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Posts tagged ‘Honouring God’

Matthew 27 – The Final Hours: Trial, Execution and Burial – Bible Students Intro

Today we come to a chapter which should shed light to those who keep saying Jesus is God. God, namely, can not die, Him being an Eternal Spirit to Whom man can do nothing. Because there is no human being stronger than God or able to kill God, people should be aware the man they are claiming to be God is either a fraud or is really the one whom he is saying himself and who his disciples said he was.

Today there are still too many people who do not want to believe that Jesus is the sent one from God, a son of man and a son of God. They keep insisting that Jesus would be God, ignoring the Words God spoke Himself, declaring the man standing in the river Jordan to be His beloved son. In Matthew’s third chapter we can read:

16 And when Jesus was immersed, he went up straightaway out of the water. And lo, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and coming upon him.
17 And lo, a voice out of the heavens, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (Matthew 3:17 ACV)

But the majority of people who call themselves Christian do not want to accept Jesus being the son of God and say he is “god the son” or “godson” (something totally different). Them saying Jesus is God forget that Jesus himself said he was the sent one from God, who could not do anything without his heavenly Father, the Only One True God Who is One. They forget by not honouring the son for who he is and for what he has done, they do not honour the Father Who has sent Jesus Christ.

19 Jesus therefore answered and said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of himself, except what he sees the Father doing. For whatever he may do, the Son also does these things in like manner.
20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all things that he himself does. And he will show him works greater than these, so that ye may marvel.
21 For as the Father raises up the dead and makes alive, so also the Son makes alive whom he will.
22 For neither does the Father judge any man, but he has given all judgment to the Son,
23 so that all would honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. The man not honoring the Son, does not honor the Father who sent him. (John 5:19-23 ACV)

The Lord Jesus Christ acted in what he did as a great public representative person, and his dying upon the piece of wood was the act of giving himself as a ransom for all sinners.

The Devil has not stopped planning to steal kill and to destroy people. He has not stopped doing that since the Garden of Eden 7,000 years ago. In our day he has set a trap and has surrounded the camp of the Lord as well as infiltrated it’s borders with double agents and sleeper cells. {That old ancient hatred is surfacing against the people of God}

That devil wants many to believe that there is either no God, or that Jesus would be God. That way the adversary of God pulls people away from the Only One True God of Israel, Who is a God above all gods. Jehovah God Himself proclaimed that He is One, though Trinitarians do not want to accept that and continue to say there is a three-godhead or Trinity.

4 Hear, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah.
5 And thou shall love Jehovah thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. (Dueteronomy 6:4-5 ACV)

Several of them even claim that God would have a birth and also was killed and do not see that there is spoken about two seats in heaven, one on which Jesus sits and another on which God sits.

As in the days of Christ there is a similar hatred against the lovers of God who accepted Jesus as their master. Jesus already warned his followers and said:

13 Enter ye in by the narrow gate, because wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many are they who enter through it.
14 How narrow is the gate, and restricted the way, that leads to life, and few are those who find it.
15 But beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are predatory wolves.
16 From their fruits ye will know them. Do they gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? (Matthew 7:13-16 ACV)

All the time Jesus, who was chosen and appointed by God, when he preached he made it clear he came to declare his heavenly Father, the Good News, to heal people and to fulfil the scriptures and to tell people that the year, when Jehovah will help them, has come.

18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to sent forth in deliverance those who have been broken,
19 to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. (Luke 4:18-19 ACV)

Now we come to the period that all the chief priests and the leaders of the people made a plan against Jesus. One of the disciples of Jesus, Judas had helped them to take Jesus, but when he saw they had judged Jesus and were going to kill him, he was sorry for what he had done, so he brought the thirty pieces of silver money back to the chief priests and leaders.

In this chapter of Matthew, we once more find one of the ancient sayings coming true. What Jeremiah the prophet said long ago, then came true at that time. He said,

‘They took thirty pieces of silver money. That is what the people of Israel said he was worth. ‘

“And they took the thirty silver pieces, the price of him who was valued, whom they valued from the sons of Israel,
10 and they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord appointed me. ” (Matthew 27:9-10 ACV)

When Jesus stood before the ruler, he was asked by him if he was the King of the Jews.

