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Politics and Society today

Election Fever Pt 3 Judeo-Christian values

I’ve heard one national candidate in the general election say he stands for Judeo-Christian values. Bravo! So do I.

Shall we vote?

I have at least one brother in the LORD who is so fed up with politics that he says he won’t vote. I’ve disagreed with him and explained the value of our democratic vote, that we’re meant to pray for our leaders and rulers. But he and I don’t agree on this matter, though we agree on many other matters. He is faithful to Jesus regardless of his politics. Praise the LORD!

I think we should vote if we can, because society depends upon those who believe GOD, whether they agree to this reality or not. 

The Word says we are to pray for our rulers that we may have a peaceful life. 

The Word encourages us to engage in society, to lead people to the Truth.

The conclusion I draw from this is that, when we live in a democracy, it is our duty, calling, responsibility, to be involved, even if it is only to the degree of putting an X in a box.

The LORD brings the leaders we deserve and if we can pray and take His lead, He will hear us and may give us leaders who may bring about good laws and conduct. 

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)  

How shall we vote?

Whether it is according to our conscience, or according to a prompting directly from the LORD, we will know how to vote if we study the candidates.

Studying to show ourselves approved

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

We need to become familiar with what the candidates stand for…

We need to put all cynicism aside. Each candidate needs to be scrutinised by us, if we are to vote according to the LORD’s leading.

That’s what I think.

For some, this will be analysing the manifestos, watching videos and tv debates, and/or going to hustings.

For others, it will mean looking at the flyers that come through our doors, praying over each one to ask the LORD for guidance. 

For some, it will draw us to go against the grain, as the LORD leads us in a direction we don’t understand or don’t like. For others, it will be confirmation of our initial discernment.

For many the process may not be an easy one. But it’s important.

This is a battle for our nation

At the present time, our society is in chaos: economic, moral, spiritual. 

If I may, I encourage you to find the party or the candidate, or the leader whom you believe will best represent Christian values, so that our society can find its Judeo-Christian roots once again. If time is short, and I personally think it may not be long before GOD intervenes in our society on the grandest of scales, we need revival in this land. We need Jesus back in our schools and at the centre of our holidays. We need the values GOD has offered people through His Word to be returned to the United Kingdom.

I’m going to vote as one step toward this goal.

In Jesus’ name.

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Politics and Society today

Election Fever part 2: Detachment

Detach from the Frey

Have you been watching the news? Are you reading the news about the upcoming general election (UK readers)? That’s important, isn’t it? We — I believe very strongly — need to exercise our responsibility to vote. And an informed decision with prayer, is the best possible decision we can make.

Romans 13:1 says, “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.”

Since we are subject to the rules and regulations, I believe we need to do our best to ensure those who will seek righteousness are elected.

But…This post isn’t about how to make a decision whether to or how to vote. Rather, this is about maintaining GOD’s peace within us. So, whilst I do believe we need to investigate, be aware of what’s going on, we also need to be aware of the motives of those feeding us the information we are searching for. Therefore, I have a proposal.

Let’s everyone take a step back… Do you know the media’s main aim is to keep us engaged and their main strategy is to keep us excited?

Media 

The main stream media, and even the You Tubers and Podcast providers, design their information to keep us engaged. How do they do that? Mostly, I observe and experience that their main strategy is to implant fear and to cause panic, excitement, high-intensity emotion such as anger, hostility, vulnerability… Not life-giving emotion but death-triggering emotion.

Detachment

So, I believe — and certainly I’m speaking to myself here — we need to disengage. We need to step back and observe, analyse, pray. We need to keep the information at arms length, so as not to get ourselves caught up, losing our peace, and our perspective as people of the sovereign and most high GOD.

How to detach?

We recognise the facts, and also that much of what is presented onto the airwaves and into print is hype, speculation and suggestion, perhaps mixed with fact but manoeuvred to engage us by inthralling us, frightening us, and getting us to look at to the journalists for truth and even (sometimes) for solutions.

Instead, we need to keep our heads on our shoulders, keep our feet on the ground and above all, keep our eyes on Jesus remembering the LORD is sovereign.

Mayhem

2024 is an election year for over 20 nations. South Africa has just had the result of theirs yesterday (at the time of writing this post). The UK will have theirs on 4th of July and the US on 4th of November. 

Several nations appear to be imploding upon themselves. In SA the ruling party for the last 30 years has not won the majority this time… making for a huge change! And in the US the ruling party in opposition to the most popular candidate for the presidency has just criminalised him. In Spain, the current government says, ‘We support a Palestinian State’; meanwhile, the opposition says to Israel, ‘don’t worry as soon as we’re in government, we’ll cancel that decision.’

There is much strife.

Fever reduction

And so, let us be the witness for calm. Let us be the ones to avoid gossip and speculation. Let we who know Jesus as our King and Prince of Peace be calm in the storm. Then, others may calm down too. This is certainly what we hope and pray.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Politics and Society today Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Election Fever

An election has been called in the UK. This is a time of uncertainty, unpredictability, and we who know Jesus must take this time to our hearts and minds: Let’s pray for the nation and hold on….

Election Fever has struck

On Wednesday 22nd May, unexpectedly by all but only a handful of people, the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of United Kingdom called a general election. As with all nations that use the parliamentary system, there is not a set election date as in the USA but the structure calls for an election every 5 years (if not before). Since the last election was in 2019, it was a known fact that the election would be held before the end of December 2024. 

This call was sudden and generally unexpected. 

The immediate results are:

  1. A scramble by the press to get the stories
  2. A scramble by MPs to get their campaigns up and running
  3. A scramble by political parties to fill their constituencies with viable candidates
  4. Just generally, a lot of scrambling.

So let’s pray for calm.

What else can we do

I believe the most important thing we can do as Believers in Jesus is to become informed and then vote.

Since we live in a democracy, however sincere or controlled that democracy may be, we need to exercise our vote as citizens of the nation. But to vote, we need to be informed and pray.

Speculation verses opinion verses fact: We need to discern. What is news hype? What is true? What are the issues we are most concerned about? Who addresses those issues best or most in the way we do? ‘Whom does GOD say I should vote for’ (If he says anything directly to us about it)?

Turbulence (flight London to Singapore was prophetic)

Our society is under great strain at the moment. 

I think even the heavens creating turbulence is a part of that. Recently, there have been 2 incidents reported about flight turbulence causing injury and 1 death. I think the flight from London to Singapore was a prophetic warning, highlighting the turbulence in our times.

Research and Vote

I believe the establishment is corrupted. But not all politicians are corrupted. And just as the established church has strengths and weaknesses — some believing we need to steer it from within and others thinking we need to avoid it — we need to take our opportunity to vote and take it seriously. Even the “Monster Raving Loony Party” is valuable in that it gives those who are very cross an opportunity to vote.

So, I encourage us all to pray, to be as positive aka as hopeful as we can be, research and vote.

Let’s not get swept up in excitement or panic, nor get so angry we choose to throw in the towel. But let us dig in for the next 6 weeks and pray. 

Let’s pray for the nation to be a sheep nation and not a goat nation. Let’s pray for the earnest politicians to win. Let’s pray for the victors to care, truly about this nation, and to make good laws, not self-serving, and let’s pray this nation is a nation turned to GOD. 

