Is God behind all suffering here on earth

At Bijbelvorsers, vereniging voor Bijbelstudie – Bible Scholars, Association for Bible study on June 29, 2011 at 9:42 am was written by Bible scholar Marcus Ampe. Until 2014, December 22 it got 400 viewings

Often we do find people saying it is a vengeance of God when people suffer. By earthquakes, tsunamis and other disasters they like to warn people that it is a penalty from God and that they should change their way of life.

The central character of the Book of Job, Job (Arabic: أيّوب, Ayyūb‎), as portrayed by Bonnat

In the ancient Hebrew writing The Book of Job we can find a story of the suffering Job and the attempted explanation of these events by his friends. But at the end we also do get to know God’s answer. This is so much different from what lots of people do want us to believe.

In some Christian denomination the preachers even do focus on the terror. They proclaim that it is God who punishes the evil doers. And because the people do such wrong they and their environment has to undergo all the suffering.

If that was not enough they even tell those people that after all the suffering on this earth it shall not be finished. God shall punish them even more. (That is what they tell them.) Those preachers say that those evildoers are going to be tortured for ever after they die. They present them a picture of a hell, which is going to be a torture room full of fire for all those people who sinned veraciously. They want to give the others, who did some little sins, some hope, and present that they also have to face some extra punishment, but that will only happen for a short time in the purgatory.

But as you shall see when you read the Book of Books,  the Bible, you shall be able to come to the conclusion that this is not the truth they are telling. They do the same thing as the friends of Job and try to mislead the people who have trust in them.

In the world around us we are able to find believers and non-believers. People who do good and people who do wrong. Those who do bad things have mostly the opportunity to be confronted with more problems than those who do good. But do not make the mistake, that the ones who do good shall have it always good. No, also they can become confronted with a lot of badness and have to suffer a lot. Their doing good is no free way to have a life without problems.

Perhaps you think it being righteous that everything goes well with such people who do good. But you’ll notice that the world does not turn like that. Everywhere you look you shall be able to find good an bad things.

Throughout the history of humankind we found a lot of troubles coming over people who had nothing to do with it. Wars seem to be insurmountable. History books have pages over battles between different people. Those battles brought a lot of pain to many people. But it are not only such big events which can bring pain to humans or animals. Even the flora world came and still comes into problems many times

Job's Evil Dreams (illustration)

Job’s Evil Dreams (illustration) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the Book of Books, the Bible, we can find a Guide Book to Life and a Guide to our Suffering. Each of those Books in that Library can give us the the power to change. We can find the history of humankind but especially also the history of the chosen people, who wanted to stay under the wings of their Creator, the Only One God.

It is normal that when we live that we wonder what on earth we are doing here. It is not so weird to question the reason of us being here and to think about what we have to do or to think about what is expected and by whom here on earth.
Would there be a reason to be here, and to go through all those problems to grow up, to get a job, a way of living, etcetera.

Do you know there is a Higher Being who took care that we can find the answers to many life questions? His Words are written down by patient scriptors who opened up a world of knowledge which had first to be brought over verbally, then written on tablets, later scrolls and at last found a better way to got multiplied so that They could become available to as many interested persons as possible. Thanks to Gutenberg and many Biblestudents the Words of God became spread over the whole world and were put against the human teachings of several persons and institutions which proclaimed being spokesmen of God.

But be careful, as you shall be able to see in the book of Job, those so called friends can bring misleading messages and even can tell you things which are not according the Truth. Therefore we always have to listen carefully but also look at their sayings and compare them with other sayings or with reactions on their words.

Also in the book of Job we get to hear at first many things about God, which seem to be very acceptable. Some denominations use those words of the friends quite often to tell their story of the picture. But they forget to bring into attention the lost chapter of that Book, when God gives His reply to Job and his three friends. For some people that chapter does not give them the satisfying answers, but their at least we get the real answer from God who we do have to believe.

The bible is full of examples of difficulties people had to encounter. But the Book of Job is in a certain special, because it treats the subject of Suffering in particular.

We can find a more than blessed man who had at first nothing to complain of. But at a finger click everything can change quickly. Such a wealthy man got pulled down under until he did not see any light any more. Though he considered himself as a man of God he did not see any use any more to live longer. He just wanted that his life would come to an end soon, because he had enough of all those problems.

As in the other stories of the assemblage of scriptures we can find an example of a person in need who can not be helped by his friends. We get to see that man is not always the right guide nor able to help sufficiently. Perhaps people can give us wrong advice. But we may find that there are also others who sincerely try to help us but who are also not always able to bring the right solution.

In the Holy Scriptures we do find on several places One Helper who always came back into the picture. Several people were helped by Him and it is not because we do not seem to get any answers or signs from Him this day that He would not be around us. Job also thought that God had abounded Him. Do you think at certain moments that God has left you? Do you think God would leave you on your own?

Look very carefully around you and you shall be able to see the Hand of God. He is there at places where you would not expect Him.

Today we can have the opportunity to find God His Words at our coffee-table. The only thing is that we do have to take the Book and have to open it and read it. Without reading it we are not going to get as much answers as God is willing to give to us. Also in our time of affliction He is there to guide us, but we do have to want to see His stretched out arm. Let Him carry you through the storms.

The Bible is not just a book from and for the old days. It still can be very very useful. Also today we find a lot of people who are wrongly accused of something. More and more we can find people being bullied. This often because they dare to be different or to do good. It is as if today the world does not like people who want to be goodhearted. Working hard and doing what is expected from you by the higher ones is being looked at as being week. The world today does not like to have people who want to live according to rules, morals and ethics, and they prefer to scum them.

In case we have to face problems it can be good to look at the problems of some one else like Job.

Let us be aware that everything we have to undergo in this life can be a learning experience. Even from the moments we do not like we can learn. We also can learn from suffering. The experience of the pain, having to face problems can bring us to moments to look for solutions and give us the chance to grow stronger.

I do agree than we have to make a big shift in our attitude how to look at that suffering. But we should be able to manage.

The Book of Job can be a very good teaching tool for us to make a new start or to find new ways to dope with our suffering and with all the problems which seem to be too much for us.

Therefore I would like to advice you to take that Old Book at hand and to read it. Perhaps my Bible Study I wrote on our ecclesia site can help you to go through it and to see solutions to your own situation.

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Please do find out in the Bible Study at the Christadelphian Ecclesia Brussel-Leuven.

  1. Bad things no punishment from God
  2. Profitable disasters
  3. Facing disaster fatigue
  4. Fragments from the Book of Job #1: chapters 1-12
  5. Fragments from the Book of Job #2: chapters 12-20
  6. Fragments from the Book of Job #3: chapters 21-26
  7. Fragments from the Book of Job #4: chapters 27-31
  8. Fragments from the Book of Job #5: chapters 32-37
  9. Fragments from the Book of Job #6: chapters 38-42
  10. Fragments from the Book of Job #7 Epilogue
  11. Let us recognise how great God is

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Additional reading:

  1. A world in denial
  2. Why Think There Is a God? (3): Why Is It Wrong?
  3. Philosophy hand in hand with spirituality
  4. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #15 Exposition before the Creator
  5. A risk taking society
  6. Securing risks
  7. God does not change
  8. יהוה , YHWH and Love: Four-letter words
  9. Bad things no punishment from God
  10. I Can’t Believe That … (2) God would allow children to suffer
  11. Science, belief, denial and visibility 2
  12. Fragments from the Book of Job #3: chapters 21-26
  13. Newsweek asks: How ignorant are you?
  14. We are ourselves responsible
  15. Weekly World Watch 24th – 30th Oct 2010‏
  16. Reacting to Disasters
  17. Certainty in a troubled world
  18. Tragic coach crash in the Swiss Alps
  19. If there is bitterness in the heart
  20. A great man does not lose his self-possession when he is afflicted
  21. The blessing of a broken leg
  22. Signs of the Last Days
  23. National Natural Disaster and Bible Prophecy
  24. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !
  25. Just be yourself…
  26. What happens when we die?
  27. All Souls’ Day
  28. Fear and protection
  29. Bible a guide – Bijbel als gids
  30. Finish each day and be done with it

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  • The Secret Book of Job (npr.org)
    the tornado went away. Wait, wait – the things the tornado said came to pass. My harvest was bountiful. My flock stretched out like the sea. My wife, she gave me more children, 10 sons. And once again, she held her head high in the marketplace, servants trailing after her. And only I heard her sobs at night.
  • ‘The Norton Anthology of World Religions: Volume II’ (rss.nytimes.com)
    the selected Jewish writings show that contrary to some popular assumptions, religion does not offer unsustainable certainty. The biblical story of the binding of Isaac leaves us with hard questions about Abraham’s God, and later, when Moses asks this baffling deity for his name, he simply answers: “Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh”, which can be roughly translated: “Never mind who I am!” The Book of Job finds no answer to the problem of human suffering, and Ecclesiastes dismisses human life as “utter futility.” This bleak honesty finds its ultimate expression in Elie Wiesel’s proclamation of the death of God in Auschwitz.
  • The Norton Anthology of World Religions (3quarksdaily.com)
    At a time when religious faith is coming under intense scrutiny, “The Norton Anthology of World Religions” is presenting a documentary history of six major faiths with sufficient editorial explanation to make their major texts intelligible across the barriers of time and space. – See more at: http://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksdaily/2014/12/the-norton-anthology-of-world-religions.html#sthash.msely1Oh.dpuf

     

  • Leviathan wins best film award at IFFI in Goa (in.rbth.com)
    The film is a modern reworking of the biblical book of Job. It is set on a Barents Sea peninsula and tells the story of a man who struggles against a corrupt mayor who wants his piece of land. 
  • In One of William Blake’s Final Works, the Engraved Trials of an Unfortunate Soul (hyperallergic.com)
    When his younger brother died of tuberculosis in 1787, the Metropolitan Museum of Art explains, Blake “reported discovering his wholly original method of ‘relief etching’ — which creates a single, raised printing surface for both text and image — in a vision of Robert soon after his death.” This technique also meant he had total control over his books, even if it involved incredible patience, including writing backwards onto the plates for the types of dense borders that are part of the Illustrations of the Book of Job.
  • Is Atheism a Specifically Western Phenomenon? (the-american-interest.com)
    dam Garfinkle, the editor of The American Interest, asked me this question. He told me that he had met a Saudi who claimed to be an atheist: What does this mean? We know atheism in its Jewish or Christian context, as a rejection of the Biblical God. What would atheism mean in a Muslim, or Hindu, or Buddhist context?
  • Russian film Leviathan nominated for Golden Globe awards (tass.ru)
    A 2014 Russian drama film Leviathan directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev has been nominated for the Golden Globe’s Best Foreign Language Film.
  • Wrestling with the Big Questions: A Day In Job at LICC (bibleandmission.redcliffe.org)
    The book of Job speaks a compelling word of honesty and hope into the deepest and most difficult of human experiences. Job’s story of suffering and the process he goes through with his comforters and with God is just as relevant for Christians and local churches today as we wrestle with our own questions and the questions of those around us.

God’s wrath and sanctification

Intro: Salvation and sanctification

In “How do I know what God’s will is“, “Does God stands behind all evil on earth” and in “What Is Sanctification?” we looked at the creation its inhabitants which from the start of creation choose a way contrary to the Will of the Creator.

The choices made in the Garden of Eden determined the coarse of history. We still bear the consequences of the choices made by the first man (man: 1° Adam) and mannin (woman: Eve).

Throughout Christendom many Torah teachings were put aside for human teachings. One such got varying adherents. Namely lots of people want to believe:

Once saved, always saved.

Calvinist thought about believers and salvation

Edwin H. Palmer in “The Five Points of Calvinism” (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1972, p 68) does find it:

It is one of the grandest thoughts in the Bible

According to him and many Calvinists

once you believe, you can never be lost, you can never go to hell.

First of all, everybody goes to hell, like Jesus also went to hell (for three days). Nearly all people shall have to face their end of their life. The only exception shall be those few at the end of the Big Battle, World War III, the Armageddon, who would be able to survive that.

Secondly not all who believe at one point shall keep the faith and shall consider Christ as their Messiah. So for those who lose their faith in Christ and in God, Jesus shall not always be their Saviour.

Secure key to eternal destiny and perseverance of saints

Contrary to what the author for his Calvinist followers writes it shall not be possible to get your eternal destiny (or eternal life) settled once for all so that you never have to worry about it

It is nice that the person has so much confidence in humankind that he thinks that  those who have been baptised shall persevere in trusting in Christ as their Saviour. Strange that when this pastor wrote that book he was already 50 years old (or young) and than you would consider that he would have already had several experiences in life, having seen people leaving his church or worse having already seen pastors who lost faith and became atheists.*

Edwin H. Palmer, referring to the fifth point of Calvinism, said the following:

This is strictly a Reformed doctrine and hangs or falls together with the other four points that we have been discussing. There are, however, Christians today who hold to the perseverance of the saints while at the same time rejecting the other four points. We believe, however, and will try to show later on, that this is an inconsistency in their thinking. (The Five Points of Calvinism, Moelker Printing Co. [Grand Rapids, Michigan], 1954 ed, p. 59.)

Doctrine of limited atonement

In keeping with his expert opinion of this theology, Edwin H. Palmer went on to write about the perseverance of the saints:

This doctrine also naturally follows from the doctrine of the limited atonement … (ibid., p. 61).

In other words, if the doctrine of limited atonement is true, then so is the perseverance of the saints. But then on the other hand, if limited atonement is untrue, so is eternal security. The above two quotes from Edwin H. Palmer are valuable to Christians who know all five points of Calvinism are not from God and especially desire to help free some Calvinists from the theological snare they are trapped in. Calvin shared with Luther belief in the absolute authority of the bible and in justification by faith alone, and as such many came to believe that their faith in Jesus Christ was enough to have them justified to enter the heaven, though if they would have looked closer into the Holy Scriptures they would have found that the Kingdom of God will be for most here on earth and that faith without works is dead, and as such would not bring salvation to any person. We do know the envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like shall not inherit the kingdom of God; but often still can be found by people who are baptised or who call themselves “new born Christians”. Even when they do know that the law is good they still have to try to keep it. If a man uses it lawfully there does not seem a problem, but when they stay kneeling in front of statues, worshipping more than one god, not obeying the Only One True God, doing unholy and profane things, murdering, killing or hurting by manslaughter,  or fornicating, doing homosexual acts, slave trading, but also being liars, perjurers,encountering a road to success dotted with many tempting parking places, they should know that if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, they should know they will not be able to enter the small gate of the Kingdom of God. It is just called a small gate and being it more difficult for a camel to enter the eye of the needle, because God demands full recognition and keeping to His commandments. According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to the trust of the apostle Paul he has been enabled by Christ Jesus, that he counted him faithful, putting him into the ministry. He was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and insolent, but he obtained mercy, because he did it ignorantly in unbelief.  Though afterwards when he got the call of Jeshua, when the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus, he got on the right track and changed his life.  If we do not change our way of life, our calling shall not result in saving ourselves. It really is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, but if the sinners do not repent, the blood of Christ, which also was shed for them, shall have no use for them because there is no reason for whitewashing for them. We can only obtain mercy, that in us first Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering, for an example to them who should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting, when we do come but also stay in the faith of Jesus Christ.

Now the works of the flesh are obvious, which are: sexual immorality, uncleanness, lustfulness,  (20)  idolatry, sorcery, hatred, strife, jealousies, outbursts of anger, rivalries, divisions, heresies, (Galatians 5:19-20 NHEBJE)But we know that the law is good, if a man uses it lawfully,  (9)  as knowing this, that law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,  (10)  for the sexually immoral, for men who practice sexual relations with men, for slave-traders, for liars, for perjurers, and for any other thing contrary to the sound doctrine;  (11)  according to the Good News of the glory of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.  (12)  And I thank him who enabled me, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he counted me faithful, appointing me to service;  (13)  although I was before a blasphemer, a persecutor, and insolent. However, I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.  (14)  The grace of our Lord abounded exceedingly with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.  (15)  The saying is faithful and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.  (16)  However, for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first, Jesus Christ might display all his patience, for an example of those who were going to believe in him for eternal life.  (17)  Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. (1Timothy 1:8-17 NHEBJE)

Legitimate ones to receive Grace

In 1980, the year of Edwin H. Palmer’s death, an enlarged edition of this same book was released. In this more recent edition the words were slightly changed from the previous quote, while retaining its essence:

All five points of Calvinism hang or fall together (The Five Points of Calvinism, Baker Books [Grand Rapids, Michigan], 1980 enlarged edition, p. 69).Dear reader, if you know that any of the five points of Calvinism are unscriptural, then the rest are as well. All a Christian has to do, therefore, is to refute any of the five points of Calvinism and by doing so he has destroyed all five points, according to Dr. Edwin H. Palmer himself. But dear Christian, please be assured that people who embrace Calvinism’s beloved fifth point won’t surrender it easily. They often feel just like Palmer did as reflected in his following statement:The teaching of “once saved, always saved is one of the grandest of Biblical teachings (ibid., p. 79).

In the Christian set of beliefs that is based on the teachings of John Calvin and that stresses God’s power and the moral weakness of human beings a strong emphasis is placed on the sovereignty of God, the depravity of humankind, and the doctrine of predestination. For Calvin, God gives himself to be known, and that revelation is about who God is, not an explanation of how God is three and a unity, nor a revelation that human reason could reach on its own.

In the Bible, God’s Word, there is given a distinction between the God of Abraham and the Jewish man, not a god-man, but a human, a man from God, who worshipped that God of Moses and only wanted to do God His Will and not his own will, and as such giving his body as a Lamb for God and becoming the Christ.

