MyDevotions.today We have recently launched our new MyDevotions.today website that will bring you daily devotions that you can access via desk top computer, tablet or mobile phone while on the move. The daily thoughts cover a range of topics and will give you something to think about as you go about your daily activities. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You (the Lord) will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” It is a good idea to seek the Lord first thing in the morning so you can begin your day with Him. It seems as if David the man after God’s own heart used to do the same. He writes in Psalm 5:3 “My voice you shall hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning I will direct it to you, and I will look up.” Build your faith each morning, keep your mind on Him and let His peace keep you all day.
Think! 22 A Love That Binds By Homer Slack
It’s Time To Grow Up 6 “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” Wanted: Labourers For Harvest 8 “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few...” Has Truth Changed? 10 If time changes everything has it changed the truth? World In View 12 • Porn in the classroom • Fined for opening ceremony with prayer • Stress Shall Increase Procrastination: The Thief Of Time 14 “No One Knows the Day or Time...”
Did You Know? 24 Wise Men Seek Jesus Jargon Buster 26 Understanding Religious Terminologies. Note To Self By Angela Slack
The Story Teller 28 A Little Child Shall Lead Them
6 Labourers For Harvest
In Praise Of Hymn 30 Reviewing Great Christian Hymns. – We Know Not The Hour The Strangest Birthday By C Richard McCaw
Holidays Began With God 16 The God of the Bible told His people that they should celebrate at least 68 days as holidays. TESTIMONY 18 The history of the Lord’s dealings at Hollybush 1968 – present is a testament of God’s grace over time.
WORLD IN VIEW
The Religion Of The Fallen 20 So what will be the religion of the fallen? Not Judaism but...
16 October - December 2015
Precious TIME is running out! Solomon the wisest man who ever lived wrote in Ecclesiastes, For everything there is a time, a season and a reason. My mother read this Scripture to me, placing great emphasis on being on time, regarding other people’s time as precious and valuing time as money. Regardless of what popular culture says; in truth there is nothing random in the universe it has all been planned by Jehovah God who exists outside of time. He has used time to give our finite lives meaning because we simply cannot comprehend infinity/eternity, our human brains cannot process it. The Berean saints in the Old Testament were renowned for “knowing the signs of the time and significance of the seasons”, Esther the Hebrew girl who became Queen to Xerxes The Great of Persia, was told by her discerning uncle Mordecai, “Esther, you have come into the Kingdom for such a time as this, if you choose to do nothing God will raise up another in your place.” Her prayerful response saved the Hebrew people from annihilation. Daniel, another Hebrew exile of the Babylonian Empire, searched the Scriptures and realising that the time of the prophesied Hebrew captivity had come to an end, prayed to God for his people to return to their homeland. His request was granted and the Hebrew people returned to rebuild their home. What time is it? It is the time for the fullness of the Gentiles [non-Jews] to come into the knowledge of God. This means that the nations of the World have been given a time designated
by God to receive Jesus Christ as their Saviour and acknowledge Him as Lord. The Gospel has been preached for almost 2000 years and the time allowed for salvation is running out.. and as Jesus said, “then the end will come.” That is, the end of the World as we know it! Our planet has a time sensitive existence we are set on a planned course by God our Creator and we are fast running out of time. Those who are spiritually sensitive will be able to hear the countdown and realise that now is the time to get right with God. Everything has a purpose and just because we cannot figure it all out doesn’t mean that we are right to dismiss what we cannot understand. God is real, He is Spirit and is not limited to time and space and the evidence that there is a spiritual reality can no longer be denied, the evidence is overwhelming. In the face of these facts man continues to deny God’s existence. Isn’t this a typical human response to incomprehensible things? We tend to ridicule, reject and fear anything that is outside of our comprehension. Some hate maths, science, geeks, people from different cultures, anything foreign and ultimately we hate God. Sadly, if we take this ‘knee jerk’ response to life, then we are wasting the precious time that we have on this planet and we are missing out big time. Now is the time to begin asking the deep meaningful questions of life? Who am I and why am I here? Is there really a purpose for my life and is there really a God? How can I get to know Him? The Bible says, “My people are destroyed for lack of
October - December 2015
Volume 3 - Issue 4
SHARE MAGAZINE is a FREE Christian quarterly that deals with challenging Christian topics that have been mostly ignored or left unanswered. The magazine includes written articles, poems and thoughts etc. Read our online version at www.TheShareMagazine.com where you can discuss articles or order a printed version. If you would like to submit articles, join our writers group, or to get involved in any other way kindly email us. SHARE MAGAZINE is produced by Select Arrow, which is the publishing arm of United In Christ.
Throughout this magazine the editor & contributors seek to present a balanced and accurate view of Scripture’s teaching. We are all on a journey of studying and understanding God’s Word. Because of this, all we can offer is as balanced an understanding as the Holy Spirit has offered us at this time. The views or opinions represented in this publication are personal to each of our contributors and may not fully represent those of any other contributor or editor. Scriptures quoted are from the Contemporary English Version (CEV) unless otherwise stated.
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In this issue, we have reviewed the global stage and pinpointed the parallels of Biblical Prophecy onto the human time line. We are in the last days that the Bible speaks of when Jesus Christ will return to the Earth to judge the World for ignoring His selfless sacrifice on the cross, to
redeem us back to a knowledge of and relationship with God the Father. We are in awe of the Biblical historical and prophetic accuracy over the last 2000 years. Currently, epic natural disasters, cosmic collisions, global economic crash, pandemic diseases and famine, nuclear warfare, youth rebellion, social and moral decline, terrorism of the state, resurgence of the occult and witchcraft are a just a few. If the Bible is correct then, contemporary society is very wrong and mass media and governments are leading an entire civilization into their doom.
replete with people, ‘the proverbial few good men’ who have been courageous enough to stand up and be counted and were used mightily by God to save their generation. Time is short, ‘the harvest is ripe and the labourers are few’. Will you be counted among the faithful when Jesus returns? The clock is ticking, this time it is up to you to choose the gods of this World or, the God who created this World.
This does not have to be so, history is
Editor and Cofounder
knowledge.” Ignorance will not be an acceptable defence when time runs out and the World comes to its timely end. It is no coincidence that we are living in the information age, rather it is an indictment against us for we have all the answers within grasp, literally at our fingertips. Take the time to find out!
