Tuesday, December 31, 2013


"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not.  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.  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure" (1 Jn. 3:1-3).

Some observations:

*  Faith in the Lord Jesus assures us that we are the children of God (Gal. 3:26):
       - Ti. 1:2 - the Father cannot lie.
       - Jn. 14:17 - the Spirit of truth dwells in us.
       - Jn. 14:6 - the Son IS the truth.

*  Hope is patiently waiting for what we know will occur (Rom. 8:29):
       - Rom. 5:2 - our hope is in the Word of the Father.
       - Col. 1:27 - it is the Son in us that gives us hope.
       - Gal. 5:5 - the Spirit within gives us hope.

*  Love motivated the Father to adopt all who would trust in the Lord Jesus (Jn. 1:12):
       - Rom. 8:15 - we have the Spirit of adoption.
       - Gal. 4:5 - the Son has redeemed us so we could be adopted.
       - Eph. 1:5 - the Father wanted us to become His adopted children.

*  We will be in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:26-27):
       - Phil. 1:6 - the Father is at work making us like His Son.
       - Heb. 1:3 - the Son is the express image of His Father.
       - Jn. 3:6 - the Spirit within makes us spiritual beings.

Faith, Hope, and Love
The greatest of these motivated God to have a relationship with His children!

Monday, December 30, 2013


There are many things in the Bible which mean more than one thing.  For instance, Jesus is called "the Lamb of God (who) taketh away the sin of the world" (Jn. 1:29, 36).  He, like the Passover Lamb, shed His blood to prevent the judgment of God falling upon those who place their trust in Him (Ex. 12:1-51; Jn. 1:29, 36; 1 Cor. 5:7; etc.).  Another example is found in comparing the evil working of Antiochus Epiphanes and that of the Beast, the Antichrist (Dan. 9:27; 11:21-35; 12:11; Rev. 13:1-18; etc.).

The use of time can also be used as a picture of something else.  In Daniel 9:24-27, the prophet speaks of "seventy weeks," and yet, it is clear from many other passages of Scripture, that he meant groups of seven years.  It was 483 years (69 weeks of years) from the beginning of his prophecy, until the death of the Messiah.  The last "week" (seven years), is clearly described as being divided in half, with each half being 42 months (Rev. 11:2; 13:5), 1260 days (Rev.11:3; 12:6); and "a time, times, and half (a time)" (three and one half years - Dan. 12:7).

In 2 Peter 3:8, we read, "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."  I believe that Creation occurred approximately 6000 years ago.  I believe the Lord is returning very soon to establish His 1000 year Millennial Kingdom on Earth, perhaps as soon as seven years from today (Mt. 24:1-29; Rev. 20:1-7).  If we look at the 7000 years as being the length of time this planet will exist, before there is a new Heaven and new Earth (Rev. 21:1), there are some interesting divisions:  the first 2000 years consisted of a world populated by only Gentiles; the second 2000 years consisted of both Gentiles and Jews; the third 2000 years consists of Gentiles, Judaism, and Christianity.  That there were equal periods of time in which there was no Law, when the Law was in effect, and after the Law was fulfilled by Christ, it seems to me that God has given mankind the three possible options in which he can be entrusted in his relationship with God:  Conscience, the Law, and Grace.  Since all three failed to establish a world in which man loved Him and each other, the seventh 1000 years will be ruled by Jesus, Himself, so that man can realize what God's will looks like when it is lived out.

Unfortunately, fallen man is incapable of being Christ-like while still living in the flesh.  The failure of the Millennium to establish paradise on Earth, proves it!  Paul wrote that in order for us to be what God intended us to be, we need to be changed from being carnal beings, to being spiritual beings, and from being mortal beings, to being immortal beings (1 Cor. 15:42-58)!

Until one sees Jesus, face-to-face, a person will not be what God wants him to be (1 Jn. 3:2)!
Come, Lord Jesus (Rev. 22:20)!

Sunday, December 29, 2013


"...Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved..." (Acts 16:31)!

"Let those who have trusted in the LORD, say so...." (Ps. 107:2)!


"... the Lord knows those who are His, so let every one that calls himself a Christian, depart from iniquity" (2 Tim. 2:19)!


"Now ye are the body of Christ, and each is important to the others" (1 Cor. 12:27).

"And He gave...pastors and teachers for the instruction of believers, that we might do the work of the ministry, by encouraging and enlarging of the body of Christ" (Eph. 4:11-12)!

"Therefore, do not lie, but speak the truth to others:  for we are members one of another.  Do not be angry, and do not sin: deal with conflict right away:  do not let the devil divide you.  Do not steal: but perform honest labor to earn, so that you will have enough to give to those in need.  Speak only those things which encourage and build up others, that you become a blessing to all who hear you.  Be pleasing to the Holy Spirit of God, who lives within you, sealing you unto God, until the day of redemption.  Rid yourself of bitterness, wrath, anger, rowdiness, and negative talk about others, and be without malice:  be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ's sake, has forgiven you" (Eph. 4:25-32).

Saturday, December 28, 2013


The Day of the LORD is mentioned twenty-six times in the Bible; twenty-two are in the Old Testament, and just four can be found in the New Testament.  Here is a summary of what that "day" will be like:

     *  The proud shall be brought low - Isa. 2:12.
     *  It shall come as destruction from the Almighty - Isa. 13:6; Joel 1:15.
     *  It will be a day of God's wrath and fierce anger - Isa. 13:9.
     *  It will be a day of the LORD'S vengeance - Isa. 34:8; Jer. 46:10.
     *  It will be a solemn day of terrors - Lam. 2:22.
     *  Israel will have no hedge of protection in that day - Ezek. 13:5.
     *  It will be in the times of the heathen (Gentiles) - Ezek. 30:3; Obed. 1:15.
     *  Israel is to blow a trumpet of warning - Joel 2:1.
     *  It will be a day of great and terrible wrath - Joel 2:11.
     *  It will culminate in the Valley of Decision - Joel 3:14.
     *  Israel is to be silent in that day - Zeph. 1:7.
     *  It will be a day of the LORD'S sacrifice - Zeph. 1:8.
     *  The mighty men will cry - Zeph. 1:14.
     *  The LORD will not be stayed by bribery - Zeph. 1:18.
     *  It will be a day when God's anger will be displayed - Zeph. 2:2.
     *  Those who meekly seek righteousness may be hidden - Zeph. 2:3.
     *  The wealth of Israel will become spoil - Zech. 14:1.
     *  In the final judgment, a believer's soul will be saved - 1 Cor. 5:5.
     *  While this is going on here, Christians will be rejoicing in heaven - 2 Cor. 1:14.
     *  The removal of Christians prior to the day, is unknown - 1 Thes. 5:2.
     *  At the end of "the Day," Earth will be burned and replaced - 2 Pet. 3:10.

