The Battle for Jerusalem

The Battle for Jerusalem
Vol: 23 Issue: 7 Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Forty-nine years ago, on June 7, 1967, Israeli Defense Forces captured East Jerusalem from the Jordanians at the conclusion of the Six Days War.

I don’t want you to miss the significance of this event. In 589 BC, King Nebucadnezzar of Babylon imposed a siege on the city that lasted for more than three years:

“And it was in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzer King of Babylon came, he and all his hosts, upon Jerusalem, and he encamped upon it and built forts around it. And the city came under siege till the eleventh year of King Zedikiah. On the ninth of the month famine was intense in the city, the people had no bread, and the city was breached…” (II Kings 25).

The city’s starving inhabitants were helpless to stop the marauding Babylonian conquerors from sacking and burning the city of God and His Temple.

“And in the fifth month, on the tenth of the month… Nebuchadnezzer came… and he burned the House of the L-rd, and the King’s house, and all the houses of Jerusalem… and the entire wall surrounding Jerusalem was destroyed… and Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, exiled the remaining multitude…” (Jeremiah 52).

When the Babylonians left, they took with them the priceless solid gold Temple treasures, together with the cream of Judah’s intelligensia, craftsman, royal family and the cream of Jewish society, who were enslaved into the service of the Babylonian king.

From that day, 586 years before Christ, until June 7, 1967, the Jews were never again sovereign over either their holy city or the Temple Mount.

Eventually, they were permitted to rebuild the city and Temple, but did so under occupation by a succession of Empires; Babylon, Persia, Alexander the Great’s Greece and finally, Imperial Rome.

In AD 70, the city and 2nd Temple was again sacked and burned and its inhabitants were executed or forced into exile — an exile that lasted for nearly two THOUSAND years.

During this period, Jerusalem was alternatively fought over and possessed by various papal armies, Muslim armies and, from 1517 until 1917, by the Islamic caliphate of the Ottoman Empire.

In 1917, Jerusalem was captured from the Ottomans by the British during the First World War. It was administered under occupation by the British for the next thirty years before it was turned over to the United Nations.

In 1947, the United Nations declared Jerusalem an ‘open’ city. During the 1948 Jewish War of Independence, the Arabs captured Jerusalem and sealed the roads leading to the city to keep it out of Jewish hands.

The Jewish Defense Forces, (then called the “Haganah’) built an impossible road nicknamed “The Burma Road” through the seemingly impassable mountains the surrounded the city.

Thus bypassing the main road, the Jews were able to lift the siege on the city and capture its western half, just days before the UN imposed a cease-fire.

For the next two decades, Jerusalem was divided between the Jews on the West and the Arab-held ‘Old City’ to the East.

When Israel won its independence, the countries to which the Arabs fled, primarily Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, promptly interned them in ‘refugee’ camps.

In early 1965, Yasser Arafat created the PLO and declared the existence of a ‘Palestinian’ people out of the Arab refugees who fled in advance of the Arab attacks in 1948.

He raised up a fighting force from within these refugee camps, and coordinated terror attacks against Israeli border regions as part of a pan-Arab strategy known as the ‘entanglement theory.’

This involved using sabotage to force Israel to adopt an offensive position, which in turn would force the Arabs to step up their military preparedness.

This cycle of action-retaliation-reaction would lead to a gradual escalation of tension on the borders, and eventually to the Six Day War in 1967.

On June 1st, 1967, Israel was confronted by an Arab force of some 465,000 troops, over 2,880 tanks and 810 aircraft. The armies of Kuwait, Algeria, Saudi Arabia and Iraq were contributing troops and arms to the Egyptian, Syrian and Jordanian fronts.

On June 7, 1967, the Jews had recovered the Biblical territories of Judea and Samaria and, for the first time since Nebuchadnezzar’s siege, were in sovereign control over a united, city of Jerusalem under Israeli rule.

By every existing tenet of accepted international law, the territory captured in the process of beating back the 1967 war of aggression was legally Israel’s — hence the saying, “to the victor go the spoils.”

That is how virtually every nation on earth came to be.

For example, the territory of the United States consists of territory captured from Great Britain, France, Spain and from the indigenous tribes of the American Indians.

Canada was formerly British and French. Mexico was once Spanish, then French, then Spanish again before winning its independence as a sovereign nation.

The Ottoman Empire fell to the Allies to do with as they wished. The Allies didn’t want it, so it was theirs to give away to whomever they chose.

Following the San Remo Conference 1920-1923, the League of Nations assigned British Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill to draw up new borders for what was then called “The Fertile Crescent” comprising what had been known as Palestine, Syria and Mesopotamia.

With the stroke of Churchill’s pen, the ‘Fertile Crescent’ was divided into what is modern states of Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Kuwait, Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the states of the modern United Arab Emirates.

All these nations were created out of the ‘spoils of war’. The borders of the Arab states were HANDED to them by the Allied forces who conquered their land FOR them.

Under the terms of the Balfour Declaration of 1917, a tiny corner at the confluence the new borders of Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria was designated as a homeland for the Jewish people.

The Arab states — that owe their own existence to the largesse of the conquering Allies — claim Israel is their land, stolen from them by the Jews. Such a claim SHOULDN’T pass the laugh test. It shouldn’t.

