Tag Archives: Word of God

The Anti-Reformation in Todays Evangelical Church

THE BLOG OF DAVID ROBERTSON

It was welcome back to Britain with a bang today…..lots of things to catch up on and then a most distressing and disturbing conversation on Facebook.  I share one part of it with you because to me it profoundly illustrates why the church in the UK (and probably the US) is in so much trouble…and I mean the evangelical church.

On the one hand we do have the legalists and moralists – and that is an ever-present danger – but in reaction to that we often end up with the opposite extreme – a form of evangelical liberalism which, whilst it retains all the right language about God and the Gospel, actually ends up with a different God and a different Gospel – which is, as Paul says, really no Gospel at all.

Background

A friend posted a comment about Transgender which declared his frustration and disappointment as a Christian…

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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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Summer holiday time to knock and ask, and time to share

In the daily Bible readings our chapter in Matthew today unfolds to reveal powerful personal lessons – principles we must live by, though in the chapters of the first book of Samuel we also see that it was not always easy for the preferred one of God, David! He also was victim of human jealousy [v.8-12].

In these summer-months we do have time to examine ourselves and the situation we are living in at the moment. We can check if we kept to Jesus his sayings or if when we had certain needs or wanted to receive knowledge if we did ask like Jesus advices us. Often when we are at work we do not have time enough for God’s Word. It might not always be easy to have us every day to pick up the Bible and to read in it and to take time enough to let our thoughts wonder over the Biblical text. Now when the Summer holiday comes to us we have no excuse. Now we should have enough opportunity to read in the Bible but also to talk to others bout different things, including the Word of God.

Summer time often gives us opportunities to come at other places, where nobody might know us, where we do not have to fear talking about our faith and to show others how we love God.

We can ask God to help us to get insight ourself but also to give us strength and opportunities to give others insight in His infallible Word. We might be assured when we dare to ask Jehovah God will provide, when our heart is in the right place with Him.

“·Ask [Keep asking], and ·God will give [L it will be given; C the passive verb implies God as subject] to you. ·Search [Seek; Keep seeking], and you will find. ·Knock [Keep knocking], and the door will open for you. ·Yes, [L For; Because] everyone who asks will receive. Everyone who ·searches [seeks] will find. And everyone who knocks will have the door opened.

“If your children ask for bread, which of you would give them a stone? 10 Or [L which of you] if your ·children ask [or son asks] for a fish, would you give them a snake? {Matthew 7:7-10 Expanded Bible (EXB)}

When we long to have knowledge in the Holy Scriptures God is not going to withhold it. He is not going to detain us and leave us without Biblical knowledge if we really want to have such knowledge. Though in such circumstance God wants us to open our mind and when we encounter matters which we have learned at school or in the past in our religious environment, but which are based on human doctrines, God wants us to choose for the Biblical doctrines and to put those human and false teachings aside. We have to show to God that we are willing to learn what He wants to say to us and what the Bible puts openly in front of us, words black on white and no misty myths of the world.

For many it may not be easy to put away all such false human teachings, but that is what God requires, not to be of the world but to belong to the world of God.

Knowledge will be given to you when you are prepared to seek honestly and with the will to learn Godly Truth. When you open your mind, ask God to help you, He will provide and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened to you.

Keep Pursuing What You Need From God. He Will Give You Good Things

“Be asking, and it will be given to you; be seeking, and you will find; be knocking, and it will be opened to you. For everyone asking receives; and the one seeking finds; and to the one knocking, it will be opened. Or what person is there from-among you whom his son will ask-for bread— he will not give him a stone[a], will he? 10 Or indeed he will ask-for a fish— he will not give him a snake[b], will he?

  1. Matthew 7:9That is, something useless.
  2. Matthew 7:10That is, something harmful. {Matthew 7:7-10Disciples’ Literal New Testament (DLNT)}

For everyone, also you, who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds. So you only have to be prepared to be willing to find and to ask God to help you find it. But you too should help others to find it. So what you have uncovered may not only be your secret. Even when we will realize our failure to see the Biblical truth because we wanted to hold fast so much to denominational teachings, noticing it so late in our life, we better accept it that it is better late in life than never, to come to the Biblical truth.

Out of compassion and love for the other, we should try to let others know the Word of God and show them what is really written in it. One of the tasks given by Jesus was to go out and preach. When we do understand what the Nazarene man Jesus has really done, we should tell others of this incredible act of self-renunciation. We should tell others about his self-sacrifice and how he is not the God we should worship but the Way to God, the Only One True God of gods Whom is the Only One to be worshipped and praised above all.

Jesus expects everyone who hears these words of him to do them!

24 Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and is doing them will be-like a wise[a] man who built his house upon the bed-rock.

  1. Matthew 7:24Or, prudent, sensible. {Matthew 7:24Disciples’ Literal New Testament (DLNT)}

Let us be wise in the Lord and show the world how we want to be partakers of the Body of Christ and follow the same God as Jesus had. In the knowledge that the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, we should be aware that though salvation is given to all the world also shall have to see that those who find that entrance to the Kingdom of God shall be just a few. We should know and let others know that wide is the gate and broad and easy to travel is the path that leads the way to destruction and eternal loss.

