Wednesday, April 30, 2014


In my opinion, every soul-winner, whether a Pastor, an Evangelist, an Elder, a Deacon, or one of us "common folk," should warn new believers of the struggle that lies ahead for those who accept by faith, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Failure to do so, sets the new believer up for the crushing blow that accompanies each act of sin!  Many give up all together, and some even commit suicide, because they expected to live holy lives.  Here is the Apostle Paul's humble sharing of his struggle, found in Romans 7:15-25, first in the King James Version, and then in the New Living Translation, lest the KJV be unclear:

15] For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.  [16] If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.  [17] Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.  [18] For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.  [19] For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.  [20] Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.  [21] I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.  [22] For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:  [23] But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.  [24] O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?  [25] I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.  18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.  I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.  21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.  22 I love God’s law with all my heart.  23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.  24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?  25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
Notice that Paul was describing his struggle in the present tense:
 AFTER he was born again!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


"And the same day, when the even was come, He saith unto them, 'Let us pass over unto the other side.'  And when they had sent away the multitude, they took Him even as He was in the ship.  And there were also with Him other little ships.  And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.  And He was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake Him, and say unto Him, 'Master, carest thou not that we perish?'  And He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, 'Peace, be still.'  And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.  And He said unto them, 'Why are ye so fearful?  How is it that ye have no faith?'  And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, 'What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?'" (Mk. 4:35-41).

Much of Mark Four describes Jesus, sitting in a boat by the sea side, teaching the multitudes who had assembled, using parables (Mk. 4:1-33).  After a long day, the crowds dispersed, and when they were gone, Jesus explained the parables to His disciples (Mk. 4:34).  Finally, "when the even was come," Jesus instructed His disciples to accompany Him to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (a.k.a. "the Sea of Tiberius" - Jn. 6:1).  And so, He and His disciples set sail to the other side. 

In my forty-three years as a born again believer, I have never heard a single sermon, in which a preacher mentioned the "little ships" which followed Jesus, who was obviously in the larger vessel (v. 36).  And, as a twenty-year retiree from the U.S. Navy, that seems very odd to me!  If the larger vessel, containing Jesus and His disciples was in danger of sinking due to the storm, how much worse must it have been for those in the smaller "ships?"  Mark obviously mentioned them for a reason, but he never tells us of their fate.  Perhaps it is because the person or persons who related the story to him, those who had been there, were so frightened about their own safety, the safety of the others never crossed their minds. 

I don't want to belabor the point too much, but what if the "smaller ships" represent those who try to join themselves to Jesus, on their own terms?  After all, He had sent them away (Mk. 4:36).  Maybe there is a hidden warning to all those who would "work the oars" to get to Jesus.  Maybe the message is, for all who desire to come to Him, they must do so on His terms; they must be invited!  The Word of God does not tell us of the fate of those "little ships," but you and I have seen dozens of examples of folks who "try to be religious" and think that is what saves them.  Just as there is a single, narrow way that leads to heaven, there is only one "ship" that actually makes it there!

If you are His disciple, it is because you responded to the Lord's invitation!  

Monday, April 28, 2014


By now, most people understand that "W.W.J.D." stands for "What Would Jesus Do?"  It seems like a great way, for a born again believer, to make a decision when faced with choices.  "Should I hate my enemies?"  No!  "Should I participate in racism?"  No!  "Should I spend my time and money in bars?"  No!  "Should I neglect the hungry, the hurting, the oppressed?  No!  "Should I focus on taking care of 'number one?'"  No!  Jesus would not do any of those things, and neither should those who claim to be His followers!  Second Timothy 2:19 clearly says, "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, 'The Lord knoweth them that are His.'  And, 'Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.'"

However, there are many things that Jesus did, which do not apply to born again believers.  Jesus abstained from eating pork, but according to Him, those of us who are saved can eat anything we desire.  Luke wrote of Peter's vision in Acts 10:9-17, where the Lord told Peter he should help himself to "all manner of four-footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air" (v. 12).   
Jesus observed the Jewish Feasts, Israel's holy days, described in the Law (Lev. 23:1-44), and yet, He inspired the Apostle Paul to write:  "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days" (Col. 2:16).  This verse is not alone in its teaching that the ceremonial laws do not apply to the Church (Rom. 14:1-23; 1 Cor. 8:8; etc.).  Paul, critical of believers who remained enslaved by the Law, wrote, "Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years" (Gal. 4:10).  He wrote:

"...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" (Gal. 3:23-26).

Born again believers should not do as Jesus did, but should do what His disciples, His Apostles, taught us to do and not do.  Jesus said:  "...All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.  Go ye therefore, and teach...whatsoever I have commanded you..." (Mt. 28:18-20)!

We are not to do what Jesus did; we are to do what He says!

Sunday, April 27, 2014


I no longer describe myself as a "Christian," but choose instead to describe myself as a "born again believer."  That is because the Church today is filled with more "tares" than "wheat," and it is pictured as an organization using His name, but excluding Him from its membership (Mt. 13:24-30; Rev. 3:14-22)!  While "tares" and "wheat" are as different from one another as are "the dead" are from "the living," our ability to differentiate one from the other is poor at best.  However, there are three things that serve as clues that one is a child of God:  Attitude, Fruit, and Works. 

ATTITUDE, as found in the Beatitudes (Mt. 5:3-9):
*     Humility - B.A.B.'s recognize they have no righteousness of their own.
*     Grief - B.A.B.'s grieve over the fact that they continually sin.
*     Meekness - B.A.B.'s put others first.
*     Hungry/Thirsty - B.A.B.'s desire God's righteousness and knowledge of Him.
*     Merciful - B.A.B.'s do not demand "justice" for others.
*     Pure of Heart - B.A.B.'s desire to be just to others.
*     Peacemakers - B.A.B.'s seek to get along with all men.

FRUIT, as the natural product of a Spirit-led life (Gal. 5:22-23):
*     Love - B.A.B.'s put the needs of others first.
*     Joy - B.A.B.'s get great pleasure from meeting the needs of others.
*     Peace - B.A.B.'s recognize the God is in control of their circumstances.
*     Longsuffering - B.A.B.'s are not overcome by trials and tribulation.
*     Gentle - B.A.B.'s are sensitive to the spiritual maturity of those in need.
*     Good - B.A.B.'s have the goal of living in obedience to the will of God.
*     Faith - B.A.B.'s trust that God saved them to use them for His glory.
*     Meek - B.A.B.'s allow the Spirit to guide their words and actions.
*     Temperance - B.A.B's have turned over control to the Holy Spirit.

*     B.A.B.'s works glorify God (Mt. 5:16; 1 Pet. 2:12).
*     B.A.B.'s works result from the outworking of the Spirit (Eph. 2:10; Gal. 5:22-23).
*     B.A.B.'s work the work of God; they believe in Jesus (Jn. 6:28-29).
*     B.A.B.'s works are evidence of an inward godliness (1 Tim. 2:10).
*     B.A.B.'s have been equipped by God to do good works (2 Tim. 3:17).

Born again believers are not saved by their attitude, their fruit, or their works!
Born again believers' attitude, fruit, and works are the result of being saved!

Saturday, April 26, 2014


The most fascinating, and in many ways the most mysterious thing of all creation, is light.  The Genesis account of creation speaks of light in several ways.  Light was the third thing God created.  In Genesis 1:1-2, God created a dark heaven, and a dark earth.  Then, "...God said, Let there be light: and there was light" (Gen. 1:3).  No one knows what that light was, for God does not tell us. 

We know it was not the light emanating from God, Himself, for that light has always existed; "This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all" (1 Jn. 1:5).

A Pantheist would quote Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity (Energy = Mass times the Speed of Light squared), as proof all of creation is God, and God is all of creation.  According to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, pantheism is the (false) "doctrine that the universe is God and, conversely, that there is no god apart from the substance, forces, and laws manifested in the Universe."  Einstein would have had to have said that God, being light, simply "slowed down" to create our universe.  In order for Einstein's theory to define Light, the formula would be Light = Energy divided by Mass times the Speed of Light.  Do we really think all of creation is "God in slow motion?" 

We know it was not the light from the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars also (also - hmmm, so is our Sun really just another star?), because they were not created until the fourth day of Creation (Gen. 1:14-19).  So, in reality, we do not know what the light of Genesis 1:3 was.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:  In the 17th century, Isaac Newton discovered that prisms could disassemble and reassemble white light, and described the phenomenon in his book Opticks.  Newton divided the spectrum into seven named colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.  I am not sure how this relates to Revelation 4:5, which says, "And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God."  Just something to ponder.  LOL! 

God shares just enough "light" to keep His children humble!  

Friday, April 25, 2014


I watched a video clip of an interesting discussion between David Letterman's replacement-in-waiting, Stephen Colbert, and a gentleman named Bart Ehrman, who seemed to be determined to persuade the viewers to reject the Bible as truth.  I do not know the "salvation status" of either man, but Colbert seems to be the more likely of the two to be a believer.  Ehrman denied the deity of Christ, saying that Jesus was merely a human being (I suppose the fact that he even acknowledges Jesus actually lived, is something in this day and age).  Colbert cleverly asked Ehrman, "If it walks like a duck; if it talks like a duck...then it is probably a duck."  He went on to say that "The son of a duck, is a duck!"  Therefore, the Son of God is God!

While I appreciate his zeal in defending the deity of Jesus, his logic is flawed.  There are some passages in the Word of God, that indicate born again believers are the sons (and daughters) of God.  Here are a few:

* "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." (Mt. 5:9).
* "Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection." (Lk. 20:36).
* "And not for that nation only, but that also He should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad." (Jn. 11:52).
* "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." (Rom. 8:16).
* "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." (Gal. 3:26).
* "In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother." (1 Jn. 3:10).

Colbert's argument, when carried out to its logical conclusion, would label born again believers, God!  That has never been, nor will it ever be, true!  We will be "like Him," but we will not be Him (Ps. 17:15; Rom. 8:29; 1 Cor. 15:49; Phil. 3:21; etc.)!  In fact, my favorite Bible verse is 1 John 3:2, which says, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is."
The difference is, born again believers are the adopted children of God (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5; etc.), and Jesus is the ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD! (Jn. 1:1, 14; 3:16; etc.).

John 1:34 - "And I saw, and bare record that (Jesus) is the Son of God."

Thursday, April 24, 2014


The two words, "dispensation" (1 Cor. 9:17; Eph. 1:10; 3:2; Col. 1:25), and "stewardship" (Lk. 16:2-4), are translated from the Greek word οἰκονομία (oikonomia), which has been defined as "the management of the affairs of a household, specifically the management of another's property."  In other words, the owner of an estate assigns the supervision of his estate, to someone under his authority. 

THE FALL:  The very first "dispensation," or "stewardship," was given to Adam by God.  In Genesis 2:15, we read, "And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it."  Adam was innocent of sin, and he answered to God.  The moment he disobeyed God, he was no longer a faithful steward, and he was removed as God's "property" (Gen. 3:24).

THE FLOOD:  Nine generations later, during the days of Noah, God viewed mankind as being totally depraved, with "every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Gen. 6:5).  Although Noah was undeserving (he received unmerited favor - grace - Gen. 6:8), God chose Noah and his descendants to be stewards of His whole world (Gen. 9:1). 

THE SCATTERING:  Generations passed, and instead of taking dominion over the whole earth, man followed the lead of the rebellious Nimrod (Gen. 10:8-10; 11:1-9).  God scattered them!

THE BONDAGE:  Once the world was filled by the various language groups, God chose the people of the Hebrew language to live in a land He had chosen for them (Gen. 12:1-5).  Unfortunately, instead of Abraham settling in the land and trusting God to provide, he rebelled and left God's land "for greener pastures" (Gen. 12:6-10).  Three generations later, Jacob, like Abraham, ended up in Egypt (Gen. 46:6).  God cured the Jews of trusting in Egypt, by allowing them to serve 400 years in bondage there (Ex. 1:1-14; Gen. 15:13; Acts 7:6).

THE TRIBULATION:  For the next 3500 years, Israel disobeyed the Law, rejected the Messiah, and has been made blind to God's truth (Acts 4:10; 7:39; Rom. 11:25).  The end of Daniel's Seventy Weeks, the Tribulation, will usher in the last dispensation (Dan. 9:24-27; Mt. 24:3-29; Rev. 6 - 18). 

THE CHURCH AGE:  Following the Jews rejection of Jesus, He established a parenthetical period of 2000 years (so far), known as the Church Age.  It "sits" historically between Daniel's Sixty-Ninth and Seventieth Weeks.  Although this dispensation was a mystery to Israel (Eph. 5:32), it began on the Day of Pentecost following Christ's Ascension (Acts 1 - 2).   It will end with the Rapture (Jn. 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:42-58; 1 Thes. 4:16-17).  Because the Church Age is the Age of Grace, it does not end with punishment, but with blessing!

THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT:  The 1000 year reign of Jesus on earth, will end with rebellion, and following the defeat of His enemies, the Lord will judge mankind (Rev. 20).

We are VERY CLOSE to the Second Coming of Christ; are you ready?      

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


When you believe that ALL Scripture is inspired by God, you automatically know that it is ALL true.  And if ALL Scripture is true, whenever there appears to be a contradiction, it is due to my failure to understand what the Word of God is actually saying.  When this happens, it is my responsibility to study the "contradictory passages," and try to reconcile them.  Because I am incapable of understanding ALL that God has revealed in His Word, I am humbled by my human limitations, and I must simply "file" the topics in a "drawer" labeled "I'll understand it all, by-and-by!"  For the really spiritual, and truly brilliant children of God, their "drawer" is relatively small; for me, my "drawer" is the size of the Grand Canyon! 

Every once in a while, the Lord reveals something to me that enables me to remove an item from my "drawer," praise God!  Yesterday, a friend and I were discussing the change that takes place when the Rapture occurs.  During the conversation, we discussed the apparent contradiction of there being a Rapture in which believers, living at that time, would escape death, and yet, there is Scripture which indicates that ALL men die.  Romans 5:12 states, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon ALL men, for that ALL have sinned."  Hebrews 9:27 says, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment."  In weeks past, we had already reconciled fact that although Enoch and Elijah had not died (Gen.5:24; 2 Kg. 2:11), we believe it is they who will be the two witnesses who die during the Tribulation (Rev. 11:7).  But, how is it possible to reconcile the Rapture with Hebrews 9:27?

We came to the conclusion that those being "raptured," would actually die and be resurrected, ALL in "a moment, in a twinkling of an eye" (1 Cor. 15:52)!  Looking at the context of this verse, we see that the "dead in Christ" are resurrected first, and then, the same change that happens to them, happens to us:

"Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, 'Death is swallowed up in victory'" (1 Cor. 15:50-54).

We will be transformed from life to death to life instantaneously!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away!" (2 Tim. 3:1-5).

"I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom; preach the Word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." (2 Tim. 4:1-4).

"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, 'Where is the promise of His coming?  For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.'  For this they willingly are ignorant...." (2 Pet. 3:3-5).

"For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them.  For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:  because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things." (Rom. 1:16-23).

Apostasy:  the sign of Christ's soon return! 

Monday, April 21, 2014


In Luke 24:13-53, Luke records the testimony of two of the Lord's disillusioned disciples, who, following the reports of Christ's Resurrection, could not accept the fact that Jesus was alive.  The women had testified to what the angels had told them, and they did not believe (Lk. 24:22-23).  Peter and John had testified that the grave was empty, and still, they did not believe (Lk. 24:24).  Then it happened!  They met the risen Savior on their way home!

Luke states that, at first, they were blind to the fact that it was Jesus who joined them (Lk. 24:16).  But following His teaching them, using the Old Testament (The Law, The Prophets, and The Writings - Lk. 24:26-27), that their Messiah had to suffer death, He opened their eyes so that they could recognize Him (Lk. 24:31).  He immediately disappeared, and they hurried back to Jerusalem to tell the rest of the disciples of their encounter with the risen Lord (Lk. 24:31-35).  While they were testifying, Jesus appeared in their midst, and still, they could not comprehend it all; they were afraid (Lk. 24:37).  Jesus reassured them it was He (Lk. 24:38-43). 

Jesus opened their understanding (Lk. 24:45)!  He reminded them that He had told them before He was crucified, that it was going to happen (Mt. 20:17-19; Mk. 10:32-34; Lk. 18:31-34; etc.).  And again, Jesus taught from the Old Testament, those things which were written of His death, burial, and Resurrection.  I am quite certain the passages He showed them included Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53!

Here we are, approximately 2000 years later, and Christianity is the world's largest religion.  About two in seven people on this planet of seven billions souls, claims to be Christians.  What began with twelve, has grown into a "massive tree" with its "branches" being hundreds of denominations.  That sounds wonderful until one reads, with understanding, the parables of the Church Age, found in Matthew Thirteen!  There, we find, the Lord taught that His Church would be infiltrated by the enemy:  tares (Mt. 13:24-30); birds (Mt. 13:31-32); leaven, that is, false doctrine (Mt. 13:33 c. Mt. 16:6, 11-12); a field of mostly dirt (Mt. 13:44); and bad fish (Mt. 13:47-48)!  Yes, the Church has grown in numbers, but many of its members are travelling down the "broad way," saying, "Lord, Lord..."; and are in for a horrible surprise! 
Mega-churches are known for watered-down doctrine and compromise of truth!
Many are filled with Laodiceans who do not hear Jesus knocking to get in!  

Sunday, April 20, 2014


HE IS NOT HERE - HE IS RISEN!  (Mt. 28:6). 

"(Jesus) made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:  And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name:  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father!" (Phil. 2:7-11).

"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!" (Jn. 1:11-13).

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved!" (Rom. 10:9-10, 13).

Saturday, April 19, 2014


I am not certain when Jesus privately taught the Apostle Paul, but it is presumed by many scholars that it was during the three years from the time he was born again, until the time he conferred with the other Apostles (Gal. 1:15-18).   And, based upon his writings, Paul received instruction that the others did not.  Even proud Peter admitted Paul's writings were Scripture, and he also admitted that some of Paul's writings were difficult to understand (2 Pet. 3:15-16).  However, one passage in Paul's writings was clearly understood, for the "eleven" were present when the Lord instituted what was to become known as the "Lord's Supper" (1 Cor. 11:20).  Paul states that Jesus personally taught him:  

"For I have received of the Lord which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which He was betrayed took bread:  and when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, 'Take, eat: this is My body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me.'  After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, 'This cup is the new testament in My blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me.'  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come" (1 Cor. 11:23-26).

