Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Part One ended with a quote of Daniel 9:24-27 where I highlighted a few clues to what the Tribulation is all about. "Thy people," "thy holy city," "the sanctuary," and "the sacrifice," are clear evidence that Daniel is referring to Israel. I probably should have included "Jerusalem" with them. I also should take the time to show why the term "seventy weeks" had to refer to a four hundred ninety year period. It is quite clear that the time between the command to rebuild Jerusalem and the death of Israel's Messiah (7+62 "weeks") had to be sixty-nine weeks of years, or four hundred eighty-three years.

That "weeks" refers to periods of seven years is also supported by the fact that the seventieth week mentioned is the Tribulation, the seven year covenant made between Israel and the antichrist (Dan. 9:27). The fact that half of "the week" is described as being forty-two months (Rev. 11:2; 13:5), 1260 days (Rev. 12:6), and "a time, times, and a half time" (Rev. 12:14), proves that the period known as the "Tribulation" (Matt. 24:5-29), "Daniel's Seventieth Week" (Dan. 9:24-27), and the "Time of Jacob's Trouble" (Jer. 30:7), will last seven years.

The Tribulation is described as the "wrath of God," with the second half being called the "Great Tribulation" (Matt. 24:4-22; Jn. 3:36; Rom. 1:18; 2:5; 5:9; 9:22; Eph. 5:6; Col. 3:16; 1 Thes. 1:10; 5:9; Rev. 3:10; 6:16-17; 7:14; etc.). Notice that in Ephesians 5:6 and Colossians 3:6, the wrath of God is for the children of disobedience, that is, the lost, both Jew and Gentile. This point is reinforced by the Apostle Paul, who in writing to Christians, said that the Church is "not appointed to wrath" (1 Thes. 5:9).

Because the Tribulation is God's judgment on the entire world (Rev. 3:10; 11:10; 12:9; 13:3; 16:14), and since Christians are "not appointed to wrath," it stands to reason that born again believers will not be present; they will be removed in the Rapture. Even though the word "Rapture" does not appear in the KJV of the Bible, it does in the Roman Catholic Bible. The Latin rapiemur is Saint Jerome's translation of the Greek word ἁρπαγησόμεθα. This is a faithful translation, using a form of the Latin verb rapiō, meaning "to catch up" or "take away". It is found in the Vulgate rendering of 1 Thessalonians 4:17.

The removal of the Church prior to the Tribulation, as I have already discussed, is taught by comparing several passages (Matt. 24:36-39; Lk. 21:36; Jn. 14:1-6; 1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1 Thes. 4:15-18; 2 Thes. 2:1-8; 2 Pet. 2:4-9; Rev. 3:8-10; 4:1). The fact that the Church is not mentioned at all in Revelation chapters six through eighteen (the Tribulation), supports the argument that John, in Revelation 4:1, represents the Rapture. The Church returns from heaven with the Lord in Revelation 19:7-18. "Wherefore comfort one another with these words" (1 Thes. 4:18). "He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus" (Rev. 22:20)!

Monday, May 30, 2011


It amazes me that born again believers can be so divided on what the Bible has to say concerning such an important prophetic event as the Rapture of the Church. Since there is only one Bible, and one Holy Spirit to interpret it for believers, you would think there would only be one view; sadly, there are several. Some believe the Church is removed prior to the seven year Tribulation (Pre-Tribers). Some believe the Rapture will occur half way through, or three and one half years after the Tribulation has begun (Mid-Tribers). Still others hold that only the faithful will be removed, and the rest will go through the whole seven years (Partial-Tribers). Finally, there are those who believe there will be a Rapture, but it will involve a "u-turn" in the clouds. The Church will join Christ and His saints for the Lord's Second Coming (Post-Tribers).

Since God's Word says that He is not the author of confusion (1 Cor. 14:33), why is the Church so divided on this and many other Bible doctrines? First of all, not everyone who says they are a Christian is born again. Secondly, even those who have been partakers of the spiritual birth do not always walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16, 25); apparently Christians "leak." That is why we are told to keep being filled (Eph. 5:18; also cp. Acts 2:4 with Acts 4:8). And finally, understanding God's Word requires diligent study. 2 Timothy 2:15 says, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

Perhaps the most common error made by students of the Bible is their failure to rightly divide the Word of God. The Bible clearly teaches that Israel and the Church are separate and distinct entities (Rom. 6:14; 9:1-11:36; Gal. 1:1-6:18, etc.). If one fails to determine which one the Lord is addressing, the Bible soon appears to be confusing and contradictory. In some passages, it does not take a seminary degree to know to whom the Lord is speaking. Daniel 9:24-27 is a perfect example. It says,

"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate."

To be continued, Lord willing.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


The Bible clearly teaches that salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ's death, burial, and resurrection, the Gospel which is the power of/from God unto salvation (Jn. 3:3-8; Acts 1:8; Rom. 1:15-17; 10:9-10; 1 Cor. 15:1-4; etc.). It is also clear that born again believers have received the very faith necessary to believe in Christ as a free gift from God (Eph. 2:8-9). However, most genuine Christians seem to ignorant of the fact that our being born again is not all that God intends for us; it is merely the foundation of what He wants us to be (Heb. 6:1). God wants us to grow from being babes in Christ, to being more and more like Him (Rom. 12:1-2; Gal. 4:19; Phil. 1:6; 2:13; 1 Pet. 2:2; etc.). God's ultimate goal for His children is that they are once again made in His likeness (Gen. 1:26; Rom. 8:29; 1 Cor. 15:49; 2 Pet. 1:4; 1 Jn. 3:2; etc.).

The key to our being transformed into His likeness is found in Philippians 1:6 which says, "Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." The Apostle Paul continued this theme in Philippians 2:13 which says, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure." Paul is saying that God gives us the desire to grow into Christ's likeness. The Apostle John wrote, " And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us: and if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him" (1 Jn. 5:14-15). His work in us transforms our will to match His, and as a result, our desires will be granted because they are also His desires.

As I have said, He gives us the faith to believe and be saved, but when we desire to grow as Christians, we must begin by doing our part in becoming like Him. The Holy Spirit will work in us the desire to become more virtuous; to become more knowledgeable; to have more self-control; to have the strength to persevere; to be godly (more like Him); to love the brethren; and finally, to love everyone, even our enemies (Phil. 2:13; 2 Pet. 5-7). By allowing the Holy Spirit to work these things in you, you are going to please God, and will certainly bear fruit (win others to Christ - see Matt. 13:1-23).

Therefore, if we know God wants us to be like His Son Jesus, the obvious way to do that is to get to know Him as He is revealed in the Word of God, in both the Old and New Testaments. Jesus told the two travelers on the road to Emmaus that the Scriptures spoke of Him (Lk. 24:13-27). By knowing Him, we can discern whether or not it is the Holy Spirit leading; if it is, God will be glorified, and we will become a little more like Jesus (1 Jn. 4:1).

To know Him is to love Him. And if you love Him, you will want to be like Him. And if you want to be like Him, you will need to read! Paul said, "...be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God" (Rom. 12:2).

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Biblical dispensations are periods of time in which God, having revealed His truth to man, holds man responsible for obeying it. Failure to do so brings God's judgment, and with it, a new set of instructions. In order to understand the dispensations of the Bible, one needs to be mindful of both the text and the context. For the most part, the text reveals God's point of view; He is either directing or correcting those with whom He is working. For example, God told Adam what he could and could not eat. Then, He corrected him, disciplined him, and gave him "new marching orders." In this case, the context consists of God's relationship with two people in a garden. God's instructions to Adam do not apply to the rest of humanity, because none of us have lived as innocents in God's garden. However, it is true that man can learn valuable lessons from the mistakes or poor choices of others, even though there were under a different dispensation. We are told in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 that all Scripture is valuable for a Christian's growth.

