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Ezekiel 18:4 – What the Bible teaches about Soul and Spirit

This brief text expresses a simple truth. Souls die. Against the speculations of some that there is something within a man, a “soul,” which remains alive after death, lingering as a disembodied spirit, the scriptures affirm to the contrary. Death is what it seems to be — death.

When a dog dies, what happens to the dog? It stops breathing, its body decays and returns to the elements. Thought and consciousness immediately terminate. There is no more dog. It does not go to some place prepared for old dogs, to chew bones in bliss, for there simply is no more dog. It is dead, it is gone, it is no more.

Death is the same for human beings. Death is the cessation of life. Psalm 146:4 describes what happens when a man dies.

“His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.”

“That which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other … they have all one breath … all go unto one place, all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. (Ecclesiastes 3:19, 20).

The Resurrection

However, unlike the animals, man has the hope of a resurrection from the dead. Animals were made to live for a limited period of time, procreate, age, and pass away as part of the cycle of nature. But man, the height of God’s physical creation, was created with the capacity to live forever. They appreciate life, plan for the future, and cherish the hope for continued life. Accordingly, the prospect of living forever was offered to Adam in the Garden of Eden, by God who created him.

This offer was contingent upon obedience, a test which Adam and Eve failed. But even after being expelled from the Garden, so robust was the human frame that Adam lived 930 years before death claimed his life (Genesis 5:5). Almost 4000 years after Adam sinned, Jesus died as a ransom for father Adam (1 Timothy 2:6), which allows Adam and his posterity a release from the death penalty — in other words, a resurrection from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:22). For the world, this will come during the Millennium so near at hand.

In the meantime, where are all the dead of past ages? They are simply dead. They silently await the resurrection, when they will be reconstituted as the persons they were before they died, to learn the lessons God has for them during the Kingdom on earth.

What is a Soul?

From our opening text, it is apparent that souls do die. The expression immortal soul,sometimes used among Christians, is not found in the Bible.

A soul is a living being, whether animal or human, and neither animals nor humans are immortal.

The Hebrew word for soul is nephesh, word number 5315 in Strong’s Concordance, which gives this definition: “A breathing creature, i.e. animal or (abstractly) vitality; used very widely in a literal, accommodated or figurative sense.”

Genesis 2:7 uses the word “soul” for Adam.

“The LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

Here the word nephesh, or soul, is defined as a living being, a body combined with the breathe of life. Thus we learn, that man does not possess a soul, but that he IS a soul, which means simply that man, when alive, is a living being.” Adam subsequently died, and he with all the others silently awaits the resurrection.

Animals as Souls

The “breath of life” which animates the human organism is no different than the breath of life given to the lower animals. In reference to the “beasts and every creeping thing” which perished in the Flood, we read,

“All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died” (Genesis 7:21,22).

Ecclesiastes 3:19-21 informs us that both man and beast

“have all one breath, so that a man hath no pre-eminence above a beast.”

As Strong’s Concordance notes, animals are also souls — living beings. However, in the common English version this is hidden by the translation, which confuses the subject to many readers. When the word nephesh, soul, refers to an animal, the translators rendered it with some other word, such as creature or beast.

For example, Genesis 1:20 says

“let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature [nephesh, soul]…”

Verse 21, God created great whales, and every living creature [nephesh, soul] that moveth…”

Verse 24, “And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature [nephesh, soul] after his kind, cattle, and creeping things, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.”

Here are other texts of the same sort: Genesis 1:30, 2:14, 9:3, 4, 9, 10, 12, 18. And Isaiah 19:10,

“… all that make sluices and ponds for fish [nephesh, souls].

This method of translating hides the fact that animals are souls. Were this fact more open and apparent, it would assist people to recognize that souls are not immortal, for no one supposes that animals are in any sense immortal.

Only once in the Old Testament did the translators render the word nephesh “soul” when it applied to animals, namely Numbers 31:28, where the word applies at one time both to people and animals: “one soul of five hundred, both of the persons, and of the beeves, and of the asses, and of the sheep.”

The Difference Between the Human Soul and the Animal Soul

The difference between the soul of a human and an animal is in the construction of the organism, particularly in the formation of the brain. Although some organisms of some of the lower animals may seem to be superior to man’s (such as a dog’s keen sense of smell and hearing and an eagle’s eyesight), God in his great wisdom created man in his own image, thus giving man the ability to reason, and to have a moral sense of right and wrong — possessing a conscience (1 John 3:20-22). Man has the ability to love and obey Jehovah-God as well as to love (agape) his enemies or those who do or wish him wrong through, striving to see all things through the eyes of their Bridegroom — Christ Jesus. He died as a “ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:6) because of his great love of the Heavenly Father — stemming from a love for righteousness which comes from a knowledge, understanding and experience of the results of obeying the Heavenly Father, which permits the highest and purest form of joy to be felt, that joy that is felt through the eyes of faith, that joy that our Lord Jesus had in bringing the Heavenly Father joy, as reflected in his words:

“My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work” (John 4:34, ESV).

Other Hidden References

There are other important places where the translators also obscured the use of nephesh.

“There were certain men, who were defiled by the dead body [nephesh, soul] of a man … those men said unto him, We are defiled by the dead body [nephesh, soul] of a man … If any man of you or of your posterity shall be unclean by reason of a dead body [nephesh, soul] …” (Numbers 9:6, 7, 10).

If the translation use “soul” in these places, it would be apparent to the reader that souls simply die. When Samson toppled the house of Dagon, he prayed to God:

“Let me [my nephesh, soul] die with the Philistines” (Judges 16:30).

Expanded Use

The texts above give us the proper meaning of the word soul, namely any living being. However, Strong’s Concordance shows that nephesh is sometimes used figuratively for one’s life, being, or vitality. Here are two examples of this.

(1) When Rachel was dying at the birth of Benjamin, Genesis 35:18 says

“As her soul was in departing (for she died) … she called his name Benomi: but his father called him Benjamin.”

(2) 1 Kings 17:21, speaking of the raisin of a young boy by Elijah, says he cried to God

“let this child’s soul come into him again.”

In both of these cases the word “life” or “being” is the meaning intended.

Sometimes the word is used of one’s deepest thoughts or feelings, distinguished from the mere body. Thus 2 Kings 4:27 says of a troubled woman,

“her soul is vexed in her.”

Language is flexible, and the word nephesh is used flexibly. But none of these cases are any predicate for believing some conscious force called “soul” mysteriously lingers after death. Death is death. It is the cessation of life.

Soul in the New Testament

The New Testament Greek word for soul is psuche. Whenever the word “soul” appears in the common English version of the New Testament, it is from this word (Strong’s number 5590).

1 Corinthians 15:45 uses psuche as the counterpart of the Hebrew nephesh, which serves to equate the two words.

“The first man Adam was made a living soul [psuche].”

This expression clearly draws from Genesis 2:7, where nephesh is used. This word is frequently rendered life.

“Whosoever will save his life shall lose it” (Mark 8:35).

“I lay down my life (John 10:17).

“They seek my life (Romans 11:3),

and many other examples. In these cases “life” refers to the being, the person. The same meaning attaches when the word is rendered “soul,” as in Acts 2:43,

“fear came upon every soul” — every person, or being.

Revelation 8:9 and 16:3 apply the word to sea creatures. Revelation 6:9 and 20:4 use the term metaphorically of the spent life of the saints, awaiting the resurrection. John 12:27 says of Jesus

“now is my soul troubled.”

Thus there is a breadth in this Greek word that matches the breadth of its Hebrew counterpart.

In the Old Testament the condition of death is expressed by the Hebrew sheol, and its Greek counterpart in the New Testament is hades. This was the condition into which Jesus’ “soul,” psuche, passed for three days until his resurrection, for a soul, psuche, dies and is later raised from the dead.

The Soul Is Not Immortal

If the soul were truly immortal, the soul would be indestructible, yet it is not, because each human born under the curse of Adamic condemnation, dies until the curse shall be lifted up from humanity once Christ’s ransom price has been applied to all mankind. By then the Bride of Christ will have completed their share in the sin offering — and the antityical “atonement day” sin offering thus completed. The High Priest in Leviticus 16 made atonement for  himself, his sons, and then, finally, for the sins of the people (the world of mankind). God warned Adam that if he disobeyed God’s rule, then as a living soul Adam would cease to exist. We read about this in Genesis 2:17,

“but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

In Ezekiel 18:4 God said,

“Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth it shall die.”

