Friday, August 31, 2012


If you are a born again believer, your life is being watched.  The lost of this world, hating you as they also hate Jesus (Jn. 15:18), listen to everything you say, and watch everything you do, in order to find an excuse to reject your testimony concerning the Gospel.  And, by the way, if you are a born again believer, you are sharing the Gospel with them (Mt. 10:32; Lk. 12:8; Rom. 10:9)!

We are told in the Word of God, that the angels watch God's children to learn things about God that they can learn in no other way.  Peter wrote, "Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves (the Old Testament prophets), but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you (the New Testament apostles) with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into" (1 Pet. 1:12).

Others who are responsible to watch born again believers, are the God-appointed shepherds of His flock.  Luke wrote, "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the Church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood" (Acts 20:28).  Paul wrote, concerning the qualifications of bishops (shepherds, pastors, elders), "One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; for if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God? (1 Tim. 3:4-5). 

Most importantly, God is watching us!  And what do you thing He is focusing upon?  Believe it or not, it is not your prayer life, your giving, or whether or not you are in church every time the "doors are open."  He is watching how we treat each other!  Jesus summed up all of the Commandments in one new Commandment:  "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (Mt. 5:43-48; 7:12; 22:40; Rom. 13:8-10; 1 Thes. 3:11-13; 1 Tim. 1:5; 1 Jn. 3:23).  In fact, how the Gentiles treated the Jews during the Tribulation, is the basis of His judgment (Mt. 25:31-46).
If you feel like you are being watched, you are not being paranoid!

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Clarence Larkin's Diagram of the Great Pyramid of Giza

Isaiah 19:19-20 says, "In that day shall there be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the LORD.  And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto the LORD because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a saviour, and a great one, and he shall deliver them."
There is a place in the "center of Egypt" that sits on the border between Upper and Lower Egypt.  I would suggest that either in the days of Isaiah, or when Christ shall return, that it is the location of the Great Pyramid.  The structure is presently missing the capstone, or the "chief cornerstone" (Eph. 2:20).  The "King's Chamber" has for it's base, the fiftieth layer of stone, and as the highest place, it represents Heaven.  The "tomb's" sarcophagus is empty (Mt. 28:6)! 
There is a chamber beneath the "King's Chamber" which has fittingly been named the "Bride's or Queen's Chamber."  One enters it by walking in a horizontal, narrow passageway, representing following Christ on earth (Mt. 7:14). 
There is one final chamber which is literally beneath the pyramid, under ground.  I has finished walls and ceiling, but the bottom is jagged stone.  It is known as the "bottomless pit" (Rev. 20:3).  When one enters the pyramid, the passage, which is aliened with the star "Alpha Draconis," (the Star of the Dragon), is descending toward the "bottomless pit."  There is a single, narrow passage leading upward toward the "King's Chamber," off of which is the entrance of the passage to the "Bride's Chamber."  The ascending passage, from that point on, becomes the "Grand Gallery," which is a huge passageway. 

An empty tomb, awaiting it's Chief Cornerstone, is a witness to Jesus Christ in Egypt.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Jehovah's Witnesses have many doctrinal problems, but none is greater than that of failing to recognize Jesus as God.  Here are a few proofs.

Jesus is called God!
*  "...and the Word was God" (Jn. 1:1).  J.W. error in translating this verse "The Word was A god." (see documents The Significance of the Greek Article and Dr. Mantey's Comments on John 1:1.
*  "And Thomas answered and said unto Him, 'My Lord and my God'" (Jn. 20:28).
*  "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13).
*  "Christ...who is over all, God blessed for ever" (Rom. 9:5).
*  "But unto the Son He saith, 'Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever'" (Heb. 1:8).
*  "And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, the we now know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ.  This is the true God, and eternal life" (1 Jn. 5:20).
*  "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given...and His name shall be called...The Mighty God" (Isa. 9:6).

Jesus is called "the Son of God."  (Jn. 5:17-18; 10:33, 36; 19:7; etc.).

Jesus is called "Lord."  ( Lk. 2:11; Jn. 13:13; Rom. 10:9; 1 Cor. 12:3; Phil. 2:10; etc.).

Jesus is called "the LORD of Glory."  (1 Cor. 2:8 with Ps. 24:8-10).

Jesus is called "the Holy One."  (Acts 3:14 with Hos. 11:9; Isa. 48:17).

Jesus is called "the First and the Last."  (Rev. 1:17-18; 2:8 with Isa. 44:6).

Jesus is called the great "I AM."  (Jn. 8:58; 18:6 with Ex. 3:14).

Jehovah's Witnesses neither belong to Jehovah, nor or they His witnesses!



Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Galatians 1:8  states, "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed."  Revelation 22:18-19 says, "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, 'If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:  and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.'"

