Thursday, January 31, 2013


Many have suggested that the Apostle Paul was the human instrument for the writing of the Book of Hebrews, but last night, at our weekly Bible study, my pastor provided the most Scriptural evidence that Hebrews had to be written by someone else.  Based upon 2 Thessalonians 3:17, he stated that every epistle Paul sent, whether to an individual, or to a local church, included a salutation stating it was from him. 

Being totally ignorant of the definition of the word "salutation," I questioned his statement, and began checking the ending of the letters of Paul.  Not finding anything of the sort, and knowing he does not make claims like that without knowing for sure, I surmised that he was referring to the introductions of Paul's writings.  Later, he thanked me for my clarification of his statement.  To be honest, I was guessing.  It was a lucky guess.  Today, I looked up the definition of the word and this is how defined it:  "the act of saluting; something uttered, written, or done by way of saluting; a word or phrase serving as the prefatory greeting in a letter or speech, as 'Dear Sir' in a letter or 'Ladies and Gentlemen' in a speech."  Then, to make sure, I had to look up "prefatory."  The same source defined it as:  "of, pertaining to, or of the nature of a preface."

The salutations of Paul's letters tell us much about the man:

Romans:  "Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle. . . "
1 Corinthians:  "Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ. . . "
2 Corinthians:  "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God. . . "
Galatians:  "Paul, an apostle, not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ. . . "
Ephesians:  "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God. . . "
Philippians:  "Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ. . . "
Colossians:  "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God. . . "
1 Thessalonians:  "Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church. . . " 
2 Thessalonians:  "Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church. . . "
1 Timothy:  "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God. . . "
2 Timothy:  "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God. . . "
Titus:  "Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ. . . "
Philemon:  "Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ. . . "

Hebrews begins:  "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; who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Heb. 1:1-3).

 Whether you're an apostle, a servant, or a prisoner, be what you are for Jesus! 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


All born again believers still sin.  Those who tell you they never sin are committing two sins by their very own statement:  they lie, and they are full of pride! 

The Apostle Paul, using the present tense in writing Romans 7:15-25, stated that he was struggling as a result of a battle between the influence of his flesh (the sin nature with which he was born as a child) and the influence of the indwelling Holy Spirit (his born again nature).

In addition, the Apostle John wrote:  "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us" (1 Jn. 1:8-10).

James, commonly accepted as the brother of Jesus and head of the Jerusalem Church (Acts 12:2; 15:13; 21:18; 1 Cor. 15:7; Gal. 1:9; 2:9, 12), spoke of born again believers, who were ill, confessing their sins that they might be forgiven and healed (Jam. 5:13-20).

So what should the born again believer do when he or she sins?  I recently heard a sermon that made these three points:

1)  Admit you have sinned.  A believer will immediately Regret sinning.
2)  Abhor your sin.  A believer will have Remorse over his or her sin.
3)  Abstain from repeating the sin.  A believer will Repent (turn from that sin).

The reason I am writing this, is because many young believers become discouraged when they seem to continually "mess up."  A large number actually believe they have lost their salvation because they sinned.  That is not true.  The Word says that those who are saved are "sealed" by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13; 4:30).  God's Word also says that "He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1:6).  HE WILL DO IT!

Do not be discouraged when you fail as a believer;
 He who has begun a good work in you never fails! 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


One of my favorite jokes is: "Why did the chicken cross the road?"  Wait for it; wait for it.  "To prove to opossums it could be done!"  That joke makes me think about the difference between opossums, and those who are Christians in name only.  Opossums, although very much alive, "play dead" in stressful situations; nominal "Christians," on the other hand, make believe they are alive, but in reality, they are as lifeless as a rock!

There are only two possible ways for a person to be alive spiritually.  That's right, I said two ways.

The first way is for a person to live his entire life without sin, that is, for him to live 100% of his life according to the standards of God.  It is possible!  Jesus did it, and in so doing, proved to sinners that it could be done (2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 2:22; Heb. 4:15; 7:26; 1 Jn. 3:5; etc.).   In addition to Jesus, there are the exceptions of human beings living within the wombs of their mothers, newborn babies, and those having a mental defect which prevents them from knowing right from wrong.  However, if you are reading this, I doubt very seriously you have met any of these qualifications.

To those who would challenge me on the basis that the Scriptures say "all have sinned" (Eccl. 1:20; Rom. 3:23; 5:12; 11:32; Gal. 3:22; etc.), I would suggest that, with the exception of Jesus, none of those mentioned above are capable of sin.  The two biblical definitions of sin are:  1) not doing what you know you should do (Jam. 4:17); and 2) doing something you know you should not do (1 Jn. 3:4).  The key is in the "knowing."

The second way is for a person to be alive spiritually, is for him to be spiritually born again (Jn. 3:3-8).  When the Holy Spirit moves upon a lost person, He reveals to him that he is a sinner, and that Jesus died for his sins (Jn. 16:9; 1 Cor. 15:3-4).   Believing the Gospel, and trusting in Christ, he is made alive spiritually (Rom. 6:4; 1 Cor. 15:22; Eph. 2:1, 5; etc.).  In other words, he must be convicted concerning his condition (Jn. 16:7-11), he must be convinced that the Gospel is true (1 Cor. 15:3-4), and if he is truly born again, he will be grateful enough to Jesus that he will allow Him to be the Lord of his life (Rom. 10:9-10).

Is Jesus the Lord of your life?  
If not, why not?





Monday, January 28, 2013


On the sixth day of creation, God finished His creative work with His masterpiece; He created Adam, a man made in the image and likeness of Himself (Gen. 1:26-28).  All was good, in fact, all was "very good" (Gen. 1:31)!  I am not certain of what Adam was doing on the seventh day while God "rested," but I believe it is safe to say that Satan was hard at work trying to increase his following from being only a third of the angels, to include all of humanity (Rev. 12:3-9; 2 Cor. 4:4).  And, when he had succeeded, the results were "not so good!"  Those who were described as being made in image and likeness of God, ceased to be like Him. 

As a consequence of Adam's transgression, he died spiritually.  God had said, "in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die (Gen. 2:17).  That is why Adam tried to cover his nakedness and to hide from God (Gen. 3:7-8).  Because all of mankind bears the likeness of Adam (Gen. 5:3; 1 Cor. 15:22), we all sin (Rom. 5:12); we are all said to be (spiritually) dead in our trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1).  That is why Jesus taught that a man must be "born again" spiritually (Jn. 3:3-8; 1 Pet. 1:18-23).

After Adam sinned, he still had access to the Tree of Life.  "So He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life" (Gen. 3:24).  Had God not forced Adam and Eve to leave, they could have lived (physically) forever.  They would not have feared their physical death, followed by their certain judgment before God (Heb. 9:27).  So He blocked "the way."

Have you ever heard the saying, "When God closes one door, He always opens another?"  Well, that is exactly what He did.  Not willing that any should perish (2 Pet. 3:9), before He closed "the way" to the Tree of Life, He had already opened "The Way" to eternal life (Jn. 14:6).  God was prepared for Adam's transgression; we see this from several Scriptures (Mt. 13:35; 25:34; Eph. 1:4; 4:3; 1 Pet. 1:20; Rev. 13:8; 17:8).  God willed that all should be saved, and He provided "The Way" for that to happen.  It is up to each of us to accept God's "Way":  Jesus!

