Micah

Micah

THE PROPHET Micah lived at the time when God’s kingdom was divided into Israel in the north and Judah in the south. Micah prophesied to the Southern Kingdom during the reigns of its kings Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah (Micah 1:1). He spoke out against idolatry, cruelty and oppression in both Judah and Israel, and warned of God’s coming judgements. Yet, through him, God also foretold the recovery of a remnant of the people (2:12; 5:7–8), the coming of the King (the ‘Messiah’) (5:2) and the ultimate restoration of the Kingdom of God (4:1–4). Summary of the Prophecy Chapters 1–3: Judgements on Judah and Israel. Chapters 4–5: Ultimate restoration of the kingdom under God’s coming King. Chapters 6–7: God’s desire for justice, kindness and humility (6:8). He will fulfil His promises to the Jews’ ancestors, Abraham and Jacob (7:20). The Kingdom Restored The Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem, the

Pictures of Baptism

Pictures of Baptism

IF YOU WANT TO belong to God, you need to be baptised. Jesus Christ said so: He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned (Mark 16:16). One of the brilliant things about the Bible is that it doesn’t just tell you things—it shows you pictures as well! We’re going to look at three pictures that illustrate what baptism means. The Flood Right back near the beginning, the world’s population had grown so wicked that God determined to destroy them all. The account is in Genesis chapter 6. Only Noah and his family were faithful to God. God told Noah to build a massive boat, to save his family and a stock of animals that would repopulate the earth. Then God sent a cataclysmic flood which washed away everybody and everything else. Jesus Christ and his disciples used the story of

Ruth

Ruth

The Gospels of Matthew and Luke give lists of the ancestors of Jesus Christ. Only five women are mentioned. These were all very special individuals. In this series we’re looking at them in turn—this month we consider Ruth. LIKE RAHAB before her, Ruth was not a Jewess. She comes into the Bible story when she married into a Jewish family who had left their Promised Land. Elimelech and his family lived in Bethlehem. When a famine struck the land of Israel, it seems Elimelech didn’t trust God to preserve them in their Promised Land, and so he took Naomi his wife and his two sons to the land of Moab. He died in Moab. His two sons married local girls, and then sadly the two young men also died, leaving Orpah and Ruth, and their mother-in-law Naomi. When news arrived from Israel that God had ended the famine Naomi decided

The Wisdom of God

The Wisdom of God

“Why? Why? Why?”“Because I say so!” How many times have we heard exasperated parents exclaim this to a protesting child? To the child it might seem an unreasonable response: it’s no explanation at all. But for a parent who has finally lost the will to explain, it can be their last resort. Questioning can be genuine—the child may be really trying to understand, but unable to grasp their parent’s explanation. Or it may be challenging and defiant. As children grow older, their parents’ reasoning becomes more intelligible; but the tendency to be defiant does not necessarily decrease. And on occasions parents are actually wrong. We are all like the inquisitive child. We like to think that we know the answers, or at least that we are entitled to know them. We also seek reasons. And in this quest we can challenge authority, even when we are incapable of understanding a

What is Truth?

What is Truth?

Jesus Christ was standing trial before Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor. The charge was that Jesus was claiming to be a king, which was tantamount to treason against the Roman Emperor. Pilate therefore said to him, “Are you a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in him at all” (John 18:37–38). Was Pilate really interested in the answer to his question? Did he care about the truth? Not enough to let it stop him handing over for execution a man whom he knew

When You Know the Reason it Makes Sense

When You Know the Reason it Makes Sense

IF YOU HAD VISITED the English town of Beverley in the 1960s, you may well have travelled on a bus like the one on the front cover. Why the peculiar shaped roof? Was it an attempt at streamlining—or did they think that was stylish in the ’60s? If so, it didn’t catch on! Actually it was a perfectly sensible design —it was to enable the bus to fit through Beverley’s medieval gateway, the North Bar. When you know the reason, it makes sense. Many things in life are like that. And it’s a good principle to bear in mind when you read the Bible. The Bible is a wonderful book, when you read it you realise it’s like no other book that was ever written—which isn’t surprising because it’s God’s book. But it does say things which initially seem odd. So we need to take the trouble to understand the

Demons in the Bible

Demons in the Bible

THE IDEA OF demons is an interesting one. The word appears over 50 times in the New King James Version of the Bible (which is the version we generally use in Glad Tidings). In the older King James Version, demons are typically called ‘devils’. We’re going to consider what the Bible says about them and how we should understand this concept. Put simply: demons refer to one of two things: Idols worshipped instead of the true God, or Mental illness healed by Jesus and his disciples. There is good news here. Demons are not something to fear, supernatural beings sent to hurt us. Rather, they are a warning to worship God properly, and evidence of His power, as exercised through Jesus Christ. Let’s put aside any preconceptions we may have and read what the Bible actually has to say when it speaks about demons. Old Testament Idol Worship The Bible

Your E-Mail

Your E-Mail

TH: On page 6 of issue 1630, the writer claims that baptism is necessary for eternal life, and to support this he quotes Mark16:15–16: “And [Jesus] said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.’” The earliest manuscripts do not include the verses in Mark 16:9–20.  Therefore, should these verses be used to support an argument? If you’re going to use verses 15–16, you should also consider the rest of what Jesus said: “And these signs will follow those who believe: In my name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover”(vs. 17–18). I