Sunday, September 30, 2012



If you look at two mountain peaks from a distance, it may appear that there is only one mountain. From your vantage point, it may be difficult to distinguish that there are really two mountains with a valley in between. The Old Testament believer had difficulty distinguishing two separate comings of the Messiah. To him the coming of the Messiah looked like one mountain peak in the distance. He did not realize that there were actually two mountain peaks with a valley of about 2000 years in between.


There is something else that we need to carefully distinguish. The Second Coming of Christ is actually made up of two parts or two phases. The first phase of the second coming is called the RAPTURE. The second phase of the second coming takes place about seven years later. We may call this the Lord's second coming to earth. Consider the following diagram:
The facts that sixty-nine "weeks" of Daniel's seventy week prophecy ended with the Crucifixion of Christ (Dan. 9:24-26), that the Church Age began at Pentecost and will end with the Rapture (Acts 2:1-47; 1 Cor. 15:50-52; 1 Thes. 4:13-18), and that the Seventieth Week of Daniel will be the seven year Tribulation (Dan. 9:27; Mt. 24:3-29; Rev. 6 - 18), are mysteries that have been revealed to God's born again children.  Praise God for our ability to understand because of the Holy Spirit within!

Saturday, September 29, 2012


In the sixth chapter of the Book of Micah, he wrote of God saying He had a controversy (complaint) with (against) His people Israel (6:1-3).  The LORD asks Israel to remember His benevolence toward them in releasing them from Egyptian bondage, and guiding the prophet Balaam to speak up for them (6:4-5).  Micah had previously told them that their Messiah would come (5:2), but surprisingly, He will not rescue them from persecution for a long period of time, which will actually be the length of the Church Age, and include Daniel's Seventieth Week(5:3-8: Dan. 9:27; Mt. 24:29-30; Rev. 19:11-16).  Then, He will return and conquer Israel's enemies (5:9-15). 

In the mean time, Israel needed quit "being religious" by sacrifices which not only included livestock, but some even wondered if, like Abraham, they might be expected to offer their sons (6:6-7).  The LORD responded by saying, "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" (Mic. 6:8).
If Israel (and born again believers), would do those things, He would be pleased.

DO JUSTLY - מִשְׁפָּט (mishpat), meaning to act toward others according to God's Law.  When a person treats others under the guidelines of the Law, he is, in effect, loving them.  The Apostle Paul wrote, "For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.  For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" (Gal. 5:13-14 - see also Lev. 19:18; 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).

LOVE MERCY - חֶסֶד (checed), meaning to enjoy showing those who offend, forgiveness and kindness.  Paul wrote, "Charity (love) suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil: rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things" (1 Cor. 13:4-7).

WALK HUMBLY - צָנַע (tsana`), meaning to live my life with humility based upon the awareness that every good thing about me, has been given to us by God's grace.  Again, Paul wrote, " But by the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me" (1 Cor. 15:10).  God resists the proud (Jam. 4:6; 1 Pet. 5:5), and Jesus set the example of humility for us (Jn. 13:3-17; Phil. 2:3-10).

If you really love God, you will be just, be forgiving, and be humble!

Friday, September 28, 2012

JUST AS IN THE DAYS OF NOAH: SCOFFERS is a site that lists some of the "thousands of guesses" man has made concerning the Second Coming of Christ.  One need not be surprised if members of your church are expressing an interest in Bible Prophecy; it appears the Church has been "buzzing" about it for nearly two millennia!  In fact, there are many passages within the Bible which express a strong desire to see the Lord's return (1 Thes. 2:19; Titus 2:13; 1 Jn. 3:2-3; etc.).  At least they all believed He would return! 

Jesus' disciples asked Him when He would return, and He responded, "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh" (Mt. 25:13).  On one occasion, He even revealed that He, Himself, did not know:   "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father" (Mk. 13:32).  He even described His "unscheduled return" as being like that of those who are caught off guard by a "thief in the night" (Mt. 24:43; Lk. 12:39; 1 Thes. 5:2; 2 Pet. 3:10; Rev. 3:3; 16:15)!

Today, the true Church, which is composed of only born again believers, has two kinds of folks when it comes to Prophecy:  those who try to understand it because they long to know the things of the Lord; they may be Pre-Millennialists (Jesus returns to establish His Millennial Kingdom), Post-Millennialists (Jesus returns after the Church converts the whole world to Christianity), and A-Millennialists (like the Post-Millennialists, they believe the 1000 year reign of Christ is figurative language, and they do not forsee an earthly kingdom);   and those who have given up trying to understand it.  We jokingly call the latter group Pan-millennialists, because their simply believe that it will all pan out in the end.

The religious community claiming to be Christians, tend to be scoffers, denying many biblical teachings, including Christ's Second Coming and His Millennial reign.  Peter described them: "Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation" (2 Pet. 3:3-4).

Do you believe Jesus is going to return?  Do you long for that day?  I hope so!  

Thursday, September 27, 2012


In the time of Jesus' ministry, Israel was divided into three provinces: Judea in the southern region, Galilee in the northern region, and Samaria in between.  We see this in Acts 9:31, which describes the three provinces after the conversion of Saul of Tarsus:  "Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria...."  Notice that Luke listed them in the order of "Jewish purity" according to Jewish thought in his day.  Samaritans were detested by Jews in Judaea and Galilee (Mt. 10:5; Lk. 9:52-56; Jn. 4:9; 8:48), and yet, when the resurrected Jesus told His disciples to be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judaea, Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth, He did not mention Galilee (Acts 1:8).  Then again, perhaps He knew His disciples, being all Galilaeans, would continue to witness for Him at home (Acts 1:11; 2:7).    

Samaria was populated by a remnant of Jews from that area who had inter-married with those from foreign nations relocated there by the Assyrians.  Galilee, according to the Jewish historian, Josephus, was repopulated by Alexander Jannaeus, king of Israel (102-76 B.C.), who extended his kingdom to include Galilee.  Apparently Jannaeus controlled Samaria as well, but was unable to reestablish it as a purely Jewish province.  Detested as they were, still the Lord used Samaritans as "heroes" for His teaching (Lk. 10:30-37; 17:12-19; Jn. 4:-42). 

