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Posts tagged ‘Apostle Peter’

Matthew 14:23-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Walking on Water

Matthew 14:23-34 – Walking on Water

|| Mark 6:45-52; John 6:16-21

MT14:23 Having dismissed the crowds Jesus climbed up into the mountains[1] to a private spot to pray. He was alone at night. MT14:24 Now the boat [with the disciples] was many stadia[2] from land and was hard put by tortuous waves and a head wind.[3] MT14:25 But in the fourth night watch[4] Jesus came toward them walking upon the sea.[5] MT14:26 Seeing him walking upon the sea the disciples were troubled, and screamed in their fear, “It is a phantom!”[6] MT14:27 Instantly Jesus yelled to them, “Courage, it is me! Do not fear!” MT14:28 But, Peter answered him, “Master, if it is really you command me to come toward you over the waters!”[7] MT14:29 Jesus yelled, “Come!” And, stepping out of the boat Peter walked toward Jesus upon the waters. MT14:30 But, noticing the wind[8] Peter became fearful and started to sink. Peter screamed, “Master, save me!” MT14:31 Instantly Jesus reached out his hand and grabbed Peter, telling him, “Why did you doubt,[9] Little Faith?”[10] MT14:32 After both of them boarded the boat the wind abated. MT14:33 Now the disciples in the boat prostrated before[11] Jesus, saying, “Truthfully you are a Son of God!”[12] MT14:34 And they survived[13] and came to the shore of Gennesaret.[14]

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[1] Jesus climbed up into the mountains: Or, WEY: he climbed the hill to pray in solitude. We see Jesus now and then seeking his own privacy and solitude. It is a healthy example for others to imitate when they need quiet for thinking and meditation.

[2] Stadia: A “stadium” equaled 1/8th of a Roman mile. Or, TCNT: some miles; NWT: hundreds of yards; NJB: some furlongs. They had not made much progress against the windstorm. John 6:18 has it, “they had rowed about three or four miles.” (NWT)

[3] Tortuous waves and a head wind: Or, NEB: battling with a head-wind and a rough sea.

[4] Fourth night watch: Or, WEY: towards daybreak; NEB: between three and six in the morning. The feeding of the crowd had begun about nightfall. Jesus had spent much of the night in meditative isolation. Now it may be near dawn. The disciples have been struggling some time.

[5] Walking upon the sea: One of the most famous subjects of master painters. It would be hard to think that someone could even conceive of such a miracle, it is so ludicrous; which gives it a powerful ring of truth.

[6] Phantom: The Greek is PHANTASMA and is rendered: NWT: apparition; KJV: a spirit; ASV: ghost.

[7] To come toward you over the waters: Only Peter could think of this audacious suggestion but we applaud his conviction.

[8] Noticing the wind: Stay focused!

[9] Doubt: A word appearing in the Gospels Matthew 14:31; 21:21; 28:17; Mark 11:23; Luke 24:38.

[10] Little Faith: Literally, “one of little faith.” Or, MOF: how little you trust me; PME: you little-faith; TCNT: why did you falter; PME: what made you lose your nerve like that. See Matthew 6:30 and Matthew 8:26.

[11] Prostrated before: The Greek is PRO(=before)KUNESAN(=kiss) and is rendered: KJV: worshipped; TCNT: threw themselves on their faces before him; NWT: did obeisance. The old English word “worship” though correct in its 16th century form (used of a judge “your, Worship.”) it gives a misleading impression in modern English. See lexicons on the use of PROSKUNEO. Vine’s: “to make obeisance, do reverence to” (from pros, “towards,” and kuneo, “to kiss”), is the most frequent word rendered “to worship.” It is used of an act of homage or reverence (a) to God, e.g., Matt. 4:10; John 4:21-24; 1 Cor. 14:25; Rev. 4:10; 5:14; 7:11; 11:16; 22:9; 19:10 (2nd part); (b) to Christ, e.g., Matt. 2:2,8,11; 8:2; 9:18; 14:33; 15:25; 20:20; 28:9,17; John 9:38; Heb. 1:6, in a quotation from the Sept. of Deut. 32:43, referring to Christ’s Second Advent; (c) to a man, Matt. 18:26; (d) to the Dragon, by men, Rev. 13:4; (e) to the Beast, his human instrument, Rev. 13:4,8,12; 14:9,11; (f) the image of the Beast, Rev. 13:15; 14:11; 16:2; (g) to demons, Rev. 9:20; (h) to idols, Acts 7:43.

[12] A Son of God: The Greek is without the article and thus “a” may be inferred though most say “God’s Son.” Or, RIEU: a son of God. Compare Matthew 27:54.

[13] They survived: Or, having got through; got across.

[14] Gennesaret: Also a name for the Sea of Galilee. Josephus describes it as ‘beautiful, fruitful, and well-watered region, where walnut, palm, and olive trees thrived, and where figs and grapes were available for ten months out of the year.’ (The Jewish War, III, 516-521 [x, 8]) See Numbers 34:11 and compare Mark 6:53; Luke 5:1. This name was later changed to a Roman one. The work The Jesus Papyrus suggests this use of “Gennesaret” proves the Gospels were written before the year 50 AD during the “eye-witness period.”

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Preceding

Matthew 14:14-22 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: 5,000 Fed

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Related

  1. Walk on water
  2. Water walker
  3. Keep Your Eyes On Jesus
  4. Walking on the water
  5. Water Walker
  6. Why Did You Doubt? – Matthew 14:29-31
  7. He lives in the storm
  8. A Glimpse of your Glory, a reflection on Matthew 14.22-26
  9. Miracles Today (Matthew 14:13–21)
  10. Called onto the Water
  11. A Taizé Kind of Faith
  12. Walking on Water or Hiding in the Boat? [Mt 14:22-33]
  13. Fear vs. Imagination: Matthew 14:22-33
  14. Jesus and the Storms of Life
  15. Time For Prayer
  16. Miraculous Signs
  17. If the Boat is the Church…

Matthew 10:1-4 – Calling of the apostles – by Calvin

The calling of the Apostles is here described to us, not as on a former occasion, when the Lord Jesus Christ, intending to prepare them for their office, selected them for admission into his private circle. They are now called to immediate performance, are ordered to prepare themselves for the work, receive injunctions, and, that there may be no want of authority, are endued with the power of the Holy Spirit.
Formerly, they were held in expectation of future labour: now, Christ announces that the hour is come when they must put their hands to the work. It is proper to observe, however, that he does not as yet speak of perpetual apostleship, but only of temporary preaching, which was fitted to awaken and excite the minds of men, that they might be more attentive to hear Christ. So then they are now sent to proclaim throughout Judea that the time of the promised restoration and salvation is at hand at a future period, Christ will appoint them to spread the Gospel through the whole world. Here, he employs them as assistants only, to secure attention to him where his voice could not reach afterwards, he will commit into their hands the office of teaching which he had discharged. It is of great importance to observe this, that we may not suppose it to be a certain and fixed rule laid down for all ministers of the word, when our Lord gives instructions to the preachers of his doctrine as to what he wishes them to do for a short time. From inattention to this point many have been led astray, so as to demand from all ministers of the word, without distinction, conformity to this rule.567

Matthew 10:1. And having called the twelve disciples. The number, twelve, was intended to point out the future restoration of the Church. As the nation was descended from twelve patriarchs, so its scattered remains are now reminded by Christ of their origin, that they may entertain a fixed hope of being restored. Although the kingdom of God was not in so flourishing a state in Judea, as to preserve the nation entire, but, on the contrary, that people, which already had miserably fallen, deserved doubly to die on account of ingratitude in despising the grace which had been offered to them, yet this did not prevent a new nation from afterwards springing up. At a future period, God extended far beyond Zion the scepter of the power of his Son, and caused rivers to flow from that fountain, to water abundantly the four quarters of the world. Then God assembled his Israel from every direction, and united into one body not only the scattered and torn members, but men who had formerly been entirely alienated from the people of God.

It was not without reason, therefore, that the Lord, by appointing, as it were, twelve patriarchs, declared the restoration of the Church. Besides, this number reminded the Jews of the design of his coming; but, as they did not yield to the grace of God, he begat for himself a new Israel. If you look at the beginnings, it might appear ridiculous that Christ should bestow such honorable titles on persons who were mean and of no estimation: but their astonishing success, and the wide extension of the Church, make it evident that, in honorable rank and in numerous offspring, the apostles not only are not inferior to the patriarchs, but greatly excel them.

