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A Look of the Expositor Bible at The Ordeal of questions {Matthew 22:15-46 }

II —The Ordeal of questions. {#Mt 22:15-46 }

The open challenge has failed; but more subtle weapons may succeed. The Pharisees have found it of no avail to confront their enemy; but they may still be able to entangle Him. They will at all events try. They will spring upon Him some hard questions, of such a kind that, answering on the spur of the moment, He will be sure to compromise Himself.

1. The first shall be one of those semi-political semi-religious questions on which feeling is running high — the lawfulness or unlawfulness of paying tribute to Caesar. The old Pharisees who had challenged His authority keep in the background, that the sinister purpose of the question may not appear; but they are represented by some of their disciples who, coming fresh upon the scene and addressing Jesus m terms of respect and appreciation, may readily pass for guileless inquirers. They were accompanied by some Herodians, whose divergence of view on the point made it all the more natural that they should join with Pharisees in asking the question; for it might fairly be considered that they had been disputing with one another in regard to it, and had concluded to submit the question to His decision as to one who would be sure to know the truth and fearless to tell it. So together they come with the request:

“Master, we know that Thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest Thou for any man: for Thou regardest not the person of men. Tell us therefore, What thinkest Thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?”

But they cannot impose upon Him:

“Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye Me, ye hypocrites?”

Having thus unmasked them, without a moment’s hesitation He answers them. They had expected a “yes” or a “no”—a “yes” which would have set the people against Him, or better still a “no” which would have put Him at the mercy of the government. But, avoiding Scylla on the one hand, and Charybdis on the other, He makes straight for His goal by asking for a piece of coin and calling attention to Caesar’s stamp upon it. Those who use Caesar’s coin should not refuse to pay Caesar’s tribute; but, while the relation which with their own acquiescence they sustain to the Roman emperor implied corresponding obligations in the sphere it covered, this did not at all interfere with what is due to the King of kings and Lord of lords, in Whose image we all are made, and Whose superscription every one of us bears:

“Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.”

Thus He not only avoids the net they had spread for Him, and gives them the very best answer to their question, but, in doing so, He lays down a great principle of far-reaching application and permanent value respecting the difficult and much-to-be-vexed question as to the relations between Church and State. “O answer full of miracle!” as one had said. No wonder that

“when they had heard these words they marvelled, and left Him, and went their way.”

2. Next come forward certain Sadducees. That the Pharisees had an understanding with them also seems likely from what is said both in ver. 15, which seems a general introduction to the series of questions, and in ver. 34, from which it would appear that they were somewhere out of sight, waiting to hear the result of this new attack. Though the alliance seems a strange one, it is not the first time that common hostility to the Christ of God has drawn together the two great rival parties. {see #Mt 16:1 } If we are right in supposing them to be in combination now, it is a remarkable illustration of the deep hostility of the Pharisees that they should not only combine with the Sadducees against Him, as they had done before, but that they should look with complacency on their using against Him a weapon which threatened one of their own doctrines. For the object of the attack was to cast ridicule on the doctrine of the resurrection, which assuredly the Pharisees did not deny.

The difficulty they raise is of the same kind as those which are painfully familiar in these days, when men of coarse minds and fleshly imaginations show by their crude objections their incapacity even to think on spiritual themes. The case they supposed was one they knew He could not find fault with so far as this world was concerned, for everything was done in accordance with the letter of the law of Moses, the inference being that whatever confusion there was in it must belong to what they would call His figment of the resurrection:

“In the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.”

It is worthy of note that our Lord’s-answer is much less stern than in the former case. These men were not hypocrites. They were scornful, perhaps flippant; but they were not intentionally dishonest. The difficulty they felt was due to the coarseness of their minds, but it was a real difficulty to them. Our Lord accordingly gives them a kindly answer, not denouncing them, but calmly showing them where they are wrong:

“Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.”

Ye know not the power of God, or ye would not suppose that the life to come, would be a mere repetition of the life that now is, with all its fleshly conditions the same as now. That there is continuity of life is of course implied in the very idea of resurrection, but true life resides not in the flesh, but in the spirit, and therefore the continuity will be a spiritual continuity; and the power of God will effect such changes on the body itself that it will rise out of its fleshly condition into a state of being like that of the angels of God. The thought is the same as that which was afterwards expanded by the apostle Paul in such passages as #Ro 8:5-11, 1Co 15:35-54.

Ye know not the Scriptures, or you would find in the writings of Moses from which you quote, and to which you attach supreme importance, evidence enough of the great doctrine you deny.

“Have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?”

Here, again, Jesus not only answers the Sadducees, but puts the great and all-important doctrine of the life to come and the resurrection of the body on its deepest foundation. There are those who have expressed astonishment that He did not quote from some of the later prophets, where He could have found passages much clearer and more to the point: but not only was it desirable that, as they had based their question on Moses, He should give His answer from the same source; but in doing so He has put the great truth on a permanent and universal basis; for the argument rests not on the authority of Moses, nor, as some have supposed, upon the present tense “I am,” but on the relation between God and His people. The thought is that such a relation between mortal man and the eternal God as is implied in the declaration

“I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob”

is itself a guarantee of immortality. Not for the spirit only, for it is not as spirits merely, but as men that we are taken into relation to the living God; and that relation, being of God, must share His immortality:

“God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”

The thought is put in a very striking way in a well-known passage in the Epistle to the Hebrews:

“But now they the patriarchs desire a better country, that is, a heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He hath prepared for them a city.”

Our Lord’s answer suggests the best way of assuring ourselves of this glorious hope. Let God be real to us, and life and immortality will be real too. If we would escape the doubts of old Sadducee and new Agnostic, we must be much with God, and strengthen more and more the ties which bind us to Him.

3. The next attempt of the Pharisees is on an entirely new line. They have found that they cannot impose upon Him by sending pretended inquirers to question Him. But they have managed to lay their hands on a real inquirer now — one of themselves, a student of the law, who is exercised on a question much discussed, arid to which very different answers are given; they will suggest to him to carry his question to Jesus and see what He will say to it. That this was the real state of the case appears from the fuller account in St. Mark’s Gospel. When, then, St. Matthew speaks of him as asking Jesus a question, “tempting Him,” we are not to impute the same sinister motives as actuated those who sent him. He also was in a certain sense tempting Jesus — i.e., putting Him to the test, but with no sinister motive, with a real desire to find out the truth, and probably also to find out if this Jesus was one who could really help an inquirer after truth. In this spirit, then, he asks the question,

“Which is the great commandment in the law?”

The answer our Lord immediately gives is now so familiar that it is difficult to realise how great a thing it was to give it for the first time. True, He takes it from the Scriptures; but think what command of the Scriptures is involved in this prompt reply. The passages quoted lie far apart — the one in the sixth chapter of Deuteronomy, the other in the nineteenth of Leviticus in quite an obscure corner; and nowhere are they spoken of as the first and second commandments, nor indeed were they regarded as commandments in the usually understood sense of the word. When we consider all this we recognise what from one point of view might be called a miracle of genius, and from another a flash of inspiration, in the instantaneous selection of these two passages, and bringing them together so as to furnish a summary of the law and the prophets beyond all praise which the veriest unbeliever, if only he have a mind to appreciate that which is excellent, must recognise as worthy of being written in letters of light. That one short answer to a sudden question—asked indeed by a true man, but really sprung upon Him by His enemies who were watching for His halting—is of more value in morals than all the writings of all the ethical philosophers, from Socrates to Herbert Spencer.

It is now time to question the questioners. The opportunity is most favourable. They are gathered together to hear what He will say to their last attempt to entangle Him. Once more He has not only met the difficulty, but has done so in such a way as to make the truth on the subject in dispute shine with the very light of heaven. There could not, then, be a better opportunity of turning their thoughts in a direction which might lead them, if possible in spite of themselves, into the light of God.

The question Jesus asks (vv. 41-45) is undoubtedly a puzzling one for them; but it is no mere Scripture conundrum. The difficulty in which it lands them is one which, if only they would honestly face it, would be the means of removing the veil from their eyes, and leading them, ere it is too late, to welcome the Son of David come in the name of the Lord to save them. They fully accepted the psalm to which He referred as a psalm of David concerning the. Messiah. If, then, they would honestly read that psalm they would see that the Messiah when He comes must be, not a mere earthly monarch, as David was, but a heavenly monarch, one who should sit on the throne of God and bring into subjection the enemies of the kingdom of heaven. If only they would take their ideas of the Christ from the Scriptures which were their boast, they could not fail to see Him standing now before them. For we must remember that they had not only the words He spoke to guide them. They had before them the Messiah Himself, with the light of heaven in His eye, with the love of God in His face; and had they had any love for the light, they would have recognised Him then — they would have seen in Him, whom they had often heard of as David’s Son, the Lord of David, and therefore the Lord of the Temple, and the heavenly King of Israel. But they love the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds are evil: therefore their hearts remain unchanged, the eyes of their spirit unopened; they are only abashed and silenced:

“No man was able to answer Him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask Him any more questions.”

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Preceding

Matthew 22:1-6 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of Invitation to a Marriage

Matthew 22:7-10 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Invitations after City’s Destruction

Matthew 22:11-13 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: King’s Inspection and Marriage Garments

Matthew 22:14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Many Invited – Few Chosen

Matthew 22:15-22 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Caesar’s Things and God’s Things

Matthew 22:23-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Sadducees Question on the Resurrection

Matthew 22:29-33 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Resurrection Proof from Moses

Matthew 22:34-40 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Which Is the Greatest Commandment

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

Additional readings to Matthew 22:41-46

A Look of the Expositor Bible at The Marriage Feast {Matthew 22:1-14 }

The Hater of Jesus and Jesus’ followers having become a speaker for him

Concerning the forgiveness of God we have an incredible le example in the Scriptures. We find a figure who really loved God, but did not want to see that Jesus was a favourite of God. He even thought the followers of that Jesus had to be killed and those teachings of that Nazarene silenced.

