Tag Archives: Being in Christ

Kel Hammond on Faith, grace and works

Kel Hammond

Faith, grace and works.

As I understand it, it is by faith that we enter into grace (Rom.5:2). That is, we are now in Christ, having put on Christ by faith and baptism (Gal.3:26-27), and thereby enveloped in grace … having been saved by grace through faith, and not by our works (Eph.2:8-9).

Baptism in the first place represents death of the old man. It declares this principle (Rom.6:3-4, Col.2:12). It means that we bring no virtue to God – only a conscience influenced by the gospel message (1.Pet.3:21). We are thereby saved by faith through grace, which is God’s free gift to us (Eph.2:8-9). Having now ALSO risen with Christ, we are to walk by faith, which keeps us in grace – that is, we must now stay true to the things received by the preaching of the gospel, firm to the end (1.Cor.15:1-2).

We have been created anew in Christ, and by faith we are to walk in newness of life (Rom.6:4, Col.2:12), having been born again / created in Christ Jesus for good works (Eph.2:10). These works that come AFTER baptism into Christ demonstrate that our faith is alive, and therefore James says

“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” James.2:26.

In this context, James has already presented two examples from Abraham’s life to show what he means. One is drawn from early on and the other from much later. Early on, Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness (Gen.15:6). Later one, Abraham was faithfully obedient when he offered up Isaac (Gen.22:16-18), and his “works” demonstrated that his faith was alive and had grown.

By this we “see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works, and the Scripture was fulfilled that says,

“Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”” James.2:22-23 ESV.

Now ponder James 2:24 in this context –

“You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only”

Martin Luther, the ‘great’ reformer, was not happy with James’ epistle and tried to remove it from the cannon of Scripture. He called it ‘an epistle of straw’. Luther, because of his misunderstanding of how God saves in Christ (i.e. his belief in penal-substitution), was not able to understand James.

Peter also speaks of the need for spiritual growth in the following words –

“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.

For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;..” 2.Pet.1:5-10

We will let the apostle John have the last word, where he later writes –

“Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous” 1.Jn.3:7

 

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Preceding articles

  1. The works we have to do according to James
  2. Comments to James remarks, about Faith and works
  3. Luther’s misunderstanding
  4. January 27, 417, Pope Innocent I condemning Pelagius about Faith and Works
  5. Our life depending on faith
  6. Romans 4 and the Sacraments
  7. Is Justification a process?
  8. Justification – salvation is by grace through faith – JI Packer
  9. Faith itself not the cause of justification – Louis Berkhof
  10. Letter to the Romans, chapter 3
  11. Letter to the Romans, chapter 4
  12. Additional comments to the 3rd Letter to the Romans
  13. Additional comments to the Letter to the Romans 4
  14. Which is worse–works without faith, or faith without works?
  15. James 2:14-23 — Justified Dynamic Faith & works
  16. James 2:24 – You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
  17. James 2:25. Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
  18. Paul giving notice of the works we have to do

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Additional reading

  1. Risen With Him
  2. The way of salvation
  3. A “seed” for the blessing of all mankind would come through the family of Abraham
  4. God works faith
  5. Faith is the belief that god will do what is right
  6. Christ’s ethical teaching
  7.  Being Justified by faith
  8. Faith is knowing there is an ocean because you have seen a brook.
  9. Faith Requires a Basis
  10. Walking in love by faith, not by sight
  11. Faith Alone Does Not Save . . . No Matter How Many Times Protestants Say It Does
  12. Thought for those who think it is not necessary to do any works any more
  13. When having found faith through the study of the Bible we do need to do works of faith
  14. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  15. A Living Faith #2 State of your faith
  16. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  17. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  18. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  19. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
  20. Faith and works
  21. Sharing your faith
  22. Bearing fruit
  23. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  24. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  25. Be holy
  26. 1 Corinthians 15 Hope in action
  27. Chief means by which men are built up
  28. Not to play at Christianity
  29. Outflow of foundational relationship based on acceptance of Jesus
  30. Faith, storms and actions to be taken
  31. Establish your hearts blameless in holiness
  32. A race not to swift, nor a battle to the strong

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Lifestyle, Religious affairs

Witnessing because we love

Yesterday we saw how Jesus spoke about God His second commandment and how Jesus ordered us to keep to a Royal Law.

In the readings of this week we can find an other work than the brotherly love we have to do. Though that work should be part of brotherly love. Out of love to others we should go out into the world and proclaim the Good News. Witnessing to others is a way of showing our love to them, because we want them also to be saved.

God’s abundance is for the furthering of His will here on earth. God wants all people to know Him and to worship Him. We, when we are thankful for what God provided for us, will love to serve our God and shall do our best to be workers in the name of Jesus, following his orders to preach.

The Lord Jesus stripped himself of everything save love, that he might more readily meet each human soul on its own level. Jesus emptied himself, humbled himself, only wanted to do the will of God, his heavenly Father and asked us also to put our own selfish will aside. That will demand some work. Like Jesus became obedient unto death, even the death at the stake, for our sakes, we should offer our selves, working hard to bring others also into the knowledge of God.

Jesus was set on proclaiming the Gospel so that even the dying thief might enter Paradise, and that not one prodigal in all the human family should think that he had sunk too low or gone so far as to be excluded from the hope of salvation.

One of the duties of friendship is just to lend an ear to others and our second duty is to try to give them right answers. Those answers are given by God in His Book of books, the Bible, which we should carry in our heart. To keep it only for ourself is selfish. We should share it with others around us.

The first followers of Christ Jesus were very well aware of their responsibility. They also knew it was God Who had given Jesus authority and also given them responsibility of serving His church by proclaiming the word of God in its fullness. Paul wrote.

Colossians 1:21-29 The Scriptures 1998+  (21)  And you, who once were estranged and enemies in the mind by wicked works, but now He has completely restored to favour  (22)  in the body of His flesh through death, to present you set-apart, and blameless, and unreprovable before Him,  (23)  if indeed you continue in the belief, founded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the expectation of the Good News which you heard, which was proclaimed to every creature under the heaven, of which I, Sha’ul, became a servant,  (24)  who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in Messiah’s afflictions, for the sake of His Body, which is the assembly,  (25)  of which I became a servant according to the administration of Elohim which was given to me for you, to fill the word of Elohim,  (26)  the secret which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His set-apart ones,  (27)  to whom Elohim desired to make known what are the riches of the esteem of this secret among the gentiles: which is Messiah in you,1 the expectancy of esteem, Footnote: 1See Messiah in you in the Explanatory Notes.  (28)  whom we announce, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, in order to present every man perfect in Messiah יהושע {Jehsua},  (29)  for which I also labour, striving according to the working of Him who works in me in power.

Even when the mystery may have been hid from ages and from generations, now for us it should be clear, having been made manifest to the Elohim His saints. When having received the blessings of the offering of Jeshua we, out of thankfulness should be pleased that we got to know what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the non believers. Having Christ in us we do have the hope of glory and should be so overtaken by joy that we shout it out and call others to become partakers of the same joy.

Faith belief D will do rightIt is that Messiah, given to us, without us having to do something for it, that now our turn has come to do something in return. The Grace is given for free, but now we have to act when we have come into the faith and want to make the faith alive. It is the Messiah whom we should preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus, whereunto the apostles also laboured, striving according to his working, which works in believers of Christ mightily.

The message kept secret for centuries and generations past has been revealed to God’s people. And the secret “Christ in you is the hope of glory!’”  should be sounding all over the earth.

Our task is to get this hope of glory with Christ in us. Having his presence and power in our life, because it is the only way we will ever become all that God has created us to be. That is the great secret that is now made known to all! And this is why we we have to do the work of faith proclaiming Jesus, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully grown, mature and complete in Christ. It is to this end we like the apostle Paul have to labour, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in the followers of Christ.

Like it was the great Life Lesson Philemon learned from Paul, and how it has made all the difference for him in everything he did, we too should be inspired by Jesus’ teachings and by the power of God’s Spirit should inspire others as well.

We were made for a purpose; one that will never be realized apart from our Lord Jesus Christ. Once Christ puts his presence and power into our lives – then we can do whatever Christ can do through us if we are opening ourselves to him! Paul’s timeless words should become our very own,  so that we too can say

‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!’

This is our hope of glory!

In Christ – the defeated become victorious; the weak become strong; the poor become rich! In Christ – the lame are made to leap and dance; the blind are made to see; the enslaved are set free and rejoice!

In Christ – the lowly are raised up; the brokenhearted are healed; sinners are forgiven, and backsliders are restored! In Christ –dreamers are envisioned; builders are empowered; and all are strengthened with might in their inner man!

To become in Christ we should give ourselves to him, which demands works.

To bring others to Christ also demands works. Though we do have to show others others that Christ is the Way.