Gave them power. The apostles had almost no rank among men, while the commission which Christ gave them was divine. Besides, they had neither ability nor eloquence, while the excellence and novelty of their office required more than human endowments, {2 } It was therefore necessary that they should derive authority from another source. By enabling them to perform miracles, Christ invests them with the badges of heavenly power, in order to secure the confidence and veneration of the people. And hence we may infer what is the proper use of miracles. As Christ gives to them at the same time, and in immediate connection, the appointment to be preachers of the gospel and ministers of miracles, it is plain that miracles are nothing else than seals of his doctrine, and therefore we are not at liberty to dissolve this close connection. The Papists, therefore, are guilty of forgery, and of wickedly corrupting the works of God, by separating his word from miracles.

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{1 } “Voulant reigler indifferemment tous ministres de la parole selon ee qui est ici dk”;  — ” wishing to regulate indiscriminately all ministers of the word according to what is here said.”

[See Calvin_Bible 04982]

2. The first, Simon, who is called Peter. The Church of Rome displays extreme folly in drawing from this passage their doctrine of the primacy. That Simon Peter was the first among the apostles we readily allow, but what was true in reference to a few persons, cannot, on any proper grounds, be extended to the whole world. Besides, the circumstance of his being mentioned first, does not imply that he possessed authority over his companions. Granting all that they ask regarding Peter, his rank will be of no avail to the Roman See, till they prove that wicked and sacrilegious apostles are Peter’s successors.

5. Into the tray of the Gentiles. This makes still more evident what I have lately hinted, that the office, which was then bestowed on the apostles, had no other object than to awaken in the Jews the hope of an approaching salvation, and thus to render them more attentive to hear Christ. On this account, he now confines within the limits of Judea their voice, which he afterwards commands to sound everywhere to the farthest limits of the world. The reason is, that he had been sent by the Father to be

the minister of circumcision, to fulfill the promises, which had anciently been given to the fathers, (#Ro 15:8).

Now God had entered into a special covenant with the family of Abraham, and therefore Christ acted properly in confining the grace of God, at the outset, to the chosen people, till the time for publishing it were fully come. But after his resurrection, he spread over all nations the blessing which had been promised in the second place, because then the veil of the temple had been rent, (#Mt 27:51), and the middle wall of partition had been thrown down, (#Eph 2:14). If any one imagine that this prohibition is unkind, because Christ does not admit the Gentiles to the enjoyment of the gospel, let him contend with God, who, to the exclusion of the rest of the world, established with the seed of Abraham alone his covenant, on which the command of Christ is founded.

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Preceding

Matthew 10:1-4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Twelve Given Authority

Matthew 10:1-4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Twelve Given Authority

CHAPTER TEN:
HARVEST WORKERS GIVEN INSTRUCTIONS
AND SENT OUT

Matthew 10:1-4 – The Twelve Given Authority

|| Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:13-16; Acts 1:13

The call of Andrew and Peter – Harold Copping (1863-1932) from “Scenes in the Life of our Lord” published by Religious Tract Society 1907. Location of original painting unknown.

MT10:1 Now Jesus invited his twelve disciples[1] to approach him. He gave them authority over unclean spirits to exorcise them and to cure every disease and malady. MT10:2 The names of the twelve apostles[2] are these: first, Simon[3] the one called Peter[4] and his brother Andrew;[5] and, James[6] the son of Zebedee and his brother John;[7] MT10:3 and Philip,[8] Bartholomew,[9] Thomas.[10] Matthew[11] the tax-collector, James the son of Alphaeus,[12] Thaddaeus,[13] MT10:4 Simon the Cananaean,[14] and Judas Iscariot[15] (the one who turned Jesus over[16]).

[1] Twelve disciples: The number “twelve” in this context occurs 34 times in the Christian Bible (Matthew 10:1, 2, 5, 11; 19:28; 20:17; 26:14, 20, 47; Mark 3:14, 16; 4:10; 6:7; 9:35; 10:32; 11:11; 14:10; 14:17, 20, 43; Luke 6:13; 8:1; 9:1, 12; 18:31; 22:3, 47; John 6:67, 70, 71; 20:24; Acts 6:2; 1 Corinthians 15:5; Revelation 21:14). 1 Corinthians 15:5 shows the “twelve” became an official group whether all twelve were present or not.

[2] The names of the twelve apostles: Compare the other apostolic lists and note not all remain in their same places. Other than these parallel lists some apostles are never mentioned elsewhere. Tradition and church history has certain unknown apostles leaving to far lands to evangelize while others died as martyrs. On their history see The History of the Christian Church by Eusebius; or, Foxe’s Book of Martyrs.

[3] Simon: The name means “Hear” and occurs 80 times in the Bible. Several are so named. There is another apostle named Simon. The father of Judas was named Simon. One of Jesus’ half-brothers was named Simon. The man who carried the cross (beam) for Jesus was also a Simon.

[4] Peter: See notes on Matthew 4:18. Peter is always first in the list and it is possible the Fisherman is the diamond (jasper stone) in the foundation of New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:19).

[5] Andrew: See notes on Matthew 4:18. This apostle moves to a lower number in the list of twelve.

[6] James: See notes on Matthew 4:21. This “James” is often mentioned as one of three among Peter and John (Matthew 17:1, 2; Luke 8:51; Mark 14:32-34; Mark 13:3, 4). James the apostle is always mentioned with John and often first (Matthew 4:21; 10:2; 17:1; Mark 1:19, 29; 3:17; 5:37; 9:2; 10:35, 41; 13:3; 14:33; Luke 5:10; 6:14; 8:51; 9:28, 54; Acts 1:13). James was also the name of one of Jesus’ brothers. It is this later James to whom Jesus appeared after his resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:8) and who wrote the epistle after his name.

[7] John: See notes on Matthew 4:21. This John moves into one of the three third positions among the apostles. He is not mentioned after Acts 11:29 save in Galatians 2:9 where he is identified as a “pillar.” He outlived all the apostles and is thought to have lived into the second century. He is reckoned the author of the Gospel of John, three epistles, and the Book of Revelation.

[8] Philip: The name means “Horse-lover” and occurs 35 times in the Christian Bible as the name of several men. The apostle Philip occurs only in the apostolic lists with John giving some details of his calling (John 1:40, 41, 43-49).

[9] Bartholomew: The name means “Son of Tolmai” and occurs 4 times, only in the apostolic lists. He is generally listed with Philip and most think he is the same as Nathanael (Matthew 10:3; Luke 6:14; John 1:45, 46). Nathanael means “God Has Given” and occurs 7 times only in Matthew and John. In the next centuries the “church fathers” use the names interchangeably for the same apostle. He is the first to call Jesus “King.” He was a man of outstanding character, without deceit or guileless, according to the Nazarene’s own judgment (John 1:43-51).

[10] Thomas: The name means “Twin” and occurs 13 times in the Christian Bible but not after the apostolic list in Acts. He is forever associated with vocal doubts (Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15; John 11:16). Despite this unjust reputation Thomas was willing to die with Jesus (John 11:16). He becomes an example to others to have faith without seeing (John 20:24-29).

[11] Matthew: See notes on Matthew 9:9-10. He is not mentioned after the ascension to heaven (Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:12-16).

[12] James the son of Alphaeus: Alphaeus is thought to be the same as Clopas (Matthew 10:2, 3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13) He is called “the Less” possibly because of his age or height (John 19:25; Mark 15:40; Matthew 27:56).

[13] Thaddaeus: The name only occurs here and Mark 3:18. He is elsewhere called “Judas the son of James.” (Luke 6:16; John 14:22; Acts 1:13) There is a humbling lesson in some of these apostolic names that appear nowhere else. They served in blessed ways almost anonymous. There have been many millions of similar Christians whose names remain unknown until that day when the “Lamb’s scroll of life” is published for others to read.

[14] Simon the Cananaean: This designation also occurs at Mark 3:18.

[15] Judas Iscariot: Perhaps the most infamous name in the Bible. Few, if any, mothers since have named their son Judas. The name Judas is drawn from Judah (“Praise”) or Jew. The full name occurs 7 times in the Gospels. “Iscariot” is thought by some to mean he was from a town called Kerioth-hezron in Judah. It is highly possible that Judas was the only apostle who was not a Galilean. It is likely that initially Judas was a good choice as an apostle for we find him in charge of the contributions (John 12:6; Matthew 10:3). Judas betrayal made him a “devil” or “slanderer” (John 6:66-71). The Hebrew prophets foretold one who would betray Jesus (Psalm 41:9; 109:8; John 13:18, 19).

[16] The one who turned Jesus over: Or, KJV: betrayed; PME: turned traitor.

