Thursday, February 28, 2013


Last night at our Wednesday night Bible study, I was surrounded by some "Calvinists" who were determined to change my belief that the "gift" spoken of in Ephesians 2:8 is salvation.  I may well be wrong about it, but I believe man can accept or reject the Gospel message.  They believe that the "elect" have no choice, but are literally "made to believe."  My view is taken from the fact that faith comes from hearing and believing the Gospel message.  Paul wrote,

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?  And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!   But they have not all obeyed the Gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Rom. 10:13-17).  

Notice the order of saving faith - the Gospel is preached; man hears it preached; and whosoever believes and calls upon the name of the Lord, is saved!

Perhaps we are both right, in that the "many are called but few are chosen" (Mt. 22:14).  Since the Word says that God does not will that any should perish (2 Pet. 3:9), He, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, draw all men ("the called") to Jesus (Jn. 14:4; 12:32; 16:7-14).  I believe the "elect" very well may be the "the chosen."  Examples of those who appear to fall into this category are Jacob (Rom. 9:13), Moses (Ps. 106:23), John (the Baptizer - Lk. 1:11-16), Jesus (Jn. 3:16), the disciples (Jn. 15:16, 19), and Paul (Acts 9:1-20), just to name a few. 

Of course, there is another possible explanation that make sense, at least to me.  Because God is Omniscient, all knowing, He knew those who would accept His Son, and those who would not, even before the world was formed (Ps. 1:6; Jer. 1:5; Rom. 8:29; 2 Tim. 2:19; 1 Pet. 1:2; etc.).  In this view, born again believers would be both called and chosen.  Romans 8:29 says, "For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son...."
Bottom line:  Salvation is the gift of God to all who will believe the Gospel.     

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Israel, from near its inception, has longed for a king who would cause the nations to submit to him (1 Sam. 8:4-22).  When Jesus came, many recognized Him as the answer to their prayers; in fact, the Gospel message, which He told His disciples to preach, was that He was the King for whom they longed (Mt. 2:4-6; 4:23; 9:35; Mk. 1:14; Jn. 1:41; Acts 1:2-6; 20:25; 28:31; etc.).  In addition, His model prayer included the line, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done" here on earth as it is in heaven (Mt. 6:10; Lk. 11:2).  The mother of James and John, as well as her sons themselves, wanted them to have the most prominent seats when Jesus finally "took over" (Mt. 20:20-21; Mk. 10:35-37). 

While some known as amillennialists, that is, those who do not interpret Revelation 20:1-7 literally, believe the Church has replaced Israel in God's plan to rule the world He created, these folks are guilty of falling for the false doctrine of Replacement Theology.  It is clear from Romans, Ch. 9 - 11, that they are just plain wrong.  The Jews will have their kingdom, with Jesus as their King.

The Kingdom of God will differ in at least ten ways from the world as we experience it:

*  Jesus Christ will be King over the entire world - Dan. 2:35; 7:14; Zech. 14:9; etc.
*  He will be the judicial, legislative, and executive branches - Isa. 33:22; etc.
*  He will be a just ruler - Isa. 11:2-5; Jer. 23:5; etc.
*  He will be a peaceful ruler - Ps. 46:9; Isa. 2:4; 9:6; etc.
*  There will be only one religion - Isa. 11:9; Jer. 31:34; Zech 14:17; etc.
*  Satan will not be present during this period - Rev. 20:1-10; etc.
*  The earth will be fruitful; the curse is gone - Gen. 3:17-19; Isa. 32:15; 35:1-7; etc.
*  Sickness will have a cure - Isa. 29:18; 33:24; 35:5-6; etc.
*  Long life will, once again, be the norm - Gen. 5:1-32; Isa. 65:20; etc.
*  Animals will be at peace with man and each other - Isa. 11:6-9; 65:25; etc.

Over the years since Jesus' Ascension, the Gospel message has become totally focused upon Christ's First Advent.  Perhaps that is because of 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, which gives a clear picture of His death, His burial, and His Resurrection.  However, Paul's first letter to the Church at Corinth clearly teaches Christ's Second Advent as part of his Gospel message (1 Cor. 1:7-8; 4:5; 11:26; 15:50-53; 16:22; etc.).

To Israel, He is their King of kings; to the Church, He is Lord of lords!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


If God is your Father, through faith in Jesus Christ, then following the great miracle of you becoming an adopted child of God, you can trust Him to handle lesser things out of the same love He has for you!

GOD IS OMNIPOTENT: He is able to solve all of my problems (Eph. 3:20). Nothing is too hard for Him and no problem is too big (Gen. 18:14). Through Him I can do all things that He wills me to do (Phil. 4:13).

GOD IS OMNISCIENT: He knows all about my problem, and He knows its solution. Also, He knows how much I can bear (1 Cor. 10:13).

GOD IS WISE: He allowed this problem in my life because he knows what is best for me. He also knows the best solution (Jam. 1:5-7).

GOD IS OMNIPRESENT: As I face this problem He is with me, and He is in me (Gal. 2:20). He will never leave me nor forsake me (Heb. 13:5). He does not ask me to solve the problem by myself (Exodus 14:14). The Living God is my Helper (Heb. 13:5-6; Isa. 41:10; Mt. 28:20).

GOD IS IMMUTABLE (never changes): The same God that saved me (solved my biggest problem) is able to help me in whatever lesser problem I must face. The God that helped David, Daniel, Paul, etc., in their problems is the same God who is able to help me. I can always count on God being God (Heb. 13:8).

GOD IS SOVEREIGN: He's in complete control of the situation. He allowed this problem to come into my life and it needs to be left in His hands (Rom. 8:28; 1 Pet. 5:7).

GOD IS FAITHFUL: As I trust God for the solution to this problem He will not fail me. His promises cannot fail. I can count on God in this situation (2 Cor. 1:20). God is absolutely trustworthy, dependable and reliable.

GOD IS TRUE: I can claim the promises in God's Word because God does not and cannot lie (Titus 1:2)! What He says, that will He do (Rom. 4:21)!

GOD IS ETERNAL: As I view my problem in light of eternity, it becomes quite insignificant (Deut. 33:27).

GOD IS LOVE: God wants to reveal more of  Himself to me in this problem. There is no problem, no matter how great, that can separate me from His love (Rom. 8:35-39). He wants only His highest and best for me.

GOD IS GOOD: In the midst of my problem and difficulty, God wants to make me more like His Son (Rom. 8:28-29). No matter the difficulty, I can praise Him for His goodness (Psalm 107:8,15).

GOD IS RIGHTEOUS: In allowing this problem to come into my life, God did what was right (Gen. 18:25). God makes no mistakes!

