Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | March 25, 2019

“Watching all the Girls go by” Living at Peace with Your Tent.

Peace

Playing the Hand You’ve Been Dealt.

Let’s face it, the basic configuration of your temporary dwelling, your tent, is something you inherited from your parents. While it is true, the maintenance and care you give it has a profound effect on the long-term functionality and appearance of your tent, the basic design elements, however, are programmed into your DNA and you have nothing to say about that.

A key point in making peace with your tent is to recognize it as a temporary arrangement; the sooner one accepts the inevitability of leaving one’s tent behind the easier it becomes as that eventually happens in the family. Always keep in mind, you are not your tent, you are an eternal spirit temporarily occupying a tent which is a product of this earth!

Living with Your Tent

I have heard the expressions, average build and height and average appearance many times, especially if one watches the crime shows or the news. Are there consequences for being above or below average? I believe there are consequences in both directions; for a woman, being unusually beautiful can impose a burden just as much as being unusually unattractive. If asked, most women would probably opt for being unusually beautiful but that, to a great degree, is largely a matter of DNA.

For men, appearance is balanced, to some degree, against physical or financial accomplishment. While it helps for a young man to look handsome, if he is a major sports figure or financial success, that can shift the balance in his favor.

One of the factors that makes people watching so interesting is the vast number of differences that occur in the distribution of those features we all share in common. Our general configuration is shared by every human being who has lived on the face of this earth; we all have the same equipment according to our gender, yet we have little trouble in distinguishing between various people.

Slight changes, here and there, produce dramatically different results in people and while there are clearly types of general appearance, within those types, one may observe an endless variety of possibilities. Beauty is definitely in the eyes of the observer; standards for what is thought of as beautiful vary dramatically all over the world.

Deviating from “average” in either direction can introduce complications for either man or woman; it has the potential to shift attention away from the occupant and to the tent; that is dangerous territory as the tent is transient and the occupant is eternal.

Anything that directs the occupant’s attention away from eternal, spiritual matters to the temporal is treacherous and filled with dangers! It is truly sad when the appearance of the tent becomes an essential part of the identity of the occupant as nothing will stop the steady deterioration of the tent.

I have definitely been impressed with how rapidly the tent changes; as I look back, it is easy to recall the dramatic changes that have impacted everyone I know. People I first knew as babies are now grandparents or even great-grandparents and it all seemed to happen so fast. To place too great an emphasis on something that changes so quickly is truly missing the point; it is the occupant that counts, not the tent.

Being at Peace with Your Tent

While we inherited much of what makes up our tent, we have a serious responsibility to see that our tent is cared for respectfully. As Christians, we have been joined in our tents by God, the Holy Spirit and are told our tents have, in effect, become God’s tabernacle on earth.

While Israel was wandering in the wilderness, the Spirit of God inhabited the Tabernacle; when Israel was settled in the Promised Land, the Lord permitted the construction of the Temple by Solomon. As the church, we have yet to reach our promised land and during our mortality are wandering in Satan’s wilderness of sin.

By God’s grace, the Holy Spirit now resides in the tents of the born-again Christian; I’m always mindful of Paul’s admonition to the Church at Corinth where he tells them in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20:

19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body.

Just as the Jews respected and cared for the Tabernacle in the wilderness and the Temple in the Land, so should we respect and care for our bodies out of respect for the presence of God, the Holy Spirit within us! After all, we were bought at a price and must therefore glorify God with our bodies!

The union we have with God, the Holy Spirit is eternal and will never change; we have been made “heirs of God and also fellow heirs with Christ;” “our present sufferings cannot even be compared to the coming glory that will be revealed to us!”

The churches promised land is the New Jerusalem; that is our home and the place where we will someday live, our promised land. In Revelation 21 it is written:

And I saw the holy city—the new Jerusalem—descending out of heaven from God, made ready like a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: “Look! The residence of God is among human beings. He will live among them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will not exist any more—or mourning, or crying, or pain, for the former things have ceased to exist.”

“22 Now I saw no temple in the city, because the Lord God—the All-Powerful—and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, because the glory of God lights it up, and its lamp is the Lamb.”

That is truly a blessed hope, one we shall enjoy from the vantage point of our eternal, heavenly bodies! In the meantime, let us be faithful to:

Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!Philippians 4:4

 

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | March 18, 2019

Watching all the Girls go by, You and Your Tent

School Girl

You are Not Your Tent

It is easy to fall into a trap, the trap of associating the tent with its occupant. While that is easy to understand, as the tent is all we can see, it is important to remember the truth about who and what we are; we are spirit beings created in the image of God who temporarily occupy a body of this earth; a body designed to be sustained by the products of the earth and which are strictly a temporary dwelling place for our eternal spirits!

