Jesus the Good Shepherd of his Sheep January 2022

 

This article can be read stand alone, or, as the next in a series on ‘sin and it’s consequences’ which can be found immediately below the present one if you wish to read them first.
You will see in this article references to earlier subjects,  They follow in date order

In our previous article we looked at how Adam and Eve brought death into the world by not obeying God’s simple command.

17  But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.              Genesis 2

When God speaks, it will happen or He would make Himself a liar which He is not.

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

So, as we saw last time Adam and Eve had decided their future and ours.  As God explained to Adam … …

17  Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, … …  19  In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.                Genesis 3

And so all Adam and Eve’s descendants inherited their mortal nature.

12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.                Romans 5

Eventually, the day came when the angel appeared to a virgin called Mary and spoke with her as recorded in Luke 1:26-38 which we recommend you read as it says so much about the mission of Jesus.  Some key extracts are …

31  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32  … the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33  … of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Here, Mary interrupted to ask,

34  …, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35  And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

A wonderful miracle – God’s power the Holy Spirit was to cause the conception. But what would her fiancé, Joseph, think about it?  God had anticipated his reaction as Matthew informs us..

20  But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21  And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.                        Matthew 1

So much Information is contained in these verses that we must pause and take stock.

Jesus was Son of God, uniquely, miraculously conceived by the power of God, and Son of man through Mary.

4  But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.                     Galatians 4 

This meant he was born to carry out his Heavenly Father’s purpose to “save his people from their sins.” AND he had the nature of man being “made under the law”meaning he lived under the same condemnation as Adam, Eve, and all men and women.  Let’s be clear what that meant for Jesus.

 14 Since then we have a great high priest, … … Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.                                                                                                                   Hebrews 4

It means that Jesus was a man a mortal being.  He had the same nature as all of us, being subject to temptation, pain and suffering, and he would in due course die.  And he born with a unique mission.

19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.                 John 5

This meant that whatever he said – all his teachings – he had learned from his Heavenly Father.

49  For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.  50  And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.                                                                                                                                John 12

We hardly need remind you of the contrast between Jesus and other men and women, but I will to emphasise the contrast.  Firstly the universal situation.

12  Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:                 Romans 5

You might think to yourself, it’s one thing to say such words came from God, but how do we know that is true.  The Apostle Paul writing to Timothy, was inspired to write to a young, but fellow teacher.

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

Inspiration is how God breathes into the minds of His writers what He wants them to set down in His book, the Bible.  Therefore God was  in control of all those who wrote His important message to man kind.  (We have two articles in this series that demonstrate the truth of the Bible. See the end of this presentation.)

The Apostle Peter informs us how it happened.

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. (better ‘Spirit’).                    2 Peter 1

Therefore, they cannot write their own ideas because God’s Holy Spirit is their guide, as you see in the quote above.   God’s power will not let them write anything except His true message.

Now let us think about Jesus and compare him to all other members of the human race.

 

 

 

 

 

JESUS                                  MEN and WOMEN

Why subject to death?       Because he had Adam’s         Because they had Adams                                                                       mortal nature.                         mortal nature.

What was the                      “Tempted as we are,                     ALL HAVE SINNED
fundamental difference      YET WITHOUT SIN.           and all short of the glory of God
between them?                       Hebrews 4:15                                 Romans 3:23

Law: “the wages
of sin is death”                     NOT AN OFFENDER                   ALL ARE OFFENDERS
Romans 6:23

Law: “God, that                   Whom God hath raised up           
cannot lie, promised …”     loosed the pains of death                Therefore all die                              Titus 1:2                            not possible he holden of it.                                                                     

Before Jesus was born all who worshipped God were governed by the law of Moses or it’s earlier equivalent. But that law only contained rules about how to live and the punishments that went with them if they were disobeyed.  So, as Paul wrote to the Galatians2:16,  “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law,” he went on at length in his epistles to describe how God made it possible for men and women to escape from condemnation under the law.

Reading all of the quotation above from Titus, it is easy to understand why God, seeing, a man or woman who was really working hard to please God, could not just say, “I’ve changed my mind about sin and death, I’ll give you eternal life.”

