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The Beacon 216 April 2016

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“... he did that which was right...”

“Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign.

Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Abi, the daughter of Zachariah.

And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did.” (2 Kings 17:1-3)

He was only 25, but the new king “did that which was right in the sight of the LORD.” Unlike the previous kings, he destroyed the places of pagan worship; he didn’t ask permission, nor did he have a committee decision. HE DID WHAT WAS RIGHT!

He was greater in faith than any king before or after him (verse 5), for “he clave to the LORD”. This means he clung to God, sticking to him as if glued. He didn’t move from what was godly. He shames all modern believers whose view of God is cavalier!

Hezekiah was not just godly; he returned Judah to a position the men of Judah had long forgotten. For this reason “the LORD was with him, and he prospered whithersoever he went forth”. The key to being truly alive and spiritually strong is to obey God in everything we think, say and do. When God sees this, He will be with us totally.

SO, WHY ARE CHRISTIANS TODAY UNDER SEVERE ATTACK? Doesn’t the account of Hezekiah tell us something? OF COURSE IT DOES!

 

The king’s faith was absolute and he stopped paying obeisance to the ‘great king’ of Assyria. Why should any servant of the Lord be subdued and enslaved by those who are evil unbelievers? Today, many Christians are obedient to godless laws, and a coming sharia-led caliphate. They are too afraid of the enemy to glory in faith in, and obedience to, the only true God. Yet, if they were like Hezekiah, God would be with us, and would bring His wrath down on those who persecute us. Don’t cower before Satan’s whelps! Christ is far greater than the ‘great king’! Trust Him, not your fears.

 

What should we do? We are prevented by law from tearing down the pagan symbols of Allah and Romanism, but we can certainly tear them down verbally and in literary terms. I am not talking about anything violent – just criticism made in the right places.

We must teach our churches to stand up for Christ, and to reject Allah. We must show respect for Muslims as human beings – but their religion deserves no respect, no compassion, no understanding. ANY religion that undermines the Lord is false and to be condemned.

The ‘great king’ of Assyria mocked the Lord, saying that Judah should not trust in Him for their safety... did not all other nations fall because their gods didn’t help them?

But, Isaiah was there and said “Thus saith the LORD, Be not afraid of the words which thou hast heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me.” (19:6).

God said He would deal with the blasphemer (v7) and would “cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.” This is what I think about those who have lately come against God’s people, particularly homosexuals and Islamists. They will not last and will not live. God will come against them with His might, and none can stop Him.

As with ISIS today, “thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, by destroying them utterly: and shalt thou be delivered?” (19:11). And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.” (v35).

God, through an angel of death, killed 185,000 enemy soldiers in one moment, their bodies completely untouched by weaponry. The king of Assyria took the hint and left, soon to be assassinated by his own sons.

Our God is THE God. He is the ONLY God. He is the judge of nations and of us. Trust in Him and He will save us. Trust in your fears and you will drown in them. God is good. He hears the pleas of a righteous man. Are you righteous? If not, why not?

God’s Work!

Ever been to Lanzarote? My wife and I did, about 15 years ago... you can Google-Earth the location, top right of the map, with a small blue lake and buildings. It is called Timanfaya and is the site of an old volcano (Google Earth the island and try to count the huge number of individual volcanoes!).

In Tenerife there is Mount Teidi, easily seen from the resort of Las Americanos (where we stayed a few years before our Lanzarote visit), as it rises into the clouds. In Lanzarote the tops have all been blown off the volcanoes. Scary!

Though there are now no tall volcanoes, the last one erupted in 1730, a side-fissure erupted and lasted six years, the hot residue burying eleven villages and 200 square kilometres. The lava poured out over 20 km of coastline.

When we visited, we went into a spectacular cave, after witnessing blow-holes where guides set on fire branches via the hot eruption. But, it was the cave that drew my attention. There is a seismology centre at the Park explaining what we saw. The cave is a few hundred feet tall, roughly round in shape, and is a few hundred feet long. However, it was once solid, and ran its course for several miles out to sea. The base of the cave is now filled with clean fresh water, and tiny blind white crabs can be viewed over the water-floor. The water was so clear I walked into it, soaking my trainers and socks! Even so, the lava underneath heats the floor you walk on.