I love the way David expressed his wonder about the amazing works of God, where in Psalms 139:13-17 he wrote:

13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
    How vast is the sum of them!

It is also important to remember, as spirit beings, we cannot be harmed by physical means, there is nothing, of this earth, that can touch us or harm us in any way at all. Our mortal bodies are another matter entirely, they can indeed be touched and harmed and even destroyed by things of this earth as they are of this earth while we are of God.

I’m reminded of the news alert where it is announced that a house burned down but no one was home so there were no injuries or deaths. Our tents are empty when they stop living; our spirits have departed and left an empty tent behind; in fact, it is the departure of our spirits which creates the situation called death, which is sometimes referred to in the Bible as sleep. I am saddened when I see a family in great sorrow over the loss of a loved one as if the departed one was the tent they had occupied for a time.

As Christians, we return to our Lord and are present with him at the moment of death; the tents we leave behind were never to be anything more than a temporary shelter. Paul expresses this thought beautifully in 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 where it is written:

“6 Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.”

A Personal Example

Our first son, a devoted Christian, died of an inoperable brain cancer in 1985; he had fought the cancer, a grade three Astrocytoma, for over four years but the cancer was not to be denied. He was admitted to a hospice as the end of his mortal life approached; it was on a Sunday evening and the immediate family was gathered around him as he breathed his last. I led in prayer and asked the Lord to give us the strength to demonstrate the abundant sufficiency of God’s grace in our time of testing.

His funeral was three days later and several members of the family had chosen to speak at the funeral. When I spoke I said the last three days have been the happiest days of our son’s life and I meant that with all my heart. He had arrived at home and was enjoying sights and sounds we cannot even imagine. After the funeral, the family formed a line at the exit and thanked the attendees for coming to the funeral as they left the service.

We had wanted that service to be the celebration of a life that had brought so much joy to us, not mourning the loss of a beloved son; we wanted it understood that this was not the end for our son, but only the beginning of a new phase of his life! By God’s all-sufficient grace, I believe he honored my prayer. There was sadness, and it was a life-changing time, but it was also a time of hope and rejoicing in the promises to come.

His picture is on my desk and not a day goes by I don’t miss him; but I have the confident knowledge that someday I will see him again. While his tent has returned to the earth from whence it came; he is at home with the Lord and enjoying the rich blessings of heaven. My wife and I rejoice in our younger son and his family and our daughter and her family; their presence in our lives brings great joy to us both!

At a time, known only to God, this will all change; Paul speaks of this in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 where it is written:

“13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.”

Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Next time, “Living at Peace with your Tent.”

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | March 11, 2019

“Watching all the Girls go by”

School Girl

You don’t know a nicer occupation

In 1956 a song was released that became very popular, “Standing on the Corner Watching all the Girls Go By” The song started out like this:

“Standing on the corner watching all the girls go by
Standing on the corner watching all the girls go by
Brother you don’t know a nicer occupation
Matter of fact, neither do I
Than standing on the corner watching all the girls
Watching all the girls, watching all the girls go by”

While the practice of girl watching is likely as old as humanity; the thought was set to a catchy tune and became very popular for several years and recorded by notable singers of the time.

Whether its boys watching girls, girls watching boys, babies watching babies, or just people watching people the practice of watching others has a well-established history of popularity. Over the years I have watched people with some interest and noticed the changes that have taken place as time passed by.

I no longer see “girls” or “boys,” I see human beings with a past, present, and a future; I wonder if they are spiritually dead or alive; I wonder what they are thinking and the nature of their concerns. Age has completely changed my perspective on people watching; time takes its toll on all of us and that happens somewhat more quickly than we may imagine.

The Visible Part of us is Temporary

The Bible reveals that the visible part of each of us is the only part that was not redeemed at the point of our new birth; while spiritually, every Christian has been born again into eternal spiritual life, our physical bodies still suffer under the Adamic curse and simply cannot accompany us into our eternity with God. Paul describes our physical bodies as tents in order to illustrate our short-term relationship with them.

Despite their temporary nature, they are the only part of us visible to human perception and therefore all too easily inextricably associated with the eternal spirit they contain. It requires a leap of faith to separate the tent from its occupant but that is what the Bible reveals to us; it must be discarded or transformed.

Paul goes on to explain, in 2 Corinthians 5:1-5 it is written:

“5 For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”

I’m particularly fond of Paul’s use of the tent as a symbol for our mortal bodies; we occupy these earthly bodies for a brief season then we move on in accordance with God’s plan. Nevertheless, there is an undeniable charm for me in tent watching; I have found it endlessly fascinating just to watch the tents go by and wonder about them. One thing for sure; they are like a book, they cannot be judged by their cover!

