Bible Facts Part V

Continued from Part IV

151.

The hills near my home.

The hills near my home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I lift up my eyes to the hills.From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 121:1-2

It’s a well known fact that most atheists live in cities. Here, far from the glories of nature, there is less of God’s creation to contemplate and more temptation from sin. As a result, many city dwellers fall away from the faith. But God created the universe through Jesus by the power of his word. The magnificence of nature is but a mirror of God’s unsearchable beauty and love for his creation. Being close to nature brings you closer to him.

152.

The Virgin in Prayer, by Sassoferrato, c. 1650. Image credit: Wiki Commons

The Virgin in Prayer, by Sassoferrato, c. 1650. Image credit: Wiki Commons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!”  But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

Luke 11:27-28

The Bible teaches that although Mary, the mother of Jesus, is ‘blessed’ among women, she is not to be worshipped. Nor is she an intercessor between God and man. Jesus himself corrected the woman in the crowd, who cultivated this erroneous theology. Christ alone is sufficient. Those who pray to Mary are practicing idolatry.

153.

Romeo and Juliet parting on the balcony in Act III. A painting by Ford Madox Brown ( 1867). Image credit: Wiki Commons.

Romeo and Juliet parting on the balcony in Act III. A painting by Ford Madox Brown ( 1867). Image credit: Wiki Commons.

Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves’ eyes within thy locks: thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from mount Gilead.

Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep that are even shorn, which came up from the washing; whereof every one bear twins, and none is barren among them.

Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet, and thy speech is comely: thy temples are like a piece of a pomegranate within thy locks.

Thy neck is like the tower of David builded for an armoury, whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men.

Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies.

Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense.

Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee.

Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions’ dens, from the mountains of the leopards.

Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck.

How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices! Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb: honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon.

A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.

Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard,

Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices:

A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon.

Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.

Song of Solomon 4.

Song of Solomon (or Song of Songs) is God’s erotic poetry. Historically, it depicts the amorous dealings and eventual wedding of King Solomon to a shepherdess. Often avoided by Bible teachers, owing to its strong sexual imagery, it reminds us that the Lord, who invented sex, wishes bethrothed couples to enjoy each other’s bodies throughout married life. The woman’s body is portrayed as an ‘inclosed garden’, signifying exclusivity, and its ‘fruits’ are to be enjoyed by the man. Allegorically, just as human life finds its highest fulfillment in the love expressed between a man and a woman, so spiritual life finds its grandest articulation in the love of God for his people.

This is spicy stuff!

Small wonder the Jewish rabbis prohibited their pupils from studying the text until they had reached the age of 30!

154.

Beware the wolf

Beware the wolf

And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

Mark 16:17

Christians are called to ferret out deceptions, great and small. One of these pertains to the so called ‘speaking in tongues.’ In the early days of the Church, the apostles and other believers were sometimes given the gift to speak in languages that were not their own for the express purpose of spreading the gospel to the cosmopolitan peoples of the Roman Empire. Nowadays, there is no need to speak in tongues, as the contemporary evangelist has many excellent tools at his/her disposal in order to effectively spread Christ’s message to the world. Those who continue this practice are either deluding themselves or are deceivers. Yeshua didn’t talk gibberish and neither should his followers.

155.

Lucifer.

Lucifer. Image credit: www. turnbacktogod.com

But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens.

Jeremiah 10:10-11

Many New Age and Eastern religions are based in some way on evolutionary ideology; that we are slowly ‘evolving’ towards a higher state of consciousness or that the ‘godhead’ is continually evolving towards some ‘omega point’. The Bible rubbishes all such notions however, as the Prophet Jeremiah makes clear above.  Humans are made in “God’s [unchanging; see Malachi 3:6] image and likeness”, not his evolving image and likeness.Anyone seeking to exalt himself in such a way will receive the full weight of the Lord’s wrath.

156.

The Lord spoke to Moses from a burning bush that was not consumed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

Exodus 3:14

When the Lord spoke to his servant, Moses, from a burning bush, atop Mount Horeb, He revealed one of His names: I AM.

Jesus also laid claim to this unique title:

I Am the Bread of Life

John 6:35

I AM the Light of the World.

John 8:12

I AM the Door of the Sheep.

John 10:7

I AM the Good Shepherd.

John 10:11

I AM the Ressurrection, and the Life.

John 11:25

I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 14:6

I AM the True Vine

John 15: 1

Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

John 8:57-58

All of these statements made by Jesus were accompanied by specific miracles, providing rock solid evidence that he was indeed the Word Made Flesh, the God Man.

Sweet Jesus!

Hallelujah!

157.

Afghan men at prayer. Image credit: Wiki Commons.

‘The multitude of your sacrifices – what are they to me?’ says the Lord.‘I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals;I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.

When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you,this trampling of my courts?Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me.

New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations –I cannot bear your worthless assemblies.Your New Moon feasts and your appointed festivals I hate with all my being.

