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

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

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

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

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

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

The Resurrection

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

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

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

What is a Soul?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Animals as Souls

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

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

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

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

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

For example, Genesis 1:20 says

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Difference Between the Human Soul and the Animal Soul

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

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

Other Hidden References

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

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

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

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

Expanded Use

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“her soul is vexed in her.”

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

Soul in the New Testament

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

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

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

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

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

“I lay down my life (John 10:17).

“They seek my life (Romans 11:3),

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

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

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

“now is my soul troubled.”

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

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

The Soul Is Not Immortal

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

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

In Ezekiel 18:4 God said,

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

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

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

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

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

“in Adam all die,”

adding to this,

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

And again,

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

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

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

John 3:16 says,

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

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

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

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

The Apostle Paul wrote,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lazarus – An Example that the Soul is not immortal

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

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

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

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

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

Seeking After Immortality

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

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

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

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

The Dead Raised To Life In the Resurrection Age

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

Spirit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do Angels Have a Soul?

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

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

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

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

——-

Acknowledgment & References

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

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

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

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

Suggested Further Reading

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Preceding articles

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

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

The Acts Of The Sent Ones Chapter 2

 

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Additional reading

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

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

Related

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

Matthew 13 – Parables on Kingdom mysteries

CHAPTER THIRTEEN:
PARABLES ON KINGDOM MYSTERIES

Today we start looking at Jesus presenting some parables to those who were around him. In these times coming closer to the end times we do find lots of people who claim that they do not have to do any works any more because they are saved. For them it is clear that we do not have to do anything any more because (according to them) by the death of Christ all sins are forgiven, so it does not matter any more if we do some sins.

This thirteenth chapter for some Americans  bearing a number that brings misfortune, may bring bad luck in the end of their life, because they did not want to see that they still had to do a lot of work to make sure to go through the small gate of the Kingdom of God.

The followers and disciples of the Nazarene master teacher wondered why this eloquent rabbi so many times told stories which where not always so clear or were in a form of a parable. When the talmidim asked their master why he used stories to teach the people and spoke to them in parables, Jesus answered,

“You have been chosen [L It has been granted/given to you] to know [understand] the secrets [mysteries] about the kingdom of heaven, but others cannot know these secrets [L it has not been given/granted to those others].

With such a remark you may question who might be chosen to get to know those secrets Jesus was talking about. We must know that Jesus was sent by his heavenly Father to bring the Good News of the Kingdom of God. That Only One True God gave the whole world His son. He was not for just a few. But it is up to all people to come to recognise the sent one from God and to accept him as the sent one from God and as the son of God. Depending on what people want to believe and who they want to follow they shall either be able to receive insight and come to understanding, or as Jesus warns those around him, when they prefer to hold fast on human traditions and human teachings instead of Scriptural teachings they will not be able to see clear, because first of all those human dogma‘s make it often very confusing for people or trick them in the wrong teachings. The apostle Matthew tells us in the previous and this chapter that we should open our ears and eyes and come to see the one who God has sent, so that by listening to the words of the master (instead of those of so called theologians) God shall see the heart of each individual and let His calling ripen so that understanding will be given more, and they will have all they need [an abundance]. But those who keep doubting or do not accept that Jesus is the sent one from God shall have more difficulties to understand what is said. Those who close their heart for God and His sent one shall receive not so much understanding. We are even warned it can be worse, namely that even the knowledge or understanding they have will be taken away from them. This is why Jeshua (Jesus Christ) uses stories to teach the people [L speak in parables]: because we might see a lot of people who look, but do not really want to see and to perceive.

Today we do find lots of godless people, but also lots of people who call themselves Christian, but do not adhere the teachings of Jesus Christ, neither do they worship the God of this Nazarene master teacher from the tribe of David. Jeshua, being born in a devout Jewish family (Essene family) worshipped the Only One True God Who is One and not three. He also wanted people around him to come to know that One God of Israel. He too could see that lots of people loved human traditions and preferred to keep to the words of philosophers and people who worked in the temples, but had introduced own findings in their teachings instead of keeping to the Torah.

Those people who liked those in charge of the temple and loved what they wanted to hear instead of loving what the Torah really said are exactly the same as the ones who today hang on the lips of the clergy but do not read the Bible or Word of God. They hear, but they don’t really hear or understand. So we can see how the things Isaiah said in his prophecy were already fulfilled in Christ’s days, but still count for today too.

In these present times we also see lots of people who have taken them their own idols and gods and who are drifting about from one sort idea or hype to an other. They might sometimes listen with half an ear or go from one group to an other to listen and to keep on hearing or listen intently, but they will not understand.

We should listen to Jesus carefully and take care that we shall not become some one he could see around him who was looking but not seeing. Let us make sure that we look intently and have ears for what Jesus as son of God and authorised person of God has to tell us. Let us make sure that we come to hear, see and learn to perceive and comprehend.

We should not mind what others do find about our belief. Believing in only One God shall not be liked by many. Those who follow Jesus as their brother and not as their god shall receive a lot of opposition. Many shall try to thwart those who accept Jesus as the son and do not take him as their god. For the minds [hearts] of these people have become stubborn [dull; calloused; hardened] and we should know that they do not [hardly] hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes and hear with their ears. They might really understand in their minds [with their hearts] and come back [turn; return] to Jesus and be healed, because the God of Israel is a God of order and God of clarity, loving His children and prepared to receive them back, when they where gone. But the world shall have to know that good and evil shall become separated. It is totally wrong to think that all people would come into heaven or into the Kingdom of God. Therefore Jesus gives us all those stories or parables so that we shall come to see and understand that we should be working at ourselves and have to be building ourself up in good soil, so that we can grow properly and become fruitful.

In Mark and Luke (Mark 1:21-28; Luke 4:31-37) we learn that people were astonished at Jesus his teaching because his message had authority. We may not forget that this authority came from his heavenly Father, Jehovah God. Those who were given to him to listen to him he told about the Law (Matthew 5:17-20) of which Jesus did not come to abolish this or the Prophets, like those who say we do not need to do works believe. They forget that Jesus came to fulfil those writings and to make clear what we should or should not. In the fifteenth chapter we shall come to hear Jesus talking about purity and hear his warning against false teachings. In chapter 18 comes then the parable of the person who cannot forgive. Luke gives us the parable of the good Samaritan and is not afraid to show how Jesus criticises the religious leaders and tells the story of the rich fool, like we may encounter many (Luke 12:13-21).