GOD IS JUST: God is absolutely fair (Just, Righteous) in all that He does, including sending this problem my way (Deut. 32:4; Ps. 7:9; Isa. 45:21;  Dan. 9:14; etc.).

In the midst of pressures and problems, how conscious are you of the living God?

Monday, February 25, 2013


If I am not careful, I have a tendency to fall into the trap of "Satan's whispers."  You know, like when cartoonists show a little angel on one shoulder, and a little devil on the other, each whispering "advice" in the ear of a person being tempted.  And when I have chosen to ignore my "guardian angel" (Ps. 91:9-11; Mt. 18:10), that is when the other's "whispers" change from tempting me to do something wrong, into tempting me to doubt my salvation.  Satan is quick to point out that what I had just done is inconsistent with being a Christian, and that I am not saved.  He knows better than to "tell me" that I have lost my salvation, as he is fully aware that I know a born again believer's relationship with the Father is eternal (Jn. 3:3-17; Phil. 1:6; etc.); so he tries to tell me I was never saved in the first place.  I may not be consistent, but he sure is; he is a liar and has been trying to get man to doubt his relationship with God from the beginning (Gen. 3:1-5; Jn. 8:44; 1 Jn. 2:22; etc.).

So when I sin, as I frequently do, I am immediately "bombarded" from both "shoulders."  On one, the grieving Holy Spirit is convicting me of my sin, with the intent of getting me to confess my sin and be cleansed from its unrighteousness (Eph. 4:30; 1 Jn. 1:8-10).  On the other, Satan gleefully points out my failure in order to discourage me.  He knows that he cannot cause me to lose my salvation, but he wants to "shut me up" so that I no longer share the Gospel.  It doesn't work!  The Holy Spirit always reminds me that, like the Apostle Paul, I must struggle to walk in the Spirit so as to not give place to the flesh.  Notice how often Paul used the present tense in Romans 7:14-25.       

[14] For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
[15] For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
[16] If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
[17] Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
[18] For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
[19] For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
[20] Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
[21] I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
[22] For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
[23] But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
[24] O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
[25] I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

If born again believers are already sinless, why are we told to be transformed into the image of Christ (Rom. 12:1-2)?  And why does the Word say we will not be Christ-like until we see Him (1 Jn. 3:2)?
Listen to God's still, small voice; it will be the one telling you the truth!

Sunday, February 24, 2013


Below is an excerpt from something written by C.H.Mackintosh, (1820-1896).  I have changed it due to the fact that I do not believe the faith we have as born again believers, constitutes religion.  I believe that when we first placed our faith in Jesus Christ, we were not only born again spiritually, but we were adopted into the family of God (Jn. 3:3-9; Rom. 8:8-16; Eph. 2:5-9; 1 Jn. 3:2; etc.). 

"There is a wide difference between your religion and my faith," said a Christian lady to one in whose spiritual condition had long concerned her.
"Indeed," said he, "how is that?"
"Your religion," she replied, "has only two letters in it, my faith has four." 
"What do you mean," said he, "by two letters and four?"
"Why, your religion says you are to d-o; DO; whereas my faith says it is d-o-n-e; DONE."

When the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross He cried out, "It is finished" (Jn. 19:30). The work of our salvation was FINISHED, DONE, ACCOMPLISHED and COMPLETED. We simply need to trust and rest in what THE Savior has accomplished.  Notice I emphasized "THE"; that is because Jesus is "THE" only way man can spend eternity with God (Jn. 14:6)! 

Salvation is not working; it is RESTING on the WORK of Another, even the Lord Jesus Christ.  "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness" (Rom. 4:5).

Religion is man trying to bring himself to God by human effort, by good works, by ritualism, by traditionalism, by sacraments, etc. Salvation is Christ bringing us to God on the basis of what He did for us on the cross: "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God" (1 Peter 3:18).
This concept is perfectly described in Acts 13:43 which says, "Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God."  Grace, as it is used in the New Testament, comes from the Greek χάρις (charis), meaning "unmerited favor, or that which is received as a gift."  Therefore, I understand this verse to be saying that the religious Jews, and the religious Gentile converts to Judaism, left their religion and placed their faith in the finished work of Christ on their behalf! 
Working results in my exhausting; trusting results in my praise to Him!

Saturday, February 23, 2013


In Matthew 19:16-30, Mark 10:17-31, and Luke 18:18-30, we find what has become known as "The Parable of the Rich Young Ruler."  However, there is no evidence that the three Gospel accounts are describing a parable.  No parable in the Bible speaks of specific individuals; genuine parables must be interpreted in order to determine the identity of the characters in the parabolic illustration.  [Another example of this is found in Luke 16:19-31.  Because Lazarus is specifically named, most conservative Bible scholars accept that the truth Jesus was teaching was to be taken literally.]  

That we recognize the event was a historical event, is extremely important!  For if it was meant to be a parable, then the truth being taught could be applied to every rich person.  However, if it was a historical event, with a specific person involved, then the "truth" would not necessarily apply to every rich person.  Nowhere else in the Gospels does Jesus tell the rich to sell everything they have, give the money to the poor, and to follow Him.  Therefore, His instructions should be applied to that individual, at that time, and in that place.  And while Luke's Gospel describes him as a "ruler" (Lk. 18:18), none of the three accounts describe him as "young."  In fact, being a "ruler" in Israel required a man to be at least thirty years of age (Num. 4:3-47; 2 Sam. 5:4; 1 Chr. 23:3; Lk. 3:23; etc.).

Perhaps the best example of people judging the poor can be found in the life of Job.  The Lord used the sudden loss of Job's possessions, his servants, and his children, to prove to Satan that Job loved Him (Job 1:8-19).  Job's response to being made childless and a pauper, was awesome.  "Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, and
said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.  In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly" (v. 20-22)!  Even after Satan was allowed to torture Job, Job's response to his foolish wife was "What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips" ((2:3-10).  A week later, his three "friends," initially planning to comfort Job (2:11-13), soon began telling Job that his loss of family and sudden poverty was the direct result of his sin (Ch. 4:1-42:1-6).  Ironically, God rebuked the three, and only after the poor Job prayed for them, were they forgiven (42:7-9).  It was not until after Job prayed for them, that God restored all that Job had lost (42:10-17).

The moral of the story, or stories, is that we do not know why someone is rich and someone else is poor; only God knows why.  1 Samuel 2:7 says, "The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: He bringeth low, and lifteth up."  Job said, "And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD" (Job. 1:21).  Solomon, in acknowledging that man's status is determined by God, prayed, "Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:  lest I be full, and deny Thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain" (Prov. 30:8-9).

All things work together for good when it is God that does them!  



