Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | December 12, 2018

Your Spiritual Resurrection

You Have Been Spiritually Resurrected!

You may have never thought of yourself in those terms but let us consider the facts as presented in the Bible and also review a definition of the word, “resurrection.” A typical dictionary definition might read something like the following:

“resurrection

    1. a rising from the dead, or coming back to life
    2. the state of having risen from the dead
  1. a coming back into notice, practice, use, etc.; revival, as of old customs”

The focus of the Bible is on the physical resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ at the time of his First Advent which is followed, in order, by the still future physical resurrection of the saints of the church, and later Israel.

Paul speaks to the question of the earthly body versus the heavenly body in 2 Corinthians 5:1-5 where it is written:

“5 For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”

Your Resurrection Experience, Past and Future

While our spiritual resurrection is an individual experience associated with our new birth, our physical resurrection will be a group event held in three stages; the first stage was Christ at his First Advent, the second stage will be the church, at the Rapture, and the third stage will be Israel at the Lord’s return at the end of the Tribulation. There will be a fourth resurrection of the damned at the end of the Millennial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ but their destination will be the Lake of Fire.

As pointed out in the definition it is “a rising from the dead, or coming back to life.” In the last essay I covered the nature of your death in Adam and pointed out the unique roll the Holy Spirit played in bringing you back to life. Just as the Holy Spirit was instrumental in the First Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ, he is equally important in the new birth of ever believer in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and God. An additional fact is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit into each believer who is born again. ; this represents a departure unique to the Church Age.

An Interesting Parallel

In the last essay we considered the sequence of the spiritual versus the physical death of Adam and saw that hundreds of years passed between the two events. For us, as Adam’s descendants, our options require that we experience the new birth and become spiritually alive before we die physically if we are to experience the new birth at all.

Always be mindful that our spiritual selves are created in the image of God, while our mortal bodies are of the dust of the Earth and simply cannot share in the glory to come. When we are born again, by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, our dead spirits are brought back to life; by definition we have been spiritually resurrected from the dead and eternally restored to life; for Christians, there is no second death!

Adam died spiritually in the Garden of Eden but did not die physically for several hundred years; we, on the other hand, are spiritually resurrected at the time of our salvation but will only experience a physical resurrection at a time, chosen by God, when saints will be resurrected physically in the order mentioned above.

Our mortal bodies will have returned to the dust of the earth, or in the case of the last generation, be transformed by the power of God into eternal heavenly bodies. Our experience tracks Adams experience, the spiritual first and the physical second.

We will conclude these observations on the real you in the next essay.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | December 10, 2018

You Were Dead on Arrival

Do You Realize You Were Born Dead?

From a rational human perspective that statement sounds harsh and doesn’t make a bit of sense but from a Biblical perspective it makes perfect sense; you were born spiritually dead.

When we think of death, we automatically apply that to something that once had life; while we can think of a dead flower no one would refer to a rock as dead as the rock never had any life.

For me to suggest you were born spiritually dead would require that you once had spiritual life and lost it. If you were spiritually dead at birth, then when could you have possibly had a living spirit that died? That is a fair question to which the Bible provides an answer. In Romans 5:12 it is written:

12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—

I have written more on the subject of sin in a series which begins with “A Flood of Confusion“.

You Died Spiritually in the Garden of Eden

God commanded Adam in Genesis 2:15-17 it is written:

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

If you are told by your creator “you will certainly die” I believe you can count on the certainty of that warning. The fact is that at the moment Adam disobeyed God both he and Eve instantly died spiritually. Hundreds of years were to pass before they died physically but the really serious damage had already been done. I have written more on that in “The Fall.”

From God’s perspective, you died spiritually in Adam when he disobeyed a direct command. You were counted as being spiritually alive up until that time and then, when Adam disobeyed God, Adam and the entire balance of humanity died spiritually there in the Garden of Eden.

Physically Adam was to live several hundred more years before his mortal body died but Adam had died, spiritually, and from that point on all who were descendants of Adam were born spiritually dead. There was to be a clear distinction between physical and spiritual life and death.

Let us review the facts; you were counted as being spiritually alive in Adam in the Garden of Eden but died there when Adam disobeyed God. Much later you were born physically, but still counted as being spiritually dead. Your body had received a sin nature because of Adam’s sin so you were born with a living sin nature, a dead spirit, and a living soul and mortal body.

