Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | July 29, 2019

A Clear and Present Danger

Should Freedom of Speech have Limits?

It is becoming commonplace to see and hear aggressive, angry talk against the United States and President Trump. What is both disturbing and annoying is this talk is coming from both citizens and elected officials who are enjoying the benefits of our country and its booming economy.

While freedom of speech is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution; it would appear that common sense and decency should have some impact on what is being said.

The Bill of Rights to the Constitution of the United States of America (ratified in 1791) provides certain specific protections for the citizens of the United States and protects freedom of speech in the first amendment.

Amendment 1

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

While we all benefit from that amendment, should there be limits on freedom of speech? It can be generally agreed that certain speech can be inappropriate and harmful, such as yelling out fire, fire, in a crowded theater when there is no fire. While the principle of free speech is sound, there obviously has to be limits on what is said and when it is said.

The Bible provides guidelines for morality and speech, but when it has been abandoned as an objective standard then the door is thrown open to a subjective approach to both morality and speech.

Shortly after the writing of the Constitution, it was determined there were potential dangers to unlimited free speech which resulted in passage of the Sedition Act of 1798:

Sedition Act of 1798

Seven years after the First Amendment was added to the Constitution, the federal government passed a law restricting freedom of speech. In 1798, Congress passed the Sedition Act. War seemed likely between the United States and its former ally France. Members of Congress were convinced that people sympathetic to France would try to stir up trouble for the new nation.

“Congress and President John Adams believed that the Sedition Act would help control pro-French troublemakers by forbidding criticism of the federal government. “Sedition” generally means the incitement of violent revolution against the government. The Sedition Act of 1798, however, went far beyond this. It required criminal penalties for persons who said or published anything “false, scandalous, or malicious” against the federal government, Congress or the president.” (Constitutional Rights Foundation, crf-usa.org/america-responds-to-terrorism/a-clear-and-present-danger)

Later, another act was passed by Congress, the Federal Espionage Act of 1917.

Federal Espionage Act of 1917

“Another major attempt to regulate freedom of speech occurred during World War I. In 1917, Congress passed the Federal Espionage Act. This law prohibited all false statements intending to interfere with the military forces of the country or to promote the success of its enemies. In addition, penalties of up to $10,000 and/or 20 years in prison were established for anyone attempting to obstruct the recruitment of men into the military. In 1918, another law was passed by Congress forbidding any statements expressing disrespect for the U.S. government, the Constitution, the flag, or army and navy uniforms.” (op cit)

Clear and Present Danger

In 1994, a Tom Clancy novel, starring Harrison Ford, “Clear and Present Danger” hit the screens and gave life to the expression “a clear and present danger.” In the movie a drug cartel was seen as a threat to the United States and was declared to be a clear and present danger to the United States.

The term was created by an opinion from the Supreme Court in 1919 written by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

“Justice oliver wendell holmes jr., writing for the U.S. Supreme Court in Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47, 39 S. Ct. 247, 63 L. Ed. 470 (1919), stated: “The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.” The Free Dictionary, legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Clear+and+Present+Danger

What is interesting to me is that the threat has, in the past, been seen as external; in 1798 it was the French, in 1917 it was seen as Germany in World War I. Now it seems as if we are in danger from forces within in addition to forces from without.

Liberal Globalism

Today we are faced with a challenge to the very foundation of our nation; our existence as a Constitutional Republic is under attack from within by both words and deeds as never before. A strategically placed, highly vocal minority is seeking to overturn our Republic and replace it with a one-world globalist state, subject to a higher, global power. The danger emerges as some of those seeking this overthrow are actually in elected government offices and have the authority to vote on legislation that can seriously harm our Constitutional Republic.

Liberal globalists can be found in both political parties and have sought to advance globalism regardless of the party in power. This tactic has been hugely successful until a severe bump in the road was encountered, the election of a confirmed nationalist named Donald J. Trump to the office of president. The anguish and frustration that has been caused by the presidential election of 2016 would be difficult to overstate.

