There are many times where the Bible tells us to do certain things to one another. The reason for that is: We are the Body of Jesus Christ. We are members connected to one another, like a hand is connected to wrist, or a foot is connected to an ankle. Because we’re connected, there are certain things we have to do for one another and to one another.
For example, the umbrella command is to “love one another.” Right? Then we look at things like “accept one another,” “encourage one another,” and “forgive one another.” This lesson may be the most difficult one to apply. How do you really love those members of the body who are not living as they should? What do we do for those kinds of folks?
A lot of times we do what the little girl said when she misquoted the great commission by just one word. She said, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gossip.” That’s close, but that’s still very far away. I’ve searched the Bible on these one another passages, and I can’t find a single command in the New Testament where it says, “Talk about one another.”
“I myself am also persuaded of you my brethren that you also are full of goodness, filled with knowledge, able also to admonish one another.” (Romans 15:14-KJV) Now admonish is not a word we use everyday. One of the most common synonyms for admonishing one another is instructing one another. That’s the way it’s rendered in the NIV.
The New International Dictionary of New Testament theology defines admonish; “It seeks to correct the mind, to put right what is wrong in order to improve the spiritual attitude.” In other words, admonishment implies a re-direction of thinking. It is an instruction, but it’s in the context of righting a wrong.
1. Counsel, to warn, or to correct. Certainly, there is a place in the body for instruction and teaching. There is also a place in the Body of Christ for correction. That is not the same as negative teaching. There is a place in the body for positive instruction and there is a place in the body for positive correction. Admonishment is not about being negative at all. It’s not about condemnation. It’s not about judgmentalism; rather, it is a positive warning and guidance that is based on God’s truth.
2. Admonishment from love and concern and not haughtiness. Paul wrote about a brother who had been admonished, corrected and warned “Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn” (there’s the same word as admonish) “but warn him as a brother.” (2 Thessalonians 3:15) Admonishment isn’t what you do to label somebody, it’s not what you do to criticize somebody and it’s not what you do to be ugly to somebody. It’s to help brothers and sisters. It stems out of love and concern.
The classic example of an admonisher is a parent. Now moms and dads, I know you can relate to this. What does Ephesians 6:4 say? We’ve quoted it all of our lives, “Bring up your children in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord.” Do you know what the word admonition is? It is the noun form of the verb, admonish. “Bring up your children in the admonition of the Lord.”
Parents, a major part of your job is to teach your children. Can you, over the course of their entire childhood, only teach without correction? No, it just doesn’t work that way. You don’t want to nag or correct out of anger. You want to always be motivated by love. But a parent abdicates responsibility if he or she never corrects, never warns or never admonishes. I think parents, more than anybody else, know that wouldn’t work. Yet, we parents also know that admonishing and re-directing of our children stems out of our great love for them. That’s the way it is to be among Christians.
The apostle Paul practiced what he preached, didn’t he? If you’ve read your New Testament at all, you know that Paul was not afraid to confront anybody, anywhere and at any time about sin in their lives. In Galatians 2:11, he confronted the apostle Peter. I had to confront him because he did the wrong thing. Acts 20:31, Paul admonished elders in the church. But I love the way that verse concludes when he says to those elders, “Remember that for three years I never stopped warning” there’s the word, “warning each of you night and day with tears.” Do you see the compassion and the love? Paul knew that at times admonishment was the right thing to do, but there’s a right way to do it.
A. Who is responsible for being an admonisher? Whose ministry is it? First, it is the responsibility of leaders of the body. “Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord (look at this) and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.” (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13)
In those two verses Paul recognizes the great difficulty of shepherding a church. He knows that those men who are going to serve as elders are going to at times need to redirect the thinking of some of the members who are in error. He charges us to support those men whose task it is to do so. Leaders cannot lead a church if they turn their head to sin because it will destroy their credibility. But it’s also true that leaders can’t lead if they are not supported by and respected by the body when they do admonish. Likewise, members will not be able to support leaders if they are not informed about what the leaders are attempting to correct or accomplish. If a church has leaders who care enough to confront carefully and lovingly, they should be held in the highest esteem by the members of that body.
B. Whose responsibility is it to admonish? Yes, the leaders, but also the members of the body; “And we urge you, brothers,” now Paul is addressing it to the entire church at Thessalonica, “we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” (1 Thessalonians 5:14) Again, that word, warn, is the Greek word for admonish. So Paul points to a reciprocal, brotherly ministry of Christians administering mutual and caring oversight. He said, “I want you to feel like you’ve got the responsibility to admonish one another.” Why? Because we are members of one another. If you’re going to obey the “one another” passages, you must understand what it means to be “members of one another.” We’re not members of an organization. We’re members of an organism. We’re members of a body, and we’re connected to one another.
Most Christians are very afraid of mutual accountability. Very seldom do you see any admonishment going on between members. I think it’s because of the fallacy of the most prevalent concept of what church is all about. That concept is: You assemble as a church, sit down, listen, and leave. I’m in charge of my life. You’re in charge of yours. I don’t mess with you, and you don’t mess with me. That’s not what membership in the Body of Christ means. Is that the way your hand relates to your arm? I don’t have anything to do with you. You don’t bother me. We just do our own thing. We are responsible for one another. The church is Christian people, an organism, not an organization.
C. What does it take to be an admonisher? If it’s going to be a ministry that we do-how do we do it?
a) Be full of goodness. “I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness.” (Romans 15:14 NIV) See that’s what allows them the ability to admonish. He says, you’ve got Christian character and you’ve got a level of maturity. Thus, you have the credibility when it comes time to admonish.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t respond very well when somebody storms in and attempts to set me straight. How about you? But, I listen and respond when someone in humility comes with their eyes filled with tears to talk to me about a misunderstanding, or maybe just an area where I’m wrong.
In his first letter to Corinth, Paul had some hard things to say to that church: “I am not writing this to shame you, brothers, but to warn you, as my dear children.” (1 Corinthians 4:14) If you want people to listen to you when you admonish, you’d better walk with integrity and interact with humility. Judgers tend to be full of themselves while admonishers tend to be full of goodness. There’s a big, big difference.
b) Be filled with knowledge. Again, in Romans 15:14, after he says be full of goodness, he says, “Be complete or be filled with knowledge.” Now Paul is not speaking there about random knowledge, just having a lot of facts; he’s talking about Christian knowledge. He’s talking about knowing Scripture, but he means actually growing in Scripture. Paul compliments the Christians in Rome because they’re not just going through Scripture, Scripture is going through them. When that happens, you have the ability to adequately and effectively admonish somebody.
“All Scripture is God-breathed…” (2 Timothy 3:16) is memory work for most of us, it talks about what Scripture is all about. What does the rest of the verse say? “…and is useful for teaching,” yes, also for “rebuking, correcting…” See the ability to admonish is found in those who walk with Christ, who are filled with goodness, and the knowledge of Scripture. Admonishment, just like encouragement, forgiveness, acceptance, and just like every one of these “one another” passages in this series are just natural outflows of Jesus into the lives of others. Our Lord did every one of these things at the right time, to the right people and with the right attitude.
Now not everybody in the church can be an admonisher. There are some folks in every church who don’t walk with enough credibility to admonish somebody else. I’m not talking about perfection, but I am talking about walking the walk. Then there are other people in the church who are too ignorant of Scripture to be able to adequately admonish somebody else. But every church must have some, hopefully many, members who are mature enough to be admonishers.