Friday, February 22, 2013


Alpha is the first letter in the Greek alphabet, and omega is the last.  So what did Jesus mean when He called Himself the "Alpha and Omega?"  The answer is found within the four verses which include the phrase: 

*  "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending . . . the Almighty" (Rev. 1:8; 21:6; 22:13).
Jesus is the beginning and the ending of what?  As the Creator (Jn. 1:1-3; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:1-2, 10; etc.), Jesus is the beginning of time.  He is also the ending of time as we know it.  Genesis 8:22 says, "While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease."  However, it is clear from Revelation 22:5 that time will have ceased and eternity will have begun, for in the Lord's new heaven and new earth, there will be no night.

*  ". . . I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last . . ." (Rev. 1:11; 22:13).

Jesus is called "the First Fruits" from the grave (Mt. 27:52-53; Acts 26:23; 1 Cor. 15:20; Col. 1:18; Rev. 1:5).  He is also called "the Last Adam" (1 Cor. 15:45).

There are a couple of things that are worthy of note.   The word, "Almighty," appears ten times in the New Testament, once in 2 Corinthians 6:18, and eight times in Revelation (1:8; 4:8; 11:17; 15:3; 16:7, 14; 19:15; 21:22). The same Greek word, παντοκράτωρ (pantokratōr), is translated "omnipotent" in Revelation 19:6). "God Almighty" or "Almighty God" appears thirty times in the Old Testament (Gen. 6x; Ex. 1x; Num. 2x; Job 20x; Ezek. 1x). Since Jesus is both Creator and The Almighty, there is no doubt that He is God!

Also, all four verses containing the phrase "Alpha and Omega" have the words "I am" preceding it.  As most born again believers know, John went out of his way to identify Jesus with the "I am" of the Old Testament (Ex. 3:14).  He quoted Jesus as saying:

I am The Bread of Life (Jn. 6:35).
I am The Light of the world (Jn. 8:12).
I am The Door (Jn. 10:9).
I am The Good Shepherd (Jn. 10:11).
I am The Resurrection and The Life (Jn. 11:25).
I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life (Jn. 14:6).
I am The True Vine (Jn. 15:1).
*  Before Abraham was, I Am (Jn.8:58).

You might wonder why the word "the" is capitalized; it is because Jesus is the only Bread, Light, Door, Good Shepherd, Resurrection, Life, Way, Truth, Vine, and the only one who existed before Abraham, and even before Adam, for that matter!


Thursday, February 21, 2013


Believing the Gospel message that Jesus died for my sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried and that He rose again from the grave according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:3-4), has resulted in my being blessed by God now, and for all of eternity!  When I placed my trust in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, my life began to change; I began seeing things in a totally different light!  Not only did I literally feel the burden of my sins leave me, I began discovering a whole list of benefits promised me from God's Word; here are just twenty examples:

*  In Christ, I have the remission of my sins - Acts 10:43!
*  In Christ, I am justified before God - Acts 12:39!
*  In Christ, I am saved from God's judgment - Acts 16:31!
*  In Christ, I have been redeemed from sin - Romans 3:24!
*  In Christ, I am loved by God - Romans 8:39!
*  In Christ, I am righteous - Romans 10:10!
*  In Christ, I am sanctified - 1 Corinthians 1:2!
*  In Christ, I have wisdom - 1 Corinthians 4:10!
*  In Christ, I have victory - 2 Corinthians 2:14!
*  In Christ, I have liberty - Galatians 1:4!
*  In Christ, I bring glory to God - Ephesians 1:12!
*  In Christ, I am sealed by the Holy Spirit - Ephesians 1:13!
*  In Christ, I have everlasting life - 1 Timothy 1:16!
*  In Christ, I can rest - Hebrews 4:3!
*  In Christ, I have the salvation of my soul - Hebrews 10:39!
*  In Christ, I am neither frustrated or confused - 1 Peter 2:6!
*  In Christ, I am able to see how awesome He is - 1 Peter 2:27!
*  In Christ, I am born again of God - 1 John 5:1!
*  In Christ, I have overcome the world - 1 John 5:5!
*  In Christ, I have eternal life - 1 John 5:13!
God is no respecter of persons.
What He is doing for me, He would love to do for you!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


One has to wonder why anyone would fail to live for Jesus Christ, as his Lord and Savior, once the Holy Spirit convicts him of the truth.  I can only think of three reasons:  pride, peril, or priorities! 

PRIDE:  In the Lord's explanation of the Parable of the Sower (Mt. 13:19-23), the proud man has hardened his heart (v. 19), in that, he refuses to accept that he is incapable of living a good enough life to be considered righteous.  He foolishly believes his self-discipline and works can get him to heaven.  In other words, he is religious.  But there is a serious flaw in this man's thinking; because of his pride, he continually forgets what kind of man he is (Jam. 1:24).  As I understand it, religion and pride are synonymous.  This man's religion is vain, and he is lost.

PERIL:  The timid man listens to the Gospel message from God's Word (the "seed" which is the power of God unto salvation - Lk. 8:11; Rom. 1:16), and believes it (v. 20-21).  But, because of persecution from others (family, friends, employer, etc.), he cowers in fear, and fails to become fruitful for Christ.  This man is saved, but he has been neutralized by fear.

PRIORITIES:   The self-centered man also listens and accepts the Gospel, and although he believes it (v. 22), he gradually loses focus upon the things of the Lord, and he returns to his old ways of "looking out for number one."  Instead of giving and serving others, he is constantly acquiring and wanting to be served.  As a result, this saved individual has been neutralized by his misplaced priorities, and is also unfruitful for the Lord.

There is one group of people who, hearing and believing the Gospel, remain faithful the rest of their lives.  This group endeavors to walk in the Spirit so that they do not fulfill the lusts of their flesh (Gal. 5:16).  This group makes every effort to live in such a way that they are respected and get along with others (Acts 2:47; Rom. 12:18).  In fact, they are so successful at being a "peculiar people," that other ask about their faith (1 Pet. 2:9; 3:15)!  As a result, people are saved (v. 23)!   
The humble, courageous, unselfish believer is always PRODUCTIVE for God! 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Yesterday, I wrote about the "unpardonable sin," and explained that it should be defined as the rejecting of the evidence, provided by the Holy Spirit, that Jesus Christ is who He said He is:  Israel's Messiah, the Savior, the Lord, and the Son of God.  Rejecting the evidence of Jesus' healing of the blind, speechless, demon-possessed man, the Pharisees, attributing His power to Satan rather than the work of the Holy Spirit, had committed blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which Jesus said is unpardonable (Mt. 12:22-32).