And if it were anywhere BUT Jerusalem, it wouldn’t.

Assessment:

The Arab states might CLAIM a land grant from Allah, but their borders were drawn by Winston Churchill. By contrast, Israel’s borders were drawn by God. And Israel’s current borders weren’t granted, but paid for with Jewish blood.

Jerusalem’s claim isn’t like other national capitals. It centers around land PURCHASED, in cash, from its rightful owner, a Jebusite named Ornan, for 600 shekels of gold.

The site of the Temple Mount was Ornan’s threshing floor, ALSO purchased, for an additional fifty shekels of silver.

The purchaser was the King of Israel and the deed is more than three thousand years old.

It was subsequently stolen, given to others (by conquest) and reconquered 2500 years later, by its original owners, and paid for, this time, in blood.

There is no other city on earth like Jerusalem. It is truly the center of the world. No event in this tiny city (population 740,000) goes unnoticed on the world’s stage.

It is hard to imagine there is a person on earth, no matter how remote his location, that never heard of Jerusalem. Certainly, there is no city on earth whose ownership is more hotly disputed by more people.

It’s GDP is abysmal ($1000 per year per capita). It has no major industries. It has neither proven oil reserves nor mineral wealth. It is neither a major commercial crossroads, an industrial hub nor has it any ports or other transportation values.

But it is the most hotly contested, and therefore, the most strategically important city on earth.

There is not a single nation on earth who takes a neutral position on the question of Jerusalem’s ownership. And not a single nation on earth that unequivocally supports Israel’s right to possess it.

In 1967, Israel declared Jerusalem its eternal, undivided capital. Forty years later, not a single nation on earth maintains its embassy there. Not one.

The Quartet is preparing to ‘impose’ a solution on the city. There are discussions (and even resolutions) DEMANDING the UN re-divide the city between Arab and Jew, by force, if necessary.

Zechariah predicts that, once Jerusalem is again in Jewish hands;

“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.” (Zechariah 12:2)

For forty-seven years, Jerusalem has been at the center of global attention. More UN resolutions contain the name of “Jerusalem” than all the rest of the world’s cities combined.

“And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” (Zechariah 12:3)

The US Congress passed the Jerusalem Act in 1995 requiring the US to move its embassy to Jerusalem. The 9/11 attacks, according to Osama bin Laden, were a consequence of the West’s continued support for Israel and for Jerusalem.

That is exactly what Zechariah predicted would be the situation when the Jews regained sovereignty over Jerusalem, and it is exactly the situation as it exists today.

The 9/11 attack was the event that began the global ‘war on terror’ which, when viewed devoid of politically correctness, is nothing less than a war over the existence of Israel and sovereign control of the city of Jerusalem. It is a world war that threatens the continued existence of both civilizations.

Zechariah predicts that Jerusalem will be divided one more time:

“Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.” (Zechariah 14:1-2)

The battle lines are being drawn, even as we speak. There is a growing global consensus that there is only one way to end this war.

Take East Jerusalem away from the Jews and give it to the Arabs. Either that, or watch the world go up in flames.

It is a foregone conclusion that some kind of solution must be imposed. Even Washington has come to the same conclusion, although it has not yet acquiesced to what it knows is the inevitable. All the signs say that it will.

And this is what Zechariah says will happen next:

“Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle. And His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.” (Zechariah 14:3-4)

Zechariah is describing the 2nd Coming of Christ. And before that event takes place, first comes the Rapture of the Church.

Among the signs given by Jesus of His Second Coming is this cryptic reference:

“and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. ” (Luke 21:24)

He also says,

“THIS GENERATION” shall not pass, until all these things be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:32)

I was in a discussion with a Jewish Messianic rabbi. This Jewish believer asked me a question I’ve gotten used to hearing: “How long do you think we have before the Rapture?” he asked.

“Not long,” I replied. But for some reason, the answer seemed inadequate to the question. 

In working on this morning’s OL (which took MUCH longer than usual- I’ve been at it now for five hours) the question and my answer kept rattling around in my head.

Considering just Jerusalem alone, apart from all the other signs it would seem that it is ALREADY overdue. I realized a renewed and overwhelming sense of urgency.

Everybody you meet, from the bag boy to the traffic cop has an eternal destiny. They will either spend eternity in heaven with the Lord, or alone and in torment for a Christless eternity.

The fields are white with the harvest, but the laborers are few. The time is running out. Where they spend eternity may well be up to you. It isn’t enough to simply be a watchman on the wall.

There are already plenty who are watching — there aren’t enough who are doing anything about it.

We need to shout the warning. We can’t wait for someone else to do it for us.

There just isn’t time.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on June 8, 2007.  Dates have been updated.

Featured Commentary: Double Vision ~ Wendy Wippel

The Gospel According to Job

The Gospel According to Job
Vol: 23 Issue: 6 Monday, June 6, 2016

The Book of Job opens with the ”sons of God” (angels) presenting themselves before God.  The fallen angel Satan (literally, ”the accuser”) was apparently also compelled to attend this gathering of angels, since he also was there.

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

There is much to be learned from this verse, and also from the one following:

“And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” (Job 1:6-7)

The general outline of the story is well-known. God gives Satan permission to test Job and Job is afflicted.  He loses everything: his sons, his crops, his livestock, all his wealth and finally his health.

