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Posts tagged ‘Soul’

Calvin’s view on trying to save your life

25. For he that would save his life shall lose it.

It is a most appropriate consolation, that they who willingly suffer death for the sake of Christ {1 } do actually obtain life; for Mark expressly states this as the motive to believers in dying  —  for my sake, and for the sake of the Gospel  —  and in the words of Matthew the same thing must be understood. It frequently happens that irreligious men are prompted by ambition or despair to despise life; and to such persons it will be no advantage that they are courageous in meeting death. The threatening, which is contrasted with the promise, has also a powerful tendency to shake off carnal sloth, when he reminds men who are desirous of the present life, that the only advantage which they reap is, to lose life. There is a contrast intended here between temporal and eternal death, as we have explained under #Mt 10:39, where the reader will find the rest of this subject. {2 }

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26. For what doth it profit a man?

The word soul is here used in the strictest sense. Christ reminds them that the soul of man was not created merely to enjoy the world for a few days, but to obtain at length its immortality in heaven. What carelessness and what brutal stupidity is this, that men are so strongly attached to the world, and so much occupied with its affairs, as not to consider why they were born, and that God gave them an immortal soul, in order that, when the course of the earthly life was finished, they might live eternally in heaven! And, indeed, it is universally acknowledged, that the soul is of higher value than all the riches and enjoyments of the world; but yet men are so blinded by carnal views, that they knowingly and willfully abandon their souls to destruction. That the world may not fascinate us by its allurements, let us remember the surpassing worth of our soul; for if this be seriously considered, it will easily dispel the vain imaginations of earthly happiness.

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{1 } “Ceux qui meurent alaigrement pour Christ”;  — ” those who die cheerfully for Christ.”

{2 } Harmony, vol. 1 p. 472 (See CALVIN “Mt 10:39”).

John Calvin

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Note

After judgment day: The bible speaks about some who would come to heaven but having the majority coming to live on earth.

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Preceding

Matthew 16 Asking for signs from heaven

Matthew 16 Calvin’s view

Matthew 16 Spurgeon’s view

Matthew 16:1-4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Signs of the Times

Matthew 16:5-12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Watch Out for the Leaven of False Teaching

Matthew 16:13-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Building a Hades-Proof Congregation

Matthew 16:21-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Think God’s Thoughts

Matthew 16:24-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Disciple Must Disown Self

Demanding signs or denying yourself

To follow Christ

Every one who would be Jesus his follower must sacrifice himself

Calvin’s view on taking up the cross

 

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Read also

  1. I Can’t Believe That (1) … God would send anyone to hell
  2. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #2 Psyche, the word

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Related

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  2. Fall In Love With The Lord Of The Work, Not The Work Of The Lord
  3. Finding your spirituality is the key for True Wisdom
  4. Saturday Song: Ronnie Hawkins, Home from the Forest

Matthew 16:24-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Disciple Must Disown Self

Matthew 16:24-28 – A Disciple Must Disown Self

|| Mark 8:34-9:1; Luke 9:22-27

MT16:24 [Because of this] Jesus told his disciples: “If anyone wishes to follow me[1] they must disown ‘self,’[2] heft a personal cross,[3] and then keep following me constantly. MT16:25 For whoever wishes to preserve their soul[4] will forfeit it; and, whoever forfeits the soul because of me[5] will find it. MT16:26 For how will a person benefit if upon gaining the entire cosmos[6] forfeits the soul?[7] Or, what will a person give in exchange for the soul? MT16:27 For the Son of Humankind is about to return into the glory of his Father[8] – all his angels with him.[9] Thereafter everyone will be compensated according to their practices.[10] MT16:28 I tell you this truth: It is very likely that some of you standing right here will not taste death[11] before they see the Son of Humankind returning[12] into his kingdom.”

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Matthew 16.24.JPG

[1] If anyone wishes to follow me: Or, KJV: if any man will come after me; KNX: has a mind to come my way; TCNT wishes to walk in my steps; RIEU: wishes to walk in my footsteps; NEB: wishes to be a follower of min; BER: to walk behind me. It is the call to discipleship. Compare 1 Peter 2:21; Revelation 14:4, 5.

[2] They must disown ‘self’: Or, KJV: deny himself; TCNT: renounce self; NEB: leave self behind; GDSP: must disregard himself; WMS: must say ‘No’ to self. Compare the example of Jesus at Philippians 2:5-7.