Tents Get Old and Wear Out

I’ve now occupied my tent for 86 years and it is beginning to show some signs of wear and tear around the edges. All told, it has been a faithful tent and has performed its designated job very well; I have no complaints at all (although being left-handed has produced some awkward moments).

Years ago, I made peace with the reality surrounding my tent and realized there would come a time when I must lay it aside and move on; I must admit I hope that time is in the more distant future! There is still much I want to do with the time I’ve been allotted and continue to rejoice in the deposit I’ve been given in the person of God, the Holy Spirit.

Next time, “You and Your Tent”

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | March 1, 2019

Breaking Through the Painted Veil that Hides Reality!

Breaking the Chains that Bind You!

In May of 2014 I published an essay entitled, “The Painted Veil That Hides Reality.” In it I pointed out the challenge we face in distinguishing what is real from what is a transient facade. For some reason it has developed a life of its own and is read almost every day by someone, somewhere.

I have, for many years, observed the challenge I face, on almost a daily basis, in keeping my focus on the spiritual realities of life and living. The classic three, “the world, the flesh, and the devil” seek to misdirect my attention away from spiritual realities and focus it on the things of this world.

Society today seeks to point us toward the empiricist approach to life as opposed to a life of faith. If we were to examine a dictionary definition of empiricism, we would find something similar to the following:

em·pir·i·cism (ĕm-pîrĭ-sĭzəm) 1. The view that experience, especially of the senses, is the only source of knowledge. (American Heritage Dictionary)

Obviously, such an approach excludes faith as a valid source of knowledge. The message of the Bible, which is a message of faith, becomes completely irrelevant and even foolish as the Bible points out in 1 Corinthians 1:18 where it is written:

18 For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Curiously, empiricism itself demonstrates how futile it is when it comes to living a life that is complete, and filled with peace and joy! The media is filled with breaking news of repeated failures to find the kind of peace and joy offered by a life of faith; the veil that has been painted by Satan is doing its job very well indeed.

A Life Filled with Challenge

The Lord knew his children would face these challenges and has given us a book of faith, the Bible, to help us find ourselves and provide the orientation we need to find our way in this troubled world.

In Hebrews 11 we are told of the necessity of a faith approach to life; in verse 6:

Now without faith it is impossible to please him, for the one who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

In Romans 1:17 we read:

17 This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”

Later in Romans Paul tells us in Chapter 10, verse 17:

17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

The Astounding Truth About the Reality in Which we Live!

By God’s grace, I have followed a journey of discovery which began for me as a young man; one manifestation of his grace to me was the gift of my wife to join with me in this journey of discovery. For over 66 years we have journeyed through life together and shared in the amazing discoveries God had planned for us.

It all began when we were blessed with a serious hunger for the word of God, the Bible, and began to discover the wondrous truths revealed there. There are no words to express the profound difference it began to make in our lives. As one might expect, our journey has been filled with obstacles, difficulties, failures and successes; it has not always been an easy road but God’s unfailing faithfulness to us always carried us through the really hard parts.

Out of all this has emerged a genuine awe for the true reality in which we live; the reality that God reveals in the Bible will outlast all we can observe with our senses. In a very true way, our senses have imprisoned us in a world that is little better than a painted veil; we experience those things we can examine with our senses and let that experience become the beginning and the ending of what, and who we are. It is like being confined to a very small cell and not realizing our creator God has already opened the door to our cell and is encouraging us to leave our cell and go beyond the confines of our cell of personal experience and explore the universe of faith that lies beyond.

We are Living in the Most Extraordinary Universe of All!

I have dedicated a number of essays to the subject of God’s reality and encouraged readers to step outside their cell and explore the eternal, spiritual realities that await them. As a science fiction enthusiast, I have read stories set in many different universes as conceived by the mind of the writer; I can promise you that none of those universes can compare to the universe described in the Bible, no, not to the very least degree!

The universe in which we live is infinitely more imaginative, exciting, and challenging than anything I’ve ever read in the field of fantasy or science fiction; I can promise you that! In “What is Reality?” I described the Triune God as the only true reality; I elaborated on that theme in a seven part series, “It’s All True, All of If.” 

The bottom-line truth is we are living in a totally fantastic universe that defies human imagination; the things God has done are off-the-charts amazing! What is rather shocking to me is how little attention this is given by those who have been incorporated into God’s plan by the new birth.

The Trinity has taken immense steps to redeem his fallen creation; the second person of the Trinity took on the humanity of his creation and permitted it to die to redeem it; the third person of the Trinity has come to earth to create an eternal bond by restoring their spiritual life and eternally indwelling those who have been born again.

These are staggering truths and should be a source of eternal rejoicing to all who have reaped the incredible benefits of God’s reality. I urge every one of us to stop looking through the iron bars of empiricism; to turn around and see the open door of faith and walk through it and fill your lives with God’s joy, peace, and rejoicing!

“Behold the proud,
His soul is not upright in him;
But the just shall live by his faith. Habakkuk 2:4

 

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | February 20, 2019

On Being Born of the Holy Spirit

The Vital Necessity of the New Birth

Last time I wrote on Satan’s efforts to confuse and deceive mankind regarding what’s really important, using race as a key problem dividing mankind in place of the new birth; I went on to explain that race is totally irrelevant in comparison to being born again!

Receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior initiates a series of spiritual changes that have eternal ramifications. Although these changes do not impact the temporary mortal bodies we inherited from Adam, they are, nevertheless, of critical significance to the new believer; let us consider some of the changes that take place in the spiritual condition of the born again believer.

(It is important to recall that we are primarily eternal spiritual beings, made in the image of God, who, at the moment, temporarily inhabit a mortal body made of the dust of the earth.)

The Bible records the experience of a man seeking answers from the Lord; this man, an important Jewish leader named Nicodemus, came to the Lord at night to get some answers. Nicodemus initially comments on the miracles Jesus had performed but Jesus immediately turns the conversation to the importance of being born again. In John 3:3 our Lord tells him:

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus is confused and Jesus adds:

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

The Roll of the Holy Spirit in the Birth of Jesus and the New Birth of Believers

Let us look back, for a moment, at the account we have of the birth of Jesus; in Luke 1:35 we read:

35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.

It is evident from this, the father of the humanity of Jesus was the Holy Spirit. Mary was a virgin yet she conceived a child by the power of God, the Holy Spirit.

Now, let us consider our Lord’s comments to his disciples regarding the Holy Spirit. In John 14:15-18 the Lord comforts his disciples:

15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”

A key point in that statement is the shift of the Spirit from being with the disciples to being in them. That shift came at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit first indwelt believers thereby creating the true church, the body of Christ. Since Pentecost, all new believers are baptized into the body of Christ and indwelt by the Holy Spirit.

Salvation is the new birth, by the power of God, the Holy Spirit, and the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit in each new believer. Before we are born again, we are spiritually dead and have Adam as our spiritual father; at salvation, we are born again by the power of God, the Holy Spirit, brought back to spiritual life and have a new spiritual father.

(Our mortal bodies still have Adam as their father and still suffer under the Adamic curse; our mortal bodies can have no part in our heavenly future and must die or be totally transformed into a heavenly body at the resurrection; the last living generation at the time of the Rapture of the Church will experience this instantaneous transformation.)

Paul speaks to this in 2 Corinthians 5:17 where it is written:

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

Again in 1 Corinthians 12:13 we read:

“13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.

In Romans 8:16-17:

16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

Regarding the last living generation before the Rapture we read in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18:

15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.”

A New Creation

As born-again Christians we are a new creation; we become children of God and joint heirs with Christ; our true spiritual selves are no longer constrained by the Adamic curse and we have imputed to us the righteousness of Christ. The Holy Spirit has become the instrument of our new birth just as he was the instrument of the birth of the mortal body of Jesus Christ; we share a common heritage with Christ thereby confirming his relationship to us as our “Kinsman/Redeemer!”

That is the reason Christ could tell his disciples in John 16:7:

Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.”

Today we are living in the Age of Grace; God has extended an invitation to join him as his children by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. This age will end when the children are called home and the hand of God’s judgment falls on the earth. I encourage all who care to receive this invitation with thanksgiving; believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved from the wrath to come.

“20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.”

Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”  Revelation 22:20-21

Painting by Adele Bower ©

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | February 15, 2019

Racism, Satanic Deception in Action!

(In July of 2016 I published the following essay, “Are you a white man or a black man?”; in light of the current focus on race, I felt it was timely to update and publish it again. I see racial conflict as a tool of Satan to hide the true issues mankind faces, issues of eternal consequences; racial divisions are a perfect example of Satanic deception!)

“Are you a white man or a black man?”

“I am sorry about this question but I truly want to know you.”

The two headings above are copied directly from a letter I received from a precious Christian brother in Nigeria which I answered from a Christian perspective. The overall tone of the letter was gracious and loving but it was the very first time I had been asked that question out of many thousands of letters I have received during my years as an online missionary for Global Media Outreach. That question and comment triggered a line of thought and meditation which has resulted in this essay.

It seems race is becoming an ever greater point of consideration, contention or even confrontation on the world scene; reports on the recent killings in Dallas reference a black shooter who said he, “wanted to kill white people.” The truly sad fact of the matter is despite the intensity of focus by the protesters and the media, race is of no importance at all with regard to spiritual matters of eternal significance.

There are Only Two Distinct Classes of People!

The entire population of the world is made up of only two classes of people; those spiritually alive and those spiritually dead! The second birth is the exclusive distinction that makes a deep and eternal difference in the lives of all people and there is no visible difference between the spiritually dead and the spiritually alive; race is truly irrelevant!

Racially we all descend from Adam through Noah; the gene pool was greatly reduced by the flood and while we can all claim Noah as an ancestor we are, at this point, divided between the three sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Genesis 10

There are many different nationalities in each group, the living and the dead, but their racial differences are of absolutely no consequence when it comes to their being spiritually alive or spiritually dead! The point of differentiation comes with the matter of the new birth; it is only by being born again by the power of God, the Holy Spirit that one moves from the dead to the living. People of any nation or race can make the transition from death to life by personal faith in Jesus Christ as Savior!

Satanic Deception

Why then is the real issue of spiritual life and death so widely ignored? How is it that relatively inconsequential issues dominate the media and the minds of mankind? There is one obvious explanation for this, we are living on Satan’s world and Satan is the prince of the power of the air.

In the Bible we read:

“2 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. Ephesians 2:1-3

“9 This great dragon—the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world—was thrown down to the earth with all his angels.” Revelation 12:9

The children of wrath, the sons of disobedience, are deceiving and being deceived by the influences of Satan and Satan’s world; the truth that could set them free is being obscured by multiple fantasies of Satanic deception! Racial conflict, at any level, is playing right into Satanic deception by obscuring the issue of the second birth!

A Spiritual Battlefield

I have written extensively on the subject of the spiritual war and the search facility in the upper right-hand corner of this website will produce many examples. I have noted the very existence of a spiritual war is often ignored by the organized church and many Christians have no knowledge that such a war is even in progress much less understanding they are a soldier in that war. This continues to be a dangerous omission for the Christian community.

One of the major factors in this war for men’s souls is the world-wide ministry of God, the Holy Spirit. In John 16: 7-11 we are told of the Holy Spirit’s ministry to the world:

“7 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.8 And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. 9 The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me. 10 Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more. 11 Judgment will come because the ruler of this world has already been judged.”

I draw your attention once more to verse 9, “9 The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me.” Why is that the world’s sin? Because all other sins were paid for in full by Christ’s death on the cross. I have written more on this in “Is There One Unforgivable Sin?”

When Christ said, “It is finished!” He really meant it! This is why the focus of the Satanic attack is to divert attention elsewhere; deception and distraction to keep the world’s attention on anything and everything but the person and the work of the Lord Jesus Christ and the critical importance of being born again! Sadly the organized church is falling into Satan’s trap and letting inconsequential issues take center stage while overlooking the critical preeminence of the second birth.

Whereas the ultimate victory has been won by Christ’s death on the cross, the battle is still raging and the Satanic forces of evil are still causing damage and destruction using many deceptions including racial conflict. Many thousands are, however, being turned from death to life by the power of God, the Holy Spirit but the warfare is still raging all around us.

A Strategic Withdrawal

At a time known only to God the true church, the body of Christ, will be removed from the Earth along with the restraining ministry of the Holy Spirit; at that terrifying time Satan and sin will begin to have it’s way in a manner unprecedented on the Earth. Later, a covenant will be signed by Israel with the Antichrist and this event will start the last seven years God promised to Israel, a time known as the Tribulation. The time of the church’s strategic withdrawal may be near, only God knows the date He has planned for that event from eternity past.

In view of the staggeringly major events God has ordained for what I believe is the near future, let those of us who long for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ turn our backs on any form of Satanic distraction including racial division or conflict and keep our eyes and attention on what really matters. The mission of the church is to bring people to Christ by the new birth and help them as they grow towards Christian maturity. Let us join with the Holy Spirit in this epic battle to complete the body of Christ.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | February 8, 2019

Satanism and the Antichrist, concluded

The Antichrist as Benefactor and Deliverer

There is a time coming when God shall remove the true church; every born-again believer will be removed from the face of the earth in the twinkling of an eye. Needless to say, this will cause great chaos all over the world, especially in nations with an extensive Christian population such as the United States. Those left behind will want and need someone to bring order out of chaos and Satan will supply a deliverer described in the Bible as the Antichrist.

Initially, the Antichrist will appear as a charismatic problem solver who will restore order to the world and whose message of comfort will also strike a harmonious chord with those left behind.

After a period of three and one-half years, the Antichrist will be indwelt by Satan and declare himself to be worshiped as God. These events are described in the Book of Revelation and will be a time of severe judgment by God.

The End of the Tribulation

The Bible warns us were these times not cut short, no flesh would survive the judgments on the earth; God, however, limits those coming times to a total period of seven years after which the Lord Jesus Christ returns as King of kings and Lord of lords and brings that time of judgment to an end. All surviving unbelievers are judged and cast into the Lake of Fire; Satan is bound for 1,000 years and all believers, who survive the Tribulation, become the first mortal humans to populate the Millennial Kingdom.

