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Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:1-12 Nazarene Mountain teachings: Blessed and legal commentaries

The Sermon on the mount
(Nazarene Mountain teachings)

(Matthew 5:1 – 7:29 || Luke 6:20-23)

Chapter Five:
The Blessed and legal commentaries

Matthew 5:1-2 – The Setting

MT5:1 Observing the crowds Jesus went up into the mountains and after he reclined his disciples approached him. MT5:2 And Jesus opened his mouth and began teaching them.

Matthew 5:3-12 – Introduction: Attitudes for Happiness

|| Luke 6:20-23

MT5:3 “Blessed[1] the poor as to the spirit[2] for the Heavenly Realm[3] is theirs.
MT5:4 Blessed those mourning[4] for they will be comforted.[5]
MT5:5 Blessed the meek[6] for they will inherit the earth.[7]
MT5:6 Blessed those hungering and thirsting for righteousness[8] for they will be filled.[9]
MT5:7 Blessed the merciful[10] for they will be shown mercy.
MT5:8 Blessed the pure in heart[11] for they will see[12] The God.[13]
MT5:9 Blessed the peaceable people[14] for they will be called ‘Sons of The God.’[15] MT5:10 Blessed are those persecuted for righteousness.[16] The Heavenly Realm[17] is theirs.
MT5:11 Blessed are you when they reproach[18] and persecute and speak evil lies against you because of me.[19] MT5:12 Rejoice and exult[20] for your heavenly reward is great! For this is the same way they persecuted the former prophets.[21]

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber to be an example of a charismatic religious leader. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

[1] Blessed: Perhaps the opening words are among the most well known after the Lord’s Prayer and the Golden Rule. Most of the key elements in the Beatitudes are expanded in the main body of the Nazarene’s sermon. These subjects are: poverty, comfort, mildness, righteousness, charity, purity, peaceableness, persecution.

The Greek word MAKARIOI is more than the English “happy” or even the KJV “blessed.” The English word “happy” generally means a temporary moment of elation. It is doubtful this is what the Nazarene had in mind. “Blessed” also falls short unless one thinks of the word as including divine favor. The Greek word here infers a supreme measure of joy because of a divine state of favor before the Father. It is variously rendered: how happy, how blessed. The Nazarene borrows the idea from the Psalms where the word occurs 28 times, often in a similar vein by David. “Happy” occurs 138 times in the Bible. Luke uses it the most often in the Christian Bible (17 times) and Revelation contains the Seven Apocalyptic Beatitudes, 7 times (Revelation 1:3;14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7, 14).

[2] The poor as to the spirit: This is the most literal reading according to the Greek, but it has been dealt with in various matters. Most prefer to render it, ‘the poor in spirit but that is not exactly what the Greek says. A possibility is Blessed the poor Spiritual. Various renderings are: destitute in spirit (RHM), rating themselves insignificant (AMP), those who feel their spiritual need (GDSP), humble-minded (PHI), how blest are those who know that they are poor (NEB), those conscious of their spiritual need (NWT). Perhaps the most direct commentary would be that of Luke who words this introduction simply, ‘Happy are the poor’ (Luke 6:20). Word Studies in the New Testament (Vol 1, page 36):

“It is very graphic and appropriate here, as denoting the utter spiritual destitution, the consciousness of which precede the entrance into the Kingdom of God.”

The word “poor” occurs 22 times in the Gospels. Perhaps Paul and James draw on the Master’s words when they paraphrase, ‘God chose the poor’? [1 Corinthians 1:27, 28; James 2:5] If we accept Luke’s bias we must understand Jesus’ words here as emphasizing poverty, a condition in which one must depend upon others for the necessities of life. This state is emphasized later in the sermon. The poor ‘spirituals’ have only God to look to for help. Jesus was poor as were his disciples and later Paul. The word group “rich(es)” occurs nearly 200 times in the Bible with the first occurrence at Genesis 14:23 (Abraham) and most often in the OT, Proverbs (12 times) and in the NT, Luke (16 times).

Luke records perhaps another occasion in chapter Luke 6:24 in the very spirit of James 5:1, ‘Happy are the poor’ and then ‘woe to the rich’. The life of Jesus, the example of his Apostles in Acts chs 2-6, and the manner of Paul, all point to the deep meaning behind the word “poor” here. There is a danger in “riches” which Paul stresses at 1 Timothy 6:17-19. We feel the Greek PTOKHOI ought to remain as “Poor” or “the destitute” for this is Luke’s view and the “Poor” feature prominently in the Nazarene’s teachings.

[3] Heavenly Realm: (MOF) Literally this is “the kingdom of the heavens” but the Greek BASILEIA may refer to a seat of government in a monarchy or to the realm, domain or territory over which such a kingdom rules. Two views may be present here: a) an actual place in the future government of the King; or, b) opportunity for entrance into the Realm of Profession, or the Church itself. Sometimes Jesus uses the word “kingdom” to mean that position of rulership in the heavens and other times he refers to being a subject of the King. There are two kingdoms in the Nazarene’s teachings: 1) the Son’s; and, 2) the Father’s. Compare Matthew 13:41, 43.

The word “kingdom” occurs a total of 366 times in the Bible with 63 in Daniel. In the Nazarene’s teachings “kingdom” occurs 55 times in Matthew, 23 times in Mark, and 45 times in Luke. It is a theme word or key topic of the Nazarene’s sayings.

[4] Mourning: Note how Luke 6:21 puts this, weeping. Messiah (the Christ) was anointed to ‘comfort those mourning in Zion.’ (Isaiah 61:1,3; Luke 4:16) Various renderings are: sad (BAS); know what sorrow means (PHI). The world is not an altogether happy place and life dishes out its share of pain. Paul describe it as ‘a season of groaning pain.’ (Romans 8:22) The word group “mourn(ing)” occurs about 100 times in the Bible.