11 Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor questioned him, saying, Are thou the king of the Jews? And Jesus said to him, Thou say. (Matthew 27:11 ACV)

Pilate knew that the chief priests did not like Jesus. He knew that was why they had brought Jesus to him. His wife also saw nothing wrong in this man and asked her husband, when he was sitting in the court to judge the case, not to do anything malicious to him.

19 And while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him, saying, There is nothing for thee and that righteous man. For I suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.
20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. (Matthew 27:19-20 ACV)

Pilate asked the people what wrong thing Jesus had done. But the agitated people were pushed to ask for his death. So he washed his hands in water in front of the people as a sign of him wanting to be innocent.

22 Pilate says to them, What then shall I do to Jesus who is called Christ? They all say to him, He should be crucified.
23 And the governor said, For what evil has he done? But they cried out even more, saying, He should be crucified.
24 And when Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather an uproar was developing, after taking water, he washed his hands in front of the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this righteous man. See ye to it.
25 And having answered, all the people said, His blood be on us, and on our children.
26 Then he released Barabbas to them, and having scourged Jesus he delivered him so that he would be crucified. (Matthew 27:22-26 ACV)

Man can do God nothing, but Jesus is a man of flesh and blood who could be beaten and scorned. The soldiers took Jesus to a room where they took off his clothes, and they put a red gown on him. They also made a big ring of thorns like a crown and put it on his head. They knew Jesus was often called the “King of the Jews”, and therefore they gave him the symbols of a king, mocking with him.

27 Then the soldiers of the governor, having taken Jesus into the Praetorium, gathered the whole band to him.
28 And having stripped him, they put a scarlet robe on him.
29 And having woven a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand. And having knelt down before him, they ridiculed him, saying, Hail, king of the Jews!
30 And having spat upon him, they took the reed and were striking him on his head.
31 And after they ridiculed him, they took the robe off of him, and put his clothes on him, and led him away in order to crucify. (Matthew 27:27-31 ACV)

Jesus as a real man had to feel all the pain, but at the same time, he had to trust God, that everything would come all right. Those who think Jesus is God forget that God is an invisible All-knowing Spirit Being, but Jesus did not know everything. Jesus even did not know when he would return or when the Last Days would be, or who would be seated next to him in his kingdom.

36 But about that day and hour no man knows, not even the agents of the heavens, except my Father only.
37 And as the days of Noah, so also will be the coming of the Son of man. (Matthew 24:36-37 ACV)

Can you imagine what must have gone on in the heart of Jesus when he came near Golgotha, that means, ‘The place of a head bone’, “the place of a skull”.  On that hill not so far from the city, he was nailed to a piece of wood and got put the complaint against him above his head.

35 And when they crucified him, they divided his garments, casting a lot.
36 And as they sat, they keep watch over him there.
37 And they set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. (Matthew 27:35-37 ACV)

At that time several people also had to laugh with the fact that Jesus would be God’s Son. Then too they thought he could do the same things as God could do. But nothing is so. Only what God allowed His son to do could happen. And now was the moment there that a man proved to God that man can be truthful and obedient to God. Because Jesus had done all the time what God wanted and not what he wanted. Naturally, in case Jesus would have been God, then Jesus would never have had any problem with doing God’s Will, because then it would also have been his will. But Jesus is not God and as such he could have chosen to do something else then what God wanted. Though Jesus asked that God His Will would be done and not his will.

40 And when he came at the place, he said to them, Pray ye not to enter into temptation.
41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw. And he knelt down and prayed,
42 saying, Father, if thou want, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless not my will, but thine be done.
43 And an agent from heaven appeared to him, strengthening him.
44 And having become in agony he prayed more intensely, and his sweat became like drops of blood falling down to the ground. (Luke 22:40-44 ACV)

Like there are many today making fun of Jesus, in his time the chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders also made fun of him and did not want to believe in him.

39 And those who passed by reviled him, shaking their heads,
40 and saying, Thou who destroy the temple, and build it in three days, save thyself. If thou are the Son of God, come down from the cross.
41 And likewise also the chief priests, ridiculing with the scholars, and elders, and Pharisees, said,
42 He saved others, he cannot save himself. If he is the king of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in him.
43 He trusted in God, let him rescue him now, if he wants him, for he said, I am the Son of God.
44 And also the robbers who were crucified with him reviled him the same way. (Matthew 27:39-42 ACV)

Jesus trusted in God and never claimed to be God, but by others, it was made clear he was “God’s Son.”

