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December 17 2010 6 17 /12 /December /2010 18:34

holycow

 

To better comprehend God’s dietary laws, we need to learn the basic distinction between clean and unclean.

 

The Bible says that some animals are “clean” and some are “unclean.” That’s easy enough to understand. In Leviticus 11, these adjectives describe animals that have been designated by the Lord as either fit or unfit for human consumption. But what does it mean to designate something as “unclean”? What does it mean to say that it is “clean”? What happens if we become “unclean”?

 

Notions of “ritual purity” and “impurity” (“clean” and “unclean”) are some of the hardest of all biblical concepts to grasp. The ideas of c1eari and unclean seem weird and remote in our Western context. At first, the whole thing appears to have nothing to do with believers or with Jesus. This is indeed hard stuff. At the same time, if we are confused, annoyed or bored with it, the problem is likely on our end (in this case, with me trying to communicate it to you). God created this system and codified it in His Word, regardless of our thoughts and feelings about it.

 

One reason this stuff is so hard is that it all relates to God’s dwelling place on earth: the Tabernacle or Temple. That makes it difficult for us to understand, since there has not been such a place in almost 2,000 years.

 

Levitical impurity (or being “unclean”) is the biblical concept that a person or object can be in a state that—by the Bible’s law—prevents the person or object from interacting with the Tabernacle or Temple and its sacrifices.

 

The words “clean” and “unclean” are misleading, since they seem to imply something about general hygiene. This is not a sanitation issue. A ritually unclean animal is not dirtier than a clean animal, and you cannot make a ritually unclean animal clean by giving it a good, hot, soapy bath. It is equally wrong to suppose that “clean” and “unclean” refer to an animal’s moral state. If animals did have any moral sense, horses would certainly have a higher moral standard than goats; yet the Bible says that horses are considered unclean, while goats are considered clean. In the same regard, an unclean animal such as a camel is no more shameful or morally bankrupt than a clean animal like a giraffe. People who work closely with camels may disagree, but the point is clear. Ritual impurity is completely different from physical cleanness, and it has nothing to do with intrinsic goodness or badness.

 

Instead, clean and unclean must be understood as purely ritual states. They have real application only in regard to the Tabernacle/Temple, the priesthood and the sacrifices. Here is what they mean:

 

CLEAN: Something that is in a state of ritual cleanness is fit for entering the sacred precinct of the Tabernacle/Temple of God, for sacrifice on the altar, and/or for contacting the Tabernacle/Temple’s sacred elements.

 

UNCLEAN: Something that is unclean is in a state of ritual defilement. This renders it unfit for entering the sacred precinct of God’s Tabernacle/Temple, for sacrifice on the altar, and/or for contacting the Tabernacle/Temple’s sacred elements.

 

Therefore, clean animals are animals that are regarded as fit for sacrificing. Unclean animals are not regarded as fit for sacrificing. Since we believers do not have a real, physical Temple in which we worship today, and since there is no sacrificial system today, most of the Bible’s complex laws of clean and unclean have no real practical application in modern life. Levitical concerns about contracting ritual impurity through bodily discharges, dead rodents and lepers are not relevant without a Temple. Leviticus 11, however, does not directly address whether eating unclean animals will make you unclean or not. It simply forbids eating them.

 

Explaining the intricacies of the Tabernacle/Temple system, and the associated requirements for entering into God’s presence in His dwelling place on earth, is beyond the scope of this book. I am making some sweeping generalizations about that system and its God-given requirements that may lead to more questions than answers. In fact, many of these generalizations may contradict what most of us have learned over the years about clean and unclean and the role of the Temple/Tabernacle. That makes sense. In order to read the Bible without getting stuck, this extremely detailed topic has, over the years, been understandably oversimplified.

 

As we study what the Bible says about meat, however, let’s stick our toes into the deep ocean of meaning hidden beneath the surface of these concepts. Remember, if this topic confuses, annoys, repulses or bores us, the problem is with our lack of understanding—not with God’s holy and perfect Word. But take heart. While the laws of clean and unclean do contain deep and profound spiritual lessons about separating the Kingdom of Light from the Kingdom of Darkness, we need not worry about practicing the non- eating-related instructions unless a Temple is rebuilt in Jerusalem and we plan to visit it.

 

Clean and Unclean: Not a Salvation Thing

 

As we begin to understand a tiny bit about clean and unclean, I hope two things are becoming clear.

 

First, becoming unclean is not the same thing as sin. A woman having her monthly period (Leviticus 15:25) and a woman who has just given birth (Leviticus 12:2) are both considered unclean by Levitical standards, but they obviously have not sinned. Think about it. If becoming unclean was truly a sin, Jesus would not have qualified as our perfect atoning sacrifice. Why? He deliberately touched dead people (Luke 7:14) and lepers (Matthew 8:3, Mark 1:41). According to the Torah, both of these actions would have rendered Jesus unclean and temporarily ineligible to participate in Temple worship activities. However, since the Living Word (Jesus) had perfect understanding of and unity with God’s Written Word (the Bible, that is, Torah), He knew that becoming unclean was not the same thing as sinning. He healed the leper and raised the dead with His touch, not in defiance of the Torah’s rules, but in conformity with them.

 

Second, the Bible’s designation of when someone was unclean had nothing to do with the person’s right-standing before God. It was simply part of God’s system for designating who was eligible to enter His physical dwelling place on earth (the Tabernacle/Temple). It had nothing to do with salvation, justification or righteousness before God. Remember that righteousness has always come by faith, before, during and since Tabernacle/Temple times. The New Testament reminds us that “it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” (Hebrews 10:4) Rather, the blood of the Temple/Tabernacle sacrificial system provided a covering for sin so that man could approach God in His earthly home.

 

Eternal right-standing before God has always come through faith. Sacrifices in the earthly Tabernacle/Temple both foreshadowed Messiah’s eternal sacrifice, and they provided a way for humans to interact with God on earth.

 

What does all of this have to do with eating? Nothing! That’s the point! We highlight the basics of the Temple/Tabernacle system to avoid the temptation of skimming Leviticus 11, seeing the words “clean” and “unclean,” and dismissing the whole chapter - including the food laws - as irrelevant.

 

The careful reader sees that Leviticus 11 addresses two different things. First, God shows how to avoid becoming unclean (by not touching certain carcasses). This enables a person to enter the Tabernacle/Temple and make sacrifices. Indeed, this is not applicable today, since there is no earthly Temple/Tabernacle. Second, He tells His people which animals are permissible to eat. This is unrelated to one’s ability to participate in the sacrificial system.

 

Just as He forbids us from offering unclean animals upon His altar, so too He forbids us from taking unclean animals into the Temple of our bodies. This is relevant for anyone looking to the Scriptures for food-choice guidance.

 

With this theory in mind, go back and reread Leviticus 11. Notice the different language used for food commands (“you may eat…”“you must not eat…”) and those related to the Temple/Tabernacle system (“whoever touches their carcasses will be unclean till evening…”). Also notice that when a person becomes unclean by touching a dead rodent or some other nasty thing, it is only a temporary condition, usually lasting only until sunset. The Bible provides rituals, like immersion in water, so the unclean person may be declared clean again, enter God’s Temple, and participate in the worship. On the other hand, an unclean animal will always be unclean. There is no ritual that can ever make it clean. The Torah does not provide a remedy for a person who eats unclean animals, just as it does not provide a remedy for someone who gives false testimony or covets his neighbor’s wife. They are all actions that God simply forbids. Even though God forgives those who repent from lying or envying, it does not mean that we endorse those behaviors, does it?

 

These seemingly bizarre concepts may baffle us, but remember: they are part of God’s Word. God Himself created and designed the entire sacrificial system and its associated laws. And since Jesus Himself did not seem to have a problem with this system, we would do well to be cautious about dismissing it.

 

An excerpt from “HOLY COW!” by Hope Egan.

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December 3 2010 6 03 /12 /December /2010 14:28

Bible Truth

 

Unless otherwise noted, all scripture quotations are from the King James Version.

 

Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams” (I Samuel 15:22 last part). The Lord told Saul to “…go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass” (I Samuel 15:3). Saul went his way and did as it pleased him. He spared what he wanted and destroyed what he thought was vile and refuse. He saved the best of the animals to offer sacrifice. The Lord was not delighted in whatever he was preparing to offer. Obedience was expected from Saul and he blew it.

 

“… Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king” (I Samuel 15:3). What transpired after caused Samuel to utter the words, “…The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou” (I Samuel 15:3). Thus Saul reaped the fruit of his actions and disobedience. He was left stranded. The Spirit of God left him. He was like any other man without the protection of the power of God. Saul’s response was to seek a witch in Endor, thinking that help might come from that source. When he finally got an answer from the witch of Endor, it was just to reproach him for not obeying the voice of God, and to spell out his demise.

 

Dear ones, let us not go the way that Saul traveled and be disobedient too. Whatever the task the Lord has called us to perform; we must remember that obedience is vitally important to the children of God. It is not a one time display, then to return to one’s old life. Obedience must be constant and continuing, and must be fuelled by faith in God.

 

Without faith it is impossible to please God. Jesus is really the perfect example, since He, as the Son of God, showed us that obedience is extremely important. “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Hebrews 5:8-9).

 

Remember, He was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. We are also very privileged because He said to us that “…if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (I John 2:1). We can go to Him regularly if sins are committed, asking for forgiveness. God never destroys a city or individual without first warning them. We are warned and reminded that we should not provoke the Lord. “For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him” (Hebrews 2:2-3).

 

Today the voice of the Lord is not to them in the past, like Saul. It is to us who are alive and, as children of God, we must become aware lest we fall after the same example of unbelief, and die in our sin. “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; breakup your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you” (Hosea 10:2). Disobedience has a reward, and it is not nice. “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15).

 

Obedience also has a reward. “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and Twill be his God, and he shall be my son” (Revelation 21:7).

 

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen” (Jude 24-25).

 

Obedient, you shall live; disobedient, you shall die.

 

From “The Advocate of Truth.” February 22, 2010.

 

The Church of God - Publishing House - Salem, West Virginia

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November 30 2010 3 30 /11 /November /2010 18:39

Torah Scroll

 

Sauf précision, tous les passages tirés des Saintes Écritures sont extraits de la Version Ostervald révisée édition de 1996.

 

Jamais Dieu n’a détruit une ville ou une nation sans tout d’abord envoyer Son messager afin que celui-ci  ne prévienne le peuple, pour lui donner l’opportunité d’échapper au jugement divin. Ce messager de Dieu a prévenu le monde avant que n’advienne le déluge. En Matthieu 24 :37-40, Jésus nous avertit que de la même manière, lorsqu’il reviendra le monde sera dans l’état dans lequel il se trouvait du temps de Noé. Dieu a également prévenu les habitants de Sodome et Gomorrhe avant qu’Il ne fasse descendre du ciel sur eux une pluie de feu qui les détruisit. Jésus nous avertit que cela se passera de même à son retour (Luc 17 :27-30). L’Éternel avisa Babylone de sa volonté de la détruire. Il envoya Son messager afin de prévenir Ninive, Tyr et Sidon de Ses intentions. Encore une fois et de la même façon, nous sommes avisés qu’un messager viendra annoncer au monde entier la seconde venue du Messie. Le message du troisième ange est un message d’avertissement.

 

En Apocalypse 14: 6-9, trois messages nous sont délivrés, chacun étant symbolisés par un ange volant au milieu du ciel.  Le premier de ces anges nous annonce l’Évangile éternel, le second nous apprend la chute de Babylone, et enfin le dernier ange porte un message d’avertissement au monde entier, afin que nul ne reçoive la marque de la bête sur son front ou sa main, auquel cas les conséquences en seraient terribles pour cette personne.

 

Avant que Jésus ne monte au ciel, il annonça, en Matthieu 24 :14, que la Bonne Nouvelle du Royaume devait être proclamée en témoignage à toutes les nations, et qu’ensuite viendrait la fin. Plus loin, dans le passage d’Apocalypse que nous avons mentionné ci-dessus, nous apprenons que cette Bonne Nouvelle comprend trois parties distinctes. La première partie, c’est-à-dire la propagation de l’Évangile éternel, s’est réalisée puisque ce message est désormais disponible dans le monde entier; le Message de Réforme, lequel était en fait un appel dénonçant la corruption de Babylone, fut lui aussi annoncé au monde entier. Enfin, le dernier message, l’avertissement final à l’encontre  de « la marque de la bête », se propage désormais à grande vitesse et avec des répercussions certaines. Babylone nous est décrite en Apocalypse 17 sous la forme d’une femme, symbole d’une Église, cette même Église qui gouvernait le monde du temps de la Réforme, cette Réforme dont le message était celui de la chute spirituel de Babylone, dès lors lieu d’habitation de démons et de fausses doctrines.

 

Le thème du Message du Troisième Ange est en fait celui des « commandements de Dieu, et la foi de Jésus » (Apocalypse 14 :12). Il s’agit d’un thème d’actualité aujourd’hui.

 

Ce message précède le retour du Seigneur Jésus Christ, et, puisque les signes de notre temps déclarent l’imminence de ce retour, ce Message est celui qui nous concernent plus particulièrement aujourd’hui, celui qui va prévaloir jusqu’à ce que n’advienne la fin de ce monde tel que nous le connaissons.

 

Le livre de Daniel, qui est clé pour comprendre Apocalypse 7 :17-23, nous décrit une bête symbolisant un royaume terrestre. Le même symbolisme s’applique à d’autres passages de la bible, et en Apocalypse 17 :3-5, lorsqu’une bête nous est décrite mené par une femme, nous comprenons alors qu’il s’agit d’une figure de l’Église apostate dirigeant les princes de ce monde. C’est exactement ce qui survint pour une durée de 1260 ans alors que la l’Église Romaine, la Papauté unie aux pouvoirs civils, persécutait l’Église de Dieu.  La Religion Catholique était ainsi imposée aux populations sous la menace de la loi, ceux qui refusaient de s’y soumettre étaient exécutés. Selon ce que nous apprenons en Apocalypse 17 :8-11, cette bête, blessée à mort, doit revenir à la vie. Ceci adviendra avant qu’elle ne s’en aille définitivement vers sa perdition et vers sa destruction.  Nous pouvons sonder l’histoire humaine et déterminer à peu près lorsque cela se produira, « car elle était, et elle n’est plus, bien qu’elle soit » comme nous l’annonce le Seigneur en Apocalypse 17 :8.  Elle montera de l’abîme, un lieu d’isolement, et va « s’en allé en perdition ». Le Message du Troisième Ange constitue tout spécialement un avertissement à son encontre, alors qu’elle fera sa dernière apparition.  Ces événements sont en train de se produire à présent.

 

En Apocalypse 13:1, il nous est écrit : « Et je vis monter de la mer une bête qui avait sept têtes et dix cornes, et sur ses cornes dix diadèmes, et sur ses têtes un nom de blasphème ».  Ce nom de blasphème constitue la marque de la bête. Tout ce qui contrevient à la Parole de Dieu est un blasphème. Les contradictions sont omniprésentes dans notre monde aujourd’hui.  Nombres de ces inconséquences nous sont présentés sous le couvert de la religion, il est donc de notre devoir de connaître la vérité et de dissiper les mensonges par une étude consciencieuse de la Parole de Dieu.

 

Ainsi, la marque de la bête est clairement décrite associé au Message d’avertissement du Troisième Ange. Ceux qui désirent échapper aux événements à venir et ainsi bénéficier de la protection divine pour leurs bien-aimés, doivent pleinement comprendre ce qui nous fut révélé par Dieu et placer ce message au cœur de leurs existences.

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November 30 2010 3 30 /11 /November /2010 18:36

Torah Scroll

 

Unless otherwise noted, all scripture quotations are from the King James Version.

 

God has never destroyed a city or a nation without first sending His messenger there to warn the people, thus giving them a chance to escape. He warned the world before the flood came, and Jesus tells us (Matthew 24:37-40) that it will be the same when he comes again as it was in the days of Noah. God warned the people of Sodom and Gomorrah before He rained fire from heaven and destroyed them, and Jesus says it will be the same when he comes (Luke 17:27-30). The Lord warned Babylon before destruction came: He sent His messengers to warn Ninevah, Tyre and Sidon; and He also declares there is to be a definite message going forth to warn the whole world before Jesus comes the second time. The Third Angel’s Message is a warning message.

 

In Revelation 14:6-9, there are three messages described, symbolized by an angel flying through the midst of heaven. One is the everlasting gospel, the other cry is that Babylon has fallen, and the last one is a warning to all the world not to receive the mark of the beast in their forehead or hand, telling of the dreadful consequences if they do.

 

Before Jesus ascended to heaven, he told us in Matthew 24:14 that the gospel of the kingdom was to go to the entire world as a witness to all nations, and then the end would come. Later, in the above chapter of Revelation, he divides this gospel into three divisions. The everlasting gospel has gone to all the world; the Reformation Message, which was a cry against the corruption of Babylon, has gone to all the world; and now the last message, the final warning against the “mark of the beast” is going with speed and effect. Babylon is described in Revelation 17 as a woman, symbolizing a church, and this one church ruled the world at the time of the Reformation, and the message was that Babylon had spiritually fallen, and become the habitation of devils and false doctrines.

 

The Third Angel’s Message has for its theme the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, (verse 12) and is a live issue at this time.

 

This message precedes the return of our Lord, and as the signs of our time declare his coming near, it is now going, and will continue to the end.

 

Daniel, being a key to Revelation 7:17-23, tells us a beast symbolizes a kingdom upon earth. These same symbols apply to other parts of the Bible, and in Revelation 17:3-5, where a beast carries a woman; we have a figure of the kingdoms of the world carrying a church. It pictures a church riding upon the civil governments of the world, and is exactly what we had during the 1260 years of papal persecution when the Catholic Church was united with civil power, and the Catholic religion was forced by law upon the people or they were killed. This beast is to be wounded and come to life again, according to verses 8-11, just before it goes into perdition or destruction. We can now look back through history and see when it was, but now it is not, but the Lord says it yet is (Revelation 17:8). It will come up out of the bottomless pit, a place of seclusion, and then go into perdition. The Third Angel’s Message is a special warning against it, when it makes its last appearance. It is now arising.

 

We are told in Revelation 13:1, “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy”. Blasphemy is the mark of the Beast. Anything that contradicts God’s Word is blasphemy. There are many such contradictions in the world today. Many of these contradictions occur in the name of religion, therefore it is our job to know the truth and dispel untruth by studying God’s Word.

 

The mark of the beast is also made clear, with the warning, and those wishing to escape the things coming to pass, and have divine protection for their loved ones, should understand fully what God has revealed and have this message in their home.

 

 

The Church of God - Publishing House- Salem, West Virginia

 

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November 29 2010 2 29 /11 /November /2010 19:17

BibleStudy

 

Unless otherwise noted, all scripture quotations are from The New King James Version.

 

Crime - even violent crime - is no longer limited to certain countries or big cities. In the resultant climate of fear, many people seek protection by purchasing weapons or learning martial arts. Some governments have enacted laws that give citizens the right to use deadly force to defend themselves. But what does the Bible say? Is a person ever justified in using force to defend himself or his family?

 

God Hates Violence

 

The Bible condemns violence and those who resort to it. The psalmist David said regarding Jehovah God: “the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates” (Psalm 11:5). God pronounced judgment against several ancient nations, including his own people, because of their violence and bloodshed. (Joel 3:19; Micah 6:12; Nahum 3:1) Even unintentional manslaughter resulting from carelessness was a serious crime under the Law given to Israel (Deuteronomy 22:8).

 

The Bible exhorts individuals to avoid potential conflicts by pursuing peace every day. Violent struggles often begin with a heated exchange of words. The Bible observes: “Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; And where there is no talebearer, strife ceases” (Proverbs 26:20). Calmness often defuses anger and deflects violent confrontation. The apostle Paul wrote: “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18).

 

When You Are Threatened

 

Pursuing peace does not guarantee that you will never face violent attack. True worshippers of God throughout history have been victims of violent crime (Genesis 4:8; Job 1:14-15, 17). If a person is confronted by an armed robber, what should he do? Jesus instructed: “But I tell you not to resist an evil person” (Matthew 5:39). He also said: “And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either” (Luke 6:29). Jesus did not condone use of physical weapons to defend material possessions. If confronted by an armed robber, a wise person will not resist giving up his valuables. Surely, life is far more precious than belongings!

 

On the other hand, what if a person’s life is threatened by an assailant? A law that God gave to ancient Israel sheds light on this. If a thief was caught in the daytime and was killed, the assailant would be charged with murder. This was evidently because thievery did not carry the death penalty and the thief could have been identified and brought to justice. However, if an intruder was fatally struck at night, the householder could be exonerated because it would be difficult for him to see what the intruder was doing and to ascertain the intentions of the intruder. The householder could reasonably conclude that his family was under threat of harm and take defensive action (Exodus 22:2-3).

 

The Bible thus indicates that a person may defend himself or his family if physically assaulted. He may ward off blows, restrain the attacker, or even strike a blow to stun or incapacitate him. The intention would be to neutralize the aggression or stop the attack. This being the case, if the aggressor was seriously harmed or killed in such a situation, his death would be accidental and not deliberate.

 

The Best Protection

 

Clearly, there are circumstances under which reasonable self-defense is justified. People have a right to protect themselves and their loved ones from aggression and deadly harm. When escape is not possible, there is no Biblical injunction against reasonably defending ourselves. Still, the course of wisdom would be to do our best to avoid situations with a potential for violence (Proverbs 16:32).

 

The Bible encourages us to “seek peace and pursue it” in all avenues of our life (1 Peter 3:11). This is a practical formula that really contributes to peaceful living.

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November 27 2010 7 27 /11 /November /2010 14:48

Bible Truth

 

Unless otherwise noted, all scripture quotations are from the King James Version.

 

Actions speak louder than words. The fruit of the Spirit must be practiced by each and every child of God. These attributes from Galatians 5:22-23 are LOVE, JOY, PEACE, LONGSUFFERING, GENTLENESS, GOODNESS, FAITH, MEEKNESS, and TEMPERANCE. By having these nine attributes in our Christian life, we will be able to shine like alight out unto the world.

 

CHARITY [LOVE] suffereth long, and is kind; charity [love] envieth not; charity [love]vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil” (I Corinthians 13:4-5). God showed us His love by giving His only begotten Son to die on Calvary’s tree whereby we all can have a chance to obtain eternal life. So we, as Christians, should love our neighbor as ourselves and be a giving person from the heart. The Lord has given us a new commandment. He said, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you…” (John 13:34). “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth” (I John 3:18).

 

Having LOVE for each other therefore brings JOY to the hearts of others. The joy that we have within is the strength of the Lord. Paul and Silas went through great trials and sufferings, but the joy in serving the Lord did not depart from them. Though many stripes were laid upon them, though they were cast into prison, they continued singing and giving praises to the Lord. Always be joyful for what all the Lord has done for us in our lives, and give Him thanks and praises at all times. “And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation” (Psalm 35:9).

 

The joy from within therefore calms our souls with PEACE. “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). By placing all our trust and confidence in the Lord, peace will flow like a river gently through our souls. We should let the peace of God rule in our hearts and be thankful because it’s a blessing. “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable…And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace” (James 3:17-18).

 

The PEACE that flows from within us will give us the PATIENCE to go through LONGSUFFERING. “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye maybe perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (James 1:2-4). Job was a perfect and upright man in the eyes of God, but he went through pain and sufferings. The patience that Job had helped him to walk through his sufferings, and he was more blessed in the end than in the beginning. When we begin the Christian journey, we must go through trials and tribulations. The road is rough and has plenty of potholes, but we should never let this keep us from obtaining eternal life. Going through fiery trials on the Christian journey is to make us stronger and better Christians. It will cause us to be brighter lights in the world. “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him” (James 1:12).

 

LONGSUFFERING therefore teaches us to be GENTLE, tender-hearted and kind to others. Gentleness is having humility toward God and others. “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). Jesus is our greatest example. In Matthew 11:29, He said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Therefore, we should be ready to give a gentle response and care to those who are weak, which may help to bring love, joy and peace in their lives. “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy” (James 3:17).

 

GOODNESS gently steps in which shows the virtuousness of a child of God, which can give us the opportunity to gain honour and respect from others. “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:9-10). The wisdom of the Lord is past finding out. He healed the sick, He raised the dead, and He cast out devils. The blind received their sight, and the lepers were cleansed. He did so much more. There is only one thing the Lord wants from us, and that is to give ear and obey His commandments and keep His statutes. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).

 

GOODNESS brings forth FAITH which causes us to believe and keep the commandments of God. Hebrews 11:6 informs us, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

 

Abraham had great trust and confidence in the Lord when he was to offer up Isaac. “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Hebrews 11:3). Prayer and faith work hand in hand. To receive our requests from the Lord, we must believe. If we have faith as a grain of mustard seed, we will be able to move mountains. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).

 

FAITH therefore gives us the ability to portray MEEKNESS. “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5). Meekness showed forth humility in the life of Moses. He was the meekest man upon the face of the earth. “The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way” (Psalm 25:9). We can find rest for our soul when we are meek and lowly in heart as Jesus was. Meekness is being calm and not easily provoked.

 

MEEKNESS will control our temper and emotions. Jesus displayed TEMPERANCE when He resisted the devil after He had fasted forty days and nights. Temperance therefore brings patience, then self control our actions are controlled by our hearts. We should pray for God to mold our hearts and make them like His, so we will be able to control our tongues and actions. Having the fruit mentioned will give us temperance. “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity” (II Peter 1:5-7).

 

If the fruit of the Spirit are lacking in your lives, you should quickly collect your baskets and head to the market, getting on your knees and asking God for more of the fruit of the Spirit. In receiving the fruit of the Spirit, make sure that it is mature so it can grow within you and shine like a light in the world. Some who see the brightness from us as Christians may want to follow our example. By just having and practicing the fruit of the Spirit, we can win souls for the Lord. I pray that the fruit of the Spirit that is within us will remain fresh and spotless.

 

From “The Advocate of Truth.” May 24, 2010.

 

The Church of God - Publishing House - Salem, West Virginia

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November 22 2010 2 22 /11 /November /2010 18:38

Hebrew Yahveh

 

By: Samuel Barrett (1825)

 

Unitarian Christians believe Jesus Christ to be the Son of God and the Saviour of men. They believe in the divinity of his mission and in the divinity of his doctrines. They believe that the Gospel which he proclaimed came from God; that the knowledge it imparts, the morality it enjoins, the spirit it breathes, the acceptance it provides, the promises it makes, the prospects it exhibits, the rewards it proposes, the punishments it threatens, all proceed from the Great Jehovah. But they do not believe that Jesus Christ is the Supreme God. They believe that, though exalted far above all other created intelligences, he is a being distinct from, inferior to, and dependent upon, the Father Almighty. For this belief they urge, among other reasons, the following arguments from Scripture.


1. Because Jesus Christ is represented by the sacred writers to be as distinct a being from God the Father as one man is distinct from another. “It is written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one who bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me” (John 8:17 and 18).


2. Because he not only never said that himself was God, but, on the contrary, spoke of the Father, who sent him, as God, and as the only God. “This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). This language our Saviour used in solemn prayer to “his Father and our Father.”


3. Because he is declared, in unnumbered instances, to be the Son of God. “And lo, a voice from heaven, saying, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17). Can a son be coeval (the same age) and the same with his father?


4. Because he is styled the Christ, or the anointed of God. “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power” (Acts 10:38). Is he who anoints the same with him who is anointed?


5. Because he is represented as a Priest. “Consider the ….High-Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus” (Heb. 3:1). The office of a priest is to minister to God. Christ, then, as a priest, cannot be God.


6. Because Christ is Mediator between the “One God,” and “men.” “For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5).


7. Because, as the Saviour of men, he was sent by the Father. “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world” (1 John 4:14).


8. Because he is an Apostle appointed by God. “Consider the Apostle,...Christ Jesus, who was faithful to him that appointed him” (Heb. 3:1 and 2).


9. Because Christ is represented as our intercessor with God. “It is Christ that died, yea, rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (Rom. 8:34).


10. Because the head of Christ is God. “I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of every woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God” (1 Cor. 11:3).


11. Because, in the same sense in which we are said to belong to Christ, Christ is said to belong to God. “And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s” (1 Cor. 3:23).


12. Because Christ says, “My father is greater than all” (John 10:29). Is not the father, then greater than the son?


13. Because he affirms, in another connection, and without the least qualification, “My Father is greater than I” (John 14:28).


14. Because he virtually denies that he is God, when he exclaims, “Why callest thou me Good? There is none good but one, that is God” (Matt. 19:17).


15. Because our Saviour, after having said, “I and my Father are one,” gives his disciples distinctly to understand that he did not mean one substance, equal in power and glory, but one only in affection and design, as clearly appears from the prayer he offers to his Father in their behalf, --“that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us” (John 17:21).


16. Because the Father is called the God of Christ as he is the God of Christians. Jesus saith unto her, “....Go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father; and to my God and your God” (John 20:17).


17. Because an Apostle says of God, in distinction from the “Lord Jesus Christ,” that He is the “only Potentate,” and that He “only hath immortality” (1 Tim. 6:15 and 16).


18. Because it is the express declaration of the same Apostle, that the Father is the one God, and there is none other. “Though there be that are called Gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) yet to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things” (1 Cor. 8:5 and 6).


19. Because the power which Christ possessed was, as him affirmed, given to him. “All power is given unto me” (Matt. 28:18).


20. Because he positively denies himself to be the author of his miraculous works, but refers them to the Father, or the holy spirit of God. “The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works” (John 14:10). “If I cast out devils by the spirit of God” (Matt. 12:28).


21. Because he distinctly states, that these works bear witness, not to his own power, but that the Father had sent him (John 5:36).


22. Because he expressly affirms that the works were done, not in his own name, but in his Father’s name (John 10:25).


23. Because he asserts, that “him hath God the Father sealed,” i.e. to God the Father he was indebted for his credentials (John 6:27).


24. Because he declares that he is not the author of his own doctrine. “My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me” (John 7:16 and 17).


25. Because he represents himself as having been instructed by the Father. “As my Father hath taught me, I speak these things” (John 8:28).


26. Because he refers invariable to the Father as the origin of the authority by which he spoke and acted. “The Father hath given to the Son authority” (John 5:26 and 27).


27. Because he acknowledges his dependence on his heavenly Father for example and direction in all his doings. “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do” (John 5:19). “The Father loveth the Son, and showth him all things that himself doeth” (John 5:20).


28. Because he says, “I seek not mine own glory; but I honor my Father” (John 8:49 and 50).


29. Because he declares, “If I honor myself, my honor is nothing: it is my Father that honoreth me” (John 8:54).


30. Because an Apostle declares, that in Christ dwelt all fullness, because it so pleased the Father (Col. 1:19).


31. Because Christ is uniformly represented in the Scriptures, not as the primary, but the intermediate cause of all things relating to our salvation. “One God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him” (1 Cor. 8:6).


32. Because he declares, “I am not come of myself” into the world, “for I proceeded forth and came from God” (John 8:42; 7:28). Jesus knowing… that he “came from God, and went to God” (John 13:3).


33. Because he affirms that he had not the disposal of the highest places in his own kingdom. “To sit on my right and on my left is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father” (Matt. 20:23).


34. Because our Saviour, referring his disciples to a future time, when they would understand more accurately concerning him, expressly declares that then they would know him to be entirely dependent upon the Father. “When ye have lifted up the Son of man (i.e. crucified him), then shall ye know that I am he (i.e. the Messiah), and that I do nothing of myself, but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things" (John 8:28).


35. Because our Saviour always professed to have no will of his own, but to be ever entirely guided and governed by the will of his heavenly Father. “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me” (John 6:38).


36. Because he expressly denies that he is possessed of Divine attribute of independent existence. “As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father” (John 6:57).


37. Because he expressly disclaims the possession of the Divine attribute of underived existence. “As the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself” (John 5:26).


38. Because he positively denies that he is possessed of the Divine attribute of omnipotence. “I can of mine own self do nothing” (John 5:30).


39. Because he expressly disclaims the possession of the Divine attribute of omniscience. “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but my Father only” (Matt. 24:36; Mark 13:32).


40. Because Christ is said in the Scriptures to have been “tempted of the devil” (Matt. 4:1). But “God can not be tempted with evil” (James 1:13).


41. Because it is related of our Saviour, that “he continued all night in prayer to God” (Luke 6:12). Why should Christ thus pray, if he himself were God?


42. Because, in presence of a numerous company before the resurrection, he gave thanks to the Father for having heard him. “Father, I thank thee that thou has heard me, and I knew that thou hearest me always” (John 11:41 and 42).


43. Because Jesus besought his Father to glorify him. “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thyself with the glory which I had with thee before the world was” (John 17:5). The one who prayed to God to glorify him, cannot be God.


44. Because he implored that, if it were possible, the bitter cup might pass from him, adding, “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matt. 26:39).


45. Because he said, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46). Can he who uttered this be the Supreme God?


46. Because he never paid his adoration to himself, the Son, nor to the Holy Ghost, as he should have done, had the Son and the Holy Ghost been God; but always to the Father.


47. Because he never instructed his disciples to worship himself or the Holy Ghost, but the Father, and the Father only. “When ye pray, say Our Father which art in heaven” (Luke 11:2). “In that day, ye shall ask me nothing. Whatsoever ye ask of the Father in my name” (John 16:23). “The hour cometh and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship him” (John 4:23).


48. Because it was not the practice of the Apostles to pay religious homage to Christ, but to God the Father through Christ. “I thank God through Jesus Christ” (Rom. 7:25). “To God only wise, be glory through Christ” (Rom 16:27). “I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 3:14).


49. Because St. Peter, immediately after being filled with the Holy Spirit (holy spirit) on the Day of Pentecost, thus addressed the Jews: “Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles, and wonders, and signs which God did by him, in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain; whom God hath raised up” (Acts 2:22-24).


50. Because St. Paul expressly states that, “all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 5:18).


51. Because the same Apostle gives “thanks to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:57).


52. Because it is said that it is “to the glory of God the Father,” that “every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord” (Phil. 2:11).


53. Because the Scriptures affirm that “Christ glorified not himself to be made a high priest, but He (glorified him) who said unto him, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee” (Heb. 5:5).


54. Because it is expressly asserted that God gave to Christ the Revelation which was made to the author of the Apocalypse (Rev. 1:1).


55. Because an Apostle speaks of Christ, only as the image of God. “Who is the image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:15; 2 Cor. 4:4). It would be absurd to call anyone his own image.


56. Because Christ is stated to be “the first-born of every creature” (Col. 1:15).


57. Because he is said to be “the beginning of the creation of God” (Rev. 3:14).


58. Because the Scriptures affirm, in so many words, that “Jesus was made a little lower than the angels” (Heb. 2:9). Can God become lower than his creatures?


59. Because Peter declares that “Christ received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, this is my beloved son” (2 Peter 1:17).


60. Because it is represented as necessary that the Saviour of mankind should “be made like unto his brethren” (Heb. 2:17).


61. Because, in the Epistle to the Hebrews, Christ is compared with Moses in a manner that would be impious if he were the Supreme God. “For this man (Christ) was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch” (Heb. 3:3).


62. Because he is represented as being the servant, the chosen, the beloved of God, and the recipient of God’s spirit. “Behold, my servant, whom I have chosen, in whom my soul is well pleased; I will put my spirit upon him” (Matt. 12:18).


63. Because he himself expressly declares that it was in consequence of his doing what pleased the Father, that the Father was with him and did not leave him alone. “He that sent me is with me; the Father hath not left me alone, for I do always those things that please him” (John 8:29).


64. Because he is said to have “increased in wisdom, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52).


65. Because he speaks of himself as one who had received commands from the Father. “The Father, who sent me, he gave me a commandment” (John 12:49).


66. Because he is represented as obeying the Father, and as having been “obedient unto death” (Phil. 2:8). “Even as the Father said unto me, so I speak” (John 12:50). “I have kept my Father’s commandments” (John 15:10).


67. Because Christ “Learned obedience by the things he suffered,” and through sufferings was made perfect by God (Heb. 5:8).


68. Because he is spoken of in the Scriptures as the first born among many brethren (Rom. 8:29). Has God brethren?


69. Because Christ calls everyone who obeys God his brother. “Whosoever shall do the will of my Father in heaven, the same is my brother” (Matt. 12:50).


70. Because he offers to the faithful the like distinction and honor that himself has with the Father. “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am sit down with my Father in his throne” (Rev. 3:21).


71. Because God, in the later ages, hath spoken by his Son, and appointed him heir of all things (Heb. 1:2).

 

72. Because Christ is styled the first-begotten of the dead (Rev. 1:5).


73. Because it is declared that God raised him from the dead. “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we are all witnesses” (Acts 2:32; Rom. 10:9 and 10).


74. Because God poured out upon the Apostles the Holy Spirit, through Jesus Christ (Titus 3:6).


75. Because the reason assigned for the Holy Spirit not having been received earlier, is that Jesus was not then glorified. “The Holy Ghost (holy spirit) was not yet given because that Jesus was not yet glorified” (John 7:39).


76. Because it is affirmed that Christ was exalted by God to be a Prince and a Saviour (Acts 5:31).


77. Because God made that same Jesus, who was crucified, both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36).


78. Because God gave him a name which is above every name (Phil. 2:9).


79. Because Christ was ordained of God to be the judge of the quick and the dead (Acts 10:42).


80. Because God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ (Rom. 2:16).


81. Because all judgment is committed to Christ by the Father (John 5:22).


82. Because our Saviour grounds the importance of his judgment solely upon the circumstances, that it is not exclusively his own judgment which he pronounces, but that of the Father who sent him. “If I judge, my judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me” (John 8:16).


83. Because it is said, that, when he was received up into heaven, he “sat on the right hand of God” (Mark 16:19).


84. Because St. Paul affirms, that Christ, even since his ascension, “liveth unto God,” and “liveth by the power of God” (Rom. 6:10; 2 Cor. 13:4).


85. Because it is affirmed of Christ, that “when all things shall be subdued under him then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all” (1 Cor. 15:28).


86. Because the Apostle John asserts that “no man hath seen God at any time”; which is not true, if Christ were God (John 1:18).


87. Because, in the prophecies of the Old Testament that relate to Christ, he is spoken of as a being distinct from and inferior to God (Deut. 18:15; John 1:45).


88. Because the Jews never expected that any other than a being distinct from and inferior to God was to be their Messiah, and yet there is no evidence that our Saviour ever so much as hinted to them that this expectation was erroneous.


89. Because it does not appear from the Scriptures, that the Jews, except in two instances (See #90), ever opposed our Saviour on the ground that he pretended to be God or equal with God; whereas, had it been his custom to assume such identity or equality, in his conversation with a people so strongly attached to the doctrine of the divine unity, he would have found himself involved in a perpetual controversy with them on this point, some traces of which must have appeared in the New Testament.


90. Because in these two instances, when charged, in the one case, with making himself God, and in the other, with making himself equal with God, he positively denies the charges. In reply to the charge of assuming to be equal with God, he says immediately, “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do”; and directly after, “I can of mine own self do nothing” (John 5:19 and 30). In answer to the charge of making himself God, he appeals to the Jews in substance thus: Your own Scriptures call Moses a god, and your magistrates gods; I am surely not inferior to them, yet I did not call myself God, but only the Son of God (John 10:34-36).


91. Because, had his immediate disciples believe him to be the Almighty, would they have been so familiar with him, have argued with him, betrayed him, denied him, fled from him, and left him to be dragged to the cross?


92. Because the Apostles, after they had been filled with the Holy Ghost (holy spirit) on the day of Pentecost, did not preach that Christ was God; but preached what was altogether inconsistent with such a doctrine (Acts 2:22; 13:23; 17:3 and 31; 22:8).

 


93. Because there is no evidence to prove that the first converts to Christianity ever incurred the imputation of idolatry from the Jews, as they must have done had they believed and taught that the Son, as well as the Father, is Jehovah; while it is notorious that this imputation has been among the most common of the Jewish reproaches against Christians, since the Trinity became a doctrine of the Church.


94. Because there are in the New Testament seventeen passages, wherein the Father is styled one or only God, while there is not a single passage in which the Son is so styled.


95. Because there are 320 passages in which the Father is absolutely, and by way of eminence, called God; while there is not one in which the Son is thus called.


96. Because there are 105 passages in which the Father is denominated God, with peculiarly high titles and epithets, whereas the Son is not once denominated.


97. Because there are 90 passages wherein it is declared that all prayers and praises ought to be offered to Him, and that everything ought to be ultimately directed to his honor and glory; while of the Son no such declaration is ever made.


98. Because of 1,300 passages in the New Testament wherein the word God is mentioned, not one necessarily implies the existence of more than one person in the Godhead, or that this one is any other than the Father.


99. Because the passages wherein the Son is declared, positively, or by clearest implication, to be subordinate to the Father, deriving his being from Him, receiving from Him his divine power, and acting in all things wholly according to His will, are in number above 300.


100. Because, in a word, the supremacy of the Father, and the inferiority of the Son, is the simple, unembarrassed, and current doctrine of the Bible; whereas, that of their equality or identity is clothed in mystery, encumbered with difficulties, and dependent, at the best, upon few passages for support.

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November 19 2010 6 19 /11 /November /2010 13:52

Bible Truth

 

Unless otherwise noted, all scripture quotations are from the King James Version.

 

Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall fmd it” (Matthew 10:32-39).

 

The word disciple in the Greek means “a learner”. But the word conveys much more than that. It implies the acceptance of the views and practices of the teacher, not only in the mind but also in the life. The truth of the statement that the Apostle Paul made to the Corinthians must be accepted as fact: “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (I Corinthians 6:19-20). The early saints and many others since have understood the price that must be paid to enter into a state of true discipleship.

 

Let us now consider four conditions of discipleship.

 

The disciple must reckon himself to be dead.

 

No one can be a disciple until he has reckoned himself to be dead. “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:11). We hear the commandments of God, and we say, “Lord, these things are too hard. I can’t do these things that You are requiring of me. Love my enemies? Bless those who curse me? Lord, they’ve told lies about me. They have tried to ruin my name. I can’t do it!” But the Lord says to us, “That is what I require of My disciples. If you want to be my disciple, that’s what you are going to have to do.”

 

Jesus said in Matthew 5:44, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” How can we do this? It seems impossible. It is impossible for that old man, that person we were before we were saved. But that old person is dead! He or she isn’t alive anymore!

 

The Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Rome under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit: “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him” (Romans 6:6-8).

 

So a disciple must first reckon himself to be dead.

 

A disciple must live a life of self-denial.

 

The Bible can be read and even memorized, but until its principles have been applied to our own lives, it is of no benefit to us. Jesus said in Matthew 16:24, “…If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Man’s natural tendency is to think of himself first. What is going to profit me? How can I be helped? But the true disciple is to give himself away in service to others.

 

The Lord Jesus knew that selfishness was at the root of all problems. So when the 12 apostles began to have strife among themselves over who was going to be the top dog of the group, He said, “…The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve” (Luke 22:25-26).

 

So we see, a disciple must live a life of self-denial.

 

A disciple must live a life of discipline.

 

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1-2). Paul understood that without discipline nothing great could ever be accomplished.

 

A concert pianist knows that the years of gruelling practice and self-sacrifice cannot be escaped if that one hour of perfect performance is to be realized. An astronaut knows stem discipline will be required to prepare for that day on the launching pad. The athlete who wants to be a member of the Olympic team must count on years of training, hard work, and discipline if the gold medal is to be worn. The Apostle Paul realized this when he wrote, “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (I Corinthians 9:27).

 

God is no “respecter of persons.” What He enabled Paul to do, He will also enable us to do. We can be disciplined and be true disciples.

 

A disciple must live a life of devotion.

 

A Bible student wrote that “devotion is the wholehearted and irrevocable giving up to God that which may never be taken back again.” Our devotion to Christ and His cause must be without reserve and without return.

 

Paul exemplified devotion when he told the elders at Ephesus, “And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:

Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:22-24).

 

Everyone is devoted to something or someone. The child of God who would be a true disciple must be devoted to Christ. That devotion must be lived out daily by applying the teachings and commandments of our Lord to life’s situations.

 

Discipleship is required of us by our Master. He will help us attain to it. He will not require of us something that His grace will not enable us to do.

 

Yes, to be disciples we must be dead, but Jesus said, “…he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 10:39). A disciple’s life is a life of self-denial, but Jesus said, “Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom…” (Luke 6:38). A disciple must put on the yoke of discipline, but Jesus said, “…my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30). A disciple’s life is a devoted life, but the Bible says, “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him…” (II Timothy 2:12).

 

To be saved costs nothing, but to be a disciple costs everything. Discipleship has its price, but it is worth the cost. We can say with the Apostle Paul, “…if so be that we suffer with him, that we maybe also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:17-18).

 

From “The Advocate of Truth.” July 28, 2008.

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November 15 2010 2 15 /11 /November /2010 12:15

Hebrew Yahveh

 

What or Who is It?

 

Unless otherwise noted, all scripture quotations are from the King James Version.

 

Although the Holy Spirit is one of the most widely discussed subjects of the Scriptures, yet there is no other subject which can compare with it as to the many angels and opinions into which it diverges, when considered by the many sects of Christendom. Some teach that the Holy Spirit is one of the living creatures like unto Michael, Gabriel, or one of the other angels. Others teach that the Holy Spirit is but one form of God, it being one of the trinity of the Godhead. Still others teach that the Holy Spirit is the Holy Bible, the Word of God. Yet others declare that the Spirit is that mind, will, power, or influence which emanates from God, hence the Spirit of God, being the Holy Spirit because God is holy.

 

It is not our aim to discuss this subject from any particular angle, but rather from the Scriptural standpoint, realizing that the Holy Scriptures, which are given through men who were moved upon by the Holy Spirit, according to II Peter 1:20-21, are able to make us wise unto salvation. Any or all opinions which do not agree with the Word of God must be wrong. “If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in the,” (Isaiah 8:20), hence, we must teach according to the law and the testimony. No other way can be right.

 

We find from a study of this subject by the aid of a good concordance that the Holy Spirit is spoken of under many titles, the following being a few of the many: “Holy Spirit,” “Holy Ghost,” “Spirit of God,” “Spirit of Christ,” “Spirit of Holiness,” “Spirit of Truth,” “Spirit of the Father,” “Spirit of Prophecy,” “Spirit of Liberty,” “Spirit of Meekness,” “Spirit of Understanding,” “Spirit of a Sound Mind,” “Spirit of Wisdom,” “Spirit of Counsel,” “Spirit of Adoption,” “Spirit of Glory,” and “Spirit of Grace.”

 

If we give these various terms, by which the Holy Spirit of God is designated, the study they warrant, we can not harmonize our conclusion with the erroneous doctrine of the Holy Spirit being an angel, or a third person in the Godhead, being equal with Jehovah God and with Jesus Christ. If we study the above given titles of the Holy Spirit, we will more clearly understand the nature, power, and purpose of the Holy Ghost, or Spirit of God.

 

Just as we have considered some of the many terms by which the Spirit of God is known, so shall we also give those by which the spirit of the adversary of God is known, that is, the spirit of the devil. These are but a few of the appellations by which the evil spirit is known, in contrast to the Holy Spirit of God: “The Spirit of Antichrist,” “Spirit of Fear,” “Spirit of Bondage,” “Spirit of Slumber,” “Spirit of Error,” “Spirit of Divination.” These are the spirits that we are warned to stay away from, for they work in opposition to the Holy Spirit of God and often counterfeit the genuine, and many are deceived thereby, if they do not try them by the Word of God. See I John 4:1.

 

The word “Spirit”, which we now have under consideration, is derived from the Hebrew word “ruwach,” and the Greek word “pneuma,” which have been translated by the terms, “ghost,” “life,” “spirit,” “mind,” “air,” “wind,” etc. Strong gives the definition of the words to be primarily “air,” and, by analysis, to mean “the vital principle.” Hence, from the study of the primary words, we conclude that to fulfill the duties and work of the Spirit of God, as we have given previously, the Spirit of God is that “vital principle” which emanates from God, that is, God’s mind, power, will, influence, or Spirit.

 

Although the Holy Spirit is spoken of under the masculine pronoun “He” in a few texts, yet we cannot conclude from this that it is an angelic creature, for we must remember that the Greek text does not so render it. The Spirit of God should naturally be known under the masculine gender because it emanates from God, thus is referred to by the pronoun, “He” as is God Himself. This is clarified by the example of the word “Wisdom,” in Luke 7:35, which is referred to by the pronoun “She.” We all understand that “Wisdom” is not a personage, yet it carries the pronoun “She” in this instance. In like manner, the “Holy Spirit” is referred to by the pronoun “He.”

 

The Scriptures also declare that the words of Jesus are spirit and truth; hence many conclude that the Spirit is merely the words that Jesus spoke (John 6:63). Yet, in another place, Jesus said that the Holy Spirit was that Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, which He would send into the world after He ascended unto the Father, referring, not to the words alone which He spoke as the Christ, but to the Spirit which gave the words, and which in past ages moved upon holy men of God and caused them to pen the Scriptures, as Peter declared (II Peter 1:21). From the appellations by which the Holy Spirit is designated, such as, “Spirit of Prophecy,” “Spirit of Understanding,” “Spirit of Wisdom,” “Spirit of Counsel,” and “Spirit of Truth,” we must conclude that the Holy Spirit is not the words, but rather the power through which the words came, as holy men were moved by its influence.

 

We must conclude from our examination f the Spirit, by the Word of God, that it is the divine power, or influence, which comes from the Almighty, through Jesus Christ our

Lord. It is not something new, but rather as old as the Creator Himself. In the beginning, “The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2). Through this wonderful power of His, the Almighty created.

 

He spake and it was done, as it is recorded in the first chapter of the Bible. The holy prophets were “full of the power of the Spirit of the Lord” (Micah 3:8). These holy men “spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (I Pet. 2:21). Even upon the Lord Jesus, the Spirit descended and remained. It is said of Him that He was “full of the Holy Ghost,” and was “led by the Spirit,” and “walked in the power of the Spirit” (Luke 4:1, 14).

 

Even, as in olden times the Spirit of God came upon the holy men of God among the people of Israel, it was also prophesied that the Holy Spirit would also come upon all flesh, regardless of race, or nationality.

 

The Lord, through Joel, said, “It shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh…And also upon the servants and the handmaids in those days will I pour out my Spirit” (Joel 2:28, 29). This, Peter says, began its fulfillment at Pentecost, when men out of all nations at Jerusalem were filled with this wonderful power of God, and magnified the Lord. It was repeated again at the home of Cornelius, the Gentile, and they in turn magnified God by His Spirit (Acts 2nd and 10th chapters).

 

When Jesus was baptized the Spirit descended in the form of a dove and rested upon Him. At Pentecost the same Spirit came as the sound of a mighty rushing wind, and filled the entire house where the disciples were sitting. It rested upon them, not as a dove, but as divided tongues of fire.

 

Just as Joel had foretold that the day would come when God’s Spirit would be poured out upon all flesh, and not limited to the Jewish nation alone, so it did. Then, after the mighty manifestation of the Spirit at Pentecost, the apostle Peter declared that the gift of God was not limited to them, nor to their children, but unto all who met the condition, saying, “The promise is unto you, [those who had received it at Pentecost] and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call”. It then is for you and me, my dear friend, though we are afar off, just so the Lord has called us unto Himself. We praise God for this wonderful promise that unto all whom He shall call God will give His blessed Spirit. See Acts 2:38, 39.

 

We have the command given unto us as Christians, in Ephesians 5:18, to “be filled with the Spirit.” Without God’s Spirit we cannot live a holy life, for it takes the Holy Spirit to make us holy. Without the Spirit we cannot be obedient unto the law of God, the transgression of which constitutes sin, for Paul said, “The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” (Rom. 8:7-11). To live without the Spirit makes us a reprobate, one outside of Christ. If we are Christ’s then we have the Spirit: If we have not the Spirit we have not Christ. No wonder that the apostle said, “Be filled with the Spirit.”

 

There are two spirits in the world: the Spirit of God, and the spirit of the devil. Each furnishes the motive power whereby men and women bring forth fruit, even as the sap in the fruit tree furnishes life and substance whereby the tree bears fruit. If we have the spirit of this world, the spirit of Satan, the adversary of God, then our fruits are the fruits of a carnal spirit, which are: “Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulation, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21).

 

On the other hand, the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, brings forth fruit conformable unto its nature, that is fruit unto holiness, which is: “Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).

 

The Holy Spirit then is that power, or influence, which emanates from the true God, the source of all good, and all power, and comes unto us through Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we are made nigh unto God by His sacrifice and are thus able to draw nigh unto God and receive His Spirit, then we can, as the apostle Paul says, know that we are children of God, for “the Spirit bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Romans 8:16).

 

Our prayer unto God is that you, my dear friends, may draw unto God and receive of His Spirit whereby you may bring forth fruit unto righteousness, to the glory of God and the salvation of your soul. Amen.

 

The Church of God - Publishing House - PO Box 328; Salem, West Virginia 26426-0328 - Phone: 304-782-1411; Fax: 304-782-2248; E-mail: cogsevday@aol.com

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November 13 2010 7 13 /11 /November /2010 22:52

Hebrew Yahveh

 

Sauf précision, tous les passages tirés des Saintes Écritures sont extraits de la Version Ostervald révisée édition de 1996. 

 

De Quoi ou de Qui sagit-il ? 

 

Bien que le sujet du Saint Esprit soit l’un des sujets les plus débattus des Écritures, il n’y a pas d’autre sujet sur lequel les opinions divergent autant que celui-ci. Cela est évident si l’on considère les points de vue et les enseignements des différentes sectes composant la chrétienté. Certaines  enseignent que le Saint Esprit est une créature vivante comparable à Michaël, Gabriel, à l’un ou l’autre des anges de Dieu. D’autres encore affirment que le Saint Esprit est l’une des formes adoptées par Dieu. Il s’agirait alors de l’une des trois personnes de la Trinité (concept essayant de représenter Dieu sous la forme d’une tri-unité de personnes).  D’autres encore déclarent que le Saint Esprit est la Sainte Bible, la Parole de Dieu. Enfin, certains pensent que le Saint Esprit représente la volonté, la force ou la puissance émanant de Dieu. Il s’agirait alors de l’Esprit de Dieu, appelé aussi (Dieu étant saint) le Saint Esprit.

 

L’objectif de cette brochure n’est pas de discuter de ce sujet en adoptant un point de vue ou en s’intéressant à l’une des opinions précitées. Notre objectif est plutôt de nous en tenir strictement à ce que nous disent les Écritures, sachant que les Saintes Écritures (qui nous furent données par le biais d’hommes sous l’inspiration du Saint-Esprit) sont susceptible de nous « instruire pour le salut » (2 Pierre 1:20-21). Toute opinion qui serait en contradiction avec la Parole de Dieu doit être considérée comme étant erronée. « Et si le peuple ne parle pas ainsi, point d'aurore pour lui! » (Ésaïe 8:20). Ainsi, tout ce qui doit être enseigné doit l’être en accord avec les commandements de Dieu et le témoignage de Jésus Christ. Nulle autre façon de faire n’est acceptable.

 

En étudiant ce sujet à l’aide d’une concordance biblique de qualité, nous apprenons que plusieurs appellations sont données au Saint Esprit. En voici quelques exemples :  « Saint-Esprit » (Luc 11:13), « Esprit de Dieu », (1 Samuel 19:20) « Esprit de Christ » (Romains 8:9), « esprit de sainteté » (Romains 1:4), « Esprit de vérité » (Jean 14:17), « Esprit de votre Père » (Matthieu 10:20), « esprit de prophétie » (Apocalypse 19:10), « esprit de douceur » (Galates 6:1), « esprit de sagesse et dintelligence » (Ésaïe 11:2), « esprit de prudence » (2 Timothée 1:7), « esprit de sagesse » (Exode 28:3), « Esprit de science » (Ésaïe 11:2), « Esprit dadoption » (Romains 8:15), « Esprit de gloire » (1 Pierre 4:14), « Esprit de grâce » (Zacharie 12:10).

 

Si nous étudions ce sujet avec le sérieux qu’il mérite, et que nous nous efforçons de comprendre les différentes expressions par lesquels le Saint Esprit de Dieu est désigné, nous voyons qu’il est impossible d’harmoniser nos conclusions avec les différentes fausses doctrines qui font de l’Esprit Saint un ange ou encore la troisième personne d’une trinité dans lequel le Saint Esprit serait l’égal de Jéhovah Dieu ou de Jésus Christ. Par une étude des termes donnés ci-dessus et décrivant le Saint Esprit, nous comprendrons alors clairement quels sont la nature, la puissance et le but de l’Esprit Saint, ou Esprit de Dieu. 

 

Puisque nous venons d’examiner quelques-unes des expressions par lesquelles le Saint Esprit est connu, nous nous devons également d’évoquer celles par lesquelles l’esprit du malin, l’adversaire de Dieu, est connu. Voici quelques-uns des termes par lesquels est présenté dans les Écritures l’esprit du malin, notez combien cela contraste avec l’Esprit de Dieu : « esprit de lAntéchrist » (1 Jean 4:3), « esprit de timidité » (2 Timothée 1:7), « esprit de servitude » (Romains 8:15), « esprit détourdissement » (Romains 11:8), « esprit derreur » (1 Jean 4:6), « esprit de Python [de divination] ». Ceux-ci sont les esprits dont il nous est recommandé de nous éloigner; en effet, ils travaillent en opposition avec l’Esprit Saint de Dieu, et contrefont souvent la vérité. Nombreux sont ceux qui sont trompés par ces esprits, ne prenant pas le temps de les confronter à la Parole de Dieu (voir 1 Jean 4:1).

 

Le mot « Esprit » , celui qui ici nous concerne, est dérivé du mot hébreux « ruwach » (strong n°7308) et du grec « pneuma » (strong n°4151), termes qui ont été traduit, selon les cas, par « Esprit », « esprit », « vent », « inspiration », « souffle », « âme », « vérité », etc. La concordance de Strong définit ces mots comme désignant « un mouvement de lair » et, par extension, « le principe vital par lequel le corps est animé ». Ainsi, à l’étude de ces termes de base, nous pouvons conclure que le travail accomplit par l’Esprit Saint de Dieu est celui d’un principe vital émanant de Dieu - c’est-à-dire la conscience de Dieu, Sa puissance, Sa volonté ou Son Esprit. 

 

 

Les Écritures nous affirment que les paroles que Jésus prononça sont « esprit et vérité » (Jean 6:63). Certains en concluent donc, que le Saint Esprit désigne tout simplement les paroles de Jésus. Cependant, dans d’autres passages des Écritures, Jésus affirma que le Saint Esprit était le « Consolateur », « lEsprit de vérité » (Jean 14:26; Jean 15:26) qu’il enverrait dans le monde après qu'il soit monté au ciel auprès du Père. Jésus ne faisait ainsi pas seulement référence aux paroles qu’il prononçait comme Messie, mais à l’Esprit qui inspirait ces paroles. Ce même Esprit, dans les époques passées, animait les saints hommes de Dieu, les incitants à poser par écrit les livres contenus dans la Bible. C’est ce que Pierre affirme en 2 Pierre 1:21. Ainsi, d’après les appellations données au Saint-Esprit, telle qu’« esprit de prophétie » (Apocalypse 19:10), « esprit de sagesse et dintelligence » (Ésaïe 11:2), « Esprit de science » (Ésaïe 11:2), « lEsprit de vérité » (Jean 15:26), nous pouvons en conclure que le Saint Esprit ne constitue pas les paroles, mais plutôt la puissance au travers de laquelle les paroles furent transmissent. Les saints hommes de Dieu étaient animés de cette puissance.

 

Nous devons conclure de cet examen biblique concernant la définition du Saint Esprit, qu’’il s’agit de la puissance divine, ou de l’influence provenant du Dieu tout-puissant, telle qu’elle fut démontrée au travers de Jésus Christ notre Seigneur. Cet Esprit n’est pas nouveau, mais aussi vieux que le Créateur Lui-même. Au commencement, « lEsprit de Dieu se mouvait sur les eaux » (Genèse 1 : 2). De par la puissance extraordinaire qui est la Sienne, le Tout-puissant créa toutes choses.

 

Il parla et cela s’accompli, ainsi qu’’il nous est rapporté dans le premier chapitre de Genèse. Les saints prophètes étaient « remplis de force, de lEsprit de lÉternel »  (Michée 3:8). Ces saints hommes parlaient « étant poussés par le Saint-Esprit » (2 Pierre 1:21). De même, sur le Seigneur Jésus l’Esprit est descendu et est demeuré. Il est dit de Lui, qu’’il était « rempli du Saint-Esprit » et qu’il était mené par le « mouvement de lEsprit » (Luc 4:1, 14).

 

De la même manière que l’Esprit de Dieu est descendu sur les saints hommes de Dieu présents au milieu du peuple d’Israël, il fut également prophétisé que le Saint Esprit viendrait « sur toute chair », sans distinction de races et de nationalités (Actes 2:17).

 

Dieu s’exprima ainsi au travers de Joël et nous dit : « Et il arrivera, après ces choses, que je répandrai mon Esprit sur toute chair […] et même sur les serviteurs et sur les servantes, en ces jours-là, je répandrai mon Esprit » (Joël 2:28-29). Ceci, nous affirme Pierre, débuta lors de la Pentecôte, lorsque des gens de toutes nations, réunis à Jérusalem, furent remplis de l’extraordinaire puissance de Dieu et commencèrent à glorifier le Seigneur. Cela se répéta de nouveau chez Corneille, le gentil (c’est-à-dire, païen, selon la terminologie juive). À leur tour, lui et sa maisonnée se mirent à glorifier Dieu, emplis qu’ils étaient de Son Esprit Saint (Actes, chapitres 2 et 10).

 

Lorsque Jésus fut baptisé, l’Esprit descendit sur lui sous la forme d’une colombe. Lors de la Pentecôte, le même Esprit « vint tout à coup du ciel [avec] un bruit comme celui dun vent qui souffle avec impétuosité; et il remplit toute la maison » où les disciples se tenaient. L’Esprit était au-dessus d’eux, non sous la forme d’une colombe, mais sous la forme de langues de feu posées sur chacun d’entre eux (Actes 2 : 2-3).

 

Comme Joël l’avait prédit, le jour est arrivé où l’Esprit de Dieu fut répandu sur toute chair, ne se limitant plus alors uniquement à la nation juive. Après cette puissante manifestation de l’Esprit de Dieu lors de la Pentecôte, l’apôtre Pierre affirma que le don de Dieu n’était pas seulement pour les juifs ou leurs enfants, mais pour tous ceux qui en remplissaient  la condition. Pierre déclara : « Repentez-vous et que chacun de vous soit baptisé au nom de Jésus-Christ, pour le pardon de vos péchés; et vous recevrez le Saint-Esprit.  Car la promesse est pour vous, pour vos enfants et pour tous ceux qui sont au loin en aussi grand nombre que le Seigneur notre Dieu les appellera » (Actes 2:38-39).

 

Il est commandé aux chrétiens, en Éphésiens 5:18, d’être « remplis de lEsprit ». Sans l’Esprit de Dieu, nous ne pouvons pas mener une vie sainte, le Saint Esprit est en effet nécessaire pour nous permettre d’être saint devant Dieu. Sans l’Esprit nous ne pouvons obéir cette la loi de Dieu, qui si nous la transgressons fait de nous des pécheurs. Paul écrit : « Car laffection de la chair est inimitié contre Dieu; car elle ne se soumet pas à la loi de Dieu; et en effet, elle ne le peut. Or, ceux qui sont dans la chair, ne peuvent plaire à Dieu. Pour vous, vous nêtes point dans la chair, mais dans lesprit, si il est vrai que lEsprit de Dieu habite en vous. Si quelquun na point lEsprit de Christ, celui-là nest point à Lui » (Romains 8:7-11). Vivre sans l’Esprit nous condamne, puisque nous sommes alors sans Christ.  Si nous appartenons à Christ alors nous avons l’Esprit; Si nous n’avons pas l’Esprit nous n’avons pas Christ. Ce n’est donc pas surprenant que l’apôtre Paul ait déclaré : « Soyez remplis de lEsprit » (Éphésiens 5:18).

 

Il existe deux esprits dans le monde : l’Esprit de Dieu et l’esprit de Satan. Chacun de ces deux esprits a la capacité de motiver des fruits que porteront des hommes et des femmes, de la même manière que la sève fournit à l’arbre la vie et la substance nécessaire pour que celui-ci puisse produire des fruits. Si nous avons l’esprit du monde (l’esprit de Satan, l'adversaire de Dieu), alors nos fruits seront les fruits d’un esprit charnel, selon ce que Paul écrit : « ladultère, la fornication, limpureté, la dissolution, lidolâtrie, les enchantements, les inimitiés, les querelles, les jalousies, les animosités, les disputes, les divisions, les sectes, les envies, les meurtres, les ivrogneries, les débauches, et les choses semblables. Je vous dis davance, comme je lai déjà dit, que ceux qui commettent de telles choses nhériteront point le royaume de Dieu » (Galates 5:19-21).

 

À l’inverse, l’Esprit de Dieu, l’Esprit Saint, produit des fruits conforme à sa nature, c’est-à-dire les fruits spécifiques à la sainteté que sont : « la charité, la joie, la paix, la patience, la bonté, lamour du bien, la fidélité, la douceur, la tempérance : la loi nest point contre ces choses » (Galates 5:22-23).

 

Le Saint Esprit est donc cette force, ou influence, émanant du vrai Dieu, la source de toute bonté et de toute puissance. Il nous vient au travers de Jésus Christ, notre Seigneur, qui nous a permis d’approcher Dieu au travers de Son sacrifice et d’être ainsi capable de recevoir l’Esprit de notre Père. Comme l’apôtre Paul l’écrit, nous pouvons alors savoir que nous sommes enfants de Dieu, « Car lEsprit lui-même rend témoignage à notre esprit, que vous êtes enfants de Dieu » (Romains 8 :16).

 

Nous prions Dieu, afin que vous également, chers amis, puissiez vous approcher de Dieu et recevoir Son Esprit au moyen duquel vous pourrez produire un fruit de justice, à la gloire de Dieu et pour le salut de vos âmes. Amen.

 

The Church of God - Publishing House - PO Box 328; Salem, West Virginia 26426-0328 - Téléphone: 304-782-1411; Fax: 304-782-2248; Courriel: cogsevday@aol.com


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