Public Enquiry: Did Jesus die and rise from the dead? – A Special Event for Easter

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Did Jesus die and rise from the dead?

Witnesses will be called.

The evidence presented.

The decision is yours!

The Ammanford Christadelphians are hosting an exciting dramatisation of a public enquiry into the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Several ‘eye-witnesses’ will testify and describe the dramatic events. Evidence will be displayed and analysed through powerpoint presentation (some bits can be a little gory). YOU are the jury. Did Jesus really die and rise from the dead? That is for you to decide.

It is free entry and no need to book in advance, just show up on the night – everyone wlecome!

To find out more contact [email protected]ians.co.uk

The Ammanford Christadelphians invite you to this dramatised enquiry at 2 venues in the coming week:

Tycroes Village Hall, Ammanford Road

Wednesday 12 April 7.30pm

and

The Christadelphian Hall, Foundry Road, Ammanford

Sunday 16 April 6.00pm

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New hearts for old

Jesus tells us that the first and most important commandment of all is that we must “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30) so that our love for God should be obvious for all to see. Very few hearts are as filled with love for God as they should be. King Solomon observed “the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil” (Ecclesiastes 8:11)

What this world needs is a heart transplant operation. Today surgeons can take the heart from a dead person and cut out the diseased heart and transplant a healthy one. We marvel at what medical science can do, yet this operation is not new.God, speaking of Israel, says, “I will give you a new heart and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”(Ezekiel 36:26) Long before man ever thought of it, God promised to cut out a stony heart and transplant it with one capable of loving Him.

What kind of heart do we have? Do we need a change of heart? This is one operation which we can each perform for ourselves. God admonishes us saying, “Repent, and turn from all your transgressions; lest iniquity be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the LORD GOD so turn and live” (Ezekiel 18:31-32)

The world around us is dying of heart disease. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked and therefore it dies. Our only hope is to get a new heart, one filled with love for God. Paul, the apostle, tells us that if we believe in our heart that God raised Christ from the dead, we shall be saved, “For with the heart one believes and is justified…”(Romans 10:10). As a result, we are to “draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience …”(Hebrews 10:22)

Jesus, the great physician, tells us that “out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.”(Matthew 15:19) These are killing diseases. An operation is imperative to prevent death!

A new heart is our only hope. God says of His people, “I will give them a heart to know that I am the LORD. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return to me with their whole heart.”Jeremiah 24:7

If we will turn to God He will give us a new heart. The operation is guaranteed to be successful. Not only will we survive the operation but we will live forever. God says, “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruits of his deeds.” (Jeremiah 17:10)

 

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In the beginning God …

The writer of this blog reads the creation record in the first book of God’s Word, The Bible, Genesis chapter one: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1) at the beginning of every New Year. These opening chapters reveal to us the order and grandeur of the record, and yet it is so worded that ordinary folk like you and II can understand it. However, creation is ridiculed by so many these days.

Scientists who believe in creation as set out in Genesis have looked at the facts of science and cannot line them up with evolution. Consider the following:

1. The origin of life is unknown to science. The Law of Biogenesis observes that life only comes from life. Louis Pasteur proved scientifically that life does not come from non-life.

2. Many animals possess sophisticated equipment. The radar system of bats, the sonar of whales and dolphins, the electro-detection system of the platypus etc. A complexity that could not possibly have been produced by chance.

3. While single-celled creatures are numerous, there are none with two, three, four or even twenty cells. Thus there is no evolutionary sequence from single-celled to multi -celled creatures.

4. All known species (several million) appear fully developed, with all vital organs operational. There are no part formed eyes, half developed intestines or evolving feathers.

5. The genetic code in each cell, in the DNA, if written out in detail, would require as many as 4,000 large volumes of closely printed text. This is no accident of nature.

6. The DNA helix in each cell requires twenty different proteins for its instruction. These specific proteins can only be produced under the direction of the information in the DNA.Ttherefore the whole complex system must have been informed complete from the beginning of life.

7. Symbiosis, the interdependence of two forms of life, such as the fig tree and the fig-gall wasp, the yucca plant and the pronuba moth, pollen plants and the bee, each dependant for life upon the other, must have been formed complete at the same time.

Many other facts of science could be advanced. The Scripture says: “I will praise thee (God) for I am fearfully and wonderfully made….” (Psalm 139:14). This, is, of course a miracle.

What do you think?

