16 It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, 17 so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.
18 This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666.
I happened to have seen an advertisement on the television during a program I had been watching and it was in regard to a new model of mobile phone by manufacturer ‘Samsung‘. Like most adverts use of subtleties, suggestions and general assumptions were used to convey the idea that we, the public, wanted what was advertised. Throughout the advert a song was being played, the words of which suggested we did, ‘Give them what they want’……Well maybe I am the odd one out here but that suggestion is a subtle way of attempting us to believe that we want the latest product because everyone else wants one and I am not taking the bait. In fact I don’t like the kind of technology that one day threatens to run our lives. If you don’t believe that then just look around and see how many people are joined at the hip to their ‘smart’ phones. No-one takes any notice of their surroundings anymore, their eyes are glued to their little (or big) screens and their ears are being pumped whatever sounds they are tuned into. This is only the beginning, technology is only in its infancy despite what has been achieved so far. You can be sure more is to come. In relation to the Bible verses above one day technology will dispense with the need to carry cash, cards (even those with RFID chips) or smart phones to make purchases. The technology will be inside us! Those who allow it that is. However, as the verses state, nothing will be purchasable without it! We will be under the control of others………….Okay it might not happen during our own lifetime but there again the technology is already here and in some countries people really do have RFID chips implanted. Imagine what the world would be and will be like when everyone has implanted technology………
Read the Book of Revelation. It is the last book in The Bible for a reason……
These past weeks have seen me so busy I’ve had little time for myself except at the weekend. It’s insane. I do reject calls of course but some of the requests are ridiculous. For instance here are some that I have received lately, the hinge on my fridge is a little loose. My satellite dish has been loosened by the wind. The self-rewind device for the cable on my vacuum cleaner is stuck. I need a lamp changing in my light fitting. Can you repair my oven? ( I once did that sort of work when working for someone else). Can you replace my bath? The taps (faucets) on my sink need replacing. Will you hang some pictures and a mirror for me? The list goes on. They think I am a Jack (Jill) of all trades! Well in fact I can do all of those things but I advertise as an electrician and that is the only work I want to do for others. I went to a house late on Monday afternoon to disconnect an old cooker and connect a new one when it arrived. To save me going there too early and having to stand about waiting for the new one to arrive I suggested to the guy who’d asked me to do the job if he could switch off the cooker wall switch and simply cut the flexible cable on the rear of the old cooker which evidently had been pulled out from the space. He had already disconnected the gas pipe to the cooker but told me he couldn’t locate the wall switch. The switch would either be on the wall nearby or else be inside an adjacent cupboard. If he could do that then the guys coming with the new cooker would be able to take the other one away and I would arrive later to connect the new one. In the end I went along earlier and disconnected the cable myself. The switch was on the wall adjacent to the cooker yet he couldn’t find it! When I showed him the switch he confessed he didn’t know what it was for! I couldn’t believe it. Neither did he know what the only other switch nearby was for. It was for the cooker extract hood! When it came to anything to do with the house services he hadn’t a clue so his wife and teen-aged daughter told me later. Now I wouldn’t expect a customer to do more than cut an isolated cable unless I knew it could be done safely and easily but I already knew this guy was capable of such a simple task. It seems he was stumped because he didn’t know how to switch off the supply using the switch in front of him! Earlier in the day I had been to install a replacement ceiling light fitting and I isolated the main supply at the relevant circuit breaker. The lady came to tell me that there were still some lights working. They were plugged into the power points around the room. She thought everything was supplied by the one circuit breaker which obviously they are not. Whenever I have the opportunity to explain the basic layout of an electrical system in someone’s house I am amazed just how little most people understand about their own installation. Some do not even know where to locate their main power distribution board. These are basic things everyone should know regarding their household water, gas and electrical services but many just don’t have a clue.