The Day of the LORD will begin following the Rapture of the Church (Jn. 14:1-6; 1 Thes. 4:13-18).  It will include Daniel's Seventieth Week, a period of seven years (a.k.a. The Tribulation and the Time of Jacob's Trouble - Jer. 30:7; Dan. 9:27; Mt. 24:3-29; Rev. 6 - 18).  The Tribulation will end with the Second Coming of Christ to establish His 1000 year reign on Earth (Rev. 20:1-10).  Following the end of the Millennium, Satan will be judged, and God will judge mankind at the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11-15).  The Day of the LORD will be complete.

Only those who accept the free gift of salvation, paid for by the sacrifice of Jesus,
will escape the awful years which God Himself calls the day of His terrible wrath! 

Friday, December 27, 2013


Perhaps the most despised message, preached from the Bible in the Church today, concerns the marriage relationship between a husband and wife.  In fact, Pastors are more comfortable preaching on the topics of hell, or tithing, than they are preaching on marriage.  The marriage relationship, so enthusiastically entered into by young folks in love, is so difficult, that its complexity is often the fodder which propels many popular sit-coms, such as "Everybody Loves Raymond."  In addition to the roller-coaster love/hate relationship between Ray and Debra Romano, Ray's parents, Frank and Marie, living across the street, contribute zingy one-liners at each other on every show.

While the show is hilarious, the topic of difficulty within Christian marriages is not!  And, believe it or not, 99% of all marriage problems are caused by Christian husbands!  That's right, I am betraying my brothers, and taking the side of my Christian sisters!  Hear me out.  The Bible tells women to submit to their husbands in three different epistles:
*  Eph. 5:22 says, "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord."
*  Col. 3:18 says, "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord."
*  1 Pet. 3:1 says, "Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands...."
*  1 Pet. 3:5 adds, "For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands."

And while husbands are quick to point out those verses to their wives, they somehow neglect to read what the Word has to say about their responsibility in the marriage relationship!  Here are some of the verses the same writers had to say to the husbands:

*  Eph. 5:25 reads, "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it."
*  Col. 3:19 says, "Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them."
*  1 Pet. 3:7 reads, "Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered."

It has been my observation that when I treat my wife with a self-sacrificing love, similar to that of Christ willingly going to the cross for me, she has absolutely no difficulty submitting to me.  For, if I act like Him, she will want to follow my lead; if I act like Paul Mutschler, I should not expect her to do anything but detest me.  Thank God, for He is making born again husbands into the likeness of His Son (Phil. 1:6)!  The only problem is, we will not be fully like Him until we are present with Him (1 Jn. 3:2)!

So, until then, both husbands and wives need to practice forgiveness, and understand why their mate is still human; both males and females often have motes in their eyes at times (Mt. 7:3-5)!

Thursday, December 26, 2013


I know I have written extensively on the subject of the "Feast of Israel," but I recently heard a preacher point out that they are not the "Feasts of Israel"; they are actually the "Feast of the LORD."  When I looked it up, I found that the words "Feast of Israel" do not appear anywhere in the Bible.  However, the "Feast of the LORD" appears eight times (Leviticus 23:2, 4, 37, 44; Judges 21:19; 2 Chronicles 2:4; Ezra 3:5; Hosea 9:5).  While that may not seem significant to many of you, I find it to be extremely important; they belong to God, and are not the exclusive "property" of Israel. 

Because the feasts belong to God, then they are not meant to simply commemorate events in Israel's history, but they are also closely related to the events involving the Church.  They are a pictures of Christ's First Advent, the Church Age, and Christ's Second Advent. 

In the Spring Feasts, we find the Gospel clearly presented (1 Cor. 15:1-4)!  Passover pictures Christ's death for the sins of the world (1 Cor. 5:7; 1 Jn. 2:2; etc.).  The Feast of Unleavened Bread pictures the Bread of Life being sinless (Jn. 6:48; Heb. 4:15; etc.).  The Feast of First Fruits pictures Christ's Resurrection from the grave (Acts 26:23; 1 Cor. 15:20, 23; etc.). 

The Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost, obviously applies to the Church, in that, the Church began its existence with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit on that day (Jn. 14:17; Acts 2:1-4; etc.).  Many students of Bible prophecy, believe that when the "Restrainer" is removed (2 Thes. 2:6-10), the Church will cease to be present on Earth; we will have been taken up into heaven via the Rapture (Jn. 14:1-3; 1 Thes. 4:16-17; etc.).

The Fall Feasts also have to do with the Church Age.  For one thing, the Feast of Trumpets (plural) signifies two events:  the Rapture of the Church (1 Cor. 15:52 - the last the Church hears; 1 Thes. 4:16; etc.); and the call to Israel to assemble in the Promised Land (Joel 2:1-16; etc.)!  Joel says the trumpets are to warn Israel that the "Day of the LORD" is coming.  That is also known as the "Day of Atonement" (Lev. 23:27-28), and is referred to as the Tribulation (Dan. 9:27; Mt. 24:21, 29; Rev. 6 - 18).  The last of the seven Feasts of the LORD, Tabernacles, will be the Second Coming of Jesus, accompanied by His Church (1 Thes. 3:13; Rev. 19:14; etc.)!

They are His feasts, and all born again believers are invited!  

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Today, as we celebrate the Virgin Birth (Isa. 7:14; Mt. 1:23) of the Creator of the Universe (Jn. 1:1-3, 14; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:1-2; etc.), it might be wise to remember that He is due to return at any time (Jn. 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; etc.) , and this time, He won't be an infant; He will be the King of kings, and the Lord of lords (Rev. 17:14; 19:11-16)! 

At His Second Coming, He will no longer be seen as the "Passover Lamb of God" (Jn. 1:29, 36; 1 Cor. 5:7), for He will be returning as the Son of David, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Rev. 3:7; 5:5; 22:16)!  Instead of coming as the Word of God Incarnate (Jn. 1:1-3, 14), He will be returning as the Son of God, speaking the Word of God at His enemies (Eph. 6:17; Heb. 4:12; Rev. 19:15; etc.)!

At His First Coming, He was heralded by an angel (Lk. 2:9-12), and by one witness who prepared the way for His ministry (Mt. 3:1-3).  Had John's message been received, he would have fulfilled the prophecy that Elijah would return to prepare Christ's way, but he was not (Mal. 4:5-6; Mt. 11:12-14). 

At His Second Coming, He will have been heralded by two witnesses (Rev. 11:3-7), and by an angel that flew "in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people" (Rev. 14:6).  I believe the two witnesses are Enoch and Elijah, in that neither died physically, and according to Hebrews 9:27, all men living prior to Christ coming to Rapture His Church (Jn. 14:1-3; 1 Thes. 4:16-17; etc.), must die; as the two witnesses, they will, according to Revelation 11:7!

