Tag Archives: Torah

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

Adar 7 Moshe’s review of the Torah contained in the Book of Deuteronomy

Torah scrolls presented by Jewish community of...

Torah scrolls presented by Jewish community of Kishinev to Nicholas II in 1914. Свиток Торы, поднесённый еврейской буржуазией и раввинами г. Кишинева Николаю II в 1914. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On the first of Shevat of the year 2488 from creation Moshe convened the Jewish people and began the 37-day “review of the Torah” contained in the Devarim of Book of Deuteronomy, which he concluded on the day of his passing on Adar 7 of that year.

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Preceding: Adar 6, Matan Torah remembering the giving of Torah

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Filed under Religious affairs

Adar 6, Matan Torah remembering the giving of Torah

In the people of God their year 2448 (1313 BCE), on the 6th (or 7th) day of the third month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar, Sivan, after Moshe was called up at the mountain of Sinai, God told his chosen one what to tell to the people. With the Shemoth or  Exodus from Egypt only three months in the past, the Jews arrive at Mount Sinai to hear a terrible noise and to see flashing lights. They saw a mountain which was been touched and burned with fire and to blackness and to darkness and to tempest.

“Now all of the people were seeing the thunder-sounds, the flashing-torches, the shofar sound, and the mountain smoking; when the people saw, they faltered and stood far off.”
(Exodus 20:15 SB)

“The people stood far off, and Moshe approached the fog where God was.”
(Exodus 20:18 SB)

Moshe having entered into the thick ‘darkness’ of the clouds, came to hear the Voice of God, the Most High Divine Creator. God spoke to Moshe

“… Say thus to the Children of Israel: You yourselves have seen that it was from the heavens that I spoke with you.”
(Exodus 20:19 SB)

V11p133004 Torah

V11p133004 Torah (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There God gave to the Children of Israel what is by most Christians known as the “Ten commandments” but would be better referred to as the (literal translation) ““The Ten Sayings” or Decalogue. These Sayings including more than ten actual mitzvahs. Later Jeshua would tell that he has come not to take that Law away, like so many christians think, but to explain it and to fulfil it.

“Do not suppose that I came to tear-down the law or the prophets; I did not come to tear-down, but to fulfil.”
(Matthew 5:17 MLV)

“But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away, than for one serif of the law to fall short.”
(Luke 16:17 MLV)

“Now I am saying this: the law, which happened four hundred and thirty years afterward, does not invalidate a covenant* validated beforehand by God in reference to Christ so as to do-away-with the promise.”
(Galatians 3:17 MLV)

Many thousand years ago God found it time that what He wanted people would know very well what He expected from them. He wanted to make it clear to them what His expectations were.
He made it clear what He wanted man to keep to.

For those who doubt it, or use graven images in their worship places God made it clear He does not like such things.

“You are not to make beside me gods of silver, gods of gold you are not to make for yourselves!”
(Exodus 20:20 SB)

No body, who wants to be a child of God, may have more than One God before him or may become unequally yoked with unbelievers and take part in pagan rites and pagan festivals (like Halloween, Christmas, Easter, just to call a few).

It was on Sivan 2 that the Almighty God tells Moshe that He not only wants to give the Jews the Torah, but also wants to make them His chosen, set apart or holy nation, who will follow His commandments. The Jews wholeheartedly agree, replying,

“All God wishes we will do.”

On the third day of the month Moses relays the Jews’ answer to God and then returns to the Jews to tell them that he will be the messenger for the Ten Sayings; that what God told him up high on the mountain.

This weekend, Adar 6, 5777, we remember the giving of Torah and this transitional moment in our history — a moment known as Matan Torah (the Giving of the Torah). No longer were we merely the descendants of a great man named Abraham, or simply a Middle-Eastern people known as the Israelites. We had now become God’s people, chosen to learn His Torah and keep its laws. It’s a moment we celebrate every year on the festival of Shavuot, and this year will take place from May 30–June 1.

