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Paul’s warning about false stories and his call to quit touching the unclean thing

Paul’s warning about false stories is in the first letter he wrote to Timothy, a Christian elder. Paul told Timothy to keep the congregation clean and to help his brothers and sisters to stay loyal to Jehovah.

1 Timothy 1:18, 19: 18 This instruction* I entrust to you, my child Timothy, in harmony with the prophecies that were made about you, that by these you may go on waging the fine warfare,+ 19 holding faith and a good conscience,+ which some have thrust aside, resulting in the shipwreck of their faith.

The Greek word that Paul used for “false stories” means “a lie” or “a made-up story.” One book says that a false story is a religious story that has no connection with what is real. (The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia) Perhaps Paul was thinking about the religious lies that came from old stories that people made up and that made others curious.*

Paul said that these stories were dangerous because they “furnish questions for research.” This means that people who pay attention to these stories start having questions about things that are not true and then use their time trying to find the answers.

The adversaries of God (also called Satan) do like to bring division in those who are looking for God and into those who want to be part of the Body of Christ. Christendom has lots of preachers who worship another god than Jews, like Jesus worshipped only One True God. They follow lots of human teachings which where brought into the religion by the years, by so called “theologians” who claimed to be clergy ordained by God.

We must be fully aware that there are lots of people who like to twist the words of the bible, which we consider the infallible Word of God. They offer the world a false religion to fool people. That is why the Bible says that he makes himself into “an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14) For example, the religions of Christendom say that they follow Christ, but they teach lies like the Trinity and hellfire. They also teach that some part of humans lives on after the death of the body. Many think that Christmas and Easter please God, but the things that people do during these celebrations really come from false worship. False stories will not fool us if we pay attention to God’s warning to separate ourselves from false religion and

“quit touching the unclean thing.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-17).

When we hear the majority of people we may get the impression it all does not matter so much. But we may not be mistaken. God gives enough warnings and lets the world know that He is a serious God of order who wants people to recognise Him as the Only One true God. As a jealous God He also does not like it that graven images or pictures are  made of Him and other gods to pray to Him and other gods. He detest any form of heathen worship. But lots of people want to convince you and others that it does not matter to participate at those many heathen festivals, like Halloween, Christmas, Easter and so on. They want you to believe all those stories about Santa Claus, the elf’s, Easter bunnies do no harm. Such teachers are the ones Paul and other apostles warn for. Because they allow wrong actions to be done by you, and you to be a partaker of heathen festivals, which is an abomination in the eyes of God.

A map of the world, showing the major religion...

A map of the world, showing the major religions distributed in the world as of today. A different type of map which views only the religion as a whole excluding denominations or sects of the religions, and is colored by how the religions are distributed not by main religion of country etc. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We may never forget that the first and biggest lie, which false teachers bring is:

You can do whatever you want; you decide what is right and what is wrong.

We often hear this on television, in movies, in magazines, in newspapers, and on the Internet. Because we hear this lie all the time, it is easy for us to start to think that way and follow the immoral ideas of the world. But the truth is that we need God to tell us what is right and what is wrong.

Jeremiah 10:2323 I well know, O Jehovah, that man’s way does not belong to him. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.+

The second lie is:

You are now saved and free to do whatever you want. God will never change anything on the earth.

This idea makes people think only about today. They do not care about the future or about pleasing God. Several preachers wants the Christians to believe they are saved for ever and have not to worry any more about what they do or if they sin, because according to those false teachers they always will end up in heaven.

Such thought of not having to do any works of faith is a false teaching which lures lots of Christians in not bothering any more to do good and to avoid doing wrong. Lots of people start to think like them and then become “inactive or unfruitful” in their service to God. They become partakers of this world corrupt system, avoiding you to escape the entrapments of this world.

2 Peter 1:4-8-11: Through these things he has granted* us the precious and very grand promises,+ so that through these you may become sharers in divine nature,+ having escaped from the world’s corruption produced by wrong desire.* For this very reason, put forth all earnest effort+ to supply to your faith virtue,+ to your virtue knowledge,+ to your knowledge self-control, to your self-control+ endurance, to your endurance godly devotion,+ to your godly devotion brotherly affection, to your brotherly affection love.+ For if these things exist in you and overflow, they will prevent you from being either inactive or unfruitful*+ regarding the accurate knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For anyone lacking these things is blind, shutting his eyes to the light,*+ and has become forgetful of his cleansing from his sins+ of long ago. 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling+ and choosing sure for yourselves, for if you keep on doing these things, you will by no means ever fail.+ 11 In fact, in this way you will be richly granted* entrance into the everlasting Kingdom+ of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.+

False teachers blind people or shut their eyes for their actions and for abstaining from certain actions the people of the world like to do. They give the impression it does not harm to be of this world and to partake into all the actions of this world.

English: Peresopnytsia Gospels. 1556-1561. Min...

Peresopnytsia Gospels. 1556-1561. Miniature of Saint Matthew. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Already early in the beginning of manhood man became to dread the presence of God because they were under His wrath. The children of Adam and Eve present to us a picture of good and false religion. Cain his offering was not done in the right way and was rejected, which made him furious and made him to kill his brother Abel. Later in history man sought all sorts of ways to elucidate things he could not understand and therefore started making different gods. They also started to split the elements of nature into characters of God, often giving reason for them to worship elements of natural phenomenons and creating ones-more false gods. Trying to declare the events in our world lots of philosophies were brought forward. Many people got carried away by such philosophies and by teachers using lots of such theories. Also today we can see that false teachers take many captive through their words full of philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elemental forces of the world, and not based on the teachings of the Jewish Nazarene Jeshua, Christ Jesus.

Colossians 2:8-9: Look out that no one takes you captive* by means of the philosophy and empty deception+ according to human tradition, according to the elementary things of the world and not according to Christ; because it is in him that all the fullness of the divine quality dwells bodily.+

Neither Jesus nor his disciples ever quoted oral Jewish tradition to support their teachings but, rather, appealed to the written Word of God. (Mt 4:4-10; Ro 15:4; 2Ti 3:15-17) It is the Word of Gdo as presented in the Scriptures which we should hear and take into account.

Mt 4:4-10: But he answered: “It is written: ‘Man must live, not on bread alone, but on every word that comes from Jehovah’s* mouth.’”+

Then the Devil took him along into the holy city,+ and he stationed him on the battlement* of the temple+ and said to him: “If you are a son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written: ‘He will give his angels a command concerning you,’ and, ‘They will carry you on their hands, so that you may not strike your foot against a stone.’”+ Jesus said to him: “Again it is written: ‘You must not put Jehovah* your God to the test.’”+

Again the Devil took him along to an unusually high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.+ And he said to him: “All these things I will give you if you fall down and do an act of worship to me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him: “Go away, Satan! For it is written: ‘It is Jehovah* your God you must worship,+ and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.’”+ 11 

Jesus as the son of God never wanted to test God and preferred doing God His will, not his own will. Jesus gave an example to us how we, like him, should obey only Jehovah God and not try the Most High God to see how far we can go or what we can do to better ourselves. All people should come to understand not human teachings are going to bring the all life saving knowledge. Man should know that the Most High God provided all knowledge man should know to come to live a proper life giving him the opportunity to enter the Kingdom of God.

Ro 15:4: For all the things that were written beforehand were written for our instruction,+ so that through our endurance+ and through the comfort from the Scriptures we might have hope.+

Though it might ask patience fro mus it are the writings in those old manuscripts, reprinted in the different Bible translations, which shall bring hope and comfort. We must pay full attention to those words in that Book of books, Bestseller of all times, that was written for our instruction in order that through the steadfastness and encouragement in the scriptures we may have hope. False teachers do bring false hope and might even take away the opportunity to enter the Kingdom of God, because you going in against the Will of God.

From the early gatherings of the followers of Christ we can see that observance of the unscriptural Jewish traditions amounted to a “fruitless form of conduct” that Jewish persons had ‘received by tradition from their forefathers [Gr., pa·tro·pa·ra·doʹtou, “given along from fathers”].’

1Pe 1:18 18 For you know that it was not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, that you were set free*+ from your futile way of life handed down to you by your forefathers.*

The “things given aside” (The Greek word pa·raʹdo·sis means, literally, “a thing given beside”) and hence “that which is transmitted by word of mouth or in writing.” (1Co 11:2, Int) we should be very careful with and always compare it with what is written in the Bible. The word paradosis as used in the Christian Greek Scriptures is applied to traditions that were proper or acceptable aspects of true worship, as well as to those that were in error or were followed or viewed in a way that made them harmful and objectionable. the false teachers are those who present such sayings which are in error with the bible, God’s Word.