We do have to open our ears so that others can open their hearts. We then should try to show them the answers God provides. Like David did not brood on his problems in solitary bitterness we with those around us should bring them before God.

We ourselves must not be ‘puffed up’ because of the way our careful reading of God’s word has led us to increasingly comprehend the ‘big picture’ of the meaning of life and the spirit of genuine love for God that must be part of this.

Let us be like the scribe who knew that there is only one God; and there is none other but He and to love Him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength. To love God demands action or work. But when we do love we first of all have to love His creations as well because when we do not love our neighbour as ourself, we do not show appreciation for the creation of God, because each person is a created being, allowed to live here on earth by God.

Mark 12:26-33 The Scriptures 1998+  (26)  “And concerning the dead, that they rise – have you not read in the book of Mosheh, at the bush, how Elohim spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the Elohim of Aḇraham, and the Elohim of Yitsḥaq, and the Elohim of Yaʽaqoḇ’? (27)  “He is not the Elohim of the dead, but Elohim of the living. You, then, go greatly astray.”  (28)  And one of the scribes coming near, hearing them reasoning together, knowing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first command of all?”  (29)  And יהושע  {Jeshua} answered him, “The first of all the commands is, ‘Hear, O Yisra’ĕl, יהוה {Jehovah} our Elohim, יהוה {Jehovah} is one.  (30)  ‘And you shall love יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first command.  (31)  “And the second, like it, is this, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no other command greater than these.”  (32)  And the scribe said to Him, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one Elohim, and there is no other besides Him.  (33)  “And to love Him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the being, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbour as oneself, is more than all the burnt offerings and offerings.”

We should clearly understand what is being said here. There is only One True God the Elohim Hashem יהוה {Jehovah} and this we should believe and practice with all our heart, offering our love for God to others.

Do we feel as thankful as we should for the wondrous blessing of being spiritual children of God – in this godless world? Let us make sure that we do – and then – how soon will we see and experience – for ever – “the salvation of God”.

Paul challenges us when he looks at the call of Christ to go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. He expresses this responsibility in the bluntest terms,

1 Corinthians 9:16 The Scriptures 1998+  (16)  For if I bring the Good News, it is no boasting for me, for necessity is laid on me, and it is woe to me if I do not bring the Good News!

Youngsters listening to a preacher

Youngsters listening to a preacher

Let us not overlook that it is for necessity is laid on us as well.  ‘A necessity’, etc.: i.e. having no choice. The compelling force was twofold, love of god and love of Christ plus fear of being held responsible for the loss of souls. Woe: calamity, in this case, eternal death. So explicit and solemn was Christ’s commission that Paul could not retain his favour if he refused to obey it. 1 Corinthians 9:17 shows how this impending woe, and the necessity it laid on Paul, make the mere fact of his preaching no ground of exultation. For if we do this of our own will, we shall have a reward. But if not of our own will, we will have a stewardship entrusted to us.

1 Corinthians 9:17 The Scriptures 1998+  (17)  For if I do this voluntarily I have a reward, but if not voluntarily, I am entrusted with a management.

Stewardship “stresses obligation, responsibility, and faithfulness of the servant to his master in carrying out the entrusted task” (Rienecker and Rogers, p. 415). In other places such as Luke 16:2-4 this same term is used to describe the management of property.
We have to do the preaching or witnessing as a matter of duty, because God has entrusted us with this task.  And this is something too many Christians forget or do not want to see.

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Preceding

Your position about materialistic desires having conquered the world

When believing in God’s existence and His son, possessing a divine legislation

Looking for a shepherd for the sheep and goats

A Royal Rule given to followers of Christ

First man’s task still counting today

He who knows himself, is kind to others

Luther’s misunderstanding

January 27, 417, Pope Innocent I condemning Pelagius about Faith and Works

Our life depending on faith

Romans 4 and the Sacraments

Is Justification a process?

Letter to the Romans, chapter 3

Letter to the Romans, chapter 4

Additional comments to the 3rd Letter to the Romans

Additional comments to the Letter to the Romans 4

Comments to James remarks, about Faith and works

Which is worse–works without faith, or faith without works?

Leading people astray!

Crisis man needed in this world

Preaching Christ Is Not Enough

Beautiful feet of those who announce the good news

Preaching by example

A Christian has to have eyes and ears and a tongue to use in good ways

Daring to speak in multicultural environment

Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach

What Should I Preach ?

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Additional reading

  1. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  2. Bible in the first place #2/3
  3. Hope by faith and free gift
  4. Salvation, trust and action in Jesus #3 as a Christian
  5. The Right One to follow and to worship
  6. Illuminating our minds and watching out
  7. Those who love Jesus
  8. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  9. Paulus to Philemon
  10. Bringing Good News into the world
  11. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  12. First Century of Christianity
  13. Looking on what is going on and not being of it
  14. Let us make sure we are not stiff-necked
  15. Priest, scribes and others with authority
  16. Breathing to teach
  17. Witnessing
  18. How should we preach?
  19. Showing by the scriptures that …
  20. Necessary to be known all over the earth
  21. Church sent into the world
  22. How do I know if I’m called to ministry?
  23. Not all ability to preach
  24. A Synod to speak freely and to listen without reservations
  25. Preachers should know and continue the task Jesus has given his followers
  26. Necessity of a revelation of creation 10 Instructions for insight and wisdom
  27. Risen With Him
  28. Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News
  29. Missionary action paradigm for all endeavours of the church
  30. Engaging the culture without losing the gospel
  31. Counting sands and stars
  32. The Big Conversation
  33. The Big Conversation – Christadelphians in the United Kingdom
  34. The Big conversation – Antagonists
  35. What Should I Preach ?
  36. How to Choose a Bible for Preaching
  37. Positive Preaching Day 2015
  38. Soviet Witnesses
  39. Using the name Jehovah but not a witness of that name
  40. Why we do not have our worship-services in a church building
  41. Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #5 Not law binding
  42. Sunday 7 September service: Imitate prophets and Paul
  43. Begin by carrying away small stones to remove a mountain
  44. Signs of the Last Days

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Further related articles

  1. The Sum of our Stories
  2. The Gospel Addresses the Culture
  3. Baptism and Temptation
  4. Are You Ready For Jesus’ Return?
  5. Can you be faithful?
  6. Learn It, Do It, Teach It …Preach it?
  7. Preaching on the Subject of Heaven
  8. John Newton on the Practical Effects of Faith
  9. “forgiveness is not a legal action”
  10. Into the Wilderness
  11. 1 Peter 2:1-3, What about Milk?
  12. Preaching
  13. The Power of Place and Story in Preaching
  14. Consecutive Expository Preaching
  15. Stop Teaching
  16. What’s red and furry and climbs trees? (avoiding the Sunday School answer)
  17. Train of Thanks 14-15
  18. ‘Body Language’ in 1 Corinthians
  19. Sound Bytes or Substance? (Part 2)
  20. The Essential Element to Church Health and Success
  21. Sermon in a Sentence
  22. What’s Pastor Kevin Reading: Will Willimon’s “How Odd of God”
  23. Dulcis Loquela, Dulcis Oratio, or Un-Umming Your Speech
  24. Preaching – Prof K J Mathew – Shalom Night Vigil – February 2016
  25. Preaching – Fr. Roy Palatty – Shalom Night Vigil – February 2016
  26. “Today You Will Be With Me” – A Sermon Starter
  27. “Where is the promise of His coming?” (part 2)…
  28. Expository Preaching
  29. New Network Show; Preachers of Infernum
  30. Dressing for Church: Which Way Does One Go?
  31. How Will You Listen to Your Pastor This Weekend?
  32. 3 Essentials of A Good Sermon
  33. QotD – Speaking from the Heart – 2.11.2016
  34. Almost Spiritual, Almost Revived
  35. My Library // Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry
  36. One Anothering – The Ministry of Mutuality
  37. “Powerful Preacher”
  38. 6 Ways Bible Reading Enhances Your Church Experience
  39. One wild preacher!
  40. The Dilemma of Balance in Preaching
  41. Unlawful Arrest for Preaching Gospel
  42. Post-Preaching Inscape
  43. Benefits of Expository Preaching
  44. 4 “Non-Sin” Sermon Practices
  45. Are Red Letters More Important than Black Letters?
  46. Preacher, Do You Tremble before the Word You Preach?
  47. A Christ-Centred Life And A Christ-Centred Ministry
  48. The Ministry of Reconciliation
  49. Acts 4
  50. Acts 10
  51. Challenge: Find Somebody to Love
  52. Time for a Great Poem (evangelism)
  53. Don’t just give up, give out! #Lent
  54. Faith’s Checkbook: A Constant Witness
  55. Simon Peter
  56. When We Struggle
  57. February 8th-Love your neighbor as yourself. And, our unruly society has about as much difficulty with that as did His chosen people back then. Yet, as His children, we are required to be different.
  58. Leading Souls to Christ, Part 6 (Onward Christian Soldiers #116)
  59. Are You Sitting?
  60. We Are The Body!
  61. Equipping the Saints (Part 2)
  62. Life Expectations
  63. Rude Witnessing
  64. Feb 4 – That’s What Friends Are For
  65. Thankful
  66. How evangelism rests on trust and what you possess
  67. Eleven Trust in Jesus
  68. So, What Is Good News?
  69. Parking Lot Salvation
  70. My Utmost For His Highest: The Key To The Missionary’s Message
  71. Friendship Born By God
  72. He Died For Us Let’s Live For Him
  73. Is being a humanitarian enough to convey the full love of Christ?
  74. Go Ye!
  75. Let’s Proclaim The Gospel to The World
  76. 1 John 1:3 What To Proclaim
  77. 2016- A year to teach the masses about our Lord!
  78. Rejoice, Not Criticize
  79. εὐαγγέλιον – And God Ordained Encounters
  80. The Work of God
  81. #AdventWord #Proclaim
  82. Get The Word Out
  83. Joy Never Goes Silent
  84. Good News From The Bad News
  85. Walk before many people with good tidings and the gospel of peace
  86. There Is A Fire
  87. God Energizes Our Efforts August 27
  88. Refusing to Be Silent
  89. How Beautiful
  90. A Passion To Proclaim Him

