Sunday, March 31, 2013


There is only one essential doctrine which is absolutely necessary for one to believe in order to be born again:  that God raised Jesus, the Lord, from the dead!  The Apostle Paul wrote, "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" (Rom. 10:9). 

Nowhere in Scripture does it say that we are required to believe in Him as Creator of the Universe, as virgin born, as crucified for the sins of the world, or as coming again in order to be saved.  Of course, all those things are true (Jn. 1:1-3; Col. 1:16; Isa. 7:14; Mt. 1:23; Rom. 3:25; 1 Jn. 2:2; Acts 1:11; Rev. 19:11-16), but it is our faith that God, the Father of Jesus Christ, resurrected His only begotten Son, that saves us.

Paul also preached, "And though they found no cause of death in Him, yet desired they Pilate that He should be slain.  And when they had fulfilled all that was written of Him, they took Him down from the tree, and laid Him in a sepulchre.  But God raised Him from the dead" (Acts 13:28-30).  

The Apostle Peter wrote, "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. 1:19-21).

Peter also preached:  "Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:  Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it" (Acts 2:23-24 - see also Acts 3:14-15; 4:10).

My question to you on this day in which we celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus is, Do you believe that God, the Father of Jesus Christ, raised Him from the dead, to be Lord to all who will put their trust in Him?  Has your faith in Him, as your Lord, caused you to obey His Word, to witness to others about Him, and to look forward to His return?  If not, let today be the first day of your eternal life by accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior!  It may be your last opportunity to do so!

The angel said unto the women at the tomb, "He is not here, He is risen as He said."

Saturday, March 30, 2013


As I mentioned yesterday, we are drawing closer and closer to the Rapture, the return of Christ to remove His Church before the Tribulation, the seven-year judgment appointed for Israel, and not for His Church (Jn. 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:49-53; 1 Thes. 4:13-18; Dan. 9:24-27; 1 Thes. 5:9; Rev. 3:10).  The Tribulation is the last seven years of the "seventy-weeks" appointed for Daniel's people, the Jews (Dan. 9:24).  Sixty-nine "weeks" of the seventy were fulfilled at the Crucifixion of Israel's Messiah (Dan. 9:26).  The Church Age, the age in which we now live, is a parenthetical period between Daniel's sixty-ninth and the seventieth "weeks" of years. 

Matthew 24-25, known as the Olivet Discourse, is Jesus' response to His disciple's questions concerning the end of the world (24:3).  The word, "world" should be rendered "age," as it is translated from the Greek αἰών (aiōn), especially since the Scripture says the world will never end (Isa. 45:17; Eph. 3:21).  They asked Him two questions:  1) "when shall these things be?" and 2) "what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the age?"

Their first question had to do with the "woes" of Matthew 23, and the destruction of the Temple He spoke of in Matthew 24:1-2.  Jesus never really answers this question, but we know from History, the Jews were scattered, and the Temple was destroyed in A.D. 70, by Rome.  Based upon Daniel 9:26-27, the same nation that would destroy His "temple" (His body - Jn. 2:18-21), would also destroy Israel's Temple, and, would one day, rule again during the Tribulation. 

Their second question, while it seems to be two questions, is really only one:  the age in which they were living will end with the return of Jesus to establish His earthly Kingdom (Mt. 24:29-31; Rev. 19:11 - 20:6).  The Church Age will end seven years prior, with the Rapture of the Church.  So the order of the events to come, on this present earth, are:  the Rapture of the Church; the Seven-year Tribulation; the Second Coming of Christ; His Millennial Kingdom; and the Great White Throne Judgment.

Bible prophecy of future events is as certain as if they have already occurred.
Today is the day of salvation; today may be your last day!
Put your trust in Jesus, the Crucified, buried, and Resurrected Lord! 


Friday, March 29, 2013


Man's ability to wait for things is rapidly becoming a lost art.  Every line one must endure is too long, and too slow.  Once a nation of readers, today newspapers and magazines are being replace by television and the computer. God forbid that we should have to wait like Joseph who waited many years before he saw his family again, Abraham who waited 25 years for his promised son, Moses who waited 40 years in exile, and another 40 wandering in the wilderness, or Jesus who waited until He was thirty before He began His earthly ministry!  If nothing else, the Jews ought to be experts at waiting.  They waited 400 years to be freed from Egyptian bondage, and 70 years to escape the Babylonian captivity.  And ironically, they are still waiting for their Messiah, even though He "arrived on the scene" nearly 2000 years ago! 

According to the Book of Daniel, one of the signs of the end times, or last days, will be man's lack of patience.  Daniel wrote, "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased" (12:4).  Does that not describe society today?  It seems like no matter how much improvement is made on the speed of travel, or the speed with which we can find information, we are obsessed with doing things faster.  When one considers that up until just one hundred eighty years ago, with the availability of the steam locomotive for public transportation, the fastest method of getting from point A to point B, was on horseback.  Today, we have an Interstate System, with few drivers traveling at the posted speed limits.  Everyone is in a hurry.  

And, as for the increase in knowledge, if you don't know something, "Google it."  In 1936, the first freely programmable computer, the Z1, was invented.  Thirty-three years later, the first "internet" was created (ARPAnet), and in 1974, the first personal computers were available to consumers (IBM 5100).  Now, people carry around cell phones that have access to all the information one can find on a desktop computer at home. 

Today, those who still travel to work in a car or by using public transportation, rush home from work, throw a meal in the microwave, toss a load of dirty clothes into the washer, empty the dishwasher, use the remote to turn on the television, and then complain that they do not have enough time in the day to get everything done!  And, guessing by church attendance, the vast majority of those professing to be Christians do not have the time to worship, study, and fellowship with other believers either!  Amazing, in that, patience (longsuffering in the KJV) is one of the characteristics of believers (Gal. 5:22).  I find it interesting that the word "patience" appears 34 times in the Bible; all are in the New Testament!  The Jews have learned patience; it is we who need to learn it.

Perhaps the closer we get to His return, the more we need to be patient!



Thursday, March 28, 2013


A series of rare events is due to take place between April 15, 2014 and September 28, 2015.  For only the fourth time since God chose Abraham to be the Father of Israel, there will be a Blood Moon (lunar eclipse) on the Feast of Passover and on the Feast of Tabernacles two years in a row. 

The first such event (1493-1494) occurred following Spain's Alhambra Decree (Jan. 1492) which forced the Jews to leave Spain during the Spanish Inquisition.  The second time it happened was following Israel's declaring itself a state on May 14, 1948.  The Blood Moons occurred while Israel was fighting to protect its new nation (1949-1950).  The third time they fell on Passover and Tabernacles two years in a row (1967-1968), coincided with Israel's capture of Jerusalem during the Six Day War (June, 1967).

There has been much speculation as to what great event involving Israel will be marked by this fourth occurrence.  Many born again believers see it as marking the signing of the seven year covenant with the man whom they will come to recognize as the Antichrist three and a half years later (Dan. 9:27; Mt. 24:15; Rev. 12 - 13).  Our reasoning for believing it might be the significant event marked by the Blood Moons, has to do with the wide-spread belief that we are in the last days as described in the Bible.  Anyone who has read the Bible and has been watching the news, knows time is short. 

