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Thursday, 18 January 2018

The Nazi State of Israel - the evidence!

The presentation below shocked me. Do you have the stomach for it?

I had planned an automatic presentation - but that has not worked! Please clck on the link; go to 'full screen'; and click on the arrow to the right of the slide.



View Two Shrines   new.pptx and other presentations by crazyrev.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

You're never too old!

As we travelled south, this afternoon, my wife's 'phone rang. It was a friend, passing on some exciting news. Another friend - of even longer standing - had proposed to her; she had accepted; and they are now formally engaged to be married. We were both so excited for them, and were delighted to send our congratulations.

So what was unusual about this situation? Simply that each of them is soon, D.V., to be 84 years of age! Each of them is widowed, but they knew one another many decades ago, met again, and have been constant companions for some time now. We are now looking forward to the wedding - which we suspect will be sooner rather than later. We certainly trust that they will be spared to one another for many years. However, their story proves that it is never too late to fall in love - or to be married!

As we continued our journey, I found myself thinking of another relationship for which we are never too old - a vital relationship with our Creator, through the sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus, on the cross. It's a relationship that is sometimes analogised (is that a new word that I have coined?!) by marriage - but it is far, far better. And you are never too old! A thief on a cross discovered this, almost 2,000 years ago. We don't know his exact age - but we do know that he knew that he had only hours to live. Yet the Lord Jesus was able to assure him that he would be in paradise with the Saviour. (Luke 23:43).

First of all, it is better because it is a relationship with Almighty God - the sinless and holy One Who inhabits eternity; Who is omnipotent (all-powerful), and omniscient (all-knowing), and omnipresent (present everywhere, simultaneously). He is infinite love, goodness, justice, wisdom, creative power, inexhaustible riches of excellence; unity, self existence, grace, and providence. His ways are above and beyond our ways, and His thoughts are above and beyond our thoughts. He is, indeed, beyond our human comprehension. However, He has graciously revealed Himself to us in the Persona (not a typo - see my book "Great Words ...", and the chapter on the Trinity. Details above) of the Son, even Jesus, the Christ. What a relationship it is. How amazing that He would even consider entering into it with sinful, mortal humans such as you and me!

Secondly, it is eternal. Our friends may have a number of years of happiness together. However, eventually, if the rapture of the saints of God is delayed, each of them will die and, like their former spouses, be buried. The relationship between the Triune God and those who are adopted into His family, never ends. They spend eternity in His glorious presence, in a sinless existence that our mortal minds are incapable of comprehending.

It is always a joy when a couple, whatever their ages, enter into a relationship such as that of our two (not-so-)young friends. However, it is an even greater joy when someone enters into a genuine relationship with Father God; through the Jesus the Son; empowered by God the Holy Spirit. Indeed, the very angels in heaven rejoice (see Luke 15:10). Have you yet entered into that relationship? It is a sad fact of life that human relationships change, and even disintegrate. A genuine relationship with Jesus never does - He has promised, and He always keeps His promises!

Friday, 5 January 2018

Hype - or Hope?

As our car was being serviced today, I was left to do some more not-unwelcome 'foot-slogging'! This time I passed two buildings that caught my attention. One was a night-club venue, in the centre of Motherwell that had, as part of a sign (can't recall the whole sentence!), the word "Hype". Well, I knew what that word meant but, just to be sure, looked it up in an online dictionary. The definition provided reads: 
"anticipatory excitement, especially when the actual thing doesn't turn out to be as good as expected." (The Online Slang Dictionary). 

There is definitely a lot of "hype" in our modern society! Even the more recent expression "fake news" is often just a synonym of 'hype'. I suspect that 'hype' is most common in the world of advertising - as many will doubtless have discovered in the aftermath of the Christmas spending orgy! How many of the gadgets that we purchase fully live up to the expectations that were engendered by the advertising material? Has that latest face cream truly made any difference to the lines of age, or of worry, on our faces? Hpw long will it take before we notice any appreciable difference resulting from the latest dietary fad? You get the picture!

