Followers, protestors and reformers

When we read the Acts of the apostles chapter 11 we find how the first followers of Christ Jesus went on to step in the footsteps of their master.

 “Now the apostles and the brothers who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God” (verse 1).

For them it was very special to see how heathen people came to find the Way to God. In their writings they told about their experiences and where not afraid to show how they struggled with certain things. Though not always agreeing with each other over all matters they did everything to stay under the teachings and guidance of their master teacher Jeshua (Jesus Christ) From him they had learned how important it was to spread the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God.

500 years after Luther placed his 95 remarks on the Roman Catholic Church on the doors of the of the Schlosskirche (Castle Church), Wittenberg, on October 31, 1517 we can find many churches who where under the influence of him and of other theologians who stood up against the ruling Roman Catholic Church. In those times of ‘revolt’ many where not afraid to talk to others about the Word of God and to use the Bible to show others what is really written in it.

It was made possible to ordinary people to come to read and to hear about the message of the kingdom and of Christ’s return to establish it. Today we can look back at a movement which changed a lot in church-world.  The Reformation caused major upheaval in Europe, leading to wars, persecutions and exoduses, including the departure of the Pilgrims for what was later to become America. Lots of those escaping for the power of churches could find time to read the Scriptures and talk to others which came from all sorts denominations.  Some of those voyagers got an eye-opening sight. Hearing all those different church doctrines they where brought down to earth with a bump, but once run aground they continued to search the Scriptures to disentangle its secrets. From those bible searchers came active Bible Students who wanted also to step in the footsteps of the apostles, following the task Jesus had given them.

Lots of Biblestudents received the bible message into their heart and mind. But at the European continent Roman Catholics received the help from protestants to fight against those who did not want to follow the false doctrine of the Trinity. From those actions taken we can see that though the Bible had come more available and there had come preachers or pastors to show the wrong teachings of the Roman Catholic Church we can see how difficult it was for many really to “receive” the peace message. Lots of people who started calling themselves Protestant came in a similar situation as they were before in the Roman Catholic Church. They did not transformed by reading the Bible and did not find that Jesus was the way to God and that they had to share Jesus his love with those around them.

Paul spearheads the carrying of Christ’s name, God’s message of salvation through His Son. In doing this he sets the example to others like Silas, Titus and Timothy to do the same. These are among the examples that have come down to us today!

In the book of Luke about the first years  after Jesus’ dead we read of “the enrolment of the priests” (verse 17) and how “they were faithful in keeping themselves holy” (verse 18), and we can see this renewal as foreshadowing the dramatic events which must surely take place when Jesus returns to establish his kingdom!

From Daniel 11 we know that when that time of return is near there shall be lots of trouble, such as never has been” (verse 1), and then the resurrection shall take place.

After this Acts 11 and 12 seem almost an anti-climax; but dramatic events are described! We read of the conversion of the first Gentile – to the great surprise of Peter – and the first disciple killed, James. However,

“the word of God increased and multiplied” (Acts 12:24).

Sadly, we can see little of that today, but

“the ‘faithful’ must keep themselves holy”

facing the challenges of the “time of trouble such as never has been” that seems to be almost upon us! Our minds must embrace the words of the Psalmist,

“9 For evil-doers are cut off; But those who wait on יהוה, They shall inherit the earth …

37 Watch the perfect, and observe the straight; For the latter end of each is peace.
38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together; The latter end of the wrong shall be cut off.
39 But the deliverance of the righteous is from יהוה, Their strength in time of distress.
40 And יהוה does help them and deliver them; He delivers them from the wrongdoers and saves them, Because they took refuge in Him.” (Psalm 37:9, 37-39).

Of the Protestant denominations there are only a few which teach about the spreading of the Good News. Not many of their church members go out on the streets and spread the Gospel. Lots of those who belong to the reformed churches are now like Catholics, having become very passive Christians. The evangelicals and Pentecostals being the exception. They often let others hear their voice or can be seen on television with their services which are closer to a show than a worship service for God.