Two Kinds of Humans

There are now two distinct classes of humanity populating this globe called Earth; those spiritually alive by faith in Jesus Christ and those spiritually dead in Adam. Although we cannot see a difference in the physical appearance between the living and the dead; the difference is there and is of profound significance!

Remember that Adam’s mortal body lived for hundreds of years after Adam had died spiritually so it should be no surprise that God would follow that process for Adam’s descendants including you. The catalyst for that process is the new birth; as Jesus pointed out to Nicodemus, “Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” John 3:3

The New Birth

The new birth initiates a series of spiritual events that have eternal consequences; you will recall it was the power of the Holy Spirit that began the process of the birth of the humanity of Jesus Christ in Mary’s womb. This same Holy Spirit is the instrument of the new birth in the lives of all who receive Christ as Savior. Being born again by God, the Holy Spirit, has both a temporal and eternal significance of incredible power; everything of any lasting value has been transformed by the new birth, everything!

Although I do not recall having seen this thought specifically mentioned in the Bible, it has come to my mind that after we are born again, we are no longer spiritually descended from Adam; we now have a new heavenly Father and have become a true child of God. While our mortal bodies still carry the Adamic curse and are subject to death, our spiritual nature, made in the image of God, has been fully redeemed by faith in the risen Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ!

Next time we will think on your new beginning as a spiritually alive human being.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | December 7, 2018

December 7, 1941

Photo from “https://sites.google.com/site/mgmartinezx/mgmartinez

“A Date Which Will Live in Infamy”

As the years pass there are fewer and fewer of us who can remember where they were and what they were doing when the bombing of Pearl Harbor was announced on the radio; I still remember that Sunday afternoon. I was an eight-year-old boy riding in the backseat of a Chevy, four door sedan, on a Sunday afternoon drive to look for campsites for the Boy Scout Troop my stepfather led. I’m sure that none of us could imagine the impact that attack would have on our country and our lives.

Although, by God’s grace, we were not as profoundly affected as many other countries around the world it would certainly change life as we knew it. Some of the older boys that had been members of the troop would join up and never return; their lives lost on a distant battlefield. My stepfather had concerns about all of the boys that had gone through the troop and especially the boy leaders who had become patrol leaders and later assistant Scoutmasters. There were too many sad moments when we got the news that another former scout had died in the war.

War is Declared

Little time was lost in Washington D. C. in reacting to the attack; Congress was convened and President Roosevelt spoke to both houses.

Address to Congress
Requesting a Declaration of War with Japan
December 8, 1941

“Mr. Vice President, and Mr. Speaker, and Members of the Senate and House of Representatives:

Yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that Nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its Government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American Island of Oahu, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese Government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday the Japanese Government also launched an attack against Malaya.
Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.
Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam.
Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.
Last night the Japanese attacked Wake Island. And this morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our Nation.

As Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense.

But always will our whole Nation remember the character of the onslaught against us.

No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces- with the unbounding determination of our people- we will gain the inevitable triumph- so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.”

Once the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor the United States responded on December 8th with a declaration of war on Japan; because of treaties between Japan, Germany, and Italy that meant we had declared war on all three nations. Below is a copy of the declaration of war on Japan.

Congressional Declaration of War on Japan

“December 8, 1941

JOINT RESOLUTION Declaring that a state of war exists between the Imperial Government of Japan and the Government and the people of the United States and making provisions to prosecute the same.

Whereas the Imperial Government of Japan has committed unprovoked acts of war against the Government and the people of the United States of America:

Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
That the state of war between the United States and the Imperial Government of Japan which has thus been thrust upon the United States is hereby formally declared;
and the President is hereby authorized and directed to employ the entire naval and military forces of the United States and the resources of the Government to carry on war against the Imperial Government of Japan; and, to bring the conflict to a successful termination, all of the resources of the country are hereby pledged by the Congress of the United States.

Approved, December 8, 1941, 4:10 p.m. E.S.T.”

This was a remarkable moment in the history of the United States. The country had been burdened by an economic downturn known as the “Great Depression” which had created many hardships on the American people. In addition, the Central Plains had been ravaged by a drought that was so bad the whole area became known as the dust bowl. Having been raised in Houston, Texas I was indeed fortunate to have experienced little hardship from the depression or the drought.

