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God is Light and in Him is no darkness at all

Living Word Magazine

(1 John 1:5).
Going Deeper into Gods Word Issue 11 June 2012

Bible Studies by:

Daniel Kolenda, Ken Legg, Mathew Bartlett, Edwin & Lillian Harvey & more!

Bible Studies Online International

In this months issue:

2. 3. 5 7. 9. 10. 11. 15. 16. 20. 22. Men and Women of God Rebuilding the Walls Part 4 Words of Faith & Encouragement Walk in the Light Out of the Ordinary

Photos above Marafilm CoverDanilo Ascione photo Back cover Peter Saharov

Lewis Armstrong (USA) Arfon Lloyd Thomas (UK) Zion Faith (India) Wesley Chick (UK) Ken Legg (Australia AG)

Prayers RequisiteCo-Crucifixion Edwin & Lillian Harvey (USA) The Prophecy of Amos Part 2
Mathew Bartlett (UK)

Guest Article: Prayer that Brings Heaven to Earth (3)

Daniel Kolenda (CfaN)

From Darkness to Light The Prophet of the Reformation

Mathew Bartlett (UK) Derek Williams (UK) Derek Williams (UK)

In Depth Study Revelation Chapter 15

Photos Above Photoquest. Cover: Dennis Kelly Left from top:Lakis Fourouklas, Eugene Ivanov, Cristina, Photofir, Guenera Zoufal. Back Cover: Eugene Ivanov.

June Readers Article

By Lewis Armstrong USA

Men and Women of God

ADAM Genesis 1:26-27 What is the significance of Adam and Eve? _____________________________ Genesis 4:1 What did Adam say about his son? _____________________________ Genesis 5:3-5 How old was Adam when he died? _____________________________ NOAH Genesis 6:5-10 Explain Noah's relationship with God _____________________________ JOB Job 1:8, 20b-22 Describe Job's character. _____________________________ Why did Job not blame God? _____________________________ Job 42:10, 12 How blessed was Job after the ordeal was over? _____________________________ ABRAHAM Genesis 22:15, 18 JOSHUA Joshua 1:8-9 What are they to be

(Old Testament) WRITE IN THE GAPS

1 Kings 15:5 Except for Uriah, what had David's relationship been with God? _____________________________ SOLOMON I Chronicles 28:5-8 What had God told David? _____________________________ 1 Kings 7:51. What did Solomon bring into the temple? _____________________________ 1 Kings 11:4, 6 What did Solomon do in his older years? _____________________________ ESTHER Esther 9:32. What did Esther do? _____________________________ RUTH What did Ruth express most powerfully about her devotion to Noami? ______________________________

Describe the blessing. __________________________

1.___________ 2. ___________ And what should they not be 1. ___________ 2.___________ HANNAH I Samuel 1:11 What did Hannah promise God? ________________________ SAUL I Samuel 10:1 Why was Saul appointed as the King? ________________________ DAVID 1 Samuel 13:14 How did God relate to David? __________________________ 1 Samuel 23:4 Who was it that did not keep the Lord's commands _______________________

NEHEMIAH chapter 4 verses 1-23

By Arfon Lloyd Thomas

Photo Paul Prescott

Be ever watchful.
The Bible tells us to be on our guard, and make our stand against the Devils schemes. When you have done all you can to stand, stand firm in the full armour of God. (Ephesians 6 v.10 and 11) Satan will not go to war against the people of God unless theres a good reason to do so. Sarcasm, derision, name-calling and slander are some of the ways that Satan tempts us to leave our calling. His aim is to discourage us and make us feel unworthy. Many of us will come under the assault from work colleagues, and even our own families. C.S. Lewis once wrote, Its extraordinary how inconvenient it is to your family to get up early and go to Church on a Sunday morning but it makes no difference if you get up early for anything else!

Nehemiah, when faced with such criticism, took the route we should all take he told God all about it in prayer. He did not attack the enemy, but asked God humbly to deal with the problem. We must make sure then, that we dont complain about what is happening to us, but be more alarmed at whats happening to Gods work.

The people of Judah were ready to give up their work and made the excuse that they were feeling physically exhausted. But their real reason was fear! I wonder is fear knocking at your door today? If so, then may I encourage you to go to the door and answer it with Jesus by your side, and you may be surprised to find that no-ones there at all! Now, as we seek to re-build the walls that Satan and his dominion have torn down, let us not forget that we are in a battle field as well as in a building programme! That is why we are called to be everwatchful, and not let our swords slip from our sides. We must be on our guard and remember that the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. The more we memorise the Word, and allow it to have its way in our lives, the stronger we will be, and the more able to stand against the Devils schemes. The Jews, who were living in the outlying villages kept bringing

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, our soul shrinks when criticism is given. Grant us grace to face these words with humility and peace. May our prayers be filled with compassion for those who have not yet come under Your sway. Amen.
We discover that there are times when prayer by itself is not enough, and faith must join hands in action.

messages that the enemy was coming to attack. Although Nehemiah was not afraid, he soon realised the unease of his people and saw the danger of this nervousness. Nothing is more feared than fear, because it paralyses motive in the individual and is contagious and paralyses others. Fear and faith cannot share the same ground. In response Nehemiah posted guards at the vulnerable places to reassure the people and also to show their enemies that they were willing to make their stand whatever might come against them. Nehemiah soon armed entire families so that they could protect each other and thus built up encouragement. When the Jews enemies learned that Jerusalem was armed and ready, they backed off! In a similar way, the Bible tells us, Stand against the Devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4 verse 7) Thus, today my friends, we must be constantly on our guard. It is not enough to build the walls; we must at the same time make our stand against the enemy. Building and battling are all part of the faithful discipleship within the Christian faith. So let us conclude, by noting that when Nehemiah faced difficult problems, he faced them with assurance and confidence that God was at hand and could always be relied upon.

Building the Walls Worldwide

Pastor Arfon Lloyd Thomas is an experienced minister with the Baptist church in the UK and is willing and available to conduct short term mission trips and revival schools both in Great Britain and overseas. If you would like to invite Pastor Arfon Lloyd Thomas to your church or conference anywhere in the world, we would be pleased to hear from you. Contact the Bible Studies Online International office at: Our New Book out now at Amazon!

