True Faith – September 2021

As we say in the message above, it is sad when we are discussing an important subject and the other person uses a simple word, but we don’t know what they mean as is the case with the word ‘Faith’.  The Oxford English dictionary that we quote in the above message defines it as, ‘a certainty’ OR ‘an unproven conviction’ !  Not very helpful with an important subject like this.  We know that, with the passing of the years, words change their meaning.  But to have two opposing definitions in use at the same time is hopeless.

Faith is used 247 times in the King James Version of the Bible and when we add other words containing ‘faith’, like faithfully, etc., it rises to 360 times.  Other English translations use the word extensively as well.  The New International Version for instance, uses Faith 270 times and the group total is 443.  So, we need to know which definition applies to this group of words in the Bible. Is it a certainty or is it an unproven conviction?  For instance, look at the opening words of the Bible.

1  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2  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. Genesis 1 (NKJV)

Is it a certainty or is it an unproven conviction?  The whole status of the Bible depends upon it for God, through the prophet Isaiah says,

12  I have made the earth,  And created man on it. My hands stretched out the heavens, And all their host I have commanded.                Isaiah 45

Let’s see if the Bible defines the word faith as it is used in His word, because,

20  Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.     2 Peter 1

The power of God’s Holy Spirit in directing what men say is amazing. Jeremiah was a prophet that was given the task of telling Israel they were wicked and must listen to God’s message or their capital city – Jerusalem – would be destroyed, many of them killed, and the survivors taken captives to Babylon.  But the people rejected his message, abused and persecuted him.

So Jeremiah said to himself, “They don’t want to listen to my warnings because they don’t believe them or care because they enjoy the ways of idol worship.  I need not go on repeating this message. The suffering their response causes me is too much for me cope with.”  But see what happened …

9  Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him, Nor speak anymore in His name.” But His word was in my heart like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, And I could not.  Jeremiah 20

When God needs His message to be proclaimed no man can stand in its way – a fact many other scriptures confirm.  Thus, making clear God’s word should be trusted as absolute truth.

19  “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? Numbers 23

Therefore, what God says has, and will always be fuilfilled and having faith in the Bible makes that faith a certainty.

9  Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments;    Deuteronomy 7  

There is one problem remaining for those new to the Bible.  We need more than the Bible telling us it is certainly true because many people today think it is not a reliable book.  We need independent evidence that it is true, which is readily available, but we don’t have the space in this article to demonstrate that.

An exciting way of showing the Bible is true is through ‘fulfilled prophecy’.

But sceptics claim that the prophecies were written after the event took place.  However, there is excellent well-founded proof that this is not true.

There are many prophecies that were predicted in the Old Testament that have been fulfilled in the New Testament and scholars using scientific methods are able to show us evidence that the Old Testament was complete before the birth of Christ which was predicted in many parts of the Old Testament.

We have articles in this series which demonstrate that the New Testament was written after the Old Testament and we recommend that you read these as soon as is convenient.  These confirm that the Bible is to be trusted as the true foundation of ‘True Faith.’. 

We recommended two of those articles which are

Who knows the future? – February 2021 and
How can Israel be God’s witnesses? – April 2021

“How can Israel be God’s Witnesses?” and if you click on the article title you will be taken to the one requested.  Please bear in mind that these short articles are designed to whet the appetite of the reader for deeper study.  So please be ready to ask questions in the Comments Box at the top right of this page.  We only respond to questions and comments and will not approach you again unless request.

 

 

 

God Cares – August 2021

We want to present to you what the Bible says about God’s purpose in creating the Earth.  Ah, yes, we do believe that the Bible shows very clearly that God created the Earth and we have recently published two articles demonstrating the Bible is a book of truth.  So, we are not going to do it again here.  But we will give you links to those articles at the end of this account so that you can, if you wish, read those as well.  Our object in this article is to show you why God says He has created the Earth and everything on it.

He directed the prophet Isaiah to present Him to Israel like this.

11  Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me. 12  I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.           Isaiah 45

And this revelation to Israel is equally relevant to all humanity as is shown throughout scripture.  Here, for example, is a description of God by the Apostle Paul.