This means that the person who sins shall die, and since all are born in sin, the entire human race has been dying for nearly 6000 years. Here are two examples of Scriptures about death being the consequence of sin:

“So death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12, NASV).

Every soul [person] sins and, as a consequence, every soul dies (Romans 6:16,23).

But God in his great love provided redemption from death for all sinful souls, or persons, through the gift of his beloved Son, Christ Jesus, who died as a corresponding ransom price to free mankind from the prison house of death. All of Adam’s progeny lost life through Adamic transgression and thus have inherited sin and imperfection. The Apostle Paul wrote that

“in Adam all die,”

adding to this,

“even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

And again,

“Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:21,22).

The Prophet Isaiah wrote that Christ’s “soul” was made an offering for sin, and also that he

“poured out his soul unto death” (Isaiah 53:10,12).

John 3:16 says,

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Adam and all past generations of his children have fallen asleep in death, but they have not “perished,” because through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, and by the exercise of divine power, they are to be awakened in the resurrection and given an opportunity to believe. Then, upon the basis of their belief and obedience, they may live forever.

Those called to discipleship in the present life are given an opportunity to inherit eternal life by accepting Jesus as their personal Redeemer and responding to the invitation to take up their cross and follow him, gladly lay down their lives with him, and be planted together in the likeness of his death (Roman 6:3-6). These are referred to in Revelation 20:4 as the “souls” which are

“beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the Word of God.”

The Apostle Paul wrote,

“If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished” (1 Corinthians 15:17,18).

Thus, Paul speaks of Christians who die as merely being “asleep,” and not in any sense perishing in death.

Genesis 12:11-13 (NASB) says Abraham was afraid that his soul would not live, and thus, that he would die.

“It came about when he [Abram] came near to Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, See now, I know that you are a beautiful woman; and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, This is his wife; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. Please say that you are my sister so that it may go well with me because of you, and that I (“my soul,” nephesh) may live on account of you.” If the Hebrew word nephesh meant an indestructible immortal soul, Abram’s soul could not have died (Br. Peter Karavas, 2011).

Jesus emphasized this same important truth in an admonition to his disciples to meet courageously any and all opposition against them and any persecuted unto death, saying,

“Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell [Gehenna]” (Matthew 10:28).

Jesus here refers to the possibility of permanent cessation of life by God for the incorrigible, which the Bible terms as “second death.”

“This does not imply that the soul can live apart from the body, for actually the body is the organism of the soul. Rather, Jesus is speaking from the standpoint of the divine plan to awaken the dead in the resurrection. It was from this standpoint that Paul could say that Christians who fell asleep in death had not ‘perished.’ If an enemy puts a Christian to death, he has not perished as a soul. The body dies, but the person, the soul, merely ‘sleeps’ until the resurrection. But if a Christian becomes a willful sinner and is not worthy of a resurrection, then death means extinction of that person, or soul, forever.

“Jesus explained this from another standpoint, as recorded in Luke 20:37,38

Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.’

Jesus did not say that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had gone to heaven to live with God. He simply explained that because there is to be a resurrection of the dead, and these faithful servants will be restored to life, God does not consider them as having gone out of existence — they ‘live unto him,’ or, to him they are alive.

“So it is with all God’s faithful servants of the past. They may have been ‘sawn asunder’ by their enemies; they may have been thrown to the lions, or beheaded, or burned at the stake, but to God they still live, they have not ‘perished,’ for he has the power and will use that power to awaken them from the sleep of death.

“The ‘souls’ which are ‘beheaded,’ as mentioned in Revelation 20:4, are brought forth in the ‘first resurrection’ to live and reign with Christ a thousand years. The ‘souls’ that died serving God during the ages preceding Jesus’ first advent will come forth to a ‘better resurrection,’ to serve as ‘princes in all the earth’ Hebrews 11:35; Psalm 45:16” (The Dawn – and Herald of Christ’s Kingdom Magazine, January 1959 issue).

Lazarus – An Example that the Soul is not immortal

In John 11:11 Jesus said “Lazarus sleepeth.” Lazarus was dead for four days (John 11:39). Surely Jesus would not have retrieved Lazarus from the bliss of heaven. For those four days Lazarus did not go anywhere, nor did he see anyone, nor did he speak, eat, feel, or think. He was simply dead. When he was raised to life he began again to do all those things. In this respect the whole world sleeps in death, waiting for the resurrection — unaware of what is transpiring in the meantime, because the dead do not sense, feel or think anything.

“The living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing” (Ecclesiastes 9:5).

“There is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

In John 5:28,29 Jesus said that the hour is coming when all in their graves will come forth. If their souls were already in heaven, then there would be no need for Jesus to say that he would bring them forth from the grave? If physical bodies were needed in heaven, how have these presumably immortal souls survived without them? Scripture also tells us that

“flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable” (1 Corinthians 15:50).

Seeking After Immortality

The Bible never equates immortality with the soul of common man, only with the saints, and then only as a gift for faithfulness (Romans 2:7, 1 Corinthians 15:53-54). The sleeping, unconscious dead will one day be awakened from their graves (John 5:28,29; Job 14:11-15; Psalm 17:15; Acts 24:15,16). At that time,

‘the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea’ (Isaiah 11:9).

‘Many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths’ (Micah 4:2).

In God’s kingdom on earth, mankind will be raised from the dead and have their first real opportunity to learn God’s ways of righteousness because Satan will be bound and will no longer be able to deceive the world (Revelation 20:3) (Br. Peter Karavas, 2011).

The Dead Raised To Life In the Resurrection Age

“Possibly the spirit that returns to God contains the unique ‘data’ of each individual can be compared to computer information on a removable disk. The resurrection of an individual could be a recreation after the pattern of Adam. The original body had passed to dust so a new one, either spiritual or fleshly, would be created. The individual again comes to life when the (unique?) spirit is returned to the body and he becomes a living soul again. Whatever the exact process is, we know the resurrected fleshly body will be in its intended perfected state. Job intimates that the flesh will be fresher than a child’s and will have the beauty and vitality of youth (Job 33:25)” (Robert Davis, The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom article.)

Spirit

The word “spirit” in the Old Testament is usually from the Hebrew ruach, and in the New Testament it is usually from the Greek pneuma. Both terms refer to breath, inhalation, or the movement of air, whether gentle or forceful. But as these are invisible forces, the words are applied by extension to the “spirit” of a person which is the invisible mental force, personality, influence, or disposition of a person.

Thus the Old Testament uses ruach when speaking of the “spirit” of Jacob, Elijah, Cyrus, Zerubbabel, Joshua, God, and others. The New Testament uses pneuma when speaking of the “spirit” of Paul, Christ, and God.

These words are also used to describe the influence of various non-personal but good “spirits” — the spirit of Truth, Holiness, Life, Faith, Wisdom, Grace and Glory and of an opposite spirit of Jealousy, Judgment, Burning, Heaviness, Infirmity, Divination, Bondage, Slumber, Fear and Error.

Ruach also refers to the “spirit of life” which we receive from God, which figuratively “returns” to him when we die.

“Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7).

This does not imply a transport of persons. It applies to the motivating force of life, of both good and bad people alike.

Both words sometimes refer to the essence of a person, that is, their identity, character, personality. In this sense Jesus commended his “spirit” to God when he died, which was restored on the third day when God raised Jesus from the dead (Luke 23:46, Psalms 31:5).

In this sense also Paul speaks of the “spirits of just men,” the faithful Ancient Worthies of the Old Testament, who were matured by the things they suffered, and await their resurrection reward in the Kingdom (Hebrews 12:23, 11:40).

None of these cases teach that any conscious entity persists after the death of a person, except metaphorically, in the memory of God. Not until the resurrection does a person who has died live again as a conscious, sentient being. The great hope for the world lies in such a Resurrection from the Dead.

“There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust” (Acts 24:15).

“The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth” (John 5:28,29).

