Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | April 19, 2021

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

The Ruler of the World

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

23 And Adam said:

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

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

The Passage of Time

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Speculation on Genesis 3

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

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

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

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

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

The Biblical Consequences of Disobedience, The Walking Dead

Thorns and Thistles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

14 So the Lord God said to the serpent:

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

16 To the woman He said:

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

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

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

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

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | April 12, 2021

The Real Meaning of Life Explained! The Beginning

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

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

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

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

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

An Illusion of Control

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The World’s Oldest Profession

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

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

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

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

Next time, a catastrophic loss!

Burning Sulphur

This is Deadly Serious Business for Every Human Being!

Eternity, for those who reject salvation in Jesus Christ, is horrible beyond imagination; burning sulphur, referred to as brimstone in some translations of the Bible, has a choking, putrid stench that is never forgotten! Eternal torment, with no rest, in a lake of fiery burning sulphur is impossible to even imagine!

I am deeply saddened by the scope of Satanic deception I observe in the world today! The popularity of Satanism has grown around the world and seen, at many levels of society, as a license to sin. While people have the freedom to choose, they do not have the freedom to escape the consequences of their choices! I have written more on this in “What You Are; Satan’s Deadly Deception!”

A Gap of One Thousand Years

There will be a gap of 1,000 years between the end of the first resurrections to heaven and God; and the second resurrection to the Lake of Fire. This period of time is referred to as “The Millennial Reign of the Lord Jesus Christ;” it will be populated by the resurrected saints of all the preceding ages.

In addition, there will be a mortal population, who have received Jesus Christ as Savior, and will have survived the Tribulation. The reference in Matthew 24:36-41 is to the removal of those who will have aligned themselves with the Antichrist and received the mark of the beast. Those left behind are the mortal believers who will repopulate the Millennial Kingdom.

The Millennial Kingdom

The Millennial Kingdom will begin with nothing but those who love the Lord as Savior and God. As mortal believers begin to repopulate the earth, some born to them will believe but some will not. By the end of the 1.000 years the population of earth will include a vast number who have rejected Jesus Christ as Savior and God in spite of the perfection of rule and environment!

When Satan is released, at the end of the Millennial Reign of the Lord Jesus Christ, he will attract a large multitude to himself to attack the Lord and his kingdom. This attack is described in Revelation 20:7-10

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.

(Note particularly, after 1,000 years in the Lake of Fire, the beast and the false prophet still have individual identities!)

God’s direct intervention brings this final battle to a sudden end and the Satanically inspired combatants will be annihilated and ultimately appear before the Great White Throne, which follows the Second Resurrection.

The Millennial Saved

Although the Bible does not specify what will happen to those mortal survivors who will have received the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior during the Tribulation and the Millennial Reign; logic would suggest they are the ones who will populate the nations referenced in Revelation 21:22 and 24 and enjoy eternity as mortal subjects of the Lord Jesus Christ!

22 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it.

The Second Resurrection

Stage 4 and Group 5, the Lost

In Revelation 20:11-15 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.

Where Do We Stand Today in God’s Schedule?

Any casual perusal of the world today suggests we are close to the time of the removal of the true Church; I do not know of any unfulfilled prophecies that must take place before the church can be taken home.

I see an interesting parallel between Israel, at the time it was set aside on March 30, AD 33, and the church today as it exists on the world stage. Corruption, perversion and abandonment of Biblical truth was evident then and is evident now.

I believe we are living in the seventh and last church age, Laodicea, which is described in Revelation 3:14-22 where it is written:

The Lukewarm Church

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.” ’ ”

Even so, Come Lord Jesus!

36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” John 3:36

The wrath of God is greatly to be feared!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | March 29, 2021

Good Friday and Easter Sunday, the Beginning of the End!

The End of What?

This Friday is the day we observe Good Friday and while that is the day we remember the crucifixion, death and burial of our Lord Jesus Christ; Easter Sunday is the occasion we celebrate His resurrection from the dead. A historic change in man’s relationship to God had occurred; by God’s grace the barrier between God and man that had been created by Adam’s deliberate sin of disobedience had been removed by the death of our Lord, the Second Adam from above.

You may recall in Genesis 2:15-17

“15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

Unfortunately Adam choose to disobey God and when he ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil he, and all of humanity present and future died in Adam. As I’ve observed before, that means that you and I and every human born of a human father are born spiritually dead. It is the sin of Adam that created the barrier between God and man and the primary reason the Lord Jesus Christ suffered death as our kinsman-redeemer.

