8 Reasons Christian Holidays Should Not Be Observed

Those who tried to reform the church in the 16th and 17th century did an effort to go back to the biblical Truth and to the early followers of Jesus.

For centuries there had always been true followers of Christ, who did not believe in a triune god and did not want to partake in the heathen festivals of their region.

The pastors who came from the Roman Catholic church, like Luther and Calvin, did an effort to bring the focus back onto the Word of God, but never managed to go so far with their Reformation that their followers would come to agree to only keep to the days given by God. Today we can only notice that lots of their hopes and teachings are gone away, and that we can see again protestant churches with statues or graven images and traditional rites and festivals.

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To remember

The writers who try  to promote Presbyterian perspectives, as summarized in the Westminster Standards bring a summary of Reasons Against Holy Days, one of the five points of dispute written by David Calderwood and the General Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland in 1618 when King James forced the Kirk to adopt the Five Articles of Perth.

 

1. “Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work” (Ex. 20:9).

six days of work = a command or as permission

some feel they have a moral right to have the day off from their employer + wrongly think the employer would be infringing on their Christian liberty if forced to work on one of these holidays

2.  Only God can make a day holy

Man made holy days + ceremonies = > Assigning spiritual significance to something Scripture doesn’t = epitome of will worship (Col. 2:23), i.e. idolatry.

Human beings have no authority to sanctify a day,

we must worship God how He has told us He wants to be worshiped

Unbiblical ceremonies = lighting of candles, waving of palm branches, + certain decorations with intended religious significance = violate Regulative Principle of Worship + subvert headship of Christ over His Church.

Occasional days of public fasting or thanksgiving

lawful + necessary, upon special emergent occasions, to separate a day or days for public fasting or thanksgiving

3. No one but God has ever appointed a holy day

Purim

= days of civil mirth + gladness > not a religious holiday, rather = civil celebration

The Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah)

commemoration of rededication of the second Temple in Jerusalem during the Maccabean Revolt in the inter-Testamental period

> unduly instituted + ungroundedly

Pharisees added many festivals without divine warrant > feasts of the Tekuphas (equinoxes) and the Feast of Xylophoria, <= Feast of Dedication = Pharisaical tradition.

Jesus’ presence in Jerusalem during the Feast of Dedication

4. Annual holy days were part of the Ceremonial Law and abrogated with it

observation of days served to the people of God for a typical use and a rudiment of religion.

To substitute other days in place of the Jewish, a Christian Pascha [Easter] and Pentecost for the Jewish, is but to substitute rudiments + elements to the Jewish, and not to chase away, but to change the Jewish holy days…

Jews had no anniversary days

observation of anniversary days = pedagogical, rudimentary + elementary, + consequently ceremonial

5. Jesus Christ has not instituted any other holy day but the Lord’s Day

no Christian holy days other than the Lord’s Day, the Christian Sabbath

Holy days in the Early Church

conflicting accounts in the Early Church about where Pascha, or Easter, comes from.

Some reported that Philip + John kept the 14th day of the month (ed. = 14 Nisan), and others that Peter kept the first Lord’s Day after the 14th day of the month, which turned into a long lasting controversy.

6. Specific dates

If God wanted religious festivities for events of Christ’s life = would have recorded exact days of the year that those events took place

7. Even things indifferent, when they are abused and polluted with superstition, ought to be abolished.

Things indifferent, when abused + polluted with superstition, ought to be abolished

 

8. That which has lawfully been abolished cannot be received and put in practice again

After the attainments of the Protestant Reformation, wherein the Reformed Church cast off the superstitious, idolatrous, and arbitrary rituals and holidays of the Papal Antichrist, how can we justify slipping back into a lukewarm position?

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Preceding

Followers, protestors and reformers

Trying to Get Rid of Holy Days for a Long Time

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Further reading

  1. Holy Day
  2. High Holy Days 1
  3. High Holy Days 2
  4. The High Holy Days
  5. Just a holy day – not a holiday
  6. What is a holy day of obligation? When are they?
  7. Why Are There Holy Days of Obligation?

Purely Presbyterian

8 reasons christian holidays should not be observedReformed churches have historically been opposed to observing man made holy days such as Christmas and Easter. Even the Reformed churches on the continent, which left some holy day observance to Christian liberty in some of their confessions, did so because of either compromise with the stubborn people for the sake of further Reformation, or because the civil magistrates forced them to (c.f. John Calvin and Holy Days). Gisbertus Voetius, a delegate to the Synod of Dordt, relates that the Dutch Church had been trying to get rid of holy days for a long time, but the allowance of holy days by the synod was “imposed from the outside, burdensome to the churches, in and of itself in an absolute sense unwelcome; to which Synods were summoned, compelled, and coerced to receive, bring in, and admit, as in the manner of a transaction, in order to prevent…

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A popular television programme and a new website

Question Time (TV series)

Question Time (TV series) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Who does not know the popular topical debate television BBC programme “Question Time” based on BBC Radio 4‘s  debate radio programme Any Questions?, which is usually broadcast on Thursday evenings on BBC One after the late news (and slightly later in Northern Ireland). Repeats are usually broadcast in the following days on BBC Two and BBC Parliament. You can also catch up with previous episodes via BBC iPlayer, and listen to the most recent debate in full via BBC Radio 5 live.

David Dimbleby who has presented Panorama, 24 Hours, People and Power, The Dimbleby Talk-In and This Week Next Week, The White Tribe of Africa and An Ocean Apart, A Picture of Britain, How We Built Britain, and Seven Ages of Britain.

In front of a live audience with a single take recording, precisely as if it were broadcast live, David Dimbleby as a major presenter of current affairs programmes and documentaries for BBC television knows to catch his public.

In 2007 the BBC commissioned a new programme called The Big Questions, which has a similar format to Question Time but focuses on ethical and religious issues. It is broadcast on BBC One on Sunday mornings between 10am and 11am and usually presented by Nicky Campbell. Both programmes are produced by Mentorn Media. Each week, in the faith and ethics television programme replacing The Heaven and Earth Show as the BBC’s religious discussion programme, panel and audience debate three ethical, moral or religious topics which featured in the week’s news.

In those shows you might have found notable atheists, like Richard Dawkins, converts to Roman Catholicism like Ann Widdecombe, but also Imam Ibrahim Mogra, Muslim commentator Mohammed Ansar, Scottish philosopher John Joseph Haldane, Bible scholar Francesca Stavrakopoulou, Lord Carey, Jonathan Bartley, Peter Hitchens, Alexander Goldberg, Ian McMillan, Andrew Pinsent, Stephen Law, Tommy Robinson, Michael Nazir-Ali, Samuel Westrop and Decca Aitkenhead.

Questiontime-Vragenuurtje website: 01 December 2016All those big names you probably would not find on the simple new website Qusetiontime-Vragenuurtje from ‘Flanders Fields’.
But at that place there is also made time free for asking questions and is taken time to look at certain or possible answers on many questions humans can have in their head. It is hoped for that several people shall find their way to that place to come up with more questions and answers and would not mind sharing their information on certain subjects around our way of life, ethics, faith and religion. It shall look at monotheistic as well as polytheistic-religions.

To start of the site looked first at the beginning of everything, wondering what caused everything to start coming into existence. It questions if there is something or somewhat or even Some One behind it all. Looking at man and how he tried to find explanations for everything the site can not be blind for the worship of or belief in multiple deities, which are usually assembled into a pantheon of gods and goddesses, along with their own religions and rituals. When looking at history we also can find that there where doubts if there different gods responsible for the different things we can see, or if there was just One Creator God responsible for the Big Beginning or was there just a Big Bang from nothing?

In the 7th and 10th article is discussed how there are many primal ancient gods or creator gods worshipped in the world. When looking at history we can see many peoples have chosen to have mother goddesses and father gods, but we must also be aware that from ancient times there have been people who choose only to believe in One existent Divine True Creator God, Jehovah. It seems that many people had and have an other perception of God.

One of the many tri-une gods peoples worship or worshipped. One of the gods which is spoken about also in the Bible. “The Lord” (הבעל, Ha Baʿal) Baal, Baäl or properly Baʿal, a Phoenician deity and false gods.

Surprisingly also by people who worship one God there  are different names to be found. The most known and worshipped ‘singular’ gods being Yahweh and Jehovah, though for the name Yawheh we must be well aware that there was in ancient times (Iron time: 1200-900 BCE) also the pagan god with that name who was part of a pantheon of Canaanite gods. the same as we may find a tri-une god by several Christians, there have been other bi-une, tri-une and four-une gods.

At the site there shall be looked at how in most religions which accept polytheism, the different gods and goddesses are representations of forces of nature or ancestral principles, and can be viewed either as autonomous or as aspects or emanations of a creator God or transcendental absolute principle (monistic theologies), which manifests immanently in nature (panentheistic and pantheistic theologies).

You are kindly invited to come and have a look at the new site, where you are also welcome to have your say.

 

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Find additional reading

  1. A Place for Questions
  2. New platform for questions and answers
  3. The very very beginning 1 Creating Gods

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Further reading

  1. Six Things you might not Know about BBC Question Time 
  2. Question Time event returns
  3. Question Time could be interesting today
  4. Continuing futility | Question time
  5. Question Time Wrath
  6. Well…
  7. Growing old gracefully
  8. Is It Just Me: Horrified After Question Time?
  9. Don’t go to bed angry
  10. Question Time from Stirling.
  11. Question – Who do you look up to?
  12. Can I Question Time?
  13. Starting something futile | Question Time
  14. The Big British Ed Debate: Grammar vs Comp
  15. Question Time
  16. Created
  17. Sunday Short & Sweet – The Beautiful Glory of God
  18. Created in God’s image
  19. In the Image of God?
  20. In God’s Image
  21. Nuggets – God’s Image
  22. My self image vs God’s image of me…
  23. Self image and God image
  24. Our Image
  25. Image of God
  26. There is a difference between God’s “image” and God’s “likeness”.
  27. I Am God’s Impeccable Image
  28. Who Is This God?
  29. Who Is the Real God?
  30. What is God Really Like?
  31. Pagan Gods – The Deities of Powerful Ancient Civilizations
  32. God the Mother
  33. The True God
  34. The One True God?
  35. Christmas Without All The Trimmings
  36. America Worships Pagan Gods
  37. A Christian Testimony and the Norse Gods
  38. “Anti Christ Beliefs and Christian Beliefs Do Not Mix” by Dr.J.
  39. Eve is Mother-in-Heaven
  40. Rawhead Rex: An Answer to my Pagan Prayers
  41. Multiple Gods, Multiple Practices
  42. Using Your Gifts for the Gods
  43. Is Getting Tattoos a Sin against God?
  44. Debunking Anti-Christ Rhetoric Part 1-B
  45. Does Scripture Support Substitution Theology? Part B
  46. “And Yet… ” Part 1, Playing with paganism
  47. Is Hinduism the Truth?
  48. Mormons Have More gods than Hindus
  49. A Fearful Secret
  50. The New Places Of Worship
  51. The gods of our society
  52. Forgetting the Glory of God
  53. Penalty for Serving False Gods

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Displeasures and Actions of the Almighty God

A nice resume of what we have to remember to do and what we should not or may not do.

We should be much more aware of what pleases God and of what He dislikes.

People much too often forget that our attitude to the Divine Creator and His creatures is very important. Our mind shall be the touchstone.

Finding the right balance in our life is very important. In our life we shall have to make the right choices, being aware of what are “Abominations to God” and what His regulations or “Commands to the Believers” are.

To be able to “Abstain from all appearances of evil” we do have to recognise “evil” and this will demand looking at things in the right way, and to make sure we do not fall for the wrong and human doctrines but keep to Biblical doctrines.
Beware of covetousness, backsliding and treacherous false teachers and giving preference to please human beings instead of pleasing God and laying up treasures in heaven, for your entrance in the Kingdom of God.

Therefore let us always look at the Commands of God, who does not want any other gods before Him and does not want any any graven image of Him. His request to love your God with all your heart requires you to worship only One True God, the God of Abraham, and not a threeheaded god or any-other god or saint. Only the God of Israel you should worship with all your soul, and with all your might.

We also may not forget to look at the Counterfeits like the many false worships we see in this world. At the same time we should be fully alert for the false Christ’s, false apostles and false ministers who preach a false gospel. But we also should be at the lookout for false Christians, who are those who twist the words of Christ and do not want to believe what Jesus himself and Jesus his heavenly Father say about themselves.

Lots of people love to see special things, like wonder-works and we can find lots of preachers who present themselves as miracle workers. Be careful not to be carried away by their nice or very theatrical words and actions.

Please do stay away from false commandments, false doctrines and false religion, not bringing false prayer and going along with false religious teachers, following false prophets, creating for yourself false or wrong Excuses.

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Christian Articles

People turn their backs on God’s method of salvation and take to themselves human methods. This action will incur the displeasure of the Almighty God and bring on human judgment and destruction.

The following lists are some of the things that find displeasure with God:

Abominations to God

1.     The evil-minded person Prov. 3:22; 11:20
2.     A false balance Prov. 11:1
3.     The sacrifices of the wicked Prov. 15:8; 21:27
4.     The thoughts of the wicked Prov. 15:26
5.     The justification of the wicked and the condemnation of the just Prov. 17:15
6.     A proud look Prov. 6:17
7.     A lying tongue Prov. 6:17; 12:22
8.     Hands that shed innocent blood Prov. 6:17
9.     A heart that devises wicked imaginations Prov. 6:18
10.     Feet that are swift in running to mischief Prov. 6:18
11.     A false witness Prov. 6:19
12.     One who sows discord among brethren Prov. 6:19

Commands to the Believers

1.     Abstain from all appearances of evil. 1…

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An anarchistic reading of the Bible (2)—Creation and what follows

Whilst there may certainly be nothing sacred or “God-ordained” about the modern nation-state, lots of people do claim the connection of their state with the God of their Christian faith. Lots of those claiming to be Christian do not notice they themselves made themselves an own faith which in many cases has gone far away from the leader Christ Jesus his teachings. Even worse many of the conservative Christians and extreme right people have twisted so much the biblical teachings they do not see straight any more.

Lots of people in the so called democratic countries would like to build up their country to what they call to be a free nation, though they want to put a lot of limitations to whom may enter and to what others may believe.
A very good example of such deformation of the mind is the United States of America where there are some citizens who are totally convinced that it is their own home country, not recognising they themselves came from immigrants, thinking their laws should be build on their restricted view of the Bible, ignoring in a certain way the idea of freedom of the Pilgrims who founded their country.

Americans, convinced that the only state they have does not belong to the original locals, redskins or Indians, neither that it belongs to the Divine Creator, are convinced only they can work, according to their measures, to make ‘their state’ the most just and life-enhancing state it can be.
They are also convinced they should also work against their state as strongly as possible when it is unjust and undermines life. Though they often forget which measures or rules they would consider to be the just, righteous and most right to choose for.

Perhaps they can use an anarchist critique of the state and an anarchist affirmation of the human capacity for self-organizing to help to resist the undermining and, even more, to help them as they seek to construct a well-functioning society.

But most of all I would advice those who call themselves Christian to take up again the Bible and to go through it thoroughly.
All people interested in building up a community which can leave together in peace,is better to take up the manual given by the Supreme Writer and Divine Creator of all.

We can approach the Bible as a storybook and see it as providing a loosely coherent message, amidst a great deal of diversity, but than we shall miss out a lot of wisdom provide in it and would not be able so much to see our own stupidities and the stupidities of our governments who do not want to learn from the past, having the past repeating over and over again.

When we look at the Bereshith, the book of the Beginnings brings us the evolution of all things. Lots of conservative Christians do want to take its writing as a literal presentation from day to day, but it was never intended to be so. Moses neither the Client to write, wanted to present humanity with a factual historical scientist into depth account of what happened throughout the years of this universe.
The very beginning of the Bible provides much important information about the Bible as a whole, about the cosmology of the whole, about the character of the God seen to be central to the entire story, and about the relationships between humankind and this God.

Those people taking up the Bible, the infallible Word of God, should remember that the tale told in that Book of books, is to bring us knowledge about our own beings, our own self, how and why we are and how humanity develops.

In this Best-seller of all times, the One giving His Voice, the One Who asked to have His Words written down, This Creator God speaks of His Creation, which includes not only the human beings (male and female) being created in His own image, but also all the things He gave under dominion of those human beings (plants and animals). Though man could make use of it and could give it names, it has made a mess of it, and has done dishonour to the Creator of it. Too many have forgotten that humanity is commissioned to care for the rest of creation as God’s stewards. This is one of the good reasons lots of people should again or for the first time start reading the Bible to find out what their position on this planet is and what they have as task to do to come to a nice good peaceable world.

The Bible tells us what went wrong in the past and how the relationship between God and man became troubled. We do have to find ways to restore that relationship between God and humanity which is not one of domination, command-and-obedience. Yes it is rather a relationship of like with like. God has given several man of God to lead us and to show us the right way to develop. The prophet and master rabbi Jeshua (Jesus Christ) is the most important one to follow. after so much time that the people still did not come to understand the Torah, Jesus came to clarify it once again and to show the Way to God. though Jesus is the Way, he did not want to do his own will nor wants us to do only his will, neither to make him God or to worship him. He wants us to worship and to pray to the same God he prayed to, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, Who is also the God of him (Jesus) and his disciples.

We are told to put on the armour of Christ and to become like Jesus, and to put on the armour of God becoming one with God like Jesus is one with God. Though God is the Most High and even Jesus could not do anything without his heavenly Father, we also shall never be able to do anything without God allowing it to happen. But we are given the words of Christ and the words of the other prophets to help us to find the right way, trying to transform ourselves by the teachings of the master teacher and by the words of the very different books brought together in the Canonical Bible.

We as humans created in the image of God are also by that Creator asked to be like God. And, perhaps even more importantly, the picture here is that all humanity shares in this divine image — kingly, perhaps, but in a strongly egalitarian sense. As well, human beings are given power and responsibility.

The biggest problem is we all are responsible for our own choice and for our own actions. There is nobody else to blame for what we ourselves decide to follow.
It is up to us to take up the Book of books, to believe in it and to follow up freely its advice and wisdom.

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To remember:

to avoid the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (2:17) =  restriction >  arbitrary rule from a dominating God intended to prevent human enlightenment? => Such an interpretation contradict much of the surrounding story + much of what follows in the Bible.

restriction = symbolizing innate human limitations.

human beings seek to know + use that knowledge to dominate creation => will devolve into power struggles and develop hierarchies

To avoid such a dynamic =>  to step back from desiring too much “knowledge,” to accept limits, and recognize to live in trust.

Adam and Eve

Adam and Eve (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“temptation” to violate restriction = too strong => Adam and Eve break the close connection between themselves and God.

coming from human side — after they eat the forbidden fruit, God still seeks to hang around with them in the Garden

humans hide from God (3:8) = they become ashamed of their nakedness.

consequences of this turn toward disharmony = establishment of “enmity” between Adam and Eve (3:15) and of Adam as “ruler” over Eve (3:16).

Not God’s will

new tensions and struggles = characterize human life.

rest of story = God’s work among humanity to overcome this “enmity” and proclivity toward “rulership.”

“fall”= affirmation of fundamental character of human peaceableness and responsiveness to God = complicated by human freedom.

God gives humanity potential to turn away as a key part of basic loving nature of the relationships +> turning away has consequences.

fatalistic interpretation has underwritten power politics over the centuries — the “fallenness” of humanity used as an excuse for a politics of centralized, coercive power.

human proclivity to exercise power in dominating ways = target in story of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11.  = inclination to centralize human power and to create a “oneness” that serves centralized power.

“scattering” Babel-dwellers (3:4, 8, 9), God seeks to create the conditions for a different kind of oneness — human unity respecting diversity, decentralizing power, based on mutual respect.

rest of the Bible’s story describes long, tenuous process of such a oneness being established.

human beings being gifted through God’s Spirit to connect despite their differences in languages, points to the type of oneness God endorses.

God’s healing strategy

genealogy that will connect Noah with the founding of God’s chosen people, we meet the human founders of the Hebrew peoplehood.

God creates something new out of barreness + promises descendants, beyond counting, and the agents of blessing for “all the families of the earth” (12:3).

important intervention of God = vocation God gives Abram, Sarai, and their descendants = God’s response to what happened in Eden, the story of the Flood, and the Tower of Babel => God will bring healing, but it will be patient, non-coercive, based on love and not on domination.

Founding ancestor of God’s chosen people = far from being a king or powerful ruler.

God’s work to bring healing to creation = not linked with territoriality => no geographical kingdom and no human king.

The method for doing God’s work in the world is “blessing” and this work is intended to encompass “all the families of the earth.”

We will have to follow the rest of the story to understand better the political implications of this starting point. But we should notice right away the combination of a lack of state-centeredness and the optimism about the possibilities of this “blessing” spreading widely without domination.

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Additional readings:

  1. What is life?
  2. Leaving the Old World to find better pastures
  3. Men of faith
  4. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #1 Christian Reform
  5. Right to be in the surroundings
  6. Creator and Blogger God 2 Image and likeness
  7. Creator and Blogger God 5 Things to tell
  8. God wants to be gracious to you
  9. The giving and protecting God
  10. Testify of the things heard
  11. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !
  12. A secret to be revealed
  13. Humility and the Fear of the Lord
  14. No fear in love
  15. If you want to go far in life
  16. Being of good courage running the race
  17. Wisdom lies deep
  18. God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supplies
  19. God should be your hope
  20. Your New Job Description — Bless!
  21. Count your blessings
  22. There can only be hope when there is a will to be and say “I am”

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  • American Pride: What Does the Bible Say? (endtimesprophecyreport.com)
    Throughout its short 230+ years existence, the country known as the United States of America has specialized in turning vice into virtue.  Exhibit A?

    Americans teaching that pride is a much-desired quality.

    “American Pride”: it’s on the airwaves; it’s taught in the schools; it’s preached from the pulpits.

  • Is This What US Interviewing Officers In The Embassy Go Through? (thechroniclesofrenard.blogspot.com)
    The experience of getting a United States visa in order to visit the United States of America can be quite challenging for a lot of people in The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

    Here is a humorous video about those interesting experiences.

  • Muslim Americans Insist Students Were Killed Because of Faith (voanews.com)
    The Obama Administration released a statement late Friday about the killing of three Muslim students this week in North Carolina. In the statement US president Barack Obama said “No one in the United States of America should ever be targeted because of who they are, what they look like, or how they worship.” American Muslim leaders agree and are urging authorities to label the shooting deaths a hate crime. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
  • Akin Osuntokun: The winner takes all election (dailypost.ng)
    Politics is inherently conflict-ridden with a dual and contradictory potential to either serve as a conflict resolution mechanism or generate a momentum for the escalation of conflict to crisis and ultimately to catastrophe.

    The election of Barack Obama, the first African-American, to the office of the President of the United States of America (USA) is unique and indicative in several respects. It was a veritable indication of how far America has gone in functional socio-political integration and positive adaptation of social diversity. Yet it equally brought in its wake the manifestation of the negative potential of politics to serve as a predictor and harbinger of conflict and crisis.

  • United States Corporation & The united, “States of America” . . use this to help people understand! It is very important information! ~J (gunnygbb2.wordpress.com)
    This film explains the difference between the, “united States of America” which is a Republic, created by the people, and for the protections and freedoms of the people; and, a corporation called “The United States Of America”, which is a Corporation of the “District of Columbia”; Titled, “The United States Of America” this corporation was founded in 1871″.

Thinking Pacifism

Ted Grimsrud—February 2, 2015

This is the second in a series of posts.

In this survey of some biblical themes looked at from an anarchistic angle, I will not be real precise in my use of “anarchistic.” I’ll be talking about a sensibility more than a full-fledged political philosophy. The key “anarchistic” motifs I will focus on will be a strong suspicion toward centralized social power, especially kingdoms and empires, and an optimism about human possibilities for self-organizing and decentralized social power.

And I will be reading the Bible in fairly naïve and straightforward ways. I approach the Bible as a storybook and see it as providing a loosely coherent message, amidst a great deal of diversity. I will focus more on the loose coherence than the diversity—largely due to a desire to find usable guidance in the Bible. At the same time, in reading the Bible more as…

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

Saint Gabriel archangel

Saint Gabriel archangel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The opening of the Quran, starting with the prayer:

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

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

Shakir translates:

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

Ysufufali and other translaters give:

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

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

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

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

In verse 7 the Muslims often add themselves:

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

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

اهدنا الصراط المستقيم

Guide us to the straight path: — Abdel Haleem

Guide us along the straight way— — Ahmad Zaki

Guide us on the straight path, — Ali Quli Qarai

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

وَآتَيْنَاهُمَا الْكِتَابَ الْمُسْتَبِينَ

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

وَهَدَيْنَاهُمَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ

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

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

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

وَمَا آتَيْنَاهُمْ مِنْ كُتُبٍ يَدْرُسُونَهَا ۖ وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَيْهِمْ قَبْلَكَ مِنْ نَذِيرٍ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

+

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

Find the introduction to this series:

Public not informed enough about Jihad terrorism in Belgium

 Quran versus older Holy Writings of Divine Creator

Notes:

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

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

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

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

++

Additional reading:

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

+++

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

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

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

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

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

  • Humbleness in Prayer (jamkarani.wordpress.com)

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

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

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

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

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

    أنا عندَ ظنِّ عبدي بي

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

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

  • The Prayer (jamkarani.wordpress.com)

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

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

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

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

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

Jerusalem and a son’s kingdom

The Name of the God and of the City written upon the pillar

In the inspired Revelation, the apostle John records information concerning the “new Jerusalem.”

12 “‘The one who conquers—I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God, and he will by no means go out from it anymore, and I will write upon him the name of my God+ and the name of the city of my God, the New Jerusalem+ that descends out of heaven from my God, and my own new name.+ (Revelation 3:12)

I also saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God+ and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.+ (Revelation 21:2)

The apostle Paul speaks about a holy city and Mount Zion:

22 But you have approached a Mount Zion+ and a city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem,+ and myriads* of angels(Hebrews 12:22)

God fearing people and their land

After Babylon was overthrown in 539 B.C.E King Cyrus of Persia issued a decree enabling God-fearing Jews to return to Jerusalem and restore Jehovah’s worship. (Ezra 1:2-4) In 537 B.C.E., the first returning Jews were back in their homeland. Jehovah once again showed favor to Jerusalem, as is reflected in the warmth of his prophetic declaration:

“For the sake of Zion I shall not keep still, and for the sake of Jerusalem I shall not stay quiet until her righteousness goes forth just like the brightness, and her salvation like a torch that burns.” (Isaiah 62:1.)

Pope's Road leading up to Mount Zion (Jerusalem)

Pope’s Road leading up to Mount Zion (Jerusalem) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 537 B.C.E., Jehovah fulfilled his promise to restore Zion, or Jerusalem. Her inhabitants experienced salvation by him, and their righteousness shone brightly. Later, though, they again drifted away from pure worship. Eventually, they rejected Jesus as the Messiah, and Jehovah finally abandoned them as his chosen nation.

42 Jesus said to them: “Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘The stone that the builders rejected, this has become the chief cornerstone.*+ This has come from Jehovah,* and it is marvelous in our eyes’?+ 43 This is why I say to you, the Kingdom of God will be taken from you and be given to a nation producing its fruits. 44 Also, the person falling on this stone will be shattered.+ As for anyone on whom it falls, it will crush him.”+ (Matthew 21:42-43-44)

37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the killer of the prophets and stoner of those sent to her+—how often I wanted to gather your children together the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings! But you did not want it.+ 38 Look! Your house is abandoned to you.*+ 39 For I say to you, you will by no means see me from now until you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in Jehovah’s* name!’”+ (Matthew 23:37-38-39)

The true light that gives light to every sort of man was about to come into the world.+ 10 He was in the world,+ and the world came into existence through him,+ but the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own home, but his own people did not accept him. 12 However, to all who did receive him, he gave authority to become God’s children,+ because they were exercising faith in his name.+ 13 And they were born, not from blood or from a fleshly will or from man’s will, but from God.+ (John 1:9-13)

A new nation to be born

Jehovah caused a new nation, “the Israel of God,” to be born. This new nation became his special people, and in the first century, its members zealously preached the good news throughout the then-known world.

16 As for all those who walk orderly by this rule of conduct, peace and mercy be upon them, yes, upon the Israel of God.+ (Galatians 6:16)

23 provided, of course, that you continue in the faith,+ established on the foundation+ and steadfast,+ not being shifted away from the hope of that good news that you heard and that was preached in all creation under heaven.+ Of this good news I, Paul, became a minister.+ (Colossians 1:23)

Falling away from true religion

Already soon after the death of Jeshua, Jesus Christ, several opportunists saw chance to get more interest and followers by pretending they were followers of that popular Nazarene, who was considered to be the Messiah. The apostles saw everywhere preachers bringing false teachings. They warned their followers for the dangers of such false teachers. But those false teachers attracted more people by their allowance of traditions and popular ideas from Roman and Greek culture which looked more interesting or captivating than the ‘dry’ Christian teaching which left no opportunity to worship other gods, nor dream of an afterlife.

Unhappily, following the death of the apostles, there was a falling away from true religion. As a result, an apostate form of Christianity developed, as found today in Christendom.

24 He presented another illustration to them, saying: “The Kingdom of the heavens may be likened to a man who sowed fine seed in his field. 25 While men were sleeping, his enemy came and oversowed weeds in among the wheat and left. 26 When the stalk sprouted and produced fruit, then the weeds also appeared. 27 So the slaves of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow fine seed in your field? How, then, does it have weeds?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy, a man, did this.’+ The slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go out and collect them?’ 29 He said, ‘No, for fear that while collecting the weeds, you uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and in the harvest season, I will tell the reapers: First collect the weeds and bind them in bundles to burn them up; then gather the wheat into my storehouse.’”+ … 36 Then after dismissing the crowds, he went into the house. His disciples came to him and said: “Explain to us the illustration of the weeds in the field.” 37 In response he said: “The sower of the fine seed is the Son of man; 38 the field is the world.+ As for the fine seed, these are the sons of the Kingdom, but the weeds are the sons of the wicked one,+39 and the enemy who sowed them is the Devil. The harvest is a conclusion of a system of things,* and the reapers are angels. 40 Therefore, just as the weeds are collected and burned with fire, so it will be in the conclusion of the system of things.*+41 The Son of man will send his angels, and they will collect out from his Kingdom all things that cause stumbling and people who practice lawlessness, 42 and they will pitch them into the fiery furnace.+ There is where their weeping and the gnashing of their teeth will be. 43 At that time the righteous ones will shine as brightly as the sun+ in the Kingdom of their Father. Let the one who has ears listen. (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43)

29 I know that after my going away oppressive wolves will enter in among you+ and will not treat the flock with tenderness, 30 and from among you yourselves men will rise and speak twisted things to draw away the disciples after themselves.+ (Acts 20:29, 30)

Renewed earth and heavens foretold

Long before Christ Isaiah had already described conditions that were far better than those the Jews had lived under in Babylon. He foretold joyfulness and rejoicing. In the Old testament we can find the expression “new heavens and a new earth.”

17 For look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth;+ And the former things will not be called to mind,* Nor will they come up into the heart.+18 So exult and be joyful forever in what I am creating.

For look! I am creating Jerusalem a cause for joy  And her people a cause for exultation.+19 And I will rejoice in Jerusalem and exult in my people;+ No more will there be heard in her the sound of weeping or a cry of distress.”+ (Isaiah 65:17-19)

The ancient Jews who, as Isaiah accurately predicted, did return to their homeland, and gained what might be called a new system of things, also reestablishing pure worship. (Ezra 1:1-4; 3:1-4)

There was a new ruling body. Zerubbabel, a descendant of King David, was governor, and Joshua was high priest. (Haggai 1:1, 12; 2:21; Zechariah 6:11) These constituted “new heavens” over “a new earth,” the cleansed society of people who were back in their land in order to rebuild Jerusalem and its temple for worshiping Jehovah. Hence, in this real sense, there were new heavens and a new earth in the fulfillment involving the Jews at that time.

The apostle Peter also writes in his second letter:

“There are new heavens and a new earth that we are awaiting according to his promise, and in these righteousness is to dwell.”(2 Peter 3:13)
You may already have learned that Jesus in heaven is the key Ruler in the “new heavens.”

A son to reign on the throne of David to rule over the house of Jacob and Gentiles

Taking in mind that the angel spoke to Miriam (Mary) that she will bear a son who will come to reign on the throne of David to rule over the house of Jacob, we should wonder who can make up this hose of Jacob. The one who has “the legal right” to the Davidic crown lost by Zedekiah is demonstrated in the Christian Greek Scriptures to be Christ Jesus, of whom the angel, announcing his future birth, said:
32 This one will be great+ and will be called Son of the Most High,+ and Jehovah* God will give him the throne of David his father,+33 and he will rule as King over the house of Jacob forever, and there will be no end to his Kingdom.”+ (Luke 1:32, 33)
With Jerusalem’s fall in 607 B.C.E. the Gentile powers exercised domination over the entire earth. The Davidic dynasty and rule suffered interruption, and so Jerusalem, or what it stood for, would continue to be “trampled on” as long as God’s kingdom, as functioning through David’s house, was kept in a low, inoperative condition under the Gentile powers. Observing this connection with rulership Unger’s Bible Dictionary (1965, p. 398) comments:
“Consequently Gentiles move on as ‘the nations’ to the end of their stewardship as earth rulers. The termination of this period will be the end of the ‘times of the Gentiles’(Luke 21:24; Dan. 2:36-44).”
— Compare Ezekiel 17:12-21; also the description of Medo-Persia’s fall at Daniel 8:7, 20.

Domination of the earth by the Gentile powers

At least twice in this prophecy concerning the time of the end, Jesus referred to the contents of the book of the prophet Daniel. (Compare Matthew 24:15, 21 with Daniel 11:31; 12:1.) In the book of Daniel we find a picture drawn of the domination of the earth by the Gentile powers during their “appointed times.” The second chapter of Daniel contains the prophetic vision (received by King Nebuchadnezzar) of the great image that Daniel by inspiration showed to represent the march of Gentile world powers, ending with their destruction by the Kingdom set up by “the God of heaven,” which Kingdom then rules earth wide. (Daniel 2:31-45) It is of note that the image begins with the Babylonian Empire, the first world power to ‘trample Jerusalem’ by overthrowing the Davidic dynasty and leaving “Jehovah’s throne” in Jerusalem vacant. This also confirms the start of “the appointed times of the nations” in the year of Jerusalem’s destruction, 607 B.C.E.
The dream vision of Nebuchadnezzar, in the book of Daniel  shows that God’s self-restraint (represented by the bands of iron and of copper around the stump of the tree) would continue until “seven times pass over it.” (Daniel 4:16, 23, 25) Then, since “the Most High is Ruler in the kingdom of mankind,” God would give world domination “to the one whom he wants to.” (Daniel 4:17) The prophetic book of Daniel itself shows that one to be the “son of man” to whom are given “rulership and dignity and kingdom, that the peoples, national groups and languages should all serve even him.” (Daniel 7:13, 14) Jesus’ own prophecy, in which the reference to “the appointed times of the nations” occurs, points definitely toward Christ Jesus’ exercise of such world domination as God’s chosen King, the heir of the Davidic dynasty. (Matthew 24:30, 31; Luke 21:27-31, 36) Thus, the symbolic stump, representing God’s retention of the sovereign right to exercise world domination in “the kingdom of mankind,” was due to sprout again in his Son’s Kingdom. (Psalm 89:27, 35-37).

The Delight Zion Owned as a Wife

Jehovah declares that Zion will be called “My Delight Is in Her,” and her land, “Owned as a Wife.”

54.1 “Shout joyfully, you barren woman who has not given birth!+Become cheerful and cry out for joy,+ you who never had birth pains,+For the sons* of the desolate one are more numerous Than the sons of the woman with a husband,”*+ says Jehovah. …

“For your Grand Maker+ is as your husband,*+ Jehovah of armies is his name, And the Holy One of Israel is your Repurchaser.+ He will be called the God of the whole earth.+For Jehovah called you as if you were an abandoned wife and grief-stricken,*+ Like a wife married in youth and then rejected,” says your God. (Isaiah 54:1, 5, 6)

 Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has seen such things? Will a land be brought to birth in one day? Or will a nation be born all at once? Yet, as soon as Zion went into labor, she gave birth to her sons. (Iasiah 66:8)

“Look! The days are coming,” declares Jehovah, “when I will raise up to David a righteous sprout.*+ And a king will reign+ and show insight and uphold justice and righteousness in the land.+In his days Judah will be saved,+ and Israel will reside in security.+ And this is the name by which he will be called: Jehovah Is Our Righteousness.”+

“However, the days are coming,” declares Jehovah, “when they will no longer say, ‘As surely as Jehovah is alive, who brought the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt!’+but rather, ‘As surely as Jehovah is alive, who brought out and brought back the descendants of the house of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands to which I had dispersed them,’ and they will dwell in their own land.”+ (Jeremiah 23:5-8)

17 “But I will restore your health and heal your wounds,”+ declares Jehovah, “Though they called you an outcast: ‘Zion, for whom no one searches.’”+ (Jermiah 30:17)

English: picture of Jerusalem from mount zion

Picture of Jerusalem from mount zion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today Jerusalem is being scorned. It is like all that pass by clap their hands at this city not to favour it but to laugh at it. They hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, laughing at it because it is preferred as their holy city that they call the perfection of beauty, even the joy of the whole earth.

15 At you all those passing by on the road scornfully clap their hands.+ They whistle in amazement+ and shake their heads at the daughter of Jerusalem, saying: “Is this the city about which they said, ‘It is perfect in beauty, the joy of all the earth’?”+ (Lamentations 2:15)

The desolate woman

Many today like to look at the city in the Middle East as the barren lay where no fruits come from, bearing no children. But the world should now that it will be breaking forth and cry aloud having no labour pains any more; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband. {Isaiah 54:1} And in the world will come brothers and sisters, like Isaac, children of promise, remembering the time when the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit.
It is in this time now that we should do what the Scriptures ask from us to get rid of the slave woman (the false church and those followers who want to keep to all traditions) Those falls institutions, with misleading doctrines, will present itself as the best marriage bond for people with Christ.

We all have our own choice and can either go with those false doctrines and enjoy the traditional churches. But we should come to see that it is impossible for us to share equality in the judgement, for “the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.” {Gen. 21:10} Therefore the lovers of God should make up their choice to become brothers and sisters in Christ, not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.

27 For it is written: “Be glad, you barren woman who does not give birth; break into joyful shouting, you woman who does not have birth pains; for the children of the desolate woman are more numerous than those of her who has the husband.”+ 28 Now you, brothers, are children of the promise the same as Isaac was.+ 29 But just as then the one born through natural descent* began persecuting the one born through spirit,+ so also now.+ 30 Nevertheless, what does the scripture say? “Drive out the servant girl and her son, for the son of the servant girl will by no means be an heir with the son of the free woman.”+ 31 So, brothers, we are children, not of a servant girl, but of the free woman. (Galatians 4:27-31).

Returners from exile

Zion’s returning sons released from Babylonian exile (attempted extermination of the Jews; the Shoah or Holocaust) took possession of the old capital city and settled in her once again. We are told that when that happens, Zion is no longer desolate but filled with sons.

14 “Return, you renegade sons,” declares Jehovah. “For I have become your true master;* and I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.+ (Jeremiah 3:14).

Jehovah God will give the universe shepherds after His own heart, who will lead the people in the world, who are willing to listen to God’s Word, with knowledge and understanding. And there shall come a time that in those days, when their numbers have increased greatly in the land. The ark of the covenant of the Most High will never enter their minds or be remembered; it will not be missed, nor will another one be made. At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the Lord, and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honour the name of the Elohim Hashem Jehovah. No longer will they follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts.

15 And I will give you shepherds after my own heart,+ and they will feed you with knowledge and insight. 16 You will become many and will bear fruit in the land in those days,” declares Jehovah.+ “No more will they say, ‘The ark of the covenant of Jehovah!’ It will not come up into the heart, nor will they remember it or miss it, and it will not be made again. 17 At that time they will call Jerusalem the throne of Jehovah;+ and all the nations will be brought together to the name of Jehovah at Jerusalem,+ and they will no longer stubbornly follow their own wicked heart.” (Jeremiah 3:15-17)

Walking together and partakers

English: Jerusalem, Ziongate, Townside Deutsch...

Jerusalem, Ziongate, Townside Deutsch: Jerusalem, Ziontor, Stadtseite Français : Vieille ville de Jerusalem, Porte de Sion (vue depuis l’intérieur des murailles) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At that time the house of Judah alongside the house of Israel will walk together, and together they will come from the land of the north into the land that Jehovah, the God of gods gave to their and our forefathers as an inheritance. (Jeremiah 3:18) The house of Israel, have dealt treacherously with Jehovah and did not want to accept the Send One from God. This Messiah formed his pupils to go into the world to preach the Good News of the coming Kingdom. He promised that the apostles and some others like them would have a place in heaven.

In the book of Hebrews, the apostle Paul described such ones as “partakers of the heavenly calling.” And Jesus said that those of this group would sit on thrones in heaven with him. (Hebrews 3:1; Matthew 19:28; Luke 22:28-30; John 14:2, 3) The point is that others reign with Jesus as part of the new heavens. Then what did Peter mean by the term “new earth”?
For centuries, Christendom had been allowed to bring great reproach upon Jehovah’s name.

People willing to bring forth fruits

Those now who are prepared to obey God’s Law and are willing to be part of the Body of Christ may also enter that spiritual estate, which has the prophetic name “Owned as a Wife.” Their Christian activity in that land has made it evident that these anointed Christians are the “people for [Jehovah’s] name.”

14 Sym′e·on+ has related thoroughly how God for the first time turned his attention to the nations to take out of them a people for his name.+  (Acts 15:14)

Those people who are willing to bring forth the fruits of the Kingdom and making the Name of God known to the world may become part of the Body of Christ, when they do accept Jesus as the only begotten son of God sent to the world to save it. We may look forward to it that Jehovah shall take delight in these Christians. By anointing these Christians with holy spirit, liberating them from spiritual captivity, and using them to preach the Kingdom hope to all mankind, Jehovah has demonstrated that he rejoices over them with the joy of a bridegroom over a bride.

36 “Therefore this is what Jehovah the God of Israel says concerning this city that you are saying will be given into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, 37 ‘Here I will gather them together from all the lands where I dispersed them in my anger and in my wrath and in great indignation,+ and I will bring them back to this place and let them dwell in security.+38 And they will be my people, and I will be their God.+39 And I will give them one heart+ and one way so that they may always fear me, for their own good and the good of their children after them.+40 And I will make with them an everlasting covenant,+ that I will not turn away from doing good to them;+ and I will put the fear of me in their hearts, so that they will not turn away from me.+41 I will exult over them to do good to them,+ and I will firmly plant them in this land,+ with all my heart and with all my soul.’”* (Jeremiah 32:36-41).

Faithful remnant

In Jehovah’s due time after the return of the faithful remnant from Babylon, Jerusalem does become “a praise in the earth”—a walled city providing safety to her inhabitants. Day and night, watchmen on those walls are alert to ensure the security of the city and to relay warning messages to her citizens.—Nehemiah 6:15; 7:3; Isaiah 52:8.

Today we can see those Chosen People coming to the city of God, Jerusalem, and other believers in God, willing to become part of that Body of Christ, prepared to unite with each other in the love of Christ.

In the apostle John his vision he sees the “holy city” as “coming down out of heaven from God and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” This is in relation to the vision he sees of “a new heaven and a new earth.” This “bride” was said to be “the Lamb’s wife.” (Revelation 21:1-3, 9-27) Other apostolic writings apply the same figure to the Christian congregation of anointed ones. (2Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:21-32) In Revelation chapter 14 “the Lamb” Christ Jesus is depicted as standing on Mount Zion, a name also associated with Jerusalem (compare 1Peter 2:6), and with him are 144,000 having his name and the name of his Father written on their foreheads.—Revelation 14:1-5;

A bride adorned for her husband, Lamb of God

Dormition Church, situated on the modern "...

Dormition Church, situated on the modern “Mount Zion” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Near the end of that series of visions, and after seeing Babylon the Great destroyed, the apostle John sees the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (Revelation 21:2).

In the light of other scriptures, the identity of New Jerusalem is made certain. She is “as a bride.” Farther along, John writes:

“One of the seven angels . . . spoke with me and said: ‘Come here, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.’ So he carried me away in the power of the spirit to a great and lofty mountain, and he showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God and having the glory of God. Its radiance was like a most precious stone, as a jasper stone shining crystal-clear.” (Revelation 21:9-11).

New Jerusalem is the bride of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, who shed his blood sacrificially for mankind. (John 1:29; Revelation 5:6, 12; 7:14; 12:11; 21:14) She is composed of the members of the glorified Christian congregation. The congregation on earth was likened to “a chaste virgin” to be presented to the Christ. (2Corinthians 11:2) Again, the apostle Paul likens the Christian congregation to a wife, with Christ as her Husband and Head. (Ephesians 5:23-25, 32).

Furthermore, Christ himself addresses the congregation at Revelation 3:12, promising the faithful conqueror that he would have written upon him

“the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem which descends out of heaven from my God, and that new name of mine.”

Earthly and heavenly

A wife takes her husband’s name. Therefore those seen standing with the Lamb upon Mount Zion, numbering 144,000, having the Lamb’s name and that of his Father written in their foreheads, are evidently the same group, the bride. (Revelation 14:1).

We can see a new Jerusalem in construction on this earth, but this will only be the shade and the capital of the Kingdom of God, where there shall also be the spiritual or heavenly New Jerusalem. It is that heavenly, not earthly Jerusalem which shall come down “out of heaven from God.” (Revelation 21:10) So this city is not one erected by men and consisting of literal streets and buildings constructed in the Middle East on the site of the ancient city of Jerusalem, which was destroyed in 70 C.E. The members of the bride class when on earth are told that their “citizenship exists in the heavens” and that their hope is to receive “an incorruptible and undefiled and unfading inheritance.” “It is reserved in the heavens for you,” says the apostle Peter.—Philippians 3:20; 1Peter 1:4.

Measures of Heavenly City

That the New Jerusalem is indeed a heavenly city is further supported by the vision of her that John beheld. Only a symbolic city could have the dimensions and splendour of New Jerusalem. Its base was foursquare, about 555 km (345 mi) on each side, or about 2,220 km (1,379 mi) completely around, that is, 12,000 furlongs. Being a cube, the city was also as high as it was long and wide. No man-made city could ever reach that far into “outer space.” Round about was a wall 144 cubits (64 m; 210 ft) high. The wall, itself constructed of jasper, in turn rested on 12 foundation stones, precious stones of great beauty—jasper, sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, sardius, chrysolite, beryl, topaz, chrysoprase, hyacinth, and amethyst. On these 12 foundation stones were engraved the names of the 12 apostles of the Lamb. The city proper within these beautiful walls was no less glorious, for it was described as “pure gold like clear glass,” having a broad way of “pure gold, as transparent glass.” {Revelation 21:12-21}.

A Pure, Beneficial Rule.

Entrance into the New Jerusalem through its magnificent walls was by means of 12 gates, three on a side, each made of a huge pearl. Although these gates were never closed, “anything not sacred and anyone that carries on a disgusting thing and a lie will in no way enter into it; only those written in the Lamb’s scroll of life will.” A holy and sacred city indeed, yet there was no visible temple of worship, for “Jehovah God the Almighty is its temple, also the Lamb is.” And there was “no need of the sun nor of the moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God lighted it up, and its lamp was the Lamb.” Its rulership over the nations will be beneficial to them, for “the nations will walk by means of its light.” (Revelation 21:22-27).

 

+

Find in this series:

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

 Marriage of Jesus 2 Standard writings about Jesus

 Marriage of Jesus 3 Listening women

 Marriage of Jesus 4 Place of the woman

 Marriage of Jesus 5 Papyrus fragment  in Egyptian Coptic

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

 Marriage of Jesus 7 Impaled

 Marriage of Jesus 8 Wife of Yahweh

Marriage of Jesus 9 Reason for a new marriage

Marriage of Jesus 10 Old and New Covenant

The Bride New Jerusalem

A royal wedding due to take place

Reply to questions concerning The Bride of Christ

Magnificent bride for royal wedding

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Additional reading:

  1. Message from the family tree in the Tanakh
  2. OT prophesies and the NT fulfilment of them
  3. Wishing lanterns and Christmas
  4. Seeing the world through the lens of his own experience
  5. Our openness to being approachable
  6. Fruits of the spirit will prevent you from being either inactive or unfruitful

+++

  • The rebuilding of the next Jewish Temple (disciplesofhope.wordpress.com)
    The Bible mentions about the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple. This would be the third temple then. The rebuilding of the Temple is one of the signs of the end of the world and the return of Jesus Christ. In fact the Anti Christ will enter the Temple and as an act of blasphemous portray himself as God. At the present moment the Temple of Jerusalem is in ruins. The Jews of today are very eager to rebuild it again so that the old manner of worship and sacrifice to the Living God (whom Christians know as Jesus’ Father and God) is restored to its former glorious state. It’s a known fact that the Jews hold their traditions with great respect and will go to any lengths to defend it. They believe that their Messiah will come to the Temple of Jerusalem and reveal himself as sent from God. Due to this they are desperate to complete the task of rebuilding it. With the way Israel has been advancing on the financial, technical and most importantly in the field of warfare the construction will surely happen. This is the will of God and no man, no nation nor the Devil can stop it.
  • The Preciousness of Zion and Jerusalem and the Situation of the Overcomers in Zion (matassew.wordpress.com)
    Zion and Jerusalem are the earthly signs that shows us the existence of the invisible and misterious God. Zion is not only the center but also elevated peak. That is where we have the church, the body of Christ, yes the economy of God! Praise the Lord about Zion! Hallelujah for Zion!
    Speaking about Jerusalem, she typfies the churh, and Zion typfies the overcomers!

    The people of Israel love the law of God! But the couldn’t fullfil it. Instead the law exposed who the are, showed their real codition.

  • Revelation and You (illustrationstoencourage.wordpress.com)
    The anointed remnant today have obeyed the words of the angel. They have not sealed up the words of the prophecy. Why, the very first issue of Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence (July 1879) set out comments on numerous verses of Revelation. As we noted in our opening chapter, Jehovah’s Witnesses have over the years published other enlightening books on Revelation. Now we again draw the attention of all truth-lovers to the powerful Revelation prophecies and their fulfillment.
    +
    lend your voice to the joyful proclamation of the everlasting good news concerning the established Kingdom of Jehovah and his Christ. (Revelation 11:15; 14:6, 7) Be at this work urgently. And may a realization that we are in the Lord’s day move many who are not yet serving Jehovah to join in the work of proclaiming the good news. May these also progress toward dedicating their lives to God with a view to baptism. Remember, “the appointed time is near”!—Revelation 1:3.
  • New Jerusalem is the Eternal Marriage (3) (newjerusalem12.wordpress.com)
    Isaiah 54:5 is so clear: “For your Maker is your Husband; Jehovah of hosts is His name. And the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; Heis called the God of all the earth.” Here the Lord is saying to the Old Testament part of Hispeople that He is the Husband. And they are the wife.In this verse “Husband” is first, then “Redeemer.” As here, there are other examples in the Bible where words are not in time order but arranged to place God’s purpose first. To be our Husband, God must first (in time) be our Redeemer. But, Husband is first in Isaiah 54 because that is what God desires.
  • Daily Tidbits 5/9 – Jerusalem Above vs. Jerusalem Below (littleguyintheeye.wordpress.com)
    The word for ‘Christian’ (נצרות ‘Naztrut’) is 746.  The phrase, ‘therefore ye are my witnesses, saith YHWH, that I am El’ equals 746.  And the Greek word ‘authority’ has the same numerical value.
    +
    The numerical value of מקום ‘maqom’ without using thefinal form as 400 but as 40 (normal value) is 186.  ‘His work’ in Hebrew (פעלו ‘pa’alu’) also has the numerical value of 186.YHWH is also related to 186.  Take each of the letters from YHWH, square them (since a “place” is an area, so squared units), and you get 100+25+36+25=186.
    +True Zion are those who are grafted into the Olive Tree of Israel, who is Messiah.  The counterfeit is the Zionism we see in the world today which uplifts a false olive tree of Israel.  As Paul says, not all those of Israel are Israel (Romans 9:6).Those grafted into the Olive Tree are Zion, the new creation…born again.
  • Awaiting Revelations 21, The New Jerusalem Will Be My Dwelling Place Forever. (deadcitizensrightssociety.wordpress.com) >
    Awaiting Revelation 21, The New Jerusalem Will Be My Dwelling Place Forever.Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
  • New Jerusalem Prepared as a Bride (newjerusalem12.wordpress.com)
    The first wife in the whole universe was Eve. In Ezekiel 23 the children of Israel are referred to as the wife of Jehovah (vv. 1-4). In John 3 all the regenerated believers are the bride of Christ to be His increase, His enlargement (vv. 29-30). In Ephesians 5 the church is the wife of Christ, and in 2 Corinthians 11:2 the believers have been engaged, or betrothed, to Christ as their Husband. In Revelation 19:7-9 there is a universal wedding day, the marriage of the Lamb. Finally, in the last two chapters of the Bible there is the wife of the Lamb. Revelation 21:2 tells us that the New Jerusalem is prepared as a bride adorned for her husband, and verse 9 refers to the New Jerusalem as the bride, the wife of the Lamb.
  • Let Us Rise For The Bride! (thejaggedword.com)
    when in doubt, cast your eyes upon the bride descending down the aisle and get a glimpse of heavenly reality!Rise now and rise then! Until He comes again!
  • Redemption and Life for the Bride (newjerusalem12.wordpress.com)
    Christ, the Lamb of God who died, took away sin. Because of this, we can be born again and have eternal life (John 3:3, 5-7, 15-16). However, after we were born again, there were still many attitudes in us and actions by us that were not suitable for the bride of Christ. Nevertheless, through our entire Christian life, eternal life operates in us to make us the bride to match Christ in every way. The result is “New Jerusalem prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”
  • New Jerusalem is a Living City (newjerusalem12.wordpress.com)
    Throughout the New Testament, God is building His people together in Jesus Christ (an overview with verses). New Jerusalem is the consummation of this New Testament building work and maintains the same structure—God’s people built together in Christ.

