This gave me time to reflect on the year gone and the year ahead, not something I'm often given to do. Here's my thoughts from back then and now was a whirlwind from a writing point of view. I've had three books published. Falling Too the sequel to Falling was released in the U. At Bouchercon, in Toronto, a short story anthology I was included in Blood on the Bayou won the Anthony for best short story anthology.
Add this all up and it's been a hell of a writing streak. But there's more. With the bulk of the writing for all the above having been done in late and early I sat down, mid year, and said - 'What next? I didn't want to stop writing, so I decided that maybe this was the time to look at a third series. But where to start? As with everything I've ever written I just sat down at the laptop and typed a first line - and kept going. As I sip my tea on January the 1st, I'm a month or so off finishing the new work.
I have engaged the services of a fellow writer, Russel McLean, to help knock the manuscript into shape. So, with the New Year not twenty four hours old, I'm putting my feet up, watching the TV and smiling. Roll forward to today. The new novel is complete and is with a few publishers to see if I get a bite. I've started the third Falling book and plan to work on the fourth Craig McIntyre novel soon. However, there is something much more more important than any of this is and that is Monday the 23rd April That is the date of my wedding anniversary - my 30th anniversary - 30 years since I married Lesley - and I wouldn't change a second of it.
And, despite the recent whirlwind of writing, my anniversary tops it all - by a mile - by a country mile - by a thousand country miles. All I want to say to Lesley is thank you for a magical 30 years, thank you for all your support, thank you for being there and here's to thirty more. Finally I just want to say, with all my heart, 'I Love You'?
I'm just off the back of chairing as session at Aye Write with David Adam on the subject of near enhancement. Now there's a subject worth looking up if you have a few hours to kill. Thanks to David for being such an easy person to chair and no thanks to me for forgetting to take any pictures. I took part in an BeeBooks and Bloody Scotland initiative called the Digital Writers' Lab where they paired me up with author Abhijnan Roychowdhury to chat on all things 'place'.
V cool. A cool review from the Crime Review site for Darkest Thoughts. Darkest Thoughts has been picked by Reading Groups for Everyone as one of the books of the year for Reading Groups for Everyone celebrates reading groups across the UK and is run by the book loving team at national charity The Reading Agency.
I'm just back from Sunny Spain you have to say it that way - it's an official rule when describing the country. I was attending the Xabia Negra festival, an event set up to celebrate all things noir. Myself and two fellow authors, Alxandra Sokoloff and Craig Robertson, were invited under the auspices of Bloody Scotland to attend and participate in a panel.
So what's not to like about a few days on the Costa Blanca talking about books and sipping beer. At one point during our panel the discussion turned to location and wether the darkness of northern Europe provided a more fertile ground for crime writing than the sun bleached southern countries. I took this to give me license to write a story set abroad and I chose Xabia.
The story opens on a glorious day with our hero lounging at the end of a pier watching the fishing trawlers return home. In fact the first page and half is more a description of the town and its surrounds than anything else. Yet, later, I squeeze in crime, a dilemma and try my best throw my protagonist under the proverbial bus.
Does the story work? Well Orenda Books and the CWA thought so as it's nestled in the heart of the new book which is out soon. Not that this means that the darker lands are not a richer source of evil - but just because the sun is out doesn't stop the nasty buggers of this world from operating - in fact, if you think about it, where would you rather commit your next crime - on a beach in Spain or in a back alley in Glasgow. Answers on a postcard.
So, this time around, accompanied by my wife, Lesley, we landed in Toronto late on the Wednesday night, fought with the airport over a rip in our luggage, got in to the hotel late, ate and fell asleep. It was a sparrow fart start. I was partnered by the lovely Jamie Freveletti. Kilted I promised my publisher that I would wear the kilt at some point our mission was simple. Starting at the unholy hour of 8. Then a bell rang and we both moved to the next table to repeat our spiel. We did this twenty times, by which time my voice was sounding distinctly Morgan Freemanish.
On any other day this might have been an inconvenience. With a panel to moderate that evening it was slightly more than that. In an attempt to rescue some semblance of speech I undertook the following:. When it was clear that none of this was working, Craig Robertson did the knight in shining armour bit and promised he would take on my duties if my voice vanished completely. I arrived at the room and, apologising for my voice to both my panellists and the audience, I croaked out questions.
Craig waited on the substitute bench for a call that would never come because my panel were stars. Recognising my limitations, they flew like jet fighters and made the whole thing a doddle. God love them all — the panel was great. But, by then, the last of my voice had given in and I was left with a husky rasp that resembled, as Chris Brookmyre told me, a Glasgow gangster — which may have been appropriate for my role had anyone in the room known what the hell a Glasgow gangster sounded like. Craig stepped in and, after bedecking himself in his wedding kilt he was flying to LA to get married to the delightful Alexandra Sokoloff after the convention — so just happened to have one in his bag , he took on the part of John Buchan.
I can only thank him here for being such a brilliant understudy or more truthfully a better actor. With nothing official on the cards for Friday I dropped in and out of some panels and generally hob-nobbed. A rather thankless task as, within a day, the tables were so full of other bookmarks, business cards and promotional material that my efforts had vanished beneath the waves and required frequent rescue to make them visible.
I took a little break from the convention to have some Lesley and I time. We walked down to Ontario Place. For the two of us it holds a special place. Thirty-two years ago we stumbled upon a Canadian singer called Gowan who, on a small stage was, memorably, lying across a grand piano, playing the keyboard backwards. The memory has stuck with us and we wanted to re visit the place. Another day of sitting in on panels and an evening set aside for my book launch. I booked a corner of an Irish Bar called Quinns and sent out the word to a few of the authors.
There was also one Mr Craig Sisterton, a Kiwi with a penchant for whisky, who contributed, in no small part, to my hangover the next morning with a round of Glenlivet at some point in the evening. We manged to see the close of two bars — Quinns and, when they threw us out of there we retired to the hotel bar to be ejected in the wee small hours. The last day of the conference and I wanted to attend the Anthony Awards the big crime awards at Bouchercon as Jay Stringer was up for two.
However there was a breath of an award for me. And, to top it all, we finished our time in Toronto by visiting a friend that we had met way back when Lesley and I were but burnished twenty year old children wondering how in the hell we had ended up being so lucky as to be working in Canada. The last few days have been fun. A great event. This is my start to Bloody Scotland This has been a record festival.
So, with this in mind, I thought I might list my personal top 5 moments from Bloody Scotland Did I kick a ball? Was I an unused substitute? Did I take on the job of refereeing? But I still loved it. A few years back, I had a simple idea, shamelessly lifted from the music world, to allow debut authors a chance to be the support act to more established authors.
This became known as Crime in the Spotlight. For a few minutes, just before the Bloody Scotland main events get underway, the new authors have the opportunity to tell the audience a little about themselves and read from their work. This year there were eleven of them — and they were fantastic — every one of them shone like a mini supernova. I chose the little known but fascinating Crookston Castle, located on the south side of Glasgow, and set my story around the idea of a siege for the 21st century.
Picture this — people marching down from Stirling Castle, sun sinking in the west, led by two of the greatest crime writers ever, Val McDermid and Ian Rankin. Every one of the participants holding a burning torch aloft. A few years ago, fellow authors Neil Broadfoot, Mark Leggat and Douglas Skelton did me the honour of letting me share a stage with them for a book event. Four Blokes in Search of a Plot was born. With a dozen or more events behind us we upped the ante for our panel at Bloody Scotland.
