Newsletter 136 July 2020

For a pdf  version of the newsletter click here TrumpetSounds136

In this edition

Hide in the Lord

Rejected by God

Worldly worship

Abortion in New Zealand

Christ the King

Black Lives Matter

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate

the Great Economic Reset

How it could have been

Hide in the Lord

“You are my hiding place, You shall preserve me from trouble, You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.” Psalm 32: 7

How should we prepare for the troubled times which lie ahead? I have listened to prophecies from those who live on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean which tell us to invest in gold and silver, stock up with food and buy an assault rifle with lots of ammunition. Even better buy a cabin in remote Montana with its own off grid generator and store enough food to stick it out. Is that how the Lord would have us prepare?

Living in England the Montana cabin isn’t an option. My gold store amounts to two half sovereigns which I came by many years ago. Stock piling food if we have that facility is a good idea. However if I have food and my neighbour is starving how can I do anything other than share. As for the assault rifle, it will scare the pigeons off the vegetables but I am not going to shoot anyone.

The recommendations from across the Atlantic speak of self-reliance. Self-reliance can be a strength but it can also be a serious weakness. For many decades the US has enjoyed unparalleled prosperity. Affluence allows us to control and manage our lives. To quote Mr Micawber, “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen [pounds] nineteen [shillings] and six [pence], result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery.” Most in the US and also many in Britain have fallen into the happiness category. Income has exceeded essential outgoings. So long as that state exists financial worries disappear.

Because our prosperity has been seen as normal the prospect of it being taken away strikes fear. Many are now recognising that hard times will soon be upon us. We know that affluence has left us ill prepared to face hardship.

We live in a world of increasing centralised Government control. It is a world in which Christians who stand against the tide of lawlessness are seen as the enemy. We hardly noticed as we went cashless. In the US, despite most transactions being cardless, there is a coin shortage. Coupled to fewer and fewer cash dispenser the option of returning to cash based transactions is disappearing. I wonder how long it will be before we find cash disappearing in the UK. One day we as Christians will go to pay in a shop and find our card blocked. We try another card and that is also blocked. What do we do?

Secure in the Lord

The only secure place to be in a time of trouble is with the Lord. Elijah made himself public enemy number one by denouncing the evil rule of Ahab and Jezebel. With his life in danger the Lord took him and hid him. For the three and a half years of famine, he was provided for, first by the ravens and then through the widow of Zarephath. Each time the Lord told him where to find a place of safety. Elijah knew how to hear the voice of God and be guided by Him.

To hide ourselves in the Lord we need to learn how to be led by the Spirit of God. We then have confidence that whatever may happen it will be in accordance with God’s will for us. There will be no fear because we know that the Lord will give us the strength to stand in all circumstances if we trust Him. We can prepare now for hard times to come by learning to walk in the Spirit.

“For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:3. It is already an accomplished fact that if you have died with Christ your life is hidden in Him.

But what about when our payment cards are blocked? How will we survive? There is a way that we can prepare now. It is called laying up treasure in heaven. Treasure on earth will fail. However much food we have laid up it will never be enough. If we have gold or possessions thieves will break in and steal. The only absolutely secure place to keep our treasure is in heaven. We lay-up that treasure through generosity towards others in need. Having our treasure in heaven ensures that our sights are set on the heavenly kingdom. The Lord is merciful to those who have shown mercy.

King David testified to how the Lord had been good to him in his hour of need. “But I will sing of your power; Yes I will sing aloud of your mercy in the morning; For you have been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.” Psalm 59: 16

Zephaniah recognises that there are times when the Lord’s judgment is poured out on the earth. To prepare for such times we are to seek Him. “Seek the Lord, all you meek of the earth, who have upheld His justice, seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the Lord’s anger.” Zephaniah 2: 3

Isaiah also tells us to hide in the day of the Lord’s anger. “Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, until the indignation is past. For behold, the Lord comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth will also disclose her blood, and will no more cover her slain.”  Isaiah 26: 20 – 21.