This assurance was secured for us at great cost, both by God who gave His dearest treasure, his son Jesus, and by Jesus who labored in his ministry for 3 ½ years, suffered accusation from the religious leaders of his day, and died for our sins on the cross.

“Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust … [to] bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh” (1 Peter 3:18). “By man [Adam] came death, by man [Jesus] came also the resurrection of the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:21).

For the saints of the Gospel Age, this resurrection occurs during the present “Harvest” period. For the remainder of the world, the resurrection will occur during the coming Millennium.

Do Angels Have a Soul?

As with human being, angels are souls, for they are the union of the spirit of life, together with a body, in this case a spiritual body.

“The first man Adam was made a living soul…” (1 Corinthians 15:45).

It would be the same with the angelic hosts, but on a higher scale.

“There are also celestial bodies … but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another” (1 Corinthians 15:40).

——-

Acknowledgment & References

We are thankful for the permission of sharing content from a study titled “Soul and Spirit,” drawn from a study by Br. Gilbert Rice, featured in the “Faithbuilders Fellowship” Journal.
http://www.2043ad.com/journal/2006/01_jan_06.pdf

“Immortality and the Human Soul,” The Bible versus Tradition—Article IV, April 1959 in The Dawn – A Herald of Christ’s Presence (Monthly Magazine) Rutherford, NJ, USA.
http://www.dawnbible.com/1959/5904tbs1.htm

“Immortality of the Soul” by Br. Peter Karavas. The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom Magazine, May-June 2011.
http://www.heraldmag.org/2011/11mj_3.htm

“The Resurrection of the Dead” by Br. Robert Davis. The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom.
http://www.heraldmag.org/literature/doc_14.htm

Suggested Further Reading

Volume 5 of “Studies in the Scriptures” — “The Atonement Between God and Man” by Br. Charles Taze Russell, pages 383-404, Study 13, “Hopes For Life Everlasting and Immortality Secured by the Atonement.”

“What Is the Soul?” by Br. Robert Seklemian
http://www.heraldmag.org/olb/contents/treatises/seklemians%20discourses.htm

ACTS 23:6 — HOPE & RESURRECTION. Part A: What Is Jesus All About?https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/11/03/acts-236-hope-resurrection-part-a-what-is-jesus-all-about/

ACTS 23:6 — HOPE & RESURRECTION. Part B: Will Mankind Resurrect With the Same Mind?
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/11/05/acts-236-hope-resurrection-part-b-will-mankind-resurrect-with-the-same-mind/

ACTS 23:6 — HOPE & RESURRECTION. Part C: The Order of the Resurrection Process
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/11/11/acts-236-hope-resurrection-part-c-the-order-of-the-resurrection-process/

This post’s URL:
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2018/07/14/ezekiel-184-what-the-bible-teaches-about-soul-and-spirit/

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Preceding articles

Matthew 11:20-24 Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities 5 Reproached Cities a Lesson for Judgment Day

Matthew 12:38-42 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Signs in Jonah and the Queen of the South

The Acts Of The Sent Ones Chapter 2

 

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Additional reading

  1. Concerning Man
  2. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 3
  3. Creation of the earth and man #9 Formation of man #1 Cure of souls
  4. Creation of the earth and man #10 Formation of man #2 Mortal bodies and Tartarian habitation
  5. Creation of the earth and man #12 Formation of man #4 Constitution of man
  6. Creation of the earth and man #14 Formation of man #6 The Uncreated One, neshemet ruach chayim and nephesh
  7. An openingschapter explaining why things are like they are and why we may have hope for better things
  8. Bereshith 3 Fall of man
  9. The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #4 The Fall
  10. The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #5 Temptation, assault and curse
  11. The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #8 Looking for the 2nd Adam
  12. What is life?
  13. Death
  14. Grave, tomb, sepulchre – graf, begraafplaats, rustplaats, sepulcrum
  15. Today’s thought “Death by being taken captive” (May 15)
  16. Is there an Immortal soul
  17. The Soul not a ghost
  18. The Soul confronted with Death
  19. What happens when we die?
  20. Decomposition, decay – vergaan, afsterven, ontbinding
  21. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #1 Intro
  22. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #2 Psyche, the word
  23. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #3 Historical background
  24. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #4 Psyche, According to the Holy Scriptures
  25. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #5 Mortality of man and mortality of the spirit
  26. People Seeking for God 5 Bread of life
  27. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #6 Summary
  28. Sheol, Sheool, Sjeool, Hades, Hell, Grave, Tomb, Sepulchre
  29. Science, belief, denial and visibility 1
  30. Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual
  31. A Ransom for all 1 Eternal tormentAll Souls’ DayI Can’t Believe That (1) … God would send anyone to hell

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Is it true that all Non-Christians today will go to hell

Related

  1. What is the human soul?
  2. On Plotinus and immortality
  3. The dreams of the Manichees and of Servetus, as to the origin of the soul, refuted
  4. It were vain to seek a definition of the soul from philosophers, not one of whom, with the exception of Plato, distinctly maintained its immortality
  5. Duty of Preparing for the Future World: Immortality and Separate State of the Soul: Book Eight- Chapter 1
  6. There are in the souls of wicked men those hellish principles reigning, that would presently kindle and flame out into hell fire, if it were not for God’s restraints
  7. This light is such as effectually influences the inclination, and changes the nature of the soul
  8. Is the human soul mortal or immortal?
  9. Immortal Soul
  10. River myths and the soul
  11. Secret Principles of Immortality, Edition 25
  12. All Soul’s Day, All Saint’s Day, and Day of the Dead
  13. Are there degrees of punishment in hell?
  14. J. W. Hanson on Gehenna
  15. There Is No Hell, Look It Up
  16. Are Near Death Experiences or Out of Body Experiences Biblical?
  17. Fantastic Article Proving that Hell = Complete Annihilation, Not Eternal Torment

Man enticed to long for more

From the onset of times the human beings showed the want for more. The woman was enticed by what God asked her not to touch.

Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden

Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the first man and mannin the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, in the middle of the Garden of Eden, looked so attractive because they knew it could give something they had  not yet. They too wanted to have knowledge of good and evil like their Creator had. They longed for having as much knowledge and power as their Divine Maker had. This is their greed, because they had everything what a man needs. Everything was provide for by the Most Highest.

Though the thoughts of the man and mannin, Adam and Eve, was preoccupied with gain. They thought it could well be that God hold something hidden for them, which they too could use. As such they did not trust God and showed how they wanted to come on the same level as Him and that they wanted ore than He had given them.

The giving in to the temptation (the nachash) was bringing them to mutiny, revolting against their Divine Maker.

It is that revolt against the Divine Creator that still bothers mankind today. Today also the preoccupation with material things rather than intellectual or spiritual things brings people further away from God. Having received the knowledge of good and evil each individual should know what is good and what is bad. People who have come to the Christian faith for sure should know that when they are preoccupied with material things, that would be definitely wrong.

We do not say that you as a Christian may not have your own house, a car, a television or hifi set. There is no objection against having material things, but the obsession with acquiring and caring for “stuff” is a dangerous thing for the Christian.

Already in the Garden of Eden God gave a signal that He wants an intense connection with man. Man’s thought should go in the first instance to its Maker. After man got expelled from the Garden of Eden God insisted still to have a pure connection with Him, not giving more attention to material objects or subjects, not having idols placed in a higher ranking than the God above all gods.

Man has to be careful how he treats others and how he gives attention and obligation or glorification to others. Any preoccupation, obsession or fascination with anything other than God, man should know, is something what displeases God. He wants us to love us above all persons and above all things. It is with all our heart that we should give honour to the Most High.

“Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5 NIV)

Jesus called that love for God the first and greatest commandment. (Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30, Luke 10:27). All our passion and prayer and intelligence should go in the first instance to Jehovah God.  When we do that we shall be able to find life.

“”You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”” (Luke 10:28 NIV)

therefore we should be very careful and attentive into what we put our energy and for what we want to strive. It is what is deep in our heart that God knows. He knows what we rally want and wherefore we long.  In our heart should be the choice for God and not for material things.

The Elohim, Jehovah God should be our focus. Our eyes should be directed on Him.  He alone is worthy of our complete attention, love and service. To offer these things to anything, or anyone, else is idolatry.

