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Matthew 13:47-50 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Dragnet

Matthew 13:47-50 – Parable of the Dragnet

MT13:47 “Again the Realm of Heaven may be compared to[1] a dragnet thrown into the sea[2] and gathering together every kind of [fish]. MT13:48 When the net is filled[3] it is hauled onto the beach. Then the [fishermen] sit down and collect the good fish into vessels;[4] but, the rotten [fish][5] they throw away. MT13:49 Just so it will be in the consummation of the Period:[6] the angels will go forth to separate[7] the wicked from among the righteous.[8] MT13:50 The angels will hurl the wicked into the furnace of fire.[9] There will be lamentation[10] and the grinding of teeth.”

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[1] May be compared to: There is something about the Christian Church which resembles a fisherman’s dragnet lowered into the world to “catch men alive.”

[2] Dragnet thrown into the sea: Or, RHM: a large drag-net; WEY: let down into the sea. Some calls this the Gospel Net. Jesus called his first disciples and told them they would “become fishers of men.” He commissioned his apostles to “Go and make disciples of people of all nations.” (Matthew 28:18, 19) Beginning with Jesus the gospel preaching “dragnet” – the great evangelical effort of all time – the Gospel Net has been fishing earth’s waters.

[3] When the net is filled: At the Return (or, Parousia; see notes on Matthew 24:3) of Christ and the beginning of the parousia-judgment. This is parallel to the parable of the Zizania in the Field (go to Matthew 13:37) as well as those within Matthew 24:45-25:46. At the judgment the dragnet will be filled with all those who professed Jesus as Lord as Christians throughout the Gospel or Church Age (Period).

[4] Collect the good fish into vessels: Or, TCNT: sorted the good fish into baskets.

[5] The rotten [fish]: Or, KJV: the bad; RHM: worthless. The Greek SAPROS is rendered rotten or corrupt and often applied to bad fruit of a tree (Matthew 7:17,18; Luke 6:43). These are the same as the “workers of lawlessness” of Matthew 7:21, 22, the zizania of Matthew 13:38, and the “goats” of Matthew 25:40-46.

[6] The consummation of the Period: See notes on Matthew 13:40 and Matthew 24:3. Or, KJV: end of the world; TCNT: close of the age; NWT: conclusion of the system of things. The Age or Period may be the Gospel Age or that time period of the generation that witnesses the Revelation of Christ (Matthew 24:34).

[7] Angels will go forth to separate: As in the parable of the Zizania in the Field. See notes on Matthew 13:39 and Matthew 25:31.

[8] Wicked from among the righteous: There are only two classes of Christians: the good and the bad. On the word wicked (search this word) see the notes on Matthew 12:35 and elsewhere. Note “the righteous” in Matthew 25:40-46. Search righteous for notes elsewhere. The difference between the wicked and the righteous is that the former are hurtful or unloving, and the later law-abiding and charitable.

[9] Into the furnace of fire: On this phrase search under Gehenna and fire for notes elsewhere (Revelation 20:13-15).

[10] Lamentation: The grief is before the throne of Christ and in their shame and reproach prior to being hurled into everlasting extinction (1 John 2:28; Matthew 7:21).

 

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Preceding

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

Matthew 7:13-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #3 Matthew 7:21-23 The ones Jesus never knew

Matthew 7:15-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #2 False prophets and fruitage

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

Matthew 12:33-37 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Judgment Day

Matthew 12:43-45 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Generation Seven Times Worse

Matthew 13 – Parables on Kingdom mysteries

Matthew 13:1-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable: the Soil and the Seed

Matthew 13:10-15 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Why Speak in Parables?

Matthew 13:16-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Happy Eyes and Ears

Matthew 13:18-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Seed and Soil

Matthew 13:24-30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Field and the Harvest

Matthew 13:31-32 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Mustard Seed

Matthew 13:33 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Fermented Whole

Matthew 13:34-35 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Manner of Teaching Foretold

Matthew 13:36-43 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Zizania in the Field Explained

Matthew 13:44 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Treasure

Matthew 13:45-46 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Valuable Pearl

False teachers and false prophets still around

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Additional reading

  1. Condemnation of the World and Illustration of Justification
  2. Thanksgivukkah and Advent
  3. Memorizing wonderfully 22 Jealous God not heaving pleasure in the wicked
  4. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #1 Prosperity
  5. Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
  6. A Living Faith #7 Prayer

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Matthew 4 19

Related

  1. After curiosity…
  2. Kingdom Treasure
  3. Scripture at Sunrise 5.29.2018
  4. Third Sunday After the Epiphany, Year B: Mark 1:14-20: Following Jesus
  5. Follow Me
  6. The First Four Disciples
  7. A Fisher of Men
  8. Catching Fish
  9. Cookie a day: Fishers Of Men
  10. #24 Fishers of Men
  11. June 13, 2018 “Fishermen”
  12. Fishers of Men.
  13. Fishing–no catch limit
  14. Following: fishers of men
  15. If You Say So
  16. May 27 @ Luke 5-6
  17. A Commentary on the gospel according to Mark – by Phillip Medhurst -c2
  18. A Call to Freedom: The Vocation of the Apostles
  19. Evangelism as a lifestyle
  20. On purpose – Evangelism
  21. Catch and Release, or Catch and Devour Pastors
  22. Things that Won’t Matter Much on Judgment Day
  23. The Difference Between The Christian and the World
  24. The Immediate Judgment
  25. A Gift and a Calling
  26. The Just Judgment of God Part 2 – Romans Study 8
  27. The Just Judgment of God Part 3 – Romans Study 9
  28. Verses that Don’t Get Preached Much
  29. Sin, Righteousness, Judgment

Matthew 13:45-46 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Valuable Pearl

Matthew 13:45-46 – Parable of the Valuable Pearl

MT13:45 “Again the Realm of Heaven may be compared to[1] a traveling merchant[2] seeking excellent pearls.[3] MT13:46 Upon discovering a very valuable pearl[4] he leaves to sell everything he possesses[5] and bought the pearl.

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[1] May be compared to: As if two witnesses were necessary to teach the Nazarene’s point of self-sacrifice to obtain royal promises and privileges. There is something about the Christian Church which is worth leaving all behind to obtain.

[2] Traveling merchant: The Greek is EMPORO from which the English gets “emporium.”

[3] Seeking excellent pearls: The literal Greek is fine or good pearls. The English “pearl” is from the Greek MARGARITAS from which comes the name Margaret. Or, KJV: seeking goodly pearls; RHM: beautiful pearls; TCNT: choice pearls; KNX: rare pearls.

[4] A very valuable pearl: Or, KJV: pearl of great price; BER: exceptional value. The word “pearl” occurs 11 times in the Bible but note particularly Revelation 21:21.

[5] Sell everything he possesses: See the notes on Matthew 13:44. Or, BAS: gave all that he had in exchange for it.

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Preceding

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

Matthew 12:33-37 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Judgment Day

Matthew 13 – Parables on Kingdom mysteries

Matthew 13:1-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable: the Soil and the Seed

Matthew 13:10-15 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Why Speak in Parables?

