Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | October 18, 2021

Discovering the Truth About Reality in a World of Deception

The Challenge Facing Christians

The Bible is a master of understatement; sometimes the most incredible events are described in the simplest of terms. A case in point is verse 7, of 2 Corinthians 5:

For we live by believing and not by seeing. (NLT)

As some of you may know, I have been a science fiction fan since my childhood. I have read more science fiction stories than I could count in any reasonable amount of time. One thing I can promise you, though, not one science fiction author, in all those stories, has managed to even come close to the actual reality in which we live as described in the Bible.

Biblical reality takes us to a level infinitely beyond anything the mind of man has conceived! It is truly a level of reality which can only be partially comprehended by faith! In this, and next week’s essay, I will examine the seven basic Biblical premises that form the foundation for the reality in which we live.

I propose to you that living by believing demands we embrace the Biblical view of reality!

The First Basic Biblical Premise

The Bible quickly establishes a basic premise which serves as the foundation for the entire Bible. The only true reality is the Holy Trinity, all else has been created by the Trinity and has, since it’s creation, consisted as a product of the omnipotent creator’s will.

In case you’re wondering, that means everything that can be seen, including you and me, are not truly real in a strict sense; we are created beings who exist at the will of our creator! I have written more on this previously in an essay, “What is Reality” published in September of 2011.

The essay begins with this sentence, “The dictionary defines reality as “the quality or state of being real: something that is neither derivative nor dependent but exists necessarily.”

No fictional universe, of which I have any knowledge, comes anywhere close to the Biblical universe. The Bible reveals that only the Holy Trinity qualifies as real as all else exists as a creation and continues only as the creator wills it to exist.

The Second Basic Biblical Premise

Mankind is unique in the creation process; mankind alone is created in the image of God. In Genesis 1:26 it is written:

26 Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”

The implications of this decision by the Trinity are far-reaching, the living, spiritual essence of all human beings is made in the image of the creator and is eternal. This eternal essence is, however, placed in a physical body that is made of the earth.

The only part of a human being that can be seen is the portion made of the earth. The Trinity’s plan was to provide the Tree of Life for the body so it might live forever. After Adam’s disobedience, and the death of his spirit, the Trinity expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden so they could not eat of the Tree of Life and live forever. Genesis 3:22-24 where it is written:

22 Then the Lord God said, “Look, the human beings have become like us, knowing both good and evil. What if they reach out, take fruit from the tree of life, and eat it? Then they will live forever!” 23 So the Lord God banished them from the Garden of Eden, and he sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made. 24 After sending them out, the Lord God stationed mighty cherubim to the east of the Garden of Eden. And he placed a flaming sword that flashed back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.”

The expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden was an act of grace and mercy, the idea of living forever with a dead spirit is truly horrendous!

The Third Basic Biblical Premise

The Trinity’s plan for restoration was complex and extremely challenging. The Bible is the record of the history of this plan as implemented by the Trinity. The Trinity would pay a great price to redeem mankind; the Second Person of the Trinity would become the Lamb of God who would take on human form and die for the sins of mankind.

At the time of the First Advent, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity would take on human form and be born to a virgin by the power of God, the Holy Spirit. The New Testament records the birth and the naming of the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, who, in his humanity, would be named Jesus Christ.

The Lord Jesus Christ would live a holy, sinless life, and then be killed in accordance with God’s plan; three days later, the Lord Jesus Christ would rise from the dead and, after a specified period of time, would ascend back into heaven.

The Fourth Basic Biblical Premise

After Adam’s failure, the Trinity had devised a new plan for the Second Adam from above. Salvation would include the indwelling of God, the Holy Spirit in everyone who received Jesus Christ as their Savior. The Second Person of the Holy Trinity had successfully completed the full payment for sin; now the Third Person of the Holy Trinity would minister to mankind until the end.

While the Trinity’s first plan focused on a people and a land, the Jews and Israel; the second plan would be multi-national in scope and have heaven as the homeland. Peoples of all nations could join this select group by simple faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

The appearance of this people would not change, there would be no way to look at them and know they had joined this very special group. The changes were spiritual, eternal, and profoundly significant! In 2 Corinthians 5:17 it is written:

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

Today, we live in this special, multi-national age of the church, the body of Christ. The clock is ticking on this age and the end of the age may come sooner rather than later. The signs the Bible has revealed, concerning the end of this age, are appearing all around us.

