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G‘day! Partakers Christian podcasts of Bible Teaching, Bible Readings, Worship, Prayer and Church History on Podbean to help enable and encourage you! Come listen and interact.


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G‘day! Partakers Christian podcasts of Bible Teaching, Bible Readings, Worship, Prayer and Church History on Podbean to help enable and encourage you! Come listen and interact.



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Bible Thought – Spiritual Gifts And The Christian

Partakers Bible Thought Discover and Develop Spiritual Gifts Paul writing in 1 Corinthians 12v1, 4-7 “Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant. … There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” When Jesus said to His apostles “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14v12), it was through the promised Holy Spirit (John 14v17), and impartment of Spiritual Gifts, that His words were fulfilled. 1. What are spiritual gifts? Spiritual Gifts derives from the Greek word Charismata. They are also called grace gifts, which may refer to any gift God gives out of the abundance of His grace and are given to all Christians as God sees fit (1 Corinthians 12v11). There are four main passages in the New Testament regarding Spiritual Gifts. These are Romans 12v3-8; 1 Corinthians 12v1-10, 28-31; Ephesians 4v11-12 and 1 Peter 4v10-11. The lists of gifts, given in the New Testament are representative of spiritual gifts and are not to be taken as a conclusive listing. The gifts quoted in various passages of the New Testament are: “administration, apostle, discernment, evangelism, exhortation giving, faith, healing, helps, knowledge, leadership, mercy, miracles, pastor, prophecy, service, teaching, tongues, tongues interpretation, wisdom.” As Christian disciples however, Paul commands that “try to excel in gifts that build up the church.” (1 Corinthians 14v12). When the church is built up, unity will inevitably prevail. The diversity of Spiritual gifts within each local church, helps build unity. 2. Who has spiritual gifts? All Christian Disciples have Spiritual Gifts, for “in his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well.” (Romans 12v6). God the Holy Spirit, through His infinite wisdom, mercy and grace bestows these gifts that belong to Him, upon His servants, Christian disciples, and these gifts are to be used primarily to bring glory to Him! (1 Peter 4v11). They are opportunities for Christian disciples to serve other people. Some gifts like teaching, helping or leadership quite possibly are enhancements of natural abilities whilst others like faith, healing and miracles are from the Spirit’s empowerment alone. 3. The purpose of spiritual gifts? The reason that the Holy Spirit imparts spiritual gifts to Christian disciples is so that the body of Christ is built up (Ephesians 4v12), for the common good of the church (1 Corinthians 12v7, 14v12) and “so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 4v12). These three reasons signify that God wants Christian disciples to be active in service and not still like stagnant water. That is why we have been given gifts. If these gifts are not used for God’s purposes, then they are meaningless. So, what is an appropriate response by Christian disciples in relation to these gifts? 4. How does a Christian disciple discover their Spiritual Gifts? As the Bible is primary to spiritual growth and understanding, the Christian disciple needs to study God’s word diligently, enhancing the relationship and building bonds. Then the Christian disciple needs to pray and ask in deep prayer and cogitation. Thirdly by asking the advice and wisdom of the leaders in the church we attend or from friends who know you well. Lastly, it is also through asking questions of your self. What do I enjoy? What am I good at? If God blesses what you are doing and it is fruitful, you may have discovered an area where your gifting lies! 5. Christian Disciple’s Response to Spiritual Gifts As Christian disciples, we are dependent upon each other, just as one part of the human body has dependence on...


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Bible Thought - God the Holy Spirit

God The Holy Spirit Right mouse click or tap here to save/download this Podcast as a MP3 file "When the Counsellor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me.” (John 15v26) The Holy Spirit is God, and a member of the Trinitarian Godhead. He is spoken of as God (Acts 5v3-4; 1 Corinthians 3v16). The attributes of God are ascribed to the Holy Spirit life (Romans 8v2), truth (John 16v13) and love (Romans 15v30). It was He who spoke through the Old Testament prophets and induced godliness (Ezekiel 36), and equipped God’s leaders for service (Judges 13v25; Zechariah 4v6). The Holy Spirit is also a Person: Some people refer to the Holy Spirit as “It”, but they are clearly wrong and in error! The Holy Spirit is always referred to as ‘He’ in the New Testament (John 16v14). He relates to us as a person for He is comforter, guide and teacher (John 14). He can be blasphemed against and be grieved (Ephesians 4v30), and wherever the Holy Spirit is, the Father and Son are also present because they are one. (John 14v18-23). The Ministry of the Holy Spirit What is the ministry of the Holy Spirit and what does He have to do with Christian Disciples? 1. Glorify Christ 2. The Paraclete – Comforter 3. Declares God’s Word 4. Conviction 5. Salvation 6. Indwelling 7. Sealing / Ownership 8. Security 9. Filling 10. Sanctification 11. Baptism 12. Service For more to think about please do read 1 Corinthians 12v1-10. Ask yourself the following questions, writing them down if you can, and see how you respond or react to them. Then why not share your answers with your spouse or a close friend, so that you can pray over any issues together. Q1. What are my spiritual gifts and am I using them for God’s glory or my own? Q2. How do I give more of myself to the Holy Spirit? Q3. How can I as a Christian disciple make the Holy Spirit more active and visible to others? Right mouse click or tap here to save/download this Podcast as a MP3 file


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Bible Thought - Pentecost Sunday

