He is making a way

He is making a way

Jordan and Elizabeth with the 3 little Mackley’s

When I first moved over to Africa I spent a good portion of my time in the country of Malawi. As this was a new and developing training centre for discipleship there was plenty of practical work to be done to get it established. The training centre is located right on the shores of Lake Malawi and at the base of Livingstonia mountains. As the houses and student dormitories were still being built I had a little one man tent pitched right on the beach of Lake Malawi which gave me amazing views of the sunrise every day. It also meant once the sun had risen fully above the mountains of Tanzania on the other side of the lake, you could no long lay in your tent, as the sun would bake you to a crisp. But those first few hours of daylight as the sun rose there was a slight coolness in the air. This was a wonderful time of day to sit and read through His word, listen and pray. This was a precious time for me and really built in solid foundation into my relationship with the Lord.

I was recently listening to a sermon by Charles Stanley called “Our Number One priority”. He listed nine points which would be results in our life if we made Christ our Number One priority. These were the nine points:

  1. A quietened Spirit
  2. Renewed energy
  3. Strengthening of one’s Faith
  4. Refreshed emotions
  5. An Enlarged view of God
  6. Purification of the heart
  7. Receive insight and instruction
  8. Preparation for conflict
  9. Source of Joy

A quiet view over Lake Malawi.

As I listened to Charles Stanley list these points and expand on each one I realised that during my time in Malawi I started to gasp hold of these nine truths in my own life. As I continued to listen to Stanley I began to reflect further on my own life and my own heart. It was great to be once again reminded of where I have come from and where I am heading on my journey with the Lord.

When I heard Charles Stanley expand on point number seven “Receive insight and Instruction” the great importance of this stood out for me. He said the following:
“You can sit and listen to a sermon and take notes, but you know when it becomes real to you? It’s when you go home and the next time you spend time with the Lord you pull out those notes and say Lord, I want you to get this truth on the inside of me. I don’t just want to hear it but I want it to be part of my thinking and I want to be able to work this in my life so that I can share it with somebody else and that they too will profit from this truth that I have come to know.”

I believe this is a very important point that he makes. We often hear a message, we might even write down some notes or at least some mental notes or remember things that stood out or something that was new for you or really touch because of the current situation you are in. Then Monday comes along life gets busy and we have forgotten all about what we heard on Sunday. Now if any one is guilty of this its me. I did a little test on myself and you can also try this test. For the last three months write down the main subject of the messages that were shared on Sundays. I’m not going to tell you my score, I’ll just say there was plenty of room for improvement. But the ones I do remember clearly are the ones that I went back over the scriptures and chewed over them a few times till it become my own. I think this is the point Stanley is making, its one thing to hear the truth but another to make it your own. That’s why we find these scriptures below in the Bible.

James 1:22-25 NIV
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

Romans 2:13 NIV
For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.

Luke 6:46 NIV
Jesus said “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”

As I read these scripture I realised there is a great warning for us. If we come and hear the truth, we need to make sure we also make the truth our own and be doers of the Word as well. The wonderful part is we have the Word and the life of Jesus as the perfect example of not only hearing the word but most of all being doers of the Word. Secondly we have the amazing gift of the Holy Spirit to lead, guide, convict and instruct us in all decisions we make in life. Then thirdly we have the Body of Christ around us to support, encourage and to build up each other along the journey of life which we walk together.

Saying and Meaning

Saying and Meaning

I am a person from a European heritage, brought up through the Australian European teaching culture in South Australia, and speaking “Strine”. A white Australian of European heritage would understand that as the English language peppered with Australian slang. When we read a book, we understood the words that we read, and perhaps enlarged on what the words said, but in general we did not understand the deeper meanings of the words and phrases read. Makes us sound ignorant, doesn’t it.

When I first started reading the Holy Bible (Authorised King James Version), it didn’t mean a lot to me. Some of it made sense, and the rest didn’t. As I kept reading I started to learn what each word described and how it related to other words around it, but it still didn’t mean a lot. So then I found an Amplified Bible and it was really good in showing what individual words and phrases meant, but one could easily get bogged down with details and technicalities, and I was just a new Christian needing to know the meaning of what I was reading.

In current Christian circles it appears to me that there are two main positions taken in the Church in general, and emphasised throughout the majority of the Church worldwide:

  1. People are encouraged to follow Jesus, and are taught a “simple, easy Gospel”, one that encourages believers to “Believe in Christ” but without having this Gospel explained and thereby their not understanding all that this entails.
  2.  Preachers become so engrossed with expounding their intricate ideas regarding what the word of God says in a chosen verse or phrase that the hearers are unable to fully understand, and are so misled that their minds are in effect traumatised and the Gospel itself becomes confusing.
 

These two basic positions are then placed at opposites to each other to the detriment of the Church, and a minority take the balanced middle ground, with its meaning revealed to the glory of God.

I will give you an example of three verses straight from the New Testament, and the reasonable meaning. If you are a Born-again Christian, or one who professes to be a Christian, you will know the verses very well, for “Christians” everywhere speak it often, relating the words verbatim or by rote. So let’s read John 3:16, 17 and 18, and see what they say.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

The verses of John 3:16-18 are some of the most well-known and cherished in the Bible, and unpacking their full meaning can be quite deep and nuanced. Here’s a breakdown of each verse:

Verse 16:

For God so loved the world…”: This emphasizes the immense love God has for all of humanity, regardless of individual merit or sin.

“…that he gave his only Son…”: This highlights the immense sacrifice God made by sending Jesus, his divine Son, to Earth. The word “only” emphasizes the uniqueness and value of Jesus.

“…that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”: This clarifies the purpose of Jesus’ sacrifice: to offer redemption and the possibility of eternal life for those who put their faith in him. “Perish” here isn’t just physical death, but also spiritual separation from God.

Verse 17:

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world…”: This reassures us that Jesus’ mission wasn’t to judge or punish humanity, but to offer them salvation.

“…but to save the world through him.”: This reiterates the purpose of Jesus’ coming: to offer a way for humanity to be reconciled with God and experience redemption.

Verse 18:

Whoever believes in him is not condemned…”: This emphasizes the importance of faith in Jesus for overcoming condemnation and experiencing salvation.

“…but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”: This introduces the concept of condemnation due to unbelief. It doesn’t suggest automatic damnation, but rather a state of separation from God due to rejecting the only path offered for reconciliation.

Here are some additional key points to consider:

These verses form part of a broader conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus, a Jewish leader, about spiritual rebirth and salvation.

The nature of “belief” can be interpreted in different ways. Some emphasise personal faith and acceptance of Jesus, while others might see it as broader commitment to living according to his teachings.

The concept of “eternal life” can also be understood in diverse ways, ranging from literal afterlife to experiencing a deep connection with God in the present. Understood correctly, it means both occurring at once without being separated from each other.

Ultimately, the full meaning of John 3:16-18 is open to interpretation and personal reflection within the context of one’s faith journey. These verses have provided comfort, hope, and inspiration for countless people throughout history, and their message of God’s love and offer of salvation continues to resonate today.

To truly understand the rich, multifaceted meanings of John 3:16-18, it’s helpful to go beyond individual verses and consider them within the context of the Gospel of John and wider Christian theology. Here’s a deeper dive:

1. Love at the Core:

  • “For God so loved the world…”: This statement starts with God’s love, not humanity’s actions. God’s love is described as agape, a selfless love that transcends human understanding. It’s not based on merit, but on God’s own nature.
  • This verse then expands “world” beyond the Jewish nation to encompass all humanity, highlighting God’s universal love.
 

2. Sacrifice and Salvation:

  • “…that he gave his only Son…”: This emphasizes the immense sacrifice involved. Jesus, fully God and fully human, was sent to Earth despite the potential cost. The word “only” indicates the unique relationship between Father and Son and the value Jesus embodies.
  • “…that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”: This clarifies the purpose of Jesus’ sacrifice: to offer salvation, overcoming separation from God (perishing) and granting eternal life, which can be understood as both present connection with God and future hope.
 

3. Not Condemnation, but Reconciliation:

  • “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world…”: This reassures us that Jesus’ mission was not about punishment, but about offering a path back to God.
  • “…but to save the world through him.”: This reiterates the focus on redemption and reconciliation through Jesus, who bridges the gap between humanity and God.
 

4. Faith and the Choice of Reconciliation:

  • “Whoever believes in him is not condemned…”: This emphasizes the importance of personal faith in Jesus as the key to overcoming separation from God. However, interpretations of “belief” vary from emphasising acceptance of Jesus as Lord to living according to his teachings.
  • “…but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”: This introduces the concept of condemnation due to unbelief. It doesn’t necessarily imply automatic damnation, but rather a state of separation from God due to rejecting the path offered for reconciliation.
 

5. Context and Interpretation:

  • These verses are part of a conversation about spiritual rebirth and salvation. Understanding the wider context of John’s Gospel is crucial for interpretation.
  • Different theological interpretations emphasise various aspects. Some focus on individual salvation through faith, while others highlight social justice and living out Christ’s teachings.
 

Ultimately, the rich and complex meanings of John 3:16-18 invite ongoing reflection and interpretation within individual faith journeys. These verses continue to offer hope, comfort, and a call to respond to God’s love through faith and action.

Remember, there’s no single “correct” interpretation. Engage with different perspectives, delve deeper into scholarly resources, and most importantly, reflect on how these verses speak to your own understanding of God and your place in the world.

Having heard the way we should consider these wonderful verses, let us now take to heart their full meanings.

