Friday, July 31, 2015


Acts 9:31 - "Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied."

Romans 15:4 - "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope."

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 - "Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God."

2 Corinthians 13:11 - "Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you."

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 - " 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 Thessalonians 5:11 - "Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do."

2 Thessalonians 2:13-17 - "But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:  whereunto He called you by our Gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.  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."

As the world grows more intimidating, we must trust in our God of comfort!

Thursday, July 30, 2015


For about the last year or two, I have been concerned about all the violence and the shootings happening all around our country.  It appears as though God is removing His restraining hand from evil men and women, and Christians are becoming more and more the world-wide target.  Millions are being driven from their countries as Islamic Terrorists sweep through the Middle East; thousands have been martyred for their faith by demonic bands of men who delight in torture, rape, and horrible, methods of slaughtering believers who refuse to deny Christ. 

The mood in America is changing as well, with believers targeted in their own churches, simply because they are the "wrong color," or because they stand against what the Bible calls sin.  Some have been taken to court and fined large amounts, simply because they refuse to provide services for same-sex weddings.  Preachers have been warned not to preach against homosexuality, or face legal action.  Chaplains in the military are not permitted to evangelize our troops and yet Islamic chaplains have total freedom and can say whatever they want.

Planned Parenthood (what an odd name for an organization the promotes the slaughter of unborn children - the very opposite of making one a parent), has been exposed for the horrible "business of selling aborted baby's body parts!  Its founder was a racist and is on record of wanting to kill as many Black babies as possible.  And yet our President supports them and our government funds them for the holocaust that takes more than a million lives every year! 

Recently, gangs of young thugs have invaded businesses and because of their large numbers, they get away with terrorizing customers and employees as they steal and destroy like a hoard of locusts.  There have been videos showing groups of anarchists attacking elderly men and women, and even parents with their children present.  One Black youth was beaten by several other Blacks because he actually made the school honor roll!  Unbelievable!

So, I decided to buy a shotgun to protect my family from being victims of a home invasion.  Because of a need for a background check, it has been six days since I picked one out.  But from the time I left the store, I felt very uneasy about my decision.  First of all, I cannot picture Jesus shooting someone, regardless of what that person was doing.  He set the standard for believers, by allowing mere men to nail Him to a cross!  Then I thought of all those poor individuals in Syria, Iran, Iraq, etc., who faced death, and refused to deny Christ.  They are genuine believers; believers who are willing to die as a statement of their faith in their Lord!  To me, they are "preaching the Gospel" to their murderers!

The store hasn't called me yet to come pick up my shotgun, and I am glad; I do not have peace about shooting anyone, regardless of what they are threatening to do to us.  I respect those who feel differently, as that is their right according to the Constitution, but after serving twenty years in the military, I still do not believe I want the power to end another's life.  Who knows, by allowing our attacker to kill us, the Lord may use our deaths as a witness, and our murderers might repent and accept the Christ for whom so many are willing to die. 
God leads some to war, and some to follow Christ's example.
The most important thing is that believers do what the Spirit is telling them to do!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Romans 3:10 - "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one!"

Romans 3:23 - "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God!"

Romans 5:8 - "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us!"

Romans 6:23 - "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord!"

Romans 10:8-13 - "...The Word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the Word of faith, which we preach;  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 the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him.  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved!" 

If you have never trusted Jesus Christ to be you Savior and your Lord,
based upon world events, time is running out. 
He is coming for believers before His wrath is poured out on the whole world. 
Accept Him today - today may be the day that He removes His true believers!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


As Bible believing Christians we have a great love for the Jewish people. Please allow us to explain why this is so.  Because of what the Bible teaches we are absolutely convinced of the following:
  1. The Jews are God's chosen people:  "For thou (Israel) art an holy people unto the LORD thy God; the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself, above all the peoples who are upon the face of the earth" (Deut. 7:6).
  2. God used the Jewish people in a special way to give mankind the Bible. He used men such as Moses and David and Solomon and Isaiah and Jeremiah and Ezekiel to be His special penmen.
  3. It was to the Jewish people that God gave His holy laws, especially the Ten Commandments, which are a reflection of God's holy and absolute standards (Ex. 20; Deut. 5).  Those societies or those individuals that disregard these laws are headed for trouble.
  4. Israel has divine rights to the land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael) because God Himself promised this land to Israel in the covenant which He made (cut) with Israel:  "Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates" (Gen. 15:18).  Because of this we fully support the nation Israel in their rightful claim of the land of Israel as their homeland.  Their cause is just.
  5. God has a wonderful future for the Jewish people.  This involves the fulfillment of all of the kingdom promises found in the writings of the Hebrew prophets (such as found in Isa. 2:1-5; 9:6-7; 11:1-16; Jer. 23:5-8; all of chapter 31, and many other similar promises). We are convinced that the day is coming when Israel shall dwell safely in the land to enjoy a peace and prosperity such as the nation has never had. Indeed, according to the prophets,  Jerusalem will be the capital of the world and Israel will be the pride of every nation (Mic. 4:1-2; Zech. 8:22-23).

Monday, July 27, 2015


1) MAGOG--this term was used to describe the region where the descendants of Magog lived.  According to Genesis 10:2,  Magog was one of the sons of Japheth. Japheth was one of the sons of Noah (see Gen. 9:18, 27). Josephus, the Jewish historian, says that the descendants of Magog were “by the Greeks called Scythians” (Ant. i.6.1). According to the Encyclopedia Britannica (1957) and The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, the Scythian people lived to the north of the Black Sea and north of the Caucasus Mountains. This area today is part of Russia. Gesenius, the Hebrew scholar, says that the descendants of Magog were “a great and powerful people, inhabiting the extreme recesses of the north.”    Mark Hitchcock writes:  "Magog today probably represents the former underbelly of the Soviet Union:  Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan.  Afghanistan could also be part of this territory. All of these nations are dominated by Islam with a combined total population in excess of sixty million" [The Battle of Gog and Magog, by Mark Hitchcock (paper presented at the Pre-Trib. conference), p. 3].

2) ROSH--some Bible scholars, such as Gesenius, believe that the modern name “Russia” is derived from this ancient place name “Rosh,” because of the similarity of sounds, and also because certain Greek writers of the 10th century (A.D.) described people living in the area later called Russia by the word “Rōs.”  Other Bible students take the position of Old Testament scholar Merrill F. Unger who says that the word "Russia" was not derived from Rosh, “although the general area was that now occupied by Russia and Turkey.”  Clyde Billington asserts that the Rosh people lived north of the Black Sea, the people known today as the Russians [Clyde E. Billington Jr., "The Rosh People in History and Prophecy (Part Three)," Michigan Theological Journal 4 (1993), 59,61].

3) MESHECH was another son of Japheth (Gen. 10:2). The descendants of this man lived for centuries in Asia Minor (probably in Cappadocia), and later were pushed northward by their enemies into the mountainous area southeast of the Black Sea.  Today this area borders on Russia.

4) TUBAL was another son of Japheth (Gen. 10:2). The descendants of this man also lived in Asia Minor, not far from the Black Sea. The descendants of Tubal and Meshech probably lived close to each other, because in the Scriptures the two names are almost always found together.  Mark Hitchcock said the following about the identification of the locality of Tubal and Meshech:  "The preferred identification is that Meshech and Tubal are the ancient Moschoi and Tibarenoi in Greek writings or Tabal and Musku in Assyrian inscriptions. the ancient locations are in modern Turkey" [The Battle of Gog and Magog, by Mark Hitchcock (paper presented at the Pre-Trib. conference), p. 8].

GOG seems to be a man, the leader of this great invasion.  It seems evident that he is an individual because he is addressed directly by God (Ezek. 38:14; 39:1) and he is also called a prince (Ezek. 38:2; 39:1).

Sunday, July 26, 2015


One of the reasons people give for not accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, is that Christians are hypocrites.  When confronted with this charge against us, most born again believers respond by saying "not all Christians are hypocrites."  Of course, they mean that they do not see themselves as guilty of hypocrisy.  However, when one truly examines him or herself, if we are honest, we have to agree with the charge.  Even if a believer was successful in living a life totally for God, and I do not believe that is possible, he would soon discover his "sinlessness" was actually the source of their pride, which is certainly a sin! 

Let's look at a few passages to determine if observers should expect to see perfection in believers.

In Matthew 5:27-28, Jesus taught that if a person lusts in his heart, he is guilty of sin.  That truth can be applied to sexual lust, as well as, lusting for the goods of another (coveting).  Other than Jesus, I doubt there ever has been a born again believer who was not guilty of sin in his thoughts.

In Romans 7:15-25, the Apostle Paul described the battle going on in his life, between the desire to please God, and the desires of his flesh.  That which he wanted to do, he didn't do, and that which he hated because it displeased God, he found himself doing.  Notice that the entire passage is written by Paul AFTER he became a follower of Christ.  How do I know this?  Because the verbs he uses are all present tense.

In First John 1:8-10, notice that the born again John, writing to fellow believers, uses the present tense, and collective pronouns throughout:

"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us."

I believe the stumbling block for unbelievers which is preventing them from listening to the Gospel message, is due to the fact that the Church, over the centuries, has failed to emphasize that Christians are not saved by works, but are saved by the unmerited favor (grace) of God.  We need to acknowledge that we are still unworthy of His forgiveness (mercy), still unworthy of His of His love, and still unworthy of salvation!  Christians are not perfect!  We are simply messengers sent by God to invite the lost to place their trust in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus for the sins of all mankind according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:1-4)!  When they discover we are not inviting them to become perfect, but inviting them to join us in doing ones best to honor the Savior, they will get their eyes off of us, and on the One Who loved them enough to die for them!
Born again believers are not perfect...YET (1 Jn. 3:1-2)!

Saturday, July 25, 2015


Matthew 6:9-13 - "After this manner therefore pray ye:  Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.  Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:  For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen."

"Our Father" - It is not all about us; there are millions who rightfully call God their Father.  By accepting Christ's death, burial, and resurrection on our behalf, we become children of God (Jn. 1:12; Rom. 8:16; Gal. 3:26; 1 Jn. 3:1-2; etc.)!
"(Who) art in heaven" - God is correctly called "our heavenly Father" (Mt. 6:14, 26, 32; 15:13; 18:35; Lk. 11:13; etc.)!
"Hallowed be Thy name" - "Hallowed" means holy, set apart or sanctified - the Greek ἁγιάζω (hagiazō), is translated "sanctified" 26 times; "hallowed" (here and in Lk. 11:2); and "holy" once (Rev. 22:11).  According to Ex. 6:3, God's name in the Hebrew is יְהֹוָה (Yĕhovah).
"Thy kingdom come" - It is not here yet, but will be on earth for 1000 years, known as the Millennial Reign of Christ (Rev. 20:1-7).
"Thy will be done (on) earth as it is in heaven" - It is not until Christ reigns with a rod of iron, that mankind will reluctantly submit to God's will (Rev. 2:27; 12:5; 19:15; etc.)!
"Give us this day our daily bread" - Our nourishment should not be taken for granted, but we should ask God to provide, and we should be grateful for His provision (Mt. 7:11; Lk. 1:53; etc.)!
"Forgive us our debts (trespasses - sins) as we forgive our debtors" - Born again believers still sin (Rom. 7:15-26; 1 Jn. 1:8-10; etc.), and because God forgive us when we confess our sins to Him, we are to follow His example and forgive others who acknowledge they have wronged us (Mt. 18:21-35).
"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil" - Your Word says You will not allow us to be tested beyond our ability to remain faithful, and that You will protect us from those who would do us harm, so we remind ourselves of Your promise (1 Cor. 10:13)!
"For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever."- We are comforted in knowing that You are more powerful than our enemies (Rev. 19:6)!


Friday, July 24, 2015



Revelation 8:13 - "And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!

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


1 Thessalonians 4:16 - "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."

Jude 1:9 "Yet Michael THE archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.


Isaiah 6:1-3 - "In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple.  Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.  And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory."

Revelation 4:8 - "And the four beasts (four created beings - the seraphims) had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come."


Ezekiel 1:5-6, 11 - "Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures (four created beings - cherubims). And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man.  And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings.  Thus were their faces: and their wings were stretched upward; two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies.
Ezekiel 10:20-21 - "This is the living creature that I saw under the God of Israel by the river of Chebar; and I knew that they were the cherubims.  Every one had four faces apiece, and every one four wings; and the likeness of the hands of a man was under their wings."

The Bible should be our only source of information on the angelic beings.

Thursday, July 23, 2015


What is the Gospel?

1 Corinthians 15:1-4 - "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures."

Why does one need to believe the Gospel?

Romans 1:16-17 -  "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."

Where are we to share the Gospel?

Matthew 24:14 - "And this Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."

 Mark 13:10 - "And the Gospel must first be published among all nations."

Mark 16:15 - "And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature."

Acts 1:8 - "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."

When are we to share the Gospel?

1 Peter 3:15 - "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear."

2 Corinthians 6:2 - "For He saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation."

Do you want to know what you must do to be saved? 
Romans 10:9-13 - "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 the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him.  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

Salvation is a gift from God to those who believe the Gospel.
Ephesians 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."

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


If you want to get to know someone, one way is to discuss him with his friends.  One can even learn a lot about a person by listening to his enemies.  In Matthew 8:29, the demons call Jesus "the Son of God!  But obviously, those who are closest to him will know him best; they will have seen him at his best and his worst.  And yet, not a single disciple ever saw Jesus sin; the writer of the Book of Hebrews stated that Jesus was actually sinless (Heb. 4:15; 9:25)!  If you want to know Jesus, the best person to hear from would be Peter.  Here is what he had to say about Jesus:   

"Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Mt. 16:16).
"Lord" (Mt. 17:4).
"Master" (Mk. 9:5).
"Lord" (Jn. 21:21).
"Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36).

"Jesus Christ" (1 Pet. 1:1, 2, 7, 13).
"Our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Pet. 1:3).
"Jesus Christ" (1 Pet. 2:5).
"Shepherd and Bishop of your souls" (1 Pet. 2:25).
"Jesus Christ" (1 Pet. 3:21).
"Jesus Christ" (1 Pet. 4:11).
"Chief Shepherd" (1 Pet. 5:4).
"Christ Jesus" (1 Pet. 5:10, 14).

"Our Saviour Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 1:1).
"Jesus our Lord" (2 Pet. 1:2).
"Our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 1:8).
"Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 1:11).
"Our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 1:14).
"Our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 1:16).
"God's beloved Son" (2 Pet. 1:17).
"Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 2:20).
"Lord and Saviour" (2 Pet. 3:2).
"Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 3:18).

Pretty impressive character witness, huh!  Peter who had been rebuked by Jesus on a few occasions, still recognized Him as his Lord, Master, Saviour, and the Son of God!  If Peter were to speak to you today, would you believe his testimony?  Remember, he was willing to die for Him, and eventually did die for his faith in Jesus.  If you do believe Peter's presentation of Jesus Christ, what do you think you should do?  Might I suggest thank Him for dying for your sins.  Thank Him for His desire to have fellowship with the likes of you and me.  Seek to know what pleases Him, and live your life for Him out of gratitude for His giving His life for you! 
The best way to demonstrate faith, is to allow Jesus to be Lord over your life!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Have you ever wondered why today's Church is becoming more and more impotent in its effort to win the lost for Christ?  We are not only reaching fewer lost souls, but those who once professed to believe in Jesus Christ, are leaving, are falling away from their commitment to Him.  Of course the Bible says that as we get closer to His Second Coming, this will occur, but I do not recall the Word giving a clear reason why.  The Apostle Paul wrote:
"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, highminded, 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).
And Jesus, Himself, had this to say about His return in Luke 18:8 - ". . . Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?" 

Perhaps the problem is that we have watered down the Gospel so that it has lost its power to save (Rom. 1:16).  We have the Gospel stated in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4: 
"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand . . . . 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."
But notice the only title given for Jesus is "Christ."  Is it possible that the Church needs to define exactly who the "Christ" is?  It does make a huge difference, since many false cults and even many denominations, fail to recognize Jesus for who the Bible says He is!  Jesus is:

     * "Lord" over seven hundred times in twenty-five books of the New Testament.

     * He is called "Lord Jesus" one hundred seventeen times in the New Testament.

     * He is the "Son of God" forty-six times in the New Testament.

     * He is both "Lord and Savior" four times; all are in 2 Peter.

     * Jesus is the "Savior" twenty-four times in the New Testament.

     * He is called "Master" over eighty times in the New Testament.

Jesus is to be worshipped and served; that too is part of the Gospel Message!

Monday, July 20, 2015


Matthew 27:43 - "He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now, if He will have Him: for He said, I am the Son of God." (Also Mark 15:39)
Matthew 27:54 - "Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God."
Mark 1:1 - "The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God."
Mark 3:11 - "And unclean spirits, when they saw Him, fell down before Him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God."
Luke 1:35 - "And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that Holy (One) which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."
Luke 4:41 - "And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And He rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that He was Christ."
John 1:34 - "And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God."
John 10:36 - "Say ye of Him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?"
Acts 8:37 - "And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."
Acts 9:20 - "And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God."
Romans 1:4 - "And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the (Holy Spirit) , by the resurrection from the dead."
Galatians 2:20 - "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me."
Hebrews 4:14 - "Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession."
1 John 5:12 - "He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."
1 John 5:20 - "And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life."
1 John 2:22 - "Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son."

Sunday, July 19, 2015


In Matthew 16:16-19, Jesus asked His disciples who they thought He was.  Peter answered by saying, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."  Jesus responded saying, "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven.  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Mt. 16 16-19).

So what did Jesus mean by that?  Roman Catholicism says that Jesus was officially ordaining Peter as the first Pope.  Protestants are quick to point out that the word translated "Peter" was the Greek Πέτρος (Petros), which is translated "Peter" 161 times, and "stone" (a small stone for throwing) once.  On the other hand, the word translated "rock" is the Greek πέτρα (petra), which is always translated "rock" (16 times - and it means "a large bolder or the foundation upon which one would build").

Like most passages in the Bible, if one diligently studies other related or similar texts, the meaning of the first is usually revealed.  This is true in this case, as well.  In Acts 1:8, Jesus tells His disciples that " shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea (Jews), and in Samaria (Samaritans), and unto the uttermost part of the earth (Gentiles)."  And, if we study the spread of the Gospel as it is presented in Acts, we find that Peter was present when the Holy Spirit confirmed that salvation was not only for the Jews, but was for Samaritans and Gentiles:

"But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:  for these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.  But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel:  And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:  and on My servants and on My handmaidens I will pour out in those days of My Spirit; and they shall prophesy" (Acts 2:14-18).

"Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the Word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:  who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:  (For as yet He was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)  Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost" (Acts 8:14-17).

"To Him give all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins.  While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the Word.  And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost" (Acts 10:43-45).

So, it was Peter who was the first to declare that the evidence of the working of the Holy Spirit in the Jews, the Samaritans, and the Gentiles, was proof indeed that they were all accepted by God as equal members of the Body of Christ resulting from their faith in the Gospel message!

Saturday, July 18, 2015


Acts 2:1-6 - God uses those who are filled with the Spirit
"And when the Day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.  And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.  Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language."

Acts 8:8-10, 31 - Those filled with the Spirit meet the needs of others
"Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, if we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by Him doth this man stand here before you whole. . . . And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spake the Word of God with boldness."

Acts 9:17-20 - Those filled with the Spirit obey and proclaim Christ
"And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.  And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.  And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.  And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God."

Acts 13:9-12 - Those filled with the Spirit will correct and encourage others
"Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, and said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?  And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.  Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord."

Ephesians 3:14-19 - To be filled with the Spirit is to be indwelt by the fullness of God
"For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God."

Ephesians 5:15-21 - To be filled with the Spirit is to walk in the joy of the Lord
"See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.  And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God."

Friday, July 17, 2015


Five times in the Book of Revelation, John refers to "the four and twenty elders" worshipping the Lord (4:10; 5:14; 7:11; 11:16; and 19:4).  The identity of the twenty-four elders is not specifically stated, which has led to much speculation as to who they are.  Some (very few) have suggested that they are angels who represent either Israel, the Church, or both.  Because they are dressed in white garments and are wearing crowns (4:4 - a description which is never said of angels), most commentators hold to their identity as being glorified saints from either Israel, or the Church, or again, both. 

First let me say, that if their identity was important, the Lord would have identified them.  That being said, I do not want to get caught up in a debate over it.  I prefer instead to present what can be gleaned from the context surrounding each of the five times they are mentioned.  In 4:4-11, they are clothed in white, they are seated around God's throne, they are in the presence of four "beasts," which seem to represent the four Gospels (see the footnote in Ryrie's Study Bible:  a lion - Matthew; a calf - Mark; a man - Luke; and a flying eagle - John) and because they each have six wings, it is likely they are seraphim, angels of God (Isa. 6:1-3).  Again, in 5:14, the four "beasts" are worshipping with the elders.  In 7:9-17, the four "beasts," the elders, and the angels of God, are joined by a great multitude who, we are told in v. 14, are the martyrs from the Tribulation. 

In 11:16-17, the elders, who had been seated, fall before the Lord God, and they worship Him.  And finally, in 19:1-5, the elders join the multitudes of heaven in praising the Lord.  We are also told that a "voice came out of the throne, saying, "Praise our God, all ye His servants, and ye that fear Him, both small and great" (v. 5)!  I wouldn't want to be dogmatic about this, but I believe that only Jesus is seated with His Father on the throne of heaven; it is totally consistent for Christ to focus men's praise on His Father (see John 17:1, 4, 6, 26; etc. for just a few examples).

There is one possible clue as to the four and twenty elders' identity; it is found in the Lord's description of the holy city, the New Jerusalem, in 21:12-14, which says:

"And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:  on the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.  And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb."   

The praise and worship of the four and twenty didn't get them saved;
they, like us, worship Him out of gratitude for saving them!

Thursday, July 16, 2015



         JN. 14:1-3; 1 COR. 15:50-51; 1 TH. 4:13 – 5:11; REV. 4:1


         ROM. 14:10-12; 1 COR. 3:9-15; 9:25; 2 COR. 5:5-10; 1 TH. 2:19-20;

         2 TIM. 4:8; 1 PET. 5:2-4; REV. 2:10


         DAN. 9:26-27; JER. 30:7; MT. 24:4-28; REV. 6:1 – 19:10




         MT. 24:29 – 25:46; REV. 19:11-16


          MT. 22:14; 25:1-13; LK. 14:16-24; REV. 19:9




          REV. 20:11-15


          REV. 21:1 – 22:5


           JN. 14:1-3; 2 COR. 5:8; 1 TH. 4:17

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


       "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him (the Rapture - Jn. 14:1-3; 1 Th. 4:13-18; etc.), that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand (the Second Coming - v. 8; Rev. 19:11-21; etc.).  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day (Christ's Second Coming) shall not come, except there come a falling away FIRST (the Greek ἀποστασία - apostasia - translated "forsade" 575 times and "falling away" once), 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 (Dan. 9:26-27; 11:31; 12:11; Rev. 13:1-10).  Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?"
       "And NOW ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.  For the mystery of iniquity doth already work (1 Jn. 2:18-22; 4:3; 2 Jn. 1:7-9): only He (the Lord GOD - Ezek. 31:15) Who now letteth will let, until He be taken out of the way.  And THEN shall that Wicked (One - Dan. 9:26-27; Mt. 24:15. Rev. 13:1-10; etc. ) be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth (Rev. 19:15), and shall destroy with the brightness of His (Second) coming:  even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved."

