Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | December 3, 2021

The Dangers of Casual Indifference!

I’m Not Ready to Receive Jesus as my Savior!

In my work with Global Media Outreach, I encounter individuals who say they are not ready to receive Jesus Christ as their Savior; there seems to be no sense of urgency regarding their relationship to Jesus Christ!

Over the years, I have also tried to share my faith with those who simply refused to listen to what I wanted them to understand about the importance of being saved; sadly, I count some of them as dear friends.

I have to remind myself of the words of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 3:7 where it is written:

So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.”

While I can share the good news of Jesus Christ, only God can give the increase! As much as I may want to see someone receive Jesus Christ as Savior, only God can make the seed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ take root and grow in the heart of the individual!

It becomes easy to wonder if there was something else I could have said to help the individual develop a greater sense of urgency. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God, the Bible is clear on that point; the Bible is also clear that Jesus Christ came to earth to save souls, not condemn them.

The Bible also makes it very clear, that rejection of God’s offer of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ results in God’s wrath with judgment following death for all who have rejected God’s offer!

Life is Filled with the Unexpected

None of us know what tomorrow will bring or even if we will finish out the day as we are at this moment! If there was a certain knowledge that divine judgment was immediate and eternal for anyone who died without Jesus Christ as their Savior; would this help impart a sense of urgency or not?

Next time, I will present arguments for receiving Jesus Christ as Savior sooner, rather than later!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | November 29, 2021

Warned!

Judgment

The following devotional appeared Saturday in my mailbox and I felt it very timely in view of the world situation today. The writer, Jeff Wells, is the Senior Pastor of WoodsEdge Community Church.

“November 27
  Warned
 
And just as it is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes judgment.
Hebrews 9:27  
 
The Morgan sea gypsies are a small tribe of 181 fishermen who spend much of the year on their boats fishing in the Andaman Sea from India to Indonesia and back to Thailand.  However, they spend their Decembers living in shelters on the beaches of Thailand.  In December 2004, in the hours before the killer tsunami crashed ashore, the Morgan sea gypsies were living on those beaches.  They were in harm’s way and would have likely all perished – had they not listened to their elders.
 
In a 2004 article, “How Sea Gypsies Survived the Tsunami,” Roger Thomas explained how for generations, the elders of the tribe had passed along one piece of wisdom.  According to the tribe’s 65-year-old village chief, Sarmao Kathalay, that wisdom was this:  “The elders told us that if the water recedes fast it will reappear in the same quantity in which it disappeared.”
 
And that is exactly what happened.  The sea drained quickly from the beach, leaving stranded fish flopping on the shore.  How easy it would have been for those who live off the sea to run down where the water had been minutes ago and fill every basket available with fish.  Some people did just that in other areas of South Thailand.  Not the Morgan sea gypsies.  When the water receded from the beach, the tribal chief ordered every one of the 181 tribal members to run to a temple in the mountains of South Surin Island.  When the waters crashed ashore, the 181 sea gypsies were safe on high ground.
 
The Morgan sea gypsies had been warned and they heeded the warning to their great benefit.
 
God has also warned us of a coming tsunami, a tsunami of judgment.  In passages like Hebrews 9:27, there is the clear warning that judgment follows death.  (There is no biblical evidence for another opportunity, after death, to trust Christ as Savior.)
 
We have been warned of coming judgment.  But thanks be to God, there is grace available now, found in Jesus, free for the taking.

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

No one knows when the tsunami of God’s judgment will deluge this entire world, but there will be no high point where escape is possible from God’s coming judgment to be found anywhere but heaven!

Place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and escape the coming tsunami of God’s judgment!

It’s Alright to be Different

Several years into our marriage, my wife made an interesting discovery; she discovered personality training as developed by Florence Littauer, she took the training and became a “Certified Personality Trainer.” She had a lot of fun with it and enjoyed considerable success working with churches and professional organizations!

We discovered she is mostly Sanguine with some Choleric, and I’m mostly Melancholic with some Choleric. I found it amusing to note that as a young man, I wanted to be a musician and wound up instead working 36 years as a builder.

Discovering the strengths and weaknesses of those types was a great help to each of us in better understanding the other. Sharing the other’s insights into life was both broadening and helpful! It was liberating to discover we could share and rejoice in being different!

I could wish this sort of information was taught to me as a teenager, it would have eliminated a number of lessons I had to learn the hard way.

What a Husband Must Do

I received a devotional from Jeff Wells that referenced a famous letter from a Civil War soldier to his wife and have copied it below.

A Husband’s Love
 
In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.  He who loves his wife loves himself.
Ephesians 5:28

A week before the Civil War’s first Battle of Bull Run, Sullivan Ballou, a major in the Union Army, wrote home to his wife.  He would be killed a week after writing the letter.


Headquarters, Camp Clark
Washington, D.C., July 14, 1861

My Very Dear Wife:

Indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days, perhaps tomorrow.  Lest I should not be able to write you again, I feel impelled to write a few lines, that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more.