I am a person from a European heritage, brought up through the Australian European teaching culture in South Australia, and speaking “Strine”. A white Australian of European heritage would understand that as the English language peppered with Australian slang. When we read a book, we understood the words that we read, and perhaps enlarged on what the words said, but in general we did not understand the deeper meanings of the words and phrases read. Makes us sound ignorant, doesn’t it.

When I first started reading the Holy Bible (Authorised King James Version), it didn’t mean a lot to me. Some of it made sense, and the rest didn’t. As I kept reading I started to learn what each word described and how it related to other words around it, but it still didn’t mean a lot. So then I found an Amplified Bible and it was really good in showing what individual words and phrases meant, but one could easily get bogged down with details and technicalities, and I was just a new Christian needing to know the meaning of what I was reading.

In current Christian circles it appears to me that there are two main positions taken in the Church in general, and emphasised throughout the majority of the Church worldwide:

  1. People are encouraged to follow Jesus, and are taught a “simple, easy Gospel”, one that encourages believers to “Believe in Christ” but without having this Gospel explained and thereby their not understanding all that this entails.
  2.  Preachers become so engrossed with expounding their intricate ideas regarding what the word of God says in a chosen verse or phrase that the hearers are unable to fully understand, and are so misled that their minds are in effect traumatised and the Gospel itself becomes confusing.
 

These two basic positions are then placed at opposites to each other to the detriment of the Church, and a minority take the balanced middle ground, with its meaning revealed to the glory of God.

I will give you an example of three verses straight from the New Testament, and the reasonable meaning. If you are a Born-again Christian, or one who professes to be a Christian, you will know the verses very well, for “Christians” everywhere speak it often, relating the words verbatim or by rote. So let’s read John 3:16, 17 and 18, and see what they say.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

The verses of John 3:16-18 are some of the most well-known and cherished in the Bible, and unpacking their full meaning can be quite deep and nuanced. Here’s a breakdown of each verse:

Verse 16:

For God so loved the world…”: This emphasizes the immense love God has for all of humanity, regardless of individual merit or sin.

“…that he gave his only Son…”: This highlights the immense sacrifice God made by sending Jesus, his divine Son, to Earth. The word “only” emphasizes the uniqueness and value of Jesus.

“…that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”: This clarifies the purpose of Jesus’ sacrifice: to offer redemption and the possibility of eternal life for those who put their faith in him. “Perish” here isn’t just physical death, but also spiritual separation from God.

Verse 17:

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world…”: This reassures us that Jesus’ mission wasn’t to judge or punish humanity, but to offer them salvation.

“…but to save the world through him.”: This reiterates the purpose of Jesus’ coming: to offer a way for humanity to be reconciled with God and experience redemption.

Verse 18:

Whoever believes in him is not condemned…”: This emphasizes the importance of faith in Jesus for overcoming condemnation and experiencing salvation.

“…but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”: This introduces the concept of condemnation due to unbelief. It doesn’t suggest automatic damnation, but rather a state of separation from God due to rejecting the only path offered for reconciliation.

Here are some additional key points to consider:

These verses form part of a broader conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus, a Jewish leader, about spiritual rebirth and salvation.

The nature of “belief” can be interpreted in different ways. Some emphasise personal faith and acceptance of Jesus, while others might see it as broader commitment to living according to his teachings.

The concept of “eternal life” can also be understood in diverse ways, ranging from literal afterlife to experiencing a deep connection with God in the present. Understood correctly, it means both occurring at once without being separated from each other.

Ultimately, the full meaning of John 3:16-18 is open to interpretation and personal reflection within the context of one’s faith journey. These verses have provided comfort, hope, and inspiration for countless people throughout history, and their message of God’s love and offer of salvation continues to resonate today.

To truly understand the rich, multifaceted meanings of John 3:16-18, it’s helpful to go beyond individual verses and consider them within the context of the Gospel of John and wider Christian theology. Here’s a deeper dive:

1. Love at the Core:

  • “For God so loved the world…”: This statement starts with God’s love, not humanity’s actions. God’s love is described as agape, a selfless love that transcends human understanding. It’s not based on merit, but on God’s own nature.
  • This verse then expands “world” beyond the Jewish nation to encompass all humanity, highlighting God’s universal love.
 

2. Sacrifice and Salvation:

  • “…that he gave his only Son…”: This emphasizes the immense sacrifice involved. Jesus, fully God and fully human, was sent to Earth despite the potential cost. The word “only” indicates the unique relationship between Father and Son and the value Jesus embodies.
  • “…that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”: This clarifies the purpose of Jesus’ sacrifice: to offer salvation, overcoming separation from God (perishing) and granting eternal life, which can be understood as both present connection with God and future hope.
 

3. Not Condemnation, but Reconciliation:

  • “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world…”: This reassures us that Jesus’ mission was not about punishment, but about offering a path back to God.
  • “…but to save the world through him.”: This reiterates the focus on redemption and reconciliation through Jesus, who bridges the gap between humanity and God.
 

4. Faith and the Choice of Reconciliation:

  • “Whoever believes in him is not condemned…”: This emphasizes the importance of personal faith in Jesus as the key to overcoming separation from God. However, interpretations of “belief” vary from emphasising acceptance of Jesus as Lord to living according to his teachings.
  • “…but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”: This introduces the concept of condemnation due to unbelief. It doesn’t necessarily imply automatic damnation, but rather a state of separation from God due to rejecting the path offered for reconciliation.
 

5. Context and Interpretation:

  • These verses are part of a conversation about spiritual rebirth and salvation. Understanding the wider context of John’s Gospel is crucial for interpretation.
  • Different theological interpretations emphasise various aspects. Some focus on individual salvation through faith, while others highlight social justice and living out Christ’s teachings.
 

Ultimately, the rich and complex meanings of John 3:16-18 invite ongoing reflection and interpretation within individual faith journeys. These verses continue to offer hope, comfort, and a call to respond to God’s love through faith and action.

Remember, there’s no single “correct” interpretation. Engage with different perspectives, delve deeper into scholarly resources, and most importantly, reflect on how these verses speak to your own understanding of God and your place in the world.

Having heard the way we should consider these wonderful verses, let us now take to heart their full meanings.

For God

[the Supreme Spirit Being, the Almighty God, the Holy Trinity, He who is, and Who was, and Who is to come, our Saviour; He who does His Will in the army of Heaven and amongst the inhabitants of the earth, and NO-ONE is able to stop Him or question what He does! His Name is “He causes to Become”, or “I will be because I will be”, not incorrectly “I am that I am”)]

loved

[loved with ALL His being, is Benevolent to, wants the very best for us regardless of our religious, political, and personal beliefs, our colour of skin, our facial features, our quirks and foibles, the way we dress, and our height, width, weight, and colour of hair and eyes]

the world

[the complete world, being human and animal, solid, liquid and gas, vegetable and mineral]

so much

[so completely, with great desire, above all other things]

that He gave

[freely gave, dispatched without cost, transmitted with both hands, made to go without charge]

His only

[one and only, without any others]

begotten

[conceived by the Holy Spirit and born as a man-child]

Son

[male next of kin, honoured above all others, He who inherits all things great and small before all others]

that whosoever believeth in Him

[anyone at all, whoever makes a decision, whoever comprehends the truth, whoever has Faith (Absolute Trust in Jesus Christ and His Good News and Gospel, so that he/she continually seeks the Will of God and how it is to be done, and obeys it!) in Him and only Him, for there is no other name given among mankind whereby we are able to be saved]

should not perish

[die, expire, be eternally destroyed, die spiritually and physically decompose]

but shall have everlasting life

[receive, be given without cost or charge, inherit as a brother or sister, eternal, everlasting, physically, spiritually and completely aware, able to fully comprehend the truth of both eternal and unchanging physical and spiritual life].
[Please note smaller Point Size used from here. Should be same as previously].For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world

[to pass judgment on the people, inhabitants and dwelling places of the world];

but that the world through him might be saved

[born again, brought from death to life by the power of the eternally living Son of God, saved from death and all its evil deserts].

He that believeth on him

[has absolute Faith and Trust in Him and believes (see above) and obeys His commandments]

is not condemned

[judged guilty and condemned to die]:

but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

Some of my own experience

Some of my own experiece

© 2023 Jeffrey M Pearce.

Well here we go! I’m going to talk about myself again, and you have the choice of reading all that I write, or ignoring it and not reading any of it. God in His wisdom endued us all with free-will to do what we want to do, to do what we think is right or wrong.

I am now 75 years of age. I was born again on 29th October 1972, and baptised by full-immersion on my 24th birthday, 28th November 1972. That makes me a person who claims to be a born-again Christian for 71 years. And I don’t feel a year over 100. (Not true! I still feel as though I am something like 30 or 35, but my body won’t keep up with my inner being. I have a couple of medical diseases that are slowing me down, and I have a new disease that has just recently come on the world population. It is described as A.G.E. and its prognosis is terminal.)

Today I would like to write to those who have some form of authority with any or all Churches of Christianity who claim Jesus as their Lord and Messiah. I am concerned with a spiritual phase or problem I went through as a younger pastoral/missionary/leader in a house church, but have seen the same spiritual activity in churches great and small around the world, and is very prevalent today… Every church I have seen this activity in has had the same results, the same phases or problems, and the same hurts. There are over 45,000 (estimated) denominations around the world, and in spite of their appearing to be one with each other and one with Christ, there is this problem gnawing at the heart of the Church as a whole.

My phase or problem was pride. I was proud to be a Christian. I was proud to be a Pastor. I was proud to be a Missionary. I was proud to be a Leader. I was proud that Jesus used me to promote a genuine Revival. I was somebody! I’d never been anyone before. Wow!

