Archive for December, 2011

The Queen’s Christmas Speech 2011 and her prayer

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour.” 1 Timothy 2: 1-3. KJV

Today on Christmas day 2011 we heard the Queen of England make her 59th broadcast to the nations, and one which I am thrilled contained a very prominent statement for the Gospel of Jesus Christ for England.

God sent into the world a unique person – neither a philosopher nor a general, important though they are, but a Saviour, with the power to forgive. Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith. It can heal broken families, it can restore friendships and it can reconcile divided communities. It is in forgiveness that we feel the power of God’s love. In the last verse of this beautiful carol, O Little Town Of Bethlehem, there’s a prayer:

O Holy Child of Bethlehem,
Descend to us we pray.
Cast out our sin
And enter in.
Be born in us today.

It is my prayer that on this Christmas day we might all find room in our lives for the message of the angels and for the love of God through Christ our Lord.”

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David Cameron criticised by Richard Dawkins

Laurel & Hardy of ScholarshipRichard Dawkins offered critique of David Cameron’s speech which was given on Friday 16th December 2011 at Christ Church Oxford, that Britain needs to return to Christian ideals. Dawkins, as typical, lashed out with verbal hand grenades at this claim by saying the Bible is, “an appalling moral compass”.

Dawkins also said, “The Christian bible will help us with our literature,” and “It should therefore be taught in schools in literature classes, but it’s not going to help us with our morals, far from it.

Dawkins also said; “The bible is a terrible moral compass, if you think about it. Of course, you can cherry pick the verses that you like, which means the verses that happen to coincide with our modern secular consensus, but then you need to have a rationale for leaving out the ones that say stone people to death if they break the Sabbath, or if they commit adultery. It’s an appalling moral compass.”

Dawkins is correct that people cherry pick the verses they like, but clearly he is more guilty of this than the average Christian. The problem with Dawkins is that he has a very poor Theological understanding and a surface level interpretation of the Biblical narrative. He seems to willfully ignore context and historical settings.

He seems to think that when the Law of Moses commands stoning for adultery, that that command is somehow absent of any abrogation.

Dawkins stated in his criticism; “you can cherry pick the verses that you like, which means the verses that happen to coincide with our modern secular consensus, but then you need to have a rationale for leaving out the ones that say stone people to death if they break the Sabbath, or if they commit adultery.”

How long must we put up with this credulous argument?

When Jesus stood before Pontius Pilate and Pilate spoke to the Jewish people, they wanted to crucify Jesus and Pilate said to them; “Take ye Him, and judge Him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death” John 18: 31.

Clearly John 18: 31 states that the Jews in the time of Christ were subject to Roman law and not Mosaic law.

The question is why does Dawkins continue to claim that stoning people to death for breaking the Sabbath or for adultery is part of the Christian faith? Did Christ not say to those who wanted to stone the woman caught in adultery; “he who is without sin among you let him cast a first stone at her” John 8: 7

Who then is without sin?

What is clear to anyone who knows the Bible chronologically, is that the books which Dawkins likes to refer to are part of the Torah, the Pentateuch, being the first 5 books of Moses, which contain the ancient Law of Moses. This law which Dawkins often quotes was an ancient law given to the historical nation of Israel. It was not a law written or given to the Gentiles.

The historical Law of Moses was divided into three sections:

1) The Commandments
2) The ordainances
3) The judgement

The context of the Law suggests the following;

1) We must distinguish between the Ten Commandments and the Law of Moses. For the ‘moralia’ or ‘the 10 Commandments’ were not written by Moses but by God Himself. This means that the moral code of the Ten Commandments have not been abrogated.

2) The Law and ordainances were given to ancient Israel only. Exodus 19:3, Leviticus 26:46 and Romans 3:19, 9:4 clearly states this. Deuteronomy 4:8, Romans 2:12-14 clearly states that the Law of Moses was not given to the Gentiles but to Israel. Acts 15:5-24, Romans 6:14 and Galatians 2:19 likewise confirm this. This includes the ceremonies and rituals, of which is at no time are they imposed upon the Gentile Church (Acts 15:5 – 24).

3) Christ stated in Matttew 5: 17 that He fulfilled the Law, that is to take the punishment of it upon Himself. Paul confirms this when he states in Romans 10:4 that Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness. From this it is clear that the Bible states that righteousness does not come through the law but through Christ alone.

