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

Appropriation – Religious Holidays

When you think of Pagan rituals and the impact on those who participate as a Christian the idea is incompatible with your beliefs. And yet?

Christmas, Easter, Halloween and Saints days often have their origins in Paganism. This was the reult of delibrate deception by the Church.

The Principle

James 3: 10b “My brothers, it is not right for things to happen this way.11 A spring does not cause the fresh water and the bitter water to bubble out of the same opening, does it?12 My brothers, a fig tree cannot produce olives, or a grapevine figs, can it? Neither can salt water produce fresh water.” You can’t separate contamination by looking at it. It has to be filtered out. Once poison is introduced to a glass of water the whole glass is contaminated.

The same applies to Christianty. We must filter out and cleanse our understanding of the Christianity by returning to the source Jesus Christ, the Apostles and God’s Word the Bible.

The remedy requires action on our part James 4: 4  “Adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever, therefore, wants to be a friend of the world is making himself an enemy of God.” When speaking of the World James refers to the those separated from Jesus teaching – the Pagan Nations and religions.

It is unthinkable that Jesus and the Apostles would have accepted the practices of Pagan rituals when they condemned the Jews for missing the point of the law and prophets, poluting the Word of God.

Throw off the burdens and shackles of the Church, Easter Bunnies may be cute but look at the origin, is this something Jesus would have been involved in? If not then stop now and find out how to develop the right form of Faith, look at this time off year with the appropriate reason for rejoicing it has nothing to do with sweets and treats it is the gift of Life given by the perfect man Jesus.

Join us to remember his sacrifice and find out why we rejoice in the death and resurrection of Jesus – the Memorial of Jesus Death is being commemorated locally, so look on liine for the closest venue you can attand or get in touch and watch the programme remotely.

The Pharisees

The dictionary defines them as:

noun

plural noun: Pharisees

  1. a member of an ancient Jewish sect, distinguished by strict observance of the traditional and written law, and commonly held to have pretensions to superior sanctity.
    • a self-righteous or hypocritical person

The letter of the law before the principle, the law before Agape Love, scantimonious because of their privilege and education. They described the ordinary Jews and people as the dirt they walked on in he streets. Too ignorant for salvation and beyond the love of God.

Today we have many Pharisees, these educated and privileged ones who think that they have cornered the means of morality, who can set new standards. For example, if you have strong views about marriage, gender and what morality means in the family, you’re immediately attacked for being prejudiced, narrow minded, creating and perpetuating hate. Social Justice and Intellectual Self righteous philosophy have warped society.

Christian interlopers – Modern Pharisees

Why interloper? “a person who becomes involved in a place or situation where they are not wanted or are considered not to belong.” Well let the Bible expalin what the Christians believed in the time of the Apostles 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.11 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.”

Chapter 7 requires that someone practing these things are put out of the congregation. The individual can live that style of life but not as a Christian.

Today the Christian Churches allow these practices, condone them by appointing Priests, and Bishops who openly preach that these things are no longer sin.

So how moral attitudes need to change with society. Tradition over the scripture, somehow religious people think that God has changed the more civilised we have become.

These practices were as common in the time of the Apostles as they are today, they were tied up with false religious practices and Christians shunned the practice.

The Apostle John encouraged the Christians not to break bread with those who corrupt the congregation of God.

Does Jesus Ransom extend to Pharisees?

Did you pick up on the point “that is what some of you were”? These ones who practiced these things including holding to the traditions of the day had given them up, they had changed their lives, they had washed themselves in the blood of the Lamb.

Note Romans 12: 1 “Therefore, I appeal to you by the compassions of God, brothers, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, a sacred service with your power of reason.2 And stop being molded by this system of things, but be transformed by making your mind over, so that you may prove to yourselves the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” We make the changes, we do not dilute the standards to meet our view, we bring our standards up to align with Gods.

Romans 13: 11 “And do this because you know the season, that it is already the hour for you to awake from sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than at the time when we became believers.12 The night is well along; the day has drawn near. Let us therefore throw off the works belonging to darkness and let us put on the weapons of the light.13 Let us walk decently as in the daytime, not in wild parties and drunkenness, not in immoral intercourse and brazen conduct, not in strife and jealousy.14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not be planning ahead for the desires of the flesh.”

We are assured salvation through Christ is open to all of us but we need to come into line. I have to ensure examination standards are met when marking work, I have a narrow range of possible answers anything less than this is a fail. There are no near fails it is clear, they meet the standard or they don’t, I send the work back to them with the mark, if they wish to resubmit the student must adjust and ammend the information presented.

God’s standards are clear, no matter what the traditionalists and modern libertarians of the Church say, God does not change, because he and his laws are perfect.

If his standards changed he could have just accepted that Adam and Eve had been wrong, rebelled and accomodated the new relationship. Rather he sent his son Jesus Christ to die for all humans and ensure that we have the chance of life as intended.

Conclusion

Those who are not wanted are the self righteous, those who make the opportunity for salvation on their own terms and promote their own superiority and thoughts. Scantimonious because their views are more appropriate than the Bible. Let the word of God speak, it is alive and exerts real power.

Find out more about the meaning of Christs sacrifice on our behalf join the more than 21,000,000 people gathering person or on zoom to comemorate the meorial of Christs death and the Last Supper,Friday 15th April as the sun has set.

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.

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.

Will you be a survivor?

The situation is perilous and there are so many reactions to what is happening around us it reminds me of the Titanic.

  • You had those who believed it couldn’t sink!
  • Those who resigned themselves to die!
  • Those who were trapped and had no way to safety!
  • Those who fought for access to lifeboats by denying access to others but ultimately lost their lives
  • The crew who had to go down with the ship if they weren’t in control of the lifeboats
  • The survivors

Survival was really a bit of a lottery. But what it highlights is the reaction to news of impending disaster.

  • Bury your head in the sands
  • Carry on regardless and take your chances
  • See the signs and prepare to survive.

There are many examples of understanding the signs and heeding warnings, none better than the threat of a Giant Tidal Wave (Tsunami). There have been examples where families have headed down for a day at the beach only to get there and find the tide has taken the sea a long way out, sometimes out of sight completely.

The Ocean Drawback before the wave

Vast amounts of new sand exposed aren’t a sign of freedom but disaster.

Knowing this phenomenon is a precursor to the superwave of water rushing towards them the ones who knew the sign turned and started running back to higher elevations and safety. They shouted warnings but others just stood and watched until it was too late. Then survival became another lottery.

Are we in that position?

Just reflect there are those that are saying things are going on as they always have, others who think we can’t avoid the fate of the planet and we just have to hope we’re not around to see the end. This list goes on.

However, reading the full account at Matthew 24: 2 through 22 we can see signs unfolding before our eyes. This world is unstable, hurtling to events beyond its control and those who live here are passengers.

There are life preservers and tools that we can use to ensure that we use them effectively. As a climber in the past I know it is easy to have all the right gear but if you have no knowledge of how to use it properly it is as useful as a chocolate teapot – looks great but the first sign of heat it’s gone.

We are facing a point in time where we can choose to be ready to survive or take a losing ticket in the life lottery.

What do we need to do?

Read the life saving information, just as you get on a plane and read the safety leaflet we need to read the Bible, it is the manual for those who want to survive.

Then what? We need to follow the instruction 2 Peter 3: 11, 12 “Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, consider what sort of people you ought to be in holy acts of conduct and deeds of godly devotion,12 as you await and keep close in mind the presence of the day of Jehovah,”

Holy acts of conduct and deeds of godly devotion how do these separate us for the rescuers to see? Note 2 Peter 3: 14 Therefore, beloved ones, since you are awaiting these things, do your utmost to be found finally by him spotless and unblemished and in peace.

We are clearly marked for survival, that bright yellow toilet seat cover we have on (life vest) the whistle to attract and light to attract the rescuer’s attention.

Note the further words of 2 Peter 3: 17 “You, therefore, beloved ones, having this advance knowledge, be on your guard so that you may not be led astray with them by the error of the lawless people and fall from your own steadfastness.”

We have the warning the tide is a long way out, now is the time to prepare for survival not when we can see the wall of water because we won’t outrun it. Our lives depend on being visibly ready for survival.

Remember the world is lying in the power of Satan the Devil, he has no concern for you or I, for anyone of any age. But as you know the truth, heed the warning yourself you are compelled to shout the warning to everyone else.

Great ready to survive now and don’t wait for the lifeboats to hit the water it is far too late. Holding on to the wreckage of this way of life gives us no chance of survival.

How many can survive? As many as want to, the door to rescue isn’t closed until disaster is imminent.

Choose to Enjoy Life Forever and prepare for survival now.

Beyond Redemption?

Are any of us beyond redemption? Surprisingly the answer is both yes and no! Because the choice is ours.

Jesus’ death provided the payment in full but there are those who are so attached to the captor that they have a form of Stockholm Syndrome.

2 Corinthians 4: 3 If, in fact, the good news we declare is veiled, it is veiled among those who are perishing,4 among whom the god of this system of things has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, so that the illumination of the glorious good news about the Christ, who is the image of God, might not shine through.

The ruler of this world is successfully deceiving millions in thinking:

  1. there is no God
  2. there is no Devil
  3. Humans have no need for a ransom
  4. Humans are accountable only to history when they are long dead

The list could go on. What this demonstrates is like the first woman Eve – many have been deceived, enticed by the idea that a short lifespan without God is to be preferred over eternity.

The search begins with a reliable source of information

The Choice

Jesus explained what we are faced with when he is quoted at John 8: 44 “You are from your father the Devil, and you wish to do the desires of your father. That one was a murderer when he began, and he did not stand fast in the truth, because truth is not in him. When he speaks the lie, he speaks according to his own disposition, because he is a liar and the father of the lie.” Succumbing to the Devil’s propaganda sadly aligns us with his outcome.

How do you distinguish truth from lies? Personally, I look for a reliable source of information, cross-check the facts they refer to and establish the honesty and accuracy of the source.

It is simple to read or see something today and believe it. For example, millions were convinced that a face mask would not provide any protection for themselves or others from COVID19. The Government, Media, education, religion and science intentionally deceived the public because it was for the greater good. Being honest may have saved millions from infection and debilitating illness possibly death.

Yet this same set of sources explains that God forgives all and that he accepts all regardless of their behaviour.

What happens in a hostage situation where some of the hostages refuse to believe they are being liberated, often they side with the captors and lose what had been redeemed.

Consequently, we need to find accurate information about God, his purpose and why the ransom was paid. None of us is beyond redemption right now but we need to search for God, set matters straight with God, exercise faith in the Father of tender mercies and of course recognise that through Jesus’ death we have been set free.

So beautifully summed up by the writer of Ecclesiastes 12: 13 “The conclusion of the matter, everything having been heard, is: Fear the true God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole obligation of man.14 For the true God will judge every deed, including every hidden thing, as to whether it is good or bad.”

Act now to Enjoy Life Forever, find out more about the ransom and what it means for us and why it is the hostage that needs to make the change to benefit from the redemption.

One of the great deceptions used in WW2 was the fighting forces appeared to be in greater numbers because they ensured that their captives looked like the troops or militia, the human shield, is still used today, we need to accept that we could be part of that shield because we have no idea where we stand. Search for Truth because the Bible explains that salvation is not far from any of us.

Is Hell a place of torment?

Luke 16 introduces the Rich Man and Lazarus where in verse 23 “And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.” For many, this explains the difference between Heaven and Hell.

Jesus’ words are very clear, two locations separated by a chasm that cannot be breached or crossed. Hell is depicted as a place of torment. In the original Greek, this is translated as Hades the place of the dead which is translated from the Hebrew Sheol. Bible scholars agree that the meaning of the word is the “Grave” or “Pit”.

The condition of the Dead – Old Testament

The Douay Version of the Bible renders Ecclesiastes 9: 10 “Neither work, nor reason, nor wisdom, nor knowledge, shall be in hell.” and the words of the Psalmist in 31: 17 “Let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave [hell, Douay-Rheims].”

So a place of silence and no activity, Psalm 146: 3 “Do not put your trust in princes Nor in a son of man, who cannot bring salvation. 4 His spirit goes out, he returns to the ground; On that very day his thoughts perish.”

Ecclesiastes 9: 4 There is hope for whoever is among the living, because a live dog is better off than a dead lion.5 For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing at all, nor do they have any more reward, because all memory of them is forgotten.6 Also, their love and their hate and their jealousy have already perished, and they no longer have any share in what is done under the sun.” is more specific they have no share. Consequently, we are instructed in verse 9 “Enjoy life with your beloved wife all the days of your futile life, which He has given you under the sun, all the days of your futility, for that is your lot in life and in your hard work at which you toil under the sun.10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do with all your might, for there is no work nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom in the Grave, where you are going.”

The conclusion to be drawn is – Death is the opposite of life, non-existence. Therefore, we are alive and breathing, we die ceasing to exist and our body is placed in the ground – a grave, pit, hades or hell.

What about the New Testament

Let’s start with a simple statement made by the Apostle Paul in Romans 6: 23 “The wages sin pays is death.” the consequence of death he explains in Romans 6: 7 “the one who has died has been acquitted from his sin.” Those who have died have paid the price for the sins of their life. Not a mention of torment.

The Gospels also explain that we are drawn to God by his love not fear of torment or punishment.

There is another point often lost on those who believe in hell and everlasting torment Acts 2:31: “He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell.”—King James Version. Meaning that Jesus Christ went to hell (the Grave) when he died. It is unthinkable to conclude that a righteous man would be tormented forever in Hell for sins he didn’t commit.

Hope for the those in Hell

Revelation 20: 13 “Death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them.”—King James Version. Therefore, all those in hell are dead. They will come back to life by means of the resurrection. So where will the torment continue? How could they pay a price, then be asked to pay more?

Eventually, hell will be destroyed according to Revelation 20: 14 “Death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.”—King James Version.

So Luke 16 cannot be referring to a literal place or people. It was a parable, a story with a meaning. Jesus was explaining the religious divide between the leaders in Israel and the ordinary people.

For the account to be literal it has to fit the theme of the bible which it doesn’t, therefore, we recognise that the Bible has never taught that Hell is a place of eternal torment because the dead know nothing, feel nothing and have paid for their sins. Jesus went into hell but was raised and he hadn’t experienced or deserved to be tormented. Finally, hell is to be destroyed in the future which enables us to conclude that the doctrine originated elsewhere.

When the apostasy set in many pagan beliefs moved into Christianity and polluted the truth. Job wanted to die and go to Hell, others prayed for death also and we know that God does not torment the righteous or the unrighteous.

So we need to find the truth of the Bible and allow the Truth to clear our thinking and set us free.

Jesus’ Life, Ministry, Death and resurrection teach us much about the love of God remember the words of 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.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.” Also, part of that process is described in John 5: 25 “Most truly I say to you, the hour is coming, and it is now, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who have paid attention will live.26 For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted also to the Son to have life in himself.27 And he has given him authority to do judging, because he is the Son of man.28 Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice29 and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, and those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment.30 I cannot do a single thing of my own initiative. Just as I hear, I judge, and my judgment is righteous because I seek, not my own will, but the will of him who sent me.

Choose Life without end, everlasting life in Paradise is more than a dream it is a promise from God.

Refugees

Compassion, pity and love of people moves us all to want to do something tosupport the refugees around the world.

Why so are so many people on the move? The indiscriminate destruction of life, individuals grasping something that they don’t own. The reality of most Political Leaders is a reflection of the world where they are the most dominent.

The Nationalism of every country is reflected in the media coverage, encouraging citizens to take sides with their government. Country Right or Wrong!

There is a greater Refugee Wave going on now and we need to make our own decision about joining those fleeing the pending conflict.

What is a country?

An arbitrary line on a map. Humanity transcends borders and social differences, as children we neither see the colour of skin or the cultural differences. We are conditioned to see every other nation as inferior or a threat.

We can share the same language, moral code and heritage but the line on the map divides families, communities and nations. National superiority empowers the idea that we have the right to impose our aims and passions on others. How very shallow and flawed.

The bible principle explains that Jeremiah 17: 9 “The heart is more treacherous than anything else and is desperate. Who can know it?” If the inner person is set to decieve us how can we trust our own judgement. Note the consequence in Ecclesiastes 8: 9 “All of this I have seen, and I applied my heart to every work that has been done under the sun, during the time that man has dominated man to his harm.”

Assured failure is the outcome notice one simple reason Psalm 146: 3 “Do not put your trust in princes Nor in a son of man, who cannot bring salvation. 4 His spirit goes out, he returns to the ground; On that very day his thoughts perish.

Assured Destruction

The Cold War ERA was marked by MAD – the concept of political stalemate but the next great war is one that Human rulers can not win. They have chosen to oppose God’s Kingdom and his King. Described in Psalm 2 the Political rulers amass against God. In Daniel 2 those Kings will face the righteous King Jesus Christ and his rulership will crush all governments.

Will any governments escape? No as Ezekiel describes their end as a beast with hooks in its nostrils being drawn towards the battle.

Human systems of rulership will come to an end.

Those who read the signs recognise now is the time to act. To become Refugees from this wicked and cruel world, its despotic leader Satan the Devil.

Jesus explained in Luke 21: 20 “However, when you see Jerusalem surrounded by encamped armies, then know that the desolating of her has drawn near.21 Then let those in Ju·deʹa begin fleeing to the mountains, let those in the midst of her leave, and let those in the countryside not enter into her,22 because these are days for meting out justice in order that all the things written may be fulfilled.

When we see the final fulfilment of this prophesy we have to begin fleeing to God’s Kingdom, becoming refugees or “no part of this world” as the Apostle John quotes Jesus saying in his final prayers on the night he was tried.

Refugee Support

Are there camps, food, sanitation and education services for these spiritual refugees? Yes, Jesus explained that during this time their would be a body of people who would care for his sheep, those who had fled the world under Satanic control and adopted God’s Kingdom as their home.

The temporary accommodation we have today will be replaced by the new government in the hands of Jesus Christ and he will satisfy the needs of everyone. So now is the time to read the signs effectively, make a personal choice, if you want to stay then accept the conditions we live in, if you see the warning signs begin to flee.

Jesus life, ministry, death and resurrection provide the assurance that we have a real hope, we are in control of the outcome, become and refugee from this world and live. Enjoy Life Forever by establishing the truth in the prophesy that continues to unfold in front of us.

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