The Mormons have added The Book of Mormon, The Pearl of Great Price, and Doctrine and Covenants as the source of their "church" doctrine.  These books teach:

*  God was not always God but was once a man.  (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 345) 
*  Jesus and Satan are brothers.  (Gospel Through the Ages, pg. 15)
*  Adam was God.  (Journal of Discourses 1:50; 4:1)
*  Jesus was a polygamist.  (Journal of Discourses 2:210)
*  Brigham Young said only polygamists become gods.  (Journal of Discourses 11:269)
*  The Bible cannot be trusted according to Joseph Smith.  (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 327)
*  Almost every verse of the Bible has been corrupted.  (The Seer, pg. 213)
*  You must believe that Joseph Smith is a prophet to be saved.  (Doctrines of Salvation, no page given)

My source for this information is:
Mormonism is so dangerous to those who have little Bible knowledge, in that, it uses biblical terms, which to the Mormons, mean something totally different that is found in the Bible.

The best defense against false doctrine is to know the truth; the Bible is truth! 

Monday, August 27, 2012


This is taken from Our Daily Bread's daily devotion for today.  It focuses on coping with the death of a loved one, the emotional trauma of a divorce, the loss of a job, one's own debilitating illness, etc. 

A pastor, who was trained in trauma and grief counseling, commented that the greatest challenge for people who are hurting is often not the immediate heartache of the loss. Instead, the biggest problem is adjusting to the different kind of life that follows. What once was normal may never be normal again. So the challenge for those offering help is to assist the sufferers as they establish the “new normal.”

It may be a "new normal" that no longer includes robust health, a treasured relationship, or a satisfying job. Or it may be living without a loved one who has been taken in death. The gravity of such losses forces us to live a different kind of life—no matter how unwelcome it may be.

When our “new normal” comes, it’s easy to think no one understands how we feel. But that isn’t true. Part of the reason Jesus came was to experience life among us, resulting in His present ministry: “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15). And while He did not suffer the exact same difficulties, such as divorce, the loss of His mother, etc., He did suffer much greater than any of us do in that He suffered being contaminated by our sin, separation from the Father, and the loss of nearly the entire human race He created! Our Savior lived a perfect life, yet He also knew the pains of a broken world. He endured sorrow; He suffered agony. And He stands ready to encourage us when the dark moments of life force us to embrace a new normal.

Father, thank You that in the darkest seasons of life, You will never abandon us. Guide us with Your never-failing presence through both the welcome and unwelcome changes of life. In Jesus’ name, amen.
In our desert of grief, Jesus can provide an oasis of hope.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


At the end of Romans 4, the Apostle Paul wrote of Abraham's faith in God as being the reason he was considered righteousness, and his faith as being the result of the grace of God (4:16-22).  Paul continued by saying that the same thing applies to born again believers (4:23-25).  Paul continues in Romans 5:1-8; notice it is the result of the truth of chapter four that he begins with the connector, "therefore," and also notice our relationship with God is the working of the Trinity!

[1] Therefore being justified (made right with God) by faith (our faith in the Father - 4:24), we have peace with God (we have been reconciled with God from whom we were estranged by our sin)through our Lord (not the Lord, but Our Lord) Jesus Christ:
[2] By whom (Jesus) also we have access by faith into this grace (unmerited favor) wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope (For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? - Rom. 8:24) of the glory of God (becoming like Him - 1 Jn. 3:2).
[3] And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience (God is in the process of changing us into the image of His Son - Rom. 8:28-29; Phil. 1:6);
[4] And patience (trust that He is in control), experience (situations in our past that build confidence that He is in control); and experience, (strengthens our) hope:
[5] And hope maketh not ashamed
(to speak out for Christ); because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost  which is given unto us (that is, we love others when we are walking in the leadership of the Holy Spirit).
[6] For when we were yet without strength
(the ability to save ourselves), in due time Christ died for the ungodly (that is, for all of mankind - Rom. 3:10, 25).
[7] For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
[8] But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us
(Jn. 3:16).

What else needs to be said?  God loves you, so love Him back!

Saturday, August 25, 2012


Our Daily Bread's daily devotion for today is about Psalm 121.  The writers, informative and a blessing as always, note that this Psalm  was "sung" by pilgrims on their journey to celebrate one of three "Godatory" ("mandatory" just does not seem to be appropriate) feasts in Jerusalem (Ex. 23:14-17).  For some, if not all, the trip was dangerous due to the terrain and the threat of robbers lying in wait (Lk. 10:30).  This Psalm served to comfort the travelers by reminding them trust in our all-sufficient God.  Psalm 121:    

[1] I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
[2] My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
[3] He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: He that keepeth thee will not slumber.
[4] Behold, He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
[5] The LORD is thy Keeper: the LORD is thy Shade upon thy right hand.
[6] The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
[7] The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: He shall preserve thy soul.
[8] The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

Today's devotion pointed out that the Hebrew שָׁמַר (shamar), appears six times in five of the eight verses of this Psalm.  It is translated "keepeth" in verses three and four, "Keeper" in verse five, and "preserve," twice in verse seven, and once in verse eight.  In each, the context determines which English word is the best translation.  And, although the King James uses three different words, all clearly show that the Jewish travelers were counting on their all-powerful God to protect them.