I remain in Jesus’ Service. Love as always
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October - December 2015
It’s Time To
GROW UP “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven:”
“There is a right time for everything, and everything on earth will happen at the right time.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (ERV) Our years are fixed with seasons when particular things happen in nature. For example, spring time is a time when all bulbs and seeds that were planted underground shoot up out of the soil and begin to put out their first buds and blossoms. Our natural lives also go through a cycle from birth to death. We were born as babies that are fully dependent on others. We then grow from infancy to become children that can walk and talk. Our development continues through to adolescence before we mature into fully grown adults. Our spiritual development also follows this pattern from birth to maturity. Jesus told Nicodemus, “I tell you
October - December 2015
for certain that you must be born from above before you can see God’s kingdom!” (John 3:3) Peter says this, “...as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby…” 1 (Peter 2:2 NKJV) The Problem of Perpetual Infancy The writer of Hebrews lamenting about believers who refuse to grow up says this, “In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good
Paul also had this problem with the Corinthian believers, “My friends, you are acting like the people of this world. That’s why I could not speak to you as spiritual people. You are like babies as far as your faith in Christ is concerned. So I had to treat you like babies and feed you milk. You could not take solid food, and you still cannot, because you are not yet spiritual.” (1 Corinthians 3:1-4) We learn from the above Scriptures that infancy is measured according to levels of carnality and ignorance. A person just saved should have more carnality to work through and be more ignorant than a person who is saved for a while. A person that is still ignorant and carnal has not grown spiritually. The Corinthian Church’s carnality was manifested in their quarrelling and jealousy. They were also hung up on personalities possibly based on superficial things such as a person’s spiritual gifts or their style of preaching or nationality etc. Such petty prejudices do not come through spiritual judgement but from a carnal assessment. Milk versus Meat Paul and the writer of Hebrews said, that the infancy of the believers meant they could only feed them milk and not solid food. The question therefore arises, what is the difference between milk teachings and meat teachings? What does a minister tell a congregation of infants? It is natural to be an infant at the point of birth and a few years after. The problem however, is with those who want to remain infants. Perpetual spiritual infants can still only handle the soft truths i.e. teachings that are easy to swallow and pleasant to the ear but choke on the tough truths. They strive on the blessings of God but struggle
to come to grips with the dealings of God. Perpetual infant believers continue to scream and throw a tantrum when experiencing the sufferings of God’s discipline. They haven’t learnt much about God and still only have a surface understanding of His ways. They may be happy and praising God when everything is going well and they are hearing messages about salvation and being swept up to inherit their heavenly possessions but become very sad, complaining or even question God’s love when put to the test. They fail when persecuted for the name of Christ, or when difficulty comes in the form of job loss or financial struggles. On the contrary, mature believers will stay the course and are not swayed by every wind of doctrine. They are more grounded in the truth, are not easily offended and therefore not quarrelsome. As meat eating believers they will rejoice in all things knowing that God is working in whatever comes their way, even the bad things. They exercise trustful obedience because they have grown to know and develop confidence in God’s character. Moving from Milk to Meat Where God’s word is available there really is no excuse to remain infants. Note however, that moving from milk to meat is not about understanding the complexed doctrines of Scripture as one may believe after reading Hebrews 6:1-3. Maturity is a deepening relationship with God where we grow to know and understand Him. The knowledge we need comes through intimacy with God and not through attending Bible college. We must know Him more. The mature knows, through fellowship with God, that whatever He promised He will fulfil, even though it may take some time. He is with us wherever He may
lead us and He disciplines us for our own good. These assurances bring the mature into a greater level of serenity, peace and abiding joy in spite of the roaring tides. God’s word cannot be understood purely through mental exercise but requires spiritual revelation. The person with a closer walk with God is the one who will have a better understanding of His word.
from evil.” (Hebrews 5:12-14 NIV)
Mentoring to Maturity The fact that the Bible is so readily available does not mean the more mature among us have an excuse. Scripture teaches that the mature are responsible for the infants. We should help them through their growing pains, knowing that we were like them once. As a gardener handling tender plants, so the more mature should nurture the infant believer who wants to grow. Paul says, “If our faith is strong, we should be patient with the Lord’s followers whose faith is weak. We should try to please them instead of ourselves.” (Romans 15:1) We must not be so selfish to feed ourselves but leave the babes to flounder. God’s plan is that we all grow up together into the fullness of Christ. For this to happen we must do what big brothers and sisters in large families do. Help to feed and change the babies. “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants…” (Ephesians 4:11-14 NIV) The time has come for us to all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature... Continued on page 9
October - December 2015
Labourers For Harvest
Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth laborers into harvest. [Luke l0:1—2] Harvesting time is wonderful. Where we live we are surrounded with beautiful ﬁelds of barley. When the sun shines over these ﬁelds and the soft breeze sways it in golden shades; it is a sight to behold. Now the harvesting has begun around us and soon it will be just stubble. One day the time will come when harvesting souls for the Kingdom of God will be over. Jesus will come back and opportunity to be laborers will pass. There is still time, because this is for a season, it’s a longer season than the barley that grows in the field. We can be laborers by sowing seeds of the Word. We can pray the Holy Spirit will lead us to tell folks about Jesus, the work of the cross and
what it means and pray for them that He will open up their hearts to receive Jesus. Simple ways are giving out Gospel tracts or leaving them about in many places. The importance is to get out the Word of God our work is to do the sowing. There is a dying World out there and it is not easy to reach. Folks are so blinded with the lust of the World. We can only go out there in the power of the Holy Spirit praying and asking for divine appointments even for our families. Saturate them in prayer praying for their salvation. Only the Father knows who will come to Him and accept Jesus. We don’t, so it’s important that we conquer the fear of any rejection and ask for boldness, courage and discernment where God wants us to sow seeds. It is for His glory for His harvest because the days are short and seem to be passing ever more quickly. So as the sunlight shines over the fields of barley and the breeze gently sways upon it let the beautiful light of Jesus shine from us and the
October - December 2015
gentleness of the Holy Spirit be a breeze into the ears of folks and the seed of the living Word be planted in their hearts. Pray over them that they will be led by the Holy Spirit to more Holy Spirit ﬁlled Christians and grow in unity to be in the Father’s will until Jesus comes back for His harvest — The Bride of Christ. Prayer. Father we seek to do Your will to glorify You. It is not always easy to tell folks about You and the high price Jesus paid to get us back. Sometimes it is our fear of rejection that can hold us back. So we ask for courage and boldness through Your Holy Spirit to be sowers of Your Word so the Holy Spirit can bring it to light and life for Your wonderful Kingdom harvest. Thank You. Amen. p
by Lynda K Smith writer, proof reader, poet and Evangelist
Continued from page 7
Spiritual Babes/Infants are... • Blown around by winds of doctrine “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.” Ephesians 4:14 (NIV) • Still carnal • Easily offended and therefore more prone to quarrels • Still moved by personalities and outward appearances “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? For when one says, ‘I am of Paul,’ and another, ‘I am of Apollos,’ are you not carnal?” (1 Corinthians 3:1-4 NKJV) • In need of teaching • Unskilled in God’s word • Stuck at elementary Doctrines (Milk teachings) • Underdeveloped in the skill of discerning right from wrong
need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Hebrews 5:12-14 NKJV)
“When you become fruitful disciples of mine, my Father will be honored.” (John 15:8) • Weak in faith “Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things.” (Romans 14:1 NKJV) Spiritual infants need to... 1. Feed on the pure milk of God’s word to help them develop “...as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby…” (1 Peter 2:2 NKJV)
2. Begin putting away childish things as they grow up. “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child: now that I am become a man, I have put away childish things.” (1 Corinthians 13:11 ASV)
Signs of Infancy
3. Continue to allow the Word of God to sink deep into their hearts that they may grow up to begin producing fruit. Read the parable of the sower and then how Jesus explained it. Matthew 13. It is unfortunate that some spiritual infants purposely retard themselves by deciding that they will not grow up. Paul in 1 Corinthians 3 and the writer of Hebrews in Hebrews 5 seems to have expected that the believers they were addressing would have developed beyond milk stage by now. It’s time to grow up. p
By Homer Slack author, preacher, Bible teacher, IT tutor, programmer & graphic designer
“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to
“A child cannot inherit riches; he would squander them. So also, the immature child of God cannot claim his right while still an infant (Gal 4:1-2). Jewels are not toys. Gifts of the Spirit are not playthings. Nor are offices to be worn as personal charms for strutting egos. I stress again that the perpetual spiritual infant is an embarrassment to God. God wants us rich in spiritual things. Unless we are grown-up in Christ, we will be a liability – childish and petty, wanting attention all the time, and wanting to be amused.” Revival God’s Way – A Message for the Church by Leonard Ravenhill pg. 23
October - December 2015
has the truth
Changed? If time changes everything has it changed the truth?