The Torah and Talmudic sources describe the delivery of the Ten Commandments as a unique experience — complete with thunder, lightning and a smoking mountaintop — and an event of historic significance. Yet the Talmudic account itself actually makes it quite difficult to understand what was so earth-shattering about

“the giving of the Torah.”

It was not that people did not yet know God’s Will. A significant body of legislation and moral lore was already in existence long before the historic event described as “the giving of the Torah.” Indeed, even without the Talmudic tradition it would seem that all of the Ten Commandments given at Sinai are either philosophical axioms (e.g., monotheism), moral imperatives and ideals (e.g., do not murder, do not steal, honour your father and mother, do not covet), or previously received mandates (e.g., the Sabbath). In other words, not the sort of material that would seem to warrant a divine revelation — and certainly not one of such grandeur.

But we should know that it was no simple handing over a book of lore …  God gave man the basic rules to live by, the Ten Commandments.

Please do understand, though the name of the event — the Giving of the Torah — implies that the entire Torah was given that day, this is not the case. In fact, only the Ten Commandments were taught to us that day, and even they were only transmitted verbally. The physical luchot—the tablets — were not given for another 40 days.

Nevertheless, the name remains, as it marks the day the Elohim began the process of giving us the Torah. In that light we should remember this weekend which great gift we were given so that it would be much easier for us to know how to keep in line with God’s desires.

First we were taught the Ten Commandments. Then, Moses stayed on Mount Sinai to learn from God, for 40 days. We too can take such 40 days to meditate and wonder about our relationship with the Most High. You can call it a time of reflection. Also Jeshua took such a time to think about what God wanted from him and his followers. He too had gone in the desert for 40 days to contemplate. Jeshua also took time to cogitate and was not afraid to deny the requests from others to denounce God or to test God. Also God’s people had to wait such a long time before they saw Moshe back. Though they proved not to be as strong as Moshe and Jeshua, Jesus Christ, who thought it most important to do the Will of God and not his own will. Though it is clearly impossible for Moshe to have learned ‘all 385 commandments’, he did learn the rules they are based on, and so it is considered as if he actually learned them. On stone tablets the basic 10 sayings cover most rules. The rest of the Torah was communicated in stages throughout the Jews’ 40-year sojourn in the desert.

In short we could say

The Ten Commandments

  1. Believe in Only One God.
  2. Do not believe in other deities.
  3. Do not take God’s name in vain.
  4. Keep Shabbat.
  5. Honour your parents.
  6. Don’t murder.
  7. Don’t commit adultery.
  8. Don’t kidnap.
  9. Don’t give false testimony.
  10. Don’t covet another’s possessions.
The Ten Commandments, In SVG

The Ten Commandments, In SVG (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This our the basic rules for man to follow. The 4 first ones you could consider laws believers in God should follow, but the 5th until the 10th commandment form the basic rules for all people, who should take care to be able to live with each other in the best and most peaceful conditions. By obeying those given ethic laws for humanity man should be able to live in peace.

Although Matan Torah is known as the time when God gave us His Torah to study and keep, there were a few Israelites who had kept the entire Torah of their own volition before Matan Torah.

Now the moment had come that the Elohim Hashem Jehovah asked man to take the act of making a conscious choice or decision. It had become time man had to show for Whom he wanted to stand. From the beginning of times God had given man freedom to act or judge on one’s own. Now it is time for man to show that he has the ability or power to discern what is responsible or socially appropriate.

Man has to make the choice how he is going to behave in a community. He has to choose the position he is going to take opposite others and how he is going to treat them.

Before Matan Torah, those who observed Torah did so entirely of their own accord. It was their own choice and we can not tell in what way they wanted to do it. We can only guess how they saw it as a matter of having a good relationship with the Divine Creator.

Probably their connection to God, therefore, was only as deep as their understanding and feeling. Like today people who come into the faith cannot know yet all what they have to keep to and have to go on a path of learning to come to know what God really wants from them.

English: The Title page of Mishnah Torah by Mo...