As I photographed this amazing phenomenon, I was awed by what caused it... millions of tons of molten lava flowing so fast and hot that it seared its way to the sea, and  continued to flow several miles out. The lava eventually disintegrated leaving the huge ‘skin’ of the cave, but I could imagine the violence of the activity, coming from miles underground. It immediately reminded me of the great Flood, which was the cause of worldwide volcanic eruptions, the sinking of land, and the rising of mountains and volcanoes... which will happen again, soon, before the world ends

It is impossible to imagine what it was like when God flooded the earth, and gushers of water blasted upwards above the seas, to crash back down again, with worldwide earthquakes, the eruptions of countless volcanoes, the sinking of vast tracts of land plus the rising of huge mountains where none were before.

For the life of me I do not understand why anyone would deliberately want to live in a volcanic area! Don’t tell me the volcano is ‘dead’... this has been said many times in history, to the cost of souls caught in the pyroclastic blast and lava! As we see the end of time driving towards us, we know that prophecy speaks of multiple giant earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

If you go to Lanzarote, just stand in that huge cave and remember what caused it. Because it will happen again, bringing weather horrors and many other fierce signs of the approach of God’s judgment day. (Note: several big volcanic eruptions have occurred lately worldwide, and large earthquakes).

Barnabas Fund and Accusations

It is easy to be fooled, and many who claim to be believers can do immense harm to others. I should know, as a victim of hatred and lies. I assessed the booklet published by Barnabas in its defence, and must say that I believe Barnabas Fund and its founder, Patrick Sookhdeo, have been systematically abused and persecuted by a number of wicked men, from Anglicanism and Islam, to the British secret services. Very often the truth can often be teased not from major statements, but by looking at sub-statements that do not appear to be of importance, sometimes ‘throw away lines’. If am wrong in my assessment, then I’ll eat the pope’s silly hat.

Having said that, I have serious doubts about the work of the Fund, but not for any alleged criminality on its part. My doubts are more in the form of questions about the nature of ministry. Read the assessment yourself – it is 30 pages long but useful in today’s charity environment, and for Christians who give money to various causes. I trust Barnabas, but I am not so sure this and similar works are valid in God’s eyes.

Need For Strong Action

I don’t mean fist-fighting and cursing. I mean language easy to understand, and very strong, causing people to sit up and listen. The world is being smothered by PC brainless nonsense, and everyone just shuts up! This is the time to speak up, even if it gets us into trouble. And it will!

Who speaks out against the rubbish uttered by rampant Greens? Who speaks out against the constant stream of sewage called homosexuality? Who speaks out against Islamic migration, ruining the West and bringing in pagan idolatry? Who speaks out against corrupt politicians? Or, against the deterioration of universities? Or, the wickedness taught to our children in schools?

There are many more things that Christians should and MUST speak out about! At BTM we have spoken out about every one of these evils. But, few others do. WHY NOT?

I have sometimes referred to the ‘limp lettuce’ handshakes of many pastors, whose weak handshakes are an outward representation of their inner beliefs and stand.

Many Christians I meet are just as limp, their backbones being made of soft putty, able to bend to anyone’s pressure. I know very few believers who speak out strongly about ANY matter, and they dare to suggest that this is the godly way to act!

A man with a strong belief in Almighty God will speak out when needed. He will not hold back or use flowery language designed not to offend at all costs. Nor will he stay in a dead church, or allow his pastor or those around him to slowly throttle the local church with lies, deception and bad teaching. It is his duty to gently speak about error.

If the gentle approach is not listened to, he must then be firmer and stronger. If, after a short period, nothing changes the tepid waters, he must be bolder, so that no-one can mistake what he says. The only option after that, is to leave, whether or not he has another local church to attend. It is God’s honour that matters, not our own comfort, social standing, or an emotional ‘need’ to ‘belong’.

It is infinitely easier to stay quiet and to mutter secretly about error or bad behaviour. It is also scary to be bold and stand up for the Name of the Lord we claim to follow. Which type are you – wimp or strongman? All I can say is that if you don’t have a strong handshake, I’ll want to know why!

