Saturday, November 30, 2013


The most common name used for the Beast of Revelation 13:1-10, is "the Antichrist."  But, I have a serious doubt that the two are the same individual.  The word "Antichrist" appears four times in the Scriptures, all of which are in the epistles of John.  The word is a transliteration of the Greek ἀντίχριστος (antichristos), and in the Greek, the ἀντί (anti) can mean either "opposed to," or "in place of," depending upon its context.  The man described in John's letters, although pretending to be a Christian, eventually reveals his "true colors," and is clearly is "opposed to" Jesus:

*  1 John 2:18-19 - First, he is an individual who was prophesied to come in the end times.  He, and those like him, will have been a part of the Church, but will break fellowship from us.
*  1 John 2:22-23 - Not only will he, and those like him, leave the fellowship of the Church, but they will deny that Jesus was Israel's Messiah.  In addition, they will deny there is a Father/Son relationship between Almighty God and Jesus.
*  1 John 4:2-3 - The individual known as the Antichrist, will deny the Incarnation:  that Jesus was God come in the flesh.
*  2 John 1:7 - Again, John emphasizes that all those who deny the Incarnation of Jesus, have the spirit of Antichrist.

However, the Beast of Revelation 13:1-10 appears to offer himself "in place of" Israel's Messiah.  In order for Israel to be fooled into believing he is their Messiah, he will have to be a Jew, the son of David.  Jesus taught His disciples that there would come a time when a false Christ would come and deceive many.  Matthew 24:4-5 and 23-24 mentions those who will come pretending to be the Him.  In Revelation 6:1-2, the "false Christ" comes riding on a white horse, just as Jesus will do when He returns (Rev. 19:11).  He comes peaceably to Israel, and does not reveal himself to them until half way through the seven year covenant he confirms with them (Dan. 9:27; Mt. 24:5-28; Rev. 6 - 11).

I believe, while the two individuals definitely have the spirit of Antichrist, one is an apostate from the Church, and the other pretends to be Israel's Messiah.  I suppose both identities could be of a single man, if he began by pretending he was a Christian, and then revealing he had been a Jew, of the lineage of David, all along.  But that doesn't seem very likely.
The one thing both have in common is they are of their father, Satan, father of lies! 

Friday, November 29, 2013


From the day Adam was created in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:26), until the completion of God's plan to transform man back into His image and likeness (1 Jn. 3:2), God intended for mankind to serve Him as stewards over all of His creation, and entrusted him with His revelation.  A steward is one appointed to oversee the "administration of the distribution of another's goods.  The Greek word translated "stewardship" in Luke 16:2-4, is οἰκονομία (oikonomia), is the same Greek word translated "dispensation" in four places (1 Cor. 9:17; Eph. 1:10; 3:2; Col. 1:25).  Here are the stewardships or dispensations which are clearly revealed in God's Word (some Bible scholars believe that a dispensation of governments between Noah's departure from the Ark and the dividing of nations at the Tower of Babel, and the dispensation of patriarchs from the choosing of Abraham to the giving of the Law, should be included): 
The Dispensation of Innocence - Gen. 1:31 - "And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day."

The Dispensation of Conscience - Gen. 3:8 - "And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden."

The Dispensation of the Law - Ex. 24:12 - "And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them."  This dispensation is said to have ended with the coming of Jesus Christ.  Luke 16:16 says, "The law and the prophets were until John," and John 1:17 says, "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ."

The Dispensation of the Gospel - 1 Cor. 9:17 - "For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the Gospel is committed unto me."  (Note:  it is also called the dispensation of Grace in Eph. 3:2).

The Dispensation of the Kingdom - Eph. 1:10 - "That in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him."

Today, two dispensations exist at the same time; the Jews, by rejecting Christ (Jn. 1:11), remain under the Dispensation of the Law, while the Church, accepting Jesus as Lord (Jn. 1:12), exists in the Dispensation of Grace.  The Dispensation of the Law will end when Israel recognizes Jesus Christ at the end of the Tribulation (the Time of Jacob's Trouble - Jer. 30:7).  The Dispensation of Grace will actually end before the Dispensation of the Law ends, with the Rapture of the Church (Jn. 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:50-54; 1 Thes. 4:16-17)! 
In the mean time, we are stewards of the Gospel of Jesus Christ:  go tell somebody! 


Thursday, November 28, 2013


God is the just God (Isa. 45:21), and because He is, He must sentence sinners to death:  "the soul that sinneth, it shall die" because "the wages of sin is death" (Ezek. 18:4; Rom. 6:23).   

But thanks be to God, the merciful God, He provided a substitute for our eternal death:  "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8).  

Not only did God have mercy on mankind by offering up His only begotten Son as payment for our sin, as the gracious God, He offered us a gift we definitely do not deserve:  eternal life:  "but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 6:23).

Like any gift, it is not earned, or it would be considered compensation or wages.  Neither can it have "any strings attached," or it is not truly a gift.  In order for it to become yours, you have to believe it is yours, and accept it. 

Let's say that you received a phone call from a lawyer in England, and he told you that one of your distant relatives had died, leaving you $100,000,000.00!  He told you that you would be receiving a cashier's check in the mail, and that he recommended you deposit it into a bank account immediately upon receiving it.  But when the check came, you did not believe it was real, so you framed it and hung it on your living room wall, for laughs.  Even though the money was real, and you did not have to do anything to earn it, you failed to benefit from it.  The same is true of salvation.

God justly sentenced you to death because you are a sinner.  But the same God who sat in judgment over you, was merciful, "putting on street clothes," and surrendering to the authorities to be executed in your place (Phil. 2:5-8).  Following His death, His Father miraculously raised Him from the dead, as your proof that your debt was paid in full!  That "paid in full receipt" is His free gift, His grace to you!  All you have to do to be saved, is believe "it is finished," and call Jesus your Lord (Jn. 19:30; Rom. 10:9-10)!

Be thankful, and call upon the name of the Lord with thanksgiving!

"Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time; who hath told it from that time; have not I the LORD? And there is no God else beside Me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside Me" (Isa. 45:21).

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


I cannot prove this, but I believe every born again believer has, in the middle of some trial or heart-wrenching difficulty, said something like, "You may be laughing now, Satan, but I have read the last chapter, and WE WIN!"  Have you ever said something like that?  Where do you think that idea came from?  And why is that thought so common among believers?

The answer is, the Holy Spirit, the One who indwells all born again believers (Jn. 14:17), "plants that thought."  Jesus said that when we are indwelt by the Spirit, He will live up to His name:  He is the Comforter!  John, in his Gospel, calls the Holy Spirit the "Comforter" four times (Jn. 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7).  And, because John wrote his Gospel many years after Christ's Ascension, he knew from experience the work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts and minds of suffering believers.  He obviously had full knowledge of the fate of each of the other Apostles, who had all been martyred for the preaching of the Gospel.  And he, himself, while exiled on the Isle of Patmos (Rev. 1:9), authored the Book of Revelation, an entire book filled with tribulation, despair, but ultimately, victory!

