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  • Jesus' Manifesto Part 4

    The summary of the onward transmission of Jesus’ Manifesto and the biblical basis for it applying to all believers. The summary of the onward transmission of the Great Commission is as follows below. Jesus -Luke 4:18-19 manifesto for humanity-given in the synagogue. Jesus -Mark 16:15-18 the 11 disciples-when Jesus appeared after the resurrection. Jesus -Matthew 28:18-20 great commission- to the disciples-spreading out to the nations The Holy Spirit-Acts 2:1-4 Pentecost- to the 120 in the upper room then to thousands in the Jerusalem-then beyond The bible and the church through the ages - to you and me today Does the Great Commission still apply today? Was this not just for the original 12 disciples? No see the biblical evidence below. Not everyone is an evangelist! -True but we are all called to be witnesses. Evidence that it still applies to all believers. 1.      The command to witness is for all believers. 2.      The example of ordinary believers in the early church. 3.      The Gospel places a stewardship on us. 4.      The work of the ministry in Ephesians 4:12. 1.The commands to witness are given to all followers of Christ. Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” This verse gives a command from the risen Lord to all his followers. 2 Cor. 5:18-20 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 2. Consider the example of “ordinary believers” in the early church. As we follow the storyline of the early church it is obvious that the apostles sought to evangelize and disciple others. But we see ordinary believers sharing the gospel as well. We read in Acts 8:1, “And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.” And what did those ordinary believers do?  Acts 8:4 “Now those who were scattered went about preaching (euangelizomenoi) the word.”  They went about sharing the gospel with others. 3. Consider the stewardship the gospel confers on us. Jesus reminds us, “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required” (Luke 12:48). We have been given no greater gift than the gospel, and we have no greater stewardship than to share that message of good news with others. Paul expresses it well in 2 Corinthians 5:14: “for the love of Christ compels us.” 4. Finally, consider what Paul calls “the work of ministry” in Ephesians 4:11-12 The 5-fold ministry (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers). The reason God “gifts” the church with such leaders is so that they will “equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” -(Eph. 4:12).  And we should certainly include sharing the Gospel in “the work of ministry.” In conclusion all believers need to be carrying on the work of the Great Commission today. Amen Personal Prayer

  • Jesus' Manifesto Part 3 The onward transmission

    The Great Commission Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus’ mission (manifesto) was passed down to the disciples and so on, all the way down to us believers today. Mark 16:15-18 is similar to Matthew 28:18-20 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Jesus’ manifesto was first passed to the 11 disciples and ultimately to the whole church including us- c.f Matthew 28:18-20 The Great Commission is our commission. Many believers look for confirmation in a “calling.” But Jesus did not call some (or any) of his followers to his mission. Rather, he called them to himself and sent them on mission. If you are walking with Jesus, his manifesto is incumbent on you and me. Every disciple must be a disciple-maker, whether God sends you down the street or to the other side of the world. As you go to work, to the grocery store, to the foodbank, or to the gym- live and love like Jesus. Be confident in his authority. Mark 16:15-18 describes the full gospel: salvation from sin, deliverance from demons, healing and curing of sickness and disease, and immunity from poisons. The next transmission of Jesus’ manifesto was in: The Great Commission Matthew 28:18-20 18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Consider the four “alls” of Christ’s commission, “All authority”, To go to “all nations”, To communicate “all his teaching,” strengthened by his presence “all the time” (translated always). Jesus claims to have all authority in the universe to lead us on this journey. He claims that his teaching is the most important thing in life to follow and therefore, he claims that all nations need to know his teaching. And last but not least, he claims that he will be with us for all time. Huge claims, and in the literal sense, incredible — you would not believe them unless Jesus is God. Whatever, the four “alls” might mean for you and me and wherever the Lord takes us, be it near or far we must not let fear crowd out our faith. Jesus spoke these words to give us a task and to give us courage in and through the task. These four “alls” remind us that the burden is not on us but on Jesus Christ himself. However, we are obliged to obey Jesus’ command, for the Great Commission is for every believer. Amen Personal Prayer In Part 4 we consider the onward transmission of Jesus’ manifesto on the day of Pentecost.

