Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | October 17, 2019

67 Years and Counting!

What an Adventure!

Today my wife and I celebrate our 67th wedding anniversary and praise the Lord Jesus Christ for his mercy, love and grace to each of us!

We had absolutely no idea where life would take us after we said “I do” on that memorable, (for us) occasion. She was 17 years old and I was 19 years old; neither of us realized how much more growing-up lay ahead but we just knew, whatever the future might hold, we wanted to do it together.

 

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | October 10, 2019

Time and Eternity

It Came to Pass

It has been calculated the expression, “it came to pass” is found around 452 times in the King James Version of the Holy Bible. I’m sure we have all probably shared in the thought that some things are better off having passed on rather than staying. Passing on is not only the pattern of life in the Bible, it is the normal way of life in the world we occupy.

There is no person throughout history that was so powerful or important they did not come to pass; kings, presidents, emperors, billionaires all come to pass; governments, nations and eras also come to pass; if it’s not coming, it’s going! At the time, it can be very difficult to tell when the coming part stops and the going part begins; it seems as if hindsight is the only reliable way to know when the shift occurs.

Nations and eras are a case in point; sometimes it is only after the shift has taken place that the timing becomes easier to identify. Much has been written about the life cycles of nations; while the authorship of the following is disputed, it is often attributed to a Scottish history professor, Alexander Tyler, in 1787:

“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.”
“The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:
  • From bondage to spiritual faith;
  • From spiritual faith to great courage;
  • From courage to liberty;
  • From liberty to abundance;
  • From abundance to complacency;
  • From complacency to apathy;
  • From apathy to dependence;
  • From dependence back into bondage

Regardless of the authorship, the content seems to be very sound; I believe the headlines today fully support we are at the “apathy to dependence” stage. It appears that each Democrat candidate is trying to outdo the others in seeing how much public money can be distributed to voters who will vote for them.

The United States is 243 years old and counting; I am convinced the Lord will determine when the United States will cease to effectively function as a nation! I believe the clues provided in the Bible suggest the United States will go out with a bang, not a whimper!

The Age of Grace

Another clock is ticking as I write this; the timing on the Church Age, the Age of Grace; it too had a starting point and will have a stopping point. The Age of God’s Grace began on May 25, 33 AD and has now continued for over 1,986 years; based on clues provided in the Bible, I suspect the going part has been underway for some time now.

I am convinced God has this all timed to the very second; I have long been intrigued by the statement in Revelation 9:15 where it is written:

“15 Then the four angels who had been prepared for this hour and day and month and year were turned loose to kill one-third of all the people on earth.”

While the verse starts with the hour, I’m of the opinion it would be safe to add the very second and minute to that prophecy and still be an accurate statement of what is going to take place in the future. If that event is timed so precisely, then it is reasonable to believe other prophetic events are timed with equal precision including the Rapture of the Church!

The End of an Age

The Age of Grace will end with the removal of all born-again Christians and the end of the restraining ministry of God, the Holy Spirit; as bad as things seem to be now, I promise you they will get vastly worse after the restraining ministry of the Holy Spirit is removed from the earth. I have written on the sequence of events following the Rapture of the Church in several essays including a four part series, “What’s Going to Happen Next?”.

The last 1,986 years have been a time of remarkable grace and blessing from God; God has been calling to himself a family who will be with him for all of time and eternity; this is a blessing which is infinitely beyond our ability to even imagine! As the down payment on this blessing, God has given us himself, in the form of the Holy Spirit, who serves as his guarantor on the blessings both present and future he has planned for all he calls to be his children!

We are given a new birth into God’s own family, a living spirit, and the eternal indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit as his promise to us of the future blessings to come!

It Came to Stay, Forever and Ever!

We are all creatures of time, it is natural for us to think in terms of time, I have great difficulty thinking of a timeless eternity; I join David as he writes in Psalm 139:6-

“6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.”

I delight in the thought we have been adopted by one so high and lifted up that we cannot even attain unto it!

One thing we can know by faith, even if it is beyond our understanding:

The New World Order God has Planned, is Coming to Stay, not Coming to Pass; once it has Come, it will Never, Ever Pass!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | October 2, 2019

Another Civil War in the USA?

“Pogo”

Why are we at War with Ourselves?

