Churches that reflect God’s open-ness

Richard in Dartmouth, DevonRebecca’s poignant thought reflects what I spotted yesterday. On our day out in the Emsworth-Chichester area I spotted a billboard leaning on a wall by steps up to a church. It read, ‘We are NOW open for prayer and reflection’. Whilst focussing upon traffic I briefly thought, “Why ‘now’?” – it implies a welcome change and encouraging invitation for passers-by to drop in. And there was a similar one a few miles back!

God and Politics in the UK

Following on from my post earlier this week on a generation of adults, the majority of whom have no experience of church, I was sent this piece from Rebecca Margrete Hodel-Jones. I felt it was too substantial to add to the article’s comments, so I’ve decided to give it its own slot. Rebecca is a Licensed Lay Minister in Ripon and Leeds Diocese. Describing herself she says: “I am currently ‘living on my means’ after thirty three years as a teacher. I keep a pair of Love Birds who greet me when I go into the kitchen. I’m passionate about my home, garden, step grandson and hosting Quiet Days- all blessings from God.”

———-

Last week I finally got round to doing a job that had been there to accomplish for several months; making my sister’s birthday present. This was quite a task as I was creating a one off…

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Note on Christian prophecy and The Apocalypse

Digging into the difference of opinion noted in the re-post from Joel Rosenberg unearthed an interesting find – one connecting into what I wrote ten weeks ago today about the origin of this blog. I’ll say more about that later.

Some readers may have queried my covering comment to Joel’s post; (it) “includes opinions of a Bible teacher who thinks its prophecies have happened“.  This merely reflects the actual content of The Blaze interviews.

As Hank Hanegraaff’s online radio show is called ‘Bible Answer Man’, my remark may seem to question that title. Those reading the linked article would note journalist Billy Holloway’s statement that Hanegraaff has “a wildly different take on the matter” to that of Rosenberg for he, “rejected the notion that Revelation and other alleged prophecies apply to today’s world”.

How come? Aren’t both men Christians? A little elucidation is called for…

Doubtless both men meet the basic criterion for a born-again believer, as in the Spirit-inspired instruction of the apostles Paul and John:

if you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord”, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. (Chapter 10 of Paul’s letter to the Romans; New International Version)

16 For God so loved the world (that’s you, my reader) that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (Chpt 3 of the Gospel according to John; NIV)

So, to have faith in Christ it isn’t absolutely necessary to believe everything in the Bible. In fact, some believers disregard prophecy and scholars have various opinions upon this topic and when, if at all, predicted events will occur. Also, are such things to be taken figuratively?  The widest divergence in opinion is over the Bible’s closing book – ‘The Apocalypse’, or ‘Book of Revelation’. In the original Greek this Book opens as follows.:

‘Apocalupsis iEsou christou…’

‘The unveiling of Jesus Christ (anointed one)’, per the Greek Interlinear Bible, or as the New King James Version translates it:

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John,  who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near. (Revelation 1)

John is thought to have been the closest disciple of Jesus, and could thereby personally attest to Jesus’ awesome origin, as in the first of three short letters to believers:

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life—the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us(1 John 1)

The Apocalypse opens by stating its purpose: an unveiling of God’s plans that He gave to Jesus Christ, for sharing through his surviving first disciple several decades after he witnessed Jesus’ resurrection from death. This account tells how John acquired this information. He became Jesus’ amanuensis in writing exactly what Jesus dictated as personal letters to seven churches in Asia as a result of His having visited them.

White Door in SkyNext, John was caught up to God’s Throne Room in heaven where he heard and saw visions about what was going to happen shortly and in the distant future when the Age will be drawn to a close with the bodily return of Jesus Christ to rule and reign upon earth. John had to be reminded to write it all down!

NB: It is the only Book in the Bible to open with a blessing for all who read it and ‘keep’, or observe, what’s written therein, and closes with a curse (of loss of inheritance in the Kingdom) for anyone who tampers with its text and changes its message. The Book of Revelation is primarily for believers, not unbelievers.

In Unlocking The Bible, David Pawson defines this genre of literature as follows:

Unlocking The Bible‘Apocalyptic’ is history written from God’s point of view.  It gives the total picture.  It enlarges our understanding of world events by seeing them in the light of what is above and beyond our limited perception.  This gives us both insight and foresight…far beyond that of the normal historian.

