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Posts tagged ‘Gospel’

All human teaching passes away

 

Divine, Ever-Living, Unchanging

But the word of the Lord endureth for ever.
And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
~ 1 Peter 1:25 ~

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All human teaching and, indeed, all human beings shall pass away as the grass of the meadow; but we are here assured that the Word of the Lord is of a very different character, for it shall endure forever.

We have here a divine gospel; for what word can endure forever but that which is spoken by the eternal God?

We have here an ever-living gospel, as full of vitality as when it first came from the lips of God; as strong to convince and convert, to regenerate and console, to sustain and sanctify as ever it was in its first days of wonder-working.

We have an unchanging gospel which is not today green grass and tomorrow dry hay but always the abiding truth of the immutable Jehovah. Opinions alter, but truth certified by God can no more change than the God who uttered it.

Here, then, we have a gospel to rejoice in, a word of the Lord upon which we may lean all our weight. “For ever” includes life, death, judgment, and eternity. Glory be to God in Christ Jesus for everlasting consolation. Feed on the word today and all the days of thy life.

~ C. H. Spurgeon

This set of images was gathered by User:Dcoetz...

Charles Spurgeon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Signs of the the last days when difficult times will come

 

“The prudent sees the evil and hides himself, But the naive go on, and are punished for it.” (Proverbs 22:3 NAS)

“1  But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; and avoid such men as these.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5 NAS)

“But evil men and impostors will proceed [from bad] to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:13 NAS)

“3  Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with [their] mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For [ever] since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.”” (2 Peter 3:3-4 NAS)

“Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless,” (2 Peter 3:14 NAS)

“17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard lest, being carried away by the error of unprincipled men, you fall from your own steadfastness, 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him [be] the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” (2 Peter 3:17-18 NAS)

“And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what [will be] the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”” (Matthew 24:3 NAS)

“”For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.” (Matthew 24:7 NAS)

“10 “And at that time many will fall away and will deliver up one another and hate one another. 11 “And many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many. 12 “And because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. 13 “But the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved. 14 “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come. 15 “Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains;” (Matthew 24:10-16 NAS)

“for then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall.” (Matthew 24:21 NAS)

“30 and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. 31 “And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.” (Matthew 24:30-31 NAS)

“33 even so you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, [right] at the door. 34 “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” (Matthew 24:33-34 NAS)

“37 “For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. 38 “For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, they were marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so shall the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 “Then there shall be two men in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left. 41 “Two women [will be] grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left.” (Matthew 24:37-41 NAS)

“45 “Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 “Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. 47 “Truly I say to you, that he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48 “But if that evil slave says in his heart, ‘My master is not coming for a long time,’ 49 and shall begin to beat his fellow slaves and eat and drink with drunkards; 50 the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect [him] and at an hour which he does not know, 51 and shall cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites; weeping shall be there and the gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 24:45-51 NAS)

“31  “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 “And all the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats;” (Matthew 25:31-32 NAS)

“3 And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew were questioning Him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things be, and what [will be] the sign when all these things are going to be fulfilled?”” (Mark 13:3-4 NAS)

“”For nation will arise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will [also] be famines. These things are [merely] the beginning of birth pangs.” (Mark 13:8 NAS)

“”And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations.” (Mark 13:10 NAS)

“21 “And then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ’; or, ‘Behold, [He is] there’; do not believe [him;] 22 for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order, if possible, to lead the elect astray.” (Mark 13:21-22 NAS)

“”Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” (Mark 13:30 NAS)

“32 “But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father [alone.] 33 “Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the [appointed] time is.” (Mark 13:32-33 NAS)

“5  And while some were talking about the temple, that it was adorned with beautiful stones and votive gifts, He said, 6 “[As for] these things which you are looking at, the days will come in which there will not be left one stone upon another which will not be torn down.” 7 And they questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, when therefore will these things be? And what [will be] the sign when these things are about to take place?”” (Luke 21:5-7 NAS)

“11 and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. 12 “But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name’s sake. 13 “It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony. 14 “So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; 15 for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute. 16 “But you will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put [some] of you to death, 17 and you will be hated by all on account of My name.” (Luke 21:11-17 NAS)

“”But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is at hand.” (Luke 21:20 NAS)

“”And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves,” (Luke 21:25 NAS)

“31 “Even so you, too, when you see these things happening, recognize that the kingdom of God is near. 32 “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all things take place. 33 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. 34 “Be on guard, that your hearts may not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day come on you suddenly like a trap; 35 for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth. 36 “But keep on the alert at all times, praying in order that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”” (Luke 21:31-36 NAS)

“He established the earth upon its foundations, So that it will not totter forever and ever.” (Psalms 104:5 NAS)

“A generation goes and a generation comes, But the earth remains forever.” (Ecclesiastes 1:4 NAS)

“teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”” (Matthew 28:20 NAS)

“The righteous will inherit the land, And dwell in it forever.” (Psalms 37:29 NAS)

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 NAS)

“29 Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, 30 but that he shall receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.” (Mark 10:29-30 NAS)

“3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to [obtain] an inheritance [which is] imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:3-5 NAS)

“The end of all things is at hand; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober [spirit] for the purpose of prayer.” (1 Peter 4:7 NAS)

“so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.” (1 Thessalonians 5:6 NAS)

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File:54 Mark’s Gospel R. predictions and warnings image 2 of 2. predictions of the end-time. Borcht.png

Predictions of the end-time. Borcht. In the Bowyer Bible in Bolton Museum, England. Print 3900. From “An Illustrated Commentary on the Gospel of Mark” by Phillip Medhurst. Section R. predictions and warnings. Mark 13:1-37.

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Back from gone #2 Aim of godly people

Overcoming feelings of anxiety

Knowing that we have a heavenly Father who loves and cares for us is a vital step in overcoming feelings of anxiety. True, it may take time to build this trust, but many have found that doing so really helps.

“When Jehovah became my Father, I finally had someone to whom I could express my inner feelings,”

says Caroline.

“This brought me so much relief!”

“Jehovah is the one who helped me to feel secure when I was left all alone without my parents,”

recalls Rachel.

“I could talk to him and ask him to help me with my problems. And he did help me.”

Those who are taken by fear by what is going on in this world should listen to Jesus. Jesus urged us to get to know his Father,

“the only true God.” (John 17:3)

“He is not far off from each one of us,”

the apostle Paul assures us. (Acts 17:27)

“Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you,”

wrote James. (James 4:8.)

Not too much giving attention to differences and worrying about the future

Jesus warned his followers to stop being anxious about their lives. (Matthew 6:25.) And wanted them to go out into the world without hesitation to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of God. The disciples of Christ did not have to keep moaning about the bad situation there was under the Romans. They also did not have to go on about those who did not want to believe in God or preferred to believe other things than they. But they had to show others what was written in the Word of God.

Many hoped that rabbi Jeshua was the promised Messiah who was going to liberate them from the Roman oppression. Some even thought this would have to be done by fighting. To their surprise this Jew taught them about peace and about not taking up the weapons against those who were against them.

Jesus asked them also not to worry so much about their future on this earth. Though it can be called normal and proper to be concerned about our material needs and the welfare of our loved ones. (Philippians 2:20) But when Jesus said,

“never be anxious,”

he was advising his followers to avoid undue worry — an excessive fear of tomorrow that can take the joy out of living today.(Matthew 6:31, 34.) Jesus also gave a compelling reason for avoiding undue anxiety: It is pointless.

“Who of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his life span?”

asked Jesus. (Matthew 6:27) Focusing on our worries will not extend our life by even a fraction of a second, let alone improve it. Besides, things often do not turn out as we feared. One scholar put it this way:

“Worry about the future is wasted effort, and the future of reality is seldom as bad as the future of our fears.”

Avoiding anxiety

Jesus gave several life lessons in his parables. We should listen to them and take into account about what they are. They talk about a hidden future, which is not of this system of times. In this present times we shall come to see signs, which should warn us about a much more important future coming than the future that keeps people busy.

When we have to live in this world we should always remember who made all things around us and should trust in that Divine Maker God. We can not escape living in this world but that does not mean we do have to be off this world. We should recognise that it is the God of gods Who provides food for birds and clothes flowers with beauty and that it is Him Who also will provide the necessities of life for humans who make His worship a priority in their life. (Matthew 6:25, 26, 28-30)

Today lots of people are anxious about the amount of refugees coming into their country. Lots of Christians but also non-believers are afraid those refugees will bring an Islamisation into Europe or our Western nations. But why are they so afraid? In case enough people would really believe in the One True God, they should not have to worry. The opposite, in case they have such a strong feeling about their true religion and about their true God they should trust in that God Who will make them strong enough to use them for the calling of the others. In case the Christians would really follow the teachings of Christ then they would believe in the Only One True God, the God of Abraham, Who is Allah and the same God of Jews and Muslims. When they would follow the teachings of Christ Jesus, as real Christians should do, they would be preachers of the Word of God, bringing the Gospel all over the world. Then they could call those refugees why Jesus is so important in our lives and why we should get to know him more and better. Because Jesus is the Way. Jesus is the Way to God and the Way to life.