 The Millennial Reign of the Lord Jesus Christ

 At the end of the Tribulation, the Antichrist and the False Prophet are thrown into the Lake of Fire for all eternity and the earth will be restored for the Millennial Kingdom over which the Lord Jesus Christ shall reign. For 1,000 years; the earth will enjoy a perfect environment and a perfect society. I have always found it rather fascinating that mankind’s history begins and ends with perfect environment which is then followed by disobedience or revolt.

Adam disobeys God’s command and is expelled from the Garden of Eden; at the end of the 1,000 years Satan will be released to lead all who have rejected salvation in Jesus Christ in rebellion against the Lord at which time fire will fall from heaven and destroy the armies of Satan. These events have been covered in greater detail in “What’s Going to Happen Next.” a series of essays that cover end-time events.

Perfect environment, ending with dramatic failure clearly demonstrates mankind’s problem is internal, not environmental.

While these events are disturbing, we can know they are all part of God’s will for mankind as God works out all things after the counsel of his own will. In Ephesians 1:11 we read:

11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,”

What Should Christians do Now?

A knowledge of what the Lord is planning for the end-times should be a rich source of comfort and blessing for every Christian. As we see the world beginning to shift to a conformity with Bible prophecy, we can know that God’s will is being done, even as we watch. For those who love our Lord and long for his return, this should be a time of rejoicing as we see the words of prophecy being fulfilled around us.

While the Lord does not reveal the exact timing of his return, he does admonish us to look for it, rejoice in the promise of it and exult in the certainty of it. Paul closes 1 Thessalonians with a series of exhortations; I’m particularly fond of the verses in chapter 5, verses 16-22 where it is written:

“16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.”

Wouldn’t you agree that’s much better than worrying?

Next time, “Racism, A Very Successful Satanic Deception!”

Painting, “Stars” Adele Bower©

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | February 1, 2019

Satanism and the Antichrist, part 1

Satanism in the USA

Toying with the idea of Satan and things associated with Satanism has achieved something of a cult status in the United States. In the minds of some, it is a fashionable game to be played with others who share similar interests in the supernatural. The representations of Satan are usually rather garish and fearful; intended to strike fear into the observer.

A fearful notion of Satan is the total opposite of the way Satan really works; historically Satan has appeared as a sympathetic problem solver who just wants to offer helpful suggestions, to help one find an easy answer to problems. It is vital to understand that deception is the tool of choice, not fear.

Satan is Real!

Also, let it be understood, Satan is a real created being, a fallen angel, of great power, who has been responsible for a lot of misery over the course of history. Satan did not start out that way however, originally Satan had a different name, he was called Lucifer and here is his story as described in the Bible.

“You were the seal of perfection,
Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
13 You were in Eden, the garden of God;
Every precious stone was your covering:
The sardius, topaz, and diamond,
Beryl, onyx, and jasper,
Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold.
The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes
Was prepared for you on the day you were created.

14 “You were the anointed cherub who covers;
I established you;
You were on the holy mountain of God;
You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones.
15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created,
Till iniquity was found in you. Ezekiel 28:12b-15

At some point, before the creation of the world, Lucifer aspired to something greater and became obsessed with ambitions to be more than what he was.

12 “How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!
13 For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’
15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol,
To the lowest depths of the Pit.

 Isaiah 14:12-15 NKJV

Lost to Satan

The Bible tells us that at the time of Adam’s disobedience, he died spiritually and the dominion he had been given over the earth was forfeited to Satan; we now live in a world which is under the control of Satan who the Bible describes as “the prince of the power of the air.” Ephesians 2:2

I mention this at the beginning as Lucifer’s five I wills have established a pattern for Satanism that is followed at this moment in the United States. Even a casual look at Satanism in this country will reveal the similarities between the contemporary principles of Satanism and the historic five I wills of Lucifer. If you enter the word, Satanism, into your search engine, you will encounter a massive quantity of references, I found 157,000,000.

Satanism focuses on the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life; it is best left in the trash-bin of history, but should you have any interest in researching Satanic beliefs there is an abundance of information available on the web; I encourage you to keep the five I wills in mind as you read.

Satanism’s Appeal to Man’s Fallen Nature

Satan is the master of deception; his preferred approach is as a solver of problems. He approached Eve in that manner, he approached Jesus in that manner and he still uses the same formula today all over the world. Satan’s lie is he provides easy, quick fixes to all your problems, just trust him, OK?

Satanic influence appears as benevolent, friendly, helpful, kind and helps achieve immediate gratification, the quick fix! The problem is, none of his suggestions really work; they provide a shortcut to destruction. Jim Jones and the Jonestown tragedy serve as a good example of Satanic influence resulting in disaster.