[3] Heft a personal cross: Or, KJV: take up his cross; WMS: put his cross on his shoulders. The Greek for “cross” is STAUROS and means a simple upright stake or pole. Jesus is yet to be nailed to a cross or stake so it is unlikely he predicts a particular type of cross. See notes on cross or stake elsewhere.

[4] Whoever wishes to preserve their soul: The Greek is PSUCHEN and appears over 1,000 times in the Greek Bible. The “soul” is the life of a person or the person itself. The meaning here is like: “the person who tries to save their own skin…” Research the key word soul or PSYCHE. Or, KJV: whosoever will save his life; KNX: the man who tries to save his life; NEB: whoever cares for his own safety is lost; WMS: whoever wants to save his higher life will have to give up his lower life (Compare the parable of the materialistic farmer in Luke chapter 12).

[5] Forfeits the soul because of me: Or, KJV: whosoever will lose his life for my sake; NEB: if a man will let himself be lost for my sake, he will find his true self. Compare Matthew 10:28.

[6] If upon gaining the entire cosmos: The Greek is KOSMON. Or, KJV: gain the whole world; GDSP: gains the whole world at the cost of his life. Here the word “world” may mean whatever is the most important and all consuming in a person’s life: “music was his whole world.”

[7] Forfeits the soul: Or, KJV: lose his own soul; KNX: at the cost of losing his own soul; NEB: at the cost of his true self.

[8] Is about to return into the glory of his Father: The word translated “return” is generally rendered “coming” and gives the wrong impression based on the root verse it is drawn from (Daniel 7:13). The idea is more like John 6:62 where the Son of Humankind returns (or, ascends) to is previous position and place in heaven (John 17:5). Or, KJV: the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; BER: is about to come. See commentary on Daniel 7:13 in Nazarene Apocalypse.

[9] Angels with him: Compare Daniel 7:13, 14 with Acts 1:9-11.

[10] Everyone will be compensated according to their practices: The phrase is nearly identical to 2 Corinthians 5:10. Or, KJV: shall reward every man according to his works; RHM: give back to… according to his practice; RSV: he will repay every man for what he has done; TCNT: then he will give to every man what his actions deserve. Compare Matthew 12:36 and research the words judgment and judgment day (Revelation 20:13).

[11] Some of you standing right here will not taste death: This will occur within their life times. Or, WMS: will live to see. Compare Matthew 10:23 and Matthew 26:64. The disciples would live to see the fulfillment of Daniel 7:13.

[12] Returning: The Greek is ERCHOMENON, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #2064 and is also defined as “1a1) to come from one place to another, and used both of persons arriving and of those RETURNING.” This thought is missed by most. The language of the Nazarene is drawn from Daniel 7:13 where “a son of man” (Jerome LATIN hominid) is seen returning or ascending to the Presence of the Ancient of Days – Daniel’s visionary location in heaven. The Aramaic (Hebrew) of Daniel 7:13’s “came” is athah (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance ##858) and may also mean “arrive” as in become present.

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Preceding

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

Matthew 10:24-31 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Do Not Fear – Preach!

Matthew 16 Asking for signs from heaven

Matthew 16 Calvin’s view

Matthew 16 Spurgeon’s view

Matthew 16:1-4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Signs of the Times

Matthew 16:5-12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Watch Out for the Leaven of False Teaching

Matthew 16:13-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Building a Hades-Proof Congregation

Matthew 16:21-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Think God’s Thoughts

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bible-films-christ-walking-disciples-1426507-print

Who wants to follow Jeshua, Jesus Christ the Messiah wherever he goes or wants us to bring?

Related

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  2. Bible Study Notes on Matthew 16:13-28 – 20180123
  3. Don’t Miss the Signs of the Times
  4. Matthew 16, the demand for a sign, the sign of Jonah, Peter’s confession of Christ, Jesus predicts his death.
  5. their hearts right, their heads wrong
  6. The Forsake All Principle
  7. The Power of Human Denial
  8. Scarcity and Genuine Jesus-Followers
  9. God’s Will, Not Mine – Ouch, That’s Hard!
  10. The former possessed man wants to go with Jesus (Mk 5:18-5:18)
  11. Staying Power
  12. Why do we bother with Church?
  13. Being a Jesus-Following Neighbor
  14. Who is Most Worthy?
  15. Witnesses
  16. Why Don’t We Just Follow Jesus? Well, For Starters…
  17. Follow Me; Learning Under Jesus
  18. 8 Commands of Christ
  19. Self-Denial — Is it a requirement of following Jesus the Messiah?
  20. Put The Devil Behind You (Matthew 16:21–28)
  21. Call and Mission of the Cross
  22. Cross-Bearing: Help Wanted (Mt 16:21-28, Rom 12:9-21)
  23. Attempt 10 – Pick Up Your Cross
  24. Take Up Your Cross
  25. Take Up The Cross, a prayer based on Matthew 16.24-28
  26. “You will have complete and free access to God’s kingdom, keys to open any and every door.” ~Jesus