The top news story today seems to be the war we have against ourselves; I find that both astounding and totally disgusting. I’m reminded of the line from Walt Kelly’s “Pogo” which says, “We have met the enemy and he is us!” At the time, it is said the reference was to the turmoil caused by the Vietnam war but today it could easily refer to the politically motivated civil war which continues to rage in the United States. dictionary.com/browse/we-have-met-the-enemy–and-they-are-us

I have read that civil wars start with words and end with guns; from what I see in the news, it appears early shots are already being fired all over this country!

A fundamental division has developed that has created two distinct groups; those devoted to a globalist, liberal/socialist philosophy of government which would surrender our national sovereignty to foreign powers, and those, equally devoted to a conservative, nationalistic view of government which promotes and defends the Constitutional Republic created by the Founding Fathers.

I have written before on the spiritual war which has now lasted for thousands of years; I believe this developing civil war is nothing more than another manifestation of the age-old battle!

In the first two paragraphs of “To the Soldiers in the Spiritual War” I wrote:

“Have you ever thought of yourself as a soldier? There are few classic physical manifestations of warfare in most of our lives; we’re not surrounded by bombed out villages and carnage so we may doubt the reality of a spiritual war or be lulled into thinking we really don’t have to be involved in any “spiritual warfare.” If you’re thinking any variation of these thoughts then you’re wrong and potentially endangering yourself and others.

Although it will change during the final conflict, we are now dealing with destruction and carnage in the lives of everyone at a spiritual level as the spiritual battle for men’s soul’s rages around us. The carnage is being displayed in many lives as people make bad choices and cause themselves and others serious harm. Broken lives, broken marriages, broken commitments of many sorts litter the battlefield of this war.”

The Bible warns us of this warfare in Ephesians 6:10-17 where it is written:

“10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

The Root Cause of our Problem

Nationally, we have discarded our moral compass, Biblical Christianity; secular humanism says we are nothing more than animals, evolved from the muck and mire over millions of years; our mortal lives are all there is and at death all things end for each of us.

The Bible is thought to be foolishness and any idea of an afterlife is sheer folly. This message has provided the foundation for discarding the Bible, all thoughts of divine creation and any responsibility to a non-existent God for what we do or think.

This, of course, is Satan’s lie and the major deception he has tried to convince the world to be the truth.

There has never been more than one answer to the challenges we face today, the discord, the anger, the conflict is nothing more than symptoms of a basic problem, the fallen sin nature we inherited at birth. It would be folly indeed to try and address the symptoms without first addressing the virus of sin that produces those problems.

The Solution

The only way to deal with the virus of sin is the new birth, you must be born again. Salvation by faith in Jesus Christ is the only anti-virus that can bring healing to this nation and the world. For the Christian community to try and resolve the symptoms without first resolving the problem would also be foolishness.

I’m reminded of the situation which had developed in Israel during the wilderness wanderings; in Numbers 21:4-9 it is written:

Then the people of Israel set out from Mount Hor, taking the road to the Red Sea to go around the land of Edom. But the people grew impatient with the long journey, and they began to speak against God and Moses. “Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness?” they complained. “There is nothing to eat here and nothing to drink. And we hate this horrible manna!”

So the Lord sent poisonous snakes among the people, and many were bitten and died. Then the people came to Moses and cried out, “We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take away the snakes.” So Moses prayed for the people.

Then the Lord told him, “Make a replica of a poisonous snake and attach it to a pole. All who are bitten will live if they simply look at it!” So Moses made a snake out of bronze and attached it to a pole. Then anyone who was bitten by a snake could look at the bronze snake and be healed!

God’s faith answer to the poisonous snake bites made no logical sense; if you were bitten and dying, all you needed to do was just look at the bronze serpent and you would be instantly healed. Do you think there were any who refused to just look at the bronze serpent and be healed because it made no logical sense?

Today, mankind faces a similar situation, we have all been bitten by the sin virus and will surely die if we don’t look to the cross and receive salvation by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior; logical or not, it is the only answer that works!

LOOK TO THE CROSS AND LIVE!

This must be the message of the church!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | September 26, 2019

The Elephant in the Room

What’s the meaning of the phrase ‘The elephant in the room’?

“An important and obvious topic, which everyone present is aware of, but which isn’t discussed, as such discussion is considered to be uncomfortable.”

What’s the origin of the phrase ‘The elephant in the room’?

