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Matthew 23 – A Jeremiad against the religious hypocrites

CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE:
A JEREMIAD AGAINST THE RELIGIOUS HYPOCRITES

[“Woe to a Generation of Vipers”]
(Key word: Woe!)

Already in chapter 16 of Matthews’s account of Jesus his life the apostle wrote about Jesus warning them to be careful and to pay attention regarding the leaven (Pharisees, Sadducees, and Herodians (Matthew 16:6, 11, 12; Mark 8:15; Luke 12:1) or particular people who claim to be speaking in the name of God.

Today we start looking at chapter 23 of Matthew’s gospel where Jesus speaks directly to those who claim they are the only ones who have the right to speak about God and His commandments and demanded followship.

This chapter clearly shows the extent to which the disciples are viewed as Jews in relation to the nation, even though their master condemned the leaders who misguided the people and dishonoured Jehovah God by their hypocrisy.

To speak to the crowd and to His disciples, Jesus says:

“The scribes and the Pharisees have sat down in Moses’ chair”;

and though their behaviour was only hypocrisy, they had to follow them, as the interpreters of the law, yet in all that they spoke in accordance with it.

We find Jesus speaking to the multitudes and to his disciple in the most public manner.

First of all, Jesus acknowledges the official position and the orthodoxy of the leaders of the people, and therefore encourages his disciples to bear the fetters of the stricter statue even longer than by premature dropping the semblance of indiscipline (the temple falls soon enough) V. 36).

On the other hand, he recommends to the disciples the harmony of change with doctrine, fraternal equality and humble service (his, the Messiah’s, as the sole leader V. 10); that was the basis of all greatness in his kingdom.

In this chapter we shall come to see how certain people shall try to convince people how they can not come in the Kingdom of God in case they do not follow their teachings. Also in our present day we do find such teachers of religion, Pharisees and hypocrites who love to prevent ordinary people from entering the kingdom of God (v 14) or who set up a show, putting themselves in the spotlights, doing as if they are very devout people and saying ‘great prayers’.

Today we still find people who are more attracted to the writings and sayings of so called theologians instead of concentrating on the words of the Holy Scriptures. They let themselves being carried away by the many theological theories even when those would be not according the Bible texts. Often those church leaders want to have full control over their congregation and therefore make them afraid with all sorts of stories which are not in accordance with the Bible, or of taking certain texts to literally instead of reading in between the lines and seeing the essence of the text.

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Preceding

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

Matthew 16:5-12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Watch Out for the Leaven of False Teaching

Matthew 22:41-46 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jesus Asks a Trump Question

Additional readings to Matthew 22:41-46

Next

Matthew 23:1-12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Prominence and Humility

Matthew 16 Calvin’s view

And the Pharisees came.

Mark says that they began to dispute, from which we may conjecture that, when they had been vanquished in argument, this was their last resource; as obstinate men, whenever they are reduced to extremities, to avoid being compelled to yield to the truth, are accustomed to introduce something which is foreign to the subject. Though the nature of the dispute is not expressed, yet I think it probable that they debated about the calling of Christ, why he ventured to make any innovation, and why he made such lofty pretensions, as if by his coming he had fully restored the kingdom of God. Having nothing farther to object against his doctrine, they demand that he shall give them a sign from heaven. But it is certain that a hundred signs would have no greater effect than the testimonies of Scripture. Besides, many miracles already performed had placed before their eyes the power of Christ, and had almost enabled them to touch it with their hands. Signs, by which Christ made himself familiarly known, are despised by them; and how much less will they derive advantage from a distant and obscure sign? Thus the Papists of our own day, as if the doctrine of the Gospel had not yet been proved, demand that it be ascertained by means of new miracles.

The Pharisees, together with the Sadducees. It deserves our attention that, though the Sadducees and the Pharisees looked upon each other as enemies, and not only cherished bitter hatred, but were continually engaged in hostilities, yet they enter into a mutual league against Christ. In like manner, though ungodly men quarrel among themselves, their internal broils never prevent them from conspiring against God, and entering into a compact for joining their hands in persecuting the truth.

Tempting. By this word the Evangelists mean that it was not with honest intentions, nor from a desire of instruction, but by cunning and deceit, that they demanded what they thought that Christ would refuse, or at least what they imagined was not in his power. Regarding him as utterly mean and despicable, they had no other design than to expose his weakness, and to destroy all the applause which he had hitherto obtained among the people. In this manner unbelievers are said to tempt God, when they murmur at being denied what their fancy prompted them to ask, and charge God with want of power.

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3. Hypocrites, you can judge.

He calls them hypocrites, because they pretend to ask that which, if it were exhibited to them, they are resolved not to observe. The same reproof applies nearly to the whole world; for men direct their ingenuity, and apply their senses, to immediate advantage; and therefore there is scarcely any man who is not sufficiently well qualified in this respect, or at least who is not tolerably acquainted with the means of gaining his object. How comes it then that we feel no concern about the signs by which God invites us to himself? Is it not because every man gives himself up to willing indifference, and extinguishes the light which is offered to him? The calling of Christ, and the immediate exhibition of eternal salvation, were exhibited to the scribes both by the Law and the Prophets, and by his own doctrine, to which miracles were added.