Several Jews, upon becoming Christians, abandoned many false Jewish traditions. When some false teachers in Colossae urged taking up that form of worship, Paul warned against “the philosophy and empty deception according to the tradition of men.” Though evidently he meant, especially, the traditions of Judaism (Col 2:8, 13-17) we also can transpose it to the Celtic and Germanic traditions which were integrated by the false church, first the Catholic Church and later also not abandoned by many protestant churches.

Viewing tradition in the sense of guidelines handed down orally or by example, the information that the apostle Paul received directly from Jesus could properly be passed on to the Christian congregations as acceptable Christian tradition. This was so, for example, regarding the celebration of the Lord’s Evening Meal. (1Co 11:2, 23) The teachings and example set by the apostles constituted valid tradition. Thus, Paul, who had personally toiled with his hands so as not to be a financial burden on his brothers (Ac 18:3; 20:34; 1Co 9:15; 1Th 2:9), could urge the Thessalonian Christians

“to withdraw from every brother walking disorderly and not according to the tradition [pa·raʹdo·sin]” they had received. One who would not work was plainly not following the fine example or tradition of the apostles. (2Th 3:6-11).

Each of us shall have to decide fro himself or herself in which way he or she wants to follow human teachings and human traditions or the Word and the Will of God. Those who want to call themselves Christian should know that God’s Word should come in the first place. all should also know that when one chooses to follow human doctrines, like the one of the Trinity a.o., it shall be decisive for what happens with that person. We always should remember

Mark 7:7-8: It is in vain that they keep worshipping me, for they teach commands of men as doctrines.’+ You let go of the commandment of God and cling to the tradition of men.”+

Isaiah 29:13: 13 Jehovah says: “This people approaches me with their mouth, And they honor me with their lips,+ But their heart is far removed from me; And their fear of me is based on commands of men that they have been taught.+

Following false teachers shall not bring us far. Just the other way around, it shall bring us on the wrong track, further away from the entrance to the Kingdom of God.

The truth is that Jehovah will soon change things on the earth, and we must show by the way we live that we really believe that there is Only One True God above all gods and that He had sent His only begotten son, who did not do his own will (which he would have done when he – Jesus -would be God) and gave his body as a ransom for our sins to liberate us from the enslavement of sin and the curse of death. In that son of man we should find our hope, because God authorised him to be a high priest for God and a mediator between God and man. We may be looking forward to the time this man of flesh and blood, who was taken up in heaven to sit next to God, shall come back to the earth to judge the living and the dead. Make sure that you are ready for that time.

Matthew 24:44: 44 On this account, you too prove yourselves ready,+ because the Son of man is coming at an hour that you do not think to be it.

Mark 13:35: 35 Keep on the watch, therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming,+ whether late in the day or at midnight or before dawn* or early in the morning,+

Make sure you prove yourself ready by being alert, always on the lookout,

Mark 13:33: 33 Keep looking, keep awake,+ for you do not know when the appointed time is.+

Romans 13:11 : 11 And do this because you know the season, that it is already the hour for you to awake from sleep,+ for now our salvation is nearer than at the time when we became believers.

1 Thessalonians 5:6: So, then, let us not sleep on as the rest do,+ but let us stay awake+ and keep our senses.+

*

Footnote:

  • The book of Tobit, or Tobias, which some people think is part of the Bible, is an example of the false stories that existed in Paul’s time. It was written about the third century before Christ. This book is full of false beliefs and stories of magic. It tells impossible stories but says that they are true.

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Preceding articles

Matthew 7:13-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #1 The Narrow Gate and the way to destruction

Matthew 7:15-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #2 False prophets and fruitage

Matthew 7:13-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #3 Matthew 7:21-23 The ones Jesus never knew

Position and power The early days of Christianity

False teachers and false prophets still around

Good or bad preacher

Teachings, prophets, wolves in sheep’s covering and a narrow gate

2015 the year of ISIS

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Additional reading

  1. Warning
  2. Should We Love The Ungodly?
  3. Beware of Counterfeit Catholicism
  4. The beginning of false religion
  5. High-living North Carolina ‘prosperity gospel’ pastor indicted for bilking church in massive tax fraud scam
  6. Being Religious and Spiritual 6 Romantici, utopists and transcendentalists
  7. Lord in place of the divine name
  8. Displeasures and Actions of the Almighty God
  9. Relapse plan
  10. Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach
  11. Halloween custom of the nations
  12. Christmas in Ancient Rome (AKA Saturnalia)
  13. Great things, Voice of God and terrors
  14. Satan the evil within

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Further related posts

  1. My experience today with detecting cults / false churches
  2. The Warlord Of Religion 
  3. True and false religion
  4. It’s Never been about Religion!
  5. Cookie a day: Topic-Man-Made Tradition
  6. “Westboro Baptist Church cheers on Hurricane Irma via Twitter”
  7. Calvinism & Christianity
  8. If God spoke to us audibly
  9. Why Are there So Many “Gods” & Religions?
  10. Know God in a Year #191 Religion Gone Bad
  11. Church History is good to know
  12. Confounding the Idols: A Rebuke of the Impotency of the Modern Church
  13. What Is A False Prophet?
  14. “Cain,Tubal Cain, Mystery Babylon & The Image of the Beast”
  15. Confident Evangelism: Roman Catholicism
  16. What makes a false religion, false?
  17. Babylon Is Fallen
  18. The Danger Of Hyper-Grace

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Matthew 7:13-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #3 Matthew 7:21-23 The ones Jesus never knew

MT7:21 Not everyone saying to me, ‘Master, Master!’[1] will enter the Heavenly Realm but the one doing the will[2] of my heavenly Father. MT7:22 Many will say to me in The Day:[3] ‘Master, Master, did we not prophesy in your name?[4] And, in your name cast out demons?[5] And, in your name did many dynamic works?’[6] MT7:23 And then I shall confess to them: “I never knew you![7] Get away from me,[8] those working unlawfully!”[9]

[1] Master, Master: They are clearly Christians who recognize that “Jesus is Lord!” This address of the King is seen of the goats in Matthew 25:44.

[2] The one doing the will: It is not enough to confess, ‘Jesus is Lord.’ (Romans 10:9; 1 Corinthians 12:3) The Nazarene will not accept such a double confession if the life and works are lawless and contradictory to the profession. Not words, but doing the will are vital (James 1:22) and this “doing” involves refraining from slander and caring for the needy (James 1:26-27).

[3] The Day: This likely refers to the parousia-Judgment upon the Return of the Lord (Matthew 12:36; 16:27; 24:46-51; 25:1-46; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 John 2:28; 4:17; Revelation 11:18). The word “day” is used often with regard to the Return of Christ in his foretold Parousia (1 Corinthians 1:8; 5:5; 2 Corinthians 1:14; Ephesians 4:30; Philippians 1:6, 10; 2 Peter 3:7, 12; Revelation 6:17). The evidence seems to suggest that both the righteous and unrighteous will have opportunity to express themselves, whether outspokenly or in shame (Daniel 12:2; John 5:29; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 John 2:28).

[4] Did we not prophesy in your name: Unfortunately it was false prophecy (Luke 21:8). Various renderings: TCNT: was it not in your name that we taught; PHI: didn’t we preach in your name; TCNT: we did miracles. The word “prophet” literally means “to speak before” others and not necessarily foretell events by inspiration. Men who claim to be “the Anointed,” and speak by Christ’s authority, and point to a multitude of “works,” and preach “Christ is here!” and, “The Appointed Time is near!” may need to reexamine themselves before their Lord actually arrives.

[5] Cast out demons: Many are the evangelists and prophetic preachers who point to their exorcisms as signs authorized by Christ. Many of these point to Mark 16:17, ‘And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues.’ (KJV; this is a highly questionable text which is omitted in many translations because it does not occur in older reliable mss). However, a comparison of modern texts all will agree this portion was not among the original words of the Nazarene. Paul states that such signs ‘will cease,’ and are, ‘childish.’ (1 Corinthians 13:9, 11) Paul further identifies ‘the Man of iniquity’… with inworking dynamic works of Satan’s lying signs and portents. (2 Thessalonians 2:9, 10) The Nazarene himself warns that such “signs” are misleading and will be part of the claims of the pseudo-Anointed and false prophets (Matthew 24:11, 24; Mark 13:22).

