Category Archives: Questions asked

Discouraged from asking questions

How often do we not hear from people that when they had certain questions about faith matters, that the priest or minister told them they should not ask such questions but should put their faith in God. What those ministers or priests would mean by that?

Does the church discourage you from asking questions?

is one of those questions that Dan Foster brings forwards in one of his blogs. In “Is It Time To Leave Your Church?” it is the 4th question of the eight questions to ask yourself that might help you come to a place of peace about what you need to do, either staying with the denomination you are in or leaving the church.

 

He writes:

If your pastor bristles when you ask him a difficult question, that ought to set off alarm bells.  {Is It Time To Leave Your Church?}

You should know it is not at all wrong to have more than one question about certain matters. As in some other blogs articles Foster mentions the relationship between people of the same sex.

Mention that you support gay marriage and observe the reaction. Suggest that the earth might not be only 6000 years old and see what kind of reception you get.   {Is It Time To Leave Your Church?}

When growing up a person more than once is confronted with matters that trouble him or her. It can be very personal matters but also matters of the mind as well as of spiritual evolution. Also, when a person starts relationships and wonders how those can be continued or strengthened. Strangely enough, we often hear from dissatisfied church members that they could not receive satisfactory answers to questions they had about that what they could read in the bible and on that what their church wants them to believe that there is written in the Bible.

For several churches, matters on the way we sexually behave are not to be discussed. Homosexual friends or gay marriages.

Some churches have convinced themselves that discussing difficult questions like these is unhealthy. It is almost as if they worry that their faith will fade away when exposed to the light. If it’s tested, it may just shatter.

The reality is that if our faith is that fragile, it probably was never true. If our God is so easily defeated, he is probably not really the true God.   {Is It Time To Leave Your Church?}

Problem with a lot of churches is that they have build their ‘teachings and rules’ on a series of dogma’s which you shall not be able to find in the Bible.

Whether we have built castles of doctrine on flimsy foundations or have metaphorically curled ourselves up into a ball around the fundamentals of the gospel, avoiding the tough questions will never lead to any real answers.   {Is It Time To Leave Your Church?}

The real answers, you should realize, are all there in the Great Book of books, that is provided by the Divine Master of all Himself.

So, if you find that your church shuts down, shames or freezes out people who ask tough questions and openly verbalize their reasonably held doubts, then you are not in a place that fosters and promotes the thinking that is needed for growth.

Then it is time to really consider not better going to search for a place where you shall be able to ask questions, and where you shall be able to discuss matters of faith but also about matters of the way of life.

When the pastor or minister tells you that when you have such questions that it means you are weak and that you are not a believing enough in God, you should not be afraid to say how you feel that your faith is. Every person should also be allowed to doubt certain matters, without being told that he or she is a bad person that would come to burn in hell when continuing such way.

First of all there is no such place where God the father would torture His children. Secondly

If you are constantly reminded — either explicitly or implicitly — of your own wretchedness and the need to eliminate sin from your life before you would even be remotely acceptable to God, then perhaps it’s time to move on.

If your church uses the threat of eternal damnation or judgment to win converts and manage the behavior of its members, and if your church has reduced Christian discipleship down to a sin-management program or self-improvement course, then I suggest you walk away.   {Is It Time To Leave Your Church?}

And Mr. Foster has good reason for that.

Because using the doctrine of sin and fallenness to accuse, berate, critique, attack, belittle, condemn or produce guilt is actually a form of spiritual abuse — not about freedom and grace, but control.  {Is It Time To Leave Your Church?}

God is a god of love and understanding. He understands you might have lots of questions; He wants you to grow in your own way at your own time. He does not put any limit of time. He also allows you to grow and chose your own way, like you want to develop. He provides different ways and has provided several answers in His Own Word, notated by several of His own people. The Book of books, the Bible is there to give the answers, but there are also men of God who can come to your help. Try to find those churches where people are open to receiving you without questioning you, but allowing you to ask them questions.

Do know that it is impossible that one man would have all the answers to your questions. Do not believe that the guy behind the pulpit, who gets up every week and lectures you about how you’re doing a terrible job of living a life that honours God, is the one you should follow. Nor would that be the place to go to every Sunday. Look more for a place where you can feel like being part of a family, having a meeting of brothers and sisters in Christ.

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When does your day begin and when begins God His day

All over the world, we can find several calendars which have the week beginning on another day. But when wants one to start a day?