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Additional reading

  1. Bringing Good News into the world
  2. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation

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Further related

  1. In 1620 The Pilgrim Fathers set sail from Plymouth, Devon, England.
  2. August 15, 1620  Pilgrims
  3. The Landing Of The Pilgrim Fathers
  4. The New World …
  5. The New World & The Pilgrim Fathers
  6. George Whitfield
  7. The Pilgrim’s Bible
  8. Martin Luther and the Fear of Breaking the Rules: Sermon for October 8, 2017
  9. Martin Luther, Catholics and Jews
  10. Review: Renegade: Martin Luther, the Graphic Biography
  11. Review: Martin Luther – A Spiritual Biography
  12. Wednesday Testimony – Martin Luther
  13. History brief – M. F. Cusack on Martin Luther
  14. The Human Reformer: Martin Luther Struggled With Depression and Nightmares
  15. Martin Luther The Idea that Changed the World (PBS)
  16. Martin Luther and Me
  17. Martin Luther tells me so
  18. Learning from Martin Luther (The Kingdom Of God: Romans and Galatians)
  19. How to Spread the Gospel
  20. Faithful Congregations Share the Good News

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Oratory Style

All followers of Christ have received the call by Christ, Jeshua, the Son of God, to be worthy children of God, obeying God His commandments and making His Name be known all over the world.

We do have to be genuine children in the faith who love out of a pure heart, and a good consciousness, and unfeigned faith, knowing that the law is laid down not for the just one, but for the lawless and disorderly, for the profane and sinful, for the wicked and unholy, for the patricides and matricides, for manslayers, for fornicators, unchaste, man-stealers, liars, the perjured, and if there be any other thing opposed to sound doctrine. Though all having are little and bigger faults, we should try to live a righteous life in the eyes of God.

We may have many tasks to fulfil, like reading and studying the Word of God, one of doing good works of faith is spreading the Good News of the Kingdom of God, that we may testify to the truth like Jesus did without shame and without hesitance.
Let us not demur what Jesus is expecting from his followers but make use of every occasion to preach the Gospel.

Out of love we should be ready to let others know the truth and send them a message of love. It is only right that we do what we can to help others gain salvation and show no impartiality in trying to reach others with the Bible message, even when we may encounter on our road people who do not like us proclaiming the Word of God.

As long as Jehovah continues to be patient, we have the responsibility to give them the opportunity to “attain to repentance” and thus come in line for salvation. (2 Peter 3:9).
Let us share the good news with others regardless of their race, social status, or financial standing and thus give all who will listen an opportunity to hear and respond to the good news. (Romans 10:11-13).

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Additional reading:

  1. Frank risks taking
  2. Evil Never Ceases
  3. The work I do, let it be done good
  4. Al-Fatiha [The Opening] Süra 1: 4-7 Merciful Lord of the Creation to show us the right path
  5. The Acts Of The Sent Ones Chapter 1
  6. The Right One to follow and to worship
  7. Necessity of a revelation of creation 11 Believing and obeying the gospel of the Kingdom of God
  8. Necessary to be known all over the earth
  9. Silencing Women – Of God or Men ?
  10. Writers needed to preach to non-believers
  11. Sharing thoughts and philosophical writings
  12. What Should I Preach ?
  13. How should we preach?

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etsop95

Powerful preaching of the gospel is an attractive thing. Exactly what is meant
by that varies with the individual. What is generally in view is strong belief
in the word of God, forthrightly delivered, delivered passionately, and with
much confidence. With that being done, it is still possible for another to not
like that style of preaching; to them, it might sound arrogant, condescending,
or even bullying. However it might be interpreted, the point of emphasis for
God’s preacher is not in his delivery style, but the content of preaching
coupled with the life lived. Paul said, “For Christ did not send me to
baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of
Christ should be made of no effect”
(1 Corinthians 1:17, NKJV). Paul said
he wanted to preach the gospel, with the power being in the gospel of the cross,
not the…

View original post 6 more words

Marriage of Jesus 4 Place of the woman

Several people would like to see the non-canonical gospels as reliable historical sources, which should have to be part of the Bible. In case they would have to be part of the Scriptures, first of all we could question why they were not recognised by God as part of His Word and protected as such. The time laps between the last writings by the apostles and the later writers is also too big. For the authorship most credible scholars date the writing of the non-canonical gospels in the second or third century C.E. (with the possible exception of the Gospel of Thomas, which may have been written in late 1st or early 2nd century).

These texts are so called to be written by original disciples of Jesus, including Mary, but these disciples had nothing to do with the actual writing of the extra-biblical gospels.