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Lifestyle, Religious affairs

A New Year and a New Person

2 Corinthians 5:17:
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
Every time a new year rolls around, folks begin to think about things they can change in their lives. Some people say that they are going to lose weight and start eating healthy. Others say that they are going to go back to college or get out of debt. Some say that they are going to write a book or start their own business. And others commit to getting organized or spending more time with family and friends.
The start of a new year is indeed a great occasion to make a change in your life. Such time markers we can use as a way for us to stop, look back at our lives, and identify things that we can change for the future. However, many people focus on making only outward changes — changes that will improve the way they look, improve their standard of living, or improve how others see them.
The best change you can make is a change from the inside out — a change of heart, spirit, and mind. In other words, a change that brings about a new you for the new year. For there cannot truly be a New Year for you if there is no new you for the New Year.
In Second Corinthians chapter 5, Paul is writing to the Corinthian believers about the implications of Christ’s death. He emphasizes that Christ died for “all men”, so anyone can have a new life through Jesus Christ. Because of Christ’s death, salvation was not limited to the Jews, but was opened to everyone. This is good news for us today because it lets us know that anyone can have a great change in their life through the power of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Many people have found new life in Christ. When they say
“I am a Christian.”
What do they mean with that? In what way do they want to accept Jesus and how much do they want to ccept the clear words from the Bible which say he was the son of God? do those Christians also want to believe God has a plan and do they relaise what that plan is?

Though Tony Dungy said

“You are never going to get anywhere in sports or in life until you become convinced of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. You may become a professional athlete or have fame and nice cars and nice houses and a lot of money, but what you’ll find is that all of that stuff goes away pretty quickly. You have to understand that Christ died for our sins, and that He died not just to be our Savior but so that He could be the center of our lives.”
Is he willing to accept that Jesus was really a man of flesh and blood who died for all our sins? Are you willing to accept that?
Many people are like Kirsten Powers who said:
“I don’t really feel like I had any courage when I became a Christian; I just gave in. I wasn’t courageous; I didn’t have any choice. I kept trying to not believe but I just couldn’t avoid accepting Christ.”
What is it that we want to believe, the fairy tales of people or the truth as it is written down in the Book of books?
How much do we want to change our selves and our way of living?
Were do we want to put our focus in our life?
What do you want to do now when you have made the decision to go for Christ and become a a Christian?
Olympic gold medalist Sanya Richards-Ross said,
“There are many meaningful verses in the Bible, but the one I say to myself most often is, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!’ That’s my favorite because on the track, I am usually trying to do things that have rarely been done before. I know that it’s only God that gives me the strength to accomplish these things.”
Having come in the new year we can have a lot of dreams for 2015, but are you really willing to make also a new you of of yourself?
To be able to become a new you for the new year, you must be “in Christ.” Verse 17 begins with,
“therefore if any man be in Christ…”
The Greek word for “in” means to be in a ‘fixed position’ or to ‘dwell within set limits’. What does it mean to be in Christ? Being in Christ denotes the standing of a believer after he or she has accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour. Unless you are in Christ, you cannot have a new lifestyle or a new mentality.
The term ‘in Christ’ or ‘in Him’ is used several times in the New Testament to describe the position and benefits that the believer has. Notice Ephesians 1:7. This verse tells us that
‘In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace…’
We see here that if you are in Christ, your sins are washed under the blood of the lamb. By Christ’s death, and because of God’s grace, you are redeemed or delivered from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell, or ending up in ‘sheol’ the grave.
When  you chose for Christ and got baptised did you know that by undertaking such action you also could receive many blessings in this life?

Ephesians 1:3 states that God

“hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ…”

If you are in Christ, you have spiritual blessings that you would not otherwise have. Please notice here that this is not talking about material blessings. Being in Christ does not mean you will have a big house or an expensive car. But you will have spiritual blessings such as peace that passes all understanding, joy unspeakable, confidence in the midst of the storms of life, and the hope of heaven in the midst of despair.Matthew Henry said,

“Spiritual and heavenly blessings are the best blessings; with which we cannot be miserable.”

Now, notice Colossians 2:10:
“And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.”
What does it mean to be complete “in Christ”?
The Greek word for “complete” means to ‘be made full’ or to ‘fill up’. In other words, if you are in Christ, you have everything you need to live the Christian life. You have everything you need to be considered righteous in God’s sight. You have everything you need to pass from this life on earth to the next life in Heaven.
So, we see that being “in Christ” means that all of our sins are washed under the blood and we are delivered from the power of sin and the punishment of sin. Being in Christ means that we have obtained spiritual blessings because of Jesus Christ; and being in Christ means that we are not lacking in anything that concerns our salvation and life.
Being “in Christ” is the first step to having a new you for the new year.
To have a new you for the new year, you must realize that you are a “new creature.”
Corinthians 5:17 says,
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature…”
There are many Christians who live miserable, unproductive, and defeated lives simply because they do not realize and embrace the fact that since they are in Christ, they are new creatures and it is time for them to put away the old ways and begin living according to their standing as a child of God.
Imagine a young man who is homeless, disheveled, unclean, and poor. He walks the streets begging for coins just to get a bite to eat every day. One day, a man comes looking for him as he is sitting on the street corner begging. This man tells him that he is actually the son of a wealthy business owner and that his father wants him to come home, get his life on track, and get an education. He tells the young man that there is plenty of room for him at his father’s mansion and that everything he needs — food, clothing, and money — would be taken care of from that point on. Now, imagine if that poor young man refused to take his father up on that kind of offer and decided to remain a homeless beggar.
Of course that is ridiculous. Yet, that is what many Christians do each and every day. They do not live according to their status as followers of Christ.  We may not forget that there are many adversaries of God still living in this world. The Bible even tells us they are in charge of this world now. We should realize that they are capable to
“block the effectiveness of a Christian if he can deceive you into believing that you are nothing but a product of your past — subject to sin, prone to failure, and controlled by your habits.”
The adversary of God (Satan) cannot do anything about your position in Christ, but if he can deceive you into believing what the Scripture says isn’t true, you will live as though it isn’t true.
If you do not realize and embrace the fact that you are a new creature in Christ, then you will never live as Christ intended for you to live. You will not have the powerful, victorious life that you can have. Your “new year” will be the same as your “old year.” No matter how hopeful and optimistic you feel about the New Year, and no matter how much you determine to make the new year different, the ‘devil‘ will remind you of every failure you had in the past year and the years before. He will burden you with your sins and mistakes at the onset of the New Year and if you accept his lies and believe that that is just the way you are, then you will go through another year of not living up to your full potential as a child of God.
We do not have to be in bondage to sin. You do not have to go through another year of making the same mistakes and committing the same sins. You can have a new you for the new year if you realize your standing as a new creature in Christ.
To have a new you for the new year, you must put away all “old things.”
2 Corinthians 5:17 says that
“if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results. That is true. And if you want different results in the new year, you have to stop doing the same old things over and over again. The Bible says that if you are in Christ, and if you are a new creature, then old things should be “passed away.” What are the old things in your life that you need to put away in the new year?
Did you lie this past year? Did you neglect prayer and reading the word of God this past year? Did you cheat and connive to have your way this past year?
Wives, were you disrespectful to your husband this past year?
Husbands, did you fail to love your wives as you should this past year?
Children, did you disobey your parents this past year?
Whatever you did in the past year that got you bad results, you need to put away in the new year.
Notice this verse from Colossians chapter 3:
“But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds.”
If you want to make the new year a great year, you must put away all of the old things that you did in the last year and in past years that made that year a bad year. Give your past to God through Jesus Christ and He will take care of it for you.
Let us encourage you to not only put away the sins and failures of the past year, but to learn from them and forget about them.
You won’t accomplish much of anything in the new year if you allow your mind to dwell on the sins, troubles, problems, and failures of your past.
In Isaiah 43:18, God commanded the children of Israel to forget the things of the past. He said:
“Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.”
In fact, God himself does not remember our sins. A few verses later in the same chapter he says,
“I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.”
So, if God does not remember our sins, don’t you think it is best for us to do the same?
Dennis DeHaan wrote a little poem that goes like this:
Look not back on yesterday
So full of failure and regret;
Look ahead and seek God’s way–
All sin confessed you must forget.
My friend, put away the old sins and failures of your past. Learn from them and then forget about them so that this next year can be a great one, because there will be no new year for you if there is no new you for the new year.
As we close today, I want to speak to those of you who have never accepted Jesus Christ as your saviour. In other words, you are not “in Christ” right now. I want to show you how you can get in Christ. This is the only way you can change your life from the inside out.
Many great people of the past and present have spoken of Jesus Christ and the impact he has had on their lives.
The great French military and political leader Napoleon Bonaparte said,
“I marvel that whereas the ambitious dreams of myself, Caesar, and Alexander should have vanished into thin air, a Judean peasant — Jesus — should be able to stretch His hands across the centuries and control the destinies of men and nations.”
Dear friend, you can let Jesus Christ be in charge of your destiny as well.
Basketball great Julius “Dr. J” Erving said,
“The purpose of life is to be found through having Christ in your life, and understanding what His plan is, and following that plan.”
Former President George W. Bush said,
“Christ is the greatest philosopher: He changed my heart.”
Theologian and historian Philip Schaff said,
“Without Christ, life is as the twilight with dark night ahead; with Christ, it is the dawn of morning with the light and warmth of full day ahead.”
The great Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson said,
“When Christ came into my life, I came about like a well-handled ship.”
The British writer and media personality Malcolm Muggeridge said,
“I can say that I never knew what joy was like until I gave up pursuing happiness, or cared to live until I chose to die. For these two discoveries I am beholden to Jesus.”
NFL quarterback Sam Bradford said,
“I really don’t see a reason why you wouldn’t want to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. I mean, not only was He the greatest human being to ever walk the earth, He’s everything that I want to strive for. He’s everything that anyone should ever want to strive for.”
World-famous evangelist Luis Palau said,
“One encounter with Jesus Christ is enough to change you, instantly, forever.”
Jesus Christ wants to change you today.
Jesus his heavenly Father will grant us such change if we do not mind asking it in the name of Jesus. God wants to make you a new person from the inside out. Jehovah said in Ezekiel 36:26: A
“new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.”
God wants to bring about this kind of change in your life. That is why he sent His Son Jesus Christ so that we can be saved from sin and the punishment of sin. The Bible says in John 3:16:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Let me show you how you can accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour today.
First of all, you must understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23:
“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Romans 6:23 says
“the wages of sin is death”
How can you be saved from this death? Romans 10:9,13 says:
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the wooden stake for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer:
Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I have broken your laws. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
Jesus Christ said in John 10:9,
“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
See the door to the better world, the Kingdom of God. Be willing to change yourself so that you may be granted the entrance through that small door.
God loves you! We love you! May God bless you, and have a great New Year!
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Filed under Being and Feeling, Lifestyle, Religious affairs

