Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | March 1, 2021

The Real You versus the Temporary You

God Refers to Our Present Housing as a Tent!

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

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

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

Part of the Challenge

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

God has also revealed that when the time has come for our departure from these earthly tents; we will, at a time already set by God, be joined to heavenly bodies which we will occupy for all eternity. We are given God’s promise in 2 Corinthians 5:1-8 where it is written:

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

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

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

Some Reflections on my Tent

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

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

A Built-in Self-Destruct Mechanism

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

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

Telomeres protect the vital information in our DNA4

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

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

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

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

A Brilliant Future!

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

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

Even so, come Lord Jesus!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | February 8, 2021

Letters From Home!

Your War Years

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

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

Soldier/Ambassadors

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

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

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

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

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

Even a Royal Warrior Priest Needs Letters from Home

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

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

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

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

Propaganda from the Enemy

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

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

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

Good News from Home

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

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

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

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

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

22 I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light. 24 The nations will walk in its light, and the kings of the world will enter the city in all their glory. 25 Its gates will never be closed at the end of day because there is no night there. 26 And all the nations will bring their glory and honor into the city. 27 Nothing evil will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty—but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” Revelation 21:10-27″

Even so, come Lord Jesus!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | February 1, 2021

Your Divine Appointment!

The Final Truth About What and Who You Are!

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

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

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

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

13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed. Psalm 139:13-16

I have been particularly impacted by verse 16; the implications of that verse are staggering to me. I can more easily understand Ephesians 1:11 where it is written: “11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your Mission

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

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

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

Time for an Honest Self-assessment!

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

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

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

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

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | January 18, 2021

“Future Shock” in Action, Where Do We Go From Here?

So Much is Changing!

The world, as we have known it, appears to be a thing of the past. We seem to be experiencing what Alvin Toffler (October 4, 1928. – June 27, 2016) referred to as “Future Shock” in his 1970, bestselling book of the same name.

Near the end of the book, he wrote:

“Our first and most pressing need, therefore, before
we can begin to gently guide our evolutionary destiny,
before we can build a humane future, is to halt
the runaway acceleration that is subjecting multitudes
to the threat of future shock while, at the very same
moment, intensifying all the problems they must deal
with—war, ecological incursions, racism, the obscene
contrast between rich and poor, the revolt of the
young, and the rise of a potentially deadly mass irrationalism.”

It is interesting to note his almost prophetic insight into life today as it exists in the United States; especially the references to racism, and mass irrationalism. I have written on both of those subjects in “Racism, Satanic Deception in Action!”

Racism is the embodiment of irrational thought; as a species, we are all descended from one man, Adam, and to make distinctions based on physical appearance is truly irrational.

One Thing is Constant!

In a world that seems to be filled with rapid change, there is one thing that has remained a constant from the beginning, and that is our universal need for a Savior. While our physical appearance may be a trivial, very transient, matter, our spiritual condition is and has always been of paramount importance.

The deliberate disobedience of Adam, in the Garden of Eden, resulted in his spiritual death and the spiritual death of all his descendants. This, of course, includes you and me and everyone born of a human father.

Although there was absolutely nothing we could do to reverse the problem of our death, God, in his mercy and grace sent us a Redeemer, a Kinsman Redeemer, born of a virgin by the power of God, the Holy Spirit to pay the penalty of our sin by his death on the cross.

Spiritual Life or Death

Spiritual life is now available to all who will receive the atoning work done by Jesus Christ by believing in him as Savior. Today, the world is divided into two classes and only two classes of people, those with living spirits and those with dead spirits.

The full impact of that distinction cannot be comprehended by the frail human mind. The Bible sheds some light on the results of spiritual life versus spiritual death but the consequences are too enormous to truly understand by our limited ability to grasp a timeless eternity.

Spiritual life, by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, means eternity with God as a member of his family; spiritual death means eternity burning in the Lake of Fire with Satan, and the fallen angels. My mind is completely overwhelmed by the thought of eternity, especially with the thought of eternal suffering in the Lake of Fire!