What is clear from correct study of the scriptures is that the judgement and penalties for breaking the Law of Moses was abolished in and through the life death and resurrection of Jesus. In other words, the wrath and harsh judgement of the Law was poured out upon Jesus.

The problem with atheists like Dawkins is that they are clearly ignorant of the Bible they freely critique.

Perhaps Mr Dawkins would care to give me an example of Christians who stone people to death? Or perhaps Mr Dawkins would care to join me in Biblical research or maybe he would care to read a book of Systematic Theology or evangelical Theology? Or better still, maybe Mr Dawkins would be better to leave the Theology to the Theologians and spend the next ten years in Biblical research and until then, cease from slandering a book he clearly does not understand.

It is clear to me that Dawkins has an agenda and his agenda is to slander Christianity and to abolish faith schools, because in reality, Dawkins appears to be a mere scientist, but inwardly he is a ferocious wolf who is part of a pack that seeks to spiritually devour Christ’s sheep and any lambs who may come to Him. But in reality, they cannot overcome the good Shepherd. For He cares for His sheep of which Richard Dawkins is not one of them (John 10: 25-29).

Simon Peter Sutherland
20th December 2011

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David Cameron: “Revival of Christian Values”

John WycliffeDavid Cameron while giving a speech at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford has attacked the moral decline of Britain and has openly called for a revival of Christian values in England and stated that people should openly proclaim explicit values of Christianity.

He also presented critique of the ideas that claim that by standing up for Christian values, we do somehow put down other “faiths”.

He also hailed the King James Bible.

Despite the distinctive observation that the word “faiths” is a historical fallacy concocted by political minds, the word ‘Religions’ is a better description, Cameron rightly spoke against Islamic extremism and claimed that an “almost fearful, passive tolerance of religious extremism” has resulted in Islamic Extremism to remain unchallenged.

One of the things which stands out regarding Cameron’s speech is that he spoke of a “revival” of Christian values and England certainly needs reform and a Christian awakening.

England is forgetting her own history.

Reform is certainly in the air and would involve a new Reformation and a restoration of Truth. But before a reformation of this nature could begin, the Church must get her own house in order first. And since Cameron said this to the Church of England, that is the context and this would call for reform within the Church of England, who has neglected the Bible in favour of passing trends, cultural pursuasions and theological windrushes.

It would be hypocrisy and a burying of ones head in the sand to imagine that the Church of England is in a good way, but there is always hope of reform.

Likewise there is always hope of a Christian awakening within the hearts of the people, but the Church and Parliament must get their own house in order first and remove the plank of wood that is in their own eye, before they can attempt to even suggest that their are splinters within anothers eye. In other words, you cannot expect the people to respect or embrace Christianity and Parliament, if much of Christianity and Parliament has become a harlot. People will not listen to anyone if they do not practice what they preach and the Church and the houses of Parliament of today have not presented themselves without fault.

However there is hope that things can change and it is out of hope that charity is born for without love and charity, ministers and politicians can give speeches all day long, but if they have not charity, they “become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” 1 Corinthians 13: 1

And as Paul says, “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth” 1 Corinthians 13: 1-8

Will Parliament be willing to seek a restoration of Christian values within England while at the same time feeding the poor of England? Or will it offer a restoration of certain morals only? Is Cameron being genuine at all, or is he just playing a voting game, using Christianity to gain popularity?

If he is being genuine in then I humbly suggest that we must go all the way with this or not at all.

However, regarding Camerons speech, it is interesting to note that in this very same Cathedral that he gave this speech, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer was publicly “degraded” in 1556 and in the 1720’s John and Charles Wesley were ordained as Priests in the Church of England.

Thus, just as great awakenings and reform did come in times past through the church, they can also do so once again in the future.

Thus, these three remain, “Faith, hope and charity” 1 Corinthians 13: 13.

Simon Peter Sutherland
17th December 2011

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Harvard professor Marc Hauser found guilty of eight counts of scientific misconduct – can any of his findings be trusted?

Professor Marc Hauser of Harvard University who’s research into evolutionary biology and cognitive neuroscience has influenced the likes of Richard Dawkins and Christofer Hitchens has been found out.

Hauser was found guilty of eight counts of scientific misconduct last year and this year after a year leave of absence, he was due to return to Harvard University, but he resigned.

How sweet of him?

Clearly Hauser has been monkeying around.

But more recent accusations have risen against him. These accusations are part on ongoing debate.

