Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | October 24, 2016

The Mystery of God’s Creation

So Much More Than May First Appear!


Omega Nebula – Hubble Telescope

As I study the Bible and simply observe life I continue to be surprised and moved by the wonders of God’s creation. From the simplest to the most complex the extravagance of God is revealed in His creative processes. One thing has greatly impressed me; God’s respect for His creation.

There have been a number of times in my study of the Bible that I have been amazed at God’s patience with His creation; wouldn’t it have been simpler to just vaporize the present creation and start over. Instead of vaporizing, God continues to work with His creation to correct the mistakes it has made starting with the first man, Adam.

I believe the member of the Trinity standing before Adam in the Garden of Eden was the Son who, in His omniscience, could see the cross in His future as He spoke to Adam. I cannot even begin to imagine all that passed through the Son’s mind as He saw the results of Adam’s disobedience stretching out into the future.

A New Thought

During my studies a thought has surfaced which is new to me; it involves the present heaven and earth and it’s future, if any, in the new universe. I have long interpreted 2 Peter 3: 5-13 to represent the total destruction of the present heaven and earth.

They deliberately forget that God made the heavens long ago by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood. And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed.

But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.

11 Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, 12 looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. 13 But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness.”

Recently the verses in Romans 8:18-23 have come again to my mind but in a new light:

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

In these verses the present creation has a future with God’s children; the question that comes to mind is how can a creation with a future be totally destroyed? Is there some way this can be reconciled that is understandable to human comprehension? Let’s see if we can find any clues in the Bible.

What God has Revealed

While there is much that is not revealed there may be enough revealed to give us some idea how those seemingly contradictory ideas can be explained.

First we know the heaven and earth as it was created originally was good; in Genesis 1:31 it is written:

31 Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!

Second we know that the heaven and earth were cursed because of Adam’s disobedience; in Genesis 3:17 it is written:

17 And to the man he said, Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you.”

In Romans 8:20 we see an extension of the curse to the entire universe:

  20 Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse.

At this point then we see mankind spiritually dead and all creation subjected to God’s curse; not a very pretty picture as I see it. This may have been a good time to vaporize the whole mess and start all over but God had a different plan and that is the story told by the Bible.

Next time; the process of purification.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | October 20, 2016

The Presidency, a Reflection of the People.

“Americans gaze into their moral mirror”

US Flag 2

In an article by Abraham McLaughlin, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor / January 19, 1999 the Christian Science Monitor discussed the results of a survey of 800 Americans which was commissioned by The Christian Science Monitor and conducted by Technometrica Institute of Policy and Politics (TIPP), based in Oradell, N.J. The subject of the survey was President Clinton’s behavior after the Monica Lewinsky scandal had been revealed.

The article went on to say, “Nearly one-fifth of those surveyed in a nationwide poll said Mr. Clinton’s actions have prompted them to reexamine their own standards. The poll also found this moral mirror-gazing is more common among those who disapprove of the way Clinton is doing his job.”

This election year we are given another opportunity to gaze into the mirror of our moral fiber as a nation; we are given two widely disapproved candidates of questionable moral worthiness for the highest office in the land.

The candidates for the office of President of the United States are, should you read the evaluations provided by the opposing party, more worthy of prison than the White House. Since the epithets being thrown by both parties are such common knowledge I will not repeat them here; I suspect most of us are quite weary of all the mudslinging that has characterized this election cycle.

What is our Responsibility as Christians?

I have never before seen such a polarizing election as this one; emotions are running high as self-appointed spokespersons for this or that cause speak out against what they feel to be the most egregious transgressions of a particular candidate. There appears to be no such thing as a clear choice between the two candidates, no moral high ground as both are equally unacceptable to many.

Is there any stability available to the Christian in this time of political turmoil? I believe there is a stability that can be found in the Bible for those who trust God and believe his word.

What does the Bible have to say about governments and leaders; can we find any comfort in the pages of the Bible as we live through this time of unrest? Should we vote for the lesser of two evils or simply not vote for the office at all; that seems to be the question in the minds of many Christians.

The Bible on Governments and Leaders

I am convinced of the absolute sovereignty of God; I believe God is in complete control of all things and is working all things after the counsel of his own will!