What followed the Lord's rebuke was amazing!  The Scribes and Pharisees wanted Jesus to show them a sign (Mt. 12:38)!  He had just shown them a sign, and they had rejected it!  In response to their ludicrous request, Jesus "answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:  for as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.  The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here" (Mt. 12:39-41).

Jesus informed them that they had seen their last manifestation of the power of the Holy Spirit working through Him.  The next sign they would see would be His death, burial, and resurrection.  In other words, they had missed their opportunity to believe in Him.  By rejecting the evidence provide for them by the power of the Holy Spirit working through Him, they had, once and for all, rejected the only way they could be saved from their sins:  by faith in Him (Jn. 14:6). 

John's Gospel reveals that the Holy Spirit's "coming and going" is unpredictable (Jn. 3:8).  From the Lord's statement, it is clear that there will come a time when it will be too late to accept Him.  I base this on the fact that the Jews require a sign in order to believe (1 Cor. 1:22).  If there comes a time when they will no longer receive a sign, then those individuals can no longer be saved.  If you are under conviction that you need to trust in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, don't put it off!  There will come a time when the Spirit will no longer "pass your way."  That is why the Word of God says in 2 Corinthians 6:2 -

"For He saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation!" 

Monday, February 18, 2013


I am not a Calvinist.  I disagree with Calvin's view that Christ's death for sinners was limited to only those who accept Him as their Lord and Savior.  I believe He died for all of mankind, regardless of their response to the Gospel (Isa. 53:6; Rom. 5:18; 1 Tim. 2:6; Heb. 2:9; etc.).  The Word of God could not be any clearer than it is in 1 Timothy 4:10, which says, "For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe."  And again, in 1 John 2:2, which says, "And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world!"

But while I believe Jesus died for all of mankind, I do not believe He paid the penalty for all sin.  In Matthew 12:22-32, Jesus healed a man who was demon-possessed, blind and unable to speak.  Seeing this, the people asked, "Is not this the Son of David?"  The Pharisees immediately responded by claiming Jesus had acted in the power of Satan.  The opposite was true; Jesus was empowered by the Holy Spirit (v. 28).  The Lord told them that all sin could be forgiven but one:  the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (v. 31-32).  It is the one sin Jesus' death does not cover.

Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is the rejection of the work of the Holy Spirit as evidence that Jesus is both Israel's Messiah and the Son of God (Jn. 1:41; 3:14-18; 16:7-15).  Whether it be by rejecting the miracles done at the hand of Jesus, rejecting the miracles done by His apostles, or by rejecting the miraculous Gospel message we share with lost souls, man condemns himself to an eternity of darkness and misery because he is, in effect, calling the Holy Spirit a liar. 

While I cannot prove this, I believe that at the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11-15), each person's life will be judged according to "the books" (I believe this refers to the Books of the Bible).  All will be found guilty, for all have sinned (Rom. 3:23).  Then the Judge will look in the "Lamb's Book of Life" which has the names of all those who accepted Jesus (Rev. 13:8).  Those who rejected the evidence provided them by the Holy Spirit, having failed to accept Jesus, will not have their names in His book.  They will be cast into the Lake of Fire; not for their sins, but for failing to accept God's Son!
If you believe in Jesus, it is because the Holy Spirit convinced you!

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Because they do not like what it teaches, many people say that Luke 16:19-31 is a parable.  They do not want to accept that at their death, the lost begin serving an eternal sentence of pain and suffering.  To be quite honest, I would rather that the lost just simply cease to exist, than to eventually suffer forever in the Lake of Fire.  But then, our thoughts are not His thoughts, and we have a very small understanding of God's "big picture."

"There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:  and there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.  And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.  And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.  But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.  And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.  Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:  for I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.  Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.  And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.  And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead" (Lk. 16:19-31).

Here are seven reasons why I do not believe the passage is a parable:
1.  Jesus did not say it was a parable. 
2.  It would be the only parable in the Bible that describes things that are outside the realm of human experience.  This passage is about what happens to two men after they both die.
3.  It would be the only parable in God's Word which uses the proper name of a man.
4.  It would be the only parable in Scripture which mentions two historical characters:  Abraham and Moses.
5.  It would be the only parable in the Bible which describes the place where the souls of the dead await the resurrection.  Those in "Abraham's bosom" await being part of the First Resurrection, while those in the "place of torments" have the dread of being part of the Second Resurrection
(Rev. 20:5-6).
6.  It would be the only parable in God's Word that mentions angels within it.  The only parables which have some connection to the activities of angels, do not mention angels in the parables themselves, but in the explanation of the parables (Mt. 13:24-30; 36-43; 47-49).
7.  If sheol (Hebrew), or hades (Greek) is not a real place where the dead await their resurrection, then this would be the only place in the Scripture where Jesus taught error instead of truth!  God forbid! 

Today, born again believers go directly to heaven when they die (2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23).          


Saturday, February 16, 2013


Yesterday, I quoted these two verses to show that the faith which produces salvation involves the combination of two factors:  repentance (turning from one's own way of life) and believing Jesus is Lord (turning to Jesus as Lord of one's life). 
1)  "For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him" (Mt. 21:32).
2)  "And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel" (Mk. 1:15).

Today, I want to describe how repentance takes place.  Our repentance is the work of God! 

*  This can be clearly seen in three verses from Psalm 80:
    [3] Turn us again, O God, and cause Thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.
    [7] Turn us again, O God of hosts, and cause Thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.
    [19] Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts, cause Thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.

*  This is the convicting work of the Holy Spirit as is seen in John 16:
    [7]    Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not
             away the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.
    [8]    And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness,
             and of judgment:
    [9]    Of sin, because they believe not on Me;
    [10]  Of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and ye see Me no more;
    [11]  Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

*  This conviction comes from hearing the Gospel message found in 1 Corinthians 15:
    [3]   For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for
            our sins according to the scriptures;
    [4]   And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures.
Like salvation, repentance is a gift, and not of our own works lest any man should boast!

Friday, February 15, 2013



"And He said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning Me. Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem" (Lk. 24:44-47).

"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures" (1 Cor. 15:1-4).


"For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him" (Mt. 21:32).

"And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel" (Mk. 1:15).


". . . whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Acts 2:21).

"And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved . . ." (Acts 16:31).

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Rom. 10:13).


"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 (children) of God, even to them that believe on His name" (Jn. 1:11-12).

"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God" (Rom. 8:16).

"By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep His commandments" (1 Jn. 5:2).

we worship Him (Ex. 4:31); we praise Him (Ps. 106:12);
we pray to Him (Mt. 8:13); we are righteous (Gen. 15:6);
we have eternal life (Jn. 3:15);
and we love our brethren (1 Jn. 3:14).