“The expression is of US origin, although the precise source isn’t known. The meaning, if not the exact wording, dates from at least the 1950s and is possibly some years older than that. The first reference to the phrase that I have found is in The Charleston Gazette, July 1952.” phrases.org.uk/meanings/elephant-in-the-room.html

I believe we have an elephant in the room when it comes to getting old; this is a subject that is generally avoided in polite conversation as are any questions regarding one’s age. It has long been considered impolite to ask a woman’s age and now one generally refrains from bringing the subject up regardless of gender.

It is safe to say that everyone knows there are only two options available to every human being; get older or die, these are the only choices we have. Efforts to conceal the aging process or temporarily reverse it are big business and generate millions of dollars to those promoting this or that product. The process of aging is irreversible and inevitable and is actually built into our bodies by design.

Last time I mentioned the subject of telomeres and how they operate to provide a time limit on cell replication; as I observe my body, I suspect that in some cases my supply of telomeres is exhausted; I see clear evidence of parts and pieces wearing out.

Last time I also mentioned my joy and peace as I think on Psalm 139:16 where it is written:

“You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.”

I continue to delight in the thought that my times are in his hands!

By God’s grace I have lived to be 86 years old and still enjoy reasonably good health. There was an expression, when I was a child, of something being held together by “chewing gum and bailing wire;” I suppose a more contemporary version of that might be “held together by duct tape and super glue.” With much appreciated help from doctors, surgeons, and dentists I am still sufficiently held together to go about my daily routine.

I am confident that young people can have no idea of how distinctly unwelcome the thought of being young again is to me; I was there once and experienced every year, one year at a time, and have no desire to live through them again. While I am thankful for the many blessings God bestowed on me, I have no desire whatsoever to walk those paths again!

Exploring New Vistas

Today, I am the oldest I’ve ever been; each day that passes offers new experiences and discoveries as I travel paths I’ve never traveled before. I like to think of it as an adventure, a voyage of discovery into new and unknown worlds; it is truly exciting to me to know I am following a path which will eventually take me into the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.

On February 28, 2016 I published an essay, “A Surprising Discovery.” In this essay I commented on the unexpected discoveries I was making about life as I grew older. Now, over three years later, I can report that this process of discovery has continued as my priorities and perceptions continue to evolve as I age even more.

I can recall thinking how old my grandfathers were at the time of their deaths. My father’s, father was 73 and my mother’s father was 74 when they died; I have outlived them both by many years and the Lord still seems to have plans for me. Fortunately, my appearance was never a basic part of my identity as a human being so my aging has not had a serious impact on my self-image.

I think on those whose identity and sense of self-worth was totally wrapped up in how they looked, the famous movie stars of the past who could compare their reflections in the mirror with the photos and movies so readily available for viewing. In too many cases, their frustration was clearly evident in the steps they tried to take to ameliorate the aging process.

Making Peace with the Process

I have learned to accept the aging process with patience and understanding; I know all too well the only normal alternative is death, so I’m more than willing to do my best to accommodate the changes in my body as they come. My prayer to our Lord is that he will permit me to always be able and available to love and care for my beloved wife of almost 67 years.

The fact of the matter is we are really enjoying our time together; I retired in September of 2004 and our time together has been a great joy and comfort to us both. It is still completely true that my wife’s entry into the room brightens my life and brings joy to my soul; we are richly blessed!

There is one thing I can tell you; my life, since my retirement, has not once been boring nor even the least bit tedious; each new day brings opportunities, challenges and excitement which help the time fly by; it is hard to imagine that over 15 fifteen years ago I retired from full time employment.

I have a favorite quote by Robert Browning:

“Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made. Our times are in his hand who saith, ‘A whole I planned, youth shows but half; Trust God: See all, nor be afraid!” Robert Browning

Let us all delight ourselves in the moments planned for us by God!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | September 18, 2019

You are Amazing!

A Paradox

Let us define paradox and make sure we are proceeding from a mutually agreed upon definition; the online Merriam-Webster dictionary provides us with the following definition of paradox:

 “a statement that is seemingly contradictory or opposed to common sense and yet is perhaps true”

Why would I suggest you are a paradox? You are composed of both timed and timeless components! I think we can all agree that thinking of ourselves as being timed and timeless would seem at first contradictory and opposed to common sense; nevertheless, the Bible assures us this is our true situation.

Our mortal bodies, which are of the earth, are endowed with a built-in timing mechanism as described below:

“Telomeres protect the vital information in our DNA

“DNA makes up all of the cells in our body. It is the genetic material that makes us who we are. And every organ in our body (skin, liver, heart, etc.) is made up of cells. So, telomeres are vital to our health.