15  …, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; 16  Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.          1 Timothy 6

I’m sure it won’t surprise you to know that the Creator is all wise and powerful since the whole universe is His work.  Furthermore, it is wholly logical that the Creator would have some object in mind in doing so great a work which, He declares through the prophet Habakkuk this time,

14  For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.           Habakkuk 2

So He created the planet Earth to be full of glory and beauty for His satisfaction, but He wanted more than this.  God wanted it to be “filled with the knowledge of” His glorious work.  That clearly means He wanted people to exist that would see and appreciate His work.  What sort of creatures did the Creator design?  He tells us from the start that He had decided they should be like him in many respects calling them ‘man’ as he confirmed in his word.

27  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.             Genesis 1:27

So what was it that God wanted men and women to do in response to the knowledge of His work and purpose?

29  And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30  And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. … …

It did not stop there for the next verse goes on …

,,, ,,, 31  And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.            Mark 12   

God wanted the Earth to be filled with men and women that love Him and one another.  Aah, you say, then He has miserably failed.  But wait a minute. Think about this.  What must go with love for it to exist?  It requires free will.  For love is a person’s response, they need to be able to choose and therefore they must be to free not to love.  Free to reject others, to hate one another, to be unkind, to be selfish, and much more as well as to exhibit the good attributes that are love. The contrast between love and the uninhibited freewill of man in action, called in the scriptures “the works of the flesh” are clearly to be seen in the world today and plainly described in the scriptures. For example,

19  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.      Galatians 5

The “works of the flesh” can be very ugly in the extreme as can be seen today in the many trouble spots around the world, and, if we are honest, are in evidence in some measure, in all of us. But when men and women listen to the “Spirit” through the words of God, the teaching of the Lord Jesus, and the example of faith men and women in the Bible, we see a total contrast.

22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.             Galatians 5

Thus we see that men and women at large have a choice.  They can live a life focused on their own will, guided by their own judgement, or they can look around at the amazing natural world from the tiniest creature to the vast universe and be moved by the wonder of it all as was the Apostle Paul to live as God wanted us to live according to His wishes.

18  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19  Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.          Romans 1

The Great, all-powerful, wise God is invisible, as is His power.  But His work of creation, when seen by an unbiased mind, is the evidence that He is there and His amazing mind and wisdom designed and created everything; setting the unchanging myriad of rules that enable the Earth to support the multitude of life forms, amazingly dependent upon one another, so that men and women can live there and fulfil His purpose.

We rejoice that God cares for those who recognise there is a God having learnt from the Bible His desire and purpose, and strive to please Him and has instructed the Angels to support them.

6  This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. 7  The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. 8  O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.            Psalm 34

However, there is a big BUT.  God, of course, knew the battle those who strive to please Him have to fight against their nature of flesh would be a huge struggle.

9  The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 10  I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.           Jeremiah 17

We can see from the scriptures that God clearly understood the kind of creature He was creating in man.  He knew also that He had the power and wisdom to finally free the Earth of wickedness and evil and fill it with His glory, at the same time raising those men and women who love Him and the works of His hands to glorious eternal life.

38  But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.  39  But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble.           Psalm 37

This is a big subject that we have started upon, but our article has reached its limit, therefore, we have brought our article to an encouraging conclusion.  The faithful followers of Jesus can look forward to the day that Jesus promises …