In a certain way, we need some agreement on an arrangement for choosing a system for dividing time over extended periods, such as days, months, or years, and arranging such divisions in a definite order.
Here in West Europe for practical reasons, the standard week begins on Monday and ends on Sunday, and for the Catholics and most Protestant denominations, Sunday is considered the day of rest and ‘Day of the Lord’.

For the majority, the day also commences when they wake up and go to do their daily busyness. Getting up in time is for most of us the most important event of the day. When we hear our alarm clock, that means we are still alive, and we can face again another day.

Frank Hubeny is a Christian who moved to Miami Beach, Florida. He voted for Donald Trump in 2020 and is a pro-life and pro-Israel, and loves Catholics. By hearing those things, we may assume he is one of those conservative and perhaps fundamentalist American Christians. He suspects most people are aware that the biblical day begins at sunset

or early evening sometime if one can’t see the sun actually set. {Exploration 103 – The Day Begins At Sunset}

Though, I think most people do not relate the day setting to something which is indicated in the Bible or any other ‘holy Scriptures‘. But he agrees that

Skyline of Kaohsiung harbour, Taiwan at sunrise.

there are people who would disagree with this biblical interpretation promoting sunrise rather than sunset as the starting point. {Exploration 103 – The Day Begins At Sunset}

There are those who refer to Jeshua, the Messiah who would have brought some new ‘Covenant Calendar’ or would have done away with the Torah, which is not so at all.

Jeshua, or Jesus as a Jew held himself to the Torah and was very well aware of God’s Law given to mankind for good reason. He went to the synagogue on Friday night, which is at the beginning of the Sabbath. From sunset on Friday to nightfall of the following day Jeshua or Jesus also kept himself to the regulations for that day of the week, which was the closing day of the week. The day after was the first day of the week and would be our Sunday. By most Christians, that day is considered to be “the Lord’s Day”, or the weekly memorial of Jesus Christ’s Resurrection from the dead. The title of that day can be very misleading because it can insinuate that it is God His day, though all days belong to God and those Christians holding on to that Day of the Lord mean with it that it is the day of Christ, or even worse, as their day of their god, namely having Jesus as their god.

In our present time or modern culture, most people have been raised to believe that a new day begins at midnight. The majority of people are not interested in the Bible and as such never looked for being in agreement with such a book, which is taken by others as their guide for life. Not following an Al-Haadi or such Guide for life, they just go by their feeling and custom to stand up after a night’s rest.

For them, there is no reason to think about a Scriptural reason and as such, there is no scriptural precedent for their belief, and the way that midnight is reckoned today would be impossible without mechanical clocks.

Others, such as myself, are more than willing to set them straight since fixing the other guy is more entertaining than fixing oneself. {Exploration 103 – The Day Begins At Sunset}

EliYah Ministries claims to be a place for people to read more about the Hebrew Roots of their faith, and has its name chosen because YLiYah means it means “My Mighty One is Yahweh” and this is the message that they seem to want to proclaim. Strangely enough they give the impression that they are Jewish but seem to take Jeshua or Jesus also as their god Yahweh. Though Jesus or Jeshua is not Jehovah, the God of Israel, but is the son of God and son of man, a human being.

“40 ولكنكم الآن تطلبون ان تقتلوني وانا انسان قد كلمكم بالحق الذي سمعه من الله.هذا لم يعمله ابراهيم. 41 انتم تعملون اعمال ابيكم.فقالوا له اننا لم نولد من زنا.لنا اب واحد وهو الله.” (يو 8:40-41 Arabic)

“40 But now you seek to kill me, a man that has told you the truth, which I have heard from God: this did not Abraham. 41 You do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We are not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.” (Joh 8:40-41 KJBPNV)

Funny also that those writers of that site also recognise that

the translators admit they substituted Yahweh’s name for a title. All for the sake of an tradition. Yahweh’s name is in scripture nearly 7000 times. And nearly 7000 times they replaced it (not translated it) with “the LORD”, or “GOD”. Imagine that? They took His name out of His own book! {Yahushua is the True Name of the Messiah}

Also, they agree with Matthew Henry’s Commentary (on Matthew 1:21)

“Jesus is the same name with Joshua, the termination only being changed, for the sake of conforming it to the greek.” {Yahushua is the True Name of the Messiah}

Though somehow they begin to use those two different names Jehovah/Yahweh and Yahushua/Yahusha/Jeshua/Jesus interchangeably and say that Jeshua – for them: god –  changed the ‘day’. Even when they say themselves

I wouldn’t want someone to change my name unless it was Yahweh, and it is clear that according to the third commandment Yahweh doesn’t want anyone to change or falsify His name either.