Matthew 13:16-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Happy Eyes and Ears

Matthew 13:18-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Seed and Soil

Matthew 13:24-30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Field and the Harvest

Matthew 13:31-32 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Mustard Seed

Matthew 13:33 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Fermented Whole

Matthew 13:34-35 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Manner of Teaching Foretold

Matthew 13:36-43 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Zizania in the Field Explained

Matthew 13:44 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Treasure

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Additional reading

The Metaphorical language of the Bible

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Related

  1. Myth or Real?
  2. Matthew 13 – Stories to cure sluggish hearts
  3. Review of ‘A Nearly Infallible History of Christianity’
  4. The Comfort of Knowing He has me wherever I am-Thoughts on Psalm 139
  5. Experiencing Unity & Celebrating Diversity
  6. The Faith of The New Heaven and of The New Church in its Universal Form
  7. The Faith of The New Heaven and of The New Church in a ‘Particular Form’
  8. Accommodation to Man of an Incomprehensible God to be made Comprehensible
  9. The Divine Trinity
  10. Called the Lord Because He was Jehovah
  11. Divine Trinity (pt 13)
  12. If Beauty Is in the Eye of the Beholder, Is Faith in the Brain Chemistry of the Believer? #christiansanddepression
  13. Simon Peter and Pope Peter the same?
  14. Following the Messiah-No-One-Expected and Very Few Want Today

Matthew 13:31-32 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Mustard Seed

Matthew 13:31-32 – Parable of the Mustard Seed

|| Mark 4:30-32; Luke 13:18, 19

MT13:31 Jesus put before them another parable, saying, “The Realm of Heaven may be compared to[1] a grain of mustard[2] which a man took and planted in his field.[3] MT13:32 The mustard grain is smaller than all the seeds[4] but when grown is greater than all vegetation as it becomes a tree.[5] Birds of the sky find lodging in its branches.”

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[1] May be compared to: Something about the Church – the realm of profession (see notes elsewhere) – is like a tiny seed which grows into a great tree where birds roost.

[2] Mustard: The Greek is SINAPEOS. Possibly Brassica nigra with a seed the size of a pinhead growing to as much as five meters. Wild mustard may have been right before them in yellow bloom along the lake. The Jews used the phrase “mustard seed” to refer to the slightest breach of ceremonial law. Compare Matthew 17:20.

[3] Planted in his field: Thus probably Brassica nigra. There is an echo here of the previous parable. May the man and the field be the same? Luke 13:18 has it, “a man took and put in his garden.”

[4] Smaller than all the seeds: ASV: less than all seeds. The Greek is MICROTERON and could infer the “least of all seeds.” There are smaller seeds (orchid) but most feel Jesus is speaking only of the land of Israel. Mark 4:31 reads: “the tiniest of all the seeds that are on the earth (or, in the land).” Also, Jesus has in mind a domestic seed that is planted in a field or garden within the experience of the disciples.

[5] It becomes a tree: What is the meaning of the parable? In what manner is the Church (the realm of profession) like a tiny seed that grows into a great tree? Had Jesus told Pilate that within three centuries Christianity would be the state religion and the Caesar would be a Christian, how would Pilate responded? Approaching the year 2,000 the Christian Church is the largest of the religions on earth with Christian America the most powerful nation on earth. William Barclay writes: “Sometimes his disciples must have despaired. Their little band was so small and the world was s wide. How could they ever win and change it?”

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Preceding

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

Matthew 13 – Parables on Kingdom mysteries

Matthew 13:1-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable: the Soil and the Seed

Matthew 13:10-15 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Why Speak in Parables?

Matthew 13:16-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Happy Eyes and Ears

Matthew 13:18-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Seed and Soil

Matthew 13:24-30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Field and the Harvest

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Additional reading

  1. Seeds, weeds and kingdoms
  2. Being in isolation #6 to Hear Call from God and breaking isolation
  3. Seeds from the world creating division and separation from God
  4. Seeds and weeds for being the greatest nation
  5. The Realm of profession in Christianity
  6. Partakers and sons of the Realm
  7. To sacrifice our being for Christ

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Related

  1. Mustard Field
  2. 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time: The Hidden Power of the Kingdom of God

Matthew 11:7-15 Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities 3 John the Baptist and the Kingdom Goal

Matthew 11:7-15 – John the Baptist and the Kingdom Goal

|| Luke 7:24-28

MT11:7 As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus started to tell the crowds regarding John, “What did you go out into the wilderness to see?[1] A breeze rattling some willows?[2] MT11:8 But, what did you go to see? A human dressed in soft clothes? Look! Those who wear soft clothes[3] are in royal houses. MT11:9 But, why did you come out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and much more than a prophet.[4] MT11:10 This person is the one about whom it has been written,[5] ‘Look! I am sending forth My messenger[6] before your person. He will prepare your way ahead of you.’ [Isaiah 40:3] MT11:11 I tell you this truth: None generated by women have been raised up who are greater than[7] John the Baptist. But, a lesser person[8] in the Realm of the Heavens[9] is greater than John. MT11:12 From the days of John the Baptist right up until now the Realm of the Heavens is being zealously pursued[10] and those in energetic pursuit are grabbing for it. MT11:13 For the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John.[11] MT11:14 And, if you wish to accept it – John is Elijah,[12] the one who was to come. MT11:15 Let the person with ears listen.”[13]

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File:Accademia - St John the Baptist by Titian Cat314.jpg

St John the Baptist by Titian, Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice.

[1] What did you go out into the wilderness to see: We have learned earlier that all Judea went out into the desert to see this strange prophet who dressed primitively and eat honey and locusts.

[2] A breeze rattling some willows: Possibly a bit of sarcasm? Others render this phrase: KJV: a reed shaken with the wind; RIEU: a reed swaying in the wind; NEB: a reed-bed swept by the wind. As a metaphor John the Baptist could not be characterized like a reed-willow easily blown about (Ephesians 4:14). Rather, he was stalwart and firm – even dogmatic.

[3] Soft clothes: John was dressed roughly in harsh clothing. His clothes and manner must have attracted inquisitive crowds wondering about this strange man. The phrase is rendered by others: WMS: silks and satins; NJB: fine clothes.

[4] More than a prophet: The Bible is fill with “prophets” of the two types: the one foretelling events and the one declaring God’s righteous will. The word “prophet” occurs over 500 times in the Bible. Jesus makes clear the Baptist is more than just a prophet and he now explains what he means. The idea of saying that someone is more or greater than another is something Jesus uses several times. Compare Matthew 12:41, 42; Luke 11:31, 32.

[5] It has been written: Jesus quotes Isaiah 40:3.

[6] My messenger: Literally the Greek is “my angel.”

[7] Who are greater than: John the Baptist is at least equal to Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, or Elijah.

[8] A lesser person: The Greek is MICROTEROS and is rendered: KJV: least; ASV: little; PME: humble.

[9] In the Realm of the Heavens: It is possible this phrase is limited to that Realm of Profession, or the territory or domain over which Lord Messiah reigns – his congregation of disciples. In other words: the most humble member of the Christian Church is greater than John the Baptist and therefore greater than all the ancient worshippers of God. See notes in Matthew chapter 13 on identifying the “kingdom of the heavens.” Some also believe this to mean John the Baptist and the ancient patriarchs would not attain to heaven but would be raised in the resurrection of the righteous on earth (John 3:13; Hebrews 11:39, 40; 1 Corinthians 15:20-24).