Today, Christians don't go out to find manna to eat. We don't offer animal sacrifices for our sins. We aren't expected to possess the "Promised Land." We are not required to be vegetarians or eat kosher foods. The dispensation known as the Church Age is unique from all other dispensations. By accepting Jesus, we have been given new understanding (light). It is as though God has a lamp with a seven-way light bulb. As the dispensations progress through time, He turns up the light one level until His whole truth is clearly seen. In each dispensation, God's people are to be stewards of the light God has given to them.

The best example I know of how failing to keep the dispensations separate hinders our understanding are the teachings of Jesus, is in Matthew Chapter Twenty-four. When His disciples asked Him when the temple will be destroyed, what will be the sign of His return, and what will be the sign of the end of the world (better "age" or dispensation), Jesus responded to the second and third questions, but not the first. They should have known from Daniel 9:26 that it will occur after He has left. The second and third question are not in the order they will occur. Jesus answered the third by describing the Tribulation in Matthew 24:4-28. He next taught them of His return in Matthew 24:29-46. Because the Church is not present on earth during the Tribulation, the passage does not speak of the Rapture of the Church. The Tribulation has absolutely nothing to do with the Church. Those taken away, are taken for judgment, and those remaining are allowed to enter into Christ's kingdom when He returns.

Today, the false teaching called "Replacement Theology" is widespread throughout Christendom. It says that since the Jews rejected their King, God has now applied the promises to the Church. One need only read Romans Chapters Nine through Eleven, to see that Israel was blinded in part so that Gentiles could be saved. When the last member of the Body of Christ believes, the time of the Church Age will be complete, and God will begin Daniel's Seventieth Week of judgment upon Israel. They will repent and the rest of the prophecies concerning Christ's Kingdom will then be fulfilled. The dispensations of The Law and The Church must be understood separately to prevent misinterpreting God's Word.


The most common definition of a parable is that it is an earthly picture of a heavenly reality. There is some truth to this view, but it hardly reveals the meaning and purpose of parables. In Matthew 13:10-17, Jesus was asked by His disciples why He had begun speaking in parables. Jesus replied that His teaching was meant to be understood by those who believed in Him, but was to be hidden from others. Jesus called the subject of the parables "the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven." Matthew is the only Gospel writer to use "kingdom of heaven." The others, Mark, Luke, and John, call it the "kingdom of God." Much has been made of Matthew's terminology, but when one looks at parallel passages, it is clear that the words "heaven" and "God" are interchangeable.

Some have interpreted the parables as a general truth, and suggest the reader not get caught up in details. However, when Jesus taught the parable of the sower (or soils as some call it), He also interpreted it. The parable is given in Matthew 13:1-8, and the interpretation is found in Matthew 13:18-23. Jesus was very clear that each detail had a relevant meaning.

The "sower" is anyone spreading the seed (the Gospel or the Word of God). The "soils" represent the four types of people who hear it.
1) "The Wayside" pictures uninterested people who hear the truth, but because they do nothing with it, it is quickly removed by Satan (the birds).
2) "The Rocky Soil" receives the seed and it springs to life, but its roots do not go very deep (a shallow understanding). When it is challenged by the worldly elements, its growth is stunted, and it is unproductive.
3) "The Weedy Soil" is filled with competing "plants" which describe worldly riches and pleasures. Because it shares the available sustenance and is weak, this "plant" yields to the dominating weeds and produces no fruit.
4) "The Fertile Soil" is the good soil in which the seed is able to develop a strong root system (rooted in the in Christ and God's love - Eph. 3:17; Col. 2:7). Because the seed is allowed to grow into a healthy plant, it is able to produce more seed, thus allowing it to reproduce itself (lead others to Christ).

As can be seen in this example, each piece of information represents something specific. A sower, the seed, the birds, the packed down soil, the rocky soil, the weed-infested soil, and the fertile soil are all part of a metaphor explaining what the apostles would face as they went into "all the world to spread the Gospel of Christ (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 1:8)." As you and I study other parables, each detail is important to the understanding of what Jesus wanted only His disciples to understand. Don't you feel privileged to be able to understand His teaching? I know I sure do!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Let me begin by saying the Apostle Paul was not advocating polygamy in Ephesians 5:25. He was absolutely clear on the subject in two of his epistles: 1 Timothy 3:2 says, "A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife...." and Titus 1:6 says, "If any be blameless, the husband of one wife...." Since the leaders of the Church were to be above reproach, and they were to act as role models for believers, what he required of them was certainly the standard for the rest the Body of Christ.

That being said, I would like to share my thoughts on Ephesians 5:25-33. Paul felt the need to tell husbands to love their wives three times in this passage. In verse 25, he wrote, "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it." In verse 28, he indicated it was the right and logical thing to do, and since a man and wife are one flesh (verse 31), loving one's wife is really loving oneself. And finally, verse 33 says, "Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself...."

The fact that Paul repeats his admonition three times reminds me of Jesus asking Peter if he loved Him three times (Jn. 21:15-17). Jesus appears to have been asking Peter to demonstrate his love for Him by feeding His sheep, whereas Paul is actually doing the feeding by instructing the Lord's sheep on how a man was to treat his wife. After all, the Word of God is both the "meat" and the "milk" for the children of God (1 Cor. 3:2; Heb. 5:12).

In three weeks, my wife and I will have been married for forty-nine years, with us being born again Christians for the last forty years. Recently, someone called to say he and his wife were going through a rough patch, and he wanted my advice. I listened to him explain why it was all her fault, and I shared with him the passages above. Of course, he was familiar with them, and indicated the problem was not with his lack of love, but it was her unwillingness to submit. I pointed out to him that some of what he had told me concerning his response to the situation was certainly not very loving. As with most of us men, we find it easy to love a submissive wife, but we react very poorly when our wife fails to allow us to "rule our house well" (1 Tim. 3:4-5).

Shortly after hanging up the phone, I started thinking about how I have behaved toward my wife in similar circumstances. I recognized that I have been guilty of acting exactly like my friend, and I was overcome with grief. I do not recall ever considering how my words and actions were far from being like Jesus if He were faced with the same situation. And when I thought of how patient and forgiving He is toward His bride, the Church, I felt like a total failure as a husband. As is often the case, my counsel to others seems to be the remedy for "what ails me." My wife thanked me for telling her I was sorry. I hope and pray the scars my words and actions have caused her will heal, and I that I will truly love her as Christ loved the Church.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Yesterday, I wrote that Jehovah-jireh, Jehovah-nissi, and Jehovah-shalom were actually names for the places where altars stood. They should not be used as names for God; Jehovah is His name. Today, I want us to look at some other names which are commonly said to be names for God. None of them appear to be related to the locations of altars.

This "name for God," in actuality, describes what God does; He heals.
רֹפְאֶֽךָ׃ (ro·fe·'e·cha) "I am your healer" from Exodus 15:26, which says, "I am the LORD that healeth thee."

Again, this "name for God" is a description of what God does; He sanctifies.
מְקַדִּשְׁכֶֽם (me·kad·dish·chem) "which sanctifies you" from Leviticus 20:8, which says, "I am the LORD who sanctifieth you."

This is also a description of what the LORD does, rather than His name.
רֹ֝עִ֗י (ro·'i) "my shepherd" found in Psalm 23:1, which says, "The LORD is my shepherd."

Here we have both a description of what God does, and His title; He is in control of the hosts of heaven.
צְבָאֹ֔ות (tze·va·'o·vt) "of hosts" from Isaiah 1:24; "Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts."

This, again, is more of a title than a name for God.
צִדְקֵֽנוּ׃ (tzid·ke·nu) Strong's Concordance defines it as "prosperity," (every other source agrees with the KJV which has it "righteousness") is from Jeremiah 23:6, which says, "He shall be called THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS."

Again, we have a description, but instead of it describing God, it gives "His location."
שָֽׁמָּה׃ (sham·mah) "present" as found in Ezekiel 48:35 which says, "the name of the city from that day shall be The LORD is there."

