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    DARWIN DIED A CHRISTIAN (1809-1882)

    To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Charles Darwin's The Origin of

    Species, the following extracts were reproduced from Dr. Oswald J. Smith's

    book, The Challenge of Life.

    IT may surprise students of evolution who do not know, to learn that in the

    closing days of his life Darwin returned to his faith in the Bible. Many a man,

    as he approaches the end, and consequently comes more consciously into

    the presence of God and Eternity, has regretted both his views and hisconduct. Such a one was Darwin.

    The story is told by Lady Hope of Northfield, England, a wonderful Christian

    woman who was often at his bedside before he died. She herself writes it, and

    not only is it interesting, it is also most enlightening. Here it is in her own

    words:

    It was on one of those glorious autumn afternoons that we sometimes enjoy

    in England, when I was asked to go in and sit with the well known Professor,

    Charles Darwin. He was almost bedridden for some time before he died. I

    used to feel when I saw him that his fine presence would make a grand

    picture for our Royal Academy; but never did I think so more than on this

    particular occasion ... His noble forehead and fine features seemed to be lit

    with pleasure as I entered the room. He waved his hand toward the window

    as he pointed out the scene beyond, while in the other hand he held an open

    Bible, which he was always studying.

    'What are you reading now?' I asked as I was seated by his bedside.

    'Hebrews', he answered -'still Hebrews. The Royal Book, I call it.'

    I made some allusion to the strong opinion expressed by many persons on

    the history of the Creation, its grandeur, and then their treatment of the

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    earlier Chapters of the Book of Genesis. He seemed greatly distressed, his

    fingers twitched nervously, and a look of agony came over his face as he

    said, 'I was a young man with unformed ideas. I threw out queries,

    suggestions, wondering all the time over everything; and to my

    astonishment, the ideas took like wildfire. People made a religion of them.'

    He suddenly said,'I have a summer house in the garden which holds about

    thirty people ... Tomorrow afternoon I would like the servants on the place,

    some tenants and a few of the neighbours, to gather there. Will you speak to

    them?'

    'What shall I speak about?', I asked. 'Christ Jesus!', he replied in a clear,

    emphatic voice - adding in a lower tone, 'and His Salvation. is not that the

    best theme?'

    The wonderful look of brightness and animation on his face as he said this, I

    shall never forget ... How I wish I could have made a picture of the fine old

    man and his beautiful surroundings on that memorable day!

    WAS THERE EVER A MORE DRAMATIC SCENE? DARWIN, ENTHUSIAST FOR THE

    BIBLE!

    Back To Archive Contents

    CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS NOW

    THERE is much evidence to prove that Monday, October 5th, is theanniversary of the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

    ON this date in the year 4 B.C., the Babe Jesus was born, although, ironically

    enough, Christendom does not celebrate the event until December 25th,

    whilst the true date is allowed to pass by without so much as a sign from the

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    leaders of organized religion.

    The belief unfortunately persists that the birth occurred on December 25th

    between the years 7 B.C. to 3 B.C. Although those holding these beliefs

    appear to agree on the day and the month, there is a certain amount of

    disagreement regarding the actual year.

    Let us examine some of these statements wherein December 25th is

    presumed to be the correct date.

    The Encyclopedia Britannica (11 th edition) vol. 6, page 293, states: 'The

    earliest identification of December 25th with the birthday of Christ is in apassage otherwise unknown and probably spurious, of Theophius of Antioch

    (A.D. 171-183) preserved in Latin by the Madgeburg Centuriators to the effect

    that the Gauls contended that as they celebrated the birth of the Lord on

    December 25th, whatever day of the week it might be, so they ought to

    celebrate the Pascha on March 25th, when the Resurrection befell.

    'Certain Latins as early as A.D. 354 may have transferred the human

    birthdate (of our Lord) to December 25th, which was then a Mithraic Feast,

    and is referred to by certain chronographers as Natalis Invicti Solis, or thebirthday of the unconquered Sun.'

    Although we have abundant evidence that Christianity was introduced into

    Britain by the Apostles themselves within the fifth year after the Crucifixion,

    the so-called Christian Calendar giving the Nativity of our Lord as falling on

    the Winter Solstice, December 25th, was generally adopted by the Western

    Church about the third century, although the Eastern Church did not do so

    until near the end of the fourth century, when it was received from Rome with

    the intimation that the census role in the Roman archives contained the dateDecember 25th as the correct date.

    St. Luke (2:2-7) records that Christ was born when Quirinus, the Governor of

    Syria, commenced to enforce the Decree of Caesar Augustus that all the

    (then known) world should be taxed, and reports that Joseph accompanied

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    Mary to Bethlehem to be so taxed, and that she, whilst there, was delivered

    of her child.

    History reveals that the Romans were averse to disturbing Jewish Feasts and

    Customs, and this particular decree would operate during the civil year which

    commences in Tisri, the equivalent of our September or October. This period,

    falling as it did between the harvest and the ploughing season, proved the

    most convenient time for the making of a register of census.

    The Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was held on 15th Tisri, and this would explain

    why all places were filled, so that Joseph and Mary had recourse to the

    stables of an inn wherein the Babe was born.

    Quirinus was Governor of Syria from 4 B.C. to 1 B.C., and the Register was

    commenced during the first year of office. It was in the year that the Feast of

    Trumpets was held on the seventh day of the seventh sacred month, a

    Saturday or Sabbath day, and therefore the probable day on which the Babe

    was born.

    The Gospels state that the tidings were given to the shepherds who were

    attending their flocks by night, but here again we have evidence that it wasnot customary to keep the flocks out in the open during the night after the

    end of October, certainly not during the winter nights.

    St Luke (2:21-39) further records that after the Circumcision and days of

    purification were ended, Mary went to the Temple at Jerusalem to present the

    Babe to the Lord in accordance with Jewish custom.

    It was about this time that Herod gave orders for the destruction of all boys

    under the age of two years, and St. Matthew (2:12-15) records that the Angel

    of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, warning him to take the Babe and

    mother into Egypt, as Herod was seeking to destroy Him. He further records

    that Jesus was taken a journey of, roughly, 200 miles into Egypt, where He

    remained until after the death of Herod.

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    It is well to note here that records at our disposal show how impracticable

    such a journey would be if undertaken after mid-November, unless, of course,

    one travelled via the sea route, but of this we know Joseph and Mary did not

    avail themselves. At the time of this journey the Babe was about six weeksold, and this exactly fits in with all the other known facts.

    Now Herod was proclaimed king by the Romans at the 184th Olympiad, which

    was a period of four years, at the end of which were held the games that

    commenced the next period. The first Olympiad was during the period 776-

    772 B.C., and was reckoned as from Midsummer to Midsummer. The end of

    the 184th Olympiad would therefore be Midsummer 40 B.C.

    According to the celebrated historian Josephus, Herod actually reigned after

    the death of Antigonus in the Autumn of 37 B.C., and he frequently states

    that over three years elapsed between the Roman Proclamation and the

    death of Antigonus.

    Josephus counted his year from Nisan to Nisan, the equivalent of our March,

    and he would therefore have counted the portion of the first year of Herod's

    reign before Nisan as being one whole year, and as he states that Herod

    reigned 34 years after the death of Antigonus, his reign terminated before the

    Passover of Nisan 3 B.C.

    Certain writers have endeavoured to prove that Herod died on a date

    different from the actual date in order to prove correct their theory that the

    Holy Babe was born on December 25th.

    The records made by Josephus, however, are very complete and authentic.He states that Herod burnt the Priest Matthias and on the same night there

    was an eclipse of the moon. There is no record whatever to show that such an

    eclipse of the moon, visible from Jerusalem during the beginning of the year 3

    B.C. ever took place, but a record does exist of such an eclipse occurring

    during the night of March 12th to13th in the year 4 B.C.

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    The Feast of the Passover in the year 4 B.C., occurred on April 10th, which is

    barely a month after the eclipse, and we know that Herod was then alive.

    Josephus records that after the death of Herod, the funeral preparations and

    the procession of the golden bier to Herodium, together with the period of

    mourning, amounted to some five weeks. He also records that as the time for

    the holding of the Feast Of the Passover, following the funeral, approached,

    there was feasting and rioting among the populace, and the authorities were

    compelled to call out a regiment of soldiers to quell such rioters.

    From this it is obvious that the death of Herod must have occurred at the

    beginning of the year 3 B.C. as the eclipse of 4 B.C. occurred within one

    month of the Passover of that year, and it has already been shown that the

    period of time between Herod's death and the Passover was about ten weeks,

    so that the eclipse, death, burial, riots and Passover could not possibly have

    taken place within the period of the same year. The Jewish Megillah Taanith

    states that the death occurred on Sebat 1st or January 18, 3 B.C., and with

    this date the records of Josephus agree.

