Is the Bible Sexist?

Is the Bible sexist?

Dr. Amy Orr-Ewing‘s powerful answer to this question may surprise you as she breaks down verses in the Bible you may never have noticed before.

This article by Dr Amy Orr-Ewing is condensed from this video of her message – YouTube Link

Any Orr-Ewing

In the Bible we see a vision for equality between men and women, both male and female bearing together the image of God.

And the story of the Bible plays that out in amazing ways.  Even in the Old Testament, you see a woman like Miriam leading a whole nation in worship.  You see a woman like Deborah leading a nation politically, making judgments, making decisions, and even leading her country to war.

You see that women didn’t require a man to be a kind of mediator between them and God. They could pray directly to God. They didn’t need a husband or a father to have a relationship with God. Now sometimes people say, “Yeah, but come on, in Genesis alright, women and men both bear the image of God, but doesn’t the Bible call women sort of “helpers”.  Isn’t that word there in Genesis?”

The word that is translated there “helper” is the word ezer and it’s not a term of domination or subjugation because God uses that name ezer to describe himself in his relationship to us as human beings. God is our ezer. He is our helper. It’s a powerful, strong, amazing, not sexist image.

And then we come to the New Testament. We see that Jesus directly resists the sexism that he sees and observes around him. There’s a story in John’s gospel in chapter four where a woman is talking to Jesus and the male disciples come and they see this. They see Jesus one on one with the woman. It says they’re amazed, they’re horrified, they’re staggered. What? To see him just talking one on one to a woman. Jesus considered women to be worthy of theological instruction.

It was a woman called Martha who was the recipient of one of the most amazing doctrinal statements of the New Testament: “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live and they will never die.”  Jesus just brought that to Martha.

And then you see this amazing pattern emerge as you read the New Testament where women sort of have this front row seat, and the extraordinary role of witnessing the core elements of the Christian faith. It’s Mary who is the primary witness to the incarnation, the virgin birth. It’s the women at the cross who are the primary witnesses to the crucifixion, to the atonement, to the cross of Jesus. The men have all disappeared apart from John. It’s women who were there witnessing the cross and then, of course, it is women who were first at the resurrection.

When you read the New Testament you see in the early church that women like Phoebe led the church in Rome. Women like Junia were considered to be outstanding by Paul among the apostles.

There are three verses which some people use to say that women should be subjugated.

In 1 Corinthians it talks about women being silent in church. Now how do we understand that? If you read the whole letter you see that in the same letter, the same author tells women how to prophecy when they prophesy in church, which meant speak publicly, and it says to have your head covered. That meant just modesty in those days. Don’t be showing off your body or your hair while you prophesy. So clearly, it didn’t mean women should never speak and be silent. It’s speaking to a specific group of women who were disrupting the services.

Another verse talks about men being the head of women. The Greek word is kephale and sometimes that has been taken to mean dominance or subjugation, but if you read the verse in context you see that God is the head of Christ. So if it means hierarchy, that doesn’t make sense of the Trinity. So whatever that kephale word means in terms of a relationship between a man and a woman in a marriage, it doesn’t mean domination. In fact, as we read anything about God’s kingdom, it is primarily about service, about love, about laying down our lives for one another.

Then there’s another verse in 1 Timothy 2 that talks about women not teaching, not being permitted to teach or have authority. Now remember, we’ve already been taught by women like Martha, by women like Mary. We’ve already seen that women like Priscilla taught. We know that Phoebe taught.  She was in authority in the Roman church.

Paul was writing that letter of 1 Timothy to the leader of the Ephesian church, Timothy. And the context there was the worship of the goddess Artemis where women dominated and subjugated men in that culture and it seems that as those women got converted it had crept into the Ephesian church. So Paul is helping Timothy to correct that specific pastoral situation. And most likely those women were saying, “Well Paul says that everyone has sinned in Adam, that we all sinned in Adam.” They just heard about this guy Adam who caused the world to sin and then the second Adam, Jesus, and Paul is saying, “Timothy, you need to explain to them that Eve was involved.” She actually sinned first.

Dorothy SayersI want to finish with a quote from one of my favourite apologists, Dorothy L. Sayers.

She writes this about Jesus:

“Perhaps it is no wonder that the women were first at the Cradle and last at the Cross. They had never known a man like this Man – there never has been such another. A prophet and teacher who never nagged at them, never flattered or coaxed or patronized; who never made arch jokes about them, never treated them either as “The women, God help us!” or “The ladies, God bless them!”; who rebuked without querulousness and praised without condescension; who took their questions and arguments seriously; who never mapped out their sphere for them, never urged them to be feminine or jeered at them for being female; who had no axe to grind and no uneasy male dignity to defend; who took them as he found them and was completely unself-conscious. There is no act, no sermon, no parable in the whole Gospel that borrows its pungency from female perversity; nobody could possibly guess from the words and deeds of Jesus that there was anything “funny” about woman’s nature.”