Too many people do forget that they have to prepare themselves for the return of Christ (Luke 12:35-48). Too many people do forget what it means to walk on the right path, which is only a narrow road and that all people shall have to make their own choice and should make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because Jesus tells us that many will try to enter and won’t be able. And that is a recurring idea in the teachings of Christ.  (Luke 13:22-30)

It is not because Matthew does not tell about the parable of the lost coin, showing the importance to repent (a work to be done) (Luke 15:8-10) or the lost son (Luke 15:11-32) (to return to the Father) or about the dishonest manager (Luke 16:1-18) that we must not pay attention to the stories and warnings not told by Matthew.

To come to know the secret of the kingdom of God which has been given to the apostles we should learn from all those parables, not forgetting to look for willing to understand and to perceive.

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Preceding

True God giving His Word for getting wisdom

Daily portion of heavenly food

From Bibles and other religious writings and those who witness for Jehovah

Matthew 11– Intro to The Nazarene’s Commentary: Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities

Matthew 12:46-50 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Family of Messiah

False teachers and false prophets still around

Christians having the right heart to call others to go to God

Sharing the depth of God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge

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Additional reading

  1. Souls and Religions with Nirvana and light
  2. Blindness in the Christian world
  3. Fog, brass and light for the eyes
  4. Science, belief, denial and visibility 2
  5. Coming to understanding from sayings written long ago
  6. the Bible – God’s guide for life #9 Gospels not only place to find ‘the mind which was in Christ’
  7. The Metaphorical language of the Bible
  8. Jehovah steep rock and fortress, source of insight
  9. Daily Spiritual Food To prepare ourselves for the Kingdom of God
  10. Words to inspire and to give wisdom
  11. Digging in words, theories and artefacts
  12. Hearing words to accept
  13. Outflow of foundational relationship based on acceptance of Jesus
  14. Atonement And Fellowship 3/8Missional hermeneutics 2/5What is a Christian?
  15. Only six of ten commandments of God still important to British Christians
  16. Not being saved by faith in Christ alone
  17. When having found faith through the study of the Bible we do need to do works of faith
  18. Two states of existence before God
  19. Sanctification and How To Pursue It
  20. Responsibility bigger than those who talk about worldly matters
  21. Thought for those who think it is not necessary to do any works any more
  22. Today’s thought “Blessed people …” (July 27)
  23. Knowing The Truth and Loving The Truth
  24. Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience
  25. Actions to be a reflection of openness of heart
  26. A race not to swift, nor a battle to the strong
  27. At the end of your life

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Related reading
  1. Jesus Didn’t Tell Parables for the Reason You Think
  2. Are You Teaching Your Kids About the Parables of Jesus?
  3. Of Sheep and Parables
  4. It stopped with them Only Listening
  5. Deceiving Yourself
  6. Kingdom of God
  7. ​ Which one are you?
  8. “And you—what are you saying about me? Who am I?” ~Jesus
  9. What Jesus Said
  10. “Thou Lovest Righteousness and Hatest Wickedness”
  11. what we see often depends on how we look
  12. “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.” ~Jesus
  13. Unlearning to Learn
  14. Fruitful Living
  15. The Kingdom of God is like a Farmer Growing Crops
  16. Four Prayers Based on the Parable of the Soil-Sower (Matthew 13, Mark 4, Luke 8)
  17. “You’ve been given insight into God’s kingdom. You know how it works. Not everybody has this gift, this insight; it hasn’t been given to them.” ~Jesus
  18. Matthew 13丨C. H. Spurgeon
  19. Matthew 13丨John Calvin
  20. When God is Important to Us, We Find Joy
  21. Upside Down Kingdom Parables: No Cost Too Great
  22. Choose the Giver over the gift.
  23. Upside Down Kingdom Parables: Wheat and Weeds (pt. 1)
  24. Listen
  25. Don’t Be Surprised By Gospel Rejection
  26. AW Pink (1886-1952): The Prophetic Parables (p1)
  27. Cultivating Your Heart for a Spiritual Harvest
  28. God’s Kingdom: the Word
  29. Matthew 15: Watch your mouth
  30. Understanding Parables
  31. Trained By The Rabbi
  32. Matthew 25:1-13 ESVThe World as the Field

Matthew 12:31-32 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Blasphemy against the Pneuma

Matthew 12:31-32 – Blasphemy against the Pneuma

|| Luke 12:10

MT12:31 “Because of this I tell you: Every human sin[1] and blasphemy[2] will be canceled,[3] but blasphemy against the Pneuma[4] will not be canceled. MT12:32 And so whoever speaks a word against the Son[5] of Humankind – it will be canceled. However, anyone who speaks against the Holy Pneuma,[6] it will not be canceled – not in this Age,[7] nor in the New Age.[8]

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[1] Every human sin: This is the first case of the word “sin” from Jesus’ mouth. The word occurs only 3 times in Matthew (See Matthew 18:15, 21).

In cartoons and comics, profanity is often depicted by substituting symbols for words (“grawlixes” in the lexicon of cartoonist Mort Walker)

[2] Blasphemy: The Greek is BLASPHEMIA and is also rendered: RHM: profane speaking; TCNT: slander; GDSP: abusive speech; WEY: impious word.

[3] Canceled: The Greek is APHETHESETAI. See the notes on Matthew 6:12. Often translated “forgive.” In the case of judgment it means: Not Guilty; or, Guilty. Strong’s’ No. 863; aphiemi {af-ee’-ay-mee} Word Origin: from 575 and hiemi (to send, an intens. form of eimi, to go); Word Usage in KJV: leave, 52; forgive, 47; suffer, 14; let, 8; forsake, 6 let alone, 6; misc, 13.