MegaChurch

Please do fin also to read:

  1. Is the Megachurch the New Liberalism?
  2. Problems attracting and maintaining worshippers
  3. Depression, Anxiety, Pressure and megachurches

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  • Think About It – Why People Should Leave Mega Church Pastors Alone (justanotherdaysjourney.wordpress.com)
    I follow a few so-called mega churches and their pastors. Usually if the pastor posts something there are always a few people on their timeline who are speaking against their ministries due to the size. I find it quite comical that these same people actually use the bible to justify their statements. If they really understood the bible it does not dictate the size of a congregation as we know them today but the bible has examples that prove that modern-day large churches are not new.
    +
    I wish that they would focus on sharing the gospel with non-believers so that God’s “mega church” can grow for His glory.
  • Atheist ‘mega-churches’ undermine what atheism’s supposed to be about (theguardian.com)
    A so-called godless church wants to establish more US congregations. These ‘places of worship’ come across as a joke
    mega church

    Around 12,000 people in the Christian Fraternity of Guatemala evangelic mega-church near Guatemala City. Photograph: Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty Images

    It’s not easy being an atheist. In a world that for centuries has been dominated (and divided by) religious affiliations, it’s sort of inevitable that the minority group who can’t get down with the God thing or who don’t subscribe to any particular belief system would find themselves marginalized. As children of no God, it seems that atheists are somehow seen as lesser – less charitable, that is, and more selfish, nihilistic, closed minded, negative and just generally unworthy. Now, however, a group of atheists are fighting back.
    +
    The godless church concept is the brainchild of Pippa Evans and Sanderson Jones, two British comedians, who identified a gap in the faith market that so far non-believers are flocking to fill. The first Sunday Assembly (as the gatherings are being called) took place in a dilapidated church in London on a cold morning this past January. It went down a treat, apparently, and the movement has gained enough momentum in Britain that the comic duo have since embarked on a “40 dates, 40 nights” tour of the United States raising money to build US congregations so godless Americans can become churchgoers too.

  • Atheist Mega-Churches (New Fad) (leeduigon.com)
    The “news media” this weekend–Fox, CBS, NBC– all featured reports of what they were calling “atheist mega-churches.” These are large gatherings, on a Sunday morning, of people who want all the church stuff but without belief in God.It was started by two British comedians. It’s awash in money. They get together and sing “Here Comes the Sun” and “Lean on Me.” I’m sure they sing “Imagine,” too, although that wasn’t mentioned in any of the news articles. Like, right there is ample reason to stay away.

    The services feature music, sermons without God, and assorted feel-good-about-yourself activities.

    I’m confused. How do you tell the difference between one of these “atheist mega-churches” and a regular mega-church? If it’s that hard for us to tell, will God trouble Himself to make a distinction?

  • Holiness and the Mega-Church (chosenrebel.me)
    I once met a man who collected the names of former pastors who had destroyed their own ministry and marriages by sexual or financial misconduct or relational abuse of power. The inside cover of his Bible was nearly black with ink and he was about to start a new list on the back-inside cover.Recently, the news of a number of mega-church pastors stumbling into gross abuse of power, infidelity, and pornography has made national news. Some have taken this turn of events with hand-rubbing glee, as a chance to dump more scorn and abuse on the mega-church phenomenon or the pastors of all mega-churches, or the Church in general, or pastors as a group. Critics multiply like cockroaches.

    Multiplying cockroaches may mean that there is a food source to feed on but it doesn’t mean cockroaches are paragons of virtue and wisdom.

  • The Problem With Mega Churches (brandonlorick.wordpress.com)
    Since their inception, churches have served three main purposes, to Inform people of the Message of God, to offer a place of fellowship, and to help those in need. However as we look around today, we can tell that the church has not succeeded, as a whole, at these three tasks. Personally I do not believe that it is mere coincidence that the potentness of churches has weakened as satellite and mega churches have grown. Now don’t get me wrong, I do not hate satellite and mega churches, I know of ones who succeeded, greatly, at every one of those three tasks, I do however believe that satellite and mega churches are more susceptible to challenges facing todays churches.
  • Atheist Mega-Churches (socialworkingal.net)
    In California, 400 atheists attend church in Los Angeles every Sunday. The theme of the assemblies are “Live Better, Help Often, Wonder More”, which are structured as spiritual meetings instead of religious ceremonies.There are so many unanswered questions and personal opinions about Atheism, but as Americans, we are allowed to congregate and worship whatever and whenever we want. Fundamentally, spirituality can be effective when facing or dealing with life circumstances, just as religion calls on a monolithic or in some cases, a pluralistic higher power.
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    Do Atheist “Mega-Churches” create the same effect as Christian ones?
  • Mega-Churches: A Parable (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
    The kingdoms of the mega-churches can be likened to obese men sitting at table.  They  look around at all the bounty spread before them and they say to themselves: I know what’s best for me and what I desire, so I will fill my belly to the full and luxuriate in my immenseness.  Meanwhile, around them at the table are the small and underfed and yet because their interest is only in themselves, they don’t see them nor consider them.’
  • We aren’t losing people because of worship. We’re losing them because we’re hypocrites. (kathleenbasi.com)
    There’s a blog post making the rounds right now about the dismal record of churches, both mega- and traditional, to retain their youth into adulthood. The author and all the commenters have their pet theories about why this is–the age-old argument between “worship isn’t relevant” (i.e. it’s too traditional) and “the worship is too contemporary” (i.e. it’s too contemporary) seem to be the focus of discussion.Although I’m a liturgist, and I have impassioned opinions on the question of musical style in worship, I actually don’t believe the style of worship has all that much to do with this question at all.

    We are losing the youth–and everyone else who’s leaving organized religion–because they think it’s a bunch of B.S. A conspiracy made to pacify the ignorant and keep the masses in line. And why do they think this?

    Because we call ourselves Christians, and we don’t act like Christ.

  • Church of Flying Spaghetti Monster to become recognized religion, in Poland (newsfixnow.com)
    Just when you think you’ve heard it all; you find out that somewhere in the world you can actually worship…pasta.Believe it or not, in Poland, a court ruled that the “Pastafarians” can now apply to register as an official religion.They’re known as the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
  • Three Reasons Why America’s Protestant Mega-Churches Will Turn Contemplative (or Go Extinct by 2017) (contemplativechristians.com)

    In 2017 the Protestant Reformation will be “officially” 500 years old, and what do we show for it? Behold, the American Mega Church! A bloated pimple rising up from the greasy adolescent face of American frontier religion.

    Since then, much of American Protestant Christianity has morphed into a corporate conglomerate of consumer-capitalistic religion – a multi-faceted industry of books, movies, music, conferences and seminars. Looking back at the sweep of Christianity’s twists and turns, it appears  that whatever good may have sprung out of the Reformation’s Pandora’s Box, that good now seems smothered over.

    In short, it’s time for the next octave of Christianity to emerge into its full resonance.
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    Unfortunately, the mega church culture has adopted the cultural values of distraction, activity, entertainment, busyness and noise. High energy religious entertainment with multi-media, richly produced worship events will reach a saturation point as the law of diminishing returns runs straight into the demand for more intense adrenaline worship-highs. There is a ceiling to the seduction and hitting it will come at a significant price. Case in point: observe the buildings. We build our buildings and our buildings build us. And what kind of buildings do the mega churches build – they build entertainment temples, stadiums to the electric Spirit with lights, screens and shopping mall amenities – all to keep the masses engaged. Seduction by the senses is the oldest game in the book. Soon, though, mega churches won’t be able to seduce the masses by the senses because the senses will be numbed by over stimulation, withering on the inside from malnutrition, craving the one thing the big box multi site entertainment temples can’t and won’t provide yet – silence and solitude. But they will. They will have to. Silence and solitude are the “next big thing” for humankind.

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