"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31)!        



Sunday, January 27, 2013


Most Bible students are familiar with Ephesians 2:8, which says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God."  As a former English teacher, I taught my students that if they removed the prepositional phrases from a sentence, it would make it easier for them to find the subject, the verb, the direct or indirect object.  If we remove the prepositional phrases from this verse, we have "You are saved:  it is the gift."  Please do not think I am proposing removing a single word from the Scriptures; I am only suggesting that our understanding of the verse becomes clearer by focusing upon the subject, verb, and direct or indirect object.  The fact that salvation is a gift indicates it is not of our own doing; it is unearned, and unmerited ("by grace" and "not of yourselves").  The fact that only God can save a person, makes "of God" unnecessary for the understanding of the statement. 

However, there is one prepositional phrase that is essential to understanding what God, through the Apostle Paul, was saying:  "through faith."  One has to believe he has been given the gift of salvation.  Let's say that one of your wealthy uncles dies, and his lawyer calls you to tell you he is depositing $500,000 in your bank account.  You know he was wealthy.  You know he was your uncle. You know the man was his lawyer.  But unless you believe the money is in your account, you will never write a check on it. 

Likewise, the Bible tells us we are sinners.  The Bible tells us that Jesus died for our sins.  The Bible tells us that "IF" we place our trust in Him, we will have peace with God, and everlasting life.  That is, "IF" we believe Jesus died for our sins, that He was buried, and that He rose from the grave according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:3-4), we can be saved.  And, "IF" the Holy Spirit is able to convince us to trust in, believe in, have faith in, the resurrected Lord, Jesus Christ, we will have forgiveness of sin and eternal life. 

A good way to check myself to see if I am saved, is to ask myself, "Has God begun working to make me more Christ-like?" (Phil. 1:6; 2:13).  "Has my faith in Christ caused me to willingly repent of living a sinful life, and to dedicate myself to living as God directs?"  In other words, "Have I allowed Jesus to be the Lord of my life?"  I pray all reading this will be able to answer "YES!" 

"IF" you are saved, you have believed and received God's gift of salvation! 
That "IF" makes all the difference in this life and the next!

Saturday, January 26, 2013


I am told that on the day Paul Leonard Mutschler was born over seventy years ago, his father called him "his little Skipper."  Dad was in the Navy, the war was on, and the "skipper" was what sailors called the most important person on their ship.  It is a name that has stuck with me for all these years, and I know it was motivated by my dad's great love for me.  I am proud of that name. 

I have been called many things throughout the years, and to be quite honest, most of the names were not motivated out of love, but out of hate.  Because I am a Christian, I will spare you and myself even recalling them.  Before I became a born again believer, I was very much a voice speaking out against segregation and racism of any kind.  When Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in 1968, I was devastated!  I remember that was the first time I was called a "nigger lover" to my face.  It angered me at the time it was said, and although I hate the "N" word, I will always be proud of that name.

But speaking of being labelled a Christian, that came on a single day almost forty-two years ago (January 31, 1971), when I went from being an "atheist," to being a "Christian."  I wish I could say that I have lived up to that name, but I must have done fairly well, because many people have called me a "Jesus Freak," "a fanatic," and "a religious nut," for my faith in Jesus Christ.  I am always proud when people call me those names.

Of course, I have been called a son, a father, a husband, etc. but I became a Pastor for a short span in my life, people began calling be "Brother Paul."  One of the daughters of our Youth Director could not pronounce the word "brother," so it sounded like "Brudder."  When our youth had t-shirts made with their names embroidered on them, they presented me one with the name "Brudder Paul" on it.  I was proud of that name.

It won't be long, either through death or the Rapture, I will see Jesus, and His Word tells me that I will receive a "new name."  Revelation 2:17 says, ". . . To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it."  I don't know what it will be, but I know one thing for sure; I will be the most proud to hear Jesus call me by that name!

After all is said and done, it is what Jesus calls us that really matters!


Friday, January 25, 2013


Even though it is not clear from the first twenty-five verses of Genesis One, when God decided to create the Universe,  He designed it for mankind.  Genesis 1:26-28 was not an afterthought.  It was a declaration that the time had come to create human beings.  Notice that He created the Sun, Moon, and Stars as signs; for whom if not for man (Gen. 1:14-17).  He created food for man (Gen. 1:11-12, 29).  God also had personal relationships with those created in His image and likeness.  For the first two thousand years beginning with the Creation, everyone was a Gentile (there were no Jews). 

But, beginning with Abraham in Genesis 12:1, God's approach to mankind changed from being focused upon the individual, to it being focused upon His people, Israel.  Of course, as it has been throughout the history of man, each person, Gentile or Jew, needed to place his trust in his Creator in order to be considered "saved" (righteous in the eyes of God - Rom. 4:3; Gal. 3:6; Jam. 2:23).  The second two thousand years, following the Creation, ended with the Jews rejecting their Messiah (Jn. 1:11).  There remains one seven-year period which belongs to this period, also known as "the Tribulation," "the Time of Jacob's Trouble," or "Daniel's Seventieth Week" (Dan. 9:27; Jer. 30:7; Mt. 24:3-29; Rev. 6-19). 

The Book of Acts reveals the transition from God's close relationship with Israel, to His relationship to the Church, which is open to "whosoever will" receive Christ (Acts 2 - Jews; Acts 8 - Samaritans; Acts 10 - Gentiles).  The Church Age has been going on for approximately two thousand years, from the Day of Pentecost, until today.  It will end when the Church, living and dead, ascend to meet the Lord in the air, an event known as the Rapture of the Church (Jn. 1:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:47-54; 1 Thes. 4:13-18; Rev. 3:10).  It is following the Rapture that the final chastisement of the Gentiles and Israel takes place.

So far, that covers three two-thousand-year periods.  They reveal the inadequacy of fallen man to "have dominion over the earth."  In actuality, man "sold his birthright" to Satan in the Garden (Gen.3:6), and Satan became the god of this world ever since that fateful day (2 Cor. 4:4).  But there is now, and there has been from that same fateful day, Good News (the Gospel - 1 Cor. 15:1-4); God is going to send His crucified, buried, resurrected, and ascended Son back to crush Satan, and to rule on this earth for one thousand years (Gen. 3:15; Rev. 20:1-9).  That will be the Kingdom spoken of by the Prophets and the Apostles, and longed for by the Jews.
"Six" is the number associated with mankind;
"Seven" is the number associated with God!
"Eight" is the number associated with new beginnings;
"Eight" begins with a New Heaven and a New Earth!


Thursday, January 24, 2013


There are two kinds of ignorance.  There is the lack of knowing based upon one's not being exposed to the facts (Ps. 73:22).   And, there is the lack of knowing because one is too lazy to "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (Isa. 56:10; 2 Tim. 2:15). 

There is no stigma attached to being unfamiliar with things outside of one's experience, but there is tremendous shame in a Christian knowing little or nothing about the Word of God!  That is not just ignorance; it is dangerous!  How is one to evaluate what Pastors and Bible Teachers are saying if he or she does not know how to use God's Word (Acts 17:11; Phil. 4:8; 1 Thes. 5:21)? 

