God Speaks Through Disasters

This blog post comes from an email received from Frontline Fellowship on 13th June 2017.

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DROUGHTS, STORMS and FIRES – IS GOD SPEAKING TO US?

“You will be punished by the Lord of Hosts with thunder and earthquake and great noise, with storm and tempest and the flame of devouring fire.” Isaiah 29:6

God’s Word on Natural Disasters
In the book of Amos 4:7-8 the Lord declares: “I also withheld rain from you when My harvest was still three months away. I sent rain on one town, but withheld it from another… yet you have not returned to Me, declares the Lord.”

Blaming God While Denying His Existence
The drought in the Cape followed by severe storms in Cape Town and the devastating fires in Knysna has sparked numerous articles and programmes alternately blaming God for the disasters, or claiming that these disasters prove that God does not exist. Similarly with the AIDS plague. “A man’s own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the Lord.” Proverbs 19:3. Several religious leaders have asserted that the drought, storms and fires could not have been a judgment from God!

Are People Basically Good?
It would seem that these theologians and religious authorities share a basic assumption: that man is basically good. Because we are all, at heart, such good people, we could never be judged by a loving and merciful God who would seem to be just too soft and gentle to judge anybody anyway. After all, none of us would ever be selfish, greedy, deceitful, vengeful, dishonest, lustful or murderous. We are all basically good!

The Depravity of Man
Far from people being basically good, the Scriptures teach the innate depravity of man: “There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one. Their throat is an open tomb; with their tongues they have practiced deceit; the poison of vipers is under their lips; whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Romans 3:10-18

“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5

“But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the Second Death.” Revelation 21:8

Learning from Calamities
In the light of these passages and the blessings of obedience and the curses of disobedience outlined in Deuteronomy 28, it would appear that the message of these natural disasters is being rejected by most journalists and theologians. It is a double grief when lives are lost and lessons are not learned. Every deadly calamity is a merciful call from our Holy God for us to repent. That was how the Lord Jesus responded to those who brought news to Him of the Galileans who had been massacred by Pontius Pilate in the Temple.

Jesus on Disasters
Jesus answered: “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” Luke 13:2,3

Then the Lord referred to the disastrous fall of the tower in Siloam when eighteen died. “But unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” Luke 13:5

Compassionate Love in Action
There is a time to weep (Ecclesiastes 3:4) and we should grieve with those who grieve and render all practical help within our power. But we should also repent: “’Now, therefore,’ says the Lord, ‘Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.’ So rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness and He relents from doing harm.” Joel 2:12-13

This is the lesson we should learn from every deadly disaster: Repent!

Recognising Reality
Grieve that God is cursed for every catastrophe, but seldom praised for His wonderful Creation.

Lament that God makes the news headlines only when man mocks His power or questions His goodness, but tens-of-thousands of God’s acts of mercy, grace, protection, provision and patience receive no headlines.

Grieve that the Name of the only righteous Man who ever walked the earth is used as a swear word on T.V. screens and in cinemas across the world.

Grieve that God is blasphemed by the very same people who question why God does not restrain the consequences of their own rebellious actions.

What Could God Be Saying to Knysna?
Could God be speaking to Knysna which has hosted highly publicised “Pink Loerie Gay Pride” marches and parades and multiple high profile “gay weddings”.

Could God be Speaking to Cape Town
Could God be speaking to Cape Town where abortion kills thousands of babies every year, where gambling impoverishes the poor even more, where crime and violence stalk our streets daily, where the mayor organized inter-faith rain ceremonies and where our schools teach evolutionism, situation ethics and perversion?

The Judgments of God
In the wake of the catastrophic fires in Knysna and droughts and storms in Cape Town, we need to study afresh the Holiness and Justice of God and God’s Word to a nation.

“The Lion has roared – who will not fear? The Sovereign Lord has spoken – who can but prophesy?” Amos 3:8

“’I sent plagues among you… I killed your young men with the sword… yet you have not returned to Me’, declares the Lord.” Amos 4:10

“You are Just in these Judgments, You who are and who were the Holy One, because You have so judged; for they have shed the blood of Your saints and prophets… yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are Your Judgments… they cursed the Name of God, but they refused to repent and glorify Him… they refused to repent of what they had done… and there were noises and thunderings and lightening and there was a great earthquake, such a might and great earthquake… and they cursed God.” Revelation 16:1-21

When Catastrophes Occur
Can God be speaking to a lost and careless world through these deadly disasters? Can these catastrophic calamities be a merciful call from a just God for us to repent?

In 2 Chronicles 7:12-14 the Lord declares: “When I shut up the Heavens so that there is no rain, if My people were called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” Throughout the Bible natural disasters are seen as a judgment of God and a clear warning to us to humble ourselves and to pray and seek God’s face and turn from our wicked ways.

Repentance
It is time for us to take a fresh look at God’s Law and to structure our Repentance according to the Ten Commandments. Biblical repentance is not merely “feeling sorry” for our “failings and weaknesses”. What God calls wicked we should not try to redefine as some kind of “mistake”. Biblical Repentance involves: conviction, contrition and conversion requiring a change of mind, a change of heart and a change of life and demanding change of lifestyle and a change of behaviour.

“Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked man forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him return to the Lord and He will have mercy on him and to our God for He will freely pardon.” Isaiah 55:6-7

The fact is that people are not basically good. We are naturally selfish, innately depraved and very wicked. Every deadly disaster, whether man-made or natural disaster, is a merciful call from the Holy God for us to Repent. “Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. Why should you die?” Ezekiel 18:31

“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” Acts 3:19

“The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart and saves such as have a contrite spirit” Psalm 34:18

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.” Psalm 51:17

Dr. Peter Hammond
Frontline Fellowship
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
Tel: 021-689-4480
mission@frontline.org.za
www.frontline.org.za

See also: Severe Storm Strikes Cape TownSoli Deo Gloria

Coaches must be more than just coaches*

This blog post will look at the responsibilities of a sport’s coach – more specifically in this instance a football (soccer) coach – and how the coach can come to exercise a much greater influence over the players that are in his* care†. Here you will see how to make an impact as a role model that is different from the worldly stereotypes everyone looks to copy.

We will look at the definition of a “coach” from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary who is defined as “one who instructs players in the fundamentals of a sport and directs team strategy”, as can be read from this extract:  

2 [from the concept that the tutor conveys the student through examinations]

a : a private tutor • hired a coach to help her daughter prepare for the test

b : one who instructs or trains • an acting coacha birth coach; especially: one who instructs players in the fundamentals of a sport and directs team strategy • a football coach; a pitching coach; a gymnastics coach ~ ©Merriam-Webster Dictionary (since 1828)

However, a coach is also one who teaches individuals, as well as the team collectively, and therefore can also be seen as a teacher or tutor. From a football coaching perspective, the players are instructed and put through their drills during their weekly practices, and the test as to what they have actually learnt and how well they can execute their skills and the game plan (team strategy) is then performed during their team matches. You will often hear from a coach after a match when the plan was not executed so well – which is most often – that, “At the end of the day, we must go back to the drawing board” which in essence, by that common cliché, the coach is saying, “We have to rectify our problems.”

A coach’s arsenal does not only consist of coaching manuals that deal with fitness exercises, skill techniques, game strategies, the laws of the game, and the like, as well as the tangible things like the kits, balls, beacons, and other equipment, but part of his arsenal is also how he presents himself and conducts himself around his young players, the young boys and girls who are impressionable and have learning minds. The players writer is specifically referring to in this article are those in the U6 through U17 age groups. Often coaches do not realise that they leave many a lasting impression upon the youngsters that are in their care and it is common, but not a hard rule, where parents have advised their child on certain aspects of the game and a common comeback by their child is: “But my coach says I should . . .” or “But my coach says . . .” [fill in the blank]! At times it appears that the “coach” knows better and holds a higher authority than the parents! This might well be concerning the qualifications and experience in coaching the sport, but not necessary when it comes to life skills and spiritual matters. It would therefore be common cause to ask yourself some searching questions concerning the coach:

  • When a coach speaks, what is his world view? and what is he actually saying?
  • Can he be trusted in what he speaks about? and what life skills is he teaching the players?
  • And morally, how does he impact upon his students?

Bill Shankly

This treatise will put all in perspective when one considers one of the “greatest coaches” Bill Shankly, a Liverpool manager on Merseyside from 1959–1974, who is quoted as saying: “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.” It is sad to think many, many coaches hold to this world view, of which I too was one of them. But my world view has changed, and I can assure you football is not much, much more important than life and death. Coaching football has far greater lessons to be learned than just honing football players’ God-given talents. On Tuesday 29th September 1981 at the age of 68 when the socialist William “Bill” Shankly passed into eternity, he was assured that football is not “much, much more important” than life and death. Shankly died precisely on time, and scripture records it plainly:

27  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: ~ Hebrews 9:27

[A Gospel Tract: My Friends Are Dying And, Though They Be Alive, They Are Dead Men Walking ~ A Message of Hope ~]

Good-Coach-Great-Coach-copy-768x512

A quote by John Wooden (a past American basketball player and UCLA head coach who won 10 NCAA National Championships in a 12 year period, including an unprecedented 7 in a row), reads as follows: “A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life.” This is true in many respects, but I will further elaborate and add, that, A truly great coach will strive to win souls. Even if it is just one soul won, this is a far greater perspective for a coach than just changing “a game” or “a life.” In the physical realm, lives can be changed when a person’s lot or circumstances in life changes for the better. But a soul won spiritually has eternal rewards that far outweigh the physical here and now. There is wisdom in winning souls. The Holy Bible records it as follows, for it is written,

30  The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. ~ Proverbs 11:30

Whilst most coaches teach from a secular world view, and in some cases they might even throw in some religious mumbo-jumbo, it is imperative that coaches aspire to train children and coach with a Biblical world view or they are bound to fail in this life. Many championships, accolades, trophies, medals, certificates and the like might be won, but without a God-centred Biblical world view every achievement will waste away and be nothing but dross! Following on from here is the reasons why a God-centred Biblical world view is imperative and non-negotiable.

