The Island of Misfit Toys – by Pete Garcia

The Island of Misfit Toys – by Pete Garcia
Vol: 29 Issue: 8 Monday, October 8, 2018

Several weeks ago, many of us got a major shock when we found out the Omega Letter website was finally closing its doors after seventeen-year run online. Upon hearing the bad news, one of the member faithful commented in the forums, well, sh*$. Probably not the most Christian response one could give, but perhaps the most human.

For many, the Omega Letter had long been a church to the churchless. It was a respite for the weary. A lighthouse on an island amongst a sea of internet ministries. The light the Omega Letter helped shine, provided direction, clarity, and safe-passage for those trying to navigate the often-murky waters of how bible prophecy fits into our world today. The Omega Letter was also a house of prayer; where many could help lift each other up and help bear each other’s burdens in these last days. In those regards, many in the member forums became like family.

Jack Kinsella’s sudden death in 2013 rocked many within the Pre-Tribulation/ Dispensational communities. He was well known and well respected for his astute insights and articulate prose. Many wondered if the OL doors would have shuddered even back then, but we (the staff writers) kept writing. We continued to do so long as the family decided to keep the lights on. Even as devastated as many within our small (and shrinking) communities were about the loss of Jack (along with all the other solid Bible teachers we have lost as of late), the world never noticed.

There was no media coverage. No biographies in the New York Times or other papers of note. No mention at all except for those from within the Pre-Trib community. It was as if the world never even noticed. I am sure from their perspective; people like us at the Omega Letter are just a bunch of backwards, knuckle dragging, bible-thumpers. I am also sure from the mainstream churches perspective that we are on the fringe. We are truly like the island of misfit toys that no one wants or cares about, the proverbial tin-foil hat brigade.

Perhaps that is all true as well.

Many of us (myself included) are poor, broken, flawed, and unwanted. In and of ourselves, we have little strength (or chance) to stand against the overwhelming rising tide of apathy and evil that is sweeping across our land. It was along this vein by which a world, whom is increasingly being given over to its own demise, that we should become a safe harbor for the shipwrecked and destitute. It was not heaven or perfection the Omega Letter offered, but a refuge from the storm for those weary of wandering. A warm, cozy place they could sit and stay a spell. What Jack began, we carried on for another five years in his honor. The fact that the OL ran for 17 years is a testament to the integrity and ministry Jack left behind.

I would like to think Jack is beaming down on us from Heaven right now, proud that his life and legacy continued for as long as it had after his death. That the readers and writers faithfully continued to contribute in this labor of love, devoting hundreds of hours of study, prayer, and research into this little corner of the internet. We fearlessly put our thoughts and ideas to pen and paper each day, contributing to a family who, for the most part, we have never met. Moreover, with the Omega Letter’s closing, most of us will go our own separate ways. Some of us will continue to write in our own venues, but we individually, will never have the same magic we had together collectively.

Speaking personally, writing can be a heavy burden when done faithfully, consistently, and honestly. I would devote many hours each week to give the very best analysis and insight I could with the limited time I had in which to do it. And as always, I did so gratis. That is not to brag or to pat myself on my back for the seven-years and over 350 articles published. I did so because this was where God wanted me to serve. I think we all believed this to be a labor of love, one in which we all served willingly.

With that said, this is my final article for the Omega Letter.

It seems just as surreal saying this, as I am sure it is many of you reading this. Thank you (the faithful readers) for supporting the Omega Letter over the years. A heartfelt thanks to Jack, Gayle, Kari, the Kinsella family, and my fellow OL writers (Alf, Wendy, JL, Steve, Rebecca, Frank, and Ed) for a wonderful experience and journey over the years. Thanks for continuing for another five years when it would have been so much easier to just let the website close back in 2013.

Lord willing, I will continue with my own little island refuge for the time being for anyone who cares to stop by and stay a spell (www.rev310.wordpress.com). You can also read my articles at Rapture Ready and Rapture Forums when they post them. Let me close with my favorite passage, and I hope that it brings you much joy and peace in the time we have left, as it has done for me over the years.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2nd Corinthians 4:17-18

Until we meet again, Maranatha!

About Pete Garcia

Religiously Christian

Religiously Christian
Vol: 29 Issue: 6 Saturday, October 6, 2018

”Religion” is system of worship whereby man attempts to make himself acceptable to his God.  That is why the word can be universally applied to any system of theology.

Catholicism is a religion.  Hinduism is a religion.  Islam is a religion.  Even secular humanism is a religion, recognized as such by no less a secular authority than the Supreme Court. (Torcaso v Watkins, 1961).  Secular humanism dictates man is his own supreme being, and is the systematic endeavor to reconcile man unto himself.

Of all the world’s great religions, the only one for which the appellation ‘religion’ is wholly inaccurate is that of Christianity.

Religion, with all its rituals, sacrifices and dogma, is man’s way of making himself acceptable toGod, while Christianity is a system where God makes man acceptable unto Himself.

That is not a distinction without a difference.  Christianity is the mirror image of ‘religion’ — its core doctrines might even be called ‘anti-religious’.

Religions demand adherence to certain rules and regulations as a condition of salvation.  Those rules are compiled by religious men, set forth as the defining characteristics of that religion, and followed by its religious adherents, if they are to remain in good standing with their religion, and therefore, with God.

Religion, in all its forms, is a series of theological laws that must be kept by its followers in order to make themselves acceptable to whatever their understanding of God might be.  Christianity is accepting God’s definition of Himself.

Jesus Christ was put to death for exposing the hypocrisy of religion. Not just the religious leaders, but religion itself.  When the religious leaders tried to trap Him with the Law, He exposed the hypocrisy of religion for all to see.

“Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting Him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law?”

“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. 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 22:35-40)

Loving God above all things and loving one’s neighbor as oneself is God’s ‘law’.  Religion is a man-made substitute system that offers alternative choices.  Historically, more wars have been fought over religion than any other cause, many in the name of the ‘Christian religion.’

But Bible Christianity teaches that our war is this life is spiritual; “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)

That is not to say true Christians are forbidden to go to war, as in the case of the current war on terror.  Christians are not OF this world, but we are IN it.

