Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | June 21, 2021

Getting a Grip on the Realities of the Spiritual War!

Thorns and Thistles

We Will Live all our Lives as Soldiers on a Spiritual Battlefield! Wouldn’t you agree it’s Time to Determine who it is We’re Supposed to be Fighting?

The Bible clearly explains what the spiritual war is all about but too many well-intentioned people seem to ignore the Bible’s instructions. I have written more on this in the three-part series, “To The Soldiers in the Spiritual War.”

Speaking specifically of religion, one can observe religious factions fighting and demeaning other religious factions all over the world. Additionally, religious factions are fighting against non-religious factions who are promoting lifestyles and philosophies of life that stand in opposition to their own.

While true Christianity, is not a religion but a relationship, it too is often found guilty of vigorously fighting other groups as though they were the enemy of righteousness.

Deadly battles between secular groups of all sizes have been a fact of life from the beginning and can be expected to continue until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In view of all this world-wide conflict at so many levels, I think Christians should be able to agree on the identity of the enemy!

The Bible Identifies the True Enemy

In Ephesians 6:10 it is written:

1For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

Please let that sink in, it should be clear from that statement, that all of this fighting going on against flesh and blood is a part of the Satanic deception and is totally contrary to Biblical teachings!

The more mankind fights mankind the more we are aiding the cause of Satanic confusion and deception! While it is Biblically true that mankind is now divided into two distinct species, the spiritually alive and the spiritually dead; it is the responsibility of the spiritually alive to see the spiritually dead as victims of Satan, not the enemy! The true enemy is unseen by mankind but has a profound impact on what is happening in the world we can see.

For the sake of convenience, I’ll refer to the spiritually alive as the saved, and the spiritually dead as the lost. What is the situation with the lost, how did they get there and what can they do to get out?

All it took for them to get there was to be born of two human parents; a situation that describes all of us excluding the Lord Jesus Christ and Adam. God has provided a way for them to get out, and it is the only way, and that is to receive Jesus Christ as Savior and experience the new birth by the power of God, the Holy Spirit!

The only difference between the saved and the lost is the new birth by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and is available to all who will receive him as their Savior. The lost are not the enemy of the saved; they are the fields, white unto harvest!

Thinking on Christian Love

John 3:16 is well known to most Christians:

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

The Bible uses a form of the root word, “ἀγαπάω” which describes a love as something you do, not something you feel. In 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 this word for love is defined:

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

The original King James translation translated the word as charity which may be a clearer translation of the thought. This is not emotional love, it is a charitable attitude in action!

Interestingly this is the same word used by Jesus in Matthew 22:39:

“And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Briefly considering self-love; if you’re like me, you don’t even like some of the things you have done but you’re willing to try and put those things behind you, move on with your life and try and do better the next time. We’re inclined to have a charitable and forgiving attitude where we’re concerned.

The Lord tells us to have that same attitude toward others! When others do something wrong, and they will, they’re just like you and me, cut them some slack, give them another chance to get it right, OK? I think this sums up the idea of loving others as yourself.

Next time we’ll take a look at our God-given responsibilities.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | June 14, 2021

The Days of Noah, Standing Your Ground with the Whole Armor of God!

When will the Lord Come and What does the Lord Expect of the Church Before that Happens?

Last time we covered the prophetic warnings God gave about the “End Times;” what does God provide by way of guidance in dealing with the challenges we now face? As the world seems to be getting worse before our eyes, what does the Lord expect of us before the church is called home?

In some parts of the world, the situation Christians are facing is already deadly, many are being killed because they are Christians! What is fascinating evidence of God’s faithfulness, is the number of new converts to Christianity in those dangerous countries; people are still coming to Christ even in the midst of danger. The Holy Spirit is stirring the hearts and souls of those oppressed individuals and drawing them into the family of God!

As the spiritual war intensifies, Christians, as soldiers in the Lord’s army, must take a stand utilizing the whole armor of God as explained in Ephesians 6:10-17 where it is written:

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

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

I have written more on the ancient spiritual war in which we are engaged in a series, “To the Soldiers in the Spiritual War”

Revival in India, Asia, and Africa

I recently got an interesting letter from India, the writer, a man I’ve known for several years, asked me a question about the number of people in India converting to Christianity. He was wondering if these converts were receiving Christ under some kind of pressure and I reassured him receiving Christ was a strictly voluntary association and anyone who received Jesus Christ as Savior did so because that was what they wanted for their lives.