[4] Blasphemy against the Pneuma: Note, the Nazarene says nothing about ‘blasphemy against God.’ How could one sin against Jesus (if he were The God) and not against the holy spirit? Jesus uses Pneuma as the unseen power of God. It is the same as sinning against God Himself. It is abusive speech against God’s way of doing things and those upon whom He has placed His Pneuma. Note the words of the Pharisees: they accuse of Jesus’ work as that of the Devil! Many have pained themselves out of dread they have sin against the spirit. If some so condemn themselves, it is likely they have not sinned so. Those who have blasphemed God have no repentance (Hebrews 6:4ff).

[5] Speaks a word against the Son: Note what comes later about how a person’s words either justify or condemn. Even abusive speech against the Son may be forgiven. Many have used “Jesus Christ” as a profane curse or “swear word.” Jews throughout the age have spoken against Jesus and cursed his name. Even this is forgiven.

[6] Speaks against the Holy Pneuma: Note what the Pharisees have done: they have called someone anointed with the spirit as demonized – under the influence of Satan. The speech is not against the Pneuma directly but that agent of God’s unseen spiritual pressure that accomplishes His will. This is very similar to Matthew 5:22 – addressing a genuine servant of God as an “apostate.” See notes on Matthew 5:22.

[7] Age: The Greek is AIONI. The closest English word is eon, aeon. So the closest would be, “this eon or that to come.” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance defines it as, 1) for ever, an unbroken age, perpetuity of time, eternity; 2) the worlds, universe; 3) period of time, age. The word occurs many times with a wide range of meaning. Other renderings are: KJV: this world; TCNT: present age; NWT: system of things. There are two ages from Jesus’ standpoint: this one, and the next.

[8] New Age: Inferred. Or, KJV: world to come; TCNT: the age to come.

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Preceding

Matthew 12:1-8 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Something Greater than the Temple

Matthew 12:9-21 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Is It Lawful to Cure on the Sabbath?

Matthew 12:22-30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: the Charge of Demonism

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Additional reading

  1. There can only be hope when there is a will to be and say “I am”
  2. Icons and crucifixes
  3. Americans their stars, pretension, God, Allah and end of times signs #1 Abrahamic religions

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Related

  1. You Have Just Learned the Secret of All of Life, and Seen into Infinity
  2. On Purpose
  3. Jesus is the one!
  4. New Age Quackery?
  5. Wednesday 5/2 ~ People are asking, “Who is the Higher Power?”.
  6. The Search for Truth
  7. Have You Committed the Unpardonable Sin?
  8. Matthew 12, Jesus, Lord of the Sabbath,blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, the sign of Jonah, Jesus’ brothers and sisters.
  9. Blasphemy
  10. On blasphemy
  11. The root of blasphemy
  12. The Status Quo as Blasphemy of the Spirit
  13. Jesus and Beelzebub
  14. Wednesday 3/28 ~ The Holy Spirit is what?
  15. Blasphemy is an offence in a part of the UK!

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:1-4 A Wilderness Temptation

Chapter Four:
Three tests and Kingdom preaching

Matthew 4:1-4 – A Wilderness Temptation: ‘If you are a son’

|| Mark 1:12, 13; Luke 4:1-4

MT4:1 Then Jesus was led[1] up into the wilderness by the Pneuma to be tempted[2] by the Devil.[3] MT4:2 After fasting for forty days[4] and forty nights he felt hungry.[5] MT4:3 And the Tempter approached Jesus and said to him, “If you are a son[6] of The God tell these stones[7] to become loaves of bread.”[8] MT4:4 But, Jesus replied and said to the Devil: “It has been written[9] [by Moses]: ‘Not on bread alone will humans live, but upon every utterance[10] coming forth through God’s Mouth.’” [Deuteronomy 8:3]

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Temptation of Jesus in desert. HOLE, WILLIAM: ...

Temptation of Jesus in desert. Hole, William: The Life of Jesus of Nazareth. Eighty Pictures. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The sent one from God after he was baptised went into the desert to meditate. Being alone with his thoughts did not liberate him from bad thoughts coming up in his mind. Jesus was allowed into the wilderness to be tested, like all of us are allowed to be tested and to prove ourselves.

God has given mankind the freedom to think and to take decisions for him self. God is no dictator Who prohibits man to think and to decide for himself. Though we should know that already from the beginning of times man has shown to have a sort of weaknesses, doubting those who are higher placed than they. The first human beings rebelled against the Most High Maker. They took adversary against God. The adversary of God or satan is in each of us and Jesus as a man of flesh and blood had this also in him.

Satan or the the ‘tempter’ brings man to question the relationship with God. He also caught Jesus to be a prey. A young man starting his public life and having to prove himself for the community. Fasting, having hunger, knowing we need our daily bread, the tempter tried to seduce Jesus with the offer of ‘bread’.

We may not forget what is the cause of the temptation  of man, they wondering if God had the right to be their ‘dominant’ or their ‘Father‘. Many do forget that is the whole key to the fall of man. Man not willing to accept God as their Father, Who may tell them what to do.

Satan wants us to believe that we’re not children of God. When the adversary of God tours around us, in our mind, temptation will come in the form to make use doubt the position of the Most High God. Man gets blinded by his own thoughts which try to mislead him.The adverser will use our relationship with God as a weapon against us. He also wants us to believe we do not need God, but that we are able to live on the material of the earth, like bread, and that those goods will keep us alive.

From this chapter we also can see that baptism is no liberator of temptation. When we are baptised it does not mean that we would not any more be tempted or would not sin any more. Be not mistaken, the adversary of God is always there to get us away from God. Even when we are sometimes doubting he will be more at work.

English: Temptation of Christ in the Wilderness

Temptation of Christ in the Wilderness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Perhaps the moments we take time to think about everything and to be just on our own, meditating, are the most dangerous moments to become tempted, doubting ourselves, our own ‘I am‘ and the Most High ‘I Am’ the ‘I Am that I Am‘ or the ‘I Am Who is‘.

Too many people do forget that Jesus could be and was tempted many times. God cannot be tempted, but Jesus as an ordinary man (though specially made by God) was like any man able to sin, but never did sin. Jesus never went against the wishes of God. He could put his own will aside for doing the Will of God.

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[1] Was led: Mark 1:12 says the Spirit “drove” so that Jesus became “driven” into the desert.