They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening.Your hands are full of blood! Wash and make yourselves clean.

Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice.Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.

Isaiah 1:11-17

The God of the Bible hates religion!

Religious folk murdered his only begotten Son.

Don’t be religious. Love and honour your Creator and do good to your fellow man. That’s it.

158.

David and Goliath by Osmar Schindler ( c. 1888). Image credit: Wiki Commons.

But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.

1 Samuel 16:7

Fourteen generations separated Abraham from David. What did the Lord see in David that no one else could? The Bible teaches us that even the Prophet Samuel considered most of Jesse’s older sons before realising that it was David that found favour with God. Samuel judged by the outward appearance but the Lord always looks on the heart. Unlike King Saul, who put his own will ahead of God’s, David’s heart always put God’s will first and was quick to obey his commandments.

We must all strive to be people after God’s own heart.

159.

                                         Some Favourite Sayings of David

Concerning Hope:

I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart:
wait, I say, on the Lord.

Psalm 27:13-14.

Concerning Our Fallen Nature:

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Psalm 51:5

Concerning Prayer:

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Psalm 51:10

Concerning Prophecy:

Even my close friend, someone I trusted,
one who shared my bread, has turned against me.

Psalm 41:9

False witnesses rose up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not.

Psalm 35:11

Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.

Psalm 27:12

Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet. All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.

Psalm 22:16-18

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

Psalm 22:1

All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads. “He trusts in the Lord,” they say, “let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.”

Psalm 22:7-8

He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.

Psalm 34: 20

The Lord says to my lord: ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.’

Psalm 110:1

You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet,

Psalm 8:6

Concerning Humility & Repentance:

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.

Psalm 51:1-3

Concerning Wisdom:

The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.

Psalm 19:7-10

Concerning God’s Unmeasurable Grace:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Psalm 23.

Concerning Unbelief:

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”

Psalm 14:1

Concerning the Fate of Nations that Reject God:

The wicked shall return to Sheol, all the nations that forget God.

Psalm 9:17

160.

Tree of Jesse from the Gospel of St. Matthew, showing the patrilineage of Christ. Image credit: Wiki Commons.

Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli,  the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai,  the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda,  the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri,  the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er,  the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi,  the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim,  the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David,  the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Sala, the son of Nahshon,  the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah,  the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor,  the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah,  the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan,  the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

Luke 3:23-38

Near the beginning of Luke’s Gospel (and also Matthew 1), we are told that Jesus of Nazareth was descended from King David. More on Biblical genealogies here.

161.

The Angel Gabriel’s annunciation to the Virgin Mary. A painting by Murillo (c.1665). Image credit: Wiki Commons.

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Isaiah 7:14

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,  who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.

Micah 5:2

The consensus opinion among Biblical scholars suggests that Jesus was likely born in September, 4 BC, before the death of Herod the Great. Both Isaiah and Micah, living in the 8th century BC (so after David, who reigned Israel and Judah between 1010 and 970 BC. See 2 Samuel 5:4/5), prophesied key features of the Messiah’s birth. Isaiah informs us that he would be born of a virgin and that he would be called ‘Immanuel’, which means, “God with us”. Micah explains that he would be born in Bethlehem, the home town of King David.

162.

Adoration of the Magi by Giotto di Bondone. Image credit: Wiki Commons.

Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.

Jeremiah 23:5-6

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

163.

Jewish Elder blowing the Shofar. A photo by Kluger Zoltan (1947).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.

to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.
who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.
who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever.
who made the great lights—
His love endures forever.
 the sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.

the moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever.

 to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt
His love endures forever.
and brought Israel out from among them
His love endures forever.
with a mighty hand and outstretched arm;
His love endures forever.

to him who divided the Red Sea asunder
His love endures forever.
 and brought Israel through the midst of it,
His love endures forever.
 but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea;
His love endures forever.

to him who led his people through the wilderness;
His love endures forever.

 to him who struck down great kings,
His love endures forever.
and killed mighty kings—
His love endures forever.
Sihon king of the Amorites
His love endures forever.
and Og king of Bashan—
His love endures forever.
 and gave their land as an inheritance,
His love endures forever.
 an inheritance to his servant Israel.
His love endures forever.

He remembered us in our low estate
His love endures forever.
 and freed us from our enemies.
His love endures forever.
He gives food to every creature.
His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of heaven.
His love endures forever.

                                                             Psalm 136

Psalm 136 is a poem/prayer of the ancient Hebrews, depicting a supernatural, epic story, and probably passed down in their oral traditions for many centuries before it was committed to writing. Its imagery is almost entirely based on the first five books of the Bible: the Pentateuch. The ancient Hebrews certainly did not understand their God fully, but nonetheless they recognised his awesome power and compassion for his people, as well as his wider creation.