[5] Comforted: Or, consoled, given courage. The comfort is found in God and that Spirit He sends through Christ as the Comforter (John chs 14-16). The word “comfort” is rare in the Nazarene’s teachings but the idea breathes throughout the body of his sayings (Psalms 126:5; 2 Corinthians 1:1-7).

[6] Meek: Various renderings are: gentle TCNT; patient KNX; humble-minded GDSP; of a gentle spirit NEB; happy are those who claim nothing PHI. The words of the Nazarene here are a paraphrase of Psalm 37:11 (LXX = HOI DE PRAEIS KLERONOUESOUSI GEN. Note Daniel’s KLERON at Daniel 12:13) The “meek” here are those who will possess the Kingdom (verse 3), will see God (verse 8) and who will ‘inherit the nations’ as does the Messiah (Psalm 2:8; 72:8; Daniel 7:14, 27). The Nazarene was characterized by a mild-temper but this did not prevent him from displaying his anger or rebuke against the religious powers as well as his own disciples. The meek are non-confrontational, non-adversarial, non-aggressive, and not given to insisting on their own opinions. Even the Nazarene says, ‘If anyone hears my sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge.’ (John 12:47) Jesus was not judgmental save against those religious teachers who ought to know better (Matthew chapter 23).

[7] Inherit the earth: Note Psalm 2:8. These “meek” inherit the earth as the realm or territory of their rule (1 Corinthians 6:2; Daniel 7:27; Revelation 5:10).

[8] Hungering and thirsting for righteousness: This whole idea is right out of the Psalms (Psalm 63:1) and repeated in the Apocalypse (Rev 21:6; 22:17). Various renderings are: being and doing right (WMS); to see right prevail (NEB). Though many men may not thirst for righteousness in a moral sense, they do thirst for justice as seen in the multitude of revolutions throughout history. The Nazarene disciple must crave right or righteousness as if it were food. It is John who describes those ‘born from above’ as those who do not habitually sin but practice righteousness (1 John chs 2 and 3). This craving is not self-righteous or overly-righteous but a desire to see justice done with living evidence in the Saint’s life (Amos 8:11).

[9] Filled: Or, “satisfied.” See Luke 6:21.

[10] Merciful: Various renderings are: compassionate WEY; those who show mercy WMS. The Latin merci (French for “thank you”) is rooted in the gift paid mercenaries and so its strongest thrust is not forgiveness or judgment withheld as much as it is a gift of charity to the needy. The Nazarene Saint is characterized by a non-judgmental, forgiving and charitable spirit toward those in greater need.

[11] Pure in heart: Various renderings are: clean in heart (BAS); utterly sincere (PHI). This phrase gets to the root of motives in all that the Nazarene Saint does. There are no hidden agendas or games to be played against others. Utter guilelessness, like that of their Lord, is an attribute of the Transformed Mind (Romans 12:1; Hebrews 7:26). Such a disposition is only learned after years of tolerance, patience, and that true selfless interest in others called “love”.

[12] They will see: Perhaps the most sublime hope ever given to humans. To see The God is a true prospect for the Nazarene Saint (See 1 John 3:2; Revelation 22:4). “Face” can have a metamorphic tone as a concordance will show (Job 33:26).

[13] The God: In Greek this is TON THEON as it is in John 1:1 and refers almost without exception to the Creator, the Almighty, The God. Though in English “the” is often omitted we feel it wise to include it in all cases where the article appears. The God stands in contrast to other “gods.” (1 Corinthians 8:5, 6)

[14] Peaceable people: Various renderings are: makers and maintainers of peace (AMP). See Romans 12:18 and James 3:18. The Nazarene Saint is characterized by a non-adversarial, non-confrontational, and peace-seeking disposition. In Spanish translations this is often pacififadores from which “pacifist” is drawn. Ghandi taught, “I am willing to die for this cause, but there is no cause for which I am willing to kill.” This peaceable disposition is illustrated in the Nazarene’s later words at Matthew 5:22, 39-42. Compare Colossians 3:15.

[15] Sons of The God: This is a phrase used of angels in Genesis 6:1 and Job 2:1 and is the grand relationship of those willing to be peaceable in their natures, to become true children of God (John 1:12,13). This relationship is a feature of John’s Gospel and letters. If one wishes to be styled a child of God then peaceableness must characterize their Transformed Mind (Romans 12:1, 18).

[16] Persecuted for righteousness: The reason for the persecution must be for righteousness and not for some crime or evil as Peter himself teaches (1 Peter chs 2 – 4). The Nazarene’s audience were persecuted Jews under Roman domination. Additionally, Jesus knew of the future periods of oppression against his own disciples and foretold it at Matthew 24:9-11. Luke uses the word “hate” at Luke 6:22.

[17] Heavenly Realm: This can mean that ultimate “goal” which Paul sought (Philippians 3:14) and which is promised the Saints (Daniel 7:27) or that opportunity opened up by the Nazarene to enter the Realm of Profession, the Son’s “kingdom”, his Church (Matthew 13:41; 16:18; Colossians 1:13). As Paul writes, persecution is part and parcel of the Christian way of life (Acts 14:22; 2 Timothy 3:12).

[18] Reproach: Various renderings are: MOF: denounce; GDSP: abuse; BAS: give you a bad name; WEY: every cruel thing; PHI: slanderous. Often, it is true, the source of this is from the present ruling powers; but, it is also true that this abuse comes from a religious source within one’s own Faith as in the case of the Jewish clergy against the Nazarene (John 16:1,2 and Acts chs 4, 5). The worse kind of reproach is from fellow believers who charge “apostasy” and thus make themselves liable to Gehenna (Matthew 5:2).