He also gives this snippet:

God is working out his plans and purposes within time…He is the Lord of History.  But it is his pattern, which can only be discerned when he has revealed the missing pieces of the jigsaw. (Emphasis added)

(Now where did we come across that notion before?  See Invisible Jigsaw.)

He points out that the first characteristic of the ‘apocalyptic’ genre is that it’s basically moral. Secondly, that it’s often symbolical so the unknown can be communicated in terms of what is familiar, as in analogy or parable, because it involves not only information but also imagination. 

Interpretation of The Revelation

Thus, this complex ‘end-times’ revelation can only be understood with God’s overall purpose for humanity in mind. So, it’s not surprising that scholars are divided over the Book’s meaning and predictions for the end of 1st Century and any later events it may forecast for the world and the Church.

There are four main ‘schools’ of exposition based upon interpretations of when these predictions would be fulfilled, as below:

  1. Preterist  – during the first centuries AD with the decline/fall of Roman Empire
  2. Historicist – all centuries between the First and Second Advent of Jesus Christ
  3. Futurist – end of final century AD (held by early Church and evangelicals today)
  4. Idealist – any century AD, none in particular (treats the Book as spiritual ‘myth’).

We can now appreciate Hank Hanegraaff’s ‘preterist’ position that Revelation refers only to John’s days 1900 years ago and the persecutions that took place. But he fails to take the whole account into consideration because its closing chapters clearly refer to things that have not happened yet. For example, unprecedented global catastrophes, return of millions of deceased Christians alongside Jesus to overthrow Satan and rule upon earth, Satan’s final rebellion with many nations and demise in the lake of fire, the arrival of the ‘holy city’ and ‘wedding of the Lamb’!

So how are we to understand The Apocalypse? David Pawson suggests using the four ‘schools’  in conjunction for each of the three main time periods, the present, the near future and the far future (not ignoring the switching between earth and heaven).  Yet,

..the fundamental question is not ‘when?’ but WHY?

Pawson’s answer:

Not just to tell us what is going to happen but to get us ready for what is going to happen…Revelation is a ‘manual for martyrdom’…which is why this book becomes so meaningful to Christians under persecution. Maybe this is also why Western Christians in comfortable churches fail to find it relevant.

Structure of The Revelation

 “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.  18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. 19 Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.  (Rev 1:17-19 NKJV)

  • The Present:
  • chpt 1. Vision of the Son of Man, the one ascended Lord
  • chpt 2-3. Letters to seven churches (and for all churches)
  • chpt 4-5. Vision of heaven, the Lion of Judah and the Lamb
  • The Near Future:
  • chpt 6-11. Judgements, great tribulation, martyrs and two witnesses
  • chpt 12-16. Woman, child, dragon, beast 666, antichrist, false prophet
  • chpt 17-19. Fall of Babylon, Messianic judgement of Armageddon
  • THE RETURN OF ‘THE KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS’ 
  • The Far Future:
  • chpt 20. The Millennium, Satan rebels/defeated, Judgement, lake of fire
  • chpt 21. New heaven and new earth, the Bride, the New Jerusalem
  • chpt 22. River of Life from God’s throne, Tree of Life for healing the nations.

David Pawson explains that each future period has bad news and things get much worse, but the good news is that things will get very much better afterwards. Through it all Jesus encourages his people to ‘endure’ and ‘overcome’ until He returns.

First, Jesus tells the churches they must deal with internal problems if they are to face external pressures. Compromise in belief of behaviour, tolerance of idolatry or immorality, weaken the Church from within. (LESSON FOR TODAY!)

For the 2nd period He shows the worst that can happen but believers will not have to go through anything worse! “And the very worst time ahead will be at most a few years”.

Then, Jesus reveals the wonders that will follow in the 3rd period when all believers will be with Him.

Conclusion

On a personal note, what impresses me is the comparison of this closing book with the Bible’s first book, Genesis.  Revelation promises a full restoration not only for those who believe in God, to life with Him, but also and because of that for the earth too. The Tree of Life is a main feature in the garden of Eden, in the beginning, but through it Satan perverted Adam and Eve’s relationship with their fatherly Creator and so they lost and fell from their glory. In the end that usurper gets his just desserts, the saved return to living in the glory of God in the New Jerusalem and the Tree’s leaves bring healing to all people, as it is written.:

But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. 24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honour into it. 25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). 26 And they shall bring the glory and the honour of the nations into it. 27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. (Revelation 21 NKJV)

This short blog can never hope to do justice to the Book of Revelation. It is an awesome subject but you may wish to meditate upon it yourself along with suitable aids such as in the links below.

