Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | April 2, 2020

Palm Sunday 2020 and its Enormous Significance!

(As I prepared this for publication, I began to see some fascinating parallels between the Jewish nation at the time of Christ’s crucifixion, and the United States in the midst of a COVID-19 Flu Pandemic. We are being warned, over the coming two weeks, we could see the peak of deaths as a result of the Wuhan Flu Pandemic.  Although there is optimism, we don’t really know what is going to happen from that point on.

The Jewish leadership was trying to rid itself of a perceived problem, the Lord Jesus Christ, and our leadership is likewise seeking to rid the nation of a perceived problem, the Wuhan Flu.

One thing we can know with complete certainty, is today, just as in the past, God’s will and God’s plan is being worked out with complete precision; all is going in accordance with God’s supreme, and fully controlling will! We, as Christians, can observe these events with the full assurance that God is working all things together for our good!)

April 5th, 2020 is Palm Sunday

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

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

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

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

The Entry into Jerusalem

Contrary to what we customarily celebrate, the entry was on a Monday, not a Sunday and it was not triumphal for our Lord; it was a time of great sadness as evidenced by Luke 19:41-42 where it is written, “As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.”

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

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

From the Shephard’s Notes.com

There is another extremely touching aspect of our Lord’s entering Jerusalem on Nisan 10. If we examine Exodus 12:3 we read, “Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month (Nisan) each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household.” This was part of the instructions given to Israel on the occasion of the first Passover in Egypt. The family would select a perfect lamb and place it on display in front of their dwelling so all could see they were offering the Lord their very best.

God’s Passover Lamb put on display

On March 30, AD 33, the 10th of Nisan, the Father put His Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world on display for all Jerusalem to see that the Father was offering them His very best. (In 2020 we are in year 5780 according to the Jewish calendar and the 10th of Nisan will be Saturday, April 4th.)

After the passing of that day, Israel had been set aside for an undetermined number of years. Today we are at year 1,987 and still counting as Israel continues to suffer judgments until the return of the Lord they rejected.

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

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

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

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

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | March 27, 2020

USA and the Wuhan Pandemic

New York City on a Friday Afternoon

While I am having some trouble imagining New York City closed down on a Friday afternoon, I suspect New Yorker’s are having much greater difficulties seeing their city on shut-down. This classic view, out the window of the Fox studio, is usually filled with cars and pedestrians; this time it is virtually empty as everyone follows the isolation orders being given to citizens all over the nation.

I’m happy to say, this too has come to pass; although no one knows exactly when the streets will once again be filled with cars and pedestrians, it will certainly happen at some point. 

As we bide our time, in isolation, it is very good to remember that God is in complete control of everything; nothing is happening that God did not know about and allow to happen. The long-term and short-term consequences of the Pandemic are unknown; steps have been taken by the government to try and ameliorate the impact as much as possible with the passage, today, of a bail-out bill intended to help the nation recover from the Pandemic.

Despite the passage of the bill, the DOW was down 924.54 points at 3:53 PM ET; hopefully investors can take a long view with their portfolios. I remind myself that God has known from eternity past, this Pandemic would impact the USA at this time and in this way. At times like this, it is so important to keep a proper divine perspective on life; as Christians, we can measure our degree of faith by how we are dealing with this world-wide event.

If one is looking to circumstances for peace and stability, present circumstances have nothing to offer; if, on the other hand, one is looking to the Lord for peace and stability, the Lord has everything to offer; nothing has changed with the Lord.

In my last essay, I spoke of a time to rejoice as we are always able to rejoice in the peace and stability offered to those who live a life based on faith and not on sight. Our times are in God’s hands and we have God’s promise that he is working all things together for our good. Let us rejoice in God’s faithfulness to his children and let the God of peace be our constant companion!

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. Romans 8:28-30

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | March 21, 2020

A Time to Rejoice!

Faith Versus Sight, An Opportunity to Choose!

The Wuhan Flu Pandemic is taking center stage in the media recently as its world-wide impact changes the way we live. Each of us must make a decision; how are we going to respond to these new, and unexpected circumstances.