In the Book of books we can find the Roman man who was monstrous and unmerciful; breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord. He made havoc of the church, entering into every house and hauling away men and women, putting them in prison. Indeed, some he even put to death.

On his way to Damascus, going to do away of those followers of Christ, he got stricken by light and blinded. He came to understand he was blind though he could see and now when he was blind he came to see and understand who that sent one from God was and why that man of flesh and blood was so important.

When Paul of Tarsus was called by Jesus it was because God loved this man and wanted to use that man to proclaim the truth about the Nazarene man of flesh and blood, who gave his life for mankind. For sure God forgave Paul his horrible acts, killing so many in the name of God. Can you imagine the difficulty the followers of Christ had by having to accept this vengeful killer of fellow brothers having chosen by Jesus and by god to become a speaker for Christ?

The talmidim and other followers of Christ may have found Paul his conversion to be a bit of a stretch. But clearly they underestimated the power of the Most High. Once more in history we can see that God forgave a person and was willing to use him for his Plan. By the act of Jesus, giving his life, by doing the Will of his heavenly Father, salvation or liberation of death and whitewashing of sin came unto mankind and as such also on Paul.

“Paul was indeed a new creation in Christ, old things had passed away and all things were becoming new. He came a stayed with me for about two weeks and we talked at great length about many things. And one thing towered above all others in Paul’s mind – it was the Grace of God.”

Peter at first had at first not such a good eye on the choice of Jesus to use Paul for his work. He also had an other idea about the Grace of God.

“His understanding of grace was different than what we had been taught from our childhood. We had viewed grace as God’s favour, given in kindness to the undeserving. But this was not the message Paul brought to me.

“Grace is the power of Christ working in me and through me,”

he said with such passion and conviction, one could hardly resist him.

“I got this directly from the Lord Jesus himself,”

he would add; underscoring his resolve in making sure I understood it.

Paul was not only convincing; he was right.

The apostles remembered how Jesus had told them that there would come to them a Spirit of Truth, who was going to guide them into all the truth. (John 16:12-13) They also remembered that the Most High was going to reveal what was Christ’s. When Jesus said that the Spirit would take the things that are his and will reveal or disclose (transmit) it to them (Joh16:15) they did not understand it. But now they were confronted by some other ideas which they would never have thought of before. Peter confesses

“I myself had indeed experienced the grace of God on many occasions, but did not fully understand it at the time. I just knew that the power of the Lord was surging in me and through me in ways that left me amazed with what happened. Think about it – my shadow healed a man! I guess you could say I took the heat off of him. Yet, it wasn’t me; it was the grace of God in me.

After the conversion of Paul they came to see how his work pulled others to recognise Jesus as the Way to God. They also understood God must have forgiven Paul for what he did against followers of Jesus and even made him in a new

“Fisher of men.”

Peter had experienced the Lord’s power many times; but when he was fifteen days with Paul, it helped him to understand more fully that it was the grace of God in him – and through him. It was the power of Christ helping him to do His will. Paul and Peter became fast friends. He wrote

Our visit together also showed me that, while Paul was an apostle to the Gentiles, and I to the Jews – we both were life-long friends on one mission: Proclaiming to all the Gospel of God’s Grace!

The love of God giving forgiveness to Paul opened new doors. The forgiveness of the prosecuted followers of Christ, members of the sect The Way, now forgave Paul for what he had done and gave him full credit for doing the work of God and being a righteous preacher in the name of Christ.

Today we too should always be open-minded, even to people who are against us, or who do everything against our movement. We should forgive their attacks against us and should try with friendly words to have them to come to open their eyes. We also should pray for those who do not yet see that Jesus is the way to God, the sent one from God, who is now sitting at the right hand of God, as a mediator between God and man.

Even when they keep attacking us, we should keep forgiving them, even perhaps thinking

“Please God forgive them, because they do not know what they do.”

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Preceding posts

Matthew 18:1-6 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Children and Stumbling

Matthew 18:1-6 Reborn and pliable as a child

Matthew 18:7-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Danger of Stumbling-blocks

Matthew 18:12-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Searching for Lost Sheep

Matthew 18:15-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Three Steps to Gaining a Brother

Matthew 18:18-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Authority of Two or Three

Matthew 18:21-22 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Forgive 77 Times!

Matthew 18:23-35 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Kingdom and Forgiveness

Ableness to forgive those who wronged us

Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

Forgiveness a command given for our well-being

A heart full of love is a fundamental requirement

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #2 King James Bible versions

Nederlands: bijbeluitgave 1611

Bijbeluitgave 1611 Bible edition of 1611 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In English speaking parts of the world we can find certain people who swear by the King James Bible also called Authorized Version or King James Version, which was published in 1611 under the auspices of King James I of England.  They say it is the only Bible we should use and they often asperse other Bible translations. Strangely enough when we look at what Bible version they use, we notice that they do not use the original King James Bible or Authorized King James Version, but have taken themselves one of the many King James bible (KJB) versions (KJV) and as such, often also could have used an other up to date English Bible translation.

Also telling people that they only should be allowed to use the King James Bible is giving the same indication as some Islamic teachers do, telling their folks they only may use the Quran in Arabic, as if God would only have given His word to the world in Arabic or in English, so that people who speak an other language would not be able to come to God or to understand God.

Verses from the Vetus Latina Gospel of John (16:23–30) as they appear on a page of the Codex Vercellensis.

After the Book of books in Hebrew we got an international translation of Gods Word with the Septuagint,(receiving the symbol LXX) the oldest extant Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible made by Hellenistic Jews, possibly from Alexandria, c.250 BCE Legend, according to the fictional letter of Aristeas, records that it was done in 72 days by 72 translators for Ptolemy Philadelphus, which accounts for the name. Later we got Latin versions (Vetus Latina; Vulgate) whilst the Greek form was improved and altered to include the books of the Apocrypha and some of the pseudepigrapha, spurious or pseudonymous Jewish writings ascribed to various biblical patriarchs and prophets composed between c.200 BCE and c.a. 200 CE. In a way there was not really one single Latin Bible, because different versions appeared from 350 CE to 1400 CE, with a collection of biblical manuscript texts that bear witness to Latin translations of biblical passages that preceded Jerome’s.

The language of the Old Latin translations is uneven in quality, as Augustine of Hippo lamented in De Doctrina Christiana (2, 16). Grammatical solecisms abound; some reproduce literally Greek or Hebrew idioms as they appear in the Septuagint. Likewise, the various Old Latin translations reflect the various versions of the Septuagint circulating, with the African manuscripts (such as the Codex Bobiensis) preserving readings of the Western text-type, while readings in the European manuscripts are closer to the Byzantine text-type. Many grammatical idiosyncrasies come from the use of Vulgar Latin grammatical forms in the text. {The Free Encyclopedia Wikipedia on Vetus Latina, edition 2016}

In the Septuagint we can find older versions of parts of the Hebrew Scriptures, some going back long before the canon of the Hebrew Bible was settled. We also can find Egyptian writings which predate the Catholic bible translations in Latin. It were diaspora Jews who continually worked on putting the old set apart writings (holy scriptures) together. Some communities had other writings included in their yearly readings, whilst others took other standard texts often in different order or arrangement than our common contemporary bibles, though even today Catholic, Protestant, Ethiopian Orthodox, Russian Orthodox and Greek Orthodox Bibles use a different order of books and may consider some as canonical, whilst other treat them as apocryphal.

In Great Britain’s 16° century the most popular English translation was the Geneva Bible (1557; first published in England in 1576), which had been made in Geneva by English Protestants living in exile during Mary I (1553–58) her persecutions. She had attempted to restore Roman Catholicism in the country. That translation was never authorized by the crown, but was particularly popular among the religious reform movement of the Puritans which surged across Europe, though not among many more-conservative clergymen.

In the seventeenth century the translators, gathered in name of the English sovereign, were very well aware that the Word of God was delivered to the world in the language of the chosen people of God, Hebrew and in the language of Jeshua, the Messiah (Jesus Christ), Aramaic as well as in the business or commercial language of the time of the master teacher, Greek. They thought it well to translate those languages so that the English people could have the Bible in their own language and did not have to go for the Latin translations.

English: Titlepage and dedication from a 1612-...

Titlepage and dedication from a 1612-1613 King James Bible, printed by Robert Barker. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By June 30, 1604, King James I had approved a list of 54 revisers, although extant records show that 47 scholars actually participated. They were organized into six companies, two each working separately at Westminster, Oxford, and Cambridge on sections of the Bible assigned to them.
In addition to the original languages of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, the 6 committees that worked on the King James Bible Version (2 in Cambridge, 2 in Oxford, and 2 at Westminster) used other translations, both those in English that had gone before them, as well as translations in other languages. Richard Bancroft (1544–1610), archbishop of Canterbury, served as overseer and established doctrinal conventions for the translators. They used translations of the Bible to consider how best to interpret and render the original languages in the English of the early 17th Century. They were fully aware of the rich value of other translations which saw the light in the earlier times and believed it was God’s Power which took care that the Word of God could reach them so far away from the Holy Land. For having the availability of this Word of God in other languages as well as in other English translations the committee expressed thanks to God for those other translations which were for them a valuable resource in their work.

They themselves regarded what they were doing and how they did it as part of a world effort to get God’s Word into the language of the ordinary folks. They were humble enough to know that there were other versions in Europe which also had to offer the Truth to the world. They also knew they could make faults and that those had to be corrected in later times, which also happened. The King James Version (KJV) came later to be  corrected and improved.