You may think that is an odd question. I certainly did when I first heard it. But in these days of multiculturalism and conflicting moral codes it really needs to be asked. We live in a world where people believe all kinds of different things and the idea that “your truth works for you and mine works for me” is widespread. Many believe that, but is it correct?
learn more from scientific investigation our understanding grows and what is considered scientific truth changes.
First of all, let’s look at what the dictionary says about “truth”. The Oxford English Dictionary states that it is “the state of being true”, which it defines as “being in accordance with fact or reality.” It also mentions scientific truth which is slightly different: “A fact or belief that is accepted as true; e.g. as we
Biblical Truth When it comes to the Bible we must first understand who wrote it. Humans wrote the words, but God inspired them. They are His words. When the Bible says something it is telling us what God says about the matter. David said this about God’s words:-
To answer the question let us consider what kind of truth we are dealing with. SHARE magazine is interested in Biblical Truth. We are looking at what the Bible has to tell us. Has Biblical truth changed? Let’s find out.
October - December 2015
And now, O Lord God, you are God, and your words are true, and you have promised this good thing to your servant. 2 Samuel 7:28 (ESV) He knew that whatever anyone else thought, if God said something it was true. We must bear this in mind when God says things we don’t like. Sometimes God tells us things are wrong and that to do them is sin. Sometimes He tells us we need to repent. Sometimes He tells us things we don’t want to believe. That doesn’t make them untrue, just difficult to deal with. Will convincing ourselves He didn’t really say something change the underlying truth of it? Not at all! All we do is deceive ourselves! God’s truth is still true!
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. e.g. Galatians 5:22-23 and Mark 12:30-31.(ESV) And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these. We need to grow in our understanding. As we learn what Scripture tells us of how those who love God behave and how those who love their neighbour behave, we put it into practice. Just like the scientist, we adapt our view to accommodate what we have learned. Our understanding may have changed but the truth behind it, i. e. the facts haven’t. As we mature in Christ, our understanding comes more in line with Biblical Truth.
Has Biblical Truth Changed? Balaam said this: God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? Numbers 23:19 (ESV) God does not lie nor does He change His mind. What He says is true and it doesn’t change. If God said something in the past, He still means it. If something was a sin in the past, it still is. That can often mean we find that we disagree with some very clever theologians at times. They will often call us fools. We need to be strong to stand for the truth. Paul says: Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 1 Corinthians:1:20-21 (ESV)
How Does This Affect Us? There are many teachers and preachers on TV and in our Churches that claim that God’s Word doesn’t mean what it plainly says. They build up arguments to convince people that what the world (people outside the Church) say is OK with the Bible. There are many arguments out there about such things as sexual morality, marriage, money, wealth, obedience, creation and Noah’s flood, to name a few.
Growing in Truth We do not understand everything at once. That is why the New Testament writers gave us some “rules of thumb” to get us started. You will find these in many places where they are dealing with new believers.
The World’s View Today, people believe what they like and call it truth. That doesn’t make it actual truth. People even deny verifiable historical facts if they are inconvenient or uncomfortable. For instance, some deny the terrible events of the Holocaust ever happened. The survivors and the concentration camps show them to be wrong but they continue to believe the lie. That will never make it true. A lie will always be a lie no matter how fervently they believe it or how many join them.
the majority but to God it is not truth, but foolishness.
To be sure we are not being deceived we need to be reading the Bible to find out how God really sees these things. Then we need to be brave enough to stand for truth no matter what. It is not easy but God will help us if we are sincere. Let us each consider these questions for ourselves and see if we are on the right track regarding God’s Truth... 1. Have I accepted teachings that suggest that God has changed His mind about what is sin? 2. Have I accepted teaching that claims the Bible doesn’t mean what it says? 3. Have I accepted teaching that suggests that events did not happen as the Bible describes?. 4. Am I growing in Truth by getting to know what the Bible really says? p
The world’s “truth” might sound right to
October - December 2015
Article by Yve Clark songwriter and speaker with special interest in Biblical Studies
WORLD IN VIEW
Prophecy: Forecasting th In Matthew 24:32, the signs of the fig tree, Jesus warned that we must be vigilant and aware of the signs that the end of the World is near. We see Biblical prophecies being fulfilled before our very eyes in fact they are current news. These drastic societal changes assail us and threaten our very existence as a community of believers in Jesus Christ. Yes, we have to know in whom we have believed and be willing to die defending our faith because our lives will be increasingly demanded of us. Jesus warned us that it would be so and that He would never leave us or forsake us through it all. Take courage!
Porn belongs in the classroom, says Danish professor Scriptures warned that these godless people were doomed... [like those of] Sodom and Gomorrah and the nearby towns [which] became immoral and did all sorts of sexual sins. Then God made an example of them and punished them with eternal fire. (Jude 1:5-7) A leading sexologist in Denmark has called for pornography to be shown in the classroom, claiming that starting a debate about the industry could help teenagers become “conscientious and critical consumers” who are able to tell the difference between pornography and the reality of sexual relationships. Prof Christian Graugaard of Aalborg University caused a furore in Denmark when he suggested on public television that pornography should be shown in schools. This was preferable, he told the Danish public broadcaster DR, to sex education classes that were “boring and technical, where you roll a condom onto a cucumber”. Graugaard’s proposal is not simply following in the long tradition of sexually permissive Scandinavia. It is, he insists, a sensible way of teaching teenagers that pornography is 12
nothing like real sex. “My proposal is to critically discuss pornography with 8th and 9th graders [age 15 – the legal age of consent in Denmark – and 16 respectively] as part of a sensible didactic strategy, carried out by trained teachers,” he told the Guardian. “We know from research that a vast majority of teenagers have seen porn at an early age – so it’s not a question of introducing youngsters to porn,” he added. According to one Nordic study, 99% of boys and 86% of girls in Scandinavia have already seen pornographic films by the time they’re 16. What Graugaard wants is to make sure teens “possess the necessary skills to view porn constructively”. Russell, H. Porn belongs in the classroom, says Danish professor, 16/03/2015. Accessed 25/09/2015. Available at: www.theguardian. com/culture/2015/mar/16/por nographybelongs-classroom-professor-denmark
October - December 2015
Mississippi school dis for opening ceremony Matthew 24:9 “...and you will be hated by all nations because of me.” A Mississippi public school district has been fined $7,500 after a minister delivered a prayer during a districtwide honors ceremony, thus violating a 2013 court settlement against “proselytizing Christianity.” A U.S. Federal District Court ordered the school district to pay a student plaintiff from Northwest Rankin High School in Flowood, who was represented by the American Humanist Association, $2,500 because the student attended a school assembly, which was not mandatory, that began with a prayer, the Christian Post reported. The school district was ordered to pay the student an additional $5,000, because the lawsuit revealed that a
he News “But understand this, that in the last days dangerous times [of great stress and trouble] will come [difficult days that will be hard to bear]...” (2 Timothy 3 AMP))
strict fined $7,500 y with prayer religious group was permitted to hand out Bibles to fifth graders at a public school in October 2014. U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves threatened the school district with another $10,000 fine for any future infractions, the Post reported. “It deliberately went out of its way to entangle Christian indoctrination in the education process,” the judge wrote in his summary. “From the accounts detailed in the record, it appears that incorporating religious script and prayers with school activities has been a long-standing tradition of the district.” Chasmar, J. Mississippi school district fined $7,500 for opening ceremony with prayer, 27/07/2015. Accessed 25/09/2015. Available at: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/ jul/27/mississippi-school-district-fined-7500-foropening/
We all know that spending hours a day behind a desk can be stressful, tiring and boring. How many times have you found yourself looking at the minute hand on the clock begging for it to be 5 p.m.? Now, more than ever, those eight hour days are stretching into 10- and even 11-hour days, causing the U.S. workforce to spend less time with their families, exercise less frequently, and feel greater overall stress. A recent study from Stanford and Harvard universities found that workplace stress is about as dangerous to one’s health as secondhand smoke. In fact, 90 percent of visits to primary care physicians are stress-related and this pressure is considered the epidemic of the 21st century, according to Kathleen Hall, founder and CEO of the Mindful Living Network and the Stress Institute. She added that over 60 percent of American workers say their jobs are a very significant source of stress and it’s leading to an increase in heart disease, insomnia, obesity, hypertension, depression and decreasing your life expectancy. “Employee’s chronic stress costs corporations billions of dollars each year because of lack of productivity, poor performance, increased absenteeism, negative attitudes and health-care costs,” Hall told TODAY. com. “We sit at computer screens all
day instead of moving and working with our bodies. This causes a host of mental and physical health problems today.” This new wave of technology and use of computers and emails is the catalyst, along with Americans not trusting the companies they work for any more, according to Hall. Worklife balance, something millennial workers are striving for, is lacking at many companies, leaving employees feeling objectified and creating an unfriendly, demanding and cold workplace that breeds this stress. The problem manifests both physical and mentally from two common types of stress in an office environment: internal and external. “Internal are the emotional conflict and pressures we place on ourselves, which can cause enough stress to manifest in physical ailments like back pain,” Todd Sinett, a New York-based chiropractor and author of 3 Weeks to a Better Back told TODAY.com. “It isn’t surprising then that the greatest number of heart attacks occur on Monday mornings, as people physically respond to the thought of the weekend being over and the start of the work week.”