Fortunately, the drought was beginning to lift by the time the war started and many speculate that the Second World War was the catalyst that brought the United States out of the Great Depression.

A Time for Remembrance

Today is December 7, 2018, let us remember the great price that has been paid that we might continue as a free nation. The old saying, “Freedom is not Free” is as true today as it was on that fateful day in 1941.

Sadly, another form of treachery has once again endangered us, now a second date that will live in infamy has been added to the history of this country and that is 911, September 11, 2001. This is another vivid reminder that our freedoms must be defended or they will be lost.

If we value our nation, it is vital we recognize the changes in tactics that are being employed by those who wish to destroy it; attacks from without and within will continue until we are willing to deal decisively with those wishing its destruction.

Photo from “http://astuteblogger.blogspot.com/2012/09/liberty-was-attacked-on-911-its-still.html

Next week we’ll continue the series on “Let’s Get Real About Who You Really Are!”

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | December 3, 2018

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Your Dichotomy of Being, Concluded

We Exist in Two Realities

Last time we considered the two entities of our existence, the spiritual and the carnal; whereas our spiritual part was created in God’s image and breathed into bodies of the earth, our physical bodies were created from the materials of this earth and fashioned by God into temporary abodes we could use while living out our mortal lives.

To further complicate matters, our physical bodies were cursed at the fall of Adam and inhabited by a sin nature while our spirits died in Adam. Although our spirits were restored to life when we were born again by faith in Jesus Christ; our salvation did not remove the fallen sin nature which still plagues us.

We are faced with two distinctly different spheres of being, a redeemed eternal, spirit, created in the image of God, and a condemned body inhabited by a fallen, sin nature. Life presents us with the challenge of reconciling those two diametrically opposed kinds of existence; but by God’s grace we have been given a user manual for figuring it all out and making it work as it should; it is called the Bible, God’s guide to your success as a dichotomous being.

How to Achieve Success as a Dichotomous Being

I think we’ll all agree being a dichotomous person presents its challenges. God knew from eternity past you would face those challenges and has provided all the resources you need to function effectively in your dichotomy. God is, in fact, using those struggles to help conform you to the image of his Son, Jesus. As Christians we have been given a spectacularly precious gift to help us; God, the Holy Spirit has come into us to be our teacher and our guide.

It is only as the Holy Spirit controls in our lives that we have any hope of accomplishing the objectives we have been given by God. While the Holy Spirit will never leave us, it can be quenched by unconfessed sin in our lives. We know our old sin nature was counted as crucified with Christ at the time of our new birth, but we must also acknowledge that the sin nature has been left in us and must be controlled by the confession of sin to God; the verses in 1 John 1:8-10 make that very clear indeed. I have written more on this in “Is There One Unforgivable Sin.”

Our situation is complicated by God’s definition of what constitutes sin; in Romans 14:23b we are told; “everything that is not of faith is sin.” What may appear an innocent thought can be sin if it is not based on our faith in God. I’m almost 86 years old, retired and living at home yet I confess my sins to God many times each day; as a result, I live a life of peace and joy in the power of God, the Holy Spirit; this is God’s gift to all his children who choose obedience to his word.

How are You Doing?

The Bible provides a simple benchmark for success in our lives as Christians; in Galatians 5:13-26 it is written:

13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”

Based on these verses, what percentage of the time do you believe you are living a Spirit controlled life?

Next time we will examine the impact of your spiritual death in more detail.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | November 26, 2018

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Your Dichotomy of Being

You are Primarily a Spiritual Being

You are a descendant of Adam and created in the image of God; you are a spiritual being temporarily housed in a mortal body of this earth. You will inhabit your body of the earth for a few short years and then it will be returned to the earth from where it came.

Your spiritual self, eternal and created in the image of God, will, on the other hand, live forever; there will never be a time when you do not exist in some form, somewhere in God’s creation. God has planned all of this from eternity past and his plan is completely unalterable!

You Were Chosen Before the World was even Created

A marvelous truth about you and all Christians is revealed in Ephesians 1:4-9 where it is written:

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

Faith, not Understanding

The realities associated with our creator are completely beyond our comprehension; the relationship we experience with our creator is a relationship of faith, not understanding. There is nothing that I truly understand about God; while I love and trust him, I don’t understand him. As my creator he is infinitely above and beyond me and understanding God is not possible for me. Fortunately, God does not expect us to understand him, just to love him and trust him with all our hearts.