Rejected by God

“If the salt has lost its flavour how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” Matthew 5: 13.

In March of this year Government regulations closed all churches. Under the regulations the person responsible for the place of worship had to ensure that, during the emergency period, the place of worship was closed except for certain very limited exceptions. Ironic that church ministers were required by the government to police the church building to ensure that none of the congregation sneak in for a time of private prayer.

Effectively the regulations lumped churches in with community centres and places of entertainment. The world is unable to see any distinction between the church and secular gathering places. That is not the fault of the world, it is the fault of the church. At the beginning of Lockdown with the churches closed many people tuned in to on-line services. Initially far more people were listening on line than normally attend church. It demonstrated that there is a widespread spiritual hunger and search for meaning as to why normal life had been disrupted.

As time has gone on the numbers have dwindled to the point that fewer are listening to on line services than went to church prior to the present crisis. It indicates that the church (using the term in a very broad sense) has failed to meet the needs of the people.

A Rebuke

I believe that the closing of the churches is a severe rebuke from God. A worldly church is of no use to Him. If the church becomes like the world then it should not be surprised that it is treated like the world.

For many decades the national church and major denominations have failed to give a distinctive lead to the nation. In 1956 A W Tozer summed it up, “The church goes along with everything and stands against nothing – until she is convinced that it is the safe and popular thing to do; then she passes her courageous resolutions and issues her world-shaking manifestos – all in accord with the world’s newest venture – whatever it may be.”

The Lord warned the church at Ephesus that He was about to take their candlestick away (Revelation 2: 5). The candlestick represented the presence of the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit is removed a church becomes nothing more than an empty shell. It may continue with many activities but they will be of no salvation value. If the Lord could consider removing the candlestick for Ephesus, a church which was sound in doctrine and had stood for the truth, how much more His displeasure toward the worldly compromised church in Britain.

Worldly Worship

As the Corona virus lockdown is being lifted, church groups are allowed to meet again subject to certain restrictions. One restriction is that singing is forbidden. For many, singing the praises of God is the heart of worship. It is true that praying together, reading the Bible and receiving teaching from the word of God are all part of worship but without singing there is an emptiness. In heaven when the angels, elders and living creatures see the wonders of God they spontaneously burst into song.

The importance of worship

How we worship is of utmost importance to God. The first story in the Bible, post Eden, is about worship. Being first it emphasises the importance that God attaches to acceptable and unacceptable worship. Cain and Abel bring their offerings to the Lord. Abel’s was accepted and Cain’s rejected. Abel brought the first born of the flock. He brought the best. As the first born it tells us that Abel’s first thought was to thank God for His provision. It expresses a life of humility and gratitude.

With Cain it seems that he just brought an offering. When the Lord did not accept his offering Cain was angry. The Lord challenges Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will it not be accepted?” Genesis 4: 6 – 7. Cain knew what was acceptable to God. He showed contempt for God by his casual attitude to worship. Instead of repenting his anger grew until he killed his brother.

The importance of how we worship is endorsed in the detailed instructions given to Moses as part of the Law. From the animal sacrifices to the furnishing of the Tabernacle all had to be done in accordance with God’s revealed order.

A consuming fire

The severe consequences of flouting God’s order were suffered by Nadab and Abihu. “Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it and laid incense on it and offered unauthorized fire before the LORD, which he had not commanded them. And fire came out from before the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD. Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the LORD has said: ‘Among those who are near me I will be sanctified, and before all the people I will be glorified.’” And Aaron held his peace.” Leviticus. 10:1–3. The fire they offered was un-consecrated. In their death God reminded Israel of His sanctity.

It was probably with this in mind that Moses said “For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God. Deuteronomy 4: 24. The context is the jealousy of God over the creation of carved images. He hates the worship of that which is not of Him.