The Procession of the Apostles – By (James) Jacques-Joseph Tissot, French, 1836-1902. After a painting now in the Brooklyn Museum, New York; photogravure from “La Vie de Notre Seigneur Jésus Christ . . . . avec des notes et des dessins explicatifs par J. James Tissot” 1896-97.

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Preceding

Matthew 9:35-38 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Preaching Tour in a Great Harvest

Matthew 9:35-38 – Looking at Jesus our shepherd

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finger-point

Related

  1. The Apostles
  2. The Prophets, The Apostles And The Saviour
  3. The 12 Apostles
  4. Phillip Medhurst’s Bible in pictures 131 The call of Andrew and Peter
  5. Phillip Medhurst presents 206/392 the James Tissot Jesus c 1896 The Procession of the Apostles
  6. Luke in the Phillip Medhurst Collection 611 Stephen and others are chosen to the diaconate Acts 6:5-6 Marillier
  7. Luke in the Phillip Medhurst Collection 612 The synagogue disputes with Stephen Acts 6:9-10 Marillier
  8. Jesus taking care of two of his apostles, like everyone else …
  9. >Sermon: The Testing Of The Apostles by Origen
  10. A Drowning Fisherman was Saved by a Carpenter
  11. 10 Powerful Lessons We Learn from the Life of the Apostle Peter
  12. The Magical Powers of the Apostle Peter’s Shadow
  13. A word in season – The Apostle John
  14. Daily Mass: St. John – Apostle & Evangelist
  15. Carissimi: Today’s Mass; SS Simon & Jude, Apostles
  16. Carissimi: Today’s Mass; Octave Day of St John the Evangelist, Apostle
  17. St. John the Apostle
  18. Little Faith apostle Thomas and how people often mislabel him as a doubter. But Thomas is not the only apostle who has been given a hard time for his moments of doubt.
  19. Sermon: St. Andrew the Apostle
  20. Who was St Andrew?
  21. Face Problems Like the Apostles
  22. Apostolic authority: executive, advisory or what?
  23. epistle, apostle
  24. Matthew 23:13-39 BHT, Sorrows of Religious Authorities
  25. Beginning Discipleship From the Apostles and Elders
  26. A Fisherman to a Fisher of Men: How to Follow in the First Apostles’ Footsteps

Matthew 8:14-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jesus Heals Peter’s Mother-in-law

Matthew 8:14-17 – Jesus Heals Peter’s Mother-in-law

|| Mark 1:29-34; Luke 4:38-41

MT8:14 Upon arriving at Peter’s house[1] Jesus saw his mother-in-law[2] down with a burning fever. MT8:15 Jesus touched her[3] and the fever left her. She rose and began serving Jesus.[4] MT8:16 Now when evening arrived they brought to Jesus many demon-possessed[5] and he exorcised[6] the spirits[7] with a mere word; and those suffering badly he cured.[8] MT8:17 This [was done] so that spoken by Isaiah[9] the prophet might be fulfilled: “He took [upon himself] our sicknesses and our diseases he carried.” [Isaiah 53:4]

[1] Peter’s house: Possibly owned by Peter. It is also possible he later sold it to obey Luke 12:33 thus setting his example in Acts 2:44, 45; 4:34-37.

[2] Mother-in-law: Most understand that Peter was married as Paul later mentions (1 Corinthians 9:5). We are told nothing of Peter’s wife.

[3] Jesus touched her: Some of Jesus’ healings involved touch (Matthew 20:34).; others did not, as in the case of the centurion’s servant. Regarding Jesus’ touch (or, others touching him) see: Matthew 8:3, 15; 9:20, 21, 29; 14:36; 17:7; 20:34; Mark 1:41; 3:10; 5:27; 6:56; 7:33; 8:22; 10:13; Luke 5:13; 6:19; 7:14, 39; 8:44; 18:15; 22:51.

[4] Serving Jesus: That is, showing hospitality as in preparing food and drink. We wonder what goes through her mind.

[5] Demon-possessed: The Greek is DAIMONI-ZOMENOUS and is also rendered: WEY: demoniacs; KJV: possessed with devils; BAS: had evil spirits. The word occurs ten times only in the Synoptic Gospels.

[6] Exorcised: The Greek is EXEBALEN and is variously rendered: KJV: cast out; NOR: drove out; KIT: threw out (Compare Matthew 9:33; Mark 1:34; 16:9).

[7] Spirits: The Greek is PNEUMATA and is rendered “demons” by some (MON).

[8] Cured: The Greek is ETHERAPEUSEN and may be translated “healed.” The word occurs three dozen times in the Gospels.

[9] Isaiah: That is Isaiah 53:4. Isaiah is quoted by name 21 times (Matthew, 5; Mark, 2; Luke, 2; John, 4; Acts, 3; Romans, 5). 1 Peter 2:24 alludes to this same verse.

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Preceding

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:23-25 – Kingdom Preaching and Healing Draws Crowds

Matthew 8:1-4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jesus a Miracle-working Son of God

Matthew 8:5-13 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Servant of Army Officer Healed

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Additional reading

  1. Oh god, this is never going to end!
  2. Commemorating the escape from slavery

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Further reading

  1. Day 12 – Unwavering faith
  2. Matthew 8 (When life takes flight)
  3. Jesus is not only our Redeemer, He is also our Master
  4. Though He Delay, He Will be Faithful
  5. Experiencing Jesus’s Touch
  6. That special touch. Blog 12-2017
  7. Jesus, Thursday November 16, AD 29

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 5 Matthew 6: 24-34: e) Anxiety and neighbor love

Matthew 6: 24-34: e) Anxiety and neighbor love

|| Luke 12:22-31

MT6:24 “No one can slave for two masters,[1] for either he will hate one and love the other[2] or embrace[3] one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Riches![4] MT6:25 For this I tell you: Do not be overly concerned[5] about your soul[6] as to what you might eat or what you might drink,[7] nor about your body as to clothing.[8] MT6:26 Look well to the birds[9] in the sky, they do not sow or reap. Nor do they gather into storage barns.[10] Your heavenly Father feeds them.[11] Are you that much different?[12] MT6:27 But, who among you can add one minute to your life-span[13] by being overly concerned? MT6:28 And, why are you overly concerned about clothing? Learn something from how the flowers of the field[14] grow. They do not labor or spin.[15] MT6:29 But, I tell you: Solomon in all his glory[16] was not clothed as one of these. MT6:30 But, if The God clothes the fields of grass,[17] here today and tomorrow tossed in the oven, how much more you,[18] ones of little faith? MT6:31 So, do not be overly concerned,[19] saying, ‘What will we eat?’ Or, ‘What will we drink?’ Or, ‘What will we put on?’[20] MT6:32 For all these the Non-Jews overly seek.[21] Your heavenly Father knows you need all these.[22] MT6:33 But, you, seek first His Kingdom and righteousness[23] and all these will be added to you. MT6:34 So, do not be overly concerned about tomorrow.[24] For tomorrow will have its own concerns. The hardships of each day are enough![25]

[1] Two masters: Or, masters. 2 Timothy 2:4 expresses a similar idea by Paul.

[2] He will hate one and love the other: Various renderings are: TCNT: attach himself; BECK: be loyal to the one. Hate here means to love less of two, much as a man with two maidens to please. Woe to him if the other finds out. The disciple who slaves for Mammon, or sticks to riches by his conversation and agenda, though unknown to himself, despises his true Lord.

[3] Embrace: Or, “stick”. On the word “stick” see Deuteronomy 30:20 where it equals love and obedience. Rather than try to balance the two, God and Riches, the Friend of the Nazarene is better off sinning on the side of God and poverty than on the side of Riches and self. Better to die penniless with God as your Business Partner than end life wealthy with a lost soul as your only investment (Luke 12:20).

[4] God and Riches: It is not, “God or Riches,” but, “God and Riches.” The Nazarene says it cannot be done, though untold numbers of Christians have attempted it miserably (1 Timothy 6:7-10, 17-19). Various renderings are: KNX: you must serve God or money; you cannot serve both. This is an impossibility illustrated by the mental image of a poor servant running back and forth between the two demands of two different lords. He is obediently with the one when the other requires his service. Riches can easily become a taskmaster greater than God. Riches can become God itself.

In the modern Western capitalist world there are millions of Christians trying to do the very thing the Nazarene said cannot be done: serve God and Riches. There are those Prosperity Preachers who speak in the voice of Revelation 3:17 and who insist riches are proof of God’s blessing. They particularly encourage tithing and giving one’s money to them in promise of God’s blessing. The Nazarene Saint has only to look at the life-style of the Master and those early disciples to see what Jesus meant.