As I study the Bible certain sections of scripture come to my mind first; Daniel 4:17 for example:

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.”

In Romans 13:1 this principle is restated when Paul writes:

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

I believe those verses make it very clear who is in charge in this matter; it is God who determines who the leaders of government will be, not chance, not cleverness, not popularity, not force, not even the vote!

How then should we apply this principle to the present situation? If God is in complete control, and he is, then what is our responsibility as Christians?

Christian Responsibility

I believe our responsibility as Christians can best be summarized by the verses 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.

Regarding this election either vote or don’t vote for the office of President as you feel led but above all you should experience no concern that things are out of control; simply know that God is in complete control and is working all things after the counsel of his own will.

The next President of the United States, should there be one, will function as a servant of the Most High God and will be used for the accomplishment of God’s will for this nation. That you can take to the bank!

It would appear to most observers that either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be sworn in as President of the United States on Friday, January 20, 2017; it is wise, in these volatile times, to remember God is in complete control and may have another plan already in place that excludes both of them.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | October 17, 2016

Who are You, What are You, Where are You Going? Concluded

Works in Progress!

Last time we concluded with recognition that God has placed within every born again Christian the indwelling Holy Spirit as an everlasting gift. Receiving this truth gives a whole new depth of meaning to the verses in Romans 8 where Paul writes:

“28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”

God is very serious about this process of conforming Christ’s brothers and sisters to the image of his Son; for the Holy Spirit to be joined with each of them individually is a huge step in this process of conformity! The fact that this is not discernible by our physical senses in no way diminishes the enormity of this reality; this is also a step of faith just as was our salvation in Jesus Christ.

Imagine how you would think and act if the spiritual reality of the incarnation of the Holy Spirit in your life would affect the way you saw yourself and the world. Paul mentions this in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 where it is written:

“19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

What would it be like for you to make those words the foundation on which you built your life?

Perfection Must Wait

We all have a dream of living a holy life unencumbered by sin but that must wait. How often I get letters from all over the world where Christian men and women express their desires to be free of this plague of sin. Sadly I must tell them we will not be free of sin as long as we inhabit these mortal bodies.

We live on a sin-cursed world that is under the control of Satan and, in addition, are tormented by a nature to sin that we inherited from Adam. We are soldiers who must live out our lives on a spiritual battlefield in complete dependence on the armor of God to protect us from attack.

In His grace, God has provided the help we need to prevail but we must utilize the armor God has provided if we are to resist the attacks of the dark forces of this world. I have written on this in the series, To the Soldiers in the Spiritual War.

The Bible does not reveal the reason God chose to use this plan but my personal experience has taught me a lot. I have learned how harmful sin can be and have learned to despise sin in myself, in others and in the world. I have come to long for the Lord’s complete rule and reign in my life and anticipate His return with great hope and joy. I too must still struggle with sin (keeping in mind that everything that is not of faith is sin) but rejoice in God’s forgiveness and the sure promise of His return!

While we Wait

Although the Bible does not reveal God’s plan for each individual life it does reveal God’s plan for us as Christian’s; we have a commission and an attitude revealed that we are told to follow.

The commission is given in Matthew 28:19-20

19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

The attitude is given in Philippians 4:4-9

4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! 5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.

6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 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.

8 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.9 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.”

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | October 10, 2016

Who are You, What are You, Where are You Going? Part 1

God’s Plan for Your Life

In my correspondence with other Christians I get many expressions of concern about the nature of God’s plans for individual lives. While only God knows the details of His plans for each of us; a general overview is revealed in the Bible that can serve as a guide to the direction God is taking in our lives as Christian men and women.

One thing we can know with complete confidence is God does have a plan for us and we are, in fact, a work in progress being conformed to the image of His Son. When Christians are born again they are made into a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come. While this is true of their spiritual nature their bodies are not included and remain under the curse of the fall of Adam.

You may recall the unique nature of the creation of Adam, while his body was fashioned from the dust of the earth; his living essence was breathed into him by the breath of God. All else was spoken into existence but man was breathed into existence directly from God; we are animated by a part of the eternal essence of God and share God’s immortality. I have written more on that in Let’s Face it, you’re Eternal!