[2] Tempted: God cannot be “tempted” (James 1:13,) though Jesus is here, three times.

[3] Devil: The Greek is DIABOLOS. Meaning “Slanderer,” or “Liar,” this name for Satan occurs 36 times, never in the Hebrew Bible and first here. Note that the Dragon is on hand when the “woman gives birth” to a spiritual Son (Revelation 12:4).

[4] Forty days: An experience shared by only two others: Moses and Elijah (Exodus 24:18; 1 Kings 19:8).

[5] Hungry: Jesus becomes hungry several times in the Gospel accounts (Matthew 21:18; Mark 11:12). May it be assumed that God cannot become hungry?

[6] If you are a son: Two things are noticed here: the word “if” is an attempt to create doubt; and, the Devil calls Jesus “a son” knowing full well he is “the Son.”

[7] Stones: These have already been mentioned when John spoke of God’s ability to make sons of Abraham from stones (Matthew 3:9).

[8] Bread: Self-denial was the law of our Lord’s mission (Philippians 2:6-8).

[9] Written: The first Bible verse quoted by Jesus (Deuteronomy 8:3).

[10] Utterance: The Greek is RHEMATI. Or, KJV: word; RHM: declaration; KNX: words.

 

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Preceding articles

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:1-6 – A Wilderness Baptist Prepares the Way

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:7-12 – Opposition and Two Baptisms

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:13-17 – Jesus Declared God’s Son at His Baptism

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:15-17 – The Baptisms of the One Coming

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:21-23 – The Baptism of Christ

2015 the year of ISIS

Next:

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:5-7 – A Temptation to Test God

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:8-11 – A Temptation to Gain World Rule

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:12-17 – Galilee Saw A Great Light

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:18-22 – The Calling of the First Disciples

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

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Additional reading

  1. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  2. Words to inspire and to give wisdom
  3. What we do
  4. The I Am to explore
  5. Just One More Minute
  6. satan or devil
  7. Satan the evil within
  8. The Son can do nothing of his own accord
  9. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God
  10. Sayings of Jesus, what to believe and being or not of the devil

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Further reading

  1. Jesus is tested – In the wilderness
  2. Temptation in the Desert
  3. The Temptation of Jesus
  4. Dealing With Temptation
  5. But Deliver Us from the Evil One
  6. Watch Over Us
  7. Does God Love Satan? (1 of 2)
  8. The Devil Made Me Do it…
  9. Getting Testy
  10. When we stumble
  11. Love Came Down in Obedience/L’amour est descendu dans l’obéissance
  12. 40 days
  13. 40 days and 40 nights
  14. SMS 144 Matthew 4:2-3
  15. Stones Into Bread
  16. My Life As An Itchy Man
  17. The Camera

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The Truth About the Watchtower Judicial Committee Process, as Told By a Former Elder

He himself sat on several judicial committees and was more than once involved in disfellowshipping people, resulting in their friends and family shunning them until they changed their “sinful course.”

In sharing his experience and knowledge to help right the wrongs that he did as an agent of what he now realizes to be a rather malicious publishing company he lifts up the veil for the unknown to non Jehovah’s Witnesses.

*

To remember

Watchtower has created a rules-based religion

break one of their rules [breaking rules of a sexual nature (sex outside of marriage)] = invite you to such a judicial committee

secret book titled, “Shepherd the Flock of God” = regular Jehovah’s Witnesses not allowed to see

 

basic Star Chamber trial > elders= prosecutors + judges

accused = considered guilty > faces them alone = no support + no representative >> exception of minor children can have parents present + married women can have husbands present

Nobody ever invited to a judicial committee unless elders have some sort of proof or reason to believe the individual is guilty => to determine the appropriate punishment.

 

  1. individual reproved privately
  2. public reproof => congregation will severely limit any association with someone who has been reproved =  “disfellowshipping light.”
  3. disfellowshipping => friends and family will begin to shun until (or if) reinstated. The fourth, which is almost unheard of, is that the committee realizes that no offence worthy of disfellowshipping is committed, and the judicial committee is cancelled.

times when a sin is considered to be so serious that a plea of repentance won’t be accepted

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Preceding articles

A Society pleading poverty

Male domination and tyranny giving opportunities to defile the Name of God

Belonging to or being judged by

Why do Jehovah’s Witnesses preach?

Oklahoma City Regional Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses

Random Observations From My Most Recent JW Convention Experience

You Are The Truth

Jehovah’s Witnesses Circuit Assembly and a Pillar to freedom

Jesus’ footstep followers, irrespective of sectarian lines

Authority from the One God to one mediator between God and men

The Picture of the Governing Body

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JWVICTIMS.ORG

“Hi, this is Brother Elder, and I’m calling to invite you to a judicial committee.” That statement is feared by every one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and in many ways it drastically affects the choices they make in their life. Why is that the case? Simply put, the results of the judicial committee can cause all of your friends and family to shun you. A scary prospect indeed! So why do people get invited to a judicial committee and how do they work?

Myself, I served as an elder as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses for almost 10 years, and I sat on several judicial committees. I was involved in disfellowshipping people, resulting in their friends and family shunning them until they changed their “sinful course.” I am now sharing that experience and knowledge to help right the wrongs that I did as an agent of what I now realize to be…

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Matthew 1:18-25 – Genesis of Jesus Christ

Matthew 1:18-25 – The Genesis of Jesus Christ

MT1:18 But thus was the genesis[1] of Jesus Christ.[2] His mother Mary had been promised in marriage[3] to Joseph. Before they came together[4] she was found to be pregnant[5] from the holy Pneuma.[6] MT1:19 But, Joseph her man[7] was righteous[8] and he was unwilling to make a public spectacle[9] of Mary so he intended to release her secretly.[10] MT1:20 But, thinking about these matters, look! an angel[11] of YHWH[12] appeared to Joseph in a dream,[13] saying: “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to receive to yourself[14] Mary your woman, for the thing generated[15] by Pneuma in her is holy. MT1:21 She will give birth to a son and you[16] [Joseph] will call his name ‘Jesus’ for he will save[17] his people[18] from their sins.”[19] MT1:22 The whole of this happened so that the things might be fulfilled as spoken through the prophet [Isaiah],[20] saying, MT1:23 “Look! The virgin[21] will be pregnant and will give birth to a son and they[22] will call his name ‘Immanuel’[23] which is translated to mean, ‘With Us The God.’” [Isaiah 7:14] MT1:24 When Joseph awakened from sleep he did as directed by the angel of YHWH and he took along his woman [to his home]; MT1:25 and Joseph did not know[24] Mary until after she gave birth to a son.[25] Joseph called his name ‘Jesus.’