However, in the mean time (the word "mean" seems so appropriate here), because of the curse of God on our planet and mankind in Genesis 3:16-19, until the victory of God in the Book of Revelation, man will experience hardship, including disease, famine, pestilence, war, and death.  And, contrary to the "name it and claim it," "positive thinking," "prosperity gospel" "wolves in sheep's clothing" (Mt. 7:15), God's children will suffer, as well (Jn. 16:33).  Yes, we will have tribulation, but nothing compared to that experienced by the lost during THE Tribulation (Dan. 9:27; Mt. 24:3-28; Rev. 6:1-18:24)!

But there is good news!  One day, approximately 1007 years from now, after the seven-year Tribulation (Dan. 9:27), and the 1000 year Millennium (Rev. 20:1-7), that curse will be lifted!  John wrote in Revelation 22:3 says, "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."

Believers are still in this world to spread the good news:  WE WIN!  

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


As far as I can determine, there are only two Bible passages that refer to the destruction of a body by cremation, and both appear to have a positive view of it.  The first is found the Old Testament, and it describes the burning of the bodies of Saul and his sons, out of respect for them:

"And when the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead heard of that which the Philistines had done to Saul; all the valiant men arose, and went all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Bethshan, and came to Jabesh, and burnt them there. And they took their bones, and buried them under a tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days" (1 Sam. 31:8-13).

The other reference to the burning of a person's body, does not tell us whether or not the person has died first.  It may refer to sacrificing oneself by being burned alive.  Regardless, the outcome is the same, as the body of the deceased is consumed by fire.  This passage is found in the New Testament, and it speaks of the importance of one's motive when he or she gives permission to have his or her body burned.  The Apostle Paul wrote: 

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing" (1 Cor. 13:1-3).

Note that Paul is comparing positive things:  speaking in the tongues of angels; prophesying and having understanding, knowledge, and faith; giving all of one's possessions for the poor; and giving one's body to be burned.  It is very unlikely that Paul would have included one offering his or her body to be burned, in this context, were it a negative thing to do.

Let the record show that my cremation is motivated by love for my wife!


Monday, November 25, 2013


Recently, Dr. Jack Van Impe, stating he has recently had a Damascus Road type experience, appears to have been "converted" to the Roman Catholic Church.  He is quoted as making the following statements:  "You Catholic people, listen to your priests.... Thank God for these Catholic leaders."  And again, "The Catholic Doctrines are right on."  On his weekly broadcast (#1347 - 11/20/13) of Jack van Impe Presents, he said,
"This new Pope, according to Catholic prophecy, will rule during this time.  His reign is when Armageddon is fought.  His reign is here on earth, when the Lord Jesus Christ returns.  That's why I believe he is the final Pope - because when Jesus is here, we don't need any more Popes, because they are the substitutes for Christ on earth.
First of all, let me say that no man is now, or ever has been, a substitute for Christ!  The fact that the Pope is called the "Vicar of Christ," is, in fact, heresy.  "Vicar" is defined as:  a substitute, or one who serves in place of another."  The exact opposite is true:  Jesus is the "Vicar" for us!  He died for us (Rom. 5:8; 8:32; 1 Cor. 5:7; 2 Cor. 5:21; Eph. 5:2; 1 Thes. 5:10; Titus 2:14; Heb. 9:12; 1 Pet. 2:21; 4:1; 1 Jn. 3:16; etc.)!

In addition, Jesus told His disciples that He would send them a "substitute" for Himself while He was gone.  He said, "And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; that the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you" (Jn. 14:16-17).

Jack van Impe claims to have read the entire Catholic Catechism, and while praising its teachings on those doctrines it has in common with the Protestant churches, he makes no mention of those teachings that are totally contrary to the Word of God.  There is a great deal of irony in the fact that the man known as "the walking Bible," due to his memorization of it, either fails to see the obvious differences between the Bible and the Catechism, or he has chosen to ignore them.  What good is memorizing the Bible, if you are not going to use it as the basis for determining truth?
Having knowledge of God's Word is only good, if it is the standard for all truth!


Sunday, November 24, 2013


"Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you" (Jn. 20:21).  What does that mean to you and me?  Well, if Christ was SENT...and He has sent us in the same way, these things should also be true for us.

1.    Christ was sent to do the will of the Sender (Jn. 4:34; 5:30; 6:38).
2.    Christ was sent, not to please Himself, but to please the Sender (Jn. 8:29).
3.    Christ was sent to seek the glory of the Sender (Jn. 7:18).
4.    Christ was sent to represent His invisible Sender (Jn. 5:37; cf. 1:18).
5.    Christ was sent as a model of the Sender (Jn. 12:44-45; cf. 14:9).
6.    Christ was sent, nourished by the Sender's work (Jn. 4: 31-34).
7.    Christ was sent with the message of the Sender (Jn. 3:34; 7:16; 12:49-50).
8.    Christ was sent totally dependent upon the Sender's power (Jn. 5:30).
9.    Christ was sent, but the Sender was always with Him (Jn. 8:15, 29).
10.  Christ was sent to labor for the Sender (Jn. 4:34; 9:4).

Born again believers in Christ Jesus, have little problem understanding how these things apply to us as well:

1.    Jesus sends us to do His will (Heb. 13:21)!
2.    Jesus loves our work done out of gratitude to Him (Rom. 12:1)!
3.    Jesus deserves all the glory for our works (Eph. 1:12)!
4.    Jesus wants us to be His ambassadors (2 Cor. 5:20)!
5.    Jesus wants us to be like Him (Col. 3:10)!
6.    Jesus satisfies our hunger and thirst (Mt. 5:6)!
7.    Jesus has given us the Gospel to share (Mk. 16:15)!
8.    Jesus is our source of strength (Eph. 3:16)!
9.    Jesus is always with us (Heb. 13:5)!
10.  Jesus will reward our works for Him (Mt. 5:12; 16:27; 1 Cor. 3:12-14)!
When the lost world sees us, they should be getting a glimpse of Christ!
When the lost world hears us, they should be hearing our Lord's message! 

