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Posts tagged ‘Teacher’

Matthew 23:1-12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Prominence and Humility

Matthew 23:1-12 – Prominence and Humility

|| Mark 12:38, 39; Luke 20:45, 46

MT23:1 Then Jesus spoke to the crowds as well as his disciples, saying: MT23:2 “The Scribes and Pharisees sat down on the seat of Moses.[1] MT23:3 So, everything they preach to you, do and observe;[2] but do not imitate their actions,[3] for they do not practice what they preach.[4] MT23:4 They tie on heavy burdens[5] and impose these on the shoulders of humankind while they are unwilling to budge [these loads] with a single finger.[6] MT23:5 All their [religious] works they do to be viewed by humans.[7] They broaden their phylacteries[8] and they enlarge the fringes of their garments.[9] MT23:6 They prefer the prominent place at suppers[10] and the front seats in the synagogues.[11] MT23:7 [They enjoy] greetings in the market square[12] and to be called ‘Rabbi’[13] by people. MT23:8 But, you [disciples] should not be addressed as ‘Rabbi’ for only One is your teacher.[14] All of you [disciples] are brothers.[15] MT23:9 Nor should [you disciples permit others] on earth to address you as ‘Father’[16] for One is your Father – the Heavenly One. MT23:10 Nor should you disciples be addressed as ‘Leaders’[17] because your Leader is only the Messiah. MT23:11 But the ‘greatest’ among you will be your servant. MT23:12 For whoever will exalt self will be humiliated;[18] and whoever humbles self will be exalted.

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[1] Sat down on the seat of Moses: Or, KNX: the place from which Moses used to teach; TCNT: now occupy the chair of Moses; PME: speak with the authority of Moses. Compare Exodus 18:13.

[2] Do and observe: Or, RSV: so practice and observe whatever they tell you. Jesus does not undermine their teaching of the Law of Moses.

[3] Do not imitate their actions: Or, BER: do not behave as they do; TCNT: do not follow their example.

[4] They do not practice what they preach: Or, KJV: they say, and do not; RSV: they preach, but do not practice; KNX: for they tell you one thing and do another.

[5] They tie on heavy burdens: Or, KJV: they bind heavy burdens; KNX: they fasten up packs too heavy; PME: they pile up back-breaking burdens.

[6] They are unwilling to budge [these loads] with a single finger: Or, TCNT: they decline themselves to lift a finger to move them.

[7] To be viewed by humans: Or, NEB: whatever they do is done for show.

[8] They broaden their phylacteries: The Greek is PHYLACTERIA. The Jewish Encyclopedia (1976, Vol. X, p. 21) states: “The laws governing the wearing of phylacteries were derived by the Rabbis from four Biblical passages (Deuteronomy 6:8; 11:18; Exodus 13:9). While these passages were interpreted literally by most commentators,… the Rabbis held that the general law only was expressed in the Bible, the application and elaboration of it being entirely matters of tradition and inference.” These were small boxes containing Bible verses strapped around the forehead and wrist. These Jewish clergy made them large for show of their extreme religiosity. Or, KNX: boldly written are the texts they carry; GDSP: they wear wide Scripture texts as charms; TAY: they act holy by wearing on their arms large prayer boxes with Scripture verses inside.

[9] They enlarge the fringes of their garments: See Numbers 15:38; Deuteronomy 22:12. Or, KNX: deep is the hem of their garments; GDSP: they wear large tassels; TAY: by lengthening the memorial fringes of their robes.

[10] They prefer the prominent place at suppers: Or, KJV: they love the uppermost rooms at feasts; RHM: the first couch in the chief meals; RSV: place of honor; RIEU: the best places at banquets; PME: seats of honor at dinner parties. Compare the counsel of the Nazarene at Luke 14:7, 10.

[11] The front seats in the synagogues: Note this was still a problem among Christians (James 2:2-4).

[12] [They enjoy] greetings in the market square: Or, NASB: respectful greetings; WMS: to be greeting with honor in public places. We can see these self-righteous, condescending clergy bestowing their weak smiles and blessings upon those who raise their voices in praise.

[13] Rabbi: The term occurs 18 times in three Gospels and is absent from the Gospel of Luke. The title is a surrogate for “teacher.” (John 1:38) In time the title was elevated to “my great one; my excellent one.” Research the word Rabbi.

[14] Only One is your teacher: While all Christians should be teachers (Hebrews 5:12; Titus 2:3), and while there are among them those recognized as “teachers” (1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11; James 3:1-3) the entire Body of Christ understands who the real Teacher is: Jesus of Nazareth.

[15] Brothers: Jesus speaks to his male disciples. See notes on Matthew 12:50. Despite gifts and offices the general atmosphere in the church must be a brotherhood.

[16] Address you as ‘Father’: Unfortunately later in the history of the Church clergy accepted the title “Father” despite the command of their Lord. They will have to bear this responsibility. Often it is a matter of a teacher or leader refusing certain titles. Job 32:21 declares, “And on an earthling man I shall not bestow a title.” (NWT)

[17] Leaders: Or, KJV: neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master. In Spanish such a man is called Maestro and this is not fitting for a shepherd of the flock. There is a different between a “Leader” and one who takes the lead. Compare Hebrews 13:7, 17.

[18] Whoever will exalt self will be humiliated: Or, KJV: whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased.

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Preceding

Matthew 22:41-46 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jesus Asks a Trump Question

Matthew 23 – A Jeremiad against the religious hypocrites

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Related articles

  1. Matthew Chapter A Day – 23
  2. Read Matt 23 before saying anything
  3. Hypocrisy & Judgmentalism – Two Unmistakable Marks Of Narcissism – Part 1
  4. “Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant.” ~Jesus
  5. Who were the pharisees?
  6. The Good & Bad of the Pharisees
  7. Pharisees and Scribes
  8. “Stay Humble – God Will Expose”

By Whose authority did that Nazarene rebbe speak and did he such incredible things

“Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him.

“By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked.

“And who gave you this authority?”” (Mt 21:23 NIV)

In the previous chapters written by Matthew we came to see a Jesus who was in everything like other people around him, except for his goodness and certain miraculous things he could do. He was hungry and needed sleep like any other of us. He also wanted some quietness of some time for himself.

Many were amazed about the strange things that Jesus could do. Many wondered how it was possible that this man could do such special things. Some found it also strange that this man dared to pose certain questions  and speak against the people in charge of the temple, though he was not a priest.
He was making great changes in the affairs of the temple, and the priests claimed the right to know why this was done, contrary to their permission. He was not a priest; he had no civil or ecclesiastical authority as a Jew. It was sufficient authority indeed, that he came as a prophet, and worked miracles. But they professed not to be satisfied with that.

Never did Jesus claim to speak or act in his own name. He told the people around him that the doctrine he preached was not his doctrine, but the one of his heavenly Father, Who is the Only One True God. though at certain times this teacher dared to warn those around him that they had to listen to his words and should act on them because otherwise they would be like a stupid man who built his house on sand. (Matthew 7:26)

“But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.” (Mt 7:26 NIV)

“But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”” (Lu 6:49 NIV)

Also today we can hear those words from Jesus, by the delivered stories of the gospel-writers. They clearly wrote down the words of Jesus so that people after them also could get to know them. By those writings we also can come to see what wonderful things Jesus not only said but also did.

The question the religious leaders asked was relevant both to the cleansing of the Temple (vv. 12-14;’are you doing’) and to his teaching in the Temple (’ while he was teaching’). The double form of the question is typically Jewish. {cf. Mr 12:14 13:4 Ac 4:7 } The two questions are certainly interrelated but not identical.

The first questions the quality of Jesus’ authority:

is it that of a scribe, or a prophet, or is it something else again?

The second question concerns the source of Jesus’ authority.

The authority to instruct on one’s own account could only be given to a rabbi by the laying on of hands (SB, II, 647-649). The deputation’s question was especially suitable as the starting-point for a lawsuit against him.

Any Jew was allowed to talk publicly about religious questions (as in our social meetings), but if he proposed to be a regular teacher (Rabbi), than he had to be authorized by a rebbe or an other high rabbi or by the Sanhedrin. Lots of people told about this man who was going from one place to an other, always teachings and as such it could be considered that he was making it not only his occupation to teach, but he was also working miracles, cleansing the temple as if a prophet, and apparently justifying his followers in greeting him as the Messiah.

Jesus had no intention to becoming a worldly ruler at that time, getting rid of the Romans, though many thought he was the promised one who would liberate them from those Roman occupiers. By this time Jesus had become very well aware of his task, being a speaker for God, even when that required to put himself aside.

The spiritual leaders of the land did not like this man who was telling so many things and doing so many things which got people away from their teachings and seemed to undermine their position. But many where convinced that he spoke with authority.

“The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law.” (Mr 1:22 NIV)

“All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What is this teaching? With authority and power he gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!”” (Lu 4:36 NIV)

Because Jesus came to see that many thought it would be from himself that he was saying and doing those things, he told them that he could do nothing without his heavenly Father.

“Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” (Joh 5:19 NIV)

According to Jesus the problem was that many did not know the God, like we can see also today.  At that time there was probably not one person who had taken Jesus as their god, though today many have done so and do not see how Jesus was the sent one from God, Who is much greater than Jesus. Therefore many of those persons do not see and are blind for the word because they prefer to keep to human doctrines instead of the words of God and the words of Christ.

“Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me.” (Joh 7:16 NIV)

“Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me.” (Joh 8:42 NIV)

“”You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.” (Joh 14:28 NIV)

Jesus told everybody it was by him they could come to see and to understand, him being the way to God, (and not to himself) and therefore he was going to suffer.