Think about this for a moment. What makes man think he has the authority to change the name of the one who created him, and who created all things? We don’t have that right! For instance, in the scriptures we see that one who changes the name of another is always in authority over them. The Messiah renamed Simon. Yahweh renamed Abram to Abraham. He renamed Jacob to Israel. Adam named the animals. Even we name our children, not the other way around. Yahweh, our Heavenly Father, named His Son ‘Yahushua’ in Matt 1:22. {Why people of all languages must call upon the name of Yahweh}

So, why do they change the name of Jehovah in Yahwe and in Yahushua? Clearly, they themselves say God named His son Yahushua or (in short or as a call sign) Jeshua. Furthermore, that site indicates:

Also, notice that Matthew 28:1 says it is “after the Sabbath” which indicates the first day of the week has begun. The sun had not yet risen though because it says that it was “toward dawn.”

Matthew 28:1(ISR) Now after the Sabbath, toward dawn on the first day of the week, Miryam from Magdala and the other Miryam came to see the tomb. {When Does the Sabbath Start?}

Toward dawn, means close to dawn, which is after the darkest point of night; and that moment they considered already to be the first day of the week. They also notice

the word used in Matthew 28:1 “toward dawn” describes same period of time as John 20:1– the time when they started heading toward the tomb. It was still technically dark outside, but the light of dawn was on the horizon. {When Does the Sabbath Start?}

We should remember:

So based on the … accounts, it is evident that the chronology was that the women started heading to the tomb before the sun rose on the first day of the week, they bought spices “after the Sabbath” yet before sunrise, and they arrived at the tomb at sunrise.

Here is a summary of how these accounts actually contradict “sunrise to sunrise” Sabbath keeping:

  1. John 20:1 says that it was “on the first day of the week”, yet it was “still dark.” Therefore the first day of the week had already begun prior to sunrise.
  2. Mark 16:1 says that they bought spices “when the Sabbath was passed,” yet it was before the sun had risen, proving the Sabbath ended at sundown.
  3. Matthew 28:1 says that it was “after the Sabbath” during the period of time that it began to “grow light,” a word that describes the period of time just before sunrise.

Therefore, these verses clearly support the fact that the Sabbath ends at sundown and the first day of the week was already in motion prior to sunrise.

EVENING TO EVENING

Scripture plainly commands “from evening to evening you shall celebrate your Sabbath.”

Leviticus 23:27-Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh. 28 – And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before Yahweh your Elohim. 29 – For any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people. 30 – And any person who does any work on that same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. 31 – You shall do no manner of work; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 32 – It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your sabbath.”

Numbers 29:7- On the tenth day of this seventh month you shall have a holy convocation. You shall afflict your souls; you shall not do any work.

Since Yahweh doesn’t contradict Himself, it is no contradiction that the 10th day of the month is “Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement” while also commanding that we begin and end this day at evening. Since the 10th day began and ended at evening, the days surrounding it would need to begin and end at evening as well. Thus, all days begin and end at evening.

Another example:

Exodus 12:15-Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. 16 – On the first day there shall be a holy convocation, and on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation for you. No manner of work shall be done on them; but that which everyone must eat — that only may be prepared by you. 17 – So you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this same day I will have brought your armies out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as an everlasting ordinance. 18 – In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. 19 – For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses, since whoever eats what is leavened, that same person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is a stranger or a native of the land.

Notice that the same language which described the timing of the tenth day of the seventh month (Day of Atonement) is also used to describe when the fifteenth day of the first month (the Feast of Unleavened Bread).

EliYah Ministries agrees with the fact that we should best look at a day from evening to evening.

The scriptures seem pretty clear to me that Yahweh reckons days from evening to evening. While modern reckoning is from midnight to midnight, we need to submit ourselves to the daily heavenly clock that Yahweh Himself established at creation. It makes perfect sense that a day ends when a day ends…at evening. {When Does the Sabbath Start?}

That seems very clear, though several Messianic groups have their Sabbath service on Saturday afternoon. But in Wintertime than the sun has already gone down (like in West of Europe or in the Northern Hemisphere from October to March). For us, it is then no Sabbath anymore but the first day of the week, the Sunday.

There are also groups which say Jeshua/Jesus with his blood made a new covenant so that the old covenant is of no value anymore.