As secular national citizens, Christians are admonished “to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,” (Titus 3:1) But that is not the same as banding together to conquer for Christ’s glory. That is a religious concept, not a Christian one.

The true source of religion — and its underlying concepts — was revealed in Scripture BEFORE the fall of Adam.

“For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:5)

Let’s break the oldest lie in the Book down into its component elements;

1) “Your eyes shall be opened.”

The serpent begins by hinting that God is deliberately withholding beneficial information from them. The argument that some Scriptures seem to require salvation by faith plus works, while others seem to support eternal security stems from that seminal deception — that God’s Word is ambiguous when examined closely.

2) “Ye shall be as gods.”

It goes against the grain of human pride to believe that the only role we play in our own salvation is to accept a free gift of unearned pardon. Most human religions — including most Christian denominations — insist that mankind play some role in his redemption.

In this view, the sacrifice of the Cross is not enough — it is just a kick-start that gets us going. We must then perform at a certain level or that sacrifice is negated by our own failed efforts.

3) “Knowing good from evil.”

This goes back to the belief that we humans can know WHICH sins are sufficient to disqualify us from heaven and which ones God will let slide because they weren’t as evil — which is the ONLY rationale for rejecting the doctrine of eternal security.

There are seemingly as many religions within Christianity as there are religions outside Christianity.  Religions within Christianity are Christian in the sense that they claim Christ as their Lord, but write their own rules to substitute for His standard of salvation by works.

The Lord’s standard for salvation by works is somewhat harsh:

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10-12)

So religion attempts to rewrite the rules, claiming unto itself special righteousness and understanding provides it with insights that make it unique in that it ‘seeketh after God’, claiming unprofitable rituals and sacrifices are now profitable, and organizing itself to ‘do good.’

Religious Christianity is a system that substitutes its own, more attainable standards of conduct for God’s standard of perfection, adding temporal punishments and penalties as atonements for the inevitable failure of its adherents.

When discussing the doctrine of eternal security, I note that most argue the phrase, not the doctrine.  The doctrine of eternal security is the essential difference between religion and Bible Christianity.

The terms used to describe salvation scream ‘eternally secure’; “Eternal life” (John 3:161st John 5:11), “full assurance” (Hebrews 6:11Colossians 2:2), “hope. . . sure and steadfast” (Hebrews 6:19)

Salvation is described in Scripture, not as something yet to come, but present-tense. Each true believer is described as “forgiven” (Romans 4:71st John 2:12), “justified” (Romans 5:1,9,Titus 3:7), “reconciled” (Romans 5:19) “risen with Christ” (Romans 6:3-6Colossians 3:1-2) a “new creation” (2nd Corinthians 5:17)

Believers are “complete in Him” (Colossians 2:10), already “citizens of heaven” (Philippians 3:20), “sanctified once and for all” (Hebrews 10:10) and “perfected forever.” (Hebrews 10:14)

The Bible says of believers that we ARE: “God’s family” (Galatians 3:261st John 3:2), effectively ALREADY “seated in the heavenlies with Christ” (Ephesians 2:5-6) and “translated into the kingdom of His dear Son” Colossians 1:13)

Salvation cannot be lost unless one discounts the following core doctrines: Salvation is eternal (John 3:1636), it is a present possession (Romans 51st Peter 2:24-25) it is imputed, not earned, (2nd Corinthians 5:17Galatians 2:20Hebrews 9:10Romans 3:24Ephesians 2:8-9,Titus 3:3-7Romans 3:19-284:4-511:16)

Eternal security is NOT a license to sin.  It is important to understand that eternal security does not apply to a person who merely professes Christ.  Salvation demands repentance.

Repentance means a change of mind resulting in a change of life.  The person who has never changed his mind about God, sin, Christ, the Bible, etc., has never repented and has never been saved.

Rather than granting license to sin, the Bible teaches that the grace of God actually motivates believers to serve God with a thankful heart. (Romans 2:4Ephesians 3:14,-19Titus 2:11-14)

A sinning believer is out of fellowship with the Lord, but the relationship remains the same. He is helped and loved by the Lord Jesus Christ (1st John 2:1-2). He is chastened by the Father (Hebrews 12:5-11) BECAUSE the relationship remains intact.

Although forgiven, a sinning Christian cannot regain lost opportunities or the hurt caused by his sin. And the sinning Christian will suffer loss at the Bema Seat. (1st Corinthians 3:11-152nd Corinthians 5:101st John 2:28)

Logically, to deny the doctrine of eternal security is to embrace religion as an acceptable way to please God.

But God says those who stand before Him trusting in their works will be judged ACCORDING to their works.  Those who stand before Him trusting in the Promise that Christ’s Work at the Cross was all sufficient will be judged according to that standard.

“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 3:15)

Religion doesn’t save us. It can’t keep us. There is only One Who can “keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.” (Jude 1:24)

Trust Him.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on February 6, 2006

He Is Able. . .

He Is Able. . .
Vol: 29 Issue: 5 Friday, October 5, 2018

One of the most popular misconceptions about Christianity is that, in order to be a Christian, one must be ‘good’. From the perspective of the Bible, being ‘good’ is something of a dichotomy.

On one hand, the Bible tells us to model our lives after the epitome of ‘good’ by emulating our Lord Jesus. But on the other, the same Bible tells us that actually reaching our goal of being ‘good’ is not possible.

Were it possible to be ‘good’ then we wouldn’t need a Savior. Think about it.

God gave mankind ten simple rules for living. None of them seem particularly difficult; love God, honor your parents, don’t steal or murder, don’t bear false witness, be content with such as you have, etc.

But the Bible says that not one human being (Jesus excepted) ever managed to keep all ten.

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God,” Paul wrote in Romans 3:23.

Having examined the conundrum of mankind and the sin nature, Paul offers this opinion:

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

None of us has any difficulty remembering when we were unregenerate sinners. Committing sin was not a problem — it was easy as falling off a log. Being a sinner wasn’t that big a deal either, (as long as you weren’t as big a sinner as some other folks).

