Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | May 26, 2022

The Uvalde Tragedy

The Events at Robb Elementary

The media is filled with reports of a young man, Salvador Ramos, 18, who shot and killed 19 children and 2 adults on a shooting rampage at Robb Elementary School, in Uvalde, Texas.

Salvador Ramos

Many theories are being advanced on how and why this horrific incident could happen; various groups are using it as an opportunity to advance their agendas. Much is being said about mental illness, and gun control.

What is conspicuously absent is any reference to sin! In Galatians 5:19-21 this young man’s basic problem is explained:

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

The behavior of Salvador Ramos would indicate he was spiritually dead and under the control of his sin nature; as is pointed out in the verses above, murders are part of the evident works of the flesh.

The only solution to his problem would have been to receive Jesus Christ as his Savior and the new birth by the power of the Holy Spirit; sadly, for all involved, it is too late for that.

May God’s peace, comfort and guidance surround all those who grieve over the loss of those precious lives!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | May 23, 2022

How Much Time do You Have Left?

Does Tempus Really Fugit?

In his infinite wisdom, God lightly references many things in the Bible which are totally beyond my understanding. One example is found in 2 Peter 3:8 where it is written:

But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”

While I may not forget that verse, I surely don’t understand it! This, however, is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to my failing to understand things God has revealed to his children. From Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21 there is hardly a page that does not reference something about God and his holy will that I cannot understand.

There are two verses in Proverbs 3:5-6 which provide some solace:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
    and he will show you which path to take.

Those verses provide advice I can not only understand, but verses in which I can rejoice and attempt to obey! (In all honesty, I have found myself occasionally trying to understand that which is beyond my understanding.)

Time as we Know it, is Unique to Us

NTS

A year, a month, a week or a day is something to which we can all relate; we all have a sense of what that means and how it impacts our lives. What is of particular interest to me, is the unique nature of those terms and how they relate to only one place in the universe, the planet Earth in the Solar System.

Those measurements of time rely on the speed of rotation of the Earth, (which at 66,615 MPH, happens to be the third fastest rotational speed in the Solar System,) as well as the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. No other planet in our solar system has the same rotational speed and orbit; while it takes Earth only 365 days to complete one year, one Pluto year would take Pluto 248 Earth years to circumnavigate the Sun!

1 AU (Astronomical Unit) = 92,955,807 Miles

Meditation on that small portion of the universe visible to mankind is very humbling and it helps me realize how limited my experience, regarding God’s creation, has been and can ever be during the years of my mortality.

In my own, very finite, mortal life of 89 years, I have observed the changes in my perception of life and time which have developed over the years. I have written more on this in an essay “A Surprising Discovery.

Changes in Perspective

As a child, my notion of the passage of time was vastly different from what it is now as an old man; everything seemed to go slower and take longer. As a young adult, one could easily be lulled into the notion that things would stay the same for a truly extended period of time. The way things were would hang around for an undetermined amount of time, there was little or no thought of getting old!

As I grew older, I began to realize that changes were coming much faster than I had anticipated; and as more time passed, I began to realize that time was flying by; “Tempus Fugit” (time flies) took on a whole new significance!

When it got to the point I could look back on the birth of a child, watch the child grow into an adult, get married, have children, watch the children grow up, marry and have children making the original child a grandparent and then having that grandparent die; I was deeply impacted by the fleeting nature of time and the brevity of mortal life!

Now, as I look at a young person, it is easy for me to see the transience of their situation; it is easy to imagine the passage of years and the changes time will inevitably bring to them. While a young person can more easily live in the moment, I am now finding it close to impossible to isolate the moment from the past and the future.

Life in Review

Looking back over my life, I realize how blessed I have been by the Lord. I have written a seven-part series on my early life starting with an essay called, “Once Upon a Time, I was a Little Boy.” By God’s grace, I was raised in a home filled with born again Christians who made their faith a major part of their lives. To the best of my knowledge, I received Jesus Christ as my Savior when I was around four years old, I was baptized when I was twelve and cannot remember a time when I didn’t know and love the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior.