We do believe everybody received the grace of salvation, but that does not make it that everybody is saved for ever. Those who do not want to accept God in their life shall when they die, when staying with their mind not willing to know about a Divine Creator, shall not be legitimate to receive the Grace, provided by the blood of Christ. Those who at a certain point in their life came to accept Christ Jesus as their saviour, got baptised, but then continue or come back to a way of life not in accordance to the Law of God, shall miss the salvation also.

Under or not under a Law and righteousness

Now we know that whatsoever things the law says, it says to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.  But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets. We do have the Holy Scriptures for us to witness and to take the words of it into our heart.

Even the righteousness of God which is by faith in Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe, which means shall not be onto those who do not believe. The Grace of God and the salvation by the Lamb of God comes over all the same way, for there is no difference, for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. We all may be happy that we can be justified freely by Jehovah God His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.  It is that Jewish Nazarene man of flesh and blood, who gave his life, Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.

We shall not be justified on the account of the Law nor just works, but by the law of faith and the works of faith.  Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Now we know that whatever things the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be closed, and all the world may be brought under the judgment of God.  (20)  Because by the works of the law, no flesh will be justified in his sight. For through the law comes the knowledge of sin.  (21)  But now apart from the law, a righteousness of God has been revealed, being testified by the Law and the Prophets;  (22)  even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ to all those who believe. For there is no distinction,  (23)  for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God;  (24)  being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus;  (25)  whom God set forth to be an atoning sacrifice, through faith in his blood, for a demonstration of his righteousness through the passing over of prior sins, in God’s forbearance;  (26)  to demonstrate his righteousness at this present time; that he might himself be just, and the justifier of him who has faith in Jesus.  (27)  Where then is the boasting? It is excluded. By what manner of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith.  (28)  We maintain therefore that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.  (29)  Or is God the God of Jews only? Is not he the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also,  (30)  since indeed there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith, and the uncircumcised through faith.  (31)  Do we then nullify the law through faith? May it never be! No, we establish the law. (Romans 3:19-31 NHEBJE)Therefore, we are always confident and know that while we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord;  (7)  for we walk by faith, not by sight.  (8)  We are of good courage, I say, and are willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be at home with the Lord.  (9)  Therefore also we make it our aim, whether at home or absent, to be well pleasing to him. (2 Corinthians 5:6-9 NHEBJE)So then, those who are of faith are blessed with the faithful Abraham.  (10)  For as many as are of the works of the law are under a curse. For it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things that are written on the book of the law, to do them.”  (11)  Now that no man is justified by the law before God is evident, for, “The righteous will live by faith.”  (12)  The law is not of faith, but, “The man who does them will live by them.”  (13)  Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us. For it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree,”  (14)  that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Christ Jesus; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:9-14 NHEBJE)

Living according to the true faith required by God

Snowy Grand Rapids, MI 12-23-08

Not all who are whitewashed by baptism somewhere in their life on this earth shall be able to enter the gates of the Kingdom of God. – Snowy Grand Rapids, MI 12-23-08 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Every Christian should know that those who do not live according to the true faith required by God shall have judgement without mercy. Without changing his or her attitude, the Christian shall  not be different than the one who does not believe in Christ. Did the Calvinist preacher does not wonder what does it profit when those many people who say they have faith (in what?) but did not show they are real followers of Christ living according his teachings and according to the Will of God? The many people we can encounter daily who say they are a “Christian” but do not really have faith, or those who have faith but not show any works; can faith save them?

It is easy to say you believe in Christ or in God, perhaps you might find other people around you who also believe there are many gods and Jehovah is one of them, or they even might consider Jesus to be one of the many gods. And what is the real difference between the Jew, Christian, Muslim, the ones believing in the God of Abraham, and the ones who do good works, live decently, but do not believe in the One True God, Divine Creator of heaven and earth? Many atheists do live very well and do many good deeds? Many who say they are believers in Jesus Christ do lesser good deeds than those non-believers. Christ also died also for them, for all sinners, believers and non-believers. Would that mean they all come in the Kingdom of God?

Not all people shall come into the Kingdom of God.

Jesus has told enough parables which make it clear how people do not only have to have faith and have to honour God. His stories also make it clear how we can loose the right of entrance or the right of salvation.
Scripture tells us also that a man may say, “You have faith, and I have works” or “you believe that there is one God; you do well: the demons also believe, and tremble”.  The Bible warns us not to be vain and to be aware that faith without works is dead. We should be very careful by our idea that our baptism would be well enough. We can be very mistaken by thinking and by being assured that everything what we do after our baptism would be all right, because it does not matter any more because we are saved by Christ. When we do not mind doing things against the Will of God we might be very surprised at the End-times, standing in front of Jesus Christ, being rejected by him and not able to enter that gate to eternal life. Like Abraham believed God we too should have it imputed unto us for righteousness and being a real Friend of God. Looking at Abraham we should see how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

For judgment is without mercy to him who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.  (14)  What good is it, my brothers, if a man says he has faith, but has no works? Can faith save him?  (15)  And if a brother or sister is naked and in lack of daily food,  (16)  and one of you tells them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled;” and yet you did not give them the things the body needs, what good is it?  (17)  Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead in itself.  (18)  Yes, a man will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without works, and I by my works will show you my faith.  (19)  You believe that God is one. You do well. The demons also believe, and shudder.  (20)  But do you want to know, foolish man, that faith apart from works is dead?  (21)  Wasn’t Abraham our father justified by works, in that he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?  (22)  You see that faith worked with his works, and by works faith was perfected;  (23)  and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness;” and he was called the friend of God.  (24)  You see then that by works, a man is justified, and not only by faith.(James 2:13-24 NHEBJE)

Doubters and the ones mulled back and forth

The one who are pulled back and forth, shall also not find God turning on and then turn off their life chance. Contrary to what the Calvinist writers wants us to believe they will not continue believing forever and they will not be saved for ever. History has know many cases of people who “came to the lord” but later left him. History has also seen people who were supposed to be “men of God”, became religious people, became priest, bishop and even pope, but who misused boys and girls, fornicated, did homosexual and other acts with man or with animals. According to us those shall not be able to enter the Kingdom of God.

To blame God for having them going astray is, according to me a sort of blasphemy. It is too easy to blame God for the wrongdoings of man like the pastor does when he writes;

Thus they will always be saved…It is possible, however, to use another term to describe this fact, namely, the perseverance of God. For really the perseverance of the saints depends on the perseverance of God. It is because God perseveres in His love toward His church that the church perseveres in its love toward Him. (Edwin H. Palmer, The Five Points of Calvinism, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1972, p 68).

Having said that, he wants citizens to believe that clergy or holy men, who want to oppress the people in their church and demands things of them which they themselves do not keep, persevere their love for God or do that because that God has given up His love for them.

It is also easy to say

if someone appears to be obeying God but then turns to rebellion, it only means they were never actually elect by God’s grace to begin with. Or if they really are God’s elect, God will bring them back to obedience at some later time before death. {How to Rely on God’s Grace without Becoming a Calvinist-Perservance}

A puller and a decider and the elected

God is the One Who pulls the people towards Him, but it are the people themselves who have to make their own free will choice: coming close to God and accepting Him as the Divine Creator, Sovereign Master over heaven and earth, and presenting themselves as Children of Him, to behave as children of God.

The latter believe that a moment of faith brings the grace of God into the lives of the elect and their later behaviour has no bearing on their salvation because Christ’s atonement covered all their sins, past, present, and future. Be aware that the former position is that of Calvin; the Stanley position is a corruption of true Calvinism (at least so it seems to me).

says Edwin Crozier, who calls himself a disciple, husband, father, preacher and author who is convinced God’s way works and would love to discuss it.

Calvinism has taught that election is unconditional. Man does absolutely nothing as a determining factor of whether or not he is elect. Additionally, the true offer of atonement is only made to the elect. But more than that, when that true inward call is given, the elect cannot resist it. They will be effectively drawn by it. That, of necessity, means the elect will persevere in God’s grace. There is simply no alternative for them. Since they can’t resist it, they will, of necessity, continue in it until it ultimately saves them in the end. {How to Rely on God’s Grace without Becoming a Calvinist-Perservance}

How can it be than that so called elect have gone up and down like a yoyo, and several at the end of their life also obstinately refused to believe any more in Christ or in God? How did it come that they were not “effectively drawn” by the inner call which came unto them at a certain point in their life?

Is it also not too easy to say you just rely on the calling of God? Is it also not too easy to you are going

“to be through relying on God’s power to carry me through”.

Arminianism, God’s sovereignty and Predestination

Also Robert A. Peterson and Michael D. Williams recognize the role of grace in the opposing view of salvation but show how Calvinists part company with Arminians by affirming that God’s grace is efficacious, particular, and irresistible. As compatibilists, they present God’s sovereignty as the ultimate cause of things, while “human freedom, although not ultimate, is significant and considerable” (Why I Am Not an Arminian. By Robert A. Peterson and Michael D. Williams. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2004, 224 pp., p. 64). Prevenient grace gets special attention as universal opportunity and conditional election require biblical justification.  Predestination is buttressed by data from every major section of Scripture; the authors prefer an asymmetrical election to salvation. The bottom line for Peterson and Williams in this debate:

“Divine sovereignty and human responsibility cannot be pitted against one another” so that libertarian free will is unnecessary (Why I Am Not an Arminian, p. 151).”the human will is free and the divine is not” (Why I Am Not an Arminian, p. 140).

They sometimes exaggerate the Arminian view of saving faith as if it were meritorious:

“Rather than affirm a boot-strap doctrine of merit, the Calvinist insists upon the effectiveness of divine grace” (Why I Am Not an Arminian)

All requested by god to believe in Him and His Word

Each human being may hear some call by the Most High but is left totally free by the Creator how to cope with his freedom how to use his will. “Elect” and “non-elect”, are requested by God to believe the gospel. Before a person came to God he might have been foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.  When the person came to see and understand what it was that after the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we had, have done, or still would be going to do, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit;  whom he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour. The apostle tells us that being justified by Jesus his willingness to offer himself, doing the Will of God, and not his own will, giving us his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:4-7)

This is a faithful saying, and these things we should desire that everybody in our congregation would affirm ‘constantly’, that they who have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. (Titus 3:8)

These things are good and profitable unto men.  (9)  But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.  (10)  A man that is divisive after the first and second admonition reject;  (11)  Knowing that he that is such is perverted, and sins, being condemned of himself.  (12)  When I shall send Artemas unto you, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter.  (13)  Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be lacking unto them.  (14)  And let our own also learn to maintain good works for urgent needs, that they not be unfruitful.  (15)  All that are with me greet you. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.

Getting to know God and consequences

We can hear the call of God and answer to it. We can going to be by relying on the grace of God poured out on us through His Holy Spirit. We can come to proclaim God’s command to repent and believe to all men. But are going out to tell others about god should not be so much because for our fear for missing sanctification, but our of our love for God. Knowing the reality of God’s wrath, the sin of man, believing implicitly the promise of God that anyone who turns in faith to Christ will be saved, we will ave others to be saved also.

that God will assuredly bestow life and salvation upon all believers (The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, John Owen)

misses out on the point of the Biblical teaching that we should prepare ourselves for the Kingdom of God.

True believers should faithfully warn the unsaved, to show wherein their sins consists (enmity against God), and they should also warn the believers that it is very important to keep the good faith and to make sure we obey because the gospel is a command.

Now you know what is restraining him, to the end that he may be revealed in his own season.  (7)  For the mystery of lawlessness already works. Only there is one who restrains now, until he is taken out of the way.  (8)  Then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will kill with the breath of his mouth, and destroy by the manifestation of his coming;  (9)  even he whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,  (10)  and with all deception of wickedness for those who are being lost, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. (2 Thessalonians 2:6-10 NHEBJE)Being then the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold, or silver, or stone, engraved by art and design of man.  (30)  The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked. But now he commands that all people everywhere should repent,  (31)  because he has appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he has ordained; of which he has given assurance to all men, in that he has raised him from the dead.” (Acts of the apostles 17:29-31 NHEBJE)

The times of ignorance God overlooked has gone. Man is being asked everywhere to change. The change is what God wants to see and shall take account of.

John MacArthur says:

When you share the gospel, you command people to believe. You command people to repent so that it is crystal clear that what they have done is obey or disobey. That’s why I say invitation is not a word that is consistent with commanding. Better to finish your sermon with a command than an invitation.” (“Two Paths, One Way”, John MacArthur)

Condemnation from old

There are many people who may believe in God, gods, Satan, wrong doing and good doing. Many shall have heard the Voice of God in their life, but it shall depend on how they reacted if they shall be justified to enter the gates of the Kingdom. Whoever believes in the ‘Son of God‘ Jesus is not condemned, but whoever does not live according to that believe shall have to face the consequences of his acts. Like the false prophets and false teachers who also arose among the people, who will craftily bring in deadly heresies, even disowning the Lord who bought them and bringing on themselves quick ruin. And the many who will follow their shameless ways and by these the path of truth will be profanely spoken of. In covetousness they will make gain out of many by their cunning words. But their condemnation from of old shall not not be inactive. They should really be fully aware that also for them, though they may call themselves believers, their destruction has not been sleeping.  For if God did not spare angels that had sinned, but thrust them down to Tartarus and committed them to pits of darkness to be kept for judgement, and did not spare the ancient world, but guarded Noah, a herald of righteousness, and seven others, when he brought the flood on the world of the ungodly;  and if reducing to ashes the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah he condemned them to destruction, making them an example for the godless of what would come upon them,  and rescued righteous Lot worn out by the indecent lives of the lawless, —  for that righteous man living among them was tortured day and night in his righteous soul by the sight and hearing of their lawless deeds, —   the Lord knows how to rescue the pious from trial and how to keep the wicked under punishment for the day of judgement,  especially those who go after flesh in polluting passions, and despise lordship. They are daring, self-willed; they do not tremble to speak insultingly of glorious beings, whereas angels who are greater in might and power, do not bring against them a railing accusation before the Lord.

But false prophets also arose among the people, as false teachers will also be among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, denying even the Master who bought them, bringing on themselves swift destruction.  (2)  Many will follow their immoral ways, and as a result, the way of the truth will be maligned.  (3)  In covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words: whose sentence now from of old does not linger, and their destruction is not asleep.  (4)  For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them down to the lower parts of hell, and committed them to pits of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;  (5)  and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah with seven others, a proclaimer of righteousness, when he brought a flood on the world of the ungodly;  (6)  and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly;  (7)  and delivered righteous Lot, who was very distressed by the lustful life of the wicked  (8)  (for that righteous man dwelling among them, was tormented in his righteous soul from day to day with seeing and hearing lawless deeds):  (9)  the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment;  (10)  but chiefly those who walk after the flesh in the lust of defilement, and despise authority. Daring, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries;  (11)  whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not bring a railing judgment against them before the Lord. (2 Peter 2:1-11 NHEBJE)

Also for those so called reborns if they have eyes full of adultery and unceasing sin; ensnaring unstable souls; having a heart practised in greediness; an execrable race; having forsaken the right road they have gone quite astray, they should know that for them there shall also not be a salvation at the end. They by the lusts of the flesh, by acts of lasciviousness, shall miss the boat. For if alter fleeing from the pollutions of the world by an acknowledgement of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, any are again entangled and overcome by them, the last state of such persons is worse than the first. They also should be well aware that they even could be worse off than a person who was never been baptised. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after knowing it, to turn away from the holy commandment delivered to them.

But these, as unreasoning creatures, born natural animals to be taken and destroyed, speaking evil in matters about which they are ignorant, will in their destroying surely be destroyed,  (13)  suffering the penalty as the wages of evil; people who count it pleasure to revel in the daytime, spots and blemishes, reveling in their deceit while they feast with you;  (14)  having eyes full of adultery, and who cannot cease from sin; enticing unsettled souls; having a heart trained in greed; children of cursing;  (15)  forsaking the right way, they went astray, having followed the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of wrongdoing;  (16)  but he was rebuked for his own disobedience. A mute donkey spoke with a man’s voice and stopped the madness of the prophet.  (17)  These are wells without water, and mists driven by a storm; for whom the blackness of darkness has been reserved.  (18)  For, uttering great swelling words of emptiness, they entice in the lusts of the flesh, by licentiousness, those who barely escape from those who live in error;  (19)  promising them liberty, while they themselves are bondservants of corruption; for a man is brought into bondage by whoever overcomes him.  (20)  For if, after they have escaped the defilement of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in it and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.  (21)  For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.  (22)  It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “The dog turns to his own vomit again,” and “the sow that has washed to wallowing in the mire.” (2 Peter 2:12-22 NHEBJE)

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* Note Edwin H. Palmer (1922-80) was born, grew up and went to school in Quincy, Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard College (A.B.) in 1944, following which he served as first lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps 1944-1946, service which included operations in the Pacific theatre and involvement in the fighting around Okinawa.
In 1949 he received his Th.B. degree from Westminster Theological Seminary and furthered his education at The Free University of Amsterdam, receiving his doctorate (Th.D.) there in 1953. His accomplishments and contributions were so respected by the Christian academic community that, in 1977, Houghton College conferred on him the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity.

