Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Yesterday was Passover. Today is the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And this coming Sunday, Christians around the world will celebrate the Lord's victory over death and the grave. He is risen! All of this has happened every year since His resurrection, so why is this year so different? Well, for one thing, we are a year closer to His return! For another, since I have begun writing this blog, I have become much more focused upon the things of the Lord. My life had become like the Dead Sea, with water entering, but having no exit, I had become stagnant. I praise the Lord that the Spirit has magnified Him in my heart and given me this outlet.

I knew that the Bible teaches the necessity of having two witnesses to declare someone guilty (Numbers 35:30; Deuteronomy 17:6; Matthew 18:15-19; 2 Corinthians 13:1; etc.). And I knew that Jesus sent His disciples out in pairs to spread the Gospel of the Kingdom (Mark 6:7; Luke 10:1; etc.). But I had never thought of the two unlikely witnesses present at the Crucifixion of our Lord. Among those mocking Jesus were the two being crucified on either side of Him (Matthew 27:44). But later, one of the two thieves crucified next to Jesus rebukes the other, and asks Jesus to remember him when He comes in His kingdom (Luke 23:39-43). What had changed the heart of this man? Perhaps it was the sign hanging over the head of Jesus declaring Him to be the Messiah of Israel, the King of the Jews. Perhaps he decided to "cover all his bases" by seeking the Lord's favor, just in case He actually was the Messiah. No, I believe it was His unbelievable attitude of love and forgiveness toward His executioners. Jesus had earlier asked His Father to forgive them because He knew they didn't know what they were doing (Luke 23:34). Jesus was soul-winning to the very end!

The other witness was not even a Jew. In fact, he was one of the men who were crucifying Him. At the end of the six hour agony of Christ, punctuated by seven recorded quotes demonstrating the character of the One about to die, and the three hours of darkness followed by an earthquake, a Roman Centurion said, "Truly this was the Son of God!" and he glorified God saying, "Certainly this was a righteous man" (Matthew 27:54; Luke 23:47). God had changed the hearts of the thief and the soldier. I wonder what all those standing around thought when they heard the two witnesses? We may never know, but if any came to the same conclusion, we will spend eternity with them!

There is another example where God provides two witnesses to proclaim His Son's glory. In Revelation 11:3-12, God uses two men to witness to the world for 1260 days before they are martyred. When He raises them to life, fear suddenly replaces celebration, especially when they hear Him call them and see them ascend into heaven. Now the question is, since we are all to be witnesses, who are you to join in sharing Christ? The Lord will show you if you are willing to pray for a soul-winning partner. God bless you.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I mentioned yesterday that one of the things that humbles me is the celebration of Good Friday. Just for the sake of argument, even if it was Friday, are we sure we want to call it "good?" I know God's Word says He works ALL things for good, but I wouldn't tell you that at your mother's funeral. There is a difference between the death of Christ and that of a family member passing. When we lose a family member, we say he or she is better off being with the Lord, and for us to grieve too much is really being selfish. In the case of Jesus, we "celebrate" His death because WE are better off. Too much grieving and too much celebration both appear to be equally selfish. The death of my Savior because of my sin doesn't make me want to "party;" it make me want to weep.

The "Friday thing" has bothered me ever since I became a believer. Jesus said, "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" (Matthew 12:40). Trying to reconcile tradition with the Word just will not work. Even with parts of days and nights being considered a possible answer, Jesus died during day one, sunset to sunset (day two), and resurrected early Sunday morning is three days and only two nights.

The only time we know for sure is that He had arisen (Praise the Lord) by early Sunday morning (Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1; John 20:1). If one interprets "three days and three nights" as three twenty-four hour days, recognizes that He arose after sunset at the end of the weekly Sabbath, and counts backwards, Jesus would have had to be crucified on a Wednesday. He was in the tomb just prior to sunset on the day of His crucifixion. Night and day Thursday is day one. Night and day Friday is day two. Night and day Saturday (the weekly Sabbath) is day three. So Jesus arose sometime after the sunset ending the weekly Sabbath.

I believe Jesus, our Passover (1 Corinthians 5:7) died on Wednesday, the fourteenth of Nisan (compare Leviticus 23:5 with John 19:31). After sunset the fourteenth, the Feast of Unleavened Bread began (the fifteenth of Nisan was a Sabbath - Leviticus 23:6-8). The sunset of the fifteenth began the weekly Sabbath (sixteenth of Nisan). Sometime after sunset on Saturday, Jesus arose the First Fruits from the grave (compare Leviticus 22:11 with 1 Corinthians 15:23). It is humbling to believe something with which few others agree. After all, who do I think I am to question what is almost universally accepted by the Church?
I am probably wrong.

What we ALL agree on however, is that the Son of God died for us, was buried, and was raised from the dead. Praise the Lord, He is risen Who willingly died on my behalf! Our God is an Awesome God!!!!

Monday, March 29, 2010


Now that I am old enough to be a retired great grandfather, I find myself reflecting on my life almost as much as I reflect upon God's Word. I remember when I knew just about everything. I was bold and outspoken, unafraid to witness to anyone about the Lord Jesus. I painted the back of my brand new VW camper with a very large "HONK IF YOU LOVE JESUS" with the Name Jesus larger and in the shape of the fish. On the front, I had a tire cover made that said, "JESUS" in large letters surrounded by the words "THE ONLY PEACE." It was 1972 and I was in the Navy. Every day, I would drive in and out of the base proclaiming to protesters and military alike that, even though we were involved in Viet Nam and everyone was ready for peace, the only true peace is found in Christ. My wife and I Bible studies in our home every Friday night (we had asked a Christian couple to come teach us), and about twenty people came to learn about Him. We were full with a love for God and His Word. We sacrificed to make sure our children went to a Christian school, and we all were in church three times a week or more.

What happened to that young couple? There is no Bible study, no large proclamations on our vehicles, and our children are old enough to have grand children, most of whom preoccupied with life and have little time for the things of the Lord. They all claim to be believers, and I have no reason to doubt them. But unfortunately all I have to verify their relationship with the Lord is their word. We have no fellowship with most of them, and it is quite clear that asking about church would be a mistake. It is hard being the father to so many prodigals. Keeping silent and waiting for them to "return" is almost unbearable.

I guess what happened to us is life. Frustrations with health, jobs, bills, and neighbors are nothing compared to dealing with family members who know it all, just like I thought I did a lifetime ago. I wonder, was I that unteachable and aloof? I suspect that I was, and for that, I apologize to all my family who had to tolerate me. All that, coupled with carnal church members and pastors over the years, and a world that would rather hear about Oprah or Tiger than Jesus, and one simply gets tired. Just as when Jesus cried out, "Jerusalem, Jerusalem..." in frustration, I cry out, "Family, Family." I have failed as the head of them.

Another thing that humbles me is God's Word. Though I have been to Bible College and Seminary and have had years of Bible study, there is more about His Word that I don't understand than what I do. I do not understand the Trinity; why Jesus was said to be crucified on Good Friday; how the Church went from 3,000 united as one to thousands of denominations; most of the symbolism in the Prophets; and what is taking Him so long to return! The older I get, the less I seem to know. The one thing I do know for sure is that when He returns for me, whether in the Rapture or through death, I will be changed into His likeness (1 John 3:2) praise the Lord!!! Come again, Lord Jesus!

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Jesus celebrated the religious feasts of His people throughout His life (Luke 2:41), and even during His short public ministry, He risked being taken before His time by going to Jerusalem (John 7:1-10). The feasts of Israel were extremely important to the Jews due to their legalistic views of God's Word (Leviticus 23:1-44), but they had no clue that the feasts were pictures of their Messiah. As Christians, we have the advantage of having the teachings of the New Testament, all of which were a mystery to Israel. We know that the first three feasts, Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits are pictures of Christ's first coming. Christ, the Lamb of God, is our Passover (1 Corinthians 5:7). His death is seen in the Feast of Unleavened Bread and is commemorated today in the Lord's Supper (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). His body being without sin (leaven) was broken for us, and His blood being poured out met the requirement to eradicate sin (Hebrews 9:22). The Feast of First Fruits pictures the resurrection of Jesus Who was the first to be resurrected, never to die again (1 Corinthians 15:20-23).

The last three feasts of the seven were Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles all represent Christ's Second Coming. The Feast of Trumpets suggest the gathering of Israel into the Land of Promise where they will have peace for three and a half years (Daniel 9:27). The Feast of Atonement has to do with Israel recognizing the antichrist as "the Prince that shall come," and realize that Jesus had to have been their Messiah since He was killed prior to the antichrist coming (Daniel 9:26-27). Israel will accept Christ and His death on their behalf, and be miraculously protected for the next three and a half years (Daniel 11:41; Revelation 12:6). The Feast of Tabernacles (God dwells with us) is a picture of the Millennium Reign of Christ on earth (Revelation 20:1-7).