Whatever "journey" you are on today, whether it be illness which threatens as "through the valley of the shadow of death," or in the presence of your "enemies," or merely being hungry and thirsty, Almighty God will not fail you.
God has given His children His Word on it!     

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Someone posted the following on Facebook yesterday, and I thought it was not only beautiful, but also a great way to teach the children their alphabet.  In fact, it is an alphabet about the Alpha and Omega, so it serves to glorify Christ as well!  I have changed it slightly.


Although things are not perfect
Because of trial or pain
Continue in thanksgiving
Do not begin to blame
Even when the times are hard
Fierce winds are bound to blow
God is forever able
Hold to what you know
Imagine life without His love
Joy would cease to be
Keep thanking Him for all the things
Love imparts to thee
Move out of "camp complaining"
No weapon that is known
On earth can yield the power
Praise can do alone
Quit looking at the future
Redeem the time at hand
Start every day with worship
To "thank" is a command
Until we see Him coming
Victorious in the sky
We'll run the race with gratitude
Xavier's God most high
Yes, there'll be good times and bad, but
Zion waits in glory, where none are ever sad!

Train up a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old, he will not depart from it!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


In studying God's sovereignty and man's responsibility, with respect to salvation, it is important to hold to a balanced Biblical position. Many have erred by emphasizing one side of the truth to the neglect of the other side. The truth lies somewhere between. Both are clearly taught in the Word of God. We do not understand how they can both be true. God has not told us that we need to fully understand these things; however we do need to humbly bow before the authority of His Word and believe what God has revealed.

Those who are saved have only God to thank; those who are lost have only themselves to blame. God gets all the credit for man's salvation; the unsaved man must take full responsibility for his eternal damnation. The saved person thankfully says, "I'm in heaven because of God!" The lost person must truthfully say, "I'm in hell because of me!" Those who are damned will never be able to blame God or say, "I'm damned because God did not choose me." Their damnation is based not upon God's rejection of them but upon their rejection of God (Mk. 16:16; Jn. 5:40; 2 Thes. 2:12).

Man does not contribute to his own salvation. It is the work of God, "not of works lest any man should boast" (Eph. 2:8-9). God does not contribute to man's unbelief. That is man's work. God alone must do the saving. Man must do the believing. God must get all the glory and all the credit: "That no flesh should glory in His presence....That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord" (1 Cor. 1:29-31). Unbelieving man must take the blame. The believer saved by grace can gratefully sing, "To God be the glory great things He hath done!" "Oh to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be!"

Like the Trinity, the Doctrine of Election must be accepted by faith!


Adam is a "figure" or TYPE of Him that was to come, namely Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:14). Adam is a type of Christ. In 1 Corinthians 15:45 Jesus Christ is called "Adam" ("the last Adam") and Christ is also called "the second man" in contrast to the first man, Adam (1 Cor. 15:47). As we compare these two men there are both similarities and differences:

The first man Adam (1 Cor.15:45)

The last Adam (1 Cor.15:45)

"Was made a living soul" (1 Cor.15:45)
(Adam was given life-Gen. 2:7).

"Was made a quickening spirit" (1 Cor.15:45)
(Christ gives life-John 5:21,25; 6:33 etc.).

"Natural" (1 Cor.15:46)

"Spiritual" (1 Cor.15:46)

ORIGIN--"of the earth" (1 Cor.15:47)

ORIGIN--"from heaven" (1 Cor.15:47)

Men reflect Adam (Cor.15:49 and see Gen. 5:3).

Saved men can and shall reflect Christ
(1 Cor.15:49 and see Col. 3:10; Eph.4:24;
Rom.8:29; 2 Cor.3:18; 1 John 3:2; etc.).

"Dead in Adam" (1 Cor.15:22)

"Alive in Christ" (1 Cor.15:22)

Adam is the Head of the Old Creation.

Jesus Christ is the Head of the
New Creation (2 Cor.5:17; Eph.2:10).

Adam was a representative man (Romans 5), and he acted on behalf of the whole human race.

Christ was a representative man (Romans 5),
and He acted on behalf of the whole human race.

Adam performed one act which had tremendous consequences.

Christ performed one act which had even
greater consequences.

Adam’s act was a sinful act (Rom.5:12, 15,16,17,18).

Christ‘s act was a righteous act
(Rom.5:18--"the righteous act"--see NASB).

Adam’s act was an act of disobedience, in eating the forbidden fruit (Rom.5:19; and see Genesis 2:17; 3:6).

Christ’s act was an act of obedience,
in dying on the cross
(Romans 5:19 and see Phil.2:8).