[6] Dynamic works: This is DYNAMEIS in Greek and is usually translated “powerful works” or “miracles.” The term could include any “works” requiring a dynamic effort: international publishing, electronic and satellite communication, great real estate holdings, enormous growth, etc.

[7] I never knew you: That is, the Nazarene never had a real relationship with these claimants despite their loud protestations to the contrary. The Nazarene Saint need not give a defense before the Judgment of Christ for his works of love and charity will be known by his Lord (Revelation 2:2, 9, 13, 19; 3:1, 8, 9, 15).

Various renderings: TCNT: then I shall say to their faces; RHM: never have I acknowledged you; KNX: you were never friends of mine.

[8] Get away from me: A fearsome thing to hear! (Matthew 25:45, 46) Various renderings: TCNT: go from my presence; NEB: get out of my sight that traffic in wrong-doing; PHI: you have worked on the side of evil; BECK: you who are so busy doing wrong.

[9] Working unlawfully: There is no accusation that these had buried their talents but all the work and energy they expended were unlawful. They were “workers of lawlessness” but their work is misguided, or unlawful, and not what the Nazarene ordered. In Matthew it is “lawlessness” and in Luke it is “unrighteousness.” Compare Psalm 6:8 and Philippians 1:15 for two kinds of workers. To be a Friend of the Nazarene one must keep the 60 “commandments” found in the Gospels.

File:Exorcism Katrin Alvarez.jpg

Exorcism by Katrin Alvarez, was awarded with the Allan Edwards Award in the Painting on the Edge competition in Vancouver, Canada in 2007.

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Preceding articles

Matthew 7:1-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Neighbor Love Continued 7: Matthew 7:1-5 Judgment and neighbor love

Matthew 7:12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Summary on the Torah’s Fulfillment

Matthew 7:13-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #1 The Narrow Gate and the way to destruction

Matthew 7:15-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #2 False prophets and fruitage

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Further reading

  1. Not What We Say, but What We Do
  2. Another perspective of Matthew 7:21-23
  3. Weirdness that Happens when writing about Exorcists
  4. Exorcisms and Demons
  5. God’s Desires Are Far More Simple than Our Attempts to Appease Him
  6. Empty Words Won’t Save You
  7. Astral Philippines III (Exorcisms)
  8. #168 – Victorian Spiritualism
  9. Really? I didn’t know that the priests are ruling the Hell… ;dd Please, send there your rapists also.

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Charles Taze Russell and what he started

We would like to present some older articles published by us on the website of Bijbelvorsers Webs, the Association of Bible Scholars or Researchers an Association for Bible-study, and Biblestudents on March 4, 2011 at 5:41 am:

Charles Taze Russell and what he started.

C. T.Russell was born in 1852 (the second of five children) in Allegheny,Pennsylvania in the US. He grew up in faith with his father, got to know the Presbyterian and the Congregational Church. He investigated the philosophies of the Far East – Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Hinduism but soon concluded that these philosophies were empty, and his quest for spiritual satisfaction and peace remained unfulfilled.

Christians worldwide were for the first time ever considering the prophetic chronology of the Bible, concluding that Christ was going to return on dates calculated anywhere from 1862 through 1881 (with greater focus on the year 1868). From 1868 to 1875 a lot of Christians all over the world had come in great expectation for the return of Christ, believing that the 6,000 years from the creation of Adam were complete, and the seventh and final millennium began. Lots of preachers,determined to find the truth, went around the world to proclaim the end times.

George Storrs (1796–1879) one of the leaders of the Second Advent movement and affiliated with William Miller and Joshua V. Himes. He began publication of his magazine The Bible Examiner in 1843 and continued it until 1879 with a few breaks - George Storrs (1796-1879) een van de leiders van de Tweede Advent beweging en aangesloten bij William Miller en Joshua V. Himes. Hij begon met de publicatie van zijn tijdschrift The Bible Examiner in 1843 en bleef het tot 1879 met een paar pauzes publiceren

George Storrs (1796–1879) one of the leaders of the Second Advent movement and affiliated with William Miller and Joshua V. Himes. He began publication of his magazine The Bible Examiner in 1843 and continued it until 1879 with a few breaks – George Storrs (1796-1879) een van de leiders van de Tweede Advent beweging en aangesloten bij William Miller en Joshua V. Himes. Hij begon met de publicatie van zijn tijdschrift The Bible Examiner in 1843 en bleef het tot 1879 met een paar pauzes publiceren

George Stetson (1814–1879) Millerite who also wrote for George Storrs’ magazine The Herald of Life and the Coming Kingdom, and for other magazines such as The World's Crisis - George Stetson (1814–1879) Millerite die ook schreef voor George Storrs’ magazine The Herald of Life en the Coming Kingdom, en voor andere bijbelstudenten tijdschriften zoals The World's Crisis

George Stetson (1814–1879) Millerite who also wrote for George Storrs’ magazine The Herald of Life and the Coming Kingdom, and for other magazines such as The World’s Crisis – George Stetson (1814–1879) Millerite die ook schreef voor George Storrs’ magazine The Herald of Life en the Coming Kingdom, en voor andere bijbelstudenten tijdschriften zoals The World’s Crisis

Soon C.T. Russell began also to see that he was living somewhere near the close of the Gospel age, “and near the time when the Lord had declared that the wise,watching ones of his children should come to a clear knowledge of his plan.” From the years 1870 through 1875 Charles, his father Joseph, his sister Margaret, along with several other interested friends and associates, and a few other truth-seekers in Pittsburgh and Allegheny formed a class for Bible study with the well studied Millerite pastors George Storrs, and George Stetson. These studies were purposely detailed and analytical with the goal of examining every ‘jot and tittle’ of Christian doctrine, creeds and traditions in order to determine their accuracy, or to see if they were nothing but “the traditions of men”. Slowly, and step by step, they were able to separate which doctrines were Bible-based from those that were error, or mere tradition. Such detailed studies and questions of faith were common to numerous Protestant groups in the United States at this time in American history.

Charles had a time of constant growth in grace and knowledge and love of God and his Word. During this time of his Bible study, the Russells were also influenced by Adventists such as Jonas Wendell, Nelson Barbour, the Christadelphians and the Lutheran minister Joseph Seiss. In the history of Bible Students we cannot escape to see several names coming up in different denominations of today. In the nineteenth century there was a big cross-pollination. Some of Russell’s beliefs can be traced back to the very beginning of the Second Advent movement started by William Miller.

William Miller (1782-1849), American clergyman, founded a movement which involved thousands in eagerly awaiting the Second Coming of Christ. - William Miller (1782-1849), Amerikaanse dominee, stichtte een beweging die duizenden reikhalzend deden uitkijken naar de wederkomst van Christus.

William Miller (1782-1849), American clergyman, founded a movement which involved thousands in eagerly awaiting the Second Coming of Christ. – William Miller (1782-1849), Amerikaanse dominee, stichtte een beweging die duizenden reikhalzend deden uitkijken naar de wederkomst van Christus.

Because of their intensive study of the Bible, the Russell family (Charles, Margaret, and Joseph) concluded that they had finally gained a new and clearer understanding of what a Christian is called to do in laying down their earthly life in sacrifice and service to God. All three renewed their consecration (vow of dedication) and decided to be re-baptized in 1874.

In 1876 Russell sold his father’s men’s clothing tailoring store named “The Old QuakerShop” located on Federal Street in downtown Pittsburgh and used this money to use it for preaching and publication purposes.

Russell was impressed with Nelson Barbour’s “invisible presence” views on Christ’s coming and he accepted much of his chronological views. Barbour and Russell soon became partners in publishing Herald of the Morning, Pastor Russell becoming an assistant editor of the Adventist magazine.

C.T.Russell became also the co-publisher of the book, Three Worlds and The Harvest of This World (Also called, Three Worlds: Or Plan of Redemption) (1877). A doctrinal dispute between Russell and Barbour over the atonement, and that the Rapture of the saints would occur in April 1878, resulted in Russell ending his partnership with Barbour and publishing his own magazine the Zion’s Watch Tower magazine, starting in 1879. When Russell left, he took many of Barbour’s readers with him, including J.H. Paton, the Herald magazine’s other assistant editor. He continued with Barbour’s chronology of 1874 being the date of Christ’s invisible return, 1799 as the start of the time of the end and 1914 as the “end of the Gentile Times”.

In 1908 the name of their magazine was changed to The Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence.