Because a child male child has been born for us;
A Son has been given for us;
And the rule dominion has been placed upon His shoulder;
And His Name has been called...


Thursday, February 14, 2013


If you have stumbled upon this site by accident, welcome!  I do not believe in coincidences, but I believe God, in His perfect timing, orchestrates the crossing of paths for His purpose.  That's right!  You are not reading this because . . . well, for whatever reason you may think, but you are here to hear this message:  GOD LOVES YOU!  How much?  Enough to send His only begotten Son to die for you! 

I know, most of us have a difficult time believing anyone could love us, but that is the message of Satan.  He does not want you to know how precious you are in God's sight; he actually wants you to think God hates you.  When I think of Satan, I think of a being who is exactly the opposite of God:  he is a liar, a thief, a murder - basically, he is a "hater!"  SATAN HATES YOU!  Sadly, because we all sin, the Bible says Satan is the "god of this world" (2 Cor. 4:4).  Adam "sold out" for a bite of fruit! 

God wants a relationship with you.  He wants to be called "Father" by us as His adopted children.  In fact, Jesus has "made the arrangements" so that you and I could become God's children.  With His death, burial, and resurrection, He made it possible for us to leave the bondage of the Evil One by simply trusting in the Holy One:  Jesus!  If you don't believe me, read these verses:

". . . God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave Himself a ransom for all . . ." (1 Tim. 2:3-6).

"Look unto Me and be ye saved . . . for I am God . . ." (Isaiah 45:32).

"Let the wicked forsake his way. . . let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him, for He will abundantly pardon" (Isaiah 55:7).  

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16). 

"The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. . . but is longsuffering (toward us), not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9).


Wednesday, February 13, 2013


For at least three years, Jesus and His disciples had gone about proclaiming that the kingdom of God was near (Mt. 3:2; 4:17; 10:7; 12:28; etc.).  On the day of Christ's Ascension, His disciples asked Him, "Lord, wilt Thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" (Acts 1:6).  Did you notice that?  They did not ask about the "kingdom of heaven" (a phrase found 33 times, and only in Matthew's Gospel), or the "kingdom of God" (a phrase found 70 times in 23 books of the New Testament); they asked about the "kingdom of Israel"  (a phrase that does not appear one single time in the New Testament)!  They were a little more spiritual than their Old Testament relatives who demanded God give them an earthly king (1 Sam. 8:4-22), but not spiritual enough to comprehend that God's kingdom will be much greater than just the kingdom of their nation; God's kingdom was to be over the entire world!

There is much irony in the fact that Israel was hoping that Jesus was their Messiah, the One for whom they had longed to come, establish His kingdom on earth, defeat Israel's enemies, and yet, they did not notice He never mentioned the "kingdom of Israel."  The nation of Israel had no clue that God's kingdom would include them, but that they would share it with the rest of humanity.  They did not notice Jesus spoke of the "kingdom of heaven," and the "kingdom of God," phrases that do not appear a single time in the Old Testament!

Israel has yet to understand this.  The Apostle Paul wrote, "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" (Rom. 11:25).  Meanwhile, the Church, made up mostly of Gentiles, understands that Jesus will appear a second time, and that He will then claim His earthly kingdom (Rev. 19:11 - 20:15).  The Apostle John wrote:

"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war.  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself.  And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God.  And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.  And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.  And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS" (Rev. 19:11-16).
If Jesus rules as your King, you are a citizen of His kingdom:  the Kingdom of God!


Tuesday, February 12, 2013


With the sudden announcement of his retirement, Pope Benedict XVI has the entire world "abuzz."  All of a sudden, the majority of conservative evangelicals have begun referencing the prophecies of Saint Malachy, as though they might have been inspired by God!  For years, as long as I can remember, conservative Protestants have declared that a person cannot be both born again and a member of the Roman Catholic Church.  Now, because the prophecies fit within our Eschatology, we believe Malachy might have been inspired by the Holy Spirit.  Of course, some are quick to remind everyone that God spoke through a burning bush and a beast of burden, so we should not be surprised if He could speak through "a Catholic."  It is almost laughable!

Having been a Catholic, who is now a born again believer, I cringe when I hear or read venomous comments about my former church.  I fully understand the criticisms of the false teachings of the Vatican, but I would suggest that by proclaiming there are no born again Catholics, we might be mistakenly setting imaginary limits on the saving work of Almighty God.  Saul of Tarsus was saved, and became perhaps the greatest spokesperson for Christ in all of history.  And yet, as a born again believer, he still saw himself as a Jew (Acts 21:39; 22:3; etc.).

To support their belief that there are no born again believers within the Roman Catholic Church, many have quoted 2 Corinthians 6:17-18, which says, "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."  And they have a valid point.  However, most do not hold this same standard for Jewish converts, known as Messianic Jews.  Why is it so hard to believe there are "Messianic Catholics?" 

It is true that Roman Catholicism errs greatly in adding works to the Gospel, thereby making it a false Gospel (Eph. 2:8-9; Gal. 1:6-9).  I agree that Transubstantiation, Purgatory, Infant Baptism, the Immaculate Conception, the "worship" of saints, that only those to whom the Church declares sainthood are saints, that priests are mediators between a man and God, etc. are unscriptural!  But in spite of these heresies, the true Gospel is preached on occasion, and souls are saved.  Their belief in the Trinity, in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ for sin, in His return to rule for eternity as the Son of God, etc., cannot be denied. 

When a Roman Catholic becomes a born again believer, they are indwelt by the Holy Spirit.  They become the servants of Jesus Christ.  When God decides it is time for them to leave the church, He will let them know.  In the mean time, they are to share their new-found faith where they are.
1 Corinthians 7:17-24  - - -  Romans 14:4-12

Monday, February 11, 2013


All human beings belong to some form of religion.  Why?  Either they fear God, or they think they are God!  Atheists are no exception.  As a former atheist, I believe atheism is a Narcissistic Personality Disorder, in which the individual may be described as suffering from megalomania or from extreme egocentrism.  In other words, atheists worship themselves.  The rest of mankind, however, intrinsically understands that we are answerable to a "higher power." 

False religion can be traced all the way back to the first person born to woman:  Cain.  Had Cain not known what God expected of him, God would not have rejected his offering.  Notice that God did not reject Cain's offering because it was not the best he had to give, but because he brought what he wanted to bring, and not what God required (Gen. 4:1-7).  That very well could be the definition of religion!  It reminds me of an old Frank Sinatra song:  "I Did it My Way!"