The occasion for the first "Lord's Supper," was, I believe, at least twenty-four hours before the time the Passover was to be killed (Jn. 13:1).  Since Jesus is declared to be the Passover Lamb (Jn. 1:29, 36; 1 Cor. 5:7; 1 Pet. 1:19), I believe He died exactly when the Passover lambs were to be slain (Ex. 12:1-28; Num. 9:1-5; 28:16-25; Lev. 23:4-5).  He was on the cross on the "day of preparation" for a special Sabbath (Jn. 19:14, 31).  That "special Sabbath," I believe, was the Passover.

There are two symbolic meanings of leaven in the New Testament:  there is the yeast used to make both bread and wine, always representing sin (Mt. 13:33; Lk. 13:21; 1 Cor. 5:6-8; Gal. 5:9), and there is the use of "leaven" as a metaphor for false teaching (Mt. 16:6, 11-12; Mk. 8:15; Lk. 12:1).  The "Lord's Supper" consisted of unleavened bread, and unfermented wine, because only they could represent Christ's sinless body (2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15; 9:28).  As for the false teachings of the Pharisees and the Sadducees, they rejected Jesus.  Basically, their view of Him was the exact opposite of the truth. 

The most important thing about believers partaking in the "Lord's Supper,"
is that in so doing, we remember what Jesus did at His First Coming,
and that there will be a Second Coming!  Praise God for both!  

Friday, April 18, 2014


"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" (Jn. 14:1-3).

"So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, He was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.  And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the Word with signs following. Amen" (Mk. 16:19-20).

"And He led them out as far as to Bethany, and He lifted up His hands, and blessed them.  And it came to pass, while He blessed them, He was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.  And they worshipped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:  and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen" (Lk. 24:50-53).

"And when He had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight.  And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven?  This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven" (Acts. 1:9-11).
"Who is he that condemneth?  It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us" (Rom. 8:34).  Note:  see also Col. 3:1; Heb. 1:3; 7:25; 8:1; 9:24; 12:2; 1 Pet. 3:22.
"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.  For this we say unto you by the Word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  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 Th. 4:13-18).


Thursday, April 17, 2014


I noticed while studying the Book of Genesis in Sunday School, that the words, "my God," only appear one time in the entire book.  And on that occasion, it was Jacob acting like the vast majority of folks today.  He was making his relationship with Almighty God, conditional!  The text reads: 

"And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, 'If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God'" (Gen. 28:20-21).

How many times have you heard of people saying something like, "If God will just heal my son, I will start going to church!"  Or, "If He will just keep me out of jail this time, I will never do that again!"  Heard less often, but often enough, is the "give me" prayer.  "If God will just let me win the lottery, I will donate a fourth to a local church!"  These folks have an "IF - THEN" relationship with the Creator of the Universe.  Sad!  They don't realize that God guarantees to always do what is the ultimate best for those who love Him (Rom. 8:28)!  We really don't even know how, or for what to pray; He even does that for us (Rom. 8:26-27)!

Fourteen times in Genesis, God is said to be the "God of" someone or something; but He is never claimed to be "my God" by a person himself.  He is the God of heaven and earth (24:3) of Abraham (26:24); of Isaac (31:5; 31:29; 46:1; 46:3); of Abraham and Isaac (28:13; 31:42); of Abraham and Nahor (31:53); of Bethel (31:13); and of Jacob (43:23; 49:24-25; 50:17).  God is first called the "God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob" in the Book of Exodus (Ex. 3:6).

Surprisingly, the first person to call God "my God," is Moses (Ex. 15:2).  Even more surprising, is the fact that the second person to call Him "my God," was Balaam (Num. 22:18)!  Joshua acknowledged God as "my God" (Josh. 9:23).  Ruth did (Ruth 1:16).  David did (2 Sam. 22:7).  Solomon did (1 Kg. 3:7).  Elijah did (1 Kg. 17:20). And so did Micaiah (2 Ch. 18:13); Ezra (Ezra 7:28); Nehemiah (Neh. 2:8); Isaiah (Isa. 7:13); Jeremiah (Jer. 31:18); Daniel (Dan. 6:22); Hosea (Hos. 9:8); Jonah (Jon. 2:6); Micah (Mic. 7:7); Habbakuk (Hab. 1:12); Zechariah (Zech. 11:4); and of course, Jesus (Mt. 27:46)!

But, even though many people in the Bible called God their own, the question I have for you is, is He your God?  Have you trusted in the God who sacrificed His Son so that you could be free from your sin debt, and so that by faith in Him, you could become a child of God Himself?  Jesus offered Himself as THE WAY to God!  Jesus' Resurrection will be celebrated in churches all over the world this coming Sunday; will you be there?  Is Jesus more than a Bible character to you?  Is He your LORD?  If not, give Him your life; allow Him to be your God - you will never regret it! 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


When Jesus told Nicodemus, in John 3:3-8, that he must be born again, he had no clue as to what our Lord was saying.  Obviously Nicodemus had already been born once (physically from out of the water of the womb), but Jesus was telling him about a different birth, a second birth (being born of the Spirit of God).  Nicodemus already bore the resemblance of Adam, but Jesus wanted him to experience the life-changing metamorphosis that would begin the process of him growing into the likeness of Christ (1 Cor. 15:45-49; 1 Jn. 3:2).  He needed to experience the transformation that only God could work in him.  John had written earlier: 

"(Jesus) 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...of God" (Jn. 1:11-13).

Notice that one becomes a child of God by believing in Jesus!  I don't believe I have ever heard a sermon on the Lord's conversation with Nicodemus, that included the rest of the third chapter.  That is sad, really, because it records the "how" of being born again!  And you would think it would be so obvious to preachers!  Verse nine says, "Nicodemus answered and said unto Him, 'How can these things be?'"  

The Lord's reply (Jn. 3:14-18) to him was the Gospel!  Jesus had to die, and be raised up (v. 14)!  In verses 15-18, John declares that it is faith in Jesus that saves:

"That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.  For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.  He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

Peter wrote:  "Being born the Word of God..." (1 Pet. 1:23).  Paul wrote that being saved (born again) is the result of believing the Word of God (Rom. 10:17), and that it is that faith in God's gift, God's offer of salvation, that saves us (Eph. 2:8-9)!

Being born again is the result of faith in central character of Scripture:  Jesus!


Tuesday, April 15, 2014


The seven last "words" of the dying Son of Man:

*   "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Lk. 23:34).

*   "Verily I say unto thee, 'Today shalt thou be with Me in Paradise'" (Lk. 23:43).

*   "Woman, behold thy son!" (Jn. 19:26).

*   "Behold thy mother!" (Jn. 19:27).

*   "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?"  "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?"                    (Mt. 27:46).

*   "I thirst" (Jn. 19:28).

*   "It is finished" (Jn. 19:30).

Even in death, the Lord Jesus Christ was more concerned about others than He was about Himself.  He prayed for those who had scourged Him (Mt. 27:26), spat upon Him (Mk. 15:19), driven a crown of thorns into His head (Mt. 27:29); mocked Him (Mt. 27:29), and nailed Him to a cross (Jn. 20:25)!

He had compassion on man next to Him, reassuring him that he would be with Him in Paradise, the place of those whose faith in Him had resulted in their being declared righteous (Lk. 16:23; Rom. 4:3; 2 Cor. 5:8).

He wanted to ensure that His young disciple, the one who held a special place in His heart, and His mother were going to take care of each other after He was gone (Jn. 19:26-27).

In my opinion, it wasn't until after our sin was placed upon Him, from noon on, when the sky turned black, that He experienced being separated from His holy Father (Mt. 27:45-46)!  It was then that He cried out in agony!  I do not believe it was because of the pain of the torturous death, but I believe it was because He was no longer holy!  For the only time in all of eternity, He was unclean became of our sin (2 Cor. 5:21).  It was then that He thirsted; not for water, but for righteousness (Mt. 5:6)!

Finally, praise God, He could say, "It is finished!"

"In the mean while His disciples prayed Him, saying, Master, eat.  But He said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.  Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought Him ought to eat?  Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work" (Jn. 4:31-34).

"When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, It is finished: and He bowed His head, and gave up the ghost" (Jn. 19:30).

Monday, April 14, 2014


Each year for about 3500 years, the Jews have celebrated their release from four hundred years of Egyptian bondage, with the Passover Seder, or Supper.  The meal is first mentioned in Exodus 12:1-11.  On the tenth day of Nisan, Israel's first month (Ex. 12:12), the Jews were to select an unblemished sacrificial lamb, and they were to kill the lamb and prepare it just prior to sunset on the fourteenth of Nisan.  After sunset, which was the beginning of the fifteenth of Nisan, they were to roast the lamb, and consume it prior to daylight.  There were to be no leftovers; that which remained was to be totally consumed by fire.

This year, the Jewish calendar and the Gregorian calendar match; the first of April, and the first of Nisan occurred on the same day.  Today, April 14, 2014, at sunset, the Jewish Passover begins.  That would make today the "preparation day."  Thus, today matches the day Jesus was on the cross, in that, the Jewish leaders wanted the bodies taken off the crosses, as it was the "preparation" (Jn. 19:14, 31, 42).  Because the Jews called Fridays the preparation day for the weekly Sabbath, many have mistakenly accepted Friday as the day of the Crucifixion.  However, notice in John 19:31, the day Jesus died was not just the preparation day for the weekly Sabbath, but was the preparation day for a special Sabbath; the Passover!

Now, looking at our calendar, we can see that the tenth of Nisan falls on a Thursday.  The Passover falls on the following Monday, the fourteenth (today).  Today would be the day Jesus was crucified.  His body would be taken down and placed in a "borrowed tomb" just before sunset.  Jesus told His friends and His enemies, "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" (Mt. 12:40).
If one counts three days and three nights from sunset today, Jesus would rise from the grave after sunset on April 17th.  Ironically, to the Jewish way of calculating days, Jesus would rise on Friday!  Sunset today to sunset tomorrow (Tuesday) is one day and night; sunset Tuesday to sunset Wednesday is the second day and night; and sunset Wednesday to sunset Thursday is the third day and night:  Jesus would rise on the day modern day Christians celebrate His death!  Irony of ironies!

What does that mean then as to what day Jesus died?  Well, He rose sometime after sunset on Saturday, which was the beginning of the first day of the week - Sunday (Mt. 28:1; Mk. 16:2; Lk. 24:1; Jn. 20:1).  Going backward three days and three nights, Jesus must have been taken down from the cross prior to sunset Wednesday!
Sunset 4-17-14 will begin the anniversary of the Resurrection, not the Crucifixion!  

Sunday, April 13, 2014


All men are sinners - Romans 3:23.

There are none that are righteous - Romans 3:10.

The penalty for sin is death - Romans 6:23a.

While we were still sinners, Christ died for us - Romans 5:8.

If we call upon Jesus as our Lord, we will be saved - Romans 10:9.

Our salvation is a gift - Romans 6:23b.

Salvation cannot be earned by works - Galatians 2:16.

It is a gift, so that God gets the glory - Ephesians 2:8-9.

We are not saved by works, but are saved to do good works - Ephesians 2:10.

It is the Father who transforms us into His workers - Philippians 1:6.

It is the Holy Spirit who empowers us to do God's work - Acts 1:8.

It is the Holy Spirit who produces fruit in believers - Galatians 5:22-23.

It is His fruit in us that brings glory to the Father - John 15:8.

It is His fruit that appeals to the lost - Proverbs 11:30.

It is by your fruit that you are recognizable - Matthew 7:17-18.

"The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life;
and he that winneth souls is wise" (Prov. 11:30).

Saturday, April 12, 2014


Earlier today, I had a discussion with a fellow on Facebook, concerning his false belief that the Apostle Paul preached a different Gospel, than did the other Apostles.  He used the fact that Paul called what he preached "my Gospel" (Rom. 2:16; 16:25; 2 Tim. 2:8).  He suggested that the rest of the Apostles were ignorant of the true Gospel, preaching instead, the Gospel of the Kingdom.  This is written as my response to him.

Of the ninety plus verses which contain the word "Gospel," at least seventy-five use the definite article "the" with the term.  The only time the indefinite article "a" is used, in the form of "another Gospel," is when Paul was rebuking those who insisted there is another Gospel (2 Cor. 11:4; Gal. 1:6)!  His actual words are: 

"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another Gospel:  which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the Gospel of Christ.  But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other Gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.  As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other Gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed" (Gal. 1:6-9).

There is but one Gospel; it is the Gospel which God's Word tells us; it is the Gospel which has the power to save the lost!  Paul wrote:  "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek" (Rom. 1:16).  Notice there is not a Gospel for the Jews, and a Gospel for the Gentiles!  While Peter was the Apostle to the Jews, and Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles (Gal. 2:8), they preached the same message!  The Gospel Paul preached, was the same Gospel Peter, James, John, etc., preached; it contained three important parts:  "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).

If you believe the Lord Jesus died for you, call upon Him to save you!


Friday, April 11, 2014


God is the only One who can say His name is "I AM."  That is because He has always been, and He will always be (Ex. 3:14)!  Before creation actually began in Genesis 1:1, God already had chosen to do the things which were going to happen.  For instance, before the foundation of the world, Jesus, "the Lamb of God," was already counted as slain for a lost and dying world (Jn. 1:29, 36; 1 Pet. 1:19-20).  The names of those who would accept His sacrifice for them, were already written in the Book of Life before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4; Rev. 13:8; 17:8).  God predestined these things to happen (Rom. 8:29-30; Eph. 1:5, 11)!  Isaiah 46:10 declares this:  "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!"

Even though God is eternally Omniscient, He has chosen to reveal the truth in bits and pieces, when He determines the time is right.  We are told repeatedly in the Scriptures, that some truth has been temporarily hidden from mankind (Col. 1:26-27); God's Word describes these as "mysteries":

     *     His kingdom - Mt. 13:11; Mk. 4:11; Lk. 8:10.
     *     The blindness of Israel - Rom. 11:25.
     *     The Gospel - Rom. 16:25; Eph. 6:19.
     *     His wisdom - 1 Cor. 2:7.
     *     His will - Eph. 1:9.
     *     The gift of tongues - 1 Cor. 14:2.
     *     The Rapture - 1 Cor. 15:51.
     *     Christ's suffering - Eph. 3:3, 4, 9.
     *     God's comfort - Col. 2:2.
     *     Iniquity - 2 Thes. 2:7.
     *     The significance of faith - 1 Tim. 3:9.
     *     Godliness - 1 Tim. 3:16.
     *     The Incarnation - 1 Tim. 3:16.
     *     The identity of the stars - Rev. 1:20.
     *     The mystery of God is finished - Rev. 10:7.
     *     The harlot - Rev. 17:5, 7.

As you can see from this abbreviated list, many of the mysteries have already been revealed.  However, even though the majority of them are understood by born again believers, there are still a few which God will reveal in good time.  An example of those things which will one day be clear, is the blinded eyes of Israel being opened when they observe the Abomination of Desolation (Dan. 9:27; 11:31; 12:11; Mt. 24:15).  And, in a sense, there will always be some mystery, even for the born again believer.  After all, 1 John 3:2 tells us that we will not know until we are with Him!

I long for the day I see Jesus!  Maranatha! 


Thursday, April 10, 2014


The word "signs," in the Bible, can serve as a reminder of an important occurrence from the past, it can serve as a guide in understanding the present, or it can refer to evidence of a pending future event.  For example, stones were piled upon one another as a sign, a memorial of some miraculous work of God, to teach future generations (Josh. 4:6).  Today, we have the celestial bodies which serve as signs to indicate our present times and seasons (Gen. 1:14).  And, signs can also serve to warn believers of what is about to take place (Mt. 24:3-8).

One of the most obvious characteristics of the Jews, is that they are always demanding a sign from those who speak to them about God (Deut. 6:22; Neh. 9:10; Jer. 32:20; Dan. 4:1-3; Mt. 12:38; Jn. 4:48; etc.).  In fact, the Word actually states this in 1 Corinthians 1:22, which says, "For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom."  The Jews demanded, and still demand, "credentials."  That is why, during the first century Church, the Holy Spirit manifested signs; these signs were call the "signs of the Apostles" (2 Cor. 12:12).  God sent the Apostles to go first to Jerusalem and Judea with the Gospel (Acts 1:8).  And, for about twenty years, the Church was made up entirely of Jewish converts to Christ.   

While no Bible student would question that the Apostle Peter was the primary messenger to the Jews, and the Apostle Paul was chosen to spread the Gospel to the Gentiles (Gal. 2:8), the Apostle Paul had the habit of going first to the synagogues of the cities with his message (Acts 13:5; 14:1; 17:1; 18:19; etc.).  That is why God chose to work signs and wonders through him (Acts 14:8-10; 16:16-18; 20:9-12; etc.).  By the end of the period recorded in the Book of Acts, God's focus was no longer on the salvation of the Jews, but was, and has been for the past 2000 years, focused upon winning the souls of the Gentiles. 

Does that mean the signs, such as tongues, healing, and miracles has ceased?  Most conservative evangelical Christians would say yes.  However, I would ask two questions:  1) Is God still saving the souls of Jews (Rom. 1:16)?  And 2), has the Body of Christ achieved Christ-likeness, to the point that the gifts of the Spirit are no longer useful (Eph. 4:11-16)?  The answer to the first is a resounding yes; Jews for Christ is clear evidence of that!  And note the word "also" in the text!  The answer to the second is equally emphatic in that few, if any, would say the Church has arrived! 

My testimony is that I was an atheist; God provided me with undeniable evidence that the Gospel is true, and the moment I trusted in Jesus Christ, I was indwelt by the Holy Spirit!  No, I didn't speak in tongues, but I was a new creature!  Praise be to God alone for my salvation!  

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms, because we are united with Christ.  Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ, to be holy and without fault in His eyes.  God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure.  So we praise God for the glorious grace He has poured out on us, who belong to His dear Son.  He is so rich in kindness and grace, that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son, and forgave our sins.  He has showered His kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.

God has now revealed to us His mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill His own good pleasure.  And this is the plan: At the right time He will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth.  Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for He chose us in advance, and He makes everything work out according to His plan.

God’s purpose was that we Jews, who were the first to trust in Christ, would bring praise and glory to God.  And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you.  And when you believed in Christ, He identified you as His own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom He promised long ago.  The Spirit is God’s guarantee that He will give us the inheritance He promised, and that He has purchased us to be His own people.  He did this so we would praise and glorify Him."

God is so rich in mercy, and He loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, He gave us life when He raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)  For He raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.  So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of His grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all He has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.

God saved you by His grace when you believed.  And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.  Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.  For we are God’s masterpiece.  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Thanks to the NLT for making it clear enough that a child can understand;
God loves us, and he adopts those who love His only begotten Son:  JESUS!


Tuesday, April 8, 2014


God's Word tells us, using only nine words, how a believer can please Almighty God.  Micah wrote: 
"He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God" (Mic. 6:8)?

DO JUSTLY - "Do the right thing!"  Unfortunately, we often fail.  It is of extreme importance that we make "it right."  The Lord is so serious about this, that He insists a believer be in fellowship with other believers, before approaching Him.  Jesus taught:  "Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift" (Mt. 5:23-24).

LOVE MERCY - "Forgive as you would be forgiven!"  Just as we often fail to live as God would have us to live, our brothers and sisters in the Lord have the same problem.  We must be willing to show them mercy, and forgive them.  Jesus said:   "And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.  But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses" (Mk. 11:25-26). 

WALK HUMBLY WITH THY GOD - living one's life under the Lordship of Christ, and living it as a servant of one's fellow man.  When one believes the Gospel, and desires to be saved, he calls upon Jesus, who is Lord!  Paul said it this way:  "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved" (Rom. 10:9).

And, in submitting to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, we need to humble ourselves and become the servants of the brethren.  Jesus set the example for us:  "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (Phil. 2:5-8).  John wrote:  "Ye call Me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.  If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.  For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you" (Jn. 13:13-15).

"Love God; love man," is demonstrated by "serving God; serving man!"

Monday, April 7, 2014


The dragon of the Book of Revelation, is mentioned by name in twelve verses.  From just these twelve verses, we know a great deal about our enemy.  And, he has aliases! 

"And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads" (12:3).
"And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as (He) was born" (12:4).
"And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels" (12:7).
"And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him" (12:9).
"And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child" (12:13).
"And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth" (12:16).
"And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (12:17).

"And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority" (13:2).
"And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?" (13:4).
"And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon" (13:11).

"And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet" (16:13).

"And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years" (20:2).

Note:  As the dragon, he appears as empowering the antichrist from the mid-Tribulation, until he and the false prophet are cast into the Lake of Fire in Revelation 19:20.  As the serpent, Satan came on the scene in Genesis 3:1.  As the devil, he is first mentioned in Matthew 4:1.  In Revelation:
*     References to him as the serpent:  9:19; 12:9, 14, 15; 20:2.
*     References to him as the devil:  2:10; 9:20, 12; 16:14; 18:2; 20:2, 10.
*     References to him as Satan:  2:9, 13, 24; 3:9; 12:9, 14, 15; 20:2.

Regardless of his aliases, he loses!

Sunday, April 6, 2014


A PARABLE:  Picture in your mind that you are driving on Interstate 65, and the highway has three North-bound lanes and five South-bound lanes.  You are driving North in the center lane, with one lane on either side of your lane.  Suddenly, you notice that the lanes on both sides of your lane are exit-only lanes; the left exit-only lane has a sign that says "to South-bound Interstate 65," and the right exit-only lane has a sign that says "to South-bound Interstate 65."  At the point where both lanes exit, you look, and you realize that the South-bound side now has only three lanes, and your side is now a single lane road, still labeled "North Interstate 65."  What has happened?

The parable explained:  The North-bound highway represents the visible church, "heading toward Heaven."  The vehicles in the center lane are born again believers (Wheat - Mt. 13:24-30).  The vehicles on either side of your lane are those professing to be Christians, but they are not saved (Tares - Mt. 13:24-30).  When they find a convenient exit, they turn back, and join the rest of the traffic headed South toward Hell (1 Jn. 2:19).  You will remember that before their exit, your side of the highway was three lanes, and the South-bound side had three lanes.  The South-bound lane needed to be widened because of the added vehicles "the tares abandoning ship!"       

What causes members to suddenly depart from a local church?  There are all sorts of reasons; but most are really just excuses.  Some are legitimate, that is, God is leading them to serve Him elsewhere.  However, with those who are Christians in name only, something usually causes them to "show their true colors."  While there are far too many to detail here, I do want to suggest to you that a few of the "turncoats" leave for very sinister purposes:  they become "sons of perdition!"

There are only two specific examples of this "transformation" in the Scriptures, but I suspect there are hundreds which are not explained as such (1 Jn. 2:18).  A "son of perdition" is a human being who becomes possessed by Satan.  In John 13:27, we are told that Satan entered into Judas Iscariot, and he then went and betrayed Jesus. 

The other individual is the Antichrist.  2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 says:  "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God."  We know the "the son of perdition" mentioned here, is the Beast of Revelation 13, by the timing of his appearance, and by his actions.  Notice that after the head of the Beast receives a mortal wound, Satan not only re-animates him, he becomes his inner power to carry out the "abomination of desolation," even declaring himself to be god (Dan. 9:27; 11:31; 12:11; Mt. 24:15; Rev. 13:3-8)!

Many will go to Hell; few will go to heaven;
fortunately, fewer still will become "sons of perdition!"

Saturday, April 5, 2014


Why did God save Noah and his family?
Because someone was needed for the genealogy of Jesus!
"Adam, Sheth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalaleel, Jered, Henoch, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth" (1 Ch. 1:1-4).
"...which was [the son] of Noe, which was [the son] of Lamech, which was [the son] of Mathusala, which was [the son] of Enoch, which was [the son] of Jared, which was [the son] of Maleleel, which was [the son] of Cainan, which was [the son] of Enos, which was [the son] of Seth, which was [the son] of Adam, which was [the son] of God" (Lk. 3:38).

How did God save Noah and his family?
God saved them by His grace!

"But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD" (Gen. 6:8).
"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)

Was Noah a just or righteous man?
He was after God imputed Christ's righteousness to him!  

"These [are] the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man [and] perfect in his generations, [and] Noah walked with God" (Gen. 6:8-9). 
"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:  there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God" (Rom. 3:10-11).
"For He hath made Him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Cor. 5:21).

Are you and I just or righteous?
We are after we trust in the Lord Jesus!
"For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith" (Rom. 1:17).
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved" (Rom. 10:9).
"As it was in the days of Noah," also applies to God's offer of salvation!

