Notes of Meeting Sunday 15th January 2023

Worship led by Brian Legg

Psalm 147: 1 – 11   - see what the Lord delights in 

40           Be still, for the presence of the Lord

The Holy One – yes, He is here at the centre of our time together

183         Holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty

“Though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see”.

In the OT we often read about the ”glory of the Lord” dwelling in particular places – in a cloud to lead the Israelites through the wilderness, on Mount Sinai when Moses was given the law, in the tabernacle and the tent of meeting, it filled he temple which Solomon built and dedicated to the Lord, the glory of the Lord appeared to the shepherds to announce the Saviour’s birth, it was seen by the disciples at the transfiguration, and Stephen witnessed the glory of God as was being stoned to death.

John 1:14  “Full of grace and truth”.

877         Jesus, what a beautiful name

Hebrews 1: 1 – 3  “The radiance of God’s glory

How sad it is to hear the wonderful name of Jesus being mis-used so often.

870         Jesus is the name we honour

We thought a little last week about the promises of God – particularly focusing upon his presence with us, both now and for eternity.

These themes are reflected in our next hymn - something of a golden oldie – “In heavenly love abiding”

238         In heavenly love abiding

“My shepherd is beside me”

Earlier this week I had a particularly stressful day coming up, and as I prayed about it I remembered Dawn saying a little about our Shepherd last Sunday. And later in the morning I turned on my ipad to see the verse for the day. It turned out to be an obscure verse from Zechariah 6: 19 , including the words “The Lord their God will save his people on that day as a shepherd saves his flock”. Now I know I’m breaking all the golden rules about not taking verses out of context, but at the time the mere mention to me of the Shepherd was an encouragement. The Good Shepherd, who really does know the best way forward, who leads his sheep into good places with nourishing food, who doesn’t leave them to their own devices when the way gets hard.

While I was dwelling a little more on sheep – I began imagining a flock being led  off to new pastures. I’ve always wondered what the sheep are saying to each other as they wander along. You can perhaps imagine 2 of them saying to each other “Baa – how much further to go? Baa – what’s wrong with that field we’ve just passed? Baa - Come on – let’s go there shall we?”  So off the two trot – leaving the flock to carry on its way.

The time comes when they are on their own – the shepherd has long since moved on, and they need to look after themselves.

But isn’t that a little like us at times – so easily drawn away by the slightest problem or issue, easily diverted to focus on other things rather than our Chief Shepherd?

How we need to keep our focus on Jesus.

1612       When the road is rough and steep

Breaking of Bread

Hebrews 12: 1 - 4

Yes, the Jesus we look to is the same Jesus who went ot the cross – to take upon himself the sin of the world – your sin, my sin, and who called us to remember him is this very special way.

I wonder what Jesus felt as he shared the bread and wine with his disciples in that carefully-prepared upper room. Men who he had grown to know very well in their 2 or 3 years together. Men he had had to chastise on many occasions for their lack of faith. What would their reaction be to the events of the next few days? Would they still be around to support him in his times of need, or would they take a run, when the way became too difficult?

He knew their weaknesses and fallibilities, and he knows ours too. And in spite of this, he invites us, warts and all, to come and share in this feast to remember Him. We may be so conscious of our failures that we feel unworthy to come at all – but he still wants us to remember Him – his sinless life, his death which should have been ours, as he paid the ultimate price to reconcile us to God.

1187       Before the throne of God above

May we be blessed as we heed his invitation to share in these emblems, and bring to him our own thanksgivings.


Stephen Lawrance’s Message


The Bible is full of prophecy, from Genesis to Revelation. This is what sets it apart from ALL other so called Holy books. God says in Isaiah 46.10, "I am God, knowing the beginning from the end."  It is the signature of God himself.

Among all the topics foretold, the return of the Lord is the most prophesied.

The first coming had over 300 prophecies fulfilled, the second has over 5x this amount.

Jesus' first coming has some characteristics of the second one.

1) Specific time ..Galatians 4.4..Set time, fully came..

The scene was a dominant world leader, Caesar Augustus, One dominant language used was Greek, Pax Romana, roman peace, straight roads to take the gospel out.

Specific signs, Star for the Magi to follow, (they arrived sometime later at a home not a manger).