That leaves just one feast of the seven. It is called the Feast of Weeks, the Feast of Wave Loaves, or the Feast of Pentecost. The first three feasts are celebrated in the first month of the Jewish calendar. The last three feasts are celebrated in the seventh month. I do not have to point out that there is a large gap between the two groups of feasts. The single Feast of Pentecost was celebrated by the making of two loaves of leavened bread on the fiftieth day after the Feast of First Fruits. Pentecost had nothing to do with either the First Coming or the Second Coming of Christ. It is a picture of the time between the two! The mystery of the Church Age is represented by the two loaves; one represents the Jews, and the other the Gentiles. Born again Jews and Gentiles become united to make up the Church (Galatians 3:26-29), and the fact that Christians are not sinless is pictured in the loaves being leavened.

As Christians celebrate Christ's death, burial, and resurrection this holiday season, it is my prayer that preachers all over the world will proclaim both Comings! Even the Lord's Supper tells Christians that as often as we partake of it, we "do show forth the Lord's death until He come." It is awesome that He came to die for us; it is even more awesome that He is coming back for us! Come Lord Jesus!

Saturday, March 27, 2010


I remember centuries ago when I was young, that when a boy said he liked a girl, it meant he wanted her to be his girlfriend. He had a crush on her. The word "love" was something one felt for their parents or peanut butter. But if I recall correctly, the word "love" became the description of how I felt if the girl also "liked" me. Over the years, I "liked" more often than I "loved" but I guess that pretty much describes most people. We seem to be searching for that special someone who will "like" us back. If the girl did not share my feelings, and if she were a nice person, she would say, "I like you, but just as a friend." Those words crushed for a while, but were also very liberating, because it meant I was free to continue "the hunt."

Something I have noticed lately is that the word "like" is never used in the Bible. "Love" is all over the place, and even made number one on the list of the Spirit's gifts. Oh, I know "love" is part of the fruit of the Spirit and not one of the gifts of the Spirit, but it has been my experience that the only way my selfish soul truly loves is when the Spirit places love for another in my heart. Which brings me to another point. True love for a person is not an emotional thing. It is not a feeling. True love is a commitment, a decision. Jesus certainly did not like the Pharisees, but He died for them. Stephen did not like the stone-throwers, but he prayed that his murder would not be held against them. Peter disliked those who rejected Jesus enough to cut off an ear, but he would eventually give up his life while trying to convince "rejectors."

As a great grandparent, I have three generations of offspring, all of whom I love dearly. I would do anything I thought would help them. I would even go to jail or give my life to protect any one of them. But, there are times when I don't like them. At times, each of them exhibits characteristics that are too much like me for me to like them. In fact, there are times that I would prefer a family member would focus on someone else rather than talk to me. But there has never been a time that I did not love them. I have chosen to love them in spite of their flaws, just as I hope they love me in spite of mine.

1 John 4:11-21 has a great deal to say about love. God loves us. Because God loves us, we love Him. If we love Him, we ought to love others. If we say we love God when we don't love others, we are liars. God commanded us to love one another. In Galatians 5:13-14, we are told that love is practiced by serving one another, and that by serving others, we are actually loving God. Our loving through serving is what pleases Him the most. He even declares that the entire six hundred plus laws of the Old Testament are satisfied, or fulfilled, when we love others. Notice it says ALL of the Law is fulfilled, which means the requirement to love the Lord your God with all your heart is fulfilled in serving others. I do not have to like you, but I have to love you if I want to please God. So, I choose to love you. I do love you.

Friday, March 26, 2010


What started out as just another Jewish Sect, Christianity evolved into the world's largest religion. As Jesus had told His disciples, the Church would start in Jerusalem and Judea, but would spread to Samaria, and then to the rest of the world. It took Peter's "keys to the kingdom" for Samaritans and Gentiles to be admitted, and the boldness of a former enemy to break Christianity from, what Paul called, the curse of the Law (Galatians 3:13). Unfortunately, there are still groups of believers who can not resist adding works to their formula for sainthood. Legalists usually have two lists: one is a list of things you must do to be saved; the other is a list of things you cannot do without losing salvation. But, while they are in the majority of professing Christians, there is still a remnant that believes salvation is a gift (Ephesians 2:8-9), and that it is everlasting (John 1:12; 3:15-16). These two facts have been accepted from the very beginning of the Church. In these, there is no sense of evolution at all; what the Word of God teaches has been believed by born again Christians since the Day of Pentecost. What has evolved over time is the freedom from an oppressing majority. Few are burned at the stake today for believing the Word of Grace.

What has evolved is the understanding of God's Word. For centuries, Paul's meaning in his exhortation to rightly divide the Word of God was debated, until the nineteenth century, when theologians began to grasp the idea of dispensations. While Darby is viewed by most dispensationalists as the founder of the school of thought, the concept was understood long before by many, including Edwards and Watts. Regardless of who the first person was to understand it, I believe Dispensationalism is what the Book of Daniel refers to concerning the revealing of Truth in the last days (Daniel 8:26; 12:4, 8-9). Verse four in particular suggests that travel will be greatly increased, and it is no coincidence that the first invention for mass travel (the steam locomotive) was invented at the same time Darby was popularizing Dispensationalism. Until the nineteenth century, travel was limited to horse power (literal horses), but with the invention of railroads, man began what is today called rapid transit.

Dispensationalism's most important contribution to biblical understanding is the recognition of a clear distinction between Israel (the fifth dispensation) and the Church (the sixth). It also provides the basis for interpreting future prophecy. The Rapture, Tribulation, and the Millennial Kingdom of Christ are clearly revealed as well. The two parts of the Lord's Second Coming, the Rapture and the Millennium, are separated by the seven year period known as Daniel's Seventieth Week (Daniel 9:24-27), the Time of Jacob's Trouble (Jeremiah 30:7), and the Tribulation (Matthew 24:1-26).

I have written extensively on Dispensationalism in past posts on this blog. Each of the seven has been laid out on separate posts, and the overall subject has been covered as well. Hopefully, they will be "read and spread" by all who read this. We are so blessed to live in a day when we understand the unique roll we have as members of the Body of Christ. Some call the Church Age the age of grace, and it truly is.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


From the time Christianity became an official state religion under the Romans until A.D. 1500, the Church was more political that it was ecclesiastical. Excommunications by ecumenical councils, crusades, and financial exploitation made as many enemies as it did converts. Today, while people claiming to be Christians numbers over two billion, the majority of the other four billion hate us as a result. In the last few years, the Popes have spent a considerable amount of time apologizing for the past deeds of the Church. What changed?

The printing press happened. In A.D. 1456, Johann Gutenberg printed the Latin Vulgate Bible using the new invention, movable type. Printing became available to other versions as well. John Wycliffe, with others, had translated the Latin into English in A.D. 1382, followed by William Tyndale's English printing made from the original Hebrew and Greek languages in A.D. 1526. The Word of God was no longer the exclusive property of the priests, but was now available to everyone.

In the mean time, the Spirit of God was moving in the hearts of others inside and outside the clergy. Science challenged the Church, unsuccessfully at first, when Koppernigk (Copernicus) discovered that the Earth rotated around the Sun. Followed by Kepler and Galileo, the scientific views of the Church began to require change. At the same time, men such as Beza, Luther, Calvin, Cromwell, Knox, Simons, and many others were challenging the authority, the practices, and the teachings of the Roman Church. The most famous was Martin Luther, whose ninety-five theses posted on the Wittenberg Church in A.D. 1517 challenged any and all to a public debate. And individual nations, tired of oppression and subjugation by the Roman Church, soon began accepting Protestant Churches as their state Church.

While the hold of the Roman Church was disintegrating, new state Churches continued many of the habits they had so detested. Persecution of any disagreeing with the official state Church was the norm. In A.D. 1620, a group of people longing to be free of state religion, sailed to North America. After the thirteen colonies had won their independence, the Constitution with its first ten amendments was adopted as the law of the nation. The first of the Bill of Rights guaranteed that each state could not be forced to accept a national religion. Unfortunately, its purpose was more to give the states the right to continue having their own individual state religion, than to protect the individual from religious oppression. True religious freedom would eventually become the accepted practice in every state.

Lord willing, tomorrow I will attempt to show how Church doctrine has changed over the years. Pray for me.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Once the first century ended and all of Christ's Apostles had "graduated," the Church spent the majority of its time avoiding the authorities. Persecution from the Romans, the Jews, and the heathen kept Christians so busy that they didn't have a lot of time to debate over doctrine. With the exception of a few thorns in the side of the Body of Christ, the Church was united. Then change happened. Emperor Galerius issued an edict ending the Diocletian persecution of the Church in A.D. 311. Two years later, emperors Constantine I and Licinius issued an edict legalizing Christianity. Within sixty-seven years of Christianity becoming legal, Theodosius I made it the official religion of the Roman Empire. Most would view this as a good thing, right?

It turned out to be the beginning of the end of Christ's desire for Christian unity. Immediately, the Church adopted the geographical boundaries of the provinces of the Empire as religious sees (seats). The bishops of the five most important sees were now the authority over Church matters in their province. Five became more powerful than the rest. They were Rome, Constantinople, Jerusalem, Antioch, and Alexandria. Even before Christianity had been given official sanctions of Rome, the potential for division existed. In A.D. 325, Constantine gathered Church leaders to an ecumenical council to discuss Arianism (Arian, from Alexandria, challenged the doctrine of the Trinity). He was deemed a heretic and the council established the Nicene Creed. Even though the council declared Arianism heretical, it remained a problem for the Church. In A.D. 381, the second ecumenical council was convened in Constantinople to put an end to the debate. It seems that Maximus, the Bishop of Constantinople, held Arian's view of the Godhead. He was deposed and, to pacify the Eastern Church, Constantinople was declared second only to Rome, thus reducing the five leaders into just two.

