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The Season of Goodwill

The world sees to be divided into a number of groups. Some have everything that they could possibly want, to the point that most of us cannot comprehend the scope of their possessions. Others have sufficient to live a very comfortable life without the need to worry about anything. Still others are troubled with inadequate resources to meet the needs of life, while still others don't have anything, have limited knowledge and are totally reliant on aid for everything including life.

This note is not going to develop into a criticism of the various levels of living standards, nor is it going to make those who have possessions feel uncomfortable and guilty. We want to share with you some thoughts about the reality of Christmas and set us all a task of accomplishment.

Before God created Adam and Eve, He had provided their food, and God has kept His promise to mankind and provided adequate food each year. This year, 1990, the world has produced 25% more food tan it needs. It is man's greed that will not allow that food to be distributed. The present International General Agreement on tariffs and Trade meetings are at present at a point of failure - because of greed. In Australia, we are told that we have an excess of sheep and so we are about to kill 20 million sheep - ( how many people would that feed? ), and the farmers are gong to be taxed extra to fund this slaughter.

And so as we come to another Christmas, in the supposed developed countries we are constantly barraged by advertising that entices us to spend our money on may things that will have no use within a few weeks, Things that we do not need anyway. In the same television period that these advertisements are shown, the news tells us that millions of people across the world are starving and homeless.

there is little that tells the truth of Christmas - the celebration of the birth of God's Son, Jesus Christ, into a created world with the purpose to teach, reach those who are lost from contact with God, and then to pay the price God demands as a result of sin. When we do acknowledge Christmas, we get lost in the birth of a baby. I had only one birthday, and each successive year I grew through childhood, adolescence and became an adult. I did not stay a child, and I would suggest that is the case with everybody reading this note, and yet we keep the Lord Jesus as a child and ignore his growth and adult maturity. More people celebrate and acknowledge Christmas than Easter. I am sure that God does not want us to only celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on earth as the major focal point of Christianity, which was the outworking of the last resort to have His created people acknowledge Him as God. God has used prophets, punishment and unbounded love to have mankind His creation, love Him in return. But because of His supreme love in giving us all an intellect and the freewill to choose our personal future, the majority of mankind fails to see God the father, and so rejects Him as being non-existent. By retaining our ideas of the baby Jesus, we are demonstrating our pride and superiority to a juvenile while we should weep that mankind had gone far away from God that He sent His son to redeem us from the bondage of sin.

This baby Jesus grew into a man so powerful, yet so full of love that on his last night on earth before being crucified, he could pray My Father if it is possible, let this cup be taken away from me. But I want your will, not mine, Matthew 26:39. Jesus then went on to be beaten, mocked, humiliated and nailed onto a wooden cross. Is that the mark of a baby? Rather it shows the absolute strength of a real man, the obedience of a true son, and the total love of the only God. That is what Christmas is all about: true unconditional, uncompromising love.

The Word of God contains countless instructions and encouragement to us to love one another. Our society has reduced the true meaning of love and in fact debased it to a sexual activity. Love, as god intends it, is only partly romance, which He provided for the comfort and security of man and woman. It may better be completely described as genuine :- respect; appreciation; concern for; thoughtfulness towards; encouragement; support and many more adjectives relating to our true attitude towards others. The instruction Jesus gave to love one another is not as hard as it seems. We must understand ourselves a little better than our education systems allow, and then it all becomes both plain and easy.

Jesus was talking with the woman at the well in Sumaria as recorded in John 4. She was talking about worship, and Jesus answered in verses 21 0 24, pointing out God is spirit, and those who worship Him worship in spirit and truth. Therefore if God is Spirit, and God created man, and the Creator is greater than the created, the spirit world is more real then the tangible, material world in which we live and know. Because we live in a world of materialistic tangibility and cannot see the reality of god to our mind's satisfaction, we have tried to think God out of existence because we are making decisions on only one section of the evidence available to us. This is shown by the current rise of humanism, which claims that man within himself and his own thought processes is god. The spirit real is much more real and vast than our bounded real of activity.