"The Great Commission," Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:15, and Acts 1:8, was to start where they were, and to go until the whole world had heard the Gospel.  As I write this, His command to spread the Gospel is losing ground to population growth, to cults, and other religions.  The percentage of professing Christians today is considerably smaller than it was in the 1800's.  And, when one considers that there are far more "professing Christians" (religious, but unsaved - tares) than there are "possessing Christians" (born again believers - wheat), there is really no way to tell how many true believers there really are.  Remember, a count of religious adherents includes children in families, but being a member of a family does not make one a member of His family

It would be easy to get discouraged and give up.  But God's Word says, "But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing" (2 Thes. 3:13).  God does not expect to win the world to Christ; He just expects us to be found faithful when He returns for us!  We may not be able to go to the ends of the world ourselves, but because of the Internet, Facebook, satellites, etc., we can, and must, proclaim the Gospel while we still have time.  Paul wrote, "Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time (Col. 4:5).

Time may not be on our side, but the Time-keeper is!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


There are only two kinds of people in this world:  those who are in the image and likeness of the Lord, and those who are not.  God, as born again believers know Him, is a Triune Being, a Trinity (Mt. 3:16-17; 28:19; Jn. 14:26; Acts 2:33; Rom. 15:30; 1 Cor. 12:4-6; 2 Cor. 1:21-22; 13:14; Eph. 2:18; 5:18-20; Col. 1:6-8; 2:9; 1 Thes. 5:18-19; 2 Thes. 2:13-14; 1 Tim. 3:16; Ti. 3:5-6; Heb. 2:3-4; 1 Pet. 1:2; 1 Jn. 4:2; 4:13-14; 5:7; Ju. 20-21; Rev. 22:16-18; etc.).

When a lost man, one composed of only a body and soul, one born only of the water of a physical birth, becomes a born again believer, he is described being "born of the Spirit" (Jn. 3:1-8).  Prior to his new birth, he is described as being dead spiritually (Eph. 2:1, 5-6, 11; Col. 2:13).  Now, existing as a triune being (1 Thes. 5:23), he is said to be, once again, in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:26; Rom. 6:4-5).  However, even as born again believers, we still have to wait until we meet Jesus, face to face, before we are fully and completely made into His likeness (1 Jn. 3:2).

It is interesting that when Jesus spoke with His disciples prior to their being filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4), He encouraged them not to fear those who have the power to destroy only their bodies, but who have no power over their souls; He said to fear the One who has the authority to destroy both their bodies and their souls (Mt. 10:28; Rev. 20:11-15).  Notice that He did not refer to them in their present state as being made of body, soul, and spirit.
Following Pentecost and the disciples becoming spiritually alive, there is a hint concerning the battle which goes on within the believer.  The Apostle Paul mentioned it in several places in his writings, but none so clear as that of his own internal struggle between his flesh (his soul) and his spirit (Rom. 7:15-25).  Notice that the verbs are present tense; his struggle only occurred after he was born again. 

This battle over the control of the body, like Freud's Id being pulled in two directions by the Ego and the Superego, can only be won by going to the Scriptures.  Hebrews 4:12 says, "For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."  As believers, we must allow the Word of God to help us follow our spirit, and not let our soul, our carnal man, be in control (Rom. 8:6-7)!
Born again believers are at war with the world, their own flesh, and the Devil!



Tuesday, September 25, 2012


The Internet may provide much disinformation, but it also makes available many helpful sites.  The following information comes from:

The LORD who revealed Himself as YHVH in the Old Testament is revealed as Yeshua (Jesus) in the New Testament. Jesus shares the same attributes as YHVH and clearly claims to be YHVH. In John 8:56-59, Jesus presents himself as the "I AM." When challenged by some Jewish leaders regarding His claim of seeing Abraham (who lived some 2000 years earlier), Jesus replied, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM." Those Jewish leaders understood that Jesus was claiming to be YHVH. This is clearly established when they tried to stone Him to death for what they considered blasphemy under Jewish Law.

In Romans 10:9, Paul declares, "if you confess with your mouth Yeshua as LORD... you shall be saved." Immediately thereafter, in Romans 10:13, Paul backs up this declaration by quoting the Old Testament, "Whoever will call upon the name of the LORD (YHVH) will be saved" (Joel 2:32). Calling on Yeshua (Jesus) as Lord is the same as calling Him YHVH, because Yeshua (Jesus) is YHVH (LORD), the Messiah foretold throughout the entire Old Testament.

 "YHVH" is the Hebrew word that translates as "LORD". Found more often in the Old Testament than any other name for God (approximately 7,000 times), the title is also referred to as the "Tetragrammaton," meaning the "The Four Letters". YHVH comes from the Hebrew verb "to be" and is the special name that God revealed to Moses at the burning bush. "And God said to Moses, 'I AM WHO I AM; and He said, thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, I AM has sent me to you... this is My eternal name, and this is how I am to be recalled for all generations'" (Ex. 3:14-15). Therefore, YHVH declares God's absolute being - the source of everything, without beginning and without end.

Although some pronounce YHVH as "Jehovah" or "Yaweh," scholars really don't know the proper pronunciation. The Jews stopped pronouncing this name by about 200 A.D., out of fear of breaking the commandment "You shall not take the name of YHVH your God in vain" (Ex. 20:7). (Today's rabbis typically use "Adonai" in place of YHVH.) Here are some examples of YHVH used in scripture: YHVH Elohim - LORD God: (Gen. 2:4). YHVH M'kadesh - The LORD Who Makes Holy: (Ezek. 37:28). YHVH Yireh - The LORD Who Sees/provides: (Gen. 22:14). YHVH Nissi - The LORD My Banner: (Ex. 17:15). YHVH Shalom - The LORD Of Peace: (Jud. 6:24). YHVH Tzidkaynu - The LORD Our Righteousness: (Jeremiah 33:16). YHVH O'saynu - The LORD our Maker: (Ps. 95:6).

All Bible references are from the Hebrew Names Version.

Monday, September 24, 2012


Psalm 116 (New Living Translation) with my comments in parentheses:

1 I love the LORD because He hears and answers my prayers (1 Jn. 4:19).  
2 Because He bends down and listens, I will pray as long as I have breath (Rev. 5:8; 8:13-14)!
3 Death had its hands around my throat; the terrors of the grave overtook me. I saw only trouble and sorrow (Ps. 23:4; Heb. 2:14-15).  
4 Then I called on the name of the LORD: "Please, LORD, save me (Rom. 10:12-13)!"  
5 How kind the LORD is! How good He is! So merciful, this God of ours (Eph. 2:7; Mt. 19:17; Ps. 106:1)!  
6 The LORD protects those of childlike faith; I was facing death, and then He saved me (Mt. 18:3, 10; Dan. 6:27).  
7 Now I can rest again, for the LORD has been so good to me (Ps. 37:7).  
8 He has saved me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling (Ps. 56:13).  
9 And so I walk in the LORD's presence as I live here on earth (Gen. 5:24; 6:9)!  
10 I believed in You, so I prayed, "I am deeply troubled, LORD (2 Cor. 4:13)."  
11 In my anxiety I cried out to You, "These people are all liars (Rom. 3:4)!"  
12 What can I offer the LORD for all He has done for me (Deut. 10:12; Mic. 6:8)?  
13 I will lift up a cup symbolizing His salvation; I will praise the LORD's name for saving me (1 Cor. 11:25).  
14 I will keep my promises to the LORD in the presence of all His people (Ps. 22:25).  
15 The LORD's loved ones are precious to Him; it grieves Him when they die (KJV - "Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.").  
16 O LORD, I am Your servant; yes, I am Your servant, the son of Your handmaid, and You have freed me from my bonds (Acts 2:18; Rom. 6:17)!  
17 I will offer You a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD (Col. 3:15-17).  
18 I will keep my promises to the LORD in the presence of all His people (Ps. 66:13),  
19 in the house of the LORD, in the heart of Jerusalem. Praise the LORD (Ps. 7:17; 107:8, 15, 21, 31; 111:1; 117:1; 146:1-2; 147:12; 150:6)!
Genuine born again believers are obedient, grateful, prayerful,
and full of praise! 

Sunday, September 23, 2012


As is usually the case, I sleep an average of three hours at a time.  This morning was no different.  I awoke at 3:30 a.m. and turned my computer on to "read the news."  There was a request for prayer for a young lady who appeared to be near death.  Because I refuse to "play God" by praying for a specific outcome, I prayed that the Lord's will be done for her. 

The Scripture says, "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit (Himself) maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God (Rom. 8:26-27). 

While it is true that 1 John 5:15 says that God hears our prayers, and that He will grant our desires, notice the condition for our will to be done; It is only when our will and His are the same!  "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).  Yes, He gives us the desires of our heart, but notice the conditions:  "Delight thyself also in the LORD; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart" (Ps. 37:4).  He does not give you what you want; He gives you "the want" which matches His will! 
Because I know it is not God's will that any should perish (spend eternity in the Lake of Fire - 2 Pet. 3:9; Rev. 20:11-15), I prayed that if she was a born again believer, that the Lord would not let her suffer, but would take her unto Himself.  I prayed that if she was not saved, that He would keep her alive long enough for her to be saved.  Regardless, because I know Him and trust He always does the right thing, my prayer (and with all my prayers) ended with "Thy will be done."  From the time I prayed until the time I read this message:  "let everyone know Kathy is now 'chillen' with God in heaven," was a matter of seconds.  I cannot tell you how many times that has happened to me, but I praise the Lord many of my brothers and sisters in the Lord go quickly into His presence!

Prayer is a sign of humility, only if one says,
"...nevertheless, not My will, but Thine, be done" (Lk. 22:42)!

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Noah was God's chosen "vessel" (pun intended) from the tenth generation of man.  From Genesis 5:1-29, and Luke 36-38, we can trace Noah's ancestors back to Creation.  They are:  Adam, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel (Maheleel), Jared, Enoch, Methuselah (Mathusala), Lamech, and Noah (Noe).  By calculating the ages when their sons were born, we find that Adam was alive until Lamach, Noah's father, was fifty-six.  Noah was born 126 years after Adam's death. 

At the time God determined to flood the earth, Methuselah, Lamech, and Noah were still living.  God was gracious to Noah and his family, and as a result, Noah was chosen to "rescue creation" (Gen. 6:8).  Lamech, who had killed a man, and who was the first man to marry more than one wife (Gen. 4:19-24), died five years before the Flood at the age of 777.  Methuselah, about whom nothing is written concerning his character, died within a year of the Flood.

Noah was 600 when the floods came.  There is some debate as to how long it took him and his three sons to build the ark, but it appears from Genesis 6:18, that his sons were old enough to marry and to assist Noah in building the ark (see  Whether it took 120 years, 100 years, or approximately 75 years, it was long enough for the population of the earth to have ample warning of the pending judgment of God upon the earth (Heb. 11:7)!  We find that during the time the ark was being constructed, the rest of humanity continued to ignore Noah's warnings and to live life as they always had (Mt. 24:37-38; Lk. 17:26-27).

Now, to my point.  Jesus said that people would be just as they were in the time of Noah; they would be wicked (Gen. 6:5), and life would be going as it always had (Mt. 24:38).  Just as Noah's "folly" had been a warning, today, born again believers are warning our lost world of God's pending judgment.  And, like those who drowned, people scoff and ridicule us.  That is why, when He comes, He will catch the world off-guard, as do thieves their victims (Mt. 24:29-51; Lk. 12:39; 1 Thes. 5:2; 2 Pet. 3:10; Rev. 3:3; 16:15).
Regardless of how the lost respond, we must continue to warn them until it is too late! 

Friday, September 21, 2012


There are several topics found in the Scriptures which are of extreme importance to man.  For one, according to the Bible, all (with the exception of Jesus - Heb. 4:15) have sinned (Rom. 3:23; 5:12).  Another essential topic taught in God's Word is that He loves sinners, and as a result, He sent His Son to save us by dying for our sins (Jn. 3:16; 17:23; Rom. 5:8; 1 Jn. 2:2; 4:10).  Still another is the fact that it is impossible to earn one's salvation (Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5).   Yes, it is only through faith in Christ, that we are saved; that we become a child of God (Rom. 4:3; Gal. 3:6; Jam. 2:23; 1 Jn. 3:2; 5:13).

Those topics certainly are of the utmost importance for a man to go from being God's enemy (Jam. 4:4), to being one of His children.  But what about after one is saved?  What does the believer need to do to "remain saved?"  First of all, if you have genuinely trusted in Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, you WILL remain saved!  You didn't earn it, and God is not one to renege on His promises (Rom. 4:21; Phil. 1:6; 2:13; 4:30; Titus 1:2; Heb. 10:23; 1 Jn. 2:25).

Okay, so now that we are confident we are saved, what are we to do?  After all, even though we were not saved by works, God did save us with the intent that we would do good works (Rom. 13:3; Eph. 2:10; 1 Tim. 6:118; Titus 2:7; 3:8, 14; Heb. 10:24; 1 Pet. 2:12).  For one, we are to tell others (Mt. 28:19-20; Rom. 10:8-17)!  For another, we are to study God's Word so that we know what pleases Him (1 Thes. 4:11; 2 Tim. 2:15).  It pleases God when we avoid doing things, when we are not absolutely sure that they are His will for us to do (Rom. 14:23).  It also pleases God when we do those things we know are His will for us to do (Jam. 4:17).  In other words, we are to live our lives by a faith that is based upon His Word (Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38).

Some have complained that I use too many references; that I should print out the text of the Scriptures, but I do not for three reasons:  space, I want you to verify what I have written (Acts 17:11), and to show that there are several passages which teach what I am saying.  Isolated texts can easily be taken out of context (1 Cor. 2:13; 2 Pet. 1:20).
If you want to live for God, find out what He wants from His child!         

Thursday, September 20, 2012


The word, "principalities," appears seven times in the KJV Bible, once in the Old Testament and six times in the New Testament. In Jeremiah, the Hebrew word is מראשה (mar'ashah), which means "dominion." In all six of the N.T. references, the Greek word is ἀρχή (archē), meaning various kinds of "authority." The parentheses below, based upon the context, define the writers meaning:

*Jeremiah 13:18 says, "Say unto the king and to the queen, Humble yourselves, sit down: for your principalities (earthly authority) shall come down, even the crown of your glory."

* Romans 8:38 - "For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities (Satan - 2 Cor. 4:4), nor powers...."
* Ephesians 3:10 - "To the intent that now unto the principalities (angels - 1 Pet. 1:12) and powers in heavenly places might be known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God."
* Ephesians 6:12 - "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities (Satan - see 6:11), against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
* Colossians 1:16 - "For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities (both God's angels and fallen angels), or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him."
* Colossians 2:15 - "And having spoiled principalities (Satan - Gen. 3:15) and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it."
* Titus 3:1 - "Put them in mind to be subject to principalities (earthly authorities) and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work."

But rather than focusing upon the "principalities," we should be looking to the One who created all things, including those in positions of power:  Jesus!  Again, Colossians 1:16 - "For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him."

If He created them, He also has authority over them! 
Those who have placed their faith in Jesus have no reason to fear them!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Open your heart and mind, my lost friend, that your eyes might see the Glory of the Lord!  There are seven billion souls living today, and apart for those few who rebelliously proclaim there is no God, all know that we are accountable to the Creator of the Universe.  He has made Himself known: 

"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handywork.  Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.  There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.  Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world..." (Ps. 19:1-4). 

"The heavens declare His righteousness, and all the people see His glory" (Ps. 97:6).

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.  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:  because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.   Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.   Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:  who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, Who is blessed for ever. Amen" (Rom. 1:18-25).

The God revealed in creation has provided salvation from the guilt of sin through faith in His death, His burial, and His Resurrection (Jn. 3:16; Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor. 15:1-4).  Salvation is a gift (Eph. 2:8-9).  Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved!
The Universe, the Bible, and the Lord all bear witness that God loves you! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


As members of the Body of Christ, we are to be in the world, but not to be of the world.  We are not to compromise truth in order to have fellowship with the unsaved.  We are to be witnesses of the truth, the whole truth.  2 Corinthians 6:14-16 says:  "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people."  If we are walking in the Spirit, we will manifest the fruit of salvation.  It has been my experience that the unsaved, while curious as to why we are different, seldom feel comfortable being with us.     

Unsaved Scripture Passage Saved
death John 5:24 life
darkness John 8:12 light
night 1 Thessalonians 5:5 day
lost Luke 15:24 found
unrighteousness 2 Corinthians 6:14 righteousness
infidel 2 Corinthians 6:15 believer
condemnation John 3:18 no condemnation
perish John 3:16 eternal life
perish 1 Corinthians 1:18 saved
death unto death 2 Corinthians 2:16 life unto life
children of the devil 1 John 3:10 children of God


Monday, September 17, 2012


Perhaps the ultimate irony, when considering Israel's response to the First Coming of the Lord, is that when their long-awaited Messiah came, they killed Him (Dan. 9:24-26; Acts 2:22-23).  And yet, in the future when the Antichrist offers Israel a seven-year peace treaty, he will be received as their Messiah with open arms (Dan. 9:27; Mt. 24:3-15; Rev. 6:2 - 11:13)! 

It is amazing how man's failure to consider all that the Word of God has to say on a subject, can result in such horrible consequences.  Had Israel considered Psalm 22, Isaiah 53, or Daniel 9:26, they would have realized their Messiah would be killed, but that God would raise Him from the dead and that He would return to rule as their Messiah (the Anointed One, their Christ, their King) on this earth (Acts 2:24-36; Rev. 19:11 - 20:15).  Born again believers understand that Christ's Second Coming will occur at the end of that seven-year period, known as the Tribulation, the Time of Jacob's Trouble, and Daniel's Seventieth Week (Mt. 24:3-29; Jer. 30:7; Dan. 9:27).

Today, within the church, there are those who are guilty of the same sin of failing to consider all that God's Word has to say on a subject.  This error has resulted in the false religious school of thought known as Replacement Theology.  Basically, Replacement Theology believes that because Israel rejected their Messiah, that God has now rejected them as His people.  Instead, according to this error, God now is using the Church to carry out His will on earth.  As a result, they believe the Church will go through the Tribulation, contrary to what the Word says about the Church being removed prior to the Tribulation via the Rapture (Jn. 14:1-3; 1 Thes. 4:13-18; Rev. 4:1 - note that the Church is not mentioned as being on earth in Revelation 4-18).  Also, they fail to be able to explain what happened to Daniel's Seventieth Week.  Remember, Daniel 9:24 says that seventy weeks are appointed unto Daniel's people, the Jews!  As I have said earlier, the Tribulation involves Israel, not the Church.  And, their theology fails to consider Romans 9 - 11, which teaches that Israel will be renewed as the instrument of God's plan. 
When studying God's Word, consider all that it says on the subject!  


Sunday, September 16, 2012


In the Apostle Paul's first letter to Timothy, he instructs him concerning the qualifications for the office of Bishop.  The Greek word, here translated "bishop," is ἐπισκοπή (episkopē).  In the other five occurrences, the Greek is ἐπίσκοπος (episkopos) (1 Tim. 3:2; 2 Tim. 4:22; Titus 1:7; 3:5; and 1 Pet. 2:25, where it refers to Jesus).  Because the title "Elder" is always plural, the Bishop was the Senior Elder of the local church.  In most churches today, he is called the Pastor, or Senior Pastor where there is more than one Pastor.  Regardless of the size of the church and the composition of leadership, the Bishop was recognized as having the final say in church matters.

Paul cautioned Timothy not to ordain new believers (novices), because the immature Christian was certain to get "puffed up" with pride.  He wrote, "Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil" (1 Tim. 3:6).  Some have suggested that there would be a problem if the person was younger than the elders he was to rule over.  That is probably not the issue here, based upon Paul's statement about leaders who were relatively young (1 Tim. 4:12).  The phrase, "into the condemnation of the devil," refers to Satan's fall (Isa. 14:12-15; Ezek. 28:12-18; Lk. 10:18; Rev. 12:7-9).  Satan's sin was pride.  He ascribed to be equal to God, and his five "I will" statements in Isaiah 14:12-15 revealed the reason God condemned him. 

The Book of Proverbs reveals God's feelings about the pride in His created beings:  God hates pride (8:13); pride eventually leads to shame (11:2); pride always leads to contention (13:10); the tongue is a weapon of pride (14:3); pride always leads to destruction (16:8); and pride always leads to a fall (29:23).

Pride is mentioned three times in the New Testament.  Jesus said it defiled man (Mk. 7:20-23).  Paul wrote that it is the certain result of authority given to a new believer (1 Tim. 3:6).  And, pride is one of the three ways of the world, the other two being lust, and greed (1 Jn. 2:16).
The candidate for Bishop needs maturity, wisdom, and humility. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012


While doing a word study of the word "water" in the Scriptures, I found it interesting that it appears eight times in both of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, five times in the Gospel of Mark, and twenty-two times in the Gospel of John.  The fact that John's Gospel uses the word more than the other three Gospels combined intrigued me.

All four Gospels mention water in relation to John the Baptist's ministry (1:26, 31, 33; 3:23); his was a baptism of repentance (Acts 19:4).  Only John wrote of Jesus turning water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana (2:6, 7, 9, 4:6).  Only John wrote of man's physical birth being one of water, as opposed to one being born of the Spirit (3:5).  Only John recorded the Lord's conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well of Sychar (4:7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 28).  Only John discusses the lame man at the pool of Bethesda (5:3, 4, 7).  Only John wrote of the Lord's disciples being filled to overflowing with the water of life:  the Holy Spirit (7:38-39).  Only John's Gospel tells of Jesus washing His disciples' feet (13:5).  And finally, only John mentions the evidence of Jesus' death by the water and the blood which flowed from His side (19:34).

If one were to look at just these verses, I believe he could easily discern that Jesus was no ordinary man.  He was faithful to the Law in His willingness to allow John to baptize Him.  He was able to work miracles by changing water into to wine, and by healing the man at the pool of Bethesda.  Jesus had wisdom far superior to other men, as can be seen in His teaching on sinners being born again, by His conversation with the Samaritan woman, and His understanding of the Holy Spirit's role in the lives of His disciples.  He used the washing of His disciples' feet to show the humility He wanted His disciples to show toward others.  And finally, and most importantly, John used the water which flowed from the spear wound, to prove that the humility of Jesus ultimately resulted in His willingness to die for us (see also Phil. 2:5-8).

While none of the Gospels mention water in relation to the Resurrection of Christ, it is the risen Christ who would fill His disciples with the Holy Spirit, and out of them, would flow the rivers of living water (compare 7:38-39 with Acts 1:5).

Our new birth takes place between the water of our physical birth,
and the water used as our testimony of being born again by our being baptized!


Friday, September 14, 2012


The word "perfect" appears forty times in the New Testament.  It is translated as such from ten different Greek words, one adverb (ἀκριβῶς akribōs Lk. 1:3), two feminine nouns (ἀκρίβεια akribeia Acts 22:3 and ὁλοκληρία holoklēria Acts 3:16),  three adjectives (ἀκριβέστερον akribesteron Acts 24:22; ἄρτιος artios 2 Tim. 3:17; and τέλειος teleios Mt. 5:48), and four verbs (ἐπιτελέω epiteleō Gal. 3:3; καταρτίζω katartizō 1 Thes. 3:10; πληρόω plēroō Rev. 3:2; and τελειόω teleioō Jn. 17:23).

The two feminine nouns are ἀκρίβεια, which could be translated "exact" or "complete."  It appears only once, in Acts 22:3, which says, "I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day."  Adding to the confusion, it is translated as an adjective in the KJV.  It is, however, a noun and refers to the accepted method of teaching. 

The other feminine noun, ὁλοκληρία, could be translated "healthy" or "whole."  It also only appears one time.  Acts 3:16 says, "And His name through faith in His name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by Him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all."  Like ἀκρίβεια, ὁλοκληρία appears as an adjective in the KJV.

The verse that causes the most contraversy is Matthew 5:48, which says, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."  Here, the text clearly says that those listening to Jesus should be like God, the Father.  One must remember that Jesus is speaking to a Jewish audience that is still under the Dispensation of the Law.  You and I know very well that a born again believer is not expected to be perfect, as we longingly await perfection (1 Jn. 3:2).  Under the Law, the Jews were being "schooled" on the fact that they cannot be perfect, and therefore, they need a Savior (Gal. 3:21-26)!
God wants us to be perfect; that is why He sent His Son!




Thursday, September 13, 2012


John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. John 6:58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

John 3:16 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.
John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
John 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
John 6:27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

John 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
John 4:36 And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.
John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
John 6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
John 6:68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand.
John 12:25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
John 17:2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Some have challenged the accuracy of the Bible due to what appears to be an error, or contradiction in Matthew 1:17, saying he miscounts the generations of the Lord's geneology.  I will try to explain Matthew's "math."  He wrote, "So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and after they were brought to Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations."  Notice that the three "fourteens" begin with Abraham, David, and Jechonias, and they end with David, Josias, and Jesus.  Because David both ends the first fourteen, and begins the second fourteen, he is actually counted twice. 

Another equally valid interpretation is that, since Israel was in Babylon for seventy years, a generation (Ps. 90:10), it was Jechonias who was actually counted twice.  As an aside, I have italicized the four women Matthew included in the Lord's genealogy.        

[1] The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.  [2] Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren;  [3] And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram;  [4] And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon;  [5] And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;  [6] And Jesse begat David the king;

and David the king begat Solomon of her (Bathsheba) that had been the wife of Urias7] And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa;  [8] And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias;  [9] And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias;  [10] And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias;  [11] And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon: 

[12] And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel;  [13] And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor;  [14] And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud;  [15] And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob;  [16] And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
Rather than question the Bible, why not question your motive for rejecting it? 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


All three monotheistic religions have a history of "fighting holy wars."  The Old Testament's Jewish invaders, the New Testament's "Christian" crusaders, and the Qur'an's Islamic terrorists, all declared war on those of differing religious beliefs.  What the world is experiencing today is not new; there have been religious wars for nearly the entire human history.  911 was horrible.  Islamic terrorism is barbaric.  The main problem, as I see it, is Muslim hypocrisy, for while they declare their outrage as the past actions of Jews and "Christians," Islamic terrorists have chosen to champion the very same behavior today.   

The Jewish Conquest of the Promised Land (Joshua 7) Because of sin in the camp, Israel, led by Joshua, was not given victory in its attempt to conquer the city of Ai.  Ironically, they had defeated Jericho "without firing a shot."  When they used weapons, they were defeated. 

The Roman Catholic Crusades (1095-1291) were a series of campaigns into the Middle East, fought during the middle ages. They were the military responses made by Rome from western Europe to the Pope's pleas to re-capture Constantinople and the Holy Land from Islamic influence.

Islamic Terrorism:  Islam is anything but a religion of peace. Violence is at the very core of Islam. Violence is institutionalized in their holy book, the Qur'an, in many suras:  8:39, 65; 9:5, 38; 112; 47:4; etc.

Based upon Bible prophecy, it appears that humanity is doomed to continue fighting over religion until Jesus returns to establish His government; it will be a Theocracy, that is, a government ruled by God.  Until then, all man can do is pray for those whose hearts are bent on using military power to create a one-world government.  We cannot stop it, but as "salt" and "light," we can sure slow it down.  While it is still possible, pray and witness for Jesus Christ, our soon coming Lord!

As we remember 911, let us pray for those effected and those who celebrated it. 




Monday, September 10, 2012


In the movie, Jerry Maguire, Cuba Gooding Junior's character tells his agent, played by Tom Cruise, "Show me the money."  What he meant was, talk is cheap; I want to see the evidence of your ability to represent me.  When one thinks about it, we all want people to show us evidence that what they say is true.  The saying, "Actions speak louder than words" certainly applies as well. 

It may surprise you, but the first record of someone saying, "Show me the money" is found in Matthew 22:19.  Jesus, responding to a question from His enemies that was intended to trap Him, replied, "Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny."  He asked them whose image was on the coin, and when they said Caesar's, He said, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's." 

There are fifteen verses in the Bible which include the words, "Shew me."  Some ask to see "Thy way" or "the path of life" (Ex. 33:13; Ps. 16:11; 25:4); "Thy glory" (Ex. 33:18); "Thy mercy" (Ex. 33:19); and "a sign" (Jud. 6:17).  Man, especially the Jews, long for evidence that supports what someone says (1 Cor. 1:22).  You might say that in that sense, all of mankind appear to have "come from Missouri." The state's unofficial motto of "Show Me."  The origin of the phrase is popularly ascribed to an 1899 speech by Congressman Willard Vandiver, who declared"I come from a country that raises corn and cotton, cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I'm from Missouri, and you have got to show me."

Well, I am from Missouri.  I was born in St. Louis seventy years ago this week.  I don't know if that is why is have always been skeptical of the statements of others or not, but the motto certainly applies to me, especially when someone claims to be a Christian.  In that regard, I am more like James, the biblical author, who wrote, "Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works" (Jam. 2:18).  As they say, "Talk is cheap."  People need to see evidence that what a Christian says is true.

Your life must match your testimony or people will not listen to you?  

Sunday, September 9, 2012


There is a war going on between Almighty God, and Satan, the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4)! It is a war that has lasted over six thousand year, ever since Adam decided to follow Satan instead of obeying God. Today, the vast majority of the world's population has rejected the authority of the Creator of our universe, and like Adam, has sought to be equal to God (Gen. 3:5-6). Man's rejection of God resulted in mankind becoming so wicked that God destroyed the world He had created (Gen. 6:5-7). Fortunately for you and me, Noah and his family found grace in the sight of God (they did not deserve to be saved - grace is unmerited favor), and He saved them (Gen. 6:8-22).
God instructed Noah to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth (Gen. 9:1). And, like before the flood, man refused to obey God. Noah's son, Ham, knew the Lord's command, as did Cush, his grandson, and Nimrod, his great grandson. And yet, all four generations remained in one place: the Plain of Shinar (also known as Babylon or modern day Iraq). So, God decided to scatter mankind over the entire planet, simply by changing their single language into the thousands we have today.

Not much has changed. Man still prefers to reject God, and allow Satan to have dominion. It was a majority who yelled "crucify Him" when Pilate wanted to free Jesus (Lk. 23:21-24). Pilate tried three times to convince the crowd, but to no avail.
Last week, at the Democratic Convention, two amendments to the platform were offered: 1) that the party mention God, and 2) that the party recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The Chairman called for a voice vote, saying it would take a two-thirds vote to change it. After three calls for the vote, he finally decided to declare the amendments passed. Sadly, the vote had been so close that it was impossible to determine which one, if either, even had a majority. The Republican Platform did not need to be amended: God is mentioned as granting our rights on page two, and they stated their "unequivocal support of Israel" on page forty-nine.

 By all means, vote according to the party which best represents your views.
It may be a secret ballot, but I guarantee that God will know your choice.


Saturday, September 8, 2012


John Calvin's theology can be summarized by the letters T.U.L.I.P.   The "L" stands for  "limited atonement."  It is the teaching that Christ died on the cross and paid the penalty only for the sins of the elect.  He did not die for the ones who eventually will be in the lake of fire.  Often it is worded as follows: "Christ died for all men without distinction but He did not die for all men without exception."  This is a subtle game of semantics which makes it possible to say that He died for all without really meaning that He died for all.  What they really mean is that Christ died for all kinds of people and all classes of people, but He did not die for every single person.  That is, He died for Jews and Gentiles, rich and poor, slave and free, male and female, etc., but it is understood that He died for only elect Jews and Gentiles, only elect rich and poor, etc.
Dr. Paul Reiter, has clearly and simply summarized the Scriptural teaching on this issue.  For whom did Christ die?  Jesus died for:  all (1 Tim.2:6; Isa. 53:6); every man (Heb. 2:9); the world (Jn. 1:29; 3:16); the ungodly (Rom. 5:6); false teachers (2 Pet. 2:1); the many (Mt. 20:28); for Israel (Jn. 11:50-51); for the Church (Eph. 5:25); and most importantly, for you and me (Gal. 2:20)!
The Scriptures teach that the sacrifice of the Lamb of God involved the sin of the world (John 1:29) and that the Savior’s work of redemption (1 Tim. 2:6; 2 Pet. 2:1), reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:19) and propitiation (1 Jn. 2:2) was for all men (1 Tim. 4:10), but the cross–work of Christ is efficient, effectual and applicable only for those who believe (1 Tim. 4:10; Jn. 3:16). We could even say it in a simpler way: "Christ’s death was sufficient for all, but efficient for only those who believe in Him." The sacrifice of Christ is not limited, but the application of His sacrifice is limited to believers.
Do you believe Jesus died for you?  Are you willing to live for Him?

Friday, September 7, 2012


In the real Lord's Prayer (Jn. 17), Jesus mentioned His desire for the Church, His body, to be united four times (v. 11, 21-23).  But as we study Church History, we soon see how we have come to be so divided.  In A.D. 1054, the Church officially split in two parts:  The Eastern Church of Constantinople, and Western Church of Rome.  Almost five hundred years later, a period of known as the Dark Ages, the Protestant Reformation had its beginnings in 1517.  It did not take long before denominations began forming within the Protestant Church.  Today, there are literally thousands of "branches" of Christianity.

Although it was the Lord's will that there be a united Church, He knew that it would not happen.  In Matthew Thirteen, the Parables of Jesus clearly reveal that the Church would be as we see it today.  In verse 24-30, Jesus describes the Church as being infiltrated by "agents of Satan" or "tares."  Since the modus oporandi of Satan is to steal, kill, and destroy (Jn. 10:10), it is not surprising that there would be much discord among the brethren (Prov. 6:12-19).

In verses 31-32, Jesus speaks of the Church being like a tiny seed, and growing into such a large tree that "the birds of the air" make their nests in it.  "Birds" in the parables of the Lord also represent the "agents of Satan" (compare 3:4 w/ 3:19).  When we think of a tree, we usually think of a single trunk rising from the ground, the top of which has many branches.  So it is with the Church. 

Again, in the Parable of the Leaven, the true bread is corrupted by leaven (yeast).  Leaven gives the bread the appearance of containing a large amount of substance, but within lie thousands of pockets of "air."  Leaven always represents evil in the Scriptures (Mt. 16:5-12; 1 Cor. 5:8).  The Feast of Pentecost (Wave Loaves - Lev. 23:15-20) represents the Church Age, with the Church being made up of both Jews and Gentiles (Greeks), neither being sinless (Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:11; 1 Jn. 1:8-10).

The Church cannot be perfect; it is made up of imperfect people?

Thursday, September 6, 2012


The Jews, at the time Jesus was on earth, were obsessed with obeying the Law.  They believed that they could earn their way to heaven by obeying it.  When "the rich young ruler" came to ask Jesus what he must do to have eternal life, Jesus answered, ". . . if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments" (Mt. 19:17).  The young man responded saying, "All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? (Mt. 19:20).  He knew that he had meticulously followed the Law, and yet he knew he was lacking something.  Jesus, sensing that his riches were more important to him than his love for God, and love for his neighbor, told him, "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor (his neighbor), and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow Me "(Mt. 19:21).  Jesus is God (Jn. 1:1 w/1:14; 5:18; 8:58 w/Ex. 3:14; Jn. 10:30-33; 20:28; Col. 2:9; Phil. 2:5-8; Heb. 1:8; etc.)!

In saying this, Jesus was telling him he had failed to give priority to the foundational truth upon which stand the two greatest Commandments:  love!  He needed to focus upon loving God and others instead of only himself.  The first, and greatest Commandment says, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind" (Mt. 22:37).  Only when one loves God, will he be motivated to fulfill the second, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" (Mt. 22:39).  That is why the Apostle Paul could say, "For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" (Gal. 5:14).

Recently, I have been reading many comments on Facebook, which express concern that too much of the Church's focus is upon God's loving nature, while neglecting to teach that God is also going to judge those who reject Jesus, and sentence them to an eternity in the Lake of Fire (Rev.19:20; 20:10-15).  Preaching, in my opinion, should focus upon God's demand for holiness, man's inability to be holy, in and of themselves, and the provision for fallen man that comes by trusting in Jesus.  He took our sins, and He has provided us with the gift of His holiness (2 Cor. 5:21).  Trusting in Jesus results in our being indwelt by the Holy Spirit, who then enables us to love our neighbor.

If you want to love others, you have to allow God's Spirit to lead you.      


Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Have you ever done something you thought was a good thing, only to find out that your efforts were not appreciated?  I have, and unfortunately, more than once.  There is a proverb, or aphorism, which says, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."  I have always taken that to mean people know what needs to be done, but they put off doing it, and so it never gets done.  However, I believe there may be another logical meaning to the saying.  When one does something they believe is the right thing to do for someone, only to find out that one's actions were not appreciated, it opens the door for Satan to cause dissension, or worse, long lasting hostility.  And unfortunately, the "offended" person usually is not interested in "mending fences." 

Our next door neighbor and his wife are in the military.  They are often gone for long periods of time, and as a result, their grass doesn't get cut.  I decided that as a good neighbor, I would mow their yard for them.  When they returned home, the husband stopped me and told me that his wife did not want me mowing their yard.  Apparently, something about my kindness offended her.  I am not exactly sure why, but I have "taken the hint."

Our next door neighbor on the other side, is a retired single woman who, during the winter months, goes to Florida (it must be nice to be able to do that).  She gave me the combination to her garage door, just in case someone needed access to her home.  I am not exactly sure why.  One day, my wife saw someone she did not recognize entering her house through the back door.  When she told me, I went next door and knocked to see if anyone would answer.  When no one did, I called the police, and I let them enter through the garage to check out the situation.  There was no one there, and nothing seemed to be disturbed.  About an hour later, there was a loud knock at our door.  The lady's son, whom I did not remember ever meeting, was extremely upset that I had called the police, and that they had entered the home.  He warned me to stay away from his mother's house, and left.  When his mother returned in the spring, she also let me know she did not appreciate my actions.
"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good" (2 Tim. 3:1-3). 
The moral of the story is: be a good neighbor, but don't expect gratitude!        

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


I am deeply concerned that members of my family, members of my church, and members of the Church worldwide, have misunderstood what it means to be a born again believer.  Let me be clear at the outset, man is not saved by works!  Salvation is a gift to those who place their trust in Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:8-9)!  However, we have been saved to live and work for the Lord (Eph. 2:10).  We ought to:

*  Work - Lk. 13:14!
*  Pray - Lk. 18:1!
*  Tithe - Mt. 23:23!
*  Be a servant to others - Jn. 13:14!
*  Obey God - Acts 5:29!
*  Be humble - Rom. 12:3!
*  Help the weak - Rom. 15:1!
*  Forgive others - 2 Cor. 2:7!
*  Leave an inheritance - 2 Cor. 12:14!
*  Love our spouse - Eph. 5:28!
*  Walk to please God - 1 Thes. 4:1!
*  Heed what we are taught - Heb. 2:1!
*  Be teachers - Heb. 5:12!
*  Add "Lord willing" to our plans - Jam. 4:15!
*  Be holy - 2 Pet. 3:11!
*  Walk like Jesus walked - 1 Jn. 2:6!
*  Willingly lay down our lives - 1 Jn. 3:16!
*  Love one another - 1 Jn. 4:1!

Those who profess to be Christians know that they are not to continue living in sin.  They know to stop getting drunk, stop lying, stop lusting, stop stealing, stop cursing, stop . . . !  But genuine believers know they, out of gratitude toward God for sacrificing His only begotten Son for us, ought to be living as close to the example set before us by Christ as we possibly can! 

We are not saved by works, but we have been saved to do good works! 

Monday, September 3, 2012


I wonder how many of you who will read this, actually know what it means to be born again?  After forty years of being a child of God, it still amazes me that the vast majority of those who profess to be Christians, do not know what the Gospel is!  In light of that, I must assume that some of my readers fall into that category.  So, let me present the Gospel.

"Moreover, brethren (believers in Corinth), I (the Apostle Paul) declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand:  by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain (believed when you heard, but then doubted - (Mt. 13:1-23).  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ (the Messianic King longed for by the Jews - Mk. 14:61-62) died for our sins (Gal. 1:4; 1 Jn. 2:2) according to the scriptures (Ps. 22; Isa. 53; Dan. 9:26; Lk. 24:19-27); and that He was buried (Isa. 53:9; Mt. 27:57-61), and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures (Ps. 16:10; Hos. 6:2):  that He was seen of Cephas (Jn. 21:7), then of the twelve (Acts 1:2-3): after that, He was seen of above five hundred brethren at once (1 Cor. 15:6); of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep (have died)"  (1 Cor. 15:1-5).

Note that it is the Gospel which, when believed, has the power of God to save the lost sinner (Rom. 1:16).  When a believer presents the Gospel, the Holy Spirit convicts the hearer of his sin, of Christ's righteousness, and of the certain judgment that awaits those who reject Jesus (Jn. 16:7-11).  We cannot win the lost by using enticing rhetoric (1 Cor. 2:4), because the agents of Satan are also capable of using enticing words to reject the truth (Col. 2:4).  But we can, and must, present the simple Gospel message:  because of God's love for us (Jn. 3:16), the self-sacrificing Lord deserves to be served and worshiped (Mt. 20:28; 1 Tim. 2:6; 1 Pet. 1:17; Rev. 4:11; 5:12)!

The Gospel is only "good news" to those whose lives are changed by it!

Sunday, September 2, 2012


When we think of creation, we usually think of God, the Father, creating the universe.  After all, the verse in the Bible says, "In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth."  Here, the word "God" is from the Hebrew אֱלֹהִים ('elohiym), which is a plural noun.  In the Hebrew, nouns are either singular (1), dual (2), or plural (3 or more).  In this case, 'elohiym denotes a minimum of three persons.  Since we have clear evidence from the New Testament that God is a Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), it makes sense that the word 'elohiym was used.  The same Hebrew word is found in Genesis 1:26 where God says, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. . . ."  Note that the pronouns "us" and "our" are plural.

This presents us with a problem.  The New Testament teaches that Jesus is the Creator of the universe.  In John 1:1-3, we read, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made."  Then, in verse 14, we find that the "Word" is in fact, Jesus!  Therefore, the verse would be accurate if it read, "In the beginning was Jesus, and Jesus was with God, and Jesus was God.  Jesus was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by Jesus, and without Jesus was not any thing made that was made."

In Ephesians 3:9, we read, "And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ."  Colossians 1:16-17 reads, "For by Him (Jesus) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist."  And again, in Hebrews 1:1-2, we read, "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds."

Born again believers know that the Word of God is inspired by Him, and therefore cannot contradict itself (2 Tim. 3:16).  There is only one solution to this apparent contradiction; Jesus is God!  There are multitudes of verses that present Him as such, but the fact that God created, and Jesus is the Creator, clearly states that Jesus is God!

Unbelievers may not like hearing it, but they reject Jesus, they reject God!   


Saturday, September 1, 2012


One of the greatest errors made by Bible teachers is the mistake of seeing the Church as a replacement for Israel in God's plan.  While it is true that God has temporarily set aside Israel during the Church Age, that is, from Pentecost (Acts 2) until the Rapture (Jn. 14:1-3; 1 Thes. 4:13-18), God clearly explains that He is not finished with Israel (Rom. 9 - 11).  Following the Rapture, Daniel's Seventieth Week (Dan. 9:24-27), also known as the Time of Jacob's Trouble (Jer. 30:7) or the Tribulation (Mt. 24; Rev. 6 - 18), will focus upon Israel.  There are several passages in the New Testament which "hint" at the need to keep the two separate.

*  You do not add new cloth to an old garment (Mt. 9:16).
*  You do not put new wine in an old wineskin (Mt. 9:17).
*  A faithful teacher recognizes the difference between the "old" and the "new" (Mt. 13:52).
*  The Jews sacrificed animals, but Christ is our Sacrifice (Mt. 26:28).
*  "Tongues" were not necessary for the Jew because they did not evangelize; "tongues" were for the Church Age (Mk. 16:17; 1 Cor. 12 - 14).
*  The New Testament sums up all of the Law in a single commandment (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).
*  The New Testament believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Jn. 14:17).
*  The fact that there is a New Testament (Heb. 9:15).
*  Jesus has provided the Church with a "new and living way" (Heb. 10:12-20).
*  In Christ, the members of His Body, the Church, are themselves new (2 Cor. 5:17).

Notice that in Christ, both Jew and Gentile cease to be identified with their "race," and become a new "race":  Christians (Gal. 3:28).  Today, we have three categories of people:  Jews, Gentiles, and Christians.  Prior to Acts 2, there were only two:  Jews and Gentiles.  When the Church is "caught up to meet the Lord in the air," there will, once again, be only Jews and Gentiles remaining.

The Law is the Old Covenant; the New Covenant of Grace came by Jesus Christ!