Saturday, November 23, 2013


In Daniel 2:1-49, written by the prophet around the sixth century B.C., he described four empires, with the last being divided and eventually being corrupted by "clay."  Daniel lists Babylon (Dan. 2:38); Medo-Persia (Dan. 5:28); Greece (Dan. 8:21); Rome (Dan. 9:26-27).   Nearly seven hundred years later, the Apostle John wrote of there being eight empires over all; he wrote: 

"And there are seven kings: five are fallen (Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece), and one is (Rome), and the other is not yet come (the Beast/Antichrist of Rev. 13:1-10); and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.  And the beast that was (Rev. 13:1-2), and is not (Rev. 13:3), even he is the eighth (Rev. 13:4-10; the Antichrist, like Judas Iscariot, is called "the Son of Perdition," when he is indwelt by Satan - Jn. 17:12; 2 Thes. 2:3), and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition" (Rev. 17:10-11).

Why the difference?  Perhaps like Matthew and Luke, who differed with the names listed, and the starting point of Jesus' genealogy (Mt. 1:2 begins with Abraham, while Lk. 3:38 begins with Adam), Daniel, wanting to flatter Nebuchadnezzar, began with him, while John, being in exile, was free to speak of both the past and the future.  Regardless, at least four of the empires are included in both prophecies.  And while obviously not one of the eight empires, they both also speak of Christ's Millennial Kingdom (Dan. 2:44-45; Rev. 20:1-7).

Something that has always confused me in the past, is that Daniel's text speaks of the Greek Empire being depicted as the "his belly and his thighs" (v. 32), and the Roman Empire represented by "His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay" (v. 33).  So which is it?  The "thighs" are said to be a part of the Greek Empire, and yet, if the "thighs" are not considered a part of the legs, then the Roman Empire began with two separate, disconnected parts.  Historically, Rome was a single entity, and did not split until A.D. 1054.

So, I used my handy-dandy Young's Analytical Concordance to look up the word "thigh," and here is what I discovered:  the Hebrew יַרְכָּה (yarekah), used in Daniel 2:32, appears only once in the singular form in all of Scripture.  Because it has as a root, (yarek), which is translated "thigh" 21 of the 28 times it occurs in the Bible, the translators decided "thighs" was correct.  Ironically, Daniel did not use the "dual form" of the noun, also the Hebrew yarekah, which would make much more sense, if he intended the image to depict two separate entities!  As it turns out, Daniel may have purposely or "accidentally" described the Roman Empire as starting out together at the "loins," and then, alter dividing into two.   Yarek is actually translated "loins" in Genesis 46:26 and Exodus 1:5.

Moral:  God's Word, like an onion, should be continually "peeled!" - 2 Tim. 2:15 

Friday, November 22, 2013


Whenever there is a tragedy such a hurricane, a tsunami, a tornado, a plague, a baby dying, etc., the first comment unbelievers make is, "How could a loving and just God let that happen?"  Surprisingly, that question is not limited to unbelievers; unfortunately, the vast majority of born again believers ask the same thing!  "Where was God when...?"  The answer is, He was exactly where He was when humanity crucified His only begotten Son!  He was demonstrating His love for you and me, by orchestrating the horrible events below!

We are fond of quoting Romans 8:28 whenever a brother or sister in the Lord is going through some difficulty, but when the situation happens to us, we totally forget it!  It is only in good times that we, as believers, seem to remember and trust God's Word.  The verse says, "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."  Yes, we know, but do we truly believe it?     

In Isaiah 53:1-12, the prophet described the suffering Jesus would go through, more than 600 years before it would happen.  He foretold of a simple, common, innocent man, being accused of a capital offense, being tortured, and then mercilessly being nailed to a cross to die a horrible death.  And through it all, God did nothing!  He allowed the soldiers to beat and murder His Son!  In fact, the Bible said the death of Jesus pleased Him!  Isaiah 53:10 says, "Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief."  WOW!  What kind of God enjoys the suffering of those who love Him? 

The answer is, the God who loves us more!  We fail to remember to take Romans 8:28 in its context.  The next verse tells us the reason God allows tragedies in our lives:  "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."  Trials and tribulations in our lives serve to mold us into Christ's likeness!  Just as the suffering of Jesus served a purpose in God's plan, so do the difficulties of life serve a purpose in our lives.  Isaiah 53:10 tells us the reason God allowed Jesus to suffer:  "(God hath made) His soul an offering for (our) sin!"  The Apostle Paul wrote:  "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)!  The good news is, God raised Him from the grave (1 Cor. 15:20)! 

I don't know about you, but I am glad Jesus died for me!


Thursday, November 21, 2013


When most of us hear the word "confess," we usually think of a criminal admitting to having broken man's law, to a police detective.  If one is Jewish or a Roman Catholic, the word "confess" brings to mind one admitting to having broken God's Law to a priest, so that he might intercede for him to God, whether he be a Jewish Priest (Lev. 5:5-6), or a Roman Catholic Priest.  In both cases, the person is acknowledging that he is subject to a higher authority, and that he is obligated to obey the "rules" of that authority.

Another use of the word "confess" has to do with declaring the identity of the authority to whom that individual has agreed to submit.  For instance, when we confess to be Americans, we are stating that we understand we are responsible for obeying "the law of the land."  The same is true for Christians:  when one confesses to being a believer in Christ, he is stating that he recognizes he is under the authority of Jesus (2 Tim. 2:19).  When he fails to live according to the Lord's will, he knows that he has disobeyed God's will for him at that point in time:  he has sinned. 

Here are some verses that explain what it means to confess Christ as Lord and Savior:   

Mt. 10:32-33 - "Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven.  But whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father which is in heaven."
Lk. 12:8-9 - "Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess Me before men, him shall the Son of Man also confess before the angels of God:  but he that denieth Me before men shall be denied before the angels of God."
Rom. 10:9-10 - "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."
Phil. 2:10-11 - "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Those who confess Jesus as Lord, ought to obey His authority!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


The first instance of the word "righteousness" in the Word of God, is found in Genesis 15:6, and the last time it is mentioned is in Revelation 19:11.  Jesus is the only man ever to be considered righteous, in and of Himself, throughout the Scriptures.  All who we recognize as righteous (Enoch, Noah, Abraham, etc.), received their right-standing with God through His grace and their faith in Him.  Both the Hebrew צְדָקָה (tsĕdaqah), and the Greek δικαιοσύνη (dikaiosynē), has to do with "a state approved of God."  In fact, being Christ-like, and being righteous, are the same thing.  It is of the utmost importance that man will be judged as being righteous on "judgment day."  Why?  

Because God is a holy God, and all He does is righteous -
*  "...the LORD our God is righteous in all His works which He doeth" (Dan. 9:14).
*  "...the LORD our God is holy" (Ps. 99:9).

Man is required to be righteousness in order to go to heaven -
*  "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?"  (1 Cor. 6:9).
*  "...what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness (and) what communion hath light with darkness?" (2 Cor. 6:14).

Man is not holy, nor is he righteous -
 *  "And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Gen. 6:5 compare with Lk. 17:26).
*  "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one" (Rom. 3:10).
*  "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23).