ASV Star Bible.jpgIn Europe there are not many people having a bible, but in the United States of America is seems that there are still 88% of Americans who own a Bible translation in their own language. When those Northern Americans reach for their Bibles, more than half of them are still reaching for the King James Version (KJV).

New American Standard Bible cover.jpg Since a few years next to the American Bible Translation the New International Version (NIV) saw the light and came to gain in popularity over the American Standard Version (ASV) and New American Standard Bible (NASB) and the Catholic New American Bible (NAB) and the lesser used protestant and Catholic Revised Standard Version (RSV). Although the NIV tops Bible sales each year (KJV and NKJV are number 2 & 3), only 19% of Americans own that modern translation, and other modern translations take much smaller slices of the Bible sales pie.

Different English Bible translations

English Bible translations

In the United States like in Great Britain you can find churches who believe that the King James Version is the only translation that faithfully embodies the Word of God. For them all other translations are to be rejected out of hand. Such churches hold this faulty position based on a misunderstanding of the ancient manuscripts behind the Bible.

The KJV translators, speaking of other translators, write in their Preface,

“Therefore blessed be they, and most honoured be their name, that breake the ice, and glueth onset upon that which helpeth forward to the saving of soules. Now what can bee more availeable thereto, then to deliver Gods booke unto Gods people in a tongue which they understand?”

They continue later in the Preface,

“Truly (good Christian Reader) wee never thought from the beginning, that we should neede to make a new Translation, nor yet to make of a bad one a good one, . . . but to make a good one better, or out of many good ones, one principall good one, . . . .”

This indicates that they themselves had also already found some other good translations, but wanted to make such good translations even better, or more useful for the goal they had in mind, bringing unity in the diverse world of different sorts of preachers who walked around in those days.

(KJV) 1631 Holy Bible, Robert Barker/John Bill...

(KJV) 1631 Holy Bible, Robert Barker/John Bill, London. King James Version (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They also considered themselves as instruments of God doing something in the time of theirs, which was in the given time of God, but knew that there would also come other times and that the world would develop and as such language also could develop. this is also what happened the language developed and we do not speak any more as in the 17° century.

As such the wording from the original King James Version would not be the ideal tool to reach people today.

According to the original King James Version

2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV-1611

(16)  All Scripture is giuen by inspiration of God, & is profitable for doctrine, for reproofe, for correction, for instrution in righteousnesse,  (17)  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished vnto all good workes.

which became in the 1769 version and 1769 Red Letter Version

2 Timothy 3:16-17 AV + AVRLE

“16 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

which became in the 1885 version

2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV 1885; English Revised Version

“16 Every scripture inspired of God [is] also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness: 17 that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work.”

Which today sounds already nicer or easier to read in later versions like

2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV which can also be found in the Public Cambridge Edition and Oxford edition as well as the KJVCNT; the KJV 2000 version

(16) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  (17)  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

But see the small difference between

2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV-BRG

(16)  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  (17)  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

with in some KJV the “is” being omitted

Also look at a more modern version of the KJV, were even other words are used

2 Timothy 3:16-17 MKJV

(16)  All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,  (17)  that the man of God may be perfected, thoroughly furnished to every good work.

which was presented in the 21st Century version

2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV

“16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly equipped for all good works.”

and in the Proper Name or the restored versions looks like

2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJBPNV

“16 All scripture \@is\@ given by inspiration of God, and \@is\@ profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to all good works.”

In the Twenty-eleven King James Version got printed as

2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV_2011

“16 All scripture is inspired by God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Which is translated in the New American Standard Bible

2 Timothy 3:16-17 NAS of 1977

“16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

2 Timothy 3:16-17 NAS of 1995

“16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

And in the contemporary translation from 1984 so many reject the New International Version presents

2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV

“16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

In these two verses you might not see so much difference, though many make such a fuss about them, but when we look in the Old Testament, more variation is offered by the different KJV editions throughout the years. In later versions the name of God יהוה, YHWH (Iowah, Iovhah, Iova, Yehowah/Jehowah/Jehovah) was changed to “Yahweh” or “Jahweh” and worst of all got also changed to “Lordy”, “Lord of Lords”, “Lord of lords”, “Host of hosts”, “GOD”, “God” or “LORD” or to a more confusing “Lord”, so that lots of people could not see any more if was spoken about the DivineHost of hosts“, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah, or about God His son, Jeshua, the sent one from God, Christ Jesus, which much better the trinitarian teaching of several churches in Christendom.

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Preceding: Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #1 Pre King James Bible

Continues: Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #3 Women and versions

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Additional reading:

  1. The Bible a book of books
  2. Book of books and great masterpiece
  3. Authority of the Bible
  4. Ketuvim, Writings, Hagiographa, Five Megillot and Messianic Scriptures
  5. Are there certain books essential to come to faith
  6. King James Bible Coming into being
  7. Dedication and Preaching Effort 400 years after the first King James Version
  8. Rare original King James Bible discovered
  9. Celebrating the Bible in English
  10. TheBible4Life KJV Jubileum
  11. Appointed to be read
  12. The NIV and the Name of God
  13. Lord in place of the divine name
  14. Archeological Findings the name of God YHWHUse of /Gebruik van Jehovah or/of Yahweh in Bible Translations/Bijbel vertalingen
  15. יהוה , YHWH and Love: Four-letter words
  16. Accuracy, Word-for-Word Translation Preferred by most Bible Readers
  17. Hebrew, Aramaic and Bibletranslation
  18. Bible Translating and Concordance Making
  19. Comparisson Bible Books in English, Dutch and French
  20. Some Restored Name Versions
  21. Codex Sinaiticus available for perusal on the Web
  22. What English Bible do you use?
  23. The Most Reliable English Bible
  24. 2001 Translation an American English Bible
  25. NWT and what other scholars have to say to its critics
  26. New American Bible Revised Edition
  27. The NIV and the Name of God
  28. Anchor Yale Bible
  29. iPod & Android Bibles
  30. Perspectives on the Formation of the Book of the Twelve
  31. Scripture alone Sola Scriptora
  32. Who Gets to Say What the Bible Says?
  33. Forbidden fruit
  34. Obstacles to effective evangelism

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Further reading

  1. Of Gods and Languages: On “When God Spoke Greek”
  2. Why Is God’s Name Missing From Many Bibles ?
  3. Names of God in Judaism: EMET excerpt selected by אלוה אל
  4. ΠΙΠΙ and the Use of Hebrew in Greek Manuscripts
  5. The Divine Name and Greek Translation
  6. I AM…………………….The name of God and endless potential.
  7. How Factual is the Bible?
  8. Books every Jew(-to-be) should have
  9. Amazing Tanakh, Or Five Reasons I Learned to Love the Old Testament
  10. Newly Discovered Egyptian Scrolls Reveal Pyramids were Built with Retarded Slaves
  11. New Technology Could Reveal Secrets in 2,000 Year Old Scrolls
  12. A short Popular Survey of the Old Testament
  13. Wisdom or Heresy?
  14. Catholic Myths about the Deuterocanon
  15. Views on canonicity
  16. Marginalia #6: “Apocrypha”
  17. Old Testament Pseudepigrapha
  18. AHOTKJBP Episode 14: The Apocrypha: A discussion with Dr. Mike Spaulding
  19. Apocryphal musings: Sirach 34:1-7
  20. His Accustomed Place: Inspiration from Tobit and the Walls of Nineveh
  21. Common Awards Student Conference 2016. Part 3: More Jesus or Another Jesus? A New New Testament
  22. First issue of Gnosis: Journal for Gnostic Studies Published
  23. The Vossen Collection of Coptic Manuscripts
  24. Special issue of BSOR on the Discovery of the Nag Hammadi Codices
  25. Ancient and modern Christian apocrypha: The Gospels of Judas, Mary, Thomas, Peter and Phillip etc. and The Kolbrin Bible, The Gospel of The Essenes and The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus Christ etc.:
  26. The Gnostic Genesis: Norea and Samael
  27. The Gnostic Genesis: Eleleth’s Revelation
  28. The Gnostic Genesis: Eleleth’s Prophecy
  29. The Apocryphon of Ezekiel, Fragments 2-5
  30. The Treatise of Shem
  31. Roman Emperors – Sibylline Oracles, Book 12
  32. Christian or Gnostic? – Sibylline Oracles, Book 7
  33. The Breeches Bible
  34. Christian Scholars Admit To Corrupting The Bible
  35. Muslim Scholars Admit To Corrupting The Qu’ran
  36. The Expert Idiocracy is as Dangerous as Islam ⋆ The Constitution
  37. Some Notes on Bible Translations
  38. August 25, 2016 Resources: Suicide of the Republic; How We Got Our Bible; Sound Preaching
  39. KJV Only
  40. KJV Only?
  41. Wisdom from The Holy Scriptures
  42. The King James Bible and the Restoration
  43. The Septuagint: The KJV of the Ancient World
  44. How the King James Bible absolutely disproves the perpetual virginity of Mary
  45. 7 Bible Translations You Should Look At Regularly
  46. Try It, Then Critique
  47. Faith Exercises
  48. Deuteronomy 22:5 In 20 Popular translation
  49. Security Of The Believer
  50. No Other Gods: Walter Kirn’s “My Mother’s Bible”
  51. Julius Africanus: One Interesting Fellow!
  52. KJV Lecture Published
  53. New Cambridge History of the Bible
  54. KJV App
  55. NIV 50th Anniversary and Translation Strategy
  56. The Early Church Bookshelf
  57. Qumran Pt 1: What are the Dead Sea Scrolls?
  58. A Biblical Theology of OT Holy War, Pt 3: Seed Conflict
  59. A Clash of Monotheisms: Tawhid vs. Trinity, Pt 1
  60. A Clash of Monotheisms, Pt 2: Dhat and Pluralness in Person
  61. Researching outside of the bible
  62. Will God’s people be stumbled by the name of Jehoshua?
  63. Christ never heard himself called “Jesus”

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Back from gone #1 Aim of ungodly people

Aim of terrorists has changed

The world has seen clashes or periods of terrorism, small and big wars. In the late 1980’s, terrorism appeared to be on the decline. However, a new breed of terrorist has emerged. Today’s terrorist threat comes primarily from extremists who have established their own funding networks — through traffic in drugs, private business, independent wealth, charities, and local financial support. And they continue to be as ruthless as ever.