Satan has one simple trick to get us thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought, (Romans 12:1-3). He gets other preachers, teachers, professors etc., to come alongside us and encourage us to work with them to spread the Word of God, to become one with them in their particular ministry for Christ. And so many fall for it. And we end up spending years and years doing “God’s Will” as decreed by men without asking Jesus what He wants us to do for Him. And when we do know, we forget to ask Him HOW we are to do His Will.

After doing “God’s Will” for 49 wasted years doing what I thought was right, finally in 2021 I asked God HOW I was to be obedient to Him in doing His Will. Looking back I can see how those “wasted” years were actually used by God to train and shape and mould me to be ready for when I would really listen to Him. But I was too proud to listen. I was naturally good at planning and getting things done. All God had to do was tell me what to do and I would get it done.

Proverbs 2.

Pro 2:1 My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;

Pro 2:2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;

Pro 2:3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;

Pro 2:4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;

Pro 2:5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.

Pro 2:6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

Pro 2:7 He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.

Pro 2:8 He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.

Pro 2:9 Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.

Trying to do God’s Will without knowing How, is like trying to follow a path with our eyes closed. We end up fumbling our way along the path, hoping we haven’t taken a wrong turn. But so many of us do it! We need to take a lesson from King David as he planned the building of the temple that would become known as Solomon’s Temple.

1Ch 28:2 Then David the king stood up upon his feet, and said, Hear me, my brethren, and my people: As for me, I had in mine heart to build an house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and for the footstool of our God, and had made ready for the building:

1Ch 28:3 But God said unto me, Thou shalt not build an house for my name, because thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood.

1Ch 28:4 Howbeit the LORD God of Israel chose me before all the house of my father to be king over Israel for ever: for he hath chosen Judah to be the ruler; and of the house of Judah, the house of my father; and among the sons of my father he liked me to make me king over all Israel:

1Ch 28:5 And of all my sons, (for the LORD hath given me many sons,) he hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel.

1Ch 28:6 And he said unto me, Solomon thy son, he shall build my house and my courts: for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father.

1Ch 28:7 Moreover I will establish his kingdom for ever, if he be constant to do my commandments and my judgements, as at this day.

1Ch 28:8 Now therefore in the sight of all Israel the congregation of the LORD, and in the audience of our God, keep and seek for all the commandments of the LORD your God: that ye may possess this good land, and leave it for an inheritance for your children after you for ever.

David’s Charge to Solomon

1Ch 28:9 And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.

1Ch 28:10 Take heed now; for the LORD hath chosen thee to build an house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it.

1Ch 28:11 Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlours thereof, and of the place of the mercy seat,

1Ch 28:12 And the pattern of all that he had by the spirit, of the courts of the house of the LORD, and of all the chambers round about, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicated things:

1Ch 28:13 Also for the courses of the priests and the Levites, and for all the work of the service of the house of the LORD, and for all the vessels of service in the house of the LORD.

1Ch 28:14 He gave of gold by weight for things of gold, for all instruments of all manner of service; silver also for all instruments of silver by weight, for all instruments of every kind of service:

1Ch 28:15 Even the weight for the candlesticks of gold, and for their lamps of gold, by weight for every candlestick, and for the lamps thereof: and for the candlesticks of silver by weight, both for the candlestick, and also for the lamps thereof, according to the use of every candlestick.

1Ch 28:16 And by weight he gave gold for the tables of shewbread, for every table; and likewise silver for the tables of silver:

1Ch 28:17 Also pure gold for the fleshhooks, and the bowls, and the cups: and for the golden basins he gave gold by weight for every basin; and likewise silver by weight for every basin of silver:

1Ch 28:18 And for the altar of incense refined gold by weight; and gold for the pattern of the chariot of the cherubims, that spread out their wings, and covered the ark of the covenant of the LORD.

1Ch 28:19 All this, said David, the LORD made me understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern.

1Ch 28:20 And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.

1Ch 28:21 And, behold, the courses of the priests and the Levites, even they shall be with thee for all the service of the house of God: and there shall be with thee for all manner of workmanship every willing skilful man, for any manner of service: also the princes and all the people will be wholly at thy commandment.

Although King David could not build the Temple, he was definitely led by God to prepare the plans and drawings of the Temple, and to gather all the building materials as well, in preparation for the time when Solomon would be able to obey God’s leading and guidance. In those days they truly believed that God did speak/talk/command His people, and that those who truly sought/prayed/asked would receive an answer/answers. Jesus taught this also in Matthew 21:22, and Luke 11:9-10.

There is an interesting thing about these plans for this Temple. The front entrance was to face east toward the rising sun. At the front of the temple were planned two pillars. He was to set up one pillar on the south and call its name Jachin, and he was to set up the pillar on the north and call its name Boaz. Boaz is said to mean “Swiftness” in Hebrew, while Jachin means “He establishes” and “Thankful”. The pillars were nearly six feet (1.8 metres) in diameter, 27 feet (8.2 metres) tall, and hollow, being about 4 fingers thick. The eight-foot (2.4 metres) high brass chapiters, or capitals, on top of the pillars bore decorations, in brass, of lilies. So the total height of the pillars and their capitals was 33 feet (10.6 metres).

Read 1 Kings chapters 6 and 7 and you will understand all that King David planned under the guidance of God, and what King Solomon built with the guidance and encouragement of God.

There are some interesting things to think about regarding these two pillars.

  1. They stand alone doing nothing, without anything above them to support. This shows that they (and we) are not needed by God to do anything. He is sufficient in Himself.
  2. Though both pillars do not appear to be needed to do anything, yet they show a direct connection between earth and heaven, between God’s creation, man, and God Himself.
  3. The Temple was covered with gold, and the pillars and capitals were made of fine brass. Both the Temple and Pillars faced East toward the rising of the Sun. On a clear day, when the Sun rose, the sunlight would be reflected particularly off the pillars and the Temple would gleam brilliantly out over Jerusalem and over the people of His choosing. In the same way we are to reflect the glory of God through Christ to all of God’s created people.
  4. The Temple covered with gold signifies God the Father in all His glory. The two Pillars signify Jesus (Yeshua) the Messiah, and God’s Holy Spirit, (but I have not been able to find out which is which. If you know, please advise me at jp.tabiblia@gmail.com).

We can see definite similarities between the notes above and our connections with God. He does not need us. He is completely self sufficient. There is a direct connection between God, Earth and Heaven, and it isn’t us. It must be Jesus. We are here on earth to do nothing but reflect the glory of God. We are NOT here to make a name for ourselves, to promote our own idea of a “church” (there is only ONE Church, Matthew 16:18) to make money and enjoy great prosperity, to have people seeking for our “wisdom”, guidance and direction. We are here on this earth to love God with all our hearts, soul, mind and strength, to love our neighbours as much as we love ourselves, to glorify God, know His Will and how to do it. Anything else is ultimately a waste of time, money, strength and willpower. (Matthew 7:21-23; Proverbs 16:16-25).

Evidence of Jesus the Son of God

What is the evidence that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?

It’s curious to ask for evidence that Jesus is God, but exclude the Bible. Many documents in various genres contain the best evidence that Jesus is the Son of God. We call that compilation the Bible. By excluding it, you’re excluding the very documents whose purpose is to answer your question.

But we can still proceed.

If Jesus is truly the Son of God, then this question is bigger than documents. The question of who is God should affect everything. Therefore, if Jesus is the Son of God, we should find evidence all over the place.

And we do.

Jesus doesn’t behave like a mere mortal. To be sure, He ate, drank, slept, walked, and breathed as we do. But He commanded far greater results than any human in history.

Jesus worked for three and a half years. He never wrote a book, never held public office, never led armies to war.

Yet those three and half years turned the world upside down. Their effects still ripple out to this day, growing more powerful with every passing year.

Christianity is the largest worldview on Earth, with between 2–3 billion followers. It grows by hundreds of thousands every day. Even the Washington Post, a publication generally not inclined toward religion, can’t deny the numbers:

Today, the Christian community in Latin America and Africa, alone, account for 1 billion people.

Over the past 100 years, Christians grew from less than 10 percent of Africa’s population to its nearly 500 million today. One out of four Christians in the world presently is an African, and the Pew Research Center estimates that will grow to 40 percent by 2030.

Asia is also experiencing growth as world Christianity’s center has moved not only South, but also East. In the last century, Christianity grew at twice the rate of population in that continent. Asia’s Christian population of 350 million is projected to grow to 460 million by 2025.

The global religious wildcard is China. Even today, demographers estimate that more Christian believers are found worshipping in China on any given Sunday than in the United States.

—https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/05/20/think-christianity-is-dying-no-christianity-is-shifting-dramatically/

 

Think Christianity is dying?
No, Christianity is shifting dramatically

By Wes Granberg-Michaelson

©May 20, 2015 at 9:38 a.m. EDT

While Christianity may be on the decline in the United States, the world is becoming more religious, not less. While rising numbers of “nones” — those who claim no religious affiliation when asked — claim the attention of religious pundits, the world tells a different story. Religious convictions are growing and shifting geographically in several dramatic ways.

The center of Christianity has shifted from Europe to the global South.

The religious landscape is particularly changing for the world’s Christians. A century ago, 80 percent lived in North America and Europe, compared with just 40 percent today.

In 1980, more Christians were found in the global South than the North for the first time in 1,000 years. Today, the Christian community in Latin America and Africa, alone, account for 1 billion people.

