Marriage of Jesus 9 Reason for a new marriage

Asherah goddess of heaven by some called also the Wife of Yahweh

 

Drawing on ancient inscriptions that mention “Yahweh and his asherah,” some scholars (notably William Dever in Did God Have a Wife? Archaeology and Folk Religion in Ancient Israel) have in recent years posited that the ancient Israelites worshipped Asherah and other deities alongside Yahweh, the God of the Old Testament. In the previous chapter I tried to show you that Yahweh’s supposed wife Asherah was no part of the real followers of the One True God YHWH יהוה {Jehovah} of Hosts is his Name, the Holy One of Israel or better:  the Set-apart One of Yisra’ĕl.

A Revealer between many gods

A certain Andy on the bible Gateway Blog writes:

That the ancient Israelites worshiped many different gods is not news to anyone who has read the Old Testament. Although God revealed himself to His people as the one and only true God (even singling out Asherah worship for condemnation), the Israelites, surrounded by other nations that worshiped many gods, constantly backslid into idolatry. This idolatry didn’t always take the form of an outright denial of God—rather than denying Yahweh, the Israelites would often start worshipping other deities (like Asherah) alongside Yahweh; or sometimes they would worship Yahweh in a way that he had expressly forbidden. Much of the Old Testament describes theforbiddenworshipofpagangodslikeAsherahandtheBaals and the failure of Israel’s leaders to outlaw such cults. {Did God have a wife?}

Cover of "Did God Have A Wife? Archaeolog...

Cover via Amazon

Writings from the world

In the previous chapter I showed you God’s amazement at Israel’s constant backsliding into idol worship, despite all that God had done for them. I mostly spoke about the Old World except at the end when I looked at the prophetic writings in the Bible and compared it to the situation today, about what we have seen happening in several churches.

 I also wanted to warn you how we do have to be careful for writings from the world and so called findings, which are not exactly historically proven to be genuine. We have seen that many people try to bring a lot of attention to the Gnostic writings and to more contemporary writings as the Da Vinci Code. In such writings there may be spoken of a wife for God and a wife for Jesus, but nowhere in the Bible is this even hinted at.

 It is not because we can find in those papyrus manuscripts chunks of the same Bible texts that we may assume they original writings to be taken serious. I do believe many of them were retroactively rewritten to falsify the record. As I told previously it is strange that God did not protect such writings like He did with the other canonic writings. Everything which was notated in one language and translated in other languages, could be compared to early and later writings, which compared with manuscripts found much later but written much earlier confirmed the writings we had or have so far.

Human or spiritual needing or not having sexual appetite

English: Noah's testament with God

Noah’s testament with God (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Abrahamic God is not a God recognisable as a human figure needing sex like the other gods of the pantheon. The God of Moses, who is the same God of Jesus has no sexual qualities or desires.

When there is spoken about Asherah in the Bible she is not depicted as God’s wife. The true believers of God do not need to see or find a God with the same attributes as themselves or as any human being. We are made in the likeness of God, so naturally many attributes we do have come from God. But because God is a Complete God of gods, without any deficiencies we may assume that those elements which can weaken us can not be found by the Most High God. Sexuality is such one of the elements God does not have to have.

Canaanite and other gods

Robert Wright writes in his book The Evolution of God:

Many scholars have said no. Indeed, in Kaufmann’s view, the “non-mythological” nature of Yahweh “is the essence of Israelite religion” and sets Israelite religion “apart from all forms of paganism,” certainly including native Canaanite religion.

There is doubly bad news for those who, like Kaufmann, would hail Yahweh as a clean break from pagan myth. First, there are signs that the break wasn’t so clean—that, like so much else in the history of religion, it was more evolutionary than revolutionary. Second, when you try to trace this evolution, you see that Yahweh’s family tree may contain something even more scandalous than an early fusion with the Canaanite deity El. It may be that Yahweh, even while inheriting El’s genes, somehow acquired genes from the most reviled of all Canaanite deities: Baal.… {Did Yahweh have a wife? Excerpt from Chapter 5: Polytheism: The Religion of Ancient Israel}

Virgin Queen of heaven

Astarte, the goddess, the Queen of Heaven, whose worship Jeremiah so vehemently opposed.

From the previous posting you may also have come to the conclusion that God Himself who told Jeremiah that He was grieved by the idol worship of the “queen of heaven“, would than also not be married to such a queen. Many ancient sky goddesses got that title and later the Roman Catholic Church added their “queen of heaven”  or the “Blessed Virgin Mary”  The fact that archeologists have found Asherah in Samaria is not surprising when you know that according to biblical history, about half of the kings of Israel worshipped other gods and built altars and Asherah to them.

Concerning that wife of Yahweh, I presented Biblical writings where the position of the Only True God and His people is presented, under the figurative way of speaking about the relationship and bond or covenant between a husband and his wife. I do hope that you  readers came to see that  “that wife” is not Asherah or any other cultic goddess. The wife is none other than God’s people. In the Word of God (the Bible) the Creator compared His relationship with a young man youth who married a virgin, and as the bridegroom at such an occasion would rejoice, joyeth over the bride,
so shall He who is the God of gods, the Elohim rejoice over them.

“For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee; and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.  (6)  I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that are Jehovah’s remembrancers, take ye no rest,  (7)  and give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.  (8)  Jehovah hath sworn by his right hand, and by the arm of his strength, Surely I will no more give thy grain to be food for thine enemies; and foreigners shall not drink thy new wine, for which thou hast labored:  (9)  but they that have garnered it shall eat it, and praise Jehovah; and they that have gathered it shall drink it in the courts of my sanctuary.” (Isaiah 62:5-9 ASV)

Zion and Backsliding children

God could only see His people wandering off many times, though He often called them and asked them to remember what He had done for them:

“Return, O backsliding children, says Jehovah; for I am married to you. And I will take you, one from a city, and two from a family; and I will bring you to Zion.” (Jeremiah 3:14 VW)

aka. the Moabite Stone (2007-05-19T14-10-19.jp...

aka. the Moabite Stone (2007-05-19T14-10-19.jpg) Mesha Stele: YHWH, the god of Israelites as mentioned in the Moabite inscription in line 18 (context: and I took from there tvessels (or hearths) of YHWH and I dragged them before the face of Kemosh). Transliteration (modern Hebrew characters): יהוה (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This Zion is also a bride to the Most high. in Jerusalem shall be His bed, his throne, which will be given to one of the sons of Adam, who would be the righteous son of Abraham and son of king David. This young man would become the new wife but also the new husband. Zion or Tzion for The God of Abraham is the spiritual point from which reality emerges, located in the Holy of Holies of the First, Second and Third Temple. It was that what was build up by God. as happens more in the Holy Scriptures Jerusalem and the Jewish people are personified. Naming the holy city “daughter Zion” was a common practice in the Hebrew language. Not only Jerusalem was called this way, but also Babylon, Tyre and Tarshish were referred to as “daughter”. In the New Testament the Daughter of Zion is the bride of Christ, also known as the Church, according to the writer of the book of Hebrews (see Hebrews 12:22). In this sense the lower hill with the temple mount is of course the Daughter of Zion as a geographical or ‘earthly’ manifestation of spiritual reality, as well as the lively and alive place of the human congregation.

“on the contrary, you have come to mount Tziyon, that is, the city of the living god, heavenly Yerushalayim; to myriads of angels in festive assembly;” (Hebrews 12:22 CJB)

God having been married to Israel, the People of God; His son Jeshua (Jesus Christ) shall be married to the spiritual Israel, which is the Body of Christ or the Church.

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Preceding articles:

 Marriage of Jesus 1 Mary, John, Judas, Thomas and Brown

 Marriage of Jesus 2 Standard writings about Jesus

 Marriage of Jesus 3 Listening women

 Marriage of Jesus 4 Place of the woman

 Marriage of Jesus 5 Papyrus fragment  in Egyptian Coptic

 Marriage of Jesus 6 Jesus said to them “My wife”

 Marriage of Jesus 7 Impaled

 Marriage of Jesus 8 Wife of Yahweh

 To be continued with:

 Marriage of Jesus 10 Old and New Covenant

 

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Additional reading:

  1. Another way looking at a language #6 Set apart
  2. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #2 Purity
  3. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  4. Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer
  5. How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice
  6. Self inflicted misery #7 Good news to our suffering
  7. Signs of the Last Days
  8. Misleading Pictures
  9. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  10. Reflect on how much idolizing happens
  11. 8 fears caused by the fear of Man
  12. Wishing lanterns and Christmas
  13. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  14. Irminsul, dies natalis solis invicti, birthday of light, Christmas and Saturnalia
  15. Easter: Origins in a pagan Christ
  16. Hellenistic influences
  17. Position and power
  18. Politics and power first priority #1
  19. If we, in our prosperity, neglect religious instruction and authority
  20. God’s wisdom for the believer brings peace
  21. Worship and worshipping

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Also of interest:

Did God Have a Wife?

  • Never Mind Jesus–Did God Have A Wife? (theatlantic.com)
    The recently revealed “evidence” that Jesus had a wife deserves those quotation marks. As various people have argued, a fragment of text written centuries after the crucifixion doesn’t carry much weight as a biographical source. However, when it comes to the question of whether Jesus’s father had a wife, the evidence is stronger. And I’m not talking about Joseph, but, rather, about Jesus’s heavenly father–God.
  • Asherah, Wife of God (fractalfortress.wordpress.com)
    Asherah is a Semitic “mother goddess” who appears in several ancient sources. She was loved by the Jews, Akkadians, Hittites, Canaanites, Sumerians, and possibly the Ancient Egyptians. Due to syncretism, she absorbed the traits of the Goddess Athirat. Her titles are similarly many and include Queen of Heaven, Creator of the Gods, Lady of the Sea, and Holiness.Contrary to what you may believe, Jews were not always monotheistic: the worship of many deities was at one time a common and acceptable practice. Monotheism came late to Israel’s history. During this early time period, some scholars believe, the Goddess Asherah was worshipped alongside Yahweh, the god of the Bible. We can find evidence of this in the “Good Book” itself: in 2 Kings 21:7, Manasseh builds a statue of Asherah, and Solomon builds temples to many deities. Goddess figurines, along with numerous references to “Yahweh and his Asherah,” have also been unearthed in Israel. Furthermore, biblical verses that describes God as mother [Deut 32:18; Num 11:12-13; Isa 45:9-10, 49:15; 66:13] were probably absorbed from Asherah.
  • Asherah – the Queen of Heaven, who is Astarte and Ishtar (magickwyrd.wordpress.com)
    In biblical text the Goddess Asherah was worshiped in the temple Solomon built for Yahweh in Jerusalem. In the Book of Kings, we’re told that a statue of Asherah was housed in the temple and that female temple personnel (2 Kings 21:7) wove ritual textiles for her. Ancient texts, amulets and figurines unearthed primarily in the ancient Canaanite coastal city called Ugarit, now modern-day Syria, include reference to Yahweh and Asherah. Inscriptions are found asking for blessings together from Yahweh and Asherah, which reveals that God was not alone and his wife was a revered Goddess who had a part in religious practice and belief. All of these artifacts describe that Asherah was a powerful fertility goddess. As time passed, and over centuries, Asherah has been carefully edited out by authors who put bible texts together, to clear the way for focus on the worship of a single male god, Yahweh.
  • Asherah: Was God’s wife edited out of the Bible? – Christy Choi (bharatabharati.wordpress.com)

    “What remains of God’s purported other half are clues in ancient texts, amulets and figurines unearthed primarily in an ancient Canaanite coastal city, now in modern-day Syria. Inscriptions on pottery found in the Sinai desert also show Yahweh and Asherah were worshipped as a pair, and a passage in the Book of Kings mentions the goddess as being housed in the temple of Yahweh.” – Christy Choi
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    “Traces of her remain, and based on those traces … we can reconstruct her role in the religions of the Southern Levant,” he told Discovery News.

    Yahweh & AsherahAsherah, he says, was an important deity in the Ancient Near East, known for her might and nurturing qualities. She was also known by several other names, including Astarte and Istar. But in English translations Ashereh was translated as “sacred tree.”

    “This seems to be in part driven by a modern desire, clearly inspired by the Biblical narratives, to hide Asherah behind a veil once again,” Wright says.

  • Know Your Bible Lesson 14: Ahab & Elijah (Period 5) (924jeremiah.wordpress.com)
    By now we’ve learned that wives have a powerful spiritual influence over their husbands. Every time the Israelite men jump in the sack with some idolatrous women, they turn away from Yahweh to worship other gods. We saw this happen during the wilderness journey in Period 2, and we saw King Solomon take himself down by collecting lovers from all over the pagan world. We’re going to see this pattern again with Ahab, but somehow we get the feeling that Ahab knows what he’s doing when he rushes out to marry a sexy Baal worshiper.
  • Celebrating the Wiccan Way on Litha (anytimecostumes.com)
    Held on June 21st, the longest day of the year, this exciting holiday is a celebration of light, power, fertility, and nature. It’s meant to honor the Sun God when he is at his strongest and the Goddess pregnant with life before the harvest. It’s a bittersweet occasion as well, though–once it ends, the days begin to get shorter and shorter, marking the decline summer and the beginning of winter.
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    There are a few different stories Wiccans retell during the Litha Sabbat (holy day).
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    Since it’s a time of fertility and communion, marriages and handfastings are often held on Litha. One of its bynames–Vestalia–comes from the Roman goddess Vesta, the ruler of the hearth, and so, marriage. Juno, the goddess of union, is also the presiding deity over June, making it a popular day for couples to tie the knot…or jump the broom, depending on your preference.
  • Asherah, Part I: The lost bride of Yahweh (pterprof.wordpress.com) > Asherah, Part I: The lost bride of Yahweh + Asherah, Part II. + Asherah, Part III: The Lion Lady « Queen of Heaven

    The archaelogical record suggests that Asherah was the Mother Goddess of Israel, the Wife of God, according to William Dever, who has unearthed many clues to her identity. She was worshiped, apparently throughout the time Israel stood as a nation.  In many homes, images like the one above decorated household shrines.

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    In Ugarit, She was known as Athiratu Yammi, She who Treads on the Sea.  This suggests She was responsible for ending a time of chaos represented by the primordial sea and beginning the process of creation.  The Sea God, or Sea Serpent Yam is the entity upon which She trod.  In a particularly bizarre and suggestive passage in the Bible, 2 Kings 18:4, one monotheistic reformer, pursuing the typical course of smashing sacred stones and cutting down Asherahs records this additional fact: He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan.)

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    Asherah, Part II: The serpent’s bride

    In Minoan Crete a mysterious goddess bearing serpents is very ancient; in classical Greece, Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, bears the serpent covered head of Medusa on her shield.  Throughout ancient Canaan, images can be found of a goddess holding or surrounded by serpents.  Some believe she is Astarte (the Canaanite version of Ishtar, who is in turn the Babylonian version of Inanna).  Inanna is said to have stolen the me, the magical tablets of wisdom, from Enki, and to have delivered that knowledge to her own people. Others believe the Canaanite serpent goddess is Asherah, in part because this goddess is often depicted standing on a lion and Asherah is also called the Lion Lady (a topic for another day).
    Asherah, Part III: The Lion Lady « Queen of Heaven
    The flower and the nudity are natural symbols of fertility; the snake is associated with wisdom. This fits with the archaelogical evidence that Asherah was worshiped by the Canaanites and later Israelites as the Mother Goddess and the Tree of Life.  (See Asherah Part I and Part II.) But why is Asherah the Lion Lady?

