Tag Archives: Spreading Good News

A vital question for believers

At Selah Ministries they ask

Do you believe in God, or do you believe God? {A vital question for believers}

And that is a question we should seriously take at heart. The same as atheists believe in many things we find people who say they believe in a god or believe in the God. When you question those who say they ‘believe in god’ or ‘believe in God’, we can hear many concepts or ideas about that god/God and find that several of those people believe in different gods than the others.

Lis from Selah Ministries which says it

is about bringing folks closer to God through His word and through experience, and recognising the works of satan in these days. {A vital question for believers}

brings up as next question

Do you believe what He put down in writing and preserved for two thousand years so that we could walk rightly with Him? Walking in obedience requires us to not just believe that God is real, but to believe what He says! {A vital question for believers}

When looking at Christendom, we see the great difference with those from Christianity. The majority who calls themselves Christian really do not follow Christ and even have not the God of Christ, but made Christ Jesus into their god.

Coming closer to the end-times, all people should come to know that it is getting high time that people should start thinking seriously about what they do want to follow, human doctrines or Biblical doctrines.

Perhaps it’s time to walk away from church doctrine, and to get into the word of God? He preserved His word for you so that you could know how He wants you to live. {A vital question for believers}

Many in this world are been deceived. Lots of people are caught up in the human doctrines and tangles of their church. In the Book of books, the Bible or Holy Scriptures, already in the first book (Genesis) it is explained why things are today like they are. In many of the following books is given direction why and how we may have hope for the future and for better things. In that compilation of books (hence: Library or bibliotheca = Bible) mankind is able to see how it is necessary that the Most High God shall come to be known all over the earth. Lots of people do not see how important it is for them to fear the right person and to spend more time and attention to Some One Who can not be seen but Who is a serious reality of the universe. It is Some Supreme Being Who shall be willing to draw close to you when you are willing to come to close to Him. That Most High Supreme Being has given His Word, but not many people are really interested in reading it. Though they would better  do that so that they may come to see the truth and unmask all those who are against that Biblical Truth, but also react strongly against those who proclaim that Biblical Truth. It is even told in the Bible, God’s infallible Word that close to the end-times more people would react against those lovers of God and against those who spread the Gospel.
For that reason recently there has been created a new website, to show how those adversaries of God sent all sorts of false sayings or untruths in the world. At that new website, Unmasking the anti-Jehovah people, a first series has been started to show how the Bible has all the truth in it and how we as human beings best should read those ancient books, which form perhaps the most interesting and most important Bestseller of all times. The first articles are already published, and we would kindly advice you to have a look at them ( A Book to trust #1 Background book for debate and A Book to trust #2 Book of Truth) and to follow up the coming chapters.

There are people who say

Faith can not come by hearing

and partly they are right but also partly wrong. Hearing is an important factor to come to the truth. Without willingness to hear and to see one can not come to the truth. Hearing is an essential part in the formation of faith. Without hearing the Word of God or without hearing preachers to confess how people can be saved, and without coming in contact with people who proclaim the Kingdom of God, telling the Good News and presenting the Gospel to man, it is much more difficult to come to know the Bible and to come to know the Most High God.

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Preceding

Consider your own journey in life

May we have doubts

Hatred and hostility against God

Arguments about believe and About Christianity versus Atheism

On the Edge of Believing

Fear in your own heart or outside of it

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

Mishmash of a legal code but importance of mitzvah or commandments

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Additional reading

  1. A world with or without religion
  2. How importance on religion is placed
  3. Non-practicing Christians widely believing in a god or higher power
  4. Gates to different belief systems in this world
  5. Meet the atheist … who believes in God
  6. The post-Christian world
  7. Have you also been deceived
  8. Looking for something or for the Truth and what it might be and self-awareness
  9. An openingschapter explaining why things are like they are and why we may have hope for better things
  10. Fearing the right person
  11. God loving people justified
  12. Blinkered minds
  13. Do you purpose that your mouth will not transgress
  14. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !
  15. Necessary to be known all over the earth
  16. This month’s survey question: Does God Exist?
  17. Can a scientist believe in God
  18. Back from gone #2 Aim of godly people
  19. Back from gone #4 Your inner feelings and actions
  20. Today’s thought “Man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of Jehovah” (April 24)
  21. Memorizing wonderfully 48 John 16:33 That you may have peace
  22. Memorizing wonderfully 66: Galatians 3:8-9 Justified receiving blessing of Abraham’s faith
  23. When having found faith through the study of the Bible we do need to do works of faith
  24. Measuring Up
  25. Some one or something to fear #6 Faith in the Most High

