The Rapture Wars

Too many people do not see that the Third and Last World War or Armageddon shall be the worst Tribulation.

We do not know why the writer of the article claims “The first three years of the Tribulation will be horrific!” we would say “the tribulation will be horrific”.

We all should be aware what it shall mean having so many people finding their death in the horrible ‘night mare’ which is predicted and against we should be armed with the right weapons (which are not the weapons of man. )

To around 50 of the 220 church members going to die in the fourth seal alone for some it may look as something not survivable to 1.75 billion people and not being comfortable. It is true it also may not be enjoyable. but mankind is been warned. For centuries people could hear the words of lovers of God, warning them about the coming end times.

God is patient and a loving God, but He has a Plan and He wants His Plan to come true. He is willing to give people enough chances, but they have to know that on all things comes an end. Also to the patience of God, because He takes in account all those people who have been waiting all their life for that Hope given by the Words of God. Those words shall have to come through at a certain point. And God has given man time to consider and to prepare.

Each individual has to make his or her own choice. It is all up to us. We have to prepare ourselves and can not call an other responsible.

We also have received the task from the master teacher, rabbi Jeshua, to go out in the world and to witness the Good News. We should also know that when the time comes there shall be witnessed world wide the end will come; So we ourselves have something in our hands as well. As sooner as there is a worldwide preaching in the Name of God the sooner the end will come.

English: Diagram of the major tribulation view...

Diagram of the major tribulation views in Christian theology (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Preceding article: Date setting

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Narrow is The Way Ministries

3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The…

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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.

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

+++

  • 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.
    +
    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.
    +
    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.
    +
    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.
    +
    “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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Jesus … will come in the same way as you saw him go

“Jesus … will come in the same way as you saw him go”

 

These words should be familiar to all Bible readers: they are the words of the “two men … in white robes” (a common way of describing angels) – it is what they said to the disciples as their astonished eyes watched their Lord ascend upwards “and a cloud received him out of their sight” (Acts 1:9-11). We suspect it was no ordinary cloud, but like the cloud that Moses climbed up into on the mountain (Exodus 24:16).

“9 And when he had said these things, as they were looking, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10 And while they were looking stedfastly into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11 who also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye looking into heaven? this Jesus, who was received up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as ye beheld him going into heaven.” (Acts 1:9-11 ASV)

“And the glory of Jehovah abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud.” (Exodus 24:16 ASV)

English: Israel location Judea and Samaria.

Israel location Judea and Samaria. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Countless generations of Bible believers have looked for their Lord to descend from heaven in their lifetime. The disciples had asked,

“Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (verse 6)

and were told by their Lord they were to be “my witnesses in Jerusalem” – but ultimately that the witnessing was to be “to the end of the earth” (verse 8). He had said this earlier, also on the mount of Olives,

“this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).

The other sign which Jesus gave, which Luke also recorded, was that

“Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” (21:24).

 

Today, Jerusalem is constantly a centre of world attention – and the returned Jews have made it the capital of their resurrected country. The evidence is plain that the climax of the ages is near. But we know, and must emphasize that it was not for his disciples, then or now, to know exactly when. Notice again the answer of Jesus when the disciples asked him,

“Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (verse 6).

They were commissioned to be “my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria” (verse 8). It is for true believers today to complete that commission “… and to the end of the earth”.

Are you his disciple? Are you helping this commission to be carried out? If you are, you will be really looking for his return “in the same way (as the disciples) saw him go into heaven”.

As his disciple you will be following the examples given in the book of Acts, which we have now started reading. Notice the way in which the Old Testament is often quoted as an essential part of that message. It tells us many details of the Kingdom Jesus will set up, also giving us examples of faithful service (and failures) as we are reading in the book of Deuteronomy.

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Additional reads:

  1. Heavenly creatures do they exist
  2. Angels (“Our world” article)
  3. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  4. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #3 Callers upon God
  5. Festival of Freedom and persecutions
  6. Jeruzalem Gods city
  7. Jerusalem God’s City for ever
  8. Presentation: Crisis in the Middle East – Bible Expectations
  9. Isaiah prophet and messenger of God
  10. What Jesus Did – Misleading around the Messiah and the final assessment
  11. How do we know the coming of Jesus is very near?
  12. Armageddon, har and megiddo, an action or a place
  13. The Song of The Lamb #3 Daniel and Revelation
  14. The Song of The Lamb #8 Revelation 15 Lessons for us today
  15. Uncovering the Foundations of Faith
  16. Certainty in a troubled world
  17. The day is near studyweekend
  18. End Times
  19. The Conclusion of the System of Things
  20. Signs of the Last Days
  21. 14 Nisan a day to remember #2 Time of Jesus
  22. Nazarene Acts of the Apostles Chapter 2 v14-20 Pentecostal Sermon
  23. Because men choose to go their own way
  24. The famine of the word
  25. Messengers of Jesus will be hated to the end of time
  26. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  27. Do we have to be an anarchist to react
  28. Zion, Flames, Terror, Signs and Games of Peace
  29. Babylon is fallen
  30. Gaza in Bible Prophecy
  31. Hamas the modern Philistines
  32. Turkey and Pictures for the times coming
  33. Syrian capital facing total destruction in the coming months
  34. Crimea votes overwhelmingly to join Russia
  35. Swallowing up Crimea, who is next
  36. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  37. Missionary action paradigm for all endeavours of the church
  38. Breathing to teach
  39. Which Christians Actually Evangelize
  40. Together tasting a great promise
  41. Witnessing Glad Tidings
  42. Zionism comments and the place of Jerusalem in the world
  43. Will Jesus ever return to the earth?
  44. Articles on the Belgian Biblestudents about the Return of Christ
  45. The Return of Christ seen through the eyes of the Brethren of Christ
  46. The Ecclesia of the Belgian Christadelphians looking at the Return of Christ
  47. Why did Christ not reveal the exact time of his second coming?
  48. Looking forward to the return of Jesus
  49. Secret or public return of Jesus

 

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  • Friday (April 25): “It is the Lord.” (shechina.wordpress.com)
    Skeptics who disbelieve the resurrection say the disciples only saw a vision of Jesus. The Gospels, however, give us a vivid picture of the reality of the resurrection. Jesus went out of his way to offer his disciples various proofs of his resurrection – that he is real and true flesh, not just a spirit or ghost. In his third appearance to the apostles, after Jesus performed the miraculous catch of fish, he prepared a breakfast and ate with them. Peter’s prompt recognition of the Master – It is the Lord! – stands in sharp contrast to his previous denial of his Master during the night of Jesus’ arrest. The Lord Jesus reveals himself to each of  us as we open our hearts to hear his word. Do you recognize the Lord’s presence in your life and do you receive his word with faith?
  • The Ascension of Jesus into Heaven (viviansielaff.wordpress.com)
    After Jesus resurrection He was with the disciples for forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. (Acts 1:2-3). And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; “for John truly baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which they Father has put in His own authority. “But you shall receive power when they Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:4-8
    +
    This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey. And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.
  • Luke 9:28-36 (arietta18.wordpress.com)
    at the transfiguration, Peter, John, and James would, in a sense, get to see the kingdom of God.
    +
    This appearance was the same or similar to the appearance that Jesus would have after his resurrection when hewas exalted to heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father.Later, in Acts, when Stephen, the first recorded Christian martyr, was being stoned to death, he “looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.” (Acts 7:55b NIV).  A few chapters later, the Apostle Paul saw Jesus appear to him
    +
    In the transfiguration, we get a glimpse of heaven, where all the dead in Christ will rise and be glorified with him.
  • Mystery – What causes a Christian to be set apart part 2? (lhwm1.wordpress.com)
    There is a mystery that surrounds the cross of Christ. Jesus the Son of God, Savior of mankind, Lord of Lords and King of Kings beaten until He no longer looks like a human being. Unbelievers see Jesus as weak and unable to stop His horrible death. (Luke 23:35, 39)
    +
    The death of the coming Messiah was told to the prophets of the Old Testament (Isaiah 53) and was planned before the beginning of time. The mystery was not death itself; it was the method and purpose of His death on the cross.  How could the Messiah die and reign forever. There was certainly no seeing the cross for the unity of Gentiles and Jews (Ephesians 3:3-6). All this was kept hidden until Jesus Christ came to the earth. He would tell his disciples in detail of His death and resurrection.
  • Lift Up Your Heads – a take on the ‘Olivet Discourse’ (Luke 21:5-38) (newjerusalem.net.au)
    Jesus says that they will see the Son of Man ‘from now on’ – ie. from that moment. It seems that on these two occasions Jesus is not speaking of an event, as much as a position of power and authority. In fact, He is making an unveiled reference here (and every time he calls himself ‘the Son of Man’) to Daniel 7
  • The True Easter Story (findingmywayinfo.wordpress.com)
  • Happy Resurrection Day! Christ IS Risen! (wrightlexi83.wordpress.com)
  • FFOZ TV Review: The Restoring the Kingdom (mymorningmeditations.com)
  • Jesus Is in Every Book of the Bible! (whatshotn.wordpress.com)
  • Morning Prayer 4.23.14, Wednesday in Easter Week (dailyoffice.org)
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Missionary action paradigm for all endeavours of the church

Looking at this capitalist world where the Word of God is forgotten by many, the Roman Catholic pope  Francis I attacked that unfettered capitalism as “a new tyranny”, urging global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality in a  84-page document, known as an apostolic exhortation. In  previous comment he had already criticised the global economic system, attacking the “idolatry of money” and beseeching politicians to guarantee all citizens “dignified work, education and healthcare“.