As an online missionary for Global Media Outreach, I can personally testify to the large number of converts coming to Christ from India, Asia, and Africa. The Lord is seriously at work in those parts of the world! Each day the Lord tarries, many more individuals are being added to the family of God!

The church was commissioned by the Lord Jesus Christ to evangelize, baptize, and teach; in Matthew 28:18-20 it is written:

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

Our responsibility as Christians, should be crystal clear to all who are paying any attention at all; we should be fulfilling our role in carrying out the great commission! While each of us are limited in what we can do, we can all do something, no matter how small a thing it might be.

The AIDS epidemic in Uganda left many children without anyone to care for them; organizations like Lulwanda Children’s Home have been organized to provide for their care. Sponsoring a child is a good way to help when you can’t be there in person!

Lulwanda Orphans

I visited the website for “Covenant Bible Institute of Theology”, in Mbale, Uganda. This organization is devoted to the training of pastors to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and teach Biblical Christianity to the new disciples . The statistics for East Africa from the website are rather amazing:

God is moving in East Africa.

“The Spirit of God is moving powerfully across Sub-Saharan Africa bringing millions of people to faith in Jesus Christ. According to the Pew Research Center, by the year 2060 more than 4 out of every 10 Christians in the world will live in that region. Much of this growth is taking place in the East African nations of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.”

Covenant Bible Institute of Theology Graduating Class

While most of us have never been to India, Asia, or Africa, we can have an impact there for Christ; organizations like Lulwanda Children’s Home, Covenant Bible Institute of Theology and Global Media Outreach offer each of us the opportunity to help in various ways. Money is always in short supply so a faithful donation can do much good in seeing the Gospel of Jesus Christ is spread to those in need of both redemption and growth!

Sitting around and moaning about how bad things are is not God’s plan for his children. The church may well be called home soon, but until that happens, we have a responsibility before the Lord to faithfully live out the great commission in our lives as God enables us and to faithfully serve as a soldier in the army of the Lord!

CHRIST IS WORKING MIGHTILY IN THIS PART OF THE WORLD; IT’S TIME FOR CHRISTIANS TO STAND YOUR GROUND WITH HIM AND BE COUNTED! THE LORD IS WITH YOU!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | June 7, 2021

The Days of Noah and the Christian Challege Today

Photo by Patricia McCarty on Pexels.com

Antagonism Toward Jesus Christ and His Church is Growing all over the World

Missionaries with Global Media Outreach are cautioned to avoid references to Christ and Christianity in their email subject lines when sending messages to disciples in what is referred to as “Sensitive Countries.” These are the countries where your Christian faith can bring persecution and even death.

I have printed up a copy of that list and refer to it before sending messages to individuals in dangerous areas of the world. I generally ask disciples if their Christian faith puts them in any danger in their communities and get reassurances from them of no danger before I start referencing Christianity in the subject line of their emails.

I have been told, by Christians who live in countries not on the list, that they must endure nasty comments when their Christian faith is revealed.

In North and South America there are only two countries on the list, Colombian and Mexico. While there is a serious deterioration in attitudes toward the Christian message in the United States and Canada; the response seems to be more of a yawning indifference to the Christian message combined with a general resentment of the exclusivity of that message.

The Bible is remarkably clear on what God expects of his creation; this clarity establishes very specific guidelines for behavior and completely closes the door on many lifestyle options popular today.

This becomes an intolerable exclusivity in the minds of those devoted to those popular options! Christians become narrow-minded and bigoted in the eyes of those desiring to follow them.

What is interesting to me, is the Bible predicted all of this would happen!

Bible Prophecy

Any examination of the Bible will produce many verses describing the situation we face today; one that immediately comes to my mind is 2 Timothy 3:1-5 where it is written:

3 You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly.

Another section of scripture is found in Romans 1:18-32 where it is written:

18 But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. 19 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. 23 And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.

24 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. 25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. 26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.

28 Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. 29 Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. 30 They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. 31 They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. 32 They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.

These “sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness,” are the ones that stand in judgment against Christianity! Christian principles, as taught in the Bible, oppose and condemn these practices with great clarity and emphasis and that is intolerable to those who choose to practice them.

The Days of Noah and Today

If we compare the verses above with the verses describing the times of Noah we find a number of parallels in Genesis 6:5 where it is written:

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

It takes minimal searching in the news and general advertising to find all the evidence needed to confirm there are striking parallels between Noah’s day and today.

Next time, “Dealing with the Challenge!”

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | May 31, 2021

The Days of Noah and the Return of the Lord Jesus Christ

Before the flood, the earth was very close to perfection from an environmental perspective. The North Pole and the South Pole were semi-tropical paradises with mild temperatures and vegetation that is associated with tropical climates.