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Additional literature:

  1. Are you religious, spiritual, or do you belong to a religion, having a faith or interfaith
  2. People Seeking for God 1 Looking for answers
  3. People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations
  4. Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up
  5. Doubting the reality, genuineness and effectiveness of God’s love
  6. Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God
  7. Do you believe in One god
  8. Does there have to be a Holy Trinity Mystery
  9. How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice
  10. Science and the Bible—Do They Really Contradict Each Other?
  11. Science, belief, denial and visibility 2
  12. Believing in God the rewarder
  13. Jehovah steep rock and fortress, source of insight
  14. Bric-a-brac of the Bible
  15. Bible basic intro
  16. Bible power to change
  17. Bible word of God,inspired and infallible
  18. Bible Word from God
  19. Creator and Blogger God 7 A Blog of a Book 1 Believing the Blogger
  20. Creator and Blogger God 10 A Blog of a Book 4 Listening to the Blogger
  21. God’s forgotten Word 1 Introduction
  22. Eternal Word that tells everything
  23. Missional hermeneutics 3/5
  24. Missional hermeneutics 4/5
  25. Belief of the things that God has promised
  26. Exceeding Great and Precious Promise
  27. God wants to be gracious to you
  28. Heed of the Saviour
  29. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  30. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  31. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  32. A Living Faith #12 The Love for Jesus
  33. Faith
  34. Faith Requires a Basis
  35. Faith and works
  36. Faith moving mountains
  37. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #13 Prayer #11 Name to be set apart
  38. What Should I Preach ?
  39. Understanding what we read
  40. Counterfeit Gospels
  41. A promise given in the Garden of Eden
  42. Old language to confirm the promises
  43. God’s Special Gift
  44. Do not be afraid. Good news because a Saviour has been born
  45. A remaining name
  46. Entrance of a king to question our position #1 Coming in the Name of the Lord
  47. Entrance of a king to question our position #2 Who do we want to see and to be
  48. An unblemished and spotless lamb foreknown
  49. In the death of Christ, the son of God, is glorification
  50. Love and forgive this friday
  51. The redemption of man by Christ Jesus
  52. For the Will of Him who is greater than Jesus
  53. Shabbat Pesach service reading 1/2
  54. Shabbat Pesach service reading 2/2
  55. After the Sabbath after Passover, the resurrection of Jesus Christ
  56. Seven days of Passover
  57. A Holy week in remembrance of the Blood of life
  58. Bread and Wine
  59. Ember and light the ransomed of Jehovah
  60. Ransom for all
  61. No Other Name (But Jesus)
  62. Faithful to the listening ear
  63. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:36-38 – Anna’s Thanks before Those Waiting
  64. It is not try but trust
  65. How Many were Bought
  66. We are redeemed; we are “bought with a price”
  67. Joining for a new year in the assurance to be bought with a price
  68. It is Today
  69. Self-preservation is the highest law of nature
  70. Commit your self to the trustworthy Creator
  71. Man’s plans prevailed by God’s purpose
  72. Holiness and expression of worship coming from inside
  73. Ask Grace to go forward
  74. Dying or not
  75. Not to speak is to speak
  76. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  77. I Can’t Believe That (1) … God would send anyone to hell
  78. Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one
  79. Not all will inherit the Kingdom
  80. We are ourselves responsible
  81. Reasons why they cannot do what they want to
  82. Only the contrite self, sick of its pretensions, can find salvation
  83. The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places
  84. Choices
  85. Never making mistakes because never doing anything
  86. Let not sin reign in your mortal body
  87. Self inflicted misery #3 A man given to suffer for us
  88. Self inflicted misery #6 Paying by death
  89. Let me keep to “first importance” things
  90. Wishing to do the will of God
  91. Get Your Wonderful Disease-proof Human Body
  92. Give your worries to God
  93. Atonement And Fellowship 1/8
  94. Atonement And Fellowship 4/8
  95. Atonement And Fellowship 7/8
  96. Atonement And Fellowship 8/8
  97. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  98. Divine service (16-10-2013): “The way to salvation/ Die weg na verlossing”
  99. Many forgot how Christ should be our anchor and our focus
  100. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  101. Looking for something or for the Truth and what it might be and self-awareness
  102. Deliverance and establishment of a theocracy
  103. End of the Bottom Line
  104. All Positive Energy People Are Acceptable
  105. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #10 Prayer #8 Condition
  106. Continuing Paul’s Prayer Requests
  107. God’s forgotten Word 5 Lost Lawbook 4 The ‘Catholic’ church
  108. Condemnation of the World and Illustration of Justification
  109. Being of good courage running the race
  110. Agape, a love to share with others from the Fruit of the Spirit
  111. Bearing fruit
  112. Together tasting a great promise

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Further Additional literature:

  1. Calvinism
  2. Calvin: A Biography
  3. Calvin in Context
  4. Calvin and the Rhetoric of Piety
  5. Calvin for Armchair Theologians
  6. Calvin as Biblical Interpreter among the Ancient Philosophers
  7. Calvin and the English Episcopate, 1580-1610
  8. Calvin and the Beasts: Animals in John Calvin’s Theological Discourse
  9. Calvin, Classical Trinitarianism, and the Aseity of the Son
  10. Calvin and Praying for “All People Who Dwell on Earth”
  11. Lincoln’s Calvinist Transformation: Emancipation and War
  12. Calvinist Pilgrimages and Popish Encounters: Religious Identity and Sacred…
  13. Why I Am Not a Calvinist/Why I Am Not an Arminian
  14. Greatest single cause of atheism
  15. Shapers of English Calvinism, 1660-1714: Variety, Persistence, and…
  16. Dutch Neo-Calvinism and the Roots for Transformation: An Introductory Essay
  17. Ethnic Persistence among Dutch-Canadian Catholics and Calvinists
  18. The Influence of Calvinism on Seventeenth-Century English Baptists:…
  19. Traditional Baptists and Calvinism: If We Are Not Calvinists, What Shall We…Calvin, John

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  • Calvinism vs. Arminianism: Should We Tell Unbelievers That God Loves Them? (thegraceapparatus.wordpress.com)
    God does not love the reprobate (those who ultimately reject him) in the same way he loves his children. His children are chosen from before time to be his children, and nothing will ever change that. It doesn’t matter whether you have a covenantal theology, only those who are the elect will be regenerated, given faith and persevere until the end. The reprobate have no chance whatsoever.
    One obvious problem with this line of thinking is that not all children who grow up in a Christian home become Christians. If they ultimately die and go to hell, then telling your children that God loves them was a big fat lie (in the Calvinist way of thinking about God’s love). And if these children prove to be reprobate, then they are no different than any other unbelievers. This is a double standard where you tell some unbelievers that God loves them (your children) but not others (strangers).
  • Did God really say “Prevenient” Grace (onedaringjew.wordpress.com)
    The problem is that “grace” for the Arminian and the Calvinist is as different as “faith plus works” and “faith alone” in justification. In Arminianism, grace (“prevenient” grace, which is not in the Bible) possibly saves, whereas in Calvinism, grace does nothing else but save. Yet both Arminians and Calvinists believe that grace is glorious and love singing “Amazing grace.”
  • Southern Baptist Pastor, Randy White, Rebukes Evangelicals for Promoting Racial Justice as a Gospel Demand (blackchristiannews.com)
    “Seems to me that racial reconciliation is a good thing and is a social issue, not a doctrinal or theological issue, and certainly not a “gospel demand.” If there is something Biblical that expresses racial reconciliation as a gospel demand, I’ve missed it.”

    To this, McKissic says, “WOW! That is an incredible, reprehensible, biblically incorrect and racially offensive statement.”

    In citing this statement, McKissic fails to note that I am responding to Matthew Hall, who says, “all Christians should be mindful of the gospel’s demands for racial reconciliation and justice.”

  • Limited Atonement and the Divine Command to Believe Falsehood (arminianperspectives.wordpress.com)
    Many times, an incorrect belief by itself isn’t particularly harmful, but if taken to its inevitable conclusions, tends to produce great inconsistencies. Limited atonement, if taken in conjunction with the common Calvinist beliefs about the gospel call, inevitably leads to the conclusion that God commands people to believe falsehood. I’ll start by postulating and defending the necessary premises.
    +
    Christians since the beginning have understood that believing in Christ is more than just assent that He died and rose (as James also notes, even the demons believe that). True and living faith in Christ requires that we trust in His work on the cross, and in Him as our Savior. Herein lies the second part of the premise: that the aforementioned command requires that they believe that Christ can save them. I don’t think any tenable objection can be raised to this point. One cannot trust Christ as his Savior without believing that He has power to save him.
    +
    Many Calvinists don’t like language that Christ cannot save certain people, but that is an inescapable ramification of limited atonement. Christ either can save one through His sacrificial death, or He cannot. Christ cannot save people for whom He did not die to save. The sacrifice has already been offered, there’s no going back and changing who it was for; there is no other sacrifice, and there is no other way. If the non-elect were excluded, that decision has already been made, and cannot be abrogated. It matters not how many sins the sacrifice was sufficient to cover, if its power to save is not applicable to a person, then Christ cannot save that person.Thus to believe that Christ can save one of the non-elect, if limited atonement be true, would be a falsehood -often called a ‘lie’ when speaking in an objective sense.
  • Spurgeon’s Calvinism (baldreformer.wordpress.com)
    In Spurgeon’s Calvinism, the Prince of Preachers walks readers through the five points that were formulated at Dort.  Readers familiar with his style will be drawn to his passion for Scripture and his ability to relate the doctrines in a unified whole.  While Spurgeon’s treatment of the doctrines of grace prove to be unshakeable in the final analysis, the real highlight of the book is its ability to draw worshippers to the throne of God.  Spurgeon’s Calvinism is a fitting introduction to this biblical way of viewing God’s purposes in redemptive history.
  • Is Atheism a Specifically Western Phenomenon? (the-american-interest.com)
    Atheism, as we know it, came out of a Judaeo-Christian context. But I would slightly re-phrase Garfinkle’s question. The dichotomy is not western/non-Western. It is Abrahamic/non-Abrahamic. It is a rebellion against the monotheistic faiths that originated in the Middle East–Judaism, Christianity, Islam. It makes much less sense in a non-monotheistic environment.
    The rebellion is triggered by an agonizing problem: How can God, believed to be both all-powerful and morally perfect, permit the suffering and the evil afflicting humanity? This is the problem called theodicy, which literally means the “justice of God”; in the spirit of the rebellion it is also a demand that God has to justify himself. The most eloquent expression of this atheist rebellion in literature is by Dostoyevsky’s Ivan Karamazov rejecting God, because he allowed the cruel murder of one child.
  • I was wrong – but I am right – Calvinists preach a false gospel. (craigbenno1.wordpress.com)
    Basically the doctrine of Divine Impassibility is one which states that God is not effected by his emotions. He suffers no pain and cannot suffer pain. Certainly within the framework of the Godhead, God isn’t affected by sinful emotions. Nor does God suffer tiredness, broken limbs and old age.

 

Writers needed to preach to non-believers

Growing Islamisation

The Great Mosque of Brussels is the oldest mosque in Brussels. It is located in the Cinquantenaire Park. It is also the seat of the Islamic and Cultural Centre of Belgium.

The Great Mosque of Brussels is the oldest mosque in Brussels. It is located in the Cinquantenaire Park. It is also the seat of the Islamic and Cultural Centre of Belgium.

It may be said that Christians seem to fail there where Muslims succeed. In Belgium we could see the Muslim community grow enormously in the last decade. Though we do not see so many preachers on the streets. In certain quarters the Islamic preachers are very actively on the street or in the parks, but in others you can’t see them. It seems a lot of youngsters do find their Islamic teaching on the net but do not find it countered by Christian teachers. Those who do have an idea that there could possibly be one God to be worshipped mostly can find Catholic and evangelical groups teaching trinitarian doctrine. Jehovah Witnesses go from door to door but most people are so much afraid of the groups and of the name Jehovah they really do not want to listen to them or to take some study material from them.

English: took it myself to illustrate open-air...

Open-air preaching (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many people in several western countries stopped listening to the pastors, priests, bishops and those who say they are ‘men of God’ because they saw what happened in the many churches were priest and nuns used young children to please themselves. Lots of people saw that many preachers who did use lots of words to frighten the people, did not bother to do those things they told their flock not to de because they would end up in hell, a place of torment and eternal suffering. In many denomination the pastors or priests make use of the comparatively easiness to convince a man of his sin and then to frighten him for the consequences of that sin.

Guilt is a majority of our spiritual make up.  And it is the substance that leaks out into our fleshly day. {The necessity of the Gospel}

No good answers by clergymen for searching people

No Preaching sign in Australia

No Preaching sign in Australia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Having a guilty conscience many became bewildered, looking for real justifying answers. But the priests or pastors could not deliver them. By that “awakening” of getting conscious he had to do something against his sins, man becomes aware of a need to cleanse himself.  Some might than think

by that means, it is also comparatively easy to convince a man that Jesus is a necessary aspect of this cleansing.

but it does not seem to be so easy and it can not be brought over by staying in the church-walls. The preacher has to get out of those walls and come into the open to tell others what for possibilities there are and how Jesus can be found and is there for all of those who are willing to accept his ransom offer.

We read and hear of people saying that they need the Lord all day long.  Just a cursory look into the Christian announcement by His people will provide a rather overwhelming view of our sense of need.  And how can that be a fault?  All men know of their guilt.  It is a natural outcome that others should hear us speaking of our need for the Lord’s blood in decimating our sins. {The necessity of the Gospel}

Though people want to feel that they are helped and guided. The clerical people demanding from the ordinary human person to become holy, having to keep to all sorts of difficult things, therefore got lots of people stopping to listen to the men of their church because they know they cannot, or are not willing to, reach to the greatest of Christianity.

Need of human example

In The Swinging Doors is written:

Often, in a man’s frightful plight, he needs a human example.  As the little boy was reported to have said to his mother, “Sometimes I need a Jesus with skin on”. {The Swinging Doors}

Many churches made Jesus into their god and did not want to accept it was a man of flesh and blood who really died for the sins of many. They taught their believers that no man is capable to follow all through God’s commandments; So why bother many say. Many people also came to see that such teaching of a man who was not a man but was a spirit, who in one place says he cannot be tempted and in another place in Scriptures it says he was been tempted by the devil, could not be a real good teaching but only a misleading teaching.  Lots lost faith in their church of the misleading doctrines and found more clarity in the Islam teaching. The big problem is they did never tried to look at other Christian religions who do keep to the biblical Truth. Not many took time to look at the different non-trinitarian groups, because they thought all Christians are the same and do think the same. They also got frightened to look at the other denominations because they were made frightened by their own church who always told them it were heretics and not Christians.

No one willing to come down

Those who left the dogmatic Christian groups, Catholics, Evangelicals, Pentecostals, did not encounter on their path to other non-doctrinal Christians people who were confessing they only believed in Only One God. None of those non-trintiarians thought it necessary to come to them. Most of them who say they have the truth and are not a Jehovah Witness do not go away from their position in their church or ecclesia.

None will venture to ascend their hill.

They remain in their known group and are willing to give exhortations in their ecclesia, but to go out on the streets or to go to teach and preach somewhere else, not many wanted to do. so, those looking for God did not encounter people who wanted to tell them that in Christianity there may be found answers and may be found people willing to help to come closer to God.

In many of those non-trinitarian and trinitarian churches they are saying “God calls the people” which is true, but does not give you the right to sit on your ass and do nothing. Jesus was clear to his disciples and wanted all his followers to go out in the world to preach the gospel of the coming Kingdom of God. But in many churches the people in charge say we do have to be patient and the right people just shall come up to us. Is that so? Shall people be able to find you?

Given task

We should be prepared to bring honourable service and give ourselves into the Hands of God, offering ourselves as servants of Christ and servants of God. Faith without works is dead and true faith demands dedication to God’s sovereignty.
Preaching should be done across the entire world, every day and night regarding this subject, by those who believe in the things which are grounded in their heart. That what did not have enough opportunity to grow in the heart can not be shared. There has to be a willingness to hear others and to come to them to talk and share ideas with them. Ears have to be opened to the Word of God, but so few hear it.  So few accept it.  So few do it.   Why?

Because salvation from guilt and sin is a natural desire of the human mind.

says the writer of Words From There.

But the walk of Jesus comes from the Holy Spirit.  As we learn to listen to the Holy Spirit, we find ourselves compelled to agree with the Father in Heaven. {The necessity of the Gospel}

this should bring people united under Christ in the understanding of  the necessity to live as the Lord Jesus lived.

Servants for God

 He became a servant, though He is the Son of God.  We too are called to become servants, though we are sons of the same God.

The big question is: How many do want to become a humble servant in the hands of God? How many are willing to follow up the task Jesus has given his disciples?

Understanding the true nature of God by observing phenomena on earth is like exclusively studying shadows to examine the Sun.  The resultant assumptions would most certainly fall short. {Thoughts from Isolation}While some people ponder the very existence of a God, His people ponder His promises. {Thoughts from Isolation}

Short time to stand at the side

There are too many questions to be answered, and time on earth is too short to get all the answers right. When we do have to find out everything on our own it (perhaps) will take a long time, but when we can find help in what others can show us from the Bible we can grow with each other and come to a better understanding sooner. It is easy to say

Why is there not even a hint of concern in the majority of people?

and do nothing. Standing at the side, staying in the close environment, the safe surrounding of the own ecclesia or church is easy. It is high time to come out of the ‘building’ and to go out in the  ‘wild nature’.

Messengers with wrong motives

Soon after Jesus his death it happened already that people made use of his name and his popularity. The apostle Paul noted already that there were some that preached Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. (Philippians 1:15-18) Many centuries later not much has changed. We still can find people who are more interested in their own good and their own name, instead of sharing the gospel with many for the matter of  Jesus his name. We shamefully notice that everywhere we can find people who preach Christ out of selfish ambition. But perhaps this should not bother us so much because whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this we should rejoice.

Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org, Author of Making Sense of the Bible wrote

What security in the gospel! Even if the messenger has wrong motives, the message remains unstoppable. This means that God has built into the gospel a self-correcting power for every abuse of the gospel at the hands of men. Men misused the Bible to promote slavery in Africa and America, yet the abolitionist movement came out of the church.

All of us should be thankful we are good in something. We all have been given a gift of God’s grace for the good of His people. As the least of the Lord’s people, Paul knew that these graces were not given based upon any personal merit, so stop disqualifying yourself to use the gift of grace that God has given you. God has created all things, including you and your capacity, and God wants us to focus upon him and use what he has freely given us. And each person who comes in Christ should also as a member of the body of Christ use his or her gifts to let that body grow.