Russell married Maria (pronounced ‘moriah’) Frances Ackley (1850-1938 ) on March 13,1879, after merely a few months’ acquaintance. The marriage was based on a mutually agreed celibate partnership established for preaching the gospel. In 1897 they separated following disagreements over the propriety of her role in the management of Zion’s Watch Tower magazine.

In 1881 “Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society” was founded with the purpose of disseminating tracts, papers, doctrinal treatises and Bibles, and was officially chartered in 1884.

Charles devoted nearly a tenth of his fortune in publishing and distributing his first major publication, entitled “Food for Thinking Christians” in 1881. In that same year he also wrote and distributed, “Tabernacle and its Teachings”, and “Tabernacle Shadows of the Better Sacrifices”. In “Food for Thinking Christians”, Russell’s zeal to throw light upon the creedal errors motivated him to tear into the error without first showing that the Bible was indeed true, and that there was truth to be found therein. This approach shivered many men well and did the rear.

Russell wanted to outline the entire Bible and God’s plan for humanity, completely free of the Roman creeds and “traditions of men” in a seven-volume set. The first volume was originally entitled “The Plan of the Ages”, later renamed “The Divine Plan of the Ages”.

The”Divine Plan of the Ages” took the opposite approach of “Food for Thinking Christians” and first showed the beauty and harmony of the Bible before attacking the creedal errors. This approach was accepted as a refreshing answer to people’s search for truth so evident from the end of the 19th century onward.

The remaining volumes of the series, originally named “Millennial Dawn” but renamed in 1904 to “Studies in the Scriptures”, are:

 

The Time is at Hand (1889)

Thy Kingdom Come (1891)

The Day of Vengeance/The Battle of Armageddon (1897)

The Atonement Between God and Men (1899)

The New Creation (1904)

 

The delayed publishing of the seventh volume eventually became a source of great anticipation and mystery among Bible Students. Following Russell’s death in 1916, a seventh volume entitled The Finished Mystery, was published in 1917 and advertised as his “posthumous work”. True to Russell’s plan, this seventh volume was a detailed interpretation of the book of Revelation, but had included interpretations of Ezekiel, and the Song of Solomon. Immediate controversy surrounded both its publishing, and contents. In a short time it was established that it was actually written and compiled by two of Russell’s former associates, Clayton J. Woodworth and George H. Fisher, and edited by Joseph Franklin Rutherford. [i]

By 1903, newspapers began printing sermons written by Pastor Russell. The success of this got perhaps in his head. Though a lot of criticism came up he became more in the picture and got more followers.

While on the one hand claiming no special “authority,” Russell clearly desired to be the “servant” in the estimation of the “household of faith.” The danger became that he started claiming to be the “mouthpiece” of God. While others before him paved the way in giving the “midnight cry,” such as Miller and Barbour, Russell believed he was finally chosen as the one in restoring true Biblical teaching. While saying everyone needed to decide for himself, etc., Russell clearly wanted everyone to”study” the Bible solely from his writings.

Frederick William Franz (1893–1992) member of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses and served as president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, the legal entity used to direct the work of Jehovah's Witnesses. - Frederick William Franz (1893-1992) lid van het Regerend Lichaam van Jehovah's Getuigen en diende als president van het Wachttorengenootschap the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, de juridische entiteit gebruikt om het werk van Jehovah's Getuigen te leiden.

Frederick William Franz (1893–1992) member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses and served as president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, the legal entity used to direct the work of Jehovah’s Witnesses. – Frederick William Franz (1893-1992) lid van het Regerend Lichaam van Jehovah’s Getuigen en diende als president van het Wachttorengenootschap the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, de juridische entiteit gebruikt om het werk van Jehovah’s Getuigen te leiden.

After Russell’s dead it became even worse. A leadership crisis arose surrounding the new president of the Society, Joseph Rutherford, resulting in a movement-wide schism. As many as three-quarters of the approximately 50,000 Bible Students who had been associating in 1917 had left by 1931, resulting in the formation of several groups that retained variations on the name Bible Students. The idea of the truthful slave was interpolated to the Watchtower Tract Society. Rutherford and Fred Franz (Frederick William Franz) their followers who maintained fellowship with the Watch Tower Society adopted the name Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1931. They accept that the Society is provided with the only truthful slave and is the only one which has received the light from God and can show the light and right way to enter the Kingdom of God. JW‘s believe the Bible Students are still stuck on the “old light” of “Pastor” Russell and thus haven’t kept up with the latest “light” or “present truth.” Thus JW’s are no longer “Russellites” or followers of Russell as detractors have called them and they used to proudly call themselves. [ii] Russell is no longer viewed by the Watchtower Society as the “faithful and wise servant” alone serving the “meat in due season” or proper explanation of the Scriptures as they taught until 1927. [iii] They have gone back to the original view that the “servant” is a class of people, the 144,000, of which Russell was only one. The truth is still being progressively revealed to the modern “remnant” of the 144,000 who are currently leading the corporation Russell founded according the Jehovah Witnesses. Russell is viewed by JW’s today as the founder of their movement who helped revive the truth and separated them from Babylon the Great, but who taught many things that are no longer the “truth’ as the “light has grown brighter” since his day. JW’s therefore do not and are not encouraged to read Russell’s material at all, except the brief quotations provided by the Society’s writers in their current publications.

The Society of the Watchtower stopped publishing Russell his Studies in the Scriptures in 1928. Many Bible Students believe for the most part that the Society has become apostate as it no longer believes in many of Russell’s teachings as exposed in his Studies. As Russell warned about those who would do such a thing, the Society has gone into spiritual darkness, according to those other Bible Students. JW’s are viewed by many Bible Students as part of the Whore of Babylon and tell JW’s to “get out of her my people.”

Although the JW testify to be bible the only real research workers of truth, we fortunately can determine that there are, though be it in comparison with the traditional religions, not so many, still several people who were faithful to study the Book of books wanting to examine the Holy Scriptures and to investigate how they can be most faithful to this Word of God.

Those who severed ties with the Society formed their own groups including the Pastoral Bible Institute in 1918 (publishing The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom), the Layman’s Home Missionary Movement in 1919, and the Dawn Bible Students Association in 1929.

Moreover the former not associated Bible researchers remain still active in their Bible study and the proclamation of the Word of God.

*

Notes:

[i] http://www.pastor-russell.com/misc/bio.html

[ii] Walter Martin and Norman Klan, Jehovahof the Watchtower (Minneapolis, MN.: Bethany House Publishers), 1953, 1974,p. 41; The Golden Age, March 17, 1920, pp. 409-414.

[iii] J. F. Rutherford, The Harp ofGod (Brooklyn, NY: Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society), 1921, pp. 237,239.

Dutch speaking readers at that time could find this text in Dutch on the Space of the Belgian bible Students but by the disappearance of Windows Live Spaces the article also disappeared

Nederlandstaligelezerskonden dit artikel in het Nederlands vinden op de Space van Bijbelstudenten uit België maar door het wegvallen van Windows Live Spaces hebben wij dat artikel verloren : Charles Taze Russell, een bal die veel aan het rollen bracht.

 ++

Find also:

  1. Different approach in organisation of services #1
  2. Different approach in organisation of services #2
  3. Different approach in organisation of services #3
  4. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  5. Commitment to Christian unity
  6. Parts of the body of Christ
  7. Dissolution of Bijbelvorsers (Bible scholars), Association for Bible study