The studies of Covenant Calendar must take time to reflect how this full and complete understanding was born – basically through the most important study of the Melchizedek Priesthood.  The Priesthood study provided the platform that declares this Covenant Calendar is indeed blood-ratified and eternally sealed by Yahusha in His witness through the gospel – especially in His death, burial, resurrection and two ascensions.  Therefore, our most sincere thanks go out to the Supreme Provider Yahusha Ha Mashiach for His guidance and direction through this incredible study.  {What in the world is a Biblical the Torah Yahuwah’s Covenant Calendar}

Seemingly in the United States, there are many groups who find people have to keep the Sabbath, but their interpretation of what has to be the Sabbath seems so different from what we can find in the bible and by standard Jewish people.

However, the fourth commandment expects us to keep the Sabbath (aka Sunday) holy. How are we going to do that if we don’t know when He wants the Sabbath to start and end? It is after all His commandment, not ours, to get some rest. Others think their acceptance of Yeshua (Jesus) allows them do what they want. They might be right. It might not be a salvation issue, but we may still be making a mess of our lives by not doing what He wants while we have the opportunity. {Exploration 103 – The Day Begins At Sunset}

That are the big questions:

How can we keep a holy day before God?

&

What is a holy day in God’s Eyes?

Next to the question:

When is the holy day for God?

Or

When is the Sabbath?

Another question may arise as well. According to many Jehudim or Jews and Jeshuaists the Day of God must start with prayer, and as such has to start with prayers at home, followed by prayers at the synagogue or temple. For them, it is not that

Every day begins with the first LIGHT in the “dawn” sky called twilight.  While the sunrise may be very close behind, the day does NOT begin with sunrise, but with light.  Everything on Day 1 of Creation began with LIGHT … and do remember there was no sunrise “or” sunset until the 4th day of creation.   {What in the world is a Biblical the Torah Yahuwah’s Covenant Calendar}

That looks like twisting the words of the bible. It was out of the void that the world was created. And when there was chaos there was also darkness.

“و“And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” (Ge 1:2 KJBPNV)

So first, the formless earth had darkness around it. A few verses later we come to read that there came to be evening, and as such came to pass a first day by the rising of the morning.

“And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” (Ge 1:5 KJBPNV)

You see:

the Evening and the morning formded the first day

and not

the morning and the evening formde the day.

It is Jehovah God Who starts with everything; He starts His moment of creation by bringing order in the chaos. It was God Who said to have luminaries come to be in the expanse of the heavens, to make a division between the day and the night.

“14  And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. 17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. 19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.” (Ge 1:14-19 KJBPNV)

For God it came to completion after He had giving vegetation to man. By the sun going down, heavens and the earth and all their army had come to completion. So God proceeded to rest on the seventh day, from all His work that He had made.

“31  And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. 2:1  Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.” (Ge 1:31-2:1 KJBPNV)

“And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.” (Ge 2:2 KJBPNV)

It was that seventh day that God blessed and made sacred, not the first day.

“And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” (Ge 2:3 KJBPNV)

The Bible present us by God doing its first Work, when there is darkness. Light came only afterwards. We have a set of periods which always end by darkness coming in again. And as such to me that looks clearly like a new period to come into the picture. A new day.

The sunset-start day puts what God does first. It makes sure what we do later during daylight hours is subordinate to what He wants, not what we want, not even what we think is possible for us to do. {Exploration 103 – The Day Begins At Sunset}

writes Hubeny. And for him, that’s the main reason why he favours having the day begin at sunset,

the time we stop working and acknowledge He is in control to begin  the new day as the old one ends. {Exploration 103 – The Day Begins At Sunset}

This also seems logical, when you consider that at the moment of creation, one is busy. During the day, we have to do our daily job. Often we do not find enough time to honour God (except with our work). But when we have done our daily duties, then comes the moment we can take more time for God. As such, there is also the Friday night, when most of us can put work down and forget it for one or two days.

At sunset, we can come to rest, like God also came to rest. Then arrives the moment we can give all our time to Allah Al-Aliyy, in recognition and respect for all the things He has done and still does for us.