We who are in Christ, let’s love one another, discuss and discern together.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: part 67 Communication and Human Endevour

Let’s look at language and international communication

Genesis 11:1-4 is as follows: “Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. Then they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole 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.

Communication and Human endeavour

Mankind, made in GOD’s own image, is creative and really quite brilliant. So, when mankind in Shinar was unified, had an idea and could communicate it, they began to build a tower to reach to heaven.

Why did GOD object to the tower?

What was the result of man’s attempt to reach heaven? God confused their communication. This is the beginning of different languages, a splitting up into various cultures and lands over the earth. But why did GOD object to the ingenuity of mankind?

Global communication and the result

Now that we have English as a “global” language, and maths and science which have universal understanding, look where technology has taken us?

We are more connected than ever before. And we have more aggression, rebellion and planned protest than ever before.

Yes, there is much mankind can do when they are united. Fortunately, some of this “doing” is helpful and constructive. Sadly, much is violent and has brought us into turbulent times.

Yes, mankind can achieve just about anything… But that is not necessarily a good thing.

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Chaos at Pentecost

Pentecost has just passed (although in the Jewish calendar it will come on 11th June).

In our world, sirens blaze, war is all around. There is chaos at Pentecost. 

What shall we do?

The West has imploded

Bombs are going off in Ukraine and Israel, political war is throughout the West; US and UK campuses have young people wanting to overcome the established government. Far right Islamic extremists are threatening Christians and claiming, “We have taken over” from the shops and street markets of London. Paris has had various torching in churches and elsewhere. And I could go on….

Still we go on even though the West is at war with itself.

But GOD

Recently a friend asked me if I thought we could regain / reclaim our society. Upon reflection I think not. We might have a bit of an ebb-and-flow, but I think the West as we’ve known it for a few hundred years is now essentially gone. My friend thinks our culture hangs in the balance. We’ll watch, we’ll see how things unfold.

We pray, “LORD GOD, Your will be done on earth as in heaven!”

Our LORD is always and ever in charge. As citizens, humanity reaps what it sows; yet He has paid the ultimate cost of sacrifice. He is ever-victorious, even if we suffer the consequences of kicking His word out of our schools and institutions, and of breaking His laws one after another.

Overcome chaos

It is time now to consider: is the end of life as we know it in sight? 

We in the West may continue to live a high lifestyle for a while. But as the billionaires grow in number, the poverty-stricken do also. Without huge intervention, the Judeo Christian roots that provided sound leadership in the West seems lost. 

The Middle Classes were temporary, an anomaly, and they are dwindling in number and authority. Through democracy, the people held the power, but it is all but illusion now. If anarchy doesn’t destroy democracy, war or Islamic fundamentalism or AI may. We are on a collision course with self destruction, unless something extraordinary happens.

But GOD can do extraordinary things!

But it isn’t doom and gloom we dwell on

Jesus is alive. Revival is coming. Put your boots, coats and hats on. Be ready to share the Gospel. And pray. Pray and worship in every season, day and night, alone and in fellowship. 

GOD is with us, will be with us, forevermore.

Categories
Politics and Society today

Joel 2 and why it matters right now

The Day of the Lord

Chapter 2:

Blow the trumpet in Zion,
And sound an alarm in My holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble;
For the day of the Lord is coming,
For it is at hand:

A day of darkness and gloominess,
A day of clouds and thick darkness,
Like the morning clouds spread over the mountains.
A people come, great and strong,
The like of whom has never been;
Nor will there ever be any such after them,
Even for many successive generations.

A fire devours before them,
And behind them a flame burns;
The land is like the Garden of Eden before them,
And behind them a desolate wilderness;
Surely nothing shall escape them.

Their appearance is like the appearance of horses;
And like swift steeds, so they run.

With a noise like chariots
Over mountaintops they leap,
Like the noise of a flaming fire that devours the stubble,
Like a strong people set in battle array.

Before them the people writhe in pain;
All faces are drained of color.

They run like mighty men,
They climb the wall like men of war;
Every one marches in formation,
And they do not break ranks.

They do not push one another;
Every one marches in his own column.
Though they lunge between the weapons,
They are not cut down.

They run to and fro in the city,
They run on the wall;
They climb into the houses,
They enter at the windows like a thief.

10 

The earth quakes before them,
The heavens tremble;
The sun and moon grow dark,
And the stars diminish their brightness.

11 

The Lord gives voice before His army,
For His camp is very great;
For strong is the One who executes His word.
For the day of the Lord is great and very terrible;
Who can endure it?

12 

“Now, therefore,” says the Lord,
“Turn to Me with all your heart,
With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”

13 

So rend your heart, and not your garments;
Return to the Lord your God,
For He is gracious and merciful,
Slow to anger, and of great kindness;
And He relents from doing harm.

14 

Who knows if He will turn and relent,
And leave a blessing behind Him—
A grain offering and a drink offering
For the Lord your God?

15 

Blow the trumpet in Zion,
Consecrate a fast,
Call a sacred assembly;

16 

Gather the people,
Sanctify the congregation,
Assemble the elders,
Gather the children and nursing babes;
Let the bridegroom go out from his chamber,
And the bride from her dressing room.

17 

Let the priests, who minister to the Lord,
Weep between the porch and the altar;
Let them say, “Spare Your people, O Lord,
And do not give Your heritage to reproach,
That the nations should [g]rule over them.
Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?’ ”

18 

Then the Lord will be zealous for His land,
And pity His people.

19 

The Lord will answer and say to His people,
“Behold, I will send you grain and new wine and oil,
And you will be satisfied by them;
I will no longer make you a reproach among the nations.

20 

“But I will remove far from you the northern army,
And will drive him away into a barren and desolate land,
With his face toward the eastern sea
And his back toward the western sea;
His stench will come up,
And his foul odour will rise,
Because he has done monstrous things.”

21 

Fear not, O land;
Be glad and rejoice,
For the Lord has done marvelous things!

22 

Do not be afraid, you beasts of the field;
For the open pastures are springing up,
And the tree bears its fruit;
The fig tree and the vine yield their strength.

23 

Be glad then, you children of Zion,
And rejoice in the Lord your God;
For He has given you the former rain faithfully,
And He will cause the rain to come down for you—
The former rain,
And the latter rain in the first month.

24 

The threshing floors shall be full of wheat,
And the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil.

25 

“So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten,
The crawling locust,
The consuming locust,
And the chewing locust,
My great army which I sent among you.

26 

You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
And praise the name of the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
And My people shall never be put to shame.

27 

Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel:
I am the Lord your God
And there is no other.
My people shall never be put to shame.

28 

“And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions.

29 

And also on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

30 

“And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth:
Blood and fire and pillars of smoke.

31 

The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.

32 

And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.
For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance,
As the Lord has said,
Among the remnant whom the Lord calls

My brief comment

In a recent prayer meeting, my pastor read this Joel 2 in entirety. His message was simple: we can dwell on the pouring out of Holy Spirit referred to in verses 28-29 but in context the picture is far more complete.

We need to prepare!