The Tearing of the Curtain on Good Friday

God gave us a symbol of the removal of this barrier when, at the time of the crucifixion, the curtain between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies in Herod’s temple was torn from the top to the bottom; signifying that access to God was now open to mankind through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

By his death and resurrection, the Lord Jesus Christ had paid the penalty for all human sin for all time; sin had been removed as a barrier between God and man. As hard as it may be to imagine, personal sin is no longer the issue; the only remaining issue requiring resolution is receiving the forgiveness of God by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and God.

The Good News

Because of the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ, the end had come for sin as a barrier between God and man. This is effectively expressed in 1 John 2:1-2 where it is written:

My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.”

I have written more on this in Is There One Unforgivable Sin?

The church can now proclaim a message of hope, a message of reconciliation and good news for a suffering humanity:

BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AND YOU WILL BE SAVED!

(First published April 3, 2015, revised and updated)

Next time we will complete Part 3 of Death and Resurrection; the Second Resurrection to the Lake of Fire.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | March 22, 2021

Palm Sunday 2021 and its Enormous Significance!

March the 28th, 2021 is Palm Sunday

This Sunday we observe and remember the entry of the Lord Jesus Christ into Jerusalem where He had come to die. This week was to be a terrible time of testing for the Jewish nation although they had no idea of the great significance of what was to happen from that point on.

The exact date for this momentous event had been prophesied by the Prophet Daniel and that prophecy, among many others, was being perfectly fulfilled by our Lord as He rode into the city. I would say it was certain that among the tens of thousands present that day, only the Lord understood the staggeringly wondrous truths that were being put into place as that amazing prophecy was fulfilled.

Four hundred and eighty-three years had passed since the beginning of the third and final group of three 490-year periods that had been given to Israel by God. The second group had ended with the Babylonian captivity and now the third group of 490 years had been put on hold at year 483 as also foretold by Daniel; I have written on this in some detail in a three-part series, The Seventy Weeks of Daniel.

Israel was being set aside for an unspecified number of years while a mystery was revealed, the mystery of the church and the age of grace, the age in which we now live. The remaining 7 years promised to Israel would resume at a point yet future when Israel would sign a covenant with the Antichrist.

The Entry into Jerusalem

Contrary to what we customarily celebrate, the entry was on a Monday, not a Sunday and it was not triumphal for our Lord; it was a time of great sadness as evidenced by Luke 19:41-42 where it is written,

“As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.”

The particular Greek word used for wept (ἔκλαυσεν) means a loud wracking sob; our Lord’s body was shaken by His sobs as He entered Jerusalem. He is likely the only one who understood the enormity of what was happening; the Jewish nation was being temporarily set aside, their rejection of their Messiah was going to yield great suffering for centuries to come. Their judgment would be severe and is still in force today.

It is likely, in His omniscience, that Jesus saw the Jerusalem of 70 AD as destroyed by Titus and could also see the bodies of some of those welcoming Him as they lay silent in death. This was a momentous, tragic moment that was being recognized only by the Lord and the thought of what was going to befall Jerusalem and His people reduced Him to wracking sobs. I suspect His disciples were totally confused by His reaction to the sight of Jerusalem and the excited crowds.

From the Shephard’s Notes.com

There is another extremely touching aspect of our Lord’s entering Jerusalem on Nisan 10. If we examine Exodus 12:3 we read,

“Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month (Nisan) each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household.”

This was part of the instructions given to Israel on the occasion of the first Passover in Egypt. Traditionally, the family would select a perfect lamb and place it on display in front of their dwelling so all could see they were offering the Lord their very best.

God’s Passover Lamb put on display

On March 30, AD 33, the 10th of Nisan, the Father put His Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world on display for all Jerusalem to see that the Father was offering them His very best. (In 2021 we are in year 5781 according to the Jewish calendar and the 10th of Nisan will be Tuesday, March 23rd.)

After the passing of that day, Israel had been set aside for an undetermined number of years. Today we are at year 1,988 and still counting as Israel continues to suffer judgments until the return of the Lord they rejected.

The countdown clock on Israel’s last 490 years will recommence when Israel signs a covenant agreement with the Antichrist; this event and not the rapture of the church will be the trigger that starts their final countdown and the beginning of the Tribulation.

While this was an amazing week, filled with suffering and anguish for our Lord and judgment for Israel, it was the reason our Lord took on human form; that was necessary that He might die for our sins. The moment of triumph was coming soon, the following week our Lord would rise from the dead having perfectly paid the price of our redemption.

