The 1,000 Year Reign of the Lord Jesus Christ

The Lord Jesus Christ will return as King of all kings and Lord of all lords with great glory and power at the time of the Second Advent and will defeat Satan and the forces that have persecuted believers during the Tribulation. We read in Revelation 19:11-16;

“11 Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war. 12 His eyes were like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him that no one understood except himself. 13 He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his title was the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven, dressed in the finest of pure white linen, followed him on white horses. 15 From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will release the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty, like juice flowing from a winepress. 16 On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords.”

The Beast and the False prophet are thrown into the Lake of Fire with all who have taken the mark of the beast while Satan is thrown into the abyss where he will remain for 1,000 years. Those who have received Christ as Savior during the Tribulation and lived will go into the Millennial kingdom to populate it and enjoy the blessings of Christ’s reign. All Old Testament and Tribulation saints who have died will be resurrected and given their eternal bodies.

The Mysterious 45 Days

In Daniel 12:12 there is referenced a mysterious period of 45 days:

“11 “From the time the daily sacrifice is stopped and the sacrilegious object that causes desecration is set up to be worshiped, there will be 1,290 days. 12 And blessed are those who wait and remain until the end of the 1,335 days!”

The 1,290 days mentioned is the Great Tribulation, the second half of the Tribulation when judgements will become more severe; the additional 45 days would bring the total to 1,335 days and may be the time the Lord Jesus Christ is preparing the earth for his Millennial reign. The Tribulation will produce massive destruction which would certainly not be consistent with the Millennial Kingdom.

We are told those who had received the mark of the beast will be removed from the earth; only those who had been saved by faith in Jesus Christ would remain until the 1,335th day and are the blessed ones who will repopulate the earth.

Who will Live on Earth during the Millennial Reign?

There will be a core group of mortal believers who will survive the Tribulation; these believers will have a new start in life after the Millennial Kingdom is established. There are indications that those believers will live very long lives and have many children; although it is not specified I’m inclined to think the environment will be more similar to the earth before the flood.

Although the Millennial Kingdom will start with believers exclusively, they and the children born to them, will still have a sin nature. There will be those born who reject the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. This shows that perfect environment is not the answer to the sin problem as the only lives they will know will have been lived in a perfect environment.

Just as Adam could only violate one commandment those living during the Millennial reign, (just as all of us born after the First Advent, see “Is There One Unforgivable Sin?“), have only one commandment separating them from God, reception of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; Christ died for their sins too.

In addition to the mortal believers there will be the Old Testament saints, and Christians who will have access to the earth. The land of Israel is God’s gift to the Jewish nation, the spiritual descendants of Abraham. Christians on the other hand have been promised a city, the New Jerusalem. Christians will likely have occupied the New Jerusalem from the time of the Rapture. While we will have access to earth our home will be in heaven in the New Jerusalem.

The New Jerusalem

It is not clearly expressed in the Bible but the general thinking is the New Jerusalem will not descend to earth until the time of the creation of the New Heaven and the New Earth. This is mentioned in Revelation 21:1-4 where it is written:

21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

The Final Battle of Gog and Magog

We are given an assortment of clues about life during the Millennial reign and I have no doubt it will be wonderful indeed; people born during the Millennium will have only known the perfection of life in a perfect environment in a perfect society.

It is almost shocking to discover that many of these people will turn on the Lord and seek to destroy all they have known when Satan is released from his prison at the end of the Millennium; it certainly demonstrates the perversity of the fallen human sin nature.

Despite the wonder and perfection of the reign of the Lord at the end of the 1,000 years Satan is loosed from his prison and foments a massive rebellion against the Lord and his rule. We have a reference to this in Revelation 20:7-9 where it is written:

“7 When the thousand years come to an end, Satan will be let out of his prison. He will go out to deceive the nations—called Gog and Magog—in every corner of the earth. He will gather them together for battle—a mighty army, as numberless as sand along the seashore. And I saw them as they went up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded God’s people and the beloved city. But fire from heaven came down on the attacking armies and consumed them.”

Satan’s Judgement

The Bible then tells us of the fate of Satan; in Revelation 20:10 it is written:

10 Then the devil, who had deceived them, was thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur, joining the beast and the false prophet. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”

This verse reveals an interesting fact, after 1,000 years of burning in the Lake of Fire both the beast and the false prophet are still identifiable individuals.

We will consider the Great White Throne Judgement and the future facing the earth next time.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | January 9, 2018

The Battle for the Earth, It’s All True, All of it! Part 4

 Thorns and Thistles, art by Adele Bower

The Preparation for the Next Big Step

The Trinity had made a promise to Adam and Eve to provide a Redeemer, one who would strike Satan’s head; this would be done in an unexpected manner, by God, the second person, taking on human form, dying on the cross and rising from the dead. Before that supreme act of redemption there was a lesson to teach, a lesson of humility that would show mankind the futility of human effort regarding redemption and pardon.

