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Ipswich Christadelphians

"Prove all things, hold fast what is good" 1Th 5:21

Short articles that give food for thought. Click on the '+' to review articles.

Women in Christ's Genealogy…

Women in Christ's Genealogy…

Women in Christ's Genealogy

  The women in Christ’s line…An extract from the Testimony Magazine, February 2016 There are four women mentioned in the genealogy of Christ as recorded by Matthew. It is suggested that they reflect the life in Christ of a baptised believer. &nbs hab, the harlot. Rahab lived in Jericho in a world so steeped in sin that it had to be totally destroyed. However, she heard of the might of the God of Israel and believed in the way that He had led His people Israel out of Egypt and throug…

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Keep Hanging On!…

Keep Hanging On!…

Keep Hanging On!

Every day we say things which are not to be taken literally. If we’re not feeling well, we might say that “We’re under the weather” or that we “Feel like death”. That’s just a colourful way of expressing our feelings, and everybody understands that. Literaurative? Smetaphors are used which have a quite different meaning when applied literally. We might say that “My heart stopped when I saw it!”, when we really mean that we were very shocked at something we had seen. But…

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The Prophet Isaiah…

The Prophet Isaiah…

Isaiah lived in the times of Uzziah, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah – about 740 to 680 BC. This was the period when the Assyrian Empire was growing in power, and Judah was about to be invaded by Sennacherib. Isaiah lived in royal circles (he was a great friend and advisor of King Hezekiah) and had a wife and children in Jerusalem. Isaiah is writing at a time of nations in decline, he is as it were sent at the 11th&n ur to speak to Israel. Basically the book can be divided into 3 rough s…

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Developing Bible Study Skills - 5…

Developing Bible Study Skills - 5…

David's input into Solomon's temple This study s designed to highlight a number of different aspects of Bible study, as follows: that Bible study is not difficult or the preserve of the intellectual the need to give careful attention to the text the value of comparing Scripture with Scripture the value of building up a picture from various scriptures the value of recording and preserving information found. &n  You will need: Bible with marginal references, concordance or compueriz…

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When the time is right…

When the time is right…

When the time is right

Sometimes things happen just because we are in the right place at the right time. Or, if it is something bad that happens, because we were in the wrong place at that very time. What if we had been born at a different time in the world’s history?&n  you had been born in the Middle Ages, just reading this website (had it been around at the time!) could have cost you your life. Many people were executed just because they wanted to read the Bible for themselves. At that time the Church held the m…

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Developing Bible Study Skills - 4…

Developing Bible Study Skills - 4…

  The Promise To David  This study is designed to highlight a number of different aspects of Bible study, as follows: that Bible study is not difficult or the preserve of the intellectual the need to give careful attention to the text the value of comparing Scripture with Scripture the value of following up quotations the value of recording and preserving information found. You will need: Bible with marginal references, concordance or computerized Bible There are two ac…

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Developing Bible Study Skills - 3…

Developing Bible Study Skills - 3…

Psalm 34 and David’s experiences This study is designed to highlight a number of different aspects of Bible study, as follows: at Bible study is not difficult or the preserve of the intellectualtrneed to give careful attention to the texttrimportance of contexttrvalue of comparing Scripture with Scripturetrvalue of recording and preserving information found. will need: &nbs e with marginal references; &nbs ordance or computerised Bible&nbs The title of Psalm 3…

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Developing Bible Study Skills - 2…

Developing Bible Study Skills - 2…

Developing Bible Study Skills - 2

  The death of Saul You will need a Bible, a Bible Atlas, a concordance.   Read 1 Samuel 31     This study is designed to highlight the following aspects of Bible study from the list given in Part 1: 1 show that Bible study is not difficult or the preserve of the intellectual show the need to give careful attention to the text reveal the value of knowing Biblical geography highlight the value of recording and preserving information found The Bi…

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Developing Bible Study Skills - 1…

Developing Bible Study Skills - 1…

Introduction This series of short articles is designed to demonstrate, by working through some simple pieces of Bible exposition, that Bible study is not just for the academic. It is hoped that any who read these short expositions will realise, if they have not done so already, that rewarding Bible study is within the grasp of us all. All that will be required to develop your own studies along similar lines will be a Bible, ideally with marginal cross-references; a good concordance or comp…

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Salvation from sin and death…

Salvation from sin and death…

Salvation from sin and death

  Criminal Convictions The original Guildhall at Lichfield probably goes back even further than 1421, the first recorded date. It was known to be the meeting place of the guild of St Mary and St John which was founded in 1387, hence its name the “Guildhall.” And the later use of part of the building as a prison is enough to send a chill down one’s spine. For in the times in question there was little mercy shown to suspected criminals; the only protection from the weather was the bars w…