Over the past 100 years, Christians grew from less than 10 percent of Africa’s population to its nearly 500 million today. One out of four Christians in the world presently is an African, and the Pew Research Center estimates that will grow to 40 percent by 2030.

Asia is also experiencing growth as world Christianity’s center has moved not only South, but also East. In the last century, Christianity grew at twice the rate of population in that continent. Asia’s Christian population of 350 million is projected to grow to 460 million by 2025.

The global religious wildcard is China. Even today, demographers estimate that more Christian believers are found worshipping in China on any given Sunday than in the United States. Future trends, while difficult to predict because so much is below the religious radar, could dramatically drive down the world’s religious “nones.”

In Latin America, the massive Christian population is becoming more Pentecostal or Charismatic.

The growth of Pentecostalism in Latin America is estimated to be at three times the rate of Catholic growth. Non-Catholic believers now account for 2 percent of Latin America’s 550 million Christians. Today, Brazil not only has more Catholics than any other country, but also more Pentecostals, reflecting Pentecostalism’s astonishing global growth. Tracing its roots to the Azusa Street revival in 1910, and comprising 5 percent of Christians in 1970, today one of four Christians is Pentecostal or Charismatic. Or think of it this way: one out of 12 people alive today has a Pentecostal form of Christian faith.

Global migration matters.

Such global trends are being experienced locally through migration. About 214 million people have moved from one country to another as migrants and refugees, or are in that process. Those capturing today’s headlines are Africans clinging to precarious vessels trying to cross the Mediterranean, or the hundreds of thousands uprooted in Syria and the Middle East. But the striking religious factor is that overall, about 105 million who have migrated are Christians — a significantly higher percentage than their 33 percent of the world’s population. Sociologists report that the process of migration typically increases the intensity of religious faith — whatever its form — of those persons crossing borders of nations and cultures. Fresh spiritual vitality in both North America and Europe is being fuelled by the process of global migration.

Immigration shapes the U.S. religious landscape.

In the United States, about 43 million residents were born in another country, and immigrated here. Of these, about 74 percent adhere to the Christian faith, while 5 percent are Muslim, 4 percent Buddhist and 3 percent Hindu. Of those presently migrating into this country, that proportion remains high — about 60 percent. The religious impact of immigration on U.S. society is typically overlooked in the debates over immigration reform, and the presence of about 11 million immigrants without acceptable legal documentation. Yet, the reality is that patterns of immigration since the 1965 Hart-Cellar Immigration and Naturalisation Act, and continuing to this day, are having a decisive impact on the Christian community in the United States. A vast majority of Hispanics in the United States are Catholic, and immigrants are sustaining the demographic presence of U.S. Catholicism, accounting for 70 percent of Catholic growth since 1960. They also provide fresh spiritual enthusiasm. Demographers estimate that 54 percent of Hispanic Catholics practice charismatic forms of worship found in Pentecostal churches. Among Catholic millennial’s, over half are now Hispanic.

There are three times more Protestant Hispanics in the United States than Episcopalians.

Immigration has transformed Protestantism in America. Some of President Obama’s strongest advocates for immigration reform are found in more evangelical and Pentecostal leaning Hispanic groups, as well as the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops. Asian and African immigrants who bring their faith with them across oceans likewise are also reshaping America’s religious landscape, and especially the Christian community. The Philippines follows Mexico as the country sending most immigrants to the United States, and those are overwhelmingly Catholic. The influence of Korean Christians is felt throughout both mainline and evangelical Protestantism. Fuller Seminary, in Pasadena, Calif., a center of moderate evangelical scholarship and training, counts about 1,000 Asian and Asian Americans among its 5,000 students. While African immigration is less numerical, its growth has been exponential, from 35,355 African immigrants in 1960 to 1.5 million 50 years later. Many carry their devotion to forms of Christian faith that are transforming sub-Saharan Africa. For instance, the Redeemed Christian Church of God, started not by missionaries but as an indigenous church in Nigeria, has grown to 5 million members in 147 countries, including 720 congregations in the United States. North of Dallas, it has built a worship pavilion holding 10,000 at the cost of $15.5 million. While Chicago has 590,000 foreign-born residents in its city limits, 984,000 are found in its suburbs, with a majority forming places of Christian worship or joining multicultural congregations, if they find welcome. At the Vineyard church in Columbus, Ohio, 28 percent of its 9,000 members come from 147 countries other than the United States.

The United States cannot ignore the impact of immigration on religious patterns.

The growth of religious practice in the world is being experienced through patterns of immigration to the United States, patterns that should become a central feature of the debate over immigration reform. I am mystified, for example, by political conservatives who cry for the resurgence of religious values in this country, and then support the deportation of those actually growing the nation’s religious vitality. And I am disappointed with political liberals, who, like I, support comprehensive immigration reform, but can seem deaf and dumb to the religious life of immigrants themselves, who often combine their unapologetic faith with commitments to social solidarity, welfare and reform of the broken immigration system. The history of immigration to this country has been a story of unintended consequences which have tested our commitment to religious and cultural pluralism. The religious impact of immigration, largely unnoticed in hotly contested rhetoric around political reform, offers the potential, once again, to enrich our society in ways we have not yet imagined. Wes Granberg-Michaelson, whose most recent book is “From Times Square to Timbuktu: The Post-Christian West Meets the Non-Western Church,” served for 17 years as general secretary of the Reformed Church in America. (© 2015 Washington Post/Wes Granberg-Michaelson).

Why are those numbers important?

It’s simple: if Jesus is God, then we should expect Him to be supernaturally effective. We should expect Him to know things about human nature, persuasion, truth, and power dynamics than anyone else. We should expect Jesus to accomplish far more with far less. And this is exactly what we find. These millions of Christians scattered across the globe are not united by any human leader, any single denomination, any single political agenda, or any other thing that unites other groups. The only common denominator is that every one of these Christians follows Jesus. Jesus is the most successful leader, teacher, social reformer, and world revolutionary that has ever lived. And He did it all in three and a half years. If God truly took on flesh and lived among us, that’s exactly the kind of supernatural effectiveness you would look for. Again, if Jesus is the Son of God, then there should be evidence everywhere. And indeed there is! There is so much more evidence we can explore:

  • Universally applicable teaching. If Jesus is God, then His teaching should work in every culture, in every age. And it does. Jesus’ words transform every culture they touch.
  • Endlessly captivating. If Jesus is God, then He should be able to captivate our imaginations and stir our emotions like none other. And indeed, this is exactly what is reported about how the crowds reacted to Jesus. This captivation continues through today, as Jesus is the most studied person in history, with more books written about Him, more songs sung about Him, more movies made about Him, more art created about Him, and more lives changed through Him than anyone else in history.
  • Immune from destruction. If Jesus is God, then we should expect His teaching and His movement to outlast all challengers. This is indeed what we find. Through 2,000 years of attacks, challenges, oppression, slavery, persecution, and torment, Christianity not only survives but thrives today. It tends to grow strongest when the greatest attacks are levelled against it. No force has ever been able to conquer or suppress Christianity. It just keeps growing.
  • A force for good. If Jesus is God, then His followers should be a force for good, if He claims to love this world. And indeed, this is what we find. To be sure, there have been the occasional conqueror or hateful politician who tried to attach Jesus to their cause. But violence and hate contradict Jesus’ command to love. Throughout the world and history, the vast majority of Christians have been agents of love, kindness and good in their communities. Consider the plagues that swept through the Roman Empire. It was the Christians who stayed behind to care for the dying and sick while all others fled. Christians cared even for their enemies, risking their lives for others because Jesus sacrificed His life for them.
  • Eternal significance. If Jesus is God, then His words should be relevant to every person who ever lives. And indeed, they are. He offers life eternal and joy never-ending to anyone who asks. He is not willing for a single person to perish, but rather sacrificed Himself so that the door is open to all who choose to enter.
  • Immediately accessible. If Jesus is God, then He should be available to everyone. And indeed, He is. He invites everyone to taste and see that the Lord is good. He fills every follower with His own Spirit so that they can experience him personally and directly.
  • Personally powerful. If Jesus is God, then he should be able to intercede supernaturally in the lives of his followers and indeed, this is exactly what we are delighted to find. The stories of Jesus answering prayer, performing miracles, and giving divine guidance are legion. Ask any Christian who regularly intercedes for others in prayer and we can tell you story after story after story of God accomplishing what only God can do.
 

Is the pattern revealing itself yet? If Jesus is the Son of God, there should be evidence abundant. And indeed, there is. 

Kyle Davison Bair © 2023. © 2015 Washington Post/Wes Granberg-Michaelson

 

Meekness

Meekness

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth,” Matthew 5:5. ©2020 Kyle Denny

Meekness isn’t something I heard a lot about growing up. I knew it was in some teachings that Jesus gave on a mountain, but it’s one of those things that you skim over when you read the Bible, because it’s weird.

A bunch of meek people gaining control of the Earth? Sounds like a sci-fi movie about monks and global domination. It’s easy to write that off as something God can explain later in Heaven…And yet, Jesus took time in His limited earthly ministry to talk about it. He wanted us to know about it on this side of eternity. Obviously from the context we can see that meekness is something that God desires and shows favor on, but what does it mean to be meek?

The image of a smiling pushover comes to mind, like an inflatable punching bag I swung at as a kid, but that can’t be right. Jesus was the ultimate example of meek (Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Mat 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.), and He’s the exact opposite of a pushover.

Moses, too, was described as incomparably meek. We read about it in Numbers 12. Moses is leading the nation of Israel and his older siblings launch a verbal attack against him, laced with envy, regarding his Cushite wife. During the encounter we see a stillness from Moses, in which he doesn’t defend himself.

