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MINI-DESPATCH. February 5, 2001
From W. B. Howard ...Editor of Despatch Magazine

Greetings in Christ Jesus!
We have at last ended a long break, we have taken some months off our Christian work due to renovations and important family matters. Praise the Lord He has greatly blessed us, spiritual healing in families and restoration of relationships being the most delightful and precious of all the blessings we have experienced since we last wrote to our readers. What follows is the beginning of our latest handbook issue of “Beauty for Ashes.” The rest of the handbook could come your way later in the month, the Lord willing. Good to be back.

“Open thou  mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.
I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me,
My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times”
( Psalm 119:18-20).

A dear old saint of God was on the telephone recently praising that glorious Psalm, number 119. How true were his comments! This Psalm has great comfort, instruction and wisdom as it exhalts the Word of the Lord; it brings alive the mystery of the manifestation of the Almighty in His written Word. We believers in Christ Jesus need our eyes opened afresh to the God-breathed Word, for there are many today who seek to rob us of our trust and contentment with the Bible itself. Having beauty instead of the ashes of existence means that we share the resurrection Life of the Son of God, He is the Word, as John 1:1 shows us. He is the Logos, the uttered thought of God the Father. So, too, is the Bible the very thoughts of the Almighty Creator of the universe. Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D. puts if like this:
“Logos…from lego, to speak….
In Jn. 1 Jesus Christ in His preincarnate state is called ho Logos, the Word, meaning first inmaterial intelligence and then the expression of that intelligence in speech that humans understand….
Logos: The Word of God, whether of the law (Mk. 7:13) or of the Gospel (Mt. 13:19-23; Mk.:17; Jn. 8:31; Rev. 1:9; 20:4).” (Lexical Aids to the New Testament. Hebrew/Greek Key Study Bible).

Beauty for Ashes this issue will delve a little deeper than previously. We will get a glimpse together of the astonishing Might of the God Who is dealing with us, and bow the knee as we understand that the All-powerful, All-knowing and Ever-present One condescends in astonishing compassion towards His redeemed people. We will consider His infinite Being, bring this together with His revealed Word and ponder upon our privilege in sharing the very Life of Christ.  I have been thrilled as I have studied and encountered the Lord in His Word and ways since I last wrote Beauty for Ashes, I hope you will be too as we share a few of these findings here.

Let’s get going on a personal level, as my Lord is my personal Companion, Friend and Lover of my soul. I was enjoying the sweet peace and pleasure of just being with God the other day, after reading about the wonders of the universe that my precious Lord has created. He was, as usual, as close as a heart beat, as intimately involved and part of me as summer rain is to a lake it is replenishing, as real a Person as I am a person. We were communing as though I was the only one who mattered to Him in the entire cosmos. Then it struck me that I was actually speaking so closely and intimately with the Creator of infinite space, Who inhabits eternity! I was overcome with momentary confusion, and shrunk back in my tiny self at my audacity in such possessive, attention-getting displays of love towards Him. “Why, Lord, I see you as my Beloved, You Who are so mighty. Yet, you seem to give me intense, constant attention always. You are always there to attend to my prayers, I seem to rush to Your open arms and find You always filled with ears for only me. How come, Lord, that You know everything about me and can be there for me, as though only I existed?” The answer came right away deep in my spirit, as clear as a voice, “I can do all that because I am God and can be all to you and know all about you, because I am God! I know all, I am everywhere at once.” (Read the Song of Solomon for more on the wonders of God’s intimate love for YOU).

If you are born-again you will know the delight of being a child of God too. We often get so accustomed to praying and relating to the Lord that we can lose sight of what we are actually doing when we enter into this mind-blowing interaction with the Eternal Creator of the Universe. Shall we delight our spirits for awhile by considering just Who God is?

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork.
Day unto day uttereth speech and night into night showeth knowledge.
There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.
Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,
Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.” (Psalm 19:1-6).

The above verse shows us that the seemingly endless expanse of starry skies declare the glory of God. The “speech” that the skies above give should be understood by every person on earth, only a physically blind person could say that they do not see the wonder of God in the day and by night in the skies above. Yet, how many there are who are  spiritually blinded on this planet! They look at the skies and see nothing spectacular, or they spend their time investigating the planets, stars and our own earth and just come up with some nonsense like “the Big Bang” theory and evolution. Is this deliberate? Are these humans suffering from the “I don’t want to know about God, He will demand repentance of me” syndrome? The Bible tells us that this is surely the case:

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shown it to them.
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” (Romans 1:18-22).

