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Matthew 20:24-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Authority Not the Way – Serve Others

Matthew 20:24-28 – Authority Not the Way – Serve Others

|| Mark 10:41-45; Luke 22:24-27

MT20:24 Having heard this the other ten [apostles] became indignant[1] at the brothers [James and John]. MT20:25 But Jesus asked the disciples to present themselves, then he told them: “You are aware that the non-Jewish rulers lord it over their subjects;[2] and, the ‘greats’ wield authority over others. MT20:26 Not so among you.[3] Rather, whoever wishes to be ‘great’ must be your slave. MT20:27 Whoever wishes to be prominent[4] must be your slave. MT20:28 Just as the Son of Humankind came not to be served[5] but to serve and to sacrifice his soul[6] [Isaiah 53:12] as a ransom[7] in the place of many.”[8]

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[1] Indignant: RHM: sorely displeased; RIEU: grumbled; PME: highly indignant. We can only imagine the jealous feelings of the others who had their own political ambitions, particularly Judas. Peter has already been given a special trust and he must have had his own feelings regarding this matter.

[2] Non-Jewish rulers lord it over their subjects: Or, KJV: the princes of the Non-Jews exercise dominion; RIEU: the rulers of the pagans exercise despotic powers; NOR: the heathen rulers are high-handed; NEB: in the world, rulers lord it over their subjects.

[3] Not so among you: Or, KJV: it shall not be so among you; KNX: with you it must be otherwise; BER: but among you it’s different. This is a command from the Lord that authoritarian tyranny will be absent from genuine disciples of Jesus. We find in Jesus the perfect example of a true leader within the Christian framework: a humble and loving model who asks nothing of his fellows that he himself will not do. Not once does the Nazarene take advantage of his followers by living a life-style better than they.

[4] Prominent: Or, KJV: chief; TCNT: first place.

[5] Came not to be served: Or, GDSP: not to be waited on.

[6] To sacrifice his soul: Or, KJV: give his life; NEB: to surrender his life. On the subject of “soul” or, PSYCHE see articles elsewhere: Where Are the Dead?

[7] Ransom: Or, WMS: ransom price; WEY: redemption price. Research the word ransom.

[8] In the place of many: Or, RHM: instead of many. See Mark 10:45; Romans 3:24; Romans 8:23; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 1:7, 14; Ephesians 4:30; Colossians 1:14; 1 Timothy 2:6; Hebrews 9:15 {concerning redemption & ransom for all}.

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Preceding

Matthew 20:1-7 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Kingdom and Vineyard Workers

Matthew 20:8-16 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Last, First; First, Last

Matthew 20:17-19 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Onward to Jerusalem!

Matthew 20:20-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Selfish Request Rejected

Ezekiel 18:4 – What the Bible teaches about Soul and Spirit

This brief text expresses a simple truth. Souls die. Against the speculations of some that there is something within a man, a “soul,” which remains alive after death, lingering as a disembodied spirit, the scriptures affirm to the contrary. Death is what it seems to be — death.

When a dog dies, what happens to the dog? It stops breathing, its body decays and returns to the elements. Thought and consciousness immediately terminate. There is no more dog. It does not go to some place prepared for old dogs, to chew bones in bliss, for there simply is no more dog. It is dead, it is gone, it is no more.

Death is the same for human beings. Death is the cessation of life. Psalm 146:4 describes what happens when a man dies.

“His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.”

“That which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other … they have all one breath … all go unto one place, all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. (Ecclesiastes 3:19, 20).

The Resurrection

However, unlike the animals, man has the hope of a resurrection from the dead. Animals were made to live for a limited period of time, procreate, age, and pass away as part of the cycle of nature. But man, the height of God’s physical creation, was created with the capacity to live forever. They appreciate life, plan for the future, and cherish the hope for continued life. Accordingly, the prospect of living forever was offered to Adam in the Garden of Eden, by God who created him.

This offer was contingent upon obedience, a test which Adam and Eve failed. But even after being expelled from the Garden, so robust was the human frame that Adam lived 930 years before death claimed his life (Genesis 5:5). Almost 4000 years after Adam sinned, Jesus died as a ransom for father Adam (1 Timothy 2:6), which allows Adam and his posterity a release from the death penalty — in other words, a resurrection from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:22). For the world, this will come during the Millennium so near at hand.

In the meantime, where are all the dead of past ages? They are simply dead. They silently await the resurrection, when they will be reconstituted as the persons they were before they died, to learn the lessons God has for them during the Kingdom on earth.

What is a Soul?

From our opening text, it is apparent that souls do die. The expression immortal soul,sometimes used among Christians, is not found in the Bible.

A soul is a living being, whether animal or human, and neither animals nor humans are immortal.

The Hebrew word for soul is nephesh, word number 5315 in Strong’s Concordance, which gives this definition: “A breathing creature, i.e. animal or (abstractly) vitality; used very widely in a literal, accommodated or figurative sense.”

Genesis 2:7 uses the word “soul” for Adam.

“The LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

Here the word nephesh, or soul, is defined as a living being, a body combined with the breathe of life. Thus we learn, that man does not possess a soul, but that he IS a soul, which means simply that man, when alive, is a living being.” Adam subsequently died, and he with all the others silently awaits the resurrection.

Animals as Souls

The “breath of life” which animates the human organism is no different than the breath of life given to the lower animals. In reference to the “beasts and every creeping thing” which perished in the Flood, we read,

“All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died” (Genesis 7:21,22).

Ecclesiastes 3:19-21 informs us that both man and beast

“have all one breath, so that a man hath no pre-eminence above a beast.”

As Strong’s Concordance notes, animals are also souls — living beings. However, in the common English version this is hidden by the translation, which confuses the subject to many readers. When the word nephesh, soul, refers to an animal, the translators rendered it with some other word, such as creature or beast.

For example, Genesis 1:20 says

“let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature [nephesh, soul]…”

Verse 21, God created great whales, and every living creature [nephesh, soul] that moveth…”

Verse 24, “And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature [nephesh, soul] after his kind, cattle, and creeping things, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.”

Here are other texts of the same sort: Genesis 1:30, 2:14, 9:3, 4, 9, 10, 12, 18. And Isaiah 19:10,

“… all that make sluices and ponds for fish [nephesh, souls].

This method of translating hides the fact that animals are souls. Were this fact more open and apparent, it would assist people to recognize that souls are not immortal, for no one supposes that animals are in any sense immortal.

Only once in the Old Testament did the translators render the word nephesh “soul” when it applied to animals, namely Numbers 31:28, where the word applies at one time both to people and animals: “one soul of five hundred, both of the persons, and of the beeves, and of the asses, and of the sheep.”

The Difference Between the Human Soul and the Animal Soul

The difference between the soul of a human and an animal is in the construction of the organism, particularly in the formation of the brain. Although some organisms of some of the lower animals may seem to be superior to man’s (such as a dog’s keen sense of smell and hearing and an eagle’s eyesight), God in his great wisdom created man in his own image, thus giving man the ability to reason, and to have a moral sense of right and wrong — possessing a conscience (1 John 3:20-22). Man has the ability to love and obey Jehovah-God as well as to love (agape) his enemies or those who do or wish him wrong through, striving to see all things through the eyes of their Bridegroom — Christ Jesus. He died as a “ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:6) because of his great love of the Heavenly Father — stemming from a love for righteousness which comes from a knowledge, understanding and experience of the results of obeying the Heavenly Father, which permits the highest and purest form of joy to be felt, that joy that is felt through the eyes of faith, that joy that our Lord Jesus had in bringing the Heavenly Father joy, as reflected in his words:

“My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work” (John 4:34, ESV).

Other Hidden References

There are other important places where the translators also obscured the use of nephesh.

“There were certain men, who were defiled by the dead body [nephesh, soul] of a man … those men said unto him, We are defiled by the dead body [nephesh, soul] of a man … If any man of you or of your posterity shall be unclean by reason of a dead body [nephesh, soul] …” (Numbers 9:6, 7, 10).

If the translation use “soul” in these places, it would be apparent to the reader that souls simply die. When Samson toppled the house of Dagon, he prayed to God:

“Let me [my nephesh, soul] die with the Philistines” (Judges 16:30).

Expanded Use

The texts above give us the proper meaning of the word soul, namely any living being. However, Strong’s Concordance shows that nephesh is sometimes used figuratively for one’s life, being, or vitality. Here are two examples of this.

(1) When Rachel was dying at the birth of Benjamin, Genesis 35:18 says

“As her soul was in departing (for she died) … she called his name Benomi: but his father called him Benjamin.”

(2) 1 Kings 17:21, speaking of the raisin of a young boy by Elijah, says he cried to God

“let this child’s soul come into him again.”

In both of these cases the word “life” or “being” is the meaning intended.

Sometimes the word is used of one’s deepest thoughts or feelings, distinguished from the mere body. Thus 2 Kings 4:27 says of a troubled woman,

“her soul is vexed in her.”

Language is flexible, and the word nephesh is used flexibly. But none of these cases are any predicate for believing some conscious force called “soul” mysteriously lingers after death. Death is death. It is the cessation of life.

Soul in the New Testament

The New Testament Greek word for soul is psuche. Whenever the word “soul” appears in the common English version of the New Testament, it is from this word (Strong’s number 5590).

1 Corinthians 15:45 uses psuche as the counterpart of the Hebrew nephesh, which serves to equate the two words.

“The first man Adam was made a living soul [psuche].”

This expression clearly draws from Genesis 2:7, where nephesh is used. This word is frequently rendered life.

“Whosoever will save his life shall lose it” (Mark 8:35).

“I lay down my life (John 10:17).

“They seek my life (Romans 11:3),

and many other examples. In these cases “life” refers to the being, the person. The same meaning attaches when the word is rendered “soul,” as in Acts 2:43,

“fear came upon every soul” — every person, or being.

Revelation 8:9 and 16:3 apply the word to sea creatures. Revelation 6:9 and 20:4 use the term metaphorically of the spent life of the saints, awaiting the resurrection. John 12:27 says of Jesus

“now is my soul troubled.”

Thus there is a breadth in this Greek word that matches the breadth of its Hebrew counterpart.