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Related

  1. Farewell to Those Days of Wrestling With Fate
  2. There is a God
  3. A Two-Word Sermon: But God!H-o-l-y-b-i-b-l-e
  4. Review of Faith in God: Interpreting the True Meaning of Faith in God | Eastern Lightning
  5. Embarking on the Path of Belief in God (Part 2)
  6. Facts and Revelation Made Me Seek; God’s Word Made Me Fall Before Him
  7. Establishing a Proper Relationship With God | As a Christian, Regularly Attending Gatherings Cannot Be Neglected!
  8. The “Rural” Mom Meets the “Urban” Daughter-in-Law
    How to Keep Faith in God When Mother Got Terminal Lung Cancer
  9. Finding the Salvation of the Last Days on Facebook (Ⅱ)
  10. Competing in This Way, I Benefit Tremendously! (Audio Article)
  11. I acknowledge the words expressed by Almighty God as the truth, but my family have been confused by rumors disseminated by the CCP and by pastors, and they do all they can to obstruct me getting in touch with Christians from the Church of Almighty God. I don’t dare to investigate Almighty God’s work of the last days, but neither do I want to lose the chance to be raptured and saved by God. How should I solve this problem?
  12. Word of GOD: Wisdom
  13. Truth and Righteousness versus Lies and Wickedness.
  14. Rejecting and Reinterpreting
  15. Doctrine of Christ or AntiChrist?
  16. Clear doctrine strengthens the church
  17. Spiritual War: Truth versus Lies. Life versus Death.
  18. A world of Foolishness (1 Corinthians 3:19)
  19. A Lamp for my Feet and a Light on my Path
  20. Limited Atonement and the Divine Command to Believe Falsehood
  21. Lucifer’s Desideration: God of gods (5)
  22. Jehovah’s Witness Myopic View Of Jesus (I)
  23. Bible Contradictory: Light of Truth is Within
  24. Behaving as a Christian is an Act of Worship
  25. Walking In Obedience
  26. Series: Saying Yes to God!
  27. Faith Cannot Come by Hearing
  28. Is Jesus Christ an Imposter?
  29. Truth or Lie Pick One
  30. What Are The Father And The Son’s Name?
  31. Is The Law Done Away With?
  32. On going to church (or not), church, connecting to God, and prayer

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Filed under Knowledge & Wisdom, Lifestyle, Religious affairs

The Reformation shows us why we need expository preaching

In Christianity pastors or preachers should be followers of Christ Jesus and spread the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God. Their first and most important book in their preaching should be the Greatest Book of all, the Bible.

It is not bad to look back at the several people who also tried to be a servant of Christ or to be a servant of God. But the main focus of the preaching may not be on the words of those previous preachers, but always should focus on the Words of God. Too often that is forgotten in several churches, where they shout only a few quotes from Scriptures and fill the main service with their own words and with music, in the hope to entertain the people in their church.

Today we have to ask all those elders, presbyters, expositors to come to preach That Most Important Word. all those who hope to have some mega church running should better remember those who did their best to bring the Word of God to the people: The evangelists in the Second and First Great Awakenings and the Reformers who preached the Word, like the apostle Paul preached followed Jesus who also preached the Word, him following Isaiah, Ezra and so many man of God who where not afraid to preach the Word of God.

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To remember

Martin Luther  = main spark to Protestant Reformation <=  95 Theses  > because the Word was unleashed.

William Tyndale, John Hus, + many others executed for translating or preaching the Word in people’s language.

Roman Catholic Church prevented Catholics from reading the Word themselves + from possessing a Bible > restricted for a thousand years.

Read word for soul’s health > solace

expository preaching > involves exposition, or comprehensive explanation, of Scripture => presenting meaning + intent of biblical text, providing commentary + examples => passage clear + understandable ==> expose meaning of the Bible, verse by verse.

