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

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

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

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

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

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

The Resurrection

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

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

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

What is a Soul?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Animals as Souls

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

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

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

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

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

For example, Genesis 1:20 says

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Difference Between the Human Soul and the Animal Soul

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

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

Other Hidden References

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

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

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

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

Expanded Use

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“her soul is vexed in her.”

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

Soul in the New Testament

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

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

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

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

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

“I lay down my life (John 10:17).

“They seek my life (Romans 11:3),

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

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

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

“now is my soul troubled.”

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

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

The Soul Is Not Immortal

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

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

In Ezekiel 18:4 God said,

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

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

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

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

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

“in Adam all die,”

adding to this,

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

And again,

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

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

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

John 3:16 says,

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

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

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

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

The Apostle Paul wrote,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lazarus – An Example that the Soul is not immortal

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

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

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

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

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

Seeking After Immortality

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

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

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

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

The Dead Raised To Life In the Resurrection Age

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

Spirit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do Angels Have a Soul?

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

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

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

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

——-

Acknowledgment & References

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

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

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

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

Suggested Further Reading

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Preceding articles

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

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

The Acts Of The Sent Ones Chapter 2

 

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Additional reading

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

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

Related

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

Matthew 9:18-26 – What others say about Jesus knowing how to care for people

In the 9th chapter of Matthew we can see how Jesus had a busy time. It shall not stay with this first time that Jesus would be interrupted in his talks. In this story the conversation with John’s disciples about fasting gets interrupted when a powerful man or “synagogue leader” comes to kneel before the Nazarene master.

in his writing of

Notice what an unusual request is being made. Jesus is asked to bring the man’s dead daughter back to life.

Browne remembers

It’s a bold request from a community leader who understands that touching a dead body will make Jesus unclean for a week, but he’s desperate. Jesus agrees to go (8:19).

When Jesus heads for the man’s house, an other desperate person wants to cling to Jesus.

In any communal event, she isn’t given the seat of honour: she’s expected to stand in the corner away from everybody else, for anything she sits on or anyone she touches will become unclean. Lev 15:19-33 spelled this out, and the verbal traditions of the Jewish leaders were so comprehensive that they formed an entire tractate of the Mishna when written down (Zabim). She’s on the lowest rung of communal life.

File:Healing of a bleeding women Marcellinus-Peter-Catacomb.jpg

The healing of a bleeding woman, Rome, Catacombs of Marcellinus and Peter.

The woman, who had suffered from chronic bleeding for many years, and who had many treatments which did not help (Mark 5:25-28), wanted just to touch Jesus his cloak with the belief that if she could just touch his garment that she would be healed of her affliction. When she managed to try to do such an unnoticed act, Jesus noticing it, stopped and understood the fears that had made her attempt to take what she feared would have been denied her. He addresses her and

His words affirm the dignity and significance she doesn’t feel she has:

  • Instead of telling her off for touching him, he affirms her: “Be encouraged!”

  • Instead of treating her as a nuisance, he acknowledges her place in the family: “Daughter.”

  • Instead of rebuking her, he commends the confidence she placed in him: “Your faith has rescued you.”

In that action we can see how important faith in Jesus is to salvation. Not only suffering would come to an end, hope is given for a better life, even when there has been death.

Browne questions:

Now, seriously, who had the greater faith here? The woman who pushed in to get her healing? Or the ruler who believed Jesus could raise his daughter back to life? The ruler receives no such commendation for his faith. He didn’t need it. It’s the bleeding woman from the bottom rung of society whom Jesus stops to affirm. In fact, she’s the only person in Matthew’s Gospel to whom Jesus said those amazing words,

“Your faith has saved you.”

After the diversion, Jesus continued to the ruler’s house, where flute players and mourners where already making a commotion to ensure no one in the community was uninformed about their ruler’s loss (9:23). The community protocols requiring a display of grief are rather shallow: they quickly melt into laughter when Jesus suggests the girl is not dead but resting (9:24).

Jesus takes the dead girl by the hand, and raises her up. Touching the bleeding woman had not made Jesus unclean; it made her clean. Touching the corpse didn’t contaminate Jesus; it broke death’s hold on the girl. In Jesus, the defilement of the world is being undone; uncleanness and death are losing their grip.

Matthew doesn’t tell us how the girl’s parents responded. You can guess. What he declares is a kingdom statement, the news of Jesus restoring the land (9:31).

Those of us who are servants of Jesus’ kingdom could do well to meditate on how he cared across all the strata of society, and how he gave his richest encouragement to the people who needed it most.

 Open Matthew 9:18-26.

Tom Wright, Matthew for Everyone, Part 1: Chapters 1-15 (London: SPCK, 2004), 104–105:

Two of the things that were near the top of the list, things to avoid if you wanted to stay ‘pure’ in that sense, were dead bodies on the one hand, and women with internal bleeding (including menstrual periods) on the other. And in this double story Jesus is touched by a haemorrhaging woman, and then he himself touches a corpse.
No Jew would have missed the point — and Matthew was most likely writing for a largely Jewish audience. In the ordinary course of events, Jesus would have become doubly ‘unclean’ …
But at this point we realize that something is different. Her ‘uncleanness’ doesn’t infect him. Something in him infects her.

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Preceding articles

Matthew 9:14-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Bridegroom and Fasting

Matthew 9:14-17 – What others are saying about feasting at the sinners’ table instead of fasting for God’s table

Matthew 9:18-26 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: On the Way to Raise a Ruler’s Daughter a Woman is Cured

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Related articles

  1. Today’s Scripture – September 26, 2017
  2. Today’s Scripture – October 31, 2016
  3. On Jairus’ Daughter and the Woman with the Bleeding (Mk. 5:21-43)
  4. Haggai 2:12-13, Mark 5:25-29
  5. A Loving God
  6. Dead men’s bones and uncleanness
  7. Daring to Pray
  8. The 2 Essential Skills of Great Leaders You Can’t Learn from a Book
  9. Don’t try and steal Jesus’ power

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

Matthew 7:13-23 – The True Disciple

1 The way to destruction and a Narrow gate on the Way leading to Life

MT7:13 “Enter[1] by the Narrow Gate.[2] For the way to destruction is broad and roomy[3] and many are those entering by it.[4] MT7:14 For, narrow the Gate and cramped the Way leading to Life[5] and few are those finding it.[6]

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[1] Enter: The person described in the conclusion who ‘hears and does the teachings’ of the Nazarene as found in this sermon, is obviously a true or real disciple. The principles already laid out by the Nazarene may appear daunting to his audience, for it asks each one who will follow to go far beyond the Torah. It asks the would-be disciple to go beyond the letter to the spirit of the Law.

What is expected of the Nazarene disciple? Though this sermon does not dwell on doctrinal points of the Christ, it does allude to or infer several. These are called The Seven Principles and are outlined in the Lord’s Prayer. So, the Friend of the Nazarene would have to accept these primary points. The main thrust of the Mountain Teachings is ‘love your neighbor.’ The Nazarene Saint will have to become a New Person in dealings with neighbors: unselfish selflessness motivated by an interest which seeks the highest good of neighbor will characterize the ‘true disciple’ (For details see the book Nazarene Principles©).

English: Islamic Jesus (Isa) miniature of Serm...

English: Islamic Jesus (Isa) miniature of Sermon on the Mount Deutsch: Altpersische Miniatur mit Jesus (a.) bei der Bergpredigt. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

[2] Narrow Gate: A gate may lead into a city or a home (Jeremiah 37:13; Acts 12:13, 14). The entrance to the Household of Faith is narrow and restrictive. The gate is the first element to enter such a Household. We might view these teachings of the Nazarene in his Mountain Teachings as part and parcel of this “gate” with its belief system and restrictive requirements, even demands, on that person who would desire ‘to follow the Lamb no matter where he goes.’ (Revelation 14:5) Though possessed of lofty requirements it is really the ideal of the New Person with the Transformed Mind (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:13, 15, 23, 24). The Nazarene is only asking that you be a decent and well-mannered human being. Even when an agnostic evolutionist is asked about the ideal person, a description of Christ (or that person of Jesus’ sermon) is forthcoming. Note Luke 13:24 and the effort needed to get through the narrow door.’ In Luke the ‘narrow door’ is in response to a question whether only a few are being saved. To this Jesus’ exhorts, ‘Strain every nerve’ (GDSP); or, ‘agonize the agony,’ if the literal Greek is favored. The “gate” seems to be that of the “sheepfold” and not a subject about the salvation of all humanity (John chapter 10).

[3] The way to destruction is broad and roomy: “Destruction” is often associated with Sheol or the grave in the Hebrew Bible (Job 26:6; 28:22; Proverbs 15:11; 27:20). It is that place all persons will enter with the possibility of escaping at the end of the 1,000 years (Revelation 2:13-15; Job 14:12-15). Those who enter the gate of the sheepfold or household of faith accept the ‘heavenly calling’ (Hebrews 3:1) and are transformed from death to life (John 5:24; 1 John 3:1).

The way to Destruction is “broad and spacious” because it allows for a wide diversity of convictions and beliefs. The Narrow Gate must include the contents of the Nazarene’s Mountain Teachings contained in Matthew chapters 5-7.

[4] Many are those entering by it: Paul teaches that “all” descendants of Adam go into Death and that “all” will be resurrected (1 Corinthians 15:20-23). However, some find “real life” during their lifetimes (1 Timothy 6:19). They are among the “few” in contrast to the billions who lose that opportunity described by Revelation 20:4, 6.

[5] Narrow the Gate and cramped the Way leading to Life: Various renderings: KJ: straight is the gate; KNX: how small is the gate; GDSP: the road is hard. The Mountain Teachings demonstrate the narrowness and rigidity of the Nazarene’s requirements for entrance into the Realm of Profession.