There are many persons of the same description in the present day, who plead that on intricate subjects they have a good right to suspend their judgment, because they must wait till the matter is fully ascertained. They go farther, and believe that it is a mark of prudence purposely to avoid all inquiry into the truth; as if it were not an instance of shameful sloth that, while they are so eagerly solicitous about the objects of the flesh and of the earth, they neglect the eternal salvation of their souls, and at the same time contrive vain excuses for gross and stupid ignorance.

A very absurd inference is drawn by some ignorant persons from this passage, that we are not at liberty to predict from the aspect of the sky whether we shall have fair or stormy weather. It is rather an argument which Christ founds on the regular course of nature, that those men deserve to perish for their ingratitude, who, while they are sufficiently acute in matters of the present life, yet knowingly and willfully quench the heavenly light by their stupidity.

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Matthew 16:4: A wicked and adulterous nation.

This passage was explained {1 } under #Mt 12:38 The general meaning is, that the Jews are never satisfied with any signs, but are continually tickled by a wicked desire to tempt God. He does not call them an adulterous nation merely because they demand some kind of sign, (for the Lord sometimes permitted his people to do this,). but because they deliberately provoke God; and therefore he threatens that, after he has risen from the dead, he will be a prophet like Jonah. So Matthew at least says  —  for Mark does not mention Jonah  —  but the meaning is the same; for, strictly speaking, this was intended to serve as a sign to them, that Christ, when he had risen from the dead, would in every place cause the voice of his Gospel to be distinctly heard.

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Matthew 16:5. And when his disciples came. Here Christ takes occasion from the circumstance that had just occurred {1 } to exhort his disciples to beware of every abuse that makes an inroad on sincere piety. The Pharisees had come a little before; the Sadducees joined them; and apart from them stood Herod, a very wicked man, and an opponent and corrupter of sound doctrine. In the midst of these dangers it was very necessary to warn his disciples to be on their guard; for, since the human mind has a natural inclination towards vanity and errors, when we are surrounded by wicked inventions, spurious doctrines, and other plagues of the same sort, nothing is more easy than to depart from the true and simple purity of the word of God; and if we once become entangled in these things, it will never be possible for the true religion to hold an entire sway over us. But to make the matter more clear, let us examine closely the words of Christ.

Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees. Along with the Pharisees Matthew mentions the Sadducees. Instead of the latter, Mark speaks of Herod. Luke takes no notice of any but the Pharisees, (though it is not absolutely certain that it is the same discourse of Christ which Luke relates,) and explains the leaven to be hypocrisy. In short, he glances briefly at this sentence, as if there were no ambiguity in the words. Now the metaphor of leaven, which is here applied to false doctrine, might have been employed, at another time, to denote the hypocrisy of life and conduct, or the same words might even have been repeated a second time. But there is no absurdity in saying, that those circumstances which are more copiously detailed by the other two Evangelists, in the order in which they took place, are slightly noticed by Luke in a manner somewhat different, and out of their proper place or order, but without any real contradiction. If we choose to adopt this conjecture, hypocrisy will denote here something different from a pretended and false appearance of wisdom. It will denote the very source and occasion of empty display, which, though it holds out an imposing aspect to the eyes of men, is of no estimation in the sight of God. For, as Jeremiah (#Jer 5:3) tells us that the eyes of the Lord behold the truth, so they that believe in his word are instructed to maintain true godliness in such a manner as to cleave to righteousness with an honest and perfect heart; as in these words,

An now, O Israel, what doth the Lord require from thee, but that thou shouldst cleave to him with all thy heart, and with all thy soul? (#De 10:12).

On the other hand, the traditions of men, while they set aside spiritual worship, wear a temporary disguise, as if God could be imposed upon by such deceptions; for to whatever extent outward ceremonies may be carried, they are, in the sight of God, nothing more than childish trifles, unless so far as they assist us in the exercise of true piety.

We now perceive the reason why hypocrisy was viewed by Luke as equivalent to doctrines invented by men, and why he included under this name the leavens of men, which only puff up, and in the sight of God contain nothing solid, and which even draw aside the minds of men from the right study of piety to empty and insignificant ceremonies. But it will be better to abide by the narrative of Matthew, which is more copious. The disciples, after having been reproved by our Lord, came at length to understand that he had charged them to be on their guard against certain doctrine. It was plainly, therefore, the intention of Christ to fortify them against prevailing abuses, by which they were attacked on all sides. The Pharisees and Sadducees were expressly named, because those two sects maintained at that time a tyrannical sway in the Church, and held opinions so utterly subversive of the doctrine of the Law and the Prophets, that almost nothing remained pure and entire.

But Herod did not in any way profess to teach; and a question arises, why does Mark class him with false teachers? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and Of The Leaven Of Herod. I reply: he was half a Jew, was mean and treacherous, and availed himself of every contrivance that was within his reach to draw the people to his side; for it is customary with all apostates to contrive some mixture, for the purpose of establishing a new religion by which the former may be abolished. It was because he was laboring craftily to subvert the principles of true and ancient piety, and thus to give currency to a religion that would be exceedingly adapted to his tyranny, or rather because he was endeavoring to introduce some new form of Judaism, that our Lord most properly charged them to beware of his leaven. From the temple of God the scribes disseminated their errors, and the court of Herod was another workshop of Satan, in which errors of a different kind were manufactured.