    Referring back to St Matthew 2:19-23, it is recorded that another Angel of the

    Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him to return to the land of

    Israel, and that Joseph did take Mary and the Babe to Nazareth.

    St Luke 2:41 states that Joseph and Mary went to Jerusalem every year at the

    Feast of the Passover, and it is presumed that they attended the one held on

    March 31st, 3 B.C., following the death of Herod.

    The correct chronology would therefore be:

    1). Decree of Caesar Augustus, about May, 4 B.C.;

    2). Joseph and Mary's journey to Bethlehem for census, late Septernber or

    very early October;

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    3). The Nativity, October 5th, 4 B.C.

    4). Presentation at the Temple (43 days after), November 16th, 4 B.C.;

    5). Flight to Egypt, November 18th, 4 B.C.;

    6). Death of Herod, January 18th, 3 B.C.;

    7). Funeral, mourning, etc., to February 28th, 3 B.C.;

    8). Feast of Passover, March 31st, 3 B.C.

    This proves very conclusively that the present-day Christmas celebrations do

    not connect in any way with the anniversary of the Nativity.

    What then, is this celebration connected with?

    Professor Waddell in his The Phoenician Origin of Britons, Scots and Anglo-

    Saxons produces evidence, that as far back as 1500 B.C., certain inhabitants

    of Britain were Sun worshippers, similar to the ancient Egyptians of 2000

    B.C., and that one of their festivals was Natalis Invicti Solis, the birthday of

    the unconquerable Sun, and such festival was held on December 25th, which

    date originally coincided with the Winter Solstice.

    The 'Christian' Church did not include any festival in December, certainly not

    the Christmas festival, until the end of the third century, and it is presumed

    that this festival was probably adopted by the Roman Church at that time

    when many pagans were being converted to their faith, and no doubt it was

    considered advisable to hold such a festival in order to retain them in the

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    Roman Church.

    As we are now approaching the close of the 'Latter Days' so often referred to

    in the Bible, and in addition have had days set aside for National prayer to

    God, seeking God's aid to deliver us from the trials and tribulations that now

    beset us, is it not a little incongruous that we still hold on to our pagan feast

    days which obviously are opposed to God, inasmuch as, through the

    celebrations conducted in many Churches, they lead us to break the first and

    greatest commandment? We cannot expect God to deliver us from our

    enemies and still continue with our idolatrous rituals. That surely is sheer

    hypocrisy which the church seems all too eager to accept, inasrnuch as they

    have consented to both in the past; and it would appear to be high time that

    the churches reconstituted their Calendar.

    It is gratifying to know that Scotland has managed to resist such pagan

    influence. Let us hope that in the not-too-far future the British

    Commonwealth of Nations and the United States of America will be equally

    sensible.

    In the field of ideas the aim of international finance is to defile and destroy.

    For the money power nothing is sacred but its law. Every noble idea of

    honour, family, nation, faith and race is systematically dragged through the

    mire of 'homogeneity', 'equality' and 'debate', until the genetic and moral

    fibre of nations lies in ruins.

    (From Kingdom Tracts. Published by Kingdom Digest 1981)

    Back To Archive Contents

    GENTILES OR NATIONS?

    A study by J.O.Adams

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    T hroughout this study I have used my own translation unless otherwise

    marked. I have used italics for 'understood' words required in translating.

    Where the definite article occurs in the original language but is not required

    in English I have used an asterisk. Thus at times *God is used to represent

    'the God'. I have also used italics for Hebrew, Greek or Latin words. In typing

    Greek words 'e' is used for epsilon, 'E' for eta, 'o' for omicron and 'O' foromega.

    In our English Bibles, in the books of both the Old and New Testaments, the

    word 'gentiles' occurs frequently. The word is used to translate the Hebrew

    word goi of the Old Testament, and the Greek ethnos of the New. (There is

    also another word rendered 'gentiles' in the A.V of the New Testament. This is

    the Greek, 'hellEn', but I will mention this later.)

    Both words denote 'a nation' or 'people' - i.e. they refer to a body of people,

    irrespective of racial origin, organized as a separate political state, and

    occupying a definite territory. The Hebrew lexicons tell us that goi, properly 'a

    confluence of men', denotes 'a body politic, or whole people' (Gesenius). It is

    also pointed out, that in the singular, goi usually refers to the 'nation' of

    Israel, and in the plural it is specially used of the (other) nations besides

    Israel. However both singular and plural are at times used of Israel. For

    instance it was said to Jacob; 'A nation (goi) and a company of nations

    (goyim) shall be from thee,' (Gen.35:11). The N.T word is used similarly. In the

    A.V we find both words represented by 'nations', 'gentiles', 'heathen', and'people'. The following remarks are pertinent to both Old and New

    Testaments, but I will confine them to the N.T. ethnos.

    In translating this word the A.V. uses 'heathen' five times and 'people'

    twice.'Nations' occurs 64 times and 'gentiles' 93. Of these, 'nations' occurs 21

    times in the gospels, and 43 in the other books. 'Gentiles' only occurs 15

    times in the gospels, but 78 times in the other books. (Only one of these is in

    the Book of Revelation). It is the usage in the epistles, and especially those of

    Paul, that most interests me.

    It has been suggested that 'gentiles' should he replaced by the correct

    meaning of ethnos, which is a 'nation'. However this is not as clear cut as it

    may appear. Paul does not always apply this word to nations as a whole, but

    rather to groups of his 'brethren' - persons of Israel stock, who are residing in

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    nations other than Israel. It is noteworthy that all his epistles were written to

    Greeks. (Even his epistle to the Romans is directed to Greeks living in that

    country.)

    His letter is addressed: 'to all those beloved of God, called ones, set apart (or

    'holy') ones, being in Rome'. (Rom.1:7) 'Called' and 'set apart ones' are terms

    that are specifically used of Israel. It is noticeable that Rome is only

    mentioned twice in the whole epistle. It was well known, both to the Jews and

    the Greeks at this time, that they were kinsmen. (See I Macc. 12, and

    Josephus - Books 12 & 13.)

    Paul then, was writing to his 'brethren' - a word which should always be given

    its literal meaning of kinsmen. He makes this clear in Rom. 9:3, which in the

    A.V reads: 'For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ, for my

    brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.'

    I would like to digress here to explain this verse, for this is an incorrect and

    misleading rendition. Could anyone imagine that Paul would wish to be

    accursed from Christ! The first verb in the verse is in the imperfect tense.

    Giving this its proper value, Paul's words become: 'For I used to wish, I myself,

    to be accursed (or 'anathema'); alienated from the anointed One (or 'the

    Christ'), for the sake of my *brethren, my *kinsmen according to flesh.' As the

    correct translation shows, Paul was alluding to the time before his conversion,

    when, as Saul, he persecuted our Lord's followers.

    So then the people Paul was addressing in all his epistles were his blood

    brothers - people of his own race, the sons of Jacob. This being so he was not

    addressing other nations as such, but his fellow countrymen, who were living

    in other countries. These are people to whom the word 'gentile', if properly

    understood, is applicable. Before dealing with the proper meaning of this

    word, let us look at a few passages, which clearly show to whom he was

    writing when he used ethnos, 'a nation'.

    Romans 11:13,14.

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    'But to you, the nations I say, Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of nations, I

    magnify my ministry if by any means I may excite my flesh to emulation and

    save some from among them.'

    Paul was not speaking to whole nations, but to those of his kinsrnen, his

    'flesh', who were residing in Rome. Continuing in verse 15, he speaks of their

    'casting away'. The reference can only be to the outcasts of the people of

    Israel.

    I Corinthians 12:2.

    In the preceding verse these people are also called his brethren.

    'Ye know that when ye were nations ye were led astray' These too, were not

    whole nations (plural). These were Paul's kinsmen, scattered among the

    nations. They had become part of the Greek nation and were residing at

    Corinth.

    Galatians 2:12.

    Paul was speaking of Peter: 'For before certain men came from James, he ate

    with the nations' Peter did not eat with a number of whole nations, but with

    persons (of his own people) belonging to another nation - i.e. not Jews.

    Ephesians 2:11, 12.

    'Wherefore remember that when ye were the nations, those being called

    uncircumcision in flesh, by those called circumcision, which was in the flesh,

    made by hand, that ye were at that time set apart from an anointed people,

    having been alienated from the citizenship of *Israel, and become strangers

    in relation to the covenants of the promise, having no hope, and without God,

    in the world-order.' These Ephesians were also people from the cast off House

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    of Israel. They were not 'nations' (plural), but people of Israel stock residing at

    Ephesus - originally a Greek city, but under Roman rule. They had been 'apart

    from' the Israel nation -not 'without Christ' as in the A.V. The time Paul

    referred to was prior to the Lords coming.

    Ephesians 3:6.