Matthew 16:5-12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Watch Out for the Leaven of False Teaching

Matthew 16:5-12 – Watch Out for the Leaven of False Teaching

|| Mark 8:14-21; Luke 12:1

MT16:5 Now the disciples arrived on the other side of the lake and they forgot to bring loaves of bread with them. MT16:6 So, Jesus told them, “Watch and pay attention regarding the leaven[1] of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” MT16:7 The disciples now carried on a dialogue among themselves, “We brought no loaves of bread.” MT16:8 Realizing what they were talking about, Jesus said to them, “Men of very small faith,[2] why are you having this dialogue just because you did not bring loaves of bread? MT16:9 Do you not perceive[3] or remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many surplus baskets you gathered? MT16:10 Or the seven loaves of the four thousand and how many surplus baskets you gathered? MT16:11 Why do you not realize that I was not speaking about loaves of bread? Rather, be alert regarding[4] the ‘leaven’ of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” MT16:12 Then the disciples finally got the point that Jesus was not talking about the leaven of loaves but rather the teaching of[5] the Pharisees and Sadducees.

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[1] Leaven: Compare Mark 8:15 where Jesus includes the party followers of Herod; and, Luke 12:1 where “hypocrisy” is included. See notes on Matthew 13:33.

[2] Men of very small faith: See notes on Matthew 8:26.

[3] Do you not perceive: One gets the feeling that the miracle of feeding the crowds was more of an object lesson for the apostles.

[4] Be alert regarding: Jesus believed in Biblical Truth and made no effort to compromise his teachings with others. He wanted his disciples to pay close attention to what others taught and view as ‘leaven’ (or corrupt doctrines) those teachings or manners which did not line up with his own teachings.

[5] The teaching of: Jesus has mentioned three groups in this context. Regarding the Pharisees (self-righteous conservatives) Josephus records: “And so great is (the Pharisees’) influence with the masses that even when they speak against a king or high priest, they immediately gain credence.” [Jewish Antiquities, XIII, 288 (x, 5)] “They believe that souls have power to survive death and that there are rewards and punishments under the earth for those who have led lives of virtue or vice: eternal imprisonment is the lot of evil souls, while the good souls receive an easy passage to a new life.” (Jewish Antiquities, XVIII, 14 [i, 3]) “Every soul, they maintain, is imperishable, but the soul of the good alone passes into another body, while the souls of the wicked suffer eternal punishment.… [The Pharisees] attribute everything to Fate and to God; they hold that to act rightly or otherwise rests, indeed, for the most part with men, but that in each action Fate co-operates.” [The Jewish War, II, 162, 163 (viii, 14)]

            Sadducees (liberal free-thinkers) ‘denied the workings of fate, maintaining that an individual, by his own actions, was solely responsible for what befell him.’ [Jewish Antiquities, XIII, 172, 173 (v, 9)] They ‘rejected the many oral traditions observed by the Pharisees and also Pharisaic belief in the immortality of the soul and in punishments or rewards after death. In their dealings with one another, the Sadducees were somewhat rough. They were said to be disputatious. According to Josephus, their teachings appealed to the wealthy.’ [Jewish Antiquities, XIII, 298 (x, 6); XVIII, 16, 17 (i, 4); The Jewish War, II, 162-166 (viii, 14)]

            Herodians (political) are unknown in secular history but much involved in the politics of Jesus’ homeland. Compare Matthew 12:9-14; Matthew 22:15-22; Mark 3:1-6; Luke 20:21-26.

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Preceding

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

Matthew 13:33 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Fermented Whole

Matthew 16 Asking for signs from heaven

Matthew 16 Calvin’s view

Matthew 16 Spurgeon’s view

Matthew 16:1-4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Signs of the Times

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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).