Poisoned and mislead

Arthur W. Pink was aware that we should use the gifts we received more to proclaim the Word of God

those whose whole time and energies are to be devoted to seeking the spiritual and eternal welfare of souls, and the better equipping of themselves for that most blessed, solemn, and important work. Their principal tasks are to proclaim God’s Truth and to exemplify and commend their message by diligently endeavoring to practice what they preach, setting before their hearers a personal example of practical godliness. Since it be the Truth they are to preach, no pains must be spared in seeing to it that no error be intermingled therewith, that it is the pure milk of the Word they are giving forth. To preach error instead of Truth is not only grievously to dishonor God and His Word, but will mislead and poison the minds of the hearers or readers. {Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures}

Many people felt dishonoured and mislead by their common church. The Muslims seemed to honestly keep closer to the Word of God and kept more to their holy Scriptures, doing what was requested by them.

Governing bodies have taken over the Pauline churches which at early Christendom were free communities.

It is true that the early apostles held a council in order to examine more closely certain issues. Upon holding this council a letter was drawn up and sent to the Gentile churches. This letter gave basic rules of how to conduct oneself as a Christian. Paul later went back and wrote too many of these Gentile Christians and gave them a fuller explanation on what it meant to be a Christian and how to live as a Christian.  {Does an Independent Minister have a right to preach what he so desires? Pt 3}The reason men like Harold Camping can gather disciples around him are because people have remained silent. They fear persecution and do not want to live a life of being shunned or spoken evil against. I am not going to be unloving when I examine other ministers’ doctrines, but I also will not be ashamed of the gospel of Christ. I will not shun being persecuted by remaining silent concerning the truth of God’s word. Therefore I will not be silent concerning the doctrines of the ‘Teacher’ nor Otis Graves.

writes a a Reformed Baptist, from a Covenantal, Amillennial perspective in Does an Independent Minister have a right to preach what he so desires? Pt 2. This while too many keep silent and do not dare to step on toes. But no congregation is free of the silent ones or of those who do not want to go out to those who do not belong to the community. This made that many in the city or at the countryside did not find it interesting enough to go to hear in the church-building what the preacher had to say. those who stayed at home and did their normal daily business did not find somebody on their path to work or to the shops who tried to convince them of the beauty of Jesus his ransom.

Unlearned men

‘Church’ wanted people to believe they could not understand the Bible, because they did not follow special university courses. In the past they had also told Luther that if the scriptures were translated into the common language of the people that a flood gate of sin would come out of it.

They told him that the church would begin to split and splinter into all kinds of different denominations. This is because that unlearned men will not take and interpret scripture according to the tradition of the Church. Luther responded by saying that he knew that if he put the scriptures in the hands of ignorant and unlearned men, that it would open a flood gate of iniquity, but nevertheless every person ought to have the scriptures to read for themselves. {Does an Independent Minister have a right to preach what he so desires? Pt 2.}

We may not forget that in the first century of this common era, like in the centuries before people did not get a university degree to read and understand the Holy Scriptures. The disciples of Christ got their training first hand from the master teacher Jeshua (Jesus Christ). They continued the same practice as Jesus to educate others in the teachings of Christ Jesus. They wrote down what they had learned so that others in places far away could use the writings as edifying material. We too have that educational material at hand in our own language. We can use the many Bible translations to receive the Biblical Wisdom. We should use it.

Right to read and to interpret

So the Reformation opened the door for private interpretation. But just because we have the right to interpret scripture privately does not mean that we have the right to distort scripture. The Reformers taught what is known as the perspicuity of scripture or that the scriptures are so plain that even a child could understand it. This doctrine does not teach that scripture is plain in every place, but it teaches that the doctrines that are essential to salvation are so clear that even a child could find his was to Christ by reading them. {Does an Independent Minister have a right to preach what he so desires? Pt 2.}

People need help in their interpretation and it are the elders and scholars who can and should help. In time the church has developed a science of interpretation known as ‘hermeneutics.’ This science and art of interpretation is our key which can keep us from falling into much error when we interpret scripture. Not everybody is been given the art of hermeneutics but those that have received it should use it and help others to come to a better understanding of what is written in the Bible.

While the Bible is filled with many types of literature it also uses many forms of speech within that literature. The Bible uses hyperbole, simile, symbolic, irony, sarcasm, metaphor, parallelism, synonymous parallelism, metonymy, personification, anthropomorphisms, anthropopathisms, and many more. The Bible also uses types and shadows to convey its message. So without a properly working hermeneutic we all would misinterpret scripture all the time. {Does an Independent Minister have a right to preach what he so desires? Pt 2.}

But it are the communities and those in charge of the ‘churches’ who should take care their flock is trained to come to good Bible reading and good Bible interpretation. Every person in the ecclesia should try to come to a good Bible knowledge and should help others in reading and interpreting the Bible.

Not staying in own cocoon

As we go on, after we have been baptised, and grow in our faith, we do have to carry it with us and should share it with others. We cannot keep our faith to our own. We also may not stay in our little cocoon just staying safe with those we do know and with those whom we love. Out of love for the others, we should go out to reach them and to show them the Way.

Thomas Manton asked

“What is the reason there is so much preaching and so little practice? {So much Preaching and so Little Practice – Thomas Manton}

but we wonder where all that preaching is. We can not see many Christians on the streets, in parks, in public buildings or in public transport, teaching the Word of God. It seems to stay in between closed doors.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon by Alexander Melville.jpg

One of the great inspirers for many Christians and strong figure in the Reformed Baptist tradition: Charles Haddon (C.H.) Spurgeon

We do need constant thoughts which are operative so that musing makes the fire burn. {Thomas Manton} The British Reformed Baptist preacher who remains highly influential among Christians of different denominations, among whom he is still known as the “Prince of Preachers,”  Charles Haddon (C.H.) Spurgeon in his lifetime preached to around 10,000,000 people, often up to 10 times a week at different places. His sermons are reprinted many times and are still going strong. He knew very well the importance to go out on the streets and to take sure educating thoughts would be spread amongst many. We should remember him who said

Preaching! Man’s Privilege and God’s Power!

A Privilege to be taken seriously

Jonathan Edwards, A.W. Tozer, A.W. Pink, John Owen, Oswald Chambers, Andrew Murray, E.M. Bounds, John Bunyan, George Whitefield, Mary, Thomas and their son Octavius Winslow, John Fullerton MacArthur, Jr. and many more understood the need of reaching to the people, covering topics on many aspects of the Christian life. We should take them as an example and not limit ourselves to our own community, staying only at our own ecclesia.

For sure it might be easier just to preach for people who believe the same as we do. It is easier not be confronted with people who have other ideas and want to ask questions. It is easier to avoid such questions and keeping to a close group where one is sure they all believe the same and/or do not dare to question.

Like Aiden Tozer’s passion for a deeper knowledge of God led him to study the great devotional writers of the past, we should not hesitate to look at such works from the past but always should see them in the light of the Holy Scriptures, which constantly should be the main guide.

People wanting to know God

The move of many churchgoers to become mosque goers proves that there are enough people wanting to get to know God. You can wonder how they can get to know God when nobody wants to come to them and tell about God.

Prayer and worship were the hallmarks of many previous Bible teachers  their life. but they did not stay in their own little environment, their safe surrounding of their church. They stood up and went to those who did not yet belong to their church or even did not believe in a god or the God. Like them we should come forward and present our thoughts and our writings to people who are looking for God and perhaps not belong to any church, or did not find the Truth.

A W Tozer.jpg

Aiden Wilson Tozer

Our preaching as well as our writings should simply become an extension of our faith and prayer life.

In modern evangelicalism, contended Tozer, we work, we have our agendas–in fact, we have almost everything except the spirit of true worship. He defined worship as a humbling but delightful sense of admiring awe, astonished wonder and overpowering love in the presence of the unspeakable Majesty. He reminded the pastors, “We’re here to be worshippers first and workers only second; Out of enraptured, admiring, adoring souls God does His work. The work done by a worshipper will have eternity in it.” {A. W. Tozer Sermon – The Unpopularity of Jesus and His Doctrines}

Tozer called the doctrine of the Holy Spirit “buried dynamite”. Yet he always insisted that the Spirit and the Word operate in harmony. He exhorted the overzealous to a warm heart and a cool head:

“The history of revivals in the Church reveals how harmful the hot head can be….These are days of great religious turmoil. Let love burn on with increasing fervour, but bring every act to the quiet test of wisdom. Keep the fire in the furnace where it belongs. An overheated chimney will create more excitement than a well-controlled furnace, but it is likely to burn the house down. Let the rule be: a hot furnace but a cool chimney.”

– Walter Unger {A. W. Tozer Sermon – The Unpopularity of Jesus and His Doctrines}

Simply taking up the task given by Christ

We should not aim for great fame and popularity as a preacher, but we should be well aware that we do have to come together, read and study the Bible with others, preach the gospel and make new believers.

In many church services other than those of the Christadelphians not much time is given or spend at the Word of God. God’s Word in Scripture, if ever used at all, comes in sporadic bursts of verses here and there, and in evangelical churches they are just parts of phrases being shouted out repetitive whilst most of the time entertaining songs sweep up the public. Very often bible texts are stripped of their intended meaning, stifling the work of the Spirit in His sacramental function of quickening the Word, and robbing the people of blessing. At other places the sermon or the exhortation has not much to do with the Bible fragments read.

Though time has to be spend to go deeper into the reading and to give some examples of how the Bible text relates to our daily life. That we need much more, so that people can see how the stories of the Bible still have relevance today. Further we also need more stories of influences of the Bible and faith to people in our society. The Lifestyle magazines Stepping Toes and From Guestwriters would love to bring such Bible and Faith related stories. But we need more people who can bring such stories and show people what it can do to have the Christian Faith.

You to can play your role

It is high time there shall come forward more Christian believers to proof to others they are not children of the bond-woman but of the free (Galatians 4:31) and to show the world which blessings come over those who are willing to accept Christ in their life.

When the early church went out into the world, armed with the truth through which alone true unity could be effected, they, as well as Paul, met with opposition. The had to conquer their fear for speaking in public. It took time but with the aid of the Holy Spirit and with their trust in God they managed to spread the faith very well. We better take up their courage and start evangelizing like they did in the early days.

You too can do your share. For sure you too have something to tell; something that changed your life; something you feel inside, something you notice in the world; let it be known to others. We are willing to give you a platform where you can let your voice be heard so that your voice can put an other cobblestone on the big road to be made.

As time went on, however, the church no longer loved God enough to see, feel and talk about the wonders of the Divine Creator. Let those Works of God be better known. Open people their eyes and ears so that they can see and hear the beauty of nature, the Hand of God in our world. Show the world where there can be growth of true worship in the face of daunting challenges so that it can be faith-strengthening and inspiring to God’s people everywhere. Let the sun never sets on the Kingdom-preaching and disciple-making. Remember the prophet Zechariah his words

 “who has despised the day of small things?” (Zecharia 4:10)

and do not hesitate to join the small group of enthusiast preachers.

Declaring Good News

Let us “declare good news” like Jesus demanded from his followers. Each of us can “bear news; announce; act as a news bearer.” (1 Samuel 4:17; 2 Samuel 1:20; 1 Chronicles 16:23)

Jesus recognized that his divine commission called for a preaching work, and he carried it on publicly, in cities and villages, in the temple area, synagogues, marketplaces and streets, as well as in the countryside. (Marcus 1:39; 6:56; Luke 8:1; 13:26; John 18:20)
Do you want to go wherever you can entering into villages or cities or countryside or bring  your texts on the internet so that it can come in the homes of many people?

Jesus had stressed that he was ‘sent by God’ (Luke 9:48; John 5:36, 37; 6:38; 8:18, 26, 42), who gave him “a commandment as to what to tell and what to speak.” (John 12:49). The apostles who followed the directions of Christ knew that they publicly had to declare that Jesus is Lord, and that we have to exercise faith in our heart that God raised him up from the dead, so that we will be saved.

For with the heart one exercises faith for righteousness, but with the mouth one makes public declaration for salvation. (Romans 10:9, 10)

Like John the Baptist Jesus did more than preach. His teaching receives even greater emphasis than his preaching. Teaching (di·da′sko) differs from preaching in that the teacher does more than proclaim; he instructs, explains, shows things by argument, and offers proofs. The work of Jesus’ disciples, both before and after his death, was thus to be a combination of preaching and teaching.(Matthew 4:23; 11:1; 28:18-20).

The writings which we present as such shall have to bring preachings and teachings, sermons and exhortations, bringing examples that show how God is at work also today and is still calling everybody who is willing to hear His Voice.

We have to share our heartfelt feeling for Christ and for each other. We have to share like Christ did, our love for the Only One God and our love for brothers and sisters in Christ, but also our love for the whole creation (man, animals and plants). As this in the old times was shared by all disciples, men and women, we too should till “the conclusion of the system of things” proclaim the Good News and share our faith with others, bringing a call to the world to join us and to become a member of the Body of Christ. (Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 24:46-49; Acts of the apostles 2:17; compare Acts 18:26; 21:9; Romans 16:3.)

18 And Jesus approached and spoke to them, saying: “All authority*+ has been given me in heaven and on the earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples*+ of people of all the nations,+ baptizing+ them in* the name of the Father+ and of the Son+ and of the holy spirit,+20 teaching+ them to observe+ all the things I have commanded YOU.+ And, look! I am with YOU+ all the days until the conclusion* of the system of things.”*+ {Matthew 28:18-20 Reference Bible}

Let us make sure that on the basis of Jesus his name, repentance for forgiveness of sins will be preached in all the nations and that you with us may be a witness of these things. Jesus was sending forth upon us that which is promised by his heavenly Father. We, though, have to follow the decree given by Jesus to be a pupil but also a teacher, a follower and a leader, always a servant, one for the people and one for God.

coming closer to the Last days we should be fully aware that Jesus said

‘“And in the last days,” God says, “I shall pour out some of my spirit*+ upon every sort of flesh,* and YOUR sons and YOUR daughters will prophesy and YOUR young men will see visions and YOUR old men* will dream dreams;+ 18 and even upon my men slaves and upon my women slaves I will pour out some of my spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. {Acts of the apostles 2:17 Reference Bbile}

Sharing and blessings for all

All sorts of men and women shall go out in those days, but we do not have to wait to the last moment be part of them. Today you can stand up and show your alertness and your vivid will to be part of that community which want to show others the way to God. You can start to speak boldly in your own surroundings and share your voice on this platform and on From Guestwriters. You can let people hear and see that they too can find a place where blessing are shared with love with all who want to come along and with all who want to celebrate the greatest love a person has ever given.

We have to show others that it is not sufficient just to take the posture of politely and respectfully listening, not doing much of anything else. Jesus wanted active followers, doers of the Word. Those who come to church or enter the ecclesia perhaps would (all) agree that they are there to learn and be challenged in the Word, but in actuality, they are very inactive in the learning process, very passive in the spiritual discipline, and very unengaged while the preacher is preaching. We have to show them that is not what is wanted form a member of Christianity, a follower of Christ. we have to stimulate them that they also get up and start showing the works of faith. doing our work not forgetting how Christ should be our anchor and our focus

All believers are still hold to the task of challenging the wider Church which is asking, struggling, journeying about how we, those who are called to be “Preachers”, “Teachers”, “Leaders” can create sacred spaces so that those outside our community feel as welcomed and share with us too, how the Good News impacts, revitalises, renews, re-forms their and others lives, and how they impart their own wisdom empowered by the Holy Spirit to encourage who we have been called to be.

All human beings, regardless of age, gender, nationality, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or economic status,every human being has sinned and falls short of the glory of God.”

Let us take many into our company, showing the blessing we receive on daily basis, and expound the way of God more correctly to them.

May your time spent here be blessed.

Isn’t this what we are called to do?  We are to ascend to our place near the Lord.  From there we are commanded to proclaim regardless the response.  Can you count the number of us who have gone into the city?  How many of those tiny houses contain artifacts of man?   How did they get there?   The Lord did not put them there, nor did He have them delivered. {The Swinging Doors}

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Find to read:

  1. More Muslim children than Christian children growing up in our cities
  2. Christians fail there where Muslims succeed
  3. Trying to get the youth inspired
  4. When discouraged facing opposition
  5. Christianity without the Trinity
  6. Bible in the first place #2/3
  7. Bible for you and for life
  8. Dedication and Preaching Effort 400 years after the first King James Version
  9. The Most Reliable English Bible
  10. The Bible and names in it: Proclaiming the Name of The One and Only Who Is and has Ever Been
  11. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  12. Atonement And Fellowship 4/8
  13. Reasons to come together
  14. Not many coming out with their community name
  15. Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news
  16. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  17. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #2 Calling upon the Name of God
  18. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  19. Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News
  20. Not all ability to preach
  21. Breathing to teach
  22. Church sent into the world
  23. Blogging in the world for Jesus and his Father
  24. Missionary action paradigm for all endeavours of the church
  25. Our openness to being approachable
  26. Words to push and pull
  27. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  28. How should we preach?
  29. Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach
  30. Good or bad preacher
  31. Many forgot how Christ should be our anchor and our focus
  32. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  33. Holland Week of billing
  34. Asia Cahaya Conference focusing on preaching
  35. It is Today
  36. Belonging to or being judged by
  37. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  38. Manifests for believers #5 Christian Union
  39. A Society pleading poverty
  40. Dealing with worries in our lives
  41. Sunday 7 September service: Imitate prophets and Paul
  42. 2013 Lifestyle, religiously and spiritualy
  43. Risen With Him
  44. Why did Christ not reveal the exact time of his second coming?