As first non-European pontiff in 1,300 years coming from South America he has seen enough poverty to know how people are suffering under it. This poverty should not exist in a Christian world and therefore the pontiff called on rich people to share their wealth.

“Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill‘ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills,”

Francis wrote in the document issued on Tuesday and also presented this Sunday to the people.

Pope Francis spoke to a group of Argentine labor union leaders in Vatican City on Tuesday.

But people should not only share their material wealth, they should let others know what they believe in in Whom they trust.

Pope Francis offers his document to the Church as a map and guide to her pastoral mission in the near future. It is an invitation to recover a prophetic and positive vision of reality without ignoring the current challenges. Pope Francis instils courage and urges us to look ahead despite the present crisis, making the cross and the resurrection of Christ once again our “the victory banner”

The pope said renewal of the church could not be put off and the Vatican and its entrenched hierarchy “also need to hear the call to pastoral conversion”.

“I prefer a church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security,” he wrote.

Pope Francis met with media

Pope Francis met with media (Photo credit: Catholic Church (England and Wales))

The last Synod on the New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith (2012) may have influenced the drafting of this Exhortation but according to the pope it are his own words and ideas taken independent from the clergy of his church.

The Pope commits to paper not only his previous pastoral experience. He has a clear vision where he wants to bring the church of his Saint Peter which has come in a similar environment as the first church, very hostile world to the believe in the son of God and in the works of God. Not many are interested in God or church and one can wonder if there are still many who have some or little faith.

Extending the teaching of the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi of Paul VI (1975), this new pope emphasizes the centrality of the person of Jesus Christ, the first evangelizer, of whom many have forgotten his function at the early times of our current era. Many have forgotten the call of Christ and love at the people who still continue the task Jesus ordered them to do, namely preaching or witnessing for Jehovah.

Last weekend Pope Francis I told the people that Jesus still calles each and every one of us to participate with him in the work of salvation.

“The Church’s missionary action is the paradigm for all of her endeavours”,

affirms the Holy Father, so that it is necessary to seize this favourable moment in order to catch sight of and live out this “new stage” of evangelisation.

The Pope did not only directed his words to his Holy Roman Catholic Church but finds that each individual has to take up his responsibility. Spreading the Word of God is not only restricted to the institution of the Catholic Church. It should be the task of the whole Church, and each individual evangelizer, may discover a common methodology born of the conviction that evangelisation is always participatory, shared and never isolated.

He gave seven points, gathered together in the five chapters of the Exhortation, constituting the fundamental pillars of Pope Francis’ vision of the new evangelization: the reform of the Church in a missionary key, the temptations of pastoral agents, the Church understood as the totality of the People of God which evangelises, the homily and its preparation, the social inclusion of the poor, peace and social dialogue, and the spiritual motivations for the Church’s missionary action.
The cement which binds these themes together is concentrated in the merciful love of God which goes forth to meet every person in order to manifest the heart of his revelation: the life of every person acquires meaning in the encounter with Jesus Christ and in the joy of sharing this experience of love with others.

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Read also:

  1. Pope Francis says Catholics must become evangelisers
  2. Capitalism and economic policy and Christian survey
  3. Idolatry or idol worship
  4. Faith
  5. The possibilities of faith: A Faith that can move mountains
  6. Faith a commitment to the promises of Christ and to to the demands of Christ
  7. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  8. Breathing to teach
  9. Church sent into the world
  10. Testify of the things heard
  11. Looking to the East and the West for Truth
  12. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  13. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  14. Witnessing Glad Tidings
  15. Witnessing at LaGuardia Airport

+++

  • In Major Document, Pope Francis Presents His Vision – NYTimes.com (nytimes.com)
    In a challenge to the Vatican hierarchy, Francis called for decentralizing power in the church, saying the Vatican and even the pope must collaborate with bishops, laypeople and in particular women.
    +
    Francis’ prescription for the church is inextricably tied up with his analysis of what is wrong with the world. He devotes many pages to denouncing the “dictatorship” of a global economic system and a free market that perpetuates inequality and “devours” what is fragile, including human beings and the environment.
  • A map and guide to the Church’s pastoral mission (blognovic.com)
    The life of every person acquires meaning in the encounter with Jesus Christ and in the joy of sharing this experience of love with othersThe first chapter, therefore, proceeds in the light of the reform of the Church in a missionary key, called as she is to “go out” of herself in order to meet others. It is “the dynamic of exodus and the gift of going out of oneself, walking and sowing ever a new, always further and beyond”, that the Pope explains in these pages. The Church must make “this intimacy of Jesus, which is an itinerant intimacy”, its own intimacy. The Pope, as we are already accustomed to, makes use of effective expressions and creates neologisms to grasp the nature of the Church’s evangelizing action. First among these is the concept of “primerear”, namely God preceding us in love and indicating to the Church the path to follow.
  • “The Joy Of The Gospel” (dish.andrewsullivan.com)
    “I dream of a ‘missionary option,’” Francis writes, “that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world, rather than for her self-preservation.”
  • Pope Francis calls on Catholics to create more compassionate church (irishtimes.com)
    It challenges the church to “abandon the complacent attitude that says: ‘We have always done it this way,’” to find novel, “bold and creative” ways to speak to the faithful and to make the church more meaningful.
    +
    Bishops and priests on the ground have a better sense of the needs of the faithful, as well as their frustrations, and parishes should become a critical part of the church’s evangelisation and outreach.

    A parish should be a point of “contact with the homes and the lives of its people,” and not a “useless structure out of touch with people or a self-absorbed cluster made up of a chosen few,” he wrote.

  • Pope Francis calls unfettered capitalism ‘tyranny’ and urges rich to share wealth (theguardian.com)
    Called Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), the exhortation is presented in Francis’s simple and warm preaching style, distinct from the more academic writings of former popes, and stresses the church’s central mission of preaching “the beauty of the saving love of God made manifest in Jesus Christ”.
  • Pope Francis strikes again (millennialjournal.com)
    Pope Francis’s new apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (Joy of the Gospel) is creating headlines throughout the world only hours after its release. In the 51,000 word text, Francis lays out a new vision for the Church and its role in today’s society.

    He’s done this is a less formal way throughout the first eight months of his papacy, but this document represents the first unified and complete communication of his vision.

  • Pope Francis Calls Unfettered Capitalism ‘A New Tyranny’ (businessinsider.com)
    A meditation on how to revitalize a Church suffering from encroaching secularization in Western countries, the exhortation echoed the missionary zeal more often heard from the evangelical Protestants who have won over many disaffected Catholics in the pope’s native Latin America.

    In it, economic inequality features as one of the issues Francis is most concerned about, and the 76-year-old pontiff calls for an overhaul of the financial system and warns that unequal distribution of wealth inevitably leads to violence.

    “As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems,” he wrote.

    Denying this was simple populism, he called for action “beyond a simple welfare mentality” and added: “I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor.”

  • Pope Says Power Should be Moved Away from Vatican (goldenageofgaia.com)
    He called for power to be decentralised away from Rome and towards bishops and priests working in Catholic dioceses around the world.

    “I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security,” the Jesuit Pope wrote in the document, formally known as an “apostolic exhortation” to the faithful. The Church must not allow itself to be “caught up in a web of obsessions and procedures”, he wrote, in what amounted to a mission statement for the Holy See.