Many of the available forces possible have been brought to bear on President Trump and his administration since the election; this reminds me of Israel who has been under constant attack since its emergence in 1948. Both President Trump and Israel have been extraordinarily successful in the face of constant aggression by those who oppose them.

What is our Christian Responsibility?

For the church, there is only one answer and that is the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. The church’s responsibility is to present Jesus Christ as the only solution to man’s problem with spiritual death. It is only though the new birth that anyone must be saved; that is the message of the church.

For individual Christians there is another perspective and that is our responsibility as citizens of a Constitutional Republic. Paul had no say in the selection of Nero as Emperor whereas we, today, have a say in the election of those who will govern us. As Christians we have a responsibility to vote and work for the Christian principles in which we believe and seek to elect those who will support Biblical principles and the Constitution of the United States.

Nationalism has been God’s plan for the world since the Tower of Babel whereas globalism has been Satan’s plan. During the Tribulation, globalism will have its way with the Antichrist in control under the influence of Satan but this will be truly short-lived and be ended by the Second Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | July 17, 2019

The Spiritual War Intensifies

The Ancient Spiritual War for Men’s Souls is Growing in Intensity!

The news today is filled with endless evidence of the perversity of the fallen sin nature that plagues humanity! As Christians, we are increasingly under attack as those who are under the influence of their fallen sin nature seek the destruction of all things holy and precious to the Lord Jesus Christ.

By God’s grace, Christians in the United States have been protected from the slaughter that is taking place in some countries around the world but the intensity of the battle is growing in the United States as the forces of Satan are aggressively attacking the people and institutions that have historically protected Christianity in this country.

God has set a precise date when the church shall be removed from this ancient conflict but only God knows the exact timing of the church’s removal. Until then, we, as Christians, are soldiers on the spiritual battlefield who are called upon to utilize the resources only God can provide. I have written more on this in a series of three essays that begins with “To the Soldiers in the Spiritual War.”

Toward the end of his ministry, the Lord Jesus Christ spoke of the end times and the signs that would be given to mankind; today we see many of those signs in place all over the world and ignore them at our own peril!

We are Told in Romans 1 of a Time of Judgment; has That Time Come?

Over the last few months I have observed a steadily increasing occurrence of news telling of the type of behavior described in Romans 1:18-32 where it is written:

“18 But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. 19 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. 23 And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.

24 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. 25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. 26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.

28 Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. 29 Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. 30 They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. 31 They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. 32 They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.”

While this sort of thing has a history going back thousands of years; it seems there is a dramatic increase in the United States and other nations around the world in this type of behavior. Examine the verses above and reflect on the number of times you’ve seen news related to them.

Difficulties in the Days Ahead

In 2 Timothy 3:1-7 the Apostle Paul warns Timothy:

“3 You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!

They are the kind who work their way into people’s homes and win the confidence of vulnerable women who are burdened with the guilt of sin and controlled by various desires. (Such women are forever following new teachings, but they are never able to understand the truth.)

While the sinful actions cited above are easily noted by even casual observation of the media; it is vitally important to remember that every one of those sins was paid for by the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary; paid for in full by his death, burial, and resurrection!

There is only one sin that remains unpaid for and that is the sin of rejecting Jesus Christ as Savior! Jesus spelled this out to his disciples in John 16:7-9 where it is written:

“7 But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. 9The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me.” I have written more on this in “Is There One Unforgivable Sin?”

Only God knows if these are the “last days” and it may be that times may get better and worse before the return of the Lord. One thing we can know is the Lord will bring this present age to a close precisely on the schedule he has foreordained. In the meantime, what is the mission of the church? I believe it is clear that there is one sure mission we have been given and that is to disciple, baptize and teach God’s commands.

Get to the Root of the Problem

The multitude of sinful acts we see today are nothing more than symptoms of a basic problem; the problem of spiritual death. We must not be distracted by the symptoms and overlook the reason for those symptoms, the dead human spirit!

Every human born of a human father was born spiritually dead! The only way to spiritual life is the new birth in Jesus Christ, you simply must be born again by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. The only truly effective message to the world is:

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be Saved!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | July 10, 2019

Why Such Anger and Hostility?