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Additional reading:

  1. Thoughts from Isolation
  2. To the stump
  3. Your Post
  4. The necessity of the Gospel
  5. Jehovah’s Message
  6. Following Jesus’ Footsteps
  7. The Good News of God’s Kingdom
  8. Does an Independent Minister have a right to preach what he so desires? Pt 2
  9. Does an Independent Minister have a right to preach what he so desires? Pt 3
  10. A. W. Tozer Sermon – The Unpopularity of Jesus and His Doctrines
  11. Rev. Duncan Campbell Sermon – Action and Obedience
  12. Puritan Thomas Watson – Christian Joy!
  13. Thoughts concerning the preacher
  14. What if Jesus Preached What Modern Preachers are Preaching?
  15. What if Modern Preachers Preached What Jesus was Preaching?
  16. Preaching the Gospel in the Power of Signs and Wonders
  17. On Preaching “To the Men”
  18. The Primacy of Preaching
  19. Expository preaching – friend or foe?
  20. How to Spread the Gospel
  21. 4 Principles for Collaborative Preaching
  22. 6 Ways to Your Teacher’s Heart
  23. Preaching is a two-way street
  24. What do you think about preaching someone else’s sermon?
  25. Sex, murder, and preaching: How much is too much for Sunday morning?
  26. Redemptive-Historical Preaching Vs. Moralistic Preaching in Sanctification
  27. How to Get More Out of the Preached Word of God
  28. Four Reasons You Should Go Easy On Yourself After Failure, Divorce or Abuse
  29. Preach It, Sister!
  30. What do you need…?
  31. The Mystery of Being In Christ: A Review of Paul and Union with Christ
  32. Community Houses are Better than Church Buildings
  33. Proclaim Christ Thru Service to Others
  34. Cavite Hosts I-Proclaim! 3 on National Bible Week 2012
  35. Proclaim Jubilee: A Spirituality for the Twenty-First Century
  36. How to Proclaim Restoration

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  • Jehovah’s Witnesses descend on Melbourne in pictures (theguardian.com)
    A large sign across the turf at Etihad Stadium reads: ‘Keep Seeking First God’s Kingdom’
  • Taking the plunge at Etihad Stadium into a life of faith serving Jehovah (smh.com.au)
    Cameron Dobber’s nerves had mostly settled by the time he took his place in the middle of Etihad Stadium in front of more than 65,000 people.The 27-year-old forklift driver from Sunshine had been preparing for this moment for more than four years.After months of Bible studies and a three-hour interview with church elders, it was finally his turn to step into the baptismal pool and become one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
  • Suppository preaching (onedaringjew.wordpress.com)
    A Christian is called. To do what? “Follow me.” And the crucial part of this calling by Jesus is getting nailed – as Paris Reidhead once said – to the back of the cross; the “purpose-driven” crowd’s worst nightmare.+

  • 19. Daily Bible Verse (12160.info)
    It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel.
  • Watch: ’19 Kids & Preaching’ Video Highlights Duggar Family’s Christian Faith (blackchristiannews.com)
    A new video called 19 Kids and Preaching shows that the Duggar family members are passionate about their Christian faith. While they often pray and talk about God on their TV program, this video shows them getting out of their comfort zone to share their faith with others.
  • Preaching What God’s Word Says about the World (reformedreader.wordpress.com)
    [T]he principle that the Christian minister is to preach only the Word of God most certainly does not forbid him to apply the teaching of Holy Writ to the specific needs of his hearers and the peculiar conditions of his day. Application, as well as explanation, is of the essence of preaching.
  • 970) Whether I know what preaching is! Taught by Srila Prabhupada! (pmdasa.wordpress.com)
    A devotee should not only give respect to the devotees, but he should try to make others a devotee. That is, means preaching.
  • The Active Power of Faith (codybateman.org)
  • “Coming Up Short”; Jeffrey Sartain’s sermon, Oct. 26 (plymouthspirit.wordpress.com)
    Acts of generosity draw goodness and blessing toward us. When we give, we receive blessings far greater than what we have given.
  • “The way I finish a sermon” by Charles Spurgeon (tollelege.wordpress.com)
    I have preached this Gospel for many years, and I do not think I ever finished a sermon except in one way—by trying to explain what is meant by this simple trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Autumn traditions for 2014 – 2 Summersend and mansend

Death, fossils and pumpkins

National Fossil Day, established to promote the scientific and educational values of fossils, on Wednesday of the second full week in October may perhaps been overlooked by many, though they would love to look into the death beings this and the coming month. there was in some countries even a Chucky, the Notorious Killer Doll Day (celebrated annually on October 25).

In many countries October is also the month of the pumpkin. In America it is even one of America’s favourite dessert which gives it it’s own special day.  October 21 annually celebrates National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day and fall is the perfect season to enjoy this delightful and delicious dessert.

In certain countries at the end of the month there is a “National Knock Knock Joke Day.” Annually celebrated on October 31, it is a holiday for jokesters of all ages to share their knock knock jokes throughout the day. But at night many go out to bring ‘ogre’ jokes. The want to bring the shudder onto others. Several people on the 31st of October love to get the creeps for fun. In Belgium such ‘fun’ started already this weekend in the amusement parks. This year some people were a little bit disillusioned or undeceived because since 1921 we had the warmest October weekend and the sun was present for a longer time than usual. On television we could see the many special attractions for ‘Halloween‘.

Ancient Celtic feast still popular today

An ancient Celtic feast gets a lot of attention also by people who call themselves Christians. They do not seem to bother that they join in such a heathen or pagan festival. Coming from the time people were frightened of evil spirits, strange animals and strange natural effects, they would dress up in costumes and make noise in the streets in order to make the spirits go away. When Catholicism was brought into our regions the church had to face a very strong traditional holy day. In fear not getting the people to their religion they took over a lot of the Celtic festivals in their religion and gave them an other name. The Spanish and French explorers brought Roman Catholicism to what is now the United States in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and took with them those pagan rites, imposing them on the local population. Later many Irish people settling in the North of America brought their end of Summer festival tradition with them.

English: Saint Patrick stained glass window fr...

Saint Patrick stained glass window from Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland, CA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Ireland and Scotland the inhabitants celebrated the end of Summer on the 31st of October and called it Samhain or Calan Gaeaf.  The 31st of October was also the eve of the new year in both Celtic and Anglo­Saxon times and was the occasion for one of the ancient fire festivals when huge bonfires were set on hilltops to frighten away evil spir­its. The date was connected with the return of herds from pasture, and laws and land tenures were renewed. The souls of the dead were supposed to revisit their homes on this day, and the autumnal festival acquired sinister sig­nificance, with ghosts, witches, hobgoblins, black cats, fairies, and demons of all kinds said to be roaming about. It was the time to placate the supernatural powers controlling the processes of nature. In addition, Hal­loween was thought to be the most favour­able time for divinations concerning marriage, luck, health, and death. It was the only day on which the help of the devil was invoked for such purposes.

In about the year 388, the devil was said to be so enraged at the piety of St. Patrick that he assailed the saint with a whole band of witches in Scotland. The story goes that St. Patrick fled to the river Clyde, embarking in a small boat for Ireland. As witches cannot pursue their victims over running water, they flung a huge rock after the escaping saint, which fell harmlessly to the ground, and which tradition says now forms Dumbarton Rock. {Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology: Scotland}

The belief in magic which appears to have been common in Scotland until a late period was taken with the sailors to other regions far away from the homeland. In the pages of Adamnan, Abbot of Iona (ca. 625-704C.E.), St. Columba and his priest regarded the Druids as magicians, and he countered their sorcery with what was believed to be a superior celestial magic of his own. The actions of Druids was kept alive and they continued to make up stories which many people believed.

In the 17th century while education and even scholarship were comparatively common at this date in Scotland (more common in fact than they were in contemporary England ), the great mass of Scottish people shared abundantly their sovereign’s dread of witches and sorcery. Protestant reformer John Knox, who was accused by the Roman Catholic Church for having by sorcery raised up saints in the churchyard of St. Andrews, when Satan himself was said to have appeared and so terrified Knox’s secretary that he became insane and died. Knox was also charged with using his magical arts in his old age to persuade the beautiful young daughter of Lord Ochiltree to marry him.

The efforts of Knox and his associates had brought about momentous changes in Scottish life, but if the Reformation rejected certain popular beliefs, Presbyterianism (the particular form of Protestant Christianity that came to power in Scotland) undoubtedly tended to introduce others. For that stern Calvinistic faith that now began to take root in Scotland nourished the idea that sickness and accident were a mark of divine anger. This theory did not cease to be common in the north till long after King James’ day. {Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology: Scotland}

Three boys on porch steps cutting faces in pum...

Three boys on porch steps cutting faces in pumpkins. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Immigrants to the U.S., Scots and Irish liking to control the witches and ghosts, introduced the Halloween customs that became popular in the late 19th century. Mischief-making on this occasion by boys and young men included overturning sheds and outhouses and breaking windows, and damage to property was sometimes severe. In later years, the occasion has come to be observed mainly by small children, who go from to house, often in costume, demanding “trick or treat” (the treat, often candy, is gene given and the trick rarely played).

A common symbol of Halloween is the jacko’-lantern (the name possibly was derived from that for a night watchman). It is a hollowed-out pumpkin carved in the appearance of a demonic face and with a lighted candle inside. In Scotland a turnip was used, but the native pumpkin was substituted in the U.S.

The tradition to pull grotesque faces or grin (Scottish verb, “to girn”), may find its origin in the name of a medieval fiend, the last shadow of some Teutonic or Celtic deity of unlovable attributes.

All Hallows’ Eve

Pomona who scorned the love of the woodland gods Silvanus and Picus, but married Vertumnus after he tricked her, disguised as an old woman. – Nicolas Fouché, c. 1700

All Hallows’ Eve (the evening before All Hallows’ Day) may even found its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds and wood nymph, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain“, which comes from the Old Irish for “summer’s end”. It is thought that in this liminal time the spirits or fairies (the Aos Sí) can more easily come into our world and be particularly active. {Monaghan, p.41; O’Halpin, Andy. Ireland: An Oxford Archaeological Guide. Oxford University Press, 2006. p.236}

In Druidism, and/or Wicca picked the belief of Samhaim being a Celtic Death God was accepted as valid, but this is one of the most tenacious errors associated with Halloween. No such God ever existed.

Witchcraft and, more commonly, sorcery, malevolent magic, appear to have been practiced in the earliest historical and traditional times in Scotland. It is related that during the reign of Natholocus in the second century there lived in Iona a witch of great renown, so celebrated for her marvelous power that the king sent one of his captains to consult her regarding the issue of a rebellion then troubling his kingdom. The witch declared that within a short period the king would be murdered, not by his open enemies but by one of his most favored friends, in whom he had most special trust. The messenger inquired the assassin’s name. “Even by thine own hands as shall be well known within these few days,” replied the witch.

The pagan observances influenced the Chris­tian festival of All Hallows’ Eve, celebrated on the same date. By the late 1990’s many secular sources such as newspapers and television programs had picked up the error of the Samhaim god and propagated it widely. It is now a nearly universal belief, particularly among conservative Protestants.

Gradually, Halloween became a secular observance, and many cus­toms and practices developed. In Scotland young people assembled for games to ascer­tain which of them would marry, during the year and in what order the marriages would occur. Many Halloween customs have become games played by children, but the last few years adults are again participating more.

Modern-day Samhain

Modern-day Samhain is the day when many Wiccans believe that their god dies, later to be reborn. [Wicca is a Neo-pagan, Earth-centered religion.] For those witchcraft practitioners and for many Satanists Samhain is not a god of death; it actually began as a yearly observance of the death of a god.

There may have been a little known character named Samain or Sawan who played the role of a very minor hero in Celtic mythology. His main claim to fame was that Balor of the Evil Eye stole his magical cow. His existence is little known, even among Celtic historians. He was a hero, not a god. It is likely that he was named after the end of summer celebration rather than vice-versa. {Isaac Bonewits, W.J, Bethancourt III, a.o.}

The Irish English Dictionary, published by the Irish Texts Society, defines Samhain as follows:

“Samhain, All Hallowtide, the feast of the dead in Pagan and Christian times, signalizing the close of harvest and the initiation of the winter season, lasting till May, during which troops (esp. the Fiann) were quartered.” {Patrick Dineen, “An Irish English Dictionary” (Dublin, 1927), Page 937}

Scottish Radiance writes about Samhain:

“The Celtics believed, that during the winter, the sun god was taken prisoner by Samhain, the Lord of the Dead and Prince of Darkness…On the eve before their new year (October 31), it was believed that Samhain called together all the dead people.” {Scottish Radiance, “The Story of Halloween,” at: http://www.scottishradiance.com/}

Ignorance around Halloween

Most people are ignorant of what Halloween is all about and for that matter don’t care. They often excuse their childish attitude of going up so much in this festival, by saying it is just for fun for the kids. Strangely enough they try to frighten their kids and later when their child is afraid of a spider, of the dark or something else, they say to it not to be silly, though they forget they created the fear for such things.

College students dressed up for Halloween.

College students dressed up for Halloween. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Several Americans have grown up trick or treating, not knowing exactly what it means ‘to shoot some one’ ‘or ‘to kill some one’ and not knowing what it was all about, like many in Europe do not know it any more. In several countries there are also church communities which do not mind having haunted houses even in the attic of their little country church or in their parish hall.

In Belgium lots of kids go from door to door, like on the evening preceding Epiphany (twelve days after Christmas) or on ‘three kings’ (January 6 feast of Epiphany) wanting to get as much candy as they can get. This time they say “Trick or treat”. You can wonder why their parents learned them the “trick” as a (usually idle) threat to perform mischief on the home-owners or their property if no treat is given to them.

Practice of souling

This practice of going from door to door came from the “practice of souling” – going from door to door on or about All Souls Day to solicit gifts of food in return for prayers for the dead – evolved from a pagan ritual that was practised all over Europe, possibly as early as the 10th century. In the 14th century it was mentioned by Chaucer as a common Christian tradition. It is still commonplace in many Catholic countries, notably Ireland, where soul-cakes are left out for the departed. In several southern and northern European countries also food and candles are left on the graves to please the dead.

The first reference to the practice under that name in England is John Brand’s Popular Antiquities of Great Britain, 1779:

“On All Saints Day, the poor people go from parish to parish a Souling, as they call it.”

The tradition is that the dead could come out of their graves when they would not find enough for them to live decently in their underworld. If the living would forget them or not give them enough they would come to punish the living. So the living would avoid such punishment by the dead by buying themselves out.

Dressing up and pleasing the dead

In modern times people like to dress up for Halloween and All Hallows’ Day in all sorts of frightening figures with preference to the darker figures and in characters from the underworld, like all sorts of devils. Children and adults alike are made afraid that the devils will catch them and bring them to an underworld where they shall be tortured for ever and burn in hell.

On the night of the last day of October many wear a most evil, horrible, grotesque, rubber mask and have in their hands a pitchfork. Then they go round willing to have the visited home-owners to believe the souls of the dead returned to their original homes, there to be entertained with food. If food and shelter were not provided, these evil spirits would cast spells and cause havoc toward those failing to fulfil their requests.

In the past centuries sacrifices were offered on this night to the dead spirits because it was thought they visited their earthly dwellings and former friends. But seeing it still happening in the 21st century we only can wonder if they really would not believe such a thing, why do they still do it?

It is known that there was a prevailing belief among all nations that at death the souls of the good men were taken possession of by good spirits and carried to paradise. Likewise the souls of the wicked men were left to wonder in the space between the earth and the moon, or consigned to the unseen world, underneath the earth, where unending fire was waiting for them. These wandering spirits were in the habit of haunting the living… But there were means by which ghosts might be exorcised.

To exorcise these ghosts, that is to free yourself from their evil sway, you would have to set out food and provide shelter for them during the night. If they were satisfied with your offerings, they would leave you in peace. If not, they were believed to cast an evil spell on you.

Fellowship with the devils

In modern day Satanism and Witchcraft covens, the 31st of October is the day when Satan himself comes to “fellowship” with his followers.

Central to Satanism was the idea of magic and that extraordinary miracles, if not performed by God in answer to the prayer of one of his servants (i.e., a Christian), had to be accomplished by the devil in cooperation with someone who had made a pact with the devil. On the 31st of October those going around from house to house want to let the other believe they have a pact with that devil so they can arrange thing with the devil for the good but also for the bad.

Once the idea of the pact became commonplace, it was but a short step to the notion of an organized community of devil-worshippers. Some substance was provided by the small pockets of paganism that had not succumbed to the church’s evangelical efforts. {Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology: Satanism)

Satanism had plainly declined by the end of the 1970s; however, in the mid 1980s reports that it had merely gone underground began to surface and the last two years in our village and in some other places in Flanders ritual meetings where the ‘Books of Satan’ (Satanic Bible) were read by ‘clergymen of Satan’ and a sort of Black Mass (a parody of the Roman Catholic Mass) was celebrated in the fields and in the woods. No real infant was been offered, but the sacrifice of an infant-puppet on the bonfires, and the invocation of Satan for the purpose of working malevolent magic (sorcery) was presented in many places.

Throughout the ages many changes may have occurred, but one thing has stayed the same, the practice of giving an “offering” is still kept. Many may say they do it under the name of fun but what is the real meaning for them deep in their heart? Is it so different a practice than in the previous centuries? We do not believe so.  It is still the same as in the old days.

In many parts of the world it is true that even Christian religious observances of All Hallows’ Eve, including attending church services and lighting candles on the graves of the dead, remain popular, but is it not high time that Christians do think about it seriously?

It may well be that these solemn customs are less pronounced in favour of a more commercialized and secularized celebration in other regions, this also should not have Christians taking part in it.