D. How do we do it? How should we admonish one another?
1. Admonish violations of Scripture, and let’s let that be the parameter. Some of you may think this violates the command to “accept one another” because of other passages in Romans. Paul said “therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another” (Romans 14:13); “accept one another, just as Christ accepted you” (Romans 15:7) and “Oh yes, but I do want you to also admonish one another. I want you to correct one another.” (Romans 15:14) You may be scratching your head and asking, “Well, what gives? I don’t understand.”
All we’re seeing here again is the need for balance and discernment in the body. If you haven’t figured it out, let me make it clear for you. Paul in Romans 14 and 15 argues that there is considerable room in the body for opinion. In fact, there is considerable room for personal conviction. But there is no room in the body for deliberate sin. Paul made it clear that in matters of opinion and personal conviction, there should be acceptance. But admonishment brings a brother or a sister face to face with the teaching of Scripture. We must humbly and lovingly point out these violations. I like what one old preacher said, “If you can’t bring God’s Word into the matter, then the matter is not worth bringing up.” That’s the parameter for admonishment.
2. Be sure to examine your own life. A man stepped on one of those old timey scales and put in his nickel. It gave him a little card along with his weight. He nudged his wife and said, “Honey, look it says “You’re handsome, witty, and intelligent.” She said, “Give me that card.” She looked at it and said, “Yes, and it’s got your weight wrong, too.” Do you know what you need to do before you admonish somebody else? You really do need to weigh your life. Jesus taught that principle in the Sermon on the Mount “Why do you try to get the speck out of your brother’s eye before you look at that giant beam sticking out of your own eye.” (Matthew 7:3) You cannot be an admonisher until you first examine your own walk with God and be sensitive to it.
Let me give you a little caveat. You’re not qualified to be an admonisher until you, yourself, can receive admonishment. If you think there are not areas in your life that occasionally don’t need correction, you had better think twice. You better mark that well.
3. Confront the individual, personally. Now this is hard. Confront the individual personally. Public admonition is not to be used to avoid personal confrontation. Neither does sending a letter or e-mail. The Bible teaches that public admonition is the last step in correcting a person.
Jesus says that if you’ve got something against a brother, he’s wronged you, here’s how you deal with it a) you go to them to see if you can’t just work it out, b) if he won’t listen, take two or three witnesses, and try to use group mediation, c) ‘”If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church;” (look now) and d) ‘”if he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him like a pagan.'”(Matthew 18:15-17)
I found in those rare instances where I’ve ever seen church discipline exerted, that we’ve skipped step three. When it’s ever done, you go to them one on one, you take two or three, then you go tell the Elders and the Elders might get up and say, “Don’t have anything to do with them.” It says, “Tell it to the church, and if he won’t listen to them,” see the picture I get from that is, the church (the members, Christians) says, “We’ve got a brother in trouble. He is deliberately spitting in the face of God. How about every one of you getting in touch with him this week and next week?” You talk about positive peer pressure, you talk about those people saying, “Brothers, we love you, we want you to come back.” I’ve never in all my years been asked to do that, but that’s what I read in Matthew 18. If he won’t listen to them, then treat him like a pagan. Folks, sometimes in a body, amputation is necessary, but it is always the last resort.
4. Direct him or her to Jesus. “We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.” (Colossians 1:28) Do you know that the goal of admonition is admonishment? It’s not to make somebody tow the line to my expectations. Admonishment is simply encouraging one another to be like Jesus, helping steer us when we begin to get off course, steering us back to that goal of being Christ-like.
5. Encourage the one who responds. Maybe they respond from you just going one on one or, maybe it’s after two or three times. I don’t know, but encourage the one. In Corinth a brother was just living in open rebellion. He was in some kind of incestuous union. Paul said, “Don’t tolerate that church, that’s just dead wrong.” (1 Corinthians 5) So, they exercised the spiritual discipline we talked about a moment ago. He responded by repenting. But some of the brothers and sisters were holding it against him, even after he repented. As a result Paul said, “Now about that brother, you ought to forgive and comfort him so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.” (2 Corinthians 2:7) Make sure you understand that nobody’s role is to be only an admonisher.
Among the spiritual gifts in Romans 12, it doesn’t ever say the gift of admonishment. It’s nobody’s job just to go around and correct everybody they see. When somebody responds positively to loving correction, then encourage them and embrace them.
The command to admonish one another is the hardest one of all. It’s difficult, risky, and costly, but the dividends are eternal. If we don’t care enough to admonish, then we don’t care enough. Paul said, “And I myself also am persuaded of you my brethren that you are also full of goodness, filled with knowledge, able also to admonish one another.”
Q5.32 Says allah commanded the Israelites that if they kill one person, it’s as if they killed all mankind and if they save one person it’s as if they saved all mankind.
Oddly enough, this quote doesn’t come from the Hebrew scriptures; it comes from the Babylonian Talmud!!! So why is allah quoting Jewish commentaries instead of Jewish scripture? Is it because Muhammad was a false prophet who repeated stories he HEARD about Judaism/Christianity, and really had no clue WHAT he was quoting?
“For this reason was man created alone, to teach that whoever destroys a single life, it is as if he has destroyed an entire world; and whoever preserves a single life, it is as if he has saved an entire world” (Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin, Folio 37a).
13 STRANGE RULES OF ISLAM
Many Westernized people outside the Arab world are drawn to what they perceive as the simplicity, peace, and reasonableness of Islam. However, before you accept Islam at face value or consider converting, it is important to understand that conversion to Islam demands that you follow the Qur’an (scripture), the hadith (oral teachings of Muhammad), and the sunna (actions of Muhammad). Many of these teachings make no sense to Westerners. In fact, if you asked the average Muslim why Muhammad set some of these rules, they would not know either. After all, Muslims are taught never to question the infallible word of Allah and his Prophet (Qur’an 5:101).
Considering that conversion to Islam is final, with death being the penalty for abandoning Islam (Bukhari, Vol. 4, Number 260), perhaps the dog-lovers, modern women, and reasonable minded among us should consider these strange, but mandatory, rules:
Islam makes it a sin to pluck your eyebrows.
Q Bukhari, Vol. 7, Number 815
Muslims are not allowed to have pictures in their homes.
Q Bukhari, Vol. 7, Number 844
If a Muslim wife refuses to wear the veil, others will regard her as her husband’s slave, not a wife.
Q Bukhari, Vol. 7, Number 22
Unmarried people who have sex are to be whipped 100 lashes and sent into exile for one year.
Q Bukhari, Vol. 3, Number 817
Although Islam teaches getting into heaven is a matter of having your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds, there are certain things that guarantee heaven: memorizing the 99 names of Allah, having 2 of your children die before you in jihad, and killing someone who does not believe in Islam.
Q Bukhari, Vol. 3, Number 894. Bukhari, Vol. 2, Number 341. Bukhari, Vol. 1, Number 35
Allah encourages lying to non-believers to keep the peace or to overpower them.
Q Bukhari, Vol. 3, Number 857
Allah forbids women from wearing wigs or hair extensions.
Q Bukhari, Vol. 7, Number 133
Muslims are not allowed to wear the color yellow.
Q Muslim, Book 24, Number 5173
Yawning is from Satan and to be avoided at all costs.
Q Bukhari, Vol. 8, Number 242
Muhammad taught that all dogs should be killed.
Q Bukhari, Vol. 4, Number 540
Muhammad urged women to breast-feed grown young men so that the men would be considered family and therefore able to be around the unveiled women and would be unable to marry the women.
Q Muslim, Book 8, Number 3426
It is sinful to lie on your back with your feet crossed one on top of the other.
Q Muslim, Book 24, Number 5238….
- Former Muslim: Islam Is ‘Not Merely A Religion But A Cult Belief System, The Cult Of Muhammad’ (midnightwatcher.wordpress.com)
- Islam’s Terrorist Dogma in Muhammad’s Own Words (angelforisrael.wordpress.com)
(Image: Muslim Brotherhood Guide Mohammed Badie)
(Algemeiner) A senior Muslim Brotherhood official is denying the group’s leader called for “holy jihad” against Israel in a newspaper article last week, even though strikingly similar language remains on the Brotherhood’s Arabic website.
The denial follows a call from the Simon Wiesenthal Center for President Obama to condemn the comments by Muslim Brotherhood General Guide Mohammed Badie, and for the United States to cut off all interaction with the Brotherhood until they are withdrawn.
Egypt’s Al-Ahram newspaper quoted Badie calling for “holy Jihad” because “the Zionists only understand force,” and saying that justice cannot be attained “through the corridors of the United Nations or through negotiations.”
Badie’s statement “confirms our long held view that Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood is the most dangerous anti-Semitic organization in the world today,” Wiesenthal Center leaders Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper said in a statement.
Brotherhood spokesman Waleed Shalaby denied Badie made the statement.
But Badie’s weekly message, still posted on the Brotherhood’s Arabic-language website, mirrors much of what Al-Ahram reported. According to an Investigative Project on Terrorism translation, Badie said:
“The Zionists only know the method of force. They will not step back from transgression, unless they are forced to. This will only be by holy Jihad, and enormous sacrifices and all forms of resistance. One day they will be certain that we will choose this Way, and raise the flag of Jihad in the Way of God. We will go forth to the field of Jihad.”
Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque is “the life of the Islamic Umma is not just memories of history time will erase with the blowing winds,” Badie said, “nor will Muslims forget it through long occupation, but Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque are buried in the depths of Muslims, and love for it is in the veins of the faithful. … By God, it is dearer to us than our lives which we have. For its sake, a Muslim will not spare his life in sacrifice for it.”
In a subsequent statement issued Sunday, the Wiesenthal Center called the Brotherhood denial “laughable,” noting Al-Ahram is government-owned.
As we’ve noted repeatedly, the Brotherhood has a long track record of issuing benign-sounding statements to English-language audiences, but speaking in more radical terms in Arabic. For example, during Egypt’s first electoral campaign since the fall of dictator Hosni Mubarak, the Brotherhood removed portions of its bylaws which call for “establishing the Islamic State” from its English-language website. But in a speech, Badie reminded supporters of the path Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna spelled out to develop “the rightly guided caliphate.”
The Brotherhood struck a seemingly positive tone after American commandos killed Osama bin Laden, telling English language audiences “one of the reasons for which violence has been practised in the world has been removed.” But to Arabic speaking audiences, bin-Laden was referred to with terms of honor, such as Sheikh and even “shaheed,” or martyr. It condemned the American attack as an assassination and reinforced the right to “legitimate resistance” against occupation in Afghanistan, Israel and elsewhere.
It is in this context that the denials of Badie’s statement by an Egyptian government media outlet, and on the Brotherhood’s own website must be seen.
The Brotherhood is Egypt’s undisputed power today, with President Mohamed Morsi resigning only after becoming a candidate for president. It cannot be ignored or dismissed as idle chatter when his colleague, Badie, calls for holy jihad to liberate Palestine.
“We are not dealing with a YouTube video or a lone extremist Imam, but a call to anti-Semitic violence by a man who has tens of millions of followers and leads the organization that controls Egypt’s future. It cannot be business as usual in Washington when such an assault is launched against the Jewish people,” the Wiesenthal Center statement said.
Given the support the Brotherhood enjoyed from Islamist groups in America, and the fact that several are direct descendants, the Muslim American Society, Islamic Society of North America and Council on American-Islamic Relations should denounce the comments, too.
Sign the MB investigation petition
Jewish group condemns MB over anti-Semitic remarksIslamophobia is a sacralized Islamic Objective(video) Anti-Semitic indoctrination at Northeastern UU.S. Embassy calls out Muslim Brotherhood over TwitterMB co-opting Arab Spring to make caliphateObama Prepares huge bailout for Muslim BrotherhoodUnderstanding the Muslim Brotherhood”Muslim” calls out Dems for enabling Islamist “insurgent”Truther fairy tales: Israel seeks war to keep lid on 9/11Hamas ready to coordinate with the MB in Cairo(video) A Brave Challenge to Sharia in EgyptUS ‘concerned’ about media freedom in EgyptMB Crucifies Opponents, Attacks Secular MediaBrotherhood tightens grip on EgyptNewspaper editions confiscated for insulting MorsyEgyptian Sociologist: MB Most Dangerous IslamistsGOP leaders ignorant of MB’s American influenceIn Egypt, Panetta Declares Support for IslamofascismAmerican Islamist groups shape Arab revolutionsRep Gohmert on MB letters, DHS, & terrorists in the WHIsrael perturbed by Obama’s outreach to MorsyMB: Slapping, Stabbing, & Slaying for ShariaObama bypasses Congress–gives 1.5billion to MBEgypt: Anti-Brotherhood protest growsEgypt: Coptic activists march to presidential palace”Sharia Harassment” plagues Egyptian womentEgypt: Islamists debate role of Sharia in constitutionSec. Clinton Gave Hundreds of Millions to MBAl-Qaeda Muslim Brotherhood CoalitionMB Preaching Destruction of Israel After ElectionAllen West: Arab Spring is Islamic NightmareChristians Should “Convert, Pay Tribute, or Leave,”Brotherhood Promises Islamic Law in EgyptFemale Genital Mutilation: MB’s Gift to WomenMB Goals: Application of Sharia & CaliphateMB Close to Attaining “Ultimate Goal”
Fatwa On Islam
See on www.algemeiner.com
- Egypt’s Political Crisis Could Take a Dangerous Turn for the Worst (blackchristiannews.com)
- Jordan’s King Warns Obama on Backing Muslim Brotherhood (creepingsharia.wordpress.com)
- Egypt Muslim Brotherhood Executing Hostile Takover Of Military (patdollard.com)
- In Egypt, Crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood Critics Appears Imminent (cnsnews.com)
- Hostile Takeover (freebeacon.com)
How to Experience Christ’s Peace
“My peace I give to you” (John 14:27). Jesus spoke these amazing words just hours before His crucifixion. His peace isn’t dependent upon external circumstances, but rather, it transcends them. Although He gives His peace to every believer as a gift, our experience of it is related to our faith in the following truths:
Sadly, many Christians live their whole lives without consistently experiencing this incomprehensible peace. Perhaps faith and submission are the most challenging issues. But only as we surrender control of our lives to Christ and trust in His plans for us will we discover tranquil rest for our souls.
There is a great deal of misinformation circulating with regard to shariah and the threat it poses to America and western civilization.
See on www.newsmax.com
- Victory Against Sharia in America: Offensive Foreign Law Legislation Passes Florida House 92 – 24 (atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com)
As Islamic Jihad, including its “stealth” variety, is rapidly succeeding in destroying our civilization, the Left continues its shameless and bizarre denial — not only about the threat of Islamic Jihad, but also about its own complicity with our enemy and its war on our society.The latest example of the Left’s Jihad-Denial concerns me personally: it involves an intriguing post, written by Brian Tashman in RightWingWatch.org, titled: Beware: Human-Hating Liberals and Islamic Extremists Seek to Build Shariommunism. The post ridicules my recent appearance on CBN’s “Stackelbeck on Terror” in which I discuss the Unholy Alliance between the radical Left and radical Islam, which happens to be the main field of my life’s work and which I crystallized in my book, United in Hate: The Left’s Romance With Tyranny and Terror.
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The True History Palestine
In the 2nd century c.e., the last attempt of the Jews to achieve independence from the Roman Empire ended with the well-known event of Masada, that is historically documented and universally recognized as the fact that determined the Jewish Diaspora in a definitive way. The Land where these things happened was until then the province known as Judæa , and there is no mention of any place called “Palestine” before that time. The Roman emperor Hadrian was utterly upset with the Jewish Nation and wanted to erase the name of Israel and Judah from the face of the Earth, so that there would be no memory of the country that belonged to that rebel people. He decided to replace the denomination of that Roman province and resorted to ancient history in order to find a name that might appear appropriate, and found that an extinct people that was unknown in Roman times, called “Philistines”, was once dwelling in that area and were enemies of the Israelites. Therefore, according to Latin spelling, he invented the new name: “Palæstina”, a name that would be also hateful for the Jews as it reminded them their old foes. He did so with the explicit purpose of effacing any trace of Jewish history. Ancient Romans, as well as modern Palestinians, have fulfilled the Hebrew Scriptures Prophecy that declares: “They lay crafty plans against Your People… they say: ‘come, let us wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Israel be remembered no more’.” – Tehilim 83:3-4 (Psalm 83:3-4). They failed, as Israel is still alive. Any honest person would recognize that there is no mention of the name Palestina in history before the Romans renamed the province of Judea, that such name does not occur in any ancient document, is not written in the Bible, neither in the Hebrew Scriptures nor in the Christian Testament, not even in Assyrian, Persian, Macedonian, Ptolemaic, Seleucian or other Greek sources, and that not any “Palestinian” people has ever been mentioned, not even by the Romans that invented the term. If “Palestinians” allegedly are the historic inhabitants of the Holy Land, why did they not fight for independence from Roman occupation as Jews did? How is it possible that not a single Palestinian leader heading for a revolt against the Roman invaders is mentioned in any historic record? Why there is not any Palestinian rebel group mentioned, as for example the Jewish Zealots? Why every historic document mentions the Jews as the native inhabitants, and the Greeks, Romans and others as foreigners dwelling in Judea, but not any Palestinian people, neither as native nor as foreigner? What is more, there is no reference to any Palestinian people in the qur’an (koran), although muslims claim that their prophet was once in Jerusalem (an event that is not mentioned in the koran either). It appears evident that he did not meet any Palestinian in his whole life, nor his successors did either. Caliph Salahuddin al-Ayyub (Saladin), knew the Jews and kindly invited them to settle in Jerusalem, that he recognized as their Homeland, but he did not know any Palestinian… To claim that Palestinians are the original people of Eretz Yisrael is not only against secular history but also against Islamic history!
The name “Falastin” that Arabs today use for “Palestine” is not an Arabic name, but adopted and adapted from the Latin Palæstina . How can an Arab people have a western name instead of one in their own language? Because the use of the term “Palestinian” for an Arab group is only a modern political creation without any historic or ethnic grounds, and did not indicate any people before 1967. An Arab writer and journalist declared:
“There has never been a land known as Palestine governed by Palestinians. Palestinians are Arabs, indistinguishable from Jordanians (another recent invention), Syrians, Iraqis, etc. Keep in mind that the Arabs control 99.9 percent of the Middle East lands. Israel represents one-tenth of one percent of the landmass. But that’s too much for the Arabs. They want it all. And that is ultimately what the fighting in Israel is about today… No matter how many land concessions the Israelis make, it will never be enough”.
– Joseph Farah, “Myths of the Middle East” –
Let us hear what other Arabs have said:
“There is no such country as Palestine. ‘Palestine’ is a term the Zionists invented. There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria. ‘Palestine’ is alien to us. It is the Zionists who introduced it”.
– Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, Syrian Arab leader to British Peel Commission, 1937 –
“There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not”.
– Professor Philip Hitti, Arab historian, 1946 –
“It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but Southern Syria”.
– Representant of Saudi Arabia at the United Nations, 1956 –
Concerning the Holy Land, the chairman of the Syrian Delegation at the Paris Peace Conference in February 1919 stated:
“The only Arab domination since the Conquest in 635 c.e. hardly lasted, as such, 22 years”.
The preceding declarations by Arab politicians have been done before 1967, as they had not the slightest knowledge of the existence of any Palestinian people. How and when did they change their mind and decided that such people existed? When the State of Israel was reborn in 1948 c.e., the “Palestinians” did not exist yet, the Arabs had still not discovered that “ancient” people. They were too busy with the purpose of annihilating the new Sovereign State and did not intend to create any Palestinian entity, but only to distribute the land among the already existing Arab states. They were defeated. They attempted again to destroy Israel in 1967, and were humiliated in only six days, in which they lost the lands that they had usurped in 1948. In those 19 years of Arab occupation of Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, neither Jordan nor Egypt suggested to create a “Palestinian” state, since the still non-existing Palestinians would have never claimed their alleged right to have their own state… Paradoxically, during the British Mandate, it was not any Arab group but the Jews that were known as “Palestinians”!
What other Arabs declared after the Six-Day War:
“There are no differences between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. We are all part of one nation. It is only for political reasons that we carefully underline our Palestinian identity… yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity serves only tactical purposes. The founding of a Palestinian state is a new tool in the continuing battle against Israel”.
– Zuhair Muhsin, military commander of the PLO and member of the PLO Executive Council –
“You do not represent Palestine as much as we do. Never forget this one point: There is no such thing as a Palestinian people, there is no Palestinian entity, there is only Syria. You are an integral part of the Syrian people, Palestine is an integral part of Syria. Therefore it is we, the Syrian authorities, who are the true representatives of the Palestinian people”.
– Syrian dictator Hafez Assad to the PLO leader Yassir Arafat –
“As I lived in Palestine, everyone I knew could trace their heritage back to the original country their great grandparents came from. Everyone knew their origin was not from the Canaanites, but ironically, this is the kind of stuff our education in the Middle East included. The fact is that today’s Palestinians are immigrants from the surrounding nations! I grew up well knowing the history and origins of today’s Palestinians as being from Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Christians from Greece, muslim Sherkas from Russia, muslims from Bosnia, and the Jordanians next door. My grandfather, who was a dignitary in Bethlehem, almost lost his life by Abdul Qader Al-Husseni (the leader of the Palestinian revolution) after being accused of selling land to Jews. He used to tell us that his village Beit Sahur (The Shepherds Fields) in Bethlehem County was empty before his father settled in the area with six other families. The town has now grown to 30,000 inhabitants”.
– Walid Shoebat, an “ex-Palestinian” Arab –
How long do “Palestinians” live in “Palestine”?
According to the United Nations weird standards, any person that spent TWO YEARS (!!!) in “Palestine” before 1948, with or without proof, is a “Palestinian”, as well as all the descendants of that person. Indeed, the PLO leaders eagerly demand the “right” of all Palestinians to come back to the land that they occupied before June 1967 c.e., but utterly reject to return back to the land where they lived only 50 years before, namely, in 1917 c.e. Why? Because if they agree to do so, they have to settle back in Iraq, Syria, Arabia, Libya, Egypt… and only a handful Arabs would remain in Israel (by Israel is intended the whole Land between the Yarden River and the Mediterranean Sea, plus the Golan region). It is thoroughly documented that the first inhabitants of Eretz Yisrael after some centuries were the Jewish pioneers, and not the Arabs so-called Palestinians. Some eyewitnesses have written their memories about the Land before the Jewish immigration:
“There is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent (valley of Jezreel, Galilea); not for thirty miles in either direction… One may ride ten miles hereabouts and not see ten human beings. For the sort of solitude to make one dreary, come to Galilee… Nazareth is forlorn… Jericho lies a mouldering ruin… Bethlehem and Bethany, in their poverty and humiliation… untenanted by any living creature… A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds… a silent, mournful expanse… a desolation… We never saw a human being on the whole route… Hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil had almost deserted the country… Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes… desolate and unlovely…”.
– Mark Twain, “The Innocents Abroad”, 1867 –
Where had the Palestinians been hidden that Mark Twain did not see them? Where was that “ancient” people in the mid XIX century c.e.? Of course, modern biased Arab politicians try to discredit Mark Twain and insult and blame him of racism. Yet, it seems that there were other people that did not achieve in recognizing a single Palestinian in those times and earlier:
“In 1590 a ‘simple English visitor’ to Jerusalem wrote: ‘Nothing there is to bescene but a little of the old walls, which is yet remayning and all the rest is grasse, mosse and weedes much like to a piece of rank or moist grounde’.”.
– Gunner Edward Webbe, Palestine Exploration Fund,
Quarterly Statement, p. 86; de Haas, History, p. 338 –
“The land in Palestine is lacking in people to till its fertile soil”.
– British archaeologist Thomas Shaw, mid-1700s –
“Palestine is a ruined and desolate land”.
– Count Constantine François Volney, XVIII century French author and historian –
“The Arabs themselves cannot be considered but temporary residents. They pitched their tents in its grazing fields or built their places of refuge in its ruined cities. They created nothing in it. Since they were strangers to the land, they never became its masters. The desert wind that brought them hither could one day carry them away without their leaving behind them any sign of their passage through it”.
– Comments by Christians concerning the Arabs in Palestine in the 1800s –
“Then we entered the hill district, and our path lay through the clattering bed of an ancient stream, whose brawling waters have rolled away into the past, along with the fierce and turbulent race who once inhabited these savage hills. There may have been cultivation here two thousand years ago. The mountains, or huge stony mounds environing this rough path, have level ridges all the way up to their summits; on these parallel ledges there is still some verdure and soil: when water flowed here, and the country was thronged with that extraordinary population, which, according to the Sacred Histories, was crowded into the region, these mountain steps may have been gardens and vineyards, such as we see now thriving along the hills of the Rhine. Now the district is quite deserted, and you ride among what seem to be so many petrified waterfalls. We saw no animals moving among the stony brakes; scarcely even a dozen little birds in the whole course of the ride”.
– William Thackeray in “From Jaffa To Jerusalem”, 1844 –
“The country is in a considerable degree empty of inhabitants and therefore its greatest need is of a body of population”.
– James Finn, British Consul in 1857 –
“There are many proofs, such as ancient ruins, broken aqueducts, and remains of old roads, which show that it has not always been so desolate as it seems now. In the portion of the plain between Mount Carmel and Jaffa one sees but rarely a village or other sights of human life. There are some rude mills here which are turned by the stream. A ride of half an hour more brought us to the ruins of the ancient city of Cæsarea, once a city of two hundred thousand inhabitants, and the Roman capital of Palestine, but now entirely deserted. As the sun was setting we gazed upon the desolate harbor, once filled with ships, and looked over the sea in vain for a single sail. In this once crowded mart, filled with the din of traffic, there was the silence of the desert. After our dinner we gathered in our tent as usual to talk over the incidents of the day, or the history of the locality. Yet it was sad, as I laid upon my couch at night, to listen to the moaning of the waves and to think of the desolation around us”.
– B. W. Johnson, in “Young Folks in Bible Lands”: Chapter IV, 1892 –
“The area was underpopulated and remained economically stagnant until the arrival of the first Zionist pioneers in the 1880’s, who came to rebuild the Jewish land. The country had remained “The Holy Land” in the religious and historic consciousness of mankind, which associated it with the Bible and the history of the Jewish people. Jewish development of the country also attracted large numbers of other immigrants – both Jewish and Arab. The road leading from Gaza to the north was only a summer track suitable for transport by camels and carts… Houses were all of mud. No windows were anywhere to be seen… The plows used were of wood… The yields were very poor… The sanitary conditions in the village [Yabna] were horrible… Schools did not exist… The rate of infant mortality was very high… The western part, toward the sea, was almost a desert… The villages in this area were few and thinly populated. Many ruins of villages were scattered over the area, as owing to the prevalence of malaria, many villages were deserted by their inhabitants”.
– The report of the British Royal Commission, 1913 –
The list of travellers and pilgrims throughout the XVI to the XIX centuries c.e. that give a similar description of the Holy Land is quite longer, including Alphonse de Lamartine, Sir George Gawler, Sir George Adam Smith, Siebald Rieter, priest Michael Nuad, Martin Kabatnik, Arnold Van Harff, Johann Tucker, Felix Fabri, Edward Robinson and others. All of them found the land almost empty, except for Jewish communities in Jerusalem, Shechem, Hevron, Haifa, Safed, Irsuf, Cæsarea, Gaza, Ramleh, Acre, Sidon, Tzur, El Arish, and some towns in Galilee: Ein Zeitim, Pekiin, Biria, Kfar Alma, Kfar Hanania, Kfar Kana and Kfar Yassif. Even Napoleon I Bonaparte, having seen the need that the Holy Land would be populated, had in mind to enable a mass return of Jews from Europe to settle in the country that he recognized as theirs’ – evidently, he did not see any “Palestinian” claiming historical rights over the Holy Land, whose few inhabitants were mainly Jews.
Besides them, many Arab sources confirm the fact that the Holy Land was still Jewish by population and culture in spite of the Diaspora:
·In 985 c.e. the Arab writer Muqaddasi complained that in Jerusalem the large majority of the population were Jewish, and said that “the mosque is empty of worshippers…” .
·Ibn Khaldun, one of the most creditable Arab historians, in 1377 c.e. wrote:
“Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel extended over 1400 years… It was the Jews who implanted the culture and customs of the permanent settlement”.
After 300 years of Arab rule in the Holy Land, Ibn Khaldun attested that Jewish culture and traditions were still dominant. By that time there was still no evidence of “Palestinian” roots or culture .
·The historian James Parker wrote: “During the first century after the Arab conquest [670-740 c.e.], the caliph and governors of Syria and the [Holy] Land ruled entirely over Christian and Jewish subjects. Apart from the Bedouin in the earliest days, the only Arabs west of the Jordan were the garrisons”.
Even though the Arabs ruled the Land from 640 c.e. to 1099 c.e., they never became the majority of the population. Most of the inhabitants were Christians (Assyrian and Armenian) and Jews.
If the historic documents, comments written by eyewitnesses and declarations by the most authoritative Arab scholars are still not enough, let us quote the most important source for muslim Arabs:
“And thereafter We [Allah] said to the Children of Israel: ‘Dwell securely in the Promised Land. And when the last warning will come to pass, we will gather you together in a mingled crowd’.”.
– Qur’an 17:104 –
Any sincere muslim must recognize the Land they call “Palestine” as the Jewish Homeland, according to the book considered by muslims to be the most sacred word and Allah’s ultimate revelation.
- Debunking the Assumption that Palestine is a Country (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
- Build Israel, not Palestine (jewishpress.com)
See on khurshidimam.blogspot.in
- a Muslim is considered superior to that of a non-Muslim (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
By Tony Pezzulo:
A correct understanding “about Jeremiah 8:8 and what it says about “the lying pen of the scribes has made the Law a lie. “As with any verse in the Bible, we must look at the context to understand the verse. The context is that false prophets were speaking peace to the Jews, while God’s true prophet Jeremiah is calling for judgment upon the Jews if they do not repent of sin. The “scribes” were not those who COPY the Torah, but they were the Jewish teachers of the time. Notice that verse 7 says that the people did not KNOW the law, because the teachers were only telling the people what they wanted to hear. The verse does not say that the people did not HAVE the law. A simple understanding of context reveals that Jeremiah is not saying that the scribes corrupted the text of the Torah. They were corrupting the meaning of the law with their teachings.The Bible is not corrupted.”
More Jewish blood libel from Muslim media: Photos of Syrian Massacres Recycled as Gaza Atrocities
It’s Goebbels one better. Unlike the Muslim world, the Nazi propaganda war machine didn’t have a supplicant world media eager to advance their monstrous blood libels.
Yet another fake “Gaza” photo has incited a flurry of comments on Facebook against Israel during the fifth day of Israel’s Pillar of Defense operation in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. An Arab news site called Alarab Net released the photo, which shows a family who was allegedly ‘massacred’ in Gaza on its Facebook page on Sunday, November 18.
The caption in Arabic roughly translates into English as “martyred massacred family in Gaza shortly before…”Thanks to Tazpit News Agency’s investigative work, it was found that the photo had been originally published on a news site based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates called Moheet one month earlier on October 19. On the Moheet website, the photo was titled “Syria killed 122 Friday…Assad Used Cluster Bombs.”
Does the LDS church have everything 100% correct? Of course not. Does any denomination or church have everything 100% correct? Of course not.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? John 11:26
Regarding the idea of works being necessary:
1 John 1:7-10
1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
John is instructing us about the obligation we have due to receiving atonement through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Forgiveness does not remove from us the obligation to keep the commands of God. The law of God is not done away once we are under the blood of Jesus Christ. His death paid for our past sins. Though His death will pay for sins committed after our original forgiveness, we are urged not to break God’s laws. Sinning without serious regard and deep appreciation for Christ’s death brings us into danger of committing the unpardonable sin (Hebrews 10:26, 28-29). A disciplined and robust effort to obey God’s commands witnesses to Him the depth of our appreciation for the grace He gives through Christ.
Consider the words of Christ in Luke 9:23-24:
23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”
–The words of Christ in Matthew 19:17.
The truth is that we are saved by the grace of Christ which is offered to us through a covenant, a two-way contract: if we accept Christ and do our part, following and obeying him, then Christ does everything else, forgiving us, cleansing us, healing us, and giving us power to return to the presence of the Father – not because we earned it, but because we accepted the terms upon which he offers his infinite grace and mercy. Even in the days of Moses, the Lord proclaimed that God “shows mercy to those that keep his commandments” (Deut. 5:10), a principle that has not changed. The mercy or grace offered through a two-way covenant with Christ is implied in the Third LDS Article of Faith, and in the teaching of the prophet Nephi who wrote in 2 Nephi 25:23:
For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.
The Church’s emphasis on personal responsibility and the need for self-disciplined obedience may seem to de-emphasize the role of Christ’s grace; however, for Latter-day Saints, obedience is but one blade of the scissors. All of LDS theology also reflects the major premise of the Book of Mormon that without grace there is no salvation: “For we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (2 Ne. 25:23). The source of this grace is the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ: “Mercy cometh because of the Atonement” (Alma 42:23).
- Christian Group that Admits LDS are Christians too (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
- Mormons Are Christian (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
- Justification by Faith (trinityspeaks.wordpress.com)
“That Ye Might Believe That Jesus Is the Christ” by Nancy W. Jensen
Isaiah 61:1-3; JST Luke 3:4-11; John 1:1-14; 20:31
THE MISSION OF JESUS CHRIST
Isaiah 61:1-3 is such a beautiful scripture, it begs to be read aloud over and over! These verses, understood, can change one’s understanding of the Atonement, and are a great passage to read and ponder during the sacrament. Elder Bruce C. Hafen wrote a wonderful treatise on it entitled “Beauty for Ashes” which you can read here.
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our god; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty [to replace] ashes, the oil of joy [to replace] mourning, the garment of praise [to replace] the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”
Christ read this scripture in the synagogue to proclaim himself the Messiah, “but stopped short so that he could say, ‘Today as you heard it read, this passage of [Scripture] (up to but not including the day of vengeance) was fulfilled,’ for at his first coming he healed and brought Good News of the Kingdom and salvation; it was not his time to take vengeance or judge” (Stern). “And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.” (Luke 4:20-21)
Notice each of the things Christ has been anointed to do, each marked by the word “to.” Which of these things do you need in your life?
1. to preach good tidings unto the meek
2. to bind up the broken-hearted
3. to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to them that are bound
4. to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
5. and [to proclaim] the day of vengeance of our God
6. to comfort all they that mourn
7. to give [or exchange] to [those that mourn in Zion] beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.
The next part of the reading assignment is JST Luke 3:4-11, and it also contains a long list of gifts that Christ has brought, each also marked by the word “to:”
1. to take away the sins of the world
2. to bring salvation unto the heathen nations
3. to gather together those who are lost, who are of the sheepfold of Israel
4. to prepare the way, and make possible the preaching of the gospel unto the Gentiles
5. to be a light unto all who sit in darkness, unto the uttermost parts of the earth
6. to bring to pass the resurrection from the dead
7. to ascend up on high, to dwell on the right hand of the Father
8. to administer justice unto all
9. to come down in judgment upon all
10. to convince all the ungodly of their ungodly deeds.
The Atonement is for the washing away of sins, clearly, and for the resurrection of the dead, obviously, but these scriptures show that it is so much more than that, and very applicable and helpful to our everyday problems and challenges.
The third scripture in the reading assignment is John 1:1-14. I always had trouble understanding why Christ was called “The Word” here. The JST makes the meaning of that term clear:
“In the beginning was the gospel preached through the Son. And the gospel was the word, and the word was with the Son, and the Son was with God, and the Son was of God” (v. 1). In him was the gospel, and the gospel was the life, and the life was the light of men” (v. 4).
(When reading the JST in the LDS Bible Appendix, it is helpful to notice that the changes from the King James Version have been italicized.)
OVERVIEW OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
As we look at the Table of Contents of the New Testament we can see that the book can be easily divided up into four sections:
1. The Gospels (testimonies of Christ)
2. Acts (work of the apostles, especially Peter’s work among the Jews and Paul’s work among the Gentiles)
3. Epistles (letters from Church leaders to the saints)
4. Revelation (revelation received by John on the isle of Patmos)
Why are there four gospels, four different tellings of the life of Christ? Sure, there is the reason that all truth is established by God in the mouth of two or three witnesses, and here we have even more than that, but couldn’t they have collaborated and put together one story that would have been a comprehensive, all-inclusive, chronological biography of Christ, with four witnesses to it? Then there wouldn’t have been any contradictions, and everything would have been covered. Right?
