Tag Archives: Kingdom of God

Preach

Too many people who call themselves Christian do forget who Jesus really was and which tasks he had given to his followers. Today true Christians still should follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and should proclaim the hopeful message of the coming Kingdom.

Real Christians should be heralds of the Gospel, eager to tell the people about the Good News, of salvation and about the hope for mankind given by the Grace of God.

As forerunner or herald Christians should be portent or indicators of something important or calamitous about to occur, perhaps an omen in the eyes of many, but for others an insurmountable event to look forward even when it might bring lots of suffering and an incredible violence. therefore we should warn the people of that last and third world war which is insuperable.

By sharing the agape love and bringing more people to see that Jesus is the way to God and the way to life, the Christian herald shall be able to make many stronger and secured against the coming disaster. Out of love for others we should tell others about the love of God, about what Jesus has done, but also about the return of Jesus and what to expect of that time of his return.

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To remember

  • Greek word most often translated as ‘preach’ is κηρύσσω – kérussó (Strong’s 2784) = Koine = ‘to be or act like a herald’ or ‘to proclaim’.
  • role of a herald or Old French heraut from Frankish via herewald, literally ‘war-ruler’, > martial or commander > 3 distinct contemporary meanings:
  1. A messenger
  2. A harbinger
  3. A steward (of heraldry -a rank/position at the College of Arms)
  •  ‘preacher’ of the Gospel, = entrusted (stewardship) with a message of coming of the Kingdom of God.
  • ‘to herald’ =  ‘sing the praises of’
  • idea that a Christian should ‘preach the Gospel’= frowned upon. >  conjures images of street corner evangelists ranting at passing ‘sinners’
  • Christian organisations involved in social action ministry > running night shelters, to discourage volunteers from speaking about Jesus – some even require a signed commitment to not proactively mention the Gospel.

What has gone wrong?  To paraphrase Peter (Acts 5:3), how has Satan so filled the hearts of Christians?  How is it that Christians feel confident enough to defy God and disobey the Great Commission?

Go into all the world and proclaim (kérussó) the gospel to the whole creation. (Mark 16:15)

‘preach’ is not:

  • convicting people of their sin and telling them they are bound for hell
  • talking down to people from a position of self-righteousness
  • a slick presentation, a hectoring declamation or a well-honed argument.

Preaching = heralding = speaking joyfully of Jesus, singing his praises; telling people of how people are transformed in Christ, and how they can be also, through faith.

best witnesses to Christ = demonstrate love +  speak of its origin, which is Jesus; perhaps the Great Commission was given as command because Jesus knew that it would be challenging.

If witness speaks from love about hope + declares that Jesus = source of hope => herald will have done his work faithfully.

 

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Additional reading

  1. Two new encyclopaedic articles
  2. Breathing to teach
  3. “I Die Daily”
  4. To create a great journey

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Related

 

  1. What is meant by awareness, or witnessing?
  2. Witnessing the Destruction of Nature around the Planet.
  3. Man I sure wish I would’ve had one of my witnessing cards just now to send with a man.
  4. A witnessing prayer
  5. Witnessing the Secret Creator
  6. ” Witnessing “
  7. As the clock strikes 12…
  8. Hope is an anchor
  9. Reject And Correct Christian propaganda
  10. Families embrace their community for the gospel
  11. Bold to Witness
  12. Being a One Talent Church
  13. Come and see…
  14. Hold Up The Light
  15. Are You An Ambassador For Christ?
  16. Are You Ready for the Harvest?
  17. First Things First
  18. Talking About Jesus
  19. You Are Ready To Go – By Laurence Torr
  20. Christianity’s Most Essential Verse

God Breathed Words

raffaello-sanzio-da-urbino-st-paul-preaching-at-athens-cartoon-for-the-sistine-chapel.jpg Raphael’s depiction of Paul preaching in Athens

Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you.  (1 Thessalonians 2:9)

The Greek word that is most often translated as ‘preach’ is κηρύσσω – kérussó (Strong’s 2784).  The word in the Koine

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Lifestyle, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs, Welfare matters

Americans their stars, pretension, God, Allah and end of times signs #2 War on God’s Plan, Name and title

There are Americans who think when God/Allah the Elohim Hashem Jehovah said He would provide a great nation an make its name grate that it is all about the United States of America. They often quote than Genesis 12:2-3 and at the saying

 And I Will Bless them that Bless thee

add

( Israel and USA ), {like e.g. Kristi Ann does in {Muslims bow and worship allah / satan Everyday!!}

The 45th president of the U.S.A. considers it his right to decide which city is going to be the capital of Israel. He thinks he can play for god and like several others can think he can hasten God’s Plan. Real lovers of God do know that Jerusalem shall become the capital not only of Israel but of the Kingdom of God here on earth. By his actions and the shouting of Neo-Nazis, Alt-Right people, Tea-party people against the use of “Allah” and against Muslims, several Muslims came to consider a country which is against them and started to hate it.

“We tend to see more negative sentiment among Muslims in the Middle East, such as those from Egypt and Jordan,” noted Bruce Stokes, director of global economic attitudes at Pew, as reported by the BBC. Read the rest of the article about what Muslims think about America.

Already in June 2015 Trump announced that he would be a candidate in the U.S. presidential election of 2016 and ban immigration by Muslims. Trump wrote about those and other issues in Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again (2015). Already on the campaign trail, the true nature of Donald Trump could be seen. Strangely enough his attitude towards women did not get him into jail. With his big mouth he managed to quickly established himself as a political outsider, a stance that proved popular with many voters — especially those in the Tea Party movement — and he frequently topped opinion polls, besting established Republican politicians. After his election people could see even more controversy than in the times of his campaign. He saying that others brought fake news seemed to be the champion on bringing nep news and many lies in speeches and via his preferred social medium  Twitter. Trump continuously made and makes inflammatory remarks, some of which were deemed offensive, especially to Mexicans, Muslims, and women.
Image result for PEOPLE FOR TRUMP CARTOONS Trumps also made it known he loves the poorly educated. and could count on them for their votes, them also believing everything he was promising. Several thought wrongly that he would loose the election by loving and accepting money from the Alt right and by himself not being afraid to show off his

mode of complete egomaniacal self-indulgence. { veteran GOP strategist Mike Murphy} {When so desperate to hold onto power}

He even was not afraid to have his family connection with the Russians to be used to attack Hilary Clinton and to have a strong weapon in his hand, which in the end made him win the election whilst he got not imprisoned for high treason.

In the daily Bible readings of January 22 we could read about the stars, the moon, the sun, and signs which should be something to get us think about a time coming. Though we are told not to turn one’s head from what is going on, but also that we should not rack our brains over when Jesus would return and the end-times start. Though let us be convinced that Jesus warned that we should be ready at every moment and that we can see signs of it coming our way.

Trump me make others afraid that he shall not hesitate to start a war, but that does not mean he shall be able to start a war which is going to destroy the world.

“4  And Jesus answered and said unto them,

“Take heed that no man deceive you; 5 for many shall come in My name, saying, ‘I am Christ,’ and shall deceive many. 6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that ye be not troubled, for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” (Mt 24:4-6 KJ21)

Jesus warned his disciples that everybody should be prepared for the return of the authorised one from God, who shall return to judge the living and the dead. The world has to know that it shall have to undergo the beginning of the misery when people shall start to hate each-other so much that they shall try to set up eachother against those who think differently and against those who have a different religion than they.

“7 For nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there shall be famines and pestilences and earthquakes in divers places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted and shall kill you, and ye shall be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.” (Mt 24:7-9 KJ21)

Jesus was also aware that many would not want to have something to do with him or would not believe that he is the sent one from God, the son of man and son of God, who is authorised by God to speak in His Name. The ones which would have made him into their god shall come to roar and bellow with anger. At the different Facebook Groups and in several blog postings we can see how so called “Christians” oppose those who accept Jesus his ransom offer but do not want to make him into their god but keep loving the God of Jesus and the God of Abraham, Who is an eternal Spirit no man can see.

We are also warned that many shall try to bring the true believers of the One God Who is One, to worship false and even plural gods.

“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” (Mt 24:12 KJ21)

Instead of showing the love for their neighbour they shall try to bring hate against those which they start considering a ‘taker of their place’ and ‘an intruder’ or an ‘unwanted refugee‘. Those who love Jesus Christ shall be able to see how many who call themselves Christian shall not keep to the teachings of Christ and shall not keep to the Golden rule or Royal commandment of Christ. Many of those false teachers shall try to have the others to believe they should not do anything any more and that Jesus saved them and as such all shall come into heaven. Many of those false teachers shall like to convince the others no ‘Works of faith‘ shall have to be done and that one can enjoy all the Works of the flesh.

The world shall come to see that lots of people who call themselves Christian make a mockery of god by telling He knows everything but having Jesus as their god who did not know a lot of things, even not the very important matter of his return. Their teachings shall bring a lot away form the one who is the way to God. Those false teachers also wanting to take away the title of God (like Allah in certain languages) and taking away the Name of God, replacing it with “Lord” are making it that it even becomes more difficult for others to come to recognise the Only One true God, Jehovah, and the sent one from God, Jesus Christ the Messiah.

Many english speaking ones are wanting that others use their word for the title ‘god’ and by pressing others to take away the word ‘Allah’ (The God) and to replace Jehovah the Name of God with Lord, they should know they make it even more difficult for non believers to come to see Who the Real and Only One God is. Today we already find lots of Christians who are confused between Jesus and God.

The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) recognised already the problem of certain translations in other languages than English and wrote:

“that there is significant potential for misunderstanding of the words for ‘father‘ and ‘son‘ when applied to God, and that in languages shaped by Islamic cultures, the potential is especially acute and the misunderstandings likely to prove especially harmful to the reader’s comprehension of the gospel.” {5 Reasons “Muslim Friendly” Bible Translations are Counterproductive}

Though several English speaking people seem to be very cross with the common title “Allah” for what we consider “The God” and therefore attack such bible translations like what they call the “Muslim friendly” bible translations or “Muslim Idiom Translations” (MITs), though in those regions those books are spread, already for many centuries “Allah” has been the common title to talk about The God, by non-believers, believers, be them Christians or Muslims or even Hindu.