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. [L Because] The gate is wide and the road is ·wide [broad; spacious; or easy] that leads to ·hell [L destruction; ruin], and many people enter through that gate. 14 But the gate is small and the road is ·narrow [or difficult; hard] that leads to true life. ·Only a few people [And there are few who] find that road. {Matthew 7:13-14Expanded Bible (EXB)}

For those few we have to invest our free time and do what Jesus expects from us, making sure that we are not a foolish person in his eyes, because he shall watch us and in the end days shall judge over us. Let us listen to Jesus his words:

Matthew 7:25-29Disciples’ Literal New Testament (DLNT)

25 And the rain came down, and the rivers[a] came, and the winds blew— and they fell against that house. And it did not fall, for it had been founded upon the bed-rock. 26 And everyone hearing these words of Mine and not doing them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand. 27 And the rain came down, and the rivers came, and the winds blew— and they struck-against that house. And it fell, and the falling[b] of it was great”.

The Works of The King: Divine Power In Action28 And it came about that when Jesus finished these words, the crowds were astounded[c] at His teaching. 29 For He was teaching them as One having authority, and not as their scribes.

  1. Matthew 7:25 That is, rivers of flood waters.
  2. Matthew 7:27 Or, collapse, downfall.
  3. Matthew 7:28 Or, overwhelmed, amazed, astonished.

{Matthew 7:25-29Disciples’ Literal New Testament (DLNT)}

When having found Jesus his words and having gone deeper into them, finding the Words of his heavenly Father, we should build our own life on them and create the foundation for ways for others also to come closer to God.

There are many ways – travel in our world has never been more readily possible, but whether nearby or further afield, we must, as we read two days ago in Matthew 5,

16 In the same way let your light shine ·before others [for people to see], so that they will see ·the good things you do [L your good deeds/works] and will ·praise [glorify; give honor to] your Father in heaven. {Matthew 5:16 Expanded Bible (EXB)}

Take some time this holiday to have some work done for Jesus and his God that they and the world may see your good works and glorify your Father in the heavens.

Let us also make sure that we tell others what is in the Word of God and have us honestly trying to have our faith in God shine as a strong light before others, so that on that day when Jesus returns we do not have to be ashamed and do not have to say like many who will say to him

… Lord, did we not prophesy (preach) in your name…?”

Having Jesus to look at them and responding that they have to depart from him because he does not want to know of them.

22 On ·the last day [judgment day; L that day] many people will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, ·we spoke for you [L Did we not prophesy in your name…?], and ·through you we forced out demons [L cast out demons in your name…?] and did many ·miracles [L mighty works in your name…?].’ {Matthew 7:22 Expanded Bible (EXB)}

We do not have to show extra-ordinary things to others, not doing miracles. We only have to honestly tell them what we believe and show them what the Bible says.

These days when we might have more free time, let us make sure that we take some free time for God and to show our love for God to others.In the knowledge that “many are called, but few are chosen” let us belong to those “few” that will hear the words we read today in Isaiah 62,

Isaiah 62:11-12 Expanded Bible (EXB)

11 The Lord ·is speaking [announces]
    to ·all the faraway lands [L the end of the earth]:
“·Tell the people of Jerusalem [L Say to the daughter of Zion; Zech. 9:9],
    ‘Look, your Savior is coming.
He is bringing ·your reward to you [L his reward with him];
    ·he is bringing his payment [his recompense/reward is] with him.’”
12 ·His people [L They] will be called the Holy People,
    the ·Saved People [Redeemed] of the Lord,
and Jerusalem will be called ·the City God Wants [L Sought After],
    the City ·God Has Not Rejected [or Not Abandoned; Deserted]. {Isaiah 62:11-12 Expanded Bible (EXB)}

If you knew how much God loves you, you would be happy to receive and share His love with others and would be pleased to have others also coming to know Him and His great Love.

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Preceding articles

Summer holiday

May we have doubts

Facing our existence every day

What Are You Seeking?

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

Refusing to Be Silent

Go Ye!

To proclaim the day of vengeance

Proclaiming: a task given to Christians

Go! Proclaim! Testify!

Scriptures and Thoughts about: Proclaim

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Additional reading

  1. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  2. God let my compassionate affection be tolerant and kind
  3. Do You Expect God’s Answer
  4. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #17 Sorts of prayers
  5. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #18 Fulfilment
  6. Jehovah steep rock and fortress, source of insight
  7. We should use the Bible every day
  8. Bible in the first place #2/3
  9. Loving the Word
  10. Necessity of a revelation of creation 8 By no means unintelligible or mysterious to people
  11. Necessity of a revelation of creation 11 Believing and obeying the gospel of the Kingdom of God
  12. Atonement And Fellowship 6/8
  13. Not about personal salvation but about a bigger Plan
  14. Fragments from the Book of Job #3: chapters 21-26
  15. Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still
  16. Obtain favour from Yahweh
  17. The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places
  18. Blogging in the world for Jesus and his Father
  19. Sharing thoughts and philosophical writings
  20. Going deep into cultures to reach lost people
  21. Engaging the culture without losing the gospel
  22. How do I know if I’m called to ministry?
  23. Priest, scribes and others with authority
  24. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  25. Oratory Style
  26. What Should I Preach ?
  27. When not seeing or not finding a biblically sound church