Here is what Adam’s one act produced:
DEATH ( Rom.5:12,14,15)
JUDGMENT (Rom.5:16,18)
CONDEMNATION (Rom.5:16,18)

Here is what Christ’s one act produced:
LIFE (Rom.5:17,18,21)
THE FREE GIFT (Rom.5:15,16,17,18)
GRACE (Rom.5:15,17,20,21)
JUSTIFICATION (Rom.5:16,18,19)
RIGHTEOUSNESS (Rom.5:17,19,21)
REIGNING (Rom.5:17; compare verse.21)

Monday, August 20, 2012


For over forty years, I have heard of the two facets of God's will:  His "sovereign will" and His "permissive will."  His "sovereign will" was described as His determining the order and the outcome of His plan for each individual and the collective whole of mankind, while His "permissive will" had to do with God allowing man to have a free will.  Yesterday, I heard an awesome sermon from Pastor Tibbs in which he described the two facets of God's will as being His "sovereign will" and His "pleasing will."  At first, I thought he was simply using a different term to describe "permissive will," but I soon realized that he had a whole different view of man's free will.  He had my full attention.

In 2 Peter 3:9, we read, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."  But is that verse to be taken by itself as truth, or should it be taken in the context of what the entire Bible has to say?  Obviously, since Scripture is inspired of God, and therefore, cannot contradict itself, what the rest of God's Word has to say on the subject must determine what this particular passage means. 

Men do perish.  Unsaved men do die and wait in hell for their sentencing at the Lord's Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11).  So, while it does not please God that any should perish, yet according to His sovereignty, men who reject His Son will do just that:  perish!  His "sovereign will" has determined their end. 

Perhaps the best example of the difference between God's two-faceted will is the Crucifixion.  You and I know that it did not please God to see the sin of the world placed upon His Son during the six- hour torture of hanging on a cross.  And yet, when Jesus prayed, "O My Father, if this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done" (Mt. 26:42), it is obvious by the outcome what God's "sovereign will" was.  He gave His Son to pay for our sin!

We can only please God when we act according to His sovereign will!

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Born again believers exist in one of two states:  they are either "filled with the Spirit" (Eph. 5:18), or they are, as Paul described it, "carnal," or "walking in the flesh" (1 Cor. 3:1; Gal. 5:16).  He said you can tell which of the two states you are in at any given time, by the "fruit" you are producing.  He wrote:  "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill 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. . . .  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these:  adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like. . . .  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law" (Gal. 5:16-23).

Paul described his personal struggle with his two natures in Romans 7:1-25.  He concluded by saying, "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin" (v. 24-25).  John described the state of the believer as being one of righteousness, or being one of sin (unrighteousness - 1 Jn. 1:8-10).  Notice his epistle was written to those who are said to be in a state of fellowship with other believers, and with God, Himself (1 Jn. 1:3).

James explained how a believer can guard himself against living according to his fleshly desires, and living according to the will of God.  He wrote, "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.  For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:  for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.  But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed" (Jam. 1:22-25).

Believes are controlled by someone:  the Holy Spirit, or themselves! 


Saturday, August 18, 2012

1001 - A THANK YOU

Yesterday, I reached the 1000th "issue" of my blog posts.  I want to thank the preacher who came to my hospital bed and prayed that the Lord would heal me on my condition that He provide me with some sort of ministry.  I could not bear the thought of continuing to live without being able to serve Him.  My pastor set up this blog, and readers from all fifty states and nearly a hundred countries later, we have come to this "milestone."  I want to thank Our Daily Bread, a publication of Radio Bible Class (rbc Ministries at, for inspiring several of those posts.  I also want to thank and recommend Middletown Bible Church for providing a vast library of material for Christians to study the things of God.  Here is their home page at

"Holding forth the Word of Life" that we might
"grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ"
(Philippians 2:16; 2 Peter 3:18)

Friday, August 17, 2012


Today's blog post is a continuation of yesterday's.  Together, they are a summary of a Middletown Bible Church's teaching called "Terms of Salvation."

There are those who seek to add human works to the salvation equation. They insist that man must do certain things to earn salvation. Yet the Bible teaches again and again that a person is not saved by works.  Here are some examples:
*  Titus 3:5 - "Not of works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us."
*  2 Timothy 1:- "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works."
*  Ephesians 2:8-9 - "For by grace are ye saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast."
*  Romans 3:28 - "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the Law."
*  Romans 4:5 - "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."

In other words, salvation is not DOING something; it is KNOWING someone (John 17:3). Salvation is not based on what we might do; it is based on what Christ has ALREADY DONE (John 19:30). Salvation is not TRYING; it is TRUSTING (John 6:47). If salvation could be earned by anything we do, then Christ’s death was a waste (Galatians 2:21). Salvation is not WORKING; it is RESTING on the WORK of Another (Romans 4:5).
"Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved" (Luke 8:12).  The devil does not want people to be saved. The devil knows God's plan of salvation. Therefore he does everything he can to prevent people from being saved: "lest they should believe and be saved." God's plan of salvation is very simple: BELIEVE AND BE SAVED! (Compare Acts 16:30-31). Don't be deceived into thinking a person can be saved in any other way!
"But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name" (John 20:31).  See also John 3:16; 5:24; 6:35; 6:47; 11:25-26. The word "believe" (or related words) is found 99 times in the Gospel of John. Eternal life is obtained by believing in Christ, and in no other way. Have you believed on Him?

