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Friday, June 10, 2011

It was predicted! About 700 years before it happened!
   
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Another way of judging the value of a prophet's religious experience, therefore, would be to examine the type of manhood that he has created, and the cultural world that has sprung out of the spirit of his message.
Muhammed Iqbal


What always amazes me is how well those ancient prophets like Isaiah were able to predict what would happen. Just a short while ago a nutcase here in the USA predicted the end of the world on 21 May 2011 (which didn’t happen of course) and we all laughed a bit at how stupid this was and then cried a bit for the pain he caused in those that foolishly followed him.

 Yet somewhere between 600 and 700 BC Isaiah wrote many words of Jesus, of which these are some of the more interesting….

 The Lord says, "My servant will act wisely and accomplish his task.
 
      He will be highly honored. He will be greatly respected.  
Many people were shocked when they saw him.
 
      He was so scarred that he did not look like a man at all.       His body was so twisted that
he did not look like a human being anymore.
 
  But many nations will be surprised
when they see what he has done.
 
      Kings will be so amazed
that they will not be able to say anything.
 
   They will understand things they were never told about.
 
      They will know the meaning of things they never heard about.

 Let’s see how well these describe Jesus by modifying them to make God and Jesus the key players in the writing,

 God says, "Jesus will act wisely and accomplish his task.
 
      He will be highly honored. He will be greatly respected.
 
 Many people were shocked when they saw him.
 
      He was so scarred that he did not look like a man at all.
 
      His body was so twisted that he did not look like a human being anymore.
 
  But many nations will be surprised when they see what he has done.
 
      Kings will be so amazed that they will not be able to say anything.
 
   They will understand things they were never told about.
 
      They will know the meaning of things they never heard about.

 Most people, Christian and non-christian(e.g. Ghandi) consider Jesus one of the wisest people who have lived. The fact that God allowed himself to be lashed with a whip that would have had pieces of bone or metal attached into the cords of the whip means his body would have been sliced and slashed beyond recognition. Then the crown of thorns and the nails through hands and feet, followed by the torture of the cross would have twisted his body so that finally he would have been horrible to look at!

 Yet through this and his rising to life again, Jesus changed nations and in fact changed the world that had crucified him. He opened up life to us in ways we could never have understood without him.

 Interesting some would say but how do you know this was actually talking of Jesus.

 I know this because one of the apostles, Paul, said so.

 In Romans 15:20-22 (NIRV) it Pauls says…

 From Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum I have finished preaching the good news about Christ. I have always wanted to preach the good news where Christ was not known. I don't want to build on what someone else has started.  It is written,    "Those who were not told about him will understand.       Those who have not heard will know what it all means." —(Isaiah 52:15) That's why I have often been kept from coming to you.   

Paul says that as he talks of Jesus he is building on what Isaiah said many years before. 

Today as we talk of Jesus, let’s build on the powerful words of the past. Jesus is worth talking about because he can still change worlds. He changes the difficult life in this world for one of understanding and joy for those who accept him and the power of Holy Spirit into their lives.

 I’m one of those people, are you one of those people?
Fri, June 10, 2011 | link          Comments

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Who is Jesse and what branch is being talked about?
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Experience is the only prophecy of wise men.
Alphonse de Lamartine

 What is this talking about?

 Isaiah 11 (NIRV)
1 Jesse's family is like a tree that has been cut down.
      A new little tree will grow from its stump.
      From its roots a Branch will grow and produce fruit.
 2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on that Branch.
      He will help him to be wise and understanding.
   He will help him make wise plans and carry them out.
      He will help him know the Lord and have respect for him.
 3 The Branch will take delight
      in respecting the Lord.
   He will not judge things only by the way they look.
      He won't make decisions based simply on what people say.
 4 He will always do what is right
      when he judges those who are in need.
   He'll be completely fair
      when he makes decisions about poor people.
   When he commands that people be punished,
      it will happen.
   When he orders that evil people be put to death,
      it will take place.
 He will put godliness on as if it were his belt.
 
      He'll wear faithfulness around his waist.

 
Jesse’ family is the subject of the discussion. Jesse was the Father of the famous (or notorious) King David of ancient times who had that more famous son Solomon who got visited by the Queen of Sheba.

