Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | August 2, 2021

Today’s Christianity, God’s Powerhouse!

There is a Vast Gulf Fixed Between Many Churches and God’s True Church!

Make no mistake, although the organized church may be stumbling, God is very busy in the world today as he grows his family, the true church, comprised of all who have been given new spiritual life and born-again into God’s eternal family!

While many organized churches may be turning to the world for guidance, the true church, God’s church, is a growing, dynamic powerhouse empowered by God! Each day the Lord tarries, thousands are being added to the family of God by the saving power of God, the Holy Spirit.

It seems likely the church age, this age of grace, is soon coming to a close but God is busy adding those last souls to his family! I’m convinced God knows the name of every individual that will be called to salvation during this age of grace and will not close the doors before that last soul has been called and welcomed in!

We are living in exciting times and I believe the winds of change are blowing ever harder each passing day!

The Beginning of the End!

The end of this age will come in a spectacular fashion; the Bible tells of a shout and the trumpet of God. In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 it is written:

13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

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

The Bible does not specify who will hear the shout and the trumpet blast, whether it will be heard by all or only by God’s elect; in either case, it is impossible for me to even imagine such power!

The results will, however, be seen by all as millions vanish from the face of the earth; from that point on, nothing will ever again be the same!

The removal of all born-again Christians is referred to as the rapture of the church and will occur before the Tribulation and the Second Advent. I have written extensively on what happens next on earth; this time let us focus on heaven.

Our Eternal Bodies

At the rapture, we are given our heavenly bodies; this is described in 2 Corinthians 5:1-8 where it is written:

“5 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”

Home with the Lord!

For born-again Christians, earthly struggles are now past, gone forever! From this point on, our future is with the Lord Jesus Christ as members of God’s royal family! Not only have we been given heavenly bodies, but our sin nature, which had always been there to trouble us, is now gone forever, never to return!

I suspect there are no words in any language of man that can even begin to do justice to the things we will see and experience in heaven. This is what we were created for, this is why we were created in the image of God; we are home at last!

The Bible tells of two events that will take place in heaven, the judgment seat of Christ, and the marriage of the Lamb. Next time we will cover the information God has revealed on those two events.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | July 26, 2021

Today’s Church – Dangers on a Slippery Slope!

Some Extraordinary Changes are Taking Place!

Recently I received a letter from a young Christian in Africa that described a church that has excluded the Bible as a source of guidance. This church depends on members of the church, who have been designated as apostles and prophets, to provide the spiritual guidance needed by the congregation.

Members of the congregation are encouraged to look to them, rather than the Bible for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

While I see this as an exceedingly dangerous path; it is not the only dangerous path being followed by churches today. In the United States, churches and church organizations are moving, both socially and morally, in a variety of strange directions that are serious deviations from the biblical standard.

By way of an example, Patrick D Hampton, a Christian writer and family man has recently expressed his grave concern over a summer camp, sponsored by a church in his community, where the LGBTQ agenda was being promoted to the children in attendance including two of his little children.

This is just one of the many reports of apostasy in churches appearing in the media; sadly, this apostasy is spreading to the organized church all over the United States!

 The Nature of the Church

You may recall that I subscribe to a devotional letter written by Pastor, Jeff Wells, and distributed by WoodsEdge Community Church. It was so timely that I wanted to share it with my readers; I have attached it below:

“July 20

 The Nature of the Church

 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

Acts 2:42

There is no better summary of the church than Acts 2:42-47.  Acts 2 begins with the creation of the church and ends with the character of the church.

Acts 2:42-47 is God’s portrait of the church.  This is what God wants every church to look like, not so much in details but in values and focus.

 The passage begins in verse 42 with the essential characteristics:  teaching, community, worship, prayer.  The church in Jerusalem was devoted to these four things.

 First, they were devoted to biblical teaching.  It is impossible to be a healthy, God-pleasing church with any other foundation than biblical teaching.  If you are looking for a church, find a church where the pastor and the leaders believe the Bible is God’s Word not man’s word.  Find a church that preaches biblically-rooted messages, not motivational speeches with a few Bible verses.  Find a church that is focused not on knowing the Bible but on obeying the Bible.

 Second, the Jerusalem church was devoted to fellowship, or community.  They shared their lives, their hearts, their struggles, their joys.  They loved together, they served together, they suffered together.  They did life together, not as lone rangers.  They met in the large group celebration at the temple and they met in small group community in homes.  Find a church that deeply believes in authentic community.

