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CHRIST BARES OUR NAMES

Posted: December 23, 2013 in Bible, Jesus Christ
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CHRIST BARES OUR NAMES

JESUS IN THE PSALMS.

Posted: December 23, 2013 in Bible, Jesus Christ
Tags:

JESUS IN THE PSALMS.

1 Cor 1: 22-23  For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishnessThe-Weakness-of-the-Cross-3_24_31-608x430

1 Cor 1: 24-29 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. ……But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.  And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, [yea], and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.

Why did God do what he did through the suffering of one man on a Roman Cross?

In this world Might and achievement is reckoned by the force of ones armies and the willingness to die for a cause.  For some it is in striving for great riches and wealth. In Islam those who die in Jihad are honoured with immediate paradise whilst those who don’t get to live in a conscious existence in the grave.  For others heroism and bravery is commended and cowardness is disgraces.  Bravery above weakness.  Yet God in his wisdom cuts through all this, and through weakness achieves the impossible.  He brought salvation to mankind.

The scriptures say that Gods foolishness is still wiser and his weakness stronger.

  • Now if salvation could be achieved through wisdom and intellect, then only the wise would get in and the foolish and uneducated would not.
  • If Salvation was based on strength and valour then the weak would be at a disadvantage.
  • If salvation would be found among the healthy, then the sick would loose out.
  • If salvation could be found among the rich, the poor would loose out.
  • If salvation was achieved through works, then only those with the strength of ones might be able to achieve salvation, and those who don’t loose out.
  • If salvation was based upon my goodness, then the bad have no chance.

Sadly for many in their pride are unwilling to humble themselves, they still cling to the notion that might is right.  They clamber in the belief that their efforts will be recognised and earn a reward called salvation, But its all dross and futility.

They battle strive and struggle in the belief that there are points to be mad,e and their salvation is earned as a reward. For many they can climb upon their intellect, look down upon those who don’t, and boast in their pride  believe they have made the grade whilst others cannot.

 God however cut through all this red tape and made salvation infinitely simpler.  As Paul said to his jailer, whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.  Faith as simple as trusting is all that is needed.  It does not matter if you are rich poor brave a coward, Healthy or sick.  God made the playing field equal.  Whoever comes will be saved.

You see Gods way strips me of my boasting.  I have nothing that I can hold onto that says I am better that that other person.  I have nothing that says I have earned my place along side God best.    In fact I am totally disarmed.  All my wisdom, intellect, treasures, gifting , pride, and even my  strength is laid bare before him.  As Paul said he counted it all but dross.  Even in my weakness there is still no pride because one in his weakness he chooses to endure the cross in weakness.  All I can do is look and live.  All I can do is fall down and cry out for mercy.  All I can do is place myself into the hands of the one who died and rose from the tomb.  Throw away any confidence in me and place all my confidence in him. 

Gal 2: 20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me

Its not my might but his.  Its not my goodness but his,  its not my bravery by his,  its not by my riches by his infinite riches.  It is not even by my love , but because he loved me before I knew there was a love to be loved by.

Rom 5: 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.In the end Jesus did not die just for his friends, but  for his…… ENEMIES!

Now this was asked by a Moslem as a trick question, which going by experience was normal for them?   Naturally as Christian we have a tendency to emphasise on the resurrection of Jesus and what took place in his humanity after his resurrection.

Now as we would obviously note that because Jesus had risen he would not be in the grave on the Fourth or fifth day.  The response from this Moslem was that Jesus could not be God because he was not in the grave.  Cheap shot at best and completely dumb.

Nevertheless it does raise a question which can be answered.  WHERE WAS JESUS DURING THOSE DAYS?  WE KNOW WHERE HIS BODY LAY BUT WHERE WAS THE REST OF HIM?

Had he had the honesty to ask the obvious relevant question he would probably have received the obvious answer that we shall now look at?

Now we have several references as to where Jesus was during this time.

(1)     Lk 23: 43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in Paradise.

(2)   1 Peter 3: 19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison

(3)   Mat 28: 20-Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen

(4)   Heb 9: 23 It was] therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, [which are] the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

Jesus made certain promises to his disciples that he would be with them always.  So even when his body lay in the grave, he was with them.  Although they did not see him physically he was nevertheless with them in spirit.  Therefore he had never left them.