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Words of Faith & Encouragement

By Zion Faith (India) Photo: Mathew Bartlett

Below are some of the things the bible says about you. I suggest that you daily confess this words. You are so so special before the eyes of God.God will never forget you and all what you do. I am a child of God. But to all who have received him--those who believe in his name--he has given the right to become God's children (John 1:12). I am a branch of the true vine. I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me-and I in him--bears much fruit, because apart from me you can accomplish nothing (John 15:1, 5). I am a friend of Jesus. I no longer call you slaves, because the slave does not understand what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because I have revealed to you everything I heard from my Father (John 15:15). I have been justified and redeemed. But they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:24).

I am no longer a slave to sin. We know that our old man was crucified with him so that the body of sin would no longer dominate us, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin (Romans 6:6). I will not be condemned by God. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1). I have been set free from the law of sin and death. For the law of the life-giving Spirit in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). As a child of God, I am a fellow heir with Christ. And if children, then heirs (namely, heirs of God and also fellow heirs with Christ)if indeed we suffer with him so we may also be glorified with him (Rom. 8:17). I have been accepted by Christ. Receive one another, then, just as Christ also received you, to God's glory (Romans 15:7). I have been called to be a saint.

to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, and called to be saints (1 Cor. 1:2) Christ is my wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. He is the reason you have a relationship with Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption (1 Cor. 1:30). My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who dwells in me. Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you (1 Cor. 6:19)? I am joined to the Lord and am one spirit with Him. But the one united with the Lord is one spirit with him (1 Corinthians 6:17). God leads me in triumph. But thanks be to God who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and who makes known through us the fragrance that consists of the knowledge of him in every place (2 Corinthians 2:14). I am a new creature in Christ.

So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away--look, what is new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17)! I am the righteousness of God in Christ. God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we would become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). I am one with all who are in Christ Jesus. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female--for all of you are one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28). I am no longer a slave, but a child and an heir. So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if you are a son, then you are also an heir through God (Galatians 4:7). I have been set free in Christ. For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be subject again to the yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1). I have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ (Eph. 1:3). I am holy & blameless before God. For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in his sight in love (Eph. 1:4). I am redeemed and forgiven by the grace of Christ. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace (Eph. 1:7).

God loves me and has chosen me. We know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you (1 Thess. 1:4). I am sealed with the Holy Spirit. And when you heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation)--when you believed in Christ--you were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13). Because of Gods mercy and love, I have been made alive with Christ. But God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, even though we were dead in transgressions, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you are saved (Eph. 2:4-5)! I am seated in heavenly places And he raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:6). I am created to produce good works. For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works (Eph. 2:10). I am near to God by Christs blood But now in Christ Jesus you who used to be far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ (Eph. 2:13). I am a member of Christs body and a partaker of His promise. The Gentiles are fellow heirs, fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus (Eph.s 3:6) I have bold access to God in Christ. In whom we have boldness and confident access to God because of Christ's faithfulness (Eph. 3:12).

My new self is righteous and holy. Put on the new man who has been created in God's image--in righteousness and holiness that comes from truth (Eph. 4:24). I was darkness, now light in the Lord. For you were at one time darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of the light (Eph. 5:8). I am a citizen of heaven. But our citizenship is in heaven--and we also await a savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ (Phil. 3:20). Gods peace guards my heart and mind. And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Phli. 4:7). God supplies all my needs. And my God will supply your every need according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19). I have been made complete in Christ. You have been filled in him, the head over every ruler and authority (Col. 2:10) I have been raised up with Christ. Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God (Colossians 3:1). My life is hidden with Christ in God. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:3). I will be revealed with Christ in glory. When Christ (who is your life) appears, then you too will be revealed in glory with him (Colossians 3:4). The more we embrace these truths from Scripture about who we have become in Christ, the more stable, grateful, and fully assured we will be in this world.

Gods word is a light.

Walk in the Light

Photo Cristina

By Wesley Chick

Although I was born in the winter, I cannot stand the cold, or the dark winter months. I much prefer the lighter, warmer, spring and summer months. After the long dark winter months, the light of spring and summer make a person feel so much better. Thinking about these things I looked to see what the bible has to say about light. Much can be said about this subject, but for this morning, here are three points we can look at. God is light. 1 Jn.1v5: This then is the message which we have heard of him and declare to you, that God is light and in him is no darkness at all. He created light. Gen.1v3: And God said, let there be light; and there was light. Is.45v7: I form the light and create darkness; I make peace and create evil; I the Lord do all these things. He is the father of lights. Ja.1v17: Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

He lives in the light. Ps.104v2: Who covers yourself with light as with a garment; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain. 1.Tim.6v16: Who only has immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach; whom no man has seen, nor can see; to whom be honour and power everlasting. Jesus reflects the Fathers light. Heb.1v3: Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person and upholding all things by the word of His power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

Ps.119v105: Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Pr.6v23: For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life. 2 Pe.1v19: We have also a more sure word of prophecy; where unto you do well that you take heed, as unto a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn and the daystar arise in your hearts.

Gods word gives light. Ps.119v130: The entrance of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.

Jesus is the light of the world. Jn.1v9: That was the true light, which lights every man that comes into the world. Jn.8v12: Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, I am the light of the world: He that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

The Gospel proclaims light. Ac.26v18+23: To open their eyes and to turn them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and inheritance among them who are sanctified by faith that is in me. That Christ should suffer and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead and

should show light unto the people and to the Gentiles. 2.Co.4v4: In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. In Gods light, we see light. Ps.19v8: The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. Ps.36v9: For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we shall see light. Gods light guides us. Ps.43v3: O send out your light and your truth; let them lead me, let them bring me unto your holy hill and to your tabernacle. Is.51v4: Listen to me, my people and give ear unto me, o my nation: For a law shall proceed from me and I will make my judgement to rest for a light of the people. Believers and the light of God. As Christians, we are enlightened. He.10v32: But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great fight of afflictions. We are children of the light. Mat.5v14: You are the light of the world, a city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. 1.Th.5v5: You are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

We have no fellowship with darkness. 2.Cor.6v14: Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion has light with darkness? Eph.5v11: And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. We are called into Gods light. 1.Pe.2v9: But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. We confess that the Lord is our light. Ps.27v1: The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life. Of whom shall I be afraid? Mic.7v8+9: When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me. I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause and execute judgement for me. He will bring me forth to the light and I shall behold his righteousness. We walk in the light. Is.2v5: O house of Jacob, come ye and let us walk in the light of the Lord. 1.Jn.1v7: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ Gods son cleanses us from all sin.

