Eternal Security and the Oldest Lie in The Book

Eternal Security and the Oldest Lie in The Book
Vol: 29 Issue: 18 Saturday, November 18, 2017

I received an email recently in which the writer, arguing against the doctrine of eternal security, noted that some Scriptures seem to support it and others seem to contradict it.

He lamented that nobody can know for sure, and therefore, nobody should teach eternal security as a doctrine. 

Any Scripture taken out of context can be made to prove anything. Within various chapters and verses, one finds specific contexts. 

But then there is the whole body of Scripture, which, when taken in its entire context, DOES reveal the truth. The central theme of Scripture centers around three main points;

1) Man is a sinner constitutionally incapable of keeping the law. 

2) Nobody is qualified to enter into the Presence of God based on his own merits and, 

3) For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Remove any of those key points from the equation and the theme of salvation makes no sense. If point 1 were not true, then it would negate point 2, which would then eliminate the necessity for point 3. Do you see it? 

If eternal security is a false doctrine, that means we each play a role, through our works, (either sinful or righteous) in maintaining our salvation. 

In that case, maintaining one’s salvation would require working at it by maintaining our personal righteousness. 

But the Scripture says that “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6

Remember, our native unrighteousness is the central theme of Scripture — and it demands the necessity of a Savior. 

Therefore, if maintaining one’s personal righteousness is a condition of salvation, then point 1 is not true, point 2 is partially untrue and point 3 is unnecessary. That would defy the central theme and context of the revealed Word. 

In witnessing to the lost, one generalizes the whole context of Scripture, telling the sinner;

“You are lost, and cannot stand before a Righteous Judge clothed in your own righteousness. But Jesus has paid the penalty for your sins at the Cross. Repent (change your mind) and trust in His shed Blood as full payment for your sins.”

Then one turns to Scripture to lead the sinner down what is often referred to as ‘Romans Road’. 

Is that not the central theme of Scripture as generally presented by pretty much EVERYBODY, regardless of their position on eternal security? 

Is that not the altar call that YOU responded to? 

One can dig and dig and find Scriptures that appear to say the opposite — yet those who focus on those seemingly contradictory Scriptures find no conflict in giving the same synopsis of salvation to a lost sinner that I just gave. 

It isn’t until AFTER someone surrenders to Christ that they begin to doubt, and Satan is more than able to direct the doubters to this Scripture, or that, until the free gift of salvation morphs into a joint effort between the Lord and the believer. 

Pretty soon, the believer starts to put sins into various categories, according to his own human understanding.

But the Scriptures are abundantly clear that ALL sin is equally sinful in God’s view, and ONLY that view is in harmony with the central context of Scripture as summarized as points 1, 2, and 3. 

In the Garden of Eden, the serpent deceived Eve by promising her that, in disobeying God, three things would happen.

“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 it 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 — and many 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. 

(Unless one is prepared to accept as fact that there are saved believers who never sin again after being saved. I’ve never met one, personally. But let’s examine the possibility that I missed him.) 

Ever get angry after being saved? Ever say something hurtful? Ever roll through a stop sign? (Did you hunt down a cop to tell him you deserve a ticket?) Ever eat something you knew was unhealthy? Ever think something bad about somebody at church? Ever get mad at your parents? Ever think, ‘you idiot!’ when somebody cuts you off?

(“. . . whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” — Matthew 5:22

“Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. . . ” (Romans 2:1)

Assessment:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Scriptures teach us we can be;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But the Scriptures teach;

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

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

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

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

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

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

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on May 4, 2005

The Third Pillar of Antichrist

The Third Pillar of Antichrist
Vol: 29 Issue: 17 Friday, November 17, 2017

I have always been leery of those Bible teachers who have a new ‘revelation’ — seeing something in Bible prophecy that they had never seen before.

I am also keenly aware of the dangers inherent in interpreting Bible prophecy in light of current events. It is a good attitude to have, I think, but it does tend to close one’s mind to alternative explanations.

In that regard, what should rightly be accepted as interpretational can subtly shift over from interpretation to doctrine. And interpretation and doctrine are two entirely different animals.

‘Doctrine’ is defined as “a principle or position or the body of principles in a branch of knowledge or system of belief.”

‘Interpretation’ is defined as “a particular adaptation or version of a work, method, or style.”

Doctrine is iron-clad; a ballet teacher teaches the identical doctrine of classical ballet to two students in the same class, but how they INTERPRET that doctrine is what separates a Mikhail Barishnikov from a Rudolf Nureyev.

Doctrine is constant but interpretation changes with understanding.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10)

According to Bible prophecy, the reign of the antichrist rests on the existence of three central pillars; a global government, a global religion and a global economy.

The prophet Daniel identifies the antichrist as being of “the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.” (Daniel 9:26)

History tells us the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple took place in AD 70 under the command of Titus, later Emperor Titus of Rome.

Hence the interpretation that the antichrist comes to power through some form of a revived Roman Empire that serves as a de facto global government.

In this generation, the countries of the old Roman Empire united under the banner of the European Union, uniting Europe as a single empire for the first time since the fall of Rome.

The second pillar, that of a global economy, is necessary to fulfill John’s prophecy that he will have the ability to restrict persons from normal buying and selling at the individual level.

Such economic control was never possible prior to this generation. If you doubt it exists now, imagine if your Social Security number were deleted. You couldn’t work, open a bank account, get a loan, or make a major purchase.

Elimination of cash (a work already in progress) would completely exclude a person from any economic participation.

Of the third pillar, the global religious system, the Bible reveals the following:

1) It will claim authority over Christianity. “And I beheld another beast coming up out of theearth; and he had two horns like a lamb. . .”

The references to ‘the lamb’ are pretty much self-explanatory. It is a reference to something ‘like’ Christianity, but a counterfeit. . . . “he spake as a dragon.” (Revelation 13:11)

2) It will share political power with the first beast. “And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him.”

3) Participation will be mandatory. “cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” (Revelation 13:15)

4) The method employed by the false prophet’s religious system as the penalty for refusing conversion is decapitation.

“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.” (Revelation 20:4)

For more than a thousand years, most interpreters saw the Church of Rome and the papacy as the third pillar of the antichrist’s platform.

The Vatican claims authority of Christianity and has always been as much political as religious. But that is where the similarities stop.

600 years ago, the papacy tried to enforce conversion and sometimes executed those who refused. The papacy also believed the world was flat 600 years ago.

It is safe to say when the Pope believes in a flat earth, the papacy will launch another Grand Inquisition.

There is in existence another religion that fits John’s description like a glove. Islam claims to be the third revelation from God.