What is clear is that the claims made by this man are in serious question, as is much evolutionary science in general.

The problem is that this case is not the only time where scientific conlusions have been shown to be fake. Piltdown man was a fraud and Nebraska man was a misake, not to mention the Neanderthal Man. And now we have one of the worlds leading evolutionary scientists proved to be a faker.

What is clear is that the scientific conclusions which have been presented and taught by Marc Hauser should be seen as unreliable dodgy claptrap.

Many scientists will no doubt argue their way out of this problem as the likes of Richard Dawkins has concerning the Piltdown man, Nebraska man and the Neanderthal Man, but they cannot ignore the fact that the theory of evolution has a problem, that problem being the fact that it has many problems.

No rock layers that have been found contain transitional forms within them. There is simply no evidence beyond highly speculative claims that are based upon evidences for the theory of evolution. It is a fallacy and a fraud that will one day be seen for what it is.

The theory of evolution is a pseudo-science which is based upon the ideas made up by a theologian who was not a trained scientist to begin with. Why then should a world science be based upon a theory made up by a theologian?

The problem I find with science is that it is a self-governing enterprise, which is something that I find suspect and in reality I would like to know why a theory which logically connects to the big bang, which cannot explain where matter came from should be taught in our schools to our children laid out as fact?

I don’t believe that evolution is a fact, it is more a re-invention of a 19th century myth which makes a lot of money and at the same time fulfills the scripture, “the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths” 2 Timothy 4: 3-4.

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On the death of Christopher Hitchens

Blessed are those who die in the Lord…” Revelation 14: 13

When someone dies who is a popular figure, I find it a little obvious that so many people would write an article concerning them. Likewise, I find it a little obvious that when a heretic dies or gets ill many Christians conclude that it is a judgement? Yet in reality, all people be they heretic or Christian die sooner or later, some young, some old. Death is something that comes to all people. But the scripture I have above quoted speaks of a blessing when a person dies while in Christ. But if authority over life and faith were placed within the hands of many modern atheists, there would be no one on earth who dies in the hands of the Lord.

Modern atheism seeks to destroy Christianity.

Sadly, Christianity today is in a poor condition and deserves criticism and the reason, I think, this time has come about is because much of Christianity does not hold to the word of God anymore, but holds more to the opinions and ideas of men.

I see Christianity today being rather like a temple which is being attacked by many outsiders while so many Christians merely sit behind closed doors and watch and keep silent through either spiritual slumber or fear.

But the thing which strikes me about the scriptures is the prophetic nature of so many passages, while other religions would promote believers to keep the faith alive, the Bible states that it is God who will keep the faith alive and that it is He who will bring about a great falling away and a great delusion. We see this in 2 Thessalonians 2: 11-12. “…God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

In reality, the scriptures teach that it is God who is the boss and it is He who is in control, not man.

Yet still, Jesus warned believers that false teachers would come. Likewise, Peter, John, Luke, Jude, and Paul all warned that heretics would come speaking lies. The warnings are clearly visible in Scripture so that Christians must not fall for the slippery persuasive words of men. This is consistent throughout the New Testament. Yet like all lies, there is a fraction of truth within a lie, if only here and there.

We see this in the writings and talks that Christopher Hitchens gave. Hitchens mixed the truth with a lie, he claimed to love Thomas Cranmer’s prayer book (The Book of Common Prayer) and the King James Bible and stated that they will be with him till the very last hour, yet at the same time he attacked the very foundations of the faith and the things contained in both Cranmers prayer book and the Bible.

In one quote Hitchens said this; (Christianity) “is a wicked cult, and its high time we left it behind“.

How untrue!

In reality, what Hitchens did during much of his lifetime was to feed the many issues and possible doubts which even the average Christian has concerning God and His character and conduct and used them to promote his ideas. He picked out and explored selective Biblical texts which even the average Christian was not aware of, ignoring the context while at the same time promoting a twisted logic as though his interpretation of the narrative was actually final. He used many selective errors from Christian history and yet at the same time created an almost twisted logic to interpret them. However, I certainly would argue that much of his logic came through depression and the influence of alcohol.

Yet, having said this, there can be no doubt in my mind that Hitchens was a devout heretic who even crept into the Church at times and was given the time of day.

The problem is that alcohol merely brings out what is in the heart and clearly by listening to the words which Hitchens spewed out, we know what was in his heart.