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1-4

(First published March 28, 2015, updated and revised)

Next time, we will consider Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | March 15, 2021

Death and Resurrection, Part 2, the First Resurrection to God and Heaven

The First Resurrection

The resurrection from the dead will occur in two resurrections which will have four stages and five groups; a plan which was devised by God in eternity past. The first resurrection, which includes three stages and four groups is initiated by the resurrection of the Lord, later joined by the justified to join with God in heaven. The second resurrection has one stage and one group and is the resurrection to condemnation and the Lake of Fire.

Stage One, Group 1, the First Fruits of Them that Slept

On April 5, AD 33, the Lord Jesus Christ rose from the grave and became the first human to be resurrected from the dead; the First Fruits of them that slept. This was in fulfillment of God’s promise of a redeemer and the ancient Feast of First Fruits which was established by God in Leviticus 23:9-14. This vitally important beginning of the resurrections God had planned was completed, and opened the door for the resurrections that would follow.

Let me clarify one point; in Matthew 27:52-53 it is written:

52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

These saints were resuscitated, not resurrected; resuscitation restores the mortal life to the individual who will then later die a normal death. Resuscitation was the process used to raise people from the dead found in both the Old and New Testaments. Jesus Christ was the first to be resurrected from the dead and receive a heavenly body which would never die again.

This completes stage one, group one of the resurrections.

Stage 2, Group 2, the Church

The next stage planned by God is still future, the resurrection of the Church; all born-again believers who have received the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior during the Age of the Church will be resurrected together. The Church Age began at Pentecost, May 25, AD 33 and will end when the Lord calls the church home at the Rapture of the Church. This is described in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 where it is written:

1But 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 return of the Lord Jesus Christ for his church is done in the air, not on the ground; this is not the Second Advent but actually takes place a minimum of seven years before the Second Advent. I am personally of the opinion this takes place closer to ten to twelve years before the Second Advent. I have commented on the timing in some detail in other essays.

This completes stage 2, group 2 of the resurrections.

Stage 3, Groups 3 and 4, Israel and the Tribulation Saints

The Age of Israel was interrupted by Israel’s rejection of its Messiah; on March 30, AD 33, Israel was set aside seven years short of the final period of 490 years given to it by God. Those last seven years are still somewhere in the future and will be completed after the removal of the church; I have written more on this in a three-part series that begins with “The Seventy Weeks of Daniel

The Age of Israel recommences when Israel signs a treaty with the Antichrist; the church is gone, world events focus on the tiny state of Israel. This time of terrible judgment by God is brought to a close by the return of the Lord Jesus Christ and the armies of heaven which will include you and me in our resurrected bodies.

In Revelation 19:11-16 it is written:

1Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:

KING OF KINGS AND
LORD OF LORDS.

This is the Second Advent of our Lord Jesus Christ where he, as our Kinsman/Redeemer, will reclaim the earth from Satan and establish his rule over all the earth!

At some point, after the return of our Lord at his Second Advent, both Old Testament saints and Tribulation saints will be resurrected as groups 3 and 4. We have references to this in Daniel 12:13 and Isaiah 26:19 for Old Testament saint s and Revelation 20:4 for Tribulation saints.

We find some rather cryptic language in Daniel 12:11-12 where it is written:

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 second half of the Tribulation is 1,260 days, so we see an additional 30 and an additional 45 days added to the total for a grand total of 75 days. No explanation is given for this time span but it has been suggested this is the time when the Lord will restore the earth to its original condition.

It may well be the Old Testament and Tribulation saints are resurrected after the earth has been fully restored. Perhaps the blessed ones who wait and come to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days are those saints of the Lord.

This concludes Stage 3, groups 3 and 4 and the First Resurrection. “This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” Revelation 20:5b-6

Next week we will cover Palm Sunday and the following week we will cover Good Friday and Easter Sunday; the Second Resurrection to the Lake of Fire will follow after our observance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ which makes all the rest possible.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | March 8, 2021

Death and Resurrection, Part 1, Death, Your Great Leap into Eternity!

There Seems to be Some Confusion on What Happens and When it Happens!

I cannot recall having ever heard a sermon in church on the subject of this essay. I would like to examine, in some detail, the Bible’s message to all born-again believers in Jesus Christ as to what happens when we die, where do we go and how do we look. Death is a distinctly different experience from resurrection and will happen at a different time.

