Monday, January 28, 2013

Consider the Clouds - #5 Babylon's Folly.

Babylon’s Folly
The Bible is a book about two cities. The spirit of either one is incompatible with the other and there is constant war between them. The first mentioned is Babylon, founded by Nimrod. (Genesis 10:8-11) He led the movement which has dominated the spiritual world with its darkness, the occult. (Genesis 11:1-9) Babylon is both a literal place and a spiritual force.

The other city is Jerusalem. (Genesis 14:17-24) Here we find King Melchizedek. He went out to Abram with bread and wine (a picture of Communion) and blessed Abram in the Name of God Most High, maker of heaven and earth. Jerusalem is also a literal place and a spiritual reality.

What has that to do with clouds? In Isaiah 14:12-23 the spirit of Babylon is described in graphic detail. Behind the king of Babylon is the one known as Lucifer. What was the great arrogance of Babylon? ‘You said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the throne of God…I will ascend to the tops of the clouds, I will make myself like the Most High”.’

Remember the clouds are expressive of God’s environment. In the passage quoted you can see that the spirit of Babylon wanted to be greater than the Creator God. Babylon is a usurper, corrupter and destroyer of the things of the Almighty and Everlasting Holy God.

The sad thing is we are all born into the realm of Babylon. There is also the human weakness which imagines 'I am a god.' The sin which caused Adam and Eve's downfall is still strong. Consider the rulers of North Korea who erect statues of themselves and  desire worship. (Yet they are content to trample on the lives of their people). The reality is the human heart is enslaved by the principles of Babylon.

Unless the Lord God had established Jerusalem we would share Babylon’s fate. However God has invited people to enter its gates with thanksgiving. How?  Because Christ Jesus has conquered the power of Babylon in His death on the cross and His resurrection! We make the decision to leave the realm of Babylon to enter the realm of Jerusalem when we hear the message about Jesus Christ. To cast arrogance aside and seek the Lord God's mercy is the key to escaping the city doomed to judgement.

Read Revelation 18-19 to see the ultimate doom of this city whose arrogance wanted it to rise above the clouds. It will be brought down into the dust. That is why the call of God goes out loud and strong, ‘Come out of Babylon and don’t share in her plagues or destruction.’

Next. The clouds  which took Jesus home.

Ray (in the realm of Jerusalem) Hawkins.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

God's Poetry - Book Review

Book Review by Ray Hawkins
God’s Poetry
Anne Hamilton.

Thought provoking and interesting is how I think best describes Anne Hamilton’s book ‘God’s Poetry.’  Anne enjoys delving behind today’s usually accepted meaning of words and names. She senses, as she shows, there are whole new dimensions of understanding and meaning often dormant or by-passed by the superficial student.

Using a wide range of material Anne illustrates her point with ease and clarity.  She takes material from Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, the Bible, Classical, academic material  plus much more to illustrate her point.

From a personal point of view I enjoy discovering the word pictures, history and deeper implications underlying words and names in the Bible. In ‘God’s Poetry’ I was taken on just such a journey.

The thesis that even in our given name can be found identity and destiny is intriguing. Anne uses her own testimony to highlight the Lord’s grace and its application to her given name. I found her delving back into family history concerning surnames also fascinating. Whether or not each reader will agree with all her conclusions one thing is sure, you will be enriched from the reading.

My one real criticism of the book would be it’s title. ‘God’s Poetry are the words which grab the eyes. Unless that person actually takes the trouble to read: ‘The Identity & Destiny Encoded in Your Name’ they would think it contains poems,  Of course the meaning behind ‘Poem’ in the Greek usage of Ephesians 2:10 refers to each individual being God’s masterpiece.

The grace of God flows freely through the book. For anyone who imagines their name to be cursed, shamed, worthless there is an awesome truth highlighted  That is, when Jesus becomes our Lord and Saviour He redeems us and that includes our given name. On top of that the Lord also promises to bestow on us a new name.

Well worth reading and using for reference.

21 - 25 January

is introducing

(Even Before Publishing 1 September 2012)


Anne Hamilton

About the Author:
Anne Hamilton, a longtime writer and mathematician, has a number of publications to her name. Anne has a trilogy of short books about how maths integrates with God’s great creation calle The Singing Silence The Winging Wor an The Listening Land. She has just had published her 27 year project a young adult fantasy Many-Coloured Realm.

Short Book Description:
What’s in a name? Shakespeare said a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. But is that true? Are names simply labels to be swapped around indiscriminately? Or are they more significant? God’s Poetry is about identity and destiny as well as the ancient concept of the power of names to body forth purpose and meaning. It’s also about why most of us never come into the calling prophetically breathed into what we are called.

Genre: Non Fiction

Friday, January 18, 2013

Consider the clouds # 4 The Clouds as God's Chariots

The Clouds as God’s Chariots

Chariots symbolise warfare They could be compared with the tank of today. Psalm 104:3 talks of God having the clouds as His chariot. As I read that a number of pictures flash into my mind. One is naturally that of an attacking General leading his forces into the fray. More of that a little later. The other picture is that of the victor being given a victory parade as he returns to his capital.

That second one is how I imagine Jesus ascending to Heaven.  Acts 1:9: ‘He (Jesus) was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.’ The Lord was returning home. He was the conqueror over death, sin, Satan and the World system all of which had tried to destroy Him.  How fitting it was to be taken home with the clouds as His chariot.

Jesus said in Matthew 24:30: ‘At that time (Christ’s return) the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.’

The crucified One who is the risen conqueror has promised to return and claim His kingdom. Once again we are given insight into the affinity with the clouds. What is being expressed by the imagery with the clouds? It is of course a picture of warfare. Revelation 19 amplifies that scenario. I think it talks about His supernatural power. A person would normally fall through any mass of clouds. Jesus uses them to display His intentions. He who walked on water will stand on the clouds.

As we reflect upon the clouds surely a question must arise in the mind. If I was alive at that moment would I rejoice? Would I proclaim ‘Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord?’ Or would I cry to the mountains ‘Fall on me and hide me from the wrath of the Lamb of God.’  By faith in the risen Lord as your Saviour you can rejoice. Otherwise the Apostle John has the last word Revelation 1:6-7: To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father – to him be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen. Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the people of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be. Amen

Ray (the cloud watcher) Hawkins

Monday, January 14, 2013

Consider the Clouds #3. Clouds and the Crucifixion.

Cloud #3.              

The Cloud and the Crucifixion

When Jesus quoted the prophet Daniel about clouds Jesus sealed His fate. The man of Nazareth not only agreed with Daniel’s vision, He applied it to Himself. Daniel 7:13-14: ‘In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power, all peoples, nations and men of every language worshipped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.’

The Jewish Sanhedrin knew this was a Messianic prophesy. They charged Jesus with blasphemy which was a death sentence. Jesus was under oath. He revealed Himself as the promised One. Linking Himself with the clouds and His claim to be the Son of God was too much for the authorities. He had to die. The occupying power, Rome had to be brought alongside as it had the sole authority for implementing the death sentence. So Pilate comes onto the scene. Against his will Pilate bows to their pressure and Jesus is crucified.

There are many aspects to Christ’s crucifixion including this statement under oath. If He was deluded, lying or telling the truth the tomb would hold the answer. If Jesus remained in the tomb (and would be there still) he was a false teacher, a liar. Therefore the testimony of His resurrection would verify His testimony given under oath (plus many, many other matters concerning the cross). The Easter message still echoes “Why seek ye the living among the dead. He (Jesus) is not here. He is risen!”

The authorities and enemies of Jesus had from A.D. 33-70 to prove it untrue. This would have been simple – show would be followers the tomb sealed and unopened. They couldn’t. After AD 70 Jerusalem was demolished by the Romans. Now the message continues to rest upon the recorded facts. The authority for believing the resurrection is solid. Check it out.
Jesus ascended to and now reigns in glory. I wonder if He is preparing the clouds for His return?

Ray (humbled by the cross) Hawkins

Next week – When the clouds took Jesus home

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Consider the Clouds #2.

The Coming of the Clouds #2.

When did the clouds appear over the earth? That started me thinking. In the Creation account of Genesis we are told that there was water above the earth and water on the earth.  Bible believing scientists  consider that the water around the earth in the sky protected earth from radiation. This could explain in part people’s longevity as stated in Genesis 5.

How was the earth watered? The King James translation Genesis 2:6: ‘There went up a mist from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.’ The reason is given in verse 5: ‘The Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth.’ No rain assumes no clouds.

In the account of God’s judgement by the worldwide flood on Noah’s day we have the mention of rain. The water canopy around the earth was shattered. We suffer its loss today with U.V. health related problems. I admit to wondering if as Noah was entering the ark whether the clouds were forming. They would be a sign in the heavens to the people of the day. Signs of impending judgement which they either ignored, explained away or held philosophical debates about. There are signs screaming out to be seen and to be taken seriously today. However in the immediate period before the Lord’s return there will be awesome, indeed awful signs in the heavens. The people then as today will brush them aside as something other than what the bible has prophesied. As in the days of Noah…!

Matthew 24:37: ‘As the days of Noah were so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.’ Now there a number of features to this day not being considered here. However Jesus is quoted in Matthew 24: ‘They shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.’ We will look further into the teaching of the clouds and Christ’s return in future blogs. Let it be noted here that Christ’s return has to deal with judgement. He has provided the spiritual ark of Salvation, faith in His death, burial and resurrection. If Jesus is your Lord and Saviour you are safe from Judgement. If not watch out for the clouds.

Ray (unafraid of those clouds) Hawkins.