[6] Few are those finding it: Perhaps “find” applies to the ultimate attainment of the Kingdom of the Father. Note that Daniel 12:2, with reference to the resurrection of the Saints, “many” are mentioned. Whereas, Paul says “all” with reference to all Adam’s children (1 Corinthians 15:20-23). The final tally of the Church will be “few” compared to the totality of those raised at the end of the 1,000 years (Revelation 20:5, 13-15).

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Preceding article

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:1-12 Nazarene Mountain teachings: Blessed and legal commentaries

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

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:27-30 – 2. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Exodus 20:14

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

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

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Additional reading

  1. The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places
  2. Obtain favour from Yahweh
  3. Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still

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Further reading

  1. Bible Study: Insights on the Sermon on the Mount: The Contrasts
  2. Two Gates
  3. Enter the Narrow Gate
  4. Life’s Narrow and Wide Gates
  5. 8. Doors and Destinations
  6. A Narrow Door…
  7. The Narrow Gate
  8. The Narrow Gate (by Jack Bailey)
  9. Daily Mass: The narrow gate. Catholic Inspiration
  10. The Protestant – Catholic divide – The Narrow and the Wide Gates
  11. Love, Entering the Narrow Gate
  12. The Narrow Way
  13. Religious Theology – The wide gate!
  14. Taking responsibility – the narrow gate that leads to life
  15. Difficult is the Way that Leads to Life
  16. Those Who Find It Are Few.
  17. Only dead fish swim with the stream
  18. against the stream
  19. How to choose between the wide and the narrow
  20. How to choose between the wide and the narrow:part 3
  21. Guard My Feet Lord
  22. But Officer, It’s the “Spirit” of the Law
  23. How to be a spirit-of-the-law or hope-based leader
  24. You are a spiritual being: Act like one
  25. From nobodies to somebodies
  26. Day 16 – How much more valuable is a person?
  27. Matthew ch. 15
  28. The Path of Love
  29. footprints and deep mental paths
  30. The Renewed Mind: When the Impossible Seems Logical
  31. The Cost of Discipleship
  32. The Cost of Discipleship (discussion questions)
  33. Be serious, strive hard – January 12, 2017
  34. The Way home Psalm 56:3-4 Luke 13:22-30
  35. Navel-Gazing vs Finding the Real Cause of it All!
  36. Urgency
  37. Turnstile Salvation
  38. Awaken
  39. Exodus 10, Job 28, Luke 13, 1 Corinthians 14
  40. The Crumb That Turns Stale With Time

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Bring praise to the Creator

Often people moan about their life. It is as if they do not like to be here on this world. Many think the grass is greener somewhere else.

We have our good and our bad days on this earth. Some days we like it here very much, other days we hate it. Most of us do have questions why we are here and what life is all about. Many also wonder how they came about and what the reason of all the things that happen are. Lots of people only think of God when something goes wrong and than they question Him. It is not that God is silent when bad things happen here or when justice appears not to be meted out on our terms for the terrors of this world. It is also not God who created the terrors of this world. People do forget that most of the difficulties which come over them are a result of them leaving God, not listening to His ordinances. Most people have separated themselves  from the Creator, Jehovah God.

The Creator has always walked alongside His people and was always longsuffering, patient and waiting for any of us that would turn to Him. He provided the solution for mankind to come back to Him, but many still do not see the Restoration. God gave His only begotten son as The Way to come to Him. His door, through Christ, is always open.

One of the main problems of the human beings is that they put their trust in mere man. They look forward that other men can find a political solution to make this life better. Some look to their idols to inspire them, other put all their trust in so called powerful persons.  They all forget that no ordinary man shall be capable to find the most sublime best solution. They hope to find any kind of consistency and salvation in mankind.  They forget what happened in passed time. Many do not know the history of mankind.

English: Plaque at coastal viewpoint Quoting a...

Plaque at coastal viewpoint Quoting a Psalm in the praise of the Creator God. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In case more people would know the history of the world and religion they would know that the reasons why it is such a mess is that people have far gone off the Law of God. Many our blinded, even when they do think they are religious and belonging to a church. In those churches they eat dogmatic words and often have not much Words of God coming unto them. Words of pastors and men surround them. Some of them want to bring the flock to see through the mist, to look at God, who alone is our rock and source of eternal lifeGod alone is worthy of our praise.

And because humankind does not recognises the works of the Creator, they also do not praise enough. In case they would praise more they would also be more enlightened.

Praise is not some non-emotional reaction – it is a holistic pouring out of self to lift up our voice and spirit to the Lord.  It isn’t a suggestion – it is a command.  It is an action.  It requires us to be totally involved emotionally, spiritually and physically.

Praising the Most High, Creator of all things, should become a way of life.

For every God loving person it is a way of living. It is a lifestyle.

Praising God is something that comes in earnest from the heart. It is the fulfilment of the grace of love. To Praise God involves all of the individual ‘I’.

To praise the Almighty God isn’t some external only action. It involves our entire being.  It takes all of us, down to our very soul, to praise Jehovah, God of all gods, King of all kings and King of all gods.

Praising God, is showing our love to Him and giving Him notice that we do not put ​our​ trust in nobles, nor in the son of earthling man, to whom no salvation belongs. It is recognising how small we are and that when we come to the end of our life our spirit goes out and we go back to the ground of this world, becoming dust. It is recognising that in the day of our death it shall be the day that our thoughts do perish.

Simeon's song of praise.

Simeon’s song of praise. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By praising Jehovah, using His Name, we show Him that we want to give ourselves to Him and that we want to show are thanks for the many blessed moments we get in this life, though it may also be filled with difficult moments and moments never to be remembered. But by praising God we show Him and the world around us that we are belonging to the happy ones who has the God of Jacob for their help, whose hope is in Jehovah their God,  the Maker of heaven and earth, of the sea, and of all that is in them, the One keeping trueness to time indefinite.

By praising Him alone we show the world and its Creator that we are willing to give ourselves in the hand of the Elohim, the One executing judgement for the defrauded ones, the One giving bread to the hungry ones, because we know that Jehovah is releasing those who are bound. We are sure that Jehovah is opening our eyes and even those of the blind ones.

In case we do bow down in front of God He might raise us up.

Jehovah is loving the righteous ones and is guarding the alien residents. Wherever we may be on this earth or this universe God is willing to be with us. When we call unto Him He shall come unto us.

Giving praise to Jehovah the king to time indefinite, we let Him know that we do recognise those facts, as written in His Word, the Bible. We do recognise that His Word is infallible and let it inspire us every hour of the day. Reading in the Bible is also a form of praising God, often forgotten by many. It is like reading the love letter from your most beloved over and over again, thinking of Him all the time, wanting to be close by Him.

We should take as much time as we can in the Word of God, reading it and taking it at heart. By reading those Words of Hope we shall get to know better the rock on which our fortress shall stand strong. In the Words of God we shall be able to find who is our Deliverer; our God being our rock, in whom we take refuge.

He is my and your shield and the horn of my and your salvation, my and your stronghold, in case you are willing to recognise the Most High. His only begotten son made it possible for all people to be reconciled again with the Father of all. It is on Him that we should call. Jesus learned his followers to pray to his Father with the words ‘Our Father’. Yes we can say “Our Father” to the creator of all things and praise Him. We also can ask Him many things in the name of His son Jesus.

Let us be humble enough and give praise to the right one. Praise to the LORD of lords, who is worthy of praise.

We need to recognize God and His sovereignty continually. And we should praise Him with all our heart,with all our soul, but also we are told

I will sing praises to my God while I have my being”.

"Jehovah" at Exodus 6:3 (1611 King J...

“Jehovah” at Exodus 6:3 (1611 King James Version) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That reinforces the lifelong aspect of praise, but also that singing is one way we should be lifting up His name.  We should praise Him with our voice.  It isn’t something we should always do in a closet but verbally and often in front of others. His son also asked his pupils to go out in the world and proclaim the Name of the Father. This Name: Jehovah, should sound all over the world, through many generations.

We should let as many as possible know that we love Jehovah our God, for generation after generation.

It is a personal relationship with us the Creator God desires.  Not because He needs us, but because He loves us.  He desires that we enter into His presence and have a relationship.
Do you have that with God?
Are you praising Him with all your soul?
If not, today is the day to begin.  He is worthy.  He deserves and desires our praise!

“Praise Jah, ​YOU​ people!”

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Next: Praise Jehovah, ​You people

Preceding:

Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:67-80 – Zechariah’s Prophecy

We are redeemed; we are “bought with a price”

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Please also do read:

  1. Jehovah God Almighty greater than all gods
  2. Creator and Blogger God 5 Things to tell
  3. Fear and protection
  4. For Jehovah is greatly to be praised
  5. Praise be to God
  6. Praise the most High Jehovah God above all
  7. Song of Praise for the Elohim Set-Apart
  8. Songs of Moses and the servants of God
  9. Worship and worshipping
  10. Dealing With the “Silence” of God
  11. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #2 Calling upon the Name of God
  12. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #1 Listening Sovereign Maker
  13. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #13 Prayer #11 Name to be set apart
  14. Good and bad things in this world
  15. Longsuffering
  16. Entrance of a king to question our position #2 Who do we want to see and to be
  17. Looking at the Source of joy
  18. God our refuge
  19. Jehovah steep rock and fortress, source of insight
  20. sinking world….
  21. Best intimate relation to look for
  22. Look for your Refuge by God

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Please do find also of interest:

Previous articles on this subject:

  1. Contents of the Book of Revelation
  2. The Song of The Lamb #1 Visions, symbols and suggested meanings
  3. The Song of The Lamb #2 Sevens
  4. The Song of The Lamb #3 Daniel and Revelation
  5. The Song of The Lamb #4 Methods of Interpretation
  6. The song of the lamb #5 Revelation 5
  7. The Song of The Lamb #6 Revelation 14
  8. The Song of The Lamb #7 Revelation 15
  9. Kingdom Visions of a Man, Throne and Great crowd
  10. Kingdom Visions of Rainbowed angel, Lamb in Mount Zion
  11. Kingdom Visions of God’s judgements and Marriage of the Lamb
  12. 144 000 following the Lamb
  13. An unblemished and spotless lamb foreknown
  14. Seals, a flying scroll, a statue and blessings
  15. Songs of Moses and the servants of God
  16. Attributes to God, names and titles
  17. Believe in only One God
  18. God is one
  19. Suffering through the apparent silence of God

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Building up the spirit of the soul

When you know the Spirit is the source of life you should also know that life without spirit and without the Spirit is impossible. When people think about the living person they think about the living soul which is the being which can exist because of the Divine Creator allowing it to exist.