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Why I believe the Bible

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On Thursday 10th November (as you may have seen in the local newspaper) we are holding a special Bible class which will take the form of a DVD evening! The DVD we will be showing is called ‘Why I Believe the Bible’. This DVD is a series of short presentations from 6 Christadelphians. Each one is an expert in a particular field of science. They present their arguments for believing in the Bible from the perspective of their field of expertise. It is a free event and all are welcome to attend – so please come along and find out more about who we are and what we believe!

Well, this got us thinking, so we asked our members why they belive the Bible and we thought we would share some of their answers with you here on the blog! (Please note the names quoted are pseudonyms for security reasons but their ages are correct- or thereabouts, after all, a lady never tells!).

“When I look around at the beauty of the world and how everything works together in such perfect harmony, how can you not recognise a Creator? One looking over us ensuring we have everything we need. The Bible lays out exactly why we were created and shows us the whole purpose of our being. To aimlessly walk through life simply pleasing ourselves and our own selfish lusts isn’t enough for me. You can see from the greed and selfish ways of mankind how it is slowly destroying this earth. Which God in the Bible accurately predicts. 

Worlds leaders may have the best intentions of righting all the wrong within this world, but unfortunately without God and his Son Jesus, there is no hope of that. It is only through God’s loving-kindness that there will ever be the opportunity of Peace on Earth. Which is why I put my complete trust in him and his ways. God gives me the strength and confidence through all the wonderful things we have around us and a SURE Hope to hold onto of a better Earth ruled over by His Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.”

Holly Bright, 30

“Global anti-Semitism, Israel inhabited with strong Jewish presence, fore-made predictions from Revelation occurring; these started me off learning about the strong evidence for biblical accuracy, while refuting the minimalist position with emerging archaeological data; the ‘Large Stone Structure’ (David’s Palace), Khirbet Qeiyafa, the temple mount, and many ancient inscriptions.”

John Bennett, 22

“Every time I look around at the world, at the beautiful mountains, the stunning coastlines, the Deep dark forests the amazing and fascinating creatures that live on this earth, just by looking at this alone makes me believe there is no way all this can be created by chance – it must be God’s work. “

Alfred Clarke, 30

“My faith in God and Jesus reassures me that the Bible is believable. As I read through the various books I see that they all link together, telling me the same message. The message that God had a plan right from the beginning of time, a plan of peace for all.”

Jacqui Parker, 45

“In our world I see such diversity in the animal and plant kingdoms from the tiniest wren to the huge orca whale, from the tiny snowdrop to the mighty redwood tree. God is the Creator. He reveals in the Bible His plan to bring order and peace to our sad world.”

Julietta Dawes, 71

“Having been bought up in a Christadelphian family, I decided in my teens to investigate my parents’ belief in the Bible. I did this by visiting a wide range of churches and chapels, not only was it a fascinating experience, but it also convinced me that the Christadelphians (with all their faults) have, what the bible calls ‘the truth’.

Bernard Shaw, 82

“The Bible, from cover to cover, brings me close to my creator: longsuffering and compassionate, kindness itself, utterly truthful, trustworthy and just. In a cruel, chaotic world He is sane, real, approachable and understanding. And He gives me strength now and a concrete hope for a quality of life that will be simply lovely.”

Catherine Evans, 66

“The shimmering colours of the peacock feather is due to a phenomena known as ‘interference’. Each feather consists of tiny flat branches. When light shines on the feather, we see thousands of glimmering coloured spots, each caused by minuscule bowl-shaped indentations. That doesn’t happen by chance. If God pays such close attention to detail in his creatures, how much more care and attention is he paying in our lives?”

Talulah Riley, 22

As we said, please join us on 10th November at 7.30pm
for our very special Bible Class!

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DO IT NOW!

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It was once said “The most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do when it ought to be done whether you want to do it or not.”

Using this as a starting point it seems strange that most highly educated people have less time for God than ordinary people.

This proves the apostle Paul’s point when he said, “For the wisdom of this world is folly with God,” (1 Corinthians 3:19) because “.. God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world…..so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.” (1Corinthians 1:27-29)

In this world of greatly increased knowledge we can become so absorbed in our own wisdom and our own petty problems that we completely fail to do what ought to be done when it ought to be done.

So let all of us, educated or not, learn the lesson – that of making ourselves do the thing we have to do when we ought to do it whether we want to do it or not.

The difference between success and failure in almost any venture is the ability to do the right thing at the right time. This illustrates the wisdom of Solomon who said “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die……” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8) Too many of us put off doing the thing that is unpleasant or unappealing. True religion does not attract the natural man. Paul tells us that “the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God: for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed it cannot.” (Romans 8:7) If we are wise, we will learn what we ought to do and do it. It is vitally important for us to apply it to serving God. In the final analysis the only education really worth having is in God’s law and the only worthwhile wisdom is Godly wisdom.

Too many have spent their lives without doing what they ought to have done for God and realised as they lay on their death bed that all the things they knew and all the money they had was of little use.

Let us remember our Creator NOW before the years draw near when we are no longer able to obey God. We must not use the lame excuse that we don’t have time. We have all the time there is, 24 hours every day! No one has more or less than that. If we are honest with ourselves we must admit that we find time to do things we like to do. We must develop the ability to make ourselves do the thing we should do when it ought to be done. Now is the time to draw nigh unto God. At our death or at the Coming of the Lord Jesus to set up His Father’s Kingdom it will be too late.

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, or work, or knowledge, or wisdom, in Sheol [the grave], to which you are going.” (Ecclesiastes 9:10)

There is no joy like godly joy and no pleasure on earth like the peace of God but we shall never experience it unless we begin and persevere. By doing so, we, having been ” … set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification, and its end eternal life.” (Romans 6:22)

Quotes are taken 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.

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A Trip To Israel

Hello readers,

This blog post is a little bit different to our usual. One of our members has recently travelled to Israel and has very kindly agreed to share their experience with us on the blog. Enjoy!

“It was a pleasure to visit Israel for two weeks in August this year. I was able to develop an understanding of the history, both modern and ancient, of a land which God calls ‘most glorious of all lands” (Ezekiel 20:6) We visited many places.

Ashkelon, where Samson went to kill thirty Philistines for their garments, after they had tricked him, into revealing the answer to the riddle he had set by threatening his wife with death if she did not get the answer for them.(Judges 14:14-20) ;

Ashdod Philistine Cultural Museum which gives a context to the David and Goliath account, and to the endless struggle which Israel had with the surrounding people until the Babylonian captivity;

Masada where the Jews took refuge after fleeing Jerusalem after revolting against the Roman conquest of their land Jesus foretells the conquest in Matt 24:32-35.(Israel is symbolised as a fig tree).

The Mount of Olives Jerusalem where King David wept as he fled from Jerusalem when Absalom rebelled against his father (2 Samuel 15:30)

The Temple Mount Jerusalem where archaeologist Dr Leen Ritmeyer has found evidence of the First Temple Period platform from which Ezra spoke to the people who ‘sat in the open square before the house of God, trembling because of this matter and because of the heavy rain’ Ezra 10 (The children of Israel had been unfaithful by taking foreign wives after returning from the Babylonian exile)

The Jordan Valley where John baptised Jesus (Mark 1: 1-8) and where the Children of Israel crossed over when entering the land (Joshua 3)

Ein Harod, where Gideon separated the 300 men who were to go to war from those who were to go home (Judges 7)

Mount Carmel where Elijah met more than 850 false prophets of Baal and .all the people .to prove that the Lord is God.(1 Kings 18:20-40).

Independence Hall Tel Aviv where the modern state of Israel was confirmed by the UN vote in 1948. This was the fulfilment of Bible Prophecy which foretells the return of the Jews to the land of Israel.

Seeing such places as Shechem helps me to understand the different choices the Children of Israel had to make; did they want the blessing by obeying God or the curses because of disobedience, Mt Gerazim or Mt Ebal – the symbolic act described in Deut 27. Shechem, translated as Shoulder, lies between these two mountains emphasising that there is a great gulf between God’s blessings and His cursing, between choosing good and choosing evil.

Shechem

Beersheba, a town in the far south in Israel, a city whose ruins are excavated and preserved well enough for tourists to see the ouline of the city and some of the rooms clearly. It reminds one of how, in the latter period of the judges, the prophet Samuel’s sons Joel and Abijah “were judges” in Beer-sheba but that they “turned aside after dishonest gain, took bribes and perverted justice”,

(1 Sam 8:6). This led the people of Israel to demand a king.

BeerSheba

The well in Beer-Sheba, 26 metres deep, reminds me of the fact that this was the foundation name of the city, the name chosen after Abraham and Abimelech made a covenant between them where “two of them took an oath”.(Genesis 21:22-31)

BeerSheba Well

Another interesting location was Perath. In Jeremiah 13:4, the prophet is told to go to this location, normally translated ‘Euphrates’, though it is actually more likely to be a location not too far from Jerusalem. This was misunderstood by commentators until recently.  

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These sorts of things help me to understand the ‘beautiful land’ which God talks about and the relevance of it to my understanding of God, His Scriptures and the prophecies they contain for the future of our world.”

*To find out more about the Christadelphians in Ammanford, their faith and how you can be a part of it, please 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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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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