    'That the nations should be joint heirs and a joint body, even joint sharers of

    the promise, through the good news ('gospel') in respect of an anointed

    people belonging to Jesus.' The promise is singular, and is that given to

    Abraham and his seed. I see this as the promise of Genesis 17, the promise of

    life after death, which is the gist of the covenant symbolised by circumcision.

    Other nations cannot be heirs to, or share in, that promise. The 'gospel' is

    that of the kingdom - the good news that the outcast sons of Jacob can be

    received back into the Israel nation through belief. This too cannot apply to

    nations other than Israel. Again we see that these Ephesians were not a

    number of whole nations, but were Paul's kinsmen living in another nation.

    The Hebrew goi and the Greek ethnos are equivalent to each other, both

    meaning 'a nation, a people'. In the Vulgate version, the Latin gens, and

    occasionally gentilis, is used to represent these two words. From this the word

    gentilis has been adopted into our language as 'gentile'. The Douay version, a

    translation of the Latin Vulgate into English, has frequently used 'gentile' for

    both goi and ethnos. Our A.V. has gone further, and in the N.T, uses 'gentile'

    more than 'nation' to represent ethnos. Many have said that 'gentiles' is

    wrong and should be replaced by 'nations' on each occasion. However when

    the proper meaning of 'gentile' is known this is not always true. Although I

    dislike the incorporation of this Latin word into our language, in many places

    it actually expresses the intended rneaning better than does 'nation'. This is

    particularly the case in many of Paul's writings.

    The Latin gens used in the Vulgate, is equivalent to either goi or ethnos. Like

    these two words gens is a noun and means 'a nation'. From gens the

    adjective gentilis is formed, and this is the word we have absorbed into the

    English language. Being an adjective, gentilis does not mean 'a nation', but

    means 'of', 'belonging to', or 'pertaining to', a nation. If it is employed as a

    noun it means 'one (or 'ones') belonging to a nation. If used as a noun to

    represent ta ethnE, which is the plural of ethnos with the article, it means

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    'those belonging' to the nations'. These meanings also apply to our English

    word, 'gentile'. In fact the Oxford Dictionary defines gentile as an adjective:

    'of or pertaining to any or all of the non-Jewish nations'. as a noun: 'one of

    any non-Jewish nation'. It is now interesting to go back to any of the

    examples I have quoted and to substitute either 'gentiles', or 'those

    belonging to nations', in place of the word 'nations'. For example Ephesians2:11: 'Wherefore remember that at one time ye were the gentiles' (Or better,

    'belonging to another nation.') Ephesians 3:6: 'That those of our people

    belonging to other nations ... should be joint-heirs, etc.'

    I have also mentioned that in the A.V., the meaning 'gentile' is given to

    another word, the Greek, 'hellEn'. HellEn means 'a Greek', and there are just

    six occasions where the translators have rendered it, not as Greeks, but as

    'gentile'. These are, John 7:35: Romans 2:9,10; 3:9; I Corinthians 10:32;

    12:13. Nevertheless this use of 'gentiles' where the Scripture has 'Greeks' isinteresting, for it shows that in the minds of our translators, the Greeks were

    synonymous with the gentiles. In other words they were applying the plural

    word ethnE, 'nations', to the one nation of the Greeks. It also implies that

    they, like Paul, used ethnE to indicate some of the people residing in a nation,

    or nations, other than that of the Jews (or Israel).

    Each of the five passages mentioned above will repay closer attention,

    keeping in mind, that in the places where the A.V. has 'gentiles', the Scripture

    has 'Greeks'. In Romans 2:9,10 Paul compares Jews and Greeks, but a fewverses later, while still discussing the Greeks, he refers to them as gentiles.

    Throughout the Book of Acts, and in Paul's epistles, Jews and Greeks are

    mentioned together, and compared or contrasted on about 15 occasions. In

    addition to these, the Greeks are frequently referred to in the N.T. books, and

    their relationship to the Jews - the only official remnant of Israel at that time -

    is a rewarding study. (See Josephus and I Maccabeus 12).

    Back To Archive Contents

    THE BRITISH (COVENANT) CHURCH

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    By

    David Jones

    BEFORE we can study the history of the true British Church, we should first

    understand the real meaning of the words 'British' and 'Church'. In all matters

    concerning Christianity the one true authority is, of course, The Bible. It may

    be useful at this stage to confirm that the word 'British' actually means

    'Covenant man'- but more of that statement later

    If we look at the word 'church', we see that this comes from the Greek word

    ekklesia, which is translated in the New Testament as 'church'. The Greekword ekklesia means 'the called out ones'. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew

    word qahal describes the same people - God's assembled people.

    The 'called out ones', are God's chosen ones, His elect or those whom God

    has predestined to be His. These people God 'called out' of the world, to be

    His own. Only one people can fit this description in Biblical times and today.

    The Hebrew/Greek words translated as 'church' do not refer to modern church

    denominations or their members.

    Jesus Christ said, as recorded in Matthew 21:43, that The Kingdom was to be

    given to another Nation. Do we know anything of this Nation or people 'called

    out' by God over the last 2000 years since Jesus Christ used these simple, but

    quite definite words that cannot be misconstrued? Which people, above all

    others, has done most to spread God's Word? Are we too ashamed to admit

    that no Nation or people has 'brought forth the fruits' to the extent that

    Britain has over the past 2000 years?

    Concerning the modern usage of the word 'church', it is no longer a well

    known fact that the first church was established here in Britain within a few

    years of the ministry of Jesus Christ in Palestine. Yes, the first church! Many

    think that the first churches were established in the Middle East but this is not

    so. The persecutions that took place immediately following the death and

    resurrection of Jesus Christ, ensured that any such assemblies were small and

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    secret, especially when the Jews and later the Romans started to fear the so-

    called new religion.

    If, as Jesus Christ confirmed; a Nation rnade up of God's church or elect,

    would 'bring forth the fruits', we should surely be able to see such a Nation in

    the early years following Jesus Christ's ascension. What can we learn, in this

    respect, from the writings of the early authorities? *

    Tertullian. A.D. 155-222. He was Christianity's first genius after the apostles,

    and he wrote, 'The extremities of Spain, the various parts of Gaul, the regionsof Britain which have never been penetrated by Roman arms have received

    the religion of Christ'.

    Eusebius. A.D. 260-340. He was Christianity's first great historian, and he

    wrote 'The Apostles passed beyond the ocean to the isles called the Britannic

    Isles'.

    Dorotheus. The Bishop of Tyre in A.D. 303 said 'Aristobulus, whom Paul

    saluted, writing to the Romans (Romans 16:10) was Bishop of Britain'. He also

    mentions by name another disciple as visiting Britain. 'Simon Zelotes

    preached Christ through all Mauretania, and Afric, the less. At length he wascrucified at Britannia, slain and buried'.

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    Theodoret the Blessed. He was the Bishop of Cyrus in Syria, and writing in

    A.D. 435, said, 'Paul, liberated from his first captivity at Rome, preached the

    gospel to the Britains and others in the west. Our fishermen and publicans

    not only persuaded some Romans (i.e. Roman citizens, just like Paul) and

    their tributaries to acknowledge the Crucified and His laws, but the Britains

    also and the Cymry (the Welsh)'.

    Chrysostom. The Patriarch of Constantinople A.D. 347- 407 wrote, 'Though

    thou shouldest go by the ocean to the British Isles, there thou shouldest hear

    all men everywhere discoursing matters out of the Scriptures with another

    voice, but not another faith, with a different tongue but the same judgement.'

    Gildas the Wise. A.D. 425-512 the early British historian wrote, 'Christ the

    True Sun afforded his light, the knowledge of his precepts, to our Island in the

    last year of Tiberius Caesar.' This was in A.D. 37, only four years after the

    Crucifixion!

    In the Diocletian Persecution. In A.D. 300, there were martyred in Britain by

    Rome, Stephen and Argulius, both Bishops of London; Socrates, Bishop of

    York; Arnphibalus, Bishop of Llandaff; Nicholas, Bishop of Penryn (Glasgow);

    Melior, Bishop of Carlisle; St. Alban; Julius and Aaron, elders of Caerleon; and

    889 communicants in different grades of society.

    The British Bishops. Eborius of York, Restitutus of London and Adelfius of

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    Caerleon were present at the Church Council of Aries in A.D. 314. British

    Bishops were also present at the Council of Nicaea, A.D. 325, Sardica in

    Illyria, A.D. 347 and Ariminium in Italy, A.D. 359.

    It is important to know that it was over FIVE CENTURIES after the founding of

    the early British Church that the first representatives of the so-called Rornan

    Christianity came to these islands. The rnonk, Augustine, sent by Pope

    Gregory arrived in Kent in the year A.D.597 - please reflect on the dates

    mentioned above!