As part of creation, God breathed life into that which He had created - including mankind. If we think about ourselves right at this moment, the only difference between us and our future corpse is life, and that is God given. So while each of us has life, we have one of the attributes of God within us, and so this is one way that god is supporting us. The same life that is in you is also in me, and it is from the God that is the life in you and also in me. So how can I not love - appreciate - value - care for - respect you, and you me? Jesus tells us that if we do not have love we are not of Him. He also tells us to love our neighbours as ourselves.

There is an old saying that while there is life there is hope. We believe that while a person has life, then God has not given up on that person yet and so why should we? It is when God withdraws His gift of life, then as a result of our freewill decision, we will either join Him in heaven, or not. A bishop speaking in Perth Western Australia recently, was reported in the newspaper as saying, in part ....the choice to go to heaven or not is your freewill decision. God has given you the right to choose. So if you choose to go, get on with it and go. If you choose not to go, you area twit.... Once you have made the choice to go or to serve Christ as Lord and Master, your Kingdom living begins right then.

Kingdom living opens up a whole new way of life, because in a kingdom you do not have rights, you do what the King says, you are obedient. Also the King provides for you, and that is what God says all through His Word. As one of His commands, repeated often, He has said that freely you have received, now freely give and go into all the world as preach, teach and heal in My Name.

As we said in PARAKLESIS 12; God has put each of us where He wants us. Some - a few, are called to go to other places around the world, but the majority of us are expected to share God's love and the good news of His salvation right where we are; at school as a teacher or pupil, at work, during travel and right where we live. That is our individual task, to be Mr and Mrs. Ordinary People in the community, but ordinary with a difference, and we share that difference. What many don't realise is that the operation of civilisation is part of God's plan as well. So the bus driver, school teacher, baker,. butcher, scientist, politician all work within God's overall plan, because God did not plan an incomplete civilisation. Where did Adam and Eve get their first meal from? It was quite simple, God did not create an imperfect world. He had already provided mature trees with fruit for their food. So it is today, that the work of running a much more complex civilisation is within God's plan for us. it is unfortunate that so many think that unless we are theologically trained we are not doing God's work. I assure you that the Bible is quite clear when it states that you are My witnesses. God also states that He will provide yet again all that we need to live and do His Will, and John 15:5 states that without God we can do nothing, and that whatever we do we should do it for God's glory. 1 Corinthians 10:31. Now carefully read and consider the following verse from an unknown author, and see if your friends could say this of you.

My Friend

My friend, I stand in the judgement now,
and feel that you are to blame somehow.
On Earth, I walked with you day by day
and never did you point the way.

You knew the Lord in truth and glory,
but never did you tell the story.
My knowledge then was very dim;
You could have led me safe to Him.

Though we lived together on the earth,
you never told me of the second birth,
and now I stand this day condemned.
because you failed to mention Him.

You taught me many things, that's true,
I called you "friend" and trusted you.
but I learn now that it's too late,
you could have kept me from this fate.

We walked by day, and talked by night,
and yet you showed me not the light.
You let me live, and love, and die.
You knew I'd never live on high.

Yes, I called you "friend" in life
and trusted you through joy and strife.
And yet on coming to the end,
I cannot now call you "My Friend".

In Matthew 10:7-10, God calls all of us to share the good news that god loves us on purpose, that Jesus Christ is Lord, and that all who believe in Him as their Lord and Saviour will spend eternity with God. He wants us to share that message in the community where we live, in the community where we work, and with our friends and neighbours.

Nobody would argue that the world is in a mess, and God's Word says that the world will end up in a mess, with terrible things happening. God also says that we should pray for His people and that certain conditions should not prevail. He says to pray that our flight should not be in winter etc. He did not say to pray that the terrible things would not happen. We believe that God is now saying that our task is not to try and save the world, but our task is to rescue the crew. The crew comprises our friends, neighbours and us !