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Further reading

  1. Here for a cause, anointed with a message the world needs to hear
  2. Motives behind Criticism are often more Important to deal With then the Criticism itself.
  3. Special Sundays!~Matthew 7:7~
  4. Which Story Do You Want To Live?
  5. Share Jesus
  6. Are you judging people by what they look like?
  7. Do to others…
  8. There is a wolf nipping at your soul
  9. “Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need.” ~Jesus
  10. Matthew 9 – Stepping forth in courage
  11. Matthew 11 – Praise and trust
  12. Matthew 14 – Prayer, Faith & Action
  13. By His Grace
  14. The Journey of Love and Commitment 
  15. Strengthen Yourself In Your God
  16. “Following Jesus” (Matthew 4:18-22 sermon)
  17. “What We Have Seen … We Proclaim”
  18. “Reaching, Teaching, Caring: Following the Footsteps of Jesus” (Matthew 4:23 sermon)
  19. A Day in the Park
  20. The Goodness of God
  21. Count Your Blessings
  22. The call to serve
  23. See you next time
  24. Christianity is a Learned Experience
  25. Biblical Application
  26. Biblical Revelation Knowledge On Spiritual Warfare
  27. The Gospel of The Kingdom
  28. Do We Really Know God?
  29. Bible Study: Insights on the Sermon on the Mount: The Contrasts
  30. Awaken
  31. 8. Doors and Destinations
  32. Meditation – Choices
  33. The Path of Love
  34. Life’s Narrow and Wide Gates
  35. Love, Entering the Narrow Gate.
  36. The Narrow Way
  37. Religious Theology – The wide gate!
  38. Shifting Sand
  39. Exodus 10, Job 28, Luke 13, 1 Corinthians 14
  40. How to choose between the wide and the narrow
  41. The Narrow Gate
  42. against the stream
  43. Taking responsibility – the narrow gate that leads to life
  44. How to choose between the wide and the narrow:part 3
  45. Difficult is the Way that Leads to Life
  46. Those Who Find It Are Few.
  47. Guard My Feet Lord ~
  48. Two Gates
  49. The Narrow Gate
  50. The Protestant – Catholic divide – The Narrow and the Wide Gates
  51. The Crumb That Turns Stale With Time
  52. Only dead fish swim with the stream
  53. The narrow gate and the postmillennial hope
  54. The Grand Reception
  55. Lord, will only few people be saved?

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Being and Feeling, Knowledge & Wisdom, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, Spiritual affairs, Welfare matters

Responsibility bigger than those who talk about worldly matters

At Stepping Toes we got a reaction from kriztle34, a girl who has always seen herself as an oddball, though how older she gets, the more she came to find that she is just ordinary. She reacted to one of our postings about the position of Jesus and his God.

She is worried about our position before God concerning our writing “Application of old pagan concept of trinity“.

She reacts:

Be careful what you put up on the internet! God is taking record of everything we do including the things we say on the internet. If you put something on the internet you should ask yourself: am I prepared for the eternal consequences that will result from my actions; because your actions don’t just effect your eternity but it can effect the eternity of every person who reads your heretical doctrine and that’s something that God does not take lightly.

She has good reason to be worried about the souls of those who write on the internet. Those writing things the whole world can read, have a big responsibility, (to themselves, to others, to protect others, to God, and for their resurrection and ability to enter the Kingdom of God), and when they write about God their responsibility is even bigger than those who talk about worldly matters.

When talking about God we should first of all be aware that we are talking about the Most High Divine Creator, Who is the Highest Lord of Lord of lords and Host of hosts. His Name may not be defiled, so those talking about Him should be very careful how they use that Holy Name.

We are fully aware of the seriousness when preaching and know that often we may be put in very difficult positions, not coming to twist the Words of God. That Word of God is set apart or holy and should be kept precious.

Those who call themselves Christian should be followers of Christ Jesus and should keep to the doctrines of that Jewish rabbi. As a Jew and descendant form the tribe of King David Jesus only worshipped a singular God, the God of Israel Who is One. Jesus also asked his followers to worship and to pray to that God like he prayed to that God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Every person writing on the net about Jesus and God should be fully aware of the danger of telling the wrong things about those Biblical characters. They also should know the importance of the task the master teacher Jeshua (Jesus Christ) has given his followers.

We as followers of Christ Jesus have the task to preach the Gospel of the coming Kingdom of God but also to show the people the Way to God. Jesus, the sent one from God is the one people should come to believe.

When writing about God, our heart should be close to Him and not close to the world. Jesus asks us to take distance from the world, though it might not always easy. So many people are caught up in the many false teachings and human doctrines so many churches present them.

It is so easy to be caught by those human doctrines and to step into the world with those many human or pagan rites and festivals. But we have to be stronger than many in the world and go for the Biblical Truth and  not human doctrines. We should not believe all those false human doctrines, but should keep to the Biblical doctrines and accept Jesus, the son of man and son of God, being the authorised one from God, who is our Messiah or the Kristos (Christ) and the only one by whom we received the grace of salvation and can find the way to the small gate to the Kingdom of God. In him people should come to believe. About him sincere lovers of God should preach and show the world that Jesus is the Way to God and that Jesus is not God himself, who faked his temptation and death and told lies when He as omniscient God would not have known who would be seated next to Christ or when Jesus would return to earth. That are all matters Jesus did not know but the Only One True God really did know and knows also today and tomorrow, Him always being the Eternal Omniscient Omnipresent Being.