We need to recognise the signs: the consequences of sin, fast and pray, repent, blow the shofar, and call upon the name of the LORD.

Then He will come with His mercy, truth, forgiveness and grace.

Come Lord Jesus

Prepare us and be with us, guide us and lead this nation back to you.

Categories
Politics and Society today

Prophetic Signs

Chris Wickland for 24.04.24

On 24th of April, 3 remarkable things happened in the UK.

Horses bolted

Five military horses, well-trained, well-disciplined: 4 black, 1 white, bolted in terror caused by noise from a nearby construction sight in Central London (was it in Horseguards Parade?). Some ran 6 km through the streets. At least one was injured, blood covering the white horse’s chest and front legs. A prophetic sign.

Revelations 6 talks about the 4 horses of the Apocalypse. The first is white, and Jesus rides the horse. Well, a white horse bearing a blood-stained chest is surely a prophetic sign, a warning that the wrath is to come, or Jesus in His glory is to come, or we are simply being warned we need to remember the sacrifice of the Messiah during this Passover.

Will you listen to a prophecy from Chris Wickland which resonates with me above.

Big Ben Stopped and then…

On the same morning these horses bolted, Big Ben, not far from Horseguards Parade, stopped. The clock in the Elizabeth Tower which has had millions poured into its refurbishment just suddenly stopped at 9am! About an hour later, around 10am it was re-started. However, when it chimed, it rang 11 bells at the 10th hour. My first thought when I learned this: I thought of the day GOD stopped the sun for 24 hours while Joshua did battle.

Do you know the chime of Big Ben is based upon part of Handel’s Messiah and there are long-established lyrics to the chime? The lyrics are,

“All through this hour, LORD be my guide.

That by Thy power, no foot shall slide.”

Wow! 

Dates

These events in London, England occurred on 24.04.24.

Saint Georges Day for England and the Passover for Isreal were the day before.

Do I need to expand upon the possible reasons Big Ben stopped and the horses bolted? I shall add my thoughts of the possible prophetic significance of this…

A hearing against 2 committed Christians was heard

And on this same day, 24th April 2024, when chaos was arising in London, even moreso there was chaos in Northern Ireland because a high profile Christian couple were facing very serious charges. Scapegoats I should think.

These days of violence, aggression, suffering where time stopped!

While in London UK pro-Palestinian protests become more intense and anti-Jewish sentiment is multiplying exponentially, highly trained horses bolt, and the clock of all clocks stops short; while people attack and hurl insults at a pre-trial hearing where innocent until proven guilty seems to be a tradition of the past; while fear seems to have gripped the politicians and the people flounder leaderless: the decline of the UK  seems to run unabated and in fact accelerates.

These are the signs of the times

Read Daniel and Revelation. Yes all of it!

Be still before the LORD. Yes, still.

Trust in the GOD of GOD’. Yes, trust.

And ask: LORD, What shall I do?

Be still and know that I am GOD (Psalm 46:10)

We need to be still: We need to wait upon the LORD to renew our strength. (Isaiah 40:31)

We need to trust the LORD. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

We need to prepare, to be ready as the wise virgins were. (Matthew 25)

And we need to ask, “LORD, what shall I do?”

Shalom and the the shalom of GOD rest upon you.

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY part 63 Family

What is something vitally important to the LORD GOD? Family.

Family

Genesis 9:18-19

“Now the sons of Noah who went out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And Ham was the father of Canaan. These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated.”

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.

World Population

Mankind (men, women and children) was re-started after the flood through Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives.

Through Shem, Ham and Japheth sprang the semites and orientals, the caucasians, the negroes.

This variety has been both a blessing and has provoked issues throughout history. You LORD love variety; sadly, mankind has exploited one people group, putting them in submission to the others. More to this in later posts…

Family

The focus for us today is GOD’s structure of family, which brings comfort, strength, unity.

When GOD puts us in families, He does so in order to echo His ideal structure for mankind with a head (father), comfort (mother) and joy (children).

The Hebrews and Israelites were set in families, the model for society. How many times are the tribes identified and organised in Bible text? How much emphasis does GOD put upon the family in the context of His raising up the Jewish nation? David was son of Jesse. The book of Matthew gives the extensive genealogy of Jesus. 

Family is so vitally important to man that GOD sets us in families within the structure of the Church of Believers today. Jesus says those who obey and follow His father are His family,

“For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:50)

And to assure us blood family is important too, He remembers His own mother when He’s on the cross,

“When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.” (John 19:26)

We all need family

GOD sets us in families.

He made us to live in families.

He makes for us families where there is no family.

He began this in Adam and Eve. He maintained it through Noah and his family. He continues it today.

If you are part of an earthly family, that is good. If you are a part of a fellowship family, that is vital. “No man is an island,” wrote John Donne. If you need family, pray and ask GOD where you need to go, how you need to open up, what you can do to bring family to yourself and offer yourself to family.

NO MAN IS AN ISLAND (John Donne, 1624)

“No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.”

Every blessing,

Sarah

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Who is the Bride of Christ?

I have been writing about Preparing the Bride, and writing “Preparing the Bride” for some years now. But who is the Bride? Let’s look at who are the Believers, the followers of Jesus, to find out. Let’s take nothing for granted….

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.

Born from Above

Nicodemus the Pharisee, came to Jesus one night. They had a conversation. Jesus is quoted in John 3:16-17 which says,

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

But how is one saved? Jesus explains this to Nicodemus in John 3:3-8,

““Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.””

Christians or Followers of Jesus

Who are we who follow Jesus? Does this include all who call themselves Christians?

First to recognise us, we must be — according to Jesus’ words — born again. Born of water and of the Spirit.

“I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

That references baptism, I believe… emersion = baptism. That’s what the word baptism means. But rather than dive into debate about that, let’s look further into being born of the Spirit. 

By “Spirit” Jesus means Holy Spirit. He left in order to allow the Spirit to come to us. There are many references that give us the information we need. As a follower of Jesus, He himself says in John 14, many useful and clear messages:

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.” (Verse 1)

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (Verse 6)

“If you love Me, keep My commandments.” (Verse 15)

“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” (Verses 16-17)

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (Verse 26)

Holy Spirit

There is no doubt that Holy Spirit is essential to our salvation. We must be born of water and of the Spirit. 

So who then is the Bride? Is that all who are born again?

Description of the Bride

Recently, I sat with several others to hear from a brother who goes by the pen name Walter*…

Walter highlighted 3 things about the Bride. He said, the bride listens, the bride learns, and the bride is encompassed by — is enveloped by — GOD…

The 10 Virgins – 5 wise, 5 foolish

Let’s explore Matthew chapter 25 briefly to see who listens, who learns and who is encompassed by GOD. Turn in your Bible to Matthew 25….

Listens: 5 virgins were wise. Having listened to the times, their lamps were full and ready for the bridegroom (Jesus).

Learns: These 5 wise virgins had learned from the Master and were ready. All 10 virgins had their lamps but only 5 had them full. What is the point of having a lamp without any oil? 5 had learned to be ready.