Here are some of the problems caused by my ignorance:

*  It causes me to question God's fairness (Ps. 73:22).
*  It endangers those over whom God has placed under my protection (Isa. 56:10).
*  It makes me think only my church has the truth (Isa. 63:16).
*  It causes me to ignore God's "unqualified messenger" (Acts 4:13).
*  It causes me to be unappreciative of God's ministers (Rom. 1:13; 2 Cor. 1:8).
*  It caused me to be religious; what I needed was His righteousness (Rom. 10:3).
*  It causes me to lack compassion for the "less enlightened" (Rom. 11:25; Heb. 5:2).
*  It will result in me making the same mistakes as did Israel (1 Cor. 10:1).
*  It will prevent me from being blessed by those who are gifted of God (1 Cor. 12:1).
*  It causes me to try to "force feed" knowledge to those not wanting it (1 Cor. 14:38; 2 Pet. 3:5).
*  It can cause me to be susceptible to Satan's tricks (2 Cor. 2:11).
*  It could cause me to lose hope for those who died in Christ (1 Thes. 4:13).
*  It will cause me to give up waiting on the Lord (2 Pet. 3:8).

There is an old saying; "Ignorance is bliss."  That may be true for some in this world, but it can certainly keep one out of the next world (Mt. 9:6; Jn. 10:38; Eph. 1:18; 1 Jn. 5:13; etc.).  Another old saying says, "What I don't know can't hurt me."  The Word clearly disagrees (Rom. 6:16; 1 Cor. 5:6; 6:9, 16; Jam. 4:4; etc.).
Ignorance won't win on Jeopardy, but it will definitely put you in jeopardy! 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Have you ever met someone who used to have an interest in the Word of God, but gradually over time, they became less interested?  I think I may know why.  There are at least four reasons.  The first, and most obvious is sin; the person doesn't want the Bible to "nag" him about his life choices.  A second is when he first believed God's Word, people laughed at him, put him down, and some might have even persecuted him.  A third is that he spent too much time enjoying the things of this world, and eventually, the things of God were "squeezed out."

A fourth reason, and perhaps the most subtle, is his failure to live and share what he had learned concerning God's Word.  Mark had this to say about one failing to continue to grow, or worse, regressing in his knowledge of the things of the Lord:  

"And He said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?  For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad.  If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.  And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete (share with others), it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.  For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath" (Mk. 4:21-25).

Alzheimer's is quite similar.  Patients begin having trouble remembering short-term memories, but remember things from early in their lives.  It is believed this ability to remember long-term memories is due to the patient having shared specific life experiences with others over the years.  In other words, those memories are more often rehearsed.  Gradually, however, even long-term memories "disappear."

Our love for God should motivate us to obey His Word.  Our love for the souls of others ought to cause us to share our greatest possession:  our faith in Jesus Christ!
If you don't share what you know, you will forget what He taught you! 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


The Book of Revelation does not mention the Church from Chapter 4:1, until Chapter 22:16.  John's ascension to heaven (v. 4:1), is a picture of the Rapture of the Church when it is removed from the earth (Jn. 14:1-3; 1 Thes. 4:13-18).  At sometime during the Tribulation on earth (Dan. 9:27; Mt. 24:3-29; Rev. 6 - 19), born again believers, in heaven, will stand before The Judgment Seat of Christ, and receive rewards for their service for Christ (Rom. 14:10; 1 Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Cor. 5:10).

Following the Tribulation, the Beast (Antichrist) and the Second Beast (False Prophet) will be cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 19:20).  One thousand years later, Satan will suffer a similar fate (Rev. 20:10).  John then describes The Great White Throne Judgment of the rest of mankind:       

"And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire" (Rev. 20:11-15).

Note the sequence of events:  1) The Church will no longer exist upon the earth after the Rapture.  2) The Church will be rewarded in heaven at the Judgment Seat of Christ.  3) At the same time, the Tribulation will occur on earth.  At the end of the seven-year Tribulation, the nations of the earth will be judged based upon their treatment of the Lord's brethren during the Tribulation (Mt. 25:31-46).  4) Satan will be bound during the 1000 year reign of Christ on earth (Rev. 20:1-2).  5) At the end of the Millennial Reign of Christ, Satan will be freed and he will rally the rest of the human population on earth against Jesus and His saints (Rev. 20:7-9).  6) Following the defeat of Satan and his duped armies, Satan will be cast into the Lake of Fire, and his armies will stand before The Great White Throne Judgment ( Rev. 20:9 - 22:21). 

Will you stand before His Judgment Seat, or His Great White Throne?  

Monday, January 21, 2013


I am sure if you are reading this, you call yourself a Christian, but have you ever considered that a great many of those professing to believe in Christ, are not born again?  Maybe you are one of those who believe what you have read or been told about Jesus, but you are not born again.  After all, the devils believe (Jam. 2:19)!  If believing is not what it takes, then how does one become a born again believer?  The answer is, it is not by our works that we are saved (Eph. 2:8-9), but it is the work of God; it is the work of the Trinity! 

THE SON:  John 14:6 says, "Jesus saith unto him, I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me."

THE FATHER:  John 6:44 says, "No man can come to Me (Jesus), except The Father which hath sent Me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day."

THE SPIRIT:  John 16:13-14 say, "Howbeit when He, The Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come.  He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you."

THE FAITH:  Ephesians 2:8 says, "For by grace (a gift; unmerited favor) are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." 

THE WORD:  Romans 10:17 says, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." 

BECOMING BORN AGAIN:  Romans 10:9-10 say, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus (repent and let Him be your Lord), and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead (believe the Gospel, that Jesus died for you), thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

NOTE:  Just as the word "believe" is in the present tense, so is "confess."  If one is born again, there will not be a time when he does not believe, and should he be asked, at the risk of his own life, he will confess that Jesus Christ is both his Lord and his Savior. 

Being born again spiritually is the work of God!
It is through the Word of God, in the heart of man. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Believe it or not, the words "Lord and Savior," when referring to Jesus, appear together in that order, only five times in the New Testament.  They are:

     *  "To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour" (Titus 1:4).
     *  "For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 1:11).
     *  "For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning" (2 Peter 2:20).
     *  "That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour" (2 Peter 3:2).
     *  "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and for ever. Amen" (2 Peter 3:18).

In other words, Jesus became our Lord (King, Master, Ruler, God, etc.) when we placed our trust in Him; it was at that time, He became our Saviour.

When I became aware of this, I immediately was reminded of the statement by Jesus in Luke 24:47, which says, "And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."  It suddenly dawned on me that the order of the two words is significant in both cases. 

Repentance has to do with ceasing to be my own "lord," and allowing Jesus to be the Lord of my life. 

Remission has to do with Jesus as Saviour; He remitted my sin (paid for my sin) when He died, was buried, and rose again according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:3-4).  Webster's Dictionary defines remission, as it applies to this context, as:  "Discharge from that which is due; relinquishment of a claim, right, or obligation; pardon of transgression; release from forfeiture, penalty, debt, etc."

When we allow Him to be Lord, He becomes our Saviour!