Real Art

Lots of people think they can write. Many think they can preach or sing. And large numbers think they are artists.

Those who go through art college, as I did, are taught how to use techniques. In my case, how to make stained glass panels, how to paint and draw, how to print using lithograph, etc., and how to sculpt. I used to draw and paint before going to art college, but the college drew out any talent and I could easily see the difference after my course.

Some do not enter a college, but carry on anyway. And some THINK they are good artists, but are not! Even so, what makes an artist is not training or even a large dose of talent. What does it is the person’s mind and heart. I used to eat, sleep and dream art, and even painted all the downstairs walls in my parent’s home! I used to make small sculptures and figures, cutting stone with an electric wheel while wearing my Italian silk suit!  When we were going out together, my girlfriend’s mother complained about the way I turned up with oil-paint-spattered jeans to take her daughter out, after working all day at my home-made easel. (It didn’t do her much harm – we will have been married 50 years by next year!). At the time I had no car, and during my long walks I day-dreamed of becoming one of the best artists in the world!

I did everything to the best of my ability. But, as any real artist knows, most of his work is rubbish! I would paint something and, when almost finished, I scrubbed it out again and covered the work with white. About 90% of all art is worthless – to the artist at least. And if I was asked to paint something by a client, I simply could not muster interest enough to do it – so I only painted what I enjoyed. And it all sold.

The only exception, if I remember correctly, were two portraits I completed in oil pastels. One was for the matron of a local hospital; the other was of the hospital chief physician. I went along one night and did both at the same time. I was nervous, because I had never tried oil pastels before! But, they came out well and I earned some money.

Generally, though, painting when asked does very little for me, and I only produce mediocre work. I do art best when it comes from within.

My days in art came to a slow halt when I had to become a nurse (I had a family but no income). During the three years of study and training I suspended art, though I did do marketing work for the hospital. So, it mainly dried up, sadly.

But, I started to write theological material and discovered a craft within me for words. I realised that ‘art’ need not be obvious painting, drawing and sculpting. Art is the creative mind showing itself in something made. And writing is part of that activity.

I discovered something even more important – huge numbers of Christians think they are ‘called’ to write, but soon run out of steam, or, frankly, produce some rather mundane stuff that resembles materials found in parish notes. If you are not called to write as a ministry, then forget it! You must have a burden from God, not just a desire.

Nowadays, especially as my life is now centred on caring for my wife, I can do far less than I used to. I write when Diane is safe and content in her chair, but I would dearly love to paint again. God gave me art, and my easel sits alone in my shed. If I am to do it, God will make provision!

What all this shows me, after over 55 years of work, is that what we think is our future can easily be shifted and disposed of by God. I am always amazed to read of people who stay in the same job for fifty years! Nothing wrong with that, but I always did what I felt I should do and because it was interesting (at the time). I know someone who did the same job for many years so that he would have a nice pension. But, he now regrets it. The main thing is to follow what God gives us to do, not what we would wish to do.

For myself this mainly consists, now, of my fingers flying like jets around a keyboard, getting an aching back and painful fingers! But, it is what God wishes me to do. I know it from what people tell me. And it is this sense of complying with God’s Spirit that gives me hope and satisfaction. With every move in a different direction, I have always marvelled! Why, Lord? But, it isn’t my lot to ask God why... only to say ‘Thy will be done’.

Azusa Now

I was going to write an article on this newest manifestation of charismatic witchcraft. I did just two pages and then deleted it. I simply can’t be bothered to write about yet another delusion. I noted how the main preacher and organiser rocked back and forth whilst being interviewed... very odd! I put it down to demonic influence. The idea, it seems, is to encourage a return to, or repeat of, what happened in 1906 at Azusa Street church in the USA, the sad and scary story of the birth of Pentecostalism, whose meetings were filled with witches and spiritualists. The church that saw this frenzy of the occult is now an ‘historical society’. If interested see my article on the original Azusa Street account. As for me, today’s idea is just more of the same, just as worthless, and blasphemous.

“Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” (Matthew 12:31,32)

Charismatics abuse and blaspheme the Holy Spirit all the time. They exult today, but tomorrow they will face the Lord, Who will say “I never knew you”.

© Month Year

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