Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | January 24, 2022

An Eternal’s Perspective on the Supernatural!

A new movie has been released by Disney that tells a story about a group of ten superheroes named “Eternals.” This topic has been popular with fantasy buffs for many years; this time, the Eternal’s must save mankind from a new attack by “The Deviants.” I watched the movie and found it had some interesting moments; fantasy fans may find it entertaining.

While the movie is pure fantasy, it did bring to my mind some reflections on the human condition. (I’ve warned you before, I examine the theological implications of everything.) Humanity lives in a world system that is devoted to a massive deception. The true reality of mankind’s situation has been buried beneath multiple layers of misinformation and outright deception!

I have written on this in a number of earlier essays, including: “Your Dream World and the Blue Pill” and “The Real Matrix Revealed.”

In my mind, the parallels between the movie “Matrix” and our world situation today were, and are, truly amazing. The world system in place today is controlled by Satan and, as usual, Satan is doing all he can to confuse and deceive the human population.

In the “Matrix” story, the main character, Neo, is given the opportunity to take a non-reversible blue pill that will change his life forever and discover for himself what reality is really like; he decides to take the blue pill and his adventures begin.

We too have a blue pill called salvation in Jesus Christ which is also non-reversible; when we take that blue pill we are born again and given spiritual life and God, the Holy Spirit, to live in us forever.

Only then do we have the power of discernment and the ability to distinguish between the Satanic matrix in which we live, and true reality; our adventures have also begun!

Who are the True Eternals?

In the “Eternals” movie, a small group of eternals must fight to overcome an attack on humans. When we look at the world in which we live, we see a vastly different situation; every human born into this world is an eternal and will always live in some form, somewhere, eternally! Every human being is supernatural, we are spirit beings who are eternal in nature and will continue to exist forever!

It pleased our creator to place our eternal spirits in earthen vessels; the challenge to mankind is its limited ability to discern the truth of what is truly real. All we can see or detect is the clay body we occupy, our temporary tents, our true living essence, the eternal spirit breathed into us by God, is totally beyond our ability to detect in any form or fashion.

It is only when we are born again and indwelt by God, the Holy Spirit, that we can finally understand, and perceive by faith, the reality by which we are actually surrounded!

Spiritual reality is revealed by the word of God, the Holy Bible; as we carefully study the Bible, the clarity and depth of our understanding of our true reality and the eternal truths which it encompasses broadens and deepens.

This process of growth in spiritual understanding is a life-long experience; not a day goes by that new insights and discoveries can be made as we carefully study God’s word, the Holy Bible!

Progress and growth come as we let spiritual insight increasingly determine our world-view and begin to more consistently see ourselves and the world from a divine perspective. At almost 89 years of age, I am still, by God’s grace, a work in progress.

Supernatural Beings

How often have you been told you’re a supernatural being? Probably never as the Satanic world system wants to keep a lid on that bit of information! It is only in the Bible that fact is revealed; in Genesis 1:26-27 it is written:

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

The Holy Trinity is the only true reality (see What is Reality) and is inherently supernatural! Mankind was created to be supernatural and placed in a body of the earth to have dominion over the earth and all its inhabitants. This is the message of the Bible to mankind, you are created in the image of God, you too are supernatural by design!

How many people do you know whose perception of the world and themselves is built on a foundation of biblical truth? How many of them see themselves as essentially supernatural and eternal and make their life-decisions based on biblical reality; empirically there is absolutely nothing to support that belief!

Receiving, understanding, and applying Biblical truth to life is a work of the Holy Spirit. As the true teacher of biblical truth, it is the ministry and work of the Holy Spirit to illumine the understanding of the Christian who faithfully studies the Holy Bible!

There is a plan and a progression revealed in Romans 8:28-30 where it is written:

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”

I encourage you to submit to and rejoice in this process of being conformed to the image of His Son; let the sure knowledge of your predestination to glorification be a source of unfailing joy!

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | January 17, 2022

What Does Being a Christian Really Mean?

