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Posts tagged ‘Faith’

Honest-hearted people are losing faith in humanity and humanity losing faith in God

A man protesting the shooting death of Alton Sterling is detained by law enforcement near the headquarters of the Baton Rouge Police Department in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, July 9, 2016.

A man protesting the shooting death of Alton Sterling is detained by law enforcement near the headquarters of the Baton Rouge Police Department in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, July 9, 2016.

A retired general and former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency doesn’t buy the Obama administration‘s argument that the US is winning the war against ISIS. {Former intelligence chief explains why Obama is wrong when he says we’re winning the war against ISIS}

2015 January 11 in remembrance of 2001 September 11 again an Islamic terrorist act on symbols of the Western society and its freedom - Attack on Charlie Hebdo mazazine in Paris, France

015 January 7 in remembrance of 2001 September 11 again an Islamic terrorist act on symbols of the Western society and its freedom – Attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris, France

The Nato-Russia Founding Act, signed in Paris says

Nato and Russia, based on an enduring political commitment undertaken at the highest political level, will build together a lasting and inclusive peace in the Euro-Atlantic area.”

Following the attack on Belgium’s Zaventem airport the 22nd of March, when suicide bombers blew themselves up in the check-in hall, government aviation experts from across the EU met for an emergency security review on Thursday March the 31st to examine how best to protect “publicly accessible areas”.

Every day we hear of terrorist attacks and of people just killing others because they have a grudge against something or some one. Every day on our television screen we can see crimes against humanity. Often when bad things happen to people they ask why such badness came over them and why they ‘deserved’ such thing.

Honest-hearted people are losing faith in humanity, and humanity is losing faith in God. Lots of people who have been a member of a church have seen how badness also came into their church or even affected those who claim to be men of God, priests and ministers. They forgot that all those priests, bishops, cardinals, ministers and other church people are just like any body else just human beings who have their little and big faults.

Because of the pressure in this life, lots of people do not have much time any more or do not want to spend time for church nor God. At work, on the streets, even at home there are not many moments where one is taking time to talk about faith or religion. Men can even wonder if faith can survive.

For sure we live in a very misleading world where we are bombarded with lots of news-gathering, information but also lots of disinformation. In this world full of social media we may see lots of people lost track and by the wood can’t see the trees any more.

Demonstrators protest the shooting death of Alton Sterling near the headquarters of the Baton Rouge Police Department in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, July 10, 2016.

Demonstrators protest the shooting death of Alton Sterling near the headquarters of the Baton Rouge Police Department in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, July 10, 2016.

Man’s inhumanity to man plays out in the news on an hourly basis. And images of violence and injustice are brought before the public eye as never before. From the States of America we get many newsshots where we see police officer taking on an uncontrolled aggressive attitude against coloured people. More than once we see such agitated police officers killing a fearful black person who is already immobilised by the cops. The majority of people are rightfully enraged over injustice, but most seek ways of coping by peaceful protest, such as was the intent of the rally in Dallas. Downtown Dallas was in lockdown early Friday after what appeared to be one attacker shot 12 officers, five fatally, during a protest over deadly police shootings of black men elsewhere. {Dallas sniper suspect dead, likely acted alone, officials say; Five officers killed}

Detectives found bomb making materials, ballistic vests, rifles, ammunition and a personal journal of combat tactics while searching the suspect’s home. Once more in the U.S.A. it was shown how dangerous it can be when ordinary people can buy any sorts of weapon just like they are going to a grocery shop buying their daily food.

The daily food of man today is violence more than peace.

Loretta Lynch, official portrait.jpg

83rd United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch

Attorney General Loretta Lynch called it an “unfathomable tragedy,” and said the Department of Justice is working closely with its local counterparts in Texas.

“After the events of this week, Americans across the county are feeling a sense of helplessness, of uncertainty and of fear,”

Lynch said, adding that the answer

“must not be violence.”

Every time such unnecessary killings happened in the states we could see a domino effect of one shooting after the other, certain people taking revenge for what happened before.

“We must continue working to build trust between communities and law enforcement.”

Lynch also said.

A portrait shot of Paul Ryan, looking straight ahead. He has short brown hair, and is wearing a dark navy blazer with a red and blue striped tie over a light blue collared shirt. In the background is the American flag.

54th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Paul Davis Ryan

House Speaker Paul Ryan addressed the Dallas shooting during a House session Friday morning, and said there is

“no cause under which this violence is justified.”

“It’s been a long month for America. We have seen terrible, senseless things,” {Dallas sniper suspect dead, likely acted alone, officials say; Five officers killed}

Ryan said.

“Every member of this body, every Republican and every Democrat, wants to see less gun violence.”

It is a small minority who take vengeance into their own hands, making matters even worse. All of these reactions erode faith that there will ever be peace on earth. Can faith survive the constant assault of terror and senseless violence portrayed in the news every day? Will God bring the peace on earth that He promised?

Prophecies tell in the end times that every man’s hand shall be against his neighbour. (Zechariah 14:13)

“On that day men will be stricken by the LORD with great panic. Each man will seize the hand of another, and they will attack each other.” (Zechariah 14:13 NIV)

alton sterling vigil Alton Sterling

The officer-involved shooting death of Alton Sterling on Tuesday, July 5, 2016, spurred protests across Baton Rouge. Here, protesters gather on July 6 at the Triple S Food Mart where Sterling was shot. (Photo by Brett Duke, Nola.com | The Times-Picayune) (Brett Duke)

Look around you, hear the daily press and notice how violence has become part of the day. All that bad news we are confronted with every hour of the day brings an atmosphere of uncertainty and of anger, fear, jealousy and distrust throughout our village, city, country and throughout the world.

Many do have the idea that it is only to become worse. And to be honest, we can not deny that.

Though we do now that there are people who should not have to be afraid of the terrible times which are coming. For sure this world is going to face a third World War. Perhaps it is even not going to take such a long time before our children or their children shall face the most terrible time of this world.

Does the Bible offer any solution to end the madness and provide hope for a world in despair?

Although prophecies indicate that there will be a time of severe trouble, they also indicate that hope will follow this nighttime of sorrow.

“For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favour lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” (Psalms 30:5 NIV)

The world again shall face, like it has done more, a weeping that may endure for nights, but those who love God do know that joy shall come in the morning God shall present to this world. Throughout the ages God provided His Word. That world could see that everything He said became a reality, except a few things still to come. It are those sayings of God which give us assurance that God intends to put an end to the radical, destructive behaviour which stems from soul sickness. This hope for all who have died and for all who are suffering is found in Acts 3:19-21:

“19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, 20 and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. 21 He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.” (Acts 3:19-21 NIV)

Notice that it is for those who are willing to repent and to turn to God that “times of refreshing shall come”. Though many still do not hear the Voice of God, He is not silent nor shall stay silent. He spoke by His prophets and his Words are written down in the Book of books (the Bible) so that all people of whatever period in time can read His Words.

God is allowing people living in the end times to learn that mankind is incapable of solving the world’s problems. This permission of evil has the very purpose of educating and preparing mankind for the promised times of restitution. At that time, they will begin to seek for God‘s righteous kingdom under the rule of the great Messiah. They will be blessed with a full knowledge of God and a full opportunity for attaining everlasting life through their redeemer — the great restorer and lifegiver.

Following are just a few of the hundreds of blessings promised by God’s kingdom to come, when His will shall be done on earth as it is being done in heaven . . .

• God promises peace after the shaking of all nations.

Zephaniah 3:8-9; Micah 4:3; Haggai 2:7

• He promises that happiness will replace all fear and sadness.
Isaiah 25:8; Isaiah 35:10

• He promises that the world will learn righteousness after having experienced sin and death for over 6,000 years.
Isaiah 26:9; Zephaniah 3:9

• He promises that all tears shall be wiped off all faces.
Isaiah 25:8; Revelation 7:17; 21:4, 5

• He promises that there will be a time when sickness will come to an end.
Isaiah 33:24; Isaiah 35:5; Revelation 21:4

• He promises that the great enemy death shall be swallowed up in victory.
Isaiah 25:8; 35:10; 1 Corinthians 15:24, 54-56; 1 Timothy 2:3-6; Revelation 21:4

• He promises that wars shall cease.
Isaiah 2:4; Micah 4:3; Psalm 46:9

• He promises that all evil shall be suppressed.
Psalm 37:10; Isaiah 35:8,9; 55:7; Revelation 20:2, 3

• He promises that truth shall triumph and lies shall be abolished forever.
Psalm 85:11; Habakuk 2:14; Joel 2:28; Acts 2:17

• He promises that Satan, the prince of darkness who now rules in the hearts of men, shall be forever destroyed.
1 Corinthians 15:25, 26; Revelation 20:10, 14

• He promises that there will be no more poverty, but that ALL will have an abundance of food, shelter and comfort.
Isaiah 65:22, 23; Micah 4:4; Psalm 67:6; Isaiah 35:1; Psalm 67:6; 85:12; Isaiah 51:3

• He promises that one day, everyone will have liberty and justice.
Isaiah 26:9; 28:17; Jeremiah 31:33, 34; Ezekiel 34:26

• He promises that, in due time, nothing shall ever hurt or destroy again.

Isaiah 11:9; Isaiah 35:8,9

• He promises life after death for everyone who has ever lived.
Romans 5:12-21; 1 Corinthians 15:21, 22; John 5:28, 29


For those who are seeking to maintain faith in an unstable world,

and who are searching for hope beyond the terror

please click the following link to read the article

Maintaining Faith in an unstable world


To read more on these prophetic promises,
please click the following link to read the book

The Divine Plan of the Ages

This Christian classic contains over 1,600 Old and New Testament Scriptures explained clearly and understandably. It provides a logical progression of the Scriptures, delineating God’s plan from paradise lost to paradise restored. It was the third best seller in the early 1900s — the Bible and the Chinese Almanac being first and second. Joseph Rotherham, who translated The Emphasized Bible, described the book as “…bold, broad, and breezy; very refreshing after the stereotyped dogmas and platitudes which pass current in the theological world…. The Chapter on ‘the Permission of Evil” is alone more than worth the price of the whole volume…” and provided us with the Rotherham Emphasized Bible and the Sacred Names bible.