We should recognise that when we are wanting for other things than those which are important in the Eyes of God, than we fall for the weakness of man.

The end of the Edenic period, Adam and Eve are...

The end of the Edenic period, Adam and Eve are thrust into a bleak Antediluvian world. Thomas Cole, 1828 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is true, man is caught up in the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things that have entered this world and choke it. But we should know that the material gain the world wants us to believe would make us happy, is just an empty soap bell.

“but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.” (Mark 4:19 NIV)

We should not be fashioned according to this world, but should listen to the words of the sent ones from God, like to Jesus Christ, and follow the examples of them, living in humility and simplicity, always following not our will but the Will of God.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2 NIV)

We must come to see that the word of material wealth proves unfruitful. We are cheating ourselves by thinking that we will be happy or more fulfilled or content if only we had more of whatever it is we are chasing. This is a lie from the father of lies, satan, which every adversary of God still wants us to believe today that we better not believe in God and try to earn as much money as possible in every way we can. Many are using bad ways to gain capital and do not mind what others may think of it or worse what God might think of it. Though for sure God shall take it into account. One day there shall be a moment of judgement for man. Then it will be time to justify for the actions that one has taken.

Those adversaries of God wants us to be chasing after something they know will never satisfy us so we will be kept from pursuing that which is the only thing that can satisfy — God Himself.

Many are blinded by those satans and do not come to see that the financial gain or the material wealth is the mammon, the killer of mankind.

All should know that one cannot serve both God and money.

“”No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”” (Luke 16:13 NIV)

When we put our eyes on that material gain we shall be deceived and disgusted to continually feeling dissatisfied, never feeling contented. We must seek to be content with what we have, and materialism is the exact opposite of that contentment. It causes us to strive for more and more and more, all the while telling us that this will be the answer to all our needs and dreams.

The infallible Word of God sheds light on how human beings best live and unto what they best give attention in their life. That life does not get its satisfaction in the abundance of the things which a person can come to possess.

“Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”” (Luke 12:15 NIV)

Man’s eyes should be focused on that what is much more important in life than the treasures of this world: the Kingdom of God.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33 NIV)

Long before the master teacher Jeshua was born there was a man who had enough material wealth as one of the richest kings of the world. King Solomon had no shortage of anything and had absolutely everything what he desired. Though he also came aware that was not really what brought him happiness.  He declared,

“Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.” (Ecclesiastes 5:10 NIV)

Be aware that whoever loves wealth shall never be satisfied with his income. Perhaps it can take a long time before we come to such awareness. In the end, Solomon came to the conclusion that there is one greater thing we do have to bear in mind.

“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole [duty] of man.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13 NIV)

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Preceding articles

Building up the spirit of the soul

Back from gone #2 Aim of godly people

Matthew 5:38-42 – 5. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Exodus 21:24

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 1 Charity and neighbour love

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 2 Prayer and neighbour love

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 3 Forgiveness and neighbour love

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 4 Treasures’ and neighbour love

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Additional reading

  1. God above all gods
  2. An openingschapter explaining why things are like they are and why we may have hope for better things
  3. Bereshith 2 Man and Woman placed in a Royal Garden
  4. Orders for the first human beings and Rebellion against their Maker
  5. The figure of Eve
  6. Moment of getting knowledge and its consequence
  7. Scattered, broken, thwarted reflection of God
  8. Sources of evil
  9. The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #4 The Fall
  10. The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #5 Temptation, assault and curse
  11. The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #6 Curse and solution
  12. The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #8 Looking for the 2nd Adam
  13. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  14. Faith and trial
  15. No good thing will he withhold

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Further reading

    1. Living
    2. Need and Want
    3. Livable Wages
    4. Greed
    5. Vanity and Greed
    6. Thingamabobs? I Got Twenty… I Want More!
    7. The Price Of Keep Wanting More.
    8. Greed for money
    9. An irrational reward system
    10. Our Entire Economy Is Based On A Massive LIE That Is Killing People
    11. Greed is God: How economics became a religion
    12. How much is enough?
    13. Too Much Stuff (Part 2)
    14. Enough by John C. Bogle
    15. They Deceived Him
    16. A Holy Judgement 
    17. When Does It All End?
    18. That there are people who are convinced they can give more to their family and should not bother about it proves Jack Bennett with his text: No Shame In Wanting More
    19. But that there are some things we can do without and some things we cannot do without, such as a clean conscience and a useful life, may give to ponder you the text:Quotes of Note #9 On Money & Wealth
    20. The power of greed’: Greed is one of Christianity’s seven deadly sins, and it predates capitalism. In our society, who is greedier – the consumer or the capitalist? Are there any positive aspects to greed?
    21. The Price is Wrong: No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. (Mat 6:24, ESV)
    22. Rich Toward God While they may not be mutually exclusive, if we are honest with ourselves, they frequently are in competition. Pursuing possessions on earth often has a way of cutting into laying up treasures in heaven.
    23. Avoiding covetous distractions
    24. Quick Thought – Monday, July 17, 2017
    25. Jesus Was Out
    26. Four things that kill the fire of God 
    27. Stop The Greed
    28. Starve the beast
    29. Self-discipline: How Much Land Does a Man Need? by Leo Tolstoy
    30. The Rich Man and Lazarus
    31. Generosity by Johannes Brahms
    32. 2 Kings Chapter 15
    33. No Other Gods
    34. Idols In The Temple, Part One
    35. Why Is God Jealous?
    36. 3 Kinds of Idolatry
    37. Patriotism — self-examination losing out to self-infatuation? “Patriotism is the go-to religion of those who would worship a super-sized version of themselves and seldom quibble to persecute non-believers, foreigners and conscientious objectors. It is a grandiose
    38. Depravity may lie in two extremes
    39. Conversion
    40. Whose God is it anyway?
    41. Modern Romans
    42. Why Make Idols?
    43. Evangelicalism’s Golden Calf
    44. Shabbat Balak: the Holy and the Idolatrous
    45. Weekly Torah Commentary – Mattot-Maasei July 21, 2017
    46. The Problem of American Worship
    47. Whom are you serving?
    48. Verse of the month: July 2017

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  1. Related articles

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 4 Treasures’ and neighbour love

Matthew 6:19-23

d) ‘Treasures’ and neighbor love

|| Luke 11:34-36

MT6:19 “Do not[1] treasure[2] up for yourselves ‘treasures’ on earth where moth and rust consume[3] and where thieves break in and steal. MT6:20 But, treasure up ‘treasures’ in heaven[4] where neither moth nor rust consume and where thieves cannot break in and steal. MT6:21 For where your ‘treasure’ is there your heart will be also.[5] MT6:22 The lamp of the body is the eye.[6] So, if your eye is focused right[7] your whole body will know the Way. MT6:23 But, if your eye is focused wrong[8] your whole body will be blind.[9] So, if the ‘Light’ in you is ‘Dark’[10] – O, how much darkness!

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[1] Do not: The negative commands of the Nazarene. The phrase “do not” occurs over 200 times in the Gospels. The Nazarene says,

‘Those that love me, my true friends, will keep my commandments.’ (John 14:15; 15:12, 14)

There about 60 “commands” of the Nazarene in the Gospels, some negative, some positive. In the 600 laws of Moses it is estimated by some that 60% are negative and 40% positive. For a complete consideration read Nazarene Commandments©.

[2] Treasure: This is the Greek word from which the English thesaurus comes. The word occurs 15 times in Matthew and Luke. A more modern word for it would be “save” or “store.” Compare Luke 12:20: savings. Various renderings: store up no treasures for yourselves; don’t pile up treasures on earth. Is it fair to state that the Nazarene discouraged “savings” in a material sense? In all the Christian Bible there are only two exhortations to “save.” (1 Corinthians 16:2; Ephesians 4:28) Both deal with “saving” in order to give to those in need. One cannot “save” and at the same time ‘sell belongings to give to the poor’ (Luke 12:33). Unless this be a brief and momentary storage in preparation to give to the needy.

Stop saving! is a Nazarene command not to horde or store despite any supposed encouragement in the Solomonic Proverbs to the contrary. Whatever the Proverbs might counsel, ‘God now speaks by His Son.’ (Hebrews 1:1) This is a severe test of faith when the Western or Capitalist World is encouraging exactly the opposite.