I believe it safe to say God knew each of us by name before the universe was even created; he knew his plans for us and had numbered the days of our physical mortality. I delight in Psalms 139:16-17 where it is written:

16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
    How vast is the sum of them!

We should not be surprised when we realize God saw us in Adam in the Garden of Eden; in the mind of God I believe we were a complete certainty in Adam at the time of Adam’s disobedience. We were there, in some manner beyond our understanding, and our spirits died right along with Adam’s and Eve’s. I’ll freely admit I do not understand what I’ve just written, but by faith I believe it to be true.

Let us consider the tragedy that befell the human race when Adam chose to directly disobey God; we all died spiritually alongside Adam in the Garden of Eden.

 

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Paramount Pictures, 1931, Starring Fredrick March

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

In 1886 Robert Louis Stevenson published a short novel named, “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” The book focused on the struggle between good and evil that all of us recognize as a part of our life even including the Apostle Paul as he described his frustrations in Romans 7.

Dr. Jekyll wanted to find a way to suppress the evil nature he felt within him and devised a serum which he hoped would work. To his distress, the serum did more to release his evil nature, who was named Mr. Hyde, rather than suppress it; needless to say there was an unhappy outcome to his story.

We too have a similar problem in that we are inhabited by two opposing entities, a sin nature, which we inherited from Adam, and a restored spirit we received at the point of salvation. The New Testament describes the struggle we face and provides the answers we need to suppress our sin nature.

That is where the title, “Your Dichotomy of Being” comes from; the two natures that struggle within you for mastery. I refer to this inner conflict as a dichotomy of being which will always require the enabling ministry of God, the Holy Spirit.

Now let us consider your dichotomous nature.

An Amazing Spiritual Truth

For purposes of clarity let us examine a dictionary definition of dichotomy.

1: a division into two especially mutually exclusive or contradictory groups or entities the dichotomy between theory and practice also: the process or practice of making such a division dichotomy of the population into two opposed classes”

I believe that is a particularly good word to describe the remarkable situation in which Christians find themselves; we have two contradictory entities within us, the good, spiritual entity, made in the image of God, and the evil, fallen entity we received at Adam’s fall. While our spiritual self was restored to life by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, our physical body, inhabited by a sin nature, is still under God’s curse and its disposal is inevitable.

Spiritually, as born-again Christians, we have been made spiritually alive, indwelt by God, the Holy Spirit, and seated on the right hand of God, the Father; we have also been made joint heirs with Christ and eternally joined to God’s family as his adopted children. Let me point out this spiritual reality will outlast our physical reality by any infinite number you can imagine.

The dichotomy comes in because we presently inhabit a physical body that has not been redeemed and is still laboring under the curse of the fall of Adam. In addition, it contains a sin nature which was crucified with Christ but can still inflict pain and suffering if we let it. We will also live out our mortal lives as soldiers of the Lord, fighting a spiritual war on the spiritual battlefield called Earth.

While this is not a pretty picture, I believe it is helpful to understand, as fully as possible, the key facts surrounding our mortal lives as Christians. In accordance with God’s eternal plans, Christians are not called home at the moment of salvation but are left on this earth to accomplish God’s will for their lives. I have written more on this several times including “Your Duty to the Family.

Next time we will consider the tools God has given us to accomplish the goals that have been set before us.

Painting, “In His Own Image,” by Adele Bower ©

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | November 19, 2018

Let’s Get Real About Who You Really Are!

New York – Fox News Photo

It’s Easy to Be Deceived by the World.

We live in a world that demands our attention and requires us to conform to certain standards. There are practical physical requirements as well as social and financial requirements that need our attention; these can consume a major part of each day as we seek to fulfill those requirements as required by circumstances.

Our bodies, which are of this world, can exhibit a variety of needs from hunger and thirst to a persistent itch that demands we scratch it. We are also born into a society that begins to impose increasing demands on us as we age. All told, living in this world is a full-time job which can take a lot of focus if we let it.