None of the above examples appear in the KJV. "Scholars" have decided these transliterations should be recognized as names for God. As I stated yesterday, our LORD said His name was Jehovah (YaHVeH - יְהוָה), and it has been translated "I Am" in Exodus 3:14. He may indeed be our "provider," our "banner," our "peace," our healer," the One Who sanctifies," our shepherd," "the LORD of hosts, our "righteousness," and "the ever-present One," but His name is Jehovah!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


"And Abraham said, 'My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering': so they went both of them together...and Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen" (Gen. 22:8, 13-14).

Jehovah-jireh (YaHVeH-YiReH) in the Hebrew, יְהוָה יִרְאֶה, is said to mean "the LORD will provide." Since this is the only time in the Bible where this name appears, and the context clearly shows God providing the ram for Abraham to sacrifice in the place of his son, modern day "scholars" decided "the LORD will provide" is another name for God. However, the text says, "Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh." The context also seems to be saying the place where the altar stood was still there when Moses wrote Genesis (Gen. 22:9).

JiReH, (יִרְאֶה) is never translated "provides" in the Old Testament. It is translated "fear" (42 times), "fearfulness" (once), and "dreadful" (once). In other words, the place where the altar stood, the place where Abraham attempted to follow God's instructions out of fear or reverence, was a holy place worthy of great respect. Perhaps a better definition would be "the place where the LORD is to be feared."

Other words connected to the name Jehovah are similar in that they appear only once in the Bible, and they also refer to an altar. "Jehovah-nissi" (נִסִּי) in Exodus 17:15: "NiSSi" does not appear by itself anywhere else in the Scriptures, and although it is commonly defined as "banner," it is clearly the altar Moses built to praise God for victory in battle. It is a place of reverence.
The final example is "Jehovah-shalom" (שלום) in Judges 6:24: "SHaLoM" is translated "peace" 172 times, and because the LORD greeted Gideon by saying, "Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die" (Jud. 6:23), "Gideon built an altar there unto the LORD, and called it Jehovah-shalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites" (Jud. 6:24).

While I would never assume that I am wiser than those who view these three terms as names for God, in this case, the Bible context and the text itself, says the terms each apply to a specific alter in a specific location. Our LORD said His name was YaHVeH (יְהוָה), and it has been translated "I Am" in Exodus 3:14. He may indeed be our "provider," our "banner," and our "peace," but His name is Jehovah!

Monday, May 23, 2011


Today's devotion in Our Daily Bread was, as usual, a true blessing. Anne Cetas was talking about how the children of God are very much like babies. She said that babies need "changing, holding, feeding; changing, holding, feeding; changing, holding, feeding." By repeating it, she seemed to indicate that she viewed the care of a baby as an endless cycle. That started me thinking about how we, as God's "babes" (Matt. 11:25; Lk. 10:21; 1 Pet. 2:2), need the same attention from our Father and His "older" children.

Because the spiritual birth, followed by spiritual growth, is pictured in the natural life cycle, born again Christians require the same three things. Unfortunately, some believers never grow out of the "baby stage." The Apostle Paul 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). Others make the mistake of thinking the new birth makes them "spiritual adults," needing nothing from other Christians. Hence, they feel they do not need to go to church (Heb. 10:25), be taught (they misunderstand 1 John 2:27), or submit to the authority of its leaders (Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 5:5). And since they feel they are "mature," they make the mistake of trying to eat "meat" when they should be getting their "nourishment" from the "milk of the Word" (1 Pet 2:2).

From the time we exercised God's gift of faith in the finished work of Christ on our behalf (Rom. 5:8; 2 Cor. 5:21; Eph. 2:8-9), God began making us, His new creation, into the image of His Son (Rom. 8:29; 2 Cor. 5:17; Phil. 1:6; 2:13; 1 Jn. 3:2; etc.). If there has been no changing going on, perhaps salvation has not taken place (Heb. 12:5-8).

I know there are many Christians who believe that our remaining saved has to do with obedience, and that they cringe at the thought of "once saved, always saved." However, the life a believer has is eternal. There are many verses which speak of born again Christians being sealed (Eph. 1:13; 4:30), seated (Eph. 1:3; 2:6), saved (1 Cor. 3:15), etc. Because of God's love, Christ's mediation, and the Holy Spirit's sealing, we are clearly "being held" by God.

Jesus told His disciples, especially Peter, to feed His sheep (Jn. 21:15-17). The Great Commission involves teaching new believers; Jesus said, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations (share the Gospel), baptizing them (new believers) in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them (new believers) to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world (age). Amen" (Matt. 28:19-20). Babes need someone to feed them, and to watch over them; Hebrews 13:17 says, "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you."

If you have yet to become a child of God by faith in Jesus, allow the Spirit to provide you with the new birth. If you are a babe in Christ, allow mature believers to nurture you with the sweet milk of God's Word. If you are mature in your faith, you feed those who are not (Eph. 4:11-15)!

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Harold Egbert Camping (born July 19, 1921) is an American Christian radio broadcaster and president of Family Radio, a California-based radio station that spans more than 150 markets in the United States. He previously warned his listeners, using Bible-based numerology to predict dates for the end of the world, and that the Rapture would occur in September 1994. His most recent end times prediction stated it would occur on May 21, 2011, and that God would subsequently destroy the Earth five months later on October 21. As a born again Christian, the fact that I am writing this today indicates he is zero for two in his apocalyptic predictions.

Late night comedians, members of other religions, and atheists around the world have used Camping as proof the Christians are nuts. My response to that is, he does not speak for the vast majority of us, and many well known church leaders publicly labeled him as a false prophet prior to the non-event of yesterday. Camping and his followers spent a huge amount of their money spreading the word of the world's pending doom. Today, they are broke and humiliated.

What a waste, or was it? For the first time in a very long time, unbelievers approached Christians to inquire about what the Bible has to say about Christ's return. This provided a rare opportunity for believers to discuss Jesus with them. Just by asking about Christ's return, they were admitting some faith He had been here before. While it is true that Camping was not only wrong, but is a poor student of God's Word, it gave born again believers the opening to share the Gospel, including Mark 13:32, which says, "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father."

The Apocalypse (Greek: ἀποκάλυψις apokálypsis; "lifting of the veil" or "revelation") is a disclosure of something hidden. In this case, it is describing the end of the world as revealed to the Apostle John by Jesus Christ in his heavenly vision (Rev. 1:1, 9-19; 4:1-2). John's vision included a discussion of the churches of his day (Ch. 2-3), the Rapture symbolized in John's being taken up into heaven (4:1), the Tribulation (Ch. 6-18), Christ's Second Coming (Ch. 19), the Millennial Kingdom (20:1-7), the Great White Throne Judgment (20:11-15), and Eternity (Ch. 21-22).

Our opportunity to answer those laughing at Camping and his followers will not last long. Christians need to "...be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear" (1 Pet. 3:15). While Camping was clearly wrong to set a date, he was absolutely correct in saying Jesus Christ could return for His Church very soon; there is no event prophesied in the Bible which has to happen prior to His Second Coming. It could happen this very day. Are you ready?

Saturday, May 21, 2011


I find it a little bit irritating that after nearly two thousand years, there are still people in the Church who believe Christians are supposed to obey some or all of the 613 laws of the Jews. However, the purpose of the Old Testament Law was to convict people of their inability to keep the law, and to point us to our need for Jesus Christ as Savior. The Apostle Paul wrote, "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). Jesus did not come to destroy the Law, but He did come to fulfill (complete) it (Matt. 5:17). The Greek word translated "fulfil" in the KJV is πληρόω (plēroō) which means "to render full," i.e. "to complete." Because none of us is capable of obeying the Law, Jesus obeyed it for us; His death paid our penalty, and His Resurrection provided us with righteousness (which is defined as the total fulfillment of the Law - Rom. 5:21; 1 Cor. 15:3-4).

Paul, speaking to genuine Christians, wrote, "O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish, having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?" (Gal. 3:1-3). We were born again by faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus on our behalf. We no longer are under the Law, but are to live in the Spirit (Gal. 5:25).