+++

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    In the Bible, the mustard seed is used by Jesus in the parable of the Mustard Seed as a model for the kingdom of God which initially starts small but grows to be the biggest of all garden plants…
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    The leader relies on the mutual agreement we all have with God. He or she does not create faith or supply spiritual motivation. Christians live together in love and truth by their mutual agreement as people who are gifted with the Spirit of God. Our agreement holds us together. Agreement is a description of an action, not just a name for a document. Our ongoing, mutual dialogue in Christ forms and shapes our mutual understanding and direction. That agreement is a key factor in how much difference we make.
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    John saw her / Descending from heaven / Her latter glory / Called her New Jerusalem / Such a beautiful story / What a beautiful bride / The bride of Christ
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    For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • Moving Through Time: Timeline of Religion (pcr.wpengine.com)
  • In 1845-1870 AD, E.G. White established the 7th Day Adventists, a Protestant Christian denomination that believes in observing Saturday as the original seventh day of the Judeo-Christian week. In addition, 7th Day Adventists believe in the imminent second coming of the Jesus Christ. This movement was influenced and grew out of the Millerite movement in the United States during the 19th century.
  • In 1848 AD, Kate and Margaret Fox founded Spiritualism, a belief system that postulates the belief in spirits of the dead who have an inclination in communicating with the living through a divination system known as mediumship.
  • In 1870 AD, Charles Taze Russel founded the Jehovah Witnesses, a Christian denomination distinct from mainstream Christianity. The Jehovah’s Witnesses base their beliefs on their own biblical interpretations and even transcribed their own version of the Holy Bible. They believe that Armageddon and the establishment of New Jerusalem is imminent.
  • In 1875 AD, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and Henry Olcott founded the Theosophical Society, a research and publishing institute dedicated to sharing esoteric doctrine of many spiritual traditions around the world. H.P. Blavatsky’s extensive research led to the publishing of the “magnum opus, The Secret Doctrine,” a comprehensive synthesis of ancient knowledge. The Theosophical Society aimed to form a brotherhood that did not discriminate against race, creed, sex, caste, or color.
  • In 1879 AD, Mary Baker Eddy formed a cult sect known as Christian Science (PDF), a religious practice derived from revelations given to Mary Baker Eddy and from the Bible itself. Its core texts are the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, also known as the “Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures.” Christian Science asserts that humanity and the universe coincide together as a whole in their truest essence, whereas evil and fallacies are illusory aspects of the material plane.
  • Between 1889 to 1924 AD, Myrtle Fillmore founded the Unity School of Christianity, a religious group that believes that all people are created with sacred worth. The Unity School of Christianity shares a universal love for all people, regardless of race, sex, color, ethnicity, creed, gender, political ideology, or disability.
  • In 1902 AD, Rudolf Steiner founded the Anthroposophical Society, a religious organization that postulates that an individual can comprehend an objective spiritual world through direct experience and inner development.
  • In 1906 AD, the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World is one of the longest, and oldest Oneness Pentecostal organizations in operation today. It currently has a membership of one and a half million members in the United States alone. Pentecostal doctrine believes in the trinity; however, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one God. In addition, Pentecostal attendees manifest the gifts of the spirit, especially the laying of hands and speaking in tongues.

A man from the North wanting to have control in Belgium

Figures in history

Photograph of Charles Taze Russell.

Photograph of Charles Taze Russell. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Throughout history lots of religions had troubles with certain figures wanting to have control over everything and wanting to be the main leader.

The Biblestudent movement is no different than any other Christian denomination. In its coarse of history there have been strong leaders creating schisms or denying there where divisions having come out of their group.

One of the pupils of Dr. John Thomas never wanted to have a following of a singular person. Charles Taze Russell managed to create a big amount of followers who were genuinely interested to make the best out of Bible study. Their leader had arranged that they could have additional literature which could be of help to their study, but it was never intended to replace the Bible.

Centralized authority

Russell did not believe in any centralized authority except Jesus and the apostles through the Bible. Because he did believe that Jesus returned in 1874 and that the Gentile Times ended in 1914 he could not be associated with other Bible Students who do not believe that Christ returned in 1874, or that the Gentile Times ended in 1914. The Christadelphians for example are such a group who think Christ still has to return. Whilst his freedom to believe Thomas his unique beliefs were accepted many objected to them being preached as necessary for salvation and this led to a series of debates particularly between Alexander Campbell and Dr Thomas.

John Thomas

John Thomas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr. Thomas might have had a particular vision on what was predicted in the Bible. His exposition of Bible prophecy led to him making various detailed predictions about then current day events many of which did not come to pass, as was noted in the foreword to subsequent editions of Elpis Israel after his death. those predictions make it sometimes, mainly for Roman Catholics, difficult that he could have followers, because they expect that they would accept everything their teacher would have said or written. But Dr. Thomas Thomas never claimed to be any kind of prophet, or in any way inspired, and as such his writings should not bind any body to believe other things than those which are clear in the Bible. All other findings are ideas, of which some may be accepted and others rejected, without having to be excluded of the community, because in the community there should be freedom of thought. Everybody may say his opinion of how he thinks things could be. But what we can not know for sure we do not have to accept the predictions or guessing of individual members. Nobody can or should force his or her ideas on somebody else. Every person should come into the faith by independent study and should not bound himself or herself to any  particular person or organisation and not be placed under any specific ranking, like in the traditional churches, with their pope, cardinals, bishops and priests.

Time of the end

c131

Dr. Thomas may have written:

There is a part of prophetic time, upon the heels of which, our race is now treading, called “the time of the end”—“a time of trouble,” says the Messenger of God, “such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time.”

and have thought that end-time could have been very close. Thomas thought that they had at length arrived at

“the time of the end,” in its bearing upon the congregation of the Lord Christ.

At the time when he lived he considered

The political signs of the disastrous times—“the time of the end”—coming upon the nations, are crowding the page of history; and the rumbling of that voice, which is to “roar out of Zion,” already trembles upon the ear.

For him it was time to put on the complete armour of God, and gird the loins of your minds with truth, having on the breastplate of righteousness, preparing our feet with the glad tidings of peace, taking up the shield of faith, and the helmet of salvation, and arming ourselves with the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

If you would win you must fight; and you must either take a decided stand on the one side or the other. You may delude yourselves with peace here, and happiness hereafter; but be assured that these states are incompatible; for, if you would reign hereafter, you must suffer here.

The Christian Church, or “the Lamb’s wife,” has arrived at the period of preparation, and the proclamation of the Great Captain is — Make ready! And how are the Christians to do this? — By a reformation of morals and combining together heart and soul, and purse, for the restoration of the Christian institution to what it was in apostolic times. This is what must and will be done before the Messiah comes; and, if the faint hearted professors of this generation won’t do themselves the honor of effecting it, the next generation will, and our contemporaries will have the mortification of losing that great recompense of the inheritance, to secure which is now within their grasp.

He believed it was time to rejoice and exult, and give glory to him, because the marriage of the Lamb had come.

But the congregation of the Lord — the Lamb’s wife — will only have attained to this glorious character, when every individual member shall have been immersed into Christ; instead of being composed of persons, as it is now, some of whom have put on Christ and others their own experience. Every saint must have his robe washed white in the blood of Christ; no speckled garments will be admitted there.

What we do know from Scripture is that at the end-times certain signs would be given to the world, like more earthquakes and tsunamis, floods and storms. But there is also been told about a starting of the troubles in the land of Euphrates and Tigris, after which children would come to resist their parents and religions would come up against other religions, even having wars in the own families and religious groups. And when you look at it that is just what we are encountering today.

Powerful engines

In Dr. Thomas his time the press was a powerful engine.

It is a mighty messenger, whom all the combined power of the Kings of Europe cannot control. Without his aid, Luther’s revolt could not have been effected, and the world might still have been groaning under the despotism of kings, priests, ignorance and superstition. His voice is loud, as when a lion roars; and when he cries seven thunders utter their voices.

“A little book” is a mighty weapon, and like the tongue, has “set the wheel of nature in a blaze.” We rely, therefore, a great deal on the potency of a little book, in our efforts at reformation and restoration. It has done wonders, and will yet do more. It has embittered the stomach, but sweetened the taste; and, while the ponderous tomes of systems of divinity encumber the dusty shelves of the libraries of the downy doctors of the day, from which they pilfer the chopped logic of their sermons, — the wayfaring man though unlearned, can recline under the shade of a tree, and, drawing from his pocket the little book which contains the will of his heavenly Father, he can imbibe the divine words of the Holy Spirit which are able to make him wise to salvation, and far more learned, too, than the gods of the people, though charged to the full with the crudities of Whitby, Gill, Scott and Henry. Despise not, therefore, the day of little books and small things, but promote, as far as you can, the circulation of the fearless and independent “Advocate” of the ancient gospel and apostolic order of things. Editor.

{Thomas, J. (1834-1836). The apostolic advocate. Title from caption. (1:277-284). Richmond, Va.: s.n.}

Lots of little books, newsletters and exhortations have been written by now. Today certain people become more afraid of the small writings by many persons or want others to follow only their “little writings”. They even want to go so far to take care that what is published can be taken away from public view.

Forcing ideas in other’s heads

Dr.Thomas did not force his ideas onto others and never suggested that he was speaking under inspiration from God or had any personal visions. In this we should find the big difference between what John Thomas did and the false prophet of Deuteronomy 18. We should remember when people read the Bible they are just humans who also can easily miss the mark. He too like any of us could err on doctrine. There is one of the big differences in our believes, we do not belief that any person can be having all the wisdom and be infallible. Some religions claim infallibility for their leaders, but the Christadelphians are not among them.