It claims its existence from Abraham, acknowledges the Divine inspiration of the Bible, but claims that Abraham, Moses, and Jesus were all Muslim prophets.

It is Islam’s claim to be the third and final revelation from God from which Islam derives its claim of authority over Christians and Jews.

Islam is not just a religion but is equally a political system carefully defined by Sharia law and fulfilling points 1 and 2 much more perfectly than does the modern Vatican.

Islam is the religion of the sword. The word itself means ‘submission’ and Islamic law authorizes the death penalty for unbelievers, fulfilling point 3 as a matter of existing religious doctrine — not a new doctrine forced upon an existing system by a mad pope.

And the penalty of choice for refusing to submit to Allah is decapitation, fulfilling point 4.

None of this has to be developed and imposed upon Western religionists as new religious doctrine by a new pope as previous interpretations required — it already exists. And it is already practiced by one-fifth of the human race.

As noted, Islam claims to be the well-spring of Judeo-Christianity, claiming Islam predates both. Islam claims Allah is the same God worshipped by Christians and Jews and that the Old and New Testaments were corrupted by scribes.

Christians and Jews scoff at this claim, since the Koran’s Allah bears no resemblance to the God revealed in Scripture.

God is love. Salvation is a gift of grace through faith. As a matter of accepted doctrine, it cannot be imposed by force.

Salvation through Allah comes through martyrdom in the jihad, after conversion to Islam either voluntarily — or by force.

Daniel provides another glimpse into the religion of antichrist. He says that he will be an atheist, but that he will pretend to be religious in public.

“Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.”

Then Daniel gives a letter-perfect description of Islam — as Islam describes ITSELF.

“But IN HIS ESTATE shall he honour the GOD OF FORCES: and a god WHOM HIS FATHERS KNEW NOT . . .” ‘A god of forces, and a god his fathers knew not’ cannot be applied to the Roman Catholic Church or the Papacy without the RCC formally renouncing Scripture, God and Jesus.

For 1600 years, interpreters looked to the Vatican and for 1600 years, the argument seemed valid. Until the arrival of the generation to whom the prophecy was written.

“And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are CLOSED UP AND SEAL TILL THE TIME OF THE END. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; BUT THE WISE SHALL UNDERSTAND.” (Daniel 12:9-10)

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on February 26, 2006

Featured Commentary: A Quaking in the Middle East ~Alf Cengia

Heaven and a Billion Dollars

Heaven and a Billion Dollars
Vol: 29 Issue: 16 Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Bible has almost as much to say about heaven as it does about hell. What is heaven really like? Can we know on this side of eternity, or do we have to wait until we get our wings, cloud assignment and tub of cream cheese, first?

First, how many ‘heavens’ are there? The word ‘heaven’ has three meanings in Scripture.Genesis 1:6-8 calls the atmosphere surrounding the earth ‘heaven’.

Genesis 1:14-19 and Psalms 19:1 makes reference to outer space, the abode of the sun, moon and stars, as ‘heaven’.

And finally, heaven is the place where God has His Throne. It is from this ‘heaven’ that Jesus came to the earth.

“And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” (John 3:13)

It is the place to which Jesus ascended after His resurrection.

The Scriptures tell us that heaven is the home of the Living God and of angels too numerous to count.

“But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels.” (Hebrews 12:22)

It is also the abode of the spirits of redeemed men.

“To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect.” (Hebrews 12:23)

This heaven the Apostle Paul called the ‘third heaven’ (2nd Corinthians 12:2). The Bible tells us much about the characteristics of heaven, without ever once mentioning Philly Cream Cheese.

The part most people have the most trouble with is the holy nature of heaven. It is a place without sin or evil. While we like to imagine what that must be like, existence without sin or evil is so unimaginable to our carnal minds that it sounds boring.

Kraft Foods is running a series of commercials in which the boring existence of heaven is livened up a little bit with some Philly cream cheese for years now.

The commercial series is still running because it resonates in our thinking . . . what else IS there to do in heaven except sit on a cloud, play a harp, and pray for a little cream cheese to add some ‘sinful’ excitement to the place?

In truth, it is as impossible for the human mind to grasp existence without sin as it is for us to imagine a new prime color.

It is one reason that even some saved Christians are afraid to die, even if they only admit that fear to themselves. Sin and conflict is all we know, and existence without it, despite our abhorrence of it, doesn’t seem very interesting.

Heaven is a place of worship. The Book of the Revelation depicts heaven as a place of non-stop worship of God, and of the Lamb; by the twenty-four elders, by the four ‘beasts’ that surround God’s Throne, by the innumerable company of angels, and by the spirits of the redeemed.

If I dare to say so, even to the regenerated mind of this redeemed Christian, that sounds a little boring, too.

Heaven is also a place of unimaginable beauty. “Unimaginable” is a word that gets used a lot by we mortals to describe heaven. There’s a reason for that.

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

Whether saved or lost, it is beyond the scope of human limitations to imagine what heaven is like.

But we know some concrete facts about heaven. We know, for example, that there are mansions there, prepared for us by Jesus Christ Himself;

“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.” (John 14:2)

We know that there are rivers (Revelation 22:1); trees (22:2); horses (Revelation 19:14); heavenly odors and constant music (Psalms 45:8).

Heaven is a place devoid of unpleasantness; Revelation 21:4 tells us that in heaven, there is no sorrow, no pain, and no death.

Heaven, the Scriptures say, is a place where everybody attains their earthly goal of being just like Jesus.

“For both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren.” (Hebrews 2:11)

In Heaven, we will recognize our loved ones and each other. Luke 10:20 tells us that our names are recorded in heaven and we will be known by our names.

Moses and Elijah were recognized by Peter even though he had never seen them before. (Matthew 17:3-4)

The rich man in hell that Jesus described in Luke 16:23 recognized and knew — by name — both Lazarus and Abraham. In heaven, we will have perfect recognition.

It is unreasonable to assume that I can recognize my friends and family now, here on earth, but once having reached heaven, I will know less than I do now.

The Scriptures promise I will know MORE, not less.

To my mind, heaven makes the same kind of picture that a billion dollars does. I know it exists, it know its a enormous number, but a billion dollars is not something that makes a picture in my mind.

It would take thirty-two years, working 24/7, just to COUNT a billion one dollar bills.

A billion dollars, even to a billionaire, gets lumped into the generic mental folder of ‘a lot’. We know what a billion dollars IS, in the abstract. But in practical terms, it’s more than you can imagine.

About the closest I can come to getting a practical mental image of heaven is by starting in reverse.