[10] Zealously pursued: This is a classically difficult text. Most translators tend toward the idea that the kingdom is attacked violently and the violent seize it. However, from John the Baptist to the present of Jesus’ statement there is little evidence of persecution against the King or his realm. The Greek word here is BIAZETAI and its root meaning is “violent.” Jesus repeats the word group in the next phrase (See Acts 2:2). The word is rare in this form. However, there are two verses in Luke which might shed light on the Nazarene’s intent. Luke 13:24 literally means, ‘agonize to enter through the narrow door.’ And, the parallel in Luke to Matthew here is, ‘everyone is violently forcing [BIAZETAI] themselves into (the Kingdom of The God).’ This could mean violent men force themselves violently into the kingdom; or, it could mean the agonizing struggle to enter the realm of profession. This is the first interpretation the New Jerusalem Bible gives in its footnote “f” – “1. The praiseworthy violence, the bitter self-sacrifice, of those who would take possession of the kingdom.” Strong’s (#971, #973) offers “vital activity, energetic.” Thayer’s (page 101) says: “a share in the heavenly Kingdom is sought for with the most ardent zeal and the intense exertion… utmost eagerness.” Thus, the context and the parallel in Luke suggests the possibility that Jesus is describing the agonizing zeal his disciples have demonstrated in their pursuit of the “kingdom” – willing to make any sacrifice, willing to surrender their soul in the process.

William Barclay suggests a possibility: “‘The Kingdom of the Heaven is not for the well-meaning but for the desperate,’ that no one drifts into the Kingdom, that the Kingdom only opens it doors to those who are prepared to make as great an effort to get into it as men do when they storm a city.… Only the man who is desperately in earnest, only the man in whom the violence of devotion matches and defeats the violence of persecution will in the end enter into it.” (Matthew, Volume 2. page 8)

[11] Prophets and the Law prophesied until John: The complete phrase linking the Law and the Prophets is used by Jesus elsewhere (Matthew 5:17; 7:12; 11:13; 22:40). There is now to be a great transition. Hebrews 1:1 states that The God used to speak in a variety of ways to the prophets of old, but now speaks to us by means of a Son. With the coming of John the Baptist in the year 29 AD a new season, a new age begins to open up – a Messianic one. Grace and Truth will now come by means of Jesus the Nazarene (John 1:17).

[12] John is Elijah: Jesus explains this to his own disciples elsewhere (Matthew 17:10-13; Mark 9:11-13). Compare Luke 1:17. Elijah’s name (My God is Yah) occurs 100 times in the Bible and most importantly at Malachi 4:5 where the prophet is foretold to appear before the Day of Yehowah. The end of the Jewish Temple Age is upon that generation. The name Elijah only occurs twice outside the Gospels (Romans 11:2; James 5:17). Note Elijah is missing by name in the Book of Revelation. He is alluded to at Revelation 11:5, 6.

[13] Let the person with ears listen: This becomes in Revelation a phrase identified with Jesus (Revelation 2:7). PME: the man who has ears to hear must use them.

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Preceding

Matthew 11– Intro to The Nazarene’s Commentary: Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities

Matthew 11:1 Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities 1 Twelve Sent out to Teach

Matthew 11:2-6 Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities 2 Imprisoned Baptist Encouraged

Object of first woe

From the old writings by the Melbourne Bible Students we like to quote:

Fornication in Delirium

Fornication in Delirium (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The object of the first woe, as well as of the second, is stated in Revelation 9: 20, 21, to have been the punishment of the professed Christian Church for idolatry, murders, sorceries, fornication, and thefts. Without endorsing either the doctrine of predestination or fatalism which made God could and did use them to check the hypocrisy and sin of His professed people. In this connection it is worthy of note that when one nation is used to punish another it is not necessarily the better of the two; for the conquering nation itself is usually afterwards dealt with in its turn because it does not repent of its own evil practices and false religious conceptions.

“20 And the rest of mankind, who were not killed with these plagues, repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not {1} worship demons, and the idols of gold, and of silver, and of brass, and of stone, and of wood; which can neither see, nor hear, nor walk: {1) See marginal note on Re 3:9} 21 and they repented not of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.” (Revelation 9:20-21 ASV)

– The New Covenant Advocate, August, 1915

God sanctifies by sending the Spirit and the truth, by corrective discipline (Heb. 12), and by giving us the association of brethren likewise under His care and instruction. – But, if we do not cooperate, the sanctification is interfered with. For example, one of the greatest evils in the world is drunkenness. If we have been delivered from that fault, and then continue to make boon companions of those who drink to excess, we can expect nothing less than that we should fall again into the sin from which we were once delivered. Similarly with other evils mentioned in Scripture— fornication, idolatry, covetousness, hatred, envy, etc, etc. Our own safety requires us to co-operate in our own sanctification by keeping away from people and places which have a retarding effect upon our growth in grace and holiness.

Separated from people and places of evil—so far, so good. We have still need to be kept from indulging the evil in our own dispositions. This too is accomplished by the influence of the spirit and the word of Truth; and in this also we must co-operate earnestly if we desire the sanctification to proceed satisfactorily.
Cleanse yourselves, says the apostle —

“Having therefore these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1 ASV)

– The New Covenant Advocate, June 1917

Our Lord further expounded the higher view of marriage than that embodied in the Jewish Law, “by saying—

“And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, {1} except for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: {2} and he that marrieth her when she is put away committeth adultery. {1) Some ancient authorities read [saving for the cause of fornication, maketh her an adulteress] as in Mt 5:32. 2) The following words, to the end of the verse, are omitted by some ancient authorities.}” (Matthew 19:9 ASV)

The Sinaitic MS. omits the words “and whoso” to “adultery.” The same thought is, however, expressed in Luke 16: 18, according to the Sinaitic as well as other ancient MSS.
In Mark 10:- 11, the adultery committed in such a case is said to be against the wife put away. The wife is definitely wronged by being put away, and still more definitely wronged if her former husband marries another.
In Mark 10: 12 the same principle is enunciated in regard to a woman who puts away her husband and marries another, though there was, so far as we have found, no provision in the Jewish law sanctioning the putting away of the husband by the wife.
But it is likely it was practised nevertheless, since at times the whole nation fell into a state of apostasy and idolatry, and in morals sank to the level of the heathen round about them.

