect in weakness, the Lord told Paul.  Paul didn’t argue with the Lord and demand that God change Paul into the kind of Christian that Paul thought he ought to be.

Paul didn’t get mad at God for his afflictions.  Instead, Paul responded this way;

“Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

So, you think you are weak and ineffective at your calling and unworthy of your salvation?  You think you are too big a sinner to be used of God?  Then you’re just the one He’s looking for.

Has He got a job for you!

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on March 24, 2012

Featured Commentary: Where We Aren’t ~Pete Garcia

The Tablets of the Heart

The Tablets of the Heart
Vol: 28 Issue: 22 Saturday, September 22, 2018

The Mount of the Beatitudes stands near the northwest corner of the Sea of Galilee and is the most likely spot for Jesus to have preached the Sermon on the Mount. It isn’t an actual ‘mountain’ as we’d understand it, but rather a large hill.

The reason that this is believed to be the exact location of the Sermon is because of its incredible acoustics. Along the slope there is a meadow that has the shape of a shallow bowl.

The effect is really quite amazing, as I’ll demonstrate when we visit the Mount of the Beatitudes during our upcoming Israel tour. A person standing in the center of that bowl’s voice carries everywhere within the rim of that bowl as if it were an amplified stadium.

The last time I was there, Peter Lalonde had me hike down that slope to the middle and read the Sermon on the Mount aloud, so I can’t tell you how clearly my voice carried from personal experience. I can only tell you I wasn’t speaking any louder than I would have spoken in my living-room. 

Looking back up at our group, they were far enough away that I couldn’t clearly distinguish their faces. Many of those who were on that tour with us were in their 60’s and 70’s. But all of them said they could hear me as clearly as if I were standing beside them. 

The first thing that comes to mind when I think about that acoustical effect of that place is a sense of awe. To think not only that I was standing in the place where Jesus once stood, but also that I was standing in a place specifically designed by God for His use in giving one of the most important sermons of His earthly ministry. 

It is the place where Jesus stood when He proclaimed His mission statement:

“Think not 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)

Jesus came to fulfill the terms of the Abrahamic Covenant and to fulfill the purpose of the Law. In Genesis 15 we read of the covenant agreement between Abraham and God.

“And He brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and He said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the LORD; and He counted it to him for righteousness.” (15:5-6)

But Abraham was a man of the Chaldees, a merchant from Ur, and business is business, so, where’s the contract?

“And he said, LORD God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?” (15:8)

Since Abraham WAS a Chaldean, the Lord instructed him to prepare a blood covenant according to the customs of the Chaldees.

“And He said unto him, Take Me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon. And he took unto Him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not.” (15:9-10)

These animal parts were used to form a somewhat grisly aisle through which, by custom, the two parties to the covenant would walk hand in hand while reciting its terms. It was also an object lesson in what fate would befall the one who broke its terms. 

The Bible says that Abraham prepared the covenant and waited for God to come so they could seal the bargain together. Instead, Abraham had a vision. In it, God recited the terms of the covenant while passing through the aisle in the form of a smoking furnace and a burning lamp, in effect, signing the covenant on both sides. 

If the covenant was broken, somebody had to die, and God made Himself responsible for both parties. It was there on the slopes of that hill near the Sea of Galilee that Jesus explained that He came to fulfill the terms of THAT covenant — on behalf of Abraham’s seed. 

It was always God’s intent to write the law on the hearts of His people. In Deuteronomy 6:6 we read:

“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.”

Jeremiah speaks of a day when this will become a reality: “‘This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,’ declares the LORD.

“I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people'” (Jeremiah 31:33).

The writing of the law on the heart is finally accomplished by the fulfillment of the Old Covenant at the Cross and the establishment of the New Covenant whereby believers are grafted onto the olive tree of Israel.

actually stood in the place where Jesus made that monumental announcement! It was awesome beyond description. 

Many Christians see the Beatitudes more as idealistic guidelines than reality. Others take the opposite view; that the Beatitudes form a list of do’s and don’t’s regarding salvation. 

“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” If you want the kingdom of heaven, it seems, one must be poor in spirit. But what does “poor in spirit” mean to believers who see themselves as the “King’s Kids?” Seems a bit contradictory, but only until you remember that the purpose of the sermon is to write the law on men’s hearts. 

The prophet Micah writes:

“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)

The ‘poor in spirit’ are those who recognize they are unworthy of entrance into heaven by virtue of their own sin nature, that there are no good works they can do to thereby purchase admission on their own, and that Jesus Christ paid the price of redemption on their behalf. 

If you are a Blood-bought believer, you’ve already acknowledged your spiritual poverty and your dependence upon God’s riches. This isn’t a goal that stands before you, its your present state of reality — together with the attending promise, “for theirs [yours] is the Kingdom of Heaven.

“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. ” Why would believers ‘mourn’? We’re saved, we’re joyful . . . we’re told to be joyful because of the certainty of spiritual comfort. Paul writes, “that you sorrow not, as others who have no hope”. 

Do you care about the lost? Why? And when one dies in his sins, do you not mourn? The Beatitudes are not a future goal to the Christian, but a state of present reality.

“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” Meekness — this one is a tough one for Western Christians. (Fortunately, believers are joint-heirs with Christ, so they inherit the universe.)

In context, however, “meekness” means to have a submissive heart. Jesus said,

“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30)

Meekness can best be described as “strength under control” which is the characteristic Jesus said would “inherit the earth.” Meekness is not something to be attained, it is the current state of those who trust that Jesus has everything under control.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

Uh oh! How does one manage this while navigating this lost and sin-sick world? 

The pure in heart have holiness written on their hearts. There is a lot more involved here than the avoidance of sin. The heart is our center of being. 

Jesus describes it in Mark 7:21-23;

“For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean.”

But also from within springs that holy desire to pursue God and be like Him. To be ‘pure in heart’ is not to accomplish the impossible by living a perfect life — it is the desire to get back up again after we fall. The ‘pure in heart’ shall see God. To be pure in heart is not a goal to be attained — it is the present state of the believer. 

The Law of Moses was written on Mount Sinai on tablets of cold, hard stone. The Sermon on the Mount represents the place where God, now and forever, writes His laws on the tablet of the heart. 

“Tetelestai!”

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on September 5, 2008