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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

False teachers and false prophets still around

When Jesus was alive he warned already for a time that false teachers would come along. Soon after he died, was risen and gone up in the skies to his heavenly Father several teachers found something interesting in the rabbi his teaching they could use for their own teachings. They mixed it with Roman Greek ideas and popular traditional thoughts.

Icon depicting the First Council of Nicaea.

Icon depicting the First Council of Nicaea. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Throughout the years deceitful individuals managed to lure people into false teachings. Worse was it when a majority of church leaders did agree with Constantine the great to come under its authority. To cease the persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire some found it better to agree to those Roman Greek teachings and several gods. By agreeing to make Jeshua into a similar figure as Zeus, making his name into Issou or ‘Hail Zeus’ the worst false teaching entered in Christendom. It was a terrible turning point for Early Christianity, By some referred to as the Triumph of the Church, the Peace of the Church or the Constantinian shift.

But already before that great turning point of the introduction of the false Trinity doctrine there where also other false teachings brought by many who tried to get people around them. We can find the apostles warning about such people who twisted the words of Jesus and mixed it with popular human philosophy and popular thoughts. Those different teachers because of the more popular ideas and giving in to pagan rites could often gain more popularity than the strict followers of Jesus Christ. Lots of people believed in demons, monsters and stories about horrible beings where much enjoyed. When there were sick people there where preachers, who tried to gain there living by so called driving out such demons, they were asked to come to help and cure. That practice of exorcising went on for a long time and never disappeared. Today we still can find exorcists all over the world.

Painting of Saint Francis Borgia performing an exorcism, by Goya

Paul said to the elders of the congregation in Ephesus:

“From among you yourselves men will rise and speak twisted things.”

And Peter wrote in a letter to several congregations:

“There will also be false teachers among you.”

This should warn us that false teachers even may come from inside the community or congregation. Already from the early times onwards there where people who did not agree with what was going on or who rebelled against the teachings made in the community. Such a rebellion against true worship and an abandoning of it was called “apostasy” and the agitators and false teachers apostates.

Today also we can see similar apostates or people trying to infiltrate the believers in One God and followers of His only begotten son, by entering Facebook Groups or other communities wanting

“to draw away the disciples after themselves.”

The disciples Paul is talking about are the disciples of the master teacher Jeshua, Jesus Christ who as a Jew believed in the Only One true God of Israel. Everywhere in the world there are people trying to get those who want to believe in that One God of Israel and in His son to become confused and to come to accept that what seems to be believed by the majority of Christians, but is therefore not the truth. These false teachers try to take, or steal, disciples from inside the congregation of real followers of Christ. Jesus said that apostates are like wolves that eat the sheep. Apostates want to destroy the faith of the members of the congregation and want them to leave the truth. (Matthew 7:15; 2 Timothy 2:18.)

Lots of men concerning the truth have erred on many aspects, and their ideas which are all false often seem more plausible or attractive, because pagan, and so many other people believe in it, like extra internal beings or spirits, good and bad angels, who are inside man and bring them to do good or bad, or so called immortal souls that leave the body after death to go into an other body or into an other space, like heaven, purgatory or a hell by which they think it is a place of torture by eternal fire.

We can see that from among our own surroundings we find people who will rise and speak twisted things to draw away the followers of Jeshua after themselves. {1 Timothy 4:12 Timothy 4:3, 4; 1 John 2:18, 19Acts 20:30} We also can hear that they call themselves Christian, what should mean they should follow the Christ or Jeshua. After Christianity became poisoned by the Trinity doctrine in Christendom also came more and more different groups and/or sects,+ so that those of them who kept following the teachings of the master teacher Jeshua (Jesus Christ) who are approved may also become evident.(1 Corinthians 11:19)

The inspired utterance, the Spirit speaks expressly that in later times some shall fall away from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons. (1 Timothy 4:1) Still today we can see that several people will drop out of the faith, giving their attention to misleading spirits and the teachings of demons. Being fooled by false teachers often in a very clever way. Several tricks are used. Apostates for example can “quietly” bring their ideas into the congregation, like criminals who secretly bring things into a country. Apostates use “counterfeit words.” This means that they say things that make their false ideas sound true, like criminals who make false documents look real. Lots of Christians often twist words of the Bible like when there is written “the son of God” they read or say “god the son”. By twisting such sayings in many passages others start believing what they are saying. Or they use such twisted wording saying “look there it says he is god the son” and here he says “I am” so he must be God. They try to get as many people as possible to believe their “deceptive teachings.” Peter also said that they like twisting the Scriptures. They explain Bible verses in the wrong way to make others believe their ideas. (2 Peter 2:1, 3, 13; 3:16) Apostates do not care about us. If we follow them, we will leave the road to everlasting life.