The Mosaic Law was given to demonstrate the helplessness of mankind to meet the requirements of a righteous and holy God; if Adam could not obey one command what are the odds his descendants could obey ten? Paul, a man with extensive training in the Mosaic Law, observed in Galatians 2:15-16:

15 “You and I are Jews by birth, not ‘sinners’ like the Gentiles. 16 Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.”

The promise God made to Adam and Eve was later repeated to Abraham; Paul reviews this promise in Galatians 3:16-19 where it is written:

16 God gave the promises to Abraham and his child. And notice that the Scripture doesn’t say “to his children,” as if it meant many descendants. Rather, it says “to his child”—and that, of course, means Christ. 17 This is what I am trying to say: The agreement God made with Abraham could not be canceled 430 years later when God gave the law to Moses. God would be breaking his promise. 18 For if the inheritance could be received by keeping the law, then it would not be the result of accepting God’s promise. But God graciously gave it to Abraham as a promise.

19 Why, then, was the law given? It was given alongside the promise to show people their sins. But the law was designed to last only until the coming of the child who was promised.

The Mosaic Law has proved to be very effective in showing Adam’s descendents their sin; Paul addresses this in Romans 7:7-12 where it is written:

“7 Well then, am I suggesting that the law of God is sinful? Of course not! In fact, it was the law that showed me my sin. I would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, “You must not covet.” But sin used this command to arouse all kinds of covetous desires within me! If there were no law, sin would not have that power.At one time I lived without understanding the law. But when I learned the command not to covet, for instance, the power of sin came to life,10 and I died. So I discovered that the law’s commands, which were supposed to bring life, brought spiritual death instead. 11 Sin took advantage of those commands and deceived me; it used the commands to kill me. 12 But still, the law itself is holy, and its commands are holy and right and good.”

The Next Big Step

Even a casual reading of the Old Testament will reveal the extent of human failure under the Mosaic Law; what is surprising to me is the patience and grace shown by the Trinity to the stubborn and hard-hearted people he had chosen to be the channel of the great blessing he would provide at the appointed time. Approximately 400 years before the First Advent of the second person of the Trinity, all communications from the Trinity stopped, not a word was given to a single prophet of the Lord.

God had a wondrous plan prepared; at a carefully predetermined time the Living Word would come and become the Kinsman Redeemer, the long promised Messiah who could and would provide the redemption which mankind could not secure for itself. The birth, life, death and resurrection of the Promised One had been carefully scripted from eternity past; I have written on this in a three-part series named, “The Seventy Weeks of Daniel.

The Trinity leaves nothing to chance; while years may pass with no evidence of change the plans of the Trinity move on with a precision that is beyond our understanding. Today we can look back over 1,984 years since the last divine manifestation; we can, however, know the next event planned by the Trinity is coming with absolute certainty and once again the change will be dramatic and forceful.

The Rapture and the End of the Church Age

A time is coming when the divine plan will again be overtly implemented; according to the Bible the next event is the removal of the church from the earth. This age in which we live started at Pentecost on May 25, 33 A.D. and was a mystery hidden from the Old Testament prophets. During the Church Age the Trinity has spoken through the Bible, his completed revelation to the church at this time. The Bible, and especially the New Testament, is God’s handbook for living for his adopted family, the church.

Then the true Church, all those who have been born again by faith in Jesus Christ, will be resurrected or taken up to meet with Christ in the air at an event called the Rapture of the Church.  This is described in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 where it is written:

13 And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.

15 We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. 17 Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. 18 So encourage each other with these words.”

The Great Tribulation

At some point after the Church is removed, the Age of Israel will resume for a period of seven years; this will be a time of severe judgement on the entire world and Jesus warns his disciples in Matthew 24:21-22 where it is written:

“21 For there will be greater anguish than at any time since the world began. And it will never be so great again. 22 In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive. But it will be shortened for the sake of God’s chosen ones.”

This time of judgement will be brought to a close by the return of the Promised One, the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ to judge the unbeliever and reward the believer; those who survive this time of judgement will populate the earth during the 1,000-year reign of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Next time we will consider the Millennial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ and the final rebellion.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | January 3, 2018

Satan Attacks, It’s All True, All of It! Part 3

A Second Major Assault and God’s Judgement on His Creation

Over the centuries, following the expulsion from the Garden of Eden, the population grew at astounding rates; the atmosphere was still ideal and the population had very long lifespans and excellent health. Despite the perfect environment people still died; we know death is the penalty of sin but since the Garden of Eden had been placed out of reach of what sin were those uncounted thousands that died found guilty?