 

[1] Genesis: The Greek is GENESIS and may be rendered “birth.”

[2] Jesus Christ: The first occurrence of this form: the title or designation combined with the name of our Lord. This form occurs 150 times in the Christian Bible, the most often in the Letter to the Romans. The phrase means “Jesus the christened one; or Jesus the Messiah; Jesus the Anointed.”

[3] Promised in marriage: Or, KJV: espoused; TCNT: engaged.

[4] Came together: Inferring sexual intercourse. TCNT: while she was still a virgin; WEY: before they were united in marriage.

[5] Pregnant: The Greek GASTRI and means literally “found in belly” as it is in many languages. Or, KJV: with child; GDSP: about to become a mother.

[6] Holy Pneuma: Or, holy spirit. This is the first occurrence of the phrase referring to the Mental or Intellectual Power of the Absolute God. That is, the invisible force or pressure by which the Creator accomplishes his will and purpose. We will use pneuma throughout as the word “spirit” in English has taken on something of the meaning of “ghost” or a spirit being. The complete phrase “holy pneuma” occurs 100 times in the Bible with the first occurrence at Psalm 51:11. It only occurs three times in the Hebrew Bible. It is most often used in the Acts of the Apostles. For details on this subject see the publication De Trinitatis Erroribus. The word “spirit” occurs 820 times in the Bible with the first occurrence at Genesis 1:2. “Spirit” is used most often in the Book of Acts. The Hebrew is ruach and is variously rendered breath and wind.

[7] Man: The Greek is ANER and may mean “husband.”

[8] Righteous: Or, “just.” He had a well-known reputation so that his character was such.

[9] Public spectacle: Or, KJV: public example; ABUV: not willing to expose.

[10] Release her secretly: Or, GDSP: break off the engagement privately; BECK: divorce her secretly. The Jewish engagement was considered a virtual marriage and thus required some formal divorce or release. It is likely their marriage was arranged by both families upon which the “engagement” began. Since this was a formal matter between families in public then a formal release was binding. Engaged couples could have sexual intercourse without this being viewed as prostitution (or, fornication). However, once doing so the man had to marry the woman, forgo divorce, and give her father a payment for damages to his virgin daughter.

[11] Angel: The first angel mentioned in the Christian Bible. The word “angel(s)” occurs 370 times in the Bible, the first at Genesis 16:7. “Angel” occurs most often in the Book of Acts. This angel is identified by Luke as Gabriel, the angel of the Book of Daniel.

[12] YHWH: The Greek is AGGELOS KYRIOU [without the article] and would surely be a Hebraism in Matthew’s Gospel. Though it should read “angel of (the) Lord” there is a reasonable possibility that the Tetragram YHWH might occur here. There is no question YHWH occurred in the Hebrew Bible and there is a possibility YHWH occurs in some portions of the Christian Bible. Hereafter we will add YHWH in brackets when the “Lord” under consideration is clearly Yahweh or Jehovah.

[13] Dream: The first occurrence of the word in the Christian Bible. The word group occurs 125 times with the first at Genesis 20:3 and most often in the Book of Genesis. There is an interesting statement at Job 7:14; 33:15.

[14] Receive to yourself: Or, NEB: to take Mary home. Note John 14:3 and the same Greek word.

[15] Generated: The Greek is GENNETHEN and is rendered: KJV: conceived; NOR: expect Child within.

[16] You: The Greek is singular referring specifically to Joseph.

[17] He will save: The meaning of “Jesus” is “Yahweh Saves.”

[18] His people: Note it is “his people” indicating some previous relationship with Israel as the “angel of Yahweh.” (Compare Daniel 12:1; Exodus 23:23)

[19] Sins: The key purpose of Messiah’s birth is as a Sin-Bearer (Consider Isaiah chapter 53). Nothing in the name Jesus emphasis any other reason than he will be the main instrument in the forgiveness of the sins of the Jews. Nothing here points to mankind in general. The interpretation of “his people” (TON LAON) could refer to those in the New Israel, the Community of the Saints.

[20] Spoken through the prophet [Isaiah]: That is Isaiah 7:14. NOTE: All true quotes are in BLUE. Hebraisms, paraphrases, allusions or conflates are in GREEN. The words of Jesus are in RED.

[21] Virgin: The Greek is PARTHENOS and reminds one of the Parthenon in Athens. The Greek word PARTHENOS is that one chosen by the Jewish scribes in the third century BC when translating the Hebrew of Isaiah 7:14.

[22] They: Indicating both Joseph and Mary.

[23] Immanuel: See Isaiah 8:8. Possibly one of the sons of Isaiah whose name was fulfilled in the context of Isaiah 8:10 where the Hebrew has the name in the phrase. The Jewish Greek Bible, the Septuagint (LXX), “Yehowah God is with us.”

[24] Did not know: Or, PME: had no intercourse with her. Compare Genesis 4:1 and compare the Greek language with 1 Corinthians 7:1. Mary remained a “virgin” until after the birth of Jesus when she bore four more sons and an unknown number of daughters (Matthew 12:46; 13:55).

[25] Son: KJV: “firstborn son.” (Compare Luke 2:7)

This text of the Gospel of Matthew is a new version, the 21st Century Version of the Christian Scriptures [NCMM], as an additional part of Nazarene Commentary 2000©. This rendering by Mark Heber Miller may be considered a literal version with limited paraphrase.