All of the great Bible themes are examined, such as:

• Why God Permits Suffering and His Purpose for Allowing Evil for a Measured Time
• The Great Epochs, Characters and Events in God’s Merciful Plan for Mankind
• The Purpose and Expectation of Christ’s Second Advent
• The Day of Judgment and Its Relationship to the Benevolent Kingdom of God
• The Hope of the Good News Provided by the Promised Ransom & Restitution

+

Preceding articles

2015 the year of ISIS

Back from gone #1 Aim of ungodly people

Back from gone #2 Aim of godly people

Back from gone #3 Giving worries to God and believing in His promises

Back from gone #4 Your inner feelings and actions

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Please find also to read

  1. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 1
  2. Inner feeling, morality and Inter-connection with creation
  3. Inequality, Injustice, Sustainability and the Free World Charter
  4. ‘I try to keep my hate in check. If you can’t hate, you can’t love.’
  5. Refugee crisis, terrorist attacks and created fear
  6. Paris attacks darkening the world
  7. 2014 Religion: with a.o. Global war against Christians
  8. Selfishness can become our biggest ally for the Money Free Movement
  9. Christian fundamentalism as dangerous as Muslim fundamentalism
  10. Responses to Radical Muslims and Radical Christians
  11. The Crusader Rifle
  12. High time to review the right to keep and bear arms
  13. Freedom and amendments, firearms and abortions
  14. American Senate ignoring many voices and tears of their own people
  15. Judeo-Christian values and liberty
  16. Why are we killing?
  17. Religion…..why the competition?
  18. A world with or without religion
  19. The trigger of Aurora shooting
  20. Being Charlie 11
  21. Blinded crying blue murder having being made afraid by a bugaboo
  22. US must do more to protect its children
  23. Responsibility for children who were molested by clergy
  24. Good and bad things in this world
  25. Is God behind all suffering here on earth
  26. I Can’t Believe That … (2) God would allow children to suffer
  27. Bad things no punishment from God
  28. God has not destined us for wrath
  29. We are ourselves responsible
  30. Dealing with worries in our lives
  31. Outreach to rednecks
  32. Profitable disasters
  33. Devotees and spotters
  34. Faith related boycotts
  35. Mocking, Agitation and Religious Persecution
  36. Looking to the East and the West for Truth
  37. Sharing a common security and a common set of values
  38. Religious Practices around the world
  39. How do you define religion?
  40. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 4 Blasphemy and ridiculing faith in God
  41. The Anthropologist in you
  42. Time to consider how to care for our common home
  43. 2015 Summit of Consciences for the Climate
  44. Paris World Summit of Conscience, International interfaith gathering #1
  45. Are religious and secular ethicists climbing the same mountain
  46. January 27, 417, Pope Innocent I condemning Pelagius about Faith and Works
  47. Evolving humanity!
  48. The Culture of Excesses- Losing Humanity
  49. Learning that stuff is just stuff
  50. Material wealth, Submission and Heaven on earth
  51. Material gain to honour God
  52. How to Find the Meaning of Life and Reach a State of Peace
  53. Europe and much-vaunted bastions of multiculturalism becoming No God Zones
  54. Are you religious, spiritual, or do you belong to a religion, having a faith or interfaith
  55. Wrong ideas about religious terrorism
  56. Faith because of the questions
  57. How do we know the coming of Jesus is very near?
  58. Necessity of a revelation of creation 14 Searching the scriptures
  59. A charter for a truly free world and why we need it
  60. Maker of most popular weapon asks for repentance
  61. A last note concerning civil rights
  62. Misleading world, stress, technique, superficiality, past, future and positivism
  63. Listening for the Language of Peace
  64. What we do
  65. If you want to go far in life
  66. Give your worries to God
  67. 7 Ways To Become A Better Christian
  68. A way to prepare for the Kingdom
  69. God let my compassionate affection be tolerant and kind

+++

  1. When You Think You’re Having A Bad Day Then You Watch The News
  2. Morality, pragmatism and killing
  3. Terrorism is not an ethnic trait – it’s a malady wrought by social, religious extremism
  4. A House Divided: How Hatred Aimed At Any Group, Is an Assault On Us All
  5. The acts of war
  6. The Summer of ’76
  7. Remembering 9/11…14 Years Later: A United States President Stands Poised to Give Radical Islamists Nuclear Capability
  8. Hajj 2014 – The Day of Arafat…
  9. Drowned Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi remembered in powerful sand sculpture of three-year-old slumped on beach
  10. Six killed in Boko Haram suicide attack in Borno
  11. ‘Charlie Hebdo’: why jihad came to Paris
  12. European Powers Implement Police State Measures in Wake of Charlie Hebdo Attack
  13. Timeline of European terror attacks
  14. What the Charlie Hebdo terrorists have won so far
  15. From Paris suburb to bloody attack, portrait of IS jihadis
  16. Anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant rallies grow in Europe
  17. Anti-Islam Rallies Growing in Germany
  18. “Extremists…have given Islam a bad name, but…have no connection with the religion” Really?
  19. Extremists and Terrorists Miss the Mark
  20. Hypocrisy Abounds: Free Speech as Cover for Islamophobia
  21. Fundamentalism is Never Legitimate
  22. Nearly 19,000 Civilians Killed in Iraq Since 2014, U.N. Reports
  23. ‘It’s a criminal gang pretending to be a state’: Discontent grows in ISIS ‘caliphate’ as oil funds dry up
  24. Christian mothers, wives take up the fight against ISIS, whose women serve as suicide bombers and slaves
  25. Police officers shot Alton Sterling while he was seemingly pinned to the ground, unable to move
  26. Alton Sterling was shot and killed by Baton Rouge police officers. Here’s what we know.
  27. US Debate Over Police Killings of Black Men Lacks Official Data
  28. Alton Sterling shooting: Images from Baton Rouge the week after
  29. Black Lives Matter & The Police…Simple Thoughts On Big Issues. 
  30. Black Women’s Lives Matter, Too
  31. FBI Greenlights Crackdown On Black Lives Matter Protesters
  32. Making sense of the violence in the US
  33. Silence is not an Option: The Murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile
  34. The Time Is Now
  35. There Is Hope In Christ And Strength In Numbers
  36. Greg Kaufman: A Wake-Up Call for White Progressives
  37. We Are A Community
  38. Why Do People Kill People?
  39. Why do Christians Insist on Fighting?
  40. Understanding. The Killing of Society
  41. Senate Rules Forgery Allegation: Enugu APC, PDP in battle of wits
  42. Swedish govt in “panic” after ISIS letters give 3 days to convert to Islam or be decapitated
  43. The Ins and Outs of Sex and Social Media
  44. Someone Kills
  45. Sad Sunday.
  46. Massacre
  47. Thoughts On Orlando
  48. Tragedy in America
  49. A Clash Within Civilization
  50. Attack on the Sikh Temple in Wisconsin: A Case of Mistaken Identity?
  51. Converging Fears – An Analysis by Lawrence Davidson
  52. Russia’s forgotten role in the creation of Israel
  53. Who Speaks for America’s Muslims?
  54. World › Trump backers baffled by criticism of his Muslim proposal
  55. Bigot Reverend Grilled: Banning Muslim Refugees is Not Very Christian of You – David Pakman Show
  56. Vernon Hills High School hijab video strikes a chord
  57. Gaffney’s ‘Summit’ A Procession Of Extemism – And Candidates
  58. Guy Threatens To Do THIS To Federal Agents Investigating ISIS…Worst
  59. Understanding Why
  60. A dying Western culture is the problem
  61. 5 Ways To Bring Humanity To Your Brand
  62. The Three Things People Love Most About Social Media
  63. Real-Life Social Media Blunders You Have to See to Believe (And How to Avoid Them!)
  64. How Analyzing a Social Media Milestone Is Helping Us Prepare for the Next One
  65. Are Casket Selfies Really Necessary?
  66. The Adverse Effects Of Social Media: Talkspace Brings Attention To How Overuse Can Harm Mental Health
  67. The Good (and the Bad) of Social Media Engagement
  68. Can social media tools help to strengthen relationships?
  69. Are Christianity and Capitalism Compatible?
  70. The Frozen-Chosen Church?
  71. 7 Strategies to Give Your Email Campaign a Human Touch
  72. Does the Pope Know Something The Rest of Us Don’t?
  73. News: Orthodox Rabbis Say Christianity is God’s Plan, Vatican Says Stop Evangelizing Jews
  74. Messianic Jews, Mission and the Vatican
  75. Receiving Christ no matter the season
  76. The Spirit Speaks – of the One Greater than the Church
  77. Anti-Christian persecution isn’t all about Islam…
  78. Thoughtcrime? College Professor Put on Leave for Saying Muslim & Christian God Are the Same – David Pakman Show
  79. The War on Nothing
  80. Meet the New Gangster Warlords of Latin America
  81. Christian Genocide. Why is our govt ignoring the plight of
  82. A shruggie-shaped heat wave is roasting England, France and Spain
  83. Global sea levels have risen six meters or more with just slight global warming
  84. India mayor: Climate change, ‘dungeon’ of slavery related
  85. Global sea levels have risen 6 meters or more with just slight global warming
  86. New Little Ice Age May Counteract Global Warming
  87. Newsmaker: Pope Francis wades into the climate-change wars
  88. Humanity…….only a small part of the story!
  89. The Day of the Mayans!
  90. Religion?
  91. Visible Religion: Beliefs permeate life in Indonesia
  92. Religion and Young People: The Lost Generation?
  93. Does Religion Shape a Person?
  94. Moving away from formal religion – toward a one-to-one relationship with God.
  95. My kind of religion!
  96. The continuing decline of American religiosity
  97. Does Record Number of Religious “Nones” Mean Decline of Religiosity?
  98. Science Vs. Religion: Beyond The Western Traditions
  99. The False Compatibility Of Religion And Science
  100. New Statistics: the religious make-up of America
  101. Religion vs Spirituality, Part One
  102. Buddhism & Humanism: Two Sides of the Same Coin, Part 1
  103. Is Humanism a Religion?
  104. No religion ‘is the new establishment’
  105. UK Supreme Court: Religion Does Not Require God
  106. Ask an Atheist: The Usual Questions
  107. No excuse!
  108. A toast to Non-Violence!
  109. Reading for July 10th
  110. Journey – Daily Prompt
  111. Haunting the chapel: my thoughts on heavy metal and religion.
  112. The Door
  113. sky story #13: Peace, Around the World
  114. Dangerous words
  115. Re: The Charlie Hebdo cartoonists were smarter theologians than the jihadis – Giles Fraser, The Guardian, Jan 9 2015
  116. I hate the term “Judeo-Christian.”
  117. Apostate American Church: Waiting for the Man Of Sin
  118. The Miscreants behind the Pulput…
  119. A triumph of terrorism
  120. The Internet knows you love the devil
  121. Does Pope Francis believe Christians and Muslims worship the same God?
  122. ACLU defends anti-Islam Christian Zionist group
  123. 200 Churches Destroyed in 2 Months By Boko Haram; ISIS Threatens to Destroy 2700 Year Old Niniveh Walls
  124. Islamic State Militancy Grows Behind al-Baghdadi’s Leadership
  125. 21-Year-Old Sentenced To Prison For Three Years After Coming Out As An Atheist On Facebook
  126. Israeli President Rivlin Laments Persecution Of Mideast Minorities
  127. Bklyn Boro Pres Adams Leads Interfaith Rally Against Hate Attacks On Religious Communities
  128. How Spiritual Can You Be Without Religion?
  129. HumanistLife : A Humanism without the word ‘spirituality’
  130. Is Humanism a Religion?
  131. Spiritual Growth: What Holds Us Back & What Sets Us Free
  132. Religion vs Spirituality
  133. How do you define religion?
  134. Religious mentality
  135. Faithfulness to God
  136. But I am Trusting You, O Lord!
  137. Strength and Shield
  138. Choosing Faith
  139. The Problem With Faith Schools
  140. Trusting God is what God wants us to do! No matter what!!!
  141. Jeremiah 5-13
  142. The one who set the standard
  143. Endtime Prophecy Coming True
  144. TheVoiceOfWarning pt.6
  145. TheVoiceOfWarning pt.7
  146. This Is What God Looks Like, According To Different Religions Around The World
  147. The Importance of Our Faith in the Endtimes
  148. Christian Endtimes
  149. The Important Endtime Role of the Holy Spirit In Our Lives
  150. A War is Coming that will Kill 2.3 Billion Human Beings
  151. The Second Coming of Jesus Christ!
  152. Continued Confirmation on Endtime Revelation the Missing Flight

Meaning of Sacrifice

“Without shedding of blood there is no remission of sins.”

The doctrine of atonement involved in this scriptural principle is one of the most important and in some respects one of the most difficult of all the primary truths connected with the Gospel. Nowhere else is it so easy for men to get out of their depth, and there is no other subject that proves so tempting.