Our path gets ever brighter. Pr.4v18: But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shines more and more unto the perfect day. We put on the armour of light. Ro.13v12: The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness and let us put on the armour of light. We live as children of light. Eph.5v8+9: For you were sometimes darkness, but now are you light in the Lord. Walk as children of light. For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness and truth. We must be light to the world. Mat.5v16:. Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your father who is in heaven. We will someday, enter the kingdom of light. Col.1v12+13: {God} has made us fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. Who has delivered us from the power of darkness and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son. We look for a new heaven of light. Is.60v19: But the Lord shall be to you an everlasting light and your God your glory. Rev21v23: And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it. For the glory of God did light it and the Lamb is the light of it. Rev.22v5: And there shall be no night there. And they need no candle, neither the light of the sun. For the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.

Out Of The Ordinary

By Ken Legg. An Extract from Kens monthly e-zine Grace Roots (#60)
things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence (1 Cor.1:26-29). We could paraphrase these words this way: God says, I dont do champions; I dont do superstars; I just do ordinary people. In the kingdom of God there are no extraordinary people, only an extraordinary God who does extraordinary things through ordinary people. The way into the extraordinary is through the ordinary. God uses ordinary people. Abraham Lincoln once said, God must have loved the plain people because He made so many of them. One of the things I love about the Bible is that its characters are never portrayed as anything other plain, ordinary people. Oliver Cromwell, when having his portrait painted, asked that he be painted exactly as he was, warts and all. Thats how the Bible presents its characters - warts and all! They were people who were painfully aware of the reality that: In me, that is in my flesh, dwells no good thing (Rom.7:18). Yet God used them in amazing ways. The Snare Of Success The problem is that when an extraordinary God does extraordinary things through ordinary people, those ordinary people sometimes start believing they are extraordinary! A bishop, who obviously thought he was someone special, was once invited to speak at a local church. Hardly anyone turned out, so during the service he said to the vicar, Didnt you tell your people I was coming to speak today? The vicar replied, No. But obviously the word got out! James said, Elijah was a man with a nature like ours (Jas.5:17). I often 9 wondered why he chose Elijah as an example of a man who was just ordinary. Why not Moses, or David, or Joshua, etc? Then I discovered that Elijah actually thought he was different. After his heroic confrontation with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, he expected a landslide of Israelites back to their God, beginning at the top with King Ahab and Queen Jezebel. But when Jezebel put out a warrant for his arrest he ran for his life. When he could run no more he said to God, Take my life, for I am no better than my fathers! (1 Kings 19:4). Obviously, before this he thought he was superior to others. Jesus Was An Ordinary Person Jesus was just an ordinary person. Dont get me wrong, Jesus always has been, is, and always will be God. Yet on earth He didnt live as God but as a man, a very ordinary man. He did not draw crowds because of His physique, charisma or charm. We read in the Bible, He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He lived every moment in total dependence upon the extraordinary working of His Father through Him. He freely admitted His inability to originate any miraculous work or life-changing truth. His words and works came from the Father. He said, Most assuredly I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son does in like manner (Jn.5:19). Every day He presented His humanity to the Father as a vehicle through which Gods life could be poured. Every extraordinary thing Jesus did came out of the ordinary. It is in this way that we are to imitate Christ. Feel comfortable with your weaknesses. Feel comfortable about being ordinary. Because the way into the extraordinary is through the ordinary..

Image: Dana Rothstein

Every time God performs an extraordinary thing He works through ordinary people. He does so for a reason, i.e. that His grace might be magnified. The extraordinary shines best against a backdrop of the ordinary. When God does amazing things through us we, and others, are so conscious that it has nothing to do with us that He gets all the glory! Paul said, We have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us (2 Cor.4:7). The word excellence means that which excels or goes beyond the ordinary, i.e. the extraordinary. God deposits the potential for doing the extraordinary in human vessels, clay pots that have been baked in the sun (and some are only half-baked!) No Superstars In The Kingdom Of God Some churches pursue famous Christian personalities, such as sports stars, actors, singers, etc., and pay them handsome fees to share their testimonies, believing that their notoriety will impress the unsaved, resulting in salvation. Their logic seems to be, Look who weve got on our side! Now do you want to become a Christian? How different to the way Paul viewed things! For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the

Prayers RequisiteCoCrucifixion
An extract from Kneeling we Triumph by Edwin & Lillian Harvey ISBN 1-932774-08-4. 128 Pages Price $6.00. Image Margaret M. Stewart
Reproduced by kind permission of Harvey Publishers. Little wonder that the words below burn with reality as he urges cocrucifixion with Christ as a condition for authoritative prayer: The reason why many are finding prayer so unsatisfactory and the life of prayer so unattractive is because they have attempted to enter into the celestial realms of prayer in the strength of the oldman. The old-man can no more wield these weapons which are not carnal but mighty through God, than he can love his enemies, or rejoice always, or have the mind which was in Christ Jesus, or fulfil any other Christian grace. He (the old-man) may imitate these graces, but actually possess them, never. They are the fruits of the Spirit. They come from above. They are the outworkings of the Christ-nature imparted to the believer and incorporated in his being on the basis of the Cross. True prayer can only be inaugurated on the basis of cocrucifixion. This is the prime condition: If ye abide in Me and I in you, ye shall ask whatsoever ye will and it shall be done unto you. We must be in Christ. But we cannot be in Christ in the fullest sense, without that we commit to death, in the power of the Saviors death, the old-life. It is when we realize our oneness with Christ in death and in resurrection, that prayer becomes the marvelous force that we find it was in the life of the Savior, the invincible dynamic that it reveals itself to be in the book of Acts, 10 and the ineffable experience of the great saints of the ages. It is then that our spirits, liberated by the power of the Cross from the fleshly and the soulish entanglements, mount up on wings as eagles. It is then that communion with the infinitely adorable One Who inhabiteth Eternity comes spontaneously and naturally to its fullest expression. It is then that the injunction, Pray without ceasing, ceases to be an unintelligible command; for the spirit released from the thralldom of the flesh-life, and freed from all Satanic oppression by an appropriation of the full benefits of the Calvary victory, rises to take its place with Christ in the Heavenlies where prayer is the continuous in-breathing of the life of God. It is then that prayer, energized by the Spirit of the living God, which it cannot be until it is freed from all selfish ingredients, becomes at times a groaning which is unutterable, and which does not fail to move mountains, and achieve the impossible. It is then that prayer becomes a working out of the will of God, and therefore, must prevail, be the difficulties what they may, however staggering the problem, however great the need. It is then that the great disparity between what the Master said that prayer would accomplish, and the miserable caricature that it is in the actual practice of millions is removed, and prayer blossoms out in all the glory of its true nature.