Online Library of Liberty
Following a session for ScotLitFest where the four of us had to make up a story live on Facebook we took this idea to the stage. While three of us chatted with the audience one of us had to put on the Tea Cosy of Inspiration and type. After writing fifty words the typist stopped and read their creation.
The audience then chose who should be the next to wear the Tea Cosy and to write the next fifty words. If you want to know more see our Facebook site 4blokes. Four Blokes mid flow at the festival. For all of this I am amazed and grateful because these things all make Bloody Scotland very, very special indeed. Look what just arrived. Thanks to HES for including me in this. Historic Environment Scotland. Can be bought at all good book suppliers. Tune in on Sunday 13th August from 1. Total FM. Stuck this magic words, The End, on a first draft of a new novel.
So time for a quick update. Bloody Scotland was launched in Stirling and London. My publisher has printed a special edition of all three books in the trilogy for the evening. Crime ClubWe love their books — but what do we know about our favourite crime authors? I hope you enjoy Crime Club each month — let me know what you think on the email address below.
I made a decision to write a series of novels that allowed readers to start anywhere in the sequence and not feel lost, but to have a larger story building up in the background, so that if people read the books in order, they had a different experience. I wanted to get away from what I felt was a very restrictive view of what an Irish writer should be: someone who wrote about the nature of Irishness.
Along with mystery fiction, supernatural fiction was what I devoured when I was young. It may also be related to my Catholic upbringing and its themes of reparation and redemption. And I was interested in exploring concepts of evil — from human selfishness to the possibility of an older, deeper evil from which humanity, in extremis, sometimes draws. Real evil requires premeditation. The Parker books were never written with film or TV in mind. God, I seem to be talking myself out of an adaptation. Each time, I was convinced that I was going to die. This has left me with a morbid fear of suffocation that has surfaced in many of my books.
Am I alone in tapping my deepest fear when writing? His latest book, Darkest Thoughts, is published on April 27 by Strident. Read first chapter . Off his head on the Berchtesgaden drug of choice, methamphetamine, Gunther offers a wry view of several real figures, notably Heydrich and Bormann, and a pithy up-close analysis of the whole Nazi machine. Read first chapter . Misfit Paris cops bring an entertaining collection of idiosyncrasies to the newly-formed cold-case team headed by impetuous detective Anne Capestan — though the fun has to stop as they start to piece together evidence of serious corruption in high places.
Read first chapter . As ex-waitress Lily, on her way to domestic service in Australia, gets to know her fellow passengers — including a dazzling couple from the first-class deck — it becomes clear that they are travelling with as many troubling secrets in their baggage as she has.
The menace builds, with a backdrop of exotic ports of call, to an excitingly modern twist. Read first chapter . In the thriller landscape, Washington DC is where media, power and sex are all at their most intense. Kovac, a veteran Beltway TV news producer, has her heroine Virginia — a veteran Beltway TV news producer — propelled into ever greater danger as the mystery of a disappearing woman spirals into areas important people would rather she stayed out of.
Pacey and tense, with added stress for Virginia courtesy of her boss-from-hell. Read first chapter . A chillingly smart Israeli intelligence assassin has taken his job rather too seriously. Bold forks in the plot and contemporary neuroscience make this an inventive page-turner. Read first chapter .
The Norwegian blockbuster-merchant brings his edgy detective Harry Hole back into the Oslo police to catch a killer who has eluded him in the past. Powerful writing weaves a switchback story around Hole and his unusual relationships with his colleagues, though the sickening violence the villain wreaks on defenceless female victims may turn your stomach.
Keeps you guessing. Read first chapter . Read first chapter . Lifelike portrayals of his colleagues and the whip-smart LOLs make this stonking pager a first-class swathe of tartan noir. The offer closes at midnight tomorrow, March Young London-based journalist Nora stumbles across the year-old mystery of two Danish girls who went missing on a ferry to England and is determined to find out what really happened.
The plot ricochets between Denmark and Britain, propelled by youthful enthusiasm and a rekindled high school romance. Read first chapter . A tough, enterprising and vulnerable heroine, Lola gives the reader an unvarnished insight into ghetto life. Read first chapter . Lippman describes the lives of five women whose happiness is destroyed by Felix Brewer, a white-collar crook and adulterer who vanishes in , leaving chaos in his wake.
In Houston, a mayoral election is pending, and a key swing area is the African-American neighbourhood Pleasantville. The nomination seems to be assured: Axel Hathorne has the perfect pedigree. In the privileged Thomas Danforth is tasked with training an enigmatic young woman at his estate in Connecticut as part of a secret wartime project. The result is a mystery that he is forced to pursue over decades and continents.
The publisher is giving away five copies to Crime Club readers. Other attractions at the event on May include Ann Cleeves, Anthony Horowitz and several panels featuring new talent on the crime scene. The winner will be announced at CrimeFest on May John Thaw famously played the grumpy sleuth on television — search catch-up TV for episodes.
The tide was out and the river low. Also for a bet, he once raced someone from Great Yarmouth to Lowestoft, in reverse. Needless to say, he won. He came from a family of gamblers and builders. His biggest ambition, however, was never realised. In the s, Moore and Sons put in planning permission to build a vast, glittering hotel out on Scroby Sands, a series of sandbanks or shoals some two miles off the coast of Great Yarmouth.
He died from eating a chicken bone — the bet being that he could eat the whole carcass. Before the war, Yarmouth was still something of a great British seaside resort. These days the town is troubled by unemployment, crime, alcohol and drug abuse. My fictional crime family — they were never going to be straight — are planning to build a massive hotel and casino complex on a couple of piers pointing towards Scroby Sands. Want to find out what speed learning is? Click here. A big thanks to Patricia Stoltey for publishing my blog on her website.
My last day in New Orleans. I could lie in bed all day, which would seem like a bit of a waste. I work out a plan. Breakfast, ferry to Algiers Point, a quiet wander amongst the historic district and home for tea. Then, as with all good plans, it falls apart when the lens falls out of my sunglasses. There are two sources for such an animal — the optician according to Google the nearest is 2 miles away or a hardware store only 1 mile away. I decide to walk to the hardware store. Walking in the U. My route, in 90 degree heat, takes me under a freeway, over a three lane exit ramp, into an industrial estate and across an expanse of waste ground.
I arrive at the hardware store ten pounds lighter and have to spend half an hour sitting in the air conditioned entrance to prepare for the return journey. Even so I need to break the return trip and rest in the local bus depot, where I consume a pint of Coke in just under ten seconds. I start along what they call the Jazz Trail, a concrete path that traces the river bank. You have to look hard to see it. I quit the trail when I started to feel my skin fry. Walking amongst the clapperboard homes I attempted to find the town centre.
I failed. The Old Point Bar it was. Now sometimes in life you just happen to stumble upon a gem. Set next to the Mississppi but hidden from it by a giant grass levy, the Old Point Bar, is as American as mother pie and applehood. I fell in love. With the edge of the sun I walked back along the banks of the Mississippi before sliding back across the water on the ferry. With a trip back across the Atlantic and then onto Spain due the next day, I called it quits, slept for twelve hours, woke early and headed for the airport.