  • Asherah, Part I: The lost bride of Yahweh (farpointe.wordpress.com) Originally posted on Queen of Heaven
    They worshiped Her under every green tree, according to the Hebrew Bible (what Christians call the Old Testament).  The Bible also tells us Her image was to be found for years in the temple of Solomon, where the women wove hangings for Her.  In temple and forest grove, Her image was apparently made of wood, since monotheistic reformers demanded it be chopped down and burned.  It appears to have been a manmade object, but one carved of a tree and perhaps the image was a stylized tree of some kind.
  • Know Your Bible Lesson 13: Warring Kingdoms (Period 5) (924jeremiah.wordpress.com)
    In Lesson 10, we learned about how there are two different series of books which give us chronological summaries of the kings of Israel. One is the Samuel-Kings series, and the other is the Chronicles series.
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    David’s line is the true royal line—anyone else is just an imposter. The only time we hear about the kings of the north in 2 Chronicles is when they have an interaction with the kings of the south. So Chronicles is about the kings of Judah, while the author of Kings leaps back and forth between the two nations.

Marriage of Jesus 6 Jesus said to them “My wife”

In the text that is coming to be known as the “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” the Harvard researcher Karen King rightly points out that new items of information about the historical Jesus are not to be expected from it.

Front of the papyrus "the Gospel of Jesus's wife"

A growing number of scholars have denounced the business card-sized papyrus as a fake, with recent op-eds appearing in The Wall Street Journal and on CNN. Meanwhile, Harvard University, which announced the papyrus’ discovery, has fallen silent on the artifact, not responding to requests for comment on new developments suggesting the find is a forgery.

The document has the disciples talking to their master-teacher Jesus introducing questions about, respectively, leadership, the end, and the kingdom of heaven. In the “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” the abbreviation of Jesus’ name (the nomen sacrum) to =ic takes the same form as in the Thomas examples.

English: Gospel of Thomas or maybe gnostic Gos...

Gospel of Thomas or maybe gnostic Gospel of Peter (see talk page). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to my opinion in case the text has been really constructed out of small pieces – words or phrases – culled from the Coptic Gospel of Thomas, in other manuscripts from that Gospel we should find it back. I do find it strange that certain saying where not discovered yet but can cope that new elements can be found which would set sayings 30, 45, 101 and 114 in new contexts. This is most probably the compositional procedure of a modern author who is not a native speaker of Coptic.

Francis Watson has done a line-by-line comparisons of the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife (GJW) and the Gospel of Thomas (GTh) and focused only on the recto side of the fragment that King has transcribed, translated and edited. Underlinings in Coptic texts and English translations highlight identical wording in Thomas and the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife.

He writes:

It will be convenient to take lines 3 and 4 of GJW together:GJW3-4].arna maria~m =mpsa =m moc a [n? ] . . . . . / peje =ic nau ta hime m~=n [] “deny. Mary is n[ot]* worthy of it…” [ ] . . . . . Jesus said to them, “My wife and*… [arna, “deny”, occurs twice in GTh in the injunctive form, marefarna , “let him deny” (GTh 81; 114). {GTh 47.17; 51.5.}

In the second case, the object of renunciation is “the world” (pkocmoc); in the first, the verb is unqualified: “Let the one who has power deny [marefarna]”. While the gap preceding arna in GJW 3 might be filled with the injunctive and pronominal prefixes (maref- or mareC- ), it is unclear how that would make sense when it is the disciples who are speaking, rather than Jesus himself. The primary model for lines 3-4 is GTh 114: GTh 51.18 peje cimwn petroc

GTh 51.19 nau je mare mari ham ei ebol =nhyt=n

GTh 51.20 je =nc hiome =mpsa an =mpwnhpeje =ic

(Simon Peter said / to them, “Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of life.” Jesus said …”)

Here the author or compiler of GJW has taken four elements from GTh 114, reversing the order of the third and fourth of them. “Mary” is directly linked to “not worthy of…”, and the intervening reference to “women” now follows the introductory formula, “Jesus said”, where it is changed to “my woman” , = “my wife” (tahime). (hime is one of a number of variant spellings listed under chime in W. E. Crum, A Coptic Dictionary , Oxford: OUP, 1939, 385a. There are also variant spellings of the plural, of which Thomas’s chiome is one.) {The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife: How a fake Gospel-Fragment was composed, Francis Watson, Durham University, U.K, First posted, 20 September 2012 Revised, 26 September, 2012}

After this Jesus speaking either of a woman, the woman, a wife, the wife or his wife, he continues with what we also can find in the Thomas gospel “She will be able to be a disciple to me”. In case Magdalene would have been more than a pupil to him and would have build up a personal relation with him, I doubt if Jesus would use the loanword ma;ytyc  meaning “to be or become a disciple”.

The front side of folios 13 and 14 of a Greek ...

The front side of folios 13 and 14 of a Greek papyrus manuscript of the Gospel of Luke containing verses 11:50–12:12 and 13:6-24, P. Chester Beatty I (Gregory-Aland no. P 45 ). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The phrase as a whole is a Coptic equivalent of the Lukan ou0 du/natai ei]nai/ mou maqhth/j (Lk.14.26, cf.vv. 27, 33), which the GTh passage probably echoes. In Luke, however, the Coptic text uses different although synonymous formulations.(=mmns[om etrefrma;ytyc nai (Lk.14.26); =mmns[om etrefswpe nai =mma;ytyc (Lk.14.27); mmns[om =mmof etrefswpe nai =mma;ytyc (Lk.14.33). {The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife: How a fake Gospel-Fragment was composed, Francis Watson, Durham University, U.K, First posted, 20 September 2012 Revised, 26 September, 2012}

The origin of the verbal phrase in GJW 5 appears to lie in GTh 101, along with GJW 1. {The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife: How a fake Gospel-Fragment was composed, Francis Watson, Durham University, U.K, First posted, 20 September 2012 Revised, 26 September, 2012}

“26 « ወደ እኔ የሚመጣ ሁሉ አባቱንና እናቱን፥ ሚስቱንና ልጆቹን፥ ወንድሞቹንና እኅቶቹን፥ የራሱንም ሕይወት እንኳ ከእኔ አብልጦ የሚወድ ከሆነ የእኔ ደቀ መዝሙር ሊሆን አይችልም። 27 የራሱን መስቀል ተሸክሞ የማይከተለኝ፥ የእኔ ደቀ መዝሙር ሊሆን አይችልም።” (Luke 14:26-27 Amharic87)
“እንዲሁም ከእናንተ መካከል ያለውን ሁሉ ለእኔ ሲል ያልተወ ማንም ሰው የእኔ ደቀ መዝሙር መሆን አይችልም። »” (Luke 14:33 Amharic87)

“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers, and sisters, and his own life too, he is unable to be My taught one. “And whoever does not bear his stake and come after Me is unable to be My taught one. (Luke 14:26-27 The Scriptures 1998+)
“So, then, everyone of you who does not give up all that he has, is unable to be My taught one.  (Luke 14:33 The Scriptures 1998+)

He who comes to me and does not put aside his father, and his mother, and his brothers, and his sisters, and his wife, and his children, and even his own life, he cannot be a disciple to me. And he who does not take up his cross and follow me, cannot be a disciple to me. For which of you, who wishes to build a tower, does not at first sit down and consider its cost, to see if he has enough to finish it? Lest after he has laid the foundation, he is not able to finish it, and all who see it will mock him, Saying, This man began to build, but he was not able to finish. Or which king, who goes to war to fight against a king equal to him, would not at first reason, whether he is able with ten thousand to meet the one who is coming against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while he is far away from him, sends envoys and seeks peace. So every man of you, who would not leave all his possessions, cannot be a disciple to me.  (Luke 14:26-33 Lamsa NT)

Jesus invites everyone to come after him, fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, children, brothers and sisters, and his disciples should know that nobody is excluded to become one of his disciples. Likewise Mary Magdalene gave up her won community and left Magdala to be close to her master, she was accepted as equal to the male disciples, though they did not like it at first. They also had to learn they did have to give up their prejudice against women and should work at their inclination for those Jesus had called.

Jesus his disciples had to learn that their attitude could not stay the same as in the world they were living in. They had to give up their ordinary customs and judgements over people. Mary Magdalene had probably learned what she had to put aside or had to give up, and what she could gain by “giving up the world” to become a ‘full disciple‘ of Jesus. As such she could become as ‘woman’ a ‘wife’ in the Body of Christ. In such a way we could also look at it how the Catholic Church understood it for their priests and monks. They became spouse of Jesus Christ.

I do belief we have to understand the wrong translation of ‘wife’ in this way. I would prefer to use the more correct translation ‘woman’, but those who would prefer to use the word ‘wife’ should see it in that context, Mary Magdalene like other women becoming a ‘wife’ in the Body of Christ, like the sisters in a monastery by their vows found themselves “married to Christ”. It is not a ‘literal’ marriage, or having the female person becoming the sexual partner of Christ, but having the female becoming the spiritual partner of Christ Jesus, like males also should become spiritually connected with Christ, becoming ‘one body’. This is not literally by having sex with Jesus, but being united in thought or spirit. Like Jesus is one with God, we also do  have to become one with Jesus and through him also becoming one with God.

Watson writes:

The eight lines of GJW recto are derived from the Coptic GTh, virtually in their entirety, making dependence certain – a highly unusual form of dependence on words more than sense. The compiler has used a “collage” or “patchwork” compositional technique, and this level of dependence on extant pieces of Coptic text is more plausibly attributed to a modern author, with limited facility in Coptic, than to an ancient one. Indeed, the GJW fragment may be designedly incomplete, its lacunae built into it from the outset. It does not seem possible to fill these lacunae with GTh material contiguous to the fragments cited. The impression of modernity is reinforced by the case in line 1 of dependence on the line-division of the one surviving Coptic manuscript, easily accessible in modern printed editions. {The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife: How a fake Gospel-Fragment was composed, Francis Watson, Durham University, U.K, First posted, 20 September 2012 Revised, 26 September, 2012}

When researchers may find some modernity in the material I do hope more energy and time shall be put in further examination. Further investigations and fresh considerations could bring more clarity. But according Watson it seems unlikely that the “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” will establish itself as a “genuine” product of early gospel writing.

Even if GJW were to be accepted as a 4th century Coptic text, Dr King’s claim that it derives from a Greek original from the 2nd century would be impossible to sustain, along with her attempt to reconstruct an original historical context for it. Where a text is so manifestly dependent on another text in translation, it makes no sense to postulate dependence on an earlier original. {The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife: How a fake Gospel-Fragment was composed, Francis Watson, Durham University, U.K, First posted, 20 September 2012 Revised, 26 September, 2012}

he said with his thanks to Richard Bauckham for emphasizing this point. In Watson’s view, however, a 4th century Coptic origin is equally unlikely.

A modern parallel to the author’s collage technique may be seen in the composition of the Secret Gospel of Mark passages which – as I have argued at length elsewhere – are to be attributed, along with the letter in which they are embedded, to their alleged discoverer, Morton Smith. {Francis Watson, “Beyond Suspicion: On the Authorship of the Mar Saba Letter and the Secret Gospel of Mark”,JTS 61 (2010), 128-70, esp. 139-42, 167-69. See also Stephen C. Carlson, The Gospel Hoax: Morton Smith’s Invention of Secret Mark, Waco, Texas: Baylor University Press, 2005. For the full text of the Clementine letter that incorporates the secret gospel excerpts, see Morton Smith, Clement of Alexandria and the Secret Gospel of Mark, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1973}

As I have shown, Smith’s composition is itself inspired by an explicitly fictional gospel fragment known as the Shred of Nicodemus which features in an otherwise forgotten novel by James M. Hunter, The Mar Saba Mystery (1940). {F. Watson, “Beyond Suspicion”, 161-70}

Both the American scholar and the Canadian novelist create their fake gospel texts from fragments of genuine texts: Mark in the one case, Mark, John and the Old Testament in the other. Perhaps the author of GJW was inspired by the Secret Gospel ’s compositional procedure, which was noted soon after its publication although the correct conclusion was rarely drawn from it.
The Jesus of the Secret Gospel likes to consort naked with young men at night, while seeming hostile to women. {Mar Saba Letter, II.23-III.14; III.14-17 (references are to page and line numbers); see F. Watson, “Beyond Suspicion”,135-36.}

By contrast, the new gospel fragment has Jesus speak disconcertingly of “my wife”. Has this new heterosexual Jesus been created to complement Smith’s homosexual one? {The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife: How a fake Gospel-Fragment was composed, Francis Watson, Durham University, U.K, First posted, 20 September 2012 Revised, 26 September, 2012}

Jesus wife payrus transcriptJesus wife papyrus translation

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Preceding articles:

Marriage of Jesus 1 Mary, John, Judas, Thomas and Brown

Marriage of Jesus 2 Standard writings about Jesus

Marriage of Jesus 3 Listening women

Marriage of Jesus 4 Place of the woman

Marriage of Jesus 5 Papyrus fragment  in Egyptian Coptic

To be followed by:

Marriage of Jesus 7 Impaled

Marriage of Jesus 8 Wife of Yahweh

Marriage of Jesus 9 Reason for a new marriage

Marriage of Jesus 10 Old and New Covenant

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Find also:

  • Oh Look- Harvard Is Pimping ‘The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife’ – It Must Be Easter! (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
    Thanks, Harvard, for devolving to the level of the History Channel and the Discovery Channel and The Discovery Channel Canada and being willing to sensationalize a trinket of modern invention.
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    Read the essay here by Leo Depuydt from
    Brown University who states what nearly all knew from the beginning, the doc is a forgery.
    We’ve seen this movie too many times, esp. around Easter and its a shame that Harvard went to so much trouble going along with it.
  • New evidence casts doubt on ‘Gospel of Jesus’ Wife’ (religion.blogs.cnn.com)
    one of the typographical errors in an online edition of the “Gospel of Thomas” is replicated, uniquely, in the Jesus’ wife fragment.
    +
    Add to this the fact that the carbon dating of the John papyrus puts it in the seventh to ninth centuries, but Lycopolitan died out as a language sometime before the sixth century. No one wrote anything in Lycopolitan in the period in which this text would have to be dated.
  • Jesus Wife Gospel the Real Thing (writedge.com)
    The testing was very thorough, using micro-Raman spectroscopy for determining that the make-up of the ink matched other 1st to 8th century papyri samples, alongside both microscopic and multispectral imaging as well as radiocarbon testing. Having completed the testing, the conclusion was that the fragment is almost certainly a product of early Christians, not a modern forger, according to Harvard Divinity School.Not that this is universally accepted, by any means, because Brown University professor Leo Depuydt, still maintains the document is a forgery, full of what he calls gross grammatical errors, and employing the same words found in the early Christian text discovered in Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in 1945, the so-called Gospel of Thomas. Why people find it so hard to accept that Jesus, if he even existed, could have had a wife seems very odd, because he was only human, after all.
  • Misogynist Paul, Peter’s Boyfriend, Is the Founder of Christianity! (venitism.blogspot.com)
    Historians believe Jesus had a child with Mary Magdalene.  In apocryphal texts, Magdalene is portrayed as a visionary and leader of the early movement whom Jesus loved more than he loved the other disciples. Several Gnostic gospels, such as the Gospel of Mary, written in the early 2nd century, see Mary as the special disciple of Jesus who has a deeper understanding of his teachings and is asked to impart this to the other disciples.In Gnostic writings, Magdalene is seen as one of the most important of Jesus’ disciples whom he loved more than the others. The Gnostic Gospel of Philip names Magdalene as Jesus’ companion. Gnostic writings describe tensions and jealousy between Magdalene and other disciples, especially misogynist Peter, boyfriend of Paul.
  • ‘Gospel Of Jesus’ Wife’ Papyrus Is Ancient, Not Fake, Experts Say (huffingtonpost.com)
    Although the peer-reviewed paper will now be published in the academic journal and was posted online on Thursday, the criticism is likely to continue. For one, the journal will also run an article by Brown University Egyptology professor Leo Depuydt, who says the fragment is a fake. In the paper, published online Thursday, Depuydt points to grammatical mistakes that he says a native Coptic writer would not make, as well as similarities to another well-known non-canonical biblical text.
  • Jesus Chooses the Twelve Disciples // Jesus Teaches and Heals (travismikhailblog.wordpress.com)
    In these days he went out to the hills to pray; and all night he continued in prayer to God.  And when it was day, he called his disciples, and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles;
  • The Twelve Days of Christmas Explained (wholesalecostumeclub.com)
    As the story goes, from the mid 1500s to the early 1800s Roman Catholics in England had to practice their faith in secrecy. To help the children remember the doctrines of Catholicism and other important facts of the faith, they  wrote this carol as a catechism song with each day of Christmas symbolizing a religious reality.
  • ‘Jesus wife’ text no fake – expert (independent.ie)
    Brown University professor Leo Depuydt, in an analysis also published by the Harvard Theological Review, was not convinced. He said the text contained grammatical errors that a native Coptic speaker would not make. Prof King suggested that the text was written in an informal style found in other ancient Coptic texts.
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A participation in the body of Christ

From “Today’s thought” 2014, February 26

By The Christadelphian Magazine and Publishing Association

“A participation in the body of Christ

In Paul’s 1st letter to the Corinthians we have come to where he refers to the memorial emblems, he stresses that their participation in these should be in a way that illustrates their unity. Paul has made several points very strongly in earlier chapters addressing issues that were seriously undermining their unity in Christ: their lack of harmony worried him very much.