John Thomas changed his mind several times during the course of his life on many Biblical matters as his understanding became clearer. He was a Bible student of the first order whose main purpose in life was to sift through the myths and dogmas and understand what was the original teaching of Christianity. John Thomas never wanted or desired for people to follow him. His desire was that people would follow God and Jesus Christ as taught in the Holy Scriptures.

Today once more the Biblestudent movement is having a person who is forcing his ideas onto others and who wants that they follow him and his organisation and no other.

No prophets and no solo teachers

Despite being wrong on the date of Christ’s return, John Thomas was amazingly accurate in many of his interpretations of prophecy. He predicted with uncanny accuracy, among other things, the establishment of the state of Israel a hundred years before the fact. Again, the only credit John Thomas can take for this accurate prediction is for the countless hours he put in as a Bible student and not as a prophet.

Other Christadelphians have predicted the date of Christ’s return only to see the time come and go. We always should remember that even Christ Jesus did not know when he would be coming back, so how could we say when he would be coming back? Mark 13:32 should put an end to the practice of guessing or predicting. Speaking of the Second Coming, Jesus states

“But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.”

The bottom line is that neither John Thomas nor any other Christadelphian is a prophet or has claimed to be and should not claim to be so. We should go to the infallible word of God for our prophetic visions and most importantly for our understanding of the Hope of Israel (Acts 28:20).

That Book of books should be our infallible Guide and not a singular man.

Excessive zeal

Some  Christadelphians and other Bible Students might have had an

excessive zeal carried to the point of harshness on the part of a few that has led to the Christadelphians being everywhere spoken against. {Robert Roberts in The Sect Everywhere Spoken Against}

English: Variants of symbol of Cross and Crown...

Variants of bible Students symbol of Cross and Crown enclosed within wreath(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By the years there came to be moments in the Bible Student movement that a particular person got master of the strings and forced his ideas on others. One of such persons imposing his law was Joseph Franklin Rutherford with his “Jehovah’s visible organization” dogma. Rutherford wanted to distinguish himself from other Bible Student groups and by taking the name Jehovah’s witnesses wanted to symbolize a break with the legacy of Russell’s traditions. Others just wanted to have the power themselves and love to be the one in the spotlight.

Today Belgium is been hit by the attempts of a man from the North to get in charge of what is to happen in the Christadelphian community in Belgium. Previously he had already made some attempts to have a good crack to become the leader in Belgium as part of his strategy to be a leader of a worldwide organisation which would “link” all people together to him.

He wanted a cat flap in the Belgian community by having the Belgian responsible, under the wings of the Christadelphian Bible Mission or CBM, denouncing his connection with that group and giving all honour to Mr.D.H. and his organisation C.l..

The difference with the other members of the Biblestudent movement which consider them the only one sincere Biblestudents, is that they as Witnesses of Jehovah have the zeal to reach everybody and as much as persons they can reach. The present group forbids its members to take contact with other members of the Christadelphian community and do not allow them to look for other like-minded people. Their members are also not encouraged to go out preaching and do not seem to bring the gospel to other people. Though their organisation has the word “Care” in their name they do not seem to care about other people. They do not seem to be interested to meet other Christadelphians, though they call themselves Christadelphian. We do find it strange, that all those people baptised in Belgium by Mr. D.H. do not look for other Christadelphians, when they themselves would call themselves Christadelphian. There are enough Christadelphian websites by which people in Belgium could find some Belgian Christadelphians. We wonder why they do not take any contact then with those very few Brothers and Sisters in Christ, who live in isolation in that small country!

Asked to defile

CBM Feb. 18 18.13

Christadelphian Bible Mission U.K. or CBM – 2014 February

Mr.D.H. asks from every person who wants to become a member of or to be associated with his organisation “C.l.” to “defile” (his words) the Christadelphian Bible Mission or CBM members. Mr. D.H. is even proud he can find enough people who were under the wings of the CBM but got attracted by his organisation and were willing to denounce the CBM and to corrupt the name of the other Christadelphians.

Mr.D.H. also writes to the association of Belgian Christadelphians:

You describe yourselves as “CBM brethren”, but the policies of that organization preclude you from fellowshipping with us, … There are at this time 7 brothers and sisters from British ecclesias having a great time in Riga, Latvia fellowshipping with us and witnessing baptisms there. They have had to defy the CBM to do so but it has been to their and everyone’s blessing.

All the previous members of the Biblestudent movement except Mr. Rutherford never did ask that of their members. Therefore we are concerned about seeing once again a schism coming into existence where the leader of the group who excludes the other shall proclaim the others are the bad guys and have many schisms under them, while they go out in the clear. This time it looks more dangerous than with the group of Rutherford which became the Jehovah’s Witnesses. We would not consider them a sect, and would not consider they are following just one leader. They at least do have a committee. Now everything seems to turn around one man having everything in control and the others having no opportunity to say something against that person in charge.

During Russell’s ministry congregations continued to form and each of them remained self-administrative, functioning under the congregationalist style of church governance. Russell’s organization maintained hundreds of “pilgrims,” or travelling preachers. By 1910, about 50,000 people worldwide were associated with the movement. {The New Schaff–Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, 1910, vol 7, pg 374} but his organisation became under the influence of an autocratic and secretive person who was enjoying to have power. Like Rutherford centralized organizational control of the Watch Tower Society the Man from the North would like to have control over the Christadelphians as well.

It is a pity many people do not know that because being disappointed by the changes, tens of thousands of defections occurred during the first half of Rutherford’s tenure, leading to the formation of several Bible Student organizations independent of the Watch Tower Society. Though today the Jehovah’s Witnesses claim to be the original and only true Biblestudents, founded by Russell.

Here we see a repetition of history, Mr.D.H. from the North claiming to be the organisation bringing the Truth and being the real followers of Christ and the real followers of John Thomas. They consider all others as the “bad ones”.

Concerns

Belgian Christadelphians English pages

English web-pages of the Belgian Christadelphians

The CBM was and is concerned about Mr.D.H his many converts.

“The issue with CBM is that it feels these converts are not properly taught, instructed and baptised. … it is not the converts fault at all, hence bringing them into a small fellowship group would be to their benefit.”

Mr. Marcus Ampe from the Belgian Christadelphians tried to bring the Central Fellowship CBM members (Amended Christadelphians) together with other Christadelphians. He and some committed members of the Ecclesia Brussel-Leuven engaged in an effort to bring all different souls under one roof and having them meet in peace at different places in Belgium.

Currently people might find different Christadelphian groups like the Bereans, mostly in North America and the remnants of the Dawn fellowship mainly in the UK and Australia. In Ghent there live some Old Paths who do not want to meet with us, though an other person from the Old Paths is already several years happy meeting with us at different places in Belgium and France. From those Old Paths, in the world you might find also the Companion and Lightstand fellowships resulting from splits within this group, but with some of these later joining with the Dawn group and some remaining separate. All refuse association with any other fellowship, and all share three main characteristics of which the claim that the Central fellowship is either apostate or willing to accept apostasy, is one.

For months discussions and writings went on and lots of time was spend to come to a solution to have baptised Christadelphians in Belgium a place to meet other brothers and sisters, plus having an opening to invite non-baptised people to different places in the country.

Christadelphia Black-out Feb. 15 10.47

Christadelphia Facebook page being blacked-out in February 2014

It might not be. Mr.D.H. keeps refusing and doing everything to break the unity of the Christadelphian community. The last few days he even went so far to go into attack against Mr. Ampe and his publications on the net, hindering all his preaching work. The Man from the North succeeded to silence Mr. Ampe by jamming his personal Google+ pages and publications, as well as having taken away from public viewing his website Christadelphian World and the Facebook page Christadelphia.

When a person goes so far he takes down the websites of others,we do come in a very dangerous situation where the dictator manages to silence anybody who does not agree with him. This did not happen yet in the world of the Biblestudents before. Lots of screaming to each other and having lots of words going to and fro, might have happened more than once in the community where many people were very concerned to preach and to get as many people as they could to the Truth.

Necessity for union

Mr. Marcus Ampe tried to get the people living in Belgium, to meet with others, no matter to which Christadelphian group they might originally belong. for him unity between followers of Christ is most important.