Bye New Orleans — it was good to see you again — but next time could you turn the heating down a little? No gym this morning — rolling over in bed, for an other hour, won out. I was due to chair one of the last panels of the festival today. Having sat through some great sessions I scratched my head to think of something original for my panel to do.
In some cases the authors can dry up and leave you stranded, short on questions to ask them and facing an audience that can smell blood. In this case it was a breeze. The four of them sailed through with an entertaining hour of reading, chat and laughs. With my formal duties over there was last event on the calendar where the guests of honour were on a final panel. Heather had fun with the questions and the audience ate it all up. With the festival officially over I put on my shorts and went for a wander in the city — and a strange thing happened. Well, strange to me.
This is not my first time in New Orleans. I was here back in the late eighties, a couple of times, with my wife, Lesley. On the last visit, nearly thirty years back, we visited a shop that sold fudge. So why do I mention this? Well, who knew it would still be there, white marble tables and all? Hot fudge was dully being poured and shaped. Next up was a trek, deep into the French Quarter. According to the unreliable health app on my iPhone I walked ten miles. Whatever the truth, I do know is that the walk was further than I intended. At one point I was so off the beaten track I needed Google Maps to find my way back to the hordes.
More gym this morning.
- The Village Proposal: Education as a Shared Responsibility?
- Superior Donuts (TCG Edition).
I think this will be the end of the fitness phase for a while. Lying-in has its attractions. I bumped into an author while queuing for my McD. Charles Finch has written 10 historical novels. He was due on a panel shortly. Not having seen many panels to date I popped in to listen to the world of historical crime fiction with authors speaking about setting as diverse as 16th Japan, 18th Century Victorian England and While I was signing Joe Abramo sat down next to me. Joe is a Brooklyn born author now living in Denver. I first met him three years ago at the Left Coast Crime Festival in Colorado Springs where he was a on a panel with me.
Last book signed we eventually had that beer. As a fan of Jack Reacher I had to get a photo but, in my haste to do so, I managed to blur the shot. So now I have a fuzzy Lee Child photo for my collection. Towards the end of the afternoon Craig Roberston was interviewed by Catriona McPherson on the 41st floor of the hotel. They both did a great job. The centre piece to the event was various authors doing their turns on stage. The highlight, for me, was the return of the Slice Girls — who cut the place up big style.
Day 3, early rise, sweaty gym — again. I hope this is not a pattern. I have a panel today, so off with the shorts and on with a shirt — presentable is the name of the game. It kicked off at Ta da — there I find them all. The panel went well — it was funny, insightful and I swear it only lasted ten minutes. The audience seemed to like it all, and afterwards, at the signing, I sold and signed all the copies of my books — I now have no books for sale. I knew there was a parade on as part of Bouchercon. The various stars of the weekend were on floats and I thought it a good idea to video it all.
The pub beckoned and I ignored it. Bed was calling. Not so. Come 6. I spend half an hour trying to get back to sleep before I give on and go the gym — a small, hot sweaty this word will figure a lot in the coming days box buried deep in the hotel. Bouchercon is being held at the Mariott Hotel on Canal St, a five minute walk from my hotel. I reached the hotel and registered for the festival — a convoluted affair that provides you with badge, bag, programs, free books and t -shirt — each obtained at a different table.
I lost five pounds in sweat in an hour. I had one importune date in the diary for late afternoon to meet my U. Eric is an amazing man. Communication across the Atlantic has been of the patchy email and the occasional Skype variety. In celebratory mood I went back to the hotel to get changed for the 5th anniversary bash that Eric was throwing that night.
And, as is my want in my advancing years, fell asleep. I was, for the second time today, a puddle of sweat by the time I arrived. My one regret was missing the opening of Bouchercon but given the coffee conversation earlier that day there was no way I was missing the birthday bash. After drink, chat and a lot of laughter, a clutch of us wandered back through the French Quarter later that night. I intended to have a drink at the Mariott but after a quick chat with two of the Bouchercon board of directors, Jeff Siger and David Magayna, I called it quits instead — tiredness catching up at last.
The trip got of to a great start with an upgrade. Then things slide backwards. I had a layover of 7 hours in Newark and, having been in New York a dozen times in the last year, I decided not to take the trip to town and prep for my Bouchercon panels. I met Russel McLean at the Newark luggage pick up. I got chatting and failed to notice an earlier New Orleans flight. Russel was going via Washington and when he left I got down and dirty and read up on my fellow panellists until Facebook told me that Doug Johnstone was waiting on the same flight as me.
A few weeks ago he had asked me for some tips on seeing Manhattan in three hours and was just back from The Big Apple. We tied up for a drink, then another drink — then another as our flight slipped from a pm departure to a then and then to and then, big leap coming, pm. By the time we landed in New Orleans it was am local time and I got to the hotel an hour later. Total journey time — door to door — 24 hours — ouch. Three days and two nights of festivalling have done for me.
But what a weekend. This is year 5 of Bloody Scotland and attendance is up.
- General Equilibrium Theory of Value.
- Aristophanes Frogs (Oxford Approaches to Classical Literature).
- Introduction to Piecewise Differentiable Equations (SpringerBriefs in Optimization).
The feedback I received over the weekend was brilliant. Number 4: My own panel — chaired by the wonderful Catriona McPherson, I was subjected to a gentle, but probing, examination of my knowledge of all things America along with Mason Cross and Steve Cavanagh because all three of us set our novels in the U. Steve insulted my surname and Catriona won us all over from minute one by bringing coffee. Number 3: Crime at the Coo — the alternative event down at the local pub now in its second year was a runaway success. The authors were allowed to cut loose and entertain us in any way they fancied.
Val McDermid and Doug Johnstone rocked the place with miles. They all read a short passage from their new book. I need to name check them all because they were all simply fantastic. Thanks to them all. Our rehearsal was a quick meeting just before the play. The ballroom was sold out.
We had a ball. I had to leave straight after the play to introduce the next Crime in the Spotlight author and missed the standing ovation. My essay, done in the run up to Bloody Scotland appeared today. Let me know if it cuts the mustard? Click away and read:. I got off the train at Weymms Bay station, dragged my bag through the category A listed, turn of the century, railway station and joined the rag tag line of passengers waiting on the ferry to Rothesay. I turn round to see how many more people have joined the queue and a familiar face smiles in my direction.
A Liverpudlian accent says hi and I walk back to join Luca Veste. This is the start of Bute Noir for me. The hub for the festival was the Argyll Guest House, which we had to ourselves. On the ferry Craig asked if I minded sharing a room with Douglas Skelton. I said yes too quickly. Books were signed, wine drunk, thanks given and we were off to a flying start.
Venues selling out meant that space was limited for the authors. Everyone involved in the festival did us proud with some stunning displays across all the venues. With a nice creative twist the festival had linked a book from each author to an object in the museum — providing content for posters and bookmarks. Later in the afternoon Craig, Luca and I were grabbing a refreshment when Craig snapped upright and announced that he was supposed to be on Bute Island Radio in five minutes.
He rushed out leaving Luca and I in his dust. Ten minutes later the manager of the station appeared and says to the two of us that Craig wants us to join him on air. We are whisked into the studio to talk gibberish. Just as we are settling into our rhythm the studio door opens and in walks Chris Brookmyre to join us. The first day finished with Chris in the library. He signed off the evening with a short story entitled Puck Knows — so Chris.
