Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | June 7, 2019

The Seven Signs of Christ’s Soon Return.

God’s Timeline

There are many indications in the Bible that God’s timeline is already fixed and certain; the events described in the Bible for the end times will play out exactly as God has prophesied. As Christians we can take heart as we observe certain key events taking place around the world and we can know, without any doubt, that the minutes left are ticking away and each day brings us closer to the Lord’s return.

I am a subscriber to “The Word on Politics” by Andy Woods. I just got this recent series of video messages on Christ’s return and thought you might find it a blessing as I have; it will take some time to watch it all but I believe it will be time well spent!

The seven signs that will be studied are:

Israel, International Politics, Economics, Technology, Spirituality, Society, Understanding Bible Prophecy.

Dr. Andy Woods

“Andy Woods became a Christian at age 16. Andy graduated with High Honors earning two Baccalaureate Degrees in Business Administration and Political Science (University of Redlands, CA.), and obtained a Juris Doctorate (Whittier Law School, CA), practiced law, taught Business and Law and related courses (Citrus Community College, CA) and served as Interim Pastor of Rivera First Baptist Church in Pico Rivera, CA (1996-1998).

In 1998, Andy began taking courses at Chafer and Talbot Theological Seminaries. He earned a Master of Theology degree, with High Honors (2002), and a Doctor of Philosophy in Bible Exposition (2009) at Dallas Theological Seminary. In 2005 and 2009, Andy received the Donald K. Campbell Award for Excellence in Bible Exposition, at Dallas Theological Seminary.

Andy is currently the senior pastor of Sugar Land Bible Church and a full professor at the College of Biblical Studies in Houston where he teaches Bible and theology. In addition, Andy’s work can be found in many theological journals and Christian books and Andy has spoken on a variety of topics at Christian conferences.

Andy, along with his wife Anne and daughter Sarah, live in Houston, Texas.”

The Link Immediately Below Will Take you to the Website!

The Seven Signs of Christ’s Soon Return.
by Andy Woods

“It has been a while since I have posted on “The Word on Politics” Blog. Yet, our world continues to change dramatically before our very eyes. Clearly, the stage is being set for our Lord’s soon return. Consequently, on our “Pastors’ Point of View” Program we began a series of studies entitled “The Seven Signs […]”

In Matthew 16 the Lord Jesus Christ condemns the Pharisees and Sadducee’s for their inability to “discern the signs of the times” at the time of his First Advent; how much greater must be the condemnation for failure to discern the signs of the times at his Second Advent. These video studies by Dr. Woods can provide a rich resource for anyone who has a deeper interest in Bible prophecy and the Lord’s return.

 

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | May 28, 2019

What has Happened, Why are Things the Way They are?

A Casual Observation of Life Leaves Many Unanswered Questions!

Bloodshed, discord, factionalism, and assorted dis-functionalism seem to dominate the media today at all levels. My wife and I are to the point now we generally don’t watch the news; it is just too disgusting to ruin your day with the carnage being served up as news. One might wonder what is happening today to generate such pandemonium; why are things in such a mess?

Is there any source where comfort and solace can be found; is there any explanation for what is going on that makes some sense? The answer to both those questions is yes, there is a source of comfort and solace which offers valid explanations for what is happening today, the Holy Bible!

When studying any subject, I find it helpful to start with the big picture and then work my way down to the details; that is what I shall do in this case as well. The major underlying principle we must consider is who is in charge of the world today? In the beginning it was given to Adam and his descendants as explained in Genesis 1:26-28 where it is written:

“26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

The Root Cause of the Problem

Very sadly, Adam disobeyed God and everything was changed; dominion was transferred to Satan and he became the “Prince of the power of the air” and given dominion over all the earth. This is referenced in Ephesians 2:1-3 where it is written:

“2 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.”

Do you fully appreciate the gravity of those verses? The descendants of Adam are all sons of disobedience and children of wrath; we know from other parts of the Bible they are spiritually dead and controlled by a fallen, sin nature. Under such circumstances, is it reasonable to expect anything else from fallen mankind? Does not “bloodshed, discord, factionalism, and assorted dis-functionalism” perfectly fit in with the nature of Adam’s descendants?