The Bible makes it clear; in 2 Corinthians 5:7, it is written: For we live by believing and not by seeing.

For us, as Christians, we must make our faith the basis for our lives, not the world situation of the moment. The Wuhan Pandemic, just like everything else on this earth, has come to pass and pass it will.

While it is transient, we must never forget: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

At a time like this, we simply must focus our attention on the Lord’s command to us in Philippians 4:4-9:

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | March 18, 2020

Flu Types A and B Versus Wuhan Flu, Covid-19

Coronavirus cases top 200,000 worldwide, death toll passes 8,000

By Danielle Wallace

Published March 18, 2020

Fox News

The total number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus worldwide has now surpassed 200,000, according to Johns Hopkins University, while the death toll has topped 8,000.

The Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering’s online tally showed 201,436 cumulative cases by 11:13 GMT (6:13 a.m. EST) on Tuesday, with 82,032 listed as recovered.

CRIME AND CORONAVIRUS: DOJ SEEKS FRAUDSTERS, TRIALS SUSPENDED, JAILS FEAR OUTBREAKS 

It also recorded 8,006 deaths.

The countries with the most confirmed cases were China, Italy, Iran, Spain and Germany. At least 81,102 people in China, 31,506 people in Italy, 16,169 people in Iran, 13,716 in Spain and 9,877 people in Germany were infected.

The countries with the most confirmed deaths were China, Italy, Iran, Spain and France. At least 3,122 people died in China, compared to the 2,503 deaths in Italy, 988 deaths in Iran, 558 deaths in Spain and 148 deaths in France.

  1. U.S. cases, 6,496
  2. U.S. deaths, 114

 

Estimated Influenza Illnesses, Medical visits, Hospitalizations, and Deaths in

the United States — 2018–2019 influenza season

2018-2019 Estimates

Influenza activity in the United States during the 2018–2019 season began to increase in November and remained at high levels for several weeks during January–February5. Influenza A viruses were the predominant circulating viruses last year. While influenza A(H1N1pdm09) viruses predominated from October 2018 – mid February 2019, influenza A(H3N2) viruses were more commonly reported starting in late February 2019. Influenza B viruses were not commonly reported among circulating viruses during the 2018–2019 season. The season had moderate severity based on levels of outpatient influenza-like illness, hospitalizations rates, and proportions of pneumonia and influenza-associated deaths.

CDC estimates that the burden of illness during the 2018–2019 season included an estimated 35.5 million people getting sick with influenza, 16.5 million people going to a health care provider for their illness, 490,600 hospitalizations, and 34,200 deaths from influenza. The number of influenza-associated illnesses that occurred last season was similar to the estimated number of influenza-associated illnesses during the 2012–2013 influenza season when an estimated 34 million people had symptomatic influenza illness.

  1. U.S. cases, 35,500,000
  2. U.S. deaths, 34,200

CDC says more people die of influenza worldwide than some experts have estimated

As many as 646,000 people may die from influenza each year worldwide, according to the latest estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — a larger number than what other health experts have predicted in years past.

The CDC said between 291,000 and 646,000 people die from seasonal flu-linked respiratory illnesses. Earlier projections from the World Health Organization’s earlier projections of deaths from seasonal flu — 250,000 to 500,000 per year — “are outdated,” according to the study published Wednesday in The Lancet.

What is really going on?

 

 

 

 

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | March 16, 2020

“Corona Is Slowing Down, Humanity Will Survive”

My wife and I have lived through the Great Depression, World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War, the Vietnam War, the Polio Epidemic, countless deaths, revolutions, disasters and destruction and by God’s grace, we’ll live through the Coronavirus Pandemic as well. I know, with complete confidence, that our times are in God’s hands!

My wife forwarded an article to me on the current situation with the Coronavirus Pandemic. The article, from CTECH, by Ari Libsker, offers some encouraging insights into the world situation today regarding the Wuhan Flu Pandemic. I felt it to be interesting and timely and wanted to share it with my readers.

 

5220

Corona Is Slowing Down, Humanity Will Survive, Says Biophysicist Michael Levitt

Nobel laureate and Stanford professor Michael Levitt unexpectedly became a reassuring figure in China at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic. Now he assures Israelis: statistics show the virus is on a downturn.