Next time, the Fifth through the Seventh of the Basic Biblical Premises.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | October 11, 2021

What’s Going to Happen Next, 2021? Part 4

For a period of at least 7 years after the battle of Gog and Magog, Israel will enjoy a degree of peace and stability. Although Israel has been back in the land since 1948, the final 7 prophetic years God had promised to Israel will not actually start until the signing of the covenant agreement between Israel and the Antichrist.

Once the agreement is signed, the seven year Tribulation will start with the first half being a time during which the Antichrist seeks to establish himself as the world’s savior and politically position himself as world leader; during the second half, the Antichrist will be indwelt by Satan, and declare himself to be God.

The Book of Revelation and the other prophetic passages from both the Old and New Testaments describe a coming time of terrible judgment on the earth which we call the Tribulation. Although the first 3 1/2 years are bad the second 3 1/2 years are even worse. We are told in Matthew 24:22 “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.”

The Battle of Armageddon

At the close of the Tribulation a great battle will be in progress called Armageddon; during this battle, the Lord Jesus Christ shall return and bring the battle to a close by His mighty power; then there will finally be peace in Jerusalem.

The Second Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ

At the Second Advent the Lord will separate the believers from the unbelievers with all unbelievers being cast into the Lake of Fire with the Beast and the False Prophet. Satan will be cast into the bottomless pit.

20 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven with the key to the bottomless pit and a heavy chain in his hand. He seized the dragon—that old serpent, who is the devil, Satan—and bound him in chains for a thousand years. The angel threw him into the bottomless pit, which he then shut and locked so Satan could not deceive the nations anymore until the thousand years were finished. Afterward he must be released for a little while.” Revelation 20:1-3

Only mortal believers and resurrected saints will populate the earth at the beginning of the millennial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ. Matthew 25:31-46

Believing mankind will finally enjoy the earth the way God had intended from the beginning; this period will last 1,000 years with the Lord as supreme ruler.

Although the Millennium will start with only believers, the children born to the mortal believers will include both those who accept the Lord and those who do not. Over time the unbelieving population will grow in spite of the personal presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Final Conflict

At the end of the Millennium, Satan, who had been bound, will be released out of his prison and will draw a huge number of unbelievers to him “And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city; and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them” Revelation 20:9. This is referred to as the second battle of Gog and Magog although it will be more of an annihilation than a battle.

Satan is then “cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever.” Revelation 20:10

Sulphur burns with a blue flame and an overwhelming, choking stench.

It is at this point I believe the old heaven and earth will be melted by fire as described in II Peter 3:10.

“10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”

I have come to think in terms of a refining process which can be associated with the refining of gold or silver; intense heat is used to purify, not destroy. The impurities left by thousands of years of Satanic domination will be destroyed by this process of purification!

My thinking is influenced by the verses in Romans 8:19-22 where it is written:

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.”

The Great White Throne Judgment

This is followed by the great white throne judgment where unbelievers are judged according to their works.

Death and Hades will be cast into the lake of fire as will every individual whose name “was not found written in the book of life.” “This is the second death.”

This scene, which is given such a terse description in the Bible, is undoubtedly one of the most terrible scenes imaginable. All mankind who has rejected the offer of the free gift of salvation in Jesus Christ must stand before the great white throne. There is no hope whatsoever and the punishment that awaits them is eternal pain and suffering in the lake of fire.

The heavens and earth that they have known have fled and the only reality to them is the great white throne and the absolute crushing certainty of judgment and condemnation with eternal torment and suffering in the lake of fire.

Another Chance to Escape Judgment

We live in a remarkable age of grace; abundant opportunity is being given to turn to the Lord for salvation and be delivered from the judgment to come. The Lord’s patience with the sinner in no way means that God is indifferent to sin; the fact that sin does not result in immediate retribution from God does not mean that no retribution is planned.

Deliverance from God’s judgment is now a simple matter of accepting, by grace through faith, the saving work of the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. This simple act of faith is the only way anyone can be delivered from the certainty of the coming judgment; a judgment which is eternal and unyielding in its severity.

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be Saved!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | October 4, 2021

What’s Going to Happen Next, 2021? Part 3

It’s interesting to see how prophecy is being treated today; many want to disregard prophecy as unimportant and lacking in significance. I have heard that the Bible was around 25% prophetic when it was written; one can imagine every fourth page as prophecy. If God devoted that much space to prophecy I would be inclined to think that He attaches great significance to it.

