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Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 5 Matthew 6: 24-34: e) Anxiety and neighbor love

Matthew 6: 24-34: e) Anxiety and neighbor love

|| Luke 12:22-31

MT6:24 “No one can slave for two masters,[1] for either he will hate one and love the other[2] or embrace[3] one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Riches![4] MT6:25 For this I tell you: Do not be overly concerned[5] about your soul[6] as to what you might eat or what you might drink,[7] nor about your body as to clothing.[8] MT6:26 Look well to the birds[9] in the sky, they do not sow or reap. Nor do they gather into storage barns.[10] Your heavenly Father feeds them.[11] Are you that much different?[12] MT6:27 But, who among you can add one minute to your life-span[13] by being overly concerned? MT6:28 And, why are you overly concerned about clothing? Learn something from how the flowers of the field[14] grow. They do not labor or spin.[15] MT6:29 But, I tell you: Solomon in all his glory[16] was not clothed as one of these. MT6:30 But, if The God clothes the fields of grass,[17] here today and tomorrow tossed in the oven, how much more you,[18] ones of little faith? MT6:31 So, do not be overly concerned,[19] saying, ‘What will we eat?’ Or, ‘What will we drink?’ Or, ‘What will we put on?’[20] MT6:32 For all these the Non-Jews overly seek.[21] Your heavenly Father knows you need all these.[22] MT6:33 But, you, seek first His Kingdom and righteousness[23] and all these will be added to you. MT6:34 So, do not be overly concerned about tomorrow.[24] For tomorrow will have its own concerns. The hardships of each day are enough![25]

[1] Two masters: Or, masters. 2 Timothy 2:4 expresses a similar idea by Paul.

[2] He will hate one and love the other: Various renderings are: TCNT: attach himself; BECK: be loyal to the one. Hate here means to love less of two, much as a man with two maidens to please. Woe to him if the other finds out. The disciple who slaves for Mammon, or sticks to riches by his conversation and agenda, though unknown to himself, despises his true Lord.

[3] Embrace: Or, “stick”. On the word “stick” see Deuteronomy 30:20 where it equals love and obedience. Rather than try to balance the two, God and Riches, the Friend of the Nazarene is better off sinning on the side of God and poverty than on the side of Riches and self. Better to die penniless with God as your Business Partner than end life wealthy with a lost soul as your only investment (Luke 12:20).

[4] God and Riches: It is not, “God or Riches,” but, “God and Riches.” The Nazarene says it cannot be done, though untold numbers of Christians have attempted it miserably (1 Timothy 6:7-10, 17-19). Various renderings are: KNX: you must serve God or money; you cannot serve both. This is an impossibility illustrated by the mental image of a poor servant running back and forth between the two demands of two different lords. He is obediently with the one when the other requires his service. Riches can easily become a taskmaster greater than God. Riches can become God itself.

In the modern Western capitalist world there are millions of Christians trying to do the very thing the Nazarene said cannot be done: serve God and Riches. There are those Prosperity Preachers who speak in the voice of Revelation 3:17 and who insist riches are proof of God’s blessing. They particularly encourage tithing and giving one’s money to them in promise of God’s blessing. The Nazarene Saint has only to look at the life-style of the Master and those early disciples to see what Jesus meant.

[5] Overly concerned: Various renderings are: KJ: take no thought for your life; WMS: stop worrying about your life; NEB: put away anxious thoughts. Stop! This is a negative command of the Nazarene, and based on John 15:14 and John 14:15, a failure to obey this directive proves one does not love him, nor is a friend of the Lord. To persist in anxiety and worry is a desertion of Christ. For those hapless and bedarkened souls who suffer physical and chemical ailments are captive to frightening insecurities and paranoia. Note Paul’s “secret” at Philippians 4:6, 12.

The affects of worry, anxiety, and being overly concerned about material matters, can have a strong influence on neighbor love, for one may be so occupied with these secular things as to ignore one’s neighbor.

[6] Soul: The Greek is PSYCHE and many translate this “life.” It is interesting that it is the “soul” linked to the functions of eating and drinking and then the “body” (SOMA) with clothing. In Hebrew and Greek the “soul” is the living, breathing creature itself and at death becomes “a dead soul.” (Leviticus 21:11; Numbers 6:6, 11: dead soul) To Paul the “soul” is the animal, physical, earthly, dusty, corruptible, mortal (1 Corinthians 15:42-49). See lexicons and dictionaries on “soul.”

[7] Drink: Usually this does not mean water but wine or milk as both were staples.

[8] Clothing: In the world of the Nazarene the majority of people possessed a single set of clothes meant to last a life-time. Note Matthew 5:40; 9:16, 20, 21; 11:8; 24:18; Luke 22:36; John 19:25. The “naked” state mentioned in Matthew 25:36 can infer improperly clothed for the conditions.

[9] Birds: In Luke 12:23, 24 these “birds” are “ravens,” the bird which Noah released first (Genesis 8:7), and which fed Elijah (1 Kings 17:4, 6). The raven is considered the smartest of birds, mate for life, and is the most wide-ranging of all birds. It is found on Mount Everest, in the worst of deserts, and the Arctic. Job 38:41 is a foreview of the Nazarene’s words,

‘Who provides the ravens food when its young cry to God for help?’

[10] They do not sow or reap. Nor do they gather into storage barns: According to the Nazarene birds do not toil, but they survive. Jesus is encouraging the simple life in which toil is non-existent. For three and a half years Jesus did not toil, nor did his disciples until that day they lost faith and returned to their fishing businesses (John 21:1-19).