  • Jesus' Manifesto Part 2

    Isaiah 61:1-2 and Luke 4:18-19 Isaiah 61:1-2 1 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound. 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, And the day of vengeance of our God. To comfort all who mourn, Jesus quoted from this scripture showing that the Holy Spirit had anointed him, like the holy oil used to consecrate holy persons (the priests) and holy things (in the tabernacle and temple). Yeshua Ha’Meshiach in Hebrew becomes Jesus Christos in the Greek i.e. the anointed one and we Christians are the little ‘anointed ones’. The anointing confers God’s power on the anointed one showing that the Messiah is chosen and empowered by God. The Messiah would fulfil this scripture which is exactly what Jesus did in Luke 4:18-19 These verses describe the essence of Jesus’ mission or ministry. The ministry of the Messiah is empowered to bring healing, freedom, and comfort to his people i.e. full redemption. Back to Luke Luke 4:20 Then He closed the book and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 So all bore witness to Him and marvelled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?” v20-21 Jesus did not prolong his message but stuck closely to the point which was that those people privileged to hear these gracious words were actually simply hearing not only these prophetic words about the coming Messiah but were witnesses to the actual Messiah proclaiming them- in a sense Jesus is saying – the promised Messiah- I am he. v22 the congregation were astonished by these (lit.) words of grace- but wanted to dismiss Jesus claims of being ‘the Messiah’ – who does he think he is – I kent [1] his faither Joseph. Will not the Messiah come from royalty and come on a big white horse to defeat the Romans? In Part 3 we will consider the onward transmission of Jesus’ manifesto (mission) through the church. [1] Scottish vernacular used to make a point.

  • Jesus' Manifesto Part 1

    Luke 4:18-19 The UK news media is buzzing at present with speculation as to when the next UK general election will take place. Once the date is announced the politicians will be delivering their manifestos to entice the electorate to vote for them and their party. The manifesto contains the promises of what the politician intends to perform If the people elects them. In a sense that is what Jesus did in in the scripture Luke 4:18-19 which you could say was his manifesto, or his mission, or his agenda, or his platform, or even as his job description but please note his manifesto was based exclusively on the will of Father God as described in the Holy Scriptures. A what a wonderful manifesto it was, no one has before or since gave such wonderful promises to humankind as Jesus did in his manifesto. And unlike many politicians, Jesus delivered, then and now, each and every promise in his manifesto. PTL. Context of Luke 4:18-19 Luke 4:16 So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. 17 And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: Jesus’ Manifesto 18    The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed. 19    To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. Jesus was anointed (saturated) with the Holy Spirit to fulfil the specific purposes for which the Father God had sent him. Each point Jesus makes is part of the wonderful news in his manifesto. 1.To preach the Gospel the good news of salvation to the poor. The poor* being everyone who was as sinner and had no way of obtaining forgiveness of their sins and receiving God’s salvation. * biblically =dependent on others i.e. spiritually speaking to us all. 2. To heal the broken hearted- one of the Teen Challenge (addiction recovery) leaders explained to me that everyone who has addiction problems has had a broken heart in their relationships in life. Many other people have had their hearts broken too in their life relationships and experiences but without addiction. Jesus came specifically to bind up the broken hearts to restore meaning, purpose, and wholeness to our lives. Remember Matthew 12:20 A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench, Till He sends forth justice to victory; (Isa 42:3) when we feel that we are hanging by a thread or that our candle flame is going to go out. Jesus binds up our strands and breathes his oxygen onto our flames. The wonderful news in Jesus’ manifesto continues. 3. Jesus came to set people free from the bondage and slavery of sin which takes them captive at will. The believer no longer is at the whim of sin but can stand against it in using the full panoply of armour of God and the weapons Jesus has given us. Jesus came to remove all our guilt, and shame-these are often Satan’s weapons to hold us back from serving God. 4. Not only did Jesus often heal the physical blindness in his earthly ministry but more importantly took away the blindness of the unbelievers when we were saved into God’s Kingdom. Remember the hymn line from ‘Amazing grace’: ‘I once was blind but now I see.’ That was you and I until we became believers. 5. Jesus came to set at liberty those who are oppressed by the devil, those held down from living their lives to the full by demonic oppression in its various manifestations. v19 The acceptable year of the Lord refers to the Jubilee year (50th) of the Lord in which land was returned to the original owner, all debts were forgiven, slaves were released- these are good parallels in the life of the believers when we are first saved. The Jubilee year was the year of redemption, Jesus announced that He was bringing full scale redemption to humankind in his manifesto. Amen Personal Prayer In part 2 we consider the words that Jesus read from Isaiah 61:1-2