There is certainly danger that vital truths affecting the sacrifice of Christ may be called in question or may be obscured by wrong teaching on this subject. There is far more danger that a destructive strife of words should arise through men getting out of their mental depth in an effort to measure the mind of God. Dr. Thomas once remarked that the elementary truths regarding redemption were few and simple and no reason could be given for them beyond “the fact that God wills them”. If a candidate for baptism revealed a sound knowledge of these simple truths and of this simple explanation of them, we should not dare to “forbid water”. Suppose that having rendered a satisfactory confession of faith on all other first principles the candidate said:

“I believe that God required a perfect sacrifice before He could forgive sin, and that He provided the One capable of rendering that sacrifice. He sent forth His Son, the Lord Jesus, made of a woman, made in all points like his brethren, tempted in all points as we are, but by virtue of his divine parentage so superior to us morally that he was able to render the perfect sacrifice required and thus to secure redemption for himself from sin-stricken human nature and both forgiveness and redemption for those who come to God through him in the way appointed.”

Should we dare to forbid baptism because the candidate was unable to explain why God required a perfect sacrifice, or why He demanded the shedding of blood before sins could be remitted?

If we are quite agreed that an understanding of these simple elements is sufficient for one to enter the Covenant, surely it is a tragedy if brethren become divided simply through the effort to see further. It may be even worse than a tragedy, for it sometimes leads to destructive strife in which extremes act and re-act upon each other, the disputants getting further and further out of their depth, while the vital duties of life are neglected. We would not suggest for a moment that being agreed on the simple and elementary truths we should be content to go no further. Certainly we must push on and gain all the knowledge of divine things that is possible. Discussion of such matters may be very helpful if conducted by brethren who have grasped the more elementary teaching of the Word regarding human conduct. This, however, is certainly a subject in which we do well to be swift to hear and slow to speak; we may venture to suggest, still slower to write. So much sin lies at the door of the man who invented printing.

It may be helpful to take note of the main causes that have led brethren astray when they have tried to probe deeply into the doctrine of atonement. We may then be on our guard at least against these particular dangers.

One cause has been through the tendency to confuse the shadow with the substance. Brethren have reasoned that the types of the law suggested such and such necessities and the sacrifice of Christ had to conform. The truth is, of course, exactly the other way. The work of Christ was the very central feature of the divine purpose and all the shadows of the law had to conform to it. The Apostle in writing to the Hebrews, truly reasons from the types forward to Christ, but he makes it plain that Christ is the substance. We recognize the writings of the Apostles as of precisely the same authority as the Old Testament Scriptures. We do well therefore to take their plainest language as our guide and see that our understanding of types and symbols falls into line.

A second cause of confusion is the tendency to seek an explanation according to a human conception of logic and legality. Many years ago we had to point out that while human laws might often have effects far removed from the intention of the law makers, this could never be the case with the laws of God. We cannot recognize any distinction between the divine law and the divine will. When God makes a law it is the expression of His will for the time to which it applies, and it is made with a full knowledge of all its effects (see Acts 15 : 18).

“that have been known for ages.” (Acts 15:18 NIV)

We can hardly suppose that any brother would ever dispute this proposition; but some have reasoned as if they never thought of such an idea. We do well therefore to remind each other of this simple truth, which forbids us to make any distinction between legal necessities and the divine will.

A third cause of confusion has been through the persistent use of phrases that are sometimes misleading. Some staunch brethren in upholding the truth that Christ bore our sin-stricken nature have used language suggestive of an automatic cleansing by death. We could easily have rival camps in this matter, disputants on each side being totally unconscious of the ambiguity of their own language but too acutely conscious of the worst interpretations that could be put on the language of opponents.

Earnest brethren and sisters, anxious to hold the truth, have sometimes been perplexed and almost distracted in the strife of words, beyond their power to understand. The havoc that such strife may cause is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that one of the most capable men we ever had among us, in his efforts for legal logic ended by teaching justification for sin without faith, and we were all slow to realize the full enormity of the position. I well remember the surprise and even consternation of one of his supporters when he was first shown this feature of the case.

Even now there is the same disposition towards legal reasoning regarding types and shadows with the clear principles of Scripture neglected. Although disputants would deny the charge, it is a fact that some of them persistently lose sight of the fact that all things in God’s dealings with this world centre round Christ. The reason that all things under the law were cleansed by the offering of blood, was that all things in the age to come will be through the sacrifice of Christ. In reasoning with Jews it might be necessary to invert the argument, but we who are privileged to know the substance of God’s great purpose must never lose sight of it.

What is the literal truth revealed in the New Testament as to the meaning of sacrifice? It is that God forgives sins and offers eternal life on the basis of the perfect sacrifice effected by Christ in his life and death. Whatever figurative or partly figurative language the Bible may use, this is the real meaning. Washed in his blood, our sins laid upon him, a bearing of our sins in his own body, the purchase of his blood, the ransom, his being delivered for our offences, the just for the unjust-all such expressions must be understood in harmony with the literal truth that God forgives. Transgressions of the divine law can only be put away by the forgiveness and forbearance of God. Physical uncleanness of nature can only be put away by the power of God. The sacrifice of Christ is the divinely appointed basis in which God in mercy and forbearance offers forgiveness and redemption to sinners (Rom. 3 : 23-4, 4 : 7; Eph. 1 : 7; Col. 1 : 14; 1 John 1 : 9, 2 : 12).

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23 NIV)

“”Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.” (Romans 4:7 NIV)

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace” (Ephesians 1:7 NIV)

“in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:14 NIV)

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 NIV)

“I write to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.” (1 John 2:12 NIV)

If we desire to probe further and ask the question why did God require such a sacrifice as the basis of the forgiveness offered to humanity, we shall never find any answer through the various interpretations of the law or by talk of the penalty due to sin. Divine law is simply an expression of divine will. It was not the will of God that man should sin, but it was the will of God that man should be a free agent and that death should be the wage of sin. It was the will of God that the human race having been defiled by sin should have no access to His holy presence except on the basis of a perfect sacrifice.

And it is the will of God that we should respond to the gracious invitation and be saved on the basis He has provided (1 Thess. 5 : 9). If we ask why God required such a sacrifice, we must seek a moral explanation. It is no answer to quote the law which expresses His will.

“For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9 NIV)

Guided by Scripture we can find a moral explanation that satisfies every demand that the intelligence can make. The perfect sacrifice was required that the flesh might be effectively repudiated, that sin might be conquered and condemned, that the righteousness and holiness of God might be declared, and that sinful man should be humbled without a particle of ground for boasting being left to him (Rom. 3 : 23-27, 8:3; Eph. 2 : 1-9).

“23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. 27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith.” (Romans 3:23-27 NIV)

“For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man,” (Romans 8:3 NIV)

“1  As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4  But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no-one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:1-9 NIV)

God made it clear even in ancient times that humanity could not approach to Him at all except with humble faith and on the basis of blood shedding. He gave a law that emphasized the sinfulness and helplessness of His people (Rom. 8 : 15, 5 : 20).

“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”” (Romans 8:15 NIV)

“through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:2 NIV)

He made it clear that when sins were put away by sacrifice they were really forgiven (Lev. 4 : 20, 26, 31, 35).

“and do with this bull just as he did with the bull for the sin offering. In this way the priest will make atonement for them, and they will be forgiven.” (Leviticus 4:20 NIV)

“He shall burn all the fat on the altar as he burned the fat of the fellowship offering. In this way the priest will make atonement for the man’s sin, and he will be forgiven.” (Leviticus 4:26 NIV)

“He shall remove all the fat, just as the fat is removed from the fellowship offering, and the priest shall burn it on the altar as an aroma pleasing to the LORD. In this way the priest will make atonement for him, and he will be forgiven.” (Leviticus 4:31 NIV)

“He shall remove all the fat, just as the fat is removed from the lamb of the fellowship offering, and the priest shall burn it on the altar on top of the offerings made to the LORD by fire. In this way the priest will make atonement for him for the sin he has committed, and he will be forgiven.” (Leviticus 4:35 NIV)

He promised a deliverer who should “make an end of sin”, and “bring in everlasting righteousness” (Dan. 9). When the fullness of time was come He revealed that scheme of love into which even the angels had desired to look. He made selection of a virgin of the house of Israel and produced from her one who should be strong for the great work required. So the flesh was repudiated even in the birth of Christ, sin was conquered and condemned in every act of his life, and finally he freely rendered the last obedience even unto death that he might be raised from the dead to immortality and glory as the captain of our salvation-made perfect through suffering (Heb. 2 : 10).

“In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.” (Hebrews 2:10 NIV)

To him much was given and of him much was required. The lights and shadows inseparable from the formation of a character needed to be intense in the probation of our great Captain. He worked out his perfection and salvation by the strength God gave him, and thus through him God opened the way of life for us. Here is the sin nature that had produced only helpless sinners, controlled, condemned and finally put away by the strong Son of God in his perfect obedience of life and death. On this basis humanity can approach the holiness of the Creator and men of faith though sinners can be exalted to the divine. On this basis of the sin nature conquered, repudiated and condemned by the one God made strong for Himself, God forgives. That is the real meaning of atonement.

It is hardly possible to imagine anyone who had ever caught even the most fleeting glimpse of this vision turning back to the pitiful speculations of men as to supposed legal necessities. There are those in the world who think that the real body of Christ never rose, but remains eternally dead as the price due to God or the punishment due to sin! It would be difficult to make any comment on such an idea while preserving the language of decorum. The brethren are doubtless proof against such monstrous teaching. Let them keep far from the narrow reasoning that leads in that direction. The New Testament describes the sacrifice of Christ in plain and literal language. Let us interpret all figures and symbols by reference to the plain statements. God-who knows the end from the beginning, who does according to His will, but who “cannot deny Himself” God provided the means for condemning and overcoming sins on the basis of which He with much forbearance forgives those who please Him by their faith.

Much controversy has been caused by the question as to whether Christ offered for his own cleansing. It has been largely a war of words, due on the one hand to a fear of saying or subscribing to anything derogatory to Christ and on the other hand perhaps a tendency to relapse into the old exaggeration of “original sin”. There ought not to be a minute’s difficulty in dealing with the question and securing agreement.

When we speak of “sin” in the flesh we use the phrase just as the Apostle used it in Romans 7. Obviously it is a derived or secondary sense of the word, for the primary meaning of sin is transgression of divine law. It is a similar extension of meaning to that of the word “death” for poison when they said, “there is death in the pot”. The Apostle speaks of a law in his members which wars against the laws of God and leads to transgression. He calls this physical weakness “sin” in the flesh or “sin” that dwelleth in me. It is the diabolos in human nature, the natural desires of the flesh which, if they are allowed to “conceive”, “bring forth sin”. We need not argue as to whether there is such a law. We all know it only too well. We are born with it and if we give way to any sin we correspondingly strengthen the evil desire in that direction and thus make “sin” in the flesh more active. To suppose that an extraordinarily pure and righteous man would feel this weakness less than others is a huge mistake. The truth is the other way. It is the thoroughly fleshly man who is unconscious of the sinful law in his members and who probably would not understand what the Apostle meant. The man with the highest ideals and the most spiritual mind will feel the struggle most. To suggest that Christ was tempted in all points as we are and yet without this law of sin in his members is to proclaim a complete contradiction. It is like saying, “Except that he was not tempted at all!” Suggestions from without are no temptation to us if they do not appeal to something within. Christ bore just this same denied nature that we bear or he could not have been tempted as we are and therefore could not have condemned and conquered sin. Christ bore this quality in the flesh, but he never allowed it to conceive even to the point of sinful thought. Therein was the most terrific struggle and the most portentous victory of all human experience. It is easy to understand that with his ideals, and his standards of rectitude, the weakness of the flesh would be so distressing that even the most startling language of the Psalms is comprehensible.