At Christmas we talk about good will to all men, God has told us of His plan, Freely you have

received, now freely give . That which we have received free, and are told to give free is the message of salvation to our friends and neighbours. Naaman the leper was told to wash in the Jordan river to be cured of leprosy, and was too proud at first to do that until a servant suggested that he would be prepared to do a great deed of valour, so why not obey the simple instruction. He did and was washed clean. Likewise we are not called to do great acts or be providers, we are asked to do the simple thing of telling our neighbours that :-

* God created the heavens and the earth and all that has been created.

* Because of sin, no man is worthy before God.

* God loved us all on purpose, and sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to teach us,

lead us and in the end to pay the penalty for our sins by dying on a wooden cross.

* After three days Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, conquering the bondage of sin, and offering all who accept Him as Lord, the free gift of eternal life with God the Father.

* Jesus, God the Son ascended into heaven and is our advocate before God the Father.

* We cannot buy eternity, it is a free gift granted when we choose to join God's Kingdom.

We can do all that god commands and still have ample time for family activities, successful careers and fellowship with one another. It is when we put other things ahead of God, that we are guilty of idolatry. We are the pipelines, the branches, Jesus is the vine, and the Father is the gardener. We are required to be pipelines transporting God's love and being lights in our community so that those whom God sends to us can find us and be nourished.

This is our wake up call - Romans 13:11-12; And do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we first believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light.

Christmas is really a call to love and obedience; go and share it with a friend - now, and each day.

May the Lord richly bless you; that is make you more like Him in your thought speech and actions, this Christmas and through the year ahead.


Since childhood, I had wondered why God chose second best jewels for the heavenly Jerusalem, as the really valuable jewels of diamond, ruby and opal were not included in the foundations of the new Jerusalem, and yet He had included gold, the most precious of all metals.

The NIV translates Revelations 21:15-21 as follows :-

The angel who had talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. the city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long. He measured its wall and it was 144 cubits thick, by man's measurement, which the angel was using. The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrsoprase, the eleventh jacinth and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were single pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.

Where are the diamond, ruby and opal that man classifies as the most valuable gems stones? They are not there, and as a child, I looked with man's eyes and values and classifications, and wondered how God who I knew was perfect, had not included these precious gems in the New Jerusalem.

There are a number of interesting points that now become evident some 50 years later.

* The jewels/gems quoted by John in Revelations 21, as the foundations of the New Jerusalem form a special group of gems. As is quoted in mineral/gem texts, all crystal structures are anisotropic (with some minor exceptions), that is exhibiting different properties with direction. This classification was formulated by experimentation using white light transmission through the respective crystals.

* The reflections and refractions of white light in the crystal structure of gems give them the sparkle that creates the appeal and thus the degree of purity and sparkle determines the price we are prepared to pay for such gems.

* Experiments using polarised light were much less spectacular as the polarised light was obtained by filtering out the majority of the white light and using only the light of the chosen polarisation.

* Very little was known about crystal structures and lattices until the early 1900's when William Lawrence Bragg and his father William Henry Bragg were able to use X-rays to examine the atomic structure of crystals and compounds, - they shared the 1915 Nobel Prize for Physics. However a further possible crystal classification was hidden from them.

* It was not until the late 1950's when lasers were developed, that further work on crystal structures became possible. However this new tool was of low power and not used immediately in experimentation in crystallography. It was some decades (1980's) before the power of lasers was increased significantly that the many advantages of high powered polarised lasers were realised. Lasers being a very powerful and intense form of polarised light might provide data unobtainable previously.

* When the gems, classified as precious by human standards, are subjected to high powered polarised laser light, they no longer glitter and sparkle. However the less common and to a large degree humanly rejected gems when subjected to the same high powered polarised laser light, sparkle and shine far more brilliantly than the accepted crystal forms we - mankind - classify as precious gems.