Separating Fact from Fiction

There seems to be a great deal of confusion about what it really means to be a Christian. In the minds of some, being born in a “Christian” nation, or “Christian” family is all it takes. In the minds of some others, simply attending, on occasion or regularly, a Christian church will make you a Christian which is more nonsense!

The truth of the matter is vastly more esoteric then either of those two lines of speculation would suggest. Any individual who receives Jesus Christ as their personal Savior undergoes a profound transformation that changes them forever. This transformation is not of human origin nor can it be achieved by human effort; this transformation is a work of God, the Holy Spirit and results in changes that are eternal.

A New Creation!

The results of this transformation are not visible to our mortal senses, they impact the spiritual, eternal living essence of who we are, not the mortal body we temporarily occupy as our tent! Christians have experienced a transformation by the Holy Spirit into a new creation! In 2 Corinthians 5:17 it is written:

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

At the most important, fundamental level of life, there has been a dramatic reconstruction of who we are; we have been born-again into a new family, the family of God where we will remain eternally! As a guarantee of our new position, we have been given the Holy Spirit to join with us in a perfect union now and forever!

Two Types of Human Beings

There are now two distinct types of human beings living on the earth, members of the family of God and members of the family of Adam. Although everyone starts in the family of Adam, those, who by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, are born-again into the family of God, are given new spiritual life, and given the gift of the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of their new position in the family of God!

The appearance of our tents, our race or nationality is irrelevant and inconsequential, the only distinction that matters is the question of the new birth by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior!

The Doors to the Family of God are Wide Open!

Photo by Patricia McCarty on Pexels.com

When Jesus was speaking to Nicodemus, he mentioned one Old Testament event in John 3:14 where it is written:

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,”

You may recall the incident in Numbers 21:5-9 where we read:

And the people spoke against God and against Moses: “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and our soul loathes this worthless bread.” So the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many of the people of Israel died.

Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord that He take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.”

Logically, how could simply looking at a bronze serpent on a pole heal anyone? It’s certainly not a scientific solution to the problem but it worked.

How is it that simple faith in Jesus Christ as Savior can heal the sin problem that affects all people, it’s not logical or scientific but it works!

Jesus went on to tell Nicodemus in John 3:15-17:

15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

An interesting point occurs to me by way of application; nothing is mentioned about separating Israel from the fiery serpents; the focus was on neutralizing their poison.

Today, when a person is born-again and becomes a child of God; the child remains on this spiritual battlefield called earth, but the Satanic poison has been neutralized by the new birth.

If you are a child of God, I encourage you to look to the cross and let your faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ be your strength and protection. If you remain a child of Adam, I urge you, I encourage you to take that step of faith and look to the cross and live!

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be Saved!

The Destruction of the Last Gentile World Kingdom

The First Advent is History, the Second Advent is Still Future!

The Christian community has recently celebrated the First Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ; the reality of the two advents had been suggested to the Jewish nation prophetically but in a manner which caused confusion. The time lapse between the two advents had not been revealed to them and was a part of the mystery of the church age.

The contrast between the two advents had been clearly revealed, one advent revealed a suffering servant; the other advent revealed a conquering monarch; needless to say, the Jews, under Roman oppression, longed for the conquering monarch but that time was in the distant future. First the suffering servant, then, much later, the conquering monarch.

Standing on the Mount of Olives

We are told in Zechariah 14:4 of the Lord’s return to the Mount of Olives.

And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives,
Which faces Jerusalem on the east.
And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two,
From east to west,
Making a very large valley;
Half of the mountain shall move toward the north
And half of it toward the south.”

The Bible does not clearly specify the sequence of events when comparing the return to the Mount of Olives with the return to defeat the enemy at the Battle of Armageddon. Does the Lord initially descend to the Mount of Olives and then, after the events described in Zachariah, proceed to the Valley at Mount Megiddo to annihilate the enemies there or do just the reverse?

I’ll admit that I do not know that information conclusively from Scripture, but my analysis of the verses leads me to believe the Battle of Armageddon comes first followed by the actual return to earth at the Mount of Olives.