The Constitution of the United States of America

A Time of Remarkable National Achievement is Being Met with Hostile Opposition!

How can it be there is so much anger against the United States by those who are enjoying the benefits of this amazing country? We are seeing a great deal of anger and hostility on the part of a vocal minority of US citizens against the United States and the constitutional principles on which it was founded. The recent behavior of some members of the US Women’s Soccer Team is a perfect example.

The United States is leading the world in most measures of national excellence and looked enviously upon by other major world powers around the globe! Under the leadership of President Trump, the US economy is thriving and driving a recovery that is providing jobs and income for its citizens in a manner not seen for many decades and, as some have suggested, since the founding of this country!

Despite the health of the economic engine that is serving us so well, there are large numbers who are openly hostile toward the President, the country, and the economic recovery we are enjoying. Many are openly promoting an alternative called socialism that has proven disastrous to any nation that has tried it.

Despite the clear evidence of failure to be found in socialist nations all over the world, a politically active segment of this dissident group deludes itself into thinking they can make socialism work correctly in this country if they only had the opportunity.

Such a deliberate determination to ignore the facts of history are truly beyond comprehension. There appears to be a hatred for this country, its economy, and the constitution which has made it all possible. That hatred extends to all who support and endorse the historic principles established by the founding fathers starting with the President of the United States!

A One-world Government

What would those who are actively opposing this country have in mind as a goal; what is their vision of the ideal? Years ago, I read of the dreams of those who believed a one-world government was the ideal for mankind and was an inevitable part of mankind’s future. At that time the United States was seen as an obstacle to their dreams and knew that obstacle would need to be eliminated if their dreams were to ever succeed.

In their minds, nationalism had no place in their ideal future for mankind so nations needed to be eliminated. The power of the United States was seen as a particularly troublesome obstacle so there has been a long-term effort being made to destroy the United States as an independent nation.

For many years there have been attacks of various sorts on our economy, our people, and now attacks on our borders are underway with our national destruction as the primary objective.

Sadly, the greatest danger to the United States is coming from within its own borders in the form of misguided citizens who are all too willing to buy into a monstrous deception; unfortunately, many of these misguided souls serve in positions of power and authority in Washington, D.C.

In May of this year I wrote an essay “What has Happened, Why are Things the Way They Are?” In this essay I wrote of the Satanic goal of world domination and his establishment of a one-world government which will succeed for a very short period of time during the final days of Satanic world domination. At this point, we are living in Satan’s world and must live with the consequences of a very bad decision on Adam’s part!

A Biblical Parallel

The Bible seeks to make one thing very clear; all mankind needs a Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation and life! I find it of great interest that God’s history with mankind begins and ends with perfect environment; initially Adam and Eve enjoyed perfect environment and direct fellowship with God; the Bible ends with perfect environment and direct fellowship with God during the Millennial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Tragically both eras of perfect environment end with Gods judgement against humanity; Adam and Eve are driven from the Garden of Eden and a large force of humanity is destroyed by fire from heaven at the end of the Millennium.

After 1,000 years of rule by the Lord Jesus Christ, Satan, who has been confined, is released for a brief time and draws to himself a tremendous army of human beings who have only known perfect environment. In Revelation 20:7-10 it is written:

“7 Now when the thousand years are finished, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to bring them together for the battle. They are as numerous as the grains of sand in the sea. They went up on the broad plain of the earth and encircled the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and devoured them completely. 10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet are too, and they will be tormented there day and night forever and ever.”

The fearful power of Satanic deception is welcomed by those who are spiritually dead and controlled by their sin natures; this principle is as true today as it will be during the time described in the verses above!

Satanic Deception Today

I am convinced the actions of those attacking the institutions and constitutional principles of the United States are the results of a serious deception by the Satanic world system in which we live today!

Under the United States constitution, we enjoy widespread freedom and privileges found nowhere else in the entire world; why aggressively seek to destroy such blessings? The answer is simple, the same Satanic deception that will cause a vast throng to be destroyed by fire from heaven is deceiving those today who would destroy our Constitutional Republic!