This is written as a three-part essay which covers, Death, the First Resurrection, and the Second Resurrection.

Death

Death is the common description given to the time we depart our mortal bodies; while death is a common subject, rarely, if ever, is our emergence into the eternal state a topic of discussion.

When, for some reason, age, illness or accident, our bodies can no longer support our eternal essence and must be left behind; exactly what happens to us then, we leave but where are we going? We know we are eternal so where do we go and what do we look like?

Eternity can be a really wonderful place or a truly horrible place; all depending on your position concerning the Lord Jesus Christ at the time you take that great leap into eternity!

The Problem of Death

Death was part of the Adamic curse pronounced by God on Adam and his descendants in Genesis 2:16-17 where it is written:

16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Adam deliberately disobeyed God and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and died spiritually at that instant, killing himself, Eve, and all of his physical descendants including you and me! In Genesis 3:6-7 we are told:

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

It was only when Adam ate that God’s command was disobeyed, it is in Adam that all die! Romans 5:12

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—

While spiritual death came instantly, physical death was delayed, we do not know Adam’s age when he disobeyed God, but we know Adam lived to be 930 years old.

(Since the death of Adam, physical death has been the destiny of every human body with the exception of Enoch and Elijah which is why some believe the two prophets of Revelation 11 will be Enoch and Elijah. In Hebrews 9:27 it is written: “27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,” Enoch and Elijah are the only Old Testament saints who have not yet died once.)

Where do Adam’s Descendants Go When They Die?

The Bible omits a great deal of detailed information that would be of great interest to many of us; those who have heard me teach know of my interest in trying to connect the dots of “information bits” provided in the Bible. The following parable was used by Jesus to refute the notion, popular at the time, that wealth was a sign of God’s approval of an individual while poverty was a sign of God’s disapproval.

While telling this parable, Jesus made some references to the hereafter that may give some guidance to us regarding life after death. While it is clear that death is the destiny of all descendants of Adam because of Adam’s sin, the question before us now is where do they go? The Bible gives us some clues about that in Luke 16:19-23 where it is written:

19 “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. 20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21 desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

We learn certain facts from these verses; there is one place for the redeemed; referred to here as Abraham’s bosom, it is a place of peace and blessings for the redeemed, and another place for the lost. The lost go to a place of torments in Hades where there is suffering and torment.

After the First Advent and the Lord’s ascension to heaven, we are told the redeemed join him in heaven and are with the Lord Jesus Christ. I noted last time the reference in 2 Corinthians 5:8 where it is written:

We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

Since there is no reference, of which I’m aware, to any change; it would appear the lost still go to a place of torments in Hades.

How will we Look?

To the best of my knowledge, we will not have a body immediately after our departure from our mortal bodies; we are spiritual beings and will exist in spiritual form until the time of our resurrection.

I think it possible that time, in heaven, does not exist as does time on earth. We are told in Scripture,

For a thousand years in Your sight
Are like yesterday when it is past,
And like a watch in the night. Psalm 90:4

But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 2 Peter 3:8

I would not be surprised if the Old Testament saints, who had died in faith, would be totally unaware of the passage of thousands of years on earth. It may seem to them that only a few days had passed since their deaths; someday we’ll know for sure.

The Near Future?

There are several verses that tell us our resurrection will take place near the end of the age; at that time the spiritual essences of those who have died will be rejoined with their transformed, heavenly bodies and those of us of the terminal generation will join them in our transformed heavenly bodies without ever experiencing death!

13 “But you, go your way till the end; for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days.” Daniel 12-13

40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:40

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. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

Our resurrected bodies will be our mortal bodies that have been transformed into eternal, heavenly bodies. The best example of this is the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Apostles knew and recognized the resurrected Jesus as the one with whom they had ministered to Israel.

Next time we will consider the first resurrection to God and Heaven.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | March 1, 2021

The Real You versus the Temporary You

God Refers to Our Present Housing as a Tent!

Although I am an eternal, by God’s decree and design, I was placed in a tent of this earth which was selected by God without any input from me; I had nothing whatsoever to say about how it looked or what it would or would not include. It became my responsibility, however, to make the best use of what I had been given.

I am not unique in this matter; all of us, without exception, must face the same situation; while each of us are eternal, none of us had a choice in the selection of our tents. The only thing of which we can all be sure, is our occupancy of these tents is a short-term proposition.

While we, as spirit beings, are eternal, created in the image of God, our bodies, our tents, are of this earth and only intended for our use for a brief period of time.