[19] Because of me: Elsewhere in the Nazarene’s teachings this is “because of my name” (Matthew 24:9) as historically demonstrated in the Book of Acts. It is the name “Jesus” or “Christ” that brings the reproach and persecution (Acts 2:38; 3:6, 16; 4:7, 10, 12, 17, 18, 30; 5:28, 40, 41; 8:12, 16; 9:14, 15, 16, 21, 27, 28; 10:43, 48; 15:26; 16:18; 19:5, 13; 21:13; 22:16; 26:9).

[20] Rejoice and exult: See Luke 6:23. Various renderings are: WEY: be joyful and triumphant; WMS: leaping for ecstasy; KN: glad and light-hearted. Luke also adds “excluded or separated.” (Luke 6:23)

[21] The former prophets: Surely, the Nazarene thinks of Elijah and his persecution by Ahab and Jezebel. Compare Matthew 23:35. Even Moses the Prophet was abused by his sister and other rebels. According to tradition Isaiah was killed by King Manasseh.

Beatitudes-sermon-on-mount

Beatitudes-sermon-on-mount (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Preceding articles

The Nazarene master teacher learning people how they should behave

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:23-25 – Kingdom Preaching and Healing Draws Crowds

There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving

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Additional reading

  1. Salvation, trust and action in Jesus #2 What you must do
  2. Golden rule for understanding in spiritual matters obedience
  3. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #4 Mozaic and Noachide laws
  4. Right to be in the surroundings
  5. Let us become nothing, and Christ everything

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The Nazarene master teacher learning people how they should behave

Soon after the Nazarene Jeshua (Jesus Christ) had started his public life and had chosen some disciples, he found them following him and receiving more followers who wanted to hear him talking about many things which concerned them or which where about the general customs and religious life of the people.

Jesus went all over Galilee and used open as well as covered spaces, like synagogues but also planes and mountain slopes. Jesus knew his divine task, having placed in a special way on this earth to show people the Way to God. Jesus knew very well Who that One True God is all people should come to know.  He very well knew his own place, being lower than angels and being a son of God, the Most High without Jesus could do nothing.

He must have been special. Though the religious leaders despised him but the people wondered who this man could be and where curious for what they could hear from others about miracles he could perform.

Sites of Christianity in the Galillee - Ruins of the ancient Great Synagogue at Capernaum (or Kfar Nahum) on the shore of the Lake of Galilee, Northern Israel.jpg

Capernaum synagogue

Jesus went from one place to an other telling about his heavenly Father, the Only One True God of Israel. He taught people the truth of God and God’s kingdom was his theme. He also healed people of their diseases and of the bad effects of their bad lives. Those actions he did, got many curious about this personage and word got around the entire Roman province of Syria. People brought anybody with an ailment, whether mental, emotional, or physical. Jesus healed them, one and all. More and more people came, the momentum gathering. Besides those from Galilee, crowds came from the “Ten Towns” across the lake, others up from Jerusalem and Judea, still others from across the Jordan. (Matthew 4:23-25)

Mount of Beatitudes, seen from Capernaum

When he was in the region of Capernaum again there were a lot of people who had come to see him and who where eager to hear what he had to tell.  Jesus saw all those crowds, coming from different places, following him and went up the mountain or hill (the Greek word can mean either) the Mount of Beatitudes.

Some commentators see here an intended contrast to Sinai, where the Law was given. However, there are no grounds, implicit or explicit, for identifying the mountain as a “New Sinai.” {Newman, B. M., & Stine, P. C. (1992). A handbook on the Gospel of Matthew (p. 103). New York: United Bible Societies.}

From Matthew’s choice of verbs we can imagine that the situation was all about a moment of teaching, Jesus tutoring. It does not matter so much if Matthew and Luke wrote about the same or of a different occasion where Jesus taught about the kingdom of heaven, its subjects and their life.

There have been and are today scholars who regard the sermons recorded in Mt and Lk as collections of sayings spoken on different occasions, and maintain that they do not represent any connected discourse ever delivered by Jesus. In their view the Sermon is either a free compilation by the evangelists or a product of apostolic teaching and oral tradition.
The prevailing opinion among NT scholars is, however, that the gospel accounts represent a genuine historical discourse. The Sermon as recorded in Mt bears such marks of inner unity of theme and exposition as to give the appearance of genuineness. That Jesus should deliver a discourse of this kind accords with all the circumstances and with the purpose of His ministry. Besides, we know that in His teaching He was accustomed to speak to the multitudes at length, and we should expect Him to give early in His ministry some formal exposition of the kingdom, the burden of His first preaching. That such a summary of one of His most important discourses should have been preserved is altogether probable. {Miller, R. B. (1915). Sermon, on the Mount, The. In J. Orr, J. L. Nuelsen, E. Y. Mullins, & M. O. Evans (Eds.), The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (Vol. 1–5, p. 2733). Chicago: The Howard-Severance Company.}

In any case even when it is a summary it is a teaching every Christian should seriously take at heart. Jesus was not afraid to talk at length, but this discourse could easily be delivered in a few minutes.