Next I found myself squeezed in at the back of Print Point. When I say squeezed I use the word to its full effect. Not being bias in any way the outcome of the city debate was a forgone conclusion. Glasgow won. Luca and Douglas in full flow. As the festival drew to a close Alex Sokoloff and myself debated the role of supernatural in the library and were told some very chilly ghost stories by the audience.
The whole event was rounded off by a quiz. Not to put to fine a point on it my team, Ramsay, Skelton and Brown, roundly beat Brookmyre, Veste and Malone despite Craig, as the chair, docking us points for various infringements he even knocked off a point when I gave him a tenner. The weekend finished on a high with the quiz. We all mingled with the audience afterwards and gauging by the number of requests for it all to happen again next year I feel that something good has been born. Summing up the weekend is easy. Great line up.
A message from Denise Minah and I was asked to attend a small soiree with a visiting crowd of U. What I got was a lovely evening talking books with the visitors, catching up with fellow authors and taking a break from the real world. I remember, after a few pints, saying that I quite fancied joining the Bloody Scotland team on the Caledonia Challenge. A few tweets later and I was signed up. Then, being male, I read little on the subject. A few weeks before the walk a dribble of nervousness began to seep into my ignorance. My fellow walkers, two in particular, were posting photos of their training.
Even so, as I sipped a cocktail on the beach in Spain, I still held out hopes that all would be well. So how hard could it be? The hills I had been telling everyone about, now looked like mountains. We set of at a hell of a pace and, with some forty three teams involved, the masses at the start soon began to thin out.
- THE FRENCH REVOLUTION!
- Moby Dick; Or the Whale, by Herman Melville.
- Navigation menu!
- This Side of the Grave.
- How to Find That Book You've Spent Years Looking For.
We reached Kinlochleven, the half way checkpoint, in a little over four hours. Lunch was curry and rice. We were in no rush to leave the checkpoint.
Feet up and a cup of tea was the order of the moment. We even considered a cone from the ice cream van that sat outside. By half way up the thing the fun part of the event was vanishing into the mist around us. The midges descended, forcing us into midge hats I had a very fetching midge suit — but sadly no photo of me in it. The team began to split. Craig and myself drifted to the back. Craig was suffering with his feet but showed no sign at all of giving in — quite the opposite — head down he was determined to finish. The walk had one last sting in the tail. At a guess it looked a few miles off — the reality was a three times this — or maybe it just felt that way.
By now, through the wonders of modern technology, we knew that our team mates had finished. Craig and I were about half an hour behind. Craig sucked it up and we ground out the last stretch. And, just to add sauce to the whole thing, the final half mile was up hill. When we crossed the finish line we discovered that the others had used the intervening half an hour to decompress, change socks, tops, feet etc — Craig and I by-passed this, walked another hundred yards up to the cafe, and ordered beer.
Us at the cafe after finishing. We did the whole thing in 8 hours 47 minutes — that placed us 7th out of the Not bad especially given the extended lunch break we indulged in. As we sipped at the alcohol there was a short very short conversation on the merits of entering the longer walk next year 54 miles. This ended when we looked at the electronic score board. It would seem that some madman had just finished the 54 in a little over nine hours. Some of us spent that night in Fort William eating curry, ignoring the football and groaning every time we stood up to get a round in. If you fancy donating to a good charitable cause click on the link.
Also there is a small message from the team. Thursday July 14 — Blackwells, Edinburgh. Omnimystery News. Cannon fire woke Trent. In itself, an unusual occurrence in the annals of Glasgow history. Not the cannon fire. He had a reputation for sleeping like a corpse. Famously, once falling asleep leaning against the speakers of the loudest night club in Scotland.
Trent could, and would, take to dreamland with the sort of ease that suggested a serious, undiagnosed medical complaint. He needed a minimum of fourteen hours sleep on an average day. His record for an uninterrupted snooze was twelve minutes short of twenty-four hours. Trent despised those twelve minutes. He wanted to claim a full day. His partner of the last three years was witness to the shortfall. She had seen him fall asleep as the credits had rolled on Coronation Street. He had risen from the sofa, the following evening, just after the break in River Monsters.
Failing to make the twenty-four. Trent slid from his bed with the enthusiasm of an oil man forced to drive an electric car. Only that dust was falling on his head and one of the panes of glass in his window seemed to be missing. There also seemed to be an abundance of car alarms in play. A new feature that saved him the bother of picking the thing up. The phone pinged. He shouted again. The phone thought about if for a few seconds. Time to be asleep. I think. The second cannon shot was more accurate.
Taking out the lintel. Mrs Lorimer would require sedating. His first coherent thought was that a terrorist bomb had gone off. Not as far from the truth in reality. As to why a terrorist would target a tenement on the south side of Glasgow was no longer a question of note. Trent had read about too many terrorist attacks in too many random places to think this was off the mark. His real problem was what to do in such a situation. He had issues even when he woke up at his own pace. Accelerated ejection came with its own set of problems.
Not least, that he was dying for a piss. The fright from the cannon ball rendered this problem mute. Replacing it with a new imperative — the need for a fresh pair of boxers sooner, rather than later. The tenement flat was of Victorian build. The ceiling still the lathe and plaster construction of the late nineteenth century. A technique that could, and had, survived the decades but, when breached, tended to bring the entire ceiling down. One slab caught Trent on the back of his head. Pole axed, he fell to the floor.
It took a while for the third assault. Reloading a cannon is a slow process. It was also one that the gunner had not expected to undertake. Cannon balls in the movies would rip holes in castle walls that allowed armies to flow in through the gap created. Boats would sink with a single shot. The first shot had fallen somewhat short of the first floor window it was supposed to enter. A lack of any real practice was to blame. The Internet had been very informative on how to fire the thing; it had also made it look very easy.
The YouTube video had demonstrated the power of the single ball. A young man, dressed in a U. Civil War uniform, took out the side of an old railway shed with the minimum of effort. Even the required ingredients for the cannon had been easy to obtain. But, no one had come knocking at his door when the delivery man had appeared with a small box of explosives, primer and fuse. The canon had been more problematic.
The gunner knew where to lay his hands on one. He also knew that the ball would have to be a certain size, the firing kit a certain make up. The cannon he had in mind was a working model. Every year it was used in Pollok Park to mark the anniversary of something or other. The blaze of fire and smoke from its mouth told the gunner all he needed to know. It worked. Stealing it was a touch more complex than the gunner was prepared for.
For starters it was stored at the back of Pollok House, an imposing stately home with an industrial set of doors guarding its cellar. The tyre tracks would take a few months to vanish completely from the pristine lawn. The original plan to lump it into the back of the Land Cruiser went out the window in seconds. Fortunately, the cannon was on a trailer. As to how they had not been stopped on the short journey to the tenement was down to a fight in a nearby pub that required the full attention of the local constabulary. By morning there would be a slew of photos on Facebook and Twitter.
Mostly of the devastation, but a few came from people who had caught site of the Toyota and cannon combo. In one photo Chas was waving at the camera. The reason for the shortfall on the initial shot was a failure to properly secure the canon. The barrel depressed as the fuse was lit. The carnage was still quite impressive.