Our cells replenish by copying themselves. This happens constantly throughout our lives. Telomeres get shorter each time a cell copies itself, but the important DNA stays intact.

Eventually, telomeres get too short to do their job, causing our cells to age and stop functioning properly. Therefore, telomeres act as the aging clock in every cell.”

© What is a Telomere? | Human Cellular Aging | TA-65 TA Sciences
Source: tasciences.com/what-is-a-telomere.html
© Protected by WebToMed”

A famous example of DNA and telomeres is Dolly, the sheep; she was cloned from a mature 6 year old sheep and was given DNA with already shortened telomeres; she was euthanized because she had a progressive lung disease and severe arthritis at age 6.5 while the normal lifespan of a sheep is around 11 to 12 years.

Each of us are dependent on telomeres to replicate our ageing cells; when the telomeres are gone the cells can no longer replicate and the body eventually dies.

The “God’s Image” Portion of Us

Our bodies are of the earth and have a built-in clock which time our bodies ability to replicate cells and live. At the creation, God determined to create man in his image and breathed an eternal spirit into man which is indeed, timeless!

While our bodies are mortal and subject to death, our living essence is eternal and will always exist as we were created in the eternal image of God!

The evidence of ageing and death is obvious; the presence of our eternal spirit is a matter of believing faith. The world denies what it cannot see while believing faith recognizes and accepts as real the Biblical account of that which cannot be seen.

Our perception of what is real is complicated by the fact we live in a world which seeks to convince us the here and now is all there is to our existence; once we are dead it is all over, there is nothing else to follow.

It is only in the Bible that our real situation is revealed; we are eternal spirits housed in a temporary body of this earth; while our bodies are timed, our living essence is timeless, created in the image of our eternal creator.

The challenge we face, as Christians, is to let our faith dominate in our lives and learn to suppress the impact of our experience on our perception of reality. In 2 Corinthians 5:7 it is written:

For we live by believing and not by seeing.

While that is simple to write and to say, it is not simple to live that way; we are constantly challenged by the world to let sight and circumstances determine how we live and perceive reality!

The simple fact of the matter is we can live by believing only by the power of God, the Holy Spirit; it is only when our sin nature is suppressed by confession of sin and the Holy Spirit is controlling our lives, we have any hope at all of living a life of believing faith!

Your Daily Challenge

Each morning, when we wake up, we have a choice to make; one that cannot be escaped through ignorance or lack of will; a choice that will take place automatically whether we consciously make it or not. We determine our perception of reality and decide whether that day, we will live by believing or by seeing.

Living by believing places God at the center of your thoughts and actions; all you think, see and do recognize the sovereignty of God and his primacy in all things. Living by sight places circumstances and the world in control of what you think, see and do.

As Christians, let us join with Paul in recognizing the centrality of God in all we are and do and let this verse control in our lives:

20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

An Afterthought.

I often think on Psalms 139 and rejoice in verse 16 where it is written:

“You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.”

I am comforted to remember my times are in his hands!

 

 

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | September 6, 2019

The Curious Matter of Your Murder

The Fundamentals of Detection

Inspector Lewis and Chief Inspector Morse

My wife and I are enthusiastic fans of a number of British detective series including the two gentlemen above. Both Inspector Lewis and Chief Inspector Morse have done their best to keep the rowdies from taking over Oxford, England and bring them to justice. Surprisingly, the noted university in Oxford seems to shelter some of the worst offenders.

As these competent sleuths, bring their skills to bear on the perpetrators of the heinous crimes committed within their respective jurisdictions; they follow fairly predictable lines of inquiry which include the five W’s plus an H; who, what, when, where, why, and how. This line of investigation, which can trace its roots back to Aristotle, seems to produce the results needed to bring the culprits to justice.

One of the early questions that must be addressed is the question of when did the victim die, this is followed by the questions of what, where, how, who and why. Some of those questions must be answered by careful investigation or the forensic pathologist and may take some time; some may be determined quickly by the available evidence.

I suggest we use those time honored techniques to try and shed some light on a murder that directly affects you and me; after all, we share a common heritage, we are the murder victims and were killed at a point in the past by the worst mass murderer in the history of mankind.

Examining the Testimony of the Eye Witness

Fortunately, we have the written testimony of an eyewitness to the murder, the Lord God was there and left a record of what happened. While there are several places where we might begin our investigation, I would like to start with the verses in Ephesians 2:1-3 where it is written:

“2 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you previously lived according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit now working in the disobedient.  We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also.”

