Say it as it is!

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We sometimes pretend that something is different from what it really is and hope that somehow it will become what we have called it. For example a small boy wants a horse. He finds a broomstick and straddles it and calls it a horse and, to him, it becomes a horse. We are wise if we confine this to childhood and with the Apostle Paul say, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” 1 Corinthians 13:11

Do we, sometimes, permit this child’s play to persist into adulthood?

These days our laws have made progress in making sure that the products we buy are clearly labelled. The manufacturer must list all the components of the product. If a jumper is made purely of wool, the label must tell us, but if it isn’t the label lists all the yarns used.

When it comes to worshipping God, we must be accurate and call things by their true names. So often we hear that every man has a right to worship God as he pleases. However, just saying this does not make it so. Man has a right to worship God only in the way God Himself has appointed. To say that we are free to worship God as we see fit is not true, just as if our saying that the broomstick is a horse actually turns it into a horse!

Jesus Christ told the religious leaders of His day, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honours me with their lips but their heart is far from me. In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” Mark 7:6-7

God’s promise of salvation lies in calling things by their true names. We have to read the Bible as it was written, “…Knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes by someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man; but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1: 20-21

We are not free to worship God as we see fit. We must worship Him as He has commanded. To find His commands, we must go to our Bibles with our minds ready to accept His teachings as they are written. To impose our private interpretations on God’s Holy Word, the Bible or to allow someone else to read it and tell us what to believe is disastrous. We must never replace Bible teaching with the doctrines of men.

When it comes to something as important as our eternal welfare, let us put away childish ideas and call things by their true names. Certainly we do not want to be found in the position of those who were condemned by Jesus when he said, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? ……for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God.” Matthew 15:3, 6

So, let us worship God, not as we see fit but as He commanded us. Let us search the Scriptures daily so that we will be numbered among those “…who feared the Lord and spoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed His name. They shall be mine, says the Lord of Hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession and I will spare them, as a man spares his son who serves him.” Malachi 3:16-17

*To find out more about our hope and how you can become a part of it, visit our website: www.ammanfordchristadelphians.co.uk.

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WHAT ON EARTH IS HAPPENING?

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The speed of events worldwide is breathtaking! These are just a sample.

* Brexit has totally transformed the political landscape in the UK. In days there was a new Prime Minister and Cabinet. This change has huge consequences for Britain and Europe.

* According to the US National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration this June was the hottest ever recorded worldwide and the 14th consecutive month that global heat records were broken.

* We have witnessed Islamic terror attacks in Europe.

* The refugee and economic migration crisis is destabilising Europe.

* Aleppo is Syria’s largest city – 300,000 residents are facing barrel bombing by Syrian forces.

* President Putin has signed an anti-terror law which includes the banning of many activities by Christians such as emailed invitations for friends to attend church services.

* Because of intimidation worldwide, particularly in France, large numbers of Jews are moving to Israel.

The list goes on! Where can we find the solution to our world’s horrific problems?

God’s revealed Word, The Bible, has the answer.

The prophecy of Habakkuk in the Old Testament opens with the prophet complaining to God about the evils of that society – Habakkuk 1: 1 – 4. God then warns him of greater problems to come – Habakkuk 1:5 -12. God advises Habakkuk to place his faith in Him – Habakkuk 2: 1-4, that one day “… the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” Habakkuk2:14.

God then tells the prophet in a vision, Habakkuk 3, of the day when God will intervene in the earth and will establish that “glory”.

Having received this vision and having believed in what God had promised, Habakkuk accepted that horrific events were to happen in his own life time. Nevertheless he looked forward in faith to the time God has promised and writes “ yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God the LORD is my strength…”Habakkuk 3:18-19.

Are we like Habakkuk? Shall we see the “glory of the LORD” when Jesus returns? Just like Habakkuk we need the spectacles of faith to see beyond the horrors of the present time. How do we obtain faith? “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” Romans 10:17.