2  In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;   Titus 1

God’s promises are precious.  He promised Adam and Eve death if they broke His law.  We have already seen that God has promised that eternal life is something that He will give to certain men and women.  So, we can see that if God could just change a promise He has made about death, He could change His promise about a way to receive eternal life. That would mean that future life and all things are uncertain.  So we need to know precisely how the life of Jesus changed things.

In our table above we can see clearly man stays in his final resting place because of his sins. Jesus, as he lay in his tomb had nothing to condemn him except his inborn nature as Paul tells us,

3  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:                         Romans 8

Jesus, in the same body of mortal nature as we have, overcame sin in a unique victory.  He was tempted precisely as we are and yet totally sinless, in thought word and need.  He obediently gave to his Heavenly Father his human body as a perfect sacrifice despite false accusations, unjust punishments and the most severe physical and emotional pain and suffering we can imagine.

Jesus submitted to death because He had mortal nature.  But he was not personally worthy of death.  He was a righteous man.  He died to destroy temptation and condemn sin.  He was the Lamb of God, the perfect sacrifice, therefore His Father could not justly allow his to remain in the tomb and he was resurrected to eternal life.

18  Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19  But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:                1 Peter 1

So Jesus has redeemed us.  He gave his life for sin to save those who are striving to overcome sin in their own lives, and in that way has brought the hope of life and immortality to light through his Gospel.

10  But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:             2 Timothy 1

This information was not new when Jesus was born into the world. Those who listened to the prophets knew he was coming.  We would recommend reading Isaiah 53.  For instance, speaking of our redemption he wrote,

4  Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. … … 11  He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.                             Isaiah 53

What an amazing man Jesus was when we consider what he was willing to do to make possible the forgiveness of our sins and give us a hope of life.  Surely, that thought alone makes us want to follow our shepherd as obedient sheep that we may share with him the joys and wonders to come when Jesus returns. See what encouragement the apostle Paul gave his friend Titus and is willing to give to all men who read his letter.

14 … … Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.                 Titus 2(NKJV)

A people who are,

13  looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, Titus 2

We look forward, God willing, to explaining  how we become faithful followers, and disciples of Jesus whom he will bless with the marvellous reward of eternal life in his glorious Kingdom in our February Rugby Register message and linked article on this website.  If you wish to contact us before then on this subject you can do so on our contact us/ask questions panel at the top right of every webpage.  We look forward to hearing from you.

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Please bear in mind  that these are short articles 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 using the arrow on the right. We only respond to questions and comments and will not approach you again unless requested.

1. Why does God allow suffering? – October 2021
2. Remarkable Changes are coming – November 2021
3. He is risen (Resurrection) – December 2021

PLUS two reasons why we know THE BIBLE IS TRUE.

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

Happy and contented reading.  But if not content, please remember our   Comments Box   and if Happy, tell us that too. 

 

He is risen (resurrection) December 2021

The following article can be read as standing on its own, or, as the next in a series on sin and it’s consequences which can be found immediately below the present one if you wish to read them first.
You will see in this article references to earlier subjects in this series that follow this one in date order.
The object of this article is to answer the question posed above which, is how did Jesus overcome the seemingly impossible situation when God’s  law decreed that “the wages of sin is death”?

Our regular readers may recall God had declared that the of purpose His creative work is that  [see October 2021 suffering]

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

The most important aspect of His work was the creation of men and women of whom He was going to require much more than any other creature …

27  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28  And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.                    Genesis 1

‏This means that He needs thinking beings that are able to understand Him.  The word ‘image’ in the original Hebrew צֶלֶםmeans similar, not identical as God and the similarities He gave him included a mind that could think, reason, and have emotions in the same way as God, and have the ability to communicate with Him.

Man’s creation happened like this …

7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. Genesis 2 KJV

Follower by the forming of the companion God gave him,

21  And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22  And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.                                     Genesis 2

Above all He wanted the more perceptive of human beings to grow to love Him and obey him as best they can.

21  He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.                                               John 14

The original New Testament was written in Greek which has three words for love.

‘Eros’ which stands for sensually motivated lust and is never found in the scriptures, indicating that there is a great difference between the loving relationships associated with the Christian way of life and a selfish worldly way.