Those writing about The Eternal God should not have any other gods besides Him. When writing on the internet about religious matters the writer should do his or her utmost best always to be determined to stick with the Biblical Truth.

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The article she reacted to: Application of old pagan concept of trinity

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Preceding articles

To find ways of Godly understanding

First man’s task still counting today

About a human being or not and life

Responsibilities of Parenthood for sharing the Word of God

Beautiful feet of those who announce the good news

Helping each other with prayer to start the new academic year

Witnessing because we love

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Additional reading

  1. A multifold of elements in creation and a bad choice made
  2. Mean voices on the Internet and free speech
  3. We are ourselves responsible
  4. If we, in our prosperity, neglect religious instruction and authority
  5. Determined To Stick With Truth.
  6. Atonement And Fellowship 7/8
  7. A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2
  8. Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people
  9. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  10. No time like the present
  11. Teach children the Bible
  12. Being in isolation #7 Mission work
  13. Training for the kingdom
  14. Resurrectional Responsibility
  15. Rapture articles
  16. Denominationalism exists because?
  17. God’s wrath and sanctification
  18. God is One
  19. With the gift of Jesus comes an awesome responsibility
  20. Oratory Style
  21. Not holding back and getting out of darkness
  22. 138) Cheap Grace
  23. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #18 Fulfilment
  24. Life is too precious

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Further reading

  1. Responsibility
  2. Courageous people…
  3. Our Choices are Lessons
  4. Taking Responsibility by Anne Beaulieu
  5. Awake! Part 1
  6. The God We Choose
  7. Faith that does not result in good deeds is useless
  8. Spiritual Weight Watchers
  9. Pococurante
  10. Carrying that Heavy Luggage Called Responsibility
  11. Assuming the responsibility
  12. Slogan 34: Don’t Pass the Buck
  13. Protect your players
  14. Responsibility Clause
  15. Authority laughs the last
  16. The Most Valuable Lesson I Ever Learned
  17. Freedom and responsibility
  18. You Are Who You Weren’t
  19. Why We Fail
  20. The scapegoat reply
  21. Blessings
  22. Domestic Factors which Impact a Lived Calling
  23. How to be ethical when Blogging

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Filed under Announcement, Knowledge & Wisdom, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, Spiritual affairs

Seeds, weeds and kingdoms

Germinating seeds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Birds in the fields and trees

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

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

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

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

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

Immature Elm seeds.

Immature Elm seeds. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

Kingdoms

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

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

The encouragement that the parable gives us

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

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

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

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

From small to big

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

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

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

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

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

Are you willing to be a sower?

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

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

 

Preceding

Seeds of promise

Seeds to be planted soon

Christians remaining hidden not sharing the gospel

An uncovering book to explore

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Additional reading

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

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Further reading

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

A truth many should have carved deep in their heart.

Biblical Cogitations

The most important translation of the Bible is not from the original languages to English, but from the printed page into your life.

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Responsibilities of Parenthood for sharing the Word of God

When the people of Israel got liberated from slavery in Egypt the parents took their saved children with them. God had asked them by way of Moses giving to them the Words of God, to lay up these Words of the Most High in their heart and in their soul.

18  “Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. 19 And ye shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down and when thou risest up.” (Deuteronomy 11:18-19 KJ21)

 

English: Sunday school class, Manzanar Relocat...

Sunday school class, Manzanar Relocation Center, California People in church service, standing, holding hymnals. MEDIUM: 1 negative : safety film. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Parents are given the task to have that what they placed in their hearts, to share it with their children. It not only has to sit deep inside them, it also has to come out of them. It should be so strongly connected to their mind that it is as if their brains are tied with that knowledge of the Word of God. They should not only keep it as a reminder but also should teach them to their children. This is something what is often forgotten today.

Ideal moments to start picking up the thread again are such high holidays like the ones we had this weekend. The free days are ideal to take time to speak about what happened in the past to God’s people and how we should also be part of God’s people. All that we ourselves got to hear about the Most High divine Creator we should love to share with others and especially with our own children.

That what we got to hear from God we should share with the loved ones. At home but also outside of the house we should talk about those Words God has given us. Wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning until you fall into bed at night.

Today we may find that not many parents are having time or wanting to spend time to educate their children concerning ethics, morals and faith matters. Today we have much more facilities than in the days of Moses where they could not take a bible or the scrolls at hand. In those times most of the upbringing and/or teaching was a personal responsibility. Centuries later the parents took time each day to read from Scriptures and to talk about the commandments of God. Many generations also got to Sunday School to have a religious formation. Today in not many countries are there still Sunday Schools or bible Schools for the religious people.

Today lots of people are avoiding that responsibility to teach the Word of God. Even speaking about good and bad is put aside in many cases. Today lots of children are also allowed to watch certain pictures on television which are not for their eyes at all. Many cruel or ugly words are allowed to enter the living room, via that screen what has become bigger and bigger.

Moses told the people that in case they diligently would keep all this commandment that Jehovah God commanded them to obey, sticking close to Him God on His part will drive out all these nations that stand in their way. so they should then not be afraid of those nations which are much bigger and stronger than them.