* This new grouping of gems has been unknown until the invention of the laser. In fact the properties described could not have been known or classified prior to late 1970's when the new generation of polarised light lasers became available.

* The jewels/gems quoted by John in Revelations 21, as the foundations of the New Jerusalem form this new special group of gems. There is no way that John, in about AD95 could have that knowledge of crystallography. Between AD 90 and 95, God gave John a series of apocalyptic visions to warn the Christians of end times, to assure them of his sovereignty, and to encourage them to persevere in their faith. At that period, all the inhabitants of the then known world believed that the world was flat. It was not until the 17th century 1600 years later that men started to think that the world was indeed a sphere. Scientific knowledge as we know it today was very small, and probably our vast knowledge today at the end of the 20th century is probably a very small percentage of truth and reality.

This is direct evidence that John, of his own knowledge and ability could not have listed that group of gems on his own ability. He must have had some form of inspired - divine - God given - intervention for him to be able to accurately list a special group of gems that all respond in great beauty to polarised laser light - which was not invented for another one thousand nine hundred years.

If there was ever any doubt that God inspired the scriptures, this is evidence that God did use John to communicate with us. Only God could have known what we have just found out regarding the selection of jewels for the new Jerusalem.

However there is more in this section. In the verses following the listing of the gems in the foundations of the new Jerusalem, John states that :-

Revelation 21:23

KJV And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

Living And the City has no need of sun or moon to light it, for the glory of God and the Lamb illuminates it.

NIV The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.

Thus indicating that God/The Trinity/The Lord Jesus is the light source throughout eternity. It may be also correct to assume that this divine light will be powerful and polarised from a source of purity. Thus the gems that I classified as second rate in my childhood, will be displayed in magnificent brilliance.

Returning to the gems, further examination reveals that the basic material is silicon dioxide -silica. However the silica is transformed into gem quality by small intrusions of what are scientifically described as impurities such as iron, cobalt, chromium, aluminium, vanadium, beryllium, copper, magnesium etc. Silica, which is probably the most abundant material on earth - sand is basically silica - is transformed into the heavenly gems by the infusion of what we call impurities and reject. Likewise the most abundant life form on earth - humanity - is transformed into heavenly beings by the infusion of God's Holy Spirit - also rejected by mankind. The infusion of small quantities of impurity into the common silica brings forth gems of great beauty. Similarly, the infusion of small quantities of the Holy Spirit, accepted in repentance and faith produces heavenly beings acceptable to God.

This may be further illustrated by considering the communion/last supper. In the communion we accept and eat small quantities of both bread and wine which symbolise the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. The bread and wine is digested into our bodies and becomes part of our living being. If this is done in genuine repentance and faith, God sends His holy Spirit to infuse us and our lives, and we become acceptable to God, through Jesus Christ.

Mankind is bound up in his own importance and brilliance - which is self worship and thus idolatry - has again missed the truth regarding God as Creator, Lord and Saviour. So much of our effort is devoted to attempting to disprove God's existence that we miss out on the earthly benefits of His love and are deprived of the eternal benefits of His Salvation.

The promises of God are true and available.


Notes :-

Jasper : (Jas-per) 1. A variety of chert associated with iron ores and containing iron-oxide SiO 2 impurities that give it various colours especially red.

2. Any red chert or chalcedony irrespective of associated iron ore.

Sapphire : (Sap-phire) Any pure gem-quality corundum other than ruby; especially the fine blue (Mg,Fe) 2Al 4SiO 10 transparent variety of crystalline corundum of great value, containing small Monoclinic amounts of oxides of cobalt, chromium and titanium.

Lapis Lazuli (lap-is lazu-li) A granular crystaline rock composed essentially of lazurite and calcite; (Na,Ca) 7-8(Al,Si) 12(O,S) 24[SO 4,Cl 2.(OH) 2] 2 it has a rich blue color and is used as a semi-precious stone. Old name - Lazurite.