I did not begin a serious study of the Bible until after I was married to my beloved wife, Adele; together, we began to discover the vast wisdom of God as revealed in the pages of the Bible. By God’s grace, we were both filled with a great desire to study God’s word and began to grow in our faith.

The Bible revealed to us the true nature of our being, we were created in God’s image as eternal, spirit beings who would occupy a mortal body for a brief period of time. Having been created in God’s image, we exist outside of God’s physical creation and the time restraints it imposes which answers the question, “How Much Time do You Have Left;” you have no limit to your time, you are eternal, created in God’s image!

While it pleased our Creator to place us, for the moment, in temporary bodies of the clay of this earth, our eternal essence, which was breathed into those bodies, will never die and will, in fact, always exist in some form somewhere.

The Bible describes the history of God’s creation of man, man’s catastrophic failure, and God’s solution for man’s failure. We were told of a Savior, Jesus Christ, who is the eternal Son of God, who came to die on the cross for mankind’s sin; it revealed to us the importance of receiving Jesus Christ as our Savior and being born again by the power of God, the Holy Spirit.

Looking Ahead

The Bible tells us there is a new heaven and a new earth coming, in Revelation 21:1-4 it is written:

21 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

The Bible does not specifically tell us how time will be reckoned in eternity; perhaps we will join our creator in seeing one day as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day!

After due reflection, yes, Tempus really does Fugit!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | May 16, 2022

Knowing God

I was Deeply Moved by this Inspiring Devotional from Jeff Wells and Wanted to Share it with my Readers!

Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.
Jeremiah 9:23-24 (NASB)
 
 
God is looking for the man or woman who thirsts to know him.  He is looking for the person who longs to be close to him, to be one of his intimates, to know him personally.
 
This is not the person who is enamored by wisdom or money or riches.  This person will not be enamored by the things that the world is enamored with.  He will not be over impressed by the wealthy and the powerful of the world.  He will not be awed by those who are mighty in athletic performance.  Nor will this person be unduly moved by the scholars and the writers who accumulate degrees and publications.
 
No, this is the person who has caught a glimpse of glory and who breathes the breath of eternity.  This is the person who has seen God and has never gotten over it.  This is the person who is impressed with God himself, with the Creator not with his creatures.  This is the one who longs to know God and understand God and be close to God.  This is the one who knows that God is the Lord, the almighty and sovereign God.  This is the one who knows that God is the God of steadfast love and justice and righteousness in the earth.  This is the one who knows that God is good and God is great, and it is the privilege of our lives to know this God.
 
Where are the people like this?  The people who thirst to know God?
 
To know God is our highest good and our deepest joy.  To know God is more life-giving and more soul-thrilling than anything else.  To know God is our purpose, our mission, our life.   To know God is the glory of a human life.     

© 2021 WoodsEdge Community Church. All rights reserved. This article may be reproduced for any non-commercial use.
Facebook Website     Copyright © 2022 WoodsEdge Community Church, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is: WoodsEdge Community Church 25333 Gosling Rd The Woodlands, TX 77389-4378
Add us to your address book
Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | May 9, 2022

A Good News Break from Sin, War and Death!

While the Media Pummels Us with Bad News, There is Good News Available!

The Christian Enjoys a Relationship with the Creator, as a Free Gift, that Infinitely Surpasses Anything that Could be Imagined!

At his First Advent, Jesus Christ, who is our Creator God and the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, accomplished what was totally impossible for mankind to achieve; the opportunity for full reconciliation between God and his fallen creation! In Colossians 1:15-20 it is written:

“15 Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, 16 for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. 17 He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. 18 Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything. 19 For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, 20 and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.” You asked about verse 23 where it is written: “23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.”

While it would not be possible for us to fully understand all that Jesus Christ had accomplished when he spoke the words, “It is finished,” God does not ask us to understand, only to trust in what has been revealed to us.

We can be comforted by Proverbs 3:5-6 where it is written:

“5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”

The Trinity is one God, in three persons, the only true reality by which we were created and now exist! As Christians, we have been given a close, personal relationship to the Trinity which defies our ability to even imagine.

After the First Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ, all who are born again by the power of God, the Holy Spirit, by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, are eternally indwelt by God and share an eternal unity with the Holy Trinity.