This beginning is described in greater detail in a series which starts with, The Creation Story. Adam’s opportunity resulted in failure; Adam disobeyed a direct command from God and immediately died spiritually and later died  physically.

God would try again with a Second Adam from above, the Lord Jesus Christ; this time the divine essence would be the personal essence of the Son of God joined with an earthly body from the dust of the earth.

God was Leaving Nothing to Chance the Second Time

There is a great deal of recognition given to the First Advent of God the Son; the virgin birth, Christmas, the Star, the shepherds, the wise men, Bethlehem are all part of the traditions of the First Advent. This is surely appropriate as the birth of the Son as the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world, is without a doubt the most important event in human history!

This birth alone made possible the death on the cross which paid the penalty for all human sin; it is because of the death of our Lord that all else becomes possible. We owe everything, all that follows, to this historic event.

In His matchless grace, God the Father did not stop with the incarnation of His Son but determined the Holy Spirit would also become incarnate in a specific group of believers who would become the body of Christ, the church. The Holy Spirit would indwell all those who were born again between two points in time, one past, Pentecost AD 33, and one future, the Rapture of the Church.

This is an enormous change that has taken place yet it rarely gets the attention it deserves; the Holy Spirit has become or will become incarnate in every person who is born again during the Church Age. In addition the presence of the Holy Spirit will always be with each individual who is joined to the body of Christ during this period of time.

The words of Paul are significantly true in the life of every Christian when he writes in 2 Corinthians 5:17:

17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”

Next time, your process of conformation and your new life as a temple of God.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | October 3, 2016

The Mystery of the Nations in the New Universe

God’s Grace

In a manner which is not revealed, the new heaven and the new earth will be populated by those God has preserved through the judgment that is coming. I know of no information in the Bible that reveals how this is done but we can know with complete confidence it shall be done. The cataclysmic judgment that is coming on the old creation will not affect those who are a part of God’s family.

All human and angelic creation will survive this mass extinction event; the unredeemed human creation and fallen angels to eternal judgment in the Lake of Fire while the redeemed and God’s angels will join God in the new universe God will prepare.

While the Bible does not reveal exactly how or when this shall happen it would appear the spiritual innocence enjoyed by Adam and Eve before the fall will be restored to the nations; there will no longer be any sort of struggle with sin; the fallen sin nature will be gone forever!

In Revelation 21:3-4 it is written:

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.”

Another matter of which I am completely convinced is the creation of the new heaven and earth will most certainly not take billions or even millions of years. The exaggerated time spans required by the theory of evolution requires a much greater leap of faith than the existence of an omnipotent creator God who simply spoke creation into being.

Whereas it pleased God to create our present heaven and earth in six days it may please Him this time around to create the new heaven and earth in six seconds; I am convinced with God all things are possible!

The New Universe

In Revelation 21 and 22 we are given a tantalizing glimpse of the new universe; needless to say it is a wonderful but all too brief view of what is coming. In Revelation 21:24-26 the nations are mentioned:

”  24 The nations will walk in its light, and the kings of the world will enter the city in all their glory. 25 Its gates will never be closed at the end of day because there is no night there. 26 And all the nations will bring their glory and honor into the city.”

In Revelation 22:1-2 the nations are mentioned again:

22 Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.”

Most of what we know about the new universe is revealed in Revelation 21 and 22 which I encourage you to carefully and prayerfully read once more. Since this essay is focused on the nations let us take what is revealed and see where that may lead us.

One Christian’s Perspective on the New Universe

 Those of you who have heard me teach know of my enthusiasm for trying to connect the dots; I love to speculate on what is not revealed in the Bible by using what is revealed as a starting point. I freely admit this is speculation so let’s just have some fun with it, OK?

One of my minor joys, as a retired business man, is I have no theological reputation to preserve; I can speculate and have fun with my Christian faith with no fear of damage to my theological reputation. I impose upon myself only one condition and that is my speculations must have a reasonable foundation in the Bible.

Over the years I have developed an impression of God and His ways from my study of the Bible. I am one of those who see God as totally sovereign and in complete control of everything. My view of the Trinity is more fully expressed in my essay, “What is Reality?