    It was time for “a conversion of the papacy” because “excessive centralisation, rather than proving helpful, complicates the Church’s life”, said the pontiff, who has made reform of the Vatican’s dysfunctional finances and administration a priority of his papacy.

     

  • Pope Francis attacks ‘tyranny’ of unfettered capitalism, ‘idolatry of money’ (worldnews.nbcnews.com)
    Stressing cooperation among religions, Francis quoted the late Pope John Paul II’s idea that the papacy might be reshaped to promote closer ties with other Christian churches and noted lessons Rome could learn from the Orthodox such as “synodality” or decentralized leadership.

    He praised cooperation with Jews and Muslims and urged Islamic countries to guarantee their Christian minorities the same religious freedom as Muslims enjoy in the West.

  • Vatican officials say Pope’s document provides map for Church’s future (catholicherald.co.uk)
    The archbishop, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation, told reporters that Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), is “an invitation to recover a prophetic and positive vision of reality without ignoring the current challenges”.

    When the Pope writes about the reform of Church structures to be always missionary or the need to improve homilies or the obligation to reach out to the poor first of all or his insistence that the church always will defend the life of the unborn, Archbishop Fisichella said, “the cement which binds all these themes together is concentrated in the merciful love of God.”

     

Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity

Coming to an end

Christianity, as most people living in the industrialised countries have known it, is according to some in its final death throes. We can not deny that almost all denominations in those countries where most people do love the money, have witnessed dramatic reductions not only in church attendance but also in membership numbers and fewer converts are entering the faith than at any time in its history.

According a Greensboro, North Carolina native in an ever-changing and progressively postmodern world it is becoming increasingly difficult for western Christians to engage the wider culture in a meaningful way.  He writes:

Much of this dilemma can be attributed to the plurality of denominations and traditions indebted to the old and dying Christendom system which had dominated western society for centuries.  As Christendom has withered, Christianity has increasingly been pushed into the margins civilization.  We are entering the age of post-Christendom.  Although the coming era is replete with uncertainty it is also abundant in opportunity.

Danger for the grip of the Roman Church

Through the ages several organisations tried to get more people in their grip. The Roman Catholic Church in the early centuries of this common era succeeded to have her organisation grow enormously, though the way how they did it was not always very lovingly or like their ‘example’ Jesus would have done. For a long time the church tried to control and dominate the world and even took care that people would not be able to study the Holy Scriptures themselves.

The renaissance put fire in the spirits of the people who got so much hunger for knowledge they where willing to look everywhere and were willing to discuss many things with each other, prepared to feed each-other freely. The why and how was something man intrigued from the beginning, but by the possibility to get ideas of other on printed material it became much easier to look into the needs and possibilities of the own spiritual life. They also found out, to the dislike of the church, that Bible study was the best tool to enrich the spirit or soul.

Bischof Ulfilas erklärt den Goten das Evangelium.jpg

Ulfilas, or Gothic Wulfila: little wolf (also Ulphilas. Orphila) explaining the Gospels to the Goths in the 4th century CE.

 

As Christianity spread to the borders of the Roman empire, translations had been made, like in the third century Armenia where the first official Christian nation set a pole in the ground, having  Mesrop, Bishop of Armenia (390-439), creating an Armenian alphabet so the Bible could be translated into the language of his people.
Ulfilas who spoke Greek and Latin as well as Gothic and devised the Gothic alphabet, became an able missionary to the barbarian tribes and offered his his translation in Germanic language of the fourth century. Ulfilas organized the Gothic church and was its spiritual head for forty years. At this time the Goths had no written language, so Ulfilas devised an alphabet so he could begin to translate the Bible for them.

The Cyrillic alphabet, developed by two brothers who were missionaries to the Slavic people in the ninth century could bring a further advancement in Bible reading. Cyril and Methodius continue to be highly revered among the Slavic peoples today, not only for bringing Christianity to the people, but for creating the literary language of the Slavs.

Call to read the Bible

At the European continent even the educated, however, rarely saw an entire Bible. Bibles were very rare, large, expensive, and usually in 2-3 volumes. Sometimes the wealthy would have translations of the Psalms or the Gospels. During the crusades the books of Kings (the Sepher M’lakhim), with its history of warfare and fighting, became popular, and crusaders sometimes had personal copies of these sections of the Old Testament.

The Catholic church did not mind that many people could not read and that their teachings were brought to the general public in many imaginative ways like interpreting the religious books through mystery plays performed at festivals or the carvings and stained glass windows of cathedrals or in church music and great art.

In Flanders, France and Germany lived stubborn people eager to get to know things, but also finding that they should bring the message of Jesus to as much people as possible. Peter Waldo and his followers, called the Waldensians were among the first to demand Bible study by the common people. Heaving those sacred words spread under common people was not to the liking of the hierarchic clergy. The church authorities feared that the Bible in the hands of the uneducated would only produce heretical departures from official church doctrine. For sure they were aware that people also would find out where the teachings of their church would not coincide with the teachings of the Holy Scriptures.

Light in the Dark days for those wanting to hear God’s Word

Having translations of the Scripture was often banned by the church, and many were punished for having a Bible in their own language. These were dark days! As the Hebrew prophet said, there had come a famine for hearing the words of the Most High Master Creator God.

“See, days are coming,” declares the Master יהוה {Jehovah}, “that I shall send a hunger in the land, not a hunger for bread, nor a thirst for water, but for hearing the Words of יהוה. (Amos 8:11 The Scriptures 1998+)

Though God took care that darkness could not stay in the land of those who wanted to know.  After a thousand years of medieval darkness the Word of God could return with help of the magnificent printing press with movable type Johannes Gutenberg had invented. This greatly increased the speed of printing books. But because such an easy spreading of the Word of God looked like a sword going around in the wild for the Catholic Church. The illumination of the Word of God changed the hearts and minds and the motivations of the people who heard.

Disparities unmasked

Roman Forum and surroundings

Roman Forum and surroundings (Photo credit: KayYen)

By having the opportunity to see the Words of God black on white made that more people became appalled to see the obvious disparities between what they saw in the Bible and what was being practised by the Church of Rome. The selling of indulgences by the church, supposedly securing the release of loved ones from Purgatory, was the last straw for Luther. Protesting this outrage, and numerous other grievances he nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Wittenburg Cathedral. This sparked off a religious conflagration with the Roman Church in Germany. With Duke Ferdinand of Saxony and other German princes coming to his aid Luther avoided being taken into custody by the Roman church where he most certainly would have been burned as a heretic. Indeed, during the previous century in 1415 this had happened to a faithful priest in Bohemia, John Hus. Luther’s stand at the German city of Worms was historic. It was a defining moment for the church. And it led western Christendom into the Reformation. That re-thinking of what was to be concluded from the reading of the Bible made that many different ideas brought people in different camps, making their own churches.

Central Europe was to become a battlefield of ideas and so called religious people all fighting in the name of God.From the scriptures the Bible-searchers or Bible-students had come to believe that Jesus was the one to follow and not so much the Church which called it self the Universal Catholic Church. For many believers in the Word of God, Christianity was a matter of personal faith, not national or church sponsored citizenship. Nor was it about which church or cathedral they belonged to. For them it was also clear that they did not need such a huge construction as church building to worship God. Many eyes were opened by reading the Bible. As such they became to see that believe and faith was all about a covenant relationship with Jesus Christ and a personal faith walked out with him daily. Some of them were also convinced that a faith in Christ Jesus had to be fulfilled in following Jesus his teachings and following the examples the apostles gave in the early centuries after Christ.

Evangelical movement

With the possibility of having a cheaper and easier reproduction than the work of the scribes the Scriptures could reach the common man which had an enormous impact on European and English history. The Reformation led to the evangelical movement. Unfortunately its politicization led to a great tragedy. The awful 30 Years War wrecked Germany. It was left in such a ruined state that it would not recover for 200 years out of which the Anabaptist movement came which could be called the ”bakermat’ or cradle of the many Biblestudentgroups or Bible Student movement like the non-trinitarian Baptists, Millennialist Restorationist Christians, Brethren, Brothers in Christ or Christadelphians, Thomasites, International Biblestudents, Russellites, Associated Bible Students, or Independent Bible Students, Dawn Bible Students, Jehovah’s witnesses and others. Many of those denominations still existing today payng their taxes to the governing powers but not willing to take oaths of allegiance with the political or ecclesiastical princes, whoever they might be. In following the Master teacher Christ they also would not take up arms with or against any army coming into their valleys, whether they were Protestant, Catholic, Muslim or pagan.

