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Posts tagged ‘Christian Community’

False teachers and false prophets still around

When Jesus was alive he warned already for a time that false teachers would come along. Soon after he died, was risen and gone up in the skies to his heavenly Father several teachers found something interesting in the rabbi his teaching they could use for their own teachings. They mixed it with Roman Greek ideas and popular traditional thoughts.

Icon depicting the First Council of Nicaea.

Icon depicting the First Council of Nicaea. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Throughout the years deceitful individuals managed to lure people into false teachings. Worse was it when a majority of church leaders did agree with Constantine the great to come under its authority. To cease the persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire some found it better to agree to those Roman Greek teachings and several gods. By agreeing to make Jeshua into a similar figure as Zeus, making his name into Issou or ‘Hail Zeus’ the worst false teaching entered in Christendom. It was a terrible turning point for Early Christianity, By some referred to as the Triumph of the Church, the Peace of the Church or the Constantinian shift.

But already before that great turning point of the introduction of the false Trinity doctrine there where also other false teachings brought by many who tried to get people around them. We can find the apostles warning about such people who twisted the words of Jesus and mixed it with popular human philosophy and popular thoughts. Those different teachers because of the more popular ideas and giving in to pagan rites could often gain more popularity than the strict followers of Jesus Christ. Lots of people believed in demons, monsters and stories about horrible beings where much enjoyed. When there were sick people there where preachers, who tried to gain there living by so called driving out such demons, they were asked to come to help and cure. That practice of exorcising went on for a long time and never disappeared. Today we still can find exorcists all over the world.

Painting of Saint Francis Borgia performing an exorcism, by Goya

Paul said to the elders of the congregation in Ephesus:

“From among you yourselves men will rise and speak twisted things.”

And Peter wrote in a letter to several congregations:

“There will also be false teachers among you.”

This should warn us that false teachers even may come from inside the community or congregation. Already from the early times onwards there where people who did not agree with what was going on or who rebelled against the teachings made in the community. Such a rebellion against true worship and an abandoning of it was called “apostasy” and the agitators and false teachers apostates.

Today also we can see similar apostates or people trying to infiltrate the believers in One God and followers of His only begotten son, by entering Facebook Groups or other communities wanting

“to draw away the disciples after themselves.”

The disciples Paul is talking about are the disciples of the master teacher Jeshua, Jesus Christ who as a Jew believed in the Only One true God of Israel. Everywhere in the world there are people trying to get those who want to believe in that One God of Israel and in His son to become confused and to come to accept that what seems to be believed by the majority of Christians, but is therefore not the truth. These false teachers try to take, or steal, disciples from inside the congregation of real followers of Christ. Jesus said that apostates are like wolves that eat the sheep. Apostates want to destroy the faith of the members of the congregation and want them to leave the truth. (Matthew 7:15; 2 Timothy 2:18.)

Lots of men concerning the truth have erred on many aspects, and their ideas which are all false often seem more plausible or attractive, because pagan, and so many other people believe in it, like extra internal beings or spirits, good and bad angels, who are inside man and bring them to do good or bad, or so called immortal souls that leave the body after death to go into an other body or into an other space, like heaven, purgatory or a hell by which they think it is a place of torture by eternal fire.

We can see that from among our own surroundings we find people who will rise and speak twisted things to draw away the followers of Jeshua after themselves. {1 Timothy 4:12 Timothy 4:3, 4; 1 John 2:18, 19Acts 20:30} We also can hear that they call themselves Christian, what should mean they should follow the Christ or Jeshua. After Christianity became poisoned by the Trinity doctrine in Christendom also came more and more different groups and/or sects,+ so that those of them who kept following the teachings of the master teacher Jeshua (Jesus Christ) who are approved may also become evident.(1 Corinthians 11:19)