Kings and Nations

The Bible reveals there will be kings and nations and they shall have glory; it has nothing to say about the size or number of kingdoms and the extent of their glory but I think it may be wise to think on a large scale; let’s use Solomon’s glory as a starting point and build on that!

While the Bible reveals there will be no more death it says nothing about no more births; I’m inclined to believe we shall see a repeat of the command given to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, “be fruitful and multiply.” I think it possible there will be a population explosion in the mortal population unlike anything ever seen before.

I also think it possible there will be many habitable planets similar to earth in the new heavens with God’s children spreading out to new worlds. If man can imagine this God could make it happen, remember with God all things are possible. Discoveries would suggest our present universe is rather inhospitable to human life but I’m of the opinion the new universe will be just the opposite.

Work to be Done

For years I have been impressed with the idea that God gave Adam a job to be done; life in the Garden of Eden was never intended to be a free ride. In Genesis 2:15 it is written:

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

Other translations translate the Hebrew word, עָבַד (`abad)  as to work or till the land. I suppose this makes the world’s oldest profession a gardener.

The point being is I believe strongly that we shall all have responsibilities in the new universe. I cannot even begin to speculate on the work the nations will do but I’m convinced they will be working too. Previously I wrote on the Christian’s roles as children of the royal family, ambassadors and priests and have no doubt we’ll have a lot of work to do.

Bottom Line

The new universe will be a busy, happy place and I for one look forward to it!

20 He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!”

Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!

21 May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s holy people.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | September 26, 2016

The Mystery of the Nations in the Millennium, part 2

Satan Released

In part 1 we covered the beginning of the Kingdom and the identity of those who would populate it and concluded part 1 with Satan being bound. As we read in Revelation 20:3 Satan will be released for a short time and will draw a huge number of unbelievers to him quickly. In Revelation 20:7-10 it is written:

“7 When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. 9 They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”

I am always amazed at mankind’s ability to quickly adjust and take the most remarkable things for granted. Today we, as members of the body of Christ, should not be too quick to throw stones at those who live during the Millennial reign of Christ.

Far, far too often the great blessings we enjoy as Christians go unappreciated; the monumental blessing of the indwelling of God, the Holy Spirit, in every Christian seems to be a matter of little or no interest to many. How then can we point an accusing finger at the those who take for granted the personal presence of the Lord Jesus Christ as King of Kings and Lord of Lords? The sin nature is a formidable enemy!

Fire from Heaven!

We live in an age of hyperbole where things of little consequences are spoken of in exaggerated terms; the life changing benefits of toothpaste or a particular brand of deodorant being cases in point. The Bible, on the other hand, is remarkably understated with the most extraordinary events being described in an almost prosaic manner.

The events in Revelation 20:9 are a perfect example of this; fire from heaven coming down and selectively devouring those who are rebelling against the Lord! Can you imagine how horrific this will be on any scale? Here, however, we are talking about a number like the sand on the seashore and although no number is given it must be a staggering number of people who are devoured by fire.

Destruction and Reconstruction

We now enter a time where details are conspicuously absent; we know that major changes are coming but the Bible gives little information on how this will happen. We know the old heaven and earth are going to be destroyed by a fervent heat. In 2 Peter 3:10-13 it is written:

10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.

11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.”

We also read in Revelation 20:11,

11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them.”

The Great White Throne judgment is only for those who have rejected Christ as Savior. At that point all that has charmed the unbeliever will be gone, vanished from creation; only the great white throne and final judgment will remain! The old cursed, sinful creation is being once and for all disposed of in order to make room for the new heaven and earth.

The Bible does not reveal the way the redeemed are preserved through this destruction of the old heaven and earth. We know the New Jerusalem, which has been in existence throughout the Millennial Kingdom will be preserved but the exact mechanism of preservation is not revealed in either case.

Although uncounted millions will have been killed by fire from heaven, I suspect a vastly greater number will have been saved among all who have received salvation by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior during the Kingdom age. It is these who will be preserved through the transition to the new heaven and earth who will populate it and become the nations described in the last two chapters of Revelation.