For their stand in the peace of Jesus Christ they were bitterly persecuted from both sides. Millions of Anabaptists and other non-trinitarians, being called sacrilegious, irreverent, profane, blasphemous, wicked, sinful, unholy, iconoclastic, ungodly, impiousheretics, died at the hands of Catholic and Protestant powers alike. In Vilvoorde, in Flemish Brabant, near Brussels (the present capital of the European Union) thousands found their life ended by so called Christians because they only wanted to adhere to One and Only One God, following the teachings of Jesus Christ. They continued to die for over 200 years. This story has not been told. It has been cut out of the history books. From these determined Christian separatists came the peace loving Amish, Hutterites, and Mennonites along with the Brethren and some primitive Baptists of the free church tradition. They remember this history. Most Christians don’t.

More important to follow the Words of the Bible

These people who found it more important to follow the Holy Scriptures instead of organisations and rejected the sword, were still full of Christian zeal. But they had given up on a church that had corrupted itself by going to bed with the state. They would prefer to go to their secret Christian meetings, even if they were under the constant threat of being arrested. If an Anabaptist met another on the pathway they would challenge him with the scripture,

“You cannot serve two masters”.

If the other man was an Anabaptist he would smile and reply,

“You cannot serve God and mammon”.

The Anabaptists resolved to keep their little church pure in devotion to Christ. They were weary of seeing the hideous mixture of the cross and the sword played out before their eyes year after weary year. The sword had been stained with Christian blood. To their mind it had become a despised and shameful thing. It no longer had the sacred power of chivalry it once held over them. They had seen its dark side. It had come to the point where they were going to turn their back on politics and make the peaceful preaching of the Gospel their prime concern come what may. At this time the first missionary outreaches were organized. The Mennonites, the Baptists, the Brethren and many other Christian groups began to send out missionaries beyond European shores. A new era in Christian missions had begun.{The Puritans, by Gavin Finley}

Into the waters

Those who set out sailing aboard the Mayflower during the fall of 1620 and the later pioneers who build up the ‘New World’ we know today as the United States of America, had got enough time crossing the ocean to discuss with others the Bible and faith-matters and believed in the Judeo-Christian values.

Today the descendants are now in the driver’s seat of global power and played a vital role, which could be in danger now by China becoming bigger. But those progenies of searchers for the truth who were also called to bring God’s grace and God’s shalom into this world became also blinded by denominational dogmas and by the fun of the world. In the country where evangelicals became the majority those Christians took more and more the same dogmatic teachings as the earlier Roman Catholic Church and started using the Word of God less and less in their church services. Several even only use just some phrases in their shouting in front of mega churches, performing a show, hoping to catch as many spectators  and as much money as possible.

A 15th-century Mass

As the years went by, those studying the Holy Scriptures grew smaller and the ones claiming to be evangelist went less out to preach to others, preferring only to go to a Sunday service or mass when they wanted to make time for it or on special days, more connected to holdays which took on many heathen elements, like Christmas, Easter, Halloween, All-Saints a.o.. They also started to react fierce and went with violence against those who prefer to humbly keep to the Word of God. Those who witnessed on the streets where laughed at, and many jokes were told about those who came to witness at the door. The spreading of the Word of God from door to door dropped off. With it non-trinitarians their urge to attract others to their teachings diminished, except for the Jehovah Witnesses which strongly continued their assignment to spread the Good News of the coming Kingdom.

Global responsibility to preach in biting climate

Lots of people forgot that the Christian Gospel is destined to be preached to all nations. (Matthew28:18-20) Most of them are satisfied with their church visit now and then and not having to be bothered by reading the Bible daily or having to discuss Biblical writings. At first those Bible students in the 19th century got people interested in God and made that churches grew. The age was host to a variety of religious and philosophical thinkers. with a.o. Joseph Smith, Jr. and Brigham Young, founders of Mormonism, and Ellen White religious author and co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

The new media in the 20th century made those churches grow even more, but by the amount of entertainment increasing the amount of serious churchgoers decreased.

Gavin Finley MD of Endtime Pilgrim organisation writes:

Christians are having trouble remembering their global responsibilities both politically and spiritually. This is truly unfortunate. Because it happens to be the gateway into their destiny.

A spirit of acquisitive materialism has grasped many Americans by the heart. Even Christians are being led away from the Highway of holiness. Their church ministers are even helping them to set up their own, often narcissistic, ‘purpose driven life’. They are scarcely aware that epic global events are even now beginning to unfold before their eyes. Great dramas of biblical proportions lie up ahead. And these coming events will certainly affect them!

Many people liked first of all to find a religion which could suit as many people as possible. Jesuit theologian Father Jacques Dupuis, at the 2003 interfaith congress “The Future of God” said:

“The religion of the future will be a general converging of religions in a universal Christ that will satisfy all … In the end, it is hoped that the Christian will become a better Christian and each Hindu a better Hindu.”

Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul are convinced that:

“The Christ has no religious barriers in His consciousness. It matters not to Him of what faith a man may call himself.”

“He [‘the Christ’] inaugurated the new era and … the new world religion began to take form. The word ‘religion’ concerns relationship …”

“The day is dawning when all religions win [sic] be regarded as emanating from one great spiritual source; all will be seen as unitedly providing the one root out of which the universal world religion will inevitably emerge. Then there will be neither Christian nor heathen, neither Jew nor Gentile, but simply one great body of believers, gathered out of all the current religions.”

No wonder by such thinking that the religious people who love traditions are eager to take on new festivals and funny things which can brighten up their lives, but bring them further from the truth and the Will of God. Many coming up for their own modernised denomination are often not aware that they could be offending the God of Israel as they journey on.

Rick Warren may said:

“I could take you today to a million villages … they got a church. Or they got a synagogue. They got something. They got a house of worship. The church is the biggest organization in the world…. And I came up with a thing called the P.E.A.C.E. Plan. When Jesus sent the disciples out, he said, ‘When you go into a village, you find the man of peace.’ Now this person doesn’t have to be a Christian…. You find the person of peace, and then you begin to do the P.E.A.C.E. Plan … Now why am I telling this to you? Because we’re going public with it this next year in 2006…. And I believe it will change the world.”

but the Church of God is totally something different than the church of men. For us it should be the most important priority to belong to the Church of God and not to the favoured church of men. It is high time to react to the changing times while living faithfully, communally, and missionally in a world that grows increasingly indifferent and even hostile towards what Christianity should be.

In his book The Naked Anabaptist, Stuart Murray offers seven core convictions of “stripped down” Anabaptism.  Not exhaustive nor entirely unique to Anabaptism they could provide a helpful focus for understanding what the Anabaptist tradition offers to the wider Church.

The one to follow

Our example, teacher, friend, redeemer Jesus Christ, the focal point of God’s revelation, should be the one who as Christians should follow. We should remember what God said about this Nazarene Jew and what this young man said about his heavenly Father, his relationship with the Most High and with others.  We are committed to a Jesus-centered approach to the Bible, and to the community of faith as the primary context in which we read the Bible and discern and apply its implications for discipleship.

Western culture slowly emerging from the Christendom era

In Forks in the Narrow Road is said that Western culture is slowly emerging from the Christendom era, when church and state jointly presided over a society in which almost all were assumed to be Christian. But that is a typical American point of view, because there are stronger religions in the East where more unity in the group can be found than by Christians.

Whatever its positive contributions on values and institutions, Christendom seriously distorted the gospel, marginalized Jesus, and has left the churches ill equipped for mission in a post-Christendom culture.  As we reflect on this, we are committed to learning from the experience and perspectives of movements such as Anabaptism that rejected standard Christendom assumptions and pursued alternative ways of thinking and behaving.

Consumerism and peace

Today people want to have a higher place than somebody else in the community. Consumerism rules the world. The rule of division and dominion hold sway in this world of heartburning, where jealousy is encouraged. People cheer when somebody can come in the picture with something special and many idols are worshipped like gods. Some churches in the United States even say it is a gift of God to receive higher positions in life and to get more money, when people will give enough tithing or many offerings in their church. Status, wealth, and force are put in the picture and framed as only possible when people take care much of their church and are willing to give enough to their pastor or minister. Such frequent association of the church with status, wealth, and force is inappropriate for followers of Jesus and damages our witness.  We are committed to exploring ways of being good news to the poor, powerless, and persecuted, aware that such discipleship may attract opposition, resulting in suffering and sometimes ultimately martyrdom. Americans nor others simply cannot ignore the call here. They cannot sit around and do nothing while the world descends into nuclear anarchy and destruction. They must do what they can to further the cause of peace and security in the world. They can support their country by showing their Christian attitude and getting people to understand the Word of God, supporting Gospel and humanitarian missions overseas as well.