Stress Shall Increase
Lippe, J. Study says workplace stress is as bad as secondhand smoke: Tips on how to cope, 10/09/2015. Accessed 23/09/2015. www.today. com/money/study-says-workplace-stress-badsecondhand-smoke-tips-how-cope-t43156
October - December 2015
procrastination the T hief of T ime Jesus emphasised the value of preparedness for His return in the parables of the ten virgins: (5 wise and 5 foolish) and the wedding Banquet. They serve as poignant examples of the perilous cost when we procrastinate rather than prepare. This message is more urgent now than then, as the time of the Gentiles is running out!
Jesus Describes The Scenario Of The Virgins - Matthew 25:113. “The kingdom of heaven is like what happened one night when ten girls took their oil lamps and went to a wedding to meet the groom.[a] Five of the girls were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps, but no extra oil. The ones who were wise took along extra oil for their lamps. The groom was late arriving, and the girls became drowsy and fell asleep. Then in the middle of the night someone shouted, “Here’s the groom! Come to meet him!” When the girls got up and started getting their lamps ready, the foolish ones said to the others, “Let us have some of your oil! Our lamps are going out.” The girls who were wise answered, “There’s not enough oil for all of us! Go and buy some for yourselves.” While the foolish girls were on their way to get some oil, the groom arrived. The girls who were ready went into the wedding, and the doors were closed. Later the other girls returned and shouted, “Sir, sir! Open the door for us!” But the groom 14
October - December 2015
What Are The Object Lessons? 1. Time is short - They were assigned a time sensitive task, likewise we all have tasks to accomplish for the Kingdom of God before Christ returns. Mark 13:32-36.“No One Knows the Day or Time. The angels in heaven don’t know, and the Son himself doesn’t know. Only the Father knows. So watch out and be ready! You don’t know when the time will come. It is like what happens when a man goes away for a while and places his servants in charge of everything. He tells each of them what to do, and he orders the guard to keep alert.” Note that Jesus said each servant was told what to do. The wise virgins used the day time to purchase enough oil to last them throughout the night should in case the groom was delayed but the foolish did not. 2. Attitude matters - there were two attitudes a. Watchful preparation. The ones who were wise took along extra oil for their lamps and were prepared. b. Complacent procrastination. The foolish virgins assumed that the groom would come at a convenient time in the day and did not make extra preparation. Upon discovering their error they then tried to borrow oil from those who were prepared. 3. If we snooze we lose - the foolish Virgins went to sleep on the job without having prepared. The wise virgins could afford to rest as they had done their due diligence. “But if he comes suddenly, don’t let him find you asleep. I tell everyone just what I have told you. Be alert!” Mark 13:37 Similarly He Told The Parable Of The Lord’s Banquet - Luke 14:15-24 “After Jesus had finished speaking, one of the guests said, “The greatest blessing of all is to be at the banquet in God’s kingdom!” Jesus told him: A
man once gave a great banquet and invited a lot of guests. When the banquet was ready, he sent a servant to tell the guests, “Everything is ready! Please come.” One guest after another started making excuses. The first one said, “I bought some land, and I’ve got to look it over. Please excuse me.” Another guest said, “I bought five teams of oxen, and I need to try them out. Please excuse me.” Still another guest said, “I have just gotten married, and I can’t be there.” The servant told his master what happened, and the master became so angry that he said, “Go as fast as you can to every street and alley in town! Bring in everyone who is poor or crippled or blind or lame.” When the servant returned, he said, “Master, I’ve done what you told me, and there is still plenty of room for more people.” His master then told him, “Go out along the back roads and fence rows and make people come in, so that my house will be full. Not one of the guests I first invited will get even a bite of my food!” 4. Poor priorities - the guests prioritised personal matters rather than the Lord’s request and were too preoccupied to respond to His invitation. They lost the Lord’s favour in the end. “One guest after another started making excuses… the master became so angry that he said… Not one of the guests I first invited will get even a bite of my food!” Luke 14:18 &24. The Parable of The Banquet Is Expanded - Matthew 22:8-14 “It is time for the wedding banquet, and the invited guests don’t deserve to come. Go out to the street corners and tell everyone you meet to come to the banquet.” They went out on the streets and brought in everyone they could find, good and bad alike. And the banquet room was filled with guests. When the king went in to meet the guests, he found that one of them wasn’t wearing the right kind of clothes for the wedding. The king asked, “Friend, why didn’t you wear proper clothes for the wedding?”
But the guest had no excuse. So the king gave orders for that person to be tied hand and foot and to be thrown outside into the dark. That’s where people will cry and grit their teeth in pain. Many are invited, but only a few are chosen.” 5. A little slip causes a big slide Having an invitation did not excuse the poor decorum of those guests who were improperly dressed for the Lord’s banquet. God is the one who judges what is acceptable to be worn in His presence. We should take time to attend His presence appropriately attired. Jesus A Gracious King The common theme that runs throughout the three parables is the poor use of time. We ought to be busy about the Lord’s business, ready when He returns to call us into account for our deeds and be properly dressed to have an audience with His Royal Majesty. Jesus showed the graciousness of God through these parables; in that, all provisions were made and distributed freely by the King to all. He sent servants to personally invite and remind them of the imminence of His banquet. He gave others not normally considered, a chance in place of those who made excuses. He insisted on guests being on time and properly dressed. Not too much to ask I would say.
replied, “I don’t even know you!” So, my disciples, always be ready! You don’t know the day or the time when all this will happen.”