In all this, Job never curses God and is restored in the end.  Three of Job’s friends, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar accuse Job of sin and point to his many afflictions as proof.

Job defends himself by claiming something close to perfection and demanding an explanation from God for his suffering.

The fourth, Elihu, jumps Job for mistaking righteousness with perfection and reminds Job that righteousness comes from God.

“I will fetch my knowledge from afar, and will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.” (Job 36:3)

Nobody knows for sure who Job was, or even if Job was the author of the book that bears his name.

Nothing is known of Job apart from Scripture, including when the book was written, but from its literary style and use of language, it is believed to be the oldest book in the Bible, chronologically speaking.

The majority of Orthodox Jewish scholars believe Job was an actual historical figure.  The construction of the Book of Job suggests the book was penned by an Israelite who was telling the story of a non-Israelite, which also suggests a very early date, probably before Moses.

There is a tradition among some Torah scholars that suggest Job was one of three advisors to Pharaoh during the 400 years in Egypt.  That same tradition names Moses as the author of Job.

That seems unlikely.  Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible.  He had a distinctive style not evident in Job.  And Job’s lifespan puts him much closer to the time of the Flood.

Job lived some 240 years, longer than Terah, (205) longer than Abraham, (175) longer than Jacob (147) and longer than Esau (147).

By the time Moses came along almost a thousand years after Abraham, 120 years was the outside limit of a human lifespan.

Moses lived to be 120, Joshua 110.  After that, the Bible indicates that the maximum lifespan dropped to roughly where it is now, at;

“threescore and ten, and if by reason of strength, fourscore.”  (Psalms 90:10)

Assessment:

Why is the chronology of Job important?  Because he in all probability predates Abraham.  Certainly, Job was not a Jew, but there is no reference to him in the Hebrew Bible as being a Gentile.

Before Abraham, there were only Gentiles.  The Masoretic text places Abram’s birth only 292 years after the Flood.

Abraham was the eponymous father of both the Arabs and the Jews.  Before Abraham, there would be no such distinction of ‘Gentile’.  Before Abraham, everybody was a Gentile, making such a distinction unnecessary.

Job was from the ‘land of Uz’.  Uz was named for the son of Shem, grandson of Noah. (Genesis 10:23)

The Book of Job asks and answers three questions that have puzzled mankind since the the  days before the Flood.

The answer to the first question; “Where can we find God?” automatically invokes the second, “How can one be righteous before Him?” but neither has much meaning without the answer to the third: “If a man die, shall he live again?”

We have come all this way with Job, his friends, the chronology of his life and times, and his relationship to organized religion, just to address Job’s reply to that very question.

Again, let’s keep in mind that Job lived just after the Flood, and before Abraham.  There was no Bible.  Moses wouldn’t write Genesis for at least a thousand years.

Matthew 1:17 tells us there were fourteen generations from Abraham to David.  There were fourteen generations from David to the Babylonian Captivity.  And there were fourteen generations from the Captivity to Christ.

“If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.” (Job 14:14)

The appointed time.  Until my change come.

Forty-two generations before Christ,  Job spoke of his ‘change’ at the ‘appointed time.’

Forty-two generations later, the Apostle Paul explains:

“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

Forty-two generations AFTER Christ, we eagerly await the trumpet’s call —  for this IS the ‘appointed time’.

Paul called it a ‘mystery’ because it was a doctrine not previously revealed — except to Job.  Paul said;

“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”  (1st Corinthians 15:51-52)

Job not only knew about the change, he knew about the trumpet:

Thou shalt call, and I will answer Thee: Thou wilt have a desire to the work of Thine hands.” (Job 14:14-15)

There are those who argue that the Rapture is a recent doctrine, invented by J. N. Darby or by a Scottish epileptic named Margaret MacDonald.  The Rapture isn’t a recent invention, it predates both Christianity and Judaism.

Genesis and Jude confirm that Enoch, seventh from Adam, was also raptured.  Job expects to hear God call him at the appointed time.   The Apostle Paul addressed the same doctrine two thousand years later.

“For the dead in Christ shall rise first, then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds . . ” (1st Thessalonians 4:16)

And now we’re talking about it two thousand years after that — as if it were some unproven doctrinal supposition subject to interpretation.

It wasn’t merely supposition to Job — to whom the Flood was still a recent memory.

“For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.”  (Job 19:25)

That is a pretty amazing statement of faith, dated as it is to a thousand years before Moses and two thousand years before Christ.

“And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.” (Job 19:26)

The Sadducees were still debating the resurrection of the dead with Jesus two thousand years after Job stated it as fact.  That Job was referring to the resurrection of his own physical body, and not referring to some spiritual equivalent is made plain.

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

So will mine.  I’ll be there, too.  And I’m sorta looking forward to meeting Job.

“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:” (2nd Peter 1:19)

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on July 27, 2009.

Featured Commentary: Long Road to Ruin ~ Pete Garcia

Beginnings of Sorrows

Beginnings of Sorrows
Vol: 23 Issue: 4 Saturday, June 4, 2016

I’ve always been a keen student of history, as far back as I can remember. Even before I understood the logic of the question, ”how can you know where you are going if you don’t know where you have been?”, the history of man has fascinated me.