The oil by the way, is one of many references to Holy Spirit in scripture, including from Genesis 28, when Jacob poured oil on the rock which had been his headstone. And in Exodus anointing oil is referenced in 29:7 and later in the chapter, it is an ingredient in the offering to the LORD. All of these references give honour to Holy Spirit in one way or another.

Is encompassed by GOD: The 5 wise virgins were devoted to the bridegroom and to His coming. They did not compromise by giving some of their oil away, though they were kind to encourage the 5 foolish who had chosen to be not ready, to go and fetch more oil for themselves.

Conclusion

One may be a Christian without being a follower of Jesus. One may be a follower of Jesus, without being His Bride. My personal testimony will vouch for this. I never doubted the truth or reality of Jesus but it wasn’t until I gave my life to Him, that I was born again and His follower. I was far from perfect at that point (and though I continue to grow, I still am imperfect), so perfection is not the measuring stick. At first, I was still very willful, not knowing any better. But in my heart of hearts, I wanted more of Him and to follow Him. I believe that was His measuring stick and He has brought me along, step-by-step, to the point where I do believe, by His grace, I am His bride.

Through surrender, obedience and devotion, we are His bride. Have you given your all to Jesus? Are you prepared to give Him your all? 

* Thank you Walter for your kindness in sharing your understanding of GOD’s Word and your testimony of the many times GOD has brought miracles into your life. Hallelujah, iron sharpens iron and through GOD and only GOD, is the victory.

Categories
Politics and Society today

Western World is Unstable

Jesus is alive. And we need to proclaim it. Why now especially?

Because the Western world is unstable.

Western worldwide instability

Last week in Milton Keynes UK a mob of 300 high school pupils “ran amok” in a shopping centre, frightening shopkeepers and shoppers alike. The police remedy: lock up the shops. 

Today on Social Media there is a short video of a church in New York City being interrupted by a group of climate protesters, standing on the stage and interrupting the service. Security guards pushed them out amidst the congregants.

This is just a small sample of what’s been happening and what continues to happen with pro-Palestinian marches and climate protesters abusing the privilege of freedom of speech to disrupt “normal life”.

Wars and rumours of wars continue: political wars, military wars, social wars of all kinds. (Matthew 24)

Social Media largely responsible

From Arab Spring beginning in Tunisia in 2010 and expanding across the Arab world to Pro-Palestinian Protests which started in October 2023 throughout the West: Europe, North America, Australia and beyond, we are inundated with protest and assault on our western history and democracy. I won’t expand on this to demonstrate (pun intended:) but will allow you to contemplate the political and social situation in your own country.

Until recently, what has been the basic rule of thumb in the West has been freedom of speech, freedom to vote and freedom to buy-sell-trade. Now all of this is in disrepute as Colonialism undergoes vicious attack in the name of anti-racism; and freedom of thought is under vicious scrutiny in the name of minority rights.

Everyone seems to have a right except the people who are accustomed to their freedom.

What this means for Western Society

We cannot take our freedom for granted. And for those of us who love Jesus, we cannot take our right to freedom of religion for granted either. Under attack are Judeo-Christian values upon which Western Society was built, because those who oppose it are those whose rights are dominating the political scene now: transgender and LGBTQ+ rights for example, abortion rights as well. It isn’t enough for us to live and let live, to disagree politely and even silently with their lifestyle. Laws are being passed to make our faith illegal, and that is a dangerous thing.

So now perhaps more than ever before in history, and certainly now more than any time in our lifetime, we must give glory to GOD, shout “Hallelujah Yeshua/Jesus is alive”, and “Holy Spirit you are welcome here!” Why? Because we still can. And because time is short. 

Those who focus on church building, you do so at your peril. The church is Jesus’ church. It is a global church, not a 4-walled confine. Although we are not to be of the world, we certainly are to be in the world.

Jesus is alive. And we need to proclaim it… out there. Why now especially?

Because the Western world is unstable.

And so on with proclaiming: “GOD’s-Word-as-Jesus” we must… while we still can.

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

I don’t want to operate on my own anymore

I don’t want to operate on my own anymore.

By that I mean I want to walk in step with Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit and I

One morning recently, as I finished a prayer time, I said, “I could pray for hours… I don’t want to operate on my own anymore, LORD.”

I decided to write about this because it’s vital to life!

Vital to Life

When we are in step with Holy Spirit, He leads and guides us to walk peacefully, full of grace, His Truth, and calmly.

I love it! When walking in step with Holy Spirit I have greater love and grace toward others, I have more gentleness and patience — two of the spiritual fruits in which I am otherwise quite deficient.

Fruits of the Spirit

In Galatians 5:22-23 it is written, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

It is so refreshing to walk in the Spirit. I have an inner peace that defies anxiety and stress and any sense of condemnation, because I have His grace toward others and therefore inner acceptance. For me, this is life-giving and guards me against the sort of condemnation the enemy likes to try to pour over me from time to time.

The term longsuffering

The word longsuffering — in our time and culture — is what we usually call patience. Patience and gentleness are fruits I don’t have much of naturally. In the natural: in my flesh, my natural personality, I’m more a bull-in-a-China-shop sort of person, compelled to get things done. That in itself isn’t wrong. But when the Spirit is leading me, I still manage to “get things done” but in a more relaxed manner. Then, I tend to say things more gently. I like that and I’m sure others around me would prefer that too.

Natural and Supernatural

Within our personalities, all of us will have, by our nature, some of the fruits of the Spirit. But when we are walking in Him, those fruits are magnified and all the fruits flow from us in a supernatural way, and what we have been given in the natural is amplified

Be filled with the Holy Spirit

Every day, every moment, we can ask to “be filled with the Holy Spirit”. Isn’t it time we surrender and expect our inner being and our outer behaviour to match, emulating our walk with Jesus? It is like being wedded, not as two humans become one flesh, but rather as we each become interlinked with Holy Spirit, our source of intimacy with Jesus grows and the Spiritual fruit — and our character — become more and more like His. Let’s be wedded to Holy Spirit.

As it says in Acts 17:28, “for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’”

Be encouraged. Jesus is with us. And by His Spirit, inner peace and outer love can and will shine through as we surrender more and more to Him.

Every blessing:)

Categories
GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: How Society emerged

Genesis 5 sites the genealogy of Adam all the way to Noah. On the last post I jumped forward from Seth to Noah, because I wanted to touch on the complete corruption of mankind. After the birth of Adam’s son Seth and his son Enosh, “men began to call on the name of the LORD” (Genesis 4:26). Yet, by the time of Noah, all of humanity had become unrighteous — except Noah. 

What about the in-between? Where did society come from? This post is about how society emerged from Adam and Eve and their two sons, Cain and Seth.

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.

How society emerged

“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.” (Genesis 5:1-4)

Adam lived a very long time. As you will see as you read through Chapter 5 of Genesis, the lifespan of all those recorded was hundreds of years. 

Before the flood, mankind had great longevity, almost a thousand years. Only after the flood, do we see life expectancy gradually diminishing. 

Moses lived 120 years: 40 years in Egypt, 40 years in Moab, 40 years in the wilderness.

Simple explanation

Humanity developed from Adam and Eve as the first persons on the earth. They had children, their children had children, and so on. As Adam lived hundreds of years, this is a simple and viable explanation…. However, if that’s the case, where did the sons of Adam find their wives?

One last question in my mind

Where Cain found is wife is a question I still ponder. He had a wife after he left the Garden. Where did she come from? And Lamech had two wives (Genesis 4:19). Where did he find them?

The only explanation I can come up with is time lag. The time from which Cain was sent from GOD after murdering his brother Abel, to marrying, may well have been hundreds of years, plenty of time for Adam and Eve to have more children. Does that mean that Cain married his sister? Yes, it would imply that. But this would have been before the Law and before the concept of incest. Procreation had to have emerged from Adam and Eve and the origin of mankind and society from them.

That’s my take. Any other suggestions are most welcome. I always field and reply to your comments.

Categories
Politics and Society today

Tucker Carlson interviews President Putin

This was written even before Alexei Navalny’s death.

Tucker Carlson interviews President Putin. Here’s the recording:

https://twitter.com/search?q=tucker%20carlson%20putin%20interview&src=typeahead_click&f=top

The interview between Tucker Carlson and President Putin of Russia is over 2 hours’ long but it’s the last 20 minutes that is riveting. Previous to this it is a lot of meandering and posturing from Putin and Carlson just lets him talk. 

But TC becomes invested in the last 20 minutes, asking about the release of the young American journalist Evan Gershkovich in prison in Russia for espionage. He also asks Putin, ‘What do you really think about the fate of the world in combat?’

Putin doesn’t change a beat throughout the interview, doing a decent job at feigning sincerity but too static to actually be believable. Carlson, however does change his mood. As I see it, it’s because he cares.

He took a huge gamble interviewing the Russian president. And although he was fodder for criticism before and after, to my mind, he made a valliant effort to allow the West to see who Putin is. The sheer fact that Putin didn’t allow us to see into his humanity demonstrates to me, that he is a monster: a hit man, a mafia leader, a cold-hearted and calculating monster. No one needs to fear the interview. — anyone with heart can see how cold the Russian president is. Congratulations Tucker Carlson. By being neutral and by caring passionately for the fate of a 32 year old journalist, you exposed the heartless man in Putin.

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

What angers GOD and how does He measure anger?

GOD’s anger is for a moment but His favour is for a lifetime. (Psalm 30:5)

What angers GOD?

Israel and the Hebrews disobeyed. At the heart of it all, this is what dismayed GOD and caused Him to be angry with them.

Likewise for us, we must walk with Him, surrendered to the degree of our understanding, willing to grow in His likeness. This is our call as disciples of Jesus. This means we are called to obey Him. He seeks a “contrite spirit” and to be followed on His terms, not our own.

Psalm 51:17 says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise.”

In this GOD takes delight.

How does GOD measure our obedience?

GOD looks to the heart of mankind, and of an individual, to see How close (or far) from Him is their walk.

“I am exceedingly angry with the nations at ease;

For I was a little angry [at the Israelites], 

And they [other nations] helped —

but with evil intent.” (Zechariah 1:15)

Let’s look at GOD’s behaviour towards Israel

When we look at Zechariah 1, we see that the LORD allowed nations to overcome Israel as a consequence of her disobedience. And yet, when entreated upon by Zechariah, GOD says that although He allowed “four horns” — four nations — to rise against and conquer Israel, their motive was impure. Part of their motive was for evil. And so, He was even more angry with these Gentile nations.

GOD recognised the evil in the nations who conquered Israel and they would not have their reward.

So we today must discern our motive

Today, why are we following Jesus? Is it out of fear? Yet perfect love casts out fear. Fear is unnecessary.

Why are we following Jesus? Out of duty? 

Why are we following Jesus? Because He’s True?

We need not be afraid

When we look through scripture, we see how devoted GOD is to Israel, in spite of her sin.

Inevitably, the people of Israel are brought back to the land Israel, as promised in Zechariah 1,

“I am returning to Jerusalem with mercy;
My house shall be built in it,” says the Lord of hosts,
“And a surveyor’s line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem.” (Zechariah 1:16)

So, that temple later is rebuilt…. and in 1948, that nation is reborn. GOD keeps His promises.

And we who are In Christ

We who have Jesus and abide through the Holy Spirit, have no excuse or reason to disobey, to frustrate the plans and purposes for our individual lives nor as the Church. Just as we see GOD keep His promises to the nation of Israel even though they are disobedient, we also can trust He provides for us and protects us. We need not fear… nor disobey, but must allow ourselves to surrender fully to Him so His work can be achieved in and through us as is His intention and desire.

Let our Light Shine

Matthew 5:16 say, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Let us not grow weary nor disobey His voice when He speaks to us. Let us not take lightly the following of His will and His timing. Let us not frustrate the will of GOD but let us shine brightly, so that others can see the path and follow it.

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: part 52 Brother’s Keeper

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 4:9

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

The answer is Yes, we are our brother’s keeper. Yes and Amen.

We are our brother’s keeper

The Father has put into our hearts a love for one another. He has created us in His image and His love overflows toward all His children, as we also must do. We are called to watch out for and watch over our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are also called to love our neighbours, those who may not know the Lord as their LORD. Yes, we are called to be our brothers’ keepers.

Let s all meditate on this well known parable in Luke 10:30-37,

“Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ So which of these three do you think was neighbour to him who fell among the thieves?” And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

How will be “do likewise”?

What GOD says we are to do

Show love and compassion.

GOD’s love and compassion for Cain

Even Cain the murderer was shown compassion.

Genesis 4:10-15 reads,

“And He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground. So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth.”And Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear! Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground; I shall be hidden from Your face; I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me.” And the Lord said to him, “Therefore, whoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord set a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him.”

There was a consequence for Cain’s sin and yet, as he received the consequence and was full of fear, the LORD GOD committed to protect Cain’s life.

The LORD is good. His mercy endures to all generations. (1 Chronicles 6:34)

From GOD’s point of view

We are to model the Lord. From His point of view, He is full of compassion for all. There is no-one who cannot receive the Kingdom of Heaven. 

And so we are called to “go out into all the world….” (Mark 16:15)

And so we do!

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Preparing the Bride for the New Earth

Eureka moment

Sitting with a group of Christian artistic friends last evening and sharing insights about GOD’s direction for the Arts, I had a Suddenly! — you know a sudden moment when a lot of understanding comes all at once. This suddenly is about GOD’s preparing the Bride for the New Earth.

Angels and Heaven

In recent weeks, I’ve been studying about angels (as suggested by a bishop friend) and about Heaven (as encouraged by a pastor friend). I’ve been in agreement with the general thrust of what I’ve been looking at, which is that life in eternity is on a real planet, where we are flesh and blood, have proper jobs and responsibilities, with perfect bodies and perfect peace.

Carrying this perspective into the meeting last night, I listened as one in the circle said she’d been preparing for ministry in the Arts through prayer, sowing into the ground as though a crop of potatoes was ripening but unseen, and that we were meant to continue in fellowship and prayer without developing any particular project going forward.

And there-and-then I had a “suddenly” about this internet posting stream: Preparing the Bride.

We are being prepared as the bride for the New Earth

I’ve been writing about developing our character to be ready for Jesus for some years now. I’ve been examining and exploring our depth and breadth of understanding and maturity in Jesus. That’s all fine. BUT I’ve just realised that matters are changing….

All that we as a body of believers are doing right now, all we’ve done, all we are called to do in this life going forward is more about being and about being ready, than it is about doing. The being is not only for the next phase of our journey with GOD here on this earth, but also (and probably more) about living with each other and with Jesus on the New Earth.

We will receive crowns in heaven (Revelation 4:10-11). We will have jobs to do as opposed to sitting on thrones (Revelation 20:4, 6).

He is preparing us — whether it’s for rapture or for Heaven, depending upon your theological perspective and level of revelation with GOD — He is preparing us to be His bride for eternity. That destination ultimately, is the New Earth: His New Earth (or the revitalised Earth that we inhabit now, reclaimed and renewed by GOD). (Isaiah 65:17; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1)

On the New Earth, we will not be singing and strumming harps endlessly, and floating on clouds in spiritual-rather-than-physical bodies, but (according to my reading of scripture and secondary readings) we will be living life on this renewed planet Earth, with joy, peace, love for one another, free from strife, anxiety or any other sort of pain, eating and drinking, working and playing, with Jesus, in perfect fellowship altogether. (Revelation 21:4)

In order to live that life, we need to prepare for it now.

And now, what we need to do is hone our fellowship skills

For some of us, the preparation now is on our fellowship skills. Some of us have used our talents (Matthew 25:14-28) to the best of our ability. Some of us are aged or infirm or have disability. Some of us are healthy, fit and full of zeal to do GOD’s will. But whatever our situation or condition, He is calling us to deeper fellowship with Himself and with one another.

He delights in our unity. (Psalm 133)

In John 14:2 Jesus says,

“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”

As we meditate on this scripture, and any others you look up which I’ve referenced above, please let’s all wait on Him and begin to absorb the current responsibility we carry: to grow in our fellowship so that we are the beautiful Bride He will have with Him in the time to come.

Categories
Politics and Society today

England is in decline

I rarely have a word such as what I’ll say now but here it is: 

I claim to have a Word from GOD today, which of course needs to be tested:

Prophetic word

“England is in decline.” 

That may seem obvious, not particularly insightful or discerning as we look at the social and political landscape, but what I am suggesting is that this decline is not temporary nor based upon current circumstances, but rather there is a downward path which is set and irreconcilable until Jesus returns…. or unless something incredibly dramatic takes place — perhaps such as revival — to provoke a major transformation before He comes.

Although we pray consistently that Britain will be a sheep nation by Jesus’ gracious judgement and not a goat nation at the End of the Age (Matthew 25:32), nevertheless as I write now, Britain is in decline; I don’t think it’s going to bounce back. In particular, England is drifting downward into decay.

I heard GOD say specifically England

Historically, it was England that socially, morally, politically, geographically and economically dominated the world, arguably from the reign of Elizabeth I through Queen Victoria and beyond.  Although it sowed cultural disregard for other of those nations over which it ruled, dominating them with their superiority complex, it was a British Empire who’s power brought to the world an increase in prosperity, advancement in culture, education, health care; and of course it took the Gospel of Jesus to many nations — from the British Isles particularly to significant parts of the continent of Africa and into the Far East. It did so not without error unfortunately, attaching cultural bias to the Gospel and therefore misguiding and misrepresenting the Gospel in some situations. However, it’s my view that the good outweighed the bad. Great Britain did a lot of good in the world in a different era. However it has been a long time since it made positive contributions to the betterment of the world. It’s been living on borrowed time and the time is up.

What sort of decline?

What sort of decline is this nation experiencing? Is it purely a spiritual decline as Christianity is declining in popularity, or is this largely a political or economic decline?

I believe the moral decline in the West, including by association Britain, has had the direct consequence of destroying the fabric of society. Judeo-Christian values have been replaced with “anything-but” in the West. This has triggered instability worldwide. Social and spiritual decline has led to a decline in political and economic influence and power across the Globe, destabilising the balance of power. Britain is no longer fulfilling its mandate to influence the world in a life-giving way.

A USA and UK connected

The reason the UK and USA have often been in sync is because they are both leadership nations, capitalist and with the same bedrock of Judeo-Christian values. They’ve worked together based upon an interlinked history and world view. In recent years, the emphasis of both administrations have become increasingly secular and Globalist (with some exception as represented by a Brexit vote in the UK and Donald Trump’s presidency in the US), with the significant consequence being a decline in their international influence.

And so, as their influence and power wain, the world is looking at other influences. I believe GOD has allowed this because these nations have largely turned from Him.

Decline…

The decline is perhaps inevitable. Nations rise and fall. But if these nations turned back to GOD, perhaps the decline could be reversed. Certainly, without a turning, the end of the West as we know it, lead by these two nations, is finished.

What shall we do now

We who know GOD pray. Pray for stability. Pray for revival. Pray for GOD to reign in the hearts and minds of people, including government leaders and ministers. We pray and when asked, we may have to act: join support networks, even engaging in politics… That may seem to get our hands dirty, but if we are concerned, pray even, but never engage with our Members of Parliament or our Local Council, how can they know we object to ungodly decisions and biases. Unless we speak, they will not hear our voices.

Every blessing.

Categories
GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: part 49 Immortality

Man created Immortal

I’ve decided to back track a bit in the look through Genesis because there’s an important point to address, rather than assume it’s common knowledge.

Did you realise mankind was made to be immortal?

Made in GOD’s image, mankind was originally created immortal, but part of the curse that GOD laid upon man was mortality:

“In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread

Till you return to the ground,

For out of it you were taken;

For dust you are,

And to dust you shall return.”” (Genesis 3:19)

After the sin of Adam, mankind lost immortality. That means we lost not only our relationship with GOD, but our physical strength and power became limited, and our immortal existence was lost.

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.

Man became mortal

With the recognition that we became mortal through sin, the reality that Jesus brings us back to immortality through faith in Him is also true.

Salvation of Jesus gives us eternal life… again

Not only was Jesus born free from sin, but through faith in Him, we inherit that eternal life. It is not only spiritual but physical rebirth…

BUT ALSO

That we were created physically immortal implies GOD intention is for us to be physically immortal. Ah but don’t our physical bodies still die? Yes, indeed! So how does the truth of physical immortality line up to our mortal, physical death?

Forbidden fruit

GOD cast Adam and Eve from the garden in order to prevent them eating from the tree of life. All humanity lost the opportunity to maintain immortality both because of our sin which we inherit from Adam, but also the “ticket” through eating of the tree of Life… Until Jesus.

GOD did not want us to have immortality AND sin. So we were denied the privilege of remaining in Eden.

We know that through our faith in Jesus: our faith in who He is and what He has achieved through His death and resurrection (Ephesian 2:8-9), once our sin is removed it is logical that the physical immortality is also made available to us once again. But how? We don’t see the evidence of that, but rather we see the evidence of our mortality every time a loved one dies.

We will inherit new flesh

We who are in Christ — saved by faith — are not going to be disembodied spirits for eternity. No. That is not what GOD had for us at the Creation and it is not what He has for us forever.

Isaiah 65:17 says, “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.”

and Revelations 21:2 says, “Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”

Therefore a newness to Earth and Heaven is coming where Jesus will dwell with those of us who are saved.

Ezekiel 11:19 says, “Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh” in the context of taking dry, dead bones and bringing them back to life.

Revelation 21:3-5 says, “And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

GOD does not speak about an etherial reality in time to come but a physical reality. He speaks of a revived earth, where Jesus sits on a physical throne. And He is with us. There will be no more tears, pain or death. The things former are gone and all is new. He tells John to write things down, which John does — We have the book of the Revelations as evidence.

There is physical immortality as there is spiritual immortality

Praise GOD.

Those of us who have chosen faith in Jesus have everlasting life: The spirit is revived yes, but also the body too is made new and immortal.

Eternal life is through Jesus, both spiritual and physical life. Thank you LORD!

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: part 48 GOD’s Will always wins

Man created Immortal

Made in GOD’s image, mankind was originally created immortal. Although this was lost, it has also been restored because GOD’s will always wins.

Part of the curse that GOD laid upon man was mortality

“In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread

Till you return to the ground,

For out of it you were taken;

For dust you are,

And to dust you shall return.”” (Genesis 3:19)

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.

Today we’ll see that GOD’s will always wins. How?

Man became mortal

With the rebellion, the fall, the sin of Adam: which ever way you choose to label it, man lost his immortality when he ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 3:22b-23 reads,

““And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken.”

Forbidden fruit

GOD cast Adam and Eve from the garden in order to prevent them eating from the tree of life. Did that mean GOD didn’t want man to have life forever?

As a consequence of Adam’s sin, all of humanity lost physical immortality, inheriting the same consequences. All born from Adam, we all have inherited mortality. 

…. But then comes Jesus who offers us eternal life once again. 

Salvation from Jesus gives us eternal life… again

Not only was Jesus born free from sin, but through faith in Him, we inherit eternal life. 

Praise GOD.

Although all are born into mortality — eternal life is through Jesus. 

GOD’s will is done

GOD created humanity in His image, immortal. This was and is His will for us. His will ultimately is done as He offers salvation to those who choose it, through faith in His son’s death and resurrection. It is a huge cost which GOD bore, and yet, it was and is in His will. 

No matter what’s Satan tries, GOD has His ultimate way forward, and the ultimate victory, always. Hallelujah!

So we can move forward in all our circumstances, knowing GOD wins, always.

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Where I am in my journey of life: a reflection

Welcome to this New Year 2024.

Time marches on… Life is brief, funny, ironic and blessed, isn’t it?

At this time early in the year, I’m contemplating where I am in my journey of life.

Chronologically, I reckon I’ve lived about 75% of my years. The time dial turns regardless of who is living the life, who is marking their time, and I take this moment to reflect on my time so far…

My life remembered

GOD, you’ve never left me. Even before I knew You, You were waiting for me. Life has sometimes been hard. It became more challenging and more enriched when I became one of Your children.

GOD. You gave me so many talents. As a young woman, I tried to develop them all, naively. Ambitious, hopeful, almost none of the things I thought I wanted did I achieve. Yet what I learned in the process of life was that I didn’t want those things at all.

In early years, fame, praise, performance work was what I chased after. But I didn’t want those things. I had some talent; I studied to develop those talents; I worked hard. But I didn’t want those things really, and so I never understood how to achieve them. I lacked real courage.

Instead, I had a very simply desire to be loved. And through marriage, parenting, and especially through You personally, I have been loved. I have experienced the joy and pain of deep love, and I am so grateful.

As I stand in the autumn of my earthly life (perhaps it is early September metaphorically:), I look back and reflect. Then I look forward. I lacked courage but I was granted my deepest desires neverthelsss.

One of my favourite scriptures has always been from Philippians 3, “Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on….”

I do not mourn missed opportunities, where I lacked the courage to seize all the opportunities presented to me. Instead, I pray for the courage now to take every opportunity to be my best self: effective, purposeful, useful to the LORD and for others.

My Prayer

“LORD I pray, let me be kind consistently, ever thoughtful of others, gracious as You have been so gracious to me. Let me be bold to be myself, whom you have created me to be. Let me praise others as I would have liked to have been praised. Let me hope for others as I hoped for myself. Let me trust You totally and with abandon. And let me yield to You at every turn.

“As I stand at the end of the past and at the start of the future, let me have no shame, no fear and no regret. 

In Yeshua Jesus’ mighty and loving name, Amen.”

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

Relinquishing Control

When we feel stressed

It’s a sign

We are holding on:

Let go control.

When we know peace

It’s a sign

We’ve let go control

And are trusting GOD.

When we are surrendered

It’s a sign

We are growing in GOD

We have yielded control.

Control is an illusion

It’s a sign

We are self determined

And need to lean on GOD.

If you’re holding on

Let go control.

Categories
GOD'S STORY

45 GOD’S STORY: Adam’s sin

Adam’s Sin

Satan engaged with Eve; he set her up. Adam was present and allowed her to be deceived. He observed, he took the fruit and ate as she had eaten. 

What was his motivation? I think Adam didn’t want to lose Eve. Just as she prioritised Adam over GOD, so did Adam put Eve first rather than GOD. The rest, as the cliche goes, is history.

This is where we left off in GOD’S STORY last week.

Why is it that Eve was deceived but Adam sinned? Why has Eve been painted throughout history as the one whom Satan tricked but Adam was the one who rebelled against GOD, sinned, fell from GOD’s grace?

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 3:6 reads,

“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.” 

When Satan was speaking to Eve, for at least part of the conversation Adam was present. He didn’t interrupt, he didn’t divert Eve’s attention. He watched, listened and did not intervene.

So when Eve ate, he watched her. When Eve offered him fruit, he took it. Why?

I think he wasn’t deceived but he let Eve be deceived. That’s just conjecture. But what is clear is, she took some fruit and ate, and then offered it to him. He took it and ate it.

Why did Adam eat the fruit?

The only conclusion I can draw is that Adam wanted to go along with Eve rather than be separate from her. And ultimately, they were together … even though they became separated from GOD.

In the garden, Adam observed Satan when Satan was talking to Eve. And Adam is the one held accountable for eating the forbidden fruit. He disobeyed GOD’s command and is held responsible for the rebellion. Eve ate because Satan got her to believe it would be a good thing to become wise, and for Adam’s sake she ate and offered it to him. While Eve’s motive may have been pure, simply wanting to help Adam, Adam didn’t need to help someone else. His calling was to name the animals and look after the earth. His motive to sin then, was only for himself.

Personally, I don’t see that Adam believed it was within GOD’s will that he be wise, and yet he went along with the act of disobedience. He must have wanted to be with Eve more than he wanted to obey GOD. And his behaviour suggests he wanted to be wise for his own sake, even though he knew it was against GOD’s intentions.

Adam’s motive, Eve’s motive

Motive is key to how GOD views us. GOD looks at the heart. While Eve’s heart may well have been to be helpful, Adam’s motive was for himself. At its heart, that was Adam’s sin.

And so Adam is held responsible ultimately for the fall of all mankind. He broke our relationship with GOD.

Salvation through the man without a human father

We inherit sin from the male. We all have a human father…. except for Jesus. Jesus was born without sin because the Holy Spirit was His father. He didn’t have an earthly father from whom He inherited sin.

And so when Jesus died, He died for all of us. When He was resurrected He defeated death for all who believe. 

We all need Jesus’ sacrifice to receive forgiveness for our sinfulness. Eve was deceived but Adam sinned. And Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice to restore the relationship GOD intends for us all. Adam broke it; Jesus restores it. Hallelujah!

Categories
Politics and Society today

An Immediate Call for Prayer: Gaza, Hostages, Israel

Psalm 122 asks for the peace of Jerusalem.

Psalm 123 cries to GOD for mercy.

Psalm 140 prays for deliverance.

The hostages have been held in the tunnels in Gaza for nearly 40 days. I write today because today the IDF is getting closer to rescuing them.

Praise the LORD for His peace, His mercy, His deliverance.

But only GOD

Only GOD can rescue. Only GOD can bring peace. Only GOD can show powerful mercy. Only GOD offers deliverance.

Gazans

Those in Gaza who are truly innocent, truly loving toward their enemies, be they Israel or Hamas… only those who love are innocent. I pray for their deliverance.

Father GOD

I pray for those who are cursed by Your Covenant with Abraham, cursed because they despise Your people, will recognise their curse and be changed. (See Genesis 12; Exodus 3:6)

I pray that soldiers in the IDF will love their enemies, will rescue the hostages successfully, and none will turn to hatred or revenge.

I pray that Hamas members will experience Your transforming love and power. For those who are demonised, I pray for their deliverance. I pray for the Peace of Jerusalem and for peace in the region.

I pray for these miracles, in Jesus’ name.

Amen.

Categories
GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: part 40 Marriage

What is GOD’s Perspective on marriage? 

Biblical marriage is between a man and a woman just as GOD made Adam and Eve, a man and a woman, to start off humankind.

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 2:18 reads,

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

Equal but different

We can argue ’until the cows come home’ whether women are able to preach or teach. There is scripture that can be picked out for both cases.

We can debate whether woman obeying husbands is dated or current.

We can discuss homosexual Rome and elsewhere in Ancient Times.

But this space is not about debate. It is looking into GOD’s point of view from Creation until now, as best we can…

Why GOD created women

I purport that in making woman for man, it means to GOD’s eye, it was not good for man to be alone. Male and female animals had been created. GOD was Adam’s companion. And yet, man should also have a partner, a female person who would help him.

This means women have something to offer that men don’t have, as I see it. That’s why man needs help from someone else, who is female rather than male. 

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)

One flesh means equal. Of course we’ll explore this more when we come to this verse in our chronological approach. Two parts become one and make a new “whole”.

Partners

Marriage is a partnership. What is a partnership? 

Psalm 133 says, “How good and pleasant it is when brethren dwell together in unity…” 

Partnership in GOD means both members trust Him, both believe in Him, both follow Him (not to be unequally yoked). It means rowing together not against one another. It means supporting each other and adapting strategies so that they can work together to achieve the common goal. It means having the same common goal.

Partnership is two or more equals striving together, complementing one another. In the case of marriage, it is two people rowing together.

Obedience and Love

Ephesians 5:25 states,

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,” and for far too long, for some, this has been overlooked, with emphasis going to that which comes before, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:22)

Since, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,” (2 Timothy 3:16) then I will use this truth to discuss the relationship between man and woman from the time of GOD’s Creation.

There are a couple of verses telling wives to obey their husbands. Then there is a stream of verses telling men to love their wives. I wonder if that is significant. Is it GOD’s sense of humour? Or do men need to be given detailed reason rather than simple instruction to get them to recognise GOD’s guidance in this matter?

What is sure is that obedience and love go hand-in-hand. One is not conditional on the other. One is not more important than the other. From GOD’s perspective, wives need to obey and He tells them so, likely because it isn’t easy for women to do so… and because men inherently need respect. Equally, men need to love their wives, and instruction is plain, probably because men need it spelled out…. and women need to be loved.

Both obedience and love are difficult for us. GOD prefers obedience over sacrifice, though He gets a lot of sacrifice historically. And He is love, expressing it perfectly as no human can manage.

Conclusion

There is not hierarchy in marriage. There is partnership. There is no superiority in marriage. Both answer to GOD. That’s the starting place. He encourages each to reach beyond their ability for the benefit of the other and of the partnership.

Of course there will be cultural nuances. Of course the buck needs to stop somewhere and so husbands are responsible, ultimately, to GOD. Eve was deceived. Adam sinned. There is a difference in GOD’s eyes between the two. Men are physically stronger than women. Women are more naturally empathetic, and so on go the differences.

But all-in-all, to my mind, the LORD does not suggest men are more equal and women less so. We need to love one another and respect one another (my opinion) and follow the pattern GOD outlines in His Word. 

The two were one flesh — Eve made from the flesh of Adam. And so goes the pattern of a Godly marriage.

Categories
GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: part 39 The Tree (pt2)

What is GOD’s Motive? 

“Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”” Genesis 2:15-17)

What is GOD’s ultimate motive behind including the tree of the knowledge of good and evil being in the garden but not permitting it to be eaten?

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. 

GOD’s higher calling for mankind

Was it necessary to give Adam the option ie the tree and commandment not to eat, so that he would discover the knowledge of good and evil, and then be able to combat it? And through that strife, mankind would embrace the truth of GOD but at a higher level than where is Adam in his innocence in the garden. This is where we left off from the previous post.

GOD’s love, GOD’s perspective

Although man will surely die if he eats of the tree, that death is first physical and second spiritual… but not eternal. Although his physical death is not immediate, he becomes mortal having a finite number of years to live in his physical body. That is the consequence of his disobedience to GOD. That death is also spiritual, becoming separated from GOD with mankind’s spiritual death. And yet, the soul will live on in eternity. 

But GOD!

In GOD’s plan, that death gives way to rebirth. Man, both societal and individually, struggles and in that struggle his character is refined. Though with the Fall of man, all things become subject to death, so too do they become subject to rebirth on a higher level. Plants die, seeds are buried, new life comes forth. 

In GOD’s redemption plan, He makes way for all to return to Him as ‘He wants that none should perish’.

He sends His son,

“Indeed He 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.’ ” (Isaiah 49:6)

Satan and his demons are not given the same option. Those who follow GOD are rescued and those who do not, are destroyed. Evil is conquered and destroyed.

The Glory

And so perhaps the purpose for the tree and the subsequent events is to allow Satan to see the result of his rebellion… and that he can never defeat nor rise above Yehovah GOD. Satan can never win!

Perhaps GOD’s motive has little directly to do with mankind, so confident is He in the ultimate goodness of mankind, through His son. But perhaps it is much more about the entire universe, His Creation and all that is in it.

This walk with GOD

All the glory is in and from GOD, not with mankind, not even with His creation, but only to Him — because He is righteous and good. And no glory will ever go to Satan. 

Ultimately, all glory goes to GOD and Satan will experience this. 

All the glory belongs to You, Father GOD. Thank you for your resurrection power and grace.