Part of the Challenge

The on-going challenge we face, is that our tents are only aware of other tents and cannot even see us in our spiritual eternality. We, as spirit beings, created in the image of God, are totally invisible to the tents we occupy. God has made it clear that the time we are to occupy these tents has been precisely determined by God and the time of our departure is a fixed date known only to God.

God has also revealed that when the time has come for our departure from these earthly tents; we will, at a time already set by God, be joined to heavenly bodies which we will occupy for all eternity. We are given God’s promise 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.

I find the terminology refreshing, we move from a tent to a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Home at last!

Some Reflections on my Tent

My tent is now 88 years old and is showing clear signs of the wear and tear that has resulted from the passage of time; each year that passes makes the thought of a heavenly body all the more intriguing!

I’ll freely acknowledge my tent has served me faithfully so I do not condemn it in the least for the wear and tear with which it has been afflicted by life and time. I will admit my care of the tent I occupy has not always been of the highest order, but has been adequate to keep it operating in a reasonably functional manner.

A Built-in Self-Destruct Mechanism

Many years ago, I became aware of the significant role Telomeres play in the process of aging. It appears we’re born with an internal self-destruct mechanism. When enough of our cells stop working as intended, the tent is quietly folded up and laid aside. This normal aging process happens in the life of each individual in strict accordance with God’s timetable for that individual’s life.

On the “T. A. Sciences” website I found the following summary “What is a Telomere?

Telomeres protect the vital information in our DNA4

DNA makes up all of the cells in our body. It is the genetic material that makes us who we are. And every organ in our body (skin, liver, heart, etc.) is made up of cells. So, telomeres are vital to our health.

Our cells replenish by copying themselves. This happens constantly throughout our lives. Telomeres get shorter each time a cell copies itself, but the important DNA stays intact.4

Eventually, telomeres get too short to do their job, causing our cells to age and stop functioning properly.3,4,5 Therefore, telomeres act as the aging clock in every cell.

© What is a Telomere? | Human Cellular Aging | TA-65 TA Sciences
Source: https://www.tasciences.com/what-is-a-telomere.html
© Protected by WebToMed

A Brilliant Future!

The idea of the aging process results in the sure knowledge that, should the Lord tarry, we shall leave our tent, when it can no longer work properly, and all of us who have received Jesus Christ as Savior and been born-again by the power of God, the Holy Spirit, will join our Savior and God, Jesus Christ, King of kings and Lord of lords in heaven for all eternity!

By God’s grace, we are provided with information about the coming new world; and, in our heavenly bodies, will enjoy the great blessings which are coming soon and rejoice in the loving Creator who has made all this possible!

Even so, come Lord Jesus!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | February 8, 2021

Letters From Home!

Your War Years

During the years I served on board the USS Hemminger, DE 746, the entire crew looked forward to “MAIL CALL; letters from home were always a big event and it was a happy moment when a sailor got a letter from a loved one at home!

Letters from home helped establish links with the known, the familiar; serving in any branch of the military resulted in changes that could, in some instances, produce extremely difficult situations and pressures. Letters from home helped to provide a foundation for why all of this was even necessary and gave a feeling of connection with what had been left behind.

Soldier/Ambassadors

Previously, I had written on your role as a Royal Warrior Priest who has been appointed an ambassador to this troubled world. This time, I would like to devote some attention to your collateral role as a warrior, a soldier of the Lord. Whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, these are in fact, your war years!

Today, as a Christian, you are living your life as a soldier on a spiritual battlefield, you are not home. I have written more on this in the three-part series, “To the Soldiers in the Spiritual War,” You should not be surprised if you are feeling pressure as you fight the forces of evil on this troubled world.

We have been appointed ambassadors to this world but have no political immunity granted to us by the rulers of this world. Instead, we find ourselves as warriors, soldier/ambassadors who represent our home government, but must also defend ourselves from attack by the world we are sent here to help.

This is a familiar story, as our King and Lord, Jesus Christ, was also killed as he came to redeem this world. In accordance with God’s plan, King Jesus rose from the dead and ascended back into heaven where he now prepares a place for us.

As soldier/ambassadors, we are truly dependent on the support that is available to us from home. In his grace, we have God, the Holy Spirit living inside us, ready to provide all we need to successfully complete our mission.

