A formal letter to the Halloween "Light Party" Organisers

Every year, on the 31th October, all the Churches in my hometown synergise together and put on an event called the “Light Party”. Yes, this event has been occurring for some ten years and is on the same day as Halloween. Why is this festivity on Halloween? Well, I’m told that “it’s the positive alternative to Halloween”... and “it’s a way to keep the kids safe by keeping them off the streets away from harm’s way!!”

However, after this expensive local Selwyn Park carnival, I usually encounter new families within the week, where I ask the kids what they liked about the “Light Party”, and every year it’s always the same: “Halloween was amazing!!! Food, fun, games, rides, face painting… I get to dress up as a Witch (contrasted to Johnny: I get to be a Vampire!!!) Oh boy, I can’t wait to do Halloween again next year!!! Gosh, I LOVE HALLOWEEN!!!”

And so there is the problem: in the families and children’s eyes, the Church has just funded an awesome day of Halloween. In fact they don’t even know that the Church funded the event at all!!! It was just another part of the Halloween celebration… and if you want to know my response: “What the…!!!???”

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Stephen ShephardComment
Bramble Bush Leadership hinders growth

There’s a cool story in the Book of Judges (chapter 9) where Jotham tells of three trees wanting to be ruled over: These small trees first go to the Olive Tree and ask the Olive Tree to rule over them, but the Olive Tree refuses. And so the trees then go and ask the Fig Tree to rule over them, but the Fig Tree also refuses. And so the small trees decide to go and ask the Bramble Bush to rule over them, where the Bramble Bush says “Certainly, but you must live under my shade!!” The interpretation is clear: the Bramble Bush represents leadership that desires to control and not allow its people to grow… one must always live under its totalitarian shadow.

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Stephen ShephardComment
Predictions 2018

Although I am extremely privileged and grateful for the truths that God has revealed to me over the years, I have not wanted to ‘publish’ my modern day speculations re God’s plan for today. I have unfortunately suffered from ‘downward spiral thinking’ that: “Well, they aren’t really interested in the Daniel 9 prophecy being solved, so why then would they be interested in prophecy for today!!?” I would then justify this quoting what Jesus said, “Even if I raise someone from the dead, they still will not believe!!??” But after closer examination of what Jesus did next, he still continued to raise Lazarus from the tomb…  which subsequently means that I should follow his example, and present my speculations anyway (even if ‘they’ don’t believe)...

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Blood Moon Prophecy Debunked

It’s been nearly a couple of years since the BLOOD MOON PROPHECY saga, where a Pastor enthusiastically advised me to take my money out of the bank, sell my stock market shares, etc. as the experts say that Jesus is soon returning due to the “Blood Moon Prophecy”. Quoting Joel 2 and Acts 2, these experts exclaim “last days” reports of impending doom as they present a total lunar “blood moon” aligned with jubilee cycles and astronomical calculations that coincide with important Jewish festivals. Yes, this discussion resurfaces every few years… and always amounts to nothing!!

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Stephen ShephardComment
Which year was Jesus born? 7 BC, 4 BC, 1 BC ... or 0 AD?

It can be quite confusing hearing that Jesus was born on either 3 BC or 4 BC… or was it 5 BC? Especially when we logically think that Jesus should be born on 0 AD, as isn’t all history framed around this significant date!!?? And because “AD” means “Anno Domini” translated as “the year of our Lord”... to say that Jesus was born in "BC" seems like madness, because how can He be born “Before Christ”? So which is it? 7BC, 4BC, 1BC or 0AD? Why the importance? And who really cares?

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2300 Day Prophecy

Although the study of the “Seventy Weeks" prophecy is a broad 490 literal year prophecy (70 x 7 days = 490 days) as mentioned in Daniel 9:24-27, Daniel 8 provides additional supporting evidence towards understanding the Daniel 9 prophecy (but probably not the way you are thinking):

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Does martyred Stephen solve the Daniel 9 Prophecy?

One evening, I received a call from an old friend exclaiming that there was a “Seventy Weeks Documentary” showing on a Christian Channel. I switched the box on, and was instantly impressed seeing a contemporary studio hosting three renowned presenters, all gathered around a discussion table unpacking the most debated prophecy. Well, after listening for some 27 minutes, the bias interpretation finally became clear which stance these theologians advocated. Although they presented the gospel in a unique and compelling way (which I think is admirable), their argument had no backbone.

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Cyrus the Messiah

Another frequent email discussion is that many stand absolutely assured that the ‘Messiah’ can only be ‘Jesus’. But what they ignore is that throughout scripture, there have been many other famous biblical men who were also labelled ‘Messiahs’ for their time.

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Artaxerxes date dispute

A frequent question asked of me surrounds the date of King Artaxerxes, who is recorded by scholars as having begun his rule in the year 465 BC. This date is in dispute because many scholars are unable to explain why King Artaxerxes is mentioned in the book of Ezra along with King Cyrus and King Darius (Ezra 6:14), as this gives an inaccuracy of 64 years when aligned with other recognized dates.

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