There are those who would demand we obey all 613 Old Testament laws, and there are others who would pick and choose which of that number still apply. These tend to divide God's Law: the moral law found in the Ten Commandments, and the ceremonial law consisting of hundreds of statutes and ordinances. Jesus said that all of the Law was fulfilled in these two: "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these" (Mk. 12:30-31).

Paul, apparently believing man is incapable of loving his neighbor without his love for God motivating him, simplified it even more: "For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" (Gal. 5:14). If we are truly grateful for what Jesus has done for us, we will want to please Him by doing those things which bless others (1 Jn. 3:16-18). We will give to the poor; we will give cheerfully and according to our conscience to the Church so that it can spread the Good News (2 Cor. 9:7); we will be hospitable to others, etc.; because that is what we want others to do for us. Our love of God is expressed in our love for others.

Friday, May 20, 2011


On May 3-6, I warned that the United States, by failing to support Israel, was setting itself up for the judgment of God. You would think that after the terrorist attack of 9-11-2001, the space shuttle Columbia (2003), hurricanes Ivan, Frances, and Charlie (2004), Catrina (2005), the Virginia Tech massacre (2007), the "super Tuesday" tornadoes (2008), the Fort Hood massacre (2009), the oil rig Deep Water Horizon (2010), and 487 tornadoes in April (2011), people would start to see "the handwriting on the wall" (see the source of that saying in Dan. 5:1-31). Apparently not.

Today's Washington Post had this to say:

Romney says Obama 'threw Israel under the bus' in (yesterday's) speech on Middle East
HANOVER, N.H. — Republicans looking to unseat President Barack Obama charged that he undermined the sensitive and delicate negotiations for Middle East peace with his outline for resumed talks between Israelis and Palestinians.

Obama, Netanyahu to meet at White House following president's challenge to Israel on peace
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is set to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a day after challenging the Israeli leader to cede more territory than he wants to in pursuit of peace with the Palestinians.

Of course, the Washington Post, being the liberal rag that it is, had to say the motive of Republican criticism was purely political in the first article, and used the word "challenging" instead of "insisting," or even "demanding," in the second article. It will be interesting to see what Al Sharpton has to say about the speech; he recently criticized President Obama for demanding that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resign. Somehow, I doubt that the outspoken, self-appointed spokesman for the down-trodden will care one iota about Obama's obvious demagoguery concerning Israel.

My advice to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to read his Tanakh (Hebrew Old Testament), to see how effective Israel was in making alliances for protection and giving bribes to enemies (in this case, land for peace). It was only when God's people trusted Him, that they were protected from destruction. America is not your savior, and land will not keep Ishmael's children from hating you. Trust only in the Lord.

And my warning to President Obama: if you can not see the handwriting on the wall, you ain't seen nuttin yet! If you fail to recognize God's chastisement due to America's foreign policy concerning Israel, I assure you, His judgments are far more severe. Remember, He blesses those who support His people, and He curses those who don't (Gen. 12:1-3).

Thursday, May 19, 2011


The other day, a family member, in an effort to persuade me to do something, said that by doing it, I would add jewels to my crown in heaven. I am not certain where he got that idea, but the way I understand it, not only are the crowns given to us by the grace of God, they are complete without need of my adding "bling."

The five crowns a believer can be given are discussed in a previous post dated May 13. Of the five, the most important one is mentioned in 2 Timothy 4:8; it says, "Because we long for the return of Christ, we will wear the Crown of Righteousness." It is the faith we have been given by God which longs for Him to return (Eph. 2:8-9).

The other four are also the work of God, and yet He "rewards us." If we are filled with the Spirit, He shares the Gospel with the lost through us, and we are given the Crown of Rejoicing (1 Thes. 2:19). The Holy Spirit works in our lives to bring honor to God, and we are given the Crown of Victory (1 Cor. 9:25-27). If we are fortunate enough to have been given the gift of teaching (1 Cor. 12:28; Eph. 4:11), we will be given the Crown of Glory (1 Pet. 5:1, 4). And should God's choice for us a martyr's death to bring Himself glory, we will be given the Crown of Life (Jam. 1:12; Rev. 2:10).

The righteous described as a garment is clearly and totally the work of God, as can be seen by these verses:

Philippians 3:9 - "And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith."

Hebrews 11:7 - "By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith."

Revelation 19:8 - "And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints."

When we realize that the only good in us is a gift from Him, and that it is God Who works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13), it is impossible to be anything but humble.

The bride eyes not her garment, but her dear Bridegroom's face.
We will not gaze at glory, but on our King of Grace;
Not at the crown He giveth, but on His pierced hand;
The Lamb is all the glory of Immanuel's land. (Anonymous)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I have heard it said that we should plan as though we will live forever, but we should live as though today is our last. I am not sure who was the first to make that statement, but whoever it was, he or she was not only very wise, his or her thought is in total agreement with the Word of God. The underlying basis for it lies in the fact that only God knows when our life will end. 1 Samuel 20:3 says, "...truly as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, there is but a step between me and death." Proverbs 27:1 says, "Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth." Perhaps the best passage stating the uncertainty of life is James 4:13-15:

"Go to now, ye that say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain': whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, 'If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.'"

Planning for the future is also encouraged in the Scriptures. Proverbs 6:6-11 says:

"Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man."

Living as though this is our last day
is also encouraged, and it requires that we check our priorities. If we only have twenty-four hours to live, we definitely want to use our time wisely. Before we leave this world, it is extremely important to make things right with others. Matthew 5:23-24 says,

"Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar (or before we stand before God), and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift."

I would suggest that the only other thing which should be a priority on our "to do list" for our last day is to share the Gospel with everyone we can. No one knows for sure who is saved and who is not. Therefore, tell everyone you meet about Jesus. Proverbs 11:30 says, "...and he that winneth souls is wise." If we truly love even our enemies, we want everyone to be saved. We should think like God, not wanting any to perish (2 Pet. 3:9).

I doubt that if we were to live as though it was our last day, our food, clothing, bank accounts, etc. would take up much of our thought. After all, Jesus said the Father would provide for all our needs (Matt. 6:25-33), and the rest matters little.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Because it has always been the tactic of Satan to challenge the authenticity of God's Word in order to cause man to doubt God (Gen. 3:1), those who belong to their father, the devil (Jn. 8:44), do the same thing. And because those who are genuinely born again believed the Word of God which resulted in their salvation (Rom. 10:17), His children know there can be no contradiction in the perfect Word of God. True believers make every effort to find out why two or more passages seem to be saying the opposite thing. A faithful student of the Word will find an explanation for most of these "apparent discrepancies," but until they do, they humbly have to say, "I don't know yet, but I know both are true."

One of the most "obvious errors" in the Word is found in the phrase "an eye for an eye." The Old Testament, which is one hundred percent truth, has this to say, "

"Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot" (Ex. 21:24). Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again (Lev. 24:20). "And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot" (Deut. 19:21).

The New Testament seems to teach the opposite response to a loss caused by another. Jesus had this to say about the subject:

"Ye have heard that it hath been said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth,' but I say unto you, that ye resist not evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also" (Matt. 5:38-39).

There is a simple explanation for the apparent contradiction: one is speaking to the action taken by the community's justice system, and the other is talking about an individual's response to injustice. In other words, justice is the responsibility of courts and not to be carried out by the individual. Another perfect example of this is the taking of a life. In Exodus 20:13, one of the Ten Commandments says, "Thou shalt not kill." In the very next chapter, the same writer says, "He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death" (Ex. 21:12). The first has to do with the behavior of a believer, while the second deals with the court of law.

I cannot explain every apparent contradiction, but there is one thing of which I am certain; every word of God's Word is true, and as a student of His Word, I need to be "working" in my study of it (2 Tim. 2:15). May the Lord increase our understanding a little each day until we are with Him. Amen.