[11] Father feeds them: The Nazarene credits God for feeding the birds even as Job 38:41 states. If the Nazarene has this kind of conviction, how can one of his disciples not trust God to care.

[12] Different: Many translate DIAPHERETE as “worth” and this may be well, but one can see the English corruption “different” in the word. Regarding “worth” each person has a value or worth and in the Nazarene’s absurdum the disciples can see their true value in the eyes of the Creator of sparrows which sell for little in the market (Matthew 10:29).

[13] Add one minute to your life-span: Various renderings: GDSP: which of you with all his worry can add a single hour to his life span; TCNT: prolong his life a single moment; PHI: make himself an inch taller. Note Psalm 39:4, 5: life; Psalm 90:10: seventy or eighty years. Unknown then, but presumed by human reasoning, and now confirmed by medical studies, anxiety does not prolong life, but shortens it, in a painfully slow and a daily agonizing death.

[14] Flowers of the field: Some identify the flower with the lily. Compare Matthew 11:28 and Proverbs 23:4: toil. These beauties of the field neither toil nor sow and are an example for the Nazarene disciple (Matthew 6:26).

[15] They do not labor or spin: The bird does not gather or store, and the flower does not labor or spin, and the Nazarene infers this is an example for his disciples. The storage and labor here are of a material kind. No one could argue that the Nazarene or Paul did not labor and toil, but this they did in the Master’s harvest. Compare Paul’s arguments in 1 Corinthians 9:3-18.

[16] Solomon in all his glory: Note Solomon’s wealth at 1 Kings 10:5 and read of his endeavors in Ecclesiastes ch 2, where he admits the futility or vanity of what appears to be security in material things. Note his conclusions at Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14. The Queen of Sheba, so overcome at Solomon’s wealth, may have been unimpressed by the humble lifestyle of the Nazarene.

[17] The God clothes the fields of grass: The Nazarene credits God for the carpets of flowers.

[18] How much more you: See Luke 12:28. The standard clothing of the poor in the days of the Nazarene was three layers of covering, the outer of such a nature to serve also as a night blanket, or a tent in foul weather. This served a lifetime and was so well made and needful as to be a guarantee against a debt (Matthew 5:40). Such a pledge had to be returned before night. It is doubtful Jesus had a wardrobe that allowed a daily, weekly, or even monthly change of apparel. Note Matthew 11:8 where soft or fine garments are found in king’s castles and splendid, luxurious dress in royal houses (Luke 7:25). These fine clothes may be beautiful and carry a delicate feel to the skin, but useless for the night bivouac of a wandering troop of itinerant teachers spending the occasional evening under the stars with God as their blanket, their only entertainment the nocturnal crickets, frogs and owls. Who among those genuine disciples of the Nazarene would not give everything they possess to spend one such night under the open celestial darkness with Jesus. Then to listen to his restful breathing in that Innocent’s sleep, only to wonder of such divine dreams?

In the Western world much time is spent in shopping at luxurious malls, which would rival the pyramids in their architecture, and absorb untold hours of dressing and undressing, only to have clothes hang limp in the darkness of a closet.

[19] Not be overly concerned: See Luke 12:29: worry. Various renderings: PHI: do not worry. ‘Stop worrying!’ is a Nazarene command (John 14:15). To worry or be unduly anxious is a desertion of Christ. Better to die of starvation or thirst or nakedness than to give in to anxiety over transient things.

Note the austere sincerity of Peter’s haste to build a mountain bivouac from available boughs, for those august personages of Moses and Elijah, so they had some shelter from the lofty mountain’s night – a heart so sweet and swift in its goodness. Such an enthusiastic suggestion is unthinkable in the modern Western world where one would rather worry about the credit limit on a gold bankcard and where the nearest luxury hotel was, let alone have the knowledge to build such a temporary shelter (Matthew 17:1, 4).

[20] ‘What will we eat?’ Or, ‘What will we drink?’ Or, ‘What will we put on?’: These questions seem out of place to a Western reader where these are the least of one’s problems. In Third World Countries these are still timely questions of daily concern. In the West most are struggling with various weight programs, drink too much, and have closets filled with unused clothing. A woman dressing for the evening may go through a dozen changes before the mirror, try on several pairs of heels, select from drawers of jewelry and choose from dozens of perfumes.

However, the spirit of the Nazarene’s teachings ought to ring in the ears of the Saint living near the top of the social and economic pyramid: seek a life of simplicity with a generous eye toward the less fortunate. It is Paul who instructs the missionary Timothy to “give orders to the rich.” (1 Timothy 6:17-19) Who dare do that today? What Christian pastor has the courage to even read these words without rationalizing to his affluent congregation?

[21] Non-Jews overly seek: And the Nazarene would have to admit, and perhaps he avoids saying so, many Jews of his world sought the same. Various renderings: BECK: the people of the world run after all these things. These words were not lost on the Nazarene’s beloved when John writes

‘Do not love the world and its things… for all worldly things (fleshly desire, greedy eyes, and self-assuming materialism) are not of the Father.’ (1 John 2:15, 16)

Here “things” are merely food, drink and clothing and this is ludicrous in a modern Western society where payments for debts on autos, mobile phones, TV cable-hookups, electricity for refrigerators, and other modern conveniences make economic slaves of men, their wives and families. Jesus’ sermon would be meaningless to a modern audience in America or Europe accept for those unfortunate living on the street and who have fallen outside the sumptuous table of capitalist and social democratic orders.

[22] Father knows you need all these: The comforting thought that God knows our needs saturates the Psalms. If there is one group of peoples the Almighty pays close attention to, it is the poor (1 Timothy 6:8; Philippians 4:12). The word “poor” occurs 117, times with Psalms having the most occurrences (23 times). A comparison of a concordance on the words poor, poverty, affliction, or oppressed, will reveal God’s loving care for such multitudes.