We also know he went and preached to those who were held in prison.

1 Peter 3: 19- 20 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;  Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water

Finally the promise to the repentant thief was the promise that he would be with Christ in paradise.     Christ did not leave to go elsewhere.

Jesus also took his own blood and entered into the holy place in heaven of which the holy of holies was a type, and offered his own blood for the ransom of many.

Now all these things took place simultaneously over the course of those days.  That means he is the omnipresent God, and fully capable of doing what needed to be done.

If Jesus needed to be with someone in the grave he most certainly could have.  Unlike allah who can’t.  Nevertheless we have another promise:

Mat 22: 32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

As Jesus reminded us Math 28:20 he continues to remain with us both in life and in death.  Except in death we go to be with Christ

2 Cor 5: 8 We are confident, [I say], and willing rather to be absent from the body,present with the Lord

We hold to a covenant keeping God

Where does this confidence come from?

It comes from the Bible as we gain confidence in Gods ministerial ministry among his people.  The Bible is not so much about man finding God, But how Gods finds men.  The Bible is really all about how a perfect righteous holy God gets his hands dirty and reveals himself to those who follow him.   He gets involved in the lives of men and women who are not perfect, pure or saintly.  They all have history that would in some cases turn our heads at.  Murderers thieves adulterers, schemers, Harlots, and much much more.  It is the fact that God reaches out to these people that helps the rest of us as we all have history.    None of us come with a perfect record.  Yet God is bold enough gracious enough and loving enough to touch people’s lives.

For many and that includes Moslems they can’t understand this.  They don’t have a religion that sees individual Moslems meet with God.  Or if they do they will usually leaven Islam.

It comes from a deep personal experience of walking with him and seeing answers to life’s issues.   God remains a God who is very much a part of the lives of his people.

SO TO ANSWER THE ORIGIONAL QUESTION.?  HE WAS WHERE HE NEEDED TO BE.

For more information  on Jesus entitled 100 truths about Jesus

I think maybe more than any year this year has seen so much happen, and especially with the recent killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  For many families it will not be a time of cheer or comfort, for others it will be the thanksgiving that their child survived.  Christian Christmas2

This Year Christmas will become more than mere presents, More than some Christmas tree decorated with baubles and trinkets.  This year people will hug each other and be thankful they survived; Sometimes only in the greatest darkness that light shines even brighter.  When seasoned cops were seen comforted each other as they looked upon the devastation that took place.  Words fail to express the grief and pain that many feel at this moment.  Somehow the term Happy Christmas just does not quite express the pain.  This year many Christmas presents will remain unwrapped.  How one comes back from such a nightmare I just cannot begin to express.  What should have been the usual Christmas scene of rushing to unwrap presents the cooking of a Christmas dinner and a time when family come together, will sadly see absent reminder of a love one missed, tragic departure and the numbing of mixed emotions.

However 200 years ago a child was born.  Now we know Dec 25 is not his birthday and I know that so many things have got mixed up in with the season.  Many will argue that it has become too commercialised, over the top and an excuse for indulgence.  Nevertheless many have chosen to make this time a specific celebration of his birth.  He was born to change the status quo and to make a difference in the affairs of mankind.  He came so that death would loose it sting.  He came to conquer what man could not.   We celebrate CHRIST-mas because Christ was born to save us from the mess we made of our lives.    We cannot help but put up our hands and cry out that we have simply not just got it wrong, but we have made one absolute hellish mess of the whole picture.  Mankind needs a saviour to save it from itself.  We need to have a lifeguard to save us from drowning in our own filthy stinking mess.  Christmas is not really about us, but about the one who came to make a difference.  Focus on that more than the rest.

I know many will or will not celebrate this season for a variety of reasons and that is their choice. I know this will be one Christmas that many will want to forget.  I know that many will have questions WHY?  The answers will not easily suffice other than to say that mankind’s problem is his SIN.  That becomes a bigger blight than any cancer or physical illness. 

 For me it must always come back to Christ.  He is my reason for the season.  Not just for one a day in a year, but for every day of the year. 