Of Light and Shadow  says:

All life has soul. The soul tells the body what it is as it’s essence. What it will be. If something is one dimentional, what is it. It simply exists. It is what it is. Humans, animals, and plants have a living soul. Although different from each other. {Spiritual Senses, Opening your spiritual hearing}

Man thinking on a train journey.

Man thinking on a train journey. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The above blogwriter considers that spirit is energy and exists throughout all the universe and forms all things even objects, though we can not see any life in such lifeless elements, like cupboards, houses, etc.. For us the spirit is just the ‘lifespirit’ or ‘breath of life’ which is God His and our thinking, handling, speaking and working.  It is an activity which may keeps the laws of physics in check and which can give impulses or carry with it everything a living thing is and capable of becoming.

A seed carries the potential of being a tree. {Spiritual Senses, Opening your spiritual hearing}

And so we may also carry the potential of growing up and becoming an adult who can think in a different way than the baby, toddler, young child, or adolescent. That spirit, our thinking and our soul is not something which lives next or separately in our body. It is not something which can leave our body to continue to live somewhere else. Once we die our spirit or breath goes out of our body and we finish living, thinking and handling. In our death we can do nothing any more.

Human being itself is the ‘soul’ wherein God blew His Breath of life. we may consider ourselves righteous, lovers of God, believers, wise, or perhaps not so wise, but we all are existing because God allows us to be. We only can do certain things because God allows it to happen and has given us certain crafts or capabilities.  All our works are in the hand of God.

The problem is that since the downfall in the Garden of Eden we all have good and bad things in us. We all carry love  but can bear hatred in ourselves. We all have to grow up and learn things, like Jesus also had to grow up and learn things. We all shall be tempted like Jesus also got tempted. Only God is the only One Who can not be tempted. God is also the only One Who can not die or cease living. god cannot expire or come to come to an end. When a person dies, that person breathes his last breath and dies. All human beings have the death thread in their tree of life. Even Jesus who did not sin had to face death and landed up in hell (sheol = the grave) for three days. We probably shall be there in the underground for longer.

Breath of Life - both sides

Breath of Life – both sides (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We may be sure that there is one event which shall be the same for rich and poor, to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good, and to the bad; both to the pure, and to the impure; both to him that sacrifices, and to him that does not sacrifice. As is the good, so is the sinner; as is the swearer, even so is he that fears an oath.  After the madness of this world we all go to the dead. The living will know that they shall die; but the dead know nothing, and there is no longer any reward to them, for their memory is lost. Also their love and their hatred and their envy shall have perished when they die. Yea, there is no portion for them any-more, not an other being, a spirit or extra soul that will go out of their body and all the material they gathered in this worl shall be useless for them in their death.

When death comes to us it will be too late to change or to change our mind or path. When we did not enough preparations to enter the gate of the Kingdom of God it shall be totally too late.forever in all that is done under the sun.  It is before you die that you do have to build up your mind, make the right friends, find life with the wife whom you love, all the days of the life of your vanity, which are given to you under the sun; for that is your portion in your life, and in your labour in which you labour under the sun.  Whatsoever your hand shall find to do, do with all your might; for there is no work nor device nor knowledge nor wisdom in Hades/Sheol/the Hell or the Grave/Sepulchre, where you are going.  For Christians there does not exist a Hades, god of the netherworld and dispenser of earthly riches. Also his netherworld kingdom, the abode of the shades of the dead has no meaning for a Christian. Though the bastardisation of the Nazarene prophet Jeshua who is the son of God, to ‘Issou’ or ‘Jesus’ meaning “Hail to Zeus“, real Christians know Jeshua or the Christ is not Zeus the brother of Pluto, the god of the underworld which does not exist in the real universe of the Only One GodAfter you die you shall become dust again.

” Jehovah God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7 NHEBJE)

“1  For all this I laid to my heart, even to explore all this: that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God; whether it is love or hatred, man doesn’t know it; all is before them.  (2)  All things come alike to all. There is one event to the righteous and to the wicked; to the good, to the clean, to the unclean, to him who sacrifices, and to him who doesn’t sacrifice. As is the good, so is the sinner; he who takes an oath, as he who fears an oath.  (3)  This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that there is one event to all: yes also, the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.  (4)  For to him who is joined with all the living there is hope; for a living dog is better than a dead lion.  (5)  For the living know that they will die, but the dead do not know anything, neither do they have any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.  (6)  Also their love, their hatred, and their envy has perished long ago; neither have they any more a portion forever in anything that is done under the sun.  (7)  Go your wayeat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God has already accepted your works.  (8)  Let your garments be always white, and do not let your head lack oil.  (9)  Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your life of vanity, which he has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity: for that is your portion in life, and in your labor in which you labor under the sun.  (10)  Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in Sheol, where you are going.” (Ecclesiastes 9:1-10 NHEBJE)

“19  For that which happens to the sons of men happens to animals. Even one thing happens to them. As the one dies, so the other dies. Yes, they have all one breath; and man has no advantage over the animals: for all is vanity.  (20)  All go to one place. All are from the dust, and all turn to dust again.  (21)  Who knows the spirit of man, whether it goes upward, and the spirit of the animal, whether it goes downward to the earth?”  (22)  Therefore I saw that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his works; for that is his portion: for who can bring him to see what will be after him?” (Ecclesiastes 3:19-22 NHEBJE)

It is before we die we shall have to have build up knowledge. Gaining knowledge has to happen in the ‘now’, when we do live.

Adam heard the sound of God walking in the garden and heard his voice calling to him.
Samuel when he was young and living with Eli heard God calling his name. He heard it clearly and suspected that Eli was calling to him. He heard it the same as he would hear with his natural ears. {Spiritual Senses, Opening your spiritual hearing}

The Divine Creator, Jehovah, the Most High God, has given His Word to His creation. Each of us is part of that creation and can either listen to God His word or ignore it. In this world we are living in, most people have lost the notion of hearing God.

We have placed God beyond our understanding (and indeed he is) but we have also placed him beyond our experienceing (which He is not) We are called to experience God and have him in our lives. We just get so caught up with our daily lives we loose sight of him and our senses grow dull. Samuel said “Here I am.” We have to ready our mind and spirit to receive from our spiritual senses. We need to learn to pay attention to what they tell us. There are many places in the Bible where the voice of God was heard. Sometimes like a trumpet or a thunder. When Jesus was baptized the heavens opened and voice called out “This is my beloved Son, in whome i am well pleased.” {Spiritual Senses, Opening your spiritual hearing}

Lots of people, also many who call themselves Christian, do not want to listen to what God said about His son, nor to what Jesus said about him and his Father. They ignore what they have said and what is written down in the Bible, and made their own doctrines which all their church members do have to believe, because they so called can not understand it.  But God is not a God of disorder and incomprehension. God is a God of Clarity, and when He says “this is my son’ He means that person is His son and not Him.

We should listen to what God says, but then we first do have to be hearing God which

is not the only benefit of hearing in the spirit.

It is Jehovah God Whom we do have to ask to open our ears to hear

“the sounds of heaven”.

Through the ages many eyes may not have seen, nor ears heard what was really written in the Bible, not wiling to accept it as God His Word. Not willing to listen to it and not prepared to open their heart to it those Words of God could not enter into the hearts of those people. It is up to the lovers of God to call others and to let them know that God calls them. We should let others know that also they like we have the things prepared by Jehovah.

God has revealed so many things to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.  For who among men knows the things of a man, except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so, no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.

Those who love God and are willing to come closer to Him with the assurance they did not receive the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, in order that they might know the things granted to them by God; which things we also speak, not in words taught in human wisdom, but in words taught by the Holy Spirit, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

We should allow the Words of God feed us and should be pleased there are men of God willing to contribute to the work of the Lord, helping to spread the Good Tidings and to exhort or to give urgent advice, recommendations, or warnings to people around them. They are aware that the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can they know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  For them and us it is important to listen to those Bible readings, exhortations and devotionals knowing that he that is spiritual discerns all things, yet he himself is discerned by no man.

“9  But as it is written, “Things which an eye did not see, and an ear did not hear, which did not enter into the heart of man, these God has prepared for those who love him.”  (10)  But to us, God revealed them through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.  (11)  For who among men knows the things of a man, except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so, no one knows the things of God, except God’s Spirit.  (12)  But we received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might know the things that were freely given to us by God.  (13)  Which things also we speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual things.  (14)  Now the natural man does not receive the things of God’s Spirit, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  (15)  But he who is spiritual discerns all things, and he himself is judged by no one.” (1Corinthians 2:9-15 NHEBJE)

Living in this world we would like to find perfection. The Creator has given His commandment, which is very broad.  those who call themselves Christian should love God’s law and use it as their meditation all the day, so that God can make them wiser than their enemies. We can find God His testimonies as our meditation. Together, with other lovers of God, you can read the Bible and follow its guidance, seeking God His commandments and not those of man. Already in our life such bible reading shall keep back our feet from every evil away when we not depart from God His judgements; for He will instructed us. We can  gain understanding by God His commandments, looking daily in His Word and when we are willing to think about what He is saying to us. Having Daily Manna, when hating every way of unrighteousness we shall be able to find God His law as a lamp unto our feet, and a light unto our paths.