Sanjay, thankfully had been in bed. The second shot was a beauty. An accidental beauty. A wonderful, heat seeking beauty. The sort of three hundred and fifty yard, curving drive off the first tee, beauty. Chas had his phone on video. He caught the shot like a pro. He uploaded it before the third cannon ball was loaded. The third shot was a resounding disaster. Bathed in the euphoria of the previous shot, the instructions of the Civil War dude were ignored.
The over loading of charge, shortening of the fuse, lack of wadding and ill placed cannon ball added up to an internal cocktail that the cannon could not survive. They were spared, due to a flaw in the cannon makers art some two centuries before, when, through an overindulgence in the local brew the blacksmith had screwed up the casting of the cannon, and imbued a slight flaw on the left hand side.
The gunner and Chas were standing on the right when the cannon exploded. Ten streets away, the revellers at a party, on the top floor of set of new apartments, witnessed the mushroom shaped cloud of the cannon exploding. Again, the talk of a terrorist attack was raised.
A sign of the times. The police arrived. As did the fire brigade. As did an ambulance. As did an army vehicle. The latter called in by a retired SAS sergeant who lived in the next block. He had been the first to pick up the phone when he had seen the nutters unloading a cannon. The gunner and Chas, both unconscious, were taken to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital for treatment.
Cannon wounds were a new one for the staff. The police were left dumfounded. Firstly, be the sheer stupidity of the actions. Secondly by the fact it was even possible to steal, load and fire a cannon. Lastly, as to the why? With the victim and the accused all out of action, it was left to speculation as to what the hell had gone down. The truth would emerge in fits and starts. When it did, it did little to dampen the madness of the whole incident.
Trent, a man in a full time relationship, had strayed from the path of fidelity. One night, full to the gills, he had propositioned and won over a young lady in a night club. The resultant dalliance in the back lane had been quick and dirty. The gunner, better known as Dave, had known the young lady. In fact, he was of the impression he was the only man in her life. Her name was Diane. Dave, through Chas, through a mutual contact, discovered Trent and Diane had been taking the night air together. Dave, and the term is an old one but a good one, went Radio Rental.
To his credit he did not knee jerk into action. He planned the revenge. Considering the options. When he had visited Pollok Park a few days later the sight of the canon sparked inspiration. He knew what he had to do. It was the perfect way to make his point. Great to be on tour with Neil, Douglas and Mark. Looking forward to the banter, insults and general chaos that this promises. It behoves me to say a few words about the U.
Most of this is down to an evolution of writing style over the last few years. Some of it is down to re reading the original and spotting some areas for improvement. A little is down to me fixing things that I missed the first time round. Eric said no. A firm no. And all the better for it in my opinion. Ok so a few phrases may cause some to make a quick dash through Google. But I hope not. Where I saw language as being an issue I re read the surrounding text to see if the context aided.
Now and again there are examples that might still cause a little head scratching. Every one has a different approach, but all of them have a laser focus on squeezing the best possible read onto the page. All of this is down to bringing character and plot to life. My book is set in Glasgow. Without a does of Glaswegian my characters would have been lifeless. So have a read. Big day for me today. Falling is launched in the United States. Some of my colleagues in the U. Just cool. AI for Falling in the US. The pre order links for Falling are now live — pass onto anyone in the U.
New life, and reproduction! Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. Now the whole concept of nature is based on that very concept. Everybody, both Jew and Gentile are under the curse of sin and death. Consequently, we find in verse There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. You know I was looking at some of our old programs while we were dubbing them, and I suppose some of these statements shock people.
After they had sinned and had sewed their fig leaves, and they knew God was coming down the path - did they run to meet Him? But rather, what did they do? They hid. For every one that doeth evil anything contrary to the will of God hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
This is the perfect picture. They had sinned, they sewed fig leaves, but were they ready to meet their righteous Lord? So instead of running to meet Him and get right with Him, what did they do? They ran and hid, because their deeds were evil, they had been disobedient, and this is the perfect picture of it. Now come back to Romans and this is just an extension of all of this.
Now reading on in Romans chapter 3, and verse There is none that understandeth,…" Why? Because we are a fallen race, we are bent to sin, because of Adam. Now I think I can now come all the way down to verse 23 here in Romans chapter 3. But in verse 24, we have the great promise. Now stop and think a moment. The bondage that so many people are in with a works-oriented religion.
Now back to the text in Romans Alright I want to stay with this whole concept that "Christ died for us. And remember this is all going back to that verse in Hebrews where "Christ tasted death for everyone. Now verse 7.
See a Problem?
Yeah that could be possible. But for a no good, a reprobate, who would want to die for that kind of a person? We are now in the Book of Hebrews chapter 2, jumping in at verse We finished verse 9 in our last lesson. I have to keep reminding everybody that Hebrews is just like the title implies. It was written primarily to the Hebrew believers, but they were Hebrews that were fighting the pull back into Judaism.
Anyone who has come out of a strict religion, whatever it is, can understand what that is. Because after years and years of being indoctrinated in something and then to suddenly see something better, as Paul constantly calls it in Hebrews, there is always that magnetic pull back to that old belief system. So this is the whole idea of Hebrews. Yes, that which was in the past: Judaism, the Law, the Temple Worship, it was good.
The comparison throughout the book of Hebrews is that Christ is better and higher than the angels. And that one thing and another is better than that which went before. As we have seen in the early chapters and verses, in chapters 1 and 2, the Apostle is showing the epitome of Christ and Who He really is! How that He was the Son, and, how that He was the One Who will one day rule and reign on a new inhabited earth.
That was in verse 5. Now we have been showing in the last couple of verses in chapter 2, how that even though He was the Creator God, He was the Ruler of the universe - for a little while He took His position lower than the angels. In other words, He became man.
This is what we are looking at now in these verses, how God the Creator in the Person of Jesus of Nazareth — the Man, Who has accomplished everything that needed to be accomplished. And in His death, He not only tasted death for us, as believers, but for every human being who has ever lived. We are going to stop with that verse and go back to the first few words "For it became him, You are all acquainted with the little saying "It just " becomes him" to do what he does.
Well, that is exactly what it means here. It " became " God to become the Savior of mankind. He had such a love for those created creatures that He had started there in the Garden of Eden, that the moment that they fell into sin it just "became" Him to express His love for them by setting up a plan of redemption. That plan of redemption included His own suffering and death as a man, but remember, He never lost his Deity. He never stopped being God. Even in the womb, I am convinced that He is God. But, once He planted His feet on the dusty trail of ancient Israel or Palestine, as we many times refer to it, He was a man.
He was the man, Christ Jesus the man from Nazareth. But, as a man, He could pray to God the Father and during those hours leading up to the cross, when He prayed that the Father would strengthen him, that the Father would be with him, those were truly prayers from the man Christ Jesus. So it just "became" God, it was part of His nature, that He would bring about this tremendous plan of Salvation. Even though we are in a nation where there are churches on every corner and Bibles in every home, and radio and television is blaring with people of one sort or another proclaiming whatever they call it, yet how many people ever stop for a moment to consider spiritual things?
So, here we have to be aware then that the very nature of God, it "became" him, "for whom are all things, and by whom are all things. Remember what He is telling the Hebrews that " it became him," the God of creation, the One Who made everything, the One Who holds everything together, it is His! But, "it became him," to love these mortal creatures that He created there in the Garden of Eden. Alright, Colossians chapter 1 verses 15 and He did it for Himself.
