Tuesday, April 30, 2013


When the Church began, on the Day of Pentecost following the Ascension of Jesus, it was made up entirely of Jewish believers.  Not only was the entire Old Testament written by Jews, the New Testament would be as well.  For all practical purposes, the Church appeared to be little more than a Jewish cult to the Romans and to non-believing Jews.

But something happened to change their perception of the Church.  A few years after its beginning, the Church suddenly ceased to be a Jewish "denomination," and it came to be viewed as a faith all its own!  In Acts 10:1-48, God revealed to the Jewish believers that the Church was to be made up of both Jews and Gentiles: 

*  God told Cornelius to send for Peter (v. 1-8).
*  God prepared Peter (v. 9-16).
*  Cornelius sent for Peter (v.17-22).
*  Peter and others went to Cornelius (v. 23-29).
*  Cornelius testified about his vision (v. 30-33).
*  Peter preached the Gospel (34-43).
*  The Gentiles believed and were filled with the Holy Ghost (v. 44-48). 

At last, the Church learned why the Jewish Feast of Pentecost involved waving two loaves of leavened bread (Lev. 23:15-21); the Body of Christ was to be made up of both imperfect Jews, and imperfect Gentiles!  Suddenly, all those "whosoevers" regarding salvation made sense!  Here are just ten of the promises God has made to "whosoever": 

"whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life" (Jn. 3:15).
"whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (Jn. 3:16).
"whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die" (Jn. 11:26).
"whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Acts 2:21).
"whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins" (Acts 10:43).
"whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the Word of this salvation sent" (Acts 13:26).
"whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed" (Rom. 9:33; 10:11).
"whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Rom. 10:13).
"Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him" (1 Jn. 4:15).
"Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God" (1 Jn. 5:1).

John wrote about this in his Gospel; "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" (Jn. 1:11-12).

Praise God! 

Monday, April 29, 2013


Let me begin by saying that what I have written here is strictly my opinion.  I do not claim my view is correct; I am sharing it because it is how I understand an age of accountability.
There are a couple of things which are necessary in order for a person to sin.  First of all, obviously there must be a law to break.  The Bible says, ". . . where no law is, there is (or there can be) no transgression" (Rom. 4:15).  The Scripture adds that ". . . sin is not imputed when there is no law" (Rom. 5:13).  However, from the very beginning of time, there was law.  Adam and Eve disobeyed God's law which said they were not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:17).
Secondly, in order for a person to sin, he must be aware that what he is choosing to do is sin.  The Word says, ". . . for by the law is the knowledge of sin" (Rom. 3:20).  In other words, a person cannot knowingly sin if he is unaware of the law which forbids what he is about to do.  The need for one to be aware is also clearly seen in what God's Word says about sins of omission.  James wrote, ". . . to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin" (Jam. 4:17).

Thirdly, the person must be capable of comprehending that he is choosing to deliberately defy God.  A new born baby can not possibly sin.  While he has the Adamic nature which makes him predisposed to sin, until he is old enough to comprehend it all, he remains innocent. 

The passage of Scripture most people point to concerning what has come to be called "man's sin nature," is found in Romans 5:12, which says, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned."  I would like to suggest what the Word is teaching is that it is our sin that results in our "inheritance" of Adam's consequences, not his.  Notice it says death passed upon all men because all men sin!

Another passage, which I believe is misunderstood, is 1 Corinthians 15:22, which says, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."  How does one get to be "in Christ?"  We must believe what God says concerning His Son.  Similarly, I believe one gets to be "in Adam" (in his likeness - Gen. 5:3; become part of fallen humanity) when he rejects what God says.  In other words, I believe that until a child consciously chooses to do what he knows God forbids him to do, he is still pure in the eyes of God.  Deuteronomy 1:39 says, "Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it."

The Holy Spirit gives conviction when He decides a child is ready!       


Sunday, April 28, 2013


From what I can tell, the word "trust" and the word "believe," in the Bible, mean pretty much the same thing.  Trusting in God is the predominant theme of the Old Testament, while believing in Jesus dominates the teaching of the New Testament.  Perhaps that is because the Old Testament asks a people to trust God to send them the Messiah, and the New Testament calls on all people to believe that He has come!  Today, whether Jew or Gentile, when one truly believes the Gospel message, and trust in Jesus Christ as both Lord and Savior, he is saved!  Here is why:

"Trust" in the Hebrew בָּטַח (batach), means "to trust," and it occurs 120 times in 117 verses in the Hebrew concordance of the KJV.

"Trust" in the Greek πείθω (peithō), means "to have been persuaded," and it occurs 63 times in 55 verses in the Greek concordance of the KJV.

"Believe" in the Hebrew אָמַן ('aman), means "to trust," and it occurs 108 times in 102 verses in the Hebrew concordance of the KJV.

"Believe" in the Greek πιστεύω (pisteuō) [from the root πίστις (pistis) which is translated "faith" 239 times in the New Testament], means "to have faith in," and it occurs 264 times in 220 verses in the Greek concordance of the KJV.

An illustration of how the words "trust" and "believe" differ only in timing, can be seen in a born again Christian's prayer life.  When we approach the throne of God with a need, we trust that He is able to fulfill our request.  We trust that He loves us, and that He only wants what is the absolute best for us, His children.  We know in our heart that He will only "say yes" to our request if it is what is best for us (Rom. 8:28-29).  And, we also trust that He will "say no" if our request is not what is best for us (Rom. 8:26-27).  After we have prayed, we believe that He has heard our prayers, and we believe that whatever God chooses to do, it will work to make us more like Jesus (Rom. 8:29; Eph. 2:10; 4:11-16; Phil. 1:6; etc.).   

When we truly trust and believe in Jesus, repentance happens! 

Saturday, April 27, 2013


There is much debate within the Christian faith about the meaning and significance of repentance, and its role in ones salvation.  Those who believe one must "do something" in order to be saved, often cite God's call to repentance as proof that a man must "turn over a new leaf," or "clean up his act," in order to be saved.  In other words, they believe man must make a conscious decision to begin living a holy life in order to be saved.  Those who hold to the view that salvation is a free gift, that a man is simply chosen by God and is miraculously changed, view repentance as being the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of one being born again.  But what does the Bible say about repentance?

First of all, let's look at the definition of the word "repent."  The Hebrew נָחַם (nacham), means to "be sorry" or "to regret" ones words or actions.  The Greek μετανοέω (metanoeō), means "to have a change of mind."  Coupled together, the two appear to describe a Gestalt Switch, or a sudden change in the way a man views his own way of life.  It is a sudden belief that Jesus was crucified, buried, and resurrected to be his Savior because he is lost and needs to be saved.  It is like a two-sided coin; on one side, he sees the truth about himself, and on the other, he sees the truth about Jesus.  Hence, repentance and faith occur when he believes!  There is little doubt that Jesus had this in mind when He said, ". . . repentance and remission of sins should be preached in (My) name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem" (Lk. 24:47)!