According to him the ecclesia or the parish is part of the Body of Christ. Each community having its own independance, but joining hands in the general basic creeds. all those different communities should feel the bond with each other, though all keep their own choice and responsibility to appoint representatives, for the discharge of all the duties of an ecclesia: for the instruction and proper baptism of new members; for the spiritual as well as physical welfare of all its members; for the repudiation of error and, where ultimately necessary, for withdrawal from disorderly or erring members. These duties are carried out by the ecclesia concerned on behalf of the whole body of believers, and therefore there must be complete agreement among all ecclesiae as to the basis on which fellowship is shared.

It is not good for the Body of Christ when there is division in it. All should have brotherly love and be willing to accept the differences of character of each individual. Each person should feel that he or she is fully respected and taken on in the community of believers and recognised as a follower of Christ, full member of the Body of Christ.

Central fellowship practice

Marcus Ampe does regret that many groups have continued to differentiate and divide because their members either can’t resist (or don’t want to resist) the urge to police anyone and everyone in their “fellowship”.  today Mr.D.H. and his organisation also have shown their true face, certainly after creating a black out for some of the Belgian websites and pages (Google+ and Facebook).

Like you may find on different Central Fellowship websites, the Central Fellowship members of Belgium believe that all ecclesiae in a community should be regarded as part of a single body; the division into individual ecclesiae being only a matter of geographical convenience. For this reason the concept of “ecclesial autonomy”, where individual ecclesiae accept different standards in matters relating to fundamentals of belief and practice, is rejected by the Dawn community. But on non-fundamental matters there must be ecclesial independence. We firmly reject any idea of an overall controlling body.

The Central fellowship has been using the Ecclesial Guide, appreciating ecclesial autonomy and ecclesia-based fellowship, as based upon the Scriptural principles encapsulated in the BASF. It has rejected those who demand the BASF only, and allowed instead for different expressions of the same saving truths, both in its different reunion documents, and in individual ecclesial statements. This has given the breakaway fragments, if they sought unity again, a way back into the larger group. And the reasonable combination of ecclesial autonomy, a common set of beliefs, and a more or less standard fellowship practice has allowed ecclesias and individuals of some diversity to remain together. It is a paradigm that works (with some glitches, of course) for a worldwide community. {Christadelphian Divisions and Fellowship, Glad Tidings, March 2013}

Sad occurrence

Having Mr. D.H. such an aggressive stand, blocking any form of co-operation and not only making that the CBM members can not meet with other brethren, worse him silencing several of the Belgian internet places to meet the general public, or a real intrusion of democratic freedom of speech and of showing brotherly love and willingness to give everybody the same possibilities to reach others to bring them to the Kingdom of God.

Also the Association of Bible Students got a red notice from Google and got the message their reply on Christadelphian World was taken of public viewing because of ‘inappropriate language’. For our readers to decide if it was really a language which should not be open to the public we here present a photograph of the reply to the article: No reconciliation possible between CBM and Duncan Heaster from Carelinks:

Biblestudents comment on Christadelphian World - Blogger Feb. 14 14.04Such an action of silencing all who have some remark to make or have other ideas, is creating a ground for a dictatorial community and would not resist others to accuse such a community for being a cult. Sectarianism is something none of the Bible-students would like to be associated with. Many groups face already difficulty, by being called a cult, that we can need such a group of Mr.D.H. like we need a hole in the head.

It is incredible that such a single man can create such upheaval and cause a black out of websites or voices on the international internet. We do not understand how he managed to this, but it is an inadmissible action. The man from the North his attitude is impermissible and all those involved in the building up the body of Christ here on earth should warn their flock of the dangers of such a person, who does not recoil to use all means to get his goal.

Reason to react

We can not just do if nothing happened.  The man of the North keeping back ways to reach non-believers and believers, making the Belgian brethren to fail to talk to them about salvation, he is essentially condemning them to separation from God and withholding them from getting in contact with lovers of God.  When we see such un-christian action been taken to silence a follower of Christ, certainly when such events are caused by somebody who calls himself a Christian, the community should act. According to us when a Christian sees a fellow Christian sinning and does not say anything, the person who stays silent is not showing them the love of Christ and in effect is actually “hating” the other person. When people have an argument with somebody they should come to terms and solve the matter, first in private, than by bringing it the eyes of some private brothers or/and sisters, and when nothing helps they should let more people from the community know what is going on and where there are problems. Mr. Marcus Ampe followed this path of trial to come to reconciliation between all the parties involved. He and the members of the Belgian ecclesia wanted it to work it out. They did not want to have seeds of anger and hostility sown in anybodies heart toward any person or organisation.  The Belgian Christadelphians have been pushed in the corner and are obliged to defend themselves.

All those who consider themselves to be a follower of Christ should try to unite with the other followers of Christ. All those sincerely studying the bible should show others the way Christ Jesus has paved for us and how he wanted us to unite. Therefore let us show that brotherly love to each other, give each other hands and unite under the body of Christ.

In the peace and love of Christ, peace be with you all.

***

Without freedom of thought there can be no suc...

Without freedom of thought there can be no such think as wisdom & no such thing as puclick liberty without freedom of speech, Benjamin Franklin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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The cause of maddening:

After months of trying to get reconciliation and getting nowhere Mr. Marcus Ampe found it necessary to let his public know that he nor his ecclesia members could do much against the unbearable situation not to meet with others or being able to give the addresses of other communities in Belgium. After having placed the articles Duncan Heaster en Carelinks onverbiddelijke verhinderaars and  No reconciliation possible between CBM and Duncan Heaster from Carelinks, Mr. D.H. accused him of slander. In his defence Mr. Ampe replied to the articles and accusations, but found that very quickly his defence was taken off the net, with the accusation of being of “inappropriate language”.

Other reactions were given afterwards:

  1. Not words of any organisation should bind you, but the Word of God (2/10/2014)
  2. Priority to form a loving brotherhood (February 10, 2014)
  3. Disciple of Christ counting lives and friends dear to them (2/12/2014)
  4. Certain people trying to stem freedom of speech (Friday, February 14, 2014)
  5. Censorship possible by a person and his organisation (February 14, 2014)
  6. Attackers silenced freedom of speech (2014/02/15)
  7. Attackers silenced freedom of speech (17 , Feb, 2014)
  8. Delay in publications because attack from outside (February 17, 2014)

Dutch articles:

  1. Vertraging door ongehoorde moeilijkheden (February 15, 2014)
  2. Vertraging door ongehoorde moeilijkheden (17 , Feb, 2014)

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Please do also find to read:

  1. Christadelphian Divisions and Fellowship
  2. Integrity of the fellowship
  3. Secret or public return of Jesus
  4. Signs of the Last Days
  5. Weapons of our warfare
  6. Creator and Blogger God 9 A Blog of a Book 3 Blog about Prophecy
  7. Belonging to or being judged by
  8. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian

+++

  • One Mind, One Accord (propheticsteps.com)
    How often do you find total agreement with other people? I often find myself in agreement with others, but not always for the same reason. There are times I can see someone else’s point of view, but I do not agree with their assessment. Just because people laugh at the same joke does not mean they find the same thing funny.This is one of the many problems plaguing the body of Christ today. I have found myself in different congregations, in different denominations, among friends and strangers, and have discussed some of those differences. If this were a solvable problem, the many denominations of churches would be reduced to one.
    +
    Today I simply ask that you pray for the churches. Prayerfully ask for Godly knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. Pray for strength to stand strong on truth. Pray for humble submission to God’s word, God’s will and the Holy Spirit. Pray for discernment. Pray for the leaders of the body of Christ, the burden is great for those in positions of authority, as is the judgment they assume in taking positions of leadership.
    +

    Another gospel?
    The church, in general, today is experiencing perilous times. There are so many denominations, doctrines, teachings, and ideas. What I find to be most dangerous is this: The general acceptance of all things. If someone thinks it, believes it, and says it loud enough multiple times, someone else is willing to accept it and repeat the process.
    +
    If we find a gospel being preached that is easy to digest and a gospel that tickles the ears, we better be alarmed. If we hear soothing words that eases the burden of sin without true repentance and cheapens the grace which God has given, it must become our duty to defend the truth.