The other building that caught my attention was that used by a fellowship of disciples of Jesus. They have chosen to name themselves "Hope Church". In the interests of fairness, I again consulted an online dictionary. Two definitions stood out:
"To wish for a particular event that one considers possible." (The Free Dictionary). That, I would suggest, is a very positive attitude. It certainly goes beyond the 'hope' of Charles Dickens' character, Mr Micawber, whose philosophy of life was based on the 'hope' that "something will turn up" to get him out of some predicament (usually financial), or another.

However, the dictionary provided a second definition that I found to be of even greater interest:
"Archaic To have confidence; trust." It's that definition that is the Biblical definition of 'hope'. For example, in Acts 16 we find the record of Paul being used to free a slave-girl from demon possession. This poor young woman had been a source of income for her owners, who used her as a fortune-teller. We read, in vs.19-20, after her deliverance, that "... when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market place before the rulers; and when they had brought them to the magistrates they said, “These men are Jews and they are disturbing our city." The owners did not merely wish for a possibility; they had an assurance that this girl would provide them with an income!

Writing to his Christian friends in Philippi, Paul states: "I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I may be cheered by news of you." (2:19). The second clause in that sentence indicates that the apostle had confidence that Timothy would not only reach Philippi, but also return to him with the expected news.

Just one more example. Paul is writing, on this occasion, to the Colossian believers and, in that letter he gives them - and all disciples of Jesus - this wonderful encouragement: "Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the divine office which was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now made manifest to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." (1:24-27). Did you notice? "... the hope of glory." That is a deep confidence that any true disciple of Jesus enjoys. I have a very dear friend who was recently diagnosed with cancer of the liver that, on investigation, has turned out to have spread to one of her lungs. The medical prognosis,she knows, is not good. However, as a child of the King, her attitude is simple. She has shared that she is in a "win-win" situation! How? Simply because if she receives a miraculous healing, she will have more time with her husband and family. However, if she does not, then she will be with her Saviour, and Lord, and King. That is not her vague desire; it is her confident assurance!

Do you have such an assurance? It is there if you are willing to take the step, at the beginning of a new year (or, of course, at any time!) of acknowledging your sins, and sinfulness, before Almighty God; of accepting that you are incapable of doing anything about them by, and in, yourself; and of accepting the salvation that He has provided through the shed blood of the Babe of Bethlehem Who became the Christ of Calvary. Will you take that step now? Will you? You'll never regret it if you do. There is no hype involved - but you will be filled with true hope!

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Looking for a sign?

It was in Glasgow, this morning, that I was faced with the question in the heading! It was on a large billboard - and was actually advertising said billboard. However, the question set my mind off! I thought of the year that has passed, and the number of "signs" each of which was going to be, we were assured, the sign that heralded the "end of the world"! Of course, as I am here today, typing this, I must assume that all of those signs were, to put it as delicately as possible, "misread"!

People, it would appear, are always "looking for a sign". It may be the special gift that signifies "I love you". It may be the "Well done" that signifies that the boss is pleased with one's efforts. It may be the 'look across a crowded room' that signifies a romantic interest. It may be the handshake that signifies that a deal is acceptable to both sides. There are even those who claim to be experts in body language and who can tell more from the movements of my hands; the way in which I am standing; the look in my eyes; than from the words that I actually speak.

Not surprisingly, the written Word of God - the Bible - mentions signs more than once my online concordance has almost 250 references to "sign" and its associated words!). Right at the beginning we read: "And God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, ..." (Gen.1:14). Later on, and after the Flood, God says to Noah: "I set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth." (Gen.9:13).

Many of us recalled one of those signs just a couple of weeks ago! In Isaiah 7, we read of the word of YHWH to Ahaz, king of Judah (the southern kingdom), when the latter refused to ask for a sign from YHWH. "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign. Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Imman′u-el." (v.14). Now I know that the Hebrew word "almaah" may be translated simply as "young woman"./ However, God the Holy Spirit, Who inspired the Biblical writers made the situation crystal clear for even sceptical people in the 21st century AD. When the seventy (or, possibly, seventy-two - six from each of the twelve tribes) translators of the Hebrew text into the more common Greek language in use in the 3rd century BC, came to that verse, they used the Greek word "parthenos" - and that can only mean "virgin".