Only one commandment had been given to mankind and that was to not eat of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil; that tree was no longer accessible so what was the charge against mankind? The Bible answers that question in Romans 5:12-14 where it is written:

12 When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. 13 Yes, people sinned even before the law was given. But it was not counted as sin because there was not yet any law to break. 14 Still, everyone died—from the time of Adam to the time of Moses—even those who did not disobey an explicit commandment of God, as Adam did.”

What this means is that Adam’s sin was imputed to everyone including you and me; since Adam all of mankind, born of human father’s, have been born spiritually dead and infected by a sin nature. It is this problem the Lord Jesus Christ, whose father was God, the Holy Spirit, came to correct; only Adam and Christ were directly “fathered” by God.

Genesis 5 is sometimes referred to as the “Chapter of Death” because of the life cycles described there, born, lived, died going on for hundreds of years. The Bible indicates the time gap between Adam’s creation and the flood to be approximately 1,656 years; I’ve written on this in several essays starting with “The World Before the Flood.”

In Genesis 6 we are given a brief summary of Satan’s efforts to corrupt human DNA and the deadly results that follow. The success of this attack is illustrated by the severity of the judgement; the entire population of the earth minus selected animals and eight humans are all killed; this is covered in the series just referenced.

The Earth as we Know it Today Emerges

The earth today has been dramatically altered by the flood; “The World Before the Flood” series addresses this in some detail; the earth is much the worse for the losses suffered during the flood. The flood was accompanied by severe geological upheavals that dramatically altered the face of the earth; in addition the water vapor canopy that had surrounded the earth became part of the deluge that flooded the earth. The removal of the water vapor canopy was the catalyst for the weather we have today and the increased exposure to radiation we experience today.

Imagine 1,656 years, that’s a very long time with very little happening from a divine perspective; then suddenly something starts to happen, something that has never happened before, water starts falling from the sky and gets heavier and heavier and doesn’t stop; a huge boat that was built on dry land by some “crazy man” suddenly makes a lot of sense but it is too late to do anything about the deluge.

The change was sudden and violent and produced extremely rapid changes in climate producing such phenomena as the “Beresovka Mammoth,” a mammoth elephant discovered on the banks of the Beresovka River in Siberia that was frozen so quickly that ferns and flowers in the stomach that have never been know to grow in Siberia were still identifiable by specific type.

The flood was a single meteorological and geological event that totally changed the earth. After the flood mankind began to settle into a new pattern of life dictated by the major climate changes caused by the flood; nothing has changed since then on the scope involved in the flood; the post diluvian world in which we live today is essentially what was produced by the action of the flood event.

The Survivors

Eight people and an assortment of animals were preserved from drowning by the building of the ark; it was to be their job to repopulate the earth in a much more hostile environment. Earth, without the water vapor canopy, had become a planet of extremes; from frigid cold to sweltering heat swept by storms and blistering sun. The human lifespan began to fall as adversity took its toll on mankind; what had been a lifespan of hundred’s of years began to drop to what we have today.

The Bible leaves out much detail on what happened as the Bible’s purpose is to record man’s fall and God’s remedy to the fall; the Bible is a book of redemption, not a record of man’s history. I suspect that many who have studied the Bible wish more details had been included about the antediluvian world; I suspect it was a fascinating time with a total world population that exceeds what we have today according to some statistical speculation.

The focus of the Bible is on the path that will lead to mankind’s redemption; God had promised a redeemer and the Bible’s mission is to record the essential points along that journey of redemption. The parts of that story that have been revealed tell of mankind’s failure and God’s grace and faithfulness in the face of human frailty.

Next we will consider the preparation phase that is covered in the Old Testament.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | December 20, 2017

A House Divided

A Word of Warning

Today the Congress of the United States passed a new tax bill along strict party lines. The Republicans voted for the bill and the Democrat members of Congress voted against it. This was the most recent example of the political polarity which has enveloped this country.

The angry rhetoric and emotional outbursts primarily from progressive liberals in all walks of life against conservative values and those endorsing conservative values has reached a new level of intensity. The energetic efforts by the left to destroy the national fabric of our society has left little doubt as to the value they place on the national sovereignty of the United States.

Globalist ambitions have been hampered by the nationalism found in the United States of America; efforts to submerge this nation in a more global political structure have been sorely frustrated by the economic strength and strong spirit of nationalism that has characterized this country and its people.

In addition to those obstacles to globalization there exists in this country a very strong Christian influence which still rejects the notion of a global government. The Bible is clear that a form of world government will exist during the Tribulation overseen by the Antichrist; it is this form of government that will be defeated by the Lord Jesus Christ at the Battle of Armageddon.

A Tactical Victory

While the passage of the tax bill represents a small victory in the battle for the United States it does not mean the war is won; the battle for control will continue for a time as determined by the Lord Jesus Christ.