4  … God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.              Revelation 21

~~~   ~~~   ~~~   ~~~   ~~~   ~~~

We are eager to tell you more about the hope that Jesus promises his followers and there are many articles on our website that do that.  So, please feel free to have a look at them now, or during a future visit.  Especially, if you want to see some of the evidence for The Truth Of The Bible.  As mentioned at the outset, we have two articles in this series which do that.  Just click one of the boxes below to go to one of them.

 

Welcome

Our regular Bible Seminars and Presentations in Rugby, Warwickshire are currently suspended due to COVID 19.  Nevertheless we are still offering readers of  THE RUGBY REGISTER invitations to our website to give some thought to important topical questions. So that all our website visitors can join in stimulating our minds, below are some of the relevant Rugby Register messages.

Search the Scriptures – July 2021

SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES

You will see above that our July message in The Rugby Register focuses on the name of our website – “Search the scriptures” and quotes the Apostle Paul’s words,

9  But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.                                                               1 Corinthians 2

On first reading it would appear that this verse suggests that there are a number of unsolved mysteries in the Bible which ‘eye hath not seen, or ear heard’. Indeed, it may be thought that Paul is referring to some of those ‘mysteries of Christianity’ that many accept will not be revealed until some future time.

But our message in the Rugby Register states that there are no unsolved mysteries in the Bible, and we say that because the following verse in 1 Cor 2 states:

10  But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.      1 Corinthians 2

As the Bible is the product of Spirit inspired men who were moved by God to express His thoughts in words for the benefit of His Creation, it follows that the only way we can understand what is revealed is by reading or hearing God’s Word, hence the need to ‘Search the Scriptures’. The importance of so doing is emphasized by Paul writing in his letter to Timothy in which he affirms that:

16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17  That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.                                                                           2 Timothy 3

God has not caused His Word to be written to deceive or confuse us, and if it is as profitable as Paul states, then it has a message that is not only of benefit to the way we live now, but must contain words of comfort and hope for our future, for above all it speaks of the way in which we can gain salvation.

The Word of God is therefore the foundation of all belief, and without it we would be in total ignorance of His intentions in Creation, His purpose with the earth and the men and women who live on its surface, but to gain the benefit it offers we must read it accurately, as to take a single verse without considering what follows, as we have already shown, can lead to the wrong conclusions

An example of this is to be found in John 14 where Jesus states:

2  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.                                                                            John 14

It may be thought that ‘in my Father’s house’ refers to Heaven and that Jesus is saying that it is there that there are ‘many mansions (rooms)’ for us to occupy. In Acts 1 we can read of Jesus ascension to Heaven after his resurrection; so we can deduce that he is waiting for the faithful to join him there. But if we read the next verse we find that he continues

3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.                                                                         John 14

The expression ‘I will come again’ means he is to return to earth where he was before his ascension and there that he will ‘receive us unto himself’. And other Scriptures show that the place of reward for faithfully following his example and teaching will be on earth where he will establish the Kingdom of God. Indeed this is what Christians the world over are praying for when they repeat the words of Christ’s model prayer ‘’Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven’’.

So, it is vital that we read the Word of God accurately, as we have said, and without any pre-conceived ideas. Wikipedia reports that there are thousands of Christian denominations all claiming their beliefs come from the Bible, yet whose beliefs differ, sometimes radically, from others. A true understanding of its message is the only dependable way to please God and achieve salvation.
The foundation of the teaching of Jesus when men and women came to hear him was ‘’follow me’’. This expression is recorded 19 times, showing how important it is that those who would be ‘Christians’ must be like their leader, and believe the things that he believed.

23  And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.                                                                        Luke 9:23

Jesus defines very clearly what this entails in words to be found in John 15.

13  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14  Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 15  Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. John 15

Christ here confirms that ‘the words I have heard of my Father I have made unto you’; therefore, as with the other writers who set down words they obtained by inspiration, so Christ’s teaching also has the Divine ‘Stamp of Approval’ and we ignore it at our peril.

20  Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.        2 Peter 1

Peter is telling us that God’s Spirit power guided the pens of these inspired writers, so that we can have absolute reliance on the accuracy of their words as reflecting the very mind of God.