– The New Covenant Advocate, December 1919

The sap, or spirit, nourishing the vine of the earth, is “earthly, sensual, devilish.” It produces “confusion and every evil work.” (James 3: 15, 16.) Says the apostle Paul (Galatians 5) —

“19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]: fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousies, wraths, factions, divisions, {1} parties, {1) Gr [heresies]} 21 envyings, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of which I {1} forewarn you, even as I did {1} forewarn you, that they who practise such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. {1) Or [tell you plainly]}” (Galatians 5:19-21 ASV)

All this vile fruit is the production of the spirit of the present evil world surging through the vine of the earth. Says another apostle (1 John 2) —

“15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the vain glory of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” (1 John 2:15-17 ASV)

“22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 meekness, self-control; against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23 ASV)

– The New Covenant Advocate,January 1939

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Preceding articles:

Hebraic Roots Bible 1 Corinthians 6:15-20 – Flee fornication and be joined to our Master

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

Gainsayers In Apostolic Days

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Additional reading:

  1. Subcutaneous power for humanity 2 1950-2010 Post war generations
  2. No time for immorality
  3. Disscusion Questions
  4. Stronger than anything that wants to destroy
  5. To be chained by love for another one

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  • Fornication, Hell and the Bible (courageouspriest.com)
    We live in times in which many call good or “no big deal” what God calls sinful. This is especially true in the area of sexuality, where whole sectors of our society not only tolerate but even celebrate sexual practices that the Scriptures call gravely sinful, and which will lead to Hell if not repented of. Acts of fornication (pre-marital sex) and homosexual acts cannot be considered acceptable by any Catholic or by any person who sincerely accepts the Scripture as the Word of God. And even for those who do not share our faith, acts of fornication and homosexual acts can be plainly seen to cause great harm in the manner in which they spread serious disease, harm marriage and family, lead to abortion, and for the children who do survive abortion, subject them to having single mothers, absent fathers, and a lack of the best environment which they are due.
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    The Flesh lusts against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh; the two are directly opposed. This is why you do not do what your will intends. If you are guided by the spirit you are not under the law. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry, sorcery, hostilities, bickering jealousy, outbursts of rage, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, orgies and the like. I warn you, as I have warned you before: those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God! (Galatians 5:16-21)
  • Premarital Sex is a Mortal Sin – Of this we must be clear and insist on repentance as the… (freerepublic.com)
    Can you not realize that the unholy will not fall heir to the Kingdom of God? Do not deceive yourselves: no fornicators, idolaters, or adulterers, no sodomites, thieves, misers, or drunkards, no slanderers or robbers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you; but you have been washed, consecrated, justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. Do you not see that your bodies are member of Christ? Would you have me take Christ’s members and make them members of a prostitute? God forbid! Can you not see that the man who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? Scripture says, “The two shall become one flesh.” But whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Shun Lewd conduct. Every other sin a man commits is outside of his body, but the fornicator sins against his own body. You must know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is within – the Spirit you have received from God. You are not your own. You have been purchased at a price. So glorify God in your body. (I Cor. 6:9-11, 15-20)
  • The Fall Of Babylon (whatshotn.wordpress.com)
    The worldwide movement and conspiracy of the last days will involve a multitude of organizations, the super rich in many countries, but it will not be the product of mere human ingenuity, but of satanic agency.
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    “Of the wine of the wrath of her fornication” is a reference to the world ideologies of Babylon, which will prostitute the divine institutions God has establish for man’s protection like: volition, freedom, marriage and the family, and nationalism. Some of these intoxicant agents are humanism, the unisex idea promoted so strongly even today by the ERA movement (strongly represented by the National Organization for Women), the New Age movement, internationalism, commercialism, multinational corporations, demon worship, gross immorality, and idolatry (cf. Rev. 9:20-21; 13:5-6, 16-17).
  • Homosexuality and the Body of Christ (davidchristian.hubpages.com)
    The attitude of secular civil society which says that sodomy is acceptable has spread into the church of Jesus Christ. Some denominations have already normalizedthe appointment of clerics who are openly homosexual. The excuse seems to lie in the idea that Christ was tolerant, and that thereshould be a place in his church for people of all kinds.Traditionalists attack this attitude, if course, with vehemence and intransigent rejection of what is to them an abominable promotion of an abominable practice. At the same time, avant-garde promoters of inclusiveness bend over backwards to convince the uninformed that God’s word in no place even mentions homosexuality, let alone condemns it.There is nothing odd about this, as attempting to distort the word of God to deceive others, and to mislead them into doing that which God condemns, is a method that God’s enemies employ in connection to a wide variety of issues. The apostle Peter mentioned that the existence this practice was already seen almost 2,000 years ago. In chapter three of the second letter that bears his name, Peter warned of the consequences to those who distort God’s word,
  • What Every Christian Needs To Know About Homosexuality (shoebat.com)
    when Israel was in a state of anarchy, they did that “which was right in their own eyes” and thus had a repeat of the Sodom and Gomorrah situation in Judges 19:22-30. This resulted in civil war in the house of Israel between the tribe of Benjamin (the guilty party) and the tribe of Judah and the rest of the othertribes of Israel in Judges 20 and 21. A solemn warning to the West which has inherited the blessings and teachings of the God of Israel!Notice the following verses as a sign of not only the anarchy that was going on Israel, especially under godless kings, but more specifically, howsodomites/homosexualswere linked to this state of anarchy who thus hadto be dealt with by more righteous kings.I Kings 14:24: “And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.”

    I Kings 15:12: “And he took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made.” [This verse is talking about King Asa of Judah, who was more righteous than his father, Abijam, and was willing to make amends before God by getting rid of the sodomites and idolatry in Judah]

    I Kings 22:46: “And the remnant of the sodomites, which remained in the days of his father Asa, he took out of the land.” [This is talking about righteous king, Jehoshaphat, who succeeded his father, Asa, and also did something about the sodomites too].

    II Kings 23:7: “And he brake down the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the grove.” [This is describing the actions of another righteous king, Josiah, who destroyed the sodomite dens which were blasphemously put alongside the Temple].

    The Talmud also makes this statement regarding the sin of sodomy since the days of Noah and how Noahides (righteous non-Jews/Gentiles) behaved:

    Talmud Bavli, Chulin 92a–b:

    עולא אמר אלו שלשים מצות שקבלו עליהם בני נח ואין מקיימין אלא שלשה אחת שאין כותבין כתובה לזכרים ואחת שאין שוקלין בשר המת במקולין ואחת שמכבדין את התורה

    “Said Ulla: There were thirty commandments that Noahides accepted, but they keep only three: not to write a ketuba for males; not to weigh dead human flesh in the market; and to show respect for the Torah.”