Are they not all symptoms of the deeper problem, the lack of spiritual life Paul mentions in verse 1; “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,” Every individual who has not been born-again by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior is, in fact, dead in trespasses and sins!

To try and address the symptoms without first addressing the underlying problem is truly an exercise in futility; there is no hope without the new birth, those who are spiritually dead must be born-again if the problem is ever to be corrected and this must be done on an individual basis.

The Curious Differences in Timing

I have recently been intrigued by the timing of certain key events in the history of mankind. Spiritual death occurred to all mankind at the very moment Adam disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden. Every human being that would eventually be born of a human father died there with Adam in the Garden of Eden. Physical death occurred later, on an individual basis as God had ordained for each life.

After the protective water vapor canopy was removed at the flood, the lifespan of individuals dropped dramatically; today it is unusual for individuals to live more than 100 years and many die much earlier. At 86, I am the oldest living member of my immediate family and only the Lord knows how many more years he has allocated to me.

Spiritual death happened to all of humanity it one time, physical death happens to each of us individually. The new birth, which I shall refer to as spiritual resurrection, happens to all on an individual basis while our physical resurrection will be a group affair. Each of us, when we received Christ as Savior, were made spiritually alive while our mortal bodies remained under the Adamic curse.

At a time, appointed by God, our mortal bodies will die and our spirits will rejoin the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul speaks to this 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.”

Spiritually then, we are dealt with on an individual basis while physically we will be dealt with as a group; just the opposite of our Genesis experience. Physical resurrection occurs in four stages according to God’s plan. The first stage has already happened with the physical resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The second stage is yet future and will occur at the rapture of the church which is the next prophetic event as described in the Bible. The third stage will be the physical resurrection of the Old Testament and deceased Tribulation saints at the Second Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The fourth and final stage will be the physical resurrection of the unsaved, all those whose names are not written in the Lambs Book of Life, to eternal damnation in the Lake of Fire.

This Spiritual Battlefield Called Earth

Is it not foolish to wonder why, “Bloodshed, discord, factionalism, and assorted dis-functionalism seem to dominate the media today at all levels.”? Should we not expect this from a world under the control of Satan which has served as a spiritual battlefield for thousands of years?

As Christians we are given a choice as described in Philippians 4:4-9 where it is written:

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.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Rejoice in the Lord always and may the God of peace be with each of you!

 

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | May 20, 2019

Your Daily Quality of Life

How Much of Each Day are You Filled with and Controlled by God, the Holy Spirit?

As Christian men and women, we have been given a wonderful opportunity; the opportunity to live a life led by God, the Holy Spirit! Such a wonderful promise from God should be eagerly incorporated into the life of every Christian at all times. Why is it then so many Christians seem to fall short of that joyful promise? Why is there so much misery and doubt in the lives of Christian men and women all over the world?

Living a Spirit led life is the complete antithesis of Satan’s plans for individuals living on this world at this particular point in time. Anything possible for Satan will be used to disable the Christian as they seek to live a life led by God, the Holy Spirit.

Fortunately for Christians, we have the resources to effectively battle Satanic attacks when we avail ourselves of the armor God has provided to his children. In Ephesians 6:10-17 it is written:

“10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”

Let us think, for a moment, on one of the challenges we face as Christians.

Personal Sin and the Challenge it Presents to Each of Us.

Hardly a day goes by that I don’t get letters from Christians expressing deep concerns about their own personal sins. There seems to be a feeling of shocked surprise that sin is still such a pervasive problem in their lives. After all, they have received Christ as their Savior and been born-again; why then should the battle with sin continue at such an intense level?

I try and help them understand the scope of the problems we face as Christians, living in Satan’s world in the midst of a spiritual battle that has been going on for thousands of years. Our situation has been compromised because we came into this world spiritually dead and infected by a sin nature. When we were born-again, we were made spiritually alive and our old sin nature was reckoned as crucified with Christ; although we are no longer under any obligation to serve it; the problem comes in as we consider our sin nature still inhabits our bodies and unconfessed sin releases the sin nature to torment us.