“But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognise him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.”” (Mt 17:12 NIV)

“5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me.” (Joh 14:5-6 NIV)

It is by Jesus we can come to know the truth and find the way to the small gate.

“13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Mt 7:13-14 NIV)

“7 Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. {Or kept safe } He will come in and go out, and find pasture.” (Joh 10:7-9 NIV)

The spiritual leaders of that time where afraid this Nazarene would come to be favoured more by the people and would take their place as a reformer.

Jesus dispatched them with speed, as if he had been loath to have been taken with his task undone.

Jesus was not willing to have a high position prepared by men, nor to be crowned by the multitude, there being only too good reason, him being sent by his heavenly Father. Their ideas of royalty were entirely different from his. Had he allowed himself to be borne on the tide of popular favour to royal honours, His kingdom would have been thereby marked as “of this world,” it would have been stamped as something very different from the kingdom of “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost” he had come to establish.

Had he been a mere enthusiast, he would have undoubtedly have yielded to such a tidal wave of public excitement; but his unerring wisdom taught him that he must reach the throne by another path than that of popular favour. Rather must it be through popular rejection — through the dark portals of despite and death; and for that, his hour had not then come.

So many years later we should see by Whose authority Jesus said and and all those things. Everything he did and said was done because God allowed him to do that and gave him power to do so. today still a lot of Christians too, like the Pharisees, do not believe Jesus acted as a sent one from God. Many christians have taken Jesus into their god and do not see how he should be their way to God.

Do you think Jesus is God, or do you accept Jesus as the sent one from God, who was authorised by God?

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Preceding

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

Matthew 7:13-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #5 Matthew 7:28-29 – The Crowd’s Reaction

Matthew 9:1-8 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Messiah Forgives Sins and Heals Paralytic

Matthew 9:32-34 – How others look at the blind, speechless and demoniac being healed

Matthew 13 – Parables on Kingdom mysteries

Matthew 21:1-3 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Sent Ahead for a Donkey

Matthew 21:4-5 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Your King Is Coming upon a Donkey

Matthew 21:6-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Blessed the One Coming in God’s Name!

Matthew 21:10-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Who Is This?

Matthew 21:12-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Temple Cleansed

Matthew 21:12-14 – From a den of thieves to a house of prayer

Matthew 21:15-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Out of the Mouth of Babes

Matthew 21:18-22 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Cursed Fig Tree a Lesson in Faith

Matthew 21:23-27 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Question of Authority

Matthew 21:10-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Who Is This?

Matthew 21:10-11 Who Is This? – a Question still posed today #1

Matthew 21:10-11 Who Is This? – a Question still posed today #2

More than just a man with authority of speaking

 

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Additional reading

  1. The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #8 Looking for the 2nd Adam
  2. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  3. Americans their stars, pretension, God, Allah and end of times signs #2 War on God’s Plan, Name and title
  4. The meek one riding on an ass
  5. Infinite payment of sin by the son of God
  6. The son of man given authority by God
  7. Authority given to him To give eternal life
  8. Blindness in the Christian world
  9. Memorizing wonderfully 52 Acts 7:56: the Son of man standing on the right hand of God
  10. Priest, scribes and others with authority

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Related

  1. the Authority of Jesus questioned
  2. Luke – Chapter 20
  3. Words of Life ~ Author(ity)
  4. His U
  5. A King & a Kingdom
  6. Authority of Jesus — It is Questioned

Matthew 13:51-52 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Teacher Uses New and Old

Matthew 13:51-52 – Teacher Uses New and Old

MT13:51 “Did you [disciples] understand everything?”[1] [The Disciples] answered, “Yes.” MT13:52 So Jesus told them, “Therefore, every teacher[2] who has become a student[3] of the Realm of Heaven can be compared to a person, like a householder,[4] who throws out[5] of his treasure-chest[6] new things and old things.”[7]

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[1] Understand everything: Or, KNX: have you grasped all this; NWT: comprehend.

Jean Miélot, a European author and scribe at work

[2] Teacher: The Greek is GRAMMATEUS and is generally rendered “scribe” though some rendered it: TCNT: Teacher; PME: every one who knows the Law. The scribe was considered a teacher as well as a student sometimes. Search the word scribe or scribes.

[3] Become a student: The Greek is MATHETEUTHEIS. Or, TCNT: received instruction; PME: becomes a disciple; NEB: a learner. The perfect teacher is one who is also a life-long student.

[4] Householder: Or, KNX: rich man; NOR: master of a house. See notes on Matthew 13:27.

[5] Throws out: The Greek is BALOUSIN and is also rendered: NJB: brings out. But, there seems more enthusiasm in the word.

[6] His treasure-chest: The treasure are his own goods, the things he has saved. Jesus has used the word “treasure” in relation to the heart. See the notes on treasure at Matthew 6:21 and Matthew 12:35. As a student or learner (a disciple of Christ) each of these apostles has had truths stored up from the Jewish religion – laws, principles, doctrines, prophecies. Now each ones has new truths and news ways of expressing these from the Master teacher, Jesus.

[7] New things and old things: The New Jerusalem Bible footnote here reads: “The Jewish teacher who becomes a disciple of Christ has at his disposal all the wealth of the Old Testament as well as its completion in the New.” William Barclay writes: “There is something suggestive here. For it means that Jesus never desired or intended that any man [or, woman – editor] should forget all he knew when he came to him; but that he should see his knowledge in a new light and use it in a new service.” (Page 90) No person embarking on discipleship to the Nazarene can refuse to “throw out” in personal witnessing to others truths old and new.

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Preceding

Matthew 2:1-6 – Astrologers and Priests in a Satanic Plot

Matthew 7:13-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #5 Matthew 7:28-29 – The Crowd’s Reaction

Matthew 8:18-22 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Two Would-be Followers

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

Matthew 13 – Parables on Kingdom mysteries

Matthew 13:1-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable: the Soil and the Seed

Matthew 13:10-15 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Why Speak in Parables?

Matthew 13:16-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Happy Eyes and Ears

Matthew 13:18-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Seed and Soil

Matthew 13:24-30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Field and the Harvest

Matthew 13:31-32 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Mustard Seed

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

Matthew 13:34-35 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Manner of Teaching Foretold

Matthew 13:36-43 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Zizania in the Field Explained

Matthew 13:44 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Treasure

Matthew 13:45-46 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Valuable Pearl

Matthew 13:47-50 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Dragnet

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Additional reading

  1. Priest, scribes and others with authority
  2. Looking for True Spirituality 4 Getting to Know the Mind of Christ

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Related

  1. Ic eom Bocere….scribe: translation of scribe in Portuguese
  2. scribe: translation of scribe in Spanish
  3. #Scribe (Helping Visually Challenged in writing exams)- Srikanth, Deepa & Team
  4. ScribesFocus on Scribes
  5. We should all be writing
  6. How to Decode an Ancient Roman’s Handwriting
  7. In search of the last word
  8. Building the Library
  9. A Mouthpiece for Jesus
  10. #Scribelife
  11. A Scribe’s Life (1): William of Malmesbury
  12. A Scribe’s Life (2): John of Worcester
  13. Jesus asks the Pharisees a question (Mt 22:41-22:41)
  14. The summon of praying scribes
  15. The Danger in Disciple Making
  16. Today’s Scripture – May 1, 2018
  17. Whitened Tombs
  18. The Disciples Understood
  19. Don’t Be Leafy, Be Fruitful

Matthew 11:1 Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities 1 Twelve Sent out to Teach

Chapter Eleven:
Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities

[“Impossible to please”]

Matthew 11:1 – Twelve Sent out to Teach

MT11:1 And it occurred when Jesus finished giving instructions to the twelve disciples, he crossed from there teaching and preaching in their towns.[1]

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[1] Preaching in their towns: Jesus was a teacher who practiced what he preached. He has just spoken at length to his “apostles” and given them precise instructions. Now he does not sit back and let them do the work while he relaxes. But he immediately sets the example (Revelation 14:4).

The drag net – Harold Copping (1863-1932) from “The Copping Bible pictures: scripture pictures” published by Abingdon Press New York and Westminster Press Philadelphia.

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Preceding

Matthew 10:40-42 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Reception and Reward

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

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Related

  1. He will teach us all
  2. Devoted To The Apostle Teaching
  3. The power to practice love | Sermon for 1 Epiphany

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

Matthew 10:24-31 – Do Not Fear – Preach!

|| Mark 4:22; Luke 12:2-9

MT10:24 “A disciple[1] is not above the teacher nor a slave above his Master. MT10:25 It is satisfactory if the disciple becomes like his teacher,[2] and the slave like his Master. If they call the lord of the house ‘Beelzebul,’[3] how much more those of the household. MT10:26 So, you should not fear them.[4] For there is nothing concealed[5] which will not be revealed,[6] and nothing hidden[7] which will not become known. MT10:27 What I tell you in the dark, tell in the light; and, what your ear hears, preach on the housetops.[8] MT10:28 Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul.[9] Rather, continue to fear the One capable of destroying[10] both soul and body in Gehenna.[11] MT10:29 Are not two sparrows[12] sold for an assarion?[13] And not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s [awareness].[14] MT10:30 The very hairs of your head are numbered.[15] MT10:31 So, do not be afraid. You differ [greatly] from many sparrows.[16]

[1] Disciple: The Greek is MATHETES from which the English “mathematics” comes. Though “disciple” is related to “discipline” or that great effort to learn math. The word “Disciple” occurs 76 times in Matthew, 46 times in Mark, 38 times in Luke, 79 times in John, and 30 times in Acts. The word occurs nowhere else in the Christian Bible. No woman is ever called a “disciple” until Tabitha (Dorcas).