When some men asked Jesus, "What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?"  Jesus replied, "This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent" (Jn. 6:28-29).  The word "believe" appears forty-six times in the Gospel of John; that is twice the number of times it appears in the Synoptic Gospels (Mt., Mk., Lk.), and two more than the rest of the entire New Testament!  

"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. 3:16-18).
When you believe Jesus died to be your Savior, you will turn and follow Him!

Friday, April 26, 2013


Whenever one language is translated into another, most translators make every effort to convey the original message of the writer.  This is especially true of most of the translators of the Bible.  A perfect example is found in the King James Version of Ephesians 2:1-10.  I have placed within parentheses, the words which were not in the original, but were inserted by the translators (and me) to help the reader understand the original Greek text.  

[1] And you (hath He quickened - that is, made alive), who were dead in (your) trespasses and sins;
[2] Wherein in time(s) past ye walked (lived) according to the course (practices) of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
[3] Among whom also we all had our conversation (life-style, or way of life) in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
[4] But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us,
[5] Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ, (by grace, that is, unmerited favor, ye are saved;)
[6] And hath raised (us) up together, and made (us to) sit together in heaven (ly places) in Christ Jesus:
[7] That in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace (unmerited favor) in (His) kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
[8] For by grace (unmerited favor) are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: (it is, or salvation is) the gift of God:
[9] (Salvation is) Not of works, lest any man should boast.
[10] For we are His workmanship, created (saved) in Christ Jesus unto (in order to do) good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk (should spend our new life) in (doing) them.

To those who would object to Bible translations because they differ from the King James Version, I would ask you one question:  How can the KJV be the only true version if it differs from the original Hebrew and Greek texts?  As I have attempted to demonstrate above, it does.  This can also be seen by comparing KJV New Testament quotes of the Old Testament KJV; they are not word-for-word quotes (for an excellent source, see http://kalvesmaki.com/LXX/NTCHART.HTM). 

Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God - regardless of the version!

Thursday, April 25, 2013


When God created Adam and Eve, they were innocent of sin; they were righteous; they were in fellowship with their Creator.  Although they lived in a garden, set apart from the rest of the world, they apparently could go in and out of it, because God told them to "replenish the earth"  (Gen. 1:28; 2:8; 3:22-24).  It is unfortunate that the KJV uses the word "replenish" because it gives the false impression that the world had previously been fully populated.  The Hebrew word מָלָא (male'), means "to fill," not to "refill."  They were to populate the earth.  

And in that garden, there were three categories of trees.  The Word says, "And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil." (Gen. 2:9). 

God gave them one "law."  They were not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:16-17).  God told Adam the penalty for eating of the forbidden tree was death, and not just death, but immediate death (Gen. 2:17).  Since Adam lived hundreds of years following his transgression (Gen. 5:1-5), it is obvious that the death about which God spoke, was the death of Adam's spirit.  Jesus informed Nicodemus that he needed to be born of the Spirit (Jn. 3:3-8).  Paul wrote that man, though physically alive, is spiritually dead due to his trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1, 5; Col. 2:9).

So, Adam and Eve could eat from all the trees except one.  They could eat from the trees which provided them with food, and logic tells us that when they were hungry, they did so.  They could eat from the tree of life, but I am not exactly sure as to why they needed to.  After all, death is the result of ones sin (Rom. 6:23a).  If Adam and Eve had not eaten from the forbidden tree, they would not have sinned, and therefore, one would think they would not need the tree of life.  Oh well, I will just add that question to the thousands on my list to ask God.  LOL

Approximately 4000 years passed, and again there were three trees.  One held an unrepentant sinner who died in his sins (Mt. 27:44; Mk. 15:32), a second held a criminal who was saved by placing his trust in Jesus (Lk. 23:39-43), and the third held the Jesus, "the King of the Jews" (Lk. 23:38).  One tree held a sinner filled with hate, one tree held a sinner filled with hope, and the third tree held the sinless Son of God, filled with love (Mt. 3:17; 17:5; 2 Pet. 1:17; Heb. 4:15; Rev. 3:9).  Jesus will, one day, sentence the first man to everlasting punishment, but He had already saved the second man and written his name in the book of life (Rev. 20:11-15).

We all need to look upon Jesus and decide to either mock Him, or worship Him.
Your decision has eternal consequences!


Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Jack Van Impe, on his program "Jack Van Impe Presents," reported that some Bible publishers have removed the word "God" from their translations, and replaced it with "Allah."  Their reasoning was that they did not want to offend Muslims with whom they were trying to share the Gospel.  He also reported that they had removed the phrase, "the Son of God," for the same reason:  it seems Allah has no sons. 

This is quite ironic, in that, in their "effort" to reach Muslims for Christ, they seem to have forgotten the two words they have changed are the very words necessary to bring someone to salvation!  After all, one is required to believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God in order to be saved!  1 John 5:12-13 says, "He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life . . . ."

Here are some examples of those who knew Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, and some who recognized Him as the Son of God:

*  A heathen king Nebuchadnezzar - Dan. 3:25.
*  The High Priest - Mt. 26:63.
*  Demons - Mk. 3:11.
*  His enemies quoted Him claiming it - Mt. 27:43.
*  The angel Gabriel revealed it to Mary - Lk. 1:35.
*  The angel told John to tell the Church at Thyatira - Rev. 2:18.
*  The Ethiopian Eunuch believed it and was baptized - Acts 8:37.
*  The Disciples believed it - Too numerous to list here!
*  Jesus, Himself, claimed to be God's Son - Mt. 16:15-17; Mk. 14:61-64; Jn. 9:35-38.
*  God claimed Him as His Son - Mt. 3:17; 17:5-9; 2 Pet. 1:17.

"And this is His commandment, That we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as He gave us commandment" (1 Jn. 3:23).

There are many views as to the identity of Jesus. 
But the only one that saves is that JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


In Matthew 13:3-50, Jesus taught in parables because:  1) Prophecy said He would - 13:35;  2) Some of the Lord's teaching was intended for a select audience - 13:10-17;  and 3) Parables contained information that had been a mystery from the foundation of the world - 13:35!

The mystery He was revealing to His chosen audience, had not been revealed for the two thousand years of the Gentiles (from Adam until Abraham), and it had not been revealed for the two thousand years of the Jews (from Abraham until Christ's First Advent).  This mystery involves Christ's coming two times:  at His First Coming, He came to be "the Lamb of God"; that is, to be sacrificed for sin (Jn. 1:29-36); He will be returning at His Second Coming to reign on earth as the "Lion of the Tribe of Judah" (Rev. 5:5).  In addition, the period between His First Advent and His Second Advent, deals with the mystery of the Gospel (the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ - 1 Cor. 15:1-4; Rom. 16:25; Eph. 6:19); and the Church Age (Eph. 3:4-7; 5:32; Col. 1:26-2:27)!  Therefore, the key to understanding the parables of Matthew 13 is that they describe the period between Christ's two Advents.