Agate : A translucent cryptocrystalline variety of quartz, being a variegated SiO 2 chalcedony frequently mixed or alternating with opal, and characterised by colours arranged in alternating stripes or bands, in irregular clouds, or in mosslike forms.

Chalcedony : (Kal-ced-o-ny) A cryptocrystalline variety of quartz. It is commonly microscopically SiO 2 fibrous, may be translucent or semitransparent, and has a nearly waxlike luster. Chalcedony is the material of much chert, and often occurs as a deposit filling or lining cavities in rock.

Emerald : (Em-er-ald) A brilliant green variety of beryl, highly prized as a gemstone. The colour Be 3Al 2Si 6O 18 is caused by the presence of chromium or possibly vanadium.

Sardonyx : (sar-do-nyx) A gem variety of chalcedony that is like onyx in structure but includes SiO 2 straight parallel red or brown bands of sard alternating with white, black or coloured bands of another mineral.

Sardius : Now referred to as Carnelian. SiO 2

Carnelian :(car-nel-i-an) A translucent red or orange-red variety of chalcedony, containing iron SiO 2 impurities.

Chrysolite : (chris-o-lite) A pale yellow or yellowish-green gem variety of olivine. (Mg,Fe) 2SiO 4

Beryl : A hexagonal mineral, Be 3Al 2Si 6O 18. It is an ore of beryllium, occurring in Be 3Al 2Si 6O 18 granite pegmatites. Hexagonal Emerald and aquamarine are gem varieties.

Topaz (to-paz) 1. An orthorhombic mineral, Al 2SiO 4(F,OH) 2. It occurs as a minor Al 2SiO 4(F,OH) 2 constituent in siliceous igneous rocks and tin bearing veins as translucent Orthorhombic or transparent prismatic crystals and masses and as rounded waterworn pebbles. Topaz has a hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale.

2. A transparent topaz used as a gemstone.

Chrysopasus :(Chrys-o-prase) An apple green chalcedony, used as a gem. SiO 2

Jacinth : Now referred to as Turquoise. CuAl 6(PO 4) 4(OH) 8.5H 2O

Turquoise (tur-quoise) A triclinic mineral, CuAl 6(PO 4) 4(OH) 8.5H 2O. It is blue, blue-green, or CuAl 6(PO 4) 4(OH) 8.5H 2O yellowish-green; when sky blue it is valued as the most important of the nontransparent gem materials. It usually occurs as Triclinic reniform masses with a botryoidal surface, in the zone of alteration of aluminium rich igneous rock such as trachytes.

Amethyst (am-e-thyst) A purple or bluish-violet variety of quartz, SiO 2. Used as a gem. SiO 2

Gold : A soft yellow mineral, the native metallic element Au. Specific gravity of Au pure gold is 19.3. It is often naturally alloyed with silver, copper or other metals and is found as nuggets and grains in gravels and in veins associated with quartz.

Isotropy The condition of having properties that are uniform in all directions.

Isotropic Said of a medium whose properties are the same in all directions: in crystal optics, said of a crystal whose physical properties do not vary with crystallographic direction, e,g, one in which light travels with the same speed in any direction. Cubic crystals and amorphous substances are usually isotropic.

Anisotropy The condition of having different properties in different directions as in geologic strata that transmit sound waves with different velocities in the vertical and horizontal directions.

Anisotropic Having some physical property that varies with direction. All crystals are anisotropic relative to some properties; unless otherwise stated, however, the term refers to optical properties. In this sense, all crystals except those of the isometric system are anisotropic.

Isometric System One of six crystal systems, characterised by four threefold axes of symmetry as body diagonals in a cubic unit cell of the lattice. It comprises five crystal classes or point groups.