The Holy Spirit Comes G'day! Today is Pentecost Sunday where Christians around the world remember and celebrate the coming of the promised Holy Spirit! Happy Pentecost! Jesus has now ascended back to the right hand of the Father. The 12 apostles are now back in Jerusalem and waiting. Waiting for the Holy Spirit to come. The coming of God the Holy Spirit is in fulfilment of the promise that Almighty and All-powerful God would indwell all those people who chose to follow Him. This event was prophesied many years before. An example is from the prophet Ezekiel: “And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” (Ezekiel 36:27) Throughout His earthly ministry Jesus had talked about how after He departed that God the Holy Spirit would come (John 15:26). Starting today and over the coming few days we will look at the Holy Spirit and into the book of Acts seeing how the Holy Spirit worked within and through the early Church. Let's look together! Click or tap here to download this podcast as a mp3


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Bible Thought - WOW Word - Heaven

Heaven What is heaven like? People, both believers and non-believers have an opinion about Heaven! To some its where everybody will meet up after death providing they weren't too bad in this earthly life! The caricature of the comedians is that heaven will be floating around on clouds and playing a harp! So what does the Bible, the foundation for all serious Christian thought, have to say about heaven? Physical Place: The first thing to say is that Heaven is a physical place! The Bible describes Heaven as a House (John 14:2); a Kingdom (Matthew 25:34); Paradise (2 Corinthians 12:2-4); Holy City (Revelation 21:2)!. These are all descriptions of Heaven's physical properties! Characteristics: Now, look & listen at all these characteristics the Bible offers about heaven! Joy (Luke 15v7-10); Rest (Revelation 14:13); Peace (Luke 16:19-25); Righteousness (2 Peter 3:12); Service (Revelation 7:15); Reward (Matthew 5:11-12); Inheritance (1 Peter 1:4); Glory (Romans 8:17-18). No sitting around on clouds there - for instance: service implies working! Who is it for and who can enter? Who is it prepared for and who can enter Heaven? It is for all those recorded in the Book of Life (Malachi 3:16-18; Philippians 4:3); the Righteous (Matthew 5:20); the obedient (Revelation 22:14) and those who are declared holy (Revelation 19v8). People enter heaven through giant gates of pearl (Revelation 21:21). A pearl is formed as an oyster suffers, covering a grain of irritating sand, until the irritation ceases. Now what do you think the suffering was that created these giant pearls that are the gates? It can only be the cross and the incredible suffering and pain that Jesus endured upon it. It is only through the death of Jesus on the cross that you can be declared holy and righteous! Only those who have been declared holy will be able to stand in the presence of Almighty God! Christian Attitude As a Christian Disciple, your current attitude towards heaven should be to desire (2 Corinthians 5:2-8), eagerly keep watch for (2 Peter 3:12) and to put your treasure there (Luke 12:32)! We also see from the Bible that Heaven is prepared, and a pure place! Prepared: Jesus promised us "I am going to build a place for you" (John 14:1-4). Jesus has been working on heaven for almost 2000 years!! Jesus has prepared a place for those who love Him, trust Him and obey Him as King. He is expecting us, wanting to lavish His love upon us. Pure: Heaven is also a pure place (Revelation 21:1-4). Today we all suffer in some way. When our King returns, no more will man's inhumanity to man be allowed. No more pain. No more death. No more suffering. No more sin. Perfection attained and it is to the glory of an Almighty and merciful God, that this will occur. What does this mean now? All this doesn't mean you are not to be so heavenly minded, that you are of no earthly use. Rather, you are not to be so earth bound, that you are not tied to Jesus in your eternal home - heaven! Won't you tell somebody today, about heaven and how they can get there with you? Q1. Read Luke 10:20. How can I help others to have their names written in Heaven? Q2. Read 2 Peter 3:12. How am I looking forward to Heaven? Q3. Read Revelation 2:7-11. What do I need to in order to be an “overcomer?” Right mouse click or tap here to save this Podcast as a MP3.


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Bible Thought - Doctrine

Doctrine Paul writes in Titus 2:1: “You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. “ The word ‘doctrine’ in a lot of places is unfashionable. They say that doctrine belongs to a time gone by, and that new experiences of God and miracles from God are all that matters. Some churches teach only what they think people want to hear, tickling the ears instead of exposing them to biblical truth led by the Holy Spirit and therefore stirring them into living transformed lives for Jesus Christ. What is Doctrine? The words translated as “doctrine” are found frequently in the letters written by Paul, primarily 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus. The original words are didache (the act of teaching) and didaskalia (that which is taught). They are used fifteen times and are translated as doctrine. Doctrine is the study of God. For Christians, our doctrine is revealed through the pages of the Bible. The more you as a Christian learn about the God you have chosen to follow, the more you will be able to deal with the daily pressures of living in a world who does not want to know about God. You will continue learning and understanding the very nature of God and therefore be wise in your actions and reactions to conflict and circumstances. You will continue to develop the relationship between yourself and the God you serve. Doctrine is for all Christians, regardless of education, time of knowing the God personally and status within your church. Indeed, everybody, Christian or not, have doctrines whether they want to have a doctrine of belief or not – that includes atheists who have a doctrine of non-belief! Doctrine Matters So, for all people, Christians particularly, doctrine matters. Doctrine matters because what you believe about God, ultimately affects how you will behave. If as a Christian you have solid, biblical doctrine being practised in your life, you will be living a life of total obedience to Jesus Christ. For Christians are to hunger and thirst after righteousness (Matthew 5:6) and this only comes through the continuing work of the indwelling Holy Spirit. As the mind is renewed and transformed (Romans 12:1) with teaching about Jesus Christ, what the mind learns is put into practice, and your life is being transformed into the image of Jesus Christ. People will start asking you about the reason for the hope you hold onto. That way the Gospel and Good News of Jesus Christ is spread. This hope is also an unending hope, which will enable you to endure to the end and run the race marked out for you. Finally, learning solid doctrine is important is so that you will be able to discern true Apostolic & biblical teaching from the false teaching of heretics and those who want to lead you astray from the truth. Experiences and miracles are important, but to base your Christian life upon them, and not on solid biblical doctrine, produces a rollercoaster effect and not the constant reliance on the indwelling Holy Spirit for direction, guidance and trust. Click or Tap here to listen to or save this as an audio mp3 file~ You can now purchase our Partakers books! Please do click or tap here to visit our Amazon site! Click or tap on the appropriate link below to subscribe, share or download our iPhone App!