Gheorghe Tattarescu - Magdalena,

Gheorghe Tattarescu – Magdalena, (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The repeated reference in the Gnostic texts of Mary as being loved by Jesus more than the others has been seen as supporting the theory that the Beloved Disciple in the canonical Gospel of John was originally Mary Magdalene, before being later redacted in the Gospel. In case she would have been the wife of Jesus it is strange that we can find in the Gospel of Thomas, Simon Peter asking to Jesus that Mary would leave them.

“for women are not worthy of Life.” {Gospel of Thomas}

Would a disciple say something like that to their teacher, when that person is his wife? In reply Jesus said:

“I myself shall lead her in order to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every woman who will make herself male will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” {Gospel of Thomas; section 114; trans. Thomas O. Lambdin}

In here there is also no speak of transgender issues, having females to become male. In that time saying to be a male, had to do with being strong or making decisions.  I also agree there was still at that time the higher position of the male figure. As such talking about being or behaving as a male should be taken as a symbol of the person his or her spiritual or divine nature.

In The Dialogue of the Saviour there is also no hint to be found that the man of the dialogue, who is Jesus the Christos or Christ, would have been the husband of Mary.

In The Pistis Sophia Jesus calls the woman Mary the blessed one, beyond all women upon the earth,

“because [she shall be] the pleroma of all Pleromas and the completion of all completions” (section 19).

Male figures may have been considered the ones who could best present their knowledge. But in the writings of the New Testament we also can find women who read the Bible in front of children and slaves, so that they also could hear and grow up with the knowledge of the Good News. Such women, like Mary where considered worthy followers by Jesus, because they fulfilled the task given by him to spread the Good News. Their witnessing brings proof of their “fullness of knowledge” and therefore of the “spiritual life within them”.  In the Gnostic Gospels Jesus is shown to be impressed with Mary’s spiritual excellence that he promises not to conceal anything from her, but to reveal everything to her

“with certainty and openly” (section 25).

She is the blessed one, who will

“inherit the whole Kingdom of the Light” (section 61).

In none of the books is written that she would come to sit next to Christ and his Father. In case those writers really thought Mary Magdalene was the wife of Christ, would God not have placed her sitting next to her husband?

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Preceding articles:

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

Marriage of Jesus 2 Standard writings about Jesus

Marriage of Jesus 3 Listening women

To be followed by:

Marriage of Jesus 5 Papyrus fragment  in Egyptian Coptic

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

Marriage of Jesus 7 Impaled

Marriage of Jesus 8 Wife of Yahweh

Marriage of Jesus 9 Reason for a new marriage

Marriage of Jesus 10 Old and New Covenant

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  • The Top Six Alternate Gospels and Scriptures (glitternight.com)
    Everyone but the most sheltered Christians have known for centuries about the alternate, or apocryphal gospels. The gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were the four canonical or “official” gospels that were accepted by the mainstream church but there were dozens of other gospels with wildly varying versions of the story of Jesus.
  • The Importance of Mary Magdalene in the Gnostic Gospels (writedge.com)
    Most of us have grown up knowing Mary Magdalene, but with not enough information about her part in the Christian story. In the New Testament, she has a relatively minor role beyond her witnessing the resurrected Jesus in the Gospel of John, but in the Gnostic Gospels, her role is much more important. In them, she not only is the witness to the Resurrection, but an important disciple of Jesus, and possibly his lover or wife.
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    This example shows her not only to have received new teachings from Jesus, it also shows the opposition and prejudice she faced from most of Jesus’ male disciples due to her being a woman. In the Jewish culture of Jesus’ day, women were considered to be and treated as inferior to men; therefore, it comes as no surprise that Mary Magdalene would be put down by most of the male disciples, and her presence would be opposed by them. This prejudice against women would later carry on in to Petrine/Pauline Christianity, which still today, in spite of progress made in such churches as the Anglican and Episcopal churches allowing women to take more leadership roles such as joining the priesthood, for instance, besets much of the Christian religion, ranging from the Roman Catholic Church’s continuing opposition to women joining the priesthood to fundamentalist Protestantism’s insistence on women’s only role being that of the stay-at-home wife and mother, and its continuing attempt to turn the clock back on women’s rights to an idealized 1950s in the United States.
  • The Resurrection Myth (venitism.blogspot.com)
    Jesus was a lower-class bisexual preacher from Galilee, who, in hysterical apocalyptic fashion, proclaimed that the end of history as he knew it was going to come to a crashing end, within his own generation. God was soon to intervene in the course of worldly affairs to overthrow the forces of evil and set up a utopian kingdom on earth. It didn’t happen. Instead of being involved with the destruction of God’s enemies, Jesus was unceremoniously crushed by them: arrested, tried, humiliated, tortured, and publicly executed.Soon afterwards his followers began to say that, despite all evidence to the contrary, Jesus really was the messiah sent from God.
  • A Kiss Before Crucifying (vovatia.wordpress.com)
    Gnosticism predates Christianity, and Ehrman proposes that it was a response to Jewish apocalypticism. The apocalyptic view is that, while evil forces are now in charge of the world, God is ultimately in control and will soon set things right. Jesus himself is generally regarded as an apocalyptic preacher, but since there were elements of his teachings that presented a less worldly and more ideal view than traditional Judaism, Gnostics gladly adopted him as a mouthpiece for their own views. In their belief, Jesus was not the son and representative of the Demiurge worshipped by mainstream Jews, but rather of a higher, non-material god.
  • The Forbidden Gospel of Mary Magdalene (humansarefree.com)
    For Jean Yves-Leloup, the founder of the Institute of Other Civilisation Studies and the International College of Therapists, Mary Magdalene is the intimate friend of Jesus and the initiate who transmits his most subtle teachings.His translation of the Gospel of Mary is presented in his book The Gospel of Mary Magdalene along with a commentary on the text which was discovered in 1896, nearly 50 years before the Gnostic Gospels at Nag Hammadi were found.