“22 For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you to do them—to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, and to cleave unto Him— 23 then will the LORD drive out all these nations from before you, and ye shall possess greater nations and mightier than yourselves.” (Deuteronomy 11:22-23 KJ21)

Nothing has changed. Also for us today if we will be careful to do all this commandment that God commands us to do, loving the Most High divine Creator Jehovah as your God, walking in all His ways, and holding fast to him, then He will bless you so you inherit the promised land. We, ourselves must first teach ourselves from God’s words, messages such as this one – for ‘the promised land’ – the kingdom of God – is surely just over the horizon. Having taught ourselves we must teach any children we have – and others we can influence. The saying is that ‘actions speak louder than words’ – but words and actions together speak louder still. “A blessing” or “a curse” lie before us! Which have you chosen – or are on the point of choosing? There is no middle way.

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Preceding: Responsibilities of Parenthood fully discharged

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The writer of the blog UpStream writes

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

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

Rob Heijermans is aware that

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Strangely enough the blog writer seems to know that

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Preceding articles:

Leading people astray!

Restitution

Comments to James remarks, about Faith and works

Luther’s misunderstanding

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

Our life depending on faith

Romans 4 and the Sacraments

Is Justification a process?

Justification – salvation is by grace through faith – JI Packer

Faith itself not the cause of justification – Louis Berkhof

Letter to the Romans, chapter 3

Letter to the Romans, chapter 4

Additional comments to the 3rd Letter to the Romans

Additional comments to the Letter to the Romans 4

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Please find also to read

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

 

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Further related articles

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

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Our life depending on faith

Looking at the Bible reading for January 28

When we look at our bible readings of the day, we do find Genesis 46-47, Psalm 50 and Paul’s letter to the Romans chapter 3-4.

English: Apostle Paul in the apse

Apostle Paul in the apse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Apostle Paul when he was called Saul had been full of zeal for keeping the law and saw the followers of Christ as appearing to have no respect for keeping the law so he persecuted them – until he was dramatically converted. After his conversion and the maturity gained by the experiences that followed, he wrote his remarkable letter to the Romans, a letter primarily to the Gentiles.

The apostle asks a valid question, which should bring us to wonder what the good might be us of difference between a non believer and a believer doing good works.

People trained in God’s ways

Throughout history we have seen that there have been many people who were so called trained in God’s ways and even got titles of universities, declaring them to be theologians. Lots of people look up at them and think they are the person who best know how everything is about God, gods, religion, man, life and death. Lots of people got frustrated with what they got to know from those scholars  who often said we just had to belief this or that, because it is incomprehensible for a human being to understand. As such lots of human doctrines were introduced in Christendom.

People also got annoyed with certain behaviour of those so called religious men. Some had relationships not only with different wives, but there have also been clerics who had intercourse with children.
On the other hand the world sees lots of unbelievers who are doing very good works and are always ready to help others, plus giving very good examples how we make the best of our life in a good relationship with others.

God not abandoning people

It is true that lots of non-religious people are also good people, but the apostle Paul tells us as it turns out, it makes a lot of difference who is a follower of Christ and a believer in the Only One True God.

In history there have been many people who tried to bring the Word of God to others and make it alive for the future. We had the Jewish scribes who were being put in charge of writing down and caring for God’s revelation, what we call the Holy Scriptures or the Bible. In the course of doing that, when some of those Jews abandoned their post, we can see that God didn’t abandon them.

Throughout the Book of books we can see how God always stayed with His People, even when they did bad things or had moments that they forgot Him. Even the most important of these men of God had one moment of doubt, that he questioned God why He (Jehovah God) had abandoned him (Jesus).

Jesus at one moment also cried to his heavenly Father saying

 Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? (Matthew 27:46)

being a call unto God questioning Him why he had forsaken or had deserted the son of man Jeshua (Jesus Christ), who was willing to do God’s Will instead of his own will. (In case Jesus is God he naturally would always have done his own will and could never have left himself.)

Not cancelling out Jehovah his faithfulness

Do you think Jesus and other men of God their faithlessness cancels out Jehovah the Almighty God His faithfulness?

We are told that God keeps his Word even when the whole world is lying through its teeth. Scripture says the same

“God forbid! Yea, let God be true, though every man a liar. As it is written: “That Thou mightest be justified in Thy sayings, and mightest overcome when Thou art judged.”” (Romans 3:4 KJ21)

We are given God’s Word which stand fast and true and is not given to confuse us or to.  We are given commandments in that book of books and are questioned if we make the law of none effect through faith.

The unbelievers can do good and bad like we too can do a lot of bad. But if our wrongdoing only underlines and confirms God’s right-doing, “shouldn’t we be commended for helping out?” remarks Paul. When having come into the faith we should be willing to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ (a work to be done) and should do our uttermost best to comply not only with his teachings but also with the ordnance of God.

Sayings we are saved and have to do no works

The people who do want us to believe we can do whatever we want because salvation is on us by the blood of Christ, must know that it is not by our bad deeds that God would come out better.  It’s simply perverse to say,

“If my lies serve to show off God’s truth all the more gloriously, why blame me? I’m doing God a favour.”

or to say

“The more evil we do, the more good God does, so let’s just do it!”