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 Preceding article:  Autumn traditions for 2014 – 1: Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet

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Find also to read:

  1. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  2. The imaginational war against Christmas
  3. Halloween custom of the nations
  4. The Soul not a ghost

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  • 5 Things You Never Knew About Canadian Thanksgiving (hellobee.com)
    Canadian Thanksgiving began in 1578 (43 years before American Thanksgiving) as a feast to thank God for the harvest. However, it didn’t have a set date until 1957. We have a 3 day weekend, while most Americans have 4 days.
    +
    Though a dessert-table staple, pumpkin pie differs in Canada. Ours is spicy-sweet, with ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon, while typical American pumpkin pie is sweeter and often contains custard. Or so I’m told. Correct me if I’m wrong (either sounds good!).
  • The Ultimate Pumpkin Recipe List: 56 Recipes for Fall (followinginmyshoes.com)
    Everything mentality that all grocery stores and Pinterest embrace this time of year.  And, I’m not just a fan of pumpkin flavored coffee, baked goods and treats … I love pumpkin chili and soup and, at least back in my “pre-grain” free days, pumpkin pasta dishes.  Oh, Mamacita!  “Bring it all to the table” is my mantra — hence, the Ultimate Pumpkin Recipe List you see today.
  • Fall’s Golden Days (homeschoolmosaics.com)
    Fall is a time in our home to catch our breath and hold on…everything starts, school is amped up and running, and we are just trying to get used to our new schedules, hoping I have the brain power to remember we need dinner. We are hoping to implement some Sabbath rest weeks into our school year to give us respite…but, right now, we are nose to the grindstone. I thought it might be fun to share some lesser known holidays for October…maybe you can find one to color your month, bless someone else, or just create a memory together.
  • Halloween Pet Safety Tips (lakeside.com)
    Get special dog treats for Halloween to steer them away from Halloween candy! Children’s candy can be a toxic temptation for pets. Dogs love chocolate, but chocolate does not love them. It contains theobromine which is toxic to pets. The darker the chocolate, the more theobromine it contains. A few bites of milk chocolate which contains the least amount can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Baking chocolate contains the most — even the smallest amount can kill a dog.
  • The Perfect Pair: Halloween and The Hot Glue Gun (blogs.walmart.com)
    As a working mom of two crazy little boys, I don’t get the chance to flex my crafty muscles as often as I’d like, but I try to make it a priority for Halloween. For my oldest son’s first Halloween, I convinced my mom to knit him a brown bear costume. My husband went to the UC Berkeley, so she trimmed it in gold as a nod to the Golden Bear mascot.
  • 35 Ways to Make Your Halloween Party Food Ghoulish (tipjunkie.com)
    Halloween is the perfect time to get creative with treats, and these Frankenstein Rice Krispie Treats are no exception. They even come with a free printable tag so they are perfect for gift giving. These will be the hit of any Halloween party! {{high fives}}
  • baby halloween costume images (zeehd.com)
  • Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Witch Hats (berries.com)
    How do domestic goddesses (and gods) throw fabulous Halloween parties? The easy way, of course. And nothing’s easier, or more fabulous, than these delicious strawberry witch hats. They’re inspired by our witchy Halloween collection.
  • Will Food Allergy Hysteria Destroy Halloween? (vice.com)
    What would Halloween be without candy? Well, an organization known as FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) is trying to find out. This group is putting forth an effort to raise awareness about how soul-crushing Halloween is for children with serious allergies by starting the “Teal Pumpkin Project.” As they state on their site, “The Teal Pumpkin Project is designed to promote safety, inclusion and respect of individuals managing food allergies—and to keep Halloween a fun, positive experience for all.” They are encouraging people to hand out non-food gifts this year, as well as painting your pumpkins teal to signify to trick-or-treaters that you’re doing so. Teal, as we all know, is the official color of food allergy awareness. Their site even offers suggestions as to what kind of non-food items you can provide for children, some of which include: playing cards, kazoos, stickers, coins, and bookmarks. Sure, these items definitely beat getting raisins or—god forbid—an apple. But the problem is, these items are not candy.

Al-Fatiha [The Opening] Süra 1: 4-7 Merciful Lord of the Creation to show us the right path

Saint Gabriel archangel

Saint Gabriel archangel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In our first article in the series on the Quran reading Muslims got to believe Allah revealed this prayer to Muhammad early in his career as a prophet (which began in the year 610 AD, when he received his first revelation from Allah through the angel Gabriel – a revelation that is now contained in the Qur’an’s 96th chapter) so that the Muslims would know how to pray.

In the 96 chapter verses 1-5 we are asked to “Proclaim!” or “read!” in the name of the Lord and Cherisher, Who created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood (hence the name Adam: the red blood), but also from the “black mud”, and Who is the is Most Bountiful, He Who taught (the use of) the pen (4), taught man that which he knew not.

In the Bible are the human beings created in God’s image. According to the Islam the Quran/Koran rejects such a similarity of the image between God and man explicitly.

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:26 ASV)

“And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7 ASV)

“And also the {1} Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent; for he is not a man, that he should repent. {1) Or [Victory]; Or [Glory]}” (1 Samuel 15:29 ASV)

“وقال الله نعمل الانسان على صورتنا كشبهنا.فيتسلطون على سمك البحر وعلى طير السماء وعلى البهائم وعلى كل الارض وعلى جميع الدبابات التي تدب على الارض.” (تكوين 1:26 Arabic)

“وجبل الرب الاله آدم ترابا من الارض.ونفخ في انفه نسمة حياة.فصار آدم نفسا حيّة.” (تكوين 2:7 Arabic)

“وايضا نصيح اسرائيل لا يكذب ولا يندم لانه ليس انسانا ليندم.” (1 صموئيل 15:29 Arabic)

Musa (Moses), the prophet who wrote down the Word of God over the beginning of time (Genesis) and proclaimed God’s Word – in a Persian miniature from the 15th century

Allah is presented as the Most Gracious, Most Merciful Who brought His Message to humankind. According to Muslim tradition it was revealed in a chain of messages starting to the Archangel Gabriel (Jibreel). Soon in the text we remarked that the Islamic community went into the same fault as many Christian denominations taking more attention to traditional human thoughts instead of keeping to the words of their Holy Scripture itself. As such we noticed that by “the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds” several Muslims created their worlds of demons and djinns or Gjinn-people, and like several Christians started to believe in a place of damnation being called “hell“. But from the Quran and the Bible we can only find two worlds: namely the world of the human beings (earth and waters) and the world of the celestial beings (heaven).

وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنْسَانَ وَنَعْلَمُ مَا تُوَسْوِسُ بِهِ نَفْسُهُ ۖ وَنَحْنُ أَقْرَبُ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ حَبْلِ الْوَرِيدِ
And certainly We created man, and We know what his mind suggests to him, and We are nearer to him than his life-vein.(50:16)

الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الْأَرْضَ فِرَاشًا وَالسَّمَاءَ بِنَاءً وَأَنْزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَخْرَجَ بِهِ مِنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ رِزْقًا لَكُمْ ۖ فَلَا تَجْعَلُوا لِلَّهِ أَنْدَادًا وَأَنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ

Who made the earth a resting place for you and the heaven a canopy and (Who) sends down rain from the cloud, then brings forth with it subsistence for you of the fruits; therefore do not set up rivals to Allah while you know.(2:22)

هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ لَكُمْ مَا فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا ثُمَّ اسْتَوَىٰ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ فَسَوَّاهُنَّ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ ۚ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

He it is Who created for you all that is in the earth, and He directed Himself to the heaven, so He made them complete seven heavens, and He knows all things.(2:29)

إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ وَالْفُلْكِ الَّتِي تَجْرِي فِي الْبَحْرِ بِمَا يَنْفَعُ النَّاسَ وَمَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مِنْ مَاءٍ فَأَحْيَا بِهِ الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا وَبَثَّ فِيهَا مِنْ كُلِّ دَابَّةٍ وَتَصْرِيفِ الرِّيَاحِ وَالسَّحَابِ الْمُسَخَّرِ بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ لَآيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ

Most surely in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day, and the ships that run in the sea with that which profits men, and the water that Allah sends down from the cloud, then gives life with it to the earth after its death and spreads in it all (kinds of) animals, and the changing of the winds and the clouds made subservient between the heaven and the earth, there are signs for a people who understand.(2:164)

وَعِنْدَهُ مَفَاتِحُ الْغَيْبِ لَا يَعْلَمُهَا إِلَّا هُوَ ۚ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ ۚ وَمَا تَسْقُطُ مِنْ وَرَقَةٍ إِلَّا يَعْلَمُهَا وَلَا حَبَّةٍ فِي ظُلُمَاتِ الْأَرْضِ وَلَا رَطْبٍ وَلَا يَابِسٍ إِلَّا فِي كِتَابٍ مُبِينٍ

And with Him are the keys of the unseen treasures– none knows them but He; and He knows what is in the land and the sea, and there falls not a leaf but He knows it, nor a grain in the darkness of the earth, nor anything green nor dry but (it is all) in a clear book.(6:59)

اللَّهُ الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَأَنْزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَخْرَجَ بِهِ مِنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ رِزْقًا لَكُمْ ۖ وَسَخَّرَ لَكُمُ الْفُلْكَ لِتَجْرِيَ فِي الْبَحْرِ بِأَمْرِهِ ۖ وَسَخَّرَ لَكُمُ الْأَنْهَارَ

Allah is He Who created the heavens and the earth and sent down water from the clouds, then brought forth with it fruits as a sustenance for you, and He has made the ships subservient to you, that they might run their course in the sea by His command, and He has made the rivers subservient to you.(14:32)

وَإِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ إِنِّي خَالِقٌ بَشَرًا مِنْ صَلْصَالٍ مِنْ حَمَإٍ مَسْنُونٍ

And when your Lord said to the angels: Surely I am going to create a mortal of the essence of black mud fashioned in shape.(15:28)

The opening of the Quran, starting with the prayer:

1  Fatiha, or the Opening Chapter. In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
2 Praise be to Allah, The Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds;
3 Most Gracious, Most Merciful;
4 Master of the Day of Judgment.
5 Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek.
6 Show us the straight way,
7 The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, Those whose portion is not wrath, and who go not astray.

In certain translations is indicated that it is only to Him (Thee alone) to give worship and (Thee alone) to ask for help.

Shakir translates:

5 Thee do we serve and Thee do we beseech for help.
6 Keep us on the right path.
7 The path of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed favors. Not the path of those upon whom Thy wrath is brought down, nor of those who go astray.

Ysufufali and other translaters give:

5 Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek.
6 Show us the straight way,
7 The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, those whose portion is not wrath, and who go not astray.

It is clear that to the Most Gracious, Most Merciful, Master of the Day of Judgement the Muslims do want to give praise. It is Him Who they do  worship and Whose aid they seek. Normally, like they pray, to worship Him alone, and no imams or khomeinis they also say in their prayer they only  ask Allah for help (for each and everything) (5).

001.006 اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ
001.006 Show us the straight way,/ Guide us to the Straight Way

001.007 صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلا الضَّالِّينَ
001.007 The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray.

In verse 7 the Muslims often add themselves:

The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace , not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger (such as the Jews), nor of those who went astray (such as the Christians).

We also hear Muslims speaking about Ṣirāṭ, Siraat, Serat, As-Sirāt

اهدنا الصراط المستقيم

Guide us to the straight path: — Abdel Haleem

Guide us along the straight way— — Ahmad Zaki

Guide us on the straight path, — Ali Quli Qarai

In the previous article we saw the opening prayer, in which one wants to give his gratitude to the Supreme Creator of heaven and earth. In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful they call onto Him and say that He (Allah), the Lord of the Worlds, belongs all praise (2), which means that world also does not belong to imams or Khomeinis, who one really should not support, too, because the Muslims pray and claim that they only beg for help unto the Beneficent, the Merciful, Master of the Day of Judgment. (4-5).
Judgement belongs to the fifth pillar of iman (Imaan) [of the six pillars of Iman (faith)] in addition to the belief in the existence of Angels. The Muslim believes that Judgement Day will come at the time provided for. On this day Allah will judge between people and
reward everybody for what he has done.
The Five Pillars of Islam and six pillars of Iman are the foundation of Islam.

It is up to Allah/God that they ask to be lead to the straight path. The path which according to them, that way what God would have them presented by whom He has bestowed favours – not that of those who earn His anger nor went astray.

The Maker and Sustainer of the world, the Creator of and Provider for man, the Active Force and Effective Power in nature are all one and the same, and that is known to be Allah or God. This is the Secret of all secrets and the Most Supreme of all beings. The Holy Qur’an claims to be the True Book of God, in which He says:

It is God Who has made the night for you, that you may rest therein, and the day to see. Verily God is full of Grace and Bounty to men. Yet most men give no thanks. Such is God, your Lord, the Creator of all things. There is no god but He; why then do you turn away from Him. Thus are turned away those who deny the Signs of God. It is God Who has made for you the earth as a resting place and the sky as a shelter, and has given you shape and made your shapes beautiful, and has provided for you sustenance of things good and pure; such is God your Lord. So glory to God, the Lord of the worlds! He is the Living (One); There is no god but He: Call upon Him, giving Him sincere devotion. Praise be to God, Lord of the worlds. (Qur’an, 40:61-65).

In the Bible we are warned we do have to seek the Most High and be ready before His Day of Judgement will come.

“Seek ye Jehovah, all ye meek of the earth, that have kept his ordinances; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye will be hid in the day of Jehovah’s anger.” (Zephaniah 2:3 ASV)

“And Jehovah uttereth his voice before his army; for his camp is very great; for he is strong that executeth his word; for the day of Jehovah is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?” (Joel 2:11 ASV)

“The great day of Jehovah is near, it is near and hasteth greatly, [even] the voice of the day of Jehovah; the mighty man crieth there bitterly.” (Zephaniah 1:14 ASV)

“to the end that ye be not quickly shaken from your mind, nor yet be troubled, either by spirit, or by word, or by epistle as from us, as that the day of the Lord is just at hand;” (2 Thessalonians 2:2 ASV)

“Ask of me, and I will give [thee] the nations for thine inheritance, And the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” (Psalms 2:8 ASV)

“And as for both these kings, their hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table: but it shall not prosper; for yet the end shall be at the time appointed.” (Daniel 11:27 ASV)

“And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.” (Matthew 10:22 ASV)

“And {1} this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole {2} world for a testimony unto all the nations; and then shall the end come. {1) Or [these good tidings] 2) Gr [inhabited earth]}” (Matthew 24:14 ASV)

“Now these things happened unto them {1} by way of example; and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages are come. {1) Gr [by way of figure]}” (1 Corinthians 10:11 ASV)

“but the heavens that now are, and the earth, by the same word have been {1} stored up for fire, being reserved against the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. {1) Or [stored with fire]}” (2 Peter 3:7 ASV)

“But them that are without God judgeth. Put away the wicked man from among yourselves.” (1 Corinthians 5:13 ASV)

“[Let] marriage [be] had in honor among all, and [let] the bed [be] undefiled: for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” (Hebrews 13:4 ASV)

“And the nations were wroth, and thy wrath came, and the time of the dead to be judged, and [the time] to give their reward to thy {1} servants the prophets, and to the saints, and to them that fear thy name, the small and the great; and to destroy them that destroy the earth. {1) Gr [bondservants]}” (Revelation 11:18 ASV)

“But of that day or that hour knoweth no one, not even the angels in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” (Mark 13:32 ASV)

“inasmuch as he hath appointed a day in which he will judge {1} the world in righteousness {2} by {3} the man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. {1) Gr [the inhabited earth] 2) Gr [in] 3) Or [a man]}” (Acts 17:31 ASV)

“اطلبوا الرب يا جميع بائسي الارض الذين فعلوا حكمه.اطلبوا البرّ .اطلبوا التواضع.لعلكم تسترون في يوم سخط الرب” (صفنيا 2:3 Arabic)

“والرب يعطي صوته امام جيشه.ان عسكره كثير جدا.فان صانع قوله قوي لان يوم الرب عظيم ومخوف جدا فمن يطيقه” (يوئيل 2:11 Arabic)

“قريب يوم الرب العظيم قريب وسريع جدا.صوت يوم الرب.يصرخ حينئذ الجبار مرّا.” (صفنيا 1:14 Arabic)

“ان لا تتزعزعوا سريعا عن ذهنكم ولا ترتاعوا لا بروح ولا بكلمة ولا برسالة كانها منا اي ان يوم المسيح قد حضر.” (2 تسالونيكي 2:2 Arabic)

“(2:9) ‎تحطمهم بقضيب من حديد.مثل اناء خزّاف تكسّرهم” (مزامير 2:8 Arabic)

“وهذان الملكان قلبهما لفعل الشر ويتكلمان بالكذب على مائدة واحدة ولا ينجح لان الانتهاء بعد الى ميعاد.” (دانيال 11:27 Arabic)

“وتكونون مبغضين من الجميع من اجل اسمي.ولكن الذي يصبر الى المنتهى فهذا يخلص.” (متى 10:22 Arabic)

“ويكرز ببشارة الملكوت هذه في كل المسكونة شهادة لجميع الامم.ثم يأتي المنتهى” (متى 24:14 Arabic)

“فهذه الامور جميعها اصابتهم مثالا وكتبت لإنذارنا نحن الذين انتهت الينا اواخر الدهور.” (1 كورنثوس 10:11 Arabic)

“واما السموات والارض الكائنة الآن فهي مخزونة بتلك الكلمة عينها محفوظة للنار الى يوم الدين وهلاك الناس الفجار” (2 بطرس 3:7 Arabic)

“اما الذين من خارج فالله يدينهم.فاعزلوا الخبيث من بينكم” (1 كورنثوس 5:13 Arabic)

“ليكن الزواج مكرما عند كل واحد والمضجع غير نجس.واما العاهرون والزناة فسيدينهم الله.” (عبرانيين 13:4 Arabic)

“وغضبت الامم فأتى غضبك وزمان الاموات ليدانوا ولتعطى الاجرة لعبيدك الانبياء والقديسين والخائفين اسمك الصغار والكبار وليهلك الذين كانوا يهلكون الارض.” (رؤيا 11:18 Arabic)

“واما ذلك اليوم وتلك الساعة فلا يعلم بهما احد ولا الملائكة الذين في السماء ولا الابن الا الآب.” (مرقس 13:32 Arabic)

“(17:32) ولما سمعوا بالقيامة من الاموات كان البعض يستهزئون والبعض يقولون سنسمع منك عن هذا ايضا‎ .” (اعمال 17:31 Arabic)

 

Preparing for the Day of Judgement can be managed by seeking Him and by making sure you can find Him and by keeping His commandments. God has given His word to man as a guidebook and help. In the Bible we can find the answers to our questions and we can find sufficient data to ensure that we will be ready when the day of Jehovah comes. For this we have to find the right direction where to go to and have to take the right path on the (high)way to God’s Kingdom.