The Nazarene and his disciples lived what he taught. Ghandi noted that Jesus was the only religious leader who actually lived what he preached. Solomon had a yearly income of 666 talents of gold. But, Jesus and Peter were unable to come up with the Temple tax, something like two-bits, and had to resort to a piscerian miracle to pay their proper debt so as not to stumble any (Matthew 17:25-27).

Money, material things, possessions and property (riches) can have a powerful influence on love of neighbor. Nothing can injure relations between friends or brothers more than riches. Seldom do the rich or propertied socialize with the poor or needy. These two classes have been separated from that first moment money was invented.

[3] Consume: It is true that in modern times rust and moths do not have the same affect on money as in the First Century. However, there are still thieves, and more importantly there is always the danger of electronic viruses, or transmission failures, or banking collapses that endanger hard earned savings. There is a prophetic warning in The Apocalypse about a future world power with the capacity to enforce the entire globe to use an “engraving” in order to “buy or sell.” (Revelation ch. 13) So, there are other forms of “moths” and “rust” and “thieves,” as property and financial accounts exist in an electronic atmosphere of computer wizardry always dependent on electric power, and totally under the control of economic powers, constantly manipulating stock markets, and materialistic institutions under the control of greedy persons world-wide.

[4] Heaven: The Celestial Bank protected by God! (Note Luke 12:33, 34: sell and heart; Luke 16:9: friends) Various renderings: WMS: keep on storing up your riches in heaven. Heavenly treasure is God’s view of what is valuable (Proverbs 2:1-9: treasure) and it includes the “gold” of faith founded on Christ (1 Corinthians 3:12 and 1 Peter 1:7: tested faith). The Greek for “treasure” is the English “thesaurus” which is a dictionary of words. This is apropos with regard to the Divine Thesaurus found in the Holy Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16: inspired).

[5] Where your ‘treasure’ is there your heart will be also: It is left to the heart of each Friend of the Nazarene to determine the degree these teachings will be followed. Each person is in a different set of circumstances. However, the spirit of all of this cannot be ignored (1 Timothy 6:9, 10: materialism). There is no better indicator judging a person’s heart than how one uses and views money (1 John 3:17; James 2:15, 16; Matthew 25:31-46). This is surely “the bottom line” with most persons concerned about earthly credits and debits, unaware of the Divine Accountant who is keeping a perfect set of books (Revelation 20:12-14). Most will find themselves in the “red” with God, and unless they repentantly plead their cause and admit their materialism as a desertion of Christ, they can expect no payment except that gleaned from earthly coffers.

One way to judge the “heart” is what a person talks about. That is, what are the main subjects that occupy a persons dialogue and communications? Is the central topic those things of a spiritual nature, or do material matters dominate speech? (Consider Ephesians 5:3-5, 12)

[6] The lamp of the body is the eye: Still on the subject of earthly or celestial treasures, the Nazarene turns to the eye: what and how it looks at various matters. Light enters the eye as an opening to the body or the entire person as a physical entity. However, spiritual light imbues the inner person, the Nazarene Saint’s Transformed Mind. The purpose of this divine illumination is to direct each footstep in the direction of God’s path (Psalm 119:105: lamp).

[7] Focused right: The Greek involved here is APLOUS and is variously translated “simple, sincere, generous, single, unclouded.” The word occurs in various forms in contexts of simplicity and generosity (Romans 12:8; 2 Corinthians 8:2), sound or sincere (Matthew 6:22; Luke 11:34), and, liberal (James 1:5). It seems to us the Nazarene’s subject is how we view matters and if our eye is healthy, and therefore focuses well, we will look properly on things and persons. The simple eye is generous in giving because it does not fret or worry about tomorrow’s anxieties, and so the view or focus on the morrow is bright with gleaming hopes of that “real life” only God can give (1 Timothy 6:19: real life).

Adam’s “eye” was focused wrongly and rather than see the Tree as harmful he viewed it as good (Genesis 3:6). Note the Nazarene’s offer of “eyesalve” to the materialistic in Revelation 3:17, 18. Compare the beloved Apostle’s thought at 1 John 2:16.

Luke 11:33-36 puts the subject of the well-focused eye in the context of the light hidden under a basket. Verse 34: ‘When your eye is single (simple, sincere, generous, focused) your whole body will be illuminated.’ There are various warnings in Proverbs about eyesight and how one views or does not view something (Proverbs 4:25; 23:31). The Bible provides numerous real-life examples of the improper “eye”: Eve (Genesis 3:6); Achan (Joshua 7:21); David (2 Samuel 11:2).

The association of the eye with the word “generous” is a good one when considering Jesus’ sub theme of neighbor love and charity. Note the word “beholds” at 1 John 3:17 (James 2:15, 16). Note also: ‘The generous eye will be blessed, the one who feeds the poor’ (Proverbs 22:9); and, ‘Eat not the bread of the one with a selfish eye, nor desire his delicacies, for he inwardly figures the expense.’ (Proverbs 23:6)

[8] Focused wrong: Various renderings: KJ: evil; TCNT: diseased; MOF: if your eye is selfish; NOR: if you have poor eyesight. The wicked eye, which is wrongly focused, is the envious one who cannot be satisfied with those things already possessed, but must have more than his neighbor. Such a wrongly focused eye is covetous. The Nazarene warns at Luke 12:15:

‘With eyes wide open, guard against covetousness, because Life does not come from possessions.’

The “evil eye” is greedy and desires more of what his neighbor has and is stingy when it comes to showing love to his neighbor.

[9] Blind: The Greek literally, ‘The whole body will be dark’ inferring blindness.

[10] If the ‘Light’ in you is ‘Dark’: Various renderings are: TCNT: inner light is darkness; WMS: the very source of light in you is darkness. On the exterior there is the appearance of light as an illuminator of souls (Romans 2:19) but inside the divided heart is bedarkened by choices between God and Riches. No greater darkness can there be than the person who thinks by his riches to serve God with extravagant contributions to holy orders – often with show and often with the purchase of another Saint’s soul – believing by such charity the way into the Kingdom of God is purchased.

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Preceding articles

Matthew 5:38-42 – 5. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Exodus 21:24

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 1 Charity and neighbour love

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 2 Prayer and neighbour love

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 3 Forgiveness and neighbour love

Written down for God to bring us up to a virtuous life

A look at materialism

There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving

Next:

Man enticed to long for more

Anxiety and neighbor love

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Additional reading

  1. Your position about materialistic desires having conquered the world
  2. Increasing wealth gap of immense proportions in the Capitalist World
  3. Capitalism
  4. The Proper Place of Excess
  5. Materialism, would be life, and aspirations
  6. Charity & Egoism
  7. Learning that stuff is just stuff
  8. The Culture of Excesses- Losing Humanity
  9. Summermonths and consumerism
  10. How to Find the Meaning of Life and Reach a State of Peace
  11. Material wealth, Submission and Heaven on earth
  12. Material gain to honour God
  13. Stop and Think
  14. The Giant evil and danger for the country
  15. Words to inspire and to give wisdom
  16. Not holding back and getting out of darkness
  17. Faith Over Fear
  18. Beginning a Path toward Distributism: A Brief Definition
  19. American Christianity no longer resembles its Founder
  20. How do you define religion?
  21. Reflect on how much idolizing happens
  22. From Winterdarkness into light of Spring
  23. Looking to the East and the West for Truth
  24. Message of Pope Francis I for the 48th World Communications Day
  25. Preparing for the Kingdom
  26. A way to prepare for the Kingdom
  27. Four Pressing Needs in Rural Communities, and How the Church Should Respond
  28. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #2 Instructions and Laws
  29. Blindness in the Christian world

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Further reading

  1. Consumerism
  2. Damned Acquisitiveness
  3. Because we are living in a material world, but I refuse to be a material girl.
  4. Materialism Today
  5. Materialism: Why happiness eludes us
  6. A message about materialism
  7. He is a slave of materialism. Dont buy things you cant afford.
  8. Materialism and the Church
  9. What is Important to You?
  10. Life, lost
  11. The Price is Wrong
  12. Ep 13: Christianity and Socialism
  13. Intro to Minimalism
  14. Our culture is damaging our well-being
  15. Quick Thought – Monday, July 17, 2017
  16. Truth lies not in the middle
  17. How Simple is Living Simply?
  18. What Did the Poor Ever Do to You?
  19. Materialists, their eye on the rear view mirror
  20. What is Right What is Wrong
  21. The Absolute Laws of Science Refute Atheism and Materialism.God scatters
  22. How some rich people are trying to dismantle inequality
  23. charity:water
  24. What would Jesus have us do?