That’s pure slander. (Romans 3:7-8)

Same start for every one

It is not because we are Jews, Christians or Muslims that we would be we more excellent than the others and are getting a better break than the others. (Romans 3:9) Basically, all of us, whether insiders or outsiders, start out in identical conditions, which is to say that we all start out as sinners. Scripture leaves no doubt about it that there’s nobody living right, not even one, nobody who knows the score, nobody alert for God. They’ve all taken the wrong turn; they’ve all wandered down blind alleys.

It may sound harsh, but there is “No one’s living right”.

“9 What then? Are we better than they? No, in no wise! For we have before proved that both Jews and Gentiles are all under sin. 10 As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; 11 there is none that understandeth; there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They have all gone from the way; they have together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”” (Romans 3:9-12 KJ21)

Therefore every day we do have to be careful not to have our throats to be gaping graves,our tongues slick as mud slides. (Romans 3:13) With no tongues to deceit we should try to get others to know Jeshua, Jesus Christ, the son of man and the son of God. In him we did receive salvation, but in him we do have to grow (a work) so that we can run a good race, not for the honour of sinner-of-the-year, or for the one who made the most money on the back of others.

Afraid for those coming in

In our land littered with heartbreak and ruin, many of us do not want to know living with others. They are so afraid of the refugees coming into our nation. Are they afraid of them being able to get others to believe what they believe and to come to the same religion as theirs. Should they than not wonder how it comes that those immigrants not come to be surprised by the faith we are having and that they would become interested in the faith that lives in Europe? We think the greatest problem is that there is not so much faith in God living around in our regions. Most people never give God the time of day. This makes it clear, doesn’t it, that whatever is written in these Scriptures is not what God says about others but to us to whom these Scriptures were addressed in the first place! And it’s clear enough, isn’t it, that we’re sinners, every one of us, in the same sinking boat with everybody else?

For sure it is not our involvement with God’s revelation that will  put us right with God. There are also many unbelievers who write about our God and about religion. There are also people who are against God who try to bring others in doubt by throwing lots of discussions at them.

Should we not more question why there would be a danger of Muslims converting people from here unto the Islamic faith? In case there would be enough people standing strong in their faith we should not worry.

Did Jesus also not give the task to his followers to go out and preach? When Christians would do what Jesus Christ ordered them to do we should have enough preachers witnessing about the works of god and about the real faith we should follow.

Man incapable to govern

Throughout history man has proven to be incapable to come to good governments, or to be able to rule this universe. By the Word of God we are forced to face our complicity in our sins. By all our stupidities we do have to come to see we can only have a good government under the jurisdiction of Christ Jesus.

Because by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified in God His sight (Romans3:20) we should know that for by the Law comes the knowledge of sin and are we given the ways to handle sin. Now we also do not have any excuse because in our time something new has been added. What Moses and the prophets witnessed to all those years has happened. The God-setting-things-right that we read about in our Scriptures, has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. And not only for us, but for everyone who believes in him. For there is no difference between us and them in this.

“20 Therefore by the deeds of the law, no flesh shall be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, which is by faith in Jesus Christ, unto all and upon all those who believe. For there is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:20-23 KJ21)

“30  What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, who followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; 31 but Israel, who followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.” (Romans 9:30-31 KJ21)

Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God sent us His only begotten son and accepted this man’s ransom offering to pay for our sins. did it for us. The action of God, out of sheer generosity, was taken for the recognizance of the humbleness of  the Nazarene Jew who was willing to put his own will aside for complying totally to God’s Will.

A Freebox in Berlin, Germany 2005, serving as a distribution centre for free donated materials, and where the gratis is really for free.

With Jeshua (Jesus Christ) the world has received a pure gift. With God it is not, like we can see so many times today, that there are offers to people where they say it is gratis, but then they still have to pay so much money. By God Gratis does really means for free. We do not have to pay anything for the Gift of Grace. Salvation is given to everybody in the world. But it is given at one point and then we have to continue from there onwards. And that is what a lot of people seem to forget.

The mess we are in & Setting the world in the clear

God by the action taken, or by the work done by His son, got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where God always wanted us to be. In His plan fits a righteous people. Jehovah, the God of gods, did it by means of Jesus Christ. It was God who sacrificed Jesus on the altar of the world to clear that world of sin. Having faith in him sets us in the clear.

God decided on this course of action in full view of the public — to set the world in the clear with himself through the sacrifice of Jesus, finally taking care of the sins he had so patiently endured. For many that does not seem to be clear, but it’s now — this is current history! God sets things right. He also makes it possible for us to live in his rightness.

Working at a relationship

When we come to know that Jesus is the Way to God, we do have to respond (an action to be taken or a work to be done). Our response to what God does for us should create our willingness to do the right works to come to a very good relationship with Him. to come to such a good relationship our lives have to get in step with God.

Jehovah God is the God of outsider non-Jews as well as insider Jews and this God of Abraham should be the Allah, Adonai, Elohim or God of Israel and God of all Jews, Christians, Muslims but also of all those who wander in this world without knowing yet what the purpose and the goal of their life is.

The apostle Paul warns the world to know that there is only one God Who has set right all who welcome His action and enter into it, both those who follow the apostle’s religious system and those who have never heard of his and our religion.