About three o’clock in the afternoon, Jesus called out loud not to himself (in case he would have been God) but called to his heavenly Father.

46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a great voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is, My God, my God, why have thou forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46 ACV)

It is not that the God of Jesus would have left him alone. Jesus might really have felt that God would have abandoned him. For him, the hour was near that he felt his life was coming to an end. He knew very well that it is only God Who can not die, and that for him, like any other human being, life has a beginning and an end. Now he saw the end of his life in front of his eyes.

Jesus called out loud again to his heavenly Father, his God. Then he died.

At that time the thick cloth that hung in the temple was torn into two pieces and the earth shook and big rocks broke.
The Roman captain and some of his soldiers who were guarding Jesus on the stake, when they saw the earth shake and the other things happen, were very much afraid and came to understand the particular special place this man had.

50 And Jesus, having cried out again in a great voice, yielded up his spirit.
51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom, and the earth quaked, and the rocks split,
52 and the sepulchers were opened, and many bodies of the sanctified who have been asleep arose.
53 And having come forth out of the sepulchers after his resurrection they entered into the holy city and appeared to many.
54 Now the centurion, and those with him watching over Jesus, when they saw the earthquake, and the things that happened, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. (Matthew 27:50-54 ACV)

They came convinced that this man hanging there was God’s Son.

There were also many women watching from far away. They had come with Jesus from Galilee and had helped him. Among these women were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.

In the evening came, Joseph from the town of Arimathea, a rich man who also believed in Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate said that it should be given to him.
Joseph took the body and wrapped a clean linen cloth around it and put the body in his own new grave which had been cut in a rock. He rolled a very big stone to close the grave. Then he went away.

The next day was the Sabbath day. The chief priests and Pharisees who were afraid something might happen with the body of Jesus, went to Pilate together to ask him to have guards in front of the grave.
They remembered what Jesus had said when he was still living.

his sepulchre is sealed and watched
62 Now on the morrow, which is after the Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees came together to Pilate, 63 saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said while he was still alive, After three days I am raised. 64 Command therefore to secure the tomb until the third day, lest his disciples having come by night steal him away, and say to the people, He was raised from the dead. And the last error will be worse than the first.
65 Pilate said to them, Ye have security. Go, make it as secure as ye know how. 66 And having gone, they made the tomb secure, with the security having sealed the stone. (Matthew 27:62-65 ACV)

The soldiers stayed to guard Jesus grave, to make sure it would stay shut and nobody could run away with the corpse.

In the next chapter Mattew reveals another important part to believe for the ones who call themselves Christian. (We shall see it later, after having looked at the different parts of Chapter 27).

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Preceding

Matthew 9:27-31 – What others are saying about the blind men recognising the son of David

Matthew 17:22-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Grief and Jesus’ Prediction of His Death

Matthew 21:10-11 Who Is This? – a Question still posed today #1

Matthew 21:10-11 Who Is This? – a Question still posed today #2

Left in the dark or being in the dark seeing light

Calvin commenting at Matthew 25:31: The Son of man shall come in his glory

Matthew 26 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Last days of Jesus Christ #10 Matthew 26:40-47 – Two More Prayers for the Cup to Pass

Matthew 26 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Last days of Jesus Christ #11 Matthew 26:48-56 – Betrayal by Judas and Arrest of Jesus

Matthew 26 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Last days of Jesus Christ #14 Matthew 26:69-75 – Peter’s Denial