Instead, God defends him with a mighty show of force. He calls out both siblings, Aaron and Miriam, and makes them answer for their words. First, he declares how faithful and above reproach Moses has been. How he alone was given the privilege to hear from God directly. Then He questions why they weren’t afraid to speak out against such a godly man who had done nothing wrong. Finally, God enacts a consequence and mutates Miriam’s flesh to the appearance of being chewed up and deformed. Yikes.

Is that not terrifying? Imagine standing nearby and witnessing that. How gut wrenching would that be for Aaron or Miriam? You can feel the shame and horror that would have settled after the sin. But instead of a smug grin on his face for being vindicated, Moses begs God to heal Miriam.

We see that Moses wasn’t concerned about defending himself let alone launching a counter attack on his siblings. He was slow to anger, leaning into a trust and deference of God. And rather than gloat about the justice that was eventually served, he cried out for the interest of another. Please heal her.

What it Means to be Meek

Meekness then is a controlled strength that puts everything in the hands of God. It is founded on a trust of the Lord, and it always denies self. We see it grow alongside humility and wisdom in that it seeks another person’s interest at the expense of its own, and it’s pure, peaceable, gentle, and open to reason (James 3:13-17 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

Jas 3:14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.

Jas 3:15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

Jas 3:16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

Jas 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

Jas 3:18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.).

This should not, however, be confused with cowardice or weakness. It’s not being afraid to stand up to someone; rather it’s having the courage to trust God for justice. We see this in David’s life before he was made king. Several times he had the strength and power to take the throne for his own and yet he rejected self. He quieted the whisperings of flesh that say “Why should you tolerate this? He should pay for this!” and chose instead to trust the Lord his God with quiet submission (1 Sam 26:10-11 David said furthermore, As the LORD liveth, the LORD shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish.

1Sa 26:11 The LORD forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the LORD’S anointed: but, I pray thee, take thou now the spear that is at his bolster, and the cruse of water, and let us go.). How counter cultural is that in today’s world? We have an entire online world that roars against that attitude.

A Spiritual Inheritance

Then there’s the bit about them inheriting the earth? Jesus has a habit of saying things that make you scratch your head. I have sympathy for the Apostles because I have the Spirit and years of studying His Word, and I’m still confused by what He says sometimes. My current understanding is this: there is a sense in which the meek have already inherited the earth. The Bible says that all things are ours in Christ, and Paul declared that he has nothing and yet he has everything. You take swipes at a meek man, and he takes it in his stride. You have no power over such a person. They are content and satisfied on this side of eternity. In that way they have inherited the earth.

But there are future expectations too. In the day when tears will be wiped away there will be a purification of the soul. Quite literally everyone in Heaven on the new earth will be meek. To be otherwise would be inconsistent with righteousness.

Where does that leave us? In a position of hope and certainty. One New Testament Scholar, D.A. Carson, says it this way, “With this eternal perspective in view he (a Christian) can afford to be meek”. Can you afford to be meek today? Do you trust God in a way that you know all things will be made right in the end? Are you free to suffer wrong and lean into the Lord?


Baby caught between 2 churches

Baby caught between 2 Churches

New Page

Author and original © unknown. Ta Biblia will hold ©Copywrite 2023 until advised of correct details.

Q. In the future I want to baptise my baby Catholic but my partner is Pentecostal. Him and his family are very intense in the sense that I will be “saved” and I need to become a part of the Pentecostal church or I won’t go to heaven (their exact words)?

A. This is a very tough one and a very touchy one. Both sides, Catholic and Pentecostal, are generally very set in their ways, although Catholics in recent years have loosened up on this. Pentecostals, not so much. I was Pentecostal for many years, got my degrees from their school, and taught for a time. I was also Eastern Orthodox for some years as well, which is almost identical to Catholics and once was part of the same church.

You are going to have to have some compromises, and everyone is going to have to bend a little for the sake of this baby. I don’t think you’re going to “convert” the Pentecostals and the Pentecostals aren’t going to convert to Catholic anytime soon. Neither is likely to give in altogether. Both sides believe firmly that they are THE TRUTH (insert copyright, registered trademark, and “inc.” as you wish) and the other side are going to HELL.

I don’t know the individuals, but I know the types of churches and beliefs involved. You might have to learn about the Pentecostal beliefs as a way of appeasing them a little, and hearing them out. They should learn about Catholic beliefs, and hear YOU out. As I said, no one will likely convert, but you should understand one another’s views.

Then, (and this is more difficult) you might explain that, although it may not be a meaningful scriptural practice to THEM, it is very important to YOU that the baby have this done. It is harmless, nothing bad happens, and it means a LOT to you. To them, the only way the baby is going to be “saved” is if they grow up and believe the gospel, repent from sins, receive the Holy Spirit (with evidence of speaking in tongues), and being baptized in water by immersion. That is their scriptural view on how the baby is to be saved. They might have other unflattering opinions of the church as well, but that is irrelevant and they should agree to leave those out of the discussion (e.g. “the pope is the antichrist!”). Hopefully, they will.

So to them the baby is not saved until it gets of the age of accountability and does all of the above. To the Catholic church, a baby needs to be initiated into the church via baptism. That does not guarantee s/he will continue to be Catholic anymore than all of the above will guarantee they will be Pentecostal. But the main thing is a peaceful resolution, and a few little compromises so that you are satisfied and they are at least mollified for the time being. Communication is the key here, and knowing that to them, you might try to side-track the baby’s potential salvation by diverting them into the Catholic church and thus preventing them from going through the scriptural steps I outlined above. And they ARE scriptural, and the Catholic church does it their own way.

But communicating that you want a peaceful resolution so that the baby does not grow up in the middle of conflict and stress over this is far more important. How do you think the baby is going to feel about God in general when s/he finds out they are the source of hostility between both sides of the family? The baby’s welfare is the highest priority.

Love certainly conquers all

Love certainly conquers all

…and is the essence of God, for His expression to us is love. Signs and miracles were meant to authenticate the authority and message of Christ and His Apostles at that time. Coming out of Pentecost, I believe people are misusing the gifts and that is why they are so emotional in their presentation of their gospel.

There is a movement that believes that the original authority of the Apostles has come back to the Church. I have not seen anyone who exercises that authority. If we love God and love people and are genuine about our faith, then yes, love covers all. We come to Christ because we love Him and want to follow Him. We desire to love Him for who He is not because we want healing or want to prosper.

Christianity is not living our best life now as some say. We are baptised into His death and resurrection, taking up our cross and following after Him. In doing so we count everything else as rubbish as Paul mentions. Essentially then, as we mature we discover who we are in Christ and do our part to honour Him and to know Him intimately and to express that amongst ourselves. I certainly have found people who use their gifting to exhibit immaturity, selfishness and pride. However can you blame them in amongst the culture that has been set in a big part of the modern church. Many masquerade as healers or prophets or apostles but should know better.

Can God heal? Absolutely! Can God do miracles? Absolutely! However, in my experience many of these people are frauds and should know it, as their prophecies do not come true and people are not being healed. Now some say the perfect has come with the canon of scripture or with the reign of Christ. However you interpret it, it is love that outweighs everything else as without it there is nothing.

Do we exhibit this at Border Church? Absolutely! We live in a family environment that cares for one another. We mature and share life together and all are given the opportunity to thrive and to be equipped for the purposes of Christ in each of our lives. We share the load and are healthier so we do not burn out. We are not weird and we present the Bible, reflecting the Father and teach the full Gospel message. Personally I have not found a church like ours and am so grateful that I came across it. We do not need a big wig or a stage or entertainment. We simply preach Christ and Him Crucified.

This is a Church that I feel comfortable inviting people to. This is a church that exemplifies the love of Christ with a sound theology. Church is a pleasure to go to and something I always look forward to.

© 2023 James Black

Is sorry enough

Is sorry enough?

As a child I remember getting displays on a brand of cereal boxes of how the Australian Aboriginals hunted, lived, and looked after the country that was theirs. I learned a bit about the Aborigines as (to the credit of the cereal makers) to my way of thinking at the time the pictures and accompanying notes were very respectful and engendered a great affection in my mind for the First Inhabitants of Australia. Both my parents encouraged this interest in the “noble savage” as I later found out they were referred to! As a boy I used to practice reading tracks in the dust of our back yard in the southern Flinders Ranges, and on odd occasions when I wasn’t inside reading books, this reading tracks would nearly be all consuming. I don’t think I was very good, but at least it kept me off the street.

I have close ancestors who helped open the South Australian outback as well as in the mid Northern Territory. The stories that came down to me regarding the Aborigines were said to be true and showed that in general they were a hospitable people, ready to help and care for the new strangers who had come to their land. While some of the newcomers were generally compliant, tried to get along with the occupants of the land, and returned the hospitality of the ‘blacks’, there were those who had other ideas! These were more racist, more belligerent, and more overwhelming. They wanted “their” land and would not take “no” for an answer!

The following is a direct copy of the article Terra Nullius by Ross Edmonds as presented by Australian Society for the Study of Labour History © 2021. I copied it as I could not do a better job of writing it.

Terra Nullius”

Ross Edmonds © 2021

Following the landmark decision in 1992 of the High Court of Australia in the Mabo case, there have been many references in the media to the concept of “terra nullius”. Rarely, however, has anyone explained what it meant other than simply translating the Latin term to mean something like “land that is not inhabited”. This is not what it was understood to mean in the 18th and 19th centuries when it was used as a quasi-legal justification for dispossessing the Australian Aborigines of their land.