This means we not only have an enemy without but one within as well; our only sure defense is God, the Holy Spirit who came into us eternally when we received Christ as Savior. When we confess our sins to God, God forgives us our sins and cleanses us of all unrighteousness as well. The simple act of confession of sin to God restores the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives and quenches the power of our sin nature.

It is at this point we can manifest the fruit of the Holy Spirit as described in Galatians 5:22-25 where it is written:

“22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

The Pervasive Nature of Sin

In the Book of Romans, chapter 14, verse 23b we are told: “for whatever is not from faith is sin.” Just let that sink in for a moment; I understand it to say that any thought or deed that is not based on faith in God is sin. Any jealous or fearful thought, any word or deed not based on Biblical faith in God is sin. Think for a moment on your own life, how often do you think or react based on the world and not on Biblical faith in God?

In each of those instances you have sinned against God and quenched the power of God, the Holy Spirit in your life. When the Holy Spirit is quenched in your life then your sin nature is freed to take control and you manifest those things which characterize your sin nature as described in Galatians 5:19-21a where it is written:

“19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like”

For reasons known only to God, it pleased God to leave the sin nature in the born-again Christian. While reckoned as crucified with Christ and no longer in control of the Christian; unconfessed sin does enable it to do its dirty work in the life of a Christian. This demands the Christian live a life dependent on God, the Holy Spirit; a life of total faith in God as the only path to success in the Christian life.

In his grace and mercy, God has provided a quick, simple solution to personal sin which is described in 1 John 1:8-10 where it is written:

“8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”

The Bible makes one point very clear, Christ died for the sins of the world and the penalty for all those sins has been paid in full; I have written more on this in “Is There One Unforgivable Sin?”

Since the penalty of sin has once and for all been paid by the death of Christ; there remains only one consideration for the Christian as regards personal sin and that is quality of life.

God wants you to enjoy your life on this earth at a spiritual level and has made it possible by confession of sin and the Spirit led life. Don’t waste your life worrying about things you shouldn’t, “cast your burdens on the Lord and he will sustain you.”

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | May 13, 2019

Some Bible Mysteries Concluded

The Millennium

During the 1,000-year reign of the Lord Jesus Christ, the world population will increase prodigiously; perfect environment and long life will encourage the expansion of humanity. Although all who enter the Millennium will be saved, many who are born during those 1,000 years will not accept the Lord as Savior.

For reasons known only to God, Satan will be released from the abyss at the end of the 1,000 years. This event is described in Revelation 20:7-10 where it is written:

Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. 10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

God’s history with mankind begins and ends with perfect environment and in both cases, ends with a serious judgment. In the Garden of Eden, Adam choose to disobey the one command he had been given which resulted in his spiritual death and expulsion from the Garden of Eden. During the Millennial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ, many will choose to reject Christ as Savior and when Satan is released from his prison, will follow Satan who leads them to certain death.

Environmental perfection is not now and has never been the answer to man’s problems; the only answer is the new birth by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior!

The Mystery of the Nations

While we see a reference to “the nations” in Revelation 20:7, these nations are deceived, follow Satan and are destroyed by God. In Revelation 21:24-26 we are told of other nations who will inhabit the “new heaven and the new earth.”

22 But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. 24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. 25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). 26 And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it.

These are nations who have collectively received Christ as Savior, been brought into the eternal new heaven and earth, and bring their glory and honor into the New Jerusalem. It would seem that some nations and their kings will have been preserved through all of the judgments at the end of the Millennium and placed on the new earth.

I’m of the opinion that these mortal believers will be the ones to populate the new heavens and earth. In Revelation 22:1-2 it is written:

“22 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”

The nature of the healing required is not revealed here, we may refer to an earlier reference to the “tree of life” in Genesis 3:22-24 we read:

“22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. 24 So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.”

In Genesis man was driven out of the Garden lest he, in his fallen state, should eat of the tree of life and live forever; in Revelation the tree of life is available to the nations and would provide eternal life to mortals living in the new heaven and earth. Those resurrected into heavenly bodies do not appear to need anything else, like the tree of life, to live forever.

In 2 Corinthians 5:1 we are told:

“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.”