The verse that tilts the balance, in my opinion, is Revelation 19:11 where it is written:

11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.”

This verse makes me think the Lord is descending from heaven as he begins to make war with the assembled armies in the Valley of Megiddo and defeats them with the word of his mouth at the Battle of Armageddon. Another factor was the choice of swords, the (ῥομφαία), rhomphaia was a long sword which could be thrown like a spear and was used for combat at a distance.

After dealing with those armies, he moves on to the Mount of Olives and dismounts from the white horse he had ridden during the Battle of Armageddon and stands on the Mount of Olives!

At that point a series of four events is triggered over the following weeks; the events in Zechariah 14:4-5, delivering Jerusalem; the events in Matthew 24:36-41, removal of unbelievers from the earth; and the events in Daniel 12:1-3 and 12-13, the resurrection of the Tribulation and Old Testament Saints and the restoration of the earth to Millennial conditions.

Events Still Future

While the events described above are still future, as Christians, we are already engaged in a spiritual war. The Bible makes it clear that Christians are already in the midst of a serious spiritual war. In Ephesians 6:10-17

“10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;”

It is important to note there is only one offensive weapon listed, “the sword (μάχαιραν, machaira, used for close combat) of the Spirit, which is the word of God!” While our Lord destroys his foes from a distance, the Christian, who will live his entire mortal life on a spiritual battlefield, uses the short sword, designed for close combat.

As Christians, engaged in spiritual warfare, we are equipped with the same powerful weapon used by the Lord Jesus Christ at the Battle of Armageddon, the “Word of God!” Never underestimate the power of God’s word in Hebrews 4:12 it is written:

12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

TRUST YOUR EQUIPMENT!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | January 1, 2022

Then 2021 Exits Stage Left!

The Inevitability of Passage!

The expression, “and it came to pass,” is used many times in the King James translation of the Bible; when it comes to this world and the circumstances of life, virtually nothing is permanent, all is in a process of passing.

As I approach my 89th birthday, I am fully aware, sometimes painfully aware, of the changes to the tent I have been occupying during the brief years of my mortality. To a much lessor extent, I am aware of changes that have taken place in the lives of others.

It is, in a way, sobering to recall all the changes I’ve witnessed over the years; life is a very transient affair as are particular situations and circumstances; all have come to pass!

Like all the years before it, 2021 has exited the stage of human life and passed into history. Upon reflection, it seems like a rather good thing to see that year in the rear-view mirror. While there were many good things that happened, the bad things seem to dominate my memories. There is really no need to enumerate them here as they are still fresh on the minds of most of us.

What is important to all of us, is to remember that God is working all things after the counsel of his own will; there is nothing that happened last year that was not a part of God’s plans for his creation. Another important point is to also remember God is working all things together for good for his children!

God’s Assembly Instructions for Christians

Fortunately, God does not require we understand what is happening, just to trust him and find our peace and joy in our faith in him! That is a liberating fact of the Christian life, to be sure! I rejoice in the promises given to God’s children in Romans 8:26-30 where it is written:

26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”

Those verses serve as a solid foundation for the Christian life; if we can apply those verses to our lives each and every day, our lives should be filled with the joy of the Lord! While years and circumstances may come to pass, God’s love for us has come to stay!

Let us resolve to follow God’s counsel in 2022 and let Philippians 4:4-9 be our guide:

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”

I encourage you to follow God’s instructions and enjoy God’s peace, the best has yet to come!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | December 27, 2021

The Mysterious Magi and Daniel’s Amazing Prophecy!

Who Were the Magi?

One of the traditional parts of the Christmas story has always been the account of the wise men as related only in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 2, verses 1 – 12. The Greek word used in these verses is μάγοι (magi) which is from a Persian word for men who were expert in the study of the stars and also the word from which we get our English word magic.

This Persian word is equivalent to the Hebrew word chakamim used in the book of Daniel to describe wise men who were one of three different types: astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers.