There were more ecumenical councils that followed, but Constantinople would not accept the decisions of any of them; they instead held their own councils. Finally, in A.D. 1054 with the excommunication of the Patriarch Cerularius of Constantinople, the Eastern Church officially split from the rest of the Church, now controlled solely by Rome. Rome was so angered by the "betrayal," that conflict between the two festered for one hundred fifty years, leading to the Fourth Crusade in A.D.1204, which captured and sacked Constantinople. Weakened and vulnerable, the entire area eventually came under the control of Islam.

It does not appear that freedom accomplished much more than producing a thirst for power. Even though the twenty-seven books of the New Testament were clearly accepted as the completed cannon of Scripture by A.D. 367, apparently few were reading them. They were too busy "conquering for Christ." Tradition became equal to the Word of God, and things went down hill from there. Tomorrow, Lord willing, I will try to show how the political devolution of the Church eventually led to its evolving into what we see today.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Some dispensationalists believe so strongly in dispensationalism that they will tell you the exact time and date that God closed the door of the ark, or when He chose Abraham. Others vary on the number of dispensations throughout the Bible. Some say there are four, while others, like myself, believe there are seven. Regardless of what the "experts" say, one thing is clear by studying the Church Age: the change from one to the next is not always so clear. It is almost universally believed among Christians that the Church began on the Day of Pentecost the year Christ arose from the grave. I agree, but did the Apostles understand it?

Jesus told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they received the Holy Spirit. And, one would assume that when Pentecost came with the manifestation of the Spirit and the salvation of three thousand, they would know the Church Age had begun. But this is not the case. In fact, as far as I can tell, they believed that they were Messianic Jews. They did not believe that they were starting a separate religion, but that they were to continue the work of Jesus and transform Judaism. They worshiped and preached in the Temple until the resistance became persecution. In Acts 5:40, they were physically beaten for their preaching of the Gospel, and yet they continued teaching daily in the Temple. The first death for preaching Jesus didn't occur until the end of Acts Seven. By this time, the Apostles had been trying to convert the thinking of the Jews for at least three years. Following the stoning of Stephen, the disciples, with the exception of the Apostles, scattered (Acts 8:1).

Jesus had told His disciples that they were to preach the Gospel in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the world (Acts 1:8). The transformation from being a Jewish Sect to being Christians occurred slowly. It required severe persecution by the Jews in order for God to get the Church to leave Jerusalem. Peter was told by Jesus that he was to determine who was to be allowed in and who was to be kept out (Matthew 16:16-19). In Acts 8:14-17, Peter was sent to verify that Samaritans had been saved. In Acts 10:1-48, Peter learns that God intended the Gentiles to be included. It wasn't until Chapter Eleven that the new sect of Judaism was first recognized as being as separate group known as Christians (v. 26). In Acts Fifteen, the Apostles came to the conclusion that the Gentiles did not have to become Jews in order to be recognized as members of Church. It had taken about sixteen years for the Apostles to get the message: the Church is not merely a part of Judaism, but it is part of a new stewardship of God's light.

Lord willing, I will continue on the subject of the evolving Church tomorrow. As you will see, it required several Church Councils to get everyone on the "same page." It wasn't until the 1500's that the Church was successfully challenged concerning the many false doctrines that had crept into its teachings.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Years ago, and even today in re-runs, The Andy Griffith Show had a quirky deputy named Barney Fife. He was so inept that Sheriff Taylor only allowed him to have one bullet, and it had to be kept in his pocket. From watching the show, I recognized a very important principle; if I only had one bullet, I would be extremely careful where, when, and how I used it. The "Barney Fife Principle" might well be applied to the Christian's life. We are only here for a short time or, as another TV show says, we only have One Life To Live. How does the Lord want us to spend it?

In the past few months, I have been introduced to blogs and Facebook, which have both greatly enhanced my life. Being almost a shut-in due to the second law of thermodynamics (my body is falling apart), I found a ministry in being able to share my thoughts on God's Word with others. I write a daily (Lord willing) blog and I comment on several sites listed under groups on my home page. My goal is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the lost, and to be an encouragement to my brethren. With the exception of a few folks claiming to be atheists, some who want to impress me, and several whose egos delight in questioning any and all things spiritual, most responses have been very encouraging to me. I have joy because the Lord is using me.

But lately, I have noticed that my focus has been subtly drawn toward addressing doctrinal errors. There seems to be three main classes of writings that get me off focus: those who challenge the authenticity of the Bible, those who misquote the Bible by taking passages out of context, and those who want to apply the Law to the Church. I have become an apologist, a teacher, and mostly irritated. I do not understand why those who don't believe in Christ are so determined to convert us. I don't understand why those who do believe in Christ are so unteachable, or so anxious to strap a yoke of bondage on their brethren. And, I know I am wrong for feeling the way I do. Unlike Jesus Who wept, I want to yell and scream. What a mess I am! My encounters with atheists, false teachers, and legalists have made me forget that I was once just like them and as such, must have irritated believers and distracted them. Lord, forgive me!

Just like the Church of Ephesus in Revelation 2:1-11, I have left my first love. In fact, I have almost left love altogether. James describes it as having looked in a mirror (the Word) and then forgetting what kind of person I am. I, of all men, desperately need the filling of the Spirit so that I will show forth His fruit. I need to pray for those who irritate me. I need to love them as Christ loves them. And, I need wisdom to know when, where, and how to use "my bullet." Pray for me.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Dispensationalism is a system of interpreting the Word of God based upon man's accountability as stewards of God's revealed truth at a specific time in history. Dispensations are not different ways of salvation. Salvation is, and has always been by faith in the revelation of God that one has (compare Romans 4:3; Galatians 3:6; and James 2:23 with Romans 10:9-17 and Ephesians 2:8-9). Throughout time, God has increased mankind's knowledge of Himself, and with each increase, He has increased man's accountability. From Adam to Noah to Abraham to Moses, God revealed more of Himself until man had finally witnessed God Himself in the form of Jesus Christ (John 14:9; 1 Timothy 3:16).

The four times Paul used the term translated "dispensation" were: 1 Corinthians 9:17; Ephesians 1:10, 3:2; Colossians 1:24-25). There are seven dispensations or periods of stewardship (accountability) in the Bible:

1. INNOCENCE which ended with THE FALL
2. CONSCIENCE which ended with THE FLOOD
5. THE LAW which did not end as yet (The Sixth Dispensation is parenthetical and occurs within the Fifth)
6. THE CHURCH which ends with THE RAPTURE (followed by THE TRIBULATION - The end of the Fifth)

[For a complete description of each dispensation and related material, read my posts of January 30th through February 8th of this year]

The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are going to suffer a more tolerable judgment than the cities of Jesus day because they were accountable for rejecting "less light" (Matthew 10:15). The same is true of Tyre and Sidon, which did not have the benefit of seeing the mighty works of Jesus that Chorazin and Bethsaida saw (Matthew 11:21). Neither Adam nor Abraham was expected to know Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as their Savior. Nor were they responsible for understanding The Law, or The Church. But all men are responsible for believing what God has reveal of Himself to them. Salvation was, is, and always will be by faith in God.

Dispensationalism, as a method of interpreting the Scripture, makes its greatest contribution in that it clearly recognizes the differences between Israel and the Church. And, when one applies this method, one does not need to spiritualize passages, but can interpret them literally. Remember, every prophecy that Jesus fulfilled during His First Coming was fulfilled literally. The same will be true of His Second Coming.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


2 Timothy 2:15 says, "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." "Rightly dividing" is from the Greek word orthotomeo and is used only once in the entire Bible. As expected, the concordances define it as "to divide rightly" or "to cut straightly." As a tent maker (Acts 18:3), the Apostle Paul chose this word because it described quality craftsmanship, or the work of a faithful craftsman. Although there are twenty-six other words translated "divide" in the Bible, Paul specifically chose this word.

When one thinks of dividing something, it is because taking it apart makes sense. It serves a purpose. What purpose did Paul have in mind when he described a faithful workman taking apart the Word of God? It needs to be divided in order to understand it. That is why there are two Testaments, sixty-six books, chapters and verses. Each division serves a purpose. However, the division Paul had in mind was something quite different. Paul is the only writer whose use of another word oikonomia is translated "dispensation." Luke uses it three times, and it is correctly translated "stewardship." It has the sense of accountability. A dispensation is a period of time in which servants are accountable for the wise use and protection of their master's goods. Matthew 25:14-30 speaks of a wealthy man leaving his property in the hands of his servants, and their accountability upon his return. Since the parable is a picture of Jesus leaving His disciples in charge of His possessions, the logical questions is, for what goods are we responsible? The answer is light.