I am completely convinced the wonders and glories of the eternal state shall completely surpass our abilities to even imagine. As a science fiction fan, I have read of incredible universes with populations spreading out to the stars above; if the mind of man can imagine such wonders; how much greater then the reality planned by God for the new heaven and earth!

There is only one step to be taken to prepare for the new heaven and the new earth; believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | May 6, 2019

Some Bible Mysteries

A Gap for Israel Temporarily Filled by the Church

Recently we observed the entrance of the Lord Jesus Christ into Jerusalem with our observance of Palm Sunday followed by an observance of the crucifixion and resurrection of the Lord on the following Good Friday and Easter Sunday. These events climaxed our Lord’s First Advent and were precise fulfillment’s of Biblical prophecy and represented a significant change in God’s dealing with mankind.

The prophet Daniel revealed a remarkable change that would come to Israel as their third and last period of 490 years, given to them by God, was interrupted by a mysterious gap in time known as the Church Age, the Age of Grace. This is where we are now, at year 1,986 and counting; only God knows how long this age will continue.

Israel was temporarily set aside on March 30, 33A.D. at the time of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, while the Church Age did not commence until Pentecost, May 25, 33 A.D. This leaves an unspecified gap of 56 days between the two prophetic eras. There had been an estimated gap of 161 years between the end of the second period of 490 years, which ended with the Babylonian captivity, and the beginning of the final period of 490 years which had prophetically been divided into two parts; a longer period of 483 years, which closed on March 30, 33A.D. and a shorter period of 7 years which is yet future and known as the Tribulation.

The Coming End of the Church Age

At a time of God’s choosing, the church will be called home by an event known as the rapture of the church thereby closing the Church Age. I suspect there will be another gap between the end of the Church Age, and the resumption of Israel’s last 7 years. There are a number of prophetic events awaiting fulfillment which I believe will be fulfilled in a gap between the end of the Church Age and the beginning of Israel’s last 7 years. I have written more on that in a four-part series that starts with “What’s Going to Happen Next, Part 1”

In part 2 of that series I concluded there is likely a gap of at least 5 years between the end of the Church Age and the recommencement of the last 7 years given to Israel to account for all the prophetic events still to be fulfilled.

The Seven Years of Tribulation for Israel

The last 7 years given to Israel, which commence with the signing of the agreement with the Antichrist, will be a time of severe testing for Israel and the entire world; Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 24:22:

22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.

The seven years of the Tribulation are remarkably well documented in the Bible and are divided into two 3 1/2 year periods of 1,260 days each. Keep in mind the prophetic year in the Bible is composed of 30 day months and 360 day years. Three and one-half years would equal 1,260 days.

This time of testing will end with the Second Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ who returns as King of kings and Lord of lords and brings this terrible time of judgment to a close.

The Gap at the End of the Tribulation

In Daniel 12:11-12 it is written:

11 “And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. 12 Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.

We read of an additional 30 days, followed by another addition of 45 days with blessings promised to those who wait for the total one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days. The Bible never explains what these days are for, but there has been a great deal of speculation. One can easily imagine the chaos that will have taken place during the “Great Tribulation” the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation.

The next phase will be the beginning of the Millennium and perfect environment; it is easy to believe that the Lord Jesus Christ will be busy preparing the earth for his 1,000 year reign. I speculate the earth will be experiencing a massive overhaul to restore it to environmental perfection.

Only those who have received Christ as Savior will enter the Millennial Kingdom; those mortal souls who survived the Tribulation but rejected the Lord will have been cast into the Lake of Fire along with the False Prophet and the Antichrist.

In Revelation 20:1-3 we read:

20 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.

By the time this phase of God’s judgment is over, those rejecting Christ will be disposed of into the Lake of Fire excepting Satan who is cast into the “bottomless pit” for 1,000 years. After the second battle of Gog and Magog, Satan will join them in the Lake of Fire along with all those who have rejected Jesus Christ as Savior during the Millennium.

Next time we will conclude with the Millennium and the New Heaven and Earth.

 

 

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | April 29, 2019

What Does Your Desk Look Like?

I received a blog from someone from whom I have a subscription. The blog asked the question “What does your desk look like” so this triggered a line of thought that resulted in the following photo.