There is evidence that the account in Mt 5–7 contains some sayings not included in the original discourse. This view is confirmed by the fact that a number of the sayings are given in Luke’s Gospel in settings that appear more original. It is easy to believe that related sayings spoken on other occasions may have become associated with the Sermon in apostolic teaching and thus handed down with it, but if the discourse were well known in a specific form, such as that recorded in Mt, it is hardly conceivable that Luke or anyone else would break it up and distribute the fragments or associate them with other incidents, as some of the sayings recorded in both Gospels are found associated in Lk. {Miller, R. B. (1915). Sermon, on the Mount, The. In J. Orr, J. L. Nuelsen, E. Y. Mullins, & M. O. Evans (Eds.), The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (Vol. 1–5, p. 2733). Chicago: The Howard-Severance Company.}

Because there is written that the disciples came to sit by Jesus many think Jesus was mainly addressing them. Even when this is the apparent meaning of the account of both evangelists, the separation from the multitudes and the direction of Jesus his words to the disciples seem clear, and the distinction appears intentional on the part of the writer. However, it must be observed that in the closing comments on the Sermon the presence of the multitudes is implied. In Luke’s account the distinction is less marked; being the night of prayer in the mountain, the choice of the twelve apostles, the descent with them into the presence of the multitude of his disciples and a great number of people from Judaea, Jerus and the coast country, the healing of great numbers, and, finally, the address. While the continued presence of the multitudes is implied, the plain meaning of the words,

“And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said,”

is that his address was intended especially for the latter.

This view is borne out by the address itself as recorded in both accounts. Observe the use of the second person in the reference to suffering, poverty and persecution for the sake of the Son of Man. Further the sayings concerning the “salt of the earth” and “the light of the world” could hardly have been addressed to any but His disciples. The term disciple, however, was doubtless employed in the broader sense by both evangelists. This is clearly the case in Matthew’s account, according to which the Twelve had not yet been appointed. {Miller, R. B. (1915). Sermon, on the Mount, The. In J. Orr, J. L. Nuelsen, E. Y. Mullins, & M. O. Evans (Eds.), The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (Vol. 1–5, p. 2733). Chicago: The Howard-Severance Company.}

Today we should look at those texts also as a lesson to all those who want to call themselves “Christian” which means “to be a follower of Christ“. Christians too should be disciples of Christ Jesus and should follow the words of the Nazarene master teacher. Not especially being a digest of Christ his teaching the account in Matthew 5 delivers a short of the attitudes a Christian should take.

Today because so many people calling themselves Christian, but more following human doctrines instead of keeping to the Biblical doctrines, may find Jesus’ words very hard to understand and even harder to follow in our modern culture which preaches that happiness or luck comes from material wealth, absence of sorrow, and which teaches revenge or retaliation and exorbitant punishments far in excess of the wrong suffered. Lots of people do find it right to punish wrongdoers and even would not mind if their life was taken away, though on other occasions they are totally against women taking contraceptives considering this murder or killing an unborn life.

The writer who records the most challenging command Jesus ever gave his followers:

“Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

looks at the teaching of Jesus on our behaviour and living and presents an ethic code for his disciples and a measure for the behaviour of all believers.

Each time Jesus opens with the word, which is recorded in Greek as “makarioi”, “blessed” or “happy”, which occurs nine times in verses 3–12. Many also call it “beatitudes”. Each beatitude having three parts: an ascription of blessing (happiness), a specific virtue to be cultivated (the practice of each produces a positive result), and a promise relating to the kingdom (reward or special comfort as a reason for the promised happiness).

In the sermon we find that the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the gentle, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, those who receive insults, are falsely accused and are persecuted on account of the Messiah may count on it that they are all blessed.

Certainly in Christendom we can find many true believers in Christ, those who accept Jesus for whom he really is, a man of flesh and blood who put his will aside to do the Will of the One God Who sent him to this world. Very often those real Christians are spit at and very often it are the trinitarian Christians who take on a very un-christian attitude to those believers. Those name Christians who prefer to keep to human doctrines and want to keep to the pagan rites and festivals, are often the worst in their attitude to the real or non-trinitarian Christians. Look around you and hear how your surroundings react to such Christians as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christadelphians or others who spread the Good News by giving pamphlets and by talking to people on the streets or by going from door to door. Often those who laugh at such Christians are not the gentle, and often they have more interest in the looks of people and the material wealth of themselves and others, instead of looking for the spiritual wealth.

In the world we can see many who sincerely love God and want to prefer to worship Him alone, who are therefore being harassed or molested. Be them Jews, Christians or Muslims, those who not like to take part in the pagan rituals, like Halloween, Christmas, Easter, are often looked at with a bad eye, or even spit on. They are laughed at, being considered compliant meek, soft ones and not by the time. To be meek does not mean to be weak. Jesus with his words concerning the meek ones looks at “meekness” meaning gentle restraint. it  Holds in a person can be showing gentlenessmildness, forbearance, submissiveness, humility or humbleness, modesty, submission and trying to bring peacefulness, sometimes even with acquiescence. We should remember that there it is about those who dare to take on an attitude which does not insist on one’s own rights but is giving itself for others, always ready to waive its privileges in the interests of others. “The meek” person is willing to wait for God’s timing being sure that God’s promises will become a reality and that God shall provide better times for all those who live according to God His commandments. That is our sacred hope we may find in Christ his offering, opening the gates to the Kingdom of God.

As Christian we should be taking every effort to follow Christ, to become in unity with him and his teaching, doing our utmost best to obey our heavenly Father. Living according to God’s commandments we can live with the promise to be able to live in the kingdom here on earth (“inherit the earth”). Though we should be well aware that this is not promised to the pushy, proud, ambitious, and domineering and to scourge those who do not believe in God or those who prefer to live differently than us.