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With child and righteousness greater than the law

The last few weeks in many denominations they looked at a time of remembrance of the coming on earth of the Messiah. At the end of the month many Christians use the birthday of the goddess of light and creation, to celebrate the birth of Christ (who was born in 4 bCE October 17) This birth is the beginning of the New World whereof the evangelist John is talking about when he looks at that new period like at the beginning of everything new, or the Bereshith (Bereshit or Bereishit), the Genesis. In the Genesis book by Moses you may find God Speaking and by speaking or uttering His Word, everything came into being. In the same way spoke God and the child came into being.

“In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.” (NWT) (John 1:1)

English: The story of the Eden Garden. The tem...

The story of the Eden Garden. The temptation of Adam & Eve by the devil. Pedestal of the statue of Madonna with Child, western portal (of the Virgin), of Notre-Dame de Paris, France (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Word, which was spoken before everything existed had also spoken in the Garden of Eden. That was a time long before Abraham. As such God His Word came unto the 1° Adam and promised to provide a solution for his misstep. Adam and Eve came to hear the first promise for their descendants. Later the Word of God would come to other offspring, who at their turn also told the world to look out for that Saviour or Messiah.

Not the evangelist John his work was placed first in the Books of the New Covenant. Matthew got the honour to open the New Testament. His account of the birth of Jesus in Matthew 1:18-25 has one primary concern: to establish the identity and mission of Jesus from the very beginning of his story. For the evangelist Matthew, who came to know the Nazarene Jeshua early in his public life, this special teacher no doubt is the Messiah or Christ (see Matthew 1:18), the agent of God who will establish God’s kingdom and save his people from their sins (see Matthew 1:21).

Lots of people do want to find a very special person and a very special story. Because they can not find that in the Bible they started creating several stories to make their evening of remembrance much greater.

"Annunciation", fresco (ca. 1371) by...

“Annunciation”, fresco (ca. 1371) by Jacopo di Cione (ca.1325-after 1390)(?), interior of the façade of the basilica of San Marco in Florence, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The evangelist Matthew brings a very human story involving a young couple: Joseph and Myriam or Miriam, by most English speaking people known as Mary (others know her as Maria, or Blessed Virgin Mary). Mary gets a message which may have been very strange for her and any other human being. The messenger of God, an angel pronounces that she has found great favour with God. We do find a simple village girl through whom God decides to work His plan of redemption.

“In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee,” (Luke 1:26 NIV)

“The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.” (Luke 1:28-29 NIV)

“And Mary said unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” (Luke 1:34 ASV)

From the evangelist and apostle Matthew we come to know she got to know the workman Joseph and also in Luke is written:

“to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.” (Luke 1:27 NIV)

“The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.”” (Luke 1:28 NIV)

“18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.” (Matthew 1:18-19 NIV)

Matthew grounds his lofty message about Jesus’ identity and mission as the Christ in the earthiness and complexities of human life. It doesn’t get much earthier than a pregnancy out of wedlock; put that together with the fact that the young couple had not yet had sex and you have the makings of a real potboiler. This young girl could be killed for what she got herself into. Regardless of the cost to her societally, she is willing to submit to God’s will for her life. For her the wrath of the Law and the weight of the village’s condemnation have no value opposite the message she got from a celestial being. Though she did not get stoned because most rabbis required a lesser penalty, including divorce and public shaming. The public shaming may have come over the fiancée of labourer Joseph who was still willing to take her as her bride.

Matthew portrays Joseph as a righteous man who confronted a significant dilemma. Him at first in love with this young Essene girl, had to face a very devote Jew who seemed to have been unfaithful to him. Most people usually understand the description of Joseph as “righteous” to mean that he was a good man, a kind man. But Joseph’s “righteousness” in this context has a specific meaning: it refers to Joseph’s thorough adherence to the law, the Torah. Joseph was also a devout, practising Jew. His decision to divorce Mary was the right one according to the law.

Matthew tells us that while Joseph had decided to sever his relationship with Mary, in accordance with the law and the custom of his time, he had decided to do this so “quietly,” evidently to reduce Mary’s public disgrace. Joseph had found a way to be faithful to the requirements of the law, but to do so in a respectful and sensitive manner. Joseph struck a remarkable balance between righteousness and compassion.

In the Torah were given many examples of how strange God’s ways might be for man. More than once appeared celestial beings to man to turn their coarse. This disappointed workman also came to hear an angel of God in a dream. Believing in the truth of his dream he abandoned adherence to the law by accepting the angel’s exhortation to take Mary as his wife. In this extraordinary situation, Joseph’s righteousness transcended the letter of the law. For Joseph, being righteous no longer meant blind, literal adherence to the Torah; the instruction from the angel trumped the law. The imminent arrival of Jesus somehow transformed the righteousness expected of Joseph. This is a theme that Jesus would articulate again and again later in this Gospel: there is a righteousness greater than the law.

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Preceding articles:

Story of Jesus’ birth begins long before the New Testament

Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:26-38 – Gabriel’s Appearance to Mary

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:15-20 – Shepherds Find the Infant Christ

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Literature of interest:

  1. With God All Things Are Possible
  2. Message from the family tree in the Tanakh
  3. Why do we need a ransom?
  4. A promise given in the Garden of Eden
  5. The Seed Of The Woman Bruised
  6. Written to recognise the Promissed One
  7. OT prophesies and the NT fulfilment of them
  8. Prophets making excuses
  9. Belief of the things that God has promised
  10. About a man who changed history of humankind
  11. Which man is mentioned most often in the Bible? Jesus, Moses, Abraham or David?
  12. Together tasting a great promise
  13. Patriarch Abraham, Muslims, Christians and the son of God
  14. The Immeasurable Grace bestowed on humanity
  15. Virgin Mary’s girdle
  16. The Gabriel Revelation Real or forgery
  17. Who was Jesus?
  18. Jesus and his God
  19. The Christ, the anointed of God
  20. Around pre-existence of Christ
  21. A season of gifts
  22. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  23. Wishing lanterns and Christmas
  24. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  25. Jesus begotten Son of God #2 Christmas and pagan rites
  26. Jesus begotten Son of God #3 Messiah or Anointed one
  27. Jesus begotten Son of God #4 Promised Prophet and Saviour
  28. Jesus begotten Son of God #5 Apostle, High Priest and King
  29. Jesus begotten Son of God #6 Anointed Son of God, Adam and Abraham
  30. Jesus begotten Son of God #7 A matter of the Future
  31. Jesus begotten Son of God #8 Found Divinely Created not Incarnated
  32. Jesus begotten Son of God #9 Two millennia ago conceived or begotten
  33. Jesus begotten Son of God #13 Pre-existence excluding virginal birth of the Only One Transposed
  34. Jesus begotten Son of God #14 Beloved Preminent Son and Mediator originating in Mary
  35. Jesus begotten Son of God #15 Son of God Originating in Mary
  36. Jesus begotten Son of God #17 Adam, Eve, Mary and Christianity’s central figure
  37. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
  38. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #14 Prayer #12 The other name
  39. God has visited His people
  40. Jesus spitting image of his father
  41. A man with an outstanding personality
  42. Lord or Yahuwah, Yeshua or Yahushua
  43. Ember and light the ransomed of Jehovah
  44. The Beginning of the life of Jesus Christ
  45. What Jesus did: First things first
  46. Servant of his Father
  47. Anointing of Christ as Prophetic Rehearsal of the Burial rites
  48. A Messiah to die
  49. Impaled until death overtook him
  50. Cursed is the one hung on a tree
  51. Atonement and the race been bought
  52. Jesus three days in hell
  53. What Jesus Did – Misleading around the Messiah and the final assessment
  54. Christ having glory
  55. Words in the world
  56. Ignorance of Today’s Youth (and Adults)
  57. God or a god

