Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | February 8, 2019

Satanism and the Antichrist, concluded

The Antichrist as Benefactor and Deliverer

There is a time coming when God shall remove the true church; every born-again believer will be removed from the face of the earth in the twinkling of an eye. Needless to say, this will cause great chaos all over the world, especially in nations with an extensive Christian population such as the United States. Those left behind will want and need someone to bring order out of chaos and Satan will supply a deliverer described in the Bible as the Antichrist.

Initially, the Antichrist will appear as a charismatic problem solver who will restore order to the world and whose message of comfort will also strike a harmonious chord with those left behind.

After a period of three and one-half years, the Antichrist will be indwelt by Satan and declare himself to be worshiped as God. These events are described in the Book of Revelation and will be a time of severe judgment by God.

The End of the Tribulation

The Bible warns us were these times not cut short, no flesh would survive the judgments on the earth; God, however, limits those coming times to a total period of seven years after which the Lord Jesus Christ returns as King of kings and Lord of lords and brings that time of judgment to an end. All surviving unbelievers are judged and cast into the Lake of Fire; Satan is bound for 1,000 years and all believers, who survive the Tribulation, become the first mortal humans to populate the Millennial Kingdom.

 The Millennial Reign of the Lord Jesus Christ

 At the end of the Tribulation, the Antichrist and the False Prophet are thrown into the Lake of Fire for all eternity and the earth will be restored for the Millennial Kingdom over which the Lord Jesus Christ shall reign. For 1,000 years; the earth will enjoy a perfect environment and a perfect society. I have always found it rather fascinating that mankind’s history begins and ends with perfect environment which is then followed by disobedience or revolt.

Adam disobeys God’s command and is expelled from the Garden of Eden; at the end of the 1,000 years Satan will be released to lead all who have rejected salvation in Jesus Christ in rebellion against the Lord at which time fire will fall from heaven and destroy the armies of Satan. These events have been covered in greater detail in “What’s Going to Happen Next.” a series of essays that cover end-time events.

Perfect environment, ending with dramatic failure clearly demonstrates mankind’s problem is internal, not environmental.

While these events are disturbing, we can know they are all part of God’s will for mankind as God works out all things after the counsel of his own will. In Ephesians 1:11 we read:

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,”

What Should Christians do Now?

A knowledge of what the Lord is planning for the end-times should be a rich source of comfort and blessing for every Christian. As we see the world beginning to shift to a conformity with Bible prophecy, we can know that God’s will is being done, even as we watch. For those who love our Lord and long for his return, this should be a time of rejoicing as we see the words of prophecy being fulfilled around us.

While the Lord does not reveal the exact timing of his return, he does admonish us to look for it, rejoice in the promise of it and exult in the certainty of it. Paul closes 1 Thessalonians with a series of exhortations; I’m particularly fond of the verses in chapter 5, verses 16-22 where it is written:

“16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.”

Wouldn’t you agree that’s much better than worrying?

Next time, “Racism, A Very Successful Satanic Deception!”

Painting, “Stars” Adele Bower©

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | February 1, 2019

Satanism and the Antichrist, part 1

Satanism in the USA

Toying with the idea of Satan and things associated with Satanism has achieved something of a cult status in the United States. In the minds of some, it is a fashionable game to be played with others who share similar interests in the supernatural. The representations of Satan are usually rather garish and fearful; intended to strike fear into the observer.

A fearful notion of Satan is the total opposite of the way Satan really works; historically Satan has appeared as a sympathetic problem solver who just wants to offer helpful suggestions, to help one find an easy answer to problems. It is vital to understand that deception is the tool of choice, not fear.

Satan is Real!

Also, let it be understood, Satan is a real created being, a fallen angel, of great power, who has been responsible for a lot of misery over the course of history. Satan did not start out that way however, originally Satan had a different name, he was called Lucifer and here is his story as described in the Bible.

“You were the seal of perfection,
Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
13 You were in Eden, the garden of God;
Every precious stone was your covering:
The sardius, topaz, and diamond,
Beryl, onyx, and jasper,
Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold.
The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes
Was prepared for you on the day you were created.