Many seek to know the ‘Mind of God,’ with some even claiming that the deity they worship is completely understandable. And yet, clearly, the God of the Bible has not revealed everything about himself. There are many things concerning his personality that are shrouded in mystery.

I like that idea. It appeals to me. To my way of thinking, a deity that is totally knowable, or totally predictable, would almost certainly be false.

164.

My coffee stained, large print, NIV 2011 Bible. Much used and much loved!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have heard that some went out from us without our authorisation and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said.

Acts 15:24

I know I’ve touched on this before but please bear with me.

Bible bigots really get on my wick!

Allow me to explain. There is a small number of individuals (some with too much influence, however) who continue to bash some or all modern translations of the Bible in favour of another, usually the 1611 Authorized King James Version. They claim that certain translations are ‘satanic,’ ‘new age’ or something even more ridiculous. It causes untold confusion, frustration and unnecessary divisions in the Body of Christ.

Brothers and sisters; stop this madness! Different translations are a blessing not a curse. Some are ‘word for word’, others are ‘thought for thought’, and still others are paraphrases. They all convey the Word of God. They were compiled with vigorous consultation by godly men and women with zeal to bring the wonderful message of the Bible to people who would otherwise be completely lost.

What is it that you hate so much about the march of the spoken word?

Do you not think that when you preach/teach/discuss the Bible you largely paraphrase anyway?

Can you not see the utter hypocricy of your arguments?

I would suggest to you that this indignation for modern translations is not of God at all. People should be free to choose the translation that suits them best; and more than one is always better than any one!

Don’t be a bigot. Jesus hates bigots.

165.

Wee Bible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.

Psalm 1:2

Some people have gone to extraordinary lengths to create very unusual Bibles.

The largest Bible ever produced was made by the American, Louis Waynai back in 1930. Opened up, it spanned a whopping 98 inches (nearly 2.5 metres) across. When closed it was 43.5 inches thick. It took Waynai over 8700 hours to put it together and weighed an incredible 1904 pounds!

The smallest Bible ever made was created by a team of Israeli technologists in 2014. Constructed from silicon wafer, it measures just 4.7mm on a side, with each Hebrew character just 0.18 microns in width. This ‘nanobible’ contains all 27 books of the New Testament.

166.

Religious Pluralism: a banner of lies. Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Religions_4x5.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols.

Isaiah 42:8

Time and time again, the God of the Bible makes it abundantly clear that there is no one or thing in heaven or on earth that can even remotely approach his glory. Nor will he tolerate the worshipping of the pantheon of false gods conjured by the human mind. Many ‘self professing’ Christians are really syncretists, embracing the political move for religious pluralism and/or functional humanism (the religion that says man is god) in post modern society.

Don’t be deceived!

The unchanging and ever living God is not influenced by the passage of time or the changing of public opinion.

We need to see God as he really is, how he sees things, and not as we would like him to be.

167.

Elgol, southwest Isle of Skye, Scotland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Praise ye the Lord.

Praise ye the Lord from the heavens:
praise him in the heights.
 Praise ye him, all his angels:
praise ye him, all his hosts.
Praise ye him, sun and moon:
praise him, all ye stars of light.
Praise him, ye heavens of heavens,
and ye waters that be above the heavens.
Let them praise the name of the Lord:
for he commanded, and they were created.
He hath also stablished them for ever and ever:
he hath made a decree which shall not pass.

Praise the Lord from the earth,
ye dragons, and all deeps:
fire, and hail; snow, and vapour;
stormy wind fulfilling his word:
 mountains, and all hills;
fruitful trees, and all cedars:
 beasts, and all cattle;
creeping things, and flying fowl:
 kings of the earth, and all people;
princes, and all judges of the earth:
both young men, and maidens;
old men, and children:
let them praise the name of the Lord:
for his name alone is excellent;
his glory is above the earth and heaven.
He also exalteth the horn of his people,
the praise of all his saints;
even of the children of Israel,
a people near unto him.

Praise ye the Lord.

                                                                  Psalm 148

A psalm of the ancient Hebrews, extolling the God of all creation.

168.

Joy, Tacuinum Sanitatis Casanatensis (14th century). Image credit: Wiki Commons.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.

Philippians 4:8

Although the world we live in has many problems, the Lord has given us much that we can rejoice in. St. Paul, writing to the Philippians, encourages us to cast our mind on true and beautiful things, to remain optimistic, to seek the good in everything and everyone and to be of cheerful disposition. Chase away your doom and gloom with a smile!

169.

The Beatitudes Sermon, by James Tissot (c. 1890). Image credit: Wiki Commons.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Matthew 5:5

The Beatitudes, recounted in the 5th chapter of Matthew’s gospel, present some of the most inspiring and beautiful words uttered from the mouth of Jesus. Blessed are the meek.

But what does it mean to be meek?

Humble?

Gentle?

Or is there more to it?

Searching the Scriptures, we find that meekness is mentioned in a few other places:

Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth.