Adam had no Bible, but he experienced the presence of the Lord. Noah had no Bible, but God directed him in building the ark. Abraham had no Bible, but God gave him ownership of the promised land. Moses was given the first five books of the Bible. David added most of Psalms. The prophets also added to the Word. John the baptizer had all of the Old Testament. The disciples walked with the Word, and later disciples of Christ wrote the New Testament. Adam never knew what David or Matthew knew. David did not know what the Twelve knew. And apparently, the Twelve did not know all that Paul knew (Acts 15:1-27; 2 Peter 3:15-16). From Adam until the Apostle John wrote Revelation, the light was gradually revealed, man's understanding of God's plan grew.

With increased revelation or light, man's accountability or stewardship of the Truth increased. Remember that Jesus said some cities would be held more accountable than previous cities, because they received greater light, more revelation. In Luke 12:41-48, Jesus speaks of stewardship and finishes by saying, "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required...." Tomorrow, Lord willing, I will attempt to explain the concept of Dispensationalism, or seven periods of man's stewardship of revealed light.

Friday, March 19, 2010


In yesterday's post, I tried to explain my views on Christians drinking alcoholic beverages. Because the Lord told His disciples that it is not what goes in the mouth that corrupts, but what comes out of it, and because Paul said, "All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient; all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any" (1 Corinthians 6:12), I personally do not have a problem with someone having a glass of wine, or a beer with their meal. However, some people are unable to "have just one" as the old Lays Potato Chip commercial used to say. The same passage referenced to Paul above also says that drunkards will not inherit the kingdom of God (vs. 10). That verse is a topic unto itself, and I do not intend to "chase that rabbit."

I also mentioned yesterday that as one continues to drink, it becomes more difficult for them to know when to stop. When you are around people who have had too much to drink, you often hear them say, "I'm not drunk," or "I've only had x amount of drinks." Drunks seldom realize they are drunk. And the same amount of alcohol effects individuals differently depending upon whether or not the person has eaten, their body mass, their drinking history, how fast they them, etc. It is extremely difficult for a person to calculate all these factors, especially while drinking. Because of this, I do not recommend a Christian risk ruining their testimony. If you never take a drink, you will not get drunk. If you never use a drug, you will never get addicted.

I found out that I was an alcoholic in a very strange way. By the time I accepted Christ at twenty-eight, I had spent eleven years in the Navy, and had developed quite a liking for beer. So much so, that I drank whenever I had the money and, at first, whenever it would not effect my ability to perform my duties. There are horror stories I could tell of how that gradually changed. By the time I became a Christian, I had deprived my family, had an arrest record, and had been drunk while on duty. When I accepted Christ, I immediately quit drinking. I had no withdrawal symptoms or even the desire to drink; I was in love with Jesus and spent every minute I could learning and talking about Him. It wasn't until I was retiring from the Navy that I came to realize that I was an alcoholic. The Christian Fellowship on base was sponsored by the Catholic Chaplain, and as was the practice, they had a going-away party for me. I was not familiar with the tradition of having the Lord's Supper (Communion) at the end of it, but as we all sat on the floor in a circle, the Chaplain broke a loaf of bread and passed it to me. He then passed me a goblet of wine. As soon as I tasted the wine, I became totally obsessed with having more. I sat there trying to think of a way I could get up and get ahead of the cup without of being obvious. I was almost in a panic. After we had finished, I asked the Chaplain if I could have a glass of the wine. He said, "Sure." I drank it down like I had been in a desert for days. A calm came over me and it was then that I knew that I was an alcoholic.

So, I say with first hand knowledge that alcohol is deceptive and it only takes one drink to alter your judgment and your reflexes. Why risk it? Consider alcohol as a drug, and never give it the opportunity to get you hooked.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


In yesterday's post, I addressed the miracle at Cana, and whether or not the wine Jesus made was fermented. It did not take place during the Feasts of Passover and Unleavened Bread, so there was no religious reason for it not to have been fermented wine. The real problem conservative Christians have with it actually being wine is that most believe it is a sin to drink any alcoholic beverage. Just for the record, I am a conservative Christian who comes from a background of being an alcoholic, and I personally do not use alcohol. It is difficult enough living for Christ with a clear mind, so I know that drinking would weaken my resistance all sorts of temptations. For me to drink would be just plain stupid.

On one hand, the Bible does not teach that alcohol is bad, in itself, but the excessive use of it is. Deuteronomy 14:26 seems to indicate that wine and strong drink are okay as long as you can in faith consume it before the Lord. Whatever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23). In 2 Chronicles 32:27-30, God gave Hezekiah an abundance of riches including wine. Psalms 4:7 and 104:14-15 also show that God provided wine. Proverbs 31:6 says, "Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts." The only New Testament verse that specifically says a Christian can drink wine is 1 Timothy 5:23, where Paul prescribes wine for Timothy's illness.

On the other hand, the Bible has much to say about drinking wine and strong drink in excess. The priests were not to drink before going into the Tabernacle of the Lord (Leviticus 10:9). The Nazirites, a sect of Judaism set apart for God's service, were to abstain from any product made from grapes, including vinegar (Numbers 6:3). In Proverbs 21:17, 23:29-31, and 31:4, the Word of God tells of the consequences of drinking: poverty, fights, incoherence, and poor judgment. The New Testament warns of drinking to excess (1 Corinthians 11:17-22; Ephesians 5:18; Titus 2:3), but it does not appear to prohibit the consumption of wine.

Perhaps one should avoid wine and strong drink since it is difficult to tell when "you have had enough." In fact, the more one drinks, the chances of him making a decision to stop diminishes proportionally. This is intended to be funny, so take it as a joke. A Christian bar should have a two-drink maximum. I know, I should stick to "spiritual things."

The keys to the Christian deciding whether or not it is okay to drink are these: Can I be disciplined enough to drink without drinking to excess? Can I drink with a clear conscience (remember Romans 14:23)? And, can I drink without causing a brother to stumble (Romans 14:21)? If the answer is no to any of these, don't drink.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Whenever a Christian wants to justify the drinking of alcoholic beverages to others, he will remind them that Jesus turned water into wine. Most conservative Christians will suggest that the newly created wine was merely the fruit of the vine (grape juice), and not fermented wine. While this is a possibility, Jewish weddings have traditionally included fermented wine. Having been an alcoholic myself, I can attest to the fact that even when drunk, I could tell the difference between the two. Since the host praised the wine as superior to that being served earlier, it is unlikely that Jesus created grape juice. Others might say that since the miracle occurred in an instant, the grape juice didn't have time to ferment. Really? Why would fermentation be beyond the ability of Jesus? After all, He was able to serve thousands and have more leftovers than when He started!

Going to the original language does not help. While the writers of Young's Concordance suggest that oinos is to be understood as grape juice, it is the root word for oinopotes which they translate "wine bibber." A wine bibber is a drunk. To make matters worse, His enemies called Jesus a glutton and a drunk (wine bibber - Matthew 11:19). Would it be sin if Jesus drank fermented wine? After all, Jesus said, "Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man, but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man" (Matthew 13:11).

Since this debate has been going on for nearly two thousand years, I doubt that I will resolve the issue in one blog post. However, I would like to address His supposed use of wine on another occasion. And, while I cannot be dogmatic on this point, I believe there is clear evidence that the "cup" at the Lord's Supper contained grape juice, or some other drink: perhaps water. Grape juice, in order to become wine, needs to be mixed with yeast to produce fermentation. Yeast in the Bible is known as leaven, and because leaven always represents sin or corruption, it was forbidden during the Feasts of Passover and Unleavened Bread. In fact, not only was the bread they ate during the feasts to be unleavened, there was not to be any leaven in their homes (Exodus 12:15). Because fermented grape juice contains leaven, I do not believe it would be permitted.

The New Testament celebration of the Lord's Supper followed the Old Testament pattern. The bread was unleavened as it represented the body of Christ. The cup represented the blood of Christ. The Feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits pictured the death, burial, and the resurrection of Jesus, our Passover (1 Corinthians 5:7). The Passover meal included a lamb (Jesus), unleavened bread (His sinless body), and the cup (innocent blood). It is inconceivable to me how the cup could have contained fermented wine. However, there is another side to this issue, and I will address it tomorrow, Lord willing.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


There is a new TV show about helping "pack rats" cast out unnecessary things. I would like them to do a show on our home. Our home is a reservoir of things. A main difference between us is that we both like Goodwill for different reasons. I like to "share," while she likes to increase our share.

In many ways, the Church is much like a family. Just as we have not let forty-seven years of "collecting things" cause us to divorce, neither should a church split over things that are merely irritating. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 teaches that love is long suffering, seeks not its own (way), is not easily provoked, bears all things, and endures all things. So I ask, why are there so many churches even within a single denomination? Why is the divorce rate in the church about the same as that of non-believers? Of course I am looking at statistics about professing believers. In God's true Church of born again believers, the rate is far lower, and yet is far too high. God hates divorce.

Since my focus is upon the Church, I will not use the many Old Testament passages about casting out people(s). Since I have written on divorce within the Church in past posts, I will not take the time to do so here. Instead, I will address what many churches call "excommunication." In Matthew 18:15-19, Jesus taught His disciples the process required to remove someone from the local church. The sin is not specified, leaving me to believe that any, and perhaps all sins should be handled in such a manner. While I have seen one example of this process occurring in my thirty-nine years as a Christian, I have to wonder why it does not happen far more often. I have a feeling that the Church would not hear the word "hypocrites" used as often to describe it.