وَآتَيْنَاهُمَا الْكِتَابَ الْمُسْتَبِينَ

And We gave them both the Book that made (things) clear.(37:117)

وَهَدَيْنَاهُمَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ

And We guided them both on the right way.(37:118)

وَإِذَا تُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُنَا بَيِّنَاتٍ قَالُوا مَا هَٰذَا إِلَّا رَجُلٌ يُرِيدُ أَنْ يَصُدَّكُمْ عَمَّا كَانَ يَعْبُدُ آبَاؤُكُمْ وَقَالُوا مَا هَٰذَا إِلَّا إِفْكٌ مُفْتَرًى ۚ وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لِلْحَقِّ لَمَّا جَاءَهُمْ إِنْ هَٰذَا إِلَّا سِحْرٌ مُبِينٌ

And when Our clear communications are recited to them, they say: This is naught but a man who desires to turn you away from that which your fathers worshipped. And they say: This is naught but a lie that is forged. And those who disbelieve say of the truth when it comes to them: This is only clear enchantment.(34:43)

وَمَا آتَيْنَاهُمْ مِنْ كُتُبٍ يَدْرُسُونَهَا ۖ وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَيْهِمْ قَبْلَكَ مِنْ نَذِيرٍ

And We have not given them any books which they read, nor did We send to them before you a warner.(34:44)

“Kiss the son, lest he be angry, and ye perish in the way, For his wrath {1} will soon be kindled. {2} Blessed are all they that take refuge in him. {1) Or [may] 2) Or [Happy]}” (Psalms 2:12 ASV)

“Thou wilt show me the path of life: In thy presence is fulness of joy; In thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalms 16:11 ASV)

“NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, And light unto my path.” (Psalms 119:105 ASV)

“But the path of the righteous is as the dawning light, That shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” (Proverbs 4:18 ASV)

“And many peoples shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth {1} the law, and the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem. {1) Or [instruction]}” (Isaiah 2:3 ASV)

“and make straight paths for your feet, that that which is lame be not {1} turned out of the way, but rather be healed. {1) Or [put out of joint]}” (Hebrews 12:13 ASV)

“The Rock, his work is perfect; For all his ways are justice: A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, Just and right is he.” (Deuteronomy 32:4 ASV)

“Show me thy ways, O Jehovah; Teach me thy paths.” (Psalms 25:4 ASV)

“Good and upright is Jehovah: Therefore will he instruct sinners in the way.” (Psalms 25:8 ASV)

“For {1} the commandment is a lamp; And {2} the law is light; And reproofs of instruction are the way of life: {1) Or, their [commandment] 2) Or, their [teaching]}” (Proverbs 6:23 ASV)

“There is a way which {1} seemeth right unto a man, But the end thereof are the ways of death. {1) Or [is straight before]}” (Proverbs 16:25 ASV)

“Train up a child {1} in the way he should go, And even when he is old he will not depart from it. {1) Heb [according to his way]}” (Proverbs 22:6 ASV)

“And many peoples shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth {1} the law, and the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem. {1) Or [instruction]}” (Isaiah 2:3 ASV)

“and thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it; when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” (Isaiah 30:21 ASV)

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith Jehovah.” (Isaiah 55:8 ASV)

“{1} For narrow is the gate, and straitened the way, that leadeth unto life, and few are they that find it. {1) Many ancient authorities read [How narrow is the gate, etc]}” (Matthew 7:14 ASV)

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but {1} by me. {1) Or [through]}” (John 14:6 ASV)

“And they sing the song of Moses the {1} servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, O Lord God, the Almighty; righteous and true are thy ways, thou King of the {2} ages. {1) Gr [bondservant] 2) Many ancient authorities read [nations]; Jer 10:7}” (Revelation 15:3 ASV)

“(3:1) مزمور لداود حينما هرب من وجه ابشالوم ابنه‎ .‎يا رب ما اكثر مضايقي.كثيرون قائمون عليّ‎ .” (مزامير 2:12 Arabic)

“(17:1) صلاة لداود‎ .‎اسمع يا رب للحق.انصت الى صراخي اصغ الى صلاتي من شفتين بلا غش‎ .” (مزامير 16:11 Arabic)

“(119:106) ‎حلفت فأبره ان احفظ احكام برك‎ .” (مزامير 119:105 Arabic)

“اما سبيل الصديقين فكنور مشرق يتزايد وينير الى النهار الكامل.” (امثال 4:18 Arabic)

“وتسير شعوب كثيرة ويقولون هلم نصعد الى جبل الرب الى بيت اله يعقوب فيعلّمنا من طرقه ونسلك في سبله لانه من صهيون تخرج الشريعة ومن اورشليم كلمة الرب.” (اشعياء 2:3 Arabic)

“واصنعوا لارجلكم مسالك مستقيمة لكي لا يعتسف الاعرج بل بالحري يشفى.” (عبرانيين 12:13 Arabic)

“هو الصخر الكامل صنيعه.ان جميع سبله عدل.اله امانة لا جور فيه صديق وعادل هو” (تثنية 32:4 Arabic)

“(25:5) ‎دربني في حقك وعلمني.لانك انت اله خلاصي.اياك انتظرت اليوم كله‎ .” (مزامير 25:4 Arabic)

“(25:9) ‎يدرب الودعاء في الحق ويعلم الودعاء طرقه‎ .” (مزامير 25:8 Arabic)

“لان الوصية مصباح والشريعة نور وتوبيخات الادب طريق الحياة.” (امثال 6:23 Arabic)

“توجد طريق تظهر للانسان مستقيمة وعاقبتها طرق الموت.” (امثال 16:25 Arabic)

“ربّ الولد في طريقه فمتى شاخ ايضا لا يحيد عنه.” (امثال 22:6 Arabic)

“وتسير شعوب كثيرة ويقولون هلم نصعد الى جبل الرب الى بيت اله يعقوب فيعلّمنا من طرقه ونسلك في سبله لانه من صهيون تخرج الشريعة ومن اورشليم كلمة الرب.” (اشعياء 2:3 Arabic)

“واذناك تسمعان كلمة خلفك قائلة هذه هي الطريق اسلكوا فيها حينما تميلون الى اليمين وحينما تميلون الى اليسار.” (اشعياء 30:21 Arabic)

“لان افكاري ليست افكاركم ولا طرقكم طرقي يقول الرب.” (اشعياء 55:8 Arabic)

“ما اضيق الباب وأكرب الطريق الذي يؤدي الى الحياة.وقليلون هم الذين يجدونه” (متى 7:14 Arabic)

“قال له يسوع انا هو الطريق والحق والحياة.ليس احد يأتي الى الآب الا بي.” (يوحنا 14:6 Arabic)

“وهم يرتلون ترنيمة موسى عبد الله وترنيمة الخروف قائلين عظيمة وعجيبة هي اعمالك ايها الرب الاله القادر على كل شيء عادلة وحق هي طرقك يا ملك القديسين.” (رؤيا 15:3 Arabic)

from Smithsonian :Folio from a Koran :9th-10th...

Free choice to follow the Holy Scriptures or not; from Smithsonian :Folio from a Koran :9th-10th century :Abbasid dynasty :Ink and color on parchment; Egypt :Purchase, F1929.71 The verses are from sura (chapter) 22, entitled al-Hadj (Pilgrimage) and include a discussion of the pilgrimage to Mecca. The Hadj is one of the five principal duties of every Muslim. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 Each of us has to make their own choice, and have to do everything to stay on the right track. As human beings we are weak and it can and probably shall happen that we sometimes go wrong. Each time we shall have to adjust and should take care to come back on the right way aiming for the best what is laid in front of us. All people should know they are able to get salvation, and we should look forward to that time that the Word of God is preached all over the world, because than we know that the time is ripe to find the Kingdom of God, close to us.

“and I said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God; for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our guiltiness is grown up unto the heavens.” (Ezra 9:6 ASV)

“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity; And in sin did my mother conceive me.” (Psalms 51:5 ASV)

“If thou, {1} Jehovah, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? {1) Heb [Jah]}” (Psalms 130:3 ASV)

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5 ASV)

“And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned against me, and whereby they have transgressed against me.” (Jeremiah 33:8 ASV)

“{1} let him know, that he who converteth a sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins. {1) Some ancient authorities read [know ye]}” (James 5:20 ASV)

“For, uttering great swelling [words] of vanity, they entice in the lusts of the flesh, by lasciviousness, those who are just escaping from them that live in error;” (2 Peter 2:18 ASV)

“This also shall be my salvation, That a godless man shall not come before him.” (Job 13:16 ASV)

“Upright men shall be astonished at this, And the innocent shall stir up himself against the godless.” (Job 17:8 ASV)

“For what is the hope of the godless, {1} though he get him gain, When God taketh away his soul? {1) Or [when God cutteth him off, When he taketh etc]}” (Job 27:8 ASV)

“{1} Like the profane mockers in feasts, They gnashed upon me with their teeth. {1) Or [Among]}” (Psalms 35:16 ASV)

“With his mouth the godless man destroyeth his neighbor; But through knowledge shall the righteous be delivered.” (Proverbs 11:9 ASV)

“Therefore the Lord will not rejoice over their young men, neither will he have compassion on their fatherless and widows; for every one is profane and an evil-doer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.” (Isaiah 9:17 ASV)

“The sinners in Zion are afraid; trembling hath seized the godless ones: Who among us can dwell with the devouring fire? who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings?” (Isaiah 33:14 ASV)

“For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him; I hid [my face] and was wroth; and he went on {1} backsliding in the way of his heart. {1) Heb [turning away]}” (Isaiah 57:17 ASV)

“وقلت.اللهم اني اخجل واخزى من ان ارفع يا الهي وجهي نحوك لان ذنوبنا قد كثرت فوق رؤوسنا وآثامنا تعاظمت الى السماء.” (عزرا 9:6 Arabic)

“(51:6) ها قد سررت بالحق في الباطن ففي السريرة تعرّفني حكمة‎ .” (مزامير 51:5 Arabic)

“(130:4) ‎لان عندك المغفرة لكي يخاف منك‎ .” (مزامير 130:3 Arabic)

“وهو مجروح لاجل معاصينا مسحوق لاجل آثامنا تاديب سلامنا عليه وبحبره شفينا.” (اشعياء 53:5 Arabic)

“واطهرهم من كل اثمهم الذي اخطأوا به اليّ واغفر كل ذنوبهم التي اخطأوا بها اليّ والتي عصوا بها عليّ .” (ارميا 33:8 Arabic)

“فليعلم ان من رد خاطئا عن ضلال طريقه يخلّص نفسا من الموت ويستر كثرة من الخطاياٍ” (يعقوب 5:20 Arabic)

“لانهم اذ ينطقون بعظائم البطل يخدعون بشهوات الجسد في الدعارة من هرب قليلا من الذين يسيرون في الضلال” (2 بطرس 2:18 Arabic)

“فهذا يعود الى خلاصي ان الفاجر لا يأتي قدامه.” (ايوب 13:16 Arabic)

“يتعجب المستقيمون من هذا والبريء ينتهض على الفاجر.” (ايوب 17:8 Arabic)

“لانه ما هو رجاء الفاجر عندما يقطعه عندما يسلب الله نفسه.” (ايوب 27:8 Arabic)

“(35:17) يا رب الى متى تنظر.استرد نفسي من تهلكاتهم وحيدتي من الاشبال‎ .” (مزامير 35:16 Arabic)

“بالفم يخرب المنافق صاحبه وبالمعرفة ينجو الصدّيقون.” (امثال 11:9 Arabic)

“لاجل ذلك لا يفرح السيد بفتيانه ولا يرحم يتاماه وارامله لان كل واحد منهم منافق وفاعل شر.وكل فم متكلم بالحماقة.مع كل هذا لم يرتد غضبه بل يده ممدودة بعد” (اشعياء 9:17 Arabic)

“ارتعب في صهيون الخطاة.اخذت الرعدة المنافقين.من منا يسكن في نار آكلة.من منا يسكن في وقائد ابدية.” (اشعياء 33:14 Arabic)

“من اجل اثم مكسبه غضبت وضربته.استترت وغضبت فذهب عاصيا في طريق قلبه.” (اشعياء 57:17 Arabic)

Those upon whom God’s wrath rests are those who do not want to know Him and do not want to keep His commandments, those who reject the Truth or want to hide it. The erring’ are those who have been misled and who are  inconsiderate or choosing human traditions above the Laws of God

Let us all look for the Most High God and pray:

 اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ
صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلا الضَّالِّينَ

Dear God,
Show us or Guide us to the straight way
The way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray.

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Preceding article:  Al-Fatiha [The Opening/De Opening] Süra 1:1-3 In the name of Allah the Merciful Lord Of The Creation

Find the introduction to this series:

Public not informed enough about Jihad terrorism in Belgium

 Quran versus older Holy Writings of Divine Creator

Notes:

* Five Pillars of Islam (arkān al-Islām أركان الإسلام; also arkān al-dīn أركان الدين “pillars of the religion“) are five basic acts in Islam, considered mandatory by believers and are the foundation of Muslim life:

  • Shahadah: declaring there is no god except God, and Muhammad is God’s Messenger
  • Salat: ritual prayer five times a day
  • Zakat: giving 2.5% of one’s savings to the poor and needy
  • Sawm: fasting and self-control during the holy month of Ramadan
  • Hajj: pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime[5][6] if one is able

** Belief in the six articles of faith, known as arkān al-īmān: Iman (Arabic: الإيمان‎) in Islamic theology denotes a believer’s faith in the metaphysical aspects of Islam.

  1. Belief in God: Tawhid
  2. Belief in the Angels
  3. Belief in Divine Books
  4. Belief in the Prophets
  5. Belief in the Day of Judgement
  6. Belief in God’s predestination

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Additional reading:

  1. Created to live in relation with God
  2. Seeking for God
  3. Finding God amid all the religious externals
  4. Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God
  5. People Seeking for God 1 Looking for answers
  6. People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations
  7. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  8. People Seeking for God 6 Strategy
  9. People Seeking for God 7 The Lord and lords
  10. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #2 Calling upon the Name of God
  11. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #8 Prayer #6 Communication and manifestation
  12. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #16 Benefits of praying
  13. Creator and Blogger God 7 A Blog of a Book 1 Believing the Blogger
  14. Praise the God with His Name
  15. Worship God only
  16. Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up
  17. Prophets making excuses
  18. What Jesus Did – Misleading around the Messiah and the final assessment
  19. Love been perfected with us
  20. It is Today
  21. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  22. Believe that moves stones
  23. Know Who goes with us and don’t try to control life
  24. God will not tie my shoes without me
  25. Go the distance
  26. Foundation to go the distance
  27. The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places
  28. How are the dead?
  29. Hellfire
  30. Wondering

+++

  • Benefits of Fasting in Ramadan (islambestreligion.wordpress.com)
    Fasting has been made obligatory (Fardh) By Allah in Ramadan and every Muslim needs to observe entire month’s fasts. Allah, the All Powerful and Creator of Universe say in Holy Quran
    +
    knowing the benefits of good deeds will increase our Imaan and actually it is part of the Imaan, as we will get to know what Allah is going give us on this particular deed in this world and hereafter. This helps us in performing the good deeds steadfastly and consistently.
  • Concept of Revivalist [Mujaddid] in Islam (madinasharif.wordpress.com)
    Commenting on the authenticity of the above Hadith Shareef, Allama Imam Isma’eel Haqqee records in his marginal notes of Siraj al-Muneer Sharh Jame’h al-Sagheer:

“My Shaykh said that there is a consensus of the Hadith Masters that this Hadith is Sahih.”

Amongst the later Hadith Masters that verified this Hadith Shareef as Sahih are Imam Allama Abul-Fadl Iraqee and Imam Allama ibn Hajr and amongst the predecessor Masters, Imam Hakim author of Sahih al-Mustadrak and Imam Bayhaqee author of al-Mudkhal.
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when there comes a period in which there is a shortage of knowledge and a deterioration in following of the Sunnah; when there is an increase in false innovations and ignorance; then Almighty Allah will send a person at the beginning or end of every century who will show the difference between Sunnah and Bid’at. He will refute and destroy false innovations and will fear none but Almighty Allah. He will very bravely and sincerely hoist the flag of Deen-e-Muhammadi (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam). Such a person is known as a “Mujaddid” (Reviver) of Deen.