We are living in an age today when prophetic signs are being fulfilled all around us; I believe we ignore them at our own peril. You may recall the Lord’s disgust when the Pharisees ignored the many signs He was presenting as their Messiah at the time of the First Advent; let us not fall into that same error.

Now let us consider the battle of Psalm 83, the battle of Gog and Magog, and the possible events before and after. Since the Lord did not reveal as many details as we might have liked, it becomes necessary to try and connect the dots, as it were.

Today Islam refers to the United States as the “great Satan, and Israel as the “little Satan.” It appears rather obvious that a major concern on the part of Islam has to do with a rather likely intervention by the United States if Israel should be attacked; although the “great Satan” is hated, its military power is also feared.

What would Islam most likely do to Israel if the United States was suddenly incapacitated, if the United States was no longer in a position to defend Israel? If you’re guessing attack Israel I completely agree; the Islamic nations surrounding Israel would see this as their golden opportunity to attack with impunity.

The Decline and Fall of the United States

We are witnessing a rapid decline in the spiritual and moral fabric of the United States; this decline is changing this country in basic ways at all levels of life. While it is painful to witness this decline, for those of us who love this country, this is the pattern predicted in the Bible for the end-times.

Forces have been at work, for over one hundred years, attempting to destabilize the United States and create a situation conducive to a one-world government. Tragic progress has been made due to the patient and unrelenting efforts of the globalists.

This destabilization will continue and the Rapture of the church will be the catalyst that brings a sudden climax; the United States will be thrown into a state of chaos by the loss of all true Christians. I believe the armed forces will be hit very hard as I’m convinced that many of our military are born-again believers.

The infrastructure of the United States will be crushed and leave the United States an easy target for aggression!

I believe this chaos will be the catalyst for the attack of Psalm 83 which may well take place a short amount of time after the Rapture of the church. This could be the catalyst for Islam’s attack on the “great Satan” as well. Whereas God has promised to defend Israel and give them the victory in this battle, the United States has no such guarantee from God.

I believe these two events are the reason the United States doesn’t appear in Bible prophecy. A carefully placed nuclear High Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (HEMP) blast over the United States could throw this country technologically back into the 1800’s. Our days as a world power would be over for good.

Israel, on the other hand, will be delivered and enjoy a resounding victory over the attacking forces by Divine intervention. This could result in the short period of peace and stability prophesied in Ezekiel 38:11 which will precede the Battle of Gog and Magog.

The Battle of God and Magog

The exact timing of the battle of Gog and Magog is not specified in Scripture and there is much discussion as to when it will take place. I believe the timing I have specified best accounts for all of the events described in Scripture so I believe it to be acceptably realistic.

Although the battle of Psalm 83 includes only those nations in Israel’s immediate vicinity, the battle of Gog and Magog will include Russia and Iran. Keep in mind the United States will no longer be a major force in world affairs; leadership will have shifted to the European Union.

The forces of Gog and Magog will attack Israel and suffer an overwhelming defeat by the hand of God as He miraculously defends Israel and carries the attack to the various homelands of the attacking nations by sending fire upon them.

During God’s defense of Israel there shall be great earthquakes; I believe that during these earthquakes the Islamic structures on the Temple Mount shall be destroyed completely, opening the door for Israel’s rebuilding of the Temple.

In Ezekiel 39:9 we are told the cleanup will last seven years; this is one reason I believe the battle of Gog and Magog will take place at least 31/2 years before the signing of the covenant with the Antichrist and perhaps longer.

It seems highly unlikely that Israel would have any continued interest in cleanup once the Great Tribulation starts at mid-point in the Tribulation. The world will be in such chaos that cleanup at that point would be like trying to sweep the kitchen while the house is burning down.

I believe Israel’s restoration after the battle of Gog and Magog will include the rebuilding of the Temple on the Temple Mount. God’s dramatic intervention in the defeat of the invading forces will cause Muslims to step back and give Israel the opportunity to rebuild the Temple unhindered.

Temple worship will be restored and Israel will enjoy another time of peace which will eventually include the signing of the covenant with the Antichrist. We will continue the summary of events in Part 4.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | September 27, 2021

What’s Going to Happen Next, 2021? Part 2

Illustration by Stephen Bower Used by permission of the artist Copyright © 2015

Massive Changes are Coming!

Scripture is clear, I’m convinced the church will not be on earth during the Tribulation. I will mention two sections of Scripture which come to mind first in support of this position: the first is in Daniel 9:24-27 where Daniel is given the prophecy of the seventy weeks to be given to Israel. I have written more on this in a three part series that starts with, “The Seventy Weeks of Daniel”

That is the prophetic equivalent of 490 prophetic years which are cut short at the 483rd year by the entrance of the Lord Jesus Christ into Jerusalem. On that day Israel was set aside for an undetermined amount of time during which the mystery of the church was to be played out starting at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit took up residence in believers as described in Act 2:1-4.

The Mystery of the Church Age

It is in this hidden era of the church in which we find ourselves today; the Old Testament prophets could prophetically see two mountain top events, the First Advent, the Messiah as suffering servant, and the Second Advent, the Messiah as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

What was not revealed to them was the mystery of the church age; that long valley of time that stretched between those two mountain tops. Israel had been set aside but not abandoned by God; God, who can always be trusted to keep His word, had promised yet another seven years to Israel to complete the job assigned in Daniel 9:24.

The Tribulation is that last seven years allotted to Israel. Just as Israel was set aside before the church began, so the church will be removed before the age of Israel is resumed to complete its last seven years. God does not mix Israel and the church.

The second passage of Scripture that comes to mind is I Thessalonians 1:10 “And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.” It is interesting to note that Paul uses the present tense rescues, not the past tense rescued in this verse. In the Greek the present tense carries the thought of continuous action, in other words our deliverance from the wrath to come is a continuous reality right now because of what the Lord Jesus Christ did for us on the Cross.

One more verse that comes to mind is Revelation 4:1 where John is called up to heaven. Although the church is the main topic of Revelation chapters 1-3, it is not even mentioned after 4:1. I believe the calling up is symbolic of the Rapture of the church.

It is important to remember that the Rapture of the church is not the event that triggers the Tribulation; it is the signing of the covenant between Israel and the Antichrist that starts the Tribulation period and starts Israel’s seven year countdown.

The Prophetic Clock is Ticking

Based on the studies by Dr. Harold Hoehner, I believe the triumphal entry took place on March 30, AD 33 and Pentecost, the beginning of the church, took place on May 25, AD33, a gap of 56 days. Likewise I believe it very possible, even likely that there will be a gap between the Rapture of the church and the signing of the covenant.

If one considers the battle of Psalm 83 and the battle of Gog and Magog there is an implied amount of time that would pass in order to accomplish all that is prophesied for these events. I believe we could be looking at five years at the very least and possibly more between the Rapture and the signing of the covenant.

Israel had been given three periods of 490 years in the land. There was a gap of 161 years between the end of the second period of 490 years and the beginning of the third period of 490 years. It the last seven years of this third period which is still future and is called the Tribulation.

The nations surrounding Israel have announced their intentions of taking all of Israel for Islam; the very existence of Israel is an affront to them. This is precisely the situation described in Psalm 83:4 “They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.” I find it pretty exciting to see ancient Bible prophecies in the headlines of today’s papers.

In Part 3, I will elaborate on the battle of Psalm 83 and the one event that I think will trigger the attack. I will also cover the future of the United States as it relates to Israel and the battle of Psalm 83.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | September 20, 2021

What’s Going to Happen Next, 2021? Part 1

Over the last ten years, much has happened which can help explain the total absence of the United States from Biblical end-times prophecies. The moral and spiritual decline, observable to all, has been painful to watch as a harbinger of things to come.

The Christian must seek reassurance in the clear declarations of the Bible; God is working all things after the counsel of his own will!

11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will” Ephesians 1:11

I often reflect on the Bible’s choice of words, not some things, not even most things, but all things! We, as a very small part of God’s creation, must look to our creator in total faith, not doubting nor wondering, not even trying to understand, just trusting! It is times like this that Proverbs 3:5-6 comes to my mind:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

The unexpected and challenging has happened to all of us; I can testify there have been times of testing when those verses served as an anchor for my Christian faith; one of my pet weaknesses has been a desire to understand.

The number of things going on in the world today that I don’t understand seem to be growing exponentially! I’m truly thankful the Lord does not require that I try to understand them!

In conversations with both believers and unbelievers there seems to be a universal question; where is all this leading, what’s going to happen next? This may be a question on whether or not a particular individual will still have a job by the end of the year or perhaps when will it start raining again, or one of the many aspects of the national or world situation.

There seem to be so many areas that are filled with uncertainty that one need not look too far to find another line of thought that ends with a question mark; I suspect many such areas will come to your mind as you consider this.

For the Christian, the question of what the Bible says about all of this should be a prime factor in finding an answer. God knew from eternity past exactly what condition the world would be in today and He provided guidance for His children in the Bible.

Living in the End Times

The signs are very clear to me that we are living in the Biblical end-times described in Scripture. Things are rapidly falling into place in accordance with the descriptions given in the Bible of the world situation as it would be as the time of the end approaches.

We see with what precision the Lord Jesus Christ fulfilled all of the prophecies concerning His First Advent so it is reasonable to believe that the prophecies surrounding His Second Advent will be fulfilled with equal precision.

There is nothing prophetically left to be fulfilled before the Rapture of the church so I am convinced the Rapture could take place any second.  What I would like to do here is to comment on the remaining unfulfilled prophecies that are prophetically planned for the end of the world.

We are living in the 7th Church Era called Laodicea; this is the era of the lukewarm church that the Lord would spew out of His mouth, the era where the Lord is standing outside the door to the church and knocking to see if He will be let in. My son has referred to this church age as “the church of the expectoration.”

It is from this lukewarm era, the true church, comprised of all born-again believers, will be removed at the Rapture.

The remaining unfulfilled prophetic occurrences include: 1. the Rapture of the true church; 2. the battle of Psalm 83 which I believe includes the destruction of Damascus mentioned in Isaiah 17; 3. the battle of Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 37 – 39; 4. the signing of the covenant agreement between Israel and the Antichrist which signals the beginning of the Tribulation; 5. the Second Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ; 6. the Millennial kingdom; 7. the destruction of heaven and earth and the Great White Throne judgment; 8. the creation of the new heaven and earth and the beginning of the eternal state.

The relative timing on events 1, 2, and 3 are not specified in Scripture but I’m convinced they will all take place before event 4, the signing of the covenant which signals the beginning of the Tribulation.

Although the Bible does not specify the timing, I think it entirely possible there could be as many as twelve years between the Rapture and the signing of the covenant agreement.

In Part 2 I will cover the first three events, their order, and their impact on the world situation.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | September 13, 2021

God’s Expectations for You! Your Plan B Assignment

Your New Identity

When the Christian is born-again, God changes a number of things at the eternal, spiritual level, a key factor is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, another is the resurrection of the dead spirit to new life as a member of the family of God. The old nature, the fallen Adamic nature, is considered crucified with Christ on the cross and although it remains in the Christian, it has lost its power to dominate the Christian.

I love the summary given in Galatians 2:20 where it is written:

20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

The concept of Christ, living his life in me gives a better foundation for understanding Ephesians 2:10 where it is written:

10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

We serve as a vessel for Jesus Christ, that he may perform the good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them!

Your New Opportunity

We have once again been given the opportunity to serve as an image bearer for the Lord Jesus Christ; when God’s living creation sees us, it should be seeing the image of the Creator God who gave them life. This is God’s plan for his new creation, the born-again Christian indwelt and led by God, the Holy Spirit!

Two of God’s Creatures

The Bible is clear on how this image should appear, in Galatians 5:22-25 it is written:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

Your Challenge

The Bible explains our challenge in 2 Corinthians 4:5-12 where it is written:

For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death is working in us, but life in you.”

By God’s grace, the Christian is not asked to do all this in the power of the flesh; to try to serve God in our own power would be useless futility and result in complete failure. We have been given an extraordinary gift, the indwelling of God, the Holy Spirit and it is in the power of the Holy Spirit that we are expected to serve as representatives of God!

We have exchanged our lives for the life of Jesus Christ and now, Christ is living in us!

Holy Father, how thankful we are to be given the opportunity to serve you as your representatives on earth. By your grace, may we faithfully represent you to all those with whom we come in contact; when all of your creatures, both great and small, see us, may they see your beauty and love radiating from us!

We gratefully acknowledge our total dependence on you to serve as your image bearers and pray that your Holy Spirit will always be our guide and our strength! We ask this in Jesus name and for his glory! Amen!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | September 6, 2021

God’s Expectations for You! Plan B

What was God’s Original Plan for Mankind?

Much has been written on the subject of the purpose of mankind being on earth. Posing that question on a search engine quickly produces over 40,000,000 results; it would appear to be a question which has aroused a great deal of interest.

In pursuit of basic truth, I turn to the Bible for answers! We are given some clarification in the first pages of Genesis, where, in Genesis 1:26-28 it is written:

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.”

To summarize, mankind was to have dominion over every living thing that moves on the earth, to be fruitful and multiply, and to fill the earth and subdue it. Sadly, that had to all be set aside when Adam disobeyed a direct command from God and became instead, a tenant farmer who would scrape his living out of a cursed ground.

Now, with a fallen sin nature, mankind was to be feared by the living things he was meant to rule; mankind’s fallen nature could not be trusted to love and care for God’s creation in the manner God had intended!

God’s Plan B

God already had a fully developed Plan B, but it would take thousands of years to come to maturity. The Bible is the record of God’s patient development of Plan B, a plan that would eventually result in a vastly improved version of the original plan.

The first major step in the implementation of Plan B occurred at the time of the First Advent; Jesus Christ, the Son of God, would take on human form and die on the cross as payment for Adam’s transgression. The crucifixion of Jesus Christ, would take away the sins of the world, and open the door to a new form of life; it would, in effect, partially undo the serious mistake made by the first Adam.

After the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ, the following Pentecost, on May 25, AD33, saw the creation of a completely new type of human being; God, the Holy Spirit indwelt human beings for the first time and a new kind of human came into existence; a human permanently indwelt by God.

Two Distinct Types of Humans

There were now two distinct types of humanity living on the earth; those born again by the power of God, the Holy Spirit and those not born again who have mortal life, but live with dead spirits. It pleased God that no physical change would appear in those who were born-again.

It is vitally important to recognize the two types of human beings have absolutely nothing to do with race, we are all one race descended from one man, Adam. Members of all nations and ethnic groups can be found in both types of humans, the spiritually alive and the spiritually dead; the only distinction is the new birth by the power of God, the Holy Spirit! I have written more on this in “Racism, Satanic Deception in Action.”

The new birth and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit are non-reversible, once born-again nothing can ever change that condition. The new condition is maintained by the power of God and is eternal.

New Responsibilities

The new creation was given new responsibilities, they were to be royal priests who would serve as God’s representatives on earth. Whereas Adam was created in the image of God, the new creation would be indwelt by God; the significance of this change is immense!

I must admit my deep disappointment as I see the collective indifference to the reality of two distinct types of humans. The very fact that God, the Holy Spirit, is indwelling those who are born-again should be rocking the world!

Undoubtedly this is a fact which Satan would much prefer never became a reality in mankind’s thinking; it is much more disruptive to try and focus the world’s attention on a lie based on race, a deception which has been alarmingly successful!

The world’s determination to ignore the indwelling of the Holy Spirit makes it easier to understand how those born in the Millennium will be able to ignore the reign of the Lord Jesus Christ.

As God’s representatives, Christians face daily challenges both within and without. God has chosen a life of faith for all his children, we are told in 2 Corinthians 5:7 “For we live by faith, not by sight.” A life of faith requires we live our lives in the same manner we were transformed, by faith in the revealed word of God!

Christians have been commissioned with specific tasks; in Matthew 28:19-20, these are summarized:

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.”

Next time, “A New Identity!”

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | August 30, 2021

The Eternity in Your Future, the New Heaven and the New Earth, Part 2

The New Jerusalem

The Bible gives us tantalizing glimpses of eternity; it seems likely to me the reason God does not reveal more is there are simply no suitable words in our vocabulary to adequately describe all that God has planned for his children. In the Book of Revelation, we are given a few details.

In Revelation 21:1-4, we are told of the New Jerusalem as it descends to the New Earth:

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

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

I’m of the opinion the New Jerusalem was completed before the rapture of the church and has served as home to the church since it was taken up to be with the Lord. The Bible does not specifically state where the New Jerusalem might be during the Millennial Reign of the Lord Jesus Christ but some scholars believe it just might be in orbit above the earth.

Should that be the case, it would be another testimony to the power of the Lord Jesus Christ and provide convenient access to earth for the resurrected saints. The Bible does not say, so we do not know conclusively but I do have fun speculating on the possibilities!

Revelation chapters 21 and 22 provide an all-too-brief glimpse into heaven and eternity. By this time, Christians will have had their heavenly bodies for over 1007 years and reigned with Christ over all creation.

The New Jerusalem is Really Big!

In Revelation 21:15-17, we are given some dimensions of the New Jerusalem?

15 The angel who talked to me held in his hand a gold measuring stick to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. 16 When he measured it, he found it was a square, as wide as it was long. In fact, its length and width and height were each 1,400 miles. 17 Then he measured the walls and found them to be 216 feet thick (according to the human standard used by the angel).”