In order for the above Proverbs 11:30 scripture verse to be applied, the person (in this case a coach) would have to be righteous before GOD, and the only way he can be righteous is by being a born again Christian – a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, a child of GOD! Jesus said, “. . . Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.~ John 3:3. The word “verily” comes from a Greek word [281]†† amēn, am-ane, of Hebrew origin [543]†† that means trustworthy, surely as an interjection meaning so be it. In the Hebrew [543]†† âmên, aw-mane’, means sure; abstract faithfulness; adverb truly – Amen, so be it, truth. Jesus Christ, Who is truth (see John 14:6), is emphasising the trustworthiness of His statement, the very essence of truly, truly, amen – so be it! There is no other way to get into the Kingdom. If a person is not born again of the Spirit of the living God, that person cannot see the kingdom of God. To be a true believer you need to know the KING of the Kingdom or there is no access! For access is through having eternal life which in the words of Jesus, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.~ John 17:3. That would leave every person that is excluded from the kingdom of God a condemned rebellious sinner who is headed for hell and the lake of fire come Judgment Day (see Revelation 20:14,15). Jesus taught and preached the kingdom of God, and so must truly born again Christians teach and preach the kingdom of God, HIS Kingdom! Not this worldly kingdom, for it is fast wasting away!

In the Holy Bible God gives born again Christians a mandate to be ambassadors for Christ who have the ministry of reconciliation, to represent the kingdom of God here upon the earth. Just as any ambassador from a country, say South Africa, would find himself in a foreign land, say England, that South African ambassador represents South Africa in England upon English soil. So God has His believers as ambassadors representing His Kingdom here on earth for His glory and purposes alone in the ministry of reconciliation, which is the work of an evangelist reconciling sinners back to God, as we can read from God’s Word in context, for it is written:

17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
18  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 
20  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. 
21  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

Be Biblical, a Biblicist Therefore, to be truly a “great coach”, one must be truly a born again Christian as the Bible defines a believer. However, the “great coach” does not define the believer, but the Great GOD whom he serves in that capacity as an ambassador for Christ! “He [JESUS] must increase, but I must decrease.” ~ John 3:30 [insertion by writer]. For many of the young players have never read the Bible, but the only “Bible” they will ever read may be the coach’s lifestyle: watching your every action, listening to your every word, and observing your morality. We read about this in scripture, for it is written,

2  Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: 
3  Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. ~ 2 Corinthians 3:2,3

If a coach is a true disciple of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, he will stand for truth, for Jesus Christ is truth! He would not want to lie and be a false witness, but speak truth in love at all times. He would want to be Christ-like in word, thought and deed. Jesus prayed to God the Father, “16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” (John 17:16,17). Therefore, truth comes from God, and there can be only one truth. Truth is not subjective, one truth for one person and another truth for another person. Truth is 100%. If there is but 0.1% untruth mixed in with 99.9% truth, the 0.1% untruth will render the whole untrue! Truth will always be 100% or the portion of untruth will render it a lie, deception or a man’s fabrication (opinion)! Truth is objective – there is only ONE truth, and Jesus Christ IS that truth! He said, “6 I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.~ John 14:6,7.

We are also warned in Colossians 2:8, as we read, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” Therefore, if any man as a coach comes in his own stead and strength, he is lacking the truth of God in Christ Jesus. If he comes preaching and teaching with the doctrines and traditions of men, holding to vain babblings of a secular nature and man-made religious practices that are contrary to the Holy Word of God, The Bible, then he is a false teacher, a deceiver, an enemy of God. This will only lead to deception with vain words. However, a true child of God, who teaches as an oracle of God, will hold to the following instructions as to who he is in Christ Jesus, for it is written,

1  Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 
2  And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. 
3  But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 
4  Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 
5  For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 
6  Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 
7  Be not ye therefore partakers with them. ~ Ephesians 5:1-7

Dear coach, what are you teaching the children, your players in your care? Are you a reflection of Christ in word, thought and deed? Or do you speak as the world? think as the world? and act as the world? “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ” (James 1:1), and the half brother of the Lord Jesus Christ (see Matt. 13:55; Mark 6:3), wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” ~ James 4:4. Being a coach are you a friend of the world? And are you teaching and training your players to love the world and what it has to offer?

As a coach you should also guard against having a covetous spirit and making football an idol. There is a fine divining line between playing the game for God’s glory and playing the game for self glory. Also, if a coach and/or the players and/or the parents know more about football than about their Creator God, or they place Truthfootball ahead of their Creator God, then football has become an idol in their lives and football is their god. This goes for anything in life. If  possessions, money, property, cars, music, sport, alcohol, drugs, sex, pornography, career, cell phones, social media, partying, friends, family, religion, etcetera, etcetera, takes precedence in your life over, above and before God, then you are an idolater. God warns in the First and Second of the Ten Commandments, for it is written,

3  Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 
4  Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 
5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 
6  And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. ~ Exodus 20:3-6 (see also Deuteronomy 5:7-10)

As can be seen in verse 5 here above, idolatry which is idol worship is hatred of God.

In order to win souls for Christ by teaching and preaching the kingdom of God, the coach must not only be His ambassador, but he needs to know what the constitution of the kingdom of God says and teaches. The constitution by which we are to live is the God-breathed Holy Bible scriptures, and not man-made constitutions, customs and traditions, confession of faiths and catechisms, or false religious writings, all that blaspheme and promote sin against the Creator God YHVH, for we read, as it is written, YHVH

16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. ~ 2 Timothy 3:16,17

To win youngsters over and teach them Truth, coaches must first and foremost have a relationship with the God they profess to teach about, for their teaching will be an act of worship and praise to the God of Creation. That is why we are warned in scripture to not “give heed to fables” (1 Tim. 1:4), to “refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness” (1 Tim. 4:7), and we are encouraged by the apostles “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty” (2 Peter 1:16).

A coach also needs to be extremely watchful and guard what comes out of his mouth, “34 . . . for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. . . . 36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” (Matthew 12:34,36,37). By way of an example, whilst writer was one Saturday afternoon assisting with an U10 match, an U8/U9 coach committed blasphemy by using the Son of God’s name Jesus Christ to show disgust at his team missing an opportunity to score a goal. Writer immediately rebuked the U8/U9 coach in front of other parent spectators, including a Muslim man standing within ear shot. In a very short period of time the team scored and the said coach retorted that he had “invoked” Jesus’ name and that is why they had scored. He made light of his sin and tried to justify his blasphemy. However, the terminology of the word “invoked” is a ". . . We ought to obey God rather than men." ~ Acts 5:29 Roman Catholic (RC) word that fits with the RC’s doctrine and dogma teachings. The words “invoke” or “invoked” are not found in the Holy Bible scriptures. In the RC Catechism #969 you can read, quote: “. . . Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix."510. This is false teachings as the Holy Bible says there is only one Mediator, as can be read, for it is written in God’s Word, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” (1 Timothy 2:5), and the only Advocate we have in scripture is found in 1 John 2:1, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:”. For what is sin? We read, for it is written, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” (1 John 3:4). And Jesus Christ came to fulfil the law, as we read, for it is written in God’s Word, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” (Matthew 5:17). And the ONLY Advocate Jesus Christ fulfilled the law, not Mary!

Now how can this coach teach children, if he ever did, about the God-Man Jesus Christ when he blasphemes Him by using His Holy Name in vain to show disgust towards his young players? The said RC coach cannot be a true witness of truth when he violates the Third of the Ten Commandments, which reads, “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” (Exodus 20:7). As a Roman Catholic he is teaching another gospel holding to the teachings of the pope-induced man-made catechism that is contrary to the Word of God as can be seen under the example here above dealing with the word “invoked” which is a heresy. Cursed are all that preach any other gospel and would pervert the gospel of Christ, for it is written,

6  I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 
7  Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 
8  But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 
9  As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. 
10  For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. 
11  But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 
12  For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. ~ Galatians 1:6-12

ReligionsTherefore, as can be seen from what has been said above, coaches are more than just coaches. It is dangerous ground when a coach has a flawed world view and conveys his message to his players that they are to respect all religions, when God makes it known that there is only ONE Truth, for God is intolerant! God does not tolerate sin and neither should Christians! Coaches need to avoid secular philosophies and false religions that violate truth. God reveals, for it is written,

22  For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us. ~ Isaiah 33:22

8  I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. ~ Isaiah 42:8

17  They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye are our gods. ~ Isaiah 42:17

10  Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
11  I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. ~ Isaiah 43:10,11

15  I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King. ~ Isaiah 43:15

25  I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. 
26  Put me in remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified. ~ Isaiah 43:25,26

6  Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. ~ Isaiah 44:6

8  . . . Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any. ~ Isaiah 44:8

6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 
7  If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
~ John 14:6,7

3  And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. ~ John 17:3

9  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 
10  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 
11  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ~ Philippians 2:9-11

In closing, coaches need to have their “. . . repentance toward God, No greater joyand faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21), not just any ‘Jesus’ of their own choosing, before they can even consider being used of God to win a soul for Christ. If not, they might impact upon a child’s life by either changing “a game” or changing “a life” in this present evil world, but that child will still remain an enemy of God through wicked works! We read about the Lord Jesus Christ’s ministry, for it is written,

34  And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
35  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.
36  For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
37  Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
38  Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
~ Mark 8:34-38

Dear coaches, if you are not serving the one and only true God in your coaching, you are wasting your time. And you will be accountable for your every action, every word, and every thought come the day of judgment. Today is the day of salvation. Repent and believe before it is too late . . .

