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Posts tagged ‘Apostle’

Matthew 19:27-29 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: We Have Left Everything for You!

Matthew 19:27-29 – We Have Left Everything for You!

|| Mark 10:28-30; Luke 18:28-30

MT19:27 Then Peter responded to Jesus, “Look! We [apostles] have left everything behind[1] and followed you! Truthfully, what will there be for us?”[2] MT19:28 But, Jesus told them, “I tell you [apostles] this truth: In the New Genesis[3] [Job 14:14 LXX] – when the Son of Humankind is gloriously enthroned [Daniel 7:13, 14] [for the Judgment][4] – those who have followed me[5] will also sit upon twelve thrones judging[6] the twelve tribes of Israel.[7] MT19:29 Everyone who leaves behind[8] houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children, or fields[9] because of my name[10] will receive many times more:[11] he will inherit everlasting life.[12]

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[1] We [apostles] have left everything behind: Or, KJV: we have forsaken all; KNX: and what of us who have forsaken all; BECK: we gave up everything. We must ponder this emotional outburst by Peter as if he need assure his Master. Jesus had told the young rabbi to sell everything and give to the poor. Had Peter and the others actually done that? We know they “left” their fishing boats with family, but had they sold all? Note that after the death of Jesus the apostles have returned to their fishing business. Indeed, the Risen Lord must ask Peter what he loved most: Jesus or the fishing business (John 21:3-19). We may suspect Peter and the others had not done as Luke 12:32, 33 directed the “little flock.” However, observe that in the Book of Acts all the disciples have sold everything as Jesus directed and then distributed to the needy (Acts 2-4).

[2] Truthfully, what will there be for us: Or, KNX: what is left for us; RIEU: what shall we get by that; WEY: what then shall be our reward; PME: what is that going to be worth to us. The idea is probably: “what will be our lot?”

[3] In the New Genesis: The Greek is PALIN(=again)GENESIA(=genesis). Or, KJV: regeneration; RSV: new world; KNX: new birth; RIEU: when the world is born anew; NEB: in the world that is to be; MON New Creation; WMS: new order of life; BER: new age; AMP: birth of the world. We know the Nazarene originally spoke these words in Hebrew (Aramaic) and Matthew later translated these words into Greek. In the Jewish Greek Septuagint of the second century BC a very similar phrase is found in Job 14:14, PALIN GENOMAI. This whole verse is rendered in Bagster’s: “I will wait until I exist again.” Translations based on the Hebrew text read: KJV: till my change come; NJB: for my relief to come; ASV: till my release should come. In this same context the root for the word “resurrection” also occurs: ANASTE (“rise again”) and the root to “memorial tomb” (or, memorium) – MNEIAN (“remember me”) (Job 14:12, 13). The context is surely that of the resurrection and the after-life. Based on this the “new genesis” may refer to the resurrection in general and specifically that time when Messiah and his associate judges (1 Corinthians 6:2; Revelation 20:4) judge all resurrected mankind (Revelation 20:5, 12-14; Acts 24:15). {the Lord’s people judging the world + resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked + 1000 years}

A similar phrase occurs in Peter’s writings: “Blessed be The God… who gave us a new genesis (ANA[=again]GENESAS[=genesis]) a living hope by means of the resurrection of Jesus.” (1 Peter 1:3) Judging from 1 Peter 1:23 this seems limited to that “new birth” following the justification of the saint (James 1:18; John 3:3-5).

[4] When the Son of Humankind is gloriously enthroned [for the Judgment]: This is an interpretive paraphrase. Similar language occurs in Matthew 25:31 but there the King comes with his angels (and without his Saints), for this is the parousia-Judgment. Compare Daniel 12:2; John 5:29; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 John 2:28; 1 John 4:17. We feel this phrase has a prophetic context related to the Thousand Years or thereafter (Revelation 20:4-6, 12-14; 1 Corinthians 6:2; Acts 17:31; Luke 22:30).