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Quotes taken from the KJV and ESV

*To find out more about our hope and how you can become a part of it, visit our website: www.ammanfordchristadelphians.co.uk.

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Rio 2016!

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The Olympics in Brazil are upon us! Will Mo Farah successfully defend his Olympic 5,000 metres title? All that training, self discipline over many months, even years, to be ready for the important day. We all admire Mo’s dedication and his obvious elation when he wins, but what about those who don’t do well on the day? The glory attached to winning is transient. One is a media hero for a few days, and a few years later forgotten.

The Bible talks about a race, keeping fit, and the prize set before the runner. This spiritual ‘Olympics’, however, is dealing with the race in which the participants are not competing against each other, but helping each other to win. The Apostle Paul writes “Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control lest, after preaching to others, I myself should be disqualified.” (1 Corinthians 9:24 -27) Notice that his training is in conquering himself, his earthly desires and being filled with what the Bible calls “the fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22).

What about the prize? Imagine you have won the 100 metres race, all the glory and praise! Move on 25 years and hardly anyone remembers your ‘glory’ You look back in thought to those halcyon days. If only they could be repeated! Think of the Christian, growing old, yet looking to the future with joyful anticipation! Paul wrote “Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me at that Day, and not to me only, but also to all who have loved his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8). And although it is a spiritual race, the consequences of faithful running is the prize of an immortal body, on this planet, energised by the Spirit of God and giving glory to God. The prophet Isaiah wrote “But they who wait for the LORD shall renew (change) their strength: they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31)

Let us choose God’s Olympics!

  • Join us at our hall in Foundry Road on Sunday 14th Aug 2016 at 18:00 to hear a special talk entitled: ‘Humanism and the Bible’. All are welcome to attend! See more of our upcoming events here.
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Light at the end of the tunnel

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The world’s longest and deepest rail tunnel was opened officially in Switzerland recently, after almost two decades of construction work. The 57l metre long twin-bore Gotthard base tunnel will provide a high speed rail link under the Swiss Alps between northern and southern Europe. Switzerland believes the tunnel will revolutionise European freight transport. Goods currently carried by a million lorries a year will be carried by train instead.

Although it is easier to travel across Europe today, the political/social and economic situations there, as in most parts of the globe, are fraught with problems. There does not appear to be any light at the end of the world’s political/social/economic tunnel.

Jesus warned that world chaos would dominate prior to his return. He told his disciples that there would be “….. upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven will be shaken”(Luke 21:25-26). The Greek word for “perplexity” means “finding no solution, at one’s wit’s end, having no idea how to proceed”.

Can we not see the beginnings of this perplexity in the world today? We see financial uncertainty, migrant crises, Middle East turmoil, Russian aggression, global warming and famine to name but a few issues causing fear, distress and perplexity. Who has the answer?

Having described the chaos to come upon the world, Jesus goes on to say “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near”(Luke 21:27-28). Jesus, the Light of the World, is to bring the Kingdom of God and solve all the world’s problems. Please read Psalm 72, a wonderful picture of the Kingdom of God on this earth. To a true Christian, the light at the end of the tunnel of human experience is the coming again of Jesus to the earth. On a personal level the Christian’s salvation is totally dependent on this event. For the survival of the planet it is absolutely essential. Now is the time to come to the light of the Gospel.

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Quotes from NKJV Bible

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No More War

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In a recent report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Unit global military spending last year amounted to £1.2 trillion! The USA and China were the biggest spenders.

Ever since the Second World War there has never been a year without conflict between nations.

The Bible, God’s Word, clearly indicates that, before the second coming of Jesus Christ, nations would prepare for war.

The prophet Joel writes (Joel 3:9-10):

“Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare for war!

Wake up the mighty men, Let all the men of war draw near, Let them come up.

Beat your ploughshares into swords And your pruning hooks into spears:

Let the weak say I am strong.”