The Beresovka Mammoth elephant, pictured below, was found buried in frozen tundra in Siberia. The elephant, which had been frozen for thousands of years, had undigested ferns and flowers in its stomach of a variety which is not known to grow in such a frigid part of the world.

Note the shovel handle in the center bottom of the picture as a reference for size.

Over the years, scientific discoveries have revealed the presence of tropical vegetation in areas of the frozen north which can no longer support such plant life. How did such a change come about? The answer to that is found in the pages of Genesis.

At its original creation, the earth was surrounded by a thick water vapor canopy which served to protect the earth from solar radiation and the extreme temperatures of outer space.

The water vapor canopy, which surrounded the earth, created a greenhouse effect which dramatically moderated extreme temperatures and actually increased the oxygen levels and barometric pressure of the air people breathed. It was almost like living your entire life in one huge hyperbaric chamber.

Sadly, the optimal physical environment was not matched by a similar spiritual environment. After the fall of Adam and his expulsion from the Garden of Eden; mankind did not embrace a reliable spiritual standard to guide their behavior.

It would appear that standards of spiritual excellence were available, as demonstrated by the family from which Noah descended. Noah’s great-grandfather was Enoch who so pleased God that he was taken to heaven without dying. The family from which Noah descended, appears to have been a remarkable exception to the rule. I have written more on this in a series which begins with “The Creation Story.” a twelve-part series on the first chapters in Genesis.

The Lord Describes the End Times

Our Lord speaks of the end times in Matthew 24 and explains to his disciples some of the things that will take place just before his Second Advent. Many of the signs he mentions are in place around us at this very moment. The most important sign is the restoration of Israel as a nation; Israel had to be a nation again for the remainder of the prophetic events to take place!

In addition to Israel’s reemergence as a nation, our Lord spoke of many other signs; in Matthew 24:3-8 it is written:

Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”

An Abundance of Prophetic Signs

Today, we are surrounded by these signs; as one commentator expressed it, “We are living in the times of the signs!” It seems likely to me that the intensity of these signs and the changes associated with the signs will only increase in frequency!

Later in Matthew 24, our Lord tells us in verses 37-39:

37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”

Our Lord describes certain aspects of life which might be considered normal and expected, but does not mention other aspects of life which were described in Genesis 6:5-7 where it is written:

Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”

From these verses, we see a widespread pattern of living that was the antithesis of the life God had planned for mankind; we see lives that were consistently wicked and devoted to evil! In addition to this inherent wickedness, Satan had launched a genetic attack intended to preclude the possibility of a human savior. The Antediluvian World had become a distinctly unpleasant place to live from a spiritual perspective!

By God’s grace, there was one man who was a dramatic exception, Noah!

The Tribulation

The events our Lord describes in Matthew 24 take place during Israel’s last seven years, the Tribulation. At that point in time, the church will have already been removed from the earth by the “Rapture” along with the restraining ministry of God, the Holy Spirit.

In one significant way, the Tribulation will compare to the days of Noah, before the flood, there was no restraining ministry of God, the Holy Spirit available to the world; after the Rapture, the Holy Spirit’s restraining ministry will be removed!

As sad a place as the world has been since Pentecost, May 25, AD 33, it has certainly not been as bad as the world was in Noah’s day as described in verse 5 above, “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

On Pentecost, at the time of our Lord’s First Advent, a great change was put in place; the Holy Spirit would indwell each person who received Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and would be given new spiritual life. In addition to this personal ministry to each new believer, the Holy Spirit would exercise a world-wide ministry as described in John 16:7-11 where it is written:

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. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.”

The Holy Spirit has suppressed sin all over the world since the creation of the church; things have never been as bad as they were in the days of Noah, nor will be in the Tribulation!

What’s Next?

Prophetically, the next event on God’s calendar of events is the Rapture of the Church, yes, we just may be the Enoch generation who is taken to heaven without dying. Only the Lord knows for sure, but all of the signs indicate it can happen soon!

20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.Revelation 22:20

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | May 17, 2021

Happy Birthday to Us, 1,988 Years Old and Counting!

As a Christian, You’re Part of a Body that will soon be 1,988 Years Old!

On Sunday, May 23, 2021 some churches will observe Pentecost, the 1,988th birthday of the true church; an event generally overlooked by many. It was “born” on May 25, 33 AD on the date that year of the Jewish celebration of the Feast of Pentecost.

