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Posts tagged ‘Sisters in Christ’

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

Though we are already a few weeks in the new year and soon we will be looking at the new civil year we want to look at the older writing about those openings for a “New Year“.

As members of a New Covenant, installed by Jeshua, Jesus Christ, we should remember not only how difficult it must have been for the virgin Miriam (Mary) but also for the community of followers of the Nazarene.

Often we do think we can own the world and can do what we want. We do not like others to intervene in our life. We also find it difficult when we are directed by others. But when we have chosen to follow Christ we get reborn and we do have to start a new year of a new calendar for life.

Having started a new season we do want to ensure all that  the Spirit of God brings love, hope and freedom and that we do have the remembrance soon of the message Miriam (Mary) was to receive about a child given to the world, prophesied about to bring the world in a new system, preparing all those on earth to look forward for a coming Kingdom.

But the new hope given in that renewed world would belong to people who do know they do not belong to themselves but to the one God has provided. To him we should give ourselves and should come to accept him as our offer for our sins, making us worthy to be as a brother or sister of him, a child of God under salvation by the blood of Christ.

The message that came on earth and brought a change in the world, a new beginning, is what we shall remember the coming weeks, leading up to the remembrance that he was born and circumcised, taken up in the community of the Judaic people, the Jews.

Sculpture - head of Jesus Christ

Sculpture – head of Jesus Christ, the Cornerstone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We now should become united under Christ, forming a heart of oak, funded in the cornerstone Jeshua, Jesus Christ our only lord and master on earth. Living in this world we do know we may not be of this world, but that does not mean we do have to be stateless. We should be of Christ, forming one strong community of brethren and sisters all wanting to do the Will of God like Jesus only wanted to do the Will of his Father. All wanting to follow and keeping to the Law of Christ: the Law of Love.

In these darker times of the year, the leaves falling down, our roots should bring forth new branches, to prop up those falling to pieces, the doubters and uncertain or indecisive. We do have to stand ready for those with questions, for those who are looking for God, for those who are not feeling so well and for those who have problems. We as brothers and sisters should let them feel they are welcome at our door.

Let us this year work to become more like Christ Jesus and help each other to grow in the lord, in the knowledge that they like we are bought with the same price. We may not wait any longer to give priority to form a loving brotherhood.


Ye are not your own. For ye are bought with a price:
therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

`1 Corinthians 6:19,20`

 


AT the opening of the new year, what lesson could be more important to us than this one, that we are not our own, but belong to another; that we are not therefore, to seek to please ourselves, but to please Him; nor to seek to serve self, but to serve Him; nor to seek to obey self-will, but on the contrary His will? This means holiness in the most absolute and comprehensive sense of the word (not only separation from sin to righteousness, but separation from “self” to the will of God in Christ).`Z.’97-35` `R2099:4`

 

All those who love God should come together regularly and as true believers should see themselves as parts of the body of Christ  holding “fast to the Head, from whom the whole body is nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, (and) grows with a growth that is from God” (Colossians 2:19).

Let us all be in union with each other, in union with Christ and in union with God:
John 15:4: Remain in union with me, and I in union with YOU.+ Just as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it remains in the vine, in the same way neither can YOU, unless YOU remain in union with me.+
1 John 2:24: 24 As for YOU, let that which YOU have heard from [the] beginning remain in YOU.+ If that which YOU have heard from [the] beginning remains in YOU, YOU will also abide in union+ with the Son and in union with the Father.+
John 15:4: Remain in union with me, and I in union with YOU.+ Just as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it remains in the vine, in the same way neither can YOU, unless YOU remain in union with me.+
John 6:56: 56 He that feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood remains in union with me,* and I in union with him.+
1 Corinthians 12:27:27 Now YOU are Christ’s body, and members individually.+
Colossians 2:19:19 whereas he is not holding fast to the head,+ to the one from whom all the body, being supplied and harmoniously joined together+ by means of its joints and ligaments, goes on growing with the growth that God gives.+
1 John 3:24: 24 Moreover, he who observes his commandments remains in union with him, and he in union with such one;+ and by this we gain the knowledge that he is remaining in union with us,+ owing to the spirit+ which he gave us.
John 14:23: 23 In answer Jesus said to him: “If anyone loves me, he will observe+ my word, and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him and make our abode with him.+

Are you making good progress in “holding fast to the head”? Are you being “nourished and knit together” with others as you do so? Don’t make the mistake of looking to blame others; all must pull together as fellows in the same ship – looking to Christ as the Captain.