Then we got saved. Until it was washed away, we never realized how heavy and filthy and debilitating our sin was. Now, we know.

And as saved, Blood-bought, born-again members of the Redeemed Family of God, living in the world, but not OF it, we go through life keeping all Ten Commandments and seldom, if ever, slip back into our sin nature.

Where before we would have cursed at the driver who cut us off in traffic, now we bless him and pray for his soul.

We never lie, never curse, tithe faithfully, never have a ‘bad’ thought, never want to ‘get even’ with somebody who has wronged us, we pray without ceasing, give all the credit for our successes to God, and never, ever, get angry.

Our every waking moment is spent glorifying God for His mercy and we never speak to anyone without sharing the Gospel with them.

God’s love is reflected by us at every waking moment, and we are just as spiritual when we are alone as we are when we are in church.

That describes you, doesn’t it? You are truly blessed! (I wish that it described me.)

But it doesn’t describe me. Unlike many Christians I’ve met over the years, I still struggle with my sin nature. It didn’t vanish when I was saved.

I haven’t led a perfectly sinless life since my salvation. I’ve fallen, but thanks to the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, I can get up!

One could sum up my personal Christian walk thusly:

“For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.”

I know right from wrong, and I want to choose right, and I know that I hate sin, but I admit that sometimes do what I hate.

What does that mean?

According to Scripture, it means that,

“it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” (Romans 7:17-18)

Assessment:

It is our obligation as Christians to spread the Gospel in all the world and lead as many of the lost to Christ as God gives us the opportunity. But lots of times, we don’t feel ‘good’ enough to carry the message.

I mean, how does one rail against somebody else’s sin while one’s own sin is ever before them?

Has our hypocrisy no limits?

In many ways, the world has a better grasp of the situation than we do. Here’s Joe Christian explaining about sin and death and hell, but the lost guy KNOWS Joe Christian still sins.

Think back to before you were saved. Did you think Christians were all sinless? Or did you think they were all hypocrites?

Admit it. Before you were saved, you used to look for imperfections among Christians. It made you feel better about yourself. Think about the person who finally DID lead you to the Lord. He was probably the one who admitted that Christians aren’t perfect.

As Christians, we tend to preach one kind of Christianity and live another. We can’t live the kind that we preach ourselves, and, for the most part, wouldn’t want to.

The average lost person thinks of salvation in terms of what he has to give up instead of what he has to gain.

To the world, a Christian can’t drink, can’t smoke, can’t watch TV, can’t listen to rock music, goes to church every day the doors are open, has to love everybody (especially those he can’t stand) and is generally about as phony as Homer Simpson’s neighbor Ned Flanders.

Why therefore, would anybody want to be a Christian? Christians not only make it sound like a miserable existence, it is so miserable that even Christians can’t meet the rigors that kind of existence demands.

“Do as I say, not as I do” doesn’t even work when you are raising kids.

When we are saved, we are saved from the consequences of our sin, we are not saved from our sin nature.

We’d like to think we are, but in order to believe that, we’d have to also have a pathological capacity for self-deception.

Christianity is the essence of freedom, but we tend to present it to the lost as a form of bondage. You can’t do this, you can’t do that, you have to give this up . . . where is the Holy Spirit in all of this?

It is the Holy Spirit that convicts us of sin, and He doesn’t do it all at once. He created us, and therefore He knows our limitations.

Salvation frees us from the consequences of sin, but only death frees us from the propensity for it.

“O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” (Romans 7:24-25)

The fact is that salvation was designed for sinners. The Bible makes it clear that all men have sinned, and that sin is part of our earthly existence. We are to avoid sin, but when we fall, we are to turn to Jesus and allow Him to pick us back up.

That is the essence of the Gospel. That Jesus loves us so much that, while we were yet enemies of God, He died for us.

Jesus doesn’t expect us to clean ourselves up first. He says, “Come as you are. I am able.”

“Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1st Corinthians 1:8-9)

“Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 1:24)

Don’t let the enemy steal your victory by blinding you with your sin nature. You can still do a mighty work for God. Not because you are able.

But because He is.

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

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

Featured Commentary: Guilty till Proven Innocent ~Alf Cengia

Shifting Tides. . .

Shifting Tides. . .
Vol: 29 Issue: 4 Thursday, October 4, 2018

The last couple of decades has seen a slow,but undeniable shift in attitudes as the children and grandchildren of the Baby Boomer generation started to come of age.

The 1960’s radicals who swore to never trust anybody over thirty were faced with the choice between new slogans and accepting the bad news that passing thirty is an irreversible condition.

At eighteen, everybody is a radical. It is part of being eighteen. At eighteen, one knows all about living but nothing about life. (Veterans excepted)

As such, giving the vote to eighteen-year olds is like letting giving your kids a say in how to spend your surplus income. (“All in favor of putting this in my 401(k) instead of giving it to you say ‘aye’!”)

The eighteen-year olds got the vote largely in response to the Vietnam War in answer to the seemingly reasonable argument about being old enough to fight for one’s country but not old enough to vote for it’s leaders.

The result was that everybody who was old enough to be drafted voted against the war. By the time they were old enough to appreciate the consequences, they were also facing the irreversibility of turning thirty and having to take responsibility for the mess they made at 18.

Some took responsibility. Most invented new slogans. The result was thirty years of liberal domination of the American social infrastructure. Leftists took over the education system, pounding leftist propaganda into impressionable young minds.

In the 1970’s, Ivy-League universities like Yale and Harvard were turning out young Marxists faster than the Soviets were. They dominated the political scene until their children came of age.

Those who had children, that is. Those who invented new slogans like ‘pro-choice’ and ‘women’s rights’ pursued careers instead of families, dominating education, the arts, Hollywood and politics.

But a lot of those university-trained Marxists eventually, got married, had children, and suddenly, leftist values like abortion and feminism lost their appeal. They began to see aborted fetuses as dead children instead of tissue. They saw the great society secured for them by the Greatest Generation slipping away. So did their children.

The Baby Boomers children came of age in the 1990s. Thanks to the advance of progressive liberalism, there were fewer of them than there should have been.