The Missing Element

One thing is conspicuously absent in the world, the spiritual element of our lives. Large numbers of people believe that this life is all we’ve got; our lives begin at birth and end at death. There is no spiritual reality and no life after death in the minds of those who follow such teachings; we have evolved from the primordial ooze into animals and then gradually evolving into human beings who are nothing more than a more highly evolved form of animal life.

Such a foolish philosophy must also demand it all happened by accident; there is no room for a creator in this scenario. The evolutionary process, at work for countless eons, has resulted in the universe as we see it today and it all happened by chance and “the survival of the fittest.”

One Source of Truth

There is a source that reveals who we really are and what is really happening in the world and that is the Holy Bible. The Bible is foolishness to those who are perishing but to those who believe, it is the word of life. The nature of reality, as expressed in the Bible, is diametrically opposed to the theory of evolution and reveals the existence of an all-powerful creator who is solely responsible for the entire universe and who is actually sustaining its existence at this very moment.

The major challenge for those who believe the Bible is their immersion in a world that is governed by Satan, the enemy of truth. While the Bible explains how this happened and tells of a victorious resolution, at this point in time the full realization of the resolution is still future. As Christians, we must live out our mortal lives as soldiers on a spiritual battlefield called Earth.

The true nature of this spiritual war is not directly visible to our mortal lives although the carnage can be easily seen wherever we look. I have written more on this war in a series of essays that begins with: “To the Soldiers in the Spiritual War

The Big Problem

As Christians, immersed in the Satanic world system, we face the daily challenge of viewing all things from a Godly, Biblical perspective. I taught Bible classes for over 50 years although I am now retired from teaching a class. One of my objectives with a class was to encourage the members to see themselves as spiritual beings as described in the Bible.

Of all those people I taught, I could probably count on one hand the number of class members that regularly saw themselves from a spiritual perspective. This had one sad consequence, they could not sufficiently enjoy the blessings God has for his children as they delight themselves in the Biblical truth of all that god was doing in their lives. It is impossible to enjoy a blessing if you don’t even know it exists or fail to apply it to your life each day!

A Suggestion

Over the next few weeks I would like to explore with you the various spiritual truths that apply to all those who have been born again by faith in Jesus Christ. The pursuit of spiritual truth has been a faithful source of great joy to me for many years; I would love to contemplate those promises with all who may have an interest in the spiritual realities we all share as Christians.

Next time we will cover the early spiritual history of you and seek to understand what happened and how God reacted to those significant events that altered your life.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | November 12, 2018

The Power and Majesty of the Lord Jesus Christ!

A Glorious Reason for Rejoicing Right Now!

This devotional came in this morning’s mail from Jeff Wells, a beloved brother in Christ who is pastor at WoodsEdge Community Church in the Woodlands. It brought me such joy and delight that I knew I had to share it with you.

“Jesus the Creator
November 12, 2018
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through him and for him.
Colossians 1:16

Ponder the immense size of our solar system … and then the size of our galaxy … and then the size of the universe. Here is a picture painted by Philip Yancey in Prayer:

If the Milky Way galaxy were the size of the entire continent of North America, our solar system would fit in a coffee cup. Even now two Voyager spacecrafts are hurtling toward the edge of the solar system at a rate of 100,000 miles per hour. For almost three decades they have been speeding away from earth, approaching a distance of nine billion miles. When engineers beam a command to the spacecraft at the speed of light, it takes thirteen hours to arrive. Yet this vast neighborhood of our sun – in truth the size of a coffee cup – fits along with several hundred billion other stars and their minions in the Milky Way, one of perhaps 100 billion such galaxies in the universe. To send a light-speed message to the edge of that universe would take 15 billion years.

The universe is so big! And to think that this stunningly vast universe was created by Christ, by his mere word. Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus who was born of a Jewish teenager, Jesus who walked the dusty streets of Judea, Jesus who was executed as a common criminal, this Jesus created the galaxies.

Jesus was fully man but he was no mere man. He was so much more. He is the God who became man – without ceasing to be God.

Colossians 1:16 gives emphasis to Jesus as Creator by these three phrases: “in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities.” Jesus created all things, including all angelic beings, in the universe.

And then, in case we have not fully grasped the point, Paul says again: “all things were created through him and for him.” Jesus Christ is both the cause of creation and the goal of creation. He is the starting point of creation and the end point of creation. We live in a Christ-centered universe. Such is the greatness and grandeur of the glory of Jesus Christ.