Man cannot become righteous through works -
*  (Salvation is) "Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Eph. 2:9).
*  "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us" (Titus 3:5).

Jesus has provided us with His righteousness through faith in Him -
*  "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 he believed in the LORD; and He counted it to him for righteousness" (Gen. 15:6).

Trust in the finished work of Jesus that makes Him the Savior!
Let your works demonstrate to the world that He is your Lord!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


What I am about to write is not to be interpreted as Bible truth, but simply my "Bible theory" on the significance of "three and a half" periods of time in the Word of God.

Elijah's Drought - In 1 Kings 18:1-46, Elijah prayed for a drought to cause Ahab to repent.  According to James 5:17, "it rained not upon the earth by he space of three years and six months."

The Two Witnesses - According to Revelation 11:1-12, not only did their efforts to bring mankind to repentance last for three and a half years, after they were killed, their bodies did lie in the street for three and a half days, for all to see.  Their resurrection, and ascension was also seen by all!

The Ministry of Jesus - To begin with, I believe Jesus was born in the Fall of 5 B.C.  There are a couple of reasons for my believing that:  for the year, Herod the Great died in 4 B.C. and Jesus was born about a year prior to his death (Mt. 2:13-23); as for the season, the Shepherds were not likely to be watching their flocks out in the fields in Winter (Lk. 2:8-20).  Since Jesus was born in the Fall, and crucified in the Spring (Passover), that would mean His ministry to bring Israel to repentance and offer Himself as their Messiah, lasted three and a half years.  Note:  Passover occurred on April 25th of the year A.D. 28.  And, by the way, it was on a Wednesday, which is in harmony with Jesus' statement in Matthew 12:40.

The Two Halves of the Tribulation - The Tribulation will be a call to repentance, as well (Rev. 2:5, 16, 22; 3:3, 19; 9:20-21; 16:9, 11).  Daniel 9:27 says, "And he (Antichrist / Beast) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week (seven years): and in the midst of the week (three and a half years into the seven years) he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate" (see Mt. 24:15; 1 Jn. 2:18; Rev. 13:1-18).  We know that the "seven" refers to years, because they are described as 1260 days (Rev. 11:3; 12:6); 42 months (Rev. 11:2; 13:5); and a "time, times, and a half time" (Dan. 7:25; 12:7; Rev. 12:14).

Do you have three seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years? 
You do not know how much time you have left to trust in Jesus! 
Repent and accept Him as your Lord now, while there is still time!

Monday, November 18, 2013


The Bible states that a person is save when he or she believes the Gospel message; that is because it is the message of the Gospel, which has the power to save the lost (Rom. 1:16; 10:8-17; Eph. 2:8-9;etc.).  So, exactly what is the Gospel?  The Apostle Paul stated it this way: 
"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 Gospel is the good news, that what God promised in the Old Testament concerning man's redemption, He fulfilled with the Resurrection of His only begotten Son!  God said Jesus would be crucified (Ps. 22; Isa. 53; Dan. 9:26); He would be buried (Isa. 53:9); and He would be raised from the dead (Ps. 16:10)!  And, according to these witnesses, He was!        

*  Mary Magdalene (Mk. 16:9; Jn. 20:1-18).
*  Women returning from the tomb (Mt. 28:9-10).
*  Peter (1 Cor. 15:5; Lk. 24:34).
*  Cleopas and another disciple on the road to Emmaus (Lk. 24:13-35; Mk. 16:12).
*  Ten disciples (Thomas absent) (Mk. 16:14; Lk. 24:36-43; Jn. 20:19-24; 1 Cor. 15:5).
*  Eleven disciples (Thomas present) (Jn. 20:26-29).
*  Seven disciples by the Sea of Tiberias (Jn. 21:1-22).
*  Five hundred people in Galilee (1 Cor. 15:6).
*  James (1 Cor.15:7).
*  His disciples on the day He Ascension (Mk. 16:19; Lk. 24:50-51; Acts 1:3-12).
*  Stephen (Acts 7:55-56).
*  Saul or Paul (Acts 9:1-7; 1 Cor.9:1; 15:8).
*  John (Rev. 1:9-18).

Jesus prayed for those of us who believe these witnesses (Jn. 17:20)!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 17, 2013


As far as I can tell, Jesus only made one trip to the City of Jericho.  There are three references to His encounter with the blind Bartimaeus at the gates of the city (Mt. 20:29-34; Mk. 10:46-52; Lk. 18:35-43), and His encounter with Zacchaeus somewhere within the city itself (Lk. 19:1-10).  It is clear that Jesus had knowledge of the city early on in His ministry, because He used a Samaritan traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho, as the "hero" of one of His parables (Lk. 10:30).  And according to the Word, His purpose for being there was His encounter with Zacchaeus; Luke 19:5 says, "for today I must abide at thy house."
"And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.  And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.  And he sought to see Jesus who He was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.  And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him: for He was to pass that way.  And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.  And he made haste, and came down, and received Him joyfully.  And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That He was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.  And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.  And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Lk. 19:1-10).
Some observations:

*  Zacchaeus was a leader of the publicans, or tax collectors (v. 2).
*  Zacchaeus, like a cat, was curious (v. 3).
*  Zacchaeus, like a cat, climbed a tree (v. 4).
*  Zacchaeus was a Jew (v. 9).
*  Zacchaeus was lost (v. 10).
*  Jesus knew Zacchaeus' name (v. 5).
*  Jesus was led there by the Holy Spirit (v. 5; Lk. 4:1; Rom. 8:14; etc.).
*  Jesus knew the thoughts of His critics (v. 7).
*  Zacchaeus, recognizing Jesus as his Lord, repented (v. 8; Mt. 5:23-24; etc.).
*  Zacchaeus was born again because of his faith in Jesus (v. 9; Eph. 2:8-9; etc.).

It is not who you know that counts; it is Who knows you!
(Mt. 7:21-22; Lk. 6:46) 

Saturday, November 16, 2013


The writer of the Book of Hebrews reveals that, as far as God is concerned, the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, was a done-deal even before He created the Universe!  In Hebrews 4:3, he wrote:  "For we which have believed do enter into rest, as He said, As I have sworn in My wrath, if they shall enter into My rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world."  The context has to do with a contrast between those who were forbidden to enter into the Promised Land because of their unbelief (Heb. 3:15-19), and those of us who have believed the Gospel message, ceased trying to work our way to heaven through religion, and have trusted in the finished work of Jesus on our behalf (Heb. 4:1-16). 