Soli Deo Gloria______________________

Footnotes:

* The male gender reference to the “Coach” is also applicable to the female gender. However, in this context women can witness for Christ, but women are not allowed to be public teachers in the church usurping authority over men (see 1 Timothy 2:11-15).

† A coach exercises a great sphere of influence upon players in their care just as a school teacher would do the same in education. However, it should be noted that the parents have a God-given responsibility to teach their child/ren about God and the Bible. We are instructed in Scripture, for it is written,

6  Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. ~ Proverbs 22:6

In the event that the player’s parents are not true Christians, the Christian coach should teach and preach Christ Jesus to both parents and child/ren.

Teach Your Son

†† Strong’s Complete Word Study Concordance Expanded Edition, Copyright 2004 by AMG Publishers: James Strong, LL.D., S.T.D. Edited by Warren Baker.

Tishri 15 . . . or December 25?

Birth of Christ

TISHRI 15 . . .

OR

DECEMBER 25?

~ ‘Christmas’ is a Pagan Tradition ~

~ With Compliments ~

Repent and Believe South Africa

Gary Stephen Crous

Cell: +27 (0) 72 221 1233

E-mail: luke9.23evangelism@gmail.com

Website: http://www.luke923evangelism.wordpress.com

Introduction

The physician Luke’s account of the Gospel of Jesus Christ includes very pertinent information that none of the other Gospel writers have included in their accounts. It is not that Matthew, Mark and John had overlooked this information – it just appears that Almighty God gave Luke the insight of recording the historical and legal information for our benefit.

To say Scripture is silent concerning the birth of Jesus Christ is to not take the Author of the Scriptures, YEHOVAH, at His Word. Man is to live by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Mat. 4:4; Deut. 8:3), and he can truly know when the Christ child JESUS entered into this world – when God took on human form (John 1:1,14). From examining His Scriptures we can know when Christ was born. We will start with an important piece of information given to us as recorded by the apostle Luke in verse 1:5 of the Gospel – the word “Abia” (or “Abijah”). This is our referenced starting point and it is from here that we will calculate towards the birthdate of the Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

The Course of Abijah

From Scripture, the Levite priests of the sons of Aaron were allotted to serve at the Temple as recorded in the Law of Moses and these courses were divided into twenty-four divisions, as recorded in 1Chronicles 24:1-19.

Each course served for two weeks of each year, once in the first half and once in the second half of the Hebrew year. The Temple priests also served collectively for three weeks during the year as commanded by God during the three pilgrimage festivals as recorded in Deuteronomy 16:16 “in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles”.

The Jewish Calendar

To calculate when the course of Abijah would appear in the year we need to first understand the Jewish calendar. The time period when Jesus Christ was born into this world, the Jewish calendar would be using the post exilic sacred months as recorded in the diagram hereafter.

The year starts off in the Hebrew month of Nisan (March/April) and the months are based on the lunar calendar of 30 days per month. The Jewish calendar would therefore equate to a 360-day lunar year. In accordance with the courses that the priests would appear in the Temple, the calculation would be:

MONTH

PRE- / POST EXILIC

OF YEAR SACRED / CIVIL

MODERN

EQUIVALENT

MONTHS

Abib / Nisan

1 / 7

March / April

Ziv / Iyyar

2 /8

April / May

Sivan

3 / 9

May / June

Tammaz

4 / 10

June / July

Ab

5 / 11

July / August

Elul

6 / 12

August / September

Ethanim / Tishri

7 / 1

September / October

Bul / Heshvan

8 / 2

October / November

Chislev

9 / 3

November / December

Tebeth

10 / 4

December / January

Shebat

11 / 5

January / February

Adar / Adar I

(Leap Year)

12 / 6

February / March

24 Courses multiplied by 2 Temple duties a year equals 48 weeks, plus the three pilgrimage weeks which totals 51 weeks.

The 51 weeks equate to 357 days which fits within the 360-day lunar year calendar.

As a result, the course of Abijah, i.e. the eighth course (1Chr. 24:10), would serve the tenth week during the first half of the year, as a result of the Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread being celebrated starting on 14th/15th Nisan (Lev. 23:5-8) and the Feast of Weeks [Shavuot (Pentecost)] (Lev. 23:15,16).

Zechariah had his vision while serving in the eighth course of Abijah, which fell in the tenth week of the year, calculating from the month Nisan. As with the manner of women, we add two weeks to comply with the purity laws (Lev. 15:19,25) which brings the conception of John to be in or about the 12th week of the year. If John was born about thirty-nine weeks (nine months) later (for we are not sure of the exact day of conception calculated at about 39 weeks from Elisabeth’s last menstruation cycle) during the fifty-first week (12 + 39 = 51) that brings us to the birth of John at the Passover festival. Therefore, in God’s providence John the Baptist was born at Passover at the very time that Elijah was to appear.

The Seder Table and Elijah

During the Passover feast, Jewish tradition has a chair left open and a wine goblet set at ‘Elijah’s place’ at the seder (lit. set order) table, each year awaiting his arrival. A quote from a book titled Christ in the Passover sets out a traditional Jewish Passover seder table:

“Also at the seder table, beside each place setting are small wine goblets – small because four times they will be filled with sweet, red Passover wine during the seder. The custom of drinking four cups dates back to ancient Temple times . . . these four cups correspond to the four verbs in Exodus 6:6-7, describing God’s redemption: I will bring you out; I will free you; I will redeem you; I will take you to be My people.

“Two of the wine goblets at the table are usually larger and more ornate than the rest. They have silver, intricate pictures of the Bible history crafted into the metal. One of these goblets sits at the head of the table for the ruler of the feast; the other occupies a prominent place at the foot of the table, before an empty chair. It awaits the lips of Elijah, who, according to Malachi 4:5, is to announce the coming of the Messiah. The prophet is the invited guest of honor at every seder, for, should he come, it would indeed be the most festive of Passovers! The Messianic hope prevails more strongly at Passover than at any other time, for Midrashic tradition says: “Nisan is the month of redemption; in Nisan Israel was redeemed from Egypt; in Nisan Israel will again be redeemed” (Exodus Rabbah 15:12 Cf. chap. 6, 64-66).” (Christ in the Passover, Ceil & Moishe Rosen, Moody Publishers, Chicago, pages 82-83).

During the Passover, a child opens the house door to see if Elijah has “arrived”, to accept the invitation to come inside and announce the coming of the Messiah, and this is done every year as they await his “arrival”! We read in Scripture that John the Baptist came in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:17). At the transfiguration of Christ, Moses and Elijah appeared to Jesus and His disciples Peter, James and John, reading in Matthew 17:10-13

10And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? 11And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 12But I say unto you, That Elias is come already [see Matthew 11:14], and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. 13Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist. [See also Mark 9:10-13 and Luke 9:33].

From the preceding calculations, Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit six months (about 26 weeks) after John the Baptist’s conception. For God’s Word says thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her” (Luke 1:36). Therefore, Christ Jesus was conceived about the 38th week around the festival Hanukkah. This means the “Light of the world” [John 1:9] was conceived during the festival of lights! Conceived, not born in flesh entering into the world, as the ‘Christmas’ man-made tradition dictates – there is a huge difference here!

To fulfill prophecies, God, being a God of divine order, is exact and precise in bringing His Word to pass, so too was the birth of His Only Begotten Son precisely “when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law” (Gal. 4:4).

Therefore, concerning God’s precise mandate and ordination of all things, Jesus was born thirty-nine weeks later (around week 76 from the preceding year’s month of Nisan; that is week 25 of the following year) which brings us to the autumn Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) in the month Tishri (i.e. September/October). God fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah (7:4) when He revealed Himself as God the Son, conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin and entered into this world as the God-Man? – “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14) – “Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Mat. 1:23).

The Feast of Tabernacles

It all points to the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot, Booths). A combination of two aspects – firstly, the taxing that Caesar Augustus decreed (Luke 2:1-4), and secondly, every Jew was required to come to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles (Deut. 16:16), and this would have resulted in Jerusalem being “booked out” where the Temple was situate as well as Bethlehem just five miles away. Therefore, it would be understandable that “there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7). We must remember that Jews attending the Feast of Sukkot would be residing in booths for the duration of the festival according to the Jewish Law.

In Genesis 33:17 ~ 17And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him an house, and made booths for his cattle: therefore the name of the place is called Succoth*. [*That is Booths]

The Hebrew word for “booth” is [+] 5521 sukkâh, sook-kaw’: feminine of 5520; a hut or lair– booth, cottage, covert, pavilion, tabernacle, tent. A specialized usage is employed for booths constructed for the fall harvest festival (Lev. 23:42,43) which is known as the chag hassukkôwth, the Feast of Booths (Deut. 16:13,16). This reminded the Israelites that they lived in booths when the LORD brought them up from Egypt (Lev. 23:43).

Therefore, Joseph and Mary stayed in a booth during the Feast of Booths at the time of Jesus’ birth and not in a cave nor in a stable. His birth was on the first day of Sukkot, “The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD” (Lev. 23:34), and He was circumcised on the “eighth great day”. Shemini Atseret (“Eighth Day of Solemn Assembly”) is observed immediately after Tabernacles on 22nd Tishri, as laid down in the Pentateuch: “on the eighth day shall be a holy convocation . . . it is a solemn assembly (Atseret);” (Lev. 23:36; cf. Num. 29:35). The term Atseret was the original “Simchat Torah” (Rejoicing of the Law) which celebrated the Law of Moses. The Son of man entered the covenant (circumcised) on the day of “rejoicing in the Torah.” Sukkot is symbolic of God dwelling in a “tabernacle” (body) with us. John 1:14 reads ~ 14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

The Greek word “dwelt” is [+] 4637 – skēnoō; to tent or encamp, i.e. (figurative) to occupy (as a mansion) or (special) to reside (as God in the tabernacle of old, a symbol of protection and communion):- dwell.