The inspired utterance, the Spirit speaks expressly that in later times some shall fall away from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons. (1 Timothy 4:1) Still today we can see that several people will drop out of the faith, giving their attention to misleading spirits and the teachings of demons. Being fooled by false teachers often in a very clever way. Several tricks are used. Apostates for example can “quietly” bring their ideas into the congregation, like criminals who secretly bring things into a country. Apostates use “counterfeit words.” This means that they say things that make their false ideas sound true, like criminals who make false documents look real. Lots of Christians often twist words of the Bible like when there is written “the son of God” they read or say “god the son”. By twisting such sayings in many passages others start believing what they are saying. Or they use such twisted wording saying “look there it says he is god the son” and here he says “I am” so he must be God. They try to get as many people as possible to believe their “deceptive teachings.” Peter also said that they like twisting the Scriptures. They explain Bible verses in the wrong way to make others believe their ideas. (2 Peter 2:1, 3, 13; 3:16) Apostates do not care about us. If we follow them, we will leave the road to everlasting life.

Often they also try to convince you what they are telling, are things you should believe because they are to difficult for a normal human being to understand. They try to convince people around them that the Trinity is beyond human comprehension and therefore we should accepted like it is. Though it might well be that certain things in Scripture are not always so clear and can not be understood straight away, god is a God of order and clarity and did not make His Word so complicated only scholars could or would be able to understand it. However, some things in them are hard to understand, and these things the ignorant* or those people who then are unlearned and unstable, unsteadfast wrest and come to twist, the same as they do the rest of the scriptures, to their own bane, their own destruction. {2 Peter 3:16}

When hearing people saying there is something written in the Bible, dare to ask them to let it see what is written and be alert yourself, daring to say when they say it is about ‘god the son” and there is written in the bible ‘the son of God’ to point out how they wrongly interpret Scriptures.

In Romans 16:17; 2 John 9-11 clear instruction is given in the Bible.

Romans 16:1: 17 Now I urge you, brothers, to keep your eye on those who create divisions and causes for stumbling contrary to the teaching that you have learned, and avoid them.+ 18 For men of that sort are slaves, not of our Lord Christ, but of their own appetites,* and by smooth talk and flattering speech they seduce the hearts of unsuspecting ones.

2 John 9-11: Everyone who pushes ahead and does not remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God.+ The one who does remain in this teaching is the one who has both the Father and the Son.+ 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your homes+ or say a greeting to him. 11 For the one who says a greeting to him is a sharer in his wicked works.

Bombarded by lots of words wanting to have you to believe other things than are written black on white in the Bible you should be fully aware to always compare their sayings with what is written in the Bible. Always remember you must be aware that there are lots of false teachers around but that the simple warning in the bible is:

“Avoid them.”

That means that we have to stay away from them. The warning from the Bible is like a warning from a doctor who tells you to avoid a person who has a disease that may spread to others. The doctor knows that if you get this disease, you will die. His warning is clear, and you will do what he says. The Bible says that apostates are mentally diseased and that they use their teachings to make others think like them. (1 Timothy 6:3, 4) Jehovah is like that good doctor. He clearly tells us to stay away from false teachers. We must always be determined to follow his warning.

 

You always should know that God gave us His Word, the Holy Bible, to come to know Him and to come to understand Him and His Plan. Each person god has given the opportunity to learn about Him and to find guidance to come to Him.
When trusting God and allowing the Word of God come to you like it is written, done away from all the human doctrines, you shall be able to find the Biblical doctrines.

Instead of listening to false teachings that go against the truth in God’s Word, trust God and listen to His Word. (Psalm 31:5; John 17:17) As followers of Christ Jesus we should be careful when it comes to those who attack you and your faith. You always should know the bible itself should be your Guide. You always should have your ear to that Word of God and take the words like they are written in the Holy Scriptures. Listen to God’s Spirit Who is warning you that what certain people are teaching doesn’t sound quite right, then search the Scriptures and judge correctly. God gave you His Spirit to lead you into Truth. Don’t ignore His Spirit, but instead allow the Spirit to guide you today, tomorrow and every day of your life. Never let yourself be discouraged or weakened because you seem to stand alone in your understanding of the Scriptures.