Jehovah God is the living God, the Fountain of life, Who has no beginning or end of existence (Jer 10:10; Da 6:20, 26; Joh 6:57; 2Co 3:3; 6:16; 1Th 1:9; 1Ti 1:17; Ps 36:9; Jer 17:13) who has sent His son to the world to show God’s creatures the Way to life. The apostle John quotes Jesus as saying:

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

Those who believe in God and His sent one should not be full of fear for people coming to their nations or having Muslims teaching their faith.  They should know that God has given His promises to Abraham, David, Jesus and Jesus his followers that

“the creation itself also will be set free from enslavement to corruption and have the glorious freedom of the children of God.” (Romans 8:14-23)

The prophetic vision of Revelation 21:1-4 points to the time of “a new heaven” and “a new earth” and gives the promise that then

“death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore.”

Since this promise is given, not to spirit creatures, but specifically to “mankind,” it gives assurance that a new earthly society of humankind living under the “new heaven” will experience restoration of mind and body to fullness of health and everlasting life as earthly “children of God.”

Therefore we do have something positive to look for. But as long as we live in this system of things, we do have to take one day at a time.

“Never be anxious about the next day,”

said Jesus,

“for the next day will have its own anxieties.”

Would you not agree that

“each day has enough of its own troubles”? (Matthew 6:34.)

By heeding Jesus’ wise advice, we can spare ourselves physical harm. More than that, we will find an inner calm—what the Bible calls “the peace of God.” (Philippians 4:6, 7.)

Way of life

Many have become afraid that Muslims would take away their life chances. But man should not fear other men, but fear God and remember what God’s Words tells us.

Jehovah, the Fountain of life, has revealed the way of life through his Word of truth. The Lord Jesus Christ

“shed light upon life and incorruption through the good news.” (2 Timothy 1:10)

He told his disciples:

“It is the spirit that is life-giving; the flesh is of no use at all. The sayings that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.”

A little later Jesus asked his apostles whether they were going to leave him, as others had. Peter replied:

“Lord, whom shall we go away to? You have sayings of everlasting life.” (John 6:63, 66-68)

The apostle John called Jesus “the word of life,” and said:

“By means of him was life.” (1 John 1:1, 2; John 1:4.)

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Preceding: Back from gone #1 Aim of ungodly people

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

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Additional reading

  1. Fear knocked at the door
  2. Securing risks
  3. Dealing with worries in our lives
  4. Bad things no punishment from God
  5. Some one or something to fear #1 Many sorts of fear
  6. Some one or something to fear #3 Cases, folks and outing
  7. When discouraged facing opposition
  8. In Defense of the truth
  9. Why is it that Christians don’t understand Muslims and Muslims do not understand Christians?
  10. Patriarch Abraham, Muslims, Christians and the son of God
  11. The truth is very plain to see and God can be clearly seen
  12. Creator and Blogger God 9 A Blog of a Book 3 Blog about Prophecy
  13. A concrete picture of what is to come in the future
  14. Aligned
  15. A small trouble is like a pebble
  16. Fearing the right person
  17. Time for global change
  18. Come ye yourselves apart … and rest awhile (Mark 6:31)
  19. You God hold the future
  20. Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God
  21. Jesus begotten Son of God #7 A matter of the Future
  22. Faith, hope and love abide
  23. Bible a guide – Bijbel als gids
  24. The Bible is a today book
  25. Coming to the end of the year
  26. Finish each day and be done with it
  27. Look for today
  28. Rejoicing in the day
  29. God Feeds The Birds
  30. Give your worries to God
  31. Happy is the person who knows what to remember of the past
  32. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  33. So it will be on the day when …
  34. Miracles of revelation and of providence 1 Golden Thread and Revelation
  35. End Times
  36. Man’s plans prevailed by God’s purpose

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Further reading

  1. The “Mass Shootings Map” Propaganda Should Convince You to Carry At All Times
  2. San Bernardino latest in series of U.S. mass shootings since 2012
  3. Tragedy, politicians and the media
  4. Turkey pokes the Russian Bear The grand coalition against ISIS is growing to include Germany along with France, while Turkey pokes the Russian Bear
  5. Could God Be Against Us?
  6. Thoughts about saints and suffering in the Last Days (Letter to Lighthouse Trails)
  7. 7.5 magnitude earthquake strikes remote region of Peruvian jungle
  8. Cooking Was Not Fun Because It Was Survival | Ileana Johnson – Freedom Outpost
  9. It’s too late now
  10. Gasping For Air
  11. Anxiety and Drafts
  12. Anxiety Looms Above The Mind Making A Fuss Out Of Nothing, by Drem (blog post)
  13. When You Feel Like Giving Up
  14. Exit Strategy End Times: ” Awake to the twilight of God’s seeking.”
  15. Holy Hell…This Sh*& Is Real
  16. Gray Areas
  17. Mind Full v Mindful: some thoughts on mindfulness
  18. Day 115- Could Cognitive Dissonance play a part in my procrastination?
  19. What a joy it is
  20. Joy in the morning
  21. Which spiritual teachings/religions lead to enlightenment or God

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Different approach in organisation of services #3

Radio calls and booklets

Today the Jehovah Witnesses are the biggest known Bible Student Group in Belgium. At first they could find Bible Students groups associating with them and start growing from the previous preparations of those groups. But they too had to see members leaving them.

Français : Jumet (Charleroi - Belgique) - Chap...

Français : Jumet (Charleroi – Belgique) – Chapelle Notre Dame de Heigne (XIIe siècle) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As result of the broadcastings in the mid 20° century, in French and sponsored by the Brethren of Dawn from the U.S; 3 Belgian families were interested in the Present Truth. It was Brother Armand Lechien who got in touch with Brother Félix Pilarski through the mail service of Radio Luxemburg: Brother Félix aimed him towards Jumet. These 3 families left the movement they were members of (the Jehovah Witnesses) because they thought the teachings they heard were not in harmony

with the Scriptures. The Polish-Belgian Brother and Sister Wlodarski had got French brethren and sisters in their circles and found more brethren from the French Association des étudiants de la Bible coming more and more frequently to serve the Word of God (brother François Wozniak, Kosmalski A. Liszka, T. Kubiak, J., Osorowski S.,TF et Ed. Pilarski, Speil, a few from Saint Etienne and many others …..); the family Kula, their younger daughter and one son attended the meetings, in the following years just like in France, pilgrim brethren came from the United States and later from Poland.

Courcelles coal mine ” 6 périer ” Souvret

The families – Armand et Louise Lechien – Ernest et Helena Duchateau –  Edmond et Jeanne Henrioule decided to have meetings during the week (on Wednesday and Thursday) to study the Figures of the Tabernacle. With their agreement, the families Wlodarski and Kula joined them. The studies were held in two languages with the help of a translator (2 languages were spoken French and Polish).

Brother Félix Pilarski and other brethren worked a lot for these meetings because they spoke French perfectly.
Brother Félix Pilarski made a handsome contribution to the development of the meeting of Courcelles with edifying biblical discourses and his visits. He was also personally active in the country of Liège and in Brussels where he had a deposit of booklets. Other brethren also paid many visits; among them we can mention Brother Joseph Wozniak, Adolphe Debski, and others.
After Brother Ernest Duchateau died suddenly, meetings continued for some time. When Brother Lechien died after a quite long disease, we could see a repetitive thing around the house churches, the ecclesia of Courcelles disappeared in the mid 70’s.

Former town hall of Jumet, where the film “Why did He come to earth?” of the Bible Students was given.

On October 24th 1987, the ecclesia of Jumet organised two projections of the film “Why did He come to earth?” in the community City Hall of Charleroi. Those shows were announced with advertising: posters in public places, advertising in the city with loudspeakers, spots on local newspapers radio and TV, display on electronic screens, distribution of leaflets.
More than hundred persons attended these film projections. Leaflets and tracts were given to the participants but only few asked for further information and other booklets.

Soothed to sleep with man’s talk

Very soon in history the majority in Christendom went running after the false teachers. The myths were more pleasing to the ear than the actual truth. They were soothed to sleep with it. Early on the Brothers, as true followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, were in the minority. Their faith of the true gospel was of ‘origin’ pure, by the human impurities it was swung back and forth by the years gone.

In Belgium and the Netherlands remained Bible Faithful following Jesus’ command and continued preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God.
The first nor the second world war had kept them from it, even though many of them were anxiously looking forward to the action of the two warring camps, because they were against fighting, and because they adhered to a faith that was not liked by anyone.

That Jesus and his apostles spoke about the news that there would be established a Kingdom on earth, that would be ruled by Jesus Christ and in which the faithful of all ages would have a place alongside their Lord: i.e. as co-rulers, this sounded obviously not fine in the ears for them (the German Fuehrer wished to be the only ruler). But the cheerful message for humanity survived now the fight under people and brought unprecedented peace in some families.

The doctrine of Christ’s reign on earth was first treated as highly symbolic, gradually became labelled as a very questionable and useless thought and was ultimately rejected as an absurd invention of heresy and fanaticism.
God’s light happily extinguishes not; it is an eternal flame. The people of Israel in ancient times also reached detritus. They even served other gods. Nevertheless, there remain at this time believers in the One God and history now could repeat itself. Faithful to God those bible students wanted to share their findings and in spite the continuous opposition dared to go against the most popular doctrine of men.

Getting a base in Holland

After attempts from the Netherlands were made to bring Truth to England (in the 16th Century) and having a flight of truth seekers to the New World in the 19th century, now letters of truth seekers from the New World could again send truth to Europe.