Now whether we take the plain language of the Apostles (Heb. 9 : 12; 10 : 20) or the prophecies and types of the law, the teaching is that all things were to be cleansed by the perfect sacrifice and that no one of Adam’s race should have access to the Most Holy place except on the basis of that sacrifice (Lev. 16 : 2-14 note seven times of sprinkling). Some have caused confusion by arguing whether Christ’s offering for himself was “only a matter of obedience to God” or whether it was something more. What do they mean? Obedience to God is carrying out the will of God. What can be required beyond this? Surely we are all agreed that Christ, “the beloved son“, “the servant in whom God delighted”, and the one who “always did his Father’s will“, needed no forgiveness. Surely we are also agreed that he needed cleansing from the sin-stricken nature in which he wrestled with and’ conquered the diabolos. There could be no forgiveness for personal sinners except on the basis of the perfect sacrifice, for this was the will of God. There could be no cleansing and immortalizing, no entry into the Most Holy by any of Adam’s race except on the basis of the same perfect sacrifice, for that also was the will of God. Christ came to do God’s will, he was obedient in all things even unto death, and so with his own blood-in other words, on the basis of his perfect offering-he entered the Most Holy “having obtained eternal redemption.”

The truth is that when brethren who are agreed as to these fundamentals still argue and suspect each other of being “unsound”, they are really in their minds raising that old question of many years ago,

“Supposing Christ had been the only one to be saved, would he still have had to die a sacrificial death?”

Everyone ought to have learned long ago that this question is not legitimate. It is asking,

“If the will of God had been totally different in one direction, would it have remained the same in another closely related matter?”

There is only one proper answer to such a question. No one knows what the will of God would have been if His purpose had been other than it is, and only a presumptuous man would claim to know.

We have to do with the purpose of God as it is and as it is revealed to us. These truths are so simple and withal so beautiful that unless brethren insist on a misleading form of words making for strife, there should be no difficulty in agreeing.

The will of God determines everything. It was the will of God that none of our sin-stricken race should enter His holy presence except on the basis of the most complete repudiation of the flesh involved in a perfect obedience even unto death. He provided the strength necessary for this great work and it was for this purpose that Christ was born. Thus through the blood of the everlasting Covenant he was brought again from the dead. With his own blood he entered the Most Holy place, having obtained eternal redemption, and we, if we are faithful, can stand at last “washed from our sins in his blood” and covered with his righteousness. All these figures meaning that God accepts, forgives and cleanses His people on the basis of the perfect life and death of His Anointed Son.

– Islip Collyer

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Preceding articles

Doopsel en bloedvergieten ter vergeving

With child and righteousness greater than the law

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Let us not fret or worry about next season

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

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

Last season we like the Belgian Christadelphians perhaps had set our hopes to much on human beings, hoping they would not be as partial to prohibit brothers and sisters in Christ to join hands and have meetings together.

In the midst of our many activities our minds should have been on the eternal and the magical ways of the universe, trusting God He would be the One Who brings the Chosen ones unto Him. Perhaps we thought of hastening. We thought maybe the business to accelerate by trying to bring the different Christadelphian groups together and by showing our openness to all those who believe in the Only One God.

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

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

We often hear :

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When Jesus said

 “You are the light of the world,”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Preceding articles:

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

Our openness to being approachable

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Read also:

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

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

Standing aside or looking at election days

Nederlands: Elio Di Rupo, Waals-Belgische sche...

Elio Di Rupo, Walloon Italian-Belgian scientist and prime minister of Belgium, politician of the socialist Party, Parti Socialiste (PS) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This weekend is election weekend and communion weekend for many Belgians, who may find that Sunday the 25th of May 2014 may be a turning point or again a disappointing day where it is proven that how people may vote or react in their country, those in charge do not take heed and ignore the voice of the people.

Lots of people have taken distance of the politics in this country, but also want to take distance of the way of living many have chosen to follow the last few years.

Materialism has gained priority and not many seem to be interested in the welfare of the world. those who look from a distance at Belgium may say that the “peaceful anarchism” of Brussels architecture may well be the feature that best characterizes Belgium as a whole. For the time being Brussels capital of Belgium and of the European Union, a whirlpool in a 30.528 km² country with 11,162 million citizens in a Europe of 505,73 million inhabitants.

Vlaams Belang logo

Vlaams Belang logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The heavily eurosceptic political party Vlaams Belang with N-VA attract several voters who would like to split Flanders (Vlaamderen)  from Belgium. Of all voters who want to split Belgium, in 2007, 57 percent voted for the Vlaams Belang. In 2010 it was 21.5 percent. The NVA (who had not yet emerged separately in 2007) got in 2010, 49 percent of the radical pro-Flemish voters.

The VB’s main goal is to establish an independent Flemish republic. The party seeks a peaceful secession of Flanders from Belgium, citing in its program the division of the Union between Sweden and Norway (1905), Czechoslovakia (1992), and the independence of Montenegro (2006) as examples that such would be possible. The reason to seek independence is given as the “enormous cultural and political differences between Flemings and Walloons,” and according to the party, Belgian governments are also “paralyzed by ongoing disputes between Flemish and Walloon politicians.

An audit of the prevalent political parties ahead of the 2014 May 25 elections by Knack Magazine, an established Belgian weekly journal, found the NV-A to be the party most likely to deliver an effective economic recovery for Belgium, and it might well be lots of the Flemish people can find some hope in that party.

The above mentioned parties do not like very much the immigrants in this country and the Vlaams Belang gives a totally distorted picture of other religions than Christendom.

Most European Union nations go to the polls to elect a European Parliament on Sunday, the same day Belgium will hold national parliamentary elections. For Belgians, the EU vote will be an afterthought to what really is at stake: what to do about the kingdom and its two diverse groups, 6.5 million Dutch speakers in northern Flanders and 4.5 million Francophones in southern Wallonia.

“Everywhere I have been, I sense the same yearning for linguistic calm,” Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo said.

“The people are sick of it, pushing and pulling Belgium every which way,” he was quoted as saying in Het Laatste Nieuws newspaper. {Belgians prepare for another standoff after polls}

Instead of aiming for a wonderful model for pluralism for our community several people are trying to spread rumours about other cultures and try to spread hate against those who do not behave or live like the ‘majority’ does. those who call themselves Christian often forget the call of of love by Jesus Christ . That Nazarene preacher knew we as human beings are chained for the moment to the clusters of the world. We have not really a choice. We have to live in a world where there are many people who do not want to know about the Creator  or about His arrangements, regulations or Laws which should make it easy to live together.

Jesus taught his followers to have an open mind for those who think differently. Their customs should not worry us.  In case others have a way of living which is not according to the Laws of God, it is up to us to show them that these Laws of the Most High are the best to follow. It is not by imposing them on others like dictators that we are going to gain people for God. Man has to choose himself. Those who love the Only One God should be an example for the others. They should strive to come together with people who may be different from them, but not consider that any problem.

At the time of the Romans occupying Jerusalem, the city got also lots of people from all directions coming into the town. At the time of Jesus his preaching there where also lots of nationalities living in the region where Jesus tried the people to come to the Father. he also told his disciples that it was not up to him to decide where one of his followers would take a seat in the Kingdom of God. More, he told them that in the theocracy there would be equality for all man. As long as he would not return we had to make the best of this world and take care that the poor and less fortunate would be protected. Living in this world those who love God should take distance of the world, by not being part of the world, not joining in actions or feasts associated with heathen gods. But Jesus warned his followers they had no right to judge the others who did not want to go the same way as they. The disciples had to take care that every body would be respected for what they thought or did. We too should respect all those people who try to look for solutions and try to make something of this world. Even when we know that no human being shall be able to get the most righteous government we may not spot with them. We also should allow them to have their say and should give each other  space to witness and appreciate our differences.

English: Vlaams Belang election poster in Uccl...

Vlaams Belang election poster in Uccle, Brussels, Belgium for the Belgian general election 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When many may go in heavy debates, make sure that you as a Christian keep the right spirit and respect for the other.

When we read of the children of Yisra’ĕl who went to camp in the dessert, each one by their own banner, beside the sign of their father’s house god asked them to let them camp around the Tent of Meeting at a distance.

“(1) Jehovah spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying,  (2)  “The children of Israel shall encamp every man by his own standard, with the banners of their fathers’ houses: at a distance from the Tent of Meeting shall they encamp around it.” (Numeri 2:1-2 NHEBJE )

At a distance surrounding the Tabernacle at the Appointed Place they encamped  by their standards and could see around.

“Thus the children of Israel did. According to all that Jehovah commanded Moses, so they encamped by their standards, and so they set out, everyone by their families, according to their fathers’ houses.” (Numeri 2:34 NHEBJE)

The picture of the great organised camp and orderly march of Israel is interesting: but it presents a contrast to the disorganised, disorderly condition of human society in every land and every age. also today we can learn from it and also take some distance for looking at our world.

While it may be said that there are nations leagued in creed, allied by descent, which form the van; that others, similarly connected more or less, constitute the right and left wings of the advancing host; and the rest, straggling far behind, bring up the rear-this is but a very imaginative representation of the fact.

It has always been very difficult for people to pull one robe. We can not see many people who advances as with one mind and one heart. For long periods human beings have tried all sorts of governments. Today we still can not find any group of nations which have one single standard.

Time and destiny urge on the host, and all is to be won by steady resolute endeavour. Yet some are encamped, while others are moving about restlessly or engaged in petty conflicts that have nothing to do with moral gain. We all should know that there should be unity; but one division is embroiled with another, tribe ‘crosses swords’ with tribe.

The truth is that as Israel came far short of real spiritual organisation and due disposition of its forces to serve a common end, so it is still with the human race. Nor do the schemes that are occasionally tried to some extent promise a remedy for our disorder. For the symbol of our most holy faith is not set in the midst by most of those who aim at social organisation, nor do they dream of seeking a better country, that is, a heavenly. The description of the camp of Israel has something to teach us still. Without the Divine law there is no progress, without a Divine rallying-point there is no unity. Faith must control, the standard of Christianity must show the way: otherwise the nations will only wander aimlessly, and fight and die in the desert. {Expository Bible}

When we overlook the things from a distance, let us remind ourselves to be conscious of the necessity to try to go for the Laws God has given humankind to work on a world worth living in.