The two Comings or Advents of Christ are pictured in Psalm 126:6, which says, "He that goeth forth and weepeth (Jn. 11:35), bearing precious seed (Mt. 13:37), shall doubtless come again with rejoicing (Rev. 19:4-7), bringing His sheaves with Him" (Mt. 13:38; 1 Thes. 3:13).

First Coming - fulfilled literally; Second Coming - ditto!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


THE GOOD NEWS:  As our sick world becomes more like that of Noah's day (Gen. 6:5; Mt. 24:37-38), born again believers, those who have been saved by the gift of God's grace (Jn. 3:3-8; Eph. 2:8-9; 1 Pet. 1:23), those who understand the Bible's teaching about the Rapture of the Church, are growing more and more excited about our ascension to meet the Lord in the air (Jn. 14:1-3; 1 Thes. 4:16-17), just prior to the Tribulation and the Second Coming of the Lord (Dan. 9:27; Mt. 24:1-51).  Like children who get excited about celebrating Christmas (His First Coming; His Incarnation), we get excited thinking about our ascension to meet our Ascended Lord, and our return with Him at His Coronation (Acts 1:9; Rev. 19:1-18)!

THE BAD NEWS:  Many professing believers in Christ, those who believe their works for Him will earn them "a spot in heaven," are going to be left behind at the Rapture of the Church.  Jesus spoke of them in Matthew 7:21-23: 

"Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven.  Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name; and in Thy name have cast out devils; and in Thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity." 

The difference between professing Christians, and born again believers, can be seen by comparing the Churches of Philadelphia and Laodicea in Revelation 3:7-22.

THE UNENDING RESULTS:  Those of us who have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, will spend eternity with Him (Jn. 3:15; 10:23; 1 Thes. 4:17; 1 Jn. 2:25; 5:13; etc.); we have been adopted by God (Rom. 8:15, 23; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5; etc.), and will inherit everlasting life (Jn. 3:16; 6:40, 47; etc.).  Those who attempt to work their way to heaven through some religion, even some claiming to be of a Christian religion, are destined to spend eternity separated from Him; they remain of their father, the devil (Jn. 8:44), and will suffer everlasting torment (Mt. 7:21-23; 18:8; 25:41, 46; etc.).

It is not too late to "fix" your eternal destination!  Turn to Jesus today!   

Monday, December 23, 2013


Pope Francis, also known as Time's Person of the Year and Twitter's #bestpopeever, has to be one of the most popular Popes of all time.  His rebuke of clerics who fail to live according to their oaths of poverty, his own refusal to live in opulence, his habit of using public transportation, etc., have found favor with Catholics and non-Catholics alike.  And it certainly did not hurt his popularity when, during an interview given during his flight from Brazil to Rome, in response to a question of his position on the subject of homosexuality, he said, "Who am I to judge?"  Who indeed!

The answer, while not popular or politically correct, is that he is exactly the one to judge!  His role as the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, is to know the Word of God, to teach the Word of God, and to discipline those within his flock who fail to live according to the Word of God!  It is true that Jesus made the statement, "Judge not, that ye be not judged" (Mt. 7:1).  However, He also said, "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment" (Jn. 7:24).

So, why the difference?  Context, it is all about context.  His statement recorded in Matthew 7:1 is followed by "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again" (7:2).  In other words, be careful not to hold others to a standard you are not willing to live up to yourselves.

The Apostle Paul, writing to the Church at Corinth, rebuked the leaders for failing to deal with "sin in the camp."  In 1 Corinthians 5:1-13, it is clear that those who profess faith in Christ, are to live according to the teachings of God's Word; when they fail to do so, they are to be confronted, and unless they repent, they are to be "shunned" by the congregation!  Ironically, the sin mentioned in the chapter is a sexual sin.

The Word of God is the standard we are to use to determine the appropriateness of behavior.  We are to use that standard because it is the standard He will use when He judges mankind on Judgment Day (Jn. 12:48; Rom. 2:12; etc.).  Even Pilate (Jn. 18:31), and Ananias, the Chief Priest (Acts 24:1-6), understood the Word of God is the basis for righteous judgment!  Paul said, in 1 Corinthians 6:3,
 "Know ye not that we shall judge angels? 
How much more things that pertain to this life?"

Sunday, December 22, 2013


Jesus was born in Bethlehem, just as it had been prophesied concerning the Messiah, 700 years earlier (Mic. 5:2).  His birth would be miraculous in that His mother would be a virgin (Isa. 7:14).  He would be from the lineage of Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, and David (Gen. 3:15; 12:3; 17:19; Num. 24:17; Gen. 49:10; Jer. 23:5).  There is little doubt that Jesus was Israel's long-awaited Messiah!

And if the Old Testament prophecies were not enough to show His true identity, we have the reaction of those involved with Him the first eight days of His life.  The following examples all come from the second chapter of the Gospel of Luke.

*  The Angels of the Lord at the announcement of Christ's birth to lowly shepherds:  "And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men" (2:13-14).

*   The shepherds, after seeing the Christ child:  "And when they had seen [Him], they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this Child" (2:17).

*  Mary, the mother of Jesus, the Christ:  "But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart" (2:19).

*  Simeon, who had been promised by God that he would not die until he had seen Israel's Messiah:  "Lord, now lettest thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy Word:  for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation" (2:29-30).  And he prophesied concerning Mary's future grief (2:34-35).

*  Anna, a prophetess, reacted as well, for the Word says, "And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of Him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem" (2:38).

As can be seen from these five examples, not everyone reacts the same.  But they all have one thing in common:  from the moment they meet Him, He becomes the center of our thoughts and their conversations!


Saturday, December 21, 2013


When born again believers share the Gospel, we are not only following our Lord's command (Mk. 16:15), but we are also wanting to rescue those who are condemned without faith in Christ (Jn. 3:15-16).  After all, it is when they believe the Gospel, the Good News that Jesus died for their sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, and that He rose again from the dead according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:3-4), that they are saved!  It is the Gospel that has the power to tear down their defenses, and soften their rock-hard hearts; only the Gospel has the power to save the souls of the lost (Rom. 1:16)! 

Once believed, the response is two-fold:  the individual recognizes that he is living a life of sin, and, perhaps for the first time, it repulses him!  He wants to be forgiven, and to be given a fresh, clean start; that is called repentance.  At the same time, because he believes that Jesus died for his sins, he responds with gratitude and love for his Savior.  It is a two-sided coin.  That is why Jesus told His disciples to preach repentance AND remission of sins (Lk. 24:47)!  Repentance is man's response when he believes what Jesus did for him on the cross, and remission describes what Jesus did on the cross!