Many times in my mind’s eye, I return to the sand dunes along the beach, looking out at the Atlantic, listening the crashing of the surf, smelling the salt in the air, feeling the warm ocean breezes against my skin . . . it was to THIS place that God cast the devil and his angels as punishment for their rebellion.

The angels hate it here. The heavenly angels avoid it unless sent by God. The Scriptures say they are mystified by man’s love for the things of the world.

The fallen angels hate it — and us even more — because they were banished to the ‘cosmosdiabolicus’ — at the center of which is that beautiful ocean beach I love so much.

To the angels that have seen heaven, that beautiful white-sand beach, crashing surf, warm ocean breezes and the smell of the sea-salt in the air is the worst place God could have banished them to.

We cannot imagine heaven, but we can imagine the most heavenly place on earth. And we have the testimony of the angels that the most heavenly place on earth is a horrific wasteland by comparison with heaven.

And heaven is filled with the Presence of the Lord. That indescribable feeling that we have with our Savior during those fleeting moments when He makes his Presence known to us in prayer is a permanent condition in heaven.

That little ‘witness’ we sometimes feel (I think of it as a spiritual ‘hug’) will be replaced with a perfect sense of fellowship with the Lord that will go on for eternity.

We can’t picture heaven. But we can know it is there. And we can know that we will one day see it, with our own eyes.

The Book of Job is, chronologically, one of the oldest books of the Bible, and dates to the time of Abraham. Job lived before Moses received the Law, before Judaism had developed as a religious structure, before there were rabbis, interpreters or teachers.

Job lived before Judaism introduced the religious concept of the resurrection of the dead or the existence of either heaven or hell.

What Job knew was revealed to him by God Himself;

“For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see FOR MYSELF; and MINE eyes shall behold, and NOT ANOTHER; though my reins be consumed within me.” (Job 19:25-27)

“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:” (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Heaven is real. Hell is real. Salvation is real.

And so is judgment.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on October 10, 2008

Featured Commentary: The Night of Broken Glass ~J.L. Robb

He Only Thought He Was Saved. . .

He Only Thought He Was Saved. . .
Vol: 29 Issue: 15 Wednesday, November 15, 2017

I was talking with a friend when the topic turned to a mutual acquaintance who got saved but about six months later, he was right back where he had been before meeting Christ.

My friend, who shares my faith in the doctrine of eternal security remarked, “I guess he only THOUGHT he was saved.”

I suppose my friend made that assumption because of his bedrock faith that salvation is a one-time event that cannot be repeated.  In that regard, he has Scripture firmly on his side.

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

This is an interesting passage in that I’ve heard it used as a “proof text” against the doctrine of eternal security.  In point of fact, it teaches the opposite.  The Scripture says it is impossible for a saved person that falls away to be renewed unto repentance because it would require crucifying the Lord again.

It baffles me how that verse can be construed to mean that one can lose one’s salvation because it so clearly says that is impossible.  When Jesus prayed in Gethsemane, He prayed:

“those that Thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.” (John 17:12)

My friend said that Judas was the example of a guy that thought he was saved but he really wasn’t.  I can’t get there from here, since before Pentecost, NONE of the Apostles had any assurance of salvation.  Salvation requires the Presence of the Holy Spirit.

Without His Presence, the things of the Spirit are foolishness.

“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)

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)

The Holy Spirit did not indwell the Apostles until Pentecost.  Prior to the infilling of the Spirit, they were afraid, cowering in hiding, until the Holy Spirit came upon them.  With the infilling of the Spirit comes the assurance of salvation, after which they became bold as lions.

They didn’t become perfect.  Sometime in the winter of AD 51 the Apostle Peter made a visit to Antioch.  At first, he made a great effort to live like the Jewish converts of the church at Antioch.  From there, he preached to the Gentiles, and even sat with them to eat.

Then messengers arrived from the Lord’s half-brother, James in Jerusalem.  James wanted to strengthen the Jewish identity of converts from Judaism.

This was James’ justification for interfering in Antioch.  He felt that he had the right to demand a much higher standard of Jewish observance from the Jewish converts there.  Above all they were not to trust pagans and, in consequence, could no longer eat with them.

Only in isolation could Jews preserve their traditional values.  They began to teach that in order to be saved, one had to obey Jewish law.  Peter and Barnabas were swept into this movement.  When the Apostle Paul arrived in Antioch, he went ballistic.

“But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. . . Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” (Galatians 2:11,16)

Either Peter and James were teaching falsely, or the Apostle Paul was, since they were teaching conflicting doctrines. 

Wait!  Are you saying that Peter and James were false teachers?  Well, if they weren’t then Paul was because things, (including doctrines) that are different are not the same.  And the doctrine that Peter and James were teaching was salvation by works.

Did that mean they only thought they were saved?

On the other hand, Paul was teaching salvation by grace through faith and not of works.  Did Peter stand up to Paul and defend his doctrine?  Or did Peter accept the rebuke and correct his doctrine?

In 2 Peter 3:16 Peter refers to Paul’s letters as “scripture” indicating Peter’s respect for Paul’s authority.  But nowhere does the Bible suggest Peter needed to get saved again after teaching false doctrine.

Neither is there any suggestion he had only thought he was saved until he received Paul’s rebuke and correction.  Yet Peter and James and Barnabas had all been saved out of Judaism and there they were, trying to Judaize converts to Christianity.

They were just like the guy that got saved and six months later, he was right back where he started.

Assessment:

Do you recall the day you were saved?  Do you recall the moment when you knew that you were washed clean in the Blood of the Lamb?  Do you recall that moment of sinlessness when you prayed through the tears for Jesus to save you?

The Bible teaches that at that moment, your eternity was as certain as if you were already in heaven.

“Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:” (Ephesians 2:5-6)

At that moment when you were saved, the Bible says you were transformed from what you had been, either a Jew or a Gentile, into a new creature.

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

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

“Creature” is an unfortunate rendering of the original ktisis which means, “creation.”  Let’s substitute creation and see how it reads then.

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

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

It’s not that complicated, really.  WHO is the Creator?  Are YOU the creator?  No?  Then if YOU aren’t the Creator, then Who created the new creature?  Was it YOU by your action of calling on Jesus?  Or was it the Creator in response to your action?

So, at the moment when you were saved, God stepped into action, transforming you into a newcreature that had not existed prior to that moment.  That’s what the Bible says, (unless you intend to claim the title of Creator.)

Now to summarize.  At that moment when you were saved, you were transformed into a new spiritual creation of God.  Unless you have God-like power, you cannot transform yourself into a new creature.  Can you?