Numbers 12:3

Consider also the words of King David:

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.

For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found.

But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.

Psalm 37:10-12

 

Meekness does not mean weakness; it is God’s panacea for the scourge of pride, which visits all people.

Meekness does not seek affirmation in the world. When we want to ‘blow our own trumpet’, as it were, God wishes us to ‘stick a proverbial sock in it’, to hold our tongues in check, and to walk on quietly. When evil is done to you, meekness entrusts all responses to the Sovereign Lord, who weighs every injustice fairly.

Meekness is the seeking of God’s Kingdom first; his will over and before yours.

Meekness is steadfastness. In the midst of calamity, the Lord teaches those who believe in him not to fret, for his promises are true.

Meekness is infectious; it cultivates meekness in others.

Meekness is an essential ingredient of repentance and, ultimately, salvation itself.

The Prophet Zephaniah writes:

Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger.

Zephaniah 2:3

170.

Joshua passing the River Jordan with the Ark of the Covenant by Benjamin West, 1800. Image credit: Wiki Commons.

Bezalel made the ark of acacia wood. Two cubits and a half was its length, a cubit and a half its breadth, and a cubit and a half its height. And he overlaid it with pure gold inside and outside, and made a moulding of gold around it. And he cast for it four rings of gold for its four feet, two rings on its one side and two rings on its other side. And he made poles of acacia wood and overlaid them with gold and put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry the ark.

Exodus 37:1-9

The ark was a holy chest that God instructed the Israelites to build and dates to about 1500 BC. The lid was called the mercy seat, and on top were placed two angelic beings called cherubim, with their wings outstretched, and facing each other with their heads cast downward. It represented the throne of God and contained the tablets upon which the ten commandments were written with the Lord’s very own finger (see Exodus 31:18; 34:1,28). Located behind the veil of the Holy of Holies inside the Tabernacle, the ark was a symbol of God’s throne and rule. The Lord even spoke from within it:

There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are on the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you about all that I will give you in commandment for the people of Israel.

Exodus 25:22

The ark served as a war palladium and could only be carried by members of the tribe of Levi. This was a special honour bequeathed by Moses, because of their unwavering service in carrying out the instructions of the Lord (see Exodus 32:29). The ark played a prominent role in the capture of Jericho (see Joshua 6 & 7). And when the ark was temporarily captured by the Philistines (see 1 Samuel 4 &5) it quickly became a curse to them. When the Temple was completed, the ark was deposited in the sanctuary (1 Kings 8:6-9). At the appointed time, the High Priest would sprinkle blood upon the mercy seat so that God’s judgement would fall upon an innocent substitute. This foreshadowed the sacrificial blood of Christ, the Lamb of God, who took away the sins of the world.

After the Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians the ark was probably removed or destroyed. Since the ark symbolised God’s desire to dwell in the heart of his people, it is not especially surprising that its disappearance coincided with their rebellion and exile into Babylon. Since this time, the ark of the Covenant has never been recovered. There is no shortage of speculation about what happened to it, but no one is sure. Perhaps the most reliable answer is that the prophet Jeremiah hid the ark in a cave atop Mount Nebo before the Babylonians captured Jerusalem. Curiously, an account in 2 Maccabees (Catholic Bible) supports this hypothesis:

It was also in the writing that the prophet, having received an oracle, ordered that the tent and the ark should follow with him, and that he went out to the mountain where Moses had gone up and had seen the inheritance of God. And Jeremiah came and found a cave, and he brought there the tent and the ark and the altar of incense, and he sealed up the entrance. Some of those who followed him came up to mark the way, but could not find it. When Jeremiah learned of it, he rebuked them and declared: “The place shall be unknown until God gathers his people together again and shows his mercy. And then the Lord will disclose these things, and the glory of the Lord and the cloud will appear, as they were shown in the case of Moses, and as Solomon asked that the place should be specially consecrated.”

2 Maccabees 2:4-8

 

In many ways, the ark represented the old covenant that was done away with when Christ died on the cross of Calvary. The prophet Jeremiah writes:

Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding. In those days, when your numbers have increased greatly in the land,” declares the Lord, “people will no longer say, ‘The ark of the covenant of the Lord.’ It will never enter their minds or be remembered; it will not be missed, nor will another one be made. At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the Lord, and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honour the name of the Lord. No longer will they follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts.

Jeremiah 3:15-17

171.

The Last Judgement by Michelangelo ( 1541). Image credit: Wiki Commons.

Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

Matthew 24:30-31

As Bible believing Christians, we ought to pay very close attention to the words of Jesus, for his utterances are completely trustworthy, unlike all the man made doctrines that are slowly poisoning the hearts and minds of his people. Jesus points out that at his second coming, all nations shall mourn when they see him on the clouds with his angels. But why will they mourn? Surely an epochal event of this nature ought to be joyous? For some it surely will, but for many others it will fill them with absolute dread! The simplest interpretation of this passage is that most will not be ready, but rather will be caught off guard. Will you be ready? Will you be caught off guard?