Mankind is forever searching for knowledge and never seems satisfied until all is known that can be known about any subject. When he thinks that he has the answers something else comes along to upset the theories and a re-think is needed. At the lower end of knowledge we know enough to solve our everyday problems and the system works fine but as we seek a deeper knowledge things are not what they seem. I remember learning about straight lines at school and how each end of a straight line extends to infinity in either direction. In more recent times the scientists tell us that there is no such thing as a striaight line in space because space itself bends. How do they know that? Years of painstaking study is how and a determination to discover new things. Some knowledge is learned quite by accident or as a by-product of other research. At any given point in time there are scientists at work searching for solutions to mankind’s problems, for example in the area of medicine looking for a cure for specific diseases and ailments. Will they ever reach a point though when all we can know is known? In The Book of Ecclesiastes in The Bible we read ‘Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body’ (Eccl.12:11b)
12 Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, ‘I find no pleasure in them’– 2 before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars grow dark, and the clouds return after the rain; 3 when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men stoop, when the grinders cease because they are few, and those looking through the windows grow dim; 4 when the doors to the street are closed and the sound of grinding fades; when people rise up at the sound of birds, but all their songs grow faint; 5 when people are afraid of heights and of dangers in the streets; when the almond tree blossoms and the grasshopper drags itself along and desire no longer is stirred. Then people go to their eternal home and mourners go about the streets.
6 Remember him – before the silver cord is severed, and the golden bowl is broken; before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, and the wheel broken at the well, 7 and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.
8 ‘Meaningless! Meaningless!’ says the Teacher. ‘Everything is meaningless!’
The conclusion of the matter
only was the Teacher wise, but also he imparted knowledge to the
people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs. 10 The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.
11 The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails – given by one shepherd. 12 Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them.
Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.
13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.
And speaking about God it says in Isaiah 44:25 -‘who overthrows the learning of the wise and turns it into nonsense,’
The whole chapter
New International Version – UK (NIVUK)
Jerusalem to be inhabited
24 ‘This is what the Lord says – your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb:
I am the Lord, the Maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by myself, 25 who foils the signs of false prophets and makes fools of diviners, who overthrows the learning of the wise and turns it into nonsense, 26 who carries out the words of his servants and fulfils the predictions of his messengers,
who says of Jerusalem, “It shall be inhabited,” of the towns of Judah, “They shall be rebuilt,” and of their ruins, “I will restore them,”
For all the knowledge mankind seeks is meaningless, it will count for nothing in the end. How much knowledge do we really need? How much of what we know and seek is completely useless to our requirements? We can know too much and yet what we know seems not enough for some. Are we really any better off than our ancestors for gaining some of the knowledge we have?
There are many people out there in Internet Land who would have the rest of us believe they know everything there is to know about their favourite subject. Much of what is written is opinion or misguided information. I suppose by now all of my readers will know that I am a Christian for on occasion I promote Jesus in this blog, as I did yesterday. I try not to post on the subject too often for obvious reasons but feel it right to do so sometimes. At the moment that is about once a week. What I write is based on the fundamental teachings of The Holy Bible without any self interpretation on my part, sticking only to the facts contained therein. The point of the exercise is to point people to God, to Jesus Christ and it is up to them if they respond. It’s a little like commercial advertising where a presentation is made to encourage further investigation or a possible purchase. That is all as a Christian I am supposed to be doing. It is part of being a Christian. However there are those who like to preach about the many things concerning the faith. Some of those do it with authority because they are scholars or men of the cloth as they say but many are simply lay-preachers and their presentations and arguments quite frankly leave me somewhat puzzled at times. I am no expert but I know enough to see errors in their interpretations and presentations, in fact as Christians we are specifically told to search the Scriptures for ourselves to verify what we are being told, The Holy Spirit being our guide. Many of these people are out there writing articles for posting on the Internet but the reality is, most of their readership is already Christian so unless their purpose is to edify the Church outreach is pointless. There is the danger of misleading those who have little or no understanding about the subject and in many cases they do more harm than good. It is the Churches responsibility to teach newcomers to the faith, all we are called to do as individuals is to proclaim The Gospel Message. I have used this subject as an example of course but there are many other subjects where self-interpretation is prominent over the actual facts,
God has made all things well. He knew us while we were in the womb. Before we were conceived He knew us, He knows every hair on our heads and everything about us. Scripture tells us this, Psalm 139 (New International Version – UK)
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
1 O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.
5 You hem me in— behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.
19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God! Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD, and abhor those who rise up against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting
Every hair on your head…………..you are intimately known!