Consequently, the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, must be regarded as infallible, and if this be so, we would be foolish to ignore the Bible message, which is why we urge people everywhere to ‘Search the Scriptures for they are the Word of Life.

That is the great benefit we can derive from God’s Word, particularly in the very difficult days we are currently experiencing, and we therefore urge you to seek the comfort and enlightenment that only God’s inspired word can give.

4  For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.                Romans 15

Self Fulfilling Prophecies – June 2021

Is it possible any prophecies of the Bible are self-fulfilling prophecies?’

The following video is a recording of a Zoom type meeting (not a professionally produced film) but we felt that the video support to the talk is very effective.  Do give it a try and tell us in our ‘Contact us’ box feature at the top right of the page what you think. (To help our future planning.)

We hope that you found this Bible Presentation interesting.  Questions and comments are welcome.  Press the Red arrow on the right to go to the top and fill in the ‘Contact us’ feature on the RIGHT.

We need the Bible now – May 2021

11  For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; 12  The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; Song of Songs 2

Who could not want to be present on such a lovely spring morning?  For this is to be a day when the Earth will be  covered in re beauty.

And more important,​​ the world at large will then believe in the one true God – the Creator and Sustainer of​​ all life​​ on​​ this planet – and want to learn of​​ Him​​ and His purpose,​​ and peace will truly prevail throughout the Earth.

2  And it shall come to pass in the last days,​​ that​​ the mountain of the​​ LORD‘S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.​​ 3​​  And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and​​ let us go up to the mountain of the​​ LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the​​ LORD​​ from Jerusalem.​​ 4​​  And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.  ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​  ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​ Isaiah 2

Looking at​​ the world around us​​ you​​ might​​ find this difficult to believe,​​ which​​ is not surprising.​​ And how that change will come about may also​​ surprise​​ you, particularly if you are not a regular Bible reader.​​

30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.​​ 31​​  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet,​​ and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.  ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​ Matthew 24​​ 

Although the Bible tells us the return of Jesus to the Earth is very close,​​ Jesus​​ himself​​ and his disciples assure us that,​​ with a little study and conscientious preparation there is still time, God willing, to get involved.​​

16​​  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.​​      John 3

Jesus tells us it is to happen in this way … …​​

28​​  Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,​​ 29​​  And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; ​​ ​​ John 5

Before we go any​​ further, many of those visiting our web site and hearing these things for the first time are likely to be amazed by the promises the Bible contains. ​​ For them, although we can assure everyone that these events are described in much more detail all over the​​ Old and New Testaments, they seem to be​​ so incredible it is the truth of the​​ whole​​ Bible​​ that is​​ questioned. ​​ So​​ we will pause here to give you the opportunity to look at a Bible and check these things. ​​

To help with that we therefore are providing below further articles, which deal with the evidence for the truth of the Bible. ​​ Please have a read of these.​​ ​​ We think you will find them very interesting.

Note: We have used the King James version in this article, but any reliable translation​​ (not a paraphrase)​​ will tell you the same things.​​ ​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​  ​​

The next two articles – ‘How can Israel be God’s witnesses?’ and ‘Our troubled World’ – look at two important different, independent, examples of evidence of the truth and reliability of the Bible.  We hope you will read them and if you have doubts, or questions, you will contact us at the top of this page.

How can Israel be God’s witnesses? – April 2021

If curiosity brought you to our website that would be good​​ because we like visitors with an inquiring mind. Many people will know that it is the Bible that is ‘reckoned to ​​ be the world’s bestselling book’. But to be told the people of Israel have a 4,000-year history could be harder to believe.

(​​Timeline is not to​​ scale – dates are approximate – click on it to enlarge it)

The writers of the Bible cover some 7,000 years of time but from the Birth of Israel to when, in the future, Jesus is on the throne of Israel ruling the world, only covers part of it. ​​ Our simple timeline of events covered in the Bible​​ shows​​ that the history of Israel started from the day God called Abraham,

1​​  Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew​​ thee : ​​ Genesis 12​​ 

On to the birth of the nation at Mount Sinai in the wilderness, as God, who had rescued them from harsh slavery in Egypt, promised Israel through Moses, that,

5​​  Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then​​ ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth​​ is​​ mine:​​ 6​​  And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.​​ These​​ are​​ the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.​​   Exodus 19 ​​ 