    This same Augustine, writing to Pope Gregory about the early British Church

    in A.D. 600 said, 'In the western confines of Britain, there is a certain royal

    island of large extent, surrounded by water, abounding in all the beauties of

    nature and necessities of life. In it the first neophytes of catholic law, God

    beforehand acquainting them, found a church constructed by no human art,

    but by the hands of Christ himself, for the salvation of His People'. This was

    Glastonbury's church, originally built with wattle.

    This statement refers to the tradition that between the ages of 12 and 30,

    during which period the Gospels make no mention of Him (compare St Luke

    2:42 & 49 with 3:23), Jesus Christ Himself visited these Islands with Joseph of

    Arimathea. Traditionally, Joseph was the uncle of the Virgin Mary, and came

    to Ynis-witrin, later called the Isle of Avalon, now Glastonbury, Somerset.

    Tradition and history further assert that when Joseph of Arimathea returned

    here after the Resurrection and Ascension, he and the eleven Disciples, who

    came with him built a wattle church. This was The First Church building above

    ground and it stood where the Norman Chapel of St. Mary stands in the

    Abbey grounds.

    William of Malmesbury. A.D. 1080-1143, who was the best British historian of

    his day and who was asked by the monks of Glastonbury to write their

    history, says that after the Crucifixion, Joseph of Arimathea came here with

    eleven missionaries and that the King Arviragus gave them twelve Hides of

    land.

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    The Doomsday Book has the following entry which lends support to the abovewords of Augustine and of William of Malmesbury; 'The Church of Glastonbury

    has its own ville, twelve Hides of which have never paid tax'.

    Maelgwyn of Llandaff. Circa A.D. 450. He was Lord of Anglesey and

    Snowdonia, and Uncle of St David of Wales, who forswore his realm in orderto become a monk. He has left these words: 'Joseph of Arimathea, the noble

    decurion, entered his perpetual sleep with his eleven Companions in the Isle

    of Avalon'.

    Polydore Vergil, a learned Italian historian in England, A.D. 1470-1555, wrote,

    'Britain, partly through Joseph of Arimathea was of all kingdoms the first thatreceived the Gospel'.

    Superior dignity and antiquity was claimed for the British Church at the

    Roman Catholic church Councils of Pisa 1409, Constance 1417, Sienna 1424

    and Basle 1434. This was on the grounds that 'the churches of France and

    Spain must yield in points of antiquity and precedence to that of Britain, as

    the latter Church was founded by Joseph of Arimathea immediately after the

    passion of Christ'.

    After studying the above facts, can anyone say that the Roman Catholic

    church is the first true apostolic church? The Roman Catholic church was not

    even represented in these British Isles, over five centuries after the British

    Church was founded. To place this fact in perspective, this is like comparing

    the present date with AD. 1492, when Columbus had just landed in America

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    and Henry VII ruled in England.

    How can it be that many in this country still believe that Augustine brought

    Christianity to this land? Why do the Archbishop of Canterbury and other

    church leaders still speak of this lie whenever they have the opportunity?

    This, of course, is the 'unity' of ecumenism! We should know that true

    Christian unity is not the same as conformity!

    When Augustine arrived here in A.D. 497 (incidentally he never travelled

    much beyond the area which we now know as Kent) he was met by the British

    Church representatives and he was told by them:

    'Be it known and declared that we all, individually and collectively, are in all

    humility prepared to defer to the Church of God, and to the Bishop of Rome,

    and to every sincere and godly Christian, so far as to love everyone according

    to his degree in perfect charity and to assist them all by word and in deed in

    becoming the children of God. But as for any other obedience, we know of

    none that be, whom you term the Pope, or Bishop of Bishops can demand.

    The deference we have mentioned we are ready to pay to him as to every

    other Christian, but in all other respects our obedience is due to the

    jurisdiction of the Bishop of Caerleon, who is alone under God our ruler to

    keep us right in the way of salvation'.

    The Synod of Whitby in A.D. 664, marked the First entry of Roman Catholic

    influence into the native British church, which was now of both British and

    Celtic origin. Here, it was agreed that Roman Catholic usage on three points

    was to be followed. This was the first British ecumenical movement - just as

    wrong then as now! One far reaching result was that the native Church,

    distinguished for its evangelistic zeal and piety, was now controlled centrally

    under increasing Roman Catholic encroachment.

    The first notable resistance to Roman usurpation was made by Williarn the

    Conqueror, when Pope Gregory demanded of him homage for William's realm

    of England. King William replied 'Fealty I have never willed to do, nor will I do

    it now. I have never promised it, nor do I find that my predecessors did it to

    yours'. Later, he refused to allow Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury, to go to

    Rome at the summons of the Pope to answer for his conduct.

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    In later years, King Edward III in refusing to give homage and to pay the

    tribute to the See of Rome, asked parliament for their advice. The Bishops,

    Lords and Commons after full deliberation gave it in these words, 'That any

    king, could bring himself, his realm and people under such subjection withouttheir assent and that if done, it was without the consent of parliament and

    contrary to his Coronation oath, and that in case the Pope should attempt to

    constrain the King and his subjects to perform what he lays claim to, they

    would resist and withstand him to the uttermost of their power'. Compare this

    statement with the compromise and cant of today's church leaders and

    politicians!

    The continuity of our British Church is seen in Archbishop Cranmer's

    statement to Parliament in 1549 that the Prayer Book, then being authorised,contained the same prayers that had been in use in Britain for over 1500

    years - that is from the days of Joseph of Arimathea and the Apostles. The

    breach with the foreign Roman system was made absolute in the words of

    Article 38 of the British Church's Articles of Religion contained in the Book of

    Common Prayer. To these Articles, all clergy of the Church of England are still

    required to subscribe. Article 38 reads, 'The King's Majesty hath the chief

    power in this Realm of England and over his Dominions, unto whom the chief

    Government of all Estates of this Realm, whether they be Ecclesiastical or

    Civil in all causes doth appertain, and is not, nor ought to be, subject to any

    foreign jurisdiction ... The Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this Realm of

    England.'

    The Sovereign, by virtue of his position, undertakes even today in the

    Coronation Oath 'to the utmost of his power to maintain the Laws of God and

    the true profession of the Gospel; to the utmost of his power to maintain in

    the United Kingdom the Protestant Reformed Religion established by Law.

    And to maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of

    England, and the Doctrine, Worship, Discipline and Government thereof, as by

    Law established in England'.

    Furthermore, in contradistinction to the headship of a Pope, the appointment

    of the Sovereign to the headship of the Church of England marks an exact

    following of Scriptural precedent. 'We give not to our Princes the ministering

    of either God's word or of the Sacraments but that only prerogative, which we

    see to have been given always to all godly Princes in Holy Scriptures by God

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    himself, that is that they should rule all estates and degrees committed to

    their charge by God, whether they be Ecclesiastical or Temporal, and restrain

    with the civil sword the stubborn and evildoers.'

    The British Isles can claim that, from the days when the first wattle church

    was built at Glastonbury, it has never lacked a Church, subject to no other

    church on earth. This Church recognising the apostolic Scriptures alone for its

    rule of faith, and its form of Government. This British Church has not only

    received its faith direct from the Apostles but may also claim that Jesus Christ

    visited the place of its foundation.

    What can we learn if we now look at the word 'Covenant'? In Britain, we look

    on the Bible as two separate books known as the Old and the New

    Testarnents. This is quite wrong. The Bible when correctly translated contains

    no word for 'Testament'. The Hebrew word 'berith' means Covenant. There

    can be no argument over this fact; reference to any Hebrew dictionary or

    lexicon easily and quickly proves this point. Therefore, the Bible is correctly

    divided into two parts the Old and the New Covenants. God made these

    Covenants with man. It is important to remember that God not man made the

    Covenants! In both instances, Old and New, the Covenants were made with

    the same people - God's chosen people, the Israelites.

    It is of vital importance that all should realise that the people we today refer

    to as the Jews are not Israelites; but proselytes from many nations to the

    Talmudic Jewish religion. This religion, Judaism, is not the religion of the Old

    Covenant (Testament) Israelites and people should not give the impression

    that the two faiths have a common inception or intent.

    Jesus Christ said, speaking to the Jews as recorded in Matthew 21:43,

    'Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and

    given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof'. Jesus Christ told the Jews,

    who had attempted to usurp The Kingdom from God's chosen people, the

    Israelites, that they would not inherit The Kingdom. The Kingdom was to be

    given to another Nation - an Israelite Nation, just as promised by God in the

    Old Testament Covenants.

    1) Whom did God 'call out' in Genesis? It was Abraham. Genesis 12:1.

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    2) Whom did God 'call out' in Exodus? It was the Israelites, Abraharn's

    descendants. Exodus 3:16-17.

    3) With whom did God make all His Covenants? It was the Israelites alone.

    4) With whom did God make the New Covenant? It was with the House of

    Israel and the House of Judah. Hebrews 8:8.