The prophet Isaiah writes:

Lead out those who have eyes but are blind,
who have ears but are deaf.
All the nations gather together
and the peoples assemble.
Which of their gods foretold this
and proclaimed to us the former things?
Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they were right,
so that others may hear and say, “It is true.”

                                                                                             Isaiah 43:8-9

172.

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives for ever.

                                                                                                                    1 John 2:15-17

Christians are called to live full, active and purpose filled lives. St. John informs us that much of what humans do is not of God at all but is instead grounded in the world. A lot, (perhaps the majority?) of what is beamed onto our TVs is tainted with graphic images and sentiments that are born of the flesh and have therefore no capacity to stimulate growth in the Spirit. We are called to protect our children from the barrage of media that does not respect the Lord of all creation. That said, are we to refrain from watching television or using the internet?  Not at all! These wonderful forms of technology can also be a cause for good. Keeping up with the local, national and international news is a useful activity, as we are called to remain watchful. We can use our discernment to select programmes, either online or on television, that are useful, educational and entertaining. The same is true of the various forms of social media. Old fashioned activities, such as reading, are also to be encouraged. In the end though, if we find that we are spending countless hours glued to a TV or computer screen, maybe the purposes that God has intended for us are not being fulfilled.  When the various media consume us and eat away large chunks of our free time, they can easily enslave us. That is the time to regain control and to rethink how we use these technologies for the furtherment of the Kingdom of God.

173.

Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

Hebrews 12:14

Peace forms the bedrock upon which growth in the Spirit occurs. Because the Lord is sovereign over all things, he gives his peace to all who trust in him. Doubtless the world will continue to have interpersonal conflicts and wars until Jesus returns and establishes true and everlasting peace. In the meantime, we are called to cultivate peace in our hearts and in our minds and to actively seek peace in our relationships with others, however much we disagree with each other. Jesus referred to peacemakers as ‘blessed’ (Matthew 5:9) and called us to be ministers of peace and reconcillation.

Concerning our Creator the psalmist declares :

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God”

Psalm 46:10

174.

It is possible to give away and become richer! It is also possible to hold on too tightly and lose everything. Yes, the liberal man shall be rich! By watering others, he waters himself.

Proverbs 11:24-25

Tell those who are rich not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which will soon be gone, but their pride and trust should be in the living God who always richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and should give happily to those in need, always being ready to share with others whatever God has given them.  By doing this they will be storing up real treasure for themselves in heaven—it is the only safe investment for eternity! And they will be living a fruitful Christian life down here as well.

1 Timothy 6:17-19

You’ve no doubt heard that it’s better to give than to receive. These ideas have their origin in the Bible. Yes, thousands of years before charities came into existence, the living word of God was right on the money!

Not too shabby!

175.

“You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord,
  “and my servant whom I have chosen,
that you may know and believe me
 and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
 nor shall there be any after me.
 I, I am the Lord,
 and besides me there is no saviour.
 I declared and saved and proclaimed,
 when there was no strange god among you;
  and you are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and I am God.”

                                                                                                             Isaiah 43:10-12

Whichever way you slice it, besides the God of the Bible, we have a hopeless end.

But with the God of the Bible, we have endless hope!

176.

My youngest son, Doug, showing off his freshly caught rainbow trout.

Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth,
Before the difficult days come,
And the years draw near when you say,
“I have no pleasure in them”:
While the sun and the light,
The moon and the stars,
Are not darkened,
And the clouds do not return after the rain;

                                                                                  Ecclesiastes 12:1-2

It’s always better to be early than late. That way you don’t miss a trick. While the Lord will acknowledge any genuine act of repentance, even as death approaches in old age, there is a lot to be said about cultivating a robust faith while we are young and healthy. God wants us to be early to the table, as it were, and not leave everything until the last minute. Youth and vigour are wonderful blessings but they are meaningless unless they are centred in eternity. Solomon, who knew quite a few things about life’s pleasures, advises us that it’s always best to search God when we have the energy to do so, so that we learn and set patterns that will ultimately help us later in life. Come as you are, but if at all possible, please come early, declares the Sovereign Lord!

177.

Safe to bathe.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

Romans 8:28-29

Once we give our lives to Christ are we always saved? Can one lose one’s salvation? The Bible appears to suggest that some can, and indeed, do, backslide.  Consider the character of Demas, whom Paul states was a loyal co-worker in Christ:

 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. And so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my fellow workers.

Philemon 23-24

Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings.

Colossians 4:14

 

And yet, just a couple of years later, St. Paul informs us that Demas fell away:

Do your best to come to me quickly, for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica.

2 Timothy 4:9-10

Calvanism teaches that God has already chosen those he will save and that Christ died only for the sins of the ‘elect’. It follows, according to this doctrine, that he also foreknew those who would foresake him. This is a dangerous position however, as it implies that God makes us an accessory to sin, which is patently nonsense, as God is not the author of confusion.