The Apostle Paul tells us we were dead which immediately brings questions to my mind, if we were dead, then when were we alive and when did we die? It is customary to refer to something being dead that was once alive; to be dead would certainly require a previous condition of life. While one might refer to a dead person or plant, one would not refer to a rock as dead as it never had life.

Fortunately, the Bible, the written testimony of our eye witness, comes to our rescue and relates the sad story of our death. In Romans 5:12-14, the Apostle Paul shares with us the tragic story of how we died:

“12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all people, because all sinned.  13 In fact, sin was in the world before the law, but sin is not charged to a person’s account when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin in the likeness of Adam’s transgression. He is a type of the Coming One.”

We died spiritually, in Adam, in the Garden of Eden; by God’s accounting, we were considered to be spiritually alive, in Adam, before Adam disobeyed a direct command from God and caused his spiritual death and the spiritual death of every human being present and future who would later be born of a human father. The trespasses and sins referred to by Paul are symptoms of the fallen sin nature we inherited from Adam.

What do We Know so Far?

It seems we’re making progress in our investigation; we know the identity of the murderer; we know how and where he did it and have a general idea when he did it. The why may not be as easy to determine at this late date; the normal investigative procedure requires a careful forensic examination of the crime scene which, in this case, is impossible as it hasn’t existed for thousands of years.

We are, however, at liberty to speculate as to why Adam deliberately choose to disobey God’s command. I have written more on this in “The Fall” and will only summarize my conclusions here.

The timing of events between Adam’s creation and his decision to disobey God’s direct command is not mentioned in the Bible. A number of events had transpired including the creation of Eve from Adam’s rib. The command to Adam had been given by God before Eve’s creation so Eve does not appear to have been under that specific command to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

The Rather Elusive Why

What may have happened, and this is speculation, Eve saw animals and birds eating of this tree without any harm; she probably kept asking Adam about the tree and Adam, in frustration, may have told Eve, don’t eat of the tree, don’t even touch it!” You may recall Eve’s reply to Satan when questioned about that tree:

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit from the trees in the garden. But about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, God said, ‘You must not eat it or touch it, or you will die.’” Genesis 3:2-3

We know God said nothing about touching the tree to Adam which is why I think Adam may have added the touching part in a moment of frustration with Eve.

The birds and animals, had likely been eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for an extended period with no harmful results. At some point, Satan tempted Eve and Eve privately ate of the tree. Nothing happened because the command had been given to Adam before Eve was even created.

I think it possible there is a time gap between Genesis 3:6a and 3:6b where Eve offers Adam some of the fruit; I suspect this was the first time Eve had eaten of the fruit with Adam present but not her very first time to eat the fruit.

Let us guess, for a moment, that Adam, after hearing Eve’s story, began to wonder if he had misunderstood God and the fact that Eve had not been affected seemed to support that doubt; Eve offered him the fruit, he ate, and spiritual death immediately followed. I doubt if the fruit was deadly but disobedience to God was definitely deadly!

While all this is pure speculation, it does, I believe, provide a reasonable why for Adam’s actions.

Full Pardon for the Guilty

Humanity is in a peculiar situation; not only is humanity the murder victim in this drama, but also has the imputed guilt of Adam, the perpetrator of the murder. As descendants of Adam, we are judged guilty of the crime of disobedience and are subject to the judgment that accompanies that crime. The only solution for us is to change our family, we stop being descendants of Adam and become descendants of God.

That is made possible by the new birth, we are born again into God’s family and no longer are descended from Adam; by God’s reckoning, we no longer share in Adam’s guilt but have imputed to us the righteous justification that belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Second Adam from above!

“12 So then, brothers and sisters, we are not obligated to the flesh to live according to the flesh, 13 because if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons. 15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear. Instead, you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!” 16 The Spirit himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, 17 and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and coheirs with Christ—if indeed we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.” Romans 8:12-17

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | August 26, 2019

What is the Real Meaning of Your Life?

Is There a Reason Why We Exist on Earth?

A timeless philosophical question has focused on life’s meaning; the number of writings on the subject is almost endless. The “Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy,” in an article entitled, “The Meaning of LIfe,” starts with this statement:

“Many major historical figures in philosophy have provided an answer to the question of what, if anything, makes life meaningful, although they typically have not put it in these terms.”

and ends with this one,

“These and the other questions posed in this survey still lack conclusive answers, another respect in which the field of life’s meaning is tantalizingly open for substantial contributions.”