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Find also to read:

  1. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  2. A Society pleading poverty
  3. Looking for True Spirituality 5 Fruitage of the Spirit
  4. WWJD
  5. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  6. There’s no thief like a bad book
  7. No man is capable of self-improvement on his own
  8. Kingdom of God what will it be like

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  • The Game of Thrones in Belgian Politics (barrenhead.wordpress.com)
    It’s been way too long, but this time, there’s an election buzz going about in my little country Belgium, and it looks like a Game of Thrones! So let’s compare, shall we?
  • Belgians prepare for another standoff after polls (miamiherald.com)
    The national mood in Belgium right now is like two different worlds. A giddy sense of unity has overtaken the country because the national soccer team is going to the World Cup, but a parliamentary election campaign has left the nation divided like never before.Schizophrenic? Maybe. Politics as usual? For sure.
  • “30% of the electorate still undecided” (deredactie.be)
    In the poll the Flemish nationalists of N-VA are the strongest party in the Chamber of Representatives picking up 31.9% of the vote in northern Belgium – up from 28.2% at the last election in 2010. The poll shows a resurgent Christian democrat party: the CD&V takes a 19.7% share of the vote – up from 16.4% in April’s poll.
  • Flemish separatists triumph in Belgian election (worldbulletin.net)
    TheN-VA’s lead in polls triggered a nationwide debate about the possible break-up of the 180-year-old nation, with richer Flanders splitting fromWallonia, where unemployment is about double the national average.Parties from poorer French-speaking regions see devolution as a step toward Belgium’s break-up, which they oppose, but all have said they would consider some reform of the state.
  • Roald Smeets Vlaams Belang (roaldsmetseducation.wordpress.com)
    The direct predecessor of the Vlaams Belang was the Vlaams Blok, which was formed by the nationalist right-wing of the People’s Union which had broken out in the late 1970s. The ideology of the Vlaams Blok started out with its radical nationalist rejection of the People’s Union compromise on the Flemish autonomy issue, and later increasingly focused on immigration and security, exploitation of political scandals, and defense of traditional values. The immigration positions of the Vlaams Blok was subject to much controversy, and the party was forced to disband in 2004 after a political trial ruled that it sanctioned discrimination. By then, the party was the most popular Flemish party, supported by about one in four of the Flemish electorate, and was one of the most successful parties considered to be right-wing populist in Europe as a whole.
  • [EU Elections] EP voting behaviour shows divisions in far-right camp (euobserver.com)
    The voting record of seven far-right and anti-EU parties represented in the outgoing European Parliament shows larger divisions than among centrist parties who grouped together, according to a study published Tuesday (20 May) byVoteWatch.Seven partieswere included in the study, three of which arecurrently in a parliamentary group: the British Independence Party (Ukip), Italy’sLega Nord and Slovakia’sSNS.VoteWatch also looked at the voting record of France’s National Front, led by Marine Le Pen, the Dutch PVV party led by Geert Wilders, the Austrian Freedom Party (FPOe) and the Belgian Vlaams Belang, all of which are currently not affiliated with any parliamentary group.
  • Euro elections: Wilders’ far-right alliance gaining momentum (independent.co.uk)

    The Dutch populist leader Geert Wilders is hoping to make the first gains for a new alliance of Eurosceptic and anti-immigration parties in the European Parliament, with his Party for Freedom (PVV) forecast to take up to 23 per cent of the vote.

    The Netherlands and Britain, the first countries to vote, have had very similar election campaigns.  Concerns over the economy and immigration, and mistrust in the EU have pushed up support for the PVV, although Mr Wilders’ recent outburst about the country’s Moroccan community dented support.

  • Geert Wilders Underperforms… (telegraph.co.uk)

    Geert Wilders came fourth in European elections in the Netherlands on Thursday night, confounding predictions that he would lead a populist and far-Right backlash against the European Union across the continent.

    Dutch exit polls put the far-Right and anti-Islam leader on 12.2 per cent of the vote, putting him behind all the pro-EU mainstream political parties.

    ‘Definitive’ exit polls put him behind the ruling centrist VVD on 12.3 per cent and almost three per cent behind the pro-EU D66 liberals and Christian Democrats, each on over 15 per cent.

  • How Far will it swing? European extremist parties are expected to make record gains in the election this weekend (thejc.com)
    According to aPollwatch2014 analysis of voter opinions, the two politicians are capable of forming abloc of 38MEPs from a minimum of seven countries — a prerequisite for receiving more than £2 million a year in public funding.But would such a bloc pose a real threat? Jean-Yves Camus, a French researcher on antisemitism, says the right-wing scene is far too fractious to form an alliance.
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    Like elsewhere in Europe, nationalist ideas are finding purchase among voters fed up with France’s economic woes.

    The FN says it hopes to get 15 to 20 representatives into the European Parliament — three to five times more than it currently has.

  • The Flemish question (afrikanerway.wordpress.com)
    Flanders is a region is the North and West part of Belgian inhabit by the Dutch speaking Flemings. The region have being trying to get independent from the rest of Belgium and in some cases to join Nederland’s.
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    We think that there should have closer ties between Boer-Afrikaner and Flemish organizations. The two people have many things in common, similar language; suffer a period of discrimination of other people and both seek their self-determination. Also some Boer-Afrikaners have also Flemish ancestry.Enhanced by Zemanta

Belonging to or being judged by

What to be and where to belong

Many Christians may have lots of questions about why we are created so and so, what we do have to do, how we have to behave and form our selves.  Jehovah’s Witnesses also can become confronted with such questions which can bring them into many doubts. They also can become frustrated.

Jehovah's witnesses from door to door

Jehovah’s witnesses from door to door (Photo credit: ideacreamanuelaPps)

Strangely in our world today we may find people who are excluded by the community of Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW), but who are still feeling 100% pro-Jehovah’s Witnesses. This despite the fact that the organisation has removed them from the congregation, and despite the believer his or her belief that the organisation happens to be in error for doing so!

What we do find strange by many ex-Jehovah Witnesses is that they either go totally against the Faith in One God or that they go totally against the non-trinitarian idea and go to an other organisational church. Many of them keep thinking you need A Organisation, others came to come to see clear and do find it is not as such the church of men but the church of God they have to look for.

Witnesses for Jehovah

A few believe that there is no other religious organization on earth today that is so completely committed to doing the work Jesus asked of his followers, and following in his footsteps, worshipping the God of the Bible, in the way that he prescribes, doing their utmost to be continually teaching and living by the truth of his word, and not simply the often-vacillating moral and secular opinions of men. They stay blinded that there are no other serious Bible Students who try to do the task Jesus had ordered his followers to do. This mainly because they limit their idea about preaching to having to go on the streets and to knock at the door or ringing the bell.

We do agree that the Jehovah Witnesses organisation is a powerful organisation, very well structured, and because having enough money and interested people, able to bring the tasks together, organise editions and meetings, much better than many others. They have very beautiful good publications to help people willing to learn about the Word and Work of Jehovah God. Though sometimes they seem to forget that it is “God’s word is alive, and exerts power,” (Hebrews 4:12) and that it is God’s Hand which hovers over the world bringing all sorts of people active in the Word of God. The Jehovah Witnesses  and the excluded ones who still hope to be part of the Jehovah Witnesses (JW) overlook that there are also other witnesses for Jehovah active in the whole world. We consider ourselves some of them.

When all in union or being united

The congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses mistakenly consider them as the only people who are truly united by their religion “in the same mind and in the same line of thought” as Jesus Christ, not just locally, but everywhere around the globe. The JW rightly consider that if all people on earth were Jehovah’s Witnesses, there would be no wars, no violent conflicts. But we also could say in case all Christians would follow the teachings of the one they say they take as their master, than also there would be already less fighting and less problems in the world. In case all people would be real Christians, and not just name Christians, really following the commandments of God, than also there would be no wars, no violent conflicts. The same simply cannot be said of the myriad of other religions on earth today, because there are so many divisions and many having non-Scriptural teachings. Taryn Viv having been a JW, and still feeling like one, seems to know one of the problems of the people in the organisation. She writes:

To their credit, Jehovah’s Witnesses are sincerely diligent when it comes to applying Bible counsel to themselves, and to the congregation. Faithfully doing so has proven to have tremendously positive results, which only makes sense. If the Bible really is, as it claims, the word of our creator, his wisdom certainly must surpass ours, and as it is summed up at Isaiah 48:17, “I, Jehovah, am your God, the One teaching you to benefit yourself.”

Fallible or infallible organisation

Diagram Representing Organisational Structure ...

Diagram Representing Organisational Structure of Jehovah’s Witnesses (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to us some Witnesses give the impression their organisation is infallible and only brings the Words of God. They have given the Watchtower and tract Society (Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania + Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York + Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses) with their so called ‘Faithful Slave’ the same position as many Christians do give the Pope of the Vatican. It is that Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses based in Brooklyn, New York which is the ruling council of Jehovah’s Witnesses. They may formulate the policy and doctrines everybody has to follow. Strangely enough the members of the Governing Body say they are followers of Christ rather than religious leaders, but take the position of dictatorial leaders, whose rules and ideas everybody has to follow.
When the Society’s second president, J.F. Rutherford, encountered opposition from directors in 1917, he dismissed them; in 1925 he overruled the Watch Tower Society’s editorial committee — selected by Charles Taze Russell to have editorial control of The Watch Tower after his death—when it opposed publication of an article that altered doctrines on Bible chronology related to 1914. In 1931, the editorial committee was dissolved and until January 1976, the president of the Governing Body exercised complete control of doctrines, publications and activity of the Watch Tower Society and the religious denominations with which it was connected — some of the Bible Students Movment and Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The ones to tell what is right or wrong

Though not one man is infallible and knows everything. Even Jesus did not know when he would return to the earth. But the organisation claims that they can tell all people what is right and wrong, and that they are the only ones who can bring people to God. For sure they will help a lot of people to find the Only One God and to come to see the difference between the man made gods and the Only One God, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah. We should know that we as human beings have all our limitations and cannot expect perfection of one another in this system of things, nor can we expect it of the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses, nor those appointed to positions of responsibility, in spite of the tremendous good that Jehovah clearly is using the JW, Bible Students, Christadelphians and other non-trinitarian Christians who freely  and sincerely, contribute to the work of God.

Transgender – Being and feeling in a body

As a transgender woman for many, many years, the writer was quite frankly a bit shocked that, within weeks of her first surfacing the truth of her situation openly with a brother whom she considered a long-time friend, the congregation elders had decided this was a “judicial matter,” and scheduled a meeting to essentially determine whether she would be “repentant,” or would need to be removed from the congregation. Strangely enough you could wonder how it did happen they did not know earlier.
Such people with a gender problem, which we encounter much more today (also have a look at the articles on Stepping toes) are not only in trouble with their own situation, having to suffer from major depressive illness for some years and as a result having very little contact with their own family, do not have it always easy  to mix with others and to enjoy friendly contacts and group meetings in Christian groups.

Exclusion because of gender choice

Dr. Camille Cabral, a transgender activist at a demonstration for transgender people in Paris, October 1, 2005

Because Taryn Viv cannot, and will not dress and present herself as the “man” she had come to realize she never truly was in the first place, she has been removed from the congregation. This is somewhat shocking which we often have to hear about the JW, who exclude followers and have their family members and friends of the faith-group charged not to meet the excluded person any more.

When we do know that everybody is created in the likeness of God, and that we do bear the image of God, you may wonder if those who do not feel at ease in their body are really doing something against the Will of God ,when they let science help them to become the person they, in first instance feel to be?

For sure, those who would knowingly and wilfully practice such things that Jehovah condemns as seriously harmful, unloving and wrong, could not rightly still be considered a follower of Christ. Those who practice fornication, theft, murder, and do not regret what they have wrong, even when baptised, can not be any more be considered a person being part of the Body of Christ. We do agree that in many Christian denominations there are a lot of people who believe we do not have to work any more once we are ‘reborn’. They think once baptised that they would enter in heaven because they are saved by Christ. But Faith without works is death.

Looks, judging and counselling

In case people of the congregation see that there is something wrong they should bring this into discussion. Faithful brothers and sisters should be counselled then to avoid any association with such a person, even to the point of just sitting down to a meal with them, where others could see the association with that person. But we do not find it right that natural brothers and sisters and parents are not allowed to speak or associate with their brother or sister or child.