So I will not offer up the expression this year “HAPPY CHRISTMAS,”  but may I offer up the expression  that this Christmas may become the means “TO” a HAPPY CHRISTMAS.  For only in knowing the one who is the true object of the season Jesus Christ can there be a Happy Christmas.

For in Christ death must give way to life.  What is held dear in Gods hands he will keep save and secure.  That in Christ nothing is lost.  Nothing can slip between his fingers and become lost.  We live with a living Hope that all will become right.  Whilst this sorry world seems to be heading down the road to ever greater darkness, the light of that child born in a manger shines ever brighter.  One day there will be a gathering a comforting and a coming together of all who have been kept save in Christ, to celebrate a greater celebration than the one that is soon to come upon us and a victory so glorious that happiness will indeed be a reality.  Death will surrender and finally give way to life.  Mortality will give way to immortality.   So may this become a BLESSED CHRISTMAS, for in Christ even in the face of great sorrow and pain there is blessing.  I hope and pray that somehow for many this will become a time of new beginnings as well.  The realisation that what has slipped between our fingers will be caught by Gods hand.  For in only Christ Jesus can there be a means to a BLESSED TIME.

Ps 119: 105 Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a lightunto my path

The light had dawned.

Years ago when I was a teenager the Gideons came to my school.  During assembly they gave a quick talk and handed out these little red cover backed King James New Testament Bibles.  Whilst many of the kids joked about burning them, I found in my hand something which I treasured.    Now I was not a Christian at that time, but I would from time to time read the word.  But whilst I could read the words I never really understood the message.  Years later I started work.  The production manager was a Christian who would chat to his staff about Christianity.  This prompted me to take out that little King James and occasionally  I read it.  Now I could read the words, but the message was as ever hidden as it had always been.  The mystery of its message was lost.  It remained just another book.  Now this Christian invited me to his church.  I knew what was going to be asked and I talked it over with the Lord the night before.  I was going to say YES to receive him as Lord and saviour.    I remember that the previous day reading my Bible and the message was only darkness to my understanding.

The day after having received Jesus as Lord and saviour, I opened that same little King James Bible.  Something had dramatically changed.  Suddenly the words became alive.  They literally jumped out of the page with meaning and understanding.  So what had changed from one day to the next?  There can be no doubt that I had indeed received God into my life.    I still had to read the Bible and study it, but the insight was illuminating.  Someone was now interpreting that word to my heart and mind.  No longer was I looking at mere words, the words now had meaning depth and life.

It was as if someone had literally walked into a dark room and flicked the switched.  The room became bathed in light.    The Holy Spirit brought that light into my soul and was now feeding my mind with the truths contained in the Bible.  From there God started to make all those little connection between all those chapters.  The Bible works folks.    It makes sense from cover to cover.   Now you can never say you know it all because that same Holy Spirit is still revealing his word.   But I can say that what I hold in my hand was treasure indeed.

John 14: 17 [Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you

Picture by Michael Dudash

How do I know I have the Holy Spirit?  In the past the main deciding factor among many Pentecostals was that people could speak in tongues.  tongues became the focus as to who did or did not have the Holy Spirit.  For others it might be the sacrament of Baptism.  For the more radical it might be drop down and roll that persuades them that the Holy Spirit dwells within.But what does the Bible say about this matter.  We are aware that tongues have been one of the most counterfeited of the spiritual gifts .  Anyone can have a few drops of water or even be fully immersed and still not be indwelt by the Holy Spirit.  A person can have full membership within a church and still not have the Holy Spirit..

John 16:13- 15  Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you.   All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you

THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH:

There are several things we can gleam from these verses

  1.   The Holy Spirit >> will be the spirit of truth.  So you will not expect to see him lying, but will always uphold the truth of scripture.
  2.   The Holy Spirit >>  will guide the believer to the truth.  So the end result should see an imparted desire for the truth.  He will always lead us to the truth.  That means exposing error and falsehood either within our lives or elsewhere.
  3.   The Holy Spirit>>  Does not speak or glorify himself.  So you would not expect the emphasis to be on the Holy Spirit.  Just as Jesus came to glorify the father, so the Holy Spirit has come to glorify the son.
  4.  The Holy Spirit>> Will take what now belongs to Jesus and reveal them to the believer.  So we would expect the Holy Spirit to reveal Jesus.  