Those who are humble and willing to undergo all the suffering in name of Christ or those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, may look forward for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. They or we may rejoice, and be glad, for our reward in heaven shall be great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before us. (Matthew 5:3-12)

Jesus Christ in Capernaum

Jesus Christ in Capernaum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus knew or knows we are not perfect, but that does not mean we should be happy with who we are at a certain moment. Every day we should work at ourselves and strive to become better. It is quite ready to love those who love us, but what about loving those who hate us? Concerning doing good, many unbelievers are doing good, so what would be the difference between a non-believer and a Christian? How many name Christian today we do hear speaking low about other coloured people or about people of an other religion? How many so called Christians do not despise other Christians and other believers or atheists and want them away from their community or surroundings. Lots of name Christians do not welcome others.

So many people consider them higher than others or more special. Often they consider themselves perfect or faultless and are not interested in changing their own world view, their mindset, their inclination or habit, their ethos and their assumptions. Lots of them even do not want to challenge themselves in any way and do not want to see that nobody is foolproof. Today we do find lots of so called Christians who are against the refugees and who wrong or oppress strangers, though they should know that is against the Will of God (Exodus 22:20-21). They are not interested in the war victims, the orphans and widow, though a lover of God should stand up for them and defend them (Isaiah 1:16-17). Several people who call themselves Christian should better ask themselves what this really should mean and should check if they can come under that denominator.

Christianity is all a matter of “love“.

Jesus asks his followers to consider the aspects of real love and of the will to work at the inner self, the way how to react to others and daring to put your own will aside to be there for others. Looking at the habits that have entered our life, Jesus requires to examine ourself and to become aware of our attitude we should take on in life.

God requires of us to worship Him as the Only One True God of gods and to keep His commandments, doing justice and to offer loving kindness or mercy to others, walk humbly with God. Jesus requires of us also to honour his heavenly Father and to worship Him alone. He also requires us to become like him and to hunger and thirst for righteousness, work for peace, and stand in solidarity with those who are persecuted; to be merciful and comfort mourners; to be humble in spirit, meek, and pure in heart.

So let us listen very carefully to the Bible text in “Commentary Matthew 5:1-12 Nazarene Mountain teachings: Blessed and legal commentaries” and work at ourselves to become more like Christ fulfilling the Wish of God.

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Preceding article

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:23-25 – Kingdom Preaching and Healing Draws Crowds

There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving

Next:

Commentary Matthew 5:1-12 Nazarene Mountain teachings: Blessed and legal commentaries

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Additional reading

  1. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  2. Salvation, trust and action in Jesus #2 What you must do
  3. Words to inspire and to give wisdom
  4. A season of gifts
  5. Wishing lanterns and Christmas
  6. Are you being swept along by the world
  7. Let us become nothing, and Christ everything
  8. Outflow of foundational relationship based on acceptance of Jesus
  9. the Bible – God’s guide for life #8 Looking to Jesus #1 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus
  10. The meek one riding on an ass
  11. When having found faith through the study of the Bible we do need to do works of faith

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Further reading

  1. Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount
  2. Sermon from Matthew 5
  3. What Love Says and Does
  4. Loved Are We
  5. Beatitudes
  6. Beatitudes / Blessed are: (Matthew 5:3-12)
  7. Blessed Are… – Sermon on Matthew 5:1-12
  8. What Does God Require? A Christian Manifesto (Matt 5:1-12, Micah 6:1-8)
  9. What does the Lord require…?
  10. Blessed are the merciful: 4 Epiphany A
  11. Children’s Sermon: Matthew 5:4 (Beatitudes)
  12. Sermon for January 29, 2017
  13. Sermon for 29 January 2017 on Matthew 5:1-12
  14. NBFMC Sermon Review (1/15/2017) – ‘Sermon on the Mount’ Series: “Being Salt and Light”
  15. NBFMC Sermon Review (1/22/2017) – ‘Sermon on the Mount’ Series: “Jesus and The Law”
  16. NBFMC Sermon Review (2/05/2017) – ‘Sermon on the Mount’ Series: “Lust and Relationships”
  17. 4th Sunday, Year A | Being peacemakers in a divided society
  18. Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (January 29th, 2017)
  19. 4th Sunday After Epiphany, January 29, 2017
  20. 5th Sunday Ordinary Time Year A 2017
  21. Sermon on the Mount: Part 1
  22. Sermon on the Mount Part 1: Beatitudes
  23. Sermon on the Mount: Part 2
  24. 2017.01.15 Sermon On The Mount Part 1
  25. Bible Study: Insights on the Sermon on the Mount: The Beatitudes Part 1
  26. Bible Study: Insights on the Sermon on the Mount: The Beatitudes Part 2
  27. Bible Study: Insights on the Sermon on the Mount: The Beatitudes Part 3
  28. Bible Study: Insights on the Sermon on the Mount: The Light
  29. True Worship: Justice, Kindness, Walk Humbly
  30. Sunday Devotional: Who are our ‘neighbors’ and our ‘enemies’? How are we to ‘love’ them?
  31. Blocking your own witness
  32. How to deal with others
  33. What Jesus Says When You’ve Been Burned
  34. “I’m telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder.” ~~Jesus
  35. Reconciling Jesus
  36. Be Perfect
  37. Radical Love in the Face of Injustice
  38. “Make something happen!”: The restless spirit
  39. Giving and Getting It All
  40. Day 33 -This Little Light of Mine
  41. Be Nice to Me
  42. A Godly Response To Ungodliness
  43. Our Relationship to the World
  44. The Love Question
  45. Love?
  46. A Life Well-Lived
  47. “No & Yes”
  48. Truth, love, and justice
  49. Salt and Light: Matthew 5
  50. We’re Salt & Light: But are we?
  51. Anger and murder
  52. “An ‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’ Is that going to get us anywhere?” ~~Jesus
  53. Blessed are the Refugees
  54. What Does the Lord Require? :: Prayers of the People
  55. The Joy of Mercy
  56. “You are God’s field, God’s building”
  57. Evangelize: Downtown Boise With Love
  58. …I’m gonna let it shine
  59. A toddler’s tale
  60. The Beatitudes are Like Yogurt
  61. Why does Jesus say “the poor in spirit” are blessed?
  62. An Accurate Measurement for Your Life
  63. Authentic Christianity