The time of the rapture of the church is known only to God but I’m of the opinion that it is this event that will tip the scales in favor of globalism; the removal of all born-again Christians will spell the end of the United States as a sovereign nation.

I have written of the spiritual war which has been in progress for thousands of years; as Christians we are all soldiers of the Lord charged with the responsibility of fighting the good fight in the power of God, the Holy Spirit.

While the ultimate outcome is assured there are many battles yet to be fought and one recent battle has been won; a battle to preserve the national integrity of the United States for a little longer.

The deep divisions we are seeing in this country bear eloquent testimony to the increasing severity of the war being fought. The Lord Jesus Christ warned us of this danger when he said:

“25 But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.” Matthew 12:25

There seems to be little doubt that the United States is now a kingdom divided against itself; it is foolish to think that this kingdom will stand if that challenge is not addressed and corrected sooner rather than later. Although nationalism has won some battles; the globalist faction is not about to give up.

The United States has accomplished what it has to this point by God’s grace; let us pray that God’s hand of grace may again restore this nation. The fourth verse of our national anthem most beautifully expresses this important principle:

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation,

Blest with victory and peace, may the Heaven – rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, for our cause is just,
And this be our motto –“In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Let us never forget to praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation nor fail to put our trust in God! Let us pray by God’s grace the star-spangled banner may continue to triumphantly wave o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | December 18, 2017

Christmas, When the Word was Made Flesh

The Happiest Season of the Year

On December 25th of each year Christian’s traditionally observe the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ although no one really knows exactly when Christ, the Messiah, was born. Contemporary scholarship seems to lean toward a winter birth in the winter of 5/4 BC; the events described by the authors of the Gospels which were taking place at the time of the Lord’s birth would suggest such an approximate date for the First Advent of our Lord.

While we do not know, with any degree of certainty, when the Lord was born we can know with absolute certainty that he was, in fact, born and that alone is sufficient occasion for rejoicing.

The enormous significance of the First Advent of our Lord may sometimes get lost in the hustle and bustle of the season and the sometimes-frantic preparations that seem to be an inevitable part of the days before Christmas. We have even witnessed an effort on the part of some to remove Christ and Christmas from the winter “Holiday Season” and to secularize the season so as not to offend those who prefer to reject the message of Christ and Christmas; fortunately, that trend is losing ground.

For those of us who love the Lord Jesus Christ, this season is a beautiful reminder of our Lord and the wonder of His birth.

Four Hundred Years of Silence

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

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

The Birth of the King

It is fascinating to me to reflect on the decisions God made as to the birth of the Son of God. The eternal creator of the universe was not to be born in a palace or even a major city of the time; but was to be born of humble parentage in a small insignificant village named Bethlehem. Although both were descended from King David by two different lines of descent, Mary through David’s son Nathan, and Joseph through David’s son Solomon, any association with royalty had faded generations before. His mother, Mary, was a peasant girl and her husband, Joseph, was a simple carpenter; hardly a likely couple to become the caregivers for the humanity of the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe.

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

The Shepherds

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

The Magi

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

Daniel had prophesied the very day our Lord would enter Jerusalem as the Lamb of God and I believe he instructed the magi to pay particular attention as that time drew closer. I believe the star was in fact the Shekinah Glory of God and led the magi to the place where Jesus was living. While none of this is specified in Scripture, it would explain a lot.

Christmas Today

While admittedly under attack, Christmas is still a powerful factor in the lives of many. I think we can all agree that the mood becomes a bit more joyous and happy around Christmas especially in the Christian community. The traditions of Christmas are always welcome and bring remembrances of Christmas past and the fun and fellowship of family and friends. The traditional Christmas hymns are a great blessing and tell the story of our Lord’s birth with beauty and simplicity.

Christmas is a happy time and I’m thankful it is here again! I’ll continue the “truth” series on January 3, 2018 D.V.

Merry Christmas and a Blessed, Happy New Year

 

 

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | December 11, 2017

It’s All True, All of it! Part 2


In His Own Image, by Adele Bower ©

Creation Begins

There came a time before time that a decision was made to create; to that point only the Trinity existed as it always had, unchanging, eternal, but now a decision had been made to create. The existence of the angelic creation is referenced in many places in scripture but the occasion of their creation is not revealed in the Bible. I believe it is safe to assume they were created before Adam and Eve because Satan, as a fallen angel, is present in the Garden of Eden to tempt Eve.

The Bible reveals the existence of angels, and tells of an angelic rebellion followed by the fall of one third of the angelic creation and the ongoing spiritual warfare that has been going on a very long “time” (I use that word advisedly); I wrote of this in a three part series called, “To the Soldiers in the Spiritual War.” I’m inclined to believe that initially the angelic creation existed as spirit beings in a non-corporeal environment; the Bible is silent on that point. To question how long this condition was the norm is essentially meaningless in a timeless eternity.