I would learn some new historical fact that would explain the reason for some contemporary situation and, bingo! The lights would come on and it would all make sense.

I was always fascinated with the way all the tiny details had to fit together exactly, and what a difference a single change could make to the Big Picture as it exists today.

What if Gavrilo Princip had not shot Franz and Sophie Ferdinand to death on June 28, 1914 in Sarajevo?

(Who? I’m glad you asked.)

Gavrilo Princip was a member of a Serbian nationalist terrorist squad. Franz Ferdinand was the Archduke of Austria, Prince Imperial of Austria, Prince Royal of Hungary and Bohemia and heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne.

His assassination precipitated the Austria declaration of war that triggered the First World War.

What if Princip was captured or killed before he could do the deed that ultimately killed more than thirty-eight million people? That single event forever changed the course of history, brought down empires, and freed the Holy Land from centuries of Islamic rule.

So, what if Gavrilo Princip missed? What if his weapon misfired? Jerusalem would have remained a minor city in minor province of the Islamic Ottoman Empire. The modern map of the Middle East would not exist. Germany would have no need of a Jew-hating rabble rouser demanding vengeance for its defeat in a war that didn’t take place.

A single act by a single person on a single day that essentially created modern history. Who could have predicted such a thing? Yet had this one thing not happened, the world as we know it would not exist.

Two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ was asked by His disciples to outline the signs of His Second Coming in the last days. In His reply, He said,

“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” (Matthew 24:6)

Jesus outlined the signs that would signal His return chronologically.

“For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” (v.7-8)

As we go on, it is important to keep our historical perspective. Jesus was speaking from the perspective of His audience, the Jews of Israel.

The history of the 20th century is one of constant war, both hot wars and the Cold War (the ULTIMATE ‘rumor” of war), but it was those wars that gave us our present world situation. It was the First World War that liberated the Holy Land from Islamic control.

“Then shall they deliver you [the Jews] up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for My name’s sake. [Christ-killers].” (24:9)

It was the Holocaust of WWII that ultimately resulted in the restoration of Israel in 1948. And it was Israel’s declaration of statehood that has driven the course of modern history since.

“And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.” (v.10)

The Arab-Israeli conflict shaped the lines of the Cold War, dominated the United Nations agenda for a half-century, provided the backdrop for the Persian Gulf War, and sparked the current Islamic terror war against the West.

The outline that Jesus gave on the Mount of Olives 2000 years ago is a perfect fit for the outline of world history as this current generation has experienced it.

We grew up amidst the wars and rumors of wars, watched world events literally shape our history before our eyes, from Yasser Arafat’s invention of aircraft hijacking as a terrorist weapon of the Middle East in 1968 to the attacks on the US homeland in 2001.

Now, to return to the question: What if Gavrilo Princip had not shot Franz and Sophie Ferdinand to death on June 28, 1914 in Sarajevo?

Assessment:

For 1900 years, the prophecies of the signs of the Second Coming just sat there, unfulfilled and largely ignored by students of Scripture. Although the great Reformers like Calvin and Luther wrote commentaries on the entire Bible, neither attempted to expound on either Daniel or Revelation.

Neither made any sense at the time and were written off as “symbolic” or “allegorical”.

When the Prophet Daniel, who didn’t understand the visions himself, asked the revealing angel what they meant, he was told,

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

The Olivet Discourse was similarly written off as ‘allegory’ by centuries of Bible scholarship, until after Gavrilo Princip shot Franz Ferdinand.

Then the pieces began to fall into place, one by one, detail by detail, from the ‘beginning of sorrows’ through the Holocaust, to the restoration of Israel, to the 9/11 attacks, right up to the impending Persian/Islamic war just over the horizon.

For Jesus Christ to get it right, Gavrilo Princip had to shoot Ferdinand. The first World War precipitated the rise of a discontented Prussian corporal to Fuehrer of the Third Reich and architect of the Holocaust. The Holocaust precipitated the sudden influx of Jews to Jerusalem and its environs.

All these were the beginnings of sorrows. But they HAD to happen EXACTLY in order for the Words of Jesus, spoken some 1900 years before, to find their fulfillment in this generation.

Bible prophecy is the Signature of its Author. Only God can predict the future.

Logic dictates that in every generation of history from AD 33 to this present day, there has been a Gavrilo Princip, some unknown actor whose actions shaped the events of the next generation.

And EVERY SINGLE ONE of them had to do EXACTLY as they did for Jesus to get it right on the Mount of Olives 2000 years ago.

Had Gavrilo Princip not killed Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in June, 1914, there would be no Israel to be threatened by its Islamic neighbor states in 2007.

Having outlined events as they would happen, 1900 years in advance, Jesus paused to remind His audience, “Behold, I have told you before.” (Matthew 24:25)

Bible prophecy is undeniable evidence that the God we worship is no ‘cunningly devised fable’ to this generation, anymore than it was to Peter when he wrote:

“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)

We have that same assurance, because, (now think about this!) Bible prophecy provides us with that same EYEWITNESS to His majesty! Nobody else but God could know in advance about all the Gavrilo Princips scattered throughout history.