We cannot assume that all which we call worship is acceptable to God. Later in the history of Israel the Lord revealed what He felt about their worship. Despite their idolatry Israel still considered that their worship was being offered to God. “I hate, and despise your feast days, and I do not savour your sacred assemblies. Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them, nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings. Take away from me the noise of your songs, for I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments. But let justice run down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.” Amos 5: 21 – 24.

Amos was called on to expose the heart of the people which was corrupt. Their fervent worship (Amos 4: 4 – 5) did not atone for their rebellion. They were to end their false worship and “seek the Lord and live”. Amos 5: 6.

The deterioration in worship continued after the return of Judah from exile. Through Malachi the Lord pleads, “who would shut the doors, so that you would not kindle fire on my altar in vain. I have no pleasure in you says the Lord of hosts. Nor will I accept the offerings of your hands.” Malachi 1: 10. Judah had slipped into Cain’s sin of making a casual offering. They were offering the blind the sick and the lame. Malachi challenges them that they would not dream of giving such offerings to the governor and yet they offer it to God. Abel demonstrated that from the very beginning it was known that only the very best was worthy as an offering to God. Anything less is sin.

And so, we ask, is the outlawing of singing in church another stern rebuke from the Lord? Has our worship become so displeasing to Him that He has turned it off?

Singing commanded

Singing is not an optional extra. It is commanded in the Bible. We are to “admonish one another in psalms, and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in our hearts to the Lord”. Colossians 3: 16. We are to speak, “to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” Ephesians 5: 19.

Then we are to give thanks and to glorify His holy name, “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name; Make known His deed among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; Talk of His wondrous works! Glory in His holy name, Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord! Psalm 105: 1 – 3.

In prison Paul and Silas prayed and sang hymns to God (Acts 16: 25). Singing praises to God lifts our hearts and restores confidence in His power.

We are to sing to the Lord as an act of worship. We are to sing to encourage each other. When times are tough we are to sing to lift our spirits and resist the devil whose aim is to discourage.  God takes pleasure in our sung praises.

Empty Worship

Several generations back the Methodists were known as a people who knew what they believed. (Sadly no longer true today). The reason Methodists had a firm grip on sound doctrine was the singing of Wesley hymns. A single Wesley hymn often contains more sound teaching than many a sermon. The teaching value of hymns is not limited to those written by Charles Wesley. There are a host of great hymns which capture the truths of the gospel. They teach truth in a memorable way.

When the Charismatic Renewal began we still sang mainly hymns. These were supplemented by spiritual songs which initially were largely taken straight from scripture. There have been some good hymns and worship songs written in recent years but generally the standard has year by year deteriorated. There were times in the Renewal when the Holy Spirit moved causing a song to be repeated as the people were moved to praise. Now many songs build in that repetition in an attempt to simulate a movement of the Spirit. But such attempts are not of the Holy Spirit. They are strange fire displeasing to God.

Have we in a foolish attempt to appeal to those outside the church offended God? Is the Lord calling us to humble ourselves and come before Him to ask what would please Him in our worship? There will be a time after Covid-19 when we can gather together again for worship. Let us be sure that our gathering together delights the heart of God. The casual attitude of Cain needs to be replaced by the devotion of Abel.

Abortion in New Zealand

New Zealand has decriminalised abortion effectively opening the way for abortion up to birth subject only to a health practitioner considering it clinically necessary. See the quote below from the New Zealand Ministry of Health, ‘Information to Health Practitioners’. “a qualified health practitioner may provide abortion services to a woman who is more than 20 weeks pregnant if they reasonably believe that the abortion is clinically appropriate in the circumstances.” Therefore it is no longer illegal to abort a baby because it is of the wrong sex or has downs syndrome even up to birth. The requirement that abortion only be carried out in licenced premises has also been removed. It is a sad day that New Zealand is now leading the world in the campaign to destroy life.

Christ the King

The millennial reign of Christ demonstrates why only those who freely chose to follow and obey Jesus can enter the Eternal City. This article continues the series ‘Revelations of Jesus Christ’ from the book of Revelation.