Often they also try to convince you what they are telling, are things you should believe because they are to difficult for a normal human being to understand. They try to convince people around them that the Trinity is beyond human comprehension and therefore we should accepted like it is. Though it might well be that certain things in Scripture are not always so clear and can not be understood straight away, god is a God of order and clarity and did not make His Word so complicated only scholars could or would be able to understand it. However, some things in them are hard to understand, and these things the ignorant* or those people who then are unlearned and unstable, unsteadfast wrest and come to twist, the same as they do the rest of the scriptures, to their own bane, their own destruction. {2 Peter 3:16}

When hearing people saying there is something written in the Bible, dare to ask them to let it see what is written and be alert yourself, daring to say when they say it is about ‘god the son” and there is written in the bible ‘the son of God’ to point out how they wrongly interpret Scriptures.

In Romans 16:17; 2 John 9-11 clear instruction is given in the Bible.

Romans 16:1: 17 Now I urge you, brothers, to keep your eye on those who create divisions and causes for stumbling contrary to the teaching that you have learned, and avoid them.+ 18 For men of that sort are slaves, not of our Lord Christ, but of their own appetites,* and by smooth talk and flattering speech they seduce the hearts of unsuspecting ones.

2 John 9-11: Everyone who pushes ahead and does not remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God.+ The one who does remain in this teaching is the one who has both the Father and the Son.+ 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your homes+ or say a greeting to him. 11 For the one who says a greeting to him is a sharer in his wicked works.

Bombarded by lots of words wanting to have you to believe other things than are written black on white in the Bible you should be fully aware to always compare their sayings with what is written in the Bible. Always remember you must be aware that there are lots of false teachers around but that the simple warning in the bible is:

“Avoid them.”

That means that we have to stay away from them. The warning from the Bible is like a warning from a doctor who tells you to avoid a person who has a disease that may spread to others. The doctor knows that if you get this disease, you will die. His warning is clear, and you will do what he says. The Bible says that apostates are mentally diseased and that they use their teachings to make others think like them. (1 Timothy 6:3, 4) Jehovah is like that good doctor. He clearly tells us to stay away from false teachers. We must always be determined to follow his warning.

 

You always should know that God gave us His Word, the Holy Bible, to come to know Him and to come to understand Him and His Plan. Each person god has given the opportunity to learn about Him and to find guidance to come to Him.
When trusting God and allowing the Word of God come to you like it is written, done away from all the human doctrines, you shall be able to find the Biblical doctrines.

Instead of listening to false teachings that go against the truth in God’s Word, trust God and listen to His Word. (Psalm 31:5; John 17:17) As followers of Christ Jesus we should be careful when it comes to those who attack you and your faith. You always should know the bible itself should be your Guide. You always should have your ear to that Word of God and take the words like they are written in the Holy Scriptures. Listen to God’s Spirit Who is warning you that what certain people are teaching doesn’t sound quite right, then search the Scriptures and judge correctly. God gave you His Spirit to lead you into Truth. Don’t ignore His Spirit, but instead allow the Spirit to guide you today, tomorrow and every day of your life. Never let yourself be discouraged or weakened because you seem to stand alone in your understanding of the Scriptures.

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Preceding articles

Object of first woe

Raising digression

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:21-26 – 1. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Exodus 20:13

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

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

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

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

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

Minimizing the power of God’s Force the Holy Spirit

Good or bad preacher

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

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Additional reading

  1. Listening to the lessons of the Bible and looking for ways to please God
  2. Inner voice inside the soul of man
  3. Who Gets to Say What the Bible Says?
  4. God’s forgotten Word 4 Lost Lawbook 3 Early digressions and Constantinic revolution
  5. Leading people astray!
  6. Solstice, Saturnalia and Christmas-stress
  7. Atonement And Fellowship 6/8
  8. Fragments from the Book of Job #5: chapters 32-37
  9. Displeasures and Actions of the Almighty God
  10. Responses to Radical Muslims and Radical Christians
  11. Shariah and child abuse – Is there a connection?
  12. Summer holiday time to knock and ask, and time to share
  13. Responsibility bigger than those who talk about worldly matters