Jesus said, "For this is My blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins" (Mt. 26:28).  And the writer of the Book of Hebrews, explained the price Jesus paid for our remission:  "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission" (Heb. 9:22).  The reason he said "almost," is because there is one sin that a man can commit, that is not covered in the shed blood of Christ:  the blasphemy of the Holy Ghost.  Jesus said, "But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.  Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men" (Mt. 12:28, 31).

The Holy Spirit provided the evidence that was necessary for the Pharisees to believe in Jesus; when they rejected it, in so doing, they rejected Him; they were, for all practical purposes, calling the Holy Spirit a liar!  They refused to repent and accept Jesus as their Lord.  Therefore, they died in their sins (Jn. 8:24)! 

 Only the sin of denying Jesus is unforgivable.

Friday, December 20, 2013


A virgin named Mary, who was engaged to a man named Joseph, was pregnant with the Son of God, which was the result of the miraculous working of the Holy Spirit.  When Joseph, to whom she was engaged, found out, he, being a just man and not wanting her to be stoned to death for having committed adultery, was trying to think of how he could quietly break off their engagement. 

But while he was thinking about it, he fell asleep, and the Angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, of the family of David, do not be afraid to take Mary to be your wife.  The Child she is carrying is a miracle, conceived of the Holy Spirit.  And she shall bring forth a Son, and you are to call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins." 

Now all this was done that Isaiah 7:14 might be fulfilled, which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, "Behold, a virgin shall be with Child, and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call His title, "Emmanuel," which means "God with us."  [Note:  Mary's pregnancy, like all pregnancies, involved a child, not a fetus, not an embryo, not even a fertilized egg; she was with Child!]

When Joseph woke up, he did as the Angel of the Lord had told him, and he married Mary.  And Mary remained a virgin until she gave birth to her firstborn Son: and Joseph called His name JESUS" (Mt. 1:18-25).

And there were, in the same country, shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And suddenly, the Angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord surrounded them: and they were so afraid.  And the Angel said unto them, "Fear not: for, behold, I bring great news, which shall be a blessing to all people.  Just as the Word of God promised, your Messiah, Christ the Lord, has been born today in Bethlehem, the City of David."  

And this is how you will recognize Him; you will find the Baby wrapped in a receiving blanket, lying in an animal's feed trough.  And suddenly, there was with the Angel, a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, "Glory to God in heaven, and on earth, peace and good will to all men."  And it came to pass, after the angels were gone, the shepherds said one to another, "Let us go and see this thing which has happened, this thing which the Lord hath made known unto us."

And when they arrived in Bethlehem, they found Mary and Joseph, and the Baby was lying in an animal's food trough, just as they had been told. And when they had seen Him, they told everyone what they had been told concerning the Child, Israel's Messiah (Lk. 2:8-17).

Thursday, December 19, 2013


In John 3:1-21, Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader (v. 1, 10), came to Jesus under the cover of darkness, probably to find out if Jesus was Israel's long-awaited Messiah.  He dare not approach the Lord by day, or he would be put out of the synagogue for even entertaining the thought Jesus might be Messiah.  [Later on, he would speak up for Jesus (Jn. 7:45-52), and openly care for His body (Jn. 19:38-42)].  But before he had a chance to ask Jesus anything, Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (v. 3). 

Before I attempt to explain the meaning of "born again," I would like to address what Jesus meant by "see the kingdom of God."  The Greek εἴδω (eidō), which is here translated "see," is translated as such 314 times.  The same Greek word is also translated "know" 281 times in the New Testament.  In other words, εἴδω means to "experience something for oneself, to recognize and understand it."  If Nicodemus was to ever to recognize the King of the Messianic Kingdom, he needed to be born again.

The phrase "born again," is translated from two Greek words that mean "born," γεννάω (gennaō), and "again," ἄνωθεν (anōthen), however, Strong's Concordance, a book known for its circular reasoning, suggests that ἄνωθεν means "from above."  It bases that on the context of this passage, and not upon the Greek, itself.  Circular reasoning!

In reality, "again" means "something repeated."  I often carries with it the idea of a teacher telling his piano student to "play it again."  It implies an improvement over the first attempt.  The same goes for one being "born again."  We are born the first time, physically, out of a water-filled womb, into a world no purer than we are.  The new birth, or second birth, is a spiritual birth.  Instead of being born into a physical realm, the new birth results in a life into the spiritual realm.  Look at the passage, and see if this is not clearly taught! 

The physical birth is from one's mother (v. 4), while the spiritual birth is from  the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit (v. 5-8).  These verses say, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.  The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit."

We know the King, because the Holy Spirit has given us eyes to recognize Him!


Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Is there a difference between the antichrist, mentioned in two of John's three Epistles, and the Beast in John's Book of Revelation?  Are they two different individuals?  I believe not.  This individual denies Jesus was the Christ, so that he, himself, will be accepted by Israel as her Messiah.    

The Greek word translated "antichrist" is ἀντίχριστος (antichristos), which can either be understood to mean "one opposed to Christ"; it can mean "one who claims to be Christ"; and as it is in this case, both.  In John's Epistles, the antichrist denies the Gospel message that Jesus is the Christ, that He is the Son of God, and that Jesus has already come in the flesh.  In that sense, he is opposed to the true Christ.  His motive is clear; he wants Israel to believe he is their Messiah.  The four verses which mention the antichrist are:  1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 John 1:7.

The antichrist, according to Daniel 9:27 and Matthew 24:3-15, presents himself as Israel's Christ, promising he will protect them from their enemies, according to a seven-year peace covenant.  But something very dramatic changes him.  We are told that he suffers a mortal head wound, and in the following verses, we are told that he is healed and empowered by Satan.  It is then that he becomes known as "the beast," and it is then that he demands that he be worshipped as god (Rev. 13:1-10).  Much like Judas Iscariot, who became known to Jesus as the "son of perdition" when he was indwelt by Satan (Jn. 13:27; 17:12), the antichrist appears to become the "son of perdition" when he also experiences a similar indwelling (2 Thes. 2:3; Rev. 13:4).

The identity of the actual man known as the antichrist or the beast of Revelation, is unknown, and will only be revealed when he commits the "abomination of desolation" (Dan. 9:27; 11:31; 12:11; Mt. 24:15; Rev. 13:6).  But I have a question for you.  Are you an antichrist?  John wrote that "even now are there many antichrists" (1 Jn. 2:18); and they "denieth that Jesus is the Christ" (1 Jn. 2:22)!

Christ is the Son of God; Christ died and rose again; Christ will return soon as King of kings and Lord of lords:  are you longing for Him to come, or are you dreading that day?  You are either a Christian, or you are an antichrist!  