In the Old Testament the condition of death is expressed by the Hebrew sheol, and its Greek counterpart in the New Testament is hades. This was the condition into which Jesus’ “soul,” psuche, passed for three days until his resurrection, for a soul, psuche, dies and is later raised from the dead.

The Soul Is Not Immortal

If the soul were truly immortal, the soul would be indestructible, yet it is not, because each human born under the curse of Adamic condemnation, dies until the curse shall be lifted up from humanity once Christ’s ransom price has been applied to all mankind. By then the Bride of Christ will have completed their share in the sin offering — and the antityical “atonement day” sin offering thus completed. The High Priest in Leviticus 16 made atonement for  himself, his sons, and then, finally, for the sins of the people (the world of mankind). God warned Adam that if he disobeyed God’s rule, then as a living soul Adam would cease to exist. We read about this in Genesis 2:17,

“but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

In Ezekiel 18:4 God said,

“Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth it shall die.”

This means that the person who sins shall die, and since all are born in sin, the entire human race has been dying for nearly 6000 years. Here are two examples of Scriptures about death being the consequence of sin:

“So death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12, NASV).

Every soul [person] sins and, as a consequence, every soul dies (Romans 6:16,23).

But God in his great love provided redemption from death for all sinful souls, or persons, through the gift of his beloved Son, Christ Jesus, who died as a corresponding ransom price to free mankind from the prison house of death. All of Adam’s progeny lost life through Adamic transgression and thus have inherited sin and imperfection. The Apostle Paul wrote that

“in Adam all die,”

adding to this,

“even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

And again,

“Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:21,22).

The Prophet Isaiah wrote that Christ’s “soul” was made an offering for sin, and also that he

“poured out his soul unto death” (Isaiah 53:10,12).

John 3:16 says,

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Adam and all past generations of his children have fallen asleep in death, but they have not “perished,” because through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, and by the exercise of divine power, they are to be awakened in the resurrection and given an opportunity to believe. Then, upon the basis of their belief and obedience, they may live forever.

Those called to discipleship in the present life are given an opportunity to inherit eternal life by accepting Jesus as their personal Redeemer and responding to the invitation to take up their cross and follow him, gladly lay down their lives with him, and be planted together in the likeness of his death (Roman 6:3-6). These are referred to in Revelation 20:4 as the “souls” which are

“beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the Word of God.”

The Apostle Paul wrote,

“If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished” (1 Corinthians 15:17,18).

Thus, Paul speaks of Christians who die as merely being “asleep,” and not in any sense perishing in death.

Genesis 12:11-13 (NASB) says Abraham was afraid that his soul would not live, and thus, that he would die.

“It came about when he [Abram] came near to Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, See now, I know that you are a beautiful woman; and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, This is his wife; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. Please say that you are my sister so that it may go well with me because of you, and that I (“my soul,” nephesh) may live on account of you.” If the Hebrew word nephesh meant an indestructible immortal soul, Abram’s soul could not have died (Br. Peter Karavas, 2011).

Jesus emphasized this same important truth in an admonition to his disciples to meet courageously any and all opposition against them and any persecuted unto death, saying,

“Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell [Gehenna]” (Matthew 10:28).

Jesus here refers to the possibility of permanent cessation of life by God for the incorrigible, which the Bible terms as “second death.”

“This does not imply that the soul can live apart from the body, for actually the body is the organism of the soul. Rather, Jesus is speaking from the standpoint of the divine plan to awaken the dead in the resurrection. It was from this standpoint that Paul could say that Christians who fell asleep in death had not ‘perished.’ If an enemy puts a Christian to death, he has not perished as a soul. The body dies, but the person, the soul, merely ‘sleeps’ until the resurrection. But if a Christian becomes a willful sinner and is not worthy of a resurrection, then death means extinction of that person, or soul, forever.

“Jesus explained this from another standpoint, as recorded in Luke 20:37,38

Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.’

Jesus did not say that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had gone to heaven to live with God. He simply explained that because there is to be a resurrection of the dead, and these faithful servants will be restored to life, God does not consider them as having gone out of existence — they ‘live unto him,’ or, to him they are alive.

“So it is with all God’s faithful servants of the past. They may have been ‘sawn asunder’ by their enemies; they may have been thrown to the lions, or beheaded, or burned at the stake, but to God they still live, they have not ‘perished,’ for he has the power and will use that power to awaken them from the sleep of death.

“The ‘souls’ which are ‘beheaded,’ as mentioned in Revelation 20:4, are brought forth in the ‘first resurrection’ to live and reign with Christ a thousand years. The ‘souls’ that died serving God during the ages preceding Jesus’ first advent will come forth to a ‘better resurrection,’ to serve as ‘princes in all the earth’ Hebrews 11:35; Psalm 45:16” (The Dawn – and Herald of Christ’s Kingdom Magazine, January 1959 issue).

Lazarus – An Example that the Soul is not immortal

In John 11:11 Jesus said “Lazarus sleepeth.” Lazarus was dead for four days (John 11:39). Surely Jesus would not have retrieved Lazarus from the bliss of heaven. For those four days Lazarus did not go anywhere, nor did he see anyone, nor did he speak, eat, feel, or think. He was simply dead. When he was raised to life he began again to do all those things. In this respect the whole world sleeps in death, waiting for the resurrection — unaware of what is transpiring in the meantime, because the dead do not sense, feel or think anything.

“The living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing” (Ecclesiastes 9:5).

“There is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

In John 5:28,29 Jesus said that the hour is coming when all in their graves will come forth. If their souls were already in heaven, then there would be no need for Jesus to say that he would bring them forth from the grave? If physical bodies were needed in heaven, how have these presumably immortal souls survived without them? Scripture also tells us that

“flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable” (1 Corinthians 15:50).

Seeking After Immortality

The Bible never equates immortality with the soul of common man, only with the saints, and then only as a gift for faithfulness (Romans 2:7, 1 Corinthians 15:53-54). The sleeping, unconscious dead will one day be awakened from their graves (John 5:28,29; Job 14:11-15; Psalm 17:15; Acts 24:15,16). At that time,

‘the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea’ (Isaiah 11:9).

‘Many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths’ (Micah 4:2).

In God’s kingdom on earth, mankind will be raised from the dead and have their first real opportunity to learn God’s ways of righteousness because Satan will be bound and will no longer be able to deceive the world (Revelation 20:3) (Br. Peter Karavas, 2011).

The Dead Raised To Life In the Resurrection Age

“Possibly the spirit that returns to God contains the unique ‘data’ of each individual can be compared to computer information on a removable disk. The resurrection of an individual could be a recreation after the pattern of Adam. The original body had passed to dust so a new one, either spiritual or fleshly, would be created. The individual again comes to life when the (unique?) spirit is returned to the body and he becomes a living soul again. Whatever the exact process is, we know the resurrected fleshly body will be in its intended perfected state. Job intimates that the flesh will be fresher than a child’s and will have the beauty and vitality of youth (Job 33:25)” (Robert Davis, The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom article.)

Spirit

The word “spirit” in the Old Testament is usually from the Hebrew ruach, and in the New Testament it is usually from the Greek pneuma. Both terms refer to breath, inhalation, or the movement of air, whether gentle or forceful. But as these are invisible forces, the words are applied by extension to the “spirit” of a person which is the invisible mental force, personality, influence, or disposition of a person.

Thus the Old Testament uses ruach when speaking of the “spirit” of Jacob, Elijah, Cyrus, Zerubbabel, Joshua, God, and others. The New Testament uses pneuma when speaking of the “spirit” of Paul, Christ, and God.

These words are also used to describe the influence of various non-personal but good “spirits” — the spirit of Truth, Holiness, Life, Faith, Wisdom, Grace and Glory and of an opposite spirit of Jealousy, Judgment, Burning, Heaviness, Infirmity, Divination, Bondage, Slumber, Fear and Error.

Ruach also refers to the “spirit of life” which we receive from God, which figuratively “returns” to him when we die.

“Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7).

This does not imply a transport of persons. It applies to the motivating force of life, of both good and bad people alike.

Both words sometimes refer to the essence of a person, that is, their identity, character, personality. In this sense Jesus commended his “spirit” to God when he died, which was restored on the third day when God raised Jesus from the dead (Luke 23:46, Psalms 31:5).

In this sense also Paul speaks of the “spirits of just men,” the faithful Ancient Worthies of the Old Testament, who were matured by the things they suffered, and await their resurrection reward in the Kingdom (Hebrews 12:23, 11:40).

None of these cases teach that any conscious entity persists after the death of a person, except metaphorically, in the memory of God. Not until the resurrection does a person who has died live again as a conscious, sentient being. The great hope for the world lies in such a Resurrection from the Dead.

“There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust” (Acts 24:15).

“The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth” (John 5:28,29).

This assurance was secured for us at great cost, both by God who gave His dearest treasure, his son Jesus, and by Jesus who labored in his ministry for 3 ½ years, suffered accusation from the religious leaders of his day, and died for our sins on the cross.

“Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust … [to] bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh” (1 Peter 3:18). “By man [Adam] came death, by man [Jesus] came also the resurrection of the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:21).

For the saints of the Gospel Age, this resurrection occurs during the present “Harvest” period. For the remainder of the world, the resurrection will occur during the coming Millennium.

Do Angels Have a Soul?

As with human being, angels are souls, for they are the union of the spirit of life, together with a body, in this case a spiritual body.

“The first man Adam was made a living soul…” (1 Corinthians 15:45).

It would be the same with the angelic hosts, but on a higher scale.

“There are also celestial bodies … but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another” (1 Corinthians 15:40).

