Friday, February 28, 2014


Most Christians know that the "Lord's Prayer" is not His prayer, but is a model prayer for His disciples to follow (Mt. 6:9-13; Lk. 11:1-4).  Jesus prayed many times during His ministry here on earth, but John 17:1-26 is His prayer with His disciples at the time of the "Last Supper":  Jesus' "last will and testament," so to speak.  Here are some truths we can glean from His prayer:

V. 1 - He did not bow His head or close His eyes to pray. 
V. 2 - He knew He was to give eternal life to those given Him by the Father.
V. 3 - He defined "eternal life" as "knowing the Father, and His Son."
V. 4 - His entire life on earth brought His Father glory.
V. 5 - Jesus existed with, and shared His Father's glory, before creation.
V. 6 - His disciples belonged to God before they belonged to Him.
V. 7 - His disciples knew that the Father empowered Jesus.
V. 8 - His words were proof of His origin.
V. 9 - Jesus prayed only for those who belonged to His Father.
V. 10 - All that belonged to the Father, also belonged to Jesus.
V. 11 - Knowing He was leaving them, He prayed for God to protect His disciples.
V. 12 - Judas' betrayal was the fulfillment of Scripture.
V. 13 - His leaving to be with the Father, eventually would give His disciples joy.
V. 14 - His disciples faith in God's Word would result in persecution.
V. 15 - He prayed for God to protect His disciples from Satan and his minions.
V. 16 - His disciples had become "other-worldly" (spiritual).
V. 17 - He prayed for His disciples to be "set apart" by their faith in the Word.
V. 18 - Like Father, like Son; both commissioned ambassadors to the lost.
V. 19 - Jesus set Himself apart, in order to be able to set His disciples apart.
V. 20 - Jesus prayed for them, and all who would believe their Gospel.
V. 21 - Our unity is evidence that the Father sent His Son.
V. 22 - "The Glory" (Holy Spirit) is how His disciples would be "one."
V. 23 - Our unity is evidence of God's sacrifice out of His love for mankind.
V. 24 - Jesus prayed for us to join Him in heaven, and thereby, to truly know Him.
V. 25 - Only those who know God sent Jesus, truly believe in Him.
V. 26 - Knowing God as our Father results in our being filled with His love.

We believe because the Father draws us to Jesus, and fills us with the Spirit!

Thursday, February 27, 2014


Jesus began the "Great Commission" by telling His disciples, "...All power (authority) is given unto Me in heaven and in earth" (Mt. 28:18).  And, within His instructions to them, He said, "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you..." (v. 20).  In other words, Jesus, having ALL authority, as their Lord, was commanding them make disciples who would also be under His authority!  He was their Lord!
According to the Blue Letter Bible, the word "Lord," is translated as such from the Greek κύριος (kyrios).  It is defined as:  "he to whom a person or thing belongs; about which he has power of deciding; master; lord."  "Lord" appears 748 times in the New Testament. 

The Book of Acts, which records the beginning of the Church, has the most references to Jesus as "Lord."  The Apostles made it quite clear that the One they were proclaiming, the One who had died of the sin of the world, and the One whom the Father raised, was the Lord Jesus Christ!  Of the 102 times Luke used the word in Acts, twenty of them include the Lord's name (1:21; 4:33; 7:59; 8:16; 9:17, 29; 11:17, 20; 15:11, 26; 16:31; 19:5, 10, 13, 17; 20:21, 24, 35; 21:13; 28:31).  Perhaps the most important of all of these verses is 16:31, which is the Apostle Paul's answer to the question, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" in the previous verse.  Paul's answer?  "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved."  Notice that when asked what he must DO, Paul said BELIEVE ON THE LORD!  Believing has nothing to do with works; it is the acknowledgement of Jesus as LORD!

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

My question to all those who view "Lordship Salvation" as heresy is:  Who is Jesus?  He was worthy of our worship and obedience long before His death, burial, and resurrection!  To me, the Bible is clear:  He is God; He is Creator; He is Lord! 

Salvation results from in believing in Him!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Due to the fact that most of those I know, who, claiming to be Christians, live their lives in such a way that it is impossible to recognize them as such, I feel the need to remind them of the identity of Jesus of Nazareth! 

Jesus is God!  -  "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.  But unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Thy kingdom" (Jn. 1:1, 14; Heb. 1:8).

Jesus is the Creator of the Universe!  -  "All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.  For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him.  Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds"  (Jn. 1:2; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2).

Jesus is Lord!  -  "And Thomas answered and said unto Him, My Lord and my God.  And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.  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" (Jn. 20:28; Acts 16:31; Rom. 10:9).  [Note:  The word "Lord" appears 7888 times in the K.J.V., while the word "Saviour" appears 37 times!  Jesus IS Lord; being the Savior is what He did!].

Jesus gave commands to His Church, not requests!  -  "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.  This is My commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.  These things I command you, that ye love one another" (Mt. 22:37-40; Jn. 15:12, 17)!

The saved have called upon the LORD!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


"For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the Word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.  For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:  who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men:  forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost."
In this passage of Scripture, notice that there is a natural progression that follows one's faith in the Gospel, which is the power of God unto Salvation (Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor. 15:1-4).  The Apostle Paul had proclaimed Jesus to those living in the city of Thessalonica, while there on his second missionary journey (Acts 17:4).  Many had recognized his message as being the Word of God, and not just Paul's opinion; as a result, they believed and were saved (v. 13)! 
How did Paul know that they had really been born again?  Because, they immediately began sharing the Gospel with others, and as a result, they experienced persecution from those who had also rejected Paul's preaching (v. 14).  Paul encouraged them by telling them that they were experiencing the same reaction as did the Apostles in Jerusalem; the Jews tried to silence the preaching to the Gentiles there as well (v. 15-16). 
Paul was reinforcing what he had written in the first chapter of his epistle; Paul had stated that when he had come to them, his preaching had been empowered by the Holy Spirit, and that his life was consistent with the message He preached (1 Thes. 1:5).  As a result, they had become followers of Christ, with Paul as their role model (v. 6).  And, just as the unbelievers in their city had persecuted Paul, they too  were experiencing rejection.   But, because they exhibited the Spiritual fruit of joy in the face of opposition, they became role models for others in Macedonia and Achaia (v. 6-7)!  
Yes, there is great joy in sharing one's testimony with others!  But you know what gave the Apostle Paul even greater joy?  Receiving word that those whom he had led to faith in Christ, were sharing the Gospel with others (2:19-20)!  Those who led me to Christ are filled with joy when they hear I have been used of the Lord to win others! 
It is like a grandpa rejoicing over seeing his son lead his grandson to Christ!      


Monday, February 24, 2014


Recently, my wife needed to have cataracts removed from her eyes.  The result was not as she had hoped, and as a result, she required more surgery.  She now says that she is beginning to see more clearly, as time passes.  It has been quite an ordeal, and like many things involving our modern medical insurance policies, most of the cost was not covered!  Fortunately, her temporary "blindness" is just that:  temporary!  The Bible tells us that Jews, and maybe all those who refuse to believe the Bible, are suffering from spiritual blindness (Rom. 11:25).  For that, only the Holy Spirit can "operate."  He is about to do just that!

 The seven-year Tribulation, also known as "Daniel's Seventieth Week" (Dan. 9:24-27) and "The Time of Jacob's Trouble" (Jer. 30:7), will be divided into two halves: three and one half years (Dan. 12:7); forty-two months (Rev. 11:2; 13:5); and twelve hundred sixty days (Rev. 11:3; 12:6). The purpose of the Tribulation is two-fold: it is God's effort to bring the lost of the world to repentance and salvation (2 Pet. 3:9; Rev. 9:20-21; 16:9-11). Note that these passages in Revelation occur in the two halves of the Tribulation: Ch. 6-11 and Ch. 13-18. But at the end of the seven years, the enemies of God will be destroyed by Christ's Second Coming (Rev. 19:11-21)!

God also uses the Tribulation to preform "eye surgery" on His blinded people, Israel (Rom. 11:7, 25; 2 Cor. 3:14; 4:4). Israel "blindly" (pun intended) enters into an agreement with the person they believe is their Messiah. For three and a half years, he keeps his word that Israel will experience peace, even though the world around it will be anything but peaceful (Dan. 9:27; Mt. 24:6). We read that during this time, the Gospel of the Kingdom will be proclaimed (note that it is not the Gospel that brings salvation, but it is merely the good news that Israel's Messiah has come to re-establish David's throne - Mt. 24:14). We might think of this period as a time when Israel has "severe cataracts" and is unaware of it.

Then, exactly in the middle of the seven-year peace agreement, their false messiah declares himself to be god, and demands all men worship him (Dan. 9:27; Mt. 24:15; Rev. 13-18). Israel realizes that their "savior" was not the Messiah. God opens their eyes to see that they are experiencing Daniel 9:27, and at last, they understand that the One the world had crucified had to be the true Messiah (Daniel 9:26 comes before 9:27)!

The one who impersonates the Messiah of Israel, guaranteeing their peace for seven years, is known by various names; he is "the Antichrist" (1 Jn. 2:18), "the Little Horn" (Dan. 7:8-25), "the Prince that shall come" (Dan. 9:26), "the Son of Perdition" and "the Man of Sin" (2 Thes. 2:3), "that Wicked One" (2 Thes. 2:8), and "the Beast" (Rev. 11:7; 13:1). In the end, he will simply be "the loser!"

There are none so blind, as those who refuse to see!



Sunday, February 23, 2014


"And a superscription also was written over Him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.  And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on Him, saying, If thou be Christ, save Thyself and us.  But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?  And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this Man hath done nothing amiss.  And 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. 23:38-43).

1.  God used Pontius Pilate to declare the truth in three languages, so that all who were witnessing the Crucifixion, would know that Jesus Christ IS the King of the Jews (Jn. 19:19).
2.  Both thieves "blasted Jesus" at first (Mt. 27:44), but one had watched and listened to the Lord's praying, especially for His enemies (Lk. 23:34), and had come to realize that Jesus WAS his Lord.  He knew he had sinned, and he knew he deserved to die.  But watching Jesus, He had come to faith!
3.  Jesus recognized his repentance, understood his statement as a confession of Him as his Lord, and He promised him he would be with Him in paradise.  Later, the Apostle Paul wrote, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Rom. 10:9-10).
4.  The repentant thief did not need to do anything to be saved, except believe in Jesus as his Lord!  He did not have to walk an aisle.  He did not have to say "the sinner's prayer!"  He did not have to be baptized!  He did not have to join "the right church" (it had not come into existence as yet - Acts 2)!  He did not have to do anything but BELIEVE!
5.  Like salvation has been from the day Adam sinned (Gen. 3), until the day Christ finishes His one thousand year reign on earth (Rev. 20:5), it is by faith in what God says; Abraham believed God and his faith was counted unto him for righteousness (Rom. 4:3; Gal. 3:6; Jam. 2:23)!  It is believing God's Word that saves, and Jesus is the personification of God's Word (Jn. 1:1, 14; 1 Jn. 1:1; 5:7; Rev. 19:13)! 
 Salvation is not the result of anything, but faith in our resurrected Lord!

Saturday, February 22, 2014


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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, February 21, 2014


When I was a practicing Roman Catholic, if someone were to ask me if I would go to heaven if I died today, I would tell them I certainly hope so.  In 1971, I committed my life to Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, and if I were asked the same question today, I would no longer use the word "hope," but I would confidently declare "Yes!"  What do you suppose made the difference in what my answer would be? 

The difference is, I am no longer basing my faith on my being a Roman Catholic, but today, I am basing my faith on Jesus Christ, and the promises of Almighty God.  As a Catholic, the church taught me that by avoiding "mortal sins," and by participating in the Sacraments, I would make it into His presence.  As a born again believer, the Bible teaches me that I am still a sinner, unworthy of God's salvation (Rom. 7:14-25; Jam. 5:15; 1 Jn. 1:8-10; etc.), that my salvation is a gift; it is not owed to me, but it is because of the grace of God (Eph. 2:8-9)!

The Apostle John wrote in 1 John 3:1-3, "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."