The Bible is clear in declaring all mankind died spiritually in Adam when he disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden. In Romans 5:12 it is written:

12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—”

As a result of Adam’s sin, everyone, born of a human father, is born spiritually dead with an active sin nature; spiritual life can only come by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and the new birth by the power of God, the Holy Spirit. With the new birth comes the ability to quench the power of the sin nature by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Sadly, the sin nature is not removed but is considered to have been crucified with Christ and no longer has total control of the born-again Christian. When there is no unconfessed sin in the Christian’s life the power of the Holy Spirit is released and can lead the Christian.

The unbeliever, spiritually dead and controlled by the sin nature, finds the Satanic message comfortable and appealing; the Satanic deception has a ring of truth to it that strikes a harmonious chord.

Where is the USA?

Nationally there is a movement to remove God, and the Bible from the public arena; as this movement progresses the resulting moral vacuum is being filled by rebellion and anarchy. Many, who have studied the Bible’s end-times portions, have wondered about the clear absence of the United States as a dominant world power during the last days.

While the Bible does not reveal God’s timing for the end-times, it does describe the world situation and the United States is nowhere to be found; I believe we are seeing the reason for that play out before our eyes. The removal of all Christians will severely cripple this nation and subject it to a vicious attack by nations who see it as the enemy. I have written more on this in “What is Coming Next for the Church and Israel.” This is the first of a three-part series on the end-times.

Next time, the Antichrist and the end-time events.

Painting, “Stars” Adele Bower©

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | January 25, 2019

Inner Peace and Joy in Troubled Times

Adele Bower ©

Discord and Controversy

I have found it almost impossible to turn on the national news without finding hostility, anger, and insults. The United States seems to be divided into two hostile camps that are each determined to conquer the enemy; sadly, the enemy, in this case, is one of us, Americans citizens who are so divided in their perception of this country that there seem to be no points of reconciliation.

I’ve watched with increasing sadness as the polarization of our country into two warring factions seems to have accelerated in both speed and intensity. I can remember a time in the Second World War when there was a unity of purpose that seemed to permeate every citizen; there was a war to be won and a clearly identified foe that just happened to not be another American citizen.

Over the intervening years, the identity of the enemy seems to have become much more localized; the enemy has become those who have a different philosophy of what the United States is all about. The problem has definitely been exacerbated by the absence of a unifying moral compass; most specifically, the Bible; even I can remember a time when Biblical morality was respected and used as a general standard for behavior.

Over a hundred years ago a revolution was begun to basically change the way the United States works at the social, moral, financial, and governmental levels. The results of this effort are bearing fruit as we see the factions warring against each other. It has been said that revolutions start with words and end with guns; it appears we are getting ever closer to the guns stage as this revolution begins to mature.

Secular Globalism

I believe the entire problem can be boiled down to two words, “Secular Globalism.” Together they embody the total essence of what is being promoted today by those who would reject God’s plan for mankind. Let us consider the dictionary definitions of these words:

Secular- Denoting attitudes, activities, or other things that have no religious or spiritual basis.

Globalism – The development of social, cultural, technological, or economic networks that transcend national boundaries; globalization.

Today we are witnessing efforts by certain parts of our society to promote both of these philosophies. We see increasing efforts to eliminate both the Bible as a theistic guide and moral standard, and national borders as protection for our identity as a sovereign nation. We hear of the Bible being classified as a “hate book” because of its insistence that belief in Jesus Christ as Savior is the only way to be saved making it much too exclusive and therefore politically incorrect.

The Bible is equally clear on nationalism versus globalism; starting in Genesis 11 we see God working to divide mankind into national groups. The Bible is even clearer on the subject of God and man; God is the supreme creator and man is his creation.

Secular globalism, in all its forms, has a number of fatal flaws. One of those many flaws is the concept of man; to the secular humanist, man is innately neither good nor bad but can be influenced by his environment; therefore, once provided a perfect environment perfect behavior is more likely to follow. While this explanation may be overly simplistic, I believe it summarizes the concepts involved in humanism’s approach to society.

On the other hand, the Bible teaches that man, although created as an innocent being, chose to disobey God and died spiritually leaving a fallen, sinful race that is spiritually dead and inherently sinful. No amount of environmental adjustment can alter that fact; the only remedy is the new birth by receiving Jesus Christ as Savior, (and that, of course, is a statement steeped in political incorrectness)!

Secularism has chosen to ignore this basic fact of reality and is therefore doomed to failure in whatever environmental alternative it may choose to follow! Mankind is a fallen race and only by the new birth in Jesus Christ can that problem be corrected.

As A Christian, How Should We React?