However, although I confess that Hitchens did make people think and did even open many eyes to issues and ideas, and also spoke against many issues which I myself struggle with concerning modern day Christianity, I also confess that one of the many problems with Hitchens is that his logic was both human and demonic, based upon human philosophy and lies.

I say this because I am sure that if satan himself did preach, he would open many eyes to things they never thought about before. The thing is that, Satan is old and has been around for eight thousand or so years. He has much experience and thousands of years worth of practice at causing people to doubt the word of God.

It is clear to me through the text of Genesis 3: 1 that doubt is satans calling card and whenever I hear anyone leading people into doubting the word of God, I know satan is near.

It is also clear to me that Hitchens was a thinker, but his thinking was merely humanistic and not spiritual. I don’t see how any man can understand spiritual truths through human logic, its like trying to ask a child to understand what it is like to be an older man, experience can only teach such things.

I think the New Testament is clear that heretics come and go and that they will always be on the earth until Christ returns. But one thing I think Christians should grasp is that there are some men who were for ordained a long time ago, as Jude says; “…these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities…these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.” (Jude 1: 8-9)

Jude also says this; “beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” (Jude 1: 17-21)

I could say more, but Jude does well.

I think in closing, I would like to say that I can have little sorrow in my heart concerning the death of a man who set out to destroy Christ’s church. Hitchens did mock God, he denied the Holy Spirit, he denied Christ, he denied and mocked Christ’s church and he spoke evil of God’s word and the character of God.

The problem is that although he has gone, his influence remains and I often ask myself, what or who is coming next?

Thus, in conclusion, I would like to leave you with some thoughts from the scriptures.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” (Galatians 6: 7-8)

“Keep the faith”

Simon Peter Sutherland
16th December 2011

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Martin Luther and the Christmas tree

 

christmas-tree-light-2016-simon-peter-sutherland

Christmas tree light © 2016 Simon Peter Sutherland

Christians are divided over issues concerning the Christmas tree. Many regard the tree as part of a pagan celebration and not Christian.

Some Christians also claim that Jeremiah 10: 1-10 speaks against the Christmas tree? But I doubt that the text is speaking of anything like that, for the context of Jeremiah’s passage speaks more against the idol worship that then existed and cannot rightly be connected to a mere celebration of Christmas which did not begin until many centuries later.

There is a 16th or a 17th century claim made by the early Lutheran church that the Protestant reformer Martin Luther was the first one to come up with the idea of having a Christmas tree in the home.

The story goes like this; Luther was one day in the woods and he saw the trees amongst the snow and thought it would be a good idea to cut down a tree and put candles on it to remind people of Christ’s birth?

The story itself has no actual historical evidence to support it, but really, I don’t see what evidence a person can find for such a claim. What would it matter anyway?

I think what I personally see from the Christmas tree is a reminder of Christ, who is the light of the world, crucified on a tree (1 Peter 2: 24) and that all His people who are crucified with Him and have died to self and are the light of the world (Matthew 5: 14)

That is what I see when I look at the Christmas tree, just a simple reminder of what Christians should be and a simple reminder of Christ who died for us.

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70 ancient Messianic books found in Jordan

Earlier this year we read about one of the most important finds since the Dead Sea Scrolls and in Christian history, this find is said to have been discovered in Israel. 70 ancient Christian books written on metal and bound with wire are said to contain some outstanding writings and images concerning Jesus Christ, The Messiah, including an image of may be the earliest image of Christ, and of a T shaped cross, and an empty tomb and a crucifixion which took place outside the city walls of ancient Jerusalem.

If these books are authentic, then we are looking at what may well be the earliest works from the time of the apostles.

We are still awaiting updates for this account, but let us see what 2012 brings?

Click the link to find out more:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1371290/70-metal-books-Jordan-cave-change-view-Biblical-history.html