Next time, the Mystery of the Nations in the New Universe.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | September 19, 2016

The Mystery of the Nations in the Millennium, part 1

Who will Populate the Millennium?

While the New Universe is surely coming, there remains one more interim step after the Tribulation, the Millennial Kingdom Age. This will be a time of environmental and social perfection that is overseen by the Lord Jesus Christ. To better understand the role of the nations in the New Universe it may be helpful to better understand their origination as an identifiable end time’s group.

Last time we considered the formation of the New Universe now let us think on the question of who will be there to enjoy the blessings God has planned. The Bible tells us the Triune God will be there; the church will be there along with God’s angels and the redeemed of Israel, both resurrected and mortal, and a group called the nations.

Throughout the Bible the term nations has been applied to Gentiles collectively; it is reasonable to assume the term applies to Gentiles in this context as well. Where then did these Gentiles come from; they are distinguished from the church but they have been saved. We’ll need to look back a little and see what happened to get us to this point.

The Sheep and the Goats

At the end of the Tribulation there is a judgment; the judgment of the sheep and the goats. Let us look at Matthew 25:31-46 where it is written:

31 “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing?39  When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

41 “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. 42 For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’

44 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’

45 “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’

46 “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”

This judgment comes at the time of the Second Advent and those judged are living mortal human beings who have survived the Great Tribulation and either accepted Christ as Savior, the sheep, or those who have rejected Christ as Savior, the goats. The sheep are invited to take part in the Kingdom that is being formed, the Millennial Kingdom which will last 1,000 years. These are the ones who will populate the Millennial Kingdom and whose eventual descendents will rise up in rebellion when Satan is loosed for a season. The goats are cast into the lake of fire before the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom where they will remain forever.

The Millennial Kingdom

For 1,000 years the Lord Jesus Christ will reign over the earth and provide a perfect environment for all its inhabitants. As in the Garden of Eden, there will be a peace and harmony that is only possible when the Prince of Peace is sovereign.

The Millennial Kingdom will begin with only those who have Jesus Christ as Savior and will include both mortals and immortals, those with resurrected or transformed bodies. The church will have been resurrected or transformed at the end of the church age which is brought to a close by the Rapture of the Church; Israel will have been nationally transformed or resurrected at the Second Advent.

The mortals who enter the Kingdom will include both Jews and Gentiles; these are the ones who will have children and repopulate the earth. Although this generation is saved, they still have their fallen sin nature which will then be passed on to their children.

There are indications in the Bible that life spans will again be long as they were before the flood; the Bible does not specifically mention the mechanism by which this is achieved but I think it possible the water vapor canopy will again be in place to protect the earth and its inhabitants.

Satan Bound

One key aspect of the Kingdom is the binding of Satan; Satan is bound for most of the 1,000 years and is only released at the very end. In Revelation 20:1-3 it is written:

20 And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.”

God is once again providing perfect environment for everyone on earth. No one can say they have been corrupted by their environment and are therefore victims of circumstances. In this perfect environment the population will grow rapidly and many children will be born, all with a dead spirit requiring the new birth.

While many will receive Christ as Savior and be born again during the Kingdom age, many will sadly reject the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. This once again puts to rest the erroneous notion that perfect environment will produce perfect people!

Next time we will continue with the release of Satan and its deadly consequences.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | September 12, 2016

Your Royal Priesthood now and in the New Universe!

And What’s More we have a Royal High Priest Eternally Ordained by God!

 It sets my head to spinning when I think long and hard about all that God has done and will do for His children; we have been uniquely blessed by the gift of His Holy Spirit taking up residence in us for all of time and eternity.

While the First Advent was the occasion for the incarnation of the Son, the incarnation of the Holy Spirit began at Pentecost and continues to this day as new believers are born again and added to the true church, the body of Christ.

Previously I discussed our role as ambassadors and in addition we have been given the position of royal priests and a High Priest in the Lord Jesus Christ who is a royal high priest forever. If that doesn’t start your head spinning then you’re not concentrating!

I once asked a Bible class how many of those there had met a royal priest in person and no one said they had. I then pointed out the significance of 1 Peter 2:9 where it is written:

But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.”