 

Knowing the blood of the martyrs soaks the ground under thousands of stakes, how dare we insert our own words, opinions, fads, and stunts onto the pulpit? Men died for this Word to be preached. Jesus as the Word suffered and absorbed all God’s wrath for the elect so this word would go out and be preached.

 

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Further related

  1. The Reformation shows us why we need expository preaching
  2. St. Luke: An Expositional and Devotional Commentary” by William Klock
  3. How Relevant is Your Church?
  4. 1810 5vols The Family Expositor or A Paraphrase and Version of the New Testament
  5. The Protestant Reformation and the Reformers: The Truth Restored
  6. Was the Reformers’ Gospel something new?
  7. A Swiss Reformer
  8. The Human Reformer: Martin Luther Struggled With Depression and Nightmares
  9. Scripture Alone, for the Reformers and us!

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Related articles

The End Time

With the 500th year anniversary of the Reformation coming upon us October 31, many people are looking to history and learning Martin Luther and his the men that came before him.

Martin Luther is generally acknowledged to have been a main spark to the Protestant Reformation. Protestant comes from the word protest, which Luther’s 95 Theses sparked against the Roman Catholic Church’s excesses of indulgences (sin absolution for hire) and other abuses.

The Reformation didn’t happen because Martin Luther put the 95 Theses on the door to Wittenberg Chapel. It happened because the Word was unleashed. ~Mark McAndrew, North Avenue Church

Here, John MacArthur explains in a 1:33 clip How unhindered access to God’s Word changed history.

William Tyndale, John Hus, and many others were executed for translating or preaching the Word in the people’s language. The Roman Catholic Church prevented the Catholics from reading the Word themselves and…

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

Preaching as Public Speaking

Jesus has given his followers the task to go out into the word to preach the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God.

2020 years after the master teacher his birth the Church has gone fare away from his teachings. In many church-groups or denominations we can find that human doctrines have won and that the people in the congregation or church community prefer to keep to human tradition instead of holding to the biblical teachings and Godly holy days.

"I want to preach a sermon. . ." - N...

“I want to preach a sermon. . .” – NARA – 514567 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Disappointed by the many contradicting teachings, ideas and having seen so many pastors, ministers and priests not living according to the Law of God and the law of human decency, lots of people got enough of the hypocrisy of those churches. Today we can only see (nearly) empty churches all over West Europe.

For sure the Body of Christ needs some fresh blood and some good ‘Punch’. Anno 2017 it looks like the church is gone ‘pubering’ again and in need of some acné products, trying to get rid of the puperal pimples or the sickness of the capitalist world where man has increased his position to godly status, so many thinking they are god themselves and play for god.

This world need preachers or speakers who are not afraid to give those immature consumers a tick on their bum. some even can use some figurative slap in the face to wake them up.

Most important to come over as some one sincere and credible is that the one who wants to speak for God he or she, himself or herself beliefs in the Most High and in His only begotten son. In the preacher has to burn the light of faith before he can go to others for trying to convince them to see that light in the darkness.
First there has to be conviction and persuasion in the preacher’s heart, glowing very strongly, to have the fire in the eyes, with such a kind and sweet heart that people would become eager to taste that sweetness and listen to what that person has to tell.

With the hate and vile language we can find lots of Christians spreading today on the internet and in common speech on the streets, they shall not be able to attract others to love them or to love what they tell.

Today we also find lots of Christians who preach there has a war started by the Muslims against the Christians. They forget that lots of Christians are setting themselves against the Islam. They do not see they have fallen in the trap of the false Muslims who not only have done a lot of damage to Islam but also want to destabilise the whole world.

It is up to the preachers who call themselves Christian to show the love of Christ and to share that agape love with all people around them, atheists, other believers (be them Muslims or from an other faith).

Without the love of Christ and without the burning fire of faith in the own heart, the preacher his gained ‘technique’ shall be quickly uncovered by the truth, so let him first get to the core of the Bible and teach that biblical Truth instead of human doctrines, and let he or she be unbiased, open to all people and not to just a few of a certain race or group.