The British Government knew the land was occupied, and never pretended otherwise. What I will do in this article is briefly explain how the concept evolved and how it and other concepts were used during the period of European invasion and colonisation in the 18th and 19th centuries. I will be drawing largely on an article by Ernest Scott. (People may refer to the article in the Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Volume XXVI, “Taking Possession of Australia – The Doctrine of Terra Nullius” pp.I-19.) Born in England in 1867, Scott worked as a journalist and editor before becoming Professor of History at Melbourne University. He retained the post until his death in 1939.1

The article was written shortly before Scott’s death in 1939 in response to a request he received from an American Professor, Philip Jessup, asking how the concept of terra nullius had been applied in Australia. Scott explains that the interest of the Americans was not purely academic for in July 1939 the U.S. Government stated that “… once Rear Admiral Byrd has established bases during his forthcoming expedition to the Antarctic, the Government will take the stand that any attempts by foreign Powers to establish a base west of the I90th meridian would be regarded as an unfriendly act.”2 Scott comments that “Here, then, is an assertion of the doctrine of terra nullius in the present year.” What he does not point out was that Antarctica was uninhabited and, as such, was “no man’s land” in 1939, whereas Australia in 1788 was not uninhabited.

Scott says that terra nullius was used to mean “… land not under any sovereignty. It is therefore land of which a sovereign state may consider itself at liberty to take possession. … In the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, Portugal, Spain, Holland, England and France took possession of such territory in Asia, Africa, America and Australasia, by performing certain symbolic acts,”3

When Columbus stepped ashore in 1492 he took the Royal Standard and called on his fellow officers to bear witness that he had taken possession (of what he didn’t know) for King Ferdinand and Queen Isabela. In 1583 Humphrey Gilbert, at Newfoundland,’ “erected the arms of England ingraven in lead and fixed upon a pillar of wood.”4This was as a means of signifying that he claimed possession for his sovereign, Queen Elizabeth I. Many other such examples could be given.

So, if terra nullius is defined as land not under any sovereignty, the next question is what is meant by the term “sovereignty”? During the invasion/colonisation of North America the English Government’s policy was that “colonists should not attempt to settle in any territory already possessed by any other Christian prince or people.” 5 Disputes inevitably arose between European countries concerning what areas “belonged” to which power, but by the end of the 17th century it was generally agreed “that effective occupation gave a valid title, but that discovery did not.”6 This then begs the question; what is effective occupation? In effect, it meant permanent occupation by Europeans.

The first known symbol of European discovery erected in Australia was that of the Dutchman, Dirk Hartog, in 1616. The Dutch, however, never made any claim to sovereignty over any part of Australia. When Cook set out on his first voyage of discovery he was instructed that if he found new lands he was to “take possession for his Majesty by setting up proper markers and inscriptions as first discoverers and possessors.”7 This Cook did in New Zealand and in Australia at various places in 1770.

This was somewhat contrary to the rules and the British Government knew that this claim would not be recognised by some European powers unless backed up by effective occupation. This it began to do in 1788 when a settlement was established at Sydney Cove. The British Government then claimed possession of all the East coast of the Australian continent and inland as far as the 135th degree of longitude that is to say, approximately the Eastern half of Australia but not including Tasmania. When a French expedition under the command of Baudin sailed in that direction in 1802, the Governor of N.S.W. sent a ship with orders to establish a settlement at Port Phillip Bay. Soon after settlements were established at Hobart and Launceston. A large part of the reason for these early settlements, initially at least, was to pre-empt any idea the French may have had about putting in a “land claim” of their own. Similar considerations of French and Dutch interest in Western Australia led to Captain Charles Fremantle being given orders to take possession of the Western half of the continent in 1829. A settlement was then established on the Swan River.8

In his article Scott says virtualIy nothing concerning the original inhabitants except for a brief comment that “Little regard was paid to their rights by any of the colonizing peoples. Generally, they considered that they were acting righteously in introducing the Christian religion to lands previously heathen.”9 Religion, like the concept of terra nullius, was used as one more justification for colonisation and, thereby, for the dispossessing the Aborigines of their land. In returning to the earlier question of what Europeans meant by the term “effective occupation”, Scott does not give us an answer. This point, however, is taken up by James MilIer in writing about the dispossession of his ancestors early last century in the Hunter Valley. MilIer says that part of the intellectual baggage brought by Europeans to Australia in the late 18th and early 19th centuries was John Locke’s proposition that “as much land as a man tills, plants, improves, cultivates, and can use the product of, so much is his property.”10 Therefore, it was argued, the Aborigines did not effectively occupy the land because they did not cultivate it, nor did they build permanent settlements. 11The Sydney Herald managed to combine elements from Locke and the Bible in 1838 when it stated that; “The British people took possession (of Australia) … and they had a perfect right to do so, under the divine authority, by which man was commanded to go forth and till the land.”12

In conclusion, I wish to comment on some lessons which can be drawn from the- above. One is the ingenuity with which societies and/or governments are able to justify, at least to themselves, actions which cause great harm to others. The historian’s task, on some occasions, is to challenge convenient beliefs even when this causes discomfort and even anger among some sections of society. Such is the case with the early history of White invasion and settlement in Australia. The history books used in schools today need to revise old thinking and make it clear that colonialism was based on conquest. It was European technological superiority which made this possible. Colonialism was based on the desire for land and wealth which was accomplished at enormous cost in human suffering and lives. The concept of terra nullius then provided some justification for what had been done.

Many people in Australia still prefer to use some of these justifications today rather than face the truth about what happened and why it happened. Despite this, attitudes are changing, as was seen in the 1992 High Court decision to recognise the principle of Native Title. Part of the tragedy is that Aborigines have been trying to make this point since 1788. For them it has been a long and bitter struggle. Maybe there are other lessons we “new Australians” can learn from the “old Australians” if we bother to listen. And hopefully it won’t take another 200 years.

References.

Australian Dictionary of Biography, Vol. II, p.544.

Ernest Scott; “Taking Possession of Australia – The Doctrine of Terra Nullius”, Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. XXVI, 1941, p.3.

ibid.,p.1.

ibid., p.3.

ibid., p.4′.

ibid., p.4.

ibid., pp.8-9.

ibid., pp.17-19.

ibid., p. 4.

Locke, John, “Of Property” in Two Treatises of Government, quoted by James Miller in Koori: A Will To Win, Angus & Robertson, 1985. p.94. John Locke (1632-1704) provided a philosophical basis for the English Whigs who came to power after the Glorious Revolution of 1688. They supported a Constitutional Monarchy under the rule of Parliament whereas their opponents, the Tories, supported an Absolutist Monarchy with a subservient Parliament. Locke’s rationalist ideas had a profound influence on European political and scientific thought in the 18th century, ultimately giving a philosophical basis to the French Revolution. His ideas on land reform in Europe were twisted by later generations to help justify the dispossession of native peoples.

This concept was not of much help to the British when they decided to invade and colonise New Zealand because the Māori had permanent settlements and did cultivate some of their land. This however didn’t stop them losing most of it.

Miller, op. cit., p.94.”

The above led to the killing of many Koori families and their dispossession from their ancestral lands and country. Massacres of the indigenous Koori’s followed on the supposed grounds of the white antagonists

It’s important to recognise that from the beginning of colonisation, Indigenous people continually resisted the violation of their right to land, and its impact on Indigenous cultures and communities. It’s estimated that at least 20,000 Aboriginal people were killed as a direct result of colonial violence during this era of Australian history. Between 2,000- 2,500 settler deaths resulted from frontier conflict during the same period.[8


God Almighty

God Almighty

© Jeffrey M Pearce 2023

Here is my idea of God, in a very shortened compressed version.

G-D is the ONE and ONLY Supreme Spiritual Being, Who is the Heavenly King of ALL Creation, Father of ALL Mankind, and the ONLY Glorious ONE Who is entitled to receive ALL Glory.

This wonderful Person presents Himself to All mankind in 3 possible ways, either individually or all at one time, that we should not ignore and must not misunderstand.

1. God Almighty, the Designer, Creator and Ruler of All Creation, creator of All Mankind, and the One who sits upon the Throne above heaven and earth to rule and reign as HE sees fit!

2. Yeshua, Jesus, the One and Only begotten or conceived and born Son of God, who is also God and who holds all Creation together by the strength of His Power. Then HE taught all mankind the truths of God and set himself to die for the sins of all the peoples of the world. It is said that G-D killed G-D, and it appears to be true.! (This is an email I sent a brother when he raised the subject. “In the beginning, God planned all things from the beginning to the end and everything in between. He determined that He needed a Perfect Blood Sacrifice to avail for all the sinfulness and sins of humankind. So, He, in His infinite power, wisdom and Grace, looked for a perfect sacrifice that would completely atone for the sins of God’s loved people of the world.

The only sacrifice God could find that was perfect enough was His only Son, Yeshua (Jesus).

So, Yeshua put Himself in the Father’s Will and hands so that all who will repent and believe may be cleansed of their sins by the Precious Blood of Yeshua and be raised to Eternal Life through His perfect resurrection.

Praise be to God! Hallelujah to glorious Yeshua! Thanks be to God’s Holy Spirit!

All the peoples of the earth are reputed as nothing.

God does His will in the army of heaven and among the nations of earth.

And no one can stop Him,

Or question what He does!

Daniel 4:35.”)