  • Madea reveals he’s having a child out of Wedlock (exministries.tv)
    Just because people fail the standard (Bible), it doesn’t mean that the standard (Bible) failed. God’s grace is not just about cutting man some slack. It’s about bringing man’s sins to bear on his life, to cause man to recognize the goodness of the Lord, and to get it right. Grace gives man a chance to get it straight with God. Favor demands you get it straight before it is too late. Romans 6:1 says, “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we that are dead to sin live any longer in it (sin)?”
  • Who Are the Overcomers? (whatshotn.wordpress.com)
    The New Testament clearly teaches us, as does life itself, that we are in a conflict, indeed, a holy war, with specific adversaries. Even after salvation, the conflict still rages in and against the life of the Christian. This is everywhere evident in Scripture and so obvious in life that one has to deny reality to ignore or disclaim it. Two key passages that illustrate the nature of our conflict with evil are Ephesians 2:1-2 and 6:12:
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    We are to put no confidence in the flesh (Phil. 3:3). We do not overcome by our works, by the energy of the flesh, or by our sincerity, or by our effort, or by our will power because we are powerless. Nevertheless, victory requires our cooperation with God’s operation. It means discipline, diligence, commitment to draw near to God and to act on His promises and provision by faith. Note also 1 Corinthians 15:10; Philippians 2:12-13.
  • The Blame Game (sparrowsingsweetly.wordpress.com)
    Corrupted human nature predisposes all of us to the  temptation to become preoccupied with the way  someone else has transgressed the standards of even a generic  set of  operating procedures.
    +
    if the focus does not move swiftly from identification of a sinful behavior to  recognition of the informing attitude, the effort to conquer the foul action will most likely resemble the attempt to eradicate an obnoxiously pervasive weed with a lawn mower.  It can be successfully hacked down so no one notices it…but the ugly blemish will most certainly resurface later.
  • The Miscreants behind the Pulput… (audacityandsupposition.com)
    The carnage of modern Christian doctrines is the work of spiritual deception, poured through the willing carnality of the clergy. This fact is dramatically illustrated by Mr. Helmut Koester. Writing in the July/August 1995 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review, Mr. Koester said, “It is a simple historical fact that Jesus was an Israelite from Galilee, and that he understood himself to be nothing else but a prophet in Israel and for Israel- a venerable tradition.”
    +
    The Christian seminaries long ago sorted the scriptures into categories to support canned denominational doctrines. As students at these institutions, future pastors do not study the Bible, they study “doctrines.” They learn how to explain the entire Bible from prescribed denominational perspectives. Their thinking is trained to see a packaged point of view. They are taught to repeat the denominational liturgy. Their opinions are formed to fit the mold or they don’t graduate. And no pastor is given a position in any church unless he agrees to perpetuate the party line. Seminary training removes inspiration, revelation, individual conscience, and God, from the ministry. Helmut Koester provides a startling example: “It is impossible to know for certain what Israelites or Jews, or for that matter Christians, could or could not believe in the first century C.E. [AD], before both Judaism and Christianity established boundaries for their beliefs at the end of the second century.”
  • The Final Judgment Part One (supertradmum-etheldredasplace.blogspot.com)
    Having sand in my eyes reminds me that we are dust and to dust we shall return. But, on the Last Day, when Christ returns as King in victory over the world and satan, we shall be raised up in our bodies. Our bodies join us forever in heaven or hell.

A man from the North wanting to have control in Belgium

Figures in history

Photograph of Charles Taze Russell.

Photograph of Charles Taze Russell. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Throughout history lots of religions had troubles with certain figures wanting to have control over everything and wanting to be the main leader.

The Biblestudent movement is no different than any other Christian denomination. In its coarse of history there have been strong leaders creating schisms or denying there where divisions having come out of their group.

One of the pupils of Dr. John Thomas never wanted to have a following of a singular person. Charles Taze Russell managed to create a big amount of followers who were genuinely interested to make the best out of Bible study. Their leader had arranged that they could have additional literature which could be of help to their study, but it was never intended to replace the Bible.

Centralized authority

Russell did not believe in any centralized authority except Jesus and the apostles through the Bible. Because he did believe that Jesus returned in 1874 and that the Gentile Times ended in 1914 he could not be associated with other Bible Students who do not believe that Christ returned in 1874, or that the Gentile Times ended in 1914. The Christadelphians for example are such a group who think Christ still has to return. Whilst his freedom to believe Thomas his unique beliefs were accepted many objected to them being preached as necessary for salvation and this led to a series of debates particularly between Alexander Campbell and Dr Thomas.

John Thomas

John Thomas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr. Thomas might have had a particular vision on what was predicted in the Bible. His exposition of Bible prophecy led to him making various detailed predictions about then current day events many of which did not come to pass, as was noted in the foreword to subsequent editions of Elpis Israel after his death. those predictions make it sometimes, mainly for Roman Catholics, difficult that he could have followers, because they expect that they would accept everything their teacher would have said or written. But Dr. Thomas Thomas never claimed to be any kind of prophet, or in any way inspired, and as such his writings should not bind any body to believe other things than those which are clear in the Bible. All other findings are ideas, of which some may be accepted and others rejected, without having to be excluded of the community, because in the community there should be freedom of thought. Everybody may say his opinion of how he thinks things could be. But what we can not know for sure we do not have to accept the predictions or guessing of individual members. Nobody can or should force his or her ideas on somebody else. Every person should come into the faith by independent study and should not bound himself or herself to any  particular person or organisation and not be placed under any specific ranking, like in the traditional churches, with their pope, cardinals, bishops and priests.

Time of the end

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Dr. Thomas may have written:

There is a part of prophetic time, upon the heels of which, our race is now treading, called “the time of the end”—“a time of trouble,” says the Messenger of God, “such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time.”

and have thought that end-time could have been very close. Thomas thought that they had at length arrived at

“the time of the end,” in its bearing upon the congregation of the Lord Christ.

At the time when he lived he considered

The political signs of the disastrous times—“the time of the end”—coming upon the nations, are crowding the page of history; and the rumbling of that voice, which is to “roar out of Zion,” already trembles upon the ear.

For him it was time to put on the complete armour of God, and gird the loins of your minds with truth, having on the breastplate of righteousness, preparing our feet with the glad tidings of peace, taking up the shield of faith, and the helmet of salvation, and arming ourselves with the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

If you would win you must fight; and you must either take a decided stand on the one side or the other. You may delude yourselves with peace here, and happiness hereafter; but be assured that these states are incompatible; for, if you would reign hereafter, you must suffer here.

The Christian Church, or “the Lamb’s wife,” has arrived at the period of preparation, and the proclamation of the Great Captain is — Make ready! And how are the Christians to do this? — By a reformation of morals and combining together heart and soul, and purse, for the restoration of the Christian institution to what it was in apostolic times. This is what must and will be done before the Messiah comes; and, if the faint hearted professors of this generation won’t do themselves the honor of effecting it, the next generation will, and our contemporaries will have the mortification of losing that great recompense of the inheritance, to secure which is now within their grasp.

He believed it was time to rejoice and exult, and give glory to him, because the marriage of the Lamb had come.

But the congregation of the Lord — the Lamb’s wife — will only have attained to this glorious character, when every individual member shall have been immersed into Christ; instead of being composed of persons, as it is now, some of whom have put on Christ and others their own experience. Every saint must have his robe washed white in the blood of Christ; no speckled garments will be admitted there.

What we do know from Scripture is that at the end-times certain signs would be given to the world, like more earthquakes and tsunamis, floods and storms. But there is also been told about a starting of the troubles in the land of Euphrates and Tigris, after which children would come to resist their parents and religions would come up against other religions, even having wars in the own families and religious groups. And when you look at it that is just what we are encountering today.

Powerful engines

In Dr. Thomas his time the press was a powerful engine.

It is a mighty messenger, whom all the combined power of the Kings of Europe cannot control. Without his aid, Luther’s revolt could not have been effected, and the world might still have been groaning under the despotism of kings, priests, ignorance and superstition. His voice is loud, as when a lion roars; and when he cries seven thunders utter their voices.

“A little book” is a mighty weapon, and like the tongue, has “set the wheel of nature in a blaze.” We rely, therefore, a great deal on the potency of a little book, in our efforts at reformation and restoration. It has done wonders, and will yet do more. It has embittered the stomach, but sweetened the taste; and, while the ponderous tomes of systems of divinity encumber the dusty shelves of the libraries of the downy doctors of the day, from which they pilfer the chopped logic of their sermons, — the wayfaring man though unlearned, can recline under the shade of a tree, and, drawing from his pocket the little book which contains the will of his heavenly Father, he can imbibe the divine words of the Holy Spirit which are able to make him wise to salvation, and far more learned, too, than the gods of the people, though charged to the full with the crudities of Whitby, Gill, Scott and Henry. Despise not, therefore, the day of little books and small things, but promote, as far as you can, the circulation of the fearless and independent “Advocate” of the ancient gospel and apostolic order of things. Editor.