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The Acts by Alec Sutherland

 English Bible  © 2013 Simon Peter Sutherland

English Bible © 2013 Simon Peter Sutherland

Before we commence I think we should go back to the gospel of Matthew, because there is a passage of scripture there which is so relevant to the Acts. The passage is Matthew 16: 13-29. This was a private conversation that Christ had with His disciples and we are privileged to share it for it concerned Himself and it took place in Caesarea in Philippi on the far north border of the land of Canaan. So there would be less people flocking after Him, it would be quieter. He enquires what the opinion of others were concerning Him? Whom do men say that I, the son of man am? It is worth looking at to note why He called Himself the son of man, others called Him the son of God (Luke 1: 35). But He called Himself the son of man, for He was truly man born of a women. He is made known in Daniel’s vision concerning Christ as the son of man (Daniel 7: 13). In verse 14 of Matthew 16, the disciples answers were not their own, for they said what they heard other people say up and down the country. Jesus wanted to know their thoughts, but whom do you say that I am? It was vital that they knew the truth themselves. It is also a question we should always ask ourselves. Who do we say what kind of Christ the Lord Jesus is? Is He the fairest of 10,000 to our souls? Is it well or wrong with us how are thoughts are concerning Christ? In verse 16 Peter answers this question, but whom do you say that I am? Peters answer is short, but it is full and true and to the point. What was his answer, more than this is a confession of a true Christian answer. Faith addressed to Christ, the living son of the living God. The answer becomes an act of worship, an act of devotion. To other people He was a prophet, the disciples owned Him to be the Messiah, the anointed one. In verse 17 Christ shows He is well pleased with Peters reply or conclusion, he has the happiness of the blessed. Blessed art thou Simon Bar Jonas, Bar meant “Son of Jonas, his father, which meant “Dove”. So He reminds him of his origin. His obscurity Bar Jonas now he is elevated, you could say Bar Christ, the child of a King. Then He gives the glory for Peters reply to God, “For flesh and blood hath not revealed it to you, but my father which is in heaven”. Note the Christian faith is revealed faith. The revelation comes from heaven, through the Holy Spirit. Saving grace is the gift of our God, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ. And blessed are we when our father, Christ’s father reveals truth to us. We have verse 19 which is a vital one concerning the Church. How do you see this verse? I say unto you authority from God, it is His Church, all judgement is given to Him. All the churches power comes from Him, the builder and maker of the Church. He will build it up with living stones. Peter himself says this in 1 Peter 2: 5-6, Christ is the foundation. Peter Did in fact lay the 1st stone of the Church but the foundation is everlasting, so it can only be Christ. When Christ first called Peter, He gave Him the name Cephas, which means stone or rock. This rock, pointed to Himself, placed His hand upon His breast, as He did in John 2: 19, destroy this temple, the temple of the body and I will rebuild it in three days. We are the body 1 Corinthians 3: 2. The apostles had the authority and the keys to bind and loose, the keys to shut and open. The keys are the gospel itself and the authority which Christ gave them as ministers of His gospel. They had authority to allow certain things and forbid and it was all revealed to them by our father in heaven.

Alec Sutherland

1938 – 1999

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4 articles by Alec Sutherland

Article 1

THE UNCLEAN SPIRIT
Matthew 12: 43-45

It is possible for an unclean spirit to go out of a man. A moral cleaning up can take place, a person can be influenced by different company. A strong influence from a Christian church can bring about a radical change. But without any real Salvation or Regeneration the result is not lasting, for there is no keeping power. The unclean spirit returns and the man is worse afterwards. Only Christ received as Lord and saviour and the Holy Spirit indwelling the heart can affect a permanent change.

Article 2
APPOINTED LEADERSHIP
“That you should set in order things that are lacking” (Titus 1: 5)

Paul knew he was appointed of the Lord to evangelise the Gentiles. He knew that the new fellowships were without a fixed God ordered ministry. He left Titus to set this in order for the perfecting and edifying of the body. There is an urgency to his letters to Timothy and Titus to set leadership structures, yet he also knew that as his appointment was of Christ, all things must be wrought by Him. Nothing of man could enter. An evangelist cannot and must not do anything other than by appointment from Christ. In 1 Timothy 5: 22, Paul offers a warning against hasty decisions “Do not hastily lay hands on anyone, for you can make yourself a partaker of there men’s sins”. Even though burdens for the fellowship can be an urgent matter in our minds, we must search and pray. Some men are humbled, brought to repentance, open, others are opposite, secretive, hard-hearted. Paul’s answer to this is patience, purity, righteousness, faith, love and gentleness (1 Timothy 6: 11). In 1 Timothy 5: 22, Paul writes concerning the ordination of Elders. But, do not rashly lay hands on men and ordain them into the ministry, because you can make yourselves partakers in other men’s sins. Some men’s sins are obvious, others are not. Search and pray concerning men’s character. There are secret and open sin’s. Some are humbled, brought to repentance, others are opposite, therefore discernment is necessary. A Church without a fixed and standing ministry is imperfect and wanting. It seems that when numbers reached a certain level, Paul felt leadership must be set for the perfecting and edifying of the body. All things concerning this must be wrought by Christ and His chief minister. Human traditions cannot enter. I’ve often puzzled over Paul’s statements, IE, we are partakers of the divine nature of God, yet we can still be partakers of the table of demons, and other men’s sins. Seek the favour of the Lord at communion and at the time of the laying on of hands. For a minister or an evangelist cannot and must not do anything other than by appointment from Christ, for only He will make the path clear.

