Saturday, April 30, 2011


In a recent Facebook comment written by my granddaughter, she made the following statement: "It breaks my heart to think that we forget that everyone is a child of God." She was responding to people who seem to be "indulging (themselves) in the hatred of Muslim people," and her view that there is "a lot of prejudice lately, even with the disaster in Japan, people acting like we shouldn't lend our help and support." She went on to say, "It's just an area I've always been sensitive about...people have displayed racism towards me, and it makes me a little defensive of other cultures." I know she is referring to the way people have treated her because her father is a Mexican-American, and people's response to her due to her becoming a Mormon.

First, let me say that Bethany is a very bright and beautiful young lady, and people who show prejudice toward her are simply demonstrating that they are idiots. And for those who would seek to demean her for becoming a Mormon, do you really think you are fulfilling the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19-20)? Christians are to share the truth from the Bible in a humble, loving way, regardless of whether or not the person is an unbeliever, or has been caught up in doctrinal error. Remember, O spiritual giants, "there but by the GRACE OF GOD go we."

Now concerning her comment that "everyone is a child of God," let's see what the Bible says. John 1:12 says, "but as many as received (Jesus), to them gave He power to become the sons of God...." By saying humans can become the sons of God, clearly teaches that not everyone is a child of God. That means there are only two kinds of people in this world: sons of God, and everyone else. Galatians 3:26 says, "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." Logic says that those who do not believe in Jesus are not children of God. Romans 10:9-10 says, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." John, in writing to born-again Christians, said, " are we the sons of God...." (1 Jn. 3:2). By saying, "now," it infers that we were not always His sons. By saying, "we," it indicates that all others are not.

In a day when it is politically correct to say things like "there are many ways to heaven," God's Word says, "I (Jesus) am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me" (Jn. 14:6). If one's beliefs about Jesus are solely taken from the Bible, and he places himself under His lordship, he is a child of God. If one has a distorted view of Jesus, one that is contrary to the teachings of the Bible, he is not a child of God, but rather is deceived. By adding to, or taking away from what the Word of God reveals about Jesus Christ, false teachers are proclaiming a false Christ (Matt. 24:24; Rev. 22:18-19). Stick to the Word of God "and the Truth shall make you free (Jn. 8:32).

Friday, April 29, 2011


As it seems with many of the events portrayed by the Gospel writers, the description of the Transfiguration, which obviously occurred only once, varies greatly between "reporters." Watching many of the modern television crime shows has taught me that when two or three "witnesses" give the exact same statement, it is likely that they are participating in a conspiracy. Certainly no one could ever seriously believe the Gospel writers conspired to convince others that Jesus was the resurrected Messiah of Israel; their "recollections" of what they saw or heard from others varies too greatly. As I said previously, none of the Synoptic Gospel writers were present at Christ's Transfiguration, and the one qualified witness, John, said nothing about it. It is possible that even Matthew did not learn of it until after Christ's Ascension, because Peter, James, and John were told not to tell others of what they had experienced (Matt. 17:9; Mk. 9:9; Lk. 9:36).

It does not take the reader long to see the three writers wrote independently of one another. The first verse of each of the "witness statements" differs. Matthew wrote that it happened "after six days," as did Mark, but Luke said it was after about eight days (Matt. 17:1; Mk. 9:2; Lk. 9:28). Matthew mentions His face being "as the sun," Mark does not mention His face, and Luke speaks only of His countenance being "altered" (Matt. 17:2; Mk. 9:2-3; Lk. 9:28). All three writers mention the impetuous Peter wanting to build "tabernacles," while Luke adds that the chosen three were asleep (Matt. 17:4; Mk. 9:5; Lk. 9:32). Only Matthew includes the words, "in Whom I am well pleased" to the voice of the Father, and that the three fell on their faces out of fear (Matt. 17:5-6). Luke describes the voice as coming from a cloud which had apparently engulfed them (Lk. 9:34-35). And finally, only Matthew mentions that prophecy, Elijah would come before the Messiah, could have been fulfilled with the appearance of John the Baptist (Matt. 17:13). This is a perfect example of how three "witnesses" could report the same incident differently, and yet, all were accurate. None of them contradicts the others; they simply include additional facts.

It is not exactly clear as to why Jesus told them to keep what they witnessed to themselves. He had done so before with the demons (Mk 1:41-45; 3:9-10; Lk. 4:41), those He had healed (Matt. 8:4; 9:30; Mk. 5:43), and now, He was telling three of the men He had sent out to proclaim the Gospel of the kingdom, to keep silent. Perhaps it was for the same reason Jesus began speaking in parables; He did not want to reveal those truths to His enemies (Matt. 13:10-11). It is clear that Jesus needed to be careful not to reveal too much about Himself, because He needed time to finish His mission (Jn. 7:6-10).

The Transfiguration does not get the attention of His Virgin Birth, His Crucifixion, His Resurrection, or His Ascension, but perhaps it should. After all, it is not every day that the Son of God manifests Himself in the form in which He will return to rule His earthly kingdom (Rev. 1:13-15; 19:12). Amen!

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Just as with the Transfiguration itself, the discussion preceding it is not mentioned in the Gospel of John. The other three, the Synoptic Gospels, are nearly identical (Matt. 16:28; Mk. 9:1; Lk. 9:27). The Lord had taken His disciples to Caesarea Philippi (Matt. 16:13), and He told them that some of them would see Him coming in His kingdom. About a week later, He chose Peter, James, and John to accompany Him to a secluded place on the mount (Matt. 17:1; Mk. 9:2; Lk. 9:28), where His Transfiguration occurred. Since He had said some of His disciples would see Him in His kingdom before they died, He could not have meant only John (who saw Him in his Patmos vision), for then He would have said "one of you." No, I believe that the Transfiguration was the fulfillment of what He had said the week before. The description of the Lord's appearance was basically the same as in John's vision (Matt. 17:2; Mk. 9:3; Lk. 9:29; Rev. 1:12-15). The some were Peter, James, and John.

After Jesus was transformed, Moses and Elijah appeared before them (Matt. 17:3; Mk. 9:4; Lk. 9:30). Some believe that since Elijah will appear prior to the Lord establishing His earthly kingdom (Mal. 4:5; Matt. 11:14), it will be Moses and Elijah who are the two witnesses in John's vision (Rev. 11:3-12). That makes sense since Moses represents the Law, and Elijah represents the Prophets, but the view that the two are Enoch and Elijah merits consideration as well. Enoch represents the Gentiles, and Elijah the Jews. Those who hold that it is Enoch instead of Moses say it is because of Hebrews 9:27, which many interpret to say everyone must die once. However, in light of the fact that the Rapture occurs prior to the two witnesses coming on the scene (Rev. 4:1), and apparently, living believers do not taste death at the Rapture of the Church (1 Thes. 4:16-17), only God knows who the two witnesses are.

We do, however, know why the two were there. Luke 9:31 tells us that they spoke of His death "which He should accomplish at Jerusalem." Since Jesus had already taught His disciples about His pending death (Matt. 16:21; Mk. 8:31; Lk. 9:22), it is obvious that it was He who was explaining His future death to Moses and Elijah. (Is it any wonder why Israel had no idea about God's Suffering Servant, when two of God's greatest Old Testament figures required special instruction concerning the Lamb of God's death?) Both had spoken of Israel's Messiah, Christ, King, but neither understood it would require Him to make "two trips" before He would come into His kingdom. The two had served the Lord long before the writing of Psalm 22, Isaiah 53, and Daniel 9.

In addition to all that, it is amazing John didn't record the event since he actually heard the voice of the Father (Matt. 17:5; Mk. 9:7; Lk. 9:35). He did not write of the Father's words at the baptism of Jesus either, but the other three Gospel writers did (Matt. 3:17; Mk. 1:11; Lk. 3:22). To those who deny the Trinity, this probably reinforces their error, but the Gospel of John uses the term "Father" in well over one hundred verses, and clearly teaches Jesus, Himself being God, was also with God (Jn. 1:1; 3:16; 17:1; etc.). In addition, He refers to God as "Father" at least twenty times in his epistles and Revelation.