Before the seven year period, known as the Tribulation (Mt. 24:3-29), the Time of Jacob's Trouble (Jer. 30:7), and Daniel's Seventieth Week (Dan. 9:27) can begin, the Church Age must end with the Rapture.  This catching away of born again believers to meet Christ in the air (Jn. 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:49-52; 1 Thes. 4:13-18), occurs some time prior to the Tribulation (the Church is not appointed to experience the wrath of God on the earth - 1 Thes. 5:9).  In addition, there is evidence to this in the Book of Revelation, which describes the Church Age in chapters two and three, and then the Church is not mentioned once in chapters six through eighteen (the chapters describing the Tribulation).

Joel 2:30-32,  and Acts 2:19-21 describe the signs in the heavens which serve to mark a significant event at the end of the Age.  Genesis 1:14 says, "And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years."  Oh yes, did I mention that during the next occurrence of the Blood Moons, there will also be a Solar eclipse on March 20, 2015?  It will fall on the first day of Nisan, the Jewish New Year!

Blood Moons are signs in the heavens which mark Israel's trials and tribulations.
Those who trust in Jesus Christ will be in heaven when the signs occur again!



Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Non-Christians believe that a "genuine Christian" does not sin.  They believe that if a person claiming to be a Christian, sins, that he is unsaved:  a fake, a phony, a hypocrite.  Unfortunately, many Christians hold the same view.  They fail to understand that born again believers still sin; that from the moment we are saved, until the day we die, we struggle with the weakness of our desires for "things," for the pleasures of the flesh, and with the desire to be praised for our "good works" (1 Jn. 2:16).  They appear to be unaware of passages such as Romans 14-25, which teach about this struggle.  Take special note of the present tense in these words from Paul's letter to believers.

[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 (do), that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. [16] If then I do that which I would not (do), I consent unto the law that it is good. [17] Now then it is no more I that do it, but (it is) 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 (it is) 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 (I myself serve) the law of sin.

It is ironic that the majority of our sins, as born again believers, are "secret sins."  That is, they are sins others cannot see.  How many time have you had evil thoughts?  I cannot count the times hourly, let alone since I was saved!  Hatred, lust, pride, unforgiveness, doubts, fears, and I am sure I am forgetting many of the sinful things that fill my mind.  No one see them unless I allow them to motivate my words or my actions.  But God sees them all!  And the Word says they grieve the three members of the Godhead (Mk. 3:5; Eph. 4:30; Heb. 3:17).

I don't know about other believers, but I am terrible at confessing my sinful thoughts, and am not real good at confessing my less-than-Spirit-inspired speech.  That is why I am especially glad God's Word says that if we confess our sins to God, He will forgive us of all our sins, and cleanse us of all our unrighteousness (1 Jn. 1:9).  I take that to mean that if we confess the sins we realize we have committed, God forgives even those sins, of which we are unaware, for He says He returns His child to a state of righteousness!
The Cross paid for my sins, but fellowship with my Father requires constant confession.     


Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Recently, I have been involved in a quasi-debate with a Christian brother over Calvin's T.U.L.I.P., and I have found that our views are not that far apart. We do agree that Natural Revelation (that which may be known of God from our universe - Rom. 1:18-21), and Supernatural Revelation (the Bible - Rom. 10:8-18) are necessary for salvation to occur.  And, we both agree that because it is the will of God that a man be saved, and not the will of a lost individual (Jn. 1:11-13; 3:3-8), salvation requires both God's mercy and His grace.  Where we differ is, he believes man cannot reject salvation (Irresistible Grace), while I believe the Word clearly teaches that a man has the responsibility to accept God's offer.  That can be seen in John 1:11-12; 3:18; Rom. 1:21; etc.

This morning, while looking at the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church, I came across this statement (#35), which may help to reconcile both of our views:  "Man's faculties make him capable of coming to a knowledge of the existence of a personal God.  But for man to be able to enter into real intimacy with Him (be born again as a child of God), God willed both to reveal Himself to man, and to give him the grace of being able to welcome this revelation in faith. So the proofs of God's existence, however, can predispose one to faith and help one to see that faith is not opposed to reason."

The Word says that the Jews required a sign, and the Gentiles require wisdom to believe (1 Cor. 1:22), so God provided many signs through His Son (Acts 2:22), and He provided the Gentiles with a reasonable explanation of the Gospel through the Apostle Paul (Rom. 1:1 - 2:16).  Also, Matthew 13:54 says, "And when He was come into His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?

It is true that, while knowing about God is possible, knowing Him as our Father requires God to give us His grace so that we might have faith in Christ.  Ephesians 2:8-9 says:  "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:  it is the gift of God:  not of works, lest any man should boast."  The Father draws man (Jn. 6:44), the Son died for man (Jn. 3:13-18), and the Spirit convinces man of the truth of the Gospel (Jn. 16:13); what we do with "God's tug," with the sign of Christ's Resurrection, and the Spirit's revelation of the truth to us, is up to us; we are free to either trust Him or reject Him.  That point is clear from the reaction of majority of the Jews to Jesus, and the reaction of the majority of the Gentiles to the Gospel.

He has "opened the door"; it is up to you to enter in!    

Monday, March 25, 2013


We all know the story of how Jesus fasted for forty days, and when tempted by Satan, He withstood him by quoting the Word of God; for the Scriptures tell us that following John's baptizing of Jesus, when He was about thirty years old (Lk. 3:21-23), the Holy Spirit led Him into the wilderness to be tempted (tested) by the devil (Mt. 4:1-11; Mk. 1:12-13; Lk. 4:1-13).  But today, while studying for this post, I came across something I had not noticed before.  Luke's Gospel says, "And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from Him for a season."  In other words, that was just one of many trials Jesus would face.  His whole life, as a human being, must have been filled with temptations!  In addition to Satan, the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Scribes tried His patience, as did His disciples.  There are also hints that His own family doubted Him (Mt. 13:57; Mk. 6:4; Jn. 7:5).  And, just prior to His Crucifixion, Jesus confirmed this by saying, "Ye are they which have continued with Me in My temptations" (Lk. 22:28).     

So why did God lead Him to be tempted?  I believe God wanted to demonstrate that Jesus, while being fully God, was also fully human.  His divine nature could not be tempted (Jam. 1:13), but His human nature could be, and was.  Again, why?  Because, if Jesus was to become our advocate for us before His Father's throne, He had to have a personal understanding of the power of temptation from our perspective.  The writer of the Book of Hebrews wrote: 

"For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.  For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted" (Heb.2:16-18).  Again, he wrote, "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin" (Heb. 4:15).

Jesus understands.  Even on the Cross, Jesus was able to understand those who were torturing Him. That is why He said, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Lk. 23:34).  As God manifest in the flesh (1 Tim. 3:16), He is Omniscient, and therefore knows we are weak, but as the Son of Man, He knows with what we struggle from human experience!

Thank You, Jesus, for becoming like us, so that we could, one day, become like You!
(Phil. 2:5-8; 1 Jn. 3:2)!      