If you are still reading this, then there is still time to trust in Jesus and be saved!

Thursday, August 16, 2012


In Acts 16:30 the Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas this crucial question: “What must I do to be saved?” The answer was simple and clear: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved" (verse 31). The one requirement was to believe on Christ. Faith and faith alone is what God requires of a sinner.

I would urge you to read carefully and prayerfully the following verses of Scripture:

John 1:12-13
John 3:15
John 3:16
John 3:18
John 3:36
John 5:24
John 6:35
John 6:40
John 6:47
John 7:38-39
John 11:25-26
John 20:31
Acts 2:21
Acts 10:43
Acts 11:17
Acts 13:38-39
Acts 15:11
Acts 16:31
Acts 20:21
Romans 1:16
Romans 3:22
Romans 3:26
Romans 3:28
Romans 3:30
Romans 5:1
Romans 10:9
Romans 10:11
Romans 10:13
1 Corinthians 15:1-2
Galatians 2:16
Galatians 3:2-9
Galatians 3:14
Galatians 3:24
Galatians 3:26
Ephesians 2:8-9
2 Thessalonians 2:10
2 Thessalonians 2:12
1 Timothy 4:10
2 Timothy 3:15
Titus 3:8
1 John 5:1
1 John 5:11-13
In all of these passages FAITH is mentioned as being essential for salvation. Believing in Christ is the sole condition for salvation and for receiving the gift of eternal life.

“For by grace are ye saved THROUGH FAITH, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.” Salvation is a gift. It is free (paid for by the blood of Christ). All the sinner needs to do is to receive that gift by faith.

Trust in Jesus and be saved from your sins, now, while there is still time!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


The Apostle Paul, in describing his ministry, said he was always, "Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:21).  Luke, the author of the Book of Acts, had written something very similar in his Gospel:  "Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:  and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem" (Lk. 24:45-47).

When we, those of us who have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, sin, we have thought, spoken, or acted according to our will, as opposed to living according to God's will.  Immediately, the Holy Spirit begins convicting us of our sin, and unless we repent and confess our sin, the Father disciplines us (Heb. 12:5-12; 1 Jn. 1:9). 

An example of the Lord's discipline is found in 1 Corinthians 11:23-32.  Notice that there is a progression of severity in God's disciplining of His errant child:  weakness, sickness, and finally, death (v. 30).  The writer of the Hebrews passage had subtly suggested that rebellion could result in the physical death of a believer.  He wrote, ". . . shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? (v. 9).  However, for the child of God, death does not mean one loses his or her salvation, but that God, not wanting His Son's name tarnished by the believer, removes His child (1 Cor. 5:4-5).

On the other hand, an unbeliever may repent of his sin, and even try to compensate for it by doing good works.  After Jesus had fed the 5000, He had to rebuke them for following Him for selfish reasons (Jn. 6:1-27).  They were repentant and "Then said they unto Him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?  Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him (Jesus) whom He (the Father) hath sent" (Jn. 6:28-29).  He continued teaching, and in the end, all but the twelve ceased to follow Him (Jn. 6:30-71).  They had repented but failed to believe!

Salvation results from turning from one's sin and trusting in the sinless One:  Jesus!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


A new believer in Christ wrote me asking about the difference between an elder and a deacon.  I have found, as a former Pastor of a Southern Baptist Church, that even the most seasoned of the brethren often fail to make the distinction.  The head elder of an assembly is also known as its Pastor, its Shepherd, or its bishop. By calling the Pastor the head elder, obviously he serves with other elders (there must be a plurality of elders as the office is always written in the plural).  The best passage of Scripture for understanding the the qualifications and roles of each is 1 Timothy 3:1-13.


[1] This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
[2] A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
[3] Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
[4] One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
[5] (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
[6] Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
[7] Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.


Deacons, on the other hand, are not authority figures, but rather, they are servants in the sense that they are responsible for the day-to-day operation of the affairs of the church, such as maintenance, benevolence, budgets, serving the needy, etc. (see Acts 6:1-6).

[8] Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;
[9] Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
[10] And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.
[11] Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
[12] Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
[13] For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

God wants all believers to serve one another, and He has gifted a few to lead.

Monday, August 13, 2012


It amazes me how the child of God’s perspective on life differs from that of the world!  A comparison of two poems says it all!
Invictus by William Ernest Henley. 1849–1903

       OUT of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:

I am the captain of my soul.

My Captain by Dorthea Day

Out of the night that dazzles me,
Bright as the sun from pole to pole,
I thank the God I know to be
For Christ the conqueror of my soul.
Since His the sway of circumstance,
I would not wince nor cry aloud.
Under that rule which men call chance
My head with joy is humbly bowed.
Beyond this place of sin and tears
That life with Him! And His the aid,
Despite the menace of the years,
Keeps, and shall keep me, unafraid.
I have no fear, though strait the gate,
He cleared from punishment the scroll.
Christ is the Master of my fate,
Christ is the Captain of my soul. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Because we are saved by God's grace (unmerited by us), that means whatever good that we do in this life, God deserves all the credit!  It is His salvation!  It is His working!  It is His power!  To God be the glory!  Knowing this, here are seven reasons we should walk in humility with our God (Mic. 6:8)!