John 15: 26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, [even] the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me

Now how does this work out within the believer’s life?

THE HOLY SPIRIT GLORIFIES JESUS:

If an individual is glorified more than Jesus, there is a good chance that this has not been initiated by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirits Job is to POINT us to JESUS.  It is his job to make real who this saviour is.   He takes what he has been shown and unravels it within our hearts and mind. 

Heb 10: 16 This [is] the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them.

The focus of which is his truth, his revelation and the knowledge about him!!!  Scripture is at the heart of this.  Take scripture out and be assured it is not the Holy Spirit. 

Jesus made it clear

John 15: 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you

THE HOLY SPIRIT POINTS US TO HIS WORD:

Now the out working of the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to encourage us to abide in his word .  If you abide in everything but his word then you can positively say you don’t have the Holy Spirit.  Just as some have placed the teachings of individual men above the scripture.  Allowing  what they have said to reinterpret scripture and change it to conform to ideas which are so contrary to scripture.  Others who places curses on anyones right to read and believe what scripture alone states.  Stating that they alone have some special dispensation to interpret the Bible.

Scripture states that we should study to show ourselves approved of God,  Sadly there are those who would deny such a right.  The HOLY SPIRIT takes the Bible and reveals it to the believer, making it both real and understood.  Often the difference before and after conversion of a soul is liken to one who only reads the Bible but without much understanding.  Then Reading the Bible after the conversion and the words just leaps out of the page.  The change is often dynamic and remarkable.

John 14: 15 If ye love me, keep my commandments

THE HOLY SPIRIT HELPS US TO LOVE JESUS:

How can we LOVE someone we have never met, let alone keep his commandments?  How is it that the believer has a love for Jesus whom he has not seen?  That too is the out working of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is always  working to bring the reality of the godhead within our lives.  So that we can say we will follow this man Christ Jesus, but we will not follow anotherWhilst many have played the part of Jesus in blockbuster films and their acting have been well praised by fellow actors, they simply don’t express the real Jesus.  Or communicated the one in whom the believer adores above all else.

The Holy Spirit is our helper  and  he is able to take what we offer up in our worship and praise  and make it real and significant before God.  For how can we approach a throne that is beyond our vision, and yet feel we are truly there.  How can such worship be made acceptable  unless God himself is fully approachable and open to receive us.  Yet even in this the Holy Spirit continues to make his presence felt.

  The work of the Holy Spirit is to place God central to our lives.  If he is not then I would question WHY NOT?

John 17: 26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare [it]: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

One of the signs has to be the same LOVE which the father had towards the son might also be within the believer.

So if we have a person who claims to love his church or institution more than Jesus that too will be a glimpse that something is wrong.  Now it’s not wrong to loves things, its only when we love them more than God that there is a problem.  Now even here some have manipulated people in order to control others for their own benefit. 

The argument goes like this:   

if you love God you will submit to his authority. That authority has somehow been placed in the hands of men. so you must obey that authority as if it came from God himself.  However when that authority  wants you to submit  and points you in a direction which is contrary to God.  In such a situation we are morally bound to resist such evil and obey God. Sadly history has seen such abuse place anathema upon anathema upon ordinary people to create an atmosphere of fear.  To stop them from even questioning such abuse.

 Biblical Love places God first, his word the Bible.  then our love for others.  But always in a true Biblical setting.

 You might respect your minister as a great man of God.  But you will never place him equal or above Jesus.  His authority will always be subject to Gods word.

Nor would we expect a true Holy Spirit filled man to start promoting new age mysticism, heresy, or to promote unscriptural teachings.  The true man of God would be prepared to submit his life to Gods word.  Nor would you be comfortable as Catholics do to exalt the finite and claim that this is the Holy Spirits doing.  Mary may have been Jesus earthly mother but no where is she promoted to some queen of heaven.  Such promotion does not stem from the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Catholics will go to great lengths to get around the simply fact that there is no evidence that God crowned Mary, and that includes time itself.  When you had one catholic woman who started to talk about linear time and that God can bend time and thus crown Mary ahead of  anyone else . Such excuses are almost laughable if they were not so serious.

