Think! 22 Was Jesus Crazy?
Jesus the True Time Lord Jesus’ physical presence changes time and space.
Jesus’ Pattern For Prayer 8 Jesus’ prayers brought heaven to earth. The Real Jesus Please! 10 Many voices claim to be Jesus but only one is real. Let the Light of the Cross Shine 12 Jesus’ teachings guide us through daily circumstances. What Was Jesus’ Gospel The Gospel is good news in a negative world.
World In View Racism in the Church! The Mannequin Messiah The many faces of Jesus in history.
Did You Know? Jesus was fully God and fully man?
The Story Teller The Prophetic pregnancy of time.
Note To Self By Angela Slack
...And Jesus Died By C. Richard McCaw
Primary witnesses from the 1st Century testify of Jesus.
One Name 29 By Nikki Hope Jargon Buster Understanding Religious Terminologies.
In Praise Of Hymn 33 Reviewing Great Christian Hymns: – All Hail The Power Of Jesus Name
Christ Outside of Christianity 20 Is Jesus locked out of His own Church?
12 WORLD IN VIEW
16 April - June 2016
Volume 4 - Issue 2
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.
Disclaimer Jesus In History Who Jesus was has been long debated and equally subjected to the interpretations of those who have faithfully recorded the facts. Thanks to the writers of the New Testament gospels, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Jewish Torah and secular historians like Josephus, Tacitus and others. Any biography of Jesus is bound to be subjected to bias. If the records of His life have been consistently biased, then we have been given consistent errors. The creation of Christianity in a Roman framework under the emperor, Constantine, is clearly evidence of this. Historians may consider some questions irrelevant, such as: Who was Jesus? What did He look like? Was He really God or just a man? or Was He The Jewish Messiah? However, what makes Jesus Christ a relevant Political, Social and Historical figure is the influence that He has had and His significant impact on Human History. So much has been done in His name and for His sake, in direct response to His teachings with both positive and negative outcomes that He could not be ignored historically.
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The relevance of faith Who Jesus is becomes a very deeply personal question for those who believe in Him, otherwise why would anybody still choose to follow a 2000 year old teacher? Were it not for the rapid spread of Christianity, no one but the diligent historian or Jewish theologian would care about who Jesus is. Although Jesus was Jewish and was rejected by the religious and Roman leaders of His time, yet because His disciples spread His teaching throughout the world, He has had such an enduring influence on world history and politics. The lives of committed believers will continue to influence many people worldwide to find a personal encounter with Jesus Christ. He is still looming large and is still relevant today. Replacing myth with reality So the real question for Historians is not, who Jesus is or who people say He is, nor what He said of Himself because none of these can be absolutely proven through historical records alone, we simply were not there. We can however, ask why are so many people still following Him, what is it that they find in Him that moves them to martyrdom, that has moved Emperors, Kings, pagans and paupers alike to follow Him so unreservedly?
Throughout this magazine the editor & contributors seek to present a balanced and accurate view of Scriptureâ€™s teaching. We are all on a journey of studying and understanding Godâ€™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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What is it that makes Jesus still relevant today as He ever was in His time? What is it that made and still makes millions of people surrender their lives in reverence and awe to this Jesus when they encounter Him? Could there be any truth in His claimed divinity? Why do they all claim to have experienced an ‘otherness’ something other than human in their encounter that rendered them most vulnerable and humbled in their heightened awareness of their
human frailty and His Divinity? Until this question that demands a verdict can be categorically answered in the negative and these claims positively refuted then Christianity will continue to impact the globe as individual lives are changed for good by a personal encounter with Jesus Christ. He will remain an Icon in History and for seeking humanity, a constant mystery. If He cannot be disproved, the myth will be consistently replaced
with His reality ...He actually lives as God, within the lives of His followers today as ever.
I remain in Jesus’ Service. Love as always
Editor and Cofounder
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Letter to Editor
To contact the editor email her at: email@example.com
Dear B.F. thank you very much for your enquiry on the question: can a person be saved and then lost? Let me point out that this question was dealt with in Vol. 2 - Issue 1, April 2014. Article entitled: Still a Pig? Page 10 onwards. Here you can read that there are proofs and signs that do follow a born again believer and yes John 3:16 does give the assurance that, “ALL WHO BELIEVE in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life”. Let me hasten to remind you that salvation is by faith not by anything that we have done or will ever do to be saved. It is the miracle working power of God’s grace that saves us as we have faith in Jesus Christ and submit our lives to Him. The life of the true believer is filled with the evidence of this assurance as guilt and shame are removed with the remission of our sins. However, God is not mocked and we are called to live a life of righteousness in trustful obedience of His word. So, if we fall into sin, we are not condemned as we have a provision for our sins that we access by confessing it and repenting. As we receive new grace to go on we get back on course with God and become wiser and stronger. Be encouraged and keep walking in faith and victory over sin as you sin less and are perfected by the Grace of the Holy Spirit working in you. Love as always, Angel Image of Jesus praying on page 9 by ‘Waiting For The Word’ - https://www.flickr.com/photos/waitingfortheword/ License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
April - June 2016
The significance of Jesus must never be underestimated. Jesus, God in flesh divided time into three eras.
time L o rd
1. The Old Testament/Covenant 2. The Church/New Covenant Age 3. The Age To Come Or Eternity. All three eras were defined by His coming. He closed the Old Testament/Covenant and started The Church/New Covenant age by coming and completing His work on the cross. Up to this day the Gregorian Calendar that is the most widely used in the world is based on Him. He will close the Church Age and begin timeless eternity by coming a second time as judge of the whole world and not as a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes. Jesus is God and Master of time and whenever He graces earth with His physical presence things notably and significantly change. Jesus stamps His presence upon time and the changes that took place with His first coming testify to this. The Old Testament/Covenant Age also known as the Age of the Law and the Prophets ended with the coming of John, the Baptist, and Jesus Christ.
Jesus compared John with those who are in the Kingdom, He said, Matthew 11:11 “ I tell you that no one ever born on this earth is greater than John the Baptist. But whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John” Here we are made aware that the age in which John the Baptist lived was significant but this age is greater and better because people can actually enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus Brought New and Better Things
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A New Covenant: The New Covenant for which He is mediator is not only new but is also a better covenant, “...by so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant.” Hebrews 7:22 NKJV. A new and living way: Jesus has consecrated a new path, a new and living way to His heavenly Father by His blood, thus eliminating the old efforts, that of sacrificing bulls and goats etc... He consecrated this new way by His own blood, “My friends, the blood of Jesus gives us courage to enter the most holy place by a new way that leads to life! And this way takes us through the curtain that is Christ Himself…” Hebrews 10:19-20 One new man in Christ: Jesus’ coming also brought together both Jew and Gentile to form a unified people in Himself, “...having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace…“ (Ephesians 2:15 NKJV) The promise of the Holy Spirit: This very important event which marked the birth of the Church could not take place without the coming and completion of Jesus’ mission. The coming of the Holy Spirit was to be one of the most significant marks of this age. Jesus said, “But I tell you that I am going to do what is best for you. That is why I am going away. The Holy Spirit cannot come to help you until I leave. But after I am gone, I will send the Spirit to you.” John 16:7 Before, men could say ‘God is with us’ but today, we can also say
‘God i s within us’. Amazingly today we can say: “The Holy Spirit lives inside of us”. A new and higher law: God is the author of laws and just as there are laws that govern nature so there are spiritual laws that govern life and death. He puts physical laws in motion like the law of gravity, the laws of nature that govern weather and farming and moral laws to govern human behaviour etc. He also implemented spiritual laws like that spoken of in Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death…” i.e. anyone who sins will receive the capital punishment also known as the death penalty. God’s law says we must not sin and anyone who does will be punished by death. Thank God this Scripture continues to explain a new and higher law, “… but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” i.e. God has gifted us with a higher law which states that someone else who is worthy can take our penalty and die in our place, so that we can go on living. His name is Jesus and all we need to do is to receive that gift by faith. The higher law will then be enacted and will clear us from the penalty of death. “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:2 NKJV. Jesus Brought Clarity To Old Things When Jesus came, He also brought clarity to things that were already there but not understood. The first that comes to mind has to do with what God intended when He gave the ‘Mosaic’ laws that we failed to keep.