I am not sure if God will have me write more on the Transfiguration, but we will see tomorrow, Lord willing.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


The longer I study God's Word, the more I realize that only God could be the Author. Apparent contradictions, obvious omissions, using Gospel writers who were not there for the events being reported, etc., would never be allowed if man was in control of its publishing. An editor would challenge the differences between Genesis, chapters two and three, would require more detail on the life of the main Character, and certainly would want to quote eye witnesses rather than allowing hearsay. For the Bible to be the foundation for two of the world's three monotheistic religions when much of it would not be allowed as testimony in a court of law, it has to be of Divine origin!

Take the Transfiguration of Christ for example. We read in three of the Gospels that Jesus took Peter, James, and John up into a high mountain to pray (Matt. 17:1; Mk. 9:2; Lk. 9:28). Notice that none of the writers was among those who accompanied Jesus. Other than Luke, who declared he compiled his Gospel from the testimony of others (Lk. 1:1-4), we have no way of knowing how Matthew and Mark got their information. Luke and Mark were not even apostles! Of the three chosen to witness Christ's Transfiguration, only Peter mentions it in his writings, giving very little detail: "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to Him from the excellent glory, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with Him in the holy mount" (2 Pet. 1:16-18).

The strangest thing of all, is that the one Gospel writer who was present didn't even report the event; not in his Gospel, his epistles, or in the Book of Revelation. One explanation for the obvious omission is that to John, the event paled in comparison to his vision of the resurrected Lord on the Isle of Patmos. However, this cannot be the reason because the Gospel of John is believed to have been written years before John's exile. C. I. Scofield dates the Gospel from A.D. 85-90, while he suggests A.D. 96 for Revelation. While many challenge the date due to John's failure to acknowledge the destruction of the Jewish temple in A.D. 70, Hal Lindsey wrote: "All arguments in favor of a late date for Revelation rest with the "integrity and reliability" of the early church fathers, such as Papias, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Methodus, Apollinaris, and others who lived within some three hundred years of the time of John" (Hal Lindsey, The Road To Holocaust p 245).

Tomorrow, Lord willing, I will try to address Christ's prophecy about the yet future Transfiguration in the previous verses of the three Gospels, the significance of the event, the discussion with Moses and Elijah, and His instructions to keep silent on what Peter, James, and John had seen.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


On April 22nd, I questioned the validity of calling the day of Christ's death "good" (Friday). Today, I want to tell you what I think is "good." I believe that the Resurrection of Christ is really "good!" First of all, it was "good" for Him, because He had completed His mission; Jesus had paid for the sin of the world (Jn. 3:16; Rom. 5:8; 1 Jn. 1:22). It was "good" for Him because He had proven His prophetic claim that He would be raised from the dead in three days (Matt. 12:39-41; Jn. 2:18-22; Acts 2:27-32; 13:30-37). It was "good" for Him because He has returned to His rightful place at the Father's right hand (Matt. 22:44; 26:64; Mk. 16:19; Acts 2:33-34; 7:56; Rom. 8:34; Eph. 1:20; Gal. 3:1; Heb. 8:1; 10:12; 12:2; 1 Pet. 3:22). Yes, for Jesus, the Resurrection was "very good."

His Resurrection was "good" for born-again Christians, because in Him, we have been given our new life. The Word says that we who were once dead (spiritually), He has made alive in Him (Rom. 6:4-5; Eph. 2:1, 5; Col. 2:12-13). Adam did die the instant he partook of the forbidden fruit; he died spiritually (Gen.2:15), and because we inherited Adam's nature, we, being born spiritually dead, needed to be spiritually born again (Jn. 3:3-8; 1 Cor. 1:22). The Apostle Paul made it very clear when he wrote, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (1 Cor. 15:22). Yes, for the born-again Christian, the Resurrection was a "very good" thing!

The Resurrection of Christ is so important that unless one believes it occurred, he or she cannot be saved. Paul wrote: "But what saith it? The Word is nigh thee, [even] in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the Word of faith, which we preach; that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Rom. 10:8-10). The "Word of faith" is the Gospel which declares that Jesus died, was buried, and rose again according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:1-4). It is the Gospel that is the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16). Yes, the offer of salvation through the finished work of Christ is a "good thing."

However, to those who do not accept the free gift of salvation through faith (Eph. 2:8-9), who do not believe in the Resurrection, one day they will look back on the event as "the nail that sealed their coffin" (Jn. 16:7-11). Without faith in the Resurrection, man remains dead in his trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1; Col. 2:13), and one day, their knees will bow before the resurrected One they refused to accept (Rom. 14:10). Yes, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is "good" to those who believe, but to Satan and all of those he has deceived, it will be anything but "good news." Nevertheless, Jesus is risen indeed! Praise God!

Monday, April 25, 2011


From the very beginning of man, Satan has attempted to discredit the Word of God. Yes, even before it was written down, the devil was able to convince Adam and Eve that God's Word could not be trusted (Gen. 3:1-5). In the six thousand years since then, not much has changed. Men are still mocking the Bible, saying it is unscientific, historically inaccurate, and nothing more than a collection of myths and superstition. Isn't it strange that so much money, time, and effort would be put into trying to discredit the Bible, but our nation would begin passing laws to protect the Koran (also known as the Qur'an, Kuran, Koran, Qur’ān, Coran or al-Qur’ān)? Ever wonder why there is little criticism of it, or the religious books of other religions, and yet the Bible has been continually challenged? Perhaps it is because the others do not pose a threat to Satan.

In A.D. 303, the Roman emperor, Diocletian decreed that every Bible should be destroyed, because he had been informed that Christians were "the people of the Book." In a mere nine years, Constantine, who succeeded him, had replaced the pagan symbols of Rome with the cross. Fourteen hundred years later, the French atheist, Voltaire (1694-1778), boasted that "one hundred years from my day, there will not be a Bible in the earth except one that is looked upon by an antiquarian curiosity seeker." Strangely enough, twenty years after his death, the Geneva Bible Society purchased his house for a place to print Bibles.

Today, over one hundred million Bibles are sold yearly, and that does not include the huge number of Bibles given away by groups such as the Gideons International. The Gideons, an evangelical Christian organization, is dedicated to distributing copies of the Bible in over 94 languages and 194 countries of the world. The organization was founded in 1899, and began distributing free Bibles, the work for which it is chiefly known, in 1908, when the first Bibles were placed in the rooms of the Superior Hotel in Superior, Montana. Since then, close to 1.7 billion have been distributed, with nearly seventy-nine million being given out in 2009 alone.

There is an obvious reason why Satan and those who belong to him are so determined to discredit or destroy the Bible; it contains the Gospel, the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16). He knows that the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ was "according to the Scriptures" (1 Cor. 15:3-4). And he knows that faith in Christ results from hearing it preached (Rom. 10:17). And finally, he knows that God has declared His Word to be even greater than His holy name: "I will worship toward Thy holy temple, and praise Thy name for Thy loving kindness and for Thy truth: for Thou hast magnified Thy Word above all Thy name" (Ps. 138:2). He has declared that His Word will stand forever (Matt. 24:35)! Praise God! .

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Jesus chose His disciples carefully, even though He knew one would betray Him and the rest would desert Him when He was on trial for His life (Matt. 17:22; 26:56). When Jesus taught them about His pending death, Peter rebuked Him (Matt. 16:22). And following His Resurrection from the grave, they did not believe the reports that He had risen (Mk. 16:11; Jn. 20:25). It was not until after He appeared to them that the eleven remaining disciples believed, and it took the filling of the Holy Ghost before they willingly stood on the streets of Jerusalem and risked their lives to proclaim that Jesus was alive (Acts 2:1-36).

The Apostle Paul provides a list of many who witnessed the resurrected Lord in 1 Corinthians 15:4-8: "And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that He was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, He was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, He was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all He was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time." Notice Paul did not include the women who first saw the risen Christ (Matt. 28:1-10), nor did he include the two walking on the road to Emmaus (Lk. 24:13-35). There is no way of knowing how many saw the risen Lord prior to His Ascension forty days after His Resurrection (Acts 1:1-9), but needless to say, the required testimony of two or more witnesses was certainly satisfied (Deut.19:15; Matt. 18:16; 2 Cor. 13:1).