© 2018 WoodsEdge Community Church. All rights reserved. This article may be reproduced for any non-commercial use.”

I encourage you to let these thoughts be your joy and delight this week as well!

Your brother in Christ,

David

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | October 31, 2018

A Temple’s Prayer of Homage to the Creator

Our Holy Father

We come before you humbled by the thought of your holy sovereignty; we acknowledge that you are the creator and all creation exists by you and for you. We rejoice that you are working all things after the counsel of your own will and have a perfect plan for your creation that will be revealed in accordance with that plan.

We thank and praise you for the loving grace and mercy that sent your Son to the cross to redeem your fallen creation; we recognize that in your power you could have destroyed the old creation and produced a new creation with great ease. We thank you for your faithfulness to your creation and your promises to that creation which resulted in our liberation from sin through the shed blood of your Son.

We are eternally grateful for the gift of adoption into your family by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and rejoice in your unconditional love and faithfulness to us as your children in Christ Jesus. We know we have failed to live up to your divine standard and thank you for the privilege of restoration through the simple acknowledgement and confession of sin to you.

We rejoice in the baptism of the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit now and forever and pray that we may use our bodies in a way that is pleasing to you and honors the great gift we have been given by your grace and mercy. We praise and thank you for the intercessory prayers of the Holy Spirit on our behalf who pleads for us in harmony with your own will with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.

We wish to acknowledge with deepest gratitude that you are working all things together for good in our lives and are thankful you are conforming each of us to the image of your son, Jesus Christ. By your grace we seek to live lives that please you and bring honor and glory to the Lord Jesus Christ. We ask for your guidance and blessing that we might grow in our faith and faithfully serve you all of our lives.

We are truly thankful for the many blessings you bring into our lives and acknowledge that without you we are nothing. May our lives be a sweet smelling savor to you as we seek to serve and honor you in the power of God, the Holy Spirit.

In Jesus name we pray, amen.

19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

In September of last year I published this prayer; I felt compelled to publish it again as we approach the coming election and our nation struggles with a multitude of challenges.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | October 22, 2018

Anarchy, Mob Rule, and Civil Disobedience, Concluded

The World Situation Leading up to the Second Advent

We are living in a prophetically complex time as the Bible tells of a number of events that must take place before the physical return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. I have written on this in some detail in a three-part series of essays that starts with, “What is Coming Next for the Church and Israel?”

Any close examination of Bible prophecy will show our world situation today matches the world situation in the end times. The Lord has not revealed when overt action as described in prophecy will begin, but when it does the changes will be very dramatic. At a future time, the Lord will determine that the world is prepared for the events foretold and things will start to happen quickly; I am confident the Lord has this all timed to the very second!

I am convinced the next event on God’s prophetic calendar is the removal of all born-again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ at an event often referred to as the “Rapture of the Church.” This event will have a devastating impact on the United States which, interestingly enough, is never mentioned in end times prophecies.

How does the most powerful nation in the world today suddenly disappear from the world stage and is no longer a player in world events; the removal of all born-again Christians and God’s protective intervention could explain that remarkable phenomena.

The United States of America

As a nation we have been greatly blessed by God; I love the way the last verse of our national anthem expresses those deep truths:

“Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand

Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation,

Blest with victory and peace, may the Heaven – rescued land

Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.

Then conquer we must, for our cause is just,

And this be our motto –“In God is our trust.”

And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

It is by God’s grace that we were made and have been preserved as a nation; we are in truth, a “Heaven – rescued land.” In spite of our mortal foolishness we have succeeded in surviving and becoming the most powerful nation on earth; failure to fully acknowledge God’s gracious hand of blessing is to ignore the realities of our history.

We have been blessed with a Constitution that has served as a guiding light for the governing of our people and although under attack as irrelevant in modern times has withstood countless attacks by those who would destroy the republic it established.

The Critical Missing Element!

While we still have a political and social compass in the Constitution, we have deliberately turned our collective backs on the vital moral compass that was so important to our founding fathers, the Holy Bible.

Today we have abandoned the Bible, the only absolute moral standard which has ever worked for us, and this has proven dangerous to our society as demonstrated by the moral chaos rampant in the nation.