[5] Overly concerned: Various renderings are: KJ: take no thought for your life; WMS: stop worrying about your life; NEB: put away anxious thoughts. Stop! This is a negative command of the Nazarene, and based on John 15:14 and John 14:15, a failure to obey this directive proves one does not love him, nor is a friend of the Lord. To persist in anxiety and worry is a desertion of Christ. For those hapless and bedarkened souls who suffer physical and chemical ailments are captive to frightening insecurities and paranoia. Note Paul’s “secret” at Philippians 4:6, 12.

The affects of worry, anxiety, and being overly concerned about material matters, can have a strong influence on neighbor love, for one may be so occupied with these secular things as to ignore one’s neighbor.

[6] Soul: The Greek is PSYCHE and many translate this “life.” It is interesting that it is the “soul” linked to the functions of eating and drinking and then the “body” (SOMA) with clothing. In Hebrew and Greek the “soul” is the living, breathing creature itself and at death becomes “a dead soul.” (Leviticus 21:11; Numbers 6:6, 11: dead soul) To Paul the “soul” is the animal, physical, earthly, dusty, corruptible, mortal (1 Corinthians 15:42-49). See lexicons and dictionaries on “soul.”

[7] Drink: Usually this does not mean water but wine or milk as both were staples.

[8] Clothing: In the world of the Nazarene the majority of people possessed a single set of clothes meant to last a life-time. Note Matthew 5:40; 9:16, 20, 21; 11:8; 24:18; Luke 22:36; John 19:25. The “naked” state mentioned in Matthew 25:36 can infer improperly clothed for the conditions.

[9] Birds: In Luke 12:23, 24 these “birds” are “ravens,” the bird which Noah released first (Genesis 8:7), and which fed Elijah (1 Kings 17:4, 6). The raven is considered the smartest of birds, mate for life, and is the most wide-ranging of all birds. It is found on Mount Everest, in the worst of deserts, and the Arctic. Job 38:41 is a foreview of the Nazarene’s words,

‘Who provides the ravens food when its young cry to God for help?’

[10] They do not sow or reap. Nor do they gather into storage barns: According to the Nazarene birds do not toil, but they survive. Jesus is encouraging the simple life in which toil is non-existent. For three and a half years Jesus did not toil, nor did his disciples until that day they lost faith and returned to their fishing businesses (John 21:1-19).

[11] Father feeds them: The Nazarene credits God for feeding the birds even as Job 38:41 states. If the Nazarene has this kind of conviction, how can one of his disciples not trust God to care.

[12] Different: Many translate DIAPHERETE as “worth” and this may be well, but one can see the English corruption “different” in the word. Regarding “worth” each person has a value or worth and in the Nazarene’s absurdum the disciples can see their true value in the eyes of the Creator of sparrows which sell for little in the market (Matthew 10:29).

[13] Add one minute to your life-span: Various renderings: GDSP: which of you with all his worry can add a single hour to his life span; TCNT: prolong his life a single moment; PHI: make himself an inch taller. Note Psalm 39:4, 5: life; Psalm 90:10: seventy or eighty years. Unknown then, but presumed by human reasoning, and now confirmed by medical studies, anxiety does not prolong life, but shortens it, in a painfully slow and a daily agonizing death.

[14] Flowers of the field: Some identify the flower with the lily. Compare Matthew 11:28 and Proverbs 23:4: toil. These beauties of the field neither toil nor sow and are an example for the Nazarene disciple (Matthew 6:26).

[15] They do not labor or spin: The bird does not gather or store, and the flower does not labor or spin, and the Nazarene infers this is an example for his disciples. The storage and labor here are of a material kind. No one could argue that the Nazarene or Paul did not labor and toil, but this they did in the Master’s harvest. Compare Paul’s arguments in 1 Corinthians 9:3-18.

[16] Solomon in all his glory: Note Solomon’s wealth at 1 Kings 10:5 and read of his endeavors in Ecclesiastes ch 2, where he admits the futility or vanity of what appears to be security in material things. Note his conclusions at Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14. The Queen of Sheba, so overcome at Solomon’s wealth, may have been unimpressed by the humble lifestyle of the Nazarene.

[17] The God clothes the fields of grass: The Nazarene credits God for the carpets of flowers.

[18] How much more you: See Luke 12:28. The standard clothing of the poor in the days of the Nazarene was three layers of covering, the outer of such a nature to serve also as a night blanket, or a tent in foul weather. This served a lifetime and was so well made and needful as to be a guarantee against a debt (Matthew 5:40). Such a pledge had to be returned before night. It is doubtful Jesus had a wardrobe that allowed a daily, weekly, or even monthly change of apparel. Note Matthew 11:8 where soft or fine garments are found in king’s castles and splendid, luxurious dress in royal houses (Luke 7:25). These fine clothes may be beautiful and carry a delicate feel to the skin, but useless for the night bivouac of a wandering troop of itinerant teachers spending the occasional evening under the stars with God as their blanket, their only entertainment the nocturnal crickets, frogs and owls. Who among those genuine disciples of the Nazarene would not give everything they possess to spend one such night under the open celestial darkness with Jesus. Then to listen to his restful breathing in that Innocent’s sleep, only to wonder of such divine dreams?

In the Western world much time is spent in shopping at luxurious malls, which would rival the pyramids in their architecture, and absorb untold hours of dressing and undressing, only to have clothes hang limp in the darkness of a closet.

[19] Not be overly concerned: See Luke 12:29: worry. Various renderings: PHI: do not worry. ‘Stop worrying!’ is a Nazarene command (John 14:15). To worry or be unduly anxious is a desertion of Christ. Better to die of starvation or thirst or nakedness than to give in to anxiety over transient things.

Note the austere sincerity of Peter’s haste to build a mountain bivouac from available boughs, for those august personages of Moses and Elijah, so they had some shelter from the lofty mountain’s night – a heart so sweet and swift in its goodness. Such an enthusiastic suggestion is unthinkable in the modern Western world where one would rather worry about the credit limit on a gold bankcard and where the nearest luxury hotel was, let alone have the knowledge to build such a temporary shelter (Matthew 17:1, 4).

[20] ‘What will we eat?’ Or, ‘What will we drink?’ Or, ‘What will we put on?’: These questions seem out of place to a Western reader where these are the least of one’s problems. In Third World Countries these are still timely questions of daily concern. In the West most are struggling with various weight programs, drink too much, and have closets filled with unused clothing. A woman dressing for the evening may go through a dozen changes before the mirror, try on several pairs of heels, select from drawers of jewelry and choose from dozens of perfumes.

However, the spirit of the Nazarene’s teachings ought to ring in the ears of the Saint living near the top of the social and economic pyramid: seek a life of simplicity with a generous eye toward the less fortunate. It is Paul who instructs the missionary Timothy to “give orders to the rich.” (1 Timothy 6:17-19) Who dare do that today? What Christian pastor has the courage to even read these words without rationalizing to his affluent congregation?

[21] Non-Jews overly seek: And the Nazarene would have to admit, and perhaps he avoids saying so, many Jews of his world sought the same. Various renderings: BECK: the people of the world run after all these things. These words were not lost on the Nazarene’s beloved when John writes

‘Do not love the world and its things… for all worldly things (fleshly desire, greedy eyes, and self-assuming materialism) are not of the Father.’ (1 John 2:15, 16)

Here “things” are merely food, drink and clothing and this is ludicrous in a modern Western society where payments for debts on autos, mobile phones, TV cable-hookups, electricity for refrigerators, and other modern conveniences make economic slaves of men, their wives and families. Jesus’ sermon would be meaningless to a modern audience in America or Europe accept for those unfortunate living on the street and who have fallen outside the sumptuous table of capitalist and social democratic orders.

[22] Father knows you need all these: The comforting thought that God knows our needs saturates the Psalms. If there is one group of peoples the Almighty pays close attention to, it is the poor (1 Timothy 6:8; Philippians 4:12). The word “poor” occurs 117, times with Psalms having the most occurrences (23 times). A comparison of a concordance on the words poor, poverty, affliction, or oppressed, will reveal God’s loving care for such multitudes.

[23] Seek first His Kingdom and righteousness: First the Kingdom, and then God’s righteousness, not some other standard (See Romans 14:17: kingdom). Various renderings are: PHI: set your heart on his kingdom; RIEU: pursue the kingdom; BECK: first be eager to have God as your King; GDSP: but you must make his kingdom and uprightness your greatest care. When the Nazarene here uses the word “kingdom” he first means that opportunity to gain entrance into the kingdom or realm of the Son which is the Church, the Nazarene Community of Christian Saints with its heavenly call (Matthew 13:41; Colossians 1:12; Hebrews 3:1). This “righteousness” is not that of the Law but those commandments of the Lord (John 14:15; 1John 3:23).