Two examples of people being cast out of the church are found in 1 Corinthians 5:1-13, and in 1 John 10. Paul told the Corinthian church that they had failed to keep the assembly above reproach, so much so that even the Gentiles were appalled. This passage shows that a little leaven (a metaphor for sin) corrupts the entire assembly. Paul questions their poor judgment, and tells them that they should not only have cast him out, but that they should have absolutely nothing to do with him once he is expelled from the church. We also learn that should the rejected one repent, they are to be welcomed back into the assembly (2 Corinthians 2:1-10).

The situation in 3 John 10 is much different. While sin is involved in both cases, here we find that the sin is a deliberate attempt to hinder God's servants from His work. The sin was that of Diotrephes who attempted to keep John from ministering to them, nor would he allow others to do so. It was he that was casting out any who welcomed other believers. John warns that he would deal with Diotrephes when he came there. It was Diotrephes that needed to be cast out of the church he was destroying.

Keeping the assembly pure is of utmost importance, but removing someone requires specific steps. It also should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ with the motive of purifying the church, and with the hopeful desire the offender will repent and be welcomed back into fellowship. Harmony should never take priority over holiness.


Monday, March 15, 2010


Shadows are something with which everyone is familiar, but I have never given them much thought. The Bible uses the word thirty-four times, about half of which refer to the "shadow of death." However, the same Hebrew root is translated "shade" forty-five times. When translated "shade," it is almost always used in a positive sense. Perhaps the two most recognizable verses about shadows use the term in a positive and a negative sense. James 1:17 uses it to describe the faithfulness of God Who gives us good gifts. Psalm 23:4 speaks of the dreadful "valley of the shadow of death." Even in that valley, God is present to protect and encourage the traveler.

I can remember shadows playing a negative role in two movies, in Phycho and in The Wizard of Oz. The first was used to create suspense (another word for fear), and the other was used to create the illusion that the Wizard was huge and formidable (again to produce fear). Movie buffs probably know of several more examples, but I suspect that they are intended for the same effect.

There are dozens of superstitions about shadows, but I will not take the time to address them. Some of those reading this post may even believe in a few. If you do, you might want to consider the definition of "superstition." Much like the fear of shadows, fear of superstitions is irrational. Shadows have no power or ability to do anything. For centuries, people feared eclipses as ominous signs that the gods were angry. Today, most people understand that an eclipse is caused by the Earth casting a shadow on the moon, or visa versa. It is clear that nearly all shadows have no power to harm, but they might be a warning of something or someone that could. As in Psalm 23, a shadow can cause one to place his trust in God. Oh, if only every shadow had that effect!

There is one kind of shadow that is deadly. Because shadows are the result of something blocking the light, darkness is allowed to exist. Christians know that God is Light (1 John 1:5). Christians know that Jesus is the Light of the world (John 8:12). Christians know that the Gospel is light (Philippians 2:15). And, Christians know that they themselves are to be light (Matthew 5:14). The problem is that often Christians tend to block the light instead of being lights (Matthew 5:15). When we act like the world, we cease to serve as lights. Worse than that, we block the light of God and His Gospel from being manifest and thereby hinder the salvation of lost souls. So, if you are continually walking in the flesh, and not in the Spirit, do me a favor; don't tell people you are a Christian. Satan, false teachers, and religionists cast enough shadows without Christians living as hypocrites. Quit casting shadows and be the light Jesus intended you to be.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


In my entire life of sixty- seven years, I have heard the word "aspersions" used less than a handful of times. I don't recall ever using it myself, so I had to look it up. Webster's Dictionary gives four uses for the word: the act of defaming; a damaging or disparaging remark; slander; and an innuendo. Webster's Thesaurus gives a several synonyms, but I will only use those for which I do not need the dictionary: slam, slur, abuse, muck, backbiting, scandal, slander, and libel. I think the general idea is someone talking negatively about another in order to discredit them. Gossip isn't included, but I feel comfortable adding it.

Christians are forbidden to do any of these things. Gossips or talebearers should read Leviticus 19:16; Proverbs 11:13; and Ezekiel 22:9. Backbiters should read Romans 1:30; and 2 Corinthians 12:20. Slanderers should read Luke 6:45; 1 Timothy 5:13; 1 Peter 3:10; and Revelation 12:10. False witnesses should read Exodus 20:16; Deuteronomy 5:20; Matthew 19:18; Luke i8:20; and Romans 13:9. The Word of God is clear that man will be accountable for everything he says. Matthew 12:36-37 says, "But I say unto you that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account of it in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned."

So what is a Christian to do if he is aware of a brother's sin? The first thing he should pray that he hasn't contributed to their trespass. The second thing he should do is pray for God's timing in leading you to approach the offender. Your motive in going should be reconciliation. Matthew 18:15-17 give the order of actions one must take to resolve the problem. Speak to him in private. If that doesn't work, take two or three witnesses (preferably elders) and try again. That failing, take the matter before the whole church. If after that, the individual continues, he is to be put out of the church. At no time are we to talk to others about it until prayer and a private meeting fail. Throughout the entire sequence, reconciliation is the goal.

I can remember responding to someone cussing by saying, "Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?" I was trying to get a point across and yet stay on speaking terms. It didn't usually work. More than not, I was reminded of one or more of my failures to live a Christ-like life. Jesus told His disciples to get the beam out of their own eye before attempting to remove a splinter from someone else's eye (Matthew 7:1-5). I sort of doubt that the Spirit would lead a person to approach his brother with sin in his own life. It sounds more like what the devil would do, instead of reconciliation, division is almost certainly going to be the result.

Whether witnessing to the lost, or correcting a brother, one must do three things: have his sins confessed, have a genuine desire to reconcile the person to God, and most importantly, wait until the Spirit of God gives you the green light. The servant, the motive, and the timing all are necessary for success.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


There are eight Hebrew words which the King James Version translates "strong holds." While there are slight differences in their meanings, basically they all have one thing in common: they are structures, either natural or man made, that serve as a defense from attack. These terms refer to caves, high places, mountain tops, walled cities, fortresses, etc. The eight words are used to speak of strong holds twenty-five times in the Old Testament.

In the New Testament, "strong holds" appears only once (2 Corinthians 10:4). In this case, the term is used to describe the tearing down of mental and spiritual walls resisting the truth (see verse five). These verses might be interpreted as teaching that some, and perhaps all, imperfect Christians still defend superstitions (imaginations). And there are areas of sin ingrained as habits, which maintain a hold on the believer, until the Lord ''works in you to will and to do His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). For instance, Paul encountered many believers who, although being Christians, were still bound captive by the legalism of the Law. The Book of Galatians was primarily written to address this.

When one thinks of strong holds, a picture of a walled city or fortress immediately comes to mind. The passage in 2 Corinthians (10:3-5) clearly refers to warfare. Paul, in identifying with those fighting against evil, says "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal." Unfortunately, most Christians picture our battle as one where we take a stand and defend our position, our strong hold. However, as we will see, we are to attack. The strong hold is the devil's. Jesus said, "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it "(the Church - Matthew 16:18). Gates are part of the fortress meant to keep us out.

"In our war against Satan, Paul describes equipment the Christian needs in order to be victorious. In Ephesians 6:12-17, he identifies the enemy (v. 12) as a spiritual one. The Christian's defensive equipment includes the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, a shield of faith, and a helmet of salvation. All of these have to do with knowledge of one's protection in Christ. There are two pieces of offensive equipment, the sword of the Spirit described as the Word of God, and shoes prepared to attack with the Gospel. Most see our only weapon as the Sword which is described in detail in Hebrews 4:12. That is because we are always on the defensive. It is time for the Church to attack the strong holds of Satan in our minds, our families, our churches, our nation, and our world! We are to be light that drives back darkness, and salt that preserves the ground we gain. Let's put Satan on the defensive where he belongs.

Friday, March 12, 2010


A few friends and family members have decided I should continue the theme of "casting" something. What started out to be one post, has now become four and counting. We had casting, Crowns, Pearls, Movies, and Nets so far. Should the Lord continue to guide along this line, Votes, Shadows, Molds, Aspersions, Broken Bones, Out, Down, and Away are waiting in the wings. Today, I believe I need to write about Casting Stones.

One of the most recognizable responses to criticism is "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones." Of course this means those who are openly immoral, whose reputations are widely known, have no right to judge the behavior of others. The common word for those who do so is "hypocrite." But what about criticizing those folks whose sins are hidden from the general public? We might say that their dwelling is not transparent, and their sins are less known. Is it okay for them to cast stones? In Israel during the time of Christ, casting stones was far more serious than mere criticism; the religious leaders sentenced people to death by stoning. Once the sentence was passed, the community was to gather outside the city to carry out the judgment. The person "pressing charges" or making the accusation, was to cast the first stone, with the rest of the community "finishing the job" (Deuteronomy 13:9-10)

John 8:3-11 tells of one such occasion. They brought a woman who was caught in the act of committing adultery. There was no denial on her part; she was guilty. Where was the man? According to the law, both parties were to be stoned (Deuteronomy 22:22). I do not know if it is explicitly written that those casting the stones be sinless, but from what I gather from this episode, Jesus seemed to think so. We don't know what He wrote in the dirt, but the most logical answer is that He wrote the sins of those who were ready to stone her. As He added each sin, those guilty of it were convicted and they left. I don't have a clue as to how many He had to write before they all left, but I am sure that if I were one of the crowd, I would have had to leave after the first.

