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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…

 

 

Olympic Torch Route

In a blaze of publicity the Olympic flame arrived in the UK on Friday 18 May and started its tortuous 70-day tour of the country. It will arrive in Lowestoft on 5 July and will then visit 15 other towns and villages carried by local torchbearers in Suffolk over three days.

The torch will travel as follows:-

Lowestoft -The morning of Thursday 5th July 2012

Southwold, Saxmundham, Aldeburgh, Woodbridge and Felixstowe - Late Morning/Afternoon Thursday 5th July 2012.

Ipswich - Late Afternoon/Evening Thursday 5th July 2012.

The torch will travel to Ipswich by water from Felixstowe, landing at Ipswich Waterside Marina by the James Hehir Building. It will then be carried to Christchurch Park arriving around 6.45pm for cauldron lighting followed by an evening celebration. At around 6.35am next morning, it will go through the Town Centre before heading off towards Haverhill, Bury St Edmunds and Newmarket.

Councillor Kathy Gosling, Suffolk County Council's cabinet member responsible for the Olympics, said "I am urging everyone who can to line the streets and cheer on the torchbearers as they travel through our county. "This is a once in a lifetime spectacle and I am confident that the people of Suffolk will join the celebrations whole heartedly."

A Twice in a Lifetime Phenomenon

 

 

This year we have also been able to experience another once in a lifetime spectacle, the transit of Venus. A momentous event, even if only seen on the TV screen; putting a whole new meaning to ‘accurate timetable’. Understandably, the time tables for the Olympic Torch run are approximate; who can say with any accuracy that the Torch will arrive as planned in Ipswich at exactly 18:09 on July 6th and depart the next day at 07:03 on the dot. And yet in the Universe, created by a loving and all powerful God, we see absolute precision. Take the transit of Venus across the face of the sun, this occurrence is very rare, only to be repeated every 243 years when there are a pair of transits 8 years apart. The last pair were seen in December 1874 and December 1882 and the next won’t be until December  2117, and December 2125. Yet because of the perfect regularity and order of God’s Universe,  Astronomers can be absolutely confident of these dates, and more amazingly they can also tell us the exact time when this will happen to the second! You can see this by going to the website  http://transitofvenus.nl/wp/where-when/local-transit-times/  where you will be able to see at what time  the transit of Venus was visible from your home. In Ipswich the first sighting was, as predicted, at 23:03:50 on June the 5th and the last moment, before it moved completely past the sun, was the morning of June 6th at 05:54:54. How is that for precision!

Biblical Precision

We ought not to be surprised that just as all the elements in God’s Creation work with orderly precision, so too in His Scriptures, God’s plan is worked out with precision. He has a clear plan and agenda for the world. A world which He has created for His pleasure (Rev 4:11) and which He will fill with His glory (Numbers 14:21). Throughout history God has made both His plans and His Divine Schedule known. He prophesied that Israel would stay in Egypt for 400 years and then be delivered (Ge 15:13 )‘ And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years’; and it happened to the exact day! (Acts 7:6 Ex 12:41). He prophesied that the Nation of Judah would be cast out of their land for 70 years and it happened just as He had commanded (Da 9:2) ‘ In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet (Jer 25:11), that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem’.

The Seventy Weeks Prophecy

 Perhaps most wonderful of all, was what is known as the 70 weeks prophecy of Daniel where Christ is most clearly identified in the 9th chapter. This prophecy accurately predicted when the Messiah would become the sacrifice for sin. We read in Daniel 9: 24:

"24  Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

25  Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

26  And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself:

27  And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,”

The starting point of the prophecy leading to the time of " Messiah the Prince", is  the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem. (v.25) The king of the Persians made this commandment in 457 BC.

A principle of Bible prophecy is that one day equals a year. Thus seventy weeks represents 490 years.  1 day = 1 year, therefore 1 week = 7 years.  The first 7 weeks of the prophecy (7 sevens. 49 years) takes us from BC 457 to BC408. After this, adding threescore and two weeks (62 sevens making a total of 69 weeks-483 years) takes us to AD 26 and adding a further week to complete the 70 weeks brings us to AD 26+(1 week. 7years)  ie AD33.

The simple substitute of a year for a day indicates that in 33 AD, in the middle of the last week of the prophecy, the Messiah would be "cut-off" in sacrifice; which of course happened when our Lord was crucified. History has again demonstrated the incredible reliability of the Word of God.

When will Christ return?

And yet, there is one prophecy where the Word of the LORD is silent as to when it will be fulfilled and that is the Return of Christ. Before he ascended into Heaven Jesus told his disciples that He would be returning to reign but that unlike other prophecies, the precise time was not to be revealed. We read in Acts ch.1 that for 40 days Jesus had spoken to the disciples about the Kingdom of God and (v6) ¶  ‘When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?  And he said unto them, ‘It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.’

This agrees with our Lord’s teaching concerning his return to judge the world. In Matthew 24 His disciples asked him (v3) ‘Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?’

And he stated at the time of the end He would appear for all to see  (v27) As the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.’ And at this time he will gather together his faithful servants (v31) ‘ And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.’

And yet that day will come as a complete surprise to all mankind. No-one knows when that momentous day will be, not even the Angels!  Mt 24:36 ‘ But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.’

Also in his parable of the 10 virgins which was intended to teach his disciples that they ought always to be in readiness, watching and waiting for his return and he said  Mt 25:13 ‘ Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.’

We can see, then, that as previous fulfilled prophecies have shown, God has a purpose with this earth. Yet only He knows the day and the hour when Jesus will return ‘as a thief in the night’ (1 Thess 5:2) to rule the world. God’s plans will certainly come to pass and that day will come as surely as Venus crosses the Sun every 243 years and the Olympic Torch arrives at its destination on time. Yet, for the sake of developing the faith and watchfulness of those who ‘love his appearing’; that day and hour, is not revealed in the Scriptures. The rest of that verse we have just quoted is greatly encouraging to all who faithfully wait and watch... 2Ti 4:8 ‘ Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.’ For then, in that day the Lord Jesus faithful disciples will be awarded, not an Olympic gold medal but something much, much more precious - a crown of righteousness and everlasting life. May that time soon come.


Acknowledgements: www.retailbirmingham.co.uk,  NASA  and http://transitofvenus.nl/wp/where-when/local-transit-times/

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