14 “You were the anointed cherub who covers;
I established you;
You were on the holy mountain of God;
You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones.
15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created,
Till iniquity was found in you. Ezekiel 28:12b-15

At some point, before the creation of the world, Lucifer aspired to something greater and became obsessed with ambitions to be more than what he was.

12 “How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!
13 For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’
15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol,
To the lowest depths of the Pit.

 Isaiah 14:12-15 NKJV

Lost to Satan

The Bible tells us that at the time of Adam’s disobedience, he died spiritually and the dominion he had been given over the earth was forfeited to Satan; we now live in a world which is under the control of Satan who the Bible describes as “the prince of the power of the air.” Ephesians 2:2

I mention this at the beginning as Lucifer’s five I wills have established a pattern for Satanism that is followed at this moment in the United States. Even a casual look at Satanism in this country will reveal the similarities between the contemporary principles of Satanism and the historic five I wills of Lucifer. If you enter the word, Satanism, into your search engine, you will encounter a massive quantity of references, I found 157,000,000.

Satanism focuses on the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life; it is best left in the trash-bin of history, but should you have any interest in researching Satanic beliefs there is an abundance of information available on the web; I encourage you to keep the five I wills in mind as you read.

Satanism’s Appeal to Man’s Fallen Nature

Satan is the master of deception; his preferred approach is as a solver of problems. He approached Eve in that manner, he approached Jesus in that manner and he still uses the same formula today all over the world. Satan’s lie is he provides easy, quick fixes to all your problems, just trust him, OK?

Satanic influence appears as benevolent, friendly, helpful, kind and helps achieve immediate gratification, the quick fix! The problem is, none of his suggestions really work; they provide a shortcut to destruction. Jim Jones and the Jonestown tragedy serve as a good example of Satanic influence resulting in disaster.

The Bible is clear in declaring all mankind died spiritually in Adam when he disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden. In Romans 5:12 it is written:

12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—”

As a result of Adam’s sin, everyone, born of a human father, is born spiritually dead with an active sin nature; spiritual life can only come by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and the new birth by the power of God, the Holy Spirit. With the new birth comes the ability to quench the power of the sin nature by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Sadly, the sin nature is not removed but is considered to have been crucified with Christ and no longer has total control of the born-again Christian. When there is no unconfessed sin in the Christian’s life the power of the Holy Spirit is released and can lead the Christian.

The unbeliever, spiritually dead and controlled by the sin nature, finds the Satanic message comfortable and appealing; the Satanic deception has a ring of truth to it that strikes a harmonious chord.

Where is the USA?

Nationally there is a movement to remove God, and the Bible from the public arena; as this movement progresses the resulting moral vacuum is being filled by rebellion and anarchy. Many, who have studied the Bible’s end-times portions, have wondered about the clear absence of the United States as a dominant world power during the last days.

While the Bible does not reveal God’s timing for the end-times, it does describe the world situation and the United States is nowhere to be found; I believe we are seeing the reason for that play out before our eyes. The removal of all Christians will severely cripple this nation and subject it to a vicious attack by nations who see it as the enemy. I have written more on this in “What is Coming Next for the Church and Israel.” This is the first of a three-part series on the end-times.

Next time, the Antichrist and the end-time events.

Painting, “Stars” Adele Bower©

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | January 25, 2019

Inner Peace and Joy in Troubled Times

Adele Bower ©

Discord and Controversy

I have found it almost impossible to turn on the national news without finding hostility, anger, and insults. The United States seems to be divided into two hostile camps that are each determined to conquer the enemy; sadly, the enemy, in this case, is one of us, Americans citizens who are so divided in their perception of this country that there seem to be no points of reconciliation.

I’ve watched with increasing sadness as the polarization of our country into two warring factions seems to have accelerated in both speed and intensity. I can remember a time in the Second World War when there was a unity of purpose that seemed to permeate every citizen; there was a war to be won and a clearly identified foe that just happened to not be another American citizen.

Over the intervening years, the identity of the enemy seems to have become much more localized; the enemy has become those who have a different philosophy of what the United States is all about. The problem has definitely been exacerbated by the absence of a unifying moral compass; most specifically, the Bible; even I can remember a time when Biblical morality was respected and used as a general standard for behavior.