According to us they should be the first ones to bring the other to get to see what he or she did wrong, but than there have to have been something wrong. Therefore we as Christians should examine everything very careful and be attentive before we judge some one else. We also should be aware that by the ages many traditions came into our life as well as ideas how we should be or what would be accepted as normal or acceptable in our community.
For example the JW always like to go around in business suits and do not find it appropriate to wear casual clothing in service. Their way of dress is also not always conform the dress in the country they preach. As such, in West Europe everybody straight ahead recognises the JW because of their Americanised out of date dressing. But that has nothing to do with commandments of God, where no where in Scriptures is written that a dress for a girl has to have a length of so many centimetres beneath the knees or up to the ankles.

Exclusions of persons

Christians should be very careful with exclusions of persons from their community and should also try to do every effort to get the person back on the right track. They never may forget that the rules of exclusion are about someone who has not shown any repentance, remorse or regret for such serious wrongs, and that the purpose of such “disfellowshipping,” as Jehovah’s Witnesses call the practice is twofold.

  • First, it may move the person to reconsider the seriousness of what they have been doing and to turn around, thereby restoring a good relationship, first and foremost, with Jehovah God, but also with their spiritual family, who are urged to “kindly forgive and comfort” them. (2 Corinthians 2:7)

  • A second key reason is that, in the event they should remain unrepentant, “a little leaven ferments the whole lump.” (1 Corinthians 5:6)

Wisdom of scriptural admonition evident

The writer of the article A Matter of Judgement recognises that the wisdom of the scriptural admonition is evident, and can be clearly seen by counterexample. No doubt we’ve all heard of some widely publicized cases of unthinkably horrid offences committed by members of various religions. (Child molestation, for example, comes to mind. Murder is another, such as the bombings of abortion clinics, for example.) When those engaging in such acts, even repeatedly, can yet remain affiliated with others of their “faith,” as though even such gross wrongs are tolerable, or beyond judgement, what does it say to the world at large about that faith?

“Faith without works is dead.” (James 2:26)

More believers should hear the call of those who came onto this world in an other body than there mind tells them.

For now, though, I’ll conclude by saying I am grateful to be attending meetings regularly at the Kingdom hall again, and despite being considered “disfellowshipped” I find them spiritually strengthening and encouraging.
These days I am glad to say I can be more sociable again, and although it saddens me that I cannot now freely associate with many of my friends, brothers and sisters in the congregation, I find I am being given precious opportunities to speak about the good news of God’s Word with others I come into contact with.

Far from letting my circumstances cause me to be negative, many an acquaintance has told me they have come away after a conversation with a better view of both the Bible and Jehovah’s Witnesses than they had before.

It pleases me know that I can still plant seeds of truth. I would encourage anyone in my sort of situation to do the same. Jehovah is a rewarder of those loyal to him, and so although the appointed elders may still expect to see me doing things that I cannot do, I know that Jehovah is pleased to see me doing what I can.

We only can hope that those who found their way to Jehovah the Only One God, by the help of the marvellous work of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, when they leave that organisation will continue in the Faith and in the Truth, loving God and all His creation, the good and the bad people also.

English: Moordown: Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s W...

Moordown: Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses Tucked away in Elmes Road, otherwise a residential back street of Moordown. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Please do find:

  1. Taryn Viv a Wrongful Imprisonment ~ Faithful reflections of a transgender Jehovah’s Witness
  2. A Matter of Judgement
  3. Food for thought, that’s all.
  4. Failing to Answer the Most Vital Question About “Becoming Jehovah’s Friend”
  5. Jehovah’s Witnesses Shun Family Members for Selfish Reasons
  6. Focus on Jehovah’s Witnesses
  7. Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news
  8. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  9. Followers with deepening
  10. The business of this life
  11. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  12. Determine the drive
  13. Does the method of preaching from house to house have its basis in the Scriptures?
  14. Blogging for Jesus…
  15. Creator and Blogger God 4 Expounding voice
  16. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  17. Bringing Good News into the world
  18. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  19. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  20. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #3 Callers upon God
  21. A Voice to be heard
  22. Breathing to teach
  23. Church sent into the world
  24. Church enemy of faith
  25. Breaking up with a cult
  26. Dependence
  27. Feeling-good, search for happiness and the church
  28. Casual Christians
  29. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  30. Uncovering the Foundations of Faith
  31. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  32. Testify of the things heard
  33. How should we preach?
  34. When discouraged facing opposition
  35. Reasons to come to gether
  36. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  37. Manifests for believers #5 Christian Union
  38. Witnessing at LaGuardia Airport
  39. Bible for you and for life – TheBible4Life Committee explain what is planned for the national preaching effort next year.
  40. Good or bad preacher
  41. Holland Week of billing
  42. Trying to get the youth inspired
  43. Jew refering to be religious or to be a people
  44. Christian fundamentalism as dangerous as Muslim fundamentalism
  45. Faith and works
  46. Repentance and conversion are not milestones which we pass on the way of life and never see again
  47. God receives us on the basis of our faith
  48. God loving people justified
  49. Creation and the Bible

+++

  • Jehovah’s Way: At the First Sign of Their Religious Doubt, Freeze Out Your Own Flesh and Blood (patheos.com)
    The elder Gonzalez is a Jehovah’s Witness. After his son expressed doubts about the movement, its Watchtower Governing Body promptly ordered the father to shun Rick and Lucas.
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses Hateful practice of unbiblical shunning (christiansparlock.wordpress.com)

    “The result of ‘shunning’ is extreme anxiety, depression, self hatred, increased blood pressure, loss of appetite, self injury and suicidal thoughts and attempts. This is not only painful but excruciating.” – Allan N. Schwartz, PhD

  • The Redemption (and Apostasy) of a Devout Jehovah’s Witness (patheos.com)
    James Zimmerman grew up as the kind of Jehovah’s Witness who might have knocked on your door. Devout and fervent, he knew what the consequences were for apostates. And yet he found a way to break free.

    His new memoir detailing his upbringing — and how his questioning of the faith eventually led him away from it — is called Deliverance at Hand!: The Redemption of a Devout Jehovah’s Witness (Freethought House, 2013):

  • Jail for Jehovah’s Witness elder who molested girls (manchestereveningnews.co.uk)
    A Jehovah’s Witness elder who was exposed as a paedophile on Facebook has been jailed.

    Jonathan Rose was branded a hypocrite as he was locked up for molesting two little girls he met through the church.
    +
    The family of Rose’s first accuser say they were encouraged to cover up their allegation. He was cleared of groping the then teenage girl in 1995 trial, but she would go on to be a witness in the latest court case. Her family say they were hounded out of the Jehovah’s Witnesses when they expressed concerns.

  • What Does The Bible Really Teach? – Chapter 18 Review (watchtowerinvestigated.co.uk)
    You are not baptised in the name of the father, son and holy spirit you are baptised into the organisation. In fact the last question they is “Do you understand that your dedication and baptism identify you as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God’s spirit-directed organization?”
    +
    Gods law are not burdensome, but let me list some things that the watchtower burden with when you are baptised:-• Fill out a report card every month detailing how much ministry you have done (or not as the case may be).
    • You Must go to all the meetings.
    • You Must go on the field service.
    • You Must not have a blood transfusion even if your life depended on it.
    • You Must not get involved in any holidays, Christmas, Birthday, Mothers Day, Fathers Day…the list goes on.
    • You Must cut off love ones if they reject the religion…
    • The list goes on…
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses call on Christians to safeguard their consciences (modernghana.com)
    Jehovah’s Witnesses at the weekend held a special assembly day programme with a call on Christians to safeguard their consciences to aid them walk with God and follow Jesus’ footsteps.

    The aim of the programme was to help the delegates to work towards acquiring a bible-trained and holy spirit-led conscience, which together with the bible, could serve as a reliable guide in deepening their relationship with God.

After the Sabbath after Passover, the resurrection of Jesus Christ

File:Gospel of Matthew Chapter 17-2 (Bible Illustrations by Sweet Media).jpg

Resurrection of Jesus – Biblical illustration of Gospel of Matthew Chapter 17 by Jim Padgett,

 


*

 

“1  and when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the [mother] of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. 2 and very early in the morning, the first [day] of the week, they came to the sepulcher at the rising of the sun: 3 and they said among themselves, who shall roll away for us the stone from the door of the sepulcher?” (Mark 16:1-3 Webster)

“the first [day] of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, to the sepulcher, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulcher.” (John 20:1 Webster)

“and if this shall come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.” (Matthew 28:14 Webster)

“1  now upon the first [day] of the week, very early in the morning, they came to the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain [others] with them. 2 and they found the stone rolled away from the sepulcher. 3 and they entered in, and found not the body of the lord Jesus. 4 and it came to pass, as they were much perplexed at this, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. 5 and as they were afraid, and bowed down [their] faces to the earth, they said to them, why seek ye the living among the dead? 6 he is not here, but is risen. remember how he spoke to 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. 8 and they remembered his words, 9 and returned from the sepulcher, and told all these things to the eleven, and to all the rest.” (Luke 24:1-9 Webster)

“39 but he answered and said to them, an evil and adulterous generation seeketh for a sign, and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 for as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly: so shall the son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth {sheol/hell}. ” (Matthew 12:39-40 Webster)

“23 him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of god, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: 24 whom god hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be held by it. 25 for David speaketh concerning him, I saw the lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: 26 therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also, my flesh shall rest in hope: 27 because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thy holy one to see corruption: 28 thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou wilt make me full of joy with thy countenance. 29 men, brethren, let me freely speak to you concerning the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us to this day. 30 therefore being a prophet, and knowing that god had sworn to him with an oath, that from the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; 31 he seeing this before, spoke of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither did his flesh see corruption. 32 this Jesus hath god raised up, of which we all are witnesses. 33 therefore being by the right hand of god exalted, and having received from the father the promise of the holy spirit, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. 34 for David did not ascend into the heavens, but he saith himself, the LORD said to my lord, sit thou on my right hand, 35 until I make thy foes thy footstool. 36 therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that god hath made that same Jesus whom ye have crucified, both lord and Christ.” (Acts 2:23-36 Webster)

“3 concerning his son Jesus Christ our lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh. 4 and declared [to be] the son of god, with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:” (Romans 1:3-4 Webster)

“1  moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also ye have received, and in which ye stand; 2 by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached to you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 for I delivered to you first of all, that which I also received, that Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures; 4 and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 5 and that he was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve: 6 after that he was seen by above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain to this present, but some have fallen asleep. 7 after that he was seen by James; then by all the apostles. 8 and last of all he was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time. 9 for I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of god.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-9 Webster)

“3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulcher. 4 so they ran both together: and the other disciple outran Peter, and came first to the sepulcher. 5 and he stooping down, saw the linen cloths lying; yet he went not in. 6 then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulcher, and seeth the linen cloths lying; 7 and the napkin that was about his head, not lying with the linen cloths, but wrapped together in a place by itself. 8 then went in also that other disciple who came first to the sepulcher, and he saw, and believed. 9 for as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.” (John 20:3-9 Webster)

“11  but Mary stood without at the sepulcher weeping: and as she wept she stooped down [to look] into the sepulcher, 12 and seeth two angels in white, sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13 and they say to her, woman, why weepest thou? she saith to them, because they have taken away my lord, and I know not where they have laid him. 14 and when she had thus said, she turned herself about, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus saith to her, woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? she, supposing him to be the gardener, saith to him, sir, if thou hast borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. 16 Jesus saith to her, Mary. she turned herself, and saith to him, Rabboni, which is to say, master. 17 Jesus saith to her, touch me not: for I have not yet ascended to my father: but go to my brethren, and say to them, I ascend to my father and your father, and [to] my god and your god. 18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the lord, and [that] he had spoken these things to her.” (John 20:11-18 Webster)