But if you sin enough, you can transform yourself back?

What if you think you are saved but you are not?  Frankly, I do not see how that can be possible.  If a person wants to be saved, the Bible explains how.  In all of Scripture, there is no other place where the question is asked and answered more clearly than the jailer in Acts.

“And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” (Acts 16:30-31)

Is it possible to sincerely think you believe when you really don’t?  It is possible to believe and then doubt, or to believe and then be proved wrong, but I do not see how it is possible to sincerely thinkone is a believer at the moment one first believes.

Everybody wants to believe it is possible to reach some kind of spiritual state of nirvana where they don’t sin, even if they’ve never experienced it themselves.  It is discouraging when they can’t.  And they can’t because it is not true.

Sinning is what human beings do.  Guilt is the most important tool in the enemy’s arsenal of weapons against us.  We find it hard to forgive ourselves.  But the Lord God knows what we do not, and He forgives us when we ask Him.

Every time we ask Him.  And His forgiveness is perfect.

“As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalms 103:12)

“For I will be merciful in their unrighteousness, and their sins and transgressions will I remember no more.” (Hebrews 8:12)

“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)

It is the nature of man to sin.  It is the nature of God to forgive.  All we need do is ask.

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

Featured Commentary: Swarms Without Number ~Wendy Wippel

Dispensational Truth

Dispensational Truth
Vol: 29 Issue: 14 Tuesday, November 14, 2017

There is a widely-held heresy within the Church that stems from wrongly dividing the Word of Truth that views the Church Age as a continuation of the Age of the Law.

In this view, the Church is the inheritor of the promises of Abraham, the new ‘chosen people’ to whom the Abrahamic Covenant was transferred. The modern Jew, in this view, is no longer part of the eternal plan of God.

Since the Old Testament promises of riches and glory have been transferred from the Jew to the Church, Israel is just another country.

Which is why so many mainstream Protestant churches are taking actions like ‘divestiture’ to punish Israel for its treatment of the Palestinians without worrying they may be interfering with God’s Plan for the Ages.

God has no eternal plan that presently includes the Jews, they believe.

Called ‘New Covenant’ or ‘Replacement Theology’, this view postulates that all prophecy was concluded with the destruction of the Temple in AD 70, that the Emperor Nero was the antichrist, and that the role of the Church is to bring about the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth before Christ can return at His second Coming. 

Without an understanding of Dispensational truth, confusion reigns supreme and the Bible becomes a mass of contradictions. 

For example, which is the truth? “And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.” (Deuteronomy 19:21).

Or. . . “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” (Matthew 5:38-39)

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

“And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them:” (Revelation 13:7)

How does one rightly divide two conflicting verses? Is it an eye for an eye, or turn the other cheek. 

Do we overcome because of the indwelling Holy Spirit? Does that mean the antichrist overcomes the Holy Spirit when he makes war with the Tribulation saints and overcomes them?

Clearly, both cannot simultaneously be true. If there is no divide between Dispensations, if replacement theology is correct, half the Bible needs to be tossed out. 

To get around this difficulty, they teach that Revelation is filled with symbolism and none of it is intended to be taken literally. 

One of the most common objections to Dispensationalism offered by Preterists and Covenant theologians is that, according to them, it was an invention based on a ‘vision’ ascribed to a young Scottish girl named Margaret MacDonald. 

As they tell it, in 1830, she had a vision about the end of the world and when she came out from under her trance, she wrote it down. This account attracted the attention of Edward Irving and his church later claimed Margaret as one of their own prophetesses. 

Irving also had an interest in prophecy and held prophetic conferences. The historian of Irving’s church claimed that Margaret was the first person to teach a two stage second coming of Christ.

John Darby traveled to Scotland to visit the MacDonald home. Darby was a lawyer until a year after his conversion when he was ordained a deacon in the Church of England. Soon after entering the ministry he became disillusioned with the institutional church and started the Brethren movement in Plymouth, England. 

Darby became known as the ‘father’ of Dispensationalism, the first eschatology to incorporate the ‘prophecy’ of Margaret MacDonald. Darby continued to develop this new view by becoming the first to make a radical distinction between Israel and the Church. 

Darby taught that God has two special groups of people (or two Brides) and a separate plan for each of them. This meant Christ would have to return twice.

Covenant theologians sneer that, “this secret rapture was so secret that no one had ever heard of it for 1800 years!” 

Assessment:

First, let’s clearly define what Dispensationalism means; “the act of dispensing or something dispensed; a specific arrangement or system by which something is dispensed.”

Moses dispensed the Law. The word ‘dispensation’ does not mean a period of time. It means the dispensing of a particular message or ministry. For example, the Church Age began at Pentecost and will end at the Rapture. 

“. . .Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. (Acts 1:11)

The Margaret MacDonald story has been told and retold so many times that most Covenant theologians can recite it in their sleep. There is something about Dispensationalism that makes them see red. 

Most Dispensationalists couldn’t care less whether or not a segment of the Church believes it will go through the Tribulation. I am among that group. 

If somebody trusts Christ for his salvation, but disagrees with the timing, (or even the doctrine) of a secret Rapture, they are still saved. 

But I’ve yet to discuss Dispensationalism with Covenant (or replacement) theologians without being called names like ‘false teacher’ and ‘liar’. The Margaret MacDonald story is included in every missive, so that ‘ignorant’ can be added to the list. 

Is it true? Was the doctrine of Dispensationalism born out of the vision of a Scottish schoolgirl and nurtured by a church who proclaimed her a ‘prophetess’? Is Dispensationalism, as replacement theology teaches, such a secret that nobody had heard of it for 1800 years? 

In 177 AD, which is, ummm, like 1829 years ago, Irenaeus wrote in ‘Against Heresies (1.10) 

“What the church believes: One God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things; and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who became incarnate for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit, who PROCLAIMED THROUGH THE PROPHETS THE DISPENSATONS OF GOD, and the advents, and the birth from a virgin, and the passion, and the resurrection from the dead, and the ascension into heaven in the flesh of the beloved Christ Jesus, our Lord, and His future manifestation from heaven.”

In addressing the teachings of an heretical sect called ‘Montanists” (today we’d call them ‘replacement theologians) Irenaeus wrote; 

“Montanists set at naught the gift of the Spirit, which in the latter times has been, by the good pleasure of the Father, poured out upon the human race, do not admit that aspect of the EVANGELICAL DISPENSATION presented by John’s Gospel, in which the Lord promised that He would send the Paraclete (John 16); but set aside at once both the Gospel and the prophetic Spirit.”