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Issues Facing Christians Today - Materialism

Materialism 1 John 2:15-17, the Apostle John writing: "Don't love the world's ways. Don't love the world's goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world-wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important-has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out-but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity. " I wonder what you think is quite possibly one of the greatest challenges to the Christian Disciple standing alone and being faithful to God in the twenty first century? I want to propose to you that this threat is the temptation of materialism, or to be materialistic. This is where following Jesus' command to follow Him, take up the cross for ourselves becomes practical. This is where loving God and loving others becomes difficult. Materialism grips both the Church community and also Christian Disciples if it is allowed. Eschewing and casting off materialism will see Christian Disciples who are radical by the very society, which we are trying to win for Jesus. What is materialism? Every person has in differing quantities: possessions and money. These things, in and of themselves, are not evil. It is however our reaction and attitudes toward them that causes us to be seduced in this area. Materialism is a reliance on possessions, money people or even the church, as our ultimate objects of trust, instead of God. The Apostle John writing in 1 John 2v16 gives a very accurate picture of materialism: "lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life." That, brother and sisters, is materialism! A Particular Sin If there were to be a particular sin that marks our generation, especially in the West, then it would be this sin of materialism and the worship of money, objects and people. Every day hundreds of thousands of people die from lack of food, water, clothing and shelter. For each of us in the West, these things are taken for granted. When we feel like a change of house or location, we just move. The whole Christian community is one that reflects the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Spirit. The Church is to be a community where the strongest members support the weakest members. Where one member of the Christian community suffers and hurts, the whole Christian community suffers and hurts! This applies not only to the local church in a local community context, but also to the universal Church and therefore has a national and international context as well. Too often as Christians we are found turning a blind eye to the suffering of others where the bare necessities of life are in sparse existence. Too often we gather possessions and people, instead of giving up our time and money generously to help the poor and needy of both our local and global communities. When one member of the universal body of Christ is hurting, the whole body hurts! So what? As Christian Disciples living in the world of the twenty first century, where wealth is seen as a sign of success, the cult of celebrity is rife and where family, morals, ethics, community and God have taken a back seat, how should a Christian Disciple respond to materialism? A lot of Churches measure their success solely by the number of members in the congregations or by how much money goes into the offering pot each week. However, not just good things grow. Islam measures its success on the so-called growth in those who would consider themselves a Muslim. It is probably the fastest growing religion in Australia. However, every gardener will tell you that even weeds grow! So counting numbers is not the best way to measure success. The measure of a successful Christian Disciple can be seen in thee verses from 1 John 2:15-17. The Apostle John writing: "Don't love the world's ways. Don't love the world's goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the...


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Issues Facing Christians Today – Be Radical

Be Radical Luke writes of the early church in Acts 2:42-47 "All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need..." then onto v47 "And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." 1. The Purpose of the Church First of all, the purpose of the church! The church, we know, is described as the body, bride and temple of Jesus Christ. We, the church, are to be as Jesus Christ and fulfilling His purposes! From the Bible, we can see at least 5 purposes of the church. Every church is to at least have those 5 things as its purpose. Your church is to exist, not for those who belong to it but also for those outside its walls! If the church gets the balance wrong at all, then surely it is failing in all of its purposes! One of the key things for churches in the 21st century is in the area of providing welfare, both for its members and those in the local and global community. Too often churches and its members have fallen into the ideological trap of consumer-based materialism. There is a saying that God helps those who help themselves. I want to tell you that that is clearly unbiblical. As a Christian and a church, you are to help those who cannot help themselves. After all that's what God through Jesus Christ did - helped those who couldn't help themselves! The church is to provide welfare for all on all levels - physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual. Too often the church only concentrates on one or two of those areas. 2. What will you say? Judged accordingly! And in fulfilling those purposes, we will be judged! We are aware, I am sure, that God will judge all people for their sin. That is clear within the Bible. But did you know that there is to be a judgement for all those who profess to follow Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour? It will not be a judgement for sins and wickedness, because for Christian followers, those have already been judged when Jesus Christ died on the cross (Isaiah 53v4-6; 1 Peter 2v24)! Of that you have been declared innocent and accepted by the Lord Jesus Christ, as you have accepted His free offer of forgiveness! However, you and I will be judged for what we have done with our gifts and talents!. We will all give an account of ourselves to God, if we profess to be Christian and a follower of Jesus Christ (Romans 14:10), and will be judged according to what we have done with what we have been given (2 Corinthians 5:10). The quality of our work will be tested (1 Corinthians 3:11-15), and our motives will be exposed. Exposed as to whether things were done for God's glory (1 Corinthians 4:4-5) or for our own glory. As we give account of the opportunities and abilities entrusted to us (Matthew 25:14-30), rewards may be gained or lost (1 Corinthians 3:14-15). Rewards such as the Incorruptible crown (1 Corinthians 9:25); the Crown of glory (1 Peter 5:4); Crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4v8); Crown of rejoicing (1 Thessalonians 2:19) and the Crown of life (James 1:12). Therefore, do all you can for the glory of God the Father, as you submit to the Son Jesus Christ in the power of God the Holy Spirit! Go and help your church fulfil those 5 purposes of its existence: to glorify God, build and equip, to reach out and provide spiritual and physical welfare for all people within its community and beyond. Don't wait to do it, take every opportunity to do it! How do we go about this? Let me suggest two ways to be radical: radical care and radical finances! Radically caring: Too often people in need, are shown care and concern for a little while, but gradually as time goes on, the caring ceases. All sorts of excuses are given, but in reality, there can be no excuse or reason for not caring. Not caring means not loving. Love is to be for all people, regardless of personalities, conflicts, opinions, gender, sexuality, prejudice and bias. Lots of people leave churches and house groups, through the back door, because...