Thus in our own day we find that not only from Popish temples, and from the dens of sophists and monks, does Antichrist vomit out her impostures, but that there is a Theology of the Court, which lends its aid to prop up the throne of Antichrist, so that no stratagem is left untried. But as Christ opposed the evils which then prevailed, and as he aroused the minds of his followers to guard against those which were the most dangerous, let us learn from his example to make a prudent inquiry what are the abuses that may now do us injury. Sooner shall water mix with fire than any man shall succeed in reconciling the inventions of the Pope with the Gospel. Whoever desires to become honestly a disciple of Christ, must be careful to keep his mind pure from those leavens; and if he has already imbibed them, he must labor to purify himself till none of their polluting effects remain. There are restless men, on the other hand, who have endeavored in various ways to corrupt sound doctrine, and, in guarding also against such impostures, believers must maintain a strict watch, that they may keep a perpetual Passover

with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth, (#1Co 5:8).

And as on every hand there now rages an impiety like that of Lucian, {2 } a most pernicious leaven, or rather a worse than deadly poison, let them exercise this very needful caution, and apply to it all their senses.

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Preceding

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

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 3 Forgiveness and neighbour love

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

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

Matthew 16 Asking for signs from heaven

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Additional reading

  1. What Jesus did: First things first
  2. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 4 Blasphemy and ridiculing faith in God
  3. Pretense — Is it practiced by people in their approach to God?
  4. Not Really Acknowledging God
  5. Serving yourself, not the Lord
  6. We Must Be Real With God

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Related

  1. A Sign From Heaven In The Toy Aisle
  2. God’s True Feelings About False Religion.
  3. Speak Sound Doctrine
  4. Dogma v Doctrine
  5. Papal Vanity

False teachers and false prophets still around

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

Icon depicting the First Council of Nicaea.

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

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

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

Painting of Saint Francis Borgia performing an exorcism, by Goya

Paul said to the elders of the congregation in Ephesus:

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

And Peter wrote in a letter to several congregations:

“There will also be false teachers among you.”

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

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

“to draw away the disciples after themselves.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Avoid them.”

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

 

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

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

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Preceding articles

Object of first woe

Raising digression

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

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

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

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

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

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

Minimizing the power of God’s Force the Holy Spirit

Good or bad preacher

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

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Additional reading

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

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Further reading

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

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Related articles

Charles Taze Russell and what he started

We would like to present some older articles published by us on the website of Bijbelvorsers Webs, the Association of Bible Scholars or Researchers an Association for Bible-study, and Biblestudents on March 4, 2011 at 5:41 am:

Charles Taze Russell and what he started.

C. T.Russell was born in 1852 (the second of five children) in Allegheny,Pennsylvania in the US. He grew up in faith with his father, got to know the Presbyterian and the Congregational Church. He investigated the philosophies of the Far East – Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Hinduism but soon concluded that these philosophies were empty, and his quest for spiritual satisfaction and peace remained unfulfilled.

Christians worldwide were for the first time ever considering the prophetic chronology of the Bible, concluding that Christ was going to return on dates calculated anywhere from 1862 through 1881 (with greater focus on the year 1868). From 1868 to 1875 a lot of Christians all over the world had come in great expectation for the return of Christ, believing that the 6,000 years from the creation of Adam were complete, and the seventh and final millennium began. Lots of preachers,determined to find the truth, went around the world to proclaim the end times.

George Storrs (1796–1879) one of the leaders of the Second Advent movement and affiliated with William Miller and Joshua V. Himes. He began publication of his magazine The Bible Examiner in 1843 and continued it until 1879 with a few breaks - George Storrs (1796-1879) een van de leiders van de Tweede Advent beweging en aangesloten bij William Miller en Joshua V. Himes. Hij begon met de publicatie van zijn tijdschrift The Bible Examiner in 1843 en bleef het tot 1879 met een paar pauzes publiceren

George Storrs (1796–1879) one of the leaders of the Second Advent movement and affiliated with William Miller and Joshua V. Himes. He began publication of his magazine The Bible Examiner in 1843 and continued it until 1879 with a few breaks – George Storrs (1796-1879) een van de leiders van de Tweede Advent beweging en aangesloten bij William Miller en Joshua V. Himes. Hij begon met de publicatie van zijn tijdschrift The Bible Examiner in 1843 en bleef het tot 1879 met een paar pauzes publiceren

George Stetson (1814–1879) Millerite who also wrote for George Storrs’ magazine The Herald of Life and the Coming Kingdom, and for other magazines such as The World's Crisis - George Stetson (1814–1879) Millerite die ook schreef voor George Storrs’ magazine The Herald of Life en the Coming Kingdom, en voor andere bijbelstudenten tijdschriften zoals The World's Crisis