Photo Keeweeboy

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you (John 15:7). LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart (Psa. 15:1, 2). F. J. Huegel was a chaplain in World War I and later served as a missionary in Mexico City. He says of his earlier ministry: There were years of earnest toil and some little fruit, but in my secret soul I wept in shame for there was a great lack. I was not victorious. I was the victim of a thousand things I loathed. God permitted him to pass through a very great trial during which he made the discovery that there were demon forces governing the world of which he had never before dreamed, and in the face of which his weapons were as a toy against a battleship. He learned that his self-life made room for these forces within himself and neutralized his attack against them. And then it dawned upon him as a wonderful reality that God had nailed his old self-life to the Saviors cross centuries before.

The Prophecy of Amos A Warning for Today

instruct them in it, so that they were without excuse. Greater privileges bring greater responsibilities. (Romans 2:11 12). Although Judah had the law, they had broken it and rejected the truth they had received. Rather than treat Gods word with respect by careful study and obedience, they made light of it, as if it were an irrelevance. Judah decided to go their own way and listen to their own hearts, exchanging the worship of the true God for that of idols, their lies. (See Romans 1:23). This is exactly what their forefathers had done when they rejected God and chose to worship a calf of gold they had made for themselves. Even as Christians, we may at times insist on our own will rather than obey God. This is the very basis of idolatry. (1 Samuel 15:23). We may not have idols of gold or silver, but following our own hearts is allowing ourselves to be deceived. The end of that way is death. (Proverbs 14:12). 5. So I will send a fire on Judah, and it shall devour the strongholds of Jerusalem. God's threatened judgment was a long time in coming, for He was very patient and gave opportunity for the people to repent. Yet reforms during the days of Hezekiah and Josiah were not sufficient to avert the judgment. Less than 200 years after Amos had prophesied, the Babylonians came and literally burned Jerusalem with fire. (Nehemiah 1:3 ; 2 Chronicles 36:14 - 21). Amos now moves on to the major theme of his message, the judgment of the northern kingdom of Israel.

Heartless Oppression of the Poor.

6. Thus says the LORD: For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment; because they sell the righteous for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals-Israel's wealthy rulers had ordered the poor to be sold as slaves in order to pay their debts, contrary to Divine law. As Frederick Taford says, "The law allowed a poor Hebrew to sell himself into slavery for six years (Deuteronomy 15:12) ... but it gave no power to enable creditors to sell an insolvent debtor." The poor were not at fault - the word righteous as used here means they were not guilty of wrongdoing. They had been forced to borrow money in order to survive. The small size of the debts illustrates the implacability of the leaders - they had no mercy on their brothers. Silver was not as valuable as gold, and the poor were reduced to slavery for the repayment of a debt worth a pair of sandals. Such practices remained common in New Testament times. (James 5:1 - 6). It is in this context that our Lord warned that no mercy will be shown to the merciless. (James 2:13). 7. They pant after the dust of the earth which is on the head of the poor... (NJKV). So that they might get rich quick and keep themselves in ever increasing luxury the rich "trampled on the heads of the poor". It could be said today that directors and shareholders of companies who get rich on the backs of ill-paid workers living in countries where there is little or no social or health care provision fall under the same condemnation. The law of God places a clear responsibility on employers to pay a fair wage for the work that is done for them. James declares: "The wages of

Another extract from our best- selling book.

Amos 2:4 - 16. Judgment on Judah and Israel.
Having pronounced judgment on the surrounding nations, Amos turns his attention to God's own people: Judah (v4 - 5) and Israel (v6 - 16).

Judgment Against Judah. v4 - 5.

4. Thus says the LORD: For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment; because they have rejected the law of the LORD, and have not kept his statutes, but they have been led astray by the same lies after which their ancestors walked. The people of Judah were privileged to have the Scriptures in their possession. Not only had God given them His word but throughout their history He had provided them with priests, prophets and teachers to interpret His word and

Judgment Against Israel. v6 - 16.

Gods judgment against Israel was imminent for the following reasons:


the labourers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts." (James 5:4) For the "fat cats" to get fatter whilst the poor are reduced to slavery is a violation not merely of human rights, but of Divine law.

temples. The same thing happened in the Corinthian church, which failed to discipline the person involved, forcing the apostle Paul to intervene. (1 Corinthians 5:1). Paul taught that rather than defile Gods name by using our bodies (which are the temples of the Holy Spirit) for sexual sin, we should use them to glorify God. (1 Corinthians 6:18 - 20). If our view of the relationship between man and woman is lowered from God's standard, then our concept of the Creator also becomes lowered. Ray Beeley says, "A low view of womanhood is related to a low view of God. It is only when men and women are reconciled to God that they truly appreciate the sanctity of sex. The relationship between man and wife described in Ephesians 5:22 - 35 is based on the Christian experience of reconciliation." 8. they lay themselves down beside every altar on garments taken in pledge; and in the house of their God they drink wine bought with fines they imposed. In the law, Moses permitted an outer garment to be taken as a deposit against a loan made to someone. However, since the borrower would be poor, the cloak was to be returned by nightfall, as it was the only covering they had to keep them warm at night. (Exodus 22:26). This law was to be followed whether the loan had been repaid or not. Not only were these garments being kept by money lenders but they were laid down beside the altars of Israel's pagan shrines that on them they might indulge in sexual relations with the temple prostitutes. Wine was accepted as payment of fines in the law courts and was to have been the property of the Levites. Israel, however, had appointed their own priests and as part of their idolatrous worship they drank this wine to their gods in the shrines they had built. The 12

New Testament warns against drink (Ephesians 5:18) ; idolatry (1 Corinthians 10:14 - 21); and sexual immorality. (1 Corinthians 6:18).