Churches are called to be committed communities of discipleship and mission, places of friendship, mutual accountability, and multivoiced worship.  As we eat together, sharing bread and wine, we sustain hope as we seek God’s kingdom together.  We are committed to nurturing and developing such churches, in which young and old are valued, leadership is consultative, roles are related to gifts rather than gender, and baptism is for believers.

This adult baptism is an important sign for the people around us. It may not be the end-mark, like it is for many contemporary believers, but should be a beginning on the road to the Kingdom of God. It should also be a mark of being “under God”, confirming one is willing to give himself totally to the Divine Creator. Following Christ and wanting to become like him, also being “under Christ” one is charged with bringing God’s just peace upon earth. This may not always be possible in the midst of a raging of nations against Israel and against the coming Messiah. But where it is not possible to bring a political peace then Christians have another arena in which to work. In the Spirit of grace the Gospel outreach in the local areas and overseas missions brings peace to individual hearts one soul at a time. And the coming Kingdom of Messiah will bring the “peace on earth” that men of good will have always longed for.

Peace is at the heart of the gospel.  As followers of Jesus in a divided and violent world, we are committed to finding nonviolent alternatives and to learning how to make peace between individuals, within and among churches, in society, and between nations.

With the idea of non-violence, sharing the love of Christ and the love of God, those loving the Word of God should show their love for that Word and their admiration for Christ and his Father to the world. Graciously, God will be prepared to come closer to those who love Him and will be willing to give them helpful tools for finding their way. Many may have no idea where they are going and may perhaps not see the road ahead of them. Nobody can know for certain where it will end, except that we may be sure that one day Christ Jesus will come back to this earth to judge the living and the dead, and then it will be too late to change of course. It is now and today that we have to stay on tangent and work on our spiritual life.

The course to steer

Lots of people are following their denomination without looking deep in their heart and into the Word of God, the Holy Scriptures. They may think they are following God’s Will, but do not really check it with the Guide God has given the world. Some may know that they perhaps do not follow or live according the Will and the commandments of God. They may wonder if the believe that the desire to please him or Him does in fact pleases God the Father. Real Christians should hope that they will never do anything against the commandments of Christ and nothing against the commandments of God.

Dixie Building

Dixie Building (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unfortunately, it appears that many American Christians are unaware of their sacred calling. Lots of them shout high with their so called Judean Christian values, but they do not see they went far away of those rules and values themselves. Many are drifting off into forgetfulness. They are not interested in America’s peace role in the world. And they are also ignoring the call of the Great Commission. The Gospel is not supposed to stay just in Main Street, USA. American evangelicals have a responsibility to take the Good News into all the world. The Christian Church is a global company. In fact it went global on the day it began 2,000 years ago. It went global on the Day of Pentecost.

Since that day when the apostles became gifted with the Spirit, and could much more than they ever thought they could accomplish, by the Power of God. But already in their time the people wanting to follow Christ also wanted to follow their own ideas, and false teachings soon crept in. By the years we found that a group wanted to exclude themselves from the other followers of the Way, by declaring themselves the only one true Universal Catholic Church. It took many centuries before Protestants came in the picture to, in their turn, also make many divisions and subdivisions, creating many churches or countless denominations torn asunder by harsh wars of words and weapons.  The religious world could find in that Christian world many groups and individuals claiming exclusive access to the “truth.”

It’s a reality that is not only saddening and confusing but scary.  Terrifying questions creep into the mind.

“How can I be sure I am actually following the truth?  What if they’re right and I’m wrong?  Am I believing a lie?  Am I some kind of heretic?  Am I going to hell?  Is my faith real if I have doubts?  Who is God really? “

We would advice you to have a look at the only place which can bring full answers. But to see the right answer you should have to be strong enough to put all the things you have previously learned aside. It is a matter of daring to put away dogmatic teachings, by that we mean, not returning to come back to those things they told you just to believe because we can not understand it, for example the immaculate conception, the pre-existence of Christ, the godhead of Christ, the Trinity and some other human church teachings. By daring to tackle the Word like the scribes and Bible-translators made it accessible for us to read it in our own language or in a language we can understand, to take it like it is written black on white, taking the words for what they mean, we shall be able to find the Truth.

A Book available for everyone to get insight

Bible

Bible (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

Going through the Holy Scriptures from beginning to end may bring you in a terrifying state to be in, suddenly having your eyes opened and seeing where your denomination might have gone wrong.

This is especially true if the deep seeded roots of the faith you grew up with are the ones you begin to question.  It’s stressful, painful, and extremely difficult.  It feels as if you’re toeing the edge of the narrow road peering off a cliff of uncertainty.  But there’s good news.  You’re still on the narrow road.  In 1st Peter we read, “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith.”  Trials of the mind and spirit are just as real as trials of the body.

knows also a North Carolina native that grew up in a family of school teachers and is currently pursuing a M.A. in Teaching at Kennesaw State University.

He may have a B.A. in Biblical Studies and can be (should be) proud of it, but people should know that God does not want everybody going to a Biblical college to understand God His Word. He provided enough words to get insight in Who God is and what He wants from us. We do not need a special university course to get to know God. We also should not follow blindly those who have a theology degree. People have too much trusted those educated people who went on to study more the philosophy than the Word of God.

By following the more popular but wrong ideas the church has gone astray and made people confused so much that they started loosing interest and by seeing what all those preachers said and did, they also lost trust in them and left church.

Current travail of the institutional Church may also bring a positive note

Many view this as a negative trend and in some respects perhaps it is. On the other hand, we firmly believe that something highly positive and creative can be birthed out of the current travail of the institutional Church.

Robin Meyer speaks clearly regarding the current situation of the church and its seeming inability or unwillingness to feed those very people who are so spiritually hungry.

There is a deep hunger for wisdom in our time, but the church offers up little more than sugary nostalgia with a dash of fear. There is a yearning for redemption, healing, and wholeness that is palpable, a shift in human consciousness that is widely recognized – except, it seems, in most churches.

Mick Turner in The Death of Sunday Christianity writes:

Strangely, we have come to a moment in human history when the message of the Sermon on the Mount could indeed save us, but it can no longer be heard above the din of dueling doctrines.
Consider this: there is not a single word in that sermon about what to believe, only words about what to do. It is a behavioral manifesto, not a propositional one. Yet three centuries later, when the Nicene Creed became the official oath of Christendom, there was not a single word in it about what to do, only words about what to believe!

Doctrine can do no more than guide our thoughts in one direction or another. It has no transformative power of its own, however. Today’s church is by and large an impotent institution and the sooner we get our minds around that salient fact the better. Only when we confront the reality of the situation the postmodern church finds itself in can we begin to make plans for any kind of effective, beneficial, transformational, and lasting change. Until we come to grips with the enormity of our problems, we are only whistling in the wind.

Therefore let us put away all doctrine and go to the main source, the Book of books, the Word of God which is handed over by the many men of God, prophets, kings of Israel, apostles and scribes.

Mick Turner continues:

Over the course of the centuries since Christ walked the earth, we have gone about domesticating Jesus and his mission. In the process of doing so, we have lost something very important – in fact, the very source of the church’s life. By taming Jesus and toning down the revolutionary character of what he is calling for, we have lost contact with the vine. And the Master told us quite clearly what happens when such a thing occurs. Branches die when they are severed from the vine.

Many may have settled for a weak-kneed, timid imposter of a church.

At the heart of the church is a fabrication, a weak-kneed imposter of a Saviour that is a far cry from the revolutionary firebrand that set his world ablaze 2,000 years ago. Instead of the radical, world-changing Jesus, we have settled for a much safer version – a version that, in the words of Brian McLaren, is a:

…..popular and domesticated Jesus, who has become little more than a chrome-plated hood ornament on the guzzling Hummer of Western civilization…

When in much of the church today, the metaphors speak of individual salvation and the specific promises that accompany it and do not give attention to the discipleship as transformation through an alternative community and reversal of conventional wisdom, it is no wonder people do not feel the urge to belong to a group of believers any more. Nor reason of brotherhood is given any more. the whole world is focussed on individuality and personal richness, not of spiritual wealth but material wealth. The first followers of Jesus trusted Jesus enough to become instruments of radical change and where even prepared to leave worldly goods behind to go out into the world and to preach the Word of God.