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Preceding articles

Object of first woe

Raising digression

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:21-26 – 1. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Exodus 20:13

Matthew 7:1-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Neighbor Love Continued 7: Matthew 7:1-5 Judgment and neighbor love

Matthew 7:12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Summary on the Torah’s Fulfillment

Matthew 7:13-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #1 The Narrow Gate and the way to destruction

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

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

Minimizing the power of God’s Force the Holy Spirit

Good or bad preacher

From Bibles and other religious writings and those who witness for Jehovah

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Additional reading

  1. Listening to the lessons of the Bible and looking for ways to please God
  2. Inner voice inside the soul of man
  3. Who Gets to Say What the Bible Says?
  4. God’s forgotten Word 4 Lost Lawbook 3 Early digressions and Constantinic revolution
  5. Leading people astray!
  6. Solstice, Saturnalia and Christmas-stress
  7. Atonement And Fellowship 6/8
  8. Fragments from the Book of Job #5: chapters 32-37
  9. Displeasures and Actions of the Almighty God
  10. Responses to Radical Muslims and Radical Christians
  11. Shariah and child abuse – Is there a connection?
  12. Summer holiday time to knock and ask, and time to share
  13. Responsibility bigger than those who talk about worldly matters

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Further reading

  1. The Blood of Jesus
  2. Fruit FidelityI pray not to fall prey: judging good fruit from the bad
  3. Thessalonian Christians
  4. Beware of False Preachers
  5. 7 Marks of a False Teacher
  6. My experience today with detecting cults / false churches
  7. False Teachers List & False Prophets Exposed
  8. Broken Wolves Masquerading as Sheep
  9. Judging the wolves
  10. False Preachers
  11. True Grace, or False Grace? #1178
  12. The Spirit Abides In Us
  13. The Epistle of Jude: Contend for the Faith
  14. The Shepards, The Goats, The Sheep and The Wolves…
  15. Cookie a day: Can A Christian Believe That Jesus Is Not God And Still Be A Christian?
  16. Is God’s Name Blasphemed Because of You?
  17. Ways to Handle False Teaching
  18. How to Debate False Teachers
  19. My Thoughts On “The Hebrew Roots Movement”
  20. How much error does a false teacher need to exhibit before they’re considered false?
  21. Gary’s Blog This Month on “False Teachers”From Whom Does The Gospel Come From John Calvin Or The Holy Spirit?
  22. From Whom Does The Gospel Come From John Calvin Or The Holy Spirit? (Part 2)<
  23. When our False Evangelical Leaders Met with the Pope…Dirty SpotsBe wise to false teaching
  24. Christian Ghosting: The Destructive Christian Practice We Don’t Talk About By Benjamin L. Corey
  25. A call to feed the sheep<
  26. Can apostates be Christians?
  27. The snake, the sparrow, and the sword
  28. God is our author and our editor
  29. What will the church look like in the last days
    Considering the following Hillsong video, what does it say about the state of the church in these last days, surely this video demonstrates we are witnessing the precursor to the prophesied great falling away

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Related articles

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

Though we are already a few weeks in the new year and soon we will be looking at the new civil year we want to look at the older writing about those openings for a “New Year“.

As members of a New Covenant, installed by Jeshua, Jesus Christ, we should remember not only how difficult it must have been for the virgin Miriam (Mary) but also for the community of followers of the Nazarene.

Often we do think we can own the world and can do what we want. We do not like others to intervene in our life. We also find it difficult when we are directed by others. But when we have chosen to follow Christ we get reborn and we do have to start a new year of a new calendar for life.

Having started a new season we do want to ensure all that  the Spirit of God brings love, hope and freedom and that we do have the remembrance soon of the message Miriam (Mary) was to receive about a child given to the world, prophesied about to bring the world in a new system, preparing all those on earth to look forward for a coming Kingdom.

But the new hope given in that renewed world would belong to people who do know they do not belong to themselves but to the one God has provided. To him we should give ourselves and should come to accept him as our offer for our sins, making us worthy to be as a brother or sister of him, a child of God under salvation by the blood of Christ.

The message that came on earth and brought a change in the world, a new beginning, is what we shall remember the coming weeks, leading up to the remembrance that he was born and circumcised, taken up in the community of the Judaic people, the Jews.