“96  I have seen a limit to all perfection, but your commands are boundless.  (97)  MEM How I love your Law! It is my meditation all day.  (98)  Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, for your commandments are always with me.  (99)  I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation.  (100)  I understand more than the aged, because I have kept your precepts.  (101)  I have kept my feet from every evil way, that I might observe your word.  (102)  I have not turned aside from your ordinances, for you have taught me.  (103)  How sweet are your promises to my taste, more than honey to my mouth!  (104)  Through your precepts, I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.  (105)  NUN Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light for my path.  (106)  I have sworn, and have confirmed it, that I will obey your righteous ordinances.” (Psalm 119:96-106 NHEBJE)

Memoir and remains says

The Word of God functions like a light to illuminate both God’s nature and the human heart — and thus interaction between the two.

in Exegeting the Heart.1

The Gospel acknowledges how we have no claim upon God, God is not obliged to us– and yet, God blesses us supremely despite ourselves. A right understanding of the Gospel thus drives us to thankfulness. {Exegeting the Heart.1}

On this site we shall offer words of thought freely and we should carry them out and bring also words of meditation to others freely.

Where all is received freely, there is no cause of discontent: much of giving thanks if we have anything. When we look to desert, we may wonder more at what we have than what we want: if afflicted, destitute, kept low and bare, it is a wonder we are not in hell. All this is spoken because men are not thankful, We are eager till we have blessings, but when we have them, then barren in praises, unfruitful in obedience: like little children, forward to beg favours, but careless to acknowledge what they have received.  {Exegeting the Heart.1}

English: Bas-relief, River Wall, Calne This is...

Our meditation and breathing as a plumb-line to place the bricks of the church wall, strong but with a blow in the wind to bring the message worldwide of the Good News. – Bas-relief, River Wall, Calne This is one (and a half) of several similar pieces in the wall. They were made of ceramics by Richard Cowdy and Vivien ap Rhys Price to symbolize the theme of ‘Breath of Life’ inspired by the legend that the scientist Joseph Priestley discovered oxygen here.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We should all serve God cheerfully  (Psalms 116:16, Psalms 123:2, 1 Corinthians 3:22-23, Malachi 3:18, John 12:26) and make use of His Word to show others which blessings can come unto mankind if they would listen to the Most High. That Word should be our plumbline in the body of Christ we would like to be part of. With it we can make sure that the walls of our congregation can be straight.

Like Mike Parsons with Jeremy Westcott wrote in A Plumbline, a Doorway and an Anchor

When we meditate on it (the word of God) we can picture what it talks about and use our imagination. We ought not to be scared to use our imagination: God has given it to us so that we can see things, picture them, and visualise them. Now some Christians are wary of concepts like ‘visualisation’ because they have been adopted by New Age and occult people. Even meditation is viewed with suspicion in some circles. But these things are not wrong in themselves. It is simply that we have to approach them afresh and learn how to use them in a godly way.

There are some Christians, also some Bible Students who find meditation is part of the heathen world. Mostly they have a limited view about meditation, thinking of Zen and Buddhist meditation.It depends how you want to look at meditation, being it a mental concentration on something or a way to transpose our being from this world or imagining something that gives us peace or satisfaction. You could say when we are looking for methods to slow down and, eventually, completely stop the incessant activity of our minds then we would also say that is not the meditation we are talking about. For us such exercises are not really meditation – they are substitutes for meditation because it is normally very difficult to stop our minds all-together.
But to come to a state of thoughtless awareness, as an act of doing nothing we also would not call it the right mediation.

The thoughts we would like to present on this platform should make us think and consider. They should bring us into a state of awareness. It may be short messages, but they may not miss their point in waking the state of consciousness. When we take a look at the various explanations of meditation, another thing we often see is that meditation is defined as taking a moment to sit quietly or to ponder. True meditation, however is much more than this. It is a state of profound, deep peace that occurs when the mind is calm and silent, yet completely alert. This is just the beginning of an inner transformation that takes us to a higher level of awareness. This enables us to fulfil our true human potential.

We either come  in this state or we are not, regardless of what we are doing in life. Truly, a man can be in meditation while doing his day’s labours as another man can be very far from meditation while sitting in a lotus posture on the top of a mountain. He can come in a dreaming state of consciousness, where his or her thoughts are far away from the Creator. When we speak about the meditation we as Christians should get it is not about a state of deep sleep in which the mind, the ego and the superego are still. No, for us it should be placing ourselves in the willingness to receive messages from our heavenly Father. It is giving our own ego in the hands of the Most High. It is not bringing ourselves in a state of thoughtless awareness beyond the mind, but bringing ourselves in a state where we allow God to enter our mind and to enlighten us by taking us deeper into His world of ‘sacral’ knowledge.

Meditation is a means of transforming the mind. The short messages we would like to bring regularly, as form of meditation, with the short quotes from the Bible, we would like to offer as a help or a tool to transform our character. It should bring us to take a moment to think about a certain matter and to let the text give us information how to change or how to build ourselves up to become a good Christian. Those texts may be from ordinary human beings, but they want to bring the focus on God His Word and to relate His Words to our daily life. The confrontation of every day, which we should not be afraid off.

Psalm 1 gives us a key to deeper fulfilment in every dimension of our being: meditation. Its essence is reading and reminding ourselves of the truths of God while dwelling in his presence. As we dwell on him with our minds, our other dimensions ignite, affecting our lives and relationships, infusing them with wisdom, stability, and delight.

According the Apostolic Resource Centre, which believes that Jesus intends the church to be instrumental in transforming human society and that he will be returning for a victorious church, a bride who has made herself ready for the King, to meditate we have to learn to use the right side of the brain, the creative/intuitive area.

we need to learn to activate that part of the brain so that we can see, and visualise, and experience spiritual realities, and especially the heavenly realms.

That flow of the spirit is revelation from the inside which comes as spontaneous thoughts and pictures and feelings. If we are not used to tuning in to them, they can slip past and we can miss them. It works like this. The air around us is full of radio and television signals of which we are not normally aware. But if we were to have a radio, turned on and tuned in, we would be able to hear whatever was playing on that particular station. If we had a TV set tuned in we would be able to see what was on that channel. And it is just the same with tuning in to God. {A Plumbline, a Doorway and an Anchor}

Therefore we do need to open our mind and give ourselves in the Hands of God. in case we are not willing to open our ears to the signals God is sending out all the time, we shall not be able to be comforted. We , when reading the bible or reading exhortations, should be willing to let the words come deep into us and should try to find its connection with other passages in the Bible. When we allow those Words from God give sense to those words from people and let them flow through our spirit, then we can let them become projected into the right side of our brain, so that we can hear His voice, see visions and pictures, and receive revelation from Him. We tune in to that through meditation.

Our imagination is the screen on which God projects things. But it can also receive images from our soul, from our subconscious, and we need to know the difference. Our imagination can play back experiences we have had in life. There may be a song, or a smell or a taste which can transport us instantly back to an experience we had many years previously. We can imagine it, recall it even feel the same feelings we had at the time (whether positive or negative).  {A Plumbline, a Doorway and an Anchor}

With those words from our brothers and sisters, who look at a certain Bible passage, we can ad some songs, like ‘Songs in the night’ and other previous publications from various Bible Students from several countries. Those meditations do not have restrictions by borders of countries. they may cross oceans and with internet we do hope to bring those messages all over the world. And each reader can carry the messages with him and bring it to others, so that the good News may be preached in far away parts of the world.

All those people may live far away from each other, but by reading the same texts and taking time to meditate on it and to say prayers over the same subject, we can connect with each other and join forces, being part of a world wide movement of people who want to learn from God His word and who are willing to help each other to grow by that Word of God.

We do hope we can contribute to the spreading of that Good News and to help you to meditate on God His Word. Wishing that we all can grow in ‘heavenly’ knowledge and grow as brothers and sisters in Christ.

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Preceding: Daily portion of heavenly food

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Additional reading:

  1. What is life?
  2. Darkness, light, burning fire, Truth and people in it
  3. Dying or not
  4. What happens when we die?
  5. Is there an Immortal soul
  6. The Soul not a ghost
  7. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  8. Grave, tomb, sepulchre – graf, begraafplaats, rustplaats, sepulcrum
  9. Sheol, Sheool, Sjeool, Hades, Hell, Grave, Tomb, Sepulchre
  10. A fact of History or just a fancy Story
  11. Jesus three days in hell
  12. The soul has no rainbow if the eyes have no tears
  13. Creator and Blogger God 2 Image and likeness
  14. Creator and Blogger God 4 Expounding voice
  15. Philosophy hand in hand with spirituality
  16. Fragments from the Book of Job #1: chapters 1-12
  17. Fragments from the Book of Job #6: chapters 38-42
  18. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  19. Fear of God reason to return to Holy Scriptures
  20. Fear and protection
  21. Atonement And Fellowship 5/8
  22. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #1 Kings Faith
  23. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #3 A voice to be taken Seriously
  24. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
  25. Exhortation -Exhortatie of uiteenzetting
  26. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  27. Looking for True Spirituality 1 Intro
  28. Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up
  29. Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people
  30. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  31. Are you being swept along by the world
  32. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof

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Other useful readings:

  1. Becoming People of “True Faith”
  2. Is There Still a Place for Religion?
  3. Spirituality and Your Health

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  • On Not Knowing the Soul (irrevspeckay.wordpress.com)
    The soul is either a very delicate thing, or an everlasting thing. It is disputable and indisputable. Self-evident and non-existent. A matter of belief and, for some, a matter beyond believing. It is the foundation upon which theologies have been built and kingdoms sold away. It is where we locate any immortality that might exist; it is where any sense of permanence might reside; it represents wholeness unyielding to the vagaries of disease and death (though, apparently, it is possible to be corrupted morally and bought through a deal with the devil). Even for those who are not sure what they believe happens upon the death of the body, the survival of the soul offers solace.
  • Are Soul & Spirit different? (bluegrassnotes.wordpress.com)
    if we are not trying to figure things out would there be that much to talk about. If we do not talk about the past, about others or about what we are trying to achieve in the future…..what’s left to talk about?
  • Breathe (markconner.typepad.com)
    No one I know really takes time to stop and think about his or her breathing. Yet, each day we take about 26,000 breaths. That’s about 14,000 litres of air. We should breath from our stomach not our chest … but when we are stressed, distracted, or moving too fast we don’t breath properly. We need only around 4-6 breaths a minute but most of us take around 16-20. Experts tell us that 99% of our energy should come from our breathing But most of us only access 10-20% of that available energy. [See Nooma 014 Breathe for more]
  • Is The Gift of God’s Holy Spirit Reviving You? (chronicillnesspaindevotionals.wordpress.com)
    Have you ever thought about what life was like for believers before the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost? Although certain individuals were anointed with the Spirit at various times, the continual gift of the Holy Spirit was not given to all believers until after Jesus’ death and resurrection.
  • Spirituality Science – Man Is a Spiritual Being (bhavanajagat.com)
    In my view, Soul or Spirit is the divine attribute of a material substance that Science describes as Protoplasm, Cytoplasm, or Cytosol, the Living Matter found in all living entities.The method called scientific inquiry is limited to observations or statements that can be further verified. The reality of Soul or Spirit when defined as the vital, animating, Life principle of all living things can be verified using scientific inquiry. There is a fundamental dualism between matter and matter. A distinction can be made between living and non-living, or animate and inanimate matter. In Natural Science, matter is defined as a thing that has Mass and hence it occupies Space. While Matter has physical dimensions such as weight, and volume, it has an immaterial dimension for it has attributes such as being immutable, and imperishable.
  • True Source of Joy (prayersofmysoul.wordpress.com)
    Whenever we focus on our troubles, we take our eyes off Jesus and we become blind to what he’s doing to help us. Spiritual growth means improving our self-control so that we focus on Jesus no matter what’s happening. The sooner we remember to do this, the sooner we see him again.Keeping our eyes on Jesus does not mean ignoring everything else. Quite the contrary! We are to look at the world and look at others with eyes wide open,fantasizing nothing, apathetic toward nothing, in denial over nothing, but viewing it all through the eyes andthe vision of Jesus Christ.Losing sight of Jesus makes us vulnerable to sin. Then, when we get in touch with our sins and realize that we’ve crucified Christ by hurting others and ourselves, we truly do mourn and weep, as Jesus prophesied in this Gospel reading. But notice that he added: “You will grieve for a time, but your grief will be turned into joy.”

    Jesus knows the answer! Keep your eyes on him. Follow him.

  • Revival (thispathcalledlife.wordpress.com)
    God is truly my compass. I will always find my way home because God points north.
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    Technically, we as humans get older because time moves forward and that constant covers many aspects of this path called life. With that said, I know I’m a new person through the Spirit within. Worldly Crysta died in the water that day. Sin lost it’s power and hold on me. I publicly declared I walk with Jesus until my last breath on this planet. Even in this confidence, I do have lingering emotions of Worldly Crysta. These emotions feel like the aftermath of a mint in my mouth I long ago finished. But the flavor faintly stings on my breath. As a growing Christian that raises an eyebrow and birthed a recurring thought: Did Worldly Crysta really die?
  • Jesus I love You, But Not Your Word (graceandtruth.me)
    Many times I said it. Even though I had always read the Bible, even from a young child. I read it a lot. I memorizedverses even. I believed it was truth, I believed it was the Word of God. And over and over God used His Word to teach me and to speak to me.But I didn’t love it.
  • The Ongoing Spiritual Battle (foodforthespiritualsoul.wordpress.com)
    While we focus on the things that we can see, hear, smell, taste, and touch, on this earth; we often lose sight of the Spiritual Battle that we, as Mankind, have been engaged in since the time of Adam and Eve. Upon that sin committed in the Garden of Eden, that is when God established Enmity between Man, and Satan and his evil. Harmony would never be reestablished again, until God’s Perfect Timing for it. God, the Creator, could only reestablish or “create peace” again, on this earth, as His Creation. As His Creations, we have consistently used His Gift of Freewill in choosing to rebel against Him; instead of following His Ways. We have consistently been seduced…enticed…and willingly chose to flirt with evil and it’s indulgent ways; when it was originally created for us to lead lives in perfect harmony, with His Guidance from Up Above.

A fact of History or just a fancy Story

A man killed for an other

The previous weeks we looked at the suffering of Jesus and how he came to an end. When he was killed, our story did not end. We got to read that he in a strange way disappeared from the grave in which he was put in.

Christian views on Hell

Certain Christian views on Hell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Three days after the crucifixion, the tomb of Jesus was found empty by his closest friends, who did not know what could have happened. normally his body would be part of the world of the dead, going to become victim of decay. But to the unbelief and surprise Jesus appeared to his followers, who where very much afraid for what went on and for the reprisals of the Romans and locals.

They all had witnessed how Jesus died and knew he was buried. Today there are people who take Jesus to be God, but than they forget that God can not die. Jesus really did. He had given his body, of flesh and blood to his Holy Father, the Only One God, Jehovah. In common with all other men his life came to an end, but unlike other men he returned from Hades (Sheol = hell) were he had stayed for three days. He was not tortured over there, because the hell is just the burial place or grave, where people are place in when they die. there would also not be one reason to put Jesus into a torture place for the sins he might  have done, because Jesus was the only man who could stay without any sin.

Jesus offered himself to his Father who resurrected him out of the dead and made him higher than angels, to which he was lower before. God is and always has been the most High, but now He allowed Jesus to come sit next to Him, to be a mediator between Him (God) and men.

A great miracle and reason for Christianity

For Christians this taking out of death is one of the greatest of all miracles since the creation itself, and could have been accomplished only if Jesus got the full blessing of his Father,  God, the Creator of the universe. The death and resurrection of Jesus marks the central point of God’s master plan for the world.

The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the crowning proof of the promises made by God and the reason of existence of Christianity. Everything else that was said or done by Christ and the apostles is secondary in importance to the resurrection. If the resurrection did not take place then Christianity is a false religion. If it did take place, then we got the proof of the Old Testament sayings and have proof of the Messiah ship of the Nazarene Jew Jeshua, Jesus Christ, the son of man and son of God.

In case Jesus would have been God, than God just faked a death and presented a show of His body going out of a grave. As an eternal spirit God has always existed and shall always exist, but is also everywhere at once, and not bounded to any place. But Jesus Christ was bounded to the environment where he preached. He also was tempted, while God can not be tempted. After he died, Jesus was taken out of the boundary where his body was put in the clothes. The guards in front of his grave could take care his body was not been stolen, nor that a living person would be able to roll away the very heave stone on his own.

Charlatan or madman

If all of this is somehow a delusion and if Jesus of Nazareth did not really rise from the dead, then he is either a god who fooled everybody, and let the people suffer for many years before intervening, or he was no different from other great men who are also dead. He is worse than they, in fact, because he is thereby branded as either a charlatan or a madman, since he staked all his claims to be the son of God and being the Way to his Father, and who would come back to the earth after his death.

On the other hand, if the resurrection is really a demonstrable fact of history, then not only are his claims vindicated, but so are God His promises and the promises of Jesus. In case Jesus really died and was taken out of death, we have the proof of the love of God, who is willing to bring an end to the curse brought forward by the first men. In Jesus we can find then the new Adam, or the first one of  the New Creation, the 2° Adam. With Christ Jesus we than can find a new beginning of which all followers of Christ may be part of.

Then we may believe that death is not, after all, the great victor, but is a defeated foe.

“3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that fadeth not away, reserved in Heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:3-5 KJ21)

Provider of a New Covenant

Jesus had brought his followers hope to life using the true Word, showing them how they could follow in his footsteps and go through the small gate to enter the Kingdom of God. By the work Jesus had done, his death made them free. By his offering they became partakers of the New Covenant with God  by which they received new life which is not like their old life. Also for us, who want to follow Christ Jesus and believe in his resurrection we are not bounded any more to our old birth coming from mortal sperm. In case we face the reality of the Nazarene man having died and being resurrected by the Force of God, we can receive that new birth which comes from God’s living Word, which lives and stays for ever. (James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23) We can get a new and better life, because Jesus was willing to give himself as a ransom for us all.

“Therefore gird up the loins of your mind; be sober and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:13 KJ21)

“By Him ye believe in God, who raised Him up from the dead and gave Him glory, that your faith and hope might be in God.” (1 Peter 1:21 KJ21)

Seeing the son, lower than the Father

In case you have doubts about the death and resurrection of Christ, think what reasons the whole parade would have been useful for. If Jesus is God, why did God wait such a long time before taking steps to save the world. And why did He not say directly who He really was when He would have been here on earth as Jesus. Plus how could all those people see and touch Jesus when he would have been God, because God Himself told the world that they could not see Him and live.

“And He said, “Thou canst not see My face, for there shall no man see Me and live.”” (Exodus 33:20 KJ21)

When we take Jesus to be God, we minimise his suffering, his death and his resurrection. Though as followers of Christ, being Christian, we should follow the teachings of our master and believe his words.  He never claimed to be God and always told others to recognise the Hand of his father in the works he did. Jesus also was fully aware that his Father, God was mightier than him.

“Then answered Jesus and said unto them, “Verily, verily I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do; for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” (John 5:19 KJ21)

“Ye have heard how I said unto you, ‘I go away and come again unto you.’ If ye loved Me, ye would rejoice because I said, ‘I go unto the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28 KJ21)

Worshipping the Right One

Jesus often spoke to his Father, whom he worshipped and told us also to pray to Him like he prayed to his Father, who is the Master or Head of Christ.