George Stetson (1814–1879) Millerite who also wrote for George Storrs’ magazine The Herald of Life and the Coming Kingdom, and for other magazines such as The World’s Crisis – George Stetson (1814–1879) Millerite die ook schreef voor George Storrs’ magazine The Herald of Life en the Coming Kingdom, en voor andere bijbelstudenten tijdschriften zoals The World’s Crisis

Soon C.T. Russell began also to see that he was living somewhere near the close of the Gospel age, “and near the time when the Lord had declared that the wise,watching ones of his children should come to a clear knowledge of his plan.” From the years 1870 through 1875 Charles, his father Joseph, his sister Margaret, along with several other interested friends and associates, and a few other truth-seekers in Pittsburgh and Allegheny formed a class for Bible study with the well studied Millerite pastors George Storrs, and George Stetson. These studies were purposely detailed and analytical with the goal of examining every ‘jot and tittle’ of Christian doctrine, creeds and traditions in order to determine their accuracy, or to see if they were nothing but “the traditions of men”. Slowly, and step by step, they were able to separate which doctrines were Bible-based from those that were error, or mere tradition. Such detailed studies and questions of faith were common to numerous Protestant groups in the United States at this time in American history.

Charles had a time of constant growth in grace and knowledge and love of God and his Word. During this time of his Bible study, the Russells were also influenced by Adventists such as Jonas Wendell, Nelson Barbour, the Christadelphians and the Lutheran minister Joseph Seiss. In the history of Bible Students we cannot escape to see several names coming up in different denominations of today. In the nineteenth century there was a big cross-pollination. Some of Russell’s beliefs can be traced back to the very beginning of the Second Advent movement started by William Miller.

William Miller (1782-1849), American clergyman, founded a movement which involved thousands in eagerly awaiting the Second Coming of Christ. - William Miller (1782-1849), Amerikaanse dominee, stichtte een beweging die duizenden reikhalzend deden uitkijken naar de wederkomst van Christus.

William Miller (1782-1849), American clergyman, founded a movement which involved thousands in eagerly awaiting the Second Coming of Christ. – William Miller (1782-1849), Amerikaanse dominee, stichtte een beweging die duizenden reikhalzend deden uitkijken naar de wederkomst van Christus.

Because of their intensive study of the Bible, the Russell family (Charles, Margaret, and Joseph) concluded that they had finally gained a new and clearer understanding of what a Christian is called to do in laying down their earthly life in sacrifice and service to God. All three renewed their consecration (vow of dedication) and decided to be re-baptized in 1874.

In 1876 Russell sold his father’s men’s clothing tailoring store named “The Old QuakerShop” located on Federal Street in downtown Pittsburgh and used this money to use it for preaching and publication purposes.

Russell was impressed with Nelson Barbour’s “invisible presence” views on Christ’s coming and he accepted much of his chronological views. Barbour and Russell soon became partners in publishing Herald of the Morning, Pastor Russell becoming an assistant editor of the Adventist magazine.

C.T.Russell became also the co-publisher of the book, Three Worlds and The Harvest of This World (Also called, Three Worlds: Or Plan of Redemption) (1877). A doctrinal dispute between Russell and Barbour over the atonement, and that the Rapture of the saints would occur in April 1878, resulted in Russell ending his partnership with Barbour and publishing his own magazine the Zion’s Watch Tower magazine, starting in 1879. When Russell left, he took many of Barbour’s readers with him, including J.H. Paton, the Herald magazine’s other assistant editor. He continued with Barbour’s chronology of 1874 being the date of Christ’s invisible return, 1799 as the start of the time of the end and 1914 as the “end of the Gentile Times”.

In 1908 the name of their magazine was changed to The Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence.

Russell married Maria (pronounced ‘moriah’) Frances Ackley (1850-1938 ) on March 13,1879, after merely a few months’ acquaintance. The marriage was based on a mutually agreed celibate partnership established for preaching the gospel. In 1897 they separated following disagreements over the propriety of her role in the management of Zion’s Watch Tower magazine.

In 1881 “Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society” was founded with the purpose of disseminating tracts, papers, doctrinal treatises and Bibles, and was officially chartered in 1884.

Charles devoted nearly a tenth of his fortune in publishing and distributing his first major publication, entitled “Food for Thinking Christians” in 1881. In that same year he also wrote and distributed, “Tabernacle and its Teachings”, and “Tabernacle Shadows of the Better Sacrifices”. In “Food for Thinking Christians”, Russell’s zeal to throw light upon the creedal errors motivated him to tear into the error without first showing that the Bible was indeed true, and that there was truth to be found therein. This approach shivered many men well and did the rear.

Russell wanted to outline the entire Bible and God’s plan for humanity, completely free of the Roman creeds and “traditions of men” in a seven-volume set. The first volume was originally entitled “The Plan of the Ages”, later renamed “The Divine Plan of the Ages”.

The”Divine Plan of the Ages” took the opposite approach of “Food for Thinking Christians” and first showed the beauty and harmony of the Bible before attacking the creedal errors. This approach was accepted as a refreshing answer to people’s search for truth so evident from the end of the 19th century onward.