Throughout the Bible, there are several examples of what the word "finished" means.  Although it is translated from several Hebrew and Greek words, it always has to do with the end of some activity.  For example:  the Creation of the Universe (Gen. 2:1); the building of the Tabernacle (Ex. 40:33); the writing of the Torah (Deut. 31:24); the building of the Temple (1 Kgs. 9:25); the chaos of the Tribulation (Dan. 12:7); the mission of the Lord (Jn. 17:4); and the Lord's life itself (Jn. 19:30).  So, what does Hebrews 4:3 mean when it says the provision for our rest was finished from the foundation of the world?  The Prophet Isaiah wrote: 

"Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure:  calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth My counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it" (Isa 46:9-11).

In other words, God knows what is going to happen, because He will bring it to pass!  Here are some examples:
*  Mt. 13:35 - things kept "secret from the foundation of the world."
*  Mt. 25:34 - the "kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."
*  Eph. 1:4 - "He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world."
*  1 Pet. 1:19-20 - "a lamb...foreordained before the foundation of the world."
*  Rev. 13:8; 17:8 - "whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." 

That which is prophecy to man, is ancient history to God!


Friday, November 15, 2013


When I graduated from Southern Seminary, I began to receive mail addressed to Rev. Paul Mutscher, and it became much worse when I was called to serve as Pastor of a small church in Western Kentucky.  At first, I took it as a complement, and even developed a little pride in the fact that some seemed to elevate me above the "common layman."  I was now "Clergy!"  But it did not take long for me to recognize my sin, as God showed me, from His Word, the true importance of the word "reverend."

The Bible, if read with sincerity, has a way of humbling the proud.  After reading Psalm 111:1-8, I, being focused upon the glory that belongs to God alone, was suddenly confronted with my sin of pride.   Verse 9 says,  "He sent redemption unto His people: He hath commanded His covenant for ever: holy and Reverend is HIS name" (Ps. 111:9).  That meant, at least to me, that for someone to call himself or some other man "reverend," was blasphemy!  It is accepting the praise which belongs to God alone!

The word "reverend," as it is used here (the only time it is translated "reverend" in the entire Bible), is the Hebrew יָרֵא (yare'), which probably should be defined by how the word is translated elsewhere in the Old Testament.  It is translated:  "fear" 188 times; afraid 78 times; "terrible" 23 times; "terrible thing" 6 times; "dreadful" 5 times; "reverence" 3 times; "fearful" 2 times; and "terrible acts" once.  Regardless of how one defines the word, no man comes close to having that much power.  There will come a man who thinks he deserves the fear of man, and his worship, but within three and a half years, he will "meet the only Man worthy of such a response":  Jesus Christ (Rev. 13:1-10; 19:11-21)!  

And while only the name of Jesus is worthy of such reverence, God tells us that there is something greater than His name:  "I will worship toward Thy holy temple, and praise Thy name for Thy loving kindness and for Thy truth: for Thou hast magnified Thy Word above all Thy name" (Ps. 138:2)!  Even though "...God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name..." (Phil. 2:9-11), and even though only the name of Jesus saves (Acts 4:12), it is the Word and the Spirit which produce saving faith (Rom. 10:17)!
Reserve reverence for the written Word of God, and for the Living Word of God! 

Thursday, November 14, 2013


I have written many articles which challenge the idea that a person can be saved when he accepts Jesus as his Savior, and then later, come to the realization that Jesus is to be his Lord.  Critics claim that I am preaching "Lordship Salvation," and without hesitation, I agree!  That is exactly what I believe.  The Word itself says so:

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Rom. 10:9-10).

We are told to believe on Him to be saved (Jn. 1:12; 6:29; 7:39; 17:20; Acts 16:31; 19:4; 1 Tim. 1:16; 1 Jn. 3:23; 5:13; etc.)!  And when we preach Christ crucified, buried, and resurrected (1 Cor. 15:1-4), it is upon Christ the lost are to place their faith.  And who is Christ?  He is LORD!  The Bible uses the word "Lord" to describe the One to Whom all worship is due, nearly 6000 times!  In contrast, His title as "Savior," based upon the work which He did for us, that is, dying on the cross to pay for our sin, appears less than 40 times in all of the Bible! 

Jesus asked His disciples, "Whom do men say that I am?"  All four Gospels present Peter's answer: "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Mt. 16:16); "Thou art the Christ" (Mk. 8:29); "The Christ of God" (Lk. 9:20); and "And we believe and are sure that Thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God" (Jn. 6:69).  It is not surprising then, that Peter uses the phrase "Lord and Savior" to describe Jesus (2 Pet. 1:11; 2:20; 3:2; 3:18).  He is Lord; saving is what He does!

And then there is the "good thief" on the cross next to Jesus.  I doubt that any of my critics would say that he was not saved:  "...he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom.  And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with Me in paradise" (Lk. 23:42-43).  He was saved because he knew Jesus was his Lord!
"And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord...." (Phil. 2:11)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Perhaps the most important four verses in the Bible, when it comes to "unlocking" the Scriptures, are Daniel 9:24-27.  They not only tells us exactly when Jesus, Israel's Messiah, would come, but that He would be killed, and the temple destroyed.  In addition, they reveal that at some time following those two events, there will come a "prince" who will be from the same people as those who killed the Christ, and he will "confirm" a peace covenant (declare that he will enforce it) for seven years.  Exactly three and a half years into his relationship with Israel, he will destroy the peace by declaring himself to be God.  That seven year period is known as the "Time of Jacob's Trouble," "Daniel's Seventieth Week," and the "Tribulation" (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 9:27; Mt. 24:3-29; etc.).

As Bible students, we sometimes get totally caught up in the things God has revealed in a passage, without taking much time to focus upon why He chooses sinners such as Moses, David, and Paul, to reveal His truth.  An in spite of the fact that the Book of Daniel seems to say nothing about Daniel ever sinning, we know he did because the Word says "all have sinned" (Rom. 3:23; 5:12; etc.).  So why did God choose him for this task?  The answer may be found in the first twenty-three verses of the chapter:

*  9:2 - Daniel was a student of God's Word.
*  9:3 - Daniel humbled himself through prayer and fasting.
*  9:4 - Daniel confessed his sin.
*  9:5 - Daniel interceded for the sins of his people.
*  9:6 - Daniel included himself as guilty, as well.
*  9:7 - Daniel admitted he did not understand what God was doing.
*  9:8-12 - Daniel again included himself as guilty.
*  9:13 - Daniel, like his people, had not repented of their sins.
*  9:14-15 - Daniel acknowledges God is righteous in all His judgment.
*  9:16-19 - Daniel asks for mercy for him and his people.
*  9:20-23 - Daniel is heard, and God comforted him by the angel Gabriel.