[2] Disciple becomes like his teacher: Jesus’ main point is that the disciples can expect to be condemned and spoken against during their work. This should not surprise them because the same is happening to their Teacher. They become like their Teacher in sharing his abuse and reproach.

[3] Beelzebul: Possibly a cryptic name for Satan meaning “Lord (owner) of Dung” or “Lord (owner) of Flies.” The contemptuous designation occurs as an accusation against the Nazarene at Matthew 12:24, 27; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:15, 18. Compare 2 Kings 1:2.

[4] Not fear them: Courage is an absolutely necessity for a disciple of the Nazarene. Jesus knows that some households and some towns will not accept or receive the disciples well. He knows they are likely to call his apostles names. Note what he had told them in his Mountain Teachings (Matthew 5:10-12). Fear is a tool of the Devil.

[5] Concealed: Those who speak evil against the disciples will be exposed in the Judgment (Matthew 12:36). Secret slander will finally be revealed.

[6] Revealed: The Greek is APOKALYPSTHESETAI. Compare Mark 4:22; Luke 8:17; 1 Corinthians 4:5; John 3:19-21. Imagine the evil talk which has gone on throughout the centuries as inquisitors plotted to entrap or accuse innocent Christians?

[7] Hidden: The Greek is CRYPTON. PME: nor any thing private which will not be made public.

[8] Tell in the light; and, what your ear hears, preach on the housetops: Jesus often spoke to his disciples in private (Matthew 17:19; 20:17; 24:3; Mark 4:34; 6:31; 7:33; 9:28; 13:3). He wants his disciples to preach these things. Compare Luke 12:3. NEB: you must repeat in broad daylight; BAS: what comes to your ear secretly; MOF: what you hear in a whisper.

[9] Are unable to kill the soul: This verse is viewed by some to prove the soul is immortal and continues to exist after death. Jesus possibly has in mind the future life as a spirit person. He is saying: while your persecutors may kill you physically, they cannot destroy your True Life. Compare Luke 12:4; 21:19. The Greek for soul here is PSYCHEN and between the Jewish Greek Bible (LXX) and the Christian Bible occurs about 1,000 times. Of these over 100 state the soul is mortal and destructible. Not once is the soul ever stated to be immortal as in the Platonic idea. See commentaries and dictionaries under “soul.”

[10] The One capable of destroying: That is The God. Note that Jesus says the soul is mortal and destructible.

[11] Gehenna: Some render the Greek GEHENNE as hell (KJV), the pit (GDSP), the fires of destruction (PME). See notes on Matthew 5:22. Gehenna is a symbol of eternal destruction and called “Second Death” in Revelation 20:14, 15.

[12] Sparrows: On another occasion Jesus uses five sparrows. The Greek allows for any small bird. Such birds were sold for a penny, roasted over a spit (Light From the Ancient East, by A. Deissmann, 1965, pp. 273, 274).

[13] Assarion: A Roman coin about a half-penny. The widow’s LEPTON was ten times less. One-sixteenth of a denarius. KJV: a farthing; ASV: a penny.

[14] Father’s [awareness]: The literal Greek is not one falls without your Father. TCNT: without your Father’s knowledge; BECK: with your Father’s permission. Jesus teaches how sensitive and aware the Life Source of the Universe is. Some Christians loose every bit of self-worth or self-esteem. This thought ought to encourage any that just as God notes the birds, He is well aware of our own plights. Compare 1 Peter 5:7.

[15] Hairs of your head are numbered: Compare Luke 12:7. Or, KNX: he takes every hair of your head into his reckoning. Some estimate the average head of hair to include about 100,000. The hair of the head is used metamorphicly in the Bible (1 Samuel 14:45; 2 Samuel 14:11; 1 Kings 1:52; Psalm 40:12; 69:4; Luke 21:18; Acts 27:34).

[16] You differ [greatly] from many sparrows: KJV: you are of more value than many sparrows; WEY: you are more precious than a multitude of sparrows

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Preceding

Matthew 10:1-4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Twelve Given Authority

Matthew 10:1-4 – Calling of the apostles – by Calvin

Matthew 10:5-10 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jesus’ Orders: Territory, Theme, Trust

Matthew 10:11-15 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Searching for the Sheep

Matthew 10:16-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Sent Forth as Sheep among Wolves

Be strong

Words to push and pull

Words to bring message

As a preacher we need to use words to get people to the subject where we want them. In the United States of America we can find many mega churches where lots of words are brought in a whirlwind show. Several preachers throw up hell and torment, others promise heaven on earth in material wealth in this lifetime.

Jesus called his followers to bring the Word of God about salvation. Jesus brought the Good News of the Kingdom of God. His apostles continued to bring that message of hope and we should do likewise.

To bring that important message of hope we should also push people to take the Torah seriously, and to go and spend more time looking in to the Holy Scriptures. When we preach it should not be our own words lying on the foreground, but the Words of God should have the place of honour. We should pull in those who are willing to listen to us, by not taking ourself too seriously. Relativism is very important in life, also for the preacher.

Renewed platform

English: Street Preacher holds sign that reads...

Street Preacher holds sign that reads “Discover forgiveness for all your sin and eternal life in the Living Jesus” in Times Square, New York. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today we can have our words resound via the internet. Now it is possible to distribute biblical study materials without traditional costs. The modern media can be a vehicle for exegetical and expositional articles. {Exegetical articles are concerned with laying bare the various layers of meaning in a text without regard to the application of this information to the ecclesia. Expositional articles are exegetical and in addition show how the textual material is relevant to the ecclesia.} Devotional and homiletical material also can be presented like articles relating to prophecy, to current affairs.  Would it not be easy to find such things on one place? Well, the renewed “Stepping toes” would love to do that, and is also looking for writers to do so. The website would like to become a platform where the news is presented of the teaching efforts of many who have Jehovah God as their God and Jesus (Jeshua) as their Master teacher. Aside of the religious news they would not mind to place doctrinal and apologetic articles as well. but they want to show an open-mindedness to the faith and do believe everybody can be in a different stage of believes in his life and can have different opinions about certain matters. Those differences can be interesting to look at; Instead of criticising the other idea, ‘Stepping toes‘ would love to see it possible that people of different opinion can come peacefully together and listen to each others various opinions about same matters. “Stepping toes” would love to see people taking up their Bibles and to check what the Word of God is telling. We do have to compare our thoughts with the thoughts of others and with the Word of God as presented in the Holy Scriptures.

Chances to grow spiritually

In case we do want to grow we do need Bible Study. We do need the Word of God looked at from different angels. We should be willing to listen to the different viewpoints, encountering many frames of reference. We should be willing to question our own ideas, or our own understanding of certain passages in the Holy Scriptures. By looking at different interpretations we can see what the possibilities are and where we or others go wrong in the interpretation. Only by giving the opportunity to have new material or new insights to be presented we shall give ourselves and others the opportunity to grow in the faith.

Studying the Bible is not looking at the Bible only to see and hear what you want to see or hear. It is opening your mind to have it fed with several ways of looking at the world, and by the need of taking time to think about what is said in the most holy of books.

We should meditate in the Bible day and night, to run your mind with the Holy Spirit, willing to give space in your mind and in your heart for the Spirit of God as your Life Power. We may not only concentrate on one part of the Guide of God. He has given us the Books of books, the Old and New Testament. The old testament gives us more insight about God’s personality. The New Testament tells us about the son of God, what we should do in our life and which way we do have to go in life. It also gives us a look at the development of the first ecclesiae.

Reading regularly the many books we should use the “observation, interpretation and application” techniques beginning with an outline — this process can and should take hours as it is slow but provides for a deeper love for God and His promises and a new respect for His holiness.

Helping each other

“Stepping toes” would love to give help so that we do not to wrestle through the scripture on our own. If we don’t understand something or a word, we should research it and see if it takes us into a deeper understanding of Who God is. This research we do not have to do alone. There are many people studying the Bible, if they only wanted to share a little bit more their findings. On “Stepping toes” such findings can be presented. There only have to be more writers be willing to join such a platform where people might have different opinions. Most people only want to be with and hear only like minded people. In the love for God and in the love for Christ, Bible-students like some Christdadelphians do believe we should share our understandings with others who are also part of the Body of Christ.

English: The Bible

The Bible (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When you need an encouraging word, or you’re in a negative environment, it’s good to know that you can find life (plus healing and health) in God’s Word. Sharing those words and findings with others give you the opportunity to help others also to find a better life. Out of love for the neighbour we should share our findings from Bible study. The Bible is such a huge work of inspiration and knowledge that it may demand more than just a few hours to get a grip of it. By sharing ideas about it we can help each other to get more knowledge much quicker. So out of love we should be happy when we are asked to give our opinion and to share our knowledge with others.

For us there should be no more important skill than handling our Bible with understanding and accuracy. There’s no greater joy than digging into and discovering biblical truth on your own, but it may be a great asset when others are willing to help in the process of exploration.

The unregenerate man may understand a little bit about the history in the Bible, he may understand a few of the words in the Bible but he’ll never have a Biblical knowledge in the sense that it works out in his living. He may get some head knowledge by reading and understanding and studying to a certain degree, but it’ll never be the real kind of knowledge that the Bible talks about because it never works out in his life.

Stimulating each other

Getting together with different people can stimulate each-other to sincerely look into the bible. Having the knowledge that we can be in a circle of people committed to reading the Bible, willing to share their knowledge, we ourselves might feel more comparably and easier to share our thoughts.