(According to the Jewish calendar, Shavuot, Pentecost, begins at 6:00 PM (Sunset) Sunday, May 16, 2021 and lasts until 6:00 PM (Sunset) on Tuesday, May 18, 2021.)

God’s New Creation!

This was truly an amazing event as the face of humanity was changed forever! At that point a completely new type of human being came into existence, human beings who had been permanently indwelt by God, the Holy Spirit. The former type of human being was still around in great abundance but now a completely new creation, human beings indwelt by God, began living on the earth.

Before the creation of the church, the Holy Spirit had been with individuals chosen by God for special ministries but the Holy Spirit had not permanently indwelt them as He would indwell all who were born again during the church age.

Before that momentous occasion, the Spirit of God, had dwelt successively in the Tabernacle, and later in the Temple in Jerusalem before the Babylonian Captivity, but had not been present in the restored Temple in Jerusalem which later came to be known as Herod’s Temple. During those earlier periods, the indwelling of God produced visible results in that the radiance of God was manifested when the Spirit of God dwelled in the Tabernacle and the Temple.

Just as the visible glory of God was hidden in the Lord Jesus Christ, the visible glory of God would also be hidden as the Holy Spirit indwelt each and every human being who received Christ as Savior regardless of denominational affiliation or lack thereof. The situation was complicated by the fact that the outward appearance was not changed at all and by simply looking at people one could not tell whether they were indwelt by God or not.

A Hidden Change with Great Eternal Significance

Although the visible manifestations of the new creation are hidden, the spiritual realities are profound and eternal. Long after this physical realm in which we find ourselves has been destroyed, these spiritual realities will still be in full force and effect. The eternal destiny of those who are spiritually dead is the Lake of Fire, for those spiritually alive and indwelt by God, the Holy Spirit, a future in the new heaven and the new earth as a member of the family of God.

Those who are alive are cautioned to avoid being unequally yoked with those who are dead; there is a great gulf fixed between the living and the dead which can only be bridged by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. We who are alive are commanded to offer directions on passage over that bridge to those who are dead. Those who choose to cross the bridge can join the ranks of the living and become a part of the new creation while those who reject the offer to cross that bridge continue to live under the wrath of God.

36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them. John 3:36

Happy Birthday to All Who Have Crossed from Death to Life!

(Art work by Adele Bower, Copyrighted)

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | May 10, 2021

The Painted Veil That Hides Reality, by David Bower

(I have observed, with great interest, the continuing popularity of this essay. It was first published in May of 2014 and has been sought out by readers almost every week that goes by. For some reason, of the 486 essays I have published on “Life from a Christian Perspective,” this one comes closest to having a life of its own according to WordPress statistics.) 

 The Sonnet, the Novel, and the Movie

The Painted Veil Poster Resized

A few days ago we had the opportunity to watch a fascinating movie, an epic movie experience filled with intense drama, “The Painted Veil” which led me to the discovery of a book, and a sonnet which all addressed, to some degree, a subject on which I had written in the past.

To start at the beginning of this line of thought, Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote a sonnet whose first line is “Lift not the painted veil which those who live Call Life.” This sonnet was a source of inspiration to W. Somerset Maugham as he wrote a novel in 1925 named, “The Painted Veil.”

This novel was later made into three different movies, “The Painted Veil” 1934, “The Seventh Sin,” 1957, and the most recent, again named “The Painted Veil,” which was released in January of 2007. It was this last version which stirred my spirit of inquiry into researching the background of the movie and the novel on which it was based which, in turn, led me to the discovery of Shelley’s sonnet.

The heart of the movie can possibly be reduced to one line spoken by Dr. Walter Fane to his wife Kitty, “It was silly of us to look for qualities in each other that we never had.” To some degree, each had come into their marriage with preconceived notions of how it would be and how the other would respond. This, of course, is the never ending challenge to young couples entering into marriage; separating fantasy from reality.

The Sonnet by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Shelley’s sonnet has been declared a mystery by some and aggressively analyzed by others; here is the sonnet:

“Lift not the painted veil which those who live

Call Life: though unreal shapes be pictured there,

And it but mimic all we would believe

With colours idly spread,–behind, lurk Fear

And Hope, twin Destinies; who ever weave

Their shadows, o’er the chasm, sightless and drear.

I knew one who had lifted it–he sought,

For his lost heart was tender, things to love,

But found them not, alas! nor was there aught

The world contains, the which he could approve.

Through the unheeding many he did move,

A splendour among shadows, a bright blot

Upon this gloomy scene, a Spirit that strove

For truth, and like the Preacher found it not.”

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

What is Reality?