So, how did I become a son of God?  The answer:  by faith!  In his Gospel, John wrote:  "He came unto His own (the Jewish people), and His own received Him not.  But as many as received Him (whosoever - Mt. 7:24; 10:32; Jn. 3:15-16; 11:25-26; Acts 2:21; 10:43; Rom. 10:13; etc.), to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name" (Jn. 1:11-12).  We are born again when we truly place our faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ!

Our hope is an expectation based upon God's credibility!

Thursday, February 20, 2014


I believed the Gospel message which says, Christ died for my sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures" (1 Cor. 15:3-4)!  And because I have believed with all my heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, and because I have confessed with my mouth that Jesus is my Lord, I am saved (Rom. 10:9-10)!  Now what?

Now, I have the responsibility to follow the Lord by being baptized according to His command (Mt. 28:19-20; Acts 2:38; 10:48)!

Now, as a new borne babe in Christ, I need to "feed" upon God's Word (Mt. 4:4; 1 Pet. 2:2)!

Now, as one who is dependent upon God, I need to come to Him in prayer (Lk 18:1; 1 Thes. 5:17; Heb. 4:16)!

Now, I need to find a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church to be accountable to the rest of the Body of Christ; that through the Word, they might teach me true doctrine, reprove me, correct me, and instruct me in righteousness (Acts 2:42; 2 Tim. 3:16; Heb. 10:24-25)!

Now, I need to confess my sins, which break fellowship with God, and allow Him to cleanse me from all unrighteousness (1 Jn. 1:8-10).  God is righteous and cannot fellowship with those having unconfessed sin (2 Cor. 6:14)!

Now, I need to share the Gospel with other (Ps. 107:2; Prov. 11:30; Mt. 10:32; Rom. 10:9-10)!

Now, I need to live my life in such a way as to glorify God (Mt. 5:16; Acts 1:8; Col. 3:17; 4:5-6; 1 Pet. 3:15)!

Because I believe in Christ, I need to depart from iniquity (2 Tim. 2:19)!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Jesus said, "I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without Me you can do nothing" (Jn. 15:5).  
How does a believer get into Christ in the first place?  The Word is clear:
*  Mark 16:16 - "He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believes not shall be damned."
*  Acts 1:5 - "For John truly baptized with water; but you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence."
*  Romans 6:3 - "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?"
*  1 Corinthians 12:13 - "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body (see v. 27), whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit."
*  Galatians 3:27 - "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." 
NOTE:  This is not water baptism, but Spirit baptism; the baptism spoken of in Ephesians 4:5!  This is an important distinction, in that, it is Spiritual baptism that seals a believer in Christ (Eph. 1:12-13; 4:30)!  Even though a born again believer may be carnal, he remains "in Christ" (see 1 Cor. 3:1).  We are not Christ-like yet, but God has begun the metamorphosis (Phil. 1:6; 1 Jn. 3:2; etc.).

So, what does it mean "to abide in Christ?"  The Greek root that is most often translated "abide" in the New Testament, is μένω (menō), which is translated "abide" (61x); "remain" (16x); "dwell" (15x); "continue" (11x); "tarry" (9x); "endure" (3x); etc.  Christ told His disciples that to abide in Him would result in our bearing fruit (Jn. 15:5).  That meant for them (and us) to live according to the Lord's will for us, moment by moment; Jesus did His Father's will, and we are to do Christ's will.  Abiding in Christ is abiding in His will!  In John 15:12, Jesus said,
"This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you."  

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


The Webster's New World Dictionary defines "to comfort" as "to soothe in distress; to relieve stress; to console; to put at ease; to encourage; etc."  The New Testament use of the phrase is pretty much the same, but like all verses in the Bible, they need to be taken in context.  For instance, Jesus comforted those needing healing, by performing the miracle they sought (Mt. 9:20-22; Mk. 10:46-52; etc.).  In the case of the man born blind, Jesus went far beyond just healing his physical ailment; He opened both his eyes and his heart; He revealed Himself to him and he was saved (Jn. 9:1-41)!  And Jesus comforted Martha and Mary by raising their brother from the dead (Jn. 11:1-45)!

The Apostle Paul wrote that believers receive comfort from reading and believing the Scriptures.  He wrote, "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope" (Rom. 15:4).  When teaching concerning the spiritual gift of prophecy, he wrote, "But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort" (1 Cor. 14:3).  The Word of God is the believer's greatest source of comfort in this lost and dying world!

For those of us who love our family and friends, we are comforted when we hear of their well-being.  On several occasions, men came to assist, and thereby comfort Paul, and he sent his co-laborers to comfort others who were worried about him, and to find out how those he loved were doing (2 Cor. 2:7; 7:2-4, 13; Eph. 6:6; Phil. 2:19; Col. 4:8-14; 1 Thes. 3:2; etc.).

Paul had a genuine love for those he had led to Christ.  When he heard that the members of the Church of Thessalonica had concerns about the well-being of their deceased loved ones, he assured them that they were fine.  He wrote, "For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words" (1 Thes. 4:16-18)!  He told them of the Doctrine of the Rapture!

He also reminded them that, as believers, they would not be caught off-guard by the Tribulation, as they would not be here to experience it (1 Thes. 5:1-8).  The lost in the passage (they) will be unaware of the horrible events to come, but believers (you) will not only know what is about to happen, you will be removed before God's day of wrath (1 Thes. 5:9-11)!

"Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us,
and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts,
and stablish you in every good word and work" (2 Thes. 2:16-17)!


Monday, February 17, 2014


One of the most difficult things for lost men and women to understand, is that Jesus Christ is God!  Men will accept Him as a good man; they will accept Him as a prophet; they will even accept Him as Israel's Messianic King; but they find it impossible to accept Jesus as God!  And yet, the Bible begins with the statement:  "In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth."  The Bible also clearly tells us that it was Jesus who did the creating; Jesus created the Universe, the Sun, the Moon, the Stars, the Earth and all that is upon it; He did it by speaking it all into existence (Gen. 1:1-31; Jn. 1:1-3; Eph. 3:9; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:1-2; etc.).  Jesus is the Word, and His Word creates (Jn. 1:1-3, 14).

In the Old Testament, "the Sword of the Lord" has to do with God's judgment:  Judges 7:18-20; 1 Chronicles 21:12; Isaiah 34:6; and Jeremiah 12:12 speak of His might, and of His holding those who oppose Him, accountable.  And even though He is called the "Prince of Peace," He has many issues with which to deal before He brings in everlasting peace (Isa. 9:6)!  It will not be until all His enemies are defeated that true peace will come; John wrote:  "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away" (Rev. 21:4).

Yes, in the New Testament, His Word is compared to a sword, only sharper; "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Heb. 4:12).  Jesus tells us "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.  For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.  And a man's foes shall be they of his own household" (Mt. 10:34-46). 

Jesus intends to separate those who have placed their trust in Him, from those who never accepted His free offer of salvation.  Those who believe with their hearts will be saved (Rom. 10:9-10), and those who are religious, those who are playing church with Jesus excluded from His rightful place in their lives (LORD), as those described as being in the Church of Laodicea, they will be cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 3:14-22; 20:14-15)!

The Word's words will either comfort you, or they will condemn you!




Sunday, February 16, 2014


Have you ever been tempted to do something you knew was wrong, and made sure no one was looking before you did it?  Well, I have bad news for you; you are never in a place where you are not being watched!  You can close and lock you door.  You can turn off the lights.  You can even disguise yourself, but while others may be fooled by your cleverness, I guarantee you that your true identity is known to some of those observing you!

For one, God is watching!  He is Omnipresent, and He is Omniscient; that is, He is everywhere, and He is all-knowing (Ps. 139:1-12; Isa. 40:26; 46:10; Rom. 11:23; etc.)!  Adam and Eve tried to hide from God, and although God "played along with their game of hide and seek," He knew (Gen. 3:8-10).  Jonah tried to run away from God, but while he was on his journey, God was preparing a "mode of transportation" to bring him back (Jon. 1:17).  God was present in the fiery furnace with the three Hebrew children (Dan. 3:24-25). 

In addition to always being seen by God, His Word says that both His angels, and the fallen angels, are watching us.  The Apostles Paul and Peter wrote:

"Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:  to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Eph. 3:8-11).

"Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into" (1 Pet. 1:12).