 Third, they were devoted to the breaking of bread, or worship.  Breaking bread refers here to communion, which in many ways is the high point of worship, when we joyfully celebrate Christ’s sacrifice for our sins.  From Acts 2:42-47, one gets the strong impression that the early believers, having fallen in love with Jesus, were now caught up with love, wonder and praise.  Find a church that is full of worshippers of God and not just workers for God.  Find lovers of Jesus!

Finally, the early church was devoted to prayer.  This was the power source.  This was the engine that drove everything else.  All through the book of Acts you see it:  The early church was devoted to prayer.  No wonder God showed up and did remarkable things.  Find a church that is devoted to prayer because they are desperate for God.

 This is what God wants every church to look like.  This is what God wants your church to look like.

© 2021 WoodsEdge Community Church. All rights reserved. This article may be reproduced for any non-commercial use.”

Dangerous Repercussions

Today, too many churches seem to have lost a biblical focus; it seems as if the church has chosen to adopt the ways of the world as a pattern for church services. Darkened rooms, smoke machines, flashing lights, performance music with spotlights on the singers all seems so alien to me.

The Bible warned us of the final church age, Laodicea; in Revelation 3:14-22 where it is written:

14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,

‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

22 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

It seems as if the advice, offered by Jeff Wells, is very timely indeed!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | July 19, 2021

What is the Real Story on Sin?

Sin’s Final Destination, the Lake of Fire

A Unique Question of Profound Importance!

For many years now, I have taught individuals and classes, but never, over all those years of teaching, has a student asked the question cited below until now:

“My question though is, when the bible mentions that Christ is the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, is the sin that is referred to the same sin we commit as flesh or is there a special sin committed by the world as a whole?”

Yes, there is a special sin committed by the world as a whole, the disobedience of one man, Adam. God’s solution to the problem created by Adam was to provide a deliverer in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

As the unique God/man, he was able to die for the sins of the entire world and offer deliverance from the coming judgment to all who will simply receive Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.

I responded with the following:

“Congratulations, you are the very first one to ask that important question!

The Bible explains the answer to your question in Romans 5: 12-19 where it is written:

“12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. 16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. 17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)

18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.”

All mankind sinned when Adam disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden; we all died spiritually in Adam there in the Garden of Eden; each of us are born spiritually dead. Our personal sins are just a symptom of the greater problem, our dead spirit.

For Christians, when we received Jesus Christ as our Savior, God, the Holy Spirit resurrected our dead spirits and brought them back to life. In addition, God, the Holy Spirit came into each new Christian to live forever; as Christians, we are eternally indwelt by God and an inseparable part of his family.

Sadly, the sin nature, the old man we inherited from Adam is still in us but has been considered crucified with Christ; we are no longer under any obligation to serve it and can now serve God. These principles are taught in Romans chapters 5-8 and are of critical importance to understanding what it really means to be a Christian.

Since our sin nature is still in us, it can present problems from time to time. In 1 John 1: 8-10 we find God’s answer to that problem.

“8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”

Please notice it says God will cleanse us from all unrighteousness when we confess our known sins to him! The power of God, the Holy Spirit is restored in our lives when we confess our sins to God!”

Getting it Right

The subject of mankind’s sin problem is all too often misunderstood by the Christian community. While we are all too aware of our many failures regarding personal sin, our personal sins are nothing more than a symptom of the real problem.

The real problem is we were all born spiritually dead with a living sin nature (our old man) we inherited from Adam! When we receive Jesus Christ as Savior, our dead spirits are brought back to life, we are indwelt by God, the Holy Spirit, but our sin natures remain within us as well. This is discussed in some detail in Romans 6, in verses:6-14 it is written:

“6 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.”

Paul’s reference to “our old man” is a reference to the sin nature we inherited from Adam. Our old man/sin nature, is counted as crucified with Christ so we are no longer under any obligation to serve it.

Resolving the Sin Problem

Unconfessed sin in our lives permits our old man/sin nature, to influence our actions; confession of our sins to God, quenches the power of the old man/sin nature and restores the power of the Holy Spirit. This is explained, in part, in 1 John 1:8-10 where it is written:

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”

With the Holy Spirit in control of our lives, we can demonstrate the “fruit of the Spirit” in our lives:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, 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. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” Galatians 5:22-26

At the time of the First Advent, the Lord Jesus Christ dealt with mankind’s sin problem by dying on the cross and rising again on the third day. I have written more on this in “Is There One Unforgivable Sin?” Jesus Christ died for the sins of the world and there remains only one unforgivable sin, rejection of the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior!