[24] Do not be overly concerned about tomorrow: Apparently he does not mean ‘give no thought of the morrow’ for the Nazarene himself prepares for the future day on occasion. The Greek MERIMNESETE may be rendered anxious or worry. It is often used in the context of “concern” and thus the use of “overly concerned.” Some reasonable concern is necessary as shown in Jesus’ instructions regarding the colt and the upper room. Compare Job 14:1 and Exodus 16:4, 19: depression. Various renderings are: MOF: so never be troubled; KNX: do not fret.

Note a practical commentary on this verse at Philippians 4:11-13. It takes a certain natural or developed bent of mind to trust in God to such an extent and the majority of Christians who ever lived were not of this caliber. Paul, after the Nazarene’s model, was such a person who took the Lord’s word at face value and lived his life accordingly. An unnamed scribe, overcome by the crowds, and the healing works of this wandering Rabbi, offered, ‘I will follow you anywhere.’ Jesus’ simple reply pointed the difficult way,

‘Foxes have dens, birds have roosts, but I have nowhere to sleep. Come, follow me!’ (Matthew 8:18-22)

Words and promises are big but deeds and examples are few. Today millions are spent on treatment for anxiety and depression. It is obvious the more things one has to care for or worry about, the more anxiety occupies and distracts, leading to those modern ills. In the end, even the most security conscious have no control over his finances, his life, his inheritance. For an example, a commentary on this verse, there is none better than Luke 12:13-34.

‘Tomorrow will have its own concerns.’ You can rely on this as much as death and taxes! One day at a time, as the AA phrase goes, is right out of the Nazarene’s teachings. Most anxieties are not worth the time and energy wasted on them, for those real fears do not materialize in most cases; and in those justified cases, the majority of time there is little that can be done about them. Each day’s badness, evil, or anxieties is sufficient, so why fret about those which have not yet appeared? Why add to it all by anxiety and those attitudes and actions which it creates?

[25] Hardships of each day are enough: There are those “hardships” which are beyond our control, like an earthquake, or the outbreak of war, or a wave of persecution, or sudden illness. There are those hardships which we bring upon ourselves by bad decisions, laziness, stupidity, or poor preparation.

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Preceding articles

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

Man enticed to long for more

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Additional reading

  1. 19° century Londoners, religion and heretical opinions
  2. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #2 Purity
  3. Contribution – Contributie, bijdrage
  4. Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God
  5. When discouraged facing opposition
  6. Fearing the right person
  7. Dealing with worries in our lives
  8. Give your worries to God
  9. Look for today
  10. Rejoicing in the day
  11. God Feeds The Birds
  12. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #1 Prosperity

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Further reading

  1. Today’s Scripture – September 26, 2016
  2. Sermon on Matthew 6.24-34 (Audio)
  3. Two Masters
  4. Bible Study: Insights on the Sermon on the Mount: God or Mammon
  5. Seek First The Kingdom Of GOD: Two Masters – What is Mammon?
  6. FAact Food #673 The English word ‘mammon’ is a direct rip-off from Latin’s ‘mammona’ meaning ‘wealth’. In the New Testament of the Bible, the term ‘mammon’ is associated with greedy pursuit of profit through …
  7. Seek First The Kingdom Of God: Two Masters – You Can Serve Only One
  8. The Idols of the Nations
  9. Mammon: Word of the day for September 13, 2016
  10. Do You Know The Word Mammon?
  11. “Mammon : The desire for wealth personified as an evil spirit or a malign influence. Often mammon:…”
  12. Mammon
  13. Mammon 2
  14. Mammon 3
  15. Mammon, Mountains and Donations
  16. God or mammon?
  17. God and Mammon (Revisited)
  18. God or Money
  19. 24 October: Mammon, money, need and greed
  20. Duchies of Hell: Mammon
  21. Mighty Mammon vs. Almighty God
  22. Christians Side With Mammon. Mammon Sided with Barabbas
  23. The Betrayal of Jesus: Then and Now
  24. Should Christians Buy Stocks?
  25. Immanuel Kant Interlude – Compulsory Idleness
  26. Daily Mass: Whom do you serve, God or mammon? Catholic Inspiration
  27. 12 April, Relics X: Blood Money
  28. James on Justice (An Appeal for Classless Christianity) James 4:1-17
  29. Help Us Dear Lord Not To Call You A Liar – Part 3
  30. Money and Happiness
  31. The greatest world religion? – materialism!
  32. The Almighty Dollar
  33. Do You Love Money?
  34. Need
  35. God Almighty, or the god of money?
  36. God wants us to be free from bondage to greed
  37. You Cannot Serve Both God & Riches
  38. Christianity held hostage
  39. Propensity for Prosperity
  40. Oh Lord Won’t You Buy Me A Mercedes Benz?
  41. Christianity Targeted by Corrupt Government
  42. Worship only God
  43. Prosperity Preachers
  44. The False Doctrine of Prosperity Preachers
  45. I Wrestled With A Preacher In My Dreams

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

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

MT5:38 “You heard it said: ‘Eye for eye and tooth for tooth.’[1] [Exodus 21:24] MT5:39 But, I tell you: Do not resist[2] wicked authority. But, whoever slaps your right cheek,[3] turn to him the other. MT5:40 And, the one with a legal settlement against you for your inner garment, let him have the outer. MT5:41 And, whoever impresses you to go one mile,[4] go two. MT5:42 Give to those asking[5] and do not turn away from the one wanting to borrow.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (portret omstreeks de late jaren 1930)

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, employing nonviolent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence from Great Britain, and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.

[1] Eye for eye and tooth for tooth: Ghandi commented that all this Law did was make a world of blind persons. There is no case of this ever being done literally in the Hebrew Bible. The subject is “revenge” which the Nazarene discourages.

[2] Do not resist: The principle behind the Civil Rights Movement. Compare Romans 12:17 and 1 Peter 2:23: yielding. Most do not see the Nazarene teaching pacifism, others do. NJB ftn:

“The gospel does not forbid reasonable defense against unjust aggression.”

Though we do not find the Nazarene making use of this (John 18:22, 36).

The subject may be “wicked authority” represented in either the Roman occupiers or the harsh religious hierarchy. There are three examples within this context of “wicked authority”: a) an insult; b) legal matters; and, c) forced civil service. Here are the sources for “turn the other cheek” and “go the extra mile.” (Note Mark 15:21: authority)

Large outdoor gathering

World Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi, 2011

[3] Slaps your right cheek: An open-handed insult. The Nazarene experiences this (John 18:22).

[4] Impresses you to go one mile: Such rights by the State are current in most countries. For example, in the United States the police may command one’s vehicle or the fire department may impress one into fire-fighting.

[5] Give to those asking: A hallmark of the Nazarene’s teachings. Various renderings: MOF: the man who begs; WMS: keeps on begging. Compare Acts 20:35 in a rare allusion or quotation of the Nazarene by Paul. These include interest free loans (See Deuteronomy 23:19 and Luke 6:32-34: loans). Luke the Physician is stronger on this matter than Matthew the Tax-collector, the former discouraging loans completely and stressing giving. A real test on the Nazarene Saint is the pocketbook and is demonstrated in being ‘liberal’ (Romans 12:8, 13; 1 Timothy 6:17-19). The Nazarene Saint who refuses to share that good bounty God has given is in serious danger (James 1:27; 2:15-17; 1 John 3:16-18).

Luke includes the giving nearer the context of love for enemies. The Good Doctor includes interest free loans and not expecting any repayment (See Deuteronomy 15:7; Proverbs 21:26; Matthew 5:42: giving).

Does all of this suggest a commandment for all Friends of the Nazarene to divest themselves of their possessions or property? Judging from the descriptions in the Book of Acts this was not a command but a voluntary matter. Peter tells Ananias,

‘When it was unsold, did it not remain your property; and after it was sold, did not the value remain in your control?’ (Acts 5:4)

Peter nowhere argues:

“Did not the Nazarene teach you to sell everything and give to the poor.”

It was completely voluntary, though one can sense a degree of peer pressure from the Nazarene Community of Saints. Later when Paul argues these matters with the Corinthians and then with Timothy, he never resorts to the authority of the Nazarene about selling all. He merely tells Timothy, ‘To command the rich’ and then gives a list of strongly suggested items (1 Timothy 6:17-19). Certainly the Nazarene, and also God, encourage a “simple eye” on “guard against covetousness” (Luke 12:15), always remembering that the Father is paying close attention to how the Nazarene Saint uses material possessions.