Baby, manger, clothes, were a sign to the shepherds.. Born among animals like sheep, instruments of sacrifice as he would be, and wrapped in special burial cloth kept in these caves. The same cloth that would touch his body 33 years later was the first to touch him at birth. Born to die, not to live...Adam died through disobedience, Christ would through obedience.

Second coming is mentioned 318 times alone in NT.

Again, it will be a specific time with signs; In the world, Church, Heavens etc.

It would be visible and personal as the first coming was.

Jesus came in glory the first time, it was night but became light, he died in the day and it became dark. Glory came and went in Jesus.

He will come in glory, Mark 13.26, Luke 21.27, on the clouds...wind from the west.

The last prayer of the NT is for his second coming.

Jesus said his followers will exist till the last days; how did he know? (Matt 28.20)

All other false messiahs died and their followers died out also, Jesus presumed his would not.

Jesus knew also the conditions of the last days; deception would be one of them .False Messiahs and False Prophets. Christians will not accept a false messiah but are open to false prophets.

Mis-information will be rife. Luke 21.8 Do not be led astray.


Explosion in technology, knowledge and travel. Daniel 12.4.

Knowledge doubling curve.

Until 1900 human knowledge doubled approximately every century.

By the end of World War II knowledge was doubling every 25 years.

Today nanotechnology knowledge is doubling every two years and clinical knowledge every 18 months. On average human knowledge is doubling every 13 months.  According to IBM, the build out of the “internet of things” will lead to the doubling of knowledge every 12 hours.

Transport from time of Jesus to 19th century did not change significantly, however in the last 100 years we have seen an explosion.

Large computers of 1939 are less powerful than 2023 smart phones.

Persecution will be a sign. Hated an ALL nations. Mt 10.22. 80 percent of all religious persecution is against Christians with hundreds of thousands killed yearly and 360 million under persecution.

Intellectual attacks...scoffers will come in last days 2 Peter 3:3..Where is his coming?

Jehovah's Witnesses and others have had false date setting that has brought the second coming into mockery, sadly also some well-meaning Christians have also.

Moral attacks - The Bible will be deemed a hate book, not tolerant enough and too exclusive. We see this is happening.

End days will be marked by war and conflict, Matthew 24.6 - starts with small wars but will go to world war. This was not possible at the time of Jesus but Nation V Nation is a Jewish idiom for indeed world war conflict and this happened in 1914 and the first WW and carried on in second. A significant sign of end days.

Jesus also said Herod's temple would be destroyed, not one stone on another and will be rebuilt at a later stage. – Matthew 24:1-2 speaks of the destruction.

This happened literally under Titus when the Romans ransacked Jerusalem, set fire to the temple, the gold from the roof dripped down and solidified on the stoned below and they were broken open for the gold.

Jews were crucified and some brought to Rome for the making of the Colosseum, built with the booty of the ransacking. Arch of Titus also would show and depict the scenes. Romans love arches, building, statues to live on.

To build a new temple you need the Jews back in the land. This is prophesied also many times and depicts Jews coming back in unbelief, many will have no faith but some will keep to Judaism and want a third temple.


1948 Israel against all odds was re-born, but for a temple you need also to control east Jerusalem and this happened in 1967. The temple WILL be re-built as scripture says and a new world leader will take control of it.

We will see more and more globalisation, a one world Government, that will ultimately bring in a one world leader.

Jesus the first time he came had a forerunner in John the Baptist, the next time he comes the forerunner will be the anti-Christ.

We are seeing a convergence of signs, Israel in the land, a pure miracle after 2,000 years out of it, their language returned, wars, famine, technology, travel, knowledge, persecution, crime, globalisation, world evangelism, tyrannical governments, repressive laws, loss of freedoms, Digital, ID, Cashless society, monitoring of movement etc


Everyone is waiting for somebody:-

Israel awaits their messiah the first time

Islam awaits their Madhi

New Age awaits Maitreya

Politics awaits their global leader

Christians await Christ.


One thing MUST happen first though, the Jews MUST call for Jesus to return and will do.

Matthew 23.39

For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’

This WILL happen, and God will pour out on them a spirit of grace...and in a time of attack and slaughter, they will call upon the Lord and see Him who was pierced and weep...

The Jews come back in unbelief but it will lead to national repentance, confession and salvation.

Zech 12.10



Wednesday at 10.30am – Coffee Morning

Speaker next Sunday at 10.15am is Mark Gooding