Saturday, January 19, 2013


As a born again believer listening to the news concerning the events taking place all over the world, I cannot help but recognize the "beginning of sorrows" described by Jesus in Matthew 24:1-8.  Of course, there have always been wars and rumors of wars, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes from the beginning of recorded history, but we see the occurrence of these things increasing exponentially as time goes on.  One day soon, "the woman" (Israel) will begin having contractions.  Isaiah spoke of the Tribulation of Israel as being like a woman suffering "birth pangs"; the closer she gets to delivery, the closer together are her contractions.  He wrote:  "LORD, in trouble have they visited Thee, they poured out a prayer when Thy chastening was upon them.  Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in Thy sight, O LORD" (Isa. 26:16-17).

"The Tribulation of Israel," also known as "The Time of Jacob's Trouble" (Jer. 30:7), and "Daniel's Seventieth Week" (Dan. 9:27), will be divided into two halves:  "The Beginning of Sorrows" (Mt. 24:1-8; Rev. 6 - 11), and "The Great Tribulation" (Mt. 24:9-14; Rev. 14 - 19).  At exactly half way through the seven year period (Dan. 9:27); I say exactly because it is 1260 days (Rev. 11:3; 12:6), 42 months (Rev. 11:2; 13:5), and "a time, times, and a half time (Dan. 12:7); Israel will recognize the one whom they thought to be their Messiah, is, in fact, the Antichrist (Mt. 24:15; Rev. 12 - 13).  The people of Israel will no longer be at peace, but will be running for their lives!

Some have suggested that the first half of "The Tribulation of Israel" will be terrible for them; nothing could be further from the truth.  The covenant the Antichrist makes with Israel (Dan. 9:27), will afford them peace; note they only "hear of wars and rumours of wars'" and Jesus continued by saying, "see that ye be not troubled" (Mt. 24:6).  The first half of the seven years, Israel will see the world around them falling to pieces, and in their "protective cocoon," they will rejoice because their long-awaited Messiah will have finally come.  Unfortunately, he is a false messiah, the Antichrist, who is protecting them and taking over the rest of the world. 

The blindness of Israel (Rom. 11:25) will be removed when the Antichrist declares himself to be God, and demand the whole world worship him (Dan. 9:27; 11:31; 12:11; Mt. 24:15; Rev. 13).  "The Tribulation of Israel" will, not only change, but it will become "The Great Tribulation" (Mt. 24:21)!

So if you think the world is bad now, just wait; you "ain't seen nuttin' yet!" 

Friday, January 18, 2013


I keep hearing highly respected church leaders speak of the Church as being the Lord's Kingdom, and because something about that does not resonate with me, I decided to investigate as to what the Bible says about it.  The first thing I discovered was that there is no difference between "the Kingdom of Heaven," and "the Kingdom of God."  Matthew's Gospel is the only place where "the Kingdom of Heaven" is found.  By using a good Harmony of the Gospels, one quickly finds that all of the parallel passages in Mark, Luke, and John, use the word "God" where they present the same events in Christ's life.  Perhaps Matthew, was more focused upon heaven than the rest of them; who knows?

The Old Testament uses the word "the Kingdom" 236 times, and the New Testament 163 times.  With very few exceptions, they all have to do with earthly kingdoms.  In the beginning, God created Adam and said he was to have dominion over the earth (Gen. 1:26-28).  Sort of like Esau selling his birthright for some pottage (Gen. 25:29-34), Adam ceased to have dominion, giving it to Satan; we are told that Satan is now the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4).

Nearly 2000 years later, God chose Abraham to begin an earthly nation (Gen. 12:1-2).  After about another 500 years, God told Moses to write:  "And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be My people" (Lev. 26:12).  You would think that would satisfy Israel, but no, they rejected God as their authority, and, wanting to be like the other nations, they demanded to have their own king (1 Sam. 8:5-22).  God had Samuel anoint Saul, and his successor, David to be kings over Israel (1 Sam. 10:1; 16:13).  God told Samuel that David's kingdom would last forever (2 Sam. 7:16).

After centuries of being enslaved by Gentile empires, the Jews longed for their King, their Christ, their Messiah, to come and fulfill the promise that David's kingdom would last forever.  When Jesus came, both His friends and His enemies recognized Him as the One for whom they waited (Mt.16:16; Jn. 1:45; 20:28; Mk. 1:34; 3:11; Lk. 4:41; etc.).  Even at His Ascension, the disciples were still looking for Him to establish His earthly kingdom (Acts 1:6).  But the Kingdom of God will not occur until after the Tribulation; it will begin at Christ's Second Coming (Mt. 24:29; Rev. 19:11 - 21:1).  The Church, having been removed from the earth via the Rapture (Jn. 14:1-3; 1 Thes. 4:13-18), will return with Him to rule the long-awaited Kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:1-3; 2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 2:26-27; 20:6)!  The Church is not the Kingdom, but by His grace, it will be there! 

If you want to see the kingdom, you have to believe in the King!         

Thursday, January 17, 2013


What kind of answers do you think you would get if you were to ask a thousand strangers on the streets of the one hundred largest cities of the world, "Who is Jesus?"  Better yet, what kind of answers would you get if you asked the members of your church?  Hopefully they would match what the Bible says about Him!  In John 1:1-14, we read:

*  Jesus was known as "the Word," and the Word was God (v. 1).
*  All things were made by Him; He was the Creator (v. 3, 10; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1-2).
*  Being in Him is Life (v. 4; 14:6; Rom. 8:1; 1 Cor. 15:22).
*  We understand because He is Light (v. 9; Mt. 4:16; Jn. 3:19; 9:5).
*  He was Israel's rejected Messiah (v. 11, 41; Jn. 4:25-26).
*  He is the only Way to God (v. 12-13; Jn. 3:16; 14:6).
*  Becoming a human, He was Humble (v. 14; Phil. 2:6-8).
In 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 we read the Gospel message:

*  He was Crucified according to the Scriptures (v. 3; Mt. 27:35; Mk. 15:25; Lk. 23:33; Jn. 19:18; Acts 2:23; Rom. 6:6; 1 Cor. 1:23; 2 Cor. 13:4; Gal. 3:1; Rev. 11:8; etc.).
*  He was Buried according to the Scriptures (v. 4; Mt. 27:60; Mk. 15:46; Lk. 23:53; Jn. 19:42; etc.).
*  He was Resurrected according to the Scriptures (v. 4; Mt. 28:6; Mk. 16:6; Lk. 24:6; Jn. 20:14; Acts 2:24, 32; 3:15; 4:10; 4:30; 10:40; 13:30-37; etc.).

In addition, there are hundreds of Old Testament prophecies that have yet to be fulfilled, because they speak of the events of Christ's Second Coming.  And, just like those which were fulfilled by His First Coming were fulfilled literally, so will those yet to be fulfilled.