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Issues Facing Christians Today - Guidance

Guidance Perhaps this is one of the questions that Christians ask at one time or another: "How does God guide me?" Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take." Isaiah 6:8: "Then I heard the Lord asking, "Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?" I said, "Here I am. Send me." When Jesus Christ called you personally and said: "Follow Me!" and you responded "YES, Lord!" that was the start of a beautiful relationship between the Living God and yourself. Perhaps the most common question all Christian Disciples ask is "How can I know God's will and His guidance?" Now of course, being active in prayer and studying the Bible play major roles, in this and they are assured ways of building the relationship between God and yourself. We will discover that are other aspects to be considered about being guided, and discerning what is God's will for you and I. These involve being controlled by the Holy Spirit, through counsel and circumstances and through making wise decisions. 1. Controlled by the Holy Spirit So firstly, the Christian Disciple is guided by being controlled by the Holy Spirit. Another way to say this is by submitting to the Spirit's leading. Fundamental to being guided by the Spirit, is for you and I to be filled with the Spirit and to keep on being filled with the Spirit, or controlled by the Spirit. When the Spirit is quenched (1 Thessalonians 5:19) or grieved (Ephesians 4:30), then the Spirit no long has control of you and I. In order to allow the Spirit control of us, we need to resubmit ourselves to God! It is a good daily practice for you and I to do the following on a daily basis. Additionally, part of being controlled by the Holy Spirit, the Christian Disciple is to yield to Him. Romans 6:13 and James 4:7 command this. In yielding to the Holy Spirit, the body (1 Corinthians 6:20) and mind (Romans 12:1-2) are given to Him sacrificially for the glory of Jesus Christ. Both the body and the mind are yielded, because the body activates what is conceived in the mind. It is a total dedication of all thoughts, plans and actions into God's hands and the seeking of His divine wisdom. Being guided by the Holy Spirit is illustrated in Acts 16:6-10 where Paul and his group of people acted quickly! "Paul and his companions went to Phrygia, and then on through the region of Galatia. Their plan was to turn west into Asia province, but the Holy Spirit blocked that route. So they went to Mysia and tried to go north to Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus wouldn't let them go there either. Proceeding on through Mysia, they went down to the seaport Troas. That night Paul had a dream: A Macedonian stood on the far shore and called across the sea, "Come over to Macedonia and help us!" The dream gave Paul his map. We went to work at once getting things ready to cross over to Macedonia. All the pieces had come together. We knew now for sure that God had called us to preach the good news to the Europeans." 2. Counsel and Circumstances Additionally to submitting to the Holy Spirit, other people and circumstances are also great helps in regards to guidance. Proverbs 24 reminds us that: "The wise are mightier than the strong, and those with knowledge grow stronger and stronger. So don't go to war without wise guidance; victory depends on having many advisers. Wisdom is too lofty for fools. Among leaders at the city gate, they have nothing to say." We may not be going into physical war, but seeking the advice of others in trying to understand God's guidance, plays an important role in deciding God's will in the life of the Christian Disciple. When seeking the advice of others, we should bear in mind that the person should be a reliable, godly and faithful servant of God - and know us well. As Proverbs 25:19 says "Putting confidence in an unreliable person in times of trouble is like chewing...


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Issues Facing Christians Today - Christians and culture

Christians and culture Cultures from around this world are individual, unique and diverse. Have you ever noticed how people from different countries greet each other? Those from Latin America, will kiss each other on the cheeks. Australians will shake each other firmly by the hand, punch each other on the arm, say "G'day" and proceed to jokingly insult each other. English people, however, shake each other by the hand limply, take a step back, start to talk about the weather and look for the nearest queue to join! Americans greet each other with a hug, take a step back, talk to each other and once the other person has left, promptly forget the other person's name. Yet other people from other nations say hello by bowing or even by sucking mouths! All these are generalisations! So we see that from many different cultures from over 200 countries on this planet, there are many differences - rich in variety and stark in contrast! And that is why we have come together - gathered from many different traditions and cultures, to both see and show brief cultural insights. If we were to take a more indepth look into a culture that is different from our own, we would see in it, both likes and dislikes and also similarities. The things that are acceptable to me in a cultural sense, may well shock you, because of your cultural upbringing. Some of what we are as people is because of the culture we were born into and raised within. Take for example, an El Salvadorian wedding, where the husband at the post-service reception places his wife's left leg on a chair, discreetly lift her dress to the upper thigh and proceeds to pull her garter off with his teeth! This is in front of everybody! He then throws the garter to a gathered group of single men, all eagerly waiting to catch it! Now if you are offended by this, it is probably because of your upbringing in a culture, where at a wedding, which is not the done thing. Somehow I can't see this happening in a Japanese wedding, in case it was deemed offensive, particularly to the guests! But just because something is different from your own culture, does not necessarily mean that it is wrong. Our cultural heritage and upbringing affects our ethics, lifestyle, family values, and worldview and so on. Culture also has a place and a say in our religion. Some cultures insist that you follow a particularly religion out of respect for tradition, whether that is nominal Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism Islam, Zionism, Taoism, Shintoism, Spiritism or any other ‘ism' which is your cultural norm. Sometimes there are severe pressures and penalties to pay if you want to change your religion, say to Christianity from Islam. Now I am a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ. I believe that Jesus, was, is and always will be God! So what does Jesus have to say about culture and cultural differences? Jesus kept all the cultural tradition, as a good Jewish man that did not affect his own personal holiness and offend those to whom he engaged in a cross-cultural exchange. Whether it was a Roman centurion; a Canaanite woman; Samaritans; Greeks or other cultures, Jesus was always sensitive to their particular problems regardless of his cultural traditions, taught to him about not touching or talking to foreigners, women, sick and poor people. He continually broke the traditional cultural religious taboos, by doing these things, and that is one of the reasons that Jewish authorities hated him and plotted to kill him. That is ok, you might be thinking if you are not a follower of Jesus. You may well be thinking that I am a Christian because I was bought up in a Christian country and it is your cultural tradition to follow this Jesus. But if you are thinking that, then maybe you are also thinking that Jesus is only for Jews and those in the West where Christianity is the normal religion. You may also be thinking that Christianity is not for you because your tradition and culture say that you must follow another religion. I...