The Shepherds of Bethlehem

8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. ~ Luke 2:8

The word “abiding” is the only time that this word is used with the Greek word agrauleō [+] 63 – agrauleō; to camp out – abide in the field. The shepherds were camping out which would not be the case if they were in the Gregorian month of December. Winter would have set in and the latter rainy season would have commenced from late October and it would be unlikely that the shepherds would have their flocks out in the fields at night. When the rainy season started in the late fall, temperatures would also be freezing, the shepherds would have already brought their sheep in from the fields and sheltered them. The shepherds always bring their flocks in from the mountain slopes and fields no later than October 15th!

The Bible also states that winter is a rainy month: 11For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; ~ Song of Solomon 2:11. And in Ezra 10:9,13 we are told in “the ninth month” there was “the great rain” and “a time of much rain.” The ninth month referred to is Chislev (November/December).

Swaddling Clothes

Also note the “clothing” that the baby Jesus was wrapped in at the time of His birth which would not be appropriate for the middle of winter. We read pertaining the swaddling clothes:

6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. ~ Luke 2:6,7

The Greek word for “swaddling” is [+] 4683 – sparganoō from sparganon (a strip from a derivative of the base of 4682 meaning to strip or wrap with strips); to swathe (an infant after the Oriental custom):- wrap in swaddling clothes. This reveals that Joseph and Mary were not only poor by the offering that they offered at the Temple, “a pair of turtle doves, or two young pigeons” (Luke 2:24 and Lev. 12:6-8), but the clothes were also strips of wrap. From the evidence, the birth of Jesus Christ could not have been in the middle of winter.

The Wise Men

Another misconception about the practice of ‘Christmas’ is depicting the “three wise men” at the birth of Christ handing over three gifts to Jesus. This shows the inaccuracy that the world portrays during Nativity scenes, school and church productions of Jesus’ birth and on ‘Christmas’ cards, alike. We need to consult the Scriptures in Matthew 2:1-12, 16-18 to see the correct events as they happened concerning them coming to worship King Jesus. It would have taken them months to travel before arriving in Jerusalem, where they asked king Herod where is he that is born King of the Jews. When king Herod heard this – in order to fulfill Scriptures – “he demanded of them where Christ should be born” (Mat. 2:4b).

The shepherds were the first to see the baby Jesus lying in a manger and they broadcast the good news (see Luke 2:17,18) – the first evangelists!

A false depiction is given of the “three wise men” around the manger when the historical facts relate to two descriptions of Jesus. In the manger the word for “babe” is used [+] 1025 brephos, bref’-os; of uncertain affinity; an infant (properly unborn) literal or figurative:- babe, (young) child, infant. However, when we read the account of the wise men meeting Jesus, He is a “young child in a house” and the Greek word for “child” in Matthew 2:11 is [+] 3813 paidion, pahee—dee’-on; neuter diminutive of 3816; a childling (of either sex), i.e. (properly) an infant, or (by extension) a half-grown boy or girl; figurative an immature Christian:- (little, young) child, damsel.

At least two years had elapsed from the time the star first appeared to the wise men, and them informing king Herod, for when Herod saw that he was “mocked” by the wise men who did not report back to him, he fulfilled an ancient prophecy recorded in Jeremiah 31:15 when he “slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.” So when the wise men saw Jesus he was not a babe, but a young child.

Conclusion

Based on all the true facts given in this document we should have absolutely nothing to do with a man-made pagan tradition such as ‘Christmas’. We are never commanded in God’s Word to celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. However, we are commanded:

23For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. ~ 1 Cor. 11:23-26

Soli Deo Gloria

________________

Footnotes:

[+] Strong’s Complete Word Study Concordance

Published by Repent and Believe South Africa

Please visit the website for more information.

This tract may be copied for free distribution if it is copied in full

Gospel Tract Distribution in Alexandra Park

A panoramic view of the venue in Alexandra Park, Pietermaritzburg On Sunday 27 November 2016, I went to Alexandra Park in Pietermaritzburg to distribute Gospel literature at the “1st Annual Christmas Festival.”

'1st Annual Christmas Festival' poster Had some conversations with various faiths and denominations, inter alia Christians, Orthodox, Muslim, Hindus, an Indian Anglican that agreed that Anglicanism is very close to Roman Catholicism, and a very fruitful conversation with a Zimbabwean named Naison, whose wife is a ‘Methodist’, and who is looking for a place to fellowship! Judging from the various people groups who attended this secular “Christmas Festival” it would appear that the true Gospel of the true Christ was missing! It was just another commercialised money-making secular event that pampered to the world with their advertising an “inflatable water theme park, beer garden, snake shows, live band and night market”! All these activities pamper to the flesh! The Lord Jesus Christ is no-where to be seen in events of this nature! You cannot put the true CHRIST back into “Christmas” for He never was in it to begin with!

Set-up on Park Drive This event surely needed the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ! So i set-up on Park Drive to engage the ‘whosoever’ would be attending this event. Also had the privilege of a Hindu lady threaten taking the “Reincarnation . . . or Resurrection? ~ A Message to Hindus” tract to The Witness newspaper seeing that she is a Hindu as she pointed out! Writer did ask that if she did so that she must make sure that they quote the full tract in context! Please pray for Hindu communities to come out of idol-worship bondage! For GOD the Creator says,

4  Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 
5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 
6  And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. ~ Exodus 20:4-6

A sample of our own printed tracts

TISHRI 15 . . .

OR

DECEMBER 25?

~ ‘Christmas’ is a Pagan Tradition ~

 

~ With Compliments ~

Repent and Believe South Africa CC logo

Gary Stephen Crous

Cell: +27 (0) 72 221 1233

E-mail: luke9.23evangelism@gmail.com

Website: http://www.luke923evangelism.wordpress.com

Introduction

The physician Luke’s account of the Gospel of Jesus Christ includes very pertinent information that none of the other Gospel writers have included in their accounts. It is not that Matthew, Mark and John had overlooked this information – it just appears that Almighty God gave Luke the insight of recording the historical and legal information for our benefit.

To say Scripture is silent concerning the birth of Jesus Christ is to not take the Author of the Scriptures, YEHOVAH, at His Word. Man is to live by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Mat. 4:4; Deut. 8:3), and he can truly know when the Christ child JESUS entered into this world – when God took on human form (John 1:1,14). From examining His Scriptures we can know when Christ was born. We will start with an important piece of information given to us as recorded by the apostle Luke in verse 1:5 of the Gospel – the word “Abia” (or “Abijah”). This is our referenced starting point and it is from here that we will calculate towards the birthdate of the Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

The Course of Abijah

From Scripture, the Levite priests of the sons of Aaron were allotted to serve at the Temple as recorded in the Law of Moses and these courses were divided into twenty-four divisions, as recorded in 1Chronicles 24:1-19.

Each course served for two weeks of each year, once in the first half and once in the second half of the Hebrew year.  The Temple priests also served collectively for three weeks during the year as commanded by God during the three pilgrimage festivals as recorded in Deuteronomy 16:16 “in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles”.

The Jewish Calendar

To calculate when the course of Abijah would appear in the year we need to first understand the Jewish calendar. The time period when Jesus Christ was born into this world, the Jewish calendar would be using the post exilic sacred months as recorded in the diagram hereafter.

The year starts off in the Hebrew month of Nisan (March/April) and the months are based on the lunar calendar of 30 days per month. The Jewish calendar would therefore equate to a 360-day lunar year. In accordance with the courses that the priests would appear in the Temple, the calculation would be:

MONTH

PRE- / POST EXILIC

OF YEAR SACRED / CIVIL

MODERN

EQUIVALENT

MONTHS

Abib / Nisan

1 / 7

March / April

Ziv / Iyyar

2 /8

April / May

Sivan

3 / 9

May / June

Tammaz

4 / 10

June / July

Ab

5 / 11

July / August

Elul

6 / 12

August / September

Ethanim / Tishri

7 / 1

September / October

Bul / Heshvan

8 / 2

October / November

Chislev

9 / 3

November / December

Tebeth

10 / 4

December / January

Shebat

11 / 5

January / February

Adar / Adar I

(Leap Year)

12 / 6

February / March

24 Courses multiplied by 2 Temple duties a year equals 48 weeks, plus the three pilgrimage weeks which totals 51 weeks.

The 51 weeks equate to 357 days which fits within the 360-day lunar year calendar.

As a result, the course of Abijah, i.e. the eighth course (1Chr. 24:10), would serve the tenth week during the first half of the year, as a result of the Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread being celebrated starting on 14th/15th Nisan (Lev. 23:5-8) and the Feast of Weeks [Shavuot (Pentecost)] (Lev. 23:15,16).

Zechariah had his vision while serving in the eighth course of Abijah, which fell in the tenth week of the year, calculating from the month Nisan. As with the manner of women, we add two weeks to comply with the purity laws (Lev. 15:19,25) which brings the conception of John to be in or about the 12th week of the year. If John was born about thirty-nine weeks (nine months) later (for we are not sure of the exact day of conception calculated at about 39 weeks from Elisabeth’s last menstruation cycle) during the fifty-first week (12 + 39 = 51) that brings us to the birth of John at the Passover festival. Therefore, in God’s providence John the Baptist was born at Passover at the very time that Elijah was to appear.

The Seder Table and Elijah

During the Passover feast, Jewish tradition has a chair left open and a wine goblet set at ‘Elijah’s place’ at the seder (lit. set order) table, each year awaiting his arrival. A quote from a book titled Christ in the Passover sets out a traditional Jewish Passover seder table:

“Also at the seder table, beside each place setting are small wine goblets – small because four times they will be filled with sweet, red Passover wine during the seder. The custom of drinking four cups dates back to ancient Temple times . . . these four cups correspond to the four verbs in Exodus 6:6-7, describing God’s redemption: I will bring you out; I will free you; I will redeem you; I will take you to be My people.