  • The one and only true Gospel

    According to Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 The Apostle Paul came to preach the gospel to the Roman church to a society much like ours today in terms of the unrighteous lifestyles as described in Romans chapter 1. The Gospel was the only answer to the downward spiral of human activities in Rome and is still the same answer to the same problem in the modern world today, which is the preaching of the one true Gospel. So what is the Gospel according to Paul? Romans 1:1 Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God 2 which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, 3 concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, 4 and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. 5 Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name, 6 among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ. We find in the above passage in Paul’s own words,• the message he preached is the gospel of God (verse 1)• the good news Paul preached, the gospel of God, was foretold by the holy prophets long before Paul lived (verse 2)• the gospel message focuses on Christ Jesus, a descendant of King David according to the Scriptures (verse 3)• though born of a woman and, thus, being fully man, Jesus was also fully God and divine in nature; His Sonship was indisputably established by the Holy Spirit through His bodily resurrection (verse 4)• Paul’s authority as an apostle, being called to preach the gospel of God, was granted to him by none other than the Lord Jesus Christ (verse 5)• those called of God, having heard and believed the gospel of God, now belong to the Lord Jesus (verse 6). Romans 2:16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel. Paul speaks of the gospel message he proclaimed as “my gospel” in Romans 2:16 and 16:25. What, then, is the “gospel of Paul”? Does it differ from the true gospel, the gospel the other apostles preached? Paul also lays out the gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, According to this passage, • there is only one gospel: it is the gospel of God that Paul preached and in which the redeemed have taken their stand (verse 1)• this is the gospel that saves, the gospel Paul delivered, and the gospel that must never be forgotten or discarded (verse 2)• according to the Scriptures, the Lord Jesus died for our sins. His sacrifice paid our sin debt (verse 3)• after His lifeless body was taken from the cross and laid to rest in a borrowed tomb, Jesus miraculously walked away from where He lay, as foretold by the holy prophets, proving His absolute power over sin and death (verse 4) This is the Gospel truth! Paul’s gospel teachings are in harmony with the Old Testament patriarchs and prophets, his New Testament contemporaries, and, most importantly, the teachings of Jesus Christ. Those who accuse Paul of having strayed from the gospel have no evidence to support themselves. Scripture proves that, rather than teaching a “different gospel,” he gave the church greater insight into the only true gospel, the gospel of God (Romans 1:1). The following passage gives ample evidence that Paul’s prime motive was not in making a name for himself, but in furthering the cause of Christ: 1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. This is the one and only true gospel that will save your soul -have you believed it? For further reading see also Romans 10:9-10 Amen Personal Prayer