I have no misgivings about the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American civilization now leans upon the triumph of government, and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and suffering of the Revolution, and I am willing, perfectly willing to lay down all my joys in this life to help maintain this government, and to pay that debt.

Sarah, my love for you is deathless. It seems to bind me with mighty cables, that nothing but Omnipotence can break.  The memories of all the blissful moments I have spent with you come crowding over me, and I feel most deeply grateful to God and you, that I have enjoyed them so long. And how hard it is for me to give them up, and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when, God willing, we might still have lived and loved together, and seen our boys grow up to honorable manhood around us.

If I do not return, my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, nor that, when my last breath escapes me on the battle-field, it will whisper your name.

Forgive my many faults, and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless, how foolish I have oftentimes been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears, every little spot upon your happiness, and struggle with all the misfortune of this world, to shield you and my children from harm.


Sarah, do not mourn me dear; think I am gone, and wait for me, for we shall meet again.

As for my little boys, they will grow as I have done, and never know a father’s love and care. Little Willie is too young to remember me long, and my blue-eyed Edgar will keep my frolics with him among the dimmest memories of his childhood. Sarah, I have unlimited confidence in your maternal care, and your development of their characters. Tell my two mothers, I call God’s blessing upon them. O Sarah, I wait for you there! Come to me, and lead thither my children.

 – Sullivan


This kind of love is God’s call to every husband.  Love her.  Love her.  Love her.”

Paul’s famous chapter on love, 1 Corinthians 13, ends with this verse:

13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

In verses 4-7 of chapter 13, love is defined:

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

After 69 years of marriage, I’m convinced the most important thing a husband can do for his wife is to love her and faithfully apply the principles stated in the four verses above to his marriage!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | November 1, 2021

A Husband’s Perspective on Building a Successful Christian Marriage.

A Strong Marriage Takes Hard Work by both Husband and Wife!

From the very beginning, God knew man would need help! In Genesis 1:18 and 21-24 it is written:

18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.”

21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.

23 “At last!” the man exclaimed.

“This one is bone from my bone,
    and flesh from my flesh!
She will be called ‘woman,’
    because she was taken from ‘man.’”

24 This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”

My wife and I have now been married for over 69 years and we still have a totally wonderful time together each and every day! God was absolutely right, life is so much better with her at my side!

We got married when she was 17 and I was 19; while there were some who said the marriage wouldn’t last, we’ve beat the odds and are still very happily married to each other! While it’s true, our marriage is successful and happy, it has taken work, patience, and understanding on both our parts.

During my reflections on marriage, I though back on an essay I had written “The Painted Veil That Hides Reality” In the fourth paragraph I wrote:

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

While I had graduated from high school by that time, I had never received any instructions on how to make a marriage work or even the least bit of advice on what it would take to build a successful marriage. I was lonely and in love, what more did I need?

Although I was not really conscious of it, I had a secret weapon working behind the scenes in my life; as a born-again Christian young man, God, the Holy Spirit was interceding for me “with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.” I have written more on this in a seven part series that starts with, “Once Upon a Time I was a Little Boy”

I’m still amazed that my wife’s father would even consider letting his daughter marry someone like me; I was living alone in a furnished room, which they had helped me find, and wanted to be a professional musician. Talk about being a very unlikely candidate for a secure, lasting marriage, it would certainly appear I was at the top of that list!

By God’s grace and with the help of my secret weapon and a loving, patient wife, the marriage has been a great success!

What a Husband Should Do

There is a Biblical reference to marriage in Epheisans 5:21-33 that has served as my guide to my responsibilities as a Christian husband for many years:

21 And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

22 For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. 24 As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.

25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. 27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. 28 In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. 29 No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. 30 And we are members of his body.

31 As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” 32 This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. 33 So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”

God’s plan is for the husband to be the spiritual leader in the family and to love his wife as he loves himself! Jesus Christ’s love for the church is the benchmark that should be followed! The husband is responsible for the wife’s spiritual development and must serve as a helper and guide for her spiritual growth.

While the husband must love his wife as he loves himself, the wife must respect her husband! It is interesting to note the Greek word for love used in verse 25 is the agape love described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 as something you do!

A Christian husband should provide a stable home and income for his wife and children. It is the husband’s responsibility to care for the physical needs of his family as well as the spiritual needs!

Next time, living with the fact you’re different.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | October 25, 2021

Discovering the Truth About Reality in a World of Deception, Concluded

The Seven Basic Biblical Premises that Provide the Foundation for Reality

In the preceding essay, I wrote on the first four Basic Biblical Premises; reality, as it exists around us, is far different from what our eyes and experience would suggest. Our environment is very deceptive and under the control of our arch-enemy, Satan. When the Bible tells us, “For we live by believing and not by seeing.” in 2 Corinthians 5:7, living that principle out in practice is totally dependent on the intersession of God, the Holy Spirit!