‘Phileo’, used 25 times in the New Testament, meaning to be a friend to another, to be fond of (have a liking for) an individual or an object, to have or show affection. In some contexts it means to kiss another as a mark of tenderness for that person.

‘Agape’ is the word for Christian love and is used 115 times in the New Testament.  It means undefeatable goodwill; it describes the way we respond others which, no matter what they do will always seek their highest good and will accept all the difficulties, problems and toil which the relationship may bring. Agape love is the deepest king of love that can be exhibited one towards another.

However, all men and women have been given freewill, and the way they react to certain situations will show agape love is at work, for there will be times when the easier option will be to be selfish and refuse to help.  To exhibit the kind of love God wishes to see requires motivation and effort and God through His Word shows us the king of people He wishes us to be

A good example of agape love is the love God has for His people Israel. They have been so often disobedient, rebellious and with not a care for God, yet he cared for them … …

37  … because he loved thy fathers, therefore he chose their seed after them, and brought thee out in his sight with his mighty power out of Egypt;                                                                                         Deuteronomy 4

As Jehoshaphat, one of the kings of God’s people in praying for God’s help said

7  Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever?                                                             2 Chronicles 20

That is the deep, loving, visible relationship that God requires of men and women through Christ if they are to be resurrected and given Eternal Life in the glorious, peaceful Kingdom of God.

So, let us now focus on how the relationship between God and men and women, all started.

The creation of the earth and all that is upon it is a marvellous work of beauty and wonder. But God wanted to include intelligent beings with the ability to appreciate His work and the life He gives them who can, and some will, grow to love Him to the best of their ability. For them it will be God’s pleasure to lavish upon them His love with the most wonderful reward imaginable.

It all began like this … …

Genesis 1  1  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. … … 26  And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. … … … Genesis 2  8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9  And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. … 16  And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17  But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die* [The Hebrew, literally, “dying thou shalt die.”]

God created man with freewill as we have explained, with the ability to love Him with a deep agape love.  Also, to be obedient and respect Him.

So God immediately set the scene for a test.  If they were to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they would surely die.  And eventually, we don’t know how long after, the test came. God used a creature called a serpent to suggest the women disobeyed God’s commandment.

1  Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2  And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3  But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4  And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5  For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.              Genesis 3

The serpent directly challenged God’s command and His promised consequence.  The serpent used a lie which the woman found too attractive to resist.  “Your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”  She ate the fruit and gave it to her husband who also ate and their idyllic life in a beautiful garden with everything provided for a comfortable life was to end.

17  And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18  Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19  In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.                    Genesis 3

Thus was established the rule for all men and women – “The wages of sin is death”. In the words of the apostle Paul,

12  Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:                        Romans 5

There are two reasons why men and women are condemned to die. First, they all inherit a dying nature from Adam, so it is not our fault we die.  Even Jesus, who inherited human nature from his mother Mary, was condemned to die.

14  Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; Hebrews 2

Secondly, we all sin and therefore cannot escape death and the grave. But in this respect Jesus was different to us.

14  Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.          Hebrews 4

There are several verses that tell us Jesus did no sin and therefore he is in a different position to all other men and women.  Because Jesus did not sin and God is a just God, it was wholly right that Jesus did not remain in the tomb.

24  Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.                  Acts 2

Jesus had done a wonderful thing for us all!  Let the apostle Paul tell us what it was.

3  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:                             Romans 8

How did the law, which governed God’s people, work?  It was a collection of laws setting out how God wanted His people to live with appropriate punishments if they failed to do them and the consequences are clear. ”Sin is the transgression of the law”1 John 3:4 and  “the wages of sin is death”Romans 6:23 but this law provided no way of escape from death, only punishment if broken.

All men and women sin, some more some less, except Jesus.  He, by a huge effort, had his Heavenly Father’s support through His Angels, did no sin.

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.                       Psalm 34

Jesus did not deserve the wages of sin, so God, who is a just and righteous God resurrected Jesus, showing through Jesus that it is sin that condemns men and women to death.

