A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

May 25, 2022

Can We Keep The Republic?


As an American who understands the founding covenant we made with God over this land, I have always been proud of our history of liberty and freedom. From the first blog post I wrote in December of 2011, to this very day, I have always applauded what this country stood for. I recognize our faults and sins, and I sincerely grieve over our history where we have strayed from the righteous path. But I know there is a spirit that exists in this nation that believes in the fundamental rights of men and women to forge their own destiny. That spirit of Liberty and Freedom comes from God, Himself, and no matter how hard the forces of darkness try to extinguish the flame of independence that ignites this country, it must never be stamped out. 

But it is that very flame of Freedom that the anti-Christ spirit is attempting to smother. I am sure you are well aware that there are those who have been placed in power that believe that the Constitution and the goals of the Founding Fathers for this nation are no longer relevant. They will say that things have changed since white slave-holders determined the form of government we would have. The Constitution should change or be declared invalid. And then there's the comment by Benjamin Franklin, the Pennsylvania delegate to the Constitutional Convention ... as he was leaving Independence Hall, where a crowd had gathered to hear what kind of government the newly formed United States of America would have, a woman approached Franklin and asked, "Well, Doctor, what do we have, a republic or a monarchy?" Franklin replied, "A republic, if you can keep it."

Even Franklin recognized that a form of government "of the people, by the people, and for the people" was a radical idea that had never before succeeded in history. He knew, as did all the Founding Fathers [who had classical educations] that the lessons learned from the Greek and Roman empires proved that a republic is a fragile form of government, easily capable of lapsing into tyranny. So they wrote a Constitution that was described by John Adams as "made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other". Do we still fit that description? There are days I have my doubts, and therefore, it is truly a fragile document upon which our Freedom rests.

As author Eric Metaxas so eloquently writes in his book, If You Can Keep It, “So by itself the Constitution could do very little. What it promised would require the efforts of all those who thenceforth called themselves Americans. It was they who must keep it, the republic and the grand and noble promise of that republic. That is the wonderful, spectacular genius of it all, and the terrible, sobering danger of it all, too. The document and the men who created it put these unimaginably great and fragile things in the hands of the people. So these things—still unimaginably great and fragile—are in our hands now, this minute. We are ourselves, this moment, the keepers of the flame of liberty and the ones charged by Franklin and the other founders and by history past, present, and future with the keeping of this grand promise to the world.”

So, how are we doing at keeping this promise of Liberty and Freedom alive? Here is a quote from then Congressman Ron Paul that I included in a 2012 blog post: "Everyone claims support for Freedom. But too often it’s for one’s own freedom and not for others.  Too many believe that there must be limits on freedom. They argue that freedom must be directed and managed to achieve fairness and equality thus making it acceptable to curtail, through force, certain liberties.  Some decide what and whose freedoms are to be limited.  These are the politicians whose goal in life is power." Congressman Paul also said this, "Our Constitution, which was intended to limit government power and abuse, has failed.  The Founders warned that a free society depends on a virtuous and moral people.  The current crisis reflects that their concerns were justified." Here we are ten years later, and I fear that his concerns have borne fruit and are flourishing. Are we doomed to experience what John Adams wrote to his wife in 1775? ... "A Constitution of government once changed from freedom, can never be restored. Liberty once lost is lost forever".

Then there is the matter of our Economic Freedom. Let's consider the three principles that the Declaration of Independence states are "endowed by our Creator: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness." Life is certainly under assault as the issue of abortion divides our land. Liberty, as the right of citizens to be free [within society] from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one's way of life, behavior, or political views is also being threatened. But what was meant by "Pursuit of happiness?" To early Americans this phrase was known to represent the individual right of every free citizen to own property and pursue a living.  That was "Happiness", and Americans knew it was ours, by the grace of God.

But perhaps more than any other principle, it was the Rule of Law that the Colonists cherished the most.  And the Cato Institute's 2014 Annual Report on The Index of Economic Freedoms sheds an unflattering light on just how much we have neglected that standard.  Per the report, "Protection of persons and their rightfully acquired property is a central element of economic freedom and a civil society. Indeed, it is the most important function of government. The key ingredients of a legal system consistent with economic freedom are rule of law, security of property rights, an independent and unbiased judiciary, and impartial and effective enforcement of the law." That report was issued 8 years ago! Can we truly say that any of these key points are being effectively administered? Our ability to procure happiness among a civilized populace depends on the rule of law to protect us in all avenues of life, including our ability to pursue economic freedom. But the forces of economic chaos [inflation, food supply shortage, higher gas prices, etc.] are threatening the security of all Americans.

It is plain to see that in the nearly two-and-a-half centuries this country has existed, malevolent forces have battered our walls of freedom.  The Republic has so far managed to survive threats from Communism, Socialism and Progressivism; although all have managed to erode the original vision of Ben Franklin and his contemporaries. And it is not hard to see that the wall of freedom is disintegrating as we stand and watch. If you can keep it .... Did they know we would let it slip away?  But could they also conceive that there would be those of us who would recognize that what they accomplished was worth standing for; and that their vision would still burn in the hearts of patriotic souls?  I think Franklin's reply was a subtle warning ... our freedom was not, and is not, guaranteed.  

The Founders knew that men and governments would endeavor to increase their power and control at the expense of our individual freedom because freedom is not the natural state of the world.... But, if, as I suspect, the "Spirit of '76" still exists in our DNA, then I set my sights on the day that we can once again proclaim, as did Oliver Wolcott, a signer of the Declaration of Independence 246 years ago, "It is most evident that this land is under the protection of the Almighty, and that we shall be saved not by our wisdom nor by our might, but by the Lord of Hosts Who is wonderful in counsel and Almighty in all His operations."

 Our Republic has never been more fragile. I pray that God will raise up leaders that return to His will for this country, and that He has not given up on us. I encourage my fellow citizens not to lose faith that He will answer our prayers as we storm Heaven to help us keep the Republic. I still believe this land is under the protection of the Almighty and we definitely won't be saved by our wisdom, but by God Himself! And, by God, we have not lost the republic yet!

1 Peter 2:16     "[Live] as free people, [yet] without employing your freedom as a pretext for wickedness; but [live at all times] as servants of God."

Having lived near Uvalde, TX for 7 years, and having many dear friends who live there, my heart is grieving for the latest tragedy in which so many children, along with their teachers died. I am gathering my thoughts and want to be intentional [not rushing] on my comments before I post. Stay tuned... 