While speculation is rampant, conclusive answers are elusive. I suggest to you that conclusive answers are only available in the Holy Bible and will further suggest what some of those answers might be.

The Beginning, a Very Good Place to Start

The first six chapters of the Book of Genesis lay the foundation for everything; in those chapters, God reveals what has happened and why it has happened. As a Christian man I am convinced “16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

The first basic fact of life is God, I have written more on that in “What is Reality.” God is the eternal, unchanging, source of everything else including you, me and the entire universe.

God spoke all of creation into existence except for man; for man, God had another plan; man was to be created in God’s own image! We are told of this in three places:

“26 Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”

27 So God created human beings in his own image.
    In the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:26-27

and,

Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.

21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.”

Created in the Image of God

The Bible doesn’t explain why God choose to create man in his own image; it simply declares he did do exactly that! I believe we are given some clues as to why, in Genesis 1:26b and in Genesis 1:28 and 2:15 where it is written:

28 Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”

“15 The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it.”

Mankind was intended to be God’s representative to this new creation, to govern it for God and to care for it. Mankind was to be a loving, benevolent ruler of the earth and enjoy fellowship with God. We are all painfully aware of the problem that developed, Adam decided to disobey the one command he had been given.

I have written more on this in “The Creation Story,” a twelve part series on the first chapters in Genesis.

The Consequences

As a result of Adam’s disobedience, he, and the entire human race, both present and future, died spiritually there in the Garden of Eden. Now, thousands of years later, we, as Adam’s descendants, find ourselves in a multi-generational spiritual war that has caused massive destruction to the earth and mankind! Paul addresses this in Romans 8:18-23 where it is written:

“18 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. 19 For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. 20 Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, 21 the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. 22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering.

The Cure

God, in his amazing love, patience and grace, has gone to great lengths to provide a cure for his sick creation; the Second Person of the Trinity, submitted to an incarnation as the Lord Jesus Christ so he might die as the “Kinsman Redeemer” and purchase the redemption of his creation from the penalty of eternal death by his own agonizing death on the cross at Calvary.

While the price of redemption has been paid in full, the actual redemption of God’s fallen creation is yet future and will take place at a time determined before the foundation of the world.

The entire creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. Until that day we have a purpose as Christians to follow the commands of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In Matthew 28:18-20 we read:

“18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

For the Christian, life means making disciples, baptizing them and teaching them to obey all the commands we have been given by our Lord Jesus Christ. Our attitude toward life must be one of joy and rejoicing. In Philippians 4:4-9 we are commanded:

“4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

I am convinced the above conclusively explains the meaning of life; the lives we live at this point in time cannot be the lives intended for us at the time of creation because of the disobedience of the First Adam. The lives that await us have been made possible by the obedience of the Second Adam from above, the Lord Jesus Christ!

Participation in the coming life is totally dependent on salvation by faith in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ; believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | August 12, 2019

Is the Day of the Lord at Hand?

15 Alas for the day! for the day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come. Joel 1:15 King James Version

God’s Blitzkrieg, A Lightning War to End All Lightning Wars!

During World War II, the world was introduced to a new concept of war, the lightning war. The word blitzkrieg means literally lightning war in German and was applied to military tactics used by Germany in WW II.

Definition of blitzkrieg

1: war conducted with great speed and force specifically: a violent surprise offensive by massed air forces and mechanized ground forces in close coordination, merriam-webster.com/dictionary/blitzkrieg

Using the blitzkrieg tactic, Germany was able to conquer vast expanses of territory with little resistance. Nations and peoples might be thinking of almost anything else but being conquered by an invading army when, in a matter of hours, their lives had changed completely.

Today the world is thinking of everything but God’s divine intervention; the media is filled with childish bickering from the nation’s capital while the people of this nation amuse themselves with various assorted pastimes, pleasures and bizarre misbehavior.

The Coming Blitzkrieg

The day of the Lord is inevitably coming when everything will change instantaneously; God’s plan for the last days will suddenly be initiated and all lives will be changed forever. It is probably impossible to even imagine the scope of the change that will engulf the world when the church is called home and the Day of the Lord begins!

I suspect few, if any, people in Europe could even begin to imagine the changes that were going to take place when the German war machine invaded their lands with lightning speed. The changes they experienced do not compare in the least degree with the changes that are coming to the entire world when God triggers the end time by the removal of all born-again believers, the true Church.