The most important word used in the Bible to describe Jesus as Lord; He is called Lord over 650 times in the New Testament.  To see the importance of Jesus as Lord, compare its usage to that of the word "Savior."  It appears only 24 times in all of the New Testament.  See what Romans 10:9 says about Jesus being Lord:

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus,
and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead,
thou shalt be saved.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


I do not want to get into a discussion of Dispensationalism, but I do want to point out some of the differences between Israel and the Church:    (Bold type has to do with Israel; Italic type has to do with the Church)

Israel is important in both Testaments; the Church is the main focus of the New Testament.
Israel relied upon animal sacrifices; the Church relies upon the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Israel was promised earthly rewards for faithfulness; the Church will be rewarded in heaven.
Israel was to fill their minds with the Wordthe Church is filled with the Holy Spirit.
Israel was chosen by God; the Church has been called by Jesus.
Israel had Daniel's prophecy as to actually when their Messiah would come; the Church does not know exactly when He will return.
Israel rejected Jesus as their Messiah; the Church accepted Jesus as the Son of God.
Israel will go through the Tribulation on earth; the Church will spend that time in heaven.
Israel will experience the Kingdom as citizens; the Church will reign over the Kingdom with Christ.
Israel observes the last day of the week; the Church observes the first day of the week.

Israel (which began with Abraham (Gen. 12) and the Church [which began at Pentecost and is a mystery to Israel (Acts 2:1-47; Eph. 5:32), a parenthetical period within God's dealing with Israel]. The timeline for these two entities is as follows: Abraham called; the Law given; the Christ rejected; [Israel temporarily set aside during the Church Age; the Rapture of the Church]; the seven-year Tribulation; the Second Coming; the Millennial Kingdom of Christ; the Great White Throne Judgment; and Eternity.

Those things written to Israel do not all apply to the Church;
To add to your knowledge of God's will, you must learn to divide His Word!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


"Repentance" and the "remission of sins" appear together three times in the Scripture (Mk. 1:4; Lk. 3:3; 24:47).  Because the first two references have to do with John's baptizing of the Jews, some might think that the connection between the two words is for Israel, and not for the Church.  However, Jesus told His disciples that they were to preach both "repentance and remission of sins to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem" (Lk. 24:47; Acts 1:8). 

When one hears the Gospel message of the remission of sins, and he believes it, if he willingly repents, that is, turns his life over to Jesus as his Lord, he will be saved (1 Cor. 15:1-4; Rom. 10:8-17).  Remission of sins required a death (Ezek. 18:4; Rom. 6:23).  Because the Word says, "For the life of the flesh is in the blood," Jesus, in shedding His blood, satisfied the requirement (Lev. 17:11).  Jesus made the connection clear at the Last Supper when He said, "For this is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins" (Mt. 26:28). 

"Remission" is from the Greek ἄφεσις (aphesis), meaning "forgiveness of one's sins."  The two words are interchangeable in the New Testament.  The following verses found in the Book of Acts show this, and they show ἄφεσις was preached from the beginning of the Church in Acts 2:1-47):

*  "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost" (2:38).
*  "Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins" (5:31).
*  "To Him give all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins" (10:43).
*  "Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this Man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins" (13:38).
*  "To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me" (26:18).

God's provision for the remission of our sins showed His great love for us!
Our repentance and submission to the Lord shows our gratitude to Him!



Monday, January 14, 2013


John 1:11-12 says, "He (Jesus) came unto His own (Israel), and His own received Him not.  But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the (children) of God, even to them that believe on His name."  Because the Jews rejected Jesus, God has offered to adopt, as His child, any and all who would accept His Son as their Lord and Savior (Rom. 8:15; Eph. 1:5).  Paul also made this point clear:  "For as ye (Gentiles) in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through (Israel's) unbelief" (Rom. 11:30)! 

Ironically, the Lord used a small remnant of Jews to begin His Church.  In the beginning of the Church in Acts 2:1-47, it was made up entirely of those Jews who accepted Jesus Christ as their Messiah.  It was about seven years before the Gentiles believers were welcomed into the fellowship of believers (Acts 10:1-48).  Today, the Church, the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:27), is made up of all born again believers, and it consists of both "the called" (Gentiles) and "the chosen" (Jews) of God (1 Cor. 12:13).  The Lord illustrated this in His parable found in Matthew 22:1-14, which says: 

"And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, and sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.  Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.  But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:  and the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.  But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.  Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.  Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.  So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.  And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:  and he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.  Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  For many are called, but few are chosen."

Because the few rejected Jesus, the many are called to be God's children!
Won't you accept His invitation to become His adopted child? 

Sunday, January 13, 2013


Are you a Christian?  What exactly does that mean to you?  Does it mean that you believe that Jesus died for your sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, and that He rose again according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:1-4)?  Well guess what.  That does not mean you are saved.  In fact, Satan also believes those things, and though he is definitely not a Christian, he believes it enough to tremble (Jam. 2:19)! 

In fact, the "label" Christian was not even applied to members of the Body of Christ until Acts 11:26.  Does that mean the genuine members of the Church were not saved prior to Barnabas joining up with the Apostle Paul?  Certainly not.  The Church began on the Day of Pentecost, and continued to grow long before the term was applied to its members.  So what were the members of the early Church called?  They were simply called "believers" (Acts 2:44; 4:4, 32; 5:14; 8:12, 13, 37; 9:42; 10:43, 45).

So what is it that made those believers, from Pentecost until the term "Christian" came into being, saved?  It is what they believed!  Peter's first sermon on the Day of Pentecost included the following statement: "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost" (Acts 2:38).  In Luke's Gospel, Jesus told His disciples that "repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem" (Lk. 24:47).  "Remission" refers to the finished work Christ did for sinners.  In other words, it refers to the Gospel (1 Cor. 15:1-4).  All Christians know that, so why are not all Christians saved?  The answer is, not all who profess to be Christians have actually repented (turned to God from their old way of life).  Hear me out.

Jesus said "Except a man be born of water (physical or natural birth) and of the Spirit (made alive spiritually), he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (Jn. 3:5).  He told His disciples that when the Spirit comes, He will convict the (lost) world of "sin" (theirs), "and of righteousness" (Christ's), "and of judgment" (all who reject Christ's gift of righteousness will be judged - Jn. 3:18; 2 Cor. 5:21).  Repentance occurs when a person recognizes his lost condition, when he realizes his only hope of avoiding God's righteous judgment is by trust in Christ, and he turns from being his own god, to allowing the One True God to rule and reign in his heart.

There are lots of Christians, but only born again believers are saved! 



Saturday, January 12, 2013


In Revelation 17, we have a city, which John described as currently "reigning over the kings of the earth," pictured as a woman (v. 18).  She is not just any woman (v. 3), but the harlot whose name is MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH" (v. 5).  The city, which controlled the world, at the time of John's writing the Book of Revelation, was Rome.  But in John's vision, this future "woman" will not be ruling.  We are told that this mysterious city "sits" on (perhaps "propped-up by" would be better), the Beast who controls the population of the world (compare v. 1 w/ v. 3, 15). 

The city is described as "seven mountains" (these are not literal mountains, but are the seven "heads" of the Beast - that is, the seven empires of history which controlled Israel - Assyria, Egypt, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and the empire of the Antichrist, the Revised Roman Empire - v. 9-10).  Many have seen the "woman" to be the Roman Catholic Church, because it is in the Vatican, the very heart of modern Rome, and has influence all over most of the world.  I seriously doubt this, as the Roman Catholic Church was not around during the first five empires. 