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Related

  1. Rav Avigdor Miller on Shabbos and Yetzias Mitzrayim
  2. Shabbat Rest – The Completion of Creation
  3. Rav Avigdor Miller on The Additional Shabbos Soul
  4. Refuah on Shabbos
  5. Hatzolah on Shabbos
  6. Menachem Bluming Muses: How To Welcome Shabbat
  7. Seder Night on Shabbos
  8. A Restful Day with God
  9. Understanding Sunday and the Sabbath
  10. Responsible Rest
  11. Biblical Foundations for Sabbatical
  12. Remember the Sabbath Day to Keep it Holy
  13. Christians and the Sabbath
  14. The Pastor’s Personal Life – Part 6 – Your Sabbath
  15. LORD’s Day #26 (2022)
  16. Remember the Sabbath and Keep it Holy
  17. Sabbath and Sailing
  18. The God of Rest (1/3)
  19. Sabbath Part 2
  20. Sabbath for the Whole Congregation
  21. July 3: Community Sabbath (No Gathering)
  22. The Sabbath–Our Gift from God
  23. The Necessity of Rest
  24. LORD’s Day #27 (2022)
  25. Christ Our Sabbath Rest
  26. A Sabbath Practice
  27. Why Sabbaticals are Good for Your Church
  28. Restoration of the Sabbath
  29. LORD’s Day #28 (2022)
  30. The Fourth Commandment
  31. For God’s sake (and Yours) Stop!
  32. Principles of Work: Rest.
  33. The God of Rest (2/3)
  34. Heritage Baptist Church Service 7-10-22 (Sabbath)
  35. Twilight of The World, Gross Darkness The People
  36. Sabbath, Feasts, Kosher Will Be What Aids the End-Time Saints? – Today’s McKee Moment
  37. Reflections – Summer Sabbath, 2: Where Are You?
  38. Just Checking…
  39. Resting
  40. Jesus Is Our Sabbath
  41. LORD’s Day #29 (2022)
  42. What is Your (Pharisaical) Sabbath?
  43. Rabbi Jesus
  44. Sabbath Gift
  45. Shabbos Wrap
  46. Babylon is Fallen: Pope Francis Participates in a Pure Pagan Celebration of Mother Earth
  47. The Transfer of Sabbath to LORD’s Day
  48. AY Program Idea: The Call by the Sea, God’s Call for You
  49. Rome Speaks Again: Away with Digital Publishings, up with candles; away with Bibles, and up with beads;Away with KJV up with James Webb Telescope: The Role of Art in a Time of War
  50. Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem: Leading churches of the United States, unite in common points of doctrine, influence the state to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions: IMAGE of the Roman hierarchy, civil penalties upon dissenters result

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Existence in the non-existent and non-existence in the existence

When wondering about the existence, the why and how, there is the darkness around us in which we look for the light. There we find ourselves in a world that has shifted from the here and now. We, looking at the age that has shifted all emphasis to the here, there, yesterday, today and tomorrow, and thus brought about a demonisation of man and his world.

The many things that bind us to each other and to this world we want to curse, but they keep us under their spell. Who plays the game? Who has the strings of our body and soul?

Who is the player of this puppet cabinet, where we are the puppets of who in what world? It was not that we ourselves presented ourselves to be a glove puppet. And who is that One Who plays with the hand puppets of this world?

In this world, we see many who want to seize power and even manage to make money out of their dictatorial traits.  Then they take pleasure in having flocks of dictators around them, until the people wake up, when it is too late and the phenomenon of dictators has already caused great misery. Then people will have to admit with shame that they have allowed such foolishness to take place and to cause so much damage. Then they will have the nerve to admit that mankind has been robbed of his transcendence by the short-sightedness of the super-intellectuals, but also of the foolish followers who turned a blind eye while the others warned.

Many have fallen a victim to unconsciousness.

But then, at last, they come to see, man’s task is the exact opposite: to become conscious of the contents that press upward from the unconscious.

Neither should he persist in his unconsciousness, nor remain identical with the unconscious elements of his being, thus evading his destiny, which is to create more and more consciousness.

What is the sole purpose of human existence? Is it to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being?

What affects us? What affects him or her who is standing next to us?

For sure

the increase in our consciousness affects the unconscious. {Carl Jung}

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Why does the world exist

 

Vragen - Questions

Blijf niet alleen afgezonderd op jouw eiland met je vragen zitten – do not stay isolated on your desert island with all your questions

We are here. That much seems clear. We can’t deny our own existence.

Well actually great philosophers have denied our existence. What we can’t deny we suppose is that something exists. There is an experience of existence, of being, that is undeniably the foundation of everything. If nothing existed there would be nothing to contemplate …

Some may even question what it entails to be in or to have “existence”. In what way we experience existence? We can feel ourselves and we can see and touch other things, but that does not yet mean we feel their existence. Though most often as soon as we see and feel something we want to believe we feel and see the proof of its existence.

To what extent do we want to accept that which we can perceive to exist?

But one of the most important questions that most people have is why they exist. The “Why” of being us and the “Why” of being the things around us.

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Is the Russian military superior to any other European nation?

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For those who say Jesus words do not make sense

More than once we get questions from people wondering what Jesus meant by saying such a strange thing. We also get several remarks that Jesus said so many strange things, that we should not take them seriously.