Not only will millions of people all over the earth disappear in the twinkling of an eye, but the restraining ministry of God, the Holy Spirit, will be withdrawn from the earth; as bad as things are today, they will get vastly worse after the restraining ministry of the Holy Spirit is removed.

Spiritual Darkness

Our family once took a tour of a famous cave and during the tour, the guide told us he was going to turn off the lights so we could experience total darkness; we were warned to stand still while the lights were off and then he turned off all the lights. There was complete and total darkness, I couldn’t even begin to see my hand which was touching my nose; needless to say, we were all thankful when the lights came back on.

This may illustrate the total spiritual darkness that will prevail during the end times. By God’s grace there will be rays of light promised by the several evangelistic efforts described in the Bible which will pierce the prevailing blackness. While many will respond to these glimmers of light, a large majority will actually exult in the spiritual darkness! I’m reminded of John 3:18-21 where it is written:

“18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. 19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20 All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21 But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.”

This pattern of behavior will continue during the Tribulation!

The United States

This country has a substantial number of born-again Christians who would be taken up at the Rapture of the Church; the sudden removal of all born-again Christians will impact this country most dramatically. The chaos that will follow will devastate this country and open the door to Israel’s enemies all over the world. It has been the power of the United States, as Israel’s ally, that has served as a partial deterrent for military action against Israel.

When Israel’s biggest ally is thrown into a state of complete chaos, Israel’s enemies will see this as a perfect opportunity to attack Israel and the United States; while God has promised to protect Israel, the United States has no promise of divine protection in this situation. This, I believe, is the reason the United States is not mentioned as a world player in the end times; it will have been crippled by a combination of the rapture and the attack by nations seeing the United States as the “great Satan;” the destruction of the United States as a world power is one of the first battles in God’s blitzkrieg.

I do not know what form the attack on the United States might take, but one or two carefully placed nuclear EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) devices could shut down most electrical circuits and electronics across the country; imagine the pre-Edison 1800’s before the telegraph.

Israel

One of the most significant signs of the impending end of the “Times of the Gentiles” is Israel’s reemergence as a nation; while this had been promised by God in several Biblical passages; it had been written off as allegorical by many. The church was never intended as a permanent replacement for Israel; the Church Age, the age of grace, was a temporary change that began on Pentecost and will end at the Rapture.

Since its reestablishment as a nation in 1948, Israel, considering its size, has garnered a disproportionate share of the world’s attention; that is nothing compared to the amount of attention it will get in the Day of the Lord.

During the Day of the Lord, Israel will be the center of attention for the entire world. It is amazing to think, but Israel will actually sign a covenant agreement with the Antichrist which will be the trigger for the start of the Tribulation. I believe the Church will have been taken up several years before the covenant is signed and some of the events prophesied will have also taken place before the beginning of the Tribulation.

While the Bible is clear on the events yet to take place, the timing is not precisely specified leaving the door open to a great deal of speculation on the part of those interested. I am convinced God always separates the church and Israel which is why I believe the next event on God’s prophetic calendar is the removal of the church and the end of the church age.

What is Coming Next?

A chronological summary of the remaining events which surround the Second Advent would be:

1. The Rapture of the Church

2. The Battle of Psalm 83

3. The First Battle of Gog and Magog

4. The Tribulation

5. The Second Advent

6. The Millennial Reign of the Lord Jesus Christ

7. The Second Battle of Gog and Magog

8. The Great White Throne Judgment

9. The New Heaven and the New Earth

I believe the time lapse between events 1 and 4 could be several years; there is more on this subject in a four part series “What’s Going to Happen Next.”

Only God knows the timing of these events but I believe this order of events best fits the available evidence provided in the Bible. Of one thing I am convinced, and that is the imminent removal of the true church; I believe it is this event that will trigger the beginning of the end.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | August 7, 2019

Startling!

Biblical truth is often quite beyond human understanding; it does not fit in very well with the way we think as human beings. God knew we would have a problem understanding divine truth so he sent a teacher, God, the Holy Spirit to help us understand what has been written in the pages of the Bible. In John 16:12-15, Jesus explains this to his disciples:

“12 “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. For he will not speak on his own authority, but will speak whatever he hears, and will tell you what is to come. 14 He will glorify me, because he will receive from me what is mine and will tell it to you. 15 Everything that the Father has is mine; that is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what is mine and will tell it to you.”