+++

  • Be Thankful: 5 Things God Has Given Us We Should Thank Him For (authorbrianlknack.wordpress.com)
    Be Thankful God Gave Us Life  –  Not only did he breathe the breath of life into us that we might become a living soul but he has given us New Life in the New Covenant through the blood of His son Jesus! God put us here for a purpose and that purpose is to live for Him and experience the joy of His presence every day. For those who have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior of our lives God has also given to us the gift of Eternal Life in Him!
    +
    Because God loved us so much, He didn’t want us to continue to drift away from Him in our selfish, self-centered existence. He loved us so much that He gave us the gift of His Son, Jesus, to be the way back to Him. That gift is the best, most amazing, most expensive, most valuable gift ever given, and it was given to us. He loved us enough to give us Jesus.
  • Focus On God (christianmotivations.weebly.com)
    the Bible teaches us that the flesh (since we are all born in sin through the fall of Adam and Eve) is enmity against God.
  • The Tense of Life – Future Perfect (cerkas.wordpress.com)
    In truth, time is but a fabrication and rationalization of our minds in an attempt to avoid confusion and chaos.  Simply, time helps us comprehend our existence within the limits of our knowledge.
    +
    The true beauty of Christianity, however, is that by being born again via Baptism, we are cleansed from sin’s blemish on our soul and are blessed to have the opportunity to live this earthly life in God’s Light, striving to become like Him, understanding that at times, we will falter and sin.  And in the wisdom of our Creator, He provided a mechanism for us to redeem ourselves of sins via repentance, along with his Grace via forgiveness.
  • Why does God make a way for us to return to paradise? (christianitymatters.com)
    Because we are mostly focused on the negative, we think a lot about why things are bad and messed up in this world but we spend little time thinking about why God makes a way for us to return to paradise.
  • Found By Grace (ponderingtheheartofjesus.com)
    When people can’t talk about difficulties together, they tend to avoid just like Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden when they realized they had sinned against God.
    +
    Have you trusted in the mediator Jesus as your Savior from the wages of sin? God is pursuing you and inviting you to be reconciled to Him right now, this Christmas.
  • Oh, Christmas Tree! (atimetoshare.wordpress.com)
    We are introduced to two trees in the Genesis account of creation – the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  The first inhabitants were given the Tree of life for food.  The other one they ate from in hopes of becoming as wise as God.
  • History of Christmas Trees part 1 (joannerambling.wordpress.com)
    In 1584, the historian Balthasar Russow wrote about a tradition, in Riga, of a decorated fir tree in the market square where the young men “went with a flock of maidens and women, first sang and danced there and then set the tree aflame”. There’s a record of a small tree in Breman, Germany from 1570. It is described as a tree decorated with “apples, nuts, dates, pretzels and paper flowers”. It was displayed in a ‘guild-house’ (the meeting place for a society of business men in the city).
  • Come Together (dbethandrews.wordpress.com)
    There are a lot of people in recent days talking about what divides us as a nation and how to bring some sort of reconciliation between people. We have all seen the protests and the anger and hurt. We have seen grief and sadness and bitterness and distrust – and all our protesting and postulating and town-hall meetings only seem to make the chasm wider. In this season of Christmas, this time when there should be “peace on earth” (Luke 2:14) and we should “love one another” (John 13:34) we see everything but. How did we become such an angry society? What is the root of our discord? And how do we reclaim the peace we’ve lost?
    +
    God gave Jesus as His gift to humanity to reconcile the creation with the Creator. To bring us peace. And when we are restored to God, when we have peace with God, we can then be restored in our human relationships and have peace with one another. But not until we first receive the gift of Jesus into our lives.
    +
    Peace that Never Ends
    God offers peace in our “dark night of the soul,” bringing His light to the night that surrounds us.
    +
    One day, and I think not so very far away, Jesus Christ will return, and bring with Him the fulfillment of God’s promise of peace. He will come, not as the baby in the manger, but as the victorious King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  He will come with power and authority.  He will bring an end to evil and wickedness.  He will bring punishment to those who love evil and hatred and corruption – to all who rejected Him in this life.
  • The Bible and Mythology (ezracommentary.wordpress.com)
    Myths are stories that people make up to explain various aspects of life and to express worldview, how we see and interpret the world. There are myths about the world and the creation of the sea. There are myths to explain where man and woman came from. Some myths are about the islands and how they came to be populated. There are myths that try to explain good and evil. Other myths have to do with how man and woman are to relate to one another and to each other’s families. There are myths about children and the consequences of disobedience. There are myths about the afterlife, what happens to a person and where he goes when he dies.

    So myths are stories which attempt to explain life and its meaning. They often share wisdom as to how we should live and relate to others and to the world around us. Myths are meant for teaching so that the wisdom can be transmitted from one generation to another.

How Many were Bought

William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905) - The F...

William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905) – The Flagellation of Our Lord Jesus Christ (1880) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the previous articles, You do not belong to yourselves,for you were bought with a price, Joining for a new year in the assurance to be bought with a price, Nazarene Commentary 1 Corinthians 6:15-20 – Flee from Immorality and We are redeemed; we are “bought with a price”, we talked about the Nazarene man Jeshua (Jesus) who gave voluntary his body as a pledge offering or ransom for all humankind.

Because Jesus has bought us free we should know that we do not belong to ourselves any more. Certainly those who made a choice to follow Christ Jesus (Jeshua) should heed the words of the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 6: 19, 20, that we/they are not our/your own.

For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit.

How Many were Bought?

Though we learn in Ephesians 5: 25 that the church was purchased, we must not fall into error (as some have done), and think that these few are the only ones He bought. Our Lord himself tells us, as recorded in Matthew 20: 28 and Mark 10: 45, that he came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life “a ransom for many.” Quite a large number—not a few, but many.

The apostle Paul writes (1 Timothy 2: 3-6) —

3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved [preserved], and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to. be testified in due time [or, a testimony in due time.

Again not a few, but all, there is no one left out. All those who are now living; all that yet may live, and all those millions who have lived in the past. Yes! a ransom for everybody! He is their Lord, He owns them all.

“For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.”— Romans 14: 9.

In buying all, He bought the church as well, because they are the descendants of Adam, the same as the rest of the human race.

Bought a Race of Sinners

Are the members of the church accepted on account of their own goodness or other natural qualities ? No, they are not. And why not? Paul answers: Because all the world is guilty before God, and under condemnation through the offence of one man.

“Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, that every mouth may be closed, and all the world may become accountable to God;” (Romans 3:19 NAS)

“For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:17 NAS)

Yes, all sinners — those who became the church and everyone else; all under the condemnation of death.

Our condition would seem hopeless then.

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5: 8.)

Let us be humble, and keep it well in mind that those who become the church have been bought with a price, and redeemed with the precious blood of Christ (Acts 20: 28; 1 Peter 1: 18, 19), and realise that they, no less than others, must lay their sins on Jesus. It is the only way to be saved, for they must believe He is able to atone.

Therefore, “Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” (James 4: 10.) Belief in the Son is the condition of salvation. — John 3: 16.

A Ransom, A Corresponding Price

What, then, would a ransom (or corresponding price) be, Would a life for a life be it? Yes, that is it.
When Christ gave up His life, for whom did He give it?
For Adam and the whole of his race. What was Adam then ? He was a perfect man capable of living for ever
provided he remained obedient to God’s will. He disobeyed, and brought the condemnation of death on himself
and upon the whole of his race. — Genesis 3. This meant that, before the condemnation of death could be lifted, the race had to be bought back. And this required the life of another perfect man. Now, the Lord Jesus, while on earth, was a perfect man, as Adam was before he sinned. Therefore He could be a corresponding or an equivalent price. Anything greater would have been too much; anything less, too little. Divine justice required that the price be the same, so the Lord Jesus paid it on our behalf.

NCA 1933, January p.206

All people in the world should come to know that Jesus was born to be a representer of his heavenly Father, only wanting to do God His Will and not his own will.
Adam and the whole of his race were condemned to death on account of Adam’s disobedience. So when Christ, the
perfect man, who was obedient to God, died, He not only sacrificed his life but he gave up as part of the price
a possible bride and a posterity of his own which he might have had. And so he gave himself a corresponding price
for all.

