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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY part 66 Generations populate the earth

Generations populate the earth

“These were the families of the sons of Noah, according to their generations, in their nations; and from these the nations were divided on the earth after the flood.” (Genesis 10:32)

In chapter 10 of Genesis we see a detailed account of the 3 sons of Noah and their offspring, culminating in the above verse. What is the value of this list of names?

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective.

Names, Generations, Details

I read into the details of Noah’s progeny as GOD’s determining to reveal to us His historic accuracy and His attention to detail in His Word: The Bible.

From Japheth came the Gentiles who included the caucasians — the white people — of Europe and beyond. From Ham, the middle son*, from whom would come all the African peoples and the Arab peoples. And from Shem, the youngest, came the Asians and the Jews.

It is the Canaanites and many “ites” who were defeated when the Hebrews went into the promised land and whom King Saul was meant to destroy, though he failed to do so during his reign. 

Importance of History

When we learn history, we are better equipped to pray and to deal with today. When we know history, we learn the roots of our current situation. In the case of the Bible, when we know history, we discover the accuracy of the historical accounts in the Bible as measured by historians throughout the ages, so that those who ponder the Word of GOD can know that the context of human history, it is true.

A list of names

Throughout history, the LORD has listed in His Word many genealogies. It may not be interesting reading at a glance, or upon our introduction to this part of the Bible, and that’s okay… But it is important as geographical evidence, anthropological evidence. And when traced back, it also helps us to understand better Biblical progression. So, the Genesis 10 is not only a list of names. It is reveals the roots of our civilisation and helps us to understand our humanity.

I believe GOD wants us to understand who we are. And his genealogies helps us to do that. Hallelujah

2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” and we are not to change nor to replace it.

*I think in an earlier post I suggested Ham was the younger son

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Politics and Society today

Praying for government

We must pray for our leaders

“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.” (Romans 13:1-3)

I believe 100% that praying for government is a responsibility and a duty all Believers share.

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective.

Governments are not always what we want

Although politics is often not an easy discussion point and friends have become enemies (hopefully only temporarily) over such discussions, as followers of Jesus we are given some guidelines:

“Render unto Caesar what is due to Caesar…” Yes we must pay our taxes:)

“Be subject to the governing authorities” Yes, we must obey the law of the land.

We are also called to pray for our leaders:

“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour,” (1 Timothy 2:1-3)

There is a reward

As we pray for the leaders of the land, we are promised a quiet and peaceable life.

There are governments we might prefer and others we might despise, but we must pray… and intercede… for all in authority over us. 

We cannot afford to ignore politics in these darkening times. Satan loves to stir dissent and so we must do battle against the whiles of the enemy. 

Covering ourselves

We can pray without ceasing.

We can use Ephesians 6:10-18 and stand for our nations.

We can ask others — our pastoral leaders, other prayer warriors —  to cover us as we battle for the lost and for the nations.

But I believe firmly, we must pray. It’s nearly election time… No more important time to pray! GOD’s will be done. Hallelujah and Amen.

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: part 55 Noah

It is through the line of Seth and his son Enosh that Noah is born. We know Noah, but from where did he come and why was he chosen by GOD to build the ark that would protect his family — and only his family — from the flood that would wipe out all living creatures on the earth?

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective.

The family of Adam

“This is the book of the genealogy of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and blessed them and called them Mankind in the day they were created. And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth. After he begot Seth, the days of Adam were eight hundred years; and he had sons and daughters. So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years; and he died. Seth lived one hundred and five years, and begot Enosh. After he begot Enosh, Seth lived eight hundred and seven years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years; and he died.” (Genesis 5:1-8)

Throughout Chapter 5 of Genesis the genealogy is listed until Noah and his sons are born.

Note first that all those listed lived for hundreds of years and would have known their children, grandchildren and several generations beyond. Even taking into account that most had children after they were 100 years old, Noah would have known relatives at least 5 generations born before him. Oddly, he didn’t have his own children until he was over 500 years old. I wonder why? Might he have been walking particularly closely with GOD before he married and had children? Might he have delayed his personal romantic life for the sake of intimacy with his Creator?

The key to the genealogy from Seth

Whilst Cain and his descendants were building and living in the city, what was Enosh doing? It was from Enosh that “men began to call upon the name of the Lord.” (Genesis 4:26)

And so, it is from the line of Seth and not Cain that Noah descended. Unfortunately, all of humanity had become depraved, except for him and his family, by the time he was called to built the ark. 

Perhaps Noah delayed raising a family because he saw what was evil in the sight of the LORD and found no desire to bring people into the world. 

What we do know is that GOD waited until depravity was extensive and until Noah was mature. Then He called Noah to build the ark. 

Reading Genesis 5 carefully, we see that it only took the righteous line of Seth 8 generations to fall into such depravity than GOD decided to rid the world of sinfulness. We need not contemplate for long to what degree those from the line of Cain developed evil at the same time.

Noah was the only righteous man only 10 generations from Adam. 

Today’s decay

When we look at our society today, how quickly it has eroded since removing Biblical prayer from schools, removing church from our lives, and entrusting most schools and homes to the secular influence. It is easy to understand how the world in the beginning could erode so quickly.

Noah

“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” (Genesis 6:8)

Noah was a ‘righteous’ man and so we see GOD’s mercy upon him and his family. When we look at Genesis, we see humanity quickly descending into evil when unchecked by GOD or His goodness. Looking at our own society’s reflection, we can see the difference between a society soaked in GOD’s Word and what happens when the teaching of that Word is removed.

UK revival

We need to pray for this nation, for the Word to be welcomed back and for the name of Jesus to return to the lips of those who seek to know GOD.

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Zion? Israel? What is the Jewish claim to the Holy Land…

Israel documented from ancient history

It is incredible to me how anyone can look into history and suggest that those who call themselves Israel did not exist before 1948.

What is the Jewish claim to the Holy Land?

Zion? Israel? What is it?

In the age of the Egyption Pharoahs, when the Hebrews crossed the River Jordan from the wilderness into the Promised Land… that was the start of GOD’s nation of Israel. It took a few hundred years before it became a nation… but eventually it did. Then it was overrun and folks were displaced…

A look at the history of Babylon or Persia reveals the removal of Jews from the land during the reign of King Nebachudnezer and the return of those exiled under King Cyrus of Persia. This has been well documented in history books.

Biblically, in the Book of Ezra Chapter 2, there is a detailed list of those who returned from captivity to Jerusalem and Judah. This document is one piece of much evidence that the LORD GOD knew would be valuable today, as it was in the 19th and 20th centuries when the British government and many within, first sought to return Jews to their native land. 1948 was the culmination of those efforts, though the borders where somewhat reduced from the earlier promises and the historical geography of the land.

“Now these are the people of the province who came back from the captivity, of those who had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away to Babylon, and who returned to Jerusalem and Judah, everyone to his own city.” (Ezra 1:1). The next 69 verses lists the family names, numbers in the family, sometimes their jobs, other times their livestock. It is detailed. Why? It’s a document of proof.

Jerusalem is mentioned repeatedly; it was and is the historic land of the Jewish people.

Damascus, Jerusalem — these are Old Testament cities which still exist today. The one proves the other. Lebanon, Israel — these are nations from the Old Testament which still exist today. The one proves the other.

Israel’s historical existence is in no doubt

Let there be no doubt of the ancient history of Israel: First it was a nation under King Saul, then King David, then King Solomon. It became divided thereafter but although the Northern Kingdom called Israel dissolved, the Southern Kingdom of Judah survived and the Romans changed the name of the entire territory from Isreal to Palestine to root out the rebels. And yet, through dispersion and return, the Jews have always inhabited the land of Israel. Arabs too lived there in less ancient times, but there was never a nation of Palestine and never were Arabs in charge of the land. It was occupied by one group or another until the British Mandate in the 19th and early 20th centuries, until Jordan (at first called TransJordan) and Israel became the Arab and Jewish nations in their own right.