Sunday, March 24, 2013


Thirty facts about the coming Antichrist as inspired by:

#1) The Antichrist is a man who has no desire for women. (Dan. 11:37; 2 Thes. 2:3).
#2) He is from somewhere once controlled by Rome. (Dan. 9:26).
#3) He will rise to power after the "ten horns" come to power. (Dan. 7:8, 24; Rev. 17:12-17).
#4) He will establish a seven year covenant with "many." (Dan. 9:27).
#5) His rule will be like no other time in history. (Dan. 12:1).
#6) He will work counterfeit miracles, signs, and wonders.  (2 Thes. 2:9).
#7) The Antichrist will deny that Jesus is the Messiah. (1 Jn. 2:22).
#8) The Antichrist will speak boastfully. (Dan. 7:8, 20).
#9) He will kill the Two Witnesses. (Rev. 11:7).
#10) He will be wounded by the sword. (Rev. 13:14).
#11) He lives, dies, and is "reanimated" by Satan. (Dan. 9:27; Mt. 24:15; Rev. 13:3-14; 17:8).
#12) The Antichrist will become the "eighth king." (Rev. 17:10-11).
#13) He will exalt himself above God. (Dan. 7:25, 11:36-37; 2 Thes. 2:4; Rev. 13:5-6).
#14) He will commit the "abomination of desolation." (Dan. 9:27; 11:31; 12:11; Mt. 24:15).
#15) The Antichrist will proclaim that he IS God. (2 Thes. 2:4).
#16) He will rule every tribe, people, language and nation. (Rev. 13:7).
#17) He will be supported by "the false prophet."  (Rev. 13:13-15).
#18) He will exercise his full authority for 42 months.  (Rev. 13:5).
#19) His "number," 666, will show who worships him.  (Rev.13:17-18).
#20) The Antichrist will "distribute the land at a price". (Dan. 11:39).
#21) He will try to change the set times and laws. (Dan. 7:25).
#22) His army will invade the nation of Israel. (Dan. 11:40-41).
#23) Edom, Moab, and Ammon will be delivered from his hand. (Dan. 11:41).
#24) He will wage war against the saints. (Dan. 7:21, 25; Rev. 13:7).
#25) The Antichrist will destroy the whore of Babylon. (Rev. 17:16).
#26) Eventually, all nations will follow and worship the Antichrist. (Rev. 13:3-4, 8).
#27) He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed. (Dan. 11:36).
#28) His army will war against Jesus Christ when He returns. (Rev. 19:19).
#29) He will be defeated and thrown into the lake of fire. (Rev. 19:20).
#30) His whole army will be killed. (Rev. 19:21).

If you have trusted in Jesus as Lord, you will not need this information.
Born again believers will have been "raptured" before he is identified.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


While most fictional fairy tales begin with the words, "Once upon a time," the non-fictional Word of God sort of begins with those same words.  Let me explain.

The Scriptures tell us that the Feast of Atonement required the high priest of Israel to enter into the Holy of Hollies once a year, on the tenth day of the seventh month, to offer a blood sacrifice for his sins and for the sins of all Israel (Ex. 30:10; Lev. 16:34; 23:27-32; Rom. 6:10; Heb. 9:7; 10:2). The word "atonement" in the Old Testament is translated from the Hebrew כָּפַר (kaphar), meaning "to cover, purge, make reconciliation." 

"Atonement" appears only once in the New Testament, Romans 5:11, where it is translated from the Greek καταλλαγή (katallagē).  Here, the Greek sheds a little more light as to its meaning, in that it is defined as "reconciliation, or a restoration to favor."  The same Greek word is actually translated "reconciliation" twice, and "reconciling" once (Rom. 11:15; 2 Cor. 5:18, 19).  However, all four are specifically referring to the death of Jesus, whose died once as an atonement for the sins of all mankind (Heb. 7:27; 9:12, 26, 28; 10:10; 1 Pet. 3:18).

By now, I am sure you are wondering what "once upon a time" has to do with the Atonement.  The Word says, "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the Law, to redeem them that were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons" (Gal. 4:4-5).

But you might ask, what has the Feast of Atonement and the Crucifixion have to do with the "beginning" of the Bible story?  Well, it actually has to do with before the beginning of the Bible story!  The Word of God tells us that even before the foundation of the world, Jesus was already Crucified for us (Mt. 13:35; 25:34; Eph. 1:4; Heb. 4:3; 1 Pet. 1:20; Rev. 13:8)!  So you see, the story of man's reconciliation to God through Christ's Atonement, was already "a done deal" in God's way of thinking!

Once upon a time, before time began, Christ died for you and me! 
And that "ain't no" fairy tale!  

Friday, March 22, 2013


Human nature is always wanting things to be better.  In our youth, we want a better gaming system, better sneakers, a better complexion, and usually, better parents.  College "agers" want a better dorm room or apartment, better professors, a better computer, and of course, better parents.  By the time we get married, we want a better house, a better car (or cars), a better career, better pay, and of course, better parents (that is because the ones we have are constantly telling us how to raise our kids).  But, there came a time in my life when I became content with what I had.  Why not?  I have a wife I have grown to appreciate, the kids, grandkids, and great grandkids all have a different address from ours, I am retired from a life of good jobs, we have enough money to enjoy a meal out three or four times a week, etc.  Life is good. 

And, even though things are not perfect, they are a lot better than earlier in life, or so most of us think.  But I would suggest that by the time we become satisfied, we have wasted a lifetime by being discontented.  How much better would our youth, our college years, those many years of working "for a living," have been if we had realized we were in the exact place God wanted us? 

God's Word tells the born again believer to be content in all things, regardless of our age or our circumstances.  Luke 3:14 says, " content with your wages."  Philippians 4:11 says, "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."  In 1 Timothy 6:8, we read, "And having food and raiment let us be therewith content." And in Hebrews 13:5, the writer says, " content with such things as ye have...."

Yes, contentment with what one has been given by God serves as a humble testimony of His grace toward us, and as a witness to His glory.  Proverbs 30:8-9 says, "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."  And, if you are always wanting to better your circumstances, or you are disappointed in your spiritual growth, you must have forgotten whose job it is to make you like His Son (Phil. 1:6)!

Spiritual maturity comes when we realize we are exactly where God wants us to be!


Thursday, March 21, 2013


Everyone knows that a shadow is neither good nor evil, in and of itself. In fact, it is nothing more than a silhouette of the object or person casting it, and its source is what determines whether or not the shadow is of something good, or of something evil.  Good shadows reveal the presence of positive things. 

Some examples of good shadows are:  the shadow which is shade from trees (Job. 40:22); the protection of God's "wings" (Ps. 36:7); the belief that Peter's shadow would heal the sick (Acts. 5:15); that the earthly priesthood was a shadow of Christ's heavenly priesthood, and the tabernacle was a picture of the heavenly temple (Heb. 8:1-5); or that the Jewish sacrifices, repeated over and over, were a foreshadowing of the once-and-for-all sacrifice of Jesus for our sin (Heb. 10:1-13).

