Tag Archives: Signs of the Times

Seeds, weeds and kingdoms

Germinating seeds

In the Holy Scriptures we can find many examples where is spoken about seeds and the soil in which seeds have to grow.

English: Brown Flax Seeds. Français : Graines ...

Brown Flax Seeds. (Linum usitatissimum). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In this time and age we best think about the parable of the the sower, where the sower sows the seeds into different kinds of ground – three bad and one good. Man himself can find out from Scriptures what is meant by those stories Jesus told. Concerning the seed of the sower Jesus tells us (v18-23) – the seed is the Word of God and the different kinds of ground are different responses to the message of the Kingdom.

In our world we hear less spoken about the Word of God and many churches are running empty. For followers of Christ, the religions getting against each other is just one of the many signs we can see that the preaching of the coming Kingdom is of utmost importance, because when it shall be preached all over the world, then the end shall come.

In this world there are lots of people who think they are doing good and others who are convinced they do not have to take care because they are saved under Christ. they may be very mistaken, hoping to enter the Kingdom of God, by not living according to God‘s Laws, missing the entrance to the small gate. All those parables Jesus told should be a warning that it perhaps might not be so easy to enter the Kingdom after all. Many may be called but few reaching the the end goal of the race.

The second parable we have to take at heart is the one about the weeds, where the enemy sows bad weed seeds amongst the good wheat seeds. Again, we are not left guessing as to the meaning – Jesus tells us (v37-43) – the good seed represents the sons of the Kingdom and the bad seed the sons of the devil, i.e. those opposed to the message of the Kingdom who will be ‘weeded’ out of the Kingdom by God’s angels when the Son of Man (Jesus) comes.

Those two are not the only ones in which Jesus talks about seeds.

Birds in the fields and trees

When we look at the fields where seeds are waiting to grow, we can see many birds picking their bits of grains. Now Jesus comes to look where those birds have their habitat. They coming to live in a tree. In the ancient times the men of God also wrote about the birds living in trees, referring to kingdoms.

“The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was food for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the birds of the heavens dwelt in the branches thereof, and all flesh was fed from it.” (Daniel 4:12 ASV)

“it is thou, O king, [Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon]that art grown and become strong; for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth.” (Daniel 4:22 ASV)

“Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a forest-like shade, and of high stature; and its top was among the thick boughs.” (Ezekiel 31:3 ASV)

“All the birds of the heavens made their nests in its boughs; and under its branches did all the beasts of the field bring forth their young; and under its shadow dwelt all great nations.” (Ezekiel 31:6 ASV)

Immature Elm seeds.

Immature Elm seeds. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These first two Old Testament references use that specific language that Jesus picks up on – using the description of trees and perching birds to represent empires and subjects dwelling in them. But the obvious thing to notice is that whereas Jesus is talking about the Kingdom of Heaven, these verses most certainly are not! They are talking about the kingdoms of men! The first is talking about the kingdom of Babylon, which only filled the world with godless rule – and even today its pagan beliefs and teaching still permeate like yeast (many nonChristian and Christian religions can trace their belief system back to ancient Babylon). Assyria was known for its violence and cruelty (see Nahum 3:19) and our days, like the days of Noah, also see a world filled with violence (modern day Assyria / Syria being notable examples).

Kingdoms

It may seem strange to make reference to the kingdoms of men when the parable of the mustard seed is about the Kingdom of Heaven, but then other parables do the same. The parable of the sower begins “the Kingdom of Heaven is like” then talks about the unbelief of people’s hearts and their rejection of the gospel, the parable of the sower begins “the Kingdom of Heaven is like” then talks about the corruption of the gospel finding a temporary place in the harvest field, and the parable of the net begins “the Kingdom of Heaven is like” then describes the existence of the bad fish swimming around in the lake. But then all these parables end with salvation and deliverance, and so also does the last of those three specific Old Testament references.

Ezekiel 17:22-24 “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: ‘I myself will take a shoot from the very top of a cedar and plant it; I will break off a tender sprig from its topmost shoots and plant it on a high and lofty mountain. On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches. All the trees of the field will know that I the LORD bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish.’ I the LORD have spoken and I will do it.”

The encouragement that the parable gives us

Imagine if the parable of the sower just told us that a man went to sow seed, and the seed grew and the crop was good. Imagine if the parable of the weeds just told us that a man planted some seed, and the seed was good, and then harvest came, and harvest was good. Imagine if the parable of the ten virgins wasn’t the parable of the ten virgins – it was the parable of the five virgins and it told us that there were five virgins who went to a wedding and the wedding was good – and that’s it!

Our message of salvation is not just that Jesus will return and all is well. The reality of the world we live in is very dark and very far from what God wants it to be. Even more discouraging is the fact that the very gospel that Jesus gave to enlighten is not believed by so many, and falsehood and the kingdoms of men fill the earth, and we – with the precious truth we possess – are so small and ignored.

Jesus encourages us by reminding us, through the parable of the mustard seed and the Old Testament links, that God is fully aware of how man’s ways rule the world – like Assyria and Babylon in the past. Jesus does not try to divert us by pretending that everything is good right now, but reminds us that God’s plan will become a reality – more real than anything fake we see around us now.

God has told us that He himself will plant His Tree / Kingdom, on the mountain heights of Israel and that all the other trees (nations) will know this and so God will be glorified and vindicated in the end amongst all His opponents, as will all those who keep that precious faith and stick with Him. This is our hope. We are tired of the kingdoms of men around us, imitating the shade and shelter that only God can provide through His Son who has the words of eternal life – and when he comes we will truly find rest under the shade of his branches.

From small to big

Mustard seeds are counted by the smallest seeds but they give us some strong big trees which produce a lot of seeds. Listening to the parable we can imagine us people with some faith like a mustard seed would have not much faith or little faith. But even that little faith can do much. Therefore the one who can sow little faith shall be able to give the  pastures many trees which shall in their turn also create little seeds and multiply enormously.

Even when we do feel we have not so much faith, we should believe in ourselves and proclaim the message of salvation which is given to us. We may have doubts but should know that even with our little faith we shall be able to do much.

“And he saith unto them, Because of your little faith: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” (Matthew 17:20 ASV)

Moving a mountain, it looks ridiculous … but with our little faith if we believe in Christ Jesus as our saviour we shall be able to do much, showing others the Way to God, we shall be able to move mountains, doing lots of work for God. But to do that moving work we need to have the right seed. Unpolluted faith. We also need to use the right fertiliser, the pure Word of God, which we can find in the best store of the the world, the most precious library, the Bible. when we water ourselves every day with it, our seed shall be able to grow. Perhaps we ourself can be such a mustard tree.

The world needs many mustard seeds. There are so many nations, so many places where there is need for birds to find a place to sit in and trees for people to find shadow. It is up to the believers to become the sowers and the gardeners.
It is up to the believers to make it that the seed may be planted in good soil. We have to prepare the earth, we have to fertilise the ground and give the plants enough water so that they can survive in the dry surroundings.

Are you willing to be a sower?

Help us to proclaim the Word of God and to bring the message of salvation, the gospel of the coming Kingdom of God.