― Dorothy L. Sayers, Are Women Human? Astute and Witty Essays on the Role of Women in Society

 

This article by Dr Amy Orr-Ewing is condensed from this video of her message – YouTube Link

 

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Holy Week, Christian Passover & Resurrection – 3 books in 1

A Holy Week, Passover & Resurrection All1

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Holy Week, Christian Passover & Resurrection

The Death and Resurrection of Jesus

3 books in 1 volume

Holy Week, Christian Passover & Resurrection – PDF

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DETAILED CONTENTS

1 Holy Week

Holy Week – PDF
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 A Holy Week All

This summary follows the outline in Mark’s Gospel.

This is an approximation:

Palm Sunday – Day of Demonstration – Mark 11:1-11 (Zech 9:9) – Jesus enters Jerusalem

Monday – Day of AuthorityMark 11:12-19 – fig tree, temple cleansed

Tuesday – Day of Conflict – Mark 11:20 – 13:36 – debates with leaders

Wednesday – Day of Preparation – Mark 14:1-11 – anointed at Bethany

Thursday – Day of Farewell – Mark 14:12-42 – last supper

Good Friday – Day of Crucifixion – Mark 14:43 – 15:47 – trials and death

Saturday – Day of Sabbath – Mark 15:46-47 – tomb sealed

Easter Sunday – Day of Resurrection – Mark 16:1-18 – resurrection appearances

Easter Friday It is finished

It is finished  –  It is accomplished

2 Christian Passover

Christian Passover Service

A Retelling of the Last Supper

Christian Passover Service PDF

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A Christian Passover All

  1. Lighting The Candles
  2. First Cup ‑ Cup Of Blessing
  3. Washing The Hands
  4. First Dipping ‑ Bitter Herb In Salt Water
  5. The Four Questions
  6. The Plagues
  7. Paschal Lamb, Unleavened Bread, Bitter Herb
  8. Second Cup ‑ Cup Of Thanksgiving
  9. Second Dipping ‑ The  Mixture (Charoseth)
  10. The Passover Meal
  11. Communion Instituted
  12. Third Cup ‑ Cup Of Redemption
  13. Fourth Cup ‑ Cup Of Praise
  14. The Great Praise ‑ Final Song
    This order of service for Passover is an attempt to be as true as possible to the historic one Jesus had with his disciples, with Christian explanations added.

Resurrection

RISEN: short version

Risen _PDF

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A Risen All Short

Preface

A Mysterious Month

Resurrection Sunday

Forty Days

Photos from the longer version

Addendum: The Old City of Jerusalem

See also:  Risen! : longer version
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A Risen! All

Part 1: A Mysterious Month, gives the full eye-witness accounts of 12 resurrection appearances. The contents of RISEN – shorter version – now also included in this book,

Holy Week, Christian Passover & Resurrection.

Part 2: Our Month in Israel, gives my reflections on walking where Jesus walked, with photos of those locations. Not included in Holy Week, Christian Passover & Resurrection.

See also: Mysterious Month
Mysterious Month –
PDF

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Expanded contents of RISEN! – the longer version

with more details and photos of Jerusalem in Part 2.

See also:

Blog:  Holy Week – the greatest week in history

Being prepared – Crucified and Risen

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BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

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BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

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BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

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Mysterious Month

0 A Mysterious Month All3

0 A Mysterious Month

Mysterious Month

Mysterious Month – PDF

 Mysterious Month:  A month that changed the world,  and

Our Month in Israel:  We walked where Jesus walked

Part 1: Mysterious Month, gives the full eye-witness accounts of 12 resurrection appearances of Jesus.

Part 2: Our Month in Israel, gives my reflections on walking where Jesus walked, with photos of those locations.

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The angel’s quote on the door of the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem

A Mysterious Month

Most people who were involved at the beginning of that mysterious month thought the unbelievable rumours were impossible and said so. Loudly.

Only a few, very few at first, thought it may have happened. Even after a month some still doubted that it actually happened: “Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. When they saw Him, they worshipped Him; but some doubted” (Matthew 28:16-17).

They saw the awful, brutal execution. Jesus had been severely flogged and tortured early that morning before his execution. The conquering Romans made sure their victims suffered maximum agony and humiliation on thousands of crosses, suffering publicly and slowly in excruciating pain to their last agonized breath. That’s how we got our English words excruciate (ex-crux – out of the cross) and agony from the Greek word agon (struggle or contest).

Romans crucified their victims along the main road just outside a town or village. They lopped trees and their victims carried the crossbar to the dreadful execution site where they were nailed to the crossbar and hoisted onto a tree trunk or stake. Peter later wrote that Jesus bore our sins in His own body on the tree (1 Peter 2:24). The execution place just outside Jerusalem’s city wall was called the place of the skull, with graves nearby. There are many tombs and graves just outside that city wall even today.

Eye-witnesses saw and heard the horrendous spectacle, a few like John from nearby. Spectators taunted the central victim: And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, ‘He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!’ The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and saying, ‘If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!’ (Luke 23:35-37)

The three struggling victims gasped out brief cries, one with angry accusations: One of the criminals hanged there kept deriding him and saying, ‘Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!’ (Luke 23:39).

Soldiers divided the victims’ clothes among themselves, gambling for some. Eventually, they smashed the legs of the two victims still alive so they died quickly, no longer able to push up from their spiked feet to gasp more breath. Religious leaders wanted them off the crosses before the Sabbath began at sunset.

But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.  Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out. (He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth.)

And when all the crowds who had gathered there for this spectacle saw what had taken place, they returned home, beating their breasts. But all his acquaintances, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things (John 19:33-35; Luke 23:48-49).

The mystery deepened rapidly. Matthew, the disciple who had been a despised tax collector for Rome, reported that the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people (Matthew 27:51-52).

0 0 J model

Model of Jerusalem in Jesus’ time, Temple Mount left (east), Pool of Bethesda (sheep pool) and Antonia Fortress alongside, Herod’s Palace right (west), Golgotha just outside.

 

ALSO, an earlier, shorter version of Mysterious Month.

A Risen! All
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Risen!   12 Resurrection Appearances

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and

A Risen All Short
Risen –_PDF

Part 1 of the longer books

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A Risen ShortLink to Amazon & Kindle  A Risen! 
 
RELATED BOOK
Holy Week, Christian Passover & Resurrection
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Holy Week, Christian Passover & Resurrection – PDF
3 BOOKS IN 1:
Holy Week,  Christian Passover Service,  and Risen
 

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BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

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Kingdom Life in Mark – Lent to Easter and Pentecost

Mark Lent

Kingdom Life in Mark

Lent to Easter and Pentecost

New eBook – relational Bible studies from the Lectionary for 2018

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THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS

 

Preparation for the Passion of Jesus

  1. The transfiguration                        Mark 9:2‑9
  2. Baptism and temptations              Mark 1:9‑15
  3. The meaning of the cross              Mark 8:31‑38
  4. Teaching about the cross (1)        John 2:13‑22
  5. Teaching about the cross (2)        John 3:14‑21
  6. Teaching about the cross (3)        John 12:20‑33
  7. Palm Sunday and the crucifixion    Mark 11:1‑11; 15:1‑39

 

Resurrection Appearances of Jesus

  1. The empty tomb                           Mark 16:1‑18
  2. Easter evening                              John 20:19‑31
  3. Emmaus postscript                     Luke 24:35‑48

 

Observations about Jesus

  1. Jesus the Good Shepherd                John 10:11‑18
  2. Jesus the true vine                            John 15:1‑8
  3. Jesus present among his people    John 15:9‑17
  4. Jesus prays for his people               John 17:11‑19

 

The coming of the Holy Spirit

  1. The day of Pentecost                      John 15:26‑27; 16:4‑15

 

Conclusion: The Godhead

  1. The Trinity                                      John 3:1‑17

 

 

Readings selected from Part II of Kingdom Life in Mark, Relational Bible Studies from Mark (Year B of the Lectionary)

a-kingdom-b-mark

Blog:
https://renewaljournal.com/2015/01/26/kingdom-life-in-mark/

Kindle – eBook: Kingdom Life in Mark
https://www.amazon.com/Kingdom-Life-Mark-Geoff-Waugh-ebook/dp/B008PCUXO8

Kingdom Life Series on Amazon

Introduction

Mark gives a vigorous, concise account of Jesus.  The narrative moves swiftly.  A brief prologue leads immediately into Jesus’ ministry as he appears proclaiming and demonstrating the kingdom of God.  Kingdom life fills the pages.

Central to that drama is the cross.  Mark has been described as a passion narrative with an introduction.  Jesus is introduced as the Son of God in the first verse.  Chapters 1‑8 reveal the mystery of the Son of God seen in Jesus’ three year ministry based in Galilee.

Then the drama shifts in chapter 8 with Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah.  Jesus immediately predicts his death and prepares his disciples for it (8:31; 9:30‑31; 10:32‑34).  The Messiah must sacrifice his life.  The way of the Son of Man is the way of the cross.  Chapters 11‑16 describe that final week in Jerusalem.

This book follows the story of Jesus using lectionary readings from the year of Mark (Year B).  The readings include passages from other gospels as well, especially John.

 

Relational Bible studies

These relational Bible studies help you explore and live kingdom life: to love God with your whole being and to love others.  At best, our love for God and for one another is but a small reflection of God’s love for us.  These studies can help that love to grow.  Choose the sections most suitable to you or your group.

You can use this book for both personal and group study:

Personal study, which may be in preparation for a group session or just for your own interest, will involve reading the Bible passages and thinking about the questions for yourself.  You may want to keep a note book or journal of your insights or discoveries.  If these readings are used in your church on Sundays you may want to reflect on the study after the Sunday and also read the next study in preparation for the following Sunday.  You may have a friend, or friends, with whom you would like to discuss some of the issues, and these studies give you plenty of ideas for doing that as well.

Group study involves you with others.  These studies invite you to relate together at the beginning, to respond to the Bible material in personal ways and to reflect on its meaning in your own lives and circumstances.

The studies help you share your ideas and discoveries as you study the Bible together.  These relational studies invite you to interact at both a content and a personal level.  You can share your pilgrimage with others.  You journey together.  You support and encourage one another.

The New International Version as well as the Revised Standard Version were used in writing these studies, so it will be helpful for group leaders to refer to those in preparing for each study.  Any versions of the Bible can be used with the studies, of course, and comparison of different translations and study notes often adds helpful insights.

Your group will be able to move more freely through each study if you all read the passages at home first.  That will make you familiar with the Bible material so that you can then interact on it together in the group.  The gospel reading is the focus.  The other readings are referred to during the study and can be included that way.

A rough time guide for each study would be to allow about 15 minutes for the Relate section, about 30 minutes for the Respond section and another 15 minutes for the Reflect section.  Sometimes you will go longer than that, especially at the end.  Allow adequate time to conclude in prayer together or in other appropriate ways.

If you have a group of more than five or six people, you will usually gain more from these studies by working in small sub‑groups of about three to five.  This can be done in many ways.  One good way is to begin in the whole group for the Relate section, read the scripture together in the whole group, and then move into small sub‑groups for the rest of the study.

Sometimes you may want to start in small sub‑groups of two or three, then study the Response section together in the whole group, and finish by following the Reflect section in smaller groups.

This Bible study book is a selection from

Kingdom Life in Mark 

 a-kingdom-b-mark

 


 

Inspiring Quotes about JESUS

jesus-baby                                                    

Inspiring Quotes about JESUS

By Adrian Plass, The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass. Canterbury, 1987, pp. 102-103:

‘He was a nuisance then,’ said Braddock, ‘and he’s a nuisance now. He won’t let you work out cosy little systems and call ‘em “churches”, and he won’t let you get away with having four meetings a week to discuss what you’re going to do in next week’s meetings. If that’s what you want, you’ll find Jesus a real pain in the neck. He says awkward, difficult things, like “Love your enemies”, and “Invite the people who really need it to dinner”, and “Love God before anything else”. He’s terrible like that. They couldn’t pin him down then, and you can’t pin him down now, but I’ll tell you something … if you want to pay the cost, there’s no one else worth following, and nothing else worth doing!’

By Larry Lea in C. Peter Wagner, Territorial Spirits. Sovereign World, 1991, p. 84:

Jesus was controversial. Not just a little. Not just occasionally. He was thoroughly, persistently controversial throughout most of His ministry.

Folks today who think they will follow Jesus, say the things He said, and do the things He did without encountering opposition are in for a rude awakening. Jesus was controversial in His day, and we who express His life and His teachings will be controversial today as well. Jesus even said so. He said to His apostles, ‘If they treat the master of the house as if he’s the devil, how do you think they’ll treat you?’

By John Stott, Christ the Controversialist. Tyndale, 1970, p. 49:

The popular image of Christ as ‘gentle Jesus, meek and mild’ simply will not do. It is a false image. To be sure, He was full of love, compassion and tenderness. But He was also uninhibited in exposing error and denouncing sin, especially hypocrisy. Christ was a controversialist. The Evangelists portray Him as constantly debating with the leaders of contemporary Judaism.

By Pierre Berton, The Comfortable Pew. Hodder & Stoughton, 1965, pp. 90, 94:

In the beginning, Christianity was anything but a respectable creed. Its founder moved among the outcasts of society – among the prostitutes, racial minorities, political traitors, misfits, vagrants, and thieves; among “the hungry, the naked, the homeless and the prisoner.” He himself was considered a religious heretic and a traitor to his nation, an enemy of the status quo, a man who broke the Sabbath, a dangerous radical, a disturber and a malcontent who fought the establishment and whose constant companions were the sort of people who are to be found in the skid-row areas of the big cities. When he stood trial, there was an element of truth in the charge under which he was found guilty: “He stirs up the people.”

It has been said, with truth (and by a Christian minister), that none of the twelve apostles would feel at home today in a modern church. Nor is it likely that a modern church would welcome the kind of people with whom its founder associated…

By Philip Yancey. 1995. The Jesus I Never Knew. Sydney: Strand, pp. 22-23:

What would it have been like to hang on the edges of the crowd? How would I have responded to this man? Would I have invited him over for dinner like Zacchaeus? Turned away in sadness, like the rich young ruler? Betrayed him, like Judas and Peter?

Jesus, I found, bore little resemblance to the figure I had met in Sunday school, and was remarkably unlike the person I had studied in Bible college. For one thing, he was far less tame. In my prior image, I realized, Jesus’ personality matched that of a Star Trek Vulcan: he remained calm, cool, and collected as he strode like a robot among excitable human beings on spaceship earth. That is not what I found portrayed in the Gospels and in the better films. Other people affected Jesus deeply: obstinacy frustrated him, self-righteousness infuriated him, simple faith thrilled him. Indeed, he seemed more emotional and spontaneous than the average person, not less. More passionate, not less.

The more I studied Jesus, the more difficult it became to pigeonhole him. He said little about the Roman occupation, the main topic of conversation among his countrymen, and yet he took up a whip to drive petty profiteers from the Jewish temple. He urged obedience to the Mosaic law while acquiring the reputation as a lawbreaker. He could be stabbed by sympathy for a stranger, yet turn on his best friend with the flinty rebuke, “Get behind me, Satan!” He had uncompromising views on rich men and loose women, yet both types enjoyed his company.

His extravagant claims about himself kept him at the centre of controversy, but when he did something truly miraculous he tended to hush it up. As Waiter Wink has said, if Jesus had never lived, we would not have been able to invent him.

Two words one could never think of applying to the Jesus of the Gospels: boring and predictable. How is it, then, that the church has tamed such a character – has, in Dorothy Sayers’ words, “very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certified Him as a fitting household pet for pale curates and pious old ladies”?

 

 

By Dr James Allan Francis, 1926 

“He was born in an obscure village
The child of a peasant woman
He grew up in another obscure village
Where He worked in a carpenter shop
Until He was thirty when public opinion turned against Him.

He never wrote a book
He never held an office
He never went to college
He never visited a big city
He never travelled more than two hundred miles
From the place where he was born
He did none of the things
Usually associated with greatness
He had no credentials but Himself

He was only thirty three

His friends ran away
One of them denied Him
He was turned over to his enemies
And went through the mockery of a trial
He was nailed to a cross between two thieves
While dying, His executioners gambled for His clothing
The only property He had on earth

When He was dead
He was laid in a borrowed grave
Through the pity of a friend

Nineteen centuries have come and gone
And today Jesus is the central figure of the human race
And the leader of mankind’s progress
All the armies that have ever marched
All the navies that have ever sailed
All the parliaments that have ever sat
All the kings that ever reigned put together
Have not affected the life of mankind on earth
As powerfully as that one solitary life.”

– Dr James Allan Francis © 1926 

 

See also:

Mathematical Proof for Christianity – prophecies about Jesus fulfilled

The Lion of Judah: The Reign of Jesus – prophecies fulfilled

The Reign of Jesus – PDF

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BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

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Story-tellers of Good News

Story-tellers of good news ~ Results in healed families, freedom, love, less violence and addiction, redemption, hope, divine favour, grace, they pray and God moves.

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Storytellers

West Africa: Dramatic transformation among Muslim peoples.

“Dramatic transformation is the key to rapid multiplication of churches among Muslims,” says Jerry Trousdale of missions organization CityTeam International.

He relates the story how one time their West African ministry partners were having their midday prayers, when they suddenly were surrounded by Muslim leaders. The team had been seeing breathtaking breakthroughs among highly resistant Muslim peoples, so they had anticipated opposition. They had reason to be fearful, but kept praying. Surprisingly, the Muslims just stood around them observing the proceedings and making no signs of hostile intentions.

“We beg you: could you please send us the story-tellers?”

When the Christian leaders finished praying, the group approached and turned out to be a delegation of Muslim civic leaders from a distant region. They had come with their imam and with a request. They said: “We have not come to harm you, but we beg you – could you please send us the story-tellers?” They meant the Christian workers who were making disciples by telling stories. The Muslim leaders from this community had observed other communities in their area that had become Christian, and they had noticed a dramatic change in people’s lives. They wanted the same thing in their community!

After some rearranging of schedules and responsibilities, the ministry was able to send out a team of storytellers to the distant village. Nobody imagined at the time that events like these would be repeated again and again, and that even entire mosques would come to faith in Christ. “When Muslims observe the types of dramatic transformation that only the gospel can bring in individuals, families and whole communities, they are often jealous to experience the same,” explains Trousdale.

MARKS OF TRANSFORMATION

What does transformation look like among Muslim-background believers? These are some of the most common changes seen among Muslims who accept Christ:

1. Healed families.
In families where women and children have been treated almost as slaves, wife beating becomes no longer acceptable, and love begins to heal broken marriages. Children are given permission to attend schools and are treated with new appreciation. Fighting between parents and children diminishes. Polygamy is no longer the choice of Christian men, and prostitution dies out.