       "And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:  that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness (Rom. 1:18-32).  But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the Truth (Jn. 14:6):  whereunto He called you by our Gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ."

       "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.  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 (Jn. 14:1; 1 Th. 4:18; etc.), and stablish you in every good word and work (Rom. 8:28-29; Eph. 2:10; Phil. 1:6; etc.)."

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


"Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation (full payment of the price that satisfied our debt - Rom. 6:23a) for our sins.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.  No man hath seen God at any time.  If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us.  Hereby know we that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He hath given (Eph. 2:8) us of His Spirit (Jn. 3:3-8).  And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.  Whosoever shall confess (Rom. 10:9-10) that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.  And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us (Jn. 17:23).  God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.  Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world.  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment.  He that feareth is not made perfect in love.  We love Him, because He first loved us.
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?  And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.  Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth Him that begat loveth Him also that is begotten of Him (Jn. 3:16).  By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep His commandments (Mt. 22:36-40).  For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous. 

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.  Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?  This is He that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood.  And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.  For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.  And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.  If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which He hath testified of His Son (Mt. 3:17; 17:5; 2 Pet. 1:17).
He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made Him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son.  And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life (Jn. 3:15; 10:28; Rom. 6:23b; 1 Jn. 5:20), and this life is in His Son.  He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.  These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life . . . ." (1Jn. 4:10-5:13).

Monday, July 13, 2015


I was just sitting here reading the many posts on Facebook, and one of them was a testimony by a young man who "heard from God."  Being the skeptic I am, I read what "the Lord had said," and it reminded me of a few (you can count them on one hand) times that I "heard God."  I immediately changed my attitude, as I clearly know God is no respecter of persons - if He had spoken to me, a proverbial "no-one," certainly He could, and definitely would, speak to others!

"Hearing God" and "hearing from God," are not necessarily the same thing.  Born again believers "hear from God" many times during the day; we read our Bibles, we hear from other believers, we see the "hand of God working out His will" in our lives and the lives of others.  But "hearing God," is a totally different story.  I must confess that of the few times He has spoken to me, I didn't always realize it was Him.  He has said, "Jesus wept," when I was crying over the life of one of our children.  He has said, "As much as possible, get along with all men," when I was beating myself up over my feeling toward a fellow seminary student who delighted in being a "jerk." 

But not every "message" to me from God was a quote of Scripture.  Once, He said, "Turn to September second."  Again, it was a very difficult time in my life, and I had picked up my copy of Our Daily Bread for whatever solace it would give me.  It was mid-November, so I thought nothing of it.  Then I heard it again, "Turn to September second."  Thinking it strange that I was hearing a voice saying that, I decided to turn to September 16th, my birthday.  Again, a third time, I heard the same words:  "Turn to September second."  So I did.  WOW!  In my mind, I was immediately taken back to that September day that I lost control of my emotions during a Chapel service.  I sobbed uncontrollably, and had no idea why!  Now, here is November, was why!  The title of the devotion was "God's Love Softens Hearts!"  I remembered being bitter that I was in a liberal, almost God-less seminary, when I wanted to attend a solid Bible-believing school.  In that moment, I clearly remember having a change of heart; I couldn't wait to get back to class, and was even looking forward to next week's speaker:  A WOMAN!  Who would have "thunk it?"  Certainly not I!  The following week, the Dean of the School of Christian Services spoke, and believe it or not, her message answered three issues I had prayed earnestly about that very morning!  When I told her afterwards, she, a huge woman, gave me a "bear-hug" that about crushed my "larger than necessary frame!"

The last time I "heard God," it was in response to a call to become the Pastor of a small Kentucky rural church.  I was less than encouraged when my wife refused to move.  Waking up from an afternoon nap, I heard, "You go, and let her come on the weekends."  When I told her, she took a minute, and then said she could live with that; (having me out of her hair five days a week sounded good, I am sure - LOL).  I didn't even realize it was God, until I was relating the story to a friend on campus the next day (Dr. Kevin Cosby)!  That is when I realized the "voice" spoke in second person, or I should write it "Second Person."  He was telling me to GO! 

I haven't "heard God" since, and that is really sad!  However, it is wonderful to know that He is still speaking to "no-bodies" all around the globe!  Praise God for His voice, His Word, and His saving me by His grace and mercy!  Thank you God, for allowing me to know Jesus Christ is my Savior! 

Sunday, July 12, 2015


Acts 16:29-34 - "Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, 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 . . . . And they spake unto him the Word of the Lord (The Gospel - Mk. 16:15; Rom. 1:15-17; 1 Cor. 15:3-4) . . . . And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized . . . . And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, BELIEVING IN GOD . . . ." 

Romans 10:8-17 - "But what saith it? The Word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the Word of faith, which we preach; that IF THOU SHALT CONFESS with thy mouth the LORD Jesus (acknowledge Jesus as your Lord), AND SHALT BELIEVE in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, (THEN) THOU SHALT BE SAVED.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him.  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?  And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?  And how shall they hear without a preacher?  And how shall they preach, except they be sent?  As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!  But they have not all obeyed the Gospel.  For Isaiah saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?  So then, FAITH COMETH BY HEARING AND HEARING BY THE WORD OF GOD."

Ephesians 2:4-9 - "But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved); and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:  that in the ages to come, He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.  For by grace are YE ARE SAVED THROUGH FAITH; and that not of yourselves: IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD:  not of works, lest any man should boast."

So, what must you do to be saved? 

Saturday, July 11, 2015


Scripture tells us that in order for a Jew to get saved, he needs to see a sign; he needs evidence or proof that what is being said, is in fact, from God and therefore true (1 Cor. 1:22).  Because Jesus wanted His brethren, the Jews, to accept Him, He was constantly doing signs and working miracles.  John wrote:  "This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His glory; and His disciples believed on Him" (Jn. 2:11). In Peter's sermon on the day of Pentecost, he said, "Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by Him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know" (Acts 2:22).  And the writer of the Book of Hebrews wrote:  "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to His own will?" (Heb.2:3-4).

But what happens when the Jews ascribe the working of miracles meant to convince them that Jesus is the Son of God, to the power of Satan himself?  The answer is simple:  they are without hope!  In the passage below, Jesus healed a man through the power given Him by the Holy Spirit (Mt. 12:28).  When the religious leaders refused to admit that they were convinced Jesus was the Messiah, they literally called the Holy Spirit a liar!  Even worse, they called Him Satan!  Matthew 12:22-24 says,

"Then was brought unto Him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and He healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.  And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?  But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils."

Since it is the work of the Holy Spirit to convince man of his need for Jesus as his Savior and Lord (Jn. 16:8-15), and provide him with the new birth (Jn. 3:3-8), by rejecting the evidence that produces faith, the individual is guilty of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit!  Jesus said, "...All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.  And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come" (Mt. 12:31-32).
Later, when the religious leaders asked for still another sign, Jesus had had enough!  "...He answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:  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. 12:39-40).  They would get no other sign than His death and His resurrection!
"My spirit shall not always strive with man..." (Gen. 6:3)!

Friday, July 10, 2015


[Dan. 9:27] "And he (the Antichrist) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week (seven years): and in the midst of the week ("a thousand two hundred and three score days" - Rev. 11:3; or "forty and two months" - Rev. 11:2; or "a time, times, and half" - with a "time" being one year, or three and a half years - Dan. 12:7) he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate."

[Mt. 24:15] "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place; whoso readeth, let him understand."

[Rev. 13:4-17] "And they worshipped the dragon (Satan - Rev. 12:9; 20:2) 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?  And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.  And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.  And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.  And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.  If any man have an ear, let him hear.  He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints."
                        "And I beheld another beast
(the False Prophet - Rev. 16:13; 19:20) coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.  And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.  And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.  And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.  And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:  and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.  Here is wisdom.  Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six."

Thursday, July 9, 2015


     "And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats:  and He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.  Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  for I was an hungered, and ye gave Me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took Me in:  naked, and ye clothed Me: I was sick, and ye visited Me: I was in prison, and ye came unto Me."
     "Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying, Lord, when saw we Thee an hungered, and fed Thee?  Or thirsty, and gave Thee drink?  When saw we Thee a stranger, and took Thee in?  Or naked, and clothed Thee?  Or when saw we Thee sick, or in prison, and came unto Thee?"
     "And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me."
     "Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:  for I was an hungered, and ye gave Me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me no drink:  I was a stranger, and ye took Me not in:  naked, and ye clothed Me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited Me not."
     "Then shall they also answer Him, saying, Lord, when saw we Thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto Thee?"
     "Then shall He answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to Me.  And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."

Some observations:
1.  ALL nations would seem to include Israel, unless Jesus is distinguishing Israel from the rest of the nations by identifying them as "My brethren."
2.  This judgment occurs right after Christ's Second Coming.  Since the Church was caught up to be with Jesus prior to the seven-year Tribulation, these had to have come to faith during the Tribulation, perhaps from hearing the two witnesses (Rev. 11) or the sealed 144,000 Jewish witnesses (Rev. 7). 
3.  We know that the Word says "there is none righteous, no not one" (Rom. 3:10), and it is only through faith in God that righteousness is imputed unto a man (Rom. 4:16-22; Jam. 3:23; etc.); therefore, those who ministered to the Lord's brethren, did so because they had faith it was God's will that they do so!  They had come to faith in Christ!
4.  To reinforce the last point, notice that "the righteous" have eternal life!  "Eternal life" is mentioned 26 times in the Bible, and it is only offered to those who believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (Jn. 3:15; 1 Jn. 5:20; etc.)!

Remember what God told Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


Mt. 24:3-14 (Cp. Dan. 9:27a; Rev. Ch. 6 - 11)
[3] And as He sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be?  And what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?  [4] And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.  [5] For many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.  [6] And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.  [7] For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.  [8] All these are the Beginning of Sorrows.  [9] Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for My name's sake.  [10] And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.  [11] And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.  [12] And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.  [13] But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.  [14] And this Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
Mt. 24:15-20 (Cp. Dan. 9:27b; Rev. Ch. 12-13)
[15] When ye therefore shall see the Abomination of Desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)  [16] Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:  [17] Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:  [18] Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.  [19] And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!  [20] But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day.
Mt. 24:21-28 (Cp. Dan. 9:27c; Rev. Ch. 14-18)
[21] For then shall be Great Tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.  [22] And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.  [23] Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.  [24] For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.  [25] Behold, I have told you before.  [26] Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, He is in the desert; go not forth: behold, He is in the secret chambers; believe it not.  [27] For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.  [28] For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
Mt. 24:29-30 (Cp. Rev. Ch. 19)
[29] Immediately after the Tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:  [30] And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


There are three books in the Bible that provide us with an outline of what will happen following the Rapture of the Church.  Before I address them, I want to be very clear that the Church must be removed from the earth prior to the Tribulation beginning.  First, the Tribulation is described as being the "wrath of God" (Zeph. 1:15, 18; 1 Th. 1:9-10; Rev. 6:16-17; etc.), and Paul wrote of the Church, "...God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Th. 5:9).  Secondly, the Tribulation is Daniel's Seventieth Week (Dan. 9:24-27), or the "Time of Jacob's Trouble (Jer. 30:7), and the Church did not exist during the first "sixty-nine weeks" (Dan. 9:24-27).  Thirdly, the "types" of Noah and Lot both teach that God lifts those who are His, up above the destruction He intends to bring upon the earth below (Gen. 7:17; 19:30).  Other key passages also refer to the Pre-Tribulation Rapture (Jn. 14:1-3; 1 Th. 4:13-18).

The first of the three books is Daniel.  In Daniel 9:24-27 (cp. Neh. 2:5-8), we find that from the time of the decree of Artaxerxes to restore Jerusalem and the Temple (445 B.C.), until the time of the Crucifixion of Christ, would be "sixty-nine weeks" or 483 years.  The "seventieth week, "the Tribulation," remains to be fulfilled.  The Church Age, a mystery hidden from Israel (Eph. 3:9; 5:32; Col. 1:26-27; etc.), is a parenthetical period that has lasted nearly 2000 years, so far!

The second book which describes the Tribulation, the Book of Matthew, gives us more detail of the events.  In what has been called the "Olivet Discourse," Jesus expounds with more detail, a brief outline if you will, of the Tribulation (Mt. 24:3-29).  Notice that the sudden change found in verse fifteen, coincides with Daniel 9:27, where the Antichrist suddenly breaks his agreement with Israel.

Of course, the third book, the Book of Revelation, lays out the events from the time of the Apostle John, until the coming of the "New Heaven and New Earth" and Eternity!  The book is divided into three parts, as described in Revelation 1:19 - "Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter."  Chapter One describes the Glorified Christ, Whom John had seen during the Lord's earthly ministry (Mt. 17:1-8).  Chapters Two and Three describe the Church Age, as represented by the seven churches which existed during John's life.  Chapters Four and Five picture John "raptured" and his description of heaven.  Chapters Six through Eleven speak of the first half of the Tribulation, a period of exactly three and a half years (Dan. 7:25; 12:7; Rev. 12:14), forty-two months (Rev. 11:2; 13:5), or twelve hundred sixty days (Rev. 11:3; 12:6).  Chapters Twelve and Thirteen describe, in more detail, what was first presented in Daniel (9:27) and Matthew (24:15).  Chapters Fourteen through Eighteen present the "Great Tribulation" (Mt. 24:21).  Chapters Nineteen and Twenty give us a picture of Christ's Second Coming and His Millennial Kingdom.  The rest of Revelation introduces us to the New Heaven and New Earth, and beginning of Eternity.

The Word says God does not wish His children to be ignorant;
He has provided us with comforting words that "He's got this!"

Monday, July 6, 2015


Our God is so amazing!  Jesus told His disciples that His Father loved them, with the same love which He had for His Son!  In John 17:23, Jesus says, "I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me."  You and I know full well that we are unworthy, that we are sinners needing forgiveness, needing God's mercy.  And because we are unworthy, whatever good that God would do for us is pure grace - His unmerited favor!

The Father sent His only begotten Son to die for us because He loves us (Jn. 3:16)!  Jesus willingly offered Himself as our Passover Lamb (1 Cor. 5:7), just as Israel offered their sacrificial animals to cover their sins, and to restore fellowship between them and God (Acts 20:28; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14; Heb. 9:14)!  When we acknowledge our sin and our need of the Savior, the Holy Spirit gives us a new birth; we are born again (Jn. 3:3-8).  In addition, He takes up residence within us, to guide and comfort us (Jn. 14:17; 16:13).  Grace upon grace!

In addition, Jesus taught that the Father had sealed Jesus unto Himself; their relationship could never be broken.  John wrote:  "Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for Him hath God the Father sealed" (Jn. 6:27). 

When we place our faith in Jesus, the Word of God says that we too are sealed as His possession.  The Apostle Paul wrote:  "For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.  Now He which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest (a pledge or down-payment that the full amount will subsequently be paid)  of the Spirit in our hearts" (2 Cor. 1:20-22).  He elaborated on this awesome truth in his letter to the church at Ephesus:

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:  according as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love:  having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved.  In Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace; wherein He hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself:  that in the dispensation of the fulness of times, He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him:  in Whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will:  that we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ.  In Whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the Word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation: in Whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, Who is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory" (Eph. 1:3-14).

Sunday, July 5, 2015


Have you ever started your day out with a frustrating situation, and after it was over, realized that God had been kind and merciful even in the difficulty?  That is the way my Sunday started.  I usually leave home about an hour and a half before Sunday school, so that I can get a McDonald's sausage McMuffin and a large diet coke.  However, today I didn't feel I should follow my routine, so when I got in line at the drive-through, I decided to get an apple turnover instead of the sandwich.  Well, not only was the line extremely slow today, by the time I got to the "pay-up" window, the manager was there to tell me it would take eight minutes to get the turnover prepared.  He said he had put the item in the oven when he saw my order on the monitor, and I told him I literally had sat in the line for more than eight minutes already.  Apparently he hadn't already started the turnover as he said, because he gave me a "free meal card" for my inconvenience, and when I got to the "pick up" window, the lady said to pull around, and that when it was finished, someone would bring it out to me.  Believe it or not, I sat out front for at least another ten minutes before it arrived.  Then it happened.  When I tried to put the car into drive, it was dead!  Oh great!

Well, as I thought about what I was going to do, two young men who had been seated on the patio with their wives, came over and told me to pop the hood.  One told me that it had to be the alternator, because I apparently had been driving on the battery power.  He checked and sure enough, the belt that connects everything, was gone!  One of them said, if I went to Auto Zone and got one, he would put it on right there in the McD's lot.  When I asked if Auto Zone was open at 8 a.m. on Sundays, and one of the wives called them to check; praise the Lord, they were!  I borrowed her cell phone (I don't own one), and called my wife, who arrived about ten minutes later.  We got the belt, and they fixed the car. 

Afterword, I started thinking about my granddaughter driving it the night before; I thanked God it didn't break down for her!  I remembered that the long ordeal of my drive through experience, had caused the car battery to die while I was parked next to the patio where my "rescuer" were.  The had tools; they had a cell phone; they had kind hearts; they were there for me by God's provision!  Had I driven down the road on my way to church, I would have broken down with no cell phone; with no rescuers; I would have been in a mess!

As it was, I actually was only about ten minutes late for Sunday school!  I am so thankful that God protected me from being stranded.  I am so thankful that my granddaughter didn't break down; I am so glad that Auto Zone was open!  And although it cost me for the belt, and I gave the good Samaritans some money for helping me, I was able to do that because my wife went next door to the McDonald's to the Meijer store where our bank's ATM is. 

The moral of the story:  when lines are long; when cashiers have a difficult time figuring out how much change she owed me; when car trouble throws you off schedule; there is a reason!  I invited one of the young men to church because he told me he was looking for a good church.  God is good!  Everything He allows to happen in our lives, is for a reason - a good reason!  Praise the Lord!

Saturday, July 4, 2015


The star of Bethlehem, famous for leading the Magi to the young child Jesus (Matt. 2:1-11), appears to have been created on the day of His birth, although there is no proof of that. The fact that Gentiles recognized it as signaling the arrival of the King of the Jews, is a miracle in and of itself. There are some other details about the star that make it unique: its movement is described as having led them from the East to Jerusalem, stopping, and then moving south to Bethlehem. Because Jerusalem is only about five miles north of Bethlehem, the calculation of its precise position and the direction of movement are remarkable. We do not know how long each leg of the journey took, but their observation of it must have been over several months. And then, the fact that they were able to pin-point His home (Mt. 2:11), is beyond remarkable.

Many theories have been offered over the centuries, including calling it a meteoroid, also known as "a falling star" or "a shooting star." But meteoroids do not stop and start, nor do they make right-angle turns. Some have said it was the convergence of two or more planets, but they are incapable of those movements as well. I have not heard of anyone saying it was actually an angel, but it is a definite possibility. Angels are frequently called "stars" in the Word (Jud. 5:20; Job 38:7; Isa. 14:13; Dan. 8:10; Jude 1:13; Rev. 1:20; 6:13; 12:4). Angels are said to be bright (2 Cor. 11:14), and since angels were involved in the Nativity (Lk. 1-2), it is not all that unreasonable. It would explain the movement and the precise positioning.

The New Testament word translated "star," comes from the Ancient Greek word ἀστήρ (astér). Most are familiar with the word "Aster," as it is the name of a star-shaped flower, and an asterisk is a star-like symbol (*). The asterisk is used to call out a footnote. Typically, an asterisk is positioned after a word or phrase and preceding its accompanying message at the bottom of a page. I find it interesting that an asterisk acts as a "messenger" to alert the reader of additional information. The meaning of the words used for "angel" in the Bible, actually mean "messenger."

Regardless of what the "star" was, when it comes right down to it, it pales in comparison to the true Star that day. This Child born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:18-23; Lk. 1:26-35), was not only the center of attention on that special day, He is central to life itself. He created all that there is (Jn. 1:1-3; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:1-3). Notice in the Hebrews reference that He was the "brightness of His (Father's) glory, and the express image of His (Father's) person." Jesus is described as being the brightness of the sun at the Transfiguration (Matt. 17:2), in the vision of John (Rev. 1:16), and at His return (2 Thes. 2:8). After all, He is God (Matt. 1:23; Lk. 1:47; Jn. 20:28; Phil. 2:5-8; 1 Tim. 3:16; 4:10; Titus 2:10; Heb. 1:8-10; Jude 1:12; etc.), and God is Light (1 Jn. 1:5).
Ever wonder why some Christians need to "redefine" God's Word?

Friday, July 3, 2015


Written by the Apostle John (circa A.D. 95), the Book of Revelation consists of twenty-two chapters; these chapters reveal the vision revealed to him while he was exiled on the Isle of Patmos, a small island in the Aegean Sea, southwest of Ephesus.  According to Revelation 1:19, John's vision was divided into three parts:  John was to write what he had seen (Ch. 1); what was happening at the time of his vision (Ch. 2 & 3); and what was to occur in the future (Ch. 4 - 22).  John obviously recognized the glorified Jesus (1:10-18), for he had been one of three Apostles who had been with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration (Mt. 17:1-9; Mk. 9:2-10; Lk. 9:28-36).

In Chapters 2 & 3, the vision describes seven churches that existed at the time John was in exile.  They are described by how God views them, and at the end of each description, John wrote:  "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches" (2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22).  For those churches that needed to be rebuked, received it; the two which received only praise from the Lord, Smyrna and Philadelphia, were commended for their faithfulness.

Chapters 4 & 5 describe what John was shown in heaven.  Chapter 4:1 is viewed by many to be symbolic of the Rapture of the Church prior to the Tribulation.  It is important to note that John is present on earth during the first three chapters, but the rest of the vision is revealed to him in heaven.  Chapters 6 - 10 describe the first half of the Tribulation.  During this time, Israel lives in relative peace, according to the covenant they make with the Antichrist (Dan. 9:27; Mt. 24:3-15; Rev. 6 - 10).

But we also know from Daniel 9:27 and Matthew 24:15, that the seven-year Tribulation will be divided into to halves.  Revelation 12-13 takes place at the mid-point in the Tribulation (three and a half years; 42 months; 1260 days), the second half begins with the Antichrist's "miraculous" healing from a mortal head wound (Rev. 13:3), and he being empowered by Satan himself (Rev. 13:2-4), commits the Abomination of Desolation (Dan. 9:27; 11:31; 12:11; Mt. 24:15); that is, when the Antichrist (the son of perdition - 2 Th. 2:3, the first beast - Rev. 13:1-10) declaring himself to be god.  The second beast (Rev. 13:11-18), also known as the False Prophet (Rev. 16:13; 19:20), attempts to make all of humanity worship the Antichrist.

Chapters 13-18 describe the second half of the seven-year Tribulation, which ends with Christ returning (Ch. 19), and His establishing the promise Kingdom which will last 1000 years (Rev. 20:1-6).  During that time, Satan is bound so that he can not influence mankind, but after the 1000 years, he is loosed and persuades mankind to revolt against Jesus (Rev. 20:7-10).  Following the casting of the Antichrist and the False Prophet into the eternal Lake of Fire, God judges mankind at the Great White Throne Judgment; all whose names are not found in the Book of Life, will join the Antichrist and the False Prophet in the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:11-15)!

From Chapter 21-22, we get a glimpse of what eternity will hold for those who love and serve God.  Today, we are so close to the end of the Church Age, and the beginning of the Tribulation.  If you have not accepted Christ's offer of forgiveness for you sins, and called on Him to be your Lord, NOW is the time to do so.