Even a Royal Warrior Priest Needs Letters from Home

As on any other battlefield, from time to time, mail can be delivered to those at war. God has been faithful to send us letters of encouragement and hope; we call those letters from home, the Holy Bible. The Bible makes some things very clear, in Philippians 4:4-9 we are cautioned:

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

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.”

Propaganda from the Enemy

During World War II, military personnel in the Pacific were exposed to propaganda which attempted to undermine morale and discourage the servicemen and women in that area. One notable example was “Tokyo Rose;” a name given by the Allied forces to any female propagandist for the Japanese military.

Today, Christian soldiers are exposed to propaganda in many forms as the world seeks to influence the thinking of all who will listen. We are surrounded by propaganda that seeks to confuse and discourage us.

There has never been a better time to put Philippians 4:8 into action in our lives. Those who are more sensitive to such influence need to be especially careful selecting what enters their minds. Unlike computers, data in our minds cannot be so easily deleted.

Good News from Home

There are many reasons to believe our time of service will soon be over; at a time known only to God, we will be called home for good. Letters from home describes the home that will eventually be ours, it is an amazing place.

10 So he took me in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and he showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. 11 It shone with the glory of God and sparkled like a precious stone—like jasper as clear as crystal. 12 The city wall was broad and high, with twelve gates guarded by twelve angels. And the names of the twelve tribes of Israel were written on the gates. 13 There were three gates on each side—east, north, south, and west. 14 The wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were written the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

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).

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.

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.” Revelation 21:10-27″

Even so, come Lord Jesus!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | February 1, 2021

Your Divine Appointment!

The Final Truth About What and Who You Are!

I have been greatly touched by Psalm 139 for many years. Various portions of that Psalm have been an important part of my life! There was a time, in my work, that I traveled alone for the company, to conduct business, into places I had never even seen before.

I enjoyed applying verses 3-5 to my travel situation and imagined the Lord waving goodbye to me as I boarded the plane, sitting by me as we flew to our destination, and greeting me as I arrived at the air terminal. This was just a little mind-game that I found to be both fun and reassuring.

One thing I was very sure of, the Lord had indeed been at this new destination since its beginning and had secured for himself men and women to join him in the family of God. I had many brothers and sisters in this new city that loved the Lord Jesus Christ, that I would likely never even meet.

Those verses, although very important to me, did not have the impact on my thinking I found in the following verses of that Psalm:

13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
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. Psalm 139:13-16

I have been particularly impacted by verse 16; the implications of that verse are staggering to me. I can more easily understand Ephesians 1:11 where it is written: “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,”

The concept of God planning every moment of my life is truly beyond my ability to imagine!

In two previous essays I wrote on “What You Are, Satan’s Deadly Deception” and “Who You Are, Let’s Set the Record Straight, OK?” In this essay, I want to examine cause and effect in greater detail. There is one very important point I want to make, you are a Royal Warrior Priest who has been made an Ambassador by divine appointment!

You did not choose this appointment, it was made for you by Almighty God!

When you were born-again, into the royal family of God; you became a new creation by the power of God!

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

As a member of God’s royal family, you have inherited both privileges and responsibilities which are now an inseparable part of who you are. God, the Holy Spirit, has joined with you in an eternal union of God and man; you have become a temple of God, the Holy Spirit, now and forever!

Your Mission

You have been placed on this troubled world, to which you have been sent as an Ambassador, to represent the Kingdom of God and equipped with the Holy Spirit to provide the resources you need to accomplish your assigned mission!

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

You have been given a specified number of days to do your work as an ambassador of the royal Kingdom of Heaven. At the end of your term of service, you will be called back home; the only exception to that would be a future declaration of war at which point, all of God’s ambassadors world-wide, will be called home.

Time for an Honest Self-assessment!

Now for a moment of personal evaluation; do you see yourself as described above or not? This is your description from the pages of the Bible; if you are living a life of informed faith, then you can quickly acknowledge the truth of your description as given to you in God’s word, the Holy Bible.

The Satanic world system is doing its best to deceive and confuse you about who you are and your purpose on this earth. It is attempting to fill your mind with Satanic propaganda and neutralize you in your efforts to be an effective ambassador for the Kingdom of God.

You simply must be strong and decisive in selecting your self-image, just remember who and what you are in God’s sight, do not submit to Satan’s lies about yourself! Satan will try anything to get you off-balance, to prevent your full recognition of all God has done for you. You must always make a consistent effort to live a life of faith, not a life of sight!

7″ For we live by believing and not by seeing.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

Older Posts »

Categories

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: