i ask you reader for help , anyone can help me

I am looking for help, anyone can help, I have a story to tell but if you have mercy we can talk together in private . Most people want to hear the story before they can give but some they can just help without even want to know “why where what who when” thank you .
WHO ? I am Calvin Mazvazva
WHERE. ? In South Africa
WHAT ? Anything, for example: Money , clothes , items etc
WHEN ? Anytime
WHY ? I am very poor and I decided to find help in this way , I really know that some people can help with the above mentioned [see WHAT ] . If you have something you wish to give please contact me my email address is calvinmazvazva@gmail.com .
I will share with you more about myself but please I beg you to help me my situation needs you . I will appreciate anything do for me as you will. Oh I can say I need help. God please help us! Amen .

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Married and Unmarried pastors

Question: “Can an unmarried man be a deacon or elder?”

Answer: The passages referring to the qualifications for an elder or deacon in the church are 1 Timothy 3:12 “A bishop (elder) then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach”; 1 Timothy 3:12 “Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well”; and Titus 1:6-7 “. . . appoint elders in every city as I commanded you—if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination…” These three passages have been interpreted by some to indicate an elder or deacon must be a married man.

The issue is not the elder’s or deacon’s marital status, but his moral and sexual purity. This qualification heads the lists, because it is in this area that leaders are most prone to fail. Some take the qualification for deacons “a deacon must be the husband of but one wife…” in 1 Timothy 3:12 as meaning that for a man to be a deacon, he must be married. That is not the meaning of “husband of one wife.” In the Greek, the phrase “husband of one wife” literally reads “one-woman man.” For a man to be considered for a position of church leadership, and he is married, he must be committed to his wife. This qualification is speaking of fidelity in marriage and sexual purity. It is not a requirement of marriage. If it were, a man would have to be married and also have children, because the second half of 1 Timothy 3:12 states, “…and must manage his children and his household well.” We should understand this qualification as: If a man is married, he must be faithful to his wife. If a man has children, he must manage them well.

Some think this requirement excludes single men from church leadership. But if that were Paul’s intent, he would have disqualified himself (1 Cor. 7:8). A “one-woman man” is one totally devoted to his wife, maintaining singular devotion, affection and sexual purity in both thought and deed. To violate this is to forfeit blamelessness and no longer be “above reproach” (Titus 1:6,7). Being single is praised by the Apostle Paul as enabling more faithful service to the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:32-35). Why would Paul restrict men from church leadership positions when he believes “…an unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs – how he can please the Lord” (1 Corinthians 7:32)? In the first nine verses of this chapter, Paul establishes that both marriage and singleness are good and right before the Lord. An elder or deacon may be either married or single, as long as he meets the qualifications of godliness outlined in 1 Timothy and Titus.

IS Masturbation a sin ?

Question: “Masturbation – is it a sin according to the Bible?”

Answer: The Bible never explicitly mentions masturbation or states whether or not masturbation is a sin. The Scripture most frequently pointed to in regards to masturbation is the story of Onan in Genesis 38:9-10. Some interpret this passage as saying that “spilling your seed” on the ground is a sin. However, that is not precisely what the passage is saying. God condemned Onan not for “spilling his seed” but because Onan refused to fulfill his duty to provide an heir for his brother. The passage is not about masturbation, but rather about fulfilling a family duty. A second passage sometimes used as evidence for masturbation’s being a sin is Matthew 5:27-30. Jesus speaks against having lustful thoughts and then says, “If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.” While there are parallels between this passage and masturbation, it is unlikely that masturbation was what Jesus was alluding to.

While the Bible nowhere explicitly states that masturbation is a sin, there is no question as to whether the actions that lead to masturbation are sinful. Masturbation is nearly always the result of lustful thoughts, sexual stimulation, and/or pornographic images. It is these problems that need to be dealt with. If the sins of lust, immoral thoughts, and pornography are forsaken and overcome, masturbation will become a non-issue. Many people struggle with guilty feelings concerning masturbation, when in reality, the things that led to the act are far more worthy of repentance.

There are some biblical principles that can be applied to the issue of masturbation. Ephesians 5:3 declares, “Among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity.” It is hard to see how masturbating can pass that particular test. The Bible teaches us, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). If you cannot give God glory for something, you should not do it. If a person is not fully convinced that an activity is pleasing to God, then it is a sin: “Everything that does not come from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23). Further, we need to remember that our bodies have been redeemed and belong to God. “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). This great truth should have a real bearing on what we do with our bodies. In light of these principles, the conclusion that masturbation is a sin is biblical. Clearly, masturbation is not glorifying to God; it does not avoid the appearance of immorality, nor does it pass the test of God’s having ownership over our bodies.

I AM statements of JESUS CHRIST

      

 

The I AM statements of Jesus

Who do you say Jesus is? Jesus asked this same question to his disciples about what others thought of him and then asked what they thought of him.

Jn.5:37: “And the Father himself, who sent me, has borne witness of me. You have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. ‘Jesus gives the source of his commission, which is from the Father personally. It is the Fathers voice and form they have not seen, yet Christ has.

Christ who is called the exact image of the invisible Father is the voice that the people heard. He then says that they search the Scriptures in them you think you have eternal life but they testify of me.”(v.39) The Son is said to be the eternal life with the Father. Are we to believe the Scriptures testify of only a human being and not God himself? In the end of the discourse Jesus says in vs.46-47 “If you believed Moses you would believe Me; for he wrote about me. But if you don’t believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”

When did Moses write of him? Deut.18:15-19: “The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, “according to all you desired of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.’ “And the LORD said to me: ‘What they have spoken is good. ‘I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. ‘And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.” Jesus claims to be the prophet Moses spoke of that should listen to. Notice that it says they did not want to hear the voice of the Lord anymore or see his glory in Horeb. Then God says he will put his words in a future prophets mouth if they do not listen to his words, God will require it of him.” This very thing Jesus said of himself in Jn.8:24 “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am (He), you will die in your sins.”

John 6:51:”I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever;”

John 8:23: And He said to them, “You are from beneath; I AM from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.

John 8:12: Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I AM the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

John 8:58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”

John 10:9: “I AM the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”

John 10:11: “I AM the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.

John 10:36: “do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?

John 11:25: Jesus said to her, “I AM the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.

John 14:6: Jesus said to him, “I AM the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

John 15:1: “I AM the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.

John 19:2: Therefore the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘He said, “I am the King of the Jews.”‘”

Acts 7:32: Stephen speaking of Moses’ encounter at the burning bush  “saying, ‘I am the God of your fathers– the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses trembled and dared not look.”

Acts 9:5: And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”

The I Am In the Old Testament was whatever man needed. He became, he was his all in all. Jesus in the New Testament uses all the examples to show who He is. He is everything to man and the only way to God.

The most important of all the statements is in  John 8:24 after he tells them I am not of this world.
“Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am [He], you will die in your sins.” ( he is not in the original). He is communicating to them he is the same I AM that Moses met at the burning bush which commissioned him. Thank you !

UNDERSTAND CLEAN AND UNCLEAN

Dietary Laws and Uncleanness
In this study, we will examine what the Bible says about being “clean” and “unclean,” but we must explain that these terms are not talking about sanitation or the kind of dirt that can be washed away by soap and water. Rather, it was a matter of being religiously acceptable. Unclean people, for example, were not allowed to eat animals that had been sacrificed in the temple (Leviticus 7:19-21). High priests had to take special precautions to remain “clean” and able to perform their duties (Leviticus 21:10-12).

1. What was a common source of uncleanness? Leviticus 15:2-3, 16-24. Did the uncleanness spread to everything and everyone it touched? Verses 4-12.

2. How long were women considered unclean after giving birth? Leviticus 12:1-8. Did Jesus’ parents keep this law? Luke 2:22-24.

3. How long would a person be unclean after touching a corpse? Numbers 19:11-13. Was it permissible to be near a corpse but not touch it? Verses 14-15. Could such an unclean person participate in the Passover? Numbers 9:6.

4. How was a person to be cleansed or become acceptable again? Numbers 19:12, 17-19. What was the penalty for failing to do this? Verses 13, 20. How was the special water made? Verses 2-9, 17-18. Did this sprinkling cleanse the people on the outside, or the inside? Hebrews 9:13.

5. Was Jesus careful to avoid ritual uncleanness? Matthew 8:2-3; 9:20; Luke 7:12-14. Did he encourage others to observe purification rules? Matthew 8:4. What did he say about the importance of uncleanness? Matthew 15:11. What did the religious leaders think of Jesus’ attitude? Verse 12.

The Pharisees were very careful about maintaining religious purity, but Jesus did not seem particularly concerned about it. He felt free to touch people and things that were unclean. According to the rules of the old covenant, this would have made Jesus unclean, too. But instead of becoming contaminated by the uncleanness, Jesus cleansed the person of the problem.

Jesus did not sin (Hebrews 4:15). It was not a sin to touch a dead person or to have a discharge of bodily fluids. These rules of cleanness were for ritual purity, not moral guidance.

6. What rules did God give regarding clean and unclean animals? Leviticus 11:1-43; Deuteronomy 14:1-20. Why did God give the Israelites these rules? Leviticus 11:44-45; 20:24-25; Deuteronomy 14:2, 21. Did these laws apply to gentiles? Verse 21.

God is holy (which means separate), and he set his people apart from other nations. He told them to make a distinction between animals, and by this to be distinct from other nations. In this way, the nation of Israel symbolized holiness. Just as they were set apart from other nations, God was set apart from humanity. The Israelites’ holiness rules pictured God’s holiness.

Some people say that the rules were given for health reasons, but there is no biblical evidence for that, and scientific studies have not proven it. There is no evidence, for example, that beef is better for our health than camel meat, or that fish-eating ducks are better than fish-eating herons. The Old Testament does not tell us why it permits grasshoppers but not ants, or why it permits honey but not honeybees. The claim about health is not a biblical claim, and it cannot be taught as doctrine.

7. Was the distinction between clean and unclean animals known long before Abraham? Genesis 7:1-9. Was Noah allowed to eat clean animals, or was he permitted to eat any kind of animal? Genesis 9:2-4.

The concept of clean and unclean was a religious distinction, with no claims about health. God permitted people to eat animals that were not permissible for sacrifice. Noah was allowed to eat any kind of animal, any kind of bird and any kind of fish. This is the way Jews have traditionally understood this instruction to Noah.

Jewish rabbis said that gentiles were righteous if they observed laws that went back to their ancestor Noah — and avoiding unclean meat was not part of the requirements. The rabbis listed seven rules that go back to the time of Noah:

not to worship idols,
not to blaspheme God’s name,
to establish courts of justice,
not to kill,
not to commit adultery,
not to steal and
not to eat meat that had been cut from a living animal (Talmud, Sanhedrin 56; see the article “Laws, Noachian,” in The Jewish Encyclopedia or the Encyclopaedia Judaica).
The Talmud also mentions that the Israelite patriarchs were allowed to eat unclean meat (Hullin 7:6). These sections of the Talmud acknowledge that Genesis does not forbid the eating of unclean meat. The prohibition was one of the laws that were added 430 years after Abraham, as part of the law of Moses, given to Israelites only. Gentiles did not need to observe these restrictions unless they wanted to become proselytes and come under the covenant made at Sinai.

When the early church decided that gentiles did not need to become proselytes (Acts 15), this would have been one of the laws they understood to be part of “the law of Moses.” When Paul said that Jesus abolished the laws that separated Jews and gentiles (Ephesians 2:15), the distinction between clean and unclean meats would have been included.

Both Jews and gentiles knew that Jews kept dietary rules that gentiles did not; meats were one of the primary customs that separated them. Therefore, when the early church allowed people to live like gentiles (1 Corinthians 9:21; Galatians 2:14), they were saying, in effect, that they could eat the foods that gentiles normally ate. The Levitical instructions about clean and unclean were rules for ritual and ceremony, not for defining sin and morality.

8. Did Paul consider certain types of food unclean? Romans 14:14, 20.

Paul’s letter to the Romans deals extensively with Jewish and gentile concerns. In chapter 16, he greets many people with Jewish names and many with gentile names. The Roman church was composed of both Jews and gentiles, and there seems to have been some tension between them, and Paul addressed this carefully.

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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™  Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. http://www.zondervan.com

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This article was written by Michael Morrison in 1997 and updated in 2014. Copyright by the author. All rights reserved. If you’d like to learn more about the Bible, check out Grace Communion Seminary. It’s accredited, affordable, and all online. http://www.gcs.edu.
In chapter 14, Paul addresses the matter of vegetarianism, but his comments go further than that. When he says “no food is unclean in itself” and “all food is clean,” the meaning is clear. Since the Roman church included both Jews and gentiles, questions would naturally arise as to whether it was necessary for Christians to keep the old covenant rules. Paul clearly answers that question, but he also urges people to be cautious about this sensitive matter. He did not require Jews to change their customs.

In review, we see that Noah was permitted to eat any kind of meat he wanted. Paul also permitted people to eat any kind of meat they wanted. The dietary restrictions in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 were (just like other rules about ritual cleanness) given just to ancient Israel as part of the old covenant. When the old covenant came to an end when Jesus was crucified, the authority for these rules expired. The new covenant does not tell us to look to the law of Moses for either clothing styles or dietary guidance. Instead, the new covenant clearly tells us that all foods may be considered clean.

JEREMIAH AND JESUS CHRIST

Jeremiah and Jesus

Warning, Lament, and Comfort

The Haftarah (prophetic reading) for Tishah B’Av comes from the prophet Jeremiah, who was an eyewitness to the destruction of the First Temple and the subsequent exile of the Jewish people…

It is hard to overstate the significance of the destruction of the Jewish Temple by the Babylonians in 586 BC. Its demolition – and the exile of Judah – is perhaps the central calamity of the entire Tanakh (even today Judaism grapples with its implications). The prophet of that dark period of Jewish history was Jeremiah, sometimes called the “weeping prophet.” In many profound ways Jeremiah prefigured the prophetic ministry of Yeshua….

Introduction

The late Francis Schaeffer once identified Jeremiah as the quintessential prophet for the postmodern age. “Jeremiah,” he wrote, “provides us with an extended study of an era like our own, where men have turned away from God, and society has become post-Christian” (Schaeffer: Death in the City). The rabbis called him the “Weeping Prophet,” and not without reason. His entire mission was to herald sorrow, destruction, and hardship for the people of God… As he finally saw the Holy Temple burn to the ground, it surely must have seemed as if his entire ministry had failed…

The prophet Jeremiah (i.e., Yirmiyahu ha-navi: יִרְמְיָהוּ הַנָּבִיא) is generally regarded as one of the three “major” Jewish prophets (the other two being Isaiah and Ezekiel). He lived from about 640-570 BC and began serving as God’s prophet during the 13th year of King Josiah’s reign. Jeremiah’s long ministry would subsequently span the reigns of five different kings of Judah: Josiah (640–609 BC), Jehoahaz (609 BC), Jehoiakim (609-598 BC), Jehoiachin (598-597 BC), and Zedekiah, the last king of Judah (597-586 BC).

Over the course of his 40 year ministry, Jeremiah saw the abrupt fall of the Assyrian Empire and the steady rise of Babylonian dominance in the Ancient Near East.  He witnessed prince Nebuchadnezzar’s rise to power and understood the significance of his military campaign against Egypt at the battle of Carchemish in 605 BC. He foresaw that the political future of Judah would turn on the conflict between Babylon and Egypt:

 

Jeremiah was living in Jerusalem when Nebuchadnezzar (who by then had become king of Babylon) returned to capture the city in 597 BC.  At that time Nebuchadnezzar deposed the Jewish king Jehoiachin and installed Zedekiah (צִדְקִיָּה) as his vassal (2 Kings 24:12,17). During Zedekiah’s rule, Jeremiah advised the leadership of Judah to submit to Babylonian rule and not to look to Egypt as a political ally (Jer. 2:18,36; 37:7-8; etc.). Judah needed to accept the fact that its destruction was imminent and inevitable (Jer. 5:15-17). Because of his doom-laden prophecies, Jeremiah was regarded as a fatalist and a defeatist. The leaders of Judah rejected his message and regarded him as a traitor. His religious critics (i.e., the Levites and Temple administration) regarded him as a false prophet who did not believe in the doctrine of Zion’s invincibility (Jer. 7:4). In particular, Jeremiah took issue with those who believed that the Temple functioned as some sort of “good luck charm” to ward off the threat of destruction from Judah.

“Do not trust in these deceptive words: ‘This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the Temple of the LORD.’ For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another, if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever. But you trust in deceptive words to no avail” (Jer. 7:5-8). 
 

Do not trust in these deceptive words: “This is the temple of the LORD,
the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD.” – Jer. 7:4

Jeremiah went on to condemn the “lip service” exemplified by the corrupted Temple and its public worship services: “Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my Name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’ – only to go on doing all these abominations? I will do to the house that is called by my Name, and in which you trust, and to the place that I gave to you and to your fathers, as I did to Shiloh. And I will cast you out of my sight, as I cast out your kinsmen, the offspring of Ephraim” (Jer. 7:9-15).

Jeremiah’s condemnation is clearly similar to that of Yeshua, who overthrew the moneychanger’s tables, stopped the daily sacrifice, and charged the priestly leadership with making His Father’s house a “den of robbers” (Jer. 7:11, Matt. 21:13, Mark 11:15-17; Luke 19:45-46). Like Jeremiah, Yeshua insisted that the “kingdom of God is within you,” that is, a matter of the heart of faith. There is no inherent sanctity of a physical place apart from a heart that is trusting in the LORD’s love and righteousness (Jer. 7:4-7; Luke 17:21). Indeed, Yeshua’s harshest words were directed to religious leaders who made a pretense of their devotion to God, but were inwardly full of greed and self-deception:
 

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness” (Matt. 23:25-28).

 

The “outer is not the inner,” and vice versa.  God abhors those who pretend to know Him but who are spiritual impostors (Matt. 7:21-23; 25:11-12; Luke 6:46).   Because of such rampant hypocrisy, both Jeremiah and Yeshua denounced the Temple as utterly corrupt and foretold its destruction (Jer. 25:9,11; Matt. 24:1-2).

Yeshua warned us about the “leaven” (i.e., doctrine – διδαχή) of the Pharisees, Sadducees, and politicians of his day (Matt. 16:6-12; Mark 8:15). In Luke’s Gospel, this leaven is defined as hypocrisy (ὑπόκρισις): “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy (Luke 12:1).”  But what is hypocrisy? The word might come from the Greek prefix ὑπὸ (under) combined with the verb κρίνω (to judge), and hence refers to the inability to come to a decision and exercise genuine conviction. It is a state of being “double minded,” duplicitous, and insincere… Later the word connoted playing a part, “putting on a show,” feigning righteousness, acting with insincerity, reusing “canned answers” or repeating the party line.  Hypocrisy is therefore a form of self-deception. It is institutionalized prejudice dressed up as religion; it is counterfeit thinking that cheats the truth; it is ethnocentric nonsense that despises others as unworthy, inferior, etc.  The “leaven of the Pharisees” is like old sourdough added to the community — it “puffs people up” and is therefore based on human pride. The message of both Jeremiah and Yeshua was marked by repentance, humility, and the sincere desire to love and serve God. 

The prophet Jeremiah clearly foreshadowed the prophetic ministry of Yeshua our Messiah. Both Jeremiah and Yeshua were called to deliver the judgment of God upon sinful man. Both lived in a time of political upheaval and unrest for Judah.  In a sense, both were “prophets of doom” who became “enemies of the Jewish state.” Both condemned hypocrisy and foretold disaster unless the people turned away from sin and turned to God with all their hearts (Matt. 15:8; Jer. 7:9-15). Both were “weeping prophets” who lamented over the City of Jerusalem (Jer. 9:1; Luke 19:41). Both were misunderstood and persecuted by the people of their day. Both prophets were plotted against by the citizens of their own hometowns (Jer. 11:21; Luke 4:28-30), and both were rejected by the religious and political leaders of their day (Jer. 20:1-2; John 18:13, 24). Both rejected the Temple worship as corrupt and beyond repair. Both condemned the “religious” reinterpretation of the Torah (Jer. 8:8; Matt. 23:2-3;23; Mark 7:5). Both were forcibly taken into Egypt because of political persecution (Matt. 2:13; Jer. 44). Both were falsely accused, arrested, and unjustly beaten (Jer. 37:12-15; Matt. 26:61; 27:26). Both were rejected by the secular Jewish king of the Jews (Jer. 32:2-4; Luke 23:8-11). And yet both never abandoned the Jewish people and ultimately offered God’s comfort and hope (Lam. 3:22-25, John 14:1,27). Jeremiah and Yeshua both preached the New Covenant (בְּרִית חֲדָשָׁה) of God that would transform a heart of stone into a heart of flesh (Jer. 31:31-34; Luke 22:20; Heb. 8:6-13; 9:15, etc.). Both foresaw that the true Temple of God was made without hands, built from material of hearts of those who truly serve God in Spirit and in truth… The destruction of the First Temple was the central catastrophe of the older covenant, just as the destruction of the Second Temple was the central catastrophe of the New Covenant. Because of the suffering and sacrificial death of Yeshua, the inner veil of the Temple has forever been rent asunder, and access to the Presence of God has been made available to all who trust in Him….

Because of his radical prophecies of doom, king Zedekiah eventually arrested Jeremiah and put him in the palace prison. Later Jeremiah witnessed the destruction of the city in fulfillment of his prophecies (Jer. 32:2-5; 38:28).

 

Like other prophets of the LORD, Jeremiah decried the false teachers and injustices of his day. “No one relents of his evil saying, ‘What have I done?’ Everyone turns to his own course, like a horse rushing for battle” (Jer. 8:6). And though he was of priestly lineage himself, he regarded the Temple in Jerusalem to be as corrupt as the Northern Kingdom’s shrine at Shiloh (Jer. 7:4-15). He rejected the priest’s narrow interpretation of the law as entirely deceitful (Jer. 8:8). Indeed, the entire culture was based on greed and deception, “from prophet to priest,” everyone dealt falsely. “They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace” (שָׁלוֹם שָׁלוֹם וְאֵין שָׁלוֹם). This lead to Jeremiah’s apocalyptic warning of the coming destruction of Jerusalem and the exile of the Jewish people (Jer. 25:9,11).

Around 590 BC, Zedekiah and the Jewish leadership of Judah openly rebelled against Babylon (2 Kings 24:18-20). This act of defiance prompted Nebuchadnezzar to besiege Jerusalem in 588 BC (on the 10th of Tevet; 2 Kings 25:1). After the two-year siege, Jerusalem ran out of food, and the walls were breached (on the 17th of Tammuz). Zedekiah’s family was killed, and the king was blinded, bound, and sent to Babylon (2 Kings 25:7). The Temple, the palace, and all of the houses of Jerusalem were destroyed (on the 9th of Av), and the remaining treasures from the Temple were taken to Babylon (2 Kings 25:8-17). The majority of the Jews were displaced to Babylon and “only the poorest people of the land” remained. Nebuchadnezzar installed a man named Gedaliah to function as his  governor (2 Kings 25:22). Zedekiah proved to be Judah’s last king…

 

Jeremiah did not go with the Jews into exile, however, but was released from Zedekiah’s prison to function as a liaison under a Gedaliah (Jer. 39:13-14; 40:6). He urged the Jews who remained in the land to submit to Babylonian rule and not to rebel (Jer. 27:11; 38:17). Despite his warnings, however, Gedaliah was murdered by Ishmael the son of Netaniah (who apparently regarded himself as a Davidic heir to the throne) and his gang of ten zealots (2 Kings 25:25). After Gedaliah’s murder, the local Jews feared reprisal from Nebuchadnezzar and considered fleeing to Egypt to save themselves. Jeremiah warned them not to flee since the sword from which they were running would slay them there (Jer. 42:16-22). Unfortunately, the people disregarded Jeremiah’s words and fled to Egypt anyway. Worse still, they abducted the prophet and took him with them (Jer. 43:2-7). A few years later Babylon conquered Egypt and tens of thousands of these Jewish refugees were killed (on the 3rd of Tishri). Jewish tradition says that Jeremiah was later stoned to death in Egypt for denouncing the idolatry of the surviving Jews who had fled there (Jer. 44).

Jeremiah’s prophecies (as compiled by his faithful scribe, Baruch) were later collected into the “Book of Jeremiah” which is part of the Jewish canon of Scripture. The material in the book is thought to cover 30 years, though not in chronological order. Jeremiah is also credited as the author of the acrostic poem found in the scroll of Eichah (i.e., the “Book of Lamentations”). In Jewish tradition, Jeremiah is not regarded to be as great as Isaiah: “All the harsh prophecies which Jeremiah would prophecy against Israel, Isaiah preceded and provided the healing” (Eichah Rabati 1:23).

Midrashim about Jeremiah
 
Jeremiah was born in the small town of Anatot, about 3 miles northeast of Jerusalem. He is identified as a descendant of Rahab the harlot (רָחָב הַזּוֹנָה) by her marriage with Joshua, the successor of Moses (Sifre, Num. 78). His father Hilkiah was a Temple priest.   According to midrash, he was prophetically born on Tishah B’Av to foreshadow his ministry of doom (Jer. 20:14). According to legend, it was evident that Jeremiah was destined for greatness from birth, since he born circumcised (Avot d’Rabbi Nosson). “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jer. 1:5). Jeremiah is said to have emerged from his mother’s womb with a “great cry,” which was said to foreshadow his lament for the destruction of Jerusalem. As a very young boy Jeremiah is said to have looked intently at his mother and said: “Mother, Mother, you did not conceive me in the way of women, and your path was that of the wayward woman. You set your eyes on another man and strayed from your husband. Why do you not drink the bitter waters of the sotah? You have been brazen-faced.” When his mother asked, “Why do you speak to me this way?” Jeremiah replied, “I am not speaking about you, Mother; I am prophesying about Zion and Jerusalem” (Pesikta Rabbasi). Later God commanded Jeremiah not to marry and have a family because the coming judgment on Judah would sweep away the next generation (Jer. 16:1-4). Jeremiah often expressed his anguish of spirit which lent itself to his designation as the “weeping prophet” (Jer. 4:19; 9:1; 10:19-20; 23:9, etc.)

 

The sages sometimes compare Moses and Jeremiah. “Everything that is written about Moses is written about Jeremiah. As Moses was a prophet for forty years, so was Jeremiah; as Moses prophesied concerning Judah and Benjamin, so did Jeremiah; as Moses’ own tribe (the Levites under Korach) rose up against him, so did Jeremiah’s tribe revolt against him (Jeremiah was a kohen); Moses was cast into the water, Jeremiah into a watery pit; as Moses was saved by a female slave (the slave of Pharaoh’s daughter), so Jeremiah was rescued by a male slave (Jer. 38:7-13); Moses reprimanded the people in discourses, so did Jeremiah (Pesikta d’Rav Kahana). We may add that Jeremiah expressed the same reluctance as Moses to become a prophet and offered the same kind of excuses (God gave Aaron to be Moses’ mouthpiece but directly put words into Jeremiah’s mouth (Exod. 4:14-16, Jer. 1:8-9). Some scholars have said that Jeremiah might have even regarded himself as the coming prophet whom Moses foretold (Deut. 18:18).

As a young man, the LORD appeared to him and said, “Listen closely, Jeremiah. While you were still in your mother’s womb, I sanctified you to be a prophet for My people. The time has now come for you to go forth and prophecy.” Deeply moved and afraid of this responsibility, he replied: “Master of the universe, how can You send me to rebuke the Jews? They will kill me! They even threatened to kill Moses and Aaron, who led them from Egypt, and they mocked Elijah and Elisha. Who am I to deliver your message to them?  I am young – only a child. Who will listen to me?” (Jer. 1:6). The LORD reassured Jeremiah: “Be not afraid. You shall indeed go wherever I send you. I have chosen you precisely because you are so young and innocent. Go to them and pour out my wrath upon them (Jer. 1:7-10).

Jeremiah was dismayed that he must be the “prophet of doom.” “He said, ‘Master of the Universe, what sins have I done that in the days of all the prophets who preceded me and those who will follow me, you did not destroy Your House, but only through me?’ The LORD answered, ‘Even before I created the world, you were prepared for this mission'” (Pesikta Rabati 27:5). Nonetheless, Jeremiah begged the LORD not to send him: “The day on which I was born was an evil one (Jer. 20:14); May this day never be blessed (Tishah B’Av)” He continued to protest. “Consider the differences between Moses and me. In his time, the Jews were told, ‘May the LORD bless you (Num. 6:24),’ but I must bring them a curse (Jer. 29:22). In Moses’ day, You promised to protect your people and give them peace (Num. 6:26), but I must bring them news of evil days which will come to pass, days of darkness and death, of war and great tragedy (Jer. 16:5). Woe is me to be destined for such a bitter task!  I am like a priest who discovers in the course of punishing the unfaithful woman that she is none other than my own mother! So I am consigned to deliver the news of exile and destruction to my people, who are as dear to me as my own mother!”

Jeremiah tried to make the people repent from their detestable Molech worship, the “king of fire” (the word “molech” is thought to be a corruption of the Hebrew word for king, melech: מֶלֶךְ, with the vowels of word “shame,” boshet: בּוֹשֶׁת, added).  This gigantic statue apparently had an ox’s head, a hollow belly, and outstretched arms.  It was said to have stood within a Canaanite temple that had seven chambers.

 

According to the Yalkut Shimoni (an collection of midrashim), a person who brought the “god” a gift of flour was allowed into the first chamber; a person who brought a gift of doves could enter the second chamber. A sheep gave access to the third, a ram to the fourth, a calf to the fifth, and a bull to the sixth.  But if a true worshipper brought his infant son for sacrifice, he would be granted access to the seventh “grand” chamber of the Ammonite temple. The priests of Molech would heat up the belly of the idol and then burn the child to death in the idol’s outstretched arms. Their frenetic drumming and shouts to the idol drowned out the screams of the baby. God sent prophets to warn the people to turn away from this horrible sin, which “had never entered His mind” (Jer. 32:35; Lev. 18:21; Deut. 18:10; 2 Kings 16:3; 17:17; 21:6; 23:10; 2 Chron. 33:6), but the people refused to repent.  Nonetheless, God heard the cries of the babies and decreed that in punishment for these atrocities the Holy Temple itself would be sent up in flames….

When he saw the Jews so crazed with the fires of their idolatry, Jeremiah asked them, “Why do you pursue idols? What attracts you to such emptiness? The Jews replied, “We have forsaken the LORD and He is angry with us. That is why we seek comfort in our idols…” (Jer. 8:14). This midrash reveals the profound connection between our faith in God’s love for us and our tendency toward sin. Despair over oneself can lead to shame, and shame leads to shameful actions (Prov. 13:5; 23:7). A person who abandons hope in the LORD and His love becomes a prey to the devil himself. If he no longer believes God can give him comfort, he will turn to the grossest forms of immorality to assuage his sense of abandonment.

According to Devarim Rabbah, “The Holy One, blessed be He, sent Jeremiah to the people when they sinned and said to them, ‘Go tell my sons to repent.’ The people said to Jeremiah, ‘Should we return to the Holy One, blessed be He, with these faces? [i.e., we are ashamed to show our faces to Him].’ The Holy One, blessed be He, sent Jeremiah again to tell them, ‘My sons, if you return, is it not to your Father in heaven that you are returning? For He has never rejected you… By your lives, I will not deny my relationship with you. ‘  Nonetheless, despite such appeals, the people mocked Jeremiah and clung to their shame. It was the shame of sin that led to the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, just as it was the shame of sin that led to the death of the exiles in Egypt….

Note:  This is presently unfinished… If God wills, I will add more later. Shalom for now…

by Calvin from Jesus Christ followers. thank you.

TRINITY

Introduction to the Trinity of God, God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost!
(Ver 1.2)  Today is a basic Bible lesson about the trinity of God or we could also say the revealed triune nature of God.   I generally do not teach Bible Basics, but I realize that not everyone knows everything and there are new Christians coming into God’s family every day that need to learn the basics.  So I will occasionally teach on basic Bible concepts that everyone should become intimately familiar with.  By building a strong foundation on the Word of God, you are better able to defend your faith to others who may raise questions to why you have chosen to believe the Bible.  Plus if you do not know anything the Bible says you are not able to share with others to help them enter into the truth.  So today I want to introduce another basic foundational Bible concept.  How can one God be viewed three different ways?  It is really not too difficult to understand these three personalities of God, if you research them in your Bible.  They are easily seen, frequently named and only ignored by the people who do not want to accept them.  God is called first and foremost a spirit (John 4:24).  Therefore every other minifestation of God must originate from His Spirit.  You see one manifestation of God is just a title for the Spirit of God.  God the Father is just His title or a name for the Spirit of God who procreates and has children.  God is the Father of all spiritual beings (Heb 12:9).  If you have a spirit (and you do), it came from God’s Spirit.  This designation delates the responsibility of spirits to the Father God.  Then there is God the Son.  This manifestation of God occurred when the Spirit of God came upon Mary the virgin and she conceived a male child named Jesus (Luke 1:35).   The body of Jesus came about as a union of the Seed of the Spirit of God and the egg in Mary’s womb.  The combination of these two produced a child that was not God, but yet had the Spirit of God in Him.  It is really rather confusing, if you get technical about it.  You see the Bible says that No Man has ever seen God (1 Jn 4:12).  But, we know many men and women saw Jesus Christ when He was here on earth.  But, they technically all just saw the body that contained the Spirit of God and they never actually saw God.  The plot thickens however, because Jesus did say “when you have seen me, you have seen the Father” (Jn 14:7).  So Jesus did not separate Himself from the Father at any time.  Jesus repeatedly said that He and His Father were One (Jn 10:30).  So when Jesus walked the face of the earth and spoke to the people, whatever He said was God speaking, because Jesus was God in the flesh.  Or we could also say the Spirit of God was in the flesh of Jesus.   I think I will begin this lesson by establishing Bible verses that clearly declares that there is only one true God who created everything.

Deu 6:4  Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:

This is a classic verse written in the Law of Moses.  God declares that He is One Lord!  The children of Israel widely accepted this verse and believe in this One Lord!  However, when He visited them personally in the flesh, they put Him to death on a cross.  Why didn’t they recognize their God?  That is an obviously good question to consider.  It seems the Nation of Israel is still stumbling over the same things as they did back then.  I have talked to Jews and they hate Christians and put them down as a false religion.  Little do they know they are the one in the false religion now.

Mar 12:29  And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one  Lord:

Jesus, who was God in the flesh did not contradict the Old Testament law, but further confirmed that there was only one Lord God.  Many times people have a tendency to limit what God can do and put God in their religious box.  God can do some very radically different things other than what you can think of with your simple natural mind.  In fact God has already done some very radical things that we are just now discovering in the Bible.  But, these people in Jesus’ day did not recognize their God, because they did not expect Him to be standing in front of them in this form.  I guess they had read about God in the burning bush, or in the cloud on top of the mountain meeting with Moses and they think that this is the way God always talks to men.  So heaven forbid if God does something so new or radically different to come in person in the flesh and stand before them and speak!  That just doesn’t make any sense, does it?  Of course the Jews were not privy to all of the facts either.  They did not know that the angel Gabriel had visited Mary and said that she a virgin, would conceive a child by the Spirit of God.  They were not privileged to know that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the city of David and the prophesied birth place of the Messiah.  The Jews only knew that Jesus was a man from Samaria and a city of Nazareth.  They understood how, He had grown up like every other child in the region and nothing appeared to be different or unique about him.  They assumed Jesus was just like the other children in the family of Joseph and Mary and no different than His brothers or His sisters.  The Jews made wrong assumptions and never attempted to find out the truth by asking relevant questions.  They were deceived by Satan and they killed the God of their salvation.  Thank God, they did because we now are saved because of it.  Obviously, God knew how they would react and what they would do, since He purposely chose this specific time in human history to be born into the world.

Mar 12:32  And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:

Here is a verse of scripture that confirms what the Jews believed.  They knew that the Bible said there was only One True God!  This scribe declares that there are no other true gods except Him.  But, yet he was talking to him personally and never saw it either.  That to me is a very sad story.

Jas 2:19  Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

The devils and Satan know there is one God!   They are extremely fearful of Him.  In fact they are doing everything they can legally do to try to keep the plan of God from coming to pass.   It is funny how many men and women in the world are so passive toward God.  They could care less if there is a God, they are consumed with their own agendas.  People’s priorities sure need to change, don’t you think?

Mal 2:10  Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?

Here is an interesting verse of scripture.  It tells us that there is one true Father God.  Then it also says there is only One True God who created us!  The Bible is a very complex book and tells us many things that are difficult to wrap our minds around.  The trinity of God is one of these concepts that is difficult to fully grasp.  How can one God be manifested in various ways using different names and titles?  You see this verse calls God the One Father, but yet Jesus in John 8, in talking to the Jews said “ye are of your father the devil”.  So obviously Jesus did not see them as his true spiritual brothers.  Jesus clearly said that He had a different spiritual Father than they did.  This partly demonstrates an ongoing problem of many religions in the world today.  The Jews thought that God was their father, but Jesus declared something that was completely different than what they thought.  So they were wrong and Jesus was right.  Many people today want to be all inclusive and say every religion is just another path to the same god.  But, they are also wrong.

1Ti 2:5  For there is one  God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

You see the Bible declares something very different than what people think.  That is why Christians are many times accused of being narrow minded.  Those who see the truth, know that there are not many paths that lead to God.  For example, this verse in 1 Timothy declares the opposite.  God says there is only one path way to God and that is through the man Christ Jesus.  The Messiah Jesus was God in the flesh!  God came to the earth personally to accomplish everything that He needed to accomplish and He did it personally to insure that it was done correctly.  The term “mediator” is an interesting Greek word so let’s look up the definition and see what it reveals:

From G3319; a go between, that is, (simply) an internunciator, or (by implication) a reconciler (intercessor): – mediator.

The word “internunciator” carries a meaning of someone who speaks on the behalf of someone else.  “Inter” can mean between and “nunciator” is someone who speaks.  So Jesus became the one in between man and God who is authorized to speak to each party legally.   So a “mediator” is someone who is also a go between the two parties often times in a legal battle.  Both of these titles fit the situation the human race was in.  We needed someone to plead our case for us, because we did not have a legitimate case without this help.  God provided Himself an intercessor, a spokesman for the human race when we had no chance of salvation.  Because God became a man, every man and woman now has a chance to talk with God personally.  Humans were incapable of saving themselves and we were in dire straits without a hope of any future.  God provided the way out of our dilemma, before we ever understood what a dilemma we were in.   

You cannot be narrow minded when you read the Bible, if you are you will not be able to accept some of the radical concepts that God introduces you to.   God is One God, but comes to us in different ways.  The Bible says that No Man has ever seen God, but that doesn’t mean we cannot know Him.  God being a Spirit, makes it difficult for natural men and women to grasp all of the hidden qualities of His personalities.   What we must do is become open to what God wants to do and realize that whatever He does will probably be different than anything we could have imagined.  Learn the lesson of the Jews who did not recognize their God when He chose to walk in their presence in the flesh.  You see the Bible says God is not a Man!  But, that does not mean that God cannot become a man if He chooses to do so.  Jesus Christ is a body that contains the Spirit of God, but I do not believe that this body limits God in His spiritual form to only the body of Jesus.  In fact the Bible clearly tells us that every Believer who has accepted Jesus as their Lord now has the Spirit of God living on the inside of them.  So obviously God is bigger than the body of Jesus Christ alone.  Part of God is in me right now!  If you are a believer, then part of the Spirit of God is also in you!  Because the Jews put limits upon God and would not let Him out of their box, they were unable to see Him clearly.  Do not be guilty of putting God in your box and miss Him either!

1Co 8:6  But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

There are so many verses that declare and name God as being One!  This verse speaks of two parts of the trinity as both being this One God.  God the Father, is the father.  But, Jesus Christ, the Son of God is also this same One Lord!  This One Lord Jesus Christ created all things.  So you cannot separate the two manifestations of God and say they are two different Gods, they are just two personalities of the same One True God.

1Jn 5:7  For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

This is one of the greatest scriptures in the Bible directly naming all “three” members of the trinity and calling them all One!   However, the Son of God is called the Word of God and that is a revelation that you need to get a hold of.   In John the 1st chapter, God tells us that God and the Word are one in the same.  Then in verse 14, God tells us that the “Word became flesh and dwelt among us”.  So we can now begin to understand how God could become a man in the flesh and still be God Almighty.  I guess I should address the fact that this verse is widely reported to be false because it is not found in every manuscript.  However, this is the ploy of Satan to attempt to delete these words to cause doubts in the minds of people.  You see you can find this basic information in several other verses in the Bible and therefore I am confident in their truth.  Check in John 5:37  and see God the Father being a witness of God the Son.  Read about Jesus being called the Word of God in Revelation 19:13.  Look at 1 John 4:14 where it speaks of God the Father and God the Son.  Look at John 15:26 where Jesus the Son of God describes the Spirit of God coming forth from the Father God to “testify” of the truth of Jesus.  A witness is always someone who testifies so again we see the trinity in very revealed self-evident terms.  There are many verses in the Bible like this but I’m not going to do all of your Bible study for you, so you go and search and find them.

So this has just been a simple introduction to the subject of the trinity of God.  I concentrated mostly on scriptures that declare that God is One True God.  But, I also introduced you to that fact that God can do things differently if He wants to.   It is interesting that God always worked in the Old Testament through a mediator, a go between.  Either Moses, or another prophet would go to God and get the message that He wanted them to hear.  God used this principle of a go between for hundreds of years.  But, when God became the “go between” in the form of Jesus Christ, they wanted nothing to do with him.  God did something the same way that He had always done it, but implemented it in a different way and they automatically rejected Him because He was so different than what they thought.  Jesus Christ became the Moses of His day on earth and God’s own people refused to listen to Him.  I guess being “narrow minded” applies to many people in the world.  Everyone thinks they know what they need to know and when God does something different, we like to criticize it and brand it as a false teaching.  What the Jews should have done was to search the scriptures and find out what God was going to do and then verify if what Jesus said went along with it.  Instead of thinking they knew what was right and what was wrong, they should have been open to the truth.  We as Christians also need to search our Bibles and see what God is going to do and remain open to Him potentially doing something that we did not expect Him to do.

Finally, the Bible says that Satan will do everything that he can to deny the deity of Christ.  The antichrist we are told in 1 John 2:22 will deny that Jesus is the Christ.  It goes on to say that this antichrist will deny the existence of both the Father and the Son.  There is a major reason for this denial, which I cannot get into today in this lesson.  If it were not important God would not have warned you about this.  It is clear to me that Satan will do everything in his power to deny the trinity of God and will cause many people to fall into deception to believe this lie that there is not a trinity.  You need to understand that this is why it is important to know and study this subject so that even you will not be deceived when this occurs.

by Calvin from Jesus Christ followers. thank you.