  • Can science explain everything? Part 2

    Common pitfalls in using the scientific method The scientific method is indeed a powerful tool. Like any tool, however, if it is misused it can cause more harm than good. The scientific method can only be used for testable phenomenon. This is known as falsifiability [1]. While many things in nature can be evaluated and measured, some areas of human experience are beyond objective observation e.g. the meaning of life. An everyday example of something not falsifiable is the statement ‘cake is always better than biscuit’ this is because it is very subjective. Both proving and disproving the hypothesis are equally valid outcomes of testing. It is possible to ignore the outcome or inject bias to skew the results of a test in a way that will fit the hypothesis. Data in opposition to the hypothesis should never be discounted. What type of questions does the scientific method best address? It is widely accepted that the scientific method is particularly good at answering the ‘how’ questions in science e.g. how do antibiotics such as penicillin kill bacteria [2]. However when it comes to answering the ‘why’ questions as to the meaning and purpose of certain things including your life itself, the scientific method has less to contribute. This can be best understood by posing the ‘why’ questions to your own life. Amongst these big questions we might ask ourselves we might include the following. 1. Who am I? 2. What Is My Life Purpose? 3. What is My Life Plan? The go-to place for life’s big ‘Why’ questions is the bible. A good starting point with our ‘why’ questions can be found In just one bible verse: John 3:16 KJV: 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. The answers we can deduce from this verse include the following: 1.       There is a loving Creator God who adores his created human beings including you. 2.       The Creator God loved humankind including you enough to sacrifice the life of his Son. 3.        The Creator’s plan for us (including you) is that we believe in the Gospel of his Son Jesus Christ so that we can enter eternal life with him. Amen [1] Falsifiability is the capacity for a proposition, statement, theory, or hypothesis to be proven wrong. The concept of falsifiability was introduced in 1935 by Austrian philosopher and scientist Karl Popper (1902-1994). [2] The antibiotic properties of the mould Penecillium genus were identified and described in 1929 by Alexander Fleming in London. He named the active agent as penicillin.

  • Can science explain everything? Part 1

    What is the scientific method? Can science explain everything these days? Is there a need for a supernatural hypothesis to make sense of life? Why should we believe in an invisible God? Modern science and its multiple successes has since the 17th century has been based on a procedure called the scientific method. The scientific method consists of a methodical approach that involves the systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and the modification of hypothesis for the study [1]. We should also note that a critical approach to each stage forms the backbone of the scientific method and that the process must be based on currently validated scientific methods. Here is an example: The scientific method and the development of the smallpox vaccine [2] Edward Jenner (1749 – 1823) was a medical doctor and scientist who lived in England [3]. At that time smallpox was a dangerous disease for humans, with a mortality rate of around 30% of those infected and also leaving survivors badly scarred or even blind. However, Jenner knew that smallpox in cattle was comparatively mild and could be spread from cow to human through sores located around the cow’s udders. Jenner discovered that cattle workers thought that if they had already contracted cattle pox (which was cured quickly) then they would not get human smallpox. Observation: The starting point of Jenner’s work was that the belief that immunity from smallpox might be obtained from the subject having had the lesser infection of cattle pox. From this observation Jenner went on to the next step of the scientific method, starting with the hypothesis that this belief was true and developing the necessary experiments to prove or refute it. Hypothesis: Infection with cattle pox gives immunity to human smallpox. Experiment: The experiments that Jenner performed would be considered highly unethical today, since they were performed on humans. Although at that time there was no other way to evaluate the hypothesis, experimenting on a child today would be completely unthinkable. Jenner took cowpox sore contents from the hand of an infected milkmaid and applied it to the arm of a boy. The boy was ill for several days but then fully recovered. Jenner later took material from a smallpox sore and applied it to the same boy’s arm. However, the child did not contract the disease for a second time. After this first test, Jenner repeated the experiment with other people and later published his findings. Conclusions: the scientific method confirmed the hypothesis. Therefore infecting a person with cowpox protects against a smallpox infection. Subsequently, the scientific community was able to repeat Jenner’s experiments and obtained the same results. This is how the first “vaccines” were invented: applying a weaker strain of a virus to immunize the person against the stronger and more harmful virus. [1] For a useful overview of the scientific method see https://www.britannica.com/science/scientific-method [2] The smallpox example was adapted from Examples of Scientific Method - Examples Lab [3] Jenner’s life story see https://www.jenner.ac.uk/about/edward-jenner In Part 2 we investigate what questions can be answered by the scientific method and also the type of question it cannot answer.