God Rejected.
9. Yet I destroyed the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of cedars, and who was as strong as oaks; I destroyed his fruit above, and his roots beneath. The people of Israel should have been thankful to God. He had given them the land in which they lived by destroying a much stronger nation before them - the Amorites - totally wiping them out, root and fruit. 10. Also I brought you up out of the land of Egypt, and led you forty years in the wilderness, to possess the land of the Amorite. God Himself had brought Israel out of slavery in Egypt and had remained faithful to them during their years of disobedience in the desert. He fed and provided for them in order to keep His promise to give them the land. The reference to the Exodus and subsequent settlement of the promised land of Canaan was a reminder to the nation that God had acted in history to bring them into a relationship with Himself. He had not done this because they merited His notice, but by His own choice, by grace. The charge against them is that by their deliberate rejection of God they were repudiating what He had done for them. This is significant, since as they had rejected Him who gave them the land, so when His judgment fell their land would be forfeited. 11. And I raised up some of your children to be prophets and some of your youths to be nazirites. Is it not

Perverted Justice.
7. ...and pervert the way of the humble. (NKJV). Amos words' imply that judges were accepting bribes to give favourable judgments to the rich against the poor so that they might make further financial gains. Humility is a characteristic which is despised by every proud heart. The humble were not accepted as part of the "in crowd" and were denied basic rights and justice. Today, as in Amos time, the proud are exalted among men, or as Malachi put it "we call the proud blessed." (Malachi 3:15).

Sexual Immorality and Idolatry.

7. ... A man and his father go in to the same girl, To defile My holy name. (NKJV). Next on Amos' list of indictments is sexual immorality, which became rife in Israel largely due to its link with their pagan system of worship (idolatry). As part of their "worship" to the pagan gods of fertility, the men of Israel paid for sexual intercourse with prostitutes in the idols' temples. By doing so they hoped to evoke the favour of that particular god and perhaps ensure a good harvest. God's law made clear that a man should not have a sexual relationship with the same woman as his father. (Deuteronomy 22:30). Yet this was happening, probably in the idol

indeed so, O people of Israel? says the LORD. God had chosen men from among His people to be priests, prophets and holy men (Nazirites) so that Israel might learn to obey His word. Even when backslidden, Israel was not able to deny this. They were not backslidden due to a lack of patient instruction, but in spite of it. 12. But you made the nazirites drink wine, and commanded the prophets, saying, "You shall not prophesy." In spite of all He had done for them, the people of Israel did not honour God, instead they turned their backs on Him and disregarded His commands. They showed contempt for holy things and for the vow of separation by forcing those who had made vows to break them (a Nazarite vowed not to drink wine) and by forbidding the prophets to speak in God's name. They simply could not bear to hear godly teaching nor to see godly example. They wanted to remove all traces of God from their lives. They preferred sin to repentance and so rejected God's gift of life, as many people still do today. (John 3:19). To such people God is merely a burden they wish to be rid of, His law a chain upon their conscience from which they wish to break free. The prominence given today to those who deny the existence of God through the theory of evolution is an indication, not so much of advancement in science and education, but of the same sinful desire to be free from all moral obligations to the Creator.

If God is a burden to the people, they are a burden to Him. He is weary of putting up with them. For although God is patient, He is also holy, and will not endure man's sin forever. God compares Himself to a cart, groaning and creaking because it is overloaded with corn. Since He is overloaded with the sin of the people, God will not restrain His wrath any longer. Judgment is inevitable. 14. Flight shall perish from the swift, and the strong shall not retain their strength, nor shall the mighty save their lives; The judgment about to fall will be unavoidable. There will be no escape for the swift. Both speed and strength shall be useless. Even the strongest men will not be able to survive the force of the coming onslaught. 15. those who handle the bow shall not stand, and those who are swift of foot shall not save themselves, nor shall those who ride horses save their lives; The armed will not be able to defend themselves against the coming judgment. The fastest runners and those on horseback shall not be able to escape it. Since this judgment has been ordained by God, no mere man shall be able, by any means whatever, to elude His purpose. 16. The most courageous men of might Shall flee naked in that day, Says the Lord. (NKJV). The judgment will be so severe that the bravest fighting men will run away in sheer terror, leaving even their clothes behind them. This could possibly indicate a surprise attack, where Israel's men were awakened from sleep and forced to flee without having time to dress. In our day, too, God is patient. Since He is not willing for any to perish, He is 13

holding back the judgment we deserve in order to give opportunity for all men to believe the gospel and be saved. But this day of opportunity will end. Gods judgment will be poured out on the earth, and the unrepentant shall suffer dreadful and inescapable punishment in the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:15). No one can escape this, even by dying, for it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment. (Hebrews 9:27). When John the Baptist warned men to flee from the wrath to come he told them of One who is the God given means of escape, the Lord Jesus Christ who saves us from the wrath to come. (1 Thessalonians 1:10). Gods judgment of the nations of today will come as surely as that which was predicted by Amos. Pusey (cited by Tatford, 1974) shows how Amos prophecy was fulfilled over a period of time by the invasions of Assyrian emperors Tilgath-Pilesar (c 745 - 727 BC) and Sargon II (c 722-705 BC); the Babylonian emperor Nebuchadnezzar (c 634 - 562 BC) and much later by Alexander the Great (c 356323 BC).

There followed, under Tilgath-Pilesar, the fulfillment of the prophecy as to Damascus and Gilead. Under Sargon was fulfilled the prophecy on the ten tribes. That on Judah yet waited 133 years and was then fulfilled by Nebuchadnezzar. A few years later, and he executed Gods judgments foretold by Amos on their enemies Moab, Ammon, Edom, Tyre. Kings of Egypt, Assyria and the Macedonian Alexander fulfilled in succession the prophecy as to Philistia.

Judgment Unavoidable. v13 - 16.

13. Behold, I am weighed down by you, As a cart full of sheaves is weighed down. (NKJV).

Gods actions in history should serve as a warning for today since neither He nor His standards ever change..