All of us have the Ketuvim, the third and final section of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), after Torah (instruction) and Nevi’im (prophets) which provide us with the necessary knowledge to go through this life. Even the American novelist Thomas Wolfe recognised:

“[O]f all I have ever seen or learned, that book seems to me the noblest, the wisest, and the most powerful expression of man’s life upon this earth — and also the highest flower of poetry, eloquence, and truth. I am not given to dogmatic judgments in the matter of literary creation, but if I had to make one I could say that Ecclesiastes is the greatest single piece of writing I have ever known, and the wisdom expressed in it the most lasting and profound.” {Christianson 2007, p. 70.}

The title of the book Ecclesiastes in Hebrew Koheleth, meaning “Gatherer“, but traditionally translated as “Teacher” or “Preacher” brings also to the task a Christian should do, namely gathering, learning, teaching and preaching, using all the Wisdom the Word of God provides. Keeping it to yourself would be a selfish attitude and not in accordance with the commandments of Christ.

Actions of men

Koheleth introduces himself as “son of David, king in Jerusalem,” perhaps implying that he is Solomon, proclaims all the actions of man to be inherently hevel, meaning “vain”, “futile”, “empty”, “meaningless”, “temporary”, “transitory”, “fleeting,” or “mere breath,” as the lives of both wise and foolish men end in death. But we can make something of our life by following Christ Jesus and taking up the task he has given his followers. Going out into the world and gathering or meeting with like-minded people, pulling and pushing each other to look and to find the way to enter the Kingdom of God.

By sharing ideas with each other we can help each other to encounter life in light of how and Who we know God to be and will expose His promises in clear ways.

Koheleth reminds the reader that wisdom has its limitations and is not man’s main concern. Koheleth reports what he planned, did, experienced and thought. His journey to knowledge is, in the end, incomplete, and the reader is not only to hear Koheleth’s wisdom, but to observe his journey towards understanding and acceptance of life’s frustrations and uncertainties: the journey itself is important.

A journey to make together

We also have a journey of which we can tell about our experiences, so that others may learn from it. In such a way “Stepping toes” also wants to tell stories of what other people underwent, what happens in this world in which we do have to find means to live in. All those stories should be able to give a picture of where we stand at the moment and where we are going to.

Lots of Christians should start to look further than their little corner, their own church community and should meet other Christians and be willing to discuss in a peaceful way about the Way (the way we do have to live, what we do have to do to enter the Kingdom of God). We can not hide ourselves in our little cocoon and not worry about what is going on in the world. We should be interested in what is going on in the world around us and should be interested to help out where we can.

God does not want a passive life in this world, but He wants us to be active practitioners of love for our neighbours. Showing interest in others is one way of showing your love. Sharing the Word of God with others is one of the most important tasks to prove our faith in God.

Lets do it! Lets go out and share our Biblical knowledge. Witness in the Name of the One and Only One God of gods, Jehovah.

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Please do find Stepping Toes:

  1. Stepping Toes, a site which possibly can upset someone
  2. About Stepping toes
  3. Aim of Stepping toes site

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Additional reading:

  1. Bible Word of God, inspired and infallible
  2. Bible a guide – Bijbel als gids
  3. Bible for you and for life
  4. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #5 To meditate and Transform
  5. Words must be weighed, not counted
  6. Hope for the future
  7. God is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him
  8. No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation
  9. The Spirit of God brings love, hope and freedom
  10. A learning process for each of us
  11. Following Jesus’ Footsteps
  12. Being Christian – Following Jesus Christ
  13. The Involvement of true discipleship
  14. Life and attitude of a Christian
  15. Jesus Christ being dispatched as the Figurehead of a Religion
  16. Parts of the body of Christ
  17. The task given to us to love each other
  18. Reasons to come to gether
  19. Meeting – Vergadering
  20. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  21. What makes a consecrated Christian
  22. Love for each other attracting others
  23. Testify of the things heard
  24. Witnessing Glad Tidings
  25. Bringing Good News into the world
  26. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  27. Church sent into the world
  28. Blogging for Jesus…
  29. How should we preach?
  30. Who are you going to reach out to today
  31. Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news
  32. Holland Week of billing
  33. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  34. Trying to get the youth inspired
  35. When discouraged facing opposition

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  • Preachers of L.A. Dressed to Impress, But Is Jesus Pleased? (revthechristianlife.wordpress.com)
    After the response to my blog “Why ‘Preachers of LA’ Won’t Turn Out Well for Rock-Star Pastors” I wanted to continue the discussion about our perception and mindset in regards to preachers and wealth.First, let’s establish that being a pastor is a 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week job. You never know when the phone will ring and you are faced with another crisis that you must minister a church member through.
  • Strange Fire Conference: Preachers or Witch Doctors? (challies.com)
    Pentecostalism’s visit to Africa did not primarily emphasize the preaching and teaching component of the “man of God.” Now the “man of God” is primarily seen as the deliverer. Preaching has lost emphasis. It has become motivational platitudes followed by shouting and chanting.The same thing can be seen in America on popular TV channels, but with different colored skin and nicer buildings. There are biblical quotes tossed about followed by a demon possessed, crazy and maddened looking preacher.
  • Is there a Sacred and Secular divide? (paulajayne.wordpress.com)
    Can a true Follower of Jesus Christ be secular? To answer this we need to know what the words means; The word Sacred means to be Holy, dedicated to a deity (God), and the word secular means to have no regard for deity or religion.Now we believe that as a True Christian we are made Holy through the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross, we are set apart and dedicated to God. So can we as a Christian be secular? I would suggest not!Can a sacred Christian work in a secular environment? Yes, in fact this is what Jesus intended. It is only a few who are called to work in the Church environment and their role is to equip the Christian to do works of Ministry in their everyday life (see Ephesians 4:11-12)
  • Word Power (holdingforthhisword.wordpress.com)
    God Almighty reveals to us the importance of His Word, the Bible, in a number of verses in the epistles in the New Testament.
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    Within the church today man’s word is replacing God’s Word in the heart and lives of His children and those who profess to believe in Him.  The situation is dire.  The church is floundering and failing.  It has lost its mooring and direction because it has rejected God’s Word and replaced it with the empty worthless doctrine of man.

      For My people have committed two evils:  They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns-broken cisterns that can hold no water.  Jeremiah 2:13

    When we reject God’s Word in favor of man’s teaching what does that say about us?  It says that we fear man rather than God and would rather please men than God.  We have a serious choice to make that has eternal consequences; will we fill our hearts and minds with the living Word of the Living God, or will we feed upon the dry, lifeless, empty sawdust of man’s opinions and theories that have no ability to build us up on our most holy faith, but instead lead us away from God and trap us in the deceitful schemes of our enemy, the devil.  Truthfully, the word we prefer says volumes about our eternal destination.  If we see God use His Word in our lives as outlined in the Scriptures and we willingly yield to His truth we give evidence of salvation.  We see the implanted Word that is able to save our souls operative in our lives.

  • Why Are So Many Churches Hearing So Little of the Bible from Their Preachers? (blackchristiannews.com)
    “It is well and good for the preacher to base his sermon on the Bible, but he better get to something relevant pretty quickly, or we start mentally to check out.” That stunningly clear sentence reflects one of the most amazing, tragic, and lamentable characteristics of contemporary Christianity: an impatience with the Word of God.
  • church oh church1 (ozyikhiedwardblog.wordpress.com)
    Ok the word “Church” comes originally from the Greek word,”Kyriakos-kyriakon”.meaning properly,”belonging to the lord”,in lay man’s terms,property of God,ok that has not justified the organised buildings. Yet?! Somehow later on,another Greek word “Ecclesia”from “ek”meaning “out from” and “kaleo” meaning “to call”.so “Ecclesia” means properly,”people called out”.so in lay man’s terms,”Ecclesia” means “people separated from others”..ok the history of “Ecclesia”
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    What did the New Covenant writers mean when they used the word “Ecclesia” to describe a Christian body of people?? We can safely denote that they intended to convey the original Greek meaning of the word:”A body of Christian called out of Roman and Judean systems of Government,to live under a seperate civil mentality,”a politically autonomous body of Christians,under no other King but Yeshua,under no other civil laws,than that of Yeshua.
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    To be the ideal model of “Ecclesia”,we Christians must form ourselves into actual communities,albeit in this times only mentally,under the guidance of God’s annointed leader Jesus. Called out and seperated in mentality(Kyriakos)from the World’s ways,with no other than Jesus as our ruler and King! In other words “Ecclesias”
  • John Calvin’s use of Secondary Sources (reformedreader.wordpress.com)
    Though Calvin had a love for the primary source texts, evident especially in his use of Greek and Hebrew in his preaching and commenting, he was no lone-wolf, attempting exegesis without reference to the exegetical labors of others.  He was one who saw the value of consulting both primary and secondary sources.
  • The Mystery of Being In Christ: A Review of Paul and Union with Christ (marccortez.com)
    We struggle to understand  what it means to be “in christ” because that is a complex concept combining at least four key aspects: union, participation, identification, and incorporation. An adequate understanding of being “in Christ” will not try to encompass that entire concept under any one of those aspects, but will allow all four to inform us. So, rather than see these four as different ways that Paul uses “in Christ” language, Campbell suggests that all four together define what it means for a believer to be in Christ. It is our union-participation-identification-incorporation in him.
  • Could I Get a Side of Truth with That? (crsstlk.wordpress.com)
    relativism makes “truth” become completely based upon your own ideas, biases, culture and experiences. You decide who or what “God” is (or if you even want one or not) and make your own standard for what “good” is and what “sin” is and eventually end up serving (or worshiping) yourself, with “self” as the center whether you admit it or not.
  • TD Jakes Disses Preachers Of LA (4umf.com)
    The premiere of Oxygen’s controversial docu-series, Preachers Of L.A., may have pulled in a record 1.1 million viewers, but one of the most influential Christian pastors in America, Bishop T.D. Jakes, holds a very low opinion of it.
    On Sunday morning, October 13 at the Potter’s House in Dallas, TX, Jakes dissed the reality show, calling it “junk” and distancing himself from the stars’ blinged-out images and flamboyance.
    “Now, I know you been watching that junk on TV,” Jakes said, criticizing Preachers Of L.A. amid a plea for congregants and online viewers to sow a financial seed into his local ministry.