It may start very small but finish big, so take the opportunity.

 

Preceding

Seeds of promise

Seeds to be planted soon

Christians remaining hidden not sharing the gospel

An uncovering book to explore

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Additional reading

  1. I have not hidden …
  2. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 4
  3. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  4. Salvation, Baptism and Re-baptism
  5. When not seeing or not finding a biblically sound church
  6. a little church
  7. Slave for people and God

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Further reading

  1. Mustard Seed
  2. Mustard Seeds
  3. Open the Eyes of my Heart
  4. The Gift Of God
  5. Genuine message of salvation
  6. Mustard Seed Faith
  7. A Mustard Seed of Faith
  8. Small start, Big Finish
  9. Faith of A Mustard Seed
  10. Sow and harvests in the garden of your heart
  11. 12 Month Faith Challenge (I Conquer Pt 1)
  12. Daily Mass: Steady growth that starts small. Catholic Inspiration
  13. January 26 – From A Mustard Seed
  14. Today’s Scripture – December 28, 2016
  15. Daily Gospel Reading – Mark 4:26-34
  16. What is the meaning of the Parable of the Mustard Seed?
  17. Moving Mountains
  18. Fear Feels Bigger
  19. As Small as a Mustard Seed
  20. Does Your Faith Make You Eager To Forsake Sin?
  21. Prayer Changes Me
  22. Don’t Say How, Say I Am Yours!
  23. Luke 6:17-19
  24. Luke 13
  25. Measuring Faith
  26. Optimism and the Kingdom of God
  27. Wise Virgins
  28. Conceal, Don’t Feel
  29. Warfare Against the Mustard Seed
  30. Hang On To Your Faith
  31. What You Have is Enough | A Widow’s Mite and Mustard Seed Faith
  32. Increase Our Faith
  33. Busted Mustard Seed
  34. Faith Unwavering
  35. How’s your mustard seed?
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Filed under Being and Feeling, Religious affairs

Coming together in dark days

A few hours before I shall light the first candle at nightfall I shall look at the 1st day of Chanukah but also shall see how many come to celebrate a feast, they also call the feast of light, but has its main day on the birthday of the goddess of light, December 25. Lots of heathen but also lots of Christians shall have little candles in their decorated trees.

In my home the coming days there’ll also be some light, spiritual and literal, to have me thinking of the wonders of the Most High. The Eternal Being have been for ever, having made us in His image, has always been prepared to be there for those who want to be with Him. These present times there may be lots of darkness, violence and hate against each other. The heavenly Creator never created the human beings to go fighting against each other. Those people who claim to be lovers of God, be it Jews, Christians or Muslims, should all feel united under the same umbrella of their Divine Creator. Especially in these darker and colder days of the year we should make more time to come in each others warm houses to feel the generous warmth of solidarity.

It is in those darker days when we do not have to go to work, but can enjoy some free time, that we should bring up remembrances of how we and our ancestors grew up. We must become aware of how our minds get filled with lots of stuff as we grow from baby to adult, and how we are modelled by it. Growing up we come to certain believes and want to follow certain ideas. The beliefs we create are part of what forms our being, but they are also based on our genetic heritage, what other’s tell us, and what we accept as fact based on our experiences.  (Which explains why siblings can be alike or different and also why some twins raised in separate home turn out to have similar tastes and beliefs.)

English: The Byzantine army under Nikephoros P...

English: The Byzantine army under Nikephoros Phokas captures Halep (Berrhoea), Syria, in February 963. Ελληνικά: Κατάληψη του Χαλεπίου (αρχαία Βέρροια) της Συρίας από τον βυζαντινό στρατό του Νικηφόρου Φωκά, Φεβρουάριος 963. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The day that Byzantine troops led by Nicephorus Phocas, who had lead an expedition against the Saracen Emirate of Crete, and stormed Chandax and wrested control of the entire island from the Muslims, in 961 defeated Moslem forces and seized Aleppo, we once more have a picture of a destroyed Aleppo and a ruined city of Mosul.

As the 10th century temporary turn of events could not have been good for the Jews who had been living in Aleppo since Biblical times because it was the Moslem conquest of the city in 636 that removed the disabilities placed on the Jews by the Byzantines. Lots of times the Jews had to face difficulties and many generations had to suffer under persecution, like the ones who found themselves squeezed out of the major cities and ports into the area known as White Russia on  this day in 1791 when Great empress of Russia Russian Yekaterina Velikaya, also known as Catherine II (the Great) created the Pale of Settlement.

When tonight I, like the Jewish troops with General Sherman, who kindle the first light of Chanukah in Savannah, GA. in 1864 (24th of Kislev, 5625) I’ll try to remember the good thing which happened to the Jewish community and the many signs which proof that they are a special blessed people. The world shall have to know that the Jews are the Chosen people who have been promised to reside in a Holy Land. This Holy Land may perhaps be something lots of people will not like to see realised, but the world must know that the Plan of the Most High Maker shall become a reality.

In the ancient books is being told of that Great Plan. Not only Jews know of it; Christians and Muslims are also told about the prospects believers in God may expect. In the Torah the Most High calls people to share the news of a Messiah, a liberator for all. Generally lots of Jews look perhaps at a different Messiah than the Messianic Jews and Christians. Though perhaps because many of the Hebrew people forgot about their Creator, it can well be that This Holy Creator made His call also clear to the goy or goyim. For that reason Christians and Jews should look at each other, know their roots, know their common writings, and should learn from each other how to prepare themselves for the day that Messiah may come or return to this earth for finally bringing to Jerusalem full glory, as the capital of the Kingdom of God here on earth.

Jewish wedding in Aleppo, Syria, 1914.

Jewish wedding in Aleppo, Syria, 1914. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Though thick-skinned the Jews always tried to find a way to survive, never loosing their faith in their Maker and the hope in the promise made to him by their patriarch Abraham. Christians and Muslims today should also know that the Most High spoke about a terrible time, when more natural disasters would come over man, but also where children would come to stand up against their parents, and religions would come to fight against each other. We may well see lots of signs described in the Holy Scriptures as being the sings of the Endtimes.

Not having the pretension to be a spiritual leader or rabbi, but looking at the Torah, I can only come to the impression we have arrived in times that those who really love God should come together, unite and should come to spread the Good News. Lovers of God should spread the love and message of peace. Together they should become strong to help each other in the coming difficult times. By helping each other to come to understand each their way of life and come to see the religious teachings having to grow to a point where they shall be in line with God His teaching and not keeping any more to human dogmatic teachings.

Perhaps not regularly writing here, nor on my own site, I am honoured that I am allowed to share some thoughts from the Holy Scriptures and that I hopefully may show some ways Jews see the world and hold their religion high. By bringing also some news from the Jewish site I do hope this shall shed some light on present and future events and shall bring some more mutual understanding between the different religious groups our world has created .