However Scripture cannot be broken and no one gets crowned before the rest of us. Nor would anyone of us be crowned with an ungodly title as the Queen of heaven.  Where in Catholic teachings do we have a Joseph the king of heaven, Or Paul and Peter as the Kings of heaven.  Or even Elizabeth as another queen of heaven.   In fact to date such a title has never been conferred upon anyone else.  Such a title is reserved for Mary alone, which exposes it as Idol worship.  No such inspiration is from the Holy Spirit.  Those who do so and are comfortable with it cannot know God.  When the simple  “Hello” from an angel becomes so distorted and made into a repetitious prayer.  A point which even Jesus rebuked.  Or as someone remarked its like saying to someone every second hello hello hello hello hello.  That not praying let alone talking to God. 

THE HOLY SPIRIT CHANGES US :

The Holy Spirit will also convict us of our sins.  He will not let go and will never cease to challenge convict exhort and teach the believer.    You will simply not be comfortable in a sinful situation.  It will always lead to repentance and a change of direction.

Heb 12: 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not

John 16: 9-10  Of sin, because they believe not on me, Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;

But he will also convince us of the righteousness of God.  Which mean we will grow in our desire to be righteous?  WE JUST WILL NOT BE COMFORTABLE LIVING IN SIN OR IN SINNING.  There should be a hunger within the believer to do right and be right with God.  To walk in holiness and in a manner that is separated from what we know to be wrong.  As I often say God never leaves us how he finds us, but changes us to be like himself.  If you are happy as you once where and no change has occurred again the question is WHY, because there should be  a change.

John 14: 21, 23  He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him…..Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

There is a real sense that those who belong will experience and know the saviour in an intimate way.  The Holy Spirit is the one who makes this real.  So we can say we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.  Yet whilst we cannot say how he physically looked like , yet we can say we know him and love him.

Now Jesus makes it clear that those who don’t know him will not keep his word.  They may sing and speak about “a” Jesus, but not really know the true Jesus of the Bible

John 14: 24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me

THE HOLY SPIRIT PROMOTES THE TRUE JESUS :

The Jesus of the Moslems is most certainly not the Jesus of the Bible and as such they don’t seek to obey or believe the scriptures.  To them this Jesus was nothing more than a prophet.  A prophet that had to be rescued before he was killed, who allowed another innocent man to die in his place,  Then after three days pretended to be resurrected.  Such a deception does not express the true nature of Jesus. 

 Sad to say many a Roman Catholics see  Jesus submitting himself to the hands of a priest who pronounces some magically words over some cookie and Jesus becomes the Eucharist.  What you eat cannot produce the intimacy that scripture speaks about.  True Intimacy produce true obedience.  Obedience does not come out of a ritualistic relationship of I must or else, but out of a Love and devotion to the one whom the Holy Spirit reveals.  True intimacy realises that all glory belongs to God.  Our joy is to see God glorified and lifted up.  If you see a minister begin to glorify himself and basically say “LOOK AT ME, HOW GREAT I AM  ”  QUESTION IT!!!  When God moves he gets the glory and man is always humbled.

Many people will throw up the excuse that God can do anything he wants.  The one things God cannot and never will do is go against his nature.  We can glimpse that truth from scripture itself.  We would expect God to reproduce that very same nature within his people.  To love the way he loves and see things as he sees them.  That means we will have a love for his word.  If you don’t have a love for such a treasure, then ask yourself WHY NOT

Rom 8: 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

THE HOLY SPIRIT BRINGS ASSURANCE OF SALVATION:

Now it is the work of the Holy Spirit to bare witness to Jesus and to witness to us that we belong to God.  Now as you can see he does not witness to our flesh, but to our spirits.  There is a deep knowing and assurance of belonging which cannot go away.  We become aware that this hell hole called earth is not our home.  We look forward to a home that we have never seen and yet we know its ours.  It’s the work of the Holy Spirit to convince this truth to us.  Because we are his, we long to be with him and be fulfilled in him.