Those dimensions show a very large city, but it does not show whether the city is in the form of a cube or a pyramid. Since the Bible does not specify, we simply do not know for sure which it might be. One of the arguments for a cube is the number of edges to be found in a cube versus a pyramid. The cube would have 12 edges while the pyramid would have only 8; the number 12 is highly significant in the Book of Revelation while the number 8 has no significance.

One other argument for the cube is the shape of the Holy of Holies, it too was a cube as described in 1 Kings 6:19-20 where it is written:

19 He prepared the inner sanctuary at the far end of the Temple, where the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant would be placed. 20 This inner sanctuary was 30 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 30 feet high.”

The description of the New Jerusalem continues in Revelation 21:18-27 where it is written:

18 The wall was made of jasper, and the city was pure gold, as clear as glass. 19 The wall of the city was built on foundation stones inlaid with twelve precious stones: the first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst.

21 The twelve gates were made of pearls—each gate from a single pearl! And the main street was pure gold, as clear as glass.

A Glimpse of the Interior of the New Jerusalem

22 I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light. 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. 27 Nothing evil will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty—but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”

In Revelation 22:1-6 it is written:

“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.

No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever.

Then the angel said to me, “Everything you have heard and seen is trustworthy and true. The Lord God, who inspires his prophets, has sent his angel to tell his servants what will happen soon.”

The Kings of the World and their Nations

The population of the earth will have grown rapidly during the Millennial Reign of the Lord Jesus Christ. The number receiving Jesus Christ as Savior will be immense; it is from these people, the nations, in the New Heaven and the New Earth will be populated.

This is not specified in the Bible, but logic suggests to me that this may well be the case. The people of these nations may be given a similar command as given to Adam in Genesis 1:28-31 where it is written:

28 Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”

29 Then God said, “Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food. 30 And I have given every green plant as food for all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, and the small animals that scurry along the ground—everything that has life.” And that is what happened.

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

I love to meditate on the wonders we will find in eternity; I can imagine mankind spreading to the stars and populating planets in distant galaxies; after all there will be no shortage of time! If I, with my limited capacity, can imagine such things then what must an infinite, omnipotent God imagine?

I’m confident Christians will have great responsibilities and busy schedules; as royal priests, I can see us with both spiritual as well as administrative duties and who knows what else!

I suspect the wonders God has planned are far beyond my ability to even imagine; there will be vast and wonderful creations for which I have no words to describe! Nevertheless, I find great joy in just trying to imagine them!

Even so, come Lord Jesus!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | August 23, 2021

The Future’s Christianity, the New Heaven and the New Earth, Part 1

The Final Preparation for Eternity, the Second Resurrection and the Great White Throne Judgment

There are two final steps that must be taken before the New Heaven and the New Earth can become a reality; the Second Resurrection and the Great White Throne Judgment! These events come after the completion of the 1,000 year reign of the Lord Jesus Christ and are described in Revelation 20:11-15 where it is written:

11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”

Finally, after thousands of years, the redemption of the heavens and the earth will have been fully accomplished by the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ!

The Fiery Lake of Burning Sulphur

The words in verses 11-15 describe a scene so terrible, the human mind is incapable of fully processing what is happening! God’s hatred of sin is revealed to the reader in calm, understated words which remind me of the account of Noah’s flood where the death of billions of people and uncounted billions of animals is described in calm, understated words in Genesis 7:21-23 where it is written:

21 And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man:

22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.

23 And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.”

I have found it interesting to note the earth was drastically reconfigured at the flood, but it was still the same earth which had been totally revised. I believe this same principle will be followed at the creation of the new heaven and the new earth when the heavens and earth will be purified by fire; I will discuss this point more in the last section.

While we live in what’s left of the Age of Grace, it is the ultimate in foolishness and self-deception to think God doesn’t hate sin! The repercussions of rejecting God’s gracious offer of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ are horrible to the extreme. I urge you to avoid the Satanic distortions, so prevalent today, and receive the free gift of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ as your own personal Savior!

The New Heaven and the New Earth

There is an ongoing debate concerning the creation of the new heaven and the new earth as to whether the Lord creates a completely new heaven and earth or re-configures the present heaven and earth.

God can do whatever pleases him, but at this point in my thinking, I’m inclined to believe the old heaven and the old earth will be given a divine purification and become the New Heaven and the New Earth. I base this conclusion, in part, on Romans 8:18-23 where it is written:

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.”