[23] Seek first His Kingdom and righteousness: First the Kingdom, and then God’s righteousness, not some other standard (See Romans 14:17: kingdom). Various renderings are: PHI: set your heart on his kingdom; RIEU: pursue the kingdom; BECK: first be eager to have God as your King; GDSP: but you must make his kingdom and uprightness your greatest care. When the Nazarene here uses the word “kingdom” he first means that opportunity to gain entrance into the kingdom or realm of the Son which is the Church, the Nazarene Community of Christian Saints with its heavenly call (Matthew 13:41; Colossians 1:12; Hebrews 3:1). This “righteousness” is not that of the Law but those commandments of the Lord (John 14:15; 1John 3:23).

[24] Do not be overly concerned about tomorrow: Apparently he does not mean ‘give no thought of the morrow’ for the Nazarene himself prepares for the future day on occasion. The Greek MERIMNESETE may be rendered anxious or worry. It is often used in the context of “concern” and thus the use of “overly concerned.” Some reasonable concern is necessary as shown in Jesus’ instructions regarding the colt and the upper room. Compare Job 14:1 and Exodus 16:4, 19: depression. Various renderings are: MOF: so never be troubled; KNX: do not fret.

Note a practical commentary on this verse at Philippians 4:11-13. It takes a certain natural or developed bent of mind to trust in God to such an extent and the majority of Christians who ever lived were not of this caliber. Paul, after the Nazarene’s model, was such a person who took the Lord’s word at face value and lived his life accordingly. An unnamed scribe, overcome by the crowds, and the healing works of this wandering Rabbi, offered, ‘I will follow you anywhere.’ Jesus’ simple reply pointed the difficult way,

‘Foxes have dens, birds have roosts, but I have nowhere to sleep. Come, follow me!’ (Matthew 8:18-22)

Words and promises are big but deeds and examples are few. Today millions are spent on treatment for anxiety and depression. It is obvious the more things one has to care for or worry about, the more anxiety occupies and distracts, leading to those modern ills. In the end, even the most security conscious have no control over his finances, his life, his inheritance. For an example, a commentary on this verse, there is none better than Luke 12:13-34.

‘Tomorrow will have its own concerns.’ You can rely on this as much as death and taxes! One day at a time, as the AA phrase goes, is right out of the Nazarene’s teachings. Most anxieties are not worth the time and energy wasted on them, for those real fears do not materialize in most cases; and in those justified cases, the majority of time there is little that can be done about them. Each day’s badness, evil, or anxieties is sufficient, so why fret about those which have not yet appeared? Why add to it all by anxiety and those attitudes and actions which it creates?

[25] Hardships of each day are enough: There are those “hardships” which are beyond our control, like an earthquake, or the outbreak of war, or a wave of persecution, or sudden illness. There are those hardships which we bring upon ourselves by bad decisions, laziness, stupidity, or poor preparation.

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Preceding articles

Back from gone #2 Aim of godly people

Matthew 5:38-42 – 5. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Exodus 21:24

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 1 Charity and neighbour love

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 2 Prayer and neighbour love

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 3 Forgiveness and neighbour love

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 4 Treasures’ and neighbour love

Man enticed to long for more

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Additional reading

  1. 19° century Londoners, religion and heretical opinions
  2. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #2 Purity
  3. Contribution – Contributie, bijdrage
  4. Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God
  5. When discouraged facing opposition
  6. Fearing the right person
  7. Dealing with worries in our lives
  8. Give your worries to God
  9. Look for today
  10. Rejoicing in the day
  11. God Feeds The Birds
  12. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #1 Prosperity

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Further reading

  1. Today’s Scripture – September 26, 2016
  2. Sermon on Matthew 6.24-34 (Audio)
  3. Two Masters
  4. Bible Study: Insights on the Sermon on the Mount: God or Mammon
  5. Seek First The Kingdom Of GOD: Two Masters – What is Mammon?
  6. FAact Food #673 The English word ‘mammon’ is a direct rip-off from Latin’s ‘mammona’ meaning ‘wealth’. In the New Testament of the Bible, the term ‘mammon’ is associated with greedy pursuit of profit through …
  7. Seek First The Kingdom Of God: Two Masters – You Can Serve Only One
  8. The Idols of the Nations
  9. Mammon: Word of the day for September 13, 2016
  10. Do You Know The Word Mammon?
  11. “Mammon : The desire for wealth personified as an evil spirit or a malign influence. Often mammon:…”
  12. Mammon
  13. Mammon 2
  14. Mammon 3
  15. Mammon, Mountains and Donations
  16. God or mammon?
  17. God and Mammon (Revisited)
  18. God or Money
  19. 24 October: Mammon, money, need and greed
  20. Duchies of Hell: Mammon
  21. Mighty Mammon vs. Almighty God
  22. Christians Side With Mammon. Mammon Sided with Barabbas
  23. The Betrayal of Jesus: Then and Now
  24. Should Christians Buy Stocks?
  25. Immanuel Kant Interlude – Compulsory Idleness
  26. Daily Mass: Whom do you serve, God or mammon? Catholic Inspiration
  27. 12 April, Relics X: Blood Money
  28. James on Justice (An Appeal for Classless Christianity) James 4:1-17
  29. Help Us Dear Lord Not To Call You A Liar – Part 3
  30. Money and Happiness
  31. The greatest world religion? – materialism!
  32. The Almighty Dollar
  33. Do You Love Money?
  34. Need
  35. God Almighty, or the god of money?
  36. God wants us to be free from bondage to greed
  37. You Cannot Serve Both God & Riches
  38. Christianity held hostage
  39. Propensity for Prosperity
  40. Oh Lord Won’t You Buy Me A Mercedes Benz?
  41. Christianity Targeted by Corrupt Government
  42. Worship only God
  43. Prosperity Preachers
  44. The False Doctrine of Prosperity Preachers
  45. I Wrestled With A Preacher In My Dreams