There is a bridge ahead which you know is down.  Below is a fast running river that will take all who fall into it into a Christless eternity.  You stand on the verge screaming shouting waving with frantic appeals to the oncoming traffic.   As they pass you can see their faces and expressions.  You glimpse momentarily a snapshot of their lives.  Their faces laughing at a joke someone has told, others enjoying the music from a local radio station: Kids playing in the back seat: others the odd kindly argument and banter.  They rush pass ignoring the screams and waving.

Pro 16: 25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death

Some as they pass wind their side windows down  only to shout abuse and accuse you of hatred.  They shake their fists violently at you.  How dare you interupt their peaceful journey.

You try with great desperation to warn and explain.   You try to point to the stark reality of a collapsed bridge and the ford below.  You try your best to explain that there is another narrower road but it’s a safer road.  It will lead to safety.  But the windows are soon wound up and they proceed onwards.

But more and more the traffic ignores your shouting and frantic weaving.  Occasionally a car turns to take the narrower road.  But by far the majority of the traffic heads down to the bridge and over the edge.  You can almost hear their frantic screams.  You remember their faces.  That’s the red car with the lady wearing a brown top,  Or the black convertible with a man who had some crazy beads hanging from his mirror.   You stand wondering as car after car is rushed  down the torrent river into an abyss.  WHY oh WHY will they not listen.  Was it their destiny to take this road?  Was I not loud enough or bold enough?    It’s their faces you remember, the snapshot of individuals which for a moment you entered their lives before they pass you by. There is a brief  memory of this or that face.  The anguish of knowing that at the last moment the full horror of their mistake will dawn upon them.  The final realisation of what is to come.  The ultimate knowledge that there is no turning back,  and they have sealed their own fate.  All the bravado fist shaking, abuse and accusations of hatred and stinking pride no longer matters.

Mat 7: 13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find

But what makes all this so difficult is that you know where they are going.  There is a darkness, a futility not of a day or a week or a month, but for an eternity.  As they pass you can see in many faces the hardening resolve to across the bridge.

It seems that your cries instead of being a deterrent, becomes the means to encourage  and harden ones resolve on a road that will only lead to futility and ruin.  The message is ignored, and the waving despised.

There are two roads and two eternal destinies.

For one is the security of the narrow road upon which there is a narrow bridge which Gods own son Jesus Christ bridges.  By far the most secure bridge there is.  It can cross that chasm and into the warm embrace of a fathers love.  It becomes the ever-loving delight of children in the comfort of a parents embrace; The security and knowledge that we have finally made it home; There will be a joy and a peace that will never fade or disappoint.

However for those who have chosen the highway with no bridge comes the futility of a terrible darkness.  No joy to comfort; no pleasant smiles of assurance; no joy or contentment;  no friendship to make their eternal state less troublesome, for they shall become the object of Gods terrible wrath.  His righteous judgement vindicated.

In my flesh I struggle to let go.  The need to grab hold of these people and hold them back from the continuation of their journey over the bridge and to futility of the ravine below.

The knowledge of what is to come becomes too fearful, too terrible to let go. 

The passing faces might remind one of loved ones, or friends of long ago.  But there must also come a point of the realisation that people have chosen to make this journey.  One has to be willing to bow the head and acknowledge

“  FATHER THY WILL BE DONE.”

We run to win!!!

I watched the final Olympics concert and it was a gathering and celebration of achievement.  Worldly and in some parts irreverent but the organization behind it was spectacular. The final finished as they began with fireworks songs and speeches and now the crowds turn and headed home.  The stadium falls silent.  The roars of the crowd are stilled.  The competitors will return to their home countries, some carrying Gold Silver and Bronze, whilst others with the glory that they were there to compete. Few will forget however that they watched and were a part of this year’s 2012 Olympics.  We watched the drama, the tears and the joys as each athlete ran for the final glory of a gold medal. We watch the joys of those who won and the tears of those who did not.

But there has been another Olympics in progress that few have watched; I suspect this Olympics have gone unnoticed by the vast majority of this world population. But the drama and tension is just as real and the tears, the hopes and the challenges no less great.  The heroes of this Olympics will not be seen on  the front  page of your local newspaper, but record of their achievements has been kept.

This Olympics have been running for longer than most realise and they will not finish until each and every competitor has crossed the finishing line.  On that day what we saw the other night will be nothing in comparison.  The glory of that celebration will be spectacular.  The organizer of this event will be God himself.  Every detail calculated and every moment factor in.