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Psalm On Demand - Psalm 1

Psalm 1 1 Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. 2 But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. 3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do. 4 But not the wicked! They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind. 5 They will be condemned at the time of judgment. Sinners will have no place among the godly. 6 For the Lord watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction. Click or Tap here to listen to or save this as an audio mp3 file


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Issues Facing Christians Today - Chocolate Christianity!

How not to be a Chocolate Christian or How to change Ch-rch to Church! Have you ever noticed that chocolate melts under pressure & heat? If you haven't, take a piece of chocolate and hold it between your fingers! It will soon melt! If you are a Christian, you need to be active in your local church so that you don't melt under pressure and you will remain firm in your faith! Otherwise you will be a chocolate Christian who easily gives up under the stress and pressure of every day life!At a church local to where you live, you are needed regardless of who you are!Perhaps this is you? But why should you be involved? Why? You have talents to be used!! When Jesus said to His apostles "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father." (John 14:12), it was through the promised Holy Spirit (John 14:17), and the impartation of Spiritual Gifts that His words were fulfilled. The reason that the Holy Spirit imparts spiritual gifts to Christians is so that the body of Christ is built up (Ephesians 4:12), for the common good of the church (1Corinthians 12:7, 14:12) and "so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 4:12). These three reasons signify that God wants Christians to be active in service and not still like stagnant water. That is why we have been given gifts and if these gifts are not used for God's purposes, then they are utterly useless and meaningless. And the gifts are not just the supposedly spectacular gifts but also the supposedly mundane! Cleaning is as much a spiritual gift as preaching is! As we are not to neglect our gifts, or let other Christians neglect their gifts, we are to fan the gifts into flame (2 Timothy1:6). Much like blowing on embers and stirring them up will restart the flames of a fire! To do this, as Christians, we are to employ the gifts faithfully and by asking God to continue their development, strengthening and for opportunities to use them! Seek gifts that build up others, commands Paul (1 Corinthians 14:1-12). Ask God faithfully for gifts that give opportunity for service to God and others! Why? We are dependent on each other As Christians, we are dependent upon each other, just as one part of the human body has dependence on another part. That is why we serve each other and use the gifts generously given by God. As all Christians have gifts, we have a responsibility to discover and develop them (1 Timothy 4:14)! God has called Christians and equipped them with spiritual gifts, and they are not to be neglected! You are a member of the body of Jesus Christ the church! If you are not being active that means the Church body is affected aversely! Its like a part of your body failing to do as it should! Why? Improve your serve! They are opportunities for Christians to serve other people. Some gifts like teaching, helping or leadership quite possibly are enhancements of natural abilities whilst others like faith, healing and miracles are from the Spirit's empowerment alone.In the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30), Jesus intimates that those who follow Him, will be judged according to all that they have been given stewardship of! This includes things such as Spiritual Gifts (1 Corinthians 12:1-10), acts of service (Galatians 5:13) and material possessions (2 Corinthians 9:6-8)! These are used to accomplish three other items of Stewardship: mission, message and people. Why? To follow Jesus The Christian life is not to be static or inactive - it was never meant to be! The Christian life is to be dynamic! It is to be active. The word servant is key in Scripture. It is used at least 500 times in its various derivatives. When a Christian serves, God's honour is released. This is done because service shows the beauty and glory of Jesus Christ to those being served and to those watching. That is to be our motive for service. Serving is never to be about what you and...


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Issues Facing Christians Today - Individualism

Individualism The Apostle Paul writing in Philippians 2:3-4 "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." And finally, the Apostle Peter writing in 1 Peter 5:5-6 "All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time." Individualism Contrast those values to those of the twenty first century society, where morality can be summed up in this kind of attitude: "The more you care for others, the more they will care for you." So look after the interests of others and you will also be looked after. In other words everyone is on level parity and there is total equality within society. In some of the more narcissistic and cynical parts of society, there is no other, the order is "me, me and more me and I am far more important and higher than anyone else". Individualism is where the individual's importance is placed higher than all others and is imbued with self-reliance and personal independence. Even when help and compassion are offered, so often there are strings attached and hoops to be jumped through. If you do this, we will do this for you. And sadly, it is not just within society that this exists, but also within the church and amongst Christians. It is as if we are denying the basic rule of compassion and mercy, which dictates that we are to be serving others, because they are also humans created in the image of God, loved by God and so should be loved unconditionally by those who proclaim to be God's people - the Church. Denying that basic need to others is pure unadulterated selfishness and places others below our own selves. Individualism within the church, lends itself to hypocritical behaviour and attitudes, which are inconsistent with Scripture and behaviour. Individualism, where you as an individual are placed at the front of the queue, is not loving others and not considering others higher than yourself. It certainly could not be construed as serving other people to always place your own desires above all others. There is an old acronym JOY - Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last. Relationship The basic aspect of love is that it involves relationship, so therefore there must be more than one person involved. God is love, and is a trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If God were not Trinity then God could not also be love. The church community is meant to be a radical community of service and love, which is a reflection of the Trinitarian God. Being part of a radical community of service and love would mean the Church going back to basics. The Church needs individuals to be living radical lifestyles of devotion to Jesus Christ, engaging with the culture, counting the cost of discipleship and reflecting true humanity. But being an individual in community involves much more than merely being an individual in isolation. Christians are to be involved within communities, and not as isolationists. So what does a radical Christian community of individuals look like? Creative Community Firstly, the church needs to be a community that is seen to be radical by the surrounding society. At Pentecost, the church began when the Holy Spirit filled the Disciples (Acts 2v4). This momentous occasion started the Discipleship process of how Christians were to live as God's people. The hallmarks of this community were commitment and transformation. This community was radical. It was where people's lives were being changed as the Holy Spirit filled them. Instead of being a withdrawn people filled with fear of retribution from the Roman government and Jewish leaders, they became a people filled with boldness and joy. The New Testament church grew by being a radical community imbued with radical individuals...