If I had to describe Daniel in a single word, it would have to be "humble!"  Micah 6:8 says, "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"  God's favorite quality in humans, perhaps after the unachievable holiness, is our humility!  It is one of the chief qualities of Jesus Christ; one that we are to emulate; the Apostle Paul wrote:

"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:  and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (Phil. 2:5-8).

So, if you want to be used like Daniel was, try to be more like Jesus!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Far more people know they should "count to ten" when they feel they are about to explode in anger, than those who actually do so!  The fact that most people know they should take time to think about their reaction to whatever incited them, is a positive thing, even if they only make it to seven or eight.  For those who are unable to control themselves past two or three, we often jokingly say they simply "have a short fuse."  So based upon these bits of sociological trivia, one might say that society condones anger and rage, as long as one takes the time to evaluate the situation and calculate the consequences of whatever reaction they are contemplating.

But for the born again believer, God expects much more than a count to ten.  In Matthew 18:1-35, Jesus teaches us how we are to treat those who are problematic to us.  In verses 1-14, He warns them not to discipline children (perhaps babes in Christ) in such a way that they leave the fold.  For the mature man, one who should know better, correction has a three-step "procedure": 
1)  Take the time to deal with it privately (v. 15).
2)  Take the time to bring spiritual leaders into the discussion (v. 16).
3)  Take the time to bring the matter before the whole church (v. 17). 
Note:  all are aimed at resolution and repentance.

It was today's date that got me thinking about counting beyond ten.  Today is 11-12-13.  That made me wonder what an offended believer is to do once he reaches ten.  Unlike a world that thinks they need count only to ten, Christians, who are not of this world but are to be a peculiar people (Jn. 18:36; 1 Pet. 2:9), are to count to at least four hundred and ninety!  In our passage in Matthew, Peter came to Jesus and said, "Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?  Till seven times?  Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven" (v. 21-22).  In other words, keep on forgiving!

Personal offenses and grievances are not to divide one Christian from another.  Some would interpret verse 17 as saying that, but what are you and I to do when we come across an unbeliever?  Are we to shun him and treat him like a "leper?"  No!  We are to continue to pray for, and witness to, that individual!  We are never to give up on a person!
   Jesus cares about 100 percent of His flock; He will not rest until all are in the fold!



Monday, November 11, 2013


Jesus repeatedly told His disciples that before His Second Coming, He would suffer and be rejected (Mt. 16:21; Mk. 8:31; Lk. 17:25; etc.).  He also described what the world would be like when He returned: 
"as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of Man.  They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.  Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.  Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed" (Lk. 17:26-30).
In other words, life will go on as it always has; men will be focused upon themselves, and there will be a total disregard for God and His will.  Genesis 6:5 says, "And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."  In fact, the Word describes man as living according to what is "right in his own eyes," five times (Deut. 12:8; Jud. 17:6; 21:25; Prov. 12:15; 21:2)!

For the last two days, I have tried to show that there are only two "foundations" upon which man can "build his life":  he either lives with the solid foundation of Jesus Christ as the Rock (Dan. 2:44-45;  Rom. 9:33; 1 Cor. 3:11; 10:4; 1 Pet. 2:8; etc.), or he lives his life founded upon one or more "grains of sand."  Man is either a god unto himself (a single grain), or he joins together with other "grains of sand," to form "man-made concrete" (religions)!

Religion is man's attempt to avoid the negative, and to gain the positive.  By religious works, man tries to appease a god he fears, and to receive favor from his god, consisting of health, wealth, and power.  Religion does not work!  If it did, the Jews would not need a Savior.  Catholics would not need to say "I hope so," when asked if they will go to heaven when they die.  And Muslims would not need to kill everyone who refuses to worship their angry, hateful god. 

Trust the Rock, not your individual grain, or even collective grains, for Jesus said,                 "No man cometh unto the Father, but by Me" (Jn. 14:6)!!!!!!! 

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Yesterday, my post was a commentary on Matthew 7:24-27, entitled, "Sand:  Billions of Tiny Rocks."  The context of the passage has to do with recognizing false prophets or teachers (tiny rocks), which actually begins in verse fifteen.  They appear to be Christians, but they are enemies of Christ.  They give themselves away by what their teaching produces; their students will not be born again, and therefore, will not be living under the Lordship of Christ; they will simply be followers of them and their hypocrisy (v. 16-20).  Their students will base their spirituality upon their own good works, and not upon the finished work of Jesus Christ on their behalf (v. 21-23).

Then, Jesus described the difference between those who are genuinely born again, and those who profess to be believers in Matthew 7:24-25.  The Lord's followers will have Jesus as the foundation of their faith, their Rock (Dan. 2:44-45; Rom. 9:33; 1 Cor. 3:11; 10:4; 1 Pet. 2:8; etc.), and they will live in obedience to His teachings (v. 24-25).  The trials and storms of life will have no effect upon those who have based their faith upon Him.

However, those who believe they are Christians based upon their faith in the false teachings men and women, who, while appearing to be spiritual, are secretly preying upon them, will be in for a huge surprise!  The false teachers, mere grains of sand in comparison to Jesus, the Rock, will leave them foundationless before the storms of life.  Their false doctrine of works salvation, the belief that their works have earned them salvation, will be worthless.  Their foolish belief that salvation has something to do with their church affiliation, will be ridiculous.  Their trusting in some religious experience, will be shown to have only made them religious.  And when those same trials and storms of life come against them, they will be too much for them, and they perish with the flood (v. 26-27)!

The final two verses, Matthew 7:28-29, often get ignored when preachers teach about this passage.  That is really a tragedy, in that, they are the basis by which those who rejected His teachings will be judged; they knew He spoke the truth: 

"And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at His doctrine:  for He taught them as One having authority, and not as the scribes."  

Saturday, November 9, 2013


"Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:  and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.  And every one that heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:  and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it" (Mt. 7:24-27).
The two verbs, "doeth" in verse 24, and "doeth" in verse 26, are translated from the same Greek word, ποιέω, but they differ in two ways:  
     [1] The first and most obvious difference, ποιέω in verse 26, also contains μή, a word which shows the action does not happen.
     [2] the other difference, less obvious but extremely important for our proper understanding of what Jesus was teaching, is the fact that in verse 24, ποιέω is a present, active, indicative, while in verse 26, ποιέω is a present, active, participle. 

The Greek present, active, indicative is a simple statement of fact.  The action occurs just once, either presently, in the past, or will occur in the future.  With the case of the Greek present, active, participle, the participle corresponds with the English participle, adding the suffix "-ing."  When a writer uses the participle, he does not envision an end of the action; it will go on and on indefinitely, or be repeated continuously; it is an open-ended action.
In other words, ποιέω with μή in verse 26, represents the "foolish man," who is continuously trying to find a basis for his salvation; but religion and the Law will not save him (Gal. 3:1-24).  It is the "wise man" who makes a decision, at some point in time, that affects the rest of his life:  trusting Jesus (Gal. 3:25-29)!  Jesus is the Rock upon which the saved man stands (Dan. 2:44-45; Rom. 9:33; 1 Cor. 3:11; 10:4; 1 Pet. 2:8; etc.)!