Hbr 11:4  By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

The challenges of those who run is no less great, no less a drama from every nation these athletes’ will be gathered. From every background and every age they will come..  Let me introduce you to another Olympics.  Let me introduce you to the true Olympics. Brothers and sister welcome to the opening ceremony with Brother Abel lightening the fire of the first sacrifice.  Although killed by his brother the flame he light that day has continued.  The burning example has never died out.  Carried by every runner and as each has passes hands the baton on to those who still labour in the race.

Enoch will take the stage next and introduce us to opening ceremony.  In a spectacular colour he is taken to heaven. Next comes Noah the boat builder whose courage won him a place when the heavens opened up and the world was flooded.  Then Brother Abraham called out of the Ur and began the long distant runner. Wherever he stood that would become the ground his descendants would inherit.  Now the thing to remember is that they did not just run a race with perfection, they had their hurdles, their falls, and their scrapes to contend with.   They had their disappointments and pulled a few bruises on the way.  But the reality is they ran and they ran to victory   It’s not in the starting that matters most but reaching the finishing line. Each of us are encourage to run that we might win.

Hbr 11:6   But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

We enter with the assurance that we don’t run in vain.  We run with the promise that there is a reward at the end.  We run in order to gain a greater reward than just some gold medal.

Luk 15:10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

Every sinner who repents there comes a cheer from heavenly angels; another competitor has entered the race and another runner who has taken his position at the starting line.

1Cr 9:26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:

1Cr 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

What we are running is not a gold medallion, but to hear the greatest prize of all the words “enter good and faithful servant”  On that day all the heartache and pains, all the sufferings will pass.   All the tears will be wiped away.  Joy of that moment will last forever.

Hbr 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

The roll of honour reminds us that many have started the same race before us and won glory in finishing their run.  With their roll comes the encouragement to focus on the end goal.  Like any runner we are in training to endure, to build up the muscles needed to make it to the home.

Here is the winning line to focus on:

Hbr 12:2   Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Let his passion and conviction become ours.  His humility was to lay aside heavens glory , clothe  himself  with flesh and blood.  To know what hunger and thirst was so that he could offer the eternal. Because he made the choice  to run this life’s race, can we do anything less than follow such a glorious example.   Even when many look on and call us  fools to dream such dreams.  Idiots for believing such glory could be ours.   Whilst we are mocked , scourge and rejected  we choose to run this race.  When others joke and laugh at our course.  Let us be reminded of Jesus sacrifice and remember he did it for us.

Hbr 11:39   And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: and having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect

Rev 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

Rev 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

I suppose I looked at the final ceremony and saw more than just a global enterprise of athletes,  But another gathering whose numbers could not be numbered.  The cheers as they are introduced.  There are no losers in this race, only winners.  Although each will receive a reward for the race they ran.   The celebration on that day will be beautiful, glorious and the splendour will be out of this world.  Such glory and singing no earthly sound can compare.  What wonder and what A DAY that will be.  The beauty we shall behold will be indeed glorious.

It will all be centered on the one who made it all happen, and centered stage will be God himself.  Run the race my brothers and sisters, run to win, compete with every fibre you have.  Take courage by those whose lives have served as an example.  One day we will all be gathered together and the roll of honour of those who have run will be called out .  My greatest desire is that you will also be there.

Remember this we don’t run this race alone.  We have angels ministering to us,   The Holy Spirit as our personal chief trainer,   No one can do a better job than this trainer.  So run with passion and conviction.   Run that the one who has sponsored us  God himself gets all the glory.

NUM 23: 19 God [is] not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do [it]? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

This verse has been held up countless times by anti Christian opponents as proof that God cannot become a man.  Now as a Christian we believe in a triune being.  Father the son and the Holy Spirit.  God the son became a man born of a woman and took on human nature.    In which Jesus was both fully God and fully man.

Col 2: 9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily

Rom 1: 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

So the question arises does this verse in Numbers dispute the verses in the New Testament?