Revelation 21:18-21 The new Jerusalem

Translation M. Henry KGV NIV Living RSV JBPhilips Today's Eng New English Jerusalem Hebrew
Walls City Jasper Gold Jasper Gold Jasper Gold Jasper Gold Jasper Gold Translucent Gold Jasper Gold Jasper Gold Diamond Gold Jasper Gold
Foundation layers M. Henry KGV NIV Living RSV JBPhilips Today's Eng New English Jerusalem Hebrew
First Jasper Jasper Jasper Jasper Jasper Jasper Jasper Jasper Diamond Jasper
Second Sapphire Sapphire Sapphire Sapphire Sapphire Sapphire Sapphire Lapis Lazull Lapis Lazuli Sapphire
Third Chalcedony Chalcedony Chalcedony Chalcedony Agate Chalcedony Agate Chalcedony Turquoise Chalcedony
Fourth Emerald Emerald Emerald Emerald Emerald Emerald Emerald Emerald Crystal Emerald
Fifth Sardonyx Sardonyx Sardonyx Sardonyx Onyx Onyx Onyx Sardonyx Agate Sardonyx
Sixth Sardius Sardius Carnelian Sardius Carnelian Cornelian Carnelian Cornelian Ruby Sardius
Seventh Chrysolite Chrysolite Chrysolite Chrysolite Chrysolit Goldstone Yellow Quartz Chrysolite Quartz Chrysolite
Eighth Beryl Beryl Beryl Beryl Beryl Beryl Beryl Beryl Malachite Beryl
Ninth Topaz Topaz Topaz Topaz Topaz Topaz Topaz Topaz Topaz Topaz
Tenth Chrysopasus Chrysoprasus Chrysoprase Chrysoprase Chrysoprase Green Goldstone Chalcedony Chrisoprase Emerald Chrysoprase
Eleventh Jacinth Jacinth Jacinth Jacinth Jacinth Turquoise Turquoise Turquoise Saphire Jacinth
Twelfth Amethyst Amethyst Amethyst Amethyst Amethyst Amethyst Amethyst Amethyst Amethyst Amethyst
Gates Pearls Pearls Pearls Pearls Pearls Pearls Pearls Pearls Pearls Pearls
Streets Gold Gold Gold Gold Gold Gold Gold Gold Gold Gold


Revelation 21:23


KJV And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

Living And the City has no need of sun or moon to light it, for the glory of God and the Lamb illuminates it.

NIV The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God givers it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.

Christmas - Past, Present and Future

Christmas; when we are young we look forward to it with eager anticipation, and when it comes we find that it passes so quickly. As we get older we look forward to it when it is a long way off, and when it is upon us we secretly express our lack of satisfaction with the festive season. The blatant commercialism and paganism has destroyed Christmas to the extent that the majority do not know what is being celebrated. Many people and unfortunately many of those who claim to govern and lead us, openly laugh at God and Christianity, and yet still celebrate the tangible side of Christmas demonstrating absolute hipocracy.

In recent months we have witnessed amazing things happening on the world stage. Our news reports are full of the new found freedom that has been grasped by those whom we thought were in bondage. How significant is that bondage created by what we see as a dictatorial suppressive regeim when compared to our bondage to worldly goods and performance? I would suggest that many of those under what we call communist bondage are spiritually closer to God than most of the church attending professing Christians in our free society with our big life insurance policies and more reliance on self than on God.

In Genesis 1:25 we read that God looked at the results of His creation and God saw that it was good. Then God said, "let us make man in our own image, after our likeness;...." and in verse 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created them, man and female he created them. In this soverign act God reached out and created mankind in his own image, but with the right and ability to choose; we are free moral agents.

When our first parents, Adam and Eve, made the wrong choices, the human race became alienated from God. Since that time, every person has been faced with choices and decissions. The person who wants to be God's man or woman has to choose to follow the Lord. God's invitations are found throughout the bible. He has never ceased saying come unto me. He has continued to reach out to mankind throughout all ages. Examples of this outreaching can be found through the bible and history; God confronted Abraham and told him to pack up all he had and go to a place I will show you. Abraham obeyed and became the father of the nation of Israel. God reached out to Isaac on the alter, and after proving Abraham's love and obedience, he left Isaac with a memory that through his life he could never doubt the existence and love of God. One person in scripture who could be expected to be voted the person not to take home to dinner and meet the family was Jacob, and yet God reached out to him at Bethel, and changed him totally. God reached out to Saul in a very public way and changed him into Paul, the man whose insight and writings have taught us though the last 2000 years.