In ‘Against Heresies’ 3:15 Irenaeus wrote, “Jesus and the Father are the only true God. Jesus gave Moses the dispensation of the Law.”

And, “Some of the orthodox are ignorant of God’s dispensations.” (Against Heresies 5.32)

Clement of Alexandria (192 AD — 1,812 years ago) in his ‘Stromata (5.3) identified seven distinct Dispensations of God, including the present Age of Grace. 

Origin taught Dispensationalism in 230 AD (1,774 years ago). Justin Martyr taught in the 1st century that there were four phases, or dispensations’ of human history; Adam to Abraham, Abraham to Moses, Moses to Christ, and Christ to the eternal state. 

So, if the early Church fathers taught Dispensationalism, then why so much focus on Margaret MacDonald? How come nobody was teaching it, say, in 1492? 

An honest reading of history provides the answer. 

When the Emperor Constantine declared Christianity the state Church of Rome, he set into motion a codification process in which ultimately r
esulted in the Bible being restricted to members of the clergy. 

This period is known to history as the ‘Dark Ages’. It wasn’t until the Bible was made available to the common man that the Protestant Reformation began to take place in the 15th century. 

And the Protestant Church was born out of the Roman Catholic Church. While it rejected Catholicism’s teaching of salvation by works, it carried with it much of its doctrine, including that of replacement theology. 

For almost three hundred years, the Protestant Church continued to accept the Catholic doctrine of replacement theology without challenge. Until Dr. C. I. Schofield reviewed and advanced the teachings of the early Church, publishing his findings in the Schofield Reference Bible. 

The Scofield Reference Bible attempted to set in order the right divisions of God’s purpose as Scofield understood it. And it is important to note that there is very little similarity between the writings of Scofield and the writings of Darby, despite being assigned joint credit for ‘inventing’ the doctrine by its critics.

As Christians, we are obligated to search the Scriptures and see if the Bible teaches different dispensations, and if it does, we are obligated to embrace its teaching. If it does not, we are bound to reject it. 

There are three things to keep in mind about dispensational teaching. First, it maintains a distinction between Israel and the Church, recognizing God has an eternal, unchanging, a Plan for Israel and a different Plan for the Church during the Church Age. 

The second is that Dispensationalists hold to a literal interpretation of the Bible, instead of spiritualizing a text or making everything a ‘type’. 

Thirdly, Dispensationalists believe God’s purpose is much bigger than the salvation of mankind. God’s purpose centers in His glory. 

It was at the Cross we get in on God’s blessings and Purpose. However, the Cross is not the center or the end of God’s Plan. 

The Bible teaches that there have been and will be saved Jews and Gentiles who are not part of the present body of Christ. Moses and Abraham come to mind. So does the Gentile King, Melchizidek. And the Bible teaches that Enoch was not only saved, he was raptured early.

After the Church Age, the Bible teaches that all Israel will be saved at the end of the Tribulation. 

Dispensationalists also believe in a literal thousand-year rule of Christ on earth. During that time, Scripture says Israel will be the head of nations and Jerusalem will be the center of government.

The Bible is all about God’s kingdom and His Son ruling over it. This is the part where the replacement theologians start turning red. Dispensationalists believe that there is a place for the Jew, the Gentile and the Church of God in this eternal purpose. Those saved in this age comprise the mystery Church, the Body of Christ. 

Replacement theology cuts the Jew out of God’s Plan, blurs the line between Christian and Gentile, and assumes unto the Church the Promises of God to Israel. 

Therefore, according to the modern interpretation of replacement theology, modern-day Israel isn’t really the Israel of the Bible. It has no special spiritual connection to the Land. This theological worldview is behind most mainstream Protestant churches sharing the Vatican’s unwavering support for the Palestinian cause. 

Replacement theology is also the root cause of modern anti-Semitism. This is why those who hold to it get so nasty when attacking Dispensationalism. If Dispensationalist truth IS truth, then they have a problem with Genesis 12:3. 

“And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”

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

The Logic of Anti-Semitism

The Logic of Anti-Semitism
Vol: 29 Issue: 13 Monday, November 13, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Assessment:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It defies logical explanation.

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

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

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

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

This, too, defies logical explanation.

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

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

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

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

Who or what turned it a war zone?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No other explanation makes logical sense.

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

Featured Commentary: House of Cards ~Pete Garcia

The Cost of Freedom

The Cost of Freedom
Vol: 29 Issue: 11 Saturday, November 11, 2017

I wasted a couple of hours one night recently doing a little late-night channel surfing. It was one of those strange, insomniac nights where it’s impossible to stay away sitting up, and impossible to sleep lying down.

So I settled into a chair, turned on the History Channel and drifted in and out of sleep. 

The mind is a funny thing. In that strange place somewhere between half-asleep and fully awake, you never know where it will decide to focus itself. . .

At one point, one of those Craftmatic Adjustable Bed commercials came on. I bet I’ve seen that commercial a thousand times in the past thirty years. 

Happy people sitting up in beds contorted to resemble mountain roads, reading, chatting, eating . . . (everything but sleeping) and all, it would seem, for free. 

I lost count after the tenth time the announcer uttered the word ‘free’ but I counted fourteen times the word ‘free’ either flashed on the screen or appeared in the text message at the end. 

If there is any cost to the consumer for this amazing Bed of the Future, you can’t tell from Craftmatic’s commercial, but if you call right now, they’ll give you a FREE TV — as a 5,000 word disclaimer in 6 point font explains that the ‘free’ offer is “subject to the consumer. . . blah, blah, blah.” 

(That’s as far as I’ve ever gotten before the scene switches back to the announcer telling me to ‘act now to get the ‘free’ offer.’) 

There is no word among the language of human beings that carries more meaning that the word free

Offer something — ‘for free!’– and you can evidently convince large numbers of people that they’d sleep more comfortably folded like a taco. (That Craftmatic commercial has been on TV for more than thirty years for a reason).

Nothing sells a product or an idea like attaching the word ‘free’ to it. The Founding Fathers ‘sold’ the colonists on going to war with what was at the time, the world’s greatest superpower, by sprinkling their documents, pamphlets and speeches liberally with the word, ‘free’ and its derivative, ‘freedom.’ 

Christians often ‘close the sale’ to the lost sinner on his need for salvation by explaining the wonderful sense of freedom in Christ. 

American foreign policy abroad is dedicated to the mission of advancing freedom on the theory that truly free societies are peaceful societies. 

To a native-born American, freedom is like the air we breathe. (If you were to ask a person what is the most important ingredient to long life, you’d get a million answers before anybody thought of mentioning ‘air’.) 