God shows an amazing love for his creation and I’m inclined to think this present creation will be subjected to a refining process that will ultimately produce the new creation, think in terms of refining gold to purify it. In my mind, the sentence which includes verse 21 clinches the matter: But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. ”

I have great difficulty believing that God, who has allowed the creation to have an eager hope and the looking forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay, would, at the very last minute, annihilate it!

While the Genesis creation account of creation is “ex nihilo” out of nothing, I suspect the New Heaven and the New Earth will be “ex materia” out of something. I’ll freely admit this is just my speculation on the subject but I feel good about it and believe it conforms better to the nature of God as revealed in the Bible.

In Part 2 we will reflect on eternity with God.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | August 16, 2021

Tomorrow’s Christianity, Returning to Earth

The Second Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ

The long-awaited return of the Messiah will likely take place in the not-too-distant future. While the exact time is known only to God, the certainty of the Messiah’s return is absolutely without question! Israel’s last period of 490 years will finally be over and Israel’s Messiah will return to restore Israel to the land God had given to them.

The New Testament revealed the name of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, who will return as King of kings and Lord of lords and defeat Satan at the battle of Armageddon. In Revelation 19:11-21 it is written:

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

17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, shouting to the vultures flying high in the sky: “Come! Gather together for the great banquet God has prepared. 18 Come and eat the flesh of kings, generals, and strong warriors; of horses and their riders; and of all humanity, both free and slave, small and great.”

19 Then I saw the beast and the kings of the world and their armies gathered together to fight against the one sitting on the horse and his army. 20 And the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who did mighty miracles on behalf of the beast—miracles that deceived all who had accepted the mark of the beast and who worshiped his statue. Both the beast and his false prophet were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. 21 Their entire army was killed by the sharp sword that came from the mouth of the one riding the white horse. And the vultures all gorged themselves on the dead bodies.”

Restoring the Earth

The last three and one-half years of the Tribulation, known as the Great Tribulation, will have devastated the earth so the earth will need extensive repairs. In the Book of Daniel, chapter 12, verses 11 and 12 we find a cryptic reference to 45 days which are not explained; I’m of the opinion this is a reference to the reconstruction period where Jesus Christ restores the earth to a condition similar to the pre-flood earth.

11 “And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. 12 Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.

The Beginning of the Millennial Reign of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We know from various scripture verses, that only believers will initially populate the world. There will be a mortal human population comprised of those who received Jesus Christ during the Tribulation, both Gentiles and Jews.

The church will have returned with Jesus Christ at the Second Advent, and Old Testament saints will be resurrected at the Second Advent along with Tribulation saints who had been killed. The world will be totally populated by believers.

Starting with a Celebration!

The 1,000 year reign of the Lord Jesus Christ will begin with a celebration, the marriage supper of the Lamb! While the marriage of the Lamb to the Church has already taken place in heaven, the marriage supper of the Lamb takes place on earth with both Old Testament and Tribulation saints invited. This will be a celebration of Biblical proportions!

Perfect Environment

For 1,000 years the earth will experience perfect environment and perfect government; Satan is bound and sin is held in check. While the mortal human beings, both Jew and Gentile, still have their sin natures, their natures to sin are suppressed by circumstances.

It appears length of life is extended again to the pattern found before the flood; although the Bible does not specify it, I believe the water vapor canopy is restored to the earth.

Children are born to the mortal parents and the population of the earth will grow rapidly. While many of the children receive the Lord Jesus Christ as their own personal Savior, many do not! In spite of environmental and social perfection, the number of those rejecting Jesus Christ as Savior will continue to grow.

Satan Released

During the 1,000 years of the Millennium, Satan will have been bound, in Revelation 20:1-3 it is written:

“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.”

When the 1,000 years are over, Satan is released to deceive the nations.

In Revelation 20:7-10 it is written:

Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. 10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”

It is exceedingly difficult for me to imagine how anyone, who had lived their entire lives in perfection, could be so angry with the status quo as to want to attack and kill those who had provided that perfection! To my mind, it conclusively demonstrates that environment has never been the answer to the sin problem.

All of the worlds “isms” have looked to cultural and social change as the answer to man’s problems; changing the external environment has never been the answer; man’s problem has always been a dead spirit and a fallen nature. It is an internal problem, not an external problem!

Next time, the Great White Throne and the New Heaven and the New Earth.

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