We learn that Daniel, who was later made chief of the chakamim, was responsible for their deliverance when God enabled him to interpret Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. God’s continued blessings enabled Daniel to become a wealthy and influential leader in the Babylonian Empire who lived a long and successful life, aiding not only the Babylonian leadership but also the Medo/Persian leadership after Babylon fell.

Daniel’s Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks

One of Daniel’s most amazing prophecies concerns the prophecy of the seventy weeks; it is in this prophecy the timing of the Lord’s First Advent is revealed. God revealed to Daniel there would be 70 weeks, or 490 prophetic years, divided into a span of 69 “weeks” which is a prophetic reference to 483 prophetic years and a period of 1 week or 7 years, which would come later. I have written more on this in a three-part series that starts with “The Seventy Weeks of Daniel.”

The 483 years would come to an end when Messiah would be cut off; the prophecy was fulfilled on the 10th of Nisan, March 30, 33 AD on the occasion of the entry of the Lord into Jerusalem. This date is based on the research done by Dr. Harold Hoehner in his book: “Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ,” published by The Zondervan Corporation, 1977, ISBN 0-310-26211-9.

Although the Lord’s entry into Jerusalem is usually portrayed as a triumphal entry, we learn in Luke 19:41 the Lord wept over the city as He beheld it. The Greek work used here is ἔκλαυσεν (eklausen) which is the word for a loud, wracking, sob; this was not just a few tears running down our Lord’s cheeks but a loud sobbing that shook His whole body.

Israel is Set Aside for a Season

It was on this occasion Israel was being set aside for a long period of time during which a people would be called out as the Church, the bride of Christ, the body of Christ. The Church was a mystery hidden from the Old Testament prophets; this mysterious age of grace would continue until the time the church was removed by the Rapture. At some point, after the Rapture, the last seven years promised to Israel would commence as a time of severe judgment on the world but that is a different subject.

There arises now a question of timing; how did the wise men know there was something very special about this star and how does Daniel and his prophecy of the seventy weeks fit into this picture? We can speculate the star/shining appeared to the wise men at the time of the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe it possible, at some point, the star/shining started moving toward the West and would the next night start its Westward movement all over again until the wise men realized the star/shining was inviting them to follow.

An Impressive Caravan

The Bible does not address the subject of the background of the wise men nor does it even tell us how many there were. Because of the three types of gifts it has often been assumed there were three but this is nowhere confirmed by the Bible; the Bible does not even address them as kings, but only as wise men.

There are some who believe the wise men, however many there were, rode on horseback rather than camel and more who believe they were accompanied by a large enough group of men to provide complete protection, serve the traveling needs of the group and properly impress any observer; the Bible is completely silent on these details.

It is at this point I acknowledge I’m speculating when I suggest a possible source for the expensive gifts they gave and their understanding of the timing of this particular star; this particular line of speculation is held by others as well.

Daniel’s Legacy

God so blessed Daniel that he was to be placed by Darius, the Mede, over the entire kingdom much to the distress of the presidents and princes of the land. The result of this distress resulted in Daniel’s lion’s den experience as described in Daniel 6. The reason I mention this was to show the great prominence Daniel had in the kingdom of the Medes and the Persians.

What I believe happened is Daniel, after God’s revelation of the seventy weeks prophecy, established a group of sympathetic chakamim that would preserve a legacy for the coming Messiah. It would be a simple matter for them to determine the 483 years and to calculate the likely date of the birth of Him who was to be cut off at the end of that period.

I think it possible that Daniel entrusted to them the financial resources that would make the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh available at the time of the Messiah’s birth. I believe they were given a time frame during which to expect a special birth which would be signaled in a special way.

What Kind of Star Did They See?

Since one of their areas of expertise was the study of the stars, the appearance of a new star would certainly attract their attention. That brings up the nature of the star that led them to Bethlehem; it’s my speculative opinion that this was not a regular star, but was in fact the Shekinah Glory of God, the glory the shepherds experienced in Luke 2:9.

Although God was certainly at liberty to create a star and move it around as He willed, I’m more inclined to believe that this star-like manifestation was God’s Shekinah Glory. The Greek word used here is astera which can also refer to a luminous, shining body.