We are eyewitnesses to history, and that history confirms His Word to the tiniest detail.

The same God Who outlined history in advance also assured us:

“In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I WILL COME AGAIN, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:2-3)

He IS coming soon! And He’s provided us with all the evidence necessary to prove it.

We need to get the word out.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on March 26, 2007.

Big Brother Comes Into His Own

Big Brother Comes Into His Own
Vol: 23 Issue: 3 Friday, June 3, 2016

One of the most remarkable examples of Bible prophecy making the leap from the pages of the Bible to the front pages of the daily newspapers is also among the most well-known — the Mark of the Beast.

“And he causeth all both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” (Revelation 13:17-18)

Now, take a few moments to think about what would be necessary to fulfill this prophecy as written. Keep in mind the fact that the Apostle John penned this prophecy sometime around AD 87.

In AD 87, literacy was largely limited to members of the upper classes. It was a world in which a person was whom he claimed to be. A person who lived in Asia Minor, for example, could travel a few hundred miles away and become a completely new person.

Say you are a petty thief wanted by the Romans in Judea, so you move to Athens. In Judea, you were Joseph, son of Barnabas. But when you move to Athens, you identify yourself as Dionysius, son of Alexander.

Unless you run into somebody from your home town in Judea who knows you well, (an unlikely prospect) you are now Dionysius. Joseph might be wanted by the Romans, but Dionysius has a clean slate.

Who is to say any differently? It isn’t like you have to carry an identification card — as already noted, most people couldn’t read it if you had one.

But according to the prophecy of the Mark of the Beast, the antichrist would not only be able to positively identify every single person, but would be able to restrict individual freedoms based on their identification.

Sure, there is the “mark” — but the economy of the ancient world was based on the barter system. Currency was whatever the seller would accept in exchange for goods and services.

While it might be possible to hamper an individual’s ability to engage in commerce in the big cities, many people in the ancient world lived their entire lives without ever setting foot inside one.

At best, the restrictions described by John would make it more expensive for someone outside the system to buy or sell, human nature and greed dictate that it could never be universally imposed.

For the right price, anybody can buy anything. It is true today, and it was even more true in AD 87 when currency was as anonymous and untraceable as the buyers or sellers.

In the modern world, we have strict laws against trafficking in drugs, human slavery, child pornography, stolen merchandise, etc. But if one is willing to pay the price demanded, one can still buy any or all of the above.

Even in a literate world like ours where our wallets and purses bulge with different forms of identification, our faces can be identified by biometric scans, our fingerprints are cataloged and the examination of a single hair can not only identify an individual, but can also identify members of an entire family.

If it were not so, there would be no drug cartels, child porn rings, organized crime, etc.

In short, the details of John’s prophecy was impossible in John’s day. It was impossible fifteen hundred years later when Columbus embarked on his voyage of discovery in 1492.

It was even impossible only sixty years ago. Even the Nazis weren’t able to round up EVERY Jew, or completely eliminate a Jew’s ability to buy and sell. Even concentration camp inmates were able to bribe their guards, if they had the wherewithal to do so.

But John’s prophecy says “all” and “no man” — and if we are to take the Bible literally, then this prophecy, to be valid, must be literally fulfilled. Even to this moment in history, John’s prophecy has not been literally fulfilled.

One cannot open a bank account without satisfactory identification, and one cannot make a major purchase using large amounts cash, but small cash transactions are still relatively anonymous.

The proof is that drug dealers, terrorist rings, child porn rings, etc., etc., still exist.

For now.

Assessment:

That window of economic opportunity is slowly closing — and the technology exists, for the first time in history, to slam it shut completely.

All that is missing is someone with the political clout and popular support needed to impose a system such as John describes.

In some cities in the US and, especially in Europe, citizens are already under round-the-clock surveillance by the government. Combining motion detection technology with the learning capabilities of video game software, new surveillance systems can detect people loitering, walking in circles or leaving a package.

New microphone technology can isolate the sound of a gunshot and direct the attached camera to swivel and zoom in on the source. Sensitivity may reach the point where microphones could pick out the word “explosives” spoken in a crowd. Since 9/11, sections of New York, Washington, Los Angeles and Chicago are already under such round-the-clock surveillance.

And in Great Britain, the government has more than 4.2 MILLION security cameras trained on its citizens. Each person can be identified by software that can identify someone’s face by scanning it and comparing it to public photographic records.

If a photograph of your face has ever been linked to your name, via a driver’s license, passport, newspaper clipping, student identification card, etc., then you can be picked out of a crowd, positively identified, and your location pinpointed without your ever knowing it.

Moreover, the implementation of technologies like the VeriSign implantable chip has the potential to forever eliminate anonymous economic activity.

Such chips can carry the equivalent of more than 11,000 pages of information about you.

Your name, medical history, driving record, banking records, etc., can be retrieved by simply scanning your chip using the same RFID scanning that WalMart uses to make sure you don’t walk out of a store with merchandise you didn’t pay for.

Or it can be revoked or flagged as belonging to a ‘person of interest’ — using the same remote RFID technology. Your bank account balance could be zeroed out, or your location could be pinpointed and instantly transmitted to law enforcement.