I love to get my telescope and sit back and search the sky, and like many others I often wondered what the other side of the moon was like. Since creation mankind has only been able to look at one side of the moon as it is stationary in relation to the earth. The moon has an earth side and a space side, whenever we look up at the moon we see it's earth side. I want to suggest to you that God as an earth side also, and that is Jesus. When we look at God we see Jesus, he who has seen me has seen the Father, for I and the Father are one.

With our pentacostelism, evangelism, worship, intercession and prayer there is a real danger of by - passing Jesus and praying direct to the Father. That is sin, and the Father has given Jesus the authority over the world. So even in our sincere Christianity, Satan can cause us to sin. Jesus is the earthward side of the Godhead, and at Christmas we should remember that He is God; and He did become man; and He did die as punishment for the sins of mankind; and he did rise from the dead; and he did ascend into heaven; and he does continually intercede on our behalf before the God of creation; and he is returning to both judge and claim Him servants.

Another major deviation from both truth and reality that we have as Christians is that at Christmas we center on the baby Jesus, forgetting the natural and true situation of growth. In our birthday situations we grow and our attitude changes and we mature, yet at Christmas we treat Jesus as a baby rather than the risen all conquering all powerful Lord that He is. How we must distress God the Father Son and Holy Spirit by our paternal treatment of Jesus the Lord.

I am very tired, I have been so for some months now, and I suppose most of you can identify with that feeling. Some months ago I was in Charlotte North Carolina USA at a conference. The first two days were fine, I felt well and did all that was required of me, but on the third day I slept from 10 pm to noon the next day and was only awakened by the cleaning ladies opening the door to clean the room and about 12.30. I then panicked a little because in two days time I would be coming home, on Good Friday leaving Charlotte at 9am, flying to Chicago, changing planes and flying to Los Angeles, changing planes and flying to Sydney.What if I overslept again? My response was to set the alarm on my watch, set the alarm on the TV, set the alarm on the radio and ask for an early wake up phone call. I had everything that I could set to make sure that I was up and in place on time. So that I could come home.

I believe that there is a message for us personally in Romans 13:11 - 12 Another reason for right living is this: you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake - up for the coming of the Lord is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is far gone, the day of His return will soon be here. So quit your evil deeds of darkness and put on the armour of right living, as we who live in the daylight should. The promised morning of Christ's return waits beyond a shadow of the horizon. Daybreak may be only hours away, and the darkest hour of night is just before the dawn. We can see around us today the darkness of Satan and his influence on mankind, and we all seem to agree that it is getting darker. I am saying to us all that this is a wake - up call, for the second coming of the Lord is at hand. Just as I needed a wake - up call or several of them in Charlotte to enable me to come home, so now is the time to wake - up and prepare for the return of Jesus. Time is short, and Satan is active today trying to tie up Christians in abstract theological debates and other non productive activities while he reaps the lost souls from under our nose before the Christians can get their act together.

Let me ask you; if you were to die tonight without opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Well then why have you not told them?

One of the basic questions of Christianity is; Why?

God asked Cain Why did you kill your brother?

The angels asked Abraham Why did Sarah laugh?

Moses asked himself, Why is the bush not burnt?

Job asked Why did I not die at birth?

Jesus asked Why do you worry?

Why do you look at the speck in your bothers eye and consider not the beam in your own eye?

Why do you not believe me?

Why do you call me Lord and do not the things that I tell you?

and his last was Why have you forsaken me?

and the angels asked Why do you seek the living among the dead?