[5] Those who have followed me: Read and prayerfully meditate upon 1 Peter 2:21 and Revelation 14:4.

[6] Sit upon twelve thrones judging: Though there are more than twelve judges (1 Corinthians 6:2; Revelation 20:4) the Nazarene here concentrates on his “little flock” – his apostles (Luke 12:32). Note the foundation stones of the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:12-14. There can be no question the original “twelve” (including Matthias) hold a paramount position in the Father’s Kingdom.

[7] Twelve tribes of Israel: We feel this refers to the many millions of Israelites and Jews during: a) the Thousand Year judgment (Isaiah 65:17-23); and, b) the last judgment at the general resurrection of all humankind (Acts 17:31; 24:15; Isaiah 26:19 LXX; Revelation 20:5, 12-14; compare Romans 2:12-16; Hebrews 6:2; 9:27; 1 Corinthians 15:20-24).

[8] Everyone who leaves behind: Or, KJV: every one that hath forsaken; ASV: hath left. Jesus exemplified this and his apostles thereafter. Compare also Paul’s example (Philippians 3:8, 13).

[9] Houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children, or fields: Mark 10:29 adds, “… houses… for the sake of the good news.” Luke 18:29 adds, “… wife…” Luke 18:30 adds, “… get many times more in this period of time.”

[10] Because of my name: We note this is the name of Jesus and not his Father, Yehowah.

[11] Will receive many times more: Or, KJV: receive an hundredfold; RIEU: shall be many times repaid; BER: shall be refunded a hundred times.

[12] Everlasting life: See notes else where on the phrase ageless life or everlasting life.

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Preceding

Matthew 19:1-2 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: From Galilee to Judah

Matthew 19:3-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Grounds for Divorce

Matthew 19:3-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Grounds for Divorce – additional verses

Matthew 19:10-12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Celibacy

Matthew 19:13-15 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Kingdom Belongs to Child-lik

Matthew 19:16-24 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Difficulty of Rich Entering the Kingdom

Matthew 19:25-26 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Who Can be Saved

Matthew 10:5-10 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jesus’ Orders: Territory, Theme, Trust

Matthew 10:5-10 – Jesus’ Orders: Territory, Theme, Trust

MT10:5 Jesus sent these twelve[1] giving these orders,[2] saying, “You should not enter the Gentile road, nor enter a city of the Samaritans. MT10:6 But, only approach the lost sheep[3] of House of Israel. MT10:7 Go forth preaching, saying, ‘The Realm of Heaven has drawn near.’[4] MT10:8 Cure those sick, raise those dead,[5] cleanse lepers, exorcise demons. You received free, give free.[6] MT10:9 Do not procure gold[7] or silver or copper for your purses MT10:10 nor pouches[8] for your trip – nor two undergarments, nor sandals, nor staff. For the worker is worthy of his food.[9]

[1] Sent these twelve: The formation of an official group of representatives (which is what “apostle” means).

[2] Orders: The Greek is PAR-ANGLEILAS and is rendered: KJV: commanded; MOF: instructions. These are not suggestions but precise directives. The Nazarene has his reasons for these evangelizing orders.

[3] Only approach the lost sheep: Their territory is limited to Israel. The prophet Daniel indicated a special period of grace for the Jews. This ran from 29 to 36 AD, seven years (Daniel 9:27). Jesus says of himself that he was sent “only to the lost sheep of Israel.” (Matthew 15:24) Jesus also later assures the apostles that they will never finish preaching to all Israel before Psalm 110:1 and Daniel 7:13 are fulfilled (Matthew 10:23).

[4] The Realm of Heaven has drawn near: Or, “the kingdom of the heavens” – meaning either the seat of government as found in the Messiah or the realm of profession within the Nazarene’s congregation.

[5] Raise those dead: Though there is no evidence of this occurring during the life of Jesus, it does occur after the Messiah’s ascension. Luke 9:2 does not include these words.