Terrorism has changed,”

says Brad Roberts of the Institute for Defense Analyses.

“Traditional terrorists wanted political concessions. But now, some groups say their main aim is mass casualties. That makes biological weapons appealing.”

Is it difficult to obtain such weapons? The magazine Scientific American says:

“One can cultivate trillions of bacteria at relatively little risk to one’s self with gear no more sophisticated than a beer fermenter and a protein-based culture, a gas mask and a plastic overgarment.”

Once the germs are prepared, delivering them is relatively easy. Victims would not even know that a weapon had been set off until a day or two later. And by then it could be too late. therefore French president Hollande straight after the November 13 attacks in Paris demanded to enlarge the reserve of anti material for an Anthrax attack.

Skin reaction to anthrax

Anthrax is said to be a likely choice as a biological weapon. The disease gets its name from the Greek word for coal — a reference to the black scabs that typically form over sores that develop on the skin of those who come in contact with anthrax-infected livestock. Defence planners are more concerned about lung infections caused by breathing in anthrax spores. In humans, anthrax infection has a high mortality rate.

Why is anthrax such an effective biological weapon? The bacterium is easy to cultivate and is highly resistant. It would take several days before the victims would experience the first symptom, a flulike malaise and fatigue. A cough and mild chest discomfort follow. Then come severe respiratory distress, shock and, within hours, death.

The Staggering Cost

The tragic loss of human life is the most obvious result of terrorism. But there are broader implications. Terrorism can destroy or delay the peace process in trouble spots on the planet. It provokes, prolongs, or entrenches conflicts, and it accelerates the cycle of violence.

Terrorism can also have an impact on national economies. Governments have been forced to spend enormous amounts of time and resources to combat it. For example, in the United States alone, antiterrorism spending was budgeted at more than ten billion dollars for the year 2000.

Whether we notice it or not, terrorism affects us all. It influences the way we travel and the choices we make when we travel. It forces countries around the world to spend huge amounts of tax money to protect public figures, vital installations, and citizens.

So the question remains, Is there a lasting solution to the scourge of terrorism?

Why Terrorism?

Terrorism is systematic, premeditated, and calculated. The resulting toll in deaths and injuries is not the primary objective. Such carnage is a means to an end, part of the atmosphere of shock and fear that the terrorist wishes to create in order to undermine authority and gain a hearing for his specific cause. Consider some of the factors behind the violent acts of terrorists.

Hatred.

“Terrorism . . . is fueled by hatred,”

stated Louis J. Freeh, director of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“Those who harbour such hatred live in a world that is coloured by bigotry, shaded by conspiracy, and framed by ignorance.”

Oppression.

“To be sure, there are leaders of groups and countries whose irrational goals are the annihilation of other cultures,”

writes Stephen Bowman in his book When the Eagle Screams.

“But it is also clear that a great deal of terrorism is born of despair.”

Frustration.

“In many cases . . . the primary motivation for a terrorist is a genuine frustration with seemingly intractable political, social, and economic forces,”

observes the editor of the book Urban Terrorism.

Injustice.

“Terrorism is a symptom of a problem, not the actual cause,”

remarks Michael Shimoff in his paper “The Policy of Terrorism.” He continues:

“Our long-term goal should be to eliminate the underlying social and political causes of terrorism. . . . Paralleling our actions against terrorism, we must have equally vigorous efforts to enhance freedom, dignity, justice, and humanitarian values. Only when those vigorous efforts are effective, will we be able to dismantle our counter-terrorism and anti-terrorism operations.”

Long ago foretold and written down

Very long ago words were written down for in the future. Men of God had to write down signs people could come to see when the world would come in an other stadium of phase.

The causes and history of terrorism have proved the truth of the Biblical statement:

“Man has dominated man to his injury.” (Ecclesiastes 8:9)

The Bible even foretold the traits that have nurtured terrorism. It says:

“In the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here. For men will be lovers of themselves, . . . having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness, betrayers, headstrong, puffed up with pride.” (2 Timothy 3:1-4.)

The reality is that human efforts to combat terrorism, no matter how sincerely motivated, cannot successfully deal with its causes. The Bible realistically observes:

“To earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.” (Jeremiah 10:23)

However, while the solution to the problem of terrorism is beyond human power, it certainly is not beyond God’s power.

The Solution

Those who have been wronged or oppressed and who feel frustrated can find comfort in the Bible’s sure promise:

“The upright are the ones that will reside in the earth, and the blameless are the ones that will be left over in it. As regards the wicked, they will be cut off from the very earth; and as for the treacherous, they will be torn away from it.” (Proverbs 2:21, 22.)

This promise of God will soon be fulfilled. His Ruler, the reigning King Jesus Christ, will see to that. A Bible prophecy says regarding Christ:

“He will not judge by any mere appearance to his eyes, nor reprove simply according to the thing heard by his ears. And with righteousness he must judge the lowly ones, and with uprightness he must give reproof in behalf of the meek ones of the earth.” (Isaiah 11:3, 4.)

Yes, God’s Son, Jesus Christ, will soon eliminate all injustice as well as those responsible for it. In God’s righteous new system, terrorism and violence of every kind will be things of the past. Then everyone on earth will live in security, free from fear of any harm. (Revelation 21:3, 4.)

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Continues with: Back from gone #2 Aim of godly people

Part of this post can also be found in a Dutch posting / Een deel van deze tekst kan terug gevonden worden in een Nederlandstalige versie: 2015 het jaar dat ISIS duidelijk maakte dat het ook in Europa is – Vervolg 2

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Additional reading

  1. The Meaning of Paris
  2. Paris Attack and Ranting
  3. Spike In Anti-Muslim Attacks Casts Spotlight On Government Policies
  4. Before you blame All Muslims for the terrorist attack in Paris
  5. Problematic Or Patriotic? Two Ways To Talk About Muslims
  6. Responses to Radical Muslims and Radical Christians
  7. Don’t be Muslim
  8. Solidarité: The Paris Attack and the Refugee Crisis
  9. Father explaining Paris attack to young son
  10. A husband’s heartbreaking tribute to his wife killed in the Paris attacks
  11. Paris, in Retrospect
  12. Are Christianity and Capitalism Compatible?
  13. Subcutaneous power for humanity 5 Loneliness, Virtual and real friends
  14. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 4 Blasphemy and ridiculing faith in God
  15. Still Hope though Power generating long train of abuses
  16. Of old and new ideas to sustain power and to feel good by loving to be connected and worship something
  17. Christians at War? Christians using violence?
  18. The Crusader Rifle
  19. Paris Our Prayers Are With You: Victory Shall Be Yours!
  20. Listening for the Language of Peace
  21. What we don’t say about the refugee crisis?
  22. Real progress leaves nobody behind
  23. Swallowed in the Sea but belonging to earth
  24. Thematically Unhinged.
  25. Children of Men
  26. Migration not something to fear

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Further related articles

  1. Our world
  2. The Mighty River Racism
  3. Discrimination is learned; a child’s perspective
  4. Of Terrorists and Mass Shooters
  5. 2015 deadly mass shootings in the U.S. and abroad
  6. Paris Attacks
  7. Some thoughts on the Paris attacks
  8. Paris Attackers – Who?
  9. Fifty-Seven Paris Airport Employees Were on Terror Watch List
  10. An Interview on the Paris Attacks
  11. AP Interview: Iraqi envoy: Paris attack marks new global war
  12. The Daily Toast: Weaken The Nation State, Breed More Extremism
  13. The Pestilence of Rabid Nationalism
  14. Paris terrorist attacks: Strange behavior of 2 women at Café Nostra
  15. Paris Attacks shared through Periscope app updates
  16. The Paris Attacks: A Response from Nabeel Qureshi
  17. France Makes Major Shift Toward Fascism in Wake of Paris Terror Attacks
  18. The Paris Attacks: Should France Rain Flowers?
  19. How International Students Feel about the Paris Attacks
  20. Study Abroad: Affected by November Paris Attacks?
  21. New arrest in Paris attacks linked to apartment raid
  22. New arrest in Paris attacks linked to apartment raid that killed suspected planner
  23. A Culture Comes Together From Paris Attacks
  24. U.S Marine Ken O’Keefe Exposes Paris Attacks Hoax – YouTube
  25. Operation Gladio Reborn: The Paris Attacks Have Unleashed A New Wave Of Emergency Laws
  26. Authorities Are Using Paris Attacks To Rush New Mass Surveillance Laws – The Vigilant Citizen
  27. BBC Radio Appearance: Do Western tragedies receive uneven attention?
  28. Ten thousand troops to flood Britain’s streets in fight against terrorism | Ben Glaze and Jack Blanchard – Mirror Online
  29. Fear is a weapon of mass destruction
  30. Catholic priest removed for comparing Paris victims to terrorists
  31. Australia Passes New Law to Strip Jihadists of Citizenship
  32. Paris cafe where 5 people died reopens 3 weeks after attacks
  33. Lt Col Bill Maginnis: Paris is just the beginning if the West doesn’t take Mahdism seriously
  34. New York sheriff urges gun owners to carry weapons in light of mass shootings
  35. The Shooting At The Regional Center Touches Too Close To Home
  36. Rhetoric Of Hate
  37. Why we should try to understand violence
  38. Should I love or should I hate
  39. Head on a swivel with JP Sadek: Everything you are hearing is wrong
  40. German Cabinet Approves Military Mission Against ISIS in Syria
  41. Parliament votes to bomb ISIS in Syria
  42. Peace Starts With You
  43. The Courage it Takes to Feel
  44. Words for November
  45. Prayers for Peace
  46. Airstrikes in Syria? Please don’t.
  47. Hypocritical Bias: More on the Syrian Refugees
  48. Indywheels Covers EODM “I Love You All the Time”
  49. Let Them In
  50. Aftermath of the Paris attacks
  51. The Karma of Terror
  52.  Extremism in England — part 2
  53. As a Muslim woman I was never fearful in Britain. But today I’m afraid | Masuma Rahim | Comment is free |
  54. The Guardian
  55. We Must Understand Why Some Muslims Turn Radical
  56. The story of a radicalisation: ‘I was not thinking my thoughts. I was not myself’
  57. CSIS Q/A: Where is LATAM in the fight against ISIL?
  58. Several Killed in Mass Shooting Attack in California
  59. 2 Mass Shootings in 1 Day Leave At Least 15 Dead, Dozens Injured
  60. San Bernardino latest in series of U.S. mass shootings since 2012
  61. The “Mass Shootings Map” Propaganda Should Convince You to Carry At All Times
  62. Egalité and Fraternité are great, but we need to ask ourselves some very difficult questions about Liberté
  63. Are All Lives Equal?
  64. frustration
  65. Calling the “embassy”
  66. Enough is Enough- The cause of Suffering is not a Mystery
  67. The Black on Black Crime and Police Brutality Connection
  68. Alabama Police Framed Innocent African Americans For Decades
  69. Je suis terrorist sympathiser
  70. Republican Jesus: The Rise of Radical Christianity
  71. When You Feel Like Giving Up
  72. Profit in Peace
  73. Thoughts about saints and suffering in the Last Days (Letter to Lighthouse Trails)
  74. 7.5 magnitude earthquake strikes remote region of Peruvian jungle
  75. Turkey pokes the Russian Bear The grand coalition against ISIS is growing to include Germany along with France, while
  76. Turkey pokes the Russian Bear