Good or bad preacher

Ups and downs

Everybody in the world has his or her ups and downs, good and bad days. A pastor, minister or a person of God is not exempt from the problems of this earth, the illnesses nor bad feelings.

As human being we like to compare ourselves to others and also often want to know what others think of us. Many of us want a big following and lots of friends. But would that big amount of friends be a good sign or mean that we are on the right track?

Those who are willing to bring forwards the Word of God also would like to have enough people who listen at them. Who would not like a lot of people listening to what you have to tell? A preacher is no different and is nothing without people listening. And we do agree we are just as human like any body else and would love to have some feedback and see that people enjoy what we have to offer to them.

Personal gain

Those teaching or in the “preaching sector” being in it for the money, have chosen the wrong profession. Though we do agree we can see several mega churches which seem to flourish. Religiously sensitive people who prefer not to turn from their sin are willing to pay to hear preachers teach that all God requires of you is to be religiously sensitive, not to turn from your sin. In certain countries teachers claim that people can buy themselves free of the punishment of sin. By giving money to the church, those teachers claim, the believers would be set free and could have a much better life. Often the preachers want the people to believe that how more they give to the church how better their life will be.

This clearly should be a sign for the believer to know he is not in a House of God, but in the house of the wicked. We should look at those preachers as the insubordinate, unruly and vain talkers and deceivers of souls, like the apostles encountered already in their time. Also by the Jews, the men of the circumcision, such preachers could be found. For gifts or for money their mouths were expedient to stop. They were teaching things which they ought not for the sake of filthy lucre. It has been of all times that there where preachers who did  like to go for their own profit and did not mind to subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for dishonest gain. Such persons we should recognise as false teachers and we should rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; not giving heed to Jewish or Christian fables and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.

“10 For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group. 11 They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 Even one of their own prophets has said, “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. Therefore, rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith 14 and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the commands of those who reject the truth.” (Titus 1:10-14 NIV)

False apostles and boasters

The apostle Paul warned already for such  false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:13) He also gave the advice to look out if those preaching were people of sound mind, blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly, having charity out of a pure heart, with a good conscience and with faith unfeigned.

“5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk.” (1 Timothy 1:5-6 NIV)

God does not like empty boasters of knowledge, rights, and particular privileges; all noise, empty parade, and no work. For sure those who are willing or saying they want to or work for God, should be of the right attitude. Specious pretensions should not find any place in the heart of a preacher or of somebody willing to work in the church community. It is not because they can be handy man putting words together, playing by good words and fair speeches that they will necessary bring the Word of God. We should be on the lookout that it are not a multiply of words which deceive the hearts of the simple.

Being there for each other

English: Jewish Children with their Teacher in...

Jewish Children with
their Teacher in Samarkand. Early color photograph from Russia, created
by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii as part of his work to document
the Russian Empire from 1909 to 1915. (Photo credit:
Wikipedia)

The one who likes to preach and have people in front of him he has to take care of,  knows that when he is a pastor of a flock he is like a teacher having to really love his students, willing to ensure that each one knows how uniquely talented he or she is and how we all have our reason to be here on this planet and to be a child of God. As a child of God every person has his  or her own speciality and those in charge of the ecclesia or community should try to see and nurture the potential in each member of the community.

As a preacher it is the task as like a teacher to care deeply about the meanings and purposes of the flock or members of the community their lives. We should be there for each one individually as a beacon in the dark see.  At all time we should be ready to be there for them who need us. We always should be willing to help them see the connections between their powerful talents and their callings and their futures.

Popularity trap

Today we can fall in the trap of the taste of popularity. Several churches around us do everything to be the most popular in their region. As believer in the Word of God, we should wonder if the aim by such churches is to grow to further the Word of God or to be a church which can bring enough money in the till for the pastor to survive on it or even to bring more wealth to that church than necessarily so.

In the postmodern age the church no longer enjoys a prevalent role in society and may look as something “passé”. We would tell lies if we would say we would not be interested in the growth of our church. We as preachers and leaders want our churches to grow and flourish through programs, curriculum, and outreach efforts. Many of us do also their best to reach as many people as possible. Lots of us are very limited in the means to attract people. Many preachers do not have an own church to preach in. Are those than the bad preachers? No. Are those the less fortunate preachers? Not necessarily so.

Church attendance in the industrialised countries is on the decline. Most of the people in the wealthy world are not interested in God. but there is one of the functions laid in front of the preacher or teacher. We do have to get people back to God. We should show those around us how important it is to have God in our life.

Ambiguity

A Boris on Rob Fairbanks his The Drum discussing a book by the editor of the Missional Church, Darrel L Guder, looks at life full of ambiguities we can have to face, because it is shaped by its context as the gospel reshapes the context.

In Ambiguity In the Church Fairbanks writes:

While ambiguity can cause stress, I’d like to argue that it is God’s tool to keep us on our toes. Instead of approaching the question of “are we reaching our culture?” as a reactionary instinct to a church crisis, I’d like to offer that we approach the issue as an opportunity to seek God. You see, the cause of ambiguity, and therefore many church problems, is not the lack of love for God or decline in spirituality (although this may sometimes be the case). The cause, as Guder puts it, is the dynamic “interaction between the gospel and all human cultures.” These cultures are always changing and need constant re-engagement by the church. In other words, ambiguity should be to the church as potholes are to the streets department (to contextualize it to the great City of Spokane). This is our business. As we move through ambiguity, we must seek God and the power of His Spirit to contextualize the message of the gospel and proclaim Jesus.

According to Darrell L. Guder in his book,Missional Church, the real issues in the current crises of the Christian church are spiritual and theological. Many have forgotten that the core of the church needs to flow from God and not as such from one or the other denominational organisation, be it the Papal instructors from Rome or the Tract and Bible Society from Pennsylvania.

Servant of the Master Teacher

We all should remember the task the Master Teacher Jeshua (Jesus Christ) has given those who are willing to follow him. Those who claim to be Christian should first of all be followers of Christ Jesus and try to do that what Jesus asked them to do. Secondly they also should take an example of their Master and try to step in his footsteps willing to become like him.

When you look for a good church, a good minister or good pastor you should look if in that place where you want to find God you can find the message of Christ and you find people trying to get the character of Jesus. The character of us individually and the character of us, collectively as a family, should clearly show positive results of the teachings of Christ and should show that it is a family of God. It was individual character and values that caused the first century church to grow rapidly during the Roman Empire’s pagan culture of many gods and emperor worship.

Lesslie Newbigin writes in Missionary Theologian:

Just because of the total dominance of European culture in the ecumenical movement there has seldom been any awareness among Western theologians of the extent to which their own theologies have been the result of a failure to challenge the assumptions of their own culture, and because theologians of the younger churches have been compelled to adopt this culture as the precondition of participation in the ecumenical movement they have not been in a position to present the really sharp challenge which should be addressed to the theologies of the Western churches.

In the religious world we have seen that the big accent went to what theologians had to say. Many forgot the Word that they had received and which was handed down from one generation to the other. Lots of priests, ministers, pastors or just the majority of clergymen where taken by the books of worldly people instead putting all their attention to the Holy Scriptures, the Book of books god has given humanity to find everything out.

Gospel Communication

It is truly the communication of the gospel which should conquer the hearts. And we should know that the right or the good preacher can be noticed in the willingness of him to submit himself to that Word of God and to let that Word of God speak for itself. The main focus in a service should be on that Word of God and not on the words of speaker such and so.

Preachers are not called to preach what’s popular according to the polls. They should concentrate on the Plan of God and may bring that in view by showing people the relation of what is going on and what God has in mind for our future. What happens today can be compared to previous happenings recalled in the Holy Scriptures. But the one speaking in front of the community is not called to preach merely moral exhortations or history lessons or social commentaries. We are called to preach the Word of God to the church of God and to everyone in His creation. This is how God brings life. Each person . . . is flawed and has faults and has sinned against God. And the terrible thing about our fallen natures is that we are greedy for ways to justify our sins against God. Every single one of us wants to know how we can defend ourselves from God’s charges. Therefore, we are in desperate need to hear God’s Word brought honestly to us, so that we don’t just hear what we want to hear but rather what God has actually said.

Serious word or entertainment

That what God has actually said must be brought forward. In the ecclesia everybody should come aware of what is written in the most Holy Book of Books. In case not much is read in the Bible at a service or in church, the visitor should wonder if in that church enough place is given to the Word of God. A tendency in churches today is that because people want to be entertained the church leadership is willing to oblige. If the people want more music and drama, many churches are willing give it and even to cut back on the time given to reading fragments of the Bible and on the time spent for the sermon or exhortation. Today music and drama will win hands down over preaching in many of our churches.