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Dutch texts about this subject / Nederlandse teksten over dit gegeven:

  1. Ook behoort gij Uzelf niet toe, want gij werd met een prijs gekocht
  2. Als broeders en zusters samen op weg voor een nieuw jaar
Please do find the verses in different versions:

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Find out who are brothers in Christ or what a Brother in or of Christ should be:

  1. Two new encyclopaedic articles
  2. What are Brothers in Christ
  3. Who are the Christadelphians
  4. Rebirth and belonging to a church
  5. Not many coming out with their community name
  6. United people under Christ
  7. Christadelphian people
  8. Christadelphians
  9. Christadelphians or Messianic Christians or Messianic Jews
  10. My faith

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  • We Are Complete, Only In Him (pastorht.wordpress.com)
    Under the Old Covenant, men approached God through a priest, while under the New Covenant, we have direct access to the Father through Jesus Christ. Under the Old Covenant, a man’s sin led to his death while under the New Covenant, God is merciful to our unrighteousness. Under the Old Covenant, man could not be cleansed of a consciousness of sin while under the New Covenant, our sins and iniquities are remembered no more, and our guilty consciences are cleansed.
  • DIG for Sunday the 26th of October…..there is only one gospel, there is no other…..Galatians 1 v 6 and 7 (heilanword.wordpress.com)
    The word gospel could be translated as good news, and the grace of Jesus Christ is indeed good news.Anything other than the grace of Jesus Christ is not good news and is therefore not the gospel.
  • 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
  • Christ In The Book Of Hebrews: “the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus” (settledinheaven.wordpress.com)
    Jesus came forth from the grave by the power of God.  It was the God who brought peace to all mankind through Christ’s death and resurrection!
  • Jesus is Matchless (theencouragementexpress.com)
    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.
  • “Holiness is the balance between my nature and the law of God as expressed in Jesus Christ.” ~~Oswald Chambers (quotesthoughtsrandom.wordpress.com)
    God’s goal for us is that we be holy, just like God is holy. God has given us the power of His Holy Spirit to make it happen.
  • Tuesday, 4 November 2014 : 31st Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Charles Borromeo, Bishop (First Reading) (petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com)
    He humbled Himself by being obedient to death, death on the cross. That is why God exalted Him and gave Him the Name which outshines all names, so that at the Name of Jesus all knees should bend in heaven, on earth and among the dead, and all tongues proclaim that, Christ Jesus is the Lord to the glory of God the Father.
  • Today’s Bible Reading (ephesians 1:1, 3-10) (prayers4reparation.wordpress.com)
    As he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and unspotted in his sight in charity.Who hath predestinated us unto the adoption of children through Jesus Christ unto himself: according to the purpose of his will:
  • People Are Watching (revderrickkeeter.wordpress.com)
    As he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and unspotted in his sight in charity.Who hath predestinated us unto the adoption of children through Jesus Christ unto himself: according to the purpose of his will:
  • Christology: twelve grammatical rules (pjcockrell.wordpress.com)
    Not to speak of Christ in any way that sidelines his human experience.Jesus Christ is truly human.
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    Not to speak of Christ as if he were relevant only to some people in some cultures and circumstances. Jesus Christ is present to all people, in all times and places, as their divine-human Prophet, Priest and King. The church trusts and proclaims, but never possesses, this Messiah.

Let us not fret or worry about next season

Map of Belgium showing the provinces (black li...

Map of Belgium showing the provinces (black lines) and regions (colours). Yellow = Flanders Dutch speaking, Red = Wallonia French speaking, Blue = German-speaking part, Orange = Brussels Capital Region (37 languages). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last season we like the Belgian Christadelphians perhaps had set our hopes to much on human beings, hoping they would not be as partial to prohibit brothers and sisters in Christ to join hands and have meetings together.

In the midst of our many activities our minds should have been on the eternal and the magical ways of the universe, trusting God He would be the One Who brings the Chosen ones unto Him. Perhaps we thought of hastening. We thought maybe the business to accelerate by trying to bring the different Christadelphian groups together and by showing our openness to all those who believe in the Only One God.

Marcus Ampe and his ecclesia could not convince Carelinks to share the love of Christ. Also other Christadelphian groups did not want to unite with the man from the North or with Australian Bible Students. We too are somewhat left in the cold, not seeing an opportunity to have many brethren and sisters meeting each other and finding more places in Belgium to Break Bread together.

We stay convinced that we should not show partiality and try to get the impartiality of God in our midst as well. If we take time for books of a spiritual nature, deep conversation, singing songs together, sharing helpful exhortations, watching uplifting movies, our meditations will be much more effective. Our subconscious will also act on what it has been programmed by all day.

We often hear :

Focus on miracles and beauty you get miracles and beautiful situations. Focus on problems and competition and you get more problems, competition and worries.