No change devised by man will solve this problem; the only answer is personal faith in Jesus Christ as Savior! No issue being promoted today will bring resolution; not socialism or race, open borders, freedom of choice, sexual preference, or anything else will bring the fulfillment that is only found in making peace with God by faith in Jesus Christ as personal Savior; as Jesus told Nicodemus, you must be born again!

I concluded my essay on “What is Reality” with these words: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will have effectually and successfully responded to true reality; your life will have been a success regardless of whatever else may happen.”

That is the single most important fact of life, you can take that to the bank! It is vitally important you are aligned with God when God’s inevitable judgment falls on mankind!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | July 3, 2019

WHAT IF…..

 

My wife, Adele, wrote and published this recently; I thought it was effective and powerful and wanted to share it with my readers.

 

WHAT IF……
you got a letter from our Lord….
or an email, or a text?
Would you be eager to open and read it? Probably.
Or would you put it off until a later time? Not likely.

WHAT IF…..
you finally read it and thought it was too difficult to understand or apply?
Would you give up in frustration? Maybe.
Or would you write back and ask Him to clarify? Probably. After all He deserves a reply. Right? You would not want to insult Him by ignoring His message to you.

WHAT IF…
He told you His letter/email/text possessed divine power, and was capable to change you and help you and instruct you in righteousness beyond human power?
Would you then be interested to read His message to you, even though right now you think you can’t understand it?
Would it be worth a try?

WHAT IF….
He told you His Holy Spirit will come along side of you to read and explain it and teach it to you?
Would you believe Him?

‘Til He Shouts! (1 Thessalonians 4:16)
Adele Bower

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | June 25, 2019

Wedding Cake Championship

Congratulations to Robin Cates and Shelby Bower on Winning the Wedding Cake Championship!

For the last several weeks our Monday evenings have focused on watching our grandson’s wife, Shelby, and her mother compete for the grand prize in a nationally televised cake baking competition.

Last night was the final episode in the series and Shelby and her mother won the competition and the grand prize of $25,000 dollars. We are so proud of both of them and wish them the very best as they continue this productive and effective partnership.

Robin, Shelby, and the winning cake

This is a screen shot from the TV show; the actual cake was bluer in color but you get the idea. Shelby has a You Tube website called “The Sugar Scoop.” Shelby offers tutorials on baking and decorating pastry’s of all kinds. If you have any interest in baking cakes or eating cake, you may enjoy visiting her website.

Congratulations once again to a remarkable, and hard working couple of ladies!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | June 19, 2019

Your Family Tree Has Deep Roots

You Have a Direct Line of Descent All the Way Back to God!

The “graying of America” has produced a number of interesting results in almost every area of life. One of the results has been an increased interest in genealogy; there are ads advertising companies that specialize in the study of ancestors, other companies offer an analysis of your DNA and tell you something about where you came from.

Recently my daughter gave me a gift which permitted me to send a saliva sample to a company which analyzed the sample and was able to tell me where my ancestors came from. I had some indication because my paternal grandfather had done some research and determined the Bower line had come from Ireland by way of Nova Scotia and then to Georgia and eventually to Texas.

My DNA indicated I was 99.9% European with the vast majority focused on England and Ireland and much smaller amounts in Germany, France, Scandinavia, Spain and Portugal. I have enjoyed participating in the research studies offered by the company and been informed I’m in the top 3% in terms of my participation.

It seems as we get older, we develop a greater interest in our genealogy and I see I’m following along with that trend. What has also been interesting to me is the number of people I’ve never met who share a measurable amount of my DNA. These are distant relatives who are spread all over the United States and have submitted their saliva samples for testing; this, of course, would be only a minuscule portion of the actual total.

A Vast Number of Ancestors

As I thought on this, the question of numbers of ancestors came to my mind. Out of curiosity, as it is a mathematical consideration, I decided to check on the web and see what I could find regarding the number of ancestors in previous generations and found this “Number of Ancestors in a Given Generation.”  I found some fascinating information there accompanied by some very helpful notes. We are indebted to Diana Gale Matthiesen for this information.