1)  The Sower (Jesus) sowing the seed (the Gospel of the Kingdom) - 13:3-8; 18-23.
     The Enemy (Satan) "seed thieves" stealing the seed.
2)  The Sower (Jesus) sowing the Good Seed (born again believers) - 13:24-30; 36-43.
     The Enemy (Satan) sowing the bad seed (tares or the merely religious).
3)  The Sower (Jesus) sowing the Mustard Seed (Church growth) - 13:31-32.
     The Enemy (Satan) sending "seed thieves" into the organized church.
4)  The Unleavened Bread (the true Church) - 13:33.
     The Leaven (false teaching of religionists corrupts the Church) Mt. 16:6, 11.
5)  The Hidden Treasure (the true Church) cost Him His all - 13:44.
     Jesus paid for the whole world so He could own the mysterious treasure, the Church.
6)  The Pearl of Great Price (the true Church) - 13:45-46.
     Jesus bought our freedom from the one who owned us, Satan (2 Cor. 4:4; Rev. 5:9).
7)  The Net (the judgment at the end of the Tribulation) - 13:47-50.
     The angels will separate the Sheep from the Goats (Mt. 25:31-46; Rev. 20:4; etc.).
    Has the seed come to life in you?   
Then rejoice, not that you are a member of a church, but that you are a child of God!


For whatever reason, the blog I write is very difficult for "followers" who wish to write comments.  I do not know why, but I would like input from you.  So, please feel free to e-mail me at p.mutschler@insightbb.com and be sure to put "blog follower" in the subject line.  Otherwise, I will not open it.  Once I know who you are, that won't be necessary.  I am humbled and blessed that the Holy Spirit has moved you to become a "follower" (I hate the term because only Jesus should have followers, but that's the net for you).  I especially want to thank my friend from Mountain View, California, because I am "visited" by you every single day, and sometimes, more than once.  God bless you all, and be sure to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with those the Spirit leads you to do so; time is short, and Jesus can come at any time.  Paul Mutschler "Skip" of www.skipslighthouse.blogspot.com

Monday, April 22, 2013


The word, "earthquakes" appears only three times in the Bible, and all three are found in the Synoptic Gospel accounts of the Olivet Discourse (Mt. 24:7; Mk. 13:8; Lk. 21:11).  Much has been preached and written about earthquakes being one of the signs included in Christ's teaching concerning the coming Tribulation.  Ironically, there is nothing in the three references which mentions an increased frequency or intensity of the earthquakes.  The texts merely mentions that the earthquakes will be in diverse places. 

While the specific number is not mentioned, the fact that people will be aware of earthquakes "in diverse places" tells us that science will have the ability to report such events. And, in that sense, frequency and magnitude may be compared to the pains of a woman in labor ("beginning of sorrows" - Mt. 24:8; Mk. 13:8).  The Greek ὠδίν (ōdin), which is translated "sorrows," is translated "travail" in 1 Thessalonians 5:3 which reads, "For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape."

In light of that, I checked the United States Geological Survey for data to see if, in fact, there is evidence of an increase in frequency and magnitude.  Here is what they report:
*  From 1863 to 1900, there were twelve recorded earthquakes of at least 7.0. 
*  From 1901 to 1938, there were fifty-three
*  From 1939 to 1976, there were seventy-one
*  And from 1977 to the year of the report (2011), there were one hundred sixty-four
In addition, comparing the number over just the past two decades, the number has increased from fifteen to ninty-nine!

Of the other signs included in the "beginning of sorrows" (wars, rumors of wars, famines, and pestilences), there is little doubt that they have also increased.  At no time in our nation's history have we been involved in two wars at one time, while being threatened by two other nations (North Korea and Iran).  The Center for Disease Control reports an alarming increase in Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, types and severity of the Flu, the number of Food-borne illnesses, Human Immunodeficiency Virus, strokes in pregnant women, etc.  Again, the fact that science is capable of diagnosing and reporting these increases worldwide, supports the closeness of the Tribulation, followed by Christ's Second Coming!

Things are going to get worse before they get awesome!              



Sunday, April 21, 2013


"Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by Him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:  Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:  Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that He should be holden of it" (Acts 2:22-24).

"And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.  For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.  Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified" (Rom. 8:26-30).

"I say then, Hath God cast away His people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.   God hath not cast away His people which He foreknew" (Rom. 11:1-2).

"Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied" (1 Pet. 1:1-2).

"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).

Saving faith comes by believing the Word of God.  

Saturday, April 20, 2013


Much is said in the Scriptures about God's mercy and His grace.  Mercy is not getting what one deserves - death (Rom. 6:23a).  God has shown us mercy in providing the propitiation for our sins in the death of Christ on our behalf.  Grace is getting what one does not deserve - eternal life (Rom. 6:23b).  God shows His grace in saving us and adopting us as His children (Jn. 1:12; 1 Jn. 3:2).

The word, "propitiation" appears three times in the Bible, and all three refer to the sacrifice of Jesus as the satisfaction of our "death sentence" (Rom. 3:25; 1 Jn. 2:2; 1 Jn. 4:10).  Romans renders it from the Greek, hilastērion, which means "mercy."  This can be clearly seen from the only other time hilastērion is used in the Bible, where it is translated, "mercy seat" (Heb. 9:5).  In the two 1 John references, "propitiation" is from the Greek,  hilasmos, which means "an appeasing," or a "satisfying of a debt."

Taken in context, the Apostle Paul used it thusly:  "Being justified freely by . . . Christ Jesus, whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that . . . He might be just, and the justifier of Him which believeth in Jesus" (Rom. 3:24-26).  

Here is how the Apostle John used it.  "My little children, these things write I unto you, that . . . Jesus Christ the righteous . . . is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (1 Jn. 2:1-2).   Again, in 1 John 4:10, he wrote, "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins."

The writer of Hebrews wrote, "Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; and over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercy seat (hilastērion); of which we cannot now speak particularly ( Heb. 9:4-5).

Paul compared the scope of the consequences of Adam's sin, to the scope of the payment for sin by Jesus in Romans 5:19:  "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous."  Some have said that the word "many" does not encompass all, but if Adam's sin brought about death to all, then Jesus' death made righteousness available to all.

I see it as being like a man walking into a bank and paying off all the loans of every customer.  All the customers are declared debt free.  However, there are many who believe that no one gets anything for nothing.  They see the payment of their debt as being too good to be true, so they continue to make payments, even though the bank repeatedly tells them it is no longer necessary.  Sad, isn't it.
Religious works are man's effort to pay a non-existing debt.

Friday, April 19, 2013


There is a Satanic trinity found in the Book of Revelation, comprised of Satan or the Dragon (Rev. 12:9), the Beast or the Antichrist (Rev. 13:1; 1 Jn. 2:18), and another Beast, the False Prophet (Rev. 13:11; 16:13).  Satan seeks to be God; the first Antichrist pretends to be Christ; and the second Beast resembles the Holy Spirit in that, just as the Holy Spirit focuses man's attention upon the Son of God (Jn. 16:13-14), he focuses man's attention on the Son of Perdition (Rev. 13:12; 2 Thes. 2:3).   