“But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God.” (1 Corinthians 11:3 KJ21)

“And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son Himself also be subject unto Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.” (1 Corinthians 15:28 KJ21)

As Christians we should believe the words of Christ and be believers because we trust the proclamation that Christ is alive, risen from the dead.

Smoke and mirrors

We have to face it — if Jesus did not really died and there’s no resurrection for Christ, everything the apostles told us is smoke and mirrors, and everything we have staked our life on is smoke and mirrors.

But we also have to be aware that there is an even bigger problem and a very bad sign we do give to those who do not believe in God or who do believe in other gods than our only One God, Jehovah. We would namely give the impression that all the sayings of the Old Testament make no sense at all and that God bends His words. We would be guilty of telling a string of barefaced lies about God, all these affidavits the apostles passed on to us verifying that God raised up Christ — sheer fabrications, if there’s no resurrection.

If corpses can’t be raised, then Christ wasn’t, because he was indeed dead. If Christ is God he could not die and was not dead, so could not have been standing up from death, but if he would have fallen asleep, He just would have woken up and walk out the grave, no matter if it was sealed or closed by one or more heavy stones, because He can go through everything.

And if Christ wasn’t raised, then all we are doing is making wise vesicles, fooling ourselves and wandering about in the dark, as lost as ever. It’s even worse for those who died hoping in Christ and resurrection, because they’re already in their graves and there would be nothing any more.  It all shall be finished and without any prospects. If all we get out of Christ is a little inspiration, like we can enjoy the quotes from special humans or other religious figures, for a few short years, we’re a pretty sorry lot.

File:Brooklyn Museum - The Women at the Sepulchre (The Angel at the Tomb of Christ) - Benjamin West - overall.jpg

The Women at the Sepulchre (The Angel at the Tomb of Christ) – 1805, Benjamin West (1738–1820)

“12  Now if Christ is preached, that He rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14 and if Christ be not risen, then our preaching is vain, and your faith is also vain. 15 Yea, and we are found to be false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up, if so it be that the dead rise not. 16 For if the dead rise not, then is Christ not raised; 17 and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 20  But now Christ is risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of those who slept. 21 For since by man came death, by Man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive; 23 but every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.” (1 Corinthians 15:12-23 KJ21)

With the ignominious death of their master, his disciples were utterly confused and afraid for their own lives. There is no possibility that they could have continued as teachers of the Nazarene’s doctrines, and even less that others could have been persuaded to follow them, in those circumstances. The people who had seen and hear about Jesus and his miracles would have joked about him and his followers which would have been fooled all the way long.

A physical body, not a ghost, returned to life

When Jesus appeared to his closest friends he proofed to them that he was not a ghost, while his Father is Ghost. They could see the marks of his wounds.

“5 And as they were afraid and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, “Why seek ye the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke unto you when He was yet in Galilee, 7 saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’”” (Luke 24:5-7 KJ21)

File:Köln - An Groß St Martin - Groß St Martin in 34 ies.jpg

Stigmata, visual signs of his torture. – Groß St. Martin, An Groß St. Martin in Cologne – Photo Frank Vincentz

“19 And He said unto them, “What things?” And they said unto Him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people; 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death and have crucified him. 21 But we trusted that it had been he who should have redeemed Israel. And beside all this, today is the third day since these things were done. 22 Yea, and certain women also of our company, who were early at the sepulcher, made us astonished. 23 And when they found not his body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24 And certain of those who were with us went to the sepulcher and found it even so as the women had said, but him they saw not.” 25 Then He said unto them, “O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” (Luke 24:19-27 KJ21)

“36  And as they thus spoke, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them and said unto them, “Peace be unto you.” 37 But they were terrified and afraid, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. 38 And He said unto them, “Why are ye troubled, and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me to have.” 40 And when He had thus spoken, He showed them His hands and His feet. 41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, He said unto them, “Have ye here any meat?” 42 And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and of a honeycomb. 43 And He took it and ate before them. 44 And He said unto them, “These are the words which I spoke unto you while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets and in the Psalms concerning Me.” 45 Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures, 46 and said unto them, “Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And ye are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you; but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high.”” (Luke 24:36-49 KJ21)

John his doubts and fears immediately gave way to an amazed faith when he had entered the empty tomb. The collapsed grave clothes yielded no possible interpretation except that the physical body of the crucified Christ had returned to life, in such a remarkable form that it could simply pass through the linen wrappings and enter henceforth into the power of an endless life, like Jesus had foretold should happen! Spirit does not die and therefore cannot be “resurrected”, but they had met and spend many hours with the man from Nazareth.

Pilate was given assurance that Jesus died by the centurion (Mark 15:43-45). The savage spear thrust into his side by the soldier (John 19:34) made certain of his death, “and forthwith came there out blood and water,” evidencing complete collapse of the heart cavity.

Body not taken away

The disciples were hiding in fear of their lives and nothing could have been further from their thoughts than them trying to take away the body of Christ. Furthermore, the tomb had been sealed, a great stone rolled in front of it, and a watch of Roman soldiers set to guard it (Matthew 27:62-66). What is interesting about the witness of the disciples is that it is never presented as conclusive, or even as important. The reason for this is that there was no need for a human witness to the empty tomb at the time at which the gospels were written, because the witness of the whole population of Jerusalem – not to mention pilgrims from all over the known world – was that the tomb was empty. The inhabitants form Jerusalem could witness themselves what happened to the place where Jesus was been buried. In case the grave was not empty and it was not enough clear that the apostles had hidden the body they could not have made so many converts.

Several looked for Jesus, who was crucified, but could not find him in the grave. The angels had told the wives that he was risen and that they had  to go quickly and tell his disciples that Jesus was risen from the dead. They told them that they would see him. When they and the apostles were going, some of the guard came into the city and reported unto the chief priests all the things that were done. And when they were assembled with the elders and had taken counsel, they gave a large amount of money to the soldiers to say that his disciples came by night and stole him away while they slept.  So they took the money and did as they were taught.

This story was current among Jews from the earliest times, and we have independent evidence of this. For example, Justin quotes a debate in which his opponent refers to Jesus as:

“One Galilean deceiver, whom we crucified, but his disciples stole him by night from the tomb… and now deceive them by asserting that he has risen from the dead and ascended into heaven” (Justin Martyr: Dialogue Against Trypho,108 [c.AD150]).

The story does, in fact, persist to the present day.

Judea in 30 AD was a province subject to revolt and terrorism. It was no place for soldiers to sleep in the open: any soldiers who were not alert were likely to be killed by Zealots. It is thus unlikely that my guard would go to sleep, and inconceivable that they would sleep so soundly that a group of men large enough to carry away a dead body could roll aside the stone over the grave mouth (this itself would be a noisy operation) without at least one of the guard waking up.

More significant still is the condition of the disciples. Before the resurrection they were broken men, afraid and in hiding. Afterwards they were bold preachers of the gospel, who were prepared to turn the world upside down in order to preach the risen Christ. Not only that, but they were almost all put to death for their faith (probably John was the only disciple to die a natural death, and even he was exiled). None of them ever denied their faith in the risen Christ. It would take a group of several men to remove a body from a grave; if the body of Jesus had been stolen all of the men in the group would have known that the resurrection never took place, and at least one of them would have been expected to break down and confess in the face of certain and unpleasant death. If one of the disciples had confessed to stealing the body, we would certainly have known it, because the Roman and Jewish authorities would have ensured that it was reported. That it was not reported shows that it never happened, and that the disciples did not steal the body.

The important point about this explanation is that it would be unnecessary if the body of Jesus was still safely in the tomb. There is only one conclusion that can be drawn: The tomb was empty.

“5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, “Fear ye not, for I know that ye seek Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7 And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and behold, He goeth before you into Galilee. There shall ye see Him. Lo, I have told you.” 8 And they departed quickly from the sepulcher with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word. 9 And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “All hail.” And they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. 10 Then said Jesus unto them, “Be not afraid. Go tell My brethren to go into Galilee, and there shall they see Me.” 11  Now when they were going, behold, some of the guards came into the city and reported unto the chief priests all the things that were done. 12 And when they were assembled with the elders and had taken counsel, they gave a large sum of money unto the soldiers, 13 saying, “Say ye, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we slept.’ 14 And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him and secure you.” 15 So they took the money, and did as they were taught; and this account is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.” (Matthew 28:5-15 KJ21)

Anyone who wished to find out for themselves could go down to see it; to do so would take only a very short time. Yet Jerusalem was the cradle of the infant church; thousands of people were converted there very soon after the crucifixion.

Believe in Christ Jesus

We may not forget that even in the family of Jesus there where who doubted about Jesus his task. The gospels tell us that James nor any of Jesus’ younger brothers believed in him during his lifetime. It would be very strange that the early church would generate fictitious stories concerning the unbelief of Jesus’ family and they would not have reacted against those stories. We must imagine the grieve the children of Joseph and Mary had with their parents and how they would react if uncertain events happened or unjust stories were told. Though with everything that happened James and his brothers did become active Christian believers following Jesus’ death. James was considered an apostle and eventually rose to the position of leadership of the Jerusalem church. According to the first century Jewish historian Josephus, James was martyred for his faith in Christ in the late 60s CE.

We only can conclude that the truth is that Christ has been raised up, the first in a long legacy of those who are going to leave the cemeteries.  There is a nice symmetry in this: Death initially came by a man, and resurrection from death came by a man. Everybody dies in Adam; everybody comes alive in Christ.  But we have to wait our turn: Christ is first, then those with him at his Coming,” (1 Corinthians 15:12-23 )

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Please do read more about this matter in: The Resurrection of Jesus: A fact of History!