Before Jesus ascended to heaven the disciples asked Him, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” Acts 1: 6. Jesus did not answer their question, instead He directed their thoughts to the task in hand. Their task was, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to be witnesses to Jesus throughout the earth. Jesus did not deny that a time would come, as prophesied in the Old Testament, when the Messiah would reign over all the earth. The timing of that reign, as with the timing of His return, was hidden with His Father.

In Revelation 20: 4 – 9 we have the answer to the disciples’ question. The Father has set the context in which the reign of His beloved Son will be established. Following the fall of the kingdom of this world and overthrow of the beast, Satan has been banished. The stage is set for the greatest coronation in history.

When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to tell her that she was to bear a child, he announced that, “the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.” Luke 1: 32. Jesus is coming back to reign. All the crowns and all the symbols of authority of all the nations will be handed over to Him.

The reign of the Saints

When we are caught up to be with Jesus from that time onwards we will always be with Him (Thessalonians 4: 17). When He comes back to reign, we come back with Him.

“And I saw thrones and they sat on them and judgment was committed to them.” Revelation 20:4. Who is sitting on the thrones? The answer from scripture is that all the saints are seated on thrones. The faithful in the church at Laodicea are promised that if they overcome, they will sit with Jesus on His throne. At Thyatira, the overcomers are told that they will have power over the nations. In the vision of eternity the elders and living creatures sing a new song. The redeemed will be kings and priests, and will reign on the earth (Revelation 5: 9 – 10). In the prophecies of Daniel it says that after a period of testing, the dominion will be handed to the saints of the Most High (Daniel 7: 27). The Corinthian church was scolded for taking one another to court when they should be preparing to rule over this world (1 Corinthians 6: 1 – 2). Paul reminds Timothy that if we endure with Him we shall also reign with Him (2 Timothy 2: 12). It is the faithful church which is seated on the thrones, sharing in Christ’s rule.

Special mention is then made of the martyrs who died during the reign of the beast. For their comfort, those who give up their lives, are assured that they will live again to reign with Christ. They stood against the evil of Satan’s empire. Now they will be part of Jesus Christ’s administration which will rule the world.

The Millennium

The prophet Habakkuk foresaw this time. “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2: 14. Psalm 72 provides some more detail of the reign of Jesus over all the earth. Isaiah foresaw a time of universal peace, (Isaiah 2: 4) and a time when the earth will be restored to its created harmony, (Isaiah 11: 6 – 9). Jesus will judge the earth with righteousness, (Isaiah 11: 4) and there will be abundance of crops (Amos 9:13).

For 1000 years this world will be under the benevolent rule of Christ. There will be peace and prosperity such as it has not known since the days before the fall. But Christ will have to rule with a rod of iron. (Psalm 2: 8, 9, Revelation 2: 26, 27, Revelation 12: 5). Anything that is contrary to the laws of God will be suppressed.

Not all will rejoice at having to live under this benign but strict rule.  The Bible teaches that after living for 1000 years in a perfect world, people rebel. They will seek to throw off His reign.

At the end of the 1000 years Satan is allowed to tempt mankind one last time. He will taunt people as he did Eve in Eden: ‘Do you really want this man to rule over you?’ ‘Look at all the restrictions He places on your lives’. ‘You would be so much better off if I ruled over you’.

The gospel of the street is; ‘if there is a heaven I will be alright for I am a good person’. By implication, if God doesn’t allow ‘good people’ into heaven He is unjust. Rev 20: 4 – 10 demonstrates the absolute justice of Christ, in banishing even those who appear righteous in the eyes of the world, from his New Jerusalem.

To explain this we will look at two widely debated passages.

The Sheep and the Goats

At the end of this present age there will be a judgment. (Matthew 25: 31 – 46). This is not the final judgement. The judgment is described in a parable which identifies three groups of people: the ‘Sheep’, who are selected because they showed compassion to ‘My brethren’, the ‘Goats’, who are rejected because they had no compassion, and ‘My Brethren’. Elsewhere Jesus defined His brethren as “those who hear the word of God and do it”. Luke 8: 21. At this point in time the followers of Christ have been raptured, received a new body and returned with Christ to earth. My brethren, have already been separated out.