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Preceding

Americans their stars, pretension, God, Allah and end of times signs #1 Abrahamic religions

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Additional reading

  1. Looking for answers on the question Is there a God #2 Pantheon of gods and celebrations
  2. Another way looking at a language #5 Aramic, Hebrew and Greek
  3. Another way looking at a language #6 Set apart
  4. The Bible and names in it
  5. The Almighty Lord God of gods King above all gods
  6. Hashem השם, Hebrew for “the Name”
  7. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #13 Prayer #11 Name to be set apart
  8. Written to recognise the Promissed One
  9. Lord or Yahuwah, Yeshua or Yahushua
  10. Lord in place of the divine name
  11. Lord and owner
  12. Names, Titles, and Characters of Jesus Christ
  13. Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #11 Muslim Idiom Translations
  14. Kingdom of God what will it be like
  15. When so desperate to hold onto power
  16. Gates to different belief systems in this world
  17. A Royal Rule given to followers of Christ
  18. Thought for those who think it is not necessary to do any works any more
  19. When having found faith through the study of the Bible we do need to do works of faith
  20. Faith, storms and actions to be taken
  21. We Are The Children Of God
  22. Worthy partakers of the body of Christ
  23. God loving people justified
  24. God’s wrath and sanctification
  25. Religious people and painful absence of spring of living water
  26. Christian clergyman defiling book which did not belong to him
  27. Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 2 Prayer and neighbour love

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Related

  1. Limited Atonement and the Divine Command to Believe Falsehood
  2. I was wrong – but I am right – Calvinists preach a false gospel.
  3. Ashamed to be muslim
  4. How Not to Be Muslim..
  5. Obama “Muslims must be cherished and nurtured…”
  6. The Racists Are Complaining About Muslim Indoctrination In Their Schools — Reblog
  7. Love, Hate and Other Filters – A Muslim girl faces Islamophobia, love and her Dreams
  8. Book Review: What would a Muslim say?
  9. Muslim writer wants his “Allahu akbar” back
  10. Muslim Tells Aussie Christians The Truth!
  11. Why do so many Muslims hate America?
  12. Muslim Vikings and Abuses of History
  13. Hidden History: When Muslims Ruled in Europe
  14. The ‘I’ and ‘We’ in Independent Sri Lanka
  15. #WATWB: Muslim Man Who Saved Christians from ISIS
  16. Mosul’s Muslims to its Christians: Come Back To Your Home
  17. Sign of Hypocrites
  18. Debate: Is the cross necessary for salvation? (Adnan Rashid vs. James White) (and interaction with a Roman Catholic Response)
  19. The Week So far – With Yvonne Ridley – Impressed with Turkey, perturbed by Trump, concerned with UK Mosques, Khans boycott Israel and the helpless SAS
  20. Jews join forces with Muslims to help Invaders in Europe
  21. Social Media and Democracy
  22. Are We Questioning The News?
  23. The (almost) complete history of ‘fake news’ – BBC News
  24. Submitted: Mercer County Mafia Uses “fake news” Outlets
  25. Did “fake news” drag down journalism? No, it just exploited a vulnerable industry: journalism’s collapse cannot be blamed on fake news.
  26. HuffPost’s Blogger Platform: A Brief History of Fake News
  27. Twitter will email 677,775 users who engaged with Russian election trolls
  28. Plato, Trump and the Wall
  29. What is The Trust Project?
  30. America’s Future at Risk
  31. The Rise and Fall of CNN: The Most Busted Name in News
  32. Fake News is Less Manipulative Than Thought
  33. To avoid fake news on Facebook, just avoid all news on Facebook?

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Crimes & Atrocities, Cultural affairs, Economical affairs, Headlines - News, History, Knowledge & Wisdom, Lifestyle, Political affairs, Religious affairs, Social affairs, World affairs

9 Adar and bickering or loving followers of the Torah preparing for Pesach

The Catholics may have started their Lenten Season and try to lessen what they normally would eat and cut in entertainment activities. When we look around us we may find a few people who want to take the time to go over to a willing abstinence or reduction from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time.

Many religious observances have fasting in their program.

You should know that it is not bad to have every year some cleaning of the body and mind. Also in the house many may do a Spring cleaning. Abstinence from food or drink or both may be done for health, ritualistic, religious, or ethical purposes. All over the world we can find peoples taking abstention which may be complete or partial, lengthy, of short duration, or intermittent. Fasting has been promoted and practised from antiquity worldwide by physicians, by the founders and followers of many religions, by culturally designated individuals (e.g., hunters or candidates for initiation rites), and by individuals or groups as an expression of protest against what they believe are violations of social, ethical, or political principles.

Since at least the 5th century bce fasting has been used therapeutically. The ancient Greek physician who lived during Greece’s Classical period and is traditionally regarded as the father of medicine, Hippocrates recommended abstinence from food or drink for patients who exhibited certain symptoms of illness.

Beit Hillel is located in Israel

Northern district, Mevo’ot HaHermon council, moshav Beit Hillel

Detail of the Knesset Menorah, Jerusalem: Hillel the Elder teaching a man the meaning of the whole Torah while he stands on one foot

In almost every rabbinic book we can find mention of 9 Adar as a fast day. Though we must admit that during the last 2,000 years, not many Jews actually observed it. According to tradition, 9 Adar was the day on which initially peaceful and constructive disagreements between Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai, the two great schools of thought during the Mishnaic period, erupted into a violent conflict over 18 points of law. The 1st century Jewish scholar Shammai was the most eminent contemporary, an important figure in Judaism‘s core work of rabbinic literature, the Mishnah, and the halakhic opponent of Hillel, the highest authority among the Pharisees (predecessors to Rabbinic Judaism), founder of the House of Hillel school for Tannaïm (Sages of the Mishnah) and the founder of a dynasty of Sages who stood at the head of the Jews living in the Land of Israel until roughly the fifth century of the Common Era.

Hillel was the head of the great school, at first associated with Menahem the Essene, who might be the same Menahem the Essene as the one mentioned by Flavius Josephus in relation to King Herod, afterward with Shammai, Hillel’s peer in the teaching of Jewish Law. The family of Jesus Christ also belonged to the Essenes.

Hillel and his Torah colleague Shammai were both disciples of Shemaya and Avtalyon as well as the last of the Zugos. (The five generations of Zugos were Jose ben Joezer and Jose ben Jochanan, Joshua ben Perachiah and Nitai HaArbeli, Judah ben Tabbai and Shimon ben Shatach, Shemaya and Avtalyon, and Hillel and Shammai.) Both were fearless upholders of the Torah’s honour, standing up to Herod and brooking no mockery of Judaism.

Due to increased Roman persecution, Hillel and Shammai their disciples were unable to analyze new situations as deeply as Jewish scholars once could. As a result, the emerging scholars broke off into two schools of thought, known as Bais Shammai and Bais Hillel or Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai, and wound up disputing more than 300 cases. This beginning of large-scale argumentation (machlokes) is viewed by the Talmud as a sad diminution in Torah scholarship, which, due to the lack of clarity, had drastic results for the Jewish people.

At first the scholars personally treated each other with great love and respect. But according to various sources 9 Adar was the day on which initially peaceful and constructive disagreements between Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai, erupted into a violent conflict over 18 points of law, killing as many as 3,000 students in the fighting which should have been avoided.

We can take 9 Adar as a cautionary tale. There is a timely and pressing need to examine how the model of machloket l’shem shamayim (dispute for the sake of Heaven) between Beit Hillel, which produced 14 generations of great leaders, spanning nearly 400 years, and guiding the Jewish people through some of their most difficult times, and Beit Shammai devolved into a Jewish civil war. The lesson from that occasion is that

if we don’t work to resolve conflict peaceably and in a way in which everyone walks out stronger and the community is strengthened,

notes Nurit Bachrach, director of Mosaica: The Center for Consensual Conflict Resolution.

9Adar9 Adar, may be looked at as a day we should recognize the urgency to impart skills for constructive conflict to future Jewish leaders and therefore the Pardes Center for Judaism and Conflict Resolution has therefore chosen this day to be the international Jewish Day of Constructive Conflict (machloket l’shem shamayim), dedicated to both the study and practice of Judaism and conflict resolution.

People need to have their minds open for different thoughts. They should always try to negotiate with those of other opinions and should always remember that all people are creations of the Most High, in His image, which we should show respect.

As in any community there may be different thoughts or different schools. All created in the image of God should respect the others around them. We also should know that nobody can know everything, but God. We as fallible human beings shall have to try to work things out. God has given us time to do that. He also has given His Word and His Law, which we remembered this last weekend. That Torah or Written Law should be our guide. We should follow those instructions.

There are 18 ways you or your organization can participate in your home, workplace, synagogue, school and community, recalling the 18 matters over which the conflict erupted.

Traditional Fast Day Customs (Minhagim)

  1. Fast (ta’anit)
  2. Fast from destructive speech (ta’anit dibbur)
  3. Contribute (tzedakah)
  4. Self-reflect (teshuvah)
  5. Pray (tefilah)
  6. Cook/eat (se’udah)

 

Learn/Teach (Talmud Torah)

  1. Write
  2. Study/Read/listen
  3. Give a dvar torah (words of Torah)
  4. Teach
  5. Announce/share/tell
  6. Create

 

Be a Rodef Shalom for the Day

  1. Sign/Create a Rodef Shalom Agreement (Haskamah)
  2. Greet others as a rodef shalom
  3. Be a rodef shalom in your own conflicts
  4. Be a rodef shalom for others in conflict
  5. Be a rodef shalom by facilitating a constructive conversation
  6. Invite a professional rodef shalom

 

On this day it is also important that we do think about the reason why we received the Torah and how we should use it as a guide to construct our life. If we want to be a Child of God we should behave like one. As children of God we do have to feel like brothers and sisters of each other, respecting and loving each other, trying together to please our heavenly Father.

When we treasure our friendship with the Most High Elohim Hashem Jehovah, we should strive to please Him in every aspect of our life, including our thoughts. Preparing ourselves for the coming period, living up to Erev Pesach or 14 Nisan on Monday April the 10th in 2017 and hoping to have a joyful Pesach the next two days days, we may take the coming days to think how we can better our life and cleanse our inner soul. Fasting, or trying not to be tempted by certain things we so love, is a good way to train our self.

Everybody has to work at himself or herself to come to have “a pure heart”. This has to happen by focusing our minds on what is chaste, virtuous, and praiseworthy. (Ps. 24:3, 4; 51:6; Phil. 4:8) Granted, Jehovah makes allowances for our imperfect nature. He knows that we are prone to improper desires. But we do have to recognize that it saddens Him when we nurture wrong thoughts instead of doing all we can to reject them. (Gen. 6:5, 6) Therefore let us remember those squabbling studious Jewish followers of Hillel and his Torah colleague Shammai, and make sure that we do not fall in the trap of discussing so much smaller things that they grow above our head into something which would bring us to fight and do something against the Will of the Most High.

Going up to the days of Pesach we can take time to meditate on the Word of God plus His Works and to reflect on our way of living. It can be a good thing to avoid being tempted to eat or drink certain things we love, and to stand still by those who were going day in day out through the desert, hoping to find the promised Holy Land soon. We too still have our hopes on the Holy Land and look forward to see it coming to a time of peace. We therefore should take enough time to consider what it is what God wants and to come to accept that Jews, Christians and Muslims should all be partakers of that Holy Land. In the end all the world should know that the Kingdom of God shall be the place for all lovers of God, no matter from which school they came of from which denomination they were part of. Jerusalem shall be the capital of God’s Kingdom here on earth and there shall be place enough for all those who want to do the Will of God.