A balanced reading of the Scriptures suggests something entirely different: God saves those who respond to his calling. In other words, the Lord has made salvation freely available to all but doesn’t automatically make it happen, for that would make him unrighteous.  No, that choice is entirely up to us.

I like to think of salvation as a process; a daily ritual of renewing a kind of ‘marriage vow,’ with the Lord, rather than a singular event in itself. I ask my Heavenly Father to forgive me for the sins I have committed in the past, and in the present, as well as the failings I will undoubtedly make in the future, for we all fall woefully short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

178.

Men at work. Image credit: Paul Keheler.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Come, let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces
but he will heal us;
he has injured us
but he will bind up our wounds.
After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will restore us,
that we may live in his presence.
Let us acknowledge the Lord;
let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises,
he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth.’

Hosea 6:1-3

The God of the Bible is the bruiser of egos. He always tears down before he builds up. He inflicts wounds on the ungodly but is only too willing to heal and restore if we humble ourselves. Less is always more in the Kingdom of God.

179.

The Greek word atheoi, literally ‘those who are without God’, which appears in Ephesians 2:12 as recorded on a 3rd century papyrus.

And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

Matthew 24:10-13

Without a shadow of a doubt, we live in an age of mass deception, scoffers, God haters and deniers, false doctrines and teachers; wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing hellbent on scattering the flock, but it pays to remember that Jesus himself warned us about these times. He foreknew these times.

This is precisely the time to hold the line, not to shirk responsibility, to keep on trusting in his promise.

 St. Paul, writing to the early church in Corinth encourages us thus:

 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.

1 Corinthians 16:13

180.

Jesus appears on the shore of Lake Tiberias by James Tissot. Image credit: Wiki Commons.

Remember the former things of old:
for I am God, and there is none else;
I am God, and there is none like me,
declaring the end from the beginning,
and from ancient times the things that are not yet done,
saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

Isaiah 46:9-10

Carl Sagan once remarked that if he had a chance to travel back in time, the first place he’d visit would be the Great Library of Alexandria, to immerse himself in the lost scientific knowledge of the ancient world. For me, it would undoubtedly be a trip to the shores of the Sea of Galilee, during the closing years of the principate of Tiberius Caesar (14 AD to 37AD), in search of a miracle worker named, Jeshua.

181.

The Lord spoke to Job from the whirlwind.

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,

Who is this that darkeneth counsel
by words without knowledge?
Gird up now thy loins like a man;
for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.

 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?
declare, if thou hast understanding.
 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest?
or who hath stretched the line upon it?
Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened?
or who laid the corner stone thereof;
when the morning stars sang together,
and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth,
as if it had issued out of the womb?
When I made the cloud the garment thereof,
and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it,
 and brake up for it my decreed place,
and set bars and doors,
and said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further:
and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?

Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days;
and caused the dayspring to know his place;
that it might take hold of the ends of the earth,
that the wicked might be shaken out of it?
It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment.
And from the wicked their light is withholden,
and the high arm shall be broken.
Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea?
or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?
Have the gates of death been opened unto thee?
or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?
 Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth?
declare if thou knowest it all.

Where is the way where light dwelleth?
and as for darkness, where is the place thereof,
 that thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof,
and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof?
Knowest thou it, because thou wast then born?
or because the number of thy days is great?
Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow?
or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail,
 which I have reserved against the time of trouble,
against the day of battle and war?
By what way is the light parted,
which scattereth the east wind upon the earth?
Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters,
or a way for the lightning of thunder;
 to cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is;
on the wilderness, wherein there is no man;
to satisfy the desolate and waste ground;
and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth?
 Hath the rain a father?
or who hath begotten the drops of dew?
Out of whose womb came the ice?
and the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it?
The waters are hid as with a stone,
and the face of the deep is frozen.

Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades,
or loose the bands of Orion?
Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season?
or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?
Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven?
canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?
 Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds,
that abundance of waters may cover thee?
Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go,
and say unto thee, Here we are?
 Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts?
or who hath given understanding to the heart?
 Who can number the clouds in wisdom?
or who can stay the bottles of heaven,
 when the dust groweth into hardness,
and the clods cleave fast together?
 Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion?
or fill the appetite of the young lions,
when they couch in their dens,
and abide in the covert to lie in wait?
Who provideth for the raven his food?
when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat.

Job 38.

The beautiful and arresting words of the Lord, when he spoke to his servant, Job. Some people feel they have a right to question, demand from, or even threaten God. Here we get a true sense of perspective.

What is all of human knowledge, the achievements of our kind, compared with our Creator?

It amounts to nothing; less than nothing!

If we took just a moment to contemplate the Lord’s infinite perfections, we would more clearly see that he has a right to our love, and more clearly understand the utter folly of rebelling against him, as well as our need of his mercy and salvation.