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Further reading

  1. The Blood of Jesus
  2. Fruit FidelityI pray not to fall prey: judging good fruit from the bad
  3. Thessalonian Christians
  4. Beware of False Preachers
  5. 7 Marks of a False Teacher
  6. My experience today with detecting cults / false churches
  7. False Teachers List & False Prophets Exposed
  8. Broken Wolves Masquerading as Sheep
  9. Judging the wolves
  10. False Preachers
  11. True Grace, or False Grace? #1178
  12. The Spirit Abides In Us
  13. The Epistle of Jude: Contend for the Faith
  14. The Shepards, The Goats, The Sheep and The Wolves…
  15. Cookie a day: Can A Christian Believe That Jesus Is Not God And Still Be A Christian?
  16. Is God’s Name Blasphemed Because of You?
  17. Ways to Handle False Teaching
  18. How to Debate False Teachers
  19. My Thoughts On “The Hebrew Roots Movement”
  20. How much error does a false teacher need to exhibit before they’re considered false?
  21. Gary’s Blog This Month on “False Teachers”From Whom Does The Gospel Come From John Calvin Or The Holy Spirit?
  22. From Whom Does The Gospel Come From John Calvin Or The Holy Spirit? (Part 2)<
  23. When our False Evangelical Leaders Met with the Pope…Dirty SpotsBe wise to false teaching
  24. Christian Ghosting: The Destructive Christian Practice We Don’t Talk About By Benjamin L. Corey
  25. A call to feed the sheep<
  26. Can apostates be Christians?
  27. The snake, the sparrow, and the sword
  28. God is our author and our editor
  29. What will the church look like in the last days
    Considering the following Hillsong video, what does it say about the state of the church in these last days, surely this video demonstrates we are witnessing the precursor to the prophesied great falling away

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Related articles

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

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

|| Luke 12:22-31

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Preceding articles

Back from gone #2 Aim of godly people

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

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

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

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

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

Man enticed to long for more

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Additional reading

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

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Further reading

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

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Paying vows to Jehovah God

66  Shout in triumph to God, all [YOU people of] the earth.*+ 2   Make melody to the glory of his name.+ Render his praise glorious.+ (NWT 1984)

1-2: Shout in triumph to God, all the earth.+ 2   Sing praises {Or “Make music.”} to his glorious name. Make his praise glorious.+ (NWT 2013 rev)

Shout… all the earth: Lit., “O all the earth,” with a pl. verb. Compare 1Ki 10:24 ftn, “Earth.”

Psalm 98:4: 4   Shout in triumph to Jehovah, all the earth. Be cheerful and shout joyfully and sing praises.

Make his praise glorious:

Psalm 72:19:19  May his glorious name be praised forever, And may his glory fill the whole earth. Amen and Amen.

Revelation 4:11: 11  “You are worthy, Jehovah our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because you created all things, and because of your will they came into existence and were created.”

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8   Bless our God, O YOU peoples,+  And cause the voice of praise to him to be heard.+ 9   He is setting our soul in life,*+  And he has not allowed our foot to totter.+ (NWT 1984)

8   Praise our God, you peoples,+ And let the sound of his praise be heard. 9   He preserves us alive;*+ He does not allow our feet to stumble.*+ (NWT 2013 rev)

you peoples:

Deuteronomy 32:43: 43  Be glad, YOU nations, with his people, For he will avenge the blood of his servants, And he will pay back vengeance to his adversaries And will indeed make atonement for the ground of his people.” / 43  Be glad, you nations, with his people, For he will avenge the blood of his servants, And he will repay vengeance to his adversaries And will make atonement for the land of his people.”

Romans 15:10: 10  And again he says: “Be glad, YOU nations, with his people.”

the voice of praise to him to be heard:

Jeremiah 33:11: 11  the sound of exultation and the sound of rejoicing, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those saying: “LAUD Jehovah of armies, for Jehovah is good; for to time indefinite is his loving-kindness!”’ “‘They will be bringing a thanksgiving offering into the house of Jehovah, for I shall bring back the captives of the land just as at the start,’ Jehovah has said.”

setting our soul in life {Or, “among the living ones.”}{Or “sets our soul in life.”}:

1 Samuel 25:29: 29  When man rises up to pursue you and look for your soul, the soul of my lord will certainly prove to be wrapped up in the bag of life with Jehovah your God; but, as for the soul of your enemies, he will sling it forth as from inside the hollow of the sling. / 29  When someone rises up to pursue you and seeks your life, the life of my lord will be wrapped securely in the bag of life with Jehovah your God, but the lives of your enemies he will hurl away like stones from a sling.