By God’s grace, Christians are now able to live a Christ-honoring life by confession of sin and letting the Holy Spirit retain control in our lives!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | July 12, 2021

God’s Plans for Your Retirement

A Normal Progression

Each of us devote a large block of our lives to gainful employment but for most of us, a time comes when we must retire. The question is how do we view and deal with the changes that retirement brings into our lives; there may be touches of mystery and even apprehension as we think about it. There is a massive amount of literature on the subject of retirement planning so I’ll not go there.

Instead, let us examine the subject from God’s perspective. The Bible assures us God has carefully planned every moment of our lives; in Psalms 139:16 it is written:

16 You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.”

It is not possible that our retirement caught God by surprise; there is, however, a clear message that God has always had our retirement laid out in great detail. In addition, you have a promise from God; in Romans 8:28-30 you are promised:

2And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.”

Let us look at our retirement from God’s perspective; to God, there is absolutely no mystery involved in what he has planned for you! Please, let me share my story with you.

The End of One Career and the Beginning of Another, God’s Grace to a new Retiree.

As a young man, after a bit of trial and error, I finally settled for a job in residential construction where I worked for 36 years. I had planned on working until I was 75, but the winds of change prevailed and I retired when I was only 71 years old.

At the time of my retirement, I had no plans for the rest of my life; I would take it one day at a time and see what developed for me. I didn’t have too long to wait as a series of events began to change my life. One of the changes was a heart attack that required open-heart surgery and five by-passes. Happily, that was dealt with successfully and I was able to return to a reasonably normal level of activity.

Whereas I may have had no plans for my life; it appears the Lord, with his customary efficiency, had carefully laid out his plans for the rest of my life.

July 21, 2011 was the Beginning of a Journey that Continues to this Day!

I had developed an interest in genealogy the first part of the summer of 2011. I could go back a short distance but no more past that point. My paternal grandfather had done some research that carried our family line back to Dublin, Ireland but it stopped there.

During the course of my research, it occurred to me I had never had an in-depth conversation with either of my grandfathers, or even my father about the deeper issues of life. I was saddened by the thought I had no idea what they believed about so many issues of great significance.

Setting the Stage

Having retired from business in 2004, without any plans for life after retirement, I had sort of let circumstances control my activities until the time I was notified of a new program at Dallas Theological Seminary. In December of 2008, I got an email from DTS telling me of a new program which would permit students who had attended DTS, but had not graduated, to return and complete their work and graduate.

I responded to that email immediately and was later told my application for admission was the first one they received for the new program. Although it was past the normal deadline for admission to the next semester, my application was fast-tracked through the administrative process and I was able to enroll for the next term beginning in January of 2009.

My failure to complete my seminary studies, which I began in September of 1960, had troubled me for many years; the opportunity to complete my studies and graduate from DTS was a dream I had never expected to realize, but in June of 2009, it finally came true! I walked across the stage and was given my diploma, oh happy day!

I had finally completed my preparation to serve the Lord; next, the challenge of discovering where I should serve him! As often happens in life, when old doors are closed, new doors open wide. While I had no agenda for my retirement, now, in retrospect, I can see the Lord had it all planned out and would reveal his plans for my life on his own timetable.

Phase One

Back to the summer of 2011 while I was doing my genealogical research, I began to wonder what I could do to pass along my deeper spiritual thoughts to my family. While we often discussed the Bible and doctrinal topics at family gatherings; our time together always seemed too short to cover all that deserved time and discussion.

My beloved wife had suggested on a number of occasions that I should write a blog but I always responded in the negative, protesting that I was not a writer. On one occasion, in July of 2011, my wife brought the subject up again and, after giving her my customary response, went to my computer and started researching the subject of writing a blog. Within two hours I had published my first blog, “A Starting Point.”

It happened that her suggestion, and my desire to share my deeper spiritual thoughts with my family had joined forces so I took action. I know I have a teacher’s heart and delight in sharing Bible doctrine with those who hunger and thirst for the word of God; as a result, I have now discovered I enjoy writing about the Lord and the lessons he has taught me.

I recently checked the WordPress statistics and saw I have now published 494 essays on “Life from a Christian Perspective.” This one will make the total 495 and counting!

Phase Two

The next step in the Lord’s plans for my retirement did not materialize until six months later, January of 2012. One Sunday morning an announcement was made in church that caught my attention; Global Media Outreach was looking for volunteers to serve as online missionaries.