The teachings of Elias Smith and John Thomas now, the time was ripe, an opportunity was given to a ‘resurgence‘ of Bible Faithful. They also found their way across the ocean and in all English-speaking countries they could find a foothold.

Through the centuries, the Gospel of God’s Kingdom, which was preached by Jesus and the apostles, showed a dynamic force which has all the opposition of powerful religious groups defied and still serves as the sole basis of faith for those who want to search God.

Website of the Brothers in Christ or Christadelphians in the Netherlands - Website van de Nedrlandse Broeders in Christus

Website of the Brothers in Christ or Christadelphians in the Netherlands – Website van de Nedrlandse Broeders in Christus

In 1956 in the Netherlands finally the group of Brothers in Christ could get solid and communities as “de Broeders in Christus“, arose in Den Haag (The Hague), Amersfoort, Ede and Groningen.

From 1957 officially recognised, seeing it as our duty to our Lord to make his name known among the people in our area, as well as among other nations, they made work of it to go around billing leaflets. They kept their focus on the Bible as the source of all knowledge and followed the guiding principle of the word of our Lord, “Freely ye have received, freely give.” They also began to spread the magazine “Met Open Bijbel” (With Open Bible) of which Rudolf Rijkeboer was the driving force.

Vanishing interest

It clearly appeared that after the ‘golden age’ with the children boom and citizens of Belgium having their life becoming better, the interest for the biblical message of Truth is vanishing with time passing on.
The Bible Students saw their number of members in ecclesiae decreasing.The visiting brethren and sisters from the Christadelphian Bible Mission (CBM) for 25 years made regular visits to put leaflets and pamphlets in the postboxes. Their short visits trying to get people on the street interested in the works of Christ and in the promises of God, did not work out. At the time (early 21° Century) they wanted to give it all up and several Christadelphians left Holland to return to England or to go to Australia.
At the end of the 20° Century some Bible Students with ex-Jehovah Witnesses formed the Vrije Christenen or Free Christians. In that movement was also the non-trinitarian Baptist Marcus Ampe very active. Even before he himself became a Christadelphian he had already brought others to the Christadelphian faith. In Flemish Brabant and in Hainaut, plus on the net, with him, again an effort was made to bring the Good News of the coming Kingdom.
The Belfry in Mons

The Belfry in Mons, one of the meeting places of the Free Belgian Christadelphians

Last year brother Marcus tried to get several Bible Student groups together, but failed because of their will to have a certain power and the will to keep everything in control themselves. Plus some, like our confrères which we ourselves could not get over the bend to join the other Christadelphians in Belgium, made it impossible to have the different bible Students exchanging ideas, meeting sessions and information about their where-about and working. For our Australian brothers, of the Australian Bible Students, the CBM members were not close enough in following the teachings of brother Dr. John Thomas and mixing with the too loose teachings would dilute the whole system (they thought).

The man from the North and his organisation, have most of the Bible Students (except the JW) living in Belgian. But they resisted in giving the addresses of their ecclesiae in Oostende, Gent, (Brussels) and Antwerp. this made that the few but very active Christadelphians from Brussels, Leuven and Mons, could not meet with more Christadelphians in Belgium.
We too had to face the difficulty of bringing people together in peace and where confronted with a loss in our ranks, but our invitation is still open to join as members of the Body of Christ, united in the love of Christ.
We are convinced that our preaching work is important and that even when we do not reach so many people in Belgium, we do hope we can reach some others far away from us. We do hope that our voice may also sound in the darkness and bring some light to people we do not know, but who we do hope to meet in the Kingdom of God. We look forward to meet many new faces, happy to be under the Guidance of the Lord and not bounded by single people, but constructed on the cornerstone Jesus Christ.
Though we may have a different approach in organisation of services we do believe we all should go for the same truth and for the unification under Christ, by which each group might have a different name, but is willing to be united in spirit, sharing to build up and construct positively working to help each other entering the gate of the coming Kingdom.
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Preceding articles:
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Please do find out more about the Christadelphians and find further related articles:

  1. Not all christians are followers of a Greco-Roman culture
  2. Two new encyclopaedic articles
  3. Who are the Christadelphians
  4. What are Brothers in Christ
  5. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  6. Christadelphian people
  7. Christadelphians or Messianic Christians or Messianic Jews
  8. About the Belgian Free Christadelphians
  9. What Christadelphians teach
  10. Small churches of the few Christadelphians
  11. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  12. 19° Century London Christadelphians
  13. Breathing and growing with no heir
  14. Commitment to Christian unity
  15.  Parts of the body of Christ
  16. What part of the Body am I?
  17. The Church, Body of Christ and remnant Israel synonymous
  18. United people under Christ
  19. Fellowship
  20. The Ecclesia
  21. The Ecclesia in the churchsystem
  22. The ecclesia or Christadelphian church
  23. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  24. Our ecclesia or Christadelphian-church
  25. Intentions of an Ecclesia
  26. An ecclesia in your neighbourhood
  27. Communion and day of worship
  28. Christadelphians today
  29. Small churches of the few Christadelphians
  30. Who Celebrates Easter as Religious Holiday
  31. Eostre, Easter, White god, chocolate eggs, Easter bunnies and metaphorical resurrection
  32. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  33. Harvest in Belgium
  34. Building up the spirit of the soul
  35. No reconciliation possible between CBM and Duncan Heaster from Carelinks
  36. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  37. Change of name
  38. Quibbling siblings united or allied children of an organisation or a church
  39. Small churches of the few Christadelphians

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Nazarene Acts of the Apostles Chapter 1

THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES

[The history of the first three decades of the Christian Church]

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Acts 1:1-5 – A Second Account to Theophilus

AC1:1
In my first record, {1 Luke means his Gospel which ends with words that begin below in Acts, indicating

they could be a single volume. Luke was a Jewish physician and therefore educated. He has been
described in two primary ways: a] “the theologian of joy” for he uses such related words often, occurring
over 40 times in his two books; and, b] “the most accurate historian of ancient times.” His record in Acts
has been examined closely for over a century and a half by trained and scholarly archaeologists. It has
been found to be accurate in every sense.} O Theophilus, {2 See Luke 1:1. His name means “Loved By God” or “Friend of God.”} I wrote concerning everything that Jesus did and taught, from the very beginning,
AC1:2
until that day when he was received up,{3 Or, taken up, day of his ascension. Such was foretold by Daniel 7:13. The Greek is

ANELEMPHTHE [Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #353, raise] and related to similar words that occur at Luke 17:34, 35; John 14:3; Acts 1:11, 22} after he had given orders to the apostles {4 The words of Matthew 28:18-20 and Luke 24:44-49 apply directly to the eleven apostles.} he had chosen by means of the holy Pneuma. {5 Or, Spirit. The word occurs 60 times as just “spirit” and 40 times as “holy spirit.” For details onthe subject see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000© on 1 Corinthians 2:16. In English the word “spirit”has taken on a strong form indicating a person or ghost. The Greek is not so limiting and literal means breath or wind, an invisible pressure or force.}
 AC1:3
After he had suffered [and died], Jesus showed himselfalive to his apostles by many irrefutable proofs, {6 The Greek TEKMERIOS [Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #5039, infallible] is also rendered: positive proofs [KIT], infallible proofs

[KJV], convincing manifestations [MON], sure tokens [RHM], sure proofs [WEY], convincing proofs [NAS], convincing demonstrations [AMP]. Compare notes on John 21:1 and Acts 10:40.} becoming visible to them throughout forty days, {7 Or, manifest, showed, presented, being seen, manifest. This is the only place where the length of the Nazarene’s post-resurrection period with his disciples is mentioned. Pentecost means “Fifty” and occurs that many days after Passover. Thus, there were about ten days between Christ’s ascension and Pentecost. It is during this period that the events of Daniel 7:13, 14 and Revelation chapter 5 take place.} during which he spoke to them about the Kingdom of The God. {8 As other Bible writers, Luke most often uses the designation “The God” [TOU THEOU, TON THEON, HO THEOS].
AC1:4
Now while eating with them he gave them instructions not to depart from Jerusalem, but “to wait for the promise of the Father that I told you about.
AC1:5
For John immersed in water, but you [apostles] will be immersed in the holy Pneuma {9 Compare Matthew 3:11 and Mark 1:8.} only days from now.”