Preceding articles:

After the Sabbath after Passover, the resurrection of Jesus Christ

Hebraic Roots Bible Book of The Acts of the Apostles Chapter 2

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Please do find additional literature:

  1. The Seed Of The Woman Bruised
  2. An unblemished and spotless lamb foreknown
  3. The wrong hero
  4. A god between many gods
  5. History of the acceptance of a three-in-one God
  6. Preexistence in the Divine purpose and Trinity
  7. Altered to fit a Trinity
  8. Attributes to God
  9. Hashem השם, Hebrew for “the Name”
  10. A Jewish Theocracy
  11. Promise of Comforter
  12. Promises, God’s
  13. God does not change
  14. God’s salvation
  15. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #3 A voice to be taken Seriously
  16. A promise given in the Garden of Eden
  17. Written to recognise the Promised One
  18. Christ begotten through the power of the Holy Spirit
  19. Do not be afraid. Good news because a Saviour has been born
  20. About a man who changed history of humankind
  21. Who was Jesus?
  22. No Other Name (But Jesus)
  23. Yahushua, Yehoshua, Yeshua, Jehoshua of Jeshua > Lord or Yahuwah, Yeshua or Yahushua + Jezus, Yeshua, Yahushua
  24. The Beginning of the life of Jesus Christ
  25. Jesus begotten Son of God #4 Promised Prophet and Saviour
  26. Jesus begotten Son of God #6 Anointed Son of God, Adam and Abraham
  27. Jesus begotten Son of God #10 Coming down spirit or flesh seed of Eve
  28. Jesus begotten Son of God #11 Existence and Genesis Raising up
  29. Jesus begotten Son of God #13 Pre-existence excluding virginal birth of the Only One Transposed
  30. Jesus begotten Son of God #16 Prophet to be heard
  31. Jesus begotten Son of God #17 Adam, Eve, Mary and Christianity’s central figure
  32. Jesus begotten Son of God #18 Believing in inhuman or human person
  33. Jesus begotten Son of God #19 Compromising fact
  34. Jesus begotten Son of God #20 Before and After
  35. Man’s plans prevailed by God’s purpose
  36. He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
  37. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  38. On the Nature of Christ
  39. Jesus spitting image of his father
  40. Yeshua a man with a special personality
  41. A man with an outstanding personality
  42. On the Nature of Christ
  43. Mission son of God perceived as failure
  44. 2 Corinthians 5:19 – God in Christ
  45. How do trinitarians equate divine nature
  46. Self inflicted misery #3 A man given to suffer for us
  47. The meek one riding on an ass
  48. Jesus and His God
  49. Was Jesus Religious
  50. How is it that Christ pleased God so perfectly?
  51. For the Will of Him who is greater than Jesus
  52. Slave for people and God
  53. Apple of Gods eye
  54. Servant of his Father
  55. What did Jesus sing?
  56. What Jesus sang
  57. 14-15 Nisan and Easter
  58. A Holy week in remembrance of the Blood of life
  59. A Messiah to die
  60. Dying or not
  61. Swedish theologian finds historical proof Jesus did not die on a cross
  62. Impaled until death overtook him
  63. An unblemished and spotless lamb foreknown
  64. Crucifixion for suffering
  65. Why 20 Nations Are Defending the Crucifix in Europe
  66. In the death of Christ, the son of God, is glorification
  67. Grave, tomb, sepulchre – graf, begraafplaats, rustplaats, sepulcrum
  68. Decomposition, decay – vergaan, afsterven, ontbinding
  69. Self inflicted misery #6 Paying by death
  70. Jesus three days in hell
  71. Jesus and the fallen angels in hell
  72. Ressurection of Jesus Christ
  73. Jesus is risen
  74. Risen With Him
  75. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  76. The redemption of man by Christ Jesus
  77. One Mediator between God and man
  78. Christ having glory
  79. Christ’s coming
  80. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  81. God demonstrates his own love
  82. 1 Corinthians 15 Hope in action
  83. Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ
  84. Secret or public return of Jesus
  85. Certainty in a troubled world
  86. Concerning gospelfaith
  87. Breathing to teach
  88. Why believing the Bible
  89. Let us become nothing, and Christ everything

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  • William Lane Craig’s case for the resurrection of Jesus (winteryknight.wordpress.com)
    Dr. Craig’s famous minimal facts case for the resurrection has been posted at the Christian Apologetics Alliance. He presents 4 facts admitted by the majority of New Testament historians, and then he supplies multiple pieces of evidence for each fact.
  • The Jesus of Faith a myth? (proudfootz.wordpress.com) +
    the term ‘historical Jesus’ as Ehrman will be using it is in contrast to the ‘Jesus of Faith’, that is that when Ehrman is describing an ‘historical Jesus’ he does not mean a Jesus as accepted by most christians: the Son of God, the Messiah, the Christ, capable of performing miracles, uttering true prophecies, or raising others or himself from the dead, or really appearing as a spirit or some such thing to real humans after a resurrection. The sort of Jesus Ehrman is proposing to establish the real existence of is a mortal man like any other who is born, lives his life, and eventually dies and stays dead.
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    most or (unlikely) all of them think Jesus was merely a mortal man like any other.
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    it may well be that virtually all the experts believe Jesus really existed, but that doesn’t mean they believe in an ‘historical Jesus’ as Ehrman defines it. This is I think a major difficulty for Ehrman’s thesis because on the one hand he wants to stack the deck in favor of the historical existence of Jesus by citing the united front of ‘all New testament scholars’, but to do so he has to include the many, many people – scholars and laymen alike – who are convinced on the evidence that Jesus was a real miracle-worker who could raise the dead, raise himself from the dead, and was if not a god in his own right the son of a god. For most people Jesus was not a failed prophet, a street-corner rabble-rouser, or a social reformer: Jesus was Lord and Savior, the long-promised Messiah, Jesus Christ, Son of God reigning even now in Heaven, coming soon to judge the living and the dead.
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    It’s safe to say that a great number of teachers in theological seminaries and divinity schools (and I think many in ‘secular’ colleges and universities) believe that Jesus not only existed, but worked miracles, rose from the dead, and was the son of a god, and communes with believers from his seat in Heaven. Up until now Ehrman has downplayed this fact.
  • Understanding the Resurrection of Jesus Christ (christianity.answers.com)
    The Bible teaches that the resurrection of Jesus was an actual historical event. The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all record the resurrection as true. These same accounts also record many other miracles performed by Jesus during his life. Although many have offered alternative explanations for the resurrection, few are plausible and all contradict the earliest accounts of Jesus’ life.
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    Some have suggested that perhaps Jesus wasn’t really dead and was able to walk out of his tomb after a few days of rest. The greatest difficulty with this opinion is that it fails to account for the thorough nature of Roman crucifixion. Roman soldiers performed thousands of crucifixions every year. They were experts at using crucifixion to kill people. It is simply not plausible that a man could have lived through a Roman crucifixion and had the energy and ability to break out of a sealed tomb a few days later.
  • Jesus Freaks (live-your-best-life.me)
    What about being called a Jesus Freak though? Would it embarrass you or make you feel politically incorrect? What actions would it take to make you a Jesus Freak? Would you be considered for one if you are just a nice person or maybe someone who doesn’t hang out with the partiers of the crowd? Do you have to go to church for someone to think you are a Jesus Freak? What if, are you ready for this, you read your Bible in public? Certainly that qualifies you for that title. Is this a label you would wear in secret or would you wear it proudly?
  • The Meaning and Purpose of Our Existence. (revivehope.wordpress.com)
    The New Testament is the fulfillment of the events, characters, laws, sacrificial system (the forgiveness of sin), and promises of the Old Testament. The New Testament also prophesies our future and warns us to be spiritually prepared, warning others, and spreading the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
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    God sent His sinless Son, Jesus Christ of Nazareth to show His tremendous love for us, teaching us and demonstrating God’s power and might over all through various miracles, healings, and even raising people from the dead. He sent His only begotten (to cause) Son to die on our behalf (the penalty/consequence for sin is the shedding of blood) and rose from the dead to demonstrate His love for us and His power over sin and death.

Life is too precious

In 1999 Marcus Ampe got his second near death experience and was literally paralysed for 6 months. After ten years revalidation he started feeling again as ‘the old Marcus’ and started kicking again.

He never could resist to have some comments on our society in his artistic works. His ballet on the First Chechen War with Russia and the inhuman conditions in  Chechnya, making a lot of commotion. As choreographer and dance teacher he was never afraid to say what was on his lips. As Christian preacher he wanted to follow the task Jesus had ordered to his disciples, spreading the Good News. But such Good Tidings and warnings about how to make something of our life were not exactly welcome, so he had to endure many difficulties, also at his work. Not afraid so much of people, but more fearing God, he always continued to spread the message of peace and human respect.

Having had 2 nearly death experiences in his life, he knows what it is to be alife, and would like to get people to understand the importance of having the opportunity to be alive and kicking well.

According to him prediction is not easy, but in case we would know the past much better we could have an idea where the world is heading to in the the future. As teacher of the history of ballet, he always wanted his pupils to compare the past with the contemporary time and to have an open mind about evolutions in the world of art but also in the world of politics, because there shall always a connection between them.

To predict the future one needs to know all of the past and the now. But he is aware that knowledge will always be partial, and therefore (according to him)  predictions will never be reliable except when they do come from people send by God, namely the prophets speaking in the name of God. But we should always be careful not to fall in the hands of false teachers and false prophets.

“To make something of our life we should have an open mind.” he says. “We should be aware of what happens in the world but also of which position we would like to take in that world. Often we do think we can not change anything, but that is not believing in the possibility of the complementary rules that all small bits can make one bigger unit, and can make a difference.”

For Mr. Ampe it is clear that we do have to take our responsibility. He does not agree as so many other Christian preachers preach that we as Christians should stay politically neutral and should stay away from any discourse. ‘Though making up a mind and taking stance does not mean we do have to go into a political party, that is something totally different.” According to him we should give to the system what the system demands (giving Caesar what the emperor asks said Jesus). “Having a democratic system people are or should be given the right or/and duty to vote. In Belgium it is compulsory to vote, so we should bring out our voice and vote for those who come closest to our opinion, our Judeo-Christian values, even when we do have to chose the best one from the bad ones.”