This would involve online work using one’s own computer and could be done at home. I was painfully aware of the toll age was taking on my endurance; things that had once been easy had now become difficult to manage. Working at home from my computer seemed like a very good fit for me as I had become something of a “computerphile.”

I volunteered, took the training, and started working as an active online missionary and have now done so on a daily basis since February of 2012. According to the statistics kept by GMO, I have now helped 9,447 people and have received 17,711 replies from disciples.

It has been a joy and a privilege to work with people all over the world. I have had the opportunity to get to know and work with brothers and sisters in Christ in locations I will never visit in person. GMO publishes a map showing the countries in which each online missionary has had an impact. The following shows the countries where God has permitted me to have an impact.

The good news of Jesus Christ is going all over the world; technology has opened doors to areas that have been out of reach for many years! Christians now have a wonderful opportunity to grow in their faith and learn to follow the commands of a loving God! This is truly an exciting time to be a Christian!

Remember, the Lord can use you in his service regardless of your age and abilities; when God opens the door, it is our responsibility to walk through! Your retirement can be the beginning of something wonderful, God’s plan for your life will be revealed to you one day at a time, as you live it!

Let Philippians 4:13 be your guide: “13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

I praise God and thank him for his plans for my retirement!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | July 6, 2021

Getting a Grip on Life in a World Going Crazy!

The World Seems to be Possessed by a Wild Dynamism and is Changing at Ever Increasing Speed!

There is a well-known quote that says, “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” This quote is attributed to Heraclitus of Ephesus, c.535BC to c.475 BC.

To paraphrase, in a gender-neutral manner, one might say, No person ever wakes up to the same world two days in a row; it’s not the same world and they’re not the same person! While that is a very true statement, the reality of that fact is difficult to apply to our lives each day!

The idea is that nothing stays the same, everything is changing. Today we are living in a world where change is occurring with ever greater speed. This has been observed by many, including Alvin Toffler, the author of “Future Shock,” who have commented and written on the subject of the speed at which things are changing.

A typical dictionary definition of dynamic I found online is “constant change or motion;” which seems to be a reasonable description of society today; the world is changing at political, social, moral, and technological levels with startling rapidity. While the technological advances are producing some significant improvements to the quality of life, the social and moral changes seem to be doing just the opposite.

It appears the organized church is not exempt from change; the majority of church services we’ve observed today bear very little resemblance to past church services which have been a source of great blessing. A spirit of reverence and awe has been replaced by darkened rooms, smoke, flashing lights, and music performance featuring the performer.

Is the Lord Sending Christians a Message?

Could it be the Lord is sending his children a message? I’m reminded of Jeremiah 17:5 where it is written:

“Thus says the LORD: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the LORD.”

It appears all of the usual crutches for Christians, the organized church, the various levels of government, social institutions and the economy are showing increasing inability to cope with the problems and challenges they’re being forced to confront today.

As the Lord steadily removes these crutches, the Christian is required to seek alternatives; the obvious alternative is to return to the Lord as the source of stability and strength! I’m reminded of the Lord’s words in John 4:23-24 where it is written:

23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

The Samaritan tradition had established the top of Mount Gerizim as the place for worship whereas the Jews identified the temple mount in Jerusalem as the true place of worship. Our Lord was establishing the New Covenant where no geographic location would be the place of worship. Under the New Covenant, each individual became a temple of God, the Holy Spirit and could worship in spirit and truth wherever they might be!

I have heard it said, in some contemporary services, that the Christian must come to church to find and be blessed by the Holy Spirit; the fact of the matter is, the Christian is the temple of the Holy Spirit and brings, in a manner of speaking, the Holy Spirit to the building called the church. In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 it is written:

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

The Biblical truth of the matter is the temples of the Holy Spirit assemble in a building as a matter of personal choice but the Holy Spirit is within each temple forever!

The New Testament Christians assembled in private homes; the Lord had told the Apostles in Matthew 18:19-20,

19 “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

Today, Christians all over the world are once again meeting in private homes; a return to New Testament Christianity!

Where Can a Christian find Stability?

This world is inherently unstable; at virtually all levels of existence, this world is not a refuge from the storms of change. Natural and man-made disasters have threatened life all over the world since the Genesis flood.

I have been fascinated for years by the structure of the earth; the nature and action of the tectonic plates which cover the earth is both fearful and intriguing. The Pacific, “Ring of Fire” is an awesome example of the power of the movement of those plates.