“Two of the wine goblets at the table are usually larger and more ornate than the rest. They have silver, intricate pictures of the Bible history crafted into the metal. One of these goblets sits at the head of the table for the ruler of the feast; the other occupies a prominent place at the foot of the table, before an empty chair. It awaits the lips of Elijah, who, according to Malachi 4:5, is to announce the coming of the Messiah. The prophet is the invited guest of honor at every seder, for, should he come, it would indeed be the most festive of Passovers! The Messianic hope prevails more strongly at Passover than at any other time, for Midrashic tradition says: “Nisan is the month of redemption; in Nisan Israel was redeemed from Egypt; in Nisan Israel will again be redeemed” (Exodus Rabbah 15:12 Cf. chap. 6, 64-66).” (Christ in the Passover, Ceil & Moishe Rosen, Moody Publishers, Chicago, pages 82-83).

During the Passover, a child opens the house door to see if Elijah has “arrived”, to accept the invitation to come inside and announce the coming of the Messiah, and this is done every year as they await his “arrival”! We read in Scripture that John the Baptist came in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:17). At the transfiguration of Christ, Moses and Elijah appeared to Jesus and His disciples Peter, James and John, reading in Matthew 17:10-13

10And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? 11And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 12But I say unto you, That Elias is come already [see Matthew 11:14], and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. 13Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist. [See also Mark 9:10-13 and Luke 9:33].

From the preceding calculations, Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit six months (about 26 weeks) after John the Baptist’s conception. For God’s Word says thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her” (Luke 1:36). Therefore, Christ Jesus was conceived about the 38th week around the festival Hanukkah. This means the “Light of the world” [John 1:9] was conceived during the festival of lights! Conceived, not born in flesh entering into the world, as the ‘Christmas’ man-made tradition dictates – there is a huge difference here!

To fulfill prophecies, God, being a God of divine order, is exact and precise in bringing His Word to pass, so too was the birth of His Only Begotten Son precisely “when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law” (Gal. 4:4).

Therefore, concerning God’s precise mandate and ordination of all things, Jesus was born thirty-nine weeks later (around week 76 from the preceding year’s month of Nisan; that is week 25 of the following year) which brings us to the autumn Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) in the month Tishri (i.e. September/October). God fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah (7:4) when He revealed Himself as God the Son, conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin and entered into this world as the God-Man? – “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14) – “Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Mat. 1:23).

The Feast of Tabernacles

It all points to the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot, Booths). A combination of two aspects – firstly, the taxing that Caesar Augustus decreed (Luke 2:1-4), and secondly, every Jew was required to come to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles (Deut. 16:16), and this would have resulted in Jerusalem being “booked out” where the Temple was situate as well as Bethlehem just five miles away. Therefore, it would be understandable that “there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7). We must remember that Jews attending the Feast of Sukkot would be residing in booths for the duration of the festival according to the Jewish Law.

In Genesis 33:17 ~ 17And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him an house, and made booths for his cattle: therefore the name of the place is called Succoth*. [*That is Booths]

The Hebrew word for “booth” is [+] 5521 sukkâh, sook-kaw’: feminine of 5520; a hut or lair– booth, cottage, covert, pavilion, tabernacle, tent. A specialized usage is employed for booths constructed for the fall harvest festival (Lev. 23:42,43) which is known as the chag hassukkôwth, the Feast of Booths (Deut. 16:13,16). This reminded the Israelites that they lived in booths when the LORD brought them up from Egypt (Lev. 23:43).

Therefore, Joseph and Mary stayed in a booth during the Feast of Booths at the time of Jesus’ birth and not in a cave nor in a stable. His birth was on the first day of Sukkot, “The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD” (Lev. 23:34), and He was circumcised on the “eighth great day”. Shemini Atseret (“Eighth Day of Solemn Assembly”) is observed immediately after Tabernacles on 22nd Tishri, as laid down in the Pentateuch: “on the eighth day shall be a holy convocation . . . it is a solemn assembly (Atseret);” (Lev. 23:36; cf. Num. 29:35). The term Atseret was the original “Simchat Torah” (Rejoicing of the Law) which celebrated the Law of Moses. The Son of man entered the covenant (circumcised) on the day of “rejoicing in the Torah.” Sukkot is symbolic of God dwelling in a “tabernacle” (body) with us. John 1:14 reads ~ 14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

The Greek word “dwelt” is [+] 4637 – skēnoō; to tent or encamp, i.e. (figurative) to occupy (as a mansion) or (special) to reside (as God in the tabernacle of old, a symbol of protection and communion):- dwell.

The Shepherds of Bethlehem

8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. ~ Luke 2:8

The word “abiding” is the only time that this word is used with the Greek word agrauleō [+] 63 – agrauleō; to camp out – abide in the field. The shepherds were camping out which would not be the case if they were in the Gregorian month of December. Winter would have set in and the latter rainy season would have commenced from late October and it would be unlikely that the shepherds would have their flocks out in the fields at night. When the rainy season started in the late fall, temperatures would also be freezing, the shepherds would have already brought their sheep in from the fields and sheltered them. The shepherds always bring their flocks in from the mountain slopes and fields no later than October 15th!

The Bible also states that winter is a rainy month: 11For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; ~ Song of Solomon 2:11. And in Ezra 10:9,13 we are told in “the ninth month” there was “the great rain” and “a time of much rain.” The ninth month referred to is Chislev (November/December).

Swaddling Clothes

Also note the “clothing” that the baby Jesus was wrapped in at the time of His birth which would not be appropriate for the middle of winter. We read pertaining the swaddling clothes:

6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. ~ Luke 2:6,7

The Greek word for “swaddling” is [+] 4683 – sparganoō from sparganon (a strip from a derivative of the base of 4682 meaning to strip or wrap with strips); to swathe (an infant after the Oriental custom):- wrap in swaddling clothes. This reveals that Joseph and Mary were not only poor by the offering that they offered at the Temple, “a pair of turtle doves, or two young pigeons” (Luke 2:24 and Lev. 12:6-8), but the clothes were also strips of wrap. From the evidence, the birth of Jesus Christ could not have been in the middle of winter.

The Wise Men

Another misconception about the practice of ‘Christmas’ is depicting the “three wise men” at the birth of Christ handing over three gifts to Jesus. This shows the inaccuracy that the world portrays during Nativity scenes, school and church productions of Jesus’ birth and on ‘Christmas’ cards, alike. We need to consult the Scriptures in Matthew 2:1-12, 16-18 to see the correct events as they happened concerning them coming to worship King Jesus. It would have taken them months to travel before arriving in Jerusalem, where they asked king Herod where is he that is born King of the Jews. When king Herod heard this – in order to fulfill Scriptures – “he demanded of them where Christ should be born” (Mat. 2:4b).

The shepherds were the first to see the baby Jesus lying in a manger and they broadcast the good news (see Luke 2:17,18) – the first evangelists!

A false depiction is given of the “three wise men” around the manger when the historical facts relate to two descriptions of Jesus. In the manger the word for “babe” is used [+] 1025 brephos, bref’-os; of uncertain affinity; an infant (properly unborn) literal or figurative:- babe, (young) child, infant. However, when we read the account of the wise men meeting Jesus, He is a “young child in a house” and the Greek word for “child” in Matthew 2:11 is [+] 3813 paidion, pahee—dee’-on; neuter diminutive of 3816; a childling (of either sex), i.e. (properly) an infant, or (by extension) a half-grown boy or girl; figurative an immature Christian:- (little, young) child, damsel.

At least two years had elapsed from the time the star first appeared to the wise men, and them informing king Herod, for when Herod saw that he was “mocked” by the wise men who did not report back to him, he fulfilled an ancient prophecy recorded in Jeremiah 31:15 when he “slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.” So when the wise men saw Jesus he was not a babe, but a young child.

Conclusion

Based on all the true facts given in this document we should have absolutely nothing to do with a man-made pagan tradition such as ‘Christmas’. We are never commanded in God’s Word to celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. However, we are commanded:

23For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. ~ 1 Cor. 11:23-26

Soli Deo Gloria

________________

Footnotes:

[+] Strong’s Complete Word Study Concordance

Published by Repent and Believe South Africa

Please visit the website for more information.

This tract may be copied for free distribution if it is copied in full

“Happy Birthday Lord Jesus”

So where were all the posts in social media by Christians ‘congratulating Jesus on His birth’? If any ‘day’ holds the credence of being the Birthday of the Lord Jesus Christ – The Messiah – this would be the day. Tishri 15 in the Hebrew calendar (Tishri 15, 5777 = October 17, 2016; ט״ו בְּתִשְׁרֵי תשע״ז) being the beginning of the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot I)* holds the truth according to the Holy Scriptures given to Jew and Gentile by GOD.

Christians and heathens alike cannot say, “The Holy Bible is silent on the date of the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ” – the sent and anointed Son of GOD – when the Word of GOD speaks specifically pointing to the Feast of Tabernacles when one starts reading in the historical, literal and grammatical context the Gospel account by the physician Luke in chapters 1 and 2, cross referencing other Scriptures, for Scripture confirms Scripture.

Why will true Christians hold to pagan and heathen tradition ‘celebrating with the world and cult religions’ a false birthday and birth date of the sovereign King Jesus?