Their coming together to remember that Christ died for them needed to take place in an atmosphere of genuine unity – but it wasn’t. To start with some were influenced by the surrounding spirit of idol-worshipping, but “…. beloved fleefrom idolatry”(10:14). wrote Paul.

He appeals to them,

“I speak to sensible people, judge for yourselves what I say”(verse 5).

Do we ourselves make sensible judgements? The situation for us is not completely different. Paul says

“The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not the participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body…”(verses 15-17).

The verses which follow indicate some had a problem leaving behind the pagan practices they had previously enjoyed, Paul says to them,

“You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy?”(verses 21,22).

In chapter 5 he made the point,

“Christ is our Passover …let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven …of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth”(7,8).

In chapter 11 we will read that

“anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself”(verse 29).

He does not mean – discerning his own body – but the body of Christ and their responsibility to his or her fellow believers. Paul told the Philippians he wanted to

“hear of you that you are standing firm in onespirit and onemind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel”(1:27).

This precious oneness is demonstrated each time we meet for fellowship. There have been the rare occasions when a member of another church has been present who has taken offence at not being offered the emblems! But this is an opportunity to lovingly point out that when the church was first established on the Day of Pentecost, those baptised “devoted themselves to the Apostles teaching and fellowship and the breaking of bread …”(Acts 2:42). What is the Apostles teaching? Do they (do we) properly “discern the Lord’s body”when we participate? If we are of one mind as to that teaching and are baptised –our participation in the body of Christ will a great spiritual joy. Let us make sure we ourselves are fully devoted to this teaching and the way of life it leads to.

***

The Christadelphian is a monthly magazine published for the Christadelphian community worldwide. It was started in 1864 by Robert Roberts under the initial title of The Ambassador of the Coming Age. In 1869, its title was changed to The Christadelphian, and it has been continuously published ever since.

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IMG_9336 Ecclesia Gathering together

Christadelphians gathering in unity

Preceding article: Members of the ecclesia uniting and seeking God’s help in tribulation

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Additional reading:

  1. Reflect on how much idolizing happens
  2. He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
  3. Gaining Christ, trusting Jehovah
  4. One mediator
  5. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  6. Your struggles develop your strengths
  7. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  8. Disciple of Christ counting lives and friends dear to them
  9. Congregate, to gather, to meet
  10. Meeting – Vergadering
  11. Parish, local church community – Parochie, plaatselijke kerkgemeenschap
  12. Reasons to come to gether
  13. Fellowship
  14. Integrity of the fellowship
  15. Feeling-good, search for happiness and the church
  16. Making church
  17. What’s church for, anyway?
  18. The Church, Body of Christ and remnant Israel synonymous
  19. Many churches
  20. Synagogue, Church or Ecclesia for the Christian
  21. The Ecclesia
  22. Intentions of an Ecclesia
  23. Not words of any organisation should bind you, but the Word of God
  24. Manifests for believers #5 Christian Union
  25. Commitment to Christian unity
  26. Breathing and growing with no heir
  27. United people under Christ
  28. One Mind, One Accord
  29. Christianity is a love affair
  30. The Law of Christ: Law of Love
  31. The task given to us to love each other
  32. Priority to form a loving brotherhood

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  • The Spirit, The Word, and Christ: Are Our Churches Spirit-Controlled? (ilyston.wordpress.com)
    There are a number of gifts that Paul mentions that relate to speech. There is the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, prophecy, and speaking in tongues. These are all connected with supernatural activity.  And Paul wants to know that we may know if God is working or if the demons are working. He says, “Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.”

    This criterion concerns what is said of the person and work of Christ. When a person is speaking under the influence of the Spirit of God, they are never moved by God’s Spirit to depreciate the Lord Jesus Christ’s claim to the Messiah. This is the idea behind the accursed.

  • Body is as Body Does… (alienrighteousness.org)
    Being in Jesus and believing in Jesus now must take on a fleshly tone, because God’s Word says it is so. No longer are we separated from God as the heavens are from the earth, but we are joined to Him, bodily. As our own flesh is close to us, so are we to God, in Jesus.
  • Galatians 1: Christ Alone (t2pneuma.net)
    Paul’s introduction as an apostle is surprising because in the Greek apostle (ἀποστολικός BDAG1010) means messenger, envoy.  For most of the apostles, the term referred to disciples who were specifically appointed by Jesus and had served Jesus for three years (Mark 3:16-19).  By contrast, Paul never knew Jesus during this ministry and never followed him.  Quite the contrary, Paul persecuted the church (Acts 8:3). Paul’s commissioning as an apostle came through a vision of the risen Christ (Acts 9:4-19).  Paul’s experience on the road to Damascus led him to a dramatic change in faith and calling much like the prophet Ezekiel (2:1-3).  We might expect that Paul would brag, not about his call, but about his education under Gamaliel (Acts 22:3).
  • The Scandal of Division (jessicahof.wordpress.com)
    The homily given by the Pope on 25 January echoed the words of Paul here. How weak we are in the face of the wiles of the enemy. Moments in time after Paul had preached there, and with the Apostles available, the men and women of Corinth had managed to set up factions in which they made claims for Paul, or another Christian leader, Apollos, or for Peter (Cehpas); worst of all some claimed alone to be ‘of Christ’. As St John Chrysostom pointed out, this was a great scandal since they made baptism, the point of unity, the cause of division.
    +
    Can there really be unity? We have Paul’s letters to the Corinthians, but we know from Clement’s letter to them, written probably before the end of the first century, that they had once more lapsed into quarrelling with each other; jealousy and envy had even led to the deaths of the Apostles, Peter and Paul. What happened to the church in Corinth is lost in the mists of history, but where it could have been a noble example of Christians pulling together in the cause of Christ, it disappears from the scene; the answer is not far to seek.We have not been good at learning the lessons of history, and no impartial historian can absolve ‘The Church of God which sojourneth in Rome’ from its part in the scandal of division. Pope Francis, like his immediate predecessors is determined to do what he can in the cause of unity. Are such hopes doomed? Not if we believe St Paul:

     Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

  • Review: Life in Christ (activedidactic.wordpress.com)
    the teachings of the apostle Paul to explain the Christian’s position “in Christ” and the Christian’s nature as a “new creation.” (pp. 22–27) The author continues by rightfully expounding upon 2 Corinthians 5:17. He explains that for the Christian, “the old has gone and is gone for good; the new has come and keeps on coming.” (p. 28) Walker then closes out the chapter with an evangelistic appeal: “Whoever comes to Christ in faith–repenting of his sins, seeing his misery without Christ, seeking grace to be in Christ–and earnestly desiring that one day he might see and be with Christ–will find Christ to be his Savior and Lord and will enter into the blessed realities of the new creation in himself now and look forward to a life in a new heaven and new earth with Christ in days to come, the very heaven of heaven.” (p. 34)
  • The Unsearchable Riches of Christ (lessonsfromkoza.wordpress.com)
    How does a man go from hating, even killing, Christian believers, to becoming one himself and then urging others to do the same? By the power of Christ, that’s how.
    +
    It’s unlikely that our conversion experiences were as dramatic as Paul’s, but they were similar in the sense that we also were traveling along a path that we had chosen, yet because God had a plan for us, he stopped us in our tracks and redirected us. Don’t ever think that your decision to become a Christian was fully orchestrated by yourself; God placed people and circumstances in your life to draw you near to Him and by His grace, you responded to His call.
    +
    In our own lifetimes we too will inevitably face situations which might cause us to waver in our faith, but Paul’s words should encourage us to keep witnessing and sharing God’s word, remembering that there is a divine purpose at work, and that purpose is to draw as many people to Christ as possible.
  • The Things Jesus Began to Do and Teach (theorthodoxlife.wordpress.com)
    when we read the book of Acts, we are not just reading about what Jesus’ people do; we are reading about what Jesus himself does. The apostles even testified of this. They say, “Do you think it is in our own power that we did this? That we healed this man? No, this man was healed by . . .” And they give the glory to Christ. They give the glory to the risen Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 3:11-16)
    +
    Anything you do to hurt anybody in the body of Christ, you have just done to hurt Jesus himself. You have attacked the Lord and Savior. And He might say to you the same thing that he said to Saul: “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”

    “Oh! I wasn’t persecuting you, Lord! I was just picking on one of your people. I was just picking on somebody in the body of Christ.”

    That’s like saying, “I wasn’t hurting you, Russ, I was just yanking on your ear.” “I wasn’t hurting you, Ben, I wasn’t attacking you personally. I was just punching you in the arm.”

    In the same way, if you serve–in love and humility–one of your brothers, one of your sisters in the body of Christ, guess what?

    You just served Jesus personally. Himself.

  • How Jesus became Christ-like (dougrowse.wordpress.com)
    It’s a funny question, I know.  Did Jesus wake up one morning, look at Himself in the mirror and say, “Hey, you’re Jesus, the Christ”?  Or, did Jesus grow into it?  He was born of a virgin and laid in a manger as a baby. That can only mean He went through the terrible two’s, and other notable stages of development.  Was He a Christ-like toddler?  Was He a Christ-like adolescent?
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Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God

Nearly 2 000 years ago

Nearly two thousand years ago a man preaching in the desert saw his cousin coming near. John the Baptist, perhaps not knowing so much about his cousin, understood how he came unto earth and what his position was.

English: John the Baptist baptizing Christ

John the Baptist baptizing Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

John seeing Jesus coming toward him yelled out

“Here he is, God’s Passover Lamb! He forgives the sins of the world! This is the man I’ve been talking about, ‘the one who comes after me but is really ahead of me.’

(Jesus was born or came into existence after John the Baptist, but had his function already planned by God long before John the Baptist, Isaiah, Isaac and Abraham.) John the Baptist knew that his task was been to get Israel ready to recognize him as the God-Revealer.

” (29)  On the next day Yoḥanan saw יהושע {Jehsua} coming toward him, and said, “See, the Lamb of Elohim who takes away the sin of the world!{1} {Footnote: 1Mt. 1:21, Titus 2:14, 1 John 3:5 & 8.}  (30)  “This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has become before me, for He was before me.’ {1 Footnote: 1See v. 15.}  (31)  “And I did not know Him, but that He might be revealed to Yisra’ĕl, therefore I came immersing in water.” ” (John 1:29-31 The Scriptures 1998+)

Jesus was placed by God in the womb of Miriam (Mary/Maria) to come on earth as the fulfilment of the Word of God spoken in the garden of Eden, providing Adam and Eve a solution for what they had done.

Baptism with water and spirit

At that time in the river Jordan God Himself led His Voice be heard to all who stood around John the Baptist baptising Jesus. And the Voice made known that it was the son of God who stood there in the water. Still two thousand years later many do not want to accept that it was the “son of God” who stood there to start his official adult life of witnessing for God.

Jan Brueghel the Elder, John the Baptist preaching

Jan Brueghel the Elder, John the Baptist preaching (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

John had come to baptise with water, giving the people a good bath and scrubbing sins from their life so they could get a fresh start with God. John clinched his witness that he watched the Spirit, like a dove flying down out of the sky, making himself at home in him, and that The One who authorized him to baptise with water told him, ‘The One on whom you see the Spirit come down and stay, this One will baptise with the Holy Spirit.’ As many prophets before him, Jesus was a man who was willing to give himself in the hands of the Creator God, who had told mankind that he was His son.

” (16)  And having been immersed, יהושע {Jehsua} went up immediately from the water, and see, the heavens were opened, and He saw the Spirit of Elohim descending like a dove and coming upon Him,  (17)  and see, a voice out of the heavens, saying, “This is My Son, the Beloved, in whom I did delight.”” (Matthew 3:16-17 The Scriptures 1998+)

God’s Passover Lamb to be seen

The people could see the one who John the Baptist called “God’s Passover Lamb.” There were two disciples of John who heard him and went after Jesus. Jesus looked over his shoulder and said to them, “What are you after?” They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher“), “where are you staying?” He replied, “Come along and see for yourself.” They came, saw where he was living, and ended up staying with him for the day but also got to see what Jesus could mean for them. They believed they had found the “Messiah” (that is, “Christ“). (John 1:29-42) From that day onwards they kept their eyes on Jesus, and got to know more on the relation of Jesus and his Father the Only One True. they also came to understand that this rabbi could be the send one of God by whom they, and we, can come closer to God, the author and finisher of our faith. In Jesus they could find and can we find peace, forgiveness, rest, grace. They where willing to see what had happened and were going to see more incomprehensible thing the three years afterwards.

Second Adam also of flesh and blood

There may be many gods in the world, but there is only One True God Divine Creator, and That God is not comparable to any human being except to His son. God is Spirit (John 4:24) but His sons are human beings. His first son and daughter where the first Adam and Eve. But those first creations turned against their Creator. At that time, in the beginning of Creation, the Creator took care that a solution for their sin was given to the world. God was prepared to make a second Adam, who would bring salvation and as such would be called the “Christ” or “Messiah“. In him people could once again see that all people are created in the image of God. Though all children which came after the first Adam received the deficiencies from their forefathers. Being created straight ahead from the Source of Life, Jehovah God, the second Adam, would receive the opportunity to prove human kind that a human being could follow the Will of the Most High, and could stay pure and un-blamed.

Not able to be seen

God can not be seen by man or he would die, but Jesus could be seen by many. Jesus like any other man could be tempted, though God can not be tempted nor sin. Jesus could sin but did not.

” (20)  But He said, “You are unable to see My face, for no man does see Me and live.”” (Exodus 33:20 The Scriptures 1998+)

” (18)  No one has ever seen Elohim.1 The only brought-forth Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He did declare.2 Footnotes: 1See 5:37, 6:46, 1 John 4:12. 2The pre-existent Son declared, and was the One who appeared to men.” (John 1:18 The Scriptures 1998+)

” (24)  “Elohim is Spirit, and those who worship Him need to worship in spirit and truth.”” (John 4:24 The Scriptures 1998+)

Revelation to be seen

What we can see is what God reveals to the world and let us to be seen. Jesus declared his Father and made Him clear for all to understand what He want from us and How He thinks and works. Jesus was prepared to listen to the Voice of his Father, his God and the God of Abraham, making this voice know all over the world.