Not following the tradition of man

Looking for having success we can follow different paths. To come to the most positive way to get somewhere we best look into the very Old book of books, the bible where we can find a lot of advice, better than that of man of today.

English: the first of the Epistles to the Colo...

The first of the Epistles to the Colossians (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, following the tradition of men according to the rudiments of the world, and not in accordance with Christ.” (Colossians 2:8 KJ21)

The apostle Paul tells the Colossians,

“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit according to human tradition …” (Letter to the Colossians 2:8);

telling them that

“they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh” (Colossians 2:23).

What is of value?

It is by

“holding fast to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God” (Colossians 2:19).

And how does this happen?

By reading the word of God; it provides essential spiritual nourishment that we need every day. But it is not so much a case of trying to stop ourselves doing things that our human nature inclines us toward thinking and doing, but rather trying to occupy our thoughts to a greater degree with spiritual things. The result will be that we will be less and less inclined to indulge in fleshly thoughts and activities, but will grow “with a growth that is from God” as we appreciate his word to an ever greater degree.

Reading the Word of God we can come to get to know the Works of God, His Plan, how He has chosen Himself a people and how we too can become partakers of the promise God made in the Garden of Eden. There a positive message was given to those who had broken the relationship with God. The Creator saw the faults of the 1° Adam and took care that there would come a 2° Adam to save all people. But it would be up to the people themselves to accept or to ignore the Good News of the Saviour.

The promised one was the son of God, the Nazarene Jeshua (Jesus Christ). Under his blessing a person can come “in the light of Christ” and can get a positive mind. To come to more knowledge and mature in faith and spirit the person has to open his mind  in such a way that Christ can come in him or her. The one who got to know Christ wants to build a relationship with him and with his followers.

Central to our relationship with God is “Christ in you” (Colossians 1:27). “Him we proclaim”, writes Paul, “that we may present everyone mature in Christ” (Colossians 1:28).

How is your maturity developing? Absorbing the true sense of the divine word is a foundation for this. May we all increase day by day in the “knowledge of God” and become “mature in Christ” so his way of thinking becomes more and more our way of thinking.

Such a right way of thinking shall also create a right way of living and having us taking on the right attitude for living and for having good relationships with others and to become successful in our life. We also can see that like at the beginning of the world the 1° Adam rejected the right of God to be the Master in the world, we do find lots of people who take such an adversary attitude against the Creator as well. They mostly bring lots of negative elements against those who believe in the Creator. They also shall try to do everything to get those believers a negative feeling.

From Scriptures we learn that we should not envy others, but we also come to see how the world develops and which position human beings are going to take in it and how we are set to chose. We also have to make up our choice to whom we want to belong.

Note in the dramatic account of Paul’s experience of shipwreck on the way to Rome in Acts 27 that Paul says

“the God I worship”

and then significantly adds,

“to whom I belong.”

Do we view our God in that way?

Those who are baptised commit their lives into the service of God and of Jesus Christ His son. In the same way, the people of Israel under Moses entered into a covenant with God. Moses told them,

“For thou art a holy people unto Jehovah thy God: Jehovah thy God hath chosen thee to be a people for his own possession, above all peoples that are upon the face of the earth.” (Deuteronomy 7:6 ASV)

Sadly, most of the people in the generations that followed failed to have the sense of belonging to God possessed by those entering the promised land. If we make no commitment to belong to God, then we belong to the world – a world which is facing an awesome shipwreck!

Isaiah has a vision of our days; it describes a time when the kingdoms of men come to an end and “the lofty pride of man shall be humbled” (Isaiah 2:11). It is a message against “every high tower” (Isaiah 2:15) and never have buildings been built higher than today. Later Isaiah sees in vision:

We should be conscious that there shall come a day thta we shall not have to face the day of man but the day of the Adonai, divine Creator Who shall bind up the wounds of His people and shall heal the bruise caused by the blow they received from other man. at that day those who did not want to know of the Name of the Most High shall have to hear that Holy Name of the Adonai, the Most High Lord the elohim Hashem Jehovah. At that day those who did not want to know of Him shall hear and see from afar, his anger burning, in thick rising smoke. they than should know it is too late to avoid His lips full to the brim with fury, His tongue a consuming fire. His breath shall race over them like a tornado or like a racing torrent that rises up to the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction, and put a bridle in the peoples’ mouths to lead them astray. Shall you be ready and shall your song be like one that is sung on a night when a holy feast is kept, and will your heart be happy, as if walking to the sound of the flute, to the mountain of Jehovah, the Adonai, to the rock of Isra’el?

“24 the oxen likewise and the young asses that till the ground shall eat savory provender, which hath been winnowed with the shovel and with the fork. 25 And there shall be upon every lofty mountain, and upon every high hill, brooks [and] streams of waters, in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. 26 Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that Jehovah bindeth up the hurt of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.
27  Behold, the name of Jehovah cometh from far, burning with his anger, and in thick rising smoke: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue is as a devouring fire; 28 and his breath is as an overflowing stream, that reacheth even unto the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction: and a bridle that causeth to err [shall be] in the jaws of the peoples. 29 Ye shall have a song as in the night when a holy feast is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goeth with a pipe to come unto the mountain of Jehovah, to the Rock of Israel.” (Isaiah 30:24-29 ASV)

Those who do not know God’s word will indeed be terrified. But those who know God’s word, although their faith will be tested – as “man is humbled and each one is brought low” (Isaiah 2:9) – they will then rejoice in the total wonder of those days. Will you be there? You make the answer now!