Some verses which mean a great deal to me on this subject are 1 Corinthians 6:19-20:

“19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”

and, Galatians 2:20 where it is written:

“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.”

I do not pretend to understand God or all God has done for Christians, but I do rejoice in his love for us and accept his presence in my life as a living reality!

While the world situation seems to be deteriorating rapidly, as Christians, we have the opportunity and privilege of looking to God and rejoicing in all he continues to do for all his Children!

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.” Philippians 4:4-9

There has never been a better time to walk by faith, and not by sight!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | May 2, 2022

Another Milestone in My So-Called Retirement

Working as an Online Missionary for Global Media Outreach!

As many of you know, I have devoted many hours each day of my retirement, since February of 2012, to working as an online missionary for Global Media Outreach. This has been a very rewarding adventure for someone who is physically less than optimum.

In all fairness, I’m doing reasonably well for an 89 year old man and I’m very thankful to the Lord for his grace to me each and every day!

April 25, 2022 Marked a Milestone in my Work as an Online Missionary

Global Media Outreach produces and updates a working home page for the OM’s which provides the elements needed to work with people all over the world. Part of the home page looks like this:

On April 25, 2022, my working home page noted the number of people I have helped as 11,000; this has been done since I first started work as an on line missionary in February of 2012. I was pleased and excited by the opportunity the Lord has given me to serve him in my retirement.

The 11,000 number represents individuals; in some instances, there has been a large volume of correspondence with some of them. I have no idea how many individual letters have gone back and forth but I know that number is vastly larger.

I have mentioned before how I had started my retirement with absolutely no idea of how I would spend my time; well, I didn’t need to worry about getting bored as the Lord had already carefully laid out a plan for me which has far exceeded anything I could have imagined!

This opportunity is open to all born again Christians who seek to serve the Lord and are willing to commit some time to sharing the good news of Jesus Christ! More information is available here where you will find the following word of encouragement:

The opportunity to make a difference is waiting for you if you are willing to accept the challenge!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | April 25, 2022

Snake-bit and Dying of Thirst!

A World Writhing in Pain and Dying of Thirst!

The Biblical truth is, you were “snake-bit” in the Garden of Eden and spiritually died in Adam, and, at your appointed time, you were born spiritually dead. Another sobering fact is, there was absolutely nothing, in your own strength, you could ever do to correct the problem.

A lifetime of good deeds could not resurrect you from the spiritually dead!

As a spiritually dead person, good deeds are like putting expensive clothes on a corpse, it may look better but it is still dead!

God and only God could resurrect you from the dead, and he did exactly that when Jesus Christ paid for the sin of that snake-bite by his death and resurrection! Now, you can by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, look to the cross and live!

The Walking Dead

Today, mankind is in a heap of trouble and it seems to be getting worse each day that passes! It is getting harder and harder to even watch the news; there seems to be nothing but discord and death everywhere you look!

A veil of darkness and deception seems to be clouding the minds of humanity; historic standards of propriety and decency appear to be abandoned as ever lower levels of depravity demand recognition and approval.

I’m reminded of Genesis 6:5 where it is written:

The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil.”

The world situation today is not yet that bad due to the restraining ministry of God, the Holy Spirit and the indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit in all born again Christians. When the Holy Spirit is withdrawn, at the Rapture of the Church, the darkness of sin will rapidly deepen and mankind’s lust for sin will have full reign.

God’s Solution to the World’s Problems!

The third and fourth chapters of the Gospel of John do an amazing job of laying the groundwork for the Christian life and the age in which we live, the Church Age, the Age of Grace!

When Jesus is speaking to Nicodemus, he references the incident described in Numbers 21:4-9, the story of the bronze snake. Out of the entire Old Testament, Jesus chooses this story which just happens to be the perfect analogy to mankind’s need and Jesus’ mission to man at the First Advent.

In Chapter 3, “The Son of Man must be lifted above the heads of men—as Moses lifted up that serpent in the desert—so that any man who believes in him may have eternal life.”

In Chapter 4, “Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again. But whoever drinks the water I will give him will never be thirsty again. For my gift will become a spring in the man himself, welling up into eternal life.”