We, for sure, want to concentrate on the positive, and want to forget soon what happened this year in the Belgian community.

When we heard of the trials of Mr. Ampe we where afraid it could turn wrong. Our fear turned grounded. Certain people are too stubborn and on their own and to much looking for personal gain, so that they would not be ready for such unselfish openness Mr. Ampe presented to them and the different groups.

There’s nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to fail trying to do good or to fear. Fear can be part of a survival instinct, and the Scriptures tell us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Still, there is a fear that can overwhelm us at times. There’s a fear that can rob us of faith and trust. Faith and fear are opposites in some Biblical texts. We should not let the fear of being alone or being a small group take us. We are not with many, but this should not frighten us. In the present world it shall become even worse for God fearing people. They will find themselves even more isolated from the rest of the world. Because the world is not interested in God and does not like so much people who love God. We just have to accept that and have to live with it.

Panic can take over when we have our eyes on the worldly things. We had our hopes on a growing community. We did have our hopes on the possibility to offer people living in Oostende, Brugge, Gent and Antwerp to find more people willing to join them. It would have been lovely if we could have send the Bible Students living around the Belgian coast to a Carelinks meeting or to have other brothers and sisters in Christ finding each other so that they could make arrangements to meet each other in their own region.

The apostle Paul knew very well what it meant to be in isolation. He also got to see how important it was not to focus too much on the human beings, but to remember that the peace of God can guard our hearts and minds (Philippians 4:7) whilst we put all our hope to the Most High.

We like Paul wanted all the household churches and all the Christians to be harmonious so that they could stand firm against the opposition as one body. We can listen to him who said:

“4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7 NIV)

Though it did not work out, we should not be sad. Though we still are with few (less than before) , we should be glad in the Lord at all times. We shall not get us depressed and shall show to others that we keep our doors opened to all who want to join us. Like the Belgian Christadelphian ecclesia shall keep her doors open and all the time showed their gentle behaviour, we too shall show our friendliness and love to others, working with them and not against them who show their love for the Only One True God. We do want to be clear to all men, we shall not give in to the doctrines of people and keep to the Word of God, having Christ Jesus as our cornerstone and not one specific human organisation.

We are convinced that Jehovah God is near and that we should not be afraid to stand in the cold, left behind. to our brothers and sisters we also would say:

Have no cares; but in everything with prayer and praise put your requests before God.

We shall keep asking to God that He will guide us and will provide us with the right people to make us grow as a good Christian Community, according to His wishes. We are convinced that in our hopes we shall not have to be saddened but can trust on the peace of God, which is deeper than all knowledge, which will keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

For next season we do ask our members not to fret or worry.

Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.

The coming season we shall continue to show people how human beings made up a church which sought to further define what is meant by the foundational creedal statements she has, at various important moments in history, drawn up creeds, confessions, and catechisms, but how throughout the times several people seriously took the Word of God as the Book of books to follow. We shall continue to give preference to God’s Word as our guide instead of adhering human groups and specific personalities.

When Jesus said

 “You are the light of the world,”

he meant that you and I are to let our lights shine for Jesus.  In the original Greek, Jesus uses the plural meaning

“you all together are the world’s light.”

(We don’t see this in English because we make no distinction between plural and singular.)  Jesus meant Christians corporately are the light, not any one individual. How could any single light brighten this dark world?

As such we still shall try to unit as much people as possible and to show them who Jesus was and is, what role he plays in our sanctification and our possibility to find a better life.

We shall continue to show people that it is not just by faith we shall be saved.
We shall hope we can bring many more to the faith in Christ Jesus. But we shall also show them we do need to live according to that faith we choose. We shall also show them that we need to help each other to reach the goal, so that we when we come in front of the returned Jesus shall be found worthy to enter the Kingdom of God. We shall show the people that  Jesus will judge everyone according to what they have done. (Romans 2:5-6; Matthew 5:22; 7;2;25: 31-45; Revelation 20: 12.13).

Keeping that in mind we shall continuously try to bring more people together under the name of Christ, following his example, doing good, seeking after the glory honor and immortality God offers.

Those who  wanted to live for themselves, have power for them selves, we shall try to bring to a better attitude, showing that we all need together to work for the same good cause, giving ourselves in the Hands of God, obeying the truth and giving full ear to Jehovah God and not preferring human organisations above God His Wishes.

Prayer has comforted us in sorrow and we did find hope in the willingness of the few to continue preaching and going forward trying to unite people in the love of Christ.