First of all I must state that as a Christian I have no problem with those who are atheist for I was one once. It isn’t a disease just as much as being a Christian isn’t. Conflict arises where there are social issues and concerns to consider. Christians are people who believe in a deity, a creator who made all things, everything we can and cannot see even ourselves whereas atheists do not believe in a deity and therefore must believe everything we see including ourselves came about by other means. That is simple logic. Christians are under attack when they try to influence how everyone else is supposed to live and which laws we should have to govern our societies. In the case of the UK, Christianity has been the influencing power, whether for the good or in some cases unfortunately for the bad over most of the last two millenia. Our laws are based upon those written in Scripture and from a Christian’s point of view, God-given. At this point I think many, if not all atheists would agree with the basic laws we have but not necessarily all of the others, the ones written in Scripture concerning certain moral and behavioural lifestyles. The Christian believes and agrees with the whole tenet of the law whereas the atheist agrees only in part. As an example, atheists who happen to be homosexual would not agree with what Scripture says about it but may be perfectly in agreement over the law which says, we should not kill (murder). There are many other examples. People will pick and choose from Scripture as it suits their belief system or non-belief system. Either the Bible is wholly true or none of it is. It cannot be both, at least to the believer. Atheism is also a belief system, though many atheists would immediately disagree and this is where they are illogical. Everybody believes in something, including atheists. Ask an atheist what they believe and it will probably be different from another who is an atheist. The real problem starts with Creation. Just how did we get here? This is a question that has been asked since the birth of mankind and there are only two fundamental possibilities. One is that everything was created and the other is that all things have eternally existed and only one of those can be right. When the latter possibility is studied and examined it becomes impossible to believe but when we study Creation as having been created by God everything falls into place quite easily. The more we delve into the Universe and how it came about the more the Creation model appears to be the truth. Unless we consider how the Universe was made we cannot make the decision that God doesn’t exist. If only the atheist would see that. Christians have the faith to believe He does.
I have said this many times in the past but I don’t worry about anything these days, I put my hope and faith in God who takes away my cares. Ok I know some of you will disagree with that but nevertheless it is true for me, He really does take away my cares. Personal problems I may have do not compare to the problems that face so many in the world. If you click on the link to the right ‘Vine of life news’ or here instead, http://vineoflife.net you will see the column to the far right of its home page items of news from around the world which will open your eyes to what is really going on, some items of news you never hear about from the media or main television news reports. The world is in a terrible state, people facing danger, starvation, military and religious oppression of all kinds and we should be concerned. I know I am concerned but I’m not worried about it all, these things we are told will happen before the end time. As sure as God has a plan they will, He knows things before they happen, it is all in prophecy. Mankind is heading for its own destruction unless there is an intervention, and there will be as sure as there is a tomorrow. I do not worry about these things for it is all in God’s hands. I am not surprised to read about many of the things we human beings get up to all in the name of religion, greed, power and such things. Man’s inhumanity toward his fellow being at times beggars belief and to what end? I remember how much my father was upset about such things and he would often say so whenever he learned of another way mankind had behaved toward his fellow-man. People tell me that we as human beings are gradually improving in our relationships with each other and that the world is becoming a better place but from where I stand and what I can see going on all around me that suggestion is a difficult one to accept. We have had many generations come and go to get it right but I don’t think we are even close or ever likely to be but as I said, I am not worried, God takes that away from me for I place everything into His hands.