  • “Shut Up!” – One Year Bible – February 18 – Tuesday (jerryrothauser.wordpress.com)
    Cheatin’ goes, always shows!  If someone snookers his neighbor in any way, he had to repay and add 20% to it. To boot, he had to sacrifice a ram.Maybe we take sin too casually.  If we had to buy a smelly ram and then have it slaughtered in front of our eyes and smell the burning flesh and see the blood maybe we wouldn’t be so casual about sin.  Or would we?  Maybe we’d also appreciate the lamb slain for us a bit more, too?  Naaah.
  • SIH’s Think On These Things: Ephesians 2:17-18 (settledinheaven.wordpress.com)
    Christ’s message was meant for both Gentile (afar off) and Jews (nigh).  Keep in mind, although the ministry of Christ centered upon the Jews (Matt 15:24), Christ did minister to Gentiles as well:
  • Dealing With Problems (dailybibleplan.com)
    As problems arise for us, we often do not know exactly how to handle them and we can easily be tempted not deal with them at all.  When we see a non-believer who does not know the Way, we can be tempted to “bury our heads in the sand” and not talk to them about Christ because it might be uncomfortable.  When we see a fellow believer sinning, we can be tempted to “bury our heads in the sand” and not confront them on their sins because we want to maintain the peace.  Just like Festus, we can be tempted to try to send others on their way to allow someone else to deal with the problem, but none of this is biblical.  Being a follower of Christ does not afford us the opportunity to “bury our heads in the sand”.  Jesus was very specific when He told us how to deal with problems, and regardless of the situation we are called to deal with problems head on.
  • “But did you pray for the wolf?” (standupforthetruth.com)
    First of all I want to say up front that I do not believe praying for a wolf is wrong, a sin, nor am I saying that you shouldn’t do it. Furthermore, this post is not intended to discourage you from doing so, but only to raise the question are wesupposed to pray for the wolves?I would also like to preface this thesis by clarifying that when I speak of wolves in this post, I am not referring to the rank and file who have fallen under the spell of their leaders, but the leaders themselves (Think: Helen Ukbato, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Gloria Copeland, Rob Bell, Brian McLaren, Doug Pagitt, et al).

    With that said, allow me to present some thoughts on this matter.

  • Bibles removed from Iowa State guest rooms (whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com)
    On January 29 I put up a brief post noting that someone had complained about the presence of Gideon Bibles in the guest rooms at Iowa State University’s (ISU) Memorial Union, lodgings that are part of a public university. I also reproduced the letter that the ISU got from the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) saying that those Bibles were a no-no—a violation of the First Amendment. The letter worked: no litigation was necessary. The University removed the Bibles.

    There are many reports of this victory on the internet, but I was most interested in the one at the Christian News Network, as the coverage was most extensive and I hoped there would be some funny comments.

  • After Christian Politicians in Northern Ireland Force Cancellation of Satirical Bible Play, the Backlash is Fierce (patheos.com)
    Remember how the Mormon Church responded when The Book of Mormon musical came out? They embraced it (without quite endorsing it), placed ads in the Playbill, and even issued a well-crafted public statement:

    The production may attempt to entertain audiences for an evening, but the Book of Mormon as a volume of scripture will change people’s lives forever by bringing them closer to Christ.
    +

    When “keeping the peace” becomes of higher value than God’s glory, tolerance begins to set in. It is one thing to have a nation where everyone is free to worship as they please. It is another to promote false religion and to censor the worship of Jesus. One protects people’s right to worship the other promotes principles contrary to the Bible and works against the worship of Jesus.

    “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. Matthew 12:30

    In an effort to appease, Solomon opened the door for the eventuality of his wives’ religions to be on an equal footing with the law of God in matters of law and order leading to the acceptance of anti-biblical principles whose practice cannot be blessed by God.

  • Freedom of Speech (keithgarrettpoetry.com)
    Freedom of speech, the words, phrase, and the meaning are not clear,

    It Is our right we are told that speak we may In public our own way.

    There Is no such thing as saying what you’re thinking out loud In the streets,

    They say that It’s your right but you better be careful of what you are saying.

    How much freedom of speech do we really have, I do know not that much,

     

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Nazarene Acts of the Apostles Chapter 1

THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES

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

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

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

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

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

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

Acts 1:6-11 – The Ascension

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

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

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

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

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

Acts 1:12-14 – The Waiting Apostles

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

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

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

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

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

Acts 1:23-26 – The Choice of Matthias

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

*

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

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

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Please do find also to read:

About Breath:

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

Pentecost:

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

Ascension of Christ:

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

Holy Spirit or Pneuma:

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

+++

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

Bible guide

Taking the Bible as a lead

In Jesus days people came together in the synagogue but also in their homes to study the rolls of the holy writers. For them it was clear that God had given these people the power and facilities to write down Gods Word. For the followers of Christ it was clear that they had to take the stories about Christ Jesus and the writing of his apostles also into account. The books of the Old time received a brother in the writings of the new time, after Jesus his resurrection. The Old and New Testament became the two pillars of educational material to build up faith and to keep to the Commandments of God.

Enthusiast followers of Jesus took the time to come to study these writings, which we know now as the Bible. They felt united in holding that the sacred Scriptures, Old and New Testaments, are inspired and are the final authority for authentic truth. They did not doubt the countenance of these writings and knew that if they prayed to God they also would receive guidance to follow and to comprehend them. They followed the rules of the Scriptures and wanted to establish their beliefs and faith in beliefs that harmonize all scriptures on each subject. The apostles had warned them to be careful not be carried away by worldly thoughts and that they should not make non-scriptural words to an article of faith.

In the early times of this time account, some had seen that Jesus was wholly flesh while on earth. While Jesus was miraculously begotten by God through the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary, they accepted that the Bible implies that she did not remain a virgin thereafter and many of the early Christians had met the other children by Joseph after the birth of Jesus. One of Jesus brothers had followed and believed in him. The people around Jesus could witness him. They had witnessed or heard about the many miracles, and about the most curious event, namely that this holy man had been raised from death. But there were also many who had nothing seen and by the growing years had nobody in their circles who had met people who had known Jesus in real life. They had to believe without seeing.

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...

Preaching Jesus

Studying the Bible those people interested in the Word of God were fully convinced that this Nazarene Jew by his death had brought them salvation. They knew that man is mortal by nature, and that immortality became available now, but only by meeting conditions of obedience. They held, as we hold today, that the human soul is not a distinct entity, but is the result of the union of the body and the breath, or spark, of life, and that death is the dissolution of these two elements. Jesus had died, been put in the grave, but after his resurrection had gone up to his Father to which he always stayed humble. Jesus always had pointed out to his Father as the One who did everything and to whom we had to give honour. Therefore they did not accept the position of co-eternity or co-equality between the Father and the Son. But they were pleased that since his resurrection Jesus had received the divine nature and could be the mediator between them and God.

Believing that Adam and Eve were created perfect, the believers position is that the sin of disobedience in the Garden of Eden resulted in all their posterity being born under the blight of sin, imperfection, and death. Because death is the dissolution of body and breath, every Bible Student should be aware that the soul that sins dies goes out of existence, and that we cannot escape death and the return to dust and ash. But in Christ Jesus they found the promised Messiah who was going to return. It is he who shall then start the resurrection process which begins in the future kingdom of Messiah. He had given his body as a ransom at the cross of Calvary. This peace offering is efficacious for all who have ever died. It promises resuscitation for all humanity in Christ’s 1000-year kingdom, along with the opportunity to obtain and maintain perfect human life for eternity. The ransom also provides for the rehabilitation of planet earth to perfect Edenic conditions.

From Pentecost onwards many thousands started to look forward to the return of Christ or Second Advent. At his first advent, Jesus had begun calling out from mankind a special class to be his church, or bride. To these he promised a part in heaven with himself and the Father, and a kingdom role of reigning over mankind with himself for blessing all the families of the earth. Those who accept this invitation make a complete consecration or commitment to do the will of God as they see it revealed and at the cost of a surrender of the right to a life on earth. This consecration is witnessed by a baptism (complete water immersion,). The expectation that Jesus Christ would return to finish the work that he began two thousand years ago became an important part of their faith. They followed the advice Jesus and his apostles had given, to study the Word of God and to come regularly together, also to remember the Breaking of the Bread as a sign of the New Covenant.

To organize such meetings they had to find places where they could meet, certainly after they were not welcome any more in the synagogues. In the different villages and small communities small groups were formed. By giving many ‘house parties’ the ‘house churches‘ were formed. Each group selected its leaders (elders and deacons) by a total vote of their consecrated members, and cooperated with other congregations as determined by that local group. But such meetings or gatherings brought also expenses. To cover them they paid entirely by freewill voluntary offerings with no collections of mandated costs.

Also today we as Bible Students want to keep to the ordinances given by God and by Jesus and our ministries are kept according the Biblical ways and serves on a non-paid and voluntary basis.

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