Are you struggling with procrastination? Pray about it and get back on track because time is short. Let us work the works of Him who sent us while it is day for the night comes when no man can work! “Act like people with good sense and not like fools. These are evil times, so make every minute count. Don’t be stupid. Instead, find out what the Lord wants you to do.” Ephesians 5:15-17. p
By Angela Slack educational curriculum/ literacy specialist, technical author and worship leader
October - December 2015
Holidays beg beg Holidays S
Sometimes I give a children’s talk about the God who enjoys holidays! The God of the Bible enjoys holidays so much He has told His People that they should celebrate at least 68 days as holidays with Him, every year. Did you notice that? These are Holidays we enjoy with Father God and our Saviour. A lot of people wrongly call these ‘Jewish Holidays’ or ‘Jewish Feasts’. The truth is, God gave these Holidays long before there were any Jewish People. In fact, it would be better to call these Feasts, or Holidays, either ‘Bible Holidays’ or ‘God’s Holidays’. We are going to speak about them here as “God’s Special Days.” Just why are God’s special days so important? Why did God give them to His People? Well, the wonderful news is, God gave us these special days to tell us about His Son, Jesus. Yes, that’s right, every one of God’s special days tells us more and more about our Saviour, Jesus. Do you want to know more about your Saviour? Well, I can promise you, learning about God’s special
days in the Bible will tell you more about Jesus than any other feast or holiday you may celebrate. Observing and celebrating them will actually tell you a whole lot more. Truth is, God has made us so that there is a whole lot more to life than just ‘head knowledge’!
Before looking at all God’s wonderful special days, let’s get one thing clear. When we look at God’s special days, lots of people start to talk about ‘living under law’ and ‘legalism’. They say things like, ‘We don’t need to observe Jewish Feasts, we are now under the New Covenant.’ Well, we’ve just found out that God’s special days should never be called ‘Jewish Feasts’ and that they are better called ‘Bible Feasts’ or ‘Feasts of God’.
“Some of the Lord’s followers think one day is more important than another. Others think all days are the same. But each of you should make up your own mind. Any followers who count one day more important than another day do it to honour their Lord.“ (Romans 14:5-6) These passages are telling us it is not our business if another Believer observes one day or another. Paul tells us, “What right do you have to criticize someone else’s servants? Only their Lord can decide if they are doing right, and the Lord will make sure that they do right.” (Romans 14:4)
What does the New Testament say about God’s special days? Quite a lot, but most of it has become hidden to modern Christians! In this article we shall only look at two important New Testament passages about God’s special days:
Some people say observing God’s special days means we are trying to ‘earn our salvation’. Well, I’m afraid that is just silly. You might as well say that going to Church on Sunday or celebrating Easter and Christmas is trying to ‘earn our salvation’. No! The Bible tells us:
“Don’t let anyone judge by you what you eat or drink. Don’t let them
“You were saved by faith in God,
Calendar of the Biblical Feasts
judge you if you celebrate the New Moon festival, the Sabbath, or any other festival.” (Colossians 2:16)
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gan with gan withGod God For me, that means I can’t even get enough faith to believe in the grace God has made available at Calvary. Even the faith I have in Jesus is a gift of God. There is absolutely nothing I can contribute to my salvation. In all of God’s special days we see Jesus, so let’s briefly look at each of them. They are all found in Leviticus chapter 23 and there are ten parts making up God’s calendar in the Bible. The first and most important special day of the year is one we observe every week – the weekly Sabbath. The Sabbath reminds us that Jesus did everything needed for salvation. Here is a list of the other nine special days of God: The Spring Feasts: • Passover – Which tells us about Jesus and His death. • Week of Unleavened Bread – Which tells us Jesus was without sin. • Firstfruits of the Barley Harvest - Which tells us of the resurrection
of Jesus. • Counting Fifty Days or Seven Sabbaths to Pentecost - Which tells us we are looking forward to Jesus coming again. • Pentecost or Firstfruits of the Wheat Harvest - Which tells us, because of Jesus, we can look forward to the resurrection of the saints.
And the Autumn Feasts: • Day of Blowing Trumpets – Which reminds us John the Baptist announced the coming of Jesus and the Kingdom of God. • Day of Atonements – Which reminds us that Jesus has taken His own blood into heaven, so that we can know God. • Tabernacles – Which reminds us of the birth of Jesus. • Eighth Day – Which reminds us of the circumcision of Jesus. Whether or not you enjoy God’s special days is between you and God but still, you might like to think about this:
they will also be observed when Jesus returns and reigns as King. In fact, in the last chapter of Zechariah we read: “Afterwards, the survivors from those nations that attacked Jerusalem will go there each year to worship the King, the Lord All-Powerful, and to celebrate the Festival of Shelters (i.e. “Tabernacles”]. No rain will fall on the land of anyone in any country who refuses to go to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord AllPowerful. This horrible disaster will strike the Egyptians and everyone else who refuses to go there for the celebration.” (Zechariah 14:16-19)
who treats us much better than we deserve. This is God’s gift to you, and not anything you have done on your own. It isn’t something you have earned, so there is nothing you can brag about.” (Ephesians 2:8,9)
If these special days of God were celebrated by God’s People until Jesus came and will be celebrated again when He comes back, why don’t we celebrate them now, in the period in between His two comings?
God’s Feasts were observed up until the time of Jesus and just beyond. Various books of the Bible tell us
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By Philip Clark author and archeologist specialising in Biblical Studies
We, Jim and Cynthia, were married in 1957 and came to live at the Limes, Sandhutton, Thirsk. In August of that year and had over ten happy years there. Our daughter Joanna was born there in April, 1965. About that time 1965/66 a friend of long-standing came to tell us what had happened in his life. I was raised in the Methodist Church and so was he and Cynthia and myself were very involved in that movement. George told us how he had been healed of a serious back problem and that he had received The Holy Spirit – and had been given a new language, which The Bible calls “speaking with other tongues”. I was thrilled for him but nevertheless said to myself it’s great for you, but I am OK. I received the Holy Spirit when I was born again 18 years ago, but he persevered and thankfully we were both filled with the Holy Spirit and rejoiced with him shortly afterwards. He then came over to lead our midweek meetings on Friday evenings and opened up the Scriptures to us, both at Sandhutton and when we moved to Hollybush for about two years. Those were great days when we saw many people saved, healed and filled with the Holy Spirit. This was before the Charismatic Movement began to take off, so we were classified as ‘weird’ gone over the top, taking our religion too seriously. It was as we studied the Scriptures that we realised the gifts of the Holy Spirit are for today and therefore when Cynthia and I were passing Hollybush Farm one night, the Lord seemed to say to me “I want that place for My Glory”, we immediately began to implore the Lord to tell us how that could come to pass – and He showed us. Consequently at the public auction six days later we were able to purchase the property.
We moved into the house in September 1968 and continued the Friday night meetings. A prophetic word was given “I will bring people from the North, South, East and West to be ministered to and to minister”. People began to come from all over the area who were hungry for more of the Lord, until we occupied the largest room in the house (a bedroom) and spilled onto the landing and down the stairs. We then moved out of the house into the granary, up the stone steps above where the present office is now. The documentary ‘Faith in Action’ was shot in 1974 in the Granary which was able to seat about 120 people. The place soon became too small as more folk desired to come and we applied for planning permission for a Church Hall, which meant converting an old barn – this was opened in April 1979 seating approximately 220 people. That soon became too small and we moved into another farm building (where the missionary stands are situated now) and the fire regulation people forbade us to meet in the steel and asbestos roofed building. To fulfil their regulations would have cost us about £20,000 so we said, “Please give us planning permission for a purpose built building and for the present time we will return to the small Church Hall.” That was granted and the building we are now in was commenced in February 1988 and was opened, completed, in May 1992 – everything paid for, Hallelujah. So this building replaces the big tent and although it doesn’t have the atmosphere of a big tent, it is certainly easier on those who have to man the electrics, audio and video and also not as much dust!!- or moles pushing up from the ground. p
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MONY The history of the Lord’s dealings at Hollybush 1968 – present is a testament of God’s grace over time.