Well, the gospels are not just biographies, but testimonies of Christ (Bible Dictionary, p. 683). Each author came from a different walk of life, and was writing to a specific audience. The study of the authorship, audience, and angle of each of the gospels is fascinating and instructive.
OVERVIEW OF THE FOUR GOSPELS
The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are quite similar in phraseology and content, and for that reason they are called “The Synoptic Gospels” (Bible Dictionary, p. 683). The Gospel of John is quite different, and we will discover the reason for that later.
The Gospel of Mark
Scholars agree that Mark was probably written first, and that the other writers had access to it when writing their gospels. Mark was not one of the apostles. He was younger. He likely was alive when Christ was alive, but he would have been a child. After his conversion, he became the younger missionary companion of Paul, and later of Peter, serving mainly among the Gentiles. Therefore, he wrote his gospel from his missionary perspective: a Jew writing to Gentiles. One can see that hee assumed that the reader would be unfamiliar with Jewish customs and terms and with Palestinian geography, because he explained and described those things. One can also see that he assumed that the reader was familiar with Latin terms and customs.
“[Mark’s] object is to describe our Lord as the incarnate Son of God, living and acting among men. The gospel contains a living picture of a living Man. Energy and humility are the characteristics of his portrait. It is full of descriptive touches that help us to realize the impression made upon the bystanders” (BD, p. 728). It is “fast moving, emphasizing the doings more than the sayings of the Lord” (BD, p. 683). Note how many times Mark uses the words “immediately, “straightway,” “anon”–all translations of the same word. (Fronk) This one word is used eight times in chapter one alone, in verses 10, 12, 18, 20, 21, and 28. Reading Mark leaves one breathless. The intensity of the ministry is emphasized: No time to rest, no time to eat. Mark is full of miracles. An interesting experiment: Camille Fronk recommends reading it all in one sitting, to catch the energy in the telling.
The Gospel of Matthew
Matthew was a Jew. He was a publican, and so he was not popular by profession. He was one of the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ, and he was alive when these things were happening, although he certainly wasn’t eyewitness to all of them. “Matthew was probably a thorough Jew with a wide knowledge of the Old Testament scriptures, and able to see in every detail of the Lord’s life the fulfillment of prophecy” (BD, p. 729). His book was written to convince the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. For this reason, he highlighted the number 14 in Christ’s genealogy and he noted 14 prophecies from the Jewish scriptures that were fulfilled by Christ. (See “The Importance of the Number 14” in a previous lesson.) He knew that the number 14 was significant to his readers, who were Hebrew. He knew that they knew that 14 meant “salvation.”
Matthew picked and chose who to represent in the genealogy, as there were actually more than 14 generations between each important individual (and this was acceptable to the Jews, because the symbolic number was the most important thing, not the literal number), but in that picking and choosing, he referenced five women. Besides Mary (1:16), he listed Thamar or Tamar (1:3), Rachab or Rahab, Ruth (1:5), and Bathsheba (1:6). Every one of these women had questionable pasts, particularly in relation to their conception and child-bearing, but produced great results for the House of Israel, making themselves ancestral heroines.
1) Tamar conceived while masquerading as a prostitute! The father of her child was her own father-in-law. The reason she committed this grossly immoral deception was that, in opposition to Jewish law, Judah and his sons had cheated her out of progeny, sent her back to her father’s house, and consigned her to life as a childless widow (twice widowed, actually), a state that would undoubtedly lead to devastating poverty in her old age. (See “Opposites” in a previous lesson.)
2) Rahab was an idolatrous prostitute in Jericho. With no gospel training, no missionaries, no “members” living nearby, and in the most wicked environment in the world, she gained a testimony of Jehovah. After her conversion, and after saving the spies of Israel, she raised her son, Boaz, to be a great, kind, wise, and faithful man, the man who married Ruth! (See a previous lesson for more on Rahab.)
3) The next woman mentioned, Ruth, was Rahab’s daughter-in-law, a convert from idolatry as well, a Moabitess. She was married to a Hebrew, and then widowed, which dropped her to the bottom of Jewish society. From this low point, she sought her own marriage, contrary to custom, and was most likely not the first wife. (See OT Lesson #20.)
4) Last mentioned was Bathsheba, who conceived as a result of an extra-marital date-rape, or at least an event beyond her control, since the perpetrator happened to be the all-powerful king David. (See a previous lesson for more on this.)
5) By including these particular women, revered by the Jews but with imperfect and even abhorrent family situations, Matthew presented the perfect defense for Mary’s unusual circumstance of conception. (Bokovoy)
A little parable recorded in Matthew is especially applicable to the Jews. “Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old” (Matt. 13:52). The “scribe” would be a man knowledgeable in the Jewish religion. “Things old” would be the Law of Moses, and “things new” the Gospel of Christ. Matthew included a lot of anti-Pharisee comments to show that the Law was not an end in itself, as the Pharisees seemed to think. Chapters 5-7 give the higher law. “The Kingdom of Heaven” would be important to the Jews, and many of the parables in Matthew liken something to the Kingdom of Heaven. The parables describe trees growing or bread rising, showing that the Kingdom of Heaven is a process, not an event. (Fronk)
Matthew’s is the only gospel that includes the story of the wise men. Jews would have been most impressed by wealthy, learned men who had studied the scriptures in far away lands (they might possibly have been displaced Jews) and recognized the signs of the Messiah’s coming.
Matthew included five major discourses given by Jesus Christ. He highlighted these in a way similar to the way he highlighted the 14 prophecies, using a key phrase at the end of each. The phrase is “When Jesus had finished these sayings…” Is there a reason he chose five sermons? Of course! There is a reason for every number used by a Jew in the Bible! In this case, Matthew was adding a sequel to five writings that were very near and dear to every Jew, and were in fact, a foundation of their religion: The five books of Moses, the Torah. By doing this, he was showing the Jews that Christ was the fulfillment of the Law of Moses, and that His counsel superseded or added to that Law. (Bokovoy)
1. 5:1-7:27 The Sermon on the Mount, given to the multitude. The tag is found in 7:28.
2. 10:5-42 The instruction for the ministry of the 12 apostles. The tag is 11:1.
3. 13:1-52 The Sermon from the Ship, given to great multitudes. The tag is 13:53.
4. 18:1-35 “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of God?” spoken to the apostles. The tag is 19:1.
5. 24:3-25:46 The Olivet Discourse, given to the 12 apostles. The tag is 26:1.
The Gospel of Luke
Luke’s gospel is the one with the beautiful Christmas story, told from a woman’s perspective. (Matthew tells it from a man’s.) Luke was a Gentile convert, likely converted through the labors of Paul (see BD, p. 726), writing to Gentiles and to minorities, and to those looked down upon by the Jews: women, lepers, Samaritans, sinners (prostitutes). Luke was a physician, and therefore had close contact with and compassion for all types and both genders of people, a unique position. Most male professions in that day involved dealings with other men only, but a physician dealt with all, even the “unclean.”