America sells itself to the world as a ‘bastion of freedom’ — ask any naturalized American what is the secret to America’s greatness and he’ll answer with hesitation, “freedom.” 

Indeed, freedom is so indelibly part of being an American that ‘freedom’ would probably not even make the top five on the list for a native-born son of Uncle Sam. Americans seldom even think of freedom unless one of those freedoms are threatened. 

You can use the concept of freedom to sell a lot of things, and a lot of ideas. Tack ‘free’ onto anything and you can sell it, from hydraulic beds that come with a ‘free’ TV for those inevitable sleepless nights you’ll have — thanks to your Craftmatic bed’s 10,000 positions — to selling the murder of the unborn as a matter of ‘free’ conscience or ‘freedom of choice.’

Like I said, there is no other word quite like ‘free’ among the languages of men. It means something different to everyone, depending on the context, and it is a word that can be attached to any other word — except itself. 

Because there is nothing on this earth more expensive than ‘freedom’. 

Assessment:

In an exercise of ‘free speech’, the city of Berkeley, California (which prides itself on being America’s bastion of ‘free speech’) passed a city ordinance denouncing the US Marines manning the US Marine Recruiting Center in downtown Berkeley as “uninvited and unwelcome intruders.” 

To add insult to injury, the City Council voted to impose the same zoning restrictions on Marine recruitment stations as are imposed on pornographic movie theaters. 

To make certain nobody missed the message, the Council also voted to grant special parking privileges directly in front of the recruiting center to the militant granny group, “Code Pink“. 

Code Pink has been picketing the center for months, defacing the building with graffiti calling the Marines “assassins” (and worse) and the City Council thought it might be nice if all those grannies didn’t have to walk so far to the recruiting office carrying those big heavy signs. 

Video of the Council meeting showed city officials trashing the Marines, calling them “the President’s own gangsters” and “trained killers” who are known for “death and destruction and maiming.” 

(I’m sure that Berkely’s City Council meant that last crack as an insult. But since Marines greet each other as “Devil Dogs” and pride themselves on “heartbreakers and life-takers” — it was an accidental compliment. Allow me to acknowledge it on behalf of my Corps brethren. “Ummm, thanks!” ) 

But, as I said, I don’t think they meant the ‘trained killers’ with a reputation for ‘death and destruction’ crack, as a compliment. 

Especially after one of the council members complained that the Marine’s presence was responsible for “horrible karma.” Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates offered to “help” the Marines evacuate. 

Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin and her troop of militant grannies gloated over the vote and turned up at the recruitment center to rub salt in the wound: 

“We are the defenders of democracy, the upholders of the Constitution. If it weren’t for people like the people in Berkeley, standing up for what they believe, we’d be living under Hitler.”

To demonstrate their willingness to fiercely defend democracy against the likes of the US Marines, Code Pink’s warriors then publicly defaced the Marine recruitment center again, stretching a banner covered with bloody handprints across the window — while the Marine recruiters attempted to do their duty to their country inside. 

It’s a free country, and Code Pink was simply exercising their freedom of speech, explained Berkeley police. 

So instead of arresting them for defacing US government property, Berkley gave them preferred parking — and a free sound permit in the event their demonstrations violated local noise ordinances. 

Berkeley’s ‘defenders of free speech’ were immediately blasted on Youtube, the internet and talk radio. The San Francisco-based Move America Forward, led by talk show host/conservative activist Melanie Morgan, launched an online petition protesting the city council measures. 

The American Legion’s National Commander issued a statement on behalf of America’s veterans blasting the Council decision, saying, 

“Without recruiters we have no military. And I don’t think we can count on the flower children from Berkeley to protect this nation when it comes under attack. They have to remember that Marines are not the enemy; the terrorists are.”

The’ horrible karma’ Berkeley feared the Marine’s presence in their city might bring turned out to be nothing compared to karmic peril of trying to kick them out. Republican Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina moved to strip Berkeley of pork barrel spending worth $2.3 million. 

“Berkeley needs to learn that their actions have consequences,” DeMint said in a statement. “Patriotic American taxpayers won’t sit quietly while Berkeley insults our brave Marines and tries to run them out of town. Berkeley City Council members have shown complete ingratitude to our military and their families, and the city doesn’t deserve a single dime of special pet project handouts.”

The City of Free Speech was stunned. San Jose’s KNTV interviewed perplexed (and woefully uninformed) Berkeley Code P
ink member Xanne Joi. 

“I was under the impression that we have the right of free speech,” she protested. “To me, I thought free speech meant you get to say what you want without recrimination.” 

In other words, “my freedom of speech is more important than your freedom of speech.” Being ‘free of recrimination’ assures Code Pink’s right to free speech is supreme. You have a right to free speech, provided you don’t disagree with Code Pink. 

The ones who pay for those rights with their blood and sweat and suffering, well, they have no rights whatever. 

That’s the thing about freedom. If you get it for free, that’s all its worth to you. Need proof? Attach a price tag to that ‘freedom’. Doesn’t have to be blood or death. Money will do.

That’s what separates the Marines from the ‘free speech freeloaders’ like Berkeley’s flower children. Marines willingly pay the cost of freedom, so that morons like Code Pink don’t (usually) have to. 

Berkeley stood up to the criticism, picking up the smouldering American flag from the dirt, draping themselves in it and the Constitution, bravely enduring the scorn of a nation to uphold their lofty principles. . . did you say $2.3 million? 

Oh yeah, the $2.3 million in federal pork that was earmarked for school lunches, Bay ferry service, disability organizations, UC Berkeley and public safety. 

Representative Jim DeMint introduced a companion bill called the “Semper Fi Act of 2008” to reallocate that federal money earmarked for Berkeley to the US Marines instead. 

Suddenly, Berkeley’s ‘freedom of speech rights’ DID come with a price tag. (Talk about ‘karmic horror’!) 

But not as high a price tag as that paid by the Marines who stand between Code Pink and the terrorists who would as gladly kill militant antiwar grannies as they would steely-eyed “trained killers with a reputation for death and destruction.” 

(They’d prefer it, in fact. Militant antiwar grannies are annoying, but as a fighting force, not that formidable).

In any case, shocked at the prospect of having to endure any kind of sacrifice (who knew?) to uphold their principles, Berkeley’s City Council folded like a lawn chair. 

Freedom is never free. The price paid in blood to secure our freedom by Marines, soldiers, sailors and airmen is incalculable. 

Berkeley claims it exercised that freedom, purchased for them by others, “on principle.” 

