Archive for the ‘Deep Thoughts’ Category

The Cup

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

There is within us a “Cup”.

Why is it that so many Christians have trouble discerning the will of God? Why do they look more like the unsaved, godless society around them than they do the children of God? Why do they have such trouble when faced with worldly temptations and problems in life? The answer can be found by simply looking into this Cup within them.

First, let me explain how the Holy Spirit works in the lives of us mortals. The Holy Spirit was sent by Jesus after His Ascension into heaven to be our guide, our comforter, and the source of deep spiritual peace. The Spirit does all these things wonderfully well, but He does not do them in isolation. He most often draws from the resources we have put into our Cup. The fuller our Cup is, the more the Holy Spirit helps and comforts us. If the Cup remains empty, it is almost as if He isn’t even there because we have given Him little to work with. While it is true that the Holy Spirit is God, and that He needs nothing from us to do His will, it has also been my observation that He chooses to work in us and through us in a cooperative manner.

You see, it is our responsibility to fill the Cup with the Word of God – the Bible. That is what goes into this Cup. The more we read and hear God’s Word, the more we have stored those words in our Cup. When the problems and challenges of life come, and they will, the Holy Spirit within us looks into our Cup, and draws out the very verse, passage, or principle that we need to face that trial or situation within the will of God. If He finds the Cup full to the brim, He has all the resources He needs to keep us centered in God’s will. The more we can resist temptations. The more peace we will know because we can recognize God’s will in our daily living. But if He finds the Cup nearly empty, He will not bring to our mind things we have not stored previously.

So how full is your Cup? Do you keep it full? How often do you read the Bible?  How often do you turn to God’s Word for inspiration and comfort? What have you stored in your Cup for the Holy Spirit to work with?

The Marvelous Complexity of God

Monday, December 4th, 2017

Isaiah 55:9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Many people like to read a good book. One that has multiple plots, continually develops the characters, contains multiple unsolved mysteries along the way. A well written book holds your interest, and involves you in the story emotionally or in other ways.

The Bible puts all man-made books to shame in each of these areas. Consider a small sampling of the story threads in the Bible:

Creation: Spoken into existence in Genesis; The proof that evolution is a lie; Justification for not questioning God or his motives in Job; The basis for explaining who the true God is in Acts; The proof of God’s nature in Romans; The proof of God’s hand in sustaining all things in Colossians; and many, many more layers of the creation story.

Sin and Redemption: From the first sin in Genesis to the punishment for sin, to the entire narrative leading up to our Redeemer in the New Testament, to His death and resurrection, and ultimately to the destruction of death itself in Revelation, this is recognized as the primary story line of the Bible. But it is certainly not the only story line impacting human history.

The Unseen Realm: The Bible never says God was alone before He created the universe. The first words of the Bible say “In the beginning, God…”  But that is not speaking of God’s beginning. It is speaking of the beginning of the material universe. There is an entire thread of references throughout the Bible to the unseen realm of divine beings. Psalm 82 is one of the key passages opening the curtain to that which is unseen. Psalm 82:1 “God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:” The divine council and their activities appear all throughout the Bible and human history, a fascinating thread explaining where other gods came from. Yes, they are real beings. Yes, they are supernatural beings. No, they are not god, although men worshipped them and most still do. Yes, some of them mated with women and produced half-human, half-god beings. They are the reason God flooded the world in Noah’s day. They are the ones Jesus visited between his death and resurrection to declare his victory over them. Some will be released for a short time for the final battle. The interaction of the divine host with humans is one of the least recognized threads in the Bible.

Prophesy: From Genesis chapter 3 through the end of Revelation, prophesy is perhaps the most complex and intriguing thread in the Bible. God wrote prophesy as a complex unassembled mosaic – with many multiple pieces sprinkled all throughout the books of the Bible. Almost everything in the Bible is related to, or directly part of this prophetic mosaic. The individual pieces are mirrors reflecting events of each generation of man. But the true picture that the final mosaic depicts can only be seen in the generation when all the events line up with the mosaic. The Jews of Jesus’ time missed who he was because they were focused on the wrong picture of who he would be (not looking at all the puzzle pieces). Prophesy is like that. Every generation of man forms an idea of what the mosaic looks like based on the events of their time. But as the angel told Daniel, the visions and words of the prophesy were sealed until the time of the end. That is when the events being reflected in the Biblical mosaic will all form the entire image. We are living in that generation!

The Jubilee Cycle: In Leviticus 25, God establishes a cycle of 50 years: “11 That fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of itself nor gather the grapes from the undressed vines. 12 For it is a jubilee. It shall be holy to you.” This cycle spoke of forgiveness of debts and restoration to the original state of things. As another intriguing thread in the Bible, the Jubilee Cycle also measures the major events of mankind (ultimately ending in forgiveness and the restoration of all things). There were 41 Jubilees from Creation to Abraham; 41 Jubilees from Abraham to Jesus (Matthew Chapter 1); and there will be 41 Jubilees from Jesus to the Day of the Lord. That day is nearly upon us!