The remaining volumes of the series, originally named “Millennial Dawn” but renamed in 1904 to “Studies in the Scriptures”, are:

 

The Time is at Hand (1889)

Thy Kingdom Come (1891)

The Day of Vengeance/The Battle of Armageddon (1897)

The Atonement Between God and Men (1899)

The New Creation (1904)

 

The delayed publishing of the seventh volume eventually became a source of great anticipation and mystery among Bible Students. Following Russell’s death in 1916, a seventh volume entitled The Finished Mystery, was published in 1917 and advertised as his “posthumous work”. True to Russell’s plan, this seventh volume was a detailed interpretation of the book of Revelation, but had included interpretations of Ezekiel, and the Song of Solomon. Immediate controversy surrounded both its publishing, and contents. In a short time it was established that it was actually written and compiled by two of Russell’s former associates, Clayton J. Woodworth and George H. Fisher, and edited by Joseph Franklin Rutherford. [i]

By 1903, newspapers began printing sermons written by Pastor Russell. The success of this got perhaps in his head. Though a lot of criticism came up he became more in the picture and got more followers.

While on the one hand claiming no special “authority,” Russell clearly desired to be the “servant” in the estimation of the “household of faith.” The danger became that he started claiming to be the “mouthpiece” of God. While others before him paved the way in giving the “midnight cry,” such as Miller and Barbour, Russell believed he was finally chosen as the one in restoring true Biblical teaching. While saying everyone needed to decide for himself, etc., Russell clearly wanted everyone to”study” the Bible solely from his writings.

Frederick William Franz (1893–1992) member of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses and served as president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, the legal entity used to direct the work of Jehovah's Witnesses. - Frederick William Franz (1893-1992) lid van het Regerend Lichaam van Jehovah's Getuigen en diende als president van het Wachttorengenootschap the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, de juridische entiteit gebruikt om het werk van Jehovah's Getuigen te leiden.

Frederick William Franz (1893–1992) member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses and served as president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, the legal entity used to direct the work of Jehovah’s Witnesses. – Frederick William Franz (1893-1992) lid van het Regerend Lichaam van Jehovah’s Getuigen en diende als president van het Wachttorengenootschap the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, de juridische entiteit gebruikt om het werk van Jehovah’s Getuigen te leiden.

After Russell’s dead it became even worse. A leadership crisis arose surrounding the new president of the Society, Joseph Rutherford, resulting in a movement-wide schism. As many as three-quarters of the approximately 50,000 Bible Students who had been associating in 1917 had left by 1931, resulting in the formation of several groups that retained variations on the name Bible Students. The idea of the truthful slave was interpolated to the Watchtower Tract Society. Rutherford and Fred Franz (Frederick William Franz) their followers who maintained fellowship with the Watch Tower Society adopted the name Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1931. They accept that the Society is provided with the only truthful slave and is the only one which has received the light from God and can show the light and right way to enter the Kingdom of God. JW‘s believe the Bible Students are still stuck on the “old light” of “Pastor” Russell and thus haven’t kept up with the latest “light” or “present truth.” Thus JW’s are no longer “Russellites” or followers of Russell as detractors have called them and they used to proudly call themselves. [ii] Russell is no longer viewed by the Watchtower Society as the “faithful and wise servant” alone serving the “meat in due season” or proper explanation of the Scriptures as they taught until 1927. [iii] They have gone back to the original view that the “servant” is a class of people, the 144,000, of which Russell was only one. The truth is still being progressively revealed to the modern “remnant” of the 144,000 who are currently leading the corporation Russell founded according the Jehovah Witnesses. Russell is viewed by JW’s today as the founder of their movement who helped revive the truth and separated them from Babylon the Great, but who taught many things that are no longer the “truth’ as the “light has grown brighter” since his day. JW’s therefore do not and are not encouraged to read Russell’s material at all, except the brief quotations provided by the Society’s writers in their current publications.

The Society of the Watchtower stopped publishing Russell his Studies in the Scriptures in 1928. Many Bible Students believe for the most part that the Society has become apostate as it no longer believes in many of Russell’s teachings as exposed in his Studies. As Russell warned about those who would do such a thing, the Society has gone into spiritual darkness, according to those other Bible Students. JW’s are viewed by many Bible Students as part of the Whore of Babylon and tell JW’s to “get out of her my people.”

Although the JW testify to be bible the only real research workers of truth, we fortunately can determine that there are, though be it in comparison with the traditional religions, not so many, still several people who were faithful to study the Book of books wanting to examine the Holy Scriptures and to investigate how they can be most faithful to this Word of God.

Those who severed ties with the Society formed their own groups including the Pastoral Bible Institute in 1918 (publishing The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom), the Layman’s Home Missionary Movement in 1919, and the Dawn Bible Students Association in 1929.

Moreover the former not associated Bible researchers remain still active in their Bible study and the proclamation of the Word of God.

*

Notes:

[i] http://www.pastor-russell.com/misc/bio.html

[ii] Walter Martin and Norman Klan, Jehovahof the Watchtower (Minneapolis, MN.: Bethany House Publishers), 1953, 1974,p. 41; The Golden Age, March 17, 1920, pp. 409-414.

[iii] J. F. Rutherford, The Harp ofGod (Brooklyn, NY: Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society), 1921, pp. 237,239.