The following was sent out to his subscribers by Jeff Wells, the Senior Pastor at WoodsEdge Community Church in Spring, Texas and explores the beauties and wonders of God’s revelations to mankind.

Startling
August 7, 2019

And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness.
Romans 4:5

This is startling! God justifies the ungodly? What do you mean? That makes no sense.

Yes, God justifies the ungodly. Not the godly – the ungodly. Why doesn’t God justify the godly? Because there are no godly. We’ve all sinned. But because he is full of grace and a merciful God, he will justify the ungodly person who:
Does not work. That is, he does not rely on his works.
But believes in him who justifies the ungodly. That is, he believes in a God who gives grace to sinners.

If we do that – not rely on our good works but rely on a merciful Savior – God will justify us, make us right with him.

But how can God do this? How can he declare ungodly people forgiven and justified? There is only one basis – the cross. Romans 5:6 says, “Christ died for the ungodly.” He paid for our sins and satisfied the justice of God.

I love this verse! Just love it.

This is so contrary to the human mindset of earning it, of performance, of being good enough, of religion. We are all affected by this mindset. It’s inherent in us from the time we are born. Earn it! Be good enough! Measure up!

Do you remember the end of the movie Saving Private Ryan? “I only hope I earned what you did for me.”

That’s the human mindset, and it’s embraced by every religion on the planet, including much of organized Christianity.

But it’s not the gospel. The gospel is not “earn it.” The gospel is the message of grace.

God justifies the ungodly.

© 2019 WoodsEdge Community Church. All rights reserved. This article may be reproduced for any non-commercial use.
http://www.jeffhwells.com/devotionals/

This email was sent by: WoodsEdge Community Church
25333 Gosling Rd
Spring, TX 77389

This is the Gospel, the good news the Church is to share with the world!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | August 5, 2019

El Paso and Dayton, Two Horrific Tragedies!

Tools are Misbehaving Yet Again!

The murders committed by two young men in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio are truly horrific and senseless killings. They are the sad and regrettable taking of innocent lives by young men consumed by sin; they are tragic manifestations of the sin nature out of control!

I have found it interesting that not one news article has mentioned the sin problem inherent in their behavior; we read of more gun control, of mental illness, the quick execution of mass murderers but not one reference to a sin problem.

There has been a systematic effort to remove objective moral standards from the American scene, to abandon Biblical morality and replace it with nothing of any substance.

The consequence of such foolishness is the wild misbehavior we are seeing proliferate in this country; behavior ranging from licking ice cream and putting it back on the store shelves, urinating on grocery shelves and food, flash mobs of young people attacking and looting a store, attacking others who may have different opinions, all the way to murdering large numbers of people are clear manifestations of a total lack of a personal moral compass in the lives of these individuals.

These are all symptoms of a dead spirit, a sin nature in control of the individual and influencing bizarre behavior that is distorted and delusional. An abundance of gun laws and restrictions will not solve this problem; it is not external, it is internal; the longer this nation turns its backs on Biblical morality the worse the situation will get.

Childproofing the Room

It is tiresome and frustrating to see how so many of our nation’s leaders fall into the trap of environmental solutions to what is a spiritual problem. I have written more on this in “Money, Guns, Tire Tools and Christianity.”

In this essay I wrote:

“During this time a new notion was becoming popular, a notion which we rejected for our family; a notion that avoided setting limits on children’s behavior coupled with efforts to remove all temptations that might result in inappropriate behavior. Families were trying to childproof the environment of the child so there was nothing the child could actually do to step over the boundaries of acceptable behavior; I referred to it as childproofing the house.

I was amazed at these efforts and thought of all the problems that a lack of self-control could generate when these children grew up and tried to integrate into society. What I had not anticipated were the efforts that society would eventually try to childproof itself and remove all things with which the out-of-control child/adult could damage or use to possibly harm themselves or others.

I had not anticipated society seeing these undisciplined adults as victims of an unfeeling society that had failed to adequately remove all of the dangerous objects from their environment. The beautiful vase was there so they broke it, the sharp object was there so it was used to injure themselves or others, and regardless they were innocent victims of a thoughtless society that had failed to properly prepare the environment for their arrival.”

So yet again we see our politicians ranting on about our societal failure to properly childproof the environment; more feeble efforts to alleviate symptoms without addressing the virus of sin which is responsible for those symptoms.

There is only one cure for the sin virus and that is the new birth by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior! There has never been another answer and there never will be!

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and You Will be Saved!”

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