Sculpture - head of Jesus Christ

Sculpture – head of Jesus Christ, the Cornerstone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We now should become united under Christ, forming a heart of oak, funded in the cornerstone Jeshua, Jesus Christ our only lord and master on earth. Living in this world we do know we may not be of this world, but that does not mean we do have to be stateless. We should be of Christ, forming one strong community of brethren and sisters all wanting to do the Will of God like Jesus only wanted to do the Will of his Father. All wanting to follow and keeping to the Law of Christ: the Law of Love.

In these darker times of the year, the leaves falling down, our roots should bring forth new branches, to prop up those falling to pieces, the doubters and uncertain or indecisive. We do have to stand ready for those with questions, for those who are looking for God, for those who are not feeling so well and for those who have problems. We as brothers and sisters should let them feel they are welcome at our door.

Let us this year work to become more like Christ Jesus and help each other to grow in the lord, in the knowledge that they like we are bought with the same price. We may not wait any longer to give priority to form a loving brotherhood.


Ye are not your own. For ye are bought with a price:
therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

`1 Corinthians 6:19,20`

 


AT the opening of the new year, what lesson could be more important to us than this one, that we are not our own, but belong to another; that we are not therefore, to seek to please ourselves, but to please Him; nor to seek to serve self, but to serve Him; nor to seek to obey self-will, but on the contrary His will? This means holiness in the most absolute and comprehensive sense of the word (not only separation from sin to righteousness, but separation from “self” to the will of God in Christ).`Z.’97-35` `R2099:4`

 

All those who love God should come together regularly and as true believers should see themselves as parts of the body of Christ  holding “fast to the Head, from whom the whole body is nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, (and) grows with a growth that is from God” (Colossians 2:19).

Let us all be in union with each other, in union with Christ and in union with God:
John 15:4: Remain in union with me, and I in union with YOU.+ Just as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it remains in the vine, in the same way neither can YOU, unless YOU remain in union with me.+
1 John 2:24: 24 As for YOU, let that which YOU have heard from [the] beginning remain in YOU.+ If that which YOU have heard from [the] beginning remains in YOU, YOU will also abide in union+ with the Son and in union with the Father.+
John 15:4: Remain in union with me, and I in union with YOU.+ Just as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it remains in the vine, in the same way neither can YOU, unless YOU remain in union with me.+
John 6:56: 56 He that feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood remains in union with me,* and I in union with him.+
1 Corinthians 12:27:27 Now YOU are Christ’s body, and members individually.+
Colossians 2:19:19 whereas he is not holding fast to the head,+ to the one from whom all the body, being supplied and harmoniously joined together+ by means of its joints and ligaments, goes on growing with the growth that God gives.+
1 John 3:24: 24 Moreover, he who observes his commandments remains in union with him, and he in union with such one;+ and by this we gain the knowledge that he is remaining in union with us,+ owing to the spirit+ which he gave us.
John 14:23: 23 In answer Jesus said to him: “If anyone loves me, he will observe+ my word, and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him and make our abode with him.+

Are you making good progress in “holding fast to the head”? Are you being “nourished and knit together” with others as you do so? Don’t make the mistake of looking to blame others; all must pull together as fellows in the same ship – looking to Christ as the Captain.

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Dutch texts about this subject / Nederlandse teksten over dit gegeven:

  1. Ook behoort gij Uzelf niet toe, want gij werd met een prijs gekocht
  2. Als broeders en zusters samen op weg voor een nieuw jaar
Please do find the verses in different versions:

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Find out who are brothers in Christ or what a Brother in or of Christ should be:

  1. Two new encyclopaedic articles
  2. What are Brothers in Christ
  3. Who are the Christadelphians
  4. Rebirth and belonging to a church
  5. Not many coming out with their community name
  6. United people under Christ
  7. Christadelphian people
  8. Christadelphians
  9. Christadelphians or Messianic Christians or Messianic Jews
  10. My faith