Those of you who have followed my blog may recall the essay I wrote called “What is Reality?” In this essay, which I published in September of 2011, I questioned the identity of true reality which was defined as, “the quality or state of being real: something that is neither derivative nor dependent but exists necessarily.” Using that dictionary definition I determined that only the Triune Godhead was real, all else was derived and dependent on the will of the Creator.

I went on to write, “I suggest to you that this is not true reality at all but little more than a facade, more similar to a stage setting one would find on a movie set. It is admittedly a complex and involved stage setting and has the appearance of permanence; permanence, however, from a finite point of view. The tragedy is that most people devote their entire lives to responding to the stage setting and ignore the true realities of life.”

Effectively then, what we call life is the painted veil that is described by Shelley as unreal shapes with colours idly spread.

Mankind’s Desire for a Deliverer

I found it fascinating that Shelley would describe a hopeful figure “who had lifted it–he sought, For his lost heart was tender, things to love, But found them not, alas!” Here was Shelley’s redeemer, but a redeemer who was doomed to failure and he, like the Preacher, found it not.

The identity of the Preacher has also been an object of debate, but in the context of the sonnet, I thought of the first two verses of Ecclesiastes, also known as The Preacher; “The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. 2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.” Here we find a similar longing for that which is not found.

I have long noted the need for a messianic figure in literature; the example that immediately occurred to me was Ayn Rand’s John Galt. In her novel, “Atlas Shrugged,” Ms. Rand creates an intellectual super hero named John Galt who is able and willing to take the necessary steps to deliver society from its many ills. I find these futile hopes for a messiah, as devised by the mind of man, to be pathetic and sad.

Lifting the Painted Veil

It is only in the Bible that the painted veil is lifted and the true nature of reality is fully exposed. It is only in the Bible that we learn the true nature of our existence and the fact that we are created beings living in and sustained, from moment to moment, by our creator as a part of that creation.

It is only in the Bible that we discover the identity of our true Messiah our very own, “splendour among shadows” and then discover that He has come to redeem us and that His work of redemption has been successfully begun. It is only in the Bible that we learn that this process of redemption will be fully completed at a time determined in eternity past by our Creator; that our Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ, will lift the painted veil forever.

It is the Bible that reveals what the painted veil conceals and it is infinitely more than the scene painted by Shelley’s words “behind, lurk Fear And Hope, twin Destinies; who ever weave Their shadows, o’er the chasm, sightless and drear.”

Behind the painted veil we call life lies an eternal plan of which we can be a part by simply receiving Christ as our Savior. There is also a terrible place called the Lake of Fire which is reserved for those who reject the salvation available to all who will receive Christ as Savior.

The veil has been lifted; we have a Redeemer and a Messiah, one who is still seeking things to love, and ignore Him at our own peril; receive His love and love Him in return!

“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved”

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | May 3, 2021

Living Your Life Filled with Peace and Joy!

The Real Meaning of Life Explained! Everything, to This Point, has been Nothing more than Preparation for What is to Come!

Mankind was created to rule, to have dominion over all the earth but lost that opportunity when the first Adam disobeyed a direct command from God. Instead of ruling, man became a tenant on a sin-cursed earth which has been controlled by Satan as the Prince of the Power of the Air and has become a battlefield in an ancient spiritual war!

God, in an astounding expression of grace, mercy, and love, sent a second Adam from above, the Lord Jesus Christ, to serve as a Kinsman/Redeemer, to free mankind from spiritual death, slavery to sin, and buy back mankind’s lost inheritance by the shedding of his own blood as a sacrificial payment for the sin of the first Adam.

A time is coming when the earth shall be restored to mankind and Satan’s control of the earth brought to a devastating conclusion. The Bible provides us some guidance as to what will happen and it is very possible these events may start soon. I have written more on this in a four-part series which begins with: “What’s Going to Happen Next? Part 1”

The Timing of These Remaining Events is Known Only to God

The Bible does not reveal the timing of these events awaiting fulfillment, but does reveal there are two periods of prophetic time still future; one period of seven years and one period of one thousand years. In addition, there are Biblical references to events, yet unfulfilled, that need to take place. I’m of the opinion that these events could possibly add another five years to the total.

I believe the Bible clearly teaches the initial trigger for these events will be the rapture of the church as described in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 where the Lord Jesus Christ meets with all born-again believers in the air to take them to heaven and be with him forever!

After the seven years of the Tribulation and the one thousand years of the Millennial Reign of the Lord Jesus Christ, the final judgment will come at the Great White Throne where Satan, sin, death and all whose names are not written in the Book of Life will be thrown into the Lake of Fire, this is the Second Death!