*  "But as many as received Him (Jesus), to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name:  which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (Jn. 1:12-13).

*  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it (salvation) is the gift of God:  not of works, lest any man should boast.  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them" (Eph. 2:8-10).

*  "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work" (2 Cor. 9:8).

* "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

* "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:8).

*  "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" (Phil. 1:6).

*  "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13).

There is no place for pride, arrogance, superiority, or self-righteousness in God's child!

Saturday, August 11, 2012


This forgiveness of God is perfect, and He is willing to forgive ALL SINS—past, present and future. God in His grace is free to fully justify and forgive the believing sinner based on the blood of Christ (the work which He accomplished on the cross on our behalf, dying as our Substitute). Recognizing God’s gracious forgiveness ought to be cause for much thanksgiving and "thanks-living!" It should be a stimulus for holy conduct (Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:12-13). How can we do anything less than serve and love the God who has forgiven us our sins! Here are but a dozen of many, many verses which speak of the complete forgiveness that a person receives when He believes on the Lord Jesus Christ.

*  “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us” (Ps. 103:12).
*  “If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with Thee, that Thou mayest be feared” (Ps. 130:3-4).
*  “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isa. 1:18).
*  “Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but Thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for Thou hast cast all my sins behind Thy back” (Isa. 38:17).
*  “I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto Me; for I have redeemed thee” (Isa. 44:22).
*  “In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve” (Jer. 50:20).
*  “Who is a God like unto Thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He retaineth not His anger for ever, because He delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea” (Mic. 7:18-19).
*  “In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7).
*  “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more” (Heb. 8:12; 10:16).
*  “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His Name's sake” (1 Jn. 2:12).
*  “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses” (Col. 2:13).
*  “To him give all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission (forgiveness) of sins” (Acts 10:43).

We cannot earn our salvation, but we sure can make God happy that He saved us!

Friday, August 10, 2012


Most everyone who has attended a few Vacation Bible Schools during their childhood, has heard of that "wee little man" named Zacchaeus.  All that we know about him is found in ten verses of Luke's Gospel.   
"And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.  And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.  And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.  And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.  And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.  And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.  And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.  And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.  And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Lk. 19:1-10).

This event occurred just before the Lord's "Triumphal Entry" into Jerusalem.  Jesus had raised Lazarus (Jn. 11:1-53), ministered in Ephraim (Jn. 11:54), crossed the Jordan to minister in Perea (Mt. 19:1), recrossed the Jordan and was ministering in Jericho when Zacchaeus heard He was coming.  As I reread the story again, I noticed that Zaccheus had probably heard about Jesus, and he was curious to see the Man about whom everyone was talking.  He didn't know Jesus, but Jesus knew him! 

That is also true about all of us!  Most of the unsaved have heard of Jesus; they do not know Him, but He knows them!  He knows every single man, woman, and child perfectly (Jn. 17:24; Eph. 1:4; Rev. 13:8).  He knows we are sinners (Rom. 3:23), and yet, even in our sinful state, He loved us and died for us (Rom. 5:8)!  We didn't deserve it, and we cannot earn it - our salvation is a gift motivated by God's love for us (Jn. 3:16; Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:4, 8-9; 5:2; 2 Thes. 2:16; 1 Jn. 4:10-11, 19; Rev. 1:5)!

Today, there is not a tree tall enough for man to see Jesus.  If someone really wants to "see Him," he must observe Jesus living in born again believers, AND he must believe them when they share the Gospel which can save them (Rom. 1:16; 10:8-17; 1 Cor. 15:1-4).

Are you living your life in a way that allows others to be drawn to Jesus? 


Thursday, August 9, 2012


It has been my observation that the vast majority of those who attend local churches, do so based upon their tastes in music, aesthetics, and/or music.  I have rarely heard of someone joining a local church because of the Pastor's knowledge of God's Word.  And sadly, I have seen far too many leave a church where the Pastor was faithful to the doctrines of the Bible, because of petty differences such as the men not wearing suits, the women wearing pants, the music being too fast, too slow, or having the "wrong" instruments, etc.  Worse yet, many leave sound churches because someone hurt their feeling, and instead of handling the situation according to Scripture, they simply go elsewhere. 

The word "doctrine" is translated from the Hebrew לֶקַח (leqach), or from the Greek διδαχή (didachē), and it means "teaching or instruction."  Doctrine is sort of a "what to do and what not to do" list.  When genuine biblical doctrine is taught, it carries with it, both power and authority (Mk. 1:22).  In addition, Mark states that Jesus taught His doctrine in both clear language and also in parables (1:47; 4:2).  We read that the doctrine of Jesus was "new truth" to the Jews (Mt. 5:33-34).