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  • We Are Complete, Only In Him (pastorht.wordpress.com)
    Under the Old Covenant, men approached God through a priest, while under the New Covenant, we have direct access to the Father through Jesus Christ. Under the Old Covenant, a man’s sin led to his death while under the New Covenant, God is merciful to our unrighteousness. Under the Old Covenant, man could not be cleansed of a consciousness of sin while under the New Covenant, our sins and iniquities are remembered no more, and our guilty consciences are cleansed.
  • DIG for Sunday the 26th of October…..there is only one gospel, there is no other…..Galatians 1 v 6 and 7 (heilanword.wordpress.com)
    The word gospel could be translated as good news, and the grace of Jesus Christ is indeed good news.Anything other than the grace of Jesus Christ is not good news and is therefore not the gospel.
  • To an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, (activeinspiration.wordpress.com)
    According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
  • Christ In The Book Of Hebrews: “the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus” (settledinheaven.wordpress.com)
    Jesus came forth from the grave by the power of God.  It was the God who brought peace to all mankind through Christ’s death and resurrection!
  • Jesus is Matchless (theencouragementexpress.com)
    One could find many illustrations to prove that often personality is greater than the idea. Such is the case with Christianity. The secret of the power of Christianity is not in its ethics. It is not in Christian ideas or philosophy, although Christianity has a philosophical set of ideas. The secret of Christianity is found in a Person, and that Person is the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • “Holiness is the balance between my nature and the law of God as expressed in Jesus Christ.” ~~Oswald Chambers (quotesthoughtsrandom.wordpress.com)
    God’s goal for us is that we be holy, just like God is holy. God has given us the power of His Holy Spirit to make it happen.
  • Tuesday, 4 November 2014 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Charles Borromeo, Bishop (First Reading) (petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com)
    He humbled Himself by being obedient to death, death on the cross. That is why God exalted Him and gave Him the Name which outshines all names, so that at the Name of Jesus all knees should bend in heaven, on earth and among the dead, and all tongues proclaim that, Christ Jesus is the Lord to the glory of God the Father.
  • Today’s Bible Reading (ephesians 1:1, 3-10) (prayers4reparation.wordpress.com)
    As he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and unspotted in his sight in charity.Who hath predestinated us unto the adoption of children through Jesus Christ unto himself: according to the purpose of his will:
  • People Are Watching (revderrickkeeter.wordpress.com)
    As he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and unspotted in his sight in charity.Who hath predestinated us unto the adoption of children through Jesus Christ unto himself: according to the purpose of his will:
  • Christology: twelve grammatical rules (pjcockrell.wordpress.com)
    Not to speak of Christ in any way that sidelines his human experience.Jesus Christ is truly human.
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    Not to speak of Christ as if he were relevant only to some people in some cultures and circumstances. Jesus Christ is present to all people, in all times and places, as their divine-human Prophet, Priest and King. The church trusts and proclaims, but never possesses, this Messiah.

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

+++

  • 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.
    +
    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.
    +
    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!
    +
    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.
    +
    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.
    +
    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.
    +
    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).

Let us not fret or worry about next season

Map of Belgium showing the provinces (black li...

Map of Belgium showing the provinces (black lines) and regions (colours). Yellow = Flanders Dutch speaking, Red = Wallonia French speaking, Blue = German-speaking part, Orange = Brussels Capital Region (37 languages). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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. Perhaps we thought of hastening. We thought maybe the business to accelerate by trying to bring the different Christadelphian groups together and by showing our openness to all those who believe in the Only One God.

Marcus Ampe and his ecclesia could not convince Carelinks to share the love of Christ. Also other Christadelphian groups did not want to unite with the man from the North or with Australian Bible Students. We too are somewhat left in the cold, not seeing an opportunity to have many brethren and sisters meeting each other and finding more places in Belgium to Break Bread together.

We stay convinced that we should not show partiality and try to get the impartiality of God in our midst as well. If we take time for books of a spiritual nature, deep conversation, singing songs together, sharing helpful exhortations, watching uplifting movies, our meditations will be much more effective. Our subconscious will also act on what it has been programmed by all day.

We often hear :

Focus on miracles and beauty you get miracles and beautiful situations. Focus on problems and competition and you get more problems, competition and worries.

We, for sure, want to concentrate on the positive, and want to forget soon what happened this year in the Belgian community.