As Christians, awaiting the Lord’s return, we have an obligation to let the Holy Spirit take the lead in our lives; our lives should always clearly exhibit the fruit of the Spirit to the extent there is no question about our life’s priorities!

The New Heaven and the New Earth

A few thousand years in comparison with eternity is only a drop in the bucket! The Apostle Paul speaks to this point in Romans 8:18-23 where it is written:

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.

I suspect that we, with our many limitations, can in no way even begin to imagine what God has planned for us; a full understanding of “the glorious liberty of the children of God” will just have to wait.

I personally delight in the sure knowledge that I have been given the indwelling Holy Spirit to be with me forever. By God’s grace, all of us, who have received Jesus Christ as our Savior, have been given the firstfuits of the Spirit!

I’m totally confident life in the New Heaven and the New Earth will far exceed our loftiest hopes and expectations by an infinite amount. In the meantime, we can rejoice in the Lord and the promise of his coming!

What About Life Now?

While eternity with God is going to be fabulous, what about life right now? God has made provision for that as well if you will only follow God’s instructions! In Philippians 4:4-9, God addresses the question of life right now:

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Rejoicing in the Lord and faithfully worshiping and serving him is what life is all about; this is what we are created for and is the only thing that will bring happiness and completion to our existence!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | April 26, 2021

The Real Meaning of Life Explained! From Ruler to Tenant

Whether you Realize it or not, You’re Descended from a Family of Tenant Farmers!

When Adam disobeyed God, Satan became the ruler of this world and is even now, “The Prince of the Power of the Air!” Adam’s descendants were doomed to live out their lives on a world controlled by Satan and experience the impact on their lives imposed by the spiritual war Satan was waging against God!

And if that was not enough, Adam’s descendants would be born spiritually dead and with a nature to sin!

What is even more frustrating is there was absolutely nothing Adam’s descendants could do to correct that situation! No matter how good or bad any particular descendant would live their lives, their actions could not bring their dead spirits back to life.

God’s solution for this devastating problem was already in place, I believe the voice in the Garden of Eden that called out, “Where are you?” was the voice of the one who would eventually serve as mankind’s “Kinsman/Redeemer,” the Lord Jesus Christ!

Our Lord knew he would be the one to pay the price for Adam’s reckless foolishness; he would need to be the one to pay the price of redemption!

From Ruling to Recovery

The entire situation for mankind had now been changed, thanks to Adam; mankind would no longer rule God’s creation as God’s representatives but would be faced with the challenge of raising his food on sin-cursed ground!

While facing this challenge, mankind would exist on a world which had now become the scene of an age-old spiritual battle in progress since before man’s creation.

The Old Testament portion of the Bible records God’s dealing with mankind before and after Adam’s fall and prepares mankind for the Redeemer who was to be sent to pay the price of Adam’s sin and restore the earth to Adam’s descendants.

Obedience to the revealed commands of God would be the standard required for God’s approval and a system was put in place to make that possible. That system was called the “Mosaic Law” and served as the basic framework for achieving imputed righteousness from God.

In addition, the promise of a Redeemer and full restoration was made in the person of one who would come in the last days, in Job 19:25-27 it is written:

25 For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
26 And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
27 Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!

The Mosaic Law was designed to provide a picture of the work that would be performed by the Redeemer; the one we now know as the Lord Jesus Christ! Christ, as our Kinsman/Redeemer, would accomplish the redemption and restoration that fallen man could never achieve.

Redemption Accomplished!

At the precise time ordained by God, our Kinsman/Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, died on the cross for mankind’s sins and rose again on the third day! The victory was won, the price had been paid once and for all!

Now, full restoration was possible by simple faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. All who received Jesus Christ as Savior would be born again to new spiritual life to become not only representatives, but children of God!

The guarantee given to every one who receives Jesus Christ as Savior is the Holy Spirit who comes into each new believer to live with them forever!

What is the Real Meaning of Life?

Considering the reality of our situation, the real meaning of life is to receive Jesus Christ as Savior, be born again into the family of God and become a child in God’s eternal family! No other decision we can ever make can compare with the critical importance of that one decision.

As born again, spiritually alive, children of God our lives now have new meaning, we have a new job which is described in Matthew 28:18-20 where it is written:

18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Why is Total Success in Life so Simple?

It may be hard for some to believe that total success in life comes as a results of the new birth, of being born again by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. The Satanic world system would have you believe anything but that; when a person is born again by faith in Jesus Christ, Satan loses another victim, one less to join him in the Lake of Fire.