The ‘Mosaic’ laws: Jesus removed the curse of the Mosaic laws and revealed that God was always after willing hearts and not just outward conformity to the Ten Commandments. He explained to those who asked, that all those laws are fulfilled in one, the law of love, and if we could keep that one, we would have fulfilled them all. (Matthew 22:36-40) Time and space would not allow us to expound the many Scriptures that point to this fact but you could read more in a past issue of this magazine that was dedicated to this topic. See Volume 3 - Issue 2 ‘The Heart of the matter is… It’s the Heart that Matters’. Our greatest enemy is sin: Before Jesus came God’s people were commanded to engage in physical warfare with physical enemies but on His arrival this all changed. Jesus revealed that our true enemies were not human beings but evil invisible spirits, and even worse, sin (an inherent desire to disobey God). Our greatest enemy was within. Although this is easy to understand it is indeed hard to accept. The Jews of His time insisted that if He was the promised Messiah and King He should lead them into a triumphant battle against their physical enemies, the Romans who were their oppressors. Today, some Gentiles wrongly believe that Jesus’ purpose was to deliver us from poverty and give us financial and social power. “Then after her baby is born, name him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21. Sin can do what the devil cannot. The devil cannot put us into hell but sin can, so in order to have victory, the devil tempt us to get us to sin. We must therefore resist him and sin not.
Our battle is against unseen forces: Jesus exposed the spirits that were behind dark and evil deeds. Before, people were aware of evil spirits, but it was not until the arrival of Jesus that these spirits were exposed as He cast them out with a word in the view of many people. There are no biblical accounts of exorcism until Jesus came. Thank God for Jesus because now we know that “We are not fighting against humans. We are fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and powers in the spiritual world.” Ephesians 6:12. p Further Reading In this new and living way, the way of the Spirit opened up to us by Jesus: We fight against spiritual beings and not physical ones - Ephesians 6:12 We fight with Spiritual strength and not physical - Ephesians 6:10 We fight with Spiritual weapons and not physical ones - 2 Corinthians 10:3 Beauty is the inward attitude of the heart and not outward physical appearances - 1 Peter 3:3-4 Note that this kind of beauty is precious to God! Our blessings are primarily Spiritual riches and not physical riches - Ephesians 1:3.
By Homer Slack author, preacher, Bible teacher, IT tutor, programmer & graphic designer
April - June 2016
Jesus’ Pattern For Prayer
Isn’t it worth noting that with all the miracles that the disciples watched Jesus perform, they did not ask Him to teach them to work miracles but opted instead to ask Him to teach them to pray? (Luke 11:1). Could it be that they realised that the power of Jesus’ ministry came from time spent in prayer? Paul in Ephesians 6:12 said, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (NKJV) This statement begs the question how do we, mortal, physical human beings, wrestle spiritual beings? You may remember Jacob wrestling with a spiritual being whom he would not let go until the spiritual being blessed him but how do we today do as Jacob did or as Paul reminded us? Paul chose the word ‘wrestle’ which indicates close combat. In an arm wrestle, for example, the two hands are locked as each person tries to press the hand of the other onto the table. For us therefore, to ‘wrestle’ spiritual beings they must enter into our realm or we must enter theirs. In the Genesis account we see the devil entering our realm by using the body of a serpent, when he tempted Eve. If it is going to be spiritual combat and not physical, then we will need to enter theirs. I believe this fact is brought out when we take a closer look at Jesus’ prayer life.
Jesus Entering The Spiritual Realms Take a detailed look at Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness at the start of His ministry. Read Matthew 4:1-11. Firstly, note that Jesus was tempted by the devil after fasting and praying for 40 days. Physically Jesus was in the wilderness but spiritually He was in another realm. How do we know this? vs 5 “Next, the devil took Jesus to the holy city and had him stand on the highest part of the temple…” Did Jesus, being very hungry after 40 days fasting, walk with the devil into the holy city then climb to the top of the temple where He spoke with the devil as He balanced on it’s pinnacle? And again, “...the devil took Jesus up on a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms on earth and their power.” Did Jesus along with the devil, walk until they found a very
April - June 2016
high mountain and then climb it to the top though He was hungry and weak? What mountain is so high that you can view all the kingdoms of the earth and their power from it? The answer is that Jesus did not physically go to these places with the devil but was taken there in the spirit. Jesus prayed and fasted His way into the spiritual realm where He contended with the devil. Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane
We see another example of Jesus entering the spiritual realm in His time of prayer, when He was transfigured on the mountain. “About eight days later Jesus took Peter, John, and James with him and went up on a mountain to pray. While he was praying, his face changed, and his clothes became shining white.” Luke 9:28-29
Other Examples Of Spiritual Warfare We have other examples of men touching or entering the realms of the spirit through prayer. Peter prayed until he fell into a trance and saw heaven open. Daniel fasted and prayed until an angel manifested and told him of the battles raging in the heavens. Jesus’ disciples gathered and prayed every day until the Spirit of God descended from heaven like a mighty rushing wind on the day of Pentecost. We too must learn to pray until either we enter the spiritual realm or spiritual things are revealed among us. Based on the above examples, one may wonder if it was during a time of intense prayer and fasting that Paul entered the third heaven where he saw and heard things that are not lawful to be uttered among mortal men. 2 Corinthians 12:1-4. Jesus gave us a hint after casting out the demon that his disciples could not. “Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, ‘Why could we not cast it out?’ o Jesus said to them, ‘Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.’” (NKJV) Matthew 17:19-21 Note: Demons come in different kinds. Some can be dealt with by prayer alone but others require prayer coupled with fasting. (Some versions do not include verse 21 that speak of prayer and fasting.)
Conclusion If we are going to wrestle spirit beings or have angels wrestle them on our behalf, we must do it through prayer and if necessary we must also fast. There was very good reason why God gave us an insight into Jesus’ prayer life. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
By Homer Slack author, preacher, Bible teacher, IT tutor, programmer & graphic designer
Religious Jews praying at the Western Temple Wall April - June 2016
? The Real Jesus Please! “...I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received or a different gospel you do put up with it well.” 2 Corinthians chapter 11.
Paul spent a large amount of time encouraging, teaching and rebuking the Church at Corinth. He did this because soon after the death and resurrection of the real
April - June 2016
Jesus Christ these believers were being led astray by false teachers to another Jesus. We may not think it possible for us today but let us take a look at the words of Jesus Himself in Matthew 24, as He warns His disciples about the End Times: “At that time if anyone tells you ‘Look here is the Christ or There He is’ Do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive even the elect - If that were possible. See I have told you ahead of time.” Even Paul was beginning to
experience the prophetic words of Jesus, and it is even worse today in the 21st century. So who is the real Jesus, that we may not be deceived? There are many prophecies about Jesus and you can read the probability of these coming true in the startling book by: Peter W. Stoner and Robert C. Newman entitled ‘Science Speaks’. The book was based on the science of probability and vouched for by the American Scientific Affiliation. It set out the odds of any one man in all of history fulfilling even only eight of the 60 major prophecies
(and 270 ramifications) fulfilled by the life of Christ. Here are just a few: PROPHECIES OF JESUS (YESHUA) Micah
Born in Bethlehem
King on a donkey
Thirty pieces of silver
So I took it into the house of the Lord for the Potter
Wounds in hands
53:7 Gave no defence though innocent
Died with the wicked grave with the rich
Crucified on a cross
There are over 300 prophecies in the Bible, 61 relate to the coming of Messiah (Jesus) Probability of one man fulfilling just 8 is 1 in 1017 (1 in 1000,000,000,000,000,000) The real Jesus, born of a virgin, suffered under Pontius Pilate and was crucified. Though dead and buried, on the third day He rose again defeating hell, death and the grave giving us the hope of resurrection. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16. The real Jesus is alive, risen from the dead; The gospel of John tells of Thomas, a disciple who doubted that He had risen, who He invites to put his hand into His side and to see His nail pierced hands. John’s gospel states, “Jesus did many other things as well; If every one of them were written down I suppose that even the whole world would not have
room for the books that would be written.” John 21:25 The one book that really does give all the information needed is the Bible itself. This book really is the Word of God to mankind steering us towards our need of this Jesus. Jesus performed wonderful miracles when He walked the earth. He is alive now and still performing miracles in people’s lives. He has in my life. Jesus is not a fictitious person He is real. The Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in a fictional Jesus who started as the Archangel Michael (stage 1) then became Jesus the man (stage 2) and then Michael again after his spiritual resurrection, (stage 3) but they do not believe He rose from the dead. They believe in 2 Gods, the greater Jehovah who created the lesser, Jesus. The Mormons believi that Jesus is the brother of Lucifer and is a created being without any divinity. In Islam Jesus is the prophet Isa, again without divinity as they do not believe He is the Son of God. Catholics believe that sinners need the Virgin Mary and the Roman Catholic Church to give salvation. They don’t believe that Jesus’ work on the cross was enough. They depend on Mary, (believing her to be sinless) and in doing sacraments in the Church, including confession to the priest who absolves sins. Only the real Jesus can take your sin away and live in your heart. Only the real Jesus died and rose again with extraordinary evidence in the chronicles of history. None other showed love for you and me like the real Jesus. “‘I Am the Alpha and Omega’; says the Lord, ‘who is and who
was and who is to come, the Almighty.’” Revelation 1:8 He is coming again very soon so make sure that you are not deceived by the craftiness of men. Get to know the real Jesus. “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9.. Joel says, “In the last days I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy. Your old men shall dream dreams and your young men shall see visions.“ Joel 2:28 Never more so than now, there is an unprecedented move of God especially among the Muslims. CBN News Quote: “There is an endtime phenomenon that is happening through dreams and visions,” said Christine Darg, author of The Jesus Visions: Signs and Wonders in the Muslim World. “He is going into the Muslim world and revealing, particularly, the last 24 hours of His life - how He died on the cross, which Islam does not teach - how He was raised from the dead, which Islam also does not teach – and how He is the Son of God, risen in power.” The real Jesus is alive and He is revealing Himself not just to Christians but to Jews and Muslims as well. The times of prophetic fulfilment are at hand! p Further Reading Recommend book ‘Wind in the House of Islam’ by David Garrison https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=5mgVajQ5Wr4
By Barbara Payne intercessor, worship leader, retired minister and Divorce Care counsellor
April - June 2016
Light of the Cro
“Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.” (Mark 1:35) “So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.” Luke 6:12. “Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” (Luke 5:16)
Jesus prayed daily and sometimes all night to His Father because in His humanity while on earth His dependency was on His Father and to be in His will. So when situations in our lives happen on whom do we depend? Are we looking to what Jesus would do? Would we follow His example or that of the world? Situations arise such as sickness, indebtedness, divorce, unemployment, a broken home, turmoil, discomfort, persecution, loss of a loved one, depression, sadness and many others. How can we follow Jesus’ example of praying in situations that often come suddenly without warning? How would non-Christians view us at these times? How can we let the light of Jesus shine to others when life seems to fall apart around us? This world today is so full of confusion and conﬂict. Let us examine closely our behaviour. Scripture advises us, “when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” Matthew 6:6 Since Jesus took Himself away to pray we can do the same.