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Back from gone #4 Your inner feelings and actions

People with a different mindset than Christ Jesus

The spirit of a sound mind does not mean just going by what we or others think or feel is reasonable or expedient. In our world were there is still some freedom of speech we can hear lots of different opinions and we can see that certain groups would love to have the majority of people thinking and  handling as they. They are often those who prefer to listen only to their own heart and to take care of their selfish “I” first. they are not so much concerned about others, but see them more as people standing in the way. Certainly now with those refugees, people with an other culture not known to them, which makes them afraid of such people.

They prefer to lean upon their own understanding and are not so much interested in what Jehovah wants. Many of them even do not really believe in Him. Even when there may be many who proclaim to be a Christian, we should see that first of all there faith is not so much in Christ nor in God, and secondly they often do not live according to the teachings of Christ Jesus nor to the Laws of God.

Our own mind and a sound mind

Jesus did not his own will. Likewise we also should try to do the will of the Same One as Jesus did. As the son of man and the son of God, Jesus very well knew the Scriptures, taught from them, and followed the guidance given in them. He told the people around him that he could not do anything without his heavenly Father, Who is greater than him. (John 14:27-31; John 5:17-27) For Jesus it was clear Who was the One with a truly sound mind. when he was in difficulties he (Jeshua/Jesus Christ)turned to his heavenly Father (Jehovah God) and trusted in Him (Jehovah). Jesus also told those around him not to worship him but to worship his heavenly Father and to pray to this God of Abraham, Who is also the God of the Jews and the God of the Muslims.  Normally we all should have the same God of gods to trust and to worship and when facing difficulties or having to make some decision, we should need to turn to Him (Jehovah God). Allah, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah God as the Most High Adonai gave the world His Word. All who love God should go and look into that Word, the Bible, to see what God’s view is. Then we should base our decision on it. That is using the spirit of a sound mind.

God knowing the heart

Let us always remember that

 The heart is more treacherous* than anything else and is desperate.*+ Who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9.)

and that it is God Who knows the inside out of man.

10 I, Jehovah, am searching the heart,+ Examining the innermost thoughts,* To give to each one according to his ways, According to the fruitage of his works.+(Jeremiah 17:10 .)

The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold,But Jehovah is the examiner of hearts.+ (Proverbs 17:3

All of a man’s ways seem right to him,+ But Jehovah examines the hearts.*+ (Proverbs 21:2 )

Heart of Jesus

The God of Abraham, Who is also the God of Jesus knows the Heart of Jesus and our heart – Heart of Jesus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We can not hide anything from God. Therefore we should be very careful how we want to be seen by others and that we show them how we are really feeling and thinking. Too many people are afraid of what others would say. Not many are daring to say what they really think and how they really feel.

The way how we think about those coming to live in our regions is for God important. How we are willing to treat them is for God important. Our attitude towards this whole situation is important for God. In these circumstances it shall be that we show our true nature. Nothing shall stay hidden before God.

12 If you say, “But we did not know about this,” Does not the One who examines hearts* discern it?+ Yes, the One who watches you* will know And will repay each man according to his activity.+ (Proverbs 24:12)

Living and doing works according to your faith

Learning to make wise decisions and to carry them out does not come easily. When there is put pressure on you by others with a political agenda it can even become more difficult to stay on the right track.

Recall that the apostle Paul described mature people as

“those who through use have their perceptive powers trained to distinguish both right and wrong.”

The words “through use” and “trained” both imply making continuous and repeated effort, and that is what new ones need to do. (Read Hebrews 5:13, 14.)

We also should remember that we are bounded to living in this system of things were the way man sees it, mostly it shall not be the way God sees it, because mere man sees what appears to the eyes, but Jehovah sees into the heart.(1 Samuel 16:6, 71 Kings 8:39Proverbs 24:12Acts 1:24)

We should know the God of our ancestors and serve Him with a complete * heart + and with a delightful * soul,* for Jehovah searches through all hearts and He has foreseen a purpose for us, going to establish the righteous. there may be many Christians who think they have to do no works any more once baptised, but they shall be surprised. When they do not live according to God’s Law they shall miss the opportunity to enter the Kingdom of God. Yes we are able to miss the boat. (1 Chronicles 28:9; Psalm 7:9; Jeremiah 17:10)

If you prefer to live according to the flesh and keep doing works of the flesh you may be sure there can arise more problems when you have to appear in front of Jesus when he comes back than the problems you will have to face know.

More problems coming into this world

The last few decades we have seen an increase of difficulties on different levels. the bible speaks about that increase which we should consider signs for a coming time where more people shall get against each other and religions shall fight against other religions.

We also shall come to see that not so many Christians are as tolerant as they should be. Being a Christian in certain regions could perhaps not always so easy but also not so difficult to get you uncomfortable. But we are told that it will change. It might well be that Jews, Christians but also Muslims shall come to face very difficult times where they shall be demanded to choose for a certain faith or for a certain action. The false teachers shall try to bring people to other thoughts and having them walk in line with those in power. Believers in God might face the most difficulties, because they could be brought to doubting their faith. For non-believers there shall be no god to look at or to blame.