And, even though many of their teachings are false, especially by adding works to the Gospel for salvation, it impossible for me to believe that the False Prophet would be compatible with a church which certainly would not worship the Beast (Rev. 13:11-18).  On the other hand, the born again believers within the Roman Catholic Church will have been removed from this world via the Rapture (Jn. 14:1-3; 1 Thes. 4:13-18).  And since the majority of professing Christians in all of the world's denominations will still be here expecting Christ, the remainder of Roman Catholics, like the Jews, may see the Antichrist as the Lord's Second Coming.  Now that is very possible!  And yet, I find it impossible to believe that "she" could be associated with the Beast, who is said to be "full of names of blasphemy" (v. 3)!

Stay tuned!  I am still wanting to please my Lord (2 Tim. 2:15)!           

Friday, January 11, 2013



[7-10] And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
[10] And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. [Salvation has come to the Jew, for seeing the Abomination of Desolation, they understand that Daniel 9:26 had to have already occurred, and they realize that Jesus was, is, and always will be their Messiah (Rom. 11:26; v. 11, 17 below).]
[11] And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. [They believe what the two witness preached; Christ was Crucified, Buried, and Resurrected (1 Cor. 15:1-4); and now, being saved, they willingly proclaim their faith, even though it may cost them their lives (Rom. 10:8-17; v. 17 below).]
[12-17] Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.



[1] And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:  [The woman is Israel (v. 6), and the twelve stars are twelve angels - one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel (Rev. 21:12).]
[2-3] And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.  And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.  [The dragon is Satan (v. 9).]
[4] And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.  [The third part of the stars of heaven are the fallen angels (v. 7, 9).] 
[5] And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.  [Jesus, Israel's Messiah, was to rule, but because Israel rejected Him; He was crucified and ascended into heaven following His Resurrection  (Ps. 2:9; Isa. 9:6; Mt. 28:5-6; Acts 1:9).  Ten days later, the Church, a mystery until then, was born on the Feast of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-47; Eph. 5:32).  After the Rapture of the Church, a false Christ makes a treaty with Israel for seven years, but breaks it by declaring himself to be God, thereby committing the Abomination of Desolation (Jn. 14:1-3; 1 Thes. 4:13-18; Dan. 9:27; Mt. 24:15; Rev. 13:1-10).]  

[6] And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.  [Jesus will return to rule after the 1260 days, or the last half of the Tribulation (Mt. 24:16; Rev. 11:3; 12:14;19:15).] 
[7-10] And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.  And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
[10] And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.  [Salvation has come to the Jew, for seeing the Abomination of Desolation, the understand that Daniel 9:26 had to have already occurred, and they realize that Jesus was, is, and always will be their Messiah (Rom. 11:26; v. 11, 17 below).]
[11] And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. [They believe what the two witness preached; Christ was Crucified, Buried, and Resurrected (1 Cor. 15:1-4); and now, being saved, they willingly proclaim their faith, even though it may cost them their lives (Rom. 10:8-17; v. 17 below).]
[12-17] Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short timeAnd when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.  And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.  And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.  And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.  And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


The eleventh chapter of the Book of Revelation describes God's two witnesses as men who preach the Gospel.  No one knows for sure who these two men will be, but we have been given many clues as to their identity.  For instance, we know their ministry occurs during the last half of the Tribulation, because it occurs while Jerusalem is trodden down by the Gentiles for forty-two months (v. 2), or 1260 days (v. 3), and that does not describe the peaceful first half of the Tribulation. 

We know that these two witnesses are described as being "two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth" (v. 4).  [I am not sure that the word "God" should be capitalized; Satan is called "the god of this world" (2 Cor. 4:4), and it is the re-animated Antichrist, indwelt by Satan, before whom they defiantly stand (Rev. 13:3-4).]  The New Testament uses the olive tree to describe the Kingdom of God, more specifically, the Church.  Paul tells us that there are two "branches" that comprise the Church:  the Jews, or natural branches, and the Gentiles, the wild branches (Rom. 11:17-36).  From this, I believe that one witness is a "former Gentile," and the other is a "former Jew."

This is supported by the two candlesticks, which must be interpreted in the context of what they represent in the Book of Revelation.  In his vision, John tells us that a candlestick represents the light radiated by a church (Rev. 1:12-13, 20; 2:1).  We know the Church is made up of "the two loaves of the Feast of Pentecost"; the loaves represent the converted Jews and the converted Gentiles, which were made with leaven, leaven being symbolic of sin (Lev. 23:17-23; Acts 2:1-47).  For all those believers and unbelievers reading this, if you don't already know this, Christians still sin.  That is why we have 1 John 1:8-10!

So, based upon the fact that "it is appointed unto men once to die" (Heb. 9:27), the two witness must be Enoch, a Gentile, and Elijah, a Jew.  That is because neither Enoch, nor Elijah died (Gen. 5:24; 2 Kgs. 2:11). 

I cannot prove this, but in order for Hebrews 9:27 to be true, it makes perfect sense.           

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


The seven-year Tribulation, also known as "Daniel's Seventieth Week" (Dan. 9:24-27) and "The Time of Jacob's Trouble" (Jer. 30:7), will be divided into two halves:  three and one half years (Dan. 12:7); forty-two months (Rev. 11:2; 13:5); and twelve hundred sixty days (Rev. 11:3; 12:6).  The purpose of the Tribulation is two-fold:  it is God's effort to bring the lost of the world to repentance and salvation (2 Pet. 3:9; Rev. 9:20-21; 16:9-11).  Note that these passages in Revelation occur in the two halves of the Tribulation:  Ch. 6-11 and Ch. 13-18.  But at the end of the seven years, the enemies of God will be destroyed by Christ's Second Coming (Rev. 19:11-21)! 

God also uses the Tribulation to preform "eye surgery" on His blinded people, Israel (Rom. 11:7, 25; 2 Cor. 3:14; 4:4).  Israel "blindly" (pun intended) enters into an agreement with the person they believe is their Messiah.  For three and a half years, he keeps his word that Israel will experience peace, even though the world around it will be anything but peaceful (Dan. 9:27; Mt. 24:6).  We read that during this time, the Gospel of the Kingdom will be proclaimed (note that it is not the Gospel that brings salvation, but it is merely the good news that Israel's Messiah has come to re-establish David's throne - Mt. 24:14).   We might think of this period as a time when Israel has "severe cataracts" and is unaware of it.

Then, exactly in the middle of the seven-year peace agreement, their false messiah declares himself to be god, and demands all men worship him (Dan. 9:27; Mt. 24:15; Rev. 13-18).  Israel realizes that their "savior" was not the Messiah.  God opens their eyes to see that they are experiencing Daniel 9:27, and at last, they understand that the One the world had crucified had to be the true Messiah (Daniel 9:26 comes before 9:27)! 
The one who impersonates the Messiah of Israel, guaranteeing their peace for seven years, is known by various names; he is "the Antichrist" (1 Jn. 2:18), "the Little Horn" (Dan. 7:8-25), "the Prince that shall come" (Dan. 9:26), "the Son of Perdition" and "the Man of Sin" (2 Thes. 2:3), "that Wicked One" (2 Thes. 2:8), and "the Beast" (Rev. 11:7; 13:1).  In the end, he will simply be "the loser!" 
Satan is the god of this world.  I pray that God opens the eyes of more than just Israel!  