Over a hundred years ago a revolution was begun to basically change the way the United States works at the social, moral, financial, and governmental levels. The results of this effort are bearing fruit as we see the factions warring against each other. It has been said that revolutions start with words and end with guns; it appears we are getting ever closer to the guns stage as this revolution begins to mature.

Secular Globalism

I believe the entire problem can be boiled down to two words, “Secular Globalism.” Together they embody the total essence of what is being promoted today by those who would reject God’s plan for mankind. Let us consider the dictionary definitions of these words:

Secular- Denoting attitudes, activities, or other things that have no religious or spiritual basis.

Globalism – The development of social, cultural, technological, or economic networks that transcend national boundaries; globalization.

Today we are witnessing efforts by certain parts of our society to promote both of these philosophies. We see increasing efforts to eliminate both the Bible as a theistic guide and moral standard, and national borders as protection for our identity as a sovereign nation. We hear of the Bible being classified as a “hate book” because of its insistence that belief in Jesus Christ as Savior is the only way to be saved making it much too exclusive and therefore politically incorrect.

The Bible is equally clear on nationalism versus globalism; starting in Genesis 11 we see God working to divide mankind into national groups. The Bible is even clearer on the subject of God and man; God is the supreme creator and man is his creation.

Secular globalism, in all its forms, has a number of fatal flaws. One of those many flaws is the concept of man; to the secular humanist, man is innately neither good nor bad but can be influenced by his environment; therefore, once provided a perfect environment perfect behavior is more likely to follow. While this explanation may be overly simplistic, I believe it summarizes the concepts involved in humanism’s approach to society.

On the other hand, the Bible teaches that man, although created as an innocent being, chose to disobey God and died spiritually leaving a fallen, sinful race that is spiritually dead and inherently sinful. No amount of environmental adjustment can alter that fact; the only remedy is the new birth by receiving Jesus Christ as Savior, (and that, of course, is a statement steeped in political incorrectness)!

Secularism has chosen to ignore this basic fact of reality and is therefore doomed to failure in whatever environmental alternative it may choose to follow! Mankind is a fallen race and only by the new birth in Jesus Christ can that problem be corrected.

As A Christian, How Should We React?

It is all too easy to get caught up in the general angst that is going around as national and world events unfold before our eyes. Secular globalists are becoming much more aggressive as they seek to openly challenge those they see as the enemy. Hardly a day goes by without some sensationalist headline calling our attention to some imagined infraction and in way too many instances imagination is the operative word!

As Christians we simply must choose to see all of this as filtered by Biblical truth; it is vital we let our perceptions of current events by shaped by our faith in God’s revealed word. I remind myself almost daily of God’s plan for governments; how it is God, not man that puts governments in place to accomplish his will for this earth and mankind. Key verses in Daniel 4:17 and Romans 13:1 usually come to my mind first:

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

Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. Romans 13:1

Those verses help me keep my thoughts orderly and Biblical; I have to focus on them regularly if I’m to maintain a proper Biblical perspective on life. Two other verses on which I greatly depend are found in Proverbs 3:5-6 where it is written:

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. Proverbs 3:5-6

I am eternally grateful I am not required to understand; the list of things I don’t understand grows every day but, praise God, I’m not required by God to understand them. Years of experience have shown me the more I learn, the more I realize I don’t understand. While we are not required to understand, we are required to rejoice in the one thing that changes not, in our beloved Lord Jesus Christ.

By God’s grace, we have an ever-sufficient reason to rejoice every day of our lives; I love the way Paul summarizes this blessed privilege in Philippians 4:4-9:

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.

May God’s Will be Done!

Next time we will consider “Satanism and the Antichrist.”

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | January 14, 2019

The “Bird Box” Challenge

https://www.netflix.com/title/80196789 ©

A New Netflix Cable Movie has Captured the Attention of Many!

As a Netflix subscriber, I was informed of this new cable movie so when it became available, I watched it on TV. It was interesting in its originality as this particular story-line had not previously surfaced in my experience; I enjoy science fiction so this was rather consistent with my normal viewing habits.

In the story, the world is suddenly engulfed by a strange phenomenon that causes people outside who see something, that is invisible to others, to respond in a dangerously self-destructive manner including suicide. The only defense seems to be avoiding seeing this invisible force, when outside, by the use of blindfolds.