The Antichrist:  The Greek antichristos is a combination of ante and christos. The word anti can mean "opposed to," or "in the place of." Christos is obviously Christ. In the case of the Antichrist or first Beast of Revelation, both definitions are applicable. Middletown Bible Church shared these observations:

  1. Christ is from Heaven (Jn. 6:38); Antichrist is from the Pit (Rev. 11:7).
  2. Christ came in His Father's name (Jn. 5:43); Antichrist, his own name (Jn. 5:43).
  3. Christ humbled Himself (Phil. 2:8); Antichrist will exalt himself (2 Thes. 2:4).
  4. Christ was despised (Lk. 23:18); Antichrist will be admired (Rev. 13:3-4).
  5. Christ will be exalted (Phil. 2:9); Antichrist will be cast down (Rev. 19:20).
  6. Christ does His Father's will (Jn. 6:38); Antichrist, his own will (Dan. 11:36).
  7. Christ came to save (Lk. 19:10); Antichrist will come to destroy (Dan. 8:24).
  8. Christ - Good Shepherd (Jn. 10:4-6); Antichrist - evil shepherd (Zech. 11:17).
  9. Christ is the True Vine (Jn. 15:1); Antichrist, the "vine of the earth" (Rev. 14:18).
  10. Christ is the Truth (Jn. 14:6); Antichrist is a liar (2 Thes. 2:11).
  11. Christ is the Holy One (Mk. 1:24); Antichrist, the wicked one (2 Thes. 2:8).
  12. Christ is the Son of God (Lk. 1:35); Antichrist, son of perdition (2 Thes. 2:3).
  13. Christ is the Man of Sorrows (Isa. 53:3); Antichrist, the man of sin (2 Thes. 2:3).
  14. Christ, Mystery of Godliness (1 Tim. 3:16); Antichrist, of iniquity (2 Thes. 2:7).
  15. Christ is my Friend (Jn. 15:15); Antichrist is man's enemy (Rev. 11:7).
  16. Christ is Eternal (1 Tim. 1:17); Antichrist is temporary (Rev. 19:20; 20:10).

Regardless of his evil intent, and his power to destroy, I have really good news for you, if you are a born again believer in Jesus Christ; you will not have to deal with the Antichrist.  True believers, those who have accepted the free gift of salvation paid for through the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, will be taken to be with the Lord prior to his being revealed.  The seven year Tribulation, which begins when he makes a covenant with Israel (Dan. 9:27), also known as the Time of Jacob’s Trouble (Jer. 30:7), and Daniel’s Seventieth Week (Dan. 9:27), will not occur until the Lord’s Church is removed via the Rapture (Jn. 14:1-3; 1 Thes. 4:13-18).  The Lord told the Church of Philadelphia, the true and faithful believers, that He would keep them from the time of God’s wrath upon the earth (Rev. 3:10). 
Praise the Lord!!!!!!!  Come Lord Jesus!!!!!!!

Thursday, April 18, 2013


Babies being slaughtered in their mother's womb, bombs exploding at the Boston Marathon, letters laced with ricin sent to politicians, a fertilizer plant exploding and leveling most of a small Texas town, North Korea threatening everybody, Iran threatening Israel and the U.S., Christians being slaughtered around the world for trusting in Christ; one has to wonder how bad things were in Noah's day! 

Jesus told His disciples, "But as the days of (Noah) were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Mt. 24:37-38).  The "days of Noah" are described in Genesis 6:5-6, which says, "And GOD saw that the wickedness of (mankind) was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  And it repented the LORD that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart."  Looking at the news, you would think that it couldn't get any worse than it is today. 

But believe it or not, what we are seeing in the news everyday is nothing compared to what lies ahead!  There is coming a time when the entire world will be enslaved by the Beast of Revelation 13:1-10.  During the Tribulation (aka. "the Time of Jacob's Trouble, and Daniel's Seventieth Week - Jer. 30:7; Dan. 9:24-27), the penalty for refusing to worship him will be death.  The Tribulation is best described in Matthew 24:3-29 and Revelation Chapters Six through Nineteen.   

You might ask, "How do you know we are not already in the Tribulation?"  The answer is that as long as there are born again believers in this world, things are not as bad as they were in Noah's day.  We are the "salt" that prevents total decay, and the "light" that causes evil to hide in the shadows.  Until the Church is removed, the world is nowhere near as bad as it was in Noah's day.  Scripture tells us:

"And now ye know what withholdeth that he (Antichrist) might be revealed in his time.  For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only He who now letteth will let, until He be taken out of the way.  And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming:  even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved" (2 Thes. 2:6-10)!

Jesus said, "All these are the beginning of sorrows" ("birth pangs" - Mt. 24:3-8). 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


America has been blessed throughout its existence by such great evangelists as Edwards, Finney, Wesley, Whitefield, Moody, Sunday, etc., but without a doubt, the man who has had the greatest religious impact on our country is Billy Graham.  In addition, Graham's crusades have drawn thousands to Christ in many countries around the globe.  And with the invention of television and satellites, those who have heard him preach must number well over a billion. 

Graham's presentation of the Gospel has never changed.  His preaching has always focused upon man's sin and his need for a Savior.  He proclaims Jesus to be the one and only Savior; the one and only way to His Father in heaven.  He preaches Jesus as having been crucified, buried, and raised from the dead according to the Scriptures.  And, at the end of each meeting, Graham invites those who have trusted in the Jesus of the Bible, to come forward so that he can pray for them.  Millions have become born again believers as a result of his ministry, and when asked to give their testimony, they point to the date they trusted in Jesus at a Billy Graham crusade. 

Unlike many of televangelists, Graham's character has never been questioned.  He has spent his entire life in the ministry of Christ, with moral integrity and much humility.  He may be the only evangelist who has never been accused of being a hypocrite!  However, if you were to ask him if he ever sins, he would certainly tell you he struggles just like the rest of us.

Graham, while not being accused of sin by others, has been criticized over how he operates his crusades.  He has sought the support of local pastors to publicize his crusades, to serve as counselors at them, and to follow-up by reaching out to those who filled out a statement-of-faith cards.  While this, on the surface appears to be wise, there is a major flaw in this approach.  First, the pastors do not have to believe in the basic doctrines of the faith:  the inspiration of the Scriptures, the deity of Christ, the virgin birth, the vicarious blood atonement by Christ, the Resurrection, that salvation is a gift received by faith alone, or in Christ's Second Coming.  Hence, when these wolves in sheep's clothing get access to the names, addresses, and phone numbers of the new born babes is Christ, they start them down the road to doctrinal ruin.  The new converts, believing the pastor has the full support of the Graham ministry, are totally vulnerable to their false teaching!

While I totally agree with Graham's critics, I am really not concerned about the future of these new believers.  If the individual has genuinely placed his or her faith in Jesus Christ, the Word of God says that he or she is born again by the Spirit of God who baptizes them into Christ.  As believers, the Holy Spirit lives within them, to teach, to warn, and to protect them from being overcome by the evil one!  God is in control, and we must remember, He loves His child far more than we do. 

We need to trust the One in Whom we trusted for our salvation!            

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


In my blog post of March 14, 2013, entitled Pope Francis:  First and Last, I discussed Saint Malachy's prophecy concerning the current Pope, Pope Francis I.  I showed how, even though his official name was not "Peter, the Roman," there was a strong connection to the name Peter in his choice to be named after Saint Francis of Assisi.  Today, I would like to look further into the prophecy concerning the "last Pope.  Saint Malachy said, "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."

First of all, the word "final," in relationship to the persecution of the "Holy Roman Church," puzzles me.  The HRC is, by far, the largest religion in the world, and if anything, it is known for persecuting others!  I wonder if that is what Malachy meant; that it would be the HRC which would be the one doing the persecuting?  In Revelation 13:11-18, a religious leader, known as "another beast" (v. 11), is also known as the False Prophet (Rev. 16:13; 19:20; 20:10).  He will create an idol, a robot-like image of the Antichrist, and demand the whole world worship it (Rev. 13:14-15).  Yes, during the Tribulation, it will be the religious leader who will do the persecuting!

Secondly, notice the prophecy says he will "pasture his sheep."  These followers are not the Lord's sheep/flock, but are HIS!  When Jesus "commissioned" the "original Peter of Rome," He told Peter three times to feed "My sheep" (Jn. 21:15-17)!

Thirdly, while the true Church is known as the pure Bride of Christ, the whore who sits on the backs of seven mountains, or world empires, is described by John:  "And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth" (Rev. 17:1-18).  When John wrote Revelation, "that great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth," was Rome! 

Fourthly, the true Church will not be present on earth during the Tribulation (Rev. 3:7-11), and the only church present, the one the last Pope will "pasture," will be the Church of Laodicea, a church void of the presence of Jesus Christ (Rev. 3:14-20).  Since the Tribulation ends with the return of Jesus, who will judge the nations (Mt. 25:31-46), why would the Pope's church view Him as "the dreadful judge?"  The true Church rejoices at the return of the Lord, while the church to which the Pope tends, sees Him as one of whom they should dread His coming!

There is irony in the teaching of the HRC, that in order to be saved, one must be a faithful, practicing member of the Pope's church.  The exact opposite is true; Paul wrote that any church which teaches another Gospel, a Gospel of works, should be cursed (Gal. 1:6-9).  He also wrote to come out of such a church (2 Cor. 6:14-18).  Salvation is a free gift, provided and offered by God to all who will accept Jesus by faith (Eph. 2:8-9)! 
Following Christ leads to joy!  Following the Pope leads to dread!



Monday, April 15, 2013


I have written many times about the difference between the members of the Church of Philadelphia (Rev. 3:7-13), and the members of the Church of Laodicea (Rev. 3:14-22).  I have stated that I believe the Church of Philadelphia represents genuine born again believers in Jesus Christ, while the Church of Laodicea is a picture of those who are merely members of a religion known as Christianity.  Today, I want to look more closely at the Church of Philadelphia, to see what it is about that church which pleases the Lord.

"I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept My Word, and hast not denied My name. . . thou hast kept the Word of My patience. . .." (Rev. 3:8, 10). 

That's it!  It doesn't seem like much on the surface, but it must be very important if the Lord intends to make the Jews worship before us (v. 9).  It must be very important if He intends to remove us via the Rapture before the Tribulation (v. 10), and if He intends to give us a crown (v. 11).  It must be very important to Him because He intends to make us pillars in His temple, and to write His name upon us (v. 12). 

So what pleases the Lord?  First of all, born again believers are busy working for the Lord out of gratitude for His free gift of salvation; we are not religiously working to be saved (Eph. 2:8-10)! 

Secondly, even though we have little strength, we are steadfastly defending His Word and His name

And finally, our patience, our steadfastness in keeping His Word, and our unfailing hope in His return for us, please Him (Rom. 8:25; 15:4; 1 Thes. 1:3; etc.).  Paul wrote, "And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ" (2 Thes. 3:5).  Jesus taught His disciples about God's patience when He reminded them that, just as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be when He returns to destroy God's enemies (Matt. 24:36-42).  Later, Peter wrote, "Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water" (1 Pet. 3:20).
When we patiently proclaim and defend His Gospel, God is pleased with us!

Sunday, April 14, 2013


There is none so foolish as the man who believes his thoughts, his words, and his actions can be hidden from God.  From the first man who attempted to hide his sin from God, until those who will try to hide from God's wrath during the Tribulation, man has foolishly believed that under the cover of darkness, he could plot, conspire, and act out his sinful schemes and not be accountable to God (Gen. 3:8; Rev. 6:16).  But the Word says, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked:  for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Gal. 6:7).  And Luke wrote, "Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which you have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops" (Lk. 12:3). 

God not only knows our every thought, word, and deed, He has always known them!  Knowing of what you and I would eventually be guilty, the Word says God created us anyway.  The writer of Hebrews wrote that the sacrificial work of Christ on our behalf was finished from the foundation of the world (Heb. 4:3).  Jesus was God's sacrifice for man's sin from the beginning, even calling Him the Lamb of God with reference to Him being our Passover (Jn. 1:29, 36; 1 Cor. 5:7; Rev. 13:8).  In other words, for God to have laid upon Him the iniquities of us all, before the foundation of the world, He had to know what they would be.  Scary thought, isn't it!  
Well, I have good news for you!  God's foreknowledge of our sin did not bring Him to condemn man to spend eternity in a well-deserved Lake of Fire.  Instead, He provided forgiveness for our sin in the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus.  The Word says, "For He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Cor. 5:21).  And why did God willingly give His Son's life for us?  For two reasons:  first, He loved us (Jn. 3:16); and second, because He had a plan that was to rescue a people with whom He could fellowship. 

Paul wrote:  "For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.  Moreover whom He did predestinate, He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified" (Rom. 8:29-30). 

And again, "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will. . . In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will" (Eph. 1:5, 11).

Love like His deserves our every thought, word, and deed to be our "thank You!"

Saturday, April 13, 2013


While you still have breath in you, you can choose where you will spend eternity.  You can reject Jesus Christ, the ONLY WAY to spend eternity with God in heaven (Jn. 14:6), OR you can accept His offer of the FREE GIFT OF SALVATION by trusting in His only begotten Son!

Revelation 20:10-15
[10] And the devil that deceived them was cast into the Lake of Fire and brimstone, where the Beast and the False Prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
[11] And I saw a Great White Throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
[12] And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
[13] And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
[14] And death and hell were cast into the Lake of Fire. This is the second death.
[15] And whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the Lake of Fire.

Revelation 22:1-5
[1] And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
[2] In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the Tree of Life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
[3] And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him:
[4] And they shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads.
[5] And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

Whatever you believe concerning Jesus Christ, whether you believe He was a deceiver, or whether you believe He is the One who died for your sins, was buried, and rose again from the dead to be Lord of your life, what you believe is what determines where you will spend eternity.