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Much has been written about salvation being a free gift, offered to mankind by God, and received whenever an individual places their faith in the truth of the Gospel (Rom. 1:16; 10:8-17; 1 Cor. 15:1-3; Eph. 2:8-9; etc.).  Clearly, it is a gift; it cannot be earned, or it would not be a gift, but wages or payment for service (Rom. 6:23).  And all of this is true!  However, equally clear is the fact that God's born again children are going to be led of the Holy Spirit to be servants of God (Mt. 4:10; 6:24; Lk. 1:74; 4:8; 16:13; Acts 7:7; Rom. 7:6; 16:18; 1 Thes. 1:9; Heb. 9:14; 12:28; Rev. 22:3; etc.)!

Yes, I know Jesus told His disciples He would no longer call them servants, because they were His friends (Jn. 15:15), but let's look at the verse closely:  "Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you."  Believers in Christ are His friends because He chooses to reveal God's truth to us.  That does not mean, as His friend, I am equal to Him.  It does not mean, as His friend, I no longer am expected to do His will.  The Ephesian passage that best proves that salvation is a gift from God to all who will believe in Jesus (2:8-9), is followed by this verse:  "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them" (2:10).

Yes, I know that the Apostle Paul wrote that believers are no longer servants of the Law, but are adopted children of God (Gal. 4:1-7).  But notice in the passage, a child is treated as a servant until the Father determines he is mature enough to live on his own.  Born again believers are somewhere on a continuum of spiritual maturity, from being "babes in Christ" (Mt. 11:25; 1 Cor. 3:1-2; 1 Pet. 2:2), to being "like Him" (which, according to 1 Jn. 3:2, only occurs following our looking upon Him face-to-face).  God began the process (Jn. 3:3-8; Phil. 1:6), and He continues to mold and shape us into His Son's image and likeness (Rom. 8:28-30)!

The greatest joy a believer can have, is knowing he is in the will of Almighty God!

Monday, December 16, 2013


Christ's First Advent

"For unto us (Israel - Jn. 1:11) 

THE Child (not just any child, but THE Child - Lk. 2:21, 27, 43; Rev. 12:13)

is born, unto us THE Son is given (again, not just "a" Son, but THE Son - the phrase "the Son of God" appears 44 times in the Bible!  and, Jn. 3:16 - clearly speaks of Christ's First Coming - Mt. 1:1-2:23; Lk. 1:26-2:38; Jn. 1:9-14):
Christ's Second Advent

and the government shall be upon His shoulder (Christ's Millennial Kingdom - Rev. 20:1-7):

and His name shall be called:
Wonderful Counselor (the word "wonderful" is an adjective, and therefore, it describes the excellence of Christ's counsel to mankind - Rev. 3:18),

The Mighty God (Jesus, as the Son of God, is both Creator and God - Gen. 1:1; Ps. 45:6; Heb. 1:1-2, 8; Jn. 1:1-3, 14; 10:30; 20:28; Mt. 1:23; Col. 1:16; 2:9; 2 Cor. 4:4; Isa. 7:14; etc.),

The everlasting Father (Jesus said in Jn. 10:30, "I and My Father are one."  And in Jn. 14:9, He said, "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father."),

The Prince of Peace (first, Jesus is, at this time, a prince; He will be anointed as the KING OF KINGS AND THE LORD OF LORDS when He rules and reigns in His kingdom - 1 Tim. 6:14-15; Rev. 19:16." and second, Jesus came to bring peace to those who received Him as their Lord and Savior.  There are 109 verses in the New Testament that speak of peace, and the Gospel itself is called the "Gospel of Peace" in Rom. 10:15.)

Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever.  The zeal of the LORD of hosts WILL PERFORM THIS!"

Sunday, December 15, 2013


The Greek χάρις (charis), is translated as "grace" over one hundred fifty times in the New Testament. However, it is translated seven times as "favor," as well, and all of them occur in the writings of Luke (Lk. 1:28, 30; 2:52; Acts 2:47; 7:10, 46; 25:3).  Oddly enough, the writings of Luke also have χάρις translated as "grace" eleven times (Lk. 2:40; 4:22; Acts 1:23; 13:43; 14:3, 26; 15:11, 40; 18:27; 20:24, 32).  Even if the words are interchangeable, one would think the two would show up in other New Testament books.  But, that is not the case.  And after looking at the context where the word "favor" is used, I hate to admit it, but I still have no clue as to why the word "favor" was used.

Nevertheless, the Word of God supplies us with a definition of χάρις, so that there can be no confusion as to the Lord's meaning.  Ephesians 2:7-9 gives us the meaning of "grace": 
"That in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast." 

The first fact in defining "grace," is that it is an attribute of God!  He is gracious!  Like "mercy," "grace" is evidence of God's love for us.  The two explain just how much God "loved the world" and what that means in John 3:16.

The second truth about God's "grace" toward mankind, is that it cannot be earned.  It has to be a gift, or it is no longer "grace."  The two are contrasted as opposites in Romans 11:16, which says, "And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace.  But if it be of works, then is it no more grace:  otherwise work is no more work."

Finally, the text itself declares that salvation is a "gift!"  And just like you and I purchase what we give as gifts to others, salvation is a "gift" purchased by God, to give it to us:  the price?  The life of His only begotten Son (Rom. 5:15)! 

At Christmas time, we honor God's gift to mankind:  our Lord, His Son!


Saturday, December 14, 2013


What is God's wrath?  It is God's righteous (just, fair, appropriate) judgment upon mankind for sin(Ps. 119:7, 62, 106, 160, 164; Rom. 2:5; 2 Thes. 1:5; etc.).  The Word clearly states that all have sinned, and that the suitable payment for our sin is death (Rom. 3:23; 5: 12; 6:23; etc.).

But God does not want anyone to perish (Ezek. 18:23, 32; 33:11; 2 Pet. 3:9; etc.)!  So, He offered mankind a solution; He sent His only begotten Son to die in our place (Jn. 3:14-17)!  And just like when the Passover was slain to protect the children of Israel from death (Ex. 12:1-24), Jesus, our Passover (1 Cor. 5:7), was slain that we, while yet sinners, might be saved from the wrath of God to come (Rom. 5:8-9; 1 Thes. 1:10; 5:9; etc.)! 

So, if Jesus' death was the satisfactory payment for mankind's sin (Rom. 3:25; 1 Jn. 2:2; 4:10; etc.), then why does the Word of God say that God's wrath is still coming (Mt. 3:7; Lk. 3:7; 1 Thes. 1:10; etc.)?  John 3:36 states it plainly:  "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."  Those who reject Jesus are already experiencing a small sample of what awaits them, for God is using it to bring mankind to repentance and faith in Him (Rev. 9:20-21; 16:9-11; etc.)!

Man must believe in Jesus for the Lord's payment of his debt to be applied to him!  If he does not believe that Jesus was crucified for his sins; that Jesus was buried, proving He was dead; and that God raised Him from the dead, showing God accepted His sacrificial death for him; he will have rejected the Lord's gift of salvation (Jn. 4:10; Rom. 5:15-18; 6:23; Eph. 2:8; etc.), and will die in his sins (Mk. 16:16; Jn. 8:24; 12:48; etc.)!