“I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. And the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20 KJ21)

“in whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him.” (Ephesians 3:12 KJ21)

“knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” (Galatians 2:16 KJ21)

“And His name, through faith in His name, hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know. Yea, the faith which is by Him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.” (Acts 3:16 KJ21)

“But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.” (Galatians 3:22 KJ21)

“23 for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:23-24 KJ21)

“30 seeing it is one God who shall justify the Circumcision by faith, and Uncircumcision through faith.” (Romans 3:30 KJ21)

Having stressed “the faithfulness of God” (verse 3) and having told that God reacts to what he sees – seeing “faith” and also faithlessness – we should be fully aware that it is important how we act. Our behaviour is an important factor to our faith-life.

Several people are cross with God and left faith because they did not see any difference between them and the unbelievers. Many do say it is not right God also “inflicts” trouble, pain and sorrow to those who believe in Him.
We must not say,
“God is unrighteous to inflict wrath” (verse 5) on the disobedience he sees in his creation.
What God looks to see, Paul says as he higlights the example of Abraham in the fourth chapter, is – faith, genuine belief and trust in God for “faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness” (verse 9) and it will be “counted” to us also.

“Cometh this blessedness then upon the Circumcision only, or upon the Uncircumcision also? For we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.” (Romans 4:9 KJ21)

English: Statue of Saint Paul at Bab Kisan, Da...

Statue of Saint Paul at Bab Kisan, Damascus, Syria Français : Statue de Saint-Paul à Bab Kissan, Damas, Syrie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Paul stresses this was “the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe … so that righteousness would be counted to them as well” (verse 11).

We read in Genesis earlier this month all the things Abraham did – through faith. Paul is stressing that

“For the promise that he should be the heir of the world came not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” (Romans 4:13 KJ21)

Acting faithfully toward God in our lives is what matters most of all and Abraham is the key example for us to follow. In the past the Jews had a contract or covenant with God. With Christ there was made a new covenant. In the knowledge that a contract drawn up by a hard-nosed lawyer and with plenty of fine print only makes sure that you will never be able to collect, we have been offered a much better contract. Yes, we as human beings do need some contract or written rules. As  such those who follow Christ, believing in him, can live with the promise that God made to our forefathers. God’s promise, though, can not be broken. This is why the fulfilment of God’s promise depends entirely on trusting God and His way, and then simply embracing Him and what He does. God’s promise arrives as pure gift. That’s the only way everyone can be sure to get in on it, those who keep the religious traditions and those who have never heard of them. For Abraham is father of us all. He is not our racial father — that’s reading the story backwards. He is our faith father. Therefore Paul realized that “the law brings wrath” and

“15 because the law worketh wrath; for where there is no law, there is no transgression. 16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be given by grace to the end that the promise might be made sure to all the seed, not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all” (Romans 4:15-16 KJ21)

It depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace.

We should recall God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 17:4,5 and his life of faith beginning from when he left Ur. We must each reflect on our own acts of faith, for it is not just something we talk about! What things have we done, and are doing – that show our faith?

Our eternal future “depends on faith”.

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

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Please do find also to read:

  1. Epicurus’ Problem of Evil
  2. Condemnation of the World and Illustration of Justification
  3. Elul Observances
  4. God’s wrath and sanctification
  5. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  6. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  7. Outflow of foundational relationship based on acceptance of Jesus
  8. Back from gone #4 Your inner feelings and actions
  9. Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences
  10. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  11. Being of good courage running the race
  12. A race not to swift, nor a battle to the strong
  13. The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong
  14. To Soar In The Spirit You Have To Be Hard Core
  15. Being religious has benefits even in this life
  16. Cognizance at the doorstep or at the internet socket
  17. Good and bad things in this world
  18. Salvation and Righteousness
  19. Establish your hearts blameless in holiness
  20. Myth 12: The Hyper-Grace Gospel Makes People Lazy
  21. Faith Alone Does Not Save . . . No Matter How Many Times Protestants Say It Does
  22. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  23. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
  24. A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2
  25. Faith and works
  26. Not making yourselves abominable
  27. The attraction of doing something
  28. Re–forming ourselves
  29. Humbleness
  30. Wired to Connect?
  31. Bearing fruit
  32. Our stance against certain religions and immigrating people
  33. Religion, fundamentalism and murder
  34. Whoopi Goldberg commandments and abortion
  35. Daring to speak in multicultural environment
  36. As Christ’s slaves doing the Will of God in gratitude
  37. 2014 Religion
  38. Disobedient man and God’s promises
  39. Crisis man needed in this world
  40. From pain to purpose
  41. Unconditional love
  42. Relying on the Love of God
  43. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #17 Sorts of prayers
  44. God’s forgotten Word 5 Lost Lawbook 4 The ‘Catholic’ church
  45. Daily Spiritual Food To prepare ourselves for the Kingdom of God
  46. Evangelisation, local preaching opposite overseas evangelism
  47. When not seeing or not finding a biblically sound church

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Further reading

  1. Faith (Heartfixxer)
  2. Embracing the Path
  3. To Soar In The Spirit You Have To Be Hard Core (the Inscribed heart)
  4. See Other with God’s Eyes
  5. Faith is the Key
  6. Wear Your Faith on Your Sleeve
  7. We Need to Water Our Faith
  8. A Date With God
  9. Where is the Church that Christ built?
  10. Actions are the Megaphone of Words
  11. We are justified by faith and works, in a manner of speaking.
  12. Luther’s misunderstanding
  13. Faith-Rooted Practice – Rev. Dr. King and Prophetic Evangelicalism
  14. Declaring what is not as though it is
  15. What is Right?
  16. Thankful Thursday: God’s Faithfulness
  17. Great Faithfulness
  18. Grace Makes All The Difference

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On the Affirmation of Scripture

On the tenth of October 2015 in the United Kingdom there took place a debate on the dwindling numbers of community members.