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Most important weekend of the year 2016

Assembled together on the night before he died, Jeshua and his disciples and closest friends came together in an upper room to celebrate the Passover meal.  They recalled the great story of deliverance: how the people of Israel had been freed from bondage and slavery by God’s power through the prophet Moses.  They remembered how the blood of the lamb marked the lintel and doorposts so that the Angel of Death would pass by the people as it brought devastation to the land of Egypt.  They ate the unleavened bread, mindful that the Israelites were in such a hurry to depart Egypt that their own bread had not yet risen.

That night the 14th of Nisan is one Jesus wanted to be remembered for an other occasion as well. Not only had his followers to remember the deliverance of God’s Chosen People, the Israelites, but now their rabbi had opened they way for others than Jews.

By his own example the sent one from God showed how his followers had to become servants for God and for the People of God. Like Jesus had called for people to follow him, the apostles had to come to do so too. They too had to become as humble as Christ was. As a sign of humbleness Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. The work which is reserved for servants Jesus did and he also asked them to do the same for one another.  There is no ambiguity in this moment, no chance to say it is merely a symbol.  Christ shows them what to do and tells them to do it (John 13:1-15); the path that leads to freedom from sin and death is marked by our care for our brothers and sisters.  Simply put, our lives are meant to be offered for others – giving ourselves in service.

In the end, in life which passes so quickly and everything is vanity (like Solomon writes in today’s reading – Ecclesiastes 1) everything turns around “Giving and Receiving”.  We all have received the Grace of God by the sent one from God, who is the son of man and the son of God, who gave his life for our sins.

Like Jesus offered himself as a lamb of God to have his blood as a signpost to deliver us from the punishment of death, we too should offer our lives as we are strengthened by the Messiah and are giving life-spirit by the blood of Christ, being partakers in the Body of Christ.

Thanks to the ransom offer brought by Jesus God blesses us with the gift of life and faith so that we in turn might be a gift to those around us.

As God commanded to remember the night the firstborns of Israel where saved so also Jesus asked his followers to remember the day he gave his body and poured out his blood for the salvation of mankind.

Long before the Mosaic Law covenant was altered, Jehovah foretold through the prophet Jeremiah that He would make with the nation of Israel “a new covenant.”

32 It will not be like the covenant that I made with their forefathers on the day I took hold of their hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt,+ ‘my covenant that they broke,+ although I was their true master,’* declares Jehovah.”

33 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares Jehovah. “I will put my law within them,+ and in their heart I will write it.+ And I will become their God, and they will become my people.”+(Jeremiah 31:32, 33)

English: Stained glass image of the Lamb of Go...

Stained glass image of the Lamb of God (Agnus Dei) with a Christian banner. photo by John Workman in St. Ignatius church in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Throughout history we have seen how God made Himself a people. For a very long time it was for the People of Israel that there was a covenant on which they could count. One of the regulations or demands was to remember how the exodus from Egypt was made possible. That putting of blood at the doorposts could also considered as a signature of choosing for God, which made it possible to be passed over for damnation or destruction. After that event there was still a need of offers to be brought to the temple or synagogue. But on the 14th of Nisan Jesus spoke about an other offer which would not have to be repeated any more and which would be sufficient for all times. though that offer would not take away the remembrance of the liberation marks.

Jesus came to institute and Evening Meal on Nisan 14, 33 C.E. Speaking of the cup of wine, he told his 11 faithful apostles:

“This cup means the new covenant by virtue of my blood, which is to be poured out in your behalf.” (Luke 22:20)

Matthew’s account quotes Jesus as saying regarding the wine:

“This means my ‘blood of the covenant,’ which is to be poured out in behalf of many for forgiveness of sins.” (Matt. 26:27, 28)

Jesus’ shed blood validates the new covenant. That blood also makes possible the forgiveness of sins once and for all time.

A few years later the apostle Paul would remind the new followers

14 Therefore, my beloved ones, flee from idolatry.+ 15 I speak as to men with discernment; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of the Christ?+ The loaf that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of the Christ?+ 17 Because there is one loaf, we, although many, are one body,+ for we are all partaking of that one loaf. (1 Corinthians 10: 16-17)

On that special intimate night rabbi Jeshua had taken the bread and the wine.

26 As they continued eating, Jesus took a loaf, and after saying a blessing, he broke it,+ and giving it to the disciples, he said: “Take, eat. This means my body.”+(Matthew 26:26)

19 Also, he took a loaf,+ gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to them, saying: “This means my body,+ which is to be given in your behalf.+ Keep doing this in remembrance of me.”+(Luke 22:19)

Notice how Jesus says

Keep doing this in remembrance of me.

The blood+ of the covenant,+ which is to be poured out in behalf of many+ for forgiveness of sins + should, like the blood of the lambs for the liberation of the Jews from the Egyptian slavery, be contributed to the heathen or pagan people who are willing to come under the blood of Christ, whitewashed from sin. But they should remember it and come together, more than once in a year, because Jesus asks it to do it often and whenever we do it to do it in remembrance of him.