But was the doctrine of Jesus different than the doctrine of the Old Testament?  No!  Jesus clarified the old, but what He taught was the full or complete teaching of His Father (Jn. 7:16-17; Heb. 1:1-2).  The writers of the New Testament wrote what the Holy Spirit brought to their remembrance (Jn. 14:26; 2 Tim. 3:16).  Luke in Acts, Paul, James, John, Jude, and the writer of Hebrews, all taught the same doctrine:  the doctrine of Christ.

Born again believers need to know the teaching of Christ!  It is knowledge of the Lord's doctrine that protects the believer from false teachers (Mt. 16:12; Heb. 13:9; 2 Jn. 1:9-10).  It is upon the authority of the Lord's doctrine that leaders are to reprove and rebuke the brethren who fail to follow Christ's teaching (Rom. 16:17; 2 Tim. 4:2). 

So, which do you think is more important, to attend a church where no one offends you, where the "dress code" is satisfactory, where the music is "proper," or, where the Word of God's doctrine is faithfully taught?

As for me and my family, we will worship where we are taught the whole truth,
and nothing but the truth, so help me God!           

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Jesus told His disciples, just prior to His Ascension, "that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem" (Lk. 24:47).  The two, repentance and remission, need to be defined.  The dictionary definition of "repentance" is "to turn from one's sin," but the dictionary fails to say toward what one is to turn.  The obvious answer is to turn from being self-governing, to being obedient to the will of God. 

The word "remission," as it is used in the Bible, means "the pardon or forgiveness of sins."  However, since God's Word says that "the wages (payment) for sin is death" (Rom. 6:23), someone has to die for our sin.  Hebrews 9:22 says, ". . . without (the) shedding of blood (there) is no remission."  Jesus voluntarily paid that price for us.  Matthew 26:28 says, "For this is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."  Jesus died once, and for all:  "Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin" (Heb. 9:12; 10:18).  This is the message of the Gospel, the Good News, the message which has the power of salvation for all who hear and believe (Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor. 15:1-4; Rom. 10:8-17).   

Salvation requires both the acceptance of Christ as our Savior (remission), and our desire to turn to Jesus as our Lord (repentance).  Both actually happen simultaneously the instant we place our faith in Jesus.  When we believe Jesus died for our sins, out of gratitude, we want to please Him by allowing Him to reign as God in our lives.  These two can be seen in Peter's message on the Day of Pentecost:  "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins . . . " (Acts 2:38).

Because the early Church was totally made up of Jews, they were reluctant to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles (all non-Jews).  But, in Acts 10:1-48, the Jews learned that God truly is no respecter of persons; God accepts all who will turn to Him (v. 34).  Peter continued, "To him give all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins" (v. 43).  

Salvation results from faith in the work of the Savior, and our turning to Him as our Lord.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Genuine Christians, the true Church, made up of only born again believers, understand God as being One God existing in three Persons.  There are three Greek words which are translated "Godhead" in the King James Version:  Theios, Theiotes, and Theotes.  All three are from the root Theos, meaning God.

*   Theios - A Greek adjective, used as a noun in Acts 17:29, which says, "Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device."  In this verse, the context is on God as The Father.  The word also appears in 2 Peter 1:3-4, where it is translated "divine," and is, in fact, used as an adjective ("divine power" and "divine nature").

*   Theiotes - A Greek feminine noun, it appears only in Romans 1:20;  "For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse."  In this verse, the context seems to be referring to the work of the Holy Spirit, as it is The Spirit who reveals truth to man (Jn. 16:7-15).
*   Theotes - Also a Greek feminine noun, it appears only in Colossians 2:9.  Here, Paul wrote, "For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."  Clearly this is referring to Jesus who came in a literal body.  Some might question the use of a feminine noun to describe Jesus, but it is my understanding that everything He thought, said, and did, was the work of the Holy Spirit in Him.  In fact, He was conceived by Mary through the Holy Spirit (Lk. 1:35)!  Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit (Mt. 4:1)!  The Holy Spirit was His source of power (Mt. 12:28)!

Many cults preach about a Jesus, but they do not recognize Him as being fully God manifest in the flesh.  They fail to recognize Him as The Creator (Jn. 1:1-3; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2).  And unfortunately, many mainline churches accept Him as the Son of God, but not actually God in the flesh.  I find that nearly impossible to believe since John 1:1, coupled with John 1:14, clearly says that Jesus is God!  Paul wrote that Jesus, being equal to The Father, voluntarily became a man, solely for the purpose of dying for the sins of mankind (Phil. 2:5-8)!

Lots of preachers talk about a Jesus, but salvation in found in The Jesus of the Bible!      

Monday, August 6, 2012


Although it is impossible to adequately explain the Trinity, God is a triune Being.  God exists in three Persons:  The Father, His only begotten Son Jesus, and The Holy Spirit.  This can be clearly seen from the following passages, as well as from many others. 

