It is not uncommon to hear it said that the Bible is simply a story book, written by some guy, the proof of which we cannot test and prove with strong, tangible evidence. With such opinions rampant, when facts emerge like that of King Hezekiah’s seal – which was unearthed in Jerusalem recently, we should be excited that the even more archaeological evidence for the existence of people such as king Hezekiah has been unearthed, as it proves once more that the Bible is strongly supported by accurate history and archaeology, such as the following evidence which has already been discovered:
Sennacherib’s Annals These records attest to the conquests made by King Sennacherib of Assyria when he invaded Judah’s cities such as Lachish, which is also confirmed in the bible to have been taken.
The Lachish Inscription
The city mentioned in the Bible, was taken by the Assyrians and the conquest glorified in Nineveh by a series of pictures and the single inscription which once again confirms the Bible’s credibility: “Sennacherib, the mighty king, king of the country of Assyria, sitting on the throne of judgment, before (or at the entrance of) the city of Lachish (Lakhish). I give permission for its slaughter”
This is recorded in 2 Kings 20:20 and 2 Chronicles 32 as a means by which to stop the kings of Assyria finding much water. The tunnel is open to tourists.
Hezekiah’s “Broad Wall”
God speaks also to Hezekiah in Isaiah and says “…the houses have ye broken down to fortify the wall…” (Isaiah 22:10). Archeological evidence for the wall has confirmed it to be from the time of Hezekiah, with houses integrated into the wall in certain places where a fulfilment of this passage has occured.
The Bible is not something which comes with no evidence for a basis for belief. In fact when the apostle Paul writes to the believers in Berea, he appeals to them to look for the testable evidence of his argument to confirm whether what he was saying was correct according to the bible, rather than commanding them to believe without question (Acts 17:11). In a similar way, we are able to test the bible’s claim of authority by historic artefacts and sources.
During December an exciting event happened when Tim Peake became the first British astronaut to join the International Space Station. It certainly created excitement amongst the children at the Primary School which he had attended when they watched the ‘blast off’ from Kazakhstan.
One of the most groundbreaking visits to outer space was that of the landing on the Moon of the Apollo 15 Mission. The Director of that mission, Doctor Wernher Von Braun was asked which particular verse in the Bible had he found helpful or challenging. He replied; “Be thou exalted, O God, above the heaven; let thy glory be above all the earth” Psalm 57:5.
Doctor Wernher Von Braun also wrote: ‘I feel the universal validity of God’s law, on earth and other worlds, is expressed in this passage. Space travellers will not trespass on forbidden regions when they set foot on other worlds, but will be in God’s realm wherever they go.’
Do scientists know the number or names of all the stars? Of course not – but God does! In fact the Bible has many references to the sun, moon and stars for example: “He [God] telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names” Psalm 147:4 But the Bible is really only concerned with this planet upon which we live. Here is where the problems are. Jesus is coming back from heaven at the appointed time to sort out the complex difficulties now being faced by us all. On this planet there will be: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” Luke 2:14. May we all particpate in this delightful experience. We make the answer now*!
*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!
Hanukkah, also called the ‘Feast of Dedication’ or ‘Festival of Lights’ will be celebrated by Jews from the 6th to the 14th of December 2015 (25th of Kislev). But what is it, and why is it important to us today?
HANUKKAH, the only Jewish festival not mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, is an eight-day festival that commemorates the cleansing and rededication of the temple following the victories of Judas Maccabeus in 167/165 B.C. over the atrocities committed to the Jewish temple and priesthood by ‘vile’ Syrian king Antiochus IV.
Daniel writes accurately (Dan 11:29-30) about Antiochus’ defeat in Egypt – “he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation”, and about the way Antiochus vented upon Judah because of his loss “they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice”, of which the book of Maccabees records that an altar was set up to Olympian Zeus (Jupiter), upon which pigs (unclean by the Jewish law) were sacrificed. This abomination, was only turned around by the hand of God’s plan for the nation through Judas Maccabeus.
While the Jewish book of Maccabees describe the events in Daniel from this period, we do not have to rely only on one historical source of information of the events prophesied by Daniel. Polybius – a historian – is another who describes Antiochus’ actions (31.9).
Judas Maccabeus is said to have ended up cleansing and restoring the temple, after the revolt against Antiochus had ended, he dedicated the new altar with sacrifices, song, and joyous worship for eight days.
The obvious lesson from the tradition is that it follows in a long line of Jewish oppression. Time and time again, a nation will have power over them. The Egyptians, Philistines, Assyrians, Medes/Persians, Greeks, Romans. Yet where are these great superpowers, along with Antiochus and his vile crimes? God says about Israel that “You are My witnesses” (Isaiah 53:10), and that “…he that touches you touches the pupil of His eye” (Zech 2:8). Such promises were made first to Abraham and his seed, that “..I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee..” (Gen 12:3).
The Church of England arranged for cinema goers to watch an advert containing The Lord’s Prayer. At the last minute the advert was cancelled by the Digital Cinema Media because it could “cause offence to those of differing political persuasions, as well as those of differing faiths and indeed of no faith”.
Whatever the rights and wrongs of this case the important question we must ask is ‘To whom was the prayer given originally and for whom was it meant’? To find the answers we must examine the teaching of Jesus.
The prayer appears as part of The Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:9-13 and later in Jesus’ ministry in Luke 11:1-4. On both occasions the prayer was given to his disciples and not to the crowds who listened to him. Why was that? The prayer is a spiritual conversation between God, the Father “OUR FATHER who is in heaven” and HIS CHILDREN. Therefore it is intended for those who have become part of GOD’S FAMILY. How do we become part of the family of God? The apostle Paul wrote “… for you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptised into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” Galatians 3:26-28. To become a son or daughter of God we must believe in Him and His Son and accept the gospel taught in the Bible and be baptised. We should obey God’s laws and try to live Christ like lives.
Why not make this prayer your prayer and so become a child of God?
*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 29th November, in our hall, Foundry Road, Ammanford. All are welcome to attend!
We are all appalled by the dreadful events in Paris.
Would you shoot school children, or bomb a market place? No, you wouldn’t – but why do some people commit atrocities like this?
One answer lies in the fact that when God made the world He gave people a choice. We are not like ‘puppets on a string’. Nobody makes us commit crimes against humanity. We have freewill – it is our choice.
WHERE IS GOD IN ALL THIS?
The Bible assures us that man’s time is limited – but before that limit is reached people please themselves. So some become doctors and nurses to save lives, while others become terrorists to destroy lives. But when will that limit be realised?
“In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent. For He has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the man He has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17 verses 30, 31)
God raised Jesus from the dead, never to die again. This means that we too can rise again.
When God decides that it is time, He will send Jesus back to earth. Then He will convert the world, and eventually sin and hatred will be wiped away.
This will bring real hope for a currently hopeless world.
*To find out more about our hope and how you can be a part of it, visit our website: www.ammanfordchristadelphians.co.uk. Our next public meeting will be held at 6pm on Sunday 22nd November, in our hall, Foundry Road, Ammanford. You are very welcome to attend!