Jesus is either your Lord, or you are His enemy!  (Mt. 12:30).

Friday, April 12, 2013


In John 3:1-21, Jesus teaches Nicodemus, a teacher of the Jews, concerning a new, spiritual birth; about His mission which is the foundation of one being born again; and that faith in Him results in the new life, a spiritual life, which will never die (Jn. 11:25-26).
As can be seen from the passage referenced above, a born again believer possesses eternal life, and yet, the Word of God says, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Heb. 9:27).  All human beings die physically (1 Cor. 15:22). 

But what about Enoch and Elijah?  Neither one of them died?  God does not lie, nor does His Word contain error.  In Revelation 11:3-13, we learn of two witnesses who are slain for preaching Christ.  While I cannot prove it, I believe they are Enoch and Elijah.  For one thing, that harmonizes the two passages.  And, we know from Scripture that Elijah must return to set the stage for the Lord's Second Coming (Mal. 4:5; Mt. 17:11; etc.).  Also, during the Tribulation, there will only be two groups of people on earth:  Jews and Gentiles (remember the Church has already been caught up to meet Christ in the air - 1 Thes. 4:13-18).  Enoch lived when the whole world consisted of Gentiles.  Elijah, a Jew, prophesied to his people, the Jews.

Another objection is that there are some in the Bible who died, and who were brought back to life.  Jesus raised some, Lazarus being the best known, and Elijah, Elisha, Peter, and Paul, all raised someone from the dead.  So how does that square with "one death?"  The answer, at least for me, is that there is only one death which eventually leads to the resurrection of the dead.  We know Jesus was the first to be resurrected from the grave, never to die again (Mt. 27:52-53; Rom. 8:29; 1 Cor. 15:20, 23; Col. 1:18; Rev. 1:5).  That would mean, at least in the cases of Elijah and Elisha, those brought back to life did not experience a resurrection, but a resuscitation.  If that were true for them, it is quite likely true of those raised by Peter and Paul as well. 

And finally, the Bible speaks about a second death, in Revelation 2:11; 20:6; 20:14; 21:8.  This death, for those who refused to accept Jesus, and whose names are not written in His book, is being cast into the Lake of Fire.  It follows the resurrection of the lost and the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11-15).

Only one birth results in two deaths!  Two births result in only one death!

Thursday, April 11, 2013


There are five judgments described in the Bible:  Past, Present, and Future.

Past:  "It is finished!"
1.  The Judgment of Christ on the Cross - Jn. 19:30; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 3:8.

Present:  It needs to be daily.
2.  The Born Again Believers Self-judgment - 1 Cor. 11:31-32; 1 Jn. 1:5-10.

Future:  The Church in Heaven (3); At Christ's Second Coming (4); After the Millennium (5).
3.  The Judgment Seat of Christ - Rom. 14:10; 1 Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Cor. 5:10.
4.  The Judgment of the Nations - Mt. 25:31-46; Joel 3:1-2, 13-14.
5.  The Great White Throne Judgment - Rev. 20:11-15.

Today, I would like to look at the fourth judgment, the Judgment of the Nations from Matthew 25:31-46.  To set the stage, the Church will have been taken up in the Rapture just prior to the time of God's wrath, known as the Tribulation, or Time of Jacob's Trouble (Dan. 9:27; Jer. 30:7; 1 Thes. 4:13-18; 5:9). 

This judgment takes place following the seven-year Tribulation, at Christ's Second Coming (Mt. 25:31).  Every human being who will have survived God's wrath, will stand before Him (Dan. 9:24-27; Mt. 25:32).  Jesus will divide them into two categories:  the sheep, for whom the Kingdom has been prepared, will be called righteous and will inherit eternal life (Mt. 25:32-40, 46); and the goats, who shall be rejected and sentenced to the Lake of Fire prepared for Satan and his angels (Mt. 25:41-46).

The identity of the sheep, since the Kingdom throughout the New Testament refers to the 1000 year reign of Israel's Messiah, must be identified as converted Jews.  Israel is now, and will remain blinded, in part, up until the Antichrist commits the Abomination of Desolation in the midst of the Tribulation (Dan. 9:27; Mt. 24:15; Rom. 11:25).  At that moment, they will realize that Daniel 9:27 follows Daniel 9:26, and they will recognize Jesus was their Messiah.  Trusting in Christ for the first time, Israel will scatter to avoid the Antichrist; they must avoid capture for three and a half years, the time between the Abomination of Desolation reveals the Antichrist's identity, and the Second Coming of Christ (Rev. 12:6 - 13:5).

The goats will be those who will have rejected Jesus, as evidenced by how they treated His brethren, the Jews.  This concept can be seen in Acts 9:1-5, where Saul of Tarsus was confronted by Jesus.  By persecuting believers, Jesus considered it persecution of He, Himself.

Born again believers will be gone during the Tribulation.  Thank God!       

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


The Word of God speaks of humanity as being present in Adam when he chose to trust Satan rather than God, and as a result, we all are born with an Adamic nature, a propensity toward sin.  The Apostle Paul wrote, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Rom. 5:12).  A few verses later, he wrote, "For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by One, Jesus Christ" (v. 17).  And again, "For since man came death, by Man came also the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (1 Cor. 15:21-22).

We are all, by nature of our physical birth, born into the family of Adam.  But how does one get "in Christ?"  The answer is found by comparing Matthew 1:18-25 and Luke 1:31-35 with John 3:1-21.  Gabriel, the angel of the Lord, first told Mary, and later told Joseph, that the Holy Child she was carrying, Jesus, was conceived of the Holy Spirit.  In other words, Jesus was of the family of Adam through Mary, and He was also born of the Spirit, literally, born of God (Acts 5:3-4).  Jesus was born both physically and spiritually at the same time; He was both the "Son of Man" (Mt. 1:16), and the "Son of God" (Lk. 3:38)!

The Bible tells us that when we believe the Gospel, which declares that Jesus died for our sins, that He was buried, and that rose again from the dead, according to the Scriptures, we are born again with a spiritual birth; we have passed from being spiritually dead, to being spiritually alive (Jn. 3:1-21; 5:24; 1 Cor. 15:1-4; Eph. 2:1; Col. 2:13; 1 Pet. 3:18; etc.).  Paul described our spiritual birth as being the result of our being baptized into Christ by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:27).

In summary:  "So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.  Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.  And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.  But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.  Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.  For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God" (Rom. 8:8-14).

How does one get to be in Christ?  BELIEVE IN HIM! 


Tuesday, April 9, 2013


If you were to survey one thousand Americans at random, and ask them, "If you were God, and you listed 'the top ten sins' for which you would sentence a man to hell, what would they be?"  I guarantee that you would find some answers would be on nearly every list, while some others would actually be on few, if any, of the lists.  Why is that?

For one thing, every individual has an opinion as to which sins are the most grievous.  To the inmate in a prison, the most vile offenders are those who abused children.  To the parent whose child was killed by a drunk driver, drunk drivers would be at the top of his list.  To the patriot, espionage or treason would likely top his list.  To the wife deserted for another woman, adultery would certainly be in the top one or two.  In other words, our lists would vary based upon our life experiences; they would be subjective.

My list, given in the "David Letterman format," would be:  10) Hypocrisy; 9) Stealing; 8) Greed; 7) Homosexuality; 6) Deceit; 5) Adultery; 4) Child molestation; 3) Murder; 2) Abortion; and 1) Idolatry!  Of course, that list changes from time to time, depending upon my mood and current "pet peeve."  When I am feeling patriotic, especially during political campaign seasons, I view misleading ads as a form of treason; political deception is nothing but the corrupting of our democracy!  When I am going through a financial struggle, covetousness loses its distastefulness. 

For the "really spiritual individual," the list would be exactly like God's list; like the Ten Commandments.  And, that would be very unfortunate indeed.  For you see, that individual's list would sentence him or her to hell!  The Bible says that no human being is able to obey all of God's Law all of the time:  all have sinned (Acts 13:39; Rom. 3:23; Gal. 2:16).  Paul wrote that the purpose of the Law was not to save man, but was given to reveal to man that he needed a Savior (Gal. 3:19-25).  So you see, even God's "top ten" list is not intended to be a prioritized list of the greatest to the least sins.  To God, sin is sin!  A sinner needs a Savior!

But if you were to ask God, "For what sin do You actually sentence a man to hell?"; He would say, "For the rejection of the Holy Spirit's evidence to your heart and mind concerning the fact that I sent Jesus Christ, My only begotten Son, to pay for your sins."  In Matthew 12:22-32, Jesus, empowered by the Holy Spirit (v. 28; see also Lk. 4:18; Jn. 3:34; Acts 10:38), worked a miracle, a sign, that the Jews might believe (1 Cor. 1:22).  When they attributed His miracle to Satan, they blasphemed the Holy Spirit.  In other words, they did not believe the evidence the Spirit had provided, that they might be saved.  Consequently, there is no way they could be saved.  They committed the unpardonable sin! 
Regardless of what sin you hate most in others, Jesus died for YOUR sin!        

Monday, April 8, 2013


Israel celebrates several feasts throughout the year, but of those, only seven are known as the Feasts of the Lord (Lev. 23:1-44).  Each of the seven represent two things:  to the Jew, an event the Lord commanded them to honor which holds a historic significance to the nation Israel.  Though a mystery to the Jew, to the Christian, each of them also represent a prophetic picture of Israel's Messiah.  Jesus, at His First Coming, is the Passover Lamb and the Unleavened Bread (Jn. 1:29; 6:35; 1 Cor. 5:7; Heb. 4:15).  Jesus is also the First Fruits from the grave (1 Cor. 15:20, 23). 

The fourth of the seven Feasts of Israel, is known as the Feast of Wave Loaves, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Pentecost.  The latter two names refer to the fifty days span from Passover unto Pentecost.  The name, the Feast of Wave Loaves, has to do with the offering used.  The Priest would bake two loaves of bread with leaven (always a picture of sin).  As Christians, we recognize this feast as representing the founding of the Church, which consists of both imperfect Jewish and Gentile believers in Christ (Lev. 23:15-17; Acts 2:1-42).

There remain three Feasts of the Lord, each picturing an aspect of Christ's Second Coming.  Because these have yet to be fulfilled, we do not have the luxury of interpreting them after the fact.  Therefore, the following is my somewhat educated guess as to how they will be fulfilled.     

The Feast of Trumpets:  "And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.  Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD" (Lev. 23:23-25; see Num. 29:1-6 for a description of the offering made by fire).  I believe the reason the feast refers to trumpets in the plural, is that two events, closely related to one another in time, each involve the sounding of a trumpet:  the Rapture of the Church to meet the Lord in the air (Jn. 1:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1 Thes. 4:13-18); and the gathering of Israel, first by the peace treaty with the Antichrist (Dan. 9:27; Mt. 24:3-15; Rev. 6 - 12); and at the Second Coming of Christ following the seven-year Tribulation (Mt. 24:29-31).

I believe the last two feasts, the Feast of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles, represent Christ's Second Coming.  He is the Atonement for sin (Rom. 5:11), and He will dwell (tabernacle) with His people for 1000 years in His Millennial Kingdom (Rev. 20:1-6).
For your sake, I hope the next Trump of God you hear, is that of His Rapture call!    

Sunday, April 7, 2013


For the past two days, I have tried to present what God's Word has to say about those who reject His free gift of salvation, offered to all who will simply trust in Jesus Christ; they will be cast into the Lake of Fire to be tormented for eternity.  At the final judgment, they will realize the consequences of their choice, but it will be too late.  And while it is impossible for us to fathom the seriousness of those consequences, nevertheless, that is what their future holds for them. 

But the good news is, no one has to end up spending eternity in agony.  We can escape the eternity we truly deserve, and experience living in the presence of Almighty God forever!  Many have asked, "What must I do?"  The answer is believe the Gospel!

The Gospel 
"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).

The heart of the Gospel is Christ's Resurrection 
"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).

Believing in the Lord results in worshipping Him 
"Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on Him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen Him, and it is He that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped Him" (Jn. 9:35-38).

Salvation is offered to whosoever will trust in Jesus. 
"He came unto His own (Israel), and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name" (Jn. 1:11-12).  "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life..." (1 Jn. 5:13).
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved..." (Acts 16:31).  

Saturday, April 6, 2013


In yesterday's blog, I presented a list of some of the things which the Bible says last forever.  Today, I want to compare the duration of God's reign with the length of the sentence the Lord gives to those who reject Him.  Read these verses, and then tell me how long God will be glorified.

*  "Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:  To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen" (Gal. 1:4-5).
*  "Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen" (Phil. 4:20).
*  "Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen" (I Tim. 1:17).
*  "And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto His heavenly kingdom: to Whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen" (2 Tim. 4:18).

*  "Make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to Whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen" (Heb. 13:21).

And now, read these verses and tell me how long will those who are cast into the Lake of Fire will suffer the judgment of God.

*  "And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name" (Rev. 14:9-11).
*  "For true and righteous are His judgments: for He hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of His servants at her hand. And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever" (Rev. 19:2-3).

*  "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the Lake of Fire" (Rev. 20:10, 14-15).

According to Hebrews 6:1-2, eternal judgment is one of the doctrines that is so basic, it need not be discussed, and yet, the Church finds itself still debating it!  How can that be?  And how could a person be aware of the magnitude of God's judgment if he were to be annihilated?
Heaven is eternal.  Judgment is eternal ("eternal judgment" - Heb. 6:2)!  