I heard a PBS show discussing the activities of Jesus in those forty days prior to Him taking His rightful place at the right hand of the Father (Acts 2:33), and as is typical of the liberal "so-called scholars," speculation ran from guesses to "we can not possibly know." It is too bad that they didn't read what the Bible said about His appearances to His disciples. Just one example is found in His dialogue with those two travelers on the road to Emmaus. Luke wrote: "O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself" (24:25-27). And in Acts 1:1-8, Jesus was still instructing His followers until the moment He departed.

With the "experts" and "liberal clergy" teaching their opinions instead of the Word of God, is it any wonder that men are confused about what is truth, and what is myth? Those disciples who witnessed the risen Lord, knew the Truth, and all but John gave up their lives for their faith in Him. I have heard it said that men will certainly die for what they believe, but none would willingly give up their life for a lie. Obviously, the disciples believed, and is it any wonder? They saw Him alive! Happy Resurrection Day!

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Yesterday, I wrote about the Crucifixion; today, I want to quote the Word of God concerning His burial. The reason is very simple; Jesus was crucified and buried according to the Scriptures (Isa. 53:9; 1 Cor. 15:3-4).

Matthew 27:57-61 "When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple: He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped (Him) in a clean linen cloth and laid (Him) in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre."

Mark 15:42-47 "And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. And Pilate marvelled if He were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether He had been any while dead. And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. And he bought fine linen, and took Him down, and wrapped Him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre. And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where He was laid."

Luke 23:50-56 "And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just; (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them); he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God. This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And he took (Him) down, and wrapped i(Him) in linen, and laid (Him) in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on. And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how His body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment."

John 19:38-42 "And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound (Him) in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews' preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand."

Friday, April 22, 2011


Traditionally, Christians "celebrate" the Crucifixion of Jesus on a Friday, and His Resurrection on the following Sunday. Without spending time on the debate over which day of the week He served as "our Passover" (1 Cor. 5:7), let me address the adjective "good" with regard to the horrific death of the Creator of the Universe (Jn. 1:1-3; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:1-2).

By calling the event "good," we are declaring to the whole world that we are totally selfish human beings! We are making the death of the Son of God, all about us! Of course, to those of us who believe, His death, in paying the penalty for our sin so that we might have eternal life, is far more than just a "good" thing. However, it was the ultimate horror for the Father and for Jesus! And, I doubt very seriously that when those who have rejected the Lord are standing before Him on Judgment Day, and they recognize their role in putting Jesus to death, that they will see it as being a "good" thing! Also, I am absolutely certain that Satan and his minions thought it was a "good" day until they realized He had risen to conquer sin, hell, and death!

In the New Testament Gospels, there are seven recorded statements made by Jesus during His Crucifixion. Three of them appear only in Luke, and three only in John. The other saying is in both Matthew and Mark. The traditional order for the sayings is as follows:

1. "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Lk. 23:34).
2. "Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with Me in paradise" (Lk. 23:43).
3. "Woman, behold thy Son!" and to John, "... behold thy mother" (Jn. 19:26-27).
4. "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" (Matt. 27:46; Mk. 15:34).
5. "I thirst" (Jn. 19:28).
6. "It is finished" (Jn. 19:30).
7. "Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit (Lk. 23:46).

Some have called these seven sayings, words of: 1. Forgiveness; 2. Salvation; 3. Relationship; 4. Abandonment; 5. Distress; 6. Triumph; 7. Reunion.

"Celebrating" Good Friday sort of reminds me of the hymn "The Old Rugged Cross." While born-again believers are thankful that Jesus was willing to suffer such agony on our behalf, I doubt that He "loves that old wooden cross!" I really find it disgusting that we sing about the instrument which put our Savior to death, as though it is something to be cherished. Can you imagine someone taking the weapon which was used to murder his mother, and mounting it on the wall? I hate that cross, and I hate the fact that because of my sin, I am partly responsible for my Lord's suffering! But I thank God for allowing it to happen so that I can spend eternity praising Him!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


A hundred years ago, Christians reading the Book of Daniel could not have possibly understood what he wrote concerning the technology in the last days (Dan. 12:4), let alone the material found in the Book of Revelation. And even today, with all the scientific advances, there are still prophetic statements in the Bible which are difficult to understand. For instance, when will the conflict occur in which two of the main players are Gog and Magog (Ezek. 38-39; Rev. 20:8)? And why are the armies of the Lord and His opponents riding on horses (Rev. 19:11-21)?

Some have suggested that the reason for horses as the mode of transportation is possibly due to the explosion of nuclear weapons detonated in or above the earth’s atmosphere. An "E-Bomb" can create an electromagnetic pulse (EMP), which acts like a stroke of lightning, but is much stronger. It could seriously damage electronic devices such as communication systems, computers, electrical appliances, and transportation ignition systems. Without the ability to use modern weaponry, the best an army could do would be to ride horses.

That all makes good sense, except for one thing, if all electronic devices are damaged or rendered useless, how is it possible that the entire world could still see live satellite pictures of bodies of the two witnesses lying in the street (Rev. 11:7-11)? And what about the mark of the beast? If electronic scanners are out of the picture, how will it be possible to read an implanted computer chip?

It is obvious to me that although our understanding of much of the "symbolic language" of the Bible has increased markedly over the past century, there are still plenty of questions to keep even the wisest scholar humble. Why will Jesus, His army from heaven, and the army of Satan ride on horses? I do not know, but they will!

"And the shapes of the locusts [were] like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads [were] as it were crowns like gold, and their faces [were] as the faces of men. And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings [was] as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses [were] as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. And the armies [which were] in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all [men, both] free and bond, both small and great" (Rev. 9:7, 9, 17; 19:14, 18).


There is an obvious reason why words such as "Rome," "Caesar," and "centurion" do not appear in the Old Testament. Malachi was written around 400 B.C. and the birth of the Roman Empire, although not universally agreed upon, occurred much later. Several events are commonly proposed to mark the transition from Rome being a republic to being an empire, including Julius Caesar's appointment as perpetual dictator (44 B.C.), the Battle of Actium (31 B.C.), and the Roman Senate's granting to Octavian the honorific title "Augustus" (4 B.C.). To the best of my knowledge, no other army had centurions. In the Bible, the word appears only in the Synoptic Gospels and the Book of Acts. John does not mention the Roman leader of one hundred soldiers in his Gospel or his letters.

Matthew speaks of two instances regarding centurions. In 8:10, "Jesus marveled, and said to them that followed, 'Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great (a) faith, no, not in Israel.'" Later, he wrote of the centurion at the crucifixion, "Truly, this was the Son of God" (27:54). Most scholars believe Matthew wrote his Gospel to the Hebrews. For him to paint a gentile soldier in a good light is amazing. Luke speaks of the same two instances in 7:9, and 23:47, but he includes something extraordinary. The centurion "glorified God, saying, 'Certainly this was a righteous man.'" That is high praise for an "enemy" of Israel! Mark speaks only of the crucifixion scene, and his quote is the same as that of Matthew.

The Book of Acts, also written by Luke, presents centurions in a very favorable light. In 10:1-48, Cornelius, a Roman centurion was the first Gentile to believe the Gospel and be accepted as a member of the Body of Christ. In 22:26, it is a centurion that listens to Paul, and stops Paul's scourging. In 23:17, another listens to Paul, and does what Paul asks. In 27:3, Julius, a centurion, treated Paul in a courteous manner. It took a storm and severe hunger for the centurion in Acts 27:9-44 to listen to Paul and to protect him from the rest of the soldiers. Apparently, the centurion rewarded Paul for his counsel by allowing him to stay a week with friends, and later, to have his own private "cell" where many of his friends could visit him (28:11-16).