Today, there are millions of different religions.  Some still worship the things God created rather than worshipping Him as Creator (Rom. 1:22-32).  In Paul's day, there were even Greeks who worshipped "THE UNKNOWN GOD" (Acts 17:23), just in case.  One source stated that "there are 330,000,000 Hindu gods" (All About Religion).  Another source said, "Buddhism is a non-theistic religion, meaning that the nature of God is not pertinent to Buddhist teachings.  In Buddhism, gods do exist, but are largely imported from early Vedic (Hindu) teachings" (

Christianity is no exception.  The very fact that there are thousands of denominations, most of which claim to be the true form of Christianity, illustrates that it is simply just a man-made religion like all of the others.  With the exception of one group which falls under the heading of Christianity, all teach a false Gospel which require religious works to be "saved." 

The Gospel message states that Jesus Christ accomplished all that is necessary for a man to be "saved" from his sin, and to become a child of God.  Jesus said, "It is finished" (Jn. 19:30).  Paul stated that it is faith in the death, the burial, and the resurrection of Jesus the Lord, which "saves" us and makes us children of God (Rom. 8:14-16; 10:8-17; 1 Cor. 15:1-4; Gal. 3:26; Eph. 2:8-9).  John's Gospel describes the spiritual transformation which takes place when one places his trust in Jesus as being "born again" (Jn. 3:3-8), and Peter said that a person is born again when he believes the Word of God (1 Pet. 1:23).  Obviously, Peter was referring to the Gospel, which is the "power of God unto salvation" (Rom. 1:16). 
There are millions of "roads," but only one leads to heaven (Jn. 14:6)!

Sunday, February 10, 2013


To the Jew, the concept of the Church was a mystery (Eph. 5:32).  In fact, Jesus first mentioned the Church as being formed in the future (Mt. 16:18).  In Acts 2:1-47, Christ's prophecy concerning it became a reality.  From that Pentecost until today, the Church, imperfect as it is, has continued.  However, there is coming a time, perhaps even today, when another mystery concerning the Church will occur:  it will be removed from this earth!  We know the event as the Rapture of the Church.

Paul wrote, "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed" (1 Cor. 15:50-52).

In another passage, Paul wrote, "For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (1 Thes. 4:17-18).

The Church and the Rapture may have been mysteries to the Jews, but there were hints within their Old Testament.  We read of what Jesus called "other sheep" (Jn. 10:16) in Isaiah 49:6; 55:5; and 56:8.  In addition to these passages and many others, there are the "types" which give us clues to the way God works.  Whenever God intends to bring His wrath to bear on His enemies, He removes His children, and always upward! 

Jesus used Noah's experience as a picture of the Rapture (Mt. 24:37-8), and Lot's experience as well (Lk. 17:28-32).  Noah was lifted above the destruction in the Ark (Gen. 7:17), and Lot was taken up into the mountains above the destruction below (Gen. 19:17).  So too, the Church will be lifted up to meet the Lord in the air before the wrath occurs on earth below (1 Thes. 4:17-18; 5:9)!  Praise God!  Mystery solved!

No Ark or mountain will save the Church from God's wrath; Jesus will!    

Saturday, February 9, 2013


One of the main criticisms of Dispensationalism is that its origin is rather recent, and that it is not a biblical concept, or it would have been mentioned in the Bible.  I would like to respond by saying that the Scripture does use the word "dispensations" four times (1 Cor. 9:17; Eph. 1:10; 3:2; Col. 1:25), and the same Greek word, οἰκονομία (oikonomia), is translated elsewhere as "stewardship" (Lk. 16:2-4).  Both words carry with them the idea of an assignment of responsibility for something, by the "owner."  Where the translators used "stewardship," it had to do with earthly possessions (Lk.), and when they used "dispensation," it had to do with God's revealed truth (1 Cor., Eph., and Col.).

Another argument which supports the legitimacy of Dispensationalism, even though it was formalized by John Nelson Darby in the 1800's, is that dispensations themselves were not to be revealed until the end-times.  God told Isaiah (29:11), Ezekiel (28:12), and Daniel (9:24; 12:4, 9) to "seal up" the Scriptures until the end-times!  I am not exactly sure how the revelation of prophecies concerning the end-times were sealed, or why, but I am sure that the writers themselves could not do the sealing:  they wrote what they wrote.  It is man's understanding that has been "sealed," and that is the work of the Holy Spirit.  He is the Teacher of God's children, and I would suggest that He has waited until the end-times to reveal those things which were sealed (Jn. 14:26).

The Feasts of Israel teach at least four dispensations:  1) Christ's First Coming (Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits); 2) the Church (Pentecost); 3) the Christ's Second Coming (Trumpets, Atonement); and 4) the Millennial Reign of Christ (Tabernacles).  These clearly show that some of the prophecies concerning Christ have been literally fulfilled, and the rest will be as well.

Revelation 2 - 3 speak of the Church Age.  Revelation 6 - 18 describe the Tribulation (Daniel's Seventieth Week - Dan. 9:27; The Time of Jacob's Trouble - Jer. 30:7).  Revelation 20 describes the Millennium (1000 yr. reign of Christ on earth).  If the Church still existed on earth during the Tribulation, why would there be a need for the Two Witnesses (Rev. 11), or the 144,000 Jewish witnesses (Rev. 7, 14)?

The Dispensation of the Church will end with the Rapture. 
Read Jn. 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:49-54; 1 Thes. 4:13-18! 


Friday, February 8, 2013


There are fifteen verses in the New Testament that specifically state who shall be saved.  The first three (Mt. 10:22; 24:13; Mk. 13:13) speak of "enduring unto the end."  I have two thoughts concerning this:  1)  These three verses were written to the Jews, with the last two specifically speaking of surviving the Tribulation; and 2)  The born again believer WILL endure to the end because it is the work of God, and is not dependent upon our strength (Phil. 1:6; etc.).

*  Mark 16:16 - "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."  My understanding of this verse is that the difference between being saved and being lost is "believing" or "not believing."  Those who believe WILL be baptized because they believe.
*  John 10:9 - "I am the door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved" (see Jn. 14:6).
*  Acts 2:21 - "whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved" (see Rom. 10:13).
*  Acts 11:14 - "words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved" (see Rom. 10:17).
*  Acts 15:11 - "through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved" (see Eph. 2:8).
*  Rom. 5:9 - "we shall be saved from wrath through him" (see 1 Thes. 5:9).
*  Rom. 5:10 - "we shall be saved by His life" (His resurrection - see Rom. 10:9).
*  Rom. 9:27 - "a remnant (of Israel) shall be saved" (see Rom. 11:5; Rev. 12:17).
*  Rom. 11:26 - "And so all Israel shall be saved" (see Rom. 11:25-32).
*  1 Cor. 3:15 - "If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire" (see 1 Cor. 3:8-15).