Friday, April 5, 2013


Recently, there has been a discussion among some of my Facebook friends, about how long those who reject God's offer of the gift of salvation, will spend suffering the consequences of their decision.  I will not tell you how many views there are on this, because I cannot count them!  Here is what the New Testament says about some of the things that last forever (presented in biblical order, and not necessarily in their order of importance):

*  God's Kingdom, power, and glory - Mt. 6:13.
*  Christ's curse of the unfruitful tree - Mt. 21:19.
*  Christ's Kingdom - Lk. 1:33.
*  Abraham's seed - Lk. 1:55.
*  Believers in Christ - Jn. 6:51, 58.
*  Christ Himself - Jn. 8:35.
*  The Holy Spirit - Jn. 14:16.
*  The Father - Rom. 1:25.
*  Christ's sacrifice for sin - Heb. 10:12.
*  The perfection of the saints - Heb. 10:14.
*  The immutability of God - Heb. 13:8.
*  The Word of God - 1 Pet. 1:23.
*  The darkness prepared for the damned - 2 Pet. 2:17; Jude 1:13.
*  Smoke and torment for those who accept the mark of the beast - Rev. 14:9-11.
*  Satan - Rev. 20:10.
*  Those saved shall reign forever - Rev. 22:5.

Since the same Greek words which are translated "for" [εἰς (eis)], and "ever" [αἰών (aiōn)],  are used to describe how long God will exist, the saved will exist, and the Word will exist, how is it that there is a basis for questioning the duration of Satan's, his minion's, and the lost's future in the Lake of Fire?  John wrote that Satan, the Beast (Antichrist), the second Beast (False Prophet), death, hell, and "whosoever was not written in the Book of Life," will all be cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:10-15).

To be quite honest, it really doesn't matter how long it lasts; to have seen Almighty God, to have been sentenced by Him for failing to accept the free gift of salvation that is by faith in Jesus, to know that I would never see Him again, even for one second, would be an eternity of agony!
One second, minute, hour, day, week, month, year, or eternity -
do you really want to be there?  

Thursday, April 4, 2013


It is interesting, to me, that Jesus taught His disciples by first pointing out the wrong way to do things, and then, by contrasting it with the right way.  In Matthew 6:1-34, Jesus teaches us about doing works of charity (vs. 1-4), about how and where to pray (vs. 5-15), about how they are to fast (vs. 16-18), and finally, about the believer's attitude concerning things (vs. 19-34).  Notice that the key to understanding what determines whether something is done correctly or incorrectly, has to do with why, and for whom, one is doing it.  When a person seeks to be viewed as spiritual by his peers, he is acting out of selfish pride.  When a person is giving, praying, or fasting with God alone as his audience, Jesus assures us that God both sees and hears those things done for Him in secret, and He will reward us for their faithfulness (vs. 4, 6, 18). 

I would like to look at the Lord's Prayer, or more accurately, His Model Prayer, and focus upon the attitude for each of the parts.  This is how I understand it; that is to say, I am not suggesting my interpretation is correct for you.

Our Father - He is not exclusively my Father, but He is the Father of His adopted family.
Which art - The One eternal, always present tense, Being.
In heaven - The Father of Jesus has sent His Son, and sent the Holy Spirit, to provide for us.
Hallowed by Thy name - God's name is so sacred that even His children do not know it!
Thy kingdom come - The kingdom will come when Jesus returns.
Thy will be done - God's will will be done during Christ's millennial reign.
On earth as it is in heaven - What is in heaven, will be on this earth.
Give us this day - Our needs are always present tense.
Our daily bread - I am to be sure every one is fed with "our" bread.
And lead us - We do want You to direct our paths.
Not into temptation - We dread being tried, for we are weak.
But deliver us - Fill us with Your Spirit that we might withstand Satan's attacks.
From evil - And being filled, we have no fellowship with the world, flesh, or devil.
For Thine is the kingdom - Everything belongs to You, including us!
(Thine is) the power - Because we are weak, we rely on Your power to protect us
(Thine is) the glory - All praise and adoration belongs to You and none to us!
(You are) forever - From eternity past, to eternity future, You are!
Amen - So be it!

In other words, what I want from my Father, I also want for you.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Four hundred ninety years from the Command to the Consummation
Daniel 9:24 - "Seventy weeks (a total of 490 yrs.) are determined (foreordained by God) upon thy people (Israel) and upon thy holy city (Jerusalem), to finish the transgression and to make an end of sins (". . . sin is the transgression of the law" and "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death" - 1 Jn. 3:4; Rom. 8:2), and to make reconciliation for iniquity ("Wherefore in all things it behoved Him . . . to make reconciliation for the sins of the people" - Heb. 2:17), and to bring in everlasting righteousness ("For He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Cor. 5:21), and to seal up the vision and prophecy (temporarily hidden from Israel - Rom. 11:25), and to anoint the most Holy ("She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint My body to the burying" - Mk. 14:8)."

Forty-nine years to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple
Daniel 9:25 - "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks (483 of the 490 yrs.): the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times (49 of the 483 yrs.)." 
Four hundred thirty-four years until Christ is crucified
Daniel 9:26 - "And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off (Jesus will be crucified for sin) , but not for Himself (Jesus had no sin of His own - Heb. 4:15): and the people of the prince that shall come (the Antichrist) shall destroy the city and the sanctuary (destroyed by Rome in A.D. 70) ; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined (434 of the 483 yrs.)."
[A 2000 year parenthetical period, or gap, known as the Church Age]
Seven years will be the Tribulation, the time of Jacob's trouble - Jer. 30:7)
Daniel 9:27 - "And he (Antichrist) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week (7 yrs): and in the midst of the week (3 1/2 yrs. - Rev. 11:3; 12:14; 13:5) he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate (Mt. 24:15), even until the consummation (Rev. 19:17-21), and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate."

The Church will be with Christ when He returns to establish His Kingdom;
You have a choice - try to survive the seven years, or spend them with Christ in heaven!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Today, there are thousands of denominations within Christendom, each one teaching something unique from the others.  There are differences concerning baptism, the Lord's Supper, the qualifications for the clergy, what one must do to be saved, what one cannot do and remain saved, musical instruments, the gifts of the Spirit, etc., etc., etc.  And because each believes their teaching is true to the Bible, many believe those holding different views than theirs, are not going to heaven.  In other words, if you are not a member of their church, you are lost.

While I agree that there are false doctrines taught in many denominations, not all of them are essential to one's salvation.  In fact, there are Roman Catholics, Baptists, Pentecostals, Methodists, Lutherans, etc. who are saved regardless of their church's idiosyncrasies.  Souls are being saved in all Christian churches, often in spite of what their church teaches.  The reason is, if the person has a Bible, and if the person reads and believes the true Gospel, he or she will be saved!

Salvation, according to the Bible, is a gift from God for all those who will simply believe the true Gospel.  The Apostle Paul wrote, "For by grace (unmerited favor) are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  not of works, lest any man should boast" (Eph. 2:8-9).  He also wrote, "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek" (Rom.1:16).

Paul, in defining the true Gospel, the one we are required to believe in order to be saved, stated: "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you . . . 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).  Notice that the Gospel is all about what Jesus did, and not about what we need to do.  We simply need to believe.

Finally, 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.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Rom. 10:9-10, 13).

If your church teaches what you must do to be saved;
What you must do is find another church!

Monday, April 1, 2013

PSALM 14:1; 53:1; AND ROMANS 1:22