{Thomas, J. (1834-1836). The apostolic advocate. Title from caption. (1:277-284). Richmond, Va.: s.n.}

Lots of little books, newsletters and exhortations have been written by now. Today certain people become more afraid of the small writings by many persons or want others to follow only their “little writings”. They even want to go so far to take care that what is published can be taken away from public view.

Forcing ideas in other’s heads

Dr.Thomas did not force his ideas onto others and never suggested that he was speaking under inspiration from God or had any personal visions. In this we should find the big difference between what John Thomas did and the false prophet of Deuteronomy 18. We should remember when people read the Bible they are just humans who also can easily miss the mark. He too like any of us could err on doctrine. There is one of the big differences in our believes, we do not belief that any person can be having all the wisdom and be infallible. Some religions claim infallibility for their leaders, but the Christadelphians are not among them.

John Thomas changed his mind several times during the course of his life on many Biblical matters as his understanding became clearer. He was a Bible student of the first order whose main purpose in life was to sift through the myths and dogmas and understand what was the original teaching of Christianity. John Thomas never wanted or desired for people to follow him. His desire was that people would follow God and Jesus Christ as taught in the Holy Scriptures.

Today once more the Biblestudent movement is having a person who is forcing his ideas onto others and who wants that they follow him and his organisation and no other.

No prophets and no solo teachers

Despite being wrong on the date of Christ’s return, John Thomas was amazingly accurate in many of his interpretations of prophecy. He predicted with uncanny accuracy, among other things, the establishment of the state of Israel a hundred years before the fact. Again, the only credit John Thomas can take for this accurate prediction is for the countless hours he put in as a Bible student and not as a prophet.

Other Christadelphians have predicted the date of Christ’s return only to see the time come and go. We always should remember that even Christ Jesus did not know when he would be coming back, so how could we say when he would be coming back? Mark 13:32 should put an end to the practice of guessing or predicting. Speaking of the Second Coming, Jesus states

“But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.”

The bottom line is that neither John Thomas nor any other Christadelphian is a prophet or has claimed to be and should not claim to be so. We should go to the infallible word of God for our prophetic visions and most importantly for our understanding of the Hope of Israel (Acts 28:20).

That Book of books should be our infallible Guide and not a singular man.

Excessive zeal

Some  Christadelphians and other Bible Students might have had an

excessive zeal carried to the point of harshness on the part of a few that has led to the Christadelphians being everywhere spoken against. {Robert Roberts in The Sect Everywhere Spoken Against}

English: Variants of symbol of Cross and Crown...

Variants of bible Students symbol of Cross and Crown enclosed within wreath(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By the years there came to be moments in the Bible Student movement that a particular person got master of the strings and forced his ideas on others. One of such persons imposing his law was Joseph Franklin Rutherford with his “Jehovah’s visible organization” dogma. Rutherford wanted to distinguish himself from other Bible Student groups and by taking the name Jehovah’s witnesses wanted to symbolize a break with the legacy of Russell’s traditions. Others just wanted to have the power themselves and love to be the one in the spotlight.

Today Belgium is been hit by the attempts of a man from the North to get in charge of what is to happen in the Christadelphian community in Belgium. Previously he had already made some attempts to have a good crack to become the leader in Belgium as part of his strategy to be a leader of a worldwide organisation which would “link” all people together to him.

He wanted a cat flap in the Belgian community by having the Belgian responsible, under the wings of the Christadelphian Bible Mission or CBM, denouncing his connection with that group and giving all honour to Mr.D.H. and his organisation C.l..

The difference with the other members of the Biblestudent movement which consider them the only one sincere Biblestudents, is that they as Witnesses of Jehovah have the zeal to reach everybody and as much as persons they can reach. The present group forbids its members to take contact with other members of the Christadelphian community and do not allow them to look for other like-minded people. Their members are also not encouraged to go out preaching and do not seem to bring the gospel to other people. Though their organisation has the word “Care” in their name they do not seem to care about other people. They do not seem to be interested to meet other Christadelphians, though they call themselves Christadelphian. We do find it strange, that all those people baptised in Belgium by Mr. D.H. do not look for other Christadelphians, when they themselves would call themselves Christadelphian. There are enough Christadelphian websites by which people in Belgium could find some Belgian Christadelphians. We wonder why they do not take any contact then with those very few Brothers and Sisters in Christ, who live in isolation in that small country!

Asked to defile

CBM Feb. 18 18.13

Christadelphian Bible Mission U.K. or CBM – 2014 February

Mr.D.H. asks from every person who wants to become a member of or to be associated with his organisation “C.l.” to “defile” (his words) the Christadelphian Bible Mission or CBM members. Mr. D.H. is even proud he can find enough people who were under the wings of the CBM but got attracted by his organisation and were willing to denounce the CBM and to corrupt the name of the other Christadelphians.

Mr.D.H. also writes to the association of Belgian Christadelphians:

You describe yourselves as “CBM brethren”, but the policies of that organization preclude you from fellowshipping with us, … There are at this time 7 brothers and sisters from British ecclesias having a great time in Riga, Latvia fellowshipping with us and witnessing baptisms there. They have had to defy the CBM to do so but it has been to their and everyone’s blessing.

All the previous members of the Biblestudent movement except Mr. Rutherford never did ask that of their members. Therefore we are concerned about seeing once again a schism coming into existence where the leader of the group who excludes the other shall proclaim the others are the bad guys and have many schisms under them, while they go out in the clear. This time it looks more dangerous than with the group of Rutherford which became the Jehovah’s Witnesses. We would not consider them a sect, and would not consider they are following just one leader. They at least do have a committee. Now everything seems to turn around one man having everything in control and the others having no opportunity to say something against that person in charge.

During Russell’s ministry congregations continued to form and each of them remained self-administrative, functioning under the congregationalist style of church governance. Russell’s organization maintained hundreds of “pilgrims,” or travelling preachers. By 1910, about 50,000 people worldwide were associated with the movement. {The New Schaff–Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, 1910, vol 7, pg 374} but his organisation became under the influence of an autocratic and secretive person who was enjoying to have power. Like Rutherford centralized organizational control of the Watch Tower Society the Man from the North would like to have control over the Christadelphians as well.

It is a pity many people do not know that because being disappointed by the changes, tens of thousands of defections occurred during the first half of Rutherford’s tenure, leading to the formation of several Bible Student organizations independent of the Watch Tower Society. Though today the Jehovah’s Witnesses claim to be the original and only true Biblestudents, founded by Russell.

Here we see a repetition of history, Mr.D.H. from the North claiming to be the organisation bringing the Truth and being the real followers of Christ and the real followers of John Thomas. They consider all others as the “bad ones”.

Concerns

Belgian Christadelphians English pages

English web-pages of the Belgian Christadelphians

The CBM was and is concerned about Mr.D.H his many converts.