An U

The same invisible hands that struck the chains from Peters wrists are

and Gods glory flood the earth, we must pray!

An Unprecedented Harvest
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:10 This Bible Study has been taken from Chapter VI of Daniel Kolendas new book Your Kingdom Come and is for those who desire to enter into a divine partnership with God and His purposes by joining the prayer revolution. In one decade (2000-2009), our ministry Christ for all Nations, founded by Reinhard Bonnke has seen more than 53 million people receive Jesus as Savior in our massive evangelistic campaigns in Africa. This incredible harvest of souls did not happen as a result of clever marketing or bizarre publicity stunts. Rather, it is the result of a Holy Spirit outpouring of biblical proportions. None of us would ever be so nave as to think that this is our own doing, but we realize that there are many thousands of people around the world who have wept and prayed for us and for the harvest like Daniel Nash prayed for Charles Finney and like the Church prayed for the release of Peter from prison.

breaking the chains off of nations as we go and preach the Gospel in obedience to the Great Commission. None of this would be possible were it not for the persistent and continual prayers of the people of God. We believe that every one of the faithful prayer warriors who have stood at our side and covered us in prayer are just as important as the one preaching on the platform. I believe that those who cover us in prayer will have a share in the rewards because God does not reward according to our function. He rewards according to our faithfulness and obedience. You may never be able to preach to millions of people, minister to kings and governors, or start a worldwide evangelistic ministry, but through prayer YOU have the ability to transform nations. What an incredible thought! If we desire to see our church, our city, and our nation shaken and the harvest gathered in, we must pray! If we desire to see an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our time, we must pray! If we want to see the chains that Satan has crafted for our generation fall at our feet, we must pray. If we want to see prison doors open as they did for Peter and the captives set free, we must pray! If we want to see the dam breached

The next great move of God will come as a result of Prayer & Obedience by the body of Christ. Discover how God made us partners with Him for the fulfillment of His purposes in the earth.
Don't miss your opportunity to purchase the first book released by Author and Evangelist Daniel Kolenda. GET THE BOOK NOW! Be Blessed,

Daniel Kolenda, Evangelist To find out more, or to support the work of CfaN visit their website: Article reproduced with the kind permission of Christ for all Nations.

From Darkness to Light

God has called us from darkness to light through the gospel

Acts 26:18
by Mathew Bartlett
Images: Above Lakis Fourouklas Overleaf: Guenter Zoufal & Lincolnrogers

Walking in Darkness
The whole world is in darkness, and everyone outside of Jesus Christ is in darkness. They do not know, nor do they understand; They walk about in darkness; Ps 82:5 Therefore justice is far from us, Nor does righteousness overtake us; We look for light, but there is darkness! For brightness, but we walk in blackness! Isaiah 59:9 Those who walk in darkness have no knowledge of God and of Christ, they are without hope and without God in the world. at that time you were without Christ.....having no hope and without God in the world. Eph 2:12 All of us were once in this condition. We cannot free ourselves from the control of darkness - it is sin and Satan that keep us in spiritual darkness.

Even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; Rom 1:28-31.

delivered us from his power once and for all. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, Col 1:13 Many subjects of this kingdom of darkness are not even aware that they are in it, or that it exists. But one of the reasons why Paul was told to preach the gospel was: I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.' Acts 26:17-18 Jesus recognized that the unbelieving Jews of his own day were in this situation. He refers to them as children of "their father the devil" and that they were (although unwittingly) doing their father's will.

Sin is darkness.
Unbelievers are blinded (that means, kept in darkness) by Satan whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them 2Cor 4:4 The Bible makes it clear that everyone outside of Christ is ruled in heart and mind - by the power of darkness, and by the ruler of that darkness, Satan. in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, Eph 2:2 We were all once members of his kingdom, but Jesus Christ has

You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. John 8:44 One of the strategies of Satan is to make men believe that he does not exist, so that they will ridicule this teaching and make light of the gospel. Yet the Bible describes Satan as an angelic being of very high order. Jesus often referred to the devil, not as a concept or a force but as a real person. e.g. Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. Luke 8:12 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. Matt 4:5-6 Men may not realise it, but it is he who is responsible for murders, wars, and all the evil in the world. Who motivates men to do such things? It is the devil. May I illustrate? Who was it that executed the Lord Jesus Christ. Was it Pilate? Or the chief priests? We know of course that Christ allowed himself to be crucified because it was God's will that by dying for our sins he might give eternal life to all who believe in him - but the devil did not know that. The responsibility for the crime of murdering Christ is laid squarely at the feet of the devil.

which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 1 Cor 2:8 It was the devil who prompted Judas to betray Jesus to death And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray Him, John 13:2 Jesus was referring to this fact when he told Pilate: You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin." John 19:11. This is also what he meant when he said that his death on the cross would determine the judgment of the ruler of this world. Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out John 12:31 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. John 14:30 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. John 16:11 Those who shouted and called for Jesus dead among the frenzied mob were not aware that they were doing Satan's will, although Jesus had already told them this. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, John 8:44

They did not understand.

It was for this reason that Jesus prayed as they were crucifying him "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing" We know that the devil has been judged, but what is his punishment to be? The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Rev 20:10 What relevance has all of this to you and me? The simple fact is that today, as the gospel of Jesus is being preached to men everywhere, those who choose to reject Him are under the same condemnation. No one can sit on the fence. Jesus said "Whoever is not for me is against me." You may say, but I would never nail any man to a cross and watch him die." No, but this man died for you so that he could save your soul and be your Lord and if you reject Him as Lord then you are against him and you will suffer the same eternal judgment.

Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: Matt 25:41

Anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire Rev 20:15

Jesus Christ is the Light of the World

The scripture has an answer for all those who are walking in darkness. The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, Upon them a light has shined. Isaiah 9:2 Christ is the light of the world. "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." John 8:12 Through the tender mercy of our God, With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace." Luke 1:7879 (Dayspring - dawn, light has come) I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. John 12:46 Jesus can change sinners walking in darkness into saints living in the light? We have an example in the word of God of a man named Saul. He walked in darkness. In fact, so blind was he that he persecuted the church of God. One day whilst he was on his way from Jerusalem to Damascus to look for Christians to bring them to trial and execution, he had an encounter with the risen Lord. A light above the brightness of the sun shone around him and he

fell to the ground. A voice spoke to him "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" "who are you Lord?" "I am Jesus who you are persecuting." Saul had been in ignorance. He thought he had been doing the will of God. Now his eyes were opened to the truth and he received Christ as his Saviour and Lord. Later he wrote about what happens at conversion. Christ is the Light of the world and when we receive him into our hearts, Paul wrote For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Cor 4:6 (NB that is what conversion is, receiving Christ into our hearts) Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light Eph 5:14 God has called us from darkness to light through the gospel, for when men believe on the Lord Jesus Christ they are delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of God's beloved son. But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 1 Peter 2:9 This is the reason that Jesus died, He gave his life so that we can be forgiven. The punishment we deserve for our sins is death eternal separation from God. But Jesus took our sin upon Himself, and suffered the sentence of death that

we deserved. So now, by believing in Him, we can be saved. As we had been held in bondage and in darkness because of sin, we are now free from the power both of sin and Satan. Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. Heb 2:14-15 Christ brings us from Darkness to Light.

Walking in the Light

Once we have received the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour, we begin a new life. We were once in darkness, now we are walking in the light. This means that there will be a change in our lives once we have received Christ as our Saviour. We are told that God is Light This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 1 John 1:5-6 That means we cannot have fellowship with God and with darkness. Once we have Christ in our hearts, we will find that we are no longer comfortable doing certain things that we used to do, or going to certain places that we used to go. It didn't bother us before. Why does it now? It is because previously we

were darkness and walked in darkness. So we were at home with darkness. But now we are in the light and light has no fellowship with darkness. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. Eph 5:8-12

has light with darkness? Therefore "Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you2 Cor 6:14-18 We are to let our light shine so that we can bear witness to others and lead others to the Light: that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, Phil 2:15

to be brought from darkness to light. But this time of opportunity will end. The night will fall quickly.

The watchman said, "The morning comes, and also the night. Isaiah 21:12
Jesus warned, "A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. "While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light." John 12:3536.

We are to be finished with the deeds of darkness.

People who do shameful things usually do so in the dark so as not to be seen. God calls us to forsake the deeds of darkness and to walk in the light. We are to be finished with the associations of darkness. Those who were our companions before we were saved, we no longer comfortable with them. If we are in the right place with God then they will not be comfortable with us either. Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion

When Night Comes

Scripture warns us that night is coming when no light can be received. At the present time all men may hear the gospel and believe in God's son the Lord Jesus

That is why He says:

In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 2 Cor 6:2

The Prophet of the Reformation The Book of Malachi

Chapter One A brief Bible study by Derek Williams.
Photos this page: Photofit. Bottom Right: Eugene Ivanov

God's Complaint against His People

V1. So serious was the word of prophecy given to Malachi by the LORD that it is described as a burden. It was like a heavy load upon his heart that he had to discharge without delay. The same word was used to describe Habbukuk's prophecy (Hab. 1: 1) and Zechariah's (Zec. 12:1). It is a word to God's People. His name, Malachi, means a prophet or messenger and there is nothing known about him except what is contained in this book. Not only is it the last book in the Old Testament but he was the last prophet until the coming of John the Baptist. In the light of the words of the Lord Jesus Christ in Matt 24:12 (KJV) "and because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold" and Luke 18: 8 "nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?" The word of God through the prophet is as applicable to the church today as it was to Israel then.

Here he makes a clear statement of that love. When God sent His only begotten Son into the world to give His life upon the cross for sin it was the ultimate declaration of His love to all men (John 3: 16). John in his first epistle repeats this to those who are saved (1 John 4: 10). The type or shadow of God's plan of salvation is shown in the Passover Lamb and His deliverance of Israel from Egypt and their possession of the Promised Land. In contrast to God's endearment of love and all that He had done for them, His people have the audacity(cheek) to question Him. This is not the reasoning that God invites when he speaks through the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 1: 18). The LORD response by pointing out to them that there were two brothers, Esau and Jacob but that it was Jacob He chose and set His affection upon. V3. Hated Esau - This is in the same sense as the Lord Jesus Christ used concerning hating mother and father (Luke 14:26) i.e. Christ is to have first place in the heart of believers. Here God reminds Israel He had set His love upon Jacob their ancestor in preference to Esau. Because of Edom's sins God had 19 poured out His wroth upon their

land making it a desolation.V4. Edom in sheer arrogance boast that although so devastated they would make a comeback and rebuilt the desolate land. God's reply is that although they rebuild He will destroy them forever. They will be known as a wicked people upon whom Divine wrath will permanently rest. "After an existence as a people for above seventeen hundred years, they have utterly disappeared, and their language even is forgotten forever."(Easton) V5. Malicious pleasure in looking on at the misery of Judea and Jerusalem when they went into captivity under God's chastising hand was the special sin of Edom. God declares that Israel would witness His wrath being outpoured upon Edom and they will say the Lord is great and will be exalted beyond their own borders.

Israel's Contempt for God

V6. One of the ten commandments was to honour mother and father (Ex. 20: 12) and the Lord Jesus Christ upheld this (Math. 15:). If honour is rightly given to an earthly father then how much more should the Heavenly Father be honoured by His own people, yet this was not so.

V2. God in word and in His benevolent gracious acts continually makes known His eternal, unchanging love to His people (Jer. 31:3; Mal. 3:6; James 1:17).

If a servant honours his master should not the LORD who is the creator and sustainer of all things who is able to build up and destroyed be feared? They were not even giving to God the reverence that a slave gave to his master. Even the priests showed contempt for the LORD's name. When challenged by Him about it they said "Who? Us? When did we ever despise your name"? (Living Bible) They were so blinded by self and deceived by their hearts that they were not aware of it (Jer. 17:9) V7. God who knows the heart of all tells them straight how they have despised Him (Ps. 44:21). Instead of giving God the best as an offering on the altar they had given what was contaminated, which they would not eat themselves. This showed their utter contempt for the table where the bread was offered. The equivalent today is if believers give to God the left overs and keep the best for their own use. This shows contempt for God and the One who has redeemed them, Jesus Christ. V8. They were even using animals that were blemished as the sin offering which was expressly forbidden by God (Deut. 15:21; Lev. 22:22). If they tried this on with their governor he would refuse to accept them into his presence. V9. The prophet ironically entreats the priests to seek God that he may be gracious to them. With such gifts and offerings as they offer can they expect Him to accept them favourably ? V10. It does not stop there, such was the backslidden state of their spiritual life that they were not even prepared to shut the doors of the

Temple or to light the fire on the altar unless they were paid for it (Rom. 12:1). God has no delight in any such mercenary service (only doing something if there is personal gain in it. What's in it for me attitude). He will not accept it or anything that is grudgingly given.

to offer to Him. V13. They regarded service to be God as being irksome, a drudgery, something which should to be done just as quick as possible and with the least effort. They wanted to get it out of the way so that they could get on with doing their own thing. They huffed, puffed and complained about it as they offered to God that which was stolen, sick or lame. Why should God accept this from them when He had set His love upon them and had done so much for them ? V14. Here is the deception the hypocrisy. They had promised to give God the very best that they had, in this case the best male lamb of the flock, but when it came to it they gave the worst, that which cost them the least. In doing so they thought they could hoodwink God but He pronounces a curse upon all who cheat Him. For Jehovah, LORD, is the mighty King and His Name to be feared throughout the whole earth.

Israel's Attempt to Deceive God

V11. Since the priests and people despise God's Name in a prophetic utterance He makes known His eternal purpose that His Name shall be great from sun rise to sun set in all nations. Throughout the whole world there will pure offerings made and His Name will be magnified through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ (John 4:23; Heb. 13:15; Rev. 8:3). V12. By their actions the priests had dishonoured God's Name by saying that the altar was not important and encouraging the people to bring blemished animals


Our In Depth Study. Revelation 16.

By Derek R. Williams. Photo Godfer
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

The Seven Bowls of Gods Wrath

1. Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, "Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth. A great voice that came from the presence of God commands the angels to empty their seven bowls on the earth.

The Third Bowl: Turned to Blood

The Waters

The Fourth Bowl: Burned by the Sun

Men are

4. Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. The third angel pours his bowl on the rivers, springs and all the water sources which are turned into blood. Thus the streams of life and the sources of wellbeing were destroyed. (Tatford). 5, 6. And I heard the angel of the waters saying: "You are righteous, O Lord, the One who is and who was and who is to be, because You have judged these things. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. For it is their just due. As the bowl was poured on the waters, John heard the angel who was in charge of the waters say that the Lord, the Eternal One is righteous in this act of judgement, for those who had killed the saints and prophets had received what they justly deserved - for now they must drink blood to survive. 7. And I heard another from the altar saying, "Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgements. A response from the altar echoes the sentiments of the angel. Yes, Lord God Omnipotent, your judgements are true and right.

8. Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire. The fourth bowl is poured on the sun, increasing its heat to such an extent that it burns the people. 9. And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory. Although severely burnt by the fiery heat the people did not repent or give God the glory. Instead they blasphemed His name (His being) for sending these plagues on them. They cursed God, accusing Him of causing their distress instead of realising that their own wickedness was to blame for this judgement.

The First Bowl: Ulcerated Sores

2. So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. The first of the plagues to be poured out on the earth causes foul and painful ulcerated sores to break out on all those who have the mark of the beast. They are now bear the marks of divine wrath. This was the sixth plague that God sent to judge the Egyptians (Exodus. 9:8 - 12).

The Fifth Bowl: Darkness

10. Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain. Divine judgement draws nearer the AntiChrist as the fifth angel empties his bowl on his throne, the Anti-Christs centre of power, although it does not yet personally touch him. His kingdom was plunged into gross darkness bringing confusion, disorder and distress (see Ex. 10:21 - 23). So terrible was this darkness

The Second Bowl: Turned to Blood

The Sea

3. Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it became blood as of a dead man; and every living creature in the sea died. The second angel empties his bowl on the sea which turns it to blood like the foul, ill-smelling blood of a corpse. Every living thing in the sea dies.


that men gnawed their tongues in anguish (physical and mental pain). NB: This is the only place in Scripture where this expression is found. 11. They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds. Although they suffered such pains and sores they did not repent of their wickedness but continually cursed God.

14. For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. These miracle-working demons incite the rulers of all the nations of the world to unite as one to fight against the Almighty God on the day that He has appointed. 15. "Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame. Since this gathering is a sign of Christs coming, a voice suddenly breaks through from heaven. It is the voice of Christ giving warning to the saints of the Great Tribulation period. He will come as unexpectedly as a thief; those who watch for His coming, remaining loyal and faithful to Him will not be ashamed in that day. 16. And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon. The three demons gathered all the armies of the world to a place called Armageddon in Hebrew -- the Mountain of Megiddo, the assembly-point.

As a result of the outpouring of the bowl into the air, there were the sound of voices, the flashing of much lightning and the crashing of mighty peals of thunder. There was an earthquake of such magnitude as had never occurred since the creation of man. 19. Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. The earthquake split the mighty city of Babylon into three parts by chasms and all the cities of the nations collapsed in heaps of rubble. The time had come for the sins of Babylon to be punished in the fierceness of Gods wrath. 20. Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. The islands were destroyed (possibly submerged) by the earthquake and all the mountains were flattened down. 21. And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great. Combined with all this there was an incredible hailstorm each hailstone weighing about 95lbs or 43 kilograms; As this fell on the people they blasphemed and cursed God.

The Sixth Bowl: Euphrates Dried Up

12. Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared.

The Seventh Bowl: Shaken. 17 - 21.

The Earth

When the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the river Euphrates it was dried up, making it a road for the armies of the eastern nations as they march toward Israel. (See map above.) 13. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. Three demonic spirits are sent out from the evil trinity of Satan, the Anti-Christ and the false prophet. John can only describe them as having the grotesque appearance and foulness of frogs.

17. Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, "It is done! The final bowl is emptied into the air by the seventh angel and a mighty voice comes from the throne in heaven saying, It is finished i.e. the outpouring of Gods wrath on the earth. This is the last stroke, before the Saviour descends to battle. Tatford See Rev. 19:11. 18. And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth.

From The Revelation of Jesus Christ by Derek Williams (paperback 6.99)


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