“For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.”—1 Corinthians 15: 21.

“”Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” (Acts 20:28 NAS)

“18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, [the blood] of Christ.” (1 Peter 1:18-19 NAS)

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Preceding articles:

You do not belong to yourselves,for you were bought with a price

Joining for a new year in the assurance to be bought with a price

Nazarene Commentary 1 Corinthians 6:15-20 – Flee from Immorality

++

Additional reading:

  1. Why do we need a ransom?
  2. The Immeasurable Grace bestowed on humanity
  3. God’s Special Gift
  4. Ransom for all
  5. Atonement and the race been bought
  6. Running the battle
  7. Life is like a ten-speed bike.
  8. No person has greater love than this one who surrendered his soul in behalf of his friends
  9. Love been perfected with us

    +++

Nazarene Commentary 1 Corinthians 6:15-20 – Flee from Immorality

1 Corinthians 6:15-20
– Flee from Immorality

1CO6:15 Do you not realize that your bodies are Christ’s members?[1] Shall I, therefore, take away Christ’s members and make them a prostitute’s members?[2] May that never occur! 1CO6:16 Or, do you not realize that the person who makes himself stick to the prostitute becomes one body [with that prostitute]?[3] For [The [Supreme] God] says, “The two will be one flesh.”[4] [Genesis 2:24] 1CO6:17 But, the person that sticks to the Master, such is one spirit.[5] 1CO6:18 All of you continue to flee from sexual immorality.[6] Whatever sin a human might do is outside the body,[7] but the person who practices sexual immorality continues to sin against their own body.[8] 1CO6:19 Or, do you not realize that the Body of all of you is a Divine Habitat[9] for the Sacred Force of the Mind of The [Supreme] God?[10] Also, you do not belong to yourselves.[11] 1CO6:20 All of you were bought with a price.[12] Now, actually all of you glorify The [Supreme] God in your Body.[13]

[1]     Do you not realize that your bodies are Christ’s members: Or, parts of Christ himself. How the Corinthians were supposed to know this is not explained. Paul will go on to explain this in more detail in chapter 12. [1 Corinthians 12:18, 27] Compare notes on Romans 12:5 and Ephesians 4:15.

[2]     Take away Christ’s members and make them a prostitute’s members: The thought is shocking, but that is Paul’s intent. It seems the Corinthian congregation had a real problem with this local temptation.

[3]     Stick to the prostitute becomes one body [with that prostitute]: Or, joined to, joins. Paul gives his reason in the following phrase. “Prostitute” is from the Greek PORNE [to buy].

[4]     For [The [Supreme] God] says, “The two will be one flesh.”: Paul quotes Genesis 2:24 and applies the statement to God. The two become “one flesh” upon sexual intercourse. [Genesis 4:1] Thus, Adam and Eve were not “one flesh” until after their ouster from Eden.

[5]     The person that sticks to the Master, such is one spirit: Or, joined, in union with; WMS: is spiritually one with him; MON: one with him in spirit. [John 17:21; Ephesians 4:3, 4] Compare notes on 1 Corinthians 2:16. The meaning may be, “of one mind,” or, “of the same disposition.” [1Peter 4:1]

[6]     All of you continue to flee from sexual immorality: Or, KJV: flee fornication; WMS: keep on running from; PME: avoid sexual looseness like the plague. See an example in Joseph at Genesis 39:12. Fleeing such would mean avoiding circumstances or situations that might arouse an inclination toward sexual immorality. Compare the warnings in Proverbs 2:10-19; chapters 5 and 6. [2 Timothy 2:22] Compare 1 Thessalonians 4:3.

[7]     Whatever sin a human might do is outside the body: Or, is without the body.

[8]     The person who practices sexual immorality continues to sin against their own body: Or, fornication, prostitution. Compare an example – a possible allusion to STDs – at Proverbs 7:21-23. Many would see a warning against AIDS in this context. [Romans 1:24, 27]

[9]     Do you not realize that the Body of all of you is a Divine Habitat: Or, temple, shrine, sanctuary. The Greek is NAOS and refers to a shrine where a god resides. Paul has already mentioned this in 1 Corinthians 3:16 and will go on to do so again at 2 Corinthians 6:16. [Ephesians 2:19-22] Compare the use of NAOS in Revelation. [Nazarene Apocalypse 2000©]

[10]    For the holy Pneuma from The [Supreme] God: See notes on Ephesians 2:22. One could create a triune formula here: a] the Saints; b] the Spirit; and, c] God.

[11]    You do not belong to yourselves: Or, no longer your own masters. [Romans 14:8]

[12]    All of you were bought with a price: Or, GDS: brought and paid for; KNX: a great price was paid to ransom you. Paul repeats this at 1 Corinthians 7:23. [1 Peter 1:18; Revelation 5:9]

[13]    Actually all of you glorify The [Supreme] God in your Body: Or, TCN: honour God in your bodies. [Matthew 5:16] Note seriously 2 Corinthians 5:10. The whole Body or Temple of God seen in the Church of Christ must refrain from impurity and unholiness.

+++

  • The Right Hand of Yahuwah (thetruthshallsetyoufree.net)
    I’ve found in the TaNaKh and Brit Hadasha where “right hand” explicitly or implicitly refer (in my understanding) to יהושועMessiah. Take a look and you’ll see how powerful the right hand of Elohim is, and how many times, Yahuwah’s people were saved by His right hand.
  • Algerian IS Affiliate Decapitates French Hostage (thewatchmenfromisrael.org)
    Yaʽaqoḇ 1:1 Yaʽaqoḇ,a servant of Elohim and of the Master יהושע Messiah, to the twelve tribes who are in the dispersion: Greetings.Isa 48:20  “Come out of Baḇel! Flee from the Chaldeans (Muslims)! Declare this with a voice of singing, proclaim it, send it out to the end of the earth! Say, ‘יהוה has redeemed His servant Yaʽaqoḇ!’ ”
  • Aamra Parshah: Ha-Azinu (thewatchmenfromisrael.org)
    Isa 2:3  And many peoples shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of יהוה, to the House of the Elohim of Yaʽaqoḇ, and let Him teach1 us His ways1, and let us walk in His paths1, for out of Tsiyon comes forth the Torah1, and the Word1 of יהוה from Yerushalayim.” Footnote: 1His ways, His paths, the teaching and the Word of יהוה are used synonymously.
  • The six woes, and Yom Kippurim (setapartpeople.com)
    A day of atonements, a day of introspection and repentance. I am sure we have all been searching ourselves, to find the areas where we fall short.
    +
    I was reading in the book of Isaiah and came across this passage about the six woes and felt really convicted. It starts off with a parable about a vineyard and how the owner cared for it, and waited for good grapes, yet he was disappointed for it produced only worthless fruit. He then tells what he will do with it because of this and proceeds by giving the explanation of the parable. When we read the rest of the passage, we learn more about this worthless fruit in the form of the six woes. When I read this, I realized just how profound this is, especially just before Yom Kippurim.
    +
    Every one of us misses the target, we all sin. Sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4). We are, therefore, all guilty and need to repent and start producing good fruit, not the worthless fruit as described in this passage.
    +
    it is not too late to change, we can acknowledge our guilt and return to YHVH. He sent His Salvation, Y’shua and through Him receive forgiveness and life. Repentance means to turn around and not continue in our wicked ways. So, after having been forgiven, we are to make changes. It is our choice! YHVH wants us to be set apart people for Him and this is the fruit.
  • Come out of Her My People (Conclusion) (thetruthshallsetyoufree.net)
    The Body of must be born, and a birth is indeed a radical experience. The birth of the Renewed Israel, or True Israel, or the Remnant, the Few – whatever you wish to call it – is to take place. The Scriptures speak often of this great event, this end-time birth: Rev. 12:5, Micah 4:6-10, Micah 5:3, Ps. 22:31, Ps. 102:18, Matt. 24:8 etc. Micah 5:3 describes it so well, “Therefore He shall give them up, until the time that she who is in labour has given birth; then the remnant of His brethren shall return to the children of Israel.”

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