The Title page of Mishnah Torah by Moshe ben Maimon haRambam, published in Venice in 1575 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For us tonight having Matan Torah in our mind, we look at the time the Elohim connected His Essence to the Torah and gave it to mankind and as such also to us. Each of us has the own responsibility now to decide to accept that given Torah or to deny it. Each of us should see how The Law of God is our safeguarding but also our inner set apart (holy) contact with the Most High. When we observe the Torah, therefore, we are connected to God’s essence, no matter who we are and how much we understand or feel. {Likutei Sichot, vol. 28, pp. 11-12.}

Fear may have seized those at the fields before the mountain of Sinai, but we should not be in fear, because “God has visited his people!” and given His instructions so that they could live according to the Wishes of God. We should know that in every place where God’s Name is recorded He will come to us and will bless us.

“Moshe said to the people: Do not be afraid! For it is to test you that God has come, to have awe of him be upon you, so that you do not sin.”
(Exodus 20:17 SB)

“A slaughter-site of soil, you are to make for me, you are to slaughter upon it your offerings-up, your sacrifices of shalom, your sheep and your oxen! At every place where I cause my name to be recalled I will come to you and bless you.”
(Exodus 20:21 SB)

“I will make a great nation of you and will give-you-blessing and will make your name great. Be a blessing!”
(Genesis 12:2 SB)

“So are they to put my name upon the Children of Israel, that I myself may bless them.”
(Numbers 6:27 SB)

Moshe wrote down the Words of God and that way even today we can read what God wants from His creatures.

“Now Moshe wrote down all the words of YHWH. He started-early in the morning, building a slaughter-site beneath the mountain and twelve standing-stones for the twelve tribes of Israel.”
(Exodus 24:4 SB)

English: Moses repeated the commandments to th...

Moses repeated the commandments to the people, detail by a Carolingian book illuminator circa 840 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Preceding articles

Our life depending on faith

God’s wisdom for the believer brings peace

Mishmash of a legal code but importance of mitzvah or commandments

Written by inspiration of God for our admonition, to whom it shall be imputed if they believe

Whoopi Goldberg commandments and abortion

29. Laws that Value People

Responsibilities of Parenthood for sharing the Word of God

Luther’s misunderstanding

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Additional reading

  1. Statutes given unto us
  2. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  3. Necessary to be known all over the earth
  4. God-breathed prophetic words written torah and the mitzvot to teach us
  5. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  6. Displeasures and Actions of the Almighty GodJudeo-Christian values and liberty
  7. Not trying to make the heathen live like Jews #1
  8. Hello America and atheists
  9. 1,500 to 1,700 years old Chiselled tablet with commandments sold at auction

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Further reading

  1. Our Competition With God
  2. A Summary of Exodus
  3. February 6, 2017-The Beginning of Law’
  4. Intro to the Ten Commandments or The Ten Words
  5. Ten Commandments – Exodus 20:1-17
  6. Exodus 24:12-18 Moses was on the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights
  7. The first commandment – Putting God first
  8. God verses our gods
  9. God’s nature revealed as Law
  10. The 10 Commandments
  11. The Ten Commandments
  12. The Ten Commandments and Prophesy
  13. Daily Prompt: Ten
  14. Do You Keep the Ten Commandments
  15. 10 Rules Worth Following
  16. Ten Commandments
  17. Do the Ten Commandments apply to Christians?
  18. The beginning
  19. Can the Old Covenant be abolished if the Ten Commandments are not?
  20. “The Catechism in Six Parts: The Ten Commandments”
  21. How Not to Learn from The Bible
  22. God the Father – “I did not create you so that you could do whatever you want…”
  23. Want What You’ve Got! (Lent)
  24. Christian Parenting, Ten Commandments, and Les Miserables
  25. It Depends
  26. Idolatry & The Shack
  27. Honor Your Parents
  28. What I’m Reading: Are You Normal?
  29. Simple Standard
  30. Rules of the Road
  31. Sabbath, Creation, Guarding and Observing
  32. Top Ten Secrets From The Foundation Of Our World
  33. Simply following the Ten Commandments isn’t enough
  34. Seven Fundamental Practices: Sabbath Rest
  35. Sermon: Who Do You Love?
  36. Love and the Meaninglessness of Scripture
  37. Lying
  38. Lust of the eyes
  39. Morality and neurochemical impulses
  40. Shorty*: What Ultimately Comforted Job?
  41. Jesus Christ – “Remember, you are not here to please man with your actions but God – God’s Laws never change”
  42. I’ll Do It My Way -the terrible harvest of moral relativism

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Filed under History, Juridical matters, Lifestyle, Religious affairs

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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Romans 4 and the Sacraments

In our series looking at “Faith and works” yesterday (January 28) we looked at the letter from Paul to the Romans, chapters 3 and  4. the 4th chapter often being referred to to support the doctrine of justification by faith alone.