They sum up the essential elements of the Christian faith, look to Jesus if you want to live, and drink the water of life he offers to those who believe in him as Savior!

The Closing of the Age of Grace

The Age of Grace began on May 25, AD 33 and will close at a time known only to God when the restraining ministry of the Holy Spirit is removed.

In 2 Thessalonians 2:5-12, Paul speaks of evil’s delusion:

5-12 I expect you remember now how I talked about this when I was with you. You will probably also remember how I used to talk about a “restraining power” which would operate until the time should come for the emergence of this man. Evil is already insidiously at work but its activities are restricted until what I have called the “restraining power” (of God) is removed. When that happens the lawless man will be plainly seen—though the truth of the Lord Jesus spells his doom, and the radiance of the coming of the Lord Jesus will be his utter destruction. The lawless man is produced by the spirit of evil and armed with all the force, wonders and signs that falsehood can devise. To those involved in this dying world he will come with evil’s undiluted power to deceive, for they have refused to love the truth which could have saved them. God sends upon them, therefore, the full force of evil’s delusion, so that they put their faith in an utter fraud and meet the inevitable judgment of all who have refused to believe the truth and who have made evil their play-fellow. (J. B. Phillips New Testament)

As this age draws to a likely close, we are seeing the last days of the “restraining power” suppressing sin; as bad as it is now, it’s going to get much, much worse!

The Full Force of Evil’s Delusion!

After the removal of the restraining ministry of the Holy Spirit, life on earth will take a dramatic turn for the worse. Once again, the extent of human wickedness on the earth may well encompass and manifest the pre-flood condition, “everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil.”

It appears spiritual conditions are deteriorating at an accelerated pace each day that passes. It is vitally important each Christian let the Holy Spirit lead in their lives and abide in the full armor of God!

10-18 In conclusion be strong—not in yourselves but in the Lord, in the power of his boundless resource. Put on God’s complete armour so that you can successfully resist all the devil’s methods of attack. For our fight is not against any physical enemy: it is against organisations and powers that are spiritual. We are up against the unseen power that controls this dark world, and spiritual agents from the very headquarters of evil. Therefore you must wear the whole armour of God that you may be able to resist evil in its day of power, and that even when you have fought to a standstill you may still stand your ground. Take your stand then with truth as your belt, righteousness your breastplate, the Gospel of peace firmly on your feet, salvation as your helmet and in your hand the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. Above all be sure you take faith as your shield, for it can quench every burning missile the enemy hurls at you. Pray at all times with every kind of spiritual prayer, keeping alert and persistent as you pray for all Christ’s men and women. Ephesians 6:10-18 J. B. Phillips New Testament

The Doors to Salvation and Safety in God’s Family Are Still Open!

Deliverance from the Satanic poison is still available by looking to the cross and receiving the new birth by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. Jesus Christ still offers the water of life to those who will believe in him as Savior!

I urge you with the greatest sincerity:

Love the truth and look to the Cross, receive deliverance from death by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and drink freely of the water of life!

Painting, “Forgotten Creek” Adele Bower Copyright

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | April 18, 2022

God’s Family, the Second Adam Removed the Sin Barrier!

Where did the Sin Barrier Originate?

It is vital, if one is to truly understand God’s grace, to know the actual source of the sin barrier that once existed between God and man. The sin barrier between God and man was created by Adam when he disobeyed a direct command from God!

Personal sin, in each of our lives, is only a symptom of the sin virus created by Adam’s disobedience and passed on to Adam’s children!

That barrier continued to exist until the First Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ which climaxed at his resurrection from the dead!

There was a Change on April 3, AD 33 Which Affects Everyone!

Easter Sunday is the day Christians celebrate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The preceding week had seen the Lord’s entry into Jerusalem, His death and burial as the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world.

At His crucifixion an amazing thing happened at Herod’s Temple, the heavy curtain separating the Most Holy Place from the Holy Place had been torn from top to bottom which was clearly a miracle from God as the massive curtain was reportedly four inches thick. This symbolized the separation between God and man caused by Adam’s disobedience had been removed by Christ’s death on the cross; sin was no longer a barrier between God and man.

If Sin is no longer a Barrier then why is it still such an Issue?