[6] Give free: The evangelist who heals is not to receive payment for curing. Though Jesus goes on to state “the worker deserves his food” it is left at that – not an opulent life-style.

[7] Not procure gold: Jesus has a precise reason for this to be explained after his resurrection (Luke 22:25). It becomes a test of faith to rely solely on the Father.

[8] Pouches: Or, NJB: haversack; NEB: pack.

[9] Worker is worthy of his food: In Luke 10:7 this is “wages.” This is the only statement by Jesus directly quoted by Paul, which he does twice (1 Corinthian 9:14; 1 Timothy 5:8). The “worker” in the “fields of the Lord” is worthy or deserving of some help (Galatians 6:6). However, after the manner of Jesus and Paul this does not mean living a life-style above the sheep in general.

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Preceding

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

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

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Related

  1. Where Are They Now?
  2. Matthew 10丨John Calvin
  3. Matthew 10丨C. H. Spurgeon
  4. Matthew: January 31
  5. Matthew 10, Jesus sends out the twelve, not peace, but a sword.
  6. You Summon and Send Us, three prayers based on Matthew 10
  7. The Virtue of Cosmopolitanism

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

Philippians 4:4–7 – Do Not Be Anxious

Last year the Christadelphians and several Bible Students in Belgium had a lot of worries and tried to get more and better contact with different believers in the Low Countries. They wanted the different communities sharing ideas and working more together.

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From all up the North (Riga) there was real sabotage which ignited also opposition from the United Kingdom and Australian bases, making the Belgian Christadelphians even more isolated.

We only now came acroos this interesting writing by Phillip J. Long which also looks at the writing of the apostle Paul which we also took as our guide in this difficult time of making church.

Often we as simple humans forget the role of the guiding or directing hand of the Most High in His time period. We so often want to hurry up things, not taking into account that it is perhaps not according to God His Plan or time scheme.

Often we worry too much about worldly matters, getting enough people at the meeting, being able to pay the bills, getting the publications ready in time, etc. instead of letting it come like it comes…

The difficulties we encounter today or nothing compared to the difficulties of the first followers of Christ. In our civilised industrialist democratic countries we are not imprisoned for our beliefs and do not have to worry to be executed for our faith, yet we are so often afraid about what others might think and how others react. We should learn more from the examples of the apostles, like Paul who rejoiced in his circumstances, modelling the kind of attitude not only he desires from the congregation, but which Christ would like to see as the ignition key for a trusting Christian congregation.

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You may read also:

  1. A rebellious movement founded on a fake?
  2. Are you religious, spiritual, or do you belong to a religion, having a faith or interfaith
  3. Inculturation today calling for a different attitude
  4. Problems attracting and maintaining worshippers
  5. Others that hinder the message
  6. Vision blurred by cumulative burden of divisions
  7. Church has to grow through witness, not by proselytism
  8. Let us not forget it was God who chose us
  9. Faith because of the questions
  10. Fear of failure, and fear of the unknown
  11. Disciple of Christ counting lives and friends dear to them
  12. Aim High: Examples of Godly Characters to follow
  13. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  14. Being Christian, following Jesus Christ
  15. Parts of the body of Christ
  16. What part of the Body am I?
  17. The Church, Body of Christ and remnant Israel synonymous
  18. Being Missional
  19. Flowing out from a genuine spiritual “heart”
  20. Our openness to being approachable
  21. Words in the world
  22. Looking from different perspectives
  23. Belonging to or being judged by
  24. Jerusalem and a son’s kingdom
  25. Anti-church movements and Humanism
  26. Quibbling siblings united or allied children of an organisation or a church
  27. No reconciliation possible between CBM and Duncan Heaster from Carelinks
  28. Delay in publications because attack from outside
  29. A man from the North wanting to have control in Belgium
  30. Our openness to being approachable
  31. Let us not fret or worry about next season
  32. Fearing the right person
  33. God’s Time is Best
  34. Together tasting a great promise
  35. Change of name
  36. New Name a fact
  37. To whom do we want to be enslaved
  38. Are you being swept along by the world
  39. Encouraging one another
  40. A participation in the body of Christ
  41. Disciple of Christ counting lives and friends dear…
  42. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  43. Not words of any organisation should bind you, but…
  44. Gods hope and our hope
  45. Fixing our attention