I believe the reason the Bible reveals the positive actions of centurions during the early years of the Church, is because it was composed entirely of Hebrews. These passages clearly "messed with" the prejudice which characterized the early Church (Acts 10.1-11:18). Maybe there is a lesson for us here; if God could use Roman soldiers to bless believers, it is very likely that members of other races, nationalities, religions, and yes, even political parties can be used of God to bless the Body of Christ, and further His agenda. After all, God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34), so why are we?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


There are many similarities and differences between butterflies and moths. Both belong to the scientific order Lepidoptera, meaning "scale winged." The name comes from powdery scales which come off when touched, but butterflies and moths have more similarities than just their "dusty wings." Both insects start their lives as hungry caterpillars before turning into their flying adult forms. They both eat nectar from flowers, and they supplement their diet with other liquids, like mineral-filled standing water and the juice from rotting fruit.

Most people think of butterflies as being larger than moths, but in reality, they both vary greatly in size. The world's largest moth is the Atlas which has a wingspan of about a foot. The largest butterfly, Queen Alexandra's Birdwing, is roughly the same size. We also tend to think of butterflies as being brightly colored, and moths being either white or some shade of gray. However, there are both black and white butterflies; some species of moths are beautifully colored as well.

The differences between moths and butterflies fit into two categories: behavior and anatomy. For the most part, moths are active at night (nocturnal). Butterflies, on the other hand, are active during the day (diurnal). So the winged insect you see feeding from a flower in the middle of a spring afternoon is most likely a butterfly. If you watch a large-winged, fluttering insect make its way toward a light at night, it is likely a moth. Another difference is that most butterflies fold their wings vertically, while most moths have their wings stretched out horizontally when resting. Anatomically, butterflies' antennae are wider at the tips and their ends look like little clubs, while a moths' antennae is generally feathery. Many moths have a series of loops called a retinaculum and a fringe called a frenulum to connect their front and rear wings, while butterflies do not. Often, moths' bodies are plumper and fuzzier than butterflies' bodies.

These two insects remind me of born-again Christians and professing Christians. First of all, and perhaps most obvious is the fact that they are so similar, it may be difficult to distinguish between the two. Jesus warned His followers to beware of wolves in sheep's clothing (Matt. 7:15). Jesus also warned those who pretended to be faithful to the Lord by saying, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead [men's] bones, and of all uncleanness" (Matt. 23:27).

True believers show their fruit openly in the warm sunlight for a testimony to the Lord, whereas most hypocrites seek the praise of man during the day, and then reveal their true nature in the cover of darkness. True believers "raise their wings to point to the Lord in praise," while the pretenders have "their wings down to hug the things of this world." Sadly, some "moths" deceive themselves, thinking they are butterflies, but when it is too late, they discover the truth (Matt. 7:21-22). If you really want to know which you are, ask yourself, "which way are my wings pointing?"

Monday, April 18, 2011


I watched a program on PBS the other night which claimed the Torah was the combined work of four different groups of "scholars," all working towards creating the Jewish religion. According to the "experts," they took bits and pieces of other Middle East belief systems, added a few myths here and there, and convinced the Jews God had chosen them as His people. Simply stated, the documentary hypothesis says the Torah can be divided into identifiable sources: the Jahwist (J) dating to as early as the 10th century B.C., the Elohist (E), the Deuteronomist (D), and the Priestly source (P), dating to the 8th to 6th centuries. It actually made me want to throw something through the TV!

It reminded me of the liberal professors who taught at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary when I attended back in the 1980's. They were convinced that the New Testament Gospels were written in a similar fashion. According to their theory, Matthew and Luke copied most of their Gospels from Mark, and the rest came from a mysterious document known as "Q." It seems odd to me that Matthew would have to have Mark's help, when Matthew was with Jesus during His ministry and Mark was not. This theory seems to prefer to credit the source of their material to "Q" rather than to the Holy Spirit, Who is responsible for every word, jot, and tittle of our Bible. It was Matthew who wrote, being used of God, to connect the prophecies concerning Israel's coming Messiah, with Jesus of Nazareth, and Matthew is the only Gospel writer who used the phrase, "that it might be fulfilled which was spoken …." He included it when discussing:

The Virgin Birth (1:22-23; Isa. 7:14).

The Son of God coming out of Egypt (2:15; Hos. 11:1).

The Prophet from Nazareth; the "root of the stem of Jesse" (2:23; Isa. 11:1).

The Light unto Zebulun and Naphtali (4:14-16; Isa. 9:1-2).

The Taker of our infirmities and sicknesses (8:17; Isa. 53:4).

The Servant of God's choosing (12:17-21; Isa. 42:1-4).

The Speaker of parables (13:35; Ps. 78:2).

The Borrower of the colt, the foal of an ass (21:1-5; Zech. 9:9).

The One whose garments they parted (27:35; Ps. 22:18).

The Word of God rightly describes those who would deny the Holy Spirit's inspiration as the source of the Bible when it says, "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools" (Rom. 1:22)!

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Yesterday, I mentioned several verses of Scripture that referred to believers being "taken up" prior to God pouring out His wrath on mankind. My intention was to support the idea that God intends to Rapture the Church prior to the Tribulation. The Rapture is a mystery, and is taught in John 14:1-6, 1 Corinthians 15:47-54, and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. Here is evidence concerning the Rapture:

* The Seventieth Week of Daniel refers to a judgment on Israel (Dan. 9:24). This period is described as:
Wrath: Rev. 6:16-17; 11:18; 14:19; 15:1, 7; 16:1, 19; 1 Th. 1:9-10; 5:9; Zeph. 1:15, 18.
Judgment: Rev. 14:7; 15:4; 16:5-7; 19:2.
Indignation: Isa. 26:20-21, 34:1-3.
Punishment: Isa. 24:20-21.
The hour of trial: Rev. 3:10.
The hour of Jacob’s Trouble: Jer. 30:7.
Destruction: Joel 1:15.
Darkness: Joel 2:2; Zeph. 1:14-18; Amos 5:18.

* The first sixty-nine weeks of the prophecy had to do with Israel, and not the Church, which was not yet in existence.

* The Doctrine of Imminence states there are no prophetic events prior to Christ coming for His Church. If some event needed to occur first, then we would be looking for that event, and not anticipating the Lord's catching away of His Church.

* The message of the two witnesses in Revelation Eleven is to Israel. Their dress and miracles are typical of the Old Testament prophets.

* The different messages to the Church at Philadelphia and the Church at Laodicea regarding going through the Tribulation.

* The 144,000 of Israel, sealed during the tribulation, are saved but they are not said to be part of the Church.

* The chronology of the Book of Revelation does not mention the Church during the Tribulation found in chapters six through eighteen.

* God has not appointed the Church to wrath (1 Th. 1:9-10; 5:2-11).

One's salvation does not depend on knowing all the teachings in the Bible. However, it does depend upon knowing that because your sins are punishable by death; Jesus paid that price for you; and He rose to be Lord of your life. If you have accepted His gift of eternal life, I have good news for you! We win!

Saturday, April 16, 2011


I am not sure that Christianity, as it exists today, is represented by all seven of the churches described in the Apostle John's Apocalypse, but I am absolutely certain that the Churches of Philadelphia and Laodicea are (Rev. 2-3). The Church of Philadelphia is described as being faithful, and promised by the Lord to be kept "from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth" (Rev. 3:10). Some might say that Jesus meant they would all be dead and buried prior to the Tribulation, but there is ample evidence from the Bible for another interpretation. I believe He was speaking of the Rapture of the born-again believers prior to the Tribulation or Daniel's Seventieth Week (Dan. 9:24-27).

First, there is a precedent for God removing His people before dealing with rebellious people. He removed Noah and his family by lifting them up in the Ark before He brought the flood below. He had His angels remove Lot and his family, taking them up on a mountainside prior to destroying Sodom and Gomorrah below (Gen. 19). Also, there is the fact that God took up two who found favor in His sight when their "mission" was finished: Enoch (Gen. 5:24), and Elijah (2 Kgs. 2:11).

Jesus told His disciples that He would return for those who placed their faith and trust in Him. In John 14:1-6, He said, "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me." Notice Jesus said that He would receive them unto Himself. And it is clear that the "mansions" and the Father are in heaven.