April - June 2016
Yes, with limited times to pray it is important that we seek the Father’s will in ALL situations as Jesus did. Prayer is talking to the Father, a powerful gift that can bring answers. Only His wisdom brings results because His ways and thoughts are higher than ours.
Only God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit can ﬁll the deep void of despair when we lose a loved one. Only He can go before us to ﬁnd us favour among men to meet our needs. Prayers are always heard but how God chooses to answer them is entirely up to Him. We can only let our requests be known to Him. Answer to prayers could be immediate or delayed. Some prayers God may not answer at all. Delayed answers could take months or sometimes years. We only have to read the Bible to see how many different ways God answered prayers. God in His wisdom knows what is best for us. Much later we see why some prayers were not answered and that it was far better for us. However, prayer is fellowship with God, not just requests, but talking to Him as Jesus did and growing in a relationship with Him. Walking with Him in unity asking, “What is your will Father?” or just being still and resting in His awesome presence and listening to Him. Amazingly our minds become peaceful because He is with us in that secret place. When constantly bombarded with doubt and fear, if we follow what Jesus did, it can reﬂect to
the folks around us and they will see Jesus as we reflect Him in the midst of the circumstances. Following Jesus and what He taught can only bring true contentment.
His death nailed to the cross every circumstance we could ever go through. His resurrection brought life. Philippians 3:10 says, “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” Paul began to learn who he was in Christ. He wanted with heart and soul to take up His cross and truly follow Him. Allowing God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit into ALL our circumstances brings us to a place of daily devotion. Our human efforts or the world’s persuasion cannot achieve this! It is how we walk with the One who so loves us. He died for us and rose again so we can believe in Him and have life eternally. The people of the world prize what they can get out of every situation, whatever is suitable for the time of need through which they are going. To Christians Paul says, “I press toward the goal for the prize of upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14 Yes, we all make mistakes, we will all go through disasters, but Paul recognised that every event was covered with the precious blood of Jesus. Wherever we are Jesus is in the midst with us He will always stretch out His hand for us to take hold of. It is Jesus, and will always be Jesus Who will sustain us. He is always with us and always will be. Life changes
oss Shine when we bow the knee in our hearts to Him and Him alone. A light shines on those situations that seem impossible. Folks see the difference and are drawn to the light.
What would Jesus do when He was on earth? He did not seek the advice of counsellors, scribes, prophets or people of the world. He went straight to His Father on His knees and talked to Him. He loves us so much let’s honour Him and do what He would do and glorify God through the power of the Holy Spirit. We must hold nothing back, Jesus never did.”Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” (KJV) p
God has sent us good news because we have not believed on His only Son, Jesus Christ, and are condemned to eternal separation from His presence. We all, once prefered darkness to light so how is it that some eventually believe in Jesus Christ as their Saviour? Jesus - the gift from God to the world, was rejected by men. The people shouted “No, we don’t want him, Give us Barabbas!” A change must therefore take place in our hearts that will bring about faith in God and a desire for the gift of His son. God through the Holy Spirit often works in the lives of people who have reached a point of weakness, and have become poor in spirit. When we see our utter hopelessness and become desperate for change we are much more likely to look outside of ourselves for help. It is usually at this point that many will cry out to God. Job, for example, through his suffering exclaimed, “I know my redeemer lives.” Jonah, while inside the belly of the whale, prayed to God. Paul, the apostle, realised that he could not fight the Almighty, and heard the voice of Jesus calling him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard to kick against the pricks!”
by Lynda K Smith writer, proof reader, poet and Evangelist
GOSPEL? their cry and delivered them from bondage.
God always resists the proud and chooses the weak. Indeed, Christians are often seen as weakminded, desperate people who need a saviour. In fact, Paul, the apostle declared that not many noble and mighty people respond to the gospel. The early church consisted largely of slaves and unlearned people, and Jesus chose them to be discipled by him. Even though Christians may be perceived to be weak, Paul testified, “when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor 12:10). God often brings us to a place of brokenness and if we cry out to Jesus, God will transform us, and many will marvel at what God has done. Let us, therefore, not despise the weak since God draws near to the suffering. While Israelites were sick and dying from the sting of serpents, whoever looked to the serpent on the pole that Moses held up and trusted in Jehovah, were healed. Jesus therefore declares of Himself, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:14-15 KJV)p
God chose the Israelites, a people, who had become slaves under the most powerful ruler of that day, Egypt and God heard
By David White Christian and engineer by the grace of God
April - June 2016
WORLD IN VIEW
In The Church The Church - One Man In Christ!
Jesus was a revolutionary, the civil rights activist of His time. He advocated one community, one bond in Christ where there is no slave, nor free, no Jew, nor Gentile. This was revolutionary for people living in the Roman Empire that was one of the most racist regimes in history. If you were not Roman your life had no value, and if you were not a Jew but a Samaritan, you were considered to be a dog. Society was extremely stratified and people had all sorts of prejudices against each other, some that not only ostracised you from popular society but some that could cost you your life. Jesus was hated for his bold and revolutionary teaching that He actually practiced. He notably ‘hung out’ with the hated tax collectors, a former prostitute, common fishermen etc. He was heavily criticised by the religious establishment, but left a clear trail for His disciples to follow. Do we still have this problem today? Certainly, we hear of race riots and crimes in the news, and we say, “My goodness this is 2016, are there people still so ignorant?” Shockingly, there are, and they might be sitting beside you in church.
Debunking Racism “The sciences, on their part, contribute to dispelling much of the false evidence used to justify racist behavior or to delay necessary changes. According to a declaration prepared at UNESCO on June 8, 1951, by a group of prominent scientists: ‘Experts generally recognize that all human persons living today belong to the same species, homo sapiens, and that they descended from one same stock.’” What is desperately needed is a revelation on race and a revolution from the pulpit. The Roman Catholic Church has taken the lead on this and has issued a paper: THE CHURCH AND RACISM:
TOWARD A MORE FRATERNAL SOCIETY, Pontifical Commission Justice and Peace: 1988. “The effort to overcome racism does in fact seem to have become an imperative which is broadly anchored in human consciences. The 1965 U.N. Convention expressed this conviction forcefully: “Any doctrine of superiority based on the difference between races is scientifically false, morally condemnable and socially unjust and dangerous...” “The Church’s doctrine affirms it with no less vigor all racist theories are contrary to Christian faith and love. And yet, in sharp contrast to this growing awareness of human dignity, racism still exists and continually reappears in different forms. It is a wound in humanity’s side that mysteriously remains open. Everyone, therefore, must make efforts to heal it with great firmness and patience.”