*  "And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him:  and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased'" (Mt. 3:16-17). 
*  "Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of The Father, and of The Son, and of The Holy Ghost" (Mt. 28:19). 
*  "But the Comforter, who is The Holy Spirit, whom The Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said unto you" (Jn. 16:26).
*  "That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the Gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by The Holy Ghost" (Rom. 15:16).
*  "Now I beseech you, brethren, for The Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of The Spirit that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me" (Rom. 15:30).
*  "Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit . . . And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord . . . And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God who worketh all in all" (1 Cor. 12:4-6).
*  "Now He who establisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God . . . who hath also sealed us and given the earnest of The Spirit in our hearts" (2 Cor. 1:21-22).

Believing that God is a triune Being is extremely important.  First, to believe any other way is to deny the One True God, and worship a god of man-made religion.  Second, Creation involved all three Persons:  The Father planned it (Gen. 1:26), The Son did the work (Jn. 1:1-3, Col. 1:16), and The Holy Spirit, the Breath of God (ruwach in Hebrew; pneuma in Greek), was the source of life (Gen. 1:2; 2:7).  Third, Salvation of fallen man is the work of all three Persons:  The Father sent His only begotten Son (Jn. 3:16; Eph. 1:3-5), Jesus purchased our salvation (1 Pet. 1:18-19), and The Holy Spirit convicts us and is the source of the new birth (Jn. 3:3-8; 16:7-14).

If you are born again, you can thank The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit! 

Sunday, August 5, 2012


"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" (1 Tim. 3:16).

"And without controversy - ὁμολογουμένως (homologoumenōs), "agreed upon unanimously"

great is the mystery - μέγα μυστήριον (mega mystērion) "a great hidden truth"

of godliness - εὐσεβείας (eusebeia):  "God-likeness, holy"

God was manifest - Θεὸς ἐφανερώθη (Theos phaneroō) "made known"

in the flesh - σαρκί (sarx), "human flesh and bones"

justified - ἐδικαιώθη (dikaioō) "to declare righteous"

in the Spirit - πνεύματι (pneuma), "the Holy Spirit"

seen of angels - ἀγγέλοις (aggelos), "angels"

preached - ἐκηρύχθη (kēryssō) "proclaimed"

unto the Gentiles - ἔθνεσιν  (ethnos), "all non-Jews"

believed - ἐπιστεύθη (pisteuōon) "confident of a thing being true"

in the world - κόσμῳ (kosmos), "the physical planet"

received up - ἀνελήφθη (analambanō) "to be raised up"

into glory - δόξῃ (doxa). "heaven"

"There is no doubt that the truth about Jesus is hidden from the lost, but that He was God in the flesh, He was declared the Righteous One by the Spirit, His display of sacrificial love was witnessed by the angel, His Gospel was offered to the Gentiles and accepted by many, all before His Ascension back into heaven" (Skip's paraphrase of 1 Timothy 3:16).


Saturday, August 4, 2012


Nebuchadnezzar had a dream, and his advisers from Chaldea, the land from which Abraham came (Gen. 11:31), responded to him in "Syriack," the language of the Assyrians (Dan. 2:4).  This verse is the only time אֲרָמִית (Aramith) is translated as such.  This language is better known as Aramaic, as it is from the land settled by Aram, the grandson of Noah (Gen. 10:22-23).  The other four times it is found in the Bible, it is translated "in the Syrian language or tongue" (2 Kgs. 18:26; Ezra 4:7 twice; Isa. 36:11).  I find this strange since Nebuchadnezzar had Daniel and the rest of Israel's brightest taught the language of the Chaldeans (Dan. 1:4).  Does that mean Nebuchadnezzar spoke Aramaic, the language attributed to a former empire? 

What do we know about Aramaic?  About 200 verses of the Old Testament are written in Aramaic, mainly in Ezra 4:6-6:18, 7:12-26, and Daniel 2:4-7:28.  There is also a sentence in Aramaic in Jeremiah 10:11 and two words in Genesis 31:17.  Also:
  1. Jesus most likely spoke Aramaic which was the common language spoken in Palestine.  Some words in the New Testament are Aramaic.  Originally the Gospel of Matthew is said to have been written in Aramaic.
  2. The Targums are Aramaic translations of the Hebrew Old Testament. They help us understand how the Jews interpreted scripture.
  3. The Talmud, like much of the other Rabbinic literature, was written in Aramaic.  Several Dead Sea Scrolls were written in Aramaic.  Masoretic notes of the Hebrew Bible are also in Aramaic.
  4. The Nabateans, an ancient Semitic, trading people of southern Jordan, Canaan and the northern part of Arabia, spoke Aramaic.
  5. The later Syrian Church used Aramaic as well as the Gnostic sect the Mandeans (followers of John The Baptist who fled the destruction of Jerusalem to Iraq).  The Peshitta (simple) translation of the Bible was written in a dialect of Aramaic called Syriac.
  6. Aramaic is still a spoken language in small areas of Syria, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran.
After forty plus years of Bible study, I am amazed at how little I know!