The Apostle Paul wrote of believers, both the living and the dead, being "caught up together" "to meet the Lord in the air." He wrote, "For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we [who] are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, and so shall we ever be with the Lord (1 Thes. 4:16-17).

The Apostle John wrote, "After this I looked, and, behold, a door [was] opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard [was] as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter" (Rev. 4:1). This appears to be symbolic of the Church being removed prior to the Tribulation found in Revelation Ch. 6-18.

To be continued, Lord willing.

Friday, April 15, 2011


The United States is said to be about fourteen trillion dollars in debt, with close to forty percent of all revenue collected going to pay the interest payments. And because our government cannot operate on the other sixty percent, we continue to borrow. There is an old saying that seems to apply here: "When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging!" My suggestion is for America to elect Dave Ramsey as President.

Someone in Washington (no one would ever admit to it) came up with the brilliant idea of printing more currency to solve the problem. Unfortunately, foreign nations from whom we have borrowed, do not appreciate receiving repayment in "monopoly money." In other words, when we borrowed or purchased their exports on credit, our dollar was worth a specific exchange rate with their currency. Now, because we have printed so much money and our dollar is worth much less, when we make our payments, those to whom we are in debt are actually losing money. Why they continue to deal with us is a mystery to me!

Not only are foreign governments and investors losing, Americans are losing because our dollar buys less of what we need. The price of everything goes up, with foreign oil being the most obvious example. When oil prices rise, gasoline goes up; when gasoline goes up, products cost more to deliver to stores; when product prices rise, folks are unable to purchase things; as people begin "cutting back" on their spending, inventories grow; as inventories grow, manufacturing slows down, and workers are laid off; and because there are less workers paying taxes, our government must borrow more money to continue to operate.

Today, even the most conservative talk show hosts recommend people invest in gold to protect themselves against inflation. They say that the value of gold has steadily risen over the years, and so it is "a sure investment." What they fail to tell their listeners is that the reason gold has increased in value is because the dollar has decreased in its value. Several years ago, the song "I Wish We'd All Been Ready" had a line in it that said, "A piece of bread could buy a bag of gold." If our country continues down the road to financial bankruptcy, it won't be long before those words will be seen as being prophetic, and the "greatest nation on God's green Earth" will be a land of paupers!

My recommendation? Christians, instead of being spiritual and just praying for the peace of Jerusalem, I suggest you pray that our nation to heed 2 Chronicles 7:14! Once American Christians are no longer able to provide missionaries (be the light), or to fight against evil (be the salt), God will have no use for us. Then our nation will really be in trouble!

Thursday, April 14, 2011


There is an old story about a born-again Christian who died, and was ushered into heaven. After a tour of "the place," he told his guide that he was surprised that so many of those he was sure had gone to hell, were there. He remembered that they had always seemed to be too busy for church, and some of them had been anything but pleasant to be around while they were alive. During his tour of heaven, he began noticing that many of those he was sure he would meet there, were absent. When he asked about them, he was told that they had been model citizens and very religious, but that they had never placed their trust solely in Jesus. He was shocked as many of those "missing" had been missionaries and pastors he had highly esteemed. Finally, it was time for him to meet Jesus. He could not wait to see the Lord. He made sure his luminescent robe was just right, and he entered God's presence. When he saw Jesus, sitting at the right hand of the Father, their radiant glory was more than he could take. He fell to his knees with his head bowed toward the golden floor, for he was utterly amazed that he, himself, was there!

I retell this story to make a point. You and I do not know who is saved, and who is not. The first group that surprised the new arrival consisted of born-again Christians who failed to live like it! The Bible calls them "carnal" because they lived their lives in the flesh instead of being filled with the Spirit (Rom. 7:14; 1 Cor. 3:1-4; Gal. 5:16-25). In other words, when we fail to live for Christ, folks cannot tell us from those who are lost.

The second group, those who shock us, are those who appear to be the "most holy" of our fellow church members. This should not be unexpected for there never seems to have been a time when people have not pretended to be pious. The Book of Job, said to be the oldest book in the Bible, speaks of hypocrites "in the congregation" long before God chose Israel (Job 15:34). The Jewish nation was warned about the same thing in Isaiah 33:14, and in the preaching of Jesus (Matt. 23:1-39). Although the word "hypocrite" is not found in the Bible following the Day of Pentecost (the birth of the Church in Acts 2), there are numerous verses which warn believers about them (Rom. 16:17-18; Eph. 5:6; Col. 2:8; 2 Pet. 2:1-3; 1 Jn. 4:1).

Then there is the individual himself, who was amazed he was permitted to be in the presence of the Lord. Hopefully, he represents you and me. If we know we are deceiving others, we know we are lost. But there are those who are "working their way to heaven," who will discover they had failed to receive Christ by faith and have deceived themselves (Matt. 7:21-22). We, on the other hand, can know for certain that we are a child of God, that our salvation was an undeserved gift from God (Eph. 2:8-9; 1 Jn. 3:2; 5:13). Still, because our relationship to God is totally the result of His work on our behalf, we will truly be amazed to be in His presence! Awesome is God's amazing grace!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Yesterday, I said that even though someone consciously believes the Gospel, it does not mean he is born-again. The devil believes, but he is certainly not a Christian (Jam. 2:19). Those professing to be Christians may actually believe the Bible's revelation of God through Jesus Christ, but rather than accept Him as Lord, all they do is join a "social club." In other words, they join a church but never become a child of God. The perfect example is the Church of Laodicea described as being very successful according to man's standards (rich, thriving, large numbers, etc.), but Jesus had no part in it; He is described as standing on the outside of it, knocking to get in (Rev. 3:14-22).

In "Can Christians Lose Their Salvation?" by Michael J. Penfold, he argues that because the salvation of a person is totally the work of God, it is not possible for a born-again believer to deny the truth. He wrote, "... the repentant sinner is sealed with, indwelt by, baptized in and anointed with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13; Jn. 14:17; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Jn. 2:27). He receives eternal life (Jn. 3:36) and because he is now ‘in Christ’, he is predestined to be conformed to Christ’s image (Rom. 8:29)."

I have written often that salvation is a free gift; Jesus paid for my sin (2 Cor. 5:21), the Father drew me to Jesus (Jn. 6:44), and the Spirit gave me saving faith (Eph. 2:8-9). It is as though I was walking away from God (living as though I was a god), and I heard His voice softly call my name. I was "saved," I was "born again," I became a genuine Christian when I turned around (repented) and began following Him. In other words, when I acknowledged and accepted His amazing gift. I did not deserve salvation; it is the result of grace, the unmerited favor of God. Just an interesting side note: the same Greek root, χάρις (charis), is translated as both "gift" (Rom. 6:23) and "grace" (Eph. 2:8).

Genuine salvation produces the "fruit of the Spirit" (Gal. 5:22-23). Authentic regeneration results in good works (Eph. 2:10). The Apostle James put it this way in James 2:17-20, "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?" Just as works without genuine faith cannot save us, a faith that does not result in good fruit and good works, lacks evidence of salvation.

To sum up: a true child of God can not, will not, ever deny, reject, or walk away from His Lord. There is a definite difference between believing intellectually, and believing with one's heart (Rom. 10:9-10).

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I am ashamed to say that I chuckle every time I see the commercial for the emergency alert button that signals for help for a fallen senior. Jay Leno, and other comedians have turned the cry, "Help me, I've fallen and I can't get up" into a catch-phrase for anyone who fails at something. Good examples are the banking and automotive industries during the recent economic collapse. However, someone falling down or failing at something is never as serious as when a person "falls from their faith." The Apostle Paul spoke of "falling away" in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, which says, "Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition." The Greek word translated here as "falling away" is the same word from which we get the word, "apostasy."

Apostasy, from the Greek ἀποστασία (apostasia), is defined as a "defection" or "revolt," and comes from the roots ἀπό, (apo) "away" or "apart", and στάσις (stasis) "stand" or "standing." This is not an accidental slip; it is the willful disaffiliation from, abandonment of, or renunciation of a religion by a person. Apostasy is generally not a self-definition, as very few former believers call themselves apostates due to the pejorative implications of the term.