Evil shadows, on the other hand, are scary!  They warn of the nearness of apparent danger.  The most common of these found in the Bible is the "shadow of death."  This phrase appears 19 times (Job 9x; Ps. 4x; Isa. 1x; Jer. 2x; Amos 1x; Mt. 1x; and Lk. 1x).  The most familiar verse where this phrase is used is Psalm 23:4, which says, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me."  Satan, who according to Hebrews 2:14, has the power to take human life, should not be feared because he cannot exercise his power without the permission of God (Job 1:12-19; 2:1-6). 
But, does this "shadow" actually represent something real?  According to God's Word, the human soul, that part of us which is everlasting, never really dies.  While the body dies, and unregenerated man is already dead spiritually (Jn. 5:24; Eph. 2:1-5), the soul of the righteous lives forever with the Lord (1 Thes. 4:13-18), and the unsaved soul will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:11-15).  Therefore, "death's shadow" should not be a thing of dread unless you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.  Trusting in the Jesus of the Bible, today, can remove all fear of the "shadow of death!"

It is helpful to me to remember that every shadow is formed by something blocking light.  When it comes to shade, a tree is blocking the sun.  When it involves Satan, we need to remember the Light behind him is God Almighty!  Satan is allowed to "cast his shadow" only where God wills it.  And, if it is God's will that the "angel of death's shadow" cross my path, because I am a child of God by faith in Jesus Christ, I have absolutely nothing to fear!

O death, where is thy sting?  O grave, where is thy victory?  The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the Law.  But thanks be to God, which giveth us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Cor. 15:55-57)!!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Over the past week or so, I have "blasted" the Roman Catholic Church for teaching a false gospel.  Yesterday, I attempted to show that ALL religions are evil, in that religion is synonymous with "works"; that is, they all have a formula on how one can deserve to go to heaven.  My belief is that no man can possibly earn the right to go to heaven by doing good works, and that is why God sent His only begotten Son to be our Savior. 

When those listening to Jesus asked Him what works they should do for God, Jesus replied, "This is THE work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent" (Jn. 6:29). On another occasion, Jesus taught that even those who called Him Lord, who had prophesied in His name, who cast out demons, and who had done wonderful works, were simply doing religious works to be accepted by God, and that they had no relationship with Him (Mt. 7:21-23).

The Bible teaches us that when we believe the true Gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:1-4), which alone has the power of God to save us (Rom. 1:16), we are born again by the work of the Holy Spirit (Jn. 3:3-8).  One's salvation requires the work of the Trinity; it is a gift from God (Eph. 2:8-9)!  When a person is born again, he becomes an adopted child of God (Jn. 1:12; Rom. 8:15).  In other words, we must totally trust in Jesus, and in so doing, we become a child of God; we have a relationship with Him! (Rom. 8:16-21; Gal. 3:26; 1 Jn. 3:2, 10; 5:2; etc.).

Once a person believes and is born again, he will do good works for God out of gratitude, and because he is led to do so by the indwelling Spirit of God (Eph. 2:10; Col. 3:17; Jn. 14:17; Acts 2:4; etc.).  Jesus referred to our works as "fruit" (Jn. 15:4-5).  There are two kinds of fruit produced by born again believers, the "Fruit of the Spirit" (Gal. 5:22-23), and through our sharing the Gospel, others of like kind - born again believers (Mt. 13:8, 23).

In summation, if salvation is a GIFT from God, then works have nothing to do with it (Eph. 2:8-9; Mt. 10:10; 1 Tim. 5:18; etc.). 

Quit trying to work your way to heaven, and put your whole trust in the One who has          "paid your ticket":  the Crucified, Resurrected, Ascended, and soon coming again,              Jesus Christ the Lord!     

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


My dear cousin sent me a note that my recent blog posts on Pope Francis I had saddened her.  To her, and to all who feel as she does, I want to sincerely apologize.  That was never my intention.  And while I do not wish to retract anything I have written, I do wish that I had written them in a more loving and considerate way.  I am sure that my hostility toward Roman Catholicism, and all religion, for that matter, resulted in my insensitivity, and that, I wish could be retracted. 

It is my belief that religion is a system of "do's and don't's" designed to guide followers in life, so that they avoid hell and reach heaven when they die.  Religion can be summed up in one word:  "Works."  All religions that teach one can be saved from God's wrath by earning a right-standing with Him, are literally guiding mankind into certain destruction. 

Salvation is not attainable by works.  Good works are the result of one being saved (see Rom. 11:6; Eph. 2:8-10; 2 Tim. 1:9; etc.)!  Adam did not believe God, and his relationship with God was broken.  Abraham believed God, and his relationship with God was sealed.  We read:   

" (Abraham) staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that, what (God) had promised, He was able also to perform (see Phil. 1:6).  And therefore it was imputed to (Abraham) for righteousness (see 2 Cor. 5:21).  Now it was not written for (Abraham's) sake alone, that it was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe (that the Father) raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; (that same Jesus who) was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:  by whom also we have access by faith into this (unmerited favor) wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope (see 1 Jn. 3:1-3) of the glory of God" (Rom. 4:20-5:2 - my version). 
As I said before, some Roman Catholics, the ones who are trusting in Jesus, and not in themselves, will be in heaven.  The same is true of Baptists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, etc.  Those who believe they can be good enough to get there, regardless of the label of their system, are destined for hell!

Monday, March 18, 2013


In light of the excitement over the recent election of Pope Francis I, I thought we might want to look at his new titles, in order to understand the office he now holds.  There are many names given to a man in his position, but the most common are "Pontiff," "Pope," and "Vicar of Christ."  Here is what the Catholic Dictionary had to say about these terms, as opposed to what the Bible has to say:


Catholic Dictionary - "High Priest, and therefore any bishop, as successor of the Apostles. Now reserved as the title of the Pope. In pre-Christian times, the pontifices were the chief priests of Rome and were given this name either because they were "bridge builders" (pontem facere), between the gods and men, or because they offered sacrifice (puntis)." 

Bible - "Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus" (Heb. 3:1).  "Seeing then that we have a great High Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession" (Heb. 4:14).  "Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an High Priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens" (Heb. 8:1).


Catholic Dictionary - "Title of the visible head of the Catholic Church. He is called Pope (Greek pappas, a child's word for father) because his authority is supreme and because it is to be exercised in a paternal way, after the example of Christ."

Bible - "And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven" (Mt. 23:9).  "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth" (Mt. 28:18).

Vicar of Christ

Catholic Dictionary - "The Pope, visible head of the Church on earth, acting for and in the place of Christ. He possesses supreme ecclesiastical authority in the Catholic church."

Bible - "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" (Jn. 16:13).  "These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.  But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as (He) hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him" (1 Jn. 2:26-27). 

You choose:  Man's religion or God's revelation!  

Sunday, March 17, 2013


Roman Catholicism and mainline Protestantism teach many of the same doctrinal truths.  Both believe in the Holy Trinity as being one God existing in three persons:  The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit.  Both believe in the Virgin Birth.  Both believe in Christ's Crucifixion, His burial in a rich man's tomb, and His Resurrection from the grave.  Both believe in His Ascension and His Second Coming.  Both believe that all men are sinners in need of a Savior.  Both believe that the Father offered Jesus, the Resurrected Lord, to be that Savior.  Etc. etc. etc...

So how do the two "isms" differ, you might ask?  Well, there are many doctrinal teachings which differ, from the less important, such as the religious leaders being priests, calling them "father," and requiring them to remain celibate; to the more serious differences, such as the priest being "able to change the communion elements into the literal flesh and blood of Jesus (Transubstantiation), and the Doctrine of Purgatory.  