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Preceding articles

Matthew 5:33-37 – 4. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Numbers 30:3

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:10-14 – “What Shall We Do?”

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Additional reading

  1. In a world which knows no peace sharing blessed hope
  2. A man who cannot forgive others
  3. When discouraged facing opposition
  4. God should be your hope
  5. He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
  6. Ability (part 7) Thought about the ability to grow as a member of the Body of Christ
  7. When having taken a new direction in life, having become a Christian
  8. Priest, scribes and others with authority
  9. Many forgot how Christ should be our anchor and our focus
  10. Church sent into the world
  11. Fellowship
  12. Love is like playing the piano
  13. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love
  14. How do you keep people from stealing your joy?
  15. Work with joy and pray with love
  16. What Does Love Look Like?
  17. Overcome division with core values
  18. Cognizance at the doorstep or at the internet socket
  19. A true sermon is a real deed.
  20. How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice

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Further related reading

  1. City on a Hill
  2. Psalms 13: Has God Forgotten Me?
  3. 10 Biblical Passages That Radically Shape My Worldview
  4. Christians, It’s Time to Stop Saying “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin.”
  5. Chiseled for Change: Part 2
  6. Jesus interprets the Law through love
  7. Letting the Bible study you – Part three
  8. The point is…do you know Love?
  9. The hermeneutics of love – part two
  10. Jesus’ Subversive Kingdom – Part Four
  11. Give me dove’s eyes
  12. It’s Not About Chick-fil-A–It’s About You Standing For Christian Values
  13. Be Strong Be Courageous
  14. There is more to life than meets the eye.
  15. The heart has an ” inner eye ” …..
  16. With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony…

2015 the year of ISIS

Forces of Evil

Behind Acts of Terror

“We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

CroppedStalin1943.jpg

Joseph Stalin (1878-1953) leader of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953. Holding the post of the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, he was effectively the dictator of the state. – Stalin at the Tehran Conference in 1943.

The past century was one of unprecedented evil: 20 million killed in Stalin’s purges, Hitler’s extermination of six million Jews, 1.7 million massacred in the killing fields by Pol Pot, and the millions of lives lost trying to defend or defeat these ruthless leaders. And the carnage escalated quickly into the 21st century as mankind witnessed the fiery deaths of over 4,000 from suicide missions perpetrated against the United States on 9/11 by Al-Qaeda extremists. But an even more sinister and illusive foe has been terrorizing the world with random, demonic acts of evil. The Salafi jihadist militant group that follows an Islamic fundamentalist, Wahhabi doctrine of Sunni Islam, ISIS has become more organized, more powerful and more evil than all other religious extremist groups.

2015 has been a year full of different terror attacks. We were shocked by those in Paris, San Bernardino, which has long battled high crime rates but got its mass shooting in 2015, where the perpetrators were “homegrown violent extremists” inspired by foreign terrorist groups. When we look at all the terror attacks effectuate we may wonder if the the hideous acts of terror around the world by radical Islamic militants were simply the function of an evil twist of character fueled by false religion, or are they provoked still further by a malicious, invisible force? Will the One true God bring an end to all this evil and terror?

Satan, Evil and Intelligent Beings

The Word of God leaves no doubt there is evil in the world. It tells us where it came into the world. It was by the greed of man that man was overtaken to rebel against God.

In the Bible we are told that by the years more and more people came into existence rebelling against their Most High Power. We also come to find out that even by the followers of Jeshua (Jesus Christ) there were those who were taken by fear and by lust of power and money, so that they doubted what Jesus should (Peter) do or betrayed their master teacher for some money (Judas). The apostle who resisted Jesus, Peter, was therefore called a Satan by Jeshua.

Going against the Will of God is considered being an opponent or adversary, which is being a Satan. In several languages it is translated as a personification of an evil doer or evil bringer. In English such a person or being, is also called a ‘devil‘. In the bible we are given several examples of such beings who do evil or who oppose God. As to the existence of a personal devil and his legions of demons, we can see that those possessed with ‘demons‘ are the ones who have a psychological illness. The Bible gives a comprehensive description of Satan, his emissaries and his aims. Satan is represented in Scripture as being the orchestrator and source of evil in the universe — the unrelenting enemy of God and man.

In the Book of books, the Bible, we are shown that even some men of God became a victim of that Satan. Those books show clearly how it is from within those people that filth or evil came over them. They were weak and let themselves being seduced by their own thoughts. We can see that they them selves were at fault and that nobody outside them was to blame for they  going wrong.

A god of this world

From the Scriptures we do know that several men opposed the Divine Creator and placed themselves higher than Him. Though we may not forget that nobody can be greater than God. Even Jesus knew very well that God was the greatest and that he could do nothing without God. Throughout history many people got an important position and as such became gods, i.e. higher placed people. As such we can find angels, Moses, Pharaoh, Apollo, Zeus being called gods, like Jesus was also called a god but none of them were the God of gods. Several of those higher placed beings also became worshipped as gods, whilst others rule the world as a god.

The Apostle Paul recognized the existence of a personal, invisible devil and gave him or them the title “god of this world.” (2 Corinthians 4:4) Paul also called Satan

“the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.” (Ephesians 2:2)

These words imply not only that there are evil principles at work, but that behind them there are invisible evil powers opposing all that is good.

“We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

Rulers of the darkness of this world

We must not think evil is something of one specific being, a singular “Satan”. In all of us sits a Satan. We all can become victim of Satan, the evil within. If we are not careful and let our imagination go, and let our lust being taken over by our inner lust, we shall also become a Satan, an adversary of God like Peter at one time also was called a Satan.

Today we can see many adversaries of God at work. They are the Satan spoken of  in the Hoy Scriptures. We are also warned of those who oppose the Almighty God, that they will be the rulers of the world and that there shall come a “prince of the devils“. It shall come so fart that the world shall be put in chains by those adversaries of Allah or God. Even the angels, the celestial beings, shall come to see what happens on the world, and they too shall not be able to stop it. It shall continue until the Great or Last Day of this System of things.

Satan may have gained ‘legions of angels’, those beings who have actively supported his evil schemes, they shall be looked on by the faithful to God. Though the world shall continue to bring the unfaithful together trying to get more lovers of God away from Him. We are even told they would not mind to use all tricks to lure those people into their net. that is also what we are seeing today. Several people who have doubts about God and religion try to find a solution for their own life. They think those people from Islamic State or IS, can give them the right answer and give them an eternal happy life.

Islamic State does as if it is fighting for God, but when we look at their works, raping innocent girls, selling women as slaves, burning holy books and prayer houses (mosques and churches) we can see that those actions are against the Will of God. Their aim is to rule the world by creating their own state, the Islamic State. They do know, people are gone far away from God, and as such they are also an easy prey. In this world there is a lot of darkness and they make use of it to gain their power over all those who do not believe in the One True God.

Though they forget there are also others who as opposer of God want to rule the world. And in the bible we are told they too shall rise up against each other and claim to have the right to rule the world. as part of the signs of the last days we shall come to see that there shall start the Big Battle in the land of Euphrates and Tigris (Iraq and Iran) and that religion shall come up against religion, situations we can see today.

Together all those opposed to God shall do their best to have people to believe that either we should do away with all sorts of religion and should not believe in Allah or God, whilst others shall do their best to have people coming to their false religion.  Satan or satans, the adversary or adversaries of God shall come to cooperate as mischief workers amongst men. For them the most important is that nobody shall be a follower of Jesus Christ (a Christian) or would worship God as a united Body in Christ. The Islamic fundamentalist group “Islamic State” is the Satan which shall never let up their unrelenting desire to create a society under their control. (Matthew 9:34; Isaiah 14:12-15)

Continued malicious meddling

What we see happening today is a result of continued malicious meddling by “Satan and the demons”, the adversaries of god and those who are not sound in mind, as they prey upon the weakest of humanity. While fallen man is much to blame for these acts of violence, “wicked spirits” often enter sick or deluded minds, suggesting hideous acts of violence. The Scriptures describe in detail such incidents and the misery caused by evil spirit influence and possession. (Matthew 8:16; Mark 5:15; Luke 4:41; Luke 22:3)

Those who are inclined toward evil leave themselves open to suggestions from these wicked spirits. There are enough ‘lunatics’ or mad people who want to get their ideas into the mind of others. Some succeed cleverly to bring others in the ban of their thinking. Muslim extremists wreaking worldwide panic through acts of terror have been brain-washed by doctrines of ‘demons’, persons who have evil inside and want to bring that evil unto others, them believing that they have a God-directed mission to execute their victims. (1 Timothy 4:1) But, unlike the god of Muslim extremists, the God of real Muslims and the Judeo-Christian God, Jehovah, is a God of love, and He has told His children that there are seven things which are an abomination to Him — among these are hands that shed innocent blood, hearts that devise wicked plans, feet that run swiftly to evil and those who spread strife. (Proverbs 6:16-19) These activities describe well the acts of hateful extremists — no matter their religion.