Today, worshippers of Christ agree to believe things about him in order to receive the benefits promised by the institution, not by Jesus….

Robin Meyers says:

Christianity as a belief system requires nothing but acquiescence. Christianity as a way of life, as a path to follow, requires a second birth, the conquest of ego, and new eyes with which to see the world.

According to some the church as we have known it, both in terms of actual numbers and cultural impact, is dead. It would be nice to see that the era of “Christendom” is over and that the world of “Christianity” may blossom again. Old forms of a tradition should be removed so that room can be given for something new and refreshing to be created or better to be recreated. Perhaps we may face a new reform of the Reformation movement. The sooner we come to grips with this reality, the sooner we can get on with the business of birthing its successor.

Frost, an Australian Christian writer and professor, sounds a more positive tone when he says:

….there are other voices that express real hope – not in the reconstitution of Christendom, but in the idea that the end of this epoch actually spells the beginning of a new flowering of Christianity. The death of Christendom removes the final props that have supported the culturally respectable, mainstream, suburban version of Christianity. This is a Christianity expressed by the “Sunday Christian” phenomenon wherein church attendance has very little effect on the lifestyles or values or priorities expressed from Monday to Saturday. This version of Christianity is a façade, a method for practitioners to appear like fine, upstanding citizens without allowing the claims and teachings of Jesus to bite very hard in everyday life. With the death of Christendom the game is up. There’s less and less reason for such upstanding citizens to join with the Christian community for the sake of respectability or acceptance. The church in fewer and fewer situations represents the best vehicle for public service or citizenship, leaving only the faithful behind to rediscover the Christian experience as it was intended: a radical, subversive, compassionate community of followers of Jesus.

Real Christianity is one that should go deep into the bones. It is a believe which forms the character and show others that its faith is alive, kicking and working, because a faith without works is dead. (James 2:26)

Finding a path to meet other believers in Christ

We can only hope that those who flee the traditional churches and might be disillusioned with Christianity and the church would find ways not to loose their interest in the Word of God. We express our hope that they shall not be disillusioned about God or about Jesus, or at least would like to see that they can come on the path of not letting Christendom and church put false ideas about God in front of them.

We should set ourselves apart from the traditional world and keep firm in our faith in only One God. Refused to participate in pagan ceremonies we may look strange and even be dubbed as atheists. Though it is much better not to fear human beings but to fear God and to keep to His Commandments. When we have to abstain from much of the community life — the pagan festivals, the public amusements which to Christians were shot through and through with pagan beliefs, practices, and immoralities — we may be derided as haters of the human race. But at the end of times, we do know, all be judged according to their deeds. By Christ all in the world can be saved, but to be able to go through the small gate and to enter the Kingdom of God,each individual shall have to proof he or she is worthy to enter that Kingdom of God where world-peace shall be for ever.
Let make sure that we can be partakers of that eternal pleasure and follow the lessons presented in the Holy Scriptures to ‘set us apart‘ or to make us ‘holy‘.

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Please do find to read:

  1. The Word being a quality or aspect of God Himself
  2. For those who have not the rudiments of an historical sense
  3. Compromise and accomodation
  4. Preexistence in the Divine purpose and Trinity
  5. How did the Trinity Doctrine Develop 
  6. Altered to fit a Trinity
  7. Should You Believe in the Trinity?
  8. First Century of Christianity
  9. Derided as haters of the human race
  10. Position and power
  11. Minimizing the power of God’s Force the Holy Spirit
  12. Raising digression
  13. Hellenistic influences
  14. Politics and power first priority #1
  15. Politics and power first priority #2
  16. Politics and power first priority #3 Elevation of Mary and the Holy Spirit
  17. Gutenberg’s presses, bible translators, reformation and the emergence of pilgrim separatists and English puritans during the 1500’s
  18. Gateway Films classic “God’s Outlaw”, a biography of the English Bible translator William Tyndale.
  19. Men of faith
  20. Migrants to the West #1
  21. Migrants to the West #2
  22. Migrants to the West #3
  23. Migrants to the West #4
  24. Migrants to the West #5
  25. Migrants to the West #6
  26. Migrants to the West #7
  27. Migrants to the West #8
  28. Migrants to the West #9
  29. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #1 Christian Reform
  30. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #2 Roots of Jewishness
  31. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #3 Of the earth or of God
  32. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #4 Mozaic and Noachide laws
  33. Looking to the East and the West for Truth
  34. Materialism, would be life, and aspirations
  35. Who Are Jehovah’s Witnesses?
  36. The History of Jehovah’s Witnesses (Part 1) as presented by the Jehovah Witnesses themselves
  37. The History of Jehovah’s Witnesses (Part 2) as presented by the Jehovah Witnesses themselves
  38. Why You Can Trust the Biblical Gospels
  39. The Bible Really Is God’s Inspired Word
  40. Bible Word of God, inspired and infallible
  41. Teaching Holy Scriptures in Schools
  42. Separation of church and state
  43. Manifests for believers #3 Catholic versus Protestant
  44. Christian values and voting not just a game
  45. Palestine, Israel, God’s people and democracy
  46. Faith related boycotts
  47. Right to be in the surroundings
  48. Today’s Puritans and America’s role as global peacemaker
  49. Re-Creating Community
  50. Community of believers
  51. Mission From the Margins: Anabaptism and the Crisis of Christianity
  52. Catholic Church’s demise – Roman Catholic Church Being Deconstructed – Declared Criminal
  53. The Death of Sunday Christianity
  54. Disillusioned with Christianity and the church
  55. Christianity gone haywire, and going down
  56. Bumpy road to success
  57. Victims and Seekers of Peace
  58. Things That Must Shortly Take Place
  59. Not all christians are followers of a Greco-Roman culture
  60. One Mediator between God and man
  61. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  62. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  63. Salvation, trust and action in Jesus #3 as a Christian
  64. United people under Christ
  65. Life is too precious
  66. Slave for people and God
  67. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  68. The Involvement of true discipleship
  69. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  70. Brothers in Christ
  71. Faith and works
  72. The Ecclesia in the churchsystem

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Additional reading in Dutch:

  1. Eerste Eeuw van het Christendom (en daarop volgende hoofdstukken) (and other chapters in Dutch on Bible Students about the history of Christianity)
  2. Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen #1 Abraham de aartsvader
  3. Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen #2 Broeders
  4. Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen #3 De Weg
  5. Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen #4 Volgelingen van Jezus
  6. Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen #5 Apologeten
  7. Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen #6 Constantijn de Grote
  8. Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen #7 Afstandelijken, donatisten en arianisten
  9. Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen #8 Concilie van Constantinopel
  10. Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen #9 Controverse betreft doop
  11. Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen #10 De Inquisitie
  12. Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen #11 Vredelievende waarheidzoekers
  13. Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen #12 Anabaptisten
  14. Broeders en Zusters in Christus door de eeuwen heen #13 Hutterieten of Hutteriaanse Broeders, Boheemse Broeders en Broederschap van eenheid

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  • TGC and Anabaptism – What Do We Do With It? (abnormalanabaptist.wordpress.com)
    While I agree it’s really encouraging to have a group of fellow Christians come out and say that, even in disagreement, they are willing to listen and learn from those with whom they disagree, it is our response to that revelation that gets to me.  I hear a lot of Anabaptists basically stating, perhaps not in so many words, “glad they finally see the light”.  And suddenly, it hits me: we’re just as guilty as they are.
  • The Church at the Intersection of Anabaptism and Evangelicalism (pietistschoolman.com)
    I’ve known many evangelicals who find something reinvigorating about the Anabaptist impulse, and it’s generally because (like Boyd) they’ve grown disenchanted by the fusion of faith and politics; searching for a Christ who is Victor but not warlike, they read John Howard Yoder and decide to try on Anabaptism.
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    After describing the nature of these “house churches,” Boyd affirms that it is possible to reconcile the Anabaptist understanding of ecclesiology with the evangelical phenomenon of the megachurch:

    …we don’t have to chose between embracing the church as community, on the one hand, and holding a large weekend gathering, on the other. There’s nothing intrinsically anti-kingdom about large gatherings. After all, large crowds flocked to Jesus, and the early Christians in Jerusalem met in large groups in “Solomon’s porch” (Acts 5:16-19). The key, however, is to always remind people that the primary expression of church is not the large group, but the smaller communities that come together in houses to share life, study the word, worship and minister together.