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To remember

  • preaching = divine task + form of public speaking
  • preaching involves spiritual dynamics + oratory skills = technical aspect of preaching < form of public speaking => skills revolving around use + proper utilization + creative use of voice, eye contact, facial expressions, gestures + movements.
  • no methodology holy
  • Only written words of God in Bible are holy

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Preceding articles

Several Christians fail to recognise the Chosen ones of God and are not taking on a Christian attitude

To proclaim the day of vengeance

What makes you following Christ and Facebook Groups

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Additional reading

  1. The business of this life
  2. The task given to us to love each other
  3. Parish, local church community – Parochie, plaatselijke kerkgemeenschap
  4. People who know how to pray to move God to take hold of our affairs in a mighty way
  5. Pulpit reserved for the pastor
  6. Notification and news feed for Facebook users
  7. Bring praise to the Creator
  8. The essence of church

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Further reading

  1. Why are Christians so nosey about other peoples affairs
  2. What, we agree? Compatible issues in a disagreeable world
  3. Is a Religious War in Europe Imminent?
  4. Bias, and Disagreeing with Something
  5. Can we not be civil and simply disagree?
  6. “Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give”
  7. Are you ready for this?
  8. On the Power of Hospitality…
  9. “When I Could Stand it No Longer….”
  10. Proclaim
  11. Politics and Preaching
  12. Good enough for ministry?
  13. What builds the Church?
  14. Back to Baby Steps
  15. Book Blurb: Biblical Preaching
  16. 3 Steps to Make the Message Stick
  17. 5 Lessons from the Mission Field
  18. Owen on Preaching, Sinclair on Children and Christ
  19. Finding My Voice
  20. The Foolishness of Preaching
  21. Jonah — Belief Contradicted by Behavior! (Part 3)
  22. Calvin: Ministers Ought Not to Steal
  23. Preaching to the Late Modern Mind: Five Cultural Narratives to Know
  24. Preparing to Preach
  25. Preaching and Faithfulness
  26. The Courage to Preach
  27. Pastoral Theology
  28. Reflections
  29. Charles Spurgeon on Spiritual Gleaning
  30. The Dispensation of Grace
  31. Stirring the Pot with Grace…
  32. Psalm 64:9 Pondering God’s Work
  33. How to Have a Successful Ministry

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Worship and the Christian Life

1

True, preaching is a divine task, yet basically it is also a form of public speaking. A true preacher will eventually realise that as much as preaching involves spiritual dynamics, it also certainly includes oratory skills. These oratory skills constitute the technical aspect of preaching.

Before I tell about this technical aspect of preaching, or the oratory skills, which make us realise that preaching is a form of public speaking, let me tell first some important points to consider.

The first point is that though the technical side of preaching is important, still the spiritual side is more important. Preaching is firstly divine, then secondly it is public speaking. Preaching achieves eternal spiritual fruits, something that ordinary public speaking can never produce.

The second point to consider is that no methodology is holy, no matter how helpful it is in preaching. The techniques of delivering a sermon are never holy…

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Lifestyle, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs, Social affairs, World affairs

To proclaim the day of vengeance

The Christadelphians do follow a Bible reading plan called The Bible Companion. Their first reading for today July the 5th is 1 Samuel 17 where is seen “the day of vengeance” of Israel upon the Philistines due to the wonderful faith of a youthful David.

David had his three eldest brothers watching him. Throughout the stories of the Bible we are given example after example of how we should not fear even the strongest of men if we fear the Most High God.We are also given examples of people of God who think they can do nothing. Lots of people may think like the ones in our first reading

17:3333 And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.

and of Numbers 13:31 saying

‘We be not able to go up against this people’.

we come to see that Saul had fallen into the trap of the nation of Israel when they were at the border of the land for the first time.Also in our world today many have fallen in the trap of the adversary of God (the satan) and do believe they can not do anything against those who do not believe in God

We do live in a world where ‘goliath of godlessness’ is filling the earth and defying and destroying human thinking, as is evidenced in nearly all human talking, attitudes and activities. Just switch the television on and you can see how the world has gone far away from the godly way of living.