Monday, May 16, 2011


It seems to me that since even non-believers know that Christians ought to obey God's Word, it should be unnecessary to tell born-again children of God not to sin. However, based upon the lifestyle of many people I know who claim to be saved, the need is quite apparent. Don't get me wrong; I do not mean to suggest that Christians should expect themselves to be perfect, but we should make every effort to pattern our lives after Christ. The Apostle Paul put it this way:

"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life" (Rom. 6:1-4).

In his first epistle, the Apostle John wrote:

"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth His Word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him. He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked" (1 Jn. 2:1-6).

Sin has not changed. The sin of professing believers which caused us to label them as hypocrites before we were saved, is still sin. When we believed the Gospel of repentance and remission (Lk. 24:47), we placed our faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Remission is what Jesus did on our behalf; He remitted our sins. Repentance is our natural response to believing in Him. We repented of the life we lived prior to receiving Him, and became a different person. Paul wrote, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Cor. 5:17). In another place, he wrote, "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity" (2 Tim. 2:19).

I am not trying to be judgmental, but I am asking you to judge yourself. Ask yourself, is what I am thinking, saying, or doing bringing glory to God, or is it causing my brethren to stumble and the lost to write me off as a hypocrite? If we are not living as "light" and "salt" in this world, what good are we to God?

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Whenever people think of great soul winners, names like Annie Armstrong, Lottie Moon, Dwight L. Moody, Charles Spurgeon, Billy Sunday, and Billy Graham immediately come to mind. Through crusades and missionary work, they led millions of people to faith in Jesus Christ, and as a result, they are considered evangelistic giants. But there is one small problem; their efforts did not save one single soul. Let me explain. A key verse in Scripture tells us how souls are won to the Lord. Proverbs 11:30 says, "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise." The writer seems to be suggesting that the "fruit" manifested by a born-again Christian gives us the ability to reproduce. But before we jump to conclusions, there are a few things in that statement which need to be defined.

For one thing, Romans 3:10 says, "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one." So for a person to be considered righteous, he must have received his righteousness from Jesus (2 Cor. 5:21).

Also, only a born-again Christian can manifest the "fruit of the Spirit" because only genuine believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Jn. 14:17; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 3:16; Gal. 5:22-23; Eph. 5:9). And because the verse is speaking of winning souls, the life that is being discussed is spiritual life; the life which can only be produced by Holy Spirit (Jn. 3:3-8).

While the Son gives us His righteousness, and the Holy Spirit manifests "fruit" through us, the Father is doing His part in the salvation of men. The Apostle John wrote, "Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (Jn. 1:13). Later in his Gospel, he wrote, "No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day" (Jn. 6:44).

The Scripture does not specify which member of the Trinity provides the faith to believe in Christ, but the faith we have in Him is a gift of grace. The Apostle Paul wrote, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8). That is why the Apostle Paul refused to take credit for winning souls when he wrote, "I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase" (1 Cor 3:6-7).

Conclusion: If you want to be wise, let the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit work through you. That, my brothers and sisters, is true wisdom.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Although it takes far more effort to read a sermon than it does to listen to one, there is a definite advantage to reading it. The English language has several words that sound alike, but their meanings are totally different. They are called homophones. Some examples are: aisle, I'll; ad, add; ail, ale; allowed, aloud; ate, eight; arc, ark; and those are just the "A's."

Yesterday, for the first time in my memory, my dear, sweet mother-in-law expressed concern about my weight and its effect upon my health. She is a wonderful lady, and was in no way attempting to say something negative; she genuinely loves me. Then, this morning, the devotion in Our Daily Bread was about Psalm 130, and the need to wait patiently upon the Lord.

That started me thinking about the difference uses of the word we pronounced "wait." One is a time of expectation, such as in Psalm 37:7, Psalm 130:5, and in 2 Thessalonians 3:5 which says, "And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ."

Another word that sounds the same is the word, "weight." In the Bible, there are several uses of the word. One expresses the importance of a matter, as in Matthew 23:23. A second has to do with measuring the price of something in relation to "its weight in gold" (Gen. 43:21). It also can denote the idea of a load, or a burden (Heb. 12:1).

Then there are some uses of the word, "wait," that can be understood in more than one way. A person can be looking with anticipation for someone or something to happen, or a person can be acting as a servant, such as "to wait on tables." I believe that both are true of Isaiah 40:31 which says, "But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint." Yes, I know that we are waiting upon the Lord to return, and the writer probably had that in mind, but I would like to suggest that the other use is also a valid interpretation of the verse.

Jesus told His disciples to follow His example when He washed their feet; He was waiting upon them as would a servant (Jn. 13:4-17). The Apostle Paul wrote: "Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching" (Rom. 12:6-7). When we exercise our spiritual gifts, we are waiting upon the rest of the Body of Christ. And since Jesus said that whatever we do to His brethren (Matt. 25:40), we are doing it unto Him, by serving (waiting upon) others, we are, in fact, "waiting upon the Lord."

So while we wait upon the Lord's return, let us wait upon our brethren to remove the weight of their burdens.

Friday, May 13, 2011


Unbelievers think born-again Christians are fools for living their lives to please God, because they think we are missing out on the pleasures of life. In a way they are right, for the Bible itself acknowledges that sin is pleasurable (Heb. 11:25), and a genuine Christian makes every effort to avoid sin. The Apostle John wrote, "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (1 Jn. 2:1). I would also have to agree with them if I believed that the Bible is no different than other "religious books," but it is not. I believe it is the inspired Word of God (2 Tim. 3:16), given to save me (Rom. 10:17), to instruct me (2 Tim. 3:16), and to arm me against the enemy (Eph. 6:17).

The blessings of being a child of God far outweigh the pleasures we sacrifice by living for Christ. God is the source of every good and perfect gift from above (Jam. 1:17). God provides us with comfort in all our afflictions (2 Cor. 1:3-4). In love, He chastises us when we need it (Heb. 12:5-11). And He has promised never to forsake us (Heb. 13:5-6). He has given us His Holy Spirit to live in us (Jn. 14:17). God has given us eternal life (Jn. 3:15). He has given us joy (Jn. 15:11). He has removed the threat of death (Jn. 11:25-26). And perhaps the greatest promise He has made to His children is that He will make us like His dear Son (Rom. 8:29; Phil. 2:13; 1 Jn. 3:2).

As if the benefits we have in this life aren't enough, the born-again Christian has more rewards waiting for him in the next life. Of course there is eternity in heaven with God, but we are apparently going to have a little "bling" for our "trouble," as well. Christians will stand before the Judgment Seat of our Lord Jesus Christ, and we will receive rewards for what we allowed the Holy Spirit to do through us (1 Cor. 3:9-15; 2 Cor. 5:15; Phil 2:13).

We may also be rewarded with one or more of the five crowns mentioned in the New Testament. Because we long for the return of Christ, we will wear the Crown of Righteousness (2 Tim. 4:8). If we share the Gospel with the lost, we will receive the Crown of Rejoicing (1 Thes. 2:19). By living a life that brings honor to God, we are promised the Crown of Victory (1 Cor. 9:25-27). If we are fortunate enough to be a Bible teacher, we will get the Crown of Glory (1 Pet. 5:1, 4). And should we die a martyr's death, we will wear the Crown of Life (Jam. 1:12; Rev. 2:10).

If you do not believe the Bible, then eat, drink, and be merry; you might as well get some pleasure in this life (Isa. 23:13; 1 Cor. 15:32), because I assure you, you will not enjoy the next (Rev. 20:15).

Thursday, May 12, 2011


My mind cannot comprehend what Jesus was like prior to becoming a man, but the Gospels give us a pretty good picture of Him during His Incarnation. And, now that He is seated at the Father's right hand (Eph. 1:20), we have some idea of what He is like from the Book of Revelation. He is called "the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending" (Rev. 1:8; 21:6), "Alpha and Omega, the first and the last" (Rev. 1:11), and "Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last" (Rev. 22:13). The way I understand it, Jesus was the Creator (Jn. 1:1-3; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:1-2), and He will rule forever as King of kings and Lord of lords (Lk. 1:33; 1 Tim. 6:15; Rev. 19:16). And in the sense that He was, is, and will always be God, He is "the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever" (Heb. 13:8). In other words, while His appearance may change, His character never does.