Therefore it is important that you make the right choice and take the positive route. Not getting afraid of man around you, making you shy and withdrawn, or getting you down even to become depressed, but standing strong not getting intimidated by man, but believing and trusting in the Hand which is much more Powerful than any human person, remembering:

“The lofty looks of man shall be brought low, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and Jehovah alone shall be exalted in that day.” (Isaiah 2:11 ASV)

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Additional reading:

  1. What is life?
  2. Greatest single cause of atheism
  3. Do not be afraid. Good news because a Saviour has been born
  4. Fear not tomorrow. God is already there
  5. When discouraged facing opposition
  6. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  7. Relationship with God (articles)
  8. Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one
  9. God’s wisdom for the believer brings peace
  10. True riches
  11. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  12. Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies) by Chris Tomlin (video)
  13. 8 fears caused by the fear of Man
  14. Fearing the right person
  15. Anxiety is the gap between the now and the later
  16. God become master of our passions
  17. Power in the life of certain
  18. Being sure of their deliverance

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  • Colossians 2 (zachscripturestudy.com)
    Paul warns the Colossians in Colosse about men who will come to them and attempt to confuse them with ‘doctrine of men’
  • Colossians Chapter 2 (pofw.wordpress.com)
    That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
  • Does Paul Condemn Philosophy? (pastorbrianchilton.wordpress.com)
    Some Christians have criticized the use of philosophy due to Paul’s statement against philosophy in Colossians 2:8. Yet, Christianity teaches is knowledgeable, is based on truth, defines the nature and meaning of life, holds great logic, teaches aesthetics, ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology. Paul himself gives lessons in most of the previously mentioned systems. So, does Paul refute himself? Or is there a problem with the way many interpret Colossians 2:8? So, the question must be asked: does Paul really criticize the use of philosophy? In this article, Paul’s statement in Colossians 2:8 will be exegetically examined and in its proper context and the article will answer whether Paul really condemns philosophy after all.
    +
    Paul uses a form of philosophical apologetics to demonstrate that empty arguments and bad philosophy does not represent the truth. If one places his or her faith in any system that leads one away from the truth, that person will slowly erode into a system of erroneous trust and hedonistic living. That is not to say that one may not have elements of truth, but holding elements of truth does not necessitate that one holds full truth. A little bit of error can lead down a pathway of huge problems.
  • Practise it! (genesisone.wordpress.com)
    We are called and expected to live accordingly, empowered by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Life. He looks to guide us closer to God, into the meaning and freedom of our true relationship with Him and upwards to our God-given potential and purpose.
  • Colossians 2:8-10 How easy can we be deceived? (ashesofdiversity.wordpress.com)
    If we call ourselves Christians, are we not followers of Christ, and what does that mean? Do we spend time knowing God’s word so we can discern what is a deceit or what is truth?
    +
    How about using fear as a reason to not do things right. How about following your heart? Keeping yourself so busy you do not have time to study. How about liking certain philosophies even if they are secular, but we spend a lot of time trying to make it work with Christianity because it is more modern.
  • Colossians 2:2-15 (olgatodd.wordpress.com) > Colossians 2:2-15
    See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.
    +

    When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

  • Moving Through Time: Timeline of Religion (pcr.wpengine.com)
    Since the beginning of time, mankind has formed beliefs of the unexplainable and unknowable. Over thousands of years, these beliefs became traditional, customary, and institutionalized within regional societies. People continue to express an interest in spiritual matters from all corners around the world. Everybody has pondered the meaning of life, what happens after we die, what existed before us, and whether any other life exists in the universe. Mankind may never know concrete answers regarding the spiritual. In fact, humans may destroy the planet before we can discover the remaining life in unexplored regions. Nevertheless, we continue to seek spiritual enlightenment and a connection with our Creator.
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Consider your own journey in life

Consider our own journey in life; how close are we to the climax of all that God has prepared for those who truly believe in and love Him?

Deuteronomy 16:20 has a blunt message,

“justice, only justice, you must pursue; so that you will live and inherit the land ADONAI your god is giving you.” (Deuteronomy 16:20 CJB)

We must face up to today’s challenges and make sure we “escape all the things that are going to take place” (Luke 21:36) as the Almighty prepares to cleanse the earth of its’ evil.

Let us “remember the day” when we made the commitment to join the Lord’s side and accepted his “deliverance” by being baptised. Don’t let “that day come upon you suddenly like a trap” (Luke 21:34) so that you fail to enter a far greater “promised land”.

“34 “but keep watch on yourselves, or your hearts will become dulled by carousing, drunkenness and the worries of everyday living, and that day will be sprung upon you suddenly like a trap! 35 for it will close in on everyone, no matter where they live, throughout the whole world. 36 stay alert, always praying that you will have the strength to escape all the things that will happen and to stand in the presence of the son of man.”” (Luke 21:34-36 CJB)

English: Deuteronomy 8:18, Thou shalt remember...

Deuteronomy 8:18, Thou shalt remember the Lord thy God, 1901 Bible card published by the Providence Lithograph Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Additional reading:

  1. Act as if everything you think, say and do determines your entire life
  2. Revelation 1:8 – Who is Speaking?
  3. A Living Faith #9 Our Manner of Life
  4. Growth in character
  5. Kindness
  6. Without God no purpose, no goal, no hope
  7. Wisdom not hard to find nor hiding in remote places
  8. God receives us on the basis of our faith
  9. God wants to be gracious to you
  10. God does not change

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  • Turning the Corner (scribe312.wordpress.com)
    I am at a point in life where I am turning a corner. Life as I knew it just ten years ago was very different than life at the present time. Getting older comes as expected, however feeling older is a kick in the butt. Accepting these facts is enlightning. When you turn the corner in life, you suddenly realize how finite life is.
  • We Choose (revelation217.com)

    Aside the events that invade our lives, don’t we all have the lives we have chosen? Even when the not chosen events come, we get to choose how we will respond and how we will proceed from the event.

    We choose the lives we live.

  • Trapped Inside (keithgarrettpoetry.com)
    This world of mine was at one time much larger to these eyes,When all at once that which is out there made me start to hide.

    Not knowing that somewhere deep inside there was a pain not described,

    Slowly i started to run from myself but there was no escape from the monster,

    I will not call it he or she as it deserves no respect for the damage it does to my soul.

  • Hugh’s News & Views (God) (fellowshiproom.org)
    God is . . .1. Eternal. He had neither a beginning nor will He have an ending. He was in the beginning (Genesis 1:1) and created all things that exist (Acts 17:24). “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God” (Psalm 90:2).
  • The Bible Verses That Destroy Fox News And Selfish Right-Wing Christians! (aattp.org)
    Here’s a reality check for right-wing “Christians” especially those who like to live in the delusion that this country is a “Christian Nation” and/or “founded on Judeo-Christian principles.” You know who they are: They are the people who constantly rail against the less-fortunate, that show disdain for the poor. They’re the people who stereotype, who perpetuate lies and myths about people on welfare and disability. They are the people who advocate handouts to millionaires and multi-national corporations, but spit venom at the suggestion we should take care of the least among us.
  • Are You Paying Attention??? (ateenforgod.wordpress.com)
    my dear diary, do you know I was still procrastinating this assignment. In fact, I didn’t even wonna go at all. The more I wasted time, things got worse. I decided to carve out time to accomplish my assignment. You won’t believe this, after I delivered this message, it took only a few hours (precisely from the night till morning) and a lot of things began to happen, open doors from all sides, instant favour and a lot more. Above all, I am glad to tell you my parents were more than overwhelmed and encouraged by this message. Twas then a part of me began to feel bad, I imagined how it would have been if I accomplished this assignment weeks before, they’d have been happier a long time ago. But oh well, everything turned out great.
  • Our Journey Through the Land of the Bible (laurelikwechegh.wordpress.com)
    Shortly after the old tradition, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John got involved in Acts with the Romans who were behaving like the Corinthians, who were also always at loggerhead with the Galatians. At that time, the Ephesians realizing that the Philippians were close to the Colossians, suggested to the Thessalonians that they should first of all see Timothy who had gone to the house of Titus to teach Philemon his younger brother how to read and write in Hebrew. On hearing, James asked Peter to explain to him how the three Johns had disclosed to Jude the Revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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God’s wisdom for the believer brings peace

On the 22nd of April the Christadelphians in Belgium met in their tiny congregation. They do not have a mega-church. They do not have their own special church building. They would love to see more people in their congregation, but they know that we are living in a time where not many are interested in God.