*

BS notes:

Iesou => Jesus = “Hail Zeus”, the name given to the Nazarene Jew at the Council of Nicaea in 325 to come to terms with the three-headed greek-roman gods. Up until about 360, theological debates mainly dealt with the divinity of the son, which had to be the seame one as the son-god of the Romans and the Greeks. The worshipping of that son and the use of the statues in the community should be allowed for all the sorts of worshippers, so that the market vendors could sell their statues at liberty to any worshipper. Jeshua, Joshua (/ˈɒʃə/) or Jehoshua (Hebrew: יְהוֹשֻׁעַ Yĕhôshúa or Hebrew: יֵשׁוּעַ Yĕshúa; Aramaic: ܝܫܘܥIsho; Greek: Ἰησοῦς, Arabic: يوشع بن نونYūshaʿ ibn Nūn, Turkish: Yuşa) Yeshua (ישוע, with vowel pointing יֵשׁוּעַyēšūă‘ in Hebrew) which means “Jehovah saves/Jehovah is salvation” or “the Help(ipa) from Jehovah” or “From Jehovah comes salvation”, for the politicians had to become the second person of their tri-une godhead.  The main god Zeus (Ancient Greek: Ζεύς) had to be the “Father of Gods and men” (πατὴρ ἀνδρῶν τε θεῶν τε, patḕr andrōn te theōn te) and as such should be the god of Greeks, Romans and Christians because Jupiter (Latin: Iuppiter; /ˈjʊpɪtɛr/; genitive case: Iovis; /ˈjɔːvɪs/) or Jove is the king of the gods and the god of sky and thunder in myth.

By the time of the 4° Century CE lots of false teachers had managed to introduce the Roman teachings of their gods back into the teachings of their followers. Lots of people found it easier to adapt to the new religion because it had adapted itself to their faith. for them it was than much easier to accept Jesus to be the King of kings, to be the god of light, the god of thunder, the god of miracles, the god of enlightenment, etc.

+

Preceding articles:

  1. The Advent of the saviour to Roman oppression
  2. Story of Jesus’ birth begins long before the New Testament
  3. Nazarene Commentary to Zechariah and Elizabeth
  4. Nazarene Commentary to An Angel Appearing to a Priest
  5. Nazarene Commentary to Struck Dumb For Disbelief
  6. Nazarene Commentary to Elizabeth Pregnant
  7. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:46-56 – Mary Magnifies God
  8. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:57-66 – Elizabeth Gives Birth To John
  9. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:67-80 – Zechariah’s Prophecy
  10. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:8-14 – Angels and Shepherds in the Night
  11. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:15-20 – Shepherds Find the Infant Christ
  12. With child and righteousness greater than the law
  13. Matthew 1:1-17 The Genealogy of Jesus Christ
  14. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:21-24 – Presenting the Baby to God
  15. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:25-35 – Simeon’s Blessing and Warning
  16. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:36-38 – Anna’s Thanks before Those Waiting
  17. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:39-40 – The Young Child Grows
  18. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:41-50 – Twelve Year Old Jesus in the Temple

Upcoming articles:

  1. Matthew 2:1-6 – Astrologers and Priests in a Satanic Plot
  2. Matthew 2:7-12 – Pawns of Herod, the Magi Find the ‘Child’
  3. Matthew 2:13-15 – Escaping the Slaughter by a Flight to Egypt
  4. Matthew 2:16-18 – Slaughter of the Innocents

 

English: Mother Mary with the Holy Child Jesus...

Mother Mary with the Holy Child Jesus Christ, Oil/canvas, 1913 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

++

Find also to read:

  1. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  2. Jesus begotten Son of God #2 Christmas and pagan rites
  3. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  4. Jesus begotten Son of God #3 Messiah or Anointed one
  5. Jesus begotten Son of God #14 Beloved Preminent Son and Mediator originating in Mary
  6. The wrong hero
  7. Why think that (2) … Jesus claimed to be something special
  8. A season of gifts
  9. God’s Special Gift
  10. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  11. Nativity scene of the birth of the Bill of Rights
  12. Preexistence in the Divine purpose and Trinity
  13. Around pre-existence of Christ
  14. The radiance of God’s glory and the counsellor
  15. Yeshua a man with a special personality
  16. Jesus and his God

+++

  • The Theodotus Inscription (larryhurtado.wordpress.com)
    there were Greek-speaking Jews in Jerusalem in the time in view.  Note also the reference to the “synagogue of the freedmen” in Acts 6:9, who are portrayed as tackling Stephen, likely Jews manumitted from slavery in Diaspora locations who had relocated in Jerusalem.
  • Interpreting the story (poemsinseason.wordpress.com)
    Gospel writers Matthew and Luke
    are the approved suppliers
    of the raw materials
    from which we cobble together our Christmas stories;
    faith being the thread that seeks,
    gathers and ties the meaning.
  • Blessed And Holy Christmas To All (mylordmyfriend.com)
    The virgin birth of Jesus Christ is the most wonderful and vital fact to the truth of the Good News, which brings newness of life to all who accept.
  • Most Americans believe in the Virgin Birth – and that torture is cool (patheos.com)
    According to a new Pew Survey of over 1,500 U.S. adults, 73 percent say they believe Jesus was born to a virgin, and 74 percent say they believe Jesus’s birth was announced to the shepherds by an angel (among Protestant respondents, that rate is 91 percent and 90 percent, respectively). 78 percent of women say they believe in the virgin birth, 65 percent of the respondents said they believe all elements of the Christmas story are factually true.
  • Did the early church invent the divinity of Jesus over a long period of time? (gunnyg.wordpress.com)
    How early is the doctrine ofthe divinity of Jesus?When I answer this question, I only want to use the earliest, most reliable sources – so I can defend them on historical grounds using the standard rules of historiography.
  • Basic Living in Christ (fromthepreacherspc.org)
    In chapters 1-2, Paul has maintained that Christ is “all-sufficient” in matters of salvation and overcoming sin… Colossians 2:10
  • Family Night Out rocks – Church social signals start of Christmas season (jamaica-gleaner.com)
    In making reference to the book of Acts in the Bible, pastor of the church, Dwight Fletcher, told The Sunday Gleaner that fellowship is a God-given mandate. He pointed out that it is imperative the people of God build on the traditions of the early church, and added that he anticipates great things going forward.
  • Pastor J. D. Greear Takes on the Holy Spirit In “Jesus Continued…” (blackchristiannews.com)
    Pastor J.D.Greearmay be one of the most influential pastors you’ve never heard of. He’s not preaching prosperity on television or advising the President. He’s never made the “TIME 100″ or The New York Times bestsellers list. ButGreear has built a massive, multi-campusmegachurch amid the modest city of Raleigh, North Carolina, and he is quietly amassing influence among conservative evangelicals.The subtitle of his most recent book, “Jesus Continued…: Why the Spirit Inside of You is Better Than the Jesus Beside You,” caught my attention, and I decided to invite him to discuss the idea at “On Faith and Culture.” Here we discuss how he thinks some of his fellow Christians have misunderstood the Holy Spirit and how he hopes they’ll change.
  • Stormy Seas (alighttomyway.wordpress.com)
    My only hope is to stay in the boat, holding on to my Savior, riding out the storm together. In this account in the book of Acts, God didn’t calm the storm. But the people on board made it safely to shore. This tells me that my circumstances might not change. The cancer diagnosis might not be a mistake. A broken relationship might not heal. Whatever the cause of my anxiety, depression, fear, might not magically disappear.
  • Can God Get to You? (vincefrese.com)