It is all too easy to get caught up in the general angst that is going around as national and world events unfold before our eyes. Secular globalists are becoming much more aggressive as they seek to openly challenge those they see as the enemy. Hardly a day goes by without some sensationalist headline calling our attention to some imagined infraction and in way too many instances imagination is the operative word!

As Christians we simply must choose to see all of this as filtered by Biblical truth; it is vital we let our perceptions of current events by shaped by our faith in God’s revealed word. I remind myself almost daily of God’s plan for governments; how it is God, not man that puts governments in place to accomplish his will for this earth and mankind. Key verses in Daniel 4:17 and Romans 13:1 usually come to my mind first:

17 For this has been decreed by the messengers;
    it is commanded by the holy ones,
so that everyone may know
    that the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world.
He gives them to anyone he chooses—
    even to the lowliest of people.” Daniel 4:17

Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. Romans 13:1

Those verses help me keep my thoughts orderly and Biblical; I have to focus on them regularly if I’m to maintain a proper Biblical perspective on life. Two other verses on which I greatly depend are found in Proverbs 3:5-6 where it is written:

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. Proverbs 3:5-6

I am eternally grateful I am not required to understand; the list of things I don’t understand grows every day but, praise God, I’m not required by God to understand them. Years of experience have shown me the more I learn, the more I realize I don’t understand. While we are not required to understand, we are required to rejoice in the one thing that changes not, in our beloved Lord Jesus Christ.

By God’s grace, we have an ever-sufficient reason to rejoice every day of our lives; I love the way Paul summarizes this blessed privilege in Philippians 4:4-9:

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.

May God’s Will be Done!

Next time we will consider “Satanism and the Antichrist.”

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | January 14, 2019

The “Bird Box” Challenge

https://www.netflix.com/title/80196789 ©

A New Netflix Cable Movie has Captured the Attention of Many!

As a Netflix subscriber, I was informed of this new cable movie so when it became available, I watched it on TV. It was interesting in its originality as this particular story-line had not previously surfaced in my experience; I enjoy science fiction so this was rather consistent with my normal viewing habits.

In the story, the world is suddenly engulfed by a strange phenomenon that causes people outside who see something, that is invisible to others, to respond in a dangerously self-destructive manner including suicide. The only defense seems to be avoiding seeing this invisible force, when outside, by the use of blindfolds.

The story follows a character named Malorie, played by Sandra Bullock, who is trying to escape danger with two young children by traveling to a place of refuge. The challenge is the necessity of traveling blindfolded; all three of them must remain blindfolded when they are outside. Needless to say, this produces some very dangerous moments as they must travel by car, foot, and boat to the promised safe haven.

I have mentioned before that everything in my life will have theological ramifications and applications and this movie was no exception to the rule. As I watched it, I started to see the relationship the movie had to real life, the lives each of us live today. I started to see parallels that could apply to the Christian life in a world ruled by Satan and the Satanic world system that has been established. I have written more on this in “The Painted Veil That Hides Reality” and “What is Reality?”

The Response to the Movie, “The Bird Box Challenge”

Recentlly I saw a report on the news of a wreck caused by a teen-aged girl who was trying to duplicate driving a car without seeing the outside; previously I have heard and seen reports of others who were trying to perform routine daily tasks blindfolded. A quick search will produce many stories of people trying to duplicate the “Bird Box” blindfold experience. For some reason this movie has captured the imagination of many.

Whereas I have no interest in blindfolding myself I have a deep interest in the spiritual parallels I see between the movie and the individual lives each of us must live.

As Christians, we are visitors who live in a world that is not our home; we are faced with a lifestyle that is alien and inhospitable to the principles we embrace and, on top of everything else, we are immersed in forces of evil that would entice us to abandon the principles we hold dear.

Fortunately, our citizenship in our world is non-negotiable, it is sustained by the power of our omnipotent creator and not by the weakness of our will. While we can seriously compromise our experience in this life, we cannot compromise our position as citizens of our world; it has been secured by the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ!

The Bird Box Challenge for Christians

The Bible makes it clear, we are to live our lives based on believing and not on seeing. In 2 Corinthians 5:7 it is written: For we live by believing and not by seeing.” While this does not mean we need to live with blindfolds on it does mean we must be highly selective before we let the world convince us of anything; buying into the message of the world can only lead to danger if one is not careful.

The Bible provides us guidance in that regard; in Philippians 4:4-9 we are given most excellent advice:

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.”

Meeting Your Challenge

We are all challenged by the age-old trio; the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Eve fell victim to this trio and it has worked successfully ever since. In Genesis 3:6 it is written:

The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it.

You will be tempted by the same trio but by God’s grace you will not yield to the temptation; the secret is to follow God’s advice to you and “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.”

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