In the parables found in Matthew Thirteen, the Church is described as having within it, those who are not possessors of true faith, but who are merely professors of faith. Examples are the tares among the wheat (v. 24-30; 36-43), the birds in the branches of the "mustard tree" (v. 31-32), the leaven in the meal (v. 33), and the "bad fish" in the net (v. 47-50). Jesus had this to say about these folks in Matthew 7:21-23: "Not every one that saith unto Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven (believe on Him - Jn. 6:29). Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works?' And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity."

In the last years before Christ shall return, the Church will consist of the "Church of Philadelphia" and the "Church of Laodicea" (Rev. 3:7-22). Both will be described as being removed: one will be "caught up to be with Lord in the clouds" (1 Thes. 4:13-18; Rev. 3:10), and the other will be pictured as existing apart from the faith, with Christ standing on the outside trying to get in (Rev. 3:20). Those depicted as being of the "Church of Philadelphia" will be "caught away" in the Rapture, and those described as being of the "Laodicean Church" will remain, having themselves "fallen away." What follows is the seven years of the Tribulation.

To be continued, Lord willing!

Monday, April 11, 2011


The phrase, "The Day of the Lord," appears in eight prophetic books of the Old Testament: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, and Zechariah. In the New Testament, It is found in four epistles: 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, 1 Thessalonians, and 2 Peter. With that number of writers using the phrase, you would think that its meaning would be clear. And even though it is found in twenty-six verses, its meaning is not.

Israel understood "The Day of the Lord" to mean the moment in time when the Messiah would appear, destroy their enemies, and establish His kingdom. To them, He would come to judge the heathen (Ezek. 30:3; Obad. 1:15). Israel saw it as the time He and His army would purge the land of the Gentiles (Isa. 13:9; Ezek 13:5; Joel 2:1, 11; Zeph. 1:18). His coming was described as a day of destruction (Isa. 13:6); cruel both with wrath and fierce anger (Isa. 13:9); a day of vengeance (Isa. 34:8); a day of terrors (Lam. 2:22); a battle (Ezek. 13:5); great and very terrible (Joel 2:11); a day of darkness (Amos 5:20); and a day when mighty men shall cry bitterly (Zeph. 1:14). Little did they know that many of these same words would be used to describe God's judgment upon them for rejecting His Messiah. The still future seven year "treaty" with the antichrist, called the Tribulation (Matt. 24:21), the Time of Jacob's Trouble (Jer. 30:7), and Daniel's Seventieth Week (Dan. 9:24-27), appears to be a part of "The Day of the Lord."

Because we have the New Testament, Christians have a different understanding of "The Day of the Lord." The Apostle Paul, in "sentencing a young man to death" (1 Cor. 5:1-5), saw that day as being a day of salvation from God's wrath. He saw it as the time when believers will rejoice with their brethren (2 Cor. 1:14). In his first epistle to the Thessalonians, he describes that day as coming suddenly, without warning, on those who are not "of the Light" (1 Thes. 5:1-11). Peter also speaks of that day coming as a "thief in the night," but he adds that "the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up" (2 Pet. 3:10).

Judging by these varied passages, I would have to say that "The Day of the Lord" involves the Rapture of the Church (1 Thes. 4:13-18), the Tribulation period of Israel's judgment (Matt. 24:3-28; Rev.Ch. 6 - 18), the Second Coming of Christ (Matt. 24:29-51; Rev. Ch. 19), the Millennial Kingdom (Matt. Ch. 25; Rev. 20:1-7, the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11-15), and the bringing into being the "new heaven and the new earth (Rev. Ch. 21 - 22).

Today, there are three kinds of people: Jews, born-again Christians, and everyone else. "The Day of the Lord" can only be said to be "good news" to the real Christian. Unfortunately, to the Jew, and the others, some or all of it will definitely be "bad news." It is amazing that simply by believing in, and surrendering to Christ, determines whether one should worry about that day, or long for it to come. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

Friday, April 8, 2011


In his book, Today's Gospel: Authentic or Synthetic?, Walter J. Chantry challenges many popular approaches to evangelism. He believes that the Church's "soul winning mentality" is missing one, very important ingredient: the holiness of God. According to Chantry, we spend too much time preaching John 3:16, the love of God, and far too little time on Galatians 3:24, the Law of God. As a result, many are led to receive Jesus as "their personal Savior," but fail to understand that Jesus must be "their Lord."

The Apostle Peter wrote, "Be ye holy; for I am holy" (1 Pet. 1:16). Yes, God is holy, and in order to have a relationship with Him, we must be holy. The Greek word translated "holy," is ἅγιος (hagios), and it speaks of something or someone who is set apart for God's service. When describing God, or a man who has been sanctified, it denotes righteousness. So, Chantry says that in order for the Gospel to be effective, the candidate for salvation must be aware that he is a sinner, that is, that he is unrighteous. Jesus told His disciples that when the Holy Spirit came, He would convict the world of [their] sin, and of [His] righteousness, and of [their accountability to God's certain] judgment" (Jn. 16:8).

Once the lost person is aware of God's command to be holy (righteous), he needs to know that the Law was given to define what it means to be holy, not to save him. Galatians 3:24 says, "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith." The Law cannot make one righteous (Gal. 2:16). The only way the lost can become righteous is by accepting what the Lord has done for him on the cross; "For He hath made Him [to be] sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Cor. 5:21). God is willing to trade His Son's righteousness for our sin.

The final question that needs answering is, "What must I do to be saved?" The answer is believe (Jn. 6:29; Acts 16:31; Rom. 4:3; Gal. 2:6; Jam. 2:23). Does believing in Jesus save me? No! The devil believes (Jam. 2:19). In order to be saved, I must believe that God demands holiness; that I am a sinner (Rom. 3:23); that Jesus was crucified, died, was buried, and was raised from the dead according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:1-4); and that by trusting in the Father who raised Him (Rom. 10:9-10), I will be made righteous, holy, saved (Rom. 4:16-25)!

Perhaps the reason Christians fail to preach the character of God, the Law of God, repentance toward God, and preach only faith in God's Son, is that we are either in a hurry, or we are simply lazy. Jesus said that repentance and remission was to be preached to the lost (Lk. 24:47). Remission involves the work of Christ on our behalf; repentance involves acknowledging our sin, turning from it, and surrendering to the Lordship of Christ. Repentance and faith are two sides of the same coin; both are necessary if one wants to be saved!


As a dispensationalist, I recognize the Bible contains seven stages in which God deals with humanity. In each stage, He reveals new information about Himself and His relationship to man. The LORD gives man instructions, man fails to live accordingly, and a new period or era begins. The men through whom God chose to reveal His "new light" were: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Jesus, and the Apostles. The periods, or ages, are identified as: Innocence, Conscience, Human Government; The Land; The Law; The Church; and The Millennium.

Genesis, Exodus, Joshua, the Gospels, Acts, and Revelation present transitions for the people of God. In Genesis alone, there are four dispensations, each with increased revelation and responsibility. It begins with the creation of Adam, and ends with Israel in bondage to Egypt.

Joshua is a transitional book in that it depicts Israel crossing the Jordan River and entering the Promised Land. While there are only three major conflicts with their enemies while Israel wandered through the wilderness for forty years, Joshua is filled with Israel's wars against their enemies.

The Gospels present the Son of God, Jesus, as the promised Christ, the Messiah of Israel. Two verses in John's Gospel sum up what happens (Jn. 1:11-12). Israel rejected their Messiah, and as the result of His death, burial, and resurrection for the sin of man according to the Scriptures, salvation is offered to everyone (1 Cor. 15:1-4; Jn. 3:16; Rom. 10:9-17; 2 Pet. 3:9).

Not all Jews rejected Jesus, and as a result, the Church began on the Day of Pentecost with its membership being entirely composed of Jewish believers. The Book of Acts shows a transition from the Church being made up of only Jews, to the Church including any and all who would accept Jesus Christ, whether they were Jews, Samaritans, or Gentiles (Acts 2:4; 8:5-12; 10:1-48).