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Acknowledgment & References

We are thankful for the permission of sharing content from a study titled “Soul and Spirit,” drawn from a study by Br. Gilbert Rice, featured in the “Faithbuilders Fellowship” Journal.
http://www.2043ad.com/journal/2006/01_jan_06.pdf

“Immortality and the Human Soul,” The Bible versus Tradition—Article IV, April 1959 in The Dawn – A Herald of Christ’s Presence (Monthly Magazine) Rutherford, NJ, USA.
http://www.dawnbible.com/1959/5904tbs1.htm

“Immortality of the Soul” by Br. Peter Karavas. The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom Magazine, May-June 2011.
http://www.heraldmag.org/2011/11mj_3.htm

“The Resurrection of the Dead” by Br. Robert Davis. The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom.
http://www.heraldmag.org/literature/doc_14.htm

Suggested Further Reading

Volume 5 of “Studies in the Scriptures” — “The Atonement Between God and Man” by Br. Charles Taze Russell, pages 383-404, Study 13, “Hopes For Life Everlasting and Immortality Secured by the Atonement.”

“What Is the Soul?” by Br. Robert Seklemian
http://www.heraldmag.org/olb/contents/treatises/seklemians%20discourses.htm

ACTS 23:6 — HOPE & RESURRECTION. Part A: What Is Jesus All About?https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/11/03/acts-236-hope-resurrection-part-a-what-is-jesus-all-about/

ACTS 23:6 — HOPE & RESURRECTION. Part B: Will Mankind Resurrect With the Same Mind?
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/11/05/acts-236-hope-resurrection-part-b-will-mankind-resurrect-with-the-same-mind/

ACTS 23:6 — HOPE & RESURRECTION. Part C: The Order of the Resurrection Process
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/11/11/acts-236-hope-resurrection-part-c-the-order-of-the-resurrection-process/

This post’s URL:
https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2018/07/14/ezekiel-184-what-the-bible-teaches-about-soul-and-spirit/

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Preceding articles

Matthew 11:20-24 Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities 5 Reproached Cities a Lesson for Judgment Day

Matthew 12:38-42 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Signs in Jonah and the Queen of the South

The Acts Of The Sent Ones Chapter 2

 

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Additional reading

  1. Concerning Man
  2. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 3
  3. Creation of the earth and man #9 Formation of man #1 Cure of souls
  4. Creation of the earth and man #10 Formation of man #2 Mortal bodies and Tartarian habitation
  5. Creation of the earth and man #12 Formation of man #4 Constitution of man
  6. Creation of the earth and man #14 Formation of man #6 The Uncreated One, neshemet ruach chayim and nephesh
  7. An openingschapter explaining why things are like they are and why we may have hope for better things
  8. Bereshith 3 Fall of man
  9. The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #4 The Fall
  10. The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #5 Temptation, assault and curse
  11. The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #8 Looking for the 2nd Adam
  12. What is life?
  13. Death
  14. Grave, tomb, sepulchre – graf, begraafplaats, rustplaats, sepulcrum
  15. Today’s thought “Death by being taken captive” (May 15)
  16. Is there an Immortal soul
  17. The Soul not a ghost
  18. The Soul confronted with Death
  19. What happens when we die?
  20. Decomposition, decay – vergaan, afsterven, ontbinding
  21. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #1 Intro
  22. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #2 Psyche, the word
  23. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #3 Historical background
  24. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #4 Psyche, According to the Holy Scriptures
  25. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #5 Mortality of man and mortality of the spirit
  26. People Seeking for God 5 Bread of life
  27. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #6 Summary
  28. Sheol, Sheool, Sjeool, Hades, Hell, Grave, Tomb, Sepulchre
  29. Science, belief, denial and visibility 1
  30. Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual
  31. A Ransom for all 1 Eternal tormentAll Souls’ DayI Can’t Believe That (1) … God would send anyone to hell

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Is it true that all Non-Christians today will go to hell

Related

  1. What is the human soul?
  2. On Plotinus and immortality
  3. The dreams of the Manichees and of Servetus, as to the origin of the soul, refuted
  4. It were vain to seek a definition of the soul from philosophers, not one of whom, with the exception of Plato, distinctly maintained its immortality
  5. Duty of Preparing for the Future World: Immortality and Separate State of the Soul: Book Eight- Chapter 1
  6. There are in the souls of wicked men those hellish principles reigning, that would presently kindle and flame out into hell fire, if it were not for God’s restraints
  7. This light is such as effectually influences the inclination, and changes the nature of the soul
  8. Is the human soul mortal or immortal?
  9. Immortal Soul
  10. River myths and the soul
  11. Secret Principles of Immortality, Edition 25
  12. All Soul’s Day, All Saint’s Day, and Day of the Dead
  13. Are there degrees of punishment in hell?
  14. J. W. Hanson on Gehenna
  15. There Is No Hell, Look It Up
  16. Are Near Death Experiences or Out of Body Experiences Biblical?
  17. Fantastic Article Proving that Hell = Complete Annihilation, Not Eternal Torment

Meaning of Sacrifice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Islip Collyer

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Doopsel en bloedvergieten ter vergeving

With child and righteousness greater than the law

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2015 the year of ISIS

Forces of Evil

Behind Acts of Terror

“We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

CroppedStalin1943.jpg

Joseph Stalin (1878-1953) leader of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953. Holding the post of the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, he was effectively the dictator of the state. – Stalin at the Tehran Conference in 1943.

The past century was one of unprecedented evil: 20 million killed in Stalin’s purges, Hitler’s extermination of six million Jews, 1.7 million massacred in the killing fields by Pol Pot, and the millions of lives lost trying to defend or defeat these ruthless leaders. And the carnage escalated quickly into the 21st century as mankind witnessed the fiery deaths of over 4,000 from suicide missions perpetrated against the United States on 9/11 by Al-Qaeda extremists. But an even more sinister and illusive foe has been terrorizing the world with random, demonic acts of evil. The Salafi jihadist militant group that follows an Islamic fundamentalist, Wahhabi doctrine of Sunni Islam, ISIS has become more organized, more powerful and more evil than all other religious extremist groups.

2015 has been a year full of different terror attacks. We were shocked by those in Paris, San Bernardino, which has long battled high crime rates but got its mass shooting in 2015, where the perpetrators were “homegrown violent extremists” inspired by foreign terrorist groups. When we look at all the terror attacks effectuate we may wonder if the the hideous acts of terror around the world by radical Islamic militants were simply the function of an evil twist of character fueled by false religion, or are they provoked still further by a malicious, invisible force? Will the One true God bring an end to all this evil and terror?

Satan, Evil and Intelligent Beings

The Word of God leaves no doubt there is evil in the world. It tells us where it came into the world. It was by the greed of man that man was overtaken to rebel against God.

In the Bible we are told that by the years more and more people came into existence rebelling against their Most High Power. We also come to find out that even by the followers of Jeshua (Jesus Christ) there were those who were taken by fear and by lust of power and money, so that they doubted what Jesus should (Peter) do or betrayed their master teacher for some money (Judas). The apostle who resisted Jesus, Peter, was therefore called a Satan by Jeshua.

Going against the Will of God is considered being an opponent or adversary, which is being a Satan. In several languages it is translated as a personification of an evil doer or evil bringer. In English such a person or being, is also called a ‘devil‘. In the bible we are given several examples of such beings who do evil or who oppose God. As to the existence of a personal devil and his legions of demons, we can see that those possessed with ‘demons‘ are the ones who have a psychological illness. The Bible gives a comprehensive description of Satan, his emissaries and his aims. Satan is represented in Scripture as being the orchestrator and source of evil in the universe — the unrelenting enemy of God and man.

In the Book of books, the Bible, we are shown that even some men of God became a victim of that Satan. Those books show clearly how it is from within those people that filth or evil came over them. They were weak and let themselves being seduced by their own thoughts. We can see that they them selves were at fault and that nobody outside them was to blame for they  going wrong.

A god of this world

From the Scriptures we do know that several men opposed the Divine Creator and placed themselves higher than Him. Though we may not forget that nobody can be greater than God. Even Jesus knew very well that God was the greatest and that he could do nothing without God. Throughout history many people got an important position and as such became gods, i.e. higher placed people. As such we can find angels, Moses, Pharaoh, Apollo, Zeus being called gods, like Jesus was also called a god but none of them were the God of gods. Several of those higher placed beings also became worshipped as gods, whilst others rule the world as a god.

The Apostle Paul recognized the existence of a personal, invisible devil and gave him or them the title “god of this world.” (2 Corinthians 4:4) Paul also called Satan

“the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.” (Ephesians 2:2)

These words imply not only that there are evil principles at work, but that behind them there are invisible evil powers opposing all that is good.

“We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

Rulers of the darkness of this world

We must not think evil is something of one specific being, a singular “Satan”. In all of us sits a Satan. We all can become victim of Satan, the evil within. If we are not careful and let our imagination go, and let our lust being taken over by our inner lust, we shall also become a Satan, an adversary of God like Peter at one time also was called a Satan.

Today we can see many adversaries of God at work. They are the Satan spoken of  in the Hoy Scriptures. We are also warned of those who oppose the Almighty God, that they will be the rulers of the world and that there shall come a “prince of the devils“. It shall come so fart that the world shall be put in chains by those adversaries of Allah or God. Even the angels, the celestial beings, shall come to see what happens on the world, and they too shall not be able to stop it. It shall continue until the Great or Last Day of this System of things.

Satan may have gained ‘legions of angels’, those beings who have actively supported his evil schemes, they shall be looked on by the faithful to God. Though the world shall continue to bring the unfaithful together trying to get more lovers of God away from Him. We are even told they would not mind to use all tricks to lure those people into their net. that is also what we are seeing today. Several people who have doubts about God and religion try to find a solution for their own life. They think those people from Islamic State or IS, can give them the right answer and give them an eternal happy life.

Islamic State does as if it is fighting for God, but when we look at their works, raping innocent girls, selling women as slaves, burning holy books and prayer houses (mosques and churches) we can see that those actions are against the Will of God. Their aim is to rule the world by creating their own state, the Islamic State. They do know, people are gone far away from God, and as such they are also an easy prey. In this world there is a lot of darkness and they make use of it to gain their power over all those who do not believe in the One True God.

Though they forget there are also others who as opposer of God want to rule the world. And in the bible we are told they too shall rise up against each other and claim to have the right to rule the world. as part of the signs of the last days we shall come to see that there shall start the Big Battle in the land of Euphrates and Tigris (Iraq and Iran) and that religion shall come up against religion, situations we can see today.