Dutch speaking readers at that time could find this text in Dutch on the Space of the Belgian bible Students but by the disappearance of Windows Live Spaces the article also disappeared

Nederlandstaligelezerskonden dit artikel in het Nederlands vinden op de Space van Bijbelstudenten uit België maar door het wegvallen van Windows Live Spaces hebben wij dat artikel verloren : Charles Taze Russell, een bal die veel aan het rollen bracht.

 ++

Find also:

  1. Different approach in organisation of services #1
  2. Different approach in organisation of services #2
  3. Different approach in organisation of services #3
  4. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  5. Commitment to Christian unity
  6. Parts of the body of Christ
  7. Dissolution of Bijbelvorsers (Bible scholars), Association for Bible study

+++

  • The Mustard Seed by The Church of Christ, Sangotedo (slideshare.net)
    In the Bible, the mustard seed is used by Jesus in the parable of the Mustard Seed as a model for the kingdom of God which initially starts small but grows to be the biggest of all garden plants…
  • Bible Verse of the Day – Colossians 3:16 (worldeventsandthebible.com)
    Let the Word of Christ dwell in your heart. Think about that for a moment. When Christ’s Word truly dwells in our heart it makes us a better person. It allows us to see the love Christ has for us and this enables and encourages us to share His Letter with the world. This my friends is our mission in this life. To follow after our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and share His most precious Word with those who will give an ear.
  • November 17, 2014 – agreement (cohdailyprayer2014.wordpress.com)
    The leader relies on the mutual agreement we all have with God. He or she does not create faith or supply spiritual motivation. Christians live together in love and truth by their mutual agreement as people who are gifted with the Spirit of God. Our agreement holds us together. Agreement is a description of an action, not just a name for a document. Our ongoing, mutual dialogue in Christ forms and shapes our mutual understanding and direction. That agreement is a key factor in how much difference we make.
  • Bride of Christ (zestwriter.wordpress.com)
    John saw her / Descending from heaven / Her latter glory / Called her New Jerusalem / Such a beautiful story / What a beautiful bride / The bride of Christ
  • No separation! Romans 8:38-39 (wordsnmotion.wordpress.com)
    For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • Moving Through Time: Timeline of Religion (pcr.wpengine.com)
  • In 1845-1870 AD, E.G. White established the 7th Day Adventists, a Protestant Christian denomination that believes in observing Saturday as the original seventh day of the Judeo-Christian week. In addition, 7th Day Adventists believe in the imminent second coming of the Jesus Christ. This movement was influenced and grew out of the Millerite movement in the United States during the 19th century.
  • In 1848 AD, Kate and Margaret Fox founded Spiritualism, a belief system that postulates the belief in spirits of the dead who have an inclination in communicating with the living through a divination system known as mediumship.
  • In 1870 AD, Charles Taze Russel founded the Jehovah Witnesses, a Christian denomination distinct from mainstream Christianity. The Jehovah’s Witnesses base their beliefs on their own biblical interpretations and even transcribed their own version of the Holy Bible. They believe that Armageddon and the establishment of New Jerusalem is imminent.
  • In 1875 AD, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and Henry Olcott founded the Theosophical Society, a research and publishing institute dedicated to sharing esoteric doctrine of many spiritual traditions around the world. H.P. Blavatsky’s extensive research led to the publishing of the “magnum opus, The Secret Doctrine,” a comprehensive synthesis of ancient knowledge. The Theosophical Society aimed to form a brotherhood that did not discriminate against race, creed, sex, caste, or color.
  • In 1879 AD, Mary Baker Eddy formed a cult sect known as Christian Science (PDF), a religious practice derived from revelations given to Mary Baker Eddy and from the Bible itself. Its core texts are the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, also known as the “Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures.” Christian Science asserts that humanity and the universe coincide together as a whole in their truest essence, whereas evil and fallacies are illusory aspects of the material plane.
  • Between 1889 to 1924 AD, Myrtle Fillmore founded the Unity School of Christianity, a religious group that believes that all people are created with sacred worth. The Unity School of Christianity shares a universal love for all people, regardless of race, sex, color, ethnicity, creed, gender, political ideology, or disability.
  • In 1902 AD, Rudolf Steiner founded the Anthroposophical Society, a religious organization that postulates that an individual can comprehend an objective spiritual world through direct experience and inner development.
  • In 1906 AD, the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World is one of the longest, and oldest Oneness Pentecostal organizations in operation today. It currently has a membership of one and a half million members in the United States alone. Pentecostal doctrine believes in the trinity; however, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one God. In addition, Pentecostal attendees manifest the gifts of the spirit, especially the laying of hands and speaking in tongues.

All things written aforetime for our instruction

For all the things that were written beforehand were written for our instruction,+ so that through our endurance+ and through the comfort from the Scriptures we might have hope.+ (NWT) .— Romans 15:4.