Because He never changes, one would expect there to be similarities between what He said while He was here, and what He said in John's vision (Rev. 1:1). In His first recorded message to His people, He began with the Beatitudes (Matt. 5:1-12), and while they are scattered throughout the Book of Revelation, again we find Beatitudes. There are seven of them, which is to be expected since the Book of Revelation is filled with "sevens" (churches, angels, Spirits, candlesticks, stars, lamps, seals, horns, eyes; trumpets, thunders, heads, crowns, plagues, vials, mountains, kings, and "the seven.").

The seven Beatitudes of Revelation are:
***"Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand" (1:3).
***"And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them" (14:13).
***"Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame" (16:15).
***"And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God" (19:9).
***"Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years" (20:6).
***"Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book" (22:7).
***"Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city" (22:14).

Perhaps the message is the same because God does not change; or perhaps it is the same because the New Testament has a single Author (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Per. 1:21); perhaps it is both. Either way, we are blessed!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


It seems that whenever I see a number, as in an address or the time on a digital clock, I think of a Bible verse having it as a reference. This morning, I sat up on the edge of my bed and saw that it was 6:23 a.m.; Immediately the words of Romans 6:23 filled my mind. As must be obvious, I felt I should write about it, so here is my take on the verse.

The Greek word translated "wages" is ὀψώνιον (opsōnion), a soldier's compensation for service; a soldier's support given in place of pay [i.e. rations] and the money which he is paid. It is what he deserves.

"Sin," in the Greek, is ἁμαρτία (hamartia). It means "to miss the mark," which is holiness; that is, "to violate God's law." In other words, it is the work that deserves the wages.

In the original, "death" is θάνατος (thanatos). It is the separation of the living component of a person, the soul (Gen. 2:7; 1 Cor. 15:45), from his body. However, in this case, it refers to the second death (Rev. 20:6), which is eternal (Matt. 18:8). Death is the payment one deserves for failing to be holy.

The word, "but," simply connects two contrasting or opposite statements.

Gift, χάρισμα (charisma) used here, is contrasted with "wages." While wages are earned by work, a gift is unmerited, that is, undeserved. It is interesting that the same Greek word is also translated "grace," which tells us much about the character of the Giver.

θεός (theos) is obviously the Greek word for "God." In many cases, it refers to the Holy Trinity, but in this case, it refers to the Father. "But as many as received Him (Jesus), to them gave He (Father) power to become the sons of God (Father), even to them that believe on His (Jesus) name. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (Father - Jn. 6:44)."

"Eternal" comes from αἰώνιος (aiōnios), meaning "without end, to never cease, everlasting." The word, "life," from ζωή (zōē), is here contrasted with "death." Just as life is a gift from God, eternal life is a gift.

The word "through," although not specifically stated, refers to the work of the Holy Spirit (Jn. 16:7-15; 2 Cor. 3:6). Jesus Christ, our Lord, described Himself as the "door" to the Father (Jn. 10:9; 14:6). Not only was Jesus Himself a gift to the lost world (Jn. 3:16), He provided for the gift of eternal life. Praise be to God for His matchless gift of holiness (Rom. 5:17).

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


There are more than fifty verses in the Bible which specifically speak of interpreting something. And there are many things for which an interpretation is needed, such as words (Jn. 1:41), languages (Ezra 4:7), dreams (Dan. 2:5), proverbs (Prov. 1:6), parables (Matt. 13:18), names (Jn. 1:42), the weather (Matt. 16:3), and even the Scriptures themselves (Acts 8:29-39). But the only time the subject of interpretation seems to be controversial is with the "interpretation of tongues." The Apostle Paul addressed spiritual gifts in his letter to the Church at Corinth, where "interpretation of tongues" is included (1 Cor. 12:10; 14:26, 28).

"Tongue," from the Greek word γλῶσσα (glōssa) refers to the tongue as an organ of speech, or to a language/dialect. That definition works fine if one is speaking of the event in Acts 2, where the 120 disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, and "there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance" (v. 3-4). In that case, Jews from many other nations heard them speak in their own languages (v. 5-11). Obviously, no interpreter was necessary because the hearers understood what was being said.

The problem lies in the fact that Paul must have been speaking of another manifestation of tongues in addressing the Corinthians (ch. 12, 14). There, he is talking about the purpose and use of the spiritual gift of tongues which was to be used to edify the brethren (12:7). He said that speaking in tongues (without an interpreter present) edifies only the speaker (14:4). Since the purpose of the spiritual gift is to build up the members of the assembly (14:5, 12, 26), Paul directed those who had the gift, to speak only when an interpreter was present (14:28). It appears that the gift of tongues was given to be a sign to unbelievers, especially Jews who attended their services (1:22; 14:22).

Bible translators, attempting to help the reader understand what Paul meant by "tongues," inserted the word "unknown" before it (14:2, 4, 13-14, 19, 27). As if that wasn't confusing enough, preachers "help us" by explaining that "unknown" really means a language with which the speaker is unfamiliar. The Church is edified by witnessing the miraculous manifestation and hearing the interpretation in their own language; the lost are provided with a "sign" from God and also by hearing the interpretation. It is my belief that the combination of the two gifts is equal to the gift of prophecy (14:5).

Another need for interpretation occurs when a biblical writer uses a word that is not common to his reader's culture. There are many examples such as an explanation of a person's name (Acts 13:8), a place (Mk. 15:22), a title (Heb. 7:2), etc. Generally, one can tell who the writer was addressing by the words for which he includes a translation. For instance, someone writing to the Jews would not need to interpret a Hebrew word, while one writing the same thing to a Gentile audience would. That is what puzzles me about John's Gospel; to whom is it addressed? He interprets a Greek word in one verse (Messias - 1:41), and in another, a Hebrew (Aramaic) word in the very next verse (Cephas). Oh well, things like that keep me humble.

Monday, May 9, 2011


"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (Gen. 1:1; Jn. 1:1, 3, 14).

"And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you." "But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him" (Ex. 3:14; Heb. 11:6).

" And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled." "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God" (Col. 1:21; Rom. 8:7-8).

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." (Jn. 3:16; 1 Jn. 4:10).

"And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom we have now received the atonement." (Acts 16:31; Rom. 5:10-11).

"And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself." "We love Him, because He first loved us" (Lk. 10:27;1 Jn. 4:19).


Sunday, May 8, 2011


These three little words taken from Matthew 28:20 are a huge part of the problem in today's Church. To "observe," in this context, has to do with obedience. While most of us immediately think of the word as telling someone to look closely at, or to study something, we also use "observe" in the sense of obedience when we tell someone to "observe the speed limit." The Greek word is τηρέω (tēreō), means "to attend to carefully." In other words, born-again Christians are supposed to live their lives in obedience to Jesus as their Lord. He is to rule and reign in our hearts.

Most of us appear to be faithful in proclaiming the Gospel (1 Cor:15:1-4), because it is the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16). Most conservative, Bible-believing Pastors and Evangelists present Christ, and Him crucified. At the end of the message, an invitation is usually given to encourage those who have believed for the first time, to "ask Jesus into their hearts." Because all religions teach that a person must do some things and avoid doing other things, in order to earn their salvation, and because genuine Christianity is not a religion but a relationship founded upon grace through faith, preachers are reluctant to tell folks that accepting Christ carries with it the responsibility of living a pure life, and doing good works.

Most conservative, Bible-believing Pastors and Evangelists are very good at encouraging a new believer to be baptized. But due to the fact many denominations teach that baptism is a necessary part of the salvation process (that without it, a person is not saved), baptism is given less emphasis. That is not surprising because while the Apostle Paul strongly stressed that salvation is a gift, that it is by grace and not works, James insisted that unless a person is doing good works, his claim of being saved is a lie (Eph. 2:8-9; Jam. 2:17). Regardless of which position one holds, Jesus wants believers to be baptized.