Holding on

When we look for a church we should look for the love of that word of life (Philippians 2:16). The great task of the preacher is to “hold out the word of life” to people who need it. The preacher willing to put himself aside for enabling that Word of God to resound in the church is the good preacher. Perhaps he may not be the best talker, the best preacher and not be the best entertainer, what is important is that he is a man of God and behaves like it.

Jehovah witnesses convention hall or Kingdom-hall in Varkaudessa

As a man of God he shall show love for God His Creation and shall respect all creations, no matter which believe they may have. We should listen very carefully how the preacher talks about others or how that church looks at other churches or treats other denominations. Do they bring hate talk or do they enjoy making the others look like devils? On the internet we can find hundreds of websites who spit on non-triniarian denominations like the Jehovah Witnesses (JW), the Bible Students (BS) and Christadelphians (Cd). Often many lies are told about those denominations and people are made afraid to encounter people from those denominations or to let others know they had already met such people.

Peterborough Cd Hall

Peterborough Christadelphian Hall

We would advice any person who has heard weird ideas about the JW, BS, or Cd, to go and look for themselves at their websites and to visit their kingdom halls, their a places of worship, prayer meeting-rooms or ecclesia buildings. It is not by a church-building with a classical tower that you shall be able to find the right preacher or right church. Church can be made in any sort of place. Any public room can be a place where people come to gather in the name of Christ, and there God will be with them. In church you should find people who love Jehovah, the Only One God, and who keep to His commandments and as such do not pray in front of portraits or statues, bow down for pictures and pray not to death people are saints, but direct their words to the Most High, Elohim Hashem Jehovah.

Watchdogs

We must be on our guard that we are not taken in by lies just because we hear them over and over again. We must also make sure that we ourselves are not guilty of trying to convince others of something that is not true by the use of repetition. We must be careful not having the Blind leading the blind. In the religious world there are many rebuking what is false but who not focus their teaching toward sound doctrine. Stemming from a pedestal of moralistic pride, Watchdog Preachers harp on everything that is wrong with the world. By those so called “Watchdog preachers” you shall  be able to find many who from their websites and from the pulpit spit on other denominations and try to picture those other denominations as awful as possible. For many it looks like a sport to find denominations which they can pull down. They would love to shoot down the ones in charge of that ghastly denomination. The preachers who love to show their dread and whose words are full of horror, should show you those are not people with love for the others in their heart.

When you encounter a website or when you do come in a church where you only hear remarks about others, you should question this. Those only telling their sheep where the poisoned food is, we often do not find them looking in their own bosom. Such Watchdog preachers rarely expound on the pure spiritual food of God’s word. Mostly they are more concerned to blacken others good name, to bring a misinterpretation of other denominations, to enjoy the slander and to run down the reputation of others. In the Body of Christ such malignant speaker when targeting other genuine Christians whose theology or philosophy of ministry does not exactly match up to theirs. Such a dogmatic approach makes the congregation sceptical of (at best) or judgemental toward (worst) anyone outside their camp. This also would make it more difficult for anybody with their previous background of an other denomination to have no conflicts after some time in that new camp of the Watchdog preacher.

All right, All good teachers

On the other hand having preachers who find everything is all right and everything can be done, it is also not good. Not everything is good ion the world. Not everything can be right. We live in a world of right and wrong, where not everything should be fully black and white. There may be shades of grey. While the Watchdog preacher may spit on those from outside he perhaps forgets to look what happens really in his own circles and like the “It’s All Good” Preachers he can look over the faults or wrong things which can happen in their own community.

Anybody in a Christian community always should listen carefully to and look at what others do and say in the community. When something happens which would not be according the teachings of Christ he or she should let the others know. The elder or preacher should exhort the people of the community and should help them to stay on the right track. But he also when he would be saying which could be wrong should be made aware of it. Perhaps it can be a misinterpretation or misunderstanding, but it is important that everything what is shared in the church community is according to the Biblical teachings.

Searching God’s Word

the word of God

The word of God (Photo credit: jangkwee)

Every teacher has to address false winds of doctrine. He himself should not only look to others that that preach according to the Holy Scriptures, but he also should always make enough effort to check that everything he says in the community is according to the Bible. He also best uses the Bible to let it speak in the meeting. The better teacher is that one who is willing to show others where in the Holy Scriptures is written that what he says it claims to say. A good teacher should not be afraid of the best handbook which God provided for him. We should be proud of it and use it as much as we can.

The good teacher or preacher is the one who understand that God is the Best Teacher and that His Word is the best way to bring the thought over to people.

Criticism and evaluation

Those who think the elder, pastor or minister may not criticise too much what is happening in the world should wonder if it is not our responsibility to look at the world and to take position in it. A “It’s All Good” Preacher may fail to critique current issues that need to be addressed and their congregation may never learn how to compare and contrast a secular worldview with a biblical one. Over time their congregation views current popular culture values as their source of authority in addition to (or instead of) the Bible. This results in over synthesizing and over-assimilating the unbiblical values of the culture.

In the past times admonition, warnings, and judgements were proclaimed, and so was good news — of victories, deliverance, and blessings — as well as praises to Jehovah God. (1Chronicles 16:23; Isaiah 41:27; 52:7) Many prophets like Jesus acted like an official herald, alerting their listeners to their Sovereign God’s activity, to a time of opportunity and decision. It was not only the ‘Good Newsshow’ which the prophets brought.

Comparison and attitude

When you are looking for a church you have to see and hear what is done and said in that church and should compare it to the Biblical texts and checking if what is preached is also be done or lived by.

Studying the Bible together in each others house or in a small space

As a preacher you should aim to live according to the commandments of God and to bring the Word of God in all its forms. You should try to do your uttermost best but should know that being a good preacher in the eyes of god does not necessarily mean that you will be a good preacher in the eyes of men.

You will notice when you look around that some people will believe the things said while other listeners would not believe. (Acts of the apostles 28:24) As a preacher it shall require patience and trust in God, who is the One who calls. Those coming in a Christian meeting should see if the Word of God gets the first place. Real Christian preaching should be based on God’s Word, making people to think about the essence of that Word and giving the community an opportunity to study that Word and to bring it in practice. Studying the Bible requires a response of some kind. It is vigorous, dynamic, and above all, it presents an issue on which people must take sides.

Man of God

Having a person of God, willing to serve the Only One God, Creator of heaven and earth, shall make that others look in vain to him or out of jealousy and out of anger others, also other preachers, will oppose him. Like  Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, (Acts of the apostles 13:50) teachers of ‘high position’ or noted people in the civil community, will oppose those men of God. Also good preachers will find that others will hate them and  be filled with envy, speaking  against those things which were spoken honestly from the heart in love with God. The other denominations contradicting and blaspheming the ones who dare to keep to the teachings of the Bible and withholding any form of tradition. The  unbelieving so called Christians shall like the unbelieving Jews stir up the Gentiles and plant evil in their minds against the brethren. (Acts 14:2) Therefore a teacher or preacher following the Word of God should not be afraid or wondering if he is doing right keeping on the track of God, when an assault is made both by the gentiles and also the preachers of other denominations, with their rulers. The preacher willing to be a man of God should know that when he places God His Word in the first place, he an the brethren he can show God’s Purpose, becoming followers of the churches of God in the world which are in Christ Jesus, remembering the suffering of the first Christians, for you also have suffered like things from your own countrymen, even as they have from the Jews. (1 Thessalonians 2:14)

Going out in the world

Going from house to house witnessing for Jehovah God – Lisboa, Portugal

A brother or sister in Christ, following the task Jesus has given: to go out in the world and to teach the Gospel of the Good News. When Jesus sent out his early disciples to preach, he directed them: “Into whatever city or village you enter, search out who in it is deserving.” (Matthew 10:7, 11-14) A good teacher, preacher or elder can stimulate the ones in the congregation to keep going around telling the Word of God. The good preacher can persuade the listeners around him to continue in the grace of God, and is not afraid to personally dispute in the synagogue with the Jews, on the net with the other preachers who oppose him, and with the devout persons, and in the marketplace daily with those who met with him to discuss the Word of God. (Acts 17:17). But we should also know that such ‘searching out’ would reasonably include going to the people’s homes, where “deserving” persons would heed the message and where disciples even would be able to find lodging for the night if necessary. (Luke 9:1-6).

Place to meet

All people should know that there is no requirement of a special church building, but that any place can be a house for God. We as preachers should not be ashamed we do not have our own church building and do perhaps have to meet in small places not of our own, to discuss the Word of God. As the first followers of Christ came together in their own houses we also as brethren and sisters in Christ and as interested people in the Word of God, should share our houses with those who are willing to learn about that Word of God. Any private house is worthy to become a place where people can meet to read in the Holy Scriptures and to talk about the Wishes of God. A preacher should be happy when he can find such a house as a house-church, where he can enter and say first, ‘May this house have peace.’ (Luke 10:1-7) Than to make it a place where people can gather in peace and share the love of God between each other.

Presenting a place where holiness and expression of worship can come from inside shall foster a small community rich in spirit. With that fire going in the few their heart the preacher as well as the followers should be pleased because it will be a much higher treasure than what those people, present in a mega church, perhaps can find. Having not only a preacher committing himself to the trustworthy creator, but all present offering themselves to God, shows where the right preacher is working.

Action and reaction

As a person present in the community, but also as preacher you should know that some may become active opposers of the Kingdom message. (Acts of the apostles 13:50; 18:5, 6) We all should know that it is quite possible that some will listen for a time, but eventually will turn their back for various reasons. (John 6:65, 66) Not those disappointing happenings should get our minds in distress, but we should find joy in those, even when it are just a few, who will accept the good news and act upon it. (Acts 17:11; Luke 8:15). We should be pleased when we can find a growing amount of people willing to do the Will of God.