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Preceding articles:

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

Our openness to being approachable

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Read also:

  1. God is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him
  2. Hope does not disappoint us
  3. Focus on outward appearances
  4. Walking alone?
  5. God doesn’t call the qualified
  6. Christadelphian people
  7. Not many coming out with their community name
  8. Certain people trying to stem freedom of speech
  9. Censorship possible by a person and his organisation
  10. Attackers silenced freedom of speech
  11. A man from the North wanting to have control in Belgium
  12. Iranian refugees in Belgium baptised by Carelinks
  13. Antwerp Ecclesia
  14. Delay in publications because attack from outside
  15. Members of the ecclesia uniting and seeking God’s help in tribulation
  16. No reconciliation possible between CBM and Duncan Heaster from Carelinks
  17. Priority to form a loving brotherhood
  18. Cleanliness and worrying or not about purity
  19. Prayer, important aspect in our life
  20. People who know how to pray to move God to take hold of our affairs in a mighty way
  21. Give your worries to God
  22. Prayer has comforted us in sorrow
  23. Work with joy and pray with love

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  • Soul-searching questions, by Charles Box (fellowshiproom.org)
    Paul exhorted the Philippian Christians to diligence and seriousness in the Christian life. His teachings to these brethren provide us with some soul searching question.
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    We are required to work out our own salvation. We cannot be saved on the goodness of our parents or the faithfulness others. Salvation is a personal matter and each person must obey God himself.Our obedience begins with our belief in Christ as our Savior, repen­tance of our sinful ways and baptism for the forgiveness of our sins. Our obedience continues as we live according to His word as revealed to us in the New Testament.
  • Philippians 2 (King James Version.) The Bible in government. (moralupbringing.com)
    If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like minded , having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind . 3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus
  • Fan or Follower? | Part 2 (comeawake.org)
    Don’t be too quick to choose one over the other. Don’t make the mistake of answering this question like all the other questions you’ve been asked by preachers, Sunday School teachers, and Small Group leaders. This isn’t a knowledge-based question. It’s a heart-based question. It’s a conviction-based question. It’s a commitment-based question.
  • Find the good, hold fast to it, and be not moved. (madisonamydunne.wordpress.com)
    This week a lot of us had emergency changes because a lot of new missionaries came to our mission from other missions in Peru
    +
    We must read the Bible, realize that He formed it built upon prophets, apostles, and that His church has the authority of God.
  • Faith Is Based On Knowledge By Andrew Wommack (zillasnetworks.wordpress.com)
    all things that pertain unto life and godliness are given unto us through the knowledge of God.
    Certainly, faith must be one of those things because without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). So faith must come through the knowledge of God.
  • Needs (johnjohnsonsgranddaughter.wordpress.com)
    There are 21 verses from the bible on Needs
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    The only thing that I truly need, everyday, more than food and water, is Christ.  But you knew that, right?
  • Book of Philippians (brakeman1.com)
    The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in verse 14; and in 3:1, 13, 17; 4:1, 8, 21.
  • earth moving principles (mobilisedbygod.wordpress.com)
    It is amazing that many of our opportunities to serve others comes through praying for those opportunities. Nehemiah understood the power of prayer, and so he prayed as soon as he received news of Jerusalem’s continued desolation.
  • ‘Not Just a Blonde’: Worrying Steals… (cultureofawareness.com)
    Worrying doesn’t take away tomorrow’s troubles, it steals today’s peace! Worrying is just not a helpful thing to do! Worry keeps us stuck in our fears. It forces us to focus on the negative possibilities and blinds us.
  • Fear: The Absence of Peace (inspirationalchristiansfortoday.com)
    When fear is present, peace is absent. Fear robs our peace of mind, weakens our resolve, disturbs our rest, and even causes us to question the presence of God. Fear is an emotion that will hinder our walks with Christ unless we learn to face it and overcome it with the grace of God.

A man from the North wanting to have control in Belgium

Figures in history

Photograph of Charles Taze Russell.

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

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

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

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

Centralized authority

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

John Thomas

John Thomas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

Time of the end

c131

Dr. Thomas may have written:

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

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

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

At the time when he lived he considered

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Powerful engines

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

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

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

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

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

Forcing ideas in other’s heads

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

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

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

No prophets and no solo teachers

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

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

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

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

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

Excessive zeal

Some  Christadelphians and other Bible Students might have had an

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Asked to defile

CBM Feb. 18 18.13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Concerns

Belgian Christadelphians English pages

English web-pages of the Belgian Christadelphians

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

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

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

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

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

Christadelphia Black-out Feb. 15 10.47

Christadelphia Facebook page being blacked-out in February 2014

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

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

Necessity for union

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

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

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

Central fellowship practice

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

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

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

Sad occurrence

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

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

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

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

Reason to react

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

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

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

***

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

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

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The cause of maddening:

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

Other reactions were given afterwards:

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

Dutch articles:

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

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Please do also find to read:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

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