Well why are we here? Why do we exist? The answer is clear as we discussed earlier in Genesis, we are made in God's image to magnify and glorify Him forever. The other point is why did God do all that He has? The answer again is simple; because He plans to achieve all that He said He would in His Word; ALL that He said He would, not just part. That is why God reached manward to Abraham, reached manward to Isaac, reached manward to Jacob, reached manward to Moses; reached manward to Paul, reached manward with His Son Jesus, and is still reaching manward to us. I could stand here for hours and tell of the number of times God has reached manward to me, unworthy, forgetful, disobedient, distracted, sinful and may other things that I am, God still has reached into my life and through His Grace rescued me. As the moon has an earthward side, permanently facing earth, and we cannot see the other side, so God has a permanent manward side in Jesus and we cannot know the other attributes of God until eternity. God loves us on purpose.

The free will that God has given us is the very thing that destroys us, especially when we live in this world of tangibility and Satan fights us in the unseen spirit world. Our duty in this world is to prepare ourselves for the future life in heaven and to obey and magnify God.

In everything that John the Baptist did, he pointed people to God, and in his own words he considered himself unworthy to tie up Jesus' sandals. He sought only to glorify God. In our life today who do we seek to glorify? I would suggest that just about all that we do is self worship. We strive at work for all the noble reasons we can think, but really it is to attract the recognition and praise of men, to our glory.

We strive in the home to gain the recognition and praise of our family, to our glory. We strive in the church to gain the recognition of our friends, to our glory.

What was the answer to the question of why do we exist? To glorify God forever. So where do you stand tonight with the God of creation? If you were called to account for your life before God tonight would you expect a fanfare as you came into God's presence? I would suggest that all of us are guilty of the gross sin of self glory and taking from God what is rightfully His.

We call these meetings services. Why have you come here tonight? To get God to serve you some of His blessings? Do you expect to go away blessed, improved, better able to handle the world situations, better able to be a member of your church or family. I suggest that the service we came to should be a situation where we serve God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and go away exhausted because we have given Him all of ourselves. We exist to praise and glorify God forever.

Why does God deserve that service? Because He is the God of Creation, He is the only God; He created us to that end; He has extended Himself manward frequently, He sent His Son as the Manward side of God, and Jesus that Son became MAN not remained a child, and conquered Satan once and for all and is coming again to sort out those who have used there freewill to glorify themselves from those who glorify only God. That is the message of Christmas, it started with the baby in a manger, but in 30 years it progressed to total defeat of Satan, and very soon it will end in God's glorious kingdom. What have we done with the same situation? Still 2000 years later we benevolently look on a baby and act accordingly towards a baby god and then give ourselves lavish meals and presents.

Remember my Charlotte situation, I did everything I could to make sure I did not miss any of those plane connections. Have I set as many reminder, awakening systems with the same enthusiasm to make sure I don't miss the return of the Lord, who will come silently when we least expect it? I am afraid not, I still have to get it right with God and give Him 100% of me. We can still do all that we do now, and give God the glory in our own intellect and attitudes. It is the basic reason behind our activities that matters. The motive that drives us towards excellence is self glory as we try to get others to participate and contribute to our glorification.

This is your awakening call. What have you still to do before you are called from this world? Well do it now, get it right now, start now living to praise and glorify God forever. In Eternity you will be praising and glorifying God forever, so get in training now. In everything we do we MUST do it and give God the glory, not seek any reward for ourselves. How do we each stand up to that specification. You see God is life, and if you are alive you have God in you. You freewill allows you to choose to let Him drive or push Him into the back seat. Ultimately in God's timing it is He who withdraws himself from our bodies and we are a corpse, so just what can you do without the Lord permits it?

Does our individual life glorify God or do we work for our own achievement and glory which is idolatry?

We can still celebrate Christmas, have our parties, give our gifts, lavish our love on one - another, but we must realise obsoletely that it is God who is our life, and God whom we serve, and hallow His Name, and give Him all the Glory for He is GOD. If we get our understanding of God right, all He has for us will follow, provided we see God and God and not a set of conditions to be obeyed that then opens a great storehouse.