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Hollybush Christian Fellowship
T THE RELIGION OF THE
There is a true and certain prophecy concerning the times we are living in. It came from Jesus Himself and from others of His disciples. It is the prophecy about ‘the great falling away’ or ‘the departure from the truth’. Jesus said this, “During that time many believers will lose their faith. They will turn against each other and hate each other.” Matthew 24:10 (ERV) People have always been losing faith but what makes this episode significant is the overwhelming numbers that will fall away. However, while there
October - December 2015
will be an exodus away from the faith; note also that people will continue to be religious. During this falling away there will be more people calling themselves ‘Christian’, going to ‘Church’ and reading from more translations of the Bible than ever before. These people will want the spiritual experiences but not the truth. Paul wrote to Timothy on this very issue and said, “God’s Spirit clearly says that in the last days many
The time Paul said would come is now here. We get the impression from these two passages that people will still be following teachings but not from the Holy Spirit, they will still be eager to hear but not the truth, they may still have a faith but not the faith of the Scriptures. Jesus as well as the Holy Spirit assured us of this time of falling away. RATIFYING THE NEW WAY Many of the Jewish converts, who found it difficult to separate Judaism from the new way through Jesus Christ, were insisting that Gentile believers should be circumcised. God’s appointed leaders therefore, had to come together as a council to pray, consider and settle the issue of what God required of Gentiles who came to faith. This sums up their answer...“For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well.” (Acts 15:28-29) In other words, requiring Gentiles to be circumcised is not as much an issue for Gentiles as the problem of bringing elements of their pagan culture over into their new found faith. “...abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality.” Why? Just as the legalistic burdens of the Jewish religion must be
resisted by Jewish converts, similarly the pagan practices of Gentile worship must be avoided by Gentile converts. You see, the greater temptation for Jews is to go back to relying on the law but for Gentiles it is reverting to paganism. I believe paganism will indeed be the dominant practice in the ‘Church’ during these last days, the time of ‘the great falling away’. Have you noticed the rise in sexual immorality among ministers and professing ‘Christians’? Listen what Jesus said about them, “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matthew 7:22-23) They are pagan ‘Christians’ working false miracles in the name of Jesus by the power of their pagan gods. There is an influx of all that is false and pagan into the Church today. Jesus opened a way into the Kingdom for the Gentiles but in these last days a great number of them are falling back into their old habits. This is nothing new, the Roman Church split with the Eastern Orthodox Church for over 800 years now and during their dominance, of the Medieval Realms the Roman Church under Emperor Constantine, in order to pacify the local pagan leaders considered the political expediency of empire building rather that the efficacy of the pure gospel and mixed pagan practices into Christianity under the guise of church festivals. The Holy Festivals that were given to God’s people have been relegated to an ‘anti-Semitic waste bin’, stamped ‘Jewish for refuse’. This ‘replacement theology’, has robbed the Church of its rich heritage in God’s Kingdom truths and has successfully produced an anaemic and frail step-child that does not have the DNA of GOD. It is the progenitor of the abomination that maketh desolate! It has been sired and tutored by demons. CHARISMATIC WITCHCRAFT THE ‘NEW’ CHRISTIANITY Possibly up to 90% of the Church today are Gentiles so almost all of those who are falling away are Gentiles. So what will be the religion of the fallen? Not Judaism but neo-paganism complete with witchcraft
and false miracles. This group has been the most deceptive since time began, hence Jesus’ warning, “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand.” (Matthew 24:24-25.) They will have all the outward look and boast all the ‘Spiritual’ experiences but are rebels. As the seven sons of Sceva tried to use the power vested in the name of Jesus without having a relationship with Him in the same way, these will try to use the power vested in God’s Word while in rebellion against God. They practice ‘Charismatic witchcraft’. Paul again gives clarity on this prophecy concerning the great falling away. “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition…” Some translations call him ‘the man of lawlessness’. Lawless means disobedient or one who will not conform to the law, a rebel. Note that in God’s eyes rebellion and witchcraft are one in the same. “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you…” (1 Samuel 15:23) The falling away from the faith and from truth and the infiltration of pagan worship and witchcraft into ‘Christianity’ was prophesied by Jesus and His apostles. We today are witnessing it with wide eyes and dropped jaws.
people will turn from their faith. They will be fooled by evil spirits and by teachings that come from demons.” (1 Timothy 4:1) Again, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
The prosperity doctrine, tithing, the confession and declaration movement, the hyper grace doctrine, commanding of angels, and the many non-verifiable counterfeit faith healings are examples. These teachings are thematically consistent in removing the preeminence of Jesus Christ as Lord and King and placing the emphasis on man’s needs, standards and abilities. p
By Homer Slack author, preacher, Bible teacher, IT tutor, programmer & graphic designer
October - December 2015
By Homer Slack
Grafted in by a
I recently had to do some gluing and therefore needed to read the instructions on the tin. It indicated that I should first be sure that both areas to be glued are clean and free of dust etc. I should then apply the glue to the side of each material, then wait a few seconds before pressing both materials together and holding for a few minutes. If these instructions were not followed there could be no guarantee that both materials would properly bond together. After reading these instructions it occurred to me how critical the process of bonding was. I suddenly became very aware of the fact
that the best relationships are between people who have bonded. Relatives, families and married couples that enjoy long meaningful relationships are usually those that have bonded. Bonding is to: Join or be joined securely to something else, especially by means of an adhesive substance... (Oxford Dict.) What Paul speaks of here sounds to me like bonding where two joins together and somehow become one. â€œ...But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.â€? (1 Corinthians 6:15-17) Here are some lessons to learn from my gluing project:
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For the bonding to take place both surfaces must be clean. Honesty and openness is key to bonding. Both parties must have pure hearts and motives. Glue, the chemical that bonds the material together, must be applied to both surfaces. In like manner love is the bonding factor in relationships and both parties must have it. Both materials must be held together for a time to allow the bonding process to cement together. Time spent together is very important if relationships are going to bond.