3. The Holy Ghost, or Holy Spirit, Who convicts us all of our sins and iniquities, who leads us to repentance, and who imparts to us God’s wisdom, His leading and guiding. This Holy Spirit of God Who comes from the Father and is sent by Yeshua (John 15:26) is also at times referred to as the Holy Spirit of Jesus.

The Bible says God is a spirit, he resides in the invisible spirit realm (heaven), heaven appears to be possibly a parallel universe which occupies a higher plane of existence than the material world we exist in. He has taken a name which he wants us to know. Hahuah (Yahweh) is the most widely recognized pronunciation of his name in English, but it is pronounced differently in many languages. His name means, “He causes to Become”, or “I will be because I will be”. (It does NOT mean “I am that I am”.)

Isaiah 42:8 NW — “I am Hahuah (Yahweh). That is my name; I give my glory to no one else, nor my praise to graven images”.

The scriptures assure us that our Creator is “the happy God”. Isaiah 62:2 “And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name. 

Isa 62:3  Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. 

Isa 62:4  Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. 

Isa 62:5  For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee

Isa 62:6  I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence, 

Isa 62:7 And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.” 

So, for eons of time, He happily existed alone, enjoying being alive, so much so, that at some point he decided to share His life with other living beings whom he would create in his own image.

The Bible tells us that he began by bringing to life his firstborn, spirit, son. He is called his only begotten son, because after his creation Hahuah had his firstborn son work along with him to create millions of other spirit sons (angels) to inhabit the invisible spirit realm with him. Along with his father this son who would be born a man child created all other things. (Proverbs 8:22-30)

Colossians 1:15-17 NW — He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; because by means of him all other things were created in the heavens and on the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All other things have been created through him and for him. Also, he is before all other things, and by means of him all other things were made to exist.

God’s angelic sons share many of Hahuah’s own qualities, in fact, the Bible refers to them as godlike ones. (Psalms 8:5) Hahuah dignified them as sentient individuals by granting them free-will. No doubt, Hahuah delighted to see his spirit sons enjoying life along with him.

At some point between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 it would appear that after creating the angels, spirits etc., God began creating the physical realm. (Or perhaps this first part of Creation actually took place as the first act of verse 1). He created billions of stars and galaxies and breathtaking celestial wonders. Along with those celestial bodies he created the earth. We do not know when the earth was created, the Bible says only that; “In the beginning” God created the heavens and the earth. It does not say when “the beginning” was, it may have been millions of years ago. Or maybe not!

The earth was part of the material universe He created, and he chose to populate the earth with a new creation. Rather than spirit sons who inhabit the spirit realm, he created children of flesh and blood to inhabit the physical realm.

Genesis chapters 1 and 2 describe how God prepared the earth for habitation one step at a time, and filled it with living things, plants, animals, birds, sea life, and a myriad of living creatures. The creation of man in his image was the crown of his earthly creation. Man was an intelligent being endowed with many of God’s own attributes. And just as he had done with his spirit sons, he also gave his human children free-will.

Hahuah wanted his human children to enjoy pleasurable lives. He carefully arranged a garden paradise and filled it with things to delight their senses. He surrounded them with beautiful things to see, and hear, to touch, and taste, and to smell.

When he settled Adam and Eve in their Garden home, God told them to “multiply and become many” to fill the earth with their children, and to subdue the earth which meant that they were to gradually extend the boundaries of their garden paradise until the whole earth was a global paradise filled with their happy healthy descendants.

The ability to produce children was a unique gift to mankind which God had not given to his angelic sons. His human children would experience the joy of giving birth to their own children. Little ones who would reflect some of their own features and qualities. They would experience the pleasure of being loved unconditionally by their own sons and daughters, and to delight in watching them develop into unique individuals who would share their values.

That is the hope of every parent, and it was God’s hope for the children he brought into existence as well. It is our purpose in life. Our reason for living.

Like all parents God wanted what every parent wants, to love, and be loved by their children and to experience the pleasure of seeing them develop into caring, compassionate individuals who share their values and make good choices in life. They want children who will be kind, generous, considerate, individuals who reflect the values their parents have taught them.

Hahuah created man as an expression of his love for life and his strong desire to share life with other intelligent beings. God wanted what every parent wants, to enjoy a close, meaningful, relationship with his children, so he instilled in us a need for a personal relationship with him.

Matthew 5:3 KJV — “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Some suppress that spiritual need in themselves, but it is still there below the surface, and it manifests itself in our search for purpose in life.

We were created with endless curiosity, and thirst, for knowledge. There will never be an end to what mankind can find out about God and his creation.

Ecclesiastes 3:10-13 KJV — “I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it. 

Ecc 3:11  He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. 

Ecc 3:12  I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. 

Ecc 3:13  And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.”

Cessationism, Continuism and works of the Faith

Cessationism, Continuism and the works of Faith

Cessationism

Cessationism is, generally speaking, a doctrine of Reformed Christianity. Prior to the Protestant Reformation, there was no such explicit doctrine, yet neither was there an expectation that most of the gifts of the Holy Spirit would persist in the Church in the day-to-day experience of Christians. Nevertheless, there were sporadic mentions of some gifts, such as speaking in tongues, and more frequently, but still unusually, of healings and miracles. It was when these miracles in the Catholic Church were used as a polemic against the post-Reformation Protestant churches that John Calvin began to develop a doctrine of cessationism, and it was primarily in the Calvinist tradition that this doctrine was developed. The argument was that as the gifts of the Spirit must have necessarily ceased at the end of the Apostolic Age, it followed that the claims of miracles and healings should be met with scepticism and could not be used by believers to determine God’s favour.[5]

As one Reformed theologian says, “John Calvin speaks of miracles as ‘seals’ added to the Word of God, and he warns that miracles must never be separated from the Word. When connected to the Word of God, miracles serve ‘to prepare us for faith, or to confirm us in faith.’ But when miracles are divorced from God’s Word, they ‘bring glory to creatures and not God.'”[6]

Although initial statements of this doctrine held that the miracles and gifts of the Spirit ended with the Apostolic Age, this was soon modified to a view that the gifts faded away over the first three centuries of the Church.[7] Writing in 1918, Benjamin Warfield, a Presbyterian theologian, reasserted the view that the gifts ceased with the death of the last of the apostles, arguing that only the apostles could confer the gifts upon other Christians.[8] With the advent of Pentecostalism, the focus of this doctrine moved away from Catholicism and towards claims of the emergence of spiritual gifts within Protestant groups.

Cessationism is the view that the “miracle gifts” of tongues and healing have ceased—that the end of the apostolic age brought about a cessation of the miracles associated with that age. Most cessationists believe that, while God can and still does perform miracles today, the Holy Spirit no longer uses individuals to perform miraculous signs.

The biblical record shows that miracles occurred during particular periods for the specific purpose of authenticating a new message from God. Moses was enabled to perform miracles to authenticate his ministry before Pharaoh (Exodus 4:1-8). Elijah was given miracles to authenticate his ministry before Ahab (1 Kings 17:1; 18:24). The apostles were given miracles to authenticate their ministry before Israel (Acts 4:10, 16).

Jesus’ ministry was also marked by miracles, which the Apostle John calls “signs” (John 2:11). John’s point is that the miracles were proofs of the authenticity of Jesus’ message.

After Jesus’ resurrection, as the Church was being established and the New Testament was being written, the apostles demonstrated “signs” such as tongues and the power to heal. “Tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not” (1 Corinthians 14:22, a verse that plainly says the gift was never intended to edify the church).

The Apostle Paul predicted that the gift of tongues would cease (1 Corinthians 13:8). Here are six “proofs” that it has already ceased:

1) The apostles, through whom tongues came, were unique in the history of the church. Once their ministry was accomplished, the need for authenticating signs ceased to exist.

2) The miracle (or sign) gifts are only mentioned in the earliest epistles, such as 1 Corinthians. Later books, such as Ephesians and Romans, contain detailed passages on the gifts of the Spirit, but the miracle gifts are not mentioned, although Romans does mention the gift of prophecy. The Greek word translated “prophecy” means “speaking forth” and does not necessarily (if ever) include prediction of the future.

3) The gift of tongues was a sign to unbelieving Israel that God’s salvation was now available to other nations. See 1 Corinthians 14:21-22 and Isaiah 28:11-12.

4) Tongues was an inferior gift to prophecy (preaching). Preaching the Word of God edifies believers, whereas tongues does not. Believers are told to seek prophesying over speaking in tongues (1 Corinthians 14:1-3).

5) History indicates that tongues did cease. Tongues are not mentioned at all by the Post-Apostolic Fathers. Other writers such as Justin Martyr, Origen, Chrysostom, and Augustine considered tongues something that happened only in the earliest days of the Church. It must be pointed out that various “branches” of the “Church” may have “lost” the gift of glossolalia, while other less organised or “important” branches may have continued with this and other gifts without this being noised abroad. The overall effect would have been that the gift/s had disappeared. Some of these “disappeared” gifts are said to have been continuing in some peoples in varying places of the Christian churches, but written and substantiated proofs of this appear to be almost non-existent.