Article 3
JERUSALEM

Jerusalem itself is 2,500 feet above the level of the Mediterranean Sea on the East, the land falls away down to the dead Sea and the valley of the Jordan, which is 1300 feet below Sea level. When Jesus walked from Jericho, which lies in the Jordan Valley to Jerusalem, He toiled up rugged mountain paths, a climb of 3,800 feet. Galilee is 680ft below Sea level: 12 miles long and surrounded by hills with the snow capped Mt Hermon seen away to the North, where the mountains of Lebanon reach heights of 10,000 feet. The Jordan rises in these mountains and is a fast flowing mountain river in many places. We visualise the land of Israel as one of mountains and valleys, steep climbs and deserts, road less tracks, rough country. The land of Israel is surrounded to the west, the Great Sea, the North Mountains, the East vast deserts and the south desert wilderness. When we think of these things they can help us to remember the Exodus and the 40 years the children of Israel spent in the wilderness.

Article 4
CITIES OF REFUGE

“Here have we no continuing City, but we seek one to come” (Hebrews 13: 14)

God teaches that men ought not to suffer for that which is rather through unhappiness rather than their crimes. In Deuteronomy 20: 4-7 God was also teaching love by banishing the man slayer from His own City and confining him to the City of refuge. To have fear and dread of the guilt of the blood. Christ is our refuge and wherever we are, He is a refuge at hand, a very present help in times of trouble.

The way the cities of refuge were situated tell us the man slayer would never be half a day from a refuge. In Christ we’re just a prayer away. The man slayer was safe in any of these Cities. Believers who flees to Christ are protected from the wrath of God and the curse of the Lord. Romans 8: 1 tells us there is no condemnation to those that are in Christ Jesus. A person of any nationality could find refuge in any of the Levite Cities. In Christ there is no difference. He is able to save to uttermost and all who come to Him. Even in the outer suburbs of the Cities, the offenders were safe. Even in the hem of Christ’s garment, there is healing and sinners are made whole.

“Never forget your election”

Alec Sutherland
1938-1999

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In all things Christ must have pre: eminence by Alec Sutherland

Church cross © 2013 Simon Peter Sutherland

Church cross © 2013 Simon Peter Sutherland

Faith should be ambitious, for the Lord desires His people to enjoy all the spiritual blessings that are In Christ for us. But, faith must also be active and go on to posses the blessings. Be strong, be men of valour, overcome the enemy and triumph over difficulties. It is then that faith enters into a blessing. These are the untold riches in Christ, all spiritual blessings, all things are ours, then let us not rest satisfied until we enter into the fullness of the blessing of Christ. Till we are enriched in Him as we may and should be filled full, complete in Him. The blessing of the Lord is an argument for us to go onto greater things. The larger the cup the more is needed to fill it. God has blessed us hitherto, then He will bless us ever more. Our position in Christ includes Mountain wood and Valley. All things are ours in Christ. The wood should be cut down to get to the mountain. All things are yours and you are Christ’s. Blessings from the Lord are an argument for us to go on to greater things. The larger the cup, the more is needed to fill it. We are viewed in Christ a greater people spiritually. We must show ourselves great in Him, in strength, courage and faith. Remove obstacles, take the mountains, and cut down the wood. Enter the promise land and posses the blessing. The idea that Christ can be received as saviour without being Lord is false. He does not save rebels, there must be submission and true repentance towards God before there can be Salvation. God has set His King on His holy hill, Zion “lest He be angry and you perish”. Paul sought the prayers of the saints and he avoided excellency of speech and enticing words of men’s wisdom. He desired the demonstration of the Spirit and of power. The wisdom from above was first pure, no frivolity, trifling, joking, foolish stories to make us laugh. The bridge across the impassable Gulf that separates the sinner from the saviour has been removed by the one who pardons that He purifies, who saves that He may Sanctify. Remove either of these two and the bridge falls. Preserve them in strength and Salvation comes.

Alec Sutherland
1938-1999

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