In summary what I’m suggesting is Daniel, inspired by the seventy weeks prophecy, established a special group of wise men to hold a legacy in trust and await the arrival of the Messiah. An approximate time frame was provided as to when those entrusted with the legacy could expect the birth of the Messiah. The starting point for the 483 prophetic year countdown came on March 5, 444 BC when Artaxerxes issued the decree noted in Nehemiah 2:1-8 and prophesied 95 years earlier in 539 BC by Daniel in Daniel 9:25.

When the supernatural star-like shining appeared to them in the sky, they correctly interpreted it as the long awaited sign and eventually followed the star/shining to Bethlehem where they were able to worship the Messiah and give Him the gifts that had been entrusted to their predecessors so many centuries before.

It is interesting to note for a time they must have lost sight of the shining; they went to Jerusalem and asked directions from Herod who, after consulting with the chief priests and scribes, sent the wise men to Bethlehem where Herod had been told the Messiah would be born.

In Matthew 2:9 we read the star/shining was now visible again and “went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.” In verse 10 we read: “When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.” I think this joy was based on their temporarily having lost sight of the star/shining which resulted in their effectively announcing the birth of the Messiah to the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem.

Although this is speculation, it is based on fact and is, in my opinion; more plausible than saying these wise men just happened to see the star and just happened to have a small fortune available to give to Him, and just happened to stop by Herod’s palace and ask for directions to the one “born King of the Jews,” as Herod was not a legitimate king of the Jews.

The gifts enabled Joseph and Mary to escape to Egypt and avoid the murderous rampage of King Herod when he ordered the death of all male children in Bethlehem two years and younger. Matthew 2:13-18

Our family has always been thankful for Daniel’s ministry even to the point of naming our second son after him; so giving him additional credit for planning ahead is appropriate and fitting especially when credit is so well deserved.

First published as “The Original Star Trek” on December 19, 2011; revised and updated.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and Remember, “Rejoice in the Lord Always”!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | December 20, 2021

The Happy Return of Christmas!

The Happiest Season of the Year!

-Merry Christmas

Art by Adele Bower

That wonderful, happy time of the year is almost upon us, Saturday the 25th is Christmas. This particular Christmas comes at the end of what has been a year of incomprehensible decisions by our national leadership; the United States is continuing to move in directions which seem to generate more questions than answers!

It is becoming much easier to see why the United States does not appear as a major world power in Bible prophecy as the Times of the Gentiles comes to a close!

While circumstances may change dramatically, the basic message of Christmas has remained unchanged since its inception in a manger in Bethlehem. God’s message to mankind, beautifully summed up in Luke 2:8-14 tells the simple, yet profound story:

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

The enormous significance of Christmas, the First Advent of our Lord, may sometimes get lost in the hustle and bustle of the season and the sometimes frantic preparations that seem to be an inevitable part of the days before Christmas.

Circumstances, however frantic and perverse, even burdened down with a world-wide pandemic, cannot alter the reality of the First Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ!

For those of us who love the Lord Jesus Christ, this season is a beautiful reminder of our Lord, the wonder of His birth and the enormous significance of the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us.

Four Hundred Years of Silence

The voice of God through His prophets had become silent; for 400 years Israel did not receive any word from God through the prophets. Much had happened that was instrumental in setting the stage for the events that would transpire during the First Advent but there was no word from the Lord; just silence for 400 years.

God was planning to break that silence in the most dramatic way possible; God the Son, the living Word, would be born of a virgin and become flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone. The silence would finally be broken by the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord; the Word of God would be made flesh and dwell among us. We would have a Kinsman/Redeemer, a Savior who would take our place of judgment and die on the cross for the redemption of our sins.

The Birth of the King

It is fascinating to me to reflect on the decisions God made as to the birth of the Son of God. The eternal creator of the universe was not to be born in a palace or even a major city of the time; but was to be born of humble parentage in a small insignificant village named Bethlehem.

Although both were of the line of King David, any association with royalty had faded generations before. His mother, Mary, was a peasant girl and her future husband, Joseph, was a simple carpenter; hardly a likely couple to become the caregivers for the humanity of the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe.

All proceeded according to God’s eternal plan and the precious baby was entrusted to humans to care for and love as He grew in stature and wisdom over the early years of His life.

The Shepherds

The Bible describes two events surrounding the birth and early childhood of our Lord. The first had to do with the angelic host appearing to the shepherds. I have read that these particular shepherds and the sheep of their flock were very special; these were the sheep destined for temple sacrifice. How fitting that the announcement of the birth of the Lamb of God, slain before the foundation of the world, should be made to shepherds tending the sheep to be sacrificed on the Temple altar.

The Magi

The second event concerns the arrival of the magi whose number is not specified in Scripture. I have previously written on the magi and the mysterious star they followed and have some strongly held opinions concerning both. The account of the magi is only given in Matthew 2:1-12, and the implications are the magi appeared around two years after the birth of Jesus. I believe these particular magi were of a group founded by the prophet Daniel, and the gifts presented by the magi were placed with that group originally by Daniel himself.

Daniel had prophesied the very day our Lord would enter Jerusalem as the Lamb of God and I believe he instructed the magi to pay particular attention as that time drew closer. I believe the star was in fact the Shekinah Glory of God and led the magi to the place where Jesus was living. While none of this is specified in Scripture, it would explain a lot. I have written more on this in “The Original Star Trek” which I will publish again next week.

Christmas Today

The attack on Christmas has resumed, secular forces are using new tactics to pervert the significance of the celebration of the birth of our Savior. Christmas is still a powerful factor in the lives of many; I think we can all agree that the mood becomes a bit more joyous and happy around Christmas especially in the Christian community.

The traditions of Christmas are always welcome and bring remembrances of Christmas past and the fun and fellowship of family and friends. The traditional Christmas hymns are a great blessing and tell the story of our Lord’s birth with beauty and simplicity.

While we once again celebrate the First Advent of our Lord Jesus Christ; we can also anticipate with great joy the certainty of his Second Advent! Events which were commenced at his First Advent will be consummated at his Second Advent; our beloved Kinsman/Redeemer will restore his creation to the pristine condition originally planned.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

This is an updated version of an essay first published on December 18, 2013.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | December 13, 2021

The Times of the Gentiles Will Come to a Cataclysmic Close!

For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” Matthew 24:27

The Removal of the Church and the End of Life as we have Known it!

The removal of the church will take place without any warning and will trigger a series of changes that will devastate the world! This event, the “Rapture of the Church,” takes place at least seven and perhaps as many as twelve years before the Second Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Bible gives a broad picture of the events that will follow the rapture and the book of Revelation describes the terrible judgments that will follow; seven seals followed by seven trumpets followed by seven bowls.

Earth shattering events will become commonplace and millions of lives will be lost all over the world. In the midst of this carnage, the gospel of Jesus Christ will be spread to every nation and people group and many will be saved by their faith in Jesus Christ.

Those who are saved, will know from scripture their time of torment and suffering will come to an end by the return of the Lord Jesus Christ at his Second Advent. They shall also know what will signal his return to earth; a vast procession on white horses coming down out of heaven!

White Horses Ridden by Heaven’s Armies Clothed in White Linen!

The Second Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ will occur at the end of the seven years of judgment called the Tribulation. The return of the Lord will begin with a mighty procession of white horses led by a single rider, the Lord Jesus Christ.

This single rider is described in Revelation 19:11-13 where it is written:

11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.”

I cannot even begin to imagine such an incredible sight as that described above; and you must add a mighty trumpet blast which is heard over the entire earth and an equally mighty shout! That would focus one’s attention with an unparalleled intensity I have no doubt!

Granted, the earth will have been a tumultuous place for many years before this event, but nothing like this had been seen before! Those who love the Lord Jesus Christ see deliverance approaching, those who fear the Lord Jesus Christ see destruction and judgment coming.

The Bible does not state exactly how long this procession will visibly circle the earth, but does tell us all nations will witness it. The armies in heaven are not specifically identified, but I believe it is safe to say this army will likely include both angels, and resurrected Christians.

