In this last part of the series I would like to say a few words about the history of the Sabbath in the three centuries that followed the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is commonly believed that the church changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday, in respect for the Lord’s resurrection. Today we find that about 99% of Christendom treats Sunday as their “Sabbath”. So-called “deviant members,” such as those who belong to the Seventh Day Adventist movement are looked upon with mild amusement. Those who wish to keep a Saturday fellowship are often looked upon with irritation by others because of the “inconvenience” they cause! So what are the historical facts? (incidentally, we ourselves belong to no ecclesiastical organisation. We meet in the homes of our family and fellowship and share together.) [Read more…]
When Abram left Ur of the Chaldees, we are told that he took up residence in Haran, traditionally located in the far north, on the eastern side of the River Euphrates. Bible atlases universally placeHaran in this position, and as far as I am aware, there are no expositors who even question this siting. If therefore in this writing I propose to challenge the traditional siting, it might be construed that I am impudent, merely marching in the mainstream of today’s critics who love to challenge everything for the pleasure of a mere intellectual exercise. Far from it. For many years the placing of Haran has been a perplexity to me, and in this paper I should like to give what I believe are cogent reasons for questioning the traditional view. Some may say, “Does it really matter? Does it make any significant difference to our understanding of Genesis?” To this I would answer – wait and see what I propose, and judge the value of it. [Read more…]
“Godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation. ..” (2 Corinthians 7:10).
Conviction of sin is best described in the words:
“My sins, my sins, my Saviour,
How sad on Thee they fall.” [Read more…]
(How a passage in Zechariah explains this old chestnut of a problem)
I’m quite sure the early church never suffered from this problem. But modern Christian writers seem to find themselves in a tangle over Grace and Works. They start off by saying emphatically that salvation is by grace, and by grace alone. We can never earn it. And of course that is quite correct. But as soon as they start reading the parables in the Gospels, they tie themselves up in knots, because most of the language seems to be related to human response, human effort, and competition resulting in rewards or forfeits, all of which is contrary to Paul’s emphatic statement in Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.” Or so they say. But in fact there is no contradiction whatsoever. The New Testament is replete with verses suggesting a fight, or a race, with rewards held out to those who endure. [Read more…]
This is a serious call to all those who have their finger on the Divine Pulse, who recognise in their spirits the overwhelming spiritual darkness that covers the earth.
Even the proverbial “man in the street” knows that the world is in danger of overwhelming conflict. The newscasts via TV, radio, and other news-media provide him with sufficient information to cause alarm. The impending war with Iraq, the nuclear situation in North Korea, the everlasting problem in the Middle East between so-called Palestinians and the Jews, these are but a few of the insurmountable problems that face the world. The United Nations (a misnomer if ever there was one) presents a strangle-hold on action, so that a state of tension is maintained, and no one is able to release it. Diplomacy has become a new god, who delights in tension without resolution. Political correctness is making a mockery of us all, in the name of Peaceful Coexistence, yet another god of modern man. This represents just a brief review of a few of the world’s problems, and almost all of us are aware of the problem, but 99.99% of us are totally unable to influence the deadlock. [Read more…]
Let us take the subject of “The Final Battle” one stage further, and investigate what the Bible has to say about the Vail of Darkness. Isaiah’s prophecy is clear, and it also contains a glorious promise. (25:7)“He will swallow up in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vailthat is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth; for the Lord has spoken it.” [Read more…]
Job.38:22 The Lord, speaking to Job, asks him, “Have you entered into the treasuries of the snow? Or have you seen the treasuries of the hail, which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?”
In this series of studies on the Last Battle, we have seen much that focuses on the subject of TRUTH and LIES. [Read more…]
For the last 23 years we have lived in a farmhouse in rural Lincolnshire. The original house was built about 1780, and when our extension was being built some years ago, and one of the old original ceilings was taken down, we found a silver coin dating from the reign of George III. An interestingmomento! Our house is situated along a narrow farm road, originally called Langham Row, leading to Wesley House. This was named after John Wesley who used to visit on horseback during the years 1779 – 1788. They constructed a wooden pulpit in the farmyard for his use, and this was still standing until some years ago, when it finally rotted away. In Wesley’s journal he wrote that he preached to a “congregation gathered from many miles around.” A particular entry for Sunday 18th June 1780 refers to his journey from Wainfleet to Louth, as follows, “We now passed into Marshland, a fruitful and pleasant part of the county. Such is Langham Row in particular, the abode of honest John Robinson and his fourteen children. Although it was a lone house, yet such a multitude of people flocked together that I was obliged to preach abroad. It blew a storm, and we had several showers of rain, but no one went away. I do not wonder that this Society is the largest, as well as the liveliest, in these parts of Lincolnshire.” By the time Wesley came on Tuesday 1st July 1788 Mr Robinson had doubled the size of the meeting house, and yet so many came to hear him that it overflowed. [Read more…]
Today is Michaelmas Day, otherwise known as “The Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels.” How come the Archangel Michael has reached “sainthood”? Isn’t this strange? The Roman Catholic Church has always been in the habit of “canonising” people, but never before they died. No other angelic personage has been granted this accolade, so why? My own researches have brought a blank. Does anyone know how this came about? Please let me know. [Read more…]
The Prophet Malachi (4:5) foretold the coming of Elijah, prior to the “great and dreadful day of the Lord.” He would turn the heart of the fathers to the children, etc. The High Priest and many other faithful Jews would always leave a place at their table, in case he suddenly appeared. Some Jews persist in this practice today. [Read more…]