    5) Whom alone did God say He had called? It was Abraham. Isaiah 51:2.

    6) To whom alone did Jesus Christ say that He was sent? It was to the House

    of Israel, Abraham's descendants through Isaac and Jacob (renamed Israel by

    God Himself). Matthew 15:24.

    The Israelites alone comprise God's true Church as defined by Scripture itself.

    When we consider the Hebrew words for 'covenant' and 'man' we see 'berith'

    and 'ish' respectively. The word 'ber-eeth' and the word 'ish' is pronounced

    as'eesh'. If we place the two words together to mean 'Covenant Man', we see

    that the pronunciation is 'ber-eeth-eesh'. Now after approximately 4000 years

    usage and allowing for ever so slight a change, 'ber-eeth-eesh' is extremely

    close to British!

    When one considers that the old English word 'ain' means land, we have 'ber-

    eeth' plus 'ain'; that is Britain! Alternatively, more simply the Covenant Land.

    To confirm this point further we can deliberate upon the word 'Britannia'. How

    many know the meaning of this word? Well, the word 'annia' comes from the

    Hebrew word 'oniyah' which is pronounced 'onee-yaw' and means, 'ship'.

    Therefore, the Hebrew words pronounced as 'ber-eeth- on-ee-yaw', actually

    means Covenant Ship! Co- incidence? God made the Covenants with our

    ancestors for their benefit. These same Covenants are here today for our

    benefit - spiritual and secular! When will we return to The Faith of our fathers?

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    When will we stop trying to fill our churches, rather than fill our minds with

    the love and knowledge of God?

    'Thus saith the Lord, stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths,

    but they said, we will not walk therein'. Jeremiah 6:16. When will we listen?

    We are commanded to, 'Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His

    righteousness'. Matthew 6:13. When will we listen?

    God's promise is sure to those that accept The Faith (His Word) and try to

    carry out His commandments. Our ancestors knew this, as did our early

    British Church. When we listen, repent and trust The Word, we too shallunderstand; 'Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the

    heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him'. I

    Corinthians 19.

    We should ask ourselves which Nation, descended from Abraham, Isaac and

    Jacob (Israel) was to be called 'Great', as noted in Genesis chapter 12:2? 'And

    I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name

    great'.

    It is quite apparent that History over the last 4000 years since God gave His

    promise to Abraham records only one - 'Great Britain'!

    *With acknowledgement to Revd G. M. Nicholson for the information

    concerning the early authorities.

    Back To Archive Contents

    WHO IS THIS JESUS?

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    By the late DR. PETER MARSHALL Chaplain of the United States Senate

    'And when He was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who

    is This?' (Matthew 21:10)

    FOR nineteen hundred years one Figure has haunted the memory and

    troubled the conscience of mankind. This one Figure has divided all history

    into two great divisions, so that every event is now dated with reference to

    His coming, either before or after. Whenever the years are numbered,

    whether by believers or unbelievers, time is counted from the year of Hisincarnation, before Christ and after Christ. No other name has so dominated

    history. No other influence has so profoundly affected human life. No other

    birthday is so widely observed. No other teachings so much discussed. Of no

    one else have so many books been written. To the cause of no other leader

    have so many followers given their lives.

    'Who is this?' they asked at the street corners in Jerusalem long ago. It is no

    mere academic interest that prompts the question in our time. It is life,

    history. It is all that is deepest in your experience and mine that forces it uponus. Who is this Jesus?

    Now let us recognise at the outset that the Christian religion is first and

    foremost and in its heart a message about God. It is not primarily a new

    ethic. It is not just a philosophy of brotherliness and loving our neighbour and

    accepting the Golden Rule. It is not a way of thinking or looking at life. Nor is

    it a social programme. It includes all of these, to be sure. But basically it is a

    message about God.

    That message is this: that the living God, infinite, eternal and unchangeable

    had at one definite point broken into history in an unprecedented way. Once

    and for all, in an actual life lived out upon this earth, God has spoken, and

    has given the full and final revelation of Himself. In Jesus, God has come!

    Such is the dramatic and astounding statement on which the Christian

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    religion is built. That is the foundation of it.

    With almost two thousand years of Christian tradition behind us, we may

    have become almost too familiar with this fact so that we fail to grasp it as

    they did back there in the first century.

    They tell us that for the greater part of His life He was a working carpenter.

    He stood among the shavings making tables and chairs and yokes for the

    oxen. His home was in an obscure provincial village. He was born in a stable

    adjoining a roadside inn. He had no money, no standing in society. He wrote

    no books. As far as we know, He wrote nothing. He left no written message,

    for the only time we read of His writing anything, it was traced with His Finger

    in the sand, and the eddies of wind that swirled round the pillars of the

    temple porch covered it up. He fought no battles. He had no army. The

    applause of listening senates was never His to command. His friends were

    mostly as poor as He was, fishermen and peasants. When He began His

    public ministry and took to preaching, His family tried to talk Him out of it,

    thinking and actually saying He was mad.

    The theologians and the learned people of His day ridiculed His teachings

    because they said He had never been to school. At first He attracted great

    crowds, whether moved by curiosity or the attraction of the new and the

    sensational. But they soon dwindled away and, at one time, He feared His

    own followers might likewise melt away. At the end they did desert Him and

    leave Him to His fate. He died a criminal's death, reviled and mocked,

    tormented and laughed at, hanging between two thieves and murderers. He

    was buried in a borrowed grave.

    But then a strange thing happened. It was rumoured that death had not

    finished Him. It was reported that He had been seen alive. True, the body with

    the marks of the nags and the spikes had disappeared. On this they all

    agreed. The body was gone. There were many attempted explanations but,

    somehow, none of them were adequate.

    Suddenly, His disciples, the very men who had run away, who had gone

    underground for a tirne, appeared in the streets proclaiming that He had risen

    from the dead. They said that He had come back to them. They were

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    different, not the same men at all. Their terror had gone, and they were no

    longer afraid. They spoke boldly. Threats did not intimidate them. They said

    fantastic things-that this Jesus had risen from the dead and was at the right

    hand of God in heaven. They said that now they saw clearly, what had been

    hidden from them before, and from the first God had been uniquely present

    in Jesus, making the invisible apparent, the eternal a matter of history, andGod had become man.

    Such a message, as you would suppose, was laughed at. 'These men are

    drunk,' was the first popular verdict. Then, 'They are mad.' The tale was so

    incredible. And when the wild story began to circulate beyond Jerusalem, the

    whole Roman Empire began to ring with contemptuous laughter for a tirne.

    Then they tried to stop it by force and threats. 'Don't say these things again,'

    the disciples were told, 'if you value your lives.' But they did not stop. They

    even seemed to become more eloquent and more bold. Throw them intoprison and they made the cell a pulpit and the dungeon a choir. Stone them

    with stones, and they rose from the dust bleeding and bruised, but with more

    convincing testimony. Lash them with whips, and they praised God the more.

    Nothing could stop them. They made human torches of believers in this

    fantastic rigmarole. They illumined the arenas to light up Roman holidays and

    yet, in their death, they made converts to this strange preaching. Hunted and

    persecuted, thrown to the lions, tortured and killed, yet they seemed to live

    on, and grow.

    Rome could not stop Jesus. What actually happened was that Jesus stopped

    Rome, and on the ashes of her broken splendour set the foundations of the

    empire of God which was to be. That is why the question comes back to us

    today nineteen hundred years afterward, 'Who is this Jesus?'

    Now when the first Christians called Him Lord, and when they worshipped the

    Galilean Carpenter, were they just dreaming, yielding to the intoxication of a

    foolish fancy? Were love and imagination running away with them? Or was

    the thing true?

    You will find that there is mystery here - great mystery, supernatural mystery.

    You have to deal with a personality, a power and a presence. His personality

    is a startling study in contrasts. He was rneek and lowly with an amazing

    humility yet, He said, He would come on the clouds of Heaven in the glory of

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    God. He was so austere that evil spirits and demons cried out at His coming,

    yet little children ran to Him as a friend and climbed up on His knee. No one

    was ever half so kind or compassionate to sinners, and no one ever spoke

    such red-hot searing words about sin. His whole life was love, yet He

    demanded of the Pharisees how they expected to escape the damnation of

    Hell. He was a seer of visions, and a dreamer of dreams, yet a realist of thefirst degree. He claimed their loyalty and obedience, yet He washed their

    feet. A changed woman came weeping to anoint His feet, and the hucksters

    and traders fell over one another in the Temple to get away from the fire they

    saw blazing in His eyes. He saved others, they all admitted that in the end,

    but He could not save Himself. What a union of contrasts in the mystery of

    this personality!

    But what about the mystery of His power? What is the secret of it? In His

    name great movements have swept the earth. In His name men and womenof every age and race have 'wrought righteousness, stopped the mouths of

    lions, and out of weakness have been made strong.'