Until the city’s fathers realized that this time, freedom was going to call on them to pay their share — in this case, $2.3 million. 

Two of the Council members immediately introduced measures to rescind the previous vote, including Code Pink’s parking privileges. The Mayor issued a public apology. 

Evidently, free speech doesn’t actually mean you get ‘the right to speak without recrimination,’ after all. 

Because if freedom really was free, there wouldn’t be so little of it in the world. 

Semper Fi!

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on March 1, 2008

Discerning the Times

Discerning the Times
Vol: 29 Issue: 10 Friday, November 10, 2017

We live in an age of miracles unlike any the world has ever known. In this generation, man has unlocked the secret of the genome, can ‘create’ life in a test tube, can duplicate that which is already created [cloning], develop medicines and compounds that can prolong life, and it seems as if there is almost nothing that we cannot do.

Science expects to one day be able to control the elements, bring rain where drought is, anticipate natural disasters like earthquakes, and perhaps, even prevent them.

We can travel outside our atmosphere, and one day expect to reach distant stars. In the natural, it would seem that there is nothing we will not eventually be able to do.

Science has pretty much been able to naturalize, internalize and explain away what were, in previous generations, miracles, reducing them to probabilities, equations, charts and graphs.

With one exception. We can do everything except tell the future. The future contains too many variables to accurately predict. Take the restoration of Israel, for example. Israel was destroyed in 702 BC by the Assyrian king, Sargon II, who conquered the kingdom of Israel.

It was common practice for a conqueror to uproot and displace the conquered people to another part of the empire, repopulating that place with a conquered people from somewhere else.

The reason for that was to separate a people from their land, which effectively prevented uprisings. The northern Kingdom of Israel was scattered throughout the Assyrian Empire, and was effectively lost to history, leaving only the tiny southern kingdom of Judah.

A century later, the Kingdom of Judah was similarly conquered by the Kingdom of Babylon, who also displaced its population, deporting them into captivity in Babylon.

To a Jew living in Babylon during the Captivity, it seemed certain that Judah would go the way of Israel and would similarly be lost to history.

Yet the prophets of the Captivity, like Daniel and Ezekiel, wrote confidently that in the last days, there would again be a nation called ‘Israel’ and that its citizens would once again inhabit the same piece of real estate from which they had been displaced, seemingly forever.

Yet Ezekiel wrote,

“And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.” (Ezekiel 34:13)

The Jews would be gathered from the countries, and brought into THEIR OWN LAND, upon the mountains of ISRAEL, and not some other place.

Writing of the Gog Magog invasion, God inspired Ezekiel to prophesy;

“After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.” (Ezekiel 38:8)

In this passage, we find the time frame in which Ezekiel’s prophecy would come to pass — ‘after many days, in the latter years’. And again, we find that it is not Judah, but ISRAEL, of whom the prophet prophesied. That they would be ‘brought forth from the nations’ to a land that had ‘always been waste’ — until they returned.

For more than 2,500 years, this prophecy remained dormant, until, on May 14, 1948, the survivors of the Holocaust were ‘brought forth’ under the banner of ‘never again’ to the ‘mountains of Israel’ — which ‘had always been waste’ as the nation of ‘Israel’.

In his book, ‘Personal Witness’ Abba Eban, one of the founders of Israel, noted that when David Ben-Gurion cabled President Truman to ask the United States to recognize the Jewish state, the Jews still hadn’t decided what to call it.

Eban noted, ‘Some wanted to call it Zion, others Judah . . .what about ‘Israel’?’ The name was chosen only hours before the state came into existence.

In 1897, the 1st Zionist Congress petitioned the government of Great Britain for a Jewish state in what is today the African country of Uganda. The British told the Jews to petition the Ottoman Empire, who at that time controlled Palestine.

The Jews would have settled for Uganda as a Jewish homeland, but the prophets said that the Jewish homeland of the last days would be ‘on the mountains of Israel’. And that is exactly what happened.

The prophet Daniel, also writing from captivity in Babylon, penned the future history of Israel, [a nation that had not existed for a century] dividing its future into 70 weeks of years. During the 70th and final week, Daniel prophesied the revival of an empire [Rome] that, in Daniel’s day, would not see its FIRST incarnation for another 500 years.

Today, the nation of Israel exists, composed of a people ‘brought forth from the nations’ while, for the first time in 2000 years, a European superstate made up of what had once been the territory of the Roman Empire, seeks involvement in a peace process that Daniel said would be confirmed by a leader of a revived Rome.

Israel was reborn in 1948, as the embryonic European Community of nations was being born out of the 1948 Benelux Treaty.

According to Jesus, the generation that would see His return would be one in which there would be;

“signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” (Luke 21:25-26)

It would be a period of ‘wars and rumors of wars,’ when,

“nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.” (Matthew 24:6-7)

Jesus noted that;

“All these are the beginning of sorrows” (v.8)

Bible prophecy was given the Church so that,

“ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it [His return] is nigh, even at the doors.” (Mark 13:29)

We are indeed living in the ‘age of miracles’ but they are miracles of God, against which the miracles of science cannot possibly compete.

We in this generation have been given the unspeakable gift of certainty that the Lord is about to return, a warning that time is running out, and a renewed commission to go out into all the earth and make disciples of all nations, before time has run out.

No man can know the future, but the God of Creation foretold it –in detail — so that there could be no misunderstanding. The Lord is about to return.

“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1st Corinthians 15:51-52)

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

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

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on February 15, 2005

Featured Commentary: On Seeing the Face of God ~Alf Cengia

Faith Without Works is Dead

Faith Without Works is Dead
Vol: 29 Issue: 9 Thursday, November 9, 2017

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

Have You Considered the Jew?

Have You Considered the Jew?
Vol: 29 Issue: 8 Wednesday, November 8, 2017

”And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3)

There is a legendary story concerning an agitated Frederick the Great, who, in frustration, demanded from his cabinet that somebody provide him with proof of the existence of God. There was a momentary silence, before one of his counsellors spoke up; “Have you considered the Jew, your Majesty?”, he asked.

The continuing existence of the Jew is proof positive of God’s existence, just as the existence of a Jewish State is proof positive that we are living in the last days of human government as foretold by the Bible prophets of antiquity.

There are three distinct statements made within the Divine promise of blessing given to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The first is that God will bless those who bless the Jews.

When the United States wrested its seat at the council of nations from England, it became the first nation on earth to grant full citizenship to Jews.

It was the first nation to allow the Jews an unrestricted vote. It was the first nation to recognize the incomparable blessing the Jewish people have been to humanity.