There is one controversial verse which contains the phrase.  In 1 Timothy 2:15, Paul wrote, "Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety."  Because this verse, if taken alone, is inconsistent with the rest of God's Word.  So, what is the explanation for the apparent contradiction.  First, the antecedent for "she" is Eve (v. 13).  The antecedent for "they" has to be her children.  However, the word "they" does not appear in the Greek; it would make much more sense to insert the word "she" as a continuation of thought.  Otherwise, the only way Eve could be saved is to produce faithful (saved) children. 

There is another explanation that makes far more sense.  In Genesis 3:15, we are told that Eve's Seed (Jesus - Mt. 1:16; Lk. 3:23: Rev. 12:17) will defeat Satan's seed.  I believe the Child (Jesus is the One who will crush Satan) she was to bear was the issue, and not the process of bearing children.  My wording of the verse would be "And Eve shall be saved by her Seed, and so will all those who are serious in their faith, evidenced by their love and purity." 

Our understanding of a verse must be consistent with the rest of the Word of God!     

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Due to the medication (blood thinner) I take for Congestive Heart Failure, once a week, I must place a drop of my blood on a test strip, and wait about thirty seconds for the little computer thingy to tell me whether or not my blood is too thick.  This morning, like every test I have made over the past three and a half years, the results were within range.  Praise the Lord! 

But today, while I was testing, for the first time, I began to think about all of the hymns, sermons, and books which address the blood of Jesus.  Christians and Jews both have a great deal to say about blood sacrifices, but there is a major difference between the two religions:  while the Old Testament addresses animal sacrifice as an atonement for sin, the majority of references to a blood sacrifice in the New Testament refer to the Crucifixion of Jesus.  The word, "blood," is found in sixty-seven verses from the founding of the Church on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1), to the Second Coming of Christ (Rev. 19:13).  Of those, twenty-nine refer to the blood of Christ, and from just those twenty-nine verses, we find the reason the Church has placed its faith, expressed its gratitude, and served its Lord for two thousand years. 

When Christ's blood is mentioned, it does not mean simply His loss of blood due to His wounds; it declares that Jesus gave His life.  Leviticus 17:11 says, "For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul."  This always involved the death of the sacrifice.  As a result:

*  Jesus' blood purchased our freedom from sin (Acts 20:28).
*  Jesus' blood is our source of justification (Rom. 5:9).
*  Jesus' blood is our source of forgiveness (Eph. 1:7).
*  Jesus' blood reconciles us to God (Col. 1:20).
*  Jesus' blood redeems us from the bondage of sin (Heb. 9:12).
*  Jesus' blood is our source of sanctification (Heb. 13:12).
*  Jesus' blood cleanses us from the stain of sin (1 Jn. 1:7).

Finally, Jesus' blood, shed as our Passover (1 Cor. 5:7), is seen in His title, the Lamb of God (Jn. 1:29, 36; Rev. 7:14; 12:11).  Salvation today, like the salvation of the Jews at the first Passover (Ex. 12:13), results from believing the blood will save you!

Someone had to die for your sins; Jesus said, "It is finished!"


Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Gomer Pyle, a character on the old Andy Griffith television show, frequently exclaimed "surprise, surprise, surprise" when the unexpected occurred.  It always made me laugh.  I interpreted his exclamation as a rebuke of those who thought they knew everything.  Man tends to think more highly of himself than he ought. 

However, there is One who is never caught by surprise; in fact, the most ridiculous thing one can say to God is, "Surprise!"  God is Omniscient (all knowing); it is impossible to surprise Him.  The Book of Genesis begins with the Creation of the Universe.  In other words, time, for His physical creation, began in Genesis 1:1.  And yet, it is clear God knew man, the crowning glory of His Creation, would fail to trust Him, and that he would believe the one Christ later called the father of lies (Jn. 8:44).  How do we know this?  Because the Word of God describes Jesus as the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world. 

John wrote in Revelation 13:8, "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him (the Beast; the Antichrist), whose names are not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."  For those objecting on the grounds that the word is "from," and not "before," there are other references which clearly show God's plan was based upon His knowledge of what was going to occur, before Creation (Mt. 13:35; 25:34; Eph. 1:4; etc.).

God provided "Himself a Lamb" (Gen. 22:8).   Jesus was ordained to die before the foundation of the world.  1 Peter 1:18-21 says, "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:  Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by Him do believe in God, that raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God" (1 Pet. 1:18-21).

What amazes me is, once a person accepts Christ as his Lord and Savior, he somehow forgets that God is Omniscient.  He somehow thinks he can have "secret sins" and not be held accountable by his Lord.  Oh, he knows the verses that warn God's children that our sins will surely find us out," but he appears to disconnect his knowledge of the Bible from his thoughts, words, and deeds (Gen. 4:7; 44:16; Num. 32:23; Isa. 59:12; Jn. 7:3; etc.).  God's Word is clear:  "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, 'The Lord knoweth them that are His.' And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ, DEPART FROM INIQUITY" (2 Tim. 2:19)!

If you say you are a believer, put up or shut up! 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Yesterday, I suggested that the Star of David was a picture of Jesus Christ as both the Son of Man, and the Son of God.  Today, I want to show what the Bible says about the Lord being the Son of David.

"The LORD hath sworn in truth unto David; He will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne" (Ps. 132:11).

"Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.  In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS" (Jer. 23:5-6).

"The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.  And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ" (Mt. 1:1, 16).

"And Jesus Himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli; Which was the son of Melea, which was the son of Menan, which was the son of Mattatha, which was the son of Nathan, which was the son of David" (Lk. 3:23, 31).

"Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?" (Jn. 7:42).

"Concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;  and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead" (Rom. 1:3-4).

"Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel" (2 Tim. 2:8).

Jesus was born of Mary's seed (Gen. 3:15; Mt. 1:16; Lk. 3:23).  Mary was of the lineage of David (Mt. 1:16; Lk. 3:23).  Jesus was born of God (Mt. 1:20; Lk. 1:27-35). 
Jesus is both the Son of David and the Son of God! 

Monday, February 4, 2013


There does not appear to be a clear explanation as to how the two interwoven equilateral triangles came to be known as the "Star of David," or the "Shield of David."  I will leave that discussion to the "experts."  I would like to share my theory on what the symbol represents. 
To begin with, both God and mankind are described as triune beings in the Bible.  That there is one God, is clear:  "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD" (Deut. 6:4).  Yet, we find God referred to as:  1)  The Father of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 11:31); 2)  The Son of God (Cp. Ps. 45:6 w/ Heb. 1:8; Ps. 110:1 w/ Heb. 1:13); and 3)  The Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3-4).  Man is also described as consisting of a body, a soul, and a spirit.  1 Thessalonians 5:23 says, "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."