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The Lamb of God…

The Lamb of God…

The Lamb of God

    It was John the Baptist who first made the connection. He had become a well-known figure in First Century Israel; a priest by birth who had become a reformer instead. Positioning himself by the River Jordan, instead of in the Temple at Jerusalem, he had summoned the nation to renew their vows and to enter into a new spiritual experience. They were to repent of their sins and be baptised in the Jordan. Coming Deliverer But, on his own admission, John was not the centre of the r…

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What's around the corner?…

What's around the corner?…

What's around the corner?

    Have you ever travelled along a twisting and narrow road hoping that there is no other vehicle approaching the same tricky corner at the same time? Or have you walked along a winding path wondering what you are going to see around the corner, hoping that you will get a new insight into how near you are to your journey’s end? rld Events Things that are happening in today’s world are a bit like that for some people. We seem to be turning a corner, but nobody is very sure what…

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One step at a time…

One step at a time…

One step at a time

Climbing steps is easy enough when you are young and fit but not so easy when you’re getting older and a bit stiff. Young people love to race up, partly to show what they can do at their age; older folk have learned that it’s surprising what you can accomplish if you take things one step at a time. r ChallengesLife can present us with some formidable challenges. We might have a crisis with our health, or with that of someone close to us. We could lose our job; have to move home; make…

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Coping with Change…

Coping with Change…

Coping with Change

 This is the time of year in Britain when it might snow. It might or it might not. The weather has been so unpredictable of late − 2012 being almost the wettest year since records began − that anything might happen. Some years it snows heavily; occasionally we get a very severe winter; but it could remain mild. It’s that unpredictability that makes it difficult to plan ahead so that everything carries on much as before, snow or no snow. ck! is well known that a light snowfall c…

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Felixstowe Talk…

Palestinian children stand in the rubble left after an Israeli strike on a house in Gaza City, Tuesday Nov 20, 2012

At the time of writing, the fragile Cease Fire between Israel and the Palestinians is still holding but for how long? Will it bring about negotiations between the two combatants which will end in real peace? Considering past history it seems doubtful.

Jeremy Bowen on the BBC News website wrote ‘Israel has said many times that the blockade is vital for its security, and even if Hamas enforces the ceasefire among its own fighters, it might struggle to control smaller and more militant armed groups in Gaza. Barring a political miracle, the conditions for the next spiral that turns tension into violence are, sadly, still there. ’

Will the Cease Fire hold? Will there be lasting peace at last? Most nations want the conflict ended; and, strangely, they pay more attention to the problems faced by Israel and the Palestinians than other conflict going on at present. Here is a quote on this subject from The Bible in The News The Media's Obsession and Bias with Israel’:-

‘since 1981, every single Emergency Special Sessions, of the UN General Assembly, has been about Israel and the Palestinians.  No other humanitarian emergency has warranted it in 31 years; the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, and genocide in Rwanda & Darfur, not to mention the civil war in Sri Lanka, were not serious enough to justify Emergency Special Sessions, but, of course, a local planning decision, for a housing estate in Jerusalem, was!’ (http://www.biblemagazine.com)

Why should this be so? How can a Nation inhabiting such a small area of land (about the size of Wales in the UK), hold such interest for the whole world?  The answer to this riddle can be found in the Scriptures. This is all in the Purpose of God, Who has prophesied in Zechariah 12 of a future time when the troubles of Jerusalem come to a head and when (verse 3)

’In that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.’

Jerusalem, is even now a burden to all the Nations. Covert Anti-Semitism has given them a skewed view of the situation between Jew and Palestinian and, notwithstanding the dangers it would pose to Israel’s security, they demand a ‘Two State Solution’.

A damaged residential building is seen after it was hit by a rocket fired by militants from the Gaza Strip, in the Israeli central city of Rishon Lezion, near Tel Aviv, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012.

The Two State Solution

This is not a novel idea; the USA has long been leaders in considering it the only solution for peace in the Middle East. The last three Presidents have endorsed it and yet they all seem to have been wearing rose coloured spectacles when they spoke about the security of Israel AFTER  the Palestinians are given their own State!

President Clinton (January 7, 2001) stated: “I think there can be no genuine resolution to the conflict without a sovereign, viable, Palestinian state that accommodates Israeli's security requirements and the demographic realities.” and “there is no choice but to create two states”

President Bush (June 24, 2002): “My vision is two states, living side by side in peace and security.” “And the United States will not support the establishment of a Palestinian state until its leaders engage in a sustained fight against the terrorists and dismantle their infrastructure.”

President  Obama (May 19, 2011): “a lasting peace will involve two states for two peoples: Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people, and the state of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people…”

Each of those Presidents foresaw two States, living side by side in peace; but can this be achieved? Would the militant Palestinian groups ever allow it? Imagine, if Israel were to lift its land, sea and air blockade, how arms would pour into Gaza and the Palestinians would soon equip themselves with more sophisticated missiles capable of devastating Jerusalem, and no doubt line its border with anti aircraft weapons.

Map showing potential range of rocket attacks from Gaza

 

Although more and more Israelis are weary of conflict and would endorse a Two State Solution, it is difficult to see how Israel would take that risk. And yet, the Bible tells us that immediately before Gog and his Northern army descends on Israel, such a state of peace and safety will exist in Israel. Ezekiel 38:

10  Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou (Gog) shalt think an evil thought:

11  And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,

12  To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.

Clearly, Israel will be dwelling in peace and security at the time immediately before the Lord Jesus returns to deliver them from this onslaught. How will this come to pass? Will Israel agree to giving land for peace and at last achieve the security which is so lacking now? This is certainly what the World’s Nations would like.

An Everlasting Possession

And yet, the opinions of mankind have no real bearing on the matter for the question of the ownership of the land was settled long ago, when God promised it to Abraham. Genesis 12 records that God had told Abraham to leave his home in Ur and go to a country which God would show him. Abraham was given wonderful promises (see below*).

“And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great , so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonours you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:2,3) .

Abraham obeyed God and on his arrival in Canaan another wonderful promise was made “The LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, ‘Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northwards and southwards and eastwards and westwards, for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring for ever. I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted. Arise, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you’ ” (Genesis 13:14-17) .

Later, Gen 15:18 records that God promised that Abraham’s land would extend over a huge area, from the river of Egypt to the Euphrates and in Gen 17:18 he is promised the land for an EVERLASTING POSSESSION. ‘ And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.’

The future of Israel

Clearly, a permanent two State solution is not in God’s plan. The land has been promised to Abraham and his seed forever and Jerusalem, at present squabbled over by three religions will become ‘a house of prayer for all people’ (Isa 56:7) and the worship of the One true GOD will go forth from there ,through his Son, the man Christ Jesus now made immortal and awaiting his return in Heaven,

Isa 2:3  And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

When the Lord Jesus returns to save the Jews in their hour of greatest need (Zechariah 12:8-9, 14:3) he will set up his Kingdom and raise Abraham from the dead with all who have been faithful to God through the ages and they will receive the promises. An ‘everlasting possession (Gen 17:18 ) indicates that the recipients of the promise will live for ever. Now we are told in the letter to the Galatians that the promise of everlasting life in God’s Kingdom on earth applies not only to the faithful Jew but to all who have believed in Christ. The writer explains in Gal 3:16 that God was speaking of a very special ‘seed’ when He made His promise to Abraham

16 ‘Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.’ And, later in the chapter explains that those who have believed the Gospel of Christ and been baptised into his name are also in line to inherit the promises made to Abraham...

26  For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

27  For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

28  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

29  And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise

The future of Jerusalem and the land of Israel is sure and certain. Whatever happens in the next few years, there is a time coming when after great conflict the Lord Jesus will return. He will raise Abraham from the dead along with and all those who have obeyed God in their lives. And to those who are ‘alive at his coming’ and who are found faithful he will also grant everlasting life and the privilege to reign with him from Jerusalem (2Timothy 2:12; Revelation 20:12).

At the Return of Christ, the Nations will no longer struggle with the ‘burdensome stone’, which is Jerusalem, and a reign of true peace and safety will begin.

Will you be there to take part to enjoy the blessings of serving God in His Kingdom and the blessing of everlasting life?

Isa 40:31  But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

The time to make the decision is now, while there is still time!

 

*SOME OF GOD’S PROMISES TO ABRAHAM

Genesis 12:2; 13:16 Abraham’s descendants to become a great nation.

Genesis 13:15; 15:7,18; 17:8 Abraham and his off-spring to inherit the land of Israel (Canaan) for ever.

Genesis 12:3; 22:16-18 The whole world to be blessed through Abraham and his off-spring.

 

Contact usIf you want to comment on this article or have a question relating to it.

 

Acknowledgements: www.ctvnews.ca www.bbc.co.uk/news,  

 

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