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Praying and acts of meditation without ceasing

Looking for solutions

In Natural inclinations and Praying and asking we saw that we are recommended to Pray without ceasing.
(1 Thessalonians 5:17)

With what may we not stop and what is that action of prayer all about?

We can see that in many religions the believers do take time to meditate and to go deep into themselves. It is like they are doing a sort of exercise to come into contact with themselves or with elements outside them. In many religions we can see that time spend in ‘prayer’ may bring pleasant thoughts into their mind.

Many do hope to find solutions for their many questions and for things that happened around them. They expect their prayer to be a way of miraculously solving impossible situations. For many prayer and meditation time is a religious ritual to become holy and to higher themselves above a previous situation.

What is general, is that their prayer is also a confession of their faith, and an indication of what they believe and whom they want to honour.

Not an innocent playful act

It is not such an innocent act as it may look at first sight. For the Divine Creator it is even a very important part of life of His creatures to show their awe and respect for the Most High Elohim. Truly followers of the Lord Jesus Christ must, like him, be guided in all matters of faith and practice by what the Bible teaches about this act of adoration, glorification and communication with the God of gods.

The Bible leaves us in no doubt that believers ought to pray:

“Men ought always to pray and not to faint” (Luke 18:1).

“Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

“In everything by prayer and supplication let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6, R.S.V.).

To fail to pray is regarded as a sin; Samuel the prophet declared:

“God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you” (1 Samuel 12:23).

Being conscious of inner needs

Today there are many who are afraid to show others their needs and even more afraid to let others know they would ask solace or guidance by someone Who can not be seen, touched or heard.

Nothing has changed with the past. All days there have been people with many questions, people having great difficulty in coping with life, facing seemingly insuperable problems. We may be conscious of our failings and desire some kind of spiritual cleansing; we may be trying to search out the meaning of life. In fact the very problems which confront us have a significance in emphasizing to us that for all man’s great achievements, we are frequently helpless in the midst of human failure. Failure is more often at the start of the road to God than success.

In the Gospels we read of men who commanded great armies, of people in high office in government, of mothers and fathers seeking the best for their children, of farmers and fishermen, tradesmen and craftsmen — people of all types and backgrounds who sought out the Lord Jesus Christ because some need or other could not be fulfilled elsewhere. And as we see Jesus always finding time to listen, to advise, to help, we see how he reveals to us the character of his Father:

“Whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6, R.S.V.).

The Bible makes it clear that God wants to help us. We should never feel that it is only good people that He will hear. In fact if we think we are rather good and managing quite well on our own, the chances are we shall be less inclined to rely upon God.

With meditating we are not thinking of philosophical or Zen-meditation. We mean by meditating taking time to set yourself apart to think about matters of life and to think about what you have done, want to do, have read and how you are going to apply it with the knowledge you can get from the Holy Scriptures.

Meditation

Meditating girl on beach

Meditating girl on beach

Meditation is a means of transforming your mind, letting that what you have learned from the Holy Scriptures to work in you and to transform your character. It is making your mind free of the pollution this world brings every day to you. Meditating is the willingness to make time free for your own mind, letting God’s Spirit enter into your life. Therefore you can use different techniques that encourage and develop concentration, clarity, emotional positivity, and a calm seeing of the true nature of things. By engaging with a particular meditation practice you learn the patterns and habits of your mind, and the practice offers a means to cultivate new, more positive ways of being. With regular work and patience these nourishing, focused states of mind can deepen into profoundly peaceful and energised states of mind. Such experiences can have a transformative effect and can lead to a new understanding of life.

Meditation is making yourself prepared to go deeper in yourself and to examine your life-path. It is an exercise not to miss our experiences because we are somewhere else in our mind. It is a willingness to for a moment forget the daily worries, work or school, and to look at what really should be our main focus in our daily life. In ordinary life, we tend to equate focus with concentration. That’s like using the mind like a concentrated beam of light. But in meditation, that kind of mind isn’t helpful. It’s too sharp and edgy. To focus in meditation means to pay soft attention to whatever you place in the centre of awareness.

Conscious of a need

In the hectic life we get in this world it is our aim to take distance of the worldly matters and to get to know the more important spiritual matters.

As such we do need to take time of our daily duties to come closer to the Most Important person in our life. It is taking time for the Most High Elohim because we are conscious of a higher need and we recognize that God alone can meet that need. To accept that God can do what we cannot do is to bow to His greatness, to acknowledge His infinite wisdom. When we do set us apart from the worldly business, come close in our own cocoon, we open ourselves to the Only One God, who is our Maker but also our Protector. It is to Him we do want to give our soul, our spirit, our thinking and our handling. In the time we set ourselves apart, we want to come as close as possible to Him, or as close as possible we can get at the moment. To Him we want to give that special time and give our most valuable moment of the day.

In that time of silence and personal withdrawal of the world, we want to give our voice to God to let Him know how we want to be with Him and how we do know we need Him. Coming in seclusion we can find ways to have a conversation with that Most High Spirit. Then we can come to talk to Him and pray. Not only asking Him things for our welfare, but also thanking Him for what we had already and for what we still are going to receive.  This is praise. Praise, when it finds expression in words, is an attempt to describe the ways in which God is superior to man; it is to give God glory. Through praise we reflect on what God is, and what resources He has to meet our need.

Listening to God

Praying is not only speaking to God, but it is also opening up your mind to Him to listen to Him. Since God knows best, we must listen to what He says to us. In prayer we have a communication tool we can use every moment of the day. In it we do have an other means, next to the Bible, for God speaking to us.

We do have god’s Word given to us in the Holy Scriptures. The Bible should be our lead and most important guide through life. Through it we can hear God speaking to us in a Book of books given by inspiration of God, profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that we as children of God may be perfect. (2 Timothy 3:16).

How people like to turn it, prayer is inseparable connected with the Words of God, given in the Bible. Our prayer should be build on the knowledge we get from those Holy Scriptures. The Words of the Bible with our prayer, should be fused with our knowledge and understanding of the Word of God. For prayer is communication with God. The communication is two-way. It is not enough that we should speak to God. He expects us to listen to Him. In fact, we shall often be better occupied meditating on His Word than trying to talk to Him at great length. It is no use to over and over repeat the same words. The Bible itself warns:

“Let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few” (Ecclesiastes 5:2).

The Lord Jesus himself emphasizes this point:

“When ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking” (Matthew 6:7).

We should remember that silence is healing. Nothing beats simple silence. We do not need music background to drown out the chatter in our mind. When we sit in silence we actually get to experience what our mind is doing. There is steadiness and calmness that comes from sitting in silence. In time outer and inner silence meet and you come to rest in the moment. It is in such moments that we also can give way for God’s Spirit to enter our universe.

Coming to God

Jesus clearly knew Who was the Most High to give all honour of what he could do. Jesus was thankful and hopeful to His heavenly Father, which he recognised as the Only True God.

Jesus clearly knew Who was the Most High to give all honour of what he could do. Jesus was thankful and hopeful to His heavenly Father, which he recognised as the Only True God.