May 22, 2022

A Letter To The Next Generation


My husband and I had a conversation this morning about what the future looks like and how concerned we are for the next generation -- on so many levels. We feel blessed to have lived in this country and to have experienced the height of prosperity and innovation that few citizens of the world have known. We are old enough that we have heard what "hard living" looks like from our grandparents who experienced the Great Depression and an attack on our homeland. We can at least understand that the "American Dream" [that everyone has the opportunity to achieve their version of success by working hard] is under threat, and that we can no longer take for granted that it will exist for the coming generations. We are also well aware that the Founder's idea of the "American Experiment" is on the verge of collapse; an experiment that believed a nation of people could govern themselves without need of a ruling or privileged class; that we are born with unalienable rights that are not granted by a government, but inherently endowed within each being by a divine Creator.

Are these ideas that the Millennial Generation and Generation Z comprehend? Do they understand how important it is that they know these historical concepts and why they are significant in defining their freedoms and future? Sadly, I would suggest that being the recipients of modern technology, many have been seduced into measuring the boundaries of opportunity and success by whatever the social media giants have told them is acceptable. Their ignorance of world history is setting them up to become slaves to a system that will crush any idea of innovation, individuality, originality, or "blazing your own path" -- all characterizations of the American spirit. Generation Alpha (born in the early to mid-2010s) will be our last chance to retain this distinct persona. But being the tech-savvy children born to Millennials, they have been subject to our corrupt educational system who has done everything in its power to destroy the unprecedented American identity. And it is to these latter generations that I wish to address a letter of counsel and admonition...

To The Next Generation(s):

I hope you are able to consider my words as more than the ramblings of what you most likely consider "an old woman". I understand that tendency; I, too, used to think that those of previous generations were outdated, irrelevant, and unsophisticated in the ways of "the modern world". But I have had the opportunity, as I have advanced in years, to understand that what they imparted to me was worth more than I ever imagined it could be. Because they taught me values and skills that we are in desperate need of in this "modern" world -- values such as personal responsibility, moral obligation, character, and faith. And I learned skills that I thought were "old-fashioned", but I now perceive will be virtually life-saving as we enter an alarming phase of our national and world experience -- skills such as knowing how to grow food, how to preserve food, how to light a fire, basic first aid, how to sew and repair clothes, how to repair machinery, how to read a map or compass. 

You may think that none of this applies to you... you don't need to know how to do any of these outdated practices, because all you have to do is pick up your cell phone and there's a YouTube video that will instruct you how to do it; and that's only if you are unable to hire someone to do it for you. But, sadly, you need to know that you are only one EMP, solar flare, or grid-down scenario away from being stripped of the advantages of that mini-computer in your hand. All the benefits of modern technology will be gone in an instant. Imagine how you would fare if you were suddenly living in the 19th Century, because that's what it will be like.

And have you considered how foreign oppression might affect your life? If you haven't, you should. All the efforts of the global elite to put the governing powers of individual nations into the hands of international organizations has resulted in the loss of national sovereignty. There is a growing trend towards globalization as a means to dismantle and control independent self-government. That's a wordy way of saying that the freedoms you have enjoyed and taken for granted are slowly dwindling away. And while you, the younger generation, boast of being more accepting of diversity, globalization actually threatens cultural diversity by drowning out some cultures, local economies, and discouraging development of culture-specific ideas. Globalization affects trade throughout the world, and in seeking lower production costs in order to be competitive in the global market-place, companies are reducing labor staff or replacing them altogether with robots, so that job insecurity is a real worry among your generation. And then there is the very real issue of cyber security. The internet has been a wonderful invention for all kinds of reasons, but it has also increased the threat of identity theft. Our lives are subject to interference and intrusion by uncontrolled entities. 

I know that you may be thinking that I don't know what I'm talking about, but there is one axiom that I hope you hear, if you don't consider anything else I've said, and it is this: "Those who don't learn from history, are doomed to repeat it". As hard as it may be for you to comprehend, you are no smarter or more creative or better capable of leading than any generation since the creation of the world. Why? Because human nature is what it is. From the Garden forward, generations of human beings have chosen [out of their own free will] to abandon the knowledge of God and gratitude for what He has done for us, His creation. When that happens, we look only to ourselves for our preservation and prosperity. Each generation is willing to criticize the one before it for its failings, but they don't learn from those mistakes. Instead, every generation, out of pride and self-importance seeks to increase their power, status, and wealth over the previous one, without the benefit of counsel and guidance from God.  When that is the path generations take, the history of the world has shown us that humans will devour each other in endless patterns of prosperity and war. 

So, I hope you will take a good hard look at the state of this nation and the world at this date in time; in your generation. Take the time to study history and note the differences between times of peace and prosperity, and times of war and destruction. Learn from the mistakes of my generation and all the ones that have come before. What does your generation plan to do to change the directory of the patterns of history? It is clear to me that the world is approaching a climactic event that can either redeem it or destroy it. Are you ready? Do you know the One who can determine that outcome? That is the most important and consequential decision you can make for your future. You must decide where your hope lies, because your future, and the existence of future generations depends on it.

Deuteronomy 32:7  Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he will show you, your elders, and they will tell you.


May 19, 2022

The Coming (And The Progress) Of The Kingdom of God - Part 2


In Part One of this discourse on Luke, Chapter 17 and the anticipated arrival of the Kingdom of God, we established that Scripture shows us Jesus announced it was "at hand" with His appearance on Earth. Now, several of the dictionary definitions I have researched describe "at hand" as meaning happening or present at this time; currently receiving attention; located at that point; in other words, it is just as Jesus said: "The Kingdom of God is among you (because of My Presence)."

So, if we accept that the Kingdom of God arrived with the presence of Jesus on earth, what were the expectations of those who heard His declaration? What can we expect? And what effect has the existence of the Kingdom of God had on earth and its inhabitants? There is a generalization that I think has existed throughout time since Jesus made His announcement, and it is this: for those who think it is yet to come [as a future event], they continue to inquire when it will materialize; not being aware that it is already among us. Jesus came and preached the Gospel of the Kingdom [that it was already here]. He confirmed it by the miracles He performed that gave them a picture of what God's Kingdom in Heaven looked like, and should be proof to us. The presence of the Kingdom on earth was embraced and welcomed by multitudes who accepted His pronouncement, so that those who embraced this Truth [even to this day] might accept that it had come to their nation, though not everyone has received it in their hearts.  

Today, there are many believers in the present Kingdom on earth who struggle with why we see so much strife, division and evil. They don't understand why, if we are "Kingdom people", we should be subjected to battles in our lives. Even Jesus's disciples thought Jesus had, for the most part, defeated Evil when He defeated Death. They expected constant success as they continued His work for the establishment and expansion of the Kingdom that He inaugurated. Yet, as we know, Jesus told them that opposition and disruption would be their companions on their journey as Kingdom ambassadors. 

Again, I would like to share the wisdom of the 17th Century Nonconformist minister, Matthew Henry. ["Nonconformist" refers to his unwillingness to conform to the governance by the "established" or "state church"]. And, oh, how I wish Matthew Henry was preaching from our pulpits today! He explains Jesus's admonition to His disciples in such non-religious terms: "Christ tells them it [their expectation of constant success] would be otherwise: "The days will come, before you have finished your testimony and done your work, when you shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man" (one such a day as we now have), "of the prosperity and progress of the gospel, and shall not see it. At first, indeed, you will have wonderful success" (so they had, when thousands were added to the church in a day); "but do not think it will be always so; no, you will be persecuted and scattered, silenced and imprisoned, so that you will not have opportunities of preaching the gospel without fear, as you now have; people will grow cool to it, when they have enjoyed it awhile, so that you will not see such harvests of souls gathered in to Christ afterwards as at first, nor such multitudes flocking to him as doves to their windows."

And, so it has been! The preaching of the Good News of the Kingdom has not always been met with loud and enthusiastic approval by the un-churched. Nor has the Church always been in loving agreement over Kingdom doctrine or theology. Outside forces [both material and spiritual] have sought to hinder and impede the progress of the Kingdom upon the earth. And from the days that Jesus walked the earth until now, we have seen evidence of the battle over the advancement of God's Kingdom... all we have to do is look at our culture today to know that Jesus was right when He said, "The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it."

That was true for the nation of Israel and the city of Jerusalem, who were warned by Christ to look at "the days of Noah" and what the wickedness of men yielded, yet they took no heed of the warning. They felt too secure in their position, and continued about their business and indulgences, counting on the perpetuity of their profitable ways. They were happy living their lives of self-gratification and pleasure, believing in their self-reliance and self-sufficiency, while ignoring the judgments that Jesus said would be theirs if they didn't repent and enter the Kingdom. It makes me sad to say this, but everything I just wrote could be applied to those who mock the Kingdom of God today. I thank the Lord that there is a remnant among us today that mirror the men of Nineveh, who not only heeded the warnings of judgment, but continued to fast and pray, repent and seek revival. 

 For even though Jesus makes it clear that the judgment of God will be a sure thing, [just as it was in the days of Noah, and in the days of Lot at Sodom and Gomorrah], there will be Christians who escape the destruction. God will take a deliberate course of action to preserve those who are His. Jesus lays out what that will look like in Luke 17:30-37... Whoever seeks to save his life will [eventually] lose it [through death], and whoever loses his life [in this world] will keep it [from the consequences of sin and separation from God]. What did He mean and what would that look like? Jesus gives examples that are plain to understand and cannot be misinterpreted! There will be two [sleeping] in one bed; the one (the non-believer) will be taken [away in judgment] and the other (the believer) will be left. There will be two women grinding [at the mill] together; the one (the non-believer) will be taken [away in judgment] and the other (the believer) will be left. [Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other will be left.”]

I want to make sure that we all understand that this is not "the rapture" that the Church sees in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 when Christ returns in the air [not to the earth] and gathers believers to be with Him. Jesus is telling us in Luke that the believers will not be subject to God's judgment and taken to hell, but will be left on earth to be with Christ [upon His return to earth] during the Millennium. The final question in Luke 17 comes when the disciples ask Jesus where those who are subject to God's judgment will be taken. He responds, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will be gathered.” This response was most likely a phrase well-known to the disciples in their time ... wherever the wicked are will be well-identified, just as the vultures smell and discover where the dead carcasses lie.

But rather than that gruesome image, I want to end this post and discourse on the First Coming of Christ [and the inauguration of the Kingdom of God on earth] and His final appearance at His Second Coming [and the actualization of the Kingdom in His Millennial reign on earth], by reiterating the essence of Jesus's warning of judgment and His assurance of our deliverance into the Kingdom of God. As Matthew Henry states, "Though the sword devours one as well as another, and all things seem to come alike to all, yet sooner or later it shall be made to appear that the Lord knows them that are his and them that are not, and how to take out the precious from the vile".  

I would leave you with this Truth ... We rest assured that the Judge of all the earth will do right by us, His followers. Although His judgment will be sure and "His terrible swift sword" will enact His justice upon the wicked, He will take particular care that NONE of those who glorified Him, and stood in awesome reverence at the foot of His Cross, will be "taken away" in judgment. We will be marked as His own, preserved to enjoy being in the midst of the presence of the Messiah on earth. His Kingdom will be manifested in all the earth as the saints gather to Him in glory. What a magnificent day that will be! 

Psalm 2:10-12        Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in Him.



May 16, 2022

The Coming (And The Progress) of The Kingdom of God - Part 1

As a student of the Bible, I am sometimes amazed at the curiosity that arises in me as I study the Word. It is not a casual curiosity, but oftentimes consumes me as I find myself spending hours following a trail of bread crumbs that begins with one simple question. This time, it began as I contemplated Jesus's discourse with His Disciples in Luke, Chapter 17. His discourse was prompted when the Pharisees asked when the Kingdom of God would come. Now, before I dove into the complexities and implications of His answer to their question, I had my own question ... When was the idea of the Kingdom of God first considered?

As is my custom, I began my research in Strong's Concordance, looking for all the references in Scripture to "Kingdom of God". There were mentions in 1 and 2 Chronicles of "the kingdom of the Lord over Israel", but these alluded to an earthly kingdom dedicated to the Lord by a specific nation. When was the first time that the spiritual realm of God [in Heaven], of which He is King, is seen as existing on Earth? In other words, when was the first time that a spiritual Kingdom of God was considered as reality of God's will on Earth? 

There is no easy reference book to go to with that kind of question. So among my many research options I employed for this question [and my study of Luke 17:20-37] you will find what may appear as two diametrically opposed opinions ... Google and Matthew Henry, a 17th-Century minister whose commentary I find insightful and true to the Spirit and Truth of the Bible. First, Google helped in identifying what may be the first reference to a spiritual Kingdom of God on earth [possessing His righteous principles] as found in Daniel 2:44 ... In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will its sovereignty be left for another people; but it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it will stand forever.   

This reference to the spiritual Kingdom of God is revealed by Daniel as he interprets King Nebuchadnezzar's dream of what will happen to the earthly kingdoms of men in the latter days (Daniel 2:28). So for approximately 635 years [through Judah's captivity in Babylon, and the subsequent empires of Medo-Persia, Greece, and now Rome, the Jewish people and religious leaders have been waiting for this prophesied Kingdom of God to appear. And what is Jesus's answer to their query as to when the Kingdom would come? He replied, “The Kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed or with a visible display; nor will people say, ‘Look! Here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For the kingdom of God is among you [because of My presence].” 

Now, we understand from the Bible that Jesus's answer was rejected and the religious leaders did not understand nor see what He was saying. The idea was simply not received nor welcomed; it was the idea that the Kingdom of God was present on earth because Jesus brought it with Him [at His First Coming] to share and establish among men. And many Christians still reject that idea today. It is not an exaggeration to say that many 21st Century Christians are waiting for a future event [His Second Coming] to place their faith in the Kingdom of God on Earth. But neither the Pharisees nor modern-day skeptics have embraced the simple explanation that Jesus gave.

The Pharisees might be excused, to an extent, because they didn't have the advantage of the Bible and Jesus's words, written down for all to ponder and study. And they interpreted Daniel's words to mean an earthly, material kingdom. But they were witness to His testimony and His signs and wonders proving that His presence attested to the Kingdom of God on earth: "But if I am casting out demons by the power of God, then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you."  We may not have His physical presence as proof, but we do have the witness of His Word that attests to His declaration, "For the Kingdom of God is in the midst of you!" 

Jesus wants it clearly understood that the Kingdom of God [in this age] is a spiritual influence. You cannot point to a place or a nation where it exists, and say "There it is"! And this is where the teaching of Matthew Henry exemplifies what I discern to be the heart of what Jesus wanted the Pharisees [and us] to understand. He writes: "The kingdom of God is within you. It is not of this world, John 18:36. Its glory does not strike men's fancies, but affects their spirits, and its power is over their souls and consciences; from them it receives homage [respect, honor], and not from their bodies only. The kingdom of God will not change men's outward condition, but their hearts and lives. Then it comes when it makes those humble, and serious, and heavenly, that were proud, and vain, and carnal,—when it weans those from the world that were wedded to the world; and therefore look for the kingdom of God in the revolutions [radical transformation] of the heart, not of the civil government." 

So, in this first part of my examination of the Kingdom of God, I hope I have set forth the foundation of the path that my study of Luke 17 is going to take me. Sometimes we Christians debate and disagree about the timing or substance of a Biblical Truth that is already at work in our midst. Sometimes we just have to submit our theology to the threshing floor of Scripture, which is a place of separation and revelation ... much like the grain was separated from the worthless straw so the most valuable part of the harvest could be collected. For me, that grain of Truth is that the Kingdom of God exists on Earth -- both now and in the future. Jesus planted it at His First Coming and we will see it culminated at His Second Coming. 

In Part 2 of The Coming (And The Progress) of The Kingdom of God I will examine how the Kingdom has proceeded and endured since Jesus's advent on Earth, and what we can expect until it is firmly established in the Millennium. We do not all have to agree with what I have presented, but we can come together in unity as we declare that the Kingdom of God will reign in power and glory forever!

Colossians 1:13-14    For He has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of His dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.

May 13, 2022

The Psalms: Knowing The Fullness of God's Character


I have found myself spending a lot of time reading the Psalms lately. I don't know, maybe it's the wide range of personal experiences that are shared, where I know I will find something that will minister to my spirit. It doesn't matter what is on my heart, there is a Psalm that will speak to me and oftentimes open up a conversation between me and Jesus... jubilation, praise, sorrow, war, peace, worship, judgment, messianic prophecy, tribulation, God's love, God's wrath, deliverance, salvation, healing, discipline, and damnation -- there is not a topic that Jesus and I have discussed that it is not present in the Psalms. 

In fact, my husband and I [who often examine separate portions of the Bible during our study time in the mornings] both found ourselves reading Psalms this morning. On the days when I can't stand to hear another news cast, it somehow comforts me to read the same descriptions of human flaws, folly, and failings that I see in the world today. If God could rescue them from themselves, then surely there's hope for us! And the Psalms share the whole spectrum of this volatile and glorious relationship with our Father in Heaven!   

And it is exactly that hope amidst the accounts of man's rebellion and God's discipline and love that I am grateful for and celebrate in the Bible! I can hear God speaking to me [and all of us] in both Psalm 118 ("His Steadfast Love Endures Forever") and Psalm 78 ("Tell the Coming Generation"). So, why do I often find myself at odds with other Christians who question why I contemplate the less than cheerful and joyous verses in this confirming Book of man's experiences with God? Why do they misunderstand my ability to look at the "Big Picture" and full counsel of God's witness -- both the destruction of man and the redeeming love God displays?

For instance, in Psalm 78, there are some pretty scary verses that tell us what God is capable of doing ... In spite of all this, they still sinned; despite His wonders, they did not believe. So He made their days vanish like a breath, and their years in terror. That should be enough to make anyone stop and assess where we stand today. After all, He is still the same God and the Bible makes it clear that His attributes and character never change... I, the Lord, do not change (Malachi 3:6). Yet, within that same Psalm, we read this: Yet He, being compassionate, atoned for their iniquity and did not destroy them; He restrained His anger often and did not stir up all His wrath. And so, I recognize the immutability of God -- that He is unchanging in His character, will and covenant promises. But that immutability defines ALL of God's attributes ... among them, His wisdom, His goodness, His mercy, His grace ... and His righteous wrath and anger.

Have you ever found yourself in discussions with a fellow Christian where they only want to consider the "feel good" verses about God's love and mercy and our ultimate victory in Christ? And do you ever sense that they think all you ever do is look for the bad in the Bible? I have yet to find a way to make myself adequately understood that it is exactly because I am grounded and anchored in His goodness and love that I am able to look upon His wrath and anger with no fear; understand what led up to His reaction; and then caution the Body of Christ to guard against the same sins. For me, it is understood -- it is a given -- that if I call myself a Believer, I know the Lord's love endures forever. If it didn't, He would have every reason to destroy us and start over. And if I didn't believe in His love and our victory, I wouldn't be able to encourage others to battle in their power and authority in Christ.

But being the same God as He was throughout Psalm 78, I must also caution us not take Him for granted! If we are reading the Bible in Truth and Spirit, then we must not fool ourselves into thinking we will be exempt from "vanishing like a breath", should we continue to test and rebel against the Most High God and do not keep His testimonies; if we turn away and act treacherously and deceitfully; if we anger Him with our "high places" and our idols. We must not think He will no longer consider delivering "His power to captivity, His glory to the hand of our foe."

For He is a jealous God and a righteous one! But He will uphold those who walk humbly in His ways; He will uphold us with His mighty right hand! The Bible represents a composite picture of our Most High God and it is important we behold Him in His fullness. If we only look at the verses that make us feel comfortable, we will miss out on the "tough love" that assures us He loves us enough to train us up in ways that secure our eternity with Him. So, if you think I only depict the "doom and gloom" of the Bible, I promise you that my faith is solidly rooted in the goodness, love, mercy, kindness, and grace of God. And it is from that position that I am not afraid to share His attribute of righteous judgment against those who rebel against Him. Make no mistake, I know what it is to fear the Lord [in all that means] and I praise Him for all that He is! 

Psalm 118: 15-16    Songs of joy and victory are sung in the camp of the godly. The strong right arm of the Lord has done glorious things! The strong right arm of the Lord is raised in triumph.


May 9, 2022

What Should Be Our Response To "The Finished Work of Christ"?


I so often hear Christians say things like, "I thank God for the finished works of Christ! Because of His death on the Cross I am saved, and it is my faith in Him that pleases God". Or they will also say, "When Jesus bowed His head at the Cross, declared 'It is finished', and gave up His Spirit, this declaration means that my healing, deliverance, prosperity, victory, joy, peace, and everything else I need in life has been finished and is ready for me to claim". Then, this is my favorite: "I don't need to worry about spiritual warfare; I am covered by the Blood of Jesus, which means I walk in victory -- I am an Over-comer! I am a Conqueror by the Blood of Jesus!"

Now, I do not dispute the efficacy or veracity of any of these statements. I just want to explore our understanding of the "Finished Works", and what, if anything, should be our response. Is it enough to just declare it? Is that all that's expected of us in exchange for Christ's costly sacrifice? Or does God desire something more?

First, let me say that I could find nowhere in the Bible where the terminology "Finished Works of Christ" was used. It is my opinion that the Church has created such a doctrine, based on Jesus's powerful last words, It is finished. Rightly so, we recognize that the sin in the Garden separated man from his spiritual and physical relationship with God. But God did not destroy man, even though He could have, and started over. He always intended to "fix" the relationship; to provide a way for restoration and reconciliation. But there was a price to be paid -- a cup of wrath now existed and someone had to partake of it to regain possession of the original plan of man's dominion on the earth. We know that because of the hundreds of Old Testament prophecies that attested to God coming to earth to rescue us.

So, let's consider what the "Finished Works" consisted of, and then determine what our response should be. While the Bible doesn't seem to use those exact words, there are words used to describe what Jesus accomplished in His work on the Cross: propitiation, redemption, and reconciliation. All three are words that are commonly shared across Christian denominational doctrines, but may not be clearly understood. Here are my understandings of each of these important elements of Jesus's finished works...

Propitiation - The satisfaction of God's Holy wrath against sin. Rebellion against God's commandments (in the Garden) results in the Wrath of God, and must be met with judgment. By dying in our place, and accepting our punishment, Jesus satisfies God's anger against all who believe in Him. Atonement and Substitution are double facets of Propitiation. 

Redemption -  The act of freeing someone by paying a purchase price; Deliverance by a ransom being paid; redeemed. All are bought; only believers are redeemed (delivered). Christ paid the penalty of death (required by God for our sins) by giving His own life on the Cross. When we profess our faith in Him, Jesus frees us from the guilt of sin and the punishment of sin, as well as the presence and power of sin. He introduces us to a "newness of life" (Born Again), never to be sold into slavery again. We are given an opportunity [through our free will choices] to grow and mature into His image.

Reconciliation - This term completes what Jesus has afforded us by His Work on the Cross. This is an act by God [alone] that brings mankind into a changed relationship with God; from wrath and separation to a relationship characterized by harmony, friendship, and partnership. But make no mistake, there is no give-and-take in this relationship -- this is an act of powerful Grace by the Father, offered to us, the guilty party! 

These doctrines of our Christian faith clearly show us all that Jesus's death on the Cross accomplished for us. It is unmistakable that they are sufficient to pay for [and erase] all the sins of the world. But the work of Christ didn't end at the Cross! And this is what I mean by asking the question, "What should be our response to the "Finished Works" doctrine"? If we believe, by faith, then we should be aware that His work continues in the Present through the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit. When we say, "I abide in Christ, and He abides in me", the life of Christ is to be operative in our lives. In other words, we are to be functioning as Christ did; having an effect in the world, as Christ did; being relevant and significant in the world, as Christ was. 

Furthermore, Christ's work continues through His intercession for us. He acts as our High Priest in Heaven, who mediates on our behalf when the Accuser of the Brethren [Satan] brings a case against us in the Court of Heaven. Because we are to be "imitators of God" (Ephesians 5:1), our response to Christ's present work on our behalf should be to imitate Him and model our lives after Him; interceding on behalf of our fellow Believers, as members of His royal priesthood on earth (1 Peter 2:9). 

And of course, we know that Jesus's work is not complete and finished until He returns and reigns on earth! So we have all this evidence of the work of Christ -- past, present, and future -- and we are to respond to it by continuing His work. In John 14:12, Jesus clearly states, I assure you and most solemnly say to you, anyone who believes in Me [as Savior] will also do the things that I do; and he will do even greater things than these [in extent and outreach], because I am going to the Father. His works are to continue through us! That means healing the sick; casting out demons; cleansing the lepers [those who are discarded by society]; raising the dead; spreading the Good News that Salvation from eternal death is available, and that the Kingdom of God is on earth; interceding for others; preparing for His rule and reign on earth; and doing the work that God, the Father, shows us to do.

I simply do not believe, as some would say, that it is enough to understand what the "Finished Work" on the Cross was, or to only declare and claim it as part of our Christian heritage. Nor do I think that God means for us to rest in the finished work of Christ, as I have heard others say. We can be certain of the propitiation, redemption and reconciliation of the Finished Work, and depend on it for our eternal salvation. But, in the here and now, we cannot relax or take a rest from the work we have been charged with [again, read John 14:12]. There is work to be done in His Name; work to be continued, and we must DO it! Satan isn't resting, and neither should we. All we have to do is take a look at the world and see what failure to continue the work of Jesus looks like.

I will close by writing that we have an inheritance awaiting us in Heaven, and it's in addition to the incredible gift of eternal life. We will stand before Jesus and be overwhelmed in His presence, and then hear Him tell us how pleased He is with how we continued His work and served His Kingdom. Thank you, Lord, for the incredible price you paid for us! We thank you for being faithful to go to the Cross for us. We praise You for all You accomplished in the Father's redemptive plan of reconciliation. And we repent for not following Your command to do the things that You did, and for being inactive in all the ways You modeled for us. The state of the world is evidence of our negligence, and we are aware that we abandoned our responsibilities. Forgive us, Lord! Do not turn Your face from us, but help us to re-ignite Your Spirit across this land so that we might inspire, encourage, motivate, equip and train a new generation of followers to walk in Your ways! It's never too late with You, Jesus! We surrender to You, and declare our willingness to be obedient to Your commands. Lead us to renewal and revival! Amen!

Proverbs 24:11-12     Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not He who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not He who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will He not repay man according to his work?

May 4, 2022

God, The Constitution, The Supreme Court, and Roe v. Wade

 I'm going to begin this post by stating [very clearly] that I am not a Constitutional scholar.  I am a lover of American history and I try to look at all sides of our history from my Biblical worldview. That means that I've carefully considered the question, "Does the Bible have authority over the Constitution of the United States"? 

We know that Article 6 of the Constitution states that "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States ... shall be the supreme Law of the Land". So, what is our understanding of the origination of "Law"? From the foundations of the world, it is clear that a system of rules [called Law] was instituted to govern the actions of men. But who created Law? In the Declaration of Independence, our Founding Fathers gave credit to "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" that endowed men with certain unalienable Rights -- Rights given to them by their Creator -- and among them are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. 

The Bible states that "the Lord is our lawgiver" (Isaiah 33:22); "the law is holy" (Romans 7:12); "the law of the Lord is perfect" (Psalm 19:7); and "the perfect law" is "the law of liberty" (James 1:25). At this point we can understand that Law is important to both God and to our system of government in this nation. In fact, just as God sits on His throne in the Heavenly Court as Supreme Judge over all Creation, we have a Supreme Court that plays a very important role in our Constitutional form of government. As the highest Court in this earthly realm, it is the last resort for those seeking justice. But what happens when our Supreme Court has been compromised by agreement with sin?

In light of the current volatile case before the Supreme Court, here's what I think the citizens of the United States need to consider: I don't think abortion advocates, the courts and judges of this land, and the Supreme Court of our nation have considered that abortion is the sacrifice of a baby for the benefit of the mother. The Creator God of the Universe has a legal entitlement to demand that we respect what He has created. And He has made His opinion well-known.  In Leviticus 20:2-5, He states,  “Say to the Israelites: 'Any Israelite or any foreigner residing in Israel who sacrifices any of his children to Molech is to be put to death.' "  Got it?  It is an act that the God who created me, you, and the baby has declared is abominable and worthy of death. Child sacrifice, in all its forms, is unacceptable to God. Period. 

And so, I refer you to 1 John 3:4, which says, Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness [ignoring God’s law by action or neglect or by tolerating wrongdoing—being unrestrained by His commands and His will]. Isn't that exactly what we did in 1973 with Roe v. Wade, when the Court thought they could over-rule God? And isn't it what the Supreme Court did in 1992, when hearing Planned Parenthood v. Casey, they asserted that the right to an abortion was a liberty protected by the 14th Amendment? At the time, the Court stated, "[at] the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life." To me, it sure seems like the baby isn't allowed a voice to define it's existence.

 One of the core concepts of the 14th Amendment is the tenet that says, "nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Again, where is the protection of the baby's life or liberty, or right to choose? Where is the baby's equal protection under the law?  

This most recent resurrection of Roe v. Wade before the Supreme Court of the United States (and the subsequent leak of Justice Alito's draft opinion) have sparked a firestorm across this nation. Sadly, this does nothing more than cause further division between pro-life champions and abortion supporters. The question now becomes will the Supreme Court Justices be swayed by political persuasions? And even more consequential, it is plain to see that both God and the Bible have become more irrelevant in our society -- indeed, despised. 

We can see that both the Bible and the Constitution have lost their place in the governance of our nation. In fact, there is a third player in the game, and it is Government, with a capital "G". Since our society seems to want to eradicate the influence of both the Bible and the Constitution, does either have any remaining moral value?  Clearly, the Bible is being mocked, derided, and re-conceptualized to serve the needs of the ungodly. And, in its tattered state, is there enough of the Constitution left to warrant any real authority?  

Perhaps the more appropriate question is this: Is there enough of the Bible's influence in the Constitution to withstand its destruction by the Government?  Ultimately, as a faithful Christian, I have to go back to the one Truth that overrides all ... YHWH is Sovereign, Supreme, and the absolute Head of this State.  His Word is authority over everything man-made ... whether it is a governing document like the Constitution, or a governing body of men like the Supreme Court. That might not be the politically expedient answer to give in this time of division and rancor, but we are at the stage in this nation (and the world) where it is time to quit playing the political game, and recognize Who has the real Power in this world. We must pray that the highest Court in our land has enough courage and fear of God to uphold His righteous laws of Liberty and Justice. 

Even if Justice Alito's opinion represents the majority of the Court, it won't solve the abortion question in its entirety. Each state would have the ultimate decision whether to allow abortions to be performed as part of their governing laws. But I know that it says in God's Word that He appoints rulers over nations by His authority, and we are to be loyal to that government... as long as they are loyal to His laws. I truly believe that God was involved in the creation of our Constitution through the men that He put in authority. At that time, these men foresaw a nation of individuals who were generally governed by Biblical precepts -- checks and balances and a limited government were at the center of the Constitution, and would serve such a Biblically-minded society well. Then, as now, I believe that the Bible has authority over each of us as individuals, and the Constitution has authority over the government. That combination has worked for us for 246 years, and contributed to a generally balanced co-existence among individuals and government, as long as this nation continued to embrace Biblical morals and principles.

So, I pray for the nine Justices who are caught in this quagmire of deceit and subterfuge. I pray that they will be led by moral consciences and not persuaded to abandon their sacred duty to the people of this great land. We stand on the precipice of rule by lawlessness, and we know what the Bible says that leads to!

2 Chronicles 19:6    He told them, "Consider carefully what you do, because you are not judging for mere mortals but for the LORD, who is with you whenever you give a verdict."

May 1, 2022

God and the World's Economies


More and more Americans are becoming aware that the world's economic systems are in a lot of trouble. Just in this country alone, we see headlines that report the crash of Netflix; Jeff Bezos loses $13 Billion in hours as Amazon takes a nose dive; and the Dow lost nearly 1,000 points on Friday! In fact, all U.S. stock indexes were in the negative category. The world's economy is still floundering post-pandemic and struggling to find out how to bring "economic equality" to the world's nations, and develop policies that curb inflation, interest rates, and debt [while creating financial stability]. Or so they say.

Perhaps for the first time, we Christians are asking, Is God involved in Economics? What does He say about economic systems in the world? And what should we be looking for? Just because we may all be Christians, it doesn't mean we agree on all the concepts of socioeconomic systems or their methods of operation. Where we stand politically has a lot to do with our view of different economic practices. If you lean towards less government involvement and favor more social and economic freedom, then you are likely to align yourself with capitalism. If you lean toward more government controlling more of your social and economic affairs, then you probably identify with socialism.

I think, as Christians, it is important for us to identify the various world economic systems [and their methodologies] and then compare them to how God commands (and desires) us to operate in His economy. So, let's briefly consider each of the three major economic systems of the 20th and 21st Centuries: Socialism, Communism, and Capitalism. I want to look at their definitions so we have a baseline to compare with what God's Word says. I'm also going to give a very simple example of each that was shared by a friend on Facebook.

Socialism: “A theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.” Example: You have two cows. Give one to your neighbor. 

Communism: “A system of social organization in which all economic and social activity is controlled by a totalitarian state dominated by a single and self-perpetuating political party.” Example: You have two cows. Give both cows to the government, and they might give you some of the milk.

Capitalism: “An economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations.” Example: You have two cows. Sell one cow, buy a bull, and raise more cows.

Because each of these economic systems are human-devised, there are inherent flaws and problems with each. Socialism doesn't agree with private property rights of the individual; favors redistribution of wealth through government coercion; discourages innovation and creativity; restricts individuals of determining their own future; and invites dictatorial rule by unrighteous men. Communism [in its pure form] is an atheistic system which cancels individual freedom; centers around secret government surveillance, propaganda, and censorship; whose economy is centrally controlled and ultimately does not meet the people's needs. Capitalism is often characterized [not without merit] of being a system of elitists with privilege and wealth that encourages greed and profit over people. Corruption and cronyism between individuals and governments have often become its trademark, along with currency manipulation -- all of which interferes with free enterprise and the ability of individuals to have control of their own destinies.

So, that's what man has been able to create as forms of producing, organizing, and distributing available resources among the nations of the world. But what is God's economic policy or policies? Remember that Jesus proclaimed that "His Kingdom was not of this world". God's ways of perfect government are different than man's ideas and systems for governing. And we often see Scripture twisted to align with our own ideas of what we think [or want] God to be declaring that He established. For instance, I'm sure you have heard that Matthew 19:21 is all about Jesus teaching a socialistic redistribution system:   (Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me”.) But that's not the message of the Bible at all! Jesus is showing us that the rich young ruler's sorrow [over the Lord's admonition to give his wealth away] is because the young man cherished his wealth over God; his wealth was more important than being willing to surrender his wealth and serve God. 

Those who believe in the socialism economic model will condemn wealth as being unbiblical, and misquote 1 Timothy 6:10, which says, "For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil", rendering it as "Money is the root of all evil". Pretty convenient mistranslation, isn't it? Notice how Satan has convinced mankind that money and wealth are the root of all evil, when the Bible clearly states that sin is the root that perpetuates evil in the world. In fact, it is not money that is evil, nor does God condemn wealth or the gaining of wealth. After all, Abram, King David, and his son, Solomon were all favored by God and they were extremely wealthy. It is the love of money that can lead to the sins of greed, corruption, and forms of unrighteousness.

Another example of wrongly identifying God's economic system with the world's is the tendency by some to state that Acts 4:32-35 advocates communism ... All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all. There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need.  On the contrary, "the needy" in this passage were converts who had traveled to Jerusalem from foreign lands for the Passover feast days and after Jesus's death and resurrection, they decided to stay and learn more about Him and His Kingdom. They then found themselves in want, so those who had resources voluntarily shared what they had. Communism is an economic system that demands citizen participation and confiscates wealth from the producers. Additionally, nowhere in Scripture, do we find that this became the norm among Christian society. It was in response to a unique situation and displays a personal willingness to share with others out of the love of a consecrated heart for a fellow man.

And while the economic system of Capitalism can provide the wealth to serve others from our hearts, God will not bless this system if it is rooted in deception, greed, theft, special-interest influence or cronyism. Sadly, we, in the United States, have seen the effects of these sins upon our faltering economic system. But the tenets of Capitalism are evidenced in the Bible through freedom of choice in how we operate in our lives [including our businesses and means of financial support] when our enterprise is conducted with compassion, unselfishness and generosity. But since we still live in a sinful world, we won't see that model in its fullness until Christ returns and implements His Kingdom on earth in its fullness. Micah 4:4 gives us a hint of what that perfect world economy will look like ... Everyone will live in peace and prosperity, enjoying their own grapevines and fig trees, for there will be nothing to fear. The Lord of Heaven’s Armies has made this promise!

Until that glorious Day when the Lord returns with His perfect economic governing system [in which the residents of Heaven on earth will espouse the virtues of work, tithing, and sharing the blessings of God], we have one more economic system to endure ... the Mark of the Beast. Revelation 13:16-17 says, He required everyone—small and great, rich and poor, free and slave—to be given a mark on the right hand or on the forehead. And no one could buy or sell anything without that mark... 

How close are we to experiencing that system? Perhaps sooner than any of us want to think! All I know is that we desperately need the biblical social and economic policies of Heaven here on earth NOW! I don't know how much longer before the Lord gets the go-ahead from the Father to mount up with the Host of Heaven and ride to defeat Evil once and for all. I don't know about you, but I am ready to receive Him on earth! I am ready for the earth and mankind to reflect God's ordained system of government in all its manifestations! I will not be consumed by fear of what mankind is scheming out of corrupted hearts and minds, but stay focused on the glorious future that awaits us when we see Jesus coming on the clouds. I choose to glorify the Lord in all the ways He leads me and trust in His provision in this world. Seek first the Kingdom of God and righteousness, and all your needs will be met. That's the key to enjoying God's economic system for us!

 Philippians 4:19   And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.   


April 25, 2022

Why Does Paul Tell Us To Work Out Our Own Salvation? Didn't Jesus Take Care Of That?

Sometimes when studying a familiar passage in the Bible, I find that I have more questions than answers about something I thought I understood perfectly well. Such is the case with Philippians 2:12-13. Paul is writing to the Philippians to encourage them to be in unity as the Church; agreeing as servants of God for the sake of harmony and solidarity. The verses that are most widely associated with this Pauline letter are verses 12 and 13, in Chapter 2: Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

Now, if I was not a Christian, and was a critic of Christianity, I might wonder, "Why is Paul instructing Believers to work out their own salvation? I thought Christianity taught that Jesus was the Source and Power of man's salvation. And if He is the Son of God and full of love, why would Paul say to work it [salvation] out with "fear and trembling"? I always want to be prepared to defend why I believe the Bible, and so I often find myself anticipating these kinds of questions from those who are unfamiliar with the whole counsel of God, or doubt the importance of Scripture.

So, here's what I determined when researching these verses ... Paul is speaking to New Testament Christians who have 1) been faithful Jews and have come from their Old Testament understanding of what "salvation" means, OR ...  2) his audience is new Christians who have the same question that I posed in the title of this post: Why do I need to work out my own salvation, if I am to believe that Jesus paid the price for saving me from my sins? 

The first audience [steeped in Old Testament history and theology] would have understood the word salvation to be the Hebrew word, Yeshuw'ah, meaning "deliverance". Salvation to that audience would not have been understood as a salvation from sin, but rather as a broad-spectrum deliverance from things that came against mankind, such as distress, war, servitude, or enemies. This word, which denotes "deliverance", was generally used with God as the subject. He was the One who bestowed salvation [deliverance] upon someone. He was known as the salvation of His people; the One who came to their rescue and delivered them from their oppressors. [NOTE: Obviously, this was their view of the pre-incarnate and Old Testament God who would come as His Son, Jesus, to save the world from permanent separation from God]. To this audience, the worst reproach that could be made against a person was that God did not come to his rescue. 

The second audience of recently converted New Testament Christians would have understood the word salvation to be the Greek word, soteria, meaning "the spiritual and eternal deliverance granted immediately by God to those who accept His conditions of repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus, in whom alone [salvation] is to be obtained". Since Paul has abandoned his Pharisaic persecution of Christians and is now preaching the forgiveness of sins and the promise of eternal life that Jesus's crucifixion and resurrection provided for us, I think it is safe to say that this is the understanding of the word "salvation" that Paul would be teaching. He is preaching the Good News that Jesus's death and resurrection offers us the experience of God's power [in our lives] to deliver us from the bondage of sin! Furthermore, this understanding of salvation lets Believers be assured of being delivered from the wrath of God that is destined to be executed upon the ungodly at the end of this age; i.e., those who reject Jesus. 

We can comprehend the tension that would have existed over understanding that word, salvation. Religious Jews were being asked to accept a new paradigm of understanding God -- His rescue, deliverance, and protection had a greater meaning. It was no longer just a material/physical deliverance, but now extended to a covering of sin and the promise of an afterlife. Converted pagan believers were offered the same deliverance -- and both parties were eligible to be delivered from their sin (and the wrath of God) by believing that Jesus is Lord and the Son of God, and He was raised from the dead to Life Everlasting, making a way for us to follow.

So, that brings me back to the question that I'm sure has confused many people ... why does Paul tell us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling? Here is the simplest way I know to explain my understanding ... We must assume that all those Paul is talking to [including us] are those who have come to Christ. We know that Jesus, through obedience to the Father, has achieved the highest glory: Every spirit and knee will bow to His name, the Name above every name; Adonai, Master/Lord. And every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father. 

Paul is now saying that Jesus has delivered/saved our spirits from the power of Satan; our spirits can live eternally in relationship with Jesus and the Father in Heaven. In this present age, with our power and authority of Christ in us, we must work out the deliverance/salvation of our bodies and soul [mind, free will, and emotions]. We must take hold of that power and authority [of Christ in us] to defeat all the evil ways in which the Enemy will try to destroy us in this world. Our spirits are saved for all eternity, but we still have physical lives to complete here on earth and the Enemy wants to convince us that what Jesus has done for us is a lie; that we must reject the false narrative of the Kingdom of God on earth and our identities as children of God.

We must understand the seriousness of what Satan intends to bring against this world to destroy the truth of God and to permanently establish his false and wicked design for mankind to worship him ... and with that realization, we know our spirits are secure with Jesus, but we recognize that our physical bodies and souls will be under attack; and that should make us aware [with fear and trembling] that we have a battle ahead of us. BUT, Paul doesn't leave us in that apprehensive state! 

He reminds us that because we are in Christ, we have God working in us; strengthening us, energizing us, creating supernatural abilities [and a longing in our souls] to fulfill the very purpose He sent our spirits to these earthly bodies. Satan wants to scare us and threaten us, but the power in us is greater than anything he can bring against us! Jesus has provided a way for our spirits to overcome this world and live eternally, and has left us with His power [in us] to defeat the tactics of the Enemy and achieve God's Master Plan for the Universe. So hold fast to these words of Life, and rejoice that you have been trusted to represent the Savior of this world and all worlds to come!  

1 Peter 5:8-10   Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.   Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.