The 1970’s feminist movement meant fewer families and fewer children. Unrestricted abortion meant fewer still. Those who survived were faced with having to pay off their parent’s libertarian excesses in the form of inflation and budget deficits.

As the Boomer children got into their twenties, many of them embraced the conservative values of their grandparents. Having personally experienced the benefits of progressive liberal public education, they started home-schooling their own kids.

By the time they recognized the irreversibility of turning thirty, they had handed both Houses of Congress and the White House to the Republicans.

Assessment:

The point here is not political. It is philosophical. Let’s settle the political first. In America, those with a conservative worldview have but two viable political choices. Either they can vote for Republican candidates, or Democratic candidates.

Since it is impossible for a conservative to support Democratic values like abortion, the abolition of the traditional family, the abolition of religion, the abrogation of personal responsibility, and political indoctrination passing for education, there is only one remaining choice.

That doesn’t mean that it is a good choice. Just the only one left.

Now, to the philosophical. Younger people are shifting toward conservative ideals because they have to live with the results of liberalism, rather than the ideals that spawned it.

Liberalism as an ideal is attractive. It stems from the idea of creating a utopia on earth, where everybody has enough, and nobody goes hungry. In its most pure form, it is called ‘communism’.

Communism, as an ideal, is the most perfect form of government ever devised. It is almost a carbon copy of the kind of government envisioned during the Millennial Kingdom. In a perfect world, everybody would share equally. Nobody would covet his neighbor’s goods because he had everything he needed. That is the pure essence of communism.

It doesn’t work because people aren’t pure. Neither does its offspring, American progressive liberalism. Which is why the philosophical tide is shifting to the right.

When Jesus toured the Judean countryside, Matthew notes; “He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.”

“Then saith He unto His disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest.” (Matthew 9:38)

In these last days, the shift away from the humanist worldview of the liberal left has opened the door for revival unlike any time since the Reformation. The fields are truly white with the last days’ harvest. But they are like sheep without a Shepherd.

The Bible depicts two harvests in the last days. The first is at the Rapture;

“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.” (2nd Thessalonians 4:16-18)

Those who are taken in that harvest will spend eternity with the Lord.

“And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in Thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for Thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.” (Revelation 14:15-16)

Those who are taken in THAT harvest will stand before the Righteous Judge with no Advocate and will be convicted according to their works.

It is our job to tell them they have a choice. Both harvests are fast approaching.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on March 1, 2006

Featured Commentary: The Two Witnesses ~J.L. Robb

Faith Without Works is Dead

Faith Without Works is Dead
Vol: 29 Issue: 3 Wednesday, October 3, 2018

One of the main arguments against the doctrine of eternal security to those who don’t understand it is that its opponents believe it is a ‘license to sin’.

Salvation is a three step process. First, one must recognize his condition as a sinner. Secondly, that person must recognize that Jesus paid the penalty for that sin on the Cross. And third, that sinner must repent and be converted;

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” (Acts 3:19)

When one repents of one’s sin and trusts Jesus, then the Scripture says one becomes ‘a new creature’. “. . .old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2nd Corinthians 5:17)

Repentance means more than mere sorrow or regret or despair or grief over sin. Bible repentance means a change of mind toward God that results in a change of action.

Writes Robert Girdlestone in “Synonyms of the Old Testament”;

“Repentance is neither sorrow without change or change without sorrow, but it is such a deep feeling of sorrow as gives rise to a determination to change.”

“Repentance is a change of mind or purpose. Until a man repents he commonly feels comfortable about himself and his “ways; but when the Savior, through the Spirit, gives him repentance, he changes his mind about himself, and seeing nothing good in his heart or in his works, his whole soul cries out, “Lord be merciful to me, as sinner.” (William Cathcart, Baptist Encyclopedia)

James Stewart explained ‘repentance’ this way in his book, “Evangelism”;

“Repentance is included in believing. Howbeit, repentance is not faith, nor faith repentance. ‘He that believeth’ implies repentance. ‘Repent and be converted’ involves faith. The hand that clutches the assassin’s knife must open it ‘ere it can grasp the gift its intended victim proffers; and opening that hand, though a single act, has a double aspect and purpose. Accepting the gift implies a turning from the crime the heart was bent on, and it was THE GIFT ITSELF that worked the change.”

Before looking more deeply into what repentance is, let’s take a look at what repentance is NOT.

Repentance isn’t fear of God’s anger coming from a consciousness of guilt or grief as a consequence of that guilt.

Judas was guilty of the greatest crime in human history — the betrayal of the Son of God. The Bible says that he was so filled with despair that he went out and hanged himself.

There is no indication that Judas had any sorrow for any other sin in his life, and he asked no pardon for his betrayal of Jesus. Judas’ despair was the result of great regret, but was not the same as repentance.

Judas had no change of mind, nor a change of heart. Rather than resolving to live a changed life and trusting the Lord for his forgiveness, he pronounced judgment upon himself and sentenced himself to death.

He was sorry for his crime, but he had no faith in forgiveness. He trusted to his own works.

The Greek word translated ‘repentance’ is ‘metanoeo’, which involves four things, according to R.C. Trench’s “Synonyms of the New Testament.”

1) “To know after,”

2) the change of mind consequent on this after-knowledge,

3) regret for the course pursued, resulting from the change of mind consequent on this after-knowledge, and,

4) the change of conduct for the future, springing from all this.

Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon defines metanoeo (‘repent’ as a verb) as ‘to change one’s mind’. Thayer’s defines ‘metanoia’ (‘repentance’ the noun) as “to change one’s mind for the better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins.”

Repentance, as it relates to salvation, means to turn to God from sin. It means to bow before Jesus Christ as the God of one’s life. It involves a change of mind concerning Whose will issupreme, and involves a change of action as a consequence. There can be no salvation without repentance.

Repentance is denying self (a negative) while by faith affirming Christ (a positive). Repentance looks within; faith looks above. Repentance exposes us as miserable sinners; faith delivers us from that misery.

“Repentance is hunger, faith is the open mouth, and Christ is the living Food,” writes Cathcart.