We are redeemed; we are “bought with a price”

We are redeemed; we are “bought with a price,” even ” the precious blood of Christ.” He is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world. This being so, eternal torment cannot be the penalty for our sins, because our Redeemer, upon whom they were laid, is not suffering eternal woe. He tasted death for every man, and the evidence that His sacrifice was satisfactory is in that lie was raised from the dead by the power of the Father.* (Eph. 1: 18, 19; Acts 2: 24.) Let those who believe in eternal torment ask themselves the solemn question, ” Has a ransom, a propitiation, a corresponding price, a satisfaction, ever been offered for what is due on account of my sins ?”

Since the Scripture teaching on the Ransom makes clear so much that before was not so, it is not surprising that William Tyndale, the great Reformer, said that the doctrine of the Ransom is the “touchstone to try all teachings.” A few illustrations of the Ransom teaching as a “touchstone” have been given. The student will at discretion apply this “stone” to other religious or so-called Bible teachings. Whatever he finds out of harmony with the Ransom is to be rejected
forthwith; time spent with it is wasted. Although there may be beautiful thoughts expressed by some who openly or covertly deny the Ransom, we are not to go through their error for the sake of a few good things which, by the grace of God, we can get from His Word, without wading through a mass of false teaching.

But some one will say that the Apostle commands us to ” prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” (1 Thes. 5: 21.) It cannot be that the Apostle means that God’s people are to undertake to acquaint themselves with all the details of all the religious teaching in the world. Life is too short for this. He Himself wrote that there was one foundation, Christ, and other foundation can no man lay. If a teaching be presented for our consideration, we are not to shut our eyes and ears, and, as it were, run away from it without knowing what it is. We are to prove it ; and the first question will be, Does it agree with the one foundation, the fact that Jesus “gave Himself a ransom for all ? ” If it do not agree, even though the words ” r a n s o m ” and ” p r o p i t i a t i o n ” be frequently employed, the task of proving it is finished — perhaps in
one minute — and our obligation toward it is discharged in full. If the teaching presented be found to be harmonious with the Ransom, it will be right for us to examine it more closely, and derive whatever blessing we may from its presentations.

The Ransom as a “touchstone” will not only be a test of all teaching brought to it, but it may also be a test of the student, in that some long cherished beliefs may be found to be inconsistent with the faith in the Ransom. Happy will he be to whom the “touchstone” does not become a “stumbling stone and rock of offence,” as it was to the Jews, and is now to a large number in Christendom. — 1 Cor. 1: 2 3 ; 1 Pet. 2 : 8.

-NCA 1929, April, p. 29

“2 to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their [Lord] and ours: 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 1:2-3 NAS)

“and, “A Stone Of Stumbling And A Rock Of Offense”; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this [doom] they were also appointed.” (1 Peter 2:8 NAS)

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19 NAS)

*

In I Corinthians 6, the Apostle Paul exhorts the brethren not to practise sin, because (v. 19) “. . . ye are not your own. For ye are bought with a price.”

Bought with a Price

Now just how was this transaction fulfilled? Was the Lord Jesus as a sinless spirit being in heaven, and before He came to the earth, so valuable that His life was of sufficient worth to cover the whole human race? or so valuable as to be worth more than all the human race?

Some Christians think along these lines. Yet this is not the way the Scriptures describe the transaction.

The Scriptures say that He “gave himself a ransom for all.” Ransom means “corresponding price,” or “a price to correspond.” When we go into a shop to buy an article we are told the price. We hand over the counter just exactly the price demanded for the purchase of that article. The seller hands over the article, which now belongs to the purchaser. The article has changed hands at a price satisfactory to both parties. If the shopkeeper likes he may quite rightly and justly give you your money back, and you may justly retain the article also, receiving the price as a gift along with the
purchase. Thus, you see, everything is quite in order, and each party to the transaction is still perfectly satisfied.

Just so, along lines somewhat similar, was the ransom or corresponding price paid for the purchase of the human race, and himself, the price paid by Jesus the Purchaser, was returned to Him when He was raised from death by the Father, to whom He had offered himself without spot.

-NCA 1929,May p. 104

The Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ

The Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus was born, got a beginning, after the many years he was been promised to come. After he learned how to behave and what to do, getting the Bible teaching from his earthly parents (Mary and Joseph) and his Jewish teachers in his parents community (the Essenes) he came into the public around the age of thirty and had himself baptised by his cousin John. At the moment he raised from the water the heavens opened and God declared that there the world could see His beloved son.

“16 And after being baptized, Jesus went up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, [and] coming upon Him, 17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”” (Matthew 3:16-17 NAS)

It was by that son of man and son of God that we could find salvation because it was God Who did raise an horn of salvation to us, in the house of David His servant.  As such the salvation is of the Jews, but Jesus, who only wanted to do the Will of his Father, was not recognised by the majority of the Jews as the Messiah. They rejected him, but Jesus invited all to come to him and to accept him as the Way.