In the darkness and the void of the world

CIMG2092Today we may find many people who would love to Get out of the dark corners of this world, and who would love to find solutions to live easier. Many do not come to see that solutions where already provided long ago. They should not stay with their depression, pain and suffering. Already long ago there was a man who was willing to take all the trouble of the world onto him. He was willing to bear all the pain of mankind and to face the death and take it with him to destroy it for ever. It looks impossible and many centuries people who could see the Works of the Divine Creator even doubted about the possibilities put in front of them. They had put lambs-blood on the doorposts, had seen that their children were saved, saw high walls of water and a road where they could pass but the soldiers of the Pharaoh were swallowed by the water, and still they doubted many times. How about us who have no such wonders in our days of our life?

Having to see what should be the centre of life

Moses with the tablets of the Ten Commandments...

Moses with the tablets of the Ten Commandments, painting by Rembrandt (1659) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The previous days we have looked how God assembled Him a people and how He took care of them in difficult times. God does not change, so also today He shall be there with those who are interested in Him. He shall guide them and help them when necessary.

As we meet with the people of God assembled to hear Moses as they prepare to move into the land we see simply and clearly what should have been the centre of their lives.

Forty years before this time, the previous generation had been given the law at Mount Sinai, Moses reminded them that they had actually heard the voice of God and were filled with such fear that they required Moses to act between them and God. At this time they were reminded that it was by the power of God that they had escaped from Egypt, and that He had given them a law and commandments that were quite different from those of the Egyptians. It was a law that would set them apart from all the nations surrounding them, it was a law that would give them peace in the land that they had been promised and which they would shortly enter, it was a law based on ten short commandments.

Commandments of the Maker of the Universe

Moses with the Ten Commandments

Moses with the Ten Commandments (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But even these commandments could be powerfully summarised, as Jesus did when questioned, into two commandments. When we behave ourselves good loving all those around us with all are heart we would be good on our way, because all people who walk around on this earth are allowed to be here by the Divine Creator. Without His allowance they would not be here living. So we should respect them as creatures of the Most High and we should respect his choice and love Him for all the things He provides for them and us.

Matthew 22:36-39 The Scriptures 1998+  (36)  “Teacher, which is the great command in the Torah?”  (37)  And יהושע {Jeshua} said to him, “ ‘You shall love יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your mind.’  (38)  “This is the first and great command.  (39)  “And the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’

Getting out of bondage

In the reading of last Tuesday service we listened to the Words of God as presented in the Holy Scriptures in the Book of Deuteronomy, chapter 5.

Moses with the Ten Commandments

Moses with the Ten Commandments

In that chapter we could read how Moses called to all Israel to hear the statutes and the ordinances which God had given him. They were given so that they might learn them, and observe to do them.  It was in Horeb that YHWH יהוה {Jehovah} our Elohim and Highest of all made a covenant with those Israelites.  It was Moses who stood between God and them at that time, to show them the words of Jehovah, for they were afraid because of the fire.

Deuteronomy 5:5-6 The Scriptures 1998+  (5)  “I stood between יהוה {Jehovah} and you at that time, to declare to you the Word of יהוה {Jehovah} – for you were afraid because of the fire, and you did not go up the mountain – saying:(6) ‘I am יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, out of the house of bondage.

Serving only One

From the Holy One Who brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage they got to know that He that brought salvation to them wanted them to have no other gods before Him.  They were asked not to make any engraved image for themselves, or any likeness of what is in heaven above, or what is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth, to bow down to them, nor to serve them; for He , YHWH, the Creator of heaven and earth should be their God.

Deuteronomy 5:8-11 The Scriptures 1998+  (8)  ‘You do not make for yourself a carved image, any likeness of which is in the heavens above, or which is in the earth beneath, or which is in the waters under the earth,  (9)  you do not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim, am a jealous Ěl, visiting the crookedness of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,  (10)  but showing kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and guard My commands.  (11)  ‘You do not bring{1} the Name of יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim to naught, for יהוה {Jehovah} does not leave him unpunished who brings His Name to naught. {Footnote: 1Or lift up, or take.}

Not to make an engraved image for yourself, nor any likeness of anything that is in heaven above

c. 1435

Carved images in front people bow. – c. 1435 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Through the ages many, also those who called themselves Christian, have forgotten that rule, not to make any pictures of any god to worship in front. In many churches today we can see pictures and statues and even priests walking around in procession with shrines and books, to which people bow down and make crosses. What do they think the jealous God of the Old Testament would feel like, seeing those things which are an abomination in His eyes? God assured His people that He would look down to the earth and see how people love or hate Him. According their position against the Most High He would treat them. He would visit the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and on the fourth generation of those who hate Him and would show loving kindness to thousands of those who love Him and keep His commandments.We should not take the name of YHWH יהוה {Jehovah} in vain, for He will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. Therefore also those who do not believe in God, should not find any reason to use God His Name. We too have to remember that god His people were a servant in the land of Egypt, and יהוה {Jehovah} our God brought them out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm. They had as an assembly on the mountain heard out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice. We to can hear that Voice of God when we are willing to find God. Like He let His Voice come out of the the midst of the darkness, we to shall be able to hear Him is ourselves when we open our heart to Him.From the Old Book of books we should come to know all the wonders God has done for those who want to follow Him. In lots of the mega churches we can find around the world not much time is spent in the Unread bestseller where the Words of God are presented to all those who want to read. But many may prefer to Look to the East and the West for Truth and try to find answers in books written by people like them. They overlook the glory and the greatness which God has shown unto the world. Not many today want to hear the Voice of God. God made the promise that in case people would fear Him and would keep His commandments always, it might be well with them, and with their children forever!

Deuteronomy 5:28-33 The Scriptures 1998+  (28)  “And יהוה {Jehovah} heard the voice of your words when you spoke to me, and יהוה {Jehovah} said to me, ‘I have heard the voice of the words of this people which they have spoken to you. They have done well in all that they have spoken.  (29)  ‘Oh, that they had such a heart in them, to fear Me and to guard all My commands always, so that it might be well with them and with their children forever!  (30)  ‘Go, say to them, “Return to your tents.”  (31)  ‘But you, stand here by Me, and let Me speak to you all the commands, and the laws, and the right-rulings which you are to teach them. And they shall do them in the land which I am giving them to possess.’  (32)  “And you shall guard to do as יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim has commanded you – do not turn aside, to the right or to the left.  (33)  “Walk in all the way which יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim has commanded you, so that you live and it be well with you. And you shall prolong your days in the land which you possess.

Churchgoers and priests or ministers

Bible as a compass for life

Bible as a compass for life

A few in this world may go to church-buildings, and in some countries may go to mega churches, but are they doing the Will of God? How much do they like to have an Inerrant Word of God something to say in their life? Several people may Challenge saying ” Whose word and go into discussions about the (non) value of the Holy Scriptures, or what we would call The Inspired Word, in our society. Most of the people do not believe in the Eternal Word that tells everything. The priests of those mega churches should go tell the people to return to their houses and to go into their small room to meet the Most High. They should tell about the commandment, and the statutes, and the ordinances, which God has given to the world. They should keep them and should teach them, that they may do them in the land which God has provided for them to reside until the second coming of the Messiah.

Those priests and men in charge of houses of worship should give the good example. But we hear many bad things about their behaviour. Though they should have to know that the men of God shall observe to do therefore as Jehovah their God has commanded them, not turning aside to the right hand or to the left.  When we shall walk in all the way which the Elohim Hashem Jehovah our God has commanded us, that we may live, and that it may be well with us, and that we may prolong our days in the land which we shall be given, we should not worry to much.

Not to worry to prolong your days

As recorded for us in Deuteronomy

יהוה {Jehovah} our Elohim has shown us His esteem and His greatness, and we have heard His voice from the midst of the fire. Today we have seen that Elohim speaks with man – and he lives! (Deuteronomy 5:24 The Scriptures 1998+ )

Also to us the glory of the Most High God is shown to us. We too can hear His Voice and having such wonderful experience, like the faithful ones dedicated themselves to follow the words written for us in (v33)

Deuteronomy 5:33 The Scriptures 1998+  (33)  “Walk in all the way which יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim has commanded you, so that you live and it be well with you. And you shall prolong your days in the land which you possess.

Do you hear God telling us “that you may live, and that it may be well with you”?

Following these commands given by their God, should have given them long life, peace and prosperity, in the land that was just over the River Jordan, the land that should have been a very special land, with God as their King. These words form the foundation of our lives of faith today.

Ecclesiastes

As the writer of this book Ecclesiastes looks around the lives of the people among whom he lives he sees the same challenge. He looks at the cycle of life and the wisdom of the world; he dedicates himself to search out the best of the world’s knowledge and comes to the conclusion

“in much wisdom is much grief, and increase in knowledge, simply increases sorrow” (Ecclesiastes 1v18).

This would all be very depressing if it were not for the conclusion of the book, which emphasises our theme,

“fear God and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12v13).