Here is a Birth Chart worth considering (click to enlarge) –

Birth of ChristSoon we will be entering the silly season with all its deceptive man-made traditions given to the world by Satan through the Roman Catholic institution. Almighty GOD YEHOVAH has not commanded Christians to celebrate HIS ‘birthday at December 25th’, but the fulfilment of GOD manifest as man in the Person of Jesus Christ is in accordance with HIS WORD at the Feast of Tabernacles, and no other. To remember and celebrate at a date nowhere confirmed in the Holy Scriptures is to ‘worship another Jesus’ for HE was not born on that day! It is tantamount to compare it to the Muslim Isa of their Qu’ran, who is not the Lord Jesus Christ of the Holy Bible, for Isa is not the Son of YHVH, Isa is not the incarnate YHVH, and Isa did not die upon a cross for sinners! So, as Isa is not the true Lord Jesus Christ, so the ‘Jesus’ born on December 25th is not the true Lord Jesus Christ born on Tishri 15! For the incarnate and sovereign YEHOVAH our Lord Jesus Christ confirmed how we are to remember HIM,

19  And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
20  Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. ~ Luke 22:19,20

23  For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
24  And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
25  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
26  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. ~ 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

For more posts pertaining to this true historical fact kindly visit the following links –

Soli Deo Gloria

__________________________

Footnote

* Sukkot / סוכות

Sukkot (Hebrew: סוכות or סֻכּוֹת, sukkōt, or sukkos, Feast of Booths, Feast of Tabernacles) is a Biblical holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei (late September to late October). It is one of the three biblically mandated festivals Shalosh regalim on which Jews were commanded to make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem.

Is there a pre-tribulation rapture?

What does GOD’s Holy Word really say in the Christian Doctrine of Eschatology – the “study of end-times” – pertaining to the “rapture”? And does the Latin word for “caught up” being rapturo mean a literal “pre-tribulation rapture”?  

The Dispensationalist Futuristic Eschatology believers advocate the “rapture of the Church” prior to the great tribulation described in the Book of Revelation when GOD pours out His wrath upon men left on the earth as well as on His ‘chosen people’ from the House of Israel, the Jews, who will be experiencing Jacob’s Trouble in fulfilment of Daniel’s prophecy concerning the seven-year tribulation. As the pre-trib advocates’  interpretation goes, the Church has been “raptured out of the earth” and are in heaven and will therefore not be present when GOD pours out His vial judgments upon the earth. This can then leave born-again Christians with an understanding that we need not worry about the mark of the beast or ever being deceived by the anti-christ, the beast or the false prophet, or taking “. . . the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Rev 13:17) as “the Church” will not be present on the earth during the tribulation!

The English evangelist Leonard Ravenhill (June 18, 1907 – November 27, 1994) put it aptly, quote: “Today’s church wants to be raptured from responsibility.” Is this a true reflection of modern churchianity? In Scripture we learn that “there is no respect of persons with God” and that Jew and Gentile will be treated justly in salvation by His judgment and His reward, as we read,

16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. ~ Romans 1:16

9  Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; 
10  But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: 
11  For there is no respect of persons with God. ~ Romans 2:9-11

So what does Scripture then really say concerning the “rapture” and its timing? Let us first look at the verses that “pre-tribulation rapture dispensationalists” use to advocate the rapture taking place before the great tribulation where our Lord Jesus Christ “returns” for His Church in the air, but does not “come to the earth”. We read in 1 Thessalonians 4 the following,

14  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17

The apostle Paul is addressing the ekklesia at Thessalonica and explaining the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and its relationship with the dead, “which sleep in Jesus”, and the believers who are “alive and remain” when the Lord Jesus comes. The context can be gleaned from certain words and verses that confirm this. In 1 Thessalonians 3:13 Paul writes “To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.” (Emphasis added by writer in bold and hereafter throughout). This “To the end” is of time that Paul speaks of when the believers will appear before GOD and Paul confirms it by saying “at the coming” of our Lord Jesus Christ. He does not say at the fetching of His Church, but “at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” Who will not come to fetch His Church alone, but “with all his saints.” The question to the pre-trib rapture advocates, is: Why does our Lord Jesus Christ come fetch His Church in the air bringing with Him “all his saints” only to return back to heaven with His saints again?

Paul then starts chapter 4 with the words, “FURTHERMORE then we beseech you . . .”; the apostle Paul continues with the emphasis of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, but now exhorts and gives instructions to the ekklesia about holy living which is leading up to him reiterating the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know,

14  Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: ~ Hebrews 12:14

In 1 Thessalonians 4:14, the apostle Paul speaks of our belief in the death and resurrection of Jesus and states that the believers “which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” This is pertaining to the first resurrection of “the dead in Christ” (1 Thess 4:16), as we also read, for it is written,

4  And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
5  But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 
6  Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. ~ Revelation 20:4-6

Those believers “which sleep in Jesus” who died during their lifetime before the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, God will bring with Him. It should also be noted from the preceding portion of Scripture in Revelation 20:4 that the souls that take part in the first resurrection “. . . were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; . . .” and therefore it is common sense from a literal reading of GOD’s Word that they must have been present at the time of the worshipping of the beast and of his image and the receiving, i.e. the giving, of the mark of the beast. The apostle Paul writes that the “dead in Christ” will be raised to life and those “which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord” (1 Thess 4:15) “. . . shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thess 4:17). Twice the phrase “alive and remain” is used in 1 Thessalonians 4:15 and 17 in reference to those living at the time. Interestingly Paul uses the “we” which is the first person plural, for since the time of Pentecost all believers were living with an expectation of the soon returning Lord Jesus Christ, and the end-days started almost two thousand years ago. We too live with an imminent return of our Lord Jesus Christ perspective, and it was no different back then in first century A.D., in the year of our Lord. We read in Scripture that we are to “watch” for we know not when the time is for the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, for it is written for our instruction,

35  Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
36  Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
37  And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
~ Mark 13:35-37

36  Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. ~ Luke 21:36

6  Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:6

7  But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. ~ 1 Peter 4:7

3  Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. ~ Revelation 3:3

The word “remain” in the phrase “alive and remain” (1 Thess 4:15,17) is the Greek word,

G4035 περιλείπω , perileipō, per-ee-li’-po; from G4012 and G3007; to leave all around, that is, (passive) survive: – remain.

It speaks of “survive”. To survive is to overcome something, be put through something! It is used in these verses speaking of the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and this can only be that the believers have survived the wickedness upon the earth and the “seven-year great tribulation”!

The reason why these Scriptures can only be describing the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ is the wording that is used. In 1 Thessalonians 4:16 Paul writes, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven . . .”. To descend is to physically come down. To descend will also be a physical sighting of our Lord and if this portion of Scripture was for the “pre-tribulation rapture” of the Church then our Lord’s descending would constitute the second coming and the actual second coming would then constitute a third coming! This is false teaching and heresy! The descending is also not a “secretive rapture” as many argue, but there are announcements at the coming of the Lord with “shouts, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump [trumpet] of God”. All will know and see the Lord is coming and there will be further evidence as the graves will open and would have the dead in Christ rising first in the first resurrection.

If the “Church of Christ” is “raptured up to heaven” before the tribulation and we are to appear before the bema seat of Christ to be judged and receive our rewards as per 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 during the seven-year tribulation period on the earth as the pre-trib advocates believe, then when do the tribulation saints appear before the throne of our Lord Jesus Christ to have their works tested by fire – gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble?

Further questions which need to be answered, are: Should “new” tribulation saints die in Christ during the tribulation period, when do they get resurrected? Will it be at the second coming after the tribulation? If the dead in Christ are raised at the then second coming of Christ after the great tribulation, will this not then constitute a second resurrection of the dead in Christ which goes contrary to what Scripture tells us in Revelation 20:4-6 above? The second resurrection is for the dead unto eternal damnation!! Further, if the “pre-tribulation raptured Church” have appeared in heaven at the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:9), why have the new tribulation saints been excluded from the Lord’s marriage supper? Would these tribulation saints be deemed second-class believers in Christ and therefore not be partaking in His marriage supper? You can see that the pre-tribulation rapture theory is contrary to the Word of GOD!

It is not preposterous for the genuinely born-again believers who are alive at the great tribulation for them to pass through the tribulation. Many believers even today are losing their bodily lives through persecution and even tribulation. There are disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ who have lost their physical lives in tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, cyclones, landslides, great forest fires, electrical storms, violent accidents and other disasters, including wars and diseases, and yet spiritually they are saved from the wrath of GOD of eternal damnation. Scripture reveals that GOD can save those He will as according to His Divine purpose for His Glory, for “. . . The Lord knoweth them that are his . . .” (see 2 Timothy 2:19). YEHOVAH (YHVH) is able to save His elect saints – Jew and Gentile – and even in the midst of the great tribulation of Revelation which is to come. In Exodus GOD gives us assurance that He is able to protect His chosen people when He placed them in the land of Goshen in Egypt when He brought the plagues upon the Egyptian Pharaoh and his nation. None of the plagues touched GOD’s chosen people as we read some select Scriptures with emphasis by the blog’s writer concerning,

The plague of flies –

21  Else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thy houses: and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground whereon they are.
22  And I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end thou mayest know that I am the LORD in the midst of the earth.
23  And I will put a division between my people and thy people: to morrow shall this sign be. ~ Exodus 8:21-23

The murrain of beasts –

3  Behold, the hand of the LORD is upon thy cattle which is in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep: there shall be a very grievous murrain. 
4  And the LORD shall sever between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of Egypt: and there shall nothing die of all that is the children’s of Israel. 
5  And the LORD appointed a set time, saying, To morrow the LORD shall do this thing in the land. 
6  And the LORD did that thing on the morrow, and all the cattle of Egypt died: but of the cattle of the children of Israel died not one. 
7  And Pharaoh sent, and, behold, there was not one of the cattle of the Israelites dead. And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people go. ~ Exodus 9:3-7

The plague of hail –

23  And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the LORD rained hail upon the land of Egypt.
24  So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.
25  And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field.
26  Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail. ~ Exodus 9:23-26

The darkness –

21  And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt.
22  And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days:
23  They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings. ~ Exodus 10:21-23

The firstborn –

4  And Moses said, Thus saith the LORD, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt: 
5  And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts. 
6  And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more. 
7  But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel. ~ Exodus 11:4-7

Therefore, from reading the preceding Scriptures from the Book of Exodus all things are possible with GOD and even in the midst of the great tribulation of Revelation, GOD can keep His people safe and untouched.