Do you think it would be safe to say the entire world has a problem with sin? I suspect that each of us could start with ourselves and see a deep problem with sins of all shapes forms and sizes almost everywhere we looked.

My wife refers to the local news as the “local police report” as it seems to feature all of the crime and carnage of the day. The old saying, “if it bleeds it leads” seems to characterize the priorities of the media and with improved communications it can even bleed in Europe or elsewhere and lead in the USA.

All of us would agree, at least to some extent, that sin is harmful; the problem is the popular definitions of what is sin vary all over the place. If you look up a dictionary definition of sin there would likely be some reference to God or theology. Sin, as defined by the individual, is seen as a problem within that person’s perception of reality and can be very subjective.

Transgressions against society are more likely to be labeled as “against the law” or illegal rather than sin or sinful. They are more easily identified because some law had been written by legislators in a specific cultural environment declaring certain acts to be a violation of the law in that environment. It is illegal to drive 75 in a 20 mph school zone during school hours; while that would be a clear violation of the law it would probably not be labeled a sin.

Now Back to the Change

Our Lord was explaining an important point about the ministry of God, the Holy Spirit, to His disciples when He told them in John 16:5-8,

“But now I am going away to the one who sent me, and not one of you is asking where I am going. Instead, you grieve because of what I’ve told you. But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment; of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.”

The Advocate, a reference to God the Holy Spirit, would minister to Jesus’ followers in a new and significantly different way after Pentecost; He would be in the disciples and not just with them as the Lord explains in John 14:17.

17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.”

The later is a reference to Pentecost, May 25, AD 33, when the Holy Spirit indwelt Christians for the first time. The Holy Spirit would also have a general ministry to the world concerning sin, righteousness, judgment and the restraint of sin.

In verse 9 our Lord identifies the world’s sin and tells His disciples; “of sin, because they do not believe in Me;”

Just think about that for a moment, the Creator of the universe is telling us that the world’s sin is rejection of Jesus Christ. Is there any shortage of evil acts being perpetrated against many; are there no more murders, rapes, or pillaging to be found in the world? I think we all know the answer to that question, there is no shortage whatsoever of evil, hurtful acts taking place all over the world and if anything they seem to be on the increase.

Why then would the Lord tell us the world’s sin is rejection of Christ, is there an answer?

Paid in Full!

In John 19:28-30 it is written:

28 Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. 30 When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”

At that point the penalty for all sins past present and future was paid in full, the debt was paid, and the redemption was complete. The work the Lord had come to do at the First Advent was completed and He was finished, our Kinsman/Redeemer had begun the restoration that would be completed at the Second Advent.

Sin, in all of its forms, was no longer the barrier between God and man; the only remaining issue was reception of Christ as Savior. That is why Christ could say the sin of the world was failure to receive Him as Savior.

Just Like Adam

When Adam was in the Garden of Eden there was only one sin he could commit and that was failure to obey the one commandment he had been given regarding the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Today the world shares a similar situation, there is only one sin that was not fully paid for at the cross, only one sin that remains as a barrier between God and man and that is rejection of Christ as Savior. That is why Jesus could say, “The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me.”

Does that mean all the atrocities we hear of today are all forgiven? Yes, that’s exactly what that means; there is no sin or misdeed that you have ever heard about from any news source that has not been forgiven by the shed blood of Christ. None of those are an exception to the rule, none of them will be charged against the perpetrator, Christ died for them too!

So Now What?

Since forgiveness of mankind’s sin is total and complete with only one exception, and the Bible assures us it is, then what should be emphasized in the church’s message to the world? May I suggest:

Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved!

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.” Matthew 28:18-20

(First published April 1, 2016 under the title, “Is There One Unforgivable Sin? Revised and updated)

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | April 11, 2022

Good Friday and Easter Sunday, the Beginning of the End!

The End of What?

This Friday is the day we observe Good Friday and while that is the day we remember the crucifixion, death and burial of our Lord Jesus Christ; Easter Sunday is the occasion we celebrate His resurrection from the dead.

A historic change in man’s relationship to God had occurred; by God’s grace, the barrier between God and man that had been created by Adam’s deliberate sin of disobedience had been removed by the death of our Lord, the Second Adam from above.