The story follows a character named Malorie, played by Sandra Bullock, who is trying to escape danger with two young children by traveling to a place of refuge. The challenge is the necessity of traveling blindfolded; all three of them must remain blindfolded when they are outside. Needless to say, this produces some very dangerous moments as they must travel by car, foot, and boat to the promised safe haven.

I have mentioned before that everything in my life will have theological ramifications and applications and this movie was no exception to the rule. As I watched it, I started to see the relationship the movie had to real life, the lives each of us live today. I started to see parallels that could apply to the Christian life in a world ruled by Satan and the Satanic world system that has been established. I have written more on this in “The Painted Veil That Hides Reality” and “What is Reality?”

The Response to the Movie, “The Bird Box Challenge”

Recentlly I saw a report on the news of a wreck caused by a teen-aged girl who was trying to duplicate driving a car without seeing the outside; previously I have heard and seen reports of others who were trying to perform routine daily tasks blindfolded. A quick search will produce many stories of people trying to duplicate the “Bird Box” blindfold experience. For some reason this movie has captured the imagination of many.

Whereas I have no interest in blindfolding myself I have a deep interest in the spiritual parallels I see between the movie and the individual lives each of us must live.

As Christians, we are visitors who live in a world that is not our home; we are faced with a lifestyle that is alien and inhospitable to the principles we embrace and, on top of everything else, we are immersed in forces of evil that would entice us to abandon the principles we hold dear.

Fortunately, our citizenship in our world is non-negotiable, it is sustained by the power of our omnipotent creator and not by the weakness of our will. While we can seriously compromise our experience in this life, we cannot compromise our position as citizens of our world; it has been secured by the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ!

The Bird Box Challenge for Christians

The Bible makes it clear, we are to live our lives based on believing and not on seeing. In 2 Corinthians 5:7 it is written: For we live by believing and not by seeing.” While this does not mean we need to live with blindfolds on it does mean we must be highly selective before we let the world convince us of anything; buying into the message of the world can only lead to danger if one is not careful.

The Bible provides us guidance in that regard; in Philippians 4:4-9 we are given most excellent advice:

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.”

Meeting Your Challenge

We are all challenged by the age-old trio; the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Eve fell victim to this trio and it has worked successfully ever since. In Genesis 3:6 it is written:

The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it.

You will be tempted by the same trio but by God’s grace you will not yield to the temptation; the secret is to follow God’s advice to you and “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.”

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | January 4, 2019

My New Year’s Resolution for 2019 and Beyond

I have not made a New Year’s Resolution for a very long time!

A New Year’s Resolution is a promise to yourself and like promises and pie crusts, they are easily made and easily broken, to paraphrase Jonathan Swift. This year will be different, I promise!

I have thought about this for several days now, and have decided to make a “commitment” to my 2019 New Year’s Resolution to really put it into practice every day for not just 2019, but for the rest of my life; it’s that important to me!

What I desire is to start every day with one thought and let that thought lay a foundation for, and shape the balance of the day; I can summarize that thought in these words;

I am a created being who exists by and for the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is my heartfelt desire to let this thought serve as the premise on which I build my life as long as I shall live (which just happens to be forever)!

15 Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.
    He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation,
16 for through him God created everything
    in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see
    and the things we can’t see—
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
    Everything was created through him and for him.
17 He existed before anything else,
    and he holds all creation together. Colossians 1:15-17

These verses in Colossians are my delight and my joy; I exult in the thought of them!

 

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | December 28, 2018

A New Year, a New Opportunity

Tuesday is January 1, 2019 and a New Year stretches out before us!

Saying 2019 seems strange but not so strange as saying 2020, 2020 is the distant future when spaceships will travel between distant planets and all sorts of technological wonders will be commonplace; at least that was the theme when I was a boy and enjoyed reading science fiction.

I discovered Science Fiction when I was a young boy during World War ll, collecting waste paper for the war effort. Our scout troop would collect waste paper door-to-door and occasionally I would come across a discarded Science Fiction pulp magazine whose lurid covers of spaceships and monsters triggered my imagination so I started collecting them. (My wife reminds me that when we got married all of my worldly possessions consisted of  a small bag of clothes and a stack of Science Fiction pulp magazines.)