The Book of Revelation shows a transition from the Church Age (Rev. 2 - 3), to the Millennial Kingdom of Christ (Rev. 20:1-7), with a seven year period in between known as the Tribulation (Matt. 24:4-28; Rev. 6 - 18), the Time of Jacob's Trouble (Jer. 30:7), and Daniel's Seventieth Week (Dan. 9:24-27). The Church will be gone to be with the Lord (Jn. 14:1-6; 1 Thes. 4:13-18; Rev. 4:1). The Tribulation is God's judgment on the world population, especially Israel, for rejecting His Son.

It is true that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, but His relationship to mankind has gradually revealed more and more about our unchanging God. Praise Him for revealing Himself to us, and offering us the opportunity to spend eternity with Him!

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Some might accuse me of having Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, because I am constantly evaluating the layout of the room I am in to see if it can be laid out in a more efficient way. I, on occasion, have even used a graph paper floor plan with pieces of paper cut to scale to represent furniture. I really don't think I am O.C.D., as much as I am lazy; I merely want to simplify my life. Then, again, it could be from spending so many years as a draftsman in the Navy. Regardless of the "diagnoses," it may explain why I am so fascinated with the book by Jeffrey L. Seif and Zola Levitt, The House That God Built. There is a diagram on page 22 which shows the layout of the Jewish Tabernacle including the position of the furnishings. What is immediately obvious is that the items were placed in the shape of a cross. What I find even more fascinating is that the layout matches the sequence of the life of Christ as presented in the Gospel of John.

Upon entering the Tabernacle, the first item was the Brazen Altar, where sin offerings were burned (Ex. 27:1). Jesus, our Passover (1 Cor. 5:7), was presented as such in John 1:29, which says, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."

The next item was the Laver, a place of washing (Ex. 30:18). The priests had to wash themselves in preparation for their ministry to Israel. In John 1:31-34, John describes the baptism of Jesus, a step Jesus described as being a necessary step in His ministry (Matt. 3:13-17).

Next, on the right, was the Table of Shewbread which contained twelve pieces of unleavened bread (Ex. 25:30). Since the bread represented Christ, it was necessary that it be unleavened, as leaven represents sin throughout the Bible. In John 6:48-51, Jesus identifies Himself as the Bread of Life.

On the left side, across from the Table of Shewbread, stood the Lamp Stand having seven "candles" (Ex. 25:31-40). John 8:12 says, "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."

The next item, which was back on the center line of the layout, was the Alter of Incense (Ex. 30:1-7). The incense symbolized the prayers of the people. Revelation 8:4 says, "And the smoke of the incense, [which came] with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand." John 17:1-26 is, in actuality, the Lord's prayer. This was the last piece of furniture in the holy place, which represented the world to whom Jesus offered Himself.

The next item, the Ark of the Covenant (or Mercy Seat - Ex. 25:17-22; Ark of the Testimony - Ex. 26:31-34), was in the Holy of Holies, which represented Heaven. It was approached once a year by the high priest on the Day of Atonement (Heb. 9:1-7). It was where God met with the High Priest (Ex. 25:22). Finally, in John 20:17, Jesus, our High Priest (Heb. 6:20), entered the presence of God when He ascended following His resurrection. Neat, huh!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


The born-again Christian is, in the psychological vernacular, bi-polar. Every one of us has periods in which we are filled with the Holy Spirit, and others in which we are full of ourselves. Jesus told His disciples that although they had the Holy Spirit dwelling with them, soon He would be dwelling within them (Jn. 14:17). In fact, from the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit filled all of the Lord's disciples (Acts 2:1-4), every born-again member of the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:27) owes his regeneration to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Jn. 3:3-8; Rom. 8:9).

However, having the Holy Spirit within us does not necessarily mean that we are filled (totally under His control). Apparently Christians leak! Evidence of that is found by comparing Acts 2:4 and 4:8; the Apostle Peter was filled on the Day of Pentecost, and again when he was taken before the Jewish leaders. The same is true of the Apostle Paul (compare Acts 9:17 and 13:9). If believers were filled with the Holy Spirit all of the time, Paul would not have had to admonish believers in Ephesus not to be drunk with wine, but to be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18).

At any given time, born-again Christians are either carnal, or they are spiritual; there is no "gray area" between the two. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we have the character of Christ. We manifest the "fruit of the Spirit" (Gal. 5:22-23). When we are walking in the flesh, we manifest the "fruit of the flesh" (Gal. 5:19-21). Paul describes believers who are not filled with the Spirit as being carnal. The Greek word translated carnal is σάρξ (sarx), which means "the flesh," and it refers to our human nature, the earthly nature of man apart from divine influence, and therefore prone to sin and is the opposite of godliness.

Paul made the contrast clear when he wrote, "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, [even] as unto babes in Christ" (1 Cor. 3:1). In another place, Paul wrote, "[This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would" (Gal. 5:16-17). Paul was definitely speaking from experience (Rom. 7:15-25). Peter described immature believers as "babes" and admonished them to "desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby" (1 Pet. 2:2). Peter had a problem with this on at least two occasions (Acts 10:9-34; Gal. 2:11-14).

If the two most famous Apostles had a problem with "leaking," is it any wonder that you and I have as well? The solution is simple; carnality is sin, and sin makes us unrighteous. Confession of sin restores us to the righteousness of God (1 Jn. 1:9). I don't know about you, but I need 1 John 1:9 many times a day! Thank God He is a merciful, patient, and loving Father to His "bi-polar" children!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


The Hebrew Old and New Testaments have several words which the King James Version translates "perfect," so for the sake of simplification, I will use the Greek τελειος (teleios), used in Matthew 5:48. There are several variations of the word, τελειος, which are translated "complete," "mature," "finished," fulfill," etc., but it is Matthew 5:48 which causes believers to see themselves as failures. It says, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." From this verse, it is clear we are to be like God, and everyone who believes in God knows He is perfect (Deut 32:4; 2 Sam. 22:31); otherwise, to worship Him would be foolish. As I said in Part One, Christians are not yet perfect (like God), but we will be. Think of Christians, who are still living, as "caterpillars." When we die, or should the Rapture occur before then, we shall see Jesus (2 Cor. 5:8), and become "butterflies" like Him (1 Jn. 3:2).

The most important question is, "How does one become a 'caterpillar'?" First, we must believe that God loves man (Jn. 3:16), and He wants everyone to be saved (2 Pet. 3:9). Unfortunately, man keeps trying to become His child by means of religion (earning merit by avoiding sin, and doing good works). The rich young ruler is a perfect example. In Matthew 19:16, he asked Jesus, "What good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?" "Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go [and] sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and... come [and] follow me" (v. 21). On another occasion when Jesus was asked the same question, He replied, "This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent" (Jn. 6:29). The Apostle Paul wrote that salvation is a gift (Eph. 2:8-9), that one is saved when they confess that Jesus is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead (Rom. 10:9-10).

Once a person has become a "caterpillar," he is on his way to becoming a "butterfly." When a biologist sees a caterpillar, he cannot help but think of the butterfly it will eventually become. When God looks at us, He sees the Christ-like one we are destined to be. And, like a caterpillar, there is work to be done before we our "metamorphosis." We need to "eat" the Word of God to grow strong. And, just as a caterpillar has within itself the knowledge of what it must do to prepare for its cocoon (death), we have the Holy Spirit within us guiding us in preparing for our change (Rom. 7:24; 1 Cor. 3:16; Phil. 1:6; 2:13). Paul also wrote, "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory" (1 Cor. 15:52-54). To God be the glory! Amen!

Monday, April 4, 2011


There are many denominations of Christianity that teach we are to be perfect in order to go to heaven. There are a few which teach it is impossible for us to be perfect this side of heaven. To the outsider (unbeliever), Christianity must seem ludicrous. I would like to say which side is right, but unfortunately, I believe both teachings are correct. It depends upon how one defines the use of the word, "perfect" in the Scriptures. But before I address the meanings of the word, "perfect" in the New Testament, I need to correct the false belief that people are either Saints (saved), or they are Sinners (lost).