For all the things that were written aforetime were written+ for our instruction,+ that through our endurance+ and through the comfort+ from the Scriptures we might have hope.*+ (Ref.B)

~~~~

Excerpt from the book The image of God, or lai...

Excerpt from the book The image of God, or laie mans boke in which the right knowledge of God is disclosed, and diuerse doubtes besides the principal matter written by Roger Hutchinson at 1550 (available in John Bruce’s The works of Roger Hutchinson (1842, pp. 183, 183) at archive.org), using God’s Biblical name Jehovah (Jehova/Iehova/Iehoua).

were written:  (#Ro 4:23): 23 That “it was counted+ to him” was written, however, not for his sake only,+

(#1Co 10:11): 11 Now these things went on befalling them as examples,* and they were written for a warning+ to us upon whom the ends* of the systems of things*+ have arrived.

for our instruction:  (#2Ti 3:16): 16 All Scripture is inspired of God*+ and beneficial for teaching,+ for reproving,+ for setting things straight,*+ for disciplining+ in righteousness,

(#2Pe 1:19): 19 Consequently we have the prophetic word+ [made] more sure;+ and YOU are doing well in paying attention to it as to a lamp+ shining in a dark place, until day dawns and a daystar*+ rises, in YOUR hearts.

(#Pr 3:11-12): 11 The discipline of Jehovah, O my son, do not reject;+ and do not abhor his reproof,+ 12 because the one whom Jehovah loves he reproves,+ even as a father does a son in whom he finds pleasure.+

(#Joh 16:8): 8 And when that one arrives he will give the world convincing evidence* concerning sin and concerning righteousness and concerning judgment:+

(#Tit 1:9): 9 holding firmly to the faithful word as respects his [art of] teaching,+ that he may be able both to exhort by the teaching that is healthful+ and to reprove+ those who contradict.

(#1Co 11:32): 32 However, when we are judged,+ we are disciplined by Jehovah,*+ that we may not become condemned+ with the world.+

(#He 12:6): 6 for whom Jehovah* loves he disciplines; in fact, he scourges every one whom he receives as a son.”+

(#Re 3:19): 19 “‘All those for whom I have affection I reprove and discipline.+ Therefore be zealous and repent.+

(#He 12:5): 5 but YOU have entirely forgotten the exhortation which addresses YOU as sons:+ “My son, do not belittle [the] discipline from Jehovah,* neither give out when you are corrected* by him;+

(#Ps 94:12): 12 Happy is the able-bodied man* whom you correct,+ O Jah, And whom you teach out of your own law,+

(#Ps 119:71):  71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted,+ In order that I may learn your regulations.+

(#1Ti 4:16): 16 Pay constant attention to yourself+ and to your teaching.+ Stay by these things, for by doing this you will save both yourself and those who listen to you.+

(#1Ti 6:3): 3 If any man teaches other doctrine+ and does not assent to healthful+ words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, nor to the teaching that accords with godly devotion,*+

(#Jas 3:1): 3 Not many of YOU should become teachers,+ my brothers, knowing that we shall receive heavier judgment.+

througour endurance:  (#Ro 5:4): 4 endurance, in turn, an approved condition;+ the approved condition, in turn, hope,+

(#Php 1:20): 20 in harmony with my eager expectation+ and hope+ that I shall not be ashamed+ in any respect, but that in all freeness of speech+ Christ will, as always before, so now be magnified by means of my body,+ whether through life or through death.+

(#2Ti 2:15): 15 Do your utmost to present yourself approved+ to God, a workman+ with nothing to be ashamed of,+ handling the word of the truth aright.+

(#Jas 1:12): 12 Happy is the man that keeps on enduring trial,+ because on becoming approved he will receive the crown of life,+ which Jehovah* promised to those who continue loving him.+

through the comfort:  (#Ps 119:50):  50 This is my comfort in my affliction,+ For your own saying has preserved me alive.+

(#Ps 94:19): 19 When my disquieting thoughts became many inside of me,+ Your own consolations began to fondle my soul.+

(#Ps 71:21): 21 May you enlarge my greatness,+ And may you surround [and] comfort me.+

(#Ps 86:17): 17 Work out with me a sign meaning goodness, That those hating me may see [it] and be ashamed.+ For you yourself, O Jehovah, have helped me and comforted me.+

(#2Co 1:3-4):  3 Blessed be the God and Father+ of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of tender mercies+ and the God of all comfort,+ 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation,+ that we may be able to comfort+ those in any sort of tribulation through the comfort with which we ourselves are being comforted by God.+

(#Ps 23:4):  4 Even though I walk in the valley of deep shadow,*+ I fear nothing bad,+ For you are with me;+ Your rod and your staff are the things that comfort me.+

(#2Co 7:6): 6 Nevertheless God, who comforts+ those laid low, comforted us by the presence* of Titus;

~~~

Those written things include many good examples, men and women of outstanding faith. (Hebrews 11:32-34) We can and should benefit from the good examples found in the Scriptures, following or imitating what is presented in those fine Biblical accounts. Certain~~ Bible accounts, however, include warning examples. We can find some of those in the lives of men and women whom Jehovah at one point accepted and used as his servants. As we read the Bible, we can note where and how some of God’s people went astray and thus became warning examples. We can discern that some gradually developed wrong attitudes or tendencies, which eventually produced sad consequences.
How can we draw lessons from such accounts? We may want to ask ourselves such questions as: ‘How did that develop? Might such a trend develop in my case? What can I do to avoid that and instead to benefit from this warning example?’ w11 12/15 1:19, 20