Where Do We Go From Here?

Now, back to the original question. How should we respond to the rapid changes that seek to overwhelm us; do we have any guidance from Scripture? I believe we do and it’s known as:

The Great Commission

18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

The Lord Jesus Christ has given the church, individually and collectively, a job to do:

Make Disciples

Baptize Them

Teach Them to Obey all the Commands that have been given

God has all the big things under his complete control, our job is to do what we have been commissioned to do!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | January 11, 2021

Weighed in the Balance

And Found Wanting!

The Babylonian Empire had served as a refuge for God’s “good figs” as well as an instrument for judgment on Israel for its failure to observe the Mosaic Law. This had all been foretold by the prophets and Israel had been warned of the coming judgments.

Israel’s failure to observe the Mosaic “Sabbatical Year” for 490 years, was to result in Israel’s fall, the destruction of the Temple, and the removal of those Jews God wanted to protect from the coming 70 years of judgment on Israel.

God’s instrument of justice was the Babylonian Empire under Nebuchadnezzar, who is identified as a servant of God. After Nebuchadnezzar’s death, the situation for the Babylonian Empire was changing; although it had been an instrument of God’s judgment on Israel, God’s hand of judgment would fall on Babylon and the Babylonian Empire would be defeated by the Medo-Persians.

Babylon, the Invincible

The city of Babylon was protected by massive walls and thought to be impenetrable by the Babylonians. The night Babylon fell, the second ruler in the empire was celebrating in the palace when suddenly there appeared the fingers of a man’s hand who was writing on the wall:

Mene, mene, tekel, Parsin

In Daniel 5:25-31 we see the words explained by Daniel and the consequences of those words.

25 “This is the message that was written: Mene, mene, tekel, and Parsin. 26 This is what these words mean:

Mene means ‘numbered’—God has numbered the days of your reign and has brought it to an end.
27 Tekel means ‘weighed’—you have been weighed on the balances and have not measured up.
28 Parsin means ‘divided’—your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”

29 Then at Belshazzar’s command, Daniel was dressed in purple robes, a gold chain was hung around his neck, and he was proclaimed the third highest ruler in the kingdom.

30 That very night Belshazzar, the Babylonian king, was killed.

31 And Darius the Mede took over the kingdom at the age of sixty-two.

I have meditated at length on this chapter and see it as one of the most dramatic scenes in the Old Testament. I have also wondered if the United States of America is also approaching the end of its days as well. Has this nation been weighed on the balances and not measured up?

Any casual perusal of this nation would suggest it has strayed far away from the Biblical principles upon which it was founded. Nationally, we must understand that it is God that establishes nations and tears them down. The fourth verse of the National anthem clearly reveals the truth about this nation:

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.

Nationally, we have long ceased to “Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.” Today the United States seeks to remove God from this nation and reject the Godly principles that have served as our foundation!

The Coming Change in Government

Wednesday, January 20, 2021 a new government will be installed in Washington to lead this country. The Bible makes it clear, this is a work of the Lord, not of men. The principle is clearly defined whether we’re speaking of the Babylonian Empire, the Medo-Persian Empire, the United States, or any other nation in the history of the world.

17 For this has been decreed by the messengers;
    it is commanded by the holy ones,
so that everyone may know
    that the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world.
He gives them to anyone he chooses—
    even to the lowliest of people.” Daniel 4:17

13 Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. Romans 13:1-4

The government leaders who will begin their governing roles are there because God has willed, they should be. Those words in Romans, were penned by Paul, under the inspiration of God, the Holy Spirit, when Nero was Emperor in Rome and we know what sort of leader he was.

The Missing Nation

The United States is conspicuously absent from Bible prophecy; it is likely much more will change in the United States and will, at the appointed time, include the removal of millions of Christians at the Rapture of the Church.

It is a radically different thing to actually live in the “End Times.” While it may be interesting, to some, to read of the end times and the end of the age; it is a much more serious affair to actually live in those times, one day at a time!

I think it likely the forces at play, at this point, will only intensify as God’s will for the world begins to be revealed; we are spectators at the most anticipated events that will ever transpire during the Times of the Gentiles. We can be thankful that at the appointed time, we will be called home!

Even so, come Lord Jesus!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | January 4, 2021

What You Are; Satan’s Deadly Deception!

You Are Infinitely More Than What Satan Wants you to Believe!

I find it fascinating to observe how many people live their lives; they live as if the here and now is the beginning and the ending of all things! What can be seen, touched, smelled or observed in any form or fashion is the totality of the reality which must be given consideration.

This is the results of being born spiritually dead and living in a world dominated by a Satanic world system; a world dedicated to deception!

True reality is far removed from what is revealed by Satan’s world system; I have written on the subject of reality in “What is Reality?” and in that essay I wrote:

“Ultimate reality then is the Trinity; everything else is both derivative and dependent!”

My conclusion in that essay was, only the Trinity was real and all else is nothing more than a creation of the Trinity. We, and all we can observe, are created by and sustained continuously by our creator, the Holy Trinity. Without the direct, and constant intervention of the Trinity, all of this universe, would cease to exist instantaneously!

A Critical Distinction!

While you and I are a part of the Trinity’s creation, an important distinction is revealed in the Bible. This distinction is revealed in Genesis 1:26-27 where 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.”

27 So God created human beings in his own image.
    In the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

In Genesis 2:7, an additional detail is revealed about the creation of man:

“7 Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.”

While the balance of creation had been spoken into existence by God, God fashioned man’s body from the dust of the earth, but breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils and the man became a living person.

Made in the image of God!

The vital importance of that fact cannot be overstated, mankind is made in the image of God! Our living essence transcends the creation, we share the eternal nature of God and shall always exist. While it is true, our mortal bodies which are formed of this earth can have no part in our eternality, our living essence, which was originally breathed into that body of dust, will always exist in some form, somewhere.

Graciously, the Bible does not leave us to wonder about that point; in 2 Corinthians 5:1-9 it is revealed:

For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.

So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. For we live by believing and not by seeing. Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him.

If this one fact of your existence doesn’t grab your emotions and give them a good shake, then you’re just not paying attention!

Enormous Consequences!

Adam, the first man, made a tragic mistake, he disobeyed the one command he had been given, died spiritually and caused the spiritual death of the entire human race. God, in his matchless grace, sent a Second Adam from above to die on the cross that whosoever believed in him should not perish but be born again with a new living spirit and have everlasting life as a child of God!

Being an eternal can be both a blessing and a curse; a blessing if one has Jesus Christ as Savior and been born again to spiritual life by the power of God, the Holy Spirit, and a terrible curse if one rejects the salvation available through the new birth by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior.

A New Heaven and a New Earth!

In Revelation 21:1-7 it is written:

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

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

And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.

This will be a busy and blessed time for all of God’s children, all who have been born again into the family of God by the power of the Holy Spirit!

The Lake of Fire!

The only alternative is horrible beyond our ability to even imagine; it is described in Revelation 19:11-15 where it is written:

11 And I saw a great white throne and the one sitting on it. The earth and sky fled from his presence, but they found no place to hide. 12 I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave gave up their dead. And all were judged according to their deeds. 14 Then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death. 15 And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.

The ultimate Satanic deception is to conceal the only two destinies that face mankind; Satan’s destiny, in the Lake of Fire, is fixed but all living humans face one of the only two alternate destinies available to all eternals, the family of God and heaven, by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, or the Lake of Fire and eternal torment and suffering for those who reject Jesus Christ as Savior.

I earnestly urge you to make sure your destiny is with God as his child; believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as your very own personal Savior and join all born again Christians as members of the family of God!

May the Lord bless and guide you in 2021!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | December 28, 2020

Who You Are! Let’s Set the Record Straight, OK?

In these rather confusing times it is easy to wonder where we fit into the overall scheme of things. So much is happening that is beyond our control that we are left wondering where do we go from here?

As Christians, we have a source of direction that is timeless and certain, the Holy Bible, God’s assembly instructions for his family. In those blessed pages, we can find the instructions we need to find the path we are to follow and to know our purpose and destination according to God’s plan for our lives.

I have referenced the devotionals published by Jeff Wells before and when this one came out I knew I would want to share it with my readers, it seemed particularly timely! I would add one point to his comments on you and that is you’re an immortal creation, you will live forever; after all, you’re created in the image of God!

Who You Are
 
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.  Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
1 Peter 2:9-10

 
 Two things are essential to a healthy, thriving, joy-filled spiritual life.  First, know who God is.  Second, know who you are. The second depends on the first.  Define yourself by who you are in God.
 
1 Peter 2:9-10 is one of the clearest passages on who we are in God.  This is who we are:
 
“A chosen race.”  God has chosen you.  This means he has set his love on you and adopted you.  You did not choose him but he chose you.  Or, you chose him because he chose you.  You are loved, chosen, adopted.

“A royal priesthood.”  Every believer is considered a priest, bringing people to the grace of God and praying for people.  That’s who you are:  one of God’s priests.  Moreover, you are a royal priest.  You are royal because you belong to the family of the King.

“A holy nation.”  Holy.  You are holy and blameless in God’s eyes, because the blood of Christ has washed all your sins away.  You are just as holy as Jesus Christ because God sees you in Christ and through his blood.
 
“A people for his own possession.”  You belong to God.  You are known, you are loved, you are adopted.  You belong.  Indeed, who you are is based on whose you are.  You are God’s.
 
“God’s people.”  Again, you belong to God.  You are one of his people.
 
“Recipients of God’s mercy.”  You are not just the object of God’s choice.  You are the object of God’s mercy.  God has poured mercy and grace and love into you and over you.  You are much loved, completely forgiven, blood-bought.
 
There are condemning voices out there saying:  “You’re so bad!  You’re such a failure!  God can never use you.  God is angry at you!”
 
Don’t listen to those voices.  Shut your ears to every voice except God’s voice.  This is what God says about you.
 
Take the attitude:  “God said it.  I believe it.  That settles it!”

By Jeff Wells, © 2020 WoodsEdge Community Church. All rights reserved. This article may be reproduced for any non-commercial use.

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Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | December 21, 2020

The Mysterious Magi and Daniel’s Amazing Prophecy!

Who Were the Magi?

One of the traditional parts of the Christmas story has always been the account of the wise men as related only in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 2, verses 1 – 12. The Greek word used in these verses is magi which is from a Persian word for men who were expert in the study of the stars and also the word from which we get our English word magic.

This Persian word is equivalent to the Hebrew word chakamim used in the book of Daniel to describe wise men who were one of three different types: astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers.

We learn that Daniel, who was later made chief of the chakamim, was responsible for their deliverance when God enabled him to interpret Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. God’s continued blessings enabled Daniel to become a wealthy and influential leader in the Babylonian Empire who lived a long and successful life, aiding not only the Babylonian leadership but also the Medo/Persian leadership after Babylon fell.

Daniel’s Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks

One of Daniel’s most amazing prophecies concerns the prophecy of the seventy weeks; it is in this prophecy the timing of the Lord’s First Advent is revealed. God revealed to Daniel there would be 70 weeks, or 490 prophetic years, divided into a span of 69 “weeks” which is a prophetic reference to 483 prophetic years and a period of 1 week or 7 years, which would come later. I have written more on this in a three-part series that starts with “The Seventy Weeks of Daniel.”

The 483 years would come to an end when Messiah would be cut off; the prophecy was fulfilled on the 10th of Nisan, March 30, 33 AD on the occasion of the entry of the Lord into Jerusalem. This date is based on the research done by Dr. Harold Hoehner in his book: “Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ,” published by The Zondervan Corporation, 1977, ISBN 0-310-26211-9.

Although the Lord’s entry into Jerusalem is usually portrayed as a triumphal entry, we learn in Luke 19:41 the Lord wept over the city as He beheld it. The Greek work used here is eklausen which is the word for a loud, wracking, sob; this was not just a few tears running down our Lord’s cheeks but a loud sobbing that shook His whole body.

Israel is Set Aside for a Season

It was on this occasion Israel was being set aside for a long period of time during which a people would be called out as the Church, the bride of Christ, the body of Christ. The Church was a mystery hidden from the Old Testament prophets; this mysterious age of grace would continue until the time the church was removed by the Rapture. At some point, after the Rapture, the last seven years promised to Israel would commence as a time of severe judgment on the world but that is a different subject.

There arises now a question of timing; how did the wise men know there was something very special about this star and how does Daniel and his prophecy of the seventy weeks fit into this picture? We can speculate the star/shining appeared to the wise men at the time of the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe it possible, at some point, the star/shining started moving toward the West and would the next night start its Westward movement all over again until the wise men realized the star/shining was inviting them to follow.

An Impressive Caravan

The Bible does not address the subject of the background of the wise men nor does it even tell us how many there were. Because of the three types of gifts it has often been assumed there were three but this is nowhere confirmed by the Bible; the Bible does not even address them as kings, but only as wise men.

There are some who believe the wise men, however many there were, rode on horseback rather than camel and more who believe they were accompanied by a large enough group of men to provide complete protection, serve the traveling needs of the group and properly impress any observer; the Bible is completely silent on these details.

It is at this point I acknowledge I’m speculating when I suggest a possible source for the expensive gifts they gave and their understanding of the timing of this particular star; this particular line of speculation is held by others as well.

Daniel’s Legacy

God so blessed Daniel that he was to be placed by Darius, the Mede, over the entire kingdom much to the distress of the presidents and princes of the land. The result of this distress resulted in Daniel’s lion’s den experience as described in Daniel 6. The reason I mention this was to show the great prominence Daniel had in the kingdom of the Medes and the Persians.

What I believe happened is Daniel, after God’s revelation of the seventy weeks prophecy, established a group of sympathetic chakamim that would preserve a legacy for the coming Messiah. It would be a simple matter for them to determine the 483 years and to calculate the likely date of the birth of Him who was to be cut off at the end of that period.

I think it possible that Daniel entrusted to them the financial resources that would make the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh available at the time of the Messiah’s birth. I believe they were given a time frame during which to expect a special birth which would be signaled in a special way.

What Kind of Star Did They See?

Since one of their areas of expertise was the study of the stars, the appearance of a new star would certainly attract their attention. That brings up the nature of the star that led them to Bethlehem; it’s my speculative opinion that this was not a regular star, but was in fact the Shekinah Glory of God, the glory the shepherds experienced in Luke 2:9.

Although God was certainly at liberty to create a star and move it around as He willed, I’m more inclined to believe that this star-like manifestation was God’s Shekinah Glory. The Greek word used here is astera which can also refer to a luminous, shining body.

In summary what I’m suggesting is Daniel, inspired by the seventy weeks prophecy, established a special group of wise men to hold a legacy in trust and await the arrival of the Messiah. An approximate time frame was provided as to when those entrusted with the legacy could expect the birth of the Messiah. The starting point for the 483 prophetic year countdown came on March 5, 444 BC when Artaxerxes issued the decree noted in Nehemiah 2:1-8 and prophesied 95 years earlier in 539 BC by Daniel in Daniel 9:25.

When the supernatural star-like shining appeared to them in the sky, they correctly interpreted it as the long awaited sign and eventually followed the star/shining to Bethlehem where they were able to worship the Messiah and give Him the gifts that had been entrusted to their predecessors so many centuries before.

It is interesting to note for a time they must have lost sight of the shining; they went to Jerusalem and asked directions from Herod who, after consulting with the chief priests and scribes, sent the wise men to Bethlehem where Herod had been told the Messiah would be born.

In Matthew 2:9 we read the star/shining was now visible again and “went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.” In verse 10 we read: “When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.” I think this joy was based on their temporarily having lost sight of the star/shining which resulted in their effectively announcing the birth of the Messiah to the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem.

Although this is speculation, it is based on fact and is, in my opinion; more plausible than saying these wise men just happened to see the star and just happened to have a small fortune available to give to Him, and just happened to stop by Herod’s palace and ask for directions to the one “born King of the Jews,” as Herod was not a legitimate king of the Jews.

The gifts enabled Joseph and Mary to escape to Egypt and avoid the murderous rampage of King Herod when he ordered the death of all male children in Bethlehem two years and younger. Matthew 2:13-18

Our family has always been thankful for Daniel’s ministry even to the point of naming our second son after him; so giving him additional credit for planning ahead is appropriate and fitting especially when credit is so well deserved.

First published as “The Original Star Trek” on December 19, 2011; revised and updated.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | December 19, 2020

God’s Grace Never Fails!

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. Proverbs 3:5-6


Over the years, as I began to get older, the inevitability of age and retirement began to more frequently flick through my thoughts. As I’ve written before in “A Surprising Discovery,” I really had no idea how much age would impact my life and my perceptions of life.

Although “A Surprising Discovery” was written several years ago, the process of discovery has continued and my perceptions continue to change as time passes.

Retirement

I had not made any firm plans for my retirement, I honestly had no idea what I would do with my life after I retired from full-time work. I had worked for over 36 years in the home-building business which is one of those businesses that never stops; there is something going on seven days a week and it is all too easy to let oneself fall into the trap of never stopping.

Sadly, I saw many young men fall into that trap and find themselves pressured by family and friends to give it all up. I began to warn new employees of the necessity of creating a sustainable pace; to not let themselves fall into the trap of constant work!

I was able to remain in the business for 36 years, because I had developed what was for me, a sustainable pace which adequately balanced work with family life.

My tentative plan had been to work until I was 75 but changes in several areas persuaded me to retire when I was only 71. That has been a very good decision and my wife and I have been greatly blessed over these last 16 years.

God’s Unexpected Plan for my Life, Dallas Theological Seminary

Although I had not made any plans for my retirement, it appears God had it all worked out! Two completely unexpected events would bring changes that caught me by complete surprise. I had been forced to drop out of Dallas Theological Seminary because of serious financial reversals as a young man. My failure to graduate had been a continuing source of disappointment all my life.

You can imagine my joy when I received a letter informing me of a new program created by DTS wherein those who had not finished their work would be allowed to return and finish their studies and graduate. I reacted immediately and was later told my application was the first one they received for the new program.

After a delay of 46 years I finally graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary. I was finally able to complete what I had started as a young man! At that point, I still had no idea of what I would do with my life; I was teaching a class at church but that was pretty much it.

Around two years after graduating, I had a mild heart attack which required open heart surgery and five by-passes, within a year I had a stroke but now seem to be stabilized with medication. After the passage of another year a second life-changing development would be revealed by the Lord.

Global Media Outreach

In January of 2012, one Sunday morning at church, we heard of an organization devoted to evangelizing the world over the internet. Both my wife and I saw what a perfect fit this would be for me so I volunteered immediately. After a period of training, I was approved as a new online missionary for Global Media Outreach.

Since then I have had the privilege and opportunity to work with people all over the world and provide them help and encouragement in their pursuit of Jesus Christ and a Christ-honoring life. What is really working out well is the fact I can do this from home; my age limitations are not impacting my ability to help others find Christ and grow in their faith.

Yesterday morning, I passed, what is to me, a small milestone; by God’s grace I have now helped over 8,000 people in their search for spiritual truth. I am amazed by God’s grace to an old man; God’s hand of grace and mercy has provided a purpose for life that I had never imagined. I feel so greatly blessed that Jesus Christ has placed me in a position to serve as a vessel he can use.

Global Media Outreach keeps a running record of contacts served; the following came out Friday morning:

Name – David Bower
Username – rdavidbower
People Helped – 8003
Replies Received – 16813
Your Response Rate
This Month – 17%
This Year – 15%
Last Year – 12%

I am truly thankful to our gracious and loving Lord for the opportunity he has given me to serve him!

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:20

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | December 14, 2020

The Happy Return of Christmas

The Happiest Season of the Year!

-Merry Christmas

Art by Adele Bower

That wonderful, happy time of the year is almost upon us, Friday the 25th is Christmas. This particular Christmas comes at the end of what has been an exceptional year; the United States is very different from the way it was on Christmas of 2019.

While circumstances may change dramatically, the basic message of Christmas has remained unchanged since its inception in a manger in Bethlehem. God’s message to mankind, beautifully summed up in Luke 2:8-14 tells the simple, yet profound story:

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

The enormous significance of Christmas, the First Advent of our Lord, may sometimes get lost in the hustle and bustle of the season and the sometimes frantic preparations that seem to be an inevitable part of the days before Christmas. Circumstances, however frantic and perverse, cannot alter the reality of the First Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ!

For those of us who love the Lord Jesus Christ, this season is a beautiful reminder of our Lord, the wonder of His birth and the enormous significance of the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us.

Four Hundred Years of Silence

The voice of God through His prophets had become silent; for 400 years Israel did not receive any word from God through the prophets. Much had happened that was instrumental in setting the stage for the events that would transpire during the First Advent but there was no word from the Lord; just silence for 400 years.

God was planning to break that silence in the most dramatic way possible; God the Son, the living Word, would be born of a virgin and become flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone. The silence would finally be broken by the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord; the Word of God would be made flesh and dwell among us. We would have a Kinsman/Redeemer, a Savior who would take our place of judgment and die on the cross for the redemption of our sins.

The Birth of the King

It is fascinating to me to reflect on the decisions God made as to the birth of the Son of God. The eternal creator of the universe was not to be born in a palace or even a major city of the time; but was to be born of humble parentage in a small insignificant village named Bethlehem.

Although both were of the line of King David, any association with royalty had faded generations before. His mother, Mary, was a peasant girl and her future husband, Joseph, was a simple carpenter; hardly a likely couple to become the caregivers for the humanity of the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe.

All proceeded according to God’s eternal plan and the precious baby was entrusted to humans to care for and love as He grew in stature and wisdom over the early years of His life.

The Shepherds

The Bible describes two events surrounding the birth and early childhood of our Lord. The first had to do with the angelic host appearing to the shepherds. I have read that these particular shepherds and the sheep of their flock were very special; these were the sheep destined for temple sacrifice. How fitting that the announcement of the birth of the Lamb of God, slain before the foundation of the world, should be made to shepherds tending the sheep to be sacrificed on the Temple altar.

The Magi

The second event concerns the arrival of the magi whose number is not specified in Scripture. I have previously written on the magi and the mysterious star they followed and have some strongly held opinions concerning both. The account of the magi is only given in Matthew 2:1-12, and the implications are the magi appeared around two years after the birth of Jesus. I believe these particular magi were of a group founded by the prophet Daniel, and the gifts presented by the magi were placed with that group originally by Daniel himself.

Daniel had prophesied the very day our Lord would enter Jerusalem as the Lamb of God and I believe he instructed the magi to pay particular attention as that time drew closer. I believe the star was in fact the Shekinah Glory of God and led the magi to the place where Jesus was living. While none of this is specified in Scripture, it would explain a lot. I have written more on this in “The Original Star Trek” which I will publish again next week.

Christmas Today

Although the attack on Christmas has momentarily faltered, there are still secular forces that would try and pervert the significance of this celebration of the birth of our Savior. Christmas is still a powerful factor in the lives of many; I think we can all agree that the mood becomes a bit more joyous and happy around Christmas especially in the Christian community.

The traditions of Christmas are always welcome and bring remembrances of Christmas past and the fun and fellowship of family and friends. The traditional Christmas hymns are a great blessing and tell the story of our Lord’s birth with beauty and simplicity.

While we once again celebrate the First Advent of our Lord Jesus Christ; we can also anticipate with great joy the certainty of his Second Advent! Events which were commenced at his First Advent will be consummated at his Second Advent; our beloved Kinsman/Redeemer will restore his creation to the pristine condition originally planned.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

This is an updated version of an essay first published on December 18, 2013.

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