“We only live once. It is all in the Now, that we do have to make it. We can not take anything into our death. All will end up in the grave or in the incinerator.” The Christadelphians do believe that there is no spirit that leaves the body to go to a heaven, a hell or a purgatory. “Once death it is finished. With death we have paid for our sins.” Which should be a warning “We do have to make it here on earth. In case you postpone everything until a later date, it can well be the date you wanted to do it shall never come into your life. There is no time like the present.”

For some years Marcus Ampe said that we had to be careful not to listen too much to all those doom-preachers and lots of American mega church preachers who may count a lot of followers and really succeed to fill their enormous meeting-rooms. But they could well be the falls teachers Jesus warned us for.  Several evangelicals try to frighten people for the end of the world, which is near. Mr. Ampe agrees that we clearly can see signs that the End-times are near, if they did not start yet. “But before we shall hear the final whistle we shall have to face a third world war. People shall not be able to leave over the Plan of God and Armageddon. Though they should be aware that it is know that they can prepare themselves and that they should be trying to get as many people ready.”

On several occasions he told people not so much to fear the end of the world, because it will come when it is destined to come. “At the moment we do see that somehow some people started to become afraid of what is going on in the world. Some even prepare themselves by doing exercises to survive, building stock, building bunkers, you can’t image how crazy it can be.” Instead of wasting no time worrying about what can not be changed or avoided we should be conscious of what we do can change and on what we can work to have a better world to live in. “We do not have to work to have a better heaven. Those who will be judged to enter the Kingdom of God, shall be judged for what they have done in their lifetime on earth, and not on what they had planned to do.”

“When we get too involved with the fear of the end of our lives and the world, we forget to enjoy the time we have been blessed with.” Out of experience he is assured that we got the chance to live on this earth and should be thankful to the Creator for being allowed to be here on this earth.  “So many people never see the blessings they receive every day of the Most High. Often they do not think about God, but as soon as something goes wrong they accuse Him of letting something go wrong and wonder ‘Why?’.”

“Instead of blaming God, people should think more about what went wrong in the world and what really caused it. There  are so many things we do have in our own hands. Even elements of nature. Instead of taking care of avoiding pollution and respecting the environment, we continue our selfish  behaviour, destroying gods Creation, of which He asked men to take care of” (Editorial note: At the beginning of humankind in the Garden of Eden.)

“We should be pleased that we can live and thank God for our blessings as well. Fear for what is around us and for what might come in the future distracts us from our relationship with God. We should work much more at making that relation as best as we can, while most people are putting most efforts in trying to be accounted for the world, having a place high on the ladder in the community. Their position in the world is much more important for them, and as such they walk away from faith in the Only One God.”

For him it is clear that we can fix the problems of the world ourselves, but to do so we shall need to be humble enough to recognise what we are doing wrong and what others can do better. According to him we also can not expect everybody to believe in the same values or things like we do. In case people want to believe in other gods than our God, we should allow them. Also those who do not want to believe in any God, we should give them a proper place in the world, because God allows all of them to be here. “We should respect Gods choice. It is He who allows plants, animals, human beings, governments to be on this earth. In the Garden of Eden man disputed Gods right to govern, so He has given men the right to look for solutions and systems to govern the world himself. In case we can not come up to the challenge we do not have to accuse God of being unrighteous.”

Living creatures given unto us for joy

Life is to precious to have let it be wasted. So we should take care that those in charge shall also be respectful to everything God has given to humankind for its best. “All the living creatures including ourselves should be our main focus.”

“Having local and provincial elections we should be conscious that it is this year not about electing those in charge of the whole country, but for those who are going to direct the guidelines for the future of the village, city and for those in charge of the province. But we should also follow what is happening in the world and get others to know our idea about governing a small unit, a city, a country but also a state. We should be aware of the consequences when people are going to vote for a president, and what implication this could have not only on their community but also on other people everywhere in the world. All the small countries are just a ping-pong ball in the global game. The world has become so complex that we cannot avoid any interaction between all the states. What happens in the United States of America, for example, shall have a major influence on what is going to happen in Europe.”

“We also see that many conservative Christians are willing to turn back the clock for many centuries. They do think it are only the Judeo-Christian values which can bring prosperity. I also do believe we would be able to live in a better world if more people would keep to those Judeo-Christian values. But Paling enthusiasts seem to have a total different idea of liberty than the Founding Fathers of the United states of America had. They seem to prefer getting a system where their values and ideas shall have to be the rule for everybody in the community. But they do not question which denominational rules shall take over the power, and will result in that what the Pilgrim Fathers tried to escape in the 18th and 19th century.”

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You can find more ideas from Marcus Ampe on his website: Marcus’s Space

Additional reading:

    1. Christian values and voting not just a game
    2. Which back voters in the US wants to see
    3. The trigger of Aurora shooting
    4. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #1 Christian Reform
    5. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #2 Roots of Jewishness
    6. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #3 Of the earth or of God
    7. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #4 Mozaic and Noachide laws
    8. Judeo-Christian values and liberty
    9. Faith related boycotts
    10. Right to be in the surroundings
    11. Bumpy road to success
    12. Religious Practices around the world
    13. Obama campaign expands faith effort
    14. People of Faith for Obama video

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Also of interest:

God gave us a wonderful home and we should cherish it
With the Mayan Calendar countdown to zero pending in our minds and all the shows pushing doom and gloom there is a lot of people living in fear of the end.

Was the Apostle Paul the Original Preacher of Toxic Christianity?
The prominent religion in America is Evangelical Christianity. Belief in an inerrant, inspired Bible that is meant to be read literally is common in most every American denomination. I agree wholeheartedly with Rand that the Apostle Paul, based on his writings, would be a member on an Evangelical church.

True Christianity is a Relationship not A Religion
Any serious observer of Christianity can see that most Christians live lives opposite of what the Bible teaches.
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According to the Catholics there is One God, One Jesus, One Church, One Bible. As much as Protestants might like to say otherwise, the Catholics have the upper hand on this issue. The Protestants are the new-comers, the new kids on the block, kids who showed up 1500 years after Jesus and the first pope Peter got the whole shebang rolling.

The bottom line is this…….Christianity has ALWAYS been a religion. Christianity started as a subset of the Jewish religion, morphed into the Catholic religion, and splintered into the Protestant religion. Those trying to make a personal relationship with Jesus what REAL Christianity is have history, the Bible, and God himself against them.

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  • “How near-death experiences are changing the world” – new video (personalityspirituality.net)
    David Sunfellow, head of the organization New Heaven New Earth, has compiled a 2-hour video on How Near-Death Experiences are Changing the World.The video is based on talks about near-death experiences (NDEs) given by David in Sedona earlier this year.
  • Dear Christian, If You Believe There is a Hell (brucegerencser.net)
    If you believe there is a hell and people go there when they die, you are every bit as reprehensible as the Evangelical.
  • gospel of jesus christ (meanlittleboy2.wordpress.com)
    Mortal death, and its accompanying ills, is a certainty. That is the bad news, and that is why we need good news. There is a solution.
    +
    The solution is found in an historical person: Jesus the Chosen One (the Christ) from Nazareth. The good news is that this special person, God’s own Son, has conquered death. We read in the New Testament that he was put to death on a cross by an antagonistic world, but that God counted this tragic event as a perfect sacrifice offered to Him (Isa. 53). Those who identify themselves with this sacrificed Jesus now have hope: The hope of life.
  • “Is There A Wrong Way To Be Right?” (carrythecross156.wordpress.com)
    My heart is aching, because in many respects I see my brothers and sisters in Christ, who, against their own will, are beginning to look a lot like the world. These are Christians who hold the right views on many important subjects. However, the attitudes that they have display are anything but Christ-like. It seems as though the very same people who complain about the “mud-slinging” done in the political campaigns are every bit as quick to sling a little spiritual mud when it will help them in their cause.
    +
    Even if I have the right doctrine, if my motives and my attitude are wrong, I will not win my brother, which is the ultimate goal!
    +
    If our sincere desire is to win our brother, and promote unity within the brotherhood, strengthening one another on our way to heaven, I would recommend just a few practical things for you and I to implement in our own lives.
  • ‘Unworthy slaves’: Listen to Jesus and do what he says (markkelly.wordpress.com)
    Pretty much everyone today feels they deserve better than they are getting, and here is Jesus talking about not just being a slave, but seeing yourself as an unworthy slave!
  • A different perspective on Christianity (amustardseedsurlaroute.wordpress.com)

    “In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point” Friedrich Nietzsche

    The quote is from Nietzsche, but it could have come from anyone. This steadfast idea that we, Christians, life in our own world, close-minded and blind for what happens in society.

  • What Tone Is Appropriate in Christian Discussion? (christcenteredteaching.wordpress.com)
    Christians today need to find their voices!Our insight as to when to speak up and which tone to use may make the difference as to whether we speak up at all.Unlike the message we are all getting from our Post-modern world today, God never meant us to keep silent, He said ,”Go and Preach the Gospel.”

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Musings on theology, apologetics, practical Christianity and God's grace in salvation through Jesus Christ

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Hier bestudeer ons die redes vir die verskille in Bybelvertalings.

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The official website of Michael Bradley - Author of novels, short stories and poetry involving the past, future, and what may have been.

BIBLE Students DAILY

"Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life." Revelation 2:10

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A place to share your daily blessings

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van zaadjes in volle grond tot iets lekkers op het bord

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A topnotch WordPress.com site

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JW Current Apostate Status and Final Temple Judgment - Web Witnessing Record; The Bethel Apostasy is Prophecy

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Spiritual Shots to Fuel the Conqueror Lifestyle

Examining Watchtower Doctrine

Truth Behind the "Truth"

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Dabbling into Theology

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