The words “hold the truth” in verse 18 is the Greek katecho which means to withhold, restrain, hold down in a spiritual sense. Those who do not see the Mighty Creator, God, in the starry expanse of the heavens are deliberately “holding down” the truth which they find there. The same Greek word is used in Acts 27:40 where it shows a ship being brought to shore. “Made toward” is katcho, the ship is held down on a certain course, made to keep on course. Thus we can say that those who see the moon and stars at night and the sun by day, and yet do not acknowledge the Creator God, are on a set course of their own and determined to go that way, and keep the truth down so that it will not interfere with their ungodly plans.

Yes, the heavens declare the glory of God,  the skies, stars and planets show His stupendous creation work. All those who do not acknowledge Him are without excuse.

As we look into the magnitude of God’s cosmic creation we might be forgiven for feeling just slightly insignificant, just slightly! The exciting book by Werner Gitt, originally written in German, (Pub.CLV. Literatur-Verbreitung e.V. Postfach 110135.33661 Bielefeld) “Stars and Their Purpose. Signposts in Space,” gives us figures that cannot be imagined. How many stars are there? The total number of stars in the observable universe is estimated to be 1025 (10 followed by 25 zeros).  No person knows the exact number, it appears that the stars go in to infinity. People once laughed at the writing of Jeremiah because he said that no one could count the stars. At one time, before the invention of our present day telescopes, scientists were sure there were only about 3,000 stars. Yet Jeremiah wrote of the stars, comparing their number to the number of grains of sand on all the seashores of the earth, “As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured…” {Jere. 33:22). Let Werner Gitt, a Christian believer and scientist, tell us more:
“The total number of galaxies discovered thus far, is probably in the region of several hundred thousand million, and it may even amount to a few million million. One of the most startling astronomical discoveries is that galaxies occur in clusters, which can be extremely large. The average diameter of such a cluster is about three million light years…It is noteworthy that only now in the twentieth century we can fully appreciate the astronomical import of biblical affirmations. It behoves us to trust biblical pronouncements in other case as well. Let us now try to visualize the above mentioned number of stars [ten followed by 25 zeros]. No human being lives long enough to count such a large number, so we use a computer, one of the fastest ones available. It can do ten thousand million calculations in one second, which is extremely fast! But even at this great speed it would require 30 million years of non-stop counting stars, and indeed no computer could last as long as that. God has foretold the result of such an endeavour through His prophet Jeremiah….” (ibid, p.p.18,20).

O.K., that all sounds shatteringly huge, we little ones on earth are beyond description in our minuteness in comparison to the universe and stars. But we saw that a cluster of galaxies of stars can be on average about three million lights years across. Now what exactly is a light-year? One light-year is not a measurement of time, but a measurement of distance. One light-year is equal to a distance of 9.46 million million km.  The size of the cosmos itself is estimated to be at least 12 thousand million light-years. The total mass of every bit of matter in the universe has been estimated at 1054 kg (10 with 54 zeros).

Can you wonder, then, that after reading Werner Gitt’s book, with an unimaginable glimpse of the handy-work of our Creator-God, I sank into such a humbling awareness of my own seeming insignificance and the glory and magnitude of the Creator God in comparison? For the Lord God we worship and adore is truly the Maker of heaven and earth, He is the First Cause of all things that are created.
“Thou, even thou, art Lord alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all
their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preserveth them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.”
( Nehemiah 9:6).

The Almighty Lord God we worship is the First Cause of all there is!
He alone, therefore, holds Sovereignty and Power in His right hand, there is no power outside Him. This short period of rebellion and evil which we are enduring on earth and in the atmosphere surrounding the earth will exist only as long as the Lord permits it, no longer. ALL power is His. The fact that such a thing as Power exists, whether in nature or in the supernatural realm, is because of the First Cause, our God, or He is not truly God at all. Will we look awhile at this First Cause of a Causal creation? Truly we should praise and adore Him:
“I will praise thee, O LORD, among the people: and I will sing praises unto thee among the nations.
For thy mercy is great above the heavens: and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds.
Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: and thy glory above all the earth;
That thy beloved may be delivered: save with thy right hand, and answer me.”
(Psalm 108:3-6).