From a strictly mathematical approach, by the 40th generation back you would have over 2 trillion ancestors. The article goes on to explain:

“Based on the table below, if you go back 40 generations, you have over two trillion ancestors!  Of course, this number doesn’t mean you have that many unique ancestors in 40 generations.  What is happening is repetition of ancestors, that is, the same ancestors appearing over and over again in a pedigree.  Repetition seldom appears within the first ten generations, but the further back you go, the more repetition you are likely to find.”

By the time you reach the 10th generation, each single ancestors’ contribution to your DNA would be reduced to 0.09765625 which is negligible.

The notes conclude with:

“The greatly diminishing percentage of one ancestor’s genes in your personal genome as you go back in your pedigree is just one reason why it’s so biologically insignificant to have distant illustrious ancestors. Socially, culturally, and historically it may be very significant to you, personally, but not because you are any kind of genetic “image” of your ancestor. It’s also a cautionary as to why it’s foolish to think you live on in your children. Your genetic contribution to your descendants diminishes so rapidly, the idea that bearing children gives you “continuence” is absurd. You do share 99.9% of your genetic endowment with other human beings; the variable part we study amounts to less than one percent of our genetic endowment. Be more concerned that the human genome has continuence.”

Back to the Beginning

Mankind, our family, started with one man, Adam, who was created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27); from Adam, God created Eve and the two of them produced the first descendants. Although the Book of Genesis has a Messianic focus, it provides a general overview of what happened initially, and references one additional point of narrowing down.

At the point of the flood, the human race was continued through one man, Noah. That means we are all descendants of Adam and Noah but the gene pool then begins to spread again. Noah and his wife had three sons who married three women so the present human race is descended from one of those three sons and his wife.

In Genesis 10:1 we read:

“10 Now this is the genealogy of the sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And sons were born to them after the flood.”

Chapters 10 and 11 of Genesis relate the growth and dispersal of the nations that came from these three sons. It is generally thought that the descendants of Japheth settled in what is now Europe so it would appear I’m likely of the line of Japheth.

The map below shows the distribution of the sons of Noah from Emmanuel Enid Church, Enid, OK Sermon Notes; “The Descendants of Japheth, Indo-Europeans and Western Civilization.”

The Tower of Babel was certainly effective in doing the job God wanted it to do; the nations were widely dispersed and the language differences prevail to this day.

What Now?

Regardless of any visible differences, we have many important things in common with one another. We all share in our common origin, our common problem (Romans 5:12), and our need for a Savior and we must all look to the Lord Jesus Christ for deliverance.

We should strive to establish a Godly perspective on all aspects of life and living and let the Bible be our guide as we view mankind.

One of Satan’s cleverest ploys is racism; this takes the focus off the condition of the eternal spirit, and redirects it to the external appearance of the temporary abode the spirit occupies, the tent, as Paul describes it 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.”

Rethinking Who and What You Are!

It is so important to recognize that you are not your tent; the visible part of you is the only part of you that has not been redeemed when you were born again. It still suffers under the Adamic curse and can never join you in heaven!

You have waiting for you a “habitation which is from heaven,a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” (I have no idea what our heavenly habitation will look like and quite frankly I really don’t care; if it pleases God then it pleases me!)

The appearance of your tent is a temporary, relatively inconsequential matter, the only truly important consideration regarding your tent concerns the occupant; is the occupant spiritually dead or alive.

Your tent has come to pass and pass it will; you as the occupant, on the other hand, are eternal and will not only outlast your present tent, but the entire creation in which you live.

Keep your priorities straight, make sure you are right with God by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior; do this and all else fades into comparatively trivial insignificance!

 

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | June 12, 2019

The Secret of Success

A Full and Happy Life

Recently I was finishing breakfast and watching my wife using some nail polish remover; the breakfast room shutters were open so Abby, our cat, could sit on the window sill and look outside. The thought occurred to me there was nowhere on the face of the earth that I would rather be than sitting there at that moment; a sense of peace and contentment flooded me as I thought on those things.