Luther’s work

In our previous posting we saw how the German theologian and religious reformer who was the catalyst of the 16th-century Protestant Reformation Martin Luther gave enough food for the Antitrinitarians. He is one of the most to go against their idea we still have to do works to be able to enter the Kingdom of God.

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It is thanks to his marvellous work of translating of the Bible into the vernacular (instead of Latin) that so many more people could read and find out what was really written in the Holy Scriptures, which had a tremendous impact on the church and West European culture.

From 1510 to 1520, Luther lectured on the Psalms, the books of Hebrews, Romans, and Galatians. As he studied these portions of the Bible, he came to view the use of terms such as penance and righteousness by the Catholic Church in new ways. He became convinced that the church was corrupt in its ways and had lost sight of what he saw as several of the central truths of Christianity.

The most important for Luther was the doctrine of justification – God’s act of declaring a sinner righteous – by faith alone through God’s grace. He taught that salvation or redemption is a gift of God’s grace, attainable only through faith in Jesus as the Messiah.

Looking at Paul’s teachings

The blog “Washed, sanctified and justified” also looks at Paul’s teachings in the knowledge that lots of protestants refer to Romans 3:26-28 as their conclusion that a man is justified by faith. Some will say

Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from works. {Analysis of St. Paul’s Teachings on Justification and Faith}

Many Christians forget to notice “of the law” which indicates something more and something different than just the “Blood of Christ” or “the Blood of the Lamb“.  The Jewish scholar knew very much the importance of “The Law” or the “Torah” in God’s Plan. And these words are very important to the idea that the apostle Paul is expressing. In the previous articles we have seen that the apostle is speaking of works of the law because that is what he was speaking of in the last chapter.

He didn’t suddenly change subjects. However, he has omitted the words of the law at this point. {Analysis of St. Paul’s Teachings on Justification and Faith}

Some Catholics may say the Jews did not have ‘Sacraments’, but they had a Covenant and arrangements (or sarcaments in the wider interpretation), also having their own religious signs or symbols and practices as forms of worship.

Paul was very well aware how men of God were justified in the past. Abram (Abraham), born way before God made the covenant with the Israelites, had come in the faith. When he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed, and he went out, not knowing whither he went. Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. (Genesis 12:1-4; Hebrews 11:8; Romans 4:3) He also had not forgotten, like today many Christians do, that Abraham became the father of many, justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar. (James 2:20-22)

Covenants given to man

The Abrahamic Covnenant may have been interchanged with the Messianic or New Covenant this did not make done with The Law. Too many people forget the terms of the New Covenant.

De Maria in “Romans 4 and the Sacraments” looks further at the misunderstanding of Faith without works.

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We remember from it:

Romans 4 = a dissertation on justification by the Sacraments.

  1. Abraham = our father, according to the flesh
  2. if Abraham > justified by works = he hath whereof to glory > not before God.
  3. if Abraham justified himself = more power to him => it is not of God.
  4. Abraham believed God => counted unto him for righteousness.

=>  that means.

  1. him that works = reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt > obey God’s voice + keep His covenant => a peculiar treasure unto God above all people
  2. to him that works not, but believes on him that justifies the ungodly > faith is counted for righteousness.
  3. Abraham was => did not work for debt
  4. Abraham did work for faith

He also looks at David, one of the circumcised =>  covenant of reconciliation

  • No one can deny David did many works <= all he did was believe in God’s mercy

reconciliation not only offered to Israelites (Abraham not an Israelite + not even circumcised yet) ===> God saw his faith at work => reckoned in uncircumcision to receive sign of circumcision=  seal of the righteousness of the faith

=> = prophecy which showed that even gentiles would be justified by faith.