Those who don’t understand the doctrine of eternal security take their personal view of ‘repentance’ and apply it across-the-board, according to the prism of their own self-experience.

For example, the smoker who, upon being saved, is convicted that smoking is a sin (changes his mind) and repents (changes his action) and quits, then applies smoking as a litmus test against which to measure the repentance of others.

In this view, someone who gets saved and doesn’t give up smoking can’t still be saved because he hasn’t really repented of his sin. Do you see the fundamental flaw in this logic?

Repentance is a change of mind, followed by a corresponding change of action. But it isn’t an instantaneous change, or the Scripture ” that He which hath BEGUN a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” would make no sense. (Philippians 1:6)

Repenting and trusting Jesus means turning their sin nature over to Jesus Christ, and being willing to allow Him to make the changes as He saw fit.

“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” (Romans 7:18)

To the guy who gave up smoking, the guy who hasn’t quit yet didn’t repent. To take this view, one has to ignore the fact that God isn’t done with this second guy yet.

He hath BEGUN a good work in him, but the Scriptures say it is a PROCESS in which He [Jesus] will CONTINUE to perform that good work until the day we stand before Him at the Bema Seat.

(Or else we have to tear that verse out of our Bibles.)

The sinner who will be saved MUST repent, and that repentance will ALWAYS result in a changed life.

Because those changes aren’t the ones somebody else (or even the sinner himself) expects to see doesn’t mean there is no repentance or no salvation or a loss of salvation.

The saved person KNOWS who they were before Christ. And the saved person marvels at the changes God has wrought in him — because HE knows what they are.

Even if those who would judge him by his outward performance do not.

I recall a discussion I had with the Lord not too long after I was saved. The moment I was saved, I gave up all the outward sins, smoking, drinking, swearing, etc. It wasn’t too long until the enemy threw me a few curves, and the next thing you know, there I was, right back where I started. Or so I thought.

I went for a long walk and I enquired of the Lord — what is wrong with me? Was my repentance insincere? Was my salvation a sham?

How is it that the same God Who could speak the earth into existence out of nothing couldn’t give me the strength to keep me from picking up a cigarette? Where was my repentance? Was I still saved? Was I EVER saved?

And as I walked with Him, and questioned Him, He gave me the only answer that made sense. It was so obvious I wondered why I couldn’t see it before — I was walking with the Lord and asking Him why I hadn’t changed.

That’s when the lights came on. Before I got saved, I didn’t do that.

I went along my own way, running my life according to my own will and understanding, and the last thing I would have done would have been to go for a walk, talking to an invisible Savior and seeking His assurance and approval.

I still had a pack of cigarettes in my pocket, but I had changed my mind about myself, my relationship to God and my sin. My salvation had already produced evidence of a changed mind and a changed life.

As we walked, the Lord brought to my mind a whole list of things that I used to do that I didn’t do anymore. The changes just weren’t the ones I was expecting, in the order in which I had expected them.

The changes weren’t in the same order as in other people, but they were just as profound, since I KNOW who I was before. And so did God.

I was still a sinner. But I was a repentant sinner who was walking with God in the cool of the evening and I knew I had fellowship with Him because I WAS walking with Him in the cool of the evening, and seeking His will for my life.

The Apostle Paul, the greatest evangelist who ever lived, wrote of his own personal struggle with sin.

“I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.”

Paul cries out in seeming despair, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”

Then the Lord gives him the answer to his question, just as He gave me mine.

“I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” (Romans 7:21-25)

Eternal security is not license to sin. It is a recognition that sin exists in our lives, but also that,

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1)

As I walked with the Lord, hating (but keeping) that pack of cigarettes in my pocket, was I walking after the flesh, or after the Spirit?

In his letter to the Romans, Paul says,

“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof . . . for sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”

My sin continued to exist, since I remain subject to the ‘law in my members’ but it no longer had dominion over me. I could still approach the Throne of Grace and seek His Face and pray with confidence.

The enemy’s efforts to convince me I was unworthy by virtue of my sin was overcome by God’s assurance I am forgiven by grace through faith. It wasn’t up to me — I didn’t need to give up in the face of my failure.

“Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.” (Romans 8:33)

Answering the objection that eternal security is the same as a ‘license to sin’, Paul writes;

“What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”

What IS the sin unto death? There IS such a sin — the Bible says so;

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

John makes it clear that there are sins which are NOT unto death, but Paul says the wages of sin is death. A contradiction? In both cases, the context indicates the comments are addressed to believers. So what does it mean?

“And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.”

The Apostle John recorded Jesus’ teaching that;

“It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63)

It is the Holy Spirit that calls us to salvation. Rejecting that call is the sin unto death for which there is no forgiveness.

The Apostle James writes;

“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (James 2:26)

Opponents of eternal security seize on the second half of that verse to prove the validity of works, instead of looking at the entire verse in context.

In context, note that James is using a dead (unquickened) spirit to contrast against a ‘dead faith’.

Faith is NOT the spirit and the spirit is not faith. One has a spirit whether one has faith or not. The two are not the same. But one’s spirit is ‘quickened’ — made alive, BY faith.

Hebrews 11:1 defines ‘faith’. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

If one has faith, but does no works of faith, how does it follow that means his spirit is killed — since, by definition, saving faith results in a ‘quickened’ spirit?

If one has faith, but does no works of faith, he will bear no fruit. Leading someone to Christ is a work of faith that bears fruit. Passing up an opportunity to witness because one is too ashamed is a fruitless exercise. Without works, that faith will bear no fruit.

But we are not saved by faithless works, we are saved by workless faith. Others are saved, i.e., led to Christ, by our works on behalf of the Gospel. Or they are not, due to our failure.

Paul writes of the fate of him that has faith without works when that one stands before 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. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.”

But note the following verse very carefully:

“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 3:13-15)

Again, is this a contradiction? James says faith without works is dead, but Paul says that faith that produces no works will suffer the loss of rewards, before he notes carefully that loss of rewards isn’t the same as the loss of salvation.