 
Ari Libsker 09:48

Nobel laureate Michael Levitt, an American-British-Israeli biophysicist who teaches structural biology at Stanford University and spends much of his time in Tel Aviv, unexpectedly became a household name in China, offering the public reassurance during the peak of the country’s coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. Levitt did not discover a treatment or a cure, just did what he does best: crunched the numbers. The statistics led him to the conclusion that, contrary to the grim forecasts being branded about, the spread of the virus will come to a halt.
 

The calming messages Levitt sent to his friends in China were translated into Chinese and passed from person to person, making him a popular subject for interviews in the Asian nation. His forecasts turned out to be correct: the number of new cases reported each day started to fall as of February 7. A week later, the mortality rate started falling as well.

 

Michael Levitt. Photo: Reuters Michael Levitt. Photo: Reuters
 
He might not be an expert in epidemiology, but Levitt understands calculations and statistics, he told Calcalist in a phone interview earlier this week.

 

The interview was initially scheduled to be held at the fashionable Sarona complex in Tel Aviv, where Levitt currently resides. But after he caught a cold—”not corona,” he jokingly remarked—the interview was rescheduled to be held over the phone. Even though he believes the pandemic will run its course, Levitt emphasises his support of all the safety measures currently being taken and the need to adhere to them.

 

Levitt received his Nobel prize for chemistry in 2013 for “the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems.” He did not in any way intend to be a prophet foretelling the end of a plague; it happened by accident. His wife Shoshan Brosh is a researcher of Chinese art and a curator for local photographers, meaning the couple splits their time between the U.S., Israel, and China.

 

When the pandemic broke out, Brosh wrote to friends in China to support them. “When they answered us, describing how complicated their situation was, I decided to take a deeper look at the numbers in the hope of reaching some conclusion,” Levitt explained. “The rate of infection of the virus in the Hubei province increased by 30% each day—that is a scary statistic. I am not an influenza expert but I can analyze numbers and that is exponential growth.” At this rate, the entire world should have been infected within 90 days, he said.

 

But then, the trend changed. When Levitt started analyzing the data on February 1, Hubei had 1,800 new cases each day and within six days this number reached 4,700, he said. “And then, on February 7, the number of new infections started to drop linearly and did not stop. A week later, the same happened with the number of the deaths. This dramatic change in the curve marked the median point and enabled better prediction of when the pandemic will end. Based on that, I concluded that the situation in all of China will improve within two weeks. And, indeed, now there are very few new infection cases.”

 

Levitt compared the situation to bank interest—if on the first day a person receives an interest rate of 30% on their savings, the next day of 29%, and so forth, “you understand that eventually, you will not earn very much.”

 

The messages his friends translated quickly made waves in China and people wanting to make sure he did indeed write the information attributed to him started contacting Levitt. “That is how I knew I needed to continue,” he said. “I could have said, yes, that’s what I said,’ and left it at that.”

 

New numbers were being reported every day by various entities, such as the World Health Organization (WHO). Levitt started sending regular reports to his Chinese friends, and their popularity led to interviews on Chinese television, for example on CNN-equivalent CGTN. Based on the diminishing number of infection cases and deaths, he said, the virus will probably disappear from China by the end of March.

 

Initially, Levitt said, every coronavirus patient in China infected on average 2.2 people a day—spelling exponential growth that can only lead to disaster. “But then it started dropping, and the number of new daily infections is now close to zero.” He compared it to interest rates again: “even if the interest rate keeps dropping, you still make money. The sum you invested does not lessen, it just grows more slowly. When discussing diseases, it frightens people a lot because they keep hearing about new cases every day. But the fact that the infection rate is slowing down means the end of the pandemic is near.”

 

There are several reasons for this, according to Levitt. “In exponential growth models, you assume that new people can be infected every day, because you keep meeting new people. But, if you consider your own social circle, you basically meet the same people every day. You can meet new people on public transportation, for example; but even on the bus, after some time most passengers will either be infected or immune.”