    Consider our institutions that have sprung from this mysterious power, the

    churches everywhere pointing their spires like fingers of stone to God, the

    hospitals, the schools, the Red Cross, the Community Chests, all philanthropic

    and benevolent work, all stemming back to this power and influence.

    After nineteen centuries we still dedicate our children in His name. When love

    and marriage come, His is the blessing we invoke, and at His altar we plight

    our troth. When the last call comes, and the clock has chimed for our loved

    ones, we lay them down beneath His cross, and it is in His message that we

    find our comfort and our hope. His is the power that sets the prisoners free, in

    whatever bondage they languished. Testimonies are without number.

    Changed lives all ascribe the glory to Him. It is to Him that credit belongs for

    newness of life and victories that men and women have achieved. How many

    there are who will testify to this power - the power that saves, that forgives,

    that pleads and guides through life. There it is. What a mystery! What apower!

    But it is still more. It is the mystery of a Presence. 'Lo, 1 am with you always,'

    He had said, and they found it true, gloriously true. Part of the mystery is this,

    that He lived nineteen centuries ago, in a far-away little land of Palestine. He

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    wore oriental robes and sandals. Yet His words and His presence are as real

    and as relevant as if spoken last night on the radio in English from New York

    or San Francisco. Even in our day of neon signs and penthouses, of

    skyscrapers and fast aeroplanes, He is authoritative for us. And this is

    because the human heart is still the same in its loves and hates, its joys and

    sorrows, its fears and hopes, its passions and defeats. And also because thisChrist is not a dead memory, not a pious legend, not an embalmed relic, but

    a Living Spirit. This Christ is a present fact and men know it.

    Read the new Testament for yourself, and see if this same Jesus does not step

    out of the page and walk beside you. See if He does not look at you from the

    record with eyes that see into your very soul. It is not merely speaking

    metaphorically to say that to many men and women He is a Presence tapping

    them on the shoulder, nudging them now and then, walking beside them in

    sorrow, standing in the shadow watching, waiting always. Yes, it is themystery of a Presence.

    What then are we to say of Him? Have you answered that question in your

    own mind? Has your heart whispered its own answer? What think ye of Jesus?

    That is an old question, but it keeps coming up, again and again, and every

    one must answer it sometime. Reason and conscience alone demand an

    answer,'Who is this Jesus?'

    I am not sure which is the greater heresy, to deny that He was God, or to

    deny that He was man. It is worthy of note that the first heresy that ever

    vexed the Christian Church, the so-called Docetic heresy of the first and

    second centuries, was not a denial of the deity of Jesus, it was a denial of His

    true manhood. It asserted His God-head and virtually emptied His manhood

    of all reality. There is some danger that we might do the same thing today.

    Let us never forget that Jesus was truly man - really man, tempted in all

    points like as we are, yet without sin. It is a mystery how the two natures

    were in One person - the human nature and the divine. I cannot explain it, nor

    do I understand it. I only know that both were there, both full and real.

    He was no stranger to pain, for He explored all the vast treasuries of it that

    we may never know. It was no rnakebelieve when the Roman lash fell across

    His shoulders. And the nails - were they not real? - as real as the blood He

    shed on the cross!

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    No, you cannot read your Gospels without feeling that here was a Man - The

    Man - He is true rnan, this Jesus. That truth can never grow dim.. Could you

    possibly find in Him your Saviour were He not fully rnan? 'There is one

    mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus.' That's what it says.The Book declares it. Let us not forget it!

    But that is not all. That is not the final word. That alone does not explain

    Christ. There is more, much more. He was truly man - He was more - He was

    God in the flesh.

    As you consider yourself in relation to the question: 'Who is this Jesus?' I ask

    you to consider the claims He made for Himself. Do you realise that He placedHimself at the very centre of His message? He sought to win their devotion of

    His own person. He does not merely claim to have found the answer to all

    men's needs, He claims to be the answer. 'Come unto Me, all ye who labour

    and are heavy laden, and 1 will give you rest.'

    Who ever before or since has dared to say a thing like that? He declares that

    at the Day of Judgment the final test will be 'Ye have done it unto Me .... Ye

    did it not to Me. ... He that loseth his life for My sake, shall find it.' His whole

    attitude is 'God and I'. I could quote you scores of such statements.

    Now what shall we say about all this? Either it is sheer nonsense, or it is true.

    Either He speaks as a deranged megalomaniac, or else He is who He says He

    is. You have to choose one or the other. Somehow, on His lips, these claims

    do not appear to be ridiculous. On the lips of anyone else, they would, but not

    on His.

    His own life - His public life and His private life - is as startling as His claims,

    for in it there was no sin, no fault, no blemish. Neither friend nor foe could

    find anything of which to accuse Him. And He alone flung over His shoulder

    His challenge to time and history: 'Which one of you accuseth me of sin?' Who

    else could have said that? The saintliest people in all the world have been

    most conscious of their own sin. Read the biographies of Paul, Thomas a

    Kempis, Francis of Assissi and, again and again, you will come across their

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    feelings of guilt and unworthiness. But not with Jesus. He never confessed to

    any sin, for He had none to confess.

    But you find Him forgiving sin in others. Not merely mumbling the words of

    absolution, but bringing into troubled and contrite hearts the feeling of being

    forgiven, the sense of being at peace with God. It was this action of His that

    roused the Pharisees so. They pointed out that nobody could forgive sin but

    God only and argued that, consequently, Jesus must be an imposter and a

    blasphemer. Their premise was absolutely correct. Their conclusion absolutely

    wrong.

    Only God can bring peace to the human heart. Yet Christ has done it for

    unnumbered millions of souls. Only God can open the gates of the Kingdom of

    Heaven. For how many has Christ opened it? Only God can supply the power

    to break the chains of enslaving habits. Yet Christ has done it for men and

    women in the New Testament, and in nineteen hundred years of history since

    the New Testament was written. Only God can redeem, yet I am sure that

    Christ is my Redeemer, and I know that my Redeemer liveth. Millions of souls

    have said that, and believed it most surely. If Christ thus does what only God

    can do, who then is this Jesus?

    Consider the universality of Jesus. How else could you account for it? Think of

    some modern writers who have written books about Him, caught alike in the

    spell and adoration of the Carpenter of Galilee, Giovanni Papini and Bruce

    Barton, as different as an Italian mystic and American businessman could be.

    Scholem Asch and Emil Ludwig, Middleton Murray and Lloyd Douglas, and a

    host of others as different as the poles, yet all fascinated by this one mystery

    of Christ! Who can this be Who can grip and captivate the souls of people so

    utterly different as Luther and Loyola, Dwight L. Moody and John R. Mott,

    General Booth and George A. Buttrick, Muriel Lester and David Livingstone,

    Father Damien of Molokai and Robert E. Speer, Albert Schweitzer, Martin

    Niemuller and Gypsy Smith? What an amazing universality! What sort of

    beleaguering spirit is His?

    But here is the most amazing thing of all, and you will find it today if you

    have never found it before. You begin exploring the fact of Christ, and before

    you know it, the fact is exploring you, spiritually and morally. Is not that so?

    You set out to see what you can find in Christ, and sooner or later God in

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    Christ finds you. And then you will have the final and complete proof of His

    deity in your own heart.

    Maybe there is someone who has never acknowledged Christ; maybe

    someone who has said that he or she did not believe in Christ. Well, there are

    some who have no right to believe in Him because they have no

    qualifications for believing or understanding the fact of Christ, because they

    have never really faced it. Will you face it now?

    But I would not be satisfied simply to have you face the fact. I now want to

    ask you what you will do about it?

    When Saul of Tarsus was confronted on the Damascus road with Christ, his

    first impulsive cry was 'Who art Thou, Lord?' But then immediately and

    instinctively a second question came, 'What wilt Thou have me to do?' That is

    the point to which I would bring you now. What is your response going to be?

    Back To Archive Contents

    SOUTH AFRICA

    By

    Margaret Kilner

    AFRICA is one of the largest continents in the world. It is divided into many

    states, and the boundaries of these are often defined by rivers. For instance

    the Zambesi River which is approximately 15 degrees south of the equator

    and other rivers in that area, have their source in ancient Ethiopia. This

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    brings us to the regions of Rhodesia (now named Zimbabwe) and South

    Africa. Smaller protectorates are also in that region, bordering the two major

    lands named.