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Issues Facing Christians Today - Government

Government In the UK, when we have a General Election, that is where people vote for their political representatives. After al the votes are counted there will be a government elected! This of course, is not unique to the UK! All people all over the world live under some from of leadership or government. That government may be democratically elected, a monarchy or even an oppressive dictatorship. Whatever kind of government we find ourselves with, we have one! If there was not a government in place, as hard as it is to imagine, total chaos would reign and people would just do whatever pleases them, regardless of consequences and regardless of other people. Therefore, regardless of whatever government we live under, what does the Bible say should be our reaction and attitude to the government. By government, I mean all levels of government and authority - from local authority to federal government. But first of all, lets look at what the Bible has to say about the function of human government, before going on to look at our responsibility to Government and our community. The Function of Human Government Paul writing in Romans 13 "Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honour, then honour." Here Paul indicates that there are at least three functions of a human government: protection, punishment and promotion. Christian Response to Human Government Paul in 1 Timothy 2:1-3 writes: "I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Saviour," The Apostle Peter goes further when writing in 1 Peter 2v13-17 "Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honour the king." From these passages of Scripture we see that it is clearly impossible to be simultaneously a solid Christian and a poor citizen. As Christians we have responsibilities to our government. Community Responsibility But just as we have responsibility to our Government, we also have a responsibility for those in our community - both local and global. We are also to work for social justice and be involved in social action - that's part of our loving of other people. The oppression and persecution of people is to be anathema to us as Christians, just as it is to our God! Where a minority is maltreated and discriminated we should be at the forefront of demanding justice for all! We are to be promoting civil rights and using all...


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Bible Reading - Psalms 41 to 45

Psalm 41 to Psalm 45 Often we hear the Psalms one by one, but today we offer you the chance to hear a group of Psalms read as a collection! Psalm 41 For the director of music. A psalm of David. 1 Blessed are those who have regard for the weak; the LORD delivers them in times of trouble. 2 The LORD protects and preserves them – they are counted among the blessed in the land – he does not give them over to the desire of their foes. 3 The LORD sustains them on their sick-bed and restores them from their bed of illness. 4 I said, ‘Have mercy on me, LORD; heal me, for I have sinned against you.’ 5 My enemies say of me in malice, ‘When will he die and his name perish?’ 6 When one of them comes to see me, he speaks falsely, while his heart gathers slander; then he goes out and spreads it around. 7 All my enemies whisper together against me; they imagine the worst for me, saying, 8 ‘A vile disease has afflicted him; he will never get up from the place where he lies.’ 9 Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me. 10 But may you have mercy on me, LORD; raise me up, that I may repay them. 11 I know that you are pleased with me, for my enemy does not triumph over me. 12 Because of my integrity you uphold me and set me in your presence for ever. , 13 Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen. Psalm 42 For the director of music. A maskil of the Sons of Korah. 1 As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, ‘Where is your God?’ 4 These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng. 5 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God. 6 My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon – from Mount Mizar. 7 Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. , 8 By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me – a prayer to the God of my life. , 9 I say to God my Rock, ‘Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?’ 10 My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, ‘Where is your God?’ , 11 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God. Psalm 43 1 Vindicate me, my God, and plead my cause against an unfaithful nation. Rescue me from those who are deceitful and wicked. 2 You are God my stronghold. Why have you rejected me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy? 3 Send me your light and your faithful care, let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell. 4 Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God. 5 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God. Psalm 44 For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A maskil. 1 We have heard it with our ears, O God; our ancestors have told us what you did in their days, in days long ago. 2 With your hand you drove out the nations and planted our ancestors; you crushed the peoples and made our ancestors flourish. 3 It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them. 4 You are my King and my God, who decrees victories for Jacob. 5 Through you we push back our enemies; through your name we trample our foes. 6 I put no trust in my...


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Bible Reading - Psalms 1 to 5

Psalm 1 to Psalm 5 Often we hear the Psalms one by one, but today we offer you the chance to hear a group of Psalms read as a collection! Psalm 1 1 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, 2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. 3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers. 4 Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. 6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction. Psalm 2 1 Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? 2 The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, 3 ‘Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.’ 4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. 5 He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, 6 ‘I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.’ 7 I will proclaim the Lord’s decree: He said to me, ‘You are my son; today I have become your father. 8 Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. 9 You will break them with a rod of iron; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.’ 10 Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. 11 Serve the Lord with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling. 12 Kiss his son, or he will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him. Psalm 3 A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom. 1 Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! 2 Many are saying of me, ‘God will not deliver him.’ 3 But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. 4 I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. 5 I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. 6 I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side. 7 Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. 8 From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people. Psalm 4 For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm of David. 1 Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer. 2 How long will you people turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods? 3 Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him. 4 Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. 5 Offer the sacrifices of the righteous and trust in the Lord. 6 Many, Lord, are asking, ‘Who will bring us prosperity?’ Let the light of your face shine on us. 7 Fill my heart with joy when their grain and new wine abound. 8 In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 5 For the director of music. For pipes. A psalm of David. 1 Listen to my words, Lord, consider my lament. 2 Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. 3 In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. 4 For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness; with you, evil people are not welcome. 5 The arrogant cannot stand in your presence. You hate all who do wrong; 6 you destroy those who tell lies. The bloodthirsty and deceitful you, Lord, detest. 7 But I, by your great love, can come into your house; in reverence I bow down towards your holy temple. 8 Lead me, Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies – make your way straight before me. 9 Not a...


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Christian Response to Mormonism 4

Mormonism - Part 4 Temple Rituals. The Mormon Temple with its secret rituals and chants is the very centre of Mormonism Every Mormon who expects to become a ‘god’ in the world to come must be married in the eternal marriage ceremony. Whatever marriage has been entered previously is not counted. Following the entry into the temple males and females are separated. They remove all their clothes and replace them with a garment which is known as a shield. This is a loose fitting white garment. Their own clothes are then locked away and the key is pinned onto the shield garment. The temple assistants proceed to lay their hands on different parts of the candidates bodies invoking a blessing upon each part. The head is washed so that the brain and intellect can function correctly, the eyes that they may see clearly especially that which is spiritual. Other private parts are touched and blessed so that they may produce healthy offspring. Following this ceremony a special undergarment is placed upon the body which must never be removed for it has special magical properties. Masonic Handshakes were introduced into temple rites by Joseph Smith in 1842. The oaths include: A further ceremony is held for those who want marriage in heaven. They have to place their hand through a slit in the curtain to be gripped by a man the other side representing God. They make vows and enter into a spiritual marriage agreement. By making commitment by word of mouth they are allowed to to enter beyond the curtain. May I recommend for further reading ‘History and beliefs of Mormonism by Einer Anderson published by Kregal publications. Changes And Contradictions Things to note But even these books contradict each other. How? They differ on whether God was spirit or had flesh. Whether God is pleased with polygamy or not? Why these contradictions? A simple answer is that these books are not inspired by God but by people. What Does The Bible Say? If prophecies do not come truer then the prophet is false. Investigation proves that Mormon prophecies have a 100% failure rate. One of their statements of faith is extraordinary. “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly, we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God"" The Accuracy Of The Bible In Contrast Psalm 12:6 The psalmist writes “The word of the Lord is flawless like silver refined in a furnace of clay purified seven times” Another statement of the Mormon faith reads “We believe man can be saved by the keeping of the law” Yet the Bible in Romans 3:20; reads “ No one will be declared righteous by the keeping of the law” Mormons teach that Jesus has not always been God. Yet the Bible teaches that He has always been the Son of God. There is much more teaching which conflict with the Scriptures. Which sounds the more authentic? Traditional Christianity based on Holy Scripture alone or the writings and beliefs of Joseph Smith? Right mouse click here to download as a MP3 audio file


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Bible Reading - Psalm 141

Psalm 141 A psalm of David. 1-2 God, come close. Come quickly! Open your ears-it's my voice you're hearing! Treat my prayer as sweet incense rising; my raised hands are my evening prayers. 3-7 Post a guard at my mouth, God, set a watch at the door of my lips. Don't let me so much as dream of evil or thoughtlessly fall into bad company. And these people who only do wrong- don't let them lure me with their sweet talk! May the Just One set me straight! May the Kind One correct me! Don't let sin anoint my head. I'm praying hard against their evil ways! Oh, let their leaders be pushed off a high rock cliff; make them face the music. Like a rock pulverized by a maul, let their bones be scattered at the gates of hell. 8-10 But God, dear Lord, I only have eyes for you. Since I've run for dear life to you, take good care of me. Protect me from their evil scheming, from all their demonic subterfuge. Let the wicked fall flat on their faces, while I walk off without a scratch. (From the Message) Click or Tap here to listen to or save this as an audio mp3 file You can also click or tap here to visit this page on our site and download all Psalms as CD quality MP3 ~ You can now purchase our Partakers books! Please do click or tap here to visit our Amazon site!


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Christian Response to Mormonism 3

Mormonism - Part 3 Teachings contrary to the Bible What are some of the teaching of Mormonism which differ from biblical Christianity? 1. They teach an addition to the Genesis account of the beginnings of mankind. The book of Mormon reads "A god and a goddess on another planet had a spirit called Elohim who was born into this world and because he obeyed the Mormon teaching became a god like his father. He eventually left this world and took a number of wives on another planet. Two spiritual children were born and were named Jesus and Lucifer. A discussion took place and it was decided by Lucifer that he thought all human beings be compelled to become gods. Jesus however objected. He said there ought to be free choice. Lucifer rebelled and took a third of the angels on his side. Because of this action they were cast out of heaven and into the earth and were not allowed to take human form. Those angels who had remained neutral in the battle of heaven became the black people of this world and were cursed by true Mormons. Those who fought against Lucifer were called the ‘Light Ones' and were born into the Mormon families. Elohim and one of his wives returned to this world and became Adam and Eve to begin the human race. Thousands of years later Elohim returned and went to the house of Mary and had intercourse with her to enable Jesus to come into the world in a ‘human' body. Later when Jesus grew up into manhood He took three wives, Mary, Martha and Mary Magdalene. He supposedly had a physical relationship with them and several children were born to them. Then He was crucified and following the resurrection returned to America to tell the Indians that they were Israel. A great battle then took place between the black and white until one white remained, his name was Moroni and he hid the history of their people on GOLD PLATES (You will remember I spoke of these same plates being supposedly shown to Joseph Smith by Moroni in the early part of this booklet). Many Mormons today do believe that these events did take place. 2. How Different Does The Bible Speak Of Those Early Times? Consider this. When we read the Genesis account concerning Adam and Eve the first created beings on the face of this earth, we see the way they were tricked into believing the serpent's words recorded for us in (chapter three.). They had been warned off it but the serpent tricked them into believing they would miss out if they didn't eat from the forbidden tree. They would lack wisdom and knowledge. Note how subtle the Serpent and how they both gave in to their own selfish appetites and rebellious spirits and as a result missed out so much on the blessings of God. Would you not agree that it seems people are only too ready to believe a lie when prosperity is offered to them? Joseph Smith's teachings had been very much on prosperity and gaining materially. At least that is how it comes across to me as I have delved into Mormon origins and the teachings given to them especially from the Book of Mormon The Genesis account doesn't need to be changed it tells us all we need to know and the teaching becomes blasphemous when Scripture is added to and changed in regard to the origins of Jesus and how he came into the world. The Mormons teaching removes fundamental truth from God's Word.. It makes Jesus a person less than the Son of God and in competition with the devil rather than the Sovereign Lord which indeed the Scriptures show him clearly to be. Any other book that disagrees with the Bible teaching is to be treated as anathema and not to be taken note of. The Bible is sufficient in itself and needs no backing up from any other source. 3. Some key Mormon beliefs 1. Mormons believe that all men will be resurrected but only Mormons will enter the third heaven where God is. 2. The Book of Mormon is on an equal footing with the Bible 3. God the Eternal Father was once a mortal man who became God. 4. A person will be judged by their works 5. Redemption can only be...


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Bible Reading - Psalm 139

Psalm 139 For the choir director: A psalm of David. 1 O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. 2 You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I'm far away. 3 You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. 4 You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. 5 You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand! ~ 7 I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! 8 If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the deepest hell, you are there. 9 If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, 10 even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. 11 I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night- 12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you. ~ 13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. 14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous-how well I know it. 15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. 16 You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. 17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! 18 I can't even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me! ~ 19 O God, if only you would destroy the wicked! Get out of my life, you murderers! 20 They blaspheme you; your enemies misuse your name. 21 O Lord, shouldn't I hate those who hate you? Shouldn't I despise those who oppose you? 22 Yes, I hate them with total hatred, for your enemies are my enemies. 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Right mouse click to save/download this Psalm as a MP3 file You can now purchase our books! Please do click here to visit our Amazon site!


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Christian Response to Mormonism 2

Mormonism - Part 2 Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism. Joseph Smith was the son of parents who were into selling blessings and fortune telling. Joseph himself had quite a reputation for telling tall stories. He was born in 1805 and at the age of fourteen was said to have had a divine visit from an angel and warned to have nothing to do with the established church. Visit from Moroni! Joseph was then supposed to have received a further visit from an angel whose name he said was Moroni. who gave him instructions to go to a certain place named Palmyra where he would receive a very special revelation from God. He would be told where to find some special gold plates with very special writing on. The writing would be in Egyptian so he would not have understood with out some kind of aid. Fortunately there just to the side of the gold plates were a pair of spectacles (glasses) and when Joseph looked through those glasses at the writing he would see it translated into his own language. In 1827 Joseph Smith began to dictate from behind a curtain to three men who acted as his scribes as he read from those gold plates using those special glasses I referred to earlier. Beginnings of the Book of Mormon When completed, these writings were formed into a book and when printed was called "The Book of Mormon." Then it is said that Moroni the angel returned, collected the plates as well as the glasses and disappeared again. In 1830 Joseph Smith started the Mormon Church or The Church of the Latter Day Saints as it is also known. It is only fair to point out at this stage that this book of Mormon which is given as high a place as the Bible in the Mormon Church was produced at the same time as a historic novel written by a man by the name of Spaulding. He had been a Presbyterian preacher who eventually died of consumption in a place named Conneaut in Ohio . Before he died he made a great deal of money out of it it as it sold well. The book was called 'Forgotten Tales of the Monk Cyril and the Abbot Joachim'. It is believed that The Book of Mormon is actually the writings found in that book plus some added scriptures. If this is the case then it doesn't enhance the man Joseph Smith to us as a godly man who had said the writings came from God and received from an angel called Moroni. When his own father questioned him about the writings and wanted to look at the gold plates for himself, Joseph said it was unwise for if he were to look upon them he would surely die. His own wife Emma also helped in writing the book of Mormon as Joseph continued to dictate from the gold plates but never became a part of the Mormon church till many years later. New Revelation Several years on, Polygamy became a regular practice in the Mormon church. What was it that triggered that off you ask?. After all wasn't this Mormon church supposed to be morally sound, a godly fellowship of God's people? Joseph Smith gives us the answer himself. He said it came as a divine revelation to him. No one it seems was prepared to argue with him on that matter that prompted that action. Following Joseph Smith's death, Brigham Young took over as leader. During his lifetime the Mormon Church was forced to obey the laws of the country and not only follow their own rules and codes of practice. You will not be totally surprised to hear of the legacy Brigham Young left behind him when he died. He left 400,000 dollars, seventeen wives, and fifty six children. Polygamy continued to be expressed as the Mormon church said they were only following their interpretation of scriptures relating to Abraham who had many concubines during his life time. More about that in our next study where we will be looking specifically at some of the teachings of the Mormon church especially in relation to the book of Genesis and what they add to the scriptures as well as leave out! Right mouse click here to download as a MP3 audio file