When we heard of the trials of Mr. Ampe we where afraid it could turn wrong. Our fear turned grounded. Certain people are too stubborn and on their own and to much looking for personal gain, so that they would not be ready for such unselfish openness Mr. Ampe presented to them and the different groups.

There’s nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to fail trying to do good or to fear. Fear can be part of a survival instinct, and the Scriptures tell us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Still, there is a fear that can overwhelm us at times. There’s a fear that can rob us of faith and trust. Faith and fear are opposites in some Biblical texts. We should not let the fear of being alone or being a small group take us. We are not with many, but this should not frighten us. In the present world it shall become even worse for God fearing people. They will find themselves even more isolated from the rest of the world. Because the world is not interested in God and does not like so much people who love God. We just have to accept that and have to live with it.

Panic can take over when we have our eyes on the worldly things. We had our hopes on a growing community. We did have our hopes on the possibility to offer people living in Oostende, Brugge, Gent and Antwerp to find more people willing to join them. It would have been lovely if we could have send the Bible Students living around the Belgian coast to a Carelinks meeting or to have other brothers and sisters in Christ finding each other so that they could make arrangements to meet each other in their own region.

The apostle Paul knew very well what it meant to be in isolation. He also got to see how important it was not to focus too much on the human beings, but to remember that the peace of God can guard our hearts and minds (Philippians 4:7) whilst we put all our hope to the Most High.

We like Paul wanted all the household churches and all the Christians to be harmonious so that they could stand firm against the opposition as one body. We can listen to him who said:

“4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7 NIV)

Though it did not work out, we should not be sad. Though we still are with few (less than before) , we should be glad in the Lord at all times. We shall not get us depressed and shall show to others that we keep our doors opened to all who want to join us. Like the Belgian Christadelphian ecclesia shall keep her doors open and all the time showed their gentle behaviour, we too shall show our friendliness and love to others, working with them and not against them who show their love for the Only One True God. We do want to be clear to all men, we shall not give in to the doctrines of people and keep to the Word of God, having Christ Jesus as our cornerstone and not one specific human organisation.

We are convinced that Jehovah God is near and that we should not be afraid to stand in the cold, left behind. to our brothers and sisters we also would say:

Have no cares; but in everything with prayer and praise put your requests before God.

We shall keep asking to God that He will guide us and will provide us with the right people to make us grow as a good Christian Community, according to His wishes. We are convinced that in our hopes we shall not have to be saddened but can trust on the peace of God, which is deeper than all knowledge, which will keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

For next season we do ask our members not to fret or worry.

Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.

The coming season we shall continue to show people how human beings made up a church which sought to further define what is meant by the foundational creedal statements she has, at various important moments in history, drawn up creeds, confessions, and catechisms, but how throughout the times several people seriously took the Word of God as the Book of books to follow. We shall continue to give preference to God’s Word as our guide instead of adhering human groups and specific personalities.

When Jesus said

 “You are the light of the world,”

he meant that you and I are to let our lights shine for Jesus.  In the original Greek, Jesus uses the plural meaning

“you all together are the world’s light.”

(We don’t see this in English because we make no distinction between plural and singular.)  Jesus meant Christians corporately are the light, not any one individual. How could any single light brighten this dark world?

As such we still shall try to unit as much people as possible and to show them who Jesus was and is, what role he plays in our sanctification and our possibility to find a better life.

We shall continue to show people that it is not just by faith we shall be saved.
We shall hope we can bring many more to the faith in Christ Jesus. But we shall also show them we do need to live according to that faith we choose. We shall also show them that we need to help each other to reach the goal, so that we when we come in front of the returned Jesus shall be found worthy to enter the Kingdom of God. We shall show the people that  Jesus will judge everyone according to what they have done. (Romans 2:5-6; Matthew 5:22; 7;2;25: 31-45; Revelation 20: 12.13).

Keeping that in mind we shall continuously try to bring more people together under the name of Christ, following his example, doing good, seeking after the glory honor and immortality God offers.

Those who  wanted to live for themselves, have power for them selves, we shall try to bring to a better attitude, showing that we all need together to work for the same good cause, giving ourselves in the Hands of God, obeying the truth and giving full ear to Jehovah God and not preferring human organisations above God His Wishes.