“28  ye have heard that I said to you, I go away, and come [again] to you. if ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go to the father: for my father is greater than I. 29 and now I have told you before it cometh to pass, that when it hath come to pass, ye may believe. 30 hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. 31 but that the world may know that I love the father; and as the father gave me commandment, even so I do. arise, let us go hence.” (John 14:28-31 Webster)

“25 these things have I spoken to you in proverbs: but the time cometh when I shall no more speak to you in proverbs, but I shall show you plainly concerning the father. 26 at that day ye will ask in my name: and I say not to you, that I will pray the father for you: 27 for the father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came from god.
28  I came forth from the father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the father.” (John 16:25-28 Webster)

“13 and no man hath ascended to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, [even] the son of man who is in heaven. 14 and as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the son of man be lifted up: 15 that whoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:13-15 Webster)

“15 I pray not that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil. 16 they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
17  sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 18 as thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 19 and for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified through the truth.” (John 17:15-19 Webster)

“19  then the same day at evening, being the first [day] of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and saith to them, peace [be] to you. 20 and when he had so said, he showed to them [his] hands and his side. then were the disciples glad when they saw the lord. 21 then said Jesus to them again, peace [be] to you: as [my] father hath sent me, even so I send you.” (John 20:19-21 Webster)

“1  the spirit of the lord GOD [is] upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to publish good tidings to the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound; 2 to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our god; to comfort all that mourn; 3 to appoint to them that mourn in Zion, to give to them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:1-3 Webster)

“search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” (John 5:39 Webster)

“the LORD thy god will raise up to thee a prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like to me; to him ye shall hearken.” (Deuteronomy 18:15 Webster)

“18 and Jesus came, and spoke to them, saying, all power is given to me in heaven and upon earth. 19 go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father, and of the son, and of the holy spirit. 20 teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, [even] to the end of the world. amen.” (Matthew 28:18-20 Webster)

“1  thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 and the things that thou hast heard from me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:1-2 Webster)

“hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard from me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 1:13 Webster)

“24 but Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 the other disciples therefore said to him, we have seen the lord. but he said to them, except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
26  and after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: [then] came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, peace [be] to you. 27 then saith he to Thomas, reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust [it] into my side; and be not faithless, but believing. 28 and Thomas answered and said to him, my lord and my god. 29 Jesus saith to him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed [are] they that have not seen, and [yet] have believed.” (John 20:24-29 Webster)

“(for we walk by faith, not by sight:)” (2 Corinthians 5:7 Webster)

“8 whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see [him] not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory: 9 receiving the end of your faith, [even] the salvation of [your] souls.
10  concerning which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace [that should come] to you: 11 searching what, or what manner of time the spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 12 to whom it was revealed, that not to themselves, but to us they ministered the things which are now reported to you by them that have preached the gospel to you, with the holy spirit sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.” (1 Peter 1:8-12 Webster)

“and when she had thus said, she turned herself about, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.” (John 20:14 Webster)

“and as they were thus speaking, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith to them, peace [be] to you.” (Luke 24:36 Webster)

“43 and he took [it], and ate before them. 44 and he said to them, these [are] the words which I spoke to 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 he opened their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, 46 and said to 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 are endued with power from on high.
50  and he led them out as far as to Bethany: and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. 51 and it came to pass, while he was blessing them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. 52 and they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: 53 and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing god. amen.” (Luke 24:43-53 Webster)

“19  so then after the lord had spoken to them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of god. 20 and they went forth, and preached every where, the lord working with [them], and confirming the word with signs following. amen.” (Mark 16:19-20 Webster)

“30 moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
31  what shall we then say to these things? if god [is] for us, who [can be] against us? 32 he that spared not his own son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33 who will lay any thing to the charge of god’s elect? [it is] god that justifieth: 34 who [is] he that condemneth? [it is] Christ that died, or rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of god, who also maketh intercession for us. 35 who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 as it is written, for thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 but in all these things we are more than conquerors, through him that loved us. 38 for I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 nor hight, nor depth, nor any other creature, will be able to separate us from the love of god which is in Christ Jesus our lord.” (Romans 8:30-39 Webster)

*

Preceding:

Death of Christ on the day of preparation

Imprisonment and execution of Jesus Christ

For the Will of Him who is greater than Jesus

 On the first day for matzah

Servant for the truth of God

The Anointed One and the first day of No Fermentation

In other languages:

German version / Deutsch: Nach der Sabbat nach dem Passahfest, die Auferstehung von Jesus Christus

+

Please also do find:
  1. Servant of his Father
  2. Slave for people and God
  3. Jesus begotten Son of God #18 Believing in inhuman or human person
  4. The Seed Of The Woman Bruised
  5. Self inflicted misery #3 A man given to suffer for us
  6. Jesus begotten Son of God #20 Before and After
  7. Anointing of Christ as Prophetic Rehearsal of the Burial rites
  8. On the Nature of Christ
  9. Jesus begotten Son of God #4 Promised Prophet and Saviour
  10. Deliverance and establishement of a theocracy
  11. The son of David and the first day of the feast of unleavened bread
  12. 14 Nisan a day to remember #1 Inception
  13. 14 Nisan a day to remember #2 Time of Jesus
  14. 14 Nisan a day to remember #3 Before the Passover-feast
  15. 14 Nisan a day to remember #4 A Lamb slain
  16. 14 Nisan a day to remember #5 The Day to celebrate
  17. 14-15 Nisan and Easter
  18. Around the feast of Unleavened Bread
  19. A Holy week in remembrance of the Blood of life
  20. High Holidays not only for Israel
  21. Festival of Freedom and persecutions
  22. Timely Growth
  23. A Messiah to die
  24. Impaled until death overtook him
  25. Swedish theologian finds historical proof Jesus did not die on a cross
  26. Why 20 Nations Are Defending the Crucifix in Europe
  27. Christ having glory
  28. Kingdom Visions of a Man, Throne and Great crowd
  29. Salvation, trust and action in Jesus #3 as a Christian
  30. Self inflicted misery #6 Paying by death
  31. How are the dead?

  32. Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ
  33. The Soul confronted with Death
  34. How is it that Christ pleased God so perfectly?
  35. A Living Faith #8 Change
  36. Let me keeep to “first importance” things
  37. Jesus begotten Son of God #2 Christmas and pagan rites
  38. A Great Gift commemorated
  39. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  40. Jesus is risen

  41. Risen With Him

+++

  • The Significance of the Resurrection – Jesus Arose Where He Died (darrellcreswell.wordpress.com)
    Death is an all encompassing word, powerful by definition, feared by most, yet totally incapacitated by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Blood of Christ revives our spirit, restores our inheritance, and renews our life. In Christ our rebirth is a great resuscitation that overcomes and redefines death; opening the pathway to an eternity with our Redeemer.
  • The Resurrection of Jesus X 4 (thisisrealmedia.com)
    There is no greater story than the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  It is the story that means the most to all Christians.  It is the story of a wonderful redeemer, who loved mankind enough to die for us.
  • The Power of His Resurrection (zionsgate.wordpress.com)
    We would all have loved to be there on the road to Emmaus that day, walking with the resurrected Jesus himself as he detailed the different prophecies that concerned his death and resurrection. Still, the apostles and other New Testament writers do a good job of filling us in. The Old Testament is filled with prophecies and types of Jesus’ suffering and death and resurrection as payment for the sins of the world, and the New Testament points those out.
  • The Glory of Easter Part 2 (thepuritaninprada.wordpress.com)
    “The happy ending of the Resurrection is so enormous that it swallows up even the sorrow of the Cross.” – Tim Keller
    +
    The Resurrection is not a consolation for suffering, the Resurrection is not even a removal of suffering, the Resurrection swallows suffering.” –  Tim Keller – The Hope of Glory
    +

    Christ swallowed our suffering and it became a part of him and made him greater. And this is the Glory of the Cross, it shows that everything that you have ever been through will only make you greater in the end.  It means all your sorrows, pains, heartbreaks, disappointments, injustices, suffering, agony will somehow only make you greater in the end through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. That’s a defeat!

  • The Resurrection of Jesus Christ (jlue.wordpress.com)
    For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.
  • -Re: Easter and The Resurrection of Jesus Christ (answersforthefaith.com)
    On my Apologetica page I have posted links to two timely short but excellent articles and one video on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and Easter:

    <-On Easter and The Resurrection of Jesus >

    Then on my Bible Q& A page I have listed a number of key questions and answers for the Easter season:

    <-Easter Questions and Answers>

  • Holy Trifecta: Good Friday, Passover, Resurrection Sunday (rightistblog.wordpress.com)
    This weekend, Christians around the world will gather to remember the death and rejoice in the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Over two thousand years ago, Christ died on the cross at Calvary as the payment for the sins of all people.  He was placed in the tomb, and three days later, conquered death and rose from the dead!  This weekend, as we gather with our families and loved ones, let us not forget what Christ’s triumph over death means: everlasting life for all those who believe.
  • When Was Jesus Crucified? (verse4psalm37.wordpress.com)
    I’m convinced that Christ was in the tomb three days and three nights.  To begin with, a day on the Hebrew calendar is from sundown to sundown (Genesis 1: 5), while a day on the Gregorian calendar is from midnight to midnight.  So the Last Supper/Passover meal was held after sundown (Tuesday on the Gregorian calendar; Wednesday on the Hebrew calendar.)   Jesus died on the cross at 3 p.m.  Wednesday.  He was placed in the tomb before sundown because the following day was a special Sabbath, the first day of the  Feast of Unleavened Bread.  Therefore, Christ was in the grave Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  He arose from the dead before dawn on the first day of the week (Sunday).  (For a timeline, click on http://www.centuryone.com).
  • Even Resurrection Pauses For Sabbath Rest (godspace.wordpress.com)
    Even resurrection pauses for Sabbath rest, in the Episcopal Relief and Development Lenten guide this morning, that today, for the Jews is indeed the sabbath day. This full day of Jesus time in the grave is the day into which all their hope and longing for the future is poured. A day to look forward with anticipation to the day when God does indeed make all things news.
  • “The Resurrection” (bradneel610.wordpress.com)
    Jesus really did die on the cross for our sins, was buried, and three days later rose.

    I’m so thankful that my hope and joy does not rest in an Easter bunny. But a risen King.

  • Pesach

    I imagine that the death of Jesus was still sad in heaven even though they knew the whole plan. Suffering is sorrowful. I don’t really know what was happening while Jesus was dead so I won’t try to guess here.

Position and power

History of Christianity

1. The early days of Christianity

1.1.       Considered as a danger

1.1.1.  Position and power

The founder of the Christianity, Jesus from Nazareth, the Christ, prayed that between his followers could exist unity (John 17:21), and the apostles really tried to keep the unity of the Christian municipality (1 Corinthians 1:10; Jude 17-19), but already in the first century false teachings entered Christianity.

The fact, that the Christians were a closely united body, fresh, vigorous, hopeful, and daily increasing, while the heathen were for the most part a loose aggregation, daily diminishing, made the true prospective strength of the church much greater. But they remained strongly surrounded by all kinds of several pagan belief forms and popular activities which could be sometimes very tempting.

With the years going by, the Christians came to stand for all sorts of trials and persecution.  As the first disciples they draw consolation and encouragement from their meetings.  Consequently the apostle[1] Paul wrote to the Hebrews 10:24, 25: “let us keep paying attention to one another, in order to spur each other on to love and good deeds, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as you see the day approaching.” Those words are much more than a command to come and remain together. They provide a through God inspired standard that counts for all Christian assemblies— and actually for each occasion that Christians come together.