You may recall in Genesis 2:15-17

“15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

Unfortunately Adam choose to disobey God and when he ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil he, and all of humanity present and future died in Adam. As I’ve observed before, that means that you and I and every human born of a human father are born spiritually dead. It is the sin of Adam that created the barrier between God and man and the primary reason the Lord Jesus Christ suffered death as our kinsman-redeemer.

The Tearing of the Curtain on Good Friday

God gave us a symbol of the removal of this barrier when, at the time of the crucifixion, the curtain between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies in Herod’s temple was torn from the top to the bottom; signifying that access to God was now open to mankind through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

By his death and resurrection, the Lord Jesus Christ had paid the penalty for all human sin for all time; sin had been removed as a barrier between God and man. As hard as it may be to imagine, personal sin is no longer the issue; the only remaining issue requiring resolution is receiving the forgiveness of God by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and God.

The Good News

Because of the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ, the end had come for sin as a barrier between God and man. This is effectively expressed in 1 John 2:1-2 where it is written:

“2 My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.”

The church can now proclaim a message of hope, a message of reconciliation and good news for a suffering humanity:

BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AND YOU WILL BE SAVED!

(First published April 3, 2015, revised and updated)

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | April 4, 2022

Palm Sunday 2022 and its Enormous Significance!

April the 10th, 2022 is Palm Sunday

This Sunday we observe and remember the entry of the Lord Jesus Christ into Jerusalem where He had come to die. This week was to be a terrible time of testing for the Jewish nation although they had no idea of the great significance of what was to happen from that point on.

The exact date for this momentous event had been prophesied by the Prophet Daniel and that prophecy, among many others, was being perfectly fulfilled by our Lord as He rode into the city. I would say it was certain that among the tens of thousands present that day, only the Lord understood the staggeringly wondrous truths that were being put into place as that amazing prophecy was fulfilled.

Four hundred and eighty-three years had passed since the beginning of the third and final group of three 490-year periods that had been given to Israel by God. The second group had ended with the Babylonian captivity and now the third group of 490 years had been put on hold at year 483 as also foretold by Daniel; I have written on this in some detail in a three-part series, The Seventy Weeks of Daniel.

Israel was being set aside for an unspecified number of years while a mystery was revealed, the mystery of the church and the age of grace, the age in which we now live. The remaining 7 years promised to Israel would resume at a point yet future when Israel would sign a covenant with the Antichrist.

The Entry into Jerusalem

Contrary to what we customarily celebrate, the entry was on a Monday, not a Sunday and it was not triumphal for our Lord; it was a time of great sadness as evidenced by Luke 19:41-42 where it is written,

“As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.”

The particular Greek word used for wept (ἔκλαυσεν) means a loud wracking sob; our Lord’s body was shaken by His sobs as He entered Jerusalem. He is likely the only one who understood the enormity of what was happening; the Jewish nation was being temporarily set aside, their rejection of their Messiah was going to yield great suffering for centuries to come. Their judgment would be severe and is still in force today.

It is likely, in His omniscience, that Jesus saw the Jerusalem of 70 AD as destroyed by Titus and could also see the bodies of some of those welcoming Him as they lay silent in death. This was a momentous, tragic moment that was being recognized only by the Lord and the thought of what was going to befall Jerusalem and His people reduced Him to wracking sobs. I suspect His disciples were totally confused by His reaction to the sight of Jerusalem and the excited crowds.

From the Shephard’s Notes.com

There is another extremely touching aspect of our Lord’s entering Jerusalem on Nisan 10. If we examine Exodus 12:3 we read,

“Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month (Nisan) each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household.”

This was part of the instructions given to Israel on the occasion of the first Passover in Egypt. Traditionally, the family would select a perfect lamb and place it on display in front of their dwelling so all could see they were offering the Lord their very best.

God’s Passover Lamb put on display

On March 30, AD 33, the 10th of Nisan, the Father put His Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world on display for all Jerusalem to see that the Father was offering them His very best. (In 2022 we are in year 5782 according to the Jewish calendar and the 10th of Nisan will be Monday, April 11th.)