Whereas Adam and Eve could have gone on enjoying that blissful state and with the Lord Himself communing with them every day, they disobeyed and sin entered. But we have to constantly remember that even though God was great and powerful, the Omnipotent, the Creator, the Sustainer of the universe, yet He immediately set in motion those tremendous wheels of Redemption. Coming back to verse 10 of Hebrews. It just "became" God. He is the One by Whom everything is held together and by so bringing in this plan of redemption, He is bringing — now watch the word here, He is:.
Well, it means simply that He left Glory, went down and cohabited with these creatures that He intended to save. And, from their place on earth, He is now what? Bringing them with Him to Glory. Do you get the picture? Recently I was reminded of a little anecdote. There was a gentleman who had an ant hill back in the corner of his yard. Periodically, he liked to just go out and watch those ants with all of their activity. One day as he was watching, he noticed that there was one poor little ant trying to get a piece of straw about an inch or so long down into the ant hole.
Of course, it was too wide! That poor little ant could not get that piece of straw down the hole. Well, what happened. The ants all scattered! So again, he stood there in frustration and his neighbor said "What are you doing? They are interesting, but there is one in particular that I want to help. Every time I go down and try to help him, they all scatter. Yet as soon as I back away a little bit, that same little fellow picks up that same piece of straw and frantically tries to get it down into his den.
So, He had to become one of us! When He became one of us, then He was on that playing field where we can understand and we can take hold of all of this. The very God Who "became" to do this, He went down and became part of the human race, so that He could bring them with Him to Glory. Now, the next thought and it is just as good! That, as He brings many sons, which is what Paul says - in fact, I guess we need to compare Scripture with Scripture, so come back with me to Romans.
Because when we use the words "the sons," we want to clarify it from Scripture. Romans chapter 8 verse 14, in order to establish why Paul says here in Hebrews that Christ is bringing sons to glory. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. And if I am not mistaken, the Scottish term barn really originated from the born ones. That family relationship. If we are the born ones then we are heirs!
We become children of God. Now come back to Hebrews chapter 2 verse 10, where we find the love of God that was expressed when He brought about the plan of redemption and salvation for all that He had died for. He became part of the human race. Now this is a whole crux of our salvation message, that the eternal, sovereign, Creator God took on human flesh, submitted himself to the Roman authorities and He suffered and died for us. The captain of our salvation! It is the same Greek word translated in chapter 12 as the author of our salvation.
But here the concept is a file leader. I have to go back and remember some of the western movies where the cavalry were involved. I remember seeing this file of the American cavalry going up this mountain on a narrow ledge, single file. They wound down around the mountain, down to the plains. But, who had to be at the head? A leader! There was a leader up at the head of that long line. Well now, if that can help you a little bit, that is where Christ is! Christ is the "file leader" of all of us, that He came down to earth to purchase their redemption and now he is bringing us to Glory!
Can you just make a beautiful picture of that in your mind? I hope so! Then, being the Pauline man that I am, what does Paul say? Be followers of "me" as I follow the file leader, Christ. Just envision this. I am not a visualization promoter, but, once in a while, as these pictures are drawn in Scripture, it just helps us to get a little glimpse of what he is talking about. I have always said as long as I have been teaching, you cannot find one single earthly illustration that will carry a spiritual illustration all the way to the end. It is impossible.
Why do we have four instead of one? Well, because all four of the Four Gospels look at Christ from a different viewpoint, and one could have never done that. It is the same way with earthly anecdotes. You cannot carry a theme from start to finish in the spiritual realm with an earthly antidote. It is absolutely impossible. But it does help to put several of them together. Look what the Apostle writes.
This angers people, but it is what the Holy Spirit inspired him to write and it is just as appropriate for us today as it was the day he wrote it. For us as believers, the second man up there at the front is who? The Apostle Paul! So Paul is following Christ as He is leading us up that file of believers to Glory. We follow Paul. The reason I always give is that Paul is human like we are.
He had the same temptations, he had the same weaknesses. Consequently, we can identify with something like that. But, remember, when Christ finished that work of redemption, He became the captain, the file leader, of those of us that He is bringing with Him to Glory. The last part of the verse is that our salvation was made perfect through what?
Through suffering. Yes, through suffering. Now where does that begin? Genesis chapter 3. Adam and Eve have just disobeyed. They have plunged the human race into sin and death. All because of the tempter, the devil, Satan. This is the first promise of a line of the redemption from Genesis all the way up through the finished work on the Cross. But did Satan get his licks in? You bet he did! The suffering that Christ would go through in order to crush the head of Satan. So we have this concept all the way up through Scripture that the righteous are going to suffer for their faith.
Paul epitomizes that with the suffering that he went through in order to get the Gospel of salvation to the ends of the Roman Empire. Now back to Romans chapter 8. Paul writes:. Oh, we will suffer in this earthly sojourn, but it is nothing compared to the glory that is awaiting us. Every once in a while, someone will write with a question concerning our eternal state. And, we know that God alone knows how to make things perfect. Because, the Bible is silent. But, we do have to constantly be reminded that we suffer for our faith.
We in the Western world in the last couple of hundred years have known almost nothing of suffering for our faith. There are places in Africa tonight, and in Indonesia, etc. They are suffering inexorably for their faith. Nevertheless, it has been part and parcel of the Christian experience down through the history of Christendom that people have had to suffer for their faith.
He really knew what he was talking about. So he says:. So the suffering of this present time was precipitated by the curse. Since we are living under the curse, we can certainly expect to have a certain amount of suffering. He and his wife had been in a terrible car wreck. He shared the suffering that they had to go through and the surgeries that he still faces. We have had others that suffered inexorably with terminal cancer, yet it is amazing how almost in every instance, when someone like that suffers, a family member was saved shortly thereafter.
Always remember, God has his own purposes. But God has a reason and a purpose for it. Repeating verse We are presently in the book of Hebrews. Years back we started in Genesis and we have been coming up through the Bible, as our title of the program implies, and we have already finished 13 lessons in Hebrews.
Here again we have this whole concept that God does something and we are the recipients, in this case it is sanctification. God sanctified those of us who are His own. We have that same connotation in Romans chapter 3. He can show mercy to whom He will show mercy. You remember that verse 23 is the capstone of the judicial decree as God finds the whole human race guilty.
Just as soon as Adam sinned, God followed it up with what? A plan of redemption. The same way here. He comes to the conclusion that ALL have sinned. Every human being, but He follows it right up with a remedy. Being justified! Just as if we had never sinned! Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood that shed blood of the Cross to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God:" In other words, through His mercy and grace.
Now here is the verse I wanted to come to. Usually in the Person of the Son. The One Who fulfilled it all on our behalf. Do you see the same connotation? Now it is the same here with justification. God is the One Who declares us just! And He is the justifier of those of us who believe and then become justified. Come back to Hebrews chapter 2, once again. Do you know what that is saying? That just as soon as God saves us, justifies us and sanctifies us, we come into the Body of Christ.
And as a member of the Body of Christ, we are all what? Whether we are rich or poor, whether we are black or white, Jew or Gentile, when we become a member of the Body of Christ of which He is the head, then we are all one! You can go into a home of a believer that you have never known before but if they are a true believer, in five minutes you feel like you have known them all your life! Because we have all become one. Now the last portion of the verse is probably, once again that which most people totally miss, where it says:.