But the "deal-breaker," when it comes to reconciling Roman Catholicism with Evangelical Protestantism is over the Doctrine of Salvation!  Here is what the Roman Catholic Catechism (IV. The Sacraments of Salvation) has to say on the subject:   

#1127 "Celebrated worthily in faith, the sacraments confer the grace that they signify." [In other words, one has to be a member of the Roman Catholic Church, in good standing, to receive the sacraments of the church, and thereby, earn or qualify for salvation.]
#1128 "This is the meaning of the Church's affirmation that the sacraments act ex opere operato (literally: "by the very fact of the action's being performed"), i.e., by virtue of the saving work of Christ, accomplished once for all."  [If the "action's being performed was the Crucifixion, then the word would not be plural, as the Lord died once for all - Hebrews 9:12.]
#1129 "The Church affirms that, for believers, the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation." [Again, one has to become a Roman Catholic in order to receive the sacraments of the church, and by so doing, qualify to be saved.]

Now let's look at what the Bible teaches on the subject of a person's salvation: 

1)  The Father and the Holy Spirit draw the lost individual to faith in Christ, not to a church (Jn. 6:44; 16:7-15).
2)  Salvation is by grace (unmerited favor), and it is a gift from God; a gift that requires one to do something is not a gift, but payment for services rendered (Gal. 2:16; 3:2; Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:4-7; Heb. 4:3; etc.).
3)  When Jesus or His disciples were asked what they must do to be saved, their answer had nothing to do with joining a church, but was a resounding "BELIEVE!" (Lk. 8:12; Jn. 1:12; 3:15-18, 36; 6:29, 47; 11:25-27; Acts 16:31; Rom. 10:9-10; etc.)!

Any church that requires one to join in order to be saved, is a false church!
Any Gospel that requires more than faith in Christ, is a false gospel! 

Saturday, March 16, 2013


The Vatican released the following statement:  "Francis began his first day as pope making an early morning visit in a simple Vatican car to a Roman basilica dedicated to the Virgin Mary and prayed before an icon of the Madonna."  In doing so, Pope Francis did something which will certainly hinder the Roman Catholic Church's efforts to reconcile with Protestantism.  Protestants believe that to have icons and to pray to Mary or the saints of the Roman Catholic Church is strictly forbidden by the Word of God, and that it is idolatry (Ex. 20:4;     1 Tim. 2:5).

Let's look at what the Bible has to say about Mary, the mother of Jesus.  In her own words, Mary admitted she was a sinner, for only sinners need the Savior!  She said, "And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior" (Lk. 1:47).  In fact, apart from her role in the birth and childhood of Jesus (Mt.   1-2; Lk. 1-2, there is very little reference to Mary in the Scriptures.  Matthew refers to her twice (12:46-50; 13:55); Mark once (3:31-35); Luke once (8:19-21); John twice (2:1-12; 19:25-27); and she is mentioned once in Acts (1:14).  Mary is not mentioned in the writings of Paul, James, or Peter.

The Roman Catholic Church calls Mary, "the Queen of Heaven."  The papal encyclical Ad Caeli Reginam, issued by Pope Pius XII, states that Mary is to be called "the Queen of Heaven."  God's Word, through the prophet Jeremiah has this to say about "the Queen of Heaven":  "The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger" (7:18). 

God's hatred for man's worship of "the Queen of Heaven" is also clearly seen in Jeremiah 44:16-29!  He wrote in verses 25-26, "Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying; Ye and your wives have both spoken with your mouths, and fulfilled with your hand, saying, We will surely perform our vows that we have vowed, to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her: ye will surely accomplish your vows, and surely perform your vows.   Therefore hear ye the word of the LORD, all Judah that dwell in the land of Egypt; Behold, I have sworn by My great name, saith the LORD, that My name shall no more be named in the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, The Lord GOD liveth."
"Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve" (Mt. 4:10)!



Friday, March 15, 2013


How Great is Our God?

God's accuracy may be observed in the hatching of eggs:  For example the eggs of the:  * potato bug hatch in 7 days * canary in 14 days * barnyard hen in 21 days    * ducks and geese hatch in 28 days * mallard in 35 days * parrot and the ostrich hatch in 42 days. (all divisible by seven)

God's wisdom is seen in the making of an elephant.  The four legs of this great beast all bend forward in the same direction. No other quadruped is so made. God planned that this animal would have a huge body, too large to live on two legs. For this reason He gave it four fulcrums so that it can rise from the ground easily.

The horse rises from the ground on its two front legs first. A cow rises from the ground with its two hind legs first. How wise the Lord is in all His works of creation!

God's wisdom is revealed in food supply: Each watermelon has an even number of stripes on the rind. Each orange has an even number of segments. Each ear of corn has an even number of rows. Each stalk of wheat has an even number of grains. Every bunch of bananas has on its lowest row an even number of bananas, and each row decreases by one, so that one row has an even number and the next row an odd number. All grains are found in even numbers on the stalks, and the Lord specified thirty fold, sixty fold, and a hundred fold all even numbers.

God has caused the flowers to blossom at certain specified times during the day. Linnaeus, the great botanist, once said that if he had a conservatory containing the right kind of soil, moisture and temperature, he could tell the time of day or night by the flowers that were open and those that were closed!

Your life is also ordered by the Lord in a beautiful way for His glory, if you will only entrust Him with your life. If you try to regulate your own life, it will only be a mess and a failure. Only the One Who made the brain and the heart can successfully guide them.

Trust Jesus to do so in your life today!


St. Malachy's prophecy concerning the 112th Pope, whether being written by him, or added later in the 1800's, reads as follows:  "In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church (believe it or not, this will be done via the wrath of God), there will sit Peter the Roman (see yesterday's blog), who will pasture his sheep (not God's, but his) in many tribulations, and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people.  The End."

Here is what the Word of God says about the two churches at the time just before the Tribulation.  One is faithful, and will be removed prior to the Lord pouring out His wrath upon the world (1 Thes. 1:10; 5:9; Rev. 3:7, 10; etc.).  The other is described as "lukewarm" (apathetic), and will be chastened by God (Jn. 3:36; Rom. 2:5; Rev. 3:14, 19; etc.).

And here is a description of the Church of Laodicea; see if it resembles, in any way, the Roman Catholic Church today.  "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.   So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth.   Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:  I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me" (Rev. 3:15-20).

Today, the vast majority of Roman Catholics do not attend Mass (apathetic).  The Roman Catholic Church is the single, richest entity on earth, when in fact, it needs genuine "gold" (1 Cor. 3:12).  It offers a works based religion, teaching a false Gospel; the true Gospel is that by faith in Jesus Christ, His death, burial, and resurrection, a person is born again by the grace of God (Jn. 3:3-8; 1 Cor. 15:1-4; Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 10: 8-17; etc.).  With its focus upon works and upon Mary, Jesus' finished work of saving the lost is neglected at best, and ignored at the worst.  Hence, He is described as standing outside the Church, knocking to be let in!

Only one church will enter into the Tribulation: 
the one whose members are trying to work their way to heaven!   

Thursday, March 14, 2013


According to the prophecies of St. Malachy, the 112th Pope from the time of his prophecy would be the last to serve, and his name would be Petrus Romanus, Peter of Rome.  His prophecy concerning the newly elected Pope reads:  In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there will sit Peter the Roman, who will pasture his sheep in many tribulations, and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people. The End.  Before I address this prophecy, lets look at what has just occurred.