However, one of the most important references, in terms of what was being claimed over the past year, is found in Paul's second letter to the believers in Thessalonica: "Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our assembling to meet Him, we beg you, brethren, not to be quickly shaken in mind or excited, either by spirit or by word, or by letter purporting to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you this? And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, and the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of His mouth and destroy him by His appearing and His coming. The coming of the lawless one by the activity of Satan will be with all power and with pretended signs and wondersand with all wicked deception for those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false, so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness." (2:1-12; emphases added).

Whatever 2018 may hold, I will state, with Biblical authority, that the day of the Lord will not take place until the signs that have been prophesied as preceding it have taken place. I would encourage you to read all of Matthew 12, Matthew 16, and Matthew 24, (and the rest of the Bible, for that matter!!) but here are just a few verses from each of those chapters: "Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from You.” But He answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign; but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah." (12:38-39); "And the Pharisees and Sad′ducees came, and to test Him they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven. He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather; for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” So He left them and departed." (16:1-4); "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken; then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory; and He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." (24:29-31).

May you know the blessing of Almighty God throughout this coming year - and may you be among those who seek "... to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world, awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for Himself a people of His own who are zealous for good deeds." (Titus 2:12-14).

A blessèd New Year to one and all.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Power.

It's a stormy end to the year in the East Neuk of Fife, where my wife and I are spending a couple of days with dear friends. Indeed, during a song at the worship service, this morning, all of the lights were suddenly extinguished; the projector cut out; the sound system died; and there was no accompaniment from the keyboard! Yes, the whole village had suffered a power-cut. Even when we returned to our friends' home, there was no electricity - we were glad that they have a wood-burning stove, and a gas cooker!

Power! when it comes to the electrical form thereof we are, it must be admitted, pretty well lost without it. I couldn't have even published this post as, while the battery would have provided adequate power for me to type it up, there was no internet access to enabe me to do anything else.

The written Word of God has a lot to say about power - although not the kind provided by electricity. In a conversation, just a couple of days ago, I was informed that we are all God's children. I had to point out that that is not what the Bible says! In words that were being read in many gatherings of disciples of Jesus just a week ago: "... to all who received Him [Jesus], who believed in His Name, He gave power to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God." (John 1:12-13; emphasis added). In other words, I am not a child of God by nature, but need to experience His power in my life in order that I may be adopted into His family!

In one of the recorded prayers of the Old Testament prophet, Jeremiah, he utters these words: "Ah Lord God! It is Thou Who hast made the heavens and the earth by Thy great power and by Thy outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for Thee, ... " (Jer 32:17; emphasis added). The God of the Bible is the Creator of all that exists. He is the omnipotent One Who can do anything! (Well, as I pointed out in a post on Feb.3rd, 2008, there are some things that even Almighty God is unable to do! It might be worth your while, as we reach the end of another year, to check out what I posted then!).

Just one more reference. Writing to his son in the faith, the young pastor Timothy, the agèd apostle, Paul, gave these words of advice: "... understand this, that in the last days there will come times of stress. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, fierce, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding the form of religion but denying the power of it. Avoid such people." (II Tim.3-1-5; emphasis added). Such words are but one of many indications that we are currently living in the end-times. As I look about me I see so much that masquerades as Christianity - but that is totally lacking in any evidence that it is operating in the power of God the Holy Spirit, and bringing glory to the Son.

Power! how important it is. If you want a good Word Study, you could do a lot worse than check out many more of the references to it in God's Word. However, the BIG question is: "Do I know that power of God in my own life?" 

We got by this morning - even if we had to revert to the "low-tech" of hymn books for the final song! I can only speak for myself, but I would not wish to enter 2018 without experiencing something of His power in my life. I trust that all who read this post will be able to say, with Paul, "... I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, ..." (Phil.3:8-10; emphasis added).