If we were to picture the equilateral triangle in the "Star of David" having two corners of the triangle at its top, and one corner at the bottom, it would serve as a picture of the Godhead as we understand it today.  The Father is seated on His throne in heaven, and the Son is seated at His right hand (Eph. 1:20).  The single, bottom point, is a picture of the Holy Spirit at work on the earth building the Body of Christ.  He has been sent by both the Father and the Son (Jn. 14:26; 15:26; Acts 1:4-5). 
The equilateral triangle representing Man has a single point pointed upward, and two points at the base.  The bottom two points represent that part of Man that is described to be "earthy" (1 Cor. 15:47-49); that is, the body and the soul.  The top point represents the spirit of the born again believer, said to be seated with Christ in the heavenly places (Eph. 2:6). 
Together, these two equilateral triangles represent the
God-Man, Jesus Christ, the Son of David!

Sunday, February 3, 2013


If you have read any of my previous posts, you may have noticed that I call myself a born again believer, rather than a Christian.  The reason for this is that I want it to be real clear that I have, and am still being, changed by the work of the Holy Spirit (Jn. 14:17; 16:13).  It is unfortunate, but not everyone who says he is a Christian, is born again.  We can see the difference by comparing two Churches:  Philadelphia (Rev. 3:7-13), and Laodicea (Rev. 3:14-22).  The most important difference between the two churches is that, in the first, their door is open to whomsoever will come (3:8), but the latter has closed their door even to Jesus Himself (3:20)!  Today, within the Christian churches, there are born again members, and there are members in name only; there are those Jesus described as "the wheat," and those He identified as "the tares" (Mt. 13:24-30)!

In John 3:1-18, Jesus explained to Nicodemus, a Jewish leader (v.1, 10), that man needs to be born two times in order to be saved (v. 3-8).  In explaining this to him, Jesus contrasts the physical birth from a spiritual birth.  He said, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (v. 5-6).  Notice that being born of water refers to a physical birth ("of the flesh, is flesh"); while being born of the Spirit refers to a spiritual birth.  What was true for Nicodemus, is true for all who would be saved.

Some might wonder how I went from being "born again," to being saved.  It is easy; by the context of the passage.  Jesus is still speaking to Nicodemus when He says:

"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:  that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.  For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.  He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" (v. 14-18).

Jesus, both the Son of God, and the Son of man, "was lifted up" (crucified) to provide the only way for man to be saved (Jn. 14:6).  When the Holy Spirit convinces us that we are sinners in need of a Savior (Jn. 16:9), that Jesus was resurrected and ascended into heaven (Jn. 16:10; Acts 1:9), and that we will all face the certain judgment of God in our future (Jn. 16:11), we are born again.  In other words, we are made spiritually alive as a result of believing the Gospel (Eph. 2:1, 5; Col. 2:13; 1 Cor. 15:3-4)!

Like the wheat and tares, the Church is made up of born again believers and the lost!
Only two people know the truth about you:  Jesus Christ and you!    



Saturday, February 2, 2013


The most misinformed question one can ever ask is, "what must I do to be saved?"  It is the basis for the formation of ALL religion!  Some form of that question is found in all four Gospels.  "Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?" (Mt. 19:16).  "Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" (Mk. 10:17; Lk. 18:18).  In the Gospel of John, Jesus answered Nicodemus' question even before he had a chance to ask it (Jn. 3:1-12).  

It was not up to Nicodemus, nor is it up to any other person, to earn salvation; it is the work of God.  Notice what Jesus told Nicodemus; He said that he "must be born again" (Jn. 3:3, 7).  He said that salvation is the work of the Holy Spirit (Jn. 3:5, 8).  Elsewhere in John's Gospel, we find out how the Holy Spirit brings about the new birth (Jn. 1:12; 3:13-18; 14:26; 16:7-14; etc.).  So, the answer to man's question, "What must I do to be saved?" is believe the Holy Spirit! 

The Holy Spirit convicts:

John 16:9 - of sin - Salvation is the result of believing that I am a sinner in need of a Savior (Rom. 3:23; 5:8; 6:23; etc.).

John 16:10 - of righteousness - Jesus offered Himself to be our Savior (Jn. 1:11-12; 3:13-18; 10:15-18; etc.).  He died as payment for our sin, but God raised Him from the dead, and He ascended to heaven (Jn. 14:1-6; Acts 1:9; 1 Cor. 15:1-10; etc.).

John 16:11 - of judgment - We have a choice:  we can believe what the Holy Spirit tells us through the Gospel, or we can face certain judgment for our sins (Heb. 10:27; Rev. 20:11-15; etc.).

What must I do to be saved?  Believe the Bible:  "But what saith it? The Word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the Word of faith, which we preach; 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.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Rom. 10:8-10).

The work of salvation is completed by God; our "job" is to believe it!




Friday, February 1, 2013


The Rapture is before the Tribulation (1 Thes. 1:10; 5:9; Rev. 3:10), while the Second Coming is immediately following the Tribulation (Mt. 24:29-30; Rev. 19:11-16).
The Rapture will happen "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye" (1 Cor. 15:50-53), while the Second Coming will be slow enough for everyone to realize what is happening (Mt. 24:27-31; Rev. 1:7).
The date of the Rapture is unknown (Mt. 25:1-13; 1 Thes. 4:13-18), while the date of the Second Coming will be 2520 days from the signing of the seven-year treaty between the Antichrist and Israel (Dan. 9:27; Mt. 24:15).
There are no unfulfilled prophecies that need to occur before the Rapture, so there will be no warning signs for the timing of the Rapture.  The Apostle Paul expected the Rapture to occur at any moment during his ministry (1 Thes. 4:17).  The Second Coming, on the other hand, will be preceded by the treaty mentioned above, and the events that occur during the Tribulation (Mt. 24:3-30; Rev. 6 - 19).
The Rapture will be seen by the Church (1 Thes. 4:17; 1 Jn. 3:2), while the Second Coming will be witnessed by the entire world (Mt. 24:24-27; Rev. 1:7).
The Rapture will be the Church rising to meet Christ in the air (Jn. 14:3; 1 Thes. 4:17), while the Second Coming will be Christ returning to rule on this earth (Zech. 14:4; Acts 1:11; Rev. 20:1-7). 
The Rapture will precede the Judgment Seat of Christ where born again believers receive rewards for faithful service to the Lord (1 Cor. 3:10-15; 2 Tim. 4:1-8; 1 Pet. 1:7), while the Second Coming will precede the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11-15). 
Therefore, born again believers have nothing to fear.
The exact opposite is true for those who failed to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior!