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Iudeii, Neamurile și Biserica

Jew, Gentile and Church

The Three Companies With Whom God Deals

FROM

http://semnelevremurilor.wordpress.com/biblia-profetic/iudeii-neamurile-si-biserica/

“Give none offense, neither to the JEWS,
nor to the GENTILES,
nor to the CHURCH of God” (1Cor.10:32)

ISRAEL

God’s chosen, earthly people
Deut.7:6-7, Isa.44:1

THE GENTILES

All other nations or nationalities
Deut.32:8, Acts 4:27

THE CHURCH

God’s heavenly people the body of Christ
Eph.1:22-23, 2:6

Destination

The 1000 year kingdom
Matt.25:34

Destination

The judgment
Matt.25:41, Rev.20:13

 Destination

In glory, with Christ
Phill.3:20, 1Thess.4:16-17

Christ Crucified

A stumbling block
1Cor.1:23, 1Pet. 2:8

Christ Crucified

Foolishness
1Cor.1:18, 23

Christ Crucified

The power of God and the wisdom of God  1Cor.1:24

Tendency

Require signs, miracles
1Cor.1:22

Tendency

Seek after wisdom
1Cor.1:11-22

Tendency

To preach Christ crucified
1Cor.1:23, 2Cor.4:5

The message

“Repent” (nationally)
Matt.3:2, Acts 2:38

The message

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” Acts 16:31

The message

“Walk worthy” of calling
Eph. 4:1-3

The baptism

Water baptism
Matt.6:10, 9:35, 25:34
John 1:31-33

The baptism

Fire (judgment)
2Thess.1:8

The baptism

The “one baptism” of the Holy Spirit
Eph.4:5, 1Cor.12:13

The hope

“Thy kingdom come”
Matt.6:9

The hope

“Having no hope”
Ephesians 2:12

The hope

The rapture, that “blessed hope”
Titus 2:13, 1Cor.15:52

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This diagram gives only a few of the differences which the Word of God draws concerning these three companies with which God deals. It is always a joy to a babe in Christ to begin to see these differences, for it brings him out of the fog of confusion, making the blessed old Book an intelligent and living reality. Protestantism, to say nothing of Rome, is almost totally ignorant of this simple but important secret in “rightly dividing” the Word of truth (2Tim. 2:15). For that reason, they grope about in darkness, trying to make Jewish ordinances and Jewish promises work on church ground, “which say they are Jews, and are not” (Rev. 3:9). They try to inherit the kingdom promises that are for the nation of Israel, and not for the Church. They expect the unsaved Gentile to behave like a believer, who has been made a “new creature” in Christ, and wonder why things don’t seem to work.

The Three Classes

Jews, Gentiles, Church

In 1 Cor.1:22-23, we are told that, “the Jews require a sign, and the Greek (or Gentiles) seek after wisdom; But we (the Church) preach Christ crucified.” You will find the people of Israel, almost from their very beginning, seeking after signs, miracles and wonders in order to believe. Even Gideon had to have his fleece. And God worked signs and miracles as long as He was dealing with Israel, up to the end of the Acts period. But after Acts 28:28, signs and miracles ceased, because Israel was set aside for the present age, and God’s completed Word is sufficient for men of faith today.

By the term “Jews”, Israel as a nation is meant, and not the individual Jew in this present age. The Gentiles are those of all races and tongues, other than Jews, who have not been regenerated by the new birth. The church is God’s elect company in this present age, and is composed of all born-again humans.

Through the twelve sons of Jacob, God called out unto Himself a special nation of twelve tribes, to be His special testimony to the nations of the earth. Even in the days of Jacob’s grandfather, Abraham, God had this special nation in mind when He said: “I will make thee a great nation, and I will bless thee ….and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 12:2-3).

So Israel was to be God’s earthly testimony, and through them He eventually brought the Messiah and Saviour into the world. In due time, Christ will return and God will deal with nations (Matthew 25:31-46).

In dealing thus with an earthly nation, many earthly and physical ordinances and regulation had to be given, especially in the Old Testament. Even the four Gospels are linked with Jewish promises in the Old Testament. They are not church doctrine. But they are most precious to us as divinely inspired pictures of the Person, character, and work of our blessed Lord and Saviour. Like the Old Testament, they give us a most precious acquaintance-ship with our Lord, and also wisdom as to our personal walk as a child of God.

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The church is a new thing which began during the Acts period, and was said to be a mystery, hidden from past generations. It is a heavenly company, composed of both Jews and Gentiles. Satan has sought to confuse the issue by causing many man-made churches to be formed, but the Lord’s own church is clearly marked out in the scriptures. In Acts 2:47 He added to the Jerusalem assembly those who were saved. That is still the way He adds members to the church which is His body. His church is destined to leave this world suddenly one of these days- quite suddenly, (1Cor. 15:51-53). Then God will go back to dealing with His earthly nation, Israel.

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John the Baptist came as a minister to Israel, preaching the gospel of the kingdom (Matt.3:2). This kingdom message will be resumed after the rapture of the church and God goes back to dealing with Israel (Matt. 24:14). The gospel for the present age is the gospel of the grace of God and is referred to as Paul’s gospel (Acts 20:24; Rom. 2:16; 2Tim. 2:8).

We would have no confusion about the instructions in the New Testament if we would only ask: “To which company is this particular scripture written?” Many, for instance, ask why it is that James 5:14-15 doesn’t seem to work. A dear one is sick; they call for the elders, who pray over him and anoint him with oil, but nothing happens, although this scripture promises that “the Lord shall raise him up.” Their error is that James does not write directly to the church, and does not claim to. In the beginning of his epistle he says he is writing “to the twelve tribes (Israel) scattered abroad.”

For church doctrine, present day truth, we must turn to Paul’s epistles. In Eph. 3:2-10 Paul says this special revelation of the church was committed unto him. In Gal. 2:9, he says that he and Barnabas were sent unto the Gentiles, while Peter, James and John were sent unto the Jews.

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, RIGHTLY DIVIDING the Word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15)
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  • Question: I understand that you believe that Jesus died on the cross on Thursday, not Good Friday. Why do you say that, and does it matter?

    Response: Scripture reveals the answer. Through the writings of Jeremiah, Daniel learned that the Babylonian captivity would last 70 years (Dn 9:2). God had commanded that each seven years the Hebrew slaves should be set free, debtors forgiven, and the land given a one-year sabbath of rest (Ex 21:2; Lv 25:2-4; Dt 15:1,2,12). For 490 years Israel had disobeyed this precept. In judgment, the Jews became slaves of Babylon while their land rested for 70 years of sabbaths.

    Daniel confessed this sin, pondering and praying, and was given the revelation that another period of 490 years (70 weeks of years) lay ahead for his people and for Jerusalem (9:24). Then all of Israel’s sins would be purged, all prophecy fulfilled and ended, and the Messiah would reign on David’s throne in Jerusalem. These 70 weeks of years were to be counted “from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem” (v. 25). That crucial date is given to us in Scripture.

    Nehemiah tells us: “in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king” (2:1), he received the authorization to rebuild Jerusalem. When the day of the month was not given, the first day was intended. There were several Artaxerxes, but only one, Longimanus, who ruled more than 20 years—from 465-425 BC. Thus we have the key date from which this incredible prophecy was to be calculated: Nisan 1, 445 BC.

    At the end of 69 of these “weeks” (7×69 = 483 years) “Messiah the Prince” would be made known to Israel (Dn 9:25) and then “be cut off [slain]” (v. 26). Counting 483 years of 360 days each (the Hebrew and Babylonian calendar), a total of 173,880 days from Nisan 1, 445 bc brings us to Sunday, April 6, ad 32. On that very day, now celebrated as Palm Sunday, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a young donkey and was hailed as Messiah the Prince! (See also Zec:9:9)

    There is, however, an even deeper meaning to the phrase, “In the fulness of time”: April 6, ad 32, on the Hebrew calendar was the tenth of Nisan. On that day, the Passover lamb was taken from the flock and placed under observation for four days to make certain that it was “without blemish.” During the same four days, Christ, whom John the Baptist had hailed as “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (Jn:1:29), was likewise on display before Israel. On the fourteenth of Nisan, “the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it [the passover lamb] in the evening [between 3:00 and 6:00 pm]” (Ex 12:6). It was during that precise time period that Jesus died on the cross!

    In fact, the rabbis had determined not to arrest Jesus during Passover, “lest there be an uproar of the people” (Mk 14:2). Yet that was when He had to die. Judas was not only Satan’s pawn but God’s. Even the “thirty pieces of silver” for which he so shrewdly bargained fulfilled prophecy (Zec:11:12-13

      Peter would declare in his Pentecost sermon, “Him…delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain” (Acts:2:23). Paul wrote, “Christ our passover [lamb] is sacrificed for us” (1 Cor:5:7).

    The fourteenth of Nisan began at sunset Wednesday evening. That night, Jesus and His disciples had the “last supper” in the upper room where they were preparing to eat the Passover the following night. At this meal “ before the feast of the passover ” (Jn:13:1), Jesus told His disciples, “One of you shall betray me” (Jn:13:21). Earlier He said, significantly, “I tell you before…that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he” (Jn:13:19). The word “he” is in italics and does not appear in the original. Jesus was declaring once again to His disciples that He was Yahweh, the I AM of Israel, who tells beforehand what will happen and makes certain that it comes to pass (Is 46:9-10).

    Arrested by the Judas-led troop in the Garden later that night, Christ was taken secretly to the palace of Caiaphas, the high priest. A sham trial with hastily called false witnesses convened sometime after midnight and condemned Christ to death as dawn broke. Pilate, the Roman governor, was notified of the emergency. Hurriedly taken down side streets, the prisoner was received into the citadel at “the third hour” (Mk 15:25), (about 9:00 am), Nisan 14. All over Israel preparations were underway to kill the Passover lamb, which was to be eaten that night.

    Pilate let his citizens decide the prisoner’s fate. The bloodthirsty rabble turned against the One who had miraculously healed and fed so many of them. “Crucify him, crucify him” (Lk 23:21). “His blood be on us, and on our children” (Mt 27:25).

    Shortly before noon, Jesus, scourged and beaten, was led out of the city to “the place of the skull.” By noon, the One whom Jerusalem, in fulfillment of prophecy, had hailed as its long-awaited Messiah, was hanging naked on the center cross between two thieves. Man had crucified his Creator!

    The next three hours of that Thursday afternoon the earth was darkened mysteriously (Mt 27:45) as God “laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Is 53:6). Thursday? Not “Good Friday”? Indeed not. Jesus himself had said, “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth [i.e., “Abraham’s bosom”]” (Mt 12:40; Lk 16:22). The gospel includes the declaration that Christ “rose again the third day” (1 Cor:15:4).

    Had Christ been crucified on Friday, He couldn’t possibly have spent three days and three nights in the grave by Sunday morning. We are distinctly told that the angel rolled away the stone “as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week” (Mt 28:1). The tomb was already empty, so Christ must have risen from the dead sometime prior to dawn.

    Wednesday, Thursday, Friday—does it really matter? Yes! The day of our Lord’s crucifixion is of the utmost importance. If Christ was not three days and three nights in the grave, then He lied. His death, to fulfill prophecy, had to occur at the very time the Passover lambs were being slain throughout Israel. It is an astronomical fact that Nisan 14, AD 32, fell on Thursday.

    “And it was the preparation of the passover ….The Jews therefore…that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day…besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away” (Jn:19:14,31). Wait! Not a bone of the Passover lamb (Ex 12:46) or of the Messiah (Ps:34:20) could be broken. Not knowing why he did it, “one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side” (Jn:19:34), fulfilling yet another scripture: “they shall look upon me whom they pierced” (Zec:12:10).

    John explains that the “Sabbath,” which began at sunset the Thursday Christ was crucified, “was an high day.” It was, in fact, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, of which the first and last days were special sabbaths. It ended Friday at sunset, immediately followed by the weekly sabbath that ended at sunset on Saturday. Thus two sabbaths followed Christ’s death, preventing the women from coming to the grave until the third day, Sunday morning.

    The rabbis thought that having Jesus crucified proved He wasn’t the Messiah. In fact, it was one more proof that He was! The soldiers took His clothes for a souvenir and gambled for His robe (Ps:22:18; 69:21); He was given vinegar mixed with gall to drink, nails were driven into His hands and feet, and a spear pierced His side, drawing forth the blood of our redemption—all in fulfillment of prophecy!

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All that I KNOW ….is that Yeshua lived and DIED….and rose…….for my sins. HE IS.

Jesus died on Passover. Passover “day” or event changes from year to based on the Jewish month of Nisan. The Bible says that Jesus rose 3 days later. Friday to Sunday morning is not 3 days. The Edict of Milan 313 AD, Emporer Constantine and Licinius affirmed Galerius decision to legalize Christianity and hence changed our celebration of the Feasts of the Lord… specifically Passover for Christians to the pagan feast of Astarte (which became our Easter) along with Good Friday as the death instead of Passover. Jesus referred to Jonah being three days in the belly of the whale… as a type of his death. When he saiys three days, he means three days.

This is the fingerprint of God, people. Do not ignore it. If He has revealed it in His Book, then He obviously intended for us to see it, read it, understand it and be BLESSED by it.

It IS important because Jesus fulfilled the Scriptures.

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http://www.torahtimes.org/pbook/default.html http://www.torahtimes.org/pbook/Review%20Of%20Michael%20Rood.pdf

http://www.torahtimes.org/pbook/Review%20Of%20Michael%20Rood.pdf

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 Palm Sunday –  He (Jesus) set His face to go to Jerusalem!

from Desiring God. You can listen to the audio for this John Piper sermon here.

Luke 9:51-56

Luke describes the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem at the beginning of that last week of his earthly life:

As he was drawing near, at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest! (Luke 19:37, 38)

Palm Sunday: Today and To Come

There is no doubt what was in the disciples’ minds. This was the fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy given centuries earlier:

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on an ass, on a colt, the foal of an ass. I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the war horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off, and he shall command peace to the nations; his dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth. (Zechariah 9:9, 10)

The long-awaited Messiah had come, the king of Israel, and not just of Israel but of all the earth. Jerusalem would be his capital city. From here he would rule the world in peace and righteousness. What a day this was! How their hearts must have pounded in their chests! And must not their hands have been sweaty like warriors in readiness just before the bugle sounds the battle! How would he do it? Would he whip up the enthusiastic crowds and storm the Roman praetorium—a people’s revolution? Or would he call down fire from heaven to consume the enemies of God? Would any of his followers be lost in the struggle? The tension of the moment must have been tremendous!

The Pharisees had a double reason for wanting this kind of welcome silenced. On the one hand, this Jesus was a threat to their authority, and they envied his popularity (Mark 15:10). On the other hand, they feared a Roman backlash to all this seditious talk of another king (John 11:48). Therefore they say to Jesus, “‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples.’ But he answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out!”‘ (Luke 19:39, 40). No, he will not rebuke them for this. Not now. The hour has come. The authority of the Pharisees is done for. If the Romans come, they come. He will not silence the truth any longer. To be sure the disciples’ understanding of Jesus’ kingship at this point is flawed. But hastening events will correct that soon enough. In essence they are correct. Jesus is the king of Israel, and the kingdom he is inaugurating will bring peace to all the nations and spread from sea to sea. The book of Revelation pictures the final fulfillment of Palm Sunday in the age to come like this:

I looked and behold, a great multitude which no man could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:9, 10)

The entry into Jerusalem with waving palms (John 12:13) was a short-lived preview of the eternal Palm Sunday to come. It needed to be said. If the disciples hadn’t said it, the rocks would have.

I like to think of all our worship in this age as rehearsal for the age to come. One day we, who by God’s grace have been faithful to the Lord, are going to stand with innumerable millions of believers from Bangladesh, Poland, Egypt, Australia, Iceland, Cameroon, Ecuador, Burma, Borneo, Japan, and thousands of tribes and peoples and languages purified by Christ, with palms of praise in our hand. And when we raise them in salute to Christ, He will see an almost endless field of green, shimmering with life and pulsating with praise. And then like the sound of a thousand Russian choruses, we will sing our song of salvation, while the Mighty Christ, with heartfelt love, looks out over those whom he bought with his own blood.

Had Jesus taken his throne on that first day of palms, none of us would ever be robed in white or waving palms of praise in the age to come. There had to be the cross, and that is what the disciples had not yet understood. Back in Luke 9, as Jesus prepared to set out for Jerusalem from Galilee, he tried to explain this to his disciples. In verse 22 he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” And in verse 44 he told them, “Let these words sink into your ears; for the Son of Man is to be delivered into the hands of men.” But verse 45 tells us, “They did not understand this saying, and it was concealed from them that they should not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask him about this saying.” Therefore, their understanding of Jesus’ last journey to Jerusalem was flawed. They saw him as a king moving in to take control. And he was. But they could not grasp that the victory Jesus would win in Jerusalem over sin and Satan and death and all the enemies of righteousness and joy—that this victory would be won through his own horrible suffering and death; and that the kingdom which they thought would be established immediately (Luke 19:11) would, in fact, be thousands of years in coming. And their misunderstanding of Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem results in a misunderstanding of the meaning of discipleship. This is why this is important for us to see, lest we make the same mistake.

Jesus’ Resolution to Die

In Luke 9:51–56 we learn how not to understand Palm Sunday. Let’s look at it together. “When the days drew near for him to be received up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.” To set his face towards Jerusalem meant something very different for Jesus than it did for the disciples. You can see the visions of greatness that danced in their heads in verse 46: “An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest.” Jerusalem and glory were just around the corner. O what it would mean when Jesus took the throne! But Jesus had another vision in his head. One wonders how he carried it all alone and so long. Here’s what Jerusalem meant for Jesus: “I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following; for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem”(Luke 13:33). Jerusalem meant one thing for Jesus: certain death. Nor was he under any illusions of a quick and heroic death. He predicted in Luke 18:31f., “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written of the Son of man by the prophets will be accomplished. For he will be delivered to the Gentiles, and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon; they will scourge him and kill him.” When Jesus set his face to go to Jerusalem, he set his face to die.

Remember, when you think of Jesus’ resolution to die, that he had a nature like ours. He shrunk back from pain like we do. He would have enjoyed marriage and children and grandchildren and a long life and esteem in the community. He had a mother and brothers and sisters. He had special places in the mountains. To turn his back on all this and set his face towards vicious whipping and beating and spitting and mocking and crucifixion was not easy. It was hard. O how we need to use our imagination to put ourselves back into his place and feel what he felt. I don’t know of any other way for us to begin to know how much he loved us. “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

If we were to look at Jesus’ death merely as a result of a betrayer’s deceit and the Sanhedrin’s envy and Pilate’s spinelessness and the soldiers’ nails and spear, it might seem very involuntary. And the benefit of salvation that comes to us who believe from this death might be viewed as God’s way of making a virtue out of a necessity. But once you read Luke 9:51 all such thoughts vanish. Jesus was not accidentally entangled in a web of injustice. The saving benefits of his death for sinners were not an afterthought. God planned it all out of infinite love to sinners like us and appointed a time. Jesus, who was the very embodiment of his Father’s love for sinners, saw that the time had come and set his face to fulfill his mission: to die in Jerusalem for our sake. “No one takes my life from me (he said), but I lay it down of my own accord” (John 10:18).

Jesus’ Journey Is Our Journey

So Jesus sets out for Jerusalem, and it says in the text that “he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; but the people would not receive him because his face was set toward Jerusalem.” It doesn’t really matter whether this rejection is just because Jesus and his companions are Jews and Samaritans hate Jews, or whether the rejection is a more personal rejection of Jesus as the Messiah on his way to reign in Jerusalem. What matters for the story is simply that Jesus is already being rejected, and then the focus shifts to the disciples’ response, specifically the response of James and John.

James and John ask Jesus, “Lord, do you want us to bid fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” (verse 54). Jesus had already named these brothers “sons of thunder” (Mark 3:17). Here we get a glimpse of why. I take this passage very personally because my father named me after one of these sons of thunder. And I think I probably would have said what John did here: “Jesus, we are on the way to victory. Nothing can stop us now. Let the fire fall! Let the judgment begin! O, how Jerusalem will tremble when they see us coming!” Jesus turns, the text says, and rebuked them (verse 55). And they simply went to another town.

Now what does this mean? It means, first of all, that a mistaken view of Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem can lead to a mistaken view of discipleship. If Jesus had come to execute judgment and take up an earthly rule, then it would make sense for the sons of thunder to begin the judgment when the final siege of the Holy City starts. But if Jesus had come not to judge but to save, then a radically different form of discipleship is in order. Here is a question put to every believer by this text: does discipleship mean deploying God’s missiles against the enemy in righteous indignation? Or does discipleship mean following him on the Calvary road which leads to suffering and death? The answer of the whole New Testament is this: the surprise about Jesus the Messiah is that he came to live a life of sacrificial, dying service before he comes a second time to reign in glory. And the surprise about discipleship is that it demands a life of sacrificial, dying service before we can reign with Christ in glory.

What James and John had to learn—what we all must learn—is that Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem is our journey, and if he set his face to go there and die, we must set our face to die with him. One might be tempted to reason in just the opposite way: that since Jesus suffered so much and died in our place, therefore, we are free to go straight to the head of the class, as it were, and skip all the exams. He suffered so we could have comfort. He died so we could live. He bore abuse so we could be esteemed. He gave up the treasures of heaven so we could lay up treasures on earth. He brought the kingdom and paid for our entrance and now we live in it with all its earthly privileges. But all this is not biblical reasoning. It goes against the plain teaching in this very context. Luke 9:23, 24 reads: “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it.” When Jesus set his face to walk the Calvary road, he was not merely taking our place; he was setting our pattern. He is substitute and pacesetter. If we seek to secure our life through returning evil for evil or surrounding ourselves with luxury in the face of human need, we will lose our life. We can save our life only if we follow Christ on the Calvary road. Jesus died to save us from the power and punishment of sin, not from the suffering and sacrifices of simplicity for love’s sake.

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

24 Mar 2013

Reblogged from  rodi in http://rodiagnusdei.wordpress.com/2013/03/24/b-palm-sunday-23-he-jesus-set-his-face-to-go-to-jerusalem-palm-sunday/Bible Study, Christ, Jesus Christ, Salvation, Word of God

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Passover and Palm Sunday

This Week’s Feature Article by Jack Kelley

The next day, John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.” (John 1:29,34).

 John the Baptist had been preaching about the coming Messiah, identifying himself as the forerunner Isaiah had promised over 700 years earlier.  Quoting from Isaiah 40:3 John said, I am the voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord ‘ “ (John 1:23).

Introducing Jesus to Israel as the Lamb of God was no doubt meant to prompt a comparison between Jesus and the Passover lamb in their minds. Reading about the first Passover (Exodus 12:1-20) from a Christian perspective makes the similarity so clear we wonder how they could have missed it. In fact several hundred Old Testament Prophecies were fulfilled in the life of Jesus and many of these came in the last week of His earthly life during the two events we’ll be celebrating in the next few days, Passover for Israel and Palm Sunday for the Church.

For Christ, Our Passover Lamb, Has Been Sacrificed … 1 Cor. 5:7

By now the Passover story should be familiar to us.  The final showdown between God and Pharaoh was coming. Through 9 plagues God sent to demonstrate His power over the pagan gods of Egypt, Pharoah had remained just as obstinate as God had predicted. The 10th plague, the death of all the firstborn, would break Pharoah’s will and free the Israelites from their bondage, but first they had to be protected from the plague.

On the 10th day of the 1st month God had them select a male lamb for each household and inspect it for 3 days to be sure it had no blemish or defect. Then it was slaughtered, and its blood was applied to the door posts of their homes. That night, behind closed doors in their own house, each family ate the lamb quickly with some bitter herbs and unleavened bread,  not venturing outside.  At midnight the destroying angel came through Egypt and took the life of the first born of every family, except for those who had covered their door posts with lamb’s blood (Exodus 12:1-13, 21-23, 28-30).

The next morning the Israelites were released from their bondage and given the wealth of Egypt, beginning their journey to the Promised Land with God in their midst. They weren’t spared because they were Jewish, or because they had lamb for dinner, but because they applied the lamb’s blood to their door posts believing that it would protect them. They were saved through faith by the blood of the lamb.

Just as the Israelites were slaves in Egypt, we are slaves in this world, held in bondage to sin. On that first Palm Sunday, the 10th of the 1st month, our Passover Lamb was selected by allowing Himself to be proclaimed as Israel’s King for the first and only time in His life. When the Pharisees told him to rebuke His disciples for doing so, He said if they kept silent the very stones would cry out (Luke 19:39-40).  This was the day ordained in history for His official appearance as their Messiah.

For the next 3 days He was subjected to the most intense questioning of His entire ministry lest there be any defects found in His words or deeds. Then  on the 14th He was crucified, releasing us from our bondage to sin, and qualifying us to receive the wealth of His Kingdom.  We are saved through faith by the blood of the Lamb.  But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

The Son of Man Wept, The Son of God Warned

As He approached Jerusalem and saw the city He wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace – but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in from every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone upon another because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you” (Luke 19:41-44).

The prophet Daniel had laid out the schedule for them over 500 years earlier. From the time the Jews were given permission to rebuild Jerusalem after it had been destroyed by the Babylonians, to the coming of the Messiah, there would be 69 periods of 7 years each, or 483 years (Daniel 9:25). History tells us that this permission was given to Nehemiah by the Persian ruler Artaxerxes Longimonus in March of 445 BC (Nehemiah 2:1-9). The Sunday when Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem to the shouts of Psalm 118:25-26 was exactly 483 years later, but by then most of the Jewish leadership no longer took the Bible literally and the validity of predictive prophecy was being denied.

Regardless of their opinion, the Lord held them accountable for knowing when He would visit.  Given that hundreds of additional prophecies of His coming  had already been fulfilled in their midst, we can see His point.  Remember, they were all fulfilled in the span of one lifetime, the one in which He came. There are hundreds more prophecies relating to His Second Coming, and again all will be fulfilled within the span of one lifetime, the one in which He comes (Matt 24:34).  And just as it was then, our leaders no longer take the Bible literally and the validity of predictive prophecy is again being denied.  But regardless of their opinion, the Lord will hold the people of our day  accountable to “recognize the time of God’s coming” just like He did back then.

Who Was That Man?

A few days ago I got an email from someone I assume to be Jewish claiming that Jesus didn’t meet a single requirement to be Israel’s Messiah. I’ve received a number of these over the years and have come to realize they think this way because Israel was looking for a Messiah to fulfill what we know as second coming prophecies.  They wanted the Lion of Judah, a powerful warrior king like David, who could throw off the Roman yoke and restore Israel’s kingdom, because that’s what they thought they needed.   They didn’t think they needed a Savior, so when they got the Lamb of God who came to take away their sins they didn’t recognize Him.

Today, because of a similar denial of the validity of prophecy, much of the world is looking for some version of the Lamb of God.  They want a gentle teacher who will accept us all and promise to show us the way to peace and plenty.  They won’t think they need a conqueror, so when the Lion of Judah comes to utterly destroy His enemies and restore God’s Kingdom, they won’t recognize Him (Matt. 24:30).  Like the man said, “Those who don’t learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” You can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah. 03-23-13665661_453117764726851_799958152_o

Reblogged from http://gracethrufaith.com/selah/holidays-and-holy-days/passover-and-palm-sunday/

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A PROMISE FOR US AND FOR OUR CHILDREN 

 

NO. 564 

 

 DELIVERED ON SUNDAY MORNING, APRIL 10, 1864, 

 

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BY THE REV. C. H. SPURGEON, 

 

AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON. 

 

 “Yet now hear, O Jacob, My servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen: thus says the Lord that made you, and formed  you from the womb, which will help you: Fear not, O Jacob, My servant; and you, Jesurun, whom I have chosen.  417991_2543266001210_769512934_n

 

For I will pour water upon him who is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour My Spirit upon your seed, and My blessing upon your offspring: and they shall spring up as among the  grass, as willows by the water courses. One shall say, I am the Lord’s; and another  shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the Lord, and surname himself by the name of Israel.” 

 

Isaiah 44:1-5. 282689_480223285325562_1534726117_n

 

  Brothers and Sisters, reach down for your biographies; turn over your diaries; go back with me a little while to that spot where you first knew the Savior, then march on along the way by which the Lord has led you, till you reach the day and hour which found you in the House of God, listening to His promise. 

 

  We were once the servants of sin, and the slaves of our own passions, but He who made us free has now taken us into His family and taught us obedience to His will. We can say with David, “I am Your servant; I am Your servant, and the son of Your handmaid: You have loosed my bonds.” 

 

 We do not serve our Master perfectly, but we would if we could. There are some of His Commandments which we forget, but there are none which we would despise. We do, through infirmity, turn aside unto crooked ways, but we find no comfort in them. Our meat and our drink is to do the will of Him who sent us, and our prayer is— “Make me to walk in Your commands,  It is a delightful road. Nor let my head, nor heart, nor hands,  Offend against my God.” 394882_10150872506818976_260836383975_12561480_2028311960_n

 

  Ah, my Savior is no fickle lover. He does not feel enchanted for a while with some gleams of beauty from His Church’s eyes, and then afterwards cast her off because of her unfaithfulness.

 

   Well then, here is His promise of what He will do, “I will help you.” 

 

You cannot pray this morning; you cannot wrestle as you desire—“I will help you.” You feel unable to overcome sin—“I will help you.” You are engaged in service too heavy for you—“I will help you.” Whether it is to suffer, to sacrifice, to labor, or to endure, take this comfort—“I will help you.” I love this promise! It is a very short one, but it is all the longer in meaning because it is short in expression. You may avail yourself of it in all cases. The promise turns every way, and blesses in every form. It is like a weapon which may be used for 50 purposes—it will be to you, if you will, a sword, and you may beat it into a plowshare; or it will prove a shield, a spear, a chariot, and I know not what besides. You cannot find any possible position into which the child of God can be brought in which this promise will fail to bless him! 

 

  O my Brothers and Sisters, when the Holy Spirit visits a man, what a difference it makes in him!

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  I know a preacher, once as dull and dead a man as ever misused a pulpit; under his slumbering ministrations there were few conversions, and the congregation grew thinner and thinner, good men sighed in secret, and the enemy said, “Aha, so would we have it!”

 

 The revival came—the Holy Spirit worked gloriously, the preacher felt the Divine Fire and suddenly woke up to energy and zeal. The man appeared to be transformed; his tongue seemed touched with fire; elaborate and written discourses were laid aside, and he began to talk out of his own glowing heart to the hearts of others! He preached as he had never done before; the place filled; the dry bones were stirred, and quickening began! They who knew him once so elegant, correct, passionless, dignified, cold, lifeless, and unprofitable, asked in amazement, “Is Saul also among the Prophets?” The Spirit of God is a great wonder-worker!421895_2543251000835_1840547792_1520311_2129492618_n

 

 You will notice certain Church members; they have never been good for much; we have had their names on the roll, and that is all—suddenly the Spirit of God has come upon them, and they have been honored among us for their zeal and usefulness! We have seen them here and there and everywhere diligent in the service of God, and foremost in all sorts of Christian labor, though before you could hardly get them to stir an inch.

 

 I would that the quickening Spirit would come down upon me and upon you—upon every one of us in abundance—to create us valiant men for Truth and mighty for the Lord! 

 

 O for some of the ancient valor of Apostolic times, that, like good Knights of the Cross we would dash forward against the foe, and with irresistible courage deal heavy blows against the adversary of souls and his vast host! We may do this; we have only to plead the promise! God will be inquired of, but the promise stands true, “I will pour water upon him who is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground.” Do not lose the blessing through remissness, but ask and you shall receive. 429342_302604559803347_100001614176353_917614_941774501_n

 

 Brothers and Sisters, pray for me; for I need more Grace, and in return I will plead the Lord’s words on your behalf.  little-nell-and-her-grandfather

 

  As a very great comfort to His mourning people, the Lord now promises A BLESSING UPON THEIR CHILDREN. You will observe, dear Friends, that they must get the blessing for themselves first, for the third verse has it—“I 

 

will pour water upon him who is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground”—that is first; and then afterwards—“I will pour My Spirit upon your seed.” 

 

 We must not expect to see our children blessed unless we ourselves grow in Grace. It is often the inconsistency of parents which is the obstacle—the outward obstacle to the conversion of their children.

legacymom 

 

 No doubt there have been multitudes of children of professing parents who have been damned instrumentally by the ungodliness and inconsistency of their parents at home. 

 

 The parents, let us hope, were Christians—but there has been so much of apparent inconsistency about them, that the ruin of their children has been the consequence. It is a notorious fact that some of the worst of men have been the children of godly parents.

 

 Do pray, dear Friends, for your children, that God will pour His Spirit upon them; and as to the rest, you may depend that all the fruits will come in due time.

 

 Tell the child that he is dead in trespasses and sins, let there be no doubt about his natural condition, and let this always be your prayer, “Almighty Grace, renew his heart; turn him from darkness to Light, and make him Yours!” 30-zuber-buhler_thumb

 

 Then you have in the promise in the third place, the plenty of Grace which God gives. He says, “I will pour My Spirit upon your seed”—not a little of it—but they shall have abundance.  You ought not, in the case of children, to look merely for life—you will find vigorous life! You may not expect a little surface-knowledge only, but you may expect to find in them a depth of knowledge in the things of God, for so God’s promise has it, “I will pour My Spirit upon your seed.”  407052_239200382836038_150145948408149_521670_1031671815_n

 

  For my part I am more and more persuaded that the study of a good 

 

Scriptural Catechism is of infinite value to our children,

 

 The promise upon which I have preached this morning needs to be pleaded before God, for God does not fulfill such promises as these without our bringing them before Him in earnest fervent prayer.P1140892

 

  Some of us, in looking back, can speak of a godly father and a godly grandfather; we can look for generations back, till as far as we can trace a line—Divine Grace has run in our family. O that the line may continue for years to come, till as long as generations are born, there shall be one of our kith and kin to carry the standard, and sound the trumpet, and fight for the Lord of Israel! 

 

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 “Wake, parents of Israel! O hasten to plead  

 

For the Spirit of Grace to descend!  

 

The Word has gone forth, and the faithful have need  

 

Of your prayers the great cause to defend.  

 

From the youth of our country shall armies arise,  

 

The Gospel of peace to proclaim; 

 

Over the land and the seas, the glad message that flies,  

 

Shall re-echo Immanuel’s name!  

 

Wake, parents in Israel! O, wrestle and pray  

 

That Grace to our youth may be given;  

 

For the hands that in faith are uplifted today  

 

Shall prevail with our Father in Heaven!”

 

Received on e-mail

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Teach Me Thy Way, O Lord

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I would like to wish all my listeners out there a blessed Christmas season. Thank you for your loyal support these many years.168270_251814294919187_1234349599_n

Lyrics and Music: Ben­ja­min M. Ram­sey

Teach me Thy way, O Lord, teach me Thy way!
Thy guiding grace afford, teach me Thy way!
Help me to walk aright, more by faith, less by sight;
Lead me with heav’nly light, teach me Thy way! 31586_313519928763606_339351396_n

When I am sad at heart, teach me Thy way!
When earthly joys depart, teach me Thy way!
In hours of loneliness, in times of dire distress,
In failure or success, teach me Thy way!2044_313438445438421_1417894688_n

When doubts and fears arise, teach me Thy way!
When storms o’erspread the skies, teach me Thy way!
Shine through the cloud and rain, through sorrow, toil and pain;
Make Thou my pathway plain, teach me Thy way!

Long as my life shall last, teach me Thy way!
Where’er my lot be cast, teach me Thy way!
Until the race is run, until the journey’s done,
Until the crown is won, teach me Thy way!los-ninos-josc3a9-juan-y-gloria-de-la-barcenas-y-tomas-salvany

http://www.hymnpod.com/2012/12/15/teach-me-thy-way-o-lord/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+hymnpod+%28HymnPod%29&utm_content=Yahoo!+Mail

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DOCTRINA FALSĂ ESTE MAI REA DECÂT DIVIZIUNEA

J.C. Ryle ~

Dar, când a venit Chifa în Antiohia, i-am stat împotrivă în faţă, căci era de osândit.

În adevăr, înainte de venirea unora de la Iacov, el mânca împreună cu Neamurile; dar când au venit ei, s-a ferit şi a stat deoparte, de teama celor tăiaţi împrejur.

Împreună cu el au început să se prefacă şi ceilalţi Iudei, aşa că până şi Barnaba a fost prins în laţul făţărniciei lor.

Când i-am văzut eu că nu umblă drept după adevărul Evangheliei, am spus lui Chifa în faţa tuturor: “Dacă tu, care eşti Iudeu, trăieşti ca Neamurile, şi nu ca Iudeii, cum sileşti pe Neamuri să trăiască în felul Iudeilor?”

Noi suntem Iudei din fire, iar nu păcătoşi dintre Neamuri.

Totuşi, fiindcă ştim că omul nu este socotit neprihănit, prin faptele Legii, ci numai prin credinţa în Isus Hristos, am crezut şi noi în Hristos Isus, ca să fim socotiţi neprihăniţi prin credinţa în Hristos, iar nu prin faptele Legii, pentru că nimeni nu va fi socotit neprihănit prin faptele Legii. Galateni 2:11-16

În al doilea rând, “Păstrarea adevărului lui Hristos în biserica Sa este chiar mai importantă decât păstrarea relaţiei de pace.”

Să învăţăm acum a doua lecţie de la cei din Antiohia. Această lecţie este spune că “Păstrarea adevărului Scripturii în Biserică este mai importantă decât însăşi păstrarea păcii.”

Presupun că nimeni n-a cunoscut mai bine decât apostolul Pavel valoarea păcii şi unităţii. El era cel care a scris Corintenilor despre dragoste. El era apostolul care a zis, –un singur Domn, o singură credinţă, un singur botez.”

“Trăiţi în armonie unii cu alţii, trăiţi în pace între voi; robul Domnului nu trebuie să se certe; este un singur trup, un singur Duh–după cum şi voi aţi fost chemaţi la o singură nădejde a chemării voastre

El a fost apostolul care a spus, “M-am făcut tuturor totul, ca, oricum, să mântuiesc pe unii din ei” (Romani 12:16; 1 Tesaloniceni 5:13; Filipeni 3:16; Efeseni 4:5; 1 Corinteni 9:22). Şi totuşi, iată-l cum se comportă aici! I se împotriveşte făţiş lui Petru. Îl mustră public. Îşi asumă riscul tuturor consecinţelor care puteau să urmeze. Riscă să-i provoace pe duşmanii bisericii din Antiohia să aibă ce comenta. Şi mai mult decât atât, scrie acest lucru, să rămână de amintire, spre a nu fi niciodată uitat, astfel încât oridecâte ori se va predica Evanghelia  în toată lumea, acest reproş public făcut unui apostol care a greşit să poată fi cunoscut şi citit de toţi.

De ce a făcut acest lucru? Fiindcă s-a temut de doctrina falsă; fiindcă ştia că puţin aluat dospeşte toată plămădeala, fiindcă dorea să ne înveţe  să ne luptăm cu râvnă pentru adevăr, şi să ne temem mai mult de pierderea adevărului decât de pierderea relaţiei de pace.

Am face bine să luăm aminte la exemplul lui Pavel în aceste zile. Mulţi ar accepta fără comentarii în religia lor orice aspect, numai să fie cu pace. Au o teamă morbidă de ceea ce ei numesc “controversă.” Sunt cuprinşi cu totul de o teamă morbidă de ceea ce categorisesc, în mod foarte vag, drept “spirit partinic,” deşi nu definesc niciodată cu claritate ce înţeleg prin spirit partinic. Sunt copleşiţi de dorinţa morbidă de păstrare a păcii şi de a face toate lucrurile să fie netede, clare şi plăcute, chiar cu preţul renunţării la adevăr. Atâta vreme cât li se asigură pacea, liniştea, lipsa conflictului şi rânduiala stabilită, sunt în stare să renunţe de bună voie la toate celelalte. Cred că aceştia ar fi considerat, alături de Ahab, că Ilie tulbură pe Israel, şi i-ar fi ajutat pe prinţii din Iuda când l-au aruncat pe Ieremia în temniţă pentru a-i închide gura. Nu mă îndoiesc că mulţi din aceşti oameni despre care vorbesc, ar fi considerat că Pavel s-a comportat foarte inprudent la Antiohia, şi că a mers prea departe!

Cred că această atitudine este în întregime greşită. Nu avem dreptul să aşteptăm ca altceva să facă bine sufletelor oamenilor decât Evanghelia curată a lui Cristos, neamestecată şi neschimbată; aceeaşi Evanghelie care a fost predicată de către apostoli. Cred că pentru a menţine în biserică acest adevăr curat al Evangheliei, oamenii ar trebui să fie gata să facă orice sacrificiu, chiar să pună în pericol pacea, sau să rişte să provoace neînţelegeri sau divizare. N-ar trebui să tolereze doctrina falsă mai mult decât tolerează păcatul. Ar trebui să se împotrivească la orice adăugire sau la orice ştirbire a mesajului simplu al Evangheliei lui Cristos.

De dragul adevărului, Domnul nostru Isus Cristos i-a denunţat chiar şi pe Fariseii care stăteau pe scaunul lui Moise, şi care erau învăţătorii puşi şi autorizaţi să înveţe poporul. Vai de voi, cărturari şi Farisei făţarnici!” le spune El de opt ori în capitolul 23 din Matei. Şi oare cine ar îndrăzni să se gândească că Domnul a greşit când spunea astfel?

De dragul adevărului, Pavel s-a împotrivit lui Petru şi l-a acuzat, măcar că erau fraţi. Cum să le mai fie de folos unitatea când puritatea doctrinei dispăruse? Şi cine ar îndrăzni să spună că Pavel a greşit?

De dragul adevărului, Atanasie s-a poziţionat împotriva tuturor pentru a menţine doctrina curată a dinităţii lui Cristos, şi a purtat o controversă cu majoritatea covârşitoare a bisericii din vremea lui. Şi cine ar îndrăzni oare să spună că a greşit?

De dragul adevărului, Luther a rupt unitatea bisericii în care a s-a născut, l-a denunţat pe papa cu toate faptele lui, şi a pus temelia unei noi învăţături. Şi cine ar îndrăzni oare să spună că Luther a greşit?

De dragul adevărului, Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer, reformatorii englezi, i-au sfătuit pe Henry al VIII-lea şi Edward al VI-lea să se separe de Roma, şi să-şi asume consecinţele divizării. Şi cine ar îndrăzni să spună că au greşit?

De dragul adevărului, Whitefield and Wesley, acum o sută de ani, au denunţat predicarea morală stearpă a clericilor din vremea lor, şi au pornit pe drumuri şi cărărui pentru a salva suflete, ştiind bine că vor fi excluşi de la comuniunea bisericii lor. Şi cine ar îndrăzni oare să spună că au greşit?

Da, pacea fără adevăr este o pace falsă; este chiar pacea diavolului. Unitatea fără Evanghelie este o unitate fără valoare; este chiar unitatea iadului. Să nu ne lăsăm prinşi în cursa celor care vorbesc frumos despre ea. Să ne amintim cuvintele Domnului nostru Isus Cristos, “Să nu credeţi că am venit s-aduc pacea pe pământ; n-am venit să aduc pacea, ci sabia” (Matei 10:34). Să ne amintim felul în care este lăudată una din bisericile din Apocalipsa, “Ştiu faptele tale, osteneala ta şi răbdarea ta, şi că nu poţi suferi pe cei răi; că ai pus la încercare pe cei ce zic că sunt apostoli şi nu sunt, şi i-ai găsit mincinoşi (Apocalipsa 2:2). Să ne amintim reproşul pe care-l aduce alteia,

“Tu o tolerezi pe Izabela, femeia aceea care se zice proorociţă” (v. Apocalipsa 2:20).

Să nu ne facem niciodată vinovaţi de sacrificarea vreunei părţi a adevărului pe altarul păcii. Mai degrabă, să fim ca evreii care, atunci când identificau vreun manuscris care cuprindea o copie a Scripturilor Vechiului Testament care avea o greşeală la o singură literă, puneau pe foc întregul manuscris, mai degrabă decât să rişte să piardă vreo iotă sau vreo frântură de slovă din Cuvântul lui Dumnezeu. Să nu fim mulţumiţi cu nimic mai puţin decât întreaga Evanghelie a lui Cristos.

În ce fel trebuie noi să folosim în mod practic principiile generale pe care le-am arătat? Voi da cititorilor mei un sfat simplu. Cred că este un sfat vrednic să i se dea atenţie.

Atenţionez deci pe orice om care-şi iubeşte sufletul să fie selectiv ce predici ascultă de obicei, în ce loc se duce de obicei să se închine. Cel care se aşează conştient sub umbrela vreunei biserici sau organizaţii care este în mod clar nesănătoasă, este foarte neînţelept. Eu niciodată n-aş ezita să spun ce gândesc în acest aspect. Ştiu bine că mulţi consideră şocant ca o persoană să-şi părăsească biserica locală. Eu nu pot vedea prin ochii acestor oameni. Eu fac o distincţie largă între învăţătura care este cu lipsuri şi învăţătura care este complet falsă; între învăţătura cu posibile erori de interpretare şi cea care este clar nebiblică. Însă cred cu tărie că, dacă într-o biserică locală se propovăduieşte în mod obişnuit o doctrină falsă, credinciosul care-şi iubeşte sufletul are perfectă dreptate să nu se mai ducă la acea biserică. A asculta predici nebiblice de cincizeci şi două de ori pe an este un lucru serios. Este o alimentare continuă a minţii cu doze mici de otravă. Cred că este aproape imposibil pentru cineva să se supună singur la aşa ceva, şi să nu fie afectat.

Văd că ni se spune clar în Noul Testament să “cercetăm toate lucrurile,” şi să “păstrăm ce este bun” (1 Tesaloniceni 5:21). Văd în cartea Proverbelor că ni se porunceşte, “Încetează, fiule, să mai asculţi învăţătura, dacă ea te depărtează de învăţăturile înţelepte” (Proverbe 19:27) Dacă aceste cuvinte nu îndreptăţesc pe cineva să se oprească în a se mai închina într-o anumită biserică în care se predică o doctrină falsă, nu ştiu ce alte cuvinte l-ar putea convinge.

  • Îţi dă cineva de înţeles că frecventarea bisericii sau denominaţiei tale este absolut necesară pentru mântuire? Dacă da, ai mare grijă! Să aibă curajul să ne-o spună şi nouă.

  • Vrea cineva să te facă să înţelegi că frecventarea unei anumite biserici sau denominaţiuni mântuieşte sufletul cuiva, chiar dacă acesta moare neconvertit şi în ignoranţă cu privire la Cristos? Dacă da, ai mare grijă! Să aibă curajul să ne-o spună şi nouă.

  • Vrea cineva să-ţi spună că a merge la o anumită biserică sau denominaţie îl învaţă pe om ceva despre Cristos, sau despre schimbarea inimii, sau despre credinţă, sau despre pocăinţă, dacă aceste subiecte de-abia dacă sunt pomenite în respectiva biserică, şi niciodată nu sunt explicate cum se cuvine? Dacă da, ai mare grijă! Să aibă curajul să ne-o spună şi nouă.

  • Îţi dă cineva de înţeles că omul care se pocăieşte, crede în Cristos, trăieşte o viaţă nouă şi sfântă, îşi va pierde sufletul fiindcă şi-a părăsit biserica şi a învăţat religia în altă parte? Dacă da, ai mare grijă! Să aibă curajul să ne-o spună şi nouă.

 În ce mă priveşte, nu pot să sufăr astfel de idei monstruoase şi extravagante. Nu văd nici o urmă de temelie biblică în ele. Şi cred că cei ce ţin astfel de învăţături este extrem de mic.

Există multe biserici în care învăţătura religioasă este aproape nulă. Se cuvine oare ca membrii unor astfel de biserici să stea liniştiţi, să fie mulţumiţi, şi să se bucure de “pace”? Nicidecum. De ce? Fiindcă, la fel ca Pavel, ar trebui să prefere adevărul păcii.

Există multe biserici unde învăţătura religioasă este doar o simplă moralitate. Doctrinele distinctive ale creştinătăţii nu sunt niciodată proclamate în mod clar. Platon, Seneca sau Confucius ar fi putut să propovăduiască aceleaşi învăţături. Se cuvine oare ca membrii unor astfel de biserici să stea liniştiţi, să fie mulţumiţi, şi să se bucure de “pace”? Nicidecum. De ce? Fiindcă, la fel ca Pavel, ar trebui să prefere adevărul păcii.

  • Folosesc oare un limbaj dur în această parte a subiectului meu? Ştiu că este aşa.

  • Umblu oare într-o zonă delicată? Ştiu că este aşa.

  • Atac oare subiecte care sunt în general lăsate în pace şi trecute sub tăcere? Ştiu că este aşa.

Spun ceea ce spun dintr-un simţ al datoriei faţă de biserica pe care o slujesc. Cred că situaţia din lume şi starea adunării cer să vorbim deschis. În multe biserici, sufletele pier în ignoranţă. Membrii cinstiţi ai bisericii sunt dezgustaţi şi încurcaţi. Nu mai este vreme de cuvinte delicate. Nu sunt ignorant de acele cuvinte magice, “ordine, diviziune, schismă, unitate, controversă,” şi altele ca ele. Ştiu influenţa pe care aceste cuvinte par să o aibă asupra anumitor oameni: le provoacă crampe abdominale sau îi face să nu‑şi poată ridica glasul. Şi eu m-am gândit în linişte şi cu atenţie la ele, şi despre fiecare vreau să vă spun ceva.

(a) Biserica denominaţională este un lucru admirabil în teorie. Numai să fie bine administrat şi pus în practică de lucrători cu adevărat spirituali, şi atunci va aduce naţiunii întregi cea mai mare binecuvântare. Însă nu poţi să aştepţi ataşament faţă de anumită biserică atunci când slujitorii ei sunt ignoranţi în ce priveşte Biblia sau sunt iubitori de lume. În astfel de cazuri n-ar fi de mirare ca oamenii să părăsească respectiva biserică, şi să caute adevărul acolo unde poate fi găsit. Dacă slujitorii bisericii respective nu predică Evanghelia şi nu trăiesc Evanghelia, condiţiile în baza cărora pretind atenţia congregaţiei lor sunt încălcate de ei înşişi, iar pretenţiile de a fi ascultaţi au ajuns la capăt. Este absurd să te aştepţi de la capul unei familii să pună în pericol sufletele copiilor săi, dar şi sufletul său, doar de dragul “bisericii” sale. În Biblie nu se pomeneşte despre biserici, nici catolice, nici ortodoxe, nici denominaţionale, şi astfel nimeni nu are dreptul de a cere oamenilor să trăiască şi să moară în ignoranţă, doar pentru ca la urmă să poată spune, “Eu toată viaţa nu mi-am schimbat biserica, m-am dus doar la una.”

(b) Diviziunile şi separările sunt foarte de condamnat în religie. Ele slăbesc cauza adevăratei creştinătăţi. Ele dau vrăjmaşilor celor buni ocazia să hulească, să blasfemieze. Dar înainte de a-i acuza pe oameni pentru că fac asta, trebuie să avem grijă să vedem bine cine este vinovatul. Doctrina falsă şi erezia sunt mai rele decât schisma. Dacă oamenii se separă de învăţătura care este în mod clar falsă şi nebiblică, ar trebui mai degrabă să-i lăudăm decât să-i condamnăm. În astfel de cazuri separarea este o virtute, nu un păcat. Este uşor să faci remarci dispreţuitoare despre cei pe care “îi gâdilă urechile,” şi “iubesc distracţia;” însă nu este uşor să convingi un cititor simplu al Bibliei că este datoria lui să se ducă să asculte în fiecare duminică o doctrină falsă, când cu un pic de efort ar putea merge să asculte adevărul.

(c) Unitatea, liniştea şi rânduiala între cei ce se declară creştini sunt binecuvântări extraordinare. Ele dau tărie, frumuseţe şi eficienţă cauzei lui Cristos. Dar chiar şi aurul poate fi cumpărat prea scump. Unitatea obţinută prin sacrificarea adevărului nu are valoare. Nu unitatea place lui Dumnezeu. Biserica Romei se laudă în gura mare cu o unitate care nu-şi merită numele. Această unitate obţinută prin luarea Bibliei din mâinile oamenilor, prin trâmbiţarea unor păreri şi judecăţi individuale, prin încurajarea ignoranţei, prin a interzice oamenilor să gândească pentru ei înşişi şi să aibă păreri proprii. Întocmai ca luptătorii exterminatori din vechime, Biserica Catolică a Romei forţează o izolare şi o numeşte pace. Există destulă tăcere şi linişte chiar şi în mormânt, însă nu este o linişte a sănătăţii, ci a morţii. Profeţii falşi erau aceia care strigau “Pace,” când nu era pace.

(d) Controversa în religie este ceva detestabil. Este destul că avem de luptat împotriva diavolului, împotrivă lumii şi a cărnii sau firii noastre păcătoase, nu trebuie să mai avem lupte şi datorită diferenţelor particulare din propria tabără. Însă există un lucru care este mai grav decât controversa, şi anume tolerarea, îngăduirea, permiterea doctrinei false, fără a ne împotrivi sau fără a fi deranjaţi. Chiar controversa a câştigat bătălia Reformei protestante. Dacă învăţăturile oamenilor de atunci erau corecte, este clar că n‑ar fi fost nevoie de nici o Reformă! De dragul păcii, ar fi trebuit să continuăm să ne închinăm Fecioarei şi să ne plecăm în faţa icoanelor şi moaştelor până în ziua de astăzi! Hai să terminăm cu prostiile astea! Există anumite perioade când controversa nu este doar o datorie, ci şi un câştig. Mie daţi-mi mai bine tunetul cel puternic decât malaria cea mortală. Cea din urmă umblă în întuneric şi ne otrăveşte în tăcere, şi niciodată nu vom fi în siguranţă. Primul ne înspăimântă şi ne alarmează doar pentru puţină vreme. Dar apoi a trecut, şi împrospătează aerul. Avem o datorie biblică clară “să luptăm pentru credinţa care a fost dată sfinţilor o dată pentru totdeauna” (Iuda 1:3).

Sunt deplin conştient că lucrurile pe care le-am spus sunt extrem de neplăcute pentru mulţi. Cred că mulţi se mulţumeac cu o învăţătură care nu este adevărul întreg, şi îşi închipuie că la urmă va fi “tot una.” Îmi pare rău pentru aceştia. Sunt convins că nimic altceva în afară de adevărul întreg nu va putea, ca regulă generală, să facă bine sufletelor. Ştiu că acei care de bună voie se mulţumesc cu orice altceva decât adevărul întreg, vor descoperi în cele din urmă că suletul lor a avut mult de suferit. Există trei lucruri cu care oamenii nu trebuie niciodată să se joace: puţină otravă, puţină învăţătură falsă, şi puţin păcat.