There are already pilot programs in existence in which purchasers can pay for merchandise by simply walking by a scanner in the story.

The RFID reads the chip on the merchandise, then reads the information on your chip and deducts the price electronically from your bank account. You need only come within range of the scanner.

The technology necessary to fulfill John’s prediction never existed until this generation.

The political will and popular support needed to implement this kind of technology didn’t exist until the events of first year of the 21st century demonstrated the need to implement it on a universal basis for reasons of public safety and security.

That political will and popular support is by no means universal — yet. Privacy advocacy groups and civil libertarians still oppose it — but public opposition is balanced by the recognition that without it, the events of September 11 would be repeated over and over.

It wouldn’t take too many more attacks of the magnitude of September 11 before the public would begin DEMANDING some form of universal electronic identification system.

Post 9/11, the most effective tool in the fight against terror has been the effort to cut off funding to the terrorists. Bank transfers, large cash transactions, and all kinds of suspicious financial activity is already being closely monitored.

Recently, two guys from Richardson, Texas bought a bunch of pay-as-you-go cell phones from a Wal-Mart in Michigan. They weren’t required to produce identification, they paid cash for their purchases, and walked out of a store located 1200 miles away from home.

They never made it out of Michigan before they were busted by Homeland Security. Nobody was complaining about privacy rights or even questioned how Homeland Security was able to catch them.

Since cell-phones are often used by terrorists as remote-control detonation devices, if anything, the public breathed a collective sigh of relief and heaped praise on the government’s ability to intercept them.

John says the Mark of the Beast can be identified by its connection to the number 666.

“Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” (Revelation 13:18)

Take a look at any barcode — most have numbers printed below the bars.

Find a barcode that contains the number “6” and locate the parallel bars that correspond to it. Now look at the three slightly longer parallel bars that divide the number into three sections.

Do you see it? Each of these dividers corresponds to the barcode that represents a “6”.

This isn’t the Mark of the Beast. Before there can be a Mark of the Beast, there must first be a beast, and secondarily, there must be a mark imposed by his system.

But what are the odds that the Apostle John’s prophecy of the Mark of the Beast and link it to computer-sensitivity to the number ‘6’? Or that it would be used in multiples of ‘3’?

Everything about John’s prophecy demands the existence of a global computer network tied into a global economy and overseen by a global governmental authority. Until this generation, it was impossible.

Since September 11, it is inevitable.

“And when these things BEGIN TO COME TO PASS, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:28)

How much more specific can it get?

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on February 8, 2007.

Featured Commentary: Remembering MacGyver ~ Alf Cengia

Them That Dwell Upon the Earth

Them That Dwell Upon the Earth
Vol: 23 Issue: 2 Thursday, June 2, 2016

According to Webster’s dictionary, “tribulation” means “a state of great trouble or suffering.”The Tribulation is a period of time set aside for two purposes; the judgment of a Christ-rejecting world and the national redemption of Israel.

I’ve searched the Scriptures on this particular topic and nowhere can I find a third purpose that could involve the Church.

The twenty-one judgments of Revelation are the culmination of the Edenic curse; there are environmental judgments against the earth and sea, judgments against animals and fish, and judgments against those whom the Apostle John says “dwell upon the earth.”

Uniquely, Revelation uses this curious phrase “dwell upon the earth”. John is carefully distinguishing those that “dwell upon the earth” from those that are ‘dwelling’ elsewhere.

The word “dwell” means ‘to inhabit’ in the sense of a physical home and came to Old English from the Middle Dutch word “dwellen” which means “to stun or perplex” according to the on-board dictionary that comes standard on a Mac.

(I’m not doing an ad for Mac here — I want to be clear that my source here is an ordinary dictionary which has no point to make)

The phrase “they that dwell upon the earth” is used in Scripture exclusively within the framework of the Tribulation Period.

Revelation 3:10 draws a distinction between those who dwell upon the earth and those the Lord will keep from the trial specifically designed for them:

“Because thou hast kept the word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.”

I’ve heard every possible refutation of that verse as it pertains to the Church and the Rapture. However, one cannot explain away the fact the Lord is drawing a distinction — those that dwell upon the earth will undergo a period of ‘trial’ whereas, somebody else will be kept from it.

In Revelation 6:10, the martyrs slain for the Word of God “. . . cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?”

Again, we have a distinction between the martyrs for Christ and those that dwell upon the earth. The phrase “them that dwell on the earth” is used to describe those responsible for shedding the blood of the martyrs.

They “that dwell upon the earth” are identified in Revelation 11:10 as rejoicing over the deaths of the two witnesses;

“And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.”

In Revelation 13:8 they are identified as the unsaved who will worship the antichrist:

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

The Scripture says specifically that ‘they that dwell upon the earth’ during the Tribulation are those against whom the Two Witnesses prophesied, which is why they that dwell upon the earth during the Tribulation will rejoice.

It also links “all that dwell upon the earth” to the antichrist and says that their names are NOT in the Book of Life.

In Revelation 13:14 John says the False Prophet:

“. . .deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.”

Those that dwell upon the earth will be universally deceived by the means of miracles and will worship the beast as a god.

Meanwhile, Revelation 14:6 further identifies they that dwell upon the earth as those in need of salvation . . .

“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.”