This parable is about who will populate the Millennial Kingdom. The sheep will be divided from the goats. They are to; “inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” The reward is based on their good works. Even a small act of mercy gains them entry into this kingdom. But that is contrary to the rest of scripture which teaches that salvation is by faith.

From the foundation of the world it was the intention of the Father to establish a kingdom ruled over by His beloved Son. (Ephesians 1: 3-14).  Therefore it can be said of this kingdom that it was prepared before the foundation of the world. The sheep are blessed because the Father has shown them mercy. They will be allowed to experience a world ruled over by Jesus Christ. The sheep are the ‘good people’ of this world, compassionate and kind but not believers.

This is not a second chance. Their lives have not ended. It is these ‘good people’ who will make up the nations which populate the planet during the reign of Christ.

The fate of the goats, who showed no mercy, is to share Satan’s punishment in the everlasting fire. I believe that the goats are the same as the people who took the mark of the beast. Their torment is described in Revelation 14: 10 – 11.

The final rebellion

We move on to the final outcome of that reign which vindicates the justice of God. In Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 there is a description of when Gog and his hordes come up to attack Israel. I believe that two separate events, which tie in with Revelation 19 and 20, are described in these chapters.

In Revelation 19 there is an allusion to Ezekiel 39. The birds are gathered to the supper of the great God. It is a rebellion against Christ coming to reign on the earth at the end of the present age. Revelation 20: 8 makes a more direct reference to Gog and Magog as in Ezekiel 38.

At the end of this present age when Jesus returns to claim His throne the people of this world will reject His rule and gather to fight against Him. Following the victory of Christ, all the wicked are removed. (Matt 13: 41).

These two descriptions of the rebellion by Gog warn us that the present age and the coming age will both end in rebellion.  Both times mankind will resist the reign of Christ. The millennium proves that even the ‘good people’, in reality, hate His rule. All excuses that man makes as to why he disobeys God have now been answered.

For a time men will live in a foretaste of the perfect kingdom of God. Their one wish will be to destroy it. The number of those who are stirred by Satan to rebel is like the sand on the sea shore. They have experienced the reign of Jesus and seen this world returned to its former paradise. Yet despite the benevolent reign of Christ they will not submit to Him. Instead they listen to Satan.

Those who are outwardly good by the standards of this world but inwardly in rebellion cannot and never will be able to enter. The citizens of the millennial kingdom and all those who preceded them in the former ages, have one thing in common, “they love and practice a lie”.

It is the perfect justice of God that only those who freely chose to submit to His rule over their lives, can enter through the gates to the Eternal City.

Black Lives Matter

In the last edition of Trumpet Sounds I wrote “what if Christians are perceived as enemies of the public good?” The context was increased persecution as we approach the end of the age. Over recent weeks we have been subjected to another example of either fall into line or be classed as an enemy. White people are expected to support the Black Lives Matter movement. We are to support it because apparently we owe it to the black community for our original sin of “white privilege”. We are to atone for the sins of our ancestors and bow the knee in subservience.

I have never owned a slave and as far as I am aware none of my ancestors had any involvement in the slave trade. Nor have I ever owned a pair of Nike trainers. In March, the non-partisan Australian Strategic Policy Institute, in a report titled “Uyghurs for Sale,” accused Beijing of forcing more than 80,000 Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities to produce products for Nike and 82 other brands. We cannot change the past but if BLM was more than a movement bent on destroying the west it would be concerned with modern slavery.

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate.

Are vaccines safe? Many say no. Vaccines have been accused of causing the rise in autism, developmental delays, learning disabilities, allergies, asthma, autoimmune disease and other chronic and debilitating diseases. For the lay person it leaves the question of who to believe. The choice is between the drug companies, the government and the majority of the medical profession on one side and the host of spokes people on the internet, some qualified and many unqualified, on the other.