America’s second president, John Adams, said of the Jews,

“The Jews have done more to civilize men than any other Nation. They are the most glorious Nation that ever inhabited the earth. The Romans and their Empire were but a bauble in comparison to the Jews. They have given religion to three-quarters of the globe and have influenced the affairs of Mankind more, and more happily than any other Nation, ancient or modern.”

And no nation on the face of the planet today, or at any time in recorded history, has been more greatly blessed than the United States of America.

The second is that God promised that in the Jews ‘shall all families of the earth be blessed’.

Without the Jews, there would be no Bible. Jesus came to earth as a Jew. Without the Jewish Jesus, there would be no Christianity.

Apart from the theoligical argument, a quick look at the last hundred years or so proves the promise isn’t confined to religious blessings alone.

From 1901 to 2001, the world’s six billion people competed for the scarce 844 Nobel Prizes that have been awarded. Among those six billion people are nearly two billion Muslims — roughly 20 percent of the global population.

Of those two billion Muslims, 8 have been singled out to receive the Nobel Prize – (seven if you consider that one of them was a politically-motivated award mistakenly given unrepentant terrorist Yasser Arafat)

In any case, Muslims account for less than one percent of the total Nobel Prizes awarded in the last hundred years.

In the middle of the 20th century, the Nazis exterminated some six million Jews, more than half the world’s Jewish population. There are today about fourteen million Jews left.

Even with half their number exterminated at the century’s midpoint, 159 of the remaining 836 Nobel Prizes were awarded to Jews, or roughly 18.8% of all the Nobel Prizes awarded in Nobel’s history.

(If you’re keeping track, that is about twenty times as many prizes divided among fourteen million Jews than were shared by the 2 billion Muslims world-wide.)

In America, the influence of American Jews is hugely disproportionate to their numbers. Conspiracists point darkly to the ‘Jewish influence’ in education, banking, law, medicine, government, media and entertainment as evidence of a Jewish conspiracy to control the world.

They accurately point out that American Jewry accounts for less than 2% of America’s general population, but then draw their conclusions without the benefit of Scriptural discernment.

The ‘Jewish influence’ in American life is part of God’s blessing on America — the ‘Jewish conspiracy’ canard given them in reward is part of God’s curse on Israel.

“Then will I pluck them up by the roots out of My land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for My Name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations. ” (2nd Chronicles 7:20)

The curse was partially lifted, beginning in 1948, but will not be entirely lifted until the close of the Tribulation Period.

“And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong.” (Zechariah 8:13)

The Jews have returned to the Land, but they remain a ‘proverb and a byword among all nations’ to this day.

Finally, God promised that He would ‘curse them that curse you’. The precision with which God kept this promise is nothing less than astonishing.

During the Crusades from 1095 to 1270, Jews in Southern Europe fled to Spain, England, Scandinavia, and Eastern Europe as the result of severe persecution and wholesale massacres of the Jews.

England turned out to be the wrong place to go, because in 1290 King Edward I expelled the Jews. King Charles II did the same thing in 1394 in France by forcing all Jews from France. Interestingly, Spanish Jews found peace and security in Spain and Portugal while those countries were under Muslim rule.

At that point in history, Europe was fractured, ignorant and in constant turmoil, while that same period of time is known to history as the Golden Age of Islam.

The Moors were world-renowned for their knowledge of astronomy, medicine and science and the Islamic world boasted the most extensive libraries that had ever existed to that time.

In the 1400s, the Moors were kicked out of Spain by the Papal forces of Europe. In 1492, on the same day Columbus set sail for the New World, Spain expelled any uncoverted Jews who had survived the Spanish Inquisition. This time they fled back to England where the Protestant reformation now welcomed them.

Spain’s global empire lasted less than a century after it expelled its Jews, to be replaced by the Jew-friendly British Empire whose reach extended to every corner of the globe. In 1917, the British captured Palestine from the Muslims. The British Crown offered the Jews a homeland via the Balfour Declaration, and a year later, England won the First World War.

After the war, the British broke most of their promises to the Jews, restricted Jewish immigration to the Holy Land, and in the years since, have increasingly turned their backs on the Jews that brought them such great blessings for more than three hundred years.

The British Empire upon which ‘the sun never set’ in 1900, had, by 1948, lost its last colony when Burma declared independence, and the British Empire was no more.

In 1933, Germany was among the most cultured and sophisticated nations in Europe. Old Berlin was Europe’s Crown Jewel. The Nazis turned on the Jews, together with most of Eastern Europe, and twelve years later, Europe’s Crown Jewel was pile of burning rubble.

The Arab world, which had been so blessed during its Golden Age, collapsed into its present state of affairs, with most of it still operating as if electricity had never been harnessed.

The Arab Muslims supported Hitler, opposed Jewish immigration, waged repeated wars against Israel, deny Israel its rightful territory, and now mount a global jihad to finish Hitler’s goal of total extermination. The backward nature of modern Islamic culture and society are the fruits of those efforts.

Assessment:

Historically, wherever the Jews were welcomed, that nation flourished and prospered. Where the Jew was persecuted, those nations floundered.

It is more than just coincidence, it is an identifiable historical pattern that has continued, without deviation, since the days of the Babylonian captivity.

Babylon prospered when its Jews prospered, it fell to Persia when Neboplasser turned against them. Persia prospered until it turned on the Jews, whereupon it fell to Alexander’s Greece. And so on, throughout history, up to and including the impending collapse of the rabidly anti-Semitic United Nations.

God’s Word is true, and Bible prophecy is always 100% accurate. Jesus said that, before He returned, ALL Bible prophecy would be fulfilled — to the tiniest ‘jot and tittle’ — (the two most insignificant characters in the Hebrew alphabet)

In tracing Israel’s history from Babylon to the present, we see the incredible detail with which God keeps His Word. Although America continues to be Israel’s principle protector, and continues to enjoy the comcomitant blessings that come with it, America’s good fortunes began to wane about the same time the White House forced Israeli into the Oslo Agreement.

The ‘land for peace’ formula called for Israel to give up some of the land of Promise in exchange for peace. In other words, it was a form of blackmail whose terms were drawn up in Washington and forced upon Israel for the express purpose of undoing what God had already done, including dividing Jerusalem and taking part of it from the Jews.

“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)

People can certainly deny any Biblical connection but the hard reality marches on with the growing shadow now falling across global society. Now it is America’s turn to discover just how serious God was about the whole ‘blessing and cursing’ thing.

And by the time circumstances force America to recognize the danger it faces, it will be too late to do anything to affect the outcome.

“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)

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on October 10, 2004