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

Flesh blood and bones, human and ghost or spirit

At the river Jordan people could see that God was in their midst and declared Jesus to be His son. Ghost has no flesh, blood nor bones, but Jesus had this all. That Jesus was no spirit, even not after he had died he proved to his disciples when he came under their midst and showed his wounds.

” (30)  And it came to be, when He sat at the table with them, having taken the bread, He blessed, and having broken, He was giving it to them.  (31)  And their eyes were opened and they recognised Him. And He disappeared from their sight.  (32)  And they said to each other, “Was not our heart burning within us as He was speaking to us on the way, and as He was opening the Scriptures to us?”  (33)  And rising up that same hour they returned to Yerushalayim, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together,  (34)  saying, “The Master was truly raised, and has appeared to Shim?on!”  (35)  And they related what took place on the way, and how He was recognised by them in the breaking of the bread.  (36)  And as they were saying this, יהושע {Jehsua} Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, “Peace to you.”  (37)  And being startled and frightened, they thought they had seen a spirit.  (38)  And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts?  (39)  “See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”  (40)  And saying this, He showed them His hands and His feet.  (41)  And while they were still not believing for joy, and marvelling, He said to them, “Have you any food here?”  (42)  And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb.  (43)  And taking it He ate in their presence.  (44)  And He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all have to be filled that were written in the Torah of Mosheh and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.”  (45)  Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,  (46)  and said to them, “Thus it has been written, and so it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer and to rise again from the dead the third day,  (47)  and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His Name to all nations, beginning at Yerushalayim.  (48)  “And you are witnesses of these matters.  (49)  “And see, I am sending the Promise of My Father upon you, but you are to remain in the city of Yerushalayim until you are clothed with power from on high.”  (50)  And He led them out as far as Bĕyth Anyah, and lifting up His hands He blessed them.  (51)  And it came to be, while He was blessing them, that He was parted from them and was taken up into the heaven.  (52)  And they, having bowed down to Him, returned to Yerushalayim with great joy,  (53)  and were continually in the Set-apart Place praising and blessing Elohim. Amĕn.” (Luke 24:30-53 The Scriptures 1998+)

Those who have not seen the son of the Non-seen

After Jesus had died the apostles had seen him again. We never have seen him but we should believe those who have seen him and those who like us can not see God but did see the son of God, יהושע {Jehsua} Jesus, the one who is the Immanuel and Messiah. We also can get the Ghost God being part of us like it was being part of Christ. By letting Him enter ourselves we shall become transformed, but we shall never become God, like Jesus also was not God. We do have to become like Christ like Jesus was like God united one in spirit. Putting on the armour of Christ and the armour of God did not make the people in the old times God nor shall it make us  to become Christ nor God.

After and of the flesh and dwelling within

In the world we can see many people who are after the flesh, do mind the things of the flesh. We who believe in Christ Jesus, to be the Saviour should be after the Spirit, do mind the things of the Spirit. Jesus did also things of the Spirit like we should do. He also told us to become worthy children of God, having God enter our hearts and to put away our carnally mind because that is death. We are assured that to be spiritually minded is life and peace; because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, because it cannot be.  Jesus learned his followers that they who are in the flesh cannot please God. He also told many parables so people could easily understand what it mean to be in Christ or to be in God, to be with God, to be for God and to do the Will of God. Those who want to do like Christ, not his or their own will, but the Will of God, can receive the Holy Spirit and as such be not in the flesh, but in the spirit if the Spirit of God truly dwells within you. Jesus had the Spirit of God dwelling in him. We should have the Spirit of God dwelling in us likewise. This dwelling of the Spirit though shall not make us, like it did not with Christ, make us the God eternal. We shall stay man of flesh and blood like Jesus was a man of flesh and blood. We also shall not escape the penalty of the garden of Eden. Jesus also did not escape that death spoken out by His Father. Jesus really died whilst God can not die. It is only by accepting that Jesus was really a man of flesh and blood who really died,that we can give respectful notice to what Jesus really did; he gave his life for the sins of many, as a ransom. Those who take Jesus to God, who can not die, make a farce of his suffering and his death.

Having spirit of Christ

Now if any man does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to him.  And if Christ is within you, the body is dead because of sin: but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of Him who raised our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead dwells within you, so He Who raised Jesus Christ from the dead will also quicken our mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwells within us.  But therefore we do have to accept Jesus his anointment and offer as Lamb of God. We clearly have to see and understand the relationship between the Father and son, who now sits at the right hand of his Father to be a mediator between God and man.

Living in spirit

Those who have faith in the actions Jesus undertook and believe he was a messenger of the Most High are not indebted to the flesh to live after the flesh.  For if we live after the flesh, we will die in flesh and totality: but if we, through the Spirit, subdue the deeds of the body, we shall live this life in spirit. It does not mean we shall not feel any pain, or we shall not have to face difficulties and temptations. Like Jesus encountered many difficulties and temptations, we also shall have to face them and the natural death. But allowing the Spirit to enter in our hearts we may count on it that He shall enable us to endure whatever we need to endure. Those who are led by the Spirit of God, are the sons of God, for they have not received the spirit of bondage, to be in fear again; but they have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby they can cry onto God like Christ called on his Father: “Abba“, “Avon”, “Father“, “our Father“.  And this Spirit bears witness to our spirit, that we are the children of God:  and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ; so that if we suffer with him, we shall also be glorified with him.

” (5)  For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the matters of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the matters of the Spirit.  (6)  For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace.  (7)  Because the mind of the flesh is enmity towards Elohim, for it does not subject itself1 to the Torah of Elohim2, neither indeed is it able, Footnotes: 1Or does not obey. 2John 15:5, 1 John 4:4, 1 John 3:9, 1 John 5:18.  (8)  and those who are in the flesh are unable to please Elohim.  (9)  But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of Elohim dwells in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Messiah, this one is not His.  (10)  And if Messiah is in you, the body is truly dead on account of sin, but the Spirit is life on account of righteousness.  (11)  And if the Spirit of Him who raised יהושע {Jehsua} from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Messiah from the dead shall also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit dwelling in you.  (12)  So then, brothers, we are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.  (13)  For if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you shall live.  (14)  For as many as are led by the Spirit of Elohim, these are sons of Elohim.  (15)  For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”  (16)  The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of Elohim,  (17)  and if children, also heirs – truly heirs of Elohim, and co-heirs with Messiah, if indeed we suffer with Him, in order that we also be exalted together.” (Romans 8:5-17 The Scriptures 1998+)

Presenting our body to allow God to enter in us, doing His Will

By the mercies of God we should present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, by means of reasonable service. Though we can not see Christ nor God, we should put faith in him who gave his soul (=his full being) to his Father who is also our Father to Whom we should pray.  Jesus lived in this world but was not of this world, so we also should not imitate the way of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds, becoming as brothers and sisters in Christ, that you may discern what is that good and acceptable, and perfect will of God. As Christ also did not want to do his will, we also should only want to do God His Will.

” (10)  let Your reign come, let Your desire be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10 The Scriptures 1998+)

” (41)  And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and falling on His knees He was praying,  (42)  saying, “Father, if it be Your counsel, remove this cup from Me. Yet not My desire, but let Yours be done.”” (Luke 22:41-42 The Scriptures 1998+)

” (34)  יהושע {Jehsua} said to them, “My food is to do the desire of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work.” (John 4:34 The Scriptures 1998+)

” (30)  “Of Myself I am unable to do any matter. As I hear, I judge, and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own desire, but the desire of the Father who sent Me.” (John 5:30 The Scriptures 1998+)

” (38)  “Because I have come down out of the heaven, not to do My own desire, but the desire of Him who sent Me.” (John 6:38 The Scriptures 1998+)

” (7)  “Then I said, ‘See, I come – in the roll of the book it has been written concerning Me – to do Your desire, O Elohim.’ ”  (8)  Saying above, “Slaughter and meal offering, and burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor delighted in,” which are offered according to the Torah,  (9)  then He said, “See, I come to do Your desire, O Elohim.” He takes away the first to establish the second.  (10)  By that desire we have been set apart through the offering of the body of יהושע {Jehsua} Messiah once for all.” (Heb 10:7-10 The Scriptures 1998+)

To see and understand the sending of the son of God

We should see and understand the sending of the son of God, Jesus Christ, because we can see what is written about him in the Book of books. We should see the desire this man had and we should see the desires of his Father the Divine Creator God Who does not like to have pleasure in, sacrifices, offerings, burnt offerings, and sacrifices for sin’ (offerings regularly made under the Law). That God, whom Jesus considered to be his Father and our Father was willing to take the offering of this Nazarene Jew as the token of reconciliation. Because Jesus wanted and succeeded into doing the will of his Father the former sacrifices were set aside to be replaced by the latter, the offer of the son Jeshua, Jesus the Christ or Messiah.  And it is in the fulfilment of the will of God that we have been purified by the sacrifice, once and for all, of the body of Jesus Christ.

See things and scrutinize everything

We should see all things and search them. We should come to see what is given to the apostles and followers of Jesus Christ, to all of us who are willing to follow the teachings of the rabbi Jesus, not to think of ourselves beyond what we ought to think; but to think soberly, every man according to the measure of faith which God has distributed to him.  For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same function,  So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.  Being in the body of Christ shall not make us Christ nor god or God. but being in the body of Christ we will be entrusted with many special gifts, differing according to the grace that is given to us; some have the gift of prophecy, according to the measure of faith,  some have the gift of ministration, in his ministry; and some of teaching, in his teaching.

” (1)  I call upon you, therefore, brothers, through the compassion of Elohim, to present your bodies a living offering – set-apart, well-pleasing to Elohim – your reasonable worship.  (2)  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you prove what is that good and well-pleasing and perfect desire of Elohim.  (3)  For I say, through the favour which has been given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he should think, but to think soberly, as Elohim has given to each a measure of belief.  (4)  For as we have many members in one body, but all members do not have the same function,  (5)  so we, the many, are one body in Messiah, and members each one of one another.  (6)  Now having different gifts, according to the favour which was given to us, let us use them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of belief;  (7)  if serving, in the serving; or he who is teaching, in the teaching;  (8)  or he who encourages, in the encouragement; or he who is sharing, in sincerity; he who is leading, in diligence; he who shows compassion, joyously.” (Romans 12:1-8 The Scriptures 1998+)

A body with blood and a spirit without blood

We should come to learn to see that Body of Christ so that we can see the preparedness of others also willing to see the gift of God, His Grace and acceptance of the offer of His son Jesus Christ.

” (16)  to be a servant of יהושע {Jehsua} Messiah to the gentiles, with the priestly duty of bringing the Good News of Elohim, so that the offering of the gentiles becomes acceptable, set apart by the Set-apart Spirit.” (Romans 15:16 The Scriptures 1998+)

The world should get to see those who are willing to see the Most High in their minds, according to the Spirit or Force of God. By willing to open our mind to God’s Force, the Holy Spirit shall be willing to enter in our soul (=our being) and will strengthen us in our faith in Christ, the son of God, making us partakers of his offering, being cleansed by his blood (the Blood of Christ).

Knowing that a Spirit has no blood, we are aware that it was really a man of blood and flesh and bones, who did not have his bones broken, but had his blood flown out of his body.

” (28)  After this, יהושע {Jehsua}, knowing that all had been accomplished, in order that the Scripture might be accomplished, said, “I thirst!”  (29)  A bowl of sour wine stood there, and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and held it to His mouth.  (30)  So when יהושע {Jehsua} took the sour wine He said, “It has been accomplished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.  (31)  Therefore, since it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the stake on the Sabbath – for that Sabbath was a high one – the Yehuḏim asked Pilate to have their legs broken, and that they be taken away.  (32)  Therefore the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who was impaled with Him,  (33)  but when they came to יהושע {Jehsua} and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.  (34)  But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and instantly blood and water came out.  (35)  And he who has seen has witnessed, and his witness is true. And he knows that he is speaking the truth, in order that you might believe.  (36)  For this took place in order for the Scripture to be filled: “Not one of His bones shall be broken.”  (37)  And again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.”” (John 19:28-37 The Scriptures 1998+)

Acceptance step in the good direction

Let us look on him whom they pierced and believe who he was and what he did. By accepting Christ we are one step in the good direction to find God. Once we want to accept Jesus as the son of God who offered himself for our sins, we can continue on that path he prepared for us. Listening to the parables he told we can come to understand the way his Father thinks and handles.

God had poured out on the house of David the fulfilment of His Word that His Word could become reality and could come into the flesh (figuratively and in the person of His son Jesus Christ), and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication so that those who are willing to see and believe will look at him whom other humans have pierced; and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and will grieve bitterly for him, as one grieves for his firstborn. (Zechariah 12:10, John 1:1)

To be able to find God we first have to open our mind and to be prepared to allow God His Spirit to enter in us. It is God Who calls, but we should allow Him to call us and be prepared to hear His Voice.

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Preceding article: Finding God amid all the religious externals

Next: People Seeking for God

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Please also do find to read:

  1. Creator of heaven and earth and everything around יהוה
  2. Only One God
  3. God of gods
  4. How are we sure God exists?
  5. Apologetics (10) – The Hard Questions: Does God Really Exist? Introducing the Teleological Argument
  6. Bible and Science (22): Bible or Science
  7. Seeking for God
  8. The Faith of Abraham
  9. Having Truth Decay?
  10. Jehovah Yahweh Gods Name
  11. God’s promises
  12. God Helper and Deliverer
  13. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #1 Creator and His Prophets
  14. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #11 Prayer #9 Making the Name Holy
  15. Let God’s promises shine on your problems
  16. God should be your hope
  17. Walk Humbly With God
  18. Finding Strength in God
  19. Devotional – The Way to the Father (18): The Lord’s Prayer
  20. He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
  21. The one who makes us well and gives life
  22. Jesus begotten Son of God #17 Adam, Eve, Mary and Christianity’s central figure
  23. Jesus spitting image of his father
  24. Reasons that Jesus was not God
  25. Jesus and his God
  26. The high calling of God in Christ Jesus
  27. Jesus Messiah
  28. On the Nature of Christ
  29. Christ begotten through the power of the Holy Spirit
  30. How is it that Christ pleased God so perfectly?
  31. Wishing to do the will of God
  32. A Messiah to die
  33. Jesus memorial
  34. No person has greater love than this one who surrendered his soul in behalf of his friends
  35. The redemption of man by Christ Jesus
  36. The day Jesus died
  37. Impaled until death overtook him
  38. Jesus three days in hell
  39. Christ has indeed been raised from the dead
  40. Through Christ’s death you can be adopted as a child of God
  41. Jesus is risen
  42. In the death of Christ, the son of God, is glorification
  43. Jesus begotten Son of God #11 Existence and Genesis Raising up
  44. Seeing Jesus
  45. Faith a commitment to the promises of Christ and to to the demands of Christ
  46. Jesus begotten Son of God #6 Anointed Son of God, Adam and Abraham
  47. Jesus begotten Son of God #19 Compromising fact
  48. Wishing to do the will of God
  49. Ember and light the ransomed of Jehovah
  50. Ransom for all
  51. An unblemished and spotless lamb foreknown
  52. The Song of The Lamb #5 Revelation 5
  53. The Song of The Lamb #8 Revelation 15 Lessons for us today
  54. Christ having glory
  55. Sitting at the right hand of God
  56. One mediator
  57. One Mediator between God and man
  58. No Other Name (But Jesus)
  59. Why do we need a ransom?
  60. The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ
  61. Two states of existence before God
  62. True Hope
  63. Epitome of the one faith
  64. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  65. The Word being a quality or aspect of God Himself
  66. Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:1, 2 – Factual Data
  67. Nazarene Commentary Mark 1:1-8 – The Beginning of the Good News
  68. Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:1-6 – A Wilderness Baptist Prepares the Way
  69. Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:7-12 – Opposition and Two Baptisms
  70. Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:3-6 – John Preaches Baptism of Repentance
  71. He has given us the Pneuma, the force, from Him
  72. The radiance of God’s glory and the counsellor
  73. Incomplete without the mind of God
  74. The Spirit of God brings love, hope and freedom
  75. The Spirit of God imparts love,inspires hope, and gives liberty
  76. Corruption in our translations !
  77. Book of books
  78. Let us become nothing, and Christ everything
  79. Parts of the body of Christ
  80. With God All Things Are Possible
  81. Wishing to do the will of God