One can either trust in Jesus and rest in the knowledge he is a child of God, or he can continue to "find some footing" through religion and works of the Law:  seems like a no-brainer to me!

Friday, November 8, 2013


I gave my life to Jesus Christ in 1971, at the age of twenty-eight.  I had been an atheist, and through "circumstantial coincidences," God showed me that the Bible was the Truth, and that His Son purchased my life with His blood on a cross.  I rightfully belonged to Him, and my life of rebellion needed to change. 
For years, I have struggled with the fact that I still sin, that I am still selfish, that I do not love as Christ loves me.  However, there is one thing with which I have never had a problem since:  I am His! 
My favorite Bible verse says, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is" (1 Jn. 3:2). 
That verse not only lets me know that God does not expect me to be perfect this side of heaven, but that it will only happen when I am made like Him on that glorious day!  What the Father began in me, will at last be complete (Phil. 1:6)!  AND, it will all be to His glory that I am like Jesus; I will have nothing for which to boast (Eph. 2:8-9)!

Thursday, November 7, 2013


The word "unworthy" appears only two times in all of the Bible, and yet, with the exception of Jesus, there never has been a "worthy" human being!  In Acts 13:46, two words combine to be translated "unworthy":  the Greek οὐ (ou), from which we understand that the negative or opposite is meant; and ἄξιος (axios), which denotes "one meriting something."  Bible students view one's worthiness as being the exact opposite of grace, or unmerited favor.  Here, the text is referring to one's status with God:  "Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the Word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles."  In 1 Corinthians 6:2, the Greek ἀνάξιος (anaxios) is used, which in context means, "unqualified or unfit for a task."  Paul wrote:  "Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?  And if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?"     

You would think that the Bible, a book which clearly emphasizes that human beings are seriously flawed, would contain the word "unworthy" far more than twice, but it doesn't.  However, a synonym for "unworthy," is "unrighteous," and if you had to guess how many times it is found in Scripture, you would probably guess "hundreds."  Again, you would be wrong; the answer is only nine (Ex. 23:1; Job 27:7; Ps. 71:4; Isa. 10:1; 55:7; Lk. 16:11; Rom. 3:5; 1 Cor. 6:9).  Based upon just these two words, we would have to say that the negativity attributed to God's Word is grossly exaggerated.  Then again, there are other words in the Bible which could be used to justify such an opinion.  Words like "sin" (600+ times); "evil" (600+ times); "wicked" (300+ times); "transgress" (150+ times); and "hate" (87 times) appear.  Yes, when it comes to describing mankind, the Bible is quite negative!

But, the Bible is more about redemption than it is condemnation!  From the provision of skins for the first sinners, while standing naked before Him (Gen. 3:21), unto the very last soul who will receive salvation by faith in the One who permitted His life to be taken (Jn. 10:18), God has revealed His incomprehensible love for rebellious humanity.  After writing that "all have sinned" (Rom. 3:23), Paul wrote, "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8)!  Yes, man is, and always will be, unworthy of anything but death and hell, but Christ has provided for us His worthiness, that by faith in Him, we have eternal life and heaven (2 Cor. 5:21)!

  Truly, God does not want a single person to perish (2 Pet. 3:9)!          

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


The English word "condemnation" appears only twelve times in the New Testament, and yet it is translated as such from five different Greek words:
*  κατάκριμα (katakrima), meaning "a damning sentence" (Rom. 5:16, 18; 8:1).
*  κατάκρισις (katakrisis), meaning "condemnation" (2 Cor. 3:9).
*  κρίμα (krima), meaning "a sentence" (Lk. 23:40; 1 Cor. 11:34; Ti. 3:6; Jam. 3:1; Jud. 1:4).
*  κρίσις (krisis), meaning "a judgment" (Jn. 3:19; 5:24).
*  ὑπόκρισις (hypokrisis), meaning "hypocrisy" (Jam. 5:12).

While the last definition seems to be inconsistent with the other four, I believe it may be the most revealing of all.  It implies that the person, who has been judicially condemned, knows his fate and chooses to live as though he is ignorant of his state, or that he does not care about his pending doom.

Is there at least a hint from the other four Greek terms, that would indicate the condemned person is awareness of his condition?  Yes.  The thief on the cross knew he was condemned (Lk. 23:40).  Man is clearly aware in that he prefers to live under cover of darkness (Jn. 3:19-21).  The fact that the whole world is religious, indicates that man is aware that he has a sin nature (Rom. 5:16-18).  The Law makes man aware that he is a sinner, condemned, and in need of a Savior (2 Cor. 3:7-9).

So, if the condemned person knows his state, how did he come to awareness?  The answer is found in a passage in the Gospel of John:

"Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.  And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:  of sin, because they believe not on Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and ye see Me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged" (Jn. 16:7-11).

If the whole world is brought to conviction that they are sinners, condemned without a Savior, how does the Holy Spirit do that?  With the Word of God.  The Apostle Paul explained it in his letter to the Christians living in Galatia:  "But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe" (Gal. 3:22).  The Lord does it by the foolishness of the preaching of His Word (1 Cor. 1:21).  Romans 10:13-17 tells us that those who proclaim God's Word, are providing the lost with what is necessary for them to be saved:  faith!

Proverbs 11:30 - "...he that winneth souls is wise!"

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


There are two ways of looking at the chaos that is engulfing our world today:  either we can worry and panic, fearing the "unknown dangers" which lie ahead, or we can view the chaos, and recognize it as being exactly as God's Word says it would be.  It is "unknown" to us, but obviously not unknown to God.  I choose to believe that the Creator of the Universe, the One who foretold all that has come to pass in our past, is the same God we can believed and trust for our future.  After all, He has promised He would never leave us or forsake us (Heb. 13:5). 

Those of us who believe the Bible, have reason to fear:  not for ourselves, but for our family and friends who reject God's Word, and the Savior it reveals!  The Scriptures tell us that there is coming a time when, if God would not shorten it, no flesh would survive (Mt. 24:22)!  Students of the Bible know this soon-coming period as the Tribulation (Mt. 24:1-29), although it is also known as the "Time of Jacob's Trouble" (Jer. 30:7), or "Daniel's Seventieth Week" (Dan. 9:24-27); both reveal that the focus of this seven year period will focus upon Israel (Rev. 6:1 - 18:24).  And although the purpose of the Tribulation is to open the eyes of the Jews to their Messiah whom they crucified (Acts 2:23, 36; 4:10; Rom. 11:25), it would be the greatest understatement ever made, if we said it would effect only the Jews!  Fully one half of the world's population will be killed during this seven year event (Rev. 6:8 - a fourth; 9:18 - a third)!