We further know that the Scriptures in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and 17, could only be referring to our Lord Jesus Christ’s second coming at the last trumpet and not a “pre-tribulation rapture”, for we read,

50  Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
51  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:50-53

And when does the last trumpet take place? Certainly not before the great tribulation of the Book of Revelation! For we read concerning the “elect” (and this portion of Scripture is not just for the Jews as some erroneously believe) when we read in Matthew 24, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)” (Matt 24:15) which event takes place before the days of the elect spoken of in Matthew 24:21-24 concerning “21 . . . great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. 23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”  These events all precede, as it is written,

29  Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 
30  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 
31  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
~ Matthew 24:29-31

There is therefore sufficient proof from GOD’s Word that there is no pre-tribulation rapture. The rapture, a catching up of the dead in Christ and those that are alive and remain will take place at the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ immediately after the tribulation, i.e. post-tribulation. In closing, is ‘Chart No. 5 – The Seven Thousand Years of Human History’ then a true representation of what the Holy Bible teaches? Clarence Larkin (1850-1924), a dispensationalist, studied the Scriptures and “with the help of some books that fell into his hands, led him to adopt many of the tenets of the premillennialist theology that was gaining favor in conservative Protestant circles in the Gilded Age.”* It is widely accepted that the teachings of the pre-tribulation rapture theory was invented in the 19th century by a man named John Nelson Darby (1800-1882) who is considered to be the father of modern Dispensationalism and Futurism (“the Rapture” in the English vernacular)**.

The Seven Thousand Years of Human History

In Larkin’s aforementioned chart (click to enlarge) the pre-tribulation rapture is depicted and taught to have taken place before the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in A.D. 2000! We are now in the year 2016 A.D. and therefore what has been recorded in Clarence Larkin’s chart as “gospel truth” is false for neither had the “rapture” taken place neither had Christ returned in the year 2000 A.D.!

The plumbline of GOD’s Word is not what men teach, but what GOD’s Word tells us! Let GOD be true, but every man a liar.Soli Deo Gloria

________________________________

Footnotes:

* Clarence Larkin http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarence_Larkin

** Christianity Today: Christian History, John Nelson Darby, http://christianitytoday.com/history/people/pastorsandpreachers/john-nelson-darby.html and http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Nelson_Darby

Jacob Zuma’s accursed gospel

On Friday March 25, 2016, the President of South Africa Mr Jacob Zuma attended the heretical Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) “Good Friday prayer” at the Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg. It appears that Zuma is not a member of the UCKG and it would further appear that his attendance was one for electioneering purposes as the 2016 Municipal Elections are coming up.

Firstly, we will look at the news article as it is online and then secondly, we will dissect Zuma’s unbiblical rhetoric and finally, his anti-Christian unbiblical abominable slurs against Christianity and our Lord Jesus Christ as he blasphemes the Gospel of GOD.

Firstly, here is the news article: 

Pray for us as leaders – Zuma

2016-03-25 13:50 – Karabo Ngoepe, News24

President Jacob Zuma. (Gianluigi Guercia, AFP)Johannesburg – President Jacob Zuma on Friday called on Christians to pray for politicians, as the devil was trying to interfere with their work.

“We are here to get blessings and prayers. We want you to pray for us as leaders so that when we make mistakes, you can ask God to forgive us because Satan is always around trying to derail us,” he told thousands of members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg.

The country was faced with crime and drug abuse and prayers were needed to help fight these problems.

Zuma arrived to applause and cheering as he walked around the stadium. Thousands of people waved at him and Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane as his theme song “Yinde le ndlela” (The Road is Still Long) played in the background. Others in the stadium joined in the singing.

He hugged one child, to the mother’s excitement.

“We need love,” he told the crowd.

“We must love God and those who have been entrusted to do his work. On this day, when we remember Jesus, we also ask those in charge to pray for us,” he said in IsiZulu.

He called on the congregants to pray for Members of Parliament so they could behave and conduct themselves in a respectful manner.

He professed his love for the church and said the atmosphere in the stadium made him want to attend church regularly.

People were made in the image of God and had rights that should be protected and respected, he said.

~ News24

Secondly, in the above article Zuma states that “We are here to get blessings and prayers.” At the outset, the President and his party were not there to worship the Lord Jesus Christ, and neither were the UCKG congregants. One of many reasons to start off with: Why was Zuma’s theme song “Yinde le ndlela” (The Road is Still Long) playing in the background when he arrived? At an “Easter gathering” a man was being praised and not the Lord Jesus Christ! This is idolatry and wickedness!

Jacob Zuma at the UCKG at Ellis Park, on Friday March 25, 2016With the ANC history of maladministration, fraud, corruption, theft and ungodly rule with abominable laws promulgated by the ruling government who rebel against the True GOD of Creation, it is more than “prayers for mistakes” that Zuma and the ANC need! It is not mistakes, but wicked sin that has been committed that Zuma and his party need to repent from! Christian prayers should be for their repentance toward GOD and their faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ (see Acts 20:21). Yes, Satan does seek out who he can devour (Zuma says “derail”), but it is the born again regenerated believers and not the unregenerated sinners who the apostle Peter speaks of, for it is written,

8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 
9  Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. ~ 1 Peter 5:8

The sins being committed in parliament are as a result of one’s personal “own lust” and they need to own up and accept their own personal sinful actions, for it is written,

14  But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15  Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. ~ James 1:14,15

Unregenerated sinners who rebel continuously against GOD with their wicked deeds are children of the devil, as we read, for it is written,

8  He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 
9  Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 
10  In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. ~ 1 John 3:8-10

Jacob Zuma at the podium With regards to Zuma’s statement regarding the members of parliament who are to “behave and conduct themselves in a respectful manner”, they will only be able to do so if they are born again of the Holy Spirit, which is from above and not by man’s devices. Ubuntu, Batho Pele and other man made works of self-righteousness will always come short of GOD’s holy and perfect standard. As before quoted, to “behave and conduct themselves in a respectful manner”, their first priority to please GOD in good governance would be found in the Christian principles recorded in Scripture, for it is written,

22  Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:
23  And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
24  Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
25  But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons. ~ Colossians 3:22-25

Therefore, all parliamentary work should be to please the Lord “for ye serve the Lord Christ” and that is if you are born again. For this is confirmed in Scripture, for it is written,

12  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
13  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
15  But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
16  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. ~ 1 Corinthians 2:12-16

Bp. Marcelo presents President Jacob Zuma a Nothing to Lose 3 book (Facebook) All this starts with repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, and the ANC government should show they are committed to the ways of GOD by repenting of the abominable laws they have promulgated through parliament since 1994 to present. Government should not think that GOD will bless South Africa whilst there is present lawlessness, which is sin, for he that transgresses GOD’s law sins (see 1 John 3:4). The lawlessness which we speak of is practiced through the legislation of the land with the legalisation of abortion (which is murder of the unborn), homosexuality and sodomy, pornography, gambling, redefining GOD’s marriage laws by wicked men, racist legislation that discriminates against ‘white-males’ in business and in sport, and religious idolatry by removing the One True GOD from the schools, the universities, the law courts and parliament through Marxist-atheistic evolution and the systematic indoctrination of the masses keeping them in bondage from knowing the Truth – for Jesus Christ is Truth! This also includes the worship of ancestors as ‘mediators’ when GOD’s Word clearly states that there is only one mediator between GOD and men, for it is written,

5  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 
6  Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. ~ 1 Timothy 2:5,6

The amadlozi (ancestors) do not speak to GOD on behalf of  Africans on earth, as President Jacob Zuma and many other parliamentarians believe as well as their supporters and voters do, too. It is brazenly spoken by them that it is their African traditions and customs and they cannot turn from those practices. GOD’s Word rebukes this belief when His Son Jesus Christ says, “. . . Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.” (Matthew 15:6b). And, “Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.” (Mark 7:13). For in Deuteronomy 18 we also read that it is forbidden for people on earth to speak or consult with dead people in acts of necromancy, nor are they to consult with sangomas (witchdoctors), as we read, for it is written,

10  There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,
11  Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
12  For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. ~ Deuteronomy 18:10-12

You cannot mix the profane (sinful wicked behaviour) with that which is Holy and belongs entirely to GOD! This is the unholy, abominable and wicked practices that takes place amongst many of the African Traditionalist Churches. Scripture tells us,

14  Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: ~ Hebrews 12:14

Which brings us to the final issues that clearly shows that President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma – even though his religious background is listed as Protestantism according to Wikipedia – does not fear GOD, but teaches falsehood with his blasphemous statements taking scripture out of context, twisting scripture and teaching doctrines of devils (see 1 Timothy 4:1) to the gullible and deceived masses. Zuma is perverting the gospel of Christ (see Galatians 1:6,7) which renders Zuma being “accursed” (see Galatians 1:8,9). He has publically ‘preached deception’ as can be read from the public media hereunder.

President looking at testimonies (Facebook). If Zuma was a ‘Christian’ his life would be decidedly different in the public arena. He is a polygamist with four ‘wives’ and who also has a history of adulterous fornication (sex outside the bounds of marriage). It is estimated that he has fathered +20 children. He raised a further moral scandal when he was charged in 2005 with raping an HIV-positive 31 year-old woman whilst not using a condom and then stated in court that he took a shower afterwards to “cut the risk of contracting HIV.” This statement was condemned by the judge, health experts, and AIDS activists. He was acquitted of the rape charge. He has also been dogged with many fraud and corruption charges against him which may still be brought before the courts, and just recently he and the National Assembly were found guilty in March 2016 by the Constitutional Court of South Africa for failing to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law of the land, in respect of his R248 million Nkandla upgrade saga – subsequently Zuma has to pay back tax-payers’ money, which amount is still to be determined within 60 days from the ConCourt ruling and the final repayment is to be made within 45 days thereafter.