The media are eager to focus on the many problems and people are easily falling in their trap. Focusing on our worries will not extend our life by even a fraction of a second, let alone improve it. Besides, things often do not turn out as we feared. One scholar put it this way:

“Worry about the future is wasted effort, and the future of reality is seldom as bad as the future of our fears.”

The fact that some countries for decades have been fighting terrorism in its many forms with only limited success gives credence to many fears. Today, people are afraid and terrified for those refugees and for fundamentalist ideas which are preached everywhere and for some Muslim youngsters who tell the world with joy that they are willing to fight for the good cause of their faith. At the same time people wonder how we are going to cope with all those people coming to live in our regions, needing a roof above their head and needing to be fed.

What is troubling most people is the uncertainty of life itself! Sudden death by accident or disaster may seem to lurk around every corner, ready to put an end to everything we hold dear. Such fear and anxiety, plus numerous personal conflicts and disappointments, have made our times precisely what the apostle Paul described:

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

Critical times to come

Getting into times were there shall not only be more natural disasters, man shall be creating other disasters which make it very difficult for many people. There shall be so many ideas sounding in the world, so many calling the other a false one, that people shall get muddled and shall have many doubts, giving them the impression that they nowhere to go.

The God Who demands a perfect righteousness and wants that His Word shall be respected and that His creatures shall live according to His Law has had lots of patience with mankind, but to everything comes an end. He also warned man to get to know and see the signs of the coming change and the coming end.

The God Who is sovereign over all the universe, exists simultaneously everywhere all of the time, has unlimited power, wisdom, and knowledge, is not One Who wants His people fighting against other creatures. He is a perfectly loving, just, and merciful God. He has given everybody the opportunity to find ways to have a good life and to find a better life in the time to come. But before the sublime marvellous time for man, he shall be tested a last time in a big battle which shall not be so far away when we look at the given signs.

It is getting time that people shall come to see that the fruits of terrorism have not been freedom and happiness but, instead, death, misery, and ruin. This bad fruitage has filled the 20th century and is starting to overwhelm the 21st. Many would say that rather than the solution, terrorism is one of the problems. The injustice and hatred that lead to terrorism are not God His fault. Wise King Solomon once declared:

“The true God made mankind upright, but they themselves have sought out many plans.” (Ecclesiastes 7:29)

Human badness and demonic influence, not incompetence on the part of God, lie at the root of terrorism. (Ephesians 6:11, 12.)

God has the power to halt violent bloodshed. In Noah’s time “the earth became filled with violence.” (Genesis 6:11) God’s judgement was sudden and complete:

“[God] did not hold back from punishing an ancient world . . . when he brought a deluge upon a world of ungodly people.” (2 Peter 2:5.)

The Bible states a lesson we should learn from the Flood of Noah’s day:

“Jehovah knows how to deliver people of godly devotion out of trial, but to reserve unrighteous people for the day of judgement to be cut off.” (2 Peter 2:9)

God can distinguish between those who sincerely want a better life and those who make life miserable for others. He has set the latter apart for the “destruction of the ungodly men.” But for those desiring peace, he is preparing a new earth in which righteousness is to dwell. (2 Peter 3:7, 13.) Therefore let us be attentional and not fall in the trap those around us are putting in front of us and would love to see the world reacting aggressively against the refugees and against the Muslims.

Badness

Wordslounge

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Preceding articles

Back from gone #1 Aim of ungodly people

Back from gone #2 Aim of godly people

Back from gone #3 Giving worries to God and believing in His promises

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Additional reading

  1. Profitable disasters
  2. Good and bad things in this world
  3. A risk taking society
  4. Securing risks
  5. Facing disaster fatigue
  6. Dealing with worries in our lives
  7. Reacting to Disasters
  8. Signs of the Last Days
  9. May we have doubts
  10. Give your worries to God
  11. Is God behind all suffering here on earth
  12. God has not destined us for wrath
  13. Is God behind all suffering here on earth
  14. I Can’t Believe That … (2) God would allow children to suffer
  15. Bad things no punishment from God
  16. Some one or something to fear #6 Faith in the Most High
  17. Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God
  18. Looking at three “I am” s
  19. He who knows himself, is kind to others
  20. Your struggles develop your strengths
  21. National Natural Disaster and Bible Prophecy
  22. We are ourselves responsible
  23. If your difficulties are longstanding, try kneeling
  24. Even in tough times remembering the blessings
  25. In Defense of the truth
  26. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  27. Truth, doubt or blindness
  28. Remember there’s a light in the next day
  29. Creator and Blogger God 9 A Blog of a Book 3 Blog about Prophecy
  30. God’s Plan, Purpose and teachings
  31. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #15 Exposition before the Creator
  32. Signs of the Last Days
  33. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  34. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !

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Further reading

  1. How the Migrant Crisis is Tearing Europe Apart
  2. Atheist Alliance International Struggle With Stats
  3. Terrorism is not an ethnic trait – it’s a malady wrought by social, religious extremism
  4. Rinos and Cinos
  5. IFB Churches and Women
  6. Fundamentalists and the “Stupid Sumbitch”
  7. A House Divided: How Hatred Aimed At Any Group, Is an Assault On Us All
  8. Stop Your Doing is Not the Gospel
  9. When you feel like you are in a tough situation
  10. I love the smell of rejection in the morning
  11. Love without reservation
  12. He is Faithful and Just
  13. Learn To Enjoy The Journey Of Life
  14. Napping my heart
  15. Badness
  16. Hidden scars
  17. More than meets the eye
  18. Repentance
  19. Growing a more useful mindset than fear.
  20. Why Don’t Moderate Muslims Denounce Terrorism?
  21. Why do Christians Insist on Fighting?
  22. “I” Speaks On To Me (3/4)
  23. The Silence (3/5)
  24. Bad Like Me
  25. broken words for sale
  26. What to say?
  27. God, Help Me Not to Hate Those Who Hate
  28. Trump: “‘Oh freedom of speech, freedom of speech.’ These are foolish people.”
  29. The Frozen-Chosen Church?
  30. The Price of Forgiveness?
  31. Das Spiel mit der Angst
  32. La Horca Moderna