Those who call themselves Palestinian now

The Arabs who call themselves Palestinian now are simply the Arabs who refused to integrate into either Israel or Jordan. They want all the land of Israel to belong to them and for them, there is no room for the Jewish state or its people. 

“From the River to the Sea” simply means they desire and claim the land so that there will be no more Jews in their own historic land.

What is fair

It isn’t to ask what is fair. What is fair is to have no bullying, no violence, no indoctrination against another nation. But that isn’t relevant. Those who argue the origins of Palestine as a legitamate argument fail to acknowledge there has never been a state of Palestine and weaken their “right” to a nation because Israel has been a nation historically, which they categorically deny.

What is true: that is the question. History cannot be erased or altered. What has been, has been. Israel as a nation has existed for centuries. Palestine has never existed as a nation. For me, that is the starting point.

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: part 54 Intimacy with GOD

To worship the LORD is the beginning of holiness, the beginning of our holiness journey.

“Give to the Lord the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!” (1 Chronicles 16:29)

Genesis 4:25-26 shares that another son of Adam is born,

“And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, “For God has appointed another seed for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed.” And as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of the Lord.” 

When we look at Seth, we’ll see another man who is born in sin, and yet through Seth a society is developed that seeks after Him.

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective.

Genesis 4 ends with the birth of Seth and the leadership of his son Enosh, and to mankind acknowledging “the name of the Lord.”

Praise GOD!

The most interesting thing

When we look at scripture, there are times when “LORD” is spelled in capitals; this refers to Father GOD, the Creator. Then other times we see it written as “Lord”, and at these times it refers to the Word, Jesus or the Lord who is GOD but not as the 1st Person of GOD: The Creator or Father of the Universe.

I find it interesting that here in Genesis 4, Lord is not put in all caps. What does that imply? That these people acknowledge GOD but as one walking with them, or in proximity or in intimacy.

Wow! Not only did GOD not abandon humanity, but He still walked with the people, in spite of their being cast out of Eden, in spite of their losing their perfection, in spite of their being dead in the Spirit.

It is through the line of Seth and Enosh that Noah is born. This we will look at in some detail next week…

Every blessing as you navigate GOD’s witness within your spirit this week.

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

The Meaning of Christmas

For me: the meaning of Christmas is CHRIST the saviour.

Isaiah 49:6 says it’s too small a thing for GOD to send the Word, Jesus, only for the Jews but for the Gentiles as well. Why did He need to be sent? Because we human beings were slaves to the World and we needed rescuing. 

Satan claimed the earth for his dominion when he successfully deceived Eve, and Adam knowingly accepted her offer of the forbidden fruit to maintain relationship with her. 

All fall short

People, all people, have needed rescuing as a result of Adam’s sin. Adam disobeyed GOD and broke their relationship. The Jews, GOD’s chosen people, were meant to share GOD’s reality to the rest of the world by modelling worship and relationship. They failed and instead needed rescuing like the rest of us.

GOD’s action plan

Christmas then marks the start of GOD’s action plan of sending His Son to be a substitute sacrifice. Something needs to be sacrificed to restore relationship with GOD. That’s part of GOD’s structure, His way of reconnecting us to Himself.

The most important gift in the Christmas Story is the myrrh which represents Jesus’ sacrifice.

It isn’t the baubles, it isn’t the gifts, it isn’t even the newborn baby. It’s the death and resurrection of the man whom the baby will become. And the gift of Myrrh symbolises this rescue gift to us.

For me then, Christmas is about Jesus coming to earth so that we all can be restored to GOD, if we so choose. And Christmas is about the gift of sacrifice that Jesus would become as represented by the myrrh given to Him by the wise men (actually by the time they got to Jesus He was about two years old… but that’s another piece of history with a truncated date that has been woven into the Story for convenience).

Next Monday is Christmas day. I don’t think I’ll be writing… but wish you Every Blessing, whether or however you celebrate the day.

Sarah

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: part 27 What is Rest?

Genesis 2 begins thus:

“Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.” (v 1-2)

What is Rest?

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective. 

Why did GOD Rest?

We know that GOD worked six days to create the earth, everything in it and all that surrounds it. That’s what Genesis 1 tells us. Then He rested. But why? If GOD is GOD, surely He doesn’t sleep. Psalm 121:4 says, “Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep.” Since Israel is GOD’s chosen people, it is He who “keeps Israel” — protects, watches over, counts the nation as His children.

So, what does Rest mean?

Firstly, note that Genesis 2:1-2 emphasises the completion of Creation by GOD. The work finished, He stopped working, creating. Instead, on the seventh day, He rested.

Rest is not working. Rest assumes stopping from work. But rest is so much more than relaxing, taking a vacation, ceasing from work.

It was the seventh day and it was the day of rest. It would become the Sabbath, the final day of the week, the day to keep holy. The seventh day, the first day after all of Creation was completed, marked the end of one week leading to the beginning of another. This would come to give structure to Mankind’s time.

Still Rest means even more

Leviticus 22:3 is one of many scriptures that refers to the Sabbath, “Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.”

It is a holy day, it is GOD’s day, it is a day of ‘solemn rest’. GOD takes this rest day very seriously.

In Psalm 95, the Creator is quoted,

“For forty years I was grieved with that generation, 

And said, ‘It is a people who go astray in their hearts,

And they do not know My ways.’

So I swore in My wrath,

‘They shall not enter My rest.’”

This suggests GOD is ensuring the Hebrews suffer consequences for their disobedience.

Hebrews 3 reiterates this same consequence of rebellion, “So I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’”

What is the rest these rebels do not receive or enter?

Further study reveals What is Rest

Rest is intimacy with GOD. It is peace of mind. It is living in the anointing and covering of the Holy Spirit. Rest is freedom from anxiety, stress, fear or worry. It is a rest in the heart of Man as well as in the body. It is contentment, closeness with GOD. It is peace.

GOD’s offer

GOD supplies all our needs. He also offers us relationship. We can work to satisfy our need for productivity. And we can rest to enjoy the consequence of that productivity. And in that rest, we can commune with GOD. And that is the ultimate in rest. Hallelujah!

All this first expressed on Day 7 of His marvellous Creation!

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Politics and Society today

A Message to the World regarding Climate Change

Where is our focus as regards Climate Change? 

No solution is possible unless we focus in the right place.

Today, I offer a message to the world regarding climate change.

By focusing on ourselves rather than on GOD….

It is as if we are responsible for Climate Change and we can and must fix it. 

However, the reality is that Climate Change, while in part is due to carbon fuels in the air, it is also part of a cycle of nature; for example in England during the Tudor times, climate was unusually warm like it has been recently. 

By focusing on GOD….

GOD is the ultimate authority over the planet, the nations, and Climate Change. I believe if we want change against the climate trajectory, we need to implore Him to alter the direction we think He is going. 

I believe it is not going to be possible to correct climate according to our version of what should be. We cannot manage it technologically nor economically in the time frame we think is necessary. Rather, we need to be good stewards and we need to pray, acknowledging the reality of GOD and of His authority and creativity.

“If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves…” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

The LORD will make His adjustments either to help us or we will suffer the consequences of our greed, sin and selfishness. We cannot defy His plans through combat or denial of His power and authority over that which He created and rules.

May I encourage Believers to pray so that society will recognise its true responsibility to acknowledge GOD? Renewal and revival will draw us back to GOD and the rest will follow.

In Jesus’ name, I pray for change: a change of heart, a change of focus. Then, if climate needs to change, the actions of mankind will be aimed in the correct direction and GOD’s ultimate will for mankind will be achieved. He does not desire that mankind should perish, and yet we suffer the consequences of our poor choices. What will be our end depends upon our relationship — as society as well as individuals — with GOD the Creator of the universe.

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Tomorrow

As we consider the theme of TOMORROW, I invite you to have a listen to a post I created a few weeks ago…

Watch this on Facebook: Tomorrow

And pray that we can measure out our time, submit our plans to the LORD and trust He will give us the desire of our hearts.

Shalom, Shalom — GOD’s peace on this and every day….

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: part 25 Mankind is Created.

Why?