=> We, like Abraham, believe and are imputed righteousness, in the Sacraments of Jesus Christ.

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St. Paul contrasting Old Testament with New Testament.

  • Old Testament = the Law.
  • New Testament = the Faith.

no ministry of reconciliation in Old Testament. ~~~ David’s reconciliation exception = foreshadowing of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

=> Just as it is imputed to the Catholic, who believing the promises of God, approaches the font of grace and submits to the Sacraments, calling on His name.

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Preceding articles

Luther’s misunderstanding

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

Our life depending on faith

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CatholicBibleTalk

 Romans 4 is frequently used to support the doctrine of justification by faith alone. But it is actually a dissertation on justification by the Sacraments.  Let’s go through it.

King James Version (KJV)
1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?Abraham is our father, according to the flesh. The Apostle asks, “what has he found”?

2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

Now, he asks, “did Abraham justify himself?” If he did, then more power to him, but it is not of God.

3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Now, he quotes Gen 15:6Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

and he begins to explain what that means.

4 Now to him that…

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Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach

Universe exist already a long long time, and it shall continue to exist for a much longer time. Human beings in that universe have a lot of limitations. We are chained by our confinements. We do not like to have restrictions imposed on us and lots of people do think they can do a lot or even do think they can play for god.

We as perishable persons may look around us and either see the beauty of creation or miss it all. What is important that we should come to see the Hand behind everything. All being created in the likeness of the Divine Creator have not their eyes open to see their origin or to understand the ways of life.

For coming to insight it is important that people help each other. We have developed education centres and got printing and other media aids to provide educational material.

English: Rabbis Lesson with kids

Rabbis Lesson with kids (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some two thousand years ago there was a simple man of flesh and blood in the Jewish community who warned the people around him that they better took account of what the previous rabbis told. The world had got prophets, men send by God, who gave warnings, but not many wanted to listen. With that prophet 2000 years ago it was not much different. He was considered a ‘stand in the way’ and therefore killed. Though making his mouth shut down, did not end his teachings. His disciples continued to go around wherever and whenever they could. They followed a big lesson they had learned from their master rabbi: going out into the world to preach the Good News of the Coming Kingdom of God.

Today Jeshua, as this rabbi was called (today better known as Jesus) is till alive in many hearts. Several people came to see what his death really means for the world. The eternal God, Who cannot die, told the world that there in the river Jordan was standing “His only beloved son“, given to the world to bring salvation. By the Grace of God, Jeshua his offering of his body is accepted as a ransom for us all.

But the story may not end there. The master teacher who had only a very short public life of three very active years, has asked his followers to continue in his footsteps. And there seems to lie a big problem. Not many do want to go out and preach in the name of Jesus.

Today it does not seem to be very much different than in the times of Jeshua. There are loads of discussions about the position of the Torah on issues that are out of date with our modern sensitivities. There are people who also come to see that there might be rituals which are supposedly similar to pagan festivals of the time. The reason for this is that often it were people who liked so much certain attitudes that they took over certain attitudes and feasts. But we always should consider if they would be something God would like to see.

It becomes more and more important to get to know what the Divine Creator really wants from us and what His Plans are. the task Jesus has given to his disciples has become more vital. It should be an essential part of the life of a follower of Christ (a Christian). Being Christian should mean that you are prepared to follow Christ his teachings and are willing to live according his rules (The Law of Christ)

Coming together, exhorting each other and preaching the gospel should be the core-business of a Christian.

Some may be convinced that a religion has to give to the people what they want to find, not having to change too much their life. Lots of people want that they get something familiar to hold onto? Perhaps they could call it “God modelled” “His new religion” after existing practices.