  • Christianity vs. Catholicism (briegonda.wordpress.com)
    One of the main things that I find myself explaining is the difference between Christianity and Catholicism. Is there really a define difference? The answer is yes. Being a Christian my entire life has allowed me to explore the differences and it has allowed me to have a not-so-close-minded view.Many people ask me if I’m very religious and I think this is one of the most evident differences. Catholicism focuses on strict guidelines such as confession and they use those guidelines to determine the level of religion. In Christianity, however, religion isn’t as guideline oriented. A relationship with God is the most recognized determining factor. So to answer the question of if I’m very religious, I would say, no. I have a strong relationship with God.
  • The Marketing Of Catholicism (mundabor.wordpress.com)
    One of the main concerns of the Church in the last 50 years – and I mean, even from good, orthodox priests and laymen – seems to be to make the message of Christianity attractive, or easy to digest, or such that it would appear an improvement in one’s quality of life. The idea seems to be that the world out there lures souls with the promise of fun and joy, and a list of prohibitions isn’t really the best way to attract people to give Christianity their serious consideration.
  • Catholicism: change and continuity (jessicahof.wordpress.com)
    Nothing in what I have written convicts, or even implies, that those who disagreed with John XXIII were dinosaurs or fuddie-duddies, and in thinking that the Church needed to come to terms with the modern world, John XXIII was no aligning himself with either liberalism or conservatism; he was seeking to take the mind of the church on the challenges facing it.  The idea that had it not taken place, ordinary Catholics in the pew would have somehow been hermetically-sealed off from the changes taking place in Western society in the sixties and seventies is fanciful. The Anglican and Protestant churches had no Vatican II, and what quiavideruntoculi says about vocations in the Catholic Church was true there too. All churches in the West were hit by the cultural revolution of the sixties and seventies; it would not have mattered whether there had been a Vatican II or not, Catholics would have been as exposed to these changes as those Christians in churches which had no Vatican II.
  • Lunchtime Conversations: Post-Christendom (lcileeds.wordpress.com)
    The end of Christendom where the Christian story was known and the church was central invites Christians in western culture to embrace marginality and discover fresh ways of being church and engaging in mission. While the transition from modernity to postmodernity has received a huge amount of attention the shift from Christendom to post-Christendom has not yet been fully explored.
  • Announcing a New Issue of The Covenant Quarterly on Pietism (pietistschoolman.com)
    revivalists have taken the Pietist emphasis on regeneration, or new birth, and featured it as the focus of evangelism and missionary work. While numbers of converts can be an encouraging feature, when the threshold experience becomes the focus of the evangelist or the missionary or the pastor or the parent, the genius of Pietism is profaned. Pietism was not a conversion movement in the sense of initial decision but an inward renewal movement in the sense of discipleship. Its aim was complete conversion from the inside out.
  • thoughts on the death of the Church (emwartick.wordpress.com)
    The Church is dying.  It’s terminally ill.  Perhaps it’s already dead.

    Or so I’ve heard.  I’ve heard it from professors, from church leaders, from sociologists.  Attendance is dwindling, buildings are closing, and members are getting older.  There are “not enough” 20-somethings, families with children, ethnic minorities, people who tithe, fill-in-the-blank.  Expectations are too high or too low or too vague or too specific and this, I am told, is killing the Church.

  • Wicked Popes! (christianspooksite.wordpress.com)
    Papal power was maintained by the Inquisition. The Inquisition, called the “Holy Office,” was instituted by Pope Innocent III, and perfected under the second following Pope, Gregory IX. It was the “Church Court for Detection and Punishment of Heretics.” Under it, everyone was required to inform against Heretics. Anyone suspected, was liable to torture, without knowing the name of his accuser. The proceedings were secret. The Inquisitor pronounced sentence, and the victim was turned over to Civil Authorities to be imprisoned for life — or to be burned! The victim’s property was confiscated, and divided between the Church and the State.
  • Rethinking Scripture (garretmenges.wordpress.com)
    A brief survey of the history of the LXX raises some questions about the way we view Scripture today. For example, is the LXX inspired Scripture even though it’s a translation of a more original textual tradition? If not, then are the fragments that have made it into our NT inspired? Were the scribes who translated Isaiah, for example, quickly taken up in the Spirit while contemplating how to translate the Hebrew word for “young woman” only to have the Spirit leave them shortly after the translation of that single verse?

Some one or something to fear #3 Cases, folks and outing

Fear to use a name of a ghost, person or group

5. Fear from knowing previous cases

Ghost fear

Ghost fear (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

It is not always from personal history that a person learns to fear. Regardless of whether they themselves have experienced trauma, or if they have observed the fear in others, people are aware in what happens in others and anticipate in what could happen to them when they know what happened to others in a similar situation. History has brought forth that people know how many people were teased, pestered, tormented and even killed for their love of God. Often they become worried to be put in an embarrassing situation if they would mention God or His Name. Their conscience pricks them, not having pangs of conscience, but more of the fear to become confronted with something others do not like, or would not find it ‘cool.’

6. Coming out

They should better have an uneasy conscience why they do not like to come out for those things they do believe. Because as a follower of Christ we should have a beautiful example in what Jesus did for his faith and for those people who even did not like him.

Christ the Saviour (Pantokrator), a 6th-centur...

Christ the Saviour (Pantokrator), a 6th-century encaustic icon from Saint Catherine’s Monastery, Mount Sinai. NB – slightly cut down – for full size see here (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nobody wants to be a figure of fun or made a fool of, and often it is not easy to be able to take a bit of teasing surely when we know that it easily can take on the form of bullying and going to worse.

Also to fear to be associated with loonies, conservatives, fools or lunatics or with associations or groups which are not so much liked in society.

For this reason several priests and preachers do not dare to use the Name of God. In the fifties we still could find Roman Catholic Bibles with the name Yehowah printed in it. But when a group of lay street-preachers started to put the attention more on God then on his son Jesus and the Church institutions, the Institutions themselves felt taken under fire, and wanted to bring it forth that those people using the name Jehovah were the children of the devil. But then they themselves could not use the same name as those ‘dangerous’ objectors. The growing Jehovah Witnesses became a formidable or fearsome adversary. The church institutions wanted to get rid of this opponent which tried to open the eyes of the unknowing parishioners. According to the Catholic Churches people should not read the Bible because they are not able to understand it. But now those common folk tried to get others to understand that anybody could find the Truth in the Word of God, the Bible.

7. Dangerous folks

Many institutions tried to bring a hate feeling for those ‘dangerous’ people of Jehovah, who had to be avoided at all costs. The fact that those Witnesses also dared to call at the door at the most awkward moments of the day did not make them very popular. That they also showed up at the worst moments was not in their favour. Therefore it was not difficult to have them become a subject of laughter and of hate mails.

According to several studies, when individuals are presented with fearful vs. neutral faces or being confronted with figures clothed in a certain way this triggersthe occipital cerebellar regions including the fusiform gyrus and the inferior parietal / superiortemporal gyri.[1]A fear is created by the looks of the persons. Everybody can see the Jehovah Witnesses from far away. (We probably do not have to have a picture here.)

The cognitive, and behavioural components make that several people come in to a psychological and physiological state whereby they produce worry going into anxiety, angst or in the worst case terror. The Jehovah Witnesses were considered a hazard. Nobody wanted to risk the loss of their members to such an association were everybody seemed so close to each other.They even considered the others in the group as brothers and sisters. That would make such a close relation that they would do a lot to help and protect each other.  It would be more difficult to get them away from the group than when they would stay just some individuals in a community. To make the fear greater for those people the churches found it best to say that those Witnesses of Jehovah were not only the adversaries of faith but also a dangerous sect or cult which would make that families would be broken up.


[1] Radua,Joaquim; Phillips, Mary L.; Russell, Tamara; Lawrence, Natalia; Marshall,Nicolette; Kalidindi, Sridevi; El-Hage, Wissam; McDonald, Colm et al. (2010).”Neural response to specific components of fearful faces in healthy andschizophrenic adults”. NeuroImage 49 (1): 939–946. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2009.08.030. PMID 19699306.