Our soul may rejoice in our Adonai for He has clothed us in salvation, but what may we do with that salvation if we do not show it to others? We have the the covering for our sin – that which allows us to stand before God’s throne and be classed as righteous by His grace. This covering is our salvation. It is good that we are reminded of it in so many places. But we should know that we also should remind others of it.

In the second reading of today we hear Isaiah telling the world

61 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

Also Jesus comes to read that passage in the synagogue, which we can read in Luke 4:18,19.

18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

But Jesus only read as far as

“… to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour”.

He stopped and did not read the words that followed – but he is returning soon

“to proclaim … the day of vengeance of our God” (verse 2).

We are not talking here about the six-issue comic book limited series written by Bill Willingham, with art by Justiniano and Walden Wong, published in 2005 by DC Comics the “Day of Vengeance” – #1, (June 2005), cover art by Walt Simonson.

This was not the purpose of his first coming! But will be the purpose, to begin with, of his second coming! And we know how much our world deserves this “day of vengeance”!

Jehovah God has put His Spirit in the master teacher Jeshua (Jesus Christ) because Jehovah appointed the Nazarene to tell [proclaim; preach] the Good News [Gospel] to the poor. [L anointed; C at Jesus’ baptism he was anointed by the Spirit as the Messiah, meaning the Anointed One] He has sent us to ·tell the captives they are free [proclaim liberty/release for the captives/prisoners]

God asked Jesus also not to forget to tell the blind that they can see again [Is. 61:1] and not to overlook the deaf, letting them become aware of the message which has to reach all people all over the world.

The Nazarene master teacher tells the people around him that it is Jehovah God Who has sent him to free those who have been treated unfairly [the oppressed; Is. 58:6] and to announce [proclaim] the time [year] when the Most High Elohim will show His kindness [favour; Is. 61:2; C an allusion to the release of slaves during the Jubilee year; Lev. 25].

Isaiah 61:6 King James Version (KJV)But ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.

When you are calling yourself a Christian, are you really a follower of Christ Jesus and willing to follow up the tasks he has given his disciples?

Are you willing to be called “the Lord’s priests”? We when calling ourself Christian should be worthy followers of Jesus Christ, adhering the same God as Jesus worshipped (his heavenly Father, the God of Israel) and should present or offer ourselves as

“slaves or ministers of our God”.

We should put on that the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that we and those around us might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified. (Isaiah 61:3)

Oak at Schönderling

In Flanders we can see the strong oaks in our woods. They are masters of stories, telling a long history. We should be like them “Trees of Justice”, not allowing ourselves to be carried away by worldly temptation and favouritism. As those oaks are mostly not standing on their own in solitude, we too should make sure that we have many brethren and sisters around us proclaiming the Good News, so that those called and taught by us might be called terebinths of righteousness, the planting of Jehovah, that He may be glorified.

Everyday we should work at it to have “trees” planted to show Jehovah His greatness [glory; C manifest presence]. Like we use the vegetable juices and oils of several trees in our surroundings for our healing, we too should bring people around us

“the oil of gladness … the garment of praise … that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified” (verse 3).

so that they may be healed from the wounds of the ungodly actions.

When Jesus first stood up to address his Jewish brothers he introduced himself with the reading of Isaiah, giving an indication that he was a sent one from God coming with His authorisation to tell the people he came to proclaim

“the day of vengeance of our God”.

In stopping where he did, he brought the audience onto his side. The record says that they “marvelled” at the things he said, and the way he said them. Yet Jesus had an ace up his sleeve. Suddenly, when the audience was at it’s most appreciative, marvelling at the way he opened up Isaiah’s prophecies to them, he deliberately turned on them, pressing what he knew to be a sore spot: even the gentiles are more worthy of the Messiah than you are!

Why did he do this? Well, the answer as always is in the prophecy he was quoting. Verses 1-2 speak of the year of Jubilee. We know this because of the reference to a specific year where liberty would be proclaimed. In quoting this passage Jesus changed one of the words:

“to set at liberty those who are oppressed”.

This is because he was specifically referring to the year of Jubilee and what it was designed to liberate. Have a look in Leviticus 25.

“You shall consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land” (v10). “You shall not oppress one another” (v14)

and again in v17

“you shall not oppress one another”.