  • How can the God of the Old Testament be described as loving? Part 3

    The imprecatory Psalms The integrity of God’s character is a better explanation of our apparent conundrum of how the God of the Old Testament approves or even commands the things found in the imprecatory Psalms. God has always possessed integrity as part of His eternal, infinite, unchanging and perfect being. The integrity of God is composed of two divine attributes working in tandem which are perfect righteousness and absolute justice. Divine integrity cooperates with the divine love; together forming one perfect, integrated system through which God deals gracefully with humanity. Grace is the expression of God’s love, and integrity is the uncompromising method of His justice. [1] Divine integrity ensures that the God of love and grace is neither inappropriately emotional, nor does He play favourites [2], nor does He fail to be decisive in any human situations. We should note that God’s attribute of absolute justice demands punishment not only upon sin but also of the sinner. If it is right for God to destroy evil including evil persons and even to go as far as commanding his servants to perform the destruction of evil and evil persons, then it can be argued that it was right in God’s eyes for the Psalmists to pray for the destruction of the wicked. If indeed, the imprecatory psalms were inspired by the Holy Spirit and therefore, they must have reflected God’s will. The late Bible teacher Roger Price (Chichester) on a radio programme was asked in the dying seconds of his interview whether his God was the same God who was capable of terrible acts against humans as in the imprecatory psalms. Roger’s reply was clear ; ‘Yes, the God of the Old and New Testaments is a God of love and mercy, but He is also a God of absolute justice and decrees punishment for the unrepentant.’ This is the reason that Christians must urgently share the Gospel of Jesus Christ before it is too late for sinful men and women to come to repentance. The best explanation as to why the imprecatory psalms (and other terrible scriptures) seem to be so different from the God of the New Testament, and is found in the consideration of God’s integrity as mandated between His two divine attributes of His righteousness and His absolute justice. God employs both attributes as required in his dealing with humankind. This seems to me to be closer to explaining why the imprecatory psalms were written but also bids us remember God’s lovingkindness and mercy. What do you think? Footnotes [1] God the Father showed his integrity by not sparing Jesus from the cross. In Psalm 22 we find the Messiah crying out ‘My God my God why hast thou forsaken me’? The Father and the Holy Spirit turned their back on Jesus as he became sin on the cross. [2] For example in Matthew 26:39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

  • How can the God of the Old testament be described as loving? Part 2

    The imprecatory Psalms How can we match up these curses from the imprecatory Psalms with the God of Love described in the New Testament? Here are some examples of approaches where apologists have tried to reconcile these two quite different pictures of God’s character. The imprecatory psalms cannot be attributed to a single psalmist but rather the list of such including David, Asaph, and other unidentified authors. A solution to our conundrum in explaining these difficult psalms is the assertion that they are not invoking a desire for the doom of the wicked but rather are predicting such. However this is not supported by such psalms that are really prayers such as in Psalm 55:9 Destroy O Lord and divide their tongues. There is a good case that the psalmists were actually praying in the texts of the imprecatory psalms. So it seems likely that the imprecatory psalms had some measure of the doom of the wicked in view and therefore were not merely predictive of their future doom. Christian dispensationalists who split history into seven distinct periods want to put the Psalms into the dispensation of the law not to the later dispensation of grace. This allows the Old Testament believers to call down divine judgement on their enemies as in the imprecatory psalms. However this would be unacceptable behaviour by New Testament believers living in the dispensation of grace. The main problem with this point of view is that seems to give scripture contradicting scripture. It is also of note that a number of the imprecatory psalms are referred to in the New Testament (e.g. in Acts 1:20 reference is made to Psalm 69:26 in reference to Judas Iscariot). C. S. Lewis rightly asserted: ‘The ferocious parts of the Psalms serve as a reminder that there is in the world such a thing as wickedness and that . . . is hateful to God [1]. However the suggestion by Lewis that the imprecatory psalms are due to ‘human qualities’ because scripture merely carries the Word of God [2] appears to contradict the New Testament teaching on the doctrine of inspiration [3] and thus cannot give a full explanation of the imprecations. It should also be noted that the psalmist King David is portrayed as a significantly merciful man who prayed for his enemies and spared Saul’s life when it was in his power to harm him. So it seems likely that David’s imprecatory psalms did not come from a vengeful and violent man. Frederika Pronk [4] has proposed that most people make two basic wrong assumptions when trying to reconcile the imprecatory psalms with the God of the New Testament. The first assumption is that ‘the welfare of man is the chief end of man’ and the second assumption is that ‘God is only merciful and not also righteous and just to punish the guilty.’ The first assumption is a humanistic view and contrary to the sovereignty of God. As the Shorter Westminster catechism taught…’The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.’ The second assumption fails to consider the integrity of God’s character. Footnotes [1] Reflections on the Psalms (1958) p. 33 by C S Lewis. [2] Reflections on the Psalms (1958) pp.87 and 112 by C S Lewis. [3] See 2 Timothy 3:16. [4} The Outlook (1981) The imprecatory Psalms: Christian Library by Frederika Pronk. In Part 3 we find a better answer to our conundrum in considering the character of God.