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Additional reading

  1. Truth, doubt or blindness
  2. Thought for Wednesday Believe in the one God has sent
  3. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  4. Not About The Name Of The Godhead Of Jesus
  5. For those who believe Jesus is God
  6. Do you believe in One god
  7. Fully God Or Only A Part Of God?
  8. For Getting to know Jesus
  9. Jesus begotten Son of God #6 Anointed Son of God, Adam and Abraham
  10. Jesus begotten Son of God #12 Son of God
  11. Jesus begotten Son of God #13 Pre-existence excluding virginal birth of the Only One Transposed
  12. Jesus begotten Son of God #15 Son of God Originating in Mary
  13. Jesus begotten Son of God #16 Prophet to be heard
  14. Jesus begotten Son of God #17 Adam, Eve, Mary and Christianity’s central figure
  15. Jesus begotten Son of God #19 Compromising fact
  16. Jesus begotten Son of God #20 Before and After
  17. Who do you say Jesus is
  18. Believing what Jesus says
  19. Recognising Jehovah’s sovereignty
  20. The meek one riding on an ass
  21. The New Covenant Victim and Mediator
  22. The New Covenant Intercessor
  23. Three basic commands
  24. Responsibility bigger than those who talk about worldly matters
  25. Yeshua a man with a special personality
  26. Sayings of Jesus, what to believe and being or not of the devil
  27. Omniscient God opposite a not knowing Jesus
  28. A voice cries out: context
  29. Days of Nisan, Pesach, Pasach, Pascha and Easter
  30. Getting out of the dark corners of this world
  31. How do trinitarians equate divine nature
  32. Today’s thought “nonsense surrounding the many gods” (July 28)
  33. Blindness in the Christian world
  34. Americans their stars, pretension, God, Allah and end of times signs #1 Abrahamic religions
  35. That everyone may honour the Son and sent one from God
  36. After darkness a moment of life renewal
  37. If we, in our prosperity, neglect religious instruction and authority

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  3. It’s a privilege
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  5. Being A Cultural Christian Is Not Enough
  6. Being Christian
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  32. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:
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  34. Behold the King
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  36. Christ the King
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  38. K is for King of the Jews
  39. Hail, King of the Jews!
  40. Only “king of the Jews” … found in the New testament of the Holy Bible (KJV)
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  43. King of the Jews (Tim Farley)
  44. Jesus, King of the Jews
  45. Mark 15:12
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  49. The Way Of The Cross
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  51. Mark 15:25-26. Is Jesus Your King?
  52. He Cannot Save Himself
  53. You are Invited
  54. Throwback Thursday: The Invisible God and A Place Further Than the Universe
  55. on God the Son… Jesus the image of the Father
  56. The Invincible Invisible
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  58. An Invisible Faith
  59. Seeing The Unseeable
  60. The Visible Invisible God
  61. Facing the Unseen

Our openness to being approachable

In the 2013-2014 season we gave attention on the way we can give praise to the Most High Jehovah and ‘Sing for His Name’.

English: Christ Handing the Keys to St. Peter ...

According Catholic Faith: Christ Handing the Keys to St. Peter by Pietro Perugino (1481-82) Fresco, 335 x 550 cm Cappella Sistina, Vatican. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the academic year 2013-2014 much discussion went on about a revision of the educational program in the Belgian schools and about a renewal of the attitude of the Catholic Church which kept loosing more and more people. They decided to make one parish from 5 parishes so that the costs could be tempered and priests would be available to do a service every few weeks, for at least one per month in a village.

The Bible Students did not have it easy either to attract people to their services. Most people are also afraid of non-trinitarians and do not like to put away their traditions, like baby baptism, first and second communion, and other Catholic celebrations. More and more people Focus on outward appearances and are not any more interested in a Supreme Higher Being, which they can not see or do feel to have connection with.

More and more people also give a voice accusing God to be a cruel partial being, Whom let others suffer a lot and let so many things happen without interfering. Several people also became angry with those people who call themselves People of God and wanted to see a Jewish nation living in Israel the Land given by God to His Chosen People.

This last season, we looked at the apostle Peter who perceived that God is not partial, (Acts 10:34) being aware that the Greek word rendered “partial” literally means “taker of faces.” (The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures) Regarding this term, one scholar explains:

“It refers to a judge who looks at a man’s face and renders a verdict, not in accord with the merits of the case, but according as he likes or dislikes the man.”

As Christians we may be happy God gave His son to liberate us all and to give the goyim (people, nation) or heathen also a chance to become part of His people, not favouring one face over another because of race, nationality, social standing, or any other external factors.

Knowing that in every nation the man that fears Jehovah God and works righteousness is acceptable to Him, we tried to work at ourself and help others to find the right direction, growing in truthfulness and righteousness.