Acts 1:6-11 – The Ascension

AC1:6
So when the apostles had gathered, {10 Some think this in the mountain s near Galilee. [Matthew 28:16] Others, the Mount of Olives. [Acts 1:12]} they asked Jesus, “Master, {11 Luke uses the designation “Master” [KYRIE] more often than any other writer, over 90 times. He uses the designation for both “The God” and Christ. When used of the Nazarene it is always “Master.”} are you restoring the Kingdom to Israel now?” {12 The Kingdom was never to be restored to Israel as Jesus said it would be taken from them. [Matthew 21:43] The apostles ask in error as they do as Matthew 24:3.}
 AC1:7
However, Jesus answered them: “It is not for you [apostles] to know times or seasons {13 Or, KIT: times and appointed times; WMS: times and dates; MOF: periods of time; NAS: times and epochs. Jesus had told his apostles that no one could know the time of his Return. [Matthew 24:36; Mark 13:32] The Nazarene warned that any who preached, “the time is at hand,” were not to be followed. [Luke 21:8]} which the Father has fixed within His own authority.
AC1:8
However, you [apostles] will receive power when the holy Pneuma comes upon you. {14 The word “power” comes from the Greek DYNAMIN. The thrust of the word here means authority. The holy PNEUMA is the mental force of God’s mind that exerts a pressure on the object of His will. See notes on 1 Corinthians 2:16. Compare the results at Acts 4:33 and elsewhere.} Also, you [apostles] will be my witnesses {15 Christian disciples are often called Jesus’ witnesses. [Revelation 17:6]} through Jerusalem, in all of Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” {16 There are three divisions here: Judea, Samaria, and the non-Jewish world. The Nazarene told Peter he would give to him the “keys of the kingdom” and in the case of the Jews, the Samaritans, and the Non-Jews, it is Peter who initiates the Gospel with these three groups. [Acts 8:14; 10:24] Daniel 9:25-27 suggests that the “Jews first” would have a seven year period of special grace during which the Gospel was present solely to them. [Matthew 10:6; 15:24] This period covered 29-36 AD, following which the non-Jews were then giving the invitation. Compare notes on Matthew 22:1-14. It is thought by some that many of the apostles departed Jerusalem

before the year 66 and went to distant lands, including England and India. Peter himself writes from Babylon. [1 Peter 5:13}

AC1:9
Now when Jesus had said these things – just as they were watching – he began to ascend and a cloud took him up [Daniel 7:13] out of their sight. {17 Or, KJV: he was taken up, a cloud received him out of their sight; TCN: caught up; RSV: lifted up.  It is the cloud in the sky that finally obscures the Master from the vision of the apostles. It is likely the reference to the cloud is an allusion to Daniel 7:13 which foretold the ascension to heaven of someone “like a son of humankind.”}

 AC1:10
While Jesus was ascending {18 Or, KJV: as he went up; NOR: his departure. This is likely that moment described in Revelation 12:5.} – and the apostles were watching skyward – suddenly two humans in white robes stood beside them. {19 Or, men, males. Angels that materialized are often called “men.” That is, they appeared in a human-like form. Compare Genesis 18:1f. In these cases regarding the resurrection and ascension it is not the word ANTHROPOS which may mean a human in general, but ANDROS, meaning precisely a male. [Luke 24:4] In Mark 16:5 this is a “young man” [NEANISKON].}
 AC1:11
These said to the apostles: “Men of Galilee, {20 It should be noted that the eleven apostles were all from Galilee. This comes up again at Acts 2:7.} why do you standing watching toward the sky? {21 Or, heaven. If the apostles had understood Daniel 7:13 at this moment they would not have lingered watching the skies wondering what was going to happen.} This same Jesus, {22 Or, this Jesus. This is the Risen Master now in a spirit-like body. [1 Corinthians 15:40-50; 1 Peter 3:18] The former, fleshly body sacrificed on the Tree, has been accepted by God and used as a sin-offering. [Compare the notes on Hebrews 13:11, 12.] “This Jesus” is the one who will return at his Parousia. [John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17]} who is departing from you into the sky, {23 Or, heaven. The Hebrew and Greek for “heaven” may be used of the atmosphere or Sky. [Note Genesis 1:8, 20; Revelation 14:6]} will return in the same manner as you watched him ascend into the sky.” {24 How did “this Jesus”

depart? It was visibly, until a cloud caught him from beneath out of the sight of the apostles. If this was like a film rewound backward, “this Jesus” would be seen visibly coming on the clouds, and so Jesus foretold. [Matthew 24:30, 31] In 1 Thessalonians 4:17 Christ appears in the “air.” In Revelation 11:12, 13 the raptured Saints are seen by their enemies as they ascend in clouds. [Note: some apply Zechariah 14:4, 5, and its mention of the Mount of Olives, as a reference to the Return of Christ as Yehowah’s representative.]}

Acts 1:12-14 – The Waiting Apostles

AC1:12
Now when the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives {25 Whether this means Jesus ascended

from the Mount of Olives, or the apostles had paused there on their trip from Galilee, is a subject for personal choice.} – which is close to Jerusalem (about a Sabbath’s days distance) –
AC1:13
as they entered the city, they went into a room upstairs {26 Possibly the same place where the Master’s Supper was first observed. Some think this part of the home of John Mark’s mother. [Acts 12:12]} where they were staying. [These included] Peter, John, James, {27 Peter appears about 50 times but vanishes after Acts 15:7. The apostle John is named about a dozen times and then disappears after Acts 12:2. The apostle James is martyred at Acts 12:2. The apostle Andrew is only mentioned here, as are the other apostles. The apostles as a group did not leave Jerusalem when persecution broke out at Acts 8:1. However, after Acts 16:23 they disappear as a group. Indeed, following that it is “James [the disciple] and the elders” who seem in authority. It is possible the apostles dispersed to widespread areas to further the Gospel.} Andrew, Philip, Thomas,
Bartholomew, Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James.
AC1:14
All of these apostles were continually in devotional prayers {28 Or, KJV: with one accord; GDS: devoting themselves to; BER: engaged constantly and with one mind in prayer. This would be for about a weeklong period during which the apostles were obedient to Jesus and stayed put until they should receive the holy Pneuma.} along with certain women, {29 Only one is named, the mother of Jesus, but it is possible that it would include about a half dozen of those particular women who are mentioned in association with Jesus. [Luke 8:1-4] This would bring the group to about 18, or 22 including the Master’s brothers.} including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his [fleshly] brothers. {30 Jesus had four named brothers who were not his disciples during his lifetime. [Matthew 13:55; John 7:5] It I likely the resurrection of Jesus had a powerful affect on them. [1Corinthians 15:7] One in particular, James, becomes something of a presiding elder within the Church.

[Acts 12:17; 15:13; 21:18; Galatians 1:19; 2:9, 12] He also writes the epistle named after him. [James 1:1] This James is mentioned by the 1st Century Jewish historian Josephus, who reports, “[The high priest] convened the judges of the Sanhedrin and brought before them a man named James, the brother of Jesus who was called the Christ, and certain others. He accused them of having transgressed the law and delivered them up to be stoned.” [Jewish Antiquities, XX, 200 (ix, 1)]}

Acts 1:15-22 – The Replacement of an Overseer

AC1:15
Now during those days, Peter rose in the midst of the brothers {31 Still during this period of about a week, there is a conference to select a replacement for the apostle Judas Iscariot. The whole group was “about one hundred and twenty.” It is not likely they met in the previously mentioned upper room but in some other location. During the ministry of Jesus he had appointed twelve apostles and seventy special envoys. This would number 82, perhaps the bulk of those present at the conference. No women are mentioned as being present on this occasion, and judging from the agenda of the meeting, it is unlikely female disciples shared in this decision.} – the crowd was about one hundred and twenty in the same place – and he said:
AC1:16
“Men, brothers, {32 The Greek here is ANDRES, ADELPHOI, and means “males, brothers.” It indicates Paul is addressing only men. Though sometimes the designation “brothers” may include Christian women, never does ANDRES also include women. Compare Acts 2:29, 37 where a similar address includes only men.} it was necessary for the Scripture to be fulfilled {33 Formerly lacking in understanding of the Scriptures, Peter now shows a new comprehension, likely because of inspiration, for prophetic texts.} that the holy Pneuma foretold through David concerning Judas – who was the one who guided those who arrested Jesus –
AC1:17
for he had been numbered among us [apostles] and had received a portion of this [apostolic] ministry.”
AC1:18
(Now this person {34 Luke injects an editorial comment of his own to clarify certain background matters.} had gotten possession of a field from his unrighteous payment – he himself had fallen headfirst and when his belly burst open his
intestines spilled out of him –
AC1:19
[and this field] became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so the field was called in their own language “Akeldamai,” that is, “Field of Blood.”
AC1:20
This was so because it had been written in the book of Psalms: “Let his place of dwelling become desolate, and let no one come to live there.” [Psalm 69:25] And again, “Let another receive his office of overseer.” [Psalm 109:8]
AC1:21
“So it is necessary that from among the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Master Jesus went in and went out among us –
AC1:22
beginning from John’s baptism until that day when Jesus was received up from us – one of these men must become a witness with us regarding the resurrection.”

Acts 1:23-26 – The Choice of Matthias

AC1:23
So they put forward two men – Joseph, the one called Barsabbas, and Matthias.
AC1:24
Then they prayed: “YHWH, {35 Or, Lord. It is possible the Tetragram originally occurred here.} You know the hearts of everyone. Reveal whom You chose of these two
AC1:25
to take the place of this ministry and apostleship from which Judas abandoned to follow his own course.”
AC1:26
Then they cast lots regarding the two, {36 The 120 male disciples were equally divided on two qualified men. This could have led to an early division in their midst. The apostolic solution will seem strange to some, but it likely represents the stated principle of Proverbs 16:33, “The lot is thrown into the lap, but every judgment belongs to YHWH.” The Hebrews and Jews were used to the lot for the Urim and Thummim of the Israelites’ high priest wore a pocket in his priestly apron in which there were divine lots. [Compare Exodus 28:30 MOF; Numbers 27:21]} and the lot fell upon Matthias, {37 According to the divine choosing, Matthias became the twelfth apostle, replacing Judas. Likely the Twelve had to be present at the outpouring of the Spirit as the Congregation or Temple was founded. [Ephesians 2:21, 22] Though some think Paul the replacement apostle there is no direct indication of such.} so he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

*

Nazarene Commentary 2000©
21st Century Version of the Christian Scriptures© [NCMM]
Mark Heber Miller
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Ministry of the Apostles, a complex multi-figu...