Praying should be a coming to God, not to put us in the forefront row, being full of ourselves, ready to tell Him what we think. That would be like the person who asks a question, not because he wants to know the answer’, but because he wants the opportunity to air his own knowledge. Our vanity and pride, we must put aside and we should be humble enough not to propose our thoughts as the best ones, but to allow God to see that we are really willing to hear what He thinks best for us. Like Jesus did not want to do his own will, which he would have done when he would have been God, we also like Jesus should know that we can not do anything without Jesus his heavenly Father. Jesus was well aware that he could not do anything without the Hand of God.  He too prayed to his heavenly Father, and not to himself. He too had questions about his relationship with his Father up high, and even at one moment dared to ask why He (God) had abandoned him (Jesus). Like Jesus not being afraid to ask such matters to the Most High, we too should dare to go to Him (Jehovah God). Jesus prepared the way to the Divine Creator and we should be thankful for that and use it.If we come to God as those who do not know the answers and believe that He does, then what folly if we ignore what He has already told us through the Scriptures! Rather we must read them regularly and reflect on them in order that we may attune our minds to the mind of God, as the words of a hymn direct us:

“Inspirer of the ancient seers,
Who wrote from Thee the sacred page,
A light for all succeeding years,
A lamp in this degenerate age:
Wisdom to us Thy words impart,
And with Thy comfort fill our heart.”

The many examples of prayer in the Bible make it clear that God responds only when man prays in accordance with His will. After all, God knows best what is in man’s interests and can control events accordingly.

Right Relationship with God

Jesus showed us how we should behave, live and pray. He gave the example how our relationship should be with other humans but also with God. We can only come to a good prayer and a fulfilling meditation when we open our hearts to God and our willingness to have a good relationship with Him.

First of all naturally we do need to know God, have to understand His position and should be willing to accept His position. In the bible we are told that there can be life eternal for us as human beings, but then we shall have to accept the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the son God so loved He has taken him with Him to sit next to Him to be the mediator between God and man. (John 17:3, 1 Timothy 2:5, Hebrews 12:24; John 3:16; Matthew 3:17). Many in Christendom do say to know God, but take also Jesus to be God and do not mind bowing down in front of pictures of their god, though God made it very clear that there is only One True God of Whom no pictures may be made and certainly may not be bowed down for. Such knowledge is to be found, in the first instance, in the inspired writings of the Bible-and nowhere else. But to know God is not simply to know about Him. When a husband and wife know each other, they do not just have in their minds a pen-portrait of their partner. Their knowledge is intimate and deep, because of the nature of their relationship. It depends upon continued, regular contact, the acceptance of responsibilities and the desire to grow in knowledge and understanding of each other.

To acknowledge one’s need as a sinner, whose imperfection is in marked contrast to the glorious perfection of God’s character; to develop that “poor and contrite” spirit, which desires to be moved by the power of God through His Word, as the leaves on a tree tremble at the passing of a breath of wind; to realize from the knowledge of God’s gracious dealings with men and women of past ages that the same grace can be extended to us today-this is to begin the process of praise and thanksgiving which marks the beginning of uttered prayer.

Commands to obey

It is all to easy just to want all our wishes to be fulfilled. Would that not be selfish? Would that be taking notice of the Will of God?

For many people prayer consists of asking God for favours. For some the proof of whether God is actually there or not consists of testing out whether God will grant a particular request. Did not Jesus say:

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find” (Matthew 7:7)

There is no room here for the casual or the careless. God is in heaven, man upon earth. We cannot assume familiarity or presume upon His loving kindness. It is God’s to command, ours to obey. We cannot call God “Our Father“, without at the same time hallowing His name. And we cannot do that unless we seek to do His will upon earth as it is done in heaven. If we are to benefit from the privilege of being called His sons and daughters, we must, after serious consideration, come within His family:

“Hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments” (1 John 2:3).

We are told how Jesus welcomed little children and took them up in his arms. In this he reflected the character of his Father, who welcomes all who seek Him in sincerity and simplicity. But whereas the particular purpose of God at the time of the Lord’s ministry and during the subsequent establishment of the ecclesiae involved frequent miraculous signs that this was indeed the Lord at work, we shall be sadly misled if we expect God to work a miracle in response to every request we make.

This is not to say that God’s power is not demonstrated today, or to imply that God is not interested in us. There is a children’s prayer which simply states a truth:

“God always listens whenever we pray,
He’s never too busy to hear what we say.

No time to stop

The world goes on and the end-times come closer. This will not make it easier for believing and God fearing people. They shall be tested more.

It might be easy to say

“let go of your anxiety.” (Matthew 6:34)

Now the time is near it is even more important not to stop to study the Bible regularly and to spend time in conversation with God. “In everything” – without exception and at every opportunity – we should pray. Pray in supplication – humble in treaty – with thanksgiving! Knowing that the prayer will be answered according to His will and in His time.

Praying in the family

Praying in the family

Most of us spend lots of time after daily work, in front of the television or enjoying themselves with lots of pastures time, giving enough time to the entertainment industry. Churchgoing has lessened a lot. Not many are spending time with the family together studying the Word of God and contemplating what the Most High wants from us.

Most of us do not take enough time to be on their own and to be with their Creator. When we do love Him, we should, like we do with our most beloved, spend enough time with Him.

We may not cease to pray earnestly and give our worries to Jehovah, our God. Our willing to be with Him should give or be the pulse of your life in Christ. If that pulse is weak or erratic then that life is ebbing away. We need to pray. Alone and in community, we need to pray. And so much the more as we see the day of Christ drawing near.

Cast aside anxiety about the things of this life and pray. Do this and rejoicing in the Lord will be as natural to you as breathing. You will be happy. Profoundly happy so that even in the most terrible affliction and sorrow there will remain within a vibrant core of joy and hope and faith that no circumstance can affect.

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Find our pamphlet to download in pdf: Does God Hear Prayer?

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Preceding articles:

  1. Our openness to being approachable
  2. Natural inclinations and Praying and asking
  3. Always rejoicing Praying constantly Giving thanks for everything
  4. Psalm 66 HRV
  5. Psalm 66 OJB

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Additional reading:

  1. Walking alone?
  2. People Seeking for God 1 Looking for answers
  3. Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer
  4. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  5. 7000 to 20000 words spoken each day
  6. Do You Expect God’s Answer
  7. Biblical Prayer at Tabernacle Site Shilo
  8. Praying and thinking positively
  9. Being sure of their deliverance
  10. Genuine prayer
  11. People who know how to pray to move God to take hold of our affairs in a mighty way
  12. Does God hear prayer?
  13. Does God answer prayer?
  14. God doesn’t call the qualified
  15. Work with joy and pray with love
  16. Give your worries to God
  17. Praise Jehovah
  18. “Prayer 2″ – Child Abuse
  19. If you think you’re too small to be effective
  20. Quit griping about your church
  21. What moves mountains? Trust!
  22. A Living Faith #7 Prayer
  23. God, my father, my closest friend
  24. Prayer, important aspect in our life
  25. Prayer has comforted us in sorrow
  26. Prayer for the day
  27. If we, in our prosperity, neglect religious instruction and authority
  28. Change
  29. Prayer has the power to change mountains into highways
  30. Try driving forward instead of backwards
  31. Preventing us from going window-shopping in prayer
  32. He who kneels before God can stand before anyone!
  33. Aim High: Examples of Godly Characters to follow
  34. Sometimes we pray and pray and it seems like nothing happens.
  35. If you do pray you shall not be disappointed
  36. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  37. Worship and worshipping
  38. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #1 Kings Faith
  39. rusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #2 Calling upon the Name of God
  40. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #4 Words in Scripture
  41. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
  42. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #1 Prosperity
  43. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #2 Purity
  44. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #1 Listening Sovereign Maker
  45. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  46. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #3 Callers upon God
  47. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #6 Prayer #4 Attitude
  48. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #7 Prayer #5 Listening Ear
  49. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #8 Prayer #6 Communication and manifestation
  50. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #9 Prayer #7 Reason to pray
  51. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #10 Prayer #8 Condition
  52. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #11 Prayer #9 Making the Name Holy
  53. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #12 Prayer #10 Talk to A Friend
  54. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #13 Prayer #11 Name to be set apart
  55. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #14 Prayer #12 The other name
  56. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #15 Exposition before the Creator
  57. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #16 Benefits of praying
  58. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #17 Sorts of prayers
  59. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #18 Fulfilment
  60. Praying For What We Want or Don’t Want
  61. Continuing Paul’s Prayer Requests
  62. Listening and Praying to the Father
  63. Communion and day of worship
  64. Funeral service only belongs in church building according to Catholic Church

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  • The rapture or end times is in virtually every book of the New Testament. (omharris.blogspot.com)
    being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ
    +
    That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ
  • Scripture of the Day, 1/16 (sowegalive.com)
    Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
  • Five Believer’s Crowns: Heavenly Rewards (endtimesprophecyreport.com)
    The Bible declares that believers canobtain these heavenly rewards including five different crowns.What are these crowns and how can the believer qualify for them?The five crowns are:

    1. The incorruptible crown – Being disciplined [temperate] in all things.
    2. The crown of rejoicing – Winning souls for the kingdom of God.
    3. The crown of righteousness – All who love the appearing of the Lord.
    4. The crown of life – All who endure trials for Jesus.
    5. The crown of glory – Those who are godly examples to the flock.
  • Put First Things First (birdchirp.wordpress.com)
    Apart from Christ, we cannot expect God to bless us. Jesus promised, “But seek first His kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matt. 6:33).
  • To an inheritance (activeinspiration.wordpress.com)
    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
  • Listen: God’s Second Man, Part 3 (Onward Christian Soldiers #67 with Daniel Whyte III) (blackchristiannews.com)
    In part one and part two of this lesson, we contrasted the “first man”, Adam, with the “second man”, Jesus Christ. Adam disobeyed God and caused the entire human race which descended from him to be a race of sinners. However, when Jesus Christ came, the Bible tells us that He “became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Jesus Christ did what Adam (and none of us) have done — be perfectly obedient to God throughout our entire lives. Because Jesus Christ is sinless, He is the perfect sacrifice for our sins. On the cross, Jesus paid the price for our sins so that we would not have to. Today, there are two races of people in the world — Adam’s sinful race, and Jesus’ righteous race. As Romans 5:19 says, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” Of course, we who are in Jesus’ race are only righteous because of what Jesus Christ did for us.
  • Excuse My Scepticism (pastorcharleschipere.wordpress.com)
    In our Christian Faith, we are taught to believe rather than to be a doubting Thomas. We are taught to trust rather than mistrust. We are taught to give a person the benefit of the doubt before we dismiss them. But my journey of faith has had some encounters with reality leading me to embrace some sceptical attitude towards some things I have observed in the land of the living.
  • A Prayer of The Heart (supertradmum-etheldredasplace.blogspot.com)
    About 45 years ago, I learned the Jesus Prayer, which has its roots in the Philokalia which was popular then. This prayer is a blessing to me now more than ever. The point of the prayer is twofold. The first to create a pattern of silence no matter where one is, walking down the street, or cleaning the house, or driving.
  • Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul (emmanuelchatham.typepad.com)
    O God, by the preaching of your apostle Paul you have caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world: Grant, we pray, that we, having his wonderful conversion in remembrance, may show ourselves thankful to you by following his holy teaching

A new school-, academic and church year

The first of September is in many countries the beginning of the new school year and the first of October the beginning of the new academic year.