Those of us who placed our trust in Jesus, as our Lord and Savior, have been promised that we will be kept from the Day of God's Wrath!  The Word says, "Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him" (Rom. 5:9).  And again, "And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come (1 Thes. 1:10).  And again, "For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thes. 5:9).  And again, "Because thou hast kept the word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth" (Rev. 3:10)! 

Don't be stupid!  Humble yourself and accept God's gift:  Jesus! 

Friday, December 13, 2013


Most of us are familiar with the fact that Jesus Christ was God's "only begotten" Son.  We are told so in John 1:14, 18; 3:16, 18; and 1 John 4:9.  But what exactly does that mean?  I have always understood it to mean that God, the Father, was responsible for Mary's pregnancy, based upon passages such as Isaiah 7:10-16; Matthew 1:18-23; and Luke 1:26-38.  And of course, that is true.  However, when I did a search on the words, "only begotten," I discovered that while the translators also used the words to describe Isaac's relationship to Abraham (Heb. 11:17), the same Greek word was translated differently in three other instances.  

The Greek word translated "only begotten," μονογενής (monogenēs), also appears in relation to three other characters in the Bible.  The widow from Nain, a tiny Galilean village, was on her way to bury her "only" son when she encountered Jesus (Lk. 7:12).  Jairus, a ruler of a synagogue, asked the Lord to help his "one only" daughter (Lk. 8:42).  The father of the demon possessed asked Jesus to help "mine only" son (Lk. 9:38).

One might believe that due to the Science of Genetics, the translators looked at the Greek word, and saw it to mean Jesus had only one human parent.  However, not only could the writers of the Bible not have meant this, neither could the translators of the King James Bible.  The first person to publish scientific findings on genetic reproduction, was Gregor Mendel, and he didn't publish his results until 1865, two hundred and fifty-four years after the KJV was translated.  And, due to the fact that the same translation was used to describe Isaac's relationship to Abraham, the words, "only begotten" should not be seen as a Bible mystery concerning the Virgin Birth of Christ.

The Good News is, God does have millions of children.  Believers in Christ have been adopted by God; we are His sons and daughters.  The Apostle Paul wrote:  "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the (children) of God.  For ye have not received the Spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God" (Rom. 8:14-16).

We may not be "begotten," but we definitely are "beloved!"

Thursday, December 12, 2013


The Old Testament was written to show mankind that we are sinners, that we need a Savior, and that God would provide the Savior.  The Apostle Paul explained it this way in Galatians 3:22-26: 
"But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.  But before faith came, we were kept under the Law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the Law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.  For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus."
The New Testament identifies Jesus as God's one and only Savior.  The Apostle John had this to say:  "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).  John clearly stated the purpose for what he wrote in our Bible:  "But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name" (Jn. 20:30-31).  And again, he wrote:  "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, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God" (1 Jn. 5:13).

Luke, the author of the Book of Acts, said this:  "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).  Later, he wrote:  "And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house" (Acts 16:31).

The writer of the Book of Hebrews packed a lot into just two verses.  Hebrews 13:20-21: 
"Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 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."
When you truly believe in Jesus, you trust God, and want to serve Him! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


www.biblewheel.com/Book/HebrewTable.gif has some basic information on the Hebrew alphabet On page five, it presents a chart with each letter in Hebrew, its name, and its literal meaning. For instance, the first letter, Aleph, represents the number one, and its meaning is “OX” (a sacrificial animal). The last letter, Tav, represents the number 400, and means “SIGN” (interestingly, it stands for the letter “t,” which would make it appear to be a “sign of a cross”)! The entire Hebrew alphabet can be seen in Psalm 119 in the King James Bible; the Psalm is divided into twenty-two groups of eight verses each, one group for each of the twenty-two letters in the Hebrew alphabet. Just to help understand why the Hebrew alphabet is so important, Jesus is the Aleph and Tav just as He is the Alpha and Omega in the Greek. 
“I AM,” the Hebrew name God used to identify Himself to Moses, was יְהֹוָה (YHVH).  It is comprised of the tenth letter, Yod, which represents the number ten, and means “HAND”; the fifth letter, Hey, which represents the number five, and means “BEHOLD”;  the sixth letter, Vav, which represents the number six, and means “NAIL”; and the last letter is another Hey.  Because the original Hebrew had no vowels, the spelling of God’s name was Yod, Hey, Vav, Hey, or YHVH.  In other words:  HAND, BEHOLD; NAIL BEHOLD! 
The German version of this would be Yod, Hey, Waw, Hey, since the “V” and the “W” are reversed.  I am not saying this means anything, but you know the letters for the internet, “WWW,” would be “VVV” in German, and that would be “666” in Hebrew!  There are a few who believe the internet is Satan’s tool, but for me, it is a God-send, as it gives me an opportunity to share my Bible study each morning!
God can make something good out of whatever Satan does!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

MATTHEW 28:18-20

"And Jesus came    [to Galilee following His Resurrection - Mt. 28:1-7]

and spake unto them,    [His disciples - Mt. 28:16]

saying, All power,    ["authority" - ἐξουσία (exousia)]

is given unto Me    [from the Holy Spirit - Lk. 4:14; from the Father - Jn. 17:2]

in heaven and in earth.    [over all of creation - Gen. 1:1] 

Go ye therefore,    [because I am your Lord, I command you - Mt. 28:17-18]

and teach    ["teach" is from the Greek μαθητεύω (mathēteuō), which means "make disciples"]

all nations,    [as opposed to just the Jews - Mt. 10:5 cp/w Jn. 1:11-12]

baptizing them     [βαπτίζω (baptizō) - "dip or submerge like a sunken vessel"] 

in the name of the Father,     ["in the authority of the Father, such as His ambassador"]

and of the Son,     ["in the authority of the Son, such as His ambassador"]

and of the Holy Ghost:     ["in the authority of the Spirit, such as His ambassador"] 

teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:     [do it!] 

and, lo, I am with you alway,    [we are indwelt - Jn. 14:7; Col. 1:27] 

even unto the end of the world.     [forever - Heb. 13:5; Rev. 1:6; 4:9-10; 5:13-14; 7:12; etc.]

Amen!"     [So be it! - Rev. 1:6-7, 18; 3:14; 5:14; 7:12; 19:4; 22:20-21; etc.]

Monday, December 9, 2013


The source of evil, sickness, and death, is Satan; his desire is to destroy you, both your body and your soul.   Fortunately for mankind, he cannot destroy our soul; he can tempt us, cause sickness, and even cause physical death, but only God can destroy both our body and our soul (Isa. 10:16-18; Mt.10:28), and that is exactly the opposite of God's will for man (2 Pet. 3:9)! 