There is an established principal in Jewish thought (and a logical one as well) that “The Torah speaks in the language of man.” Among other things, this means that the Torah speaks in the context of the time in which it was given and in a way that is appropriate for the people of the time. Many of the commentators write that God had to gradually wean a pagan slave population off of it’s pagan ritual and belief system. It would not be effective for God to create brand new rituals that have no meaning for the worshipers. To give a silly example, if God were to create a brand new religion now, he would not create one where worship of God is done by standing on one’s head 5 times a day.{Why are some Jewish rituals similar to Pagan rituals?}

People have to come to understand it is not God Who has to adapt to them but that they have to come closer to God knowing Him and following up what God wants us to do.

To get to know what God really wants from us, we best look into what He has given the world to get to know Him better. God has given His Word for all mankind to find Who He is, what He wants and what we can do to come to Him and to become Children of God.

People write history or similar for a reason; what someone did may not be as important for their memory as what someone later needed to do with it. Jeshua his followers had their own worldly job, but they knew how urgently needed was their preaching, telling others about the works of their master teacher. Whether or not all these who tried to bring the gospel to others were really talented orators we probably can’t tell. In a certain way it does not really matters. What matters is that they got the message across.

Also today, you may perhaps not be so eloquent, or not so good in many languages, but you should know you too can have a story to tell. Everybody can help to contribute getting the news of the coming Kingdom spreading all over the world.

Many may think it is sufficient when they preach in their own church. For them it is sufficient (they think) to give exhortations to their own church or ecclesia members. Many may find the opportunity to stand in front of congregations and crowds many times. How many time do they think about the responsibility they bear? Though may shall have the hope some of the people in the congregation will hear their voice and carry the thought with them to ponder.

But we do not have to preach for those who already believe. We do need preachers for those who do not yet know the truth. Those who do not know the importance of Christ yet, should come to know it. We need announcers of the Good News, not a bellman for the own flock or to bring just recreational or bad news, like the journal offers it every day over and over again.

It is true others may not understand the energy it takes to get up in front of others to proclaim God’s word and lots of people would call it a silly activity. But it is not what the worlds find interesting to do what we should do. The love of the world is not for the Holy Word. People are not interested in God, His Plans or His world. Though they should know it really matters to know Him.

Importance of coming together to study the Word of God - Bible time at Shunem

Importance of coming together to study the Word of God – Bible time at Shunem

Those who love God should not be afraid to come out for it. They should also trust Him, what He can do with them is they are willing to go to others to tell about Him and His son. They shall be surprised to come to feel the Hand of God in what they do, when they try to do it honestly. They can be surprised to feel how God can guide them and how God is willing to give His Power and presence in a mighty way. Often we shall be amazed at the insight He gives, the words He brings, the abilities we recognize, not because of our skills, but because of God’s power and presence within us.

Today time seems to be spares for everybody. Pastors and everybody else are busy.

They hardly have time to prepare their sermons every week while at the same time visiting, counseling, planning, fixing, etc. Ask most pastors what good theology books they’ve read recently and you’ll be greeted by blank stares. {The Value of Systematic Theology to Pastors}

How many can, or better said, are willing to take time to come to study the Bible and to share their findings with others? How many are willing to come to a God-centered search and preaching?

In certain churches the priest may have the idea that:

Pastors who do not study theology tend to preach atheological sermons. They may be able to atomistically expound a text, but they will have difficulty connecting the text to the grand redemptive truths that give the texts weighty significance. {The Value of Systematic Theology to Pastors}

but they forget that the essence is all in the Word of God and can be found when really looking in that word, not having to have had theological studies in universities. God Himself has provided everything in His Word to be found by every man, educated and non-educated. Man does not need a theological study to come to understand God His Word. They also do not a university tittle to go out preaching the gospel. Jesus nor his followers, except Luke and Paul, got high degrees or were known scholars. common people in the first century of Christianity took care that the word spread and that it could reach lots of people, from child, slave, uneducated up to educated people. Many came to know the truth by simple people who took their time to spread the news.