They were all about the strange world we would experience in the distant future, say 2019 or 2020 for example; remember this was in the 1942 era and 2019/2020 was an unbelievably long time away; there was no telling what might happen by that time. Think, for example, about the world in 2100; what kind of world will there be in that distant future time? The fact is some of the people you know, should the Lord tarry, will be living in 2100 and that is kind of sobering, don’t you agree?

1984

That is the situation we faced in 1949, when I was 16; on June 8th, George Orwell published a Science Fiction book, named, “Nineteen Eighty-Four.” In this book, the author describes a future dystopian world where no one is free of intense supervision and control. The book created quite a stir when it came out and was the focus of much discussion by Science Fiction fans.

Fortunately, 1984 came and passed into history without the terrible things described in the book becoming the norm for most people. The book is frequently referenced as contemporary events mirror, to some degree, the events described in the book.

The word, “Orwellian” has passed into the English language as a word to describe totalitarianism; a typical dictionary definition might be as follows:

Or·well·i·an (ôr-wĕlēən)

adj.Of, relating to, or evocative of the works of George Orwell, especially the satirical novel 1984, which depicts a futuristic totalitarian state.

 

By God’s grace, we have not experienced the world of 1984 but many observers believe we are slowly moving in that direction. I suspect the world of the Antichrist will have many of the characteristics of that world.

The Age of Grace is Extended Once Again

Before Christmas I wrote “Rejoice in the Advantages You’ve Been Given” and covered several of the special privileges we have living in this age of grace. Only God knows when this age will end but end it will in an extraordinarily dramatic way, the Rapture of the Church. Whether it will end in 2019 or many years later is in the hands of Almighty God.

As Christians we are blessed with the opportunity to share the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to help those who have been born again to grow in their faith and knowledge of the Lord. There is only one message that is truly suitable and appropriate for this age of grace and that is:

Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved!

There is only one sin that will keep the unbeliever out of heaven and that is rejection of Christ as Savior; I have written more on that in “Is There One Unforgivable Sin?” 

I encourage you to avail yourselves of the opportunity we have been given to rejoice in the Lord and serve as a witness to his glory, majesty, and honor.

May your New Year be filled with joy in the Lord and the peace which passes understanding!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | December 21, 2018

Christmas, When the Word was Made Flesh

The Happiest Season of the Year

Although no one really knows exactly when Christ, the Messiah, was born, Christian’s traditionally celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ on December 25th of each year. Contemporary scholarship seems to lean toward a winter birth in either December or January of the winter of 5/4 BC, The events described by the authors of the Gospels which were taking place at the time of the Lord’s birth would suggest such an approximate date for the First Advent of our Lord.

While we do not know, with any degree of certainty, when the Lord was born, we can know with absolute certainty that he was, in fact, born and that alone is a sufficient reason for rejoicing.

The enormous significance of 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. We have even witnessed an effort on the part of some to remove Christ and Christmas from the winter “Holiday Season” and to secularize the season so as not to offend those who prefer to reject the message of Christ and Christmas; fortunately, that trend is losing ground.

For those of us who love the Lord Jesus Christ, this season is a beautiful reminder of our Lord and the wonder of His birth.

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 on breaking that silence in the most dramatic way possible; God the Son, the living Word, would be born of a virgin by the power of God, the Holy Spirit, 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 spoken word would be replaced by the living Word of God who 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 descended from King David by two different lines of descent, Mary through David’s son Nathan, and Joseph through David’s son Solomon, any association with royalty had faded generations before. His mother, Mary, was a peasant girl and the young man who was to become her 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.

Christmas Today

While admittedly under attack, 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.

Christmas is a happy time and I’m thankful it is here again!

Merry Christmas and a Blessed, Happy New Year

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | December 17, 2018

Rejoice in the Advantages You’ve Been Given!

Christians are Richly Blessed by the Simple Fact of Living in this Age of Grace

All of us living today have been given an amazing gift; the opportunity to become a part of God’s eternal family by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. This is truly the gift that keeps on giving as the blessings offered to those who receive Christ as Savior have eternal benefits that are glorious beyond description.