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Additional reading:

  1. God and gods
  2. “Disciple, disciple, what do you see?” “I see Jesus looking at me.”
  3. The underlying truth in John 1:1
  4. John 1:1c Primer
  5. Basic John 1:1c
  6. Seven Lessons for John 1:1c
  7. The “Definite” John 1:1
  8. The Divine Name of God: Spoken by Jesus and Early True Christians
  9. Hebrews 1:8 – “Thy Throne, O God”

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  • Preparing the Way (graceofourlord.com)
    God, he tells them, can raise up children of Abraham from the stones present around them. In other words, it is not enough – God is not so impressed with their pedigree.
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    Although baptism in some form did exist before John the Baptist received his calling from God, it was not a baptism of repentance, nor was it for the forgiveness of sins. There was no real forgiveness of sins under the Law of Moses because, as Paul said, it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Hebrews 10:1-4). There was washing for purification, as first implemented with Aaron and his sons (Exodus 29:4, Leviticus 16:23-24), and for remedy of defilement (Numbers 19). And at some point (though not Biblically required), baptism (immersion in water) was added to circumcision as a requirement for Gentile proselytes to be converted to Judaism.
  • He may be made known to Israel (twocatholicfriends.wordpress.com)
    Each of the prophets who came before Christ came to fulfill a particular mission, they pointed to the coming of the messiah. Isaiah’s prophecy of the restoration of israel and salvation reaching the end of the earth links his time and that of John the baptist’s by its fulfillment because it was John the baptist who showed this light of God which would reach the end of the earth to the world. First, with his disciples, whom he fashioned their waiting for the messiah. He did not know who the messiah was, but God revealed it to him by the outpouring of the Holy spirit by the baptism of our Lord which we celebrated last sunday; this he used to testify to the crowd of the sonship of Jesus.
  • Jesus and John the Baptist (larrycourson.wordpress.com)
    In Matthew 13 and 14 Jesus is rejected by the people of Nazareth where he grew up as no one special. They said he was just one of them.
  • John 1:29-42 – 19th January 2014 (rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com)
    John the Baptist expected his listeners to recall pictures from the Old Testament; the lamb provided by God for Abraham to slaughter, the lamb of Isaiah 53, led to the slaughter for the sins of God’s people; the Passover Lamb from Exodus.  The word “lamb,” for John’s listeners connected strongly with words like “sin” or “atonement” – the way in which we can be reconciled with God despite our wrongdoing.
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    Lamb of God, Baptiser with the Spirit, Son of God, Messiah – John, the Gospel writer’s names for Jesus. John wants us to carry these names with us as we read his Gospel. It is as though he says to us, “You will only understand my message fully if you realise that this is what I want to show you. Here is the one who by his life and death fulfils these roles and in doing so brings hope.” As we read the Gospels let’s use these names to inform our reading and to help us understand for ourselves just who Jesus is: Lamb of God, Baptiser with the Spirit, Son of God, Messiah.
  • Engaging the Gospel – John 1:29-34 (ubiquelucet.wordpress.com)
    By proclaiming Jesus as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,” St. John the Baptist identifies him as the fulfillment of Scripture.

    He “reveals that Jesus is at the same time the suffering Servant [prophesied by Isaiah] who silently allows himself to be led to the slaughter and who bears the sin of the multitudes, and also the Paschal Lamb, the symbol of Israel’s redemption at the first Passover” (Catechism paragraph 608).

    Moreover, the Spirit’s coming upon Jesus is an explicit mark of the Messiah.

  • God Demands a Response to Jesus (barrierbreakingenterprises.com)
    The fact of the matter is some of us are just  too cautious about changing when clearly the time for change has come.  We procrastinate just because procrastination is what we do.  But when you meet Jesus, Jesus calls for action, immediate, swift, decisive action.  Either you love him or you don’t but you can’t just sit around and think about it.  This morning Jesus is looking for radical disciples, those who will throw caution to the wind and follow him with their whole hearts.
  • The Passover Lamb (james1948.wordpress.com)
    When it was time for God to deliver the Israelites from bondage in Egypt, He established a way for the people to always memorialize their deliverance by instituting the Lord’s Passover. Each household was to shed the blood of a lamb that was without blemish and paint the blood on the doorposts of the home. Then, the lamb was to be roasted and eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs by everyone in the home, as they stood, ready to evacuate Egypt. That night, God preserved the firstborn of every home who had observed the Passover and delivered the Israelites from bondage.

    Jesus is the fulfillment of the Passover. He became what the Passover represented, God’s salvation through the shed blood of an innocent Lamb.

  • The Truth Through John Part 2 (soulfulcuriosity.wordpress.com)
    God is very detailed…everything has a purpose…more than we will ever know this side of heaven.

    Does studying God’s word bring you Joy?  I sure hope it does.

  • Sunday Devotional: John 1:6-8 (journeythereandbackagain.wordpress.com)
    Here we see John (the disciple) talk about John the Baptist.  John the Baptist was a forerunner to Jesus.  He was one who was sent by God to prepare the way for Jesus’ earthly ministry.  That was his calling.  He was to be a witness.  He was to point others to the light (Jesus).
  • Pastor Karl’s Challenge (brentwoodbiblechurch.wordpress.com)
    We must not think of Jesus, however, as the offspring of God the Father. Because according to Galatians 4:4, when the Father sent Jesus into the world, He already was the Son of God. The Father sent forth His Son! If He already was the Son of God, then He did not become the Son of God through conception and birth. Rather, the Son of God became a true human being in the conception.

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Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious

Today lots of youngsters their understanding of their faith is the faith that was “once for all entrusted.” This makes that often the “spiritual but not religious” group can be the most difficult to work with, primarily because they believe they have found a personalized expression of faith. But their faith was not placed in a seed that could grow in fertilized ground.

This painting is on display at the Kunsthistor...

Religious men and their actions because of their faith- Painting is on display at the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Art History) in Vienna, Austria (site). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Church should bring in the fertilisation for its members to grow, be it slow but strong.

Much has been made about the growth of “nones” in the past few years, the group who consistently checks “none” on surveys about religious faith. As with all surveys, how questions are shaped determines how good the data is. If a question is multiple choice, the answers must fit within the parameters of the possible responses. For example: What is your faith? a. Christian b. Buddhism c. Islam d. Judaism e. Hindu f. none.

Clearly, that’s a poor question. It assumes the five major faiths are the primary conduits for the transmission of religious frameworks. While I believe that is largely true, there are other factors at work culturally right now. What does none or spiritual but not religious really mean?

writes a teacher of a Teaching World Religions summer term. {Spiritual but not Religious, or A Disconnect on the Faith Divide}

In such courses about world religions or religion tous-court, you can see that lots of people want to restrict their idea about their god on others. They may say

I just believe in God

But then we should ask which God? Most people do take only a story from the four Gospels, one that is canonized by Church Councils, propagated by ministers and missionaries, and communicated to them through Christian denominational speakers. They are brought up with the religious concepts of their family idea and than they believe that their story is just one wherein they simply believe in God.

Vermeer The Allegory of the Faith

Vermeer The Allegory of the Faith (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The radical individualism and consumerism in our culture makes a personalized faith seem perfectly normal. In Belgium, which is considered to be a Roman Catholic Country (though only 6% of the population still go sometimes to mass whilst 25% of the population visits the mosque very regularly), when you would ask what they believe and whom they think Jesus or God is, you would find very individual interpretations of the person Jesus, which some Catholics say is the son of God and do not believe he is God, though the godhead of Jesus is part of the Trinitarian dogma of the Catholic Church. But most Belgians want to believe their own thing and do not bother what the church may say. Lots call themselves Catholic or Christian (meaning the same for them) but do not follow the rules of the Pope and their church, not bothering to use preservatives or having abortions, having sexual relations than the own ‘regular’ partner, etc. Their religious life is standing far away from a spiritual life and from church life. The church is mostly only used to have a child baptism, a first and second communion, a wedding service and a funeral. That is what church stands for in Belgium, when they are not talking about all the abuses in that church.

According to some

All the new Christian categories — Christ follower, Jesus follower, follower of the Way (hell, just pick one)—are all concepts that are used intentionally to avoid the unhappy conclusion that the follower is really a Christian, but a Christian who doesn’t like the Christian tradition or church or some doctrine. Better to own the word Christian than have me interrogate you only to discover that you are actually a Christian. At that point, I think you’re dishonest, disingenuous, ignorant, narcissistic, or confused. None of those are good. {Spiritual but not Religious, or A Disconnect on the Faith Divide}

Wherever you may look you shall see that many of your spiritual but not religious acquaintances have no genuine framework for their faith. Lots of the people who say they are religious or spiritual, are mostly enjoying some trend which is popular at the moment, and go from one fling into the other, but never stick to one ‘faith‘ for a long time.

The writer of The Parish believes that it’s a completely self-serving construct that allows them to believe, in the words of Christian Smith,

“God loves me and wants me to be happy.”

What that requires is no commitment to a larger tradition, and a radical internalizing of metaphysical assumptions, all of which are exempt from criticism.

Do you pray? Yes. Do you attend worship services? No. Do you have a sacred text? No. Will you go to heaven? Yes. What will it be like? It will be what I make it. How do you know there is a God? I just do. What’s he or she like? He loves me. He’s kind and forgiving and gracious. Why should he be those things and not angry, vengeful and capricious? He’s not. How can you know this? What tradition taught you this? I have no tradition. I just know this. I’m not a religious person, just spiritual.

Faith

Faith (Photo credit: sspantherss)

Often when you will present students of religion or people on the street and you

talk about all the Saturnalia and pagan syncretism you like, talk about substituting one pagan holiday for a Christian one, talk about borrowed symbols and commercialism, talk all you want about it; at its core, theologically (for Christians), Christmas is the coming of Messiah, and therefore, a religious high, holy day. It’s a celebration day, much like Easter (another holiday about which I’m weary of hearing stories of syncretism. One thing is clear, however it started, the Christian narrative won.), not a fast day like Good Friday. It is, by my estimation, the second most important day on the church calendar, following Easter, of course. {Christian Identity, or Can Baby Jesus Get Some Love?}

The great church institutions by the years have mixed their theology with philosophical and pagan teachings so that that more became  “great pagan institutions” which allegedly “pickle” children’s brains by pouring “paganism” into them. We can see a society in decline where parents do not to set any more good religious examples for their children. It is time they will concern themselves with their offspring’s spiritual state, and again “plead God’s promises” to their children. We should long to do well by our children and grandchildren, striving to raise them well and encouraging other parents to do the same.  Parents should come to teach their children spirituality again. That spirituality must also include empathy, humanity, and critical thinking. Piety without these elements can devolve into fanaticism, with unsettling results.

Lots of people may know that lots of elements in their celebrations are from pagan celebrations, but they do not want to change their similar manner of celebrating what they want to place on that day the heathen use for their celebration. It does not matter for them that Jesus was a Jew who is not born on the 25th of December (Christmas-day); It is just a lovely time for them to be together and have everybody having a good time, giving each other presents and enjoying some nice food. Why should they change the tradition of their forefathers? And why should churches abandon such a festivals when those are the few occasions that they can get some people in their churches and get some more money in the till?

Almost all American and European forms of Christianity are first cultural, traditional and secondly theological. In the capitalist countries the people are more concerned with their material wealth than their spiritual wealth. Europeans like

Americans are largely shaped by consumerism, individualism, and materialism, the three idols of the market that serve to make all of us mini-narcissists. {Christian Identity, or Can Baby Jesus Get Some Love?}

They want to enjoy their life with good food and lovely goods for their enjoyment. Fairy tales and mythical stories, ‘little lies for fun’ seem to be harmless for them and to create the mysterious atmosphere which attracts them and their children. The unknown and mysterious has always been an attraction.

The Knights of Columbus exhibiting their group identity in American society

In the United States some Christians do not want to know about the ‘unknown’ and do think the bible has to be take literally on all fronts. Their creationist and revisionist education might leave children ill-prepared to integrate into American society, and failed to grasp that some children might reject their fundamentalist upbringing altogether. For this reason it is important that God-loving people make it clear how we do have to interpret and follow the Bible. God loving people should be challenging historical revisionism. By remembering that history encompasses many narratives, not just one. By demanding accuracy in home school curricula. By reaching out to current and former home-schoolers and making accurate information available to them. And finally, by educating ourselves on the past and recognizing its impact on the present. Home-schooling and schooling at the church (Sunday school, Bible Study or Children’s Bible class) are powerful, useful tools. It represents a democratic approach to educational progress, innovation, and creativity. It allows a child’s learning environment to be tailored to individual and personal needs. When home-schooling or Sunday-school is done responsibly, it can be amazing. We should oppose irresponsible home-schooling or church training, where the educational method is used to create or hide abuse, isolation, and neglect, and where the child is not educated to go and search, to explore the world and to explore the Bible. They should train the children to read and study the Bible thoroughly and to go deeper into their own soul, learning them to meditate about everything they learn, be it in their daily school or at the church. The trainees at the church should make sure that social contact outside of church, family, and the home-school umbrella group is provided so that children do get to know the outside world and are aware of the world its ideas and way of living. Only by growing up in a church which is open to what is happening in the world the children would not become what we can call socially retarded to use the pedagogical technical term.

In certain developed countries we see a growing tendency to protect church life and to get the children away from what is really happening in the world. The religious sheltering of such a childhood in recent years has come more extreme and miserable by greater institutions and international homeschool conglomerate cults. Those groups not only present childish stories in which all do have to believe and activities everybody has to follow with the right dress-code, otherwise they are considered to be against the group. More attention is given to the outside appearance of the persons gathering than on the inner spirit. Often it is all about the creationist teaching and opposing scientists, not willing to see archaeologist their findings, which are all considered as contra-actions of the evil world.

They often try to drive home to their ‘trainees’ (typically 16-18 years old) that no matter what adversity or difficulty they are facing, either physical, mental, or spiritual, all they need to do is cry out to God and He will get them through it. But they forget that we did have received the responsibility to become resourceful fellows who should try to grow from the understanding of the Scriptural knowledge and use it in their daily life. To be able to stand strong in that daily life there should be a good relationship with the Supreme Being.

Most people are not interested in a good relation with their god, but with themselves. It has become already very difficult to build up a good relationship with one partner in this world which can be seen and touched. So who would try to have a good relationship with somebody who can not be seen nor touched, and who nobody has ever seen, or when it is Jesus who is already long ‘dead and forgotten’?

Dr. Tom Kennedy does find that correct religion, like bones, provides the proper structure for spirituality.  Spirituality grows in distorted ways without religion.