At the services we talked about what it means to fear God. We tried to see how we have and can respect, honour, and trust Him, avoiding anything that displeases him. To work righteousness involves willingly doing what is right in God’s eyes. Jehovah finds pleasure in the man whose heart is filled with reverential awe that moves him to do what is right.(Deuteronomy 10:12, 13.)

The Christadelphians in Belgium did not face an easy year. The Belgian Christadelphians from the ecclesia Brussel-Leuven tried to get all the different groups of Christadelphians together. Their intentions where very good, but did not take account of the human selfishness, pride, likes of power, and stubborn attitude. We do have to admit that also certain Bible Students did not like a liaison either, with certain other groups. A shame it did not work out positively and left division in the ranks.

We spend lots of time in arguing and discussing the matter of unity. Shamefully we encountered hesitation and opposition. We also experienced discrimination or prejudice which made good reason for us to take heart from Peter’s words about God. Jehovah is drawing people of all nations to true worship. (John 6:44; Acts 17:26, 27) He listens and responds to the prayers of his worshippers regardless of their race, nationality, or social standing. (1 Kings 8:41-43) We can be confident that when Jehovah looks down from heaven, he sees just one race—the human race.

Facing the problems of the Brothers and Sisters in Belgium we also reminded ourselves that Jesus foretold that the Christian congregation would come under attack. Remember, in his prophetic illustration of the wheat and the weeds, Jesus warned that a newly planted field of wheat (anointed Christians) would be oversown with weeds (imitation Christians). The groups, he said, would be allowed to grow side by side—undisturbed until the harvest, which would come at “a conclusion of a system of things.” (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43) It was not long before Jesus’ words began to come true.

The apostasy made some inroads in the first century, but Jesus’ faithful apostles acted “as a restraint,” holding back the contamination and influence of false teachings. (2 Thessalonicans 2:3, 6, 7) However, once the last of the apostles died, the apostasy took root and flourished during a long growing season that lasted for many centuries. Additionally, during that time, the weeds became many and the blades of wheat were few. There was no consistent, organized channel for dispensing spiritual food.

As the end of the growing season neared, there were strong stirrings of interest in Bible truth. Recall that in the 1870’s, a small group of sincere truth-seekers got together and formed Bible classes apart from the weeds—imitation Christians within the churches and sects of Christendom. With humble hearts and open minds, those sincere Bible Students, as they called themselves, made a careful and prayerful search of the Scriptures.—Matthew 11:25.

Those Bible Students’ diligent study of the Scriptures yielded rich results and they also found their way to Europe where they originally came from. In the States as in Europe different Bible Students groups found new light and got several little independent groups spreading locally the Biblical Truth. Belgium, as a very strong Roman Catholic bastion was a difficult place to convince people of what was really written in the Bible.

Tetragrammaton (God's name, see Jehovah) at th...

Tetragrammaton (God’s name, see Jehovah) at the Roman Catholic Church Saint-Germain-des-Prés, at Paris, France (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When the Jehovah Witnesses found more interest by the believers the Roman Catholic Church started taking away the Name of God from their publications. They also had used the name Jehovah until the mid 1960ies, but then they wanted to avoid any  resemblance with the group of Bible Students which used God’s Name but did not want to accept Jesus as the god.

There where some trials to bring different Bible Students joining forces, but last season Marcus Ampe did a last effort to bring the non-Jehovah Witnesses Bible Students and Bible researchers together. He had hoped to bring the different Christadelphian Groups, Old Paths, Central Fellowship, Amended and Unamended Christadelphians, Dawn Students, Australian and Belgian Bible Students, together with Logos and Carelinks members. To no avail. He got a ‘big slap in his face’, finding his efforts not being appreciated, and being more shunned than before. He with the Ecclesia Brussel-Leuven and with the Belgian Bible Students became more isolated because they wanted to be impartial and open to any serious Bible Student, no matter which background or organisation.
They lost their support from the English organisation and made it now clear to the public they wanted to be an independent Christian organisation, free from human directorate, giving themselves to the ruling of Christ Jesus as their only cornerstone.

They like we, want to be united under Jesus Christ, facing total impartiality in the ranks, with the impartial God as our Most High example.

We, after our bad experience this season, therefore dare to ask every person coming to us or reading these pages:

Are you moved to learn more about this impartial God?

Are you willing to become part of the People of God?