Now, hereunder are the previous media reports where Jacob Zuma openly blasphemes the Gospel of GOD:

On May 5, 2008, Zuma said in an article titled ‘ANC to rule until Jesus comes back’, quote:

“We shall build this organisation. Even God expects us to rule this country because we are the only organisation which was blessed by pastors when it was formed.

“It is even blessed in Heaven. That is why we will rule until Jesus comes back. We should not allow anyone to govern our city (Cape Town) when we are ruling the country,” he said.

~ IOL : News / Politics

On February 7, 2011, Zuma blasphemed salvation through Jesus Christ alone (see John 14:6) by saying a vote for the ANC guarantees you entry into heaven. The article can be read at Churches to seek meeting with Zuma over ‘blasphemy’ (News24) and Outrage at Zuma’s promises of heaven (Mail & Guardian), quote: 

Zuma, who also heads the ruling ANC, reportedly told party supporters in Mthatha: “When you vote for the ANC, you are also choosing to go to heaven. When you don’t vote for the ANC you should know that you are choosing that man who carries a fork . . . who cooks people.

“When you are carrying an ANC membership card, you are blessed. When you get up there, there are different cards used but when you have an ANC card, you will be let through to go to heaven.”

~ News24

On December 21, 2011, Jacob Zuma was reported in an article titled Jacob Zuma blames Christianity for South Africa’s problems, quote:

Mr Zuma, South Africa’s first Zulu president, told an event in his home province of KwaZulu-Natal that Christianity brought about “orphans” and “old-age homes” thereby destroying Africa’s traditions, according to South Africa’s Times newspaper.

“As Africans, long before the arrival of religion and [the] gospel, we had our own ways of doing things,” he said.

“Those were times that the religious people refer to as dark days but we know that, during those times, there were no orphans or old-age homes. Christianity has brought along these things.”

Mr Zuma’s office later issued a statement saying that his comments had been reported in a “misleading manner” and were aimed at ensuring South Africans do not neglect African culture.

“While we should embrace western culture and Christianity, we should not neglect the African ways of doing things,” said Mac Maharaj, presidency spokesman.

~ The Telegraph

In the same article reference is made to necromancy and also that he “was made an honorary pastor” which means absolutely nothing as his doctrine is man-centred heretical traditions and customs, quote:

During the ritual wedding the bride, Madiba, 38, was introduced to the elders and ancestors, two years after Mr Zuma, 69, paid the Ilobolo (dowry).

In 2007, Mr Zuma was made an honorary pastor at a meeting of independent charismatic churches.

~ The Telegraph 

On November 26, 2012, we read of Jacob Zuma calling on the ancestors to protect him in an act of necromancy and by slaughtering 12 cows, which is an abomination in the sight of GOD Almighty (see Deuteronomy 18:10-12 above). The article appears at Zuma calls on ancestors, quote:

KwaZulu-Natal – President Jacob Zuma, who faces mounting criticism and a strong attempt to remove him as ANC leader, has turned to his ancestors for help before Mangaung.

Zuma’s family slaughtered 12 cows and burnt traditional incense at his Nkandla homestead, at a ceremony in which Zulu warriors danced, sang songs and brandished traditional weapons.

ANC leaders were nowhere to be seen, but Zuma, in leopard skin, lifted his spear and danced as thousands prayed for him to win a second term as ANC president.

Inkosi Bheki Zuma gave him a Zulu shield and spear, and told him to use the weapons to protect himself from his ANC opponents.

. . .

The ceremony at Nkandla appeared to be a repeat of what Zuma did in the run-up to the 2007 Polokwane conference, when he visited King Goodwill Zwelithini to get his blessing. The meat, cooked on a fire, was dished out to guests, who also enjoyed traditional beer.

“We are here to give our father a send-off to Mangaung. With this ceremony we are now sure he is protected and he will come back to celebrate with us,” said Nomthandazo Zuma.

Buses transported family members and relatives from around KZN. The ceremony started at the homestead of the Nxamalala clan’s Bheki Zuma, where traditional incense was burnt, a symbol of communicating with the ancestors. Zuma then led armed warriors to his old homestead, Entembeni.

The ceremony ended in his luxurious homestead, where his brother Michael and other elders continued to talk to the ancestors. Michael gave a rundown of Zuma’s credentials as a freedom fighter who had spent time in prison and in exile. Towards the end of the ceremony, Zuma’s son Edward instructed police and bodyguards to escort journalists, including those from The Mercury, out of his homestead.

“Who invited you? Who told you to come here?” he asked.

~ IOL : News / Politics

On October 7, 2013, IOL reported in Zuma in new government, religion row, quote:

Johannesburg – President Jacob Zuma on Sunday walked a controversial tightrope between invoking God for his administration and the official oath of office in which politicians in government pledge to do their job “so help me God”.

Jacob Zuma getting "blessed" in Giyani, Limpopo At a church service in Giyani, Limpopo, on Sunday, Zuma told members of the 33rd Presbyterian Synod to pray for the government – and for politicians who insulted each other.

“Whether we like it or not, God has made a connection between the government and the church. That’s why He says you, as a church, should pray for it,” Zuma, who spoke in Zulu throughout, is quoted as saying.

“Because if you allow them to insult those in authority, you are creating a society that is angry with itself.”

~ IOL : News / Politics 

On January 6, 2014, it was reported that Jacob Zuma was joining with the Roman Catholic Church to re-translate the Bible into isiZulu as can be read at this article Zuma contributes to Zulu bible translation (2014 report 1), Zuma pays up for new Zulu Bible (2014 report 2) and Zuma foundation to co-sponsor Zulu bible translation (repeat report in 2015), quote:

President Jacob Zuma receives blessings from Bishop Pius Mlungisi Dlungwane at St Joseph Catholic Church in Marianhill near Durban. (GCIS, Sapa) Durban – The Jacob Zuma Foundation has teamed up with the Roman Catholic Church to translate the original Greek and Hebrew bible to IsiZulu, The Mercury reported on Monday.

The project was expected to take at least three years to ensure accuracy and no omissions as happened when it was translated from English.

President Jacob Zuma donated R500 000 on Sunday on behalf of the foundation. The project would be headed by Bishop Mlungisi Dlungwane of Mariannhill in KwaZulu-Natal.

Zuma applauded the 32 people who would undertake the task, saying it would change people’s lives, the paper reported.

“The bible is a holy book. That is why believers should get the gist of it as it is, and it needs to be translated properly,” Zuma was quoted as saying.

“Zulu should not climb on top of other languages, but what is written should be translated directly from that language into Zulu.”

He encouraged business people to contribute to the project.

~ News24

On January 9, 2014, Jacob Zuma says he used witchcraft in this MailOnline article South African president Zuma reveals he used to practice witchcraft against white people.

On September 1, 2014, in CP WORLD’s post titled South Africa President Zuma Asks God to Come Down and Cleanse People Before Second Coming, it is reported, quote:

South African President Jacob Zuma has speculated on the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, calling on God to come down for a few years and “cleanse” people from their sins even before He fully returns.

“But this time not to fetch us, but just to come and cleanse us of our sins, because we have caused more damage than before,” Zuma said during a meeting with ambassadors and commissioners in Pretoria on Sunday, SAPA reported.

“He must just come for a few years to help us so that we are ready for when he finally comes.”

~ The Christian Post

In a December 28, 2014, News24 article Zuma calls for a speedy Second Coming, it is reported, quote:

Durban – Addressing a group of elderly people at a Christmas gathering at his Nkandla homestead, President Jacob Zuma called on Christian priests to pray to God to send Jesus back to Earth because of the many sins in the country.

According to the Sunday Times, Zuma had been speaking off the cuff on Saturday and claimed there were many churches in the country “sinning too much”.

“The sins we have today are more than those that Jesus came to salvage. I ask the priests to ask God to send His son to come back again to cleanse our sins,” he said.

“He [God] must send him [Jesus] again. This time we won’t crucify him,” he added.

~ News24

On January 18, 2015, we read in an article Zuma gets church’s highest honour from the Greek Orthodox Church, quote:

Pretoria – The Pope and Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria and All Africa: Theodoris II on Sunday bestowed President Jacob Zuma with the highest honour the church can give to a foreign national.

Paying a courtesy call to Zuma while doing church work, Theodoris II bestowed Zuma with the Order of Saint Mark.

“With this I give you great blessing,” Theodoris II said speaking through an interpreter as he handed Zuma a personal cross and a certificate.

Zuma embraced Theodoris II and his delegation and said the gesture was unexpected.

“Thank you very much for this honour. I thought it was just a visit. I did not know that there was a surprise,” Zuma said.

~ News24

As can be seen by Zuma’s fruit, he is not a born-again believing Christian, but a lost soul, an ecumenical heretic that sides with the apostate churches. GOD’s Word gives stern warnings, as it is written,

20  Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
21  Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!
22  Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink:
23  Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!
24  Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
25  Therefore is the anger of the LORD kindled against his people, and he hath stretched forth his hand against them, and hath smitten them: and the hills did tremble, and their carcases were torn in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still. ~ Isaiah 5:20-25

16  The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah.
17  The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. ~ Psalms 9:16,17

REPENT PRESIDENT JACOB ZUMA! REPENT SOUTH AFRICA!

Soli Deo Gloria

_____________

Open Letter to the South African President: Mr. Jacob Zuma (February 26, 2010)

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