From the editor

From the editor

From the editor

Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith

Dear Friends

We live in an age where men and
women have been hearing about the return of Jesus for
generations. Globally, the impact of the message is largely
non-existent. The awesome reality of the Lord Jesus Christ coming
in the clouds to meet His children in the air, both those who
have died in Christ and those who live in Christ, is no longer
regarded as awesome. The message has become the punch line of
media jokes, the scorn of cynical humanists (Christian and
non Christian
) and largely the unspoken voice of the Church.
However the voice of Jesus will not go away, He is still heard in
the middle of the commotion of life in 2003, His testimony is the
spirit of prophecy – and He is the Victor. But what is the
victory He has already won, but will be seen in its full
dimension in a day to come? We are talking about the greatest act
of love to ever be enacted! This is God the creator saying
regardless of your present engagement with sin, I
will come to you and take your punishment upon myself, I will
forgive you.

When growing up listening to my
father preaching night by night (every night) I would often hear
the words ‘resurrection from the dead’. My
imagination would run wild as I would ‘freak myself
out’ with scenario’s of what might happen. Over time,
I became so used to the concept that I lost the
‘edge’ of excitement, the sense of awe and even the
reality of this ever occurring. In the natural, familiarity
breeds contempt. In the supernatural, the enemy of our souls is
at work – he loathes the message of Jesus return and will
undermine it at any cost!

God has always had mouthpieces who
would speak for Him “Surely the Lord God will do nothing
but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the
prophets.” But furthermore “God who at sundry times
and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the
prophets, hath is these last days spoken unto us by His
Son
…” The irony? The prophets who brought
messages from God were often despised and many were put to death.
Jesus came as a prophet, foretelling future events and providing
direction and an anchor of hope - and was put to death. But Jesus
left a vital witness of Himself who would guide us. From the time
of Jesus death on the cross, individual believers were provided
access to the ‘Holy of Holies’ – the very
presence of God, and could now enquire for themselves the will of
God.The irony lies in the fact that we didn’t want the
external mouthpieces, and now we struggle with the internal
maintenance of a personal walk with God, through Christ. Even the
Apostle Paul referred to the battle of his will.

Once again – God comes to
our aid! Before Jesus left He promised support “Let not
your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In
my Fathers house are many mansions: if it were not so I would
have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to
prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto
myself; that where I am, there ye may be also…if ye love
me keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father and He shall
give unto you another Comforter, that He may abide with you
forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot
receive, because it seeith Him not, neither knoweth Him
: but
ye know Him: for He dwelleth with you and shall be in you. I will
not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”

This brings us to where we are
today!

The Word of God and the Holy
Spirit of God are now the basis for our discernment through
troubled times. The world cannot know the things of the spirit,
and continues as best it can in rational humanism. But the people
who profess to know God are the targets of the evil one. It is
those of us who know God, who need to hear His voice
– as opposed to the voice of institutions – just like
it was when Jesus was here last time, leading to such warnings
(to the Pharisees on this occasion) “If therefore the light
that is in you be darkness, how great is that
darkness!”

The Harry Potter articles which we
have featured in the Omega Times over the past few years have
served to provide examples of the ‘world’ in which we
live. I have resisted the temptation to speak before listening (a
practise I would strongly advocate in living for Christ –
as opposed to seeking personal vindication in every situation). I
too believe there is darkness and light at work in life everyday.
Many believers I know personally have heard the arguments around
the dangers of the Harry Potter influence and choose to
‘feel safe with it.’ I am not the Holy Spirit, and my
job is therefore not to convict of sin, righteousness
and judgement. Providing insights and warnings are more to the
point. Recently I set out to pen my response to the ‘Harry
Potter and the Magic of Hogwarts’ article by Nicky Hoggard
Creegan, when I received an email from a brother in Christ which
provided some useful insight into the debate. The term Lionel
uses in his response is “Carnal Rationalism”. I
believe this explanation hits the mark in terms of serving as a
useful discernment tool which can be utilised again and again in
these days.

Finally, in navigating the days in
which we live may I caution you to look beyond the external
measures of righteousness (what we think other people see), and
allow Jesus access into your inner person, where He can do His
special work. His work will be accompanied by inner peace –
and the ability to see beyond your natural sight. “Now unto
Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you
faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To
the only wise God our saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and
power, both now and ever. Amen.”

Scriptures referred to in this
letter: Romans 5:8; Amos 3:7; Hebrews 1:1-2; John14: 1-3;
1 Corinthians 2 and 3; Matthew 6:23; Jude 24-25


Special Thanks

A special thanks to all of the people who filled out and returned our Omega Times questionnaire last month. We were pleased to send out our gift of "Unlocking the Ultimate Secret" by Barry Smith, the worship video "Given to Him" and "Now & Then" by Andrew & Saskia Smith to: F Seupule, Wainuiomata, NZ; A Mckelvie, Glasgow, SCT; K Wall, Wanganui, NZ