Are you willing to understand what it means to be part of the Body of Christ, understanding that there are and may be different parts or groups, like you have the kidneys, reins, stomach, veins, lungs, etc, in a human body?

Tbilisi St. Peter-Paul Catholic Church

the Love of Christ, by his good heart – Tbilisi St. Peter-Paul Catholic Church (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Having noticed how difficult it even is in the own ranks or denomination to find the love of Christ fully, and getting to see how it is not always to get the right quality of approachability, we wondered how we could help it to bring people together.

How would you describe an individual who is approachable? You might say,

‘Someone who is kind, readily available, and easy to talk to.’

You can often discern whether a person is approachable or not by listening to what he says and by observing his body language—gestures, facial expressions, and other nonverbal signs.

Confronted with all those communication problems we looked at Jehovah how He demonstrates that He is approachable. Although He is the Almighty Creator of our vast universe, Jehovah assures us that He is willing and eager to listen to our prayers and to respond to them. (Read Psalm 145:18; Isaiah 30:18, 19.) The Belgian Christadelphians also presented a series about the way we can speak to God at length at any time or place. They looked at ‘prayer‘, how we can bring prayers which are worthy in the eyes of God.

Ελληνικά:

Ελληνικά: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We where happy this year in the knowledge that we always can approach the Divine Creator Jehovah God freely, knowing that He will never reproach us for doing so. (Psalm 65:2; James. 1:5) God’s Word describes Jehovah in human terms to indicate that he wants to be approached. For instance, the psalmist David wrote that “the eyes of Jehovah are toward” us and that his “right hand keeps fast hold” on us. (Psalm 34:15; 63:8) The prophet Isaiah likened Jehovah to a shepherd, saying:

“With his arm he will collect together the lambs; and in his bosom he will carry them.” (Isaiah 40:11)

We, though we had to face a very difficult time in Belgium, the last few months, still could find happiness in the knowledge that we fully could trust God Who wants us to be as close to Him as a little lamb nestled in the bosom of a caring shepherd.

We where convinced, and still are, that a key to being approachable is showing genuine interest in others. If an elder cares about others and is willing to give of himself in their behalf, his brothers and sisters, including young ones, will likely sense this attitude. (Mark 10:13-16) Of course, it is not enough for an elder to say that he is approachable; he should manifest that quality. (1 John 3:18)

Customs may vary from land to land, but usually when we give our brothers and sisters a warm smile, a welcoming handshake, a relaxed greeting, we are signaling that we are genuinely interested in them. Who should take the initiative in this? Note the example Jesus set. Matthew reports that at a meeting with his disciples, “Jesus approached and spoke to them.” (Matthew 28:18) Likewise, elders today take the initiative to approach their fellow believers and speak to them. How can that affect the congregation? An 88-year-old pioneer sister observed:

“The warm smiles and encouraging comments I receive from the elders when I enter the Kingdom Hall endear them to me.”

Another faithful sister added:

“It may be viewed as a little thing, but when an elder welcomes me to the meeting with a smile, it means a lot to me.”

This coming year we would like to continue working at the openness we do have to have, making ourselves more approachable to others. Obviously, we cannot be approached if we are not available. Jehovah sets a fine example in that regard.

“He is not far off from each one of us.” (Acts 17:27)

One way in which elders make themselves available to others is by setting aside time before and after Christian meetings to converse with their brothers and sisters—young and old.
A pioneer brother noted:

“When an elder asks how I’m doing and then stops to listen to my answer, I feel appreciated.”

A sister who has been serving Jehovah for nearly 50 years commented:

“Elders who take some time to talk to me after the meeting make me feel valued.”

We would love to give more time to those who have questions and are willing to listen to them and to give answers to the many questions people may have.

This coming new season we do want to give extra attention to the sheep showing others we are open to any body, being fair, free from having or showing bias or favouritism.

One who is impartial will pay due regard, not to an individual’s outward appearance or circumstances, but to his or her character as a person. We would like to find people who have the right attitude to come closer to Jehovah, our God, the greatest example of impartiality. His Word states that he “is not partial” and that he “treats none with partiality.”