From there we move on to what seems to be a later creative act described in Genesis 1, the creation of the heavens and the earth. This is a distinctly physical creation with the universe as we know it coming into existence by the word of the Trinity. This process is summarized in the first six chapters of the Book of Genesis on which I have written in a series starting with “The Creation Story“. I am of the studied opinion the earth and the universe as we know it is only a few thousand years old.

At the point man is created, it appears the Trinity would have engaged in three classes of creative acts, the angelic, the physical universe as we know it including animal life, and mankind, who was uniquely created by the breath of God in God’s image; eternal spirits temporarily housed in bodies of the “dust” of the earth. The distinctive nature of man’s creation is a topic I’ve discussed in several essays including “Let’s Face it, your Eternal,” and “Your Temporary Clay Jar – Another Thought.”

The Creation Phase comes to a Close

After the creation of man, the revealed or implied acts of creation by the Trinity came to a close. At some point in the future the Trinity will either create or recreate a new heaven and a new earth; currently in my thinking I’m leaning toward a refiner’s fire; think of the refining of gold to burn out impurities.

By way of review, the eternal Trinity had decided to create; the sequence seems to be the angelic creation came first followed by the creation account recorded in the first chapters of Genesis. The Trinity spoke creation into existence with the exception of man which was breathed into existence and created in the image of the Trinity.

Mankind was placed in a perfect environment and told to rule the animal population and to populate the earth. Adam was given one restriction, he was never to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. After that commandment was given Eve was created from Adam’s rib and became the suitable help God wanted Adam to have.

There is no time reference given to determine how much time had passed after Adam’s creation until the creation of Eve; there is also no time reference for Eve’s creation to her temptation by Satan in the form of a serpent. I am inclined to think in longer rather than shorter terms; I’ve covered this in “The Fall.”

It was during the time after the expulsion from the Garden of Eden I believe Adam and Eve had many children before the recorded birth of Cain; the only information that might be helpful in this regard was Adam’s age of 130 years at the birth of Seth. Remembering that Adam was created as an adult male and Eve as an adult female could open the door to a rather large number of children, wouldn’t you think?

The Bible’s mission is to reveal mankind’s sin and God’s solution to mankind’s problem; not to provide a comprehensive history of mankind; I believe Cain’s wife came from this growing pool of individuals.

Before Adam’s disobedience the earth was a far more hospitable place, precisely designed for mankind’s requirements; after the fall the earth was still a protected environment conducive to man’s health but the Garden of Eden was no longer accessible. The flood, however, severely compromised the earth’s environment and resulted in the general conditions we have today. After the fall and the expulsion from the Garden of Eden Satan’s second assault on God’s plan was to be implemented.

Access to the Garden of Eden was prohibited as a manifestation of God’s grace in order to provide the needed protection for mankind to prevent access to the Tree of Life; living forever with a fallen sin nature is not a happy thought.

Next time we will consider the nature of Satan’s attack and the resulting judgement.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | December 7, 2017

December 7, 1941

Photo from “https://sites.google.com/site/mgmartinezx/mgmartinez

“A Date Which Will Live in Infamy”

As the years pass there are fewer and fewer of us who can remember where they were and what they were doing when the bombing of Pearl Harbor was announced on the radio; I still remember that Sunday afternoon. I was an eight-year-old boy riding in the backseat of a Chevy, four door sedan, on a Sunday afternoon drive to look for campsites for the Boy Scout Troop my stepfather led. I’m sure that none of us could imagine the impact that attack would have on our country and our lives.

Although, by God’s blessing, we were not as profoundly affected as many other countries around the world it would certainly change life as we knew it. Some of the older boys that had been members of the troop would join up and never return; their lives lost on a distant battlefield. My stepfather had concerns about all of the boys that had gone through the troop and especially the boy leaders who had become patrol leaders and later assistant Scoutmasters. There were too many sad moments when we got the news that another former scout had died in the war.

War is Declared

Little time was lost in Washington D. C. in reacting to the attack; Congress was convened and President Roosevelt spoke to both houses.

Address to Congress
Requesting a Declaration of War with Japan
December 8, 1941

“Mr. Vice President, and Mr. Speaker, and Members of the Senate and House of Representatives:

Yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that Nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its Government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American Island of Oahu, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese Government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday the Japanese Government also launched an attack against Malaya.
Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.
Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam.
Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.
Last night the Japanese attacked Wake Island. And this morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our Nation.

As Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense.

But always will our whole Nation remember the character of the onslaught against us.

No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces- with the unbounding determination of our people- we will gain the inevitable triumph- so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.”

Once the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor the United States responded on December 8th with a declaration of war on Japan; because of treaties between Japan, Germany, and Italy that meant we had declared war on all three nations. Below is a copy of the declaration of war on Japan.

Congressional Declaration of War on Japan

“December 8, 1941

JOINT RESOLUTION Declaring that a state of war exists between the Imperial Government of Japan and the Government and the people of the United States and making provisions to prosecute the same.

Whereas the Imperial Government of Japan has committed unprovoked acts of war against the Government and the people of the United States of America:

Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
That the state of war between the United States and the Imperial Government of Japan which has thus been thrust upon the United States is hereby formally declared;
and the President is hereby authorized and directed to employ the entire naval and military forces of the United States and the resources of the Government to carry on war against the Imperial Government of Japan; and, to bring the conflict to a successful termination, all of the resources of the country are hereby pledged by the Congress of the United States.

Approved, December 8, 1941, 4:10 p.m. E.S.T.”

This was a remarkable moment in the history of the United States. The country had been burdened by an economic downturn known as the “Great Depression” which had created many hardships on the American people. In addition, the Central Plains had been ravaged by a drought that was so bad the whole area became known as the dust bowl. Having been raised in Houston, Texas I was indeed fortunate to have experienced little hardship from the depression or the drought.

Fortunately, the drought was beginning to lift by the time the war started and many speculate that the Second World War was the catalyst that brought the United States out of the Great Depression.

A Time for Remembrance

Today is December 7, 2017, let us remember the great price that has been paid that we might continue as a free nation. The old saying, “Freedom is not Free” is as true today as it was on that fateful day in 1941.

Sadly, another form of treachery has once again endangered us, now a second date that will live in infamy has been added to the history of this country and that is 911, September 11, 2001. This is another vivid reminder that our freedoms must be defended or they will be lost.

If we value our nation, it is vital we recognize the changes in tactics that are being employed by those who wish to destroy it; attacks from without and within will continue until we are willing to deal decisively with those wishing its destruction.

Photo from “http://astuteblogger.blogspot.com/2012/09/liberty-was-attacked-on-911-its-still.html

Next week we’ll continue the series on “It’s All True, All of it!”

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | November 29, 2017

It’s All True, All of It! Part 1

Beyond the Imagination of Man Lurks a Truth that is Overpowering!

I was watching “Star Wars, the Force Awakens” when the Han Solo character speaks about the “Force” and says “it’s all true, all of it.” He had discovered the truth about the fictional universe in which they all lived and was acknowledging this reality to others. I had written a while back on another Star Wars movie, “Is There a Force with You Too?,” and provided the definition of the force given there; ” “an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together.”

This rather anthropocentric line by the Han Solo character again made me think of the true reality in which we live; a reality on which I have previously written in “What is Reality?”. The actual truth of our reality goes far, far beyond anything that can be imagined by the mind of man!

It would appear that very few give any serious thought to the true reality in which we live. The enormity of our reality is overpowering and impossible for us to fully comprehend. I have always been deeply moved by the sermon introduction preached by a young pastor in 1855 by the name of Charles Haddon Spurgeon:

A Sermon
(No. 1)
Delivered on Sabbath Morning, January 7th, 1855, by the
REV. C. H. Spurgeon
At New Park Street Chapel, Southwark.

“I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”—Malachi 3:6

“It has been said by some one that “the proper study of mankind is man.” I will not oppose the idea, but I believe it is equally true that the proper study of God’s elect is God; the proper study of a Christian is the Godhead. The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy, which can ever engage the attention of a child of God, is the name, the nature, the person, the work, the doings, and the existence of the great God whom he calls his Father. There is something exceedingly improving to the mind in a contemplation of the Divinity. It is a subject so vast, that all our thoughts are lost in its immensity; so deep, that our pride is drowned in its infinity. Other subjects we can compass and grapple with; in them we feel a kind of self-content, and go our way with the thought, “Behold I am wise.” But when we come to this master-science, finding that our plumb-line cannot sound its depth, and that our eagle eye cannot see its height, we turn away with the thought, that vain man would be wise, but he is like a wild ass’s colt; and with the solemn exclamation, “I am but of yesterday, and know nothing.” No subject of contemplation will tend more to humble the mind, than thoughts of God. We shall be obliged to feel—

“Great God, how infinite art thou,
What worthless worms are we!”

But while the subject humbles the mind it also expands it. He who often thinks of God, will have a larger mind than the man who simply plods around this narrow globe. He may be a naturalist, boasting of his ability to dissect a beetle, anatomize a fly, or arrange insects and animals in classes with well nigh unutterable names; he may be a geologist, able to discourse of the megatherium and the plesiosaurus, and all kinds of extinct animals; he may imagine that his science, whatever it is, ennobles and enlarges his mind. I dare say it does, but after all, the most excellent study for expanding the soul, is the science of Christ, and him crucified, and the knowledge of the Godhead in the glorious Trinity. Nothing will so enlarge the intellect, nothing so magnify the whole soul of man, as a devout, earnest, continued investigation of the great subject of the Deity. And, whilst humbling and expanding, this subject is eminently consolatary. Oh, there is, in contemplating Christ, a balm for every wound; in musing on the Father, there is a quietus for every grief; and in the influence of the Holy Ghost, there is a balsam for every sore. Would you lose your sorrows? Would you drown your cares? Then go, plunge yourself in the Godhead’s deepest sea; be lost in his immensity; and you shall come forth as from a couch of rest, refreshed and invigorated. I know nothing which can so comfort the soul; so calm the swelling billows of grief and sorrow; so speak peace to the winds of trial, as a devout musing upon the subject of the Godhead. It is to that subject that I invite you this morning.”