1 Peter 5:6-7
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Probably all my readers will be aware by now that I am a Christian but I do not fill this site with religious content, that is reserved for my other site at Minkyweasels Musings but from time to time I do post here on religious themes. I am fascinated with Bible prophecy, well I am fascinated with all of God‘s Word of course and I am always delving into Scripture. I know I have read the entire Bible from cover to cover at least 28 times and learn something new each time I read. I am currently reading through the Bible yet again. A large proportion of the Bible is dedicated to prophecy, probably one-third so it is a subject that should be taken very seriously, especially as much of what is prophesied has actually happened. As a Christian believer I know that all prophecy will be fulfilled, God’s will be done. The reason all prophecy hasn’t been fulfilled is that some of it is reserved for the future and what God has already planned will happen. Many of the prophets in the Old Testament foretold of future events which were fulfilled but some of those future events refer to things even in our own future. When John was being held captive on the island of Patmos in the Mediterranean Sea he saw a vision from God and was inspired to write down all he saw. This resulted in the entire prophetic Book of Revelation,
Revelation 1 New International Version – UK (NIVUK)
1 The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2 who testifies to everything he saw – that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.
The time is near. This is making reference to the ‘end times’ as prophesied in the Book of Daniel and elsewhere in Scripture, a time in the future, their future. We are living two thousand years after John’s prophetic vision and much speculation has been given as to whether the ‘end times’ refer to the present day or a few years hence from now. Descriptions of those end times seem close to what is now going on in the world and indeed can only be referring to modern times when we analyse what is written.
Daniel 12 (NIVUK)
The end times
12 ‘At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people – everyone whose name is found written in the book – will be delivered. 2 Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. 4 But you, Daniel, roll up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.’
‘Many will go here and there to increase knowledge’. Think about the Internet. The Book of Daniel was written almost 2600 years ago. In Matthew’s Gospel, written a little less than 2000 years ago a better description, the words spoken directly by Jesus is given…
New International Version – UK (NIVUK)
The destruction of the temple and signs of the end times
24 Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2 ‘Do you see all these things?’ he asked. ‘Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.’
3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. ‘Tell us,’ they said, ‘when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?’
4 Jesus answered: ‘Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, “I am the Messiah,” and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumours of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth-pains.
9 ‘Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
15 ‘So when you see standing in the holy place “the abomination that causes desolation,” spoken of through the prophet Daniel – let the reader understand – 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.21 For then there will be great distress, unequalled from the beginning of the world until now – and never to be equalled again.
22 ‘If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.23 At that time if anyone says to you, “Look, here is the Messiah!” or, “There he is!” do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you in advance.
26 ‘So if anyone tells you, “There he is, out in the desert,” do not go out; or, “Here he is, in the inner rooms,” do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.
29 ‘Immediately after the distress of those days
‘“the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.”
30 ‘Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.
32 ‘Now learn this lesson from the fig-tree: as soon as its twigs become tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
The day and hour unknown
36 ‘But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[f] but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand-mill; one will be taken and the other left.
42 ‘Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: if the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
45 ‘Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.47 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48 But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, “My master is staying away a long time,” 49 and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of.51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
I have highlighted some of the passage just to point out some key things but all of what is written and spoken by Jesus will come about. There will be no excuse for not taking heed to the words of prophecy for they are a warning to unbelievers to repent and turn to God. Imagine being in a building that is on fire and refusing to use the emergency exit because you think there is a better route. Well there isn’t, there is only one way out and that is through Jesus who is holding open the door for you waiting for you to walk through it! Below is a short video worth watching. Several videos automatically follow this one, should you wish to watch them leave it running. May God open your eyes and your heart to His truth.
What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him?
