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Bethesda Shalom

Bethesda Shalom , "House of Mercy and Peace". A small independent Bible believing Church located in Wolverhampton, England; endeavouring to hold fast to truth and stand fast in love by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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Now displaying: Page 58

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Dec 8, 2014

John 12:24

Set before us in the verse at hand is the key to the Christian walk!  How many books have been written, how many sermons preached, giving the five-step formula to Christian success, when the essence and heart of the matter is contained in this single verse before us.  Why is it that men for the most part don’t like the key that Jesus extends, but instead prefer in vain to cut their own key?  It has to do with the cost of that key!!  We all want the finished product, but we don’t all want to pay the asking price!!  God has a blueprint for the Christian life and it has to do with an instrument of death, upon which we are to die daily.  Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it beareth much fruit.  

This message explores three areas in the Christian life in which the Christian is called to deny himself, pick up his cross daily and follow Jesus; firstly in the battle against sin; secondly in sufferings and persecutions and lastly in waving our rights as believers.  May God help us not only to be hearers, but doers also!! 

Dec 6, 2014

How We Got Our Bible (Pt.11)

The battle rages today in some evangelical circles as to which the are best Greek manuscripts to use in translating the New Testament.  Some argue that the Byzantine manuscripts are more reliable because there are far more of them, whilst others argue that the Alexandrian manuscripts are more reliable because though fewer in number, the age of the manuscripts are far closer to the original.  All modern Bible translations today with the exception of the NKJV and a few others are based on the Alexandrian type-text which has been the case since the controversial publication of the RV Bible in the 1880's.  Up until that time, all English Bibles had been based on the Byzantine type-text.  Why the need to change this?  Are the modern Bibles corrupt? Which Greek text is the most reliable?  Does it even matter?  

We seek in this teaching to answer these questions and to explore the position of a growing group within conservative Christianity who hold that the King James Bible is the absolute and only preserved  Word of God in the English language.  Fasten your seat belts as we explore these issues together!!

Download notes (pdf)

http://traffic.libsyn.com/bethesdashalom/5b_The_Translation_of_the_Bible_Pt2.pdf

Nov 22, 2014

How We Got Our Bible (Pt.10)

As of October 2014, the Bible has been translated into some 2883 languages.  This statistic represent a staggering 98% of the world’s population.  In spite of this, there are still global projects underway to see the Bible translated into many more languages.  God in His infinite sovereign wisdom chose to have the original inspired Autographa written in the languages of Hebrew (Old Testament) and Greek (New Testament).  Yet. He did so with the foreknowledge that not everyone in the world would speak these languages, meaning that translations would inevitably have be made.

In this teaching we explore some of the earliest versions of the Bible; Syriac, Latin and Coptic.  Moreover, we explore the amazing history of the English Bible from the first ever English translation in 1380 up to the King James Bible of 1611.  Whatever way you look at it, courageous men of God gave their lives to give the English speaking people the Word of God in their own language!!  The question is, what are we doing with it?        

Download notes (pdf)
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bethesdashalom/5a_The_Translation_of_the_Bible_Pt1.pdf

Nov 1, 2014

How We Got Our Bible (Pt.9) 

In comparing the figures for the amounts and dates of the available manuscripts for classical Greco-Roman authors with that of the New Testament, there is no way that the charge can be levied against the New Testament that we cannot know what originally written whilst at the same time quoting authors of classical antiquity.  This is because New Testament scholars have at their disposal some 5800 Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, some dating within decades from the original manuscripts.  In short, if one is to dismiss the Bible as being reliable, then on what basis and authority does that one have to say that he knows anything of ancient secular history, seeing that the standard by which ancient history is derived, namely the manuscript evidence is absolutely eclipsed when held in comparison against the Bible!! 

In this teaching we examine the manuscript evidence for the New Testament and ask the question, 'Is the Bible that we have in our hands today what was originally written down?'

Download notes (pdf)
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bethesdashalom/4b_The_Reliability_of_the_Bible_Pt2.pdf

Oct 27, 2014

Leviticus 10:1-11

The key ingredient missing in today's Christianity that was not missing in generations past is the fear and reverence of God and the things pertaining to Him!  There was a time when even sinners knew, Church was not a place for joke and idle chit-chat, the sanctuary was the sanctuary!!  There was no place for entertainment in the pulpit and the people of God in the pews had a great reverence for God's Word.  Fast forward to this generation and the whole of worship has become one great mess of entertainment!  The sacred had been consumed by the profane!  Where are the clear distinguishing marks, the boundaries, separating the holy from the unholy?  The clean from the unclean? 

This message is a call to God's people to once again put difference between the holy and the unholy!!  