Note also that while ‘them that dwell upon the earth’ are in need of the Gospel, there appears to be nobody around to preach it to them. That job has been assigned to an angel.

Revelation 17:8 provides further insight into both the Beast and who they that dwell upon the earth might be.

“The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.”

I believe John is identifying the Beast in all its forms, political, religious and systematic; Political Rome was, but then collapsed, went ‘underground’ so to speak, transferring power to the papacy temporarily — until the political Beast reemerges as leader of the revived Roman Empire.

John identifies “they that dwell upon the earth” once again as being those whose names are not in the Book of Life and who will join the Beast ‘in perdition’.

Assessment:

It is fairly obvious from these Scriptures that they that dwell upon the earth during the Tribulation Period are not Christians. Those who are Christians are pictured in heaven.

Those who get saved during the Tribulation, whether through the 144,000 evangelists ofRevelation 7 or the angel of Revelation 14 cannot be included among those “that dwell upon the earth” because they will be executed.

“. . . cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. “Revelation 13:15 says. That is another way of saying “all” — although John gets more specific on that point in the next two verses.

“And he causeth ALL, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

And that NO man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” (Revelation 13:16-17)

That seems pretty inclusive. One can find within this structure those whose names are not written in the Book of Life, those who by taking the mark will have their names blotted out and those who are killed for refusing the mark.

But those who are killed are NOT those that ‘dwell upon the earth’ — they are the ones dwelling with John in heaven.

In 2009, a crowd estimated at 1.7 million marched on Washington to protest the government plan to impose health care. Can you imagine the protest that would come if the millions of Christians in America were given the ultimatum of denying Christ and worshipping Obama?

However, if those millions suddenly vanished into thin air and Obama claimed credit for it, them ‘that dwell upon the earth’ would line up to get their mark as quickly as they lined up for Cash for Clunkers.

If one begins from the perspective that the Church is not uniquely exempt from judgment by virtue of being saved, then it isn’t really too hard to find verses in Tribulation that might be interpreted as the Church. Tribulation saints easily become born-again Christians in this view.

But if one begins from the perspective that judgment for sin means sins both forgiven and unforgiven, then again, it might be possible to argue that the Church qualifies for the twenty-one judgments of the Tribulation.

But if one simply tries to figure out who John is referring to when he speaks of “them that dwell upon the earth” it is abundantly clear that the one thing they ALL have in common is that their names are not found in the Book of Life.

And according to the Scripture, they are the only ones dwelling here. The Church is present with John from the moment that John hears a voice from heaven saying “Come up hither” in Revelation 4:1.

It would be a simple matter to delve into Revelation and interpret a few verses a bit differently and build an argument for a pre-wrath or post trib Rapture — I am anticipating getting a few in response to this column.

What is not so simple, however, is coming up with verses that suggest the indwelt Church is numbered among “they that dwell upon the earth” during this period.

And if the Church isn’t among those dwelling upon the earth, then where is it dwelling? There is only one answer that fits both the Scriptures and the chronological and logical narrative presented by Revelation.

“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. . . .” (1st Thessalonians 4:16-17)

“. . . .And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:8)

The Tribulation is specifically set aside for “them that dwell upon the earth”. “Them that dwell upon the earth” are specifically identified as the unsaved whose names are not in the Book of Life.

The Church is not there. The Church left, along with John in Revelation 4:1.

“Wherefore, comfort one another with these words.”

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on September 17, 2009.

Featured Commentary: Plague: Now or Later? ~ J.L. Robb

God’s Word On It . . .

God’s Word On It . . .
Vol: 23 Issue: 1 Wednesday, June 1, 2016

I am always amused at the skeptics’ claim that there is no proof that God exists.  What theyreally mean is there is no proof they are willing to accept, not that is there no proof.

The Bible is more than simply proof of God’s existence — it is the written contract between God and man that bears His signature.  Bible prophecy is that signature.

Science can now duplicate or explain many of the miracles of Scripture. No doubt that if the Lord tarries, we will learn to duplicate many more.  But there is one miracle of Scripture that no conceivable scientific breakthrough could ever duplicate.

Because the future belongs to God, only God can know what it will be before it happens.  No other deity or sacred writing has that distinction  — and that, I believe, is by Divine design.

God challenges the pretenders, saying;

“Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together.” (Isaiah 41:23)

Consider the difficulties in describing, 2500 years in advance, the geopolitical alliances of the 21st century. It was only 70 years ago that the world was at war. The alliances described by Ezekiel didn’t even exist until this generation.

It was from the ashes of the Holocaust that the nation of Israel was reborn, setting events in motion for the Final Confrontation to come.   Seventy years . . . seven hundred years. . . seventeen hundred years. . . double that — it makes no difference.

Every single event in every single generation from the day God revealed the future HAD to be exactly in order.  What if Hitler’s maternal great-great-grandmother had died at birth? Would the Holocaust have occurred?

Would Israel now exist on that narrow strip along the Meditterranean?

Or would the Jews of Europe still be content in their homes and businesses, as they had been before Hitler’s madness?  Without that single life what would the world look like today?

The Scriptures say that the ‘hairs on your head are numbered’ — multiply that times every single person who ever lived. Every single one of them had free will choices and the choices made by our ancestors, no matter how far back we go, shaped the world we live in today.