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  • Moving Through Time: Timeline of Religion (pcr.wpengine.com)
    Since the beginning of time, mankind has formed beliefs of the unexplainable and unknowable. Over thousands of years, these beliefs became traditional, customary, and institutionalized within regional societies. People continue to express an interest in spiritual matters from all corners around the world. Everybody has pondered the meaning of life, what happens after we die, what existed before us, and whether any other life exists in the universe. Mankind may never know concrete answers regarding the spiritual. In fact, humans may destroy the planet before we can discover the remaining life in unexplored regions. Nevertheless, we continue to seek spiritual enlightenment and a connection with our Creator.
  • Without the Spirit one is not lead and guided into all truth (reformedontheweb.wordpress.com)
    Since the imagination of man, like all the other faculties of his moral being, is permeated and vitiated by sin, the ideas it suggests, even when pondering the Divine oracles, are prone to be mistaken and corrupt. It is part of our sinful infirmity that we are unable of ourselves to interpret God’s Word aright; but it is part of the gracious office of the Holy Spirit to guide believers into the truth, thereby enabling them to apprehend the Scriptures. This is a distinct and special operation of the Spirit on the minds of God’s people, whereby He communicates spiritual wisdom and light unto them, and which is necessary unto their discerning aright the mind of God in His Word, and also their laying hold of the heavenly things found therein.
  • About us / Over ons/Belgian Church (muchadoaboutbiblicaltruths.wordpress.com)
    In the first century church, the ecclesia took place in people’s homes. It talks about the apostles and disciples going from house to house teaching and preaching the gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
  • Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ (christadelphians.wordpress.com)
    As followers of Christ we should have taken on new clothes and though we may have the same old physical brain, we should have been transformed in a new being. Every day again we should be working on our new construction and should we learn to think an entirely new way.
  • 5 Reasons to Join a Small Group – An Introduction (mycrosspointechurch.wordpress.com)
    In a matter of weeks, God had brought exponential growth the church.  What so astounding is that, even with that many people, there were no needs among the people (which was the reality by the end of Acts 2).

    How was it that the church met those needs?  How was it that there was such a unity in their midst.  The answer is tucked away for us, I believe, at the end of Acts 5.  Acts 5:42 reads, “And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.”

  • Prayer for the Whole Church and Those in Authority (prayerfromtheheart.net)
    Give grace, O heavenly Father, to all ministers and all your humble servants, that they may all, by their lives and doctrine set forth Your true and lively Word, and rightly and duly administer Your holy Sacraments.
  • VATICAN – Pope: Conform to Christ and not this world, and follow His path (asianews.it)
    At the Sunday Angelus Pope Francis warns against becoming “worldly” and “tasteless salt”. “Watered down Christians” are like watered down wine, “you do not know whether it is wine or water”. Read the Gospel every day. Gospel, Eucharist, prayer help us to safeguard the newness of Jesus.
  • When The Sin Of Contention Comes (Bible tools commentary by John W. Ritenbaugh) (prophecynewsandviews.wordpress.com)
    A quarrel that could be easily settled if both parties were humble continues indefinitely when parties are arrogant. Why? Because pride plows the way for contempt for the others opinion. Pride inflames passion and wounds feelings. Because of competitiveness, also an aspect of pride, a person feels he has to fight back. And so the argument goes back and forth.
  • Let us not fret or worry about next season (belgianbiblestudents.wordpress.com)
    Last season we like the Belgian Christadelphians perhaps had set our hopes to much on human beings, hoping they would not be as partial to prohibit brothers and sisters in Christ to join hands and have meetings together.