We should not be afraid to go kindly to others and to tell them in a friendly way what we might expect and how we can avoid troubles in our life today and how we may prepare ourselves for a better life. Never need we to put pressure on others. We can tell them what the Word of God says; They may believe it, take it or ignore it. When they do not want to hear it we should allow it to be so, and let them be with their own thoughts. Perhaps by giving them (lots of) time they may be gained by the Word of God and in the end may come to see the Truth. We should show patience all the time.

The Jubilee was designed by God to be a year where all the land and property of a man was returned to him. Thus, if you bought a man’s field, you were in effect only renting it from him for the remainder of the current 50 year cycle. This ensured that the inheritance of the poorest people still remained with them, and that the rich didn’t oppress the poor in taking away all their livelihood.

“The day of vengeance” will be turned into victory for those who truly serve their lord today – until he come. Let us help each other in doing this, having laid up for ourselves “treasures in heaven” (as we read today in Matthew 6:19-21) which Jesus will bring with him (Revelation 22:12) – learning the lesson every day that

“where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”.

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Preceding articles

Justification – salvation is by grace through faith – JI Packer

Is being a humanitarian enough to convey the full love of Christ?

High time to go out telling the world about Jesus

7 Ways To Become A Better Christian

What Should I Preach ?

Daring to speak in multicultural environment

Crisis man needed in this world

Witnessing because we love

Refusing to Be Silent

Go Ye!

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Additional reading

  1. We should use the Bible every day
  2. Bible in the first place #2/3
  3. Necessity of a revelation of creation 8 By no means unintelligible or mysterious to people
  4. Necessity of a revelation of creation 11 Believing and obeying the gospel of the Kingdom of God
  5. Fragments from the Book of Job #3: chapters 21-26
  6. Blogging in the world for Jesus and his Father
  7. Sharing thoughts and philosophical writings
  8. Going deep into cultures to reach lost people
  9. Engaging the culture without losing the gospel
  10. How do I know if I’m called to ministry?
  11. Priest, scribes and others with authority
  12. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  13. Oratory Style
  14. What Should I Preach ?

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Further reading

  1. Here for a cause, anointed with a message the world needs to hear
  2. Scriptures and Thoughts about: Proclaim
  3. Go! Proclaim! Testify!
  4. Power from Heaven for Believers
  5. Proclaiming the Lord’s death until He comes back
  6. To the Unknown God
  7. I Was Singing This When I Woke Up
  8. Two Different Ways to Look at the Great Commission
  9. Share Jesus
  10. High mast as I give allegiance to Jesus my King…the breeze carries far for all to hear echoes of His salvation
  11. June 30 – Ruth 4

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Coming together in dark days

A few hours before I shall light the first candle at nightfall I shall look at the 1st day of Chanukah but also shall see how many come to celebrate a feast, they also call the feast of light, but has its main day on the birthday of the goddess of light, December 25. Lots of heathen but also lots of Christians shall have little candles in their decorated trees.

In my home the coming days there’ll also be some light, spiritual and literal, to have me thinking of the wonders of the Most High. The Eternal Being have been for ever, having made us in His image, has always been prepared to be there for those who want to be with Him. These present times there may be lots of darkness, violence and hate against each other. The heavenly Creator never created the human beings to go fighting against each other. Those people who claim to be lovers of God, be it Jews, Christians or Muslims, should all feel united under the same umbrella of their Divine Creator. Especially in these darker and colder days of the year we should make more time to come in each others warm houses to feel the generous warmth of solidarity.

It is in those darker days when we do not have to go to work, but can enjoy some free time, that we should bring up remembrances of how we and our ancestors grew up. We must become aware of how our minds get filled with lots of stuff as we grow from baby to adult, and how we are modelled by it. Growing up we come to certain believes and want to follow certain ideas. The beliefs we create are part of what forms our being, but they are also based on our genetic heritage, what other’s tell us, and what we accept as fact based on our experiences.  (Which explains why siblings can be alike or different and also why some twins raised in separate home turn out to have similar tastes and beliefs.)

English: The Byzantine army under Nikephoros P...