“The issue with CBM is that it feels these converts are not properly taught, instructed and baptised. … it is not the converts fault at all, hence bringing them into a small fellowship group would be to their benefit.”

Mr. Marcus Ampe from the Belgian Christadelphians tried to bring the Central Fellowship CBM members (Amended Christadelphians) together with other Christadelphians. He and some committed members of the Ecclesia Brussel-Leuven engaged in an effort to bring all different souls under one roof and having them meet in peace at different places in Belgium.

Currently people might find different Christadelphian groups like the Bereans, mostly in North America and the remnants of the Dawn fellowship mainly in the UK and Australia. In Ghent there live some Old Paths who do not want to meet with us, though an other person from the Old Paths is already several years happy meeting with us at different places in Belgium and France. From those Old Paths, in the world you might find also the Companion and Lightstand fellowships resulting from splits within this group, but with some of these later joining with the Dawn group and some remaining separate. All refuse association with any other fellowship, and all share three main characteristics of which the claim that the Central fellowship is either apostate or willing to accept apostasy, is one.

For months discussions and writings went on and lots of time was spend to come to a solution to have baptised Christadelphians in Belgium a place to meet other brothers and sisters, plus having an opening to invite non-baptised people to different places in the country.

Christadelphia Black-out Feb. 15 10.47

Christadelphia Facebook page being blacked-out in February 2014

It might not be. Mr.D.H. keeps refusing and doing everything to break the unity of the Christadelphian community. The last few days he even went so far to go into attack against Mr. Ampe and his publications on the net, hindering all his preaching work. The Man from the North succeeded to silence Mr. Ampe by jamming his personal Google+ pages and publications, as well as having taken away from public viewing his website Christadelphian World and the Facebook page Christadelphia.

When a person goes so far he takes down the websites of others,we do come in a very dangerous situation where the dictator manages to silence anybody who does not agree with him. This did not happen yet in the world of the Biblestudents before. Lots of screaming to each other and having lots of words going to and fro, might have happened more than once in the community where many people were very concerned to preach and to get as many people as they could to the Truth.

Necessity for union

Mr. Marcus Ampe tried to get the people living in Belgium, to meet with others, no matter to which Christadelphian group they might originally belong. for him unity between followers of Christ is most important.

According to him the ecclesia or the parish is part of the Body of Christ. Each community having its own independance, but joining hands in the general basic creeds. all those different communities should feel the bond with each other, though all keep their own choice and responsibility to appoint representatives, for the discharge of all the duties of an ecclesia: for the instruction and proper baptism of new members; for the spiritual as well as physical welfare of all its members; for the repudiation of error and, where ultimately necessary, for withdrawal from disorderly or erring members. These duties are carried out by the ecclesia concerned on behalf of the whole body of believers, and therefore there must be complete agreement among all ecclesiae as to the basis on which fellowship is shared.

It is not good for the Body of Christ when there is division in it. All should have brotherly love and be willing to accept the differences of character of each individual. Each person should feel that he or she is fully respected and taken on in the community of believers and recognised as a follower of Christ, full member of the Body of Christ.

Central fellowship practice

Marcus Ampe does regret that many groups have continued to differentiate and divide because their members either can’t resist (or don’t want to resist) the urge to police anyone and everyone in their “fellowship”.  today Mr.D.H. and his organisation also have shown their true face, certainly after creating a black out for some of the Belgian websites and pages (Google+ and Facebook).

Like you may find on different Central Fellowship websites, the Central Fellowship members of Belgium believe that all ecclesiae in a community should be regarded as part of a single body; the division into individual ecclesiae being only a matter of geographical convenience. For this reason the concept of “ecclesial autonomy”, where individual ecclesiae accept different standards in matters relating to fundamentals of belief and practice, is rejected by the Dawn community. But on non-fundamental matters there must be ecclesial independence. We firmly reject any idea of an overall controlling body.

The Central fellowship has been using the Ecclesial Guide, appreciating ecclesial autonomy and ecclesia-based fellowship, as based upon the Scriptural principles encapsulated in the BASF. It has rejected those who demand the BASF only, and allowed instead for different expressions of the same saving truths, both in its different reunion documents, and in individual ecclesial statements. This has given the breakaway fragments, if they sought unity again, a way back into the larger group. And the reasonable combination of ecclesial autonomy, a common set of beliefs, and a more or less standard fellowship practice has allowed ecclesias and individuals of some diversity to remain together. It is a paradigm that works (with some glitches, of course) for a worldwide community. {Christadelphian Divisions and Fellowship, Glad Tidings, March 2013}

Sad occurrence

Having Mr. D.H. such an aggressive stand, blocking any form of co-operation and not only making that the CBM members can not meet with other brethren, worse him silencing several of the Belgian internet places to meet the general public, or a real intrusion of democratic freedom of speech and of showing brotherly love and willingness to give everybody the same possibilities to reach others to bring them to the Kingdom of God.

Also the Association of Bible Students got a red notice from Google and got the message their reply on Christadelphian World was taken of public viewing because of ‘inappropriate language’. For our readers to decide if it was really a language which should not be open to the public we here present a photograph of the reply to the article: No reconciliation possible between CBM and Duncan Heaster from Carelinks:

Biblestudents comment on Christadelphian World - Blogger Feb. 14 14.04Such an action of silencing all who have some remark to make or have other ideas, is creating a ground for a dictatorial community and would not resist others to accuse such a community for being a cult. Sectarianism is something none of the Bible-students would like to be associated with. Many groups face already difficulty, by being called a cult, that we can need such a group of Mr.D.H. like we need a hole in the head.

It is incredible that such a single man can create such upheaval and cause a black out of websites or voices on the international internet. We do not understand how he managed to this, but it is an inadmissible action. The man from the North his attitude is impermissible and all those involved in the building up the body of Christ here on earth should warn their flock of the dangers of such a person, who does not recoil to use all means to get his goal.

Reason to react

We can not just do if nothing happened.  The man of the North keeping back ways to reach non-believers and believers, making the Belgian brethren to fail to talk to them about salvation, he is essentially condemning them to separation from God and withholding them from getting in contact with lovers of God.  When we see such un-christian action been taken to silence a follower of Christ, certainly when such events are caused by somebody who calls himself a Christian, the community should act. According to us when a Christian sees a fellow Christian sinning and does not say anything, the person who stays silent is not showing them the love of Christ and in effect is actually “hating” the other person. When people have an argument with somebody they should come to terms and solve the matter, first in private, than by bringing it the eyes of some private brothers or/and sisters, and when nothing helps they should let more people from the community know what is going on and where there are problems. Mr. Marcus Ampe followed this path of trial to come to reconciliation between all the parties involved. He and the members of the Belgian ecclesia wanted it to work it out. They did not want to have seeds of anger and hostility sown in anybodies heart toward any person or organisation.  The Belgian Christadelphians have been pushed in the corner and are obliged to defend themselves.

All those who consider themselves to be a follower of Christ should try to unite with the other followers of Christ. All those sincerely studying the bible should show others the way Christ Jesus has paved for us and how he wanted us to unite. Therefore let us show that brotherly love to each other, give each other hands and unite under the body of Christ.

In the peace and love of Christ, peace be with you all.

***

Without freedom of thought there can be no suc...