Sadly, the people of Israel were disobedient to their God leading to the 12 tribes becoming divided, with the 10 northern tribes retaining the name Israel making Samaria their capital and the remainder, in the south, becoming Judah with Jerusalem their capital. ​​ Israel soon took to Idol worship losing God’s protection and about 713 BC, they were conquered by the Assyrians, carried away, and scattered amongst the cities all over their empire.​​

6​​  In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor​​ by​​ the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.​​ 2 Kings 17 ​​ 

Sadly, Judah too, soon deteriorated despite God’s warnings that if they left worshipping Him for idols they too would​​ lose His protection. ​​ They ignored the warnings and the Babylonians overran their country and carried them away as captives to their own land with the result that the descendants of Abraham were scattered over a large area of their homeland.

10​​  And all the army of the Chaldees, that​​ were with​​ the captain of the guard, brake down the walls of Jerusalem round about.​​ 11​​  Now the rest of the people​​ that were​​ left in the city, and the fugitives that fell away to the king of Babylon, with the remnant of the multitude, did Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carry away.  ​​ 2 Kings 25

Later the peoples of Judah returned to their land, rebuilding Jerusalem. ​​ But they had learnt little, still disobeyed God and the Romans under Pompey invaded them in 63BC

​​ 49​​  The​​ LORD​​ shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth,​​ as swift​​ as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand;​​ 50​​  A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor shew favour to the​​ young:​​ 51​​  And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed: which​​ also​​ shall not leave thee​​ either​​ corn, wine, or oil,​​ or​​ the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee.​​ 52​​  And​​ he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the​​ LORD​​ thy God hath given thee.​​  Deuteronomy 28

This terrible prophecy by Moses of this final scattering by the Romans, and the life that followed goes on in the above chapter.

Early in their colonisation Jesus was born and at 30 years old he began his mission to bring Israel back to God. ​​ Despite his initial success with the ordinary people only a remnant responded long term to his teaching with the religious leaders rejecting him and contriving his crucifixion. ​​ Their punishment for murdering the righteous Son of God came, when they tried to remove their Roman overlords, who brought in reinforcements and destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple, crushed the rebellion, and banished the Jews from the land by an Edict of Emperor Hadrian in 135AD scattering the Jews all over the world.​​

Thus, the Jews were​​ ejected from their land and widely scattered three times. ​​ It might have been expected that the Jews would be assimilated into the nations all over the world where they ended up, but that was not God’s purpose for He had promised … …​​

14​​  And I will be found of you, saith the​​ LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the​​ LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away​​ captive.​​      Jeremiah 29

As the 19th century closed Theodor Herzl, a German Jew began the Zionist Organization promoting Jewish immigration to Palestine to form a homeland for the Jewish people and a Jewish state. ​​ Early in the 20th century European Jews started migrating to Palestine in large numbers, fleeing religious persecution. ​​ Against huge odds, and undoubtedly because God’s hand was with them, the Jews now have a state of their own in the land of Israel. ​​ Today some 6,153,500 Jews live​​ there, 43% of the world Jewish population of​​ 14,606,000​​ (Wikipedia).

In spite of the efforts of many nations over a long period of history to eradicate the Jews, notably first by Hitler and the Germans, and latterly by the combined efforts of​​ the Arab nations around her,​​ the Jews have survived defying expectations because God had promised one faithful man that he would​​ make​​ of him a great nation,

1 ​​​​ Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that​​ I will shew thee:​​ 2 ​​​​ And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:​​ Genesis 12

God gradually extended these promises to Abram, in an amazing way.

​​ 14 ​​​​ And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:​​ 15​​ ​​ For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.​​ Genesis 13

5 ​​​​ Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a​​ father of many nations have I made thee.​​ 6 ​​​​ And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and​​ I will make nations of thee, and​​ kings shall come out of thee.​​ Genesis 17

In essence the promises were:​​ Abraham’s​​ offspring​​ to​​ be​​ many nations​​ [Israel​​ and the Arabs];​​ to​​ have Kings [including Jesus];​​ to​​ possess the land [now Israel]; as confirmed by the Apostle Stephen​​ … ​​​​ …

2​​ The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham … …​​ 5 ​​​​ And he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child.​​  Acts 7

But the God who created and sustains this earth​​ is all powerful and a God of truth, so His promises must mean that​​ Abraham is to be resurrected to receive his promises.​​ 

19 ​​​​ God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath​​ he spoken, and shall he not make it good?​​ Numbers 23

And that is how Israel are God’s witnesses. ​​ The Bible is God’s word.

16​​  All scripture​​ is​​ given by​​ inspiration* of God#, and​​ is​​ profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in​​ righteousness:​​ 17​​  That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.  ​​ 2 Timothy 3​​

(*Greek:​​ θεπνευστος​​ divinely breathed​​ in​​ [Strong’s Greek Dictionary])​​ i.e. God plants his word in the Apostles mind.

We need to know the Bible​​ is true because the all wise, all powerful Creator and Sustainer of all life has caused it to be written for our benefit.

11​​  Thus saith the​​ LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work​​ of my hands command ye me.​​ 12​​  I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I,​​ even​​ my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.​​ Isaiah 45​​ 

God invites us to test those who claim to speak His word so that we know if​​ it is Truth.

1​​  Beloved,​​ believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.​​ 2​​  Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:​​ 3​​  And​​ every spirit that confesseth not that​​ Jesus Christ is come in the flesh​​ is not of God: and this is that​​ spirit​​ of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.​​ 1 John 4​​ 

How can we test​​ the Truth of the Bible as a whole? ​​ We find God has provided a interesting way. ​​ It’s prophecy! ​​ You will know that the Old Testament was written before the New Testament. ​​ You may know that there are prophecies of Jesus life in​​ the Old Testament, fulfilled in the New Testament. If we can prove The Old Testament was written and completed before Jesus was born, we have our proof.​​

How is your history? ​​ Have you heard of the Alexandria library in Egypt? ​​ If you go to the​​ Wikipedia​​ article,​​ “Library of Alexandria”,​​ you can read of how … …

“The Great Library of Alexandria in Alexandria, Egypt, was one of the largest​​ and​​ significant in the ancient world. … … ​​ It​​ may have been proposed by Demetrius of Phalerum, an exiled Athenian statesman living in Alexandria, to Ptolemy I Soter, who may have established plans for the Library, but the Library itself was probably not built until the reign of his son Ptolemy II Philadelphus. The Library quickly acquired many papyrus scrolls, due largely to the Ptolemaic kings’ aggressive and well-funded policies for procuring texts. It is unknown precisely how many such scrolls were housed at any given time, but estimates range from 40,000 to 400,000 at its height.​​

NOTE: ​​ the reason we refer you to these two​​ articles from Wikipedia is to verify, with small extracts that our information comes from a reliable source that you can consult more thoroughly if you wish.​​ 

The reason we are interested in the Alexandria library which is in Egypt is because the​​ emperors there wanted to create a library of all the world’s books of knowledge and learning in Greek which included copies of the Hebrew scriptures called the Tanakh and known to us as the Old Testament. so let us return to Wikipedia again, this time to the article on a book called the … …  ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​

Septuagint.​​

The Greek Old Testament, or Septuagint … … from the Latin: septuaginta, lit. ’seventy’; often abbreviated 70; in Roman numerals, LXX), is the earliest extant Koine Greek translation of books from the Hebrew Bible. … … ​​ ‘The Translation of the Seventy’) derives from the story recorded in the Letter of Aristeas that the Hebrew Torah was translated into Greek at the request of Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285–247 BCE) by 70 Jewish​​ scholars or, according to later tradition, 72: six scholars from each of the Twelve Tribes of Israel

The importance of the Septuagint version is it was completed well before the birth of Jesus Christ and many prophecies in the Old Testament were​​ fulfilled in New Testament and later times. We will give you just one brief example as it is not the purpose of this article, nor do we have the space, to deal with prophecy.​​

When the wise men came to King Herod in Jerusalem seeking to give gifts to the one they rightly believed was to be the King of Israel he was greatly concerned.​​

3​​  When Herod the king had heard​​ these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.​​ 4​​  And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.​​ 5​​  And they said unto him,​​ In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,​​ 6​​  And thou Bethlehem,​​ in​​ the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.​​ Matthew 2

If you turn to the prophet Micah 5:2 you will find that is what Micah did write and wise men when they arrived found the young child born​​ to be​​ King of the Jews.​​

That did not happen in Christ’s lifetime but, as with the promises to Abraham, will be fulfilled at a future date when he returns to this Earth to​​ save Israel from her enemies and establish God’s Kingdom. But that is for another time.​​

So we hope you can see that God has been directing the​​ lives of His people in detail for 4,000 years. And on another occasion, we’d like to show you, how He will continue to do so long into the future.​​

The above article outlines reliable evidence that the Greek Septuagint version of the Old Testament, which contains many prophecies of New Testament events, was completed well before the birth of Jesus Christ.  Another article that gives trustworthy evidence of how the Dead Sea Scrolls are further proof, in a separate way, of the truth of many Old Testament prophecies can be found if you click the link below.

 

 

 

Who knows the future? – February 2021

9 ​​​​ “I alone am God and that there is no one else like me.
10From the beginning I predicted the outcome; long ago I foretold what would happen. ​​ I said that my plans would never fail, that I would do​​ everything I intended to do. ​​ 11I am calling a man to come from the east; he will swoop down like a hawk and accomplish what I have planned. ​​ I have spoken, and it will be done.  12 “Listen to me, you stubborn people who think that victory is far away.” ​​ Isaiah 46 GNB

We thank you that you have come to see more of what the Bible says. ​​ Sadly, today the great majority of people who see the words ‘God’ or ‘Bible’ turn away. All we ask is 10 to 15 minutes of your time to show you some facts that it is likely will be new to you.

We have advertised the way you see, above left, because we think first if someone makes such colossal, some will say, unbelievable claims as are in the verses above, they should be able easily to find the failings of such claims. ​​ Second, since God’s plans seem very impressive, they are well worth a few minutes to test their​​ credibility. ​​ Before we get down to business, let us whet your appetite with a peep into God’s plans that He says, “will never fail”.

3 ​​​​ Trust in the LORD, and​​ do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.​​ 4 ​​​​ Delight thyself also in the LORD; and​​ he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.​​ 5 ​​​​ Commit thy way unto the LORD;​​ trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​  ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​ Psalm 37

He promises the wicked and all evil shall be removed from the earth.​​

9​​  For​​ evildoers shall be cut off: but​​ those that wait upon the​​ LORD, they shall inherit the earth.​​ 10​​  For yet a little while, and​​ the wicked​​ shall​​ not​​ be: yea,​​ thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it​​ shall​​ not​​ be.​​ 11​​  But​​ the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.​​   Psalm 37

Beauty and tranquillity of nature will be re-established like the Garden of Eden.​​

1​​  The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and​​ the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.​​ 2​​  It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon,​​ they shall see the glory of the​​ LORD,​​ and​​ the excellency of our God.​​ 3​​  Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.​​ Isaiah 35​​ 

Just one more​​ Biblical insight into the future, before we look at the key question.

4​​  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.​​    Revelation 21

The Bible promises wonderful things for the individual in a​​ world free of evil and wickedness. ​​ A world at peace, full of beauty, comfort, joy and much more. Clearly, we need to know the integrity and reliability of the book before we commit to studying its pages.​​ The best test of the Bible is are the prophecies made in it recorded before the event. For instance, the Jews, who knew the Old Testament scriptures, were expecting the coming of the Messiah – Jesus Christ. ​​ For instance, when John the Baptist was preaching and baptising we read in Luke,

15​​  And as​​ the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John,​​ whether he were the Christ, or not;​​ 16​​  John answered, saying unto​​ them​​ all, I indeed baptize you with water; but​​ one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not​​ worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.​​   Luke 3​​ 

Long before that, soon after Jesus was born, we read again, in the same gospel,

25​​  And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name​​ was​​ Simeon; and the same man​​ was​​ just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.​​ 26​​  And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that​​ he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.​​ 27​​  And he came by the Spirit into the temple:​​ and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,​​ 28​​  Then​​ took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,​​ 29​​  Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word.​​ Luke 2​​ 

More significant than that were the wise men that came from the East,​​

2​​  Saying,​​ Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.  ​​ Matthew 2

This greatly disturbed Herod, the cruel, power-hungry ‘king’ who was a puppet ruler under the Roman occupancy of Israel and wanted no rival.​​

4​​  And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together,​​ he demanded of them where Christ should be born.​​ 5​​  And they said unto him,​​ In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,​​ 6​​  And​​ thou Bethlehem,​​ in​​ the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.​​    Matthew 2

The leaders of Israel too were expecting their Messiah, and they quoted to Herod the Old Testament prophet Micah,

2​​  But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah,​​ though​​ thou be little among the thousands of Judah,​​ yet​​ out of thee shall he come forth unto me​​ that is​​ to be ruler in Israel; whose​​ goings forth​​ have been​​ from of old, from everlasting.​​   Micah 5

There are many more Old Testament prophecies of the coming of the Messiah. ​​ The 2nd​​ Psalm is all about God’s Son, who would, only then, be named Jesus Christ when he came to Israel .

2​​  The​​ kings of the earth set themselves,​​ and the rulers take counsel together,​​ against the​​ LORD, and against his anointed,​​ saying,​​ 3​​  Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away​​ their cords from us.​​ … …​​ 7​​  I will declare the decree:​​ the​​ LORD​​ hath said unto me, Thou​​ art​​ my Son;​​ this day have I begotten thee.​​         Psalm 2

But, the key question is, were these prophecies about Jesus Christ certainly written before he lived? ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​

That is, simply put, can it be proved that the Old Testament,​​ so full of​​ prophecies concerning the Lord Jesus that he has since fulfilled,​​ was written well before his birth? ​​

An amazing sequence of events began in 1947 when a young Arab shepherd was collecting his flock and saw one of his goats up on the rocks.

He did not want to climb up the rocks to try and retrieve the goat, so he picked up some stones and started to throw them ahead of the goat to try to direct him down. ​​ One of these stones went into a cave ahead of the goat, and the shepherd heard a crash from inside that sounded like something breaking.​​

This puzzled him and he decided to clamber up the rocks to see what was inside the cave.​​