 We know this because the bible says to a prophet Samuel…

1 Samuel 16:1
The Lord said to Samuel, "How long will you be filled with sorrow because of Saul? I have refused to have him as king over Israel. Fill your animal horn with olive oil and go on your way. I am sending you to Jesse in Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king."

 So, Jesse was the father of David!

 Now Isaiah is assumed to have lived about 740BC to 698BC  (the years[time measurements] get smaller until Jesus and then increase from that time].

 Kind David and Solomon lived around  1000BC range so Isaiah lived quite a long time after those two guys. So when he says “A new little tree will grow from its stump. From its roots a Branch will grow and produce fruit.” He is not talking about Solomon. This prophet Isaiah is foretelling the future at the time he wrote this.

 As Christian’s we understand this “Branch” refers to Jesus who was born of that family line. i.e. from the family of Jesse.

 The words when read this way really make sense…here is an re-interpreted meaning of those words.

  Jesse's family is like a tree that has been cut down.
      Jesus the messiah will grow from its stump.
      From its roots a Jesus will grow and produce fruit.
The Spirit of the God will rest on Jesus.
      He will help him to be wise and understanding.
   He will help him make wise plans and carry them out.
      He will help him know God and have respect for him.
Jesus will take delight
      in respecting God.
   He will not judge things only by the way they look.
      He won't make decisions based simply on what people say.
He will always do what is right
      when he judges those who are in need.
   He'll be completely fair
      when he makes decisions about poor people.
   When he commands that people be punished,
      it will happen.
   When he orders that evil people be put to death,
      it will take place.
He will put godliness on as if it were his belt.
      He'll wear faithfulness around his waist.

 Okay so we make an assumption to do this, but it really makes sense and fits the known facts of Jesus. It particularly fits the facts of the time Jesus is to come again in the future because it goes on to say…

 Wolves will live with lambs.
      Leopards will lie down with goats.
   Calves and lions will eat together.
      And little children will lead them around.
 Cows will eat with bears.
      Their little ones will lie down together.
      And lions will eat straw like oxen.
 
 A baby will play near a hole where cobras live.
      A young child will put his hand into a nest
      where poisonous snakes live.
 None of those animals will harm or destroy anything or anyone
      on my holy mountain of Zion.

 This speaks of the time when God’s peace will come on all the earth.

 That’s not quite happened yet!

 We can look forward to this the way the people of Isaiah’s time looked forward to the coming of their saviour, the messiah, who turned out to be Jesus!

 He changes all things when he comes! Not always the way we want, or in the way we expect. He is God and so has no need to comply with our desires. He is loving  and so he takes every one of our desires and needs into account!
 
Amazing!

 Today as I go out into the world, I go out knowing that same Spirit of God that gave Isaiah words to write about Jesus is living within me and guides me. If I listen very carefully to that small quiet voice, God's Spirit will help me direct my life! That’s an enormous privilege and powerful comfort!
 I trust you feel the same way?
Thu, June 9, 2011 | link          Comments

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Why are things so bad? What hope is there?
AnneFrank.jpg


     “I simply can't build my hopes on a foundation of confusion, misery and death ... I think peace and tranquillity will return again.”
 Anne Frank

  Life can be dark at times! We feel gloom and doom corners us and tries to suck the very joy of life from us!

 It is at times like these that God provides the greatest strength to those of us who believe and it is then when those of us that have difficulty believing perhaps have the greatest potential to reach out to God for the hope that relief that is to be found in a supernatural way.

 Our bible says…Romans 15:13

 May the God who gives hope fill you with great joy. May you have perfect peace as you trust in him. May the power of the Holy Spirit fill you with hope.

 Our hope in God enables us to lift our minds out of our present difficulties into places that will give us a glimpse of the glory and grace of God.

This gives us joy!

 Now joy is not only a simple feeling of pleasure and happiness, it is a spiritual redirection of our mind, body and soul into heavenly places while we are still located in rather trying conditions.

 The quote above was from a Jewish girl, who lost her family and yet her love of God, God’s gift to her and her love of others sustained her.

She became the voice for many people who had suffered greatly!