In Revelation 19:15-16 it is written:

15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword (ῥομφαία), that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:

KING OF KINGS AND
LORD OF LORDS.

In verse 15 we see the Lord’s weapon of choice are his words; he speaks and it is done! The enemy is defeated by the words spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ. I find this most interesting as the instrument of creation were also the words of the Lord. In Genesis 1, “Then God said” is the instrument of creation!

God spoke creation into existence and God will speak judgment and destruction on his creation at his Second Advent!

Next Time, Return to the Mount of Olives

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | December 6, 2021

Imminent Divine Judgment!

Statistics Estimate 150,000 People Worldwide Die each Day

Death is a fact of life, just as is birth, it is normal and happens to everyone at a time appointed by God. Online statistics suggest 150,000 people die each day worldwide and around 56,000,000 each year.

Of that number, it is estimated around 1/3 of those deaths are the deaths of Christians, indicating around 50,000 Christians statistically die each day.

According to the Bible, that means each day, all who die having rejected Jesus Christ as Savior, enter Hades to experience unceasing torments and suffering as they await the Great White Throne judgment, after which they will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire!

That is imminent divine judgment which is happening now and has been happening every day for thousands of years!

Before going further with this line of thought, it would be advisable to clearly understand what is meant by death. Most dictionary definitions include something about the end of life but this is most certainly not the case.

The Bible reveals all human beings are created in the image of God and are eternal; we are spirit beings that have been placed, for a short time, in a body of the earth which is described as a tent. While our body of this earth is temporary, our spiritual essence is eternal and will always exist somewhere!

Death is nothing more than the departure of our spiritual essence from the mortal body it occupied for a short time; death is the end of our mortal era and the beginning of our eternal era!

It has pleased God that certain vitally important decisions must be made during the mortal phase of existence.

A Rocky Start

Not too long after the initial creation of man, the first man, Adam, made a fatally bad decision; he choose to disobey the command he had been given regarding a specific tree. I have written more on this in the 3-part essay, “The Fall”.

As a result of this bad decision, Adam, and Eve immediately died spiritually and eventually died physically; every human being later born of a human father would be born spiritually dead and would eventually die physically.

God’s Plan for Redemption

In his grace and mercy, God had a plan for redemption: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

This is the option every human being faces, to receive or reject the offer of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ! This profoundly important decision determines where each of us will spend eternity and must be made during our mortal time of existence!

The Bible is very clear on this, in Hebrews 9:27 it is written:

And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,

Jesus Christ was judged on behalf of all who receive him as Savior; for those who reject Jesus Christ, their judgment is certain!

What Happens to the Eternal Spirit at Death?

For those who have received Jesus Christ as Savior, there is a blessed hope, in 2 Corinthians 5:8 it is written:

We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

When a Christian leaves their mortal body, they go immediately into the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ!

For those who have rejected salvation by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, the change is indeed fearful! The Bible provides a minimal amount of information on the immediate destination of unbelievers at death. In Luke 16 a place of torments in Hades is referenced but the ultimate destination is the Lake of Fire which will come after the Great White Throne judgment as described in Revelation 20:11-15 where it is written:

11 “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”

THE LAKE OF FIRE IS BURNING SULPHUR

If you are a born-again Christian, then rejoice in the salvation you have received by your faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior!

If you have not received Jesus Christ as your Savior, then please know this:

Becoming a Christian is simply believing in Jesus as your Savior. We are told in John 3:16 “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.”

You can have everlasting life by asking Jesus to come into your heart; just pray to him like this:

Lord, I want you to be my Savior, I believe you died for my sins and I accept the payment you made for me on the cross. Thank you for coming into my life. Amen.

If you can pray that prayer and mean it then, congratulations, you’ve just joined God’s eternal family and escaped the Second Death!

The Christian Responsibility

The Christian establishment has a great responsibility to proclaim the full message of the Bible!