The Law of Cause and Effect is held almost universally by philosophers, and is considered to be the most certain of all scientific principles – it is the principle of causality. In experimental science it stands as obviously proved and borne out in every person on the planet’s everyday experience. We all know intuitively that nothing simply comes about in isolation. Every effect can be traced back to what caused it. We are always bringing up causal questions as we live out lives out: “How did it happen?” Who caused it to happen?” “How did the universe start?” How did the human race start?” Where did this or that come from?” or “Why did everything happen this way?” These are causal questions. An effect must have a cause.

If we struggle through a long line of causes, we must inevitably come to a First Cause of all, or else we can find no mental and spiritual rest! Henry M. Morris has written awe- inspiring words in his book “The Biblical Basis of Modern Science” which concisely expresses the only scientific truth on this subject that can ever be held by honest and sincere men and women. There is no “evolution” possible in a real universe like the one which exists. There can be no “big bang” which began all existence, as this does not answer the big question of the cause and effect cosmos. For those of us who must take deep thoughts slowly, we will examine Morris’ statements together after this quote:
“…one must confront the question of either an infinite chain of “second causes”
or else, of a primary cause, the uncaused First Cause….the law [of cause and effect] leads in inevitably to a choice between two alternatives: (1) an infinite chain of nonprimary causes; (2) an uncaused primary Cause of all causes….Since every component of the chain is a finite effect, the whole series is itself a combined effect, but since the number of links is infinite, its cause must be infinite. Still further, each antecedent link in the chain is “greater” than the one before it, since something is always lost in the transmission from cause to effect. Thus, cause must be finally reached that is essentially infinite. And since nothing can be “more infinite” than infinite, this finally must be a primary cause – the infinite Primary Cause.” (p.p. 35,36).

Morris is simply pointing out, in relation to where did all things come from, that we have to come to the end of saying, “but what caused this or that?” If you say, “what caused the earth to exist?” and answer, “it was formed by the cosmos itself” then you are still left with, “what caused the cosmos?” and on and on. If one does not want to move on that same track for ever, one must call a stop and say “INFINITY!” This is the First Cause, this the One Cause of ALL.

Now, how can we know that this Cause, our God, is Personal, Loving, Moral, Conscious, and only One God not many gods? Yes, the Bible tells us so and it is the very Word of the Infinite First Cause, but the most basic of scientific principles, the Law of Cause and Effect, shows us without a shadow of doubt that our God is everything that the Bible shows Him to be. Those who will not recognize Him in the scientific world are “without excuse” as the first chapter of Romans tells us. Consider, nothing can be caused by something that is less than the effect. For something to exist it must have been caused by something which has the same components or attributes in it, and the cause is always greater than what it brings about. Otherwise where could the components and attributes come from? Here then is the proof from science itself that the Lord God is all that the Bible shows Him to be, as expressed by Henry M.Morris:
“Principle of Cause and Effect….An effect can never be greater – and in fact will always be less – than its cause. Thus a chain of effects and their causes must  eventually trace back to an essentially infinite First Cause.
The First Cause of limitless space must be infinite.
The First Cause of endless time must be eternal.
The First Cause of boundless energy must be omnipotent [or All-powerful].
The First Cause of infinite complexity must be omniscient [or All-knowing].
The First Cause of love must be loving.
The First Cause of life  must be living.

What does the Bible show us that the Creator God is? He is shown throughout its pages to be just what true science shows Him to be as the First Cause. He is infinite, eternal, All-powerful, everywhere present, All-knowing, living, conscious, moral, spiritual and loving! If He were not all those things Himself, where did they come from – and there we are back at the “first cause” discussion again! God is by definition the First Cause, so He cannot be more than one god, unless you want to end up with a “multiverse” and not a universe, as Morris states. And this First Cause has given us a miraculous Book which manifests Himself and His power – the Bible.

“For ever, O LORD, thy word if settled in heaven.” (Psalm 119:89).
“For thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” (Psalm 138:2b).

Hebrews 4:13a tells the reader this:
“Neither is there any creature not manifest in HIS sight.” This personal pronoun “his” is actually a reference to the Word of the Lord in verse twelve! The Bible and God Himself are so linked together that one [the Word] is described as being the Other [God Himself]. The Word of God in verse 12 is declared to be able to divide asunder the soul and spirit, and to be able to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart etc. How Personal this becomes when we read verse 13. God, by the Holy Spirit, is in some way Present in His Word. We should never worship the Bible, never, this would be to become a “Bibliolator,” but we must realize afresh that the Word of God is a supernatural expression of GOD Himself. The Bible as a book is only paper and ink, often with a nice leather cover and gold leaf on the page edges. But spiritually it is God’s manifestation.