Written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope

 

“Now not for his sake only was it written, that it was reckoned to him,” (Romans 4:23 NAS)

“20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is [a matter] of one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” (2 Peter 1:20-21 NAS)

“”And you shall write on the stones all the words of this law very distinctly.”” (Deuteronomy 27:8 NAS)

“For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4 NAS)

“”Write therefore the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall take place after these things.” (Revelation 1:19 NAS)

“”The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, And His word was on my tongue.” (2 Samuel 23:2 NAS)

“”But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ should suffer, He has thus fulfilled.” (Acts 3:18 NAS)

“But by a prophet the LORD brought Israel from Egypt, And by a prophet he was kept.” (Hosea 12:13 NAS)

“24 “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me. 25  “These things I have spoken to you, while abiding with you. 26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. 27 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. 28  “You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. 29 “And now I have told you before it comes to pass, that when it comes to pass, you may believe. 30 “I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me; 31 but that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go from here.” (John 14:24-31 NAS)

“And when they did not agree with one another, they [began] leaving after Paul had spoken one [parting] word, “The Holy Spirit rightly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to your fathers,” (Acts 28:25 NAS)

“whom heaven must receive until [the] period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.” (Acts 3:21 NAS)

“thus says the Lord GOD, “It shall not stand nor shall it come to pass.” (Isaiah 7:7 NAS)

“16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NAS)

“”Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.” (John 14:10 NAS)

“And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17 NAS)

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Preceding articles:

Poussés par le saint-esprit que des hommes ont parlé de la part de dieu

Observe la loi et la justice écrit d’avance pour notre instruction

Écrit pour Dieu de mettre à une vie vertueuse

Vrai Dieu donne Sa Parole pour obtenir la sagesse

L’esprit saint vous rappellera toutes les choses dites

Partage de la richesse, la sagesse de Dieu

Neergeschreven namens God om op te voeden tot een deugdzaam leven

Alle dingen eertijds geschreven tot ons onderricht

Denn Gott aufgeschrieben, um bis zu einem tugendhaften Leben zu erwecken

Neergeskryf namens God om op te voed tot ‘n deugsame lewe

All things written aforetime for our instruction

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Additional reading:

  1. Aim High: Examples of Godly Characters to follow
  2. No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation
  3. Bible Falling Apart Belongs to Someone who isn’t
  4. Bric-a-brac of the Bible
  5. Youth has difficulty Bible Reading
  6. Written down in God’s Name
  7. God giving signs and producing wonders
  8. A way to look for Christ, the Bible, Word of God

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Testimonies to observe, inspired by God

Apologies for the text in big letters in this NAS translation. The text in capitals is their choice. Please do not consider it as shouting and as the choice of the translators of that Bible version.

 

“”And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes,” (Deuteronomy 17:19 NAS)

“Thy word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against Thee.” (Psalms 119:11 NAS)

“Forever, O LORD, Thy word is settled in heaven.” (Psalms 119:89 NAS)

“Thy word is a lamp to my feet, And a light to my path.” (Psalms 119:105 NAS)

“119 Thou hast removed all the wicked of the earth [like] dross; Therefore I love Thy testimonies. 120 My flesh trembles for fear of Thee, And I am afraid of Thy judgments. 121  I have done justice and righteousness; Do not leave me to my oppressors. 122 Be surety for Thy servant for good; Do not let the arrogant oppress me. 123  My eyes fail [with longing] for Thy salvation, And for Thy righteous word. 124  Deal with Thy servant according to Thy lovingkindness, And teach me Thy statutes. 125 I am Thy servant; give me understanding, That I may know Thy testimonies. 126  It is time for the LORD to act, [For] they have broken Thy law. 127  Therefore I love Thy commandments Above gold, yes, above fine gold. 128 Therefore I esteem right all [Thy] precepts concerning everything, I hate every false way. 129  Thy testimonies are wonderful; Therefore my soul observes them. 130  The unfolding of Thy words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.” (Psalms 119:119-130 NAS)

“So shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding [in the matter] for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11 NAS)

“16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NAS)

“5 Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. 6 Do not add to His words Lest He reprove you, and you be proved a liar.” (Proverbs 30:5-6 NAS)

“”Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.” (Mark 13:31 NAS)

“”But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail.” (Luke 16:17 NAS)

“For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4 NAS)

“BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD ABIDES FOREVER.” And this is the word which was preached to you.” (1 Peter 1:25 NAS)

“18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.” (Revelation 22:18-19 NAS)

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 Français: Observe la loi et la justice écrit d’avance pour notre instruction

Nederlandse versie: Wetten en regels ter onderwijs

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With child and righteousness greater than the law

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Preceding articles:

Story of Jesus’ birth begins long before the New Testament

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

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

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Literature of interest:

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

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

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

Our openness to being approachable

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are you moved to learn more about this impartial God?

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

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

Tbilisi St. Peter-Paul Catholic Church

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ελληνικά:

Ελληνικά: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Another faithful sister added:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preaching without impartility

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

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

++

Additional reading:

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

+++

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

    Jehovah Jireh: the God who provides

    El-Shaddai: the almighty God

    Jehovah Rapha: our healer God

    Jehovah Shalom: our God of peace

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

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