Imagine picking out the winning team in the 2234 World Series? Who knows if we’ll even still play baseball?

But the Hebrew prophets named alliances between nations that didn’t exist in their world, and in some cases, didn’t exist until this generation.

Let’s examine just ten of the prophecies of ancient times that are in the process of fulfillment in this generation.

1. ‘Take heed that no man deceive you’ “And as He sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.” (Matthew 24:3-4)

It’s often been said that the ‘devil’s greatest trick is convincing people that he doesn’t exist’. Deception has been raised in this generation to an art form. We expect to be deceived by our politicians, our entertainment, advertisers and the media.

Right now, the President of the United States is in Copenhagen stumping for a global ‘cap and trade’ system which,  when you get right down to it, is nothing less than a tax on air!

Deception?  Not us.  This is the 21st century! We’re too smart to be easily deceived.

2. An increase in the frequency and intensity of wars. “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. ” (24:6)

World War I and World War II were cataclysmic events that shaped the 20th century, but they were domestic disputes in comparison with what World War Three with the Soviet Union would have looked like. For fifty years, the two sides were locked in ideological combat in what history calls the Cold War.

Every morning for fifty years, each side woke up wondering if the Cold War would turn hot — the ultimate rumor of war — that ended only a decade ago. But, as Jesus noted, see that ye not be troubled, for the end is not yet. And it wasn’t.

3. The great “Falling Away“. “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition” (2 Thessalonians 2:3)

The Alabama Courthouse tragedy in which the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court lost his job for refusing to uproot a monument to the 10 Commandments from the courthouse is just the most recent example. I needn’t waste column inches on other examples. You know them as well as I.

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

Until the beginning of the 20th century, very few commentaries existed on either Daniel or the Revelation. Both were considered to be filled with metaphors and symbolism. Even Calvin and Luther passed up the challenge. The words were ‘sealed UNTIL THE TIME OF THE END’.

For this generation, the mysteries of Daniel and Revelation are largely unlocked.

Columbus sailed to the New World 1500 years after the Apostle Paul made his Meditterranean journey. Both sailed on wooden ships equipped with sails, as did ships until the end of the 19th century.

One hundred years later, the same trip takes a few hours by air. It took 1900 years of technology to bring us from from Paul’s sailing ship to the ocean liner.

But it took only sixty-six years for technology to make the leap from the Wright brother’s first flight at Kitty Hawk to Neil Armstrong’s stroll on the surface of the moon.

Moore’s Law says that computer capacity doubles every 18 months. Knowledge is increasing at an exponential rate. There is technology being developed to make computers out of strands of DNA.

5. The Death of Love  “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” (Matthew 24:12) — Anybody else notice how many parents are murdering their children lately? Each of you can make  a case for the increasing tolerance of sin and the collapsing moral structure of society as eloquently as I can.

6. The emergence of the antichrist. Daniel says that the antichrist’s seminal act of power will be to make peace between Israel and her neighbors. Until this generation, there was no Israel to be at war.  The world is crying for a leader who can solve global problems like climate change,  nuclear proliferation, the Middle East, terrorism and outlaw nations.

7. Earthquakes, Famines, Wars and Pestilences — Matthew 24:7 speaks to all of these as being like labor pains — growing in intensity and frequency as the time approaches. Earthquake activity is demonstrably on the increase, while ethnic wars rage across Africa and entire populations face starvation at a time when rich countries are throwing leftovers in the garbage.

The entire sub-Saharan continent of Africa is facing extinction by the pestilence of AIDS — while the technology exists to arrest it.  We can make computers out of DNA strands, but the earthquakes, famines, wars and pestilences just keep getting more intense.

8. The Days of Noah and Lot (Matthew 24:37Luke 17:28-30)

“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5)

That wickedness is the hallmark of this age can be proved by picking up a newspaper.  What could be more wicked than deliberately blowing up a bus filled with children to make a political statement?

Television could be described as ‘imagination in a box’. We are entertained by vicariously participating in the story line. What entertains us the most? Based on the most popular TV series, NCIS, the CSI franchises, etc, the answer is undoubtedly murder, mayhem, war, destruction, occultic fantasy and sex.

Lot lived in Sodom, a place where homosexuality was rampant and widely accepted as an acceptable alternative lifestyle.  Today, there is actually a debate about the legitimacy of same-sex ‘marriage’ so profound it provoked the passage of the Defense of Marriage Act.

9. World-wide instantaneous communication  “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached  in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” (Matthew 24:14)

The Omega Letter membership spans the planet. We have subscribers in almost every developed country in the world.  I was looking at our website stats yesterday that ranks countries based on how many hits we receive from each.  The number one country for our visitors is the United States.  Number two is China.

There are literally thousands of Christian websites with the same global reach. Soon, there will be no corner of the earth that the Gospel has not penetrated. Jesus said that once that happens, THEN shall the end come.

10. Religious deception “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (Matthew 24:24)

I could make a list of such deceivers. But so could you.

Bible prophecy is the Signature of God, the proof of His existence and the assurance we have of our salvation.

“So shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)

The King is coming!  We have God’s Word on it.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on December 18, 2009.