God is only a prayer away for those who believe in Him.There is but one God, one Creator, one deliverer, one salvation. He is the only God, there are none beside Him. Other nations have their ‘gods’ but no other god answers prayer, no other god is the Creator of all mankind, of all Creation. All other ‘gods’ are false, mere idols and can do nothing. Which other god can perform miracles, can give us the promise of salvation and eternal life? What benefit is there in a false god? What benefit is there in false religion, religion that promises nothing? There is a heaven to gain and a hell to shun and to one of them you will go. Pray to your false god and see if you get a response.
16 So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him, and Ahab went to meet Elijah. 17 When he saw Elijah, he said to him, ‘Is that you, you troubler of Israel?’
18 ‘I have not made trouble for Israel,’ Elijah replied. ‘But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the Lord’s commands and have followed the Baals. 19 Now summon the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel. And bring the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.’
20 So Ahab sent word throughout all Israel and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel. 21 Elijah went before the people and said, ‘How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.’
But the people said nothing.
22 Then Elijah said to them, ‘I am the only one of the Lord’s prophets left, but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets.23 Get two bulls for us. Let Baal’s prophets choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. 24 Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by fire – he is God.’
Then all the people said, ‘What you say is good.’
25 Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, ‘Choose one of the bulls and prepare it first, since there are so many of you. Call on the name of your god, but do not light the fire.’ 26 So they took the bull that was given to them and prepared it.
Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. ‘Baal, answer us!’ they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.
27 At noon Elijah began to taunt them. ‘Shout louder!’ he said. ‘Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or travelling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.’ 28 So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. 29 Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.
30 Then Elijah said to all the people, ‘Come here to me.’ They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the Lord, which had been torn down. 31 Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, ‘Your name shall be Israel.’ 32 With the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord, and he dug a trench round it large enough to hold two seahs[a] of seed. 33 He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, ‘Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood.’
34 ‘Do it again,’ he said, and they did it again.
‘Do it a third time,’ he ordered, and they did it the third time. 35 The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench.
36 At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: ‘Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. 37 Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.’
38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.
39 When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, ‘The Lord – he is God! The Lord – he is God!’
40 Then Elijah commanded them, ‘Seize the prophets of Baal. Don’t let anyone get away!’ They seized them, and Elijah had them brought down to the Kishon Valley and slaughtered there.
No other God answers, no other god exists that’s why! But in spite of what God does, in spite of what He says, people will still reject Him, they will still persist believing in falsehood.
The Lord is God
32 Ask now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created human beings on the earth; ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of? 33 Has any other people heard the voice of God speaking out of fire, as you have, and lived? 34 Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?
35 You were shown these things so that you might know that the Lord is God; besides him there is no other. 36 From heaven he made you hear his voice to discipline you. On earth he showed you his great fire, and you heard his words from out of the fire. 37 Because he loved your ancestors and chose their descendants after them, he brought you out of Egypt by his Presence and his great strength, 38 to drive out before you nations greater and stronger than you and to bring you into their land to give it to you for your inheritance, as it is today.
39 Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. 40 Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the Lord your God gives you for all time.
These are the words written down in Scripture reminding the Israelites of their inheritance, what God had done for them and the promises he made to them and their descendants from generation to generation. These are the same promises for all those who put their trust and their faith in God. God is true to His word, He is a faithful God and His promises are true.
My last port of call at work on Monday was to a flat (apartment) on the top floor of an old Victorian/Edwardian house on the north side of town. The guy renting it was in his mid-thirties and was having problems with his electric shower. He told me over the phone that the control switch just outside the bathroom was loose in the wall and that it seemed to switch itself on if he moved it. On arrival I switched off the power and checked out the switch by removing it from the wall. The switch contacts inside must have welded themselves together as the switch would not turn off. That probably meant that the switch had a loose connection or it was of too small to take the load. I noticed the supply cable was suitable for only a 28 ampere current load but the cable from the switch to the shower on the other side of the wall was even smaller with a load capacity of only 20 amperes! This particular cable was badly burned. I removed the cover on the shower and discovered that the shower was a 9.5 to 10 Kw in size which is around 38 to 42 amperes, more than a third extra for the supply cable and twice that of the capacity of the cable connecting the shower to the switch! I noticed that when I switched off the supply RCD unit which fed the shower circuit, a couple of power points lost their supply too. That meant there were socket outlets or power points connected to the already overloaded shower cable! Dangerous or what? I was told that the original owner of the house, now deceased, had done many of the jobs around the house himself and now the property belonged to his daughter who it seems is reluctant to spend too much cash on repairs. Needless to say I left the shower disconnected and the wiring made safe so that the power sockets could be left working until the necessary remedial work is carried out either by myself, if I get the job, or whoever they employ. I shudder to think what might have happened if they hadn’t bothered to call out an electrician. This is how fires start in buildings, unsuitable wiring and controls and a complete disregard to the regulations. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, especially where electricity is concerned.