34 At this Peter began to speak, and he said: “Now I truly understand that God is not partial,+35 but in every nation the man who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.+ (Acts 10:34, 35)

17 For Jehovah your God is the God of gods+ and the Lord of lords, the God great, mighty, and awe-inspiring, who treats none with partiality+ and does not accept a bribe. (Deuteronomy 10:17.)

As always are full attention next season shall go to the God of gods, Who executes justice for the fatherless child  and the widow and loves the foreign resident, giving him food and clothing. (Leviticus 19:10, Deuteronomy 24:14, Psalm 146:9) Once more we shall also give full attention to hired worker who is in need and poor and protecting the foreign residents, looking carefully what shall happen to the country Belgium in those political difficult times, where the politicians do not take into account the votes of the people, and created a new sort of monarchy of the political parties, where each party delivers politicians from father to son and keeps ruling the country and creating different posts for the own political family.

We do hope to convince people how no human political system shall ever be able to bring total peace. We shall keep trying to bring them the knowledge of what the purpose is of the Kingdom of God and why it is so important we look forward to the return of Christ Jesus, the Messiah.

We do admit we with the Belgian Christadelphians hoped we could bring much more people together, clinging to each other. We shamefully failed and have to admit we should put all our hope to God, and got perhaps too much fear in man.

20 “Jehovah your God you should fear, him you should serve,+ to him you should cling, and by his name you should swear. 21 He is the One you are to praise.+ He is your God, who has done all these great and awe-inspiring things for you that your own eyes have seen.+ (Deuteronomy 10: 20-21)

We shall continue to to invite all sorts of fellow believers, including those whose background differs from ours as well as those who are poor, orphaned, or widowed. (Read Galatians 2:10; James 1:27.) Further, in the Kingdom-preaching work, we shall keep sharing the good news impartially with people of all backgrounds, including those from foreign countries.

Preaching without impartility

We shall continue to take time to reflect on how approachable and impartial Jehovah is. In the knowledge that Jehovah is near to all those calling upon Him, we shall keep trying to bring others to know Him and to imitate Jehovah’s qualities to the full, demonstrating them in our dealings with fellow believers and with those to whom we preach.

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

++

Additional reading:

  1. Words in the world
  2. Funeral service only belongs in church building according to Catholic Church
  3. Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life
  4. Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual
  5. Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one
  6. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  7. Focus on outward appearances
  8. People are turning their back on Christianity
  9. Christianity to be enshrined
  10. Anti-Semitism ‘on the rise’ in Europe
  11. Walking alone?
  12. Stand Up
  13. Quit griping about your church
  14. Accents in schools and tools of survival against aliens
  15. Two states of existence before God
  16. God, my father, my closest friend
  17. God doesn’t call the qualified
  18. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  19. A Society pleading poverty
  20. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  21. Christadelphian people
  22. Not many coming out with their community name
  23. Festival of Freedom and persecutions
  24. Certain people trying to stem freedom of speech
  25. Censorship possible by a person and his organisation
  26. Attackers silenced freedom of speech
  27. A man from the North wanting to have control in Belgium
  28. No reconciliation possible between CBM and Duncan Heaster from Carelinks
  29. Delay in publications because attack from outside
  30. Members of the ecclesia uniting and seeking God’s help in tribulation
  31. Cleanliness and worrying or not about purity
  32. Springtime!
  33. Christian values and voting not just a game
  34. Human relations 2013
  35. 2013 Lifestyle, religiously and spiritually
  36. Preparing for an important election
  37. Standing aside or looking at election days
  38. 2014 European elections
  39. Yellow wave over Belgium
  40. Walloon politicians have proven they will never be willing to be open to Flanders
  41. A Jewish Theocracy
  42. Call for prayer to help with unity crisis
  43. Do You Expect God’s Answer
  44. Prayer, important aspect in our life
  45. Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer
  46. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #1 Kings Faith
  47. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #2 Calling upon the Name of God
  48. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #1 Creator and His Prophets
  49. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #4 Words in Scripture
  50. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
  51. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #1 Prosperity
  52. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #2 Purity
  53. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #1 Listening Sovereign Maker
  54. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  55. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #3 Callers upon God
  56. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #6 Prayer #4 Attitude
  57. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #7 Prayer #5 Listening Ear
  58. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #8 Prayer #6 Communication and manifestation
  59. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #9 Prayer #7 Reason to pray
  60. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #10 Prayer #8 Condition
  61. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #11 Prayer #9 Making the Name Holy
  62. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #12 Prayer #10 Talk to A Friend
  63. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #13 Prayer #11 Name to be set apart
  64. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #14 Prayer #12 The other name
  65. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #15 Exposition before the Creator
  66. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #16 Benefits of praying
  67. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #17 Sorts of prayers
  68. Praying and thinking positively
  69. “Prayer 2″ – Child Abuse
  70. Genuine prayer
  71. People who know how to pray to move God to take hold of our affairs in a mighty way
  72. 7000 to 20000 words spoken each day
  73. If you think you’re too small to be effective
  74. Does God answer prayer?
  75. Being sure of their deliverance
  76. Work with joy and pray with love
  77. Give your worries to God
  78. Prayer has comforted us in sorrow