The apostles had been aware that dispute in the belief could lead to vehemently, discord and even enmity. (Acts of the Apostles 23:7-10) The apostles and early inspired men of the first century defended the Christian faith in two ways: verbally (Acts 22.1, Philippians 1.7, 16, 2 Timotheüs 4.16) and by means of literature (1 Corinthians 9.3).
Already in their time the apostles had to warn the followers of Christ for false teachers and wrong teachings which slowly entered the faith already n the first century.

the Conversion of Saul on the road to Damascus...

Conversion of Saul (Paul) on the road to Damascus

The apostle John refutes misconceptions of how to live godly in the face of the docetic-gnostic teachers infiltrating the church (1 John 2.1). “For many deceivers have entered into the world, who confess not that Yahshua the Messiah has come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” (2 John 1:7 KJBPNV) “Because a number of false teachers have gone out into the world, who do not give witness that Jesus Christ came in the flesh. Such a one is a false teacher and Antichrist.” (2 John 1:7 BBE)

Peter writes: “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who secretly shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.” (2 Peter 2:1 KJBPNV) “Especially those who follow their old natures in lust for filth and who despise authority. Presumptuous and self-willed, these false teachers do not tremble at insulting angelic beings;” (2 Peter 2:10 CJB)

No one of genuine concern wants to be wrong on what the Bible teaches. Therefore we must be cautious and ready to see all the biblical evidence as slowly or quickly as it is analyzed. In principle, it is what we find in Paul’s instruction to the Thessalonians: “Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesying. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 KJBPNV)

Abiding in the words of the Gospel (John 8.31-32) we must be patient, hoping to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, and let the scriptural facts reveal themselves on their own terms. Some early Christians were lacking that patience and found it not pleasant to give up their old customs. They then became attracted by those who found that it did not matter so much to love so strictly.

As long as the apostles lived, they protected the municipality. The history shows that the early Christians were not concerned by the political matters of the Roman Realm and that they had no prominent class of clergymen. Instead they were all diligent proclaimers of Gods kingdom. To the end of the first century, they had given testimony in all parts of the Roman Realm and had made disciples in Asia, Europe and North-Africa. (Colossians 1:23). These performances in the preaching meant however not that it was not longer necessarily to remain spiritually watchful. Jesus predicted coming lay yet far in the future.

Sects had to be avoided, since they belonged to the works of the meat (Galatians 5:19-21). Christians were admonished to promote no sects neither to let them self bring on a wrong track by false teachers (Acts of the Apostles 20:28; 2 Timothy 2:17, 18; 2 Peter 2:1). In his letter to Titus the apostle Paul commanded that a man who after a first and a second serious admonition continued to promote a sect, had to become rejected, what apparently meant that he must become rejected from the municipality (Titus 3:10). Those who refused to become involved by the causing of disunion within the municipality or by the supporting of a particular party, would distinct themselves through their faithful walk and give a token to own Gods approval. This was what Paul apparently meant when he said to the Corinthians: “For there must be also factions or sects among you, that they that are approved may be made manifest among you.” (1 Corinthians 11:19).

The Christians kept high principles of morality and probity, and with fiery diligence made the message of hope known. Thousands left Judaism and accepted Christianity (Acts 2:41; 4:4; 6:7). In the eyes of the Jewish religious leaders Jesus’ followers were unfaithful or apostate.  (Acts of the Apostles 13:45.) These furious leaders were of opinion that Christianity annulled their traditions. Yes, it denied even the view that they had on heathen! From 36 C. T. a heathens could become Christian and believe and hope in the same privileges as Jewish Christians. (Acts 10:34, 35).

Because of their high morality beginnings and the holding fast on to their belief conviction on more than one issue superior the Christians in the Roman world became not loved. Their separateness of the world (Johannes 15:19) triggered aversion. They did not take up political office and refused military service. As consequence of this they “became proposed as men that were dead for the world, and useless for all matters of life”, according to the historian August Neander. Not being part of the world, meant also to avoid the godless ways of the Roman world. “The small Christian-communities disturbed the pleasure making pagan world with their piety and decency”, explains the historian Will Durant (1 Petrus 4:3, 4). By pursuing and bringing the Christians before court perhaps the Romans tried to bring well the tormenting voice of the conscience till silence.

Extent of the Roman Empire from 133 BC unto 117 AD

Extent of the Roman Empire from 133 BCT unto 117 CT

The first-century Christians preached the good news of God’s kingdom with unshakable diligence (Matthew 24:14). About 60 C. T. Paul could say that the good news’ was preached in whole the creation that under the heaven is ‘(Colossians 1:23). At the end of the first century, Jesus’ followers had made supporters and disciples in the whole Roman Realm — in Asia, Europe and Africa! Even some members of “the house of Caesar” became Christians (Philippians 4:22). This diligent preaching woke resentment.  Neander says:’ Christianity steadily progressed under lay men from all forms of population and threatened to bring the state religion to fall.’ You can imagine how considerably important it really could be to let men infiltrate to let bring them on other thoughts.

Jesus’ followers offered Jehovah exclusive devotion (Matthew 4:8-10). Perhaps this aspect of their adoration brought them more than what else in conflict with Rome. The Romans were tolerant to other religions, as long as their supporters also participated at the emperor adoration. The early Christians normally could not participate at such adoration. They looked at themselves as people, that were due account at an authority that was higher, than that of the Roman state, namely Jehovah God (Acts 5:29). As a consequence of this a Christian became, though he was further in such a way in all respects such an exemplary citizen, considered as an enemy of the state.

There was yet another reason, about which faithful Christians in the Roman world became “objects of hatred”: Common backbiting over them was believed stylus, accusations, for which the Jewish religious leaders were in not small extent responsible, (Acts 17:5-8). About 60 or 61 C. T., when Paul waited in Rome for his trial by emperor Nero, prominent Jews said over Christians: “Really, what concerns this sect, it is us known that she experiences everywhere arguments” (Acts 28:22). Nero would certainly have heard defamatory stories over them. In 64 C. T. he chose, when he was held responsible for the fire that Rome afflicted, according to reports to use the already everywhere slandered Christians as scapegoats. This appears to have brought on a wave of violent persecution that had as target to exterminate the Christians.[2]

The false accusations that were brought in against the Christians were often based on a mixture of straight lies and a twist of their belief views. Because they were monotheistic and not adored the emperors, they were labelled as atheists. Because some non-Christian family members revolted with their Christian family members, they became accused to disrupt their family (Matthew 10:21). They were constituted for cannibals, an accusation that was based according to some sources on a twisting of the words that Jesus had uttered during the Last Supper. (Matthew 26:26-28).

Towards the end of Nero’s reign the Christians were required, under the heaviest penalties, even that of death, to offer sacrifices to the emperor and to the heathen gods. After the death of Nero the persecution ceased, and the followers of Jesus enjoyed comparative peace until the reign of Domitian, an emperor little behind Nero in wickedness.

The dispersion of the Jews, and the total destruction of their city and temple in 70 C.T., are the next events of consideration in the remainder of the first century. The numbers that perished under Vespasian in the country, and under Titus in the city, from A.D. 67-70, by famine, internal factions, and the Roman sword, were one million three hundred and fifty thousand four hundred and sixty, besides one hundred thousand sold into slavery.[3]

Domitian,” says Eusebius, the father of ecclesiastical history, “having exercised his cruelty against many, and unjustly slain no small number of noble and illustrious men at Rome, and having, without cause, punished vast numbers of honourable men with exile and the confiscation of their property, at length established himself as the successor of Nero in his hatred and hostility to God.”[4] He also followed Nero in deifying himself. He commanded his own statue to be worshipped as a god, revived the law of treason, and surrounded himself with spies and informers to bring a second persecution of the Christians.

Christianity, in spite of Roman emperors, and Roman prisons, and Roman executions, pursued its silent steady course. In little more than seventy years after the death of Christ, it had made such rapid progress in some places as to threaten the downfall of paganism.

Artemis Apollon Herakles

Artemis Apollon Herakles

Christians got the hatred of pagan worshippers on their neck. As the making of small silver temples of the goddess Artemis was a profitable business in the old Ephesus. But when Paul preached over there, a considerable number Ephesians reacted positively to his preaching and turned for this purpose their back to the adoration of Artemis. Now their trade was threatened, caused the silver blacksmith a tumult (Acts 19:24-41).  Something similar did happen after Christianity had expanded itself until Bithynia (now Northwest-Turkey). Not long after the Christian Greek Writings were finished, the ruler of Bithynia, Pliny the Younger, informed that pagan temples became left and the sale of feed for offering animals drastically collapsed. The Christians were blamed — and were prosecuted — because in their adoration there was no place for animal offerings and idols (Hebrew 10:1-9; 1 Johannes 5:21). It is clear that the spread of Christianity practiced influence on particular established interests connected with pagan adoration, and, those who as consequence of this lost as well trade as earnings, fumed about this.

By the progress of Christianity the temporal interests of a great number of persons were seriously affected. This was a fruitful and bitter source of persecution. The heathen temples became more and more deserted, the worship of the gods was neglected, and victims for sacrifices were rarely purchased. This naturally raised a popular cry against Christianity, such as the one at Ephesus: “This, our craft is in danger to be set at nought, and the temple of the great goddess Diana to be despised.”

goddess of hunting

Diana goddess of hunting

A countless throng of priests, image-makers, dealers, soothsayers, augurs, and artisans, found good livings in connection with the worship of so many deities. All these, seeing their craft in danger, rose up in united strength against the Christians, and sought by every means to arrest the progress of Christianity. The cunning priests and the artful soothsayers easily persuaded the vulgar, and the public mind in general, that all the calamities, wars, tempests, and diseases that afflicted mankind, were sent upon them by the angry gods, because the Christians who despised their authority were everywhere tolerated.[5] They invented and disseminated the vilest calumnies against everything Christian and laid many and grievous complaints against the Christians before the governors. This was especially so in the Asiatic provinces where Christianity was most prevalent.The First Christians naturally withdrew themselves from the pagans and became a separate and distinct people and held their meetings secretly. They could not but condemn and abhor polytheism, as utterly opposed to the one living and true God, and to the gospel of His Son Jesus Christ; this gave the Romans the idea that Christians were unfriendly to the human race, seeing they condemned all religions but their own. Hence they were called “Atheists,” because they did not believe in the heathen deities, and derided the heathen worship.[6] But that confinement of that pagan population seemed not always even easy.


[1] “apostle” signifies one “sent forth.”

[2] In the month of July A.D. 64 a great fire broke out in the Circus, which continued to spread until it laid in ruins all the ancient grandeur of the imperial city. The flames extended with great rapidity, and Rome being a city of long narrow streets, and of hills and valleys, the fire gathered force from the winds, and soon became a general conflagration. In a short time the whole city seemed wrapped in one sheet of burning flame.

[3] Dean Milman’s History of the Jews, vol. 2, book 16, page 380

[4] Roman History, Encyclopedia Britannica, vol. 19, page 406

[5] Mosheim’s Ecclesiastical History, vol. 1, page 67. Cave’s Primitive Christianity; early chapters

[6] Christian worship, in true simplicity, without the aid of temples and priests, rites and ceremonies, is not much better understood now by professing Christendom than it was then by pagan Rome. Still it is true Today a lot of name Christians want also to see priests in special clothes and services with offerrings, incense and symbols in temples or special church buildings. Instead of knowing that “God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24)

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