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Please do find my introductions to my site

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Additional reading

  1. Roman, Aztec and other rites still influencing us today
  2. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  3. Germanic mythological influences up to today’s Christmas celebrations
  4. Solstice, Saturnalia and Christmas-stress
  5. Pagan Holidays
  6. The imaginational war against Christmas
  7. Objects around the birth and death of Jesus
  8. With child and righteousness greater than the law
  9. Continues Syrian conflict needing not only dialogue
  10. To freeze the fighting in Aleppo
  11. Old texts saved behind a wall at the Mar Behnam monastery

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Further related articles

  1. Living Beyond Our World
  2. Chankkah
  3. Toldos – Generations
  4. Happy Chanukah, Y’all!
  5. Holiday Traditions – Chanukah
  6. Our Style: Happy Chanukah!

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Announcement, Being and Feeling, Crimes & Atrocities, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, Social affairs, World affairs

Let us being filled each day by the Word of God

Coming closer to the end of the year we can see how this year brought us closer to the return of Christ. We can see many signs which should alert the world. In that world we do have to make the right choice and take the Scriptures at heart.

We have to realise the need to

“approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:10,11).

Each day we shall be confronted with the world and shall have to show to others where we want to stand in this world. Every day again we can look up to God and be pleased that we do have His Word to fill us each day.

Each day we also see how much challenge there is in these “last days.” We also notice how there is an increasing “times of difficulty”. That does not make it easy for many to remain faithful. When we help each other to bear the difficulties of this day and help each other to continue to feed our selves with the spiritual food, we shall be able to grow together in strength.
Helping each other to understand the ways of this world versus the Way of God we can try to build ourselves up to receive “the crown of righteousness” by having loved his Jesus his first appearing and him giving his body for us. Also by reading Jesus his words and following his path, we by taking him and following him as the Way to God and the Way to life, can fill our hearts and minds with an awareness of God and the wondrous Saviour He has provided for us.

Let us make sure we are feeling “filled” a little more – each and every day – and there is no “famine” amongst us.

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Preceding articles:

Dedicated daily reading of God’s word to create a vibrant faith within us

A masterly copied and reproduced Word to feed the minds

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Additional reading

  1. Are you being swept along by the world
  2. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  3. Actions to be a reflection of openness of heart
  4. Looking for wisdom not departing from God’s Word
  5. We may not be ignorant to get wisdom

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Filed under Lifestyle, Reflection Texts, Religious affairs

For those Christians who say they are the Victim

You Are Not A Victim

Nova Scotia, Canada

Nova Scotia, Canada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Paul Van Buren, a preacher born in Nova Scotia, Canada who lived in so many places since then considers himself to be called by God at the age of 19 but knows that calling was knit into him before his birth.

Being a father of 11 children and husband to a most wonderful lady, he is the pastor of a Holy Spirit directed church in LaSalle, Quebec where  he is having the time of his life. On his Pastor’s Blog he writes that it frustrates him when Christians play the part of victim.

He writes:

Victimized Christians do not know who they are in Jesus and it is a shame that they are wasting the precious days they have been given in this world.

Probably he thinks of the many gifts we are given: first of all life itself and secondly many gifts when we grow up and try to make something of our life.

Having lots of messages circulating on the media, with lots of horrible pictures of terrorist acts lost of people are getting so afraid that our Western World would become Islamised and that we Christians should have to convert to Islam or being killed. Strange is that not more people question how it comes that so many left Christianity or Christendom and became Muslim and do not wonder how it comes that so many Christian churches are getting more and more empty.

Clearly we should question Christians how they live their faith. Is not many their faith as dead? What are they doing to bring others into the faith?

How are they helping those who have doubts and wonder if those Muslims are not right?

Let us have a look on what Paul Van Buren writes:

Paul first reminds Timothy that he has been raised and trained in a life of faith. It was demonstrated to him in his mother and grandmother. Paul encourages Timothy by stating that he is confident that this same faith resides in Timothy. Then:

Because of this, I’m reminding you to revive God’s gift that is in you through the laying on of my hands. (v. 6)

I like this. Because of this faith Timothy I am reminding you to operate in it. Live by the Spirit. Do what you have been equipped to do. The Spirit provides the equipping but we are responsible to operate in it. Then Paul writes what we all must grasp:

God didn’t give us a spirit that is timid but one that is powerful, loving, and self-controlled. (v. 7)

This is not personality. Personality type does not play in your calling and equipping. Look at many of the servant’s of the past who tried to get out of their calling with excuses, like Moses and Jonah. It has everything to do with the spirit he has given to us and it is one of boldness. He has equipped us with his power, his love and the power to be self-controlled. This is good stuff that we simply have to act on, in faith that it is so.

Too many Christians seem not to feel that power which they have received, or what has happened more likely when getting older and more trapped by this materialistic world they have lost he fire of their faith and the flames are only burning very weakly or not at all.
Several people are also born in a Christian family and lots of them were even baptised before they could properly think or understand what God and faith really meant. This also makes that many of those name Christians never ever did feel that Spirit in them. They only got the name or the label ‘Christian’ on them and want to consider themselves Christians because they want to belong to the general group of the West.

Now the West comes under threat again from Muslims going to the west, like they had already done before and had conquered Spain, now Europeans are having fear those Muslims will conquer the whole of Europe. But when they would have a strong faith, why should they than be so full of fear?

For sure it is because most of those Europeans do not have any faith in God or do have no idea at all what their faith-groups stands for or if that faith-group follows really the Holy Books or not. The same for the many Muslims here, lots of them born in that faith-group and not knowing enough their own holy books, they do not react strong enough against those who defile their holy books and the teachings of Muhammad. They should have reacted much more against those criminals who defile the Name of God in name of the Muslims, blackening their ummah and making it more difficult to have a peaceful life here in the West.

Today we are living again in a similar time when Noah was alive. Everywhere around us we can see how people live against nature and against God’s Wishes. In a certain way it would be no wonder if God would shaken the world once more to awaken them. But it is not God Who brings terror and horror over people. It are the people themselves who bring cruelty over themselves.

We better should think again of those times, what happened after the water came down and Noah got promises from God. We also should remember how people at the time of Moses very fast had forgotten how God ahd liberated them and how fast they went worshipping other gods again.

Pastor Paul writes:

When Moses was about to die he addressed the nation and told them to possess the land because Yahweh had told them to possess it. He encouraged them:

Be strong! Be fearless! Don’t be afraid and don’t be scared by your enemies, because the Lord your God is the one who marches with you. He won’t let you down, and he won’t abandon you. (Deuteronomy 31:6) 

Two things right there are the source of our boldness. First, our God is always with us, going before us, always preparing the way. He abides in us. Psalm 139 states we can never escape him, even more now that he lives in us. This is for our encouragement.

The second thing the pastor wants to highlight is that we may count on God:

He won’t let you down. That is a big one all on it’s own and can only be understood in the context of a loving, intimate relationship.

Though in his text we have the impression he , like so many Christians got two Biblical characters mixed up. He namely continues than with looking at Jesus, who is the sent one from God, and not God Himself.

As Christians, being followers of Christ, we should believe the words of this Nazarene teacher and see how his heavenly Father protected him and gave him special gifts. In the knowledge that this man also did not tell lies, because he did not sin, we may assume that also his promises will come true.

