The Resurrection

Can you believe it happened?

Christian Churches often promote the death of Jesus and then question the truth of the resurrection. Is this a reasonable idea? Can you both believe in Jesus as the son of God, recognise the sacrifice and then question the resurrection?

Apparently so. Yet, this is not what the Apostle Paul expressed in 1 Corinthians 15: 12 “Now if it is being preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how is it that some among you say there is no resurrection of the dead?13 If, indeed, there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised up.14 But if Christ has not been raised up, our preaching is certainly in vain, and your faith is also in vain.”

If we believe that the soul is immortal there is no need for the resurrection and certainly no need for Christ to act as our ransom. Paul continues the reasoning with these words in verse 16 “For if the dead are not to be raised up, neither has Christ been raised up.17 Further, if Christ has not been raised up, your faith is useless; you remain in your sins.18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in death in union with Christ have perished.19 If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are to be pitied more than anyone.

Christians without a cause and reason to remain faithful. This simple denial emboldens those who subvert the Christian teachings to water down the bible’s message. For example, we only have to accept Jesus as our saviour. The New Testament repeatedly warns us against this complacent attitude. Because we are working for our own salvation through our dedication and the evidence of this. To understand how we perform works that demonstrate our faith we need to study the Bible.

Personal Experience

As a young person, I was pressured by peers and teachers to look hard at the reasons for my faith. They explained my parents were using religion and its rules to control my life and that I was missing out. Also, flattery played a part, being told you are intelligent and completing the challenging problems set, solving complex situations quickly led them to say I was wasting my life.

So I began to question what I had been taught to believe. Read extensively, the ancient history of the period the Bible was written, studied Archaeology, Natural History and theology.

Take a walk through the creation and ask not just How? ask WHY?

Then I began to look at the record of modern science, the people who wrote and thought about how we arrived on the planet, our evolution and the development of society.

I began to realise there was something missing – the “why?” factor. Having reviewed the probability factors of events over billions of years we come back to the same question, if you allow for random chance, why did the cells of the body develop the way they have? How did they realise that the environment would change (sometimes rapidly) why were they able to make the transition? and why isn’t there a clear record of all the intermediate life forms that failed?

Then it came down to why do we require a moral code or set of rules? The evidence presented demonstrated a stark contrast, the Bible led moral code versus our modern approach. If I chose to follow the Bible code what damage will that do me? Set the contrast and ask the same question about none bible standards.

I came to the conclusion that God exists, we can see the works of Gods hands everywhere if we choose to perceive note the words of the Apostle Paul again to the Romans 1: 18 For God’s wrath is being revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who are suppressing the truth in an unrighteous way,19 because what may be known about God is clearly evident among them, for God made it clear to them.20 For his invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship, so that they are inexcusable.21 For although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God nor did they thank him, but they became empty-headed in their reasonings and their senseless hearts became darkened.22 Although claiming they were wise, they became foolish23 and turned the glory of the incorruptible God into something like the image of corruptible man and birds and four-footed creatures and reptiles.

The result of this dichotomy is expressed in Romans 1: 24 Therefore, God, in keeping with the desires of their hearts, gave them up to uncleanness, so that their bodies might be dishonored among them.25 They exchanged the truth of God for the lie and venerated and rendered sacred service to the creation rather than the Creator, who is praised forever. Amen.26 That is why God gave them over to disgraceful sexual passion, for their females changed the natural use of themselves into one contrary to nature;27 likewise also the males left the natural use of the female and became violently inflamed in their lust toward one another, males with males, working what is obscene and receiving in themselves the full penalty, which was due for their error. read on in verses 28 -32 many Christians who reject the resurrection and fail to put faith in Jesus as the redeemer of humanity tolerate they approve of acts that the Bible identifies as unacceptable to God.

So to accept the resurrection of Christ requires an understanding that there are answers to the big questions, however, it is up to us to decide just how we respond. Salvation is through Jesus Christ the Son of God, he died for a reason and each of us needs to understand that for ourselves.

Those who accept the bible standards and God’s right to tell us what to do can show where the evidence is but like myself you have to prove it for yourself. So starting with the resurrection of Jesus you can begin to build a real picture of what the meaning of life is and why we can be certain that all of humankind has hope for the future, including those living today.