Connecting the dots, we find the following:

1) Salvation is a free gift of grace, received by faith, and exclusive of works. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

2) Repentance means a change of mind toward God and sin that results in a change of action.

3) There is but one ‘sin unto death’. The only sin which will not be forgiven men is the rejection of salvation by denying the leading of the Holy Spirit.

4) Dead faith cannot produce spiritual fruit without works, so faith without works is dead.

5) Every person who by faith, accepts the free gift of salvation, will stand before the Bema Seat and be rewarded according to their works.

6) He who has no works will receive no reward, “BUT HE HIMSELF SHALL BE SAVED; yet so as by fire.”

Salvation comes by repentance for sin and faith in the completed work of the Cross as a substitutionary and all-sufficient sacrifice for sin.

Works of faith can only come AFTER that faith has been quickened by salvation. If the only sin unto death is the rejection of the free gift of salvation, then by definition, one who has saving faith has NOT rejected it.

His faith may not bear fruit, in which case, to all intents and purposes, that faith is ‘dead’ but the one with faith without works will ‘suffer loss’ but will himself be saved, ‘as by fire’.

This in no way means that works are irrelevant to bearing fruit, which is the Great Commission given to the Church, but it is clear that ‘works’ and ‘faith’ are two different things.

It offers no assurance that one can sin with impunity — sin bears its own reward, whether one is saved or lost.

Smokers get lung cancer, whether they are saved or not. Drug addicts overdose or die of disease brought on by a weakened immune system. Alcoholics get cirrhosis or die of some other alcohol related disease.

Sexual promiscuity yields a whole host of consequences, from the misery of divorce to the risk of death by sexually-transmitted diseases.

But only those who reject the offer of pardon procured for them by Jesus Christ at the price of His Own Blood sin the ‘sin unto death’.

The doctrine of eternal security is no license to sin, merely a recognition that sin exists, and that Jesus Christ alone has defeated sin’s eternal consequences.

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” (Acts 3:19)

Salvation is an issue between an individual and Jesus Christ. Repentance cannot be faked — one KNOWS in one’s heart whether one has repented or not.

So does Jesus Christ. Trust Him.

“. . .yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.” (Romans 3:4)

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on May 5, 2005

Featured Commentary: Uninvited Guests ~Wendy Wippel

The Power of One (The Omega Letter Vault)

The Power of One (The Omega Letter Vault)
Vol: 29 Issue: 2 Tuesday, October 2, 2018

We are delighted to announce that a long time member and friend, Joel, made the Omega Letter Vault in 2007 and has recently reactivated it.  (Coincidently the same time as Sukkot.) Here is a post from Joel explaining how it can be yours.

Hello everyone,

The Omega Vault is still available for download at: http://www.grizzlesoft.com/Downloads/Files/OmegaVaultSetup.msi

(Note: You may need to copy and paste the link directly into your browser to download, clicking the link may not work)

After you download the application, you’ll need to update it and start the downloading all of the articles before October 14th 2018. The last version I put out there was back in March 2013, so you’ll have to let the application sit for awhile and download all the articles since then.

Due to the closing of the Omega Letter, I will put a newer version of the software within the next few weeks that will include all of the user contributed articles as well, but feel free to grab the software now.

As for the articles, once you download them on the Vault, they are stored on your computer permanently in a local database file. One of the many reasons, the Vault was written was so that anyone could read the letters, even if the site came down or no internet access was available. (If fact, you can keep even copy the entire Omega Vault folder and put it on a thumb drive if you want it to be portable)

I will keep you guys posted when the new version comes out, but if the site comes down before then, there is a button in the software that will update it when everything is ready.

FYI: The Omega Vault only works with Windows. If anyone has any questions about the software or how it works feel free to contact Kari for my email address.

Best Regards,

Joel

Your favorite contributing author’s websites will soon be in listed and sent out to you in the upcoming days.  

THE POWER OF ONE: Jack Kinsella

”And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; or the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” (Ephesians 4:11-12)

The purpose of the Omega Letter is slightly different than that of most website ministries, in that the main focus of our attention isn’t to attract the lost.

Instead we target those already saved by grace in an effort to provide them (you) with the tools you need to be more effective in your own evangelistic efforts. There isn’t a lot of milk in the contents of the Omega Letter — this is a diet for meat-eaters only.

Note the purpose of each of the offices of the early Church. Paul outlines the job of the Apostles to seed the Churches, prophets to announce its arrival, evangelists to take the fight to the enemy, and pastors and teachers for the perfecting of the saints.

All offices aim for the same ultimate objective, the edification of the Body of Christ. Webster’s defines ‘edification’ as follows:

(1) The act of edifying, or the state of being edified; a building up, especially in a moral or spiritual sense; moral, intellectual, or spiritual improvement; instruction. (source: brainyencylopedia.com)

There are certain members of the Body that are assigned to ‘capture new ground from the enemy’ — these are ‘evangelists’. They are good at leading people to Christ.

They can take the battle right up to the devil’s camp and set free the captives of darkness. They are the front line men of the Kingdom and their job is to capture the “gates of the enemy”.

Because they are fighting against spiritual powers, the evangelist is a man of power in the Holy Spirit. We are not fighting with flesh and blood, but against “principalities and powers” (Ephesians 6:12-13). The evangelist must know how to fight with Spiritual weapons from God.

The work of the evangelist includes showing others how to overcome the enemy. A part of his ministry is to convict the believers and move them to action in the battle for the souls of mankind.

The evangelist is the man of war in the Kingdom of God. The evangelist is one who is not afraid to associate with those who are in most need of the healing power of God.

Jesus said,

“They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Matthew 9:12-13)

The most powerful evangelists are not necessarily the Billy Graham’s of this world who lead massive world-wide crusades. Consider this: Billy Graham’s crusades have, according to the encyclopedia, reached live audiences of 210 million people in 185 countries. He has led hundreds of thousands of people to make personal decisions to accept Christ into their lives, this being the main thrust of his ministry.

