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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…

saudi ambassador to usAn alleged Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to Washington has recently been revealed. The allegations are that  two men linked to an elite Iranian military unit tried to hire a Mexican drug cartel to kill the Ambassador by bombing his favourite restaurant. However improbable this may seem, even to the Saudis themselves, the government in Riyadh is treating this US-led investigation as a significant breakthrough in its long-standing efforts to deepen Iran’s isolation. The Saudi foreign minister stated that they would “strongly respond” to an act that “reflects the policies of Iran”. Saudi Arabia, the Sunni powerhouse in the Middle East. has often accused Shia Iran of stirring trouble across the region with its support for Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group and the Palestinian Hamas and its alliance with Syria. 

Notice how in this report Iran is “stirring trouble across the region.” This is precisely the language used in Isaiah 13 when God says in verse 17 that he will “stir up the Medes”. The Medes is another ancient name for modern Iranians.
Bible students have for many years expected the line up of nations opposing each other as described in the prophecy of Ezekiel chapter 38. As was described in our recent article ‘Russia, Turkey and the Return of Christ’. An alliance of nations will come down to attack Israel, triggering the Return of Christ. These nations will comprise of Russia, Libya, Turkey and Iran. Opposing them, though only weakly, will be America, Britain and Saudi Arabia (Ezekiel uses the ancient names for the area they inhabit, so Sheba and Dedan are modern Saudi Arabia and Persia is Iran).
This Russian alliance is anti Israel and invades it. The American / Saudi alliance is pro Israel but is unable (or unwilling) to defend it. All the pieces are coming together...

An amazing aspect of this prophecy is that in the days when Ezekiel gave it, Sheba and Dedan, as Saudi Arabia was known in Ezekiel’s day, were tribes of merchants, spice traders inhabiting a vast sandy desert wilderness.

It would have seemed then of little moment that Sheba and Dedan should offer a challenge to Gog as they were so insignificant. However, Saudi Arabia is now very rich and very powerful. According to the US energy information Administration Saudi Arabia has approximately one-fifth of the world's proven oil reserves, and is the largest oil producer and exporter of total petroleum liquids in the world.

How could Ezekiel know that from these two insignificant tribes Saudi Arabia would emerge as such a powerful nation. Today, we would expect such a Nation, with a proven hatred towards Iran (Persia) to oppose the invasion of Gog’s armies, but in Ezekiel’s day this would seem to be a most unlikely and ineffectual challenge.

How could Ezekiel know? He couldn’t, but God did because He shapes the destinies of the nations according to His will.

Here is a quote from the Testimony Magazine of Jan 2011

‘The quarter-of-a-million diplomatic cables recently published confirm that behind the scenes there is a united front of the US, Israel and many Arab states against Iran’s nuclear ambitions. They also reveal discord and different assessments within diplomatic ranks. While the Obama Administration is still pursuing a policy of diplomacy and sanctions towards Iran, it seems that the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Bahrain have little faith in this course, and have been urging the Americans for some time to launch a military strike against the Iranian nuclear installations. Saudi King Abdullah has “painted a nuclear Iran as an existential threat and invoked the wellbeing of his grandchildren . . . he was worrying that Iran was surrounding Israel and threatening its existence.” ‘

 We see again that God’s Word is always accurate and can be trusted, and so it is important for all of us to read and heed His promises and warnings.

Ezekiel 38

1 ¶  And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

2  Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,

3  And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:

4  And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:

Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:

6  Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.

7  Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.

8  After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.

9  Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.

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 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.

13  Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?

14 ¶  Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it?

15  And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army:

16  And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.

17  Thus saith the Lord GOD; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them?

 

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