During His time on earth, Jesus was still operating under the Law. Once the church began on the day of Pentecost, Christians were no longer under the Law. There is only one passage from Acts to Revelation that could be possibly be interpreted as supporting the Church's involvement in taking the life of others. In 1 Corinthians 5:1-6:8, Paul pronounced the sentence of death upon another Christian. Even in that case, the Church did not carry out the sentence. Paul appealed to God to allow Satan to take his life, but he knew that his soul would not be lost. In fact, he goes on to say that Christians aren't even to sue other Christians. Most conservative Christians today support capital punishment for especially heinous crimes, but the entire process from the arrest through the execution is the responsibility of the government (Romans 13:1-7). To quote the Son of God, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." Some have thought the Church was to excuse the sin of adultery, but notice what Jesus told the woman. He said, "Go and sin no more." To Jesus, and to the Church, adultery is still a sin (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19). Remember, God does not need His children to have houses of glass to know their deeds; He knows the thoughts and intents of our hearts (Hebrews 4:12). I long for the day when I can go and sin no more!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


The New Testament presents three ways in which nets are used, and the use of them determines totally different results. At least four of the twelve disciples of Jesus were fishermen: Simon Peter, Andrew, James, and John (Matthew 4:18-21; Mark 1:16-19). Others of the twelve (with the exception of Judas) participated at least once (John 21:3-11). One way nets were used was a means to provide a living for one's family. In the first two references above, we see that they were professionals who knew what it took to be successful. They knew that "ground work" had to be done before they could begin fishing (pardon the pun). James and John mended their nets. Apparently Peter and Andrew had prepared earlier, or like he was so apt to do, Peter was a doer and not much of a planner. In Luke 5:2-6, we learn that the work did not end when the fishing was complete; they had to wash their nets.

In Luke and John, it is clear that proper preparation does not guarantee success. It is vitally important that the fishermen know where the fish are "biting." On both of these occasions, they had tried their best to catch fish, but they did not know where to look. In the Luke passage, they had given up but Jesus told them to go back and try again. Apparently their timing had been off. In John, it was not so much the timing of their efforts, but more the location. They had lowered their nets on the wrong side of the boat. (the left, or port side is my guess since the starboard, or right side is always right, LOL).

Another way they were used was by the Lord Who used situations involving the use of nets as evidence of His true identity. In Luke, the result was faith and fear. In John, the result was faith and fellowship. This "use of nets" might be described as a tool for soul winning. Jesus had told them to leave the worldly use of nets and come fish for men (Matthew 4:19; Mark 1:17). Both uses of nets in Scripture have some things in common. Both require preparing. Soul winning requires fishermen who are washed (in the blood), who have their lives mended and are lead by the Spirit to "where the fish are biting."

The third way God uses nets is the final way. After men are finished earning a living, and after they work to win souls to Christ, there is a net that leads to judgment. Matthew 13:1-51 Jesus teaches seven parables which describe the Church Age, the age in which we are now living. The last of the seven describes the collection of souls for God's judgment. Fishermen fish for certain kinds of fish, and having collected those that are desirable, they cast the rest out. So it is that when the angels gather the souls of men, they separate the good (those which are deemed righteous by faith in Christ) from the worthless (those who rejected Christ).

We are to be fishers of men seeking the lost. Proverbs 11:30 teaches that those who win souls are wise. Clean you nets, mend them, and go fishing to where Jesus tells you the fish "are biting."

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


After being led of the Lord to write yesterday's post, I casually mentioned to my granddaughter that I thought it was neat how God had paired my last two posts. (On Monday, March 8th, the subject was a Christian's rewards for service to the Lord entitled CASTING CROWNS. Yesterday's post was about degrees of torment based upon an unbeliever's response to the amount of light he or she had received. I ended it by saying there comes a time when God's servant should no longer waste time by CASTING PEARLS before the unrepentant.) She responded by saying, "You should call tomorrows post CASTING MOVIES." My immediate thought was that she was being silly, and I dismissed it as just that. Little did I know what God would do to influence today's post.

Last night, I was talking on Face Book with a former student named Daniel. He mentioned his concern over the occasional filthy, disgusting things that show up on the internet. His children were getting older and it wouldn't be long before they would be using it. It is a shame that such a wonderful tool for sharing the Gospel around the world has to be polluted by sin-sick minds. Still, the Gospel is being preached and the Holy Spirit is gathering the readers in spite of the filth. Millions, maybe even billions are on the net, and my little blog is lost in the vast ocean of senseless drivel and porn. It is such a shame that after four months, I only have had about 200 hits, and porn sites have millions. I feel like a salmon swimming up Niagara Falls.

Then it happened. I was reading one of my Christian links and someone had pleaded in all caps for every person to watch a video of a preacher. I usually skim through the mountain of posts, but this one caught my eye. I clicked on the site (Youtube, "The Shocking Youth Message" by Paul Washer), and I wept as I watched. The video only had one person, so casting was not a problem, right? God had been in charge of casting, and there was only one man for the job: Paul Washer. God could have used any of millions of Christians, but as you will see in the video, He really didn't have that many from which to choose. In my thirty-nine years as a Christian, I have only heard one other man preach a similar message and that was my pastor, Brian Tibbs.

I began going over the hundred or so posts on my blog to see if I was aliened with him, and I honestly believe I have been. So, even though just a few have read it (, God has other messengers working under the same Spirit. It reminds me of 1 Kings 19:18 and Romans 11:4, where the prophet Elijah found out that he wasn't alone, but God had 7000 others of like mind. God is the Casting Director, and He is looking for just the right person to do His work where you are. Are you available?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Yesterday, I said that our works produce an offering that really belongs to the Lord: gold, silver, and precious stones (1 Corinthians 3:10-15). In verse 14, notice that after our works are tested by fire which reveals their "quality," we receive a reward accordingly. It does not say that we receive gold, silver, or precious stones, but the reward for faithfulness is described as crowns (1 Corinthians 9:25; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 2 Timothy 4:8; James 1:12; 1 Peter 5:4; Revelation 2:10; 3:11; 4:4, 10). From the last reference, it appears that even our crowns of reward for faithful service will be offered to the Lord. Perhaps the most joyful thing we will ever do will be to, once again, give God our all.

Just as there will be those who have more to offer God in heaven, those rejecting God will reap differing degrees of eternal punishment. Jesus taught that cities which rejected Him, yet allowed He and His disciples to preach the Gospel to them, would suffer less in the Day of Judgment than those which would not even listen to them. In Matthew 10:14-15, and in Mark 6:11, Jesus said the city that refuses them will suffer much greater punishment than the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha. In Matthew 11:22-24, two cities which received God's prophets, Tyre and Sidon, would suffer less than those of Chorazin and Bethsaida which rejected them. In Luke 10:8-15, Jesus compares an unnamed city, Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum with Tyre and Sidon.

What was different about all these cities? After all, they all rejected God's revealed truth. Why would their degree of punishment be different? The answer is found in the same passages. Jesus told His disciples that if Sodom, Gomorrha, Tyre, and Sidon had received as much "light" as the cities that rejected Him, they would have believed and repented. Hebrews 1:1-2 reveals that before Jesus came to be the Light of the world (John 8:12), revelation came through the prophets. One greater than Abraham (John 8:58), greater than Jonah, and greater than Solomon (Matthew 12:38-42) revealed greater light. Jesus was saying that if the Old Testament cities had the light He was giving the cities of His day, they would have accepted Him. The fact that God increases revealed light for understanding is most clearly found in the study of Dispensationalism. However, with greater light, comes greater responsibility. To him whom much is given, much will be required (Luke 12:48).

This principle applies to both those who reject God's revealed truth, and those who accept it. Believers are held accountable as stewards of their understanding of the Word, and of their use of the gifts of the Spirit (Romans 12:3-8). Unbelievers receive judgment base upon the amount of "light" they reject. The real question is, have you accepted Jesus as your Lord? Regardless of what limited "light" other generations received, your generation has received the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Either believe in Him and repent of your sinful way of life, or reject Him, continue as you are, and suffer the consequences. After repeatedly trying to reach someone for Christ, there comes a time to quit "casting your pearls before swine" (Matthew 7:6). Those are harsh words, but they are not mine. Jesus said it. Time is too short to waste on those who have made up their minds to reject the Truth.

Monday, March 8, 2010


Most Christians know that there will be rewards in heaven for our faithfulness, and they know that the amount of the rewards will be determined when our works are tried by fire (1 Corinthians 3:9-15). Before I continue, I may need to remind some that Salvation is by grace through faith alone and works are the natural product of Salvation (Ephesians 2:8-10). Rewards are for the work we allow God to do through us (Philippians 1:6; 2:13). You would think that being adopted as His children would be enough, but God loves us so much that He wants to show His gratitude for our yielding to the Holy Spirit. Grace upon grace - amazing!

This made me wonder how God would determine the reward for those who were led to do "small things," as compared to those He used mightily; say the person who gets saved near the end of his life, as apposed to someone who is Spirit filled from an early age. Or what about different levels of faith (Romans 12:3-8)? I am reminded of the Lord's teaching on stewardship of the Master's goods (Matthew 25:14-30). The Master rewarded His faithful stewards in proportion to the amount entrusted to them. God, being all-knowing, gives His children differing amounts of opportunity to serve Him. He never gives us more than we can handle.

It appears that God gives His children different levels of knowledge concerning His plan and His will (compare Matthew 13:11-12 with Luke 8:16-18). Isaiah 49:6 speaks of this knowledge as being "light" which can bring someone to Salvation. Jesus said, "I Am the Light of the world" (John 8:12; 9:5). As long as Jesus was living on Earth, He was the Light, the manifestation of Truth. Now that He has ascended into heaven "for a spell," we are the light (John 8:12; Philippians 2:15). We are to shine in such a way that God receives the glory (Matthew 5:14-16). So then, believers are given various levels of light for which we are accountable as stewards. The quality of our works is determined by how much light we show the world in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Our works of gold, silver, and precious stones, are all works done in the power of the Holy Spirit and for the glory of God. Those belong to Him. We don't get to keep them, as if they do us any good in heaven. Our rewards are depicted in Scripture as crowns (1 Corinthians 9:25; 2 Timothy 4:8; James 1:12; 1 Peter 5:4; Revelation 2:10; 3:11). Because we will understand that our rewards rightly belong to God, for it is God Who works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13), we will join the twenty-four elders in casting them at His feet (Revelation 4:10). I cannot comprehend that scene, but I know I will enjoy it!

Tomorrow, Lord willing, I will address those who receive light and reject it.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


I became a born again believer on January 31st, 1971. On the thirtieth, I was an atheist, but God had a plan for my life. He orchestrated events in such a way that I knew He was real, and that I needed Him. Upon getting up from kneeling in my living room, I knew three things: my sins were forgiven; the Bible was God's true revelation to man; and that I was to spend the rest of my life serving Him. Of course, I thought that meant I was to become a preacher. I had no idea just how many ways there are to serve Him. I went to Bible College, and then later to Seminary, but the journey had already taken twenty years. I graduated and soon was called by a little country church to be their pastor. God confirmed the call, and I served there for two years. That was long enough to let me know that I was not a pastor. He then led me to a Christian School where I taught and even served as Principal for a time. The school closed, I spent the next five years working in a public school and suffering from severe depression. My health gave out and I had to quit work altogether. Now, I was not only depressed because I was not teaching at the Christian School, my depression steadily deepened until I was rushed to the hospital with blood clots in both lungs. The doctors were not sure I would make it.

The first night I was there, a pastor my daughter knew came to pray for me. I told him that I only wanted God to spare my life if He was going to use me in ministry. To me, living meant serving. He prayed accordingly, and for about six months, I recovered somewhat, but I was miserable because I had no leading from the Lord to a place of service. Then, one day while I was moaning to my pastor about my life being a waste, he suggested I write a blog. I didn't know then, and I still don't know what a blog is, but he went on his computer and started one for me. Since November of 2009, I have written a post almost every day. This post will be my one hundredth. I usually don't know what I will write about until I sit down at my computer and pray for His direction. Today was no different. So I prayed, and here it is.

Pastor Tibbs' message today was about our church's vision for ministry. He said two things that really got my attention. For one, he explained that Charlestown Independent Church's vision was to be a lighthouse to the community. He went into great detail about lighthouses, but I couldn't keep my mind from coming back to my blog. Not only did I select the name of it without thinking of our church, I also picked a background for my site from a tiny picture among dozens. It was less crowded, so I picked it. When I saw it as a full page, I rejoiced because the picture is of a lighthouse! God is good!

The second thing was from Acts 2:17 (also Joel 2:28) which says when the Spirit comes, young men will see visions, and old men will dream dreams. My pastor is young and has a vision for our church to reach the lost; I am old and I dream of a day when my blog will be read in every country. So far, it is being read in Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Malaysia, and many states in the U.S. Needless to say, my depression is gone and I am thrilled to be serving the Lord by spreading His Word. I don't know how long I will last, but as long as I am able, and the Spirit guides me, I will write 'til Jesus comes! If you haven't read other posts, be sure to read the March 1st post. It is the best thing I have, or ever will write. God bless you; pray for me.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Just as our government is demonstrating the Second Law of Thermodynamics (everything is in a state of decay), so is the visible church. Born again believers have failed to keep the church from becoming worldly, just as we have failed to significantly influence governments. The most common word used by unbelievers to describe the church is "hypocrites." Consequently, no nation today is recognizably Christian. It has even come to the point that many missions organizations are now spending as much of their resources on the United States as they are on the rest of the world. Add to that the problem of denominations focusing on converting believers from other denominations, it is no wonder the Gospel is not reaching areas of unbelief. We are no longer "light" nor are we "salt."

The problem of worldly governments will certainly be fixed when Jesus returns to establish His kingdom (the Millennium). The problem with the visible church will be as well. Jesus hinted at the problem in Luke 18:8. He asked if when He returned, would He find faith on the earth. 2 Thessalonians 2:3 tells us that before He returns, there will be a great falling away from the truth followed by the appearance of the antichrist. 1 Timothy 4:1 says that in the latter days, some will depart from the faith and will believe lies and false doctrines. In 2 Timothy 3:1-9, they will have an appearance of godliness, but they will deny God's power. They will be constantly learning data, but they will never come to understand the truth. Again in 2 Timothy 4:3-4, the end time is described as a time when the visible church has a desire for false teachers. The visible church will be a total failure. I believe the True Church, the Bride of Christ, will have been raptured by that time, and all that will be left is professing Christians.

Since born again believers are a minority in the visible church, what are we to be doing until He comes to get us? We are to "run the race until the end." We are to continue to preach the Gospel to the lost. We are to continue to confront worldliness in the visible church. We are to oppose corruption in government by speaking the truth in love. Some of us need to run for political office to fight from within. We are to support candidates that hold Christian values as sacred. We are to submit to all authority because they are placed there by God (Romans 13:1-7). Remember, Paul wrote Romans shortly after Rome crucified Jesus. We are not to resist evil (those in authority that treat you badly), but we are to go the extra mile (Matthew 5:38-42). We are to resist the evil one who would incite us to fight back, or refuse to submit (Ephesians 4:27; 6:10-17; James 4:7). By submitting, we demonstrate the character Christ had (Philippians 2:5-8). In other words, we are to work 'til Jesus comes! Come, Lord Jesus!

Friday, March 5, 2010


Martin Luther is credited with the beginning of the Protestant Reformation based upon his criticism of the Roman Catholic teachings that he knew to be contrary to Scripture. True or not, the denominations that followed were persecuted by both the Catholic Church and by earlier denominations. Religion had gone from one oppressor, to many oppressors. As new understanding of the Word of God developed, believers were forced to flee to other countries. Eventually, nearly every country in Europe and Western Asia had its own official government sanctioned church. If you lived in Germany, you were to be a Lutheran. If you lived in England, you were to be Anglican. Switzerland had the Reformed Church. Greece and Russia had orthodox churches. The American Colonies were a continuation of governments which were heavily influenced by a specific religious group. In fact, Rhode Island was founded by Roger Williams as a Congregationalist state because of intolerance in other states. The stage was set.

When the colonies decided they needed to unite together to defend themselves against European domination, they agreed upon a Constitution. But to insure that the new government did not infringe upon an individual's or a state's rights, they added the first ten amendments called the Bill of Rights. Most important to them, and therefore the First Amendment, they agreed that Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Today, we have freedom of religion, but it was not because of the First Amendment. The colonies did not want the federal government interfering with a state's right to have the religion of their choice. The individual colonies, now states, continued to favor a specific religion. Eventually, each individual state included the spirit of the first amendment in its own constitution. Today, no state can establish a religion or prohibit citizens from worshiping as they choose.

Unfortunately, the First Amendment has become so grossly misinterpreted, that it is generally perceived as demanding the separation of church and state. This unfortunate interpretation has led federal, state, and local governments to restrict religious materials and religious activities on public land, including in schools. Many in our nation believe it prohibits religious influence in political affairs. For most religions, this is not a problem. But Christians are supposed to be "light to the world" and "salt" as well. Light, of course refers to revealing the truth, and salt refers to preventing corruption. When the Church is prevented from influencing government, truth becomes relative, and corruption is inevitable. As a result, evolution is taught in our schools as fact, and creationism if forbidden. Today, there are laws that allow the slaughter of unborn human beings. States have begun using gambling as a source of revenue. Many states have done away with capital punishment. Many are trying to pass laws prohibiting the private ownership of firearms. And perhaps the worst offense to our Constitution is a ground-swell of support for the United States to forfeit its sovereignty by joining "the New World Order."