We have lived in this house for almost 45 years and by the standards of many, it would be thought of as less than fashionable. We have added the comfort items that were important to us over the years so we live comfortably by our own personal standards. The house, I suppose, reflects our desires and choices and fits us very well; we enjoy being at home and feel our lives are enriched by our surroundings.

We both feel greatly blessed by our Lord and are always thankful to him for the love, grace and mercy he has showered on us so abundantly. The first 22 years of our marriage seemed to involve a lot of moving for school and work; we had lived in Houston, Norfolk VA, Grand Prairie, Ft. Worth, Dallas, and Austin before we finally settled into our present home. Needless to say, we were happy to finally get settled somewhere for the long term.

Although we have good memories from all of those places and made some very dear friends, it is satisfying for us to stay put and have no plans to ever move again.

An Important Lesson

In his letter to the church at Philippi, the Apostle Paul mentions an important lesson he had learned; in Chapter 4, verses 11-13 he writes:

11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

By God’s grace, I seek to apply this lesson to my own life in a consistent manner. Paul explains the secret of his success in verse 13 where he notes: “ 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

We all have these same resources available and can join Paul as we look to Christ for our strength.

None of us knows what the future holds for us but we do know who holds the future; we can also know that he who holds the future has elected to live his life through us, we have exchanged our life for his!

Chasing Dreams

Over my many decades of life I have observed a very large group of individuals both personally and vicariously; I have been fascinated by watching their efforts over the years as they searched to build lives for themselves. These individuals have followed many different paths in their quests to find a fulfilling life; needless to say, these various paths have led the seekers to a variety of destinations, some better than others.

The world is very deceptive in that it presents material things as goals worthy of obtaining; the problem comes in when those goals, once achieved, do not provide the feelings of satisfaction and fulfillment that seemed to be promised. I recall one national sales trainer who commented on that phenomena by saying one just needed to set new goals when the old goals failed to provide the promised results.

A casual perusal of the news will quickly reveal that those who have accumulated a great deal of material possessions have failed to find the peace and contentment promised; the many problems faced by the rich and famous are well known to most of us thanks to the media.

The world is frantic to conceal the basic facts of reality, to hide the truth that could provide the freedom and fulfillment desired by all of us; the truth of the matter is mankind was created in the image of God and only a total commitment to God will provide the path to freedom, fulfillment, peace, and joy.

Finding Reality

The search for truth in the human condition has taken many forms over the centuries. One searcher was a man named Blaise Pascal, 1623-1662, a truly remarkable man who has been described as a mathematician, inventor, physicist, writer, and theologian.

In 1669, around seven years after his death, a collection of his notes was published in book form and later became well known as “a masterpiece and a landmark of French prose.”

This was Pascal’s most influential theological work and defense of the Christian faith. One quote from the work has gained considerable popularity in a variety of paraphrased forms.

The original form follows:

“What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself”

One popular paraphrase is:

“There is a Godshaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.”

The principle is clear enough whether in the original or the paraphrase; without God we are incomplete creatures and there is absolutely nothing that can substitute for our relationship with our creator!

God’s Solution to Man’s Problem

In his grace, mercy and love, “God himself” has taken the necessary steps to fill this “infinite abyss” through the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. By his death, burial, and resurrection, Christ provided the “infinite and immutable object” required to fill the “empty print and trace” and restore “true happiness!”

There is only one decision that can be made in anyone’s lifetime that has any real, lasting value and that is the decision to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as one’s Savior!

On September 8, 2011, I published an essay entitled, “What is Reality;” the last sentence still expresses my heartfelt belief on this matter:

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will have effectually and successfully responded to true reality; your life will have been a success regardless of whatever else may happen.”

This is the message the world wants hidden and is willing to go to any lengths possible to conceal or subvert it.

This is the message the church should broadcast far and wide;

if you would be a successful, completed human being then: receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior!

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.”

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