Following on from a post about DIY a couple of days ago I want to talk about being handy, that is being capable of turning one’s hand to the many jobs that seem to come our way. I am an electrician and have been in the business one way or another for over fifty years now. Although my training was dedicated to the various aspects of electrical work from repairing machinery to wiring houses and factories, from maintenance work to environmental controls and anything else electrical I received some training in other fields of expertise along the way. I have been involved in refrigeration, air conditioning, heating and ventilation, elevators, vending machines, plumbing and a host of other disciplines which has left me somewhat versed in many manual, as well as intellectual tasks allowing me to tackle almost anything with a great deal of confidence. The other day I was asked to check out the cooker circuit for a lady living in an apartment block in town. The apartment block is situated behind Lord Street, the main shopping street in town but the parking facilities for the apartments are some distance away and are enclosed behind an electrically operated gate for security purposes. Each person living in the apartment block has a remote control unit for the gate. When I arrived the lady was there to open the gate for me. I took along my toolbox, which is rather heavy, thinking there was a short-cut into the apartment block but I was told that we would have to take a long walk through the streets to get to the main pedestrian entrance as the short-cut had been locked for a couple of years! The lady offered to carry my box part of the way for me but I told her that it would be too heavy for her to lift. She attempted it anyway but realised she wouldn’t be able to walk even a couple of paces with it. I am used to the weight of it but carrying it a few hundred metres is difficult. We got half-way to the apartment block when the handle broke and the toolbox fell sharply to the floor with a thud! Thankfully it remained closed although the lid had been loosed from the retaining clasps. I had to carry it like a large parcel for the rest of the way. She lived on the top floor and there was no elevator in the block! Only three floors thankfully but by the time I reached the top I was completely exhausted! I did the job and we decided to take the toolbox to a public bench, one of many along Lord Street and she would sit with it whilst I went to collect my van to save carrying the box such a distance again, especially as it now had no handle! I thanked the lady for her help and returned back home for my lunch. I had no work for the remainder of the day so I set about making a new handle for my box. This one would be made of sterner stuff, mild steel! We have a large work-bench in the cellar and it has a large metal-working vice on it so forming a handle was easy. All I needed was a large hammer, a drill and some elbow grease! I had it completed in no time. Now that may not sound much of an achievement but it saved me searching the shops and stores looking for a suitable handle that most probably I wouldn’t have found anyhow and it cost me nothing to make myself as I had the materials at home. There are many jobs like that from time to time around the house I have to put my hand to myself or have to pay for someone else to do. A few weeks ago we had a leaking toilet water cistern that required new plumbing fixtures. I bought what was necessary and did it myself. Not long after we had moved into the house back in 1988 the hot water storage tankburst and caused an amazing amount of damage to the kitchen ceiling below, so much so that half of it had to be removed and replaced. I purchased a new tank and found the pipework didn’t exactly match up to the new tanks connection points. I did the necessary pipework alterations and got it to fit and I also fitted a new ceiling in the kitchen later. Without having the knowledge and the capability I couldn’t have tackled such work. Being handy with one’s hands certainly saves a lot of financial expenditure but it also gives me a lot of pleasure knowing that I was able to do it myself.