Ministry of the Apostles, a complex multi-figure icon with a full-height image of Jesus Christ, surrounded by sectors with scenes of His disciples’ calling, ministry and martyrdom. Icon from the Yaroslavl Museum Preserve. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Please do find also to read:

About Breath:

  1. Fragments from the Book of Job #6: chapters 38-42
  2. Creator and Blogger God 2 Image and likeness

Pentecost:

  1. Seven full weeks or seven completed Sabbaths and ascension of Jesus
  2. First Century of Christianity 1. The early days of Christianity
  3. Is it wise to annul the Pentecostweekend

Ascension of Christ:

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

Holy Spirit or Pneuma:

  1. Did the Inspirator exist
  2. The radiance of God’s glory and the counsellor
  3. Christ begotten through the power of the Holy Spirit
  4. Jesus begotten Son of God #19 Compromising fact
  5. No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation
  6. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
  7. Christ having glory
  8. True riches
  9. Followers with deepening
  10. The Great Trinity Debate > Groot Drie-eenheidsdebat
  11. How do trinitarians equate divine nature
  12. The Soul not a ghost
  13. Speaking in tongues
  14. Pope Francis I on the Holy Spirit
  15. Know Who goes with us and don’t try to control life
  16. The manager and Word of God

+++

  • There were more than twelve apostles? What does it take to be an apostle? (newtheologicalmovement.blogspot.com)
    St. Barnabas is honored in the Church and in the Scriptures as an apostle. While not one of the twelve, he is given this title (together with St. Paul) in Acts 14:13 – The apostles Barnabas and Paul.
    +
    Solemnity of Pentecost > Were the Apostles confirmed at Pentecost?
    +
    Why was Matthias chosen by lots?
    If Matthias was selected in this manner, the critic might ask, “Why does the Church not employ this means in our own day for the selection of bishops?” The answer to this question reveals just how necessary Pentecost was.
  • The Ascension of the Lord – Part 1 (friarmusings.wordpress.com)
    Acts tells how Jesus’ disciples received his Holy Spirit and continued his work after he ascended into heaven. Much of Acts is a travelogue, following the Christian missionaries, especially Paul, as they spread God’s word  outward from Jerusalem. Similarly, Luke’s Gospel had put a unique stress on Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51 to the end of the book.)
    +
    In the development of the church from a Jewish Christian origin in Jerusalem, with its roots in Jewish religious tradition, to a series of Christian communities among the Gentiles of the Roman empire, Luke perceives the action of God in history laying open the heart of all humanity to the divine message of salvation. His approach to the history of the church is motivated by his theological interests. His history of the apostolic church is the story of a Spirit-guided community and a Spirit-guided spread of the Word of God (Acts 1:8). The travels of Peter and Paul are in reality the travels of the Word of God as it spreads from Jerusalem, the city of destiny for Jesus, to Rome, the capital of the civilized world of Luke’s day.
  • Names of the Holy Spirit (amenalways3.wordpress.com)
    Taken together this list of names reveals an amazing amount of information about the Holy Spirit. The first time He is mentioned in the Bible occurs in Genesis 1:2, and the last time is Revelation 19:10. Thus, the work of the Holy Spirit spans the entire Bible, from creation to the final redemption of God’s people.
  • The Resurrection of Jesus, Did it happen? By Brendan Byrne (deisespirit.wordpress.com)
    In light of our contemporary society it makes the question, did Jesus rise from the dead? A more valid question.
  • This is the Day (cbcirwin.wordpress.com)
    In killing God’s Son the religious leaders of Israel fulfilled the predestined plan of God. They were rejecting the very stone that would become the chief cornerstone. When Peter addressed the rulers and elders of Israel, he explained that Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead…He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the very cornerstone. (Acts 4:10,11) Israel’s rejection was prophesied and it opened the door of salvation for the Gentiles. Paul addressed the issue this way, “But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles.” (Rom 11:1)
  • Ebionites and Nazarenes: Tracking the Original Followers of Jesus (repostingforislam.wordpress.com)
    According to the book of Acts, which comes late in the 1st century, the followers of Jesus were called, or perhaps called themselves, “the Way” (Acts 9:2; 19:9, 23; 24:14, 22). The term “Christian” or “Christians” is mentioned twice, but presented as a newly minted designation, probably coming from outsiders, as the movement spread north to Antioch of Syria (Acts 11:26; 26:28). It is surely surprising for many to realize that the term “Christian” only occurs one other time in the entire New Testament, in one of our latest sources (1 Peter 4:16). This is, however, the name that apparently stuck as it shows up in our earliest Roman sources mentioning the movement, namely Suetonius, Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, Lucian, and Galen (see texts here.). It is a Greek name, not a Hebrew or Aramaic one, but unfortunately the English term veils what was likely the more original connotation of the term, which would translate roughly as something like “Messianist.”There is, however, a reference in the book of Acts to a Hebrew name for the Jesus movement that might have well been its earliest formal appellation. Paul, on trial before the Roman governer Felix, is referred to as being “the ring leader of the sect of the Nazarenes” (Acts 24:5). Whether this term was used by “outsiders” to label the group, or within the movement itself, is difficult to know. Associated with the term “Nazarenes” is a second Hebrew designation, namely Ebionites, that was also apparently used for the earliest mostly-Jewish followers of Jesus.This Ebionite/Nazarene movement was made up of mostly Jewish followers of John the Baptizer and later Jesus, who were concentrated in Palestine and surrounding regions and led by “James the Just” (the oldest brother of Jesus), and flourished between the years 30-80 C.E. Non-Jews were certainly part of the mix but the dominant ethos of the group was an adherence to what Paul calls ioudaizein–to live according to Jewish law (Galatians 2:14). They were zealous for the Torah and continued to observe the mitzvot (commandments) as enlightened by their Rabbi and Teacher. The non-Jews in their midst were apparently expected to follow some version of the Noachide Laws (Acts 15: 28-29). The term Ebionite (from Hebrew ‘Evyonim) means “Poor Ones” and was perhaps related to the teachings of Jesus: “Blessed are you Poor Ones, for yours is the Kingdom of God” based on Isaiah 66:2 and other related texts that address a remnant group of faithful ones. I am convinced that Nazarene comes from the Hebrew word Netzer (drawn from Isaiah 11:1) and means “a Branch”—so the Nazarenes were the “Branchites” or followers of the one they believed to be the Branch–that is the Davidic Messiah. It is often confused with a completely different word,  Nazirite or Nazir, that refers to individuals, male or female, not a group, who took on a special vow based on Numbers 6. The two terms can sound alike in English are spelled differently in Hebrew.
    > Ebionites & Nazarenes: Tracking the Original Followers of Jesus
    Like the group behind the sectarian writings of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the earliest followers of Jesus, apparently, did not use a dominant self-identifying label but preferred a variety of descriptive terms. Paul’s letters are our earliest sources, dating to the 50s CE, and he never “names” his followers or the movement as a whole, but uses phrases like “the believers” or those “in Christ” (1 Thessalonians 1:7, 2:10; 1 Corinthians 14:22; Romans 16: 3, 7, 9; 1 Thessalonians 4:16).
  • “Nazarene Judaism” rebrands Jesus Christ according to their counterfeit gospel (revisionistreview.blogspot.com)
    Jesus didn’t free anyone from the Torah of Yahweh. True. He freed them from the spurious “Torah sheBeal Peh” of the man-made traditions of Babylon as encoded in the Mishnah, Gemara, Mishneh Torah, Shulchan Aruch, Tanya, Zohar etc. ad nauseum.
    +
    Jesus, Mary and the apostles were all Jews, so where is the anti-Jewish discourse? To the extent that first century Jews rejected the clear evidence that Jesus was the Moshiach (Messiah-Christ of Israel), they bore guilt for His crucifixion. The generations bearing that guilt are long dead, having largely perished in the Roman assaults on Jerusalem in 70 and 135 A.D.  Today the guilt for denying the doctrine and resurrection of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, is endemic not to people but to ideology, wherein is counseled rebellion against God; more specifically, in the continuation of the wicked ideology of the Pharisees, in the form of contemporary Orthodox Judaism.
  • Tongues of Fire and the Fullness of God (fbcpadenok.wordpress.com)
    The power promised by Jesus in Acts 1:8 and Luke 24:49 is an extraordinary power.
    +
    This promise that the disciples would receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them (Acts 1:8) and that they would be clothed with power from on high (Luke 24:49) was a promise given to sustain the completion of world evangelization, and all the ministry that supports it.
  • Information, Revelation and Application (pastorkeithhodges.wordpress.com)
    The word of God is the foundation for all true preaching. Our goal is never to express an idea or a thought, our goal is to teach and preach the Word of God.
    +
    The word of God is alive, it speaks not only about what was happening but what is happening, this is the revelation of scripture. The quickened word that specifically addresses the issues of our day and the conditions of the hearts of men.
  • When were the gospels written? (winteryknight.wordpress.com)
    the Acts of the Apostles (which post-dates Luke’s gospel) does not mention the destruction of the temple in AD 70, nor the death of Peter or Paul, nor for that matter the persecution of Christian martyrs under Nero in the 60?s or the Great Fire of Rome from which it resulted. If such events had already taken place by the time Luke wrote Acts, one would expect to find a pertaining description. But, instead, Acts leaves us hanging, by ending after Paul has been placed under house-arrest.