All Gospel readers want to understand Jesus’ teachings, but it’s not always so easy! Luckily, a little ancient Jewish context can go a long way to aiding our understanding.

Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenber in his article “When Jesus Does Not Make Sense” looks at such strange remarks of Jesus, like

“Allow the dead to bury their own dead” (Luke 9:60)

which for many do not

seem to make no sense at all.

He also looks at the weird saying

“The eye is the lamp of the body….”

Then, as if this were not confusing enough, Jesus adds,

“So, if your eye is healthy (ἁπλοῦς; aplous) your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad (πονηρὸς; poneros), your whole body will be full of darkness” (Matthew 6:22-23a.)

The most popular way of dealing with texts such as these is to ignore them!

Though, we can not agree with that. We have the opinion that one should look at those sayings in the manner of speaking at the time of Jesus Christ. I am convinced that when we want to read the Old or the New Testament, we should look at those texts as Jewish texts from previous times, when certain idioms and ways of speaking were used. Therefore, one must be familiar with the techniques of Jewish literary traditions.

One should consider the thought-language of the gospels in light of Hebraisms and Aramaisms.

We must be aware that in the Hebrew and Aramaic scriptures there was (is) a lot of use of descriptions. Hebrew has many idiomatic terms that can not easily be translated to other languages; for example בארבע עיניים be’arba enayim, literally ‘with four eyes,’ means face to face without the presence of a third person, as in, ‘The two men met with four eyes.’ The expression לא דובים ולא יער lo dubim ve lo ya’ar is literally “neither bears nor forest” but means that something is completely false. The saying טמן את ידו בצלחת taman et yado batsalahat “buried his hand in the dish” means that someone idles away his time.” [ Bivin, David. “Hebrew Idioms in the Gospels,” Jerusalem Perspective Online. Archived 2007-05-26 at the Wayback Machine]

Furthermore, we should take into account that often those writers use a description instead of going for just one word or term. When reading the Holy Scriptures we should try to come into that way of thinking. We should almost make Judaic thinking our own.

Regular Bible scholars have tried to convey the view of the saying. To this end, they took the liberty of expressing that thought with simple words in the language of translation. In this respect, those who have made paraphrased translations have gone furthest, but have also sometimes taken a little too much liberty by writing things out on the basis of their doctrine.

Furthermore, we should not underestimate metaphorical language or figure of speech, and we should take it fully into account. It is true that by using such language one can have a system of thought antedating or bypassing logic. At the time of use, they might have been very originally vivid images and clear for those who listened to the texts.

Jesus for example uses the terms of the “healthy eye” versus “evil eye” metaphorically.

A man with a “single-minded eye” looks at a God-given path alone! God’s word becomes the guiding light (Psalm 119:105). But the one with “the lustful eye” gets distracted and greedy by coveting the possessions of others. As envy takes root, generosity dies. Then darkness settles in.

This is why we must remember that “the eye is the lamp of God,” so that our eye stays healthy and we always walk in God’s paths. {When Jesus Does Not Make Sense}

If one takes the time to read and reread the text carefully, while trying to put oneself in that ancient language, one will find that the words of Jesus and other prophets do have meaning and significance. In comparison with sentences spoken in the past, everything will become clearer, but then one has to be prepared to do verse and text comparison. Also, reading more than one translation can often bring more clarity.

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Who Am I That I Could Hinder God?

“For as much then as God gave them a like gift,
as he did unto us, when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ,
who was I, that I could let God?” (Ac 11:17 GenevaBible)

All of those who call themselves “Christian” need to ask themselves not only who they are, what they want to do, and what they want to reach, but also if they are following God’s path or even if they do not hinder God.

Often we find Christians praying for things which go against the Plan of God. So you could wonder how they look at God and really want His Plan to come into fulfilment.

We have Jews and Gentiles, or goyim having become under Christ, having become children of God.

God may have tried to tell Peter to not keep people out of the church that God has already welcomed. Though gentiles should not forget who are the first chosen People, and which rules or commandments are still to be followed by them if they want to enter that Body of Christ, the Church.

Too many people think they may “bypass all the rules” the church set up to determine who is in and who is out by providing the Spirit to the gentiles.

All important is that those who want to be part of the Body of Christ, should follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and should try to become like him, loving all people around them, whatever they might be.
We hear from John what is important to be truly a follower of Jesus, by how (and who) we love. And too many Christians do forget that we hear from James that belief is not enough, actions are what follows, by the faith belongs the works. One of those works or specific actions is the treatment of the underprivileged people around us with great care and generosity.