To understand how you and your family can enjoy life forever consider How Jesus’ Death Saves Us

A Lie

All of us have experienced the damage a lie causes, whether we tell it or we’re told it. The problem is that the information has two key points:

  1. Based on a grain of truth
  2. Not easy to verify immediately

It has the needed impact initially but when they unwind and the truth becomes apparent we have often done damage that is difficult to resolve. We have lost the trust of others which is bad enough, but we have also created a situation where the resulting compensation is worse than telling the truth in the first instance.

Motivation

Why we lie is interesting, have you asked yourself why you try to use words in this way to defend actions, omissions and responsibility?

  • Often to save face
  • To avoid the consequences of an error
  • To deceive

The first lie recorded was designed to deceive and steal at the same time. Note how the deception started in Genesis 3: 1 “Now the serpent was the most cautious of all the wild animals of the field that Jehovah God had made. So it said to the woman: “Did God really say that you must not eat from every tree of the garden?” What appears to be an innocent question, Eve knew the answer and responded positively.

However, the counter-response was clinical Genesis 3: 4 “At this the serpent said to the woman: “You certainly will not die.5 For God knows that in the very day you eat from it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and bad.” Three parts to the lie:

  • You won’t die
  • God is withholding something you have a right to
  • You’ll be like God

Two elements wouldn’t stand up or bear real scrutiny but it was the deception that God was holding something back that Adam and eve had a right to. Eve couldn’t check if she was going to die, she also couldn’t validate the idea that she would be like God. However, the idea that God was keeping something from them aroused her interest. Their rights were being withheld and they wanted everything that was theirs.

Eve had already said God gave them everything but one Tree, his tree and Satan the Devil (Slanderer and Resister) had achieved his goal. Separating humanity from the creator.

The consequence of the lie?

The verses in Genesis 3: 19 “In the sweat of your face you will eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For dust you are and to dust you will return.”20 After this Adam named his wife Eve, because she was to become the mother of everyone living.”

Hereditary (the passing on of physical or mental characteristics genetically from one generation to another) means we the offspring of Adam and Eve have been given a gift that never stops taking – the greatest scam in history still affects everyone because as Romans 5: 12 says “That is why, just as through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because they had all sinned”

James 3: 2 “For we all stumble many times. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able to bridle also his whole body.3 If we put bridles in the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we guide also their whole body” We stumble and fall, our words are not always what they should be. So what is the answer?

Importance of Prayer

James 1: 5 “So if any one of you is lacking in wisdom, let him keep asking God, for he gives generously to all and without reproaching, and it will be given him.6 But let him keep asking in faith, not doubting at all, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven by the wind and blown about.” Prayer is our life line and by it we seek the wisdom of God. What does that achieve note the words of James 3: 17 “But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, reasonable, ready to obey, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, not hypocritical.18 Moreover, the fruit of righteousness is sown in peaceful conditions for those who are making peace.”

Without a personal relationship with God, we can’t escape the consequences of Satan’s first lie.

How does prayer make that possible? 1 John 1: 7 “However, if we are walking in the light as he himself is in the light, we do have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses our sins, Adam brought sin to us and Jesus takes it away, how? 1 John 2: 1 “My little children, I am writing you these things so that you may not commit a sin. And yet, if anyone does commit a sin, we have a helper with the Father, Jesus Christ, a righteous one.2 And he is a propitiatory sacrifice for our sins, yet not for ours only but also for the whole world’s.3 And by this we realize that we have come to know him, namely, if we continue observing his commandments.” What is a “propitiatory sacrifice for our sins”? The dictionary explains that ‘having the power to atone for or offered by way of expiation or propitiation’ is an appropriate understanding in this context.

Jesus’ blood at his death because he was without sin, he never lied and never thought of deceiving others covers the value of Adam’s rebellion. He did this willingly.

The Last Supper

After the Passover of 33 AD on the same night of Nisan 14 Jesus entered into a covenant or agreement with his Apostles that explained the purpose of his death, and what it would accomplish for all of us. To understand what it means for each of us we need to explore and understand the significance of the Bread and the Wine. So on April 15 after sunset locally join more than 21 million people globally who will be gathered to commemorate the “The Lords Evening Meal” at a venue close to you.

Listen as the Bible is used to explain the reason for his death and the value to every one of us, past, present and future.

Then begin to study the bible and Enjoy Life Forever.