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Additional reading:

  1. 7000 to 20000 words spoken each day
  2. Darkness, light, burning fire, Truth and people in it
  3. Greatest single cause of atheism
  4. Breathing and growing with no heir
  5. Facing disaster fatigue
  6. Fear knocked at the door
  7. 8 fears caused by the fear of Man
  8. Walking alone?
  9. Fearing the right person
  10. Fear and protection
  11. Anxiety is the gap between the now and the later
  12. Vile language and behaviour plus little secrets
  13. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #4 Mozaic and Noachide laws
  14. Condemnation of the World and Illustration of Justification
  15. Fear not tomorrow. God is already there
  16. Do not be afraid. Good news because a Saviour has been born
  17. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #2 Calling upon the Name of God
  18. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #1 Prosperity
  19. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #3 Rejoicing in the insistence
  20. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #8 Prayer #6 Communication and manifestation
  21. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !
  22. Look for your Refuge by God
  23. Praying For What We Want or Don’t Want
  24. Prophets making excuses
  25. Would You Run?
  26. Control and change
  27. When discouraged facing opposition
  28. Only the contrite self, sick of its pretensions, can find salvation
  29. Try driving forward instead of backwards
  30. Be strong and take courage
  31. A small trouble is like a pebble
  32. Look for today
  33. Rejoicing in the day
  34. Give your worries to God
  35. God is Positive
  36. God Feeds The Birds
  37. God become master of our passions
  38. No fear in love
  39. Joy: Foundation for a Positive Life
  40. Wondering
  41. Eternal Word that tells everything
  42. Power in the life of certain
  43. Being sure of their deliverance
  44. Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news
  45. Focus on Jehovah’s Witnesses
  46. Focus on Charles Taze Russell
  47. Charles Taze Russell never claimed to have found a new religion, or a new church.
  48. Bringing Good News into the world
  49. A small company of Jesus’ footstep follower
  50. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  51. Those who call the Christadelphians a cult
  52. Breaking up with a cult
  53. Being religious has benefits even in this life

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  • God’s Name is Jehovah, not ‘Yahweh’ (dontbefooled666.wordpress.com)
    When one does more research, they find that there are a multitude of Biblical names of places and people–even names of kings–that have meanings that center around God. These names begin with Jeho in English (Yeho in Hebrew) and some even include God’s whole name: Jehovah.
  • “Do not be Anxious.” An unrealistic expectation? (God’s Law and the Christian Pt. 3) (newjerusalem.net.au)
    If the standard of legalistic righteousness of the Pharisees was above most people’s heads, Jesus comes and shows that the standards of the law are much higher even than that – they are beyond the ceiling!
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    Jesus’ teaching on the Law shows me up. He tells me that lustful thoughts are adultery, so that I will see that I am an adulterer, filled with lust and ungodly desires; he tells me that anger is murder, so that I will see that I am a murderous, selfish person who lives for myself instead of others; He tells me my ‘spiritual life’ must be simple and private, so that I will see that I am craving the attention and approval of others in order to affirm my own sense of self righteousness.
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    Paul’s statement in Philippians 4:6 ‘…do not be anxious about anything…’ does not stand on it’s own; it is sandwiched between ‘The Lord is at hand’ and ‘the Peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.’ Again, the character and faithfulness of God gives us reason to obey His call to trust and not be anxious.
    +
    Instead of listing the nature of our circumstances and concluding that all will be disastrous, we need to list the nature of our Father and His faithful and righteous acts so that we will conclude that He is good and can be trusted to world for good in whatever may be around the corner, be it gladness or grief.
  • Preaching the Gospel as Gospel: When Law Becomes Torah (afkimel.wordpress.com)
    There is an old story about a Lutheran pastor who, after a long ministry of rightly distinguishing law and gospel, announced on his death bed: “I shall most certainly go to heaven, as I cannot remember ever having done a good work.” The story touches on the great fear we all have about the preaching of the gospel in the performative mode of unconditional promise—it seems to make good works and personal holiness irrelevant. During his lifetime Catholic apologists violently hurled the antinomian accusation against Martin Luther, and he struggled to express why it did not apply to the reforming doctrine.
    +
    if the preacher is never accused of antinomianism, this probably means he is not preaching the authentic gospel at all.
    +
    Most preachers therefore prefer the carrot-stick approach, which is simply the way the world works. First tell the congregation that following Jesus is the good and right thing to do, with outstanding rewards in heaven and maybe some perks in the present; and then threaten them with punishment if they fail to comply (fire and brimstone works pretty well). In other words, preachers and congregations prefer the preaching of the law. It’s what comes natural because it is natural: law structures our fallen existence.
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    Proclaiming gospel in the performative mode of unconditional promise can be frightening, both for the preacher and the congregation. Exhortation is so much safer. It maintains the status quo.
  • A Satisfied Spirit Fears Not (asatisfiedspirit.com)
    Throughout scripture we are told not to be afraid.  Why is that?  God knew, when He put Adam and Eve out of the garden, that fear would be a part of everyday life.  So then what do we fear?  For me,  it’s something will happen to someone I love when they are not near me.  Or, there won’t be enough money for everything we need.  Or, not enough time for what I need to get done.  Or, someone will not like how I look.
    +
    I’m told the only way to conquer my fear is to face it.  Perhaps so but the Word says I don’t have to face it alone.  God is always with me and with Him all the the Angel Armies of Heaven.  Why would I fear with that at my Protector’s disposal?
  • The Right To Be Wrong About Everything (isylumn.wordpress.com)
    everything we know about the universe may be wrong. And Science will correct itself even if men must admit there truly is a Higher Power.Until then and the perspective never, men must question everything they know. So, what if everything we know about the universe is wrong? What then? Wild possibilities feed verdant imaginations. One would have to dream as a child to even contemplate answers. Indeed, the question itself sounds as if asked by a kid in grade school.
  • Man fires 19 rounds at Jehovah’s Witnesses (huffingtonpost.com)
    After telling a group of three Jehovah’s Witnesses to get lost, Centeron, Ark., resident John Baldwin, 35, fired about 19 shots at the group as they were leaving, police said.
  • “Ye Are My Witnesses, Saith Jehovah Baldwin: Arkansas Man Arrested For Firing Shots At Jehovah’s Witnesses Who Approached Him On His Lawn (jonathanturley.org)
    Jehovah’s Witnesses in Arkansas will soon be called to be witnesses of a different kind for John Baldwin, 35. Baldwin is charged with aggravated assault after firing 13 times at the Jehovah’s Witnesses who approached him in his front yard.
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    I guess Baldwin is another one of those “responsible guns owners” we have all been hearing about. The thought that this man could even think that firing shots at these women was appropriate and acceptable conduct makes my blood run cold. He should be put away for attempted murder and they should file a law suit and take his house. While justice in the next world may be the Lord’s Baldwin deserves a little earthly justice as soon as possible!
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses and Pedophilia (alexjamesisnotmyrealname.wordpress.com)
    JWs insist on what they call the “two witness” rule, meaning that there must be two witnesses to any crime for them to move forward with any type of action.
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    Child sex assault rarely if ever has a second witness to the crime.  However, there is no reason that Jehovah’s Witnesses cannot consider it as having happened “in a field.”  I would like an explanation as to why they ignore this scriptural principle and continue to insist that nothing be done to investigate allegations of child sexual assaults in their midst if there is not this second witness to the crime.
  • Rosary No More!! Why I Stopped Praying The Rosary!! (Testimony of a Former Roman Catholic) (soulrefuge.org)
    I write this post as a former Roman Catholic, and as one who has forever stopped praying the Roman Catholic Rosary. For those of you who are not familiar with the Rosary, the Rosary is a set of beads, each bead representing a prayer. The majority of those beads represent a prayer well known as the “Hail Mary” and there are 53 “Hail Mary’s” on each bead set of 5 decades. There are also larger beads which would represent the Lord’s prayer (Our Father) but there are only 6 of them on the rosary. There is a crucifix on the end, and the “Apostles Creed” would be said on that, and there are also “Glory Be” prayers that are said on that Rosary.
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    The Lord Jesus Christ set me free from the darkness of Roman Catholicism, and it’s false Gospel over 20 years ago, and people are being seduced in our day, like never before! There is very little resistance to Rome, in the pulpits in our time, even though many know Rome preaches a false gospel. Many are afraid of offending other “big name Christians” whose ministries are known around the world. Could it be that they are receiving funding from the compromisers, and do not want to lose that funding, should they speak out?