Imagine reaching over and grabbing the child’s head.  Then imagine lifting up the skeleton out of the imaginary child.  What would happen?  Spirituality would collapse to the floor. {Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious?}

Religion, like bones, also provides much of the immune system for spirituality.

It helps to fight toxic influences that may corrupt one’s spirituality.  Two of the most toxic influences are the individual’s own selfishness and the willingness to let other people control one’s spirituality.  Of course, if religion itself becomes corrupt, one’s spirituality also becomes corrupt. {Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious?}

Like the religion can be corrupted we should know that spirituality is not always so ‘clean’ as it may seem.

Many people think of spirituality as perfect and incorruptible.  Unfortunately, that is not true.  Non-religious spirituality emphasizes special experiences, something you feel.  If there are no feelings to this kind of spirituality, people would not pursue it. I have heard of many strange experiences that were labeled ‘spiritual’ just because there was a burst of pleasant feeling involved. {Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious?}

03.365 (02.08.2009) Faith

Faith in words from a Book of books (Photo credit: hannahclark)

Religion in the Bible is a catalyst for our relationship with God, to Whom we have to bring a spirit which is pure and not hiding things for God Who sees everything, so that would be useless to hide something for Him. Our state of mind we do have to build ourselves. Others may help us but they can not do it for us or make it work for us. We ourselves our responsible for the way we want to think and the way we want to use the knowledge we receive by the years.

Jesus died on the wooden stake to make God’s religion and spirituality alive, dynamic and interactive with each other. He opened the way for humankind to come directly to the Creator God. Today Jesus sits at the right hand of God to be the mediator between God and man. by the brothers and sisters in the church we should be exhorted therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings, be made not only for ourselves but for all men. We should know we live in a world where there are kings, presidents and members of parliament who have to make decisions for the community. So we better also pray for them that they may make the right decisions. Yes we should have our thoughts also at all that are in high place and pray for them and for that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and gravity.
Each of us should look to find in himself or herself the way to become acceptable in the eyes of God. He that provided the human Saviour, who could understand his fellow man, who wanted that all men should be saved, and will come to the knowledge of the truth.  For there is one God, one mediator also between God and men, himself man, Christ Jesus,  who gave himself a ransom for all; the testimony to be borne in its own times;  where-unto several people like the apostles and religious men were and are appointed a preacher and a teacher of the Gentiles or those who are not in the faith in Christ Jesus, in faith and truth.

” I Beseech you, therefore, first of all to offer to God, petitions, prayers, supplications, and thanksgiving for all men,  (2)  For kings and for all in authority; that we may live a quiet and peaceable life, in all purity and Godliness.  (3)  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour:  (4)  Who desires all men to be saved and to return to the knowledge of the truth.  (5)  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;  (6)  Who gave himself a ransom for all, a testimony which came in due time.  (7)  For that testimony I was appointed a preacher and an apostle; I tell the truth and I lie not; and I became the teacher of the Gentiles in a true faith.  (8)  I wish, therefore, that men pray everywhere, lifting up their holy hands, without anger and doubting thoughts.” (1Ti 2:1-8 Lamsa NT)

Religion, Catholic Community

Religion, Catholic Community having prayers and meditation together at a meeting (Photo credit: Parker Knight)

Lifting up the hands or going in prayer can be done on our own. But to come to a good prayer we better also do come close to ourselves. Be it also becoming in a more concrete relationship the world can offer. Away from the materialisation of things we can come in a transcendent form.

Where Transcendentalists assert their natural right to an individual relationship with God, defined only by one’s own will and a communing with nature, Puritans “sought both individual and corporate conformity to the teaching of the Bible, with moral purity pursued both down to the smallest detail, as well as ecclesiastical purity to the highest level. They believed that man existed for the glory of God, that his first concern in life was to do God’s Will and so to receive future happiness”. Puritans were largely responsible for amendments that mandated public education inspired by their belief that children could only conform properly to biblical and legal tenants if they could read them for themselves.

To come to the Truth, each person has to make the free choice to study the matter. Without reading the Bible and without the will to think about what is written a person shall not come to the Truth. No matter how he may be active in doing things for his church, how religious he  or she may look for the outsiders, when their is no burning spirit in the soul of that person, no willingness to go deep in him or herself, there shall not come an opening to the real faith Jesus had in front of his eyes.

Jesus was also brought up in a world full of traditions. He was a boy living in a Jewish cult and learned from the Torah, which was his guide. He looked at the different religious groups and dared to question them. He looked at the way they interpreted the Holy Scriptures, how they lived their faith and how they were are were not prepared to go into the mystics of faith.

In most spiritual traditions, mysticism lies at the heart of spirituality. ‘‘Mysticism’’ refers to transcendent, contemplative experiences that enhance spiritual understanding. Mystical experiences can occur during intentional practices designed to create openings for transcendent experiences, such as Christian contemplative prayer, Zen meditation, movement or dance meditation or Sufi dance; or they can occur in the process of living a lifestyle that is conducive to transcendent experiences, as in contemplative gardening. In either case, contemplative or transcendent knowing is associated with spiritual experience.

‘‘Transcendence’’ refers to contemplative knowing that occurs outside the boundaries of verbal thought (Wilber). Although transcendence can refer to increasingly abstract thought, contemplative transcendence involves transcending thought itself. Mystical experiences of transcendence can be brought into thought, but they do not originate in thought or sensory perception.

The spiritual person can become a transcendental person, going into mystical contemplative experiences. He either may become religious with it or stay out of religion. But this kind of spirituality, set apart from religion would be weak and might be directionless, or worse, narcissistic.  Jesus wanted us to have a vibrant faith that focuses on his Father and he wants us to use the teachings of the Bible to shape both our religion and our spiritual interactions with him and God. Our spirit has to become connected intimately with Jesus, God but also with our brethren and sisters in the community, plus feeling a love for the full creation of the Supreme Being, Jehovah God. This includes a good relationship with the animals, plants and all sorts of people, no matter which religion they may belong to. A good Christian should be a good follower of Christ, sharing the same love Jesus had for all people, no matter what they had done or how they felt about him. Jesus loved also his enemies, so we should do likewise.

Our religious and spiritual practices should focus on that relationship with creation. The spiritual practices should not merely be productive in a narrow sense but should be disciplined, creative and committed. The regularity of a spiritual discipline like meditation may give shape to what may otherwise be a fragmented life. as such it can enrich the religious life. Over time meditation may facilitate a growing freedom from destructive energies that inhibit healthy relationships. Such a growth in inner freedom makes us more available and effective as compassionate presences in the world.

As the great traditions emphasise, spirituality is actually concerned with cultivating a “spiritual life” rather than simply with undertaking practices isolated from commitment. It offers a “value-added” factor to personal and professional lives. So, for example, in a variety of social contexts spirituality is believed to add two vital things.

  • First, it saves us from being purely results-orientated. Thus, in health care it offers more than a medicalised, cure-focused model and in education it suggests that a holistic approach to intellectual, moral and social development is as vital as acquiring employable skills.
  • Second, spirituality expands ethical behaviour by moving it beyond right or wrong actions to a question of identity – we are to be ethical people rather than simply to “do” ethical things. Character formation and the cultivation of virtue then become central concerns.

Current evidence suggests a growing diversity of new forms of spirituality as well as creative reinventions of the great traditions. The language of spirituality continues to expand into ever more professional and social worlds – for example urban planning and architecture, the corporate world, sport and law. Most strikingly there are recent signs of its emergence in two contexts that have been especially open to public criticism – commerce and politics. Equally, the Internet is increasingly used to expand access to spiritual wisdom. So, on current evidence, spirituality appears to be less of a fad than an instinctive desire to find a deeper level of values to live by. As such, it seems likely not only to survive but to develop further into many new forms. {Is spirituality a passing trend?}

Church HDR

Church HDR (Photo credit: I_am_Allan)

The church community should not be afraid of those people who also want to be spiritual people. Every religious person in a way should be a spiritual person. Faith without works is dead. Each person believing in Jesus should know he should undertake efforts to understand those teachings, knowing the Torah and following the commandments of Christ and the commandments of God. Each follower of Christ should not only go out in the world on his own, no he should make efforts to meet regularly with other like minded people, considering them as his brothers and sisters in Christ. Gathering together they should ‘make church‘ and be united in the religion of the Body of Christ. In that Body or Church they should undertake actions, like reading the Bible, exhorting each other and Breaking bread with each other. This would mean they are have do do religious actions and to be religious in the tradition of the faith of Christ Jesus. But without their pure heart they would not be honest to the others in that community. So first of all each individual has to purify himself or herself, to which she or he can use meditation or spiritual exercise.

Religion and spirituality are complementary and should go together, uniting each of us in the name of Christ.

Bible School, USA

Christadelphian Bible school meeting.
United brethren and sisters in Christ.

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Preceding articles:

Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience

Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life

Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual

Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people

Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences

Being Religious and Spiritual 6 Romantici, utopists and transcendentalists

Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one

Next: Points to remember of philosophy versus spirituality and religion

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Find also to read:

  1. Human nature
  2. “Who is The Most High” ? Who is thee Eternal? Who is Yehovah? Who is God?
  3. Only One God
  4. God’s design in the creation of theworld
  5. God Helper and Deliverer
  6. Gods hope and our hope
  7. God’s Will for Us – Gods Wil voor ons 
  8. Gods hope and our hope
  9. God’s measure not our measure
  10. God’s promises
  11. Gods Salvation
  12. Full authority belongs to God
  13. Preexistence in the Divine purpose and Trinity
  14. Jesus Messiah
  15. Servant of his Father
  16. Incomplete without the mind of God
  17. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  18. Faith
  19. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  20. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  21. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  22. Faith antithesis of rationality
  23. Faith is a pipeline
  24. Faith is knowing there is an ocean because you have seen a brook.
  25. Are religious and secular ethicists climbing the same mountain
  26. Caricaturing and disapproving sceptics, religious critics and figured out ethics
  27. Theology without spirituality sterile academic exercise
  28. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  29. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  30. Fellowship
  31. United people under Christ
  32. Parts of the body of Christ
  33. What part of the Body am I?
  34. Communion and day of worship
  35. Church sent into the world
  36. Pulpit reserved for the pastor
  37. Teach children the Bible
  38. Everything that is done in the world is done by hope
  39. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  40. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  41. Peter Cottontail and a Bunny laying Eastereggs
  42. Fr Paddy Byrne finds First communions and confirmations should be delayed
  43. Are Science and the Bible Compatible?
  44. The Soul confronted with Death
  45. Is there an Immortal soul
  46. The Soul not a ghost
  47. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  48. Dying or not
  49. What happens when we die?
  50. Dead and after
  51. Destination of righteous

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Additional reading:

  1. Spiritual but not Religious, or A Disconnect on the Faith Divide
  2. Is spirituality a passing trend?
  3. Christian Identity, or Can Baby Jesus Get Some Love?
  4. Rewriting History — The History of America Mega-Conference: Part Three, “Religious Liberalism” And Those Magnificent Mathers
  5. Rewriting History — History of America Mega-Conference: Part Eight, Closing Thoughts
  6. Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious?
  7. Let The Children Come ~ Teach Them About God
  8. Let The Children Come ~ Teach Them God’s Word « An Imperfect Life
  9. Let The Children Come ~ Be An Example « An Imperfect Life
  10. Let The Children Come ~ Pray for Them

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  • I am Spiritual but not Religious (passionistpartners.com)
    “I am spiritual but not religious.” This is the mantra voiced by a number of people, Catholics included. It means that such people savor the inner qualities of their faith in Jesus Christ but not the outer framework in which those qualities are contained.

    They respond warmly to the Christmas scene of Mary and Joseph kneeling close to Jesus as a newborn infant. They may resonate with the teaching of Jesus on the beatitudes, describing the poor in spirit, the meek, the merciful, the peacemakers. They may treasure His words on loving one another as he has loved us.

    But when it comes to graphically depicting these sentiments in ritual, music, art, architecture, vestments, ceremonies, processions, incense—this is a different story. They find such a discrepancy between thoughts and feelings, and the attempt at giving tangible expression to them fails miserably in the opinion of some people. The sermons are boring, the collection is scandalous, the singing is outdated, the prayers formulaic and out of touch with people’s needs and desires.

  • The one religion that’s not part of my spiritual quest (roguepriest.net)
    Jesus is central in one out of 16 or five out of 43 major religions practiced in the world today. (In the first list I’m excluding “no religion,” “new religions” and “other” for my count, and in the second list I’m pointing to Christianity, Christian Science, Jehova’s Witnesses, Mormonism, and Rastafari.) By that count less than 6 – 11% of religions consider Christ important. With nods from Baha’i, Islam and Unitarianism, the figure rises to a max of 25%.
    Likewise, the majority of people in the world today do not follow any branch of Christianity.
    Yet the teachings of Christ loom large.
  • Religions and Spirituality (allowinglove.wordpress.com)
    diverse ethnicities and faiths from Passaic County gathered for one hour at Pa… SPARTA, NJ
  • Picking fights over religion and the separation of church and state (santamariatimes.com)
    how this kind of free-floating rage differs from Bible-beating preachers who blame earthquakes and tornadoes on other people’s sexual sins escapes me. The main characteristic of the fundamentalist mind is an inability to refrain from expressing contempt for beliefs different from one’s own — whether one’s spiritual example is Pat Robertson or Christopher Hitchens.
  • Spiritual Well-Being (casapalmera.com)
    piritual well-being is an integral part of mental, emotional and physical health. It is considered to be a primary coping resource on the journey of recovery and healing. This healing takes place in drug treatment centers, eating disorder residential programs and at trauma recovery. Spiritual well-being can be associated with a specific religion but does not have to be. This practice is merely one’s own journey to discover things of importance in life as well as one’s place among them. It can be practiced in numerous ways, with its main purpose being to find purpose and meaning in life. Spirituality and faith provide an opportunity to detach from circumstances and observe life with clarity and integrity. Spirituality can either be positive or negative. Spiritual well-being is a state is which the positive aspects of spirituality are shown. How the effects of spiritual well-being impact you is greatly determined by each individual.
  • My journey of faith (brynsthoughtsonfaith.wordpress.com)
    What might have happened if I was baptized into the Church of England, for instance? Would my faith have been stronger as a teenager? Would I have still gone down the route to the Catholic Church, given the opportunity?My early upbringing was, as such, not massively religious one way or the other. We did not go to Church (Anglican or Catholic) on Sunday, so as not to sway me one way or the other.
    From what I remember, my Primary School was Church of England in all but name, we had Assembly every morning, sang hymns and when Christmas and Easter came, we would sing in the local Anglican Church, St. Nicholas.
  • Obama Spiritual Advisor: President Very Religious (peacemoonbeam.typepad.com)
    President Obama’s spiritual adviser says the leader of the free world is more religious than most people think.
  • Enriching Your Spirituality: Famous Christian Quotes (quotes.answers.com)
    A poignant quote can have a profound effect. The simple truths contained in only a few lines have the power to inspire, calm, and encourage someone in need. This is especially true for Christian quotes. Whether you are struggling to find God’s purpose in your life or seeking comfort in a time a duress, these famous Christian quotes offer great help in times of need.
  • 10 Religious Quotes to Make You Think (quotes.answers.com)
    It seems that no matter what breakthroughs science makes in explaining the world, people will always have a need for spirituality and religion. Indeed, it seems that the only area with satisfying answers for many tough questions is religion. These religious quotes are collected from thinkers, writers, and lay people from a wide range of religious faiths and creeds. What they all have in common is that they are guaranteed to make you think.
  • Religious Rites: An Overview of Christian Funeral Services (christianity.answers.com)
    Regardless of your religious persuasion, a funeral service is one of the more somber rites that you might attend. In the Christian faith, even though death is seen as a passage to eternal life, saying goodbye to a loved one is very sad. This article details the common elements of most Christian burial services.