God's Word clearly tells us that Satan is the enemy of both God and man, describing him with such evil names as:  "the accuser of the brethren" (Rev. 12:10); "the deceiver of the whole world" (Rev. 12:9); "the enemy" (Mt. 13:28); "the wicked one" (Mt. 13:19); "the father of lies" (Jn. 8:44); "a murderer from the beginning" (Jn. 8:44); and "the tempter" (Mt. 4:3)!  More tellingly, Satan is actually called "the destroyer" (Ex. 12:23; Job 15:21; 1 Cor. 10:10; etc.).  And in Hebrews 2:14, we read, "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He (Jesus) also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil."   

One has to ask, why would a loving God create such a being?  We get some idea of why from the Book of Job.  Although Satan does have the power to destroy one's property, one's health, and he even has the power to take one's life (Job 1:13-19; 2:7-8), he can only act against us with God's permission.  Job 1:12 says, "And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand." And in Job 2:6, we read, "And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life."  Satan described God's limitations on his desire to destroy Job, as being like a hedge preventing his access (Job 1:10).

Satan is an instrument, used of God, first to open our eyes to see our need for a Savior, then to reveal our continuing weaknesses, and our total dependency upon God for His mercy and grace!  In fact, without "getting the results of a test," as student's, we are not aware of our lack of righteousness.  James called the Law a mirror that reveals the truth about ourselves (Jam. 1:23-25).  Earlier in the chapter, he wrote, "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing" (Jam. 1:2-4).
No matter how difficult the trial, God is using it for our ultimate good (Rom. 8:28-30)! 

Sunday, December 8, 2013


"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. 8:28-30).
"Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1:6).

Saturday, December 7, 2013


In what is called "The Sermon on the Mount," Matthew chapters 5-7, Jesus was NOT preaching to the vast multitudes who came from all over Israel to hear the One many were calling the Messiah.  In fact, He had deliberately separated Himself from the multitudes (Mt. 4:25-5:1).  And yet, He WAS preaching to the multitudes, in that, although He addressed His teaching directly to His disciples, He spoke loud enough for the entire multitude to hear (Mt. 7:28-29)!  What difference does it make?  A great deal of difference.  What He taught His disciples applied only to them; in order for His message to apply to those in the multitude, they would have to place their trust in Him!  My point is based upon the wording of "The Lord's Prayer" (His sample prayer - Mt. 6:9-13):  
"After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.  Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen." 
To begin with, God is not the Father of everyone there.  He is the Father of Jesus (Mt. 3:17; 17:5; Jn. 3:16; Acts 3:26; Gal. 4:4; 1 Jn. 4:9-10; etc.).  He is the Father of all who receive Jesus as Lord (Jn. 1:11-12; Rom. 8:15-17; Gal. 4:6-7; 1 Jn. 3:2; etc.).  Jesus described God as "OUR FATHER," which, by the very nature of the word, excludes others; that is, He is not "THEIR FATHER."  Jesus has laid the foundation upon which prayer is valid:  a Father/child relationship with Almighty God!

Jesus didn't claim God as His alone; and neither should we.  We are not to pray, "My Father," but "Our Father."  That means we are part of a family!  We do not have exclusive rights, but all born again believers are "siblings."  Therefore, when we pray, we should be praying for those things which will glorify God, meet the needs of all of God's children (not just mine), and be presented to God from His children, not just from His child (Mt. 18:19-20).  Notice the pronouns in the sample prayer:  "our," "us," and "we" appear a total of nine times!  We need to be in fellowship with other believers; we need to be serving God and His children somewhere (Heb. 10:24-25)!

He is ours, only if we are His!


Friday, December 6, 2013


Yesterday, I wrote about how we are to be a blessing to others, and also, a blessing to the Lord.  Today, I want to share with you the fifteen verses in the Word of God, which say we are to bless the Lord:

*  "When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God..." (Deut. 8:10).
*  "And David said to all the congregation, Now bless the LORD your God..." (1 Chron. 29:20).
*  "Then the Levites...said, Stand up and bless the LORD..." (Neh. 9:5).
*  "I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel..." (Ps. 16:7).
*  "My foot standeth in an even place: in the congregations will I bless the LORD" (Ps. 26:12).
*  "I will bless the LORD at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth" (Ps. 34:1).
*  "Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name" (Ps. 103:1).
*  "Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits" (Ps. 103:2).
*  "Bless the LORD, ye His angels...hearkening unto the voice of His Word" (Ps. 103:20).
*  "Bless the LORD...His works...His dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul" (Ps. 103:22).
*  "Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, Thou art very great..." (Ps. 104:1).
*  "...we will bless the LORD...for evermore. Praise the LORD" (Ps.115:18).
*  "Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD" (Ps. 134:2).
*  "Bless the LORD, O house of Israel: bless the LORD, O house of Aaron" (Ps. 135:19).
*  "Bless the LORD, O house of Levi: ye that fear the LORD, bless the LORD" (Ps. 135:20).

Note that all fifteen occurrences are from the Old Testament.  Why do you suppose the New Testament does not say we are to "bless the Lord?"  It is just a theory, but I believe it is because, in the Old Testament, the major characteristic of God is that He is a God of mercy.  In the New Testament, the focus is upon God as being a God of grace!  The New Testament writers went out of their way to demonstrate that salvation is not based upon anything we do, but it is based upon what He has done!  The New Testament admonition is to THANK THE LORD (Mt. 11:25; Lk.10:21; Jn. 11:41; Rom. 1:8; 7:25; 1 Cor. 1:4; 14:18; Phil. 1:3; 1 Thes. 2:13; 2 Thes. 1:3; 1 Tim. 1:12; 2 Tim. 1:3)!

Israel's focus was to DO things for God; the Church's focus is on what He has DONE! 



Most everyone knows what it means to be blessed by someone, or what it takes to be a blessing to another person.  A blessing, whether it is a comment one makes, or an action one takes, meets someone's need at the time of his or her need.  And, although the need may vary widely, to be a blessing, our words or actions must fit the situation.  Jesus gave the examples of feeding the hungry, giving water to the thirsty, visiting the sick or imprisoned, showing hospitality to strangers, and providing clothing to the naked (Mt. 25:34-40).  He said those who have been blessed by His Father, do such things (v. 34).

It seems simple enough; find a need, and do your best to meet it.  And yet, most Christians seem to be oblivious to the needs of those around them.  The Word of God tells us to love our neighbor, as we love ourselves, seven times (Lev. 19:18; Mt. 19:19; 22:39; Mk. 12:31; Rom. 13:9; Gal. 5:14; Jam. 2:8), but most of us are so caught up with loving ourselves, meeting our own needs, that we either do not have time for others, or we are unable to recognize their needs.  So what is the solution?

We need to be able to put ourselves in "their shoes."  In other words, we need to empathize with them.  And the only way we will ever get to know their needs, is to get to know them!  Last Sunday, our Pastor taught on the importance of spending time with others.  The writer of Hebrews was quite clear as to his feelings about Church attendance.  He wrote, "And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:  not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching" (Heb. 10:24-25).  The Apostle Paul wrote that God uses Pastors and Teachers to help believers grow in their relationship with the Lord, and with each other (Eph. 4:11-16). 

Not only is it important that believers attend and get involved with a local church, they need to associate with other Christians in small groups, such as a Sunday school class.  Our church has small groups that meet weekly for Bible study, and a group for seniors which meets once a month for fellowship.  Both the men and the women have a monthly prayer breakfasts, as well.  The best way to get to know the needs of others, is to spend time with them! 

If you want to bless the Lord with all your soul, bless His children!   


Thursday, December 5, 2013


Over the past few months (8-24; 8-28; 8-31; 9-14), I have written about the "coincidence" of there being a rare event in 2014-2015, in which there will be a total Lunar Eclipse on each of the Feasts of Passover and the Feasts of Tabernacles on those two years.  The timing of the four being together in a two year period, is called a "Blood Moon Tetrad."  The events will occur, but the interpretation of them may not be significant when it comes to Bible prophecy.  These four passages describe, what is said by "Tetradists" to be referring to a "Blood Moon Tetrad." 

Ezekiel 32:7-8
"And when I shall put thee out, I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light.  All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over thee, and set darkness upon thy land, saith the Lord GOD."
Joel 2:10, 30-31
"The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.  And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.  The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible Day of the LORD come."
Matthew 24:29-30
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:  and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."
Revelation 6:12-13
"And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind."

It is significant to note a couple of things:  1)  All Feasts of Passover and all Feasts of Tabernacles occur two weeks after the New Moon (mid-point in the months of Nisan and Tishri); and 2)  The context of the four passages varies in relationship to various points in Israel's history, past and future. 

I don't know what the Tetrads mean, but these passages are not referring to them.  

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


One need only to turn on the television, to see clear evidence that the world, as we know it, is falling apart.  Lawlessness abounds (the "Arab Spring," mobs flooding businesses and looting them in broad daylight, the "knockout game," etc.); the world's economy collapsing (entire nations, and even states within our nation declaring bankruptcy); terrorism brought on by political and religious differences; and an apostate church are all signs that the end is near!  But, the end of what? 

The Bible tells us that this world will end; it will be consumed by fire.  The Apostle Peter wrote:
"But the Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.  Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the Day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?" (2 Pet. 3:10-12). 
It is true that the Word of God speaks of the end of the world in two verses (Ps. 19:4; Isa. 62:11).  The KJV mistranslates the word "aion" as "world" in five verses (Mt. 13:39; 17:49; 24:3; 28:20; and Heb. 9:26); the correct translation should be "age."  There are two verses which declare that this world will never end (Isa. 45:17; Eph. 3:21).  It will not end, but it will be purified by fire!  This same concept can be found in the teaching on the Judgment Seat of Christ, when a believer's works will be purified or consumed, depending upon what motivated the works (1 Cor. 3:10-15). 

So, as I understand it, this world will cease to exist in its current condition.  It will be reduced to a state similar to its condition in Genesis 1:2.  The purified heavens and earth are literally described as new (Isa. 65:17; 66:22; 2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1).

This world is our "wilderness" on the way to the "promised land!"  

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Do you suppose that God was surprised when Adam sinned?  Could He have been disappointed?  The answer to both questions is a resounding NO!  God is Omniscient!  Isaiah wrote of God's knowledge, "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" (Isa. 46:10).  Many verses speak of God's foreknowledge of events (Acts 2:23; Rom. 8:29; 11:2; 1 Pet. 1:2; etc.), and there are two verses which speak of the Book of Life being written before the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8; 17:8). But the most telling of all verses on this subject is found in 2 Peter 1:2-4, which says,
"Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue:  whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises:  that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."
God's declaration to make mankind in the image and likeness of Himself, did not happen on day six of creation, but it will happen!  We who believe in Him and His Son Jesus, will be transformed into His image and likeness.  The Apostle John wrote:  "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).  Notice his words, "not yet" and "shall be!  God, knowing the end from the beginning, did not just mean a single man and his wife when He said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" (Gen. 1:26).  He meant mankind!  And that will finally occur when believers look upon the face of the One who was willing to make God's plan a genuine possibility!  AND, He has taken the responsibility for making it happen (Phil. 1:6)!
We are still like Adam, but thanks to Jesus, we don't have to stay like him!  

Monday, December 2, 2013


The Book of Revelation is best known for the terrible wrath of God, which is expressed in "natural calamities" (earthquakes, hail, disease, famine, etc.), and in allowing the work of Satan in deceiving (Rev. 12:9; 13:14; 18:23; 19:20; 20:8) and murdering all who will not bow to him (Jn. 8:44; Heb. 2:14; Rev. 13:15).  However, Revelation should be understood as proof that 2 Peter 3:9 is true; it 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."  The Book is motivated by God's "last-ditch effort" to win the lost while there is still time!  It is His will that all call upon the Lord and be saved (Jn. 6:29; Rom. 10:8-17)!

"And from Jesus Christ, who is the Faithful  Witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth. Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood" (1:5).

"And I will give power unto My two witness, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth" (11:3).

"And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people" (14:6).

"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years" (20:4).

Also, while I cannot prove it, it is very possible that the 144,000 sealed Jews, were sealed with the name of God on their foreheads (Compare 7:4 with 14:1)!
I pray that when you stand before Him, He will acknowledge you as His faithful witness!

Sunday, December 1, 2013


God foreknew, even before the foundation of the world, that mankind would sin, breaking fellowship with Him, and that our reconciliation to Him would require a Savior.  The Apostle Peter wrote, "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things...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" (1 Pet. 1:18-20).

God foreknew, from the foundation of the world, who would accept Jesus, and who would not.  The "final record" was written from the beginning of time.  Jesus told His disciples, "Rejoice because your names are written in heaven (Lk. 10:20).  "Jesus (also) knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray Him" (Jn. 6:64).  Revelation 13:8 says, "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship Him, whose names are not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."  Revelation 17:8 says, "They that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world." 

God foreknew, from the beginning of time, that man would attempt to develop his own way to appease Him; that is, by adhering to some religious formula, in order to earn back a right-standing with Him.  He also foreknew that if there was a way man could earn his way back into fellowship with Him, man would become proud and boast of his own righteousness.  In order for God to receive the glory of which only He is worthy, salvation would have to be a gift from Him.  The Apostle Paul wrote:  "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).

God also foreknew that once a man was saved, it would be up to Him to transform him into His Son's image.  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" (Rom. 8:29).  In another passage, Paul wrote, "He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1:6).

God has always known who would, and who would not trust Jesus.  Do you?