23 For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night+ on which he was going to be betrayed took a loaf, 24 and after giving thanks, he broke it and said: “This means my body,+ which is in your behalf. Keep doing this in remembrance of me.”+ 25 He did the same with the cup+ also, after they had the evening meal, saying: “This cup means the new covenant+ by virtue of my blood.+ Keep doing this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” (1 Chorinthians 11: 23-26)

For that reason we should come together today and remember the Exodus out of Egypt, out of slavery of the worldly work, but also the exodus from the slavery of sin and death.

14 “‘This day will serve as a memorial for you, and you must celebrate it as a festival to Jehovah throughout your generations. As a lasting statute, you should celebrate it.(Exodus 12:14)

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Please read also the related articles concerning this special weekend, 14 Nisan and following days:

  1. 1 -15 Nisan
  2. Yom Hey, Eve of Passover and liberation of many people
  3. This day shall be unto you for a memorial and you shall keep it a feast to the Most High God
  4. 14-15 Nisan and Easter
  5. Days of Nisan, Pesach, Pasach, Pascha and Easter
  6. Getting out of the dark corners of this world
  7. A Holy week in remembrance of the Blood of life
  8. Around the feast of Unleavened Bread
  9. The son of David and the first day of the feast of unleavened bread
  10. Day of remembrance coming near
  11. A new exodus and offering of a Lamb
  12. Observance of a day to Remember
  13. Jesus memorial
  14. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  15. Seven Bible Feasts of JHWH
  16. White Privilege Conference (WPC) wanting to keep the press out for obvious reasons
  17. First month of the year and predictions
  18. Entrance of a king to question our position #2 Who do we want to see and to be
  19. Death of Christ on the day of preparation
  20. A Great Gift commemorated
  21. Shabbat Pesach service reading 1/2
  22. Passover and Liberation Theology
  23. Seven days of Passover
  24. Kingdom Visions of Rainbowed angel, Lamb in Mount Zion
  25. Kingdom Visions of God’s judgements and Marriage of the Lamb
  26. The Song of The Lamb #2 Sevens
  27. The Song of The Lamb #7 Revelation 15
  28. Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #3 Days to be kept holy or set apart
  29. Easter holiday, fun and rejoicing
  30. Like grasshoppers
  31. Peter Cottontail and a Bunny laying Eastereggs
  32. Who Would You Rather Listen To?
  33. Focus on outward appearances
  34. After darkness a moment of life renewal
  35. Deliverance and establishment of a theocracy

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We wish you a nice memorial day and a holy Pesach

File:Saint John the Baptist Pointing Out Christ as the Lamb of God Philadelphia Museum of Art Cat. 347.jpg

Johannes de Doper wijst Christus aan als het Lam Gods. Ca. 1500-1510 – Saint John the Baptist Pointing Out Christ as the Lamb of God Philadelphia Museum of Art – Master of the Saint John Altarpiece

Jehovah God Maker of the entire universe served by a well-trained army

You are Jehovah alone; you yourself have made the heavens, even the heaven of the heavens, and all their army, the earth and all that is upon it, the seas and all that is in them; and you are preserving all of them alive; and the army of the heavens are bowing down to you.—Neh. 9:6.

“You alone are Jehovah;+ you made the heavens, yes, the heaven of the heavens and all their army, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. And you preserve all of them alive, and the army of the heavens are bowing down to you. You are Jehovah the true God, who chose Aʹbram+ and brought him out of Ur+ of the Chal·deʹans and gave him the name Abraham.+

“You are Jehovah alone;+ you yourself have made the heavens,+ [even] the heaven of the heavens, and all their army,+ the earth+ and all that is upon it,+ the seas+ and all that is in them;+ and you are preserving all of them alive; and the army+ of the heavens are bowing down to you. You are Jehovah the [true] God, who chose Aʹbram+ and brought him out of Ur of the Chal·deʹans+ and constituted his name Abraham.+ (Ref.B.)

You alone are Jehovah:

  • Exodus 20:3: You must not have any other gods*+ against my face.*
  • Deuteronomy 4:35: 35 You—you have been shown, so as to know that Jehovah is the [true] God;+ there is no other besides him.+
  • Deuteronomy 4:39: 39 And you well know today, and you must call back to your heart* that Jehovah is the [true] God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath.+ There is no other.+
  • Deuteronomy 6:4: “Listen, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah.*+
  • Deuteronomy 32:39: 39 SEE now that I—I am he*+ And there are no gods together with me.+ I put to death, and I make alive.*+ I have severely wounded,+ and I—I will heal,+ And there is no one snatching out of my hand.+
  • 1 Kings 8:60: 60 to the end that all the peoples of the earth may know+ that Jehovah is the [true] God.+ There is no other.+
  • 2 Kings 17:35: 35 when Jehovah concluded a covenant+ with them and commanded them, saying: “YOU must not fear other gods,+ and YOU must not bow down to them nor serve them* nor sacrifice to them.+
  • 2 Kings 19:19: 19 And now, O Jehovah our God,+ save us,+ please, out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O Jehovah, are God alone.”+
  • Psalm 83:18: 18 That people may know+ that you, whose name is Jehovah,+ You alone are the Most High+ over all the earth.+
  • Isaiah 37:16: 16 “O Jehovah of armies, the God of Israel,+ sitting upon the cherubs, you alone are the [true] God of all the kingdoms of the earth.+ You yourself have made the heavens and the earth.+
  • Isaiah 42:8: “I am Jehovah. That is my name;+ and to no one else shall I give my own glory,+ neither my praise+ to graven images.+
  • Isaiah 43:10: 10 “YOU are my witnesses,”*+ is the utterance of Jehovah, “even my servant* whom I have chosen,+ in order that YOU may know+ and have faith in me,+ and that YOU may understand that I am the same One.+ Before me there was no God* formed,+ and after me there continued to be none.*+
  • Isaiah 44:6: “This is what Jehovah has said, the King of Israel+ and the Repurchaser of him,+ Jehovah of armies, ‘I am the first and I am the last,+ and besides me there is no God.*+
  • Isaiah 44:8: Do not be in dread, YOU people, and do not become stupefied.+ Have I not from that time on caused you individually to hear and told [it] out?+ And YOU are my witnesses.+ Does there exist a God* besides me?+ No, there is no Rock.*+ I have recognized none.’”
  • Isaiah 45:5:I am Jehovah, and there is no one else.+ With the exception of me there is no God.+ I shall closely gird you, although you have not known me,
  • Jeremiah 25:6: And do not walk after other gods* in order to serve them and to bow down to them, that YOU may not offend me with the work of YOUR hands, and that I may not cause calamity to YOU.’+
  • Joel 2:27: 27 And YOU people will have to know that I am in the midst of Israel,+ and that I am Jehovah YOUR God and there is no other.+ And my people will not be ashamed to time indefinite.*
  • Zechariah 14:9:And Jehovah must become king over all the earth.*+ In that day Jehovah will prove to be one,+ and his name one.+
  • Mark 12:29: 29 Jesus answered: “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel, Jehovah* our God is one Jehovah,*+
  • 1 Corinthians 8:4: Now concerning the eating+ of foods offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing+ in the world,* and that there is no God but one.+
  • 1 Corinthians 8:6:there is actually to us one God*+ the Father,+ out of whom all things are, and we for him;+ and there is one Lord,+ Jesus Christ,+ through whom all things are,+ and we through him.

