Archive for May, 2023


Tuesday, May 30th, 2023

“Greater love hath no man than this, than a man lay down his life for his friends.”  John 15:15 (KJV)

On this first day past Memorial Day 2023, let us continue to express and exhibit our thankfulness for the sacrifices of ‘saints’ and ‘patriots’ who have delivered to us our heritage of ‘truth’ and ‘freedom’.  Let us pray for those who continue to maintain our freedom as we anticipate the arrival of our Savior and King, Jesus Christ.


Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023

“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”  2 Peter 1:3-4 (NIV)

The context of this church letter reminds and assures us there is more to come and that the gift of salvation and the expression of obedience through the water of baptism is not the conclusion of faith and faithfulness but only the beginning.  

With respect to the “very great and precious promises” (4) which God  has, both, authored and offered, there is at least one that should consume our attention.  The anticipated fulfillment of this same promise should also cause us to invest, both, our attention and energy in preparation for the time of its arrival.  When Jesus told the first church to “watch” (Matthew 24:42; 25:13), both times the focus was upon the time of His return:  “… since you don’t know what day your Lord is coming” (24:42, HCSB); “… because you don’t know either they day of the hour.” (Matt. 25:13, HCSB).  Both times the word “watch” is a command and, as such, obedience to the command is expected and should not be considered optional.  Since Jesus commanded the first church to “watch” or be watching, and, since, the command applies to the Lord’s churches today as He has not yet returned, then, we should be watching for the day of His appearing. 

There are a plethora of events, affecting the Lord’s churches and the nation of Israel, taking place at an ever increasing frequency.  There are signs which Jesus said would identify “the beginning of birth pains” (Matthew 24:8, HCSB).  At the same time, Jesus taught these signs would not be evidence of the arrival of the end:  “but the end is not yet” (Matthew 24:6, HCSB).  Although there is no way to know, with absolute certainty, if “the beginning of birth pains (sorrows)” has begun, and, if it has already begun how long, for what length of time, its events have been occurring.  Ultimately, the signs that clearly identify “the beginning of birth pains” will last right up until delivery – delivery of the great time of trouble known as the tribulation. 

This quickly approaching time of trouble is the fulfillment of the word of God through the prophet Daniel and is identified as Daniel’s 70th Week:

Daniel 9:24-27 (HCSB)

“Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city – to bring the rebellion to an end, to put a stop to sin, to wipe away iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy place. 25 Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince will be seven weeks and 62 weeks. It will be rebuilt with a plaza and a moat, but in difficult times. 26 After those 62 weeks the Messiah will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the coming prince will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come with a flood, and until the end there will be war; desolations are decreed. 27He will make a firm covenant with many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and offering. And the abomination of desolation will be on a wing of the temple until the decreed destruction is poured out on the desolator.”

Although there are numerous interpretations of this passage, the reality is that “seven weeks and 62 weeks”, or 69 weeks of 7 years each, have been fulfilled.  Regardless of your preferred interpretation concerning the remaining 1 week of 7 years, the point is that we need to be watching and preparing for the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Matthew 24:42-44 (HCSB)

Therefore be alert, since you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. 43  But know this: If the homeowner had known what time the thief was coming, he would have stayed alert and not let his house be broken into. 44 This is why you also must be ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

Back to the “very great and precious promises” to which Peter referred, here is what is at stake if we fail to watch and prepare:

2 Peter 1:10-11 (HCSB)

Therefore, brothers, make every effort to confirm your calling and election, because if you do these things you will never stumble. 11 For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly supplied to you.


