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Belief in God Biblical doctrines hermeneutics

Only in Jesus is found the way, the truth and the life

In John chapter 14 Jesus tells His disciples not to be worried because He has a plan and that plan includes a place (actually a ‘residence’) in heaven prepared for them.

John 14:1-4 Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

Firstly, Jesus identifies Himself as God  (verse 1). He speaks with full knowledge as only the omniscient God can. Here He speaks in absolute terms. He does not say “If you stay away from sin, or if you are good, then I will give you a mansion in heaven”. No, His language is definite. The disciples were chosen and from the moment they were saved they had this promise of eternal life in heaven. But they were not saved until later, which we read in John chapter 20. That was after Jesus’ resurrection.

John 20:21,22 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be to you: as My Father has sent Me, even so send I you. 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, Receive you the Holy Ghost:

It was then they were born again as real Christians. Jesus breathed His Spirit into them that they might be saved and have the Holy Spirit indwell them. This was a pivotal point in the lives of the disciples as it is in the lives of those saved by God now. All saved Christians have the indwelling Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives the believer an understanding of spiritual things (John 14:26). But at this time, in John 14, they did not have that understanding. Jesus said,

John 14:4,5 And where I go you know, and the way you know. Thomas said to Him, Lord, we know not where You go; and how can we know the way?

Even though Jesus spoke of preparing a place for them in heaven, they did not understand.  Jesus even said that they knew where and the way they knew also. But they didn’t have the understanding of the Holy Spirit to recognise it at that time.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him [Thomas], I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by Me.

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God Islam Trials and temptations

A very brief history of Muhammad and Islam

Muhammad: Among Muslims, imagery of Muhammad is widely considered idolatry. Credit: Conservapedia.
Muhammad: Among Muslims, imagery of Muhammad is widely considered idolatry. Credit: Conservapedia.

Muhammad ibn Abdallah ibn Abd al-Muttalib was born in Mecca April 20, 570 AD and died in 632 AD. His youth was marked by poverty and rejection.  His father died soon after he was born. His mother gave him up for adoption at the age of 2 years old. His foster-mother raised him in the highlands south-east of Mecca, in a poor shepherd’s family.  Muhammad started having visions and fits at age 5.  The shepherds that he lived with were afraid he was possessed by the devil and returned him to his mother.  Some medical experts today believe he had epilepsy.  Orphaned at age 6. At age 8 he was cared for by an uncle, who hired him out as a shepherd and at age 10 as a guard and caravan camel driver.  He was probably illiterate.

Age 25: Married his first wife Khadija, a 40-year-old wealthy older widow.

Age 40: Received his first revelation. Khadija and a cousin of hers became his first disciples.

Mohammed_receiving_revelation_from_the_angel_Gabriel
A depiction of Muhammad receiving his first revelation from the angel Gabriel. From the manuscript Jami’ al-tawarikh by Rashid-al-Din Hamadani, 1307, Ilkhanate period. Credit: Wikimedia commons

Co-opts the moon-god Allah.  By picking, for the god of Islam, the name of the moon-god Allah, particularly revered by Muhammad’s own tribe, the Quraysh, Muhammad helped assure the early success of Islam by avoiding any too radical innovations.

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Belief in God Trials and temptations

Even unto the end of the world

Have you started the day discouraged wondering what you are on Earth for? Have you felt alone and lost? Maybe you have forgotten (even momentarily) what great value knowing Christ is. That is how I felt waking up this morning. I woke feeling sick and with chest pains that have still not been diagnosed. Then I opened my copy of Daily Remembrancer and God gave me a spiritual jolt in the arm to wake me up.

Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say rejoice” Philippians 4:4

“THE LORD IS AT HAND.” He has promised, “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” In Him we rejoice alway. Without Him, this is a very difficult precept; sometimes the Lord hides His face; we fear and doubt our interest in His love; we are almost bewildered through the powerful workings of corruption within us; we are bowed down by Satan’s sore temptations; and the dispensations of providence are so perplexing that we are ready to cry out, “All things are against us.” But we are not bidden to rejoice in persons and feelings, or in the dispensations of providence, but in the Lord. He has loved us with an everlasting love, and His love is immutably the same; He is our God in Jesus, and has promised to be unto us, to do for us, and freely give us, all that our circumstances require, or that will be for our good and His glory. In weakness we may rejoice in His power; in darkness we may rejoice that He knows our path; in sickness and sorrow, that He cares for us; and under any circumstances, in His covenant relations; for He is always our Father, Friend, and God. We should rejoice in His free grace, rich mercy, omnipotent power, faithful promises, special providence, and unchangeable love. —Daily Remembrancer May 11 Morning

One thing I know, by faith, that no matter what happens to us God will see us through to the end. The end is His design. He has our best interests at heart, so we should always rejoice even when circumstances around us look worst.

Rejoice in glorious hope!
Jesus, the Judge, shall come,
And take His servants up
To their eternal home;
We soon shall hear the archangel’s voice-
The trump of God shall sound, “Rejoice!”

Categories
Belief in God Biblical doctrines

The just shall live!

For about 40 years I have heard believers state, “the just shall live by faith.” For that whole time I have taken that to mean, that by their faith, or following their faith, they will live on this earth. That is, we follow the blueprint that God laid down in the Bible for us to live by, not by law but by faith. The focus being on the living by faith, trusting in the living God. That view seems to be supported by these New Testament Scriptures:

Hebrews 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

Galatians 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

Romans 1:17  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

I understand when Paul wrote in Romans 1:17 “it is written” he was quoting from the Old Testament Scriptures.

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Testimonies Trials and temptations

We can return to Jesus

Psalms 116:7 Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.

There is no rest for the Christian but at the feet of Jesus; when we live near Him, and exercise our faith upon Him, we are at rest. Conscience is silent or commends us. The law has nothing to say against us. Walking close to the Lord, the world has but little influence over us; and Satan is powerless to do us harm. But if we wander away, we become weak and lose courage; and darkness, perplexity, and trouble fill our minds. But we may return, for Jesus is still inviting us; we must return or we cannot enjoy peace; let us therefore return unto our rest this morning.  –Daily Remembrancer November 30 Morning

In 1974 I left off further education, deciding not to continue to do a PhD then but rather to follow God. See From a saved Christian to disciple of Christ–my testimony Part II.

I remember the feeling at the time of utter exhilaration of finding the Lord’s path, to follow and serve Him; to go out into the world with essentially nothing but Christ.

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salvation testimony Trials and temptations Witnessing

Jesus never gives up on us

 Job 13:15 Yet will I trust in Him.

One day in 1976 my wife, Christina, and I travelled to Albany on the southern coast of Western Australia. We were just married and went on a faith trip together. At that time, we lived by faith to serve the Lord and witness His message of the gospel to the world. We went to that town because Christina had had a dream about a big whale and felt God was calling us to that town, which was once a big whaling port.

Albany001AOn arriving in the town, we went to the main street where the people shopped and we passed tracts and witnessed to anyone we could about the Lord.

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Belief in God Trials and temptations

Arise ye, and depart

Micah 2:10  Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest:…

There is no permanent rest for the believer on earth; here thistles and thorns abound and a voice is daily sounding in his ears, “Arise ye, and depart.” Here you are not to loll at ease or to idle on your journey; here you are not to expect to find satisfaction for it is an enemy’s land; and you are only passing through on your way to your heavenly home.—Daily Remembrancer November 16 Morning

In 1975 I was one of 3 adults who set off, hitchhiking together, across Australia from Perth to Melbourne. That is a journey of some 3400 km (2100 miles). According to Google maps it can now be driven in 37 hours non-stop (not that that is recommended). At that time the road was only sealed (with bitumen) on the Western Australian side out to the state border with South Australia.  After that was about 800 km (500 miles) of very poor quality dirt road. See circled area on map. That is already well into the Nullabor plain. The word ‘Nullabor’ is aboriginal and means ‘treeless.’ It is a flat desert plain.

Perth to Melbourne

Categories
Belief in God Islam Trials and temptations

Troubled by unbelief

A story of a 1500-2000 year old Bible is doing the rounds on the internet in which it is claimed that Jesus was not crucified. Others claim it is a fake. Well, quite obviously it is.

ancient-bible-turkey-nationalturk-02451One site claims

Much to the dismay of the Vatican, an approx. 1500-2000 year old bible was found in Turkey, in the Ethnography Museum of Ankara.

Found in Turkey, claims Jesus was not crucified and Paul was an imposter.  The book also claims that Jesus ascended to heaven alive, and that Judas Iscariot was crucified in his place. And it says Jesus foretold the coming of Muhammad. Hmmm! Sounds like Islamic doctrine. The book may be real enough, i.e. it exists in the present, but it contains a fake story, just what the Islamic mullahs have claimed for a long time, since the 7th century.