Racist Behaviour Throughout History
The most outrageous episode of racism recorded in human history is the 350 year record of the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade of West Africans to the plantation colonies of The Americas by european slave traders. This was justified by misusing and misinterpreting the Bible. “For example, the interpretation that some fundamentalists gave to the curse made by Noah on his son, Ham - condemned, in his grandson Canaan, to be his brothers’ slave-is well known (cf. Gen 9:24-
27). They misunderstood the meaning and scope of the sacred text, which referred to a certain historical situation: the difficult relations between the Canaanites and the people of Israel. They wanted to see in Ham or Canaan the ancestor of the African peoples, whom they had subjugated and, consequently, they considered them marked by God with an indelible inferiority which destined them to serve whites forever.”
[1 - 6],  Roger Cardinal Etchegaray, Jorge Mejia. 1988. THE CHURCH AND RACISM. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/pcjpraci.htm. [Accessed 09 March 16].
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Forms of Racism Today Racism was rife during the South African Apartheid regime. “The disappearance of colonial regimes or situations of racial discrimination has therefore not always meant the end of racism in States which have become independent in Africa and Asia. Within the artificial borders left behind by the colonial powers, cohabitation by ethnic groups with different traditions, languages, cultures and even religions, often runs up against obstacles of mutual hostilities that can be characterized as racist.” A more modern form of racism is: “Ethnocentricity. This is a very widespread attitude whereby a people have a natural tendency to defend its identity by denigrating that of others to the point that, at least symbolically, it refuses to recognize their full human quality. This behavior undoubtedly responds to an instinctive need to protect the values, beliefs and customs of one’s own community which seem threatened by those of other communities.” The evolution of Rastafari in Jamaica and The Nation of Islam in The United States
of America developed in response to the domination of a Euro centric God that was associated with white supremacy. The Klu Klux Klan on the other hand promoted white supremacy in the name of God to protect their interests.
A resurgence of the deadly myth of eugenic racism. “Adolf Hitler has his place well marked in history for being the fore runner and the main propagator and sponsor of this notion of an Aryan super race. Nazism has long been abolished but the resurgence of neo Nazism as a hydra that will not die, has produced many attendant forms of race superiority ideologies. The truth of the gospel is the only antidote to this poisonous venom.” The Terror of Tribalism “Tribal oppositions at times endanger, if not peace, at least the pursuit of the common good of
Point Action Plan: Change racist attitudes, within the church first by: 1. Accepting the fact that we are all one human family.
2. Appealing first of all to the moral and religious sense of
3. Giving biblical facts using loving persuasion.
4. Asking God to change hearts. 5. Offering a place for reconciliation.
6. Promoting initiatives of
welcome and exchanges of mutual assistance as regards men and
the society as a whole. They also create difficulties for the life of the Churches and the acceptance of pastors from other ethnic groups. Even when the constitutions of these countries formally affirm the equality of all citizens with regard to one another and before the law, it is not rare that some ethnic groups dominate others and refuse them the full enjoyment of their rights” In the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda Christians were caught up in the mayhem of tribal massacre. The Times of India reports: “Lahore bombing: Dozens of children and mothers among victims of Easter Sunday suicide attack.” Christians were murdered by suicide bombing during the Resurrection Sunday observances in India on 27, March 2015. Muslim Indians murdered Christian Indians because of religious differences. What is the righteous response to these atrocities? Christ called us to love our enemies. We need a heart change where we see evil as the enemy not people. “Laws can contribute to protecting the basic application of this morality, but they are not enough to change the human heart.”
women belonging to other ethnic groups.
7. Proposing and living the
message: “Every person is my brother/sister.” Conclusion: if you are a part of the Kingdom of God racism must be left outside the door.
 Jess Staufenberg, The Independent. 2016. Lahore bombing: Dozens of children and mothers among victims of Easter Sunday suicide attack. [ONLINE] Available at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Lahore-bombing-Dozens-of-children-and-mothers-among-victims-of-Easter-Sunday-suicide-attack/ articleshow/51584429.cms. [Accessed 09 March 16]. April - June 2016 SHAREMAGAZINE
Mannequin Messiah: The
Dress at will?
Do you remember paper dolls? Children would get a cardboard doll cut out of a cartoon character, film star or action hero, packaged with several paper outfits with bendy tabs carefully located in order to make it possible for you to dress and undress your doll. A simple concept that worked. Today, we have virtual dolls that are dressed on our mobile device screen and we interact with them using computer software. Apparently, humans love this idea of reinvention or “playing dress up”. We tend to get bored and want to have a makeover every now and then. Fashion, A la Mode, Dream It - See It - Be it, Fake It Till You Make It, Keep Up Or Get Out, Reinvent Or Die, Reflect The Status Quo, Image Is Everything! This is the mantra of twenty first century living. We are like mannequins that societal pressures dress at will. Reinventing Jesus Have we taken this attitude into
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Christianity? A look at the image of Jesus Christ and how He has been portrayed throughout Church history seems to be consistent with the idea of subjective representation and marketed manipulation of His image to the world. In short, we want Jesus to reflect our values and attitudes, to look and speak like us, to represent us and our world view. Is this a good thing or bad? The Scripture itself says, all things are lawful but not all things are expedient or conducive to edification, 1 Corinthians 6:12. Therefore, in everything it is a matter of degree or balance. So then, where have we veered off course? Obviously, the many translations of the Bible into indigenous languages have made the Gospel very accessible and that is a good thing. However, when we feel the need to change the text in order to fit our context, we are beginning to cross over into the dark side of ambivalent, ambiguity that opens up a repository of unimaginable hell. Jesus can only be effective if He is portrayed as He essentially is, within His original
context and from His own point of view, not ours! Jesus, The Grim Reaper
Let’s take some samples from Church history beginning with the Middle Ages or the Dark Ages. Paul and Peter had prophesied that worldly leaders would infiltrate like ‘wolves;’ causing the church to compromise the gospel, thus allowing the marriage of sacred and secular ideology. The Roman Emperor Constantine dressed the Church in Romanised garb and joined it with The State’s ideology which portrayed a subjective Jesus that represented its aspirations, norms and pagan traditions. The Roman Empire manipulated Jesus to fit their purpose and used Him to Justify their cause in pursuance of their geo-political aspirations. Typically, wars against the Muslim conquest of the Holy Land under the banner of Christ, using Jesus’ name to conscript ignorant people ensued. Well, you may say we had to defend
our faith but how justifiable was this? Jesus never advocated violence as the answer to any conflict and the sincerity of believer’s was misguided. Jesus was isolated and disassociated from His Jewish heritage and appeared in medieval art and literature as a european sage. Sadly, that period of history has engendered the most deep rooted, long term causes of anti-semitism, global ignorance about true Christianity and subsequent, heresy, apostasy and atheism. A study of the Crusades, Inquisitions and the role of the Jesuits in turning Jesus into ‘The Grim Reaper’ will prove this. The Renaissance brought us out of The Dark Ages and was the catalyst for a Protestant Reformation of the Catholic Church and it rescued the bloodstained image of Jesus Christ from the battlefields of the war torn Medieval Realms. Jesus, The Pirate Ship Captain Next, we witnessed the rise of The British Empire. In this era, Jesus is a Russell Crowe esque, Master and Commander, of the high seas. This was the “Golden Age Of Exploration And Expansion”, where the Globe was assuaged by a plundering horde of europeans competing under the banner: ‘For God, Gold and Glory!’ Tragically, the failures of the Roman Catholic Church taught the Protestants precious little. England propagated its version of Christianity, a new image of Jesus that was now used to endorse an avaricious and ruthless nation that used piracy, conquest and later imperialism to rule 1/4 of the world. Essentially, the true Gospel was politically commandeered to bolster economic expediency and the tides of Church history again littered the beaches of time with the corpses of true believers in pursuit of true Christian purity. Jesus, The Puritan Meanwhile, the anglicized portrait of Jesus faintly bore any resemblance to His true self. Those who knew Him for Himself and had a clearer revelation of Him fled to The New
World and founded the brave new American Republic upon His teachings and portrayed Him as they saw Him. Their Jesus was now dressed in puritanical garb. They were constrained, conservative, frugal and so fearful to err (as the Catholics or Anglicans had done) that they didn’t do much in the cause of restoring the truth. Puritans simply removed the crucifixes, statues, halos from worship and managed to put Jesus in a very plain frame and box Him in. Was this truly Jesus? Mercantile Jesus What did Christianity have to do with the genocide of the Amerindians of South and North America or the Transatlantic Slave Trade? Christians got swept up in the mania of trading slave labour for goods and quietened their consciences by misquoting the Bible as their basis for the subjugation of the labouring masses on their plantations, mines or quarries. Oh yes, God worked through it to bring a missionary harvest of lost souls to a knowledge of Jesus Christ but can we say that the end justified the means just because God in His benevolence managed to bring some good out of our folly and greed? Do we just keep on sticking His name like an endorsement to our campaigns and assume that makes it Godly? How does this kind of thinking represent Jesus Christ? How is this following the Christ motif? Thankfully, true Christians advocated the liberty and fraternity of all men and ended 350 years of the racist, avarice that justified slave labour for supernormal profits in the name of Mercantilism. Politically Correct Jesus What does Jesus look like today in the postmodern - New Age Church? Jesus is dressed like a Hollywood, Wall Street boss, all primped and creamed for His photo shoot. He has to represent the clamour of the liberal masses who want their little bit of heaven down here. They don’t want to offend anybody and so embrace everything. They want to establish their dominion and confuse this with establishing Jesus’ Kingdom;