But I have good news for all of you who are about to face this horrible time without Christ:  God loves you, and it is not His desire that any of you perish (Jn. 3:16; 2 Pet. 3:9)!  The Word says that God's offer of salvation is for all who will place their trust in Jesus, and will recognize Him as their Lord.  Romans 10:9-10 says, "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."

God has promised that all who place their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, will escape the wrath of God to come upon the whole world (Mt. 3:7; Jn. 3:36; 14:1-3; Rom. 1:18; 5:9; 1 Thes. 1:10; 5:9; Rev. 3:10; etc.)!      

Monday, November 4, 2013


There are seven "Feasts of Israel," with the first three occurring during their first month, the month of Nisan.  These three are known as the "Spring Feasts," and they picture the First Advent of Christ (Passover - 1 Cor. 5:7; Unleavened Bread - Jn. 6:35; and First Fruits - 1 Cor. 15:20).  The last three also occur in a single month, the seventh month, Tishrei, and they are known as the "Fall Feasts"; they picture the Second Advent or Coming of Christ (Trumpets - 1 Thes. 4:16; Atonement - Rom. 5:11; and Tabernacles - Rev. 21:22).  The "middle feast," the Feast of Wave Loaves, or Pentecost, represents the time period between Christ's First and Second Advents:  the Church Age.  We are now living in this time between His two Comings.

Because it has been about 2000 years since Christ's Ascension, many, including me, believe Jesus' return is imminent!  In fact, there are far too many signs pointing to His soon return to discuss them all here.  I would like to take a look at one sign, however, and it is the one Jesus spoke of in His Olivet Discourse.  He said, "Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:  so likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled" (Mt. 24:32-34).

Most biblical scholars view the fig tree as symbolic of Israel.  I believe the best evidence for that view is found in Joel 1:6-7.  For the entire Church Age, at least from A.D. 70 until A.D. 1948, the prophetic parable made little sense, because there was no Israel.  But today, most students of Bible prophecy, recognizing that the generation living in A.D. 1948 has reached the generational lifespan of Psalm 90:10, believe the time of the Lord's Second Advent is here.   

In addition, I looked up the harvest cycles for Israel, and I found that the wheat harvest coincides with Israel's Spring Feasts, and the time for harvesting figs is during the Fall Feasts.  In fact, they are seven months apart, just as are Nisan and Tishrei!  If Israel is symbolized by the fig tree, and its birth as a nation is the putting forth its leaves, Israel's long, long, dry "summer" is about to end, and Christ's return is very, very close!

Believe what you will; He said He is coming back, and Jesus never lies! 

Sunday, November 3, 2013


1.   The coach never came to visit me.

2.   Every time I went, they asked for money.

3.   The people in my row didn’t seem very friendly.

4.   The seats were very hard.

5.   The referees made a decision I didn’t agree with.

6.   I was sitting with hypocrites—they only came to see what others were wearing!

7.   Some games went into overtime and I was late getting home.

8.   The band played some songs I had never heard before.

9.   The games are scheduled on my only day to sleep in and run errands.

10. My parents took me to too many games when I was growing up.

11. Since I read a book on sports, I feel that I know more than the coaches, anyway.

12. I don’t want to take my children because I want them to choose for themselves what sport they like best.


Regardless of your view on the Book of Revelation, whether you believe it is allegory or literal, random or sequential, scary or comforting, chances are few of you believe it is a book which describes God's love for the lost.  And yet, the first sixteen chapters describe just how far God will go to bring mankind to repentance and faith.  The Word says, "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Pet. 3:9).  These ten verses confirm what the Apostle Peter wrote concerning God's desire that all would come to repentance:    

*  Rev. 2:5 - "Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent."
*  Rev. 2:16 - "Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth."
*  Rev. 2:21 - "And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not."
*  Rev. 2:22 - "Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds."
*  Rev. 3:3 - "Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee."
*  Rev. 9:20 - "And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:"
*  Rev. 9:21 - "Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts."
*  Rev. 16:9 - "And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory."
*  Rev. 16:11 - "And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds."

From Revelation 16:12 on, it appears God has had enough, and like the day He closed the door to the ark, the time will have come when His Spirit no longer will strive with fallen man (Gen. 6:3)!
Jesus is proof of God's love for us; our acceptance of Jesus is proof of our love for Him!  

Saturday, November 2, 2013


Genesis 1:26 says, "And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness...."  By comparing Genesis 1:27 with Genesis 5:1, we see that He did what He declared He would do; humans were originally created in God's image (v. 1:27) and likeness (v. 5:1).  Mankind was originally like Jesus; we were sinless, or in other words, righteous beings.  But when Adam sinned, he ceased to be like God, and while we are not specifically taught that Cain and Abel were born in God's image but not in His likeness, we see that was the case for Seth.  Genesis 5:3 says, "And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth."

Evidence that humanity no longer exists in both, the image and likeness of God, is found in the Apostle Paul's description of what Jesus did in order to become like us.  He wrote: 
"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (Phil. 2:5-8).
 Jesus was the "image of God" (2 Cor. 4:4); the "image of the invisible God" (Col. 1:15); and God's "express image" (Heb. 1:3).  But notice that we are not told that He was in the likeness of God; that is because He "was made in the likeness of men" (Phil. 2:7).

The "metamorphosis" that must take place begins with our being born again of the Spirit, when we place our faith in Jesus as our Lord (Jn. 3:3-8; Rom. 10:8-13; etc.).  The Word says that then God begins a work in us to make us into the likeness of Jesus (Rom. 8:28-29; 1 Cor. 3:9; Phil. 1:6; Eph. 2:10; etc.)!  Ironically, even though the transformation may be helped along by our cooperation (Rom. 12:1-2; Eph. 4:23; etc.), it will not be completed until we have departed this world.  The Apostle John wrote in 1 John 3:2: 

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:
but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him;
for we shall see Him as He is." 



Friday, November 1, 2013


The Gospel: the Good News of God's love and forgiveness!

*  "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel . . . 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 Gospel:  Heard, Believed, Trusted, Sealed!

*  "In Whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your salvation: in Whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise" (Eph. 1:13).
The Gospel:  The free gift received by faith (plus nothing)!

*  "But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the Gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20:24).
*  "Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 3:24).
*  "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 grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God" (Rom. 5:1-2).
*  "But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one Man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life" (Rom. 5:15-18).
*  "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" (Eph. 2:8-9).

Stop trying to be righteous, and thank God for the gift of HIS righteousness!