While Christians are the beneficiaries of God’s amazing grace, there is a complication; we must live out our physical lives on a spiritual battlefield in complete dependence on the blessings we have received. I have written more on this in “To the Soldiers in the Spiritual War.”

One Objective

All of us are challenged by the obstacles we face in seeing ourselves and our life on earth from a Biblical perspective. We live out our lives on a spiritual battlefield, surrounded by a Satanic world system which demands our attention and seeks to convince us the physical here and now is all we’ll ever have and once it’s gone it’s all over. From the beginning mankind has been fatally tempted by the world, the flesh, and the devil and nothing about that has changed since the Garden of Eden.

To me, it is ironic the only visible part of each of us is the part of us that was not redeemed at the point of salvation. Our spiritual selves, the part of us made in the image of God, has been restored by the new birth; our bodies, of this earth, our tents, which still fall under the Adamic curse, are dying, can have no part in our heavenly future and must be totally replaced.

The Real Story of You

It is only in the Bible we find the truth about who we are and what is going on, a still small voice whispering in our minds in the midst of the thunder and roar of contemporary society; our convictions about reality can only come by faith!

It is easy to overlook Paul’s admonition concerning life; “For we live by believing and not by seeing. 2 Corinthians 5:7 Does that perspective characterize your life too?

The last five essays on the reality of you have had only one underlying objective and that is to focus your attention on the real story of you! You were created in the image of God and are primarily a spirit being confined, for the moment, to a physical body of the earth. There is only one way for you to leave your mortal body and that is by the death of that body, or, in the case of the terminal generation, the transformation of that body by the power of God at the time of the Rapture.

God, the Holy Spirit was joined with your spirit, at the time you were born again into your divine, eternal family, to serve as a down payment on your future inheritance and will never, ever leave you. The Bible tells us it was not intended that we should exist as spirits without bodies and that a heavenly body will be prepared for us that will be suitable for our heavenly, eternal existence.

Christians are Special to God

By God’s undeserved and unearned grace, Christians have been granted special privileges in God’s eternity. Salvation has always been through the work of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ.

In the Old Testament, saints were saved as they looked ahead to the promise of the Messiah; by faith their spirits were restored to life as witnessed by the eloquent testimony of Job in Job 19:25-27 where it is written:

25 “But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,
    and he will stand upon the earth at last.
26 And after my body has decayed,
    yet in my body I will see God!
27 I will see him for myself.
    Yes, I will see him with my own eyes.
    I am overwhelmed at the thought!”

If that thought doesn’t overwhelm you too then you’re not letting its full significance penetrate to the depths of your being! Christians are saved as they look back to the finished work of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, at his First Advent just as Job was saved by looking ahead to it even though he had fewer details.

The Christian Advantage

There are additional elements, enjoyed by Christians when they are born again, that were missing from the salvation Old Testament saints received, the Old Testament saints were not indwelt by the Holy Spirit nor were they baptized into the body of Christ. While the Old Testament saints could be blessed with the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives, the Holy Spirit could be removed from them for disobedience.

Christians, on the other hand, are eternally indwelt by the Holy Spirit and joined, by the baptism of the Holy Spirit, into the body of Christ. This is a great gift, unique to those who are made a part of Christ’s true church, and will stop when the church is completed and removed from the earth at the Rapture.

A Magnificent Blessing that will Never End

As Christians, living in this age of grace, we are blessed beyond our ability to even imagine. The opportunity given to mankind during this age has implications and repercussions that will last eternally; this door of opportunity is open to all who will receive the free gift of salvation in Jesus Christ.

As this time of remembrance approaches let us joyfully proclaim the wondrous grace of the Lord Jesus Christ who has made all this possible.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | December 12, 2018

Your Spiritual Resurrection

You Have Been Spiritually Resurrected!

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

“resurrection

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

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

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

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

Your Resurrection Experience, Past and Future

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

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

An Interesting Parallel

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | December 10, 2018

You Were Dead on Arrival

Do You Realize You Were Born Dead?

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

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

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

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

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

You Died Spiritually in the Garden of Eden

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

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

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

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

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

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

Two Kinds of Humans

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

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

The New Birth

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

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

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

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