 

Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one

Often when people in a discussion come upon talking about the higher elements of life and speak about believes in God or in divine beings people in the previous years were curious to know if that person belonged to a certain church.  Today there might be not so much interest in talking about the spiritual. And when they encounter people more interested in spiritual matters we encounter a shift in questions.

Ryan Killough also noticed that and mentions in his blog:

Homo sapiens sapiens - Deliberate deformity of...

Homo sapiens sapiens – Deliberate deformity of the woman skull, “Toulouse deformity “. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The question I receive more frequently now is, “oh, what are you?” I always want to answer that question by saying: “I am a species of Homo sapiens from the kingdom of Animalia, pleased to meet you earthling” but it is clear what they mean. So instead I answer, “I am …” Wait, should I answer? I wonder if it’s worth it, because the second it is heard what, “I am” will the attitude and thought behind anyone reading this entire post now change? Not that this ever happens in politics, but why take the risk? There is nothing specifically wrong with the question, “what are you?” My concern is not the question itself, but the change in social norm causing the shift to this question. The question is often asked, not always to learn about someones relationship with Jesus, but to figure out what his or her beliefs are. That is the problem I am addressing. {Church/Denominations}

for him it seems to be a problem when people wonder what he believes. But is that not the first thing to come into a relationship with the person in whom you want to believe?

He should know that people are curious when they encounter somebody who dares to mention he believes in something. When it is Jesus or God that person believes in, he becomes a test person. Than that believer becomes the target to question to see if his beliefs are really well structured and sound. Most people do know that there are many churches and people with so many different believes but that they also often got against each other, even killing each other for their believes. For many the believes or connected with religion which was a ’cause’ (according to them) of many wars. they find it strange that those different churches often claim to be talking about the same God.
Ryan Killough also agrees and questions:

Even though we attend different denominations, we are all following the same God. We should be of the same mind and thought. So if God new all these religious sects would occur where differences and discord would take place, did He make a mistake with the idea of church? Absolutely not. {Church/Denominations}

The Seven Sacraments by Rogier van der Weyden, ca. 1448.

He finds Church is a necessity for teaching, admonishing, and worshipping but agrees that through weekly patterns in our forms of worship, we can deceive ourselves into believing in wrong philosophy.

Our church practices should not be our belief! We should not put tradition and spiritual rituals over what is right, good, and true. Traditions are for the purpose of acknowledging God and, again, are not to become our beliefs. Communion, baptism, confirmation, hand movements, church membership, fasting, or any other church sacraments will not give you salvation! They will not make you any more holy or deserving of Gods grace. These sacraments are simply to express our gratitude of God’s love for us, and allow us to become closer to Jesus in our personal relationship with Him. {Church/Denominations}

But it are just created sacraments and religious actions of those churches which are build on human traditions and not on biblical traditions of the Judean people of God. Many denominations created rules how to do things in the community which are not always totally Biblically funded. Through the years several theologians brought in different teachings and took followers or believers with them, often forming a new church-community  or worse, a new denomination.

Some might think the church does need its theologians to stay in existence, because without good doctrines, good theology, or wonderful expositions it would not be able to survive and be lost in the land of fables and cute stories. Without institutions, temples or churches there would be not much for religion to have a feeding ground. In Religion that church also needs life. In Christian religion this may be the resurrection life of Christ.

No doctrine, idea, theology, or exposition can replace the life of Christ. Only the life of Christ and that which issues from it will prevail against the gates of Hades.

writes Eric Adams in his writing on the British missionary in China, Margaret E. Barber. {My Experience In The Word Of Faith Movement Pt. 6-Watchman Nee, Miss Margaret E. Barber, Roman Catholic Mystics}

according to him

Heaven and God are far away, so we must find ways to ascend to heaven. Like the old African American spiritual says:

We are climbing Jacob’s ladder,
We are climbing Jacob’s ladder,
We are climbing Jacob’s ladder,
Soldiers of the cross.

Every round goes higher, higher,
Every round goes higher, higher,
Every round goes higher, higher,
Soldiers of the cross.

But we may know that God is not far away. He is every moment of the day very close to the world, everywhere and knows every person his or her heart. In their life every person is somewhere else on the Jacob’s Ladder. He can either look down and be afraid or look up and be of full hope.

The Christian Flag displayed next to the pulpi...

What some call “The Christian Flag” displayed next to the pulpit on the chancel of a church sanctuary. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many religious people do want to grab themselves by the bootstraps, and try to work their way into God’s good graces, not by grasping or lathing themselves to the Bible, but preferring to  cling to theologian writings. Some may seek for God internally through emotional or mystical experiences and become preoccupied with their own spirituality. To come into a spiritual life which also can become a religious life the person has to be able to hear God’s voice, and to be willing to come to understand God’s Will. When not willing to understand and than to follow the Will of God his faith would not be of much value. Children also often do know what they should do but do something different. That will bring them in problems. The same for adults who have an inborn ethical feeling, which they can ignore or follow. Maturity also informs most of us which influence our feelings may have on others and vice versa. When grown up the person knows how sustained feelings can ‘strangle’ a person and how he can become enslaved by preventing emotional growth to progress beyond the sense of pain having been precipitated, in some way, by whom or what is not liked or hated (i.e., another person, group or class of persons).

As such every person in the world, all created in the image of God can come to hear the call of righteousness and have the feeling of good and bad in them. The difference for the Christian religious person is that he or she should hear that Voice of God and offers himself or herself to follow that Voice more than any other voice. This makes Jesus so special. He could do what he wanted to do and could strike all honour for the things he seemed to be doing; But he never claimed that he could do those things on his own. He recognised he could not do anything without his Father, to whom he prayed to have things done. Jesus was in the world to have his Father to be known better. He also lifted up his eyes to heaven asking his Father to accept and glorify him the only begotten son, in order that he, Jesus the Son of God, may glorify the Only One God who had given Christ authority over all flesh. The religious person who wants to call himself Christian should be a follower of Christ, Jesus the Messiah from whom he or she can get eternal life.  But to be able to get that eternal life those persons should come to the understanding Who is who and should come to know the Only True God, who is the Adonai Elohim Hashem Jehovah, and Jesus Christ, whom God had sent to the world.

Jesus never glorified himself, neither should we glorify ourselves. We should become like Christ, but by doing so we shall not become Christ himself like he did not become God himself. Jesus always had glorified his Father, the God of Abraham as the Only One True God. Jesus knew his lower position than the heavenly beings (angels), but also knew that God was the Most High and always should and shall be the Most High Elohim.  The son of Joseph and Miriam (Mary/Maria) from the tribe of King David only wanted to be the will of his Father and wanted to complete on earth the work that his Father, Allah the God of gods had given him to do.

It was this Nazarene man who has revealed God His name to the men whom God gave him out of the world. Jesus never claimed those to be his. He knew that those men who were willing to follow him, were given by his Father. They were God’s, and He have given them to Jesus, and they have kept God His Word.  Those disciples continued the work of Christ after he was killed and resurrected. By the sent Comforter, requested by Christ Jesus,  they lost their fear and went out into the world, understanding that all the things that God had given to their master teacher Jesus came not from their rabbi, but came from his Father, which they now also could call their Father, the Only One God, whose name Jehovah they knew already from Torah, but was now better known by the words and works of His son Jesus.

It was from that Nazarene man the disciples got their words. They received them and knew truly that Jesus had come from God, and they have believed that God had sent him. They never believed that it was God Who had come down onto earth, because they also remembered the voice, at the baptism of their master, Who told the people present that it was “His beloved son” who stood there and did not tell them that it was God who had come down to earth. They also had heard enough from this man to know his relationship with his Father, whom Christ considered to be the Only One true God, to whom Jesus prayed and asked them also to pray to.

” It came to pass when all the people were baptized, Jesus also was baptized, and while he prayed the heaven was opened,  (22)  And the Holy Spirit descended on him, like a dove, and a voice from heaven, saying, You are my beloved Son, with whom I am pleased.” (Luke 3:21-22 Lamsa NT)

Jesus had always asked  the things to happen on behalf of the people around him, but they also remembered Jesus telling them that he did not ask God on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom God had given him, because they are God His,  and all Jesus his things are His. They also remembered that Jesus was pleased that His Father had given His world into the hands of him, and that he could been glorified in them. Jesus became no longer in the world, and they were in the world, Jesus went up to his Father in heaven to sit at His right hand. Though Jesus left not his disciples, nor us, on their own. He asked God to keep them, and those who were willing to follow him, in God His name. Being under the Guidance of Christ and his Father all followers of Christ should become like Christ, becoming one the same way like Jesus and God were one. This would not make us to be Christ, like it also did not make Christ to be God. Otherwise we being one with Christ, Christ being one with God, in case Jesus was God we also would become God.  But that is impossible. Like Jesus was a man of flesh and blood, a material being we also are of flesh and blood material beings. Even when we try to become so spiritual that we overcome the material site of ourselves, we shall never be able to become as immaterial or spiritual beings as angels or as the eternal Spirit God.

Jesus has given us his word that he kept us in God’s name and told us all those things in the world so that we may have his joy completed in ourselves. Jesus does not live any more in this world, but we who are living in this world, are still submitted to the Laws of God but subject to the laws of the country were we live in. The world may hate us because we have chosen to follow Christ Jesus and to believe in the One God Who is One. Not believing in the worldly gods we also do not want to be of the world just as Jesus was and is not of the world.  Jesus did not ask his Father that He would take us out of the world, but that He would protect us from the evil of that world.

“But Jesus said to them, My Father works even until now, so I also work.  (18)  And for this the Jews wanted the more to kill him, not only because he was weakening the sabbath, but also because he said concerning God that he is his Father, and was making himself equal with God.  (19)  Jesus answered and said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, that the Son can do nothing of his own accord, except what he sees the Father doing; for the things which the Father does, the same the Son does like him also.  (20)  For the Father loves his Son, and he shows him everything that he does; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you may marvel.  (21)  For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to those whom he will.” (John 5:17-21 Lamsa NT)

“Jesus spoke these things, and then he lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, O my Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son, so that your Son may glorify you.  (2)  Since you have given him power over all flesh, so that to all whom you have given him, he may give life eternal.  (3)  And this is life eternal, that they might know you, that you are the only true God, even the one who sent Jesus Christ.  (4)  I have already glorified you on the earth; for the work which you had given to me to do, I have finished it.  (5)  So now, O my Father, glorify me with you, with the same glory which I had with you before the world was made.  (6)  I have made your name known to the men whom you gave me out of the world; they were yours and you gave them to me; and they have kept thy word.  (7)  Now they know that whatever you have given me is from you.  (8)  For the words which you gave me I gave them; and they accepted them, and have known truly that I came forth from you, and they have believed that you sent me.  (9)  What I request is for them; I make no request for the world, but for those whom you have given to me; because they are yours.  (10)  And everything which is mine, is yours; and what is yours is mine; and I am glorified by them.  (11)  Hereafter I am not in the world, but these are in the world; and I am coming to you. O holy Father, protect them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are.  (12)  While I was with them in the world, I protected them in your name; those you gave me I protected, and not one of them is lost, except the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled.  (13)  Now I am coming to you; and these things I speak while I am in the world, that my joy may be complete in them.  (14)  I have given them your word; and the world hated them, because they were not of the world, just as I am not of the world.  (15)  What I request is not that you should take them out of the world, but that you should protect them from evil.” (John 17:1-15 Lamsa NT)

The religious and spiritual person in the Christian faith should come to the essence of Christ Jesus his teaching. Like Jesus was not of this world they also should try to cleanse themselves, have their spirit clear, proper for God and not being tempted by the material world, loving the traditions of the world. As such they should try to dispose themselves of those celebrations which are kept in the world, but have elements not in accordance with God His commandments.  We should strip our world from all the heathen or pagan elements. The world were we do want to live in should be removed from all those things which are mentioned in the Bible, the Word of God, as things which are not right.  By avoiding all the things God does not want the world might not like us, because they will notice that we do not want to be “of the world”, even as Jesus was and is not of the world.

In history when churches went astray from the teachings of God, religious people wanted to bring them back on the good track. Their teachings being in conflict with the general or traditional church, made that new denominations were formed. Many allowed legalism, the theological doctrine that salvation is gained through good works, to take a higher stand than God and wanted certain actions to be part of the service a religious person ought to do. Instead of giving more attention at our personal daily walk with Christ and with his Father, which is more important than the sacraments we can burden ourselves with, they brought limitation to what people could do or gave specific strict rules to what people could not do. Sacraments became used as a tool to enter heaven, instead of looking at those sacraments as a symbol of our gratitude toward Gods unfailing grace.

Those ‘renewing teachers’ their followers created new churches and considered that only those people could be saved and go to heaven who became a member of their congregation. They had forgotten that Christ Jesus saved everybody and is the cornerstone of the Church. It is not by belonging to a church a person will secure his position in a place called heaven or in the Kingdom of God. Instead of so many different churches which exclude the other churches, all followers of Christ should be united in that Body of Christ. Those teachers claiming people could only be saved by being a member of their church, also had forgotten that יהוה , YHWH and Love are Four-letter words which are inextricable bound up with the Body of Jesus Christ and his Father, Jehovah God. There were two or more people are gathered in the name of Christ, Jesus is present and there should be peace and Christian brotherhood. The church should offer a place for Christian community, in order strengthen the members their faith, for the purpose of coming closer to God and of spreading God’s Word (by preaching) to the world and worshipping God in everything they do.

Going into ourselves, the spirituality should bring the person in a pure state of mind, clear to receive the entrance to the Supreme Being and becoming one with Him. It should be the aim of the spiritual minded and of the religious person to clear his or her mind of all the unnatural things. The Christian person aiming to get such an open mind to Jesus his Father, like he had, being sanctified in God His Truth, knowing that only God His Word is Truth.  Coming to the knowledge that it was God Who had sent Jesus into the world, and that it was not God Who came down Himself, the religious person should recognise that it was that man Jesus who also sent him or her into the world to become sanctified in Truth.

Jesus did pray to his Father concerning those who will believe in the Messiah Jesus through their word, that all may be one, as God is in Christ that they also may be one in Jesus and in Jehovah God so that the world may believe that God sent Jesus.

Jesus did give his disciples the glory which Jehovah God had given him, that they may be one, as God and Jesus are One. The real Christian his or her main aim should be that oneness with God, like Christ Jesus was one in his apostles we also should become one in Christ like Jesus had unity with his Father, that we may be perfected in one; and that the world may know that it was Jehovah God Who sent Jesus and loved them, even as God loved Jesus.

The spiritual minded Christian should aim to come in such transcendent state that he reaches that goal to become like Christ united with his Father. The transcendence should bring the person wherever Jesus would be. His desire to be one of those whom Jehovah God has given Jesus, that where he is, they may be with him also, that they may behold his glory which God gave Jesus, because God loved Jesus already before the foundation of the world. Because God knows everything, He already knows us as well already from the beginning of the universe. We do not know anything from that period when everything came into being (because we did not exist yet, like Christ did not exist yet), but our spirit should be willing to be part of that foundation of the world, that does not want to know about their Creator, but Jesus knew God and made him known to the world. We also should now become part of that New Foundation, where Jesus as the second Adam opened the gates to the Kingdom of God.

