The Wonder of Bible Prophecy

The Wonder of Bible Prophecy

IT IS DIFFICULT TO COMPREHEND the ideas of time without any beginning and space without any end—but they are ideas which are generally accepted nowadays. In my opinion these ideas are at least as difficult to comprehend as the idea of an infinite God Who can foretell the future. So why is this idea not more widely accepted? The Bible contains many prophecies of events that were future to the time of writing, and even future to our day. These prophecies are not viewed with favour by many modern intellectuals. I would call it prejudice, and when I am explaining the idea of Bible prophecy to friends my first and hardest task is often to open their closed minds in order that they might pay proper attention to the subject. A Unique Feature The fact is that Bible prophecy has been recognised by many eminent thinkers.* It has often been

Your e-mails

Your e-mails

WHAT ABOUT the ‘rapture’? My mate is going to be taken up before the ‘event’ as he will be one of the chosen ones. The rest of us are going to have a hard time down here … The ‘rapture’ is the idea which is held by some churches that at the end of the world Jesus’ followers will be taken away to meet him. Some preachers present colourful pictures of the faithful ascending to heaven in bliss while down below the earth spirals into chaos and horror. The idea is built upon a passage in one of Paul’s letters: For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet

Things to Come

Things to Come

IN 1936 EUROPE was on the brink of war, and the world wondered what the future would hold. It was an apt moment for the release of a film entitled Things To Come. The film was written by the author and visionary H G Wells, and it presented his view of the future of humankind. He predicted that the approaching war would be so dreadful because of the advanced technology available, that it really would be the war to end all wars and humankind would finally come to its senses and decide to live in peace. The peoples of the world would set about using the marvels of modern technology to build a utopian society of harmony and prosperity. The film ends with a stirring speech by the president of the new order, in which he extols humanity’s unending quest for knowledge and advancement which will lead us to the

The Temple of God

The Temple of God

GOD’S PEOPLE ARE described in the Bible as ‘the temple of God’ (1 Corinthians 3:16), ‘the temple of the living God’ (2 Corinthians 6:16) and ‘the temple of the Holy Spirit’ (1 Corinthians 6:19). These fascinating terms refer back to the actual temple which existed in Jerusalem, and they have profound implications for how disciples of Christ should live. It was King David who originally proposed to build a temple (or ‘house’) for God (the account is in 2 Samuel 7). God explained to him through Nathan the prophet that he would not be the one to build the house, it would be his descendant. Also, by means of his descendant God would build a house for David! When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He

The Pool of Siloam

The Pool of Siloam

IN 2004 A SEWER sprang a leak in Old Jerusalem, and while repairing it the workmen came across a length of buried stone steps. Archaeologists moved in to investigate, and identified that the steps dated to the Second Temple Period (around the First Century ad, that’s the time of Jesus). As the excavation was widened it emerged that they belonged to a mikveh—a ritual bath in which pilgrims visiting the city for religious festivals would purify themselves before heading up to the Temple to offer their sacrifices. The bath was roughly square, and huge, about the size of two Olympic swimming pools. (The First Century historian Josephus records that over two million people would descend on Jerusalem for the feasts.) It was soon realized that this was none other than the Pool of Siloam, which is well known to Bible readers because it was here that a blind man was

Tamar

Tamar

The Gospels of Matthew and Luke give lists of the ancestors of Jesus Christ. Matthew 1:1–17 provides his legal ancestry through his step-father Joseph, and Luke 3:23–38 provides his biological ancestry through his mother Mary. All the ancestors named in Luke are men, but Matthew also names five women. These five women were all very special individuals. In this series we will look at them in turn. The first is Tamar. ABRAHAM LIVED around 2000 bc. God made special promises to him, and he became the founder of Israel (the Jews)and of many of the Arab nations. Much of the Bible is concerned with the nation, and neighbours, of Israel. Jesus was born of Mary, a Jewess. Abraham’s son was Isaac, and Isaac’s son was Jacob, and it was through these sons that God’s promises were passed. Jacob had twelve sons, and the fourth was called Judah, whose descendants lived

I Am The Way

I Am The Way

The Gospel of John records a number of sayings of Jesus which begin “I am…” In this series we think about some of the profound things he said about himself. AS THEY were sharing the Last Supper on the night before he died Jesus said to his disciples, “Where I go you know, and the way you know” (John 14:4). Thomas, one of his disciples, asked him “Lord, we do not know where you are going, and how can we know the way?” (John 14:5). Jesus replied, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (v. 6). The disciples had been with him for a long time. It is remarkable that Thomas did not know ‘the way’. Perhaps at the time the disciples still suffered a disconnect with Jesus’ teaching and failed to fully understand the Gospel he preached. It

Amos

Amos

AMOS PROPHESIED around 800 bc. The nation of Israel was relatively prosperous, luxury and idolatry had turned the people away from their God. As a consequence they were threatened by invasions from the Assyrians and Babylonians in the north. Judgements on the Nations Amos predicted God’s judgements on the neighbouring nations of Syria, Philistia, Tyre, Edom, Ammon and Moab. But he also foretold God’s judgements on His own people—first on the kingdom of Israel, then on Judah. We can expect an echo of these events in the last days, when the Middle East is again invaded from the north (as foretold for example in Ezekiel 35–39). Various symbols are employed: Locusts (7:1–3): these symbolised the coming invasions by Assyria and Babylon (the picture is similar in Joel 1 & 2). Fire (7:4–6): indicated that the judgements would be severe—for the cleansing of Israel. Plumbline (7:7–9): Israel was not upright before