    The southern tip of the continent (South Africa) is a country of contrasts and

    complexities. Its terrain contains mountains and valleys, gorges and

    waterfalls, bushland and deserts, wild coast-lines and sand dunes sheltering

    beautiful beaches. It would be impossible to single out any one area as the

    most beautiful but several are portrayed in travel guides to this quite

    amazing continent. At the southern most point the Cape Peninsular has a

    back drop of mountains, the better known being Table Mountain with Lion's

    Head, Signal Hill, and the Twelve Apostles alongside. Along the coast-line

    'families' of whales can be observed as they make their way North to fresh

    breeding grounds. A worthwhile trip along the Garden Route towards East

    London and Port Elizabeth affords the traveller opportunities to soak in

    further contrasting scenery of land and seascapes. Arriving in Durban the

    visitor is swept into a hive of activity both in the city and along the coast.

    Bathing, boating, seal watching, dolphins dancing, fishing and many other

    water sports can be indulged. Both the South and North coasts have much to

    offer.

    Leaving the coast-line to travel North agriculture, industry, including mining

    for gold and diamonds, and there are areas rich in metals and minerals.

    Game Reserves and Conservation areas are popular for holiday makers with

    excellent accommodation provided.

    The architecture generally in South Africa portrays much of the Dutch culture,

    with gabled houses. Most dwellings have well laid out gardens and fruit trees

    add to the beauty in the spring rnonths and following on with summer fruits.

    The first settlers in South Africa were the Hotentots and Bushman. Not much

    can be said about these people who are no longer in existence at least in the

    areas of our study, but their brief history can be traced through art works

    discovered in caves.

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    When the pioneers disembarked in South Africa the land was uninhabited.

    These people had arrived from Europe and the United Kingdom - they were

    law abiding people generally of the Protestant Faith and upheld Christian

    ethics as they settled into this unknown land. At the same time the Bantu-negroid people began to invade from northern states. It must be said

    therefore that there are no indigenous peoples among these inhabitants.

    These tribal people even in those early days came to 'claim their land'. Some

    of them did become labourers in the developments which evolved and they

    were treated reasonably well although due to their arrogance, firey

    disposition and warrior-like ways, trouble ensued between the white settlers

    and black invaders.

    Every child was taught the history of The Great Trek (1836) which was amassive movement of people, many travelling in ox-carts, at times, over

    some extremely difficult terrain.These people opened up vast areas of

    uninhabited land which became part of an extensive development

    programme. A rich and prosperous country soon emerged.

    At that that time South Africa was governed by one party and law and order

    was evident. As the country grew it divided into four provinces Cape Province,

    Natal, Orange Free State and Transvaal. Each had their own government.

    When a Union was later formed it brought the provinces together butmaintaining the original names. For a long time there were only two major

    political parties. The United Party which was made up of mainly English

    speaking people, and the National Party of Afrikaans speaking people. The

    language of Afrikaans is based on a mixture of Dutch, German and English.

    Most South Africans are bilingual (that is changing to 'trilingual' at present).

    The United Party had a long and prosperous term of office. In some respects

    they were more tolerant of the black people and gave them employment in

    the domestic field particularly. Their opposite number disliked the blackpeople and kept them in a very low rating.

    Having a considerable number of different Bantu tribes together often led to

    faction fights in the township areas allotted to them, and on occasion it would

    overflow into the towns. There was rioting and devastating demonstrations.

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    These townships provided by the Government provided homes for the black

    workers who commuted to the cities for work. The houses were basic and

    originally had no piped running water, inadequate sanitation and little

    electricity. When these facilities were upgraded some of the primitive black

    people not understanding the use of mod cons seemed to prefer their original

    way of life.

    One cannot deal with this subject without mention of Nelson Mandela. He was

    an active member of the African National Congress. He was tried and

    sentenced for treasonable offences as were other senior members of that

    party. They were incarcerated on Robben Island a few kilometres off the coast

    of Cape Town. The island was once used as a leper colony and a cemetery

    reveals that history. The island is flat and uninteresting with few trees or

    anything of beauty small bushes being the main vegetation. The prison

    dominates the island but is now used only as a tourist attraction. A fewadministration buildings can be seen. Visitors must be accompanied round

    the island and guided through the prison. An ex-prisoner undertakes this

    chore and seems to have pleasure to include graphic descriptions of the

    punishments meted out to prisoners even for minor crimes or disobedience to

    the governors of the prison. In one room there is an obelisk staging

    photographs of important prisoners, that includes Nelson Mandela and his

    friends who all now hold office in the South African Government.

    When Mandela was released from the prison and housed in Cape Town tocomplete his sentence, he was given many home comforts and a computer

    and spent his rime drawing up the strategy for a New South Africa to be ruled

    by blacks.

    Following several years of a National Party Government leading it, pressures

    from the ANC and others (from many parts of the world), the policy of

    Apartheid was slowly coming to an end. Apartheid means 'separation' and

    was enforced during the United Party regime. The Reforms at First were

    gradual but then accelerated.

    By the time Mandela had been released the black population were taking full

    advantage of their freedom. He had promised them good houses, expensive

    cars and many luxuries of life. What they did not understand was that they

    had to work for these, and what they couldn't afford to buy they stole. This

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    was the beginning of NEW SOUTH AFRICA.

    Two national elections have been held in South Africa in ten years. The ANC

    have won them both. To ensure the majority of votes, blacks from

    neighbouring states have been bussed into the Republic and given the vote.

    Most of these have been dumped overnight and have no money and no

    housing. Shanty Towns spring up in prominent places in every city and town.

    Every voter regardless of colour or domicile is finger-printed at the polling

    stations. The method of proportional representation is used. In the last

    election twenty-three parties were contending.

    The crime rate in the New South Africa is one of the highest in the world. This

    includes killings, maiming, theft, hi-jacking, arson, and rape. The latter is the

    most serious in some respects because AIDS is rife. It is a well-known fact

    that this deadly disease is carried by Africans from all over the continent.

    Rape may be black to black or black to white the endeavour is not only to

    cause suffering but to diminish the unwanted in the population.

    Schools and Colleges by law admit all races, regardless of learning

    disabilities.These unfortunates are forced into groups by others in order to

    disrupt completely the education system. Some white teachers have been

    sacked, others have given up because of the stress of unlawful situations.

    Schools have been vandalised and campuses resemble a rubbish tip in parts.

    It is most obvious that black rule is out of control, the economy is nil and to

    quote one person 'South Africa is now a third world country'. Human rights

    means nothing, the black person who it has been said is backed by Russia, is

    out for everything he can get no matter who is hurt on the way or what

    discomfort is caused.

    The New South Africa is not interested in the past - to assist the obliteration

    of history, vast changes are being made. It was the whites who worked in

    developing and preserving a beautiful country and it is now on the slippery

    slope down, with neglect and devastation. Once street names and names of

    towns and cities, airports and buildings etc. portrayed something of its

    history. They are now being given unpronounceable and, to some,

    meaningless names. The City of Johannesburg is now called IGOLI for

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    Johannesburg and Gauteng for the Transvaal.

    Out of this dark and sinful situation it can be reported with some pleasure

    that there are pockets of the provinces which are still a joy to behold,

    untouched well preserved and at peace with God and man. You obliterate the

    history, you may destroy a city, but the terrain will always be there in its

    pristine beauty.

    Contrasts and complexities - so much more could be written but space here

    does not permit further indulgences.

    The question may now be asked "why should anyone single out South Africafor any reason?". If we turn to the Holy Bible the answer will be obvious. The

    prophet Zephaniah not only identifies this location and its people but God by

    His Holy Spirit has written very clearly that there is a future. The prophet

    writes:

    3:10 'From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of

    my dispersed shall bring mine offering'

    3:12 'I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people and

    they shalt trust in the narne of the Lord'

    3:19 'Behold,at that time I will undo all that afflict thee and I will save her

    that halteth and gather her that was driven out and I will give them praise

    and fame in every land where they have been put to sharne.'

    David, the author of most of the Psalms, in the second of these which

    describes a situation which is, and has arisen in many places where God's

    chosen and elect people dwell. It is appropriate to remind readers of his

    words, here, as we have the New South Africa in our mind.

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    Verse one, 'Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing?

    The kings of the earth set themselves and the rulers take counsel together

    against the Lord and against His anointed saying: 'let us break their bonds

    asunder and cast away their cords from us'. He that sitteth in the heavens

    shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision'.

    All those who have an interest in this wonderful country should take time to

    look into the precious Word of God and its message for that nation today. The

    daughter of His dispersed will have an offering to bring to the Lord, even the

    sacrifice of praise from her lips. When His people humble themselves before

    Him and hear His voice then we shall witness not the new South Africa as it is

    today, rather an Old South Africa, revived, refreshed and redeemed.

    There two National Anthems sung in South Africa, First the Bantu KOSI SIKELE

    AFRIKA which translated indicates a call to God for deliverance, and second in

    Afrikaans UIT DIE BLOU VAN ONSE HEMEL, which translated indicates out of

    the blue of the heavens.

    This land will not be wiped out or destroyed, God who is Faithful has His hand

    on His People and He will hear their call. May it be soon.