“I with them and you with me, that they may become perfected in one; so that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them just as you loved me.  (24)  O Father, I wish that those whom you have given me, may also be with me where I am; so that they may see my glory which you have given me; for you have loved me before the foundation of the world.  (25)  O my righteous Father, the world did not know you, but I have known you; and these have known that you have sent me.  (26)  And I have made your name known to them, and I am still making it known; so that the love with which you loved me may be among them, and I be with them.” (John 17:23-26 Lamsa NT )

In the spiritual mood the person wants to become perfect like the Father of Jesus in Heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48 )

“So he that descended is the same also that ascended far above all heavens, that he might fulfil all things.  (11)  And he has assigned some, apostles, and some, prophets, and some, evangelists, and some, pastors, and some, teachers;  (12)  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  (13)  Until we all become one in faith, and in the knowledge of the Son of God, and become a perfect man according to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:  (14)  That we henceforth be not as children easily stirred and carried away by every wind of false doctrines of men who through their craftiness are artful in deceiving the people;  (15)  But that we be sincere in our love, so that in everything we may progress through Christ, who is the head.  (16)  It is through him that the whole body is closely and firmly united at all joints, according to the measure of the gift which is given to every member, for the guidance and control of the body, in order to complete the edifying of the body in love.” (Ephesians 4:10-16 Lamsa NT)

The person getting into spirituality wants to become one with his full being and with nature. That nature is part of the universe God created. The spiritual person tries to go deeper than the material site of the world, coming into the mystic site. Apostles, prophets, evangelists, some pastors, and some teachers may help the person to find subject matter and to get him or her on the way to do good research. Those surrounding the person who wants to be religious and spiritual should provide the right spiritual food so that this person can come to unity with himself and with the Christian Church community, being a good working element and ‘being one’ in, and of, the Body of Christ.

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Preceding articles:

Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience

Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life

Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual

Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people

Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences

Being Religious and Spiritual 6 Romantici, utopists and transcendentalists

Next: Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious

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Find also to read:

  1. A world in denial
  2. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  3. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  4. Being prudent – zorgvuldig zijn
  5. Choices
  6. Choosing your attitudes
  7. Not the circumstances in which we are placed constitutes our comfort
  8. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands
  9. Our stance against certain religions and immigrating people
  10. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  11. Parish, local church community – Parochie, plaatselijke kerkgemeenschap
  12. Attitude to others important for reaching them
  13. We have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace
  14. How us to behave
  15. Not liking your Christians
  16. Who are the honest ones?
  17. Greatest single cause of atheism
  18. What’s church for, anyway? (by Marcus Ampe)
  19. How we think shows through in how we act
  20. Act as if everything you think, say and do determines your entire life
  21. People should know what you stand for
  22. Remember that who you’re being is just as important as what you’re doing
  23. Followers with deepening
  24. Determined To Stick With Truth.
  25. Fear of God reason to return to Holy Scriptures
  26. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  27. True riches
  28. Doctrine and Conduct Cause and Effect
  29. Morality, values and Developing right choices
  30. Fixing our attention
  31. Being religious has benefits even in this life
  32. Faith
  33. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  34. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  35. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  36. Faith antithesis of rationality
  37. Faith is a pipeline
  38. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #2 Instructions and Laws
  39. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #3 Callers upon God
  40. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  41. Two states of existence before God
  42. God receives us on the basis of our faith
  43. Grace is Gods acting love
  44. He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
  45. Jesus begotten Son of God #6 Anointed Son of God, Adam and Abraham
  46. In the death of Christ, the son of God, is glorification
  47. Are Christians prepared to Rejoice in the Lord
  48. That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us
  49. Self inflicted misery #8 Pruning to strengthen us
  50. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  51. Are religious and secular ethicists climbing the same mountain
  52. Caricaturing and disapproving sceptics, religious critics and figured out ethics
  53. Theology without spirituality sterile academic exercise
  54. Trinitarian philosophy
  55. God of gods
  56. Only One God
  57. Jesus Christ being dispatched as the Figurehead of a Religion
  58. Gaining Christ, trusting Jehovah
  59. Happy who’s delight is only in the law of Jehovah
  60. Being one in Jesus, Jesus in us and God in Jesus
  61. Good or bad preacher
  62. Words to push and pull
  63. If you have integrity
  64. Set free from any form of mental torment or self-condemnation
  65. Emotional pain and emotional deadness
  66. From pain to purpose
  67. Everything that is done in the world is done by hope
  68. Honour your own words as if they were an important contract
  69. All Positive Energy People Are Acceptable
  70. Messengers of Jesus will be hated to the end of time
  71. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  72. Church sent into the world
  73. Communion and day of worship

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Additional reading:

  1. What is the difference between Philosophy and Spirituality
  2. Who is the Only “True God”? (John 17:3)
  3. If the Father is the “only true God” (John 17:3) , does that mean that Jesus is a false god?
  4. Following Jesus’ Footsteps
  5. Church/Denominations

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2013 St. Patrick's Day Races: 5k Participants,...

Are you running the right race, having the right goals? – 2013 St. Patrick’s Day Races (Photo credit: ianhun2009)

  • Critically examine the relationship between gender, religious participation and religious organisations. (cheapbestessaywriting.wordpress.com)
    While it is difficult to know precisely whether or not spiritual beliefs differ in relation to males and womanishs, it is evident that unearthly rule and participation does show relatively clear sexual urge differences. This is sure across all forms of religious organisation. Almost two-thirds of churchgoers are women. However, as with social factors worry class and age, it is clear that in that respect is no overall pattern of male / female religious attendance, since there are evident differences between denominations.
  • The Authority of the Catholic Church (zeal4thefaith.wordpress.com)
    I have heard the argument from Protestants that the Bible is the only authority. They do not believe that the Catholic Church has authority on earth at all. Well, the Bible says absolutely nothing about being the only authority.
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    Anglicans, Baptists, Born-again Christians, Brethren-in-Christ Churches, Calvary Churches, Episcopalians, Bible Fundamentalists, Non-denominational churches, Methodists, Presbyterians, start up churches too numerous to count and the list goes on and on. They all teach different theologies and they all have different pastors who went to different seminaries which teach different interpretations of Scripture. Which ‘church’ is correct? Which interpretation is correct?
  • Picking fights over religion and the separation of church and state (santamariatimes.com)
    “We have just enough religion to make us hate,” wrote Jonathan Swift, “but not enough to make us love one another.” A lifelong religious controversialist, the 18th-century Irish satirist definitely knew whereof he wrote. After all, it’s fewer than 20 years since Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland quit dynamiting each other’s gathering places.
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    Even here in the United States, it often seems that picking fights over religion increases during the Christmas season. If anything, claiming to be persecuted while expressing contempt for others’ beliefs appears on the rise.
    +
    Like Swift, Jefferson recognized the dangers of religious strife. That’s precisely why, he assured Connecticut Baptists in 1802, the First Amendment decreed “a wall of separation between church and State.”
  • Sunday Worship- Understanding and Teaching (eggflip.wordpress.com)
    Sunday Worship is a core practice of the followers of Christianity, but it’s meanings and it’s enactments represent a wide variety of different traditions and rituals loosely associated with different denominations of Christian Churches and sects that are associated the world religion of Christianity. As is precisely within the Roman Catholic Church, the Liturgical calendar is a key part of Sunday worship for Catholics, with liturgical cycles determining which scriptural passages are read out in sermons on each Sunday of the week. Anglican Churches and the Church of England are examples of other churches that retain their own liturgical calendar. Sunday worship is an important part of many different churches own liturgical calendars, and in part defines and how the Christian year is organized.
    +
    part of understanding the practice of Sunday worship as a religious commitment and a religious experience, and the impact it has on the followers of Christianity, or Catholicism
    +
    C Peck (2007) describes the Church’s rationale for Sunday worship “There are approximately two billion professing Christians on earth. They attend over 2,000 different church denominations and organizations in the United States alone. This number continually increases, bringing no end of confusion over beliefs and disagreement between them.
  • Spirit of Medjugorje Update: Patience (zenobiuszjuz.wordpress.com)
    a good Christian life cannot be pursued without a regular examination of conscience and a good grounding in the virtues…

    …virtues stem from the grace deposited in the ground of the soul by God..the root of all virtue is humility which is characterized by a patient and loving submission to authority…
  • Religulous Bastards (venitism.blogspot.com)
    In the Iran of the Mullahs, the Persian Gulf emirates and even in those countries where Orthodox Christian patriarchs still wield considerable influence, journalistsare branded as heretics as soon as they dare to describe the far-from-holy practices of the regime and its clergy. And if they dare to denounce the atrocities of an armed Islamist group in Pakistan, Bangladesh or Nigeria, theyare gunned down as infidels even when they are Muslims.

    Although used for political ends, religion often carries real weight in societies where no boundary between the spiritual and secular is recognized. When an Omani publication quoted gays as saying they were better off in Oman than in neighbouring divine-right petro-monarchies, it was accused of promoting “moral depravity” and therefore “sacrilege.” Subjects such as the role of women, sexuality and reproduction – all markers of secularization – are surrounded by taboos.
  • Significance of followers of Islam beliefs (lovevisiblesim.wordpress.com)
    I met a man in my days with SAT-7 from Tunisia – an Anglican by denomination but a true follower of Jesus among the people of Islam – a friend to followers of Christ.He shared these thoughts –

    For one, it is a myth that the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims are unified in the embrace of classical Islam’s religious precepts.  On the contrary, man Muslim peoples have a poor understanding of what their religion is really all about.
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    But the followers of Islam are religious people and under the right conditions, open about sharing their beliefs.  The word of God, presented under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and watered by the intercessory prayers of God’s people, can do its work in their heart just as in the heart of any who seek truth.

    The follower of Christ’s responsibility is to share the same love and concern for the followers of Islam that God has, the truth as it is in Jesus Christ — the One who can make him free indeed.

  • When Do Christians Have Church Services (christianity.answers.com)
    Christianity is the most prominent religion in the United States, and most Christians regularly attend worship services. However, not all churches offer the same services on the same days. If you are interested in giving it a try, learn a little bit about when Christians hold their church services.
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    In most churches, holiday services revolve around the birth and death of Christ, or Christmas and Easter. On Christmas Eve, many churches hold traditional evening services that sometimes include candle light ceremonies and Christmas carols. Some churches also hold services on Christmas Day. The days leading up to Easter, including Palm Sunday and Good Friday, are usually celebrated with special services. Easter Sunday, of course, is celebrated by nearly every church with an upbeat service.
  • Spirituality and Your Health (evelynmmaxwell.com)
    Our spirituality and philosophy are the roots to our tree of life.  Whether or not our spiritual beliefs and philosophy of life provide us with psychological comfort and hope, rather than distress and discouragement, is very important.  Whether or not they provide us the wisdom and courage to act affects us for life as we branch out in our “decision tree” (a term used in the medical field for the decisions we make in relations to our perceptions of the situations, for example, if “this” is true, we do something for “this”; but if “this” is not true we do something different). And, the strengths and weaknesses of our spiritual lives contribute to our society’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Explaining Christmas to Children (joiedevivreheather.wordpress.com)

Equal?

Created in the image of the Originator each human being has the same value and the same rights for God. Only Jesus, who was lower than the angels has been placed higher to become a mediator between man and God. All other creations are under Jesus Christ and should become part of the Body of Christ, fully respecting each other and giving each other equal chances.

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Find also related articles:

  1. Image of God
  2. We all are changed into the same image from glory to glory
  3. Cosmos creator and human destiny
  4. Human Nature: What does the Bible teach?
  5. The Conditionality of Citizenship
  6. Jesus and his God
  7. Parts of the body of Christ
  8. What part of the Body am I?

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  • Equal Partnership Between Men & Women (allboutthefamily.wordpress.com)
    Equality doesn’t mean that we are all the same robotic like humans. We each have different personalities, divine natures, but we are equal in nature. No one gender is better than the other. Our Heavenly Father has the same amount of love for all people.
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    faith, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost are requirements for all of God’s children, regardless of gender. The same is true of temple covenants and blessings. Our Father’s work and glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of His children (see Moses 1:39). He loves us all equally, and His greatest gift, the gift of eternal life, is available to all.
    +
    In our marriages and relationships, having an equal partnership is essential. Both members of the couple will bring together their strengths and weaknesses. It is in an equal partnership that will make this relationship work!
  • Thomas Boston on the Law and the Christian (reformedreader.wordpress.com)
    To be delivered from the law as it is the covenant of works, is no more but to be delivered from the covenant of works.  And the asserting, that believers are delivered from the law as it is a covenant of works, doth necessarily import, that they are under the law, in some other respects thereto contradistinguished.
  • Mormon Church Back in Marriage Equality Fight in Hawaii – Advocate.com (prgnewshawaii.com)
    Mormon Church Back in Marriage Equality Fight in Hawaii Advocate.com After backing away from fighting marriage equality for a while, the Mormon Church is once again active on this issue, coming out in opposition to the equal marriage bill pending…
  • IL Bishop: Praying for Marriage Equality Is Blasphemy (bilerico.com)
    Thomas Paprocki, the infamously homophobic Catholic bishop of Springfield, Illinois, got his cassock in a bunch earlier this week when he heard that a group of pro-LGBT Catholics planned to pray the rosary for marriage equality inside the city’s cathedral after rallying at the state capitol.As soon as Paprocki got wind of plans by members of the Rainbow Sash Movement to pray for marriage equality before the 5:15 p.m. mass on Tuesday, he issued a statement calling such prayers “blasphemous” and warning that anyone who attempted to enter the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception while wearing a rainbow sash or otherwise identified themselves as a pro-equality Catholic would be blocked from entering and turned away. Anyone who prayed for same-sex marriage inside the cathedral would be asked to leave.
  • With celebrations, NJ has 1st gay marriages (bigstory.ap.org)
    Gov. Chris Christie dropped his fight against gay marriage in New Jersey on Monday, framing the decision in a pragmatic way: No point in fighting a losing battle.Just hours after gay couples began exchanging vows with the blessing of New Jersey’s Supreme Court, Christie announced he was withdrawing his appeal to the high court.
  • Monday Moments- Thank You (ducc3d.wordpress.com)
    I was reminded of the true freedom that comes from the Lord, and the many ways we have become accustomed with living in bondage rather than true freedom.  Bondage is anything that hinders us from living up to the potential that God has invested in us.
  • Stand Up (junosalter.wordpress.com)
    Discrimination has been prevalent throughout the world since the genesis of society. In fact, discrimination is a deterrent; that is, people are unable to confidently be themselves due to the prejudiced opinions of others. Jews cowered in claustrophobic confinements because of the genocide that had catalyzed from Hitler and the Nazi Party’s disgust of the Jews. Concentration camps were built where the unluckiest of the Jewish victims were detained, forced to provide manual labor and await their execution. Discrimination brought about fear, suffering, bitterness, and the death of approximately six million Jews.                 Racism was one of the biggest, most long-lasting types of discrimination in America. African Americans were treated as inferiors, with the majority of society against the idea of African Americans exercising their rights. The Jim Crow laws included an unjust set of rules that enforced racial segregation. The colored were considered, “separate, but equal,” (Plessy V. Fergeuson) but what’s equal about that?

Dizzydaisydoo

This is a big, controversial issue, which really isn’t all that hard to sort out, but it seems to be a breaking point way too often in the modern church.

Are men and women a) equal in the full definition of the word, or b) are they equal with different roles, or c) are they not equal?  (okay, it’s definitely not c.) If you think it is, you really need to re-read the Bible.)

The simple answer is a).

We are all created equal, in God’s image, no one person is greater than another (Genesis 1 & 2).  When Eve is created from Adam’s rib in Genesis 2:18-25, she is called his helper.  In Hebrew, this word is ezer, which is a far more complex word than our modern English concept of helper- rather than being a sidekick or servant, when it is used, ezer usually refers to God…

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