Because he has sanctified us. He has made us all one in Christ. So for that cause he Christ is not ashamed to call them brethren,". This is interesting! Jesus was born into the Nation of Israel. So, for all practical purposes, we can say that He was born a Jew. As such, Jesus could refer to the Jews of his day as his brethren.
Never did they call Him brother Jesus. Never did they call Him "our brother. But, He could very well speak of fellow Jews as His brethren, but they would dare not call Him their brother. A good example is in Matthew chapter 25 which is when Christ has set up His Kingdom, still in the future, and He is seated on His throne in Jerusalem. This is at the end of the Tribulation. Actually the Tribulation is over and we have begun the glorious earthly Kingdom. He is separating the lost survivors of the Tribulation from the saved survivors of the Tribulation, in order to determine who can go into the Kingdom.
It is pretty well established that the ones who are believers have become that because of the , Jews who were the evangelists during the Tribulation. We all know that Christ is not on a throne today. But, the day is coming at His Second Coming where he will establish His throne in Jerusalem and all the prophecies made concerning Israel, especially, will be fulfilled. Yes the day is coming when he will be the King of Israel. Here, in these verses, He is on His throne, and He is the King! But there will be a few left, Isaiah says in chapter These few will be a mix of believers and unbelievers, as always.
Christ will bring them before Him in Jerusalem. All this, remember, is to show the term " brethren! Just like a shepherd will divide sheep from goats, Christ is going to separate the lost from all these nations which are Gentiles , from the saved. The saved are likened unto the sheep and the lost unto the goats. King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom the one He is setting up on earth prepared for you from the foundation of the world:" This is what the whole program of God has been working toward.
The day when Christ would return and set up His glorious kingdom promised primarily to the Nation of Israel. Then He says in verse Or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? The , Jews who were commissioned to go out around the planet, during that seven years. We are not the brethren of Christ in the flesh.
Israel was by virtue of His being born into the family of Joseph and Mary. I just wanted you to see how Jesus referred to these Jewish young men, the ,, as His brethren. But we never in Scripture see a Jew of any status calling Him their brother. And that of course, is who we are addressing in the book of Hebrews. Come back to Hebrews then, chapter 2, verse And again, Behold I and the children the born ones which God hath given me.
Remember where it was? John In His high priestly prayer, what did He pray? Again, He is referring to the fact that these Jewish believers were given to Him as a work of God. How that He became flesh, not through a creative act like He made Adam. He could have! Instead, God brought Him about how? Through the virgin Mary, so that He could be identified with the human race and with Israel in particular. So, all of this is just part of the amazing plan of redemption.
We depend on it, but I am afraid that most of us never really stop to think. A word comes to mind. Come back to Ephesians. I can prepare for weeks for these programs and I never use what I prepare. But, anyway, this verse comes to mind and I hope it fits. In Ephesians chapter 3, coming down to verse 8. This is beyond human comprehension. The only little bit that we can get is by faith anyway, but it is just so far beyond us.
There is no way that you and I can contemplate and understand the unfathomable riches and love of Christ. It is beyond us. What little bit we can grasp, yes, we take by faith. To the intent it is not an accident. Everything has its purpose that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the Body of Christ the manifold wisdom of God,".
What does that word manifold mean? If you have a manifold on your engine, what is it? All the different ducts out of which your exhaust flows. Manifold — many! Not just one. If you have an eight cylinder, you are going to have eight. If sixteen cylinder, you will have sixteen. Alright, this is manifold!
By Herman Melville
Now, one more verse before we go back to Hebrews. All of this is:. Who purposed it? God did! Who set the whole thing in motion? Acts chapter 2, jump in at verse I have used it before, quite awhile ago now. But, oh, what a verse! Acts chapter 2 verse 23, this is Peter preaching to the Nation of Israel. He says it in verse 22 — Ye men of Israel! When I taught in Acts, I had somebody write and say I used the word counsel as it was spelled "counc i l.
You know the difference. The counc i l is the group and the couns e l is what comes out of that group. So I was still alright! I still feel I was appropriate, because you see the counc i l would have been the triune God, way back in eternity past. They came together and in that counc i l of the three, the end couns e l was that they would create the universe.
They would put a little planet down at the tip of the Milky Way and on that little planet they would put two people and they would set the whole ball of wax in motion. He left men and nations with total freedom. They sign treaties and they build armies, and Navies and Air Forces and all of that. Total freedom! How did He do it? But, I believe it!
But, here the world is after 6, years, just exactly where this book says it would be. And all determined by that original counc i l of God. Yes it is! It is unsearchable!! Back to Hebrews chapter 2, verse He became flesh. A human. He was totally God. He could still the wind and the waves of Galilee. He could raise a dead Lazarus. Yet, He was totally human. He got hungry! He got tired! He wept! Because the human part of Him sorrowed just like Mary and Martha did. He was totally human. What Hebrews is showing, is that the God Who created everything is also the God Who took on human flesh and became the man from Glory.
The man, Christ Jesus! The man in Glory. So now He also took part of flesh and blood:. In a previous taping, I made mention of the fact that the only way you can get new life is to confront it with death! Death is the only thing that can precipitate new life. I am quite convinced and out of that comes the new life. Well, you see it is the same way with Christ. There was only one way that He could remove death from the human experience. What was it? He had to die. He HAD to die.
He had to overcome death with death. Life is in the blood. So what had to happen? He had to shed it. And so it is His shed blood then that became the very linchpin of our plan of redemption. Now I have one more verse I use quite often. Back up a few pages to Philippians chapter 2, starting at verse 5. Oh, this says it so explicitly.
Paul writes. Who, Christ Jesus being in the form of God, absolutely, He never stopped being God thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7. But as God, He made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, as a result of that determining counc i l back in Acts chapter 2 and became obedient unto death, not just an ordinary death even the death of the cross.
Remember, it had to be a death that could be likened to the serpent in the wilderness, that as it was lifted up, so also must the Son of Man be lifted up. I would like to remind our audience how we appreciate your letters, your prayers and your financial help. It is unbelievable!! We appreciate you so much!! For verily he took not on him that is, Himself the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Now, stop and think for a moment, how easy it would have been for Christ to become the man, the Son of God in the form of an angel, because after all, there are myriads of angels.
And their power, at least in total, is stupendous. He did nothing with regard to angels but instead, set up the man Abraham. And He gave him the covenant that, out of him would come a nation of people and through that nation of people would come this Redeemer, this God Man. So, this is why in programs years back I spent so much time on the Abrahamic Covenant, and those who have been in my classes, you know that.
When we realize that, then we can understand that He did not come through the powers of the angels but through the seed of Abraham. The One Whom we are looking to return in the flesh, bodily, and will yet establish His kingdom on earth. It all really began, so far as Abraham is concerned, in Genesis chapter Those of you who have studied with me for a long time, and on the daily program we just came through it, but the Abrahamic Covenant is so basic to everything that we believe. Genesis 12 verses 1, 2 and 3.
The Abrahamic Covenant. Jehovah is his Old Testament term but it is still God the Son.
THE FRENCH REVOLUTION
It always helps to understand background. You want to remember that from Adam to the flood was 1, years in round terms and the whole human race has rebelled against their Creator, with the exception of Noah and his family for a total of eight souls. Out of those eight souls coming out of the Ark after the flood, the population once again began to explode and we came to the Tower of Babel about two hundred years after the flood. Now the problem with people who think in Biblical time, they think two hundred years as we think of as twenty. Because all you have to do is think back.