Such remarkable maturity from a young man; I too find the study of the Trinity very humbling but also inspiring. I would like to devote some time to exploring the reality in which we live; to briefly explore it to the extent we are able based on the revelations we have been given. This journey will be a journey of faith as the elements we will be contemplating are far beyond our ability to understand and to a large extent to even imagine; let us start at a point which I will arbitrarily label a beginning.

A Starting Point

I shall begin this with a request; I ask you to try and imagine an endless void that is totally empty and free of all material matter; there is absolutely nothing there that can be seen in what we think of as a normal fashion. Then I shall ask you to imagine an all-powerful spirit that has always existed in this void; a spirit that is one in essence but three in persons. Let us refer to this spirit as God, the first person, God, the second person, and God, the third person and for convenience sake we shall use the expression, the Trinity.

Age is irrelevant as time has no significance to the Trinity; we speak of a timeless eternity which has always been. At this point our minds stumble and lose all reference points as we are time dependent creatures; living our lives in a time frame unique to this earth. To ask how long did the void continue would be meaningless as time did not exist as we know it.

Let us travel this road of discovery together as we move on to the second of seven parts and continue our exploration of the truth of the reality in which we live.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | November 17, 2017

Putting it All Together

Life comes with a lot of Assembly Required

The manufacturer’s assembly instructions

The Bible is God’s gift to his children; it is the manufacturer’s assembly instructions for life. From the time we are a baby on through our later years we are faced with a never-ending assortment of decisions and choices that need to be made for us to continue our lives; some of these are incidental and some are essential. I have found it very interesting that some of the most important decisions must be made while we are still young and inexperienced in the affairs of this world.

We make decisions concerning marriage and career while we are still so young and relatively innocent; these decisions have a strong impact on everything that will come later. The Lord knew we would wind up in this situation and gave us instructions on how best to fit the pieces of our lives together in the way he had planned for us and would produce the best results.

What makes this so dangerous is all too often young people who are making important life decisions have no idea how much they don’t know; they have no idea how extensive will be the change in their perspective on almost everything as they grow older; I am still fascinated by the changes in my perspectives on life as I discussed in A Surprising Discovery.

The Swing Set

Many years ago, when the children were still small, we decided it was time to get them a swing set for the backyard. We found a fully assembled demo set at one store that was available at a discounted price; that seemed like a good choice especially as it was already fully assembled and I thought it would be delivered to us that way.

Boy, was I wrong about that; when delivered, the swing set had been completely disassembled and had all of the nuts and bolts dumped into one big bag and there were no instructions included. Not only did I have to assemble the swing set completely but I had to do it with no instructions whatsoever.

I learned quickly that there were certain guidelines that I had to follow and after extended trial and tribulation I finally got it put together; it probably took twice as long as it should have because there were no instructions for assembly so my approach had to be trial and error. It is this confusion and delay that God wants to spare us by giving us careful instructions on how we should assemble our lives.

Your Life Assembly is Still a Work in Progress!

All of us are still working on life assembly; as long as we live we will be works in progress. We are much more complicated than a swing set and our assembly can get really complicated; what complicates our situation even more is we are handed conflicting assembly instructions by the world, the flesh, and the devil. All too often these false instructions appear to offer shortcuts and quick fixes that will wind up leadings us down dangerous slopes that could harm us. In my work with GMO I see so much of this all over the world; Satan is alive and well on planet Earth and all too often people are looking for what appears to be the easy way.

Things that are True, Honorable, Right, Pure, Lovely, and Admirable

In his grace, God has given us the best advice about assembling our lives; I’m particularly appreciative of the advice given in Philippians 4:4-9 where it is written:

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 personally think on these verses many times a day and encourage others to think on them as often as they have the opportunity. We have a responsibility to ourselves and others to help them focus on the authentic assembly instructions provided by the manufacturer and ignore the false instructions that come from other sources.

The Media

The vast majority of the news and information we see is totally contrary to the advice we are given in verse 8; how great a disservice are we doing ourselves to let the media influence our perspectives on our lives as children of God. We look at the world through the media’s eyes and we see the good, the bad and the ugly everywhere we look; on balance the bad and the ugly seem to be featured, especially so in Washington, D.C.