While the Bible provided an objective moral standard which was generally acknowledged and observed in the early years of our nations history, it has now been discarded as an out-of-date hate book because it stands in judgment of the corruption and degradation being widely practiced today.

I deliberately choose to avoid itemizing examples of our national immorality and suspect that each of you can fill in those blanks with ease; the media sees that all are well informed concerning the excesses taking place across the nation.

Another Civil War?

In a speech in January of this year, Daniel Greenfield, a  Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center,  has suggested we are observing the beginnings of a civil war and suggested that efforts to overturn an election by violent action, which are being instigated by many, are all the evidence needed to qualify as the beginning of a civil war.

One group in Austin, Texas which calls itself “Red Guard Austin” is actively promoting revolution over elections. I’m reminded of one line in Daniel Greenfield’s speech where he says; “Guns are how a civil war ends. Politics is how it begins.”

In this speech, which Mr. Daniel Greenfield delivered to the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition Convention in Myrtle Beach, he explained clearly how the liberal left has begun its overthrow of the United States as a constitutional republic. I encourage all who are interested in the preservation of our republic to check out the speech which is available at “The Second Civil War.”

The Beginning of the End

While the Bible does not reveal the timing of the churches removal, it would appear there is no other unfulfilled prophecy that must take place before that happens; in other words it could happen any time.

If things are bad now, once the restraining ministry of the Holy Spirit is removed, things are going to get much worse very quickly. Let us praise God that we, as Christians, will not have to witness that time of judgment.

Even so, Come Lord Jesus!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | October 15, 2018

Anarchy, Mob Rule, and Civil Disobedience

We are Living in Dangerous Times!

Recent events in Washington are both disgusting and disturbing; the debacle surrounding Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination and confirmation to the Supreme Court has focused our attention on a deep division in this country which can threaten the Constitutional foundation on which this country was built. Political agendas fueled by deep emotional prejudices are given center stage by the media while the rule of law is set aside.

Anarchy and mob rule are the new norm for those seeking to impose their desires on society as demonstrated by the loud disruptions in the Senate Chamber, halls and offices these past weeks as mobs attempted to disrupt the legislative process. Similar disruptions are reported almost daily in the liberal strongholds on both the East Coast and the West Coast.

The unrest we’re facing nationally is being mirrored all over the world; there are disturbances and fighting almost anywhere you look and with modern communication we have almost a front row seat to events happening in distant places. The Bible has predicted troubled times will come and from the looks of the world situation those troubled times are here now; we are certainly witnessing them in the United States.

I believe we are seeing a careful process wherein the world is being prepared for the events which will surround the end times referenced in the Bible. The required elements are being put into place with a divine precision that reminds one of the careful preparations surrounding the First Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Stage is Being Set Before our Eyes!

It has been a long time since I’ve written on the prophetic significance of current events but that does not mean nothing is happening; the fact is much is being prepared by God to set the stage for the end time events prophesied in the Bible. God is very careful to put all the pieces in place before he starts moving them around and we are seeing that process as we observe world events.

There are two major events in God’s plan for redemption, the First Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Second Advent of our Lord. The First Advent was fulfilled with a precise devotion to the details of prophetic utterance which gives every reason to believe the Second Advent will be fulfilled with equal precision! When the Lord came the first time the world had been perfectly prepared for the events that would surround his incarnation as the suffering servant who came to die for the sins of the world.

The world was experiencing an unprecedented time of peace and stability under the authority of Rome, remembered as the “Pax Romana,” the Roman peace, which brought a time of relative calm to the world. Trade and commerce prospered under the protection of the Roman army and the ease of moving goods and services around the Roman Empire.

Another key factor was the widespread use of Koine Greek as the language of business; people could speak their native language and the Koine Greek. In addition, the Koine Greek was a language rich in vocabulary which permitted the clear expression of subtle shades of meaning; it was the perfect language for the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

These factors were important in the spread of the Gospel at the time of the First Advent. As we look back into history it is easy to see the advantages to the spread of the gospel provided by the world situation at the time; it becomes easy to recognize this time as “the fullness of time” as described in Galatians 4:4-5.

“4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.”

The First Advent perfectly fulfilled all of the Old Testament prophecies that had been given to Israel by God; it is reasonable to believe the Second Advent will follow with equal precision.

In the last part we will consider our world situation today.

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