Acknowledgements – thank you to:

  • David Pawson, for Unlocking the Bible and books & audio series here and here.
  • Neil MacKereth, for several in-depth courses at Winchester Vineyard church using Chuck Missler’s and David Pawson’s extensive teachings.

PS – click to read about what happened after writing the above post!

Watch the Rain

So simply stunning and brilliant. Thank you anon. brother/sister, and Kenny.

Morning Story and Dilbert

Note for the MS&D Side Bar: If you enjoy Morning Story and Dilbert
 you will like "Suspended Coffee".  It is full of uplifting stories.... 
  Kenny  T

One rainy afternoon I was driving along one of the main streets of town, taking those extra precautions necessary when the roads are wet and slick.

Suddenly, my daughter, Aspen, spoke up from her relaxed position in her seat. “Dad, I’m thinking of something.”

This announcement usually meant she had been pondering some fact for a while, and was now ready to expound all that her six-year-old mind had discovered. I was eager to hear.

“What are you thinking?” I asked.

“The rain! ;” she began, “is like sin, and the windshield wipers are like God wiping our sins away.”

After the chill bumps raced up my arms I was able to respond. “That’s really good, Aspen.”
Then my curiosity broke in. How…

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Does the Bible Predict God’s End-Times Destruction of Syria? My interview with The Blaze.

Courtesy Watcharakun at Freedigitalphotos.comAn interesting, albeit brief, reference in this media interview to Joel Rosenberg’s prophetical novels and includes opinions of a Bible teacher who thinks its prophecies have already happened!

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

blaze-logo(Jerusalem, Israel) — In light of the horrific carnage in Syria and warnings the country could completely implode, TheBlaze has published an interview with me about the prophecies of Isaiah 17 and Jeremiah 49 and the general topic of Bible prophecy and events in the Middle East. Here are excerpts from the story by reporter Billy Hallowell:

As the situation in Syria intensifies and the United Nations reports that 93,000 civilians have been killed since 2011, the United States is taking increased action. With the deadly drama continuing to progress, it’s likely that some — especially considering Syria’s Biblical and geographical significance — will see End Times prophecy unfolding.

A silly suggestion to non-believers and others who disagree with conservative views on the Bible and an undeniable reality to others, the debate over signs and symbols associated with Jesus’ return presents ever-fascinating discussions. But while author Joel C. Rosenberg embraces…

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Does extraterrestrial intelligence exist? Part 2

Science is catching up with scripture, I speculated in Part 1 and readers may have thereby realised I’m not into any normal notion of aliens in outer space. A hint is also provided by this image > (courtesy of Victor Habbick at Free Digital Photos, click image for info).

Last year I concluded that science is catching up with what God is doing. I read scientists had found electrical stimulation of paralyzed rats’ spines had brought spectacular recovery of mobility (see New Scientist). Their description, “It was incredible to look at”, and explanation reminded me of how a lady paralysed for 22 years was healed the previous year. A powerful surge of invisible energy was tangibly felt in a worship-charged atmosphere. For details read under ‘Delia Knox’ in God heals today – video clip testimonies.

A bit more background – personal and scientific

Allow a little nostalgia…this scientific topic reminds me of sitting on tall stools alongside a solid oak workbench bedecked with Bunsen burners, equipment and sink. This main lab was a square room with tall Georgian-style windows filling two adjacent walls that cornered the upper storey of my grammar school. Our chemistry master, donned in his constant robe of long white coat, was wont to make this amusing aside when teaching about atomic and molecular structure:

We can talk and talk about electrons and ionisation, and theorise about their orbits, but the fact remains we never actually know where they are – it’s very possible some in this room have just returned from a trip around the North Pole!