Paul uses the example of a man and a woman joining together in marriage and becoming one to explain the joining of the Church to Christ. The mystery is that the two joined together becomes one. Though my DIY story above explains this mystery somewhat, I believe an even better example is the process of grafting where the branch of one tree is grafted into the trunk of another. When this process is complete the two actually become one. In this process a freshly picked branch must be trimmed into an arrow head shape at its base. This should leave the sap or what some call the heart of the branch sticking out at the point of the arrow head. A groove or hole must then be carved into the trunk of the tree that the branch is to be grafted into. This hole must be large enough to hold the branch and must go deep, all the way to the sap or heart of the tree. The branch must then be buried into the hole in the tree so that the sap or heart of the branch unites with that of the tree. The two must then be bound firmly together so no wind etc. can disconnect or disturb the union. They must be kept that way until they both bond and grow into each other to become one tree. Jesus used a similar theme to explain our union with Him. He said in John 15:4-5 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. ‘I am the vine, you are the branches.’” If in my gluing project the adhesive didn’t bond together properly guess what would happen? One piece of the material would simply fall off the other. There are many prophecies about ‘the great falling away’ that will take place in our times and this I believe will happen
because people aren’t bonding properly with the Lord Jesus Christ. Many use His name and associate with Him but very few bond with Him in a lasting, loving relationship. Love is the main factor in human bonding and where there is little or no love, bonding is impossible. Scriptures indicate that love would be challenged in these end times. No wonder relationships are so fragile and people so
quickly and easily betray and abandon others. Listen to what Jesus says will happen in these loveless times. “Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.” (Matthew 10:21) Paul again speaking of our time said that people would be “ ...unloving [or without love], unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty…” (2 Timothy 3:3-4) I will never forget watching a documentary about Americans adopting Russian orphans from orphanages. They followed the story of this little boy who changed families at least three times. It was very difficult for his adopted parents to cope with him because he was loveless and cold. This maybe caused by the fact that he was kept alone in his crib without attention and love. Not experiencing a mother’s warmth and love during his tender years must have caused him to die on the inside. As human beings we need love to grow, flourish and have healthy, meaningful relationships. He seems so emotionally damaged that he may have lost the ability to bond. I will
never forget how he had absolutely no sense of loyalty or belonging as he was handed over from one adopted parent to another. After spending a year or more with people who cared for him he walked away without hugging or even saying goodbye, as if he didn’t even know them. What will this youngster be like when he grows up. Today’s cold and loveless society is producing great numbers of children like this little boy. Laying on someone’s bosom usually indicates intimacy and bonding and we do have some Scriptures that indicates that God endorses this kind of love and bonding in His family. Jesus said that when Lazarus died he went to Abraham’s bosom (Luke 16:22) and said that He Himself is in His Father’s bosom (John 1:18). We believe it was John the beloved that was leaning on Jesus’ bosom in John 13:23. A person who leans on the bosom of another is no stranger. Where bonding has taken place fear, mistrust and suspicion are gone. Listen, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18) The problem with Church today is that it lacks bonding with God because we are so busy and cannot find time. We also lack bonding with each other because people can no longer be trusted and fear hinders bonding. Jesus said, that in the end times we will begin to betray each other.
Ephesians 5:30-32 “For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”
This Scripture bothers me very much because it indicates that people will be thrown out of God’s Kingdom though they sincerely believe they have a right to be there. “ ...then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.” (Luke 13:2227) To people who have seen Him and been around Him He will say He does not know them. He has no intimate knowledge of them, they are strangers.
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Going to preach in Trinidad during the Christmas season, a certain preacher found himself on Frederick Street in Port of Spain amidst the crowds of Christmas shoppers. It reminded him of the crush of people, hurrying here and there, doing exactly what he had been doing in Jamaica years before, ‘last minute shopping,’ making sure that all his friends who had sent him cards the year before would not be upset because he had forgotten to send them a card the following year. And then it struck deeply into his heart. Where was Christ in all of this? Who among all these people are really thinking about Christ? To be sure the season started long before December 25th. so that businesses could make
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enough money off the deceived public. And who cares? Most people think, not of Christ, but the wonderful time they will have with friends, relatives, drinking, merrymaking, partying and many throwing their cares away in immoral behaviour.
The Origins Of Christmas Well, if you are smart you will ask the question, “Where did the Christmas tradition originate?” The preacher gave his son an assignment. “Son, you’re home for the season from school. Take this Bible and see if you can find anything about Christmas, anywhere in its pages.”A few days later, his son said, “Dad, I searched. There’s nothing in this book about Christmas. In fact, I found that shepherds were out in the fields with their sheep. That doesn’t make sense. Shepherd wouldn’t take their sheep out in
His own research revealed that Christ was born six months after John the Baptist, which would have been about mid-September. As you study the letters to the seven Churches in the book of Revelation, you discover that the Church had backslid from its first love Rev 2:4. Moreover, you find that December 25th had been celebrated for centuries by the heathen as the birthday of the Sun-god. In its backslidden condition in the 5th century the Church had issued a decree that the birthday of the Saviour should be celebrated on that day. One day you read Jesus’ response to the Pharisees, “In vain they worship me, teaching as doctrine the commandments of men, for laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men” Mark 7:7. You realize with your eyes wide open that the Church leaders had thrown out God’s commandments in order to keep their own invented decrees. A clear picture assails you as you ask yourself honestly, “What traditions did the early apostles observe?” We read that they “continued DAILY with one accord in the temple, and broke bread from house to house” Acts 2:46. Today we break bread, perhaps once every month, once every week, and in some denominations once every year. And we certainly don’t spend much time in each other’s houses, and therefore lose out on intimacy in the Body of Christ. Jesus Removed The Punishment Of The law Not The law! Added to all the throwing out
of God’s clear commandments, the Church sees nothing wrong in erecting images of the Virgin Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus at this time of year. Remember the commandment, “You shall not make for yourself a carved image - any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth” Exod 20:4. You may argue, “But God got rid of the law!” Did He? Or did He get rid of the Pharisees” interpretation of the law? Stop and think a minute. A man drives through a stop light and you say, “He broke the law!” You did not mean that he broke every law, just that one law. So Jesus got rid of the law, which law? As you study further you discover that He got rid of the LAW THAT WAS AGAINST US, that is “the curses of the law,” not the “law itself,” but the punishments that follow the breaking of God’s law Col 2:14; Gal 3:13. The law of sin and death which states that the souls that sins must die. He died for us. Once we realize that, then we must tread carefully to find out exactly what traditions our Heavenly Father has revealed are still required of us, His children. And we must ask ourselves, what really is the focus of our lives? Are we seeking to please men or God? Are we throwing away God’s commandments in order to follow the traditions of men? Or are we doing everything to please ourselves?
in fact, be on the broad road on which the majority of people are travelling. As we study the attitude of the elders in the book of Revelation, we see them falling down before the Risen, Glorified Christ and casting their crowns down before Him. Rev 4:10-11. Christ is the centre of worship, the supreme object of their adoration. Not only at this time of the year but ALWAYS we must not live in the World and visit God, but we must live with God and visit the World in order to minister His Word to a dying and perverse generation, so that some might be saved. Although most Christian communities have fallen into the trap of PAGANISM by adopting the compromise of Christmas, they have no Biblical basis for this. Sadly they have been robbed of the truth of Christ revealed in the Biblical feasts. In contrast, the Magi, the pagan priests and astrologers at the time of Christ’s birth, having studied the signs and seasons, knew of His birth and were wise enough to leave everything and seek Him. When they found Him, they brought their best gifts and worshipped Him as King. Yes, wise men seek Jesus! p Further Reading (Purchase “Babylon, Mystery Religion” by Ralph Woodrow, or other information books on the subject) Conduct your own research online on ‘How did the Church come to celebrate Christ’s birth on December 25th?’
If Christ is not the centre of our ambitions, activities, desires and way of life, then we can know that we are not walking on the narrow road that leads to life, and may, October - December 2015
the biting cold of December on the hills of Bethlehem!”
By C Richard McCaw author, music teacher and many years as a Bible teacher
“ You therefore must endure
hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. ”
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a little child shall lead them W We practiced reading God’s word and playing gospel music to our son from when he was in the womb. We didn’t stop after he was born but continued praying with and for him as we put him to bed each night. Our son, now about two years old , had grown to know and love the character of Jesus, the God-man who performed wonderful miracles as He loved and helped adults and children.