The nations are, without realising, preparing for what the Bible calls Armageddon (Revelation 16;16). There, in Israel and all over the world, the nations will be subdued by Jesus Christ and His saints. (Isaiah 2:4, Zechariah14: 4-10)

Then an era of worldwide peace will gradually fill the earth. Jesus will rule! “….Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” (Isaiah 2:4)

In Jesus’ Kingdom “….the righteous shall flourish, and abundance of peace until the moon is no more” (Psalm 72:7). The promise made by the angels at Jesus’ birth “…Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will towards men!” (Luke 2:14) will be fulfilled.The present preparations for war and the mistrust among the nations are a sign that the King of Peace will come soon!

Please read Luke 21:25-28 to see what Jesus said about the state of the earth before His return. He goes on to say, in verse 31, “So you likewise, when you see these things happening, know that the Kingdom of God is near.”

 

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Who wants to live forever?

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The above heading in the I Newspaper concerned a Russian businessman and founder of the 2045 Project, Dmitry Itskov. He wants to upload his brain to a computer so he can achieve “cybernectic immortality”. He wrote “The ultimate goal of my plan is to transfer someone’s personality into a new body.” He has invested a lot of money from his lucrative web media business to fund and fully concentrate on Project 2045.

Why not go to the Bible for an answer to this intriguing topic?

Jesus said: “Do not labour for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, that the Son of Man will give to you…”(John 6:27).

How is this everlasting life to be manifested? In an immortal body!

The Apostle Paul wrote ” …  the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.(Philippians 3:20-21).

After his resurrection Jesus displayed that immortal body to his doubting disciples.

He convinced a doubting disciple, Thomas, by showing him the marks of crucifixion in his hands and feet (John 20:27), He ate a meal with his followers (John 21:9 – 13). He was, and is, a real physical being energised, not by oxygen and blood, but by the Spirit of God.

There is a “spiritual” body (I Corinthians 15:44).

Paul writes: “For this perishable body must put on the imperishable and this mortal must put on immortality”(I Corinthians 15:53). This weak, frail, corruptible body will be changed into a powerful immortal body. When? At the return of Jesus Christ!

Paul writes:” For as in Adam all die so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ.”(1 Corinthians15:22 – 23). Please note it is those “in” Christ, those who “are” Christ’s who will have this spiritual body. This is not for everyone..

Even if Dmitry Itskov were able to achieve his goal, would he really like to come back to this troubled world? The believers in Christ will experience, in their bodies, everlasting life, and will see and participate in the exciting project of God. There will be “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, among those with whom he is pleased” (Luke 1:14 – see also Psalm 72, Isaiah 2:1- 5).

We believe that the time is near when Christ will rule God’s Kingdom on this earth.

(All quotes from ESV Bible)

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The Elections – Who Deserves Your Vote?

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We are being inundated with manifestos for the Welsh Assembly elections, and every newspaper and television channel seems to be trying to help us make a decision on whom we should vote for.

As soon as this is over, it will all start again over the ‘in/out’ referendum over membership of the European Union.

At the last Welsh assembly election only just over 40% of the eligible electorate voted. In all of the elections for the Assembly the turnout has never reached 50%.

I am one of the people who have lived in Wales during the whole time that there has been a Welsh Assembly and have never once voted. In fact I have never voted in any type of election.

This is not because I am apathetic by nature, or have a radical political point to make. It is because I have religious conviction.

I do recognise that this Country, indeed this World urgently needs a solution to it’s problems, such as war, famine, disease and poverty to name but a few you know all too well. But I do not believe that, no matter how well meaning, men and women have a solution, no matter who may be elected.

The clear message of the Bible is that the God of the Bible, who created the heavens and the earth and all things therein does have a plan and purpose with our world. That purpose centres on the return of the return of His son, Jesus Christ, to rule over the world as it’s King.

The Bible presents us with Jesus’ ‘manifesto’ including:

  • Justice and fairness (Isaiah 11:4)
  • Help for the poor and needy (Psalm 72:13,14)
  • World peace (Micah 4:3)
  • An abundance of food (Psalm 72:16)
  • The cure of all disease, suffering and death (Revelation 21:4)
  • A kingdom that will last forever (Daniel 2:44)

The Old Testament prophet Daniel demonstrates that ‘God works in the kingdom of men’ in bringing about His purpose. A true follower of Jesus Christ recognises that they are ‘strangers and pilgrims in the earth’ waiting for His return. (See Daniel 2:44)

By accepting that God is in control, whoever is voted into power is the person God wants and therefore if I vote for the person or party that does not get elected I am voting against God’s will. Not something the true follower of Christ should do!

However, I do live in this world and the Bible teaches that I should ‘render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s’. That is to say that I must obey the law of the State and live a life without the ‘reproach of men’, provided that the State does not ask me to compromise God’s commands.

I am not voting in the forthcoming elections because my chosen candidate isn’t standing –yet!

‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever’. (Revelation 11:15)

*Join us at 6pm on 24th April in our hall, Foundry Road, Ammanford to hear a special talk entitled ‘Elections – Who deserves your vote?’. All are welcome to attend!

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The truth of the empty tomb!

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I want to be direct and talk about the resurrection of Jesus Christ, not just because it’s Easter time (a very good prompt of course) but because it is vital. It is the foundation of the Christian faith. Perhaps you do believe that “Christ died for our sins…that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. ( 1 Corinthians 15:3-4)

I do hope you will find these thoughts positive and reaffirming. However, you may be sceptical or just cannot accept it. Well, perhaps what follows will be food for thought!

Jesus of Nazareth is an historical figure, real and recorded in the literature of the era. He was known as a Jewish teacher who was crucified as a criminal, a death his followers did not expect. Amazingly however, within weeks, they turned from dejection and inertia to become an active, vital and very convincing force. They preached at home and abroad that Jesus had risen from the dead and had been seen by many of them. Saul, a resolute enemy and persecutor of Christians, became utterly convinced. (Acts 8) He became known as the apostle Paul, the foremost preacher of Jesus Christ. He committed and ultimately gave up his life for his risen Lord. These facts about what happened 2000 years ago are on record.

Roman and Jewish enemies could have stopped the movement in its tracks and shown it to be false simply by producing Jesus’ body. But the tomb was empty and the body gone! The tomb was sealed and a guard had been placed there to stop his disciples from removing his body.

The apostle Paul said of the resurrection” I am speaking true and rational words” (Acts 26:25).

Many have spoken irrationally and falsely about the empty tomb. Many theories have tried to explain away Jesus’ resurrection but all disappear when the evidence is judged fairly and squarely. Some maintain that Jesus appeared dead but had merely swooned and then revived in the cool of the tomb. He had then escape. Hardened, seasoned soldiers and their centurion knew a dead, lacerated body when they saw one. Jesus had been pierced in his hands and feet, had hung on a cross in the heat of the day and, just to make sure that he was truly dead, the soldiers pierced him with a sword in his side !His followers would have looked desperately for signs of life as they prepared his body for the tomb. What is more, how could a man, so badly wounded have removed the huge stone sealing the entrance?. He would then have to evade the guards! Clearly impossible!

The truth of the empty tomb is that Jesus is alive and “declared to be the Son of God in power…. by his resurrection from the dead.”( Romans 1:4)

This wonderful ‘outside our experience’ supernatural fact is pivotal. It is the centre of the truth of the Bible. The grave could not contain him because he alone was sinless. His life, freely given, can save us and reconcile us to God. His resurrection is the assurance that God will raise and judge many at Christ’s return to our earth. (Acts 17:31)

So, as Paul says “Why is it thought incredible by any of you that God raises the dead?” (Acts 26:8)

(All quote from ESV Bible)

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Faith

“Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even because of the lack of evidence. Faith is not allowed to justify by argument.”

Excerpt taken from a speech by Prof Dawkins (1992), entitled Lions 10, Christians nil

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Faith in God is derived by reading, understanding and believing the Bible’s message. The apostle Paul wrote: “So faith comes from hearing and hearing through the Word of God”. (Romans 10:17)

Let us put this Biblical faith to the test, particularly the Old Testament. God has a purpose with the Jewish people. They have been dispersed throughout the world, as the Bible says (Deuteronomy 28:64-68) because of their waywardness. However, God promised and we are witnesses to the fact that they have returned to Israel, in fulfilment of Bible Prophecy. The prophet Ezekiel writes: “Thus says the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the people from the nations among which they have gone and will gather them from all around, and bring them to their own land. And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all …” (Ezekiel 37:21,22)

Since 1948 the Jews have returned to their land and are now a prominent nation in the earth. We are seeing part of the above prophecy being fulfilled. Other prophecies indicated the following events happening just before the return of Jesus to the earth. For example:

  •  Jews in control of Jerusalem (Joel 3:1)
  • Jerusalem -source of international trouble (Zechariah  12:1 , 2)
  • Jewish nation prosperous (Ezekiel 38:12 ,13)
  • Arab nations and others trying to destroy Israel( Ezekiel 38:1, -12).

Remember, the Old Testament was written before Jesus was born!

I can get on a plane to Israel, journey to Jerusalem and note the hatred towards the Jews by some Arabs and see the prosperity of Israel. All these events prerecorded in a book which was written before the birth of Jesus!

These details are just a few of many that could be presented.

Shortly Jesus will be back to establish the Kingdom of God. What a shock for Dr Dawkins!

Will it be a shock for you? We all need to be getting ready for this world shattering event!

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*Quotes from the ESV

To find out more about our hope and how you can become a part of it, visit our website:www.ammanfordchristadelphians.co.uk. Our next public meeting will be held at 2.30pm on Sunday, in our hall, Foundry Road, Ammanford. All are welcome to attend!

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Democracy Abolished!

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Winston Churchill observed in 1947: ” No-one pretends that democracy is perfect, or all wise, Indeed it has been said that it is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time”.  This was quoted in the Stratford Global Intelligence Report 29 January 2016. The author, Ian Morris, having reviewed democracy with its ‘spectacles of turbulence and contention’ concludes: “Should we assume that we are cleverer than our predecessors and that we finally figured out the best way of organising communities, regardless of their circumstances? Or should we assume that because democracy has a history, it, like everything else in history, will someday pass away?”

Yes, it will certainly pass away!

image1sThe Bible tells us plainly that God’s Government is  coming to this planet, God centred, guided and ruled over by Jesus Christ and hissaints.

The prophet Daniel writes: “And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall  never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end and it shall stand forever” (Daniel 2:44).

If we go on we are told: “He [Jesus] shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth” (Psalm 72:8) “… and his dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth” (Zechariah 9:10)

Jesus told his followers: “The one who conquers, and who keeps my works to the end, to him I will give authority over the nations”. (Revelation 2:26)

This World will be ruled by Jesus Christ, the Saviour and his faithful followers who have, in spite of all the difficulties of life, really done their best to serve God.

This Kingdom of God (theocracy) will have righteous rulers whose concern is for all people (Psalm 72:12-14; Isaiah 32:1- 2), fertile lands, once desert (Isaiah 35), illness and death curbed (Isaiah 65:20), nations wanting to serve God (Micah4:2), and no more war (Isaiah 2:4).

Jesus said: “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”.

This wonderful Kingdom will come soon! God and Jesus will rule the World.

 

*Quotes are from the ESV and the NKJV

To find out more about our hope and how you can become a part of it, visit our website: www.ammanfordchristadelphians.co.uk. Our next public meeting will be held at 6pm on Sunday, in our hall, Foundry Road, Ammanford. All are welcome to attend!

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