Skinned and Thrown About

When looking at the nation of Israel Jesus described them as sheep without a shepherd, skinned and thrown about but in what way and by whom?

The account in Matthew 9: 35 “And Jesus set out on a tour of all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the good news of the Kingdom and curing every sort of disease and every sort of infirmity.36 On seeing the crowds, he felt pity for them, because they were skinned and thrown about like sheep without a shepherd.” He was on a preaching tour, yes people were under pressure from the Roman Taxes and the local social structure but Jesus was discussing the spiritual condition of the people.

Notice how he described their shepherds in Matthew 23:13 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you shut up the Kingdom of the heavens before men; for you yourselves do not go in, neither do you permit those on their way in to go in.” and verse 15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you travel over sea and dry land to make one proselyte, and when he becomes one, you make him a subject for Ge·henʹna twice as much so as yourselves“.

Their hypocrisy created a stumbling block for the nation. Preventing them from seeing the Messiah or Christ, they failed in their self-appointed role as custodians of God’s Law.

Sheep without a shepherd distracted by everything

Jesus Compassion

He expressed his care for the individuals in the crowds, they needed physical healing but more importantly, they needed comfort from the scriptures and real hope. That is why he said in Matthew 9: 37 “Then he said to his disciples: “Yes, the harvest is great, but the workers are few.38 Therefore, beg the Master of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.”

People needed the care of the Kingdom promised from the founding of the world, the life of Abel the first faithful human.

Literally today we are in a similar place. Those so-called self-appointed custodians of truth and faith the Churches and their leaders trap individuals into a notion that we have to die and go to heaven to experience “real life”, to be in a place of true safety.

Is this what Jesus sacrificed his life for? So those people already destined for heavenly life because of their immortal soul could somehow balance an unnecessary scale. It makes absolutely no sense. If I’m going to heaven to be with Christ why do I need a redeemer?

Christian Truth is very straightforward, but just like sheep who are left unattended to wander from pasture to pasture and never get close to the lush pastures prepared for them, they are skinned, unloved, uncared for spiritually and they are dying without intervention.

So why did Jesus have to Die?

Let the Apostle Paul answer that at Romans 5: 12 “That is why, just as through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because they had all sinned” Adams sin brought death to Humanity but note the contrast in verse 19 “For just as through the disobedience of the one man many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one person many will be made righteous.” Paul also makes the point at 1 Corinthians 15: 21 “For since death came through a man, resurrection of the dead also comes through a man.22 For just as in Adam all are dying, so also in the Christ all will be made alive.”

If we had immortality in ourselves through a soul this statement confuses a Christian but attending the commemoration of Jesus’ Death this April on the 15th after the sun has set where you are. Join one of the Congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses to hear an explanation of why Christ Died and that although close to the end of the period of harvest we are assured that there is still time to experience the compassion of Jesus Christ as we continue to be Skinned and Thrown About as sheep without a shepherd.

Studying God’s Word, his promise and understanding his plan for humanity has never included suffering and death but this is a consequence of our own human parents rejecting the source of life. Literally, they pulled the plug on their own life support. Hence the shared human condition.

Christian Courage

At this point in time all Christians require courage, Sadly billions demonstrate that they can’t see the reasons for expressing loyalty to God’s Kingdom, taking the option of supporting their own governments and social norms.

An example of a young person with the courage we require is Joseph, son of Jacob, wrongfully convicted but he displayed courage. Many today judge him as a fool, because if he had been intimate with Potiphars wife it would have saved him from prison. Was that really what mattered to him? His response was clear and set a standard “how could I sin against God?”

Today Christians accept infidelity and “living in sin” as something that God tolerates. Yet the bible standard remains “Flee from fornication”. There aren’t listed following that admonition a list of exceptions for the future generations.

This includes pornography – the bible record states that Job made a covenant with his eyes not to look upon another woman. Jesus stated that anyone looking at a woman so as to have a passion for her was guilty of adultery (fornication).

Just because we can access sexual content 24/7 and do so in private it doesn’t give us licence to ignore the original counsel. Time doesn’t dilute the standard the churches do.

It was different then

We have inherited words from history that indicate that all of these features of modern morality were around at the time of Jesus and the Apostles. What it is mean to be “Corinthian”? well here is your answer 1 Corinthians 6: 9 “Or do you not know that unrighteous people will not inherit God’s Kingdom? Do not be misled. Those who are sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, men who submit to homosexual acts, men who practice homosexuality,10 thieves, greedy people, drunkards, revilers, and extortioners will not inherit God’s Kingdom.” when we describe someone or something as Corinthian it isn’t a complement we are labelling them as immoral. Also the Greeks gave us a number of words that describe those who engage in this style of behaviour.

So why do we need courage?

Simply put God’s standards haven’t changed and our salvation depends on maintaining the right standards. 1 Corinthians 6: 11 goes on to say “And yet that is what some of you were. But you have been washed clean; you have been sanctified; you have been declared righteous in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and with the spirit of our God.12 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are advantageous. All things are lawful for me, but I will not let myself be controlled by anything.”

Christians stood out from the rest of society, labelled criticised, ridiculed and often singled out for special attention to make them break God’s standards. The same applies today “peer pressure” establishes new norms and endeavours all to reach the lowest common denominator, to stand firm takers real courage.

James 1: 2 “Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you meet with various trials,3 knowing as you do that this tested quality of your faith produces endurance.4 But let endurance complete its work, so that you may be complete and sound in all respects, not lacking in anything.” James continues that if we lack faith then pray for it and Jehovah God gives generously.

We face real tests of faith but often it is our daily standards that tell others if we are Christians, if we are afraid to speak out on matters of morality, remember Lots was tormented by the conduct of the inhabitants of Sodom and Gommorrah are we when we see churches full of people who are openly not living in line with the Bible. Are we prepared to seperate ourselves from these persons who have no regard for God’s Standards. It is challenging and requires the confidence that we are doing the right thing.

We don’t develop the resolve by listening to our Peers, the leaders of this world or the intellectuals it comes from our own solid confidence in what we know to be true.

It isn’t my place to tell or demand others live by God’s standards I can only echo the words of the courageous man Joshua 24: 14 “Therefore, fear Jehovah and serve him with integrity and faithfulness, and remove the gods that your forefathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt, and serve Jehovah.15 Now if it seems bad to you to serve Jehovah, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve, whether the gods that your forefathers served on the other side of the River or the gods of the Amʹor·ites in whose land you are dwelling. But as for me and my household, we will serve Jehovah.”

Yes we need to examine God’s dealings with his creation, build our confidence in his ability to save us and then decide to live in harmony with his original standards for humans.

How? Study the Bible for ourselves don’t let others tell us what we are to do or think, learn and think about what you know and then decide. If you decide that God’s standards are too restrictive then that is an informed choice. But to follow the Christian Church without knowing what the Bible really teaches is folly and will lead to pain.

We are not the sort to shrink back but we are Christians exercising faith publically and acknowledging others will not like the moral standards we keep because by doing so we condemn those who say God doesn’t care, hasn’t got our best interests at heart.

Remember it is the Truth that sets us free not public opinion and the Christian Churches. Now is the time to study the bible.

Was God Lonely?

The Bible’s opening words at Genesis 1: 1 “In the beginning God Created the heavens and the earth. ” You may ask why? and Colossians 1: 13 “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation;” says of Jesus. So do we conclude that God was lonely?

No! 1 John 4: 8 explains that “God is love” his desire to create life comes from that unselfish love. With our limited capacity and direct knowledge we can discern that it is similar to the desire to become a parent. Very few of us think that we are perpetuating the human race by having children, we have a family because something conceived in love or out of passion gives evidence of that love we share.

Therefore, humans are an expression of God’s love. As are Angels, the Universe and everything he does.

This draws millions to serve him, to share bible truth and explain just what God’s purpose is for humankind.

What did God Create?

We’re told he created the earth to last forever, he put the first humans and animals in a beautiful garden, that paradise home known as Eden.

All of the natural cycles that keep our home clean, our air breathable, our planet producing all that we need. Nothing left to chance.

Therefore, we know God created everything.

So what went wrong?

One Angel looked at the relationship humans had with God and decided he wanted to have some of the glory, based on his desire he reached out to Eve and deceived her, Adam responded to the news that Eve had eaten the fruit by rebeling against God.

It wasn’t imperfection it was a decision bourne of self interest and without regard for those who would follow. That single act of rebellion established a challenge, that we as individuals only serve god for what we get out of the relationship. The account at Job 1: 7 “Then Jehovah said to Satan: “Where have you come from?” Satan answered Jehovah: “From roving about on the earth and from walking about in it.”8 And Jehovah said to Satan: “Have you taken note of my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth. He is an upright man of integrity, fearing God and shunning what is bad.”9 At that Satan answered Jehovah: “Is it for nothing that Job has feared God?10 Have you not put up a protective hedge around him and his house and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his livestock has spread out in the land.11 But, for a change, stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your very face.”12 Then Jehovah said to Satan: “Look! Everything that he has is in your hand. Only do not lay your hand on the man himself!” So Satan went out from the presence of Jehovah”.

Yes Satan asked this question not just of Job but all humans “Is it for nothing that Job has feared God?” It is an issue that involves each one of us.

Now even in a sinful state God blesses his servants but Satan is saying that this is the only reason why people want to worship him.

None of us can satisfactorily answer that challenge because we all sin. Therefore, we need to find someone who will redemm us.

This is the greatest act of kindness – God sent his only begotten son as a ransom for humans, living now, in the past and those who have the promise of life in the future.

This is a the “Good News” Christ died for our sins so that we can be reconciled to God and once again enjoy the relationship with the Creator Satan and Adam spurned.

To accept this redemption price we need to know the key issues and how we are to address them. John 17: 3 “This means everlasting life, their coming to know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.” is the key for our research.

Move away from theology, the views of those who claim to be educated – you know the ones that sap every grain of hope from our hearts. They focus on research over feeding the poor, there is enough money in circulation to eradicate food shortage and famine even when crops fail. Greed and self interest make the moral response impossible. On the one hand Governments finance weapons and the population finance the relif work and rebuilding through acts of charity. The logic of putting money into weapons that perpetuate warfare rather than putting the equivalent into the public services just demonstrates how warped the reasoning is of those who educate and lead us.

So go back to the beginning, why did God create when he was complete? what did he expect? what is his purpose? is there more to life? find the answers in the bible.

The Son of God

John 3: 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Appears on the billboards of Christian Churches across the globe.

Those who accept the Trinity and those who understand the expression “only begotten Son” as a direct reference to the separateness of the two.

The Apostle John is often quoted as the source of the Trinitarian doctrine, however, when I first read Alexander Hislop’s “The Two Babylons” it took moments to realize that this doctrine was adopted from Eastern Religions in the 4th Century AD.

Jesus is clearly identified by the Apostle as the Son of God and he comes in the role of the “Son of Man” why?

Well, John explains in the following verses John 3: 17 “For God did not send his Son into the world for him to judge the world, but for the world to be saved through him.18 Whoever exercises faith in him is not to be judged. Whoever does not exercise faith has been judged already, because he has not exercised faith in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.” How we acknowledge Jesus’ role in God’s purpose for humankind explains what outcome we can expect.

Exercise Faith

Faith in what? Verse 14 clearly helps us to understand his role “14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so the Son of man must be lifted up,15 so that everyone believing in him may have everlasting life.”

The copper serpent in the wilderness was raised and those afflicted by the plague affecting the nation were required to look at the serpent, understanding that this would provide relief. What a simple message – look at the figure and you’ll be healed. But is that what was required? No those Israelites had to believe that the serpent would be used by Jehovah God to heal them, restore their relationship with him.

So how is the sacrifice of Jesus’ life like that serpent? Jesus was raised up before the world as the ransom for humankind, our sin and our separation from God. So those looking at Christ would have to recognise that specific role, he is the ransom the price paid for our sins.

Is it too much to ask?

As restrictions are lifted surrounding COVID19 we see many reactions, some describing it as liberating, others saying it is irresponsible but insisting on their rights. Recently, going into a retail outlet I was asked to wear a mask, I complied because it made others comfortable and there wasn’t any ventilation at the back of the shop. The person who followed me in refused to comply and the shop owner refuse to let the person in.

Was it too much to ask the person who refused to wear a mask and use a hand sanitiser to follow the infection control measures? Not at all! All of the circumstances taken into account the shop owner was thinking of everyone.

Now when Jehovah God made the provision for us to be reconciled to him he required that we acknowledge his Son Jesus, he stipulated we had to extend our faith to include the value of Jesus’ sacrifice because through it we are potentially in line for salvation. Nothing complex in that.

Through our faith in the value of Jesus’ ransom sacrifice, we are demonstrating that we exercise faith in God’s Kingdom and the opportunity for salvation.

Ensuring we acknowledge that the son exists in his own right and is not a person in the trinity is essential. Note the words of John 17: 3 This means everlasting life, their coming to know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.4 I have glorified you on the earth, having finished the work you have given me to do.5 So now, Father, glorify me at your side with the glory that I had alongside you before the world was. and again in verse 25 Righteous Father, the world has, indeed, not come to know you, but I know you, and these have come to know that you sent me.26 I have made your name known to them and will make it known, so that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in union with them.”

Jehovah God gave credit to his son for the gift of the ransom that Jesus gave therefore, God raised him up, accepted the value of his sacrifice and by our personal faith in that ransom sacrifice we can live and enjoy a relationship with our heavenly father.

So 1 John 5: 3 “For this is what the love of God means, that we observe his commandments; and yet his commandments are not burdensome,4 because everyone who has been born from God conquers the world. And this is the conquest that has conquered the world, our faith.”

The conclusion is that “those who believeth in him” will gain everlasting life because God raised Jesus to be the symbol of salvation in our modern wilderness, the only means we have to exercise faith in Jehovah God is to acknowledge the role of his son who became the “Son of Man” to give his life as a ransom in exchange for many.

Is it reasonable to ask that we continue to search for what we know and understand about Jesus, separating him from the Godhead of false Christianity? “Know the truth and the truth will set you free”.

For an extended discussion on the role of the ransom download a copy of Enjoy Life Forever

“Though your sins are like scarlet”

Isaiah 1: 18 is a reminder to all of us that we do make serious mistakes. That although these may just be too big for us to see past and yet as described God is looking to erase those sins.

We have Bible accounts that demonstrate his capacity to forgive, they serve as a reminder of the words of the Apostle John wrote at 1John 3: 20 “regarding whatever our hearts may condemn us in, because God is greater than our hearts and knows all things.”

Forgiveness through a Sacrifice

Once our first family members had chosen to remove themselves from the support and guidance the creator/maker had provided things started to go downhill.

Often this has been likened to when we switch off a fan and it takes some time for the blades to stop rotating. We are close to the complete standstill.

So we needed to reconnect to the power source – to the creator but we had changed the plug. This was when God came to our rescue, providing the promise of the connection through a mediator Jesus Christ.

“Washed in the Blood of the Lamb”

We identify those who become connected to God through Christ when we look at Revelation 7: 9 “After this I saw, and look! a great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes; and there were palm branches in their hands.10 And they keep shouting with a loud voice, saying: “Salvation we owe to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb.”

The Angel explains who these ones are to John in Revelation 7: 13 “In response one of the elders said to me: “These who are dressed in the white robes, who are they and where did they come from?”14 So right away I said to him: “My lord, you are the one who knows.” And he said to me: “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.15 That is why they are before the throne of God, and they are rendering him sacred service day and night in his temple; and the One seated on the throne will spread his tent over them.”

John uses the expression “Great tribulation” here just as Jesus did to provide the sign of his second coming. It is evident that these survivors are in a special relationship with Christ so they worship the one on the throne because of Jesus.

So Salvation is through the Blood of the Christ. This is something we need to know more about. How does Jesus’ life, ministry, death and resurrection address our need and restore us to that original relationship with God?

Every year Jesus disciples – yes Christians who follow the pattern Jesus set, meet to commemorate his death and review why this one takes away the sins of the world though they be scarlet because through his death we can wash or cleanse ourselves to enjoy the glorious freedom of the children of God.

The promise is that we see God’s Name Jehovah sanctified and his rightful position as the one worthy of worship and praise vindicated. The reward for those who do is to “Enjoy Life Forever”

Pathway is clear for those who understand the sacrifice

Clean earth with the real-life ahead of those who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb www.jw.org

“See the Lamb of God”

John the Baptist proclaimed these words to his disciples when Jesus had been baptised in the River Jordan.

John and been given a clear sign that the Messiah would approach him to be baptised and that Holy Spirit would be evident.

So when John’s disciples approached Jesus later and asked if he was the Christ, he replied as recorded at Matthew 11: 2 But John, having heard in jail about the works of the Christ, sent his disciples3 to ask him: “Are you the Coming One, or are we to expect a different one?”4 In reply Jesus said to them: “Go and report to John what you are hearing and seeing:5 The blind are now seeing and the lame are walking, the lepers are being cleansed and the deaf are hearing, the dead are being raised up and the poor are being told the good news.

The evidence was clear all the things Isaiah the prophet foretold were happening in Israel. This message was passed to John shortly before his murder in prison by Herod.

Why is this important?

John finished his first statement with the words “who takes away the sin of the world”.

Jesus explained how this was to happen Matthew 20: 28 Just as the Son of man came, not to be ministered to, but to minister and to give his life as a ransom in exchange for many.”

His to give his life for mankind but did you note it doesn’t say for everyone because Jesus also explains not everyone claiming to be Christian and doing good works in his name is going to be saved.

There is more to it than just believing in Jesus, accepting him as the Ransom for Humankind and then just going about our lives. Note the simple statement that set the criteria for benefiting from the Ransom of Jesus Christ a famous text John 3: 16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.17 For God did not send his Son into the world for him to judge the world, but for the world to be saved through him.” verse 17 is often omitted but it is important to understand how we respond to them determines the outcome for us.

We need to understand more about the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world and how we are judged as worthy of salvation.

Not all possess faith, not all who claim to have faith will be saved but the ransom price was paid for everyone and to find the reward we must exercise faith.

John 17: 3 “This means everlasting life, their coming to know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.”

We need to know God and Christ so it is up to us to do the research. Where do we start?

  • Read the Bible
  • Focus on the Gospels
  • Understand the theme of the Bible
  • Let the Bible explain itself
  • Obey the divine word
  • Never compromise

For your own copy of the bible please follow the link to JW.org a number of translations in many languages are available please download a copy or read online at no cost.

Identify the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world and understand your own place in God’s purpose.

How to End All Wars!

I was reminded yesterday during a round of the TV quiz Mastermind, that there is an impression that by removing all humans we could establish world peace.

Is that necessary? An end to war does not guarantee peace. The removal of borders, free travel, the global citizen doesn’t establish peace.

The solution to the problem of war requires that we get to the root of the issue. Humanity is driven by base qualities, for example, greed, prejudice, jealously, pride and sadly the desire for power.

To dominate others effectively government leaders restrict individual rights, increase accountability and take draconian sanctions on those who resist. Strength is used to break the citizen, propaganda feeds the insecurity and is used to cause fear that leads to agression. “We feel threatened, so we will fight to defend what is ours”

Why does it end in war?

The bible commentary on life indicates humans reach a point where they are not open to any agreement, they are headstrong, proud and superior. This view is supported by Religious Leaders, Politicians, Businesses and the Media and this influences public opinion and causes a response. Conflict!

Both sides draw lines and then find or create evidence of a breach. Agression is excused as defence and countries or tribes, people, families are fighting for freedom as liberator or defender. The result is thousands of people die.

The guiding idealology

It is often spouted that most democracies originate in Christian values, can that be true? For example Jesus didn’t grasp power even when it was offered on a plate! He repeated “happy are the peacemakers”, love of neighbour, and demonstrated that he was prepared to die so millions would have the chance to live.

The early Christians were known for being nuetral in politics, dying rather than take up arms against anyone, not just fellow Christians. The constant message in the New Testament is “seek peace” that doesn’t mean capitulation in conflict, it requires the commitment to be ready to die rather than fight because there is a war coming that Human Governments will wage with God’s King and they are envoys for that King.

Christianity is an idealology of peacemaking. Each of us aaccounts to God for our current behaviour, choices and actions. Those who choose to live by the sword, die by the sword.

The real War to end all War!

The dispute we are witnessing began more than 6,000 years ago, the protagonist is Satan who has a dispute with God and the pawns are Humanity and some spirit creatures.

The challenge is God has no right to rule humans, and we are better off pursuing our own interests. What is at stake though is much bigger, Universal rulership and the sanctity of God’s name – Jehovah.

Shortly there will be a final battle for corrupt human governments at what the bible describes as Armageddon Revelation 16: 16, this ends the human challenge.

The final battle in this war is described in Revelation 20: 7 to 10. We will have our personal chance tostand up for God’s Kingdom, if we reject that kingdom then we will with Satan lose.

Who Dies?

In the Ukraine today we see everyone is a victim, indiscriminate killing vividly recorded for TV news coverage. No one is safe. Now that is an issue.

However, Revelation explains that those fighting against God’s Kingdom are the ones who die. Those who do nothing to show they support his rulership, therefore, everyone has to make a stand, for peace or to fight God’s King.

Only those who fight against God’s King die, those of his subjects who follow the mandate to “see the salvation of Jehovah” will witness the end to war. See their neighbour as they really are, humans each of great value to God, to the point he allowed his son to give his life for a group of intelligent creatures to become so selfish that if they can’t get their way they will destroy everyone and everything in their way.

Choose life, understand the real issues and discover what youneed to do to Enjoy Life Forever!

Kind Words and tears for Ukraine – is that enough?

Two years ago the world went into hiding as it faced an invisible enemy, everyone could pass a virus on to anyone they met. Most weren’t aware they were carriers. The international resolve to tackle the invisible enemy led millions to think that possibly Governments were turning a new page.

23 months after the COVID19 response to the pandemic a new drama hit the world. The invasion of Ukraine.

Governments were is a difficult place because they must maintain the momentum in their economies, therefore, you hear political leaders shouting about standing with Ukraine, but buying oil and gas from Russia. You see the United Nations sit in session and condemn the Russian Federation only to have the Russian Veto used to prevent an agreement or even criticism.

The Bible

Over the weekend it was interesting to return to the words of Jesus when he described the end days in Matthew 24, notice the key point verses 7 and 8 “For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be food shortages and earthquakes in one place after another. 8 All these things are a beginning of pangs of distress.

During the 20th Century humanity began to see this fulfilled globally, then came the nuclear age with the threat of Mutually Assured Destruction, the Cold War, humanity ravaged the planet and life became very cheap.

Listening to a commentator in the USA she made a point that struck me – why aren’t governments acting, not because collectively the Russian Military is too strong for them but because the cost of heating, driving a car, transport and other trade will be more expensive.

When I was training for sport, I had a coach who used to repeat 1 moment of short term pain creates a lifetime gain. Yes, action would hurt the world economy, and COVID19 was worth that pain. But 45 million lives in Ukraine aren’t.

The Bible accounts for why this moral vacuum exists refer to 1 John 5: 19 “We know that we originate with God, but the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.” Humans are created in God’s image, they understand the issues but this world collectively ignores the will and conscience of the people. Why? Because Satanic power is pulling the strings of all leaders.

Righteous Warfare

Should we take up arms? No! we should separate ourselves from the politics of the governments here on earth because they have no answers. One point you can be certain of in Russia and Ukraine this week is not one Jehovah’s Witness has taken up arms.

The Bible principle is those who live by the sword will die by the sword. All Human governments put their trust in military and economic power, society is conditioned to expect peace through law, order and the gun.

What guides Christians? The Law of Love! It goes beyond not killing or hurting your fellow human it emphasises that true Christians are prepared to die for their fellow humans. No guns, no warfare but love. It happened during WW2 and Stalin’s USSR.

Christian Neutrality

Often the bravest thing to do is wait, in our case, we are waiting for the total solution, God’s Kingdom led by Jesus Christ and the heavenly armies, they are the only ones who can defeat Satanic rule.

The short term pain is millions will die needlessly, the long term gains those who survive to have the opportunity to live forever under God’s Kingdom rule.

But to understand the greater issues we need accurate information. I can just point the way to content that aids your search for truth.

Yes, we weep for Ukraine, and the Governments of this world who remain weak but appear strong but we know they have no power – the battle isn’t ours it is God’s, therefore, find out what is going to happen next and why these things aren’t hidden just buried.

Can the governments beat Putin’s Russia?

Do they want a weakened Russia? Politics is playing compromise with the lives of those not in power, with the income of the poor and the rights of the individual.

It is strange how discussing following the bible standards and looking to Christ for leadership can cause so many government officials to be opposed to ordinary people who pay taxes, keep the laws and are determined to live in Peace and Unity.

The only solution to the real issue is to follow through on our prayer to “Let your Kingdom Come!”

The people of Ukraine want real peace and human rulers and governments will never achieve that. Therefore, we pray “Let your will be done on earth” because Jesus has cleaned the heavens the only element left is the decisive battle and then all humans have the opportunity to live forever.

Leave a comment if you want to follow up on any of these points.