Recent reports indicate that ‘scientists’ have found that eggs, specifically the yolks, are bad for our health in that they promote arterial cholesterol deposits leading to possible heart attacks or strokes. Many years ago eggs were declared not a good food to eat but then more recently we were told, hey, they aren’t as bad as we first thought! We are told that hard cheeses are similarly bad for our health in the same way. Too much fruit is bad for the teeth because the acid eats away at tooth enamel and yet we are told that we should be eating more fruit and vegetables. Drinking milk counterbalances the acid erosion if it is drunk whilst eating the acidic fruit but too much milk isn’t good either especially if it is the full fat variety. Butter is high in saturated fat so that makes it a health hazard. Years ago we were encouraged to eat less of it but then there was the huge butter mountain of accumulated European Community over-production and soon it was suggested that butter wasn’t all that bad after all. Well now the butter mountain has diminished, possibly gone altogether, butter is back on the hit-list and we are advised that margarine, if it is the right kind, is far better but spread it thinly! Spread it thinly on what? Why bread of course but wait a minute, isn’t eating too much bread not a good idea either? Think of the fat content, the extra pounds put around the waist. Meat is high in protein which we all need but now we are being told that too much red meat causes health problems too. It doesn’t seem to matter what we eat, whatever we eat will probably be bad for our health if we are to believe everything the scientists and food experts tell us! Oh and lay off the alcohol as much as possible but if indulging in the occasional drink, make it the occasional drink! Remember the days when we could eat bacon butties, butter on our bread, boiled eggs for breakfast, as much fruit as we wanted oh and good old fish and chips from the local purveyor of such delicacies? No forbidden fruit, no guilt-trip if we indulged once in a while with full-fat ice-cream or black puddings, pork pies and chocolate bars! Gone are the days of such innocence and a care-free lifestyle. I have to admit that knowledge is a good thing when it comes down to what we place in our mouths but constant bombardment from men or women in their little white coats can be quite a pain in the proverbial at times don’t you think? We all say it, ‘haven’t they got better things to do’? Ah, but it is all in the name of providing us with the tools for a healthier and longer life, so they say. Sometimes though I think ignorance can be a blissful thing. Just for the record, I do eat healthily but it does become tiresome when Big Brother or Mother Hen don’t allow us a little freedom in life.
10 And he became more and more powerful, because the Lord God Almighty was with him.
A brief account…………
David had become king over Israel and went on to conquer Jerusalem and onward to defeat the Philistines. David had been a mere shepherd boy years before but the Lord had plans for him. David wasn’t particularly attractive in looks and had nothing that would make him standout in a crowd. He had potential though and God saw this in him. After defeating Goliath when others could not, even the strongest and experienced soldiers in Saul’s army found the thought of challenging Goliath terrifying, David became popular with the people. He hadn’t defeated Goliath with his strength but with his cunning. He approached the problem in a fresh way, in a way others hadn’t seen. Because God was with him David went from strength to strength. David realised this and gave praise and thanks to God as often as he could, even to the point of looking foolish in the sight of others. Nothing was going to stop him from praising God. Michal daughter of Saul had been given to David as his wife but Saul gave Michal to Paltiel and this grieved David. Michal loved David deeply but despised him in her heart when she saw him dancing and praising God in the sight of the common people. She spent the rest of her life childless.
TheLORDiswithyou when you are with him. Ifyou seek him, he will be found by you, but ifyou forsake him, he will forsake you (2 Chronicles 15:2 … in context 2 Chronicles 15:1-3).