  • How can the God of the Old testament be described as loving? Part 1

    The imprecatory Psalms The Old Testament describes awful events that God does not just allow but commands. How can God be described as loving when we read such stories? Our approach to exploring this topic is to consider the imprecatory psalms of the Hebrew scriptures in which the psalmists want something bad to happen to someone else. Definition of Imprecatory: Imprecatory Psalms, contained within the Book of Psalms of the Hebrew Bible (Hebrew: תנ"ך), are those that imprecate – invoke judgment, calamity, or curses upon one's enemies or those perceived as the enemies of God [1]. Imprecations in the Psalms Of the one hundred and fifty Psalms, six are com­monly classified as "imprecatory" Psalms. These are Psalms 55, 59, 69, 79, 109 and 137. Besides these main six imprecatory Psalms, there are portions of other Psalms which include statements, calling for God's wrath and punishment to be executed upon the wicked. Some examples are Psalms 17:13-14, 35:4-6, 24-26, 58:6-11, 68:1, 71:13, 83:13-17, 94:1-7, 129:5-8, 140:9-11, 143:12, etc. How can we account for the petitions raised to God to bring curses upon the wicked? For example  ‘’Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell’’ (Psalm 55:15), or "Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth" (Psalm 58:6), "Let them be blotted out of the book of the living?" (Psalms 69:28), "Pour out thy wrath upon the heathen" (Psalm 79:6), are some of the fearsome curses the Psalmists wish upon their enemies. There are curses for God's wrath to even come upon widows and children: "Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow" (Psalm 109:9f), and speaking about the Babylonians, the Psalmist says: "Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy lit­tle ones against the stones" (Psalm 137:9). How can we match up these curses from the Psalms with the God of Love described in the New Testament? [1] Wikipedia definition. In Part 2 We we will consider if there can be any justification for these imprecatory psalms.

  • When I make up my jewels Malachi 3:16-18 Part 3

    Lessons from the Scottish Revival 1948-52 What happened next? Then the revival began to sweep into Arnol, another district where men had been praying and crying out to God because of the deadness of religion. In desperation a little band of men made their way to a farmhouse to plead the promises of God. Just after midnight a young man rose and prayed a prayer that will never be forgotten by those present: "Lord, you made a promise, are you going to fulfil it? We believe that you are a covenant keeping God. Will you be true to your covenant? You have said that you will pour waters upon him who is thirsty and floods upon the dry ground (Isaiah 44:3). Lord, I know how these ministers stand in your presence, but if I know my own heart I know where I stand, and I tell thee now that I am thirsty. Oh, I am thirsty for a manifestation of the presence and power of God! And Lord, before I sit down, I want to tell you that your honour is at stake!" The House Shook! Then came the answer - While the brother prayed the house shook like a leaf as God turned loose His mighty power - the dishes rattled on the sideboard. The elder exclaimed, " An earth tremor!" Then wave after wave of divine power swept throughout the farmhouse. - Walking the streets under conviction Simultaneously, the Spirit of God swept through the village. People could no longer sleep. houses were lit all night; people walked the streets under conviction; people knelt by their bedsides crying out to God to help them. As the praying men left the prayer meeting, the preacher walked into a house for a glass of milk. He found the lady of the house, with seven others down upon their knees crying for pardon. 48 hours to change all the youth and every young man Within 48 hours the drinking house, usually crowded with the men of the village, was closed. Within 48 hours every young person between the ages of 12 and 20 had surrendered to Christ, and every young man between the ages of 18 and 35 could be found in the prayer meetings. Message for Ireland and beyond God is looking for his intercessors for Ireland, and I believe that He has sent me here tonight to tell you that it is you and to remind you about a covenant engagement; c.f. the Lewis revival. He has promised to pour out his Spirit on the dry and thirsty ground. You praying women should put God in remembrance of his covenant, humble yourselves and repent, confess the sins of the nation, then he will come ... Amen Prayer Further reading on the Lewis Revival: The Lewis Awakening: The Nature of a God Sent Revival eBook : Campbell, Duncan, Publications, CrossReach: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

  • When I make up my jewels Malachi 3:16-18 Part 2

    Lessons from the Scottish Revival 1948-52 In Part 1 we saw that the praying men and women in the Hebrides were given a revelation by the Holy Spirit that God was a covenant keeping God who responded to the intercession of his covenant people. Here is what happened next; At 3am God swept into the cottage The first night of the meetings in the church at Barvas, nothing much happened, but one of the praying deacons said to Duncan Campbell, "Don't be discouraged, it is coming. I already can hear heaven's chariot wheels. We will have another night of prayer and then we will see what God is going to do." About thirty went to a nearby cottage and continued to pray into the night. At about 3am God swept into the cottage and about a dozen were laid prostrate on the floor, unable to move. Something had happened! Revival had come! As they left the cottage, they found the lights burning in every house as men and women were seeking God. They found three men laying by the roadside under conviction of sin, crying out for God to have mercy on them. Converted before arriving at church The events of the second night will never be forgotten by those who were there! Buses came from the four corners of the island. Seven men were being driven to the meeting in a butcher’s truck, when suddenly the Spirit fell on them in great conviction - they were all converted before they reached the church. As the preacher preached tremendous conviction swept down upon the people and tears fell down the faces of those present. So deep was the distress of some that their voices could be heard outside. Under the burden of Intercession The meeting finally ended, and people began to move outside. A young man began to pray under a tremendous burden of intercession, He prayed for three quarters of an hour and as he prayed people gathered outside the church until there were twice as many outside as there had been inside. When he stopped praying, an elder gave out Psalm 132 and as the great congregation began to sing, the people streamed back into the church again and the meeting continued until 4am. The moment people took their seats the Spirit of God in great conviction began to sweep through the church and hardened sinners wept and confessed their sins. At the police station As the meeting was finally closing, a messenger hurried to the preacher, "Come with me! There is a crowd of people outside the police station; they are weeping and in awful distress. We do not know what is wrong with them, but they are calling for someone to come and pray with them." Describing the scene outside the police station the minister later declared, "Oh I saw a sight I never thought possible. Something I shall never forget. Under a starlit sky, men, and women were kneeling everywhere, by the roadside, outside the cottages, even behind the peat stacks,crying for God to have mercy on them!" Six hundred people had been making their way to the church, when suddenly the spirit of God had fallen upon them in great conviction, causing them to fall to their knees in repentance. Crying out against dead religion and standing on the promises of God. Amen Revival Prayer In Part 3 we find out what else happened when revival came to the Hebrides and the implications for the church in Ireland and elsewhere.

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