The good news is, Jesus is coming back, and based upon how similar society is to that of Noah's day, I believe it isn't very far off. Tomorrow, I will address how the Church is to respond to the many abuses of our government. Lord willing! Until then, keep telling people about Jesus.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


I ended yesterday's post talking about the Church failing to compromise on doctrine. I did not say whether I thought that failure to compromise was good or bad. Let me continue by saying it is both. There are certain doctrines that are viewed today as the fundamentals of our faith: the Bible as the inspired Word of God, the Trinity, the Deity of Christ, the Virgin Birth, Christ's sinless life, His death, His burial, His resurrection, His advocacy for the Church, Salvation by Faith alone, Believers Baptism, the Lord's Supper, and His promised Second Coming. These are all doctrines which today must be agreed upon for unity. Many of these doctrines, such as Salvation by Faith alone, were not always understood to be fundamental. Division occurs when two factions develop differing views concerning one or more of them over time.

Jesus told His disciples to preach the Gospel in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the rest of the world. However, since the first Christians were Jewish, and since Jerusalem was the center of the Jewish religion, the early Church clustered there. God used persecution to disperse them (Acts 8:1). When Constantine issued the Edict of Milan in A.D. 313, Christianity became legal. Emperor Theodosius made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire on February 27, A.D. 380. It then was centered in Rome. In A.D. 1054, the Church split with Rome and Constantinople being the center of power for each. The Western Church, challenged by Martin Luther in A.D. 1517, began the splintering that has resulted in thousands of groups and denominations headquartered around the world today. So much for unity.

The good news is, Christianity has been spread throughout the world. The bad news is, most of the division within the Church has been over church doctrine resulting in persecution. This begs the question: Is the Christianity that spread throughout the world really the Church? If the interpretation of doctrine varies, are both sides in the resulting division part of the Church?

Yesterday, I suggested that God's confusion of languages at the Tower of Babel was similar to what He has done with the Body of Christ. As people discovered that they could not live together with those having a different language, they spread out and populated the world. God then chose one family group to be His people; Abraham became the father of the Jews. As born again believers discovered that they are unable to fellowship with those who hold different doctrinal views, they began to separate themselves into groups that were like-minded. As God had set apart His people at the beginning of the Church, He now did with new denominations as they spread throughout the world. The Bible says that believers will come from every kindred, tongue, people, and nation (Revelation 5:9). I would suggest that believers will come from many denominations, as well. The unity that Jesus prayed for, and which does exist among born again believers of many denominations, IS the Church. Though we may differ on non-essentials, we have fellowship with one another because we have been given the faith to believe in Jesus, and His death, burial, and resurrection according to the Scriptures!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


If you are "just tuning in" and are not familiar with this site, let me recommend you read POLITICS AND RELIGION: PART FIVE. Nothing I have written before it, and most likely, nothing I will ever write, will be as important to the reader. It is essential that one understands exactly what True Christianity is!

Although the ministry of Jesus occurred during the Dispensation of the Law, He was telling Nicodemus what is true for all seven dispensations: You must be born again (John 3:1-21). One is born of the Spirit by faith, and the Word clearly teaches that belief results in imputed righteousness (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3; Galatians 3:6; and James 2:23). Abraham did not have the light that the Church now has, but he believed the light he did have, and God covered him in the blood of Jesus who was crucified in God's economy before the world was made (Revelation 13:8). Abraham did not have a Bible. In fact, no one had a completed Bible until around A.D. 100. Nevertheless, when a man, from Adam all the way to the end of the Millennium, believes what God has revealed to him, he is counted as under the blood of Jesus. Faith comes when one recognizes what God says is truth. It is not something we decide to do, but something the Spirit does in us. Faith is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8-9). We simply believe.

Unfortunately, the Church has had problems with people adding and taking away from the simple Gospel. Paul confronted the Galatians in the first century (1:6-9). Throughout his ministry, Paul was constantly under attack by those who demanded converts become Jews first. Even after the council that declared this not to be true (Act 15:1-27), there was still opposition.

Another problem the early Church faced was that of division (Romans 16:17; 1 Corinthians 1:10; 3:3; 11:18). And although Jesus clearly wanted the Church to be united (John 17:11; 21-13), it appears that it never has been. For the first three centuries, the Church struggled with establishing itself in the face of severe persecution. Once Rome merged politics and religion by making Christianity the official religion of the empire, corruption of doctrine abounded. When the Empire fell, the Church continued to be a combination of politics and religion in the form of the Roman Church, which slaughtered anyone who failed to acknowledge its teachings as equal to the Bible. In A.D. 1054, the Catholic (Universal) Church split into the Eastern and Western divisions. This lasted until the Reformation which split the Church several times over with denominations beginning in the early 1500's. Today, who knows how many divisions there are.

Division results from a failure to compromise concerning one's beliefs. God has used the increased understanding of His Word to spread the Gospel, just as He used the confusion of tongues to correct those building the Tower of Babel. So, was Jesus wrong to desire that the Church be one? I will try to answer that tomorrow, Lord willing. Keep looking up for your redemption draweth nigh.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


True Christianity teaches that the salvation of one's soul is one hundred percent the work of God. When He becomes real to us, we can do nothing but worship Him with thanksgiving, or reject Him to our own detriment. The only "work" we can do to be saved is to believe in Jesus (John 6:29). In John 3:1-21, Jesus explained to a religious leader of Israel that his religion was unable to save him. He told him that he needed to be born again, to be born of the Spirit of God. Jesus explained that the Spirit could not be seen, but He regenerates men spiritually. Though alive physically, as the offspring of Adam, Nicodemus was dead spiritually. We are told by Scripture that one man caused spiritual death, and One Man offers us Spiritual life (Romans 5:12-21).

Yesterday, I said I would make today's post personal. By that I mean I am going to present Scripture in a way that makes it apply to each individual reader. What follows is called the "Roman Road" because it is from the Book of Romans, and it presents the path to salvation. I pray that everyone who reads this will acknowledge it as truth.

1) I have sinned and come short of bringing glory to God. Romans 3:23
2) The wages of my sin is my death. Romans 6:23a
3) God loved me while I was still a sinner. Romans 5:8
4) God's gift to me is eternal life through Jesus Christ, my Lord. Romans 6:23b
5) My only responsibility is to believe in Jesus and tell others (trust me, if one truly believes in Jesus, he will be unable to keep it to himself): When I confessed with my mouth the Lord Jesus, and I believed in my heart that God raised Him from the dead, I was saved! Romans 10:9 God promised that when I called upon the name of the Lord, I would be saved. Romans 10:13 God cannot lie. (Titus 1:2)

Notice His payment (wages) for sin is death, but His gift (unearned) is eternal life. It amazes me that some people who accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, somehow think that they are better than others. That they have, in some way, deserved to be saved. Some even believe that by being faithful, they will be able to keep the gift they have received. Either they deserved salvation or it was a gift. If they have to work to keep it, it was nothing more than payment in advance for their works. Salvation is a gift, period!

The religion of Nicodemus was Judaism, which was given by God specifically to show man that he is unable to live his life in a way that would please Him. It revealed our fallen nature, and taught us we needed a Savior (Galatians 3:19-24). Religion does not save anyone. When one is born again, is saved, and is alive spiritually, they are not in a religion; they are in a relationship! They are the children of God. True Christianity is living the life of a son or daughter of God. We do good stuff because we want to please Him, not to become His child. We ARE His child!

Monday, March 1, 2010


I ended yesterday's post by saying that True Christianity does not meet the definition of being a religion. All religions have a list of conditions to be met to please their god and to insure one of an afterlife. True Christianity has no such list. I say "True" because there are a lot of denominations that could and should be considered religions. True Christianity teaches that the salvation of an individual is the work of God, and not that of the individual. I have written on this before, but it warrants repeating; it should be shouted for all the world to hear, and especially those in denominations which add to, or take away from the Gospel. The Apostle Paul had the ultimate in harsh words for them (Galatians 1:6-9).

I have found as a former Pastor, and as a Christian of thirty-nine years, that a large majority of Born Again Christians fail to understand how they actually were saved. Most remember the time and place, some remember the Pastor and the message, but nearly all have forgotten how. If they really are a child of God, then the "how" is what needs to be the center of their testimony. Testimonies are as varied as snowflakes, but just as all the different snowflakes are made of water, all testimonies have one thing in common: God did it!

In 1 Corinthians 3:5-7, Paul emphasizes that it is God Who grows the Church. Salvation is a gift. It comes in the Person of Jesus Christ, Whom God gave for you and me (John 3:16). It is all the work of God! God draws us to Christ (John 6:44). God convicts us of our need to be saved (John 16:7-11). God gives us faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). God gives us the new birth (John 3:3-8). God changes us into the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). God disciplines us (Hebrews 12:3-11). And God completes us (1 Corinthians 1:8; 15:49; Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 1:6; 2:13; 1 John 3:2). Man does nothing but believe what God has done (John 6:29). If we needed to do anything to guarantee our salvation, then we could boast, but the work is done by God, and all the glory belongs to Him (Ephesians 2:9-10)!

One might ask, "Then what part does man have in winning souls for Christ?" We tell them what He has done for us, and for them. We bear witness and share the Word. It is the Word that the Spirit uses to produce faith, "Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17). Our responsibility is to make sure we live our lives in such a way that unbelievers will be willing to listen to us.

Religion is man's effort to find favor in one's god, to avoid calamity, to receive prosperity, and to live beyond this life. True Christianity is living in the favor of God which is found in Christ. Tomorrow, I will make it personal, Lord willing. Until then, God bless those who believe; may our numbers increase to God's glory.