Jesus promised that he would be with us until the end of this age. He said his desire was for us to be one with him in the same way that he is one with Father. The Way, the Truth and the Life is in you. The one who declared that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him, is intimate with you. The one who stated that he is the Resurrection walks with you every day.

With that knowledge we should have our minds at rest. It should be a comforting thought that at the end times those who love God shall find peace after the big battle or the Big Tribulation, which nobody can escape. Yes the big trouble shall come over us all. But Jesus has told about the signs and it is up to us to recognise them and to prepare ourselves for that time of the Last Days.

It is not that we ourselves shall have to go into the battle and have to be conquerors.

Paul wrote that we are more than conquerors, we are overcomers. We are not victims. We are not powerless. We are not timid, because our God has given us the authority to forgive. Thank about that for a moment. The power does not rest in the hands of the offender but in the hands of the offended. Without your forgiveness, the offender will have to give account for their actions. With your forgiveness that offence is wiped away. By offering forgiveness you are also set free from the cage of victim. That is power and that is what has been given to you with the responsibility to love your enemies.

We cannot and must not live with a victim mentality. Jesus has made us greater, more powerful than people can grasp. Now walk in the boldness you have been given and dare to love where others have failed.

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Preceding: Fear for rebel groups and men

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Responses to Radical Muslims and Radical Christians

Some may think

The world is telling Christians that they must be blindly tolerant of all things or they are haters. {Churches response to Radical Muslims}

The Christians who are asking to be tolerant do not ask to be tolerant to violence. They ask do be concerned about those in need, and they ask to sincerely investigate all things and not to make conclusions too fast, putting everybody on the same line. Like after the Parisian attacks, so many people getting to shout to get all the refugees out and to stop them entering the European Union because they would be bringing Islam over our regions.

Русский: скромная одежда для muslims и non-muslims

Русский: скромная одежда для muslims и non-muslims (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most of the from violence fleeing people are not practising Muslims and they just want to be spared of any fundamentalist teaching reigning over their life. We should not straight ahead think those people would bring radical Muslim teaching to our regions. Even when lots of them may be Muslim it should not frighten us that they would convert people here. If they are able to convert people to Islam others should ask themselves

People may think they don’t have to tolerate everything that crosses their path or that we or others think they should tolerate. {Churches response to Radical Muslims} It is given to everybody in our democratic countries to utter their opinion. We always should make that clear to any body entering our regions and certainly to those who want to live in our regions. Those who come to live in our states should very well know that here there shall have to stay freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Such freedom of speech makes it also possible that there shall be people who take a stand against those teachings they consider false and against tolerances, that plague, divide and destroy the people of God.

Though what we see today is that certain Christians do think that those refugees would come in here in Europe or in other parts of the Northern hemisphere to

divide and destroy the people of God {Churches response to Radical Muslims}

But is that so?

No, it is an idea that many want to pose because they are afraid of their own identity being hurt. In case they would stand strong enough in their shoes they should not worry. Christians should even be joyful because this would give them more opportunities to preach their faith and convert others to their faith. Is it not because so many Christians do not preach any more and are themselves not active in the Witnessing process that they consider those who are preaching as a danger. As such we also find a lot of aversion and opposition against Jehovah Witnesses, Christadelphians, Mormons and other preaching believers.

Christians should know there is a Big Battle coming. They should prepare themselves and their children for it, but also should warn others around them for the dangers that shall come over our world. But they also should know that in the Holy Scriptures is written that one of the signs of the Last Days shall be that religion shall come to rise against religion. Those religious groups fighting against each other should not make us afraid but should make us even more prepared to go out in the world and to preach the Truth. In case our teachings are founded on the Truth, we should not have to worry. We also know that man can kill man but they shall not be able to take man away from God when that man is in God.

English: The Ethnic composition of Muslims in ...

The Ethnic composition of Muslims in the United States, according to the United States Department of State based on the publication of Being Muslim in America as of March 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We do know many Americans do think they are the centre of the world and that Islamic leaders saw America as the central power of Christianity. We have no idea where they got that from, but for sure it is true that radical Muslims do consider Christendom (and not Christianity) as their arch-enemy. In case they should know better Christianity than they should be more moderate and recognise that not all Christians do worship a threeheaded god. They should know that there are also many Christians who worship only the One True God, Allah, The Elohim Hashem Jehovah. If they knew their history they should be able to see why Mohammed was the right person in its time on that place, but that throughout history there have always been true worshippers of the Only One True God, the God of Abraham (Ibrahim).

Tom Harkness is right in saying

Everything about the West they view as Christian, all that we find valuable they hate; democracy, transparency, the rule of law, human rights, the separation of religion from governments are all discredited in the eyes of the jihadis (Wayne Grudem; Politics according to the bible). {Churches response to Radical Muslims}

That is today’s biggest problem, that those fundamentalist Muslims are doing exactly the same thing as the fundamentalist Christians from some centuries ago but also from those today.

Certain Christians do want to believe there are some extra-terrestrial demons hovering around, which they call devils, under the leadership of their head-devil Satan who organise a world-war against Jesus. They forget that according to the Holy Scriptures a satan is any adversary, like Peter was called a satan. so they teach people

so that you have a sound response either in your own mind or when people are attempting to discredit the truth that this is a battle between satan and the Jews and satan and Christians. {Churches response to Radical Muslims}

They are right in the fact that it is a satan who goes into battle with the world of God. The adversary of will trample hard. He knows the end shall be coming near and it is high time to go into the counter-attack. Real believers of God have to see that and should recognise the dangers of getting pulled in the trap to act also against the Will of God.

People like Imam Sheikh Muhammad Ayed,  who has told Muslims to use the migrant crisis to breed with European citizens and

‘conquer their countries’.

are the ones who put oil on the fire and spread the lies which are fed with messages from negative reacting Christians and National Socialists.

‘Throughout Europe, all the hearts are enthused with hatred toward Muslims. They wish that we were dead, but they have lost their fertility, so they look for fertility in our midst,’ {Imam tells Muslim migrants to ‘breed children’ with Europeans to ‘conquer their countries’ and vows: ‘We will trample them underfoot, Allah willing’ }

God is a God of love and order. He wants us to feel respect for all creatures, including those who do not love God. We should not kill them but should present them a life full of hope and glory. With our strength of faith we should bring them over the line, getting them to see where the true expectations of God are.

The real reason radical Islamists attack America, may be born out of a want to create an Islamic State and to destroy Jews & Christians, but it is mainly also because they consider the West interfering with their politics and hindering their cause in their own regions, which do not belong to America nor Europe.

It’s important that we understand the background. These attacks are not caused by people experiencing poverty or oppression in poor nations. This was started and is maintained by well-educated upper class, largely college-educated mostly wealthy men. (Wayne Grudem: politics according to the bible) {Churches response to Radical Muslims}

We even should come to see who are really backing ISIS and providing them with the necessary funds to get all that weapon arsenal.

English: There are apparently as many Christia...