Acts 17:28: 28  For by him we have life and move and exist, even as certain ones of the poets among YOU have said, ‘For we are also his progeny.’

he has not allowed our foot to totter / stumble: Or “stagger; totter.”

1 Samuel 2:9: 9   The feet of his loyal ones he guards; As for the wicked ones, they are silenced in darkness, For not by power does a man prove superior. / 9   He guards the steps of his loyal ones, But the wicked will be silenced in darkness, For not by power does a man prevail.

Psalm 62:6: 6   Indeed he is my rock and my salvation, my secure height; I shall not be made to totter.

Psalm 94:18: 18  When I said: “My foot will certainly move unsteadily,” Your own loving-kindness, O Jehovah, kept sustaining me.

Psalm 121:3: 3   He cannot possibly allow your foot to totter. The One guarding you cannot possibly be drowsy. / 3   He will never allow your foot to slip. The One guarding you will never be drowsy.

 

English: The Geneva Bible (1560): God's name I...

The Geneva Bible (1560): God’s name Iehouah (in older Latin transcription form), that is Jehovah. Greek/Ελληνικά: Η μεταγραφή Ιεχουά (Ιεχωβά) στο εδάφιο Ψαλμός 83:18, από την Βίβλο της Γενεύης (Geneva Bible) του 1560. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Preceding articles:

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

Psalm 66 OJB

Psalm 66 HRV

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  • Psalm 7 (kittyjonesblog.wordpress.com)

    O Jehovah, my God, the Supreme Being, I flee to you for protection.

    Free me, snatch me out of the tight place

    into which my pursuers press me.

    They will rip me to pieces unless I am rescued.

  • Jehovah – It is not just a name. (thechurchatcarrollton.wordpress.com)
    There is no better way to discover what God is like than to look at His names. Knowing Him is and should be the life long pursuit of every believer and the best way to get to know Him is to read and study what He has said about Himself.
  • Sing to the Lord (disciplesofhope.wordpress.com)
    There are people who express their emotions to their loved ones. People send letters, tweets and pictures to show it. Some even sing for the people they love. How much more must we express our love and gratitude to the Lord God who is worthy of being loved and adored forever?
  • Shout to the Lord! (mylovestorywithgod.wordpress.com)
    no matter what I was going through nothing in this life can take away or even compare to the promises he has made me.  Nothing can take away his glorious love and grace so if that’s all I have then I still have a reason to shout my praises to the Lord.
  • What is Your Song? (jofcc.wordpress.com)
    Each morning, we are given an opportunity to “shout joyfully to the Lord”. No, maybe not with our voices, but with our lives. How we live, how we speak, how we treat others is our daily worship song to the Lord. As you begin your day today, what is your song?
  • Sunday Inspiration – Hornbills (leesbird.com)
    Oh, my, what interesting group of birds the Lord’s Creative Hand created with these two Hornbill Families! They come from the Bucerotidae – Hornbills and Bucorvidae – Ground Hornbills. There are 61 hornbills in the two families.
  • “All Of Creation, Sing With Me Now” – Nov 3 (boyslumber.wordpress.com)
    If nothing in the vastness of this world was created for me, then even I, my being, was not created for me.  I am a part of a vast created world, most of which I am oblivious to.
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    The glory of our Creator is declared in all that we see.
    Yet, we have a voice in His glory through all that we know of His creation.
  • Week 15: Friday – The Great I am (bolmdevotional.wordpress.com)
    God gives a name to a person it usually signifies character, ability or mission.
  • Morning Prayer 7.17.14, William White, Bishop of Pennsylvania, 1836 (dailyoffice.org)
    Come, let us sing to the Lord;
    let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.
    Let us come before God’s presence with thanksgiving;
    and raise to the Lord a shout with psalms.
    For the Lord is a great God;
    you are great above all gods.
  • Lord’s Day 50: The Only Source of Everything Good (urcpsalmody.wordpress.com)
    Contrary to our human instincts, the motivation for praying “Give us this day our daily bread” has nothing to do with worry.  Only a few verses after setting forth the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus directly tells his disciples, “Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on” (Matt. 6:25 ESV).  The point is not whether we will have “our daily bread”—we will—but that our eyes are turned in the right direction; that we understand that our heavenly Father is indeed “the only source of everything good.”

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