To explain how, remembering what we learnt earlier in this article, Jesus, like us all, had to die because he had the same nature as Adam, being formed of the dust of the ground”But, Adam and Eve both sinned and their punishment, was “for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” So, Jesus too, like us, had to die, but by being SINLESS which is the mark of RIGHTEOUSNESS and PERFECTION, whilst bearing our detestable mortal nature, Jesus met sin on its own ground and overcame it, even though tempted precisely as we are. Being the only one ever, who has been totally sinless even though tempted. Christ brought his sinless life to God in the earthen vessel of human nature.  Thus, he broke the power of sin and opened the doors to endless life.  He turned God’s original purpose into reality.

9  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, 10  But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.                  2 Timothy

What a wonderful achievement by Jesus and marvellous blessing for all men and women who are willing to listen to and follow Jesus today.

So our advice to all who read this article is to follow the advice of Jesus as the apostle John recorded it.

12  Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. John 8

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We hope that you enjoyed this presentation.  It is the third in a short series of monthly presentations.  If you would like to read them they follow below starting with October 2021.

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Please bear in mind  that these are short articles 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 using the arrow on the right. We only respond to questions and comments and will not approach you again unless request.

Happy and contented reading.  But if not content, please use our Comments Box to tell us why and if Happy, tell us that too. 

Remarkable changes are coming – November 2021

This article can be read as standing on its own to deal with ‘The changes coming to the earth very shortly’, or as a follow up to last month’s, “Why does God allow suffering?” which can be found immediately below the present one if you wish to read that first.

The object of this article is to show you how God has promised He will change the Earth because it is the reason He created the Earth. This is stated in a very familiar verse to many regular Bible readers.

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 let us show you what God says in His Word, the Bible, about what the Earth and its population will be like when He achieves His purpose.

Now it is clear that the state of the world in which we live is nothing like the glorious place the Creator intends it to be. The work to be done to achieve that change is huge and He has told us who will do that work for Him.

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. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.         John 3

The explanation of how Jesus’ sinless life makes our escape from death possible begins here.

21  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.                      2 Corinthians 5

But we must expand on that another time.  Here we need to tell you about the coming changes in the Earth.  Staying with Jesus, as soon as his Heavenly Father introduced Jesus to the world he immediately set about the work God had set him.

9  And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. 10  And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: 11  And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. … … 14  Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15  And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.          Mark 1

An important part of that work was searching out a people who would respond to the call of God through a desire to please Him and be part of His eternal purpose which involved the “Kingdom of God”. He started with Israel because they were the Lord God’s Kingdom in the past. David had acknowledged this many years before.

5  And of all my sons, (for the LORD hath given me many sons,) he hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel.           1 Chronicles 28

When Jesus appeared in Israel they were ruled by the Romans who had conquered them 100 years or so before. Israel’s Old Testament prophets had promised that God would send them a saviour. So when Jesus came teaching about God’s coming Kingdom they quickly began to anticipate that he would restore the Kingdom of Israel there and then ridding them of their Roman overlords.  After Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, when his disciples had overcome their amazement at seeing him again, they questioned him aboutthe

6  When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?  7  And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.  8  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.          Acts 1

After a gentle rebuff and the promise that the Kingdom will come, he told them it was not the time to establish the Kingdom.  Rather, that they must continue his work of preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God.  Then something amazing happened to Jesus!

 9  And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10  And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
11  Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

They now understood that Jesus would definitely return to the Earth to carry out the work of establishing the Kingdom AND fill the Earth with the glory of God.  But how and when that happens is a long story and we must continue, as promised, telling you about the remarkable changes that are coming.

There is a huge amount of work to be done when Jesus returns and he will need the help of his faithful followers who are called in the Bible ‘saints’.  We therefore need to be clear what the Bible means by a saint.

5  Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.             Psalm 50

This verse shows that a saint is not a person some church official or committee has chosen. They have always been chosen by God and are those who have made a promise – a covenant – a commitment – to obey God.  For us that means following Jesus – the son of God – and obey his commandments.

Very helpfully, the apostle Paul tells us that God has said, when Jesus appears to the world on his return, he will gather his saints – all the faithful believers – to him.

13  To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.         1 Thessalonians 3

That means his return will be in two stages. First in private to collect together the faithful.  This is called the resurrection and judgement.

10  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.     2 Corinthians 5

16  In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.    Romans 2

This only involves those who have known God and his laws.

11  For there is no respect of persons with God. 12  For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; 13  (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.              Romans 2

Those who did not know and obey God’s laws, what ever sort of life they have led, will not be called to judgement, they will simply die.

20  Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish. …  ….  14  Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling.  Psalm 49

Sadly, those that are found to have failed to faithfully obey God’s laws will return to the Earth. But we don’t want to dwell on failure. We are considering the wonders and joys our Heavenly Father has reserved for those whom Jesus welcomes at the judgement to join him in his kingdom.

The faithful followers of Jesus will experience a remarkable change of nature described by the apostle Paul like this.

42  So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43  It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44  It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.                                               1 Corinthians 15

Man is born with a dying nature, given to corruption, often dishonourable, weak and human.  But if chosen by Jesus, when he returns to help him change the world, they will be raised to incorruption, glory, power, and a spiritual body.  Free from temptation, sin and death.  Not subject to pain and suffering but experiencing joys unimaginable.

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. 5  And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.                         Revelation 21

It is difficult to imagine the change we will experience if Jesus chooses us because things will be so different from this life.

10  And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.         Isaiah 35

We hinted earlier that Jesus has made possible our escape from death.  Those chosen are called ‘ransomed’ because he has paid the dear price to rescue them from death, a process we need to describe in another article soon.  Meanwhile Paul gives another description of the amazing change from mortal to immortal that will take.

54  So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55  O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56   The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. .            1 Corinthians 15

What an amazing and marvellous change that will be.  Now let’s go on to consider the ‘new’ world that is to be created when Jesus returns.   There isn’t the space in this article to describe the situation that brings Jesus back to the Earth and how he and his Saints will deal with the modern world in which many will resist him. We must jump forward to get to the remarkable changes in the Earth.

We pick up where all resistance to the arrival of Christ and the saints to rule the world has been dealt with.

27  And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.                      Daniel 7

The mortal population will have accepted the Lord Jesus and his saints as their rulers.  In a peaceful and settled world the saints, under the direction of Jesus, will establish a government.  It’s duty will involve teaching the mortal population God’s laws and guiding, and directing how they worship Him and live.  This phase of the Kingdom of God will last 1000 years and is called the Millennium Age.

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. 5  O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.    Isaiah 2

it will be a joy to have a part in this new age.  The saints will have their own community and territory in the restored Kingdom of Israel with Jesus ruling from Jerusalem. The mortal population will enjoy great benefits from Christ’s righteous rule.

21  And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. 22  They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.         Isaiah 65

The mortal population will be responsive to the saints, eager to learn God’s laws and the way they must live; they will restore the environment, rebuild their homes, and remove all armaments and evidence of war.  A new temple will be built and, no doubt, local places for true worship and the joint study of God’s word and much more. There will be one language thus allowing world wide harmony and religious belief to be achieved

9  For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent.                    Zephaniah 3

The world as a whole will be changing. Nature and agriculture will be very successful and beautiful with the animal Kingdom at peace.

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. 4  Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. 6  Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. 7  And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.                    Isaiah 35

The countryside worldwide will be beautiful and agriculture bountiful. The mortal population shall live  long and healthy lives, continuing family life in accordance will God’s laws, and having a life expectancy of about 100 years or more.

But Jesus and the saints will live forever. At the end of the Millennium there will be a second judgement of those who have lived during the 1000 years when the disobedient will return to the grave and finally the whole population will be immortal.

2  Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 3  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4  Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.  2 Peter 1

What happens next is not detailed in the scriptures. It could be that what God intends to do is so wonderful that with our present capacity of mind we could not understand it.

God plans are so amazing they cannot be thought of or worked out by men or women.  They can only be known when God reveals them.

We must wait to understand what God intends for Jesus and his Saints at the end of the Millennium.  But be sure you are doing your very best to make sure you are there to experience the wonders and joys to come.

~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~

Meanwhile, we recommend that you go to our index page to select more good things to read about the Word of God.

 

Why does God allow suffering? – October 2021

Are you surprised that we should suggest that we ask God for the answer to the above question?  Well, before we ask the question we need to explain a little of the background to why this is valid approach to the question!

1  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.           Genesis 1

So, the next question seems obvious.  Why did he do it?

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

That is why Jesus tells us that one day soon a host of the faithful, in praise of God’s blessing of them, will call in unison … …

11  “You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honour and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”     Revelation 4

Did you notice that the prophet Habakkuk said God wants the earth to be full of the knowledge of His glory?  That means that He needs thinking beings that are able to understand Him and think like Him as he describes in the opening of his book wehich is why man was different to the rest of his creation

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

The Hebrew word translated image there is: ‏צֶלֶם‎ (transliteration: Ṣelem) and Strong’s Hebrew/English Dictionary defines Selem as …

So, man was not the same as God, but he had similarities to God – especially a mind that could think, reason, and have emotions in the same way as God, and the ability to communicate with Him and one another, and much more.

Now, God has given men and women a great deal – life, an amazing body, and, we find as we read more of His word, for those who love Him and use this life to please Him, the promise of a wonderful reward.

3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4  To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,                                    1 Peter 1

A wonderful inheritance that is beyond the conception of the human mind, but that is revealed to those who read His word carefully.

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

Just six short passages of scriptures reveal to us that God is the creator of the universe and that He has a special purpose with the planet we live on that reflects His glory, the wonder of which will be appreciated by the inhabitants – those who have shown they love God by living a life that pleases Him.

But you may well say, “How does this fit in with our world today – full of suffering, poverty, killing, and so much destruction of the environment”?

A very reasonable question with a straightforward answer. It is the only way that God could achieve His purpose!  You will remember that his purpose was that …

14  … the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, As the waters cover the sea.                                                                      Habakkuk 2

And we are given a big clue as to why suffering, hardship, wickedness and much more distress is involved, by the apostle Paul, writing to faithful converts, in just one verse.

13  For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. Galatians 5:13 ESV

Love is a freewill offering.  It involves choosing to do things for others, when we have the natural choice is not to do them. So, to achieve His purpose God needed to create man with a make up, a nature, often called Human Nature, that has the freedom to act without any constraint.

Wikipedia defines Freewill as follows,

The apostle Paul describes how he finds controlling the nature of man, which has powerful urges to rebel against restraint, difficult to achieve.

18  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19  For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.               Romans 7

Putting it simply, He finds life is a battle between his own desire to please God and the nature he bears very hard because his nature – “the flesh” – prefers to go it’s own selfish way. In other words, it wants to please itself rather than Paul’s desire to please God. When you think about it, for love to be valid it has to be that way. Equally, God’s reward for those who show love for Him, is to love them, and give them a far better way of future life, than those who love their own way. This is why the apostle Paul wrote,

7  But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,                                     Philippians 3

Everything this world had given Paul in the past and could give him in the future was the lowest form of rubbish he could think of, compared to the excellence of escape from sin and death and to receive eternal life with freedom from pain and suffering in the glorious Kingdom of God free from all forms of evil.  Peter, another apostle much loved by Jesus, wrote in similar terms of all the glories promised to those who truly love Him.

3  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4  Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.                                             2 Peter 1

If service to God, bringing such a wonderful reward that nothing in the present way of life can compete with,  is new to you and difficult to believe and understand, we need to tell you more about that reward.  However, these are short articles designed to whet the appetite of the reader for deeper study and there is so much to what God promises, as a caring and loving Father, that we cannot even begin to describe it here. Therefore we intend to put together further articles to introduce the reader to the huge benefits of serving God as their Heavenly Father, and following to the best of their ability the example of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Meanwhile, if you’ve not already read them, below are some of our existing short essays on important aspects of putting your future into the hands of our Heavenly Father that might interest you.  Also, we have available leaflets and booklets all free of charge that cover the sort of subjects in this series of essays. Simply request a copy telling us the subject of interest to you in the Comments Box at the top right of this page.  There, you can request that we provide you a phone number, or an email or postal address for communication.

PLEASE BE ASSURED THAT we only respond to questions and requests and WE WILL NOT APPROACH YOU AGAIN UNLESS YOU REQUEST US TO.

GO TO LIST … …

Who knows the future? – February 2021

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

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.