182.

An interesting patch of the Hubble Deep Field Image. Credit: Wiki Commons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of old you laid the foundation of the earth,

and the heavens are the work of your hands.

They will perish, but you will remain;

 they will all wear out like a garment.

You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away,

but you are the same, and your years have no end.

Psalm 102:25-27

Any true science is never in conflict with divine revelation and thus can never constitute a threat to the Christian faith. As the Psalmist declares, the Bible anticipated the universal law of decay: the second law of thermodynamics; millennia before it was formally couched in scientific terms. The Universe, if left to its own devices, is destined to run down and die in a cold, dark heat death.

St. Paul, writing to the early church in Rome, tells us that everything we observe; every creature that lives, is in a state of bondage, where pain, suffering and eventually death ensues.

 

For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.

Romans 8:22

Yet in the midst of these travails, we can still experience real hope, love and peace. For we have a great High Priest in Jesus, the Lord, who lives forever. He has promised to intervene well before this ‘fatal destiny’ manifests itself, rolling up the existing cosmos like a scroll (Isaiah 34:4) and creating new heavens and a new Earth, a place where nature does not “groan.” A place for those who love and honour him (Revelation 21:1).

Praise the Lord!

183.

St. Seraphim of Sarov sharing his meal with a bear. Image credit: Wiki Commons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire;
He rages against all wise judgment.

Proverbs 18:1

The Bible is full of the most wonderful wisdom. While we certainly ought to avoid media that dishonours the Lord, we should remain engaged with people and not give up on them. The Lord wants us to build bridges not burn them.

184.

“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

Thus says the Lord,

Who gives the sun for a light by day,

The ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night,

Who disturbs the sea,

And its waves roar

(The Lord of hosts is His name):

“If those ordinances depart

From before Me, says the Lord,

Then the seed of Israel shall also cease

From being a nation before Me forever.”

Thus says the Lord:

“If heaven above can be measured,

And the foundations of the earth searched out beneath,

I will also cast off all the seed of Israel

For all that they have done, says the Lord.

 

Jeremiah 31:31-37

Is the Lord’s business with Israel over?  The words of Scripture provide us with a clear and unambiguous answer; no!

As the Prophet Jeremiah writes, the Lord made a new covenant with the house of Israel which was fulfilled by the coming of the Messiah; Jesus of Nazareth. What is more, this covenant is legally binding until the Lord wraps up history, when Jesus comes again to judge the nations. As Jeremiah explains, no sooner would God abandon that promise than change the physical laws that govern heaven and earth!

Will the Jews be treated any differently to Gentiles? Yes and no. St. Paul tells us that Jews who live under the law of Moses will be judged by the same law. Gentiles are to be judged by a different set of criteria based on the same moral law. As believers, this judgement pertains to rewards. In the scheme of things though, the outcome is probably the same. For example; if some Gentiles are taken out, so are some Jews!

The Prophet Amos writes:

Thus says the Lord:

“As a shepherd takes from the mouth of a lion

Two legs or a piece of an ear,

So shall the children of Israel be taken out

Who dwell in Samaria—

In the corner of a bed and on the edge of a couch!

Amos 3:12

 

St. Paul, writing to the church in Rome elaborates:

As He says also in Hosea:

“I will call them My people, who were not My people,

And her beloved, who was not beloved.”

“And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them,

‘You are not My people,’

There they shall be called sons of the living God.”

Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel:

“Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea,

The remnant will be saved.

For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness,

Because the Lord will make a short work upon the earth.”

Romans 9:25-28

Furthermore, St. Paul makes it clear that Israel is not to be understood in the strict political sense of the word, that is, the nation state located in the Middle East, but instead the biblical Israel consists of the ‘branches, of which the Jews are but one,’ sustained by the ‘root’, that is, the Living God; as well as those other branches ‘grafted in,’ which represent believing Gentiles:

 

You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either.

Romans 11:19-21

In this way, and as the Scriptures say,  all ‘Israel’ will be saved;

And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:

“The Deliverer will come out of Zion,

And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;

Romans 11:29

Thus, to assert that the Jews will be treated any differently to the Gentiles is unbiblical. The truth is, there are godly and ungodly people among all nations. And since God does not show partiality (Romans 2:11), this is entirely in keeping with his character. The Jews are our brothers and sisters, no more and no less.

There is also a message here for Christians who have ‘Zionist’ agendas. Before his ascension, Jesus held this exchange with his disciples:

Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.

Acts 1:6-7

Two points to note here:

  • The apostles had no idea that Jesus was about to disappear for two thousand years, for they had not yet received the Spirit of truth.
  • Jesus reminds them that these matters have been placed in the Father’s “authority.” What’s gonna happen will happen, and no one really knows!

185.

Political map of the world. Image credit: Wiki Commons.

 As it is written:

‘There is no one righteous, not even one;
there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.’