To proclaim John 3:16

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

and fail to proclaim John 3:36

36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

is a deadly serious omission! Those rejecting Jesus Christ as Savior should never be led to believe there are no extremely serious consequences awaiting them at death as unbelievers in Jesus Christ!

Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, then I urge you to take that life-saving step right now; receive Jesus Christ as your Savior, join God’s eternal family and escape the Lake of Fire and the Second Death!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | December 3, 2021

The Dangers of Casual Indifference!

I’m Not Ready to Receive Jesus as my Savior!

In my work with Global Media Outreach, I encounter individuals who say they are not ready to receive Jesus Christ as their Savior; there seems to be no sense of urgency regarding their relationship to Jesus Christ!

Over the years, I have also tried to share my faith with those who simply refused to listen to what I wanted them to understand about the importance of being saved; sadly, I count some of them as dear friends.

I have to remind myself of the words of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 3:7 where it is written:

So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.”

While I can share the good news of Jesus Christ, only God can give the increase! As much as I may want to see someone receive Jesus Christ as Savior, only God can make the seed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ take root and grow in the heart of the individual!

It becomes easy to wonder if there was something else I could have said to help the individual develop a greater sense of urgency. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God, the Bible is clear on that point; the Bible is also clear that Jesus Christ came to earth to save souls, not condemn them.

The Bible also makes it very clear, that rejection of God’s offer of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ results in God’s wrath with judgment following death for all who have rejected God’s offer!

Life is Filled with the Unexpected

None of us know what tomorrow will bring or even if we will finish out the day as we are at this moment! If there was a certain knowledge that divine judgment was immediate and eternal for anyone who died without Jesus Christ as their Savior; would this help impart a sense of urgency or not?

Next time, I will present arguments for receiving Jesus Christ as Savior sooner, rather than later!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | November 29, 2021

Warned!

Judgment

The following devotional appeared Saturday in my mailbox and I felt it very timely in view of the world situation today. The writer, Jeff Wells, is the Senior Pastor of WoodsEdge Community Church.

“November 27
  Warned
 
And just as it is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes judgment.
Hebrews 9:27  
 
The Morgan sea gypsies are a small tribe of 181 fishermen who spend much of the year on their boats fishing in the Andaman Sea from India to Indonesia and back to Thailand.  However, they spend their Decembers living in shelters on the beaches of Thailand.  In December 2004, in the hours before the killer tsunami crashed ashore, the Morgan sea gypsies were living on those beaches.  They were in harm’s way and would have likely all perished – had they not listened to their elders.
 
In a 2004 article, “How Sea Gypsies Survived the Tsunami,” Roger Thomas explained how for generations, the elders of the tribe had passed along one piece of wisdom.  According to the tribe’s 65-year-old village chief, Sarmao Kathalay, that wisdom was this:  “The elders told us that if the water recedes fast it will reappear in the same quantity in which it disappeared.”
 
And that is exactly what happened.  The sea drained quickly from the beach, leaving stranded fish flopping on the shore.  How easy it would have been for those who live off the sea to run down where the water had been minutes ago and fill every basket available with fish.  Some people did just that in other areas of South Thailand.  Not the Morgan sea gypsies.  When the water receded from the beach, the tribal chief ordered every one of the 181 tribal members to run to a temple in the mountains of South Surin Island.  When the waters crashed ashore, the 181 sea gypsies were safe on high ground.
 
The Morgan sea gypsies had been warned and they heeded the warning to their great benefit.
 
God has also warned us of a coming tsunami, a tsunami of judgment.  In passages like Hebrews 9:27, there is the clear warning that judgment follows death.  (There is no biblical evidence for another opportunity, after death, to trust Christ as Savior.)
 
We have been warned of coming judgment.  But thanks be to God, there is grace available now, found in Jesus, free for the taking.

© 2021 WoodsEdge Community Church. All rights reserved. This article may be reproduced for any non-commercial use.”

No one knows when the tsunami of God’s judgment will deluge this entire world, but there will be no high point where escape is possible from God’s coming judgment to be found anywhere but heaven!

Place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and escape the coming tsunami of God’s judgment!

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