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


In Daniel's interpretation of the Nebuchadnezzar's vision, there appears to be two seemingly contradictory statements (Dan. 2:36-45).  The first is that Daniel describes each of the metals as being a historical overview of successive empires:  Gold - Babylon (2:37-38), Silver - Medo-Persia (5:31; 8:20), Brass - Greece (8:21), and the empire which kills Israel's Messiah  (Iron - Rome  - 9:26). 

The second description of the dream pictures it as one complete image which shall be destroyed as a unit by "the Stone."  Daniel wrote, "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.  Forasmuch as thou sawest that the Stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure" (2:44-45).

So, which is correct?  The answer is both.  In Revelation 17:9-17, we find that the Beast described in Revelation 13:1-10 as having died and been reanimated by Satan, will rise from the sea (Dan. 7:3; Rev. 13:1; 17:15), and it will have characteristics of the four kingdoms of the image:  the lion, the bear, the leopard, and the beast with iron teeth and ten horns (comp. 13:2 w/ Dan. 7:4-7).  Since the fourth beast of Daniel is clearly Rome, it is very likely that the Beast of Revelation (the Antichrist), will rise to power from somewhere in the former Roman Empire.  We read that the "whore" described as "MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH (17:5), will be the city which is ruling when John wrote the Book of Revelation (17:18).  Notice he said "reigneth," and not "reigned" or "shall reign."  Note she is riding upon the Beast; she is not the Beast.
It is my GUESS that the Beast, the Antichrist, will come from a place which was within the borders of all four empires.  A map of the four shows the only area which was ruled by all four is around modern day Iraq, which ironically was the area ruled by Antiochus Epiphanes IV, who was a perfect type for the Antichrist
(Dan. 8:9-25; 11:21:35; Mt. 24:3-29; Rev. 13:1-10; etc.).

Monday, January 7, 2013


I cannot tell you how many times, over my forty plus years as a born again believer, that a person with whom I was sharing the Gospel, would challenge the Bible's authenticity due to what he or she saw as glaring contradictions within its pages.  My first reaction has always been to try to explain to the person that the Word of God is perfect, and therefore cannot contradict itself.  I shared Scriptures which declare the Bible to be the inspired, perfect Word, such as 2 Samuel 22:31; Psalms 18:30; and 2 Timothy 3:15-17.  But now that I think about it, if the lost person knew enough of the Bible to find fault with it, perhaps I was wasting my time.  Besides, most refused to accept what the Word had to say about itself, claiming I was using circular reasoning.

So today, I am not writing to persuade unbelievers that the Word of God which contains the Gospel, the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16; 10:9-17; 1 Cor. 15:1-4; etc.).  I am writing to share the solution to what I have always found to be problematic concerning the genealogy of Jesus from Matthew 1:1-17. 

The text lists forty-two generations from Abraham to Christ (v. 17).  It lists fourteen generations from Abraham to David (v. 2-6); fourteen between Solomon and the beginning of the Babylonian Captivity (v. 6-11); and fourteen from the Babylonian Captivity to Christ's birth (v. 12-16).  But when one counts the names, there are only thirty-nine.  There are fourteen from Abraham to David.  There are fourteen from Solomon to Jechonias.  But, there are only thirteen names between Salathiel and Christ.  A person who does not view the Bible as the perfect Word of God, immediately challenges those who do.  But he or she would be wrong.  Those resisting our witness for Christ, say this passage proves the Bible is incorrect.  But the text did not say there were forty-two names from Abraham to Jesus; it said there were forty-two generations!  So where is the missing generation?  It is in the text but one must "have eyes to see" in order to recognize it. 

We read in Jeremiah 25:11-12; 29:10; and in Daniel 9:2, that Israel spent seventy years in captivity to Babylon.  Notice that at the end of verse eleven, and at the beginning of verse twelve, Babylon is mentioned.  We read in Psalms 90:10, that a generation is seventy years:  "The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away."  The forty-second generation was Israel's Babylonian Captivity! 
We may never have an answer for doubters, but believers do not require answers. 
The Word says it.  We believe it.  And, for us, that settles it! 

Sunday, January 6, 2013


The whore, described in Revelation 17 & 18, is most often described as the Roman Catholic Church by the majority of Protestant theologians.  They believe that John described her as being named "MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH" (17:5), because he did not want to anger Rome who had exiled him on the Isle of Patmos (1:9).  And, we do know that "she" is described as "that great city, which reigneth (John's present tense) over the kings of the earth" (17:18).  We also know that the Roman Catholic Church killed many of the early Protestant leaders during the Reformation (17:6). 

In order to determine the identity of the whore, it is important to first identify the Beast upon which she is riding (17:7-11).  He is described as having seven heads, which represent seven empires (17:9). The first five, which had fallen, were Assyria, Egypt, Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece; the one that existed, of course, was Rome (17:10).  The seventh, I believe, is the Beast upon which John sees her riding; it is the Antichrist indwelt by Satan, as the description matches both (12:3; 13:1).  The Antichrist, described as "the Beast that was, and is not, and yet is (17:8), is very likely the "seventh head" which received a mortal wound, and his body will be re-animated (not resurrected, but indwelt by Satan). 

John wrote:  "And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the Beast.  And they worshipped the Dragon which gave power unto the Beast: and they worshipped the Beast, saying, Who is like unto the Beast? who is able to make war with him?  And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months" (13:3-5).  Notice Satan empowers the Beast, and he then is allowed to complete the seven-year Tribulation (Dan. 9:27; Jer. 30:7; Mt. 24:3-29; Rev. 6 - 18).  I believe it is at this time he commits the Abomination of Desolation (Dan. 9:27; 11:31; 12:11; Mt. 24:15).  It is during the second half of the Tribulation that the whore, who rides upon the seven-headed Beast, shares in his blasphemies (Rev. 17:4).

Because the Beast consists of the seven heads (kings or empires), and because the Roman Catholic Church did not exist during all of those empires, it is more likely that "she" should be identified as a world system of power and greed that has existed from the very beginning.  Note that in Revelation 18, "she" has both a connection with government, and with the economies of the world (18:1-24).  The fact that "she" is responsible for ". . . all that were slain upon the earth," it is not possible that "she" is the Roman Catholic Church!

Who is the whore of Revelation 17 &18?  Sorry, I do not know!



Saturday, January 5, 2013


Colossians Chapter One - Christ as Awesome Creator and Humble Sacrifice

[1-2] Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother, to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

[3-8] We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, for the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the Word of the Truth of the Gospel; which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in Truth:  as ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.

[9-17] For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:  who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son:  in whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins:  who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:  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:  and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.

[18] And He is the head of the Body, the Church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence.

[19] For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell; and, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

[21-27] And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight:  if ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the Gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His Body's sake, which is the Church:  whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the Word of God; even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints:  to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

It is out of gratitude for what He has done for us, that we obey and serve Him.

Friday, January 4, 2013


There are two schools of thought among Christians, with regards to Israel, which concern me.  The first is the view that, because Israel rejected their Messiah, they are no longer the people of God.  This is called Replacement Theology; it teaches that the Church has replaced Israel as heirs to the kingdom.  It is mainly based upon John 1:11-12 which says, "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.  But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name."  There are several reasons that this teaching is incorrect.