Sunt deplin conştient că atunci când cineva exprimă opinii de felul celor pe care tocmai vi le-am prezentat, vor exista mulţi care să zică, “Omul acesta nu mai este credincios bisericii.” Ascult astfel de acuzaţii fără să mai mişte. Ziua judecăţii va arăta cine au fost adevăraţii prieteni ai bisericii, şi cine nu. Eu am văzut în ultimii treizeci şi doi de ani că, dacă un pastor/slujitor duce o viaţă liniştită, îi lasă în pace pe cei neconvertiţi din lume şi predică aşa încât să nu deranjeze pe nimeni, dar nici să nu zidească pe nimeni, va fi catalogat de mulţi drept “un pastor/slujitor bun.”

Am mai descoperit că dacă cineva studiază Scriptura, lucrează necontenit pentru mântuirea sufletelor, aderă fără rezerve la doctrinele mari ale Reformei, condamnă cu credincioşie învăţăturile nebiblice, şi predică cu putere predici care caută să-i convingă pe oameni, va fi considerat probabil un instigator şi unul care “tulbură pe Israel.” Dar, să spună oamenii ce vor. Prietenii adevăraţi ai bisericii sunt acei care se trudesc cel mai mult pentru păstrarea adevărului.

Am aşternut aceste rânduri în faţa cititorilor, invitându-i să le ia cu seriozitate în seamă. Îi provoc să nu uite niciodată că adevărul este mai important pentru biserică decât pacea. Le cer să fie gata să ducă mai departe principiile enunţate, şi să lupte cu toată puterea, dacă este cazul, pentru adevăr. Dacă vom face aşa, înseamnă că am învăţat ceva de la cei din Antiohia.

– J.C. Ryle (1816-1900)
luată din: The Fallibility of Ministers.

Doctrina falsă est mai rea decât diviziunea

 Posted on Oct25

https://ioan17.wordpress.com/2012/10/27/false-doctrine-is-worse-than-division

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The Most High

By: J N Darby

Still God is, of course, always such, and referred to in trial as the One who will set all right. When the Lord is just coming into the world to set all in order, the question is raised, Where is the secret place of the Most High? Where is He to be found as a protection? Whoever finds Him will have the protection of Abraham’s God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the place of promise. Jehovah is it, the God of Israel. And in fact the full divine care of the supreme God, the God of promise, is found, possessor of heaven and earth, revealed in connection with the Melchisedec priest.I have been looking into the force of the Hebrew words for most High. That it ultimately refers to God in the millennium as the supreme God then manifested, to the exclusion of what is false, is evident. This is the force of the word—One who, to the exclusion of and superiority over all others, holds the place of the one true God, but exalted as supreme in government. Jehovah is, as we know, the God who is in relationship with Israel, but He is the supreme God, the Most High. The full statement of the title, and the time of taking it, is in Genesis 14:19, 20, 22.Israel’s enemies are entirely discomfited, and delivered into his hand, and the heir of promise blessed of Him who possesses heaven and earth. He is supreme, and has taken all things into His possession.

Hence, too, when Nebuchadnezzar is restored from a state that represents the character of the empires which began in him, he owns the Most High; Dan. 4:25-34.

In the Psalms the use of it is frequent. In Psalm 21 it is connected with the royalty of Christ as the glorified Man and King. His hand will find out all His enemies and by the favour of the Most High He will not be moved. In Psalm 46 God is again in the midst of His people on Messiah’s triumph (Psalm 45). The tabernacles are those of the Most High. His power is fully displayed in the earth, Jehovah being with Jacob. So more fully as to the world in Psalm 47. In Psalm 50 Most High is connected with the judgment of God in power. In Psalms 9, 10, 55, and 57, it is calling upon Him in this character by the remnant when in distress, the first of the two latter speaking of the distress, the second of the delivering supremacy over all the earth. Psalm 73 is the first of the third book, and the power of the Most High despised by the adversariesbut, going into the sanctuary, their judgment is discovered. The years of the Most High are remembered in Psalm 77, His way is in the sanctuary and in the sea; not looking to heart-failing in man, but to Jehovah, the Supreme, who accomplishes His good pleasure. In this and the next it is Jehovah’s right to this name, as in all the history of Israel. For this is all Israel. Psalms 82 and 83 are both judgment at the close, and in the fullest way to recognise that Jehovah is the Most High over all the earth. Psalm 91 has been spoken of. Psalm 92 is the same perishing of the enemies, and exalting the true David. Psalm 97 is expressly as Jehovah reigning, and as Most High over all the earth, and exalted above the gods when He comes to judgment. In Psalm 107 it is Israel re-gathered, who celebrates God’s government, and His chastisement for their rebellion against Jehovah who is the Most High.

We have the Most High in Daniel 7, though in most of the occurrences it is in the plural for “high” or “heavenly places.” There its connection with God’s title, and making good His dominion, and this connected with Israel, is evident. Thus, though Jehovah is looked back to in self-judgment in the history of Israel, as Psalms 56, 57, 73, 77, yet the force of the title is evident.

New Testament Assembly

September 17, 2012 //Stockton Bible Chapel  http://stocktonbiblechapel.wordpress.com/

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GOD’S CHILDREN NEED NOT FEAR

 

Our Daily Bread’s daily devotion for today is about Psalm 121.  The writers, informative and a blessing as always, note that this Psalm  was “sung” by pilgrims on their journey to celebrate one of three “Godatory” (“mandatory” just does not seem to be appropriate) feasts in Jerusalem (Ex. 23:14-17).  For some, if not all, the trip was dangerous due to the terrain and the threat of robbers lying in wait (Lk. 10:30).  This Psalm served to comfort the travelers by reminding them trust in our all-sufficient God. 

Psalm 121:    

[1] I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

[2] My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.

[3] He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: He that keepeth thee will not slumber.

[4] Behold, He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

[5] The LORD is thy Keeper: the LORD is thy Shade upon thy right hand.

[6] The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.

[7] The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: He shall preserve thy soul.

[8] The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

Today’s devotion pointed out that the Hebrew שָׁמַר (shamar), appears six times in five of the eight verses of this Psalm.  It is translated “keepeth” in verses three and four, “Keeper” in verse five, and “preserve,” twice in verse seven, and once in verse eight.  In each, the context determines which English word is the best translation.  And, although the King James uses three different words, all clearly show that the Jewish travelers were counting on their all-powerful God to protect them. Whatever “journey” you are on today, whether it be illness which threatens as “through the valley of the shadow of death,” or in the presence of your “enemies,” or merely being hungry and thirsty, Almighty God will not fail you. God has given His children His Word on it! 

 http://skipslighthouse.blogspot.com/2012/08/gods-children-need-not-fear.html  

 

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FAITH IN FORGIVENESS IS MARKED BY GRATITUDE

 

This forgiveness of God is perfect, and He is willing to forgive ALL SINS—past, present and future. God in His grace is free to fully justify and forgive the believing sinner based on the blood of Christ (the work which He accomplished on the cross on our behalf, dying as our Substitute). Recognizing God’s gracious forgiveness ought to be cause for much thanksgiving and “thanks-living!” It should be a stimulus for holy conduct (Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:12-13). How can we do anything less than serve and love the God who has forgiven us our sins! Here are but a dozen of many, many verses which speak of the complete forgiveness that a person receives when He believes on the Lord Jesus Christ.

*  “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us” (Ps. 103:12).

*  “If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with Thee, that Thou mayest be feared” (Ps. 130:3-4).

*  “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isa. 1:18).

*  “Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but Thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for Thou hast cast all my sins behind Thy back” (Isa. 38:17).

*  “I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto Me; for I have redeemed thee” (Isa. 44:22).

*  “In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve” (Jer. 50:20).

*  “Who is a God like unto Thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He retaineth not His anger for ever, because He delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea” (Mic. 7:18-19).

*  “In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7).

*  “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more” (Heb. 8:12; 10:16).

*  “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His Name’s sake” (1 Jn. 2:12).

*  “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses” (Col. 2:13).

*  “To him give all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission (forgiveness) of sins” (Acts 10:43).

 We cannot earn our salvation, but we sure can make God happy that He saved us!

http://skipslighthouse.blogspot.com/2012/08/faith-in-forgiveness-is-marked-by.html

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