    In the midst of our many activities our minds should have been on the eternal and the magical ways of the universe, trusting God He would be the One Who brings the Chosen ones unto Him.

Reading Acts

While the following commands from Paul seem unrelated to the theme of unity, Frank Thielman argues they ought to be read in the context of persecution (Philippians, NIVAC, 217-9). While this is not an Empire-wide systematic persecution of believers, we have already seen several times in the letter than the church at Philippi was a small community of believers who are in many ways “different” from the Roman culture around them. The existence of a group of people who “have the mind of Christ” is enough to be suspicious, and suspicion easily gives way to gossip, wild accusations and pressure to conform. This sort of social pressure can be difficult to accept and a source of great fear for the church. Paul’s series of short exhortations in these verses are therefore designed to give comfort and encouragement to endure.

Alfred E. NewmanFirst, Paul encourages the church to set aside worry…

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A new school-, academic and church year

The first of September is in many countries the beginning of the new school year and the first of October the beginning of the new academic year.

That first day of a new year brings a lot of excitement and many questions with it. Every  “Beginning” brings expectations with it and brings an exciting experience. Some of those experiences bring over and over again, each year, new tensions or get us nerve system working strong. The adrenaline gets high.

Such a beginning of a “new year” gives us the opportunity to bring a brush-stroke over the previous year. We take the opportunity to make a new start again. We also dare to give free space to new ideas and projects which can stimulate us and others to continue with renewed energy.

The freshness of a new project or a new relationship sharpens our senses. When that novelty diminishes, though, it’s difficult to maintain the same level of excitement. so often when the year progresses people become less enthusiast or tired. They loose energy and are not so willing any more to spend energy in what they started earlier.

On the first of September many little toddlers face their first day in “the big world”. From then onwards their protected little world of the safe ‘home’ shall not be there always. They shall get to face the cruelty of the world, with others not liking them, or being jealous. By time they shall become confronted with infliction of physical or mental distress. Throughout its life the growing up person will have to find compromises between the claims of the narcissistic pole of his drives and the intensity of his love for the object. They shall have to proof themselves and to defend themselves, making sure they can stand straight  and endure all the hardships which shall come over them.

For many it will be looking afraid at the day, which according to the Hebrew mode, is conceived as a measure to be filled up. The apostles also once had taken refuge in their small safe house.

From the second day of unleavened bread they for fifty days had got very strange experiences which frightened them so much they had closed all doors and did not dare to come out and meet the people who laughed at the followers of the man which was impaled and could not bring any message in public any more because he had become part of the dead.

Christ his disciples were also in doubt and in expectancy.  In those days of expectancy they felt that they had to stick together, united in the thoughts of their master teacher Jeshua (Jesus Christ). A cycle of seven times seven days, from the time of the gathering of the sheaf of first-fruits, had past. At the day of the anniversary of the Law covenant at Sinai they suddenly where shaken.

The same eleven apostles who witnessed their master’s ascension were in the upper room complying with the injunction of Jeshua, waiting in an attitude of prayer and expectancy, and in readiness to begin their mission. Following the order to stay together and to come close to each other in prayer, they had enough time to think about all the things that happened in those three years of public preaching of Jeshua.

Пятидесятница. Около 1497. Собор Успения Богор...

The decent of the Holy Spirit (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At that moment they did not know yet they where going to go through something very unique which would give them the nerve to get out of their enclosure. They would receive Power from above which was going to give them enough guts to dare to speak about unbelievable events.

For many a new year going into a new initiative demands a plan which shows great daring.

In Acts 2 we can find a process of fulfilment described.  As in the other writings of the Book of books we get an inside view of how God worked to gather a new community of believers to Himself. Pentecost and the arrival of the Holy Spirit signalled a new era and produced a new community, as both Jews and “devout men from every nation under heaven” converted to what would be later called the Christian faith (Acts 2:5).

“Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.” (Acts 2:5 NIV)

Now, many centuries later, it’s easy for us to see Pentecost as the pivotal moment in the history of the Church — an unparalleled event that changed the world forever. It must have been incredible to see those young men  coming onto the street and having them speaking in so many tongues that all sorts of tourists and inhabitants could understand them.

There where Christ Jesus never brought so many to convert and to be baptised those shy disciples over-won their fear and got on the street to speak in the name of God, telling what for importance Jesus is for humankind. Three thousand people came to faith.

When we celebrate the holiday of Pentecost, however, we are remembering the firstfruits of the harvest — the coming of the Holy Spirit and the original community of believers under Jesus Christ. Firstfruits are only the start of a harvest; they hint at future abundance. Every year we can see how plants are coming up again and how the cereal crop comes nice brown to be reaped. The grain crop harvested brings again new seed for the next year. Every-time there has to be sown and harvested, over and over again. In schools and as a service in Christian churches in many countries the people have a harvest festival, a celebration of the annual harvest, but also a thanksgiving for the fruits they may receive and bear.

The harvest the Greek writings is speaking of is the continuing process of people who get inspired by the work of Christ and his disciples and follow the master teacher his commission. We as a community do hope we can bring the seeds in fertile ground and shall be able to fertilise it well, so that it can bear good fruits.

 

As the young children at school have to respond to the bell, giving the sign to enter the class. We also should enter the class of the disciples, following our teacher, the rabbi Jeshua. Fresh at the beginning of the year we should be eager to learn new things and be curious what we can find in all those Books. God has prepared the Knowledge for us. We can take it or leave it. It is our free choice. Nothing is pushed forward, but the call of Jesus sounds all over the earth and everywhere the gospel of the Good News should be preached.

Each person that calls himself or herself a Christian should every year again take up the good spirit to tell the world what happened with the impaled Nazarene and his followers, who gave an example for the world to follow.

The wonders that began at Pentecost should still be happening today. On that day when the Holy spirit came over the disciples the start was given to a new era. A new beginning could take place.  It were the first days of the church which had to come into being.
Today there are still many places on earth where such seeds should be planted. Belgium is no exception. It is a very difficult ground. Like there are many clay grounds in Brabant, hard to work on, we do have to work hard to get people coming to our ecclesiae (churches). In Belgium there are many ‘babies’ waiting to go to kindergarten or school, to find more knowledge. They only have to find ways in doing it, finding the right knowledge.

At the beginning of a new church year we should offer our services to God and should express our hope that our community shall be blessed by Him. That we may find strength to continue the important work and receive enough knowledge, given to us by God’s Power (the Holy Spirit). We ask God that we can have enough patience to continue to preach His Word and to plants seeds wherever He wants.

Each of us should open his or her mind and heart for the teachings of Jesus and should be eager to come like Christ. We all should do our best to put on the armour of Christ and to open our mouths, bringing the Good News to the world. Witnessing about the coming Kingdom of God we should allow God to work in us and to have Him renewing us. He is active and present in our lives, just as He was gathering His Church about 20 centuries ago.

We need a fresh perspective. The beginning of the new academic and church year may bring that. We need the motivation and the boldness of the apostles and followers of Christ Jesus of the first hour. We need to rekindle our original excitement when announcing that the kingdom of heaven is at hand, because He is at work, in us and around us.

To have a successful new year the ecclesia needs the Light of the Spirit. Without the Power of God we are nothing. Like the apostles received the comforter from above, we also do need Light coming over us to be able to preach and to reach people, to bring them closer to God.

Let us pray that the Holy Spirit may enlighten us and give the force to go out in the world, making people aware of what God is willing to give to His People and how He wants us to be His children. It is God Who needs to give us power to be able to contribute to the formation of His Church. We can only hope we may be a work-instrument with many others, being thankful that we can receive so many blessings already here on this earth, preparing ourselves and others for the Kingdom of God.