[‘Traditional’ orbital notions are now thought incorrect as sub-atomic matter is in a state of frenzied flux.]  The main physics lab at the opposite front corner of the building was where we studied heat, matter, electricity, light and mechanics of classical Newtonian science. 17th Century physicist and mathematician Sir Isaac Newton is widely regarded as one of the most influential scientists of all time and as a key figure in the scientific revolution.

interfrc-waves.jpgNewton formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation, and made seminal contributions in optics. He thought of light as a stream of extremely fine corpuscles, or particles (also known as photons). About a century later, however, physicists were finding light could behave like ripples or waves in water (see Young’s Interference Experiment and Wave Propagation).

Yet, any attempt to pin down light as being definitely a wave or a particle failed. This dual nature of light became known as the ‘wave-particle duality’.  Phil Mason explains on page 63 of Quantum Glory,

The best that could be said was that light acts like a wave when one type of experiment is performed, but it acts like a stream of particles when a different type of experiment is being performed. Light travels as a wave, but departs and arrives like a particle. (…but) how can something be simultaneously a wave or a particle?

In ordinary scientific investigation, even in the small-scale microscopic world, we accept something as one of the other – but not both at the same time!  And at the much smaller atomic level of matter that’s what was discovered to be happening for streams of electrons. It was a huge shock to the scientific world

In early 20th Century Max Planck investigated heated bodies and found energy was  radiating in discrete measures or packets, which he called ‘quanta’. Soon, Loius de Broglie postulated there’s no fundamental difference between energy and matter at, or below, the atomic level because both behave as though they’re composed of either particles or waves. Then a father and son, Joseph and George Thomson, received Nobel Prizes 30 years apart for their experiments proving electrons are particles (father) as well as waves (son)!  The evidence for wave-particle duality has since become overwhelming.

Over lunch

Coffee BreakWanting something a bit lighter to read over lunch after writing thus far, I opened up one of the 3 Favourites tabs on my PC taskbar. Each list is the depth of my monitor screen and I spotted an unfamiliar link of an item I thought worth reading sometime and clicked on it. S-p-o-o-k-y, it happens to be on quantum mechanics and had sat unread as just a link since New Year – and one of that blogger’s latest posts refers to Newton! Therefore, for anyone whose taste buds have been tickled and fancy some more fascinating food, dip into Dr Ruth Bancewicz’s Science and Belief posts:

In part 3 I’d like to consider how these fundamental discoveries may reveal a deeper understanding of God and possibly about extraterrestrial communication.

Does extraterrestrial intelligence exist? Part 1

The answer may lie in the answer to a question raised in a recent musing – a question that got answered within the hour. I was dumbfounded!

Some will ask what’s this doing on a Christian blog?  My interest in the ‘cutting edge’ of Christian teaching and ministry keeps me open-minded on a number of things, yet they are always checked against the ‘plumb-line’ of holy scripture. So I invite fellow believers to bear with me for I’ve not jumped on a wacky bus to nowhere.

Definitions

First, let’s clarify terminology. The Oxford Dictionary definition of ‘extraterrestrial’ gives:

  • adjective –  of or from outside the earth or its atmosphere: (eg. searches for extraterrestrial intelligence)
  • noun – a hypothetical or fictional being from outer space.

It has two definitions for ‘intelligence’ as nouns, of which one refers to information of military or political value, but the prime definition is:

  • a person or being with the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills: extraterrestrial intelligences

It’s noteworthy that this famous dictionary combines both words to use as an example in two completely separate definitions!

The question

Detail from Morning Stars_Blakes Book of JobIn Where were you when? I mused about what the Biblical characters Job and king David had learned and perceived through divine revelation about the formation of the heavens. I’d spotted that the ancient Aramaic had used an intriguing and revealing term to describe an inherent function of the heavens. So I penned my own thoughts on this, as below. Logically, they led into the sentence shown in bold, but of which I’d had no fore-thought whatsoever::

‘This revelation of the Lord to David clearly ascribes not only a poetic description (as in sound/voice/language – NB. not light) but also a knowledge, or rather, an operational  intelligence or ‘business’!  That is, a supra-natural function. Furthermore, this sets the rationale, or tenor, for all subsequent verses. These first verses clearly state a case for ‘intelligent design’ of the universe. But more than that – they imply a distinct intelligence implanted within that design’s tangible manifestation, do they not? Or maybe not so?’

After proof-reading the draft, I took literary licence and inserted, ‘IS THERE ANYONE OUT THERE? ANYONE WHO KNOWS THE ANSWER?’ as though calling out to the heavens for information.

A book

Quantum Glory - coverI’d run off a hardcopy of the draft for checking over lunch and then carried on where I’d left off reading in Quantum Glory. This book explores the intersection between the two realities of quantum mechanics and the glory of God. In his highly recommended book Phil Mason opens by briefly considering the hype over quantum physics and how it’s been hijacked by New Age metaphysics. This is because this post-Einstein science of investigating the dynamics of the energy of light and of sub-atomic particles has boggled the best brains! Mathematicians as well as scientists had to think ‘outside’ the box’ in order to comprehend how it could all work – the maths was solid and got confirmed experimentally, BUT it was all so weird. By ordinary, ‘classical’ scientific laws and principles it was just illogical!

Phil Mason explains some scientists presumed the concepts of Eastern mysticism were relevant to quantum dynamics, and New Agers were quite ready to presume that it was indeed so. His discussion quotes many scientists and he draws this conclusion:

The presence of trained quantum physicists who have not embraced any elements of quantum mysticism is itself a clear indicator that the real issue is a predetermined worldview.

His second chapter is an easy-to-read introduction to the world of quantum science. It takes me back to my schooldays of maths, physics and chemistry ‘A’ levels – and to the hippy hey-day of the late 1960s. In those days I was searching for any common thread between science, philosophy and religions and thus this conjunction of quantum theory and New Age beliefs and ideas seemed to hold a key.

An answer

Upon continuing from where I’d read to, Phil’s commentary astounded me because it matches the logical conclusion I’d drawn only an hour beforehand. On page 66 he refers to experiments that make electrons change their behaviour depending on how they will be detected (!!) and explains :

It is a unique property of the quantum world that sub-atomic particles have the capacity of being in two places at the same time. In our macroscopic world of classical physics the last thing we would expect is to see someone bilocate right before our eyes so that suddenly they can be in two places at the same time. Yet in the counter intuitive world of the quantum universe this is exactly what is going on all the time…(emphases added)

Now, here’s what smacked me right between the eyes:

The question is: How does the electron intuitively know it is being observed?  Does it have its own internal intelligence? How does it know when a detector is hidden behind the double-slot? How does it know  when the detector is not switched on so that it can pass through both slits without being observed?

Scientist have devised all sorts of interesting experiments to try and figure out what is going on, but it seems the mystery of the quantum world is still largely impenetrable to rational explanation.

Hmmm…baffling, but methinks science is catching up with scripture!

An instance of that in connection with divine healing is given in Part 2 along with a brief, high-level introduction to the theory of quantum mechanics based upon this book.

[ALSO see Richard’s Watch: On Engaging Time]

Hassan Rouhani is no “moderate.” He was endorsed by the only Iranian leader ever to publicly call for Israel to be destroyed by nuclear weapons.

Joel RosenbergIn view of recently concluded elections in Iran am re-posting another of Joel Rosenberg’s well-informed pieces. Readers will want to read his follow-up which includes insights from one of his contacts, an Iranian Christian leader. This may be accessed at the foot of Joel’s post or via this link.  PLUS THIS from BBC Watch > ‘Over the past few days my Twitter timeline has been dominated by Iranian ex-pats tearing out their virtual hair at the portrayal of the new Iranian president-elect  by much of the Western media (including the BBC) as a “moderate” and a “reformer”.  This might be a good time to remember that not too long ago various talking heads were using the same terms to describe Bashar al Assad.’

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

You’ve really got to hand it to Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The man is one of the most evil tyrants on the face of the earth. He is pursuing nuclear weapons to wipe Israel and the U.S. off the map. He wants to usher in the caliphate of the Twelfth Imam and bring about the apocalyptic End of Days. Yet he is desperately trying to prevent Israel — or any other country — from launching preemptive military strikes and neutralizing Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Thus, Khamenei is trying to use the rigged current presidential elections to recast Iran as suddenly moving in a more “moderate” direction, and thus persuading the West to ease up on economic sanctions and pressure Israel to back off.

And the Western media is totally buying it.

Consider the headlines this morning, all of which are declaring Hassan Rouhani (also spelled “Rowhani”) as the frontrunner and a “moderate” who could be the best answer…

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Tonight in Cwmbran, after Hull and Wolverhampton…

“WHY HAVE CHURCHES KEPT QUIET ABOUT KNOWING JESUS?” a Muslim wants to know.

Nathan_banner-390x238This man explained to a packed Hull City Hall last Saturday night that he’d been trying to find out more about God. As a result, he had a divine encounter and found out who Jesus Christ really is. But he didn’t know how to worship or pray to Him, so had to seek the help of Christian friends. Hence his complaint to them, and now he wants to share his good news with fellow Muslims.  His was one of the most touching personal testimonies at last week’s  ‘Days of Wonder…’ 

Here are a few more.:

A testimony that started the three days was a ‘follow-up’ from a lady who’d suffered the same severely debilitating handicap but had been healed on Nathan’s previous visit 15 months ago. (Her smile features on the video clip at the foot of this invitation.) This time we found ourselves sitting behind her, and her friend told us how she herself had been healed from an allergy after last March. Upon accompanying her friend to tell Nathan, it became another occasion for thanking Jesus for what He’d done.

Nathan-Morris at CwmbranAmongst many testimonies of healing, we heard a Polish-Welsh lady excitedly welcome Nathan Morris in advance for speaking tonight at Victory Church in Cwmbran, Wales. She wasn’t the first we’d heard claiming they’d watched  The Bay Revival on God TV ‘ by chance’, but were amazed when Nathan immediately addressed them direct – over the airwaves – about their need for repentance/healing, with which Jesus then blessed them!

After a prolonged time in the presence of the Lord during the final night’s exceptionally high praise, everyone was in tears upon seeing a 4-year old walking across the stage – at the far left of the stage were his leg braces and wheeled walking frame!  In tears, his (then) non-believing father told Nathan the boy was born with cerebral palsy. However, his son was now grinning as he walked freely and properly – completely unaided!

In a different vein, we were saddened to hear from a young man of his fathers’ suicide. In the first conference session he attended this man couldn’t tolerate being there and simply had to get out – possibly with suicidal thoughts. But he just couldn’t get out of the building!  Then he met Jesus – as was clearly evident from his radiant recounting what had happened. Praise you Lord for your saving grace.

As an aside, it was a pleasant surprise to meet Nathan’s wife Rachel and his supporting team: two more Nathan’s and Jordan. Nathan Marrow keeps tabs on testimonies as well as introduces folk to Nathan for recounting their healing. (Evangelist Nathan’s Facebook page has more news of healings.)

Latest update of the Outpouring in Wales

Read latest brief report of saved souls and healings and watch this short video:

PS: I pray readers who long for a touch from the Lord to help them through the turmoil of physical and emotional hardships may find encouragement in the above accounts.  Those who are really struggling may find Why Me? helpful, as have so many folk – the Lord bless you and keep each of you.

“Where were you when…

I laid the foundations of the earth?
Tell Me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements?
Surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
To what were its foundations fastened?
Or who laid its cornerstone,
When the morning stars sang together,
And all the sons of God shouted for joy?…”

Morning_Stars_Sang_Together_Book_of_JobThus spoke the Lord God to his servant Job, as recorded in one of the oldest books of the Bible. Job didn’t know why severe strokes of ill-fortune (loss of all children, property and health) had  beset him. When struck all over his body with painful boils, his wife chided him for holding fast to his integrity, and advised, “Curse God and die!” Then along came three ‘friends’. Overwhelmed by his dire condition they ‘comforted’ him with their conclusions about the cause of his suffering: it’s all the result of his sinfulness. Together with a solid commentary, this instructive book helps us to grasp why bad things happen to good people.

A fourth ‘comforter’ explains it’s a matter of faith and attitude towards God. Then God addresses Job from a whirlwind and in great depth (as above; see Job 38-41). From this, Job wasn’t meant to know the cause of his condition (being Satanic strategy) and we learn God is involved in our lives and deeply moved by our grief and wants us all to come to an end of self-reliance so God becomes ‘all-in-all’. Then God blessed Job even more than previously!

This brief, incomplete overview of the story is for information only because my purpose is to refer to the creation of the stars (as splendidly illustrated by William Blake, courtesy Wikipedia).:

Psalm 19 – the perfect revelation of the Lord

The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech nor language
Where their voice is not heard.
Their line[a] has gone out through all the earth,
And their words to the end of the world.

After breakfast Sunday morning before last I quickly dipped into the above Psalm in my NKJV Study Bible (entitled as shown above). I noted the marginalia cross-reference on translation differences in other texts. But AHA!  There’s something profound in the last one, as here with my emphasis.:

[a] Psalm 19:4 Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate read sound; Targum reads business.

REVELATION – wow! Thank you Lord ! The Targum, or ancient Aramaic, for the usual Hebrew term ‘qu-m’ (measuring tape of them) renders it not as ‘line’ but as ‘business’.  This seems a far more fitting and effective description of the function of the firmament and its stars, as described in the psalmist’s ecstatic praise.

This revelation of the Lord to David clearly ascribes not only a poetic description (as in sound/voice/language – NB. not light) but also a knowledge; or rather, an operational  intelligence or ‘business’!  That is, a supra-natural function. Furthermore, this sets the rationale, or tenor, for all subsequent verses. These first verses clearly state a case for ‘intelligent design’ of the universe. But more than that – they imply a distinct intelligence implanted within that design’s tangible manifestation, do they not? Or maybe not so?

IS THERE ANYONE OUT THERE ? ANYONE WHO KNOWS THE ANSWER ?

Moreover, could a deep knowledge of this wisdom have been possessed by the ancient prophet Daniel, whose book is written in Aramaic as well as Hebrew? Could it possibly have been handed down from his personal school to a group of ‘magi’ who, therefore, were watching for an especially significant star ‘saying’ they should set off to Judea for the birth of a particular person from God? I wonder…

Worship in a school cafe

Later that morning, I ‘sensed’ several golden angels come through the entrance doors of the hall where we attend church. As we all focussed upon the Lord in worship our band’s vocalist-guitarist, Daniel McDermott, broke into a chorus he’d penned.:

Steal me away to where the morning stars first sang,

and the angels cry with joy, “Worthy is He, Worthy is He!”

Consequently, I later read aloud those opening verses of David’s psalm, and referred to the margin’s note.  At house group later in the week, our pastor recommended a video on this subject!

SO, here’s Louie Gigglio’s demonstration of a ‘song’ from what’s in the heavens and on earth. May this bless you and leave you awestruck…

An answer to my above questions came rapidly and unexpectedly, as revealed in the next post on this main theme.

Prophets call for protective prayers for President Obama

Folks will be aware of my reservations on President Obama’s policies and decisions. I’m not a fan but it is important to respect him in his role. So Ire-posted Wendy Alec’s call for intercession after the re-election, followed by news of related developments. Another call comes from elsewhere and possibly connects into one of my readers’ dreams. After careful consideration, therefore, I’m posting this short video.

The following ‘alarm calls’ to pray for the United States and its president come from four prophets who are recognised by my church leadership here in England. I’m familiar with Bobby Conner’s standing and our pastor is aware of Neville Johnson’s ministry. So, you may wish to hear and weigh their comments on this video. (NB: please watch before reading the comments section, where you’ll find our reaction.)

In and out, and all about

Richard in Dartmouth, DevonA brief note to say last week and this are very busy with minimal time spent on-line. My blogging focus has been on something special but it remains in draft for automatic posting later. This is because a more pressing matter needs priority attention as the next posting (click to read). NB: my schedule may delay moderating comments from new contributors.

More about revival in Wales…

Welsh Revival DWRobertsIt’s wonderful to hear about the increasing impact the current Outpouring in Wales is having upon many newly saved, as well as mature Christians, for churches and communities across the UK.

Thank you Dyfed for your comments received today. I’d like to draw the attention of readers interested in my reports on Cwmbran and wanting more, to your research into The Welsh Revival and its aftermath.  Looks an informative read.

It is important, however, not to assume an exact replay of that revival because the Lord’s given us many encouraging promises of an entirely ‘new season’ in these days, as recounted herein.

In fact, only last Saturday a pastor told me of his recent visit to Cwmbran and how it may match his understanding of what God’s about to do in Britain.  I was stirred with the similarity between the open vision he’d received and the one that had astounded and troubled me back in 2004. It seems his may forecast the next, or a later, phase of what’s been happening in Britain as a result of having turned away from our heavenly Father, to where He graciously turns the tide to bless us and bring full revival to our ‘walking dead’.

We shall soon see…