                                                                         Romans 3:10-12

It is estimated that about one billion people living on Earth today have never heard of Christ, let alone the gospels. And what of the countless millions who lived before Christ? Is it possible that they will avoid judgement?

Although the Bible does not have a specific passage that can address these questions, some passages in Romans, St. Paul’s masterpiece, provide good answers.

In the mind’s eye, one might imagine an individual (beyond the age of accountability as it pertains to Matthew 18:14) who either was, or is, morally perfect but who never heard of Christ. Would such a person end up in heaven? Yes! But here’s the rub: such a person has never existed!

Romans 3:10-12 tells us that no one is righteous in and of themselves. Every man (with the sole exception of Jesus), woman and child who lives or has ever lived has fallen short. There are no exceptions. They have all broken the moral law.

In Chapter 1, St. Paul tells us that all people have a knowledge of God the Father but have rejected Him:

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.

Romans 1:18-19

Accordingly, they will be judged by their deeds and thoughts.

For those who have heard of Christ, St. Paul tells us how to attain righteousness in God’s eyes:

But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.  This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too,  since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.

                                                                                                                 Romans 3:21-31

St. Paul also tells us that we must constantly strive to bring the gospel to as many people as possible. This is a noble cause, for their eternal destiny is at stake. You might have heard it said that such and such a person has a ‘quiet faith,’ and that the same person would never have the ‘brass neck’ to share it with anyone else. But this is precisely the kind of mindset the Lord told us not to have!

And the gospel must first be preached to all nations.

Mark 3:10

St. Paul brings all of this into sharp focus in Romans Chapter 10:

for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!

Romans 10:13-15

186.

A Swiss commemorative medal issued in 1979, showing Einstein’s vacuum field equations with zero cosmological constant. Image credit: Wiki Commons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath,

Hebrews 6:17

Some folk are uncomfortable with God’s refusal to bend or compromise His statutes. But that’s rather like saying “I don’t like gravity” or “I don’t like electricity.” If you disrespect the law of gravity you’ll get hurt. If you stick your finger in a light socket, you’ll suffer the consequences. Or saying you don’t believe in trucks won’t remove the possibility that one could run you over. You see, we don’t really dislike the law of gravity, or the conservation of momentum, or those principles that govern electromagnetism. We respect them and cultivate a healthy fear for them, allowing them to work for our good. The same ought to apply with our relationship with our Creator.

187.

But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,  to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’ So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

Galatians 4:4-7

Galatians chapter 4 presents arguably some of the most important lines of Scripture in the entire Bible. In accepting Christ as our saviour, we will be made fellow sons & daughters of the living God, and heirs to the Divine Creation!

What an amazing revelation!

Praise the Lord!

Continued in Part VI

 

6 thoughts on “Bible Facts Part V

  1. Hello Lester,

    Thanks for the link. Very interesting stuff. I was not aware of it.
    I try to stick with the Biblical texts as much as I can. Deuteronomy 3 mentions this king and I’m familiar with the accounts of the Nephilim in Genesis 6, Jude etc.

    Best wishes,

    Neil.

    • Which Bible, though. The Jew, Catholics, Protestants, Eastern Churches, etc., all include or exclude different books. What is Canon in Catholicism is not in Protestantism. Which Bible is “correct”. Clearly to the extent that different Judeo-Christian sects define Canon differently, they cannot all be right. And historically the decisions as to which books to include or exclude were anything but divinely inspired. Rather they were selected via debate in committee, and even within sects, the Canonical texts have shifted around a bit. So how can the “Bible” be the word of God, when the “Bible” has varied through the centuries at the whim of men? It seems like a very unstable foundation on which to base one’s life. Personally I do not believe that any contemporaneous book, irrespective of which sect calls it Canon or apocrypha, has any less validity than any other. To read only what is spoonfed you by one sect or another is to be blind and deaf to the great story.

      • Thanks for your message Carlos.

        That’s why I’m a non denominational Christian.

        The blog is about what is presented in the 66 books of the Protestant Bible by and large. The Catholic Bible does indeed have more books: the apocrypha, and, as you say, some of the eastern churches include other writings in theirs. That being said, regardless of which way you slice it, it is self evident from these writings that the same God is at work; the God who created the Universe and the God who came to Earth in human form: Jesus of Nazareth.
        The beauty of modern scholarship also assures us that the Bible is original and unchanged with a confidence level of about 99 per cent. As for ‘not being a good basis to live one’s life by’ I profoundly disagree. It gives life a meaning and a richness that no manmade philosophy can even remotely approach.

        Christianity is not a religion. All other belief systems are, including atheism.

        Best wishes,

        Neil.

        • In your view, is Judaism just a “religion” along with atheism and are the Jews your God’s Chosen People?

          • Hello Carlos;

            The answer to your question is provided in note 184. And he is your God too; regardless of whether you like it or not!

            Regards,

            Neil.

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