After the passing of that day, Israel had been set aside for an undetermined number of years. Today we are at year 1,989 and still counting as Israel continues to suffer judgments until the return of the Lord they rejected.

The countdown clock on the remaining seven years of Israel’s last 490 years will recommence when Israel signs a covenant agreement with the Antichrist; this event and not the rapture of the church will be the trigger that starts their final countdown and the beginning of the Tribulation.

While this was an amazing week, filled with suffering and anguish for our Lord and judgment for Israel, it was the reason our Lord took on human form; that was necessary that He might die for our sins. The moment of triumph was coming soon, the following week our Lord would rise from the dead having perfectly paid the price of our redemption.

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1-4

(First published March 28, 2015, updated and revised)

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | March 28, 2022

God’s Timeline Revealed!

God’s Plan for the Redemption of Adam’s Fallen Family was Made in Eternity Past!

There is no doubt the timing of the First Advent as well as the Second Advent, has been precisely set by God. While the timing of the First Advent was revealed to Daniel, the timing of the Second Advent has not been revealed.

The only clues that have been given regarding the Second Advent’s timing are general references to the world condition as the end times approach. I have written more on that in the series that starts with, “What’s Going to Happen Next Part 1”

The Seventy Weeks of Daniel, A Truly Remarkable Prophecy!

While I have written a three-part series on this subject, I want to provide a short summary of that series for this review of the First Advent of our Lord Jesus Christ.

God’s divine precision is revealed in the ninth chapter of the Book of Daniel; here, the exact date of Jesus Christ’s entry into Jerusalem is announced in the establishment of Israel’s third and final period of 490 years.

The second period of 490 years had ended with the Babylonian captivity and God’s judgment of 70 years on the land of Israel for Israel’s failure to observe the Sabbatical seventh year according to the Mosaic Law.

In Daniel 9:24-27 it is written:

24 “Seventy weeks are determined
For your people and for your holy city,
To finish the transgression,
To make an end of sins,
To make reconciliation for iniquity,
To bring in everlasting righteousness,
To seal up vision and prophecy,
And to anoint the Most Holy.

25 “Know therefore and understand,
That from the going forth of the command
To restore and build Jerusalem
Until Messiah the Prince,
There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks;
The street shall be built again, and the wall,
Even in troublesome times.

26 “And after the sixty-two weeks
Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself;
And the people of the prince who is to come
Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.
The end of it shall be with a flood,
And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate.”

(A prophetic week in this prophecy is a period of seven years, not days.)

In this amazing prophecy, the “Times of the Gentiles” is summarized right up to the time of the Second Advent of our Lord Jesus Christ. Biblical chronologists have carefully studied this prophecy and have used it to calculate the exact day Jesus Christ would be cut off as Israel’s Messiah.

In his book, “Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ,” Dr. Harold Hoehner determined from his research that Israel was set aside for an undetermined number of years which started on the day Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem on the week of his crucifixion.

The day Jesus Christ entered into Jerusalem was Monday, March 30, AD 33 which was Nisan 10 on the Jewish calendar. This was a time of great sorrow for the Lord as he knew what was coming for the Jewish people; the Gospel of Luke points out our Lord’s body was wracked with sobs as he entered the city.

The entry came at the end of the 69th week which would leave one week, 7 years, still future for Israel to complete the task described in verse 24. Today, we are living in the gap between the 69th and the 70th year of the prophecy; to this point, 1989 years have passed. Only God knows when this age in which we live, the “Church Age” will come to a close by the removal of the true church, all born again believers.

Today, we are living in a remarkable age of grace, anyone who takes advantage of God’s offer of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, is given new life by means of the new birth! This new life is accompanied by the indwelling of God, the Holy Spirit in an eternal, unbreakable relationship!

The signs around the world would indicate this age is soon coming to a close; when that happens, the world will experience a time of divine judgment that will grow increasingly severe until the Second Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I urge you, with the greatest sincerity, to look to Jesus Christ and receive the salvation God is offering to you as a free gift of his love! Jesus warned his apostles in Matthew 24:21-22 where it is written:

21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.”

Next we will consider Palm Sunday and the enormous changes triggered by the crucifixion and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Older Posts »

Categories

%d bloggers like this: