Wednesday, October 31, 2012


I have often encouraged those reading my blog to consider taking advantage of the excellent materials available through the ministry of Middletown Bible Church.  The vast majority of their studies are available free on line, and they permit believers to use all or part of their materials to win the lost and educate the saved.  Their site is  The following page is from

Literature Ministry

We have hundreds of literature items which range in size from short doctrinal studies to Bible studies which are more than 100 pages in length. We have numerous booklets on various subjects. We have hundreds of Sunday School lessons for children and adults.
Most of our literature is also available on this web site. But if you would like to have our literature in printed form, at a very reasonable cost, please let us know. We make no profit from our literature sales and we send you this literature at our cost. For example, a hundred page set of our New Believer Worksheets costs only $3.00!
Literature List [PDF Format] -This is a catalog of all our our literature, including Sunday School Materials, Doctrinal Worksheets, Bible study materials, doctrinal studies on various topics, tools for evangelism, studies for new believers & papers/booklets on modern issues.
The Middletown Bible Church
349 East Street
Middletown, CT 06457
(860) 346-0907

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


I am writing this post especially to those whose relationship to the Lord has been hindered by a fear of, or by the riches of the world.  In the Lord's Parable of the Sower, it is clear that the first of the four types of soil fails to "get the message" (Mt. 13:4 w/ 13:19).  It is also clear that the fourth type of soil receives the Gospel, and multiplies (Mt. 13:8-9 w/ 13:23).  But what about the other two?

Matthew 13:5-6 says, "Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:  and when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away."  The explanation reads, "But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended" (Mt. 13:20-21).  These appear to be believers who, when faced with opposition, become silent out of fear.  Their lack of faith in God's ability to protect them results in their failure to "be fruitful and multiply."

Matthew 13:7 says, "And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them."  Jesus explained these in Matthew 13:22, which says, "He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful."  Again, these "sprung up" meaning the "seed" produced life, but their focus was upon their own enjoyment of life rather than on those around them who needed to hear the Gospel.  The key here is that they "becometh unfruitful."  They had life, but produced no fruit.

I want to ask you who are reading this:  are you afraid to witness for Christ because you do not want to be ridiculed, rejected, or even worse, harmed?  The solution is to compare the Lord's Omnipotence to the impotence of the world!  God is greater than Satan and his minions!  Jesus said that He would always be with His disciples (Mt. 28:20; Heb. 13:5)!

To those of you who would rather spend your lives on trying to make for yourselves a heaven on earth, do you not realize that by so doing, you are failing to present the Gospel which offers an eternal heaven to those who do not know Christ?  Are you so selfish that you do not care churches all over the world need Sunday School teachers, outreach workers, evangelists, etc.?  Have you no gratitude for what Jesus has done for you, that you would waste your time in pursuit of riches rather than pursuing the lost?  Shame!

"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: 
for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Gal. 6:7)! 

Monday, October 29, 2012


This is my second attempt at writing today.  My first ended with strange computer malfunctioning in which paragraphs appeared in different sized print, and the lower half began jumping up and down the page, with some of it mysteriously being in bold type.  Since this computer was purchased in July of this year, I am pretty sure it had a virus.  I ran a check on it, and it told me it was corrected.  We shall see. 
Just about the time I began feeling sorry for myself, the Lord reminded me that I had not prayed about the problem.  He also reminded me that compared to the tragic loss of life in Hurricane Sandy, so far, and the potential catastrophe that lies ahead for those in the Northeastern United States, focusing upon my little problems is being very self-centered and selfish! 
As I mentioned yesterday, the Captain of our cruise ship had changed our itinerary so that we would not be caught in the storm which has taken dozens of lives so far.  By skipping one port of call, and by high-tailing it back to the safety of Charleston, he probably saved the lives of over two thousand very nervous persons.  Instead of being frustrated with my computer, I should be thanking Him for our good fortune, and praying more for those who are still in harm's way.
I am beginning to think that I am far less "spiritual" than one would expect of one who has been a born again believer for forty-one years!    In fact, I am certain that, in comparison to most believers my "age," I am a picture of a stunted spiritual growth.  However, I am not a disappointment to God.  He knew before the world was formed, that I would be exactly what I am today.  He knew that if He formed me into the image of His Son to fast, that I would be extremely prideful and judgmental.  So, my lack of spirituality is a good thing; I certainly am neither of those things!  Still, it would be nice to have only spiritual thoughts regardless of my circumstances.  He promised me that He is doing the work of making me like Christ, and whatever He starts, He finishes (Phil. 1:6; 1 Jn. 3:2)!  I cannot wait!
Pride is taking credit for what God is doing in one's life! 

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Last night, my wife and I returned home to a warm but wet-nosed welcome by our three "best friends."  "Pippy," "Buddy," and "Scoobie-doo" had never been separated from "Mommy and Daddy" for a week before.  Needless to say, the air was astir with wagging tails!  If I didn't hurt to much from all of the walking we did on our fiftieth anniversary "gift cruise," I would wag right back at them!  My mother-in-law spent the night at our house all week, just to keep them from total isolation.  To Mom, thanks from all five of us!

To our daughter Laurie and her husband Doug, thanks for not only the fact that you paid for the cruise, you took the time to accompany us to make sure we survived.  I honestly believe we would never had made it without you guys!

To the staff and crew of the Carnival Fantasy, especially Angel, Alex, Tatiana, and Gilbert, thank you for your "servants' hearts," and for making our experience one that will be treasured for the rest of our lives!  And a special thanks to the Captain, who not only protected all of those on his ship from Hurricane Sandy, but also for caring enough for a single passenger suffering from a medical emergency, to head into port early.  We missed one port of call due to the hurricane, and spent one day tied to the pier because, like Jesus who left the ninety and nine to find the one lost sheep, our Captain valued the life of one of his passengers more than he cared what his passengers might say on their evaluation of the cruise.  I have so much respect for the Captain, and for the passengers, whose attitudes, in response to the situations were to be commended; I heard nary a single complaint!

To Carollynn, Sue, Diane, Joy, Stephen, and Consa  (sorry about the spelling if any are wrong), thanks so much for your friendship, sharing "tastes," and pleasant banter; I honestly enjoyed our evening meals together more than any other part of the cruise!

To my wife of fifty years, thanks for your patience, your modeling of a Christ-like spirit, and for your gentle "handling" of a less-than-perfect husband throughout the somewhat difficult adventure.  You are a true gift from God, and the longer we are together, the more I am grateful to God for giving you the strength to tolerate me.  I honestly wish I was the man you deserve; unfortunately, you will have to wait until I see Jesus face-to-face (1 Jn. 3:2).

We don't have to wait until Thanksgiving, to be thankful!



Saturday, October 20, 2012



"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Pet. 5:8)!  As I said yesterday, accepting Christ guarantees an attack from the forces of evil, led by Satan and his minions.  Although we usually think of his "minions" as being demons, in this case, the Antichrist, the False Prophet, and a large proportion of non-believers must be included.  The Antichrist, the counterfeit prince of peace, will come in "peace" and deceive Israel during the Tribulation (Dan. 9:24-27).  And remember, it was a man, Judas, who was used by Satan to betray Jesus (Jn. 13:2), and it was a crowd of human beings that yelled, "Crucify Him!"

The Apostle Paul wrote about the believer's enemies.  In Ephesians 6:12, we read, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."  In 2 Corinthians 4:4, Paul calls Satan "the god of this world."
Jesus warned His disciples of what it would cost them to follow Him.  Luke wrote, "And ye shall be hated of all men for My name's sake" (Lk. 21:17).  John's Gospel echoes the warning, "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you.  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.  Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his Lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you" (Jn. 15:18-20).  That is why born again believers are to daily take up our crosses and follow Jesus; the believer's life is one of persecution. Matthew, writing right after he, himself, was called "Satan" (Mt. 16:23), "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it (Mt. 16:24-25).

Salvation is a free gift, but it is not a "free pass!" 




"Nevertheless, the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first He lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.  The people that walked in darkness HAVE SEEN A GREAT LIGHT: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, UPON THEM HATH THE LIGHT SHINED. . . . For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, THE PRINCE OF PEACE" (Isa. 9:1-6 PMV).

The judgment of God upon His creation, due to Adam's sin, was addressed to Adam, Eve, and Satan.  In Genesis 3:14-19, God pronounced His sentence upon all three; He began by telling Satan, "... I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her Seed; (He) shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel" (Gen. 3:15).  The Apostle Paul later wrote, "And the God of Peace (Jesus - Isa. 9:6) shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen" (Rom. 16:20).  Because the Word says we are positioned IN CHRIST, the God of Peace (Rom. 16:20; Jn. 14:20), we will participate in the fulfillment of Genesis 3:15!

While Jesus is the God of Peace, He did not come solely to bring peace, but He also came to bring about warfare (Eph. 6:10-12)!  Matthew wrote, "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.  For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.  And a man's foes shall be they of his own household" (Mt. 10:34-36).  Luke wrote, "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division" (Lk. 12:51).

Accepting Jesus guarantees peace with God, and an attack from His enemies! 




False Peace

Today there may not be peace in the world, but Christ has made it possible for us to have peace in our hearts (John 14:27). The Bible teaches that before Christ comes to the earth there will be a false "PEACE MOVEMENT." There will be people saying "P____________ and SAFETY" (1 Thess. 5:3) when there is no real peace and no real safety at all! Long ago people cried "PEACE, PEACE," but was there really peace (Jeremiah 6:14; 8:11)? ______ Don’t be fooled by this false peace movement.

Many people want peace on earth, but remember this: only God can bring real peace to Planet Earth! And only God can bring real peace to the human heart. Even in the middle of this sin-troubled world, God says that the believer can have PEACE (John 16:33). Wherever Christ rules there is peace. If I let Christ rule in my heart then I can have peace in my heart. Someday Christ will rule on this earth and at that time there will be PEACE ON EARTH (see Isaiah 9:6-7 and Luke 2:14)!
Be Ready For Attack

These are days when we need strong soldiers for Christ. The enemy would love to attack us. Satan would love to find us weak and unprepared for his attacks. Is the devil roaming the earth looking for those that he may attack (1 Peter 5:8)? ______ Does God want us strong or weak (Ephesians 6:10)? ___________________ Does God want us to disarm or does God want us to be armed (Ephesians 6:11-17)? ___________________________________ Does God want us to be ready to stand against the enemy? _____ Who is the real enemy (Ephesians 6:12)? ____________________________________________________ When believers stand strong in the power of God, what does the enemy do (James 4:7)? _________________________________

God has never lost a battle! Those who stand with Him stand in complete victory! He has even promised to do the fighting (Exodus 14:14; Nehemiah 4:20)! God is more powerful than any nuclear weapon. If God be for us, who can be against us? See Romans 8:31.

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things.
The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which
thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse.
The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight,
nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a
miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and
kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

John Stuart Mill - from On Liberty circa 1859


The Coming Holocaust

The word "HOLOCAUST" means a thorough (complete) destruction. There is a time of great destruction coming upon planet earth and millions of people will die, but this destruction will not be caused by man. This will not be a destruction caused by the Russians, by Iraq, by China, or by any other country. This will not be a destruction caused by certain countries having a nuclear war. This destruction will be caused by GOD HIMSELF! The entire unsaved population of the world will be removed from the earth by the time God is finished with His work of judgment.

The book of Revelation tells us about these judgments and plagues that will come upon the earth in the future. For example, in Revelation 6:8 we are told that the FOURTH part of the world's population will be killed. In Revelation 9:15 we learn that ANOTHER THIRD part of men will be killed. This is mass destruction! You can read about more of these plagues in Revelation chapters 8 and 9. When the Lord Jesus Christ returns at the end of the Tribulation, there will be another great destruction and slaughter of the enemies of God (see Revelation 14:14-20; 19:11-20). Fortunately for us, all born again believers, who will have been caught up into heaven, will be kept from this terrible time of trouble that will come upon all those who remain on the earth (John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 3:10).

Man should not be feared. Russia or China or some other country should not be feared. The Bible indicates in Ezekiel chapters 38-39 that God will take care of that great power from the north (RUSSIA and its allies). Satan is not the one we should fear. The One that we should really fear is GOD HIMSELF (see Matthew 10:28). If we really want to have PEACE, then we need to make sure we have PEACE WITH GOD (Romans 5:1)!

The most terrible war of all is when a person is at war with God in his heart. The Bible clearly teaches that an unsaved person is an ENEMY of God (Romans 5:10). The Lord Jesus died on the cross so that this war could be over (Romans 5:6-10). Those who believe on Christ and those who have received Christ as their Saviour have peace with God (Romans 5:1). Those who reject Christ and refuse to trust Him are still at war with God. If they refuse God’s mercy, then there is nothing left but God’s judgment and wrath (John 3:36 and 2 Thess. 1:8-9). Have you surrendered your life to the living God or are you still fighting against Him?


Nuclear War

Today soldiers do not use spears, swords and bows. Today we have the most powerful and the most destructive weapons ever known to man. Nuclear weapons are the most powerful and deadly weapons of all. A nuclear bomb dropped over a city would cause great loss of life and great destruction of property. And the radioactive fallout from the bomb could cause further loss of life to surrounding regions.

There is much talk today about NUCLEAR WAR. Many people are afraid of what might happen if men were to use nuclear weapons. Many fear that a nuclear war would begin and that missiles carrying bombs (perhaps launched by submarines) would be sent all over the world and that there would be no survivors. Is this possible? Could mankind be completely destroyed by a nuclear war? Is this how the world is going to come to an end?

The world that God has made is not going to be destroyed by nuclear weapons. It is theoretically possible, but it is not Biblically possible. What does the Bible teach about this? Why does the Bible teach that mankind cannot destroy itself?

Suppose everyone were to die in a nuclear war. If this were to happen, then would there be anyone left on earth when Christ returns? _____ Christ would have to return to an empty earth because everyone would have died in the war. But this is not what the Bible teaches. The Bible makes it clear that when Christ returns there will still be many people alive on the earth (see Psalm 2:2 and Revelation 19:11-19). Mankind will not be totally destroyed by war. This is not God’s plan. The Bible teaches that there will be people on earth.

There are people today who are afraid that the entire human race will be destroyed by nuclear war. If they knew and believed their Bible, they would realize that this could never happen because the Bible teaches that people will be living on the earth when Christ returns. A long time ago a similar situation took place. In the days of Esther there were people who were afraid that the entire Jewish race would be destroyed. And they had good reason for thinking this would happen (see Esther 3:13). But if the people had believed their Bibles, they would have known that this was impossible. God had promised that the nation Israel would never cease from being a nation (Jeremiah 31:35-37; 33:24-26). If the Jewish race had been destroyed then God would have been a liar!

The same thing is true today. According to what God has told us in His Word, the human race cannot be destroyed by nuclear war. There are people living on earth today. There will be people living on earth during the tribulation period (a seven year period prior to the Lord's coming to earth). There will be people living on earth during the thousand year reign of Christ. The Bible never envisions a time when the entire human race will be destroyed.

This does not mean that nuclear weapons will never be used. Such weapons of mass destruction have already been used! The United States used atomic weapons to bring World War Two to an end. Many people died because of the atomic bomb that was dropped, but many more people were saved because this terrible war came to a swift end because of these bombings. These bombs were dropped on Japan. Whether more atomic or nuclear bombs will be used in the future, God only knows.


Should We Disarm?

To "DISARM" means to give up or remove weapons. When policemen capture a bank robber, one of the first things they do is DISARM him. They take away all his weapons so that he can no longer fight them or attack them.

Should a country disarm? Should a country get rid of all its weapons? Should a country let itself become so weak that it is unable to defend itself against its enemies?

It would be wonderful if all the nations of the world would destroy all their weapons and decide to live in peace. But we do not live in this kind of a world. We live in a sinful world described by James in James 4:1-2. We live in a world where people want to have what is not theirs and they are willing to fight and kill to get it.

Suppose the nations of the world were to meet together and decide to disarm and destroy all weapons. But two of the nations just pretend to do this. Instead of destroying their weapons they secretly begin making even more. Soon all the nations of the world will be weak and these two will be strong. These two nations can then attack and conquer any country they wish. No one would be strong enough to stop them. Disarming will not lead to peace unless every country does it.

It would be nice if we could live in a world where there is no stealing. But is this the kind of a world we live in? _______ Suppose the President of the United States were to make this announcement on television and radio:

Fellow Americans, from now on we are all going to live in peace with each other. Let’s all leave the doors to our houses unlocked and let’s leave the doors to our cars unlocked. Let’s all decide to love each other and never steal what is not ours.

If people really started leaving their houses and cars unlocked, do you think other people would take advantage of this? Fifty people in your neighborhood might try to be honest and try to follow the President’s advice, but all you need is one crook to ruin it for everyone! REMEMBER, WE ARE NOT IN HEAVEN YET! There is enough stealing that goes on even when people lock their doors! Just think how much stealing there would be if people made it easy for thieves to break in and steal! Should a country make it easy for another country to invade and to conquer?


War Is Sometimes Necessary in a Sinful World

A policeman does not enjoy using his gun to shoot a person, but is it sometimes necessary for him to do this? _____ When might it be necessary for him to do this? If a criminal were to try to harm innocent people, should the policeman try to stop him in some way? ______

If a man were to break into your house and try to kill your mother, should your father try to stop him? ______ Should your father kill this man if that is the only way to stop him? _____

Hopefully most of us will never have to kill anyone, but sometimes killing is necessary, and sometimes killing is the right thing to do. Remember, there is a difference between MURDER and KILLING. Murder is the wicked killing of another person--the kind of killing that is not done accidentally but is carefully planned and deliberately carried out. Killing is a more general word which simply means "to put to death." All murder is killing but not all killing is murder. The word "KILL" in Exodus 20:13 should really be translated "MURDER." See Matthew 19:18: "THOU SHALT DO NO M_______________."

David killed Goliath (1 Samuel chapter 17). Was God angry with David or pleased with David for doing this? _____ David did the right thing. Remember, God was the One who strengthened David and gave him the skill and ability to slay this giant!
Most people do not want to fight unless they think they can win. Only a fool would go into a battle that he knows he will lose. Would you be a fool if you tried to box against the heavyweight champion of the world?_____ Goliath was a CHAMPION (see 1 Samuel 17:4), and he was so BIG and so TALL and so STRONG that no one wanted to fight him! The men of Israel thought that Goliath would win and that they would surely lose so they did not dare to fight. Why did David fight the giant? ___________________Did David think that Goliath would win? _____Did David believe that his God was greater and stronger than mighty Goliath? _____

Just as a father needs to protect his family and just as a policeman needs to protect the people on the streets, so also soldiers protect those who live in a country. A soldier’s job is not an easy job but it is an important job and we need to pray for the soldiers who serve our country.


Today there are many people who are crying out for peace. They would like to see an end to war and an end to fighting. Their signs include slogans like these:

War is not a very pleasant subject. Most people do not like to think about soldiers dying on battlefields or bombs being dropped on cities that are filled with men, women and children. Most people long for the day when there will be no more war and when there will be truly "peace on earth."

The Bible tells us that someday the Lord Jesus Christ will be KING and He will rule this world from the city of Jerusalem (see Isaiah 2:1-5). He will be called "the PRINCE OF P_______________ (Isaiah 9:6). When Jesus is KING OF THE EARTH will there be any war (Micah 4:3)? _____ Jesus Christ will make "wars to _______________ unto the end of the earth" (Psalm 46:9).

Yes, peace will come to planet earth. But is Jesus Christ ruling on earth today from Jerusalem? _____ Do we have peace on earth today or do we have war on earth today (see Matthew 24:6-7)? _________________________ Today the PRINCE OF THIS WORLD is the devil (John 16:11) and we know that he is not the PRINCE OF PEACE! The Bible tells us that there will be peace on earth, but not yet! There can be no true and lasting peace without the PRINCE OF PEACE!

Friday, October 19, 2012


Of the seven Feasts of Israel, Jesus literally fulfilled the first three during His sojourn with His disciples.  The fourth feast, the Feast of Pentecost, was literally fulfilled with the birth of the Church on the Pentecost following the Lord's Ascension.

Jesus was the Passover Lamb - "For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us" (1 Cor. 5:7).
Jesus is the Lamb of God (Jn. 1:29, 36; 1 Pet. 1:19; Rev. 5:6, 8, 12, 13; 6:1, 16; 7:9, 10, 14, 17; 12:11; 13:8; 14:1, 4, 10; 15:3; 17:14; 19:7, 9; 21:9, 14, 22, 23, 27; 22:1, 3). 

Jesus was the Unleavened Bread of Life - "I am that bread of life" (Jn. 6:48).
Jesus was the fulfillment of the Unleavened Bread, in that He was without sin (Heb. 4:15).  Leaven, in the Bible, is symbolic of sin (Mt. 16:6-12; Mk. 13:33; Lk. 12:1; 13:20-21; 1 Cor. 5:1-8).  

Jesus was the First Fruit from the grave - "But now is Christ risen from the dead, [and] become the firstfruits of them that slept" (1 Cor. 15:20).
Jesus was the first to be resurrected, never to die again.  Matthew wrote, "And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many" (Mt. 27:52-53; etc.).

The Holy Spirit "gave birth" to the Church on Pentecost - "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:1, 4).
The Feast of Pentecost, also known as the Feast of Wave Loaves.  "Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the LORD" (Lev. 23:17).  The Church consists of the two kinds of people, Jews and Gentiles.  They are represented by leavened loaves, because born again believers still sin (Rom. 7:15-25; 1 Jn. 1:8-10; etc.).

So, based upon the fact that the first four feasts being literally fulfilled, how important do you think it is that we study the feasts which speak of His Second Coming?
The last three Feasts of Israel are described in Leviticus 23:24-44.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Conservative Christian theologians define marriage as "the union of one man and one woman."  They quote Genesis 2:18-24 as the basis for their position.  Some less conservative theologians would allow polygamy, using the patriarchs and the kings of Israel as examples; they would change the definition to "the union of one man and an unspecified number of women."  Liberal theologians have ignoring the Bible's condemnation of homosexuality, willingly define marriage as "the union of two consenting adults."

I may have missed it, but I can find no passage of Scripture that prohibits a man from having more than one wife.  It is true that Church leaders are to have only one (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:5-6), but if Paul had his way, they wouldn't even have one (1 Cor. 7:1, 11, 20, 27-28, 32, etc.).  There are several passages that speak against divorcing a wife to marry another woman, but I find none saying a man cannot marry additional wives.

In the Old Testament, God calls Israel His wife (Ezek. 16).  Hosea's on-again, off-again marriage relationship to Gomer, an unfaithful wife, is a description of God's marriage relationship with Israel.  He is even said to divorce Israel in Jeremiah 3:8-22, but in the end, He promises to bring her back to Himself (Rom. 9 - 11).  In the New Testament, the Church is referred to as the bride of Christ; the relationship between Jesus, the Bridegroom, and the Church, the bride, which is to be our model for our own marriage (Eph. 5:22-32).

One might also look at the life of Jacob, to see, perhaps, a picture of the Triune God having two brides.  If one sees Leah as a type of Israel, and Rachel as a type of the Church, one could easily come to the conclusion that the New Jerusalem, which descends from heaven adorned as a bride, is actually two brides:  Israel is the twelve gates representing the twelve Tribes of Israel (Rev. 21:12), and the Church is twelve foundations representing the twelve Apostles (Rev. 21:14).

What I have written is not doctrine, but one simple mind trying to understand God' Word. 


Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Most students of the Bible are aware that the word for God ('elohiym) and for heaven (shamayim) in Genesis 1:1 are plural in the Hebrew. And yet, only the KJV and the WEB versions render them both as singular. It is not difficult to understand why all the versions render the word "God" in the singular, but why do these two versions translate the word "heaven" in the singular? Let's take a look at Genesis 1:1 in its context.  

"In the beginning, [רֵאשִׁית (re'shiyth)] = the time God's began creation.

God [אֱלֹהִים ('elohiym)] created [בָּרָא (bara')] = the Trinity: one God in three Persons, all involved in Creation; God the Father - Gen. 1:26; the Holy Spirit - Gen. 1:2; and the Son - Jn. 1:1-3; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:1-2; speaking into existence as in Gen. 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, and 26.

the heaven [שָׁמַיִם (shamayim)] = outer space:  see Gen. 1:14-18 - Note:  there are three heavens:  God's dwelling place which has existed as long as God has existed - eternally (2 Cor. 12:2); earth's atmosphere, the place where the fowl fly (Gen. 1:6-8, 20-22); and outer space, where the Sun, Moon, and Stars are located (Gen. 1:1, 14-18).  Since God's dwelling place has always existed, and the earth's atmosphere was not created until the second day of the creation, the only heaven Genesis 1:1 could be referring to is outer space.  Hence, the King James and the Webster's Bible are correct.

and [אֵת ('eth)] the earth [אֶרֶץ ('erets)]." = our planet surrounded a layer of water:  see Gen. 1:6-8.

If one were to pluralize the words "God" and "heavens," the verse would contradict what the rest of the Bible teaches.  Since the Bible is the Holy Spirit inspired Word of God, it is impossible for it to contradict itself (2 Tim. 3:16).  Whenever there appears to be a contradiction, the problem is either in the translation, or it can be explained logically.  For instance, Saul's conversion experience is recorded in Acts 9:3-9; 22:6-10; and 26:12-16.  While some of the details are different, none of them contradict; together, they present a more complete picture of what actually occurred.

While I am not saying the KJV is 100% accurate, I am convinced it is the most accurate English version of the Bible, and that is why I recommend it be studied with other versions used as "commentaries." 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


In the past, I have commented on God's differing dietary standards for each of the seven dispensations.  Today, while I will certainly comment on that, I would like to focus on how the behavior of animals differs throughout the span of man's existence on this planet. 

In the beginning, that is, during the Dispensation of Innocence (the first dispensation), neither animals nor man had any fear of the other.  "And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.  And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field...." (Gen 2:19-21).  Even Satan, appearing as a speaking serpent, did not frighten Adam or Eve (Gen. 3:1-5; Rev. 12:9; 20:2). 

Man's peaceful co-existence with animals, with the exception of one "serpent," continued throughout the Dispensation of Conscience (the second dispensation).  We know from the food Noah took on the Ark, food for both his family and for the animals, that neither man nor animals were carnivorous (Gen. 6:21).  It was not until after the Ark landed that men began to eat, without restriction, animals for food, and animals had the instinct to fear man (Gen. 9:1-6).  The carnivorous nature of animals and man will continue until the Dispensation of the Kingdom (the seventh dispensation).  At that time, man may still consume meat, but it is doubtful that animals will continue to be carnivorous (Isa. 11:6-9; 65:25).

During the Dispensation of Governments and the Dispensation of Promise (the third and fourth dispensations), there was no change in the diets of animals or man.  It was not until the fifth dispensation (the Dispensation of the Law), that God's people were required to change their dietary habits (Lev. 11:3-8; Deut. 14:3-21; etc.).  The Dispensation of the Church (the sixth dispensation), once again saw a change in God's dietary instructions.  While the Jews are still limited to "kosher foods," the Church has no limitations, whatsoever (Acts 10:10-16; 1 Tim. 4:1-5).

The study of dispensations is the key to understanding the rightly-divided Word of God! 


Monday, October 15, 2012


Most of us have heard of the nick name for Missouri, the "Show Me" state.  To them, "seeing is believing."  However, the Word of God indicates that, at least concerning spiritual things, "believing is seeing."   The Epistle to the Hebrews had this to say about "believing is seeing": "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Heb. 11:1).

The Apostle John used the words "believe" (94 times), "trust" (3 times), and "faith" (15 times) in his Gospel, three epistles, and Revelation.  In fact, his stated purpose in writing was that his readers would believe in Christ, and be saved (Jn. 20:31).  During one of His post-Resurrection appearances, Jesus told Thomas, who had just addressed Jesus as "my Lord and my God," "because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed" (Jn. 20:28-29).  To be fair to Thomas, he was not present when Jesus "breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost" (Jn. 20:22).  
What did Jesus mean by "believe?"  The Greek word used by John in quoting Jesus, was πιστεύω (pisteuō), which is translated "believe" 239 times.  Ironically, πιστεύω is from the root, πίστις (pistis), a word translated "faith" 239 times!  Even more ironic is the fact that "believe" can be defined as having "absolute knowledge" based upon the fact that Satan and his minions, having seen Jesus in His glory, believe Christ exists, but they obviously do not believe in Him.  James wrote, "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble" (Jam. 2:19).

What is the difference in believing Christ exists and believing in Him?  You might say it is the difference between have "head knowledge" and having "heart knowledge."  It is how one responds to the knowledge of who He is.  If one believes, or has faith in Him, and places his trust in Him as Lord, voluntarily submitting to His will, that person is born again.  If one refuses to allow Him rule over him, he is like Satan.
Believing in Jesus and bowing before Him, results in eternal salvation (Jn. 3:15);
      being forced to bow before Him, will result in eternal damnation (Rom. 14:11).       

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Our Pastor was out of town today, and so our Church Administrator/Worship Leader, Chris Birke served as our speaker in the morning service.  At first, I loved how he began his sermon, in that, he began by saying fear was inconsistent with faith.  I have written many times in past posts that fear and faith are opposites, that they cannot coexist in a person.  So, I felt his message was affirming what I believe.  But then, he began giving us Bible verses from Proverbs that applaud fear.  He said, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge" (1:7); "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom" (9:10); "The fear of the LORD prolongeth days" (10:27); "In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence" (14:26);  "The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life" (14:27); "By the fear of the LORD men depart from evil" (16:6); and "The fear of the LORD tendeth to life" (19:23)!  So, fear is a good thing, right?

Chris then "flip-flopped" so clearly that I though I was listening to a political speech rather than a sermon!  He said that fear is actually a bad thing.  He spoke of how Peter, out of the fear of man, denied the Lord three times (Jn. 18:17-27), and then, in Acts 5:29, we find a 'new' Peter, for Luke wrote, "Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men."  The fear that had crippled Peter's witness, was replaced by the faith he had gained through seeing the resurrected Lord!  So, fear is the opposite of faith then, and it is a bad thing, right?

What Chris said next "turned on the light bulb in my head."  He said words to the effect, "The fear of God brings one to a place where the Holy Spirit can convict him of his sin, of Christ's righteousness, and of God's certain judgment (Jn. 16:8-15).  When we believe the Spirit's revelation of Christ to us, we place our trust in Him, and we are born again of the Spirit (Jn. 3:3-8).  Once we have faith that God loves us and all that He does for us is ultimately good (Jn. 3:16; 17:23; Rom. 8:28; etc.), we cease to fear Him.  And, because we trust the One who is Omniscient, Omnipresent, and Omnipotent, why would we need to fear man, who is none of those things?  If God be for us, why should we fear those who are against us (Rom. 8:31)!
Fear and faith do not coexist; fear brings one to faith and fear disappears!  


Saturday, October 13, 2012


As a Roman Catholic, I was taught that the Apostle Peter was the first Pope.  To be honest, I can see why that assumption makes sense.  Jesus did give the "keys to the kingdom" to Peter, and told His disciples that Peter would determine who would be allowed to enter His kingdom, and who would not (Mt. 16:16-19).  However, there is a difference to being a "gate-keeper," and being the leader of the Church.  In Acts 1:8, Jesus told His disciples that the Gospel would be preached in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and then "unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Gentiles).  Peter was witness to the Jews receiving the Gospel (Acts 2), to the Samaritans having received the Gospel (Acts 8), and to the Gentiles receiving the Gospel (Acts 10).  After the Samaritans and the Gentiles accepted the Lord, Peter reported back to the Apostles in Jerusalem (Acts 8:14; 11:18). 

There are several indications that Peter was not the leader.  First, he is not mentioned in Acts after Acts 15:7, while James is obviously in authority in Acts 21:18.  When Peter was freed from prison, he told those who had been praying for his release, to go tell James he had be set free by an angel (Acts 12:7-17).  Another clue is that James, the half-brother of Jesus, was the one who made the final decision in the debate over circumcising the Gentile believers (Acts 15:19).  The word "sentence" is translated "judge or judgment" eighty-eight times, and "sentence" only three times (Acts 15:19; Lk. 23:24; 2 Cor. 1:9), all of which indicate the final say in a matter.  And then, there is the order of names:  James is named first when Paul and "his company" reported in Jerusalem (Acts 21:8, 18), and also listed first in Paul's sarcastic statement about James, Peter, and John being "pillars" of the Church (Gal. 2:9). 

And, Peter frequently demonstrated his lack of spirituality.  He was called "Satan" by Jesus after he had been told he would control who was accepted in God's kingdom (Mt. 16:23).  He attacked and cut off the ear of the high priest's servant, one minute, and then he denied he knew Jesus three times (Jn. 18:10, 18-27).  And finally, there is Peter's hypocrisy when a group of men, sent by James, arrived in Antioch (Gal. 2:11-14).

Since a Pope is said to infallible and to answer only to God,
James would be much more likely to be the "first pope," than would Peter.          

Friday, October 12, 2012


In Luke 24:13-31, we read of the Lord's post-resurrection encounter with two disheartened disciples.  In verses 25-27, Jesus explained that what had happened to Him was the outworking of God's plan for Israel's Messiah.  "And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures, the things concerning Himself" (v. 27).  Today, the Jews see the Old Testament as consisting of the Law (the Torah), the Prophets (the Nevi'im), and the Writings (the Kethuvim).  But to Jesus, the Scriptures consisted of only two divisions:  the Law and the Prophets.

The Bible specifically uses the phrase "the Law and the Prophets" six other times.  In Matthew 7:12, Jesus teaches that the "Golden Rule" is the sum of the teaching of the Law and the Prophets.  In Matthew 22:40, He teaches that the two commandments, to love God and love one's neighbor, have for a foundation, the Law and the Prophets.

In Luke 16:16, Jesus explains that John the Baptist's ministry was the pivotal point in God's plan; had Israel accepted Jesus as their Messiah, John would have been the fulfillment of the prophecy concerning Elijah prior to the beginning of His kingdom (Mal. 4:5; Mt. 17:12; Lk. 1:17).  Luke, again in Acts 13:15, describes the events in the Synagogue at Antioch, saying that after the reading from the Law and the Prophets, Paul and Barnabas were offered an opportunity to speak.  Paul preached the Gospel and while the Jews were hostile toward him, many Gentiles were saved (Acts  13:48-50).

In the Gospel of John, Philip, upon meeting Jesus, went and told Nathanael he had found the Messiah spoken of by Moses in the Law, and by the Prophets (Jn. 1:45).  It is interesting to note that he did not know Jesus was "of Bethlehem" and the Son of God, not of Joseph.

The Apostle Paul wrote, "But now the righteousness of God without (apart from) the law is manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets" (Rom. 3:21).  Righteousness comes from faith in Christ (Rom. 3:22). 

It is interesting to me that on the Mount of Transfiguration,
it is Moses (the Law) and Elijah (the Prophets) who appear with Jesus! 

Thursday, October 11, 2012


In the second chapter of Second Timothy the believer is presented in seven characters.  He is called a son (v. 1); a soldier (v. 3); an athlete (v. 5); a husbandman (v. 6); a workman (v. 15); a vessel (v. 21); and a servant (v. 24).  With each of these characters there is a suited exhortation. As a son, Timothy is exhorted to be strong in grace. Grace goes with sonship, just as law goes with servitude--as we learn from Galatians. Then, as a soldier, Timothy is exhorted to endure hardness, and to avoid worldly entanglements; these are the elements of a good soldier. As a vessel, he is to be cleansed, separated; and as a servant, gentle, patient, and meek.
But in verse 15, he is told what is required of him as a workman"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.The Word of Truth, then, has right divisions, and it must be evident that, as one cannot be "a workman that needeth not to be ashamed" without observing them, so any study of that Word which ignores those divisions, must be in large measure, profitless and confusing.  Note the following subjects that need to be kept separate in order to understand God's Word: 
The differences between the Jew, the Gentile and the Church of God.
The differences between the seven dispensations.
The differences between the two advents of Christ.
The differences between the two resurrections.
The differences between the five judgments.
The differences between law and grace.
The differences between the believer's standing and state.
The differences between salvation and rewards.
The differences between believers and professors.
When such differences are not observed and understood, then great confusion results.  For example, reformed theology often fails to distinguish between the two resurrections and between the various judgments, and the result is that they teach one general resurrection and one general judgment which takes place at the end of the world.  This would be like a professor of history looking back at the twentieth century and saying that World War I and World War II and the Vietnam War and the Gulf War were actually all one giant war and should not be treated as separate wars. I should not like to have him as my professor for history! I would be utterly confused by this professor's propensity to blur all distinctions and lump everything together as one!
Faithful Bible teachers not only focus their teaching on what the Scriptures say,
they first prepare by prayerfully and faithfully laboring over God's Word!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


When it comes to God's plans for mankind, what He plans to happen, happens!  The first mention of His plans for us is found in Genesis 1:26:  "And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness...."  The next verse tells us that Adam was created in the image of God, and in Genesis 5:1, we read that Adam was made in the likeness of God.  God did what He said. 

Unfortunately, Adam did not stay in the likeness of God.  When he sinned, he ceased to be in His likeness.  Notice that Adam is never again said to be like God.  We know this because we read in 1 John 3:2 that man will not be like God until we see Jesus in heaven.  There is irony in Satan's temptation of Eve, in that, she sought to be like God, and she already was (Gen. 1:27)!     

Some might say that God's plan was ruined, but they would be wrong.  God knew Adam would sin, and that is why Jesus is described as "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:8).  God declared that His Son would one day be bruised, but that He would crush the head of Satan (Gen. 3:15).  Acts 2:22-24 says, "Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a Man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by Him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:  Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:  Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that He should be holden of it."  God knew what would happen, and it was all part of His plan to make us like Him!  In Romans 8:29, Paul wrote,"For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son...."  Here, the Greek εἰκών (eikōn), could just as accurately be translated "likeness."

And for all those worrying about the plight of Israel, fear not!  "God hath not cast away His people which He foreknew...And so all Israel shall be saved (Rom. 11:2, 26)!  
What God declared He would do in Genesis 1:26, He will complete when we see Jesus!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


I received an E-Mail from a friend and brother in Christ, asking for my understanding of 1 Peter 1:2.  In response, this is what I wrote.

The verse you asked me to interpret is very familiar as it is so similar to Romans 8:29. 1 Peter 1:2, was written to those born again believers (v. 3) scattered in foreign lands (v. 1). They are the "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied." Romans 8:29 says, "For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren."   It is as though Peter was giving the details on what Paul revealed in Romans.

God, knowing the end from the beginning, "foreknew" four things: Jesus would be denied and crucified (Acts 2:23). Born again believers are destined to be like Jesus (Rom. 8:29). Israel is reserved and will one day be delivered (Rom. 11:2). And, He knew those who would denounce the world and receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, and He dedicated them by sanctifying them by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (1 Pet. 1:1-3).

The verse should always be interpreted in its context.  Here are verses two through nine of First Peter:  2 God the Father chose you long ago, and the Spirit has made you holy.  As a result, you have obeyed Jesus Christ and are cleansed by His blood.  May you have more and more of God's special favor and wonderful peace.   3 All honor to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for it is by His boundless mercy that God has given us the privilege of being born again.  Now we live with a wonderful expectation because Jesus Christ rose again from the dead.  4 For God has reserved a priceless inheritance for His children.  It is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.  5 And God, in His mighty power, will protect you until you receive this salvation, because you are trusting Him.  It will be revealed on the last day for all to see.  6 So be truly glad!  There is wonderful joy ahead, even though it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while.  7 These trials are only to test your faith, to show (you and all who would accuse you) that it is strong and pure.  It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold -- and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold.  So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.  8 You love Him even though you have never seen Him.  Though you do not see Him, you trust Him; and even now you are happy with a glorious, inexpressible joy. 9 Your reward for trusting Him will be the salvation of your souls. NLT

God planned, Jesus provided, and the Holy Spirit delivered those who believe in Him!

Monday, October 8, 2012


The Greek μένω (menō), which occurs 127 times in 105 verses in the Greek concordance of the KJV, is translated "abide" (61), "remain" (16), "dwell" (15), "continue" (11), "tarry" (9), "endure" (3), and "be," "be present," "stand," "tarry for," and "wait for" one time each.  As it is used in 1 John 3:4-9, perhaps the best definition would be "to remain or continue to dwell in."  If one reads the King James Version, one might believe a born again believer could lose his salvation.  It reads:
"Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.  And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin.  Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him.   Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous.  He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.  Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." (1 Jn. 3:4-9 KJV)
Because we know born again believers still sin (see Rom. 7:14-25; Jam. 5:13-16; 1 Jn. 1:8-10), I like how the New Living Translation has this passage: 
"Those who sin are opposed to the law of God, for all sin opposes the law of God.  And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, for there is no sin in Him.  So if we continue to live in Him, we won't sin either. But those who keep on sinning have never known Him or understood who He is.  Dear children, don't let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it is because they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous.  But when people keep on sinning, it shows they belong to the Devil, who has been sinning since the beginning.  But the Son of God came to destroy these works of the Devil.  Those who have been born into God's family do not sin, because God's life is in them. So they can't keep on sinning, because they have been born of God." (1 Jn. 3:4-9 NLT)

There are several reasons a born again believer cannot continue to practice sin.  For one, he is a child of God, and God will not tolerate it (Heb. 12:5-11).  For another, the Holy Spirit within brings conviction to believers (Jn. 14:26; 16:13) and grieving the Holy Spirit could even bring death (Acts 5:3-4; 1 Cor. 11:28-30; Eph. 4:30).  Still another is that when we continue to sin, we do not lose our salvation, but we do lose the joy of our salvation (Gal. 5:22-23; 1 Thes. 1:6).  Failing to walk in the Spirit (abide in Him throughout our day), makes a born again believer miserable (Gal. 5:16-25).

Judge yourselves:  are you "practicing righteousness," or "practicing sin?"


Sunday, October 7, 2012


The Christian Life... not about YOU; it’s about JESUS CHRIST (Phil. 1:20-21; Jer. 9:23-24). not about YOUR GLORY; it’s about GOD'S GLORY (1 Cor. 1:31; 10:31). not about YOUR MERIT AND RESOURCES; it’s about GOD'S GRACE AND PROVISIONS(John 1:16; Rom. 5:1-2; 1 Cor. 15:10). not about YOUR WISDOM; it’s about GOD'S WORD (Isa. 55:8-11; Ps. 1:1-3). not about YOUR WILL; it’s about GOD'S WILL (Matt. 26:39; Rom. 12:1-2). not lived through YOUR STRENGTH; it’s lived by the power of the HOLY SPIRIT (Romans 7 & 8; Zech 4:6; Eph. 5:18). not lived on YOUR TERMS; it’s lived on GOD'S TERMS (Rom. 6:11-13; 12:1-2). is not about SERVICE FIRST; it’s about SPIRITUALITY FIRST (John 15:1-5). is not about PLEASING YOURSELF; it’s about PLEASING GOD (2 Cor. 5:8-10). is not about WALKING BY SIGHT OR BY FEELINGS; it’s about WALKING BY FAITH in the SUFFICIENCY OF JESUS CHRIST (Col. 2:6; 2 Cor. 5:7; Heb. 11:6; Jer. 17:5-8). is not about COVERING YOUR SINS; it’s about CONFESSING YOUR SINS (1 Cor. 11:28-32; 1 John 1:5-10; Prov. 28:13).


Apart from a right vertical relationship with the Lord, MAN IS MISERABLE AND LIFE IS MEANINGLESS! (Ecclesiastes).

We must KEEP our EYES on the LORD and His FAITHFULNESS, and not on PEOPLE and their FAILINGS (Heb. 12:1-2; 2 Tim. 2:13; 1 Thess. 5:24; Lam. 3:22-24).

Your greatest problem is YOU and your INDEPENDENCE and UNBELIEF; it is not your CIRCUMSTANCES or OTHERS (Rom. 7:14-18; James 1:2-4; 1 Pet. 1:6-7).

The way UP is DOWN, as HE must INCREASE and YOU must DECREASE! (2 Cor. 4:8-11; John 3:30)

God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble! (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5).
The Christian life is easy, IF you rest and allow Him to live it in you!






Saturday, October 6, 2012


There are several ways to describe the divisions of mankind; by nation, by race, by continent, etc., but from the time God chose Abraham to be the Father of the Jews, the division that has had the most impact on our world is that of religion.  During the days of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, there existed but two categories of people on our planet:  Jews and Gentiles.  But, by the time of Christ's sojourn in our world, the Jews recognized three basic division of humanity:  Jews, Samaritans, and Gentiles.

Following Pentecost and the birth of the Church (Acts 2:1), there were four categories of people:  Jews, Samaritans, Gentiles, and Christians.  This can be seen by observing what Jesus told His disciples just prior to His Ascension in Acts 1:8.   He said, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you:  and ye (the Church) shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea (the Jews), and in Samaria (the Samaritans), and unto the uttermost part of the earth" (the Gentiles).  The Church eventually included believers who formerly had been Jews (Acts 2:5), Samaritans (Acts 8:14), and Gentiles (Acts 10:45).

Denominations are another way to recognize divisions within the Church, but perhaps the most important division is that of spiritual maturity.  The Bible describes two kinds of Christians:  Babes, or immature Christians (Rom. 2:20; 1 Cor. 3:1-4; Heb. 5:13; 1 Pet. 2:2).  Notice in the 1 Corinthians 3:1 that baby Christians are equated with "carnal" believers.  The word "carnal" is translated from the Greek σαρκικός (sarkikos), meaning "living according to the flesh," as opposed to the mature or the spiritual believer, from the Greek πνευματικός (pneumatikos), meaning to live according to the leading of the Holy Spirit within.

In the Parable of the Sower (Mt. 13:1-23), I believe Jesus taught about the the difference between the carnal Christian, and the Spirit-led believer.  The immature or carnal believer lives a defeated Christian life because of fear (13:5-6 / 20-21), or because of temptation (13:7 / 22).  The mature, victorious, or Spirit-led believer is a soul-winner, both by his example and by his words (13:8 / 23).
You be the judge; if you are saved, what kind of born again believer are you?     


Friday, October 5, 2012


This morning's Our Daily Bread devotion got me to thinkin'.  As I thought about it, I began to see all the similarities between Israel's experiences in the wilderness and the Church's experience in the world.  The Apostle Paul wrote: 
"Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ" (1 Cor. 10:1-4).
In the world-wide Church, all "believers" are baptized, and all partake in the Lord's Supper, at which all eat of the "Bread of Life," and all drink of the "Blood of Christ" (1 Cor. 11:23-28).  And as it was that only a remnant of Israel entered the Promised Land (Num. 26:65), when Christ returns to Rapture His Body to heaven (Jn. 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:49-53; 1 Thes. 4:13-18), the vast majority of those claiming to be Christians will be left behind (Mt. 7:21-23).  The wilderness of Sinai, apart from the provision of God, is a spiritual picture of our present day world; all the comforts and pleasures that seem to satisfy, leave man hungering and thirsting for what is really important:  righteousness!

What really blessed me though, as I reflected on the similarities between those who only appeared to be Israel (Rom. 9:6), and the vast number who profess Christ but are not possessed by Him, I thought of the transition, temporary as it is (Rom. 9 - 11), between God focusing upon Israel and His focus upon the Church (Jn. 1:11-12; Acts 13:46; Rom. 11:11).  It is marvelously pictured at the Wedding in Cana, where Jesus turned the water into wine (Jn. 2:1-11).  Water was the most important thing to Israel, as their blessings involved prosperity on earth, while Wine (the symbol of Christ's blood - Mt. 26:26-27; 1 Cor. 11:25) is the assurance of eternal life in heaven (Jn. 6:54)!

Changing water into wine is a picture of changing the worldly into the heavenly! 



Thursday, October 4, 2012


In Matthew 7:15-21, Jesus warned His disciples to be very discerning when they offer the hand of fellowship to those who appear to be men of God.  He concluded the warning by saying, "Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven" (v. 21).  For us today, this means not every one who proclaims to believe in Jesus as Lord, is really a born again believer.  Christianity is overwhelmingly filled with those who profess to believe in Jesus, but they live their lives as though He does not exist.  Oh, they are religious, and they speak the jargon of a believer, but in reality, that is all they are:  religious!
Jesus told them to be "fruit inspectors."  He had spoken to them earlier about being judgmental (Mt. 7:1-5); that is, evaluating others in order to find fault with them.  And now, He was simply telling them to be on guard against those professing to be believers in order to assume a role of leadership within the assembly. 

What kind of "fruit" should one expect to find if the person really possess faith in Christ?  Well, the first thing one would need to discover is whether or not the person has a secure "foundation" for his faith (Mt. 7:24-27; 1 Cor. 3:10-11).  Jesus, in telling them how to attain everlasting life, said all one truly needed to be saved was to believe on Him.  He said, "...This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him (Jesus) whom He (the Father) hath sent" (Jn. 3:16; 6:25-29).  Once the person claims that his faith is founded on Christ, it should be easy to discern if he is telling the truth.  Remember what Jesus said in verse twenty-one.  Those who are true believers will do the will of His Father!  When one's life is in harmony with God, he displays the fruit of the Spirit:  ", joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, (and) temperance..." (Gal. 5:22-23).  However, when a born again believer is walking in the flesh instead of the Spirit, he produces a totally different kind of fruit:  "...adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like..." (Gal. 5:19-21).