    The Gospel of Mary can easily be divided into two parts. The first section (7,1-9,24) describes the dialogue between the risen Christ and the disciples. He answers their questions concerning matter and sin.
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    The second section of the text (10,1-23; 15,1-19,2) contains a description by Mary of special revelation given to her by Christ. At Peter’s request, she tells the disciples about things that were hidden from them.

  • Was Jesus Married? (part One) Nothing in the Bible Says He Was and Nothing in the Bible Says He Was Not***so After You Read the Below You Be the Judge and Get Ready for the Religious Shock of Your Life***from Tlgrwcorporate (tlgrwcorporate.wordpress.com)
    There is no hint in The Dialogue of the Savior of a marriage between Jesus and Mary (or the Savior and Mary). She is seen, once again, as central among the disciples of the Savior, and as a person with special insight.
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    The silence of the New Testament gospels has given rise to a cacophony of conflicting voices. Some see in these writings a plot to cover up the truth about Jesus. Others see the silence of the gospels as proof that Jesus could not have been married. It does seem rather fantastic to imagine that if Jesus had been married to Miriam of Magdala, whom we know as Mary Magdalene, or to any other woman for that matter, this fact would have been completely omitted from all of the earliest records of Jesus’ life. Those who claim that the earliest Christians conspired to hide this information because it confirmed the fact that Jesus wasn’t divine forget that the supposed conspirators often gave their lives because they believed Jesus to have been divine. Would they have died for something they knew to be a lie? I rather doubt it.
  • Jesus Chooses the Twelve Disciples // Jesus Teaches and Heals (travismikhailblog.wordpress.com)
    apostles: Those who will preach the gospel and lead the early Church. They are emissaries invested with Christ’s royal and priestly authority. Like the 12 patriarchs of Israel (Gen 35:22-26), Jesus chooses 12 men to be the father figures of the renewed kingdom of Israel, the Church.
  • Scientific Tests Show ‘Gospel of Jesus’ Wife’ Wasn’t Faked (nbcnews.com)
    The studies, published Thursday in the Harvard Theological Review, represent the latest chapter in the years-long saga surrounding what Harvard theologian Karen King has dubbed the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife. King brought the text into the global spotlight in September 2012, at a symposium in Rome, but the publication of her analysis was held up for more than a year when questions were raised about the text’s authenticity.
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    “These kinds of texts are notoriously repetitious,” he told NBC News. “The problem is, this gets sensationalized. What it proves is something we already knew, that certain Gnostic groups in the second, third and fourth centuries did think of Mary as Jesus’ companion. We just didn’t have that word ‘wife.'”
  • Religulous Hoi Polloi (venitism.blogspot.com)
    Religious practices change all the time—just ask Catholics who celebrated mass in Latin until the 1960s or Protestant groups that started ordaining women as ministers in the 1970s. But are there certain core beliefs that can never change?Conservative theologians within the church argue that Schaefer’s defrocking was justified because church law, by definition, must be upheld—otherwise, it is not a church law. They maintain that homosexuals are welcome in the church, but that one should abstain from the practice of homosexuality.
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