In the middle of the most horrible and nasty times she rose above the situation to document for the world the feelings and struggles of people doomed to die and who yet hold to beliefs that give hope.

 We think we have it bad sometimes!

We let the pressure of our daily lives lie to us, letting us think we are in horrible and tough situations, but if we let our minds drift to God and the power of Holy Spirit in our lives, it changes our lives!
 
Suddenly the worries become less capable of dragging us down. Our hope increases!

 When hope increases, peace increases as well!

This gives us relief which gives us more hope, again increasing the peace. This is an upward spiral despite difficult circumstances. Each moment improves as we cast off the claws of hell and move into the arms of God.

 As we do this, Holy Spirit becomes more and more powerful in our lives as we entrust him to do more in our lives. This again increases our hope.

 So today, I place my hope in God’s wonderful provision for my life. Jesus rose and sent Holy Spirit. I know Holy Spirit lives within me to guide me as much as I allow him to!

 Today I decide to allow hope to fill my life, peace to be a result and I want to tune my inner hearing to listen for Holy Spirit quiet guidance that is best heard when peace settles on my soul!

 My hope is you can join me on this journey today!
Wed, June 8, 2011 | link          Comments

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Jesus was a Jew! So why would I a non-Jew want to know him?
JesusSign.jpg
  
Being noticed can be a burden. Jesus got himself crucified because he got himself noticed. So I disappear a lot.

Bob Dylan
 

It’s true! Jesus was a Jew!

 Have you ever stopped to think how many times different nations have tried to eradicate the Jews? It’s horrible to think about, but even right now there are people who hate Jews and would see them removed from the face of our Earth forever.
 
Why?

 Ever asked yourself why this simple nation of people stir up the world so much? Why does such a small group of people impact so many?

 Is it perhaps because God chose them to be the nation that would bring us Jesus?

 The bible points out the following. . .Romans 15:8 onwards in the NIRV

 I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews. He teaches us that God is true. He shows us that God will keep the promises he made to the founders of our nation. Jesus became a servant of the Jews so that people who are not Jews could give glory to God for his mercy. It is written,
   "I will praise you among those who aren't Jews.
      I will sing praises to you." —(2 Samuel 22:50; Psalm 18:49)
Again it says,
   "You non-Jews, be full of joy.
      Be joyful together with God's people." —(Deuteronomy 32:43) 
And again it says,
   "All you non-Jews, praise the Lord.
      All you nations, sing praises to him." —(Psalm 117:1) 
And Isaiah says,
   "The Root of Jesse will grow up quickly.
      He will rule over the nations.
   Those who aren't Jews will put their hope in him." —(Isaiah 11:10)

 Paul is writing to the Roman people (they were the non-Jews that ruled the world at that time).

 He points out that firstly Jesus came as a servant!

Okay so some of us don’t think to much of being servants. God came to Earth as a servant so perhaps we should be careful how we treat servants. This is not a low level job! Being a servant is one of the highest callings a person can have. Think about it, the most important person in every democratic country is actually a servant of the people. So, let’s treat servants right and we will perhaps be treated right.

 Next Paul points out that by his life Jesus teaches us God is true!

We need to know Jesus was the son of man in order to live the right way in this life. Only by knowing this can we gather real important information on how to live well. Knowing Jesus is the key to unlocking many spiritual secrets and gifts.

 Then Paul explains God keeps his promises. That is why Jesus was born to the Jews, why he was born of Mary, and why so many prophecies were completed by Jesus’ life. God keeps his word! God said we are his children if we believe Jesus was his son. We can trust God's word!

 Mostly however, Jesus came so that we, the non-Jews might be adopted into God’s family. God gives us the status of being his children and in this way becoming co-heirs with the Jewish people who God chose in the first place.

 That’s why I expect Christians are now getting threatened as well! Those that attack Christians and Jews fail to see the love of God and the power of the Spirit. They definitely reject Jesus! Why?

 Why are Christian’s targeted? Why are the Jews targeted?

 Is it perhaps because we are custodians of truth in a world that wants to reject truth, those that are blinded and manipulated by Satan irrationally hate us?
 
How logical is that hate?

 We as Christians are told to “love our enemies”. I think Jesus told us this so we never return hate with hate! A true Christian will love despite being hurt, trampled on, overrun and abused.

 Who said it’s easy being a follower of the true God? It is not, but it is a privilege. It’s the one privilege I want to fully enjoy as I go into a perhaps hostile world today. I want to focus on living a life led by God's spirit, being a light in darkness, a gentile Jew in a foreign world that I know so well and perhaps doesn't respect my service.

 Join me? Hope you have a peaceful blessed day!
Tue, June 7, 2011 | link          Comments

Monday, June 6, 2011

I need cheering up sometimes! Donít you?
 
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Every blunder behind us is giving a cheer for us, and only for those who were willing to fail are the dangers and splendors of life.

Carl Sandburg

 
You know those days when we find out the wind blows the wrong way and things just seem to bother us more than most. That day when we wake up and the first thing we hear is a complaint, or the shower is too hot, or the toothpaste is finished, or we have run out of milk for that morning cereal? Perhaps the car won’t start, or the traffic is horrible, or the bus has gone!

 Ever had a day like that?

 When that happens it’s easy to get down-hearted and accept that the rest of the day will be a disaster and that no matter what we plan to do, nothing will work out right!

 Nonsense!

 Hey, doesn’t our bible say. . .

 Our God is a God who strengthens you and cheers you up. May he help you agree with each other as you follow Christ Jesus. Then you can give glory to God with one heart and voice. He is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:6 NIRV

 So we can be assured that when things are not going quite right, God is there with us. If we let him (and success is in the decision to let God help), then he can change the day. We should reach out to other Christians to build us up as well!

 Maybe not everything will go right, but once we align with God’s spirit, the day changes! Our mind melds with Holy Spirit, the power of God’s wisdom, patience and love courses through our life activating the positive and destroying the negative.

 We understand that Jesus has accepted us as we are and we are to accept others as they are. Those minor irritations become less powerful and seem to influence us less. Our lives and our time are God’s anyhow so why get upset with a little interruption in the way we want them to go.

 It’s really a fallacy to think we can control our lives isn’t it? We can merely direct them and surf over those waves of daily interruptions enjoying the ride. We can chose to do that or we can struggle to swim among the crashing waves.

 I prefer the surfboard and guidance of God who lifts me up over life’s hurdles. They are still there but somehow we rise above them and enjoy life anyhow.

 That’s what I will do today! Together with Holy Spirit who I trust will show me how.

 Have a great day!
Mon, June 6, 2011 | link          Comments


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Rift in Evil

By Ken X Briggs

  • Published: September, 2010
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This suspense thriller centers on Kiara, a beautiful young woman pursued by a murderous group of people, who relentlessly and ruthlessly hunt her and her sisters. Kiara has no idea why she is being targeted! When Kiara and her family turn to the law for help, this fails. Her pursuers’ powers reach deeply into the political and law enforcement world. Family support for her dwindles when they too have to flee her pursuers. Can Kiara escape the clutches of both the law and dishonest big business? With the media broadcasting that Kiara and friends are dangerous and subversive, can Kiara clear her name and bring her pursuers to justice?

 

 
  

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 RiftInEvil.gifThe town of Zinaville is dropped into a spiral of evil causing a young man and a beautiful but abused woman to launch into an investigation that unveils an evil conspiracy.

A horrific mining accident results in Joshua Robyn's father being killed. Joshua struggles both with himself and his townsfolk as he tries to make sense of an incomprehensible situation. Is it an accident or a murder? Why is there a seeming link to evil? Why is his work environment suddenly threatening? What is the conspiracy about and what are they trying to do? As action moves dramatically from exotic African grasslands to the heart of North America's cities, the plot unfolds and the pace quickens. Will there be time? Why is a beautiful abused young woman in the center of this plot?

Evil tendrils tighten on their lives and the interplay between the visible and invisible world shows opposing forces at work.

Will there be a rift in evil?

Will they be able to stop the evil in time?

 

 

 
Click here to order Rift in Evil (ebook or Paper available)
  • Published: September, 2010
  • Format: Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 208
  • Size: 6x9
  • ISBN: 9781450250894 

Available from Barnes and Noble, Amazon, iUniverse. Chapters

 
  
you can email me at Author@KenXBriggs.com
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