The mysterious verse in Romans, chapter 9 verse 17 is an awesome  pronouncement indeed. Here the written Word of Scripture is shown as a communicating, talking entity! Able to look into the future and to speak to Pharoah about it. Yet, when we read from the Old Testament in Exodus 9:13-16 we see that it was the Lord Himself Who spoke through Moses unto Pharoah. Again the Lord God Himself is interchanged with the Word of God, the Scriptures. Moses, by the way, wrote Exodus after his confab with Pharoah.

Now look at the astonishing words of Galatians 3:7-8. Here the Scripture is spoken of as preaching the Good News of the Gospel to Abraham before the book of Genesis was written. Again the Bible’s inspired authors equate the Scriptures with God Himself!
(Source p. 172: “Final Authority” by Dr. William P.Grady. Ph.D. Grady Pub. Endorsed by Dr. Dallas Dobson and Dr. Dennis Corle).

“The entrance of thy words giveth LIGHT.” (Psalm 119:130).
“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is LIGHT…” ( 1 John 1:8a).

It is most important to use a King James Version Bible, it is trustworthy, it is the Word of God in English in your hand. The greatest attacks on the Lord God and His Truth are coming today from those who want other “bibles” to replace the God-breathed Word of the Lord. Be content with your KJV ask the Holy Spirit to open it to you. Read it, study it, trust it, obey it, receive light and life from the Lord through its pages - and be thankful.
When seeking to win people for Christ always read to them from the Scriptures. Never rely on your own explanations about the Gospel. Hold your  Bible close to them so they can read the words for themselves, it is doubly beneficial if God’s Word enters the eyes as well as the ears. Use one verse repeated a few times so that it will burn in their memories, coming back after you have left them. Let the Holy Spirit choose the verse for you for each soul, He will bring to mind what would be the most suitable for each particular case. For example, someone says, “I might accept Jesus Christ as Saviour one day, but not now. I want to have fun, I am too young to be a saved person yet.” Tell them earnestly and seriously that tomorrow may be too late, there may be NO opportunity to be saved! Read them from the Bible two or three times, and get them to read along with you:
“…NOW is the accepted time; behold, NOW is the day of salvation” ( 11 Corinthians 6:2b). God will cause this to reImages in the mind, a living Word they cannot forget.

There were a number of KJV editions in reformation times. These were NOT due to correcting errors in doctrine, mis-translations of Greek or Hebrew words etc. These editions were to bring uniform spelling in English through the whole Bible, and to change printing problems. There was no “correct” way to spell in the 1611 era, and the printing presses were also very primitive. For example: Scripture might have been spelt “scripture” in some places of the KJV and in others “scrypture.” Some words could have faded out badly and needed to be replaced in bolder type. This quote from the book mentioned above p.p171-172 give dire warning to the Body of Christ today:
“At this juncture it is imperative for the Bible believer to discern Satan’s strategy through this myth of multiplied revisions [of the Old and New Testaments]. His sole objective has been to plant the subliminal suggestion that the various King James editions are to be associated with the modern English translations, though they [are]predicated upon
an entirely different Greek text!  People like the Thomas Nelson Pub. Com. Would lead you to believe that the genuine updating and revisions God allowed from men who were faithful to the intentions of the original translators has justified replacing the underlying Greek text with the corrupt readings of Alexandria [Westcott and Hort]. “

We certainly can! Has it been changed many times as foolish critics claim? No, let this assurance answer all your queries about this:
“That the true text of the Authorized Version 1611 had reImagesed unaffected throughout these corrective stages was confirmed in a special report to the “Board of Managers” of the American Bible Society in 1852. The official findings of this committee of seven, chaired by Dr. James W. McLane, were as follows:
‘The English Bible as left by the translators has come down to us unaltered in respect to its text…With the exception of typographical errors and changes required by the progress of orthography in the English language, the text of our present Bibles reImagess unchanged, and without variations from the original copy as left by the translators.”
(Report of the Committee on Versions to the Board of Managers of the American Bible Society, chairman Rev. James W. McLane (New York:n.p. 1852).

May God grant to you all a peaceful and fruitful year. He is with all who have been saved by trust in the Blood of Jesus. Have faith in Him!
 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16,17).

Editor of `Despatch' Magazine & "Beauty for Ashes" Booklet
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Editor of Despatch W. B. Howard