A Society pleading poverty

It is incredible how many people can get enthusiast to do the work Jesus had asked from them. All those who call themselves Christian should go out in the world and preach the Gospel of the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God. Though we are afraid we can not find many Christians bringing that Good News worldwide. But it is also wrong of the Jehovah Witnesses to think they are the only ones who bear witness. We do agree the other groups, like Mormons, Abrahamic Faith, Church of God people and Biblestudents and Christadelphians are minority groups. But they also try to bring the Word of God to as many places as they can. Those groups are by a lot of people considered to be sects or cults, because they do not adhere to the mainstream believe.

Politics and acceptance

In the world it can go very strange with ideas about those preaching groups. As soon as one of the groups becomes more powerful or has something to offer politicly it can be changed. For example the Baptists in Belgium are a sect or cult according to the State committee about sects, while in the United States they are one of the mainstream churches. The Mormon Church in Belgium and the United States are also mentioned under the list of sects. But recently the Billy Graham group threw his support behind Mitt Romney due to his clear support of biblical values of marriage and opposition to abortion and lots of Americans suddenly do not consider the Mormons a cult but the best Christian value. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association seems to find Mormons being Christians like they are, and a group they do not need to evangelize, while the others are non-trinitarian and therefore not Christian and in high need to get to know Christ. The only thing is that they forget that they themselves are not following Christ Jesus as it should and that they believe other values than thought in the Holy Scriptures, the Book of books which Bible Sudents,  Jehovah Witnesses, Christadelphians, Church of Abrahamic Faith and others like Messianic Jews take as the Book to follow.

Jehovah's Witnesses House Bratislava

Jehovah’s Witnesses House Bratislava (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today we can not only see hiding the light of the Gospel under a bushel in the name of politics, some groups do not mind bringing cover-up policy, like the Roman Catholic Church and the Jehovah Witnesses about the paedophilia acts of their preachers. The ongoing ‘accidents’ and ‘files being lost’ in the court case of the archbishopric Mechelen and the diocese Bruges show clearly how politics and Roman Catholic Church are still interwoven in the jurisdiction system of Belgium, though the last few years the Roman Catholic Church had to give the power over the country to the Banks. The Witnesses kept all the time quiet about the matters that went wrong between youngsters and people in charge of certain Kingdomhalls.

Sanctity of life and love

The sanctity of life is extremely imperative to our foundation of love and creation and the last few years many so called Christian organisations are making a joke out of it. The main motivating factor to do missions or to proclaim the Word of God needs to be love. This love in-comprehends the respect to others, also other believers. But those who want to proclaim the Word of God do also have to live according this Word of God. They should be an example for all people, believers and non-believers. They also should be honest to all people, believers and non-believers. It can not be that they would fool their own believers and do wrong to their own congregation. But this is what we have seen happening the last few years with the Roman Catholic Church and by the Jehovah Witnesses.

Energy, time and money spend

The apostle Paul may perhaps have written that he suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, but that does not mean that the church or organisation should take as much as they can from their followers because they should count it as of no value and have to consider any worldly material as rubbish.

Photos by Patrick Dove/Standard-TimesSan Angelo members of the Jehovah's Witnesses faith walk into a new Kingdom Hall built on Pullium Street across from the Shannon Health System's St. John's Campus. The new building can hold both English- and Spanish-speaking services at the same time.

San Angelo members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses faith walk into a new Kingdom Hall built on Pullium Street across from the Shannon Health System’s St. John’s Campus. The new building can hold both English- and Spanish-speaking services at the same time. – Photo by Patrick Dove/Standard-Times

For years the people who followed the Watchtower Society gave all of their best to the Society with the idea they where giving everything for the Work of God. And yes it is good that we can give to the work of God, and we should do that. But when we give our time and money to an organisation to do the work of God, they have to value it and make good use of it. Lots of Jehovah Witnesses have been motivated by love, when they did their preaching work. From door to door they went and offered leaflets and Watchtower brochures to the people to whom they could talk to. Several did it for many years without regretting the work they do or did. Others you can see at their faces  or at their customary uniform clothing that they are not so interested any more and that it has become a burden. With other organisations mostly the people quit if things get tough, but we must say that those Jehovah Witnesses, no matter what happens, continue in their ardent task of telling others about the end times.

A heart for work

The church is the tool God uses to push his good news into every hidden corner of the planet to shine his glorious light and God uses many people all over the world to do His job on earth. those who can do such work in love of the Almighty should be pleased to do it. Organisations who can have enough people willing to join the work should be glad and thank God for them.

“Do You Have ‘a Heart for Working’?” has been asked worldwide at the three-day conventions of the Jehovah Witnesses.

Nehemiah made many sacrifices to see that the walls in Jerusalem were rebuilt and the gates remade so as to give God’s restored people a secure future. There is an article regularly featured in the Watchtower magazine entitled “Learn from God’s Word.” It helps others and the faithful to deepen their knowledge of God, His Will and purpose.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, (Colossians 3:23) is written in the Holy Scriptures, so many Christians do their work for their church heartily as though they were doing it for the Lord and not merely for people. So the work should be done not by mere force and necessity, grudgingly, and with murmurings, but from the heart, and with good will, having a true, real, and hearty affection for their masters, having their good and interest at heart, and a delight in their service; like the Hebrew servant, that loved his master, as also his wife and children, and therefore would not depart from him, see Exodus 21:5.

Christian empires

As such many people also devote their time for their organisation to build up a congregation. Over the years the Watch Tower Society could build up, like the Roman Catholic Church did in previous centuries, a great empire. They managed to buy lots of grounds and buildings. All over the world the organisation did find enthusiast hands who could construct in a few days time a new Kingdom Hall. Often they are able to build a Kingdom Hall in less than three weeks, thanks to hundreds of volunteers who descended on the work site as part of the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Regional Building Committee. People come from all parts of the country, working with members of the local congregations. It is great to see them at work and to see them so organised. People that have registered with the Regional Building Committee are put into a database according to what department they would work in. Like roofing, concrete, trimming, painting, the kitchen, electrical, plumbing, bricklaying, welding, everything is notated, registered and taken care off by volunteers. to clear such huge projects in such a short time it would cost a lot of money.  Here for those projects it are all the people of the congregation and others who voluntary give money and time to the organisation so that it may grow. and it has grown enormously.

Assets

Strangely enough, the organisation pretends now that it has not enough assets to help out on those in affliction because certain things went wrong at certain of their congregations.

For more than 70 years, the Watch Tower Society has prided itself on its clean legal record, although this has now collapsed in dramatic fashion after a jury at the Alameda County Superior Court found Jehovah’s Witnesses legally responsible for the sexual abuse of Candace Conti, who suffered repeated molestation at the hands of a member of her congregation when only nine years old. Candace Conti, now 26 and living in Stockton, is one of the rare courageous girls who dared to take legal action against the organisation. As in many other cases the congregation and the Watchtower Society concealed the important information from her parents. In showing such shocking negligence, a jury has found that the Fremont elders were acting under the Watch Tower Society’s instructions. The elders failed to report these incidents to the authorities, or warn parents in the congregation.

The Watch Tower Society has therefore been held to account for the abuse suffered by Candace, and has been ordered to pay millions of dollars both in compensation and punitive damages. Compensatory damages of $7 million have been awarded, of which the Society must pay 40%. A further $21 million is due to be paid by the Society in punitive damages. On its official website, the Society has announced it will appeal this decision. It is feared that such an appeal will potentially drag the case out over a considerable period.

Attitude taken

Worse is also the attitude the organisation further takes.

Like in the Roman Catholic Church the than still Cardinal Ratzinger in 2001 issued a secret Vatican edict to Catholic bishops all over the world, instructing them to put the Church’s interests ahead of child safety the Watchtower Society have seem to have like to do the same way, not loving God’s people but loving more the organisation structure and income.

In a remarkable twist, on June 20th Judge Robert D. McGuinnes ruled that the real estate assets of the Watch Tower Society were to be effectively frozen pending the outcome of the Society’s appeal against the judgement. This would mean that, for a considerable period, the Watch Tower Society would be powerless to buy, sell or exchange property without first seeking the permission of the court in Alameda. It is estimated that the total value of the Watch Tower Society’s remaining Brooklyn property portfolio alone is a staggering 1 Billion dollars.

The Watch Tower Society has been ordered to pay millions in damages for their part in the abuse suffered by Candace Conti (pictured) – Photo jwsurvey.org

Now the Society appears to be pleading poverty, indicating that it cannot afford to produce the required $17.3 million dollars by way of surety without using property instead of cash. Amazingly, the Society is prepared to put their Patterson complex (The Watchtower Educational Center) on the line over this judgement, offering it as surety rather than starting the payments. However, this remarkable proposal has been blocked by Candace’s legal team. They understandably want cash to be paid as surety, not shaky property assets during times of economic uncertainty.