Together all those opposed to God shall do their best to have people to believe that either we should do away with all sorts of religion and should not believe in Allah or God, whilst others shall do their best to have people coming to their false religion.  Satan or satans, the adversary or adversaries of God shall come to cooperate as mischief workers amongst men. For them the most important is that nobody shall be a follower of Jesus Christ (a Christian) or would worship God as a united Body in Christ. The Islamic fundamentalist group “Islamic State” is the Satan which shall never let up their unrelenting desire to create a society under their control. (Matthew 9:34; Isaiah 14:12-15)

Continued malicious meddling

What we see happening today is a result of continued malicious meddling by “Satan and the demons”, the adversaries of god and those who are not sound in mind, as they prey upon the weakest of humanity. While fallen man is much to blame for these acts of violence, “wicked spirits” often enter sick or deluded minds, suggesting hideous acts of violence. The Scriptures describe in detail such incidents and the misery caused by evil spirit influence and possession. (Matthew 8:16; Mark 5:15; Luke 4:41; Luke 22:3)

Those who are inclined toward evil leave themselves open to suggestions from these wicked spirits. There are enough ‘lunatics’ or mad people who want to get their ideas into the mind of others. Some succeed cleverly to bring others in the ban of their thinking. Muslim extremists wreaking worldwide panic through acts of terror have been brain-washed by doctrines of ‘demons’, persons who have evil inside and want to bring that evil unto others, them believing that they have a God-directed mission to execute their victims. (1 Timothy 4:1) But, unlike the god of Muslim extremists, the God of real Muslims and the Judeo-Christian God, Jehovah, is a God of love, and He has told His children that there are seven things which are an abomination to Him — among these are hands that shed innocent blood, hearts that devise wicked plans, feet that run swiftly to evil and those who spread strife. (Proverbs 6:16-19) These activities describe well the acts of hateful extremists — no matter their religion.

16 There are six things that Jehovah does hate;+ yes, seven are things detestable to his soul:+ 17 lofty eyes,+ a false tongue,+ and hands that are shedding innocent blood,+ 18 a heart fabricating hurtful schemes,+ feet that are in a hurry to run to badness,+ 19 a false witness that launches forth lies,+ and anyone sending forth contentions among brothers.+ (Proverbs 6: 16-19)

While there are relatively few radicalised Muslims waging a war of terror, it is important to understand that the majority of Muslims are peace-loving. Christians must not succumb to the hysteria that creates fear of the entire Muslim community — most of whom are peaceable and reasonable. Remember Jesus’ admonition:

“Love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Matthew 22:39)

Escalating into devastating worldwide violence of our day

Today’s Headlines Written Nearly 2,000 Years Ago

In His foreknowledge, God could look down to our time and see the hate and greed in the human heart that would escalate into the devastating worldwide violence of our day. In His wisdom, God has permitted this extreme level of evil under “Satan’s temporary reign” that it might teach an everlasting lesson to all mankind. god has given the world in the hands of man. It was man who accused God of not being fair and not giving him liberty. Now man has the liberty to choose how to rule and how to live. History has proven that they made a mess of it. This limited experience living in a world with evil is teaching mankind to hate iniquity and to long for a better day under a righteous ruler — Messiah.

Therefore, to provide hope to His people, God placed in His Word prophetic indicators which would point to the time when Satan’s kingdom of evil would begin to collapse. Four signs were given to the prophet Daniel which would mark the time of the end — the end of this present evil world under the dominion of Satan. (Daniel 12:1, 4; Galatians 1:4)

12 “And during that time Miʹcha·el*+ will stand up,+ the great prince*+ who is standing in behalf of the sons of your people.+ And there will certainly occur a time of distress such as has not been made to occur since there came to be a nation until that time.+ And during that time your people will escape,+ every one who is found written down in the book.+ And there will be many of those asleep in the ground of dust who will wake up,+ these to indefinitely lasting life+ and those to reproaches [and] to indefinitely lasting abhorrence.+

“And the ones having insight will shine like the brightness* of the expanse;+ and those who are bringing the many to righteousness,+ like the stars to time indefinite, even forever.

“And as for you, O Daniel, make secret the words and seal up the book,+ until the time of [the] end.*+ Many will rove about, and the [true] knowledge* will become abundant.”+ (Daniel 12:1-4)

He gave himself for our sins+ that he might deliver us from the present wicked system of things*+ according to the will+ of our God and Father, (Galatians 1:4)

Signs for us to take heed

“many shall run to and fro”

In the past 100 years, numerous modes of transportation have been invented, increasing the speed of travel from 20 mph to over 18,000 mph. This has been a blessing to most of humanity, but it has also brought with it a means for terrorists to spread their evil rapidly far and wide.

“knowledge shall be increased”

Science and Invention magazine cover, November 1928

More than ninety percent of all scientists who have ever lived are alive today, and more than fifty percent of the world’s inventions have been created within the last three decades. Additionally, sophistication in communications allows man to see and hear global news instantly. This has created amazing tools to benefit mankind, but it has also provided terrorists the tools to spread their hate.

• Messiah will begin to “stand up” for Daniel’s “people”

Israel’s rebirth as a nation is a miracle of history. Never before has a nation been destroyed, its people dispersed to the ends of the earth and then — nearly 2,000 years later — regathered and reestablished as a nation. But, one of radical Islam’s most hated enemies is Israel. This horrible reality of terror has been playing out almost every day since Israel’s formation as a nation in 1948. And now, the other countries of the world are experiencing firsthand the fear of living their daily lives in expectation of yet another terrorist attack.

“a time of trouble such as never was”

Yalta summit in February 1945 with (from left ...

Yalta summit in February 1945 with (from left to right) Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin. Also present are USSR Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov (far left); Admiral of the Fleet Sir Andrew Cunningham, RN, Marshal of the RAF Sir Charles Portal, RAF, (both standing behind Churchill); Field Marshal Alan Brooke and Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, USN, (standing behind Roosevelt). Note ornate carpets under the chairs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unprecedented trouble is the hallmark of our time and is confirmed by these recent tragic events. True, the world has always had trouble, but, prior to 1940, the potential for the annihilation of humanity by the single flick of a switch was unheard of. In the first three quarters of the 20th Century at least 100 million lives had been lost to war (Time Magazine, March 9, 1970). Thirty-four wars were being waged in 1988 alone. And today, “the weak say I am strong.” (Joel 3:10) A few, “the weak,” have brought the strong nations of the world into a state of extreme distress. Weakness, fuelled by jealousy, hatred, misinformation and prejudice punctuates Daniel’s vision of unprecedented trouble.

Maintaining Faith in an Unstable World

All four of these signs given to Daniel should give God’s people hope that the end of Satan’s evil regime is near. Yet, it is still hard to maintain faith in this unstable and frightening world. This makes it even more necessary that we, as Christians, take up the whole armour of God that we might be able to

“withstand in the evil day… having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God…” Ephesians 6:10-17

Yes, in this unstable world it takes an extreme, educated faith to believe that God’s plan will provide a constructive end to all the tears caused by evil — to believe that God is not indifferent to every sorrow. The Scriptures declare that He desires mankind to live in a world without fear, but He now allows Satan (God’s adversary) to rule for a limited time in order that each individual may learn valuable lessons — experiencing the results of evil and selfishness.

The world is quickly learning that it is helpless to win a war against evil. Thus we read,

“This sore travail has God given to man to be exercised therewith.” (Ecclesiastes 1:13)

It is comforting to know that when God finally says through His Son, It is enough — peace be still, we can rest assured that there will be great changes in the earth, and all will begin to see that the permission of evil was both educational and preparatory to the ushering of mankind into the ages of blessing to come, wherein

“all the families of the earth will be blessed.” (Genesis 28:14)

The promise is that once God, through His Son, puts an utter end to all evil,

“affliction shall not rise up the second time.” (Nahum 1:9; Job 34:29)

What will YOU men think up against Jehovah?+ He is causing an outright extermination.

Distress will not rise up a second time.+ (Nahum 1:9)

29 When he himself causes quietness, who, then, can condemn?

And when he conceals [his] face,+ who can behold him,

Whether it is toward a nation+ or toward a man,* it being the same thing? (Job 34:29)

In other words, the harsh lessons of evil will never be necessary again when all the families of the earth learn, by contrast, that love, peace, righteousness and unselfishness are far more preferable than living in this present evil world. The depth of God’s wisdom is shown in His foresight to devise a plan that provides for man’s free choice and experience with evil, but nevertheless brings redemption through Christ which will result in eternal happiness.

The Desire of All Nations Shall Come

Though God has permitted Satan’s evil influence for a relatively short time, He will soon put a stop to all evil and usher in His everlasting righteous Kingdom. Then the Scriptures assure us that all of “the inhabitants of the earth will learn righteousness” when the “knowledge of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the deep.” (Isaiah 26:9; 11:9)

The path of the righteous one is uprightness.+ You being upright, you will smooth out the very course of a righteous one.+ Yes, for the path of your judgments, O Jehovah, we have hoped in you.+ For your name and for your memorial+ the desire of the soul has been.+ With my soul I have desired you in the night;+ yes, with my spirit within me I keep looking for you;+ because, when there are judgments from you for the earth,+ righteousness+ is what the inhabitants of the productive land* will certainly learn.+ 10 Though the wicked one should be shown favor, he simply will not learn righteousness.+ In the land of straightforwardness he will act unjustly+ and will not see the eminence of Jehovah.+ (Isaiah 26:7-10)

They will not do any harm+ or cause any ruin in all my holy mountain;+ because the earth* will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah as the waters are covering the very sea.*+ (Isaiah 11:9)

The time is coming when Jehovah, the Almighty God shall certainly bring home the world its own badness upon the productive land. The adversaries of God shall receive the consequences of their own error. Badness shall also come upon the wicked themselves. It is also written down that Jehovah shall actually cause the pride of the presumptuous ones to cease, and the haughtiness of the tyrants or ʽa·ri·tsimʹ  Jehovah shall abase. (Isaiah 1:11) Then there shall come the moment that the adversary or all those who are under the spell of the adversary will be destroyed — never to hurt nor deceive the world again. Babylon and the defiled ones with all people shall be paid back according to their activities. According to all that they have done.  The love of God will abundantly bestow blessings of life, peace and happiness upon all.

