Mon, 20/05/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

I often hear it said that if you join a local church, you haven't just joined a branch of the church, or a part of the church. You are a member of the church. Each local church is the church. At the same time, the church throughout the world is one.

One thought just struck me that makes this clearer.

In the book of Exodus, the people are told how to build a tabernacle, a tent in which God can live. One of the pieces of furniture in that tabernacle is a golden lampstand. It symbolises that God lives amongst his people.

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What is an "Apocalpyse"

Wed, 06/09/2017 - 10:50 -- James Oakley
Four Horsemen of Apocalypse by Viktor Vasnetsov

I'll just park this here for future reference.

Sometimes you see writers say that certain parts of the Bible are written in the "apocalyptic" style of writing.

Recognising the "genre" of part of the Bible can be very important when it comes to reading it properly. For instance, parables and historical narrative communicate in very different ways; you'd completely misread the gospels if you confused them.

Not "Letters to the Seven Churches"

Tue, 18/10/2016 - 12:36 -- James Oakley

It's customary to refer to Revelation chapters 2 and 3 as the "Letters to the Seven Churches".

As I've studied, and we've preached, our way through these chapters, I'm not convinced that's the best heading to give them.

In fact, the whole of Revelation is a single letter. It's an epistle, like Philippians is. We get that from verse 4 that begins:

“John, to the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace …”

The whole of Revelation is a letter. It was written to seven churches in Asia Minor.

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I Stand at The Door and Knock

Tue, 11/10/2016 - 15:13 -- James Oakley

I've heard Revelation 3:20 used many times in an evangelistic talk: Jesus stands at the door of your life and knocks — will you let him in? Here's the verse:

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

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Greek Audio Bible: Revelation Chapter 1

Tue, 16/08/2016 - 10:55 -- James Oakley

I'll put this up here, because this may be of help to someone else at some point, but I'm a bit tentative about doing so.

In working on preaching from Revelation chapter 1, I found it helpful to make an audio recording of the Greek of that chapter. Once I'd got to know any vocabulary that I had to look up at first, it gave me an easy way to become more familiar with the chapter, at the same time cutting through the risks of being over-familiar — you have to concentrate while listening to this.

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Real Hope: Revelation 21

Tue, 09/08/2016 - 12:05 -- James Oakley

One of the most glorious truths is the real hope that God offers his people. It's a real, substantial hope of a future on a renewed earth, with renewed bodies, free of suffering, with God himself living among us.

Where might we look in the Bible to see this renewed-earth future promised?

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Recovering the book of Revelation

Mon, 11/11/2013 - 12:02 -- James Oakley

Once every 2-4 months, we have an informal evening service in Kemsing under the name of "Digging Deeper". We sing a few songs, and say a few prayers, but most of our time is devoted to taking some topic addressed by the Bible and digging deeper together in what the Bible says. We've thought about the Trinity before, and we've thought about the inspiration of Scripture. Last night, we considered our hope as Christians - where is history heading, what is our part in it, and how certain can we be?

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