getting their blessings now, before the rapture comes. Where is the true Gospel in all this media hype that is wified and transmitted via satellite all over the globe? Prosperity teaching, hyper grace, Kabbalah, New Age, Scientology, Mormonism, Jehovah Witnesses, Islam, The Klu Klux Klan, Neo-Nazism have all distorted the portrait of Jesus and have violated His teachings and defamed His character. How did we get here you may ask? We broke a cardinal rule because we took license where we had no right to. “Not one jot or tittle”, must be changed from His word (Matthew 5:18). If anyone else comes in Christ’s name, He is the antichrist and not Jesus! Are we so blinded by our preoccupation with boredom and the need for a new hype or the next new thing that we threw Jesus’ portrait under the bus and walk around handing out AFAN (all faiths and none) business cards with a ‘selfie’ mentality saying; ‘look at me, the new face of Jesus!’ Sincerity, is no substitute for sin No matter how well intentioned, we should not seek to toy with the portrait of Jesus or change His teachings. He treats with each human individually on the level of their soul and He can defend Himself. Truth is not relative, it does not change or it is not the truth. Jesus is not a mannequin that He should be subjected to our interpretation of Him to help Him to be relevant or that His image and character should be manipulated. He spoke clearly of Himself, He painted His own portrait and modelled Himself for all to see, He laid down the pattern and demonstrated it with His life. He is the Immortal, Invisible, All wise, All Seeing and All Powerful. He is God of all ages past and all ages to come and the portrait of Jesus is: Love transcending, Love unending, Love unconditional! p 1. See John Foxe’s book of Martyrs By Angela Slack educational curriculum/ literacy specialist, technical author and worship leader
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Primary witnesses from the first Century who testified of Jesus These are the words of John, the Apostle, testifying that Jesus was the Son of God, the giver of eternal life. 1 John 1:1-4 ‘The Word that gives life was from the beginning, and this is the one our message is about. Our ears have heard, our own eyes have seen, and our hands touched this Word. The one who gives life appeared! We saw it happen, and we are witnesses to what we have seen. Now we are telling you about this eternal life that was with the Father and appeared to us. We are telling you what we have seen and heard, so that you may share in this life with us. And we share in it with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. We are writing to tell you these things, because this makes us truly happy.” John the Baptist, who sensed the presence of the yet unborn Jesus, leaped in his mother Elizabeth’s womb. John the Baptist also testified of Jesus when he grew up and started His ministry. “The next day, John saw Jesus coming toward him and said: Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! He is the one I told you about when I said, ‘Someone else will come. He is greater than I am, because he was alive before I was born.’ I didn’t know who he was. But I came to baptize you with water, so that everyone in Israel would see him. I was there and saw the Spirit come down on him like a dove from heaven. And the Spirit stayed on him. Before this I didn’t know who he was. But the one who sent me to baptize with water had told me, ‘You will see the Spirit come down and stay on someone. Then you will know that he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I saw this happen, and I tell you that he is the Son of God.” John 1:29-34 18
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Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, also testified of Jesus. “One of the two men who had heard John and had gone with Jesus was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother and tell him, ‘We have found the Messiah!’ The Hebrew word ‘Messiah’ means the same as the Greek word ‘Christ.’” John 1:40-41 Next, read the insightful testimony of a man born blind who was healed by Jesus and went to show himself to the leaders of the time. “Some of the Pharisees said, ‘This man Jesus doesn’t come from God. If he did, he would not break the law of the Sabbath.’ Others asked, ‘How could someone who is a sinner work such a miracle?’ Since the Pharisees could not agree among themselves, they asked the man, ‘What do you say about this one who healed your eyes?’ ‘He is a prophet!’ the man told them. But the Jewish leaders would not believe that the man had once been blind. They sent for his parents and asked them, ‘Is this the son that you said was born blind? How can he now see?’ The man’s parents answered, ‘We are certain that he is our son, and we know that he was born blind. But we don’t know how he got his sight or who gave it to him. Ask him! He is old enough to speak for himself.’ The man’s parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. The leaders had already agreed that no one was to have anything to do with anyone who said Jesus was the Messiah. The leaders called the man back and said, ‘Swear by God to tell the truth! We know that Jesus is a sinner.’ The man replied, ‘I don’t know if he is a sinner or not. All I know is that I used to be blind, but now I can see!’ ‘What did he do to you?’ the Jewish leaders asked. ‘How did he heal your eyes?’ The man answered,
‘I have already told you once, and you refused to listen. Why do you want me to tell you again? Do you also want to become his disciples?’ The leaders insulted the man and said, ‘You are his follower! We are followers of Moses. We are sure that God spoke to Moses, but we don’t even know where Jesus comes from.’ ‘How strange!’ the man replied. ‘He healed my eyes, and yet you don’t know where he comes from. We know that God listens only to people who love and obey him. God doesn’t listen to sinners. And this is the first time in history that anyone has ever given sight to someone born blind. Jesus could not do anything unless he came from God.’ The leaders told the man, ‘You have been a sinner since the day you were born! Do you think you can teach us anything?’ Then they said, ‘You can never come back into any of our meeting places!’’ John 9:16-34. Finally, the woman at the well ran and told her whole community that Jesus was the Messiah. “ The woman left her water jar and ran back into town. She said to the people, ‘Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! Could he be the Messiah?’ Everyone in town went out to see Jesus… A lot of Samaritans in that town put their faith in Jesus because the woman had said, ‘This man told me everything I have ever done.’ They came and asked him to stay in their town, and he stayed on for two days. Many more Samaritans put their faith in Jesus because of what they heard him say. They told the woman, ‘We no longer have faith in Jesus just because of what you told us. We have heard him ourselves, and we are certain that he is the Savior of the world!’” John 4:28-30, 39-42. p
...He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” Matt. 16:13 April - June 2016
Christ Outside of
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When did the church first start? After the resurrection, in Acts of the Apostles chapter 2, by the power of God, the Holy Spirit was outpoured on the apostles of Jesus Christ. This was, the beginning of the Church, an amazing supernatural happening, born of God and not of men. Peter, the apostle, was the first to stand up and explain what had happened. As you follow the book of Acts through you will see how the power of God was demonstrated through some amazing men. “So the disciples were called Christians first at Antioch” (which is in North West Syria). Acts 11:26 That took place over 2000 years ago at the birth of the church of Jesus Christ which was not just another religion! Why so many religions? Before I gave my life to Jesus Christ, I often asked the question, “Why are there so many religions?” without any real clarity given to me. Since then, over 40 years now, I have also been asked the same question many times. Church history provides very clear answers to this question. We can begin to name many but the most known ones are Catholic, Protestant, Methodist, Baptist, Evangelical etc. There are other less popular ones like the
Church of Scientology, Buddhism, Hinduism and many others too numerous to mention. Then you have cults which may also practice some form of religion. People today want a multifaith society like the New Age movement or the ‘All Faiths and None’ (AFAN) movement. We have gone so far from the truth and practice of the early church that Jesus the Son of God is now left knocking on the door of most churches (Revelation 3:19). Jesus explained that He was the only way to God (John 14:6). God’s power has not stopped working through mankind since the day of Pentecost. Many of us believers have stopped looking to God and are looking to movements and people. We want to be approved by men. Often we follow our own thoughts or ways instead of God’s, which are higher than ours. We expelled the Holy Spirit out of meetings and only mention Him in prayer or song. The reality of the Holy Spirit seems to have disappeared from many Churches, we seem afraid to let Him guide. We need to return to our roots. Scripture states that, God hates division and the man through whom that division comes (Proverbs 6). No wonder we are not seeing the power of God move
among the churches today as we did in the past. Where is the Church? There are many religions and cults but only one true faith remains and that is in the Son of God who takes away the sins of the world. Sin so easily besets us, and no movement of men can make an atonement for sin. Jesus is the Truth and He is alive. He only, has the keys to death and hell having overcame death on the cross. All we have to do is repent and believe. Jesus said, “If I am lifted up above the earth, I will make everyone want to come to me.” John 12:32. May you be drawn to the real Jesus, who was resurrected and is still Alive. He died for our sins and loves us with an everlasting love. He is not part of any manmade movement. He made man and only He can move the hearts of men. He is the movement, He is the only Way! He is knocking at the doors of many hearts today. If He is knocking at yours, will you open and let Him in? p
By Barbara Payne intercessor, worship leader, retired minister and Divorce Care counsellor
April - June 2016
By Homer Slack
Eat my flesh and drink my blood! “Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.” No, Jesus was not crazy or drunk when He said this; neither was He promoting cannibalism. (John 6:53)
must take the good and discard the rest, as Paul instructed. “Put everything to the test. Accept what is good...” (1 Thess. 5:21). Not so with Jesus, because every word and act of His is not only good but essential for spiritual growth and life. Our spiritual growth and life will weaken and drain from us if we neglect Him.