2. A Spirit of Freedom.
When people discover freedom, it affects everything in their lives. They find release from fatalism, they are willing to try new things, and they expect God to bless their lives.

3. A Spirit of Love.
Many Muslim people report that God puts love in their hearts for the first time. In many cases, they have a new passion for fellow Muslims who are still in the mosque.

4. Diminished violence.
There have been instances in which, upon becoming Christians, former Muslims refuse to participate in ongoing ethnic warfare. In one case, when the Christian men were called to account for why they no longer ‘supported the tribe’, they shared the message of Jesus. This caused tribal elders to rethink their reasons for fighting, and the fighting stopped. Today, the two men who stood up for their conviction, are church planters.

5. Less addiction.
The levels of addiction to alcohol, khat, and other things that consume people’s lives are greatly diminished as these people receive prayer for deliverance.

6. Redemption and hope.
Historically, when lost people become obedient disciples of Jesus, they typically exchange fatalism for optimism, have new energy and initiative, and become more productive people. In addition, they abandon expensive addictions, and they see the blessings for God on their family situation.

7. Evidences of Divine favour.
Many new Christians share with joy how, after they became followers of Jesus, and during a time of prolonged drought, the Lord caused it to rain on their farms or on the pasture where their livestock was, but not on their neighbors’ land. And it became so obvious that the Muslim neighbors came to them to find out why these Christians had such favor. Farmers in every region that City Team International workers have interviewed report that, since they have become Christians, they have begun praying over their fields and have ceased using Muslim or spiritist blessings on their land, and their harvests have dramatically increased.

8. Grace in persecution.
Many new Christians in Muslim areas face harsh persecution. But these believers, though persecuted in cruel ways, have been transformed so deeply that they find the courage to speak a blessing on their persecutors. This forgiveness in the face of persecution can, over time, be the way that God gets into a persecutor’s heart to transform it as well. Numerous Muslims who formerly persecuted the Muslim-background Christians in their areas have come to faith as a result of those whom they persecuted responding with grace and kindness to the evil things done to them.

9. Freedom from demonic oppression.
Many Muslims have experienced years of torment from demonic powers. But when they repent of sins and receive Jesus as Lord, those spirits are successfully cast out. These deliverances are very tangible witnesses of the power of the gospel in Muslim families.

10. The power of individual prayer.
Common people discover that they can pray and God moves. Even the Muslims see this and thank God for the changes in the communities, as many who used to disturb them are now peaceful Christians.

Source: Jerry Trousdale
Joel News International 872.

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Mathematical Proof for Christianity

Mathematical Proof for Christianity

dan-delzell-portrait-seagreen-background
by Dan Delzell

It is impossible that Christianity is not God’s revelation of truth. Simply impossible. The math proves it beyond question. It doesn’t take faith to believe that one plus one equals two, and it doesn’t take faith to identify the religion which has mathematical certainty in its corner.

God didn’t have to give us mathematical proof of His existence, but He did it anyway. God didn’t have to give us proof of Christianity, but He chose to do so. And God didn’t have to give us proof of His love for us, but that is exactly what He did. The proof is irrefutable.

I live in Nebraska where I serve as a pastor. Imagine someone covering this entire state in silver dollars 6 feet deep. Then mark one coin and bury it anywhere across the state. Next, blindfold a man and have him choose one coin. The odds that he would choose the marked coin are the same odds of getting 8 prophecies all fulfilled in one man. God gave us about 300 fulfilled prophecies in the Person of Jesus Christ.

Here are 8 of those 300 prophecies:

(1) The Messiah will be born in Bethlehem. (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1; Luke 2:4-6)

(2) The Messiah will be a descendant of Jacob. (Numbers 24:17; Matthew 1:2)

(3) The Messiah will enter Jerusalem as a king riding on a donkey. (Zechariah 9:9; Mark 11:4-11)


(4) The Messiah will be betrayed by a friend. (Psalm 41:9; Luke 22:47,48)


(5) The Messiah’s betrayal money will be used to purchase a potter’s field. (Zechariah 11:13; Matthew 27:9,10)


(6) The Messiah will be spat upon and struck. (Isaiah 50:6; Matthew 26:67)


(7) The Messiah’s hands and feet will be pierced. (Psalm 22:16; John 20:25-27)


(8) Soldiers will gamble for the Messiah’s garments. (Psalm 22:18; Luke 23:34)
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There is no way one man could have fulfilled all 8 of these prophecies unless God was making it happen. Who else controls history? Who else could give us such irrefutable proof for Christianity? The odds are one in one hundred quadrillion, or 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000.
.

This mathematical proof was calculated by Professor Peter Stoner. He was chairman of the mathematics and astronomy departments at Pasadena City College until 1953. He then went to Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, where he served as chairman of the science division.

You don’t have to be a mathematics professor to see that this evidence is irrefutable. No one would pick the marked coin under those conditions. No one but God could have given us these biblical prophecies, and then brought them to fulfillment right before our eyes. It is impossible that Christianity is false. The math proves it, and the Man behind the math rose from the dead, just as it had been foretold.

It doesn’t take faith to see how the Bible could only have come from God. It does take faith, however, to accept Jesus as your Savior and to believe in God’s promise of eternal life. God has done everything to make this way open to you. If you choose to reject it in spite of the overwhelming evidence and in spite of God’s love for you, you will be walking away from an open door to paradise.

Source: Christian Post

Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.
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They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?”
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Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.”And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.
(Luke 24:27, 32, 44-45)
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Teaching Them to Obey in Love

A Teaching Them to Obey in Love

A Teaching Them to Obey in Love All

Teaching Them to Obey in Love

‘Those who love me will keep my word’

Great Commission series

Teaching Them to Obey in Love – PDF

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Contents:

Introduction

1 Love God:

Faith in God – God our Father

Follow Me – Jesus our Lord

Filled with the Spirit – God’s Spirit our Helper

2 Love Others:

Love one another

Serve one another

Encourage one another

Conclusion

Introduction

Jesus was wholly obedient in different ways at different times as a child, a student, a carpenter, a teaching rabbi, a healer, a sacrifice. We can obey in our different situations.   

The Great Commission is a call to obey everything Jesus commanded. That’s not easy! But Jesus reminded us that he now has all authority in heaven and on earth and he is with us to the end of the age:

‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’ (Matthew 28:18-20)

This book is about learning to obey Jesus as we love God who loves us totally.  Jesus said, “If you love me you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15, 23).  The greatest commandments of all are to love God and love others.   …

We encourage Christians, especially leaders, to obey what Jesus told us to do. All Christians love to speak and sing about Jesus but we may not follow his instructions. So I wrote a mission book about how Jesus trained his followers: Jesus the Model for Short Term Supernatural Mission.  It’s the first in my Great Commission Series and this is the second book in that series.

Jesus taught his followers to do what he did.  He commanded them to love one another as he loved us. He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God, to heal the sick and to cast out unclean spirits.  I hope this book will help you do what Jesus told us to do. 

Jesus said that all the commandments could be summed up in two: loving God and loving others.

‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it:

Luther Quote

 ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 22:37-40).

Jesus described our neighbour as anyone, especially those in need.  He said that we would keep his commandments because we loved him.

Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. (John 14:23)

God our loving Father expects us to believe in Jesus, his Son, to trust him and to obey his teaching and instructions.

And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as He gave us commandment (1 John 3:23).

What is obedience?

Jesus told a parable about two sons whose father told them to work in his vineyard (Matthew 21:28-32). One son said he would go but he did not. The other son said he would not go but changed his mind and went. The one who said ‘No’ but then went was more obedient than the one who said ‘Yes’ but didn’t go.  The story shows how we can repent, change our mind and obey.

Jesus’ parable of the two sons encourages us to repent, turn around, and obey even if previously we did not. Often we may feel guilty that we are not obeying Jesus fully and wholeheartedly.  When we pray we may remember how we disobeyed or were half-hearted or reluctant to obey. We can repent, and obey.

Some of Jesus commands seem hard for us to obey: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you; whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me; carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; sell your possessions, and give alms; those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples (Luke 6:27-28; 9:23; 10:4; 12:33; 14:33). And that’s just a few of his instructions!

We’re not all called to be Saint Francis or Mother Teresa. But we are called to follow Jesus – and that’s a challenge. Jesus’ instructions can shape our attitudes and actions. We may live it out in different ways in different places, but his commands will always guide us as we are led by his Spirit. Jesus was wholly obedient in different ways at different times as a child, a student, a carpenter, a teaching rabbi, a healer, a sacrifice. We can obey in our different situations.   

Our obedience springs from love and flows strong in God’s love.  We love Him because he first loved us (1 John 4:19).

Jesus reveals himself to those who obey him in love: “The person who has My commands and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me; and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I [too] will love them and will show (reveal, manifest) Myself to them. [I will let Myself be clearly seen by them and make Myself real to them.]” (John 14:21 Amplified)

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Great Commission Series books include:

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A Jesus the Model Globe

 An Incredible Journey by Faith

The Great Commission Series

A Great Commission MissionGreat Commission Mission

The Teaching of Jesus on Mission

Great Commission Mission – PDF

Compiled from Teaching Them to Obey in Love, and
Jesus the Model for Short Term Supernatural Mission

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Those who love me will keep my word.