That first day of a new year brings a lot of excitement and many questions with it. Every  “Beginning” brings expectations with it and brings an exciting experience. Some of those experiences bring over and over again, each year, new tensions or get us nerve system working strong. The adrenaline gets high.

Such a beginning of a “new year” gives us the opportunity to bring a brush-stroke over the previous year. We take the opportunity to make a new start again. We also dare to give free space to new ideas and projects which can stimulate us and others to continue with renewed energy.

The freshness of a new project or a new relationship sharpens our senses. When that novelty diminishes, though, it’s difficult to maintain the same level of excitement. so often when the year progresses people become less enthusiast or tired. They loose energy and are not so willing any more to spend energy in what they started earlier.

On the first of September many little toddlers face their first day in “the big world”. From then onwards their protected little world of the safe ‘home’ shall not be there always. They shall get to face the cruelty of the world, with others not liking them, or being jealous. By time they shall become confronted with infliction of physical or mental distress. Throughout its life the growing up person will have to find compromises between the claims of the narcissistic pole of his drives and the intensity of his love for the object. They shall have to proof themselves and to defend themselves, making sure they can stand straight  and endure all the hardships which shall come over them.

For many it will be looking afraid at the day, which according to the Hebrew mode, is conceived as a measure to be filled up. The apostles also once had taken refuge in their small safe house.

From the second day of unleavened bread they for fifty days had got very strange experiences which frightened them so much they had closed all doors and did not dare to come out and meet the people who laughed at the followers of the man which was impaled and could not bring any message in public any more because he had become part of the dead.

Christ his disciples were also in doubt and in expectancy.  In those days of expectancy they felt that they had to stick together, united in the thoughts of their master teacher Jeshua (Jesus Christ). A cycle of seven times seven days, from the time of the gathering of the sheaf of first-fruits, had past. At the day of the anniversary of the Law covenant at Sinai they suddenly where shaken.

The same eleven apostles who witnessed their master’s ascension were in the upper room complying with the injunction of Jeshua, waiting in an attitude of prayer and expectancy, and in readiness to begin their mission. Following the order to stay together and to come close to each other in prayer, they had enough time to think about all the things that happened in those three years of public preaching of Jeshua.

Пятидесятница. Около 1497. Собор Успения Богор...

The decent of the Holy Spirit (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At that moment they did not know yet they where going to go through something very unique which would give them the nerve to get out of their enclosure. They would receive Power from above which was going to give them enough guts to dare to speak about unbelievable events.

For many a new year going into a new initiative demands a plan which shows great daring.

In Acts 2 we can find a process of fulfilment described.  As in the other writings of the Book of books we get an inside view of how God worked to gather a new community of believers to Himself. Pentecost and the arrival of the Holy Spirit signalled a new era and produced a new community, as both Jews and “devout men from every nation under heaven” converted to what would be later called the Christian faith (Acts 2:5).

“Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.” (Acts 2:5 NIV)

Now, many centuries later, it’s easy for us to see Pentecost as the pivotal moment in the history of the Church — an unparalleled event that changed the world forever. It must have been incredible to see those young men  coming onto the street and having them speaking in so many tongues that all sorts of tourists and inhabitants could understand them.

There where Christ Jesus never brought so many to convert and to be baptised those shy disciples over-won their fear and got on the street to speak in the name of God, telling what for importance Jesus is for humankind. Three thousand people came to faith.

When we celebrate the holiday of Pentecost, however, we are remembering the firstfruits of the harvest — the coming of the Holy Spirit and the original community of believers under Jesus Christ. Firstfruits are only the start of a harvest; they hint at future abundance. Every year we can see how plants are coming up again and how the cereal crop comes nice brown to be reaped. The grain crop harvested brings again new seed for the next year. Every-time there has to be sown and harvested, over and over again. In schools and as a service in Christian churches in many countries the people have a harvest festival, a celebration of the annual harvest, but also a thanksgiving for the fruits they may receive and bear.

The harvest the Greek writings is speaking of is the continuing process of people who get inspired by the work of Christ and his disciples and follow the master teacher his commission. We as a community do hope we can bring the seeds in fertile ground and shall be able to fertilise it well, so that it can bear good fruits.

 

As the young children at school have to respond to the bell, giving the sign to enter the class. We also should enter the class of the disciples, following our teacher, the rabbi Jeshua. Fresh at the beginning of the year we should be eager to learn new things and be curious what we can find in all those Books. God has prepared the Knowledge for us. We can take it or leave it. It is our free choice. Nothing is pushed forward, but the call of Jesus sounds all over the earth and everywhere the gospel of the Good News should be preached.

Each person that calls himself or herself a Christian should every year again take up the good spirit to tell the world what happened with the impaled Nazarene and his followers, who gave an example for the world to follow.

The wonders that began at Pentecost should still be happening today. On that day when the Holy spirit came over the disciples the start was given to a new era. A new beginning could take place.  It were the first days of the church which had to come into being.
Today there are still many places on earth where such seeds should be planted. Belgium is no exception. It is a very difficult ground. Like there are many clay grounds in Brabant, hard to work on, we do have to work hard to get people coming to our ecclesiae (churches). In Belgium there are many ‘babies’ waiting to go to kindergarten or school, to find more knowledge. They only have to find ways in doing it, finding the right knowledge.

At the beginning of a new church year we should offer our services to God and should express our hope that our community shall be blessed by Him. That we may find strength to continue the important work and receive enough knowledge, given to us by God’s Power (the Holy Spirit). We ask God that we can have enough patience to continue to preach His Word and to plants seeds wherever He wants.

Each of us should open his or her mind and heart for the teachings of Jesus and should be eager to come like Christ. We all should do our best to put on the armour of Christ and to open our mouths, bringing the Good News to the world. Witnessing about the coming Kingdom of God we should allow God to work in us and to have Him renewing us. He is active and present in our lives, just as He was gathering His Church about 20 centuries ago.

We need a fresh perspective. The beginning of the new academic and church year may bring that. We need the motivation and the boldness of the apostles and followers of Christ Jesus of the first hour. We need to rekindle our original excitement when announcing that the kingdom of heaven is at hand, because He is at work, in us and around us.

To have a successful new year the ecclesia needs the Light of the Spirit. Without the Power of God we are nothing. Like the apostles received the comforter from above, we also do need Light coming over us to be able to preach and to reach people, to bring them closer to God.

Let us pray that the Holy Spirit may enlighten us and give the force to go out in the world, making people aware of what God is willing to give to His People and how He wants us to be His children. It is God Who needs to give us power to be able to contribute to the formation of His Church. We can only hope we may be a work-instrument with many others, being thankful that we can receive so many blessings already here on this earth, preparing ourselves and others for the Kingdom of God.

 

English: A Protestant Church altar decorated f...

A Protestant Church altar decorated for Pentecost with red burning candles and red banners and altar cloth depicting the fire and sound of blowing wind of the Holy Spirit. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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

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Additional readings:

  1. First Century of Christianity
  2. Promise of Comforter
  3. Seven full weeks or seven completed Sabbaths and ascension of Jesus
  4. Nazarene Acts of the Apostles Chapter 1
  5. Hebraic Roots Bible Book of The Acts of the Apostles Chapter 1
  6. Hebraic Roots Bible Book of The Acts of the Apostles Chapter 2
  7. The Acts Of The Sent Ones Chapter 2
  8. The day of the festival of Pentecost
  9. Nazarene Acts of the Apostles Chapter 2 v1-13 Working Spirit
  10. Speaking in tongues
  11. Meaning of “speaking in tongues”
  12. Tongues a sign of authenticity or divine backing
  13. Coming to the end of the year
  14. A new year with hopes and challenges
  15. Passion and burn out of a teacher
  16. An academic year ending, again a new year standing ready for us
  17. Move forward, not standing still
  18. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  19. Bringing Good News into the world