 

English: A Protestant Church altar decorated f...

A Protestant Church altar decorated for Pentecost with red burning candles and red banners and altar cloth depicting the fire and sound of blowing wind of the Holy Spirit. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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Preceding article: An academic year ending, again a new year standing ready for us

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Additional readings:

  1. First Century of Christianity
  2. Promise of Comforter
  3. Seven full weeks or seven completed Sabbaths and ascension of Jesus
  4. Nazarene Acts of the Apostles Chapter 1
  5. Hebraic Roots Bible Book of The Acts of the Apostles Chapter 1
  6. Hebraic Roots Bible Book of The Acts of the Apostles Chapter 2
  7. The Acts Of The Sent Ones Chapter 2
  8. The day of the festival of Pentecost
  9. Nazarene Acts of the Apostles Chapter 2 v1-13 Working Spirit
  10. Speaking in tongues
  11. Meaning of “speaking in tongues”
  12. Tongues a sign of authenticity or divine backing
  13. Coming to the end of the year
  14. A new year with hopes and challenges
  15. Passion and burn out of a teacher
  16. An academic year ending, again a new year standing ready for us
  17. Move forward, not standing still
  18. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  19. Bringing Good News into the world

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  • undefined (spiritualconnectedness.wordpress.com)
    Each of you acquires opinions and beliefs about yourself during your upbringing. You absorb ideas and images from your parents, family, peers, school, etc. You begin to play certain roles without questioning them, and you soon develop something called a “personality”: a set of habits, behaviors, and thoughts. But at some time in the course of growing up, something else awakens in you. First, it is no more than a whisper; a memory that you cannot place; a knowing that you are more than what is just determined by the world outside yourself. There is something deeper, a layer that cannot be contained and understood by the human intellect. Herein lies your core, that which precedes and survives the earthly sphere – your soul.
  • Differences Between Pentecost and the Jewish Feast of Weeks (differencebetween.net)
    The children of Israel are also important on this occasion. In celebration of Pentecost, they are to bring two loaves of leavened bread to the temple. These loaves of leavened bread are used as wave offerings. They can only be eaten after the harvest ceremony is fully completed. The Jews also offer burnt animal offerings before the Lord. They can share and eat the meals with the poor people, and even the strangers.
  • Pentecost (rjowles.wordpress.com)
    The Apostles and disciples were praying together and the Holy Spirit came, sounding like a forceful wind and “tongues” of fire settled on them and they began to preach. Saint Peter began to preach a sermon and the multicultural and multi-ethnic crowd each heard him preaching in their own language. Of course, many have attempted to explain this.
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    If Saint Peter preached and everyone, regardless of language, understood what he was saying in their own language (either by the Holy Spirit speaking a special language through him that is like the “Master Key” language that everyone understands, or through the Holy Spirit interpreting what he was saying within their own hearts), then Pentecost is the undoing of the confusion of language at Babel. If you remember the story of the Tower of Babel, before that time everyone spoke the same language and after that time God confused the language so that different people started speaking different languages. Perhaps, what happened is that the Holy Spirit was active within the world and after the Tower of Babel incident, the Holy Spirit retreated from the world at large, occasionally moving through people but not the world itself, until after the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. I will leave it to you to decide for or against that idea as you see fit.
  • It’s Time to Celebrate! (tamimyer.wordpress.com)
    Pentecost is  a “firstfruits” celebration for us, too, meaning that we are offering to God our first and best–not our leftovers–both as an expression of gratitude for what He has given and also as a statement of confidence that He will provide again.
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    An interesting Jewish tradition on Pentecost is to read from Ezekiel 1, a passage which refers to a great windstorm and to fire. Perhaps these images were in the disciples’ thoughts as they then encountered for themselves the sound of a mighty wind and the sight of fire.
  • Call Sinners to Respond to the Gospel! (defendingcontending.com)