Too often Christians take an attitude to others, Christ unworthy. Certainly in the U.S.A. we can find lots of fundamentalist Christians who do damaging things to other human beings. Several Christians act improperly to people who are different than them. In several countries, homos and transgenders have difficulties walking around and being accepted in the community.

Many Christians would do well to look into their hearts to see how they really want, like Jesus, to be open to people who are different from themselves!

Abnormal Anabaptist

The title of this post is a question that I think all of us Christians need to ask ourselves when we gather in our communities for regular worship and practice. And it’s not a question that I just came up with off the top of my head. This is a Biblical question asked rhetorically to prove a point. And what is that point? I’ll tell you.

View original post 1,100 more words

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What’s a historical fact that would shock most people to find out?: Rape of Nanking

The horrific events are known as the Nanking Massacre or the Rape of Nanking, as estimated that 20,000 women including some children and the elder were raped during the occupation.

A large number of rapes were done systematically by the Japanese soldiers as they went from door to door searching for girls and many women being captured and gang raped.The women were often killed immediately after being raped.

The Japanese were infuriated by the strength of Chinese resistance and when China’s Nationalist capital Nanking fell in December 1937, Japanese troops immediately slaughtered thousands of Chinese soldiers who had surrendered to them. The Japanese then rounded up about twenty thousand young Chinese men and transported them in trucks outside the city walls where they were killed in a massive slaughter. Japanese troops were then encouraged by their officers to loot Nanking and slaughter and rape the Chinese population of the city.

For six weeks, life for the Chinese in Nanking became a nightmare. Bands of drunken Japanese soldiers roamed the city, murdering, raping, looting, and burning at whim. Chinese civilians who were stopped on the street and found to possess nothing of value were immediately killed.During this period, soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army murdered Chinese civilians and disarmed combatants who numbered an estimated 40,000 to over 300,000.

The bodies of thousands of victims of the slaughter were dumped into the Yangtze River until the river was red with their blood. After looting Nanking of anything of value the Japanese started fires that gutted one third of the city.

Subal Das

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In March of 1945 the Japanese Army did the same thing at Manila in the Philippines. It is estimated that at least 100,000 civilians were murdered.

Japanese General Yamishita was tried and executed for these war crimes. Gang rapes were also wide spread.

These victims were murdered in the Manila Hospital.

Darrell Stanley

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One Question to Help You Practice Empathy

Instead of simply assuming everyone’s trying their best, ask: ‘What if they’re secretly suffering?’

Illustration of a swimming pool ladder going down into the galaxy of a pink person’s mind.
Illustration: dickcraft/Getty Images

When I am angry and irritated by a result I don’t want to accept, remembering to ask, “What if they are trying their best?” usually works to calm my roiling emotional heartburn. But a heated encounter at my community center pool last summer had me thinking about how I can go a step further to ask, “What if they are suffering?” Can “assuming suffering” go beyond just dissipating frustration to actually building a bridge of empathy? And should I extend this kind of personal empathy even to someone who is wielding systemic privilege?

Continue readingJane Park Jane Park‘s article:

and find out what she finds she can do as a grown-ass woman to protect herself from the anger of others

— which is likely not even about me?

Anger is the external expression of internal sadness and unprocessed grief, which we all have a lot of these days.

I wonder how it would have changed my emotional chemistry had I imagined that she had a husband with cancer, too. What if she had been suffering and sobbing silently into the pool right there with me?

The mental image of her tears immediately softens me. I like the feeling softened, because I am tired of carrying around so much anger. I’m all full up in that department. I don’t have any extra space for more. Anger is the external expression of internal sadness and unprocessed grief, which we all have a lot of these days. Finding any way to offload even a little is a welcome relief.

Now, when someone cuts me off on the road, or is otherwise unkind, I try to wonder if they are rushing to their chemo appointment. (I’m mostly not

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“I want to draw closer to God, but…”

We, at our office, regularly receive letters from people who would love to come to know God and want to feel closer to Him. Several people tell us how difficult it is for them to see God near to them when they are confronted with so many difficulties.

Especially during the Corona period, we received many requests to tell more about suffering, illness, life and death. The pandemic made many people reflect on the how and why of our presence here on earth and what would be after death.

Seeking God

Some days, it can feel like all of life’s demands are conspiring together to consume you. But, seeking God in His Word has the power to bring positive change into your life. We are convinced that God Himself has made the answers available by recording His Words and thus enabling them to be passed on through the ages.
So if you are looking for answers to the many questions in your life, we recommend reading the Bible daily. There you shall be able to find a “A living Word giving confidence“.

