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Lion of Judah and The Lamb

 

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In The Word
 
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning."
John 1.1

 

 

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EARLIER NEWSLETTER

 

LETTERS TO INTERCESSORS

(Studies In The Word)

2008_03


Walking In Truth

If you tap a perfect crockery bowl with your finger, it will give out a particular and pure sound - it will ‘ring true’. If however, the bowl is cracked, the sound will be dull and quite different - it does not ‘ring true.’ One of the gifts that we all have, as a result of being made in the image of God, is an innate ability to know truth when we hear it.

It is interesting that when Pilate asked of Jesus, ‘What is truth?’ that he (Pilate) then went out and said to the accusers of Jesus, ‘I find no basis for a charge against him.’ Pilate posed the question but he had heard and recognised already, the ‘ring of truth’ in what Jesus had said (John 18.37-38).

We live in the ‘digital age’ the age when something is either on or it is off, when data is expressed as either one or zero. There is no longer any room for the concept of ‘analogue’ which allows one to be almost on or almost off - can you imagine being almost alive!

I wrote my thesis on the concepts and mathematics of the point of absolute transition from one state to another - You are either on or off, alive or dead. It is intriguing that truth is also a ‘digital age’ concept -something is either true or it is not true. So also when Jesus makes clear to us that ‘whoever is not against us is for us’ (Mark 9.40) he is expressing a thoroughly modern way of thinking.

Jesus prefaces many of his teachings with the refrain ‘I tell you the truth.’ Perhaps we can define faith as believing that when Jesus said he was telling us the truth, he was doing just that! If this is so, we may have a problem because we do not act and live according to the truth that Jesus expounds. We seem, counter culturally, to prefer to live in a world that accepts shades of grey, that accepts tolerance of sinfulness in our own lives, to live an analogue type of life in a creation that is one of absolutes - either wholly for Jesus or, by definition, wholly against Jesus, lukewarmness is not a Kingdom concept (Revelation 3.14) and gets spat out.

In the UK and all those legal systems built on the UK system, a witness has to swear before God that he will ‘tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.’ Does Jesus do this? Does the Bible do this? The answer is absolutely yes to both questions. This is not the case, unfortunately, with some of the ‘official’ pronouncements on the pandemic this year.

I remember in the late 1970's several years of deep spiritual searching whereby I investigated all the main religions, read the sacred writings, studied their practices, searched out all the new age stuff, checked out atheism and all the other ‘isms’ and found that only one faith rang true, that only one faith had absolutely no room for doubt or prevarication, that one name stood astride all others, the name of Jesus. I found that Jesus words in John 8.32 had the ring of truth and that since then I have known a freedom that is beyond description.

‘If you hold to my teaching, then you are really my disciples.

Then you will know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.’

This is dangerous thinking, literally and figuratively. This is life changing stuff personally and for others. This reaching out for the truth given by Jesus, given by the Bible, is the way through the pandemic of HIV/AIDS. There is a need for us all, Christians and non Christians alike, to re read the statements that Jesus makes about the way we are to live, and the way we are to interact with one another. Jesus pronouncements on Kingdom Living are truth and life to us.

So as we approach this time of Advent (the walk with God through to recalling the need for the birth of Jesus, and the in-dwelling of God amongst us) may I suggest that we refresh ourselves in God’s word, and receive not just the hope that this world of HIV/AIDS needs, but also the release of the power of God in us, to transform that world of HIV/AIDS, into a world of hope, healing, and salvation, that resounds with the ring of truth of God’s love for us.

What Is Truth?

Unusually, we are picking up on part of the theme of the first page in more detail. This is because there seems to be a miasma of worldly confusion slinking over the realities of HIV/AIDS in the lives of real people. Some figures from the 2008 UNAIDS Report might help us see through to the truth which is disquieting to say the least.

Deaths
Four Per Minute
Two Hundred and Twenty Eight Per Hour
Five Thousand Four Hundred and Seventy Nine Per Day


When we take a funeral at the local crematorium, we allow 30 minutes for the complete service including coming in and going out. An entire life is dealt with in thirty minutes. But in the course of those thirty minutes another one hundred and fourteen people have died from HIV/AIDS. Another 114 coffins for someone to bury or burn!


New Infections
Five Per Minute
Three Hundred and Eight Per Hour
Seven Thousand Three Hundred and Ninety Seven Per Day


During that same time, a further one hundred and fifty four mainly young people have become newly infected and doomed to die an ugly, early, and painful death whether they have access to antiretroviral medication or not.

These are the personal realities of HIV/AIDS that the world seems to have lost touch with. Something has gone very wrong with the approach to the HIV/AIDS pandemic in recent years - the world seems to be dis associated from the personal impact of the lives ruined, the families disgraced and devastated and destroyed.

The world seems to be focussed on the concept of service provision rather than the service; fund raising rather than giving; international politics rather than dying men, women, and children; personal aggrandisement rather than humble commitment; fraud and corruption rather than honesty; clergy terrified by political correctness rather than emboldened by truth and honesty; statisticians massaging figures for maintenance of tourism rather than truth.

Back here at the Judah Trust office, we receive daily and live with, and pray for, the personal cries for help, the calls for assistance in the face of overwhelming personal disaster. We also monitor what the world response is. Everywhere we see the impact of evil, overt and subtle, gross and refined, upon human lives, encouraging ways of life that lead to HIV/AIDS and distorting the values of Christianity that lead to good lives.

We are seeing increasingly, that the spiritual battle for the souls of men and women and children is becoming even more deadly serious and that there is a need as never before for believers in Jesus as Lord to stand firm, to intercede persistently and to take every advantage of the spiritual gifts available to us.

We have been intrigued over recent months over the growing perception amongst those working in the field of HIV/AIDS of the need for the power and assurance of the communion, both as workers and as a means of help and healing to the sick.

We are also seeing that there is a huge need for courageous preaching of the word of God about the standards that we are expected to live by - and one thing is for sure, these are not politically correct! Pray for our clergy to ‘be courageous’ (Joshua 1.6).

If ever there was a need for a personal saviour this is it and we rejoice that we can, through Christmas, come to realise our terrible spiritual bankruptcy and our fortune in having Jesus come amongst to be our personal saviour.

What is Truth?

Here Are Words of Truth

‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David a saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.’ Luke 2.10-11.

‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through him. John3.16-17.

I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.’ John 11.25-26