Replacement Theology ignores the fact that Daniel's prophecy of seventy "weeks" being appointed unto Israel, has only had sixty-nine of those "weeks" fulfilled (Dan. 9:24-27).  Replacement Theology ignores the fact that Christ's First Coming literally fulfilled the prophecy contained withing the first three of the seven Feasts of Israel (Lev. 23:1-14); and His Second Coming will literally fulfill the last three Feasts of Israel (Lev. 23:23-44).  Replacement Theology fails to recognize the fourth Feast of Israel is being literally fulfilled by the Church, which is made up of "two leavened loaves":  born again Jews, and born again Gentiles (Lev. 23:15-22).  Replacement Theology completely ignores the ninth, tenth, and eleventh chapters of Paul's Epistle to the Romans.  These three chapters can be summed up by the following three verses: 

"For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.  And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:  for this is My covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins" (Rom. 11:25-27).

The other view that concerns me has to do with the idea that the physical nation of Israel, the Jewish nation which had its "rebirth" in 1948, is not "spiritual Israel."  First of all, the earthly nation known as Israel, never was the same as "spiritual Israel."  It was a nation like other nations, just as it is today.  Paul wrote, ". . . For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:  neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called" (Rom. 9:6-7). 

The reason this view bothers me so much, is that by rejecting the physical nation of Israel as being the nation God meant when He said He would bless those who bless them and curse those who cursed them, it justifies turning our back on the nation of Israel, leaving them to defend themselves against radical Islam (Gen. 12:2-3).  There are many in our nation who believe that our support of Israel not only is siding with radical Zionists, but that it makes us the major target of radical Islam.  Their view suggests that the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon are proof of this.  My only question is, why then does radical Islam attack other nations who hate Israel?  In my opinion, it is just "the nature of the beast!"  It is the ultimate example of wanting to "cram one's religion down the throats of others." 

Our support of Israel has actually protected us from radical Islam! 

Thursday, January 3, 2013


At the end of the December 2012 Our Daily Bread devotional, there was a "filler page," which the publishers often need to add to make the number of pages work out right.  The title of the page of encouragement was "Prescription For Peace."  It was such a blessing, I decided to "pass it on." 

1)  "Great peace have they which love Thy law: and nothing shall offend them" (Ps. 119:165).

2)  "I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for Thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety" (Ps. 4:8).

3)  "Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace" (Ps. 37:37).

4)  "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom. 5:1).

5)  "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee" (Isa. 26:3).

6)  "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:6-7).

7)  "Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.  Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless" (2 Pet. 3:13-14).

8)  "O that thou hadst hearkened to My commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea" (Isa. 48:18).

9)  "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace" (Rom. 8:6).

10)  "And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace" (Jam. 3:18).

Peace is the result of fully trusting in the God who loves you! 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


I cannot tell you the number of times I have heard believers say, "Next year in Jerusalem," or "Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem."   The first, a phrase (notice it is not a complete sentence), is not found in the Bible, but became a Jewish custom to end the Seder (The Passover Seder is a feast that marks the beginning of Passover).  It is sort of like ending a church service with "Go with God." 

The second, a complete sentence, is found only once in Scripture.  Psalm 122:6 says, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee."  The Psalm, attributed to David, is known as a Psalm of Ascent; that is, a "song of Israel" that was "sung" as the Jews ascended up to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover.  Although only the first part of the verse is quoted, it is the second part of the verse that has made this statement very popular today among the "prosperity gospel folks."  It has become sort of a "good luck" motto of those focusing upon themselves. 

Unfortunately, those who say we are to pray for the peace of Jerusalem do not realize the ramifications of that prayer.  First, the admonishment to pray for the peace of Jerusalem was written specifically to the Jews of David's day, and it is still the heart's desire of Jews today.  Although they have possessed the city ever since the 1967 War, everyone knows that Jerusalem is far from being a city described as peaceful!

Students of Bible Prophecy know there are two major events that must occur prior to Jerusalem finding peace:  the first is the Jews being deceived by the Antichrist, who offers them a seven-year "peace guarantee" (Dan. 9:27a; Mt. 24:1-14; Rev. 6 - 12), and the second is his breaking the "treaty" by committing the Abomination of Desolation and the Jews spending the next three and a half years "on the run" (Dan. 9:27b; Mt. 24:15-29; Rev. 13 - 18)!  Genuine peace for the City will not occur until after the Second Coming of Christ and the Judgment of the Nations (Mt. 24:29 - 25:46; Rev. 19:11 - 20:15).  Following the establishment of true peace, the old Jerusalem, and the whole world for that matter, is replaced with the "new heaven and a new earth" (Rev. 21:1 - 22:5).

So, when a born again believer prays for the peace of Jerusalem, he is actually asking that the Tribulation (a.k.a. Daniel's Seventieth Week - Dan. 9:24-27, and "the time of Jacob's trouble - Jer. 30:1-7) begin.  The Bible makes the comparison of someone praying for the birth of a child without considering the agony and suffering of the mother during delivery (Gen. 3:16; Isa. 21:3; Jer. 30:6; Mic. 4:9; 1 Thes. 5:3; etc.).
Praying for the peace of Jerusalem is a prayer for Christ's Second Coming! 
The first is preceded by much pain for the Jews!
The second is followed by much pain for the lost!      

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


As I age, I find myself having a problem with hearing.  Of course, I do not want to admit it, but it is hard to deny.  I first noticed it when we have family visiting us, and one of the first things they say is, "Why do you have the TV so loud?"  Then there is my constant use of the word "Huh?" whenever someone speaks to me, or I think they are speaking to me.  To add to the problem, the humming in my ears makes me wonder why there is always someone "running something." 

But there are advantages.  Saying "Huh?" gives me time to think of a witty comeback for when they repeat themselves.  And to be honest, much of what is said on TV and by some of my family members, is not worth hearing in the first place!  Especially if they are drinking or bragging about how great they are.  My favorite people are both sober and humble!

There is another kind of hearing problem that often plagues me.  Because of being angered or hurt in the past by someone, I, apparently due to my failure to deal with my anger or wounded pride, tend to "mishear" what the "past offender" says to me.  I would like to think it is a defense mechanism, but if I am truly honest, it is because of my unforgiveness.  I find I hear more negative things from people I do not particularly like, even though family and friends tell me that my perception of what was said is totally wrong.  I suspect that many youngsters with perfectly good hearing have this problem as well.

And then there is the problem with hearing which stems from being unteachable.  Jesus described it as the result of the unbelieving being impaired by the hardness of their hearts (Mt. 10:14; Mk. 6:11; 16:14).  In addition, there are several Bible verses which address this problem (Deut. 29:4; Ezek. 12:2; Mt. 11:15; 13:9, 43; Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 32).  They do not hear because they do not want to hear!

The title of this post is meant to be a humorous example of what a married person, with issues of forgiveness, "hears" when the spouse wishes them a "Happy New Year."  I realize that it is not really funny when a marriage gets to the point that every word "gets analyzed" to determine if it is a "put-down."  Marriages like that are often described as a couple "walking on egg shells around each other."  I am not exactly sure where that description comes from, but I have walked there on occasion, and it is not a good place "for a stroll."  It may be time for candy and flowers!

Hearing problems can be caused by one's ears, or by one's heart!
A doctor may be able to cure the first, but the Holy Spirit is the only "Healer" of the second!"