Our mortal lives are nothing more than a pass/fail test with only one question; do you receive Jesus Christ as your own personal Savior? Receive Jesus Christ as your Savior and you pass the test; reject salvation in Jesus Christ and you fail the test!

The consequences of your decision are eternal and unchangeable! Salvation means participation in the First Resurrection; rejection means participation in the Second Resurrection and I promise you that is not what you want!

How can something so important as your eternal destination be so simply resolved, you might ask. Salvation is simple for mankind because the Lord Jesus Christ did the really hard part. I’m convinced the suffering endured by the Lord at the spiritual level far surpassed the physical suffering he experienced by crucifixion.

20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

When Christ was made to be sin for us, I believe he was separated from the Father and the Holy Spirit for a brief period at which point he exclaimed:

“Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?”

46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

When the Lord Jesus Christ was made sin for us, he was totally alone as the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world! He, who had always existed in perfect harmony with the Father and the Holy Spirit was isolated with the sin of the world as his only companion!

This supreme price, which could only by paid for by the Lord Jesus Christ, was the only solution to mankind’s sin problem and if mankind was ever to be redeemed, he was the only one who could accomplish redemption for Adam’s descendants!

Eternal security as a member of God’s royal family is being offered to you as a free gift; I encourage you to receive this gift and be born-again into the family of God!

Next time, The Real Meaning of Life, Living Life as it’s Supposed to be Lived!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | April 19, 2021

The Real Meaning of Life Explained! The Catastrophic Error in Judgment

The Ruler of the World

Adam had been given something no other man has ever achieved, complete control over all the earth and every living thing that lived on the earth! This will not happen again until the Lord Jesus Christ rules over all the earth as King of kings and Lord of lords!

(Another key factor in the creation of Adam, was his creation in the image of God; just as God is eternal, Adam, and all his descendants are also eternal and will always exist in some form somewhere! In case you’re wondering, yes, that includes you and me!)

As a condition of his serving as supreme ruler, he was given one command:

17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:17

In retrospect, that doesn’t seem to be an unreasonable command, there was an abundance of alternate food sources available so there was absolutely no danger of Adam going hungry! This one tree was off-limits, everything else could be eaten as desired.

At some undisclosed point, the Trinity, referred to as God in the Bible, determined that man should not be alone, in Genesis 2:21-22 it is written:

21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.”

One can only imagine the joy, happiness and excitement when Adam saw Eve the first time, it is recorded in Genesis 2:23

23 And Adam said:

“This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”

It is important to note, the command, concerning the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was given to Adam, not to Eve.

The Passage of Time

The Bible provides no details on the timing of the activities of Adam and Eve after her creation. I suspect Adam brought Eve up to date on life in the Garden of Eden and warned her of the prohibition about eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

In Genesis 3:1-3 we read of a conversation Eve had with the serpent (Satan) when, I’m convinced, Adam was not present:

“3 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”

And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ”

Please notice the addition to God’s command, whereas God had told Adam not to eat of the tree, Eve adds, “nor shall you touch it.”

I suspect there was a history behind that addition on Eve’s part; I would guess there had been many discussions about the “forbidden fruit” to the point where Adam, in a moment of frustration, told Eve, “don’t eat it, don’t even touch it!”

My Speculation on Genesis 3

While this is pure speculation, it could explain Eve’s addition of the touching part when she is challenged by Satan. I suggest, by way of further speculation, that between verses 4 and 5 that even more time passed. I suspect that Eve was fascinated by the tree and watched it while birds and animals ate of its fruit with absolutely no ill-effects.

At some point, I believe Eve ate of the fruit, when Adam was not present, and absolutely nothing happened to her. How much time passes before Eve decided to share her big secret with Adam is unknown, but eventually Eve told Adam what she had been doing.

We can only imagine the flood of thoughts that went through Adam’s mind when he heard Eve’s story; had he misunderstood God, how could Eve be alive after eating of the tree, what would happen if he ate the fruit of the tree?

This is where the details of God’s command come into play, death would come when Adam ate, not Eve! Let us theorize Adam and Eve then went to the tree; Eve wanted Adam to watch the birds and the animals enjoying the fruit with impunity, Eve then eats of the fruit and before Adam’s astonished eyes, nothing happens; then Adam eats of the fruit and they both die spiritually on the very spot!

Direct disobedience to God’s command was the cause of Adam’s spiritual death, not a harmless bit of fruit. When Adam decided to intentionally disobey the only command he had been given, he then lost the earth, killed his own spirit, Eve’s spirit, and the spirits of every person subsequently born of a human father!