Many of his sermons center on the topic “Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation”. He has often advised US presidents and continues to be listed as one of the “Ten Most Admired Men in the World” in Gallup Polls. (source: brainyencylopedia.com)

There aren’t very many people in this world who haven’t at least HEARD of Billy Graham, even if they haven’t heard him preach. Now, imagine Billy Graham, standing before the Bema Seat, surrounded by the millions he led to Christ, as he accepts his reward. Wow!

BUT, who is Mordechai Ham? Most of us may not ever have heard of him, but he is a legend in heaven. Because standing in FRONT of Billy Graham is Mordechai Ham, the man who led Billy Graham — and by extension, Billy Graham’s millions — to Christ back in 1934.

Such is the power of one evangelist who is faithful to his calling. That power belongs to each of us who are faithful to the truth and prepared to share Christ with the skeptic.

That is why the Omega Letter touches on such a wide range of topics, like politics, social issuesand international affairs, instead of focusing exclusively on theology.

Each of us has, at one time or another, overheard someone, upon hearing of yet another murderous mother, homicidal husband or the latest wartime atrocity and exclaiming; “I don’t know what this world is coming to.”

We do. And it is our job to seize that opportunity as the Lord puts it before us. Many of you have been called to the ministry of the evangelist, whether you know it or not, or you would not be subscribers to the Omega Letter.

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18)

It is the Power of One that can dispel the clouds of confusion that blind the eyes of the lost.

Jesus, the Great Physician and First Evangelist, outlined our mission for the last days in unmistakable terms, saying,

“The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into His harvest.” (Matthew 9:37-38)

We are the ‘watchmen on the wall’ for the last days, and it is incumbent upon us to be able to discern the truth and sound the alarm.

It is a grave responsibility —

“But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.” (Ezekiel 33:6)

Every person we meet in the course of a day has an eternal destiny. Either that person will spend eternity in heaven in the presence of Christ, or they will be cast into a Christless eternity ‘where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth’ — “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched,” a destiny so certain that Jesus repeated it three times (Mark 9:44,46,48).

It was the Power of One, manifested through Mordechai Ham, that resulted in the millions of decisions for Christ over the lifetime of Billy Graham’s ministry.

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2nd Timothy 1:7)

We have that Power of One through the One Who indwells us. But it is up to us to exercise it.

Instead of praying that the Lord will send forth laborers to His Harvest, pray to be one of the laborers that are to be sent.

You may not be the next Billy Graham. Instead, you may be blessed to be the next Mordechai Ham.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on August 1, 2004

Featured Commentary: WILL ISRAEL GO EXTINCT? Part 2 ~Steve Schmutzer

Seeing Through a Glass, Darkly

Seeing Through a Glass, Darkly
Vol: 29 Issue: 1 Monday, October 1, 2018

”And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.” (Isaiah 2:2-4)We discussed the four rational creations of God in the last briefing, but, judging from some of your comments, I didn’t do such a bang-up job of explaining it all. I will try and clarify the murky spots.

Some of you questioned the application of the word ‘creation’ to describe them. Nobody disputes the fact that the angels were created, or man. 

One member argues that Jews were not ‘created’ separately, but were selected from an already living group. Jewishness is both a spiritual and a physical manifestation, neither of which existed until God created it out by an act of His own will. 

Abraham was chosen out of the land of Ur to be the father of a great nation. Abraham decided that, given his age and that of Sarah’s, that he would father this great nation through Sarah’s Egyptian slave, Hagar. 

But God said that HE would create a great nation: 

“And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:” (Genesis 12:2) 

It was by the sovereign act of God that Sarah conceived, it was the sovereign choice of God that the Abrahamic covenant would flow through the descendants of Isaac, and it was by Divine decree that his descendants would be a peculiar people, unique from all the rest of humanity. 

The Abrahamic covenant resulted in a new spiritual creature, not Gentile nor angel, but children of the Promise. The Jews are genetically unique; the priestly caste of Cohanin bear the unique genetic signature of Aaron, enabling the modern Jews to positively identify the hereditary priests that are necessary to the restoration of Temple worship. 

Abraham didn’t make his descendants the children of the Promise. God did, by an act of His sovereign will. Until the creation of the Jews, there were just two spiritual creations — angels and Gentile descendants of Adam. 

That is the operative phrase here; ‘SPIRITUAL creation’. 

Let’s define ‘creation’ for the sake of clarification as that which comes into being by the sovereign will of God. 

By an act of His sovereign will, God introduced a third spiritual creation, one that had not previously existed. Jews are not Jews by choice, they are born Jews. 

A Buddhist Jew is still a Jew. No matter what religion a Jew practices — or none at all — the Jew is still a Child of the Promise and has a unique spiritual standing before God. 

It isn’t a question of attitude or whether or not the Jew has a ‘right relationship’ toward God. I don’t know exactly how God accomplishes His plan for the Children of the Promise, but I trust the Bible. 

“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 11:26) 

Angels were created with spiritual attributes unique to angels. Man was created with his own unique spiritual attributes. He became a Gentile, separated from God, with Adam’s fall. 

Out of Gentile spiritual humanity, God created a third unique spiritual being, the Jew, and endowed him with spiritual attributes unique from other men. 

The fourth spiritual creation is the Christian. This spiritual creation also comes into existence as the consequence of a sovereign act of God. This spiritual creature, like angels, Jews and Gentiles, has an eternal component, but unlike the Jews and the Gentiles, it is a new form of spiritual creation. 

“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)

No matter how hard he tries, a Jew cannot become a Gentile by an act of his own will. No matter what religion he practices, (or even no religion at all), he will always be a Jew. I was born an Irish Catholic. But no matter what religion I practice, Catholicism, Christianity, Buddhist or Hindu, I will always be Irish. 

But, uniquely, only the Jew who becomes a Christian is no longer a Jew. By becoming a Christian, a Jew isn’t even a Jew to other Jews. Even Israel recognizes that he becomes a ‘new creature’ in Christ and often revokes or refuses Israeli citizenship to Messianic Jews. 

Equally uniquely, a Christian can never become a Gentile. Spiritually, he is already a ‘new creature’. His transformation is accomplished the sovereign act of God of forgiveness by grace through faith. 