My “Man Cave.”

This is a partial view of the room which I’ve converted to my office. I spend a lot of time here writing my blogs and working with Global Media Outreach. It has become the control center for the wired and wireless systems which serve our home. Needless to say I usually spend several hours each day at this location and use my computer for all of our family business as well as my Christian ministry.

Being of a rather frugal nature, all of the furniture in the photo, including the chair, came with assembly required; needless to say the most complicated was the u-shaped workstation which serves as my desk.

I’m truly thankful modern technology is permitting me to have a ministry from my office; I’m 86 and any sort of traveling requires a lot more of me than it used too.

From time to time I make an effort to clean up my workspace and that can last, occasionally, for as long as a month then things return to their normal cluttered condition. I like to think if only I had another file cabinet I could find somewhere to put all the stuff that’s too important to throw away.

I derive some comfort when I see a photograph of Einstein’s desk and hope that’s a clue to something.

While I don’t have a chalkboard filled with mathematical symbols I do have an abundance of electronics and wiring running all over the place. I’m reminded of a quote by Laurence J. Peter:

“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”

I suppose those of us with cluttered desks must seek, as best we can, to understand our situation and hopefully make peace with it. I really do try, occasionally, to get my desk cleaned up but that usually lasts for only a short amount of time before the clutter returns; as clutter seems to be the norm for my desk I suppose it would be best to just accept that fact and move on.

One Success for Order

After years of urging by my wife, I finally got our garage cleaned up of the 44 years of debris which had accumulated. Now it looks orderly with a place for everything and everything being in its place. I have to admit I do have a good feeling about that! We’re working on the rest of the house, room by room and may eventually get to my desk but that’s a scary thought, I won’t be able to find anything!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | April 18, 2019

Good Friday and Easter Sunday, the Beginning of the End

The End of What?

Tomorrow is the day we observe Good Friday and while that is the day we remember the crucifixion, death and burial of our Lord Jesus Christ; Easter Sunday is the occasion we celebrate His resurrection from the dead. A historic change in man’s relationship to God had occurred; by God’s grace the barrier between God and man that had been created by Adam’s deliberate sin of disobedience had been removed by the death of our Lord, the Second Adam from above.

You may recall in Genesis 2:15-17

“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.”

Unfortunately Adam choose to disobey God and when he ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil he, and all of humanity present and future died in Adam. As I’ve observed before, that means that you and I and every human born of a human father are born spiritually dead. It is the sin of Adam that created the barrier between God and man and the primary reason the Lord Jesus Christ suffered death as our kinsman-redeemer.

The Tearing of the Curtain on Good Friday

God gave us a symbol of the removal of this barrier when, at the time of the crucifixion, the curtain between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies in Herod’s temple was torn from the top to the bottom; signifying that access to God was now open to mankind through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

By his death and resurrection, the Lord Jesus Christ had paid the penalty for all human sin for all time; sin had been removed as a barrier between God and man. As hard as it may be to imagine, personal sin is no longer the issue; the only remaining issue requiring resolution is receiving the forgiveness of God by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and God.

The Good News

Because of the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ, the end had come for sin as a barrier between God and man. This is effectively expressed in 1 John 2:1-2 where it is written:

My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.”

I have written more on this in Is There One Unforgivable Sin?

The church can now proclaim a message of hope, a message of reconciliation and good news for a suffering humanity:

BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AND YOU WILL BE SAVED!

(First published April 3, 2015, revised and updated)

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | April 11, 2019

Palm Sunday 2019 and its Enormous Significance!

April 14th, 2019 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 (I encourage you to follow this link!)

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 2019 we are in year 5779 according to the Jewish calendar and the 10th of Nisan will be Monday, April 15th.)

After the passing of that day Israel had been set aside for an undetermined number of years. Today we are at year 1,986 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 | April 5, 2019

Rejoicing Each and Every Day

What Does God Require of You?

A message I always get from the Old Testament is the amazing patience of God. I’m particularly fond of the advice given to Israel in Micah 6:8 where it is written:

No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good,
    and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
    and to walk humbly with your God.

To do what is right, to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God is something we can all do from the greatest to the least of us. As born-again Christians let us think more on what it is the Lord requires of us.