Van Til saw a definite connection between the study of systematic theology and the ability to preach the whole counsel of God. If a pastor is not well-versed in theology, he may shy away from Scriptures that his flock needs for growth in grace. Or worse, he may shy away from Scriptures his flock needs for spiritual and doctrinal protection.{The Value of Systematic Theology to Pastors}

He also writes:

Many people believe that the basis and source of defending the faith is different than that of knowing the faith. That is, they believe that we do systematic theology by appealing to the Scriptures, and we defend our faith by appealing to reason or philosophy (since unbelievers don’t accept the Bible as the Word of God). {The Value of Systematic Theology for Defending the Faith}

Without being in the faith a person can not come over convincingly. The faith has to be in the veins and the spirit. When the person is wiling to give him or herself to the Words of God, those Words can feed him or her. It is in the Word of God that The Truth can be found and not in the words of human beings. Jesus wanted us to share that truth which we can find.

The distinctive of the presuppositional (or transcendental) approach to apologetics developed most extensively by Cornelius Van Til is its demand that Scripture be the starting point for all human knowledge, and that it be maintained as such in a believer’s defense of the faith against attacks by unbelievers.The best apologetic defense will invariably be made by him who knows the system of truth of Scripture best. The fight between Christianity and non-Christianity is, in modern times, no piece-meal affair. It is the life-and-death struggle between two mutually opposed life-and-world views

Both seem to forget the Power of God, the Holy Spirit, Who is the One Who has to guide the speaker or preacher.  It is not as they say that

He who has not been trained in systematic theology will often be at a loss as to how to meet these attacks.

It probably shall not be easy, that’s sure, but that we can see by theologians as well when they are brought down their pied de stall.

Van Till and

He may be quite proficient in warding off the attack as far as details are concerned, but he will forever have to be afraid of new attacks as long as he has never removed the foundation from the enemy’s position.

Those who go around telling about the prophets, Christ and the One who send all these men, should not consider the others as the enemy. Even when they may go in the position of attack, the one willing to preach for God shall be able to trust Him and would not have to worry man.

All those who come along and hear the words of the one who wants to preach in the name of God can either stop to listen or continue their way. Nobody should remain. Nobody is expected to take everything for what and how it is said. The preacher when he does not find the ground fertile, finds no one to listen can and shall continue his or her way to go further trying to reach people who are willing to listen and who are willing to investigate and to take the Word of God to compare with what is said.

Van Til starts stepping on toes:

The church will have to return to its erstwhile emphasis upon its teaching function if it is to fulfill its God-given task of bringing the gospel to all men. Its present recourse to jerky evangelism as almost the only method of propaganda is itself an admission of paupery…Revivalists ought to make themselves unnecessary as quickly as possible.

Reformed apologist and churchman Cornelius van Til preaching on the street

Reformed apologist and churchman Cornelius van Til preaching on the street

We only can hope Van Til was pleading for a return to a comprehensive instruction in sound doctrine, (what he and other  theologians may understand by that?) that would provide the foundation for both a deep and strong faith, and a solid foundation for a robust defence of the faith against attacks.

We are convinced that regular Bible reading (perhaps according to a strategic plan) is the right foundation for successful Bible study. And the principles of accurate interpretation will take that Bible study to the next level of spiritual blessing and benefit. Each person willing to get to know God and His works shall find the answers to his and others questions by reading God’s Word. True biblical sermons or exhortations don’t drive the biblical text, they are driven by the biblical text. Scripture speaks for itself.

But preaching is not all about giving sermons or exhortations it is also by showing your heart to others and letting others feel how vibrant the Word of God makes you. Feeling humbled by the privilege to study Scripture and teaching it to others we should love seeing God working out and confirming His calling on others, having us nearby them to give them our hand to go together on the path of God.

We should not be afraid to go out in the world to tell others what we do believe about the Creator and His son.