Small” and “big” may be relative, but for certain faith groups in Christendom they can not ignore that they are a tiny group. The groups of Christianity who keep to the teachings of Jesus and who believe what he and his Father say are also “small” compared to the mainline churches of Christendom.

The Christadelphians, who are a very small group in Christianity its non-trinitarian groups had all the reason to come together at Dudley college to look at their society.

The Christadelphians were once an outspoken, vibrant, edgy “Christian” group who spread their urgent end-times message far and wide. They grew exponentially in the latter half of the nineteenth century, but their heyday is long past. For several decades now they resemble a heavy rusty old steam locomotive that is running out of speed as it lumbers along ill-kept tracks, but still tries to muster the motion needed to take on steep mountain slopes.

recognised Arne Roberts who looked at the community of Dr. John Thomas who inspired many Bible Students from which later came such today better know and much bigger groups like the International Bible Students and Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Al over the world we may find big churches and in the United States of America we even can find mega churches. What we can see and hear at those churches and institutions that often they have gone far away from the Biblical Truth.

Many people may think the big churches and those who have the classical church building are the real good churches. On what do they base themselves for making that judgement? Is it really the looks outside that make the Church of God. are those places with shining gold and many pictures and statues the right temples god wanted to have build for Him? And in those huge places is there done a worship of the right god and in the right way, according to God’s Wishes?

Often it is better to be a small church, with people so loving the Word of God that they really spent enough time studying it and living according to it. The only danger with a small church is that with being small there can be a small mindset or that people do not feel enough encouragement and start loosing interest.

A small group (12-15 people) is the perfect environment for people to share needs of being able to talk to people, to share ideas, to feel common ground and to find an intimate environment.  In fact, this is the size of group Jesus himself also used for discipleship and his disciples also came together in small groups at each-others houses. they did not have especially build worship places outside the synagogue. For their bible study and worship of God those who were not a Jew, but followed the teachings of Jesus, gathered regularly in public and private places. They were not looking for big numbers but were happy to meet with like minded followers of Christ.

Let believers always assure that they go hand in hand with each other, looking for the biblical knowledge and wisdom entrusting the elder-ship, leadership or guidance of their church by people who are really founded in the truth, continuing to study that Word of God and putting it in the first place plus knowing where and how to go to.

In that small church may be a strong feeling of togetherness where the leader of the group does not as a dictator but is willing to share his vision and hopes that can inspire and affirm what God is stirring in the hearts of that small community.

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Additional readings

  1. a little church
  2. Is your church small?
  3. The Big Conversation
  4. The Big Conversation follow up
  5. The Big conversation – Antagonists
  6. The Big conversation – Recognition and refocus
  7. Having a small church mentality
  8. Reasons why you may not miss the opportunity to go to a Small Church
  9. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  10. To remove the whitewash of the Jehovah Witnesses as being the only true Bible Students and Bible Researchers
  11. Vision blurred by cumulative burden of divisions
  12. Not words of any organisation should bind you, but the Word of God
  13. Why we do not have our worship-services in a church building
  14. Four Pressing Needs in Rural Communities, and How the Church Should Respond

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Further reading

  1. What is God’s Will For Your Life?
  2. On the Affirmation of Scripture
  3. Walking in Total Dependence Upon God
  4. Walking With Intentionality
  5. Deacon Selection In the Small Church
  6. If It’s All About Relationship…
  7. Advice to Pastors from Nanny McPhee
  8. Just Try a Few Things
  9. Seven Critical Factors in Bringing About Change
  10. For the Bookshelf: The Apathetic and Bored Church Member
  11. A Snapshot of the Church in America
  12. Jesus and the Church Growth Gurus
  13. What’s in It for Me?
  14. What’s my line?
  15. A major problem in the church.
  16. Overcome division with core values
  17. Why Churches Must Plant Churches That Plant Churches (Part II)
  18. How do you eat an elephant?
  19. “When Faith Goes, All Good Things Go”

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The Wittenberg Door

With respect to the authority of Scripture, the greatest challenge facing Bible-believing churches today is not the disbelief aimed at the Bible from outside the faith; nor is it the attack against it from unbelieving theologians cloaked with Christian terminology.

The greatest challenge facing Christians are pulpits where the inerrant Word is wholeheartedly affirmed but routinely side-stepped and ignored. If your preacher is not preaching the text, he is not preaching the Bible, and functionally denies its authority. It does little for the church to affirm the authority of the Scriptures, if the church’s preachers are not shaped by it. If the preachers and elders of the church are not fed on the Word of God, with what do they feed the sheep entrusted to them?

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