Give away everything! “Sell all your belongings and give the money to the poor. Provide for yourselves purses that don’t wear out, and save your riches in heaven, where they will never decrease, because no thief can get to them, and no moth can destroy them. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Luke 12:33-34)
Imagine you are in a lecture where a topic of great interest to you is being taught and explained but sitting next to you are friends who are constantly shuffling or talking. You say to them “Keep quiet so I can take it all in”.
As natural food and drink are essential to natural life so everything about Jesus, including His instructions and examples, are essential to spiritual life. Jesus is the bread of life, that came down out of heaven from God, the Manna that fed and nourished the Israelites as they travelled through the wilderness.
This is what Jesus meant when He said this. We need to ‘take Him ALL in’, as if we were, feeding on Him by daily taking in and meditating on all that He says and does. With other teachers we
Jesus said, “I am the bread of life.” (John 6:48). And He also said , “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:53) Feed on Jesus and live.
It is most likely that if you tell your parents that you are going to sell all you own and then give the money to the poor that they will think you have lost your mind. Jesus however, was quite sane when He said these words, and it is sound advice indeed. The material things of this life are very distracting and will too often compete with God for your attention, time and affections.
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Jesus also taught, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Treasure has power over hearts. Do not believe that you are too spiritual and mature for things to capture your heart. If our hearts and affections are to be heavenward, then we must invest there. Paul encouraged the Colossians “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.” (Col. 3:1 - NIV) And he encouraged the Philippians, “As I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.” (Phil. 3:18 - NIV). We will be totally ineffective and become spiritually dead if our hearts and minds are set on earthly material things. Take Jesus’ advice and get rid of everything that is a distraction and make Jesus your everything. Authority to Forgive Sins? The claims of Jesus make Him only one of three things; a lunatic, a liar or Lord. Many thought Jesus was a lunatic because His claims were so ‘out of this world.’ We could too, if we were alive when Jesus lived on earth. When the friends of a paralytic ripped through a roof to get him to Jesus, Scripture records,.. Luke 5:20 “When He [Jesus] saw their faith, He said to him, ‘Man, your sins are forgiven you.’ And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, ‘Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?’” (Luke 5:20). How could Jesus tell someone He did not know that they were forgiven? If someone wronged you and then came to you humbly you could, by choice, forgive them and tell them that he or she were forgiven. However, imagine approaching someone on the street, that you had never met before and saying “I forgive you.” You would either be drunk or mad. You cannot forgive someone for offending your neighbour. That is your neighbour’s responsibility. This was how the scribes and Pharisees reasoned:
“How can Jesus forgive someone for sinning against God? Only God can do that.” As we consider the humanity of Jesus, we must never forget His divinity. Jesus was not only man, but was indeed God manifest in flesh. Men of greater status, age and experience would bow before Him and address Him as ‘Lord’. Why? Because Jesus was not mad, He was God! Desire is not enough! The gospel of Mark records a fascinating story of a rich young ruler who came to Jesus seeking eternal life, but who the Master allowed to sadly leave without it (Luke 18:18). Why is this story so fascinating? Because the Christianity shaped by Western culture portrays a different Jesus from the One we see in this story. Here Jesus did what we fail to do today, i.e. to lay out the cost of a disciple’s commitment. We try to sneak people into the kingdom and therefore deceive them into thinking that there is no cost to their commitment, that they can go on to do their own thing once they have recited “the sinner’s prayer,” which is not endorsed by Scripture. We have reduced entry into the Kingdom of Heaven to nothing more than taking an oath or reciting a creed as if joining some society or club. A. W. Tozer puts it this way, - “Believing for salvation has these days been reduced to a once done act that requires no further attention. The young believer becomes aware of an act performed rather than of a living Saviour to be followed and adored.” - The Root of the Righteous – Pg 11. Hearts are no more pierced by the sharp double edged sword of the gospel, nor experience godly sorrow, or true repentance, no more do they bear fruits worthy of repentance. This leads us to conclude that many today have a form of godliness but are not truly saved. The shocking truth is that Jesus did not hurry after this young man or
plead with him. He does seek and find a lost sheep, but He will not plead with anyone who remains unrepentant. We cannot lay hold of eternal life on our terms. Who is my family? “... ‘Who is My mother and who are My brothers?’ And He [Jesus] stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, ‘Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother’” (Matt. 12:48-50). The moment we were saved we experienced an inexplicable miracle! We became a new creation, ‘born again’ with a new nature, a new family in which our father is God and we obtain a new citizenship into a spiritual kingdom in which the King is Jesus Christ. Jesus told Nicodemus, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). For birth to take place there needs to be an egg and a sperm. The egg is like the soul and the sperm or seed is the Word of God. Like natural babies, spiritual babies are born into a family, the family of God. Jesus demonstrated that His heavenly relations through His Father took priority over all earthly relations. The disciples thereafter followed His example making their natural families secondary to their heavenly family. If you have experienced the miracle of being born again, then you have been born into a spiritual family with spiritual relations. This is no excuse for neglecting your earthly family responsibilities. However, when there is a conflict between your earthly family’s wishes and your heavenly Father’s will, your heavenly Father and heavenly family will have to take priority. “...I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,...” (Eph. 3:14). Jesus is building a family not an organisation. Are you a part of it? p
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Fully God & Fully Man
God came in flesh and dwelt among us. His name was Jesus. It is difficult for us to understand how this could be but Jesus was truly fully man and fully God. The big question however is this. Was Jesus born knowing everything? Did He awake to consciousness knowing the names of everyone around Him and what their very thoughts were? It is clear from Scriptures that Jesus laid aside His God powers to live as an equal among men with no inherited advantage. As a human child, He had to learn like every other child (Heb. 5:8). He learned
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to walk, talk and most importantly, to hear the voice of His Father (John 8:28 & 14:24). Luke 2:52 “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” Here the Scriptures clearly reveals that Jesus wasn’t born all knowing. He grew in wisdom and in favour etc. in fact, at no point was He all knowing. As a man Jesus was dependent. He needed the Holy Spirit to lead Him and depended on His Father to teach Him. Jesus lived as a man to show us how to live.