made the heavens and the earth:

  • Genesis 1:1: 1 In [the] beginning*+ God*+ created+ the heavens and the earth.+
  • Psalm 8:3: When I see your heavens, the works of your fingers,+ The moon and the stars that you have prepared,+
  • Psalm 8:6: You make him dominate over the works of your hands;+ Everything you have put under his feet:+
  • Psalm 102:25: 25 Long ago you laid the foundations of the earth itself,+ And the heavens are the work of your hands.+
  • Psalm 104:5: He has founded the earth upon its established places;+ It will not be made to totter to time indefinite, or forever.+
  • Psalm 136:6: To the One laying out* the earth above the waters:+For his loving-kindness is to time indefinite;+
  • Psalm 146:6: The Maker of heaven and earth,+Of the sea, and of all that is in them,+ The One keeping trueness to time indefinite,+
  • Proverbs 8:29: 29 when he set for the sea his decree that the waters themselves should not pass beyond his order,*+ when he decreed the foundations of the earth,+
  • Job 26: 7: He stretches out the northern sky* over empty space,*+Suspending the earth upon nothing;
  • Job 38:4 Where did you happen to be when I founded the earth?+ Tell [me], if you do know understanding.
  • Job 38:8-11: And who barricaded the sea behind doors+ When it burst out from the womb, When I clothed it with clouds And wrapped* it in thick gloom, 10 When I established my limit for it And put its bars and doors in place,+ 11 And I said, ‘You may come this far, and no farther; Here is where your proud waves will stop’?+
  • Psalm 102:25: 25 Long ago you laid the foundations of the earth itself,+ And the heavens are the work of your hands.+
  • Psalm 104:2: You are wrapped in light+ as with a garment; You stretch out the heavens like a tent cloth.+
  • Isaiah 42:5: This is what the [true] God, Jehovah, has said, the Creator of the heavens+ and the Grand One stretching* them out;+ the One laying out the earth+ and its produce,+ the One giving breath*+ to the people on it,+ and spirit to those walking in it:+
  • Isaiah 44: 24: 24 This is what Jehovah says, your Repurchaser,+ Who formed you since you were in the womb: “I am Jehovah, who made everything. I stretched out the heavens by myself,+ And I spread out the earth.+Who was with me?
  • Isaiah 48:13: 13 My own hand laid the foundation of the earth,+ And my right hand spread out the heavens.+ When I call to them, they stand up together.
  • Hebrews 1:10: 10 And: “You at [the] beginning, O Lord, laid the foundations of the earth itself, and the heavens are [the] works of your hands.+
  • Revelation 10:6: and by the One who lives+ forever and ever,+ who created the heaven and the things in it and the earth+ and the things in it and the sea and the things in it,*+ he swore: “There will be no delay*+ any longer;
    Revelation 14:7: saying in a loud voice: “FEAR God+ and give him glory,+ because the hour of the judgment by him has arrived,+ and so worship the One who made+ the heaven and the earth and sea and fountains of waters.”+

and all their army:

  • Genesis 2:1: 2 Thus the heavens and the earth and all their army came to their completion.+
  • Psalm 148:2: Praise him, all YOU his angels.+ Praise him, all YOU his army.+
  • Jeremiah 32:18: 18 the One exercising loving-kindness toward thousands,+ and repaying the error of the fathers into the bosom of their sons after them,+ the [true] God,* the great One,+ the mighty One,*+ Jehovah of armies+ being his name,+
  • Matthew 26:53: 53 Or do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father to supply me at this moment more than twelve legions of angels?+

all that is on it:

  • Isaiah 45:18: 18 For this is what Jehovah has said, the Creator of the heavens,+ He the [true] God,+ the Former of the earth and the Maker of it,+ He the One who firmly established it,+ who did not create it simply for nothing, who formed it even to be inhabited:+ “I am Jehovah, and there is no one else.+

the seas:

  • Genesis 1:10: 10 And God began calling the dry land Earth,+ but the bringing together of the waters he called Seas.+ Further, God saw that [it was] good.+
  • Exodus 20:11: 11 For in six days Jehovah made the heavens and the earth, the sea and everything that is in them,+ and he proceeded to rest* on the seventh day.+ That is why Jehovah blessed the sabbath day and proceeded to make it sacred.*+
  • Job 38:8: And [who] barricaded the sea with doors,*+ Which began to go forth as when it burst out from the womb;
  • Psalm 146:6: The Maker of heaven and earth,+ Of the sea, and of all that is in them,+ The One keeping trueness to time indefinite,+
  • Proverbs 8:29: 29 when he set for the sea his decree that the waters themselves should not pass beyond his order,*+ when he decreed the foundations of the earth,+
  • Acts 4:24: 24 Upon hearing this they with one accord raised their voices to God+ and said: “Sovereign+ Lord,* you are the One who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all the things in them,+
  • Revelation 10:6: and by the One who lives+ forever and ever,+ who created the heaven and the things in it and the earth+ and the things in it and the sea and the things in it,*+ he swore: “There will be no delay*+ any longer;

and all that is in them:

  • Genesis 1: 20-21: 20 Then God said: “Let the waters swarm with living creatures,* and let flying creatures fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.”*+ 21 And God created the great sea creatures* and all living creatures* that move and swarm in the waters according to their kinds and every winged flying creature according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
  • Exodus 20:11: 11 For in six days Jehovah made the heavens and the earth, the sea and everything that is in them,+ and he proceeded to rest* on the seventh day.+ That is why Jehovah blessed the sabbath day and proceeded to make it sacred.*+
  • Leviticus 11: 10: 10 But anything in the seas and in the rivers that has no fins and scales, among all the swarming creatures and of every other living creature* that is in the waters, it is a loathsome thing for you.
  • Psalm 146:6 The Maker of heaven and earth,+ Of the sea, and of all that is in them,+ The One keeping trueness to time indefinite,+
  • Acts 4:24: 24 Upon hearing this they with one accord raised their voices to God+ and said: “Sovereign+ Lord,* you are the One who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all the things in them,+
  • Acts 14:15: 15 and saying: “Men, why are YOU doing these things? We also are humans+ having the same infirmities+ as YOU do, and are declaring the good news to YOU, for YOU to turn from these vain+ things to the living God,+ who made the heaven+ and the earth and the sea and all the things in them.
  • Revelation 10:6: and by the One who lives+ forever and ever,+ who created the heaven and the things in it and the earth+ and the things in it and the sea and the things in it,*+ he swore: “There will be no delay*+ any longer;
  • Revelation 14:7:saying in a loud voice: “FEAR God+ and give him glory,+ because the hour of the judgment by him has arrived,+ and so worship the One who made+ the heaven and the earth and sea and fountains of waters.”+

 and the army of the heavens are bowing down to you:

  • 1 Kings 22:19: 19 And he went on to say: “Therefore hear the word of Jehovah:+ I certainly see Jehovah sitting upon his throne+ and all the army of the heavens standing by him, to his right and to his left.+
  • Psalm 148:2: Praise him, all YOU his angels.+ Praise him, all YOU his army.+
  • Luke 2: 13-14: 13 Suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army,+ praising God and saying: 14 “Glory in the heights above to God, and on earth peace among men of goodwill.”*

*

Yes, Jehovah God created the entire universe, made up of countless galaxies of stars. Equally marvellous, he created everything on our beautiful planet with its amazing ability to sustain an astonishing variety of life—life that keeps reproducing according to its kind. Witnessing all of this were the holy angels of God, who can also be described as “the army of the heavens.” (1 Ki. 22:19; Job 38:4, 7) Moreover, the angels humbly do God’s will by ministering to sinful humans “who are going to inherit salvation.” (Heb. 1:14) What a splendid example the angels set for us as we serve Jehovah unitedly like a well-trained army!—1 Cor. 14:33, 40. w13 10/15 3:9

Sing to Jehovah, Jehovah's Witnesses' current ...

Sing to Jehovah, Jehovah’s Witnesses’ current hymnal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

+

Preceding articles:

Terwyl ons Jehovah eendragtig soos ’n goed opgeleide leër dien

Jehova ebenfalls wie ein gut ausgebildetes „Heer“ demütig und vereint dienen

Jehovah God Maker van het universum gediend door een getraind leger

Servons Jéhovah Dieu, qui créé l’univers entier et ses innombrables galaxies, dans l’unité

++

Other articles of interest:

  1. God, the Father, the Sole Creator of Heaven and Earth
  2. Creator of heaven and earth and everything aroundיהוה
  3. Almighty God above all other gods greater than all gods
  4. The Almighty Lord God of gods King above all gods
  5. El Shaddai Who appeared unto Abraham
  6. God about His name “יהוה“
  7. No man see the Almighty God and live
  8. How Many Persons Created the Heavens and the Earth?
  9. God’s Word Framing universe
  10. Coming to the creation of human beings in the image of God
  11. Necessity of a revelation of creation 1 Works of God and works of man
  12. El-Shaddai God Almighty Who no-one may see and live
  13. Al-Fatiha [The Opening/De Opening] Süra 1:1-3 In the name of Allah the Merciful Lord Of The Creation
  14. Al-Fatiha [The Opening] Süra 1: 4-7 Merciful Lord of the Creation to show us the right path
  15. Fixing our attention
  16. Only worship the Creator of all things
  17. A race not to swift, nor a battle to the strong
  18. The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong
  19. Running of good courage, away from the body
  20. Displeasure of יהוה , Jehovah the God of gods, and His wrath against all the gentiles their divisions
  21. Searching, light, fear and deliverance
  22. Give thanks to יהוה! For He is good, For His kindness is everlasting
  23. Psalm 150 Praise Jah, You people!
  24. Praise and give thanks to God the Most Highest
  25. Praise Jehovah
  26. Song of Praise for the Elohim Set-Apart
  27. Songs of Moses and the servants of God

 +++

There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving

There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.—Acts 20:35.