Ask yourself in the privacy of your own mind: what percentage of your thoughts are rejoicing in the Lord and what percentage is worry or annoyance over current events? Your private answer to that question can give you a guide to how well you’re following the manufacturer’s instructions for your life assembly.

Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | November 10, 2017

God’s Extravagant Love for You

God’s Image at Work in You

You are a very special creation of God; as a human being you are descended from a line that was breathed into existence by the breath of God and made in God’s image. Of all creation only mankind was created in this fashion; all else was spoken into existence. In the beginning we are told of man’s responsibility to the animals; in Genesis 1:26 it is written:

“26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

Today vestiges of that rule, despite the fall, may still be found as we seem to see in many a desire to love and care for animal life. What has always amazed me about animals is how each of them are truly, independently unique creations. Each of them have personalities that are one of a kind and never to be repeated; God is so extravagant in his creative process!

Abby Cat in a pensive mood

I’ve often reflected on the significance of our love for these dependent creatures; to my thinking this love gives us a picture of God’s love for us. We love them, feed them, clean up after them and delight in their presence as they sleep on whatever seems comfortable at the time or play with wild abandon. If we can love them as much as we do then God’s love for us is truly possible too since God is love.

Over the years we have been blessed to share the lives of many precious animals; I still remember the names of most of them and recall the joy they brought into our lives. When we were first married I was not a cat person so for several years we had no cats in the house; I was a dog person so we had dogs but no cats.

The Cat Invasion

There came a time when I decided a cat might be a good idea so we started looking for a cat to adopt into our family. Surprisingly there seemed to be a shortage of kittens wanting adoption and we had trouble finding one we could adopt. One day our family was driving down a back road near our house and we say a very small black head sticking up out of the weeds along the side of the road. We stopped and found a small black and white kitten that was all alone and took him home to his new forever home. We named him Charlie and he became the feline member of our family.

Charlie was one of the most remarkable cats I have ever known; he became a big tom and would insist on going out at night which we permitted. In the morning he would be back a little the worse for wear and we would take care of him. One of the most amazing things about Charlie was his amazing patience with our daughter; he would let her get away with anything and never scratched her. She would stack wooden blocks on him and then lay on top of the blocks on him; he would howl for rescue but would endure the indignities until my wife or I came to his rescue.

Charlie was the inspiration for this artwork. © Adele Bower

On other occasions our daughter would dress him in doll clothes and push him around in a little doll baby buggy she had and he would patiently sit there and endure it. Charlie’s patience did have its limits however; once we were all sitting on the front porch joined by some neighbor children and a dog had the nerve to walk down the sidewalk in front of our house. Charlie took one look at the dog and ran after it and chased it off down the street. One little neighbor boy was shocked and said, “I thought dogs chased cats!”

Charlie was with us when we moved from the Dallas area back to Houston and seemed to adjust to his new location with no problems. His nocturnal roaming’s continued, at his insistence, and we would let him back into the house the next morning. One morning he was not at the back door and we wondered where he might be; it was a Saturday morning and I had to go to work as a salesman for a home building company.

I drove down our street to a major street near our house and just happened to see a small black and white clump in the street about a half block down and knew I had to check that out. Sadly it was Charlie, he had been hit by a car and killed; I picked up his body and drove back to the house, sobbing as I returned home and told the family what had happened; we decided to bury him in a safe place. Since then no cat of ours has ever been allowed to leave the house, lesson learned!

Years have passed but cats are still a big part of our lives; we now have two cats, Abby Cat and Tomboy who are members of the family. Abby Cat was found on a used car lot and Tomboy wandered into our backyard and from there into his forever home.

Notice the smudge on Tomboy’s jaw; the picture was taken in January of 2013 while he was still an outdoor cat.

The Moral of the Story

In his grace, God has given us wonderful creatures to love and enjoy; creatures to appreciate and care for as he intended from the beginning. After Adam’s disobedience everything changed; fear and death came into God’s creation and marred the relationship man was to have had with the animals. Mankind, in his fallen state, would all too often fail to rule the animals with God’s love and as a defense, God gave animals a fear of man to help protect them from the fallen nature that had become a part of man.

In spite of the fall the vestiges of man’s rule over the animal’s remains in some as they lovingly watch over and care for the animals that have been entrusted to their keeping. As we express this love we are permitted a glimpse of God’s love for us, as his creation. The ultimate expression of that love was revealed by the human birth of God, the Son, to take on the form of a servant and die as the sacrifice for the sins of the creation.

Today, as we watch over the precious lives entrusted to our care, we are given a sense of God’s unconditional love for his children. If we, with our flawed sin natures, can love these dear lives then we can better understand God’s love for those of us who have the righteousness of Christ imputed to us as the free gift of faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

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