Jesus as Portrayed in the Old Testament
Jesus Revealed in the New Testament
The Seed of the Woman
Immanuel (God with us)
The Passover Lamb
The son of God
The High Priest
Saviour of the world
The Cloud and The Fire
The Word of God
The Prophet Like Moses
The Captain of Our Salvation
The Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world
The Judge And Lawgiver
The Living water
The Kinsman Redeemer
The Bread of life
1 & 2 Samuel
The Prophet of The Lord
The light of the world
1 & 2 Kings
The Reigning King
The I AM
The Good Shepherd
1 & 2 Chronicles
Typified in Solomon’s temple and in the Wisdom of Solomon (2 Chron 9:22)
John 10:7, 9
The Resurrection and the life
The Faithful Scribe
The way, The truth, The life
The Rebuilder of the Walls
The power and wisdom of God
1 Cor. 1:24
The Dayspring From on High
The Lord Who Is Our Shepherd
Proverbs & Ecclesiastes
The Wisdom of God
The Rock from which we drink The Corner stone The Stumbling block
1 Cor. 10:4 Acts 4:11 1 Peter 2:8
Song of Solomon
The Lover & Bridegroom
The express image of God
The Suffering Servant
Jeremiah & Lamentations
The Weeping Prophet
The Son of Man
The Son of Man coming in the clouds of Heaven
The Baptizer With The Holy Spirit
The Burden Bearer
The Mighty Savior
The Forgiving God
The Messenger With Beautiful Feet
The Avenger of God’s Elect
The Great Evangelist, Crying For Revival
The Restorer of the Remnant
The Cleansing Fountain
The Pierced Son
The Son of Righteousness
Information for this table from: jesusplusnothing.com
Alpha and Omega, The Almighty Revelation 1:8 The Lion of Judah
Just to name a few
Appearances of Jesus in the Old Testament Genesis 14:17-20 - Melchizedek, priest of the Most High God, first translated “king of righteousness,” and king of Salem, meaning “king of peace,” without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life is thought by many to be Jesus. Genesis 32:24-30 It is believed that Jacob wrestled with Jesus then said, “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” Joshua 5:13-15 It is believed that the ‘Commander of the army of the Lord’ that Joshua worshiped outside Jericho was Jesus. Judges 13:18-22 The ‘Angel of the Lord’ who outlined Samson’s appointment to his parents is believed to be Jesus. When Manoah asked His name He said, “Why do you ask My name, seeing it is wonderful?” Manoah exclaimed, “We shall surely die, because we have seen God!” Daniel 3:25 It seems beyond doubt that the fourth person king Nebuchadnezzar saw in the fire with the three Hebrew boys was Jesus. p April - June 2016
The Prophetic P I
I always loved bicycles from my youth to the point where I taught myself to ride but on someone else’s bike. I remember one summer, while staying by my cousin’s, we discovered my older cousin’s bike locked away. He was grown up and not living at home anymore. Though that bike had no tires on its rims we rode it day after day on the dirt path that extended along the half acre backyard. I was about nine years old then but as I grew older and lived in different places I would have friends with bikes that I would borrow to ride and keep my skills up. It was a bit difficult and even embarrassing at times, to be always borrowing and especially in a country where bicycles were a novelty and expensive.
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I was an only child living with a single parent, my mother. She could not easily afford a bicycle but at about 10 years of age my mother told me that she had contacted my father and months before the national exam agreed to buy me a bicycle if I passed. This was a major exam taken by all primary school students who would either move on to high school, or if they failed be transferred to the local secondary school. This news made me very happy and I dreamt about my promised bicycle everyday. I wanted what was then the ‘Chopper bicycle’ complete with a padded seat that had a back rest. Like hippy bikes, it had raised ‘v’ type handles, a smaller front tire and a larger, broader rear tire. I rode a friend’s once and was just totally elated by the experience. My hopes were sky high. Having taken the exam I could not wait to hear the results. However, the marking process of that national exam took a couple of months, so we finally received our results months later. I passed, and what a glorious day that was. Hurray!! I had done my part, now it was time for my parents to do their part to fulfil their promise and deliver my Chopper Bicycle. IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME Like earthly parents our Heavenly Father has also given many great and precious promises. The greatest of these was the promise of His son Jesus Christ. As a
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mother’s pregnancy promises new birth so time was pregnant with the promise of Jesus, and in the fullness of time He was born. The coming of Jesus was no secret. Thousands of years before His birth in Bethlehem, His coming was prophesied.
There is overwhelming evidence to support the fact that from the very fall of Adam and Eve God had communicated through prophecy and symbolism, the coming of a Redeemer that would set right what Adam had lost. Jesus’ coming was prophesied in the garden of Eden, when God told the devil that the Seed of the woman would crush his head. The first animal killed was killed by God and it’s skin was used to cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve. This was very symbolic of Jesus as the Lamb of God shedding His blood to cover our sins. THE LAMB SLAIN FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD When Abraham took his son, Isaac, up the mountain to sacrifice him as God commanded, Isaac asked; “‘Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?’ And Abraham said, ‘My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.’” Abraham knew this by revelation and through relationship with God, and so was assured that God would send His own lamb to die in place of Isaac. With this knowledge, Abraham was confident that either he would not die, or God would raise him from the dead. Jesus was, “...the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Rev 13:8.). Many symbolisms and prophecies in the scriptures point to the coming of Jesus. In fact, the entire Old Testament scripture was about Jesus. So great was the expectation of Jesus’ arrival on earth that when He was born angels sang. As John the Baptist saw what Abraham spoke of thousands of years before, he exclaimed, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). When Simeon saw Him he exclaimed, “My eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of
Pregnancy of Time... Your people Israel” (Luke 2:30-32).
TYPES OF CHRIST Here are a few people who symbolised Christ.
Adam: was the first created man in bodily form. Scripture describes him as a living soul i.e. Adam lived in a body powered by a soul. In similar fashion Jesus would be the first created man of a different kind. Scripture describes Him as a life giving Spirit i.e. Jesus would be the first human that was born of God. Death overpowered living souls but could NOT overpower the life-giving Spirit. Adam succumbed to death but Jesus, the Last Adam, conquered death (1 Cor 15:22, 47-49). Moses: “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). The standard that God would use to govern His people under the Old Covenant was made known through Moses. In like manner, the standards by which God would govern His New Covenant people was made known through Jesus Christ. Before Christ one sin was all it took to be condemned to death as happened to Adam. That has not changed but what is different is that God’s grace is revealed through Jesus. So now, when we sin, death can be averted if we look to Jesus who was the sacrifice for our sins. Wow!
Under Moses one could obey laws without a genuine heart. When Jesus came He reminded us that His Father required obedience from the heart and not through gritted teeth. “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth…” (John 4:23). Under Christ ritualistic worship is no more accepted as it was under Moses but now we have help. The love of God is poured into our hearts by the Spirit and if we have and practice this love we fulfil the laws. Worship must be honest and heartfelt for this is the kind of worship that God accepts. Conclusion The long awaited Messiah has come. His name is Jesus and it would do us well to understand Him, His person, His purpose and His promises. Things have changed with Jesus’ coming and woe to those who have not caught on. “Truly, these times of ignorance [Old Testament times] God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent…” (Acts 17:30). Time is again in an advanced state of pregnancy with Jesus, but this time with His second coming. Be on the watch for time will soon give birth. p
* My words in parenthesis [ ].
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Note To Self... OMG
(Oh my God!)
So you know Him? He’s My God I love Him! What, you’re not a Christian, you have no religion? Oh! I see, just an expression. I’m so hurt, so disappointed, He’s really dear to me, ever near to me, He’s my King, my everything. So you don’t even believe in Him, you are not interested in following Him? Why then do you call on Him? Seems incongruous to call on God if you are not even religious. What’s all the fuss about ? Let’s sort it out. He is God, yes above all you can ever think or imagine. He’s not an apparition, He transcends explanation. The miracle is, I know Him, experience Him Talk to Him and above all serve Him.
© Angela Slack
No, He doesn’t need me to defend Him! The question is, do you really want to offend Him? I wouldn’t mess with someone I didn’t know there is no sense in that. Be wise, approach with caution, treat with respect like a diplomat. Today you may be bragging and boasting, Tomorrow life may leave you coasting. In your hour of need you may really have to call on Him, Would be great to know that you have not blown your last chance of Him answering.
April - June 2016
WHAT IS IN A NAME? What is it made up of? Can a name define us? Is it a label? A status? What happens if a name is changed? Surely a name must be more than just a grouping of letters in the alphabet? Few words carry as much weight and significance to us as a name. We get given names at birth, at work, at school, at home, in play, in love, in war. Can you remove your identity from your name? How can you explain the impact, when your name is called? Your, name, spoken out loud, whispered close, written down, On a check, on a plaque, in shining lights! How do you account for the quantity of weight a name holds? If they are just letters and sounds then why do we name drop? We endeavour to attach things to our names in an attempt to make our name stand out from the ocean of other names we find ourselves surrounded by. For Status, fame, position, impact, individuality. Few words carry as much weight, as a name. A name carries the authority of the person it belongs to. It can go beyond the purpose of labelling. A name sets an entity apart from all others.
Once a name is allocated to a person, place, animal or thing it is used to identify, summon, label and differentiate. The name of that person, place, animal or thing carries as much power and authority as is possessed within that entity. What becomes of the name given to the one who is omnipotent - all powerful? The one who was there at the start and will be there at the end. [Revelation 22:13] The one who spoke every created thing into being… [John 1:1] There you see the name that holds weight over all other names. This name is Jesus.
© 2016 Nikki Hope
WHO IS THIS JESUS? Some say He was mad, some say He was bad and others say He is God. His teachings underlie all moral standing across the world today. Before Jesus there was no gender equality, racial equality, do unto others as you would have them do to you, be a good samaritan. He was not mad. He fought against fraud, exposed evil and caused nothing but change for the better wherever He went and whatever He did, the ripple is still travelling through our lives today. He was not bad. We all know Jesus existed. All of history is measured by the life and death of Jesus Christ. We know the date today because He lived, and died. Every event in history is put into perspective by this one man Jesus. It can only be that Jesus is who He claimed to be. He was named: Emmanuel - God with us- The great I AM- Jesus Christ!