The world, and even many Christians believe that saved people do not ever produce "bad fruit," because they have the crazy notion that becoming a born again believer changes a person into being perfect.  Paul and John clearly taught otherwise (Rom. 7:14-25; 1 Jn. 1:5-10).  Those same people object to the doctrine of the eternal security of a born again believer, because they fail to recognize it is God who promises to complete what He has begun in His child, even if it takes a sound thrashing (Phil. 1:6; 2:13; Heb. 12:5-11)!
Christians are to be filled with the Spirit, but unfortunately, we all "leak!" 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


 JOHN 20:31__________________________________________________

JOHN 1:1 _______________________________________________________
JOHN 1:3 _______________________________________________________
JOHN 4:42 ______________________________________________________
JOHN 10:11 _____________________________________________________
JOHN 10:30 _____________________________________________________
JOHN 11:27 _____________________________________________________
JOHN 19:19 _____________________________________________________
JOHN 20:28 _____________________________________________________
JOHN 20:31 _____________________________________________________

JOHN 6:35 I AM _________________________________________________
JOHN 8:12 I AM _________________________________________________
JOHN 10:9 I AM _________________________________________________
JOHN 10:11 I AM _________________________________________________
JOHN 11:25 I AM _________________________________________________
JOHN 14:6 I AM _________________________________________________
JOHN 8:58—“BEFORE ABRAHAM WAS, ____ ______.”

Do men love the light or darkness (Jn. 3:19-20)? ________ How does God describe the “deeds” of mankind (Jn. 3:19)? ______ According to Jesus, how many people really keep God’s Law perfectly (Jn. 7:19)? ________ Are any of us without sin (Jn. 8:7-10)?

“The Word became__________ and dwelt among us” (Jn. 1:14). God became a man and He was sent to be the __________ of the world (Jn. 4:42). Did He come to judge or to rescue (Jn. 3:17)? ____________ Did Jesus really die on the cross (Jn. 19:32-35)? _______ Did He really come back from the dead (Jn. 20:1-29)? _______  Why was “Doubting Thomas” convinced (Jn. 20:29)? ________________

Is heaven a real place? (Jn. 14:1-3) _______ How can you get there? (Jn. 14:6)? _________

JOHN 3:36 _______________________________________________________
JOHN 5:24 _______________________________________________________
JOHN 6:35,37 ____________________________________________________
JOHN 6:47 _______________________________________________________
JOHN 11:25-26 ____________________________________________________

JOHN 8:24 ____________________________________________________________
JOHN 3:36 ____________________________________________________________
JOHN 5:28-29 _________________________________________________________
JOHN 3:16 ____________________________________________________________
TRUE or FALSE: _______ Unbelievers are CONDEMNED ALREADY! (Jn. 3:18-19).

“For God so loved _______________ that He gave His only begotten Son, that _______________believeth in Him,
__________________________, but have _________________.”

10. HOW CAN YOU BECOME A DISCIPLE OF CHRIST?  _________________________________________________________(Jn.  8:31).

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Over the years, I have heard several very credible speakers on Bible Prophecy describe the "Ezekiel 38 - 39 War" as being an attack from the North, specifically led by Russia, against Israel.  In light of Russia's current aligning of itself with the enemies of Israel, the Arab nations, it is not surprising the Bible experts search diligently to find evidence that the Bible refers to Russia.  In Charting the End Times by LaHaye and Ice (p. 93), the authors list the Northern Army as being made up of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and being led by "Gog of the land of Magog." 

There is much evidence that three of those named were sons of Japheth:  Magog, the second son of Japheth, settled in what is now known as Russia;  Meshech, Japheth's sixth son, settled in what is now known as Armenia; and Tubal, Japheth's fifth son, settled in Cappadocia, or today's Turkey (Gen. 10:2).  We know from Ezekiel 27:13 that both Meshech and Tubal were known for trading slaves.  In fact, we get the word "slave" from the "from Medieval Latin sclavus, from Sclavus Slavic; from the frequent enslavement of Slavs in central Europe during the early Middle Ages" (  Russians are ethnic Slavs. 

However, Rosh is only mentioned once in the King James Version of the Bible, and unlike the other three, was not a son of Japheth, but was one of the twelve sons of Jacob:  Benjamin (Gen. 46:21).  The error of including Rosh in with the other three, stems from a mistranslation of the Hebrew word, "רֹאשׁ (ro'sh), meaning "the head, leader, or chief."  Notice the actual wording of the text below.
"Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal" (Ezek. 38:2-3).

I believe that the Bible scholars, knowing that the land of Magog is modern day Russia, mistakenly interpret רֹאשׁ (ro'sh) as a noun (calling it "Russia," and even calling Meshech  "Moscow"), rather than as the adjective describing Gog as the leader of the three nations:  Magog, Meshech, and Tubal.

Say what you want about the King James Version, but I find it to be outstanding! 

Monday, October 1, 2012


There is little doubt that all of those who claim to be a Christian, are aware that the Bible presents Jesus Christ as Lord.  Unfortunately, the vast majority of them are Christian in name only.  They have made a mental decision to commit to a church, and some of them even experience an emotional response to the preaching of the Word of God, but they have not become born again believers.  The reason is, the new birth is totally the work of God (Jn. 1:13; Phil. 1:6).  Man's mind can acknowledge the historical Jesus, and his heart can be moved by emotional preaching, but unless he is drawn to Jesus by the Father (Jn. 6:44), and experiences the miraculous metamorphosis of the new birth provide by the Holy Spirit (Jn. 3:3-8), he might just as well have "joined" any of the thousands of man-made religions.  Christianity is, itself, a religion.  Born again believers in Christ are not a part of a religion, but are in a relationship with God; we are His children (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5; 1 Jn. 3:2).

To call Jesus Lord, does not make one a born again believer.  Jesus clearly taught that calling Him Lord was not the same thing as relating to Him as a servant would to his master (Mt. 7:21-22; 25:11).  The Bible refers to the Lord in the Old Testament by calling Him the "LORD of hosts" nearly four hundred times.  The word "host" in the Hebrew צָבָא (tsaba'), and in the Greek στρατιά (stratia), meaning "a vast army of angels" (1 Kgs. 22:19; Lk. 2:8-15).

He is called the LORD of all the earth six times, and the LORD of heaven once (Josh. 3:11, 13; Ps. 97:5; Mic. 4:13; Zech. 4:15; 6:5; Dan. 5:23).  He is called "Lord of the Harvest" (Mt. 9:58); "Lord of the Sabaoth" (Rom. 9:29; Jam. 5:4), "Lord of Glory" (1 Cor. 2:8; Jam. 2:1), and "Lord of peace" (2 Thes. 3:16).  And finally, He is called "Lord of lords" five times (Deut. 10:17; Ps. 136:3; 1 Tim. 6:15; Rev. 17:14; 19:16).

The ultimate question is, is Jesus your Lord?  Does He rule over your decisions, relationships, habits, conversations, and actions?  Do you ask yourself, "What Would Jesus Do?"  Do you reverence Him, and do you see yourself as His servant?  The answer to these questions can be seen in how you treat your fellow human beings!  As Lord, He declares we are to love others, and in so doing, we are, in turn, loving Him (Gal. 5:13-14). 
You can fool others; you can fool yourself; but you cannot fool the Lord God Almighty!