The Biblical Consequences of Disobedience, The Walking Dead

Thorns and Thistles

While, in the preceding section, I indulged in some speculation; the Bible is quite clear on the consequences of Adam’s disobedience.

Although spiritual death came instantly, physical death was delayed but inevitable; every human being would now be born spiritually dead if they had a human father and, after an allotted life span, would, (with two notable exceptions, Enoch and Elijah) die physically as well. (It is important to recognize the eternal essence breathed into Adam by God is passed on to all succeeding generations and will never die!)

God’s judgment is described in Genesis 3:8-19 where it is written:

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”

10 So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”

11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”

12 Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”

13 And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

14 So the Lord God said to the serpent:

“Because you have done this,
You are cursed more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you shall go,
And you shall eat dust
All the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.”

16 To the woman He said:

“I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception;
In pain you shall bring forth children;
Your desire shall be for your husband,
And he shall rule over you.”

17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’:

“Cursed is the ground for your sake;
In toil you shall eat of it
All the days of your life.
18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,
And you shall eat the herb of the field.
19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread
Till you return to the ground,
For out of it you were taken;
For dust you are,
And to dust you shall return.”

Next, we will consider the impact on humanity and the critical changes that have taken place as a results of Adam’s forfeiture of world ruler-ship to Satan!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | April 12, 2021

The Real Meaning of Life Explained! The Beginning

Mortal Life is Incredible, Amazing, Wonderful, but no More Than a Fleeting Introduction to What is Coming Next!

Most of us, at some point in our lives, have wondered why we are here and why things are the way they are; in some circles, these matters are debated with some intensity while in others it may be no more than a passing thought, an idle reflection.

Regardless of how much or how little such thoughts occupy our minds, all of us are irrevocable bound to the reality in which we find ourselves! We all come to realize that certain laws, the laws of nature or the laws of God, have an irresistible impact on our behavior.

There are certain things you simply must not do without suffering devastating consequences; experience is usually an authoritative teacher in such matters!

What is clearly less obvious, is the long-term impact of our actions; when there seems to be no immediate consequences for a certain action, then the question can come up as to whether or not there is, in fact, a consequence that really should be factored in to our thinking regarding that action.

An Illusion of Control

I have read that drug addicts begin using drugs with the notion they can control their use of drugs in their lives; by the time they discover the drugs are controlling them, it is just too late to take easy corrective action.

Sometimes life can lull us into a false sense of control when the consequences of our actions are delayed. We have the opportunity to live in an era where God is not immediately judging the actions of people; while this arrangement has advantages, it also has disadvantages.

It can produce a false sense of security in which we think there may be no adverse consequences for our actions; perhaps God doesn’t really care that we’re doing this or that. It may be hard, for some, to fully realize that the restrictions God has placed on mankind are there to protect and improve their quality of life.

If We are to Clearly Understand Who We are and Why We’re Here, it will Probably be Necessary to See Where it All Started and How We Got to Where We are Now!

The first critical element we will need to understand and fully accept, is we are created beings who exist in a created universe. That, which we can observe around us, is all a part of a creation that exists at the sole discretion of an eternal creator who has always existed as a Trinity, three persons who share one essence.

The Trinity has happily given us assembly instructions for life which provides the information we need in order to successfully complete our mortal lives. These instructions also include some helpful background on how we got to where we are at this point in time; sadly, it is not very cheerful news!

We discover, as we read the instructions, the very first human being, created by the Trinity, was placed in a specially prepared location and given certain very important jobs to do.

In these instructions, which have come to be known as the Bible; it is recorded in Genesis 1:26-31 the following details:

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

29 And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. 30 Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. 31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”

From this, we see that man was to have dominion over all the earth, fill it and subdue it, and have dominion over every creature that lived on it. They were all to have herbs and fruit for food.

The World’s Oldest Profession

We are given additional information in Genesis 2:15-17 where it is written:

15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend (cultivate) and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

From this we see the world’s oldest profession is ruler over all the earth as well as gardener; man was to have dominion over the earth, every animal, and cultivate the garden and keep it. In addition, we see man given one command, do not eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Death would be the consequences of disobedience!

The command was given to Adam, not to Eve who had yet to be created; this distinction helps to explain what would happen later. Next time, we will take a look at the events leading to Adam’s fall from power and the death of his spirit. Let me reassure you, without a proper understanding of this background, it will be impossible to understand where we are today and what we must do to recover!

Next time, a catastrophic loss!

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