 

Another reason the infection rate has slowed has to do with the physical distance guidelines. “You don’t hug every person you meet on the street now, and you’ll avoid meeting face to face with someone that has a cold, like we did,” Levitt said. “The more you adhere, the more you can keep infection in check. So, under these circumstances, a carrier will only infect 1.5 people every three days and the rate will keep going down.”

 

Quarantine makes a difference, according to Levitt, but there are other factors at work. “We know China was under almost complete quarantine, people only left home to do crucial shopping and avoided contact with others. In Wuhan, which had the highest number of infection cases in the Hubei province, everyone had a chance of getting infected, but only 3% caught it,” he explained. “Even on the Diamond Princess (the virus-stricken cruise ship), the infection rate did not top 20%.” Based on these statistics, Levitt said, he concluded that many people are just naturally immune to the virus.

 

The explosion of cases in Italy is worrying, Levitt said, but he estimates it is a result of a higher percentage of elderly people than in China, France, or Spain. “Furthermore, Italian culture is very warm, and Italians have a very rich social life. For these reasons, it is important to keep people apart and prevent sick people from coming into contact with healthy people.”

 

China did great work and managed to gain complete control of the virus, Levitt said. “Currently, I am most worried about the U.S. It must isolate as many people as possible to buy time for preparations. Otherwise, it can end up in a situation where 20,000 infected people will descend on the nearest hospital at the same time and the healthcare system will collapse.”

 

Israel currently does not have enough cases to provide the data needed to make estimates, Levitt said, but from what he can tell, the Ministry of Health is dealing with the pandemic in a correct, positive way. “The more severe the defensive measures taken, the more they will buy time to prepare for needed treatment and develop a vaccine.”

 

Levitt avoids making global forecasts. In China, he said, the number of new infections will soon reach zero, and South Korea is past the median point and can already see the end. Regarding the rest of the world, it is still hard to tell, he said. “It will end when all those who are sick will only meet people they have already infected. The goal is not to reach the situation the cruise ship experienced.”
 
The Diamond Princess was the worst case scenario, according to Levitt. “If you compare the ship to a country—we are talking 250,000 people crowded into one square kilometer, which is horribly crowded. It is four times the crowding in Hong Kong. It is as if the entire Isaeli population was crammed into 30 square kilometers.” Furthermore, he said, the ship had a central air conditioning and heating system and a communal dining room. “Those are extremely comfortable conditions for the virus and still, only 20% were infected. It is a lot, but pretty similar to the infection rate of the common flu.”

 

As with the flu, most of those dying as a result of coronavirus are over 70 years old, Levitt said. “It is a known fact that the flu mostly kills the elderly—around three-quarters of flu mortalities are people over 65.” To put things in proportion: “there are years when flu is raging, like in the U.S. in 2017, when there were three times the regular number of mortalities. And still, we did not panic. That is my message: you need to think of corona like a severe flu. It is four to eight times as strong as a common flu, and yet, most people will remain healthy and humanity will survive.”

Africa

Sharing the Good News of Salvation

Last week I wrote on “The Answer to Life’s Biggest and Most Important Question!” This week I would like to focus on helping people find the right answer!

Recently, I got a letter from a young Christian man in Africa, in his letter, he was rejoicing over an email he had gotten from GMO’s GodLife.com which offered counsel on helping someone find Jesus Christ as Savior. I read the article that had caused him such excitement and found it to be a potentially helpful tool; I’ve attached it below for your consideration.

Help Someone Find God

The Gospel needs to be shared with people everywhere.

Imagine that you discovered a simple cure for every kind of cancer. Would
you want to share it with everyone? Of course!

Well, humanity is sick with something far worse than cancer: It’s called
sin, and it causes *never-ending death.* But God in His mercy has
provided the cure: His Son, Jesus Christ.

This great news needs to be shared with people everywhere. Jesus’ last
command to His disciples was to share the gospel and help people all over
the world become His followers (Acts 1: 8).

Tell your story

You can start sharing with a friend by simply telling what has happened to
you. John’s Gospel tells how Jesus healed a blind man. The hostile leaders
kept questioning him about Jesus. The man who had regained his sight simply
said, “One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see” (John 9: 25).

So start by sharing your own story. Tell how Jesus has changed you and
forgiven your sins. Your life can show how God changes people.

Tell God’s story

After telling your story, go on to share about the Problem (sin) and the
Solution (Jesus), which are summed up in Romans 6: 23: “The cost of sin is
death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Tell your friend that no one is good enough to make it to Heaven, but that
“all who did receive him [Jesus], who believed in His name, He gave the
right to become children of God” (John 1: 12). And then simply invite your
friend to ask Jesus Christ for salvation and forgiveness.

Do it all in the power of the Spirit

Read the beginning of Acts 1: 8 again: “But you will receive power when the
Holy Spirit has come upon you . . .” Note that we don’t have to rely on our
own power, but on God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, as you read
about in Part 2 of Look to Jesus.

Jesus also taught this when he sent out the disciples, saying, “The Holy
Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say” (Luke
12: 11-12)

Help others look to Jesus

In the power of the Holy Spirit, tell your story, tell God’s story, and
leave the results to God. Not everyone will decide to follow Christ. Our
job is just to share the Good News, and God will take care of the rest.
Share with your friends how they can share about Jesus!

You are the world’s leading authority on your story; may the Holy Spirit bless and guide you as you tell your story! The original article can be found here “Help Someone Find God.”

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | March 9, 2020

A Flu Virus Puzzle!

A Strange Comparison Between Two Different Flu Viruses
 
It is easily observed that reactions to the Coronavirus are producing changes in the way we live our lives today. While there may be one or more good reasons for this, it puzzles me that two different viruses can produce such widely divergent reactions from so many.
 
The “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention” publishes statistics on a regular basis; the following is from their website:
 
COVID-19: (Coronavirus) U.S. at a Glance* Updated March 9, 2020
  • Total cases: 423
  • Total deaths: 19
  • States reporting cases: 35 (includes District of Columbia)

* Data include both confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 reported to CDC or tested at CDC since January 21, 2020, with the exception of testing results for persons repatriated to the United States from Wuhan, China and Japan. State and local public health departments are now testing and publicly reporting their cases. In the event of a discrepancy between CDC cases and cases reported by state and local public health officials, data reported by states should be considered the most up to date.

On the other hand:

A(H1N1)pdm09: U.S. at a Glance*

  • Outpatient ILI and clinical laboratory data remain elevated but decreased for the third week in a row.
  • Nationally, influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses are now the most commonly reported influenza viruses this season. Previously, influenza B/Victoria viruses predominated nationally.
  • Overall, hospitalization rates remain similar to this time during recent seasons, but rates among school aged children and young adults are higher at this time than in recent seasons and rates among children 0-4 years old are now the highest CDC has on record at this point in the season, surpassing rates reported during the second wave of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic.
  • Pneumonia and influenza mortality has been low, but 136 influenza-associated deaths in children have been reported so far this season. This number is higher for the same time period than in every season since reporting began in 2004-05, except for the 2009 pandemic.
  • CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 34 million flu illnesses, 350,000 hospitalizations and 20,000 deaths from flu.
  • Antiviral medications are an important adjunct to flu vaccine in the control of influenza. Almost all (>99%) of the influenza viruses tested this season are susceptible to the four FDA-approved influenza antiviral medications recommended for use in the U.S. this season.

I can’t help bu wonder why COVID-19 is causing such widespread concern, while the more conventional, but much more pervasive and deadly A(H1N1)pdm09 is being essentially ignored. The difference in the published statistics of the two viruses is rather provocative, I would say; 20,000 versus 19 deaths is a rather dramatic difference.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/index.htm

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | March 6, 2020

The Answer to Life’s Biggest and Most Important Question!

Some Interesting Statistics

A recent headline referenced the death of a well-known industrialist who had made his mark on the world; his passage was duly noted and properly mourned by those who knew him. Being theologically inclined, I wondered what decision he had made about Jesus Christ during his mortal life and mused idly on his location after death.

This got me to thinking about mortal death in general; while the death of a few notable individuals is widely publicized, the majority of deaths only affect a small number of individuals. I was reminded of my thoughts in 1985, as I was driven through traffic to my older son’s burial; the world was moving on totally unaware of the death of my son; it was simply one more inconsequential event in the broader pattern of life.

During my life, I have observed the deaths of many famous individuals; it got me to wondering, just how many people have died during my years on this earth. With modern technology, that is not hard to calculate.

Statistically, world-wide, there are some 56,000,000 deaths each year; that times my years of life, 87, would equal 4,872,000,000 deaths so far. Fortunately, for the survival of the species, the birth rate is still greater than the death rate. Over this same period of 87 years, the earth’s population is estimated to have grown at a statistical rate of 128,845,000 births per year for a total of 11,209,515,000 babies born during my lifetime so far.

While these numbers are nothing more than crude, statistical estimates, they provide a rather broad overview of what is going on regarding the earth’s population. If we factor in the Biblical revelations concerning mankind, we are faced with a totally different picture of what is happening.

A Biblical View of Life and Death

One of the most telling facts, revealed in Scripture, is the fact mankind is created in the image of God. In Genesis 1 and 2 it is recorded:

“1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

2:21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;

2:22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.”

The implications of this process of creation are vitally significant to our view of life and death; we are beings who exist in the image of God and share certain characteristics with God; for example, our immaterial part, the part breathed into us by God, will never, ever die. There will never be a point in time, or timeless eternity, that everyone who has ever lived does not exist in some form somewhere.

That process we refer to as death, is nothing more than the vacating of our mortal bodies which were made of the dust of the earth and were never intended to be our permanent dwelling. Paul mentions this in 2 Corinthians 5:1-8

“5 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:

If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.

For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.

Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.

Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:

(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”

What Does All This Mean to Each of Us; What Does it Mean to You?

Regardless of fame or fortune, there is only one question that each of us must resolve conclusively, and that is the question of Jesus Christ’s place in our lives. The ultimate truth of the whole matter of life is what do you think of Jesus Christ? Anyone who receives Jesus Christ as Savior, is born-again by the power of God, the Holy Spirit; has their name placed in the Book of Life and is delivered from eternal judgement in the Lake of Fire.

Those who reject salvation by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, whose names are not found in the Book of Life, face eternal judgment in the Lake of Fire; there are no other alternatives available. In Revelation 20:11-15 it is written:

“11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

I urge all who care to make the only decision in life that counts for all of time and eternity; receive Jesus Christ as your Savior and join God’s eternal family!

With Christ You have Everything!

Without Christ You have Nothing!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | February 28, 2020

87 Years Old and Still Making Surprising Discoveries!

Celebrating my 87th Birthday

Living for 87 years has been quite an adventure for me; I’ve lived far longer than any other male, in my family, for which I have any records. I know my times are in the Lords hands and rejoice in Psalms 139:16 where it is written:

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.

And I join with David when he observes in verse 6:

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too great for me to understand!

At those surpassingly lofty thoughts, I also join with Solomon when he writes in Proverbs 3:5-6:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
    and he will show you which path to take.

I really love the idea of walking by faith and not by sight! The world is filled with strange things I don’t understand; many of which I steadfastly refuse to understand. I apply Thomas Gray’s quote, “Where ignorance is bliss, tis folly to be wise.” There are some things I feel much better off not knowing about!

Now, About the Surprising Discoveries

I’ve commented before on how the changes taking place as I age are sometimes predictable and sometimes surprising to me. The visible signs of ageing are easily observed by anyone who cares enough to look; I have observed older people all my life and seen the effects age has on the individual. What has been impossible to observe are the changes taking place on the inside, in the perceptions and expectations of these older individuals.

When, in past years, I was charged with the job of evaluating the retirement industry as a potential area for investment; I felt sorry for those older individuals who were living in even the finest retirement facilities as I imagined them chafing under the restraints imposed by their ageing bodies. What has finally been revealed to me as I joined the older set was the drastic change that would take place in my perceptions and preferences as the years rolled by.