In the autumn the UK government will encourage everyone over the age of 50 and many younger people to have a flu vaccination. This will be to prevent over stretching the NHS should a flu epidemic coincide with a second spike of coronavirus. Early in the New Year, a campaign for everyone to be vaccinated with a newly developed Covid19 vaccine will probably follow.

Before making a decision I recommend reading Jonathan Sarfati’s article on the website: Accepting vaccination is about relative risk assessment. Which is greater, the usually very small risk from a vaccine or the danger of contracting the disease the vaccine is designed to prevent.

The Great Economic reset

The great reset project is a combined initiative of the World Economic Forum and the Prince of Wales Sustainable Markets Initiative. To quote from the World Economic Forum website 03.06.20

“COVID-19 lockdowns may be gradually easing, but anxiety about the world’s social and economic prospects is only intensifying. There is good reason to worry: a sharp economic downturn has already begun, and we could be facing the worst depression since the 1930s. But, while this outcome is likely, it is not unavoidable.

“To achieve a better outcome, the world must act jointly and swiftly to revamp all aspects of our societies and economies, from education to social contracts and working conditions. Every country, from the United States to China, must participate, and every industry, from oil and gas to tech, must be transformed. In short, we need a “Great Reset” of capitalism.

“The Great Reset agenda would have three main components. The first would steer the market toward fairer outcomes.”

“The second component of a Great Reset agenda would ensure that investments advance shared goals, such as equality and sustainability.”

“The third and final priority of a Great Reset agenda is to harness the innovations of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to support the public good, especially by addressing health and social challenges.

“The COVID-19 crisis is affecting every facet of people’s lives in every corner of the world. But tragedy need not be its only legacy. On the contrary, the pandemic represents a rare but narrow window of opportunity to reflect, reimagine, and reset our world to create a healthier, more equitable, and more prosperous future.”


What is being created will be the last manifestation of Babylon the Great, the kingdom of this world. However this is not the end game. Satan wants the eradication of faith in God and control of the nations. In the end he wants worship. This is what the kingdom of the beast is all about (Revelation 13: 4). Satan will use the global economic reset to build up hope and assure people that there is a future provided they sacrifice some treasured freedoms. This is just softening up for the future. Satan will create the globalist world system with an Achilles heel. There will be a point of weakness which will be used to bring the whole system crashing down. With hopes dashed people will cry out for a Saviour. That Saviour’s presentation to the world will be accompanied by supernatural signs deceiving the world to worship Satan’s man.

How it could have been

In 1981, Noel-Baker, British delegate to the Paris peace conference 1919, was interviewed for the Israeli documentary Pillar of Fire. He recalled an eye-opening meeting with the Emir Faisal and Lawrence of Arabia:

“And when I got to the lunch [with my colleague], who were his other guests but Lawrence of Arabia and the Emir Faisal. And I was converted to Zionism by those two men. Faisal making his speeches, and Lawrence translated from the Arabic. And the Emir Faisal said to me, ‘Of course we want Zionists to come into Palestine. We know what will happen. They’ll bring vast sums of American and other capital, they’ll bring in the greatest scientists in the world, all the greatest scientists are Jewish, and the territory of Palestine, now so arid and so much of it a desert, it will become a garden and blossom like the rose. We shall borrow their experts, we shall work together, we shall do the same in all the countries which we Arabs have turned into deserts.’”

This followed an earlier meeting in January of that year between Chaim Weizmann and Emir Faisal. Weizmann and Faisal signed an agreement that in exchange for the Arabs accepting the Balfour Declaration, Zionists would support an Arab state in the rest of the Ottoman lands. The Zionist movement would provide economic, technical and other assistance to the new Arab state.

In 1921 Faisal was made King of the newly formed country of Iraq. He died of a heart attack in 1933. The moderate constructive Arab attitude to Zionism died with him. Emir Faisal’s vision was never realized. Instead it was swallowed up by the violent revolutions and radicalism that swept the Arab world after World War Two.