+

Absalom, a son of King David, was an exceptionally good-looking man. In time, however, like Satan, he let greedy ambition fill his heart, for he began to covet his father’s throne, to which he was not entitled. In a sly attempt to seize the kingship, Absalom feigned deep concern for his fellow Israelites while cleverly insinuating that the king’s court lacked regard for them. Yes, just like the Devil in the garden of Eden, Absalom presented himself as a benefactor, at the same time cruelly maligning his own father. (2 Samuel 15:1-5)
Did Absalom’s clever scheme succeed? To some extent, yes, for the Bible account states: “Absalom kept stealing the hearts of the men of Israel.” (2 Samuel 15:6) In the end, though, Absalom’s arrogance led to his own downfall, his death, and the death of the thousands who were overreached by him.—2 Samuel 18:7, 14-17. w12 7/15 2:4-6

+

Dutch version: Nederlandstalige versie: Alle dingen die eertijds geschreven tot ons onderricht

++

Additional reading:

  1. Aim High: Examples of Godly Characters to follow
  2. No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation
  3. Missional hermeneutics 5/5
  4. A Bible Falling Apart Belongs to Someone who isn’t
  5. Youth has difficulty Bible Reading
  6. Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up

+++

  • Chapter 37- Sanctification (reformedontheweb.wordpress.com)
    The usage of Scripture is as clear in this case as in that. The word “holy” in Scripture has, however, various meanings. It is sometimes applied to things, and not to persons only. (1.) It is used in the sense of that which is set apart or dedicated to an especial use. Thus, God threatens that instruments of vengeance will be “prepared” (sanctified) against “the king’s house of Judah,” Jer. 22:7. But the dedication is most frequently for some holy use.
    +
    The difficulty of the work to be done consists in its not being a mere reformation of a bad life and habits, which is measurably within the power of man, and is sometimes accomplished so far as the mere outward life among men demands; but in its including the destruction and removal of man’s sinful condition, and habits, and action, which he by nature ardently loves, and the substitution for them of their very opposites in every respect.
  • Step 8 Remember God Disciplines Those He Loves (shareaverse.wordpress.com)
    God is vigilant in maintaining and guarding His children.  He is intolerant of unfaithfulness or rivalry and possessive and watchful in the protection of His chosen ones.  He demands exclusive loyalty and is ardently active, devoted, diligent and filled with intense enthusiasm, fervor and passion to the point of intense, burning heat when it comes to ensuring our knowledge of His love, grace, and plan for us.
  • Michael Brown Writes Open Letter to Joel and Victoria Osteen Out of Love for God, Love for Them, and Love for the Church and the World (blackchristiannews.com)
    A true physician tells his patients what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. As one preacher of old, JeanDaille, once said, “Ministers are not cooks, but physicians andtherefore should not study to delight the palate, but to recover the patient.”Have you been more of a junk-food cook than a physician? Have you been afraid to tell people their true condition? Have you been so concerned with making them feel good about themselves and giving them a sense of hope that you failed to diagnose their terminal sin disease?
  • Default To Righteousness (dayandnightpost.com)
    The church is fast approaching a default to abundance and a default to righteousness; although most – in the church – are not aware of it. Neither were the Children of Israel aware of the hour of their deliverance from Egypt.
  • Discernment (endtimesprophecyreport.wordpress.com)
    The state of the “church” was made abundantly clear to me this week while I made a strong effort to defend the Word of God from the attack of a false believer.
    +
    The lack of discernment is listed as a sin that accompanies rebellious sinners in Romans chapter one.  I want to quote from both the KJV and NKJV to give a good rendering of the word used and to show that God indeed does call lack of discernment sin.
  • Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #18 Fulfilment (christadelphians.wordpress.com)
    Fulfilment As we showed in the previous chapters several men of God knew their position very well and where convinced they needed the Most High Creator of all things. Even the son of God never claimed to be able to do something without the Force of his Father.
  • Rose Resource Review: 10 Questions and Answers on Jehovah’s Witnesses (allthyngs.wordpress.com)
    There are also books with stories of how JW’s came to truly know Christ and had their eyes opened to the truth of the Biblical Gospel through the grace and patience of real Jesus followers.
  • Christian Statements of Faith (linsec.ca)
    To begin to understand the origin of Christianity, you need to understand the orthodoxy of Christianity (the theories, doctrines, and practices that defined Christianity in the early church and are the pillars of Christian theology today). These statements or creeds are inviolate — they are the foundations of Christianity and without them you may have something that resembles Christianity, but really isn’t Christianity. There are two statements of faith that define Christianity: the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed.
  • Pictures: They came, saw and made Zim richer (newsday.co.zw)
    The bumper crowd that converged at the NSS in Harare for all the three days was historic and about 1 568 candidates out of at least 74 000 in attendance, that Saturday, were baptized symbolizing their dedication to serving their Heavenly Father –Jehovah God. Attendance on the first day, on Friday was over 68 000 while the last day, on Sunday attendance totaled 82 409 people.

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