I then asked the question again and everyone there indicated they not only were royal priests but had indeed met and knew other members of the royal priesthood. All too often we fail to think in terms of spiritual reality and that is dangerous. It is also pointed out we have a ministry to show others the goodness of God; another hat to wear as we live out our mortal lives as servants of the Most High.

The Bible does not specifically explain how our roles as ambassadors and royal priests may carry over into eternity; I can only speculate they will somehow carry over into the new universe.

Only God knows how all this plays out in eternity; I am confident of one thing; we shall be busy and have plenty to do. As Christians we are being conformed to the image of Christ and enjoy the perfection that has been imputed to us by God’s grace.

As members of the royal family we will likely have administrative duties and also priestly duties as we minister to those whose care will have been entrusted to us. I, for one, would love to have more details on life in eternity but can easily imagine the difficulty involved in trying to explain this to mortal human beings; it could very well be like trying to explain life in New York City to a native who has known only mud huts and jungle; there is absolutely no frame of reference, the words would have no meaning.

Life in the New Universe

Although much is shrouded in mystery we are told the heaven and earth that now exists will be destroyed and replaced by a new heaven and a new earth; that alone is an enormous thought that can overwhelm the imagination. Our roles as royal priests in the new universe are not revealed but I suspect they’ll be demanding.

Certain facts are mentioned in the Bible but very few by comparison with the questions that could easily come as we think on the coming changes.

We know there is a final judgment called the Great White Throne judgment that will rid the new universe of all elements of sin and death; in Revelation 20:11-15 it is written:

11 And I saw a great white throne and the one sitting on it. The earth and sky fled from his presence, but they found no place to hide. 12 I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave gave up their dead. And all were judged according to their deeds. 14 Then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death. 15 And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.”

The Bible never gives a location for the lake of fire so we have idea where it may be in the new universe; we just know it will be a place where no one would want to spend there eternity.

Who You Really Are!

The new creation, finally cleansed of all sin and corruption will rejoice in the freedom for which it had waited with eager hope. In Romans 8:19-25 we read:

19 For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. 20 Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, 21 the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. 22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. 24 We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. 25 But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)

Next time, to whom shall we minister as royal priests: the Mystery of the Nations.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | September 3, 2016

The Night I Stole an Oldsmobile 88

“It was a Dark and Stormy Night!”

During all of my college years I had extra jobs in order to help pay the bills and support my family of five; the year I stole an Oldsmobile 88 was no exception; I was still doing my undergraduate work at the University of Houston and holding down a job in the evenings. You may be wondering how I could bring myself to actually take someone else’s car; well, therein we find our story.

On that fateful night I was working as a salesman at a high-fidelity specialty store on Westheimer in Houston, Texas. High-Fidelity audio equipment was growing rapidly in popularity and I was doing fairly well as a salesman plus I was thoroughly enjoying my work. I would work evenings after I finished my schooling and then work all day Saturday.

One very stormy weekday evening there were no customers so when quitting time for the secretary came around our store’s parking lot was empty. As employees we were expected to park about a block away on a residential street so our limited parking could be available for customers.

 About a half hour before it was time for her to leave she mentioned to some of us how she dreaded the thought of the walk back to her car in the dark, on such a stormy, rainy night. It immediately occurred to me that I could go get her car and park it in our lot so she wouldn’t have to make that walk; since there had been no customers that evening hers would be the only car in the lot.

Olds 88

Olds 88

She gave me her car keys and I took my umbrella and walked to her car which was about a block and a half away from the store. I unlocked it, got in and drove it back to the store, parked it in the lot, locked it up again and went back inside. I gave her the keys and told her the car was ready for her in the store parking lot; I then went back to work doing something I can’t even remember.

After around twenty minutes her time to leave came and she said goodbye to those of us who had to work later; so far so good.

Shocked Surprise!

Less than a minute passed and the secretary came back into the store with a shocked expression on her face telling us “That’s not my car!” At that point there were at least two faces with shocked expressions! This was one of those moments when your life flashes before your eyes; I think all the blood rushed down to my feet and I’m surprised I was able to stand. Some time had passed since I had taken the car so I was sure someone would have noticed and called the police.