Where most conservative, Bible-believing Pastors and Evangelists miss the mark is by failing to insist on the new convert being discipled through Christian mentoring and Bible instruction. Christian leaders are to instruct "their sheep" by using the Scripture which is "profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2 Tim. 3:16). If you think preachers are hesitant to insist upon baptism, you should ask them about insisting on discipleship. It is as though they are afraid to exercise the authority they have been given by God to shepherd His flock. It is almost unheard of for a Pastor to tell a believer what he or she has to do in order to grow in Christ, and in His service.

Perhaps the solution is for the message to be as follows: You are a sinner. Your sin requires the payment of death. Jesus offer Himself as that payment on your behalf. If you place your trust in Him, you will be saved. Salvation results in a new relationship with God, Bible instruction, finding a place of service within the Church, and certain persecution by those outside, and often by some inside the Church. Your life will never be the same. Becoming a born-again Christian will take you off the throne of your life, and will result in Christ taking His rightful place as your Lord. We are to "observe all things" He has taught believers to do.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Karen posted a question about Hebrews 6:4-6 on "Christ in Prophecy," a group site I read on Facebook, and she added, "I don't belong to a church to ask." Sadly, there are about 100,000 churches in the United States, and I doubt that Karen's question could be adequately answered by any. This passage is one that Christians will be debating until Jesus returns. I am not arrogant enough to suggest that I have a definitive answer to Karen's question, but I would like to present a few observations.

1. Whenever the Word of God appears to contradict itself, the problem always lies in the interpretation of the two texts. The source of God's Word, the Holy Spirit (Lk. 1:70; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet 1:21), being God (Acts 5:3-4), cannot lie (Heb. 6:18).
2. Scripture must always be interpreted by what the entire Bible has to say on a subject. The Apostle Paul wrote, "Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual" (1 Cor. 2:13).
3. Never take one person's opinion on what the text means. The Apostle Peter wrote, "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation" (2 Pet. 1:20).
4. Every verse in the Bible must be taken in context. Look at what the writer had to say before and after the text in question. Look for connecting words such as "and," "but," "wherefore," therefore," etc.
5. Remember both the writer and those translating the Word may have had a different use of the word than we do today. For example, we all know that the sun does not rise or set, but that the planet rotates on its axis, and a cow is not called a "kind."
6.Figurative language is almost always obvious, and should be interpreted in the same way one would interpret the grammatical form in any other writing. Watch for metaphors, similes, parables, estimates, etc.
7. Always apply a literal interpretation of the text when it is consistent with the context and does not contradict other passages of Scripture. Every prophecy concerning Christ's First Coming was fulfilled literally.

Now concerning Hebrews 6:4-6, the main source of confusion is found in the word "partakers." The Greek word is μετέχω (metechō), which appears four times in Hebrews (3:1 , 14; 6:4; 12:8), and five times in 1 Corinthians (9:10, 12; 10:17, 21, 30), means "to be or become a partaker." There is little doubt that the text is speaking of those who have been born of the Spirit (Jn. 3:3-8). However, an understanding of the word "if" in verse six may help. There are four conditions of the word "if" in the Greek: 1) If (and it is true), 2) If (and it is not true), 3) If (maybe it is and maybe it is not), and 4) If (but it is not). I suggest you chose the one that makes the statement doctrinally consistent.

Friday, May 6, 2011


Yesterday, I gave a few examples of how our government has clearly gone from being a blessing to Israel, to being a curse to them. Our last four Presidents, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Obama, have openly criticized our ally, and have even demanded that Israel cooperate in the "land-for-peace" proposal. The relationship is not yet unrepairable, but based upon all of the unrest in the Middle East today, I do not believe God is going to continue the "chastisement phase" of His discipline on us much longer. Remember, He chastises in order to bring about repentance; after that, comes His judgment!

I believe God has sent America a clear message. There is an amazing "coincidence" for each of the four examples I gave of our failure to support Israel over the past twenty-two years. In 1991, during the Madrid "land-for-peace" conference, an unusual storm called "the storm of the century," and "the Halloween Nor'easter," destroyed the Bush home in Kennebunkport, Maine.

While Clinton was meeting with President Assad of Syria in 1994, Los Angeles experienced the Northridge Earthquake which, at that time, was called our country's second worst natural disaster (Hurricane Andrew was the worst). And in 1997, while he was meeting with Yasser Arafat, the Dakotas suffered what was called "the five hundred year flood." At that same time, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Tennessee were devastated by an unusually large number of tornadoes.

In 2005, Bush convinced Prime Minister Sharon to force the evacuation of Jewish settlements from the Gaza strip. While the evacuated Jews' homes were being destroyed, Hurricane Katrina destroyed much of New Orleans. It was as though God were saying, "For every home Israel destroys, America will lose a hundred!"

In 2009, five hours after Obama's Middle East Envoy (George Mitchell) threatened to withdraw financial aid to Israel, a 6.5 magnitude earthquake hit Eureka, California. It was the largest earthquake in California in over a decade. On a somewhat more humorous note, only hours after publicly attacking Israel's Foreign Minister, Obama's Secretary of State (Hillary Clinton) suffered a serious fracture to her elbow on her way to the White House.

As I mentioned yesterday, Obama's attitude toward Israel's neighbors has seriously increased tensions in the region. By encouraging those who overthrew Egypt's Mubarak, failing to adequately support those attempting to remove Gaddafi, and totally ignoring those seeking freedom in Syria, Obama may have received God's final warning. A typical April has an average of about 100 tornadoes. The most ever recorded for the month was 267 in 1974. April 2011 recorded 1,113.

Remember, these events appear to be God's effort to turn America around. I will not pretend to know what He will do when He has had enough. All I know is, if His chastisement is devastating, we cannot imagine how much more terrifying His judgment will be. We have been warned!

Thursday, May 5, 2011


God's promise to bless those nations that bless Abraham's nation, and to curse those who curse Israel (Gen. 12:1-3), can clearly be seen in the short history of the United States. God, in His providence and foreknowledge, brought our nation into being for two main reasons: He wanted a nation that would spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ across the globe, and He wanted a people who would bless His people. To simplify this, think of the years 1776-1939 as "years of planting" (spreading the Gospel). Then look at the year 1939 (the beginning of WWII) as God stepping in to rescue His people. For over seventy years, the United States has been used of God to free the Jews from certain annihilation, and to stand with them in their struggle to survive. However, our last four Presidents have certainly been no blessing to Israel.

It is not difficult for evangelical Christians to recognize that since W.W. II, America's focus is no longer on "spreading the faith," but it is now on "controlling the peace." However, our leaders are finding that supporting the most hated nation on earth, while at the same time maintaining global peace, is impossible. They have apparently decided that since Israel is the main obstacle to world peace, they must be sacrificed "for the greater good." The official stance on Israel's sovereignty changed with the inauguration of George H. W. Bush, whose Secretary of State announced to the world on May 22, 1989, that Israel must "abandon its expansionist policies." On October 30, 1991, the U.S. convened the International Peace Conference in Madrid. The main objective was to force Israel to seek peace with its neighbors by giving up territory which they had gained from those who had attacked them.

Following the election of William Jefferson (Blythe) Clinton, relations with Israel continued to deteriorate. He was quite willing to meet with Syrian President Hafez al Assad in 1994. And, in 1997, he happily met with Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader, Israel's sworn enemy, promising to pressure Israel to give up the Golan Heights. However, on January 21, 1998, Clinton refused to have lunch with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who had come to the United States to meet with him.

George Walker Bush continued the trend by insisting Prime Minister Ariel Sharon force the evacuation of Jewish settlers form the Gaza Strip to satisfy "land for peace" demands. The Lord only knows what he might have "accomplished" had not his focus been redirected by the events of September 11, 2001.