Doing the Will of God should be our aim. To do that Will of God we may only worship One True God and keep ourselves away form all sorts of heathen rites and traditions. So, if you want to fast, do it, but do it with a pure heart, not mixing with pagan traditions and keep your thoughts chaste or spotless. An important way to show our complete reliance on Jehovah is by making our fight against unclean thoughts and staying restraint a matter of prayer. When we draw close to Jehovah in prayer, he draws close to us. He generously gives us his holy spirit, thus strengthening our resolve to resist immoral thoughts and remain chaste. Let us these days remember that and let peace grow in our hearts and share it with others around us.

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Preceding articles

Happy First Day of Spring: Spring Cleaning!

From the Ramadan into the eid

Your Future

7 Ways To Become A Better Christian

Reactions against those of the other sex

Glimlach raam naar je ziel

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Additional reading

  1. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  2. Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God
  3. Gone astray, away from God
  4. Creation of the earth and man #3 Of the Sabbath day #1 the Seventh day
  5. First mention of a solution against death 7 Human sacrifice
  6. Hanukkahgiving or Thanksgivvukah
  7. Displeasures and Actions of the Almighty God
  8. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #10 Prayer #8 Condition
  9. Lenten Season and our minds and hearts the spiritual temple in which God seeks to live

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Other related articles

  1. The other way around?
  2. A Moment of Bliss
  3. Lent
  4. Day 0 – The Preparation, The Mission
  5. Catholic-Judeo Spirituality of Fasting: It’s all about squealing with joy
  6. Why Catholics Observe Lent Uniquely
  7. Daily Mass: Fasting for God. Catholic Inspiration
  8. Lent is Here and I’m Late Posting This!
  9. Five Reasons Not to Observe Lent*
  10. What Did You Give Up For Lent?
  11. Fasting For… (3.4.2017)
  12. Meditation on Lent: Good Gifts
  13. Lent – An Invitation to Joy
  14. Facebook Fast
  15. Soul Food: Lent Temptation cakes
  16. Begone, Satan!
  17. Why is Fasting So Difficult For Me?
  18. Day 3 Fasting & Abstinence: Good Read
  19. Lent Day 4: 3/4/2017
  20. Day 4 Fasting: Day of Temptations
  21. Taking the Other Seriously
  22. What Does God Really Want From Us this Lent?
  23. The Unbiblical Nature of the Lenten Season!
  24. March 2017 Fasting Log
  25. “Why Do You Fast?”
  26. My Fast is Finished but God’s Not
  27. It is well with my soul
  28. Lent Day 5: 3/5/2017
  29. Day 5 Fasting & Abstinence: Blessed Sunday
  30. Healing crisis
  31. Fasting Opens Us Up
  32. slob days
  33. Fasting Echoes Joy
  34. Lent 6 ~ Fasting to Repair and Restore
  35. Lent Day 6: 3/6/2017
  36. Day 6 Fasting: Adjustment Over
  37. 1029
  38. 100 days to Ramadan
  39. Aiming for an outstanding Ramadan The holy month of Ramadan this year is going to start at the end of May.
  40. Targets for Ramadan
  41. Daily News Egypt: Twitter reveals increase of users’ activities in Ramadan
  42. Fasting Tips for New Muslims
  43. When Is Laylatul Qadr?
  44. Praying Maghrib and Esha in Jamaat in The Last 10 Nights of Ramadaan
  45. Prolonged Du’a in Sujood and Tashahud in The Last 10 Nights of Ramadaan
  46. Doing Good Deeds in The Last 10 Blessed Days of Ramadaan
  47. Tips for The Last 10 Nights of Ramadaan
  48. “Better Than:” The Spirit of Fasting
  49. Detox

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Being and Feeling, Health affairs, Lifestyle, Religious affairs

Seeds, weeds and kingdoms

Germinating seeds

In the Holy Scriptures we can find many examples where is spoken about seeds and the soil in which seeds have to grow.

English: Brown Flax Seeds. Français : Graines ...

Brown Flax Seeds. (Linum usitatissimum). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In this time and age we best think about the parable of the the sower, where the sower sows the seeds into different kinds of ground – three bad and one good. Man himself can find out from Scriptures what is meant by those stories Jesus told. Concerning the seed of the sower Jesus tells us (v18-23) – the seed is the Word of God and the different kinds of ground are different responses to the message of the Kingdom.

In our world we hear less spoken about the Word of God and many churches are running empty. For followers of Christ, the religions getting against each other is just one of the many signs we can see that the preaching of the coming Kingdom is of utmost importance, because when it shall be preached all over the world, then the end shall come.

In this world there are lots of people who think they are doing good and others who are convinced they do not have to take care because they are saved under Christ. they may be very mistaken, hoping to enter the Kingdom of God, by not living according to God‘s Laws, missing the entrance to the small gate. All those parables Jesus told should be a warning that it perhaps might not be so easy to enter the Kingdom after all. Many may be called but few reaching the the end goal of the race.

The second parable we have to take at heart is the one about the weeds, where the enemy sows bad weed seeds amongst the good wheat seeds. Again, we are not left guessing as to the meaning – Jesus tells us (v37-43) – the good seed represents the sons of the Kingdom and the bad seed the sons of the devil, i.e. those opposed to the message of the Kingdom who will be ‘weeded’ out of the Kingdom by God’s angels when the Son of Man (Jesus) comes.

Those two are not the only ones in which Jesus talks about seeds.

Birds in the fields and trees

When we look at the fields where seeds are waiting to grow, we can see many birds picking their bits of grains. Now Jesus comes to look where those birds have their habitat. They coming to live in a tree. In the ancient times the men of God also wrote about the birds living in trees, referring to kingdoms.

“The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was food for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the birds of the heavens dwelt in the branches thereof, and all flesh was fed from it.” (Daniel 4:12 ASV)

“it is thou, O king, [Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon]that art grown and become strong; for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth.” (Daniel 4:22 ASV)

“Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a forest-like shade, and of high stature; and its top was among the thick boughs.” (Ezekiel 31:3 ASV)

“All the birds of the heavens made their nests in its boughs; and under its branches did all the beasts of the field bring forth their young; and under its shadow dwelt all great nations.” (Ezekiel 31:6 ASV)

Immature Elm seeds.

Immature Elm seeds. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These first two Old Testament references use that specific language that Jesus picks up on – using the description of trees and perching birds to represent empires and subjects dwelling in them. But the obvious thing to notice is that whereas Jesus is talking about the Kingdom of Heaven, these verses most certainly are not! They are talking about the kingdoms of men! The first is talking about the kingdom of Babylon, which only filled the world with godless rule – and even today its pagan beliefs and teaching still permeate like yeast (many nonChristian and Christian religions can trace their belief system back to ancient Babylon). Assyria was known for its violence and cruelty (see Nahum 3:19) and our days, like the days of Noah, also see a world filled with violence (modern day Assyria / Syria being notable examples).

Kingdoms

It may seem strange to make reference to the kingdoms of men when the parable of the mustard seed is about the Kingdom of Heaven, but then other parables do the same. The parable of the sower begins “the Kingdom of Heaven is like” then talks about the unbelief of people’s hearts and their rejection of the gospel, the parable of the sower begins “the Kingdom of Heaven is like” then talks about the corruption of the gospel finding a temporary place in the harvest field, and the parable of the net begins “the Kingdom of Heaven is like” then describes the existence of the bad fish swimming around in the lake. But then all these parables end with salvation and deliverance, and so also does the last of those three specific Old Testament references.

Ezekiel 17:22-24 “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: ‘I myself will take a shoot from the very top of a cedar and plant it; I will break off a tender sprig from its topmost shoots and plant it on a high and lofty mountain. On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches. All the trees of the field will know that I the LORD bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish.’ I the LORD have spoken and I will do it.”

The encouragement that the parable gives us

Imagine if the parable of the sower just told us that a man went to sow seed, and the seed grew and the crop was good. Imagine if the parable of the weeds just told us that a man planted some seed, and the seed was good, and then harvest came, and harvest was good. Imagine if the parable of the ten virgins wasn’t the parable of the ten virgins – it was the parable of the five virgins and it told us that there were five virgins who went to a wedding and the wedding was good – and that’s it!

Our message of salvation is not just that Jesus will return and all is well. The reality of the world we live in is very dark and very far from what God wants it to be. Even more discouraging is the fact that the very gospel that Jesus gave to enlighten is not believed by so many, and falsehood and the kingdoms of men fill the earth, and we – with the precious truth we possess – are so small and ignored.

Jesus encourages us by reminding us, through the parable of the mustard seed and the Old Testament links, that God is fully aware of how man’s ways rule the world – like Assyria and Babylon in the past. Jesus does not try to divert us by pretending that everything is good right now, but reminds us that God’s plan will become a reality – more real than anything fake we see around us now.

God has told us that He himself will plant His Tree / Kingdom, on the mountain heights of Israel and that all the other trees (nations) will know this and so God will be glorified and vindicated in the end amongst all His opponents, as will all those who keep that precious faith and stick with Him. This is our hope. We are tired of the kingdoms of men around us, imitating the shade and shelter that only God can provide through His Son who has the words of eternal life – and when he comes we will truly find rest under the shade of his branches.

From small to big

Mustard seeds are counted by the smallest seeds but they give us some strong big trees which produce a lot of seeds. Listening to the parable we can imagine us people with some faith like a mustard seed would have not much faith or little faith. But even that little faith can do much. Therefore the one who can sow little faith shall be able to give the  pastures many trees which shall in their turn also create little seeds and multiply enormously.

Even when we do feel we have not so much faith, we should believe in ourselves and proclaim the message of salvation which is given to us. We may have doubts but should know that even with our little faith we shall be able to do much.

“And he saith unto them, Because of your little faith: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” (Matthew 17:20 ASV)

Moving a mountain, it looks ridiculous … but with our little faith if we believe in Christ Jesus as our saviour we shall be able to do much, showing others the Way to God, we shall be able to move mountains, doing lots of work for God. But to do that moving work we need to have the right seed. Unpolluted faith. We also need to use the right fertiliser, the pure Word of God, which we can find in the best store of the the world, the most precious library, the Bible. when we water ourselves every day with it, our seed shall be able to grow. Perhaps we ourself can be such a mustard tree.

The world needs many mustard seeds. There are so many nations, so many places where there is need for birds to find a place to sit in and trees for people to find shadow. It is up to the believers to become the sowers and the gardeners.
It is up to the believers to make it that the seed may be planted in good soil. We have to prepare the earth, we have to fertilise the ground and give the plants enough water so that they can survive in the dry surroundings.

Are you willing to be a sower?

Help us to proclaim the Word of God and to bring the message of salvation, the gospel of the coming Kingdom of God.

It may start very small but finish big, so take the opportunity.