It was for all people that Jesus voluntary gave his body to be brought on the ‘slaughter bank’ by impalement, coming his life to  an end. The God of gods Who is the Most High and can not die made Jesus than higher than the angels (though he was lower than them before) and took him to sit at His right hand to become a mediator between God and man.

It is God’s wish that  all flesh shall see the salvation of God. And those who want to belong to the Body of Christ do have to take care that many people come to see who Jesus is and what Jesus has done. They have to take care that people come to know what they worship and that they get a  “stedfast” belief in the Word, and become of all accepted worthy, that Christ Jesus came to the world to save sinners,  for the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost.

For God did not send His son to the world that he may judge the world, but that the world may be saved through him, and find hope for all of their beloved, a chance to enter the Kingdom of God for free, because the Ransom is paid by Christ Jesus.  And there is not salvation in any other, for there is no other name under the heaven that has been given among men, in which it behoved us to be saved.

As followers of Christ, bought free by him, we should present ourselves also to him and his heavenly Father.  For it was becoming to Him, because of whom are all things, and through whom are all things, many sons to glory bringing, the author of their salvation through sufferings to make perfect.

“And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of David His servant — ” (Luke 1:69 NAS)

“And All Flesh Shall See The Salvation Of  God.’”” (Luke 3:6 NAS)

“”You worship that which you do not know; we worship that which we know, for salvation is from the Jews.” (John 4:22 NAS)

“It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost [of all.]” (1 Timothy 1:15 NAS)

“”For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”” (Luke 19:10 NAS)

“”For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.” (John 3:17 NAS)

“”And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.”” (Acts 4:12 NAS)

“For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.” (Hebrews 2:10 NAS)

“Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.” (John 14:6 NAS)

The Servant of his Father asks from us also to become servants for God, for Christ and for each-other. To be worthy to come in front of the heavenly Father we do have to Flee from Immorality and have to do our best to stay clean and worthy to enter the gates of the Kingdom. We thereby should always Remember the day that we were running in the darkness and should therefore be patient with others trying to bring them to God. Christians do have the task to tell others why we need a ransom, and to let there eyes be opened to come to see that there is a Ransom for all.

No person has greater love than this one who surrendered his soul in behalf of his friends. In the ransom by Jesus Love is been perfected with us.

+

Preceding articles:

You do not belong to yourselves,for you were bought with a price

Joining for a new year in the assurance to be bought with a price

Nazarene Commentary 1 Corinthians 6:15-20 – Flee from Immorality

To be continued with: How Many were Bought

Find also on this subject / Vindt ook over dit onderwerp:

In English Atonement and the race been bought

In het Nederlands: Verzoening en de gekochte race

++

Additional articles:

  1. Trouble is coming
  2. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:67-80 – Zechariah’s Prophecy
  3. God’s Special Gift
  4. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  5. One mediator
  6. Why do we need a ransom?
  7. Ransom for all
  8. Suffering redemptive because Jesus redeemed us from sin
  9. Love been perfected with us
  10. No person has greater love than this one who surrendered his soul in behalf of his friends
  11. Your Sins Are Forgiven
  12. Called Christian
  13. Servant of his Father
  14. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #5 To meditate and Transform
  15. Remember the day
  16. Patient waiting
  17. Fellowship
  18. Being of good courage running the race

+++

  • Moving Through Time: Timeline of Religion (pcr.wpengine.com)
    Since the beginning of time, mankind has formed beliefs of the unexplainable and unknowable. Over thousands of years, these beliefs became traditional, customary, and institutionalized within regional societies. People continue to express an interest in spiritual matters from all corners around the world. Everybody has pondered the meaning of life, what happens after we die, what existed before us, and whether any other life exists in the universe. Mankind may never know concrete answers regarding the spiritual. In fact, humans may destroy the planet before we can discover the remaining life in unexplored regions. Nevertheless, we continue to seek spiritual enlightenment and a connection with our Creator.
  • God is Love (dailybibleplan.com)
    Great freedom comes from understanding the true heart of God.  Praise Him today for His great love for us.  Be blessed knowing that God’s perfect love for you will never fail.
  • ‪#‎LivingthePromise God is preparing me (seanwhitenack.wordpress.com)
    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
  • Jesus is Matchless (theencouragementexpress.com)
    people change people as much as ideas change people. The power of personality is strong. One could find many illustrations to prove that often personality is greater than the idea. Such is the case with Christianity. The secret of the power of Christianity is not in its ethics. It is not in Christian ideas or philosophy, although Christianity has a philosophical set of ideas. The secret of Christianity is found in a Person, and that Person is the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • What was Abolished in Christ ? (isaiahministries.wordpress.com)
    It is said of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, that He “hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” 2 Tim. 1:10. Death is the result of sin. “Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
    +
    We read that Christ “was manifested to take away our sins.” 1 John 3:5. He is the sin-bearer, “Who His own self carried up our sins in His body to the tree, that we having died unto sins, might live unto righteousness.” 1 Peter 2:24, R.V., margin. Sin is lawlessness, and Christ was manifested to take away, not the law, but lawless-ness.
  • What does the Bible say about finding a husband? (mmfit1.wordpress.com)
    We must enter into the second most-important relationship of our lives (marriage), not under an emotional cloud, but with eyes wide open.  Our most important relationship, with our Lord and Savior, has to be the focus of our lives
  • Thankfulness from A to Z! (pamelastephens.me)
    Can you think of hymns, or praise songs that truly express your gratitude for an Awesome God?  It is an act of worship to allow your spirit to be transported into the heavenlies with these melodies; but it is more than just a tune, combined with the words it becomes a heart felt prayer as we sing!  Consider, meditate and praise Him for  His blessings from A to Z! “Count your blessings, name them one by one! Count your many blessings see what God has done!”
  • November 16th (learning2walkdaily.wordpress.com)
    Paul is challenging the people to get past the small things that have grown to divide them and focus on Jesus. This has obviously mushroomed over time into many sects, some of which may even be the “official” church of some nations. Now, more than ever, in such an unfriendly time for the church, we should all be heeding Paul’s instruction and simply strive for unity through Jesus Christ.
  • To an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, (activeinspiration.wordpress.com)
    According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead

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