While I don’t live in a seismically active zone, my area, the Gulf Coast region of Texas, experiences hurricanes and flooding which can threaten lives and property. There is no place on earth that is totally free of risk; looking to locations and circumstances for safety and peace is an exercise in futility; after all there is always the possibility of an asteroid falling from outer space!

For a Christian, true wisdom is to look to God for our stability and peace; we are told the God of peace will be with us if we are obedient to God’s commands. This is a part of living a life of faith and not a life of sight. Uncertainty has been a part of the lives of everyone that has ever lived; it should come as no surprise to any of us that we too are faced with uncertainty.

There is one hymn that has always touched me deeply; I share the words with you here:

When Peace, Like a River

1 When peace like a river attendeth my way,
when sorrows like sea billows roll;
whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
“It is well, it is well with my soul.”

2 Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
let this blest assurance control:
that Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
and has shed his own blood for my soul.

3 My sin oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
my sin, not in part, but the whole,
is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more;
praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

4 O Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
the clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
the trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend;
even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well with my soul;
it is well, it is well with my soul.

I encourage you to let those words be your guide and let the promises of God fill you with rejoicing and peace in the Lord! “The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:9

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | June 28, 2021

Getting a Grip on God’s Plan for Your Life

Two Distinct Types of Humanity!

As I mentioned previously, humanity is divided into two distinct groups, the spiritually alive and the spiritually dead; while this has absolutely nothing to do with race, it has everything to do with whether the individual has a living or a dead spirit!

Although all humanity, born of two human parents, are born spiritually dead and are in desperate need of help; there is absolutely nothing they can do to deliver themselves from the bonds of death. Help must come from the outside and that is exactly what God did by sending his son to die for the sins of all humanity.

A new life, resulting from a new birth, is available to all, regardless of race or nationality, who will receive the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior. The new birth changes everything. In 2 Corinthians 5:17-19 where it is written:

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”

The impact of that change transcends time and is eternal in scope; long after this present world system is gone, the reality of our position in Christ will still be sustained by the power of almighty God!

Now, as a born-again Christian, God is in you and has given you the ministry of reconciliation to the world, not imputing their trespasses to them as we proclaim God’s word of reconciliation! Please understand that this ministry is of God, not of you; God has committed to you the word of reconciliation!

Exactly What Happens When a Person is Born-Again?

Being born-again is a work of God, the Holy Spirit; the individual who is born-again has no power in this matter other than to receive Jesus Christ as Savior! The new birth is a gift that is given to the individual by God and once given, can never be reversed; it is not possible to become unborn once the Holy Spirit has provided the new birth and taken up residence in the new Christian!

The newly born-again believer did not earn the new birth by anything they could ever do on their own and cannot reverse the work of God in their lives by anything they might ever do in the future! God’s love for that individual has been established and will never change. In Romans 8:38-39 it is written:

38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

It seems to me that pretty well covers all the bases!

Some Details on the Change

There are a number of significant things that happen to the individual at the spiritual level for those who are born-again. The dead spirit of that individual is brought back to life; the spiritual life that died when Adam disobeyed God is fully restored by the power of God, the Holy Spirit, and results in the new birth for the individual!

In addition, God, the Holy Spirit comes into that individual to live with them forever; they have become a Temple of God, the Holy Spirit! In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 it is written:

19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

The sin nature which mankind inherited from Adam, although not removed, is counted as crucified with Christ on the cross and the born-again Christian becomes free to serve God! In Galatians 2:20 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.”

God is Now in Christians Reconciling the World to Himself, not Imputing their Trespasses to Them!

Jesus Christ now lives in you and is busy reconciling the world to God; you no longer live but Christ lives in you! In Ephesians 2:8-10 it is written:

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

By Way of Summary

As God’s ministers of reconciliation, we are God’s messengers to the world, the same world which God so loved he gave his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross as payment for the sins of the world!

The image of God has been restored in us at the spiritual level; we have God, the Holy Spirit living in us and by faith, leading and guiding our words and actions.

Let the Fruit of the Holy Spirit break forth in your life as described in Galatians 5:22-26 where it is written:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, 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. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”

Remember, you just may be the closest thing to the image of God some of God’s greatly loved creatures will ever see; after all, you are God’s help from the outside, God’s minister of reconciliation to this fallen world!

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!


Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | June 7, 2021

The Days of Noah and the Christian Challege Today

Photo by Patricia McCarty on

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

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