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergolio was elected as the 112th Pope, and because it is said that he chose the name Francis in honor of St. Francis of Assisi (118?-1226), people are quick to point out that St. Malachy was wrong.  However, St. Francis was born Francesco di Pietro (Peter in Latin) di Bernardone! 

In addition, it is equally possible that he chose the name to honor another Francis who is connected to the name Peter.  The man who coined the phrase, "the Dark Ages," in the 1330s, who, also known as the "Father of Humanism," was the Italian scholar Francesco Petrarca (Francis Peter).  It was during "the Dark Ages" that the other five Popes resigned.  Because Pope Francis is following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, the first Pope to resign in nearly 600 years, and because of the state of affairs within the Church and in the world itself, one cannot help but think of our times as a new "Dark Age."  

According to the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis is the first Pope, other than Peter, to be a non-European, and the first Jesuit to lead the Church.  It is noteworthy that the Jesuits are also known colloquially as "God's Marines," and their leader is called "the Superior General." The Jesuits were founded by Ignatius of Loyola in 1551, to fight against Mohammedanism, but it "coincidentally" began at the time of the Protestant Reformation.  Islam and Protestantism are the two greatest threats to the Roman Catholic Church today.
So was St. Malachy wrong?  Look again at the prophecy.  The last Pope will serve during the Tribulation (the Church of Laodicea - Rev. 3:11-22).  The "city on seven hills" is described in Revelation 17:9-18.  The "dreadful Judge" will be Jesus Christ (Rev. 18:8; 19:2, 11).
Believe St. Malachy or not, the time of the end is at hand:  turn from sin to Christ!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


If you have spent any time at all studying the Bible, you will have come across, what appear to be, contradictions.  For instance, there is only one God (Deut. 6:4; Mk. 12:32), but the Father is God (Isa. 63:16; Rom. 1:7), the Son is God (Ps. 45:6; Heb. 1:8), and the Holy Spirit is God (Gen. 1:2; 1 Cor. 5:3-4).  Some, like the Trinity, may be beyond our human understanding, and we simply need to trust God's Word until we are present with Him.

There are also examples where ignorance on the part of the reader has resulted in an apparent contradiction.  A good example is the feeding of the 5000 (Mt. 16:9; Mk. 8:19 - Lk. and Jn. say "about 5000") and the feeding of the 4000 (Mt. 15:38; Mk. 8:20 - Lk. and Jn. did not record this occasion).  The very fact that both Matthew and Mark record both occurrences, indicates they were two separate instances in the life of Christ.

Then, there are some apparent contradictions where a text may be addressing truth which has more than one meaning.  An example of this is found when comparing the following: 

*  "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come" ( Joel 2:31).  Here, "before the great and the terrible day of the LORD" is referring to prior to the Tribulation (Dan. 9:27; Mt. 24:3-29; Rev. 6 - 18). 
*  "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come" (Acts 2:20).  Compare this with what occurred at Christ's Crucifixion (Mt. 27:45; Mk. 15:33; Lk. 23:44 - which is also before the Tribulation).
*  "And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood" (Rev. 6:12).  John is describing the actual event he sees in his prophetic vision. 

So you see, Joel said what would happen, Luke (Acts) referred to a partial fulfillment of what is a dual prophecy, and John (Revelation) gives us a glimpse of the completion of the prophecy, yet to come.  The nation of Israel, as God's ambassador to the nations, ended with the rejection of the King they were to represent.  From the Crucifixion until the time of the Tribulation, God has set aside His chosen people (Rom. 9 - 11), and He has focused upon the Church (His other sheep - Jn. 10:16).  It will be following the Tribulation, at Christ's Second Coming, that Israel's eyes will be opened, and Israel will be restored (Rom. 11:24-26).

God's Word is without error; all perceived error is due to ignorance!  

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Yesterday, I suggested that Satan's seed will be the Antichrist, the Son of Perdition (Rev. 13:1-10; 2 Thes. 2:3).  "Perdition," according to Webster's New World Dictionary, is defined as "complete and irreparable loss; ruin; in Theology, the loss of the soul; damnation; the same as hell."  Satan's son, like his father before him, desires to be god (Isa. 14:12-15; Dan. 9:27; Mt. 24:15; Rev. 13:8).  Failing to achieve that, his desire is to take as many human beings with him to his inevitable destination:  the Lake of Fire (Rev. 19:20; 20:10, 14-15).

Jesus also described the religious leaders of Israel as being the children of Satan when He said,  "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it" (Jn. 8:44).

But the most disturbing revelation as to the identity of the children of Satan is found in a parable describing the Church.  Jesus later identified the wheat and the tares: 

"Another parable put He forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in His field:  but while men slept, His enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.  But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.  So the servants of the Householder came and said unto Him, Sir, didst not Thou sow good seed in Thy field? from whence then hath it tares?  He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto Him, Wilt Thou then that we go and gather them up?  But He said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.  Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into My barn" (Mt. 13:24-30).

Then Jesus explained the parable:  "He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; the field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; the enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.

The person in the pew next to you may be a "tare!" 
Worse yet, the person next to him could be one too!

Monday, March 11, 2013


Yesterday, in Sunday School, we were discussing "the sons of God" and "the daughters of men" of Genesis 6:1-4, when our teacher made a statement that absolutely blew my mind.  He pointed out that we, as believers, focus all our attention on "Eve's seed," and we never give much thought to "Satan's seed."  He then had us look again at Genesis 3:15, which says, "And I (יְהֹוָה - Yĕhovah), will put enmity between thee (Satan) and the woman (Eve), and between thy seed (Satan's descendant) and her seed (Eve's descendant); it (He) shall bruise thy (Satan's) head, and thou (Satan) shalt bruise His (Eve's descendant's) heel."

Of course we all focus upon Eve's seed for obvious reasons: 1) Men, not women, provide the "seed," while women provide the "egg" in human reproduction; 2) Jesus did not have a human father (Mt. 1:16, 18-25; Lk. 1:26-35; 3:23); and 3) Angels do not reproduce (Mt. 22:30; Mk. 12:25).  But isn't it ironic that we can so easily believe the "exception to the rule" that a spirit being (in this case, the Holy Spirit) fathered a human child through the Virgin Mary, while we are closed to the idea of another spirit being (Satan) fathering a son through a woman, such as the Mother of Harlots (Rev. 17:5)? 

Since Satan, according to Genesis 3:15, will have a descendant, is it not possible that the "sons of God" (here presumed to be the fallen angels) could have mated with "the daughters of men?"  They no longer appear to have lived in heaven, but only "visited" at certain times (Job 1:6; 2:1).  Perhaps the "rule" for them changed when they were cast down to the earth (Gen. 3:14; Ezek. 28:16-17; Lk. 10:18).  Who knows?  A much better question is, of whom does the Scripture speak as being Satan's descendant?

One thing for sure, whoever he is, he will be the opposite of Jesus Christ, and yet he will come pretending to be Christ.  The one who immediately comes to mind is the Antichrist (Dan. 7:1-25; 9:27; 1 Jn. 2:18; Rev. 6:2 w/ 19:11).  He is also known as "the man of sin" and "the son of perdition" (2 Thes. 2:3). The word "perdition" means "destruction" or "judgment" (Rev. 17:8-11). Two prophetic types for him are found in Antiochus Epiphanes (Dan. 8:5-13), and in Judas Iscariot (Jn. 17:8-11).  And finally, he will be known as the Beast (Rev. 13:1-10)!