And finally, those who have not accepted Christ as Lord and Savior, those who are lost and bound for eternal separation from God, are watching us to see if our "walk" matches our "talk."  God calls on us to live a holy life that will bring Him glory ("conversation" means "behavior" or "way of life" - Phil. 1:27; 1 Tim.4:12; Jam. 3:13; 1 Pet. 1:15; etc.)!  Especially 1 Peter 2:12, which says,

"Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles...
that they may by your good works, which they shall behold,
glorify God in the day of visitation."       

Saturday, February 15, 2014


Well, we made it back home in record time!  Actually, we broke a record for the longest trip from Jacksonville, Florida to Jeffersonville, Indiana.  Because of horrible weather in the Southeast, we decided (and wisely, if I say so myself!) to travel West to Pensacola and take I-65 North; it runs directly into Jeffersonville.  That made the distance about four hundred miles longer, but we had perfect traveling weather.  It did not start snowing here in Jeffersonville, until we were headed home from Judy's Mother's home.  She lives about five miles from us.  God is sooooo good!

While on our cruise, only our second together, we met three wonderful ladies from Northern Utah.  "Mom," "Bear," and "Bo," live on an Indian Reservation, and were absolutely wonderful to dine with every evening.  They seemed so young and full of life; it seemed to energize us old folks.  God is sooooo good!

I am still feeling the effect of the "rock and roll" of the ship.  I even mentioned to the hotel clerk that I though they were having an earthquake.  Seriously!  Our only real problem with the ship tossing and turning, was when someone on the bridge decided he would change headings to turn into the wind.  I honestly felt as though we were capsizing!  He made a hard turn that listed the ship at least twenty-five degrees, and it lasted over a minute in duration!  It did so much damage that the stage show scheduled that evening had to be cancelled because of their equipment crashing down.  Several stores had severe damage to their displays.  It is ironic that this Captain had such a difficult time, when the Captain of the Carnival Fantasy had zero problem with the fact we were on the outer edge of Hurricane Sandy on my last cruise.  On that one, we did a lot of rocking, but not once did I ever believe we were in danger.  However, as I said before:  God is sooooo good!

Due to health issues (old ones - nothing new), I stayed aboard with the exception of an excursion on a glass-bottom boat in Nassau.  Our wonderful son-in-law and daughter paid for the "trip to see the fish."  They said it was their Christmas present to us; from last Christmas, I hope; I am looking forward to something this coming Christmas - hint, hint)!  God used others to bless us, and God is sooooo good!

Well, I hope to get back in the "groove" tomorrow with my daily Bible Study blog post.  Again, I want to thank all the ship's crew, our new "Indian" friends, my eldest daughter and her husband, and those who sailed with me:  Judy and her Mom.  God used you all to bless me, and God is sooooo good!  Amen! 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


Jesus' return for His Church is imminent, and could occur before I finish writing this blog post.  Should that be the case, I wish I could say I am sorry there will be no more blog posts, but to be quite honest, I will never be sorry for anything ever again!  I will not only be with the Lord (Mt. 28:20; 2 Cor. 5:8), but I will actually be like Him (1 Jn. 3:2)!

For the next week or so, I will be unable to share my "discoveries" from personal Bible study, as I will be away from my computer.  After doing a daily blog post everyday since 2010, I am sure I will suffer some withdrawal, and could even suffer hallucinations of being somewhere in the beautiful Carribean.  Yup, that's right.  My wife and I are going where only the brave are willing to go these days; we are taking a Carnival Cruise!  Pray for us!

Our doggies will be well cared for, thanks to a good friend who actually wants to spend time living in our home (that is a hint, though not too subtle, to our kids, grandkids, and even our great grandkids). 

So, for the faithful few who read my effort to learn the Word of God, I say thank you for an occasional word of encouragement.  Do not dismay, I will be back, Lord willing, to share what the Lord, who is the Author and focus of the Bible, has to say to and through me.  One thing I know for an absolute certainty, He wants all men, everywhere, to come to faith in Him (2 Pet. 3:9).

So, if you happen to be one of a handful of people who actually read my writings, to quote a famous adulterer, "I'll be back!"  Perhaps a quote from Doug (MacArthur) would be less offensive.  In his "humble" announcement to the Philippino people and the thousands of Americans he was leaving behind, "I shall return!"

In the mean time, please pray for a safe and relaxing trip.  See you on here later, or in the presence of Almighty God.  To be honest, I'd prefer the latter of the two!  God bless!


Last night, while reading "A Bible Map:  "God's Plan of the Ages," available at, I noticed there was something I had not previously observed; there is a sort of natural countdown before the "spaceship Church" launches into the heavens.  The chart shows seven dispensations, or periods of man's accountability for his stewardship of God's planet.  And, although this chart itself, nor any of the many like it, presents what I am about to share, it is nevertheless there for all to see.

The publisher shows a timeline from Creation to the Great White Throne Judgment (Gen. 1:1 to Rev. 20:11-15).  On the line, he uses a semi-circle to represent each of the dispensations:  Innocence; Conscience; Government; Promise; Law; Church; and Millennium.  Under the line, he uses smaller semi-circles to represent the judgment of God at the end of each dispensation, for man's failure to follow His instructions.  That differs little from other charts I have seen by Dispensationalists, such as Lance Ketchum, Charles Ryrie, Clarence Larkin; etc.  And yet, what none of them show, is that there is a definite pattern or countdown in God's timing.

Based upon the chronology of time taken from the calculations of Bishop Ussher, from the Creation of the Universe, to the Incarnation of the Creator Himself, was approximately 4000 years (Gen. 1:1; Jn. 1:1-3; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:1-2; etc.).  That 4000 years, coupled with the nearly 2000 years from the Resurrection of Jesus Christ (known as the Church Age), adds up to about 6000 years.  When one adds the 1000 year Millennial Reign of Jesus following His return (Rev. 20:1-10), we have 7000 years; in other words, the outworking of God's plan began with a seven-day creation (Gen. 1 - 2), and ends with man having had seven different chances to follow God's instructions, all failures by the way!  There is some irony in the fact that, to God, each day "is as a 1000 years, and 1000 years is as a day" (Ps. 90:4; 2 Pet. 3:8)!

During the first 2000 years of time, a period when there were only Gentiles, there were three dispensations:  Innocence; Conscience; and Government.  During the second 2000 years, a period in which there were two groups of people (Gentiles and Jews), and there were two dispensations:  Promise and Law.  During the third 2000 year period, with there being three groupings of mankind (Gentiles, Jews, and Christians), there has been but one dispensation.  I find it amazing that following the third 2000 year period, there will be a "lift-off" (Jn. 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:42-57; 1 Thes. 4:13-18; etc.)!  Get it?  Three dispensations; two dispensations; one dispensation; the Rapture of the Church!  And, if that is not enough, just as our astronauts return to earth following a period of time in space, the Lord, with His Church, will be coming back down through the clouds, as well!

God has counted to one; are you ready for blast-off?



Tuesday, February 4, 2014


"There was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.  He came to Jesus by night, and said unto Him, 'Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God:  for no man can do these miracles that You do, except God be with Him.'" (Jn. 3:1-2).

"Jesus answered and said unto him, 'Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.'" (Jn. 3:3).

"Nicodemus said unto Him, 'How can a man be born when he is old?  Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?'" (Jn. 3:4).

"Jesus answered, 'Verily, verily, I say unto you, 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 you, you must be born again.  The wind blows where it chooses to blow, and you hear the sound of it, but can not tell from where it comes, and where it goes: so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit.'" (Jn. 3:5-8).

Here are some observations I have gleaned from "ease-dropping" on this conversation:
*  Nicodemus came to Jesus after it was dark.  He was afraid to be seen with Him.
*  He was respectful, calling Jesus "Rabbi," a term meaning "Master" or "Teacher."
*  He recognized that it was God who enabled Jesus to work miracles.
*  In the greatest non-sequitur ever, Jesus cut to the chase:  "you need to be born again!"
*  In order to see the Kingdom, you must recognize the King.
*  Nicodemus asked how a man could be born again.
*  Jesus told him:
    - all men are born of water (natural, physical birth).
    - but to recognize Me, a man must be born of the Holy Spirit.
    - like the invisible wind, the Spirit comes and goes.
    - when He chooses, you will be born spiritually.
It is the Holy Spirit who convicts you of your sin, and of your need for a Savior (Jn. 16:7-11).  When He determines that the time is right, the Holy Spirit will reveal to you, the identity of Jesus Christ (Jn. 16:13-15).  He will reveal to you the Gospel, which is the very power of God which saves, which is enough for you to comprehend and believe in Jesus (Jn. 14:17, 26; Rom. 1:16-20; 1 Jn. 2:20, 27).  He will give you a new, a spiritual birth, when you believe what He is saying to you (Eph. 2:8-9; 1 Pet. 1:23)!  The Word, in John 1:11-13, God says:

"He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.  But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name:  which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." 

Monday, February 3, 2014


*  John 1:11-13 - "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.  But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name:  which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."

*  John 3:5-6 - "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, 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."

*  Acts 16:30-31 - "And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?  And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved...."

*  Romans 16:24-27 - "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.  Amen.  Now to Him that is of power to stablish you according to my Gospel, and the preaching of Jesus God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever.  Amen."

*  Ephesian 2:8-9 - "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  not of works, lest any man should boast."

*  Philippians 1:6 - "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."

*  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."

*  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." 

ANSWER:  Our salvation is the will of the Father; it is based upon our faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; and it is a gift to us through the working of the Holy Spirit.  What God began doing in us, He will complete:  that is, He is making us into His Son's image and likeness!  

Sunday, February 2, 2014



"If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." (New International Version)

"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." (New Living Translation)

"because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." (English Standard Version)

"that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;" (New American Standard Bible)

"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." (King James Version)

"If you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

"If you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." (International Standard Version)

"because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." (NET Bible)

"And if you will confess with your mouth our Lord Yeshua, and you will believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall have life." (Aramaic Bible in Plain English)

"If you declare that Jesus is Lord, and believe that God brought him back to life, you will be saved. (GOD'S WORD Translation)

"that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and shalt believe in thine heart that God has raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." (Jubilee Bible 2000)

"For if thou confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thy heart that God hath raised him up from the dead, thou shalt be saved." (Douay-Rheims Bible)

"that if thou mayest confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and mayest believe in thy heart that God did raise him out of the dead, thou shalt be saved," (Young's Literal Translation) 

Saturday, February 1, 2014


According to the dictionary, the word "confess" has at least three meanings: 
1) to publicly admit one's guilt;
2) to publicly declare one's faith;
3) to privately admit one's sins to a priest or to God. 

The Bible has three words which are translated "confess": 
1)  the Greek ἐξομολογέω (exomologeō), which means "to acknowledge openly" (Rom. 14:11; 15:9; Phil. 2:11; Jam. 5:16); 
2)  the Greek ὁμολογέω (homologeō), which means "to agree with" (Mt. 10:32; Lk. 12:8; Jn. 9:22; 12:42; Acts 23:8; 24:14; Rom. 10:9; 1 Jn. 1:9; 4:15; 2 Jn. 1:7); and
3)  the Hebrew word יָדָה (yadah), which means "to verbally declare one's guilt, or to praise, etc. (Lev. 5:5; 16:21; 26:40; Num. 5:7; 1 Kg. 8:33, 35; 2 Chron. 6:26; Neh. 1:6; Job. 23:8; Ps. 32:5).

Confess publicly that Jesus is the Son of God

"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" (Mt. 10:32-33).

Confess publicly that Jesus died for your sin, and rose to be your Lord

"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. 15:3-4).
"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).

Confessing Him as Lord means repenting from sin

"When Thy people Israel be smitten down before the enemy, because they have sinned against Thee, and shall turn again to Thee, and confess Thy name, and pray, and make supplication unto Thee in this house:  Then hear Thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of Thy people Israel, and bring them again unto the land which Thou gavest unto their fathers.  When heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against Thee; if they pray toward this place, and confess Thy name, and turn from their sin, when Thou afflictest them:  Then hear Thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of Thy servants, and of Thy people Israel, that Thou teach them the good way wherein they should walk, and give rain upon Thy land, which Thou hast given to Thy people for an inheritance" (1 Kg. 8:33-36; repeated in 2 Chron. 6:24-27).