 

Preceding

Seeds of promise

Seeds to be planted soon

Christians remaining hidden not sharing the gospel

An uncovering book to explore

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Additional reading

  1. I have not hidden …
  2. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 4
  3. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  4. Salvation, Baptism and Re-baptism
  5. When not seeing or not finding a biblically sound church
  6. a little church
  7. Slave for people and God

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Further reading

  1. Mustard Seed
  2. Mustard Seeds
  3. Open the Eyes of my Heart
  4. The Gift Of God
  5. Genuine message of salvation
  6. Mustard Seed Faith
  7. A Mustard Seed of Faith
  8. Small start, Big Finish
  9. Faith of A Mustard Seed
  10. Sow and harvests in the garden of your heart
  11. 12 Month Faith Challenge (I Conquer Pt 1)
  12. Daily Mass: Steady growth that starts small. Catholic Inspiration
  13. January 26 – From A Mustard Seed
  14. Today’s Scripture – December 28, 2016
  15. Daily Gospel Reading – Mark 4:26-34
  16. What is the meaning of the Parable of the Mustard Seed?
  17. Moving Mountains
  18. Fear Feels Bigger
  19. As Small as a Mustard Seed
  20. Does Your Faith Make You Eager To Forsake Sin?
  21. Prayer Changes Me
  22. Don’t Say How, Say I Am Yours!
  23. Luke 6:17-19
  24. Luke 13
  25. Measuring Faith
  26. Optimism and the Kingdom of God
  27. Wise Virgins
  28. Conceal, Don’t Feel
  29. Warfare Against the Mustard Seed
  30. Hang On To Your Faith
  31. What You Have is Enough | A Widow’s Mite and Mustard Seed Faith
  32. Increase Our Faith
  33. Busted Mustard Seed
  34. Faith Unwavering
  35. How’s your mustard seed?
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Filed under Being and Feeling, Religious affairs

High time to show the way to peace

Vagabonds of the Western World

Vagabonds of the Western World (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The world has always known people who had problems with their relationship and even went to fight with each other because they wanted things of the other person. Wars have been a common thing for humanity. In the West we may be pleased after World War II the fighting was less than in previous centuries, but still lots of internal battles make many lives sour.

In the West, though, there are many who call themselves Christian and even say the Western World belongs to the Christians and Is or should be Christian. When they are afraid Muslims would take over they should more question themselves how it is possible that so many people do want to leave Christendom for that other religion.

This year we do remember that it is 2020 years ago that rabbi Jeshua, Jesus Christ, was born. At that special occasion we should better question what mankind made of that man and what they did with his teachings.

Rabbi Jeshua was a man of peace, who did not favour one for the other but thought and treated everybody likewise. For a good or even a bad person this rabbi had always an ear and was always ready to help. All his teachings were about an unmistakably Great Love. The great master teacher, who came to be known in the West as Jesus Christ, was a man of action and not of words only. His words were like balsam. In his words there was no place for hatred or jealousy. He was an example of humbleness, tenderness, full of love and kindness. He was not a bringer of war but a bringer of peace.

When people also would follow his teachings they would have less problems and there would be less friction or peevishness.

This image was selected as a picture of the we...

This image was selected as a picture of the week on the Malay Wikipedia for the 44th week, 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, we have reached an era of which the Bible warns mankind. We too should take heed and see what is going on, as signs prophesied in the Book of books, the Bible. Noticing all those signs of coming troublesome times we should be fully aware that we best make work of those tidings Christ Jesus has brought to mankind.

When all those who say they are Christian, which should mean they are willing and doing what Jesus asks from them, following his teachings and his example, they should know that as all different body parts together they should make one strong healthy body, the Body of Christ.

When all Christians would start in their own surroundings already trying to create that peace of Christ, also trying to accept other Christians and willing to work together with them, the world would become a much better place.

Christians should show others that Jesus is not only the Way to God but also the Way to life and to  world peace. With Jesus we shall be able to find a (restored) kingdom, where there shall be no grudges, no jealousy, no fighting. One might be surprised how it could still be in reach.

Please do not wait any longer. Do not postpone. Tell others about that man born 2020 years ago and show them why we should put our eyes on him. Let others see why that Nazarene man was so important for mankind and let them understand he is the only working solution for mankind. Jesus is the way, and all should know it!

How more people shall come to Jesus how more people shall be sharing that similar love of Jesus with each other, and as brothers and sisters of each other in the Body of Christ they shall be able to bring soft gently swaying waves of peace. and that peace shall be much stronger than what others try to get with their fighting.

All will have to know that Jesus will conquer, and that he will become the new King of kings. In him we do have our mediator between God and man and our high-priest. He has ear and eyes for us and in him we should trust.

Let us proclaim who he is, what he has done and why the whole world need him. In him is our peace, which we should radiate so that others also become affected with it.

It is really “, plus “High time to go out telling the world about Jesus” and hight time to join hands for showing the world that those who love Jesus can come together in peace and co-operate with the best intentions to come to a better world, were peace shall reign.

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Preceding articles:

High time to go out telling the world about Jesus

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Additional articles

  1. In a few days time it will be 2020 years ago that the Messiah was born
  2. 2020 years since
  3. 2020 years ago, the road was opened
  4. When Bad Things Happen
  5. Redemption #1 Biblical doctrine of salvation
  6. Redemption #2 Biblical solution
  7. Redemption #7 Christ alive in the faithful
  8. Redemption #8 Righteousness by Faith
  9. Redemption #9 Only way
  10. The Right One to follow and to worship
  11. Knowledge of Christ and fear for God
  12. Through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe
  13. The stone of essential truth
  14. the Way to life
  15. Relating to God is it possible + Relation with God
  16. Man’s plans prevailed by God’s purpose
  17. Religious people and painful absence of spring of living water
  18. Be humble like Christ
  19. Humbleness
  20. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  21. If you want to go far in life
  22. Kindness
  23. Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair
  24. God let my compassionate affection be tolerant and kind
  25. Kingdom of God what will it be like
  26. True riches

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Further reading

  1. God, Alone, Sovereignly Chooses His Eternal Family
  2. God’s Marriage: The Father And Son
  3. Unraveling Guilt With God’s Holiness
  4. Lent Day 23: I Declare My Ways Are Smooth, My Path Is Straight. I Will Not Stumble
  5. Only one way out
  6. The Way
  7. R.C. Sproul quote
  8. This is the way
  9. The Way home Psalm 56:3-4 Luke 13:22-30
  10. Discouraged? Run to Jesus!
  11. Jesus sees me as …
  12. Grace and Restoration
  13. “Flow through Me”
  14. “That They May Be One”
  15. Jew or Gentile: You Are All One in Christ Jesus
  16. Disciplinary Treatises—(4) The Communion of the Body, by Scott Cairns
  17. The Body of Christ
  18. The Body of Christ : God’s ultimate intention for our life
  19. Body of Christ: Nothing Will Be Wasted, by Francis de Sales Wagner
  20. The Living, Growing Body of Christ
  21. Becoming Community
  22. Who Runs the Church?
  23. Beware of a Spiritual Cancer in the Body of Christ
  24. Has the Church become a pathetic loser?
  25. The Apostasy
  26. Are We A Healthy Body?
  27. Measuring the Fullness
  28. Oneness of the Church
  29. Unify
  30. On marriage for priests.
  31. Sometimes, Instead of Bread, I Ask God for Stones
  32. What love is this?
  33. Until Christ Is Formed
  34. Standing in the Gap
  35. Prayer For Oct. 22nd
  36. “Do I have to pray, read the Bible, go to church, etc?”
  37. Revival, or something that looks like it
  38. Running Toward The Goal
  39. Ignatius of Antioch: “love incorruptible”
  40. The Perfect Wheel
  41. Spiritual Formation, Gossip and Presidential Campaigns
  42. October 26 – I Never Knew You
  43. Summing Up
  44. Horrendous Things are Under Authority
  45. Peace. Comfort. Love. Joy. Over coming the heartache.
  46. A Fresh Look at the Lord’s Prayer “Your Kingdom Come”
  47. No Matter
  48. Sunday Bun! At SAllome Point in the Future
  49. Religion vs Relationship
  50. Why Christianity Isn’t a Solo Act
  51. We have all the answers, we must go and answer all the questions!
  52. For the One whose name is higher than them all
  53. Kingdom???
  54. Thy Kingdom Come
  55. Know your saviour
  56. Kings and kingdoms
  57. 4 Shots From 4 Films: An Epic Birthday Salute
  58. Open Wide the Gates
  59. The Justice of God – Isaiah 33:22
  60. All Glory To Jesus
  61. Recapturing The Holy Awe

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Being and Feeling, Crimes & Atrocities, History, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, World affairs

Sukkoth, Gog, Magog, Armageddon, a covenant and Jerusalem

Moadim L’Simcha (Appointed Times for Joy) and Shabbat Shalom dear readers!

The joyous holiday of Sukkoth (Sukkot or Feast or Tabernacles or Feast of Booths), one of the three Pilgrim Festivals of the Hebrew Bible, is observed on the Jewish calendar dates of 15-21 Tishrei and is immediately followed by the holiday of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah. The final day of Sukkot is known as Hoshana Rabba (“Great Hosanna”) (In 2016 coming Monday and Tuesday) and with the eighth day should for Christians also be important, being it a day of Solemn Assembly, commemorating the completion of the annual cycle of readings from the Torah (the first five books of the Bible) and being called Simḥat Torah (“Rejoicing of the Law”). .

The seventh day of the festival of Sukkot, considered to be the final day of the New Year’s Divine “judgment” in which the year’s fate is determined; in addition to the Four Kinds taken on the preceding days of Sukkot, an additional willow is taken on this day; it is customary to stay up all night on the eve of Hoshanah Rabbah and study Torah.

During the week long festival of Sukkot (Tabernacles), the regular Parasha (Torah portion) for Shabbat is suspended, and a special Parasha pertaining to the holiday is read in synagogues around the world.

Readings for Shabbat Chol Hamoed Sukkot
Exodus 33:12–34:26; Ezekiel 38:18–39:16; Revelation 21:1–22:21

For lovers of God the Jewish reading for today is one which should concern all, being aware of the importance of the covenant made by the Most High.