“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…” (Genesis 1:26a)

The when, why and how mankind is created… and why in GOD’s image?

GOD made mankind: In the image of our Creator, man is created! The Father of all mankind creates man in His likeness: Man has soul because GOD has a soul; Man has spirit, because GOD has spirit.

Philippians 4:8 says, “whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”

And so as I share this blog post with this in mind, I focus on the goodness of GOD. We seek to identify the motive behind GOD creating mankind in His own image. We are the Bride of Christ, seeking to grow in His likeness, His wisdom, His knowledge and understanding.

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective. 

Creation peaks

GOD has already made angels, He has made galaxies, He has made life! Now the culmination of all of this is one entity who will watch over His earthly creation. He makes man, and He makes it clear man is created in GOD’s own image. This suggests to me that no other part of His creation is in His own image, not even the angels.

Man is made after all the other beasts. He is made last…. GOD saved the best for last, as the saying goes! 

He is made after the universe is created, and after the angels. Job 38:7 suggests Job [aka man] was nowhere “When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God [aka angels] shouted for joy”. The devil inhabited the serpent in the garden and therefore, Lucifer (the archangel who became proud and was cast from heaven and was given the new identity of Satan, the devil) had to have pre-existed Adam.

Man is called to have dominion over the animals

We learn that, in order for the earth and the animals to be stewarded, Man is given dominion over all Creation… including “every creeping thing that creeps on the earth”. (Genesis 1:26)

Man is made to exercise dominion over the earth

The angels were made before GOD made Adam. Before the creation of man, already Lucifer had fallen and had taken a third of the other angels with him (Isaiah 14). He was hurled to the earth when, in His pride, the angel of worship fell and his identity was transformed from the angelic to the demonic. He became Satan, the devil. Take note that in due course, it is the devil who enters a creeping thing and deceives Eve. Did the serpent allow this or was it trust upon him?

Why did GOD make Man?

GOD made man in His image.

GOD made man to look after all the rest of Creation. Yes, He made man to take dominion over the earth. But He also made man for relationship; He made man to walk with Him, talk with Him, “And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day”. (Genesis 3:8)

And yet in His generosity and love, GOD realised it was “not good” for man to be alone in his kind and so GOD made a mate, a female, as an equal and as a helper.

“And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” (Genesis 2:18)

Were the consequences expected?

Did GOD know that the Eve would listen to the serpent? Did GOD know that Adam would join with the woman and defy Him? Did GOD know that would happen? He must have. So why did He do create a situation where this could happen?

Perhaps it hinges on Lucifer’s fall.

Perhaps GOD made man to stand in contrast to the fallen, the demons. Maybe He created man to deal with Satan. In the long run, we already know that Jesus defeated the devil and our faith in Him is the way back to GOD. Perhaps on the journey of mankind to turn back to GOD, man turns his back on Satan as a necessary step in GOD’s redemption plan.

Is it possible that one reason for Mankind’s existence is to demonstrate the inferiority of Satan’s power compared to GOD’s? Is it possible the creeping creature, superior to other creatures with each organic life form being more advanced than the previous, was proud like Lucifer and resented a superior creation succeeding him? These two factors could lay the foundation which would lead mankind first to choose death rather than the Life-giver, but would take humanity through a long process which would lead us ultimately, back to the GOD we deserted? Is it possible that the battle between GOD and Satan continues until man returns to GOD, completing GOD’s purposes and intentions for dominion and relationship?

Let’s dig deep

May I encourage us all to contemplate GOD’s motives for creating man, in an effort to discover Him more deeply. I don’t have definitive answers but as I attempt to draw closer to GOD and look from His perspective, I discover Him more, and myself too. Because as I delve into questions, I pray for my mind to be transformed, made closer to His. And that has to be a good thing.

Hallelujah! However long the course may be, GOD has already won!

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: part 23 Reflecting upon GOD

I’m exploring Genesis to learn GOD’s point of view. I’m reflecting upon Him.

GOD’s Story

Here at Preparing the Bride, I’m telling GOD’S STORY. Presumptuous?! Not when simply looking at scripture, because scripture is the unfolding of God’s story to those who read it.

Reflecting upon Him

I received the lovely benefit of personal prayer on Sunday morning at church and as the pastor prayed, and while receiving the blessing of prayer, the LORD said to me, “Just tell My story”…. So, I’m reflecting upon Him.

Just write about His story — what does that mean?

First and foremost, this whole stream called GOD’S STORY is His story — not ours.

“In the beginning GOD…” 

Before I continue to Day 6: the creation of living, breathing, animate life, I’m returning to, pausing at, reflecting upon GOD and His Story.

Glory. Majesty. Thanksgiving. Peace….

These are some words which help define GOD, our Father in Heaven:

“Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name…”

He’s holy, good, benevolent, perfect, powerful, loving.

But He’s also a jealous GOD, “for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” (Exodus 34:14). This is, I believe, because He knows if we don’t focus upon Him we run at our peril…. not because He will strike us down because He’s mean, but because the enemy is out to capture us to destroy us, and running on our own we are so vulnerable to this enemy of GOD.

But GOD

So, as we remain focused upon Him, we know this GOD of ours who is perfect, benevolent and good leads us, desires relationship with us. And we who want to be benevolent and good need Him to accomplish this in us. GOD knows this. So even in His jealousy, it is for our benefit and not because He is nasty that He is jealous for us.

GOD is so good. He is so good, beyond our comprehension or imagination. 

Summary

So today and every day is about Him: God. Yaweh. Yehovah. Elohim. His majesty, His glory, His goodness, His righteousness, His fatherhood: of all things created: man, beast, flora, fauna, air, fire, water, earth, sea, sky, heaven, sun, moon, stars — He is everything.

This piece — this steam called GOD’S STORY is about Him: His peace, His creation, His identity. “I AM that I AM.”


Let us meditate on this, with Him near. Let Him wrap us in His presence. Let Him teach us more and more about Him. Let us enjoy Him, for no reason other than to enjoy Him. And let us dwell, abide with Him.

In Jesus’ name, Amen

Larus Press

Larus Press with the blog stream Preparing the Bride is all about enabling us to be ready for Jesus’ return, preparing also for all He has in store for us in the meantime.

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective. In this case, He began to create life in its various formats: Plant life, then animal, and finally human — GOD breathed with His Spirit like no other life form preceding.

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’s STORY part 22 TIME

I’m exploring Genesis to learn GOD’s point of view. I’m looking now at Time: When did Time start? Could there be a day without a night… Three days before the sun and moon were created GOD created days one, two and three. But how could the beginning of Time be before the separation of Day from Night?

And what is Time to GOD? Is it significant?

Today I’m drawing attention to the day that GOD brought forth the sun, moon and stars… It is the forth day. Is this the beginning of Time? Or did each day mark Time and hence was the beginning of Time at the marking of the first day?

Genesis 1:14-19

“Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.”

Seasons, days, and years are marked during the forth day.

Is seems the creation of sun and moon coincided with the rotation of the earth, provoking the change in seasons. Did rotation begin at the marking of the first day then or not until the end of the forth?

When Time began

Why — or is it How — could GOD consider the conclusion of a day without the sun and moon being created first? Why did He wait until the forth day before creating sun and moon? 

Perhaps GOD considers activity the marking of a day. Since He is light, a day didn’t require to be surrounded by a night in order to mark a day. It was GOD’s choice to end a day at the close of a particular activity. And yet, along the way, He decided to set markers, light sources: the sun and the mood, which would define day and night. I wonder, was this designed in anticipation of mankind and their needs?

Take nothing for granted

I’m asking these questions because I seek to take nothing for granted. GOD made the stars, He was before the beginning, He has always been and will always be. And yet, I discover GOD: His nature, His character, His creation, little by little, thought by thought. I learn and grow according to the depth of my search and when I discover more of GOD, I am thrilled and grateful.

“And GOD saw that it was good”

Isn’t that superb!

What is Time to GOD?

This morning I’ve been reading Ezekiel 36. In this chapter GOD promises He will again restore Israel 

“….Because they say to you, ‘You devour men and bereave your nation of children,’ therefore you shall no more bereave your nation anymore,” says the LORD GOD. “Nor will I let you hear the taunts of the nations anymore…..” (Ezekiel 36:13-15)

I focus on the word “anymore”, which occurs several times in the chapter. In the context, this can mean, ‘not to be repeated’ or it can mean ‘permanently’. Taking the second meaning, it is Time-related in that GOD is saying no more will this occur ‘until the end of Time’.


But we know that the cycle of Israel’s rejection / acceptance is exactly that, cyclical. Anti-Semitism rises and falls with the ages. This passage may be referring only to what follows for Israel after the End of the Age… When Jesus has returned for the second time and is reigning and ruling on the earth.

But I take another view: for GOD, Time is insignificant. He is outside of Time. For Him, permanence is the ultimate. Time is, in one sense, irrelevant, because while something is in existence, it is always in existence. And so, “never again” doesn’t necessarily mean “not anymore” but rather for GOD the ultimate is “never again” and “not anymore”. 

We see time as finite. GOD sees Time as infinite. If we lived our lives according to His thinking, we’d never need to panic about lateness… or perhaps we’d never get anything accomplished (LOL).

Summary

Looking at Time from GOD’s perspective is food for thought. 

The most important concept to grasp is that generally speaking, GOD doesn’t view things the same way that we do. And as we grow more into His likeness through Jesus, we can capture His way of thinking and live more in harmony with Him, through the power and presence of Holy Spirit in our lives.


GOD’s Story

Here at Preparing the Bride, I’m telling GOD’S STORY. Presumptuous?! Not when simply looking at scripture, because scripture is the unfolding of God’s story to those who read it.

Larus Press with the blog stream Preparing the Bride is all about enabling us to be ready for Jesus’ return, preparing also for all He has in store for us in the meantime.

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective. In this case, Time is marked by GOD and so He was before Time was. If Time ever comes to an end, GOD will continue after. This I find comforting and encouraging…. The maker of Heaven and Earth created them for His delight, as an expression of Himself and of His creativity. 

GOD saw that it was good. Hallelujah!

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: Part 20 Evidence of Creation

As I crawl through Genesis to learn what is GOD’s point of view, I discover today that GOD is timeless and all-knowing. Today I see He’s given us evidence of Creation in His very description of His Creation.

He is simply, GOD!

Genesis 1:9-10 says,

Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good.”

Land and Seas

This makes me think of the issue of Creation v Evolution… Did GOD create the world and does it matter to believing Christians? My quick answer is, of course He did and of course it does. Was it in 7 – 24 hour days? I think so but whether that matters or not to salvation or to our effectiveness in His name is a diversion not worth taking here today.

These 2 verses are evidence for Creation

One landscape called earth surrounded by a body of water that seems to begin from anything or nothing and extend to everywhere! is what it says was created on Day 3. For me, the flood and the subsequent splitting of the continents is demonstrated in this. If you take just a glance at the way the earth meets the oceans and imagine the shorelines, there is a puzzle-shaped interconnection between the continental shorelines which makes it obvious to me that the earth was once one mass of land surrounded by water. And this is precisely what it says in verse 9 — the Earth is ‘gathered together’ with the waters or “Seas” surrounding. 

There are many aspects to creation and the flood which are borne out with study (an internet search of Ken Ham and Dr Grady McMurtry, their videos, will introduce this to you, for those not familiar already).

I see that GOD put these verses in Genesis, in His Word to support the Creation debate — which is ongoing even now — in our favour. He knew Darwin would ponder nature, He knew skeptics would relish an opportunity to slam the existence of Himself, He knew we would need proof when Faith is tested. And so, He has given us the words to help us stand on the truth of His Creation.


There once was a time when the existence of God or gods was recognised universally. The debate was not whether to worship GOD but rather to consider who is GOD and who or what are we to worship. Now the very existence of GOD is challenged.

What we do with these words which exist to help us, this awareness of GOD, the clarity of Creation in nature, is up to us.

GOD has given us keys and tools for debate. He has given us the core of Creation as a starting block to our faith. Without it, we are on shaky ground in a world which doubts and tests GOD’s existence. GOD knew this would happen. And He knew what we’d need to stand these tests.

All of creation is waiting and longing for You, LORD. Thank you for your evidence to us — to all. Thank you that you’ve given us evidence of Your Creation. 

Let us take these tools and put them to good use.

Amen and Amen.

Larus Press with the blog stream Preparing the Bride is all about enabling us to be ready for Jesus’ return, preparing also for all He has in store for us in the meantime.

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective.

Here at Preparing the Bride, I’m telling GOD’S STORY. Presumptuous?! Not when simply looking at scripture, because scripture is the unfolding of God’s story to those who read it.

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Walking in the Spirit

Walking in the Spirit

Psalm 32:8-9 reads,

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with My eye.

Do not be like the horse or like the mule,
Which have no understanding,
Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle,
Else they will not come near you.”

When we draw close to the LORD, He draws close to us (James 4:8).

You do realise He will lead us, instruct us by His word? This is walking in the Spirit!

Yes! Knowing His word gives us understanding. But allowing ourselves to hear His voice and follow His lead will give us that intimacy and instruction as to His pervasive gaze in our situation, enabling us to be His servants. 

When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, walking with Him daily, surrendered and open to opportunities and leadership, He will speak to us and we will hear. He speaks all the time but how well we are tuned in determines how much we hear. And when we hear, do we respond?

We are not puppets nor tiny children, unable to take decisions or responsibilities on our own. But we are His workmanship, His vessels, His hands and feet. How willing, how tuned in, how surrendered are we?

Psalm 32, written centuries before Jesus came and sent His Holy Spirit — helper, comforter, who convicts us and enables us to go deeper with GOD, to be more like Jesus — this Psalm tells us David was guided by that same spirit. Provided by that same understanding, he heard His heavenly GOD and penned as he was inspired to do.

And what does GOD say to Him and to us?

He instructs us. He guides us. He does not want us religiously tied to a “bit and bridle” but wants us free to engage, free to be with Him and ready to move as He leads, not by force but through intimacy…. It is a partnership.

I for one cannot be lead of GOD only by the Word. That is supremely important. But so too is His Spirit within me.

[Thanks to Laurie Lockerbie, Kingston Canada, for the use of the Gull image]

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: Part 18 GOD is Divisive

GOD’S STORY Part 18 GOD is Divisive

“… and GOD divided the light from the darkness. GOD called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.” (Genesis 1:4b-5)

So: I’m crawling through Genesis at the moment, to discover what is GOD’s point of view. I discover today that GOD is divisive!

Larus Press with the blog stream Preparing the Bride is all about enabling us to be ready for Jesus’ return, preparing also for all He has in store for us in the meantime.

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’s STORY. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective.

Here at Preparing the Bride, I’m telling GOD’S STORY. Presumptuous?! Not when simply looking at scripture, because scripture is the unfolding of God’s story to those who read it.

Let there be Light

“GOD is light and in Him is no darkness at all….” (1John 1:5b)

And yet,

Job 34:21-23 states,

“For His eyes are on the ways of man,

And He sees all his steps.

There is no darkness nor shadow of death

Where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.

For He need not further consider a man,

That he should go before God in judgment.”

GOD is light. He sees into the darkness, into the secrets of mankind. And as He created Day and Night, He surely did not sleep or abandon the darkness. He made Day and He made Night, and nothing is hidden from Him at any time. And so He is in both the darkness and in the light. What does this imply?

GOD separates: He begins Time by separating Day from Night. He will create a bright source of light for Day and a lesser light for Night. And although even in darkness there is light… He has separated light from darkness, day from night.

He divides

He divides Time into days. He divides day by night. He divides good from evil, right from wrong, life from death, truth from lies… and so on. And through this division we can begin to learn His perspective: to discover who GOD is, and what He is not.

Why does division matter?

GOD will know what is to come… The battle for mankind between GOD and satan will take mankind millennia to navigate. They will need to know a clear difference between GOD and notGOD. They will need a clear distinction. And so GOD makes the difference clear, mirrored in the contrast between light and not light.

Division marks out choice

Mankind — each individual will have a choice between GOD and notGOD. We need to see through the darkness clearly, to find our choice.


Isn’t division bad?

Society has trained us to see division as a negative. But it is simply a distinction, neither negative or positive…

Even today we see division being eroded. Men and woman are equal but to some that means they are the same. Black and White have suddenly become politicised and making a distinction is racist. We are experiencing an unprecedented attack on differences.

But GOD is here, there, everywhere…. then and now

GOD created differences; He created variety and in that variety He created individual uniqueness. 

First He created Day and Night; Light is His first distinction. 

GOD is there -> GOD is light -> GOD is marking out Time. This will be for a purpose, a form of distinction. Yes, GOD is divisive (and we distinguish this even in our debates about the very existence of GOD)… We may not like division, we may have been programmed to not like it but it is true, real, a necessary part of Creation.

GOD created evening, morning = the first day

He must have marvelled at His Creation. And He didn’t stop there. First day implies more is coming. And yes, He created MORE.

Dividing 

Dividing Time, He would go on to create even more diversity. Dividing is creative; diversity is exciting. A new day will come — a second after a first. And difference, division, darkness and light are not to be shunned or feared. They are part of GOD’s Creation.

As usual, our walk with GOD shakes up our thinking. Let’s have more of GOD’s divisions…

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: part 17 God is Present

GOD’S STORY Part 17 God is Present

Here at Preparing the Bride, I’m telling GOD’S STORY. Presumptuous?! Not when simply looking at scripture, because scripture is the unfolding of God’s story to those who read it.

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? We learn GOD’s Story. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked.

Looking at GOD’s Character in Genesis 1 we read, “And the Spirit of GOD was hovering over the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:2b)

A spiritual GOD is hovering…. present, aware, available, engaged.

Who is the Spirit of GOD?

Hovering suggests to me anticipation (what will happen next?), present (and immediate to the space), aware (conscious), poised (filled with potential energy), watchful (ready to act!)…. to do something!

I’ve heard it said that the Spirit of GOD — known as Holy Spirit — is the power and the presence of GOD. Jesus called Him the Helper. Theologians explain He’s the third person of the Trinity. 

From this scripture, I think He is revealed as eager! Eager to create. Eager to engage. Eager to do: alive and alert to His surroundings and ready to engage. But what would happen? Since the earth was lacking form, what would Holy Spirit do about that? 

He could change what was void into something more. And He did!

Then GOD spoke, and what did the Spirit do?

“God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.” (Genesis 1:3)

How did that happen?

Holy Spirit is the action behind the spoken word.

Perhaps we shall see Holy Spirit as Action Man — the action aspect of GOD and the action within man…. since man has been created in GOD’s image. (Genesis 1:27)

Who is Holy Spirit… in us?

First and foremost, Holy Spirit is GOD. He is one of three personalities in one GOD. 

Holy Spirit is not only power; He is GOD’s power, and GOD’s power put into us when we accept Jesus. He is, always has been and always will be. We first met him in scripture in Genesis 1. He is the power of GOD hovering, ready when called upon, ready when needed. 

Perhaps the single most important take away from this post is, GOD is present with us, active in us, ever with us. 

From experience, I add: the more we surrender to Him -> the more we acquaint ourselves with Him -> the more active the Spirit is within us -> the more empowered we are -> the more we effect society, pointing others to Truth in Messiah Jesus -> and society is transformed to joy, peace, rest.

Holy Spirit transforms us and empowers us to transform the world. As Jesus did when in earthly ministry, so He commissions us to

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)

When we are active, doing as He asks us to do, He is pleased, we are pleased and the world is a better place. That’s an integral part of GOD’s Story because what He has always wanted is fellowship. As it is written in Matthew 22,

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. …”

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: part 15 Discovery!

GOD’S STORY Part 15 Discovery

Here at Preparing the Bride, I’m telling GOD’S STORY. Recently I was offered prayer. I said, “Sure, thank you!” I didn’t realise it would lead to such a Discovery!

One word that recurred in tongues three times as I was prayed for was “Torah” 

Discovery

So, I came home and looked at Genesis 1:1 (which you read about last entry)

And I realised, I’m meant to share GOD’s Story simply, through the Torah!! Double exclamation mark because how could I miss what is SO OBVIOUS to me now?!

“How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? We learn GOD’s Story. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked.” 

I wrote the above several weeks ago as I began to seek to honour GOD through creating the GOD’S STORY blog chain. Only NOW I’ve realised, this rediscovery of the Pentateuch, the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, is the format I’m meant to use…

GOD’S STORY: Part 15 Discovery

Reading Genesis, I’m discovering so much. This is simply what the Father is saying to me as I read,

“Tell My story without preconditions or assumptions…”

So here goes:

Genesis 1:3a “Then GOD said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.”

But why did GOD ask for light? He is light. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12) so why ask for light as darkness was on the face of the deep? Why did He place Himself into the darkness?

What I recognise is that He spoke His reality into being, in to the Creation, joining with His Creation, saying through this action: ‘Let there be light there too’ or ‘I put Myself into Creation’ or ‘All of Creation has My stamp, My ID, my creativity, My life in it’.

He simply invaded the space, invades every space, doesn’t He? If so, that means He’s here now and always. Yes, that would jive with the supernatural and omnipresent concept of GOD.

Genesis 1:1-3

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.”

Before the heavens and the earth there was GOD. He was in relationship: Creator, Word and Spirit: three personalities in one GOD. 

We don’t know if there were other planets before He created the earth. Perhaps they are part of “the heavens” in this text. Physics, in my limited understanding would suggest (and remember GOD created Laws of physics too) that the planets which are in perfect balance including the earth, were created at the same time as the earth, so that all were created in perfect balance with one another. All we know from this scripture is that GOD preceded the heavens and the earth. So, GOD created them: the heavens and the earth, and then gave form to the earth. His Spirit was over the waters which existed. Then GOD spoke….

And in those first few lines of scripture we have the Father – Creator, the Spirit – Holy Spirit, and the Word – the Son. All of the GODHEAD was before the heavens and the earth and for some reason, He began to create. Perhaps in creating all the planets He decided ‘I’m going to create something with life!’ There was the creative spark, there was the present Spirit, and there was the voice of GOD who spoke and brought forth light. Do you wonder if He had a full plan or if He just began… and allowed one idea to follow another?

Does an artist know the landscape he will paint before he begins? Does the playwright know the entire story before she begins? Do composers hear the complete compositions before they begin their masterpieces?

Here’s a thought

Imagine if we could speak and have our creative spirit simply create with our voices!? We can already copy that as writers, by voice recording our thoughts and implementing a computer programme which transcribes our manuscript.

And spiritually speaking, perhaps we can…. Perhaps we can do all that Jesus has done, before He was Jesus, when He was the voice of GOD speaking His Word. Perhaps the Father would like us to ask Him for this gift. Or perhaps we have it, we just don’t recognise it. Perhaps.

From GOD’s point of view: He thought, He was present, He spoke and brought forth light. How wonderful! What a wonderful, awesome, inspiring GOD.

And if we have the faith of a grain of mustard seed, perhaps we too have gifting in creativity we don’t even know we have, that He wants us to use, to put at His disposal, to increase His presence in this world…. We need to ask Jehovah GOD, and wait with Him for His reply…

Let’s just ponder that reality for this week.

Blessings….

Sarah

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Character Development Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Opinion is not required

Dear LORD, 

“Teach me to pray so that others will know your will.”

“Teach M***** to be more like you because right now s/he isn’t behaving righteously.”

“Teach my father/mother/brother/sister that I am right and they are wrong about ******.”

BUT GOD

In our prayers, in our walk, GOD doesn’t need our opinions. Our opinion is not required!

We are an opinionated lot, we human beings. And nowadays, with social media, we freely have the “right” to our opinions and the expression of them. Even the mainstream media outlets are full of editorial opinions which are expressed more than fact-based journalism … or at least that is my opinion (irony intentioned).

What does the LORD say in His Word about opinions?:

Romans 12:5 ends with “…. do not be wise in your own opinion.” I suspect that is not a frequently taught principle, neither inside nor outside the church.

“DO NOT BE WISE IN YOUR OWN OPINION”

This I believe is a word for today. For us. For you and for me.

I learned a while back that my opinion can get me into trouble: it leads me to judge, it leads me to close-mindedness, it leads me to relational breakdown. And what does it yield? Only a release of exasperation. That’s just my flesh! And I suspect it is the same for others of us… but that’s just my opinion. This conclusion is born from personal experience, but still it is only an opinion.

Walking away from the Word of GOD, society in the West has lost its compass. This habit of freely (and can I say sometimes: thoughtlessly and disrespectfully) expressing our opinion is a part of it.

I encourage us not to be wise in our own opinions but to “study the Word” and allow it to sharpen us (Hebrews 4:12)… and allow us to dwell peaceably with all men.

Dear LORD, 

“Teach me to be more like you, to know your word and to live it out, by the power of Holy Spirit in me.”

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Examining Biblical Scripture Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

The Power of the Cross: ticket for LIFE

The Power of the Cross holds the ticket to Life

The power of the cross is that through the death and resurrection of Jesus, we have the opportunity for eternal life. How does this work?

Isaiah 49:6 says “‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant

To raise up the tribes of Jacob,

And to restore the preserved ones of Israel;

I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles,

That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’”

In coming to earth, Jesus — GOD in the flesh — offers restoration between GOD and mankind. But how could His presence on earth make such a difference as to conquer death to mankind? What does “salvation” actually mean?

The LORD gave Jesus the commission to rescue the Jewish people, GOD’s elder son. But the commission of the Son, his suffering and his mission, was deemed to be too powerful and too huge a sacrifice to limit salvation only to the Hebrew people. 

GOD sent the son for ALL and faith in Jesus saves anyone who follows Him.

What Jesus did

Jesus was born without an earthly father, who is the source of our sinful nature. It is the sinful nature that separates us from GOD. So, with Holy Spirit as the father, Jesus was born without sin, unlike every other human being.

“I didn’t come to replace the Law but to fulfil it.” (Matthew 5:17)

GOD provides the Law in order to help mankind recognise their rebellious and sinful nature and to repent. Through sacrifice, mankind is able to repent and return to relationship with the Father. But while mankind demonstrates his inability to avoid sin, he is not able either to keep the Law. Therefore he needs something beyond the Law to save him.

Jesus offers reunion between the Law and the Father, between mankind and the Father, between Life and the source of Life. Faith in Him sets us free from our own sin through His sinlessness and His sacrifice. Jesus provides the “ticket” to eternal life.

Salvation enables freedom for the sinner, to reach the Father by His grace

Forgiveness, offered by the Father through faith in the Son, is the ticket to heaven after life on earth and freedom from oppression whilst on earth.

The first Adam sinned and gave up his immortality; the second Adam replaced sin and death with the opportunity for salvation and eternal life.

So, who is Jesus?

Jesus is the saviour for mankind: born of a virgin, He lived, taught, died, and in rising again brought victory over death. Jesus triumphed over sin and death. 

Faith in Him allows us to reap the benefit of resurrection. Faith in Jesus is the ticket to eternal life. The power of the cross is the resurrection power of a sinless substitute for our sin. 

Life is eternal for those who believe and follow Jesus. The power of the cross is the ticket to life!

“No one comes to the Father except through me”

Jesus said this not because He’s racist or egotistical but because no one else before or after, was sinless AND no one else before or after, defeated death. Those are the credentials Jesus has, and no one else. So like it or not, He’s the only Way to reunion with the Creator of the Universe, GOD the Father.

Shalom and God bless… may this explanation be useful to you and yours.

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: Part 12 Decision-making GOD’s Way

Here at Preparing the Bride, I’m telling GOD’S STORY. Presumptuous?! Not when simply looking at scripture, because scripture is the unfolding of God’s story to us who read it.

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? We learn GOD’s Story. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. 

GOD’S STORY Part 12 Decision-making

“Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men…” (Matthew 4:19)

As followers of Jesus, how is it possible for us to execute our own decision-making? 

Following is not easy, is it? But we must discipline ourselves, or make the choice, or  surrender…  even when making our own decisions. However we might choose to manage it, following Jesus is great but it is not always easy.

Often we can implement the LORD’s will. We hear from Him; then we use our talents, our time, our resources, to implement what the LORD has positioned us to do. But what about when He stretches us, asks us to go beyond our comfort zone to do something which will make a difference in this world but which pushes our envelope beyond our experience? The LORD led me in this way recently, and here’s where I went wrong…

From Follow to Muddle

Over the past week or two the LORD has been leading me in a new direction. And when it came to taking His lead, I got in quite a muddle. 

I want to share GOD’s Story — GOD’s perspective as near as I have worked it out so far, on decision-making. He prompted me to take some risks, to go out of my comfort zone, and I was willing. That was my choice. I did research and considered the information. I prayed and sought His direction. All of a sudden: BOOM!

I was eager to follow… but then…

Here’s the pattern I followed with the very best of intention

Step 1: I followed …. I received a prompt and whole-heartedly aimed to follow

Step 2: I anticipated next steps

Step 3: I reasoned —

Step 4: I recognised I was in a muddle. 

How did that happen? I anticipated rather than taking GOD’s lead to reason, to plan, to strategise and to implement.

What to do to prevent a repeat?

In the stillness, I must wait, rest, trust, wait some more… until I hear clearly the direction — advice — to take.

“He who waits upon the LORD shall renew his strength…” (Isaiah 40:31)

Following the LORD’s lead does not mean we don’t think, use our intellect and common sense. Rather, it means we allow GOD to influence our thinking, intellect and common sense. We allow the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to lead as we wait for Him to direct our steps.

Regret …. but lessons learned

I wish I’d not got ahead of GOD. But in recognising it I realise I’ve learned to be on the alert for my own anticipation. Enthusiasm is a wonderful characteristic, but we do need to curb our flesh, and surrender ourselves to Holy Spirit’s prompting if we are going to follow, from beginning to end, the fullness of GOD’s plan.

Decision-making begins at the very beginning of any move we make. When we give our hopes and aspirations, our goals and intents of our hearts to the LORD, when we trust He’s heard and rest in Him, He will direct our steps toward the destination. We hope, we trust, we hear, we share and then we follow…. allowing Him to unfold the direction of our steps to achieve our heart’s desire and that which He has for us. 

Every blessing for the week ahead…

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’s STORY: Part 10 Unpacking our free will with GOD

GOD’S STORY Part 10 Unpacking our Free Will 

I believe wholeheartedly that we who have given our lives to Jesus have free will. But I’d like to suggest we need to undertake the unpacking of our free will. We start by looking at what those who follow Jesus have inherited: We have a renewed mind, with the ability to see truth from deceit, light from darkness, life from death. Without this ability to see clearly, people have not got the full range of choices and so haven’t really got free will. Without Jesus, we are accountable to the devil, who keeps us ignorant and provides no freedom at all.

Here at Preparing the Bride, I’m telling GOD’S STORY. Presumptuous?! Not when simply looking at scripture, because scripture is the unfolding of God’s story to us who read it.

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? We learn GOD’s Story. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. 

Choice comes through clarity of mind

The LORD gives us the ability to know right from wrong from birth (Romans 1). But we choose to follow or to turn from Him. When we follow, we have the ability to see Truth and therefore to make an informed choice that is not available to those who are not born again.

That’s how I see it. But how does the LORD see things? Let’s try unpacking our free will: how GOD has designed humanity, how He leads us, and how He holds off destruction for a time.

GOD gives us freedom

Does GOD insist we obey constrictive rules OR does He give us room so that we can unpack our free will “at will”? Yes, I think He does the latter.

First, allow me to begin with the fact that the LORD knows the way we will choose, and He accounts for that in His bigger picture. (Job 23:10) He knows the choices we will make, and yet we do have the freedom to make our choices and experience the consequences.

Next, I ask you to imagine the LORD as a music producer: He knows the ultimate sound that will come forth, but He enables the composer, conductor and the instrumentalists to engage with one another and with Him to create a symphony of sound. In other words, He knows the ultimate outcome. He knows what will transpire in the meantime, and He waits for us to interact amidst His cues in a way that inspires, moves, motivates us. He knows — we discover. That’s our personal and societal journey. He knows not because He manipulates, but because He knows us, our character. How many of us as parents are more often predicting how our young child will behave. Sometimes we are surprised; but more often, if we know our child, there is a high level of prediction as to how s/he will behave in a particular situation. How much better does our father in heaven know, predict our behaviour and attitude. In fact, when we give our lives to Him, we commission Him to change us into His likeness. So first, He knows us, next He knows the end from the beginning, and ultimately He’ll enable us to fulfil our desire to be “like Him”.

Finally, the LORD has His absolute red lines: He has limits that will not be crossed. When Satan was allowed to mess with Job, the LORD said, “but do not take his life…” (Job 2:6). Similarly, there will come a day when the bowls of wrath will be full (Revelation 16:1) and then Jesus will return to judge the earth (Revelation 16:16-17). Jesus didn’t know when that time would be, but GOD the Father knows. (Matthew 24:36)

This is GOD’s Story, not mine

Ultimately, it matters not a bit what I think or have worked out. In the sovereignty of GOD, He holds the earth and everyone in it in His hands.

What does His omnipotence mean within this conundrum of our free will and His omnipotence?

Omnipotence is having unlimited authority and power. GOD has the power and authority to make choices and He has chosen to give us the freedom to make our own discoveries and our own choices. Whatever we choose will hold consequences. In His Story, GOD chooses to teach us and to shape us through our own choices ,experiences and consequences. That’s how it works under His sovereignty.

Character over Circumstance

In my experience and from observation as well, I see GOD always seems to choose our character development over our situation or circumstance. It seems so long as we survive, GOD would prefer us to grow spiritually, rather than to have an easy ride. He does grant us the desires of our hearts, though we sometimes confuse our will with our heart. Even when someone significant in our lives actually passes away, that experience grows us too. We can rest assured the loved one is in His presence and in His will now. And that passing will catapult our growth: both ours and others’ around us. 

Always, GOD takes our commitment at our word and gives us opportunity to shine! We are allowed to make our own choices: whether to prosper in our growth or to hide from our challenge, we always have a choice. 

When we follow His ways, our character will grow, and in that I believe He takes particular delight.

At the End of the Age… or at least at the end of the Day

Natural and scientific laws operate without GOD’s ongoing attention, because He designed them that way. Within those laws human beings exist and we are responsible for the rest of the earth: the other living creatures, the seas and landscapes. He brought us into this universe in order that we would relate to Him and to one another. Genesis 1 makes that crystal clear.

Since the Fall of man, His plan to bring us back to Him has been unfolding. He is patient, kind, wise, full of goodness and He awaits the appointed time for the grand unfolding of His new heaven and earth.

It is His timing and not ours. It is centuries long, even millennia. We might interpret this as a lack of interest or a lack of power on GOD’s part. But His fragrant love, His service to us as revealed particularly through Jesus, His never-ending devotion and guidance reveals to us that our actions do not dictate the times, seasons, conclusion to this Age — though they do impact our own lives. 

The sovereign will of GOD is like the globe: all encompassing, grander and greater than our individual circumstances, but nevertheless everlasting and ever engaging.

GOD uses reason but encompasses it with His sovereignty and so we live, move, have our being in Him, if we so choose, for we are His offspring (Acts 17:28)

Every blessing and Amen.

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’s STORY part 9 God has given us free will… Really?

Here at Preparing the Bride, I’m telling GOD’S STORY. Presumptuous?! Not when simply looking at scripture, because scripture is the unfolding of God’s story to us who read it.

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? We learn GOD’s Story. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. 

GOD’S STORY Part 9 Has GOD given us Free Will really?

Free Will

Each person makes his/her own choices. But does anyone have free will without the LORD? 

This is what I totally and whole heartedly believe Father Yehovhah GOD, Adonai Elohim wants me to write about this week…. It is a part of His Story which He wants us to understand…

Those who are in rebellion are under the control of the Evil One and make their choices in the dark. 

Those who are in the light of the love of GOD are free to choose which direction to take, fully in the light, fully able to see which is conditional on if we take the time and attention to look. Those who walk with Him make choices, have freedom to engage with Him, freedom to take or reject His guidance… free to take the blessings or consequences of our choices.

Recently, I had an invitation to speak but I had a conflict with the timing of that invitation, and so I had a choice to make. 

I waited on the LORD. I knew I could do either: speak or focus on my original arrangement, but I thought perhaps that He preferred I speak. But how could I reject the other pre-planned situation? Should I help 1 or the many? Then I thought of the 1 sheep and the 99 from Matthew 18. I chose to take care of the 1 even though the 99 might have benefitted.

Following the Word of GOD

I followed GOD’s Word, not because I had no choice, but because I made my choice. I had the peace of GOD then, though I believe that if I’d made a different choice it would not have been wrong. I’d have had different scripture to stand on. GOD gives us choices. 

“He knows the way that I take, and when I come forth I shall shine like gold.” (Job 23:10)

GOD is bigger than our choices

If we have free will, how can GOD be sovereign? This is a deep theological question. It believe it is part of GOD’s Story…. I’d like to continue this journey at a deeper level next time.

Summary

But the kernels to hold on today are: GOD gives free will, Satan blocks it for those who walk without the knowledge of Jesus Christ. And we are responsible for our choices but those who walk in Christ can see and have the opportunity to choose!

Shalom and Amen.

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’s Story Pt 8: Sovereignty of GOD

Here at Preparing the Bride, I’m telling GOD’S STORY. Presumptuous?! Not when simply looking at scripture, because scripture is the unfolding of God’s story to us who read it.

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? We learn GOD’s Story. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. 

GOD’S STORY Part 8 Sovereignty of GOD

GOD is Sovereign. Personally, I have no doubt about the Sovereignty of GOD… But how is it, when GOD is sovereign, that sometimes His will does not seem to come to pass? Is it correct to think His will does not always reign? 

Recently in the UK a new prime minister gained the title but after 6 weeks, she was forced to resign. The day she came into office the stained glass window in Westminster Hall, which is tidal, was completely alight. It was extraordinary and a rare — perhaps even a never before — event. To my mind and my prayer partners’ at the time, this was a marker for the LORD’s endorsement to her office. So why then did she not remain in office?

GOD does not interfere

I think the LORD observes and is grieved by some of the choices mankind makes. But He doesn’t interfere. He gave a gift of a particular leader as our Prime Minister in this example, who was then rejected by some powerful forces in media and banking, and she was forced out. 

I believe the LORD will continue to observe us — all of us all over the world — until He cannot allow the corruption of humanity to grow any deeper. Then the Restrainer, the presence of GOD through Holy Spirit, will be removed… and Jesus will return.

GOD’s course of Action is long-term

2 Thessalonians 2:7-12 says, 

“For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 

This is a reflection of Romans 1 as well, which explains that we are born knowing right from wrong and the truth of the Creator.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.”

GOD takes the long view and in doing so, He gives mankind opportunity to discover the Creator and to reconnect with Him. He gives us the opportunity to receive salvation, individually and nationally. He restrains evil. This is His ultimate will. But He gives us the choice to receive or to reject.

The Restrainer — Holy Spirit and His children, Believers who carry Him within —  He holds the enemy and total depravity at bay, giving each persona and each nation the opportunity to embrace the Truth.

Depravity and its reach

We see the evidence of the depraved mind more and more these days in the West, as we ignore common sense and the laws of science, embracing the fancy of individualisation. Evil is not yet fully developed in all its fullness. Even though the world is becoming darker and darker, in GOD’s sovereignty, He holds Satan at bay. 

But when the Restrainer is removed from this earth, what then? I believe this is to be marked by our rapture to Heaven, followed by the earth becoming consumed by depravity…. I shudder! 

Let’s not linger on the thought of a dark world without any goodness, kindness, righteousness whatsoever. 

The LORD’s grief

All the earth’s depravity grieves the LORD! He knows what will come to pass inevitably, but He holds off for as long as possible, for as many as possible to have every opportunity to see the light of Christ, and to receive Him, before His removal of His protection and the ultimate return and judgment of Jesus upon those who have rejected salvation.

What must is be like for the Father who observes?

In my mind’s eye, I can imagine our LORD, Abba Father, who observes our mistakes and waits for us to “knock” (Revelation 3:20) so that He can enter into our lives. 

I can envisage a Father who looks upon His children, wanting to enter into their activities and waiting to be invited. A huge embrace is available to those who call upon Him. 

For those who do not call upon this Father, He prompts them through bringing others into their lives; He gently steers and offers provision, but He does not force anyone to drink the water He offers. 

Eventually, time and opportunity will run out….

The End as we know the Earth

The earth may cease but GOD’s love will never cease. The heavens may fall, but GOD’s power will never decline. The enemy may rise, but GOD will never be defeated. The time may seem short, but His arm extends into infinity.

GOD’s sovereignty may not reveal itself as we would expect, or ask, but it never fails. By faith and through a glance at History, we can trace His eye, His hand, His will. His word reminds us of His promises and on these we can depend, because He is all-powerful.

In Jesus’ name, may we recall and reclaim that which He has already declared in His word.

“No weapon formed against us will prosper and every tongue that rises against us in judgment will fail.” (text) Ultimately, the end from beginning has been ordained and His will will succeed. Amen.

He is sovereign. Let us have no doubt of that.

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GOD'S STORY Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

GOD’S STORY: part 3 Love for Israel

Here at Preparing the Bride, I’m telling GOD’S STORY. Presumptuous?! Not when simply looking at scripture, because scripture is the unfolding of God’s story to us who read it.

This is GOD’s Story: Part 3. GOD’s love for Israel.

Let’s look at GOD’s story through His Psalm 105 to see GOD’s love for Israel.

GOD is Love.

The Hebrews en masse didn’t catch the depth and breadth of GOD’s love for them. Surely if they had, their nature and their nation would have experienced more joy, peace and confidence as they trusted and obeyed their Creator and advocate.

Looking at Psalm 105 the other day, I noticed how it starts with a celebration towards the LORD and responds with a sharing of His love for His chosen people: the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The reader is called initially to thank and celebrate the LORD, and to share His good deeds among His people — While today it could refer to those who believe in Him, Jew and Gentile alike (as we are grafted into the vine), historically, most certainly “His people” refers specifically to the Hebrews, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. That has never and will never change. 

The psalm is divided into 45 verses. It is a poem of praise to the Creator,

“Oh, give thanks to the LORD!… Sing to Him…. Talk of all His wondrous works!” (v1,2)

Then, His chosen people are identified: “O seed of Abraham His servant, You children of Jacob, His chosen ones!” (v6) and the LORD’s covenant is referenced (v9) and His devotion is quoted, “Do not touch My anointed ones…” (v15) 

A description of the history of Joseph and Moses in Egypt and all His goodness and protection in the wilderness toward them is referenced before the psalm ends with His holy promise of blessing and His practical demonstration of commitment to this chosen nation as “He gave the lands of the Gentiles, And they (the Hebrews) inherited the labour of the nations, That they might observe His statutes and keep His laws.” (v 44-45)

Why is it that repeatedly the miracles of the plagues against Egypt, the provision to the Hebrews of manna and quail, the guidance and protection from the pillars of cloud and fire… why are these things spoken of quite frequently in scripture? I think this is so because this history reveals HisStory of His grace, His supernatural power, His steadfast love and commitment to these His chosen people. They reveal His consistency as well, toward those who have turned away; He loves the sinner both Jew and Gentile and does not forget His promises to any of us.

The tragedy is that His people, in majority, have not kept His laws and so throughout time they have suffered loss including jealousy, accusation from others and a distance from GOD. Praise the LORD that things have been changing… There are and always have been a group of committed Jews, some Orthodox and some Reformed; but most excitingly, there are now an increasing number of Jewish people who are recognising Yeshua (Jesus) as Messiah as well. These Messianic Jews suffer rejection from their own Jewish neighbours and yet they stand fast for the Lord Jesus. I finished reading Psalm 105 thinking not of the Hebrews nor of myself, but predominantly of the sadness of the LORD. But as they turn back He receives them and so it is for all of us as well.

Do we consider His loss, His mourning, His sadness as a Father, who’s children rebel?

He loves us all. He loves His chosen. So many have turned away. What is His feeling in all of this? What is His story? 

We know the LORD created us in His image. We know we suffer when we experience rejection, sadness and loss. So, is it reasonable to think that the LORD GOD Creator of the Universe likewise suffers when we reject Him?

Consider the father and the prodigal son. What does the father experience when his youngest son asks for his inheritance and leaves the family homestead for a life of debauchery and excess? We are not told. We only know that upon the son’s return, he is welcomed by his father with open arms. (Luke 15:11-31)

We are the prodigals. The father is Our Father. And we who are saved have already been welcomed with open arms. A part of His story is that He continues to wait for others, including and especially for the Jews, the descendants from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob aka Israel. This cannot be ignored. Jacob, the grandson of Abraham, wrestled for his blessing (Genesis 32) and was then renamed Israel, which is where the nation got its name, and has kept its name throughout millennia. The Father, LORD of the universe, has not broken His covenant with the people, and continues to love them just as His love is shown in Psalm 105.

We do not know when He will send His son to judge the earth. No one knows, only He (Matthew 24:36). But I certainly believe that left to me, I would have run out of patience, both with the Jew and the Gentile, long, long ago.

GOD’s love for us is clear. He teaches us to worship and obey Him because it releases us to a life of joy and peace. Let us pray for those who have yet to respond to Him, and particularly for the descendants of His people the Hebrews, that they would come to know the perfect peace and grace of a father’s unconditional love. This is what we can pray for. This is what we can minister into: That the world, and His chosen ones, will be saved.

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Examining Biblical Scripture

PREPARING THE BRIDE

ATTENTION: BLOG NAME CHANGE…..

I am a Watchman and I have been seeking the LORD on all matters, asking for discernment regarding current events and how they connect to the Word of GOD and the timing of Jesus’ return. Then I’ve shared them on this blog.

Now, I believe, it is time we prepare as Jesus’ Bride. He is coming soon! We do not know what “soon” means to GOD, but we are to prepare and I am called to encourage us — myself included — to weigh up all matters in our lives and shed that which is not of GOD and focus on our purpose in Christ Messiah…. and prepare for the Wedding Day!

And so, whilst I am still a Watchman, I am changing the name of this blog from Watchman on Alert to Preparing the Bride…

Jesus/Yeshua is the Groom. All we who follow him make up The Bride. It is a profound image given to us. It is perhaps harder for men to relate to it than for women. For women, it is easy to consider Esther as she spent a year pampered, preparing herself — body, but also mind and spirit — to meet the king, when she would be considered amongst many to be his new bride. How can men prepare as “the bride”? Perhaps it is more for them a way of preparing for battle: putting on armour, developing military strategy, preparing the mind and body and spirit for the battle ahead. For it is so true that we are all brides and soldiers for him who died to save us. Perhaps then, men can more relate to Jesus’ return as a general arriving to lead the troops in battle. What all of us can relate to is that we will have a celebration when he returns, as we all hail Jesus and give glory to Jehovah GOD who reigns in the universe, who is full of grace, mercy, justice and truth.

And so I ask you the reader, to filter everything you read from me as through the spectacles of Jesus’ return. You are his and he is yours. Let us “work out [our] own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12) as we draw closer to GOD through His Word, by His Spirit. We are his bride. Come Lord Jesus.

Hallelujah and Amen.