Wednesday night we look how we as people, who have so much, should not have to look for our luck or happiness in gathering all material things.

We do find people who think they found God, get baptised, and than think everything is all-right and they should not do anything any more because they are saved by the sacrificial offering of Christ. They do forget that faith without works is dead.

26 Indeed, just as the body without spirit* is dead,+ so also faith without works is dead.+ (James 2:26)

When we are baptised, having chosen to go for God, we do need to keep in line with God His Will and with God His commandments. As we can see in several books of the Old Testament, there have been men of God who first walked in the line of God, but got tempted by worldly attractions. They let themselves be carried away. Some of them even did lost interest in the previous told and written down Words of God.

"Death of King Saul", 1848 by Elie M...

“Death of King Saul”, 1848 by Elie Marcuse (Germany and France, 1817-1902) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Monday we saw (in the study readings of that day) how King Saul allowed selfish thinking and pride to develop, like corrosive rust.
Saul arrogantly built a monument to himself. (1 Sam. 15:3, 9) When the prophet Samuel told him that Jehovah was displeased, Saul tried to justify himself by focusing on the part of God’s command that he had obeyed and by blaming others for his error. (1 Sam. 15:16-21)
Saul’s experience shows that we cannot be complacent, assuming that if we previously showed a self-sacrificing spirit, we will automatically continue to manifest it. (1 Tim. 4:10)

Also Jeremiah’s secretary, Baruch, apparently forgot to focus on the right things. At one point in time, he was no longer enjoying Jehovah’s service. Jehovah told him:

“You are seeking great things for yourself. Stop seeking such things. For I am about to bring a calamity on all flesh, . . . and wherever you may go, I will grant you your life as a spoil.” (Jer. 45:3, 5)

Bear in mind that Saul did well and enjoyed God’s favour for a while, but he failed to root out selfish tendencies that began to take hold. Jehovah ultimately rejected Saul for his disobedience. (w14 3/15 1:9, 10) We too, when we soften our interest in God, give preference to worldly matters and become obedient to God, shall see that the small gate might be shut for us.

As we have seen last Thursday King David described the information needed to build a human body as being written in a figurative book. Speaking of Jehovah God, he said:

“Your eyes saw even the embryo of me, and in your book all its parts were down in writing, as regards the days when they were formed and there was not yet one among them.” (Ps. 139:16)

Which impression do you want to give to God? How do you want to present yourself in front of the heavenly Father, the Only One True God? do you think He shall love you more because you have gathered more material things in your life?

The son of God showed us a very good example of a life worth living in front of the eyes of God. Jeshua (Jesus) did not want to do his own will, but always tried to apply God’s commandments and to do God His Will. He did not look for treasures on earth and did not talk about the worldly wealth to be gathered on earth, but about the spiritual richness people had to strife for.

What sort of building do you want to construct? Do you want to be one of the many stones in the building or body of Christ?

Jesus enjoyed seeing meek people respond to the good news. (Luke 10:21; John 4:34)
Perhaps you have already experienced the happiness that results from helping others. If you base your major choices in life on the principles Jesus taught, you will surely bring happiness to yourself as well as to Jehovah.

11 Be wise, my son, and make my heart rejoice,So that I can make a reply to him who taunts me.+(Prov. 27:11)

Our greatest and most true happiness, comes from love and perfection which can receive the best foundation-stones from serving Jehovah, with all your heart.  (Prov. 16:20)

What do you think? What would have made Baruch happy — seeking great things or surviving Jerusalem’s destruction as a faithful servant of God? — Jas. 1:12. (w14 1/15 3:10, 11)

+

Preceding articles:

A look at materialism

As Christ’s slaves doing the Will of God in gratitude

Philippians 4:4–7 – Do Not Be Anxious

++

Additional reading:

  1. Are you being swept along by the world
  2. Gone astray, away from God
  3. May reading the Bible provoke us into action to set our feet on the narrow way
  4. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  5. Like grasshoppers
  6. Message to teenagers
  7. As the Lord commanded Moses
  8. Happiness mapping and getting over gender mapping
  9. Lonely in the crowd
  10. Leaving the Old World to find better pastures
  11. Luck
  12. Not holding back and getting out of darkness
  13. Your position about materialistic desires having conquered the world
  14. The Art of Doing Less – Your Time is Finite
  15. Material wealth, Submission and Heaven on earth
  16. Looking at a conservative review of Shop Class As Soul Craft
  17. For The Love of Stuff
  18. Learning that stuff is just stuff
  19. Watch out
  20. Food as a Therapeutic Aid
  21. Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience
  22. How to Find the Meaning of Life and Reach a State of Peace
  23. To be prepared and very well oiled
  24. Thirst for happiness and meaning
  25. True happiness, love and perfection
  26. Spreading good cheer contagious
  27. Happy is the person who knows what to remember of the past
  28. Joy: Foundation for a Positive Life
  29. God plays hide-n-seek?
  30. Commit your self to the trustworthy creator
  31. To Soar In The Spirit You Have To Be Hard Core
  32. Myth 12: The Hyper-Grace Gospel Makes People Lazy
  33. Let us become nothing, and Christ everything
  34. With all your heart
  35. God’s wrath and sanctification
  36. You shall howl in your latter end

+++

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