Daily rhythm

How can you find that daily rhythm?

By setting small, achievable goals… and taking them on one by one.

To help you, the Christadelphians provide some help to go through the Bible day by day in a year. They also provide next to the Bible Reading Plan or chart some inspirational texts in their “Thought for today“. That Bible Companion or guide developed by the Christadelphians to aid reading the Bible, is just a practical aid, encouraging people to continue their Bible reading in a way that they do not skip the same chapters, but go from one book to the other, chapter after chapter, each year. It was first produced by Robert Roberts when he was 14 years of age, in about 1853, and revised by him over a number of years into its current format.

Please do find a 2-page PDF document Bible Reading Plan

Bible apps

Modern technology also has provided several applications. You always could use a bible app to have it presenting some daily bible verses, to think about.

Did a particular Bible verse really speak to your heart? Highlight it, and you’ll unlock the Highlight Badge. Keep highlighting, and you’ll “level up” each time you reach the next milestone. Try the same thing with Bookmarks, and unlock and level up your Bookmark Badge!

Badges

Motivate yourself.

Complete one of our annual challenges (like the Christmas Challenge), and you’ll earn a Badge. Subscribe to a Bible Plan, and you’ll unlock the Plan Subscription Badge. Finish that Plan, and you’ll unlock the Plan Completion Badge. Keep starting and finishing Plans, and you’ll level up both.

Badges in Profile

Build momentum.

Your home feed shows your progress on Badges. Go to your profile to see all the Badges you’ve unlocked so far… and which other Badges are available. Once you’ve encouraged yourself with some of the smaller Badges, maybe you’ll feel inspired to chase the Whole Bible Badge.

Badges in Community Feed

And inspire others.

Your friends will see your Badges in their feeds, or you can share your journey and invite them to join you, on social media or by text. And, when you see your friends’ Badge progress in your feed, you can like or comment to encourage them.

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God’s Word is with you.

Tens of millions of people are using the Bible App™ to make God’s Word a part of their daily lives. Download the free app and access your bookmarks, notes, and reading plans from anywhere. Enjoy hundreds of versions, including audio, all on your mobile device.

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Preceding

Hide and Seek ~

In October-November People often too busy with death and the dead

You don’t have to walk through the fire

Knowledge of God by reading and willingness to open your mind to transform you

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Additional reading

  1. Souls and Religions with Nirvana and light
  2. Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up
  3. People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations
  4. People Seeking for God 4 Biblical terms
  5. People Seeking for God 6 Strategy
  6. People Seeking for God 7 The Lord and lords
  7. Struggles of life
  8. When you don’t know what to do and hate yourself
  9. Major challenges and great things happpening in our life
  10. Isaiah 55-56, Revelation 11
  11. Being religious has benefits even in this life
  12. Healthy life can be found in sacred books
  13. Creator and Blogger God 7 A Blog of a Book 1 Believing the Blogger
  14. A living Word giving confidence
  15. Daily Spiritual Food To prepare ourselves for the Kingdom of God
  16. Bible
  17. Bible Word of God inspired and infallible
  18. Word of God
  19. Gospel or Good News – Evangelie of Goede Nieuws
  20. Questions on the Bible and Crossword Books
  21. Today’s thought “A New Year” (January 01)
  22. Today’s thought “Blessed the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly” (January 01)
  23. Today’s thought “Going with the right people” (January 01)
  24. Today’s thought “Jehovah God makes us dwell in safety and confident trust” (January 02)
  25. God is the strength of my heart
  26. Concerning prayer and thought for the day

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Related

  1. Seeking God; April 27, 2022
  2. Looking For God in Our Daily Lives
  3. God Did All This
  4. No Short-Cuts
  5. Finders, Seekers
  6. Sticky Note From God ~05.17.22~
  7. May 21st-a reminder to seek God diligently; we know not how we may be blessed along the journey
  8. May 22nd-Why not make a commitment to seek God through fasting and prayer for that situation that is right now giving us great concern?
  9. Quiet time, Part 1
  10. Connection is Vital
  11. Outward vs. Inward: A matter of heart
  12. Where do I  start reading my Bible?
  13. Did you remember to read your Bible? One Year Bible Reading Plan and Devotional Today’s Bible Reading: March 8 Download the full one-year Bible reading plan here
  14. Did you remember to read your Bible?
  15. Psalms 30 Day Reading Plan

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