Friday, April 4, 2014


Many Bible scholars have seen a parallel between the seven churches of Asia, found described in Revelation 2:1 - 3:22, and the character of the Church during specific periods of time.  For example, they see the Church of Ephesus, described in Revelation 2:1-7, as typical of the Apostolic Church (circa A.D. 33-100).  The Apostle John described Ephesus as a church that had lost its first love.  It had already begun to be an organization, rather than an organism.

The other six churches are viewed as picturing the Church during these periods:

Smyrna - (Rev. 2:8-11) - The persecuted Church - (circa A.D. 100-312).
Pergamos - (Rev. 2:12-17) - The state Church, Satan's seat - (circa A.D. 312-606).
Thyatira - (Rev. 2:18-29) - Roman Catholicism, Jezebel - (circa A.D. 606-1520).
Sardis - (Rev. 3:1-6) - Protestantism as a Remnant - (circa A.D. 1520-1700).
Philadelphia - (Rev. 3:7-13) - Love of fellowship and soul-winning - (circa A.D. 1700-today).
Laodicea - (Rev. 3:14-22) - The Christ-less Church - (circa A.D. 1900-today).

Of course, the seven churches mentioned by John were literal churches in Asia Minor.  But, much like the seven Feasts of the Lord, found in Leviticus 23, God often has a double meaning for His Word.  Jesus fulfilled the Passover (1 Cor. 5:7); He was the Unleavened Bread (Jn. 6:48); rising from the dead, He was the First Fruits (1 Cor. 15:20).  The Feast of Pentecost was a feast of the harvest, and, since the Church began on Pentecost, and since our "job" is to harvest the fields ripe for the harvesting, the Church is the fulfillment of the fourth feast (Jn. 4:35).  I am 100% confident that Jesus will literally fulfill the Feasts of Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles, with His Second Coming!

The reason that there are two churches co-existing at the same time, is that today, there is the organized religious church, professing faith in Christ while excluding Him from being Lord over their lives, and the Body of Christ, which is more an organism than an organization!  It is composed of genuine, born again believers, who recognize that Jesus is Lord of their lives.  According to Revelation 3:10, the genuine believers will be removed prior to the Tribulation via the Rapture of the true Church (Jn. 14:1-3; 1 Thes. 4:16-17; etc.)!  The Church, as pictured in that of Laodicea, will continue to exist during the Tribulation, and many of the martyred will be members who finally realized they were not saved!

The Church Age ends with the beginning of Daniel's Seventieth Week (Dan. 9:27).

Thursday, April 3, 2014


"For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would" (Gal. 5:17).

In Romans 7:1-25, the Apostle Paul, using present tense verbs, describes his constant inward battle between the flesh and the spirit.  Paul's soul, that part of him which chooses his words and his actions, is influenced by both his spiritual nature, the part of him which wishes only to please God, and his physical nature, the part of him which always seeks to please oneself.  Freud would say that Paul's "Ego" was being torn between the opposing forces of his "Id" (self-pleasing) and his "Super Ego" (God pleasing).

Paul knew when he was walking in the flesh, because he listed those things which result from being out of fellowship with God.  They are:  

"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which (practice) such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God" (Gal. 5:19-21).

Paul also knew that there was clear evidence to show when he was living in fellowship with God.  He wrote:

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law" (Gal. 5:22-23).

Notice that Paul emphasizes that the works of the flesh are just that:  works.  He does not speak of a single incident, but a continual practice of such things.  He also makes it clear that "the fruit of the Spirit" is not the result of works, but is the natural outworking of the Holy Spirit in a person's life.

According to 1 Thessalonians 5:23, the secret to spirituality,
is to allow God to do "His thing!"

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Salvation is a gift; You cannot earn it (Eph. 2:8-9)!  You simply must believe God offers it to you because of the finished working of Jesus Christ on your behalf!  By calling upon the name of the LORD Jesus, you WILL be saved (Rom. 10:9)!  Once you are saved, it is God's job to make you into His Son's image and likeness!  Allow Him to do His job!

"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" (Jn. 1:12-13).

"No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day" (Jn. 6:44).

"Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you" (Jn. 14:17, 26).

"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).

"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" (Heb. 13:20-21).

"Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen" (Jude 24-25).

Faith in the Father's love for you, results in your desire to please Him!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


They say you are as young as you feel.  If that is true, then I am 183!  I am worn out!  I would list all the physical ailments I have, but that is what old people talk about whenever they get together, and in spite of my "felt age," I am determined to think "young!"  At seventy-one and a half (see, I am trying to think like a teen), my "life experiences" have left me unable to dress myself, unable see clearly, and unable to remember what three degrees, and life itself, have taught me.  To be quite honest, if it were not for the various Bible helps that I rely upon every day, I would not even be able to write this blog.  Thank God for Blue Letter Bible!

But please do not feel sorry for me; unless the Rapture takes place prior to my demise, I will get to see Jesus before you!  The Word says that "the dead in Christ shall rise first" (1 Thes. 4:16)!  I am so looking forward to which ever comes first, me going to Him (2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; etc.), or Him coming for us all (Jn. 14:1-3; 1 Thes. 4:13-18; etc.)!  Either way, I will no longer have to dwell in this rickety old body, but will have been changed to be like Him (1 Cor. 15:35-58; 1 Jn. 3:2; etc.)!

Life has also taken its toll through years of concern for my mother-in-law, my wife, my children and their families.  That old adage is true:  "I don't care how old my daughters are, they will always be my little girls!"  They have had over twenty years (way over) since high school, and experience many of the same trials and tribulations, as their parents.  And like most children, they had to discover for themselves, how to handle each issue as it came up (one would have hoped they would have listen to their experienced parents, but we all know that never happens).  I finally had to get to the point that I would simply trust God to get them through, because He obviously loves them far more than we, as parents, do!  And, He is ALWAYS right, whereas, we almost never are!

As the end is near, based upon all of the signs that Bible prophecy is being fulfilled, I have to keep telling myself:  "Be patient" (1 Thes 5:14; Jam. 5:7; etc.)!  "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not" (Gal. 6:9).  "But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing" (2 Thes. 3:13).

Both patience and perseverance are virtues, but they must be motivated by love!