Prayer has comforted us in sorrow and we did find hope in the willingness of the few to continue preaching and going forward trying to unite people in the love of Christ.

+

Preceding articles:

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

Our openness to being approachable

++

Read also:

  1. God is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him
  2. Hope does not disappoint us
  3. Focus on outward appearances
  4. Walking alone?
  5. God doesn’t call the qualified
  6. Christadelphian people
  7. Not many coming out with their community name
  8. Certain people trying to stem freedom of speech
  9. Censorship possible by a person and his organisation
  10. Attackers silenced freedom of speech
  11. A man from the North wanting to have control in Belgium
  12. Iranian refugees in Belgium baptised by Carelinks
  13. Antwerp Ecclesia
  14. Delay in publications because attack from outside
  15. Members of the ecclesia uniting and seeking God’s help in tribulation
  16. No reconciliation possible between CBM and Duncan Heaster from Carelinks
  17. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  18. Cleanliness and worrying or not about purity
  19. Prayer, important aspect in our life
  20. People who know how to pray to move God to take hold of our affairs in a mighty way
  21. Give your worries to God
  22. Prayer has comforted us in sorrow
  23. Work with joy and pray with love

+++

 

  • Soul-searching questions, by Charles Box (fellowshiproom.org)
    Paul exhorted the Philippian Christians to diligence and seriousness in the Christian life. His teachings to these brethren provide us with some soul searching question.
    +
    We are required to work out our own salvation. We cannot be saved on the goodness of our parents or the faithfulness others. Salvation is a personal matter and each person must obey God himself.Our obedience begins with our belief in Christ as our Savior, repen­tance of our sinful ways and baptism for the forgiveness of our sins. Our obedience continues as we live according to His word as revealed to us in the New Testament.
  • Philippians 2 (King James Version.) The Bible in government. (moralupbringing.com)
    If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like minded , having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind . 3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus
  • Fan or Follower? | Part 2 (comeawake.org)
    Don’t be too quick to choose one over the other. Don’t make the mistake of answering this question like all the other questions you’ve been asked by preachers, Sunday School teachers, and Small Group leaders. This isn’t a knowledge-based question. It’s a heart-based question. It’s a conviction-based question. It’s a commitment-based question.
  • Find the good, hold fast to it, and be not moved. (madisonamydunne.wordpress.com)
    This week a lot of us had emergency changes because a lot of new missionaries came to our mission from other missions in Peru
    +
    We must read the Bible, realize that He formed it built upon prophets, apostles, and that His church has the authority of God.
  • Faith Is Based On Knowledge By Andrew Wommack (zillasnetworks.wordpress.com)
    all things that pertain unto life and godliness are given unto us through the knowledge of God.
    Certainly, faith must be one of those things because without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). So faith must come through the knowledge of God.
  • Needs (johnjohnsonsgranddaughter.wordpress.com)
    There are 21 verses from the bible on Needs
    +
    The only thing that I truly need, everyday, more than food and water, is Christ.  But you knew that, right?
  • Book of Philippians (brakeman1.com)
    The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in verse 14; and in 3:1, 13, 17; 4:1, 8, 21.
  • earth moving principles (mobilisedbygod.wordpress.com)
    It is amazing that many of our opportunities to serve others comes through praying for those opportunities. Nehemiah understood the power of prayer, and so he prayed as soon as he received news of Jerusalem’s continued desolation.
  • ‘Not Just a Blonde’: Worrying Steals… (cultureofawareness.com)
    Worrying doesn’t take away tomorrow’s troubles, it steals today’s peace! Worrying is just not a helpful thing to do! Worry keeps us stuck in our fears. It forces us to focus on the negative possibilities and blinds us.
  • Fear: The Absence of Peace (inspirationalchristiansfortoday.com)
    When fear is present, peace is absent. Fear robs our peace of mind, weakens our resolve, disturbs our rest, and even causes us to question the presence of God. Fear is an emotion that will hinder our walks with Christ unless we learn to face it and overcome it with the grace of God.

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