16 There are six things that Jehovah does hate;+ yes, seven are things detestable to his soul:+ 17 lofty eyes,+ a false tongue,+ and hands that are shedding innocent blood,+ 18 a heart fabricating hurtful schemes,+ feet that are in a hurry to run to badness,+ 19 a false witness that launches forth lies,+ and anyone sending forth contentions among brothers.+ (Proverbs 6: 16-19)

While there are relatively few radicalised Muslims waging a war of terror, it is important to understand that the majority of Muslims are peace-loving. Christians must not succumb to the hysteria that creates fear of the entire Muslim community — most of whom are peaceable and reasonable. Remember Jesus’ admonition:

“Love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Matthew 22:39)

Escalating into devastating worldwide violence of our day

Today’s Headlines Written Nearly 2,000 Years Ago

In His foreknowledge, God could look down to our time and see the hate and greed in the human heart that would escalate into the devastating worldwide violence of our day. In His wisdom, God has permitted this extreme level of evil under “Satan’s temporary reign” that it might teach an everlasting lesson to all mankind. god has given the world in the hands of man. It was man who accused God of not being fair and not giving him liberty. Now man has the liberty to choose how to rule and how to live. History has proven that they made a mess of it. This limited experience living in a world with evil is teaching mankind to hate iniquity and to long for a better day under a righteous ruler — Messiah.

Therefore, to provide hope to His people, God placed in His Word prophetic indicators which would point to the time when Satan’s kingdom of evil would begin to collapse. Four signs were given to the prophet Daniel which would mark the time of the end — the end of this present evil world under the dominion of Satan. (Daniel 12:1, 4; Galatians 1:4)

12 “And during that time Miʹcha·el*+ will stand up,+ the great prince*+ who is standing in behalf of the sons of your people.+ And there will certainly occur a time of distress such as has not been made to occur since there came to be a nation until that time.+ And during that time your people will escape,+ every one who is found written down in the book.+ And there will be many of those asleep in the ground of dust who will wake up,+ these to indefinitely lasting life+ and those to reproaches [and] to indefinitely lasting abhorrence.+

“And the ones having insight will shine like the brightness* of the expanse;+ and those who are bringing the many to righteousness,+ like the stars to time indefinite, even forever.

“And as for you, O Daniel, make secret the words and seal up the book,+ until the time of [the] end.*+ Many will rove about, and the [true] knowledge* will become abundant.”+ (Daniel 12:1-4)

He gave himself for our sins+ that he might deliver us from the present wicked system of things*+ according to the will+ of our God and Father, (Galatians 1:4)

Signs for us to take heed

“many shall run to and fro”

In the past 100 years, numerous modes of transportation have been invented, increasing the speed of travel from 20 mph to over 18,000 mph. This has been a blessing to most of humanity, but it has also brought with it a means for terrorists to spread their evil rapidly far and wide.

“knowledge shall be increased”

Science and Invention magazine cover, November 1928

More than ninety percent of all scientists who have ever lived are alive today, and more than fifty percent of the world’s inventions have been created within the last three decades. Additionally, sophistication in communications allows man to see and hear global news instantly. This has created amazing tools to benefit mankind, but it has also provided terrorists the tools to spread their hate.

• Messiah will begin to “stand up” for Daniel’s “people”

Israel’s rebirth as a nation is a miracle of history. Never before has a nation been destroyed, its people dispersed to the ends of the earth and then — nearly 2,000 years later — regathered and reestablished as a nation. But, one of radical Islam’s most hated enemies is Israel. This horrible reality of terror has been playing out almost every day since Israel’s formation as a nation in 1948. And now, the other countries of the world are experiencing firsthand the fear of living their daily lives in expectation of yet another terrorist attack.

“a time of trouble such as never was”

Yalta summit in February 1945 with (from left ...

Yalta summit in February 1945 with (from left to right) Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin. Also present are USSR Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov (far left); Admiral of the Fleet Sir Andrew Cunningham, RN, Marshal of the RAF Sir Charles Portal, RAF, (both standing behind Churchill); Field Marshal Alan Brooke and Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, USN, (standing behind Roosevelt). Note ornate carpets under the chairs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unprecedented trouble is the hallmark of our time and is confirmed by these recent tragic events. True, the world has always had trouble, but, prior to 1940, the potential for the annihilation of humanity by the single flick of a switch was unheard of. In the first three quarters of the 20th Century at least 100 million lives had been lost to war (Time Magazine, March 9, 1970). Thirty-four wars were being waged in 1988 alone. And today, “the weak say I am strong.” (Joel 3:10) A few, “the weak,” have brought the strong nations of the world into a state of extreme distress. Weakness, fuelled by jealousy, hatred, misinformation and prejudice punctuates Daniel’s vision of unprecedented trouble.

Maintaining Faith in an Unstable World

All four of these signs given to Daniel should give God’s people hope that the end of Satan’s evil regime is near. Yet, it is still hard to maintain faith in this unstable and frightening world. This makes it even more necessary that we, as Christians, take up the whole armour of God that we might be able to

“withstand in the evil day… having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God…” Ephesians 6:10-17

Yes, in this unstable world it takes an extreme, educated faith to believe that God’s plan will provide a constructive end to all the tears caused by evil — to believe that God is not indifferent to every sorrow. The Scriptures declare that He desires mankind to live in a world without fear, but He now allows Satan (God’s adversary) to rule for a limited time in order that each individual may learn valuable lessons — experiencing the results of evil and selfishness.

The world is quickly learning that it is helpless to win a war against evil. Thus we read,

“This sore travail has God given to man to be exercised therewith.” (Ecclesiastes 1:13)

It is comforting to know that when God finally says through His Son, It is enough — peace be still, we can rest assured that there will be great changes in the earth, and all will begin to see that the permission of evil was both educational and preparatory to the ushering of mankind into the ages of blessing to come, wherein

“all the families of the earth will be blessed.” (Genesis 28:14)

The promise is that once God, through His Son, puts an utter end to all evil,

“affliction shall not rise up the second time.” (Nahum 1:9; Job 34:29)

What will YOU men think up against Jehovah?+ He is causing an outright extermination.

Distress will not rise up a second time.+ (Nahum 1:9)

29 When he himself causes quietness, who, then, can condemn?

And when he conceals [his] face,+ who can behold him,

Whether it is toward a nation+ or toward a man,* it being the same thing? (Job 34:29)

In other words, the harsh lessons of evil will never be necessary again when all the families of the earth learn, by contrast, that love, peace, righteousness and unselfishness are far more preferable than living in this present evil world. The depth of God’s wisdom is shown in His foresight to devise a plan that provides for man’s free choice and experience with evil, but nevertheless brings redemption through Christ which will result in eternal happiness.

The Desire of All Nations Shall Come

Though God has permitted Satan’s evil influence for a relatively short time, He will soon put a stop to all evil and usher in His everlasting righteous Kingdom. Then the Scriptures assure us that all of “the inhabitants of the earth will learn righteousness” when the “knowledge of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the deep.” (Isaiah 26:9; 11:9)

The path of the righteous one is uprightness.+ You being upright, you will smooth out the very course of a righteous one.+ Yes, for the path of your judgments, O Jehovah, we have hoped in you.+ For your name and for your memorial+ the desire of the soul has been.+ With my soul I have desired you in the night;+ yes, with my spirit within me I keep looking for you;+ because, when there are judgments from you for the earth,+ righteousness+ is what the inhabitants of the productive land* will certainly learn.+ 10 Though the wicked one should be shown favor, he simply will not learn righteousness.+ In the land of straightforwardness he will act unjustly+ and will not see the eminence of Jehovah.+ (Isaiah 26:7-10)

They will not do any harm+ or cause any ruin in all my holy mountain;+ because the earth* will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah as the waters are covering the very sea.*+ (Isaiah 11:9)

The time is coming when Jehovah, the Almighty God shall certainly bring home the world its own badness upon the productive land. The adversaries of God shall receive the consequences of their own error. Badness shall also come upon the wicked themselves. It is also written down that Jehovah shall actually cause the pride of the presumptuous ones to cease, and the haughtiness of the tyrants or ʽa·ri·tsimʹ  Jehovah shall abase. (Isaiah 1:11) Then there shall come the moment that the adversary or all those who are under the spell of the adversary will be destroyed — never to hurt nor deceive the world again. Babylon and the defiled ones with all people shall be paid back according to their activities. According to all that they have done.  The love of God will abundantly bestow blessings of life, peace and happiness upon all.