The wisdom of God brings peace to the faithful. Today many may laugh at those who say they love God. Not many people dare to say that in public. We may find a little more people who want to let others know they follow Jesus. Though it is not always sure which Jesus they are really following.  Lots of people do not want to accept what Jesus really has done. They say it is impossible for any man to do what Jesus has done. Therefore they made Jesus in their god, forgetting that there is only One True God Who is One. They also made images of him, exalting him and bowing down before the pictures and statues of the person, they claim to be God. But how then do they follow the first commandment of that One True Creator God. Christ Jesus asked his followers

Gospel of  John 17 and 18

The final verse of John 16 makes clear to us that the peace that we can enjoy in the life we have chosen to follow is “in Christ”. Jesus in his short time on earth and a very short time for his public life, has said many important words and had done many wonders or miracles. But also his words we should take at heart. From them we can learn a lot and when we shall follow them up we can already receive a lot of peace in this world.

John 16:33 The Scriptures 1998+  (33)  “These words I have spoken to you, that in Me you might have peace. In the world you have pressure, but take courage, I have overcome the world.”

The world has always gone against Jehovah God; Nothing has changed yet. The satan or adversary of God is still at work.

All those things Jesus spoke some two thousand years ago, should be useful for us to follow, and should be able to bring us peace. It is true it shall not bring straight ahead peace in our environment. In the world we too shall have tribulation, but we may be of good cheer; Jesus has overcome the world. It may not be without troubles or difficulties but we know clearly Jesus brought the Words of God to this world and explained the those words of wisdom from God, and therefore this is the way we aim to live.

Followers of Master Jesus, Being one

The amazing prayer of Jesus in John chapter 17 speaks directly to us 2000 years later, for this includes all who are his followers, not just there with him on that dreadful night, but all those down the centuries who read these words and want to be “one as we are” (v11) and “as one” in Jesus, and God his Father (v21). This is almost too wonderful for us to understand, we who are so ordinary, being included with the disciples and faithful ones between the time of the prayer and now. Jesus our Master is making it very clear in the words that he had spoken to them, and that have been written for us, that they are the words of eternal life and we have been called to that special treasure.

When we realise that the Master was within a few hours of his arrest, that mockery of trial and his dreadful death, it makes us feel very inadequate in the weakness of the lives that we live. Do not let us be discouraged however, for our God is merciful and forgiving to those of His children who come to Him in prayer truly sorry for the wrong that we do and feeling that wonderful forgiveness that only God can give through His Son.

Jesus the High Priest

And so Jesus and the eleven left the city, crossed over the brook Cedron, and went to that familiar place, the garden which Judas would know was a likely place for him to be with his disciples. So he and the guard came and after a little resistance from Peter, Jesus was arrested and his followers fled, probably to Bethany, with the exception of Peter and the other disciple “known to the high priest”; a brave move to put themselves into the centre of the opposition to the ministry of Jesus. As the trial went on we know that Peter was tested as he denied that he knew Jesus or was one of his followers, and following that we know that he wept, truly sorry for the weakness he had shown. But again we take comfort that he was forgiven and spent the rest of his life dedicated to the service of Jesus who he loved, and who loved him.

The trial went on with the Roman governor Pilate, who had no understanding at all of the accusations of the Jewish leaders, nor of the attitude of Jesus himself who made no attempt to defend himself. He was accused of being a king; treason against Rome, but he made it quite clear in the response that he did make; a teaching that we fully understand, that his kingdom was not of this world. The wisdom of God has declared that there will be a kingdom, but not at that time. In the mercy of God the time has been delayed and many more of us have come to know, understand, and believe that the kingdom of God will come to the Earth with Jesus at its head in the time God chooses.

Through the life and sacrifice of the Son of God better servants

With all these thoughts in our minds, as we began with a God given law in Sinai: the command to love God and our neighbour: the search by the wise man for wisdom, and only finding it in the wisdom of God: and the wonderful example of Jesus our Master, even in the last hours of his ministry when faced with the knowledge of his awful trial and death. In that lovely prayer he concerned himself with his followers who were with him and those throughout the ages that have followed.

Our hearts are full of thanks for all that has been made possible for us through the life and sacrifice of the Son of God. As he commanded let us remember in the bread and the wine, the love of God and His Son, that we might be better servants in the days that remain.

Times of the 21st century

File:Ifk goteborg osk.jpg

Film, television and sport-figures bring the contemporary idols and new gods. – IFK Göteborg, a swedish footballteam, celebrating a goal in a match against swedish team Örebro SK

We are living in a world in denial, where we can see lots of things happening like in the Roman times, bread and games. As in Roman times there is no fear of God before the eyes of many people living in this capitalist world. As in the Roman times the focus was on personal gain and entertainment, today people have more love for their money than they have for a partner or any other living person, let it be for some spirit they can not see nor hear. Lots having forgotten the promises which were brought by many prophets, like Abraham, Isaiah and Jesus are blinded by the wealth of this world and give much more attention to television celebrities and film-gods.

The spiritual does not say much to most people. They do not notice any more the beauty of the world. Nature does not interest them much. But they should be more aware of nature, because they are part of it, and what they do to it shall be of influence to themselves. So how they treat their environment shall be of very importance to the next generations.

Nature and its creatures

CIMG2037When those human beings in this capitalist world would give more interest to other creatures in this world (insects, plants, mammals, men and women) they would find that they could live more in unison with the plants and animals, and would have more rapport with other human beings. Submitting themselves one to another, in the fear of God, for many sounds as something ridiculous, something very absurd, but we should know that by respecting the other in this world, we shall be able to find a better place for each of them.

Faith, love and fear

Today many find it much more interesting to get more power by making others afraid of other people. The problem there is that so many have forgotten that God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind, to use to help each other, even when it would be our enemy. (2 Corinthians 7:1 ; Ephesians 5:21; 2 Timothy 1:7)

Those who love the Most High should remember the faith of Noah who, being warned by God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. (Hebrews 11:7 )

Living in this world and Reading the Bible

It is not to late to change our attitude. It is not to late to take better notice how we can safeguard nature. It is also never too late to start reading the Bible, the infallible word of God. It is never too late to come to see what is written in it and what for treasures may be hidden in it. It is also never too late to get to see the power this Book of books may have to bring change.

In the Garden of Eden, the Creator of heaven and earth has given man the right to rule the world and to make the best of it as they can. Today we know they did not make much of it. We also do know we have to continue living in this world-system as long as Jesus Christ well come back. As long as he did not return we shall need to live in this world, which does not mean we shall have to be off this world.

We are selves do have to make choices. We do have to make up our mind what we do want to believe and whom we would like to follow. Those who made already the choice and choose to follow Jesus and his God, do know the importance of deciding “Whether it’s right in God’s eyes”. As for us Christians, there’s no question — we can’t keep quiet about what we’ve seen and heard, and should let others know what we do think. (Acts 4:19; Acts 4:20)

Not following the majority of this world

When we watch the world going its own way, we should be careful not to follow the majority of this world. It is so easy to enjoy the worldly traditions, and to say such feasts do not harm. But is it really so, that by searching for eggs in the garden and connecting them with the resurrection of Christ, we do give the right honour and to Jesus and to his heavenly Father God?

We should take our everyday, ordinary life — our sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life — and place it before God as an offering. Not blaming others for what is gone wrong in our own life, but trying to adjust our life in the ways of God. Not preferring to be popular and loving their way of living, but embracing what God wants for us and what He does for us, knowing that that is the only best thing we can do for Him, but also for ourselves and our beloved ones. (Romans 12:1)

When we face the world we should know that we do have our own responsibilities. It are we ourselves who are responsible for how our own children act or behave, as well for how those we brought up, our pupils, behave or act in the world we placed them. Or do we not realize that we had to learn from the Holy Scriptures and had to behave accordingly, giving a good example to those around us. We should have been working at our body and soul to make it such that our body could be as a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit. Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. (1 Corinthians 6:19)

Looking at the beacon Christ

It is not because our world may be going the wrong way that we should go wit it and land up in the darkness. We when pushed by others in the dark should see the light Christ Jesus brought in this world; We should go to that beacon and be not afraid to fall in the hands of the smugglers. We may be shipwrecked sailors, but Jesus stilled the waves and God blew the wind in the right direction. The world may consider us failures, but you do not have to feel a castaway. It is more important what you look like in the eyes of God than in the eyes or minds of people.

Because many of us have not kept to the human instincts of normal behaviour many in this world behave like it should not. Having not allowed Gods Word to come over others by our way of living, acting and teaching, we excluded the Creator of all things in the works we wanted to do. God owns the whole works, but to let God shine in our works we do have to allow Him to enter us. So we do have to take care that people can see God in and through our body.  Our firm decision should be to work from this focused centre:

“One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat”.