    A child of God could faithfully give the gospel, speak of God and His character, man and His desperate need, Christ and His sufficient atonement, repentance and faith in clear terms, but one element that evangelists seem to omit is the urgent call for sinners to respond to the gospel!
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    Often, in the Temple against the backdrop of the hypocritical, works-righteousness system of Judaism, Christ would teach how He came down from heaven as the living Bread, as the water of life, as the door to heaven, as the Shepherd for the sheep, as the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and he invited all to come to Him. If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me. He exemplified not only the clear and bold proclamation of gospel-truth, but he also modeled urgent and compassionate exhortations to respond to the gospel. We must do the same.
  • The Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost) (yehudafm.wordpress.com)
    The early summer harvest of Shavuot in Israel was a small harvest in comparison to the larger harvest that came in the autumn of each year. This has prophetic significance. Strange as it might seem to mainstream Christianity today, God is not trying to save the whole world right now. He has planned a far larger harvest of souls when Jesus returns. Those of us who are saved today are only part of the smaller harvest. When most people in this present evil age are traveling the broad road to destruction, we have been uniquely called to enter in by the narrow gate that leads to eternal life (Matthew 7:13-14) and make our calling and election sure (2 Peter 1:10).
  • Firstfruits? Can an Old Testament holiday apply to your life today? (lightenough.wordpress.com)
    The ancient Israelites had an annual cycle of feasts or holidays (also called festivals) that they kept throughout the year as appointed by God. Four of these were in the spring, and three in the autumn. These holidays were a sacred time to remember God’s provisions in the past, His work in the present, and the hope of future provision.
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    By offering God a portion of the first fruit to ripen, it was also seen as a pledge, or an earnest, for the full harvest that was yet to come. It anticipated the harvest that would be reaped in the following months, even though it had not yet been received.
  • “Ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit,” (tru3j0y.wordpress.com)
    At this present moment we have the first fruits of the Spirit. We have repentance, that gem of the first water; faith, that priceless pearl; hope, the heavenly emerald; and love, the glorious ruby. We are already made “new creatures in Christ Jesus,” by the effectual working of God the Holy Ghost. This is called the firstfruit because it comes first. As the wave-sheaf was the first of the harvest, so the spiritual life, and all the graces which adorn that life, are the first operations of the Spirit of God in our souls. The firstfruits were the pledge of the harvest.
  • In the Spirit — A Reflection for Pentecost (Gathering Voices) (bobcornwall.com)
    That was Jesus’ command to the gathered disciples on the day of his ascension. He had given them an assignment – go and be my witnesses to the ends of the earth. But to do this, they would need the baptism with the Spirit (Acts 1:1-11). This baptism with the Spirit would come on the day of Pentecost.
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    Pentecost offers us an excellent opportunity to consider the nature of our ministries and the way in which we are engaging the Spirit of God. Are we focused more on organizational principles learned from the secular world (not that we have nothing to learn) or are we rooting our ministry in the work of the Spirit?
  • Acts 2 – The Image of Pentecost (readingacts.wordpress.com)
    The imagery of Pentecost may be important. Pentecost is a pilgrim-holiday also known as the Feast of Weeks or Shavuot.
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    The point of the festival was “to declare God’s ownership of the land and his grace in bringing forth food. According to a tradition found in the book of Jubilees, Pentecost was the day on which Moses was given the Law (cf. Tob 2:1, 2 Mac 12:32). This tradition is based on the belief that the Israelites arrived at Sinai 50 days after the first Passover (Exod 19:1). Some scholars (Knox, Snaith) have made a connection between this tradition and the gift of the Holy Spirit (ie., Moses gave out the Law to Israel on this day, Jesus gives the Holy Spirit to the church). Fitzmyer thinks Luke was aware of the tradition since there are some indirect allusions to the giving of the Law in Acts 2, not the least of which is the image of fire descending (Exod 19:18).

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