Tuesday, May 16th, 2023

Although not a competition, some are going to be correct while others will be wrong.  Another, less popular, consideration is that everyone will be wrong.  So, what is the context for the conclusions?  Biblical prophecy – specifically the second coming of Jesus.  There is no doubt He is coming again!  Perhaps the most pressing question concerning His coming is, “When, exactly, will He return?”  Like you, I will quickly refer to the teaching of Jesus recorded in Matthew 24:36 “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” (KJV).  At the same time, the entire context surrounding Jesus’ statement addresses looking, or watching, to see signs and events that will clearly identify specific times, i.e. “… the beginning of birth pains” (24:8, HCSB), also, “… great tribulation, the kind that hasn’t taken place from the beginning of the world until now and never will again!” (24:21, HCSB).  Hopefully, we all agree that watching and continuing to study the Scriptures is of great, eternal, importance.

One of the coming events we are told about in the Scriptures, as was originally written “to the seven churches which are in Asia” (Rev. 1:4, KJV) is the arrival of “a beast rising out of the sea” (Rev. 13:1, ESV).  One of the details of this “beast” is that it has “seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns” (13:1, KJV).  John writes (13:3) that “One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal would was healed, …” (ESV).  This “mortal wound” which A.T. Robertson defines as “The stroke of death” (Robertson’s Word Pictures in the New Testament) is also applied to “the beast” in 13:12.  There are numerous details to be learned in, and by, the unveiling of the events shown and shared with John.  Since the “mortal wound” is applied to both “one” of the seven heads of the beast (13:3) and, also, to “the beast” itself (13:12), should we, or could we, conclude there may be a dual application to both a man – as an identifiable personality – and a kingdom?  Also, will “the stroke of death” (Robertson) be physical, or, perhaps, political?

No doubt you are familiar with the basic circumstances that have engulfed the country of Syria since 2011 with what is essentially a civil war.  The point of the following article by the Associated Press is not to suggest that Bashar al-Assad may be the Anti-Christ, but to chronicle the deliberate actions that will re-admit him and the country of Syria into the fold of the Arab League:

The following article in the Jerusalem Post addresses an additional invitation to Assad to attend a regional climate conference.  Please read past the speculation that climate change may be, in part, responsible for the civil war in Syria.  After reading the article several times you will probably conclude that world politics are as fickle as politics right here at home:

There was an election in Turkey this past Sunday, May 14 and the current President, Tayyip Erdogan, was not immediately re-elected.  There will be a runoff election later this month.  This brings about the questions, “What if Erdogan is not re-elected?” and,  “What if Erdogan loses but somehow returns to power?

Whoever the Anti Christ may be and whatever his kingdom may look like, the Scriptures teach us he/it will be empowered by Satan – “the dragon” (Rev. 13:2, 4) and the world will adore him (Rev. 13:4)

Let us be vigilant to watch to see, with the understanding of/by/from the Scriptures, the events that are prophesied to occur.  Let us be diligent to prepare for their arrival by studying and learning the Scriptures. 


Tuesday, May 9th, 2023

Jesus is coming back!  This is the truth because Jesus said it.  As recorded in John 14:3, Jesus said, “If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also.” (HCSB).  Since Jesus did “go away” to the presence of the Father, He will be coming back, again, because He said He will.  Acts 1:9 is a record of His “going away” into heaven, After He had said this, He was taken up as they were watching, and a cloud took Him out of their sight.” (HCSB).  So, based upon His own declaration, since He went away He will come back.  The truth of His return is also declared by the “two men …in white apparel” Acts 1:10 (KJV),“Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”  Acts 1:11 (KJV).  Therefore, Jesus is coming again.  By faith we believe what Jesus said because Jesus said it.  Based on the Scriptures, “… without faith it is impossible to please God,…” Hebrews 11:6 (HCSB)

As a student of the Scriptures you are, no doubt, familiar with Hebrews 11 and the frequently used phrase “By faith” which appears more than 15 times.  The testimony of their “faith” is described by their actions, deeds, or works.  Clearly, their “faith” in what God said directly and consistently influenced and impacted how they chose to live their lives.  The logical conclusion is that their “faith” in what God said produced an outward demonstration, or obedience, that conformed to and agreed with, their unwavering trust in, reliance upon, and adherence to the word of/from God. 

Here is the reality check:  should our faith and faithfulness be any different than theirs? 

Of those listed in Hebrews 11, the Scriptures declare “These all died in faith without having received the promises, but they saw them from a distance, greeted them, and confessed that they were foreigners and temporary residents on the earth.” (13, HCSB)

Obviously, we have not witnessed the fulfillment of the promise of Jesus to “come again” John 14:3.  But, we believe He is coming.  It is quite possible we are quickly approaching the arrival of the “last days” which will introduce the fulfillment of many of the prophecies of the Scriptures.  So, what will we do with our “faith” in the promise of Jesus to “come again”?  To use an illustration of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:15, will we hide it under a bushel?  Or, perhaps we will put in on a candlestick?  Clearly, hiding it under a bushel will not allow us to “Let your light so shine before men, …” Matthew 5:16 (KJV).  No one will ever know of the existence of our “faith” if we never do anything in response to it. 

There is no doubt our world is continuing to change.  We are witnessing an escalation of the events which Jesus described as “the beginning of birth pains” Matt. 24:8 (HCSB).  Within that same context, Jesus plainly declared, “but the end is not yet.” Matt. 24:6

So, while there is still time, opportunity, and need, what will we do in the midst of the quagmire of our first world problems?  Will we simply have “faith” in the promise of Jesus to “come again”.  Or, will do something with it, or by it?  Will we “by faith” share the truth of the message concerning the promise of Jesus to “come again”?  Will we stand, as did Paul – in the midst of the shipwreck experience – and say, “I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.” Acts 27:25?


Monday, May 1st, 2023

Matthew 24:3-8 (KJV)

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? 4And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 6And 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. 7For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8All these are the beginning of sorrows.

God, through the prophet Ezekiel, identifies the geographic region from which the land, and people, of Israel will be attacked.  In Ezekiel 38:15 the word from God, through Ezekiel, identifies the geographic location as “the north parts”.  Prior to the time of the attack against the land and the people of Israel, the events of which Jesus spoke will be taking place – Matthew 24:5-7.  A couple of those prophesied events should be catching our continued attention as we watch their continued escalation:  “war and rumours of wars” (Matt. 24:6, KJV).  One of the things Jesus did not address in His response to the questions posed to Him by those of the first called out assembly is ‘the politics of war’.  Why?  Because the politics will not change, nor deter, the prophesied attack against Israel.  Undoubtedly the Lord both knew, and knows, exactly what will happen between which countries in order to form a coalition of ‘ten kings’ identified in Daniel as “toes” (2:42-44) and, also, as “ten horns” (7:7-8)

The present politics and positioning of countries and their specific identified leaders, or rulers, may change any number of times and, quite possibly, result in some puzzling alliances.  However, none of these changes can change God’s Word.  God, through the prophet Ezekiel, has plainly stated that the land and people of Israel will be attacked from the north by a huge military force (Ezek. 38:14-16)

One of the political events that is scheduled to take place this week is the visit of the president of Iran to Syria.

There may be changes coming in Turkey.

Additionally, as strange as it may seem to those of us in our Western culture, the leader in Syria, Bashar al-Assad, has continued his rule of terror through the entirety of the civil war that began in 2011.  Now look what may happen.

So, who will be the face of the attack against Israel?  I wish I could tell you because that would mean that I know.  But please know that whoever is the face of the invasion, one of the more dependable ways to know, with a certain amount of assurance, of the validity of the coming attack and its timing will be a great earthquake:

Ezekiel 38:19-20 (HCSB)

I swear in My zeal and fiery rage: On that day there will be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. 20 The fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the animals of the field, every creature that crawls on the ground, and every human being on the face of the earth will tremble before Me. The mountains will be thrown down, the cliffs will collapse, and every wall will fall to the ground.

As always, regardless of the politics, it is hard to misunderstand, and misinterpret, an earthquake.

Revelation 22:20 (HCSB)

He who testifies about these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!