Well, I had no choice, I would have to return the car and face the consequences; the fact that her keys had fit a stranger’s car would surely carry some weight, at least I hoped it would. I got back in what was not her car and fearfully drove back to the place where I had found it.

Imagine my utter relief when the street was still silent and dark, no police cars, and no flashing lights. I carefully parked the car exactly where I had found it, locked it up again and sure enough, right across the street was another Oldsmobile 88 and her keys worked perfectly in that one too; this time I had the right car. What are the odds that two Oldsmobile 88’s parked on the same street less than thirty feet apart would use exactly the same key?

Once the anxiety surrounding my inadvertent thievery had passed I sort of wished I had parked the wrong car on the other side of the street facing the opposite direction; the owners would puzzle over that for the rest of their lives and never guess their car had been stolen, at least for a brief time, on that unforgettable dark and stormy night.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | August 29, 2016

You’re an Ambassador for Christ!

The Older I Get the More Exciting My Ambassadorship Becomes!

The Apostle Paul makes an important point in 2 Corinthians 5:20 regarding a responsibility we, as Christians, have been given when he writes:

“So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”

As Christians we are asked to wear several different hats and our ambassadorship is one of those hats. We might do well to think through this responsibility and see in how many different ways this should influence our behavior!

What is an Ambassador?

First we might want to define the generally accepted role of an ambassador, what is that persons responsibility toward the government represented?

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines an ambassador as follows?

 1:  an official envoy; especially :  a diplomatic agent of the highest rank accredited to a foreign government or sovereign as the resident representative of his or her own government or sovereign or appointed for a special and often temporary diplomatic assignment”

How does that definition fit a Christian? Well we have been made a diplomatic agent of the highest rank by adoption into God’s family; we function as children of the royal family and are representing our family to those to whom we’ve been sent. There is an unusual feature to our ambassadorship, we have a dual citizenship; we are citizens by physical birth of the country in which we were born and citizens of heaven because of our second, spiritual, birth.

We have been given a special but temporary assignment as representatives of the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. While we may be living in the country of our physical birth we are also citizens of heaven, and have been given the job of representing our heavenly country’s interests to the country of our physical birth. How does the role of ambassador fit in with your self-image; do you have any difficulty accepting that idea? Like so many other spiritual realities it is a matter of faith; we know this is true, we are ambassadors because the Bible tells us it is true!

Deteriorating Conditions

We who live in the United States may observe a difference of opinion developing between the policies and principles of the country we represent as ambassadors and the policies and principles of the United States. Our Divine Leader is no longer welcomed in centers of governmental power and is now being told that any references to Him must be removed. I believe it would be fair to say there is a serious deterioration of relations in progress.

As ambassadors we have been warned that war is inevitable, our leaders have informed us as conditions continue to deteriorate our withdrawal as ambassadors is coming. It is easy to see how things are changing, the United States of today is vastly different from the United States I knew as a boy and a young man. It seems as if most of the institutions that have been a part of my life are changing at a fundamental level; even the church is different as it seems to be increasingly merging with the world.

In our role as ambassadors we should not take any of this personally, we are here representing the interests of our home country and not our own personal interests. There must be an objectivity as we watch developments matched with a faithful discharge of our duties. We must not forget our station in all of this and always be mindful our responsibility is to serve as ambassadors for our home government which in this case just happens to be God in heaven.

As ambassadors we have been informed the leadership of the United States is chosen by God; whoever is elected will be a servant to be used to accomplish the goals determined by God in eternity past. Serving as ambassador for an omnipotent creator God definitely has advantages!

Being spiritual ambassadors has both advantages and disadvantages; one of the disadvantages is we’ve never visited our home country; we have no idea where it is or what it looks like and must accept all that we can possibly know by faith. By faith we can know it exists and we have been appointed ambassadors; by faith we can know there is something wonderful waiting for us on our arrival when we are called home.

In the meantime we have a responsibility to faithfully discharge the duties we have been given as ambassadors; we have been given a commission to evangelize and teach and it is our duty to carry out those responsibilities as the Lord enables us.

I invite questions and comments and would like to hear from you. I rejoice in God’s word and the opportunity to discuss it.

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