All who deny Christ are known as antichrists (1 Jn. 2:18, 22; 4:3)! 




Sunday, March 10, 2013


Nimrod, the son of Cush, the grandson of Ham, and the great grandson of Noah, did the exact opposite of what God told Noah's family to do.  He had told them to "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth" (Gen. 9:1).  Instead, by the time Nimrod came along, the entire population was still living close to the city of Babel, which is believed to be Nimrod's capital (Gen. 10:6-10; 11:1-9).

There is some irony concerning the Hebrew בָּבֶל (Babel), which occurs 262 times in 233 verses in the Hebrew concordance of the KJV.  Of those, it is only translated "Babel" in two (Gen. 10:10; 11:9).  Everywhere else, it is translated "Babylon" or "Babylonian."  Apparently what started out as a single city, eventually became a mighty empire.  Fortunately, the New Testament is not quite as difficult.  There, the Greek Βαβυλών (Babylōn), occurs 12 times in 11 verses in the Greek concordance of the KJV (Mt. 1:11, 12, 17; Acts 7:43; 1 Pet. 5:13; Rev. 14:8; 16:19; 17:5; 18:2, 10, 21).

There is, as with many themes in the Bible, a connection between the Babylonian Empire in the Old Testament and that described in the Book of Revelation.  Three times, the Word of God describes the fall of Babylon in the same way: 

*  "And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods He hath broken unto the ground" (Isa. 21:9).
*  "And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication" (Rev. 14:8).
*  "And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird" (Rev. 18:2).

In the first two verses, the reason was given:  idolatry and failure to keep herself pure.  I believe both are metaphors for Israel's "adultery" with the religions of the world, and with the governments of the world.  In other words, Israel, instead of being a light to the world, expressed in her uniqueness, she becomes just another heathen nation.  In the last verse, their sin is not described, but the consequence of her sin is:  she was taken over by Satan and his minions.  Notice the city had become "great" at the expense of those they slaughtered; "And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth" (Rev. 18:24).
Americans beware of the push for one world government, economy, and religion!   

Saturday, March 9, 2013


There are four listings of the disciples in the Scriptures (Mt. 10:2-4; Mk. 3:16-19; and Lk. 6:14-16 list the "twelve"; and Acts 1:13 lists the "eleven").  These lists vary in the order the names are listed, as well as some of the names themselves.  For instance, Peter, who is always listed first, is named "Simon, who is called Peter"; "Simon, (whom) He surnamed Peter"; "Simon"; and "Peter." 

It is interesting that you will find they are always divided into three groups of four, with Philip always appearing in the fifth position, and James, son of Alphaeus, always listed in the ninth.   The first group of four consisted of  Peter, Andrew, James, and John.  The second group of four consisted of Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, and Thomas.  And the third group of four consisted of James, the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon, and Judas.

There is some irony in the position held by Thomas in these four lists.  He is listed seventh, eighth, eighth, and sixth.  His "highest rating" is in the Book of Acts, which is, of course, after his infamous refusal to take the word of the other disciples that they had been visited by the Resurrected Lord (Jn. 20:19-25).  And although he has been nicknamed "Doubting Thomas" ever since, Luke "promoted him" to number six! 

Perhaps Luke chose to "look at his whole body of work," rather than at the one instance where he doubted.  Thomas appears to have been very courageous in his response to Jesus saying He was going to Jerusalem, a statement to which "His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone Thee; and goest Thou thither again?" (Jn. 11:8).  "Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with Him" (Jn. 11:16).  However, like the rest of the disciples, Thomas went into hiding following the arrest of Jesus (Mt. 26:56; Mk. 14:50-51).

And it was Thomas who humbled himself by asking the question, "Lord, we know not whither Thou goest; and how can we know the way?" when Jesus had said He was going to prepare a place for them (Jn. 14:1-5).  His question resulted in Jesus making one of the most important statements found in the entire Bible:  "Jesus saith unto him, I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me" (Jn. 14:6).
How would you like to be remembered for your failure, rather than for your faith?


Friday, March 8, 2013


"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.  In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.  And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not" (Jn. 1:1-5).
"He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.  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:  which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (Jn. 1:10-14).
"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" (Jn. 3:14-18).
"Then delivered he Him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led Him away.
And He bearing His cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:  where they crucified Him, and two other with Him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.  And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.  This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin" (Jn. 19:16-20).
"And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.  And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this Book:  But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name" (Jn. 20:28-31).
Having just read these excerpts from John's Gospel, do you believe them?   


There are two Greek words translated "beast" in the Book of Revelation: 

1)  ζῷον (zōon), meaning "a living being" or "a living animal." 
ζῷον appears 23 times in 20 verses, and with the exception of three verses (14:3; 15:7; 19:4), all are found in chapters 4-7.  Without exception, every use of ζῷον in Revelation has to do with the four, eye-covered, six-winged creatures which surround God's throne, and who repeat "Holy, Holy, Holy day and night."  These same creatures are called seraphims in Isaiah 6:3.

2)  θηρίον (thērion), meaning "a wild animal"; or a metaphore for "a brutal, bestial man." 
θηρίον appears 46 times in 38 verses.  While it appears once in Revelation 11:7, all the rest are found in chapters 13-20.  And, every time the word is used, it refers to one of the members of the Satanic trinity:  Satan (who would be god - Isa. 14:12-14), the Beast (Antichrist, who causes men to worship Satan - Rev. 13:4), or the second Beast (the False Prophet, who, acting like the Holy Spirit, focuses all attention on Satan and the Antichrist - Rev. 13:12).

We read from Revelation 11 and 13, that the Satanic trinity's three individual created beings (something that immediately reveals the difference between them and the Holy Trinity - The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit have existed eternally as one God) each appear from different places. 

Satan:  "And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out (of heaven - Lk. 10:18) into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him" (Rev. 12:9).  We read in Revelation 11:7 that he then ascends out of the bottomless pit to kill the two witnesses (Rev. 11:7).

Antichrist:  "And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy" (Rev. 13:1).  Revelation explains "the sea" thusly:  "The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues" (Rev. 17:15).  In other words, he comes from the Gentile world.

The False Prophet:  "And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth (land); and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon" (Rev. 13:11).  Because of his origins and the fact that the idea of "the land" usually refers to Israel, he is believed to be a Jew.  

Isn't it interesting that these come from heaven, the sea, and the earth? 



Thursday, March 7, 2013


The Hebrew verb, אָבָה ('abah), means “to be willing, to consent, to desire, to wish.” It is an interesting verb because it is always used with a negative particle except for two places (Isa. 1:19 and Job 39:9). With the negative it means “to be unwilling, to refuse.” For example, in Exodus 10:27 it is used of Pharaoh’s stubborn refusal to let the children of Israel go (“he would not,” he refused!). This word is also illustrated in 2 Samuel 23:16 where David refused to drink the water (“he would not”) even though he was terribly thirsty. This word is also used in Isaiah 42:24 (Israel’s refusal to walk in God’s ways) and in Ezekiel 3:7 and 20:8 (Israel’s refusal to listen to God). The following passage contains this verb:   “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land” (Isa. 1:19).  This is one of those rare places where the verb is used without the negative. God’s desire was that they would be clean (v.16). God wanted them to learn to do well (v.17). God was willing to reason with them and to offer them the forgiveness of sins (v.18). God was willing. Would they be willing (v.19) or would they refuse (v.20)?