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Find also to read:

  1. More Muslim children than Christian children growing up in our cities
  2. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  3. Trying to get the youth inspired
  4. Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News
  5. People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations
  6. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
  7. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  8. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  9. How should we preach?
  10. Our way of life
  11. Attackers silenced freedom of speech
  12. Minimizing the power of God’s Force the Holy Spirit
  13. Van Til interacting with Bavinck and Calvin on Natural Theology
  14. Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news
  15. Belonging to or being judged by
  16. Holland Week of billing
  17. Trying to get the youth inspired
  18. When discouraged facing opposition
  19. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  20. Atonement And Fellowship 4/8
  21. The Involvement of true discipleship
  22. Testify of the things heard
  23. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  24. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  25. A Voice to be heard
  26. Creator and Blogger God 4 Expounding voice
  27. Blogging for Jesus…
  28. Our openness to being approachable
  29. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  30. Words to push and pull
  31. Good or bad preacher
  32. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  33. How should we preach?
  34. Breathing and growing with no heir
  35. Breathing to teach
  36. Bringing Good News into the world
  37. Reasons to come together
  38. Missionary action paradigm for all endeavours of the church
  39. Many forgot how Christ should be our anchor and our focus

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Find additional literature:

  1. Why are some Jewish rituals similar to Pagan rituals?
  2. Messages will be spoken! (Micah 3:8)
  3. The Value of Systematic Theology for Defending the Faith
  4. The Value of Systematic Theology to Pastors
  5. Common Interpretive Pitfalls
  6. Seminar CXLIX: the importance of being eloquent in the Italian Church
  7. Van Til the Evangelist
  8. Van Til the Street Preacher
  9. Jehovah’s Message
  10. Following Jesus’ Footsteps
  11. The Good News of God’s Kingdom
  12. Thoughts concerning the preacher
  13. On Preaching “To the Men”
  14. Expository preaching – friend or foe?
  15. How to Spread the Gospel
  16. 4 Principles for Collaborative Preaching
  17. 6 Ways to Your Teacher’s Heart
  18. Preaching is a two-way street
  19. How to Get More Out of the Preached Word of God
  20. What do you need…?
  21. Preach It, Sister!
  22. Community Houses are Better than Church Buildings

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  • Who Is a Jew? (venitism.blogspot.com)
    Jews argue about everything, including who is a Jew. Disagreements usually develop along sectarian lines. Reform Jews are willing to accept into the tribe someone with a Jewish father and a gentile mother, but Orthodox Jews are not. Some ultra-Orthodox rabbis won’t even accept a child as Jewish when born to a devout Jewish mother from a donated gentile egg.All branches of Judaism allow for converts, but Orthodox Jews don’t recognize conversion of gentiles to Judaism unless that conversion is approved by a three-judge religious court comprised of three Orthodox men (usually rabbis), ritual immersion in a mikvah, and a commitment to perform all the Torah’s commandments according to Orthodox interpretations of Jewish law.
  • Generosity, Stewardship, and Living in God’s Economy (wawalker.com)
    So despite our smallness, our apparent insignificance, human beings are set apart and given a unique role. God gives us dominion over the earth and we’re to be stewards of it. It’s been entrusted to us. We’re to be a stewards, meaning we’re to be managers or overseers — caretakers — which means our responsibility is to do exactly what the owner wants us to do with the things that are not ours but Owner’s. The things that are God’s. So as it turns out, in spite of some obvious limitations, we nonetheless possess a certain degree of great power and freedom — and — responsibility, as stewards. Because Human beings have the capacity to do things that no other creatures can’t do.
  • Beware the Error of Replacement Theology! (pilgrimpassing.com)
    These are challenging and confusing times. With all the numerous and varied “winds of doctrine” that are blowing around us these days, many Christians find it difficult to discern the difference between truth and error. Here at CJF Ministries, one error we frequently encounter is Replacement Theology. Actually, it’s nothing new: in fact, it’s been around for centuries. Some of its roots are traceable to the writings of some of the Early Church fathers. And even today, oddly enough, this pernicious error is taught as a fact in many Bible colleges and seminaries worldwide. So let me ask you – how much do you know about Replacement Theology? If you were called upon to refute it, could you?
  • Interview with Yoel Glick – Part 2 (kavvanah.wordpress.com)
    Rabbi Yoel Glick just released a book  Living the Life of Jewish Meditation: A Comprehensive Guide to Practice and Experience. The book is billed as  a “comprehensive guide to meditation as a way of life draws on the knowledge of the East to vitalize and illuminate traditional Jewish practices in a whole new way.”

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