  • Allah loves (1) the kind good doers (safaafromcaeg.wordpress.com)
    “That which is lawful is clear and
    That which is unlawful is clear, and
    Between the two of them are doubtful matters about which many people do not know.
    Thus,
    • He who avoids doubtful matters clears himself in regard to his religion and his honor, but
    • He who falls into doubtful matters [eventually] falls into that which is unlawful,
    +
    The best Quotes (127) Niyyah = free will“Actions are (judged) by motives (Niyyah, which is the intended and predetermined free will),
    Therefore, each man will have what he intended.
  • Hajj Round The Ka’bah Craft (greenbirdbooks.com)
    Hajj is the great pilgrimage made by Muslims which includes walking around the special house named the Ka’bah. Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam and all Muslims if they are able to make this great journey once in a lifetime. This pillar is observed during the month of Thul-Hijjah
  • Lessons of festival of ram sacrifice (vanguardngr.com)
    Yesterday specifically, pilgrims observing the core of the worship of Hajj gathered at the plains of  Mount of ‘Arafah, outside Makkah where they spent their time totally in worship and proceeded from Arafah to Muzdalifah to offer prayers and cast seven stones at the symbols of Satan and other devotional course.
    +
    it shows the spiritual committment to the covenant with Allah and absolute submission to His will at all times, in times of pain and joy. Although, the solemn pronouncement of Allah’s name over the sacrifice is an essential part of the rite,  Allah does not take delight in flesh and blood, rather, it is a symbol of thanksgiving to Allah by sharing meat with fellow humans.
  • The Feast of Sacrifice: What is Eid Al-Adha? (tnnegypt.com)
    ‘Eid’ is an Arabic word referring to a celebration that is repeated annually.There are two great ‘Eid’ festivals in Islam, ‘Eid Al-Adha’ – Festival of Sacrifice, which occurs on the tenth day of the last month of the Muslim year ‘Thul Hijjah’ and coincides with the last day of the Hajj pilgrimage.‘Eid Al-Fitr’ – Festival of Breaking the Fast occurs on the first day of the month of ‘Shawwal’ following the month of ‘Ramadan’.

    However, the Festival of Sacrifice is also regarded as the ‘Eid Al-Kabeer’ – the Great Festival, while the other is known as ‘Eid Al-Sagheer’ – the Small Festival.

  • Humbleness in Prayer (jamkarani.wordpress.com)

    20ـ رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ): لا صَلاةَ لِمَن لا يَتَخَشَّعُ في صلاتِهِ.

    20- The Prophet (S) said; ‘The prayer of one who does not humble himself in his prayer does not count.’[al-Firdaws, v. 5, p. 195, no. 7935]

    21ـ رسولُ اللهِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ) ـ لَمّا سُئلَ عنِ الخُشوعِ ـ: التَّواضُعُ في الصَّلاةِ، وأن‏ يُقبِلَ العَبدُ بقَلبِهِ كُلِّهِ على رَبِّهِ.

    21- The Prophet (S), when he was asked about humbleness in prayer, said; ‘It is to abase oneself in the prayer, and for the servant to come to his Lord wholeheartedly.’[Da`aim al-Islam, v. 1, p. 158]

  • The Excellence of Du’a [The Essence of Worship] (madinasharif.wordpress.com)
    Du‘a is the most powerful weapon of a believer. It can change fate, while no action of ours ever do. It is the essence of ‘Ibadah or worship. With it we can never fail; without it we can never succeed. With all the suffering and disasters Muslims are facing in various parts of the world, the question of Du‘a can be directed to all of us today.
    +
    Sayyiduna Rasoolullah SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam states that Almighty Allah says:

    أنا عندَ ظنِّ عبدي بي

    I am with the supposition of My servant. [Recorded in Bukhari (Hadith 7239), Muslim, Tirmidi, Nisa’i  and Ibn Maja on the authority of Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah]

    This means that as a servant imagines or has an opinion concerning Allah, the Merciful Lord accordingly reacts with him. Knowledge and Qudrat is with everything but there is a special proximity of mercy with those who make Du’a to Him. What bigger mercy can a servant ask for than being blessed with the Divine Proximity of the Sublime Lord? Thousands of acceptances and millions of desires and intentions may be sacrificed on such Divine Proximity!

  • The Prayer (jamkarani.wordpress.com)

    ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): الصَّلاةُ تَستَنزِلُ الرَّحمَةَ .

    3- Imam Ali (A) said; ‘Prayer elicits the descent of divine mercy.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 2214]

    4ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): كانَ رسولُ اللّه‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ) لا يُؤثِرُ على الصَّلاةِ عَشاءً ولا غَيرَهُ، وكانَ إذا دَخَلَ وَقتُها كأنّهُ لا يَعرِفُ أهلاً ولا حَمِيماً.

    4- Imam Ali (A) narrated; ‘The Prophet (S) never put anything before his prayer, neither his dinner nor anything else. When the time for prayer would set in, it was as if he knew neither family nor close friend.’[Tanbih al-Khawatir, v. 2, p. 87]

  • With what do you direct the student and the beginning seeker of knowledge with? – By: Shaykh Saalih ibn Fawzan al-Fawzan (salaf-us-saalih.com)
    I say, and with Allāh is the success, without doubt seeking knowledge is an important affair. Allāh جل وعلا says: “Know! That none has the right to be worshipped except Allāh, and ask for forgiveness of your sins and for the male and female believers” (47:19)Imām al-Bukhārī (May Allāh have mercy on him) said in his chapter “Knowledge proceeds speech and action”  then he mentioned this verse.This is because if actions are not based upon knowledge, founded upon knowledge, then it is misguidance and tiring without benefit.Because the affair is like this it’s an obligation upon the Muslim to seek knowledge.

I Can’t Believe That (1) … God would send anyone to hell

Me neither. I certainly wouldn’t want anyone to go to suffer everlasting torment, however bad they were in life, and I don’t like the idea of a god would want that either. The idea of unending pain is not only intolerably cruel but to pretend that in any sense someone could deserve that fate so unjust as to be positively wicked. Regardless of how bad someone behaved, regardless of how many crimes they committed, no-one could do enough evil to justify an infinite punishment. Even worse is the suggestion that anyone who misses out on salvation will end up with the same punishment; petty crook and genocidal dictator alike, they all must endure an eternity of pain and suffering. A god who behaved in this way could not be described as “merciful“, could not even be described as “just”. Such a god could only be described as wicked. But the God I believe in is both merciful and just, so I can’t believe that He would send anyone to hell.

There is another reason why I can’t believe it – the idea isn’t even biblical. Look at what Jesus says about hell:

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell (Matthew 10:28)

Leave aside for a moment what Jesus meant by “soul” and “hell”, it is clear that Jesus did not think of hell as many Christians do. For Jesus, hell is not a place where the soul suffers eternal conscious torment. Instead hell is a place where the soul is killed, destroyed, finished, done.

Look at what Jesus promises to anyone who will accept it:

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them (John 3:36)

Jesus promises eternal life. The opposite of eternal life is not eternal conscious torment but eternal death. Jesus makes this clear in the words considered above. Whoever rejects the offer will “not see life”. They don’t go on living in torment and agony for all eternity. They just stay dead. That’s the fate of the wicked, that’s the fate of those who reject Jesus’ offer of life, they stay dead.

The question then is why do so many Christians believe in hell, given that is a horrible idea and not what Jesus taught? For some people, though they call themselves “Christian”, just use the doctrine of hell as a stick to beat their neighbours. There also probably some truth in the claim that the historic church used the threat of hell as a way of controlling its followers. But there are also many sincere and well-intentioned Christians who still believe in hell. This is because they are used to reading the Bible a certain way and have never been shown that it was written differently.

Many Christians believe that the soul is immortal, that it not only survives death but can never die. This is not what Jesus or the early Christians taught, but if you believe that the soul cannot die then you must believe it goes somewhere after death. You wouldn’t want to belief that wicked people end up in a good place (a lot of Christians believe they go to heaven when they die), so there must be a bad place for the bad people to go to. Once you’ve got this idea in your mind then you read the Bible to fit that idea. For example, whilst Jesus never talks about eternal conscious torment, he does talk about “eternal punishment” (Matthew 25:46). If you already believe that bad souls go to a bad place when they die, it is convenient to read “eternal punishment” as though it said “eternal conscious torment”. That’s not what Jesus said, but that’s what many Christians think.

English: Ge-Hinnom, c. 1900.

Ge-Hinnom or Valley of Hinnom, c. 1900. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It also does not help that Christians today have forgotten what Jesus meant when he used the word “hell”. When Jesus talks about hell he is usually using the word gehenna, which literally means “Valley of Hinnom“. This was a place in ancient Israel where the worshippers of the pagan god Molech would perform human sacrifices, including burning children (e.g. 2 Kings 23:10). This practice is condemned by God through the prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 32:35). Jeremiah uses the imagery of being burnt in the Valley of Hinnom to portray the fitting punishment for those who practiced such evil (Jeremiah 7:31-32). This is the background to the word gehenna in the New Testament where it represents the fate of the wicked. When Jesus talks about the ‘fire of hell‘ (Matthew 5:22) he is using the word gehenna, using this imagery for the destruction of death. The other word used by Jesus for hell is hades. Though in greek mythology hades was both the abode of the dead and the god of the dead, in the New Testament hades simply refers to the grave. In either case Jesus was not referring to a place of eternal conscious torment for the wicked, as many people now think about hell.

As you can see from this overview I do not think that Christians should believe in hell and as such I do not think that hell provides any obstacle to believing in God. Jesus does not teach that the wicked go to hell and I do not know of any other part of the bible that teaches this idea. Wherever people got the notion of hell from it was not from God and not part of his message to mankind. I can understand that you would not want to believe in a god that condemned people to hell, though your personal dislike would not determine whether or not such a god existed. But the notion of hell is inconsistent with everything we know about the God who does exist; inconsistent with his goodness and inconsistent with his message to mankind.

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Additional reading:

  1. Another way looking at a language #3 Abraham
  2. Sheol, Sheool, Sjeool, Hades, Hell, Grave, Tomb, Sepulchre
  3. Grave, tomb, sepulchre – graf, begraafplaats, rustplaats, sepulcrum
  4. Darkness, light, burning fire, Truth and people in it
  5. Jesus three days in hell
  6. Hellfire
  7. A fact of History or just a fancy Story
  8. The soul
  9. Dying or not
  10. Is there an Immortal soul
  11. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  12. Set free from any form of mental torment or self-condemnation
  13. Creator and Blogger God 3 Lesson and solution
  14. Creator and Blogger God 7 A Blog of a Book 1 Believing the Blogger
  15. Fragments from the Book of Job #1: chapters 1-12
  16. Fragments from the Book of Job #4: chapters 27-31
  17. We are ourselves responsible
  18. Self inflicted misery #6 Paying by death
  19. Self inflicted misery #8 Pruning to strengthen us
  20. Bad things no punishment from God
  21. Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual
  22. Being Religious and Spiritual 6 Romantici, utopists and transcendentalists
  23. Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one
  24. Atonement And Fellowship 4/8
  25. Edward Wightman
  26. Fear and protection
  27. Fear of God reason to return to Holy Scriptures
  28. Eternity depends upon this short time on earth
  29. A small company of Jesus’ footstep follower

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  • Biblical Hell (focusedandfree.com)
    Because of the symbolic nature of the language, some people question whether hell consists of actual fire. Such reasoning should bring no comfort to the lost. The reality is greater than the symbol. The Bible exhausts human language in describing heaven and hell. The former is more glorious, and the latter more terrible, than language can express.
    +
    In Christian tradition it is usually associated with the notion of eternal punishment, especially by fire. This idea appears in Isaiah. 66:24, but it is not clearly associated with a place. Jewish writings from the third century B.C. onward, speak of places of punishment by fire for evil spirits and the wicked dead (1 Enoch 18:11-16108:3-7152 Esdras 7:36-38). The book of Revelation describes a lake that burns with fire and brimstone in which the wicked will be eternally punished (Revelation 19:2020:14-1521:8).
  • Gehenna in the ‘Love Wins’ controversy (creationconcept.wordpress.com)
    One aspect of the great controversy about hell, and about Bell’s thesis, is the meaning of the word Gehenna in the New Testament. Most English translations contribute to the confusion by replacing the word Gehenna with hell, instead of leaving it untranslated, as it should be, since it is the name of a specific geographical place on earth.
  • Is Gehenna the same as the lake of fire? (creationconcept.wordpress.com)
    Arthur W. Pink compared Gehenna with the lake of fire in Revelation 20 in his article on Eternal Punishment. He thought these two things were identical. But Pink may have been mistaken about this, as he was about the doctrine of dispensationalism. He eventually realized dispensationalism was false, and wrote a series of articles against that theory, which he previously supported.In his discussion of Gehenna, Pink compared things said of it with the information that is provided about the lake of fire. His comparison is summarized
  • Is Literal Hellfire Torment A Bible Teaching? (debatepolitics.com)
    The teaching of literal hellfire torment is commonplace in Christendom and non-Christian religions. This teaching defames the Creator and portrays him as a sadist who tortures people in flames of fire for all eternity—as punishment for wrongdoing committed during the relatively brief human lifespan. The hellfire dogma was brought into Christianity by the Roman Catholics who copied it from pagan religions. (Pagans are those who do not worship the God of the Judeo-Christian Bible.)
    +
    The scriptures indicate that hell is nothing more than mankind’s common grave. Proof of this is provided by a verse of scripture in the Bible, which no hellfire-believing Christian can explain away. I’m referring to the scripture that says Jesus Christ–the epitome of a perfect, sinless, and obedient man–died and went to hell.
  • What and Where is Hell Anyway? (robertjrgraham.com)
    When most people think of hell, they think of Satan in that red suit with two horns and a pitchfork somewhere in the depths of the Earth where souls are tormented day and night on some kind of giant char broiler. Do something wrong in life and you’re condemned to an eternal damnation of flames. None of this could be further from the truth, and we should know better, “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices” (II Corinthians 2:11).The English word hell comes from the Anglo-Saxon hel, or in the genitive case helle, which means a “hidden place”, from the Anglo-Saxon word helan, meaning “to hide”.
    +
    Whether it’s the word sheol in the Old Testament, or gehenna or hades in the New Testament, they all mean either the grave or the state of death.
  • Is Hell eternal or do those who do not choose Christ just cease to exist? (askthepastors.wordpress.com)
    There are four words used in the Bible for the place of the dead, Sheol, the Hebrew term for the grave and also for the place of departed spirits, Hades, the Greek version of Sheol, the Abyss (used for the place of the dead in Romans 10:7, but usually reserved for place of judgment for demons, Luke 8:31; Rev. 9:1,2, 20:1) and Gehenna, the term taken from the Valley of Hinnom just south of Jerusalem where trash was perpetually burned. This last word refers specifically to the final place of torment, most properly translated “hell” (Matthew 5:22,29,30; 10:28; 18:9, etc.)
  • Comments on Walter Balfour’s interpretation of Gehenna (creationconcept.wordpress.com)
    In their disputes about the meaning of Gehenna, both men overlooked the significance of Gehenna as a topographical feature in the land of promise, and one of the valleys which Isaiah said will be filled, as John the Baptist proclaimed. [Luke 3:5]From Gehenna, one views Jerusalem as an outsider; the teachings of Jesus encourage us to get into the kingdom of God, and obtain life.
    +The sayings of Jesus about Gehenna also apply to the present age. Gehenna is a judgment. [Mat. 5:22, 23:33] Jesus referred to it as something we should avoid at any cost, even if it means loss of our right eye, or our right hand, or our right foot. [Mat. 5:29, 30] Jesus said God is able to destroy “both soul and body” in Gehenna, and that we should fear him. [Mat. 10:28, Luke 12:5] This suggests that the warnings about Gehenna apply to our present lives; being cast into it represents the spiritual condition, of being outside the holy city.Being cast into Gehenna contrasts with entering into life. [Mat. 18:9] Scribes, Pharisees, and hypocrites are called “children of Gehenna.” [Mat. 23:15] Balfour correctly pointed out “no Gentile is ever threatened with Gehenna punishment,” as that threat applies especially to those in Jerusalem. One must be in the holy city, in order to be cast out of it. While the threat of “the damnation of Gehenna” applies only to Jews, the heirs of salvation, who are “in Christ,” are called Jews, and “the circumcision,” in a spiritual sense; Jesus used the threat of Gehenna figuratively and metaphorically to warn the saints who dwell in the heavenly Jerusalem.
  • Is Punishment Eternal? (pilgrimpassing.com)
    Thus, sheol and hades were the same place and must have been occupied by the redeemed since the Messiah was there while His body lay in the grave. That the lost were also there, but in a separate area, is clear from Christ’s statement that when the rich man died, “in hades he lift up his eyes, being in torment….” That in his torment he could see Lazarus and Abraham in comfort (Luke 16:19-31) further indicates that the redeemed were also in hades yet distinct from the damned. That part of hades, which Christ referred to as “Abraham’s bosom,” must have been the “paradise” in which Jesus promised to meet the believing thief on the cross that very day (Luke 23:43).
    +
    If God is so loving why doesn’t He universally forgive everyone? Love is only part of God’s character. He is also infinitely and perfectly just. How can God forgive someone who admits no guilt? How can He forgive those who insist that there is nothing for which He needs to forgive them? And would it not be the utmost folly to do so? If in His mercy and grace God simply passed over human rebellion, would that not be condoning evil and even encouraging it? Would that not in itself undermine God’s control of His universe?
  • Walter Balfour’s discussion of Gehenna
  • Hope in Gehenna?
  • John Calvin on Gehenna
  • Gehenna applies to the church, not the world
  • Gehenna in the ‘Love Wins’ controversy
  • To Hell with Hell
  • Philosophy – What Is Hell?
  • Jason Erb critically analyzes biblical doctrines on Truth Hertz with Charles Giuliani, January 1, 2013
  • Lost Soul in Hell
  • The Amazing Race of God
  • God versus Satan
  • A Full Documentary About the Signs of Apocalypse
  • Reality of Hell…
  • To Hell with HellIs Punishment Eternal?
  • There Is No Hell, Look It Up