If we simply take the first line and do what Moslems and other try to do and quote

“ GOD IS NOT A MAN” 

Now if the verse stopped there, then possibly there may be a slim glimmer of an argument.  But as you can see it does not.  Because the verse itself goes on to say:

“GOD IS NOT A MAN THAT HE SHOULD LIE.”

Notice what the verse is actually saying and not what some have made it to say.  Such is the dishonesty of those whose hatred for the very idea that God can come down among man in love to seek and save the lost. 

 The context of which God is saying that he not like someone who lying.    Further more it also goes on to build on this by saying.  “NOR THE SON OF MAN THAT HE SHOULD REPENT”.  If God is perfect why should he ever need to repent of doing something wrong?  As God does not lie he has no need to repent unlike humans.  So we can see how dishonest people go out of their way to manipulate scripture to prove something which it does not.

If anything it gives a glimpse into the hearts of many who do injustice to Gods word.  Simply they have no love for the truth or the scriptures.  For had they done so they would have never have wrestled with it to say something it never did.

Now let us look at a prime example of a dear lady who seeks to argue this very point.  As you will see she distorts the verse to say what it does not say.  We shall call this dear lady Michelle. 

Michelle:     yeshke did not fullfill the prophesies of Messiah and no GD is not a man Numbers 23:19.

In response to this statement her further response was

Michelle:     what does it say? ?? GD IS NOT A MAN. …. thank you now stop trying to tell jews that your rotting corpse gd is the GD of israel! !!

As you can see her real problem is fundamentally a hatred for Jesus.  In reality this is what Jesus himself spoke about. Now this Jewess is not the only ones to argue using this verse in this manner.  Moslems have also tried to manipulate and wrestle scripture in said manner.

Michelle:     hows this: JEWS dont require NONJEWS to interprete JEWISH SCRIPTURE. for JEWS. …… And yes numbets 23:19 GD is not a man that He should be deceitful, nor son of man that he should relent……. HELLOOOOOOOOOOO GD IS NOT A MAN! !!!!

It seems even when she quotes the rest of the verse she is unable to grasp the contextualization of the verse.  Falls back on what all cults do.  You are incapable of having an opinion which contradicts mine.  Yet it is clear how angry she has become when it is simply pointed out that she is lying and being deceitful.

  • Michelle:     i posted the correct verse but your more than welcome to reject it and continue to worship your corpse deity……

As you can see she is quite unable to grasp the gravity of her mistake.  Such is her hatred that she has become blinded to the obvious.  Sadly she is not alone as many will no doubt in an attempt to dispute the truth of the incarnate son.  Yet even if we put that fact to one side for a moment,   Simple Basic English grammar is thrown to the wind .  The verse itself does not say “God is not a man (Stop)  But he is not a man that he should LIE” 

Michelle   i love HASHEM, i worship HASHEM. i dont worship a rotting corpse as GD. ive posted you verses where HASHEM is saying HES NOT A MAN, DOES NOT DECEIVE, NOR CHANGE, yet you wish to believe the opposite of GDS words about Himself. … thats your business leave US ALONE TO WORSHIP HASHEM THE GD OF ISRAEL.

Now we can see the real reason that she feels obliged to twist scripture.  Yet is she was truly a lover of God she would seek to earnestly quote such verses correctly and in context.  This dear lady makes it clear she does not and will not  do honour to the very words God has inspired.

It also shows that she worships her religion and not her God.

Rom 1: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen

The dear lady brought up another verse which is worth noting.

1 Sam 15: 29 And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he [is] not a man, that he should repent..

Here again we have a similar verse stating almost the same words as we see in  NUM 23: 19.  As you can see the context is exactly the same.  “He is not a man….. that he should repent”  Only by cutting the verse short can you come to the conclusion this dear lady came to.  Yet the verse goes on to place the verse into context.  “a man that he should repent ”   The context of the whole verse is everything.

Michelle:    I’ve changed nothing GD says He’s not a man. so why are you worshipping a man? ??

Michelle:    I am not blind. as im not a xtian. and yiu cherry pick jewish verses and twist them to suit your false dead gd. BTW MORTALITY PROVES ONE IS NOT DEVINE. …..

Sadly this dear lady is either totally oblivious to her mistake or just chooses to lie.  I will let you choose which group she is in?