English: The Byzantine army under Nikephoros Phokas captures Halep (Berrhoea), Syria, in February 963. Ελληνικά: Κατάληψη του Χαλεπίου (αρχαία Βέρροια) της Συρίας από τον βυζαντινό στρατό του Νικηφόρου Φωκά, Φεβρουάριος 963. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The day that Byzantine troops led by Nicephorus Phocas, who had lead an expedition against the Saracen Emirate of Crete, and stormed Chandax and wrested control of the entire island from the Muslims, in 961 defeated Moslem forces and seized Aleppo, we once more have a picture of a destroyed Aleppo and a ruined city of Mosul.

As the 10th century temporary turn of events could not have been good for the Jews who had been living in Aleppo since Biblical times because it was the Moslem conquest of the city in 636 that removed the disabilities placed on the Jews by the Byzantines. Lots of times the Jews had to face difficulties and many generations had to suffer under persecution, like the ones who found themselves squeezed out of the major cities and ports into the area known as White Russia on  this day in 1791 when Great empress of Russia Russian Yekaterina Velikaya, also known as Catherine II (the Great) created the Pale of Settlement.

When tonight I, like the Jewish troops with General Sherman, who kindle the first light of Chanukah in Savannah, GA. in 1864 (24th of Kislev, 5625) I’ll try to remember the good thing which happened to the Jewish community and the many signs which proof that they are a special blessed people. The world shall have to know that the Jews are the Chosen people who have been promised to reside in a Holy Land. This Holy Land may perhaps be something lots of people will not like to see realised, but the world must know that the Plan of the Most High Maker shall become a reality.

In the ancient books is being told of that Great Plan. Not only Jews know of it; Christians and Muslims are also told about the prospects believers in God may expect. In the Torah the Most High calls people to share the news of a Messiah, a liberator for all. Generally lots of Jews look perhaps at a different Messiah than the Messianic Jews and Christians. Though perhaps because many of the Hebrew people forgot about their Creator, it can well be that This Holy Creator made His call also clear to the goy or goyim. For that reason Christians and Jews should look at each other, know their roots, know their common writings, and should learn from each other how to prepare themselves for the day that Messiah may come or return to this earth for finally bringing to Jerusalem full glory, as the capital of the Kingdom of God here on earth.

Jewish wedding in Aleppo, Syria, 1914.

Jewish wedding in Aleppo, Syria, 1914. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Though thick-skinned the Jews always tried to find a way to survive, never loosing their faith in their Maker and the hope in the promise made to him by their patriarch Abraham. Christians and Muslims today should also know that the Most High spoke about a terrible time, when more natural disasters would come over man, but also where children would come to stand up against their parents, and religions would come to fight against each other. We may well see lots of signs described in the Holy Scriptures as being the sings of the Endtimes.

Not having the pretension to be a spiritual leader or rabbi, but looking at the Torah, I can only come to the impression we have arrived in times that those who really love God should come together, unite and should come to spread the Good News. Lovers of God should spread the love and message of peace. Together they should become strong to help each other in the coming difficult times. By helping each other to come to understand each their way of life and come to see the religious teachings having to grow to a point where they shall be in line with God His teaching and not keeping any more to human dogmatic teachings.

Perhaps not regularly writing here, nor on my own site, I am honoured that I am allowed to share some thoughts from the Holy Scriptures and that I hopefully may show some ways Jews see the world and hold their religion high. By bringing also some news from the Jewish site I do hope this shall shed some light on present and future events and shall bring some more mutual understanding between the different religious groups our world has created .

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Please do find my introductions to my site

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Additional reading

  1. Roman, Aztec and other rites still influencing us today
  2. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  3. Germanic mythological influences up to today’s Christmas celebrations
  4. Solstice, Saturnalia and Christmas-stress
  5. Pagan Holidays
  6. The imaginational war against Christmas
  7. Objects around the birth and death of Jesus
  8. With child and righteousness greater than the law
  9. Continues Syrian conflict needing not only dialogue
  10. To freeze the fighting in Aleppo
  11. Old texts saved behind a wall at the Mar Behnam monastery

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Further related articles

  1. Living Beyond Our World
  2. Chankkah
  3. Toldos – Generations
  4. Happy Chanukah, Y’all!
  5. Holiday Traditions – Chanukah
  6. Our Style: Happy Chanukah!

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