Those whom the Lord God loves He looks after and He loves those who love Him. God wants to lavish His gifts upon us but there are those who cannot see that fact. We cannot out-give God, whatever we give Him He returns to us much more. I know this happens in life because I have experienced it. There have been times when I have struggled financially yet I didn’t fail to present a gift to the Lord’s work no matter how small that might have been. What happened each time? I found I was given more opportunities for work! (This still happens where my work is concerned). The principle is this, you give to God and He gives back more in one way or another! It is often the little things we might normally overlook but God sees everything. If we are with God He is faithful and will never desert us. Nothing and no-one should get in the way of our praise for God and our praise isn’t just a matter of verbal worship but our praise is everything we are, how we live and how we treat others. You don’t have to be the wealthiest, most handsome and popular person in society when God loves you, He sees your potential and if you are on His side nothing can stop you in your service to Him. It isn’t about personal gain but you will gain far more in the Kingdom of God and great will be your reward. You will go from strength to strength with God and will always be a conquerer.
Recently it was reported that a fully qualified gas fitter/engineer has been jailed for manslaughter. His neglect caused the death of a woman through carbon-monoxide poisoning. He hadn’t taken the care to fix the flue pipe to the house gas boiler securely which caused the lethal gas to enter a bathroom where the unfortunate woman met her end. His work record was immaculate but that didn’t prevent him being prosecuted. He was given a three-year term in prison. No doubt he and his family will be devastated but no more so than the family of the departed. It is so easy to pass judgement in cases like this but we are all capable of making mistakes. Fortunately most of the mistakes we usually make do not end with the death of another person. Professional people have a greater responsibility to get things right especially where it can be a risk to health or danger to life as in the case of the gas engineer. I work in a similar industry in that any work I carry out must be completely safe with no risk to the customer who relies on me doing my job correctly, safely and within the industry’s standards and regulations. Occasionally I come across dangerous wiring, switches and fittings in the course of carrying out my work. I always advise people in cases like these and point out the potential danger to them, Minor problems I will fix there and then, often without charge but anything I do has to comply with the current regulations. If I carry out work that involves breaking into existing circuits that are faulty or dangerous I either have to refuse the work and point out the problems or carry out the work whilst at the same time bringing the existing faulty or dangerous circuit up to standard and compliant with the regulations. The permission to alter existing circuits remain with the customer and if that permission isn’t granted the new work doesn’t get done. Often I have refused to do work because existing circuits have been in a dangerous condition and the customer won’t pay the extra price for having them fixed. In other words I refuse to leave any work that I do compromised because of existing faults, any work I do will then be guaranteed to meet with current regulations. Of course I become liable for any work that I carry out which has not met with the strict standards and regulations. It is more than my job is worth not to do the job correctly in the first place. It is just as easy to do things right as to do them wrong but if done wrong the consequences don’t bear thinking about.
I am referring to earthly knowledge here. Whatever becomes the subject of inquiry these days can be known. When once all we had at our disposal to find out about things were the knowledge and experience of those we met or through the written word in encyclopedias now we can gain access to that knowledge ourselves through the Internet. We need never again be totally ignorant of things we previously had no knowledge. It appears that there is nothing on this earth that is without accessible information. This levels the playing field somewhat and whilst there will always be specialists in any subject, no subject will be out of the reach of anyone interested. It is written in Scripture as a prophecy that mankind will be rushing here and there in the pursuit knowledge. So here we are in the 21st century doing exactly that. As human beings we seek knowledge and we can never stop seeking it, it is as though it is part of our make-up. Forever seeking, forever searching and with each scrap of knowledge there becomes a reason to seek more. One thing leads to another but when will it all end? Will it all end? Is it possible to know all things? Is it worth knowing all things? Wikipedia, the on-line encyclopedia of collective knowledge goes a long way in aiding the pursuit of knowledge but I see it still in its infancy and not the only source of knowledge I’m sure. Whereas many years ago research into any subject was a long and laborious occupation it has been made a lot easier by having information at our fingertips and only seconds away. No longer will there be a need to sit for hours in a library searching through endless books and manuscripts to discover what we want to know if it is all recorded electronically. There is nothing therefore in this world that we have to remain ignorant about if we put our minds to it. Maybe one day we will know all things. Personally I don’t think we’ll gain all knowledge this way but that is another story for another post.