Let me begin by saying there is clear evidence that a Christian is not perfect in the sense he has become like God. 1 John 3:2 says, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is." Christians still sin, as can be seen by the Apostle Paul's struggle in Romans 7:15-25. And although unrighteousness and righteousness are mutually exclusive states of being, Christians can be in either state at any given time. We are unrighteous when we sin, but for the believer, God returns us to a state of righteousness when we confess our sin (1 Jn. 1:9).

Another piece of evidence that Christians are not yet perfect is the symbolism of the elements used in celebrating the Feast of Pentecost. The bread used in the Feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits, feasts that represent Christ's First Coming, had no yeast in it. Yeast (leaven) always represents corruption or sin. However, the two loaves that are used in the Feast of Pentecost, which pictures the Church Age between the Christ's two advents, were leavened. These two loaves represent the Church which is made up of Jewish and Gentile sinners. In Leviticus 23:16-17, Moses wrote, "Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD. Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; [they are] the firstfruits unto the LORD."

It also might be worthy of note that the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus tells His audience to be perfect, was addressed exclusively to a Jewish audience (Matt. 5:48). He was speaking to those for whom the Law was given to explain what "being perfect" means. Paul wrote of the Law, "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster" (Gal. 3:24-25). Paul had written earlier, "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified" (Gal. 2:16).

Tomorrow, Lord willing, I will try to explain what "perfect" means to a Christian.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Some Bible doctrines are simply beyond our comprehension, and that fact, in itself, adds to my faith that the Bible is the Word of God. If everything in it could be understood, then why couldn't mere men simply have concocted it? No, the fact that it cannot be completely understood reinforces the fact that it is a supernatural revelation from God. One truth from the pages of the Scriptures which confuses me is when people throw around the name, "God," as if they expect me to know to which Person of the Trinity they are referring. In the very first verse in the Bible, we have a perfect example; "God created the heaven and the earth." However, we know from the rest of the Word, that Jesus created them (Jn. 1:1-3; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2). You would think that this one fact would be enough to convince people that Jesus is God, but that is not the case. Most Christians do not realize Jesus is Jehovah, LORD of the Old Testament, and He is the only manifestation of God man has had (see post dated 3- 5-11 and 3-27-11). Other than His voice at Jesus' baptism and at the Mount of Transfiguration, man does not appear to have had any interaction with God, the Father.

The Bible uses the phrases, "the Almighty" and "Almighty God," about fifty times, and all but two of them are in the Old Testament; the other two are found in the Book of Revelation and refer to Jesus Christ (Rev. 1:8; 19:15). At least four verses connect "the Almighty" with Jehovah (Gen. 17:1; Ruth 1:21; Isa. 13:6; Joel 1:15). There is not a single verse that connects either phrase with God, the Father. If that were not enough to convince you that Jesus is the Almighty God, one need only read of His description in Isaiah 9:6, which says, "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."

Jesus is the revelation of the Father to man. From these verses, it is clear:
*John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared [Him].
*John 14:7-9 If ye had known Me, ye should have known My Father also: and from henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him. Philip saith unto Him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou [then], Shew us the Father?
*Colossians 2:9 For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
*1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
*Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of [His] glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.

Jesus is the Almighty God! Love, serve, and worship Him; He is worthy!

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Yesterday, I wrote the second part of a two-part post entitled "God and God Alone." In it, I used an Internet definition for worship which said, "The most frequent New Testament word rendered "to worship" is the Greek word, προσκυνέω (proskunevw), which is defined as: "making obeisance, showing reverence to (from pros, towards, and kuneoµ, to kiss)." Not long after it was posted, I received a phone call from a Christian brother who "works" as my proofreader. Robert may be my only reader who actually enjoys reading these posts enough to check out my references, and who loves me enough to let me know when I have made an error. Robert works "cheap," as I do not pay him, but I find his proofreading invaluable.

Robert was humble enough to admit he had no clue as to the meaning of the word "obeisance," and that he had looked it up in his Young's Analytical Concordance, and in a dictionary. His resources led him to believe I had erred in using the verb, "making" with it. So today, this post is dedicated to Robert, my dedicated friend and "co-worker."

In checking other cites on the "net," I found the following examples of "obeisance" used in a sentence:

* The Greek term used for worship is proskuneo which means to do obeisance.
* I suggest that there are some errors in this ritual obeisance to received wisdom.
* I think their way leads to idolatry, for they are making obeisance to a book.
* The Queen's funeral allowed a willing nation to pay obeisance to her.
* He said in this case they are giving obeisance to a fetish of long standing.
* After Mao performed obeisance, he was considered adopted by the rock.
* In a dream he saw the sun, moon, and eleven stars bringing obeisance to him.

Although I did know that "obeisance" meant "to worship," I also must admit that I did not know how the word should be used in a sentence. Robert's attention to detail is refreshing, and scriptural. The Apostle Paul, a man who worked many miracles to authenticate his ministry and message, instructed his readers to check out the teachings of all who would claim to be spokespersons for God. In Acts 17:11, he said, "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." He also wrote, "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good" (1 Thes. 5:21). Robert is a faithful friend, and he is one of very few folks I know who take Paul's admonitions seriously. Thank you, Robert!

Friday, April 1, 2011


I ended yesterday's post by asking a question. If Christians are suppose to worship one God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the Father of Jesus Christ, why do Christians worship Jesus? In my post of March 27, 2011, I explained that the LORD (Jehovah in the Old Testament), was the pre-incarnation of Jesus Christ of the New Testament. After showing that the only revelation man has received about God, the Father, is through "observing" Jesus (Jn. 1:18; 14:7-9; Col. 2:9; 1 Tim. 3:16; Heb. 1:30), I then provided just two of the many references that indicate Jesus is God (Isa. 9:6 "The Mighty God"; and Jn. 1:1-2, 14 "The Word Who became flesh and dwelt among us"). What I will say to day is based upon Christ's identity as the Second Person of the Trinity.

The most frequent New Testament word rendered "to worship" is the Greek word, προσκυνέω (proskunevw), which is defined as: "making obeisance, showing reverence to (from pros, towards, and kuneoµ, to kiss)." The word, "worship," is used to express an act of homage or reverence to:

*God (Matt. 4:10; Jn. 4:21-24; 1 Cor. 14:25; Rev. 4:10; 5:14; 7:11; 11:16; 19:10; and 22:9)
*Christ (Matt. 2:2, 8, 11; 8:2; 9:18; 14:33; 15:25; 20:20; 28:9, 17; Jn. 9:38)
**The Dragon, that is, Satan (Rev. 13:4)
**The Beast, that is, the antichrist (Rev. 13:4, 8, 12; 14:9, 11)
**The image of the Beast (Rev. 13:15; 14:11; 16:2);
**To demons (Rev. 9:20)
**To idols (Acts 7:43).

Note: * = worship which rightly belongs only to God, and ** = worship which indicates a rejection of God).

Jesus, is not only worthy of worship from His creation (Jn. 1:1-3; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:1-2), He received it during His earthly life. He was worshiped by angels (Heb. 1:6), by His disciples (Matt. 14:33; 28:9, 17; Lk. 14:52), the Magi (Matt. 2:2, 11), the leper (Matt. 8:2), the ruler (Matt. 9:18), the woman of Canaan (Matt. 15:25), the mother of Zebedee's children (Matt. 20:20), and the blind man (Jn. 9:38).

Finally, Jesus is worshiped by me, a former atheist. The Father drew me to Jesus (Jn. 6:44), the Holy Spirit used Christians to share God's Word, the Gospel, with me (1 Cor. 1:18; 15:1-4), and then He gave me the faith to believe (Eph. 2:8-9). To God be the glory!

Even though yesterday was "April Fools Day" or as I like to call it, "National Atheist's Day," what I have written today is not a joke. Jesus is Lord, and worthy of our worship, our love, and our obedience! I pray that every soul who reads this post will recognize Christ as his Lord, and will spend the rest of his days worshiping Him! Amen!