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Blogs Index 3: Devotional (including Testimonies)

Blogs Index 4: Chapters (Blogs from Books)

Blogs Index 5: Images (photos from Books)

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HOLY WEEK

A Holy Week

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Holy Week

Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday

Selections for each day of Holy Week

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See also: Christian Passover Service

 

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See also: The Lion of Judah Series   

1  The Titles of Jesus

2  The Reign of Jesus

3  The Life of Jesus

4  The Death of Jesus

5  The Resurrection of Jesus

6  The Spirit of Jesus

7  The Lion of Judah

Selections from The Death of Jesus:

Holy week, from Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to his death and resurrection, is by far the greatest week in history.  Jesus, the Lamb of God, the Son of God, the Saviour of the world, chose to be crucified in Jerusalem at the Passover festival. He became our Passover Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world.  The Old Testament points to Jesus, the Messiah, God’s Anointed One. Those prophecies are fulfilled in Jesus. The New Testament tells his story and calls us to respond in faith to his gift of salvation and eternal life. 

Key Passages

Holy Week: the last week of the earthly life of Jesus may be summarized this way as a general guide. The different Gospels record different events, each one telling the Gospel, the good news, in their own way. So this arrangement is an estimate of the sequence of the momentous developments in Holy Week.

Holy Week

This summary follows the outline in Mark’s Gospel:

Selections from The Lion of Judah (4) The Death of Jesus & Holy Week

Palm Sunday – Day of Demonstration – Mark 11:1-11 (Zech 9:9) – Jesus enters Jerusalem

Monday – Day of Authority – Mark 11:12-19 – fig tree, temple cleansed

Tuesday – Day of Conflict – Mark 11:20 – 13:36 – debates with leaders

Wednesday – Day of Preparation – Mark 14:1-11 – anointed at Bethany

Thursday – Day of Farewell – Mark 14:12-42 – last supper

Good Friday – Day of Crucifixion – Mark 14:43 – 15:47 – trials and death

Saturday – Day of Sabbath – Mark 15:46-47 – tomb sealed

Easter Sunday – Day of Resurrection – Mark 16:1-18 – resurrection appearances

Easter Friday It is finishedGood Friday – Day of Crucifixion

It is accomplished

 

Easter Friday stripes

Easter Friday lamb

Easter Friday 7 words

Seven Statements on the Cross

  1. Father forgive them, for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34).
  2. Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise (Luke 23:43).
  3. Woman, behold your son: behold your mother (John 19:26-27).
  4. My God, My God, why have you forsaken me, (Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34).
  5. I thirst (John 19:28).
  6. It is finished (John 19:30).
  7. Father, into your hands I commit my spirit (Luke 23:46; see Psalm 31:5).

This summary uses NKJV. The Mounce translation (www.biblegateway.com) of John 19:30 is ‘It is accomplished.’ Traditionally, these seven statements are called words of

  1. Forgiveness,
  2. Salvation,
  3. Relationship,
  4. Abandonment,
  5. Distress,
  6. Triumph, and
  7. Reunion.

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A Christian PassoverChristian Passover Service

This order of service for Passover is an attempt to be as true as possible to the historic one Jesus had with his disciples.   The present day Passover as celebrated by millions of Jews is in the same order, and contains everything in this service (except for references to what Jesus did with it) as well as many additions that have been made, particularly since the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD.

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Holy Week 

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A Holy Week AllPalm Sunday to Easter Sunday

 
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Blogs Index 6: Book Chapters

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Blogs Index 1: Revivals (briefer than Revivals Index)

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A Jesus the Model Globe
Chapters in Jesus the Model for Short Term Supernatural Mission
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5 How to Minister Like Jesus (by Bart Doornweerd, as reproduced in Renewal Journal 5: Signs & Wonders)

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A Your Spiritual Gifts2Your Spiritual Gifts:

to serve in love

Chapter 1 – Your Spiritual Gifts

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A 7 Lion
The Lion of Judah Series

1  The Titles of Jesus

2  The Reign of Jesus

3  The Life of Jesus

4  The Death of Jesus

5  The Resurrection of Jesus

6  The Spirit of Jesus

7  The Lion of Judah

Selection from (1) The Titles of Jesus:  Aslan – The Lion of Judah

Selection from (2) The Reign of Jesus:  Appendix – China Miracle

Selection from (3) The Life of Jesus:  Prayer, Crowds and Healing

Selection from (4) The Death of Jesus:  The Tree

Selection from (5) The Resurrection of Jesus:  Biblical accounts

Selection from (6) The Spirit of Jesus:  Testimonies

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Great Revival StoriesGreat Revival Stories
Part 1:  Best Revival Stories

Power from on High, by John Greenfield 

The Spirit told us what to do, by Carl Lawrence

Pentecost in Arnhem Land, by Djiniyini Gondarra

Speaking God’s Word, by David Yonggi Cho 

Worldwide Awakening, by Richard Riss 

The River of God, by David Hogan

 
Part 2:  Transforming Revivals

Solomon Islands

Papua New Guinea

Vanuatu

10  Fiji

11  Snapshots of Glory, by George Otis Jr

12  The Transformation of Algodoa de Jandaira

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Renewal Journals Vol 4, Nos 16-20

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