The Society has described the payment of $17.3 million in damages along with the premium as something that would cause them “immediate irreparable harm and hardship”.

It is normal that such a huge sum is going to do a certain damage, but trying to get rid of the fine is not an attitude which we would like to see from an organisation who, at first got all the money from its members, and secondly has done grave mistakes. Weekly lots of magazines and other publications or distributed worldwide. For the printed work they receive cash money which is partly also transferred to the headquarters. They should bear the consequences of their acts, like they so often tell others to do, and should bear the fine.

Meltdown

We totally agree with the Jehovah Witness Cedars who writes on his blog Jehovah’s Witnesses Survey:  “Many Witnesses will no doubt be shocked to hear that the organization, said to be enjoying Jehovah’s blessing, is in such a perilous predicament that it is seemingly only $17.3 million dollars away from meltdown! They will be just as amazed to learn that the Society is seeking to effectively put Patterson on the gambling table, to be given to Candace Conti if Watchtower loses its appeal.”

The whole problem is that even ordinary members of the “anointed class” do not have a voice on decisions involving ways to go or legal and doctrinal matters, despite the Governing Body’s claim that it serves as a “representative” and “mouthpiece” to the “Faithful and Discreet Slave” anointed remnant and lots of money is involved in the structure of this worldwide organisation which has become very powerful at the cost of ‘poor’ believers.

We can wonder if it are really Jehovah Witnesses who dare to come out of one’s shell to take care that Jehovah’s name shall not be dragged through the mud by an all-powerful organisation which has become blinded by its worldly and economic power. In case those whistle-blowers are really Jehovah Witnesses, than we wish them lots of courage and appreciate it that they are trying to save all the good work that many Jehovah people have done by the years gone by. In such instance they probably shall have to play a more important  role to safeguard the name of the people who really love God and are spending so much time on the streets to get Jehovah been known all over the world.

The Watchtower Society shall have to show her real face and show the world if it would like to to save face over their doctrinal stance on child abuse, or for their very survival as a global organisation willing to keep the power over many persons worldwide!

Good reason to have cleansed the name of many preachers

In several countries elders have done things which are humanly and legally not right. Not to recognise such faults of those humans or even worse, to punish victims by humiliating them or by putting them out of the organisation is not respectful to those who have given their love and time to Jehovah and to the organisation they sincerely believe to be Jehovah’s Organisation. Many more people should have to see in the handling of these matters that it clearly shows that it is an organisation which may have the luck to receive a lot of God’s blessing, but that it is a human organisation like all the churches here on earth, and as such have humans ruling it who can do also faults like any other human being.

It can happen that people do something wrong. Not one person is without sin. So people should recognise that also in the organisation of the Jehovah Witnesses there can be people who do serious sins. what surprises us is that the people in charge of the organisation prefer covering up certain sins of elders, while the ordinary people are easier expelled and punished in a way that they even cannot have contact with family members any more.

The value and sincerity of the preaching is also pulled down. The action of the Board of Directors makes that outsiders who hear the news in the media are going to shit on the Jehovah people even more. The preaching wich is necessary shall be done a lot of damage, because the faithfulness or fidelity of the followers of the Watchtower and Tract Society shall not be appreciated by the general public.

The world needs a lot of preachers to proclaim the Word of God. The Jehovah Witnesses may have been the most known preachers who dare to tell others the Name of the God of gods. Hopefully those who leave the organisation on matters of the above mistrust shall stay convinced that Jehovah is the Only One God they should go for, and that we have to let the world to get to know His son Jesus and have to look for his return. That they shall stay clear and eager to tell the world the Truth.

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Please do read:

  1. A discussion of theology among friends What’s up with this???
  2. Jehovah’s Witnesses convention kicks off on high note
  3. It takes a village to build a kingdom
    Several years ago, the four congregations of the Jehovah’s Witnesses cq in San Angelo had a dream of building a new Kingdom Hall.
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    The spacious, 8,900-square-foot brick building has matching auditoriums with plenty of room for worshippers. There’s also a library, conference room, literature room, restrooms and other support rooms.
  4. The Girl Who Took On The Watchtower – Candace Conti Speaks Out
  5. The Watchtower Punished: Society loses legal battle over child abuse case
  6. Patterson on the line: Watchtower claims that paying cash bond would cause “immediate irreparable harm and hardship”
  7. “We will decide who is a predator!” – New Watchtower Instructions to Elders on Child Abuse
  8. Manifests for believers #1 Sex abuse setting fire to the powder
    In the 50s and 60s of the previous century many acolytes and young boys became confronted with not such a nice site of human nature and his urge to have physical contact. Growing older and not having been able to cope with the old trauma some got up from their quit seat and started to tell tales out of school.
  9. Manifests for believers #2 Changing celibacy requirement
    For decades, the problem of paedophilia has been badly managed within the church and now that everything comes out of the cesspool this brought the church in discredit and got even more people leaving their church and their faith. Some wonder if you can you blame Catholics for leaving the faith when these types of attitudes run rampant in the church?  The problem becomes bigger when they do take it that “the Church” is bad and that they should not go to any church or return to the Catholic Church because they get the impression that nothing is being done to prevent abuse from happening.  It certainly doesn’t seem that the Catholic church has a screening process that will eliminate paedophiles and child molesters.
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    With all the tribulations and sex scandals many have lost their faith. Many do claim God for what happens in the world, but then they forget that at the beginning of the world-existence God had given men liberty to go his own way.
  10. Manifests for believers #3 Catholic versus Protestant
    The sex-scandals in the Roman Catholic Church did already too much damage. The clergy as well as the believers needed the commotion like they needed a hole in the head. They want to adhere to the Catholic teachings but would prefer to go back to the first century church. They do think they have enough teachings provided in the Holy Bible so that men do not need to bind others to man made teachings or to restrict others by their own teachings.  They just wanted to go back to the teachings which were already part of the church life in early centuries. They also found that the church had to put away certain teachings which where brought into existence for all sorts of reasons, of which some were financial (as protecting the church property).
  11. Roman Catholic Church at war
  12. Breathing to teach
  13. Representatives of the “Slave Class” or the Real “faithful and discreet slave”
  14. Breathing and growing with no heir
    Some may think we aren’t called to just preach. Jesus has given the major task to his followers to go out in the world and to let the Good News be known wherever they go. We also as followers of Christ Jesus should let others know that marvellous Good News.We have marvellous tools which brings us very easily much further than the doorstep.
    Jehovah Witnesses for a long time took it for granted it was the best way to reach people by bothering them at any moment of the day, ringing the bell and talking to them at the doorstep. But it seems that they today, also have found the modern means of the computer and internet. On the internet they now seem to have opened up and present more literature to the general public. Which is nice, because they also have very good literature, which can bring many more people to God.

    But, we should not let them do all the work, and let them get people in their Kingdom hall, while we have other thoughts of which we are sure they are also valuable for the people and leaving them more free. We should get others to know that there are other places of worship where honest God loving people can come together as a congregation.They may offer over there Theocratic Ministry School with a common global curriculum and nest to the weekly services with Watchtower-study they also may offer Pioneer Service School for full-time preachers, and the Kingdom Ministry School for elders and ministerial servants. The Kingdom Hall of the Jehovah Witnesses should be known as the only sort of kingdom hall the world offers good Bible teaching and worship to the One and Only God.

    We should be more conscious that we also have a lot to offer to the unbelievers and those looking for the Truth. We Can offer the Truth, but than we may not stay in our little cocoon of our armchair at home. We should get off our ass and do something.

    It is more than high time that more people would come out of their house and take up the task Jesus has given them.

  15. Which back voters in the US wants to see
  16. Mormons, just an other faith

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  • Cult or True Religion (wordsonsergebenhayon.wordpress.com)
    “…if you believe in it, it is a religion or perhaps ‘the’ religion; and if you do not care one way or another about it, it is a sect; but if you fear and hate it, it is a cult.” Leo Pfeffer.
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    Call someone a name and you don’t have to refute their argument – it makes it easy to toss it aside as the workings of a potentially crazed mind rather than something that may be of value, truth and substance.Why are there two separate words in the English language – cult and religion – that are understood by most to refer to two separate things. Calling new religions ‘cults’ is a very clever scare tactic used by the older religions in order to protect their market share. Christianity sees other religions that do not follow its version of doctrine as cults… so that makes all Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, followers of Islam plus all other religions, and thus a very large proportion of the population, cult members on those grounds.
  • Billy Graham: Mormonism No Cult (orthodoxyandheterodoxy.org)
    it seems that Mormonism is no longer a “cult”
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    now even the walking-Evangelical-saint Billy Graham has sacrificed doctrine for politics, that his desire for a Republican in the White House has transcended his commitment to the distinctives of his Southern Baptist religious faith.
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    The Graham definition above—”any group which teaches doctrines or beliefs that deviate from the biblical message of the Christian faith”—is similarly problematic. How would this definition include Jehovah’s Witnesses but not Roman Catholics? How would it include Unitarian Universalists but not Mormons? Isn’t it true that all of these groups (and many more) would deviate from most Evangelicals’ understanding of “the biblical message of the Christian faith”?
  • Defining Christianity (reneland.wordpress.com)
    I recently had a very good friend of mine who is Catholic and went to a Catholic school until the 9th grade say to me that she wasn’t a Christian, she was a Catholic. She said that the nuns told her she wasn’t Christian.
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses (calltoprayerministries.wordpress.com) {the writer of this article does not seem to see what it really means to be a ‘Christian’ and wants to take hold only on a sort-sighted vision.}
    Jehovah’s Witnesses come up in conversation more times than one might think. I guess that it’s because there are many people who know JW’s and there don’t seem to be many obvious differences between their faith and ours. Many JW’s are nice people, talk about Jesus, share their faith, and care about their families… just like Christians. So what are the differences? Are they just a different kind of Christian?
  • ‘Mormonism’ Taken off Site’s Cult List (abcnews.go.com)
    The prominent Christian evangelist Billy Graham has taken public steps to embrace Mitt Romney for president this week, removing Romney’s Mormon religion from a list of cults on his website and taking out an advertisement that appears to urge people to vote for Romney.
  • Billy Graham Offers To Help Mormon Mitt Romney And Then Removes Section From Website Calling Mormonism A Cult! (soulrefuge.org)
    The scriptures make it very clear that true believers in Jesus Christ should not be “yoked” together with unbelievers. Why would any true Christian want to help and support a Mormon who teaches that Jesus Christ is the spirit brother of Lucifer?
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  • Billy Graham Risks His “Legacy” By Scrubbing His Website Of Mormonism Cult Reference, But He Also Changed His Views About The Cult Of Rome Over 50 Years Ago (soulrefuge.org)
  • Grahams tighten Romney ties (newsobserver.com)
  • Mormons off Graham’s ‘cult’ list (upi.com)