All of the community should go out and tell the world about the work Jesus has done for all of us. It is the task of the leaders to guide such a preaching work. At such occasions the good preacher should provide counsel on such superintending ministry. The good teacher shall always be reminding the ones of the community of our important task to bring the Word of God to all people all over the world. He shall not be afraid of telling about the biblical orders or commandments, charging them before God as witness, observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word.

A place of peace and clean pure words

In the place where God shall be able to be found it will be the preacher with the elders who shall take care that people can peacefully come together not to fight about words, a thing of no usefulness at all because it overturns those listening. They shall take care that all members of the gathering will be willing to give their share to the community and will do their utmost, to present themselves approved to God, a workman with nothing to be ashamed of, handling the word of the truth aright.

The good preacher shall shun empty speeches that violate what is holy; for they will advance to more and more ungodliness, and their word will spread like gangrene. The good preacher shall do his utmost best to use the Word of God to proof what we should know and how to keep all believing the right things.

Small but strong and upright, belonging to God

It is better to have the solid foundation of God staying standing strong in a small community than having a mega church where many people may have a lot of fun but do not really learn much about God His Word. The good or right church, or the best community or ecclesia is the one which is looking for God His Will.

The pleasure for the pastor should be that he can see that the flock is listening to God and having this seal: “Jehovah knows those who belong to him,” and: “Let everyone naming the name of Jehovah renounce unrighteousness.”

“14  Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarrelling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. 19  Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”” (2 Timothy 2:14-19 NIV)

Every preacher, pastor, minister or elder should be willing to give himself totally in the hands of God. Those people in charge of a church-community should make sure that their flock will gather regularly to hear from God.

When we have been hearing all sorts of messages all week long; when we come together with like minded brethren and sisters we all should take time to hear a message from God His Word and to feel how we all can be united under Christ as children of Jehovah God. As important as it is for the people in the gathering to have time to express themselves to God, it is more important that they hear God express Himself to them; that they be fed from His Word; that they be instructed in the ways of God’s kingdom; that they be effectively strengthened by His might in their inner beings to be salt and light to the world in which God has placed them and to have their joint training for the kingdom.

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Of interest:

  1. Does God Exist?
  2. Creator of heaven and earth and everything around יהוה
  3. The truth is very plain to see and God can be clearly seen
  4. God is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him
  5. Only One God
  6. God is One
  7. יהוה , YHWH and Love: Four-letter words
  8. God should be your hope
  9. Faith
  10. Faith a commitment to the promises of Christ and to to the demands of Christ
  11. God receives us on the basis of our faith
  12. Belief of the things that God has promised
  13. Fearing the right person
  14. Getting to know the Truth
  15. How to look for and how to handle the Truth
  16. Eternal Word that tells everything
  17. Bric-a-brac of the Bible
  18. The World framed by the Word of God
  19. Bible word of God, inspired and infallible
  20. True riches
  21. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  22. Meeting – Vergadering
  23. Congregate, to gather, to meet
  24. Commit your self to the trustworthy creator
  25. Holiness and expression of worship coming from inside
  26. Doctrine and Conduct Cause and Effect
  27. Parish, local church community – Parochie, plaatselijke kerkgemeenschap
  28. The Church, Body of Christ and remnant Israel synonymous
  29. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #4 Mozaic and Noachide laws
  30. Many churches
  31. Was Jesus Religious
  32. How is it that Christ pleased God so perfectly?
  33. Called Christian
  34. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  35. Casual Christians
  36. Breathing to teach
  37. Manifests for believers #1 Sex abuse setting fire to the powder
  38. Manifests for believers #2 Changing celibacy requirement
  39. Manifests for believers #3 Catholic versus Protestant
  40. Manifests for believers #5 Christian Union
  41. Making church
  42. Charles Taze Russell never claimed to have found a new religion, or a new church.
  43. Judaism & Catholicism Universal ‘churches’
  44. Synagogue, Church or Ecclesia for the Christian
  45. Those who call the Christadelphians a cult
  46. Uncovering the Foundations of Faith
  47. What’s church for, anyway?
  48. Rebirth and belonging to a church
  49. Commitment to Christian unity
  50. United people under Christ
  51. Exceptionalism and Restricting Laws
  52. An ecclesia in your neighborhood
  53. Intentions of an Ecclesia
  54. Hello America and atheists
  55. Engaging the enemy
  56. Six Reasons Young Christians Leave Church
  57. Knowing where to go to
  58. Looking to the East and the West for Truth
  59. Love and cultivate that which is pure
  60. The business of this life
  61. Church sent into the world
  62. Democratic principles for the church of today
  63. Sociological changes to be taken serious by the church
  64. People who know how to pray to move God to take hold of our affairs in a mighty way
  65. Church is a Hospital for sinners
  66. Reflection for today: hating your brother
  67. Kill the messenger
  68. The truest greatness lies in being kind
  69. Don’t let anyone move you off the foundation of your faith
  70. Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair
  71. Faith is a pipeline
  72. Faith and trial
  73. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  74. A Living Faith #2 State of your faith
  75. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  76. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  77. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  78. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
  79. A Living Faith #7 Prayer
  80. A Living Faith #8 Change
  81. A Living Faith #9 Prayer
  82. A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2
  83. Aim High: Examples of Godly Characters to follow
  84. Solving all the problems that come to us
  85. Being Justified by faith
  86. Preventing us from going window-shopping in prayer
  87. Be Honest
  88. Kindness
  89. Walking in love by faith, not by sight
  90. Let me keep to “first importance” things
  91. Bearing fruit
  92. Living in faith
  93. Feed Your Faith Daily
  94. He who kneels before God can stand before anyone!
  95. Man’s plans prevailed by God’s purpose
  96. Who are you going to reach out to today
  97. Don’t Envy the World
  98. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  99. Character transformed by the influence of our fellowships
  100. Let us meet in any suitable place
  101. An ecclesia in your neighborhood

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Readings from other groups and denominations:

  1. Does the method of preaching from house to house have its basis in the Scriptures?
    Some religions have acknowledged the Christian obligation to preach in public places and from house to house, although this is often left to a limited group of missionaries or clergy to fulfill… not every member.
  2. What is the “Good News of the Kingdom”? Who is Preaching it? And What Does “For a Witness to all the Nations” Mean? (Mt. 24:14)
    Telling us what will mark the last days, Jesus went on to say: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there will be great earthquakes, and in one place after another pestilences and food shortages; and there will be fearful sights and from heaven great signs.” (Luke 21:10, 11) Jesus also said: “This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.”(Matthew 24:14)
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    Jesus did not specifically say that every man, woman and child on earth will have the good news directly preached to in the last days. He said that the good news will be preached in all of the Earth for a witness to all of the nations. This means that every nation will have the good news preached in it to some extent.
  3. Following Jesus’ Footsteps
    We love and cherish our heavenly father Jehovah; we are committed to sharing the ‘good news’ of God’s kingdom, the same as Jesus.
  4. How Is Our Kingdom-Preaching Work Organized?
    We try to contact people at their homes. Jesus trained his disciples to preach the good news from house to house. (Matthew 10:11-13; Acts 5:42; 20:20) Those first-century evangelizers were assigned preaching 31specific territories in which to preach. (Matthew 10:5, 6;2 Corinthians 10:13) Similarly today, our preaching work is well-organized, and each congregation is given an assigned area to cover. This enables us to fulfill Jesus’ command to “preach to the people and to give a thorough witness.”—Acts 10:42.
  5. Preach the word, be at it urgently
    When you consider what stands to be gained or lost as a result of our preaching, you probably feel an urgent need to speak to others about the good news. (Rom. 10:13, 14)
  6. Bearing thorough witness concerning the kingdom of God and by using persuasion with them concerning Jesus
    Was Paul disheartened because not everyone accepted the good news? By no means! Acts 28:30, 31 tells us: “He remained for an entire two years in his own hired house, and he would kindly receive all those who came in to him, preaching the kingdom of God to them.” w12 1/15 2:18-20
  7. As you go, preach, saying, “The kingdom of the heavens has drawn near.”
    Jesus warned his apostles that many would oppose their Kingdom-preaching work. (Matt. 10:16-23) An especially painful form of opposition is experienced when family members reject the Kingdom message. (Matt. 10:34-36) Does this mean that happiness is out of reach for Christ’s followers who live in religiously divided households? Not at all!
  8. Preaching with zeal and urgency vital to keeping on the watch.
    no chain could silence the zealous apostle! Paul continued to find ways to bear witness. After three days, Paul summoned the principal men of the Jews in order to give them a witness. Then, on a chosen day, he gave an even greater witness.—Acts 28:17, 23, 24.w12 1/15 2:17, 18

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Additional reading about House-churches:

  1. An organic church
    By “organic church,” I mean a non-traditional church that is born out of spiritual life instead of constructed by human institutions and held together by religious programs. Organic church life is a grass roots experience that is marked by face-to-face community, every-member functioning, open-participatory meetings (opposed to pastor-to-pew services), non-hierarchical leadership, and the centrality and supremacy of Jesus Christ as the functional Leader and Head of the gathering.
    Put another way, organic church life is the “experience” of the Body of Christ. In its purest form, it’s the fellowship of the Triune God brought to earth and experienced by human beings.
  2. The House Church Movement: Learning from the Past – Pioneering for the Future
  3. Why house church
    Many people today are catching the vision of what the church is meant to be as she throws off the hindrances and becomes the Spirit-filled movement of Believers she is destined for. They are catching the vision for living life 24/7, with and for God without one moment or place being more holy than another. It is a vision of every believer contributing to one another through the spiritual gifts that reside in each one.
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    Perhaps the most significant case for house churches is that they can be easily started and multiplied. God’s clear desire is for the earth to be filled with the “knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14). Rather than build buildings and organizations that require tremendous time, finances, and energy to reproduce, The Kingdom of God multiplies organically: one seed produces fruit, that produces more seed that produces more fruit. The principle of multiplication is far more powerful than we realize. Take a look at any forest and realize how much is accomplished through natural reproductive processes without any human aid at all.
  4. Are You in the Wilderness?
    So many Christians I meet today, whether in person, on social networks, or through emails, tell me that they are living in a spiritual wilderness. They feel alone, spiritually isolated, and they don’t have too many Christian friends that they are experiencing a rich and full fellowship in Christ with.
    Some of them attend a church on Sunday morning, yet still, they are living in the desert and they know it.
  5. Church in the Home? Or at Home in the Church?
    what we do in our own houses, our relationships with our families, with our sons, daughters, with our wives, we should bring all of it into the church. We should act as if these people are really our own brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers, because that is what they really are.
  6. A Hundred Mothers, Brothers…Intimate Relationships
    true “house church” is bringing the home into our church life, not bringing our church into the homes. It’s very superficial to just bring our big building into little buildings, but never change anything in the heart.
  7. Time to Listen and Change
    The books of the Bible were written across continents. The letters and relationships are across years and across cities, countries and continents. Not a single book in the Bible is about only one local assembly. The point is, that even across the miles and the continents, we need each other. God’s call to us today is that we begin to live that way and involve ourselves in each other’s lives. Are we to admonish one another on Sunday only? No, daily. Why? So that we won’t be hardened and deceived. That’s in the Bible. Be called alongside one another daily so that we won’t be hardened and deceived. Whether we are old or young, single or married, ten children or two children, teenager or toddler—who are my mothers, brothers and sisters? We need each other, because you have gifts I don’t have.
  8. House Church Central
    All of the churches in the New Testament era were small assemblies that met in homes. While setting up institutional forms of “church” may or may not provide a way to honor God, the movement toward the institution and the human authority that tends to accompany hierarchical institutional structure are not theologically neutral.
  9. Thoroughly Biblical Church
    When they came together in their houses their corporate worship and sharing together was completely open and spontaneous (I Corinthians 14v26 describes the proceedings as, “…each one has…”), with no one leading from the front. The early believers didn’t have anything that even approximated a church service.
    As part of these proceedings they ate the Lord’s Supper as a full meal, indeed as their main meal of the day, commonly referring to it as the love-feast.
    They understood each church to be an extended family unit (the idea of churches being institutions or organizations would have been totally alien to them), and practiced non-hierarchical plural male leadership that had arisen from within the church they would subsequently lead. This indigenous eldership (elder, pastor/ shepherd, bishop/overseer being synonymous terms in the New Testament) sought to lead consensually wherever possible, and was understood to be purely functional and not in any way positional.
  10. Devonport House Church ->
    About House Church
    House church is an informal term for a group of Christians gathering regularly or spontaneously in a home instead of a building dedicated to the purpose. Another term with the same meaning is “home church”.
    Some groups meet like this because they lack a conventional church building; but these are not normally regarded as house churches. Others meet in homes because they prefer to meet informally, or because they believe meeting in a home is the true pattern set in the first century and intended by Christ. Some, perhaps, meet in homes for several of these reasons.
    House churches should not be confused with cell churches. A house church is not normally part of a larger, overseeing organization, although the group may associate informally with other Christians and house churches in networks reflecting equality rather than hierarchy. Those who meet in house churches regard themselves as belonging to the worldwide Church, but are self-governing and independent, generally without formal relationships with established “institutional” churches.
    Some house churches have a conventional leadership structure, others have none.
  11. The House Church Movement, the perfect church
    Thousands of Christians are now meeting in simple House Churches in the United States. They have “dropped out” of institutionalized religion and prefer to worship Jesus in biblical authenticity and simplicity – just like the early Christians did.
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    From living rooms to coffee shops, offices to parking lots, under trees and secretly underground (in oppressive countries), these new expressions of the Body of Christ are rapidly multiplying around the world. In recent years, Christian researchers and secular media alike have taken notice of the dramatic transformation within Christianity.
  12. House Church Basics — Pt. 3: Missional Church
    One of the hallmarks of the house church movement is that it seeks to be what the church, in fact, is: missional. Jesus went everywhere proclaiming and demonstrating the reality, love, and power of the Kingdom (healing the brokenhearted, setting captives free, proclaiming God’s acceptance, etc.) The church (the people of God) goes and does the same.
    This means that church, first of all, needs to transition from being a “come and see” place to a “go and be with the lost” movement.
  13. Inspired by Cuban Christians
    They have very little money, limited transportation, limited communication, no freedom of speech, no freedom of assembly, no church buildings in which to minister, and the knowledge that they are constantly being watched. The Christian work is primarily through house churches and word of mouth.
    Yet what passion; what joy; and what commitment to the Lord. They are sacrificing for the Lord in ways that would make most American Christians embarrassed.
  14. China cracks down on house church groups again
    The church tried to hold services in the open air after it was evicted from a rented space as the landlord was pressured to not renew the lease, China Aid said.
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    Underground church members are routinely sent to labor camps where abuse and persecution is reported even as they languish in the camps without trial.
  • Thoughts Concerning the Preacher (fromthepreacherspc.org)
    There is usually a lot of confusion in most congregations of the Lord’s church concerning the work of the preacher. Many have their own ideas, some have no real idea, and others have the wrong idea about the preacher’s job. To help the church and the preacher have a better working relationship, consider the following thoughts.
  • What if Modern Preachers Preached What Jesus was Preaching? (holyspiritactivism.wordpress.com) wonders what would happen if certain preachers did what Jesus preached according to the Bible.
  • A Plea for Sharp and Polished Preachers… (pastorkemp.com)
    It is very easy to become so preoccupied with the work of the ministry that we fail to remain hidden for long periods of time with God.  It is seldom those hectic busy moments that are always clamoring for our time and attention where we are sharpen and polished by God—that only occurs when we are close to the “flesh-killing” presence of Almighty God.
  • In Have You Seen the Viral Videos of the ‘Pint-Sized Preachers’ Yet? (theblaze.com) you can see how children can be exploited and which impression some people have about “teaching” and “preaching” and what certain people do call a “sermon”.
    +Are you ready for National Geographic’s “Pint-Sized Preachers?” The new hour-long documentary explores the lives of three kid preachers who give their all to spread Jesus Christ’s message.While some believe that these children are being exploited my overly fervent parents, others see them as a beacon of hope. This latter group believes that, despite their youth, God has chosen to speak through them.

    The bizarre part (and there are some very intriguingly odd pieces to this puzzle)? One of the three — 4-year-old Kanon Tipton — is barely out of diapers, yet he delivers fiery sermons and inspires faith in those who listen.

  • Cotton Candy Preaching (fromthepreacherspc.org)
    Is it worse to teach in the Lord’s church false doctrine or to teach simple pleasant truths from God’s word? In answer to this question most people would quickly say that false doctrine would be the worst thing of all to teach. But consider this, what if we only taught concerning the loving story of Ruth, or about benevolence, or about the need for loving families, or about the need to feel good about ourselves? Now these are topics that we should be concerned about and are issues of interest, and should be taught. But, can a Christian survive spiritually solely on this kind of diet? Can a child of God mature and be grounded in the faith solely on these kinds of meals? The answer is no!
    +
    Many preach to please men and tickle their ears with what they like to hear. Paul said, “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ” (Gal. 1:10). Paul warned Timothy about people who have “itching ears” and warned that such people will gather around those who will scratch their ears by teaching lies (2 Tim. 4:3-4). The whole counsel of God must be preached, regardless of how it is received (Acts 20:26-27)! The truth is truth and must be preached! I didn’t write the book (Bible) and have no right to “water it down” to please men.
  • More Expository Preaching Please! (watumishiwaneno.wordpress.com)
    • Humanity seeking Self-Praise- All men uniting to build a tower whose top reaches the heavens with one aim of making a name for themselves!

    This is what man-made religion does; seeking glory and praise for man instead of giving praise and glory to God.

  • 10 Scriptures In The Bible That ‘Prosperity Preachers’ Choose To Ignore! (endtimereport.net)
    On one so called ‘Christian’ channel this evening, a prosperity pimp is selling potential “salvations” for 5 of your “loved ones”  in return for a financial donation. On another, a (proven) fraud is offering his “miracle mixture” and on another a so-called ‘financial preacher’ is manipulating the viewer to hurry up and send in a $58 ‘seed’ for a “triple blessing.”No mention of Jesus or any solid Bible teaching or call for repentance, just a manipulative call for your hard-earned cash! Welcome to perhaps 50% or more of Christian programming today (unfortunately).
  • Thinking over my life (mysecretlifewithyou.wordpress.com)
    People are really interested in just reaching the masses, and not everyone has issues and so we don’t have to talk about everything, but wouldn’t it be comforting to have someone talk to you in your situation.  I’m grateful that I’ve heard some great preachers in my life that have brought healing to my heart, but the majority of people I know in my church are about pretense and appearance.  I do it to, I smile when I don’t want to…. I shake hands and clap backs, and act like I’m happy, because being unhappy means I don’t have faith and I don’t believe God can handle my situation.

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The official website of Michael Bradley - Author of novels, short stories and poetry involving the past, future, and what may have been.

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van zaadjes in volle grond tot iets lekkers op het bord

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