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  • undefined (spiritualconnectedness.wordpress.com)
    Each of you acquires opinions and beliefs about yourself during your upbringing. You absorb ideas and images from your parents, family, peers, school, etc. You begin to play certain roles without questioning them, and you soon develop something called a “personality”: a set of habits, behaviors, and thoughts. But at some time in the course of growing up, something else awakens in you. First, it is no more than a whisper; a memory that you cannot place; a knowing that you are more than what is just determined by the world outside yourself. There is something deeper, a layer that cannot be contained and understood by the human intellect. Herein lies your core, that which precedes and survives the earthly sphere – your soul.
  • Differences Between Pentecost and the Jewish Feast of Weeks (differencebetween.net)
    The children of Israel are also important on this occasion. In celebration of Pentecost, they are to bring two loaves of leavened bread to the temple. These loaves of leavened bread are used as wave offerings. They can only be eaten after the harvest ceremony is fully completed. The Jews also offer burnt animal offerings before the Lord. They can share and eat the meals with the poor people, and even the strangers.
  • Pentecost (rjowles.wordpress.com)
    The Apostles and disciples were praying together and the Holy Spirit came, sounding like a forceful wind and “tongues” of fire settled on them and they began to preach. Saint Peter began to preach a sermon and the multicultural and multi-ethnic crowd each heard him preaching in their own language. Of course, many have attempted to explain this.
    +
    If Saint Peter preached and everyone, regardless of language, understood what he was saying in their own language (either by the Holy Spirit speaking a special language through him that is like the “Master Key” language that everyone understands, or through the Holy Spirit interpreting what he was saying within their own hearts), then Pentecost is the undoing of the confusion of language at Babel. If you remember the story of the Tower of Babel, before that time everyone spoke the same language and after that time God confused the language so that different people started speaking different languages. Perhaps, what happened is that the Holy Spirit was active within the world and after the Tower of Babel incident, the Holy Spirit retreated from the world at large, occasionally moving through people but not the world itself, until after the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. I will leave it to you to decide for or against that idea as you see fit.
  • It’s Time to Celebrate! (tamimyer.wordpress.com)
    Pentecost is  a “firstfruits” celebration for us, too, meaning that we are offering to God our first and best–not our leftovers–both as an expression of gratitude for what He has given and also as a statement of confidence that He will provide again.
    +
    An interesting Jewish tradition on Pentecost is to read from Ezekiel 1, a passage which refers to a great windstorm and to fire. Perhaps these images were in the disciples’ thoughts as they then encountered for themselves the sound of a mighty wind and the sight of fire.
  • Call Sinners to Respond to the Gospel! (defendingcontending.com)
    A child of God could faithfully give the gospel, speak of God and His character, man and His desperate need, Christ and His sufficient atonement, repentance and faith in clear terms, but one element that evangelists seem to omit is the urgent call for sinners to respond to the gospel!
    +
    Often, in the Temple against the backdrop of the hypocritical, works-righteousness system of Judaism, Christ would teach how He came down from heaven as the living Bread, as the water of life, as the door to heaven, as the Shepherd for the sheep, as the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and he invited all to come to Him. If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me. He exemplified not only the clear and bold proclamation of gospel-truth, but he also modeled urgent and compassionate exhortations to respond to the gospel. We must do the same.
  • The Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost) (yehudafm.wordpress.com)
    The early summer harvest of Shavuot in Israel was a small harvest in comparison to the larger harvest that came in the autumn of each year. This has prophetic significance. Strange as it might seem to mainstream Christianity today, God is not trying to save the whole world right now. He has planned a far larger harvest of souls when Jesus returns. Those of us who are saved today are only part of the smaller harvest. When most people in this present evil age are traveling the broad road to destruction, we have been uniquely called to enter in by the narrow gate that leads to eternal life (Matthew 7:13-14) and make our calling and election sure (2 Peter 1:10).
  • Firstfruits? Can an Old Testament holiday apply to your life today? (lightenough.wordpress.com)
    The ancient Israelites had an annual cycle of feasts or holidays (also called festivals) that they kept throughout the year as appointed by God. Four of these were in the spring, and three in the autumn. These holidays were a sacred time to remember God’s provisions in the past, His work in the present, and the hope of future provision.
    +
    By offering God a portion of the first fruit to ripen, it was also seen as a pledge, or an earnest, for the full harvest that was yet to come. It anticipated the harvest that would be reaped in the following months, even though it had not yet been received.
  • “Ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit,” (tru3j0y.wordpress.com)
    At this present moment we have the first fruits of the Spirit. We have repentance, that gem of the first water; faith, that priceless pearl; hope, the heavenly emerald; and love, the glorious ruby. We are already made “new creatures in Christ Jesus,” by the effectual working of God the Holy Ghost. This is called the firstfruit because it comes first. As the wave-sheaf was the first of the harvest, so the spiritual life, and all the graces which adorn that life, are the first operations of the Spirit of God in our souls. The firstfruits were the pledge of the harvest.
  • In the Spirit — A Reflection for Pentecost (Gathering Voices) (bobcornwall.com)
    That was Jesus’ command to the gathered disciples on the day of his ascension. He had given them an assignment – go and be my witnesses to the ends of the earth. But to do this, they would need the baptism with the Spirit (Acts 1:1-11). This baptism with the Spirit would come on the day of Pentecost.
    +
    Pentecost offers us an excellent opportunity to consider the nature of our ministries and the way in which we are engaging the Spirit of God. Are we focused more on organizational principles learned from the secular world (not that we have nothing to learn) or are we rooting our ministry in the work of the Spirit?
  • Acts 2 – The Image of Pentecost (readingacts.wordpress.com)
    The imagery of Pentecost may be important. Pentecost is a pilgrim-holiday also known as the Feast of Weeks or Shavuot.
    +
    The point of the festival was “to declare God’s ownership of the land and his grace in bringing forth food. According to a tradition found in the book of Jubilees, Pentecost was the day on which Moses was given the Law (cf. Tob 2:1, 2 Mac 12:32). This tradition is based on the belief that the Israelites arrived at Sinai 50 days after the first Passover (Exod 19:1). Some scholars (Knox, Snaith) have made a connection between this tradition and the gift of the Holy Spirit (ie., Moses gave out the Law to Israel on this day, Jesus gives the Holy Spirit to the church). Fitzmyer thinks Luke was aware of the tradition since there are some indirect allusions to the giving of the Law in Acts 2, not the least of which is the image of fire descending (Exod 19:18).

Psalm 66 HRV

 

1 To the chief musician. A Song. A
Psalm.
Make a joyful noise to Elohim, all the earth;
2 Sing out the honor of His name; give glory to His praise. {n}
3 Say to Elohim, How much to be feared are Your works! Through the greatness of Your power, Your enemies pretend obedience to You.
4 All the earth shall worship You; and they sing to You; they shall praise Your name. Selah.
5 Come and see Elohim’s works, who is feared in His acts toward the sons of men.
6 He turns the sea into dry land; they go through the river on foot; there we will rejoice with Him.
7 He rules by His power forever; His eyes search out the nations; let not the rebels exalt themselves. Selah.
8 Bless our Elohim, O peoples, and make heard the voice of His praise;
9 Who holds our soul in life and does not allow our foot to slide.

10 For You, O Elohim, have proved us; You have tested us as silver is refined.
11 You have brought us into the net; You laid afflictions on our loins.
12 You have let men ride at our head; we went through fire and through water, but You brought us out to plenty. (Ps 78:21, Is 43:2)
13 I will go into Your house with burnt offerings; I will pay You my vows, (Ps 96:8)
14 which my lips have opened, and my mouth has spoken in my trouble.
15 I will offer burnt sacrifices of fatlings to You, with the incense of rams; I will offer bulls with goats. Selah. (Ps 51:18-19)

16 Come, hear, and let me recount, all you who fear Elohim, what He has done for my soul.
17 I cried to Him with my mouth, and exaltations were under my tongue.
18 If I had regarded iniquity in my heart, YAHWEH would not have heard.
19 Surely, Elohim has heard; He has attended to the voice of my prayer.
20 Blessed be Elohim, who has not turned away my prayer and His mercy
from me! (Pr 28:9)

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{n}  It is a most wonderful honor to sing and give glory to the personal name of YAHWEH. How sad that most have been deceived by religious authorities to call the Creator by the name “god”, which is the personal name of the Babylonian deity. See note on Isaiah 65:11. Yahweh will not give the glory due to His name to pagan deities, Isaiah 42:8, Psalm 96:8, Psalm 68:4.

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  • Applying Psalm 20 (924jeremiah.wordpress.com)
    These are well-wishes, not guarantees or promises about how God will treat us when we pray. God will certainly not give us everything we ask for, nor will He give us everything we desire. As we mature, the Holy Spirit will inspire us to want our desires to be changed to match God’s best for us. The more we want what God wants, the more we will find our desires being fulfilled by Him.
  • The Remedy: Praising God Psalm 66:2 (prienblog.wordpress.com)
    Although we have no set of rules governing daily praise and we have no commandment prescribing certain hours to sing or give thanks, the law written on our hearts teaches us that it is right to praise God. The unwritten urgency comes to us with as much force as if it had been recorded on tablets of stone, or handed to us from the top of thundering Sinai.
  • Psalms 66-69 (whatshotn.wordpress.com)
    2 Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious. 3 Say unto God, How terrible [art thou in] thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee. 4 All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing [to] thy name.
    +
    Often when God called someone to serve Him in a special way (such as a king or prophet), He would instruct that person to have oil poured over their heads as a way of publicly broadcasting God’s special calling on their lives. God’s anointing was an act of favoritism, and was to be treated with great respect. David always respected those who God anointed. He was anointed himself when God called him to be king over Israel.
  • Soul food (quirkytims.com)
    Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing: for God is my defence, and the God of my mercy. (Psalms 59:17 KJV)
    +
    … I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more. My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers thereof. I will go in the strength of the Lord God : I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only. (Psalms 71:14-16 KJV)
  • 35 Inspirational Quotes from The Psalms (vincentegoro.wordpress.com)
    The Eyes of all look hopefully to you, and you give them their food in due season; You open your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing. -Psalm 145:15-16
  • Psalm Chapter 66 (pofw.wordpress.com)
  • Psalms 66-68 (mybiblereadingplan.wordpress.com)
  • The Names of God (shareaverse.wordpress.com)
    El Hannora – The Awesome God
    Nehemiah 9:32    Now therefore, our God, the great God, mighty and awesome, who keeps his covenant of love, do not let all this hardship seem trifling in your eyes—the hardship that has come on us, on our kings and leaders, on our priests and prophets, on our ancestors and all your people, from the days of the kings of Assyria until today.

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