Barack Hussein Obama II, has at this writing only been President for two years, and within that time, he has managed to undermine the leader of one of Israel's "friends" (Egypt), to give only token support to those seeking freedom from one of Israel's enemies (Libya), and to turn his back on those longing to escape the tyranny of one of Israel's most dangerous neighbors (Syria). He is obviously not a friend to Israel. To be continued, Lord willing.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


As I mentioned yesterday, the re-birth of the nation of Israel, which occurred on May 14, 1948, was the result of, what seems to be, a collective guilty conscience. And while it didn't last long before nation after nation returned to being apathetic, and in many obvious cases, hostile, the United States and Great Britain remained strong supporters of Israel until about twenty or so years ago. Then things began to radically change.

Before I discuss the details of our sudden reversal in support, I want to explain what I mean by "collective guilty conscience." The nations of the world had allowed persecution of Jews to continue throughout the centuries following Rome's destruction of the temple in A.D. 70, but it was not until the end of World War II that "Gentiles" began to take notice. Here is a brief history:

Between 1933-1935, the Nazi Party ordered a nationwide boycott of Jewish businesses, and the Nuremberg Laws stripped German Jews of their citizenship. In 1938, a decree made it mandatory for Jews to insert the middle names "Israel" and "Sara" into all official documents (notice they didn't use the name "Hagar"). State-sponsored rioting resulted in Kristallnacht, "the Night of Broken Glass," with many synagogues, Jewish homes, and schools being looted or destroyed. An estimated 30,000 Jewish people were sent to concentration camps. Still, the nations of the world were silent about Jewish persecution.

World War II began, not as a response to the treatment of the Jews, but because Germany invaded Poland in 1939. Within a year, Germany conquered Denmark, Norway, Holland, Belgium and France. Approximately 164,000 Polish Jews were imprisoned in the Lodz ghetto, and Auschwitz concentration camp was created. A "final solution to the Jewish question" was enacted following the Wannsee Conference, held in the Berlin suburb, on 20 January 1942. It wasn't until the Allied Forces liberated the death camps that the world was "shamed into compassion."

I do not claim to know the mind of God, nor can I prove the "cause and effect principle" is why the world suffered the loss of over 60 million people, but one thing is certain: World War II was clear evidence that God was not happy. Today, the United States government is more hostile toward God's people than it has ever been, and I believe God is attempting to get our attention in order to turn us around.

Tomorrow, Lord willing, I would like to share my thoughts on American-Israeli relations since the first Bush Administration began in 1989, and give some examples of the chastisement of the Lord on our land.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Genesis 12:1-3 "Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee; and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing; and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

When God chose Abraham's seed to become a "great nation," He told Abraham something that most people seem to overlook when they read this passage: Israel was going to be hated and cursed by others. God did not say, "If you try really hard and compromise by giving some of the land I declare to be yours away in order to satisfy your neighbors, then everyone will respect you and let you live in peace." God didn't say, "Because you are the family I have chosen through whom I will send My Son, everyone will be grateful and bless you." No, God did not say that all the families of the earth will bless you; He said Israel would be a blessing to all of them. There is a huge difference. The family of Abraham were chosen to be the ancestors of Jesus of Nazareth, His Son, the One through Whom God would bless the whole world (Matt. 1:1-16; Jn. 3:16; 4:42; 1 Jn. 4:14).

In the four thousand or so years since Abraham was graciously selected by God to facilitate His plan to save the world from sin, Israel has been conquered by Assyria, Egypt, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and finally Rome, which managed to scatter the Jewish people across the globe. It wasn't until the Second World War was over and the world saw how millions of Jews had been slaughtered, that the United Nations was moved to provide land for the nation of Israel on May 14, 1948. You would think that would have ended the persecution, but just the opposite occurred. There has hardly been a day since then that someone has not fired a missile into their nation, blown themselves up to terrorize them, or promised to exterminate them from the earth. And when we read the Book of Revelation, we find that the cursing of Israel will continue until Christ returns to destroy their enemies (Rev. 19:11-21).

The other half of God's statement to Abraham indicated that there would be nations which would bless Israel. As I mentioned earlier, the United Nations consisting of about fifty sovereign nations, blessed Israel by granting it a homeland in 1948. Since that time, however, the support for Israeli statehood has dwindled to so few that Israel's allies can be counted on one hand. Of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States), two are considered strong supporters (the United Kingdom; the United States); two are openly hostile (China; Russia); and the other (France), is France. To be continued, Lord willing.

Monday, May 2, 2011


Last evening, the President informed Americans that our military had successfully carried out their mission to bring Osama Bin Laden to justice. I must admit that I felt both joy and patriotic pride at hearing our enemy had been killed. But when I saw the celebrations in the streets of Washington and New York, it reminded me of how awful it was to watch our enemies celebrate by dragging our dead soldiers through the streets of Somalia, and the celebrations by large crowds of Muslims after 9/11. Something in me made me ashamed of my reaction. I soon realized what the Holy Spirit was trying to teach me. A sister in the Lord had quoted a single Bible verse on Facebook that said it all: Ezekiel 18:23 says, "Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: [and] not that he should return from his ways, and live?" I was reminded of what our Lord said about those who were in the process of killing Him. "Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." (Lk. 23:34).

This morning, I began looking up other verses on how we are to respond to the death of our enemies, and here are just a few:

Job 31:28-30 "This also [were] an iniquity [to be punished by] the judge: for I should have denied the God [that is] above. If I rejoiced at the destruction of him that hated me, or lifted up myself when evil found him: Neither have I suffered my mouth to sin by wishing a curse to his soul."

Proverbs 24:17 "Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth:"

Matthew 5:43-44 "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you."

Romans 12:19-21 "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] Mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."

My question to my born-again brothers and sisters is this: If we respond no differently than the world does to such events, isn't it likely that the world will fail to see that Christ's message is all about love? After all, if Jesus could pray for the Roman soldiers who were torturing Him, is it possible that men like Osama Bin Laden are deceived by the Evil One? Ultimately, we have only three enemies: ourselves, Satan, and death. I rejoice that all born-again Christians will eventually see the defeat of all three (1 Jn. 3:2; Rev. 20:10; 20:14). To God be the glory!

Sunday, May 1, 2011


I received the following comment from Bethany regarding yesterday's post in which I challenged her statement that all men are God's children.

"Obviously, I would disagree in a sense. I do see saying that we do not accept our lineage if we do not accept Christ, but whatever our choice may be, we are all a product of the Creator, and therefore His children.... 'For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.' (Acts 17:28). But even as you disagree with me on this, we can agree that Christ atoned for us all, and we are therefore all worth something to Him."

"Offspring" appears twelve times in the Bible, nine in the Old Testament and three in the New Testament. The Hebrew word translated "offspring" is יָצָא (tse'etsa') and it is always used in reference to the children of man (Job 5:25; 21:8; 27:14; 31:8; Isa. 22:24; 44:3; 48:19; 61:9; 65:23).

The Greek word is γένος (genos) which is related to the idea of one's beginning or genesis (gen-, geno-, prefix meaning "to become or produce." It is the basis for the science term "genus" meaning a "species" or "kind." It is found in Acts 17:28-29 and Revelation 22:16. The verse Bethany quoted (Acts 17:28), taken by itself without regard to what the rest of what God's Word says, could be understood to support her position. However, His Word of God does not contradict itself, so one needs to compare Scripture with Scripture to determine what is being said.

In Genesis 1:26-27, God said that mankind would be created in His image and likeness. After the Fall of Adam, man is said to still be made in the image of God, but is no longer in His likeness. The Psalmist wrote, "As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness" (Ps. 17:15). The prophet Isaiah wrote, "To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto Him?" (Isa. 40:18). 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." Born-again believers in Christ are the children of God; because of our faith in Him, we are God's adopted children (Rom. 8:15, 23; 9:4; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5).

Unfortunately, those who have not accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior are the children of someone else. Acts 13:10 "And said, O full of all subtlety and all mischief, [thou] child of the devil, [thou] enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?" Can a man have two fathers?