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Posts tagged ‘Gospel’

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.

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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

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  • 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.
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    Solemnity of Pentecost > Were the Apostles confirmed at Pentecost?
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    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.)
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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

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Position and power

History of Christianity

1. The early days of Christianity

1.1.       Considered as a danger

1.1.1.  Position and power

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

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

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

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

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

Conversion of Saul (Paul) on the road to Damascus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Extent of the Roman Empire from 133 BC unto 117 AD

Extent of the Roman Empire from 133 BCT unto 117 CT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Artemis Apollon Herakles

Artemis Apollon Herakles

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

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

goddess of hunting

Diana goddess of hunting

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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Persecution of Christians under Nero > Bible-history Nero

The Institutions behind the Terms in the 1st Century

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