Oct 25, 2014

How We Got Our Bible (Pt.8)

I’m sure that every Christian at some point in their experience when talking with an unbeliever about the Bible has had the accusation thrown at them that the Bible has been changed and is full of errors!!  When asked this question, I usually respond by throwing the question back at the person by asking them ‘how do you know?’  It is at this point that one is greeted with a barrage of responses ranging from; ‘there are so many different versions of the Bible’ to ‘there are no originals?’  These are all very valid responses and deserve a proper response.  The Christian makes a very bold claim, namely that what he holds in his hand is the Word of God.  To simply assert this whilst side-stepping the issue of preservation will simply not do.  The question that we have to deal with as Christians is the same question that every religion of antiquity has to deal with; namely, have we in our possession a true representation of what was originally written down?

In this teaching we seek to answer this question as it pertains to the Old Testament Scriptures.

Download notes (pdf)
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bethesdashalom/4a_The_Reliability_of_the_Bible_Pt1.pdf

Oct 19, 2014

How We Got Our Bible (Pt.7)

By what authority did the early Christians add additional books to the canon of Holy Scripture?  How did they recognise these additional books as Scripture?  Why 27 books of the New Testament and not 26 or 28?  If the Old Testament was attested to by no less authority than Jesus Christ Himself, then by what authority was the New Testament received?  Did a council of bishops convene in the 4th century to decide which books would make up the New Testament?  If not, then how did the New Testament come to be developed?  We endeavour to answer these questions in this teaching, and as we shall see, the issue of the New Testament canon cannot be tackled without placing central, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself!!

Download notes (pdf)
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bethesdashalom/3c_The_Canon_of_the_Bible_Pt3.pdf

Sep 26, 2014

How We Got Our Bible (Pt.6)

This teaching focuses on the apocryphal books and asks the question, 'do they belong in the canon of Holy Scripture?'.  Apocrypha is the name given to the 15 additional books that appear in some Bible translations which contain Jewish religious literature.  If one was to pick up a KJV Bible today, one would turn the page from Malachi, past the page separating the Old and New Testaments, straight into the first chapter of Matthew’s Gospel.  However, in the original KJV Bible of 1611, one would have turned from Malachi to 1 Esdras!!  In fact, the Apocrypha was a part of the KJV for 274 years and was not removed until as late as 1885.  If one picks up a Roman Catholic Bible today, one will find that it consists not of 66 books but of 73 books which includes some apocryphal books known as the deuterocanonical books.  Do these books belong in our Bible and if not why not?  What about the great mass of so-called lost books claiming to be from Bible characters, known as the Pseudepigrapha, such as the Book of Enoch, the Book of Noah, The Acts of John, The Gospel of Thomas etc. 

We shall set out in this teaching to answer these questions along with many more.

Download notes (pdf)
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bethesdashalom/3b_The_Canon_of_the_Bible_Pt2.pdf

Sep 20, 2014

How We Got Our Bible (Pt.5)

In this part of our study on how we got our Bible, we now turn to look at the canon of the Bible.  When we use the word canon, we don’t make reference to that large military weapon mounted on wheels for that is spelt cannon!  Canon is defined as a general law, rule, principle, or criterion by which something is judged (Oxford Dictionaries).  When the word is used in the context of the Bible, i.e. the Biblical canon then it refers to an accepted list of books that are considered to be authoritative Scripture coming from God.  At the very heart of the issue of canon lies the question; How do I know that the books I have in my Bible are the books that are divinely inspired by God?  It is this question that we will seek to place at the very heart of this teaching!!  This teaching we will focus on the Old Testament canon.

Download notes (pdf)

http://traffic.libsyn.com/bethesdashalom/3a_The_Canon_of_the_Bible_Pt1.pdf

 

Sep 6, 2014

How We Got Our Bible (Pt.4)

We conclude this final part on the inspiration of the Bible by looking at Isaiah 53.  This Messianic passage predicts with the most stunning precision and accuracy the person, mission and ministry of Messiah.  So staggering and graphic is this passage that many Jews, though not all have sought to deflect it away from Messiah choosing instead to assert that it applies not to the suffering of Messiah but is allegorical of the suffering of Israel as a nation. 

In this teaching we shall analyse this astounding passage and document the clear fulfilment of the many prophecies contained within this passage which could apply to none other than Jesus Christ of Nazareth.  There is absolutely no doubt that this prophecy provides irrefutable proof that the Bible is indeed the Inspired Word of God!!   

Download notes (pdf)
http://traffic.libsyn.com/bethesdashalom/2c_The_Inspiration_of_the_Bible_Pt3.pdf

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