Friday, June 29, 2007


Our Bible is clearly divided into two parts, the Old Testament and the New Testament. Another word for testament is "covenant", so we can say that the OT is based on the "Old Covenant of Law", while the NT is based on the "New Covenant of Grace". Under the Old Covenant of Law, man's obedience to the law was the basis for man to enter into life, and fellowship with God. Several scriptures point this out, such as (Lev 18:5, Ezek 20:11, 13, Rom 10:5, Gal 3:12). However we know that since the fall of Adam, man has no ability to obey God because of our inherited sinful nature. In spite of what some modern psychologists and theologians would tell us, we know from scripture that humanity is inherently sinful and unable to become genuinely acceptable to God be trying to keep certain laws. (Eph 2:1-10). Many other scriptures say more or less the same thing like (Gal 6:14-15, Isa 53:6, Isa 64:6-7, Rom 3:9-12, 1 Peter 4:3, Rom 8:7-8, Mark 7:21-23).

Even though our old sinful human nature, inherited from Adam was crucified with Christ on the cross, the scripture makes it plain that we still have a "flesh nature" that will be with us as long as we live in these earthly bodies. And this flesh wars constantly against the Holy Spirit in the life of a follower of Jesus. However God has provided a way to have victory in this area of our spiritual life. Read carefully (Gal 5:16-26) and see how wonderfully God has provided for us!

Another passage of scripture that bears on this truth is found in Paul's letter to the Romans. In chapter 6, he makes it clear that our old sinful nature died with Christ on the cross, yet in chapter 7, Paul is very honest in his description of how the flesh nature works in his life, to try and keep him from doing the known will of God. We can all relate to his testimony, but praise God Paul goes on in chapter 8 to elaborate on the way to victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! This is really a description of the "New Covenant of Grace", as opposed to the "Old Covenant of Law".

With the introduction of this New Covenant through Christ, man is now able to make the transition from the Old Covenant of law, to this new relationship with God under Grace. Some Christians have taken this truth beyond what God intended, and live their lives as if God doesn't still have rules by which we must conduct ourselves in this new Kingdom life! This will require another study to consider the importance of a correct understanding of God's Grace in our lives.

Sincerely presented.


Wednesday, June 27, 2007


We know from various scripture passages that the resurrected Christ is now the Supreme Ruler over the universe. One such passage is (Eph 1:19-23), where not only is Christ acknowledged as head over all things, but the Church, being His Body on earth, is included in this position of authority. This is not just a philosophical, mystical, symbolic or institutional relationship but "organic unity". We born-again believers have an organic relationship with Christ because our source of life is in Him. The Church is not just an "organization" with Jesus Christ as President, but an "organism" which has our vital source of life "in Him"!

The type of unity that we should be seeing in the Body of Christ is therefore organic unity. This unity comes from the Holy Spirit, and is given to every person when they are born into God's family at the moment of salvation. In (Eph 4:3) we are encouraged to keep, or preserve the unity of the Spirit. We can only keep something that we already have, so it must be part of the gift of eternal life we receive at salvation. Later in the same chapter (Eph 4:11-13) we are told that these special ministry gifted people are given to the Church so that we may "all come to such unity of our faith". I understand that the unity we receive when we are born into God's family needs to be "built up" until it reaches the "unity of the faith". This would be an understanding of true "organic unity". It only comes with a certain degree of maturity in our Christian life, which in turn only comes from becoming a disciple of Christ.

In (John 8:31-32) we are told "you are truly My disciples if you remain faithful to My teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." Like so many promises in scripture this one is preceded by that little word "if", that always denotes the part that we must play in the equation. So we see the importance of becoming not just a "believer" in Jesus, but a "continuer" in His Word! This is the beginning of true unity in the Body of Christ, when each and every believer becomes a continuer, and understands the meaning of "organic unity", then we will begin to experience the real unity that we so desire to see!

Sincerely submitted.---Gramp

Monday, June 25, 2007


We read in (Col 1:15-20) about Christ being involved in the creation of everything. He is "the visible image of the invisible God", and "is supreme over all creation". Along with being the creator of all things, He is also the one who "holds it all together" (verse 17), and is also the "head of the Church, which is His Body" (verse 18). Thar surely qualifies Him as being supreme, in my estimation!

It would seem to be impossible to over emphasis the place of Jesus Christ in our world. And yet many people never mention His name, except as a swear word. It is now not "politically correct" to mention His name in public, especially in prayer, in case you might offend some followers of a different religious group. What ever happened to our religious rights? Since He is "the way, the truth, and the life, and no one can come to Father God except through Him" (John 14:6), and some day "every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Phil 2:9-11); it seems to me we should be able to acknowledge Him publicly! I believe that we, who are followers of Jesus, have been deceived into being silent too long on this important issue. It's time that the Church of Jesus Christ came alive to our responsibilities of being a vital witness for Him, and start to speak out in the public forum!

I read an article recently by David Wilkerson about the need for "trouble makers in the Church", like Paul and Silas were, as recorded in (Acts 16:16-40). They caused a riot in the city of Philippi, were locked up in jail, then at midnight they were singing and praising the Lord, and God caused an earthquake that shook them all free from their chains. It's a very interesting story that we should read often to encourage us as to the type of trouble makers we should be. I'm not suggesting we should become law breakers, but we could probably be a lot more "pro-active", and not as "passive", as we have been in the face of the ungodly forces at work in our country in the past few years!

If we believe all the scriptures that declare the supremacy of Jesus Christ, why don't we start to declare them to our public elected officials, and hold them accountable for the mess our country is in morally, socially, and spiritually. We need to speak out for the sake of our families!

Sincerely submitted.


Friday, June 22, 2007


Our world is literally filled with books of every type and subject matter imaginable, but I believe there is one book that is more important than all others. That would have to be the "Book of Life" mentioned quite often in God's Word. As I understand scripture, it is the record book that contains the name of every person who has ever been "born again" into the family of God. Check it out in your concordance, and see for yourself. The last mention of this book is near the end of the Bible, and clearly shows the importance of having your name entered therein! (Rev 21:27) This entire chapter describes the Holy City, New Jerusalem, that God will bring down from heaven, and locate it above the rebuilt earthly city of Jerusalem, to be His eternal abode. This verse 27 describes the inhabitants of that Holy City, and "nothing evil will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty---but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life"!

In (Rev 17:8) reference is made to the Antichrist, who will be persecuting the Church through the time of "great tribulation" spoken of by Jesus in (Matt 24:21-22). It is clear that he will be banished to "eternal destruction", along with "the people who belong to this world, whose names are not written in the Book of Life before the world was made, will be amazed at the reappearance of this beast who had died". Another scripture that bears on this topic is (Rev 13:5-10) which describes this Antichrist who will "wage war against God's holy people", and in verse 8 we read "and all the people who belong to this world worship the beast. They are the ones whose names were not written in the Book of Life before the world was made---the book that belongs to the Lamb who was slaughtered"! I urge you to consider these scriptures carefully, and be able to say without a shadow of a doubt, yes I know my name is written down in the "Lamb's Book of Life"!!!

This could easily be the most important question you will ever have to face in this life. Let me ask it to you, the reader of this article now. "Are you sure your name is written down in the Lamb's Book of Life?" Your eternal destiny depends on you being able to answer this "Key question" with a positive answer "YES!!" (Rev 20:11-15) can be a very scary scripture for anyone who doesn't know for sure that their name is there, because it ends with verse 15 "And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire"!! Remember these are not my words, I'm only bringing to your attention what God has recorded in the Bible for our eternal benefit!

Sincerely submitted.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007


We find this term used to describe certain people in all 7 churches singled out by Jesus to receive a special letter from John the Apostle (Rev 2 and 3). The word "over comer" refers to one who overcomes, or is victorious or a conqueror in a battle. From the context here in these chapters of Revelation, we can see that not all church members qualify to be classed as over comers. Scripture seems clear that salvation is a gift from God, given to everyone who confesses their sin of being separated from God because of the sinful old nature inherited from Adam. (Eph 2:1-10). Once we are "born again" into the family of God, we are all equal members in the family, but with different gifts and talents. The body of Christ is composed of many members with different roles to fill (1 Cor 12:12-31), and yet we are all one body. Our "standing" in the body of Christ is a gift that God never withdraws, in other words we are secure as part of the family of God "For He raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus", (Eph 2:6). However our inheritance in the Kingdom of God depends on our behavior as believers. When we read (1 Cor 6:9-11), or (Gal 5:19-21) we see clearly that the type of behavior listed will prevent us from receiving our planned inheritance that has been reserved in heaven for us. (1 Peter 1:3-5). Remember these letters were written to believers and not to pagans!

We are born into God's family, but we are "transferred" into the Kingdom (Col 1:13-14), these are not the same! In other words our position in God's family is not affected by our behavior, but our inheritance in His Kingdom certainly is. I believe this could be the answer to some believers becoming classed as "over comers" but not all. To be an over comer indicates to me that we have certain things that must be faced in our lives that demand a choice be made, If we make the right choice, we will be classed as an over comer, but if we make the wrong choice we could lose all or part of our inheritance that is being reserved up there for us. This should make us more conscious of our behavior as a believer, especially our attitude toward worldly activities. Do we have an eternal perspective when confronted with hard choices? Or do we let our apathy prevent us from getting involved in moral issues, like abortion, for example ? Maybe we need to check up on a few things in our lives!

Sincerely submitted.


Monday, June 18, 2007


We are often referred to as "human beings", and never, as far as I know, as "human doings"! Then why are we so consumed with doing, and not just being? This often crosses my mind when I hear constantly about how busy everyone seems to be these days. I often use that expression myself, usually as an excuse for not doing something I should have done some time ago. Since a very early age, we are programed toward "performance" orientation, usually with some form of reward offered for doing a certain task quickly and well! This stays with us into adulthood, and definitely affects our behavior. This same attitude towards performance follows us into our life as a Christian. We know from reading scriptures like (Eph 2:8-10) that we are saved by "grace", which is a gift from God, and not by any good works that we might do. Then of course after we are saved, God expects us to do the good works He has planned for us to do, long before we knew Him. This is all part of the "foreknowledge" of God, that He has a perfect plan for each of our lives.

The big question in my mind is, why do we believe that we cannot earn the right to become a child of God by our performance before salvation, but seem to believe that our performance after will please Him? I believe we need to take a hard look at this whole area of performance. Yes, we certainly are expected to be involved in good works after we receive Jesus as our personal savior, (2 Cor 5:17), and (Eph 2:10) make this very clear. But they are good works that God directs us to do, and not what we ourselves, or others direct us to do. I believe our Creator God has created each of us as unique individuals, and He knows what we are capable of doing, and would not expect more from us than He knows we should take on. He has given each of us His Holy Spirit as our teacher, comforter, and guide, to help us live the Christian life. It would seem the problem of being too busy doing things we think are important, is probably because we are not checking things out with Him before getting involved. I'm sure our life could be more stress free if we learned to listen for the still small voice of the Holy Spirit before we become involved in many activities we think are necessary. This is only a theory of mine at this stage, and I don't want to come across as if I have proved it out yet in my own life. Like many other scriptural principles, I usually can see them long before I start to put them into practice in my life! How about you?

Sincerely submitted.


Friday, June 15, 2007


Everyone needs some place they consider safe, where they can be themselves, and not be threatened by circumstances, or the actions of other people! In (Ps 91:1) we read “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty”. Here the writer of this psalm clearly states that such a “safe place” is available to all who will take advantage of the offer. Our Creator God makes this place available for us who have come to Him through His Son, Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Jesus stated this truth very clearly in (John 14:6) “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except through Me”.

God has always wanted to dwell with man on planet earth. He created earth specifically so it could sustain life, and then created Adam in His image, and after His likeness. (Gen 1:26-28) He placed Adam, and his mate Eve, that He formed from Adam’s side, into a garden with only one condition. That condition had to do with a command from God not to eat the fruit of one particular tree located in the center of the garden. There were two trees there in the garden, but only one that Adam was forbidden to eat the fruit of. This was called the tree of the “knowledge of good and evil”. In other words, God wanted Adam to look only to Him for his knowledge of what was good, or what was evil. For a time Adam and Eve lived at peace in this garden, and God would visit them in the cool of the evening, and they would have sweet fellowship together. Then one day God’s enemy, Satan, entered the garden and convinced Eve that they would be better off if they ate of this forbidden fruit, and become like God. By choosing to listen to Satan, and disobey God, they lost their innocence, and complete dependence on their Creator. This choice on their part introduced sin into the human race, which caused a separation from God and the result was expulsion from the garden.

After many attempts on God’s part to dwell with His created beings on earth, He finally sent His only begotten Son Jesus to our planet as the “Second Adam”, to redeem mankind, so He could once again dwell with man in peace on earth, so man could have a “safe place” to dwell in. We know from reading our NT that this “secret place of the Most High” is none other than the “body of Christ”, the Church that Jesus is in the process of building from His present throne next to the Father in heaven. One day soon, when His church is complete, He will come again to put an end to all traces of evil, and set up His Kingdom here for eternity! What a day that will be!! I trust you have found your “safe place” in Him! Sincerely----Gramp

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


One of the key points in the teaching that Jesus will rapture His Church before the last 7 year period, known as "Daniel's 70th week" (Dan 9:24-27), is that the Holy Spirit, who resides in believers, is the "Restrainer" mentioned by Paul in (2 Thess 2:7). This has been taken as a "proof text" to fit in with their theory of a "secret rapture". The Holy Spirit is defined by Jesus, as fulfilling different roles in the life of believers when He comes, but restrainer is not one of them! Check it out for yourself in chapters 14, 15, and 16 of the Gospel of John, where the words of Jesus are recorded. Depending on which translation you use, you will find words such as, Advocate, Comforter, Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Strengthener,----but not Restrainer. This role for Him has been added to scripture by those who are trying to prove that the Church will not go through the time of "great tribulation" at the hands of the Antichrist, during the last half of this 7 year period. Various scriptures clearly teach this, including the words of Jesus, Paul, and John, and yet these people invent a theory that attempts to prove their false teaching!

There is only one person mentioned in scripture, that I am aware of, who could fill this role of restraining evil until the time set by God to let the Antichrist start his persecution of Israel and the Church. That person is the archangel "Michael", who has been given the specific task of protecting God's people, as mentioned many times in scripture. The most important reference, relating to the subject at hand, would have to be (Dan 12:1), where he is confirmed as the one who protects the nation of Israel. At the middle of this 7 year period, we are told he will "arise", and then the Antichrist will begin his reign of terror against the people of God (Rev 13:5-10). The word here translated arise, or stand up, in most English translations could be translated as "stand still", since it is the same root word that is used to describe the miracle of the sun and the moon stopping, or standing still, so that Joshua and his warriors could complete the battle against their enemy. (Josh 10:13) By letting scripture explain scripture, we can often prevent being led into error by those who are trying to prove some theory.

Let's keep in mind that God must allow His Church to be purified, and changed from their present condition, before they are ready to be raptured! This purification can only come about through a time of persecution, such as much of the Church are already experiencing in other parts of the world! Why should God exempt the church in our Western world, and keep us from this time of persecution, that He has planned to make us ready to be raptured? That doesn't make any sense to me!

Sincerely submitted.


Monday, June 11, 2007


This is a very interesting word in the spirit realm, and very difficult to arrive at in considering spiritual things. Our world is made up of things that are created as opposites, such as light and darkness, hot and cold, right and wrong etc. The center point between two extremes could be considered the "balance point", and is often difficult to find. How easy it is to get out of balance if we put more emphasis on one aspect of truth than another. This is often done by well meaning believers when discussing topics such as prosperity or prophecy, or eternal security. We all like to think that our particular view on a certain subject is the correct one, and therefore all others must be wrong.

This difficulty in reaching a balance in spiritual things is complicated by the fact that we are engaged in a "cosmic war" between God the "Creator", and Satan the "counterfeiter". Satan cannot create anything, he can only try to corrupt and destroy things created by God. One of his tactics is to convince people that their point of view is always correct on any topic, and push them into some extreme position of "fanaticism". This is simply a position where truth is taken out of "focus", and a certain part of truth on a certain topic is believed to be the total truth. There is always two sides to an issue, and often neither one is based on truth. Jesus said "I am the way, the truth and the life" (John 14:6) and anything different than the truth expressed by Jesus in the scriptures cannot be true.

So to keep well balanced in spiritual matters, we must know what Jesus said about the topic in question. This can be known by depending on the Holy Spirit, who is given to us believers by Jesus Himself for that purpose. He knows everything, because He is God, and will gladly reveal the truth to us if we will take time to ask Him. So we have no reason to be out of balance on any topic, when our Creator God has made this provision for us!

Sincerely submitted


Friday, June 8, 2007


It seems several Pastors were discussing their favorite translation of the Bible. Each had their reasons for preferring one translation over the others, which were quite common. One liked his version because of its scholarly adherence to the Greek and Hebrew, while another liked his contemporary version with its up-to-date vocabulary. And so the discussion went with each giving their reasons for preferring their particular translation.

Finally one man said “I prefer my mother’s translation”, which surprised the others who knew she couldn't have been involved in translating the Bible. He went on to say “she translated it into life, and it was the most convincing translation I ever saw.”

This should give us food for thought, as we consider the year ahead of us. Will we spend countless hours discussing our favorite translation, or will we allow the Holy Spirit to help us “translate it into life”? Many people have never read any translation of the Bible for various reasons. Perhaps we could be the translation that they could read by watching the way we handle various life situations. The Holy Spirit was given to be our teacher, comforter, and guide (John 14, 15 and 16). Here the promise of Jesus is recorded, as given just hours before his death on the cross of Calvary. We know from reading the book of Acts, that this promise was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit came to be with us, and in us, as Jesus promised. Let's let him fill us and use us to accomplish this task!

I would like to challenge each of you to be like this Pastor’s mother and “translate it into life”.

When we take time to read God’s word,

Our hearts are filled with pleasure;

So let’s relate the truth we’ve heard—

With others share the treasure.---Hess

The best commentary on the Bible is a person who puts it into practice!!

Sincerely submitted---Gramp (based on a devotional from Our Daily Bread)

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


In a recent article by a well known Christian writer, he stated that in his opinion, all Christians could be classified into three groups. The first group, which is by far the largest, are people who see the sinful condition of the world around them, but consider it impossible to do anything about it. They simply hide behind their shelter of “apathy”, and pretend they haven’t really seen the sin and corruption. In this way they have learned to cope, and keep on living their mediocre “Christian” life style.

The second group of Christians is the near opposite of the first group. They see the sin and corruption in the world all around them and determine to do something about it. These are ones you see pounding pulpits or sidewalks, and raging at the depravity of the ungodly. Their motives might be right, but their methods show no love or compassion in the way they attack anyone even remotely connected to the sin. Their actions may result in correcting certain wrongs, but many potential believers are “turned off” by their methods.

There is however a third group who respond quite differently from the other two. They see the need of the culture to be transformed, but go about it in a completely different way. They see the need to be “conformed into the image of Christ”, so that their actions may be more “Christ like”. This group is much smaller than either of the other two. Throughout history these have been the real “world changers”, who have often been misunderstood and persecuted for their stand. The only thing that keeps them loyal to the cause of Christ is their “obsession with Jesus”. The word obsession means “to think continually about the same thing”.

The scriptures tell us that the name of Jesus” is higher than any other, and is worthy of our praise and adoration! We need to become obsessed with Him if we ever hope to be part of this third group. It seems perfectly clear that neither of the first two groups will ever accomplish God’s will in regards to the problem of sin and corruption in our world. Our only hope is to see this third group expand to the point where we can be a positive influence for righteousness in the world. My prayer is that many of you in your generation will rise to the challenge!!

Sincerely submitted.


Monday, June 4, 2007

THE END TIMES (part 5)

Another important topic regarding end times is the "Day of the Lord", mentioned many times in the OT, and often in the NT as "the day of our Lord Jesus Christ". The only place in the NT it is called the day of the Lord, is in (1 Thess 5:2, and 2 Thess 2:2) where Paul is explaining the rapture to the Thessalonians who had received some wrong teaching on this subject. So both in the OT and in the NT it would seem that this special day on God's calendar is one and the same day! This seems to our natural mind as being impossible, because how could the same day be one of blessing for God's elect, and yet one of judgement on the enemies of God? Yet if you check these scriptures out in Strong's Concordance, or Vine's Expository Dictionary, this is the conclusion you will come to!

How can a day be two things at the same time? Yet in every 24 hour day on planet earth we know it is daylight for some and at the same time darkness of night for others. It should therefore not be too difficult to understand that the day of the Lord can be something entirely different for God's elect people than it will be for the ungodly. Paul states clearly that we are not in darkness once we come to the light of salvation in Christ, we are then part of His "forever family", and will be treated much differently from those who choose to follow the Antichrist. If we consider the rapture from this perspective, it should make sense to us. The coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to rapture His "elect" from the persecution of the Antichrist when He "shortens the time for the sake of God's chosen ones" (Matt 24:22) could happen early in the morning of that great day for believers, and later the same day God could give His angels orders to begin pouring out the vials of His wrath on the unrighteous followers of Antichrist.

Is that too much of a stretch for your minds, that probably have been steeped in Pretribulation doctrine? It has not come easily to me I know, but once I had it explained to me, and I checked the scriptures for myself, it made perfect sense. I would encourage you to take your Bible and a good concordance, and spend some time checking out this whole end times thing, like the Bereans in (Acts 17:11) When this end time scenario starts to play out with the signing of this so-called "covenant of peace" between Israel and the Antichrist, which marks the start of Daniel's 70th week, you will then know what to expect next and have time to make the right choices!!

Sincerely submitted.


Friday, June 1, 2007

THE END TIMES (part 4)

Another controversial topic having to do with the end times is "the rapture". There are several theories that have been put forth, mostly in regards to when it will occur. The word rapture is not found in any of our English translations, but was borrowed from a Latin version, meaning "caught up", as in (1 Thess 4:17). There is no question that there will be a catching away of the true Church, who are called God's "elect", at a time known only by Father God.The most popular teaching on the timing of the rapture has been the one known as "Pretribulation Rapture", meaning they believe it will happen before the "great tribulation" mentioned in several places in scripture. This theory appeals to people because it would have the church missing completely the persecution at the hands of the Antichrist. The problem with this teaching is that there are no scriptures to support it.

As near as I have been able to understand the beginning of this theory goes back to a vision that a young lady had in 1832, in which she saw Jesus coming in the clouds to catch up the church who were ready to go. This became known as the "secret rapture", and when it was joined to the "dispensional" teaching that came along a little later, which claims that the church age must end before the "Kingdom age" can begin, the two teachings became the Pre-tribulation Rapture theory. This teaching has been made popular lately by a series of books and videos called "Left Behind". Another theory that has helped to foster this secret rapture is known as "Imminency", which means at "any moment", a thing might happen. There are many scriptures that show clearly that certain events must take place before Jesus can return to earth (Ps 110:1, Matt 24:14, Acts 3:21), are but a few of them.

I have written a separate article entitled "Until" that will be posted some day, that covers this topic more fully. After many years of studying this subject the theory I have come to believe, that fits all prophetic scriptures pertaining to the end times, is know as the "Prewrath Rapture" put forth by a man named Robert Van Kampen in a book called "The Sign". I would highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in this subject. For years I believed the Pre-tribulation Rapture theory, because it was the only one I had heard of, but once I was exposed to The Sign I could see the difference in the two teachings and switched.

Sincerely submitted