The vast majority of us are what might be called, “ordinary Christian men and women.” We will not be listed in the history books nor have statues erected in our honor but we will have made the most important decision anyone can make in this mortal life; we will have received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and joined the ranks of God’s elect and members of God’s royal family!

While the reality of that decision is eternal and unalterable, we are left with the responsibility of living out the balance of our mortal lives in an alien and hostile environment. I have written more on that in “To the Soldiers in the Spiritual War.” This is part 1 in a three part series which discusses our situation as soldiers of the Lord, living out our lives on a spiritual battlefield.

The question I would like to consider now is the impact of our spiritual situation on our quality of life. What does the Bible tells us about how we should face life and deal with the reality of the spiritual war which surrounds us?

What Does the Bible say on Joy?

God knew from eternity past that his children would grow up in a difficult environment and has provided a lot of guidance and counseling in the Bible to help us through the tough times we would encounter. While there are wonderful words of advice in both the Old and New Testaments my thoughts are always drawn to the verses in Philippians 4, where Paul writes:

“4 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.”

As I look at the key points being made, these come to mind:

1. Always be full of joy in the Lord.

2. Don’t worry about anything.

3. Tell God what you need and be thankful for all he has done.

4. Focus your thoughts on the right things, things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

5. Apply those things to your life at all times.

What should you expect if you do those things? You should expect to experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. You should know, with complete confidence the God of peace is with you, now and forever!

Inner peace does not remove us from the spiritual battlefield but it can protect us from the emotional conflicts which assail so many. Every Christian who has ever lived has faced this conflict between external turmoil and internal peace. What is important is to spiritually rest in the Lord as we faithfully serve him in accordance with the gifts and opportunities we have been given.

I’m reminded of the story of Hudson Taylor who, as a missionary to inland China, had to learn the vital necessity of resting in the Lord in the midst of external pressures. By God’s grace, he learned the value of the “Exchanged Life” which permitted him to faithfully serve the Lord in difficult circumstances with complete inner peace. I have written more on this in “The Normal Christian Life,” a two-part series on the exchanged life.

Why do I Bring this up Again?

As an 86-year-old Christian great-grandfather, it saddens me to see brothers and sisters in Christ who are still trying to carry their burdens alone. I can say with complete honesty I am filled with the joy and peace of the Lord the great majority of the time. This is with absolutely no credit to me, all I have done is learned to rest in the Lord; I have learned to embrace the exchanged life; the life I live belongs to Christ.

My favorite life verse is Galatians 2:20 where it is written:

20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Each chapter in the book, “Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret” starts with a short poem or quotation; Chapter one starts with one that has captured my imagination and buried itself in my memory; I encourage you to let it do the same to you.

One final word of advice from the Lord:

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

 

This, I believe, is what the Lord requires of his children.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | March 29, 2019

Your True Home

Jeff Wells is a beloved brother in Christ who is pastor of WoodsEdge Community Church. I have subscribed to his devotionals for several years and from time to time one of his writings will strike home with particular force; this is one of those writings.

Your True Home

Lord, you have been our dwelling place
in all generations.
Psalm 90:1

Sometimes a husband who has been married to his wife for a long time, and who is deeply in love with her, can truly say: “Home is wherever my wife is. I am home whenever I am with her. Wherever on the globe she happens to be, that’s home.” That’s the way I feel about my wife, Gayle.

But what this husband says of his wife is most true of God. For the deeply devoted believer, home is found in God. Home is found not in a place, but in a person. Home is being with God. He is my home.

Moses gives voice to this heart at the outset of Psalm 90: Lord, you are our dwelling place. You are our home. You are our place of refuge. Indeed, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.

Because God is God, because he is the everlasting God, because he was God before the Rocky Mountains were formed, because he was God before the creation of the universe, because he has been God from everlasting and will be God to everlasting, God is our true dwelling place.

Home is being with God.

He is your heart’s true home. He is what you’re looking for. He is what you’re longing for.

March 29, 2019

© 2019 WoodsEdge Community Church. All rights reserved. This article may be reproduced for any non-commercial use.
http://www.jeffhwells.com/devotionals/

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