How far have we come in America in two hundred years? Two hundred years ago we were just an empty wasteland and look at us today. No, it was still two hundred years and a lot of people came on the scene in that period of time and they are all steeped in idolatry, in false religion.
God now is going to do something totally different. And, he goes down to Ur of the Chaldees and I think God went down in human form. That He "appeared" unto our father Abram. The word appeared is optomai from which we get optometry, which has to do with eyes! So, I feel that the Lord went eyeball to eyeball with this man Abram and said, "I want you to get out of town! I want you to get away from your relatives and get away from all this idolatry, and go to a land that I will show you. Now, that is the background for the call of Abram, out of idolatry.
Out of the mainstream of humanity coming from Adam and now we are going to see a totally different group of people. Alright, verse 2. Here comes the Covenant, this is the promise from God to Abram. But, by the time Israel came out of Egypt with her five to seven million, they were indeed the greatest nation at that time.
In numbers and in power and everything else. So the promise was that out of this man Abram would come a nation of people, totally different from all the rest. But, I did read an interesting one. And, this Jew says "Now Lord is it true that Israel is the favored nation? The chosen people? Of course! Well you can sort of get the idea, because as soon as God let it be known that out of this man is going to come a nation that will be a vehicle for His purposes, who kicks in high gear with opposition?
So that is why you have to understand that all the troubles and tribulations have beset the Jewish people is because Satan knows that without Israel, God cannot accomplish His eternal purposes. So, he is out to destroy them. Right now today, in the year , why is little Israel under such constant attack? Not just from the Palestinians and their neighbors but from the whole world community.
Hey, the world never get on the Palestinians' backs for their terrorism. Well, why? Because if the world, through the Satanic powers, can get little Israel off the scene and as they would like to do, push them into the sea, then the Devil has won it all, and then all the marbles are in his bank. And it all began right here. And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee The last statement:. Out of idolatry shall all families of the earth be blessed. The coming of the Messiah! That the Messiah would come from this earthly bloodline of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and then there was another promise made to David.
Now for sake of time, jump all the way up to the New Testament to Matthew chapter 1, verse 1. This is just background for the verse in Hebrews, that He did not come through angelic power. We know Luke went all the way back to Adam. But, Matthew only goes to Abraham. There is a distinct scriptural reason. Matthew depicts Christ as the King! And, the promise of a King did not show itself until the covenant made with Abraham. So, Matthew is only going to concern himself with the genealogy with the beginning of the coming of the King.
That was the Abrahamic Covenant! Now for sake of comparison, turn to Luke chapter 3 and you can see the other genealogy in verse Whereas, Matthew went back to Abraham and came up to Joseph and Mary. Just a reverse in the layout. Which was the son of Matthat and so forth. Because Matthew uses the son Solomon whereas verse 31 of Luke chapter 3 uses Nathan who was:. So this is a totally different side of the family tree.
Now, why the difference? Well, you see, here the Luke genealogy takes Christ back to his fleshly origin which was his birth to Mary. Matthew is only concerning himself with the Kingship of Christ so he only goes back to the beginning of the promise of the King, which was Abraham. See how beautifully all of Scripture dovetails together? This is Peter preaching to the Nation of Israel. Nothing has changed. Peter, James and John are still performing the same kind of miracles. They are still preaching to the Nation of Israel that they should repent of having crucified their Messiah and Christ would yet come and give them their glorious earthly kingdom.
Look what Peter says then in chapter 3. This is so you will know what I am talking about when I say that he appeals only to the Nation of Israel. Look at verse 12 of Acts chapter 3. They have just healed the lame man. No different than what Christ would have done. There are no Gentiles in that group. But he says, " Ye men of Israel why marvel at this? No Gentile could call Abraham "our father. Acts chapter 3 verses 24 and Peter is still pleading with the Nation, shortly after the resurrection and the ascension. In verse 24 Peter says:. Then the minor prophets, i. Zechariah as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.
Well, of course! Because what were the prophets talking about? And yet in veiled language was His rejection. In even further veiled language, in Psalms 22 was his burial and resurrection. Then the language was that He would ascend Psalms We looked at it after we started Hebrews, Psalms verse 1.
Where " the Lord said to my Lord, come sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool. What was the "until? So this is all the Old Testament prophecy, how that Christ would come, and, how that He would suffer and die, but be raised from the dead. And yet bring the Kingdom to Israel. This is what Peter is standing on!
All the Old Testament Prophets have foretold of these days. What are these days? His earthly ministry, His crucifixion, His burial, His resurrection, His ascension, and all right there bunched together. You are the children and of the covenant which God made with whom? I hope you can see that. And as soon as Jacob takes the forefront, He repeats it to Jacob.
Then the prophets begin to rest on all those Covenant promises. Peter is reminding Israel that YOU are the children of all the prophetic writings. You are the children of the covenant. And in thy seed the seed of Abraham. Who is the seed of Abraham? The JEW! The Nation of Israel. But, Who was the crowning seed of Abraham? Jesus of Nazareth!! The Christ!! And, in that way, you and I then benefit from all the things promised to the Nation of Israel. It is just like the New Covenant. A lot of people try to maintain that we are under the New Covenant. I just scream in opposition.
But, now here in the Church Age, what are we getting? We are getting those crumbs falling off the table as the Canaanite woman begged for, we are getting the spillover. But, because of what God did for Israel, we are cashing in on the overflow. But, instead He took upon Himself the seed of Abraham. He came as a Jew, and lived as a Jew. He lived under the Law, as a Jew. So, all of those promises made to the Nation of Israel will yet one day be fulfilled, or you can just as well throw this book away.
If Israel is not yet at the very core of everything that God is doing — throw it away!! Why is the little nation of less than three million people, with no more land area than our state of New Jersey, in the news every day? I always have to think of the poor little island kingdom of Sri Lanka which used to be Ceylon. They have been under civil war for years. They are probably several times bigger than Israel. Do you ever see Sri Lanka in the news? Why not? Because they are nothing as far as the world is concerned. But, there is Israel. Right in the middle of everything.
That is as it should be! A verse comes to mind. Go to Deuteronomy I used this in one of my classes this last week. Look what it says. Plain language! You can just take it for what it says! Do you believe it? You had better! So, who is at the hub of the vast wheel of humanity? I will repeat it. But there have been hundreds of things that they have voted on regarding the little Nation of Israel.
Even today, the world in general is coming down on the little Nation of Israel. As if to say, well, just let the rest of the world take over.
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Just swim out into the Mediterranean and disappear and let everybody else have their own way. God will NOT have it! Because He has decreed that at the core of all of His dealings with the nations is this little Nation of Israel. On your way back to Hebrews stop at Jeremiah chapter 31 verse When you read the paper tomorrow, you just remember what you heard here today.
If this is not true then we might as well throw the Book away and go home and forget it. But, it IS true. The universe is expanding. Nobody can determine the edge of the universe and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD. But it will never happen. And God has promised, that even though they are guilty of iniquity, yet God has promised "my mercy shall never depart from them.
He became not just a man but He became a Jew. He lived under the Law. He went to the synagogue on the sabbath day just like any other Jew, and He kept the Law. Oh, a lot of times they accused Him of not keeping it, but nevertheless, He kept the Law in all of its purity as a Jew.