“Behold, I make a covenant: before all your people I will do marvels, such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation: and all the people among whom you are shall see the work of the Lord: for it is an awesome thing that I will do with you.”  (Exodus 34:10)

In this special Sukkot reading, Moses asks that God’s presence would go with Israel, and God agrees. The marvellous thing about God the Divine Creator is that He loves His creation so much, that when people ask Him to be with them and to go with them, God will do that. He is there for all who want Him nearby.
Encouraged by this positive response, Moses also asks to see God’s glory.  Once again, God graciously complies with his request and invites Moses to ascend Mount Sinai with two newly hewn stone tablets so that He can re-carve the Ten Commandments. Those mitzvah or commandments were given to be a guide for mankind, so that they could build up a good relationship with their Most High Maker.
It was there on that mountain that God revealed His glory to Moses in such a fearsome spectacle of power that God had to protect Moses from being destroyed by it.
“There is a place near Me where you can stand on a rock.  When My glory passes by, I will put you in an opening in the rock.  I will cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove My hand.  You will see My back.  But My face must not be seen.”  (Exodus 33:21–23)
It’s clear that Moses, having experienced the power of the presence of God, understands that His presence is more than sufficient against any threat Israel might encounter inside or outside of the Promised Land.
This is a great prospect for God’s nation. We also know now that God promised Abraham that his seed and sons by faith, would come to live in the Holy Land. In the end all Jews, the children of Abraham, will find their Holy Nation there and find Jerusalem to be the capital of the nation of God’s people. They would be sent in exile and have to endure lots of problems throughout history, but there shall come a time when they shall be all united under God’s Kingdom. God will gather His People to their own land and the whole world shall come to know it.
The world shall have to come to hear that Israel shall be restored and that also others came to know the Law of God and shall be willing to live according the covenant also brought to them by the sent one from God, rabbi Jeshua, the son of man and son of God, who gave his life as a ransom payment for all sinners, so that all people could come back to God to be His children. He provided a new covenant, one of reconciliation.
But we should take heed, God has given a warning that terrible times shall come  over the world. The Restoration of Israel shall be challenged.
“This is what will happen in that day: When Gog attacks the land of Israel, My hot anger will be aroused.”  (Ezekiel 38:18)
In the Haftarah (prophetic portion) for this Shabbat Chol Hamoed (intermediate day of the festival) of Sukkot, the Hebrew prophet Ezekiel describes an end-time scenario in which formidable armies from the north, under the leadership of Gog, will challenge the restoration of Israel.
Gog (left) and Magog, wooden effigies in the Guildhall, London

Gog (left) and Magog, wooden effigies in the Guildhall, London – Courtesy of the British Tourist Authority

Gog is a chief prince living in the land of Magog (Ezekiel 38:2).  Many scholars believe Magog refers to Russia.  The invading land of Gomer is often believed to be Germany.

Several lands in the coalition army are easily identifiable: Iran (Persia), Northern Sudan (ancient Ethiopia or Cush), Libya (Put), and Turkey (Togarmah).
Last year at this time, Russia made significant moves into the Middle East, reportedly to fight against ISIS.  Last week, however, it negotiated its first “permanent” air base in the region at Khmeimim, Syria and its naval base in Tartus, Syria will soon become “permanent” as well.
Russia also recently installed its S-300 surface-to-air missile defence system in Syria and completed the transfer of the system to Iran last month.
In effect, Russia has become a major military broker in the region.  It is right now on the doorstep of Israel, and it plans to stay.
The nations mentioned in Ezekiel 38 will unite and come upon Israel “like a cloud that covers the land” for the purpose of looting the wealth that she has amassed in what was a desolate land only seventy years ago.
Yet, God will not abandon His People.  He will utterly destroy the coalition forces of Gog so that all nations will come to know the holiness of the Lord (Ezekiel 38:18–23).
The forces that come against Israel will be so large in their day of defeat that Gog’s weaponry will provide fuel for Israel for seven years (Ezekiel 39:9).
“They will not need to gather wood from the fields or cut it from the forests, because they will use the weapons for fuel.  And they will plunder those who plundered them and loot those who looted them, declares the Sovereign LORD.”  (Ezekiel 39:10)
Moreover, so many soldiers will die in this battle that it will take seven months for Israel to bury them all and cleanse their land (Ezekiel 39:12).

A man carries a Torah scroll that is protected by a silver Torah tik (case) during Sukkot at the Western Wall.

The Jews read about this end-time battle during Sukkot, because according to Rabbinic tradition, this war will be waged during the month of Tishri, the month in which the holiday of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) falls.

Interestingly enough, the war that is described in Ezekiel is similar to the war described in the 14th chapter of Zechariah, the Haftarah reading on the first day of Sukkot.  And in Zechariah we learn that the Gentiles who survive the war against Israel will be required to keep Sukkot annually by coming up to the Holy City of Jerusalem to worship the Lord.
“Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles [Sukkot].  If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, they will have no rain.”  (Zechariah 14:1617)
This should give us food to think about the matter of feasts and holidays we do have to partake.

Sukkot at the Western (Wailing) Wall.

 

 

Psalm 27 presents a clear connection between Sukkot and God’s protection of Israel and those who trust in Him:
“For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle [sukkah]; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock.”  (Psalm 27:5)
The word translated here as tabernacle is the Hebrew word sukkah (סכה)When evil threatens God’s people, He will hide them in His sukkah, inaccessible from the enemy on the rock of His presence.
Now that is a promise we can trust in during these last days!

 

The Battle of Armageddon

“When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison, and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth — Gog and Magog — to gather them for battle.”  (Revelation 20:78)
Gog and Magog are also mentioned in the Brit Chadashah (New Testament) in connection with Armageddon and the final battle between the forces of good and evil.
This war with Gog and Magog is not the same war described in Ezekiel 38 but a final end-time battle after the thousand-year reign of Jeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah).
The Son of David, Jeshua, will come again — this time as our conquering Messiah to defeat the invading forces forever.  All who have believed in their Saviour, Jeshua, will inherit eternity in God’s Kingdom of which the New Jerusalem shall be the capital of a revived Garden of Eden complete with trees of life and pure living water that will be good to eat and drink forever.

Ancient ruins atop Har Meggido in Israel

Armageddon is mentioned only once in the Brit Chadashah (New Testament) in chapter 16 of the Book of Revelation.
“They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty….  Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.”  (Revelation 16:14, 16)
The word Armageddon is derived from Har Magedon (meaning mountain of Megiddo) and is mentioned many times in the Tanakh (Old Testament).
Megiddo is derived from the Hebrew word gadad, meaning to penetrate, muster troops together, perhaps even invade.
In this end-time invasion, we once again see Israel’s enemies mounting a war against Jerusalem.  This time, however, we see the spiritual forces behind the rebellion against God:
“They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon.”  (Revelation 9:11)
The words Abaddon and Apollyon mean Destroyer.
And this time, God pours out on the Destroyer and all rebels the full extent of His judgment, including everlasting torment for Satan, the beast and the false prophet.
“They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city He loves.  But fire came down from heaven and devoured them.  And Satan, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown.  They will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” (Revelation 20:910)
With an Outstretched Arm
As we read how God will hurl His fury against Gog with pestilence and with blood, floods, giant hailstones, fire and brimstone, it’s easy to see from this Haftarah portion that God is furious with those who come against the Land of Israel(Ezekiel 38:22).
In fact, there are several parallels between God’s deliverance of Israel from Egypt long ago and His future deliverance of Israel from Gog in the end times.  In both, we see that God saves and rescues Israel with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm.
The phrase with a strong hand and an outstretched arm (בְּיָ֣ד חֲ֭זָקָה וּבִזְר֣וֹעַ נְטוּיָ֑ה) has special meaning in Jewish tradition.  It represents God using His power on behalf of His people.  The “arm of the Lord” also represents His salvation, which in Hebrew is Jeshua.
“You brought your people Israel out of Egypt with signs and wonders, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with great terror.”  (Jeremiah 32:21, see also Deuteronomy 4:34; 26:8; Exodus 6:6)
As Russia expands its influence in the region and neighboring nations plot to annihilate Israel, there is certainly evidence that Ezekiel 38 is on the horizon.  Yet, this Sukkot Parasha reveals that God’s Divine Sheltering Presence over Israel has not ended but will continue past the end of this age.
God is not finished with the Jewish People and Israel.  This is plainly evident when we consider how Bible Prophecy concerning Israel is being fulfilled during these end times before our very eyes.
The Brit Chadashah (New Covenant) also tells us that God’s plan to reach out to the nations through Israel did not end with the death and resurrection of Messiah, but continues to this day and will in the world to come:
“For if their casting Yeshua [Jesus] aside means reconciliation for the world, what will their accepting Him mean?  It will be life from the dead!”  (Romans 11:15)
The Book of Romans promises that when the Jewish People come to know Jeshua, it will be like life from the dead for the world.
Before this can happen, however, they must first hear the Good News of Jeshua!
“How can they call on Him unless they believe in Him?  How can they believe in Him unless they hear about Him?  How can they hear about Him unless someone preaches to them?”  (Romans 10:14)
It is up to the followers of Jeshua to follow up the task given by this master, rabbi Jeshua. Therefore Christians, being aware that the times are coming closer, should make work of it, spreading the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God.
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With thanks to the Messianic Bible
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Additional reading

  1. Ninth of Av
  2. Festival of Freedom and persecutions
  3. Jerusalem God’s City for ever
  4. Glory of only One God Who gives His Word
  5. Vayikra after its opening word וַיִּקְרָא, which means and He called
  6. Holy land Christian exodus
  7. How do we know the coming of Jesus is very near?
  8. Armageddon, har and megiddo, an action or a place
  9. Ember and light the ransomed of Jehovah
  10. Ransom for all
  11. Jerusalem and a son’s kingdom
  12. Bringing into safety from Irak and Iran
  13. 2015 the year of ISIS
  14. This Week’s Developments in Weekly World Watch 15-21 July
  15. The promise a guarantee of something and the heir that is going to have
  16. Chemical warsite and Pushing king of the South

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Further reading

  1. Understanding the Battle of Gog and Magog
  2. Trend Update: Burden of Damascus/Russian Embassy Takes Fire, October 2016
  3. Zork Nemesis – The Forbidden Lands
  4. War is upon us!
  5. Russia, Iran, and The War with Israel
  6. The Coming War
  7. Ezekiel blog: My version of the end of the world, part I
  8. Ezekiel blog: My version of the end of the world Part II
  9. Who are the real Gog and Magog in prophecy?
  10. Less of Me
  11. “My Relationship with Jesus Christ”
  12. Trend Update: Ezekiel 38-39/Magog (Russia)/Golan Heights, Passover 2016
  13. Alliance Formation

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100-Day Identity Makeover: Day 56

Jesus called man to follow him as The Way to God. He warned us for not to be mistaken and thinking that by grace we would be saved and have nothing to do any more. Jesus himself gave already some tasks we should do and gave enough examples of people who missed the opportunity to enter the Lord’s house.

Like Jesus, who did not want to do his own will (which he would have done in case he would be God), we too should try to do the Will of our heavenly Father, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the God of Christ and his disciples. The God of Jews Who should also be the God of Christians and God of Muslims but also should become the God of love of our world. this can only happen when people continue the work Jesus asked his followers to do, to go out in the world and to proclaim the Works of God and to tell them the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God.

In case we want to be proper children of God, we have to honour Him and appreciate Him for what He has done for us and for what He still can mean for us. Him we do have to praise in Christ. By following the teachings of rabbi Jeshua we have to show the world we do not want to be from it but that we want to be of God, whitewashed by the innocent blood of Christ.

Let us live accordingly, saying thanks to God and asking for guiding us throughout our life and helping us to call others in the name of Christ.

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To remember

  • seen a strong-willed child + wondered what kind of battles his parents endure on a daily basis
  • strength of one’s character reveals itself in the very beginning => Parents + grandparents quickly recognize dominant personality traits
  • certain things each of us been good at ever since we were little kids
  • with some training = potential to use it for good
  • in adult business world = gift of reading people well => selling your product
  • God has a great purpose for the strategic thinker!
  • In Scripture example of Aaron > leading people according to God’s divine direction
  • people grew impatient + asked Aaron to make a god for them => he did = fashioned a calf idol from their donated gold, + they had a pagan- style celebration of their new god.
  • Aaron had great potential for leading people in worship > however, he was mistaken in solving their need, +, in the process, misled the entire community!

That is also what we see today. Many have made their own idols into a god. Lots of Christians also made Jesus into their own god. For them it seems a nice solution though lots of them do not understand quite really the matter of the trinity and the biblical saying we should only have One True God, the Eternal Spirit and Adonai, Elohim Hashem Maker Jehovah.

  • Israel’s actions angered God => see mercy of God => gave them another chance
  • God selected Aaron to be the first of the Levitical line of Israel’s priesthood
  • men who would be separated unto God to live holy lives + to bring God’s people into holy communion with Him through worship according to His Word

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  • Aaron gifted in leading others in worship.

What about you? Child of God <= created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for you to do (See Ephesians 2:10)

  • Through the Spirit’s empowerment => strength = powerful tool for revealing glory of God in the earth
  • gifts of the Spirit work in and through you => reveal God’s goodness > excelling natural abilities => supernatural gifts

Jesus said

“This is to My Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples” (John 15:8).

Walk It Out     Hear God’s Word + put it into practice (Luke 8:21)

Align life with God’s purpose = giving Him your “yes.” => Walk in the way He leads you with complete trust => His Presence + empowerment through Holy Spirit accomplish good works in + through you.

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Preceding

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

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Read also other articles as:

  1. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  2. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  3. The way of salvation
  4. A “seed” for the blessing of all mankind would come through the family of Abraham
  5. God works faith
  6. Faith is the belief that god will do what is right
  7. Christ’s ethical teaching
  8.  Being Justified by faith
  9. Faith is knowing there is an ocean because you have seen a brook.
  10. Faith Requires a Basis
  11. Walking in love by faith, not by sight
  12. Faith Alone Does Not Save . . . No Matter How Many Times Protestants Say It Does
  13. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  14. A Living Faith #2 State of your faith
  15. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  16. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  17. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  18. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
  19. Faith and works
  20. Sharing your faith
  21. Bearing fruit
  22. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  23. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  24. Be holy
  25. 1 Corinthians 15 Hope in action
  26. Chief means by which men are built up
  27. Not to play at Christianity
  28. To be established in the present truth
  29. She who sows thistles will reap prickles
  30. Love for each other attracting others
  31. Share your faith
  32. Outflow of foundational relationship based on acceptance of Jesus
  33. Faith, storms and actions to be taken
  34. The longer you wait
  35. A call easy to understand

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sharing love and truth

Day 56

You Are Created in Christ Jesus to Do Good Works (Ephesians 2:10)

Have you ever seen a strong-willed child and wondered what kind of battles his parents endure on a daily basis? Maybe you were that strong-willed child, or perhaps you’re raising one! It amazes me how the strength of one’s character reveals itself in the very beginning. Parents and grandparents quickly recognize the dominant personality traits. My response to such observations- “God has a great purpose for that!”

There are certain things that each of us has been good at ever since we were little kids. Maybe we didn’t use the gift for good, but we were certainly good at it, and with some training, we had potential to use it for good. Take, for instance, the child who can strategize and work a situation to turn in his favor… Sure, it’s manipulation at its finest, but in…

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Filed under Lifestyle, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs

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

Rob Heijermans, who says is a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ and believes that God has spoken

— in fact, the universe itself is a product of the voice of the Lord. The phrase, “And God said…,” appears nine times in the first chapter of Genesis alone. {Is Anyone Listening?}

He also knows he has ever deceived himself and looks at James, Jesus’ younger half-brother, who knows all about self-deception.

Though the writer wrongly thinks James deceived himself for many years,

“denying that Jesus was God in the flesh.” {11 Self-Deceit 101}

Having grown up with Jesus in an Essene family he probably got to know Jesus as well as God very well. He also knew what Jesus had told others and to whom Jesus prayed, like they at their family, at home, prayed to the only One true God, the God of Israel. Jesus did not pray to himself, but to the God of Abraham, about Whom he taught people to pray to as well.

The apostle James warns us in Verse 22  of the first chapter that if we are hearers of the word–the Bible–and not doers, we deceive or ensnare ourselves.

James 1:22 EWB-CB  But become ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

Much too often Christians do forget Jesus’ parables and the warning of James. We may not delusively content our selves with being of the audience, but have to put what we hear in practice.

The writer of the blog UpStream writes

James says it’s like looking into the mirror on the morning of an important interview, seeing some serious bed-head, lots of stubble and a smudge of last night’s hot fudge sundae, and just walking away without taking action. {11 Self-Deceit 101}

Too many Christians make it themselves very easy, thinking because they are saved they do not have to do anything any more.

Rob Heijermans is aware that

sitting under the teaching of the Scriptures and not doing what they say is an act of self-deceit. Studying the Scriptures for ourselves, gaining an understanding of their meaning, but not obeying God’s Word, produces knowledge that makes us arrogant but yields no fruit in our lives. It is self-deceit. Even more serious is purporting to be a teacher and either teaching what is false or not doing what is true. James will deal with this more later in his letter. {11 Self-Deceit 101}

We should come to get to know what is written in the Bible and may not twist around the words of it. As such when is written “the son of God” we may not say “god the son“. We should clearly take the Words of God into account and take them serious.

In this world many have made their own gods. A lot also made Jesus in to their god, like Rob Heijermans has done. He also preaches about hell as a sort of place of eternal torture, whilst forgetting that the Divine Creator is a God of Love, who is an eternal Spirit Who can not be seen by man, but is with man, telling them no lies and saying they shall have paid for their sins with their death.

But this God of gods tells also about His sent one, the Nazarene Jew Jeshua, Jesus Christ, the Messiah. Jesus on this earth tried to make his heavenly Father known and showed the way to the Kingdom of God. His brother knew also very well the importance of Jesus’ teaching about that Kingdom. He had to loose his brother at the wooden stake and see his mother cry, being full of grieve. But he had also come into the hope Jesus preached and wanted to share it with others, like his brother had asked it.

That preaching James had taken up is also an act we should do. It is one of the works Jesus asked his followers to do.

Twice, the writer of Hebrews mentions “dead works.” (Heb 6.1, 9.14) Now, James writes of “dead faith.” In the subsequent verses of Chapter 2, he mentions that even the demons believe in God–and tremble before Him!–so simply believing facts about God is not saving faith. James then cites two Old Testament characters whose faith was demonstrated by their works: Abraham, the Iraqi father of the Jewish nation was not content simply to tell God he was willing to sacrifice Isaac. He unsheathed his dagger and was about to plunge it into Isaac’s belly when God stopped him and provided a substitutionary ram. Rahab the whore did not stop at believing that God was conquering His enemies through the Israelites–she protected their spies, knowing the awesome power of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. {14 How to Work Your Way to Hell}

Lots of Christians have forgotten Who that God of the Israelites is and why we should take Him as our Only One True God, like Jesus also took Him as His Only One Most High Almighty God. But not only did they take the ransom offer of Jesus as the final act for them, misleading themselves that they would not have to do anything more because they are saved by the Blood of Christ.

Strangely enough the blog writer seems to know that

On some occasion, James probably heard his Brother say that God is glorified when we prove we are His disciples by producing fruit. (John 15.8) {14 How to Work Your Way to Hell}

In many parables Jesus had told how we have to get a good relationship with the heavenly Father. How He is willing to take us up as His children, but also how we can loose the entrance to the Kingdom of God. James came to understand those teachings of his brother and knew how important it was when people came into the faith how they had to change themselves and had to work on themselves continuously.

We may not assume that it are only our works that can get us some where.

the second half of James 2 demonstrates: just as it is vain to think that my works–religious duty, outward devotion, social activism, neighbourly consideration–could possibly get me to heaven, so also is it vain to suppose I am truly a child of God while my life manifests nothing of my faith. As Jesus said, a fruit tree with no fruit is cut down and burned. {14 How to Work Your Way to Hell}

When having come into the faith we have to water our own tree. (By reading and studying the Bible.) Then we do have to let the food of the earth and food of heaven feed ourselves, so that we can bear good fruits. For getting good fruits we need good pruning. We need to do a lot of work. Without the work there shall be no good fruits and when we are not willing to prepare ourselves for the Kingdom of God we shall be too late like some young girls who did not prepare themselves or thought they had enough time. Please do not postpone. Take care that you are ready for when the day comes.

When procrastinating you will be surprised when the day comes you shall have nothing done what had to be done and will miss the boat.

Some things may be hard or difficult, like changing sides, or putting away human doctrinal teachings, like the trinity a.o.. but God wants from His son an his followers truthful worshippers of God who are faithful to Him, the Adonai Jehovah, and to His commandments. When we do not follow God’s commandments it will be like ignoring God’s Wishes and not wanting a good relationship with Him. Keeping to those commandments shall demand works we shall have to do with pleasure because we do believe in Christ, the son of God, and in his heavenly Father we also want to love.

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Preceding articles:

Leading people astray!

Restitution

Comments to James remarks, about Faith and works

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?

Justification – salvation is by grace through faith – JI Packer

Faith itself not the cause of justification – Louis Berkhof

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

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Please find also to read

  1. God of gods
  2. God is one
  3. Sayings around God
  4. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  5. Jesus Messiah
  6. Jesus and His God
  7. the Trinity – the Truth
  8. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  9. Bearing fruit
  10. Faith Alone Does Not Save . . . No Matter How Many Times Protestants Say It Does
  11. Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness
  12. Christ’s ethical teaching
  13. Being Justified by faith
  14. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  15. Faith and works
  16. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #8 Prayer #6 Communication and manifestation
  17. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #16 Benefits of praying
  18. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  19. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  20. Be holy
  21. She who sows thistles will reap prickles
  22. Love for each other attracting others

 

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Further related articles

  1. Count on your desire to procrastinate
  2. Sermon Redux – Part 4 of Doing Our Best for God’s Church – “Rejoicing in the Brutal Truth” – 1 Corinthians 12:4-7
  3. Boast in God’s Grace for You- Joseph Prince
  4. The Parable of the Two Sons
  5. Rewarded for Doing Good?
  6. Rewarded for their Labor? (1 Corinthians 3:8)
  7. Judged for What We Have Done
  8. Rewarded for What We’ve Done?
  9. 2:24 – You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
  10. Chapter 2:23 – And he was called a friend of God.
  11. Four Panel Philosophy
  12. James 2:20-22 — Dynamic Faith
  13. Show Me Your Works

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Lifestyle, Religious affairs

The Mountain: Radical Love

In our second reposting from the paraphrased chronological harmony of the four gospels, by Frank Boulet we look once more at the central message of Jesus which is simply this:

 Love God by loving people, even your enemies.

with From Guestwriters we do want to spread this message of love and want to get enough people to see how we do have to control ourselves first before we can try to get a better world.

Our aim is also that those who come along our site, shall make the effort to read the appropriate Bible text and shall take time to meditate on the material.

Insofar as they convey that message, these meditations may be helpful as an introduction to the complete texts of the New Testament, or for daily devotional reading.

Those who call themselves Christian always should remember that they have to be followers of Christ longing for God’s Spirit to feed them. They cannot be called Christian when they do not keep to the laws and teachings Christ adhered to.

The spirit that God wants reflected to the world by your life is revealed in the law of Moses and the teachings of the prophets. {The Mountain: God’s Word}

As believers in Christ we do have to be believers in the One True God and become children of Him.

In order to live as God’s child, you must be faithful to the essential spirit of God’s word. {The Mountain: God’s Word}

It was on a mountain that Jesus began giving examples of the spirit of God’s Word. From that sermon on the mountain we should get to know that our faith needs those works Jesus spoke about.

As a Christians we should not only have a good relationship with Christ Jesus, but also with God and God His creatures.

If you’re about to worship God in any way, and you remember an unsettled dispute with another person, first go & make peace with that person, and then return to worship God. {The Mountain: Anger}

As a Christian we should follow Christ’s teachings and God’s commandments.

God’s law says, do not engage in sexual cheating (meaning sexual relations are to be enjoyed only with your husband or wife). {The Mountain: Sexual Cheating}

This means we have to be faithful to the partner we have chosen to share our life with. That faithfulness demands control and requires acts of love. The keeping our minds focused on the right persons is one of the works we do have to do. Because we should know that we may not even look with lust at a woman, because for God that is considered the same as sexual cheating in your heart!

We also should be careful which words  we use and what sort of promises we make.

It has also been said, ‘Do not break your promise to God.’

But I say, do not even make promises to God.

Yes we are told not to promise by heaven, by the earth, by Jerusalem, not even by your own head, because it’s sinful to try to add emphasis to your promises in that way.

We should not do the wrong things but the right things and as such

Instead of promising to do what God says, just do what God says. {The Mountain: Promises to God}

heart-of-a-good-samaritan-reveals

We also may not seek revenge against any other person, which again shall demand control of ourselves and not getting into anger which would bring us to do wrong.

extra_mile

Jesus gives an indication how in our relation to others we should care for them and even be willing to go with them.

If a soldier demands that you carry his pack one mile, carry it two miles.

Whenever another person asks you for something, give it to him.

Whenever another person wants to borrow something, lend it to him.

Matthew 5:38-42

Also to love your enemies we shall need to be stronger than the first reaction most people get against their enemies or to those they hate.

Jesus concluded:

Instead of being like everybody else, God wants you to love perfectly — just as God himself loves perfectly. (Matthew 5:43-48) {The Mountain: Loving Enemies}

Living for God in this life means you need to have different goals than most people.

For instance, you must love your enemies. {The Mountain: Radical Love}

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We should remember

  • things essential to gain all of God’s blessings:

• Admitting + Mourning self-inflicted spiritual poverty.
• Regretting your self-inflicted separation from God.
• Desiring to live God’s way
• Expecting & accepting trouble living God’s way will bring in this life.

  • Living for yourself in this life will never lead to God’s blessings in the next life:

Then the author says:

  • • goal in this life to be rich => poor in the next life.

  • • goal in this life to be full => hungry in the next life.

  • • goal in this life to be happy => sad in the next life.

  • • goal in this life for other people to speak well of you => no one will speak well of you in the next life.

But with death we have paid for our sins and then there comes an end to our life. When we die it shall be too late to do anything. there shall be no “next life”, except the life we shall continue to live on this earth in this system of things when we have done wrong and do not repent, or after Armageddon and the judgement when we shall be rejected or receive the entrance to God’s Kingdom, being able to live in the restored ‘Garden of Eden‘, the paradise, God’s Kingdom.

It is here, now or never that we shall have to do and make it. Several parables of Christ show us how for many it will be too late for them to change anything for their entrance in the Kingdom of God … they just shall miss it … because they have not done the required works to be saved.

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Preceding articles

Illusion of control

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

The Mountain: Radical Obedience

Restitution

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Also of interest

  1. יהוה , YHWH and Love: Four-letter words
  2. Creator and Blogger God 3 Lesson and solution
  3. Christ’s ethical teaching
  4. The business of this life
  5. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  6. Running away from the past
  7. Be holy
  8. Love for each other attracting others
  9. The Greatest of These is Love
  10. Unconditional love
  11. Love is like playing the piano
  12. Agape, a love to share with others from the Fruit of the Spirit
  13. Relying on the Love of God
  14. No person has greater love than this one who surrendered his soul in behalf of his friends
  15. Work with joy and pray with love
  16. The Spirit of God imparts love,inspires hope, and gives liberty
  17. We love because he first loved us
  18. Malefactors becoming your master
  19. 112314 – A Peculiar People
  20. Be ye angry and sin not
  21. She who sows thistles will reap prickles
  22. He who smiles rather than rages is always the stronger
  23. Singing gift from God
  24. God does not change

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Further related articles

  1. “Week One Reflection” by Dr.J. 2016 Fast Post 19
  2. The Difference Between Healthy And Unhealthy Shame
  3. God Can Set You Free From Your Shame
  4. The Surprising Key to Increasing Your Willpower
  5. How to gain self-control & self-discipline
  6. Control When It Counts
  7. Bible study: Blessed are the meek: For they shall inherit the earth (Mt 5:5)
  8. Frank Sinatra quotes from Sermon on the Mount
  9. You are the Way Jesus!
  10. Who gets your attention?
  11. Building on the Rock
  12. The Jesus Revolution
  13. Class #1: Introduction to the Sermon on the Mount
  14. sermon on the mount – an introduction
  15. The King’s Sermon (Matt. 4:23, 25, 5:1-2)
  16. Blessed are Those Who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness
  17. Sermon on the Mount: Ask, Seek, Knock
  18. Sermon On The Mount – Blessed are the meek
  19. Blessed are the Meek
  20. Sermon on the Mount: In the Eye
  21. January 17 Matthew 7:1-14
  22. Misreading the Bible: “Judge Not”
  23. The Sermon on the Mount (18)
  24. The Poor in Spirit
  25. Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit
  26. Blessed Are They That Mourn
  27. Sermon on the Mount: Wisdom
  28. The Sermon on the Mount is not a Guide to Christian Salvation
  29. God give us grace to face the Sermon on the Mount
  30. Sermon on the Mount: Blindness
  31. Salt and Light
  32. Sermon on the Mount by Vance Stinson
  33. The Lord’s Prayer
  34. The Third Way: Nonviolent Resistance
  35. Loving the Unlovables – Part One
  36. Be Different in Your Purity
  37. The Poor in Spirit (Matt. 5:3)
  38. Like A Bull In A China Shop
  39. God is Jehovah Jireh – The LORD Will Provide
  40. Thesis of Jesus
  41. Be Different in Your Anger
  42. Class #3: Three you are statements. Matthew 5:11-16
  43. January 12 Matthew 5:21-32
  44. January 13 Matthew 5:33-48
  45. Borrowed Trouble — Being Perfect, Part 4
  46. When Grief is Good
  47. Lay Down Your Blessings
  48. Teacher
  49. Master, teach us how to pray – The Lord’s Prayer
  50. James 1
  51. Be Your Attitudes
  52. beatitude
  53. The Beatitudes: Growing into the Kingdom of Heaven. Already.
  54. In Search of Eternity
  55. Be Different in Your Righteousness
  56. Daily Riches: Can One Obey Without Actually Obeying? (James Hannay and William James)
  57. A Greater Righteousness
  58. Out with the old, in with almost nothing
  59. Be Different in Your Influence
  60. Rain or Shine — Being Perfect, Part 1
  61. Virtue Signaling — Being Perfect, Part 2
  62. The Business of Blessing Others

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

In the past there have been many discussion about the possibility man being good. When we look at the world today it seems not much has changed. Along all sides we can see people who do not want to share the luck they have with others. This has come to a high point with the refugee crisis. It is understandable that people want to protect their own goods and culture, but often they are too much afraid that their way of living would be in danger by others from far away coming to live in their regions.

Several people are convinced that people who are fleeing from war-zones can not be good and trustworthy people. According to several Christians it is even impossible for a human being to be good from himself and as such no one can be reliable.

A17th century Calvinist print depicting Pelagi...

A17th century Calvinist print depicting Pelagius. The caption says “Accurst Pelagius, with what false pretence Durst thou excuse man’s foul concupiscence, Or cry down Sin Originall, or that The love of God did man predestinate.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The controversial British monk Pelagius in the fifth century had taught that man’s nature was essentially good. This was not to the liking of the Catholic Church leaders who found that because of Adam’s sin all men were born with a strong tendency to sin. It is even for that reason that lots of Christians do say it is impossible for Jesus to be a man. Because he was without sin he should be God, according to them. This naturally is not at all true and makes of God a horrible Creator, having created human beings who can not decide for themselves to do good or bad. Worse it would also mean that God gave man commandments He knew they would never be able to follow.

Pelagius rightly said that an individual had the power to do right by choosing to do right and by beating the body into submission through ascetic practices. Traditional Christianity said that men could defeat their tendencies to sin only by the working of God’s grace in their heart. According to the churchleaders Pelagius‘s ideas meant that Christ‘s death on the cross served more as a moral example than as an atonement able to transform the soul from within by divine force, which meant against going their doctrine of sola fide.

Those who think that Old and New Testaments alike teach us that we cannot change ourselves have not very well read the Holy Book of books. In the many books which form the bible we do have many examples of people who have gone from bad to good but also from good to bad and sometimes returning to good.

Augustinus 1.jpg

Saint Augustine from a 19th-century engraving

The Christian philosopher and theologian St. Augustine or Augustine of Hippo (354-430), best known for “The Confessions” and “The City of God” was responsible for the excommunication of Pelagius.

While in Rome, Pelagius first heard of Augustine through his reading of a prayer from Augustine’s Confessions: “Give what Thou commandest and command that Thou wilt.” To Pelagius, the philosophy expressed in this prayer sounded like the total abandonment of human responsibility and a denial of the ethical dimensions of the Christian faith. If all moral action, thought Pelagius, depends solely on God — both the commanding as well as the ability to obey — God is either an arbitrary tyrant or else man is a creature deprived of free will. Pelagius conducted his teaching along these lines while he was in Rome, and it was to this teaching that an able lawyer, Caelestius, responded, leaving his profession of advocacy and becoming Pelagius’s disciple, companion, and the popularizer of his views.

Caelestius’s Pelagian views continued to spread, and soon Augustine was preaching and writing with intense fervour against this what he called a new heresy, arguing that the whole lump of humanity is infected with sin and that only the grace administered in baptism can wash away the guilty stain.

In spite of these admonitions from the Doctor of Grace, the controversy continued, and it was not long before the articulate bishop of Eclanum, Julian, stepped in to argue the Pelagian cause, forcing Augustine, by the clarity of his logic, into positions regarding the doctrines of grace and predestination that have been burdensome to Western Christendom ever since. {Encyclopedia of World Biography | 2004}

Today we still find many who do not want to see that man has a lot in his own hands. Today there are still lots of Christians who think it is impossible for man to live according to God’s Wishes and that he does not have to do any good works to enter the Kingdom of God because it is just impossible for him to do such good works.

According to Augustine it is not possible to lead a sinless life, with (for whatever reason, probably she had to carry the god son according to the Catholic Church) the exception of the Virgin Mary. For Augustine divine grace must precede every virtuous act and today many Christians are also still convinced we are all saved whatever what we have done and whatever we do in our life.

For such Christians who try to put sand in the eyes of searching people, the saying that we need works to enter the Kingdom of God is heresy. For them it is not only possible for man not to sin, they are not able to bring any change in the salvation of themselves.

The caricature of Pelagianism found in many orthodox textbooks and devotional manuals is hardly one that Pelagius would recognize. He never, for instance, denied the need for grace or for infant baptism; he never accepted the position that man can, by his own moral efforts, achieve his salvation. On basic doctrinal issues, Pelagius was certainly orthodox; and on matters of Christian morality his chief concern was to foster among Christian people a right regard for the ethical responsibilities he saw as inherent in the Gospel message. {Encyclopedia of World Biography | 2004}

The Christian attitude is a very important issue which was been tackled by rabbi Jeshua (master teacher Jesus Christ) with a lot of delicacy. The Nazarene Jew, who was not afraid to bring others to see they had no right to judge others, told his listeners many parables in which he tried to get them to understand that we must be very careful not to loose the right to enter the Kingdom of God.

Lots of Christians are mistaken to think they do not have to do any good works to enter Gods Kingdom. It is true that they are saved and have nothing to do to get under the Grace of salvation. But what they forget is that, though they received salvation for nothing, they can loose it when they do not work at themselves. The leaders of the Protestant Reformation, 1,500 years after the last books of the Bible were written wanted their flock to believe that Jesus paid the full prize or penalty for our sins, so that nothing had to be done or paid any more. They added their human doctrine, which is nowhere written in the Bible, saying that

Jesus paid the punishment for our sins, he having fully atoned for our sins and by saying “it is finished” he did what no human could do, make up for their sins and made an end to everything what had to be done.

But it was not finished by having to come to God (a work) or to follow God’s commandments (again demanding works).

It is totally wrong to think once new born and/or being baptised, we are cleared and have a free way to enter into God’s Kingdom, or what some are thinking to go to heaven. In case a person has fund Christ and has come to God several works are needed. First of all before finding Christ work has to be done to come to know him and his God. Once a person believes in Jesus Christ, the son of God, that person has to convert to Christianity which again is a work to be done. But once baptised it is not finished. Than the person has to work at his or her character and try to stay on the right track, following God’s commandments, which shall require again some, not to say ‘lots’ of works.

Every Christian must work to control themselves. Once having become a Christian that person should try not to lie, to steal, to betray, to fornicate, to murder and many other things he or she should avoid doing (which demands work). If none of these works are needed for salvation the person could have sex with as many persons or animals as he or she wanted no matter the gender. If no works have to be done a person could also continue to do fraudulent actions, without having to worry.

It is for the reason having so many Christian preachers trying to convince others they do not need to do any works, and because of the reaction by Grow Pastor, Minister to Men, Ken Miller to us, at his article That’s the Spirit!, that we think it opportune to warn people of the lack of understanding of the given grace.

Christ Jesus died for all people, sinners or not. By the works of faith he has done, we received the Grace of Salvation, but when we ignore his calling or his heavenly Father’s calling than we shall not be allowed to enter the Kingdom of god when we did bad things and did not repent about them. It is not by works of justice that we had done, but, in accord with the mercy of God, Him willing to accept the ransom offering of His son. Through Jesus Christ our Saviour we are been justified by his grace and are we allowed to become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:5-7)

When Saul had become a follower of the Messiah he looked at the work of the master teacher and at the sacraments which were given to those who followed Jesus. The apostle wrote

Romans 3:27-31 The Scriptures 1998+  (27)  Where, then, is the boasting? It is shut out. By what Torah? Of works? No, but by the Torah of belief.  (28)  For we reckon that a man is declared right by belief without works of Torah.  (29)  Or is He the Elohim of the Yehuḏim only, and not also of the gentiles? Yea, of the gentiles also,  (30)  since it is one Elohim who shall declare right the circumcised by belief and the uncircumcised through belief.  (31)  Do we then nullify the Torah through the belief? Let it not be! On the contrary, we establish the Torah.1 Footnote: 1See 7:12.

and gave the Romans to know that they thought or hold that a man is brought into right standing with God by faith and that observance of the law has no connection with it.

Saying that he did not confirm that

“by faith apart from deeds of the law” as meaning, “by faith alone”

but him affirming that we then not through faith make null and void the law; instead, we confirm it. It is by our faith that we shall do certain works according to the faith. Pelagius considered that sacraments are elements believers should keep taking throughout their life. For him it was like it is for us, that faith should be expressed and perfected in works. Submitting to Jehovah His works in the proper disposition, which is that of faith, is an action or a work to be done.

Too many Christians forget the importance of the feeling we should have about what we have done. If we do not feel bad by the wrong things we have done and do not repent for them, for sure the Bible shows us, we shall not receive an entrance in God’s Kingdom. Repentance and teshuvah demands a work. Staying a good person also demands work. All those that say we do not have to do any work of faith, are either forgetting what the Bible tells about it and are insinuating we can do whatever we want and shall still be saved.

On the other hand it is very strange that it are just such preachers who talk so ferociously about salvation and no works needed for salvation, who also preach about damnation in a hell, a place of eternal fire.

Luckily the Bible speaks about the end of our life by death, and that we once we die shall not be able to feel anything any more. No frustrations, no pain, no sorrow any more when we die. Then it shall all be finished, but then it shall also be too late if we did not choose for God and did not work at our own self.

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Please do find also to read:

  1. Salvation and Righteousness
  2. Elul Observances
  3. God’s wrath and sanctification
  4. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  5. Outflow of foundational relationship based on acceptance of Jesus
  6. Back from gone #4 Your inner feelings and actions
  7. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  8. Cognizance at the doorstep or at the internet socket
  9. Good and bad things in this world
  10. Establish your hearts blameless in holiness
  11. Myth 12: The Hyper-Grace Gospel Makes People Lazy
  12. Faith Alone Does Not Save . . . No Matter How Many Times Protestants Say It Does
  13. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  14. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
  15. Humbleness
  16. A race not to swift, nor a battle to the strong
  17. The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong
  18. Being of good courage running the race
  19. Bearing fruit
  20. To Soar In The Spirit You Have To Be Hard Core
  21. Our stance against certain religions and immigrating people
  22. Religion, fundamentalism and murder
  23. Daring to speak in multicultural environment
  24. As Christ’s slaves doing the Will of God in gratitude
  25. 2014 Religion
  26. Disobedient man and God’s promises
  27. From pain to purpose
  28. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #17 Sorts of prayers
  29. God’s forgotten Word 5 Lost Lawbook 4 The ‘Catholic’ church
  30. Daily Spiritual Food To prepare ourselves for the Kingdom of God
  31. Evangelisation, local preaching opposite overseas evangelism
  32. When not seeing or not finding a biblically sound church

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Further reading

  1. No one is saved by the law. Salvation is by faith through Grace.
  2. The Justification of Abraham
  3. St. Paul Didn’t Say Faith Alone
  4. The Law of Diminishing Returns
  5. A Call to Dare God
  6. The Tangible Presence of God
  7. Devotion for Monday After the Second Sunday in Lent, Year C (ELCA Daily Lectionary)
  8. Grace is a soft gospel for soft Christians & The Hyper-Grace Gospel Makes People Lazy
  9. Did God really say “Prevenient” Grace
  10. Can someone who genuinely loves the God of Israel, prays to Him and trusts him go to hell? The New Testament says…
  11. I was wrong – but I am right – Calvinists preach a false gospel.
  12. The pain of radical grace
  13. The power of grace
  14. Seeing Christ
  15. (12/04/2015) By More Than Believing
  16. Faith Child – Forget the poor!
  17. (01/13/2016) How To Treat Unbelievers?
  18. Repent so that you can understand
  19. Faithfulness
  20. Faith Without Works (Pastor Joe Taylor)
  21. Faith without Works ??? (1 Way to live)
  22. Spiritual Insights for Everyday Life: Faith Alone Does Not Save
  23. The Works
  24. Faith in Action
  25. Put Your Faith Into Action
  26. Fashion advice?
  27. Intentional God
  28. The Sower of Seeds: A Parable of Jesus
  29. Matthew 23:23 [Coming Soon]
  30. Studies in Mark (Pt. 8)
  31. Galatians 5:4 [Unfinished]
  32. Galatians 6:7-9 [Unfinished]
  33. Ephesians 2:8-9
  34. Titus 3:5-7
  35. NT Reading – October 5
  36. James 1:14-20 — Faith that Works!
  37. James, Part 2
  38. The Book that Almost Wasn’t: Faith, Lists, and Works ~ James 2
  39. Tuesday Devotional: Revelation 2
  40. Faith Without Works Is Dead
  41. Putting Legs to Their Faith
  42. Are You a doer???
  43. Are You Willing to do more???
  44. Mincing no Words
  45. Epistle for September 6, 2015
  46. Tell it Tuesday w/ B.Parker|How To Pray When Life Isn’t Going Your Way
  47. Tell it Tuesday w/ B. Parker| It’s 2am and No One is Answering…Who To Call?
  48. Childish Thinking
  49. Are You A Weed?
  50. Sneaky Subjectivism
  51. What Future?
  52. Intentional Avoidance, Disconnected Ignorance, or Disinterested Forgetfulness?
  53. We Are All Damaged Goods…
  54. Just Sitting There
  55. The Subnormal Christian Life
  56. 14 How to Work Your Way to Hell
  57. Faith Life Congruence
  58. We pray and plead with you…”Do You Job!”
  59. Gospel Doctrine 2015 – Lesson 42 – “Pure Religion”

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