A Gentile can become a Jew, or he can become a Christian. Reversing the process by an act of man’s will is impossible, since the process itself is accomplished by God, and “the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” (Romans 11:29) 

The second question revolves around the continued existence of the Gentiles in the Millennial Kingdom. More than a few of you questioned that. 

We opened this briefing with Isaiah 2:4, which speaks of the ‘nations’ that will “go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob.” 

Note that this is what a Gentile would say, not a Jew. 

Isaiah also says He will judge between the ‘nations’ [more than one] and will settle disputes for ‘many peoples’. 

They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, “nor will they train for war anymore.” 

Israel is but ONE nation. The Church is raptured and has received their translated bodies. The only possible explanation for the ‘nations’ is that they are Gentile nations. 

Will there be Gentile survivors of the Tribulation Period who enter into the Millennial Kingdom AS Gentiles? 

“And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.” (Zechariah 14:16)

“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: And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.” (Matthew 25:32-33)

Jesus is speaking of the destiny of nations, not individuals. 

“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: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:” (Matthew 25:34-35)

The sheep and goat nations will be judged as either worthy to enter the Millennial Kingdom or unworthy, based on how each nation treated Israel. 

They are Gentile nations, neither Jew nor Christian. Christianity, as we understand it, ends with the conclusion of the Church Age. 

When the ‘elect company’ being called out of the world as the Bride of Christ reaches its complete number, the Rapture takes place, followed by the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. There are tribulation saints, but those saints are not saved according to the Dispensation of Grace, but rather are saved according to the Dispensation of the Law. 

Tribulation saints, [with the exception of the 144,000 of Revelation 7] are NOT sealed ‘with the Holy Spirit of Promise’ (Ephesians 1:13) — since the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is unique to the Church Age. 

If all Tribulation believers are indwelt with the Holy Spirit, like the new creatures of the Church Age, there would be little point in devoting an entire chapter to describing the ‘sealing’ of the 144,000 Jews during the Tribulation. 

The Tribulation saints are NOT ‘new creatures’ transformed by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, but remain Gentiles, saved the same way the Jewish saints of the Old Testament were – by being declared judicially righteous by God. 

The Bible indicates that judicial declaration of righteousness is directly related to their treatment of the nation of Israel. It also says that the Gentile nations who enter the Mi
llennial Kingdom will serve Israel.

Melchizedek, king of Salem, was a Gentile, but the Bible calls him the ‘priest of the most high God’ for siding with Abraham against the King of Sodom and bringing Abraham bread and wine. (Genesis 14:18).

I realize a lot of this challenges what is taught today, mainly because of a fundamental misunderstanding of Dispensational truth. Dispensationalism holds that, during different periods throughout history, God dealt with man’s salvation in different ways. 

He walked with Adam ‘in the cool of the garden’ during the Age of Innocence. After the Fall, but before the Flood, God allowed man to pretty much govern according to his own will in what is called the ‘Age of Conscience’. After the Flood, God dealt with individuals one-on-one as he did from Noah until Moses. 

When Moses received the Law, it introduced a new Dispensation in which God dealt with His people judicially in a corporate, rather than individual manner, setting up Judges over Israel to rule according to Divine Decree. 

After the Jews failed miserably at keeping the Law, Jesus introduced a new Dispensation, the Age of Grace. The Age of Grace concludes with the Rapture of the Church and the withdrawal of the Restrainer. (2nd Thessalonians 2:7)

There is yet a final seven year period for the Age of the Law, during which God pours out His wrath against unbelieving Jews and Gentiles, called the ‘Time of Jacob’s Trouble’. 

Then there is the final Dispensation, the Millennial Kingdom, in which Jews and righteous Gentiles will live under the direct reign of Jesus Christ from Jerusalem for a thousand year period. 

Assessment: 

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2nd Timothy 2:15)

‘Rightly dividing the word of truth’ means that there IS a division in the word of truth. It means one cannot apply the tenets of the Age of Law to the Church Age and get any understanding of salvation by grace through faith. 

One cannot apply the tenets of the Church Age to the Tribulation Period and get any clear understanding of how the Tribulation saints can be saved, or how they could later subsequently be lost by accepting the Mark of the Beast. 

During the Church Age, the saints cannot be overcome by Satan — “resist the devil, and he will flee from you” does not apply in some metaphysical sense that eventually, we will die and be outside Satan’s power. In the Church Age, it means what it says. The devil cannot stand before an indwelt believer who pleads the Blood of Christ. 

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

Without an understanding of the division in the Word, that would appear to be a contradiction. The power ‘to overcome them doesn’t mean he has the power to kill them. 

Satan has ALWAYS had that power. Over the course of human history, he has killed uncounted billions through sin. But during the Church Age, believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, Whose ministry is to guide the Church in all truth. 

During the Tribulation, the antichrist will be able to deceive ‘even the very elect’ and any, Jew, Gentile or Tribulation saint, who accepts his mark will be forever damned. 

” . . .and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:4) 

Those who worship the beast and receive his mark are not among that company. 

Where, under the Dispensation of the Law, God says, ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’; under the Dispensation of the Age of Grace, Jesus says, ‘turn the other cheek’. 

Were it not for the understanding of Dispensationalism, one could argue that Scripture contradicts itself. 

But unregenerate Gentiles are sinners. How can they enter the Millennial Kingdom? David sinned. Noah sinned. Abraham sinned. But note that, “Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness. . .” (James 2:23) 

It is a difficult study, since the Bible doesn’t say that much about the Gentiles of the Millennial Kingdom, other than they will live in a restored ecology, will enjoy lifespans similar to those before the Flood, and that they will eventually be deceived one last time by Satan and will make war against God. 

The first six Dispensations are outlined in great detail, where we are only given a shadowy look at the Millennial Kingdom. The Millennial Kingdom will be administered directly by Christ from earth. There is no real need for detail. When the time comes, those alive then can enquire directly of Him. 

The Apostle Paul explains; “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1st Corinthians 13:12)

This Letter is being republished for the first time since Jack went home.

Featured Commentary: The Mysteries of God ~Pete Garcia