+++

  • Nearly 6,000 attend Jehovah’s Witness convention (wwlp.com)
    The Daily Hampshire Gazette reports that members of Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations from across the Northeast came to Amherst this weekend. They participated in a three-day program that included sermons, songs and prayer.
  • My Family Was Catholic Until the Almighty Got a Hold of Us (sandradeden.com)
    Ever wonder how all the different religions came about? Well, wonder no more, because I have a highly sophisticated theory. I think entire families stand in a long line before they are born, and a deity hands out religion like an ice cream truck guy hands out SpongeBob SquarePants bars, strawberry shortcakes, and fudgsicles. How do I know this? It’s the only way to explain my family.
    +
    She liked the Jewish emphasis on family and being a good person (as opposed to say, burning in hell for transgressions). The final piece was the idea that children must be born to a Jewish mother be considered Jewish, so she converted. It was toughest on my mom. Julie’s religious departure was still based in Christianity, but for my mom, Sharon had left the fold entirely.
  • A Letter to Brother Bramwell Chandrakumar’s Questions (garylordsway.wordpress.com)
    Jesus has defined God for us in scripture: Jn.4:24God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. If we then know God is a Spirit, because God cannot lie
  • Chapter 25-Christ in the Old Testament (reformedontheweb.wordpress.com)
    It is well to see that the true doctrine as to the Saviour of man is not that of the New Testament only, but of the whole Bible. The unity of divine revelation will thus appear. The testimony of prophecy will be added to that of the miracles which attended the life of Jesus and the ministry of his followers.
    +
    The prophecy of the second coming of Christ which Jude (vers. 14, 15) tells us was made by “Enoch, the seventh from Adam,” betokens a degree of knowledge to the very end of the world which, but for that record, would never have been imagined. We are therefore not to be hindered by any presumption that our first parents did not know what God was promising, from carefully scrutinizing the record left us, nor from giving to it all the fullness of meaning its literal interpretation may convey.
  • Psalm 9 (kittyjonesblog.wordpress.com)
    Since you provide my righteousness and appoint my cause, /I know that my enemies, /the world culture that surrounds me, /my own self-absorbed flesh / and the devil, /will stumble and perish before the righteous judgment / that comes from your throne.
  • What do you need…? (prayerconfessions.wordpress.com)
    The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.Encounter Him as:
    Elohim: the God above all gods

    Jehovah Jireh: the God who provides

    El-Shaddai: the almighty God

    Jehovah Rapha: our healer God

    Jehovah Shalom: our God of peace

  • Names of God (girlfriendscoffeehour.com)
    El Roi, the God Who Sees
    You are My Banner, Jehovah-Nissi
    The All Sufficient One, El Shaddai
    Jehovah-Jireh, You Will Provide
    Rapha, the Lord Who Heals
    Shalom, You are my Peace
    The Lord of Hosts, Jehovah-Sabaoth
  • Week 15: Friday – The Great I am (bolmdevotional.wordpress.com)
  • Jehovah “Is Not Partial” (byronfliwalker.wordpress.com)
    Have you ever been a victim of discrimination? Have you ever been denied a request, refused a service, or otherwise treated with disdain because of your skin color, ethnic background, or social status? If so, you are far from alone. Here, though, is the good news: Such indignities, though commonplace on earth, are nonexistent in heaven. “God is not partial,” said the Christian apostle Peter with the utmost conviction.—Read Acts 10:34, 35.

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