(from Mt. 23:37; Lk. 19:41).

                               Alas! for thee, Jerusalem,  How cold thy heart to me!

How often in these arms of love, Would I have gathered thee!

My sheltering wing had been your shield, My love your happy lot:

I would it had been thus with thee -- I would, but ye would not."

He wept alone, and men passed on, The men whose sins He bore;

They saw the Man of sorrows weep, They had seen Him weep before;

They ask'd not whom those tears were for, They ask'd not whence they flowed;

Those tears were for rebellious man; Their source, the heart of God.

They fell upon this desert earth, Like drops from heaven on high,

Struck from an ocean-tide of love That fills eternity.

With love and tenderness divine, Those crystal cells o'erflow,

'Tis God that weeps, through human eyes, For human guilt and woe.

That hour has fled, those tears are told; The agony is past;

The Lord has wept, the Lord has bled, But has not loved His last,

His eye of love is downward bent, Still ranging to and fro,

Where'er in this wide wilderness There roams the child of woe;

Nor His alone--the Three in One, Who looked through Jesu's eye,

Could still the harps of angel bands, To hear the suppliant sigh;

And when the rebel chooses wrath, God mourns his hapless lot,

Deep breathing from His heart of love, "I would, but ye would not."

 --A.Miller, Brethren writer (The Serious Christian, Series II, Vol. V, pp. 85-87).

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


The exact phrase, "the gift of God," appears seven times in the Bible.  I will print each verse in bold type, and then make my comment(s).

*  Ecclesiastes 3:13 - "And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God."  This is an interesting verse.  It teaches us that no matter how hard one works, the fruit of one's labor is not guaranteed; it is the result of God's grace.

*  Ecclesiastes 5:19 - "Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God."  Again, when man's labor produces results, God is to get the glory.

*  John 4:10 - "Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water."  I would capitalize the word "Gift" here as it appears to refer to Jesus Himself (cp. Jn. 3:16; 1 Jn. 4:9).  Then again, it could be referring to the Holy Spirit (cp. Jn. 7:37-39; Acts 2:38; 10:45).

*  Acts 8:20 - "But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money."  In this context of this passage, Peter is definitely speaking of the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:15-20).

*  Romans 6:23 - "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."  Here, the gift of God is not the person of Jesus, but the eternal life one receives as the result of believing in Him.

*  2 Timothy 1:6 - "Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands."  By comparing 1 Timothy 4:14, we see that Paul is referring to the Spiritual Gift of Prophecy.

*  Ephesians 2:8-9 - "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  not of works, lest any man should boast."  I saved this one for last because there is much disagreement about the identity of "the gift of God" in this passage.  First, the context is about salvation (v.5-7).  In addition, other verses declare salvation to be by grace (a gift) (Rom. 3:24-25; 4:16; 2 Tim. 1:9).  And then there is the biblical evidence that faith is not considered works (Jam. 2:14-26).  Notice that true faith results in genuine salvation and the production of good works is the evidence (Eph. 2:10).

Salvation is the gift of God to those who receive His greatest gift:  His Son!    

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Two murderers would be tried before the judge that day.  The younger of the two had risen up in anger and had killed his brother.  The other had gathered together a band of vigilantes, and he had traveled all over looking for those who rejected his religion; when he had found them, he killed them.  Both were clearly guilty.  Both, according to the Law, were to be sentenced to death. 

As the one guilty of many murders stood before the judge, he was asked, "How do you plead?"  The man's lawyer said, "My client pleads not guilty."  The crowd in the courtroom roared with laughter and contempt.  The judge responded by asking his lawyer to approach the bench.  No one could hear what he told the judge, but he seemed to be reading something from a book he was carrying.  When he returned to his place, much to every one's amazement, the judge said, "Case dismissed."  Outside the courtroom, reporters tried desperately to hear what the freed man had to say.  His only words were, "I want to thank my Lawyer, and simply say, I am not the man I used to be." 

Meanwhile, back in the courtroom, the other man, the one who had killed his brother, heard the news that the "mass murderer" had "walked."  He thought to himself, "If a guy guilty of several murders could be set free by this judge, my chances are looking really good!"  Like before, the judge asked him, "How do you plead?"  His lawyer responded, "My client pleads not guilty, your honor."  The crowd in the courtroom seemed to agree, and there were smiles all around.  Again, like before, the judge asked the lawyer to approach the bench.  Again, no one in the court could hear what they were saying, but they were apparently reading out of the same book as before.  When the lawyer returned to his place, the judge said, "I hereby sentence this man to death."  The crowd gasped in shock.  They, like the young man, had expected the judge to have no problem with this case, especially since all the evidence pointed to manslaughter, rather than to pre-meditated murder.  When reporters asked the young man what he had to say, he stood in stunned silence.

Rather than explain this parable, I will provide you with some clues which, should you choose to take the time to investigate them in your Bible, will reveal the message I believe to be of the utmost importance.  Clue one:  before this Judge, all men are guilty.  Clue two:  the Lawyer is better known as "the Advocate."  Clue three:  there are obviously two standards for sentencing guilty men - the Law, and whatever is written in the Advocate's book. 

If you need help understanding, e-mail me at:        

Monday, March 4, 2013


I cannot help but shudder at the thought that I, while in my late twenties, believed it was my calling to "set free" all of those who were "brainwashed" into believing there was a god.  I delighted in "destroying" the defenses believers offered to support their faith; it made me feel that I was intellectually superior.  Then it happened!  The Lord orchestrated a series of events which convinced me that He not only existed, but that I desperately needed the gift He was offering through faith in His Son:  salvation.  Humbled and on my knees in my living room, this fool gave his life to Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior!

Now, I am amazed how anyone could deny God!  There is so much evidence, not only for His existence, but that He is Omniscient, Omnipresent, and Omnipotent!  And the longer I have been a born again believer, the more proof I see in the Word, the world, and in my everyday situations. 

Yesterday in church, my pastor was teaching on the "suicide" of Samson, and he took a moment to focus upon a verse that has never before caught my attention.  He pointed out the different words Samson used in addressing God.  It says, "And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes" (Jud. 16:28).  Later, I was thinking about how meticulously the ancient scribes were in documenting God's Word, and how, after over 3000 years, the English translators still insisted on being absolutely accurate.  So, I looked at the Hebrew to see what difference there is in the original wording.  I found:
"the LORD" is from יהוה Yĕhovah
"O Lord GOD" is from אדני 'Adonay - plus - יהוה Yĕhovih
"O God" is from אלהים 'elohiym

I was immediately reminded of Deuteronomy 6:4, which says, "Hear O Israel:  The LORD our God, is one LORD."  shows the same attention to detail: 

"The LORD" is from יהוה Yĕhovah
 "God" is from אלהים 'elohiym
"one LORD" is from  יהוה Yĕhovah
No other book demonstrated the exactness of God's revelation to man!