October - December 2015
By the time he could read a few words and appreciate images we gave him a Bible. It was a Good News Bible with these wonderful line drawings that painted a picture of Biblical scenes. Learning of the brutal beating and killing of Jesus obviously had an impact on our son. We would have loved to shield him from the knowledge of this tragedy but it was an integral part of the Biblical story so we told him. I can only
At nights our son would quite often take out his Bible and search through its pictures even before we got to him to read, pray and send him off to sleep. I remembered on this particular night, as I was heading towards his room, I heard him crying. He had the Bible in his hand and was leafing through it. I hurried to him and asked what was the problem. As tears ran down his little cheeks he sobbed and said with his tender little voice, “I cannot find the man on the cross”. He was searching through his picture Bible trying to find his suffering hero but could not find Him and this broke his little heart. How much value do we put on that man that hung on a cross for our sins? The God-man who loved and helped us as none other before or after Him. Are we searching for Him and are we totally devastated when we cannot find Him? Scripture says Jesus came to His own. He was Jewish so His own
would have been the Jewish people yet those who made a very great effort to find the God child were Gentiles (non-Jews). Know The Times And Seasons
We know the Christmas story very well, how the Wise Men from the east followed the star and upon arriving in Jerusalem enquired as to where the child was to be born. They came from far flung places and most likely never had any prior contact or communication with each other but yet they were diligent enough in their searching of prophesies and observing the foretold signs in the stars to seek out and confidently find Jesus. We also now know that Jesus was born in Autumn not December, as there were shepherds still pasturing sheep out in the fields, this would not have been during Winter. It is such an indictment against Christians today that we are not equally diligent to search out and obey Scriptures in order to discern what is true from false. We have gone along with the ‘paganisation’ of Jesus’ birth dubbed, ChristMass/Christ worship by the Roman Catholic Church and what is more we fail to focus on Jesus Christ during this season. Rather we are lost in self gratification. ‘Wise Men seek Jesus’. Yes, those who are wise seek Jesus, but even better yet, those who love Him will serve Him. Having found Jesus they, as pagans, worshipped Him, acknowledging His Deity; Isaiah prophesied this auspicious moment in time; “...for unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. “ Isaiah 9:6-7 KJV. The Time To Seek Is Now
Scripture says a lot about seeking God, but where are the seekers today? How many are shedding tears because they have drifted and lost sight of Him who died on the cross? Where are those who love Him and must find Him at all cost,
those who will not give rest to their eyes until they have laid hold upon the Christ? “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.” Isaiah 55:6. Scripture teaches that God is present in different ways or dimensions. While God is everywhere, in fact, in Him we live, move and have our being, yet still God can be absent from or present with an individual. He can be near or far and there is an ideal time to find God. This Scripture in 1 Peter seems to suggest that, that time is when He visits, “...having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.” 1 Peter 2:12 The dwelling of God is not yet among men but until then He visits us. Lock yourself away, fast and pray, do whatever it takes to find God when you sense He is present, when He is visiting. “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6. In this Scripture we are assured that God rewards diligent seekers. For some time I tried to understand what God rewarded seekers with. I now believe I know the answer; God rewards those who seek Him with Himself. “After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.’” Genesis 15:1 I will never forget that night when my little son cried because he could not find the man on the cross. I now use his example as my standard. Something is very wrong if I am not deeply broken whenever I am outside of the presence and purpose of my Lord. p
October - December 2015
imagine how much the knowledge of what was done to his Bible hero must have devastated him. His Bible had a drawing that depicted this horrible crucifixion and though he was not able to read much, our telling of the story and the image in his Bible spoke volumes.
JARGON BUSTER against normal and accepted ways of behaving. (Cambridge Dictionaries Online)
CARNAL Carnal - fleshly/natural. Relating to the physical feelings and wants of the body. (Cambridge Dictionaries Online). The Bible uses carnal to describe behaviour that is influenced by the needs of the body, a preoccupation with personal gratification which usually expresses itself in excesses of the body like greed, avarice, lust, drunkenness etc… We are expected as believers to live a balanced life that is not subject to the incessant needs of the body. This requires discipline and the power of the Holy Spirit working in us. That is why we are called disciples of Jesus Christ because we submit ourselves to His Lordship and our bodies no longer dictate to us rather the Spirit of Jesus Christ in us leads us.
REBELLION Rebellion lawlessness/ anarchy. Action against those in authority, against the rules, or 28
Christian believers see God as The Creator, Supreme Ruler, we submit to His laws that keep the universe in tact and seek to please Him in all our ways. If we reject God’s authority then we are in rebellion since we are doing things our way rather
than God’s way.
Witchcraft - is defined as rebellion against God’s legitimate right to rule over us. Witchcraft has been the most consistent and structured method of rebellion that the devil has used to solicit the cooperation of mankind and demons into rebellion against God. At the core of our sinful human nature is a desire for knowledge and power. We want to be in control or to dominate others and the devil knowing this has used it to lure away people into witchcraft. The ability to control people or an outcome is far too appealing for fallen man to resist and the devil’s success with witchcraft
October - December 2015
rests on this premise. Witchcraft has been practised from time immemorial and is very much alive in the world and even in the Church today. The discerning will be able to identify among some evangelical ‘Spirit filled’ believers a form of ‘charismatic’ witchcraft.
Charisma - a special p ower that some people have naturally that makes them able to influence other people and attract their attention and admiration. (Cambridge dictionaries online) A recent move dubbed ‘The Charismatic Movement’ has re-emphasised the truth concerning baptism in the Holy Spirit and the use of the gifts of the Spirit to build and edify the Church. Unfortunately, it has become increasingly popular in the contemporary church to find charismatic leaders who have exercised power, control and domination over the believers whom they lead by means of their natural charisma mixed with an abuse of these spiritual gifts. These gifts which were meant for the benefit of the believers are used for the personal popularity and gain of these corrupt leaders. p
Note to Self... â€œSo be careful to live your life wisely, not foolishly. Take advantage of every opportunity because these are evil times..â€? :-) 2:02 PM 24/09/2015 Thu
October - December 2015
In Praise of Hymn We Know Not The Hour
We know not the hour of the Master’s appearing; Yet signs all foretell that the moment is nearing When He shall return ’tis the promise most cheering But we know not the hour. He will come, let us watch and be ready; He will come, hallelujah! hallelujah! He will come in the clouds of His Father’s bright glory but we know not the hour
There’s light for the wise who are seeking salvation; There’s truth in the book of the Lord’s revelation; Each prophecy points to the great consummation But we know not the hour.
We’ll watch and we’ll pray, with our lamps trimmed and burning; We’ll work and we’ll wait till the Master’s returning; We’ll sing and rejoice, every omen discerning But we know not the hour
Reviewing Great Christian Hymns
Written by Franklin E. Belden, 1886 for the Adventist Hymnal. It is now held in the Public Domain. Its main theme is Watchfulness as we as believers anticipate the advent of Jesus Christ’s second coming. It is based on the prophetic warnings of Jesus in Matthew 24:42 of the signs of the end times that who preceded His imminent and sudden return. http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/We_Know_Not_the_Hour/
October - December 2015
BIRTHDAY The Strangest Birthday It is the Christ Child’s Birthday That’s what they say I ask: “How old is He?” No one can answer As far as I can see People rush about They spend without end On gifts for every friend Not for the poor as such But for those that have too much Like crazy ants upon the ground They race around In frantic sweat In deepening debt A thing the Christ forbade The strangest mystery yet Is that they do not give One single gift to Him
“But it is the Christ Child’s Birthday!” That’s what they say
“Don’t drink and drive Arrive alive” According to the ad More people seem to die From Christmas cheer Than other times of the year
© C Richard McCaw
First runner up in THE SENSATIONNEL BLACK BEAUTY HAIR AWARDS 2013
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Published on Oct 1, 2015
In this issue, we have reviewed the global stage and pinpointed the parallels of Biblical Prophecy onto the human timeline. Precious TIME is...