Raising digression

The early days of Christianity

1.2.       Considered as a danger

1.2.3.                    Raising digression

Christianity reached proconsular Africa in the second, perhaps already at the close of the first century. There was constant intercourse with Italy. It spread very rapidly over the fertile fields and burning sands of Mauritania and Numidia. Cyprian could assemble in 258 a synod of eighty-seven bishops, and in 308 the schismatical Donatists held a council of two hundred and seventy bishops at Carthage. The dioceses, of course, were small in those days.

File:Great Isaiah Scroll Ch53.jpg

Portion of a photographic reproduction of the Great Isaiah Scroll, the best preserved of the biblical scrolls found at Qumran. It contains the entire Book of Isaiah in Hebrew, apart from some small damaged parts. This manuscript was probably written by a scribe of the Jewish sect of the Essenes around the second century BC. It is therefore over a 1000 years older than the oldest Masoretic manuscripts.
This picture shows all of Isaiah 53 (and is mostly identical to the Masoretic version).

The oldest Latin translation of the Bible, miscalled “Itala” (the basis of Jerome’s “Vulgata”), was made probably in Africa and for Africa, not in Rome and for Rome, where at that time the Greek language prevailed among Christians. Latin theology, too, was not born in Rome, but in Carthage. Tertullian (Tertullianius) is its father. Minutius Felix, Arnobius, and Cyprian bear witness to the activity and prosperity of African Christianity and theology in the third century. It reached its highest perfection during the first quarter of the fifth century in the intellect and burning heart of St. Augustin, but soon after his death (430) it was buried first beneath the Vandal barbarism, and in the seventh century by the Mohammedan conquest. Yet his writings led Christian thought in the Latin Church throughout the dark ages, stimulated the Reformers, and became a vital force for many today.

From the second half of the first century C. T. the going astray increased and apostasy entered however the municipalities and many were influenced through it. So-called Christians got integrated with the nations of the world and could not distinguish themselves of the world. After the so-called conversion of Constantine in the fourth century the heathen streamed in large numbers to the form of Christianity that then led the dominant tone. With which consequence? The book Early Christianity and Paganism declares: “The relatively small group really serious religiously went lost in the large mass so-called Christians.” How true were to be Paul’s words! It was as if Christianity were swallowed by pagan decay. And nowhere this rot was clearer noticeable than in the celebration of holidays.

The first fifteen bishops of Christianity were circumcised Jews, they observed the Law and were rather unfriendly to heathenism[1], while they held friendly intercourse with the leaders of the synagogue[2]. Many a halakic and haggadic discussion are recorded in the Talmud as having taken place between the Christians and the Rabbis[3]. Probably the Christian Congregation, or Church of the Saints, did not distinguish itself in outward form from the “Ḳehala Ḳaddisha”[4] at Jerusalem, under which name the Essene community, to which John the Baptist seems to have belonged, survived the downfall of the Temple[5].

Between the ethical and the apocalyptic teachings of the Gospels and the Epistles and the teachings of the Essenes of the time, as given in Philo, in Hippolytus, and in the Ethiopic and Slavonic Books of Enoch, as well as in the rabbinic literature, the resemblance is such that the influence of the latter upon the former can scarcely be denied. Nevertheless, the attitude of Jesus and his disciples is altogether anti-Essene, a denunciation and disavowal of Essene rigor and asceticism; but, singularly enough, while the Roman war appealed to men of action such as the Zealots, men of a more peaceful and visionary nature, who had previously become Essenes, were more and more attracted by Christianity, and thereby gave the Church its otherworldly character; while Judaism took a more practical and worldly view of things, and allowed Essenism to live only in tradition and secret lore (see Clementina; Ebionites; Gnosticism).[6] The Essenes broke not with the official priesthood, took no part at religious services and offerings in the temple, but otherwise held themselves strict at the Law. As the Pharisees, with who they in many respects shown some similarity, they fell prey to Hellenic influences and went to believe in an immortal soul.

The apostles were aware that the Gospel must be preached to all nations, and then the consummation shall come, and therefore they expressed their hope people would continue to study the Word of God and evangelise.


[1] “Historia Sacra,” Sulpicius Severus, ii. 31; Eusebius, “Hist. Eccl.” iv. 5; compare Matt. xv. 26)

[2] see Grätz, “Gesch. der Juden,” iv. 373 et seq.; and Ebionites, Minim, and Nazarenes

[4] Meshullam formed a society called “Ḳehala Ḳaddisha” (the Holy Community), because its members devoted one-third of the day to the study of the Torah, one-third to prayer, and the remaining third to work (Yer. Ma’as. Sheni 53d; Eccl. R. ix. 9).
Read more: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=758&letter=S#ixzz15AWdlkt6

[5] Ber. 9b; compare Eccl. R. ix. 9: ‘Edah Ḳedoshah

  • 7 Christological heresies that you should know about… (patheos.com)
    Ebionism teaches that Jesus is just a man and not divine. The Ebionites were Jewish Christians in the early church. The Ebionites rejected the virgin birth, regarding Jesus as a man normally born of Joseph and Mary; they held he was the predestined Messiah, and in this capacity he would return to reign on earth. There are plenty of “Ebionites” around today. Everybody who says Jesus was just a good man or one prophet or holy man or good religious teacher among many.
  • BONUS: An Introduction to Colossians (kingdomnewtestament.wordpress.com)
    We know that by the second century AD there was a Christian philosophy in place in many churches that accepted a dualistic worldview.  A Gnostic thought the world was composed of two parts: the evil and degrading physical layer of life, and the pure and edifying spiritual aspects of life.
    +
    Consider how Gnosticism would affect beliefs and ethics.  They did not believe that Jesus was physical.  Jesus did not die a physical death on a cross, it only seemed that way.  Our greatest mission is to escape this physical world, not redeem it.  There were also two opposing views on how to deal with this physical body we live in: 1) deny your flesh and beat it into submission to your superior spiritual willpower, and 2) indulge your flesh and satisfy your physical desires wantonly showing that you have the spiritual strength within your pure soul to wallow in the mire of life and not be affected adversely by your physical behaviors. If an early form of Gnosticism was present in Colossae, the details of the letter suggest it was of the ascetic variety.
  • Ancient Heresies and Why They Still Matter (steakandabible.com)
    Johnson said “Gnosticism is an attempt to blend pagan philosophy with Christianity.” “This heresy is so diverse and so complex that it is notoriously difficult to define,” but “the central idea” is that “Gnostics believe that the key to saving truth lies in a hidden knowledge that goes beyond what is revealed in Scripture.” Salvation requires “possessing the secret knowledge.”
  • A Prayer for Sunday (Irenaeus of Lyon) (marccortez.com)
    Irenaeus of Lyons, who died sometime around AD 202. One of the most important early theologians of the Christian church, Irenaeus is best known for his Against Heresies, a lengthy refutation of gnosticism, which was one of the major challenges to orthodox Christianity at the time.
  • There’s no 3rd chance. (revessie.com)
    Peter was trying to tell us that there were false doctrines already circulating. Imagine the level that we are at now.There was a man named Cerinthus who believed in heresy so much that even John ran away from a Bath House when he saw him in there and told people to run also. This is how bad this man was. He was a mystical believer. He allegedly began the Millennial heresy. Watch what you believe in.
  • Noisy Worship versus the Discipline of Silence (kiwianglo.wordpress.com)
    A suspicion of silence took root in the second and third centuries, when bishops penned diatribes against the so-called gnostikoi, Christians who claimed that God was most fully known as unknowable, and so therefore in silence. To be branded a gnostic was to be cast out of the fold. Then, in the fourth century, came the conversion of Constantine. The church aligned itself to secular power and now what you thought was of political importance too. Thereafter, western rites included creeds to be audibly confessed. They policed who was in and who out.

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