The Fifth Basic Biblical Premise

During the age of the multi-national church, immediate judgment for transgressions has been deferred; this is the age of grace, not judgment. In John 3:16-17 it is written:

16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”

Salvation, not judgment, is God’s focus during this age of grace! As with all things, this age of grace has come to pass; there is coming a time of severe judgment on this earth and each day that passes brings that time ever closer.

During this age of grace, there is only one sin that has not been paid for by the shed blood of Jesus Christ; that one sin is rejection of God’s offer of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord! I have written more on this in, “Is There One Unforgivable Sin?”

This age of grace is marked by a major change in God’s relationship with mankind; those who accept God’s offer of salvation have their dead spirits returned to life and are indwelt by God, the Holy Spirit. This union between God and man is eternal and unalterable.

While Adam was created in the image of God, the Christian is indwelt by God!

This age will be brought to a close by the removal of all born-again Christians.

The Sixth Basic Biblical Premise

While Israel has been set aside during the Church Age, the age of grace, Israel’s restoration will take place according to God’s timetable!

In the Old Testament, God made many promises to Israel; while the fulfillment of some of those promises has been delayed by the mystery of the church age, God will faithfully fulfill those promises at the appointed time. With the removal of the church, God will be ready to place Israel at center stage in world affairs, Jerusalem will become the focus of world attention at a level unparalleled in history.

There is a period of seven years, God promised to Israel, that has yet to be fulfilled; Israel’s rejection of their Messiah, has resulted in a delay of over 1988 years and counting. This period of seven years, called the Tribulation, will be followed by the kingdom age which has been promised to Israel and will last 1,000 years. I have written more on the seven year period in, “The Seventy Weeks of Daniel.” , a three-part series.

At the end of the 1,000 years, God will judge those who have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior at the Great White Throne Judgment, and they will be thrown into the Lake of Fire.

(A Purification Parenthetical

The following involves some speculation on my part as the Bible is not specific on certain details. My speculation, however, is based on a careful study of scripture.

The Bible reveals two episodes which I have come to see as processes of purification. Sin had left serious scars on both the church, and creation; scars which needed removal. In 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 it is written:

11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. 12 Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. 13 But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. 14 If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. 15 But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.”

In 2 Peter 3:11-13 it is written:

11 Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, 12 looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. 13 But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness.”

I’m of the opinion these two fiery episodes are intended to purify and not destroy. As a sinner, saved by grace, I have memories of sinful episodes which can, on occasion, resurface in my memory much to my distress. I think it possible the “wall of flames” may be intended to purge my memory of those painful episodes; at the very least, I can hope that is the case. There are certain things best forgotten!

Regarding the heavens on fire and the elements melting away, I refer you to Romans 8:21 in the following section; I’m of the opinion this is part of a process of purification, not destruction.)

The Seventh Basic Biblical Premise

Living one’s entire life on a spiritual battlefield imposes severe restrictions on one’s ability to imagine a time of perfection. From birth to death, mankind is surrounded by sin, suffering and death. While there may be fleeting moments of peace and joy, the overall environment for life is distorted by the Satanic world system in which we live.

One of those fleeting moments came for me, one year, as I entered Wilderness Lodge at Christmas. This was our destination of choice when we visited Disney World for our family Christmas celebration. Tears of joy rolled down my cheeks as I saw the scene pictured below: feelings of peace, joy and contentment filled my mind!

Wilderness Lodge at Christmas with only one thing missing, crowds of happy people!

A time of eternal perfection is coming which will surpass anything we can even imagine; everything to this point has been preparatory for the eternity God has planned for his creation! I love the verses in Romans 8:18-25 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. 24 We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. 25 But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)

While there has been a terrible amount of suffering and pain for thousands of years, this era is only a brief preface to the vast volume of life and living that is coming! There is coming a time when all creation will join with God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay, a time when there will be no sin and suffering, a time when God’s children will be given their full rights as his adopted children along with their heavenly bodies!

Let us join together as we wait patiently and confidently!

The Bible closes with the following verses:

20 He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!”

Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!

21 May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s holy people.Revelation 22:20-21

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | October 18, 2021

Discovering the Truth About Reality in a World of Deception

The Challenge Facing Christians

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

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

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

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

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

The First Basic Biblical Premise

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

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

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

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

The Second Basic Biblical Premise

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Third Basic Biblical Premise

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

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

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

The Fourth Basic Biblical Premise

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | October 11, 2021

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

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

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

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

The Battle of Armageddon

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

The Second Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ

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

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

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

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

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

The Final Conflict

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.”

The Great White Throne Judgment

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

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

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

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

Another Chance to Escape Judgment

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

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

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

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | October 4, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Decline and Fall of the United States

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Battle of God and Magog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | September 27, 2021

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

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

Massive Changes are Coming!

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

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

The Mystery of the Church Age

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Prophetic Clock is Ticking

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | September 20, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Living in the End Times

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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