Without freedom of thought there can be no such think as wisdom & no such thing as puclick liberty without freedom of speech, Benjamin Franklin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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The cause of maddening:

After months of trying to get reconciliation and getting nowhere Mr. Marcus Ampe found it necessary to let his public know that he nor his ecclesia members could do much against the unbearable situation not to meet with others or being able to give the addresses of other communities in Belgium. After having placed the articles Duncan Heaster en Carelinks onverbiddelijke verhinderaars and  No reconciliation possible between CBM and Duncan Heaster from Carelinks, Mr. D.H. accused him of slander. In his defence Mr. Ampe replied to the articles and accusations, but found that very quickly his defence was taken off the net, with the accusation of being of “inappropriate language”.

Other reactions were given afterwards:

  1. Not words of any organisation should bind you, but the Word of God (2/10/2014)
  2. Priority to form a loving brotherhood (February 10, 2014)
  3. Disciple of Christ counting lives and friends dear to them (2/12/2014)
  4. Certain people trying to stem freedom of speech (Friday, February 14, 2014)
  5. Censorship possible by a person and his organisation (February 14, 2014)
  6. Attackers silenced freedom of speech (2014/02/15)
  7. Attackers silenced freedom of speech (17 , Feb, 2014)
  8. Delay in publications because attack from outside (February 17, 2014)

Dutch articles:

  1. Vertraging door ongehoorde moeilijkheden (February 15, 2014)
  2. Vertraging door ongehoorde moeilijkheden (17 , Feb, 2014)

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Please do also find to read:

  1. Christadelphian Divisions and Fellowship
  2. Integrity of the fellowship
  3. Secret or public return of Jesus
  4. Signs of the Last Days
  5. Weapons of our warfare
  6. Creator and Blogger God 9 A Blog of a Book 3 Blog about Prophecy
  7. Belonging to or being judged by
  8. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian

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  • One Mind, One Accord (propheticsteps.com)
    How often do you find total agreement with other people? I often find myself in agreement with others, but not always for the same reason. There are times I can see someone else’s point of view, but I do not agree with their assessment. Just because people laugh at the same joke does not mean they find the same thing funny.This is one of the many problems plaguing the body of Christ today. I have found myself in different congregations, in different denominations, among friends and strangers, and have discussed some of those differences. If this were a solvable problem, the many denominations of churches would be reduced to one.
    +
    Today I simply ask that you pray for the churches. Prayerfully ask for Godly knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. Pray for strength to stand strong on truth. Pray for humble submission to God’s word, God’s will and the Holy Spirit. Pray for discernment. Pray for the leaders of the body of Christ, the burden is great for those in positions of authority, as is the judgment they assume in taking positions of leadership.
    +

    Another gospel?
    The church, in general, today is experiencing perilous times. There are so many denominations, doctrines, teachings, and ideas. What I find to be most dangerous is this: The general acceptance of all things. If someone thinks it, believes it, and says it loud enough multiple times, someone else is willing to accept it and repeat the process.
    +
    If we find a gospel being preached that is easy to digest and a gospel that tickles the ears, we better be alarmed. If we hear soothing words that eases the burden of sin without true repentance and cheapens the grace which God has given, it must become our duty to defend the truth.

  • “Shut Up!” – One Year Bible – February 18 – Tuesday (jerryrothauser.wordpress.com)
    Cheatin’ goes, always shows!  If someone snookers his neighbor in any way, he had to repay and add 20% to it. To boot, he had to sacrifice a ram.Maybe we take sin too casually.  If we had to buy a smelly ram and then have it slaughtered in front of our eyes and smell the burning flesh and see the blood maybe we wouldn’t be so casual about sin.  Or would we?  Maybe we’d also appreciate the lamb slain for us a bit more, too?  Naaah.
  • SIH’s Think On These Things: Ephesians 2:17-18 (settledinheaven.wordpress.com)
    Christ’s message was meant for both Gentile (afar off) and Jews (nigh).  Keep in mind, although the ministry of Christ centered upon the Jews (Matt 15:24), Christ did minister to Gentiles as well:
  • Dealing With Problems (dailybibleplan.com)
    As problems arise for us, we often do not know exactly how to handle them and we can easily be tempted not deal with them at all.  When we see a non-believer who does not know the Way, we can be tempted to “bury our heads in the sand” and not talk to them about Christ because it might be uncomfortable.  When we see a fellow believer sinning, we can be tempted to “bury our heads in the sand” and not confront them on their sins because we want to maintain the peace.  Just like Festus, we can be tempted to try to send others on their way to allow someone else to deal with the problem, but none of this is biblical.  Being a follower of Christ does not afford us the opportunity to “bury our heads in the sand”.  Jesus was very specific when He told us how to deal with problems, and regardless of the situation we are called to deal with problems head on.
  • “But did you pray for the wolf?” (standupforthetruth.com)
    First of all I want to say up front that I do not believe praying for a wolf is wrong, a sin, nor am I saying that you shouldn’t do it. Furthermore, this post is not intended to discourage you from doing so, but only to raise the question are wesupposed to pray for the wolves?I would also like to preface this thesis by clarifying that when I speak of wolves in this post, I am not referring to the rank and file who have fallen under the spell of their leaders, but the leaders themselves (Think: Helen Ukbato, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Gloria Copeland, Rob Bell, Brian McLaren, Doug Pagitt, et al).

    With that said, allow me to present some thoughts on this matter.

  • Bibles removed from Iowa State guest rooms (whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com)
    On January 29 I put up a brief post noting that someone had complained about the presence of Gideon Bibles in the guest rooms at Iowa State University’s (ISU) Memorial Union, lodgings that are part of a public university. I also reproduced the letter that the ISU got from the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) saying that those Bibles were a no-no—a violation of the First Amendment. The letter worked: no litigation was necessary. The University removed the Bibles.

    There are many reports of this victory on the internet, but I was most interested in the one at the Christian News Network, as the coverage was most extensive and I hoped there would be some funny comments.

  • After Christian Politicians in Northern Ireland Force Cancellation of Satirical Bible Play, the Backlash is Fierce (patheos.com)
    Remember how the Mormon Church responded when The Book of Mormon musical came out? They embraced it (without quite endorsing it), placed ads in the Playbill, and even issued a well-crafted public statement:

    The production may attempt to entertain audiences for an evening, but the Book of Mormon as a volume of scripture will change people’s lives forever by bringing them closer to Christ.
    +

    When “keeping the peace” becomes of higher value than God’s glory, tolerance begins to set in. It is one thing to have a nation where everyone is free to worship as they please. It is another to promote false religion and to censor the worship of Jesus. One protects people’s right to worship the other promotes principles contrary to the Bible and works against the worship of Jesus.

    “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. Matthew 12:30

    In an effort to appease, Solomon opened the door for the eventuality of his wives’ religions to be on an equal footing with the law of God in matters of law and order leading to the acceptance of anti-biblical principles whose practice cannot be blessed by God.

  • Freedom of Speech (keithgarrettpoetry.com)
    Freedom of speech, the words, phrase, and the meaning are not clear,

    It Is our right we are told that speak we may In public our own way.

    There Is no such thing as saying what you’re thinking out loud In the streets,

    They say that It’s your right but you better be careful of what you are saying.

    How much freedom of speech do we really have, I do know not that much,

     

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