6) There are indications that the gift of tongues [speaking in another known earthly tongue not known to the speaker] has ceased. If the gift were still available today, there would be no need for missionaries to attend language school. Missionaries would be able to travel to any country and miraculously speak any language fluently, just as the apostles were able to in Acts 2. As for the gift of healing, we see in Scripture that healing was primarily associated with the ministry of Jesus and the apostles (Luke 9:1-2). And we see that as the era of the apostles drew to a close, healing, like tongues, became less frequent. The Apostle Paul, who raised Eutychus from the dead (Acts 20:9-12), did not heal Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25-27), Trophimus (2 Timothy 4:20), Timothy (1 Timothy 5:23), or even himself (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). The reasons for Paul’s “failures to heal” are a) the gift was never intended to make every Christian well, but to authenticate apostleship (2 Corinthians 2:12; Hebrews 2:4); and b) the authority of the apostles had been sufficiently demonstrated. The reasons stated above are reasons cessationists believe the miraculous sign gifts have ceased. It is important to remember, though, that cessationists believe God still continues to work through the other gifts of the Spirit. According to 1 Corinthians 13:13-14:1, we would do well to “pursue love,” the greatest gift of all. If we are to desire gifts, we should desire to speak forth the Word of God, that all may be edified.

DOES CALVINISM BELIEVE IN FREE WILL?

John Calvin ascribed “free will” to all people in the sense that they act “voluntarily, and not by compulsion.” He elaborated his position by allowing “that man has choice and that it is self-determined” and that his actions stem from “his own voluntary choosing.”

Continuationism

Continuationism is a distinct theological position that arose in opposition to cessationism. “Spijkman points out that the denial of miracles is often based on a deistic dualism which sees God and the world as independent, entities. For Deists the only time God intervened in the affairs of the world was at creation, when God set in motion the laws that now govern the world. For strong cessationists the time of God’s direct intervention in world affairs is limited to the period before the closure of the canon. Since that time God is seen as working only through the structures set· in place. This is a far cry from the biblical picture of a living God, who not only upholds the world day by day through his sovereign power. but who also listens to the prayers of his people, and works all things for the good of those who love him (Rom. 8:28). “He who sees the miracles of Holy Scripture inseparably connected with the saving and redeeming activity of God knows that there can be no talk of a decrease or diminishing of the power of God unto salvation in this world…. There is not a single datum in the New Testament which makes it certain that God, in a new period of strengthening and extending of the Church in heathendom, will not confirm this message with signs, in holy resistance to the demonic influences of the kingdom of darkness.”

WHAT IS BIBLICAL CONTINUATIONISM?

Continuationism is a Christian theological belief that the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the spiritual gifts, have continued to the present age.

[I am of the opinion that the spiritual gifts have not ceased, for to admit so suggests that God no longer has His eternal creative and sustaining power, and I am fully aware that some will disagree with me. The gifts do not convey extra-biblical revelation but complement them and assist the body of Christ in understanding existing revelation. Anything that claims to be a gift must not say anything contrary to Scripture. If it does it is from the enemy. JMP.]

THERE IS A THIRD POSSIBILITY; THE FACT THAT GOD DOES HIS WILL IN ANY MATTER AS HE SEES IS FIT, HOW HE SEES IS FIT, AND WHEN AND WHERE HE SEES FIT. AFTER ALL, HE IS GOD.

And let us face it, Daniel 4:34 And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:

Dan 4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?

Dan 4:36 At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me.

Dan 4:37 Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and His ways judgement: and those that walk in pride He is able to abase.

DO HEALING MIRACLES STILL OCCUR TODAY?

Healing and other miracles are still found in the Church today, though they aren’t always dramatic and aren’t always spoken of publicly because those who experience them hold them sacred. You may want to look for miracles in your life or the lives of your family members or ancestors.

WHAT IS THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT?

The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. While some Christians accept these as a definitive list of specific attributes, others understand them merely as examples of the Holy Spirit’s work through the faithful.

WHAT IS THE GREATEST MIRACLE ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE?

Matthew 28:5 & 6, “And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” The greatest Miracle in the Bible is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead!

WHAT IS THE ONLY MIRACLE THAT IS MENTIONED IN ALL FOUR OF THE GOSPELS?

Feeding of the 5,000

The first miracle, the “Feeding of the 5,000“, is the only miracle—aside from the resurrection—recorded in all four gospels (Matthew 14:13–21; Mark 6:31–44; Luke 9:12–17; John 6:1–14).

WHAT IS A MIRACLE THAT HAPPENS EVERY DAY?

Still, there are other miracles that we tend to forget: The sun rises and sets each day; small seeds grow into mighty trees; the many components of our body work together, enabling us to breathe, run, dream, and eat.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT?

The work of the Holy Spirit is ultimately to exalt Christ in our hearts. He forms the image of Christ in us. We owe all to God in salvation. The Father gave us the Son, the Son gave his life for us, and the Spirit gives us life and faith in Christ, and every one of those is a miracle! Jesus in His wisdom sent the Holy Spirit to help us once Jesus had risen from the dead and rose to his heavenly Father. He said before-hand John 16: Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

Joh 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

Joh 16:9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;

Joh 16:10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;

Joh 16:11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

WHAT ARE THE NINE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT?

The Holy Spirit produces behavior traits that are representative of Jesus. The apostle Paul referred to these characteristics as the fruit of the Spirit. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23, NLT)

WHAT WERE JESUS LAST WORDS?

To God, his Father: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

To all: “I thirst.”

To the world: “It is finished.”

To God: “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”

WHAT IS THE MAIN PURPOSE WHY THE HOLY SPIRIT GAVE US SPIRITUAL GIFTS?

The purpose of the spiritual gifts is to edify (build up), exhort (encourage), and comfort the church. It is generally acknowledged that Paul did not list all of the gifts of the Spirit, and many believe that there are as many gifts as there are needs in the body of Christ.

HOW DOES THE HOLY SPIRIT INFLUENCE OUR LIVES?

The Spirit reveals God’s truth, and God’s truth renews our conscience, and so convicts the world of sin (John 16:7-11). As the Spirit educates the believer’s conscience with the things of God, the personal standard formed by the conscience begins to align with the standard of revealed truth.

HOW DO YOU EXPERIENCE THE HOLY SPIRIT IN YOUR LIFE TODAY?

If you want to be open to the Holy Spirit, it’s often useful to pray and meditate in a quiet place. You can also feel the Holy Spirit when you pray and read the Bible. When you take time to study God’s words, you show Him that you truly want to know Him and learn from Him.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT?

The work of the Holy Spirit is to exalt Christ in our hearts. He forms the image of Christ in us. We owe all to God in salvation. The Father gave us the Son, the Son gave his life for us, and the Spirit gives us life and faith in Christ.

CAN YOU RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT WITHOUT BEING BAPTISED?

In other words, every Christian, by definition, has the Holy Spirit. If you want to be re-baptized out of obedience to Christ, that is one thing. But, if you are already a Christian, then there is no need for you to be baptized again in order to receive the Holy Spirit – you already have the Spirit!

HOW DOES THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT CHANGE PEOPLE’S LIVES?

It is the Holy Spirit’s job to produce Christ-like character in you. This process of changing us to be more like Jesus is called sanctification. You can’t reproduce the character of Jesus on your own or by your own strength. New Year’s resolutions, willpower, and best intentions are not enough.

ARE THE HOLY GHOST AND HOLY SPIRIT THE SAME?

The English terms “Holy Ghost” and “Holy Spirit” are complete synonyms: one derives from the Old English gast (ghost) and the other from the Latin loanword spiritus. Like pneuma, they both refer to the breath, to its animating power, and to the soul. © 2000-2022 Google.

HOW DOES THE HOLY SPIRIT SPEAK TO US?

The voice of the Spirit is described in the scriptures as being neither loud nor harsh, not a voice of thunder, neither a voice of great tumultuous noise, but rather as still and small, of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper, and it can pierce even the very soul and cause the heart to burn. 1Kings 19:11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake:

1Ki 19:12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

CAN A MIRACLE HAPPEN WITHOUT FAITH?

You cannot have a miracle without faith Faith (absolute trust in Almighty God through genuine belief in the miraculous works of Jesus Christ, and by His Holy Spirit, resulting in our complete obedience to the Will of God) is always necessary for healing in the gospels – we can see this every time Jesus healed someone. Miracles strengthen faith. Therefore, the miracle has to happen first and then a person will trust and have faith. Salvation is by Grace alone, through Faith alone, by Christ alone. Unfortunately, people today require proof in order to have faith. [Read Hebrews chapters 11 and 12 and be excited at what Almighty God can do through mortal human beings].

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE HOLY SPIRIT COMES UPON YOU?

Acts 1:8 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. This power that comes from the Holy Spirit allows you to stand strong for the things of God, and above all other things, witness for Jesus!

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN OUR LIVES?

The purpose of the Spirit is to strengthen us. Some believers mistakenly think the main purpose of the indwelling Spirit is to give us knowledge. The Spirit does give us knowledge. His two main gifts are knowledge and power. However, the principal purpose of the Holy Spirit is to endue people with power to share the gospel with others and lead them to Grace and Faith in Christ! Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

WHAT IS THE FRUIT OF LOVE?

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…”

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DON’T USE OUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS?

“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another” (1 Peter 4:10 NLT). [1Corinthians 12:7 KJV But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

1Co 12:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

1Co 12:9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

1Co 12:10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

1Co 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will.

[What is the point of Almighty God giving us one or more of these various heavenly spiritual gifts, if we don’t bother putting them to good use for the kingdom of God. It would be like Adam and Eve who selfishly disobeyed God and ate of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, so they could be “as God”. Read Genesis 3:1-24. It’s worse than shooting yourself in the foot, as the saying goes!]

(Matthew 16:24) Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any person will come after Me, let them deny themselves, and take up their cross daily, and follow Me.

(Mat 16:25) For whosoever will save their life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose their life for My sake shall find it.

(Mat 16:26) For what is a person profited, if they shall gain the whole world, and lose their own soul? or what shall a person give in exchange for their soul?

CHRIST GAVE HIMSELF FOR YOUR SOUL!