20 And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven with the key of the abyss+ and a great chain in his hand. And he seized the dragon,+ the original serpent,+ who is the Devil+ and Satan,+ and bound him for a thousand years. And he hurled him into the abyss+ and shut [it] and sealed [it] over him, that he might not mislead the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After these things he must be let loose for a little while.+(Revelation 20:1-3)

Yes, the influence of God’s benevolent Kingdom will have an overwhelming transforming effect on the hearts of men. Of this mighty future work we read,

“And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.” (Ezekiel 11:19-20)

There is great cause to rejoice, for it is the severity and hopelessness of the world’s problems that mark us at the threshold of these promised Kingdom blessings. Just as the terror of today was prophesied, the resurrection of all who have ever lived is also assured in prophecy. Then, all those who perished in the terrors of this day will be reunited with their loved ones, and

“The desire of all nations shall come.” (Haggai 2:7)

Legitimate Desires

What are Some of These Legitimate Desires?

Ask the homeless family living in times of unemployment,

“What is your desire?”

Their answer will be,

“If only we had a place to call home.”

God promises:

“They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit. They shall not plant and another eat.” (Isaiah 65:21-23)

Ask the father of a child dying of cancer,

“What is your desire?”

His answer will be,

“If only there were no sickness and crippling diseases, no cancer, no blindness, no pain and suffering.”

Thank God! These desires will be fulfilled in His Kingdom:

“And no inhabitant will say I am sick.” “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, the ears of the deaf unstopped, then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing for joy.” (Isaiah 33:24; 35:5,6)

And what will be the desire of the young man on the field of battle,

“If only there were no wars and man could learn to live in peace.”

The Kingdom promise is:

“They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation neither shall they learn war anymore.” (Micah 4:3)

Ask the Mother of the young man killed at the hand of a terrorist,

“What is your desire?”

and she will say,

“If only I could hold him and see him happy again.”

Yes, the most blessed promise of all, lost loved ones will be united once again in the resurrection.

“I will ransom them from the power of the grave…” (Hosea 13:14; Isaiah 25:8)

“And the ransomed of the Lord shall return with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” (Isaiah 35:10)

These are but a few of the legitimate desires, which shall be satisfied. This is the promise of God’s Kingdom to come, where His will shall be done on earth, as it is even now done in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)

Close your eyes for a moment to the scenes of misery and woe, degradation and sorrow that yet prevail on account of sin, and picture before your mental vision the glory of the perfect earth.
Not a stain of sin will mar the harmony and peace of a perfect society, not a bitter thought, not an unkind look or word.
Love welling up from every heart will meet a kindred response in every other heart, and benevolence will mark every act.
There sickness shall be no more — not an ache nor a pain, nor any evidence of decay — not even the fear of such things.
Such will earth’s society be, and weeping bereaved ones will have their tears all wiped away, when thus they realize the resurrection work complete. (Revelation 21:4)

The year of God

2015 might have been the year of ISIS, in 2016 they shall not be off the radar. We know that everything may become worse but those who believe in god have good prospects and may build on their hope which is build on those prophesies from the Holy Scriptures.

Let us use that bible to guide us through the times coming and let us look forward to the return of Christ.

For sure to all the suffering shall come an end. Looking at the signs described in the Bible we do know we are not so far off from the Last Days. Than we shall have the Day of Jesus, when he shall judge all. Let us make sure that we shall be by the ones justified to enter the small gate of the Kingdom of God, being pleased to be united as partakers of God’s promise, united in the Body of Christ in the Year of God, notifying that the years of ISIS are over.

+

Preceding article:

Belgian Bible Students review of 2015

++

Additional reading

  1. What is life?
  2. Kitty Werthmann her account of grewing up in Austria under Nazi regime
  3. 150 Years after the 13th Amendment
  4. 2014 Religion
  5. Social media a destabilisation tool in the Middle East and Syrian conflict
  6. Islamophobic hate crimes rise in UK following terror attacks
  7. Wrong choices made to get rid of Assad
  8. Stronger than anything that wants to destroy
  9. Being Charlie 8
  10. French Muslims under attack
  11. Syrian but also Belgian connection to French attacks
  12. Refugee crisis, terrorist attacks and created fear
  13. Massive police operation in northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis
  14. Coming closer to the end of 2015 and the end for Donald Trump as presidential candidate
  15. Summary for the year 2015 #1 Threat and fear
  16. Summary for the year 2015 # 2 Strewn with corpses and refugees
  17. 2015 Human rights
  18. Stepping Toes 2015 in review
  19. Is ISIS a product of American in-action or a product of direct action
  20. Islamic State forcing the West to provide means for Kurdistan
  21. Paris attacks darkening the world
  22. Brussels-born Salah Abdeslam key suspect Paris terrorist attacks
  23. Trump brand of migrant demonization #2
  24. Bijbelvorsers Blogging annual report and 2015 in review
  25. The Existence of Evil
  26. Evil in the bible
  27. Heavenly creatures do they exist
  28. The “Mighty Ones”
  29. Angels in Old Testament History
  30. Guardian Angels?
  31. The Angels in World Affairs
  32. Evil in the bible
  33. Satan or the devil
  34. Lucifer
  35. Satan the evil within
  36. Christendom Astray The Devil Not A Personal Super-Natural Being
  37. Where does Satan lives?
  38. October month of witches and spirits
  39. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 2 Summersend and mansend
  40. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 3 Black Mass, Horror spectacles and pure puritans
  41. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 4 Blasphemy and ridiculing faith in God
  42. The Importance of the Prophetic
  43. Al-Fatiha [The Opening] Süra 1: 4-7 Merciful Lord of the Creation to show us the right path
  44. Arguments about believe and About Christianity versus Atheism
  45. To Soar In The Spirit You Have To Be Hard Core
  46. The redemption of man by Christ Jesus
  47. Sayings of Jesus, what to believe and being or not of the devil
  48. The Soul confronted with Death
  49. Intellectual servility a curse of mankind
  50. Running away from the past
  51. Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences
  52. Challenging claim
  53. Remember the day
  54. A voice cries out: context
  55. Getting out of the dark corners of this world
  56. God of gods
  57. The Song of The Lamb #1 Visions, symbols and suggested meanings
  58. Remain lovingly = No path for softies
  59. The chosen ones to fear or not to fear
  60. God my fence, my hope for the future
  61. Jesus Christ is the perfect security in storms
  62. Understand what the will of the Lord is
  63. Kingdom of God what will it be like

+++

Further reading

  1. A Clash Within Civilization
  2. ‘US Doesn’t Understand What It’s Doing in Syria’ – CIA Veteran
  3. PA security forces warn of permeation of ISIS ideology; Laud Israel-PA-US cooperation
  4. Swedish govt in “panic” after ISIS letters give 3 days to convert to Islam or be decapitated
  5. Christian mothers, wives take up the fight against ISIS, whose women serve as suicide bombers and slaves
  6. Too Great a Sacrifice? The KDF Pull-Out Debate
  7. A Job far away from completion
  8. Indonesia: ISIS considers country un-Islamic
  9. Nearly 19,000 Civilians Killed in Iraq Since 2014, U.N. Reports
  10. From Paris suburb to bloody attack, portrait of IS jihadis
  11. Isis will fail to emulate Islam’s great conquests. Here’s why
  12. Stop ISIS by Welcoming Refugees
  13. Isis Develops ‘Alrawi’ Encrypted Messaging App for Android: Report (1)
  14. Isis Develops ‘Alrawi’ Encrypted Messaging App for Android: Report (2)
  15. Alarming Evidence Suggests ISIS is Now a US-Israel Proxy Army
  16. ‘It’s a criminal gang pretending to be a state’: Discontent grows in ISIS ‘caliphate’ as oil funds dry up
  17. The Great ISIS Recession
  18. The Long Fight Against ISIS
  19. David Cameron criticises BBC for use of ‘Islamic State’
  20. Meet the New Gangster Warlords of Latin America
  21. In God We Trust
  22. The War on Nothing
  23. Today’s Victory Reminder: God Redeems Sinners
  24. Verse of the day – Forsake me not, O Lord
  25. Behold the Lamb of God!
  26. Redemption in Christ
  27. Grace, Redemption, and Bearing Fruit
  28. Looking Back at Life through the Lens of Romans 8:28
  29. Terorisme tidak harus dilihat dari lensa agama
  30. Dunia Orde Baru Akan Menguasai Dunia Dengan Teror

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