The more I read my Bible, the more humbled I become at the awesome intelligence, power, righteousness, and wisdom of God. I get a glimpse of how utterly foolish we mortals are; and I long for the day He puts an end to sin and death. Oh, what an incredible creation he has in store for us. Our only response can be worship!

What is Wisdom?

Monday, November 27th, 2017

Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

What is wisdom? If you read through Proverbs, paying attention to the references to wisdom, you begin to see that wisdom is tied directly to knowledge and understanding. When we begin to define those terms through the lens of the Bible, specifically Proverbs, then we can understand what God considers wisdom to be.

Biblical Dictionary Definitions:

Fear: Acknowledging that someone or something has power to harm you.
Knowledge: Knowing the text of God’s Word. Knowing that God exists.
Understanding:  Having a grasp of the principles contained in God’s Word.
Wisdom: Making each decision based on the principles contained in God’s Word. Bringing all our thoughts and actions into compliance with God’s principles.

The Fear of the Lord. We fear that which we think could harm us. We fear lightning. We fear the dark. We fear terrorists. Do we really fear the Lord? The fear of the Lord is more than a reverential awe – it is acknowledging our sinful state before the holy and righteous Judge, our Creator. It is understanding that we deserve temporal and eternal punishment for our sins. It is respecting God’s authority over us. The Bible has much to say about the Fear of the Lord. The proper perspective of who we are (fallen, sinful creatures) is the beginning of knowing God, and ultimately, living according to God’s wisdom.

Knowledge: When we become a Christian, we are likened to newborn babies. We have much learning and growing to do. Our spirit is like an empty vessel at first. The Holy Spirit is given us to help guide us through life. He uses whatever we put in that vessel to our benefit. The more of God’s Word we fill our minds with, the more raw material we give to the Holy Spirit to use at the appropriate time. A Christian who ignores the Bible has not given the Holy Spirit much to work with in their lives. The Christian who regularly spends time reading the Bible has given the Spirit a lot more to work with – to bring to our remembrance just the right verse at the right time to get us through life’s situations. Proverbs 1:7 says “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.”  Why? Because when we understand our sinful state before a righteous God, we will want to do what he desires. Therefore, we will spend time in His Word to learn what he asks of us. That is the step that gains us knowledge.

Understanding. As we read more and more of the Bible, the Holy Spirit enables us to understand the deeper principles behind the words and stories. We begin to learn more about our God and his character. We begin to see purpose and meaning to life. This deeper knowledge is called “understanding”. But even the “understanding” is not enough. We must also act on what we have learned.

Wisdom.  Knowing the principles and purpose of life, we begin to proactively base our decisions on God’s Word and those principles. This is wisdom. Wisdom is the practical application of all we have learned from our knowledge and understanding of God’s Word. Wisdom is all about living according to God’s will.

Quite literally, if you aren’t spending daily time in the Bible, you are cheating yourself out of the Holy Spirit’s counsel and guidance. Please make Bible time a top priority in each day, especially as the Day draws near!

To Be Like God

Friday, October 27th, 2017

When God made man, it was not like the other animals. Those he just spoke into existence. “Let there be… and there was.” But with mankind, he said “Let us make man in our image.” And he formed man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. No, we are not at all like the other animals.

Being made in the image of God includes this yearning to be like God. Adam and Eve first discovered this yearning when the serpent suggested they could “be like God, knowing good and evil.” Sin has at its root this desire to be like God, controlling our own desires and destiny. We become our own gods, doing whatever we think pleases us. Our culture is now controlled for the most part by Humanism. We can solve all our own problems. We can explain away the universe and how we got here without a Creator God. We don’t answer to anyone but ourselves: To Be Like God.

But the Bible paints a very different picture of being like God for those who are his children. In Romans chapter 8, we find these wonderful words of encouragement: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.  And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”

For the Christian, our desire to be like God means to be Christ-like, to reflect God’s glory. Sin seeks to usurp God’s glory.  Saint and sinner alike all desire to be like God. The difference is whether that desire is for our own glorification, or for God’s.

It is Starting!!!!

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

I strongly urge everyone to read the series of books by Joel Richardson on Biblical prophesies. Mystery Babylon: Unlocking the Bible’s Greatest Prophetic Mystery; Mideast Beast: The Biblical Case for an Islamic Antichrist; The Islamic Antichrist: The Shocking Truth about the Real Nature of the Beast; and others.

When I got to college, I became completely fascinated in Biblical prophesies about the 2nd coming and all the events leading up to it. I read everything I could get my hands on from numerous authors and varying viewpoints. I read through Daniel, Isaiah, and Revelation trying hard to grasp what the Lord was telling us. I prayed that I might be allowed to be one who was “changed in the twinkling of an eye” to be “caught up with the Lord in the air”. I believed at that time that our Lord would return during my natural lifetime.

But there were conflicting interpretations that continue to this day. Many agreed on a basic outline of events, but disagreed wildly on the timing of events, such as the “rapture”. Authors would tell why their theory was “right” and someone else’s was “wrong”. But I could never resolve which was which by my own studies. I finally gave up trying because I realized that the Lord’s admonition to Daniel still applied to us today: “seal up the vision, it concerns the distant future.” Dan 8:26
I realized that no one would understand the prophesies until the Lord revealed them to the generation that would live through them.  Jesus told his disciples, “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.” Matthew 24:34

Bible scholars are now reaching a consensus that previous ideas of a “Roman” antichrist are wrong.  “Gog” does not refer to Russia, but to Turkey. All the prophesies of the Old Testament refer to the same sequence of events, each shedding more light on the big picture. Revelation is the restatement of the Old Testament prophesies, but with even more detail. All the nations that God will judge as described in the various prophesies are consistent with each other, and every single one of them is an Islamic nation surrounding Israel.

Understanding the big picture, we are now able to watch the world events unfold and not be surprised or alarmed. God’s plan is unfolding right before our very eyes. The results of World Wars I and II have shaped the Middle East to the exact set of conditions as predicted in the Bible. The influx of Islamic radicals into western nations is not happenstance. Clinton’s Iran Deal sets the stage for the Ram vs Goat battle of Daniel 8 between Iran and Turkey. Expect Iran to attack to the west in the next few years, followed by a counter attack from Turkey. This begins a series of battles that will culminate in the taking of Jerusalem. The recent elections in Turkey eliminated any hint of democracy in that country, and turned almost total power over to their radical Islamic leader, Erdogan, who will certainly play a leading role in these wars. The Antichrist will most certainly be Islamic, portrayed as their long-awaited messiah.

Joel’s books are very thorough in their analysis of the prophesies as matched to current world events. At the same time, he explains why other interpretations fail at multiple points of the prophesy.

The Resurrection: The Turning Point in History.

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

We are now in Holy Week, remembering the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. That one event turned the entire world on its head. Everything changed after Christ rose from the dead.

Think about it. Without the Resurrection there would be no New Testament. There would be no church. There would be no Christians of any kind in the world. We Christians don’t believe the Resurrection happened because the New Testament says it happened. The New Testament was written because there was a real event – Jesus Christ rose from the dead, proving to an entire generation that He has power over death! The disciples would not have dared to come out of hiding had there been no Resurrection! They would not have written the New Testament had there been no Resurrection. Caesar would not have issued a proclamation for people to stop robbing Jewish tombs had there been no Resurrection. There would be no godly Gentiles throughout history, to include you and me. No Reformation. No force for true “good” in the world.

Subsequently, there would be no Church, no Christians, nor any of the many beneficent things we have from Christianity: hospitals, missions, a moral compass for society. Without the Resurrection, Jesus would have been forgotten in history. America would not have arisen as a world power based on our Christian morals.

Let that sink in. The Resurrection was THE turning point in history.

Hallelujah! Christ is Risen! He is risen indeed!


It’s Getting Interesting

Monday, March 27th, 2017

I know that you can’t believe everything you read on the Internet, or on Facebook. However, I follow an Israeli news outlet online, and a couple of recent articles indicate that we are getting very near the time of the end. Bible prophesy (100% accurate so far in history) declares that when the Antichrist sets up his image in the Holy of Holies (the abomination that causes desolation), the end will come swiftly.  Well, in order for that to happen, there must first be a Holy of Holies set up, meaning the Temple must be rebuilt.  Obviously, this would cause a world-wide stir, since there is a Muslim mosque (the Dome of the Rock) on the Temple mount, where the outer court of the Temple would be. I believe a temporary truce is coming where the Jews are allowed to build their temple – minus the outer court. (Revelation 11: 1-2: I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, “Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, with its worshipers.  But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles.”) This truce would allow the Temple and the Mosque to coexist on the Temple Mount.

Besides the world political climate, one thing has stood in the way of rebuilding the Temple: no one has seen the Ark of the Covenant in over 2000 years.

So here is where these two news articles shed light on the nearness of the final days.  The first article claims that two very senior rabbi’s have indeed seen the Ark in a hidden room underneath the original Holy of Holies.  It will only be brought out when there is a place to take it (i.e. the new Holy of Holies).

The second article claimed that high ranking Israeli ministers are now calling for the Temple to be built, saying the time has come.

It’s getting interesting over there, folks!

Keep Praying, America!

Monday, March 13th, 2017

Our God is a great God! He has created and continues to sustain everything that exists. Nations rise and fall by His will. He has allowed evil in the world so that we can see our need for Him, and to separate those who are with Him from those who are against Him. He is perfectly just, perfectly loving, and perfect in all ways. His ways are so much higher than our ways, we struggle to imagine what His true nature is like.

We hear it in the news all the time: against all odds, Trump was elected. Although he supposedly had less than a 2 percent chance of winning, he won. Although the entire liberal world was against him, he won. Although the media lied and slandered their way through the entire election cycle, he won. Although the Republican establishment was against him, he won. Although his opposition garnered millions of illegal votes against him, he won. Mr. Trump was not a perfect candidate by any measure. He was rude, he was politically inexperienced, he was a bully – intentionally insulting his opposition, both within his party and in the other party – yet, he won.  How do you explain what many see as unexplainable?

I believe a large part of Mr. Trump’s success was a direct result of prayer. Millions of decent, hard-working people prayed, and then they voted. They appealed to our Almighty God to save our nation from the ravages of those who have thrown God out of our nation and our society. Millions of people have prayed based on 2 Chronicles 7:14: “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

The liberals’ numerous attempts to discredit Mr. Trump and his election have all seemingly backfired. They demanded recounts. The result was more votes for him. They made a big push to have the electoral college go against him, resulting in more votes lost for Mrs. Clinton. They have mounted a sustained attack claiming the Russians helped him win the election. After four months of intensive effort, not one single shred of evidence has been found, yet reports are surfacing that it was the Democrats in bed with the Russians. How do you explain every single attack hurting the attackers?

These attacks on Mr. Trump are like the attacks of David’s enemies: “They spread a net for my feet— I was bowed down in distress. They dug a pit in my path— but they have fallen into it themselves.” (Psalm 57:6). Indeed, God has set a principle in place: Proverbs 26:27: “Whoever digs a pit will fall into it; if someone rolls a stone, it will roll back on them.”  Not that Mr. Trump is as holy or righteous as David, but he is God’s instrument to bring decency and leadership back to America. We would do well to recognize that fact, acknowledge that “all authority is established by God” (Romans 13:1), and pray for God’s protection and guidance for our new President and his administration.

We must continue to pray! We must not become complacent ever again. The forces of evil are fighting desperately to rid the world of our Christian influence. Real demonic forces are waging war against us. We know that someday, there will be a one-world government and financial system. But it doesn’t have to be in our generation! God is patiently waiting for “the full number of saints” before he comes again. Let us pray and work to bring as many as possible into the family of God.



What’s Really at Stake

Monday, March 6th, 2017

The Bible clearly reveals that the end times will be characterized by a one-world government and a one-world finance system. We aren’t there yet, but we are rapidly screaming down the tracks to that inevitability. Take a look around the world – listen to the news and bounce that news off of Daniel and Revelation.

BREXIT, or the British exit from the European Union was fueled by a groundswell of British nationalism from those who were sick and tired of the globalization of Great Britain. Prime Minister Merkel of Germany has recently backtracked on her liberal ideas of globalizing Germany because she sees the harm being done by their attempt at de-nationalizing their society.  President Trump was elected for the very same reason. Enough Americans were sick and tired of the devaluation of American citizenship, the globalization of industry and commerce, and the loss of national sovereignty, that they rose up across the nation to throw off those who would globalize the world.

The whole idea of “open borders” is necessary for all nations to find a common ground, a common faceless society free from national pride, in order to form a one-world government. The beast is waiting in the wings, and quite possibly is alive today, just waiting to be revealed.

This generation of 40-somethings and above, who have pushed back against this tide of globalization will soon be too old to make a difference. The younger generation that clearly seeks a socialist, borderless society will throw the doors to America wide open and the beast will waltz in on the resulting geo-political-financial disaster that will bring the world to its knees.  I can see it as plainly as reading the morning newspaper.

I may not see the second coming of Christ in my lifetime, but it will most certainly be shortly thereafter.

The Difference between Conservatives and Liberals

Friday, January 6th, 2017

Conservatives believe that man is inherently evil. We don’t teach our kids to be bad – they are bad instinctively. We work for years to teach them how to be good. Man is naturally rebellious toward God. Man is naturally self-centered, greedy, and always “looking out for number 1”. You have to be born again (spiritually) in order to break the cycle of perpetual evil in your thoughts, words, and deeds.

Liberals believe that man is inherently good. We don’t need a God to make us good. We have no need for God. We are our own ultimate authority, and we can solve all our problems ourselves. Liberals who say they believe in God don’t believe in the same God that conservatives believe in. Or at least, they don’t accept God’s authority over them.

Liberals believe we can set our own rules. Conservatives acknowledge God’s rules for right living. Liberals don’t believe in absolute truth; conservatives do.

So the difference between conservatives and liberals is how we view our relationship with God. And that, my friend, is the crux of all socio-political strife in our world.