    Back To Archive Contents

    FOLLOWING IN CHRIST'S FOOTSTEPS

    There is a theory that Jesus himself may have actually visited Britain - and it's

    a belief that Christian historian Walter Seaman has faith in.

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    'And did those feet

    in ancient time

    Walk upon

    England's mountains

    green...'

    WALTER SEAMAN thinks they did. He has collected a mass of evidence to

    show that Jesus may well have visited Britain. And if not Jesus himself, almost

    certainly some of His disciples in the years immediately after the Crucifixion.

    In the comfortable garden room of his home in Bexhill-on-Sea, where he lives

    with his wife Elizabeth, Walter lovingly handles the book that started him on

    this epic project. For that is what it has become, taking over much of his life

    and almost every available space in his house.

    The book, published in 1906, is The Coming of the Saints by Professor John W.

    Taylor, an eminent surgeon, who was also a poet. It was lent to him by a

    friend in the late 1960s when he was living in Hertfordshire. "I think you'llenjoy this," his friend had said, knowing that Walter had had a scientific

    training and was also a Christian.

    For two years the book gathered dust on Walter's shelves; it was a busy

    period in his life - he was working fulltime in the paper industry and he just

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    never got around to opening it. Then one day he did ... and it would be true to

    say that his life has never been the same since.

    'I was absolutely riveted by what I read. Taylor believed, as did several other

    authors who later wrote books on the same theme, that in 36 A.D. Joseph of

    Arimathea, the great-uncle of Jesus, together with a group of the Disciples

    travelled from what was then Palestine, across the Mediterranean, up through

    France, across the English Channel to Falmouth, then finally to Glastonbury in

    Somerset, where they set up what could be regarded as the world's first

    Christian church above ground.

    'The story unfolds in a very logical way: Joseph of Arimathea, the man who

    had taken responsibility for the body of Jesus after the Crucifixion, was a rich

    merchant trading in valuable ores tin, copper and lead. He was accepted by

    the Romans, not for any love of him personally, but because he supplied

    them with the metals from the British Isles that they needed for making

    weapons. A well respected man, Joseph would have travelled frequently to

    the west of Britain where he was known to the ruling king, Arviragus. He was

    also known in rnany places in France where he stopped on his overland

    journeys to Britain; he probably owned shares in shipping as well because a

    lot of ore was exported by sea frorn Cornwall.'

    'So to me it makes complete sense, that when the Roman and Jewish

    authorities were in pursuit of the Disciples after the Crucifixion, Joseph, who

    had both the money and the means, should take them to safety in Britain,

    and there set up a church. It is also believed that Joseph and his companions

    died and were buried at Glastonbury.'

    'As to the other story, of Jesus visiting Britain in those 18 unrecorded years

    between his appearance in the Temple aged 12 and the beginning of His

    ministry, well, that seems reasonable, too. It would be a very natural thing for

    the boy Jesus to have accompanied His great-uncle on his travels, especially

    when he made the journey to Britain by sea, where His skills as a carpenter

    would have been of value. This tradition is, in fact, known in Israel. An

    American bishop, a friend of ours, was talking to a young Jewish girl about

    this subject and she said, "Why are you so surprised? That story is well

    known."'

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    Walter's charitable Foundation teaches Christians

    about the history and traditions of their faith

    Having read The Coming of The Saints and other works on the subject, Walter

    was convinced of the truth of the stories. So was Elizabeth. Neither of them is

    what you might call "airy headed rnystics"; they both have their feet very

    firmly on the ground. "And we have the same sense of humour," says Walter."We laugh together a lot!"

    They were born in Altrincham, Cheshire, in almost adjoining streets. They

    even had the same doctor, yet they never met until several decades later,

    after the war.

    'I was by then living in London,' says Walter. 'We had a large five-storey house

    and my parents let out parts of it as flats; the top flat was occupied byseveral girls, Elizabeth was one of them. Something had gone wrong with the

    aerial which involved my going into her flat to get on to the roof. That's when

    I met her, and we took it from there and married in 1950.' They now have

    three grandchildren.

    During the war Elizabeth was a boats crew Wren stationed at Portsmouth -

    she was arranging a WRNS reunion (advertised in the Old Comrades pages of

    Saga magazine) the day I visited them while Walter was in a reserved

    occupation, involved in technical design of national importance.

    After taking his degree in mechanical engineering at Imperial College,

    London, Walter worked in various engineering firms, including British

    Aerospace. Later he worked for Bowater, the paper company. In the

    meantime he had become interested in what he calls 'the human engineering

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    side of industry'; how people in business relate to one another.

    'I introduced into the Bowater complex something called Management by

    Objectives. I said to the chap at the top, "I am going to start with you. Who do

    you have reporting to you? Do you breathe down their necks or let them get

    on with it?" We went from the director and the factory manager right down to

    the foreman and the men on the shop floor. They began to realise that

    everybody in a business should know how much was expected of them and

    why.' Eventually Walter became Personnel Director of all the Bowater

    companies in Britain.

    Before he read The Coming of The Saints Walter hadn't really cared as to

    how, or even when, the Christian faith had come to Britain. 'It was the faith

    itself that mattered to me, not its history,' he says. The book made him

    appreciate how important the history could be. It astounded him that most

    people, including himself, didn't know about these traditions.

    He decided to rectify this by setting up a foundation, with charitable status,

    to spread the word. Walter enjoys telling the story of its inception. 'I was in

    the bath,' he says, 'in our home in Frant, near Tunbridge Wells - it was 1970 -

    and as I lay there thinking about all the information I was gathering and all

    the things I wanted to do with it, I decided it was time to give a name to this

    project. So I thought, well ... it's about Christianity; it's Historical; it involves

    Research, definitely; Education, yes; Study, continuously; and Tradition.

    CHREST And that's how the name of the foundation arose.

    'I felt I must write something which could be made into a CHREST film. I'd

    recently met a cameraman who was also interested in these traditions, so we

    discussed the idea and I wrote the first script, Let There Be Light. Elizabeth

    and I visited some of the places on Joseph's route and we asked our

    cameraman to film these, as well as many of the other places referred to in

    the script.'

    That was in the early 1970s. Since then there have been two more films (on

    video), Light in the West and The Thread of Gold.

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    In 1984 Walter conducted a party of enthusiasts, mainly Americans, on a tour

    of the west country, visiting the sites shown in his second film, and in 1993

    he published a paperback, The Dawn of Christianity in the West -'a short,

    readable book to whet people's appetite,' a condensation of the authoritative

    writings on this subject.

    Now he is busy planning another tour, but not one he will conduct in person.

    Scheduled for the spring of 1996 this two-week CHREST Foundation tour in

    collaboration with Interchurch Travel will begin in London, from where the

    group will fly to Marseilles, the port at which Joseph would have landed. Then,

    travelling by coach, they will visit a number of places in the area where there

    is evidence that the Disciples stayed, such as Arles and Les Saintes Maries de

    la Mer.

    They will journey north through France, up the Rhone valley following the tin

    trade route, then move northwest towards the Channel, stopping at one or

    two interesting places in the Loire Valley before making the crossing from

    Roscoff to Plymouth. 'It would be lovely if they could land at Falmouth,' says

    Walter, 'but that doesn't seem practicable.' From Plymouth the tour continues

    to Glastonbury, Bath and Stonehenge and ends in London.

    Walter's arguments for his belief in Joseph's journey are very persuasive, but

    if this story of the early Church in Britain is so credible and there is sufficient

    evidence to make a good case for it, why is it not accepted, nor even

    generally known?

    'Well yes,' says Walter, 'It is extraordinary. Professor Taylor had spent years

    visiting holy places in France and he had a wealth of evidence, but there was

    antagonism from the Roman Church. As there had been much earlier, in the

    16th century when Robert Parsons, a Jesuit priest, had been despatched to

    Britain to disprove the theory. Being an honest man, however, he actually

    proved the reverse, which he recorded in a book, The Three Conversions of

    England, in which he said, 'The Christian religion began in Britain within 50

    years of Christ's ascension.'

    'There is also the feeling, deeply rooted in the Anglican church, that there is

    no historical proof for these happenings. An archdeacon in the west of

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    England said to me, "You don't really believe this, do you, that this is

    historically true?"'

    'I said, "Yes I do". Walter then told the archdeacon everything that he knew in

    support of the theory, including the fact that there are references to it in the

    writings of the early priests and monks.

    To trace the development of the Christian faith through the ages, particularly

    during those neglected early centuries, as Walter has done, is one of the aims

    of the foundation. Another is to make you stop and think. Walter Seaman,

    with his enthusiasm and commitment, certainly makes you do that: I left

    Bexhill with a great deal to think about ... and a completely fresh and

    enthralling view of part of our English history.

    Reproduced from the January 1996 edition of Saga Magazine with their