Christians and atheists

Us not loving those who are around us, because they do not believe the same things as we do, is not having Christ Jesus his love. He loved believers, non-believers and sinners. Christ’s love has to move us to such extremes, that we should be better doing than all those atheists and other believers doing good in this world. Thinking that a non-believer can not do any good work is wrong-thinking. We should know historical facts and also see that ages before Christ was born, also in places were there was not spoken of God, there were people who tried to do good for each other. Therefore we better put our arrogance at the doorstep and look at Christ, who was open for everybody. His love should have the first and last word in everything we do. He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own. (1 Corinthians 6:20;2 Corinthians 5:14 ; 2 Corinthians 5:15)

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Please do find concerned readings:

  1. Getting out of the dark corners of this world
  2. Breathing to teach
  3. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #2 Calling upon the Name of God
  4. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #1 Creator and His Prophets
  5. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #2 Instructions and Laws
  6. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #3 A voice to be taken Seriously
  7. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #4 Words in Scripture
  8. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #5 To meditate and Transform
  9. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
  10. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #3 Rejoicing in the insistence
  11. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  12. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #7 Prayer #5 Listening Ear
  13. God’s Blog recorded in a Book
  14. Creator and Blogger God 1 Emptiness and mouvement
  15. Creator and Blogger God 2 Image and likeness
  16. Creator and Blogger God 3 Lesson and solution
  17. Creator and Blogger God 4 Expounding voice
  18. Creator and Blogger God 5 Things to tell
  19. Creator and Blogger God 8 A Blog of a Book 2 Holy One making Scriptures Holy
  20. Bric-a-brac of the Bible
  21. Statutes given unto us
  22. God’s word…is a comfort to the one who yields to God’s will
  23. Commit your self to the trustworthy creator
  24. Man’s plans prevailed by God’s purpose
  25. Thoughts on Passover
  26. Commemorating the escape from slavery
  27. Deliverance and establishement of a theocracy
  28. Moving around looking for a homeland
  29. Passover and Liberation Theology
  30. The Evolution Of Passover–Past To Present
  31. Israel God’s people
  32. On the first day for matzah
  33. Around the feast of Unleavened Bread
  34. Shabbat Pesach service reading 2/2
  35. A new exodus and offering of a Lamb
  36. Written to recognise the Promised One
  37. The redemption of man by Christ Jesus
  38. Festival of Freedom and persecutions
  39. 14-15 Nisan and Easter
  40. Servant of his Father
  41. Servant for the truth of God
  42. Let us become nothing, and Christ everything
  43. Blinkered minds
  44. Satan the evil within
  45. This is an amazing thing
  46. Depression, Anxiety, Pressure and megachurches
  47. When discouraged facing opposition
  48. Fragments from the Book of Job #3: chapters 21-26
  49. Fragments from the Book of Job #5: chapters 32-37
  50. Words to push and pull
  51. Certainty in a troubled world
  52. Fear and protection
  53. Fear of God reason to return to Holy Scriptures
  54. A world in denial
  55. Trust God
  56. Songs of Moses and the servants of God
  57. True riches
  58. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word

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  • Why I Don’t Celebrate Easter (and still love God… and still believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of Messiah) (christinachronicles.com)
    Once upon a time, Easter was adamantly NOT observed by Believers.
    In fact, Easter was observed looooong before Messiah even came to Earth…
    and it wasn’t by Believers.
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    We have been lovingly instructed by our Creator to observe the Appointed Times of the Scriptures that He put forth– which are filled with rich, beautiful meaning and foreshadows… and they are celebrations and observances that set His people apart from the rest of the world… that we may be a Light to the nations.
    These remembrances and rehearsals were instituted and blessed by YHVH (the LORD) Himself and are for ALL of Israel (Israel = His set-apart people that Believe and are in Covenant with Him).
    Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, and say to them, ‘The appointed times of יהוה (YHVH), which you are to proclaim as set-apart gatherings, My appointed times, are these:” – Leviticus 23:2
    (See also: Lev. 23; Ex. 12:14,17,24; 13:6; Deut. 16; etc…)
  • The Law of God vs. The Law of Moses (faithgracetorah.net)
    it is very clear here that it was YHWH who gave us the Law of Moses.
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    Moses was the chosen vessel for Yah to bring forth his instructions; this is truly a beautiful Remez of Messiah’s role as the right arm of Yah!
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    As the prophet like Moses, Y’shua came to fully teach the law of YHWH. We see the pattern of Moses repeated in Y’shua! Y’shua was anointed to come and as the right arm of Yah fully taught and practiced the Law perfectly!
  • His name… (mylife4yah.wordpress.com)
    I went through life comfortable calling Yahweh the titles that replace His name in the Bible. I found out that His name is Yahweh through the dictionary in the back of my Bible. Once I knew His name I decided to use it and I have been blessed ever since. The choice is yours but I feel closer to Him when I use His name. Here are some scriptures that prove His name is
    important:
  • Week 15: Friday – The Great I am (bolmdevotional.wordpress.com)
    In Shakespeare’s Hamlet he asked, “What’s in a name?” as if a person’s given name is wholly unimportant. A name can be significant in knowing about someone’s history and identity. Have you ever asked your parents how they came up with your name? Did you ever search your name on the Web and see what it means?

    Even the names that we see in the scripture were not given by accident rather it had meaning and purpose. When God gives a name to a person it usually signifies character, ability or mission. For instance, John Piper notes, “Adam names his wife Eve, because she is mother of all the living (Genesis 3:20). God changes Abram’s name to Abraham to show that he had made him the father of many nations (Genesis 17:5). God changed Sarai’s name to Sarah (Genesis 17:15). He changed Jacob’s name to Israel (Genesis 32:28).
    And when the Son of God came into the world, his name was not left to chance: “You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

  • God about His name “יהוה” (christadelphians.wordpress.com)
    In the Holy Scriptures we are able to find what God says about His Name: And Elohim spoke to Mosheh and said to him, “I am יהוה. “And I appeared to Aḇraham, to Yitsḥaq, and to Yaʽaqoḇ, as Ěl Shaddai. And by My Name, יהוה, was I not known to them?
  • Repost: Yom Kippur Studies (littleguyintheeye.wordpress.com)
    For those keeping Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement here are some studies on the subject for those interested
  • Water from the Rock (faithgracetorah.net)
    As believers in Messiah Y’shua we understand there there are no idle words in scripture, which is why it is so fundamentally important to grasp the deeper levels of understanding that we can see utilizing the PaRDeS method of study.
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    We know that everything in the Scriptures were written with a plan. More specifically we know that this plan was the plan of Salvation and Redemption through the Messiah.
  • Why I Keep the Seventh Day Sabbath (christinachronicles.com)
    I keep the seventh day Sabbath.
    It has nothing to do with denomination –
    it has everything to do with Who I worship and what He desires.
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    Our Father, our Creator, set the pattern, the example, the principle for us.
    A time to cease from work, a time to review, acknowledge, celebrate the beauty of the creation that He pronounced “good”. It belongs to Him from the very beginning.
  • Megachurch pastor Ulf Ekman: ‘We need what the Lord has given to the Catholic Church to live fully as Christians’ (catholicherald.co.uk)
    On Sunday March 9, Ulf Ekman stood nervously before the congregation of the Word of Life church in Uppsala. Dressed in a suit and pale blue tie, the Swedish pastor looked out at the faces of those whose delights and hardships he had shared since he founded the megachurch in 1983.

    “This is one of those days when I have something special to say,” he began. Several minutes into the address, which has been watched more than 8,000 times on YouTube, he got to the crux: “[My wife] Birgitta and I have in recent days sensed the Lord’s leading, urging us to join the Catholic Church. This may seem a very radical step. But we have great peace and great joy in this decision.

  • Megachurches Use Elaborate Sets and Easy Parking to Amplify God’s Voice (feeds.wired.com)
    Photographer Joe Johnson’s series Megachurches takes us down the aisles, inside the sanctuaries, and behind the scenes of jumbo-sized places of worship. Taken while the churches are not in daily use, Johnson’s photographs focus on both the mammoth interior space and the churches’ details — stage design, audio-visual systems, lighting, and convention hall seating — that make the facilities tick.

    It is estimated the number of megachurches in North America has risen from only 50 in 1980 to over 1,800 today. Johnson’s interest in them began when he visited his mother in North Carolina and accompanied her to a mega service. He wanted to experience contemporary evangelical life.

    “It was an admittedly voyeuristic impulse to watch what happens live,” says Johnson. “I was stunned by how sensorial the spectacle had been. There was a highly produced aural and visual sophistication being brought to the act of worship.”

    Megachurches have recently been in the news. Last month, in Southern California, the congregation of the Crystal Cathedral Ministries celebrated its final service within the Crystal Cathedral, the infamous Philip Johnson-designed megachurch. Crystal Cathedral Ministries, which pioneered the megachurch phenomenon, was forced to move out of its super-modern home after financial woe, some scandal, and a 2011 bankruptcy filing. The purchase of the Cathedral by the Catholic diocese of Orange for $57 million means worship will continue in the glass-facade superstructure. Different denomination, same God.

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