As a missionary, Luke ministered to the Gentiles with Paul. Like Matthew, Luke gives a genealogy of Christ, but it differs from Matthew’s. Matthew introduced Christ as “the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Matt. 1:1). This is what was important to the Jews: that Christ was one of the chosen people, and was in the kingly and priestly line. It was the first thing Matthew said in his testimony. Luke, on the other hand, gives a genealogy of Christ that identifies him as “the son of Joseph” (Luke 3:23) (even though Luke testifies of the divinity of Christ) and takes Christ’s ancestry all the way back to Adam (Luke 3:38), making everyone, Jew and Gentile, a relative of Christ. (Fronk)
Luke had a special understanding of women as a result of his medical ministry among them. He wa the only one who wrote of the annunciation of Mary, and of her visit to Elizabeth, John the Baptist’s mother. He knew that “Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). He knew of Simeon’s personal prophecy to Mary that “a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also” (Luke 2:35). How did he know of these things? Very likely he was a close personal acquaintance of Mary’s in the Church, and he heard these stories from her own mouth. Luke gives what little information we have about the childhood of Christ. He was the one who told of Mary’s terror when she realized her 12-year-old was not with the caravan. (See Luke 2:51).
Where is the parable of the Good Samaritan found? Only in Luke. What about Christ’s visit to Mary and Martha? Only in Luke. Many of the most treasured parables are found only in Luke: The woman with the lost coin, the shepherd with the lost sheep, the Prodigal Son, the rich man and the beggar Lazarus. The cleansing of the ten lepers is recorded only in Luke. Luke wrote to the underdog, to tell him (and her!) that Christ was come for them as well as for anyone.
The Gospel of John
John is the gospel that is not like the others. Like Matthew and Mark, John was a Jew converted to Christianity. Like Matthew he was one of the apostles. But unlike Matthew, he was not writing to convince the Jews that Jesus was the Christ, and unlike Mark, he was not writing to convince the Gentiles that Jesus was the Christ. He was not writing to convince anyone that Jesus was the Christ: he was writing to those who already knew. He was writing to the Christians. This makes his gospel very different. Near the conclusion of his book, we read, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (John 20:31). The Harper-Collins Study Bible translates the intention of that passage to be slightly different: “But these are written, that ye might continue to believe that Jesus is the Christ…” “The Gospel of John,” wrote Bruce R. McConkie, “is the account for the saints” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 336).
John was in the Church from the very beginning. A follower of John the Baptist, he then became one of the first disciples of Christ. John was one of the “inner circle of three who were with the Lord at the raising of Jairus’s daughter, at the Transfiguration, and in Gethsemane” (BD, p. 715). So he was like a member of the First Presidency, one of the “three pillars of the Christian Church”. John wrote not only his gospel, but also three of the epistles, and the amazing book of Revelation. He identified himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved,” the one who wanted to continue to minister upon the earth until the Second Coming. His testament was the last one written, and contains unique contributions, and many more of Christ’s teachings than do the others. He had a deep understanding of the Savior and his gospel by the time he wrote his book. (Ludlow)
Only John tells how Christ raised Lazarus from the dead. Only John records the cleansing of the temple. In John, Christ explains his death to the apostles. Only in John do we read of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet, and his commandment to them to be an example of love for each other. In John, the apostles are warned that the world will hate them and try to kill them. In John the gift of the Comforter is explained. The Intercessory prayer for the disciples is found in John. Only in John is Peter told three times, “Feed my sheep.” More of the resurrected Christ’s visit back to his disciples is recorded in John than in the other gospels. (Fronk)
John records seven miraculous signs of the divinity of Christ, five of which are only found in his gospel. (To see this list, see Victor Ludow’s article, “John: The Once and Future Witness”.)
The Gospel of John is a college text, where the other gospels are elementary school primers. The other three gospels are like sacrament meeting, and the Gospel of John is like a temple. In fact, John is better understood in relation to the temple ceremony. It is deep and rich and symbolic, and it builds upon what the other gospels give us and raises our understanding to a higher level. It is for the increased edification of those who are already saints.
Only John records the descriptions Christ gave of himself, many of which hearken back to the term used in the Old Testament to identify Jehovah: “I AM.” (Ludlow) Seven of them are especially noted, possibly symbolic of the meaning of the number seven: godly perfection. These are marked with a tag, similar to Matthew’s tags; they all begin with some form of the phrase “Jesus said unto them.”
1. When the multitude asked Christ to show them a sign, like the manna in the wilderness, “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst” (6:35).
2. After saving the adulterous woman from stoning, “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (8:12).
3. Later in that same conversation, “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I Am” (8:58), identical with the term used in Exodus 3:14, and after which they tried to stone him, but he spirited himself away.
4. After telling the parable of the sheepfold to the Pharisees, “Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep…by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture” (10:7, 9).
5. To Martha, before raising Lazarus from the dead, “Jesus saith unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die” (11:25-26).
6. When Thomas asked how they would know the way, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (14:6).
7. When Judas was betraying him, (I’m removing the King James translators’ additions, which are in italics in the scriptures) “Jesus saith unto them, I am. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. As soon then as he had said unto them, I am, they went backward and fell to the ground” (18:5-8) and Jesus repeated the statement.
“John’s witness of the Lord is unique. His Gospel and epistles record some of the Savior’s noblest feelings and doctrines, especially His message of love” (Ludlow).
Bible Dictionary entries for Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John
David H. Stern, Jewish New Testament Commentary, p. 114.
Camille Fronk [Olson], “The Four Gospels,” Know Your Religion Lecture, January 1998, Logan, Utah
David Bokovoy, “A Literary Analysis of the Four Gospels,” BYU Education Week Lecture, August 2002
Victor Ludlow, “John: The Once and Future Witness,” Ensign, December 1991, p. 51-52
Thomas Mumford, Horizontal Harmony of the Gospels
- Christian Group that Admits LDS are Christians too (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
- Mormons Are Christian (paulmarcelrene.wordpress.com)
The name of the Mormon Church should be referred to at all times as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If one does that then there is no question as to whether the Mormons believe in Jesus Christ or are Christians.
The definition of a Christian is defined as ‘one who believes or professes…to believe in Jesus Christ and the truth as taught by him…one whose life is conformed to the doctrine of Christ.’ If being Christian means accepting Jesus Christ as the Son of our Heavenly Father and the Savior of the world, then the charge that Mormons aren’t Christians is entirely bogus.
Latter-day Saints pray to Heavenly Father and close ‘in the name of Jesus Christ’; they worship Christ each Sunday and partake of the sacrament which helps them renew the covenants they made with Him at their baptism; the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ; ‘Latter-day Saints believe that complete salvation is possible only through the life, death, resurrection, doctrines, and ordinances of Jesus Christ and in no other way.’1 Above all, Jesus Christ is the central figure for the doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The first Article of Faith in the church is: “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.”2 This article declares the belief in the Mormon Church.
Another misconception is the Book of Mormon and the criticism associated with it. Most will say that ‘it isn’t what the Book of Mormon says that is offensive to them – it is the Book of Mormon itself.’3 The rejection of the Book of Mormon is based upon nothing! How can one make a decision without actually reading, studying or researching? To know Christ, is to read the Bible and the Book of Mormon.
Article of Faith #8 in the Book of Mormon reads, “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly, we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.”4 As one would study, research and pray to know if those things found in the Bible are true, so one must study, research and pray to know if the teachings in the Book of Mormon are true. Judgments cannot be made on something without having information. Both books of scriptures are based upon Christ and His teachings. If both are studied, then the answers come and the world would not question whether the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are Christians.
For more information about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/Mormons please see the following websites:
1 “Encyclopedia of Mormonism”
2 “Book of Mormon”, The Articles of Faith 1:1
3 “Are Mormons Christian?”, New Era, by Robinson, May 1998, p41
4 “Book of Mormon”, The Articles of Faith 1:8
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