No other name compares to the name of Jesus. No other name has the same authority as the name of Jesus. No phobia has more power than the name of Jesus. No label of status can stand up to the name of Jesus. The name of Jesus has the power to break strongholds and bring true, everlasting freedom. Where there is frustration, hated, distress and ill health. The name of Jesus commands peace, wholeness and healing. There is no other name by which we can be saved. (Acts 4:12) There is only one name that conquers every fear. There is only one name that make the blind eyes see and deaf ears hear. There is only one name that makes the devil tremble. There’s one name with all power, He is the King of earth and heaven. Praise be The Almighty Name of JESUS. April - June 2016 SHARE|MAGAZINE
JARGONBUSTER BC and AD B.C. is an abbreviation for “Before Christ.” A.D. is an abbreviation for “anno Domini,” which is Latin for “in the year of our Lord.” B.C. and A.D. are commonly used to count years in time. Jesus Christ’s birth is used as a starting point to count years that existed before (B.C.) and after (A.D.) He was born. rcg.org/questions/p104.a.html
A total renunciation of the Christian religion, and differs from heresy.
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Constantine I, byname Constantine the Great, Latin in full Flavius Valerius Constantinus...the first Roman emperor to profess Christianity. He not only initiated the evolution of the empire into a Christian state but also provided the impulse for a distinctively Christian culture
that prepared the way for the growth of Byzantine and Western medieval culture. http://www.britannica.com/ biography/Constantine-I-Romanemperor
CONSTANTINE EMPEROR OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE:
THE BRITISH EMPIRE: Comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas possessions and trading posts established by England between the late
16th and early 18th centuries. At its height, it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power. By 1922 the British Empire held sway over about 458 million people, onefifth of the world’s population at the time. The empire covered almost a quarter of the Earth’s total land area.  As a result, its political, legal, linguistic and cultural legacy is widespread.
Any of the military expeditions undertaken by European Christians in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries to recover control of the Holy Land from the Muslims. A holy war undertaken with papal sanction. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/ crusade
The act of having an o pinion or belief that is the opposite of or against what is the official or popular opinion, or an a ction that shows that you have no respect for the o fficial opinion. http://dictionary.cambridge.org/ dictionary/english/heresy?q=Heresy
THE INQUISITIONS: Were judicial institutions or tribunals that were established by the Roman Catholic Church in order to seek out, try, and sentence people that the Roman Catholic Church believed to be guilty of heresy. The purpose of the inquisitions was to secure and maintain religious and doctrinal unity in the Roman Catholic Church and throughout the Holy Roman Empire, through either the conversion or persecution of alleged heretics. Historians generally distinguish the Inquisitions based on four different time frames and areas that they took place in. These are the Medieval or Episcopal Inquisition, the Spanish Inquisition, the Portuguese Inquisition, and the Roman Inquisition. http://www.gotquestions.org/ inquisitions.html
? ? ?
Developed between the 6th and 13th centuries among the Jews in Babylonia, Italy, Provence, and Spain. The word ‘Kabbalah’ means ‘to receive’ and refers to revelation
THE KLU KLUX KLAN:
MERCANTILISM: The theory and system of political economy prevailing in Europe after the decline of feudalism, based on national policies of accumulating bullion, establishing colonies and merchant marine, and developing industry and mining to attain a favorable balance of trade. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/ Mercantile+capitalism
PROTESTANT REFORMATION OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH:
A religious movement of the 16th century that began as an attempt to reform the Roman Catholic Church and resulted in the creation of Protestant Churches. www.thefreedictionary.com/ Protestant+Reformation
A person who suffers very much or is killed because of their religious or political beliefs, and is often admired because of it.
Is a secret US organization of white Protestant Americans, especially in the south of the country, who o ppose people of other races or religions.
THE JESUITS: The Society of Jesus, more commonly known as the Jesuits, is a society within the Roman Catholic Church that was founded by Ignatius of Loyola and instituted by Pope Paul III. The Jesuit society demands four vows of its members: poverty, chastity, obedience to Christ, and obedience to the Pope. The purpose of the Jesuits is the propagation of the Catholic faith by any means possible.
from God received by Jews and passed to succeeding generations through oral tradition. The word was first used by mainstream Judaism but later came to refer to those who believed that only a select few were given the secret knowledge from God as to the ‘true’ meaning of Scriptures. Kabbalah uses occult practices and is considered to be a cult.
Literally means ‘rebirth,’ the period in European civilization immediately following the Middle Ages and conventionally held to have been characterized by a surge of interest in Classical scholarship and values. ...however, it was primarily a time of the revival of Classical learning and wisdom after a long period of cultural decline and stagnation. http://www.britannica.com/event/ Renaissance
THE ROMAN EMPIRE: The Roman Empire was the post-Roman Republic period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterized by government headed by emperors and large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, Africa and Asia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_ Empire
The belief that people’s qualities are influenced by their race and that the members of other races are not as good as the members of your own, or the resulting unfair treatment of members of other races. http://dictionary.cambridge.org/ dictionary/english/racism?q=Racism
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...And Jesus Died He was the only begotten Son of God Yet for me He wept; He was in the bosom of the Father; From thence He stepped Though being the only one, The Father’s darling, Because of love for me, He cried; Because of love for me He died.
He was rich, yet for my sake He became poor; He was lovely, yet for my sins Was made sore; Though being the Father’s Darling, The Heaven’s raged, the firmament shook God hid His face unable to look Upon His Son Who cried: “Why hast Thou, My God, forsaken Me?” ...And Jesus died.
He was lifted up - upon a cross Cross of shame! He died that I might live; That was His aim! Though being the only one, The Father’s darling, The Mighty God forsook Him As in agony He cried: My God, my God!” and bowed His head And died.
The temple’s veil was rent, Salvation’s arrow was sent To break my hardened heart And set me FREE. Though being the Father’s Darling, Because of love for me, He cried: “It is finished,” and bowed His head ...And Jesus died.
© by C. Richard McCaw
April - June 2016
All Hail The Power Of Jesus Name
In Praise of Hymn 2 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 All hail the power of Jesus’ Name! Let angels prostrate fall; Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all. Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all.
Let highborn seraphs tune the lyre, and as they tune it, fall Before His face Who tunes their choir, and crown Him Lord of all. Before His face Who tunes their choir, and crown Him Lord of all.
Crown Him, ye morning stars of light, Who fixed this floating ball; Now hail the strength of Israel’s might, and crown Him Lord of all. Now hail the strength of Israel’s might, and crown Him Lord of all.
Crown Him, ye martyrs of your God, who from His altar call; Extol the Stem of Jesse’s Rod, and crown Him Lord of all. Extol the Stem of Jesse’s Rod, and crown Him Lord of all.
Ye seed of Israel’s chosen race, ye ransomed from the fall, Hail Him Who saves you by His grace, and crown Him Lord of all. Hail Him Who saves you by His grace, and crown Him Lord of all.
Hail Him, ye heirs of David’s line, Whom David Lord did call, The God incarnate, Man divine, and crown Him Lord of all, The God incarnate, Man divine, and crown Him Lord of all.
Sinners, whose love can ne’er forget the wormwood and the gall, Go spread your trophies at His feet, and crown Him Lord of all. Go spread your trophies at His feet, and crown Him Lord of all.
Let every tribe and every tongue before Him prostrate fall And shout in universal song the crownèd Lord of all. And shout in universal song the crownèd Lord of all.
Reviewing Great Christian Hymns Reverend E. P. Scott was a missionary,in India during the 1800s. Prompted by the Holy Spirit, he set out alone to visit a remote village, determined to share the Gospel with a savage tribe. A large group of warriors surrounded him, each one pointing a spear towards his heart. Expecting to die, he decided to use his last breaths to glorify God. He closed his eyes, and began to play his violin and sing All Hail the Power of Jesus Name, in the native language of the warriors. Opening his eyes, he saw those mighty warriors, with tears in their eyes,every spear lowered. Scott spent much time with this tribe and the remainder of his life, sharing the love of Jesus. All Hail the Power of Jesus Name has been hailed as the “National Anthem of Christendom.” It was written in 1779 by Rev. Edward Perronet (1726-1792) The music was composed by Oliver Holden (1765-1844). The hymn has been translated into almost every existing language. 1. www.sharefaith.com/guide/Christian-Music/hymns-the-songs-and-the-stories/all-hail-the-power-of-jesus-the-song-and-the-story.html April - June 2016
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April - June 2016
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.
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