The Joys of Less

A limited range of activities has become very appealing to me now and I find perfect contentment in a restricted lifestyle. While, by choice, I do keep somewhat busy at things I enjoy, I also find taking time for a little rest is much appreciated.

I never even suspected my thinking would change so much as I aged; this is surely a great blessing from the Lord in my estimation. My mind is keeping pace with my body and it is very gracious of our Lord to arrange that. Each day that passes is seen as a gift from the Lord; I rejoice in the sure knowledge that he has carefully planned each and every one of the days I have left!

We saw a TV special on the oldest driver in Florida; a man, 107, who drives a red Mercedes sports convertible. He’s dating a woman who is only 100 but when you get to that point in your life, what’s seven years? I truly appreciated his positive attitude toward life and hope, by God’s grace, to retain an enthusiasm for the opportunities presented to me by the Lord!

16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | February 24, 2020

The Normal Christian Life – God’s Plan for Your Success!

Discovering the Secret of Living the Christian Life!

You may have heard or said, “Well, I try to be a good Christian,” or “I try to live a good Christian life.” To try is to fail, you can take that to the bank. Ephesians 2:8-9 points out, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” While there is a place for good works as in verse 10 of that chapter, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” A key thought in that verse is we are created in Christ Jesus to do good works; these are the works of Christ through us.

How can that be you may ask? In Galatians 2:20 the reality of our spiritual situation is stated when Paul writes, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Let us modify Ephesians 2:8-9 to apply to the Christian life: “For it is by grace you live the Christian life, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” Do you see the parallel, do you see how that which was commenced by faith must be continued by faith? Trying to live the Christian life would be like trying to save yourself!

In The Nick of Time!

A life-changing development had come just in time; depression and frustration had taken hold of Hudson Taylor before he finally discovered the reality of the exchanged life. Chapter 14 of “The Normal Christian Life” is titled, “The Exchanged Life” and relates the joy Hudson Taylor experienced when he realized he wasn’t supposed to do it himself, it was Christ’s work and Christ wanted to do it in Hudson Taylor.

The staggering reality of Galatians 2:20 finally hit home in his life and by God’s grace and the teaching ministry of God, the Holy Spirit, this monumental truth finally became a part of Hudson Taylor’s life. On his return to Yangchow he exclaimed to a friend, “Oh, Mr. Judd, God has made me a new man! God has made me a new man!” (page 110).

It is a curious thing about human nature, how we want to do things our way rather than follow the instructions; I believe it entirely likely that Hudson Taylor had read the entire New Testament many times but somehow this fundamental truth had escaped him. Although we know we cannot save ourselves, we somehow think we can live the Christian life in our own strength! In Galatians 3:3 Paul warns, “Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?”

The Mystery Revealed

The world changed forever when on Pentecost of AD 33 the Holy Spirit indwelt believers and each Christian human being became a temple of God. A wondrous mystery that had been hidden from the past ages was now revealed; Paul describes this in Colossians 1:25-27, “I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

You will recall the beginning of my last blog where I quoted the opening paragraph from Watchman Nee’s “The Normal Christian Life, “What is the normal Christian life? We do well at the outset to ponder this question. The object of these studies is to show that it is something very different from the life of the aver­age Christian. Indeed a consideration of the written Word of God —of the Sermon on the Mount for example—should lead us to ask whether such a life has ever in fact been lived upon the earth, save only by the Son of God Himself But in that last saving clause lies immediately the answer to our question”

As the book progresses one sees the impact of Hudson Taylor all over the ministry of Watchman Nee; the secret had been successfully passed down to succeeding generations of Chinese Christians. May God, the Holy Spirit, illumine our understanding to the point we can exchange our lives for the life of Christ and make Galatians 2:20 a part of our reality as well!

The Normal Christian Life is the Exchanged Life!

(If at once you don’t succeed, try, try again! I published this last week and was disappointed by the readership; I decided my title didn’t do the subject the justice it most assuredly deserves. I’m republishing the essay with a new title in the hopes it will attract more readership; embracing these principles is life-changing and you can take that to the bank! If you haven’t already embraced the exchanged life, join with Hudson Taylor and countless others and let God make you a new person!)

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