Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | September 27, 2021

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

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

Massive Changes are Coming!

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

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

The Mystery of the Church Age

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Prophetic Clock is Ticking

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | September 20, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Living in the End Times

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | September 13, 2021

God’s Expectations for You! Your Plan B Assignment

Your New Identity

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your New Opportunity

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

Two of God’s Creatures

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

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

Your Challenge

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | September 6, 2021

God’s Expectations for You! Plan B

What was God’s Original Plan for Mankind?

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

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

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

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

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

God’s Plan B

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

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

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

Two Distinct Types of Humans

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

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

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

New Responsibilities

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

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

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

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

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

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

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.”

Next time, “A New Identity!”

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | August 30, 2021

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

The New Jerusalem

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The New Jerusalem is Really Big!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Glimpse of the Interior of the New Jerusalem

22 I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light. 24 The nations will walk in its light, and the kings of the world will enter the city in all their glory. 25 Its gates will never be closed at the end of day because there is no night there. 26 And all the nations will bring their glory and honor into the city. 27 Nothing evil will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty—but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”

In Revelation 22:1-6 it is written:

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

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

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

The Kings of the World and their Nations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Even so, come Lord Jesus!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | August 23, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

The Fiery Lake of Burning Sulphur

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

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

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

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

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

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

The New Heaven and the New Earth

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

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

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

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

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

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

In Part 2 we will reflect on eternity with God.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | August 16, 2021

Tomorrow’s Christianity, Returning to Earth

The Second Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ

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

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

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

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

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

Restoring the Earth

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

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

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

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

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

Starting with a Celebration!

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

Perfect Environment

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

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

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

Satan Released

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

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

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

In Revelation 20:7-10 it is written:

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

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

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

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

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | August 9, 2021

Today’s Christianity, Heaven Bound!

The Rapture will be Over Before Christians can even Realize it’s Happening!

Our mortal bodies, our tents, as they are called in the Bible, were always intended to be temporary housing and must be either left behind or totally transformed by the power of God! In 1 Corinthians 15:50-54 it is written:

50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

There will be no time to worry about the transition, it will be over before we know it’s happening! After that, we, as human beings, will be entering into what is unexplored territory for us! Fortunately, this is very familiar territory for the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior and our God!

It does not surprise me that little is written about the details of heaven; there has been nothing in our experience that would prepare us for the wonders we will encounter when we get there. Imagine trying to describe New York City to an individual that had lived their entire lives in a mud hut in the middle of nowhere; there’s no frame of reference, no words in their vocabulary to describe what they will see.

I’m confident the realities we will discover when we get to heaven will be infinitely greater than anything we can imagine! In 1 Corinthians 2:9 it is written:

But as it is written:

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

Some Unfinished Work

While the true church will have been called home to heaven, there remains some unfinished work on earth that must be completed before the Lord’s triumphant return at the time of the Second Advent. The Bible does not specify the exact time involved other than to mention Israel’s last seven years God had promised to them.

I have written more on this in the three-part series, “The Seventy Weeks of Daniel,” In this series, I discussed the final period of 490 years, given to Israel, cut short by seven years by the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ and Israel’s rejection of the kingdom offer being made at that time.

Those last seven years are still in the future and will be known as the Tribulation; they will be a time of terrible judgment on the earth!

Since there are a number of unfulfilled prophecies remaining, I have projected a period of up to 12 years between the rapture of the true church and the Second Advent.

Events in Heaven

The Bible references two events that are scheduled for Christians in heaven before the Second Advent, with the Judgment Seat of Christ coming first, and the Marriage of the Lamb coming second.

The Judgment Seat of Christ

One point must be made absolutely clear, the Judgment Seat of Christ is primarily an awards ceremony where our brothers and sisters in Christ receive their awards for services rendered to the Lord Jesus Christ. It will be a time of great joy and happiness for all.

Works done in the power of the Holy Spirit and to the glory of God will be rewarded; works done in the power of the flesh and for self-glory will be discarded and have no value in heaven.

The Lord Jesus Christ paid for the sins of Christians at the First Advent; there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” and those who are not in Christ Jesus will still be on earth!

The purpose of the Judgment Seat of Christ is to evaluate the works done by the Christian to determine which of those works have eternal value in heaven and to reward those who do. This event is referenced in 1 Corinthians 3:9-15 where it is written:

For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

It is likely each of us have foundations built with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, and straw. The Apostle Paul probably thought, as Saul, the Pharisee, that he was building an eternal foundation before God as he persecuted the church.

In Revelation 21:4 it is written:

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

We all carry a knowledge of past sins which, on occasion, have been used by our sin nature to torment us and cause sorrow! I rejoice in the thought the memories of past transgressions will be included among those former things which have passed away!

The Marriage of the Lamb

The second heavenly event that will take place before the Second Advent is the marriage of the Lamb. Christians have been enormously blessed by the indwelling of God, the Holy Spirit when they are born-again. The Holy Spirit is given as a pledge for the glories that will later be given to them in full.

The marriage of the Lamb represents the consummation of the pledge that was made with the two becoming one; Christ and his church united forever! What a joy to meditate on the future God has planned for us!

Next, we will cover the Second Advent and the victorious return of the Lord Jesus Christ!

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!

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