There are apparently as many Christians as Muslims in Lebanon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Please let us always remember

“There are peaceful Muslims in the world that simply want to live their lives just like you and want their children to live peaceful and successful lives. The problem is not the peaceful Muslims but the radical Muslims. There are 1.2 billion Muslims, not all are radical. The radicals are 15-25% according to all intelligence reports around the world. That leaves 75% who are relatively peaceful people.” {Churches response to Radical Muslims}

We should concentrate much more on those peaceful Muslims as well on the peaceful Christians and should react to those Muslims and Christians who want to destabilise the world by their messages of hate and intolerance.

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Preceding articles:

Paris Attack and Ranting

Problematic Or Patriotic? Two Ways To Talk About Muslims

The World Wide Refugee and Migrant Crisis and a possible solution for it

Migration not something to fear

What we don’t say about the refugee crisis?

Social media and asylum seekers

Human tragedy need to be addressed at source

Real progress leaves nobody behind

Spike In Anti-Muslim Attacks Casts Spotlight On Government Policies

Don’t be Muslim

Children of Men

Tolerance Ends When There Is No Tolerance Shown Towards Us

My two cents on the refugee crisis

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Find also to read:

  1. Meaning of life
  2. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  3. Suffering through the apparent silence of God
  4. If you have integrity
  5. Integrity of the fellowship
  6. More Muslim children than Christian children growing up in our cities
  7. Being Charlie 10
  8. 2014 Religion: with a.o. Global war against Christians
  9. Syrian but also Belgian connection to French attacks
  10. Brussels-born Salah Abdeslam key suspect Paris terrorist attacks
  11. Paris attacks darkening the world
  12. Refugee crisis, terrorist attacks and created fear
  13. Massive police operation in northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis
  14. French Muslims under attack
  15. Americans wrongly informed about situation in Europe
  16. Trump brand of migrant demonization #1
  17. Trump brand of migrant demonization #2
  18. Are people willing to take the responsibility for others
  19. Daring to speak in multicultural environment
  20. Sharing a common security and a common set of values
  21. Faith related boycotts
  22. Mocking, Agitation and Religious Persecution
  23. If Europe fails on the question of refugees, then it won’t be the Europe we wished for
  24. Schengen area and Freedom for Europeans being put to the test as never before
  25. Europe’s refugees just follow the ancient routes for the peopling of Europe in the Neolithic
  26. American atheists most religiously literate Americans
  27. Is Turkey attempting to resurrect the Ottoman Empire
  28. To freeze the fighting in Aleppo
  29. Is ISIS a product of American in-action or a product of direct action
  30. Islamic State forcing the West to provide means for Kurdistan
  31. Funding of ISIS
  32. ISIL will find no safe haven
  33. Wrong choices made to get rid of Assad
  34. Cities not under fear but monuments feared
  35. Rampaging, demolishing sacred sites and cultural heritage
  36. Sharing a common security and a common set of values
  37. If you want to go far in life
  38. God let my compassionate affection be tolerant and kind

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Further related reading

  1. Syrian Tourists
  2. Syrian refugees: Nothing “Christian” about Fearing Muslims?
  3. Op-Ed: There is no “radical Islam” and there is also no “moderate Islam”
  4. The acts of war
  5. I.S.? We Haven’t Seen Anything Yet!
  6. Radical Muslims and Americans
  7. Remembering 9/11…14 Years Later: A United States President Stands Poised to Give Radical Islamists Nuclear Capability
  8. The Crusader Rifle
  9. Brits in Costa Del Sol, Costa Brava and Costa Blanca now ‘top targets for ISIS attack’
  10. ESPN Liberal Logic
  11. Muslim Takeover Of Bendigo Must be Halted
  12. Egypt by
  13. The UN Needs A Boot Up The Backside
  14. Violent extremists up to interpretation by homeland security chairman Mike McCaul
  15. “Extremists…have given Islam a bad name, but…have no connection with the religion” Really?
  16. Does Minnesota House ISIS’ “Farm Team”?
  17. ISIS or Daesh
  18. Will Bangladesh propaganda help Rohingya Muslims?
  19. The Time is Now to Stop Radical Muslims
  20. The Third Jihad
  21. Glenn Greenwald: Greatest threat to free speech comes not from terrorism, but from those claiming to fight it
  22. The argument for deluded losers
  23. Oops! Nemtsov killed by radical Muslims, not Putin fans
  24. Congress Defies Obama. Warns Iran.
  25. The Hidden Menace
  26. On Aggression
  27. Extremists and Terrorists Miss the Mark
  28. Oh Dear God: Copenhagen Shootings
  29. Still freedom of speech on Danish TV
  30. A special kind of hate
  31. A no–go zone For truth
  32. Why Would I Distrust Muslims Baroness Warsi?
  33. The RCT Talk Show
  34. to our 21 Christian Egyptians who fought for their Faith up to their last breath
  35. Are Christianity and Capitalism Compatible?
  36. Day Six: Hell House

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Crimes & Atrocities, Headlines - News, Religious affairs, World affairs

Christians at War? Christians using violence?

Many Christians do want the world to believe that the war ISIS is preaching is a war against the Christians. Their war is not just a war against unbelievers in God or against believers in a wrong God (for them Christians believe Jesus is God, though not all Christians do believe that). The issue of the ISIS terror is to create fear fro their agenda of an Islamic State where all the power has to go to them and nobody else. It is a matter of “Power” and not so much about religion.

In case ISIS was really concerned about the faith of the followers of the prophet Muhammad then they would not kill other Muslims, certainly would not burn any Quoran, because that is considered to be a holy book and also would not destroy mosques, all horrible things they do.

Today having Terror Alarm 4, for the Region Brussels, Belgium becomes more a country at the beginning of war, having the shopping centres closed and all big events cancelled. Last night again four places found where terrorists prepared several attacks to be executed at around the same time all over Belgium. Lots or armoury was found.

Yesterday again two Belgians were killed by Al Qaeda terrorists, this time in Mali‘s major city Bamako.

There might being lots of people who call for revenge and would love to see our forces to go into combat and to have a stronger force in the warfare against ISIS.
It is not only the Bible that in many instances condones the act of war and the use of deadly force for protection. Torah, Kethubim Aleph, Kethubim Bet or Messianic Scriptures (the New Testament) and the Quran demand that we respect the creations of the Most Divine Allah, the God of gods, Master of heavens and earth, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah.

Real lovers of Allah will respect His Words given to us in the Holy Scriptures and shall know that our force must be in a spiritual battle, taking on such an attitude which is so much in-breath of love that it destroys the hate of others.

The adversary of God (Satan) is calling to go into the battle. The adversaries of Allah, ISIS, al-Qaeda and many other  networks of Islamic fundamentalist groups, would love to see the world going into the battle and providing more reasons why to attack others.
We do have to be very vigilant not to fall into the trap.

The Bible has warned us about the signs of the end times and we should be more concerned about these: having a war starting at the land of Euphrates and Tigris (Iran & Iraq), having children revolting against their parents, having more earthquakes and tsunamis, having religions fighting against other religions, all signs which we could notice to happen the last few years. This should worry us more. This should have us to prepare for the coming times of agony and make us so that our spirits (our minds) shall be strong enough to withstand.

We always should be very attentional to take on the right attitude and not to fall-into the booby-trap of the satan (adversary).

That there might be a time for everything, should not mean we do have to be partakers in such a killing act. Let others fight their war and let us try to spread peace. We should know that joining hand to force the peace by peaceful actions is much more worth than spreading hatred.

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To remember

  • 1st sight when reading the Bible=  appear  Christian should never contemplate killing of another fellow human being > no matter what the circumstances.
  • Jesus tells people around him + turn other cheek == biggest problem that seems to plague people and specifically Christians
  • human tendency to partially remember verses taken out of context + turned into doctrines
  • 2nd problem = ability to efficiently and accurately study the Word of God in 1st place.
  • focus on concept of Christians at war or protecting themselves even with deadly force
  • social, religious, & political issues at the time the book was written + What was intended purpose of the book + does each book line up with the whole spirit of the bible itself?
  • look around at this time in global history = realize potential for war + violence toward Christians on a global scale
  • topic of war + taking life of another human even outside of a war = repugnant to teachings of Christ and his apostles
  • New Testament = Christ focuses attention in  primary sense on principle of love and respect = govern the actions of men + expressing love toward one’s enemies
  • Jesus’ life on this earth was to fulfill the Law of Moses, draw all sin to himself, + die on the cross for our spiritual salvation = purpose on earth = not to engage in a physical fight
  • not mean to stay physically weak + disengaged
  • He actively encourages His servants to fight when the time arrives (John 18:36). Certainly, Christ Jesus = no pacifist in any of his teachings.
  • Jesus did not want his Disciples to interfere with his capture = result in his taking stripes for our healing and dying on the cross for our sins.
  • Jesus to go peacefully + without blemish > lamb led to slaughter

 

  • Matthew 26:52 = referencing those who chose to live a violent way of life =/= Christians to stand still + be killed in the name of Jesus => work to do here on earth + dead people cannot do their work
  • Luke 22:35 = we are to go out into the world + teach that the kingdom of heaven is here => to take gospel of Jesus Christ to all people who will listen + dead Christians cannot talk.
  • meek =/=  similar to being timid + non-violent
  • meek =/= being weak
  • great spiritual power
  • no killing out of anger, or aggression such as murder
  • allowance to execute criminals for capital crimes = shown by apostle Paul when he stated that even Gentile governments had divine authority to use the sword against evil doers (Romans 13:1-4).
  • sword = instrument of authority
  • Jesus told disciples = time had come to sell a garment + buy a sword (most proficient weapon to carry for self-defense)
  • self-defense = Jesus referencing
  • to follow the laws of the land providing the laws are not turned against us
  • no authority except from God + to resist authority is to resist God
  • ruler who chooses to do evil against Christians cannot be from God
  • meek Christian = you do not have to prove yourself not force your beliefs on another person
  • to protect oneself, family, + close friends from someone who tries to do evil, falls well within the approval of God even to the point of taking a life
  • for a Christian to go on the offence is to stand on the side of evil + against God’s will

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Preceding articles:

Of old and new ideas to sustain power and to feel good by loving to be connected and worship something

Autumn is in the land

Don’t be Muslim

A last note concerning civil rights

The Existence of Evil

Getting fate in your change to positiveness

How to Find the Meaning of Life and Reach a State of Peace

What I Hope For Is What You Hope For

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Additional reading:

  1. Between Alpha and Omega – The plan of creation
  2. Necessity of a revelation of creation 4 Getting understanding by Word of God 2
  3. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  4. Certainty in a troubled world
  5. Not making any remarks based on the intellect or logic
  6. A world with or without religion
  7. Because men choose to go their own way
  8. Our way of life
  9. A world in denial
  10. The famine of the word
  11. Bad things no punishment from God
  12. Gaza in Bible Prophecy
  13. Hamas the modern Philistines
  14. 2013 Lifestyle, religiously and spiritually
  15. Propaganda war and ISIS
  16. ISIS cannot be presenters of the real Islam
  17. Wrong ideas about religious terrorism
  18. Do Al-Qaeda, Islamic State, ISIS and ISIL belong to true Islam
  19. Not true or True Catholicism and True Islam
  20. Religion, fundamentalism and murder
  21. Condemning QSIS or the self-claimed Islamic state ruler, al- Baghdadi their extremist ideologies and to clarify the true teachings of Islam 
  22. ISIL will find no safe haven
  23. Islamic State forcing the West to provide means for Kurdistan
  24. Women their education and chances to become a parliamentary
  25. Christian clergyman defiling book which did not belong to him
  26. Being Charlie 11
  27. Do we have to be an anarchist to react
  28. Peace Takes You
  29. Beginning of times
  30. End Times
  31. The Conclusion of the System of Things
  32. Signs of the times
  33. Signs of the Last Days
  34. Zion, Flames, Terror, Signs and Games of Peace
  35. Syrian capital facing total destruction in the coming months
  36. Swallowing up Crimea, who is next
  37. Turkey and Pictures for the times coming
  38. The Rapture Wars
  39. Shariah and child abuse – Is there a connection?
  40. Commemorating the escape from slavery
  41. Dealing With the “Silence” of God
  42. What Jesus Did – Misleading around the Messiah and the final assessment
  43. The days are coming
  44. Babylon is fallen
  45. How do we know the coming of Jesus is very near?
  46. Secret or public return of Jesus
  47. Preaching Christ Is Not Enough
  48. In a world which knows no peace sharing blessed hope
  49. Evangelisation, local preaching opposite overseas evangelism

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Further reading:

The Power of Grace Ministries

At first sight when reading the bible it would appear that a Christian should never contemplate the killing of another fellow human being no matter what the circumstances. Most Christians and even many non-Christians can partially quote the scripture where Jesus tells the people around Him to turn the other cheek when your enemy strikes you, Matthew 5:39 & Luke 6:29.

Here in lies the biggest problem that seems to plague people and specifically Christians and has for centuries; the human tendency to partially remember verses which are taken out of context and then turned into doctrines. Whether the scriptures were taught in their fullness or taken out of context makes a huge difference. Not to mention the limited time people spend studying the Word of God for themselves. Which brings us to the second problem which is the ability to efficiently and accurately study the Word of God in…

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Crimes & Atrocities, Headlines - News, Knowledge & Wisdom, Lifestyle, Political affairs, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs, World affairs

Reflections on the Great War #1 100 years on

Today 11 November it is remembrance day for the worst tragedy that came over the world, war bringing many countries in agony.

In the 2014 August and November issues of the Christadelphian is spent some time to think about those awful years.
In the august issue brother Roger Long looked also at the “Signs of the times” Nearer the exit?

Today in several countries there is an annual holiday honouring military veterans. At Veterans Day, also celebrated as Armistice Day, Remembrance Day or Poppy Day, the world remembers the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I.  At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 the guns of the Western Front fell silent after more than four years of continuous warfare, with the German signing of the Armistice. It is marked by parades and church services and in many places the flags of the country and of the union (Europe, Common Wealth, America or United States) are hung at half mast. A period of silence lasting one or two minutes may be held at 11am.

The British do have Remembrance Sunday on the second Sunday in November, the Sunday nearest to 11 November. Remembrance Sunday also sees special events and services relating to remembrance and was this year (2014) on the 9th of November.

The Christadelphian August 2014 issue with Reflections and Lessons from the Great War 1914-1918

The Christadelphian August 2014 issue with Reflections and Lessons from the Great War 1914-1918

 

100 years on

Reflections on the Great War

The First World War was one of the most important events of the twentieth century, shattering the international settlement of the previous century and leading almost inevitably to the Second World War.

The War brought serious challenges to the Christadelphian community, challenges reflected in the pages of The Christadelphian and Fraternal Visitor magazines. In this brief series, these will be considered from time to time.

“A bolt from the blue”

“The murder of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his Consort on June 28th, at Sarajevo, has proved to be the match the dropping of which has converted Europe into a ‘lake of fire’. It has come like a bolt from the blue …” (“Signs of the Times” – September 1914, The Christadelphian, page 451)

Franz Joseph I of Austria 1855

Franz Joseph I of Austria 1855 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When the first news was received of the murder by Gavrilo Princip of Franz Ferdinand and his wife, it was not front page news. The Times newspaper reported it on page 7 very much as just another assassination in a Europe accustomed to periodic murders of kings and politicians. After all Tsar Alexander II of Russia had been killed by a bomb thrown by a Polish student in March 1881; the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph’s wife, Elizabeth, had been stabbed to death boarding a lakeside steamer in Geneva by an anarchist in 1898 and the Russian Prime Minister Stolypin assassinated in a Kiev theatre in 1911, to name but a few. The main comment in the newspapers was about the extraordinary ill fortune of the House of Hapsburg: Franz Joseph’s brother Maximilian had died in an ill-fated attempt to become emperor of Mexico in 1867, his son Rudolf committed suicide at Mayerling in 1889, his wife had been murdered and now his nephew and heir and his wife had been shot dead in Sarajevo in yet another episode in the troubled history of the Balkans.

It is doubtful if many of the British public had ever heard of Sarajevo before and many people, including politicians, saw it as an unfortunate episode which might raise temperatures in a troubled area which had experienced two wars within the previous three years. However, those wars had been prevented from spreading by the intervention of the great powers, Austria-Hungary, Germany, Britain, France and Russia, and expectations in the initial days after the murders were that this new mini-crisis could also be resolved. No one in those first days and weeks thought that it would lead to a world war. Other crises involving the Powers had come and gone without leading to conflagration, so why should this one be any different?

Militarism and alliances

Of course, the Powers were all armed to the teeth and had been for some years; in January 1914 The Christadelphian noted the huge rise in the number of Dreadnought battleships across the Powers – up from 1 in 1905 to 125 in 1912 and 150 in 1913. The “Signs of the Times” column noted the “steady drift towards Armageddon” and that the nations were “angrier than ever”. But it also noted the general concern that money devoted to growing armies and navies was being wasted at a time of great social need. In those early months of 1914 there was no great sense of urgency, even amongst eagle-eyed surveyors of the world stage in the Christadelphian Office. Indeed an interesting observation from the Daily Chronicle quoted in February 1914’s magazine was that, “Never has Europe been more militarist or less warlike”. This comment reflected the widespread feeling that the very level of military preparedness made war less likely. The two great alliances, of Austria-Hungary and Germany on one hand and Britain, France and Russia on the other, seemed to cancel one another out and peace of a sort had prevailed ever since 1871 – a period of just over forty years. Whilst there were signs of troubled times ahead, in the spring of 1914 there was little awareness of the imminence of the disaster about to unfold or the millions of lives it would consume. People had become lulled into a false sense of security.

Watching world events

The Christadelphian magazines of those early months have a recognisable mixture of exposition, exhortation and other articles of general interest. There was much concern for the fledgling Jewish settlements in Palestine, then still under Turkish rule; Brother Frank Jannaway sent regular reports of his travels there and in neighbouring Bible lands. There was great concern for Jews being persistently mistreated in Russia, comments on events and matters of interest in other churches and the regular reports of ecclesial activities. Until September, after the war had started, the lecture titles recorded were a cross-section of issues, with few if any indicating an imminent world crisis.

So there is an interesting mix of news. In February 1914 aeroplanes were seen over Jerusalem for the first time; in March it was reported that the European Unity League was advocating an alliance of the states of Europe on an economic basis and that suggestions had been made that Jerusalem should be declared a neutral city. In April there was a report of some Suffragettes setting up their own women-only church; in May the visit of the King and Queen to Paris to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Entente Cordiale alliance with France; in June an article bewailed the failure of clergymen in the established Church to uphold the authority of the scriptures, especially with regard to miracles.

The magazine reports were not entirely ignorant of the threats posed by the Powers’ large armies and navies. In April the “Signs of the Times” reported that there were rumours that some of the Powers might consider that a “preventative” war would be better than allowing their enemies to grow stronger and stronger; it also listed the huge armies of the time – Russia 1,700,000 men, Germany 870,000, France 714,000, Austria 360,000 and Italy 290,000. Relying on its navy, Britain mustered a mere 256,000. In June a letter raised the question of whether it would be wise to send a fresh petition to the British Parliament again to request exemption if conscription was introduced: the rather cautious response was that the time was not right for such an action, although the Lincoln Ecclesia had petitioned on the subject in 1913 and received responses from senior politicians including Asquith, Lloyd George and Winston Churchill.

The July “Signs of the Times”, probably written before the news of the assassination in Sarajevo broke, covered a diverse range of events – the crisis in Ireland over Home Rule; the Suffragette campaign which included planting a bomb behind the Coronation Chair in Westminster Abbey; oil exploration in Southern Persia; a suggestion from an Admiral Scott that air power and submarines would eventually make warships obsolete; references to a revolution in Albania and to collisions at sea. Even in August, the assassination only made an appearance as the third item in “Signs of the Times”, although the publication of the magazine at the beginning of the month and early requirements for copy may account for this.

The crisis everyone in Britain feared concerned Ireland, which was then entirely within the United Kingdom. A Home Rule Bill passed through the House of Commons in June 1914, but the Protestant northern counties of Ulster had been preparing for some years to resist if any attempt were made to force them into a united independent Ireland. Ulster Defence Volunteers openly marched and prepared to fight, with large numbers of guns being smuggled into the country. British Army officers stationed at the Curragh threatened to resign rather than be ordered to take action against the Protestant counties. Had the war not intervened, a civil war in Ireland would almost certainly have broken out.

The low priority given to the assassination in Sarajevo reflected the initial lack of alarm amongst the leaders of the Great Powers. The German Foreign Minister went off on July 5th on his honeymoon; the Kaiser set out the next day for his usual twenty-day summer cruise to Scandinavia; other leaders looked forward to time on holiday away from the troubles of the world. The British public planned whatever time they could get at the seaside or other holiday destinations, looking forward to August Bank Holiday, then on the first Monday in August.

A rapid escalation

All things continued much as before until July 24, when Austria-Hungary’s fierce ultimatum to Serbia, who it blamed for the assassination, set in train a rapid escalation. The Austrians had first secured the support of the Germans for this move, which made the involvement of Russia and France more likely. Within a week the mobilisation of the rival armies of Europe, unable to stand and watch their allies attacked or threatened, had brought Austria-Hungary and Germany into war with Russia and France. The invasion of Belgium as part of the German plan to defeat France quickly brought Britain into the war on August 4 and the last summer of the old order was overwhelmed by the earthquake which was the Great War.

There are lessons in all this for us. We too live in days when we have become accustomed to living with crises in different parts of the world. They form a constant backdrop to our lives. Scarcely a day goes by without a fresh report of trouble in the Middle East, whilst the Great Powers of our day posture and threaten much as they did a hundred years ago. So it is easy to be lulled into a false sense of security and to push beyond the horizon our expectation of the Second Coming and the final crises of this world which will precede it. The Lord warned us that his return would come suddenly “as a thief in the night”. In 1914, the world which then was disintegrated in the space of little more than a month from the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, serving as a warning of how quickly things change in God’s purpose. The lesson is clear and uncompromising:

“Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming … therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect … Lest he come suddenly and find you asleep.” (Matthew 24:42,44; Mark 13:36)

John Botten

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Continue reading: Reflections on the Great War #2

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Why not subscribing to an inspirational magazine for all interested in a good Christian lifestyle?

The Christadelphian magazine reflects the teachings, beliefs and activities of the Christadelphians – groups of believers living in most countries in the world.

***
Do you not yet know the Christadelphians?
Come to get to know more about the Christadelphians.Do find an overview of what Christadelphian people think, live and want to follow up.

Read more about them in :

  1. Who are the Christadelphians
  2. What are Brothers in Christ
  3. Two new encyclopaedic articles
  4. Review of the Christadelphians from some older articles

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Please find additional reading:

  1. All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting… George Orwell
  2. August 4, 1914 to be remembered
  3. 11 November, a day to remember #1 Until Industrialisation
  4. 11 November, a day to remember #2 From the Industrialisation
  5. 100° birthday of war and war tourism
  6. 1914 – 2014 preparations
  7. Liège 2014 remembering the Great War
  8. Mons 2014 remembering the Great War
  9. Friendship and Offer for the cause of democracy
  10. Juncker warns for possible new war

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  • Remembrance Day: Millions across the UK including London and Belfast to mark those lost (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
    This weekend – Armistice weekend in the 1914 centenary year – London will have three rivers: water, people and poppies.
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    For the first time on any war memorial anywhere in the world, the names of former comrades, former allies and former enemies will be listed together, alphabetically, with no distinction of rank or country. President François Hollande will open the memorial. Both the Prime Minister David Cameron and the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, were invited. Neither, sadly, will attend.
  • The History of Remembrance Poppies (serenataflowers.com)
    At this time of year it’s hard to miss those unmistakable red poppies adorning everyone’s lapels and buttonholes. Having become such an iconic symbol of the sacrifices made and the lives lost in past wars how did this simple little flower come to mean so much to so many?
  • World War One: Use our widget to search for anyone in your family or your street who died in The Great War (manchestereveningnews.co.uk)
    The last recorded death in the conflict from Greater Manchester was James Isherwood Bolton, of Belmont Road, Astley Bridge.He sadly lost his life on Armistice Day, November 11, 1918.James Arthur Parkes, of Meadow Bank, Chorlton, was the oldest casualty when he was killed on March 29, 1917, aged 67.

    And the youngest to die was 15-year-old Frederick Thorley Finucane, the son of Theatre and Emily Finucane, when he died on November 27 1914.

    The bloodiest day was on July 1, 1916, when 585 soldiers from Greater Manchester died in the Battle of the Somme.

  • Opinion: Echoes of Great War reverberate to this day (ww1.canada.com)
    If you had been in one of those cold, wet trenches on the Western Front, bracing yourself to go “over the top” into the face of machine-gun fire, how would you want future generations to honour your potential death?Well, having spent a lot of time between attacks listening to cries for help from No Man’s Land, you’d probably not be satisfied with occasional remembrances of your sacrifice.Rather, you’d want future generations to figure out what happened, with a view to making sure the Armageddon you were living through at least became the War To Make Wars a Lot Less Likely. And today – just three days shy of the 100th anniversary of Austria-Hungary declaring war on Serbia, starting the First World War – it’s fair to say this is a debt posterity hasn’t properly paid.
  • Arrivals: This week, Remembrance Day (thestar.com)
    Military expert Doyle has assembled 100 objects to tell the story of the Great War, beginning with the 1911 Graff and Stift Double Phaeton open car in which Archduke Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, were travelling when they were assassinated, and ending with the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium, and other memorials that remember the war dead.
  • Today in History, Oct. 28 (rep-am.com)
    On Oct. 28, 1914, Yugoslav nationalist Gavrilo Princip, whose assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, sparked World War I, was sentenced in Sarajevo to 20 years’ imprisonment (he died in 1918); four conspirators were sentenced to death. (Princip escaped the death penalty because he was underage.)
  • Time Machine: Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria (1875-1914) (rosiepowell2000.typepad.com)
    The assassinations produced widespread shock across Europe. There was a great deal of initial sympathy toward Austria. Within two days, Austria-Hungary and its ally, Germany, advised Serbia that it should open an investigation on the assassination, but the Serbian government responded that the incident did not concern them. After conducting its own criminal investigation, Austro-Hungary issued what became known as the July Ultimatum, which listed demands made to Serbia regarding the assassinations within 48 hours. After receiving support from Russia, Serbia agreed to at least two out of ten demands. The government mobilized its troops and transported them by tramp steamers across the Danube River to the Austro-Hungarian at Temes-Kubin. Austro-Hungarian soldiers fired into the air to warn them off. On July 28, 1914; Austria-Hungary and its ally, Germany, declared war on Serbia. Under the Secret Treaty of 1892, Russia and France were obliged to mobilize their armies if any of the Triple Alliance (Germany, Austo-Hungary and Italy) mobilized. Russia’s mobilization completed full Austro-Hungarian and German mobilizations. Soon all the Great Powers, except Italy, had chosen sides. World War I had begun.
  • Speech: Remembrance Day (gov.uk)
    Ladies and gentlemen, we come here, of course, to pay our respects to all of the fallen and of the wounded in all conflicts over the last 100 years. 2014 also marked the 75th anniversary of the outbreak of WW2 and the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings, commemorated by World Leaders, including HM the Queen, in Normandy this summer. This spirit of courage, bravery and sacrifice continues to the present day. As we welcome home our returning troops from Afghanistan, we grieve for the 453 of them who were lost to that conflict. We also pay tribute to the Cambodian troops currently serving overseas in UN Peacekeeping operations in countries as far afield as Mali and Lebanon. We wish them success in their missions and a safe return home upon their completion.Today, as every day, we remember those who volunteered, served, fought, and died, all for the cause of freedom. We have with us today several veterans of these conflicts. We are grateful for your service. We thank you, and we salute you as we salute those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. We will remember them.

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