20 And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven with the key of the abyss+ and a great chain in his hand. And he seized the dragon,+ the original serpent,+ who is the Devil+ and Satan,+ and bound him for a thousand years. And he hurled him into the abyss+ and shut [it] and sealed [it] over him, that he might not mislead the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After these things he must be let loose for a little while.+(Revelation 20:1-3)

Yes, the influence of God’s benevolent Kingdom will have an overwhelming transforming effect on the hearts of men. Of this mighty future work we read,

“And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.” (Ezekiel 11:19-20)

There is great cause to rejoice, for it is the severity and hopelessness of the world’s problems that mark us at the threshold of these promised Kingdom blessings. Just as the terror of today was prophesied, the resurrection of all who have ever lived is also assured in prophecy. Then, all those who perished in the terrors of this day will be reunited with their loved ones, and

“The desire of all nations shall come.” (Haggai 2:7)

Legitimate Desires

What are Some of These Legitimate Desires?

Ask the homeless family living in times of unemployment,

“What is your desire?”

Their answer will be,

“If only we had a place to call home.”

God promises:

“They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit. They shall not plant and another eat.” (Isaiah 65:21-23)

Ask the father of a child dying of cancer,

“What is your desire?”

His answer will be,

“If only there were no sickness and crippling diseases, no cancer, no blindness, no pain and suffering.”

Thank God! These desires will be fulfilled in His Kingdom:

“And no inhabitant will say I am sick.” “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, the ears of the deaf unstopped, then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing for joy.” (Isaiah 33:24; 35:5,6)

And what will be the desire of the young man on the field of battle,

“If only there were no wars and man could learn to live in peace.”

The Kingdom promise is:

“They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation neither shall they learn war anymore.” (Micah 4:3)

Ask the Mother of the young man killed at the hand of a terrorist,

“What is your desire?”

and she will say,

“If only I could hold him and see him happy again.”

Yes, the most blessed promise of all, lost loved ones will be united once again in the resurrection.

“I will ransom them from the power of the grave…” (Hosea 13:14; Isaiah 25:8)

“And the ransomed of the Lord shall return with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” (Isaiah 35:10)

These are but a few of the legitimate desires, which shall be satisfied. This is the promise of God’s Kingdom to come, where His will shall be done on earth, as it is even now done in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)

Close your eyes for a moment to the scenes of misery and woe, degradation and sorrow that yet prevail on account of sin, and picture before your mental vision the glory of the perfect earth.
Not a stain of sin will mar the harmony and peace of a perfect society, not a bitter thought, not an unkind look or word.
Love welling up from every heart will meet a kindred response in every other heart, and benevolence will mark every act.
There sickness shall be no more — not an ache nor a pain, nor any evidence of decay — not even the fear of such things.
Such will earth’s society be, and weeping bereaved ones will have their tears all wiped away, when thus they realize the resurrection work complete. (Revelation 21:4)

The year of God

2015 might have been the year of ISIS, in 2016 they shall not be off the radar. We know that everything may become worse but those who believe in god have good prospects and may build on their hope which is build on those prophesies from the Holy Scriptures.

Let us use that bible to guide us through the times coming and let us look forward to the return of Christ.

For sure to all the suffering shall come an end. Looking at the signs described in the Bible we do know we are not so far off from the Last Days. Than we shall have the Day of Jesus, when he shall judge all. Let us make sure that we shall be by the ones justified to enter the small gate of the Kingdom of God, being pleased to be united as partakers of God’s promise, united in the Body of Christ in the Year of God, notifying that the years of ISIS are over.

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Preceding article:

Belgian Bible Students review of 2015

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Additional reading

  1. What is life?
  2. Kitty Werthmann her account of grewing up in Austria under Nazi regime
  3. 150 Years after the 13th Amendment
  4. 2014 Religion
  5. Social media a destabilisation tool in the Middle East and Syrian conflict
  6. Islamophobic hate crimes rise in UK following terror attacks
  7. Wrong choices made to get rid of Assad
  8. Stronger than anything that wants to destroy
  9. Being Charlie 8
  10. French Muslims under attack
  11. Syrian but also Belgian connection to French attacks
  12. Refugee crisis, terrorist attacks and created fear
  13. Massive police operation in northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis
  14. Coming closer to the end of 2015 and the end for Donald Trump as presidential candidate
  15. Summary for the year 2015 #1 Threat and fear
  16. Summary for the year 2015 # 2 Strewn with corpses and refugees
  17. 2015 Human rights
  18. Stepping Toes 2015 in review
  19. Is ISIS a product of American in-action or a product of direct action
  20. Islamic State forcing the West to provide means for Kurdistan
  21. Paris attacks darkening the world
  22. Brussels-born Salah Abdeslam key suspect Paris terrorist attacks
  23. Trump brand of migrant demonization #2
  24. Bijbelvorsers Blogging annual report and 2015 in review
  25. The Existence of Evil
  26. Evil in the bible
  27. Heavenly creatures do they exist
  28. The “Mighty Ones”
  29. Angels in Old Testament History
  30. Guardian Angels?
  31. The Angels in World Affairs
  32. Evil in the bible
  33. Satan or the devil
  34. Lucifer
  35. Satan the evil within
  36. Christendom Astray The Devil Not A Personal Super-Natural Being
  37. Where does Satan lives?
  38. October month of witches and spirits
  39. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 2 Summersend and mansend
  40. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 3 Black Mass, Horror spectacles and pure puritans
  41. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 4 Blasphemy and ridiculing faith in God
  42. The Importance of the Prophetic
  43. Al-Fatiha [The Opening] Süra 1: 4-7 Merciful Lord of the Creation to show us the right path
  44. Arguments about believe and About Christianity versus Atheism
  45. To Soar In The Spirit You Have To Be Hard Core
  46. The redemption of man by Christ Jesus
  47. Sayings of Jesus, what to believe and being or not of the devil
  48. The Soul confronted with Death
  49. Intellectual servility a curse of mankind
  50. Running away from the past
  51. Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences
  52. Challenging claim
  53. Remember the day
  54. A voice cries out: context
  55. Getting out of the dark corners of this world
  56. God of gods
  57. The Song of The Lamb #1 Visions, symbols and suggested meanings
  58. Remain lovingly = No path for softies
  59. The chosen ones to fear or not to fear
  60. God my fence, my hope for the future
  61. Jesus Christ is the perfect security in storms
  62. Understand what the will of the Lord is
  63. Kingdom of God what will it be like

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Further reading

  1. A Clash Within Civilization
  2. ‘US Doesn’t Understand What It’s Doing in Syria’ – CIA Veteran
  3. PA security forces warn of permeation of ISIS ideology; Laud Israel-PA-US cooperation
  4. Swedish govt in “panic” after ISIS letters give 3 days to convert to Islam or be decapitated
  5. Christian mothers, wives take up the fight against ISIS, whose women serve as suicide bombers and slaves
  6. Too Great a Sacrifice? The KDF Pull-Out Debate
  7. A Job far away from completion
  8. Indonesia: ISIS considers country un-Islamic
  9. Nearly 19,000 Civilians Killed in Iraq Since 2014, U.N. Reports
  10. From Paris suburb to bloody attack, portrait of IS jihadis
  11. Isis will fail to emulate Islam’s great conquests. Here’s why
  12. Stop ISIS by Welcoming Refugees
  13. Isis Develops ‘Alrawi’ Encrypted Messaging App for Android: Report (1)
  14. Isis Develops ‘Alrawi’ Encrypted Messaging App for Android: Report (2)
  15. Alarming Evidence Suggests ISIS is Now a US-Israel Proxy Army
  16. ‘It’s a criminal gang pretending to be a state’: Discontent grows in ISIS ‘caliphate’ as oil funds dry up
  17. The Great ISIS Recession
  18. The Long Fight Against ISIS
  19. David Cameron criticises BBC for use of ‘Islamic State’
  20. Meet the New Gangster Warlords of Latin America
  21. In God We Trust
  22. The War on Nothing
  23. Today’s Victory Reminder: God Redeems Sinners
  24. Verse of the day – Forsake me not, O Lord
  25. Behold the Lamb of God!
  26. Redemption in Christ
  27. Grace, Redemption, and Bearing Fruit
  28. Looking Back at Life through the Lens of Romans 8:28
  29. Terorisme tidak harus dilihat dari lensa agama
  30. Dunia Orde Baru Akan Menguasai Dunia Dengan Teror

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Dieu Tout-puissant Qui ont peut pas voir et vivre

“Au commencement Dieu créa les cieux et la terre.” (Genèse 1:1 DRB)

“Et Abram était âgé de quatre-vingt-dix-neuf ans ; et l’Eternel apparut à Abram, et lui dit, Je suis le Dieu Tout-puissant ; marche devant ma face, et sois parfait ;” (Genèse 17:1 DRB)

“2 Et Dieu parla à Moïse, et lui dit, Je suis l’Eternel (Jéhovah). 3 Je suis apparu à Abraham, à Isaac, et à Jacob, comme le Dieu Tout-puissant ; mais je n’ai pas été connu d’eux par mon nom d’Eternel (Jéhovah).” (Exode 6:2-3 DRB)

“Qui est comme toi parmi les dieux, ô Eternel ? Qui est comme toi, magnifique en sainteté, terrible en louanges, opérant des merveilles ?” (Exode 15:11 DRB)

“Maintenant je connais que l’Eternel est plus grand que tous les dieux ; car en cela même en quoi ils ont agi présomptueusement, il a été au-dessus d’eux.” (Exode 18:11 DRB)

“Et il dit, Tu ne peux pas voir ma face, car l’homme ne peut me voir et vivre.” (Exode 33:20 DRB)

“Ecoute, Israël, L’Éternel, notre Dieu, est un seul Éternel.” (Deutéronome 6:4 DRB)

“Car je proclamerai le nom de l’Eternel, Attribuez la grandeur à notre Dieu !” (Deutéronome 32:3 DRB)

“A toi, Eternel, est la grandeur, et la force, et la gloire, et la splendeur, et la majesté ; car tout, dans les cieux et sur la terre, est à toi. A toi, Eternel, est le royaume et l’élévation, comme Chef sur toutes choses ;” (1 Chroniques 29:11 DRB)

“Et la maison que je bâtis sera grande ; car notre Dieu est grand au-dessus de tous les dieux.” (2 Chroniques 2:5 DRB)

“Voici, Dieu est grand, et nous ne le connaissons pas ; le nombre de ses années, nul ne le sonde.” (Job 36:26 DRB)

“Tenez-vous tranquilles, et sachez que je suis Dieu, je serai exalté parmi les nations, je serai exalté sur la terre.” (Psaumes 46:10 DRB)

“L’Eternel est grand et fort digne de louange dans la ville de notre Dieu, dans sa montagne sainte” (Psaumes 48:1 DRB)

“Et ta justice, ô Dieu ! est haut élevée. Toi qui as fait de grandes choses, ô Dieu ! qui est comme toi ?” (Psaumes 71:19 DRB)

“Béni soit l’Eternel, Dieu, le Dieu d’Israël, qui seul fait des choses merveilleuses !” (Psaumes 72:18 DRB)

“Et qu’ils sachent que toi seul, dont le nom est l’Eternel, tu es le Très-haut sur toute la terre.” (Psaumes 83:18 DRB)

“Seigneur ! nul entre les dieux n’est comme toi, et il n’y a point d’œuvres comme les tiennes.” (Psaumes 86:8 DRB)

“Car qui, dans les nues, peut être comparé à l’Eternel ? Qui, parmi les fils des forts, est semblable à l’Eternel ?” (Psaumes 89:6 DRB)

“Eternel ! que tes œuvres sont grandes ! tes pensées sont très profondes,” (Psaumes 92:5 DRB)

“3 Car l’Eternel est un grand Dieu, et un grand roi par-dessus tous les dieux. 4 Les lieux profonds de la terre sont en sa main, et les sommets des montagnes sont à lui. 5 A lui est la mer, et lui-même l’a faite ; et le sec, ses mains l’ont formé. 6 adorons et inclinons-nous, agenouillons-nous devant l’Eternel qui nous a faits ! 7  Car c’est lui qui est notre Dieu ; et nous, nous sommes le peuple de sa pâture et les brebis de sa main. Aujourd’hui, si vous entendez sa voix, 8 N’endurcissez pas votre cœur comme à Meriba, comme au jour de Massa, dans le désert, 9 Où vos pères m’ont tenté, éprouvé, et ont vu mes œuvres.” (Psaumes 95:3-9 DRB)

“Car toi, Eternel, tu es le Très-haut sur toute la terre ; tu es fort élevé par-dessus tous les dieux.” (Psaumes 97:9 DRB)

“Il a envoyé la rédemption à son peuple ; il a commandé son alliance pour toujours. Son nom est saint et terrible.” (Psaumes 111:9 DRB)

“Car je sais que l’Eternel est grand, et que notre Seigneur est au-dessus de tous les dieux.” (Psaumes 135:5 DRB)

“L’Eternel est grand et fort digne de louange ; et sa grandeur est insondable.” (Psaumes 145:3 DRB)

“et l’Eternel des armées sera élevé en jugement, et le Dieu saint sera sanctifié en justice.” (Esaïe 5:16 DRB)

“Et l’un criait à l’autre, et disait, Saint, saint, saint, est l’Eternel des armées ; toute la terre est pleine de sa gloire !” (Esaïe 6:3 DRB)

“l’Eternel des armées, lui, sanctifiez-le, et que lui soit votre crainte, et lui, votre frayeur ;” (Esaïe 8:13 DRB)

“A qui donc comparerez-vous Dieu, et à quelle ressemblance l’égalerez-vous ?” (Esaïe 40:18 DRB)

“Moi, moi, je suis l’Eternel, et hors moi il n’y en a point qui sauve.” (Esaïe 43:11 DRB)

“N’ayez pas peur, et ne craignez pas. Ne te l’ai-je pas, dès ce temps-là, fait entendre et déclaré ? et vous m’en êtes les témoins. Y a-t-il un Dieu hors moi ? Il n’y a pas de rocher, je n’en connais point.” (Esaïe 44:8 DRB)

“Car ainsi dit celui qui est haut élevé et exalté, qui habite l’éternité, et duquel le nom est le Saint, J’habite le lieu haut élevé et saint, et avec celui qui est abattu et d’un esprit contrit, pour revivifier l’esprit de ceux qui sont contrits, et pour revivifier le cœur de ceux qui sont abattus.” (Esaïe 57:15 DRB)

“Qui ne te craindrait, Roi des nations ? Car cela t’est dû ; car, parmi tous les sages des nations et dans tous leurs royaumes, nul n’est comme toi ;” (Jérémie 10:7 DRB)

“Je prendrai plaisir en vous comme en un parfum agréable, quand je vous aurai fait sortir d’entre les peuples, et que je vous aurai rassemblés des pays dans lesquels vous serez dispersés, et que je serai sanctifié en vous aux yeux des nations.” (Ezékiel 20:41 DRB)

“Et je sanctifierai mon grand nom, qui a été profané parmi les nations, et que vous avez profané au milieu d’elles ; et les nations sauront que je suis l’Eternel, dit le Seigneur, l’Eternel, quand je serai sanctifié en vous, à leurs yeux.” (Ezékiel 36:23 DRB)

“Et je me glorifierai et je me sanctifierai, et je serai connu aux yeux de beaucoup de nations ; et elles sauront que je suis l’Eternel.” (Ezékiel 38:23 DRB)

“Le roi répondit et dit à Daniel, En vérité, votre Dieu est le Dieu des dieux et le Seigneur des rois, et le révélateur des secrets, puisque tu as pu révéler ce secret.” (Daniel 2:47 DRB)

“Et il arrivera que, quiconque invoquera le nom de l’Eternel sera sauvé. Car sur la montagne de Sion il y aura délivrance, et à Jérusalem, comme l’Eternel l’a dit, et pour les réchappés que l’Eternel appellera.” (Joël 2:32 DRB)

“Car alors, je changerai la langue des peuples en une langue purifiée, pour qu’ils invoquent tous le nom de l’Eternel pour le servir d’un seul cœur.” (Sophonie 3:9 DRB)

“Vous donc, priez ainsi, Notre Père qui es dans les cieux, que ton nom soit sanctifié ;” (Matthieu 6:9 DRB)

“Et Jésus lui dit, Pourquoi m’appelles-tu bon ? Nul n’est bon, sinon un seul, Dieu.” (Marc 10:18 DRB)

“car le Puissant m’a fait de grandes choses, et son nom est saint ;” (Luc 1:49 DRB)

“Dieu est esprit, et il faut que ceux qui l’adorent, l’adorent en esprit et en vérité.” (Jean 4:24 DRB)

“1  Jésus dit ces choses, et leva ses yeux au ciel, et dit, Père, l’heure est venue ; glorifie ton Fils, afin que ton Fils te glorifie, 2 comme tu lui as donné autorité sur toute chair, afin que, quant à tout ce que tu lui as donné, il leur donne la vie éternelle. 3 Et c’est ici la vie éternelle, qu’ils te connaissent seul vrai Dieu, et celui que tu as envoyé, Jésus Christ.” (Jean 17:1-3 DRB)

“J’ai manifesté ton nom aux hommes que tu m’as donnés du monde ; ils étaient à toi, et tu me les as donnés ; et ils ont gardé ta parole.” (Jean 17:6 DRB)

“25 Père juste ;  et le monde ne t’a pas connu, mais moi je t’ai connu ; et ceux-ci ont connu que toi tu m’as envoyé. 26 Et je leur ai fait connaître ton nom, et je le leur ferai connaître, afin que l’amour dont tu m’as aimé soit en eux, et moi en eux.” (Jean 17:25-26 DRB)

“Et il arrivera que quiconque invoquera le nom du Seigneur sera sauvé.” (Actes 2:21 DRB)

“car, depuis la fondation du monde, ce qui ne se peut voir de lui, savoir et sa puissance éternelle et sa divinité, se discerne par le moyen de l’intelligence, par les choses qui sont faites, de manière à les rendre inexcusables,” (Romains 1:20 DRB)

“car quiconque invoquera le nom du Seigneur sera sauvé.” (Romains 10:13 DRB)

“O profondeur des richesses et de la sagesse et de la connaissance de Dieu ! Que ses jugements sont insondables, et ses voies introuvables !” (Romains 11:33 DRB)

“4  Pour ce qui est donc de manger des choses sacrifiées aux idoles, nous savons qu’une idole n’est rien dans le monde, et qu’il n’y a point d’autre Dieu qu’un seul. 5 Car aussi, s’il y en a qui sont appelés dieux, soit dans le ciel, soit sur la terre, (comme il y a beaucoup de dieux et beaucoup de seigneurs,) 6 toutefois, pour nous, il y a un seul Dieu, le Père, duquel sont toutes choses, et nous pour lui, et un seul Seigneur, Jésus Christ, par lequel sont toutes choses, et nous par lui.” (1 Corinthiens 8:4-6 DRB)

“suivant l’évangile de la gloire du Dieu bienheureux, qui m’a été confié.” (1 Timothée 1:11 DRB)

“car Dieu est un, et le médiateur entre Dieu et les hommes est un, l’ homme Christ Jésus,” (1 Timothée 2:5 DRB)

“Car le Christ n’est pas entré dans des lieux saints faits de main, copies des vrais, mais dans le ciel même, afin de paraître maintenant pour nous devant la face de Dieu,” (Hébreux 9:24 DRB)

“Et nous avons connu et cru l’amour que Dieu a pour nous. Dieu est amour, et celui qui demeure dans l’amour, demeure en Dieu et Dieu en lui.” (1 Jean 4:16 DRB)

“Et les quatre animaux, chacun d’eux ayant six ailes, sont, tout autour et au dedans, pleins d’yeux ; et ils ne cessent jour et nuit, disant, Saint, saint, saint, Seigneur, Dieu, Tout-puissant, celui qui était, et qui est, et qui vient.” (Apocalypse 4:8 DRB)

“disant, Nous te rendons grâces, Seigneur, Dieu, Tout-puissant, celui qui est et qui était, de ce que tu as pris ta grande puissance et de ce que tu es entré dans ton règne.” (Apocalypse 11:17 DRB)

“Et j’entendis l’autel, disant, Oui, Seigneur, Dieu, Tout-puissant, véritables et justes sont tes jugements !” (Apocalypse 16:7 DRB)

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Français : Ruines de l'Hôtel-dieu de 1208 ; in...

Ruines de l’Hôtel-dieu de 1208 ; intérieur de la dernière galerie du cloître qui subsiste. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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God die Almagtige ’n Gees Wie geen mens kan sien en nogtans lewe nie

God die Almachtige Geest die geen mens kan zien

Allmächtige Gott denn kein Mensch wird leben, der Dich sieht

El-Shaddai God Almighty Who no-one may see and live

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With child and righteousness greater than the law

The last few weeks in many denominations they looked at a time of remembrance of the coming on earth of the Messiah. At the end of the month many Christians use the birthday of the goddess of light and creation, to celebrate the birth of Christ (who was born in 4 bCE October 17) This birth is the beginning of the New World whereof the evangelist John is talking about when he looks at that new period like at the beginning of everything new, or the Bereshith (Bereshit or Bereishit), the Genesis. In the Genesis book by Moses you may find God Speaking and by speaking or uttering His Word, everything came into being. In the same way spoke God and the child came into being.

“In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.” (NWT) (John 1:1)

English: The story of the Eden Garden. The tem...

The story of the Eden Garden. The temptation of Adam & Eve by the devil. Pedestal of the statue of Madonna with Child, western portal (of the Virgin), of Notre-Dame de Paris, France (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Word, which was spoken before everything existed had also spoken in the Garden of Eden. That was a time long before Abraham. As such God His Word came unto the 1° Adam and promised to provide a solution for his misstep. Adam and Eve came to hear the first promise for their descendants. Later the Word of God would come to other offspring, who at their turn also told the world to look out for that Saviour or Messiah.

Not the evangelist John his work was placed first in the Books of the New Covenant. Matthew got the honour to open the New Testament. His account of the birth of Jesus in Matthew 1:18-25 has one primary concern: to establish the identity and mission of Jesus from the very beginning of his story. For the evangelist Matthew, who came to know the Nazarene Jeshua early in his public life, this special teacher no doubt is the Messiah or Christ (see Matthew 1:18), the agent of God who will establish God’s kingdom and save his people from their sins (see Matthew 1:21).

Lots of people do want to find a very special person and a very special story. Because they can not find that in the Bible they started creating several stories to make their evening of remembrance much greater.

"Annunciation", fresco (ca. 1371) by...

“Annunciation”, fresco (ca. 1371) by Jacopo di Cione (ca.1325-after 1390)(?), interior of the façade of the basilica of San Marco in Florence, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The evangelist Matthew brings a very human story involving a young couple: Joseph and Myriam or Miriam, by most English speaking people known as Mary (others know her as Maria, or Blessed Virgin Mary). Mary gets a message which may have been very strange for her and any other human being. The messenger of God, an angel pronounces that she has found great favour with God. We do find a simple village girl through whom God decides to work His plan of redemption.

“In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee,” (Luke 1:26 NIV)

“The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.” (Luke 1:28-29 NIV)

“And Mary said unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” (Luke 1:34 ASV)

From the evangelist and apostle Matthew we come to know she got to know the workman Joseph and also in Luke is written:

“to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.” (Luke 1:27 NIV)

“The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.”” (Luke 1:28 NIV)

“18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.” (Matthew 1:18-19 NIV)

Matthew grounds his lofty message about Jesus’ identity and mission as the Christ in the earthiness and complexities of human life. It doesn’t get much earthier than a pregnancy out of wedlock; put that together with the fact that the young couple had not yet had sex and you have the makings of a real potboiler. This young girl could be killed for what she got herself into. Regardless of the cost to her societally, she is willing to submit to God’s will for her life. For her the wrath of the Law and the weight of the village’s condemnation have no value opposite the message she got from a celestial being. Though she did not get stoned because most rabbis required a lesser penalty, including divorce and public shaming. The public shaming may have come over the fiancée of labourer Joseph who was still willing to take her as her bride.

Matthew portrays Joseph as a righteous man who confronted a significant dilemma. Him at first in love with this young Essene girl, had to face a very devote Jew who seemed to have been unfaithful to him. Most people usually understand the description of Joseph as “righteous” to mean that he was a good man, a kind man. But Joseph’s “righteousness” in this context has a specific meaning: it refers to Joseph’s thorough adherence to the law, the Torah. Joseph was also a devout, practising Jew. His decision to divorce Mary was the right one according to the law.

Matthew tells us that while Joseph had decided to sever his relationship with Mary, in accordance with the law and the custom of his time, he had decided to do this so “quietly,” evidently to reduce Mary’s public disgrace. Joseph had found a way to be faithful to the requirements of the law, but to do so in a respectful and sensitive manner. Joseph struck a remarkable balance between righteousness and compassion.

In the Torah were given many examples of how strange God’s ways might be for man. More than once appeared celestial beings to man to turn their coarse. This disappointed workman also came to hear an angel of God in a dream. Believing in the truth of his dream he abandoned adherence to the law by accepting the angel’s exhortation to take Mary as his wife. In this extraordinary situation, Joseph’s righteousness transcended the letter of the law. For Joseph, being righteous no longer meant blind, literal adherence to the Torah; the instruction from the angel trumped the law. The imminent arrival of Jesus somehow transformed the righteousness expected of Joseph. This is a theme that Jesus would articulate again and again later in this Gospel: there is a righteousness greater than the law.

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Preceding articles:

Story of Jesus’ birth begins long before the New Testament

Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:26-38 – Gabriel’s Appearance to Mary

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:15-20 – Shepherds Find the Infant Christ

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Literature of interest:

  1. With God All Things Are Possible
  2. Message from the family tree in the Tanakh
  3. Why do we need a ransom?
  4. A promise given in the Garden of Eden
  5. The Seed Of The Woman Bruised
  6. Written to recognise the Promissed One
  7. OT prophesies and the NT fulfilment of them
  8. Prophets making excuses
  9. Belief of the things that God has promised
  10. About a man who changed history of humankind
  11. Which man is mentioned most often in the Bible? Jesus, Moses, Abraham or David?
  12. Together tasting a great promise
  13. Patriarch Abraham, Muslims, Christians and the son of God
  14. The Immeasurable Grace bestowed on humanity
  15. Virgin Mary’s girdle
  16. The Gabriel Revelation Real or forgery
  17. Who was Jesus?
  18. Jesus and his God
  19. The Christ, the anointed of God
  20. Around pre-existence of Christ
  21. A season of gifts
  22. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  23. Wishing lanterns and Christmas
  24. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  25. Jesus begotten Son of God #2 Christmas and pagan rites
  26. Jesus begotten Son of God #3 Messiah or Anointed one
  27. Jesus begotten Son of God #4 Promised Prophet and Saviour
  28. Jesus begotten Son of God #5 Apostle, High Priest and King
  29. Jesus begotten Son of God #6 Anointed Son of God, Adam and Abraham
  30. Jesus begotten Son of God #7 A matter of the Future
  31. Jesus begotten Son of God #8 Found Divinely Created not Incarnated
  32. Jesus begotten Son of God #9 Two millennia ago conceived or begotten
  33. Jesus begotten Son of God #13 Pre-existence excluding virginal birth of the Only One Transposed
  34. Jesus begotten Son of God #14 Beloved Preminent Son and Mediator originating in Mary
  35. Jesus begotten Son of God #15 Son of God Originating in Mary
  36. Jesus begotten Son of God #17 Adam, Eve, Mary and Christianity’s central figure
  37. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
  38. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #14 Prayer #12 The other name
  39. God has visited His people
  40. Jesus spitting image of his father
  41. A man with an outstanding personality
  42. Lord or Yahuwah, Yeshua or Yahushua
  43. Ember and light the ransomed of Jehovah
  44. The Beginning of the life of Jesus Christ
  45. What Jesus did: First things first
  46. Servant of his Father
  47. Anointing of Christ as Prophetic Rehearsal of the Burial rites
  48. A Messiah to die
  49. Impaled until death overtook him
  50. Cursed is the one hung on a tree
  51. Atonement and the race been bought
  52. Jesus three days in hell
  53. What Jesus Did – Misleading around the Messiah and the final assessment
  54. Christ having glory
  55. Words in the world
  56. Ignorance of Today’s Youth (and Adults)
  57. God or a god

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  • Be Thankful: 5 Things God Has Given Us We Should Thank Him For (authorbrianlknack.wordpress.com)
    Be Thankful God Gave Us Life  –  Not only did he breathe the breath of life into us that we might become a living soul but he has given us New Life in the New Covenant through the blood of His son Jesus! God put us here for a purpose and that purpose is to live for Him and experience the joy of His presence every day. For those who have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior of our lives God has also given to us the gift of Eternal Life in Him!
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    Because God loved us so much, He didn’t want us to continue to drift away from Him in our selfish, self-centered existence. He loved us so much that He gave us the gift of His Son, Jesus, to be the way back to Him. That gift is the best, most amazing, most expensive, most valuable gift ever given, and it was given to us. He loved us enough to give us Jesus.
  • Focus On God (christianmotivations.weebly.com)
    the Bible teaches us that the flesh (since we are all born in sin through the fall of Adam and Eve) is enmity against God.
  • The Tense of Life – Future Perfect (cerkas.wordpress.com)
    In truth, time is but a fabrication and rationalization of our minds in an attempt to avoid confusion and chaos.  Simply, time helps us comprehend our existence within the limits of our knowledge.
    +
    The true beauty of Christianity, however, is that by being born again via Baptism, we are cleansed from sin’s blemish on our soul and are blessed to have the opportunity to live this earthly life in God’s Light, striving to become like Him, understanding that at times, we will falter and sin.  And in the wisdom of our Creator, He provided a mechanism for us to redeem ourselves of sins via repentance, along with his Grace via forgiveness.
  • Why does God make a way for us to return to paradise? (christianitymatters.com)
    Because we are mostly focused on the negative, we think a lot about why things are bad and messed up in this world but we spend little time thinking about why God makes a way for us to return to paradise.
  • Found By Grace (ponderingtheheartofjesus.com)
    When people can’t talk about difficulties together, they tend to avoid just like Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden when they realized they had sinned against God.
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    Have you trusted in the mediator Jesus as your Savior from the wages of sin? God is pursuing you and inviting you to be reconciled to Him right now, this Christmas.
  • Oh, Christmas Tree! (atimetoshare.wordpress.com)
    We are introduced to two trees in the Genesis account of creation – the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  The first inhabitants were given the Tree of life for food.  The other one they ate from in hopes of becoming as wise as God.
  • History of Christmas Trees part 1 (joannerambling.wordpress.com)
    In 1584, the historian Balthasar Russow wrote about a tradition, in Riga, of a decorated fir tree in the market square where the young men “went with a flock of maidens and women, first sang and danced there and then set the tree aflame”. There’s a record of a small tree in Breman, Germany from 1570. It is described as a tree decorated with “apples, nuts, dates, pretzels and paper flowers”. It was displayed in a ‘guild-house’ (the meeting place for a society of business men in the city).
  • Come Together (dbethandrews.wordpress.com)
    There are a lot of people in recent days talking about what divides us as a nation and how to bring some sort of reconciliation between people. We have all seen the protests and the anger and hurt. We have seen grief and sadness and bitterness and distrust – and all our protesting and postulating and town-hall meetings only seem to make the chasm wider. In this season of Christmas, this time when there should be “peace on earth” (Luke 2:14) and we should “love one another” (John 13:34) we see everything but. How did we become such an angry society? What is the root of our discord? And how do we reclaim the peace we’ve lost?
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    God gave Jesus as His gift to humanity to reconcile the creation with the Creator. To bring us peace. And when we are restored to God, when we have peace with God, we can then be restored in our human relationships and have peace with one another. But not until we first receive the gift of Jesus into our lives.
    +
    Peace that Never Ends
    God offers peace in our “dark night of the soul,” bringing His light to the night that surrounds us.
    +
    One day, and I think not so very far away, Jesus Christ will return, and bring with Him the fulfillment of God’s promise of peace. He will come, not as the baby in the manger, but as the victorious King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  He will come with power and authority.  He will bring an end to evil and wickedness.  He will bring punishment to those who love evil and hatred and corruption – to all who rejected Him in this life.
  • The Bible and Mythology (ezracommentary.wordpress.com)
    Myths are stories that people make up to explain various aspects of life and to express worldview, how we see and interpret the world. There are myths about the world and the creation of the sea. There are myths to explain where man and woman came from. Some myths are about the islands and how they came to be populated. There are myths that try to explain good and evil. Other myths have to do with how man and woman are to relate to one another and to each other’s families. There are myths about children and the consequences of disobedience. There are myths about the afterlife, what happens to a person and where he goes when he dies.

    So myths are stories which attempt to explain life and its meaning. They often share wisdom as to how we should live and relate to others and to the world around us. Myths are meant for teaching so that the wisdom can be transmitted from one generation to another.

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:36-38 – Anna’s Thanks before Those Waiting

Luke 2:36-38 – Anna’s Thanks before Those Waiting

LK2:36 Now there was a prophetess,[1] Anna, a daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, [a widow] who had only lived seven years with her husband from her virginity. LK2:37 She had been widowed eighty-four years and was never missing from the temple [courtyard of women] worshipping night and day with fastings and prayers. LK2:38 At that same moment she was standing nearby praising The God and speaking about [the Christ] to everyone who was waiting for Jerusalem’s redemption.[2]


[1] Prophetess: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on 1 Corinthians 12 and 14. [Acts 21:9]

[2] Jerusalem’s redemption: Or, deliverance, liberation, salvation. About 60 years later Jerusalem would be destroyed by the Roman armies with one million dead.

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Preceding:

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:1-7 – A Firstborn’s Birth In Bethlehem

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:8-14 – Angels and Shepherds in the Night

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:15-20 – Shepherds Find the Infant Christ

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:21-24 – Presenting the Baby to God

Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:25-35 – Simeon’s Blessing and Warning

Next: Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:39-40 – The Young Child Grows

Simeon and Anna, seeing the infant Jesus in th...

Simeon and Anna, seeing the infant Jesus in the Temple (Photo credit: Martin LaBar (going on hiatus))

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  • The Prophetess Anna (thepassionists.org)
    Timothy Johnson observes that the parents of Jesus “observe the [Jewish] laws regarding circumcision, purification, and presentation of the first born as dedicated to the Lord, and do so within the symbolic heart of the people, Jerusalem and its Temple.” At that holy place they encounter Simeon and Anna, two righteous Jews who are receptive to the movements of God’s Spirit. Anna is depicted as an aged widow who is constantly in the Temple, worshiping God day and night in fasting and prayer.
    +
    Luke’s Gospel, however, presents Simeon and Anna as people of exemplary faith and piety who have the distinctive role of welcoming Jesus, the prophetic Messiah, into the very heart of Israel. Their lives of self-discipline, contemplation and worship prepare them to recognize the great initiative of God for the salvation of Israel. Anna is inspired to offer thanks to God for the child Jesus and to speak about him to others. She recognizes the moment of salvation when it dawns and she seizes this moment. The friendship with God that she has cultivated through many years of prayer and service in the Temple enables her to respond in faith to God’s visitation in Jesus.
  • Luke 2:21-38 Christmas Never Ends! (graceportland.org)
    Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”
  • Luke 2:22 (heavenlyfoodblog.wordpress.com)
    this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
  • Anna’s Ultimate Purpose (whitehorseprophetic.wordpress.com)
    Anna’s ministry was worship, prayer, fasting AND the declaration of Christ. It isn’t enough for prophetic people to simply worship or to pray or to fast. Prophets and prophetess do many things, but the climax of their ministry is The Declaration. This is the staff that they hold. The other functions that they fulfill are ministry and they are unto the Lord. But the ultimate role is to hold the staff of Declaration.
    +
    Anna is remembered for many things in the Apostle Luke’s account of the history of Jesus life. She is remembered and commended for her fasting’s, for her prayers, for her worship. But most importantly she is remembered for identifying and highlighting the primacy of Christ, the ultimate Prophet, the Lover of all mankind.
  • 30th December, Gospel Reading (Luke 2:36-40) (prayers4reparation.wordpress.com)
    She came by just at that moment and began to praise God; and she spoke of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem.
  • Anna (ptdowning.com)
    Anna’s devastation drove her into a life of piety.  Sometimes the beauty and the aroma of the rose leads us to a loving God, other times it is the prick of the thorn which drives us into the caring arms of our Savior.Anna’s piety was rewarded with a glimpse of the redemption that God had promised the world.  Her natural response to seeing Christ was to tell others of his life and mission.
  • Presented in the Temple (thepuresacrifice.wordpress.com)
    39 So when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. 40 And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.
  • Tangible Evidence (fastpray.wordpress.com)
    After the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple, and they meet Simeon—a man who received a promise from God that he wouldn’t die until he had seen the Messiah. They also meet a really incredible, but probably really weird, old woman.
    +
    From what we know in the text, Anna received no such promise from God that she would see the Messiah, and yet, in her (probably) impoverished widowhood, abnormal, 24/7 prayer-warrior life—she never stopped praying and hoping and waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem. And after 84 years of being a widow and who knows how many years praying and fasting in the temple, Anna received her tangible evidence that God was going to set right the wrongs and redeem His people.
  • Christmas Prayer: the Gift of Waiting (thecreativeprayer.wordpress.com)
    Anna and Simeon are examples of graceful waiting. While they waited for the fulfillment of prophecy and redemption for Jerusalem, each one learned how to wait in the Lord as well as on Him and they were not disappointed. Lord, teach me to wait gracefully!
  • Christmas in Context: Waiting for the consolation of Israel… (faithfulstewardship.wordpress.com)
    No doubt between the news of what happened in the Temple Courts (the expansion of which was one of Herod’s projects), the visit of the Magi (and subsequent disappearance), and the rumors of Shepherds seeing the Heavenly Hosts… Herod was paranoid of losing his power over the Jews, and his authority under Rome. So, to make a point, he has all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity 2 yrs and younger killed. God hid Jesus in Egypt until Herod’s death (Matt 2:13-20). But when they returned home, it wasn’t to Bethlehem or Jerusalem, but to Nazareth in the north. And so, we have the context of Christmas… the Birth of a Savior.
  • And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us . . . (writingsistersblog.wordpress.com)
  • Relishing the Myth: Simeon the Righteous, the God-Receiver (Repost – 2013) (unsettledchristianity.com)
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jamesgray2

A discussion of interesting books from my current stock A WordPress.com site

Unmasking anti Jehovah sites and people

Showing the only One True God and the Way to That God

The Eccentric Fundamentalist

Musings on theology, apologetics, practical Christianity and God's grace in salvation through Jesus Christ

John 20:21

"As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you."

The Biblical Review

Reviewing Publications, History, and Scripture

Words on the Word

Blog by Abram K-J

Bybelverskille

Hier bestudeer ons die redes vir die verskille in Bybelvertalings.

Michael Bradley - Time Traveler

The official website of Michael Bradley - Author of novels, short stories and poetry involving the past, future, and what may have been.

BIBLE Students DAILY

"Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life." Revelation 2:10

God's Simple Kindness

God's Word Made Simple

takeaminutedotnet

All the Glory to God

Groen is Gezond

van zaadjes in volle grond tot iets lekkers op het bord

Jesse A. Kelley

A topnotch WordPress.com site

JWUpdate

JW Current Apostate Status and Final Temple Judgment - Web Witnessing Record; The Bethel Apostasy is